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A perfect storm of fraud

The problem of ad fraud is a fusion of two primary forces:

Buyers often fail to leverage third-party vendors that specialize in tracking and blocking fraudulent activity. This is especially true in open exchanges, where the volume is immense, and the action is fast, allowing for errors to simply slip through in the process. Spending the time, money, and effort to proactively mitigate those opportunities for fraud will cut into a brand’s profitability, and it is much easier (and more efficient) to just play the odds, hoping that most of the inventory will be legitimate at the cost of a small number of fakes.

The pace of fraud is overwhelming. Much like the cybersecurity industry, for each step forward the good guys take, it seems like the bad guys take two more. Staying ahead of the schemes and tactics is a colossal task, especially as new platforms like virtual reality, voice-activation, and chatbot experiences grow in popularity. When brands lack the bandwidth and internal resources to combat these issues, it is impossible for them to be expected to keep up.

Don’t get trapped in the undertow Use curated private marketplaces Insist on chúng tôi compliance

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has created the chúng tôi standard as a way to prevent unauthorized inventory sales. Publishers include this text file on their web servers, listing all of the companies that are authorized to sell their inventory, while on the other side, programmatic platforms will list the publishers whose inventory they are authorized to sell.

This allows buyers to check the validity of the inventory they purchase in order to ensure that it is legitimate. While the requirement of chúng tôi has yet to be enforced, choosing publishers and demand-side platforms (DSPs) that comply with chúng tôi can significantly reduce the likelihood of fraud.

Use pre-bid segmentation and post-bid reporting

Pre-bid targeting or segmentation allows buyers to purchase inventory on exchanges based on specific segments, including viewability, brand safety, suspicious activity, content categories, anti-fraud, as well as many other parameters. These filter out any known or potential fraud, essentially allowing buyers to bid on “clean” inventory.

The industry is making progress

The big vendors like IAS, DoubleVerify, and MOAT have made some great strides in the fight against fraud each year, and even the major DSPs have played a pivotal role in combating digital ad fraud by cutting fraudulent sources, even at the expense of their bottom line. But the reality is, there will always be individuals whose mission it is to stay one step ahead of emerging technology in order to find loopholes and then use those gaps in the system to exploit it.

The value of partnerships

By leveraging premium partners and inventory sources who specialize in combatting fraud, some platforms have seen their involuntary traffic (IVT) drop by 60% and maintain an average of less than 2% IVT. Working with vendors who are willing to show you the fruits of their efforts can give you the confidence to expand your digital ad plan and strategically increase your spend, knowing that those dollars will go towards attracting a real, human audience to your business.

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9 Facebook Ad Targeting Tips For More Conversions

How does Facebook ad targeting work?

On Facebook, ad targeting is based on three different types of target audience:

Core audiences, which you target based on demographics, behaviors, and location.

Custom audiences, which allow you to reconnect with people who have already interacted with your business.

Lookalike audiences, which allow you to target people similar to your best customers but who may not know about your business yet.

9 tips for effective Facebook ad targeting in 2023 1. Target your competitors’ fans using Audience Insights

The Audience tab in Meta Business Suite Insights offers a ton of valuable information that can help you understand your Facebook followers. You can then use the data to learn how to target potential new followers and customers.

It’s such a treasure trove that we’ve got an entire article dedicated to using Audience Insights for better targeting.

But our favorite Audience Insights strategy is to use the information it provides to learn who you’re competing with on Facebook, then target your competitors’ existing fans.

Here’s a quick how-to:

Open your Audience Insights dashboard in Meta Business Suite and select Potential audience.

Go back to the Filter selection tool. Clear your existing filters and type the name of one of your competitors’ Facebook Pages in the Interests box. Not all competitors will come up as an interest, but for those that do…

Create a new audience based on these new demographic insights, then test it against one of your existing audiences.

Of course, you can further target this audience to make sure you get the best fit for your specific business and campaign goals, but this is a great way to start finding relevant people on Facebook.

You can find more details in our Audience Insights how-to article.

2. Use Custom Audiences for remarketing

Remarketing is a powerful Facebook targeting strategy to connect with potential customers who have already expressed interest in your products.

