Don't Fall For These 24 Myths About Facebook Ads [Free Guide]

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Facebook Ads can help you increase your social following and boost the reach of your organic posts. But arent CPC rates skyrocketing and lead generation ads taking over?

Not so much. To help you distinguish fact from fiction as you start designing your Facebook Ads strategy, we’re dubunking 24 common myths about Facebook Ads below. 

The following is an excerpt from 24 Facebook Marketing Myths, a free guide we created with the experts at Socialbakers. If you’d like to access the full guide, click here.

24 Common Myths About Facebook Ads

Myth: Facebook Ads are best for bottom-of-the-funnel marketing tactics.

Fact: Some marketers think advertising is primarily a bottom-of-the-funnel tactic, but Facebook Ads can actually work well for each stage of the funnel.

Think about setting up your ad campaigns with the funnel in mind. While your middle and bottom of the funnel campaigns might be retargeting campaigns to get users to come back to your site and either convert or buy, your top-of-the-funnel campaigns should be content that’s focused on awareness, just like any other organic post.

Focus top-of-the-funnel campaigns on post engagement and promoted posts for content specifically geared toward your Facebook audience. Leave your ad campaigns for farther down the funnel to focus on conversions.

Myth: The competition for Facebook Page Like and Facebook Post Engagement Ads are at an all-time high.

Fact: Socialbakers extensive Facebook ads data reveals that In North America, not only are the Cost-per-click rates for Post Engagement and Page Like Ads decreasing, advertisers are also allocating less of their budget towards these campaigns.

As more Page Like ads have saturated people’s News Feeds, click-through-rate (CTR) on these ads have decreased. Just because CPC is going down, doesn’t mean marketers should use more of these ads. Instead, use Page Like ads to retarget users who have previously engaged with your content.

Post Engagement Ads are all about getting your audience to share and comment on your posts. Given that these ads are becoming more valuable to marketers, now is a great time to start making use of post engagement ads.

Figure out what your most remarkable content is, and use it to your advantage to expand your reach. Don’t just spray and pray with your posts. Focus on writing attention-grabbing headlines, and write posts for your target audience so that your ads are directed towards their needs. And if you’re wondering why your Facebook Ads aren’t converting, this post has a few ideas about what you should look at.

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Myth: Most advertisers use Facebook Ads to increase their followers and engagement with their posts.

Fact: According to Socialbakers data, Facebook advertisers are spending more on and creating more Website Conversion ads than any other type of ads.

Although advertisers use Facebook ads for many different purposes based on the options available, many marketers are focusing the majority of the budget on getting people to convert on their website.

Although Website Conversion ads have an important place in your ads budget, remember that because they’re the most popular ad form, they also saturate user’s News Feeds. Don’t just focus all of your ads effort on one type. Instead, reserve your Website Conversion ads for retargeting campaigns and use other ad types for awareness-driven campaigns.

Myth: CPC on all ad types are skyrocketing as more and more advertisers are competing on the Facebook for Business Ads platform.

Fact: Except for Mobile App Installs and Post Engagement ads, most CPC rates have remained relatively steady in recent years.

With CPC rates remaining relatively steady, dont miss out on the opportunity to invest in Facebook advertising. Even though rates arent skyrocketing now, that doesnt mean they wont in the future.

Keep in mind that CPC rates arent the same for every ad type, so if you have a low budget to spend on Facebook ads, look into trying out ads that might have a lower CPC and optimize your strategy accordingly.

Myth: Since youre only paying for clicks, its okay to spray and pray.

Fact: Just because youre only paying for clicks to your ads doesnt mean you shouldnt focus heavily on ad targeting to make sure its getting in front of an audience that is actually a fit for your product or services.

While some advertisers opt to reach a maximum audience, we recommend focusing on the ROI of your ads by targeting those users who actually fit your buyer persona. Need help figuring out the targeting options available to you? Check out this post.

Myth: Website Conversion ads are becoming obsolete with the availability of Lead Generation ads.

FACT: As of 2016, Socialbakers found that less than 1% of advertisers budgets was spent on Lead Generation ads. Meanwhile, budget allocation for Website Conversion ads increased by 50% in one year.

