Ep. 02 – Video PPV & PPC Search Advertising

With Gez McGuire of MCG Digital Media  (Google AdWords, YouTube & Facebook Video)

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Pay per view and pay per click (respectively PPV and PPC) is a model of internet marketing where advertisers only pay an agreed fee when the advertisement is either viewed or clicked upon. This has become increasingly popular on social media or sharing sites, often specifically tailored to genders, ages and demographics.

Search engine advertising has become one of the most popular and profitable forms of PPC. Many high profile Internet platforms have adapted rapidly to this style of internet marketing with Google making over 32.2 billion dollars from AdWords in 2015.*

In this episode we take a look at online pay per click and pay per view advertising – so that’s search and display advertising on platforms like Google AdWords, YouTube and Facebook video – and how these platforms have revolutionised the online advertising market by turning it on it’s head through the power of direct targeted engagement.

We cut through all the jargon with our guest, and chat through the key metrics that are important for you to understand – and we take a look at what the difference is between push and pull advertising……. and why there’s no need to be afraid of those little cookies!

Gez McGuire – Internet Marketing Expert

Gez McGuire is one of the UK’s Leading Internet Marketing Experts, and with his boutique online marketing consultancy business – MCG Digital Media – has spent 12 years specialising in search marketing and online advertising, managing budgets totalling over £20 million.

Gez’s company are the only boutique consultancy in the UK to hold the elite Red Partner’s Badge – which is a Premier Partnership accreditation awarded by Google themselves.

I caught up with Gez at his office in Moseley, Birmingham to talk all things AdWords, PPC and PPV.

SCOTT LEDBURY: Thanks for joining me Gez, as an overview for the uninitiated, what is video ‘Pay Per View’ (PPV) and ‘Pay Per Click’ (PPC) advertising?

GEZ MCGUIRE: If you’ve got an advert in a glossy magazine you have no way of telling how many people have actually looked at it. Regardless of where it sits in the magazine. You’re just paying a set amount. In the digital world, you have the advantage of saying ‘I’ll only pay – when people look at this!’.

You’re only paying for the eyes that view your advert. This is the basis of PPV and PPC. Google does the same type of thing, making the vast majority of its money for advertising, based on PPC. It doesn’t cost a penny to advertise on Google, until someone clicks on your advert. It’s based on engagement, not being there!

SL: It’s very different from ‘Traditional Advertising’, when very few people (one in a thousand) would pay attention to the advert. Has it turned the traditional model upside down?

GM: Absolutely, Google in particular, has revolutionised marketing and advertising. It’s about engagement, paying for people to engage with you.

PPC used to be about 97% of Google’s revenue, though now it’s lowered down to about 80%, as Google now has brought Android phones to the marketplace. You can still see how productive it really is.

SL: Google and YouTube are the main players, but this is a crowded marketplace – who are the other main players?

GM: Well, Facebook is the other big player. When Facebook when big a few years ago, it had to start making money – and the only way to do that is through advertising. But the good thing about Facebook is that the way that it places adverts, it’s quite native – they don’t jump out as an ad. When you have video in there, the stats show that people stop scrolling when they see movement, the adverts really do work.

Facebook is a good platform – it knows exactly who you are, your age, your location, what your interests are etc. Facebook targeting is very precise and based on push, not pull. When people go onto a search engine like Google they are creating the intent, they are saying ‘I am looking for this!’. Via Facebook and YouTube, you are pushing a message to people in a certain demographic whether they’re interested or not.

SL: In the PPC and PPV arena, what are the key metrics and what do they mean to you?

GM: One big metric is called Impressions, this shows how often your advert has been displayed. Your advert could be shown 10,000 times but only 200 people clicked on it.

I always look at the Impressions Metric first because it shows me how big the marketplace is. Even for video – the impressions is still just the first frame being displayed, even if the full video is not watched.

When it comes to video there are many different metrics. In the case of clicks or interactions, when someone clicks on a advert and goes through to the website or landing page, or they click the video to see more – they take an action.

