Keywee Now Publishes to Instagram

We Now Offer Our Audience-Targeting Capabilities for Instagram Ads

We’re pleased to announce that our customers can now take advantage of Keywee’s innovative audience-targeting capabilities to share their stories as paid posts on Instagram and drive high-performing traffic to their website. With a community of more than 400 million users, Instagram is one of the world’s largest mobile ad platforms. Last year’s addition of direct-response buttons, such as “Learn More,” to its ad format made the platform even more compelling to publishers and content marketers. These buttons can link to a particular webpage, like an article, and drive action to meet specific business goals such as subscriptions, newsletter signups or audience development. Our customers, including some of the top publishers in the world, wanted Instagram support. Now they have it!

So, How Does it Work?

Keywee now does the same thing for Instagram that it has done successfully for other platforms such as Facebook and Yahoo. Specifically, Keywee:

  1. Uses natural-language processing to scan content and understand what it is about.
  2. Employs its vast database of historical performance to target audiences that have been shown to act on different types of content.
  3. Automatically generates numerous variations of paid posts, with optimized bids for each selected audience.
  4. Provides insight into how the paid posts are performing with their targeted audiences, across platforms.

We’re excited to continue to grow in line with our customers’ needs!

From the Blog

Ecommerce Content and The Power of Intent

I’ve written here before about the transformation in user behavior caused by The Great Upheaval, and the dramatic increase in ecommerce sales as a result.
As the number of online purchases continues to increase, and Q4 fast approaching, I want to take a closer look at using content to drive sales on Facebook. Let’s dive in.

Talking Intent

There’s a bit of a challenge when it comes to using in-feed content to drive direct purchases. Namely, user intent. Let me break it down:

When you’re scrolling through your Facebook feed, you’re not actively looking to buy anything. Your intent is to engage with your social network and consume content. If you want to buy a winter coat online where would you go first? Maybe your favorite eCommerce fashion site. Maybe Amazon. Maybe you’d go on Google and search for “best winter coats”. Facebook is probably not first on your list.

That doesn’t mean that nobody purchases when they’re on Facebook. On the contrary, there are countless eCommerce advertisers that are driving sales. I’m pretty certain that the feeds of every person who reads this are packed with product carousels and image ads encouraging them to buy stuff.
That being said, product carousels are quite a different beast than promoted content. When a person clicks on a product carousel in their feed, they know they’re clicking on it to shop. And while this approach is a great way to target intent, it can also be expensive and limit scale.

Using content to drive sales on Facebook can reduce CPCs, increase your reach, and improve brand affinity. Because of these three factors, we’re seeing high ROAS (return on ad spend) when using content to drive sales. But to make it work, you need to get your content strategy right.

Before jumping into the content aspect, I do want to point out something important. There is a staggering amount of strategy and planning that goes into a successful eCommerce campaign from content to targeting to ad formats.

At Keywee we’ve perfected the art of eCommerce campaigns and there’s a lot of accumulated knowledge to share. But for today, I want to focus on content. As an aside, don’t hesitate to reach out if there’s another aspect you’d like me to cover in the future. With that being said, let’s get down to brass tacks.

Content That Drives Intent

As I wrote above, intent is key to driving purchases, and there are simple content strategies that will help you suss out intent. The basic rule of thumb is to set up user expectations. Let’s go back to my winter coat example from above to illustrate this:

You’re scrolling through your Facebook feed, and you see an article titled “5 Tips to Spice Up Your Winter Wardrobe”. When clicking on that, your expectation is to get tips. Does clicking on it mean you’re looking to buy a winter coat? Of course not.
You’re clicking on it expecting exactly what the title says. Maybe you’ll learn how to mix and match colors, or a stylish way to tie your scarf. Maybe you’d like to get a recommendation on items of clothing to buy, but that is on the verge of coincidence. Clicking on this article does not in any way mean you want to buy a winter coat, even if the content is hoping to sell you one.

Let’s go back to scrolling through your feed. You come across an article titled “5 Great Coats to Spice Up Your Winter Wardrobe”. What are you expecting to get when you click on that? Clearly you’re looking for a showcase of winter coats. You’re interested in those winter coats. You may even want to buy those winter coats. You’ve raised your hand and said “This is relevant to me”.

Content; meet intent.

Let’s look at this in practice, with various articles showcasing women’s fashion:

The specificity of “Women’s Dresses” vs a more abstract “Vacation Wear” is most likely a factor here in terms of performance. The other factor is that one is a clear product showcase whereas the other is a more meandering recommendation article, less focused on a specific product type and less transparent about what the user will encounter post-click.
The first article type qualifies the user as having interest. The other less so. The difference in ROI is dramatic. That being said, that’s not the only tool in your toolbox. The article matters, but the image does as well.

