Tag Archive | "optimization"

Optimization startup SigOpt raises $6.6M

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Scott Clark

5 Facebook Bidding Tactics to Beat Your Competition

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Facebook bidding has always been an elusive part of advertising, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as it may seem. Here are the key points that you need to know about bidding for Facebook ads and when manual bidding is better than automatic.

There are four different ways to optimize your Facebook ad delivery and 15 different campaign types to choose from, ultimately allowing for 60 different ad combinations (and this before we get to manual vs. automatic bidding).

In order to wrap your head around all of this, you really only need to know three major factors:

  • Your end goal.
  • Your audience.
  • Your campaign.

Let’s dive in.


The three major factors that I listed above all run in tandem in campaigns. Your end goal is usually pretty self-explanatory (brand awareness, sales, etc.). Your audience could be a remarketing pool, a customer-relationship-management list, a lookalike audience, etc. Finally, your campaign could be an evergreen one, a holiday sale or perhaps brand awareness.

  1. If you are looking to build your remarketing pool in an evergreen campaign, you will want to optimize for “Link Clicks to Your Website” and let Facebook do the automatic bidding for you.
  2. If you are looking to broaden your local awareness, you will want to optimize for “Daily Unique Reach” to get your ads in front of as many eyeballs as possible and let Facebook do the automatic bidding for you.
  3. If you are looking to drive sales with a larger audience–say 1 percent to 3 percent lookalike audience of website clicks–you will want optimize for “Conversions” and then test automatic bidding vs, manual bidding in an A/B test. You should manually bid off of what a conversion is worth to you.
  4. If you are looking for straight sales with a smaller, remarketing audience, you will choose one of two things–“Impressions” or “Conversions”–and then manual bid based on the suggested bid that Facebook provides. I usually place my bids at the top one-third of the suggested bid, but you should test this out on your own.
  5. If you have a holiday sale–say Memorial Day or Black Friday–you will have some stiff competition for ad space and, therefore, you will need to be a bit more aggressive. During these sales, you will more than likely be remarketing to people that already know your brand, like your CRM and website visitors, so you want to get your ads in front of their eyes as often as possible. With these types of sales, it’s best to optimize for “Impressions” and manual bid more than the suggested bid. Why this tactic for holiday sales? It all comes back to the amount of competition. Keep in mind that there are companies that spend millions of dollars advertising on Facebook any given month. You will never beat them if you go toe to toe with them on manual bidding, but do you know who you will beat out with manual bidding? Your real competition–the small and midsized businesses that are making the mistake and still optimizing for conversions when the audience they are targeting is likely to convert anyway. That is who you will beat with this tactic.

Implementing these five Facebook bidding tactics will allow you to run successful campaigns no matter what your end goal, audience or campaign.

Jackson Salzman is a paid social account analyst for Elite SEM.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Facebook Live Video Extended to All U.S. iPhone Users

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Facebook began testing live video by users in December, and the social network announced Thursday that the feature has been rolled out to all iPhone users in the U.S.

Product manager Vadim Lavrusik made the announcement in a Newsroom post, saying that it will be extended to other areas globally “over the coming weeks,” and adding that bringing live video to Android users is in the works, as well.

Lavrusik said live videos from friends and public figures followed by users will appear in users’ News Feeds, adding that users can tap the subscribe button while viewing live videos to receive notifications when those friends or public figures broadcast more live videos.

He wrote:

To share live video, tap on update status and then select the live video icon. You can write a quick description and choose the audience that you want to share with before going live. During your broadcast, you’ll see the number of live viewers, the names of friends who are tuning in and a real-time stream of comments. When you end your broadcast, it will be saved on your Timeline like any other video, which you can then delete or keep for your friends to watch later.

iPhone users: Will you experiment with Facebook live videos?


Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

Facebook Expands 3-D Touch Options for iPhone 6S, 6S Plus

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Facebook users accessing the social network’s flagship iOS application via the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus can now “peek and pop.”

Mashable reported that the latest update for users with those two devices expands upon the 3-D Touch features that were introduced last October, which allowed users to access a quick action menu from their home screens, offering them the options of writing posts, uploading photos or videos or taking photos or videos.