Clicks are where your money is being spent. Then the main metric is the conversion rate. All of this advertising is wonderful, but it’s only good if they turn into customers at the end of the day. Only a percentage of those who interact, turn into prospects.

The Key Metric is how many people who visited you – turned into prospects, asking more about your company. If you’ve spent £1000 on advertising and had 100 visitors, you know that every visitor has cost you £10.

If you get 1% enquiring then you know that your cost is x, if you get 15% enquiring you know that you’re doing better. That percentage is paramount.

SL: If your e-commerce site is selling an item, you know that your profit line is £10, but if your campaign is costing you £12, you should kill that campaign because it’s costing you £2!

GM: Absolutely correct. This is something I see a lot of e-commerce retailers falling over on, they don’t do the basic maths.

E-commerce conversion rates are always low, 1-2%. You can do the key metrics easily, to see whether the product lines you are selling have a high enough ticket price to justify the advertising.

SL: The people actually picking the phone up, that’s the conversions and that’s how you work out the conversion rate?

GM: That’s all within the advertising platform itself, it does all the maths for you. It tells you what all the key stats are, letting you know what works best and what doesn’t.

To go back to magazines or billboards, there is no way to monitor such data accurately. The old adage is true that, ‘half my advertising doesn’t work, but I don’t know which half’.

SL: What must a video contain to be effective?

GM: Have a good pre-roll image – the thumbnail – which clearly shows what the advert is, and makes you want to watch the video. When the video starts you need to get straight to the point, talk to the audience in their language – like any piece of marketing media.

Keep it short and sharp – anything over a minute is too long, as people have short attention spans, but also include calls to action. If someone has watched your video for thirty seconds and you’re coming to the end of it, you’re going to want to them to do something about what they’ve seen.

SL: A call to action is more referring to an enticement or a question.

GM: Take Facebook as an example, if you’re running an ad on Facebook, you don’t want them to scroll on after they’ve watched it.

On Facebook you have a button for the viewer to ‘Learn More’ or ‘See More’ or ‘Buy Now’, but with Facebook as well you can run these clever lead ads, which take you to an website off-Facebook with your details already pre-populated in a form. It’s a soft form of lead generation that actually works really well.

SL: Even if it’s a campaign for purely branding, you should still put a call to action in there? (For example, everyone knows Coca-Cola but they still do ad campaigns to keep their brand in the public eye).

GM: For 99% of us without a brand, we need some action. All the big brands in the digital world – have people going to take some action. Could be a competition or a survey – but is basically a soft way of getting a consumer to interact with you.

SL: Can you talk to us about keywords and demographics? How do I target a particular video?

GM: You can use YouTube as a search engine, therefore target your video to appear in the top right hand corner using clever keywords. You can use YouTube as a big content aggregator, aim to have you video appear as a pre-roll after other particular topics.

It’s like placements with banner adverts, if you chose no targeting the banner ad would go on other myriad website. But if you have a cookbook to advertise you want it to appear on cooking websites. It’s exactly the same logic with YouTube, you need your advert to play after a similar video. If you’re using Facebook you’re targeting demographics.

SL: The video has to link with relevance, otherwise viewers could get annoyed?

GM: As the advertiser, why would you not want it to be relevant? If you’re looking to appeal to Sun readers, why would you place a picture in the Financial Times? If you’re an advertiser you will want to be sure that you’re placing your adverts in a relevant environment, and of course it’s the same for the people who are seeing this, they’re going to want to see something that is relevant!

SL: Talk us through what goes on behind-the-scenes with YouTube algorithms, to decide to show me a particular ad, and how do they gather that information in the first place?

GM: Instead of thinking of YouTube as a big algorithm driven platform, think of it as a smart advertising platform that knows what type of videos you’ve looked at. Often when you’re watching videos on YouTube you’re logged into your account, Google is a very clever animal at re-marketing.

It knows everywhere that you’ve been, what websites and products that you’ve been looking at (as you use the internet your device picks up ‘cookies’) . For example, how often have you been looking at a pair of shoes online, not bought them and for the next few days all you see is adverts for shoes on various different websites.

