Tag Archives: Google

Hanging Out on the Web Together with Google+ Hangout

July 19th, 2011 by Sandi Moxley

“Google+” is Google’s new and improved version of a social media network…. Like Facebook, only Google.

Currently, when I bring up Google+ into conversation, people either give one of two possible reactions: “huh?” or “what does it have that Facebook doesn’t?”. Now, I must admit I’ve been putting off doing my due diligence to research and learn about Google+.  I’ve been waiting around for everyone else I know to figure out the social network and get back to me. My waiting around paid off.

Over the weekend while on Skype, a loved one told me about a cool new feature of Google+ called “Hangout”. With Google Hangout you can video chat while simultaneously watching streaming videos together from YouTube. In essence, the two of us were hanging out at YouTube. Here the two of us are, in different countries watching “Llamas with Hats” and “Bootleg Fireworks”. Together.

Currently Google+’s (wait, how am I supposed to work an apostrophe into Google+?) Hangout is currently limited to just YouTube. So users can video chat, even in groups, while browsing and watching any of YouTube’s videos simultaneously. My brain imagines the next logical step to be to integrate more video streaming sites, for example Hulu. Imagine people in different locations “hanging out” at Hulu. You guys’d always be able to watch your shows together, no matter where anyone is.  So cool, right?

But I like to ask “what does it all mean?”.  So let’s take the mind game of fun a little further: Maybe hanging out at a specific site potentially evolves into hanging out on the internet, with groups moving around to and from various locations. Can this lead to people hanging out together, browsing, perusing, and looking around the entire web together? Imagine how we walk the streets, sometimes alone, sometimes with others, and translate this onto the World Wide Web. Just a thought.

Tags: Google, google hangout, Social Media, social network

Google Instant Preview: How You Can Gain/Lose Customers Before They Click on Your Ad

June 28th, 2011 by Ali Lange

Paid Search on Google used to be a simple step-by-step process.

  1. Impression – A query was submitted to Google
  2. Click – The user reviewed the paid search ads and clicked on the one that seemed the most consistent with their needs
  3. Conversion – Based on the quality of the website, the product available, and the conversion path the user completed the sale

However, times have changed. With the introduction of Google Instant Preview on paid search ads users can view landing pages before they even decide to click on your ad. How? All they need to do is click on the little magnifying glass next to each paid search or organic listing and they see a snap shot of your landing page.

So what should you do to ensure that you are capturing qualified traffic?

  • Incorporate your top keywords onto their respective landing pages – Google pulls out and highlights regions of your landing page that incorporate the search query. Therefore, you want to make sure that the text on your landing uses those terms. This will increase the relevancy  of the landing page to the user.
  • Choose targeted landing pages – Send your paid search traffic to the most applicable landing pages available. For instance, for a product specific keyword do not use your main site as the landing page. Send the user directly to the product page. If a user previews the site and knows they are going to have to do extensive navigation on the site to find the product of interest they will click on an ad requiring less effort on their part. 
  • Avoid flash landing pages – Google Instant Preview does NOT recognize flash. Therefore, landing pages built in flash look blank. This does not make a very good first impression.

Conclusion? That little magnifying glass makes a big impact on the paid search competitive space. Make sure that when you are choosing and designing landing pages you think about not only your post-click but also your pre-click impression (no pun intended).

Tags: Google, paid search, PPC

Meet The Martians

February 3rd, 2011 by Ted Huffman

Here at Ionic we do things a bit differently from most agencies: hallway debates over Google Analytics tagging methods, discussions on iframe implementations, and the occasional ruby versus python rant.  As an example, for the past several years we’ve been using Marin Software’s excellent paid search management software. It was robust, provided exceptional slicing & dicing capabilities, and performed great on larger accounts.

Problem was Marin wasn’t the best solution for *all* accounts – just certain ones. Never satisfied with partial solutions, we decided to create our own! Meet MARS.

