3 Things the Facebook Ad Platform is Missing

facebook ads

Yesterday Facebook released their earnings and surpassed Wall Street expectations, nearly tripling profit on a 72% increase in revenue in its first quarter. Revenue hit $2.5 billion, up from $1.46 billion in the same period last year. The Facebook ad platform has made some big improvements in the past year. However, Facebook is still missing some big opportunities by not having the following solutions for their ad platform. Here are three ideas they should implement to improve their system.

1. Removing Limits

Facebook ads will often not display for segments under 5,000 individuals. This is a huge mistake as it removes the long tail opportunities from Facebook advertisers. This long tail of advertisements has been known as a huge revenue segment for Google keyword searches. If I am selling a new book on the “Brazilian Treehopper” and there are only 250 people that like this subject on Facebook, I would be willing to pay a higher premium as those are exactly the customers I would need to reach. 

2. Keywords

Facebook gives advertisers the ability to target on key demographics and person interests, but has yet to introduce keywords. This misses a huge opportunity within conversations. Some might view this a bit creepy as Facebook is then interrupting conversations whereas the Google keyword system is based around actual needs and searches. However, I think this type of ad could actually prove helpful. My best example for this is “quickbooks training”.  A while ago, I was working on setting up Quickbooks and was extremely frustrated. I shot out a quick post about how I hate quickbooks and 20 minutes later, I had a private message from an individual that offered quickbooks training and said he could help me out. I was amazed and asked him how he found me. Turns out, Facebook used to offer a free keyword search tool and allow anyone to view the last 20 posts from all users on Facebook. They have since removed this feature, but I was amazed at how quickly my problem was solved through Facebook. Leveraging this same focus with their ad system could open new streams of revenue.

3. Negative Segments 

The big advantage Facebook has over other digital platforms is the amount of data they have on individuals. However, one area their ad system is still missing is the ability to add negative segments to its campaigns. For example, if I worked at Coke, I might want to target individuals that have liked the Pepsi fan page, but I would also want to exclude individuals that currently work for Pepsi or might live near their corporate headquarters. As an advertiser, this type of advanced segmentation would be extremely valuable and also only increase the Facebook bottom line.

Bonus: Report Totals

I’m going to add a little bonus suggestion as this drives me crazy. I have no idea why the Facebook ad team left this out but when monitoring and tracking campaigns, Facebook leaves out the totals for the numbers (clicks, impressions, cost, etc). This means when running several campaigns, you can see the totals for each of the individual campaigns, but not for all of them combined. So if you’re trying to find out how much spent yesterday on all your ads, you’ll need to export the data, then work in excel to total the fields. Bottom line: Facebook add totals to the pages.

The Complete Guide to Facebook Ad Targeting

Facebook Advertising Targeting Options
12 months ago the Facebook advertising platform was horrible… well… actually more like a joke. In comparison with platforms like Adwords, it lacked common features like conversion tracking and remarketing pixels. I had almost given up hope on Facebook… until they won me back.

Over the past few months, the Facebook Advertising team has slowly implemented the foundational changes needed for a powerhouse advertising system. Its the first time in almost 10 years that I’ve seen anything that comes remotely close to Adwords, in fact, in some instances, I think Facebook now has the advantage over Google.

One of the features that Facebook has over additional platforms like Adwords, is its ability to provide advanced user targeting for its ads. I’m often amazed at how most individuals and advertisers are not aware of the targeting options available to them through Facebook. Here is a quick overview of the targeting options currently available to you when advertising on Facebook. Enjoy.

