There are a lot of third party vendors on this market including Marin Software, Kenshoo, Acquisio, Apex-BidMax, Adobe Search Center (pformerly Omniture) and many more, and recently Google also quietly launched it’s own tool built into AdWords. Let’s take a look.
As an inmediate answer I would say there is no need. Every action a software helps us in can be done manually – we need a person with professional Excel and analytical skills and with lots of time available. We’d make up our mind when we start considering human resources as a part of costs in the ROI function. Simply, we can automate the most time consuming parts of the campaign optimisation by using software solutions.
First, there is a built in Google AdWords solution for Google search campaigns and that one is free to use. As Google’s automatic CPA optimisation tool that lacked setting options has died in lack of use and sometimes bad results – they had to come up with a solution. The ‘Automate’ function has just been released a few weeks ago (in Turkey) with no hype created around it – Google just simply copied the solutions of third party vendors. Easy choice.
There are quite a few third party vendors in this arena: their pricing model is different ranging from 1.5 to 3% on spendings, their functions and usability is also quite different.
My only advice is to check and try them all. As these solutions are designed for making our professional life easier I’d choose the one that’s the easiest to use.
To sum up if time is important and you count that as a cost factor in calculating your campaign ROI then you should choose a software to automate some parts of your campaigns or the whole process. Start with extensive testing of the different solutions – functions are not too much different but user experience and ease-of-use is.
This post is to provide you with some insights to hundreds of Facebook campaigns and some Social Media projects and aims to answer the question: which channel is the most effective driving new Likes to your Facebook page?
Back in the times when Facebook advertising was still new to the Turkish market (around the beginning of 2010) my colleague took a look at the Facebook campaign management interface and asked, where is the Cost per Fan (Cost per Like) figure? At that time this question seemed clever, but a little bit awkward. Then we had to face that this metric became one of the most important ones regarding Facebook Fan Engagement campaigns.
Webtrends recently created a free report on the same topic and they compared industries in terms of CTR and CPC. Their conclusion is simple: the more ‘socialized’ the brand is, the bigger the CTR and hence lower the CPC. The range is wide from USD 0.12 to USD 1.27 per click. Unfortunately the study does not go into further detail on Like conversions but we can see that the US average is USD 1.07 getting a Like.
Source: Webtrends (http://f.cl.ly/items/2m1y0K2A062x0e2k442l/facebook-advertising-performance.pdf)
We also summarized dozens of our local (Turkey) Facebook engagement campaigns and found that well known love brands tends to have lower Cost Per Like numbers ranging between 0,08-0,4 TL per Like, the less known but still big strong have a CPL between 0,5-1 TL and niche or startup brands can get fans for 1-1,5 Liras.
How much is yours?
If we talk about campaign performance and set up the campaign metrics perfectly - every channel and placement becomes comparable. If we talk about video ads, we can compare Cost Per View numbers in Facebook Video Engagement ads, Google Display Network video ads and of course all local websites.
If we talk about getting Likes the two obvious channels to compare is Facebook Homepage ads on a CPM buy and Facebook Fan Engagement ads on a PPC buy. After testing the two channels against each other we could say that for some specific Clients the Engagement ads bought on a PPC basis performed significantly better. It means that the Cost Per Like figure was 3-4 times lower than using the homepage ads. Performance based advertising pays off.
Increase in prices – mostly in CPCs. During 2010 in Turkey we experienced an increase in average CPCs of about 100% and this trends seemingly continues throughout 2011. We expect that the slightly deccreasing average Google AdWords Search CPCs and radically increasing Facbook Ads CPCs will meet this year.
As we see that Facebook PPC ads converting Likes significantly better than other channels we most probably will see this trend continuing with another 100-150% increase in Facebook CPCs this year.
Besides this, new advertising formats have started to roar in, e.g. Facebook Sponsored stories. They are perfectly using the social engagement of our friends so we expect that even though CPCs are increasing, we can get Likes for less money than before. Of course the limitation is our current Fan base as we can only rely on our current Fans to bring in their friends. We do have to mention that Facebook introduced this advertising format together with the rollout of their new News Feed management rules. Based on the new algorithms Facebook page messages only appear in Top News, not in the News Feed any more. This means that even though a brand has already built up a community it has to spend a great deal of money on Sponsored Stories to keep visibility up. That’s actually another story…
(Disclaimer: We aggregated the above results from hundreds of campaigns in Facebook and Google AdWords in Turkey – in agency account - but of course results are depending on how different sectors are represented in our Client portfolio – so it might be different agency by agency.)
We saw many Facebook applications this year from almost all types of brands. In general, the cost of planning, designing, maintaining applications, putting incentives and launch campaigns on top makes Facebook Applications an expensive experiment. If we break down all related costs to the number of Likes we may see a number sky high.
