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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Made a Siri Movie




Yesterday, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson tweeted that he had teamed up with Apple “to make the biggest, coolest, sexiest, funnest (is that a word?) movie ever.” He also said the movie would drop today, and it certainly did.

Now, while The Rock may call this a movie, at under four minutes I’d call this a very well-crafted and expensive advertisement paid for by Apple. The short is called “The Rock x Siri Dominate the Day” and shows Johnson doing what he does best: on-screen action, only this time he’s relying on Siri to get him through the day.

As ads go, it’s a much more enjoyable watch than the usual content contained in such spots. It must have cost Apple millions, but then Apple has the money available to spend, and it also has the HomePod, a smart speaker that relies on Siri, launching in December. Could this spot just be the first of many Siri-focused ads in the lead-up to that launch?

It’s likely Apple will more than recoup the money this ad costs by simply selling more gadgets thanks to the PR. Johnson has a massive following, who are now more well-acquainted with Apple’s digital assistant.

The “movie” has only been on YouTube a few hours and (at time of writing) it’s already had a quarter of a million views. When America wakes up, expect that figure to quickly jump into the millions.

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8 Steps to Setting Up Ad Conversion Tracking the Right Way




The following excerpt is from Perry Marshall, Mike Rhodes and Bryan Todd’s book Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | IndieBound

Do you run a lead-generation site where a visitor can fill in a form and get a free brochure? We’ll walk you through how to set up your Google account to track it.

1. Create a new conversion and name it.

First, tell Google what kind of conversion you want tracked. Click the three dots at the very top of your AdWords page and select “Conversions.” On the resulting page, click the big blue “+ Conversion” button.

Next, click the “Website” option since you’re tracking something that happens on your site.

Google will ask you to name your conversion. Choose a name that tells you what the conversion is (e.g., “Opt in for brochure”) and select “Webpage.”

Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing

2. Set your conversion category.

You’ll be asked to choose one of the following categories for your conversion type:

  • Purchase sale
  • Sign up
  • Lead
  • View of a key page
  • Other

In this example, “Sign up” and “Lead” are probably both applicable, but “Lead” is a little more relevant.

3. Set a conversion value.

If you’re not running an e-commerce site, you may be tempted to skip this one, but please don’t. Setting a conversion value right from the beginning is going to make your data far more valuable in the long run.

Think of the conversion value as a point system that rates the relative value of the different types of conversions that exist within your business. For example, you can assign 50 points to a conversion that involves a visitor completing your quiz but 100 points if they complete a “please call me” lead-capture form. If your site is very basic and only offers one conversion action, then you can simply set the conversion value as 1.

4. Set a conversion count.

There are two options: You can choose “every” or “one.”

“Every” measures every single sale or lead. If you were to pick “one,” then if visitors did the same thing multiple times, it would only be counted as just one conversion per visitor even if they “convert” multiple times.

E-commerce site owners will want to keep track of every specific product purchased and would select “All Conversions — Every.” On the other hand, information marketers who provide PDFs for download may be more interested in simply knowing the total number of individuals who download one or more items. They would choose “Unique Conversions — One.” If you’re not sure, go with “All Conversions — Every.” You still get data for both types.

Related: 5 Social Media Rules Every Entrepreneur Should Know

5. Set your conversion window.

This indicates how many days or weeks you want Google to keep tracking the user after they click the first time. The default is 30 days, which is more than adequate for this exercise. If a person clicked on your ad but didn’t opt in for your brochure in 30 days’ time, they’re probably not worth following. Unless you have a very good reason for needing a different conversion window, leave this on the default setting.

6. Decide what to include in conversions.

You now get to choose whether a particular conversion type you’re setting up should be included in the total conversions count. For example, if yours is an e-commerce store, you might want to have two conversion actions. One would be every time somebody adds a product to their shopping cart and another one would be for when they buy. When in doubt, stick with the default setting (which is Yes to include).

7. Choose your attribution type.

A visitor may have clicked through to your site multiple times and from multiple places. This setting is where you tell Google which one of those clicks gets credit for the sale. Google defaults to the setting called “last click attribution.” We recommend you stick with it. There are special cases where the other options are useful, but there’s no reason to change to any of them unless you really want to.

Related: 12 Social Media Mistakes That Entrepreneurs Make

8. Install code.

You’re ready to ensure that your site ends up with the necessary code to allow Google to track your conversions. You’ve got two options: 

  1. Install it manually, in which case Google will give you a snippet of code to place on your key pages
  2. Enter the email address of your web developer and Google will send the code there along with instructions. 

If you’re not comfortable handling this part of the process and you don’t have a web developer, find a freelancer to handle this for you.