According to Mashable, the update allows users to take advantage of 3-D Touch features directly from News Feed. Pressing lightly on Timelines, linkspages, groups or photos will bring up previews of those respective elements, while increasing the pressure will open them.

Facebook told Mashable the update began rolling out to “a small number” of iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus users Thursday, and it will be expanded “in the coming months.”

Readers: Have you used the 3-D Touch features on the iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S Plus? What are your thoughts?


Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

Audience Optimization: Tools to Help Facebook Page Posts Reach the Right Users

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Facebook launched a powerful arsenal of tools to help pages ensure that their posts are being seen by the users who are most likely to engage with them.

Product manager Peter Roybal announced the launch of organic targeting tool Audience Optimization in a Facebook Media blog post, saying that the tool and its new features are available to all English-language pages, and they will automatically be turned on for pages with more than 5,000 likes.

The three main features of Audience Optimization, as described by Roybal, are:

Preferred Audience: Publishers can add interest tags to their content, and those tags help the social network prioritize the content most likely to interest users and ensure that it appears in their News Feeds.


Audience Restrictions: Publishers can determine which users would most likely not find their content relevant based on location, language, age or gender.


Audience Insights: Separate from Facebook’s already existing Page Insights, Audience Insights provides analytics for each post and breakdowns by interest tag, helping publishers determine which tactics are working and which need to be tweaked.


Facebook’s Get Started page for Audience Optimization provided the following instructions for page administrators who want to begin using the features:

  • Go to your page.
  • Click settings in the top-right-hand corner.
  • Click general in the tab column on the left side of the page.
  • Find the row labeled “Audience Optimization for Posts” in the middle of the page and click edit.
  • Check off the box that that allows you to begin using the feature.


Roybal said Audience Optimization is available via the following platforms:

  • Page post composer: In your composer, use the targeting icon to add tags and restrictions.
  • Graph API: Add interest tags to your posts through the Graph API.
  • Third-party publishing tools: Add tags and restrictions directly to your posts in third-party publisher platforms like SocialFlow and Sprinklr.
  • Instant Articles: When adding an Instant Article to your RSS feed, add tags straight to your stories.

He added:

The variety and amount of content available to people is growing, so having more information about who is likely to be interested in your content helps us get your posts to the people who will care about them most. We heard feedback from media publishers that they were looking for products to help them better target their posts, so we worked to improve the suite of Publisher Tools we launched last year and are replacing Interest Targeting with Audience Optimization. Unlike the Interest Targeting feature that preceded it, the tags in Audience Optimization help a post reach the most relevant subset of a publisher’s audience without restricting reach.

The Get Started page also includes a frequently asked questions section, and highlights include:

  • What’s in it for Facebook? This is the latest step in Facebook connecting people with the unique set of content that will inform and entertain them.
  • What are Preferred Audience interest tags based on? Preferred Audience interest tags are created from popular Facebook Open Graph pages, Facebook ads tags and other Facebook-specific data sets.
  • Does Preferred Audience limit your reach? No, it does not stop posts from appearing anywhere on Facebook.
  • How does this impact organic reach? In tests, we’ve seen that organic reach stays about the same while engagement goes up. Interest tags help Facebook better match content with audiences, prioritizing posts on particular topics for the users who are most likely to be interested in those topics. Interest tags don’t limit a post’s distribution—they just help it reach the most relevant subset of an audience.
  • Can you target people that are not fans of your page? (Can you target your post beyond people who have liked your page?) No. Posts made to your page with Preferred Audience will help improve visibility for the right segments of your page’s audience.
  • Is this News Feed targeting? Page post gating? Both? Preferred Audience does not prevent a post from appearing in the News Feeds of people who don’t have that interest—unlike its predecessor (Interest Targeting, launched in December 2014), which did remove posts from News Feed and, thus, limited reach. Instead, Preferred Audience prioritizes posts on topics to users who share those interests. Audience Restrictions, sometimes called “gating,” is designed to limit the visibility of a post everywhere on Facebook. For example, if a publisher restricts a post to age 18-plus, younger people will not be able to see the post.
  • Can I create my own custom interest tags? No. You cannot create custom tags.
  • Can I add interest tags when posting to my page from a mobile device? No. Interest tags currently must be assigned through the desktop website.
  • What happens if I want to boost a tagged post or advertise a tagged post? Do I have to use the post’s interest tags? No. The boosted post will be treated as a regular ad, and you can set up the targeting separately.

