Author: Mary Lister

The Ridiculously Useful Guide to Snapchat Ads

Advertising on Snapchat has proven to be highly lucrative and, honestly, a lot of fun. Our team of paid acquisition specialists are particularly well versed in the importance of locking down a swipe up in six seconds or less. Though we may have originally underestimated the value of Snapchat, as the fast-moving social media introduced advertising for SMBs through a self-serve platform, we got back onboard the Snap bandwagon.

The 18- to 24-year-old age group continues to be drawn to Snapchat, despite rumors that the platform was being vacated by influencers. In fact, 186 million people use Snapchat every day, creating 3 billion snaps per day.  If you are trying to advertise to this younger demographic, start with Snapchat.

In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about Snapchat ads, including how to:

  • Define your campaign goals
  • Choose a Snapchat ad format
  • Target your audience on Snapchat
  • Measure your success

Define Your Snapchat Campaign Goals

Like other social platforms, Snap has a few different advertising offerings to choose from. Depending on your goals and budget, Snapchat advertising provides different attachment types to effectively increase your ROI. Here’s a breakdown of each campaign goal that Snapchat can help you accomplish.

Brand Awareness and Video Views

This is the simplest way to advertise on Snapchat, because you’re only asking users to watch a video – an action they are already in the app to do. Keep it short and sweet! Insider tip: Snapchat advertisers report that ad fatigue is far higher on Snapchat than other social advertising platforms. To avoid this, make a few different versions of your video ads.

Web Views and Conversions

Pushing prospects to your website and down the sales funnel to a conversion through Snapchat advertising is probably the most popular way to advertising goal for this platform. If you are a Snapchat user, you’ve absolutely been served ads that encourage you to swipe up, read more, or check out the site.

Lead Generation

For those trying to expand the top of your marketing funnel, Snapchat advertising has you covered. You can create ads within Ad Manager to drive users to download, form fill, or register.

App Installs and Engagement

Snapchat advertising is uniquely targeted to mobile users in ways that Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and others can relate to but never quite imitate. Use this to your advantage when building out a Snap advertising campaign! You know that if a user is opening, viewing, or swiping up on a snap, they are on their phone. Your prospects are inches of touchscreen away from the app store – or a tap away from a deep link placing them right where you want them in-app, but more on that in a minute.

Importantly, Snapchat advertising recently introduced down-funnel event tracking, from app installs to opens and conversions in-app. Use this with your third-party tracking platform to accurately measure the success of your campaigns.

Deep Linking in Snapchat Ads

Deep linking! A phenomenon that swept the mobile advertising world a few years ago, deep linking allows a user to land in a section of a mobile application. Snapchat advertising allows marketers to deep link from their ad into their app, bringing users exactly where you would want them. Be sure to test deep links against your run-of-the-mill links; you might be surprised at the results.

Brand Engagement

Almost half of college students on Snapchat would open a snap from a brand they didn’t know; almost three-quarters would open a snap from a brand they did know. Most of them are looking for discounts or promotions and are open to purchasing after viewing a product via Snapchat. The door to brand engagement is already wide open, your social media acquisition specialists just need to walk through it.

Catalog Sales

I’m not talking about your mother’s Land’s End in the mailbox – Snapchat advertising is bringing catalogs into a whole new age. With the release of Collection Ads, Snapchat now allows advertisers to drive catalog sales through a phone screen. Shoppers officially spend more time on their mobile devices than a desktop. Don’t fall behind the times!

Snapchat Ad Formats

When Snapchatters see advertising within the app, it feels seamless, which is a nod to their brand designers. Once you’ve determined your goals for Snapchat campaigns, you should consider which types of ads would work best to reach and engage your audience. The good news? Each of these formats is versatile! Pick your poison.

Snap Ads: The Basics

Snap Ads come in a variety of flavors, but what you should be thinking when you hear “Snap Ad” or “Top Snap” is your typical advertisement that prompts you to swipe up. Whether it is in a snap story or in the discover tab, the main point of action that snapchat advertising drives is a swipe. These live within stories and can drive users to a website, an app, a video, AR lens, or the app store.

