Michael Utley: Hey, welcome to the Dodgeball Marketing podcast. This is episode five. We're going to talk about advertising for branding or to gain an audience, or to convert, which means generating sales or leads. So yeah, ads can serve more than one purpose. We generally, depending on how we come into the Internet, or maybe our age, or stage in life, or what our assumptions are, or how close we are to advertising and marketing in general, we kind of have often this really oddly specific sense of what advertising is, that typically is wrong. We work with a lot of healthcare professionals, a lot of people in the construction industry, a lot of people in technology services, and advertising and marketing is not usually their starting point in life. So yes, there's a big difference between ads that have these different objectives, and not just the ads themselves, but how they work. What happens when you click on the ad, or what happens next? So, yeah. Chris, tell us something about like search ads. What are search ads?
Chris Raines: Yeah. So you have, like you said, a lot of different kinds of ads. You've got everything from the Nike television spot, just do it, where all you want is the perception. This is who we are. This is what we're about, all the way down to ads that want people to take a specific action at a specific place. That's kind of what search ads are. Search ads are the reason Google exists, as probably about 80, 90% of their revenue comes from search ads, and I'm sure you've all seen this. When you go to the Google search engine, you type in something like dermatologists near me, you're going to get three or four ads at the very top with the little green ad logo beside it. And those are paid placements.
So you bid on keywords, specific keywords, and based on that, and a few other factors, Google determines who goes where. And so those are text ads, and gosh, a huge percentage of all the advertising on the Internet. We could talk about text ads and we would probably cover about 50% of advertising on the Internet. That's how big it is between Google and Bing and all the others. But yeah, the goal of text ads, and the reason they're so powerful is there's so much intent behind them, Michael, if you are just surfing the web and you see a banner ad, for instance, for a dermatology practice, you may not be in the space at that point to need a dermatologist. You're just searching. You're just browsing the Internet. But if you're searching “acne dermatologists near me”, that's a high level of intent.
Michael Utley: Yeah. We talk about high intent for search ads. And of course, if you come into the world of advertising and marketing through just a general experience, and maybe that Nike commercial is what you're thinking, you may be more focused on the creative side of advertising. You may think that this is all about finding a creative message. This is all about finding a way that shows what makes us really special? How do we really connect with people? And what that is, is that's really taking broad audience thinking from the world of spray and pray advertising with billboards, radio, TV, the old joke of, I know half my advertising budget is wasted, I just don't know which half.
That's really true for billboards, radio, TV. That's not really true for the Internet. Every day on the Internet we're actually deciding which half is not working and pausing that half, in the form of ever-improving increments of optimizing campaigns, because with a search ad we can know, for example, you said the magic word intent. If we have the words near me or contractor, or if we add negatives to intent, like free, or DIY, or how to, we can-
Chris Raines: And negative is where you tell Google, if someone searches this, I do not want to show that.
Michael Utley: Don't show us for these. Yeah, so search ads are really great. They're really a different animal, though, than what we can often think of, and how people are often thinking of advertising when they show up on our doorstep.
Chris Raines: And I'll say one more thing about search ads. If you're thinking about advertising on the Internet in general, search ads are a really great entry point. And the reason I say that is because they're right there at the bottom of the funnel. So if someone's typing in dermatologists near me, that person is ready to take action. So if you have only a limited amount of money to spend, all things being equal, it's probably a good idea to start investing right there. Because those people are more primed, as opposed to say, buying your billboard or buying your radio or doing banner advertisements to the broad audience. You're going to find more ROI down there, and then you're going to take that and you can invest higher up in the funnel. So, that's the last thing I would say about text ads.
Michael Utley: Yeah. And I think a lot of our growth of our companies has been because money was moving from traditional media over to search ads. I think a lot of the opportunity that we've connected with in helping companies grow, helping our clients grow, has been through this movement of dollars out of traditional media and into search. Because if you could, companies suddenly had a way with the Internet of being much closer to the transaction with their advertising. Branding's really what you do when you don't have any other options, or when you have just so much money in, like a Nike or Coca-Cola that that's the level that you're working at.
Chris Raines: Yeah. Or if you're a packaged goods, if people are buying-
Michael Utley: If you're Proctor & Gamble.