Facebook also provided a detailed best practices guide for adding interest tags, and the most prominent takeaways are:

  • Target audiences with relevant tags.
  • Tag with a mix of broad and narrow terms.
  • Think associatively about related interests.
  • Consider including organizations and brands.
  • Use tags with small audiences strategically.
  • Save locations for relevant stories.
  • Use trending memes and hashtags.

Page admins: Are you anxious to get started with Audience Optimization?

Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

Facebook Marketing API v2.4 Is Coming: Are You Ready?

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Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

What Steam Engines, Robots And Analytics Have In Common

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STUDY: Facebook Video Ads Thrive; Twitter Advertisers Must Go Mobile

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KineticSocial2015Logo650Social advertising and data company Kinetic Social, a Facebook Marketing Partner, offered a look at first-quarter-2015 ad performance on Facebook and Twitter.

The report is embedded below, but findings for Facebook included:

  • Overall ad performance on Facebook was up 266 percent year-over-year.
  • Click-through rates for video ads (desktop and mobile) were up 57 percent in the first quarter of 2015 compared with the fourth-quarter of 2014. As a result, 31 percent of Facebook ad budgets have shifted to video ads.
  • Mobile accounts for 57 percent of Facebook ad budgets.
  • CTRs in the travel category were up 98 percent versus the fourth quarter of 2014.

For Twitter, Kinetic Social found:

  • Effective ad prices have decreased, making Twitter a cost-effective option for advertisers using optimization tools.
  • Mobile makes up just 25 percent of ad spending on Twitter, and advertisers should change their focus to mobile, as costs per engagement are far lower than those for desktop.

Kinetic Social Q1 2015 SOCIAL TRENDS REPORT

Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

AppsFlyer, a Facebook Preferred Mobile Measurement Partner, launches ‘AppsFlyer for Agencies’

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AppsFlyer, a Facebook mobile measurement partner, launched “AppsFlyer for Agencies” this week in order to enable ad agencies to provide their clients with mobile media buying expertise to optimize campaigns.

The company provides real-time mobile app tracking and campaign analytics that allows both ad agencies and advertisers to manage, measure and optimize mobile marketing.

Oren Kaniel, AppsFlyer CEO, said in a press release:

AppsFlyer simplifies mobile marketing for agencies, freeing them from complex integrations and multiple SDK updates. We allow them to focus on their growth targets with the best tools designed especially for the mobile environment.

Here’s how AppsFlyer for Agencies is helpful:

  • it provides access to more than 450 sources of traffic to ensure each campaign reaches its intended target audience;
  • it enables accurate monitoring and measuring of campaign ROI, Lifetime Value (LTV) and Payback period;
  • it allows discovery of the most profitable channels for each campaign and adjusting of budgets based on real results in real-time;
  • it facilitates the optimization of the entire mobile customer acquisition process across multiple channels, including social, ad networks, search, discovery platforms, organic reach and more; and
  • it supports managing mobile retargeting and re-engagement campaigns.

AppsFlyer also provides agencies with research to support agency strategic planners like the company’s Mobile App Discovery Report which highlights the relative effectiveness of mobile marketing via different media sources.

Article courtesy of Inside Facebook

Pinterest Marketing Platform Ahalogy Scores $3 Million Series A By Helping Brands With Content & Optimizations

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Ahalogy logo

With Pinterest poised to take its first ad product, Promoted Pins, public, retailers and brands that have so far been testing the waters on the social pinboard are now beginning to look more seriously into optimizing their activity on the site. One company that has been helping in that area is Ahalogy, a Pinterest marketing platform which is today announcing $3.1 million in Series A funding, co-led by Hyde Park Venture Partners and Origin Ventures.

Also participating in the round were CincyTech, North Coast Angel Fund, and Vine Street Ventures. In addition, the round will see Ahalogy gaining two new board members: Origin Ventures’ Brent Hill, previously an exec at Twitter, Google and Feedburner, and Tim Kopp, former CMO at ExactTarget, and exec at Procter & Gamble and The Coca-Cola Company.