Before you can use Facebook Custom Audiences based on website visits, you need to install the Facebook Pixel.

Once that’s done, here’s how to create your remarketing audience:

Go to Audiences with your Ads Manager.

From the Create Audience dropdown, choose Custom Audience.

Choose your pixel.

Under Events, choose which types of visitors to target.

Another option is to create a custom audience based on data synced from your CRM. For this option, you’ll create your audience within Hootsuite Social Advertising.

In Hootsuite Social Advertising, create a New Advanced Audience.

Choose to target existing customers.

Request a free demo

Find more details in our blog post on how to use Facebook Custom Audiences.

3. Find people similar to your best customers with value-based lookalike audiences

Facebook Lookalike Audiences allow you to build targeted lists of potential customers who share characteristics with all the people who already buy from you.

Value-based lookalike audiences allow you to more specifically target people who share characteristics with your most valuable customers.

Before you can incorporate customer value into a lookalike audience, you need to create a customer value custom audience:

Go to Audiences within your Ads Manager.

From the Create Audience dropdown, choose Custom Audience, then choose Customer list as the source.

Now, you can use this list to create a value-based Lookalike audience to target your highest value potential customers:

Go to Audiences within your Ads Manager.

From the Create Audience dropdown choose Lookalike Audience.

Choose the value-based custom audience you created above as your source.

Select the regions to target.

Select your audience size. Smaller numbers more precisely match your source audience characteristics.

Find more details in our guide to Facebook Lookalike Audiences.

Facebook helps you understand how relevant your ad is to your selected audience based on three ad relevance diagnostics:

Quality ranking

Engagement rate ranking

Conversion rate ranking

The whole point of Facebook ad targeting is to get your ad in front of the specific audience that’s most likely to take action based on that exact ad. This is the very definition of relevance.

Here are some simple ways to help improve your ranking scores for Facebook’s ad relevance diagnostics:

Focus on quality, including great visuals and short copy.

Choose the right ad format.

Aim for low ad frequency.

Low-quality ranking: Try changing the target audience to one that’s more likely to appreciate the specific creative in the ad.

Low engagement rate ranking: Refine your targeting to reach people who are more likely to engage. Audience Insights can be a great help here.

Low conversion rate ranking: Target a higher-intent audience. This could be as simple as selecting “engaged shoppers” under purchase behavior (see Tip #5). But it could also mean targeting people who have an upcoming anniversary, or who have another behavior or life event that makes your product or service particularly relevant to them right at this moment.

Remember, relevance is all about matching the right ad to the right audience. No one ad will be relevant to everyone. Effective targeting is the only way to achieve a consistently high relevance ranking. Test regularly and aim for a regular Facebook targeting update to make sure you’re continuing to target the right people with the right content.

To access the Engaged Shoppers targeting option:

Create a new ad set, or open an existing ad set, and scroll down to the Audience section

Under Detailed Targeting, type Engaged Shoppers in the search bar.

6. Find your unicorn content

This tip is a little bit different. It’s about targeting your ad’s content, rather than choosing the right Facebook target audience.

This concept was coined by MobileMonkey CEO and Inc. columnist Larry Kim. He suggests that

only 2% of your content will perform well both on social and in search engine rankings, while also achieving high conversion rates. He argues that content marketing is a volume game, and you simply have to create lots of “donkey” content (you can guess what that means) to get to the unicorns.

So what’s your unicorn content? It’s that blog post that absolutely blows up on your social channels, climbs to the top of the Google rankings, and drives a ton of traffic to your landing pages.

You can’t predict what will “go unicorn” based on factors traditionally used to define great content (like great writing, keywords, and readability). Instead, you’ve got to keep a close eye on your social media analytics and performance.

When you spot overachieving content, repurpose it as a Facebook ad. Make it into an infographic and a video. Test this content in various formats for your key audiences to make it work even harder.

Most importantly, use the rest of our Facebook ad targeting tips to make sure you match your unicorn content to the audience that’s most likely to engage with it.

7. Get ultra-precise with layered targeting

Facebook offers tons of targeting options. On the surface, the options are divided into three main categories: demographics, interests, and behaviors. But within each of these categories, things get pretty granular.