Of course, users Liking our brand page from an application are more engaged having spent some time with the brand and having a good experience in the application. This part of course is very hard to measure and compare and that’s why a Cost Per Like is not the only metric we should use for Facebook apps.
Designing a very successful Facebook Application is very similar to creating a viral campaign. If we found the basic motivation why people should share, they will share. If you have already created viral campaigns you might know how risky it is. Needs creativity, a very good method for selecting ideas and seamless execution on the agency side and risk taking, trial and error approach and a deep wallet on the Client side.
There are and there will be very well performing Facebook brand Apps but I’d advise brand managers to go for the Fanpage Engagement ads too – to be on the safe (and cost effective) side.
It’s an abvious choice – and the strong local blogger and social media community seemingly take the job. Seeding can work better if we plan incentives, support team and of course a strong message. Sometimes we can see that they spontaneously create a small ‘blogger’ community around the brand and support it. As the reach of blogs is quite limited, this project either cannot be judged upon Cost per Likes only – or if we do that, we end up in saying that those few thousand Fans we gathered were too expensive. We’d rather use different KPIs for seeding like number of video views or post views besides the number of Fans collected. (Have to add that the number of Fans coming from seeding projects can only be estimated as referrals are not shown correctly in Facebook Insights and there is no other way to measure this. I think we’ll see some new things coming from Facebook on this field soon.)
I should have put this first. Do you have a one click Like button or Like box available on your homepage and throughout the site? Have you put that to the most visible place? If not, this is the time to do it. Obviously the bigger traffic your site has the more effective you can drive Likes to your Facebook Page. Costs not to be associated to this but surely it’s a must.
In many terms on Facebook we can see the past trends to come back again. As history repeats itself we can see that e.g. greeting cards live their second life. Posting nice greeting cards on events (Valentine’s Day, Christmas etc.) and asking people to tag themselves on will have a nice viral effect. And people will tag themselves. Sending one greeting card to all by two clicks is definitely easier then sending them one-by-one. Effectiveness, effectiveness!
Same is the story with simple gift supported questions. Ask the people to tag themselves, to look for a tiny bit of info on the product package or to answer a simple question and give away a small gift. Of course as answers and interactions appear on their feed will trigger more fans to come. Not to talk about the overhyped feedback rate of the post…
So as a summary it seems that nothing works better in getting more fans than PPC Facebook engagement ads – supposing that you’ve already made the other necessary steps, have updated content and a well managed community on your Facebook page. As Facebook PPC prices are on the rise, we’ll see other ways becoming more interesting in reaching out to new fans, but surely the next few months are still about this tool.
(Sidenote: This article is a good example why digital performance marketing and social media is strongly interconnected. We as marketers have to come to the conclusion that we need to implement performance metrics to our social media activities to the extent technology allows today.)
Tracking down the origins of this chart I found that was published for a lot of coutries including China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and even for Hungary. So I created one for Turkey too.
I changed one section of it as I think there should be a space for the rising private shopping sites: Limango, Trendyol and Markafoni. Maybe the ‘Deal of the day’ section should contain these but I put the group buying sites (ŞehirFırsatı - Groupon, Yakala.co, grupanya! and grupfoni) there instead as they seemingly work with shorter deadlines and with a focus on group deals.
Easy to notice that YouTube has a lot of local metoo sites but as YouTube ban was lifted their traffic has already begun to decrease. Sad news for the local social network Yonca and the local check-in site Gezenzi that their international competitors also have proven to be too strong - they are winning the game.
Also interesting that among the local websites (not including Google or Facebook) the second largest is a blog engine Blogcu.
We marketers all know Facebook ads well already. As the online ad spending in Turkey is still growing with 50+% a year, ads are really cheap either if they are priced on a CPM or CPC base.
This is the main reason why the globally set CPMs for Facebook proved to be way too expensive here forcing all advertisers to use PPC ads. And they were suprising for many of the advertisers with really low prices.
Some reasons why I miss some features from Facebook ads. Some new features:
All parties in. Some of the features missing are so basic I can hardly believe they don’t have a priority. OK, let’s see them:
More money to Facebook (in addition to the above):
Advertisers (in addition to the above):
Users: of course all the above helps them to receive more targeted, so more compelling ads.
And today we are not talking about that how many unnecessary features are in the Facebook ad system. A lot…:-)
This year, the Central-Eastern Europe region will see a new e-business and e-marketing conference coming. Actually Webit is not new as this is their second year. As the conference is a bit far away (in most terms) from Central-Europe they had to come up with something special. And what they are doing is extraordinary.
