SEMrush Q&A: Your Webinar Paid Ad Questions

  •   September 26, 2019

We are back with SEMrush questions that were received during webinars, but due to time restraints were not answered. Obviously, we want to help our community as much as possible, so we reached out to experts with the very specific questions submitted and asked for their insights; you will see each of them below.

Our Q&A series will answer questions we get from social media, via email, in private conversations with customers, in blog comments, and in webinars. The webinar team gathers community questions and finds experts with the knowledge and experience to provide a solid answer. We will publish their responses each month. So if you have questions, let our team know, and perhaps we can get an answer for you. 

If you have any insights and recommendations regarding the questions below, please add them in the comments. 


Susan Wenograd 

Susan Wenograd 
CMO at Aimclear

Which campaigns are effective for Ecommerce business to increase sales? 

For e-commerce, there are usually two things I recommend:

  1. Have a Catalog campaign that focuses on dynamic products in the creative. This works especially well when you use the option to have an Instant Experience in the creative, which allows mobile users to browse your products right from the FB interface. It cuts down on the friction of taking them to a site where they need to navigate on their own.
  2. For higher-ticket products or those with a longer sales cycle, the Catalog-focused campaigns that optimize for purchases will probably miss out on a lot of potential sales for you – they are optimizing to people likely to buy quickly.

I have had great results running a cheaper top-of-funnel campaign type first, like Engagement. This builds brand awareness for a much lower cost and builds a remarketing user pool. Then I run a conversion-focused campaign type to those users, continuing to sell the features and benefits of the product.

The key is to remember that Facebook will do its best to do what you tell it to, but all those things don’t cost equal amounts. Going straight for bottom-of-funnel/conversion-focused campaign types will be more expensive. If they don’t create sales for you, there is no sense in paying such a high CPM.

Typically in ecomm, you will find that you always run a Catalog/Conversion-focused campaign that always hums along, but doesn’t scale after a certain point. That is usually when I will scale by adding a cheaper top-of-funnel option to get more users into the remarketing pool.


Akvile DeFazio

Akvile DeFazio
President of AKvertise

How do Pinterest Ads stack up against Facebook and Instagram? 

If you are looking for fresh audiences to reach in order to acquire new traffic, video views, mobile app installs, leads, and customers, Pinterest is an excellent channel to expand your efforts into. While Facebook and Instagram have been around longer, have more robust targeting and larger audience sizes, expanding your reach and visibility into additional channels like Pinterest can prove to be valuable also.

If this is your first foray into advertising on Pinterest, it does tend to perform best for top-of-funnel, new user acquisition, and not so much with direct sales at this time. Keeping that in mind, use this platform to drive new users into your funnel for a much lower price than other social ad platforms and then remarket to them via email marketing or other advertising channels.

Similar to Facebook and Instagram campaign types, there is a conversion goal campaign that launched earlier this year on Pinterest, but one caveat to using that is that you will first need to run a traffic campaign and acquire 50 conversions per week before a conversion campaign will be available to you for testing.

Lastly, while B2C ads on Pinterest are much more common, Pinterest is also a place for B2B to perform well as people search, discover, and shop on this platform. Test it out and see how it fairs for you and your business objectives. After all, costs are lower on Pinterest compared to Facebook and Instagram, and the platform isn’t yet saturated with advertisers. It is the ideal time to jump in, test, and stand out.


Duane Brown

Duane Brown
Founder & Head of Strategy at Take Some Risk, Inc.

Are there any specific B2B strategies/tips you can share for Pinterest Ads?

The first step that B2B brands have to take is thinking about how they can be helpful (to the people that use their product or service). People come to Pinterest to be inspired and learn foremost and to be sold second. The other important thing to know is that someone might be on the platform outside of office hours.

Brands like FedEx do a great job of inspiring with their DIY Packaging board. They are using Pinterest to help people at the stage right before they need to ship a package across town or around the world. How can your B2B brand help someone before they need your service? Once brands figure out this piece, it’s all about creating the right assets, boards, and testing.

I would stay away from Infographics as they can hard to read on a mobile device, which is where 85% of Pinterest’s traffic comes from. There are so many infographics on Pinterest that it can be hard to stand out. Plus it makes your brand look lazy. Keeping your images clean, crisp, and easy to look at and understand is key. That means don’t have too many objects in your image or don’t have those objects be too small. Your images don’t have to be one style like you would on Instagram, so feel free to play around with what images you are using.