For example, under demographics, you can choose to target parents. Or, more specifically, you could target parents with toddlers.

Think about how these layers of targeting combine to create a hyper-focused audience. You could choose to target divorced parents of toddlers who work in management. And that’s just looking at demographics.

Do you see where this is going? If you run a high-end beach resort that offers a childcare program and no single supplement, you could create a promotion that specifically targets single parents in management-level jobs who love beach vacations and travel frequently.

If you market products or services tied to life events, even tangentially, you can target people who have recently moved, started a new job, gotten engaged or married. You can target people in their birthday month, or leading up to their anniversary. You can even target people whose friends have an upcoming birthday.

As you build your audience, you’ll see on the right side of the page how small your audience has become, as well as your potential reach. If you get too specific, Facebook will let you know.

8. Combine two unique audiences together

Of course, not every product or promotion is naturally suited to the kind of precise Facebook targeting explained in the tip above.

Maybe you don’t know exactly which demographic or behavior categories you want to target with a specific ad. You only have a broad sense of a category you’d like to target. So, what do you do if that Facebook target audience is just too large?

Try combining it with a second audience, even if that second audience seems completely unrelated.

For example, let’s think about creating an ad audience for this GoPro video featuring LEGO boats:

#GoProAwards recipient Canvas 23 Studios sent his creations into the high seas with #GoProHERO10 Black as cargo 🚢 Show us your unique GoPro videos at chúng tôi for the opportunity to take home $500 + a social feature, like Evan.

Posted by GoPro on Thursday, July 21, 2023

To start, we could build an audience of people who are interested in GoPro, videography, or video cameras. Even limiting the audience to people aged 22 to 55 in the United States, that creates a potential audience of 31.5 million people.

Now, in this case, the video features LEGO boats. So, what’s the obvious audience to add in here?

Yep, LEGO fans.

That cuts the potential audience size down to 6.2 million. And it would likely result in a much higher engagement rate, since people would be specifically interested in the video content, not just the product featured in the video.

In this case, we worked backwards from an existing video. But you could also decide on two unrelated audiences to combine, then create a targeted piece of content to speak directly to that group.

9. Use broad targeting to find your target audience

What if you’re just getting started and you don’t know yet who your target audience is? We’ve got a whole blog post on how you can start to figure this out through audience research.

Request a free demo

Easily plan, manage and analyze organic and paid campaigns from one place with Hootsuite Social Advertising. See it in action.

3 Tips For Managing Phone Use In Class

Ten is now the average age when children receive their first cell phones, and those phones quickly find their way into classrooms. While cell phones have extraordinary potential for leveraging learning, they can quickly become a hindrance in the classroom, diverting attention away from learning. How can teachers harness the learning potential of students’ phones while also keeping them from being a distraction?

I have learned that rather than trying to be reactive, the best defense when it comes to cell phones is a well-planned offense. Teachers who implement a proactive management plan developed in collaboration with the students at the beginning of the school year may have fewer issues as student cell phone ownership increases throughout the year.

Before assuming you understand why, how, and when students interact with cell phones, find out from them. Ask your students questions such as:

Part of teaching digital citizenship is knowing where your students are in their understanding of privacy, safety, etiquette, identity, empathy, and security online. Build a digital citizenship curriculum that includes mobile device use. Talk to your students about their cell phone use (and share your own experiences). You may be surprised at how little they have these conversations with adults.

The first few weeks of the school year often focus on creating classroom routines, and thus are a perfect time to set up cell phone expectations. Teachers can help their students develop a positive mobile mental health in the first weeks of school by discussing their ideas on cell phone use, setting up a stoplight management system, and establishing a class contract.

Using a Stoplight Management Approach

The stoplight management approach allows teachers some flexibility to use cell phones when the situation warrants, but also to keep cell phones from becoming a diversion from the learning. This is how it works:

Post a red button on the classroom door: Students know when they enter that cell phones should be put in their off location. The devices will not be used that day. The teacher should decide on the off location—the upper right-hand corner of the desk and turned face down, or away in backpacks, or in pocket holders on the teacher’s desk—the cell phone parking lot.

