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As a primarily organic marketer, working for an ad tech brand has been one of the most amazing phases of my career.

Between our customers, my colleagues, and the paid search community that’s welcomed me with open arms, I’ve been more involved with PPC during these last two years than the rest of my career put together.

Like any smart marketer, I’ve been listening attentively and taking notes.

Between that and managing campaigns of my own, I’ve accumulated a relative wealth of PPC knowledge.

These are the five most important lessons from my time leading marketing for a bootstrapped PPC ad tech brand.

1. Treat Your Ad Budget Like Your Investment Budget

But, just because each platform’s campaigns are fenced in doesn’t make it a good idea to rely totally or excessively on a single ad platform:

Outside influences like market economics and regulatory changes can do anything from drive up costs to render a whole platform moot.

Between platform-side automation and increasingly demanding online audiences, it’s important to diversify your PPC mix if you haven’t already.

2. Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

In the quest to spread your budget across multiple channels, don’t rush to the other extreme of investing in too many different ones.

Not only will you end up with campaigns that don’t have enough money behind them, but you may run the risk of pushing your team too hard.

Since I joined Optmyzr as the first marketing hire, we’ve grown our team at a rate that’s healthy for our revenue run rate.

No one on the team is expected to put in 60-hour weeks, own 10 different channels, or otherwise push themselves beyond their physical and mental limits.

You’ll compromise your testing and campaign efforts, with the additional cost of other needs in marketing being neglected.

In-house teams should begin by testing everything, then switch to a 1-2-1 approach:

1 primary platform that gives you the best results and demands the bulk of your budget (e.g. Google Ads across multiple inventory types).

2 secondary platforms for niche audiences or objectives (e.g. YouTube to grow your video audience and Twitter to grow your mailing list).

Then, as you grow your team, pad out each tier from the top down.

3. Brand Matters, Even In PPC

I know a lot of PPC specialists feel otherwise, but I’ve always been a fan of branded search terms for a few reasons:

Already some level of intent towards your product.

Claim space that your competitors now can’t.

Room to test out different offers and messages.

Branded search traffic is cheap, easy to win, and lets you capitalize on a range of business opportunities.

I’ve used branded terms to leverage traffic surges after high-publicity events, tailor offers to specific queries (like ones including “reviews” or “pricing”), and lower customer acquisition cost by shortening the time between discovery and conversion.

4. Focus On Offer, Targeting, And Creative In That Order

But the more I’ve worked as a strategist, the more I’ve come to realize that the offer takes priority.

Offers include aspects of both messaging and positioning, and most often manifest as copywriting – be it a headline, dialogue, or voiceover.

This is what allows you to occupy a specific place in your ideal customers’ minds, and play to your unique strengths rather than your competitors’ weaknesses.

Customers get defensive the moment they feel like they’re being sold to, so pattern interrupts can be positively disarming.

I’ve seen unconventional ad formats like customer testimonial videos win battles that perfectly “on-brand” stills couldn’t.

Without a solid offer and accurate targeting, even the most gorgeous creatives will struggle to convert.

In my experience, getting these three things right is easier said than done, but essential to PPC success.

Great offers can still succeed with average creatives, complicated account structures, and less-than-perfect targeting.

5. There’s More To Advertising Than Google And Meta

Google’s inventory spans search, email, YouTube, and more of the internet’s most visited properties; Meta’s network includes some of the world’s most popular apps on Facebook and Instagram.

Amazon is a marketplace you can’t just ignore if you retail a physical product.

TikTok and Snapchat are great ways to reach younger audiences.

Spotify lets you play with audio in a way few other digital channels allow.

The Single Most Valuable Trait In PPC And Marketing

Nearly every best practice – many of them focused on meeting targets and nothing else – has given way to ones more focused on automation, user experience, and accessibility.

If you told 2012 me that gating a blog would one day be frowned upon, he would have laughed.

With how quickly our industry changes, adaptability is the single most important trait to cultivate.

