There are myriad ways to search for any product or service that has a digital presence today. The way we search for things and the language we use are driven by our personal biases, says Matt Hessler, director of search at Trada and PPCPath.
“Men and women search differently and value different things. Older and younger people use very different language and responded very differently to adcopy, and even the region of the country you are in can create a pattern in how you search,” he says.
That’s where Trada and PPCPath come in. The marketplaces of paid search marketing experts allow business owners to tap into the expertise of multiple experts to help cover all these different perspectives and create rich and diverse campaigns.
Whenever a new advertiser joins the Trada Marketplace, they’re matched with a group of PPC experts who have experience in their industry or a related one. Those experts then work separately to build out campaigns that Trada then weaves together as a single integrated campaign.
Matt, who’s also a men’s fashion designer, rebuilder of vintage motorcycles, and the author of ebook The Ultimate Guide to PPC Landing Pages, recently checked in with us to discuss the benefits of crowdsourcing your next search marketing campaign. Here’s what he had to say:
What’s your professional background/area of expertise?
I have worked in Search Marketing since 2002, watching the industry grow and change as I have held a variety of jobs in Search. Early in my career, I was credited with the first 1 million keyword Adwords campaign built for then Service Magic, now Home Advisor. Since then, I have worked in agencies large and small and run my own agency, before helping to start Trada in 2009. In my agency work, I executed large campaigns for companies including Conde Nast, Publishers Clearing House, and Phoenix University; as well as highly-nuanced campaigns for small local businesses struggling to compete with bigger advertisers.
Tell us about Trada. What services do you offer? Who should be using them?
Trada remains the world’s only crowdsourced paid search-marketing platform. We help advertisers build robust and performance-driven search marketing campaigns for Adwords and Bing Ads. Trada has worked on well over a thousand campaigns, and we find that our service works the best for advertisers who have mature campaigns that have plateaued. Sometimes, you need some radical thinking to break through to the next level.
What are some examples of ways crowdsourcing has been a more effective way to create an online advertising strategy than relying on one expert or a few experts?
We are able to create these large and diverse campaigns, but we take it one step further. We align the goals of the optimizers working on your campaign with your CPA target. If an optimizer can deliver conversions for a lower CPA, they get a to keep a percentage of the difference. This aligns motivations to ensure that your optimizers aren’t just building big campaigns; they are working the campaigns to deliver your goals.
We do find that with the crowdsourced approach we require a lot of data to inform the optimization process across the team of optimizers. This has driven us to set a campaign minimum of $10,000 in monthly ad spend. With this higher minimum, we began turning away a lot of potential SMB customers. With our vibrant crowd of certified PPC experts, we decided that we would develop a second product called PPCPath that lets small businesses work with our search experts on a low-cost project based model.
Now with the two services, we can help create and execute outstanding PPC campaigns for advertisers spending $500 a month to $500,000 a month.
What are the challenges facing brands using digital marketing today?
There are many challenges for digital marketers these days, but the biggest challenges really depend on the size of your marketing budget. Digital marketing is becoming more multifaceted each year. There are so many different channels, and now there’s the added complexity of addressing users across multiple devices. For those with small marketing budgets, the single biggest challenge is having enough time and competence to test various marketing channels and create a marketing mix that is most effective for their limited budget.
For bigger companies with less restrictive budgets, the biggest challenges seem to be coming from advanced tracking and attribution. With so many marketing channels deployed across different device types, you can find marketing synergy that helps you pull users through your funnel. The problem for the data-minded among us is that it is hard to understand how these channels work best together and how to truly evaluate the success of each individual channel independently and together with other channels.
What digital marketing/online advertising trends do you think brands should be paying attention to right now?
There are the obvious answers like the meteoric rise of mobile traffic and the aforementioned advanced tracking and attribution trends, but I think there is a more fundamental trend that is starting to show real proof for businesses of all sizes.
Content marketing has become a common term and practice among marketers, but we are starting to see it mature with some definite trends. Content is maturing beyond producing huge volumes of posts and pages designed to garner more SEO equity than true customer connections. We are seeing that consumers connect with brands that are more human and create compelling content that informs and guides with a strong personal voice, as opposed to content that is either rote retelling of popular concepts or laden with heavy-handed sales tones.
Companies that can have various parts of their business contributing to their content and offering unique and human voices develop real relationships with customers and become trusted – and in the extreme, beloved.
What are some best practices for launching a PPC campaign today?
Don’t lose yourself in months of blog research on advanced tips and tricks. Start with a well-structured small build. Starting small with tightly-themed adgroups will give you good clean data to build the foundation of a campaign that can grow much larger and complex.
What metrics should businesses be monitoring to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns?
Again, this depends a bit on campaign/budget size, but everyone can use standard tools in adwords and Google Analytics to really understand their customers’ behavior and possibly infer things about their psychology. Starting with simple metrics like bounce rate, pageviews per visit, and average time on site forms the foundation of understanding user behaviors and interests. Then breaking down more advanced and concrete metrics like conversions, looking for things like conversion assists and average time from click to conversion, can both inform how you execute your PPC campaigns and help you identify what other marketing channels might complement your efforts.
What should brands be doing to get the most bang for the buck in digital advertising?
Start small! Everyone assumes that great PPC campaigns need thousands of keywords. Remember that the more keywords your have, the more diluted your data becomes. Digital marketing should first be about researching and understanding your customer; if done correctly, you have a much better chance of growing your efforts linearly. If you start big and complex, your growth will likely be marked with more missteps as you make assumptions based on complicated data that may not be giving you the whole story.
What are your favorite online advertising tools or resources for businesses?
This list could be a mile long from the solid content of industry leaders like Moz, Search Engine Land and PPC Hero. As for tools, I think learning the full potential of Google Analytics, a totally free product, is one of the best investments any marketer can make.
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