  1. Remarketing – In advertising terms, Remarketing allows you to display ads to individuals that have visited your site or clicked on your ads gaining valuable branding with a targeted audience. This is done through a placement of remarketing pixel on the website, landing page or app. From a users perspective, they click your ad because they are interested and then as they browse the internet, see your ads all over the place, thus assuming that your company is everywhere.
  2. Custom Audiences – Facebook allows advertisers to create custom audiences. By uploading a list of emails, say of leads, Facebook will encrypt the emails and then run them against their database. Any email addresses that line up with profiles will be logged and Facebook will generate a similar audience based off all their data. This is a great way to allow big data to do the heavy lifting for you and find other individuals that match your target audience.
  3. User Targeting – User targeting is where Facebook has really improved over the past few months. They are continually allowing advertisers to fine tune their audience targeting and display their ads to exactly as needed. Here is the complete list of options available for User Targeting on Facebook.

Market Segments

  • Ethnic Affinity (Hispanic)
  • Generation (Boomers)
  • Household Composition
  • Moms
  • Parents
  • Politics
  • Life Events

User Targeting

  • Interests / Likes
  • Location (Country, State, City)
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Demographics


  • Automotive
  • Charitable Donations
  • Digital Activities
  • Financial
  • Mobile Device User
  • Purchase Behavior

Residential Profiles

  • Likely to Move
  • Recent Homebuyer
  • Recent Mortgage Borrower
  • Recently Moved
  • Travel


  • Education Level
  • Field of Study
  • Schools
  • Undergrad Years


  • Employers
  • Job Titles
  • Industries
  • Office Type


  • Home Type
  • Home Ownership
  • Home Value


  • Income
  • Net Worth


  • Interested In
  • Relationship Status




Internet Advertising Hits $43 Billion, Now #1 Advertising Media Source

2013 top digital advertising formats


There is a new king in the advertising world. In a press release issued yesterday, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) stated that the U.S. interactive advertising revenues for 2013 hit an all-time high of $42.8 billion, exceeding broadcast television advertising revenues ($40.1 billion) for the first time ever. This momentous figure marks an increase of 17 percent from 2012’s landmark revenues of $36.6 billion.

Other highlights from the release include:

  • For the third year in a row, mobile achieved triple-digit growth year-over-year, rising to $7.1 billion during full year 2013, a 110 percent boost from the prior year total of $3.4 billion. Mobile accounted for 17 percent of 2013 revenues, whereas it was 9 percent of revenues in 2012.
  • Digital video, a component of display-related advertising, brought in $2.8 billion in full year 2013, up 19 percent over revenues of $2.3 billion in 2012. As a result, it also increased its share to become the fourth largest format, directly behind mobile.
  • Search revenues totaled $18.4 billion in 2013, up 9 percent from 2012, when search totaled $16.9 billion.
  • Display-related advertising revenues in 2013 totaled $12.8 billion or 30 percent of the year’s revenues, a rise of 7 percent over $12 billion in 2012.
  • Retail advertisers continue to represent the largest category of internet ad spending, responsible for 21 percent in 2013, followed by financial services and closely trailed by automotive which account for 13 and 12 percent of the year’s revenues respectively.

The full IAB report can be viewed online. While Internet advertising has surpassed the other channels, Steven Perlberg at the Wall Street Journal commented on the IAB report and stated, “That figure doesn’t factor in cable dollars. Total TV advertising including network, syndication, spot, and cable TV is still far ahead and amounted to $66 billion in 2013.”

When looking at what is driving this massive increase in digital advertising, VentureBeat stated that “Retail is the largest category, at 21 percent, of Internet and mobile ad spend, according to the IAB. That’s up a point from the previous year. Financial services made up 13 percent of revenues, automotive was 12 percent, and telecom accounted for nine percent of the total digital ad spend.”


digital advertising top markets

When looking at which digital ad formats are growing, search is still king with over 40% of all digital ads. But mobile ads are exploding and nearly doubled in volume from 2012 to 2013.


Digital Advertising 2013 Top Ad Formats


Digital advertisements will only increase in the future as they provide an abundance of targeting options that are simply not available to other sources. Plus, unlike traditional media sources like TV or radio, their financial barriers to entry are much lower, thus allowing smaller businesses to participate.