Post a yellow button on the classroom door: Students know their cell phones should be on silent (vibrate) and placed face down in the upper right-hand corner of their desk. They will be using them in class, but not the whole time. Having the phones in plain sight—a bit out of reach and turned over—allows the teacher to easily scan the room to see who doesn’t have their device where it should be. It also makes it difficult for students to quickly peek at their text messages because they’d have to turn the phone over and move it from its correct position—which is more difficult than when cell phones are hidden under desks.

Post a green button on the classroom door: Students know they should have their phones turned on (either silenced or set on vibrate) and placed face up in ready position to use throughout the class.

Establishing a Class Contract

Ask your students to help you develop social norms for what is and is not appropriate cell phone use during green and yellow button times. Should they be allowed to go on their social media networks during class? Why or why not? Talk to them about what to do with their devices in different social scenarios in the classroom. Ask them to brainstorm consequences and write them into a class contract. Send the contract home for parents to read and sign with their children, so everyone is on the same page. After a couple of months, revisit the contract with your students to see if any amendments are needed.

If you take the time in the first week of school to establish a management system and a social contract and to open up dialogue about student cell phone use, expectations are clear. As more cell phones enter the classroom throughout the year, the students immediately know where to place them and when and how they can use them. In addition, the community is focused on a safe, healthy use of cell phones, rather than being distracted by them.

Identity Theft – Scarier Than Click Fraud

In 2003, the US Federal Trade Commission noted that 1 out of every 25 adults in the United States was a victim of identity theft. That figure is two years old. Since then, we have seen stories about electronic break-ins and the theft of hundreds of thousands of pieces of personal information leak out from data storage and mining firms such as ChoicePoint and Lexis-Nexus. In comparison, the FTC estimated the number of Americans who were victims of credit-card fraud at about 1 out of every 20 in 2001.

ID theft is, according to FTC figures, the most popular and fastest growing form of consumer fraud. Over 2004, the FTC reported ID thieves took over $100 million from financial institutions, or an average of $6,767 per incident. For individual consumers, the numbers are even more staggering. As reported by Janet Wu of by Boston television station WCVB-TV, money stolen through identity theft amounted to over $50 billion in the United States last year. In other words, nearly $200 per US citizen was somehow stolen due to identity theft.

That was last year. This year the numbers are expected to rise dramatically. On June 20, CNN reported that a breach of security at a third-party processing firm exposed nearly 40 million credit card accounts to potential fraud. 22 million Visa card holders and a further 14 million MasterCard were accessed over time when hackers busted into Tucson based CardSystems Solutions and installed a script that searched out specific types of card transaction data. The intrusion was discovered and stopped on June 20 but not before the hackers managed to export information on over 130,000 unique card holders. Information gained included names, credit card numbers and personal security codes.

Americans are not the only people in the world who are affected. On June 23, an undercover reporter from UK newspaper The Sun, Oliver Harvey, wrote about how he purchased information on over one thousand British citizens, from a company in India. For less than five dollars per person, Harvey was able to obtain bank and credit card digits and pass-codes, addresses, driver’s license info, and even passport registration numbers. Harvey’s contact in India, a Kkaran Bahree claimed to be able to access and pass details from over 2000 accounts per month through a network of call center workers in Delhi.

It is astonishingly easy to steal personal information. What is even more astonishing is the apparent caviler attitude shown until now by the major data storage and credit corporations who have all moved to close the barn door long after the horses have escaped. Recent laws passed in California and Illinois now put the onus on data storage firms to immediately inform consumers when a breach of personal data occurs. Before such laws, denial was often the first line of defense for many large data storage corporations.

Unfortunately, there is simply no way to secure electronic data from prying eyes. As any junior hacker will tell you, breaches in security are found as quickly as that security is established. The onus therefore remains on the consumer to take action to protect themselves and their personal information. A few years ago, consumers were told to shred all mail from financial institutions before disposing of it or recycling it. Shredding worked for paper documents but is somewhat more difficult for electronic ones. Today there are small steps consumers can take to protect themselves and knowledge is by far the best defense for individuals.

