PAID SEARCH ADVERTISING
Google controls 2/3 of all search engine searches, so it’s consistently still THE place to go to target consumers who are searching based on specific keywords. SmartClick takes the unusual approach of breaking all campaigns up into branded campaigns, keywords with the client’s own brand(s) in the keyword phrase and non-branded campaigns, which don’t contain the client’s own keywords. Branded campaigns need to be managed to maximize position and ad impression share—they’re typically low cost, low cost/conversion and are essential to keeping search volume for a brand from being siphoned off by competitors. Non-branded campaigns on the other hand typically need to be managed as awareness builders and often compete with online social media ad campaigns in our media mix.
Most clients are not aware that ads placed through BingAds platform can target a combined 1/3 of all search engine searches represented by the combination of Bing and Yahoo!’s website traffic. Because there’s far less competition on BingAds, cost per click, and hence cost per conversion is typically half of what it is with Google AdWords. While the volume is more finite, there’s almost always a significant amount of profitable revenue to be had by launching BingAds campaigns.
ONLINE SOCIAL MEDIA
As fewer consumers search on search engines and more interact on social media, a huge percentage of the agency’s ad spend has shifted to Facebook over the past 5 years. Right now, there simply is no more efficient and scalable place to target and acquire new customers who are unaware of a particular brand. The thing that makes Facebook so unique is that not only do we have access to the data of Facebook’s 2 billion monthly active users, but because Facebook has partnered with dozens of major outside data providers, we can target in ways simply not available in any ad medium. For example, for travel category companies, we can target based on travel “intenders” people who are planning travel to a specific destination. Most effective for our clients are lookalike audiences, which we create based on a direct mail database or email list, or even by pixeling past website visitors, to go out and find other consumers who match behavior similar to current customer profiles.
Available to target through Facebook’s ad platform, Instagram’s 800 million monthly active users are both younger and considerably more likely to be on mobile devices than Facebook users. This means we can dramatically expand our campaign reach, especially for awareness-building campaigns. We’ve had good success in many categories with Instagram, actually matching, and in a few cases, improving the cost/conversion we’re getting from Facebook. On Instagram, we have access to all of the same targeting options as on Facebook.
With over 1.5 billion monthly active users, YouTube is an important part of the media mix for clients looking to build awareness in a specific user category. YouTube provides a number of sophisticated options for targeting. We run both traditional pre-roll video ads, as well as retargeting video ads for clients on YouTube. Targeting options include similar audience targeting that allows us to target consumers similar to a brand’s current customers, using Google customer match.
SmartClick was part of the original beta test for advertising on Twitter nearly a decade ago. Now with the current version of promoted tweets, we’re able to target Twitter’s 330 million monthly active users with highly promotional, short-term, conversion-oriented campaigns.
We’ve been doing significant testing on Pinterest with promoted pins for clients, because of its potential for targeting women. Among Pinterest’s 200,000 monthly active users, 93% are women, so it is clearly an important way to target women. We’re watching targeting and ad capabilities evolve on Pinterest and their effectiveness as an ad platform is a developing story.
While Reddit has been slow to monetize their platform the ad platform gives us access to a highly granular, targetable, educated audience among Reddit’s 18 million monthly active users who are passionate in areas covering millions of different targetable subjects.
Gleam is a great tool for running sweepstakes and contests. We use this as a way to generate leads at a very cheap rate (often around $1-2). Gleam allows you to add all sorts of interactions with your brand as additional ways to enter your sweepstakes. It’s a great tool for driving interaction with your brand and has allowed us to grow our client’s email lists at a staggering rate.
We see SnapChat’s 300 million monthly active users as the future of advertising for targeting teenagers and 20-somethings. SnapChat continues to evolve as an ad platform, and while options are really still in their infancy, we’re excited about the platform. One of the most encouraging things we’re seeing with SnapChat is that, similar to Facebook, SnapChat is supplementing their own data through licensing agreements with outside data partners, increasing the power and potential of SnapChat campaigns.
RETARGETING AND DISPLAY ADS
Google Display Ad Network
Unlike most of the other “walled garden” media partners we work with, there’s an enormous amount of inefficiency in the display ad marketplace, driven by ad fraud and bot traffic. As a result, we only place a limited amount of display advertising, through Google’s Display Ad Network, and hold campaigns to rigorous standards based not on impressions, as traditional agencies do, but based on conversions. By measuring ad performance based on conversions, we can extend our reach to the highest quality sites in Google’s network of 4 million websites. Display ads are tricky though. Frankly, display ads are a shrinking, and many say dying area of online advertising. If your agency is recommending a majority of ad spend be focused on display rather than tactical, opportunistic campaigns, you should flee immediately and call us.
We’ve been working with Criteo for a decade to deliver product-level retargeting ads for clients across a curated network of high quality websites based on consumer data and behavior. These powerful ads show consumers the exact same product they viewed when they were on our clients’ websites. The huge differentiating factor for Criteo versus other platforms is that because nearly 50% of all e-commerce retailers work with Criteo, their recommendation engine is extremely smart and effective at recommending products a particular shopper might like.
Steelhouse has proven to be a great supplement to our product-level retargeting work with Criteo. We find is that there is a finite amount of highly profitable revenue to be had on any specific retargeting platform, but by moving our clients into a second retargeting partner, we can dramatically increase the reach of our retargeting campaigns, hence increasing total revenue from retargeting. Steelhouse is also excellent for clients who demand extreme transparency, granularity, and flexibility of campaign management, because of the amount of different variables you can customize through their dashboard.
Perfect Audience gives us the ability to show retargeting ads for smaller brands that might have less than 10,000 monthly unique visitors or brands in specific specialized industries. For example ads for medical supplies are notoriously challenging to set up and get ads approved for retargeting because of HIPAA restrictions, but Perfect Audience makes this a relatively simple process.
