The Evolving PPC Landscape for Agencies and Software with Kirk Williams
57:40We're back for a special episode! Big thanks to Kirk Williams of Zato Marketing for joining Nicole and Jon. In this episode of Shape the Conversation, Kirk provides his perspective as a PPC agency owner and we (Nicole and Jon) compare it to our experience running a SaaS company in the same space.Kirk talks through how he thinks about providing value for his customers in a world where the ad networks are seeking to create direct relationships with advertisers. Nicole and Jon talk about how although our industry is one where you can build a profitable SaaS company, there is much less venture capital appetite for PPC-focused technology then there was 5 years ago.Reach out to us with any ideas, questions, or feedback on the podcast! [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]
PPC Management Software For Agencies
36:34Nicole and Jon have been in the business of PPC Management Software for many years and know all of the in and outs, dos and don'ts associated with choosing the right platform for your PPC agency. Nicole and Jon cover topics like: What is and isn't PPC Management Software The difference between reporting software and management software All management platforms for PPCers The importance of automation How the world of management platforms for PPC has changed over time "Point Solutions" versus platforms The biggest competition to all PPC management platforms And more... The biggest takeaway from this episode is to go look into PPC Management Softwares because it is not as overwhelming as you might think. Making the change to better manage your ads and budget could really put your team ahead your competition. There really aren't that many companies out there making management software for PPC agencies, but you will need to identify your needs and figure out which platform is best for you and your team.Hanapin Marketing Product LinkReach out to us with any ideas, questions, or feedback on the podcast!✉️ [email protected]✉️ [email protected]✉️ [email protected]
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Accountability & Freedom with Michael Mack
49:46On this episode of Shape the Conversation we invited the great, Michael Mack, into our set to tell us all about his new LinkedIn post titled, "Accountability & Freedom". Michael and Jon cover topics like: What does it mean to be accountable The will to wanting to make a change How to own your own accountability How to be happy with who you are Goal VS Intention Feeling "stuck: between choices you don't like Practicing the constant smoothes you out Don't blame others, don't blame yourself. Mistakes happen in life and being accountable means finding a solution that solves the issue and works for everyone involved. Take the things that didn't work as a learning experience, not as a failure. Keep your attention on the outcome you want to create and let go of blame."The primary outcomes of Accountability are improved results and an increased sense of choice and interestingly enough, freedom. Try it yourself." -Michael MackReach out to us with any ideas, questions, or feedback on the podcast!✉️ [email protected]✉️ [email protected]✉️ [email protected]
Breaking Down BuzzFeed's Report on Ad Fraud on Mobile Apps
21:32Every day users are seeing hundreds of ads while they play apps. There is no saying how many of the ads that are seen are fake or real. A BuzzFeed article, written by Craig Silverman, sheds some light on one major act of ad fraud that resulted in millions of dollars being stolen from advertisers.In this episode of 'Shape the Conversation' Nicole and Jon cover topics like: The details of the scheme The amount of money that these ads have taken Big companies impacted by fraudulent ads Concerns with children on devices today People starting to question advertising as a whole Tips to avoid fraudulent ads Tips to avoid being seen as a fraudulent ad The poor quality of traffic on mobile ads and more... Our biggest take away from this episode is, know where your ads are going and how to control the placement of your ads so they don't get mistaken as ad fraud. Companies That Worked With The Apps/Sites In Some Way.Option 1 for controlling ad placement.Option 2 for controlling ad placement.Reach out to us with any ideas, questions, or feedback on the podcast!✉️ [email protected]✉️ [email protected]
Creating a PPC Strategy for a Brand New Product/Service
23:49You have an amazing new idea. No one has ever done anything like this before. But can you get it in front of anyone to get validation that it is that great of an idea? Is anyone searching Google for the solution you’ve created?Nicole and Jon have had to tackle this challenge before and have some advice for creating digital ad campaigns when search volume might be low or the search phrases you want to target are less obvious. In this episode of ‘Shape the Conversation’, Nicole and Jon cover topics like: How to find details on the ads of any potential “competitors” Focusing on the questions your target market are asking Google to find search phrases to target. How to leverage the Google Ads Keyword Planner to research what people may be searching for. Ways to think about quickly explaining your new product/service to the market. Our biggest takeaway is that you can use this process as a way to prove to yourself and others that there is a market for your idea. Digital marketing is a great way to get your product out to the world and begin getting feedback, even before you build.Reach out to us with any ideas, questions, or feedback on the podcast!✉️ [email protected]✉️ [email protected]
The Importance of Defining Your Target Market for Anything
25:54We believe an important first step to any project is to have a clear vision of who your customers will be and what problem they will solve your solution. Knowing this will help you set appropriate goals and build solutions that actually get used once they exist. Nicole and Jon went in-depth on: How knowing your target market can be invaluable to helping you gauge interest pre-launch. Why persona based target market strategies sometimes don’t tell the whole story. But how personas are useful for researching the size of a market. Why a target market of ‘everyone on earth’ is probably a mistake. Why once you pin down a target market, you need to talk to as many people as you can in it. How free trials are a great low-friction way to build an audience in a target market. Ultimately, you shouldn’t fall in love with your solution, but you should fall in love with the problems of your target market. And it all starts with defining the target market.