Despite being possible for advertisers to generate leads without forcing users to leave the app, so far, adoption of Lead Generation ads has been minimal. Whether marketers dont like lead ads or just arent sure how to use them, we recommend trying it out. Want help? Check out this full guide to using Facebook lead ads.

Myth: With the rise in popularity of video, most advertisers are spending the largest chunk of their budget on Video ads.

Fact: Although budget allocation for Video ads increased by 150% from 2015 to 2016 according to Socialbakers data, they still only made up 12% of total advertising spend for marketers.

Facebook continues to encourage marketers and users to post more and more video content. However, that doesnt mean marketers are putting the majority of their budget behind Video ads.

Why? Video takes more resources and effort to produce than other content. Use this to your advantage. Get the most ROI out of your ads by putting the resources into Video ads that will (ideally) convert at a higher rate. Since video content isnt making up the majority of ad space, its not overly saturated in the same way.

Myth: Advertisers prefer to spend most of their budget on ads that keep users on the Facebook app.

Fact:  In February 2016, Website Conversion ads made up 39% of all ads on Facebook, and 39% of total spend.

Thats the largest chunk of marketers Facebook ads budgets. Website conversion ads take users away from Facebook to the advertisers tight in an effort to get users to convert.

Facebook wants its users to stay in the app, but marketers clearly still prefer Website Conversion ads to similarly-goaled ads, like Lead ads, that keep users in the app. Use this to your advantage and try using Lead ads to increase conversions without forcing users to leave.

Worried about leads from Facebook not making it to your CRM? Dont worry, Facebook has you covered. Get the whole scoop on how to use Facebook lead ads in this guide.

Ready to learn about organic search, PPC, and video myths? Click here to access the complete guide: 24 Facebook Marketing Myths. 

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Source: Don't Fall For These 24 Myths About Facebook Ads [Free Guide]
blog.hubspot.com/marketing

Need to Convert Traffic Into More Leads? Experts Bust Common CRO Myths [Live Hangout]

Many marketers have to find out the hard way that more website traffic doesn’t always translate to more leads.

Unless your site is optimized to drive visitors to take action and engage, you can attract thousands of visitors and never see one of them convert into a lead. That’s where conversion rate optimization comes in.

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a systematic approach to increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert into customers, or more generally, take any desired action on a webpage.

Marketers can drastically increase the returns on their marketing activities by examining every conversion point in their website experience and making CRO a part of their day-to-day work.

Unfortunately, many marketers are trying their luck at conversion rate optimization without a holistic and scientific approach, which can do more bad than good. That’s why we’ve invited Unbounce‘s Senior Conversion Optimizer, Michael Aagaard, to debunk common myths for our audience in a live hangout with HubSpot Academy.

Michael began his career in CRO in 2008 as a freelance consultant, learning and applying these tactics in a variety of industries and companies. He routinely speaks at digital marketing conferences on CRO, and has published numerous informative posts on the Unbounce blog.

In this HubSpot Academy Master Class, Michael will explain the most common misconceptions around conversion rate optimization, and how to adopt a CRO mindset that can dramatically improve the marketing results you achieve through optimization.

Whether you’ve been tinkering with CRO on your website for years or you’re not sure how to get started, this Master Class will include new insights and actionable takeaways you can use right away. Click here to save your spot! 

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Source: blog.hubspot.com/marketing

The Beginner's Guide to Retargeting Campaigns [Free Ebook]

If you’ve heard of retargeting and think it’s a strategy you want to invest more in, you’re in good company.

According to a study by AdRoll, almost 90% of marketers are planning to increase or maintain their retargeting spend in the next year. Although it’s a popular tactic for marketers, if you’re new to retargeting, it can be tough to know how to get started.

In this article, we’ll cover the basics of retargeting and the ROI, lead generation, and lead conversion benefits it can bring to your marketing efforts. 

The following is an excerpt from The Beginner’s Guide to Retargeting, a free guide we created with the experts at Perfect Audience. If you’d like to access the full guide, click here.