For the past four months our hearty dev team Art, Tim & Raffy have been cranking python code to create what we believe is a better solution: MARS.  MARS provides our clients with unique capabilities:

·         The same level of slicing, dicing and control as Marin,

·         With a bidding algorithm that we have complete transparency and control over,

·         And the ability to factor and model historical performance trends

I’ll write more about some of the features we’ve built into MARS, but I wanted to highlight one of the most unique patent-pending approaches to bidding we’ve encountered: time windows.

The idea behind time windows is that performance over 75 clicks may be a good indicator of performance, or it may not (depending on the number of clicks per day). So we wanted to not just look at performance over n clicks, or y days…we wanted to be able to do any timeframe, and compare that performance with another timeframe. So for any account, our paid search team can set multiple windows to view and measure performance:

·         a 3 day window that catches current trends and can rapidly respond to current market conditions

·         a 14 day window that measures a wider segment of performance and allows more data to be factored into trends

·         and a 28 day window that gives us a wide view of how a keyword or campaign has trended over an entire month

Each of the windows can be completely customized (highly volatile accounts can have shorter windows, while more slow-building accounts can take a wider view). And each window can be weighted in the final recommendation, so we can weight short-term performance higher for one client, and weight longer-term performance for another. For even more control, we can have multiple rules working within the same account, so high volume core brand keywords can get rapid response, while long-tail slow building keywords can take a very long view to performance.

This gives us an ability to create a bidding algorithm that custom fits every account situation, from a low spending long-decision-cycle client like a boating company, to a high spend quick-fire account in precious metals. Here at Ionic we never believe in one-size-fits-all approaches, and by creating MARS we now have a robust scalable solution that fits every client’s needs, regardless of spend levels, phase of growth, or volatility.

Now we are all Martians here at Ionic!

Tags: Art Messal, Google, google analytics, Ionic Media, Marin, MARS, performance marketing, tagging, Tim Brown

Addressable Advertising: Direct Mail for Television Advertising

November 22nd, 2010 by Michael Kubin

Television advertising has been planned, bought, and sold in exactly the same way since commercial television started in 1947. That’s 63 years of no change.

But no change is about to change in a big way.

Addressable advertising, a technology that has been in development for over a decade, will allow buyers to reach–and pay for–only the target audience they’re looking for. That means lipstick ads to women, pick up truck spots for men, dog food ads to dog owners, diaper ads to households with babies. A radical difference from “spray and pray” television advertising that wastes huge numbers of impressions on viewers that have no interest in the product shown them.

Invidi Technologies, an addressable advertising company financed by (among others) WPP, Google, Motorola, Echostar, Experian, and NBC, has developed software that resides in the digital set-top box and figures out the right spot to run for whoever is watching.

Think of it as direct mail for television advertising.

Addressable advertising is available in a limited way today on Verizon FiOS and will soon roll out on satellite (Dish Network and DirecTV).

Marketers and their agencies hope it will extend to cable soon, ultimately forming a national digital network that will allow advertisers to reach their target audience regardless of what program they’re watching or what means of distribution they’re watching it on.

After 63 years, that’s progress.


Michael Kubin is Vice Chair of the Columbia Journalism School Alumni Board. His articles have been published in the New York Observer and The New Yorker. To learn more about Michael, click here.

Tags: addressable advertising, advertising, commercial television, Google, Invidi Technologies, marketing tools, Motorola, NBC, target audience, technology, television, wpp

When You Review Your Online Advertising Budget, Remember that . .

October 18th, 2010 by Jim Burns

Americans have access to about 5,500 magazines…but over 1 billion web pages.

In the last 25 years US newspaper circulation has fallen by about 7 million, while in the past five years readers of online newspapers has grown by over 30 million.

In the past year advertising in both newspapers and magazines has declined about 18% and 15% respectively, while online advertising spend has increased by about 9% over the same time. Advertising to mobile devices is up about twice that amount.

Facebook passed the 500 million-member mark this summer. It’s online population, about the size of Brazil and Indonesia combined makes it the world’s third most populous “country.”

Facebook Users share more than 30 billion pieces of information every month.

