useful-google-tools

Is Google AdWords about to start accepting Nigerian Naira Payments?

Every freelance marketer or small business knows this pain. Since the crash of the Naira, $100 limits on debit cards, and high FX, advertising has been hard. Paying for ads is now punishment, because you either make payments small small every month, or get a dollar card. If you go with the dollar card, the next pain point becomes actually getting the dollar at reasonable rates.

That's why we were excited when Facebook brought in the PayU option for Naira payments. And it has been a lifesaver.

And now it looks like Google will be following suit. A few days back, a reader hinted at a possible NGN payment option on AdWords. We checked it out and noticed that indeed the Naira denomination was now included in the signup page, which wasn't available before now.

But as of this moment, there are no available payment options under this currency setting. Sources say this is in the works and we should be patient for a possible rollout.

It's hard to stress how much of a relief this would be to advertisers in Nigeria, I think it's long overdue. What we're likely to see is a dedicated payment option for Nigerian cards, just like in Facebook. Payments are also likely to be on a prepaid basis.

We would keep an eye on this space and let you know if anything changes.


adwords marketing goals

Looking for campaign ideas on AdWords? Check the Marketing Goals website

As marketers, part of our day to day activities is to check for more effective ways to do the same thing. The objectives might vary, from app install, to driving ecommerce sales and lead generation. But over time, especially if you're a one man team, ideas start to fade. Sometimes you just need a little boost to get your creative juices flowing.

This is exactly why the AdWords Marketing Goals website was launched. To help businesses and individuals alike get ideas  on more effective ways to run certain campaigns.

Using AdWords Marketing Goals

In this case for example, I have picked out driving foot traffic to my store as the goal. Here's a part of the page that comes up

adwords marketing goals

 

You'd notice the same pattern as you go through the website. For every goal you select, you'd get a few ideas on how best to achieve them with AdWords. This will also come in handy for SME owners and digital advertising beginners.

Be sure to check out the marketing goals website and let us know what your experience is like


fixed-rates

How to ensure your dollar advertising rates stay fixed during a campaign

Its been a weird past couple of days. By now you already know that Donald Trump won the US election. What you might not have heard, is that the dollar is slowly coming down, at least for a short while. Mostly because the world isn't sure what's going to happen now, but expect it to come back sooner than you think.

Thing is, now everyone is waiting for the bank rates to drop too, so they can do some quick shopping. But for some of us, we're looking to pay just a little less on our ads. And not everyone knows how to do that.

Same goes for when you start off a new marketing contract. You can't tell your clients that their actual costs might vary as the dollar fluctuates, so you usually would give the prevailing dollar rates + some buffer. Which also doesn't always work, we've seen major jumps these past few months. So here are a few ways to get an assured fixed cost on your ads payment for the most popular platforms.

Option One: Pre-Pay for your ads at a fixed rate

On Google and Twitter, you can prepay for your ads as against using a post paid option. For Google, you can do this directly on the AdWords dashboard, and for Twitter, you can go through the Twitter partner for Africa, Ad Dynamo. Unfortunately, Facebook doesn't allow prepaid ads at the moment. At least not in Nigeria. So this can only work for Twitter and Google.

Making Manual Payments in Google.

To make manual payments in Google, simply visit your billing tab and click on the "Make a payment" button.

Obviously, this can't be refunded once paid, so I'd advise you pay on a per campaign basis. You can also easily switch back to automatic payments once you decide to go with the later. This can be especially useful for a short, one off campaign. I've also used this method to keep checks on accounts where access is share with other individuals. Maybe the client themselves, just so no one ends up paying more than planned for.

Making manual payments for Twitter through Ad Dynamo

If you're running a Twitter campaign and need to make pre-payment, Ad Dynamo is a valid option. You can get invoiced for a specific ad budget and run on that till its exhausted. Now admittedly, this isn't a good option for small campaigns (less than $500). But it can save you tons of money in fluctuating FX when you use this in running bigger budget campaigns.

 

Option two: Make payments with a dollar card

The second - and slightly more obvious - option, is to pay for your ads through a dollar account. This tends to ensure fixed rates on those ads. The major problem here would be that most SMEs and small scale ad agencies probably wouldn't have one. But at this point, if you plan on doing online advertising for the long term, I'd advise you open one.

Before opening a dollar account though, I'd advise you check properly for information about the bank you'd like to use. A friend recently mentioned that her UBA card still had a dollar restriction. Please get proper information so you don't waste time.