Important: The most reliable way to keep conversion tracking running smoothly is to ensure that your conversion action always results in your visitor being directed to a separate page that has a unique, static web address. In our current example, once your visitor completes the lead-capture form, you want them to be redirected to a unique thank-you page that has an ordinary static URL. If you create multiple landing pages, each with a lead-capture form, you can have one thank-you page for all of them, or you can have a different thank-you page to go with each one.

Either way, simpler is better. This is the only way to ensure that your conversion tracking doesn’t break further down the line and that you don’t end up making decisions based on bad data.

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Channeling the Power of a Blind Ad Test




The following excerpt is from Perry Marshall, Mike Rhodes and Bryan Todd’s book Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | IndieBound Let’s say the marketing department at Generico Housing Insurance, Inc. wants to build an ad campaign to promote its new insurance coverage for egg damage caused by bored teenagers. It’s decided to use the Googl Display Network (GDN) method to test its campaign. It creates two display ads. The copy in both is identical and only the images are different. Ad 1 shows a house being egged by teenagers. Ad 2 shows a pretty home with a nicely dressed, attractive family standing out front. The call to action in both is to click through to the website and request an insurance quote.

At first, Generico has no way of knowing which ad will generate more quotes. It doesn’t matter: Google will show the ads to a few thousand people, and within a week or two, there’s a clear winner. Generico now knows which image to use as it invests more advertising dollars in its website, GDN, print ads, business cards and even TV commercials.

This works because we’re measuring actual physical behavior in real time — not just verbal opinions. People are clicking their mouse and filling out forms . . . or failing to.

When they see the Generico ad online, they have no idea they’re participating in a split test. They’re simply responding based on whether the ad triggers them to want insurance or not.

GDN is never a branding exercise, and it’s never opinion polling. It’s observing your target market making live decisions and learning what excites their interest or leaves them cold.

Don’t waste thousands of dollars creating huge portfolios of advertising and marketing collateral. Spend just a few hundred dollars up front testing ads, and you’ll know which images, color schemes, headlines and calls to action give you the results you want.

Related: 10 Marketing Influencers That Every Entrepreneur Can Learn From

“Test the forest” first

Our colleague David Bullock has given us a great verbal rule of thumb for testing ads and marketing campaigns: First test forests, then test trees, then test branches, then test leaves.

Test the big difference-making stuff first. Go after finer points later. How far down you drill will depend on your patience for this kind of work and, of course, your budget.

In this scenario, the “forest” is two things:

  1. Your headline, hook, call to action, offer or guarantee
  2. The overall aesthetic of your ad: color schemes, styles, layout and tone; bold versus subtle, traditional versus modern, serious versus comic, masculine versus feminine, young versus old and everything in between.

Related: Use These 5 Steps to Create a Marketing Plan

Let’s say you plan to test images of people in your ads. Try different ages as well as both genders. Right off the bat, that gives you four variations: older men, older women, younger women and younger men. Which one will your target market respond to? After a few thousand impressions, you’ll know.

The one thing split testing teaches you above all else is that there is no predicting what will and will not make a drastic difference.

There are so many things you can test:

  • Image style: hi-res color photo, black-and-white classic, hand-drawn picture or even no image at all.
  • Text formatting: color, font, size, bold or italic.
  • Dominant color: Different colors and different levels of light or dark will evoke wildly different moods. If you’re carefully targeting sites on GDN to show your ads, think about what color schemes will make your ads stand out on the page rather than blending into the background.
  • Call to action: Ideally, this should be prominent. Even better if it’s in the form of a button. We’re trained to click on buttons. Your entire ad may be clickable, but if you feature a boldly colored button, people will click there more than any place else on your image.

Related: This 14-Year-Old Founder Explains How to Market to Teenagers on Social Media

Which type of ad should you start with?

Google’s Display Network gives you a wide variety of ad sizes, but you need to stick to just one size until you’ve identified your winning ad style. It’s simple math. If you create ten different styles of image ads — a good number to start with — but you attempt to test each of these in eight possible image sizes, you’ll end up creating 80 different ads. That’s unwieldy and a waste of time. There’s little point in creating image ads for every size unless you’re attempting to completely max out your impressions. Otherwise, it’s a law of diminishing returns.

Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing

The first size to test is 300 x 250 pixels. (This is officially called a “medium rectangle,” “med rec,” or “inline rectangle”). It’s one of the most common sizes supported by sites on GDN, so you’ll be sure to get plenty of placement. Most importantly, in our experience, it’s the size that draws the highest click-through-rate, which is the key factor at this stage.

The leaderboard size (728 x 90) also gets good impressions. Clicks and conversions won’t be at quite the same level as the medium rectangle, but this is often the next best size to go after. Once you’ve tested those, try the large rectangle (336 x 280), wide skyscraper (160 x 600), half page (300 x 600) and billboard (970 x 250).

Tip: Plan on your best ad outperforming your worst ad by a factor of three.