In the old days of advertising, the name of the game was reach and frequency. Brands preferred mass media vehicles like television and radio because they were the easiest means to reach large audiences and build brand awareness.

Obviously, this meant the most effective advertising campaigns were dominated by the biggest brands with the largest marketing budgets.

Now, the reach and frequency model has been turned on its head. Increased media fragmentation and new tools for reaching people — like retargeting — have evened the playing field.

Even the smallest mom-and-pop-shop has opportunities to get in front of their target audience and drive awareness at a faster clip than some of the largest brands.

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What Is Retargeting & Why Is It Beneficial?

If you were to look at your conversion funnel, how often would you find that a first-time visitor visited your website, viewed a product, and then made a purchase all on that first visit? Chances are you’d be lucky if you saw that behavior once.

Making a sale is a process. Studies have shown that up to 98% of your visitors  leave your website without converting. Another study on the conversion funnel by Google found that oftentimes, it takes several steps for a user to go from visit to conversion, and it’s actually not uncommon for a visitor to take more than 30 steps before making a purchase!

Retargeting helps you tackle this problem head on. It allows you to target and serve ads only to people who’ve previously visited your website, used your mobile app, or in some cases, visited and bought something from a physical retail location. This means you can be very strategic and efficient about who you’re reaching and where you’re spending your marketing budget.

Retargeting provides two primary benefits: It maximizes ROI and keeps you in front of prospects.

Marketers don’t often think of retargeting as a brand-building tool, but this represents a huge missed opportunity. One of the greatest benefits retargeting offers is that it keeps your brand front and center with a targeted audience.

Sometimes you might do this to try to drive a direct response, as we outlined in the section above. Other times, though, it also gives you an opportunity to build up your brand’s familiarity with your target audience and increase the likelihood of a future indirect action like a Google search or an organic site visit.

These indirect effects can be significant. In fact, comScore found that retargeting campaigns led to a 1046% increase in branded search and a 726% lift in site visitation after four weeks of retargeted ad exposure.

It’s a powerful direct response tactic that maximizes ROI.

In the environment of conversion funnel chaos mentioned above, no other advertising tactic offers the return that retargeting does. Retargeting offers the most direct and effective means to:

  • Reconnect with your highest value targets — people who’ve previously expressed interest in your offerings
  • Recapture their attention with an effective, compelling message
  • Move them further down the sales funnel

Ready to learn how to implement your own retargeting? Download your free guide here.

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Source: blog.hubspot.com/marketing

How to Build A Business Plan That Actually Works [Free Template]

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We’re living in a golden age of startups and side hustles, where it seems like more people than ever before are striking out on their own with new business ventures.

Whether you’re just beginning to think about starting a business, or already drafting a formal document with your current business goals, it’s crucial to clearly define the scope of every aspect of the company — from mission, to target customers, to funding and finances, and beyond. 

When you’re just getting started, it can be tempting to think of a business plan as just a catchy company name and a quick description of what you’re selling. But in the back of your mind, you’re probably aware that planning a business involves thinking through a huge number of details and decisions. It can be daunting to consider the full scope of all that starting your business really takes.

HubSpot and General Assembly have teamed up to help get you started on the right foot with our free Business Plan Template. Inside, you’ll find templates and checklists to help you:

  • Sell the story of your company
  • Describe your product line and plan for how to stand out among competitors
  • Put together the necessary financial projections to make a strong start
  • Plan longer-term goals and metrics
  • Consider legal formalities that require attention
  • Create your buyer persona and determine your product/marketing fit

Click here to download your Business Plan Template and get started.

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Source: How to Build A Business Plan That Actually Works [Free Template]
blog.hubspot.com/marketing

How to Get Started With Paid Search [Free Guide]

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In 2016, 96% of Google’s revenue came from paid search (or pay-per-click) advertising. Clearly, marketers are taking advantage of AdWords, but what does a great PPC campaign even look like? How do you ensure it drives ROI for your company? How do you even do a Google AdWords campaign?

To help you get started the right way, we’re breaking down the basics of how to use paid search below.