As you grow your assets on Pinterest, start to create boards; this will make it easier for people who follow your brand to find what they want later. Continue to test images and see what people care about. Pinterest is all about the long game, and you need to be prepared to invest in it like you would for SEO. You won’t see results tomorrow or next month, but they do come when you continue to test and learn.


Gavin Bell

Gavin Bell
 Gavin Bell, Founder at Funnel Academy

​Do you have a recommendation on how to calculate an appropriate budget for a client? 

The truthful answer when it comes to figuring out a client budget is, there isn’t a right answer until there is a right answer. Let me explain. If a client has no previous ad data, we simply do not know how well our ads will convert when we first launch. And if we don’t know how well our ads will convert, we can’t recommend a budget. Because, ideally, when setting a budget, we want to work backward.

  • How much is a customer worth to the client?
  • How much can we spend to acquire a client profitably?
  • How many leads do we need to acquire a client?
  • How much can we spend per lead?

We need to know these numbers before setting a budget. This means, sometimes we need the client to give us a testing budget (whatever they’re comfortable losing) to try and figure out these numbers first. Once we have those numbers nailed, we can figure out our budget, based on the data.


Aaron Levy

Aaron Levy
Group Director, SEM at Tinuiti

​Where do you feel display ads fit (or not fit) in very niche industries? 

Contrary to popular belief, Display is the PERFECT place for hyper-niche industries, though you have to approach them a bit differently. There are three ways to leverage Display in a niche, both of which are contrary to what I would normally recommend.

First, find the niche publications your audience reads, the niche forums they use to network or the odd places that only they would look. Add those as managed placements with a few purpose-built ads, and you have likely found a way to boost top-of-funnel at a very low cost.

Second, take an ABM (account-based marketing) approach and hone in on your core target companies you would like to target. There are a number of third-party vendors that specialize in this, but not all of us have budgets quite as big as we would hope! Handpick a few accounts you would like to target, and set a radius around their office addresses — this will hone in your targeting, so you know your niche message is most likely to reach people while at work.

Lastly, niche industries usually have a VERY long sales cycle. Leverage display paired with your own CRM or remarketing lists to help shepherd people along their business development journey. Give them a new piece of information each time in the ad unit, and find a way to measure success outside of a more traditional conversion metric.


Joe Martinez

Joe Martinez
Director of Client Strategy at ClixMarketing

I work for a jewelry company that sells unique pieces. This presents certain challenges on PPC campaigns at the product level as we cannot sell multiple quantities for any given product. What would be the best way to structure a campaign for an e-commerce store like that?

If each piece is unique, it is most likely not the best use of time to create an ad group for each product since people won’t know what to search for. With unique products, there are several other ways you can break out your campaigns and ad groups. Look at breaking out by product category. Are users searching for custom necklaces or custom earrings? A clear difference in intent.

Then consider breaking out your campaigns in a deeper level by adding a layer-based upon what the jewelry could be made out of. Gold custom rings are a lot different than silver custom rings. Next, possibly consider any possible occasion searches applicable to the custom jewelry. Holiday? Wedding? Anniversary? Just decorative? These life moments will offer the opportunity to split out your campaigns to better customize your ad copy to match intent.

My last suggestion, if you’re still not finding keywords that match the unique pieces, look at focuses some efforts on Display, YouTube, or social ads. Find the right audience who would be interested in your jewelry and start building awareness. It is easier having users come back searching for your brand name over a keyword that may not relate to your exact product.


Joel Bondorowsky

Joel Bondorowsky
Executive Director at PPC Designs

Do the 4 stages of a PPC campaign (Benchmark Period, Optimization Period, Growth Period and Profit Period) and planning change when clients have set monthly budgets? And what do you use when you don’t know the sales value and the client cannot share that info (think legal industry)?

Understanding sales value is essential, not just for reporting on the bottom line, but also to give the value to a micro-conversion. A serious inquiry for a law firm is an example of a micro-conversion that could be relevant for you. Here is why it matters — If 100 leads brought 5 sales, from a particular keyword, you would need to know the value of the 5 sales in order to calculate the value per lead. If those 5 sales were worth $20,000, the value of a lead would be $200. If 10% of the clicks that came from that keyword became leads, the value of a click would be $2. You would then know that you need to pay no more than $2 per click to be profitable for that keyword. You can only know this by understanding sales values.


Do you have a digital marketing question you would like answered? 

You can let our team know your question, add comments on the blog or you can use the “Send Feedback” button above to submit a question — be sure to let us know it is for the Q&A series, and we will add your question to the list. Also, check out our upcoming SEMrush Webinars and see which topics and speakers could help you. You can submit questions during the webinar.

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