By clicking this link you’ll arrive to a page that explains the concept: The Most Influential People game. And we people involved in online marketing are all part of this game IRL aren’t we? Influencing other people, sharing, publishing.
You’ll see why I mean this concept is brilliant. No forcing, no spamming, no hidden stuff, all is clear and simple. You share (if you want, of course) the news about an upcoming conference and you’re rewarded with a special honor that all of your influence is being tracked. Go and get in the game, even if you’re not interested in the conference but want to see a perfect example of social media marketing.
Actually, the share-and-get-rewarded concept is nothing new. Back in the year 2000, I visited an online marketing conference in New York when I was rewarded with a free ticket being one of the top25 influencers worldwide. That was a long time ago, the only tool that helped me spreading the word was e-mail. There was no Twitter, no Facebook, no sharing, no blogs, Google was almost ‘invisible’. What is new in this thing is how they combined the channels. It’s brilliant. Congratulations, guys!
I found these figures in a recent press release from ComScore which came out two days ago. Worldwide growth was 109% from June 2009 to June 2010 which also means that Twitter is very close (maybe they already passed since June) the big barrier of 100 million users.
(Interesting fact that DoubleClick Adplanner shows 190 million users wordwide. The difference is too big to just say this is because of the different methods.)
Asia Pacific tops the chart with 25 million users while Latin America is closing very quickly, the number of Twitter users tripled over there in this period.
Turkey is the 13th on the list with 11% penetration and that is fairly close to the 3,5 million DoubleClick adplanner shows for the coutry.
So Twitter is marching towards reaching hundreds of millions - and although a lot of specialists (including me :-)) said this surge is ending soon - it does not seem like.
The below chart does not need to much explanation. In the recent years the Turkish media also suffered from the effects of the downturn but 2010 first half showed a dramatic change. The growth rate shows that the whole market (not including search) will be bigger by one third this year. Wow.
TV is the old-new hero besides the all-time-best-performer internet in terms of growth rate. What a surprise. Also is that even newspapers are on the growth.
Search (actually anything text based) advertising is not included in the report. There are not so many sources for estimating the size of the search market but one thing is sure: it’s already a lot bigger than display. As of my guess the search market should be around at least EUR 80 million this year.
The figures were put together by the Advertising Association of Turkey, you can find the original chart here.
The digital advertising competition, Call4Istanbul was announced by the Turkish Foundation of Advertising for employees of digital agencies throughout Europe in cooperation with IAB Europe and Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture organization.
The brief was short, applicants were required to come up with an interactive campaign idea for ‘the young Europe” target group. “It is up to the applicant whatever, whoever to choose. Yet a strong, coherent backbone strategy is a must and a number of creative applications are required.”
Our group, Gergely Nyikos designer and me came up with a strategy based on my experience of a colorful, vivid and big city showing a variety of faces to the tourists. Although I’ve been living in Istanbul for a few months I don’t think I can describe the city. So we chose the group of people who can do it the best instead of us.
The application could only contain 300 words of strategy, 300 words of communication ideas and 3 small artwork images. We have to carefully select each and every words as the 300 words limit was very low. Also we had to play a bit with the emphases in the text as no text formatting was allowed.
I got approval for posting the strategy document only, so here you go:
Start a MOVEMENT: INSPIRE people to SHARE how they love Istanbul!
- Travelers’ needs: Accommodation, food, sightseeing, shopping and souvenirs. False. They need something that TOUCHES them.
- Goals: See all museums and monuments. False. YOUNG EUROPEANS like to go beyond basic sightseeing. Visit places frequented by LOCALS. Find ‘HIDDEN’ treasures. MEET local people.
- Istanbul’s strengths: Istanbul is the city of all senses. Colourful. Vivid. Living. Multicultural. BIG. Friendly and helpful people. Neighborhoods have different “tastes”. TRUE.
Istanbul is too colorful to describe with few ads.
Create desire: visit Istanbul!
Add something personal and local. Show the many FACES of REAL city LIFE.
Website, rich content created in Istanbul. By young, Istanbul people: college, university students (and artists).
Content: LOT OF ‘amateur’ VIDEOS. 2 minute ‘clips’, multi-language. Personal VIDEO CLIPS created by the STUDENTS (who reacted to the CALL) in different LANGUAGES they learn.
Show something local you like and talk about it. (Favorite band, bar or restaurant. Shop or building or city panorama. Interview favourite actor, artist. Sporting, partying, shopping, anything would apply that you love.) All in your living neighborhood or near university (so all different neighborhoods be represented). Shoot a maximum 5” clip.
Clips selected, edited by a professional team to 2 minute (add music, logo, ending screen, tagging). Music and cut scenes come from ARTISTS volunteering in the program. ADVERTISING PLATFORM is created.
Clips uploaded: YouTube, website & seeded. COMMUNITY is created.