Being bonded to a single ad platform, format, technique, strategy, or mindset can stagnate your progression as a marketer without you even realizing it.

Then one day, you realize everything around you has changed and everyone but you has turned the playing field in their favor.

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5 Ways Linkedin Advertising Is Different From Other Social Platforms

There’s plenty of informal marketing channels out there such as email, Facebook, Twitter, and SnapChat. But these platforms are tailored more for our personal digital profile.

Additionally, these channels enable you to widen your reach through their direct sponsored messaging options.

Yet, LinkedIn’s unique capabilities extend beyond the shared characteristics of various social network outlets.

The following are intended to help you think more strategically about LinkedIn’s role in your overall media mix.

1. The Only True Professional Social Platform

Users on LinkedIn actively engage with content that aligns with their career interests and professional profile.

The platform is a playground, if you will, for people looking to:

Advance their careers.

Connect with peers.

Follow industry news.

Promote their skills and knowledge.

While LinkedIn is home to 600+ million users, other social networks boast an even larger user base, most notably Facebook with over 2 billion people engaged on its platform.

And because you’re interacting with them in a professional setting, they’re also more receptive to your marketing message.

2. Targeting By Professional Profile

LinkedIn enables you to target by:

Skill set.



Company size & name.

Job title.

Job function.

And more.

Your marketing assets can run in the:

News Feed.

Side Panel.

InMail (delivered right to a user’s profile).

This gives you the variety you need to test multiple creative formats.

Targeting algorithms vary across different social media platforms.

Each platform aims to create a statistical profile based on several variables in order to deliver personalized information to an audience.

LinkedIn takes targeting a step further.

LinkedIn profiles are rarely static. Members continually edit and update their academic and professional backgrounds, professional certificates, and any other significant achievements.

Experience (e.g. job function, seniority, title).

Company (e.g. company name, industry, size, followers).

Education (e.g. degrees, fields of study).

Other relevant interests and demographics.

Is your ideal customer graduated from CalTech, has worked for Apple in the past 5 years, and lives in Cupertino, California? LinkedIn will direct your ad only to users who meet these exact criteria.

Through LinkedIn’s Sponsored InMail feature, your target user would receive a personalized message only when he or she is actively using the platform – whether they follow your company or not.

Other social networks only allow you to distribute direct private messages to individuals after they’ve opted in. For instance:

Entering an email address.

Forfeiting additional contact information.

3. Better Conversion Rates

In today’s ad-saturated world, competitive conversion rates do not happen by accident.

LinkedIn can accurately deliver your message to the right prospects and therefore generate a higher visitor-to-lead conversion rate.

On LinkedIn.

4. Higher Advertising Costs, But Bigger ROI Potential

Any changes you make to your campaign’s Budget & Schedule will immediately show in the LinkedIn Advertising Platform.

The name of the game is ROI: a costly investment that generates a greater return is preferable to a smaller investment that doesn’t deliver.

By comparison, other social network channels allow you to invest as little as $1 per day in a campaign.

But the big caveat is that you might get what you pay for.

In other words, your campaigns might not connect with your target audience and fail to achieve their conversion goals.

5. Matched Audience Targeting

Shortly after its official launch, LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences program has become the secret lead-generating weapon for today’s digital marketer.

Much like other popular social media networks, LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences enables you to:

Retarget your website visitors for further engagement.

Build customized audiences and run account-based marketing campaigns by uploading CSV lists of contacts, email addresses, or company names.

Based on your website visitors, target accounts, and contact lists, you can also identify your lookalike audiences. Consequently, you can market to new customers who have similar characteristics to your existing ones.

To this day, no other social network rivals LinkedIn’s business proposition.

The great majority of users promote their most authentic, professional, and up-to-date digital profile on LinkedIn.

Often, it takes several ad impressions to convince users to convert.

When a potential lead comes across the ad you’re currently displaying on LinkedIn (be it on their fifth, sixth, or even seventh impression), your business is by default perceived as being legitimate, professional, and trustworthy.