AdBirds Feature Adwords

Adwords Launches New AdBirds Targeting

Was checking my Adwords account this morning when I came across a pleasant surprise. Google Adwords now allows for the targeting of ads by birds.

The site describes the service as AdBirds: A new ad format that takes your campaign to new heights by placing ads on real birds. Select your bird and write your ad. Then, you’re ready for takeoff.

Your bird will fly in any existing targeted locations in your account. Migratory birds may only be available in certain regions depending on the time of year, or may completely fly out of your targeted region.

Your AdBirds options include:

Sparrow: Small, quick and efficient.
Owl: A great option for those with nocturnal business hours.
Duck: Available at most parks and community areas.
Eagle: Broad audience reach. Majestic birds may require a higher bid.
Pigeon: Best for large cities with crowds of people.
Penguin: Best for cold arctic regions. Limited to location, as they can’t fly.

What happens next?

Your AdBird will be reviewed by Google, and may not fly until that review is complete. Most AdBirds are reviewed within 1 business day. No birds will be harmed by using this ad format.

The team at Google made me smile today. Thanks for being so creative and providing a wonderful April Fools prank.



How to Set Up YouTube Remarketing Video Ads

When it comes to digital marketing, remarketing campaigns will usually trump other campaigns in terms of ROI. For those that aren’t aware, remarketing is the process of adding a piece of script to certain pages of your site or landing pages. Once a visitor lands on this page, a cookie is dropped onto their computer or mobile device. As the visitor continues to search around the Internet, ad networks like Adwords will check for any remarketing scripts prior to displaying an ad. If a script is present on the visitors machine, they will see an advertisement of the page they just visited.

YouTube’s ad system is tightly integrated with Adwords, which means you can leverage your Google remarketing campaigns and link them with YouTube. The end result is that visitors to your website will now begin to see your videos and commercials play before they watch any videos on YouTube. This gives your customers the impression that you are everywhere on the Internet while paying a small fraction of the price of a full ad campaign on YouTube.

Here is how to set that up in a few easy steps.

1. Generate Google Remarketing Tag

(Read Full Remarketing Instructions at Google)

  • Log into Adwords.
  • Click on Shared Library (left hand column)
  • Select Audiences, then go to the Remarketing Tag button at the top.
  • Click the View tag details button then click Setup.
  • Click View remarketing tag and instructions to get the remarketing code.

Google Remarketing Tag


2. Place Google Remarketing Script on your Website or Landing Pages.

  • Add the remarketing tag code to all your website pages, before the closing </body> tag.
  • If you’re using WordPress, this can usually be added by going to the Editor tab, then selecting the Footer.php file and pasting it right before the </body> tag, then click Update File.

How to add google remarketing tag to wordpress


3. Create a Remarketing List

  • While in Adwords, click Audiences, then + Remarketing Lists
  • Enter the name of this list. Something like “All Visitors – 30 Days
  • Select Visitors of a Page
  • Enter your homepage URL
  • Set your membership duration to 30 Days (30 days is my suggested time but you can enter a max time is 540 days if you want)
  • Hit Save

google remarketing list setup


4. Set Up Video Marketing Campaign in Adwords

  • In Adwords, Select All Video Campaigns on the bottom of the left side column
  • Select + Campaign
  • Enter Campaign Name
  • Set your Daily Budget. This is the maximum Google will charge you per day, so your daily charge will usually be less than this amount.
  • For delivery method, my preference is standard. Standard will display ads over time, accelerated will show as quickly as possible.
  • Select Location you want your video to play in. My recommendation is to focus it around the area where you do business.
  • Ad – Enter in the URL for the video you want to remarketing towards the visitors of your website.
  • You can edit Schedule, Ad Delivery and Device Targeting for Tablets and Phones. What you select here will depend on your business. You can always edit these later, so my recommendation is to revisit this after the campaign has run for a few days.


