Tippett: Because Google knows everything, they will suggest things to you and they will suggest [the word] “food”, for example. An ad guy’s advice, in a branding sense, was make the biggest promise you can own. Make a claim and make it as big as possible, but not so big that you can't own it. You aren't going to own “food” but maybe “food security” or “food health“. You get it down so far that it won't cost millions of dollars but it's something that can attract and influence the right kind of people.
How do Google ads work? How do you get started?
Do you know, roughly, how the ad stuff works? You buy a word. I can buy “Mike Tippett” and it will show up next to the search results. You can buy “food” if you want to spend a bazillion dollars and change what people think of food generally—you could do that. Step one is sign on and then type in the word you think is most interesting and then do it.
It's an auction-based system. To get that placement you need to pay X. There are two ways of buying it. It's either impression based, the way they price a billboard on how many cars will drive by. You pay for a thousand impressions. Ads on the internet work in the same way—you buy a thousand impressions. The other way is you can pay per click. So you have a thousand people see your ad, but if nobody clicks through how valuable is it?
What's more valuable to start with?
It's a math problem. You can buy a thousand clicks for $1 and then see how many click through? Let's say 1% do.
You have a thousand ads, you pay a dollar—you pay 10 cents per click. You can back these things out into the equivalent on the other side of the equation if you know that ratio. You can look at what people are offering. You can buy the click-through. They're like stocks. You're buying means or ideas of concepts and the value will go up or down. If you wanted to buy “oil spill” right now, it would be very expensive.
But if it's not a valuable word, does it have value?
If you go through the word “food”, you'd find that it would be very expensive. The next value would be how many people search for the word “food”. If you had a budget of $100 it would be used up pretty quickly.
How do you find the most popular words?
They'll walk you through it. They'll show you how many people will see the ad and what the likely click-through rate is. That's a function of how good the copy is. Ad copy is the hardest copy to write—six or 10 words to capture people’s imagination. Explain to people why they need to click now. Suspend all their skepticism about advertising. If you get it right its valuable.
Less is more when advertising
Tippett: Look at billboards and things to see how to do it.
Less is more—concision and getting to the point. Keeping it really, really simple.
Just test it.
Let's say your thesis is people are interested in food security for one of three reasons: the health of families, the environment and because they're hungry. Let's write a catchy slogan that will appeal to one of the three.
We'll buy a couple of thousand ads and we'll run a test. It's called ABC testing and you see what gets a response. You find out [that]actually people don't care about the environment (perhaps); (maybe) they actually care about their family, maybe it's about the health of your children.
You can start to get a sense from behavioural analysis of the core thing that's going to motivate people to act and click. You can use Google for amazing social research.
They'll be able to walk you through an aggregate of what people are looking for. Then you will have this benefit when running this campaign. You will see which ad people click on and then you will know this is the ad that got the magic.
This is about owning the right hand column of the page. Most of the people who are here probably don't have a lot of advertising budget. Is there any way of using that tool, of generating that information, just as a tool?
Tippett: My advice would be to invest a small amount of money and do it really intelligently with an objective. What is the message that has resonance with your audience?