In fact, your mere presence on LinkedIn will help you reach that status.

But for businesses looking for a platform that enables superior targeting of their ideal customer, LinkedIn is a digital marketing powerhouse – the kind any business needs to rely on in order to drive growth.

Not All Social Advertising Platforms Are Created Equal

Keep pace with the latest trends.

Get your message in front of the right people.

Explore new pathways to business success.

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Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, July 2023

3 Lessons To Learn From Tech Millionaire Khuram Dhanani

Khuram Dhanani was a typical 16-year-old high school student, coming from a family with humble beginnings. No money – but lots of ideas that soon turned into multimillion-dollar ventures. By 22, Khuram was headed to San Francisco, ready to negotiate an acquisition deal of his e-commerce company, ZQ Network. Two years later, he closed another lucrative all-cash deal in Chicago, selling his second venture, Clear Spark – the B2B e-commerce giant that partners with the largest internet retailers in the world. He is currently working on Linked, a platform company focused on consolidating the fragmented trillion-dollar e-commerce industry.

Entrepreneurs are a special breed and come in all shapes and sizes. Some are very slow and methodical. Others are hyper-focused and aggressive. Khuram Dhanani is a combination of these characteristics. From a young age he was tireless and always on the move, always looking for the next deal. Here are three key lessons you should learn from this tech millionaire.

1. Master The Art of the Deal

The success of most Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs is widely attributed to their visionary abilities. Dhanani’s success, however, comes from his ability to make great deals.

“If you are a true businessman, you have to master the art of the deal. That doesn’t just mean buying or selling a company. It’s literally everything from negotiating credit terms, hiring your employees, and going up against the 800-pound gorilla in your industry”.

“If you are naive, you will quickly get a lesson in how business deals are and aren’t done,” he says. One of his core life principles is to never settle for status quo and avoid accepting anything at face value.

2. Learn To Be Impatient

Much like Steve Jobs, the late co-founder of Apple, Dhanani also believes in the reality distortion field. “The relaxed approach of being calm and waiting for things to get done never works. If you don’t already have an impatient personality, learn to be impatient. Irrespective of the time-frame partners, suppliers, employees, or what anyone else tells me – I don’t accept it,” Dhanani says.

He believes you can get people to overcome their own perceived limitations. If you act as if everything has to get done immediately, it surprisingly will. In fact, having no backup and extra financial support, Dhanani managed to build from scratch and sell two wildly successful e-commerce companies before he even reached twenty-five.

3. Always Have The Edge

In any given situation, you should have an edge up on whomever you are dealing with. And what’s the best way to have this edge? According to Dhanani, it all comes down to understanding your business at its deepest core. “Many aspiring founders approach me with their ideas but it quickly becomes evident that they haven’t done their homework. I can poke holes in their story and they can’t answer my objections.”

“The truth is, you have to have a very deep understanding of what you’re doing. When you know your business better than anyone else in the world, believe me, you’ll have the ultimate edge in any situation.” That being said, he also believes the best teacher is execution and it all comes down to a balancing act between the two.

5 Tips To Help You Develop Your B2B Mobile Marketing Strategy

Using Google Analytics to review changes in mobile site usage by prospects and customers

As mobile device usage rapidly increases amongst buyers and influencers accessing content related to your products or services, it may be the perfect reason to start thinking about developing a mobile app or making your website mobile friendly as part of your sales and marketing toolbox.

A client of ours saw mobile traffic to their website increase by 284% in 2011 compared to 2010. Our client manufacturer of stainless steel reinforcement rods (not the most glamorous of products) saw the rate at which the site is accessed from a mobile device increase dramatically.

After conducting many audits on websites, the biggest growth I have reported every single time for every single client is the growth in mobile traffic. It’s time B2B companies took mobile more seriously. How much has mobile traffic to your website increased ?