Students from ALL universities apply via local university AMBASSADOR PROGRAM (similar: Nokia’s and Red Bull’s). Ambassadors: communications, lending semi-professional cameras, basic education on camera usage & clip making.
- _Eager_ to do something for Istanbul, Turkey.
- International contacts. Students become local ‘scouts’, can be personally contacted.
- Competition, prizes.
In competition we also came up with a bonus idea:
To Istanbul visitors: VIDEO GUESTBOOK KIOSK on Istanbul airport.
Passengers leaving the country can tell a video saygoodbye to Istanbul in an automatic kiosk.
Funniest/craziest message wins the price of the flight ticket.
Videos automatically edited and uploaded to YouTube & website.
Flyers to hand out at the international departure entry doors about the kiosk.
And here’s the prize we won:
Please note that this document is just a part of the application. Together with the things described in the communication strategy document it would provide the city with a long term communication platform and sustained worldwide attention.
We were glad to participate in the competition, and all I can say the city tours and the final ceremony was awesome.
Now it’s time to refresh the stats I posted nearly 5 months ago as there are some changes: e.g. Turkey is no longer the third largest country on Facebook. Indonesia took over in the recent couple of months although Turkey added more than 4 million users to this count in the period and now having 22 500 000 Facebook users.
This means 24% of growth within 5 months which clearly shows not just the power of Facebook but the opportunity in Turkey’s relatively low internet penetration also.
This growth was mostly produced by the 30-49 age group which should not be a surprise as Facebook’s 75+% penetration among internet users is very close to 100% among the young. I put the growth rates onto the below chart by red, based on the data from my previous blogpost.
And again, the Turkish sport clubs. They did a good job in expanding their fan base.Both Fenerbahce and Besiktas outgrew the Facebook population in the country, Fenerbahce actually added more than 400 000 fans from one day to another after a famous football match.
And of course I have to mention that Galatasaray is actually the largest sport club on Facebook, also listed among the top 50 largest Facebook pages. (The official sports club pages has less users than this as on the above chart I added up all fan clubs).
The Google ban in Turkey was headlined on most of the IT portals at the end of last week, the beginning of this week. Some of the news sources, like Mashable tried to crowdsource the info collecting process on their FB page (“If you’re from Turkey, we’d appreciate any updates on the blockade!”), so they could build up their coverage on that quite well.
Some other portals said that even Google, the search engine is being blocked or they added Facebook to the list.
Being in Turkey this is what I experienced (although some other users could have different experiences):
First Google Translate went off, then on the next day, some other Google services like Docs became unavailable. (Google, Gmail, Google AdWords, Facebook worked well, but Google Analytics became much slower.)
Meanwhile, YouTube - which has been banned since 2007 also worked well (as it was a pure DNS based ban, changing to Google DNS or Open DNS easily solved the problem). YouTube had around 6 million unique visitors per month from Turkey, seemingly all of them used the same trick as even the prime minister told so in front of the public.
Techcrunch came out with the info that the ban was not becuse of a decision made by one of the the government offices, but as they put the original YouTube ban into a higher ‘level’ (onto IP ranges), they just eventually stopped a lot of other services. We found the original news from the goverment officials saying almost nothing.
Access to services started to become normal again today. And yes, YouTube is absolutely off, only a VPN could help.
Actually, I have to add that life without Google Translate or having access to my Google Docs is hard. Not unimaginably, but I had to spend a lot of time unnecessarily on translations or recollecting my documents. I was definitely not happy with that.
Meanwhile, some of my Clients had to remove Google Analytics codes from their slowed-down websites and some of them removed Google AdWords tracking codes as well just in case. It’s definitely a loss to the whole industry, not just Google.
Another myth that the ban is because of Islam. No, it has nothing to do with that. The original YouTube ban was put up because of some ‘insulting’ videos of Atatürk, the founder of the republic. (As I heard the video played disco music toghether with Atatürk and that’s an insult as of the Turkish government ‘standards’.
Another rumour says that after Google offered to limit access to certain ‘offending’ videos in Turkey in return to forget the ban. The goverment said that it is not enough, because as Turkish people go abroad and there they still can be insulted with these. So, they said Google should delete them, no compromise.
Some other sources say that this dramatic change in lifting the bans of YouTube is because of the Gaza Flottilla videos. “On the 3rd of June three most viewed videos on YouTube contained documented footage of the aforementioned events, invalidating Turkish allegations. On the 4th of June, YouTube site was banned in Turkey.”
Hmm. I can imagine that.
Turkish Digital Agencies are protesting against the bans by putting a protesting text onto their homepages. Another 6500 websites are now being banned in Turkey, this site has a huge list of them, the reasons vary.