Preparing for the Q4 Shopping Spree

Google Shopping Best Practices, Tips and Tricks

Q4 is fast approaching, so it’s time to review those best practices for Google Shopping! We have some tips and best practices that we hope will help you kick start optimising your shopping campaigns to achieve the best performance, when it really matters!

Separate best sellers or high value products in different campaigns with different priorities depending on your goals.

Ensure the products that perform the best (or are likely to, for example because they’re going to be featured in an offer) are given the best chance to sell. Creating campaigns to separate and prioritise these products from the main feed will help you focus on their performance, set different CPA or ROAS targets and increase your click share when you need it most.

Common ways to separate your shopping campaigns:

  • Brands
  • Product Category
  • Sale Items
  • Product Price
  • Best Sellers

Make the most of Showcase Ads

Showcase ads help you reach higher level, more generic searches and entice customers to discover your brand. This can be particularly useful during periods prior to Black Friday and in the lead up to Christmas whilst users are doing their product research. Capturing these users early by targeting the upper funnel search terms gives you the power and data to then retarget these users later on when their intent changes and they are using more specific product related searches that you would be targeting using regular shopping campaigns.

the works christmas showcase

 Create specific seasonal shopping campaigns to prioritise products at particular times of year.

We’ve seen great results with clients when we’ve used custom labels to highlight products that do well in certain seasons. For example, a woolly hat would have the ‘winter’ custom label added, ensuring it features in the winter campaign, knowing it will perform better during Q4 and other winter seasons than in Summer or Spring.

Separating campaigns ensures they get the relevant focus at the critical time of year, for example increasing budget, priority or altering the CPA or ROAS targets if using smart bidding.

Optimise the Product Feed

See our blog on What is Shopping Feed Optimisation

Implement Smart Shopping Campaigns

This will allow you to use your time more efficiently to build a strategy for Q4. It takes your business goals and campaigns based on your objectives to choose the most appropriate bidding strategy for you and then uses machine learning to automate optimisations across intent channels. 

You can have one Smart Shopping Campaign for all of your inventory, or separate these into multiple Smart Shopping Campaigns based on product groups or categories. You can then set different goals and targets for each of these groups based on the time of year or priorities for the business.

Differentiate your ads from other retailers

You can attract consumers by highlighting your unique value proposition. Do this by:

  • Adding Merchant Promotions through Google Merchant Centre; these can be discounts, free gifts or shipping. For example “Spend £30, Enjoy Free Shipping”
  • Adding Merchant Ratings which will drive online shoppers to your store and earn more qualified leads to increase your ad performance. This can be done through a review feed, a reviews aggregator, or to participate in Google Customer Reviews.

Don’t forget to have a ‘catch all’ campaign

Creating an ‘all products’ campaign set at a low priority will ensure that the products and categories that you’re not prioritising using the above techniques continue to be eligible to show as shopping ads. You can monitor and act on the performance of these products to understand any changes in trends and prioritise them later if necessary.

Some housekeeping tips

Ensure the budgets aren’t being limited

Ensure that your shopping campaign budgets are sufficient enough to deal with any peaks and expected or unexpected surges in demand. There are several ways you can do this.

Firstly, review last year’s performance to predict future trends and get ahead of the curve. Events like Black Friday/Cyber Monday are prime examples. Alternatively, you can set rules that can change the budgets of campaigns if they see good performance.

Managing seasonality

Budget control can help you manage the eb and flow of demand as seasonality takes hold of the market. Something worth considering for this time of year is that Black Friday is a little later in the month than previous years. We would expect demand not to drop as drastically this time around with it being closer to Christmas. Something to consider when planning the daily budgets of your campaigns.

Review search query reports regularly.

Just because shopping campaigns don’t specifically have keywords, doesn’t mean you don’t have some control on what searches your campaigns show for. If you’re using regular Shopping campaigns you should be using search query reports almost twice as much as the search campaigns to ensure you’re adding the negatives and irrelevant searches. You can save a lot of money on wasted clicks by ensuring your negative lists are regularly updated.

 Continue to check Merchant Centre

Depending on the amount of products that the client has, checking Merchant Centre for product improvements is useful as product alterations can help get a product more visibility and appear on more accurate search terms.

Merchant Centre will also flag any disapproved items, and items not appearing in the feed due to things like missing or mismatched pricing. Reducing errors will ensure that your whole shopping inventory remains available for your campaigns.

Keep an eye on Auction Insights…

If you’re appearing alongside unrelated businesses, then that may be an indication that you’re matching to the wrong type of searches and that you should review the search term report.