Think of all those people who have viewed your site on a mobile device. What do you think their experience was like? A pleasant one or was the site so poorly presented on a mobile device that they never came back again to read more content? Or did they find your competitors website where they managed to get the information they required. It’s all about them mobile experience. We’ll come onto that later.

Before we review the 5 questions, let’s clear one thing up…

Back in November 2011, we launched a new site for a client who manufactures timber products and the below graph shows the rate at which mobile traffic had increased in just 5 months.

So, if you are required to put together a business case pushing for the need of a company app then you may want to start looking into some of the data in Google Analytics to help you back up your theories and plans.

Here are 5 things to consider before developing an mobile marketing strategy (apart from the obvious ‘what problem are you trying to solve?’) which will help you focus on the key bits of information to gather, think about and plan before launching a mobile marketing plan.

1. How has mobile traffic to your website changed?

As we have already seen through the data presented earlier, at what rate is mobile traffic growing to your website? Is there enough growth to warrant a mobile marketing strategy? Is the quantity of visits increasing and does it look more than likely that it will continue to increase at such a rate for the next 3-5 years. Many marketers survey their own customers and ask “Do you use a smartphone for work?” and most may say “Yes”, BUT they may not necessarily want to view your site on a mobile or have the need to when they can use their desktop in the office, the king thing to consider here is the type of information the B2B buyer requires on a mobile device. It could be blog content, product updates or event information.

Mobile traffic to the Pauley Creative website increased by 551% in 2011 compared to 2010.

Increase in visits from mobile devices

What is interesting is that no other metrics had changed that much in the 12 months such as pages viewed per visit and time on site other than the number of visits from a mobile device. This could be largely due to the fact that majority of our traffic is acquired through social media channels where the blog is the main destination for our audience and only one post will be consumed.

2. Which sources are my mobile visitors coming from?

There may be a small percentage of visitors coming to your website from a mobile device to just have a general browse (like the businesswoman who is just browsing your website before your 2pm meeting) but there may be a large percentage who are looking for information much more specific or technical related. In Google Analytics you can segment your mobile traffic and have a look at where they are coming from. Are they coming from Google? What did they search for and what page did they land on? Did they get the information they required? You may find that browsing times on a mobile device may be short lived so don’t worry about bounce rate too much if your website is content heavy.

Sources of traffic from mobile devices – Google wins again!

If 7.70% of visitors are coming from a referring website then was that referring website mobile friendly? If it was, then it could be your website which proves to be a stumbling block in your visitors’ journey. Remember, if your company is on Twitter then most of your website visitors may be coming from social sources and from a mobile device. You may also be using QR codes to drive traffic through to your website. Again, QR codes are for mobile devices so how does your website look once they’ve scanned the code?

Ok so majority of traffic will be from social media savvy B2B professionals but what about those who are not familiar with the brand but have come to the site through a Google search on a mobile device just looking for information on digital marketing?

Organic traffic from mobile devices

A 420% increase in traffic to the Pauley Creative website from people who have searched using a non-brand related search phrase in Google through a mobile device.

3. What are mobile visitors looking for in particular?

As you can see from the above example of non-branded search terms, there are a mix of information based search terms and location based search terms. The location based search terms could be on-site engineers, influencers, buyers who require spares or support offices and are looking to buy immediately, therefore need to know where the nearest stockist is located. Through the use of an app which uses Google Maps it is possible to then also provide driving directions to the local stockist.

What should your mobile marketing strategy be focusing on? Delivering the right content in a mobile friendly way to reduce customer service calls or making it easier to find stockists of your product within a given location to increase demand form distributors?

4. Native app, Hybrid App or Web based app?

Before you go delving into the world of mobile marketing you will need to know the difference between a native app, hybrid app and a web app. A native app is an app you download and install onto your device and is coded with specific programming language and are fast, reliable and powerful. No phone signal is required for a native app and can be used offline. A hybrid app relies on a framework and offer cross platform compatibility so you can use the phone’s hardware such as contacts or GPS for maps making this option ideal if you are wanting to integrate a map. A web app runs like a website but but is tailored to match every web enabled phone, like Wikipedia mobile page and requires a good phone signal (3G or Wi-Fi) to work at all times.