These ads are 3-10 seconds in length, and make sure to follow Snapchat advertising restrictions when you set them up:

  • Upload a 1080 x 1920 px JPEG or PNG image, that will be converted into a 5 second video for a photo to video conversion
  • Remember that if you add an attachment to your Snap Ad, Snapchat will apply a call to action and caret at the bottom of the advertisement
  • Always include a brand name that matches the paying advertiser and a headline
  • Format for full screen and vertical
  • Make sure your ad is appropriate for viewers 13 years old and up

Story Ads

Snapchat Story Ads allow advertisers to place a branded tile in the Discover section of the Snapchat application. When users tap the tile, it opens into a collection of ads, anywhere between three and twenty placements. For this type of ad, Snapchat lays out the design for you, based on assets you deliver. You’ll need:

  • A headline, up to 34 characters
  • A brand name, up to 25 characters
  • Attachments, if you’re optimizing for a swipe up
  • And individual files for each Snap Ad within the story

Snapchat Story Ads are a branded content experience, not unlike playable or rewarded ads. Creating a narrative that will quickly engage users is your highest priority; don’t bother with an introduction! Dive right into it!

Snapchat Filters

I would bet that every Snapchat advertiser wishes that they could have designed the dog-face filter; imagine the reposts that drive monumental brand awareness. Though native to Snapchat, that filter is a fitting example of what advertisers should emulate when creating their own. These filters should represent your brand in a fun, relevant way. When designing and purchasing Snapchat filters, keep your customers in mind: Where will they will be using these? Why should they?

And remember these specs:

  • 1080 by 2340-pixel image
  • 300 KB or less
  • PNG with transparent background
  • 210-pixel buffer zone at the top and bottom of the screen for larger phones
  • 74 pixels for the send arrow
  • 32 pixels for the “sponsored” designation
  • Portrait orientation
  • Should occupy less than 25% of the screen

Finally, KISS (keep it simple, stupid). Try not to fill the Snapchat filter with dense, deep graphics. Give the people what they want!

AR Lenses

Lenses are monetizing a classic Snapchat interaction. Users were first drawn to Snapchat because of the amusing (and flattering) filters at their disposal – who doesn’t want everyone to see them in perfect lighting?! This ad type allows brands to create interactive moments through augmented reality. Snapchatters can flip up sunglasses, stick out their dog tongue, shake their head to reveal a robot underneath, all with a brand logo stuck in the corner.

There are two types of lenses, the Face Lens and World Lens. Face Lenses feature innovative technology to recognize a user’s eyes, mouth, and head to transform into the characters your brand creates. A World Lens detects your location to map the environment around you. Users can use the rear-facing camera (aka the normal camera) to view their world through a different light. 

While there are some logical restrictions on the content of your lens (don’t use profanity or change the user’s race or skin color, etc.), the world is your oyster when it comes to these Snapchat ads. Some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Lenses must feature your brand logo or name, but make sure not to obscure the face of the user. Snapchat recommends placing it in the top right or left corner.
  • Snapchat will add a “SPONSORED” tag to the ad, which will appear for two seconds before disappearing.

Collection Ads

In Snapchat’s most recent development of their programmatic offering, they rolled out Collection Ads! These ads allow advertisers to showcase a series of products. This ad type also gives users a fun, seamless way to shop and buy. If you haven’t seen a Collection Ad in real life yet, it is a basic Snapchat video ad with a ribbon of thumbnail-sized products at the bottom.

Collection Ads can be created based on a product catalog, allowing the products featured to be dynamic, or they can be created manually with uploaded tile images. Because this ad type has more pieces than just a simple Snap Ad, there are more requirements to fill out within Ads Manager. They’ll ask for unique links, calls to action, and swipe up URLs, and then Snap will apply the “AD” denotation.

Targeting through Snapchat Advertising

Now that you’ve defined your campaign goals and started to create your ads, you’ll want to set up audience targeting so that these ads appear for your ideal prospects. Like Facebook, you can reach Snapchat users based on a crazy number of categories. Unlike Facebook, Snapchat will tell you exactly where this data is coming from – whether it is Comscore, Nielsen, Placed, Datalogix, or any other data provider. This means that you can get super specific: you can target Fox News viewers, moms with kids in high school, recent visitors of an autobody shop, people with an interest in craft beer – there are countless possibilities.

For Filter and Lens ads, you’ll be prompted to select a location, but you can layer location onto other Snapchat ads, as well. Snapchat Ads Manager allows you to select a state, city, or zip code, or you can set a radius around a certain location.

Finally, like their social advertising counterparts, Snapchat allows marketers to create custom audiences and lookalikes. Lookalikes can be based on a file from your own CRM of prospects or website visitors. Custom audiences can target the same people – visitors or prospects – and retarget Snapchatters that have already engaged with your ads.