According to Google Finance, “Facebook runs more banner advertisements than any other Web site (176 billion a quarter) and drives more US visitor traffic to some sites than even Google.”

Twitter, has 130 million registered users – about the population of Japan. Membership grows by over 300,000 per day.

People “tweet” more than one billion times per month and search the site over 800 million times a day.


Plan accordingly!

Tags: advertising, banner advertisments, Facebook, Google, magazines, mobile advertising, newspapers, online advertising, search, Social Media, tweet, twitter

Open + Click + Track = New Customer

August 16th, 2010 by Jim Burns

With Consumer confidence dropping in the USA and said consumer busily trying to get out and stay out of debt, people who sell things are having their challenges. When current customers have closed their wallets, “new business” becomes the mantra of the day. In fact, EMarketer, quoting a new study from CSO Insights states that “more than 91% of companies worldwide reported increasing new customer acquisition was one of their top strategic marketing objectives for 2010.”

New business acquisition requires a lead generation strategy. The latest tactics have included traditional and online media, with the most successful being email, followed by live events and then webinars. With two out of the three being online campaigns, it is surprising the report found that 51% of the respondents said that their efforts online this year were below expectations. Truth is that this number is better than the 68% in 2009 who felt their efforts were lacking, but disappointing still the same. Many feel that their online programs are in need of improvement.

The number one cause for disappointment and the biggest lesson learned was that those who had good tracking in place did much better than those without. “As more lead generation efforts shift to the Internet, tools to help develop, execute, and track campaign effectiveness will become a ‘must have’ rather than a ‘nice to have,’” said the report.

Tracking issues aside, with email being the number one method to garner leads, moving forward, how do we factor in the steady decline of “open rates” around the world? MailerMailer’s “Email Marketing Metrics Report” shows email open rates steadily declining from 14% in 2007 to just 11.2 % at the end of 2009. Looking at the industries whose open rates suffered the most we see entertainment, banking, medicine and general marketing messages. The winners were classified as agriculture, religion, transportation and those from large businesses.

The report concluded that cluttered in boxes and the growing use of mobile devices might be to blame. If true, then the ability to track results in order to make on the fly changes in messaging to get those emails opened becomes crucial.

But, getting your emails opened is just the first step. Enticing people to read and then click thru to your web site is quite another. The MailerMailer report showed click thru rates on opened emails have also been on the decline with a drop from 2.6% to 1.6% in 2009 alone.

It is not surprising then that in this mediocre economy religious and retail emails have some of the highest click thru rates. In fact, Experian Cheetah Mail reports that though nonprofit emails get opened more, catalogers get clicked on the most. One of the conclusions we can maybe draw then, is that today’s consumer is looking for ways to help others and perhaps find some bargains for themselves.

It is not surprising then that Coupons.com reports that this year they and their affiliates have already distributed more than $1 Billion dollars worth of coupons! They attribute much of the growth to more brands offering digital coupons along with consumers’ broader use of printable coupons. But let’s face it – people are printing coupons because they have to! Searches on Google for “printable coupons” are up 67% from last year and according to Harris Interactive 8 out of 10 current US coupon clippers say they will continue even when good times return.

Putting it all together, if you want new business – try emailing some coupons, tie them in perhaps with some charity or good cause and then track, track and track those redeemers and their conversions.

Jim Burns
Affiliate Manager
Ionic Media
Source: Marketers Put More Lead Gen Budgets Online JULY 27, 2010 http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1007833, CSO Insight’s “2010 Lead Generation Optimization Key Trends Analysis”
Why Email Metrics are in Decline, July 26, 2010 http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1007831
Digital coupon clipping surged in the first half of the year July 27, 2010http://www.internetretailer.com/2010/07/27/digital-coupon-clipping-surged-first-half-year

Tags: campaign, click thru rates, conversions, Coupons.com, customer acquisition, digital coupons, emails, EMarketer, Experian Cheetah Mail reports, Google, lead generation, MailerMailer report, online campaign, online programs, redeemers, retail emails, strategic marketing, track, webinars