The good thing about using a dollar card, is that you can keep adding to it as you find sweet deals on the black market rates.

We're likely going to be in this fluctuating FX regime for a while, so if you'd be advertising either for yourself or for other businesses. I'd advise you start taking into consideration long term plans to get your costs to be as low as possible. Let me know if you have any other tips on how to save costs on FX.


google adwords campaign groups

AdWords Click-To-Message ads now live for advertisers

For a lot of clients, your typical AdWords campaigns don't cut it. I learned that during my time at a digital agency. Take an FMCG that wants its customers to enter a competition by calling a number for example.Which happened on more than one occasion. In those cases, we had used the AdWords Click-To-Call campaigns and seen good uptake. Although the downside to that was the lack of conversion tracking for Nigerian numbers.

In a blog post last week, Google officially announced the Click-To-Message extension. Which I'm certain will have so many use applications. According to Google

Nearly two thirds of smartphone owners use messaging more than five times a day to communicate with others. And people aren’t limiting their use of messaging to social communications - 65% of consumers say they’d consider using messaging to connect with a business to get information about a product or service, or to schedule an in-person appointment.

The messaging extension will now be available just like the call, location and callout extensions. Here's an example of what the extension will look like in your ads

 

And the best thing about this extension, is that you can enter a default text in the message that's sent! Clicking on the message CTA opens up the users message app.

Possible use cases in Nigeria

 

Basic services, like food (Chicken Republic)

Lets take Chicken Republic as an example. The company already has an online sales platform. We've seen the company push their express meal for just ₦1,000 right? And they take orders from multiple areas in Lagos. Here's a simple campaign I could run to test out this functionality

chicken-republic-call-to-text

And here I'd include a message extension with the copy "SMS Your Order for delivery". Which could easily be designed to auto-fill the message "I'd like an express meal. My address is [insert your address]". This can then trigger a call to confirm the order.

There are a million and one other use cases for this. Only thing that'll get in your way is your imagination.

And don't forget, this is a new feature, so you'd want to try it out to see how your customers respond to it. If you do and you get any interesting feedback, let me know in the comment box below


app-install-best-practice

Google's best practices for mobile app install campaigns

If you're the typical developer or SME owner, you probably just spent a ton of time and money building this app. Now its time to push this baby out to the world and get awesome feedback. But wait, how are you going to do that? And how do you ensure that you get the most bang for buck?

Lost of people face this dilemma everyday. And its exhausting. As a marketer that has helped build an app from a little over 4,000 to over 200,000 downloads, I can tell you it is.

But Google has come up with a few suggestions they think can help you out. I'd chip in one suggestion though, before continuing with the rest.

(My tip) Be sure to track installs & events

Nothing is worse than not knowing what converts. It's the scientific advertisers nightmare. And that is exactly what happens when you don't have the appropriate SDKs installed to attribute app installs. In a lot of cases (surprisingly), people still install individual SDKs from different platforms. And then they end up with an app that is like 15MB. In today's world, attribution partners rule.

Attribution partners are connected to almost all major platforms and integrate all SDKs in one. Which means that you have both Google's and Facebooks SDKs in that little snippet of code. You can also get partners that include ad networks like AdMob. I personally like Adjust, because of it's in-depth dashboard data. All in all, be sure that your app can tell you who did what, when and why.

And here are the 12 tips from Google

1. Track beyond the app install

Tracking in app conversions can save your life! Like I said before, knowing what customers are doing on your app is of vital importance. At Zoto, we never really tracked app downloads, it was never a metric to discuss at a management level meeting. The mos important KPIs turned out to always be cost per registration, transaction attempt rate and cost per transaction. Those are the things that counted towards our bottom line.

Ignore tracking in-app conversions and you very well could just close shop and go home. Read more about tracking in-app conversions here

2. Decide what's valuable to your app

What's valuable to me might not be of any reasonable value to you. So be sure to check for the most important app events to look out for. Take a game app as an example, number of signups might be important. But more important might be the amount of time spent per session, or the average level a user gets to before they churn.

Your most valuable app events will be those that can directly be tied to your end goal. Things like "Add to cart", "Checkout", "Subscribe" etc. Click here to read more about valuable events

3. Promote your app

I'm sure you already guessed this one. In most cases, the "build it and they would come" principle doesn't apply to apps. You'd need to fund campaigns to drive installs of your app, just ensure you get a good Cost Per Install (CPI). On an average, aim for about $0.50 and definitely less.