Measuring Success through Snapchat Advertising

While every platform advertises a suite of analytics, Snapchat’s might be my favorite. While staying on brand – everything is yellow! – they highlight segments that interact with your ads, even if you did not include those specific segments in the campaign. By increasing the relevance of your campaigns, you are improving the user experience and saving money. Basically, the platform helps you improve your campaign targeting and cut down costs. It’s a win-win-win for advertisers, Snapchat, and Snapchatters.

Pay attention to these stats! In the campaign highlighted above, Snapchat let us know that Shoppers, Liquor & Spirits Drinkers, and Shopping Mall Shoppers (how specific is that?!) were most likely to swipe up on the advertisement. By narrowing our scope to those specific segments – and cutting down on females and android users – we were able to decrease the cost-pe-swipe up by a couple of cents. Two pennies don’t seem like that big of a deal, but two pennies 600,000 times? That makes a dent.

Now, Go and Get Snapping!

All in all, Snapchat has a robust advertising platform, through which you can control your own destiny using their Ads Manager. If you’re a direct-to-consumer brands, give it a try. It’s cheap, fun, and maybe you’ll see success!

33 CRO & Landing Page Optimization Stats to Fuel Your Strategy

Let’s talk optimization.

Marketers spend a huge portion of their time planning, implementing, and executing tests, and analyzing the results. We’re always looking to get those target metrics lifted just a little bit more – figuring out the best subject line for a great open rate, the best CTA and creative pairing to get a click through, trying to shave a second off your website load time to get that bounce rate to dip.

Conversion Rate Statistics

You spend a chunk of change getting prospects to your site – but how much time are you spending optimizing your landing pages? When you look at your ROI, are you also looking at your conversion rates, identifying which pages are bringing down that all-important metric?

Per iFactory Digital, most websites don’t have a massive traffic problem; but all websites have a conversion problem. Here’s what you need to know about the lay-of-the-land when facing off with tools and specialists to help with your conversion rate optimization, or CRO. These 33 stats and facts about conversion rates and landing pages will help you eke out a few more conversions.

Landing Page Optimization Statistics

Only 52% of companies and agencies that use landing pages also test them to find ways to improve conversions.

Long landing pages can generate up to 220% more leads than landing pages with above-the-fold CTAs – but make sure to test to see what works for you!

Conversion Rate Statistics Landing Pages

61% of companies run 5 or fewer landing page tests per month.

48% of landing pages contain multiple offers.

42% of offer-related graphics on landing pages are not linked.

Roughly 75% of businesses have problems finding suitable expertise for optimizing their landing page copy.

The average number of form fields is 11 ….

But reducing the number of form fields from 11 to 4 can result in a 120% increase in conversions.

The optimal number of form fields for the most conversions from your landing pages is 3.

When landing pages don’t ask for age, the conversion rate is higher.

48% of marketers build a new landing page for each marketing campaign.

Only 16% of landing pages don’t have navigation bars …

But removing the navigation menu can increase conversions by 100%!

Conversion Rate Statistics: The Who

Using A/B testing, President Obama raised an additional $60 million.

Via NYMag

CRO tools have an average ROI of 223%.

Customer journey analysis to improve conversion rate is in the game plan of 60% of online marketers.

44% of companies use split testing software.

55.5% of respondents to a 2016 survey by ConversionXL said they were planning to increase their CRO budget.

Always ahead of the curve, in 2011, Google ran more than 7,000 A/B tests.

Conversion Rate Statistics: The What

A/B testing is the most popular form of CRO, with 56% of marketers using this method.

7 in 10 marketers using CRO look to results to inform other marketing initiatives.

Only about 22 percent of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates.

A typical website conversion rate is about 2.35% on average. But the top 10% of companies are seeing 3-5x higher conversion rates than average.

The average conversion rate of a Facebook ad is 9.21%.

Conversion rates typically range from 1 to 3 percent.

Even just a 1-second delay in page load time can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.

44% of clicks generated by B2B companies direct to the homepage instead of a landing page.

Conversion Rate Statistics: The How

Using videos on landing pages can increase conversions by 86%.

Companies whose conversion rates improved last year are performing, on average, 50% more tests and using 47% more methods to improve conversion.

Businesses with over 40 landing pages generated a whopping 12 times more leads than those with 1-5 landing pages.

Companies see a 55% increase in leads when increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15.

Over 90% of visitors who reported reading headlines also read CTA copy.

More than 20 percent of businesses have reported that they do not have an effective strategy for landing page testing.