Website design is evolving every day and if you are not already familiar with ‘Responsive Website Design’ then I suggest you research into it. Responsive website design is where the website actively responds to the device and browser resolution the website is being viewed on. It automatically detects the size of the window and automatically re-sizes and re-formats the website to be viewed in that window.

The tricky part is that there is no best choice but very much depends on what your requirements are and what you want the app or website to do.

5. If you are developing an app what device will you develop for?

iPhones may be the largest used device amongst your audience but Android is growing rapidly too. How many of the your B2B audience use an iPhone, iPad, Android or Blackberry? Again, going back to your Analytics you can view which devices and operating systems are the most popular amongst those that come and interact with your website.

Which device has seen the most growth over the years? iPhone or iPad? Android or Blackberry? Can you see a trend over the previous 3 years as more and more businesses move away from Blackberry as the mobile of choice to iPhone? Are Blackberry users spending less time on the site compared to Android users? Most importantly, which device converts the most visitors into enquiries?

IMPORTANT: Don’t just develop or make plans just for the iPhone if the majority of your audience are Android users. If you develop just for the iOS devices then what about all those who use Android? Have you got the budget to develop for both platforms? The below data shows that more enquiries and visitors come from an iPad device than an iPhone. Why isn’t anyone converting into an enquiry from a phone running Android?

Whilst the numbers may be small from a conversion point of view, each enquiry may have had a sales value opportunity of around £140,000. Plus you may see benefits elsewhere such as reduced number of customer service calls due to people being able to find the answers via an app or a mobile friendly website. It’s depending on what your objectives were of course. Once you have this information you should ask yourself which device(s) do I want to grow and generate enquiries from?

If you have a stockist locator on your website and this is the area you want to have a mobile marketing plan for then the goal should be to identify the number of visitor who end up finding the nearest stockist and then calling them via the a mobile device. How will you measure this and will you be expecting a rise in demand and sales from distributors? What if it is to reduce the number of customer service calls so your employees can spend more time on quality calls rather than answering those simple questions which could have been answered via the website.

BONUS TIP: Remember to budget for updates, maintenance of your app and the cost of marketing your mobile plan.

Once your app or mobile website is launched… that’s not the end of the project. It has only just begun!

You will need to remember that there will be maintenance, management and updates to the platforms once in a while. There will also be refinements required as people start to leave feedback, some will be negative. If you launch an app showcasing products or case studies and you get lots of negative feedback (i.e. Don’t buy this app, it’s worthless!) what are you going to do?

Hopefully these 5 (and a bit) considerations should be enough to help you put together a B2B mobile marketing strategy. Remember to get as much data out of your Analytics software as possible, look for trends such as peak times and days, type of content consumption and search terms, loyalty, types of devices used and finally most importantly conversion rates. Can they be improved if you had a mobile marketing strategy? An app or a mobile friendly website?

Are there any other points which need to also be considered? Instead of just developing a mobile strategy for the sake of a mobile strategy think about what problem you want to solve. Do you want to reduce the amount of incoming calls into the support centre? Do you want to utilise your blog so that you can build a loyal readership who you can then nurture into customers?

6 Lessons In Video Storytelling You Can Learn From Indian Brands

Why have so many brands in India mastered the art of video storytelling in longer-forms?

6 Examples of Indian Brands Winning at Video Storytelling

Six YouTube videos uploaded by three brands in India over the past two years have all garnered more than 100 million views.

The 4-minute-and-45-second long video now has 222 million views. The video tells the story of “The deal with Accent.”

Spoiler alert: You’ll want to have a box of tissues nearby when you watch the South Korean carmaker celebrate Hyundai’s 20 years of operations in India and reinforce the emotional connection the brand enjoys with its 5.3 million-plus customers in the country.

Now, if Hyundai India had done this once, then you might argue that the brand got lucky.