5. Select Bidding and Audience

  • Select Name
  • Enter Max Cost Per View. This is how much you’re willing to pay per video view that a persons views for more than 15 seconds. If the viewer presses the skip button while your ad is playing, you will not be charged.
  • Under Target People Watching Content, click Remarketing Lists and select your List
  • Select Save Targeting Group

google adwords select audience

google adwords remarketing audience

6. Build an Ad

  • Select + Video Ad
  • Ad Formats and Networks. My recommendation is to leave on Automatic. This will run your ads on YouTube, Google Display Network and YouTube Search. You can manually select the ones you want to by clicking Let me Choose.
  • Enter Headline, Description & Description 2. This is what appears on under or besides the video while its playing.
  • Select the thumbnail you want for the ad.
  • Enter Display URL (this is what the viewer sees). My recommendation is to just use your homepage URL.
  • Enter Destination URL (this is where the visitor actually goes. This can be a long URL that includes tracking variables.
  • Give your ad a Name
  • Under Advanced Ad Attributes, you can upload a 300×250 or 300×60 banner ad that will display in the sidebar next to your video while its playing. Its not required but I’d recommend doing this to gain double the exposure while your ad is playing.
  • Ensure your targeting is set for the remarketing list you created.
  • Click Save

create a new youtube ad


7. Set a Call to Action

The final step is one that many people are not aware of. It ads a call to action overlay to any specific videos.

  • Click the Videos tab when viewing your Campaign.
  • Next to your video, select Add Call-to-Action-Overlay
  • Enter Headline
  • Enter Description 1 & 2
  • Enter Display URL
  • Enter Destination URL
  • Upload 74×74 image. The ad appears on a black background, so I added a blackbackground to my image.
  • Click Save

google adwords youtube video remarketing call to action

google youtube remarketing calling to action


Well done, you’re finished and should be all set. Visitors to your website will now be amazed at how they see your commercial or video when they are watching YouTube or an embedded YouTube video on another site. Just make sure to keep tabs on your spend and watch the analytics for how many people are clicking away from your video before it finished. Just make sure to optimize your budget and spend more money on the videos that people are watching longer.


The Darkside of Paid Search Click Fraud Explained

I’ve always been aware of click fraud with Facebook or Adwords, but I’ve never been able to explain in a simple manner until I watched this video. Click fraud is basically the process of individuals and/or automated programs that attempt to generate money by clicking on your ads.

In the attached video, Veritasium provides a clear example complete with data about how the Facebook ad system allows this, and in some instances actually promotes this happening. The video also goes in specific details about how the issue of fake “likes” has grown into a major problem and why Facebook can’t necessarily stop it.

The video follows an example of a fan page for “Virtual Cat” that paid to increase their likes, only to find out that most of those likes were from oversea countries or from accounts that appeared to be fake.

While the attached video mostly focuses on Facebook, I see this same type of occurrence often happening with Google ads. The bottom line, click fraud is a known evil and while the major companies are fighting to reduce this when possible, there is actually little you can do on your end to prevent it. My advice, know it exists and watch out for it, but understand that it will probably never be completely solved.


51 Digital Marketing Resources Every Entrepreneur Should be Using

I was recently asked to speak for students at the La Sierra University School of Business. When discussing possible topics, I threw out the idea of giving the students 50+ digital tools that they should know about if looking to start a business or promote an idea. The response was positive and I then created this list of 25 questions most people ask about digital marketing and 51 resources that I recommended for solving those problems. The presentation slides are below and I’ve included a quick recap. Enjoy!

1. Where do I begin?
The first place most people need to start is with picking a domain name and then checking if those same names are available via social media.

  • GoDaddy – $5 to $25 – Domain registration and hosting. Tip: Check RetailMeNot.com for coupon codes.
  • NameChk – FREE – Check all social media sites at one time.

2. What if I only have a concept, not a business? 
There is no need to wait until you have everything together before you begin building your customers. Using a service like LaunchRock helps you find individuals that are interested in what you are doing and begin building a mailing list for when you actually launch.