The auction insights report can also illustrate where you may be missing opportunities and may need to increase priority or relax CPA/ROAS targets to ensure impression share improves.

Don’t forget those remarketing audiences

Whether you opt to use formats like Showcase or not, it is important to use the remarketing data you have at your disposal so that when the time is right you are prioritising the best users. Ahead of time, set up as many audiences as you can think of (as long as there is enough volume). Some ideas for audiences:

  • Basket abandoners
  • Viewed product pages – grouped by type of product
  • Visitors within 24 hours / 3 days / 5 days – this particularly around the end of promotions and Black Friday.

Opting in to Smart Shopping will take care of remarketing. Something to consider.

Now you’re prepared to use Google Shopping to its full potential; good luck this season and Happy Shopping!

Broadplace Summer Team Building in London

Every year, our MD, Ajay and CEO, Rohit, treat the team to a summer social. Last year, the whole company went to Brighton for some fun team building activities including axe throwing and archery but this year, it was a London thing!

The Treasure Hunt

On 9/8/19, after a big team lunch, we headed to Waterloo to begin the grand Broadplace treasure hunt! Split into teams of four, we had a series of tasks to complete and questions to answer. Fun tasks included: get a video of a team member skateboarding along Southbank, grab yourself some churros, ride a golden carousel, have a team ‘SNOG’ in a double-decker bus, find a stranger and do a duet of the Dirty Dancing classic ‘Time of my Life’ and take part in a limbo dance! There were lots of questions relating to the local sights too, e.g. ‘How many stone people are around the front arched wall of the main entrance to Waterloo?’ and ‘How many cables hold the London Eye to the ground?’ If nothing else, it was a fun way to encourage everyone to explore parts of London they’d never seen before!

The summer social was nicely timed with Southbank’s ‘Underbelly’ festival, which runs 11th July-29th September and showcases a whole host of acts including: circus arts, comedy and family entertainment, so there was a really fun buzz about the day. With a mixture of sunshine and rain, our outfits were an amusing mixture of ponchos, hoodies, t-shirts, shorts, flip flops and running trainers – ah, the British summer!

Bowling, Burgers and Curling

After a day’s treasure hunt activities, the race was on to make it to Queens Dine and Bowl (or you’d lose points) for 4.45, ready to start bowling at 5. Again, still in our teams, this was another opportunity to earn points! All good team building activities end best with food so bowling was followed by a trip to Queens MEATLiquor.

If you haven’t been to MEATLiquor before, it’s THE place to go for good quality burgers! The brand started out as a burger van in 2008 and there are now a dozen sites across London, Brighton and Leeds. However, you don’t have to be a meat-eater or a big drinker to enjoy the restaurant.  At MEATLiquor, Carnivores, herbivores, booze lovers & teetotalers are all welcome. Some of our favourites choices were: the dirty chicken cheesburger, the chili dog and the halloumi mushroom burger…all delicious!

With full bellies, but feeling a bit wobbly…we headed to the final activity of the day, curling (perhaps not the best idea)! Curling was…interesting. We hadn’t quite appreciated how much upper arm strength was required – it was a super slippery, slap-stick-humour-filled event! In fact, curling was so difficult, we discounted it from the scores completely.

The Results

Monday morning, the scores were announced and the winners were, Rohit’s team: Rohit, Amalee, Paul, Xiao and Swapnil.

The losers, had the forfeit of cooking breakfast for the entire team. We had sausages, eggs, tomatoes, bagels and pastries…what a Monday!

Interested in joining the Broadplace family? Follow this link to see our latest vacancies.

An Introduction to Digital Marketing by CampaignHero

 

An Introduction

Earlier this week, we introduced our app, ‘CampaignHero’, to Starling’s Business Banking customers. CampaignHero aims to bridge the gap between the ‘do it yourself approach’ to full-on agency support. CampaignHero allows you to manage Microsoft, Facebook and Google Ads all from within your smartphone. What makes the app different through, is the added bonus of in-app chat support. The ‘do it’ feature is also pretty cool – this instructs the agency behind the app, to make online ad improvements for you. The app itself is free, but there are ‘in-app purchases’ available, as you increase support.

The Event

On 16th July, in partnership with Google and Starling, we put on a personal development event at Google Kings Cross. The aim of the event was to help small businesses get the most out of their online presence and boost sales. The synergy between Starling as a 100% mobile bank and CampaignHero as an app-based marketing platform made for the perfect business relationship and the event was unsurprisingly, well-received.