Chris Raines: If people aren't going to buy it from your website like Proctor & Gamble has to advertise Tide detergent, because people aren't going to come to Proctor & Gamble, they have distribution channels. They have to create that demand out in the marketplace. So it makes sense for them to do massive branding campaigns.
Michael Utley: Right.
Chris Raines: Not so much for a local dermatologist.
Michael Utley: Yeah. Yeah. But for most businesses, most entities that have either a local, regional, or even a national audience, but are trying to drive some kind of foot traffic, or some kind of action, even B2B, it's the same. We used to hear from a lot of B2B companies that they felt that their people were not really using the Internet to find options or potential solutions to their problem. And that's just not the case. So yeah. Search is the number one big topic for advertising. It is able to help you connect better with higher intent, you're able to work further down in the sales funnel than you can with branding, it's much more measurable, you can cut off what's not working. And then Chris Raines let's start with some of these other formats, banner ads.
Banner ads, so Google, once they got search ads running and making money, something that grew up around the same time at Google was them having a network of websites that were affiliated with them and tapped into their advertising platform so that they could make money off of the people coming to their websites. So the example I always use is if you have a blog on hiking, you might want to make some space on your pages available for advertisers. I don't know if they advertise, but REI, which is one of my favorite equipment stores for hiking. And so these banner ads, these are not necessarily different websites going out and creating their own advertising programs. They're just making the real estate available through Google's ad platform. And so these are different, right, Chris Raines? These are visual ads, not text ads typically.
Chris Raines: It's more about getting the ad impression, getting the reach, and then I would say banner ads are more about affinities and the type of person it is, rather than their propensity to take action right at that moment. So it's the difference between-
Michael Utley: The search ad is keyed off of a keyword. If it's shown or not shown based on keywords, banner ads are shown or not shown based on affinity, subject matter, and interests.
Chris Raines: Yeah. So take Google, for instance. You can target people that have an affinity for hiking and say, I want to show this ad for hiking shoes to this audience. And Google knows this because of your search history and because of a lot of other different things. So I want to show this person no matter where they go on the Internet, I want to show the hiking affinity, someone who's into hiking, this ad. And so it's more, and you can also do it based on the content of the website. Like the hiking blog that you mentioned. You can either do it based on the content of the page or on what Google knows about the person, their affinities. So in broadly speaking, I would say display advertising is more about addressing the kind of person. They may not be ready to buy the hiking shoe right then, but you want to get in front of them, because they're likely to buy in the future.
Michael Utley: So you'd say that display ads are used more often higher up in the funnel?
Chris Raines: Yeah.
Michael Utley: Okay. Good.
Chris Raines: More branding.
Michael Utley: And then let's talk about retargeting. I'll sort of interview you here. Retargeting ads are ads that follow you around after you visit a website. So let's take the same thing you said for display. How are those effective? How are they different? How are they effective? How are they most often used? And can you talk about the ROI of a good retargeting campaign?
Chris Raines: So retargeting ads are great for the simple reason that when you go to a website and the advertiser wants you to take an action. So let's say it's, everyone's been followed around by Amazon ads. Amazon uses retargeting ads, where you go put something in the cart and then you don't buy it at that moment in time, the ad will follow you around.
Retargeting ads are powerful because your typical conversion rate on a landing page is let's say a search ad, might be around 7% to 10%, really high is 15%. So that means 85% of the people that come to your site and you present an action for them to take, just don't take the action. Maybe they were busy. Maybe they're about to get in their car, maybe their kid threw up. I mean, all kinds of stuff happens.
Michael Utley: If it's one of us, yeah.
Chris Raines: Right. All kinds of things happen that stop that conversion momentum, maybe the timing wasn't right. So what retargeting ads do is they take people, not the big wide audience, but only people that went on your site and didn't convert. So let's say you got a thousand people at your site and 800 of them didn't convert. It takes just those 800 people that definitely know who you are, and are in your conversion set, but just didn't convert for whatever reason. And so you're continually reintroducing yourself to them, so that maybe a week later when that knee pain is back again, or...
Michael Utley: Yeah. And they're on a different website, they're not on their website.