  • LaunchRock – FREE – Lets you set up a basic landing page that collects emails.

3. How do I build a website? 
Building a website can seem overwhelming at first, but in the past five years, several companies have emerged that remove the coding process and make it as easy as “drag-and-drop” to create a great looking website.

  • WordPress – FREE – The world’s most popular CMS system. A great place to start.
  • Moonfruit – $12 a Month – A do-it-yourself website platform.
  • Wix – $20 a Month – Also a create your own website system. Templates are very professional.

4. How do I set up an Ecommece website? 
If you’re looking to sell something online or create a digital business, using one of the following platforms is a surefire way to start selling today, while you have the ability to grow down the road.

  • Shopify – $30 a month – A perfect option for selling 1-1000 items. Easy to scale and grow.
  • Magento – FREE – An open source shopping cart. May require more programming as you grow and customize.

5. How do I design a logo, website, etc?
Unlike traditional businesses, an online business or idea usually starts with a logo and/or website. The best way to get these rolling when you’re on a budget is to utilize templates. Here are some great resources for finding great design templates at a low price.

  • GraphicRiver – $5 to $100 – A great selection of logo and design templates.
  • ThemeForest – $10 to $100 – A great selection of website, landing page and email templates.
  • TemplateMonster – $5 to $75 – A good selection of logo templates.
  • 99Designs – $299 to $750 – Have a variety of graphic designers compete to give you the best design. When you pick the winner, they receive your payment.

6. How do I track visitors to my website?
Once you get your site or app completed, the next thing you’ll want to do is set up tracking. This is accomplished through analytics or third party tools.

  • Google Analytics – FREE – A popular choice for monitoring your website.
  • ClickTale – $99 a month – Allows you to view where individuals clicked and moved on your website.

7. How do I get more traffic to my website?
This is probably the #1 question I get from individuals asking me about digital marketing. While things like social and SEO help you generate organic traffic, the sure fire way to generate targeted traffic to your website is through paid advertising. Here are the top three options for paid traffic.

  • Adwords – Owned by Google and the #1 ad platform in the world.
  • Bing Adcenter – Owned by Microsoft and used to advertise on Bing and Yahoo.
  • Facebook Ads – A newer option, but great for targeted individuals on Facebook.

8. How can I learn more about my competitors?
As you grow your business, you’ll need to know where you stand against your competitors. Check out these tools to get an idea of what your competitors are up to.

  • Compete – Estimates monthly unique visitors.
  • Alexa – Owned by Amazon.com, ranks all websites in the world.
  • Quantcast – Shows you estimates of monthly traffic.
  • SpyFu – Provides estimates on how much your competitors are spending.

9. How do I send emails?
Being able to communication with your customers is essential. Here are a few low cost places to send out emails when you are first beginning your business.

  • Gmail – FREE. Tip: Use Bit.ly to shorten links, then add a “+” to the end of the URL to view analytics on clicks.
  • MailChimp – FREE for first 500 emails. A great email management system that allows you to begin using their service for free when you have under 500 total emails.

10. How do I edit graphics?
Being able to edit graphics is essential for your website, app or social media. Here are two mainstream options for getting your artwork edited.

  • Photoshop – $49 a month – The industry tool for graphic design and photo editing.
  • Gimp.org – FREE – An open source alternative to photoshop. Has all the features, but can be tricky at times.

11. How can I get feedback?
Getting quick feedback for your ideas, websites or design is helpful to ensure you’re headed in the right direction. Here are some tools to help you gather feedback quickly.

  • FiveSecondTest – FREE – Upload images and get quick feedback on specific questions from their growing community of experts.
  • Google Consumer Surveys – $.50 per response – Leverage Googles content network to gather feedback from targeted individuals.

12. How do I edit videos?
Knowing how to create or edit videos can help you tell your story and gain essential customers. These are two of the fastest ways to get quality videos created quickly.