About the Author:

Mary manages Content Marketing & Demand Gen at Fluent, LLC. When she’s not selling intangible things on the internet, she’s most likely to be found eating extra-cheesy pizza while planning her next trip. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.



Most Expensive Keywords, Ad Hacks & More Top Posts from June

Summer is finally here! June was sunny and warm for those of us in the northeast, and we finally got our fill of vitamin D. Though the month flew by, it was an exciting couple of weeks for us at WordStream! We completed a lot of cool projects that we shared with you. In case you missed it, here are our top ten posts from the month of June.

1. The 25 Most Expensive Keywords in AdWords – 2017 Edition!

Way, way back in 2011, when the world was young and fidget spinners weren’t yet a thing, there was lore floating around in the search marketing world that “mesothelioma” was the most expensive keyword to bid on in Google AdWords, costing upwards of $100 per click.

Our awesome content manager had an idea: What if we used data from our Free Keyword Tool to determine which keywords had the highest costs per click (or CPC’s) in Google AdWords?

The infographic we created based on that data is still one of our most popular pages ever. So we’ve completed a new, comprehensive analysis of keyword data for five different currencies in English-speaking countries (keep an eye out for the data for GBP, CAD, AUS, and ZAR coming soon!).

This time around, we determined the top 25 most expensive keywords (meaning these niche markets are super-competitive) along with their average CPC – and six years later, the results are substantially different!

2. We Analyzed 612 of the Best Ads: Here Are 9 Things We Learned [DATA]

This project was definitely one of the most exciting analyses we’ve done this year! It was a huge group effort to answer some pressing questions: What are the actual WORDS that go into really great, super-high-CTR ads in AdWords? What about stuff like numbers and punctuation marks? What are the best CTA’s? Are the best ads in Google AdWords positive or negative? Are they keyword-stuffed or more creative?

In this article, Allen Finn covers nine, often surprising things we learned by running text analyses on some of the best ads in AdWords from the past year.

3. How to Use Emotional Images for High-Converting Landing Pages Every Time

While each step in the process to acquiring new customers takes nuance and optimization, a lot of marketers leave their landing pages by the wayside. But that can be the most pivotal moment in your quest to gain a customer! And the all-important main image is hugely important. This post maps out the exact steps you need to take to choose a high-converting image every single time you plan a landing page.

4. Case Study: How AdWords Life Events Targeting Lifts Brand Interest 175%

If you advertise with Google, you’ve probably heard of their obsession with micro-moments; the times when consumers are researching and considering a purchase. In line with this focus, Google has gifted advertisers with Consumer Patterns and Life Events which enables marketers to target more relevant audience segments.

This is huge. And this post goes into the improvement accounts had after implementing it.

5. How Much Do Instagram Ads Cost? Plus 8 Tips for Saving Money

Though Facebook has generally been the gold standard of social advertising, Instagram is slowly catching up. In fact, Instagram posts get 10 times more engagement than Facebook posts! So how much does it actually cost to advertise on Instagram? What kind of CPMs should you expect? Is it worth it? This post answers all those important questions and more.

6. 7 Things Nobody Tells You About Working Remotely

Telecommuting – one of the fancier terms for working remotely – seems to be the perfect arrangement for workers in dozens of industries. Companies that encourage and support remote work often report higher levels of employee retention and engagement, reduced turnover, higher employee satisfaction, increased productivity and autonomy, and lots of other benefits.

Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks to telecommuting – people just don’t tend to be as vocal about them. Here are seven things Dan Shewan wished somebody had told him before he took the plunge and became a full-time telecommuter.

7. 'Purchases on Google' Enters Open Beta

Last month, Google announced tons of big changes and new AdWords features at their annual event in San Francisco. At the beginning of June, they rolled out the ability to purchase products directly on the SERP! And as always, our own Mark Irvine has everything you need to know about it in this comprehensive post.

8. 7 Time Management Shortcuts for Marketers Who Can’t Write

We’ve all been there, sitting in front of a blank document when ten brilliant headlines are due by the end of the day. Sometimes it can feel impossible to be a successful marketer in a world where content has been crowned king. In this post, Brad Smith makes the bold claim that “writer’s block is a myth.” And goes through seven writing time hacks to get the results you need.

9. 10 Highly Effective B2B Link Building Tactics

There are a lot of ways to get backlinks, and some require more work than others. This article breaks down the tactics into three separate categories according to how much effort they’ll entail: outreach, submission, and exchange.