Creative Juice

When it comes to driving intent with the right creatives, the image on your Facebook ad has a huge impact. Testing multiple images is of course critical not only in determining whether a user will take action but also in determining the quality of that action.
For example, we recently ran a test comparing images of high-end items to those with items at a lower price point. The higher-end images resulted in an average order value that was 30% higher.

A couple of other interesting insights:

  1. Close-ups of people modeling a product drove a return on ad spend that was 42% higher than images from further away.
  2. Images featuring women drove higher volume compared to images featuring just a product, or featuring men.

Of course, when running any campaign it’s important to constantly test out different images and products to see what works best for your particular campaigns. But the above can certainly be a good place to start.

No Time Like the Present

Even though things have changed, this year’s Q4 is expected to be mammoth when it comes to eCommerce, and CPCs will start to spike the closer we get to the biggest shopping days. Content is a great way to drive sales but there’s always a learning curve. That means that the ideal time to test out what works best for you is here and now.

Creative Optimization Fundamentals

When it comes to achieving peak campaign performance, there are a lot of levers you can pull, from adjusting CPC bids to targeting behavior. One of the most common levers that marketers reach for is creative optimization — adding variations of images and text to see what works best. The problem is that it’s incredibly challenging to figure out how to do it properly, and it’s often time-consuming. 

Keywee has tackled the problem in a myriad of ways over the years, and we’re still hard at work on it (be on the lookout for a new product launch in the near future!). But there are some basics that we consistently test and put into practice to make sure we’re making the most of our customers’ campaigns. 

That’s what I’m going to cover this week, so let’s dive in.

For the purpose of this post, I want to look at a couple of specific factors that go into creative optimization. 

  1. Number of creatives in a campaign
  2. Effective creative testing

Ain’t Nothing But a Number

If you’ve done any paid acquisition, you’ve most likely faced the age-old dilemma of how many creatives you should add to an ad set. This is something we’re constantly testing to make sure we’re truly maximizing campaign potential. 

In general, we can test a multitude of data points from CTR, to CPM, to CPA, and so on. But when accounting for the wide range of business goals that campaigns can have, what you want to really look at is the reach an ad has — in other words, how many people actually saw it. 

For our latest test, we used the same exact creative — post text, headline, and image — in every ad set, and kept the targeting and bids identical. The only difference between the ad sets was the number of creatives in the campaign. We tested 1, 3, and 5 to see which had the widest reach:


As you can see, the winner is clearly 5 with almost 50,000 more impressions than the ad set with a single variation.

Of course, there is a limit to this. Adding more and more creatives leads to diminishing returns and the best practice is to keep variations at 6 and under when adding a new ad set.

So if you only have 6 variations to work with, how do you make it worthwhile?

Bazookas, Not Razor Blades

Creating multiple ad variations just to get those numbers up is not really going to be worth it in the long run. If you’re going to use multiple variations, the best option is A/B testing creatives to see what resonates most with your audience.
When setting up multiple creatives in your ad set, it’s important that they are different enough that you can really learn something meaningful from them. In other words, you don’t want to test with a razor blade, you want to test with a bazooka.

Let’s illustrate an example of this with post text examples we could use for an article ranking the best beauty products:

Post text variation 1: These beauty products will make you feel like a princess.
Post text variation 2: Times are tough, these may help ease the pain 👄

As you can see, these post texts are very different in terms of their approach to the content, yet they both express the value of the content presented. Let’s say variation 2 wins. That can be a signal for you to try an empathetic approach next time you’re writing post texts, or maybe test out more emojis.

Of course, this doesn’t only apply to post text. The same approach should be taken with images as well. Don’t just pick two pictures of a woman smiling in close up. Use one picture with a smiling woman, and another showing only the product. Try one image where red is a dominant color and another that’s black and white.
The more drastic the difference, the more you can learn from each individual A/B test, and the more you understand what your audience connects to most.
Your best bet? Choose two images and two post text and mix and match them. That gives you 4 creatives total in your ad set, which is a good number in order to maximize reach and narrow enough of a test for the results to be meaningful.

What’s Stopping Thumbs

When I can, I like to share what we’re seeing that’s trending currently and driving scale. Here’s what’s been getting engagement over the last month:
  1. Emojis: For a while after the crisis hit, these were falling out of favor. But they’re been making a comeback lately, including some of the tried and true classics. 😂 🤦‍♀️ 🙌 💪
  2. First person language: “I’m a shopping addict,” “My mother loves these,” “We’ve been seeing this happen” and so on.
  3. Split screens: two images side-by-side rather than one single image.