Our event, which consisted of an AM and PM session, saw Broadplace’s Head of Performance, Andy Fidler, presenting on Targeting Audiences, Chrysanthi Tsolaki from Google, explaining The Age of Assistance: How Google Can Support SMBs and Dan Pillay, Head of CampaignHero, talking us through the anatomy of a successful digital marketing campaign. Everybody loves a quiz, so each session ended with a Kahoot memory test (to see who was really listening)! Everybody knows that all the best quizzes have super desirable prizes and you wouldn’t expect anything less than a Google Home Mini from the makers themselves – so that’s exactly what our winners received!

The Results

Prize winners are welcome to gloat but since it’s part of the CampaignHero team’s DNA to go the extra mile, they also made sure that every attendee left the event with a personalised SEO report for their business. The  ‘campaign clinic’ section of the event space seemed to be very popular and we all enjoyed getting to know what people’s marketing goals were and finding out how we might be able to assist – it’s been great to carry-on those conversations, post-event!

Fancy trying the CampaignHero app yourself? To request an invite, simply get in touch today via: info@campaignhero.ai

Broadplace present a digital marketing spotlight at Nescot College

 

On 2nd July 2019, we visited Nescot College and our Head of Performance, Andy Fidler, was delighted to present a spotlight on how you can use digital marketing to grow your business. Nescot’s breakfast networking event, ‘Neswork’, allows like-minded business owners to build their contacts and share best-practices from within their industry.

Key topics included:

  • Getting to know your target audience
  • Managing Google Ads
  • The role of social media in generating leads
  • Key considerations for website optimisation

If you’d like to review the highlights of this presentation, you can do so via the following link:

Neswork – Digital Marketing Spotlight

If you have any further questions regarding the audience targeting techniques discussed in Andy’s spotlight, feel free to contact our Head of Growth, Sergio Badoreea via 020 31671735 or sergio.b@broadplace.com and he’ll be happy to help!

Broadplace attend Google Partners Executive Council EMEA

The invite

What a treat it was to attend the Google Partners Executive Council EMEA on the 26th-28th of June, 2019! This was a highly exclusive invitation-only event for CEOs and Senior Executives representing the top Google Partners from around EMEA. Members of the Google Partners Executive Council represent a very small elite group of the wider Google Premier Partners group! All of the Google activity was held at the prestigious Westin La Quinta Hotel in Marbella, Spain and was hosted by the some of the most senior Google leadership team.

The event

A full-day conference explored how elite Premier Partners, like us, can build their partnership with Google. There was also some great insights into what the future of Google Ads will look like. We enjoyed hearing the news about the kind of technology and smart automation we can expect to see within our Google suite soon. Google developers and engineers were on hand to plan how they can assist us with the future development of our own technology, too!

Creative thinking

Amidst lots of talk on automation, one of the best sessions during the conference explored the importance of creative thinking. This particular session really resonated with Ajay. At Broadplace, as we see ourselves as the bridge between a traditional agency and a technology partner. We certainly believe in using technology and automation to their best use! However, what use is all of this great smart technology and automation if you don’t have the human intuition behind it?

As you’d expect, our partners at Google know how to put on a great event and there was even time for 18 holes on the wonderful golf course at the Westin La Quinta and also a wonderful evening in Puerto Banus with an exclusive beach front dinner. We can’t wait for the next event!

Branded Google Golf Products Westin La Quinta Ajay and Rohit at Google Executive Council EMEA event

Getting Cannected

Our Digital Marketing Account Manager, Emily Smith, recently attended ‘Cannected’ by Facebook. The event was a celebration of the creativity of the UK’s digital marketing industry. Cannected was aptly timed to coincide with the Cannes Lions Festival.  

Marketing for broadcast

Alice Tonge from 4Creative gave a great spotlight on how to make the most out of your creative journey. Top tips were ‘do the obvious, then do the opposite’, she also spoke about how making mistakes was super important for the learning process and how sometimes, the best ideas come from having no brief at all! Alice put a massive focus on trusting your intuition when it comes to creativity, rather than being dictated by the ‘right way’ or the ‘familiar way’. Alice spoke about the fantastic ‘Gay Mountain’ video created by her team, which aired across all of Channel 4’s television channels on the day of the official opening of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, 7 February 2014 and was designed to provoke conversation surrounding sexuality and discrimination in sport. Gay Mountain drew a hugely positive response, with ‘ ‘likes’ outnumbering ‘dislikes’ on YouTube by 10:1 after two months following its release!

