BiddableWorld Pay Per Click Online Advertising Conference

The Best Online Advertising Insights From The First BiddableWorld Conference

The digital marketing conferences organized by Kelvin Newman are always informative and engaging and adding to the existing successful trio of BrightonSEO, MeasureFest and The Content Marketing Show comes BiddableWorld, a new one day conference that took place on January 21st in London attracting an international attendance from as far afield as mainland Europe and Australia. The conference covered the latest insights and trends happening in the world of PPC, Display, Social Advertising and other forms of biddable media.

With many online channels now turning to auction style business models to monetise their business, our day at the conference confirmed that if you’re looking to reach your audience effectively you can’t ignore the impact and ability to measure and immediately correct your course that online advertising gives you.

Whilst some forms of biddable media such as Google Adwords and banner advertising have been around a while as Jon Myers, VP & Managing Director EMEA, Marin Software  explained in the first presentation of the day, “There are no limits on the media that might become biddable in the future”, citing Google Glass and interactive TV as examples of a potential new inventory for advertisers to bid on in the future.

It’s only taken a few short years for Google to amass a predicted Q413 $59bn revenue, most of which is made up of it’s biggest earner the Adwords product, however companies such as Twitter have only comparatively recently launched their own pay per click platform and we can only expect more advertising platforms to follow similar auction formats in the future.

Here’s our summary of the top 3 presentations given at BiddableWorld yesterday with some key insights you can use for your own business.

Navigating the Biddable Landscape
Jon Myers – Marin Software

Jim Myers At BiddableWorld

Picture: @FreshEgg

In the search engine landscape there are two major pay per click (PPC) advertising platforms, Google Adwords and Bing Advertising. Jon’s research showed that Google is providing better quality click through rates (CTR) for PPC campaigns, driving hotter prospects to your landing pages, however Bing is making progress serving more impressions although with a lower CTR for the most part.

A rising trend for Google especially is the growth of the Product Listing Ad (PLA) and we’ll see more and more of these appear in the search results Google serves it’s users over the coming year.

Facebook advertising continues to be very mobile orientated especially around news feed advertising, however even on desktops news feed ads outperform right sidebar ads so bear this in mind if you’re undertaking any Facebook campaigns in the near future. Make sure you’re rotating your Facebook ad content every few days to keep your campaigns fresh and avoid people zoning out on impressions.

Tentative Steps Into Twitter Advertising
Heather Robinson – Skittish

With last year’s high profile IPO Twitter had to monetize it’s platform sooner or later and the result is the new kid on the PPC block, Twitter advertising. Heather’s presentation was extremely insightful and the results she shared matched many of the results we’ve seen on this social advertising channel.

When advertising on Twitter, promoted tweets will give your message a reach into your target audience, and promoted accounts are great for building your following giving you opted in access for future messaging. Perhaps by it’s more immediate nature, Twitter engagement rates are much higher than Facebook’s and a tweet that asks a question gets more replies and re-tweets that those that don’t.

In an ever more increasing visually orientated social landscape using images to gain attention in your promoted tweets can increase engagement, and since we’re fairly early into Twitter’s PPC offering there’s a small window of opportunity to start doing this before it becomes the norm.

Something we’ve not tried yet but looks very promising for capturing leads is Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards that offer a way to opt in users to your business direct from the Twitter timeline. Make sure you’re using conversion tracking with Twitter to analyse your social ad campaign and make sure it’s giving you the ROI you expected.

One thing to be aware of is to make sure that you are targeting the right people with Twitter ads, since getting your demographic wrong can lead to negative sentiment. Whilst you can target Twitter ads by timeline keywords, interests, device, geography or gender you’re likely to encounter some negative sentiment during an ad campaign on Twitter as it’s users can be extremely sensitive to push advertising on the platform so make sure your content is highly relevant too. Check out Heather’s slides on SlideShare.

Every Picture Tells A Story – The Role Of Image Based Ads In The Biddable Media Landscape
Jim Banks – Global Head Of Biddable Media at Cheapflights.Com

Jim Banks at BiddableWorld PPC Advertising Conference

Picture: @tRachelMisra

We’ve heard a lot recently about banner blindness, and how display advertising online is dead. Jim Banks from Cheapflights argued that there is still mileage in the format as long as you’re clever about how you use the medium.

Jim’s presentation took the “dare to be different” theme and to back up his commitment to this he displayed his old time party trick of letting off a party popper inside his mouth live on stage (don’t try this at home!)

But seriously he did share some great tips and insights on how you can still get attention through banner display advertising online with suggestions such as:

  • Add trust signals such as verification logos in the ad itself (rather than just on your landing page) can help build buy in closer to the click.
  • Make your Facebook ad pictures an irregular shape  instead of square helps make your ad stand out.
  • Putting your call to action into an appropriate format can also help engagement, should you use a graphical button or a button that looks like a text link?
  • Navigate your user to your call to action by using an angled picture that leads the viewer into the click.

You can see many more great examples to test in your own display advertising in the presentation deck on Jim’s SlideShare. Definitely one to check out if you are already using display and want to improve your results.

There were many other great presenters on stage at the first BiddableWorld conference, so here’s a few other great insights we picked up on the day that we’d like to share with you.

Product Listing Ads (an image based ad with richer product information) is going to be taking a bigger footprint on the Google search results in the coming year. One big thing to take into account here is that this will push organic SEO results further down the page so think carefully about the impact on your organic SEO goals in 2014.

The good thing about Product Listing Ads is that they are charged on a cost per action basis (CPA) which means you only pay when a user clicks your ad and completes a purchase on your site.

Martyn Bentley from Chango (One of  BiddableWorld’s event sponsors) predicted that mobile advertising will get a lot better in 2014 and that content marketing will go mainstream this year. He also gave us an astounding fact that people swap devices on average 21 times per hour, so connecting the dots to track users across devices is something we need new tools and techniques for.

Finally on an advertising psychology note tapping into humour in your ads will make your ad more memorable due to the extra brain processing time needed to take in the message.

BiddableWorld was a resoundingly successful first conference for @kelvinnewman and his team and definitely one that’s recommended to bookmark and attend next time round if your business is using any form of paid online advertising to attract new customers.

Simon Dunant
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About The Author

Simon Dunant

Simon Dunant is the founder digital marketing consultancy New Rise Digital and Podcast Power Marketing . He also hosts the Podcast Power Marketing podcast on iTunes and is the author of the book "Essential Digital Marketing For Small Business." He has over 15 years experience of helping businesses, creative artists and bloggers make sense of the digital marketing landscape. Simon has hosted 2 previous digital marketing podcasts and has spoken at numerous conferences and events including Midem (Cannes), Popkomm (Berlin), ADE Music Conference (Amsterdam) and Britespace (London).

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