10. Video SEO: 9 Ways to Optimize Your Video for Search

It’s true that video SEO is not the same as regular SEO. Video SEO has also changed significantly in the last few years, which is why Margot da Cunha enlisted Wistia’s video SEO expert, Phil Nottingham, to share his advice in this post.

WordStream Named a Top 20 Place to Work in Boston!

With fun golf outings, a winning softball team, an Xbox in the office, and an endless supply of cold brew, WordStream has once again been named a best place to work in Boston!

Our WordStream Team at the awards ceremony!

While WordStream has its formal perks—great benefits, an unlimited vacation policy, great social outings, and opportunities to volunteer—employees have so many more reasons to love coming to work every day.

We all know the story about how Larry Kim created WordStream in a Panera. We also know how our veterans survived through multiple desk and office moves, putting in long hours for our customers, and sticking with the tradition of recognizing each other for “being great” monthly. Just this year, we hit the huge milestone of 200 employees and moved to an amazing new office in the Prudential Center. We’ve come a long way!

And we couldn’t be prouder.

Last night, we brought home the Boston Business Journal’s Best Places to Work of 2017 award, coming in at number 20 in the medium-sized business category. We accepted the award with a quick video showing off our WordStream culture.

The Boston Business Journal announced 80 honorees on April 19, which were divided into five different categories based on the size of the business. The companies were selected based on survey responses from employees, which were scored by Quantum Workplace. According to the Boston Business Journal Market President and Publisher, more than 300 companies submitted surveys, and Best Places to Work is considered one of the most competitive programs.

The WordStream softball team [not pictured: free drinks, great music, and celebratory home-run dances]

We’re always looking for awesome, motivated workers to join our team! Check out our jobs page for open positions.

Our Best Tweets Ever (And How to Replicate Them)

At WordStream, we’ve taken a trial-and-error approach to social media. After I took over our accounts about a year ago, we’ve been implementing new strategies, trying out different approaches, and combing through data to see what our audience really likes to engage with.

First, let me tell you: it’s been hard. We post and tweet a LOT. We have a lot to share, what can I say? And obviously social media is part of our overarching marketing efforts, so we want to make sure that not only are we giving our followers what they want to see, we’re also accurately representing WordStream as a company.

[Shameless plug: if you’re interested in our company culture, check out our new Instagram handle: @WordStreamInc!)

Since it’s officially been a full year since I grabbed control of our social accounts (yes, that was me sending you those Facebook messages and Twitter DMs), I thought it was time to reminisce on what we did manage to get right.

Before we get started, I have some tiny tricks-of-the-trade that I use to make sure our tweets get enough eyeballs.

  • Post each tweet at least twice, but not more than five times. When people check Twitter, they’re not going to check tweets from two days ago, or even 2 hours ago. Make sure you’re covering your bases; and be creative! Don’t post the same, exact tweet if you can help it, use a variety of headlines.
  • If you use social media management software, consider auto-scheduling your tweets. We started doing this and it really helped with engagement—and takes the mind game out of picking a time for each tweet.
  • Know your strengths. Look at Twitter analytics to see what day of the week and time of day gets the most interaction from your followers.
  • Always post a photo. Bonus points for including emojis, too.

Here are our top-performing tweets from the past year and what you can do to duplicate them for your own social media success!

1. Best Tweets with Company Pride

Though a proud mother doesn’t like to pick favorites…these are my favorites. I love when WordStream hits a big milestone or wins an award and I have the platform to share it with the world!

This post was our best tweet from May 2016, posted right after we won the Best Content Marketing Award from MITX. This tweet garnered 216% more engagement than the next best tweet that month!

How to Replicate this Tweet:

Celebrate the big wins or the small successes. Include a photo of your team celebrating. Tag whoever was involved for maximum exposure.

2. Best Tweets with Gifs

These great tweets celebrated another award and a huge milestone for us as a company—which I tweeted about with some celebratory gifs. Using gifs always seems to lift engagement for us, but these tweets were the best of August and September 2016, by far. Engagement skyrocketed, more than triple the next best tweet of their respective months.

How to Replicate these Tweets:

Gifs are eye-catching, as are numbers (see: “5000”, “$9B”, and “1M”) which probably contributed to our high engagement. Don’t be shy about letting your personality shine through!

Pro Tip: Link these kinds of tweets to a press release or blog post on your site and check out the impact on your site traffic. These tweets are also the perfect candidates for pinned tweets at the top of your profile on Twitter.

