Posts tagged advertising

Five competitive advertising strategies to outsmart your competition

It’s often said that competition is good for your business. It pushes you to be your best. Think Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi, Visa vs. MasterCard, Xbox vs. PlayStation, or Apple vs. Microsoft.

Of course, part of the fun of rivalry is stealing customers from your rivals. You can do that with the help of advertising!

Today you’ll learn five brilliant competitive advertising strategies you can use to get in front of your competitors’ customers and (with a little work) turn them into YOUR customers instead. *Evil laughter*

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1. Target Facebook users whose interests include your competitors

Facebook Ads doesn’t offer keyword targeting for your ads and you can’t specifically target people who have liked your competitors’ pages. However, Facebook offers something called interest-based targeting.

On Facebook, interests range from extremely broad (e.g., business or entrepreneurship) to very specific. In this case, your competitor’s name is the specific interest you want to target, because Facebook allows you to choose to target people based on, among other things, brands and products they like.

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Type in your competitor’s website URL. Or, if that doesn’t work, you can type in your competitor’s brand name or try a few keyword combinations to figure out best option for reaching their target audience – which is now your target audience!

2. Disrupt your competitors’ videos with YouTube ads

Recently I was on YouTube searching for an AT&T ad. Before I could watch the ad I was looking for, I had to sit through another ad – I know, that’s modern life. But the genius part was that this ad wasn’t for AT&T, but for its competitor, Sprint.

In this ad Sprint explained why it is a better provider than AT&T and highlighted an offer to switch carriers, before I could even see the ad for the brand I had searched for.

To execute this competitive advertising strategy for your own campaigns, create the most watchable TrueView ad you can, adding in how much you’re willing to spend.

There are many targeting options to choose from (e.g., demographics, interests, keywords, remarketing). But today we’re feeling competitive!

You want to target your video ads so that whenever someone searches for the YouTube videos of your competitor that they’ll see your ad first. If you play it right, they might not even watch your competitor’s video!

3. Use your competitors’ emails against them with Gmail Ads

Another brilliantly sneaky competitive advertising tactic you should start using now is targeting people who have recently shown interest in the things your competition sells.

With Gmail Ads (those ads that appear at the top of the Promotions tab of users’ personal email accounts), you can do keyword targeting on your competitors’ brand terms.

As you read this, people who are in the market for your competitor’s products are getting emails from your competitors – and those emails mention your competitors’ brand terms.

For example, if you were competing with Sephora, you could target its brand name as part of a Gmail ad campaign so that every time a Sephora newsletter arrives in someone’s Gmail inbox, your brand ends up in its inbox as well. Obviously, your email should tell Sephora subscribers all about your great competing site and product and why they should check your out.

So if you want to try to steal some sales, target the trademarks of your competitors. Make sure you use an email subject line that will have users clicking your Gmail Ads in droves.

Use only the best-performing subject lines, the ones with the highest open rates – your unicorns. As an added bonus, because these people are already in the market for a competing solution, it’s likely that more people will click on your ads, which reduces your costs.

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4. Reach your competitors’ audiences through the Google Display Network

Google has some great display ad technology. But if you want to beat up on your competition, you need to use Google’s custom affinity audience feature.

Affinity audiences let you target a predefined audience, one that should be more receptive to seeing your ads.

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To make this work brilliantly, and avoid wasting your ad budget, you’ll want to target the home page of your competitor. AdWords will then figure out the brand trademarks and the behavior of the people who visit and are interested in that domain name (or search for content on related topics).

Let’s use MailChimp as an example: MailChimp is a publication that’s geared toward businesses doing email marketing. So if I’m running a similar business geared toward email marketers,MailChimp visitors would form the basis of our “ideal customer” we want to reach with our own display ads.

This will start the process of getting the right people familiar with your brand and the products or service you provide. And hopefully, with the right message, you’ll start stealing business away from your competitors and experiencing breakout growth.

5. Download & target your competitors’ Twitter followers

There are tools that allow you to download a list of every Twitter follower for any account, such as BirdSong Analytics. You can use these to download a list of all your competitor’s Twitter followers. Costs generally start around $35 and go up the more followers the account has.

Once you have your report, you can use those Twitter handles to create a list that you’ll then upload to Twitter Ads. Make sure to select the option to “add tailored audiences.” Uploading the list will take about 3 hours to process.

You can then create ads to get your business in front of the Twitter users who are already following your competitors and are likely in the market to buy or switch to a similar product or service. Genius, right?