The first and most important thing for consumers to learn is their legal rights. For instance, many Americans don’t realize that section 609(e) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act gives them the right to examine the signature on a contract to prove it is not their own. As long as you can provide legal proof of identity and a police report or affidavit, creditors have an obligation to provide copies of transaction records for your inspection.

A second thing consumers should do is monitor their credit reports. Credit reporting firms such as Equifax, TransUnion and Experian allow consumers to view their personal credit reports for accuracy and report inconsistencies. For US residents, the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act requires each of the major nationwide consumer reporting companies to provide consumers with a free copy of their credit reports, at their request, once every 12 months. This is as important as reviewing your monthly bank statement as criminals often wait months or even years to make use of personal identifying information.

Thirdly, it is important to compile as much documentation as possible to prove your case. Collection letters, previous credit reports, a legally notarized affidavit, and whatever other evidence you can gather will help when you make complaints to authorities. Since electronic identity theft is a relatively new twist on an old game, you might have to provide local police or other authorities with information about ID theft. You might need to remind them that a police report is necessary for the credit reporting agencies to take action. In some jurisdictions, state or provincial law does not yet cover identity theft. If that is the case, ask to file a miscellaneous incident report. If local authorities are unable or unwilling to help, you might need to take your case to state or provincial police forces or even federal policing agencies such as the RCMP or FBI.

Consumers should understand that creditors are becoming more knowledgeable about identity theft. While they might resist an easy settlement, it is in their best interest to communicate with and cooperate with the consumer. It is up to the consumer to provide as much information and proof of their innocence as possible. It is also up to the consumer to take measures to actively protect their personal data. Banks recommend changing your personal ID number (PIN) every three months. They also recommend that consumers become a bit more creative when choosing their PINs. When doing so, avoid using information that is easy to figure out, such as phone numbers, birthdates, or a series of consecutive numbers.

Most importantly, never stop learning about identity theft, how it can affect you and what you can do to protect yourself. If you don’t already know the managers of your bank branch, this might be a good time to meet them, if only to put a face to your name in their minds. When your credit history is under attack, you have only your personal credibility to fall back on. Even in an increasingly electronically driven society, personal credibility relies on the strength of your relationships. This might be a good time to start building them or shoring them up.

Identity theft is a problem that is not going to go away soon. Even with the development of “smart-id†cards such as biometric identity cards, the most vulnerable financial transactions take place electronically where even the most stringent biometric information is absolutely useless. Consumers need to be aware that personal information is being collected by lots of entities; a lot more personally identifying information is being collected than we are aware of. As too many stories remind us, security is not always foolproof. It is up to you to protect yourself.

Here are some useful links designed to help victims of identity theft. They might help you avoid becoming one as well.

United States:

3 Essential Tips To Prepare Your Business To Reopen

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the way businesses operate – if they’re able to operate at all. As many states lift stay-at-home orders and consumers begin reentering their semi-normal lives, businesses have to prepare for a reopening.

While resuming business as usual sounds like a dream right now, it’s important to be realistic: It’s going to present its own set of challenges. Consumers will likely be more cautious, many states have released ordinances where people can’t leave home without face masks, and businesses are going to be under scrutiny over their cleanliness and disinfecting practices.

So, how can you prepare to reopen your business and what do you need to do? Here are three major things to start thinking about now.

1. Create a 30/60/90-Day Marketing Plan

Your marketing plan was likely strongly impacted by COVID-19 and the surrounding events, and you probably had to pivot, put on hold, or maybe even halt it altogether. Now that we’re talking about reopening, it’s important to create an adjusted marketing plan that accounts for the evolving situation we’re all in. A 30/60/90-day plan is a perfect solution. Outline what’s going to be important right now, a month from now, and up to three months from now so you can have some flexibility in your plan. Make sure to include how you’re going to communicate to customers and any deals or promotions you’ll be offering.

We put together a short guide that walks through just how to do this and what’s going to be important to include in each plan. Plus, it includes a free template to help you start planning. Download it here.

2. Establish New Business Operations & Get Your Team Onboard

Consumers are now used to seeing what businesses are doing to keep employees and customers safe. If your business doesn’t have a protocol around this in place, now’s the time to create one. Think about where and how often you’ll disinfect if you have a storefront, what personal protective equipment you’ll provide to team members, and more – following CDC guidelines.