3. Best Company Culture Tweets

This category of tweets isn’t surprising—people use social media to connect with their friends. When businesses joined the party, it was a bit of a buzzkill for those of us who were used to seeing friendly faces on our screens. Tweets about our employees, featuring our employees, consistently perform well because it personalizes an otherwise faceless entity in your feed.

This tweet, featuring our Halloween festivities, had 420% more likes than our typical tweets.

How to Replicate These Tweets:

Be that annoying friend who insists on taking a group photo. It goes a long way! For those of you who are like me, and are slightly photographically challenged, take a LOT to edit, crop, filter, and the like. Make sure you tag whoever is in the picture and/or wherever your outing is, throw in some emojis, and call it a grand slam.

Pro Tip: These tweets can be scheduled more than once and auto-scheduled, but I’m a fan of tweeting these in real-time. It’s a little suspicious to tweet about a work event on a Sunday afternoon…

4. Best Tweets with Emojis

Emojis are an easy way to grab someone’s attention, especially on mobile! The best emoji tweets below are a double-whammy; they feature images of our employees AND emojis.

How to Replicate These Tweets:

It can be harder to include emojis when you’re scheduling tweets ahead of time through Buffer or Hootsuite. We like to use GetEmoji for an easy copy-paste. But don’t forget to tweet from your mobile at events, too!

Pro Tip: Use that time of day and time of week data you’ve been collecting, and schedule your tweet to hit that sweet spot. For reference, ours is on Sunday afternoons…

5. Best Tweets with Urgency

We find that increasing urgency generally increases engagement with your content. Using action-inducing words is great for news-based tweets!

How to Replicate These Tweets:

Focus on your headlines. If you are breaking big news or reporting on an important change, add verbiage like “new,” “breaking,” and “get it now” to drive engagement. Create a few different headlines to make the message hit home.

Pro Tip: Expect these types of tweets to get lots of clicks and retweets! Make sure you choose an original image that accurately portrays your brand and relates to the content of the tweet.

6. Best Tweets with Infographics

Here at WordStream, we have a steady flow of content, but there are a few times when we know we’ve really hit the jackpot. In these instances, I’ll throw together a bunch of tweets—more than your average blog post promotion on social—and make sure to slice up an infographic appropriately for the attached image. I’ll also pin one to the top of our Twitter right away. We’ve had a few that really took off – the expanded text ads best practices tweet was our best performing tweet of the year!


This was our best tweet of the year!

How to Replicate these Tweets:

Step one: publish engaging and relevant content with an infographic! If you can’t produce your own infographics, borrow someone else’s (but remember to give them credit!). Next, slice the infographic to choose an eye-catching section to feature in your tweets.

If you’re borrowing an infographic, tag the company it came from—that will absolutely up your engagement when they retweet you. For example, one of our most popular infographics was snagged by Jed Record for this tweet. He kindly tagged us, which allowed us to retweet him, and we helped each other out with this tweet engagement!

Pro Tip: All the tweets above simply use the title of the post for the copy. Composing an engaging image is half the battle since it will not only draw in your Twitter audience, you’ll get more clicks overall.

7. Best Dark Horse Tweet

I’m going to be honest, when this tweet did well, I was borderline shocked. I had scheduled it days before, thinking we needed a filler for the day but that no one would be checking Twitter on New Year’s Day. I added a gif and signed off to celebrate New Years!

How to Replicate this Tweet:

Follow your gut and stay true to your company’s personality. If you see an opportunity to stand out from the crowd, grab it. Picking well-known gifs doesn't hurt, either.

How a Full-Service Marketing Group Stays Ahead of the Game with WordStream Advisor for Agencies

When you’re in the business of fixing pipes, installing HVAC systems, or baking cupcakes, keeping your marketing in tip-top shape can be burdensome. Imagine if your business involves marketing for yourself AND businesses fixing pipes, installing HVAC systems, and the like.

Sound overwhelming? Definitely. Time consuming? Absolutely.

MediaBeast Marketing Group is a full-service, conversion-driven agency located in Tampa, Florida, founded in 2013. Their clients run the gamut (from home services to personal injury lawyers to nonprofits). They provide their clients with a well-rounded media approach and comprehensive digital strategy, covering responsive website design, search engine marketing, social media marketing, and mobile marketing. The team of seven employees manages over thirty clients, detailing roadmaps that outline marketing strategies, tactics, costs, and projected results to keep their clients’ teams focused on specific goals.