Facebook to reach a younger audience

Another fantastic speaker was Heidi Ellis. Heidi is the Head of Media Strategy for the BBC and spoke about how she and her team overcame the challenge of appealing to a ‘new’ younger audience with the new series of Doctor Who. She explained the creative process, how her and her team brainstormed about ‘what was missing’ and how the decision to introduce a female doctor, was reached. The media team ran several experiments on Facebook with small trailer extracts in areas such as: comedy, action and so, on. The target audience was 18-24 and they used learnings from the reactions to all trailers to help them create the perfect dynamic video for broadcast.

Influencing politics

Gemma Bardsley, Consulting Director of Ogilvy also attended the event. If you haven’t heard of Ogilvy, they are the amazing agency who worked alongside Greenpeace to launch the David Attenborough campaign to get plastic out of the ocean! Gemma talked through how Sir David Attenborough delivered The People’s Seat Address to World Leaders at #COP24, as well as the planning and design for the campaign – which aimed to put the people’s voice into the United Nations and using a majorly respected national treasure, seemed to do the trick. The impactful film, created for Greenpeace, called on supermarkets to dramatically reduce their plastic footprint, which has already been signed by more than 1,234,782 to date.

AR and sensory marketing

Another interesting speaker was James Bennett – Brand Development Lead at Instagram. James presented some super inspirational slides on how Facebook and Instagram are looking to bring AR into marketing with interactive ads and filters, designed to give the user a more personal experience. Vlari MacLennan (Strategy lead) and Vick Daltrey (Creative lead), from Mother London, also presented some interesting campaign ideas for KFC – which linked mindfulness to the satisfaction gained by indulging in a purchase from the brand. The two spoke about how they noticed the sound of crackling fried chicken sounded similar to raindrops and they incorporated this onto their Instagram stories campaigns to add depth to the ad and emote a feeling of calm, to keep the user’s attention.

The event was nicely rounded off with networking and entertainment – Emily enjoyed meeting other digital marketing professionals from the industry and sharing her Facebook expertise with a wider audience.

Want to find out more about how you can use Facebook to help your company grow? Call us today on: 020 7993 9853

What is Shopping Feed Optimisation?

What are Shopping Ads?

If you are a retailer, you can use shopping campaigns and ads to promote your online business. Shopping ads feature detailed information about specific products that a business sells. There are three types of shopping ads. ‘Product’ shopping ads which feature just one product. On the other hand, you can feature several products that are similar to each other with the ‘Showcase’ shopping ads. Shopping ads use your existing Merchant Center product data instead of keywords. Or use feed data provided from local inventory ads to engage users with ‘Local Catalog Ads’.

What is Shopping feed optimisation?

Feed optimisation is the process of improving and optimising the data within your product feeds in order to serve product ads for highly relevant search terms.

Why should I optimise my feed?

Optimising your feed can help to improve reach, relevancy and segmentation. Often, feeds are created with many attributes missing. They only include the mandatory fields; if you’re missing the colour attribute, you can’t bid on products based on their colour. If you’re missing the size attribute, you can’t bid on products by their size. Missing attributes in your product feed can have a huge impact on performance.

How can I optimise my feed?

The potential for feed optimisation with Google Merchant Centre is often overlooked. Manipulate your feed for free using the Rules function. Using the information already provided within your feed. Below are some examples of how you can use Google Merchant Centre’s feed rules to optimise your feed.

1.Product titles are the single most important area that can be optimised in your feed. If your title doesn’t contain key information such as size, colour or brand, then you could be missing out on a huge volume of impressions, clicks and conversions

2. Product_Types have huge potential in improving your results from Google Shopping. By being granular with your product types, it will help to set your products apart from the rest. Granular product types will help Google to understand your product better.

3. Product Description: The text that appears below your product title and to the right of your product image in Google’s shopping tab. A common misconception is that you can use your product description to be more descriptive, using colloquial language, similar to that used on their social media. In reality, Google crawls a product’s description for relevant keywords. Using the merchant centre’s feed rules, you can ensure that all of your product descriptions contain at least the very basic keywords. For example, {Product Title} by {Brand}, available in {Colour}, size {Size}.

For example, if your product does not have the term ‘Summer Dress’ within the title, but the Product_Type is set as ‘Clothing> Womens > Dresses > Summer Dresses’, it will be much more likely to appear for terms including ‘summer dresses’.

Feed Rules

Using Feed Rules in Google Merchant Centre, you can extract key attributes from your feed, and insert them into the product title.

For example, {Product Title} by {Brand} in {Colour}. Using a rule in Merchant Centre can allow you to inject the Brand and Colour from the attributes in your feed, into the product title – this will help to expand your reach on shopping to searches that contain the brand name and the colour.

