Wednesday, October 8, 2014

3 AdWords Video Optimization Tips To Improve View Rates and CPV

When it comes to any channel, segmentation is the key to understanding the differences in performance with regard to the peaks and valleys in trends.

As you'd expect from AdWords for Video, there are several ways in which data can be segmented to bring out the best in your campaign. If you don't have any data available from past campaigns, it'd be best to gather statistically significant data and then turn on the optimizations.

1. Segment Performance By Hour Of Day and/or Day Of Week

While it's currently not possible to create a pivot out of both these variables, the next best option is use them independently to find out patterns in viewership. When are users more likely to watch your content )(especially when it comes to pre-rolls via In-Stream Ads?

In my experience, both of these especially 'Hour Of Day' for shorter duration campaigns can help understand how your ad fits in between the busy lives of your audience. Is your ad viewed more during late evening / early morning hours (or not) when your audience is unwinding?

View Rates can be laid out by the hour (0 for midnight, 1 for 1:00 am...till 23, 11:00 pm - midnight) and be judged against the average view rates for the campaign. This would result in any of the three possible scenarios:
  1. Hours during which View Rate = Average View Rate
  2. Hours during which View Rate > Average View Rate
  3. Hours during which View Rate < Average View Rate 
As you can imagine, the third possible scenario will likely have higher CPVs and therein lies the opportunity to pause campaigns during low performing hours. This helps you improve your Avg. View Rate along with decreasing Avg. CPV (win-win!)

Note: In trying to show ads only during certain hours, care needs to be taken that the audience is not over-exposed to impressions. While this might not be an issue when targeting a wider demographic, capping impressions (on a per day/month basis) could helpful.

2. Making The Best Of Video Remarketing

While this is definitely a topic on its own, Remarketing in AdWords For Video is very interesting to me based on the options offered. 

The first thing to do is to come up with a list. This list can bucket users who have either visited your website (placing remarketing tags on your site), or visited your channel, seen an ad/vdieo, engaged with your channel etc. The full screenshot is below. The key idea is that remarketing cookies need to be placed on user devices to be tagged as individuals who have shown interest in your brand via various means. 

Once you know whom you want to remarket to, the list needs to be populated with users (minimum 100) for it to be used as a target. 

Think about the original ad for Mio Squirt ("Eye of the squirter") and how annotations were used to create back stories via separate videos. 

Remarketing the backstory to audiences who have viewed the main ad would most definitely result in our win-win (Higher View Rate / Lower CPV)!

Another example is how Crazy Egg realizes that I have visited their website in the past and shown some interest in tool. As a result, I have been targeted on YouTube (on a few occasions) to watch their pre-roll ad containing an introductory video to Crazy Egg and the product benefits explained. Suddenly, the content becomes much more relevant and makes me likely to pay attention to the video content. 

3. Segment Performance By Format and Network

Starting out your campaign, you might not have sufficient data on it but once it starts rolling in, it's a good time to checkup on Ad Formats + Network to see the difference.

Ad Formats can be In-Stream / In Display while Networks can include YouTube Videos, Search and GDN.

Using the screenshot option to breakdown performance metrics by these factors helps us understand our win-win targets. Is the View Rate much higher for In-Stream vs In Display (Note: In-Display counts a view after it has been clicked on while In-Stream counts it after 30 secs) or is there any significant difference in the CPVs?

How this helps is because Max CPV bids can be customized (increased / decreased) for the two formats based on information that we have now analyzed. Again, the two key variables that we are looking to improve are the View Rates and CPVs.

What are your ideas for optimizing AdWords For Video? Do let the readers know via comments.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Difference Between Boost Post and Promoted Posts In Facebook

Since both options are available in Facebook, thought I'd do a quick post on them and what are the pros/cons of each. 

Option 1: Boost Post
Boost post allows admins to quickly promote a post from the post itself or from the Insights > Posts tab.

Option 2: Promoted Post
Requires ad managers to manually enter demographic targeting for posts. This obviously takes longer in setting up.

Here's a quick summary of what are the main differences and why Promoted Posts option is much better than Boost Posts.

Criterion Boost Post Promoted Post
How to find it? Insights > Post tab Ad Manager / Power Editor
Duration Maximum 7 days None
Ad Placement Control  None Desktop Newsfeed, Mobile Newsfeed and Right Column
Interest Targeting None Keywords can be chosen
Behavior Targeting  None Digital Activities, Mobile users and Travel
Connection Targeting Fans and friends or demographic targeting used in posts All users, People connected to page (or not), Friends of fans
Bidding Options None For engagement, Clicks or Impressions
Ad duplication for multiple posts None Ad details can be copied and used for multiple posts

Here's a longer version of the main stuff from above:

Ad placement control: Having tested Right Column ads in Facebook, I think that paying for these would not be wise. It's almost as if users develop blindness to right column ads (on Facebook or other sites as well). If in doubt, you can always sort your post promotion data by placement to see check how your past promoted posts have performed (CPM, CPE etc).