The next step here is going to be ensuring that your staff is trained and adhering to these guidelines at all times. You can have the best-outlined plan in the world, but if your people aren’t following it to the letter, you can put your customers, your team, and your business at risk. Make sure they understand the importance of the plan, get their buy-in, and create a way to keep each other accountable.

3. Communicate What You’re Doing to Customers

Establishing open and transparent lines of communication with your customers is going to be key. Make sure they know what you and your team are doing to keep everyone safe, what services you’re offering (are you still offering curbside pick-up or delivery as well as in-store shopping now?), and how they can support your business as we enter this time of reopening.

This is also a great time to ask your most loyal customers what they’d like to see from you, where they most enjoy getting communications from you, and when they think they’ll be comfortable to do business with you again. This can help you with your planning and show them that you care.

Now, more than ever, it’s going to be important to stay attuned to what consumers want and need. The first priority is safety – for your team, your customers, and your business – but this can be an exciting time to return to supporting our favorite local businesses.

We’re excited for businesses to begin safely reopening, and we’re here to support you as you reopen your business. Reach out today to learn how we can partner!

Stephanie Heitman

Stephanie is the Associate Director of Content for LocaliQ and WordStream. She has over 10 years of experience in content and social media marketing and loves writing about all things digital marketing. When she’s not researching the latest and greatest marketing news and updates, she’s probably watching reality TV with her husband, reading, or playing with her two pups.

Other posts by Stephanie Heitman

Advertising For Cavemen: Exploring The Psychology Of Ppc Ad Copy

It’s been a long time since the prehistoric era, but what hasn’t changed are primal drivers that inspire people to take action.

PPC professionals are always trying to answer the question “What appeals to our customers?”

It turns out, the answer is right here in our behavioral history.

For her SEJ eSummit session, Purna Virji, Senior Manager of Global Engagement at Microsoft Advertising, showed how centuries-old human psychology principles can be remixed for proven success with today’s paid search customers.

Here’s a recap of her presentation.

What do diamond rings and oranges have in common?

They’re both products that became part of our daily lives as a result of ad campaigns.

During the Great Depression, De Beers was having trouble selling their diamonds. Their ad agency came up with the now-famous slogan, “A diamond is forever” – associating it with eternal love.

Now even generations later, we propose with diamond rings.

Back in the 1900s, orange growers in California faced a huge problem.

They were picking more fruits than they were able to sell. What do they do with the excess?

Well, another ad agency came up with a new use for oranges – juice.

It became so popular that orange juice remains a well-liked drink until this day.

But still, in today’s modern world people are increasingly becoming anti-ad.

Yet, some people assert that humans have less of an attention span nowadays.

That’s not the case.

Think about this:

How many people have binge-watched a Netflix series or regularly stream shows every night?

The truth is attention span is not the issue.

People will spend time and pay attention to what they care about.

That’s the key.

What people care about and what drives them to action hasn’t really changed since the time of cavemen, apart from the clubs and the fire.

Something that has proven to work in the past will continue to work again, even in completely new forms.

As Claude Hopkins, author of Scientific Advertising, put it:

“Human nature is perpetual, which means the principles of psychology are fixed and enduring.”

Marketers should consider taking these age-old persuasion principles that have always been a piece of human nature and remix them for today’s ad-weary customer.

Here are four ways to do that.

1. Make a Bargain Irresistible

Ever since cavemen learned to barter, they learned to go back and look for good deals.

But what’s interesting is that we don’t like cheap.

We do like getting what we see as a bargain, no matter what the actual cost is.

Here’s an example of the dangers of cheap being your core benefit.

In 2009, Tata Motors, the same company that owns Jaguar and Land Rover, wanted to create a car specially designed for the Indian market, which is a developing country.

People are increasingly looking for ways to get more mobile and get around.

You’d think that having a car at a price point of under $1,600, probably the cheapest car in the world, is a pretty good deal.

We know that for many, having a car is associated with social status and prestige.