Gmail ads are ads that are served in a users Gmail inbox. These ads are both inexpensive and effective particularly if you want to target a house email list. We’re able to target these ads very effectively using predefined segments from Google, our clients email lists, similar audiences, and even contextually targeting based off the content of other emails in a user’s inbox.
COMPARISON SHOPPING ENGINES
Amazon has a 40%+ share in the online shopping market. If you have an online store, we can help you promote that store with ads on Amazon. We target Amazon's self-serve ads to search terms, products, or interests. This helps you to get discovered by customers right as they're shopping for products like yours.
Google have amassed a legitimate 25%+ share of the online shopping market. We’re expert at setting up custom feeds that update Google with your product inventory in real time. We’re also great at using tools like Data Feed Watch to optimize your feed so your brand can appear higher in Google Shopping Results.
Connexity has been buying up smaller consumer shopping engines and is an important partner for clients who sell highly-price-competitive niche products. While the sheer amount of traffic volume is relatively modest, SmartClick finds that for certain clients, there is often thousands of dollars a month of profitable revenue to be harvested there. We’re expert at helping our clients capture as much of that revenue as possible.
SideCar is helping SmartClick to revolutionize their e-commerce marketing. Sidecar has developed advanced machine learning technology that helps SmartClick to unlock the full potential of all of our online shopping channels. With SideCar as a partner, we’re able to outrank your competition, reduce wasted spend, and maximize revenue and return.
Data Feed Watch
DataFeedWatch is a product feed management tool that allows us to pull a feed of thousands of products from a client’s site and have it update daily as the product catalog changes. We are then able to map our clients product feeds according to the specifications of any channel such as Google and Shopping. This incredibly powerful tool saves our clients tons of time and makes them a lot of money as a properly built product feed can drive huge amounts of revenue through various channels.
Zaius provides the most advanced email marketing capabilities by combining and analyzing both our clients’ e-commerce databases and their email databases. SmartClick uses Zaius to segment consumers into buying personae, which we can then email, based on purchase behavior. For example, with Zaius, we’re able to compress the purchase frequency of light users, without over-discounting to heavy users.
While we work with many different email services as we support and manage our clients’ email campaigns, for simple campaigns, we’re partial to MailChimp. MailChimp has all the capabilities we need to run email newsletters, email blasts, and triggered email campaigns, without a lot of wasted features most clients don’t need. MailChimp is also highly compatible with all the e-commerce platforms our clients work with.
With Hubspot we’re able to market to clients’ in house email lists as well as track their data through Hubspot’s powerful CRM tools. Hubspot is a leader in email marketing and customer data management and integrates with many other tools and ad platforms that we use such as Facebook lead ads.
Privy is a powerful and versatile tool that we use for email capture with popups, onsite banners, and gameified email capture. We also use Privy to display special short duration offers, to reduce cart abandonment, and can send emails as well. We often are able to capture the email address of 5% of all site visitors using Privy.
Through 4Cite, we’re able to use database technology to send emails to consumers who simply browse a client’s website. We can target 5-10% of website visitors, without the client even providing their email address. This drives a small stream of monthly incremental revenue for some of our clients.
TRACKING, REPORTING & TAGGING
Google Tag Manager
Google tag manager is an incredibly powerful tool for tracking website traffic and conversions. Through it, we can place one piece of code on your site and thereafter we’re able to implement additional pieces of code without needing access to the back end of the website. After the code is placed on your site we need very little interaction with your web developer which can save you a lot of money and a huge headache. We’re experts with Google tag manager and have been using it for years with dozens of different advanced implementations.
Google Analytics is a freemium platform for tracking website traffic and is the most commonly used web tracking and analytics platform available. It’s capabilities are incredibly vast and we’re experts at unraveling the data for our clients. We use Google Analytics as our “source of truth” to compare tracking and reporting of all other platforms to.
Google Data Studio
Google Data Studio allows us to take our clients’ data and create a fully customized dashboard that updates in real time. These reports are easy to share and keep clients in the loop about their own performance at all times.
LANDING PAGES & A/B TESTING
Google Optimize is a tool that allows websites to perform multivariate tests on their website typically to improve onsite conversion rates. Their technology is the best on the market for minimizing page load time issues that often are associated with onsite testing. Our team is able to fully manage tests from ideation to creating the visual assets to implementation, tracking and reporting.
Unbounce is a great tool that allows us to create new landing pages on a clients’ site without having to involve their web developer. We can also perform multivariate tests with Unbounce to hone in on the perfect landing page to direct our ads to. Our team is able to fully manage tests from ideation to creating the visual assets to implementation, tracking and reporting.
Magento is one of the most common web platforms for e-commerce on the market today. We have years of experience with Magento stores and partner with web development agency Razoyo that specializes in Magento sites. Magento is a fully customizable web platform that integrates with the majority of e-commerce tools that we use.
Shopify is the most common web platform for e-commerce on the market today. We have a number of clients on this platform and it integrates very well with the majority of ad platforms and tools that we use. We’ve helped our clients build beautiful websites with Shopify that also perform very well in driving sales. We partner with a web developer called BVACCEL that specializes in developing Shopify sites.
For clients who advertise online, but do a lot of transactions over the phone, Avid Trak allows SmartClick to tie specific phone calls back to the online advertising that drove that phone call. This provides a powerful layer of data to help SmartClick to optimize our online campaigns.
Navistone is able to retarget site visitors with direct mail. Using Navistone we’re able to match up as many as 70% of site visitors to a mailing address and then send them a direct mail piece. This tool is very powerful for clients who want to influence user behavior over a long period of time often because of a major purchase decision.