When the MediaBeast team brought their PPC services in-house, they needed a better way to efficiently and successfully manage client campaigns. The team also noticed that they were having a tough time competing with rivals like Yellow Pages and Driven Local. MediaBeast was drawn to WordStream because of its competitive metric information. The team brought WordStream Advisor for Agencies on board and has never looked back.

Taking WordStream for a Test Run

With multiple clients needing SEM help, MediaBeast decided to give WordStream Advisor for Agencies a test drive. Starting with just one of their accounts, they issued an ultimatum: beat out the competition, and the rest of their clients would join WordStream advisor; if there was no improvement, they’d move on to greener pastures.

The first account incorporated was a plumbing business getting beaten by their competitors in the local market. With assistance from the call-outs and tips within WordStream Advisor, the client saw rapid improvement and started winning business from their local rivals! The insights from WordStream Advisor allowed the team to focus on specific metrics they were not competing well against and helped look to find ways to improve these metrics to drive better results.

Since that first account, MediaBeast has managed almost 50 different accounts through WordStream Advisor for Agencies.


Some of the MediaBeast Team

Strategizing with the 20-Minute Work Week

Samantha Lappla, an account manager at MediaBeast, says, “I look at digital marketing as a trial-and-error scenario. Sometimes you know a certain campaign will be successful and other times you try a tactic, but it doesn’t show you the success you were searching for, so then you go in and think what you can do better.”

The MediaBeast team, while juggling multiple accounts and channels, monitors spend throughout the month to observe how their clients are pacing to achieve their goals. Lindsay Elsten, another account manager at MediaBeast, reports that the team uses the 20-Minute Work Week to keep track of not only spend but any red flags that could be raised throughout the week and get new ideas for changes to make within each account.

Lindsay says, “WordStream does the ‘thinking’ for you before you have to think. I have saved so much time with the 20-Minute Work Week by using it as a starting point to what I can look at further in an account.”

Because different companies have varying objectives, the team makes use of WordStream’s industry benchmarks to help assess and estimate what clients should expect from their campaigns. Lindsay says they also like to use the CPA goal tracker within WordStream Advisor to watch their costs and how the metric changes over time.

Turning the Tide with WordStream Live

While WordStream Advisor for Agencies offers prescriptive, account-specific advice, it was the educational and strategic advice from WordStream’s experts that gave MediaBeast’s search success story new life, according to Lindsay. MediaBeast attended WordStream Live, our premier, bi-annual customer event. The event featured presentations from WordStream customer service representatives on key topics like Expanded Text Ads, device and bid adjustments, account structuring, analytics, and more.

Lindsay took note of tips and tricks on reducing keyword clutter, using IF functions, and optimizing for mobile conversions. She decided to put her new knowledge to the test on one of her client’s accounts—and after a month and a half, she saw a huge improvement.

By reducing the number of keywords in each ad group, adding expanded text ads with IF functions to capitalize on a mobile audience, and adding mobile CTAs on landing pages, click-through rates jumped 87.47%!

Since WordStream Live, the MediaBeast team has focused more closely on mobile through the IF functions in expanded text ads and specific CTAs. After focusing on mobile tasks, the top three performing text ads featured IF functions AND mobile CTAs!

Winning Together

A fun story we love to tell about MediaBeast’s Lindsay from her experience at WordStream Live: she was so immersed in sharing tips with her team back home and rapid-fire tweeting pictures from the event, she killed her phone battery by cocktail hour! Luckily, she was able to plug in and get enough juice to get out of the city, safe and sound. 

Lindsay said, “The biggest thing is that I don’t feel like the service is degrading. Sometimes when you work with experts in a field, it can be intimidating to ask questions or seek advice. The WordStream employees never make you feel like you should already know what you’re asking.”

At WordStream, we like to consider ourselves experts in search marketing. Our employees live and breathe PPC to keep our software and services on the cutting edge for our customers. Which is why we are excited to receive feedback about our customers’ successes!  The MediaBeast team also gushed over their customer success rep, Greg Herrmann (we love him, too!).

We could not be happier to have MediaBeast on our team! 

LOTS of New AdWords Features, & More Top Posts from May

We survived a crazy-rainy May! Full of Star Wars memes, margaritas, Instagram’s for social-media savvy Mothers, and loads of Google announcements, we’re still catching our breath. Below is the best of the blog from the past month—don’t miss any of our (or Google’s) big changes and helpful guides.  

1. 11 Changes & New Features Coming to AdWords: What You Need to Know

On May 23rd, Google held its annual marketing event to announce new changes coming to the AdWords platform.  Our own Mark Irvine was in attendance to report back on the news, and this post covers all the changes! The good news: there is a bounty of exciting new features that’ll enhance your digital marketing strategy. The bad news: you’ve got some learning to do!