But instead of launching a marketing campaign that focused on the prestige of being able to earn a new car, their marketing campaigns just went out and focused on how this was the cheapest car in the world.

As you can imagine, it backfired terribly.

No one wanted to be seen driving the cheapest car in the world.

So how can you make your next special offer an irresistible bargain?

Consider the Ellen Langer experiment from the 1970s.

There is a queue at the photocopier.

The researchers had the people use three different, specifically worded requests to break in line.

“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?”

“May I use the Xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?“

“May I use the Xerox machine, because I have to make copies?”

Here’s how the wording affected whether people let them break in line.

“Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine?”: 60% compliance.

“Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine, because I have to make copies?”: 93% compliance.

“Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?”: 94% compliance.

It all came down to, the power of the word “because”.

The experiment essentially found that the probability of people saying “yes” increases when they’re presented with a reason.

If you saw the following ad, what would first come to mind?

You’d probably think that there’s something wrong with those ties.

The deal might be too good to be true.

What happens when we add “because”?

The ad becomes relatable and can grab people’s attention better than the first ad.

The Takeaway

We’re all used to being bombarded with sales and discounts.

2. Harness the Power of Surprise

We might think that people are already jaded and “ad blind.”

That’s not true at all.

People are just bored with the usual sales stuff.

But we still can surprise them.

Surprise is powerful and can supercharge other emotions, both positive and negative.

Focus on the good to enhance positive sentiment and drive people to take action.

Here’s an example.

What if you were working for a sports nutrition company and you knew that most of your customers, on average, took three months to finish the box of protein shake?

So month two, your company could run an ad like this:

When customers see this, they would probably start thinking about reordering.

Not only did this ad come at the right time, but it also offered a compelling offer and it showered them with a little love for being loyal.

This is a potentially impactful way of increasing customer lifetime values.

The Takeaway

In every ad effort you make, think about how you can bring the unexpected to surprise and delight searchers.

3. Showcase Your Personality

Personas that appeal to customers still work today.

They bring up emotions and make companies more memorable.

After all, we buy on emotion and justify with logic.

This is almost a cliche at this point.

Why is that?

But let’s look at the power of personality and how it can help you stand out.

Here’s a classic example.

Now, the florist could have just listed the various bouquets, the prices, what flowers were used, etc.

Instead, they reveal their unique personality by talking about a human situation that many have encountered.

A few years ago, when the iPhone 6s first came out, Samsung had a similarly named model, the “S6”.

And so they decided to run a PPC campaign.

Every time someone did a search for the iPhone brand, this ad would pop up.

They didn’t stop there.

When the iPhone had the “bendgate” scandal?

Samsung had an ad to answer that as well.

The Takeaway

Personality is additionally helpful because it adds an emotional connection and helps establish brand preference.

Remember to build connection and attachment with your audience by letting your personality shine.

4. Deliberately Include

All humans feel a need for connection and inclusion.

Inclusive marketing is the key to loyalty, especially for marketers who are targeting millennials and gen Z audiences.

Check out these stats:

It produces feelings of joy and trust.

So how can this be applied to PPC?

When creating campaigns, keyword lists, and ad copy, we are subject to our own biases/blind spots.

We need to shine a light on that as an industry because our collective blind spots and unconscious biases can mean that a large number of our customers may not be served.

The good thing is that there are low-cost and low-competition opportunities that all of us have for the picking.

Especially at times like this, we’re looking for ways to expand the reach, expand our audiences, and find new segments and get a leg up over our competitors.

To find this out, you want to start by identifying whose voice is missing.

Think of the potential groups that could be accidentally excluded. This varies by business, but if you think about traditional groups, that would include:



Language spoken.

Sexual orientation.




Follow these quick tips:

Use the keyword planner to help mine inclusive keywords.

Use Dynamic Search Ads to help you spot exclusions in your keywords and ad copy.

Remember to optimize Shopping Campaigns, too.

Your title should include product details, with the most important data upfront (i.e., ‘Adaptive’, ‘Ethical’, ‘Sustainable’, etc.).

The Takeaway

A few simple optimizations can yield big wins and grow loyalty.

Watch This Presentation

You can now watch the video of Virji’s full presentation from SEJ eSummit.

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