  • iLife – FREE – Come with any Apple computer, iLife makes it easy to edit and share videos.
  • WeVideo – $5 a month – A cloud based video editing program allows you and your friends to edit the same video at the same time, reducing time and allowing for collaboration.

13. How do I improve my landing pages?
Having targeted landing pages will ensure you can increase your conversions from your marketing efforts. Using a dedicated landing page service will help you AB test, track conversions and fine tune your campaigns.

  • Unbounce – $99 a month – Allows you to create, edit and test a variety of landing page ideas to ensure your conversions are optimal.

14. How can I find and connect with the right person.
Connecting with the right people is essential to increasing sales and growing your business. Often, being able to connect with one right person is better than contacting hundreds that are not correct. Here are two options for getting in touch with the right person from the beginning.

  • LinkedIn – FREE – The largest social networking site for professionals. Join industry specific groups and reach out to targeted individuals.
  • SalesForce – $5 to $65 a month – The largest CRM for sales professional on the planet. Tons of great tools and resources for sales professionals to track and manage their contacts and sales pipeline.

15. How can I manage Twitter?
Managing social media can often get overwhelming. Being able to keep things simple is important and there are tools that can help with this.

  • HootSuite – FREE – A great system for managing social media content on Twitter and Facebook.

16. How can i increase my Facebook fans?
One of the best proven methods to increase Facebook fans is to offer promotions.

  • WildFireApp – $50+ a month – A great platform for running a variety of contests and promotions on Facebook.

17. How do I improve my SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is essential because if done correct, ensures you will receive free organic traffic targeted specifically for your product or service.

  • Google Trends – Free – This tool lets you plug into Googles data to research which keywords have the most traffic and are the most likely to help you improve your business.
  • SEOMoz – $99 a month – An advanced tool that monitors and tracks your SEO automatically, thus ensuring you’re always ahead of the game.

18. How do I manage all my projects?
Getting things done faster than your competitors is essential to remain competitive. This is done by managing your projects better than others. Here are two tools that allow you to ensure your team is all headed in the right direction.

  • Trello – FREE – A free project management tool. Comes with iPhone app.
  • Basecamp – $20 a month – The leader in online project management.

19. How do I make a presentation?
Making great presentations is a surefire way to get more business.

  • Prezi – FREE – A wonderful tool that creates mesmerizing presentations online.

20. How do I make an iphone app?
Looking to move your website and content onto a dedicated mobile app? Check out these resources.

  • AppMakr – $169 – Uses your current content to create a basic iPhone app.
  • PhoneGap – FREE – An open source platform that creates apps on iOS or Android.

21. How do I send a press release?
It’s important to get your information out to the world. Sending a press release is the fastest way to let others know about what you’re doing.

  • PRNewswire – $599 per Release – The largest of all release sites, but also the most expensive.
  • PRWeb – $199 per Release – Focused more on the web, this service often compares with PRNewswire at a fraction of the price.

22. How do I set up an email account at my domain?

  • cPanel – FREE – Most websites that are set up with normal web hosting will come with cPanel. Take a few minutes and watch tutorials on YouTube for how to manage email accounts.

23. How do I learn to write code?

  • Right click, view page source – This is the easiest way to start learning what is going on under the hood of most websites. Even if it looks foreign to you, this is where you can find what tools your competitors are using.
  • Code Academy – FREE – A great resource for learning the basics of coding.

24. How can I keep learning when you’re gone?

  • YouTube – FREE – Search for any topic you need help with, chances are there is already a tutorial created for how to complete it.
  • Lynda – $25 a month – A great learning resource for any type of software.
  • Grovo – $9 a month – A great learning resource for all things digital marketing related.

25. How can I set up text message campaigns?

  • ClubTexting – $29 a month – Need help setting up a text message campaign? These guys already have a dedicated short code set up and can give you access to specific words so that you can run campaigns like “Text WIN to 43543”. This helps you collect and interact directly with mobile users.