Start with the Universal app campaigns

These are a few of many tips, continue reading more tips from Google here.


google adwords campaign groups

AdWords Campaign Groups: Easier Goal Tracking & Monitoring

In most cases, as an advertiser or agency, your objectives are driven by multiple AdWords campaigns. For example, if you were running ad ad to drive consideration for an ecommerce brand, you'd probably run a search campaign, display campaign and truview video campaign if a video is available.

In a lot of these cases, the trick is in properly tracking your ad objectives across all campaigns. Prior to now, we used all kinds of tricks to do this. Some advertisers label each campaign and then filter based on those labels. Other advertisers give campaigns similar names and filter by searching for the common prefix. All these can work but have their limitations.

With the introduction of AdWords campaign groups, it's become much easier to see your targets and achievements. Here's a screenshot of what the campaign groups look like.

adwords campaign groups

AdWords Campaign Groups

Lets assume you're an SME owner with a busy schedule. You have a team of 5 and one member of your team handles PPC campaigns. The struggle to constantly check on your goals on AdWords can be tasking. With the AdWords campaign groups, you can group multiple campaigns and give them a common goal, say purchase conversions on your website for example.

The Campaign group gives you an overview of where you are in terms of your target. The likelihood of reaching that target and your cost till date. One thing it DOES NOT do is affect your campaign performance.

Previously I needed to export all my campaigns into a spreadsheet, group them together, and create a pivot table simply to see how they are performing. With campaign groups & performance targets, we can much more easily see how our groups are performing relative to our goals, all from within the AdWords interface."
- Oleg Monakhov, Senior Lead Generation Manager at Wrike

campaign groups

Be sure to try out the campaign groups feature in AdWords and let us know what your initial thoughts are about it.


google adwords redesign

Google AdWords gets its first redesign. Starts slow roll out

Its been over 15 years since the launch of AdWords, and in that period so much has changed. And along with it, AdWords.

15 years ago, you probably had just started understanding the internet. You probably had set times for when you could browse (at the cyber cafe's). Your mobile phone was either a 3310 or something similar. And you never even thought browsing while on your mobile would be possible. But all of that has changed.

You're now more dependent on the web than you are on your friends. You browse while on your mobile pooping (if you're sincere with yourself). You invite your friends over and end up stalking other friends with their Instagram photos, ignoring each other the entire time.

All of these changes have also affected advertising and the way advertisers work. 15 years ago, YouTube wasn't even in sight, but today it's become a part of AdWords. Gmail Sponsored Promotions, which was launched a few years back, has also now become part of AdWords. All of these changes made the platform evolve, but with very little change in its interface. But this is all about to change.

The Google AdWords team officially announced a refresh to the AdWords dashboard earlier this year. And some users have started getting access to this dashboard. According to Google, the roll-out will span through 2016 to 2017.

Here's a preview of what the new interface looks like.

Google AdWords new interface

One thing that becomes immediately clear is the mobile focus. Advertisers now need to setup ads on the go and can no longer afford to wait till they get to their desks. So now it'll become even easier for you to take care of your client's urgent campaign setup while seating in the passengers seat of your car. And trust me, to some of us who work with agencies, this is awesome news.

AdWords-New-UI-Live

PHOTO CREDIT: ZEN ONLINE MARKETING

Is there any change in AdWords functionality?

Not at the moment. Everything, in terms of functionality, on the AdWords dashboard remains the same. The entire focus of the design in this new UI is to enable a more user friendly dashboard that produces awesome experiences across multiple devices. According to Google:

What should be most noticeable about this new AdWords experience is the look and feel. This is Material Design, the design language that’s at the core of our favorite Google apps like Maps, Search, and Gmail. While this AdWords may look and feel different, your campaigns will run the same as they run today - with no upgrades or migrations.

How can you get the new dashboard?

Unfortunately, there's no way for you to do that. The Google team reaches out to AdWords users and invites them to test the new platform. We're not sure if any Nigerian agency or business has been given access as of this moment.

If you do have access to the new dashboard, let us know in the comments box below.


share ad preview with client

Google now lets you share ad previews with your clients

I worked with an agency for a year and half, and there are certain things I can tell you for sure that happen. One recurring topic that comes up is a client tasking to see their ad. And if you work in an agency, you're probably tired of hearing this too.

The problems with looking for a clients ad are quite simple.

  1. You stand a chance of reducing your CTR/quality score if you keep doing random searches
  2. Sometimes a screenshot is not enough, your client somehow wants some other proof
  3. Your client's ad wouldn't always show. Smart targeting is what rules digital.