The 2-minute-and-51-second long video now has 203 million views. This video tells the story of the “Army with Santro,” which taps into an entirely different set of emotions.

OK, so one brand doesn’t a trend make.

But, check out “LG Innovation Story – Brand Film 21 Years Celebrations,” which was uploaded to the LG India YouTube channel on May 16, 2023.

The 4-minute-and-39-second long video now has 177 million views.

This video, which celebrates the brand’s 21 years in India, tells the story of a father who got only 3 out of 100 questions right on a test – in his father’s math class.

Again, this wasn’t a fluke.

To see that for yourself, watch “LG Astronaut Brand TVC Ad Film – 20 Years Anniversary Story Video – Life Is Good 2023,” which was uploaded to the LG India channel on May 11, 2023.

The 3-minute-and-49-second long video now has 104 million views. This video, which celebrated the brand’s 20 years anniversary in India, used nostalgia to tell the story of a mother whose daughter grew up to be an astronaut.

But wait, there’s more!

For a recent example, check out “Samsung Bixby Voice Assistant-MND mother helps daughter with #VoiceForever,” which was uploaded to the Samsung India YouTube channel on September 13, 2023.

The 2-minute-and-57-second long video already has 110 million views. This video was inspired by the life of a patient suffering from Motor Neuron Disease (MND). MND patients lose their ability to move and speak.

This video tells the story of the collaborative effort by Samsung and Asha Ek Hope foundation, India’s first registered non-profit NGO supporting people with MND, to develop the first personalized AI Voice assistant for this MND patent, so that her voice can live forever.

The video above isn’t a one-off experiment in storytelling.

To see that for yourself, watch “Samsung India Service (SVC) – Most Watched Video in 2023 – We’ll take care of you, wherever you are,” which was uploaded to the Samsung India channel on December 30, 2024.

The four-minute long video now has 210 million views. This video tells the story of a young Samsung Engineer, who is undaunted by rough terrain to attend to a customer complaint in a remote hilly area.

His efforts help bring smiles to the faces of a group of children, for whom their Samsung Television is the medium to celebrate a special moment.

The Rise of Video Storytelling in India vs. the U.S.

Now, YouTube is popular in India. In the 10 years of its existence in that country, the Google-owned video platform has penetrated 80 percent of India’s internet universe.

It now has 225 million monthly active users on mobile phones alone, according to YouTube Brandcast 2023.

But, it should be noted that no brand in the U.S. has come close to mastering the art of video storytelling the way that Hyundai India, LG India, and Samsung India all have.

Why is that, do you think?

Is this effective?

Well, YouTube tested over 300 bumper campaigns back in 2024 and found that 9 out of 10 drove a significant lift in ad recall.

OK, that’s good news – if you work at an ad agency. Viewers recall your product – which is the ad.

But, is this an effective way to market your client’s product or brand?

Is six seconds enough time to change hearts, minds, and actions throughout the consumer journey?

Or, do you need longer-form video content to have more impact on brand awareness, brand consideration, and purchase intent?

These are the metrics that should matter to clients, not ad recall.

So, the questions that brands in the U.S. need to ask their ad agencies are:

How long does it take to change someone’s mind about our brand in a video ad?

Should we rush to tell our story to avoid getting tuned out, or should we embrace a longer format to build a more captivating story?

Is there a consistent relationship between how long our ad is viewable and increases in brand awareness, brand consideration, and purchase intent?

And if some bozo at their ad agency says something stupid like, “Consumers have the attention span of goldfish,” then ask them if they’ve heard the term, “binge-watching”?

In other words, people can and do still pay attention to compelling stories.

If anything, consumers are paying more attention than ever before.

According to a survey of established online video viewers by Ogilvy and The Young Turks, which was published in May 2023, 68 percent of the nearly 2,400 respondents reported their average online video sessions last more than 30 minutes, with 40 percent reporting average sessions of over an hour.