By choosing Boost Post option, you lose control over where your post gets promoted. Under Promoted Post option, you can always decide if you want your promoted posts to appear on (desktop or mobile) Newsfeed and / or Right columns.

Interest / Behavior Targeting: Interest Targeting allows ad managers to choose keywords that may be directly related to their brand. Behavior Targeting helps choose particular mobile OS, device manufacturers among other options (think promoting a post to competitors).

Connection Targeting: This option lets Promoted Posts have a big upper hand on Boost Posts. The former allows users to create separate Ad Sets for friends, friends of fans, People not connected to the page, All and then monitor performance of each Ad Set (Also, because Ad Manager cannot separate ad data to show performance levels for such connections...Creating different Ad Sets is the only way out!). 

Boost Post has only 2 options: Promoting to all friends and fans OR using demographic targeting (applied in a post) to show ads to that audience.

Hope this post was helpful in understanding the difference between Boost Post and Promotion. Looking at the two options, Post Promotion is definitely the way to go for Ad Managers and allows for narrower targeting and detailed performance review.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Meetup #2 for Digital Analytics Dubai - A/B Testing For Meeting Business Goals and Attribution Modeling

Organizing Meetup#2 for the group - Digital Analytics Dubai. Will be happening on 10th May / 7 pm / Pascal Tepper.

This time, hope to exchange ideas around two topics:

  1. A/B testing for meeting business goals: In a very time pressed environment (as we all are), we need to prioritize tasks (and tests) that we can realistically conduct and implement to help meet our business goals. Hope to exchange cool ideas around best practices, tools and how to map the process of testing and learning.
  2. Attribution modeling: This one is a very interesting topic on its own. The feature is already available in most WA tools (In GA: Conversions > Attribution > Model Comparison ) to check out the different models. Each one has its pros/cons and hope to discuss these models.
Full details of the event are here:

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

[RECAP] Digital Analytics Dubai: Meetup # 1 - 27 May '14

Thanks to everyone who turned up at the first meetup event for Digital Analytics Dubai. It's always good to put a face to the id. Since this was the first meetup, a lot of interesting topics were discussed, so here's a rather detailed recap for those who could not attend:
  • Attribution for success of offline marketing: While attribution modeling within digital itself is a topic on its own, the fact remains that offline marketing still accounts for a major chunk (Perhaps 95%? in MENA). How can a site know that a offline channel really worked?

    • A common solution could be coming up with unique voucher codes for each channel (online or offline). What if there's no voucher code involved?

    • Another way around it can be the use of 'Vanity destinations' that can then be redirected to the original website to understand which channel worked. e.g. Website runs a billboard along the highway and wants to know how many people saw the billboard and came to the website. What if the billboard read as A person landing on the latter page gets redirected to and hopefully, converts on the site. Now, we have some attribution going on for the offline channel. Avinash Kaushik has discussed this in great length on his blog (a very old blog post but still relevant):

    • A third way would be the use of Custom User ID in Universal Analytics (by Google Analytics). In simple terms...To identify a user, GA places a cookie that has a unique identifier for that device (same user will have different unique cookies for his/her laptop/tablet/smartphone/desktop...thereby, being counted as 4 users)...What Universal Analytics does (now out of Beta) is allow sites to have a Custom unique identifier (Custom User ID dimension) that truly tracks a user across channels and devices. It has to be non-PII (personally identifiable information)...Think of it as using the primary key in a table to identify the row in table which has all the possible data...when it comes to sites, that would be Email addresses used in log-ins...for a telecom provider, it would be the phone number of the user. Even though the use of this feature requires some dev work, it is live and very much available
  • YouTube Analaytics: We also had a small discussion around how the 'Audience Retention' tab in YouTube Analytics can help channel owners find out the drop off rate for viewers as the length of content increases. What the audience retention rate tells a channel owner/advertiser is the average percentage of a video that was viewed and where did the drop off happen. For advertisers, this can be further broken down by Organic and Paid Views to see the difference in audience retention rates - Something which I think is a good metric to add to Views (BFF to it...)
  • Frequency of meetup events for Digital Analytics Dubai...We aim to meet once a month (probably 2nd Tuesday of every month) and starting with the next event, we hope to tackle one topic at a time. 
Stay tuned for information on the next event. To end the blog post, here's my favourite quote from Avinash Kaushik "All data in aggregate is crap!". Enjoy.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

First Event for Digital Analytics Dubai Meetup Group

Excited to get the first event moving for Digital Analytics Dubai group off the ground and will be having the first Meetup event on Tue, 27th May at Pascal Tepper, Dubai Media City.