But that doesn't stop your average client from going bunkers on you. "I'm not seeing my ad" is the most common complaint.

Thankfully, Google just released a fix for that. Welcome the new and improved Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool.

How does it work?

Lets say I work for Konga for example. And the Konga team needs to see that their ads are up. In the past, we'd search for the Konga keyword on the ad preview and diagnosis tool and take a screenshot. But now you can also share this screenshot!

share this report

Here's the link to the shared search.

I think this is a huge add for agencies. Sharing the ad experience with clients is now as simple as the click of a button.

What we'd really love to see though (without sounding too greedy), is an ad preview tool for Display advertising. Because to be frank, that's where a lot of clients get the most anxious. They want to see the ads on website so bad, that poor account managers are stuck at their tables refreshing a targeted page.

We hope that Google will also consider putting this in the works.

Do you work at an agency right now? Let us know if you think this is helpful enough.


influencer marketing

Marketing for Beginners: Influencer Marketing, the what, why and how

The word influencer is now a common term in marketing and sales. So far, I think everybody has an idea of the concept of influencer marketing but not the science of it. Only few Nigerian brands understand this and have used it effectively.

There are certain metrics that needs to be considered and put in place when choosing an influencer to market your brand. Usually, the idea is someone famous who has a level of impact on their audience, but there is more to choosing someone famous.

What or Who is an influencer?

Recommendations, criticism and word of mouth spread really fast online and offline like a wildfire. If the criticism is coming from an ordinary person then it might or it might not go viral (you can’t predict virility except it’s scandalous or nothing more interesting comes up). An influencer is someone that can increase the chance of something going viral. These guys are usually very active on social media and blogs. Influencers have various things they can impact. Although, they usually have quite a large number of audiences, if they are not a contextual fit for the brand they will have little or no impact on marketing.

Does your brand need an influencer?

Most brands will say yes to this; but after careful evaluation, you'd find that some do and some don’t. Most people trust personal user review and when you align with an influencer, not only do they bring their audience, but they also bring their audience’s network as well. Because of the loyalty of this audience, an influencer has the ability to drive traffic to your site, increase your brand exposure, and sell your product through their recommendation or story about their experience. (Careful not to make it a script, people can tell when it’s not genuine).

With the fall of traditional marketing and typical social media marketing, influencer marketing is becoming an interesting and popular way to attract customers and clients. Modern day consumers are blind to billboards and deaf to commercials. Consumers are self-sufficient and want to research a brand on their own and/or hear about it from someone they trust.

Put Your Audience In Mind

Your audience is the focus in all of this, not you and definitely not the influencer. As a marketer, you already know your audience for your brand. To locate the ideal influencer, you need to take it one step further and research the types of topics, blogs, and tweeters that your audience is interested in. Hopefully, they find your brand relevant when an influencer they follow recommends it.

How do you Zero in on an influencer

Context

Again, an influencer differs for every brand because, first and foremost, they are a contextual fit. This is the most important characteristic when targeting the right influencers for your brand. For example, Don Jazzy has over 2M followers on Instagram and 1.6M on twitter making him one of the most followed accounts on social media in Nigeria, but is he really the one you want to use to sell a healthy living or diet product?

Reach: After you establish someone as being a good fit for your brand, you also want them to have an equally large reach so they can share your brand content or positive recommendation in a manner that actually will be heard. If your online business sold clothes for men then a mention from a Don Jazzy won’t be a bad idea.

Conversion

This is the influencer’s ability to cause action by their audience. When you do your background research well and choose the right influencer, then action from influencers mention is inevitable. Remember Influencers don’t force themselves upon an audience. Their audience chose to follow them because they are interested and as such would most likely take an action based on a recommendation from the influencer.

Influencer’s Image

Now that you’ve chosen an influencer, you have to put some things in place. They include:

  • Personality type: what personality type best sells your product? If you are selling an energy drink then maybe you should be looking at Yemi Alade or Dbanj (they radiate energy).
  • Genre: Depending on how versatile your brand is, when choosing an influencer, you should look at one or two industries to market it for you. E.g is Fashion and Tech or Music and Business or a combination of all.
  • Niche: Pick a unique model. Something your competition has not thought of that might work for you.
  • Topics: Don’t centre your topic on the product, instead around its utility. If you are selling a beauty product get your influencer to talk about their skin care routine instead of just the product.
  • Type of reach: Be sure the type of reach your chosen influencer has. Do people re-tweet or like their post a lot or are there positive comments on their post.