There are also rules available to help with restructuring your product titles. For example, if your product title is structured as follows: {Brand – Product}. You can use feed rules to split the title, and reverse the order so that it reads {Product – Brand}.

In addition to improving your performance, granular product types can help to improve the management of your shopping campaigns. The additional product types will allow you to further segment your products into sub categories. By adding a ‘Summer Dresses’ segmentation, you can increase bids during the Summer season for this sub category in shopping.

This rule ensures that all your product descriptions have the basic keywords in place, improving your reach, relevancy and potential traffic.

These three simple examples can have a huge impact on the performance of your shopping campaigns. So what are you waiting for? For more advice on shopping optimisation, contact us today on: 020 7993 9853 

 

Microsoft Advertising Reaches New Markets

Broadplace Advertising has been awarded the Elite Channel Partner status by Microsoft Advertising – we are now one of only three elite partners in the United Kingdom! As a Microsoft Advertising Partner in this group, we have high capabilities and passion to drive success. Elite Channel Partners like us get superior access to new Microsoft products and services, through exclusive access to: training, marketing and technology.

Speaking of the Elite Channel Partnership, Ajay Syal said,

“We are delighted to have been accredited with Bing Elite Channel Partner status which demonstrates our belief and commitment to Bing Ads. We are confident that with the additional support from Microsoft we will be able to further fuel this growth. The initial signs from Q1 2019 are definitely telling us we are heading in the right direction.”

April 2019

In April 2019, one of our team leads, Michal Wielechowski, visited Microsoft’s ‘Bing Discover Days’ event in Dublin, with our Managing Director, Ajay Syal. The two day conference offered a unique opportunity to network and meet senior Microsoft leaders.

Later in April, we discovered that Bing Ads was changing to Microsoft Advertising. Rik van der Kooi, corporate vice-president for Microsoft Advertising said:

“In the next year, we’re introducing more advertising products with built-in AI, more connected to your data and your business”. (Search Engine Land)

We are excited about how the brand is further developing it’s access to wider networks – such as Outlook and LinkedIn! As a result of these changes, we will be able to offer our paid search clients additional benefits.

May 2019

In May, our Managing Director, Ajay Syal, and Chief Executive Officer, Rohit Chugh, visited the Microsoft Advertising summit in Seattle. Ajay and Rohit came away with an award for top EMEA growth partner! The award represented the substantial growth of our Bing Ads spend and product adoption in 2018. In November 2018, Microsoft was given the title of the world’s most valuable company.

“Microsoft had overtaken Apple to become the world’s most valuable company, a stunning climax in a year that also saw it pass Amazon and Google’s Alphabet Inc.” (Bloomberg)

Consequently, we have recently noticed Bing catching up with our Google accounts! Our customers are beginning to see the value of Bing’s search audience.

“According to Bing, half of the users on their audience network are married or living with a domestic partner” and “40% of the network is between 35-54 years old.”(AdEspresso)

The above demographic is a group that our clients are keen to tap into and we’re happy to support them in that journey! Want to find out more about how you can make use of the Microsoft Advertising network? Call us today on:  020 7993 9853

Broadplace visits Google Marketing Live

 

This May, Broadplace was one of a select number of Google Premier Partner agencies to visit California for Google Marketing Live. Our Chief Executive Officer, Rohit Chugh and Managing Director, Ajay Syal represented Broadplace at this invitation-only, annual gathering. The two leaders, joined the world’s most-prominent digital marketers to help our industry’s future.

Simon Joseph, Ajay Syal and Rohit Chugh
Simon Joseph, Ajay Syal and Rohit Chugh

The event gave exclusive access to the latest product innovations from the  relevant teams and leaders at Google. Through 100+ sessions over 3 days, Ajay and Rohit learnt about some really exciting products – believe us when we say ‘watch this space’! Our senior management team found themselves feeling truly inspired by all of the surrounding aspects that affect our wider lives. A key focal point for the event was diversity and inclusion. As an agency, we were also fortunate enough to have a voice on the Partner Executive Council with the senior partners and leadership team at Google.

You can view the keynote and public content from the sessions, here.

Katy Perry at Google Marketing Live
Katy Perry at Google Marketing Live

 

Despite the hectic but exciting content, it wasn’t all work…! Google even managed to top and tail the event with a welcome reception on-board the Cabernet Sauvignon and luxurious cruise across San Francisco Bay, followed by an exclusive evening party and special performance by…Katy Perry! The performance was specifically for the attendees of Google Marketing Live! Our friends at Google really know how to throw a party…

You can find a good round-up on the key announcements from Google Marketing Live, here.

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