Overall, though COVID-19 is still a part of our everyday lives, engagement around the topic is going down significantly, and publishers are promoting less of that type of content overall. Though politics is dominant (not surprising given that there are less than 100 days until the US elections), escapism is peaking as people are looking for respite among the continued bad news.

All in all, if you can spare some positivity, now’s the time to promote it. Your audience will thank you.

Targeting Behavior: A Tale of 3 Publishers

If you’ve dealt with any paid acquisition over your career, you probably know that there are a few basics to make it work. You add a pixel to your site and set up targeting, you decide on a business goal and track how many users complete it, and you optimize based on that.

The thing is, there’s a whole world of possibilities when it comes to setting up a campaign that goes way beyond the basics. A lot of Keywee publishers are taking tracking and targeting to the next level and driving amazing success as a result. That’s what I want to talk about today, so let’s dive in.

The Tip of the Iceberg

Confession time: Before coming to Keywee, my knowledge of targeting and tracking basically ended with audience interests and demographics, a confirmation page, or a button click. I was surprised to discover the wealth of opportunities that the right kind of targeting can bring. 

More specifically, it never occurred to me that you can use your on-site audience behavior as a targeting strategy to drive high-value business goals. 

I’ll try to illustrate the point in generic terms: Let’s say you’re an online fashion store, and you have a surplus inventory of red high-heeled shoes. You can target women who have bought red shoes before, but that would probably be too narrow of an audience. You can target people who have visited your site in the past, but that would probably be too broad and inefficient. So instead, you target women who have browsed your high-heeled shoe section over the last 90 days. That can give you a true indication of interest and affinity while keeping it broad enough to achieve scale. 

Of course, publishers don’t usually sell shoes. For publishers, using first-party behavioral data can help identify people who are already familiar with the brand, and then hone in on behaviors that indicate affinity, and finally target those behaviors to drive ROI. 

So let’s take a look at how a few of them are putting this into practice.

A Tale of 3 Publishers

First let’s look at a tactic that I’ve discussed here before: subscription retention campaigns. 

Publisher A is an international brand whose primary revenue stream is paid subscriptions. The cost of their subscription is relatively high compared to the rest of the market, so it’s critical for that publisher to consistently show value to their subscribers. 

To that end, they’ve identified behavior patterns that indicate a risk for churn. If a particular user’s visits or pageviews are decreasing at a pre-defined pace, Publisher A identifies them and targets them with a re-engagement campaign. Of course, understanding the key behaviors and targeting accordingly requires some A/B testing to find the “sweet spot” between reach and overall cost. But the return on investment is clear, with the user’s lifetime value increasing significantly. At the end of the day, paying a few cents to retain a user that is potentially worth hundreds of dollars is very much worth it. 

While tracking behavior for subscription acquisition is a relatively common technique, there are publishers with other revenue streams that are making great use of this ability as well. 

Publisher B is a well known national paper with a niche audience. They recently revamped their app and were looking to get new users to install it. At first, they used a combination of lookalike and interest targeting. It was working fairly well compared to past campaigns, but there was definitely more scale potential. 

About a month into the campaign, they switched the targeting. They used their on-site tracking to identify and target users who had read two articles on their website within the past 60 days. This behavior was clearly an indication of familiarity with the brand and interest, and the results from adjusting the targeting strategy were dramatic:

Over time, the cost per acquisition shrank by about 50% compared to other targeting methods, and the overall reach was on par

Not all campaigns lead to an acquisition, but behavioral targeting can still play a huge role in ROI. There are a few challenges associated with ad revenue campaigns — from finding the right balance between quality and scale, to the learning curve that happens when you launch — but adding behavioral data into that mix can make a huge difference. 

Publisher C was struggling to see a profit from their campaigns, and after an in-depth analysis of on-site user behavior, they started to see an interesting pattern. Basically, they achieved profitability from any user who scrolled through over 30% of their article content. So they decided to test this out further. They launched campaigns that were lookalikes of users that exhibited that behavior, and they also started targeting those high-value users specifically. The strategy proved to be incredibly effective:

The right targeting combined with a consistent optimization strategy and effective campaign creatives brought publisher C into the green quickly, while also allowing them to scale. They’re continuing to test and analyze to see what else they can learn and what other targeting opportunities can arise from user behavior. 

The TL;DR

Facebook campaigns offer what seem to be an infinite number of options when it comes to targeting and optimization. At the end of the day, publishers have one clear advantage: by nature, users spend a lot of time on their sites, giving clear cues and leaving a trail of insights in their wake. By using their own on-site behavioral data, publishers can drive incredibly effective results and with time, meet and exceed their goals

 

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