Chris Raines: Exactly. They're getting a display ad.
Michael Utley: They're not on your website. They're on somebody else's website, but they're being followed around the Internet.
Chris Raines: So that knee pain is back, or they're like, gosh, it's time. My shoe finally broke. It's time to get those hiking shoes. They're going to see you again, and you're going to, it's just top of mind awareness for those people. So that's why I like retargeting ads. And especially for things like Facebook, a lot of campaigns make all their money back in retargeting. Because you get people to the website, you get them to add to cart, and most people just abandon their cart. So if you continually reintroduce yourself and stay in front of them, you're going to make that money back through that warm audience.
Michael Utley: So, retargeting in our experience, I think you would agree, has had a very high return on investment. It's much less, it's much less costly to show those ads. And it really has the effect of redeeming a lot of the value of the initial advertising click.
Chris Raines: It can. Yeah, for sure.
Michael Utley: In a lot of campaigns. Okay. So let's keep on this, and we've got just a few more minutes here, but rapid-fire. Social ads, how are those often used? How are those best?
Chris Raines: I mean, social ads are great, because as we know, Facebook knows everything about everyone, right? So you can really target people based on again, that affinity, and the type of person it is. So you can target people that live in Detroit and are into cats. It's that kind of... Women aged 30 to 40 in Detroit who love cats. So that kind of powerful-
Michael Utley: Yeah. And then social ads are going to be more visual.
Chris Raines: Are going to be more visual, and they have a higher clickthrough rate normally than banner ads, because when you think about a banner ad, maybe that might be on the side of a website, or at the top. Social ads are right there in the feed, so they have the same real estate as just random posts from people that you know. So that's the power. The targeting and the kind of native nature of them.
Michael Utley: And we talked about product ads, product ads are great because you can, if you have a set of SKUs and you want to promote those, you can actually load your entire feed into, for example, Google, and have those shown as search results for your actual products and that'll, and those are paid ads. Those shopping ads in Google now are paid. They used to be free, but that can take people directly through to make a purchase.
Chris Raines: Yeah. And the cost per click is way less for those product ads. Yeah. Anybody that sells a product, you need to be on Google shopping.
Michael Utley: And a big part of social ads or product ads or any, even display ads, is picking well, which network are we going to be on? So you can use sort of common sense, but in general, things like Facebook, they're so big that there's a little something there for everybody. Whereas I would say LinkedIn, I would argue that it's really good if you're trying to just do B2B, or especially anything for job seekers or companies that are looking, even companies are looking for investors or other things, LinkedIn's a good atmosphere for that stuff, but it's a little bit nichey.
Chris Raines: Yeah. And anytime where job title's really important to target by, LinkedIn is obviously going to have a leg up, because everyone has to submit their job title.
Michael Utley: Yeah. And then we talked about branding ads. Branding is really more just making people aware of a basic offer. And then other ads that are geared toward generating a lead or a sale. Let's talk about this. Advertising is generally not just going to throw people into a homepage of a website. It's generally going to be, if you're trying to drive a sale, or generate a lead-
Chris Raines: If it's a branding ad, it might.
Michael Utley: Yeah, if it's a branding ad you would possibly unless you have a standalone website or a micro-site for something, but a lot of these different types of ad formats, well, the general principle is you want to create the shortest path possible for the user. So if it's to become a lead, or even a patient acquisition campaign, if it's to book an appointment, you really want to remove as many steps as possible. You don't want to dump them into a homepage and them have to drill down. You want to take them to a landing page and have them go directly into either the booking software or whatever it is that you want them to do, a form or a phone, whatever the shortest path possible is, you want to use that.
Chris Raines: Yeah. Generally speaking, the more options that are available to the user, the less likely they are to click any one of those options. So you want to give them as few options as possible. And that's what landing pages are about.
Michael Utley: Yeah. Well Chris Raines, thank you. And yeah, if you need help on advertising, if you want to talk more about what you're doing in different ad formats and different approaches, check us out. You can reach us through dodgeballmarketing.com, or you can just remember to go to Dodgeballmarketing.com and it will redirect you. And that's it. Yeah. We'll see you on the next one. Thanks.
Chris Raines: All right.