From Fashion Startup To Pinterest Platform Maker

First launched in fall 2012, Ahalogy co-founder and President Bob Gilbreath has an extensive history working with brands, and a practical understanding of their marketing needs.

founders-ahalogyBefore Ahalogy, he worked at P&G, later joining digital agency Bridge Worldwide, which was sold to WPP. Within WPP, the Bridge team put together digital interactions agency Possible Worldwide, where he remained for a year as Chief Strategy Officer, before moving into the world of investing at Cincinnati-based CincyTech (now also an Ahalogy investor).

While there, Gilbreath met up with his Ahalogy co-founder Michael Wohlschlaeger, who had gone through the Brandery accelerator and was working on an idea called StyleZEN, a “Pandora for fashion,” so to speak. Gilbreath invested in the startup, and joined the board, but the startup struggled to drive traffic.

Wohlschlaeger experimented with Facebook and Google to increase traffic, but nothing was working, Gilbreath explains. “Out of desperation, he began doing rapid experimentation on Pinterest, and ended up developing a methodology and writing some tools that led to some amazing growth and traffic from Pinterest,” Gilbreath says. “We sort of looked at this and said, ‘I think you just discovered what Pinterest can do at scale,’” he recalls.

They realized that the technology itself had more potential than StyleZEN did, and decided to form a company that would place it in front of the thousands of brands waking up to the realization that Pinterest now mattered. That company, of course, became Ahalogy.


How Ahalogy Works

Today, Ahalogy works with a little over two dozen brands, including names like Kellogg’s, Townhouse, Eggo, Rice Krispies, Kraft, other P&G brands, Gap, Piperlime, Frontgate, Grandin Road, and more. Gilbreath explains that while other firms may have hundreds of clients, Ahalogy goes deep with a smaller number – they even turn down customers when they don’t feel that they would benefit from the optimization and marketing assistance Ahalogy currently offers.

Another key difference between Ahalogy and competing firms is the business model: it’s not a social media software platform sold on a subscription basis (SaaS).


“To be honest – I know this from being there – marketers don’t have more time. They don’t have time to be experts on any one platform,” says Gilbreath. And if they don’t end up actually using the software, then renewals can become a challenge. Plus, he adds, brands don’t like a monthly fee type of model because it comes out of their cost center budget, rather than their media budget, and it’s disconnected from real-world performance.

So Ahalogy is a pay-per-performance model instead. The company works with its clients to source and optimize their content, uses a scheduling algorithm that helps to place pins at the right time, and works with brands as to what should happen when consumers then click through from the pin to the website. (Typically, they show an interstitial which prompts the user to convert to a follow, or take some other action.)

A Content Network, Too

actAnother key thing Ahalogy has developed is a content network. Because gaining visibility on Pinterest means posting more than a pin per day and hoping for the best, the company has developed a content network to provide brands’ with things that they can pin in order to promote themselves on Pinterest. The network includes a variety of bloggers, like those covering fashion, food and recipes, or other popular Pinterest categories, plus larger groups like StyleCaster, and more. These content creators were the original beta testers for Ahalogy’s tools, and have agreed to allow the brands to use their content and images for free in exchange for access to the traffic-boosting Ahalogy technology platform.

With the content in hand, and the marketing optimization technology from Ahalogy that helps drive traffic to the brands’ own sites, Ahalogy is now seeing a million-plus run rate, says Gilbreath, with pricing that’s at a minimum in the $5,000-10,000 range. In return, brands see 80% re-pin rates, and 1-2% average click-throughs.


With the additional funding, Ahalogy will grow its 23-person team, and will focus on expanding its efforts on Pinterest when Promoted Pins goes live. It will also expand its content network to assist with brands’ needs on other social networks, as well, including Facebook and Instagram.

“We have over a thousand content creators, 140,000 pieces of content with images, all categorized by topics..and the analytics as to what’s working right now,” Gilbreath notes. “We’re figuring out ways to take the great content that’s out there, scoring it on quality, then giving the brands the flexibility to share that in many ways,” he says.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

August 2016
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