The following is an excerpt from the ebook How to Use Google AdWords, just one of the resources included in The Ultimate Free Google AdWords PPC Kit we created with our friends at SEMrush. The kit includes the full ebook, a template, and a checklist — everything you need to manage keywords, campaigns and ad groups successfully. If you’d like to access the full kit, click here.

How to Use Paid Search

All too often, companies — small businesses especially — think that if they just pay to be on a search engine, they don’t have to invest time and resources in search engine optimization to rank higher organically. 

It’s important to make clear that paid search is not a replacement for anything, but should instead be used to complement other inbound marketing strategies. Paid online advertising takes a lot of time and effort, a lot of resources, and a lot of management, and it’s something you really need to invest in.

Let’s take a look at some of the useful things you can do with paid search.

Landing Page Testing

One great way to use paid search is for testing and optimizing your landing pages. So, for instance, here’s the search engine results page for “cat food for older cats”, and you see some paid results for this specific search query:

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You can take that one ad and actually set it to go to two different destination URLs, and therefore, to two different landing pages.

So for a cat food ad, you could have one ad going to a page with one offer (a guide on feeding techniques for your older cat), and the other to a page for another offer (an actual product page for cat food).

You could also have the ad go to two different landing pages that are for the same offer. For example, if you wanted to test a feature of your forms, you could have two versions of the same landing page, each with a different form layout, and send the ad to each of those. This is called A/B testing, a very important and highly recommended practice for optimizing your landing pages.

Paid search is a great way to do landing page A/B testing because it allows you to direct traffic to your choice of pages, split this traffic to different pages, and ultimately find the pages that convert at the highest rate.

Finding New Keywords

In addition to landing page testing, you can also use paid search to find new keywords for your campaign. Google AdWords generates a Search Terms report that displays all of the keywords for which your ad has been displayed.

In other words, if you are bidding on the keyword “red shoes”, Google might serve your ad when someone searches “red tennis shoes.” Even though you did not bid on the exact word, the keyword “red tennis shoes” will be included in this report because that’s what the user searched. The report also contains information about the performance of each of the keywords, so you can determine if it’s worth adding that keyword to your campaign.

Below is a sample Search Terms report. On the left hand side is the list of keywords. The ones that show the green “Added” box next to them are the ones that are already in this paid search account.

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The keywords that don’t say “Added” next to them are not currently included in the account. Again, this is a list of the keywords that people are actually typing into the Google search, so it is extremely valuable information.

Take, for instance, the keyword “search engine optimization tutorial'” from the list above. That is an excellent keyword for my campaign, and I’m not buying it yet. Not only that, but I wouldn’t have known about that keyword unless I had generated this report! And to top it all off, I’m able to see that when somebody searches for this keyword and clicks through to my ad, they convert on one of my offers at a rate of 21%.

Now, this high conversion rate tells me not only that I should be buying this keyword, but also that maybe I should consider using this keyword for search engine optimization as well. Maybe I should make a landing page geared toward this keyword, or an offer built around this keyword.

You should use the information in these Search Terms reports, and also in Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner, to discover new keywords that will help you further optimize all of your SEM campaigns. For more information on keyword research, check out this blog post: How to Do Keyword Research for SEO: A Beginner’s Guide and the Ultimate keyword research checklist.

Getting in the Game

Another great way to use paid search is to, as we say, “get in the game” and rank higher than your competitors. Let’s look at PetSmart.com, which holds the number one ranking in the organic search results for the phrase “cat food”.

For the phrase “dog food”, they don’t rank number one, but they’re still above the fold, meaning that you don’t have to scroll down to see the result when the page comes up. This is great, of course, but their high rank for these keywords does not mean they shouldn’t bother running any paid search ads.

If you do a little research, you’ll find that “pet food” is also a big keyword in this space, and PetSmart ranks far below the fold for it. On top of that, they’re not running a paid search campaign with Google AdWords either. But their competitor, Petco, does have a paid search campaign, and so their ad appears on the results page, while PetSmart does not. So this is a sample instance where running a paid search campaign makes a lot of sense.

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Paid Search Can’t Stand Alone

When you think about how you should use paid search, one of the best ways to think about it is to use it as a complement to your inbound marketing efforts. You can use paid search to maximize your coverage on the search engine’s result page (SERP).

