Rethinking Learning
conversations about the future of teaching and learning
Barbara Bray
be creative, innovate, take risks, unlearn to learn
Oakland, CA

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Content Marketing: Interview with David Szetela
By Barbara Bray    March 25, 2010 -- 10:21 AM

Looking for other sources of revenue? How about increasing traffic to your website? You may want to look at placing ads on your site. If you are planning to add text or graphical ads to your content, then I highly recommend reading David Szetela’s book: Customer Now.  You can download it as an eBook.

Using your content to build revenue is an interesting sideline for teachers. Just think about all the content you have created and its value. Instead of selling your content, how about putting relevant ads within your content. I asked David some questions about because I had a lot of questions. I know about Google AdWords but didn’t realize the power of other programs like ASDAQ Exchange.

1. How does content advertising create demand from potential customers?
David: Content advertising creates demand by putting ads in front of people who aren’t necessarily looking for that product.  It targets websites where someone who may become interested in the products (if presented/shown to them) would visit and grabs new customers that way.

2. I work with K-12 schools and universities. Why would a teacher set up content-based advertising on their blog or website? How would you recommend them doing that if advertising is not allowed for anything involved with their organization?
David: No matter whether you are a teacher or not, the reason to set up content-based advertising on your blog or website would be to make money off of it.  If your organization prohibits banner ads or text ads, you can do something called paid inclusion, where you pay sites and search engines to link to your site.

3. Many teachers use Google AdWords. What advice or best practices would you give to them about setting up their AdWords advertising for a site that provides links to math lesson plans?
David: The advice for teachers would be generally the same as it would be for anyone else.  The question is how to best set up AdWords in general.  This is a very broad question which is answered at length in “Customers Now” but it comes down to effective and smart AdGroups, keyword granularity, and a good landing page.

4. What are the other content networks and exchanges that you recommend? Would you recommend one over the other for specific purposes and target audiences?
David: I would say that Google’s network is definitely the best to start out with; it has plenty going for it.  It’s user friendly, has a large volume and mostly free content.

5. The information about writing effective text ads was very helpful. How would you phrase the ad for Math Lesson Plans?
David: For math lesson plans, as with most other products, it’s more important to show your audience why they should care about your product, as opposed to just “what your product is.”  For math lesson plans, the message should probably something like “these will teach you math, period” as opposed to “we have XX number of lesson plans.”  People are very selfish when shopping or viewing ads.  The question that’s constantly being asked “what is this going to do for me?”

6. When is it more effective to use a graphical ad instead of a text ad?
David: Graphical ads vs. text ads:  The best advice I can give is to have a good mixture of both.  Nowhere is it proven that a graphical ad performs better in general than a text ad or vice versa, though somewhere I read that if you are advertising in Europe, graphical ads are more effective.

7. Educators are not aware of the importance of a clear targeted landing page. Why is the landing page the best place for visitors to find information based on the ad? What do you suggest for educators as they build a landing page?
David: A landing page is important because that is the first thing your customer sees when he or she clicks on your ad.  That’s where you make your sale.  Your landing page is where you lay out your case—why the visitor should buy your product.  You have to make it stand out and grab the visitor’s attention because that’s how you convert and make money.

8. How does ASDAQ Exchange work?
David: The ADSDAQ exchange isn’t necessarily “better” than Google’s network, but it’s different in that, as Szetela explains in chapter 6, “It is a true exchange that allows publishers to set an asking price, and for advertisers to then bid on their presence on the publisher content pages…The advertisers from approximately 400 categories, and ADSDAQ’s exchange places ads on all pages within its exchange that correspond to the chosen category.”

9. What are the metrics that we will want to be aware of when we set up content advertising?
David: The only metrics you really need to focus on are Conversions and Cost-Per-Conversion.

Online Advertising expert David Szetela founded Clix Marketing in 2003, following a 25-year career in technology sales and marketing as an executive at Apple Computer and Ziff-Davis Publishing. He is active in the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) and was the author of two lessons in SEMPO’s Advanced Search Advertising course. His writing has been published in his weekly column as a Search Engine Watch Expert, Profitable PPC , in the SEW Blog, in online publications like Search Engine Land and in the Clix Marketing Blog. His weekly show, PPC Rockstars, is broadcast every Monday at 4 PM Eastern time. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences like PPC Summit, Marketing Sherpa B2B Summit, SMX and Search Engine Strategies.

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