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3 Tips for Writing Online Ad Headlines and Text That Grab Your Buyers' Attention




The following excerpt is from Perry Marshall, Mike Rhodes and Bryan Todd’s book Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | IndieBound Just as with print advertising, on web pages, your headline swings the biggest difference in response. It’s in that split second of reading your headline copy that your customer first makes up their mind whether or not you’re really relevant.

So start with that keyword your customer just typed in and fit it into your headline. That will be the first signal to them that you’re truly relevant. This means you’ll want to create enough different ad groups that each of your major keywords can have an ad of its own.

Related: 5 Steps to Finding the Most Profitable Keyword

For instance, let’s say that you sell custom power supplies. There’s certainly more than one way potential customers might come looking for what you sell. They might search for “adaptors,” or “power supplies” or “transformers.”

Go to your major keyword tool, such as Spyfu or Google’s Keyword Planner tool, and come up with all the possible major variations and related terms for your market niche. Then, separate them out into smaller groups that you can match to specific ads. For example:

Custom Power Adaptors—Get a Quote Today
Fast Custom Production Time. Excellent Local Support.
Huge Range of Adaptors

  • adaptor
  • adaptors
  • ac adaptor
  • power adaptor
  • custom adaptors

This ad isn’t very flashy, is it? It’s not loaded with over-the-top language. In fact, to folks like you and me, it’s probably boring. But that’s OK. It’s not meant for the average guy on the street. This particular company caters to engineers. It speaks the language that engineers would understand, relate to, and appreciate. It matches its audience just fine. And it gets a good clickthrough rate.

Use your major keywords in your headline, and create as many different ad groups as you need to do this with all of your biggest keywords. That’s what makes the formula work.

Related: How to Seamlessly Include Keywords in Your Web Content

Your ad text: Where your inner salesperson comes alive

After your headline, you’ve still got a second chance to convince your customer even further that you’ve got what he wants and get more clicks. There’s a second secret that makes this work. Check out the difference between these two ads:

Popular Ethernet Terms
3 Page Guide—Free PDF Download
Complex Words—Simple Definitions

0.1% CTR

Popular Ethernet Terms
Complex Words—Simple Definitions
3 Page Guide—Free PDF Download

3.6% CTR

The second ad got 36 times the CTR as the first! What happened? What was the secret?

Look closely at the two ads. They both have the exact same wording. There’s only one difference between them. The first ad listed features and offers first, benefits second. The second ad listed benefits first.

Features and offers are what your product has or what you’re going to do. They describe it, what it includes, and how big or small or robust or thorough it is. Benefits, on the other hand, are the emotional payoffs your customer gets from using your product.

So, the list of features for a book-and-video course you sell may include these items:

  • 12 timeless principles
  • 17 brief, easy-to-understand video tutorials
  • 24 chapters, 222 pages of rock-solid content
  • 64 full-color photos
  • Helpful, easy-to-read charts and graphs
  • Step-by-step tips and instructions
  • Fascinating stories, anecdotes, and personal experiences
  • Introduction by Malcolm Gladwell

But your list of benefits will tell your customer how they’ll actually be helped by what you’ve written. Sometimes, there’s a little bit of crossover between these and the features:

  • Achieve a 46 percent improvement in less than 30 minutes.
  • Reach your goals in one-fourth the time using the 80/20 principle described in Chapter X.
  • Apply any one of these 12 techniques immediately, and see instant results.
  • Catapult energy levels, convert fat into muscle, and develop strength, endurance and flexibility all at the same time.
  • Discover how making more mistakes can be a strategy that builds your skills even faster.
  • Get compliments from your friends as they ask you again and again (jealously), “What has happened to you?”

You don’t have to be a master copywriter to convince your customer they’ll get something of value. State your case simply and clearly, and test to see if putting the benefits up front and the features second will boost your response.

Related: 3 Tools to Uncover Your Competitor’s Keywords

More rules of the road…

Our friend Richard Stokes and his team over at AdGooroo ( shared some examples of legacy affiliate ads that have stellar performance on Google and therefore get solid positions and low bid prices, and which get served well above 95 percent of the time on searches. Here are a couple:

Keyword “FTD fruit baskets”:

Fruit Gift Baskets, FRESH
Always Fresh! Register & Save 5% on
Every Order. Nationwide Delivery.

Keyword “fashion sneakers”:

Fashion Sneakers & Shoes
Upgrade to Free Overnight Shipping
By Ordering One Item of Clothing!

Why do these work?

  • Both include the keyword phrase in the ad’s headline.
  • Both make careful use of exclamation points.
  • The second has an implicit call to action (“Upgrade to . . .”).
  • Each word is capitalized, and the first ad makes use of all caps.
  • The second ad makes careful use of the word “Free.”
  • Specific, concrete numbers are used wherever possible.

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