For instance, here we have the search term “inbound marketing.” You’ll see that there’s an organic search listing for HubSpot that ranks second on the page (just after Wikipedia), but we’re also buying the keyword “inbound marketing,” which displays our paid search ad for it.

So now we have that natural search ad, the paid one, and, if you scroll down the page, you’ll find yet another organic search listing for HubSpot via SlideShare. This widespread coverage on the search engine results page for “inbound marketing” helps to establish HubSpot as an authoritative figure for inbound marketing, and drives more traffic to our pages.

The good news is — you can do this for your business as well! Take the opportunity to establish your company as a leader in your industry by increasing your presence on search engines with paid search campaigns.

Ready to get started with the full ebook, template, and checklist? Click here to access the complete Ultimate Free Google AdWords PPC Kit. 

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Source: How to Get Started With Paid Search [Free Guide]
blog.hubspot.com/marketing

How to Analyze The Performance of Your Display Ads [Free Guide]

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Contrary to what you might think, display ads and inbound marketing aren’t inherently incompatible. In fact, applying inbound marketing principals to your display ad strategy can help maximize your potential reach and attract more qualified leads.

The key to creating “inbound-y” display ad campaigns is proper planning and positioning. In this article, we’ll cover how to define performance metrics for your display ads, set measurable goals, and ultimately analyze success.

Analyzing Ad Performance and Setting Goals

The following is an excerpt from Display Ads & Inbound Marketing, a free guide we created with our friends at AdRoll. If you’d like to access the full guide, click here.

Before you dive into building your first ad campaigns, you’ll need to ensure you understand what constitutes success for each ad, which performance indicators to track, and how to measure your progress in real time. In this section, we’ll help you do just that.

Setting Campaign Goals

One of the biggest mistakes marketers make when setting up a campaign is using the same success metrics for every stage. This causes a number of problems:

  • Under-investment in acquiring new customers
  • Over-investment in campaigns for customers who buy again and again regardless of marketing efforts
  • Limited investment in mid-funnel nurturing

Here are the key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll need to track in order to measure the success of your campaigns.

Also known as the awareness stage, where prospects are looking for answers, resources, and research.

New site visitors: The number of new visitors who came to your site after you launched a campaign. This KPI helps you understand how successful your campaigns are at increasing brand recognition and overall site traffic.

Engagement: Engagement, including time spent on your site, or number of pages viewed, is a good indicator of the quality of new traffic to your site. Be sure to compare engagement on a product-by-product basis, too. If your new visitors’ bounce rate is high or their site duration is low, you may need to adjust your strategy.

The middle of the funnel, also known as the consideration stage, is where prospects are evaluating whether your product or service is right for them. Marketers will want to start focusing on converting their customers into paying accounts in this stage.

Number of conversions: The total number of conversions driven by a campaign. Prospects at this stage are already aware of your brand and your content. Use retargeting to convince them to convert and adjust your campaigns based on how many of them actually do.

View-through conversions (VTCs): Conversions that resulted from customers who viewed ads but did not click. The truth is, no one likes clicking ads — but that doesn’t mean they don’t influence conversions.

Once prospects arrive on your site, take a look at how many of them convert after being served an ad — even if they never clicked one — to get a fair and accurate picture of the effectiveness of each ad

Attributed closed deals and new sales: The total number of deals closed from prospective customers who interacted with an advertising campaign. In addition to the total number of conversions, you should measure campaigns at the middle of the funnel by the number and quality of deals they’re closing — as well as the number of new sales and overall new customers that they drive.

Cost-per-acquisition (CPA): Your overall campaign spend divided by the total number of conversions. CPA is an important KPI to keep track of across the entire funnel, as a helpful proxy for how effective your teams are at closing, retaining, and cultivating customers.

 

Also known as the decision stage, this is the stage where prospects are deciding from whom they want to buy. As a marketer, you want to focus on closing deals that grow your customer base, while also up-selling or cross selling existing customers. KPIs at the bottom of the funnel help marketers evaluate the ultimate revenue consequences of their efforts.