The survey also found that these are frequently occurring events, with 73 percent reporting having 30+ minute viewing sessions more than three days a week and 29 percent saying they view for 60 minutes or more — per session — on a daily basis.

Do the math and that’s 200 to 400 times longer than the attention span of a goldfish, which is 9 seconds.

So, what does this mean for brands and their ad agencies?

It means attention is available, but the bar has been raised. If you really want someone’s attention, you have to earn it.

How do you do that?

Earning Your Audience’s Attention Through Storytelling

Over the years, numerous studies have found that our brains are far more engaged by storytelling than with a recitation of cold, hard facts.

Stories are illustrative, easily memorable, and allow a brand to create stronger emotional bonds with their customers. That’s why online video is a brand’s best medium for storytelling.

So, how do you use online video to tell compelling stories?

Well, if you go back and watch all six of the YouTube videos at the beginning of this article again, you’ll see that they have characters with whom you can identify – even if you don’t live in India.

Ross Hockrow, an award-winning filmmaker and the author of “Out of Order: Storytelling Techniques for Video and Cinema Editors“, has said:

“Characters/subjects are the portals to every story. They are the way you get viewers to buy into the story. The viewers identify with, related to, and even empathize with the characters. In a way, they become the characters, or at least they compare themselves to the character.”

In addition, all six of the videos that we’ve looked at have a story arc, or plot structure. This isn’t something that YouTube or modern brands created.

The ancient roots of storytelling go back to Aristotle, who said that a good story needed a beginning, a middle, and an end.

In his book, Hockrow asked:

“Why does it matter how long the story arc has been around? In a word: evolution. Without storytelling, how else would you explain how and where you were chased by a saber-toothed cat through the woods? Or that somebody ate this plant and got rid of an illness, but somebody else ate that one over there, which looks almost the same, and it made them sick? Humans pass on their important information through stories. The human mind has evolved with the story arc, and with stories in general, which remain an import of our culture.”

So, how long should a story be?

Well, it needs to be long enough to reach a point.

If you watch “NPR’s Scott Simon: How to Tell a Story,” you will hear the American journalist and host of Weekend Edition Saturday on NPR, say:

“A story ought to have a point. I don’t mean a lesson or a moral or even a punchline, but a point – something that people can take away from it.”

So, how long does it take to reach a point?

Well, the storytelling videos that we’ve looked at range from 2-minutes-and-51-seconds long to 4-minute-and-45-seconds long. But, as Simon says:

“A story has to be told in short breathable sections no matter how long it is. It can be a 20-second news story or it can be Don Quixote.”


Stories have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation, and instilling moral values.

So, even if you work for a brand in the U.S., you will want to spend some time figuring out why so many brands in India have mastered the art of video storytelling – and why so few brands in this country are even trying to tell stories on YouTube.

More Video Marketing Resources:

10 Tools For Ppc Managers That Have Nothing To Do With Ppc

Whether you’ve been doing paid search for a year, or for more than 17 years like I have, it’s important to maximize your efficiency.

Most of the articles out there tend to list tools for PPC managers that relate to PPC – keyword tools, tracking tools, competitor research, Google Ads editor, PPC analysis tools, bid managers, and the like.

But what about the tools for PPC managers that help make us more efficient?

I’ve listed some of the go-to tools I use (in no order of importance) that have nothing to do with PPC to help me get more out of my day and make me look like a rock star with my clients.

While I work at an agency, many of these tools will work just as well for in-house PPC managers.

Note: I’m not being compensated to recommend any of these tools.

1. Calendly

I’ve been using Calendly, a service that enables people to schedule meetings with me, for more than four years. It has saved me countless hours, back and forth emails from clients in different time zones, and missed calls.

I’ve set up four different call types, which allows clients to pick a time that works best for them.

Because it integrates with my Google Calendar, my existing appointment times are blocked out. When someone books a time, it automatically shows up on my calendar.

A link to my Calendly is included in my email signature, as well as on all my reports. Calendly sends a confirmation email with a calendar invite, as well as reminder emails, so the number of missed calls has dropped a lot.