A true influencer of your brand is passionate about your product or service. And this passion shows through the bright white lines that appear on computer screens and it spreads to those who read their words, which results in many leads for your company! You also don’t leave all the work to the influencer because they don’t know your brand the way you do, it’s your job to reply comments, build leads and follow up based on their influence. So your goal is to get as much content from happy customers as possible.

What do you think of the way Nigerian brands use influencers? Let us know in the comment box below


using Google Search

Google Search Ads: Its costs and measuring ROI

In the previous post, we talked about search ads and their value to your business. And I'm sure that by now we're all familiar with the reasons why you need to have a good SEM campaign for your brand.

If any of these sound like gibberish to you, head over to the part one of this post.

Now that you understand the value behind this marketing channel, the next logical question is "How much would it cost me?". I like to think of that question in a different way.

The general best practice of any marketing campaign is to spend more as long as Return On Investment (ROI) remains positive. And that is precisely how you think about online marketing. If you spend ₦50,000 on marketing and you get ₦100,000 in profit, not revenue, I'd say throw the ₦100k back in. But lets not get ahead of ourselves, lets start with the basics.

How you are charged for search ads

Before moving ahead, keep one thing in mind, Google is the king of search. Which means, whatever Google does, everyone else (Bing, Yahoo and anyone else out there) follows. So when we refer to Google while talking about search ads, we kind of mean everyone.

Google search ads are charged on a simple cost-per-click (CPC) model. Which means that you as an advertiser only gets to pay when a user clicks on your advert. This means that if you run a search ad and it shows up 1,000 times, but only gets clicked on once, you only pay for that one click. This provides a lot of transparency for search advertising, and is one of the reasons for its success.

But how much do you pay for each click? That's where things get interesting. First lets define a few terms

  1. Cost per click (CPC) is the amount you pay as an advertiser for every click
  2. Maximum cost per click (Max CPC) is the most you're willing to pay for a click
  3. Ad rank is the position of your search ad on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP)
  4. An impression is your search ad shown to a user once

 

 The Ad Auction

To determine your cost per click, Google carries out an auction. This auction is bid on by you as an advertiser, and your competition. Lets take a simple case study.

You, Advertiser A, sell red shoes (the expensive ones :) ), and you setup an ad for the keyword "red shoes". Which means that every time someone searches for something related to "red shoes", you want your ad to be shown. Advertiser B also sells red shoes and has a search ad setup for the same keyword.

A Google search user, John, decides he'd like to get red shoes for his girlfriend's birthday. So naturally, he goes to Google to look for "where to buy red shoes online". Immediately John hits enter, an ad auction takes place. All advertisers (you, advertiser A, and advertiser B) bidding on this keyword are included in this auction. Assuming that while setting up your campaign, you set your Max CPC as $1, which means you're not willing to pay more than $1 per click, and advertiser B says they're only willing to pay $0.5 as a maximum CPC, Google charges you just enough to beat advertiser B. In this case, you might get charged $0.51, even though your maximum CPC is actually $1.

Other factors that affect your CPC

Your maximum CPC isn't the only thing that impacts your actual cost per click. Other factors like your ads quality score come into play, although we will not be going into that today. A few factors that can affect your ads quality score are

  1. The quality of the page you send users to after clicking on your ad (landing page)
  2. The speed at which your website or landing page loads
  3. The rate at which people click on your adverts (Click through rate or CTR)
  4. How relevant the keyword is to your search ad and landing page

We'd elaborate on those in other posts, be sure to be on the lookout for them.

Calculating ROI on your search ads

When do you know if running search ads make sense for your business? How do you make a business decision to continue running it for longer periods when you start out? Simply by calculating its Return On Investment, popularly called ROI.

To get the ROI on your search advertising, you'd need to calculate the cost for running your ads and how much revenue they bring back for your business. If the revenue is greater than your ad spend, that's a good first step.

Next you need to calculate the profit on each purchase from your search ads. If you run at a profit and not a loss, then you're on the right path. If on the flip side you don't make any profit after spending $500 on search ads for example, you'd like to rethink your approach to your search ads.

Like we mentioned in the first post, search advertising is about reaching people actively looking for your product. Hence you ideally should get quality users who are in the best stages of the purchasing cycle. Search ads are not an awareness medium, you don't announce your products with search advertising, you get people who are already reaching for their wallets (metaphorically speaking), so treat it that way.

Do you already use search ads for your business? Share your findings and thoughts with us in the comments box below.