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Bing Ads and You: Synergizing Content Marketing and Search Engine Marketing

In the last post of this Bing Ads and You series, we discussed how a strong brand could lower the cost of search engine marketing and how to adopt content marketing to promote your brand.  Since then, I have read Anders Hjorth’s, “The Missing Link in Digital Marketing,” discussing the challenges to properly credit the efforts across Brand Marketing and Performance Marketing, Anders called out:

When you invest heavily in brand exposure it has an impact on the performance of your conversions. You KNOW it works but you can’t always SHOW it works.” 

Meanwhile, I have also received a couple of inquiries from Bing Ads blog readers on whether it’s necessary to have a strong brand before starting search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns.  While Brand Marketing’s ROI is harder to measure and a strong brand is not a pre-requirement to start SEM campaign, many left branding on the to-do list, but I would like to point out the newly available remarketing function enables marketers to execute content marketing and search engine marketing to targeted audiences simultaneously in order to deliver a 1-2-punch and conduct A/B testing to assess Brand Marketing’s ROI.

In this post, l would like to give you a quick overview of remarketing before illustrating how we leveraged it in the MaternaLIFT Project.

First, what is remarketing?  As most website visitors won’t purchase products on their first visit, remarketing enables merchants to follow up with those customers-to-be to influence their purchase decisions.

Second, how do you adopt remarketing?  Remarketing is audience-driven and you need to deploy an audience tag at your website/selected web page(s) to mark those you would like to follow up with. The audience tag is named differently across major marketing platforms: It’s called Universal Event Tracking (UET) at Bing Ads; the remarketing functionality will be available to everyone in Fall 2015. In Adwords, it’s called Remarketing and Custom Audience at Facebook.

How to create a Facebook Custom Audience

 bing ads content marketing search engine marketing

Note that meticulous selection of your marketing audience with an eye towards balancing its scale and relevance is the key to a successful remarketing campaign.  That said, please keep the following two scenarios in mind while defining your remarketing audience:

  • Tagging the whole website would help you reach the marketing platforms’ remarketing activation threshold while those visitors are still in shopping mode, but it prevents you from presenting a specific value proposition for an individual product listed on its own web page.
  • Tagging specific web page(s) would enable you to be more targeted in messaging and to better adjust bids based upon an individual product’s margin, but this audience group could take a longer time to meet the remarketing activation threshold and wouldn’t reach potential buyers in time.

For the MaternaLIFT Project, after studying its web site traffic volume, its potential customers’ purchase behavior and its website structure, we decided to apply remarketing to those who have been to MaternaLIFT’s product page without purchasing in the past 15 days and used Google Tag Manager (GTM) to deploy audience tags accordingly.  While deploying audience tags with GTM is relatively easy, it’s the tag firing and blocking rules you need to master to connect with the right audience.

How to use Google Tag Manager to deploy Bing Ads and Facebook’s audience tags

 bing ads content marketing search engine marketing

After designing and implementing the audience tags, we created a new campaign in the search engines and generated corresponding marketing content at Facebook to follow up with those targeted audience with...

  • A broader set of keywords to increase visibility.  Knowing ads will be shown to those have evaluated MaternaLIFT’s products, we were able to bid on general terms that we normally wouldn't be able to adopt due to their lower ROI, which increases the chance to engage with those about to purchase.
  • Higher bids to show ads in prominent positions. Remarketing also enables us to increase bids to show ads in a higher position where more clicks take place (accordingly to a study conducted by complete: 85% of clicks took place in the top of the page).
  • Messages focusing on unique features and brand value. Knowing ads will be shown to those in comparing offers, we crafted message to address their main criteria: is this what I need in terms of product price and brand value?  We highlighted those elements on SEM ads and created a post on Facebook to provide more details, then leveraged remarketing to connect search engine marketing and content marketing to deliver a consistent and complete message to drive sales.

How to leverage remarketing to coordinate your marketing efforts across search engines and social media

bing ads content marketing search engine marketing

Use remarketing to deliver a 1-2-punch from both search engines and social media to drive more sales.  You also can leverage it to conduct an A/B test to compare the result for doing performance marketing or brand marketing alone, which we plan to do with MaternaLIFT and will share the findings afterwards.