An advertiser has ‘cookied’ you – betting on the likelihood of you being in the mindset to buy a pair of shoes. And YouTube is part of Google’s advertising campaign, so sometimes when you’re on YouTube you’ll see videos for things that you’ve already looked at.

SL: In terminology of YouTube, what are pre- and post-roll ads?

GM: Pre-roll ads are the annoying ones which come up before the video, and you have to wait a certain amount of time before you get to the video you’d ultimately like to see. They are often very annoying, but then with a television programme you end up watching 15-18 minutes of adverts.

Pre-rolls are effective because people watch them. Post-rolls are adverts that appear at the end of the video. And mid-rolls are the adverts that come up overlaid over the video you’re watching. These are also rather annoying. On YouTube these, are the little black banners trying to draw your attention. It’s all about relevancy, what’s bad is when advertisers do it badly.

For example, you’re watching a video about the new Jaguar car and an advert comes up suggesting you buy a set of steak knives! If there is a relevant link to high-end insurance for prestige cars – then at least it’s contextual and makes sense. It may actually be right for the advertisers.

SL: What’s the biggest mistakes people can make with a video advertising campaign?

GM: Personally, I think that making the video too obscure, taking the marketing out of it. It should appeal to the end user, it’s not about you or your ego – it must appeal to the consumer.

If the video doesn’t contain something which makes the end user think ‘that’s for me!’ or makes them feel a certain empathy then it’s not doing it’s job and making a big mistake. If you’re not a known brand then you absolutely must be entirely relevant and answer the questions that they have.

You know what your customer demographic is and what their problems are, most people buy from you when you answer their problem, you come up with a solution to the problem that they have – even though they may not be aware that they have this problem. It’s a medium to convey that, in a brilliant way.

SL: The curse of the marketing agency at the moment, is ad-blocking, banner ads and static ads are being targeted. Is video safe at the moment from this kind of blocking?

GM: Anyone can ad-block at any time, but a massive amount of people don’t. Ads in the digital world, are just part of that world of digital. It hasn’t been a problem.

If you take adverts on Google Search, and every form of digital advertising to date, it hasn’t proved a problem and I don’t think it will be a problem. Taking things back to basic common denominators. Most people don’t use ad-blockers, because they don’t know about it or they can’t be bothered.

People have become conditioned to adverts in the modern world.

SL: Coming full circle, if the adverts are relevant – you won’t mind?

GM: Exactly. If it’s relevant then it’s not going to be annoying. We’re conditioned to be advertised to on TV, which is very loosely targeted – and yet we tolerate it on television.

There’s a massive disparity between the ads we see on TV, and the ads we see in the digital world which are targeted and are a lot more relevant to us individually.

SL: The stats are showing that advertising spend is moving away from traditional broadcast mediums, what other opportunities are their for video on the digital medium?

GM: Just imagine if Netflix was bought by Google. In the next 10-20 years things will become integrated in ways we can barely imagine. Things that you watch in TV will integrate with the new pair of shoes that you’re searching for on Google, or when you’re on Facebook.

Things are going to become more interconnected, in ways that we can hardly imagine or speculate upon. 15 years ago if you thought you’d be walking around with a super computer in your pocket. You would have said no chance!

SL: We should stop being paranoid about these ‘cookies’, does it matter?

GM: Your information is already out there in the public domain, think how many calls you get every week about PPI, which is even more annoying.

Your information is out there and we accept that in certain realms, in the digital world the information that’s collected about us is less intrusive than the information that’s out there already, than the direct mail that comes through your door every day. They’ve got your name and address. All these digital people know is he likes this or this, he likes the colour brown when it comes to shirts.

All it does is creating a stream where, as advertising moves forward and develops, you only see things that you’re interested in. Surely that’s a good thing, rather than a bad thing.

SL: That will end up benefiting both parties. Thanks for your time Gez you’ve been brilliant.