Hope to get to meet other community members face to face, have an open forum on questions and exchange information on topics and probably even set the frequency of events for the group.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

3 Ways To Check If Google Analytics Is Working On Your Site

Here are some of the many ways in which you can check whether Google/Universal Analytics is receiving data.

1. In the Admin Section of Google Analytics: Here is an easy way to check whether your website is sending data to Google Analytics servers. Sign in to Google Analytics and click Admin on the top level navigation. Go into the Property level details and watch for Tracking Code. Here you can see your website's unique ID along with the words 'Receiving Data'. Done!

2. Check in Google Analytics Real - Time: Real-Time helps a lot in checking out what's currently happening on your website. I also find it useful in testing 'Event Tracking' calls. Here, you can fire up your website and check whether Google Analytics is showing you as the visitor. While it cannot narrow down to Personally Identifiable Information, you could test the site at an off-peak hour and use the location check to see if it matches your city. What else? If you have Event Tracking set up, you could click (or anything else) on those particular events and see if they show up in Google Analytics. With a unique combination, it should become clear that it is showing you your own data and that the site is recording.

3. Use Google Analytics Debugger: Here's a handy plugin (for Chrome) to check whether Google Analytics is working or not. Install the Chrome plug-in and turn the plug-in on (will be next to your address bar in Chrome). Load up your website and press F12 and then move to the Console tab. Browse through the log and you should see the key line 'Tracking Beacon Sent'. That, once again, tells you whether Google Analytics is responding to your site or not.

 Hope you enjoyed the post! Be back with more soon.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

New Meetup Group - Digital Analytics Dubai

Was thinking of this for a while now and decided to go ahead with it. Just created a Meetup group dedicated to digital analytics as such a group doesn't exist yet. As it's related to my field, it's obviously interesting to me but it's even more important to spread awareness about the possibilities with digital analytics. Also, I hope to create networking opportunities for the analytics community and learn along the way from each other.

While I haven't organized a meetup yet (been to many though), it would be very interesting to have people from:

  • Agency side people: This could include people from the media side, the creative/digital agencies and even from social analytics.
  • People in pure web analysts role (agency/client side)
  • Client side members interested in learning more about analytics. Who knows, with enough brain power, we could even help insta-solve analytics questions and help each other!
  • Anyone who is interested in this exciting field and wants to learn more. Think entrepreneurs, students, career switchers even. 
Here's the link to the meetup group:

If you do know anyone who might be interested in this group, please do share the link. 

Look forward to organizing a 'Get To Know Each Other' event as the first one soon!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Interview - KooraBazar on e-commerce, social strategy and challenges with bi-lingual engagement

I just finished uploading an interview with Yorgos Kleivokiotis (@YorgosKlivo), co-founder at The startup online retailer specializes in football (soccer...) equipment sales across the Middle East and couldn't have started at a more interesting time.

The world cup is next year in Brazil...Abu Dhabi owns Man City, Emirates sponsors Real Madrid now and Qatar owns PSG. There's a lot of interest generated in the region and the startup is hoping to ride the wave, especially with the WC 2022 in Qatar.

It was nice to learn about what their expectations are out of social media, how it's already contributing to 12% of traffic to the site and what are some of the challenges when forced to use a bi-lingual social media account (English and Arabic in this case).

Here's a link to the interview. Hope you enjoy reading it.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

[New Post On Sovedo] $1 Price Tag To Reach Facebook Your Inbox...What About Permission Marketing?

Facebook just announced a new ad model - where marketers can reach people's inboxes (not 'Other' folder) for a one-time fee of $1. I thought this was interesting as Facebook Messages is competing with Emails...Applying a few principles from Permission Marketing (by Seth Godin), Does this sound like a good approach?

Here's a link to the article:

Monday, December 17, 2012

[New post on Sovedo] 10% of social traffic to e-commerce sites is from...Pinterest

Here's my latest post on Sovedo, talking about how Pinterest is now accounting for 10% of traffic via social channels for e-commerce websites. It comes at an interesting time, considering that social media directly accounted for only .3% of recent Thanksgiving sales.