After setting your budget comes the real fun. It’s time to get creative and compose your tweet copy. Important note: Twitter’s “advice” for ad success is kind of a disgrace, so please read my article on How to run a successful Twitter Lead generation campaign.

Don’t let your competitors have all the fun!

Remember, all these competitive ad strategies are putting your business in front of users who are interested in your competitors, which means they’re much more likely to be in the market for your product/service. You just have to show them that what you offer is better than what your competitors do!

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State of video advertising report: what are the most tolerable ad formats?

As video content increases, it’s time for brands to understand their consumers, in order to deliver the most relevant ads to them.

Wibbitz conducted a survey in March about video consumption and consumer sentiments regarding video advertising, hoping to help publishers and consumers reach a middle ground.

Every publisher looking to expand its services to video content needs to understand its audience first, hearing their needs, in order to deliver the best video experience to them.

Here are the most interesting findings from Wibbitz’s report and what we can learn from them:

The changing state of video consumption

Video consumption has been increased during the past years and 26% of people who participated in Wibbitz’s survey responded that they are watching at least one video per day.

Mobile devices have significantly contributed to the increased video consumption, as they make videos more accessible and this can be confirmed by the fact that 55% of the frequent video viewers prefer watching them on their smartphone.

As for the most popular social platform to watch videos, Facebook is a clear winner, as 54% of them picked it as their first social destination for video consumption, and this can also be justified by Facebook’s decision to highlight video content on the users’ news feed, while the launch of Canvas made video advertising even more appealing.

However, these stats may change during the next year, as I personally predict a rise of video consumption on Snapchat.

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Strong preference on silent ads

No matter how often people are watching online videos, they still don’t like ads with sound, or irrelevant messages.

45% of people answered that muted ads are more tolerable, while 39% of them considered targeted ads a crucial factor for tolerable ads.

Brands start understanding how annoying the sound in advertising may be and that’s why they are trying to send their message through the video, even with the addition of captions, to make sure they don’t lose the viewers out of annoyance.

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The power of targeted ads

It is very important nowadays for brands to focus on targeted video ads, as users grow more impatient and less receptive to irrelevant advertising.

In fact, frequent video viewers care even more about the relevance of the ads, which means that it’s important for brands to keep them happy.

Facebook and LinkedIn video viewers seem to be more demanding, with 41% and 47% of them respectively preferring targeted ads from any other ad type.

Short ads

The rise of the demanding video viewers, who also tend to have a short attention span, creates the need for shorter video ads to keep them engaged, as 70% of people won’t watch an ad longer than 10 seconds.

As the length of the video increases, only 51% of people will watch up to 10 seconds, but there is an increased chance they’ll watch up to 30 seconds in such cases.

Thus, the duration of the video along with its relevance, affect users’ watch time and the engagement can only be achieved with great content that will convince viewers to keep watching for more than 30 seconds.

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Skipping ads

It is becoming common for consumers to seek for ways to skip an ad, especially if it’s annoying or irrelevant, with 61% of them admitting that they always skip video ads, if possible.

However, it has also been observed that not everyone takes a real action regarding ad skipping, while half of the respondents are more likely to appreciate a mute ad.

This is another reminder for brands to use the sound in advertising appropriately, only to enhance the viewing experience and not to make users skip the video faster.video5

Autoplay

Autoplay in video advertising can be annoying and 42% of the respondents share the same opinion, but mobile video consumption may change this soon.

It seems that mobile users are more receptive to autoplay ads and this could be related to the highly targeted content they’re exposed to. However, Snapchat users don’t seem to agree, as 55% of them find autoplay ads intrusive.

Apparently the opinions are still divided about autoplay in video advertising, which brings a great opportunity for brands to turn around the unhappy users with non-intrusive content that is highly relevant to their audience.

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What brands can learn

All the above observations can help a brand understand what video consumers want,  in order to produce the right content for them.

Here are the key points to remember:

  • Relevance is key. Video consumers expect highly targeted advertising that fits their interests and their browsing habits. This increases the chances for them to keep watching a video. A personalised experience is always appreciated, so there’s no need to create video ads without knowing your audience first.
  • Silent ads can increase the engagement, as you can still send your message effectively without any disruptive sound. If there’s an indication that your audience hates the sound in your video ads, then it’s time to focus on the visual side of advertising.
  • Focus on mobile. Video consumers on mobile devices have been increased, which means that you should make sure that your content is optimised for mobile, making the viewing experience pleasant.
  • Keep it short. Even if you create a longer video, make sure that the first seconds are appealing to help users stay engaged.

View full post on Search Engine Watch

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