ROI and LTV

Return on investment (ROI): The net profit generated by your campaign, calculated as the difference between the total revenue the campaign generated and the total cost of running the campaign.

Lifetime value (LTV): The net profit attributed to a customer over their lifetime. There are many ways to calculate LTV, but a model that is tailored to the specifics of your sales cycle will be most effective. LTV is important because it helps marketers calculate their ROI over time.

How to Calculate LTV

LTV = (AVERAGE MARGIN PER ORDER X REPEAT SALES FREQUENCY X AVERAGE RETENTION TIME)

Example: $300 = ($100 x 0.5 purchases per month x 6 months) – Lifetime value is $300.

In this first equation, we’re shown how to calculate the lifetime value of a customer. Here we’re looking at the average margin per order, the repeat sales frequency, and the average retention time. Let’s break this down.

Average margin per order means the average amount of money a company brings in after processing and delivering a product. The next two metrics are meant to determine how often someone will purchase your products throughout the entire time they remain your customer. When combining these metrics, we were able to determine a LTV of $300.

How to Calculate ROI

ROI = (LTV-CPA)

Example:

LTV = $300 (calculated above)
CPA = $50 (what we pay to “buy” high-quality customers)
ROI = ($300-$50)

OVERALL ROI IS $250, A 400% INCREASE ON THE CPA

For this example, the situation is reversed. Here we already know the LTV, but are looking at understanding the return on investment of our advertising efforts. For this equation, we’ll look at the lifetime value minus the total cost to acquire a new customer (CPA).

Here we see that it cost $50 to acquire one single new customer and this customer had an LTV of $300 (taken from above). Once we subtract the CPA, we reveal an ROI that is 400% higher. Quite an improvement.

By gaining a deep understanding of the LTV of your average customer, and using that metric to determine how much to spend to get them to convert, you can get a more accurate sense of what your ROI is for your ad campaigns.

Why Do KPIs Matter? 

The Short Answer: Attribution

Attribution is critical because it allows marketers to evaluate what ads or marketing efforts are driving results and measure the impact of their advertising. Yearly trends continue to show that marketers (and their bosses) are placing more and more importance on marketing analytics and attribution.

AdRoll’s recent State of Performance Marketing Report found that almost 75% of marketers believe attribution is critical or very important to marketing success. Over 40% said that they spend the lion’s share of their yearly budgets on campaign measurement.


Despite this influx of interest, many marketers continue to exclusively track ad clicks to measure their campaigns. Tracking ad clicks alone completely misses a large portion of your audience — those who don’t click on ads, but may still be influenced to convert later.

Why Last Click Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story

  • A small portion of people click on ads: Only 16% of users click on ads, and half of those — 8% — account for 85% of all clicks on display ads. This means that this pool of what the industry calls “natural born clickers” is the only audience you track.
  • Last-click tracking incentivizes finding users who would buy without advertising: Last-click attribution models are fundamentally incentivized to find users already likely to purchase—a practice referred to to as “funnel jumping.” Ideally, advertising should influence users to consider purchasing a product or service they wouldn’t otherwise have been exposed to.
  • Credit is not accurately assigned across publishers: last-click gives all the credit to the final click and ignores any other marketing that occurred before the purchase. This means any previous messaging users were exposed to, in addition to any content they consumed that discussed your brand, isn’t appropriately valued.

In fact, in the same survey almost 65% of respondents said that they currently employ a click-based attribution model. However, over 90% of them said that they plan to or are considering changing their attribution model in 2017 — signifying a large shift away from click-based attribution in the coming year.

The Alternative

Unlike click-based attribution models, blended attribution allows marketers to take into account both views and clicks when measuring the success of their campaigns. This metric retains the simplicity and immediacy of click-based attribution while accounting for the cumulative effect of views. More importantly, it takes into account what advertisers have always known: that viewing ads influences consumer behavior.

By combining views and clicks, we reveal a more nuanced, and ultimately more accurate, picture of how advertising affects users. This helps marketers allocate their budget and take into account all the effort that goes into both media planning and creative development.

Want to learn how to create your own ads? Click here to access the complete guide: Display Ads & Inbound Marketing

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Source: blog.hubspot.com/marketing