Calendly is a handy tool for anyone who has to book appointments across time zones – no more back and forth or confusion. It also integrates with Office 365, Outlook and iCloud calendars.

We use the Premium version ($8/user per month), which allows for multiple users as well as multiple event types, but there is a free plan (one user, one event type) and a Pro plan which integrates with other systems like HubSpot, PayPal, Google Analytics, and more.

2. Highrise

We’ve been using Highrise, web-based CRM system, as a company for more than five years. I use it to keep track of what I’ve done for clients, notes about my contacts, even things like HTML colors.

Many of our clients have been with us for years, so I constantly refer back to notes I’ve made, conversations I’ve had or even the name of a client’s child. Accessing that information quickly and easily makes me a better account manager.

It also allows for To-Dos, which I can set for myself or members of my team, including repeating task.

Unfortunately, Highrise no longer accepts new customers – they were initially owned by Basecamp, spun off into their own company, and then brought back under Basecamp in 2023.

Look for something similar that allows you to easily keep track of what you do for your clients, especially things that aren’t tracking in Google or Microsoft’s change history.

3. Basecamp

Basecamp is also reasonable in price – $99/month with unlimited users, unlimited projects, and 500GB of storage. They also have a free version called Basecamp Personal, with limited users, projects, and storage space.

4.  chúng tôi

I use chúng tôi for screen-sharing, though they also offer hosted meeting capabilities. I’ve been using chúng tôi for more than seven years and it’s been so helpful working with clients.

I have a dedicated chúng tôi URL that makes it easy for clients to find. Instead of phone conversations with me explaining where to go in their Google Ads or Microsoft Ads accounts, I can share my screen and show them.

I’m a fan of chúng tôi for the ease of use, and it doesn’t cause problems with how my computer acts, like GoToMeeting has for me in the past. costs about $250 per year for each user, though they have volume discounts.

5. Google Docs

Cost = free

6. EditThisCookie

EditThisCookie is a handy little extension that deletes the cookies in your Chrome browser, but only for the tab you are currently on, instead of all cookies in your history.

I affectionately call it the Cookie Killer.

Cost = free

7. Lightshot

I can annotate, draw arrows or boxes, and highlight – hitting the copy button then allows me to drop it into a doc or email without having to save.

But if I want to save it, I can do that too, or even print what I just captured. Super handy and so fast.

Cost = free

8. Awesome Screenshot

When I need to create a video of what’s on my screen, I use Awesome Screenshot. It also works well when I need to blur data.

I’m not as big of a fan of their screen capture as I am of Lightshot. Awesome Screenshot doesn’t allow you to capture the URL bar of Chrome which is sometimes important.

But from the standpoint of a video capture tool, it does the job.

Cost = free

9. Color by Fardos

We’ve been doing a lot of video for clients using Google’s Video Builder and need to know brand colors. Some clients have brand guidelines readily available, but some just don’t.

Maybe you can find the color buried in HTML code on their website, but something easier to use is the eye drop tool in Color by Fardos. (Of course, we need to convert that HTML to an RGB color for Video Builder, but that’s easily enough done.)

Cost = free

10. Checker Plus for Google Calendar

I rely heavily on reminders to make sure I am on time for the six to seven client calls I have a day.

The built-notifications Google Calendar seemed to have issues with consistency, but I’d only figure it out after I’d missed a call or two.

Troubleshooting was taking up too much of my time, so I set out to find a replacement.

I found Checker Plus for Google Calendar, which is a Chrome Extension. It very reliably gives me a pop-up for whatever pre-meeting alarm I have set. It also allows me to snooze the notification for a period of time.

Another benefit – I can see the countdown to my next appointment in my extension bar. And if I hover, I can see my full calendar for the rest of the day, as well as the next two.

Cost = free


That’s my list of 10 favorite, non-PPC tools.

Hopefully, these can help you thrive as a PPC practitioner.

More Resources:

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