Don't Assume a Quiet Customer is a Happy Customer
19:54Jon is a big fan of Steve Blank and his concept of “getting out of the building” to talk with your customers. Routine conversations with your customers can strangely be one of the toughest habits to maintain. people are busy. Once a month or even once a quarter may seem like too much of a commitment for some. But, these conversations are extremely valuable. Businesses that make customer communication a priority will make better informed product decisions and develop deeper relationships with their customers. This does not mean just waiting for a support ticket or issue to arise. Do the hard work of being pro active and facilitating conversations with your customers at all times. Don’t make the mistake of assuming a quiet customer is a happy customer. Reach out to us with any ideas, questions, or feedback on the podcast!✉️ [email protected]✉️ [email protected]
Exploring Six Emerging Digital Advertising Platforms
24:42LinkedInShould be on the short list of consideration for any marketers selling a B2B product. The combination of an exploding audience and rapidly improving ad targeting options is driving a lot more advertisers to consider investing in the platform. We love that you can target a specific list of emails or LinkedIn profiles with campaigns and have seen great engagement with our ads using this targeting. Be wary of the high cost per click you'll see on LinkedIn. If you are launching a new campaign make sure you monitoring it closely post launch. QuoraThe question and answer site provides a vast array of topics and questions that marketers can target ads to. We love this granularity. We also love the advertising experience on Quora. The ads are subtle and text only. We've seen great results from previous campaigns we've run on the network. The downside of Quora for most marketers will be trying to generate a high enough volume of clicks to make the time investment worth it. If you are targeting digital marketers as a base this may even be getting tougher as Nicole feels like the activity on digital marketing focused topics has been waning a little on Quora over the last year or so from her point of view. RedditReddit is a volatile, unique corner of the internet. Proceed with caution. The community is tight knit and does not tend to take kindly to advertisers. But the vibrant and diverse interests of the community means that there are a lot of opportunities for B2B and B2C marketers. We love that you can target specific subreddits. On a site where you'll be vilified for pushing your company's products in the threads, we believe advertising is actually a more honest way to get in front of the reddit audience. We have had success driving clicks by targeting r/ppc in the past. If you can find a subreddit where your target market is hanging out, we'd recommend giving it a shot. The platform is self serve and cheap to get started. TwitchThe platform for live streaming people playing video games is starting to expand its ad business. Owned by Amazon, it's easy to see how they could be a force in the years to come. Twitch's audience is growing. Currently, 104 million monthly active users consume content and 2.2 million people create content on the platform. If you are trying to reach the male demographic, this could be a great option. 81% of Twitch users are male with the majority being 18-34 yrs old. One downside is you have to go through a third party to get ads going on the network (unless you are willing to commit $50k to an ad buy directly through twitch).PandoraWe don't have any personal experience on this network but here's a link to a great explanation of what to expect if you do experiment with Pandora. Pandora has a lot of great targeting options to choose from. SpotifySpotify has a really cool self-serve option called Ad Studio. All you need is a minimum budget of $250 to run an initial experiment. You can "target based on age, gender, location, activity, and music taste. Select mobile, desktop or both so your ad reaches listeners in the right context" according to Spotify.Our best advice with any of these networks is to start with really tight targeting and then branch out. You never quite know what you are going to get until you set a campaign live. We also think now is a great opportunity to get some discounted clicks on these networks before big ad buyers come into the networks en masse and drive up prices. Reach out to us with any ideas, questions, or feedback on the podcast!✉️ [email protected]✉️ [email protected]
Attracting Eyeballs in the Modern Attention Economy
22:53As Nicole puts it, the ultimate threat to most companies is 'losing the eyeballs'. This is especially true for networks like Google, Facebook and LinkedIn which command huge percentages of people's attention. These networks build features and new tools to grab more of people's attention. And it's working. LinkedIn has seen an explosion of activity over the last few years. With so many people creating content, just being present isn't enough. You need to find ways to uniquely break into someone's attention. At Shape, we've been experimenting with some new ways to try to break through the noise. Nicole and Jon talk the most recent experiment which led to Jon filming this announcement video in the Oregon desert for our most recent feature launch. Every marketing challenge is unique. There is no blueprint. But if everyone is doing one thing, maybe it is the best time to think about how to do something else.
The Ideas of Andy Raskin
19:23We highly recommend you read through Raskin's writing on LinkedIn to pull out all the nuance for yourself. But in our eyes his post, "The Greatest Sales Pitch I've Seen All Year" is the place to start. Nicole and Jon broke down the 5 elements to a crafting a powerful story for your product/company/service according to Raskin which are:#1 Start with a big, undeniable change that creates stakes#2 Name the enemy#3 Tease the “Promised Land”#4 Position capabilities as “magic” for slaying “monsters”#5 Present your best evidence Nicole and Jon have seen this principles at work in high growth companies but never seen it articulated so clearly before Raskin.We also highly recommend checking out more of Raskin's work starting with "How Winners Really Differentiate" and "Why Great Pitches Come From Customers".