2. The Last Guide to AdWords Account Structure You'll Ever Need

As part of our customer event last month, a few of our Customer Support reps held workshops to break down some PPC concepts. This guide covers all the bases, from laying the foundation on a campaign level to adding a backyard pool with ad extensions.

3. Introducing New Smart Display Campaigns in AdWords

The Google Display Network includes over 3 million websites and apps, and offers almost as many ways to target your display ads across the web. While all of this targeting gives sophisticated advertisers plenty of control over their ads’ performance, it can be intimidating to find the best way to start advertising or optimize your display ads. Google hopes to make this ad targeting conundrum easier with its brand new Smart Display campaigns, which are rolling out of beta to all advertisers now. This post has everything you need to know.

4. 4 PPC Experts on the Best New Features & Strategies of 2017 (So Far)

What's been working for PPC marketers this year so far, in Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and elsewhere? We asked four of the best marketers we know to share what new things they've tried out this year and had success with. Aaron Levy, Lisa Raehsler, Purna Virji, and Kirk Williams pitch in with their insights on 2017 thus far.

5. 4 Free Resources to Inspire Better Ad Creative

In this post, Allen Finn tackles the all-too-relatable conundrum of a creative drought paired with being an overworked part-time marketer. These free resources will help get your creative juices flowing and make your ads look better than ever!  


6. Google Announces Major Changes to Enhanced CPC Bidding

In yet another breaking news announcement, Google is changing how it handles campaigns’ bids—by allowing them to automatically adjust your bid by more than 30%! Any advertiser that uses eCPC will be affected by this change. Freaking out? Have no fear, Mark Irvine is here.

7. Google Releases New & Improved Quality Score Reporting

Going along with the Google updates theme, this month Google announced some changes to Quality Score reporting, changes that will afford you a more complete understanding of the elusive metric and allow you to act on new insights with ease. This post digs into the details.

8. Industry Report: State of the Internet Marketing Agency in 2017

At WordStream, a huge portion of our customer base is marketing agencies! We tapped into their invaluable store of knowledge to create this report on the state of internet marketing, specifically for agencies, and came up with some insightful takeaways. This report includes everything typical price points to growth plans. Don’t miss it!

9. WordStream Makes Its First Acquisition!

Although just one of our big company announcements this month, it was definitely the most exciting for our customers! We are thrilled to join forces with Algorithmic Ads to help businesses quickly generate display ads based on existing website imagery. Find out more in our post!

10. 4 Useful Features Hidden in the New AdWords Interface

Probably the biggest announcement from the Google Marketing Next event was the new AdWords UI. It’s supposedly bigger, better, faster, and stronger—but we’ve collected some behind-the-scenes features that you should be using.

13 of the Best Instagram Ads We’ve Ever Seen

As I was writing this post, I reached out to coworkers and friends to screenshot their favorite Instagram ads. The responses were, unfortunately, lacking to non-existent.  When I kept bugging them, most responded saying that they either only saw terrible ads, or none at all. Which got me thinking…

The best Instagram ads don’t look like ads at all.

They look like Instagram photos. Kind of like the best movies we see are those that we can relate to—the best acting mimics real life!

What we noticed? As social media platforms push consumers toward video, businesses are taking advantage of the opportunity. We also saw a lot of cool carousel ads, creative boomerangs, and high-quality photos.

Welcome to the Oscars of Instagram Ads. It’s going to be a star-studded post. Even better, we’ll take you behind the scenes and show you just how to duplicate their award-winning looks.

Best Actor

Let’s hit this red carpet running! Look at that adorable face. You just know he had to pose 12 different ways with his ears getting tugged to produce this adorable ad. This creative gets right to the point—it’s a grooming service marketing itself to you by showing a picture of a groomed puppy. Sometimes, the best way to get your result is a straight line. Congratulations, Krisers Pets!

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Cute animals will stop your prospects in their tracks
  • The “Call now” CTA makes it easy to take action

Best Picture

Look. At. That. Cheesy. Goodness.

Hats off to you, Domino’s. You know what draws hungry college kids coming home from the bars, posting late night Instagrams: cheap—yet delicious—pizza.

More than just the gorgeous picture of a pie, food pictures are huge on Instagram right now. (And did you know that the #1 most Instagrammed food is pizza?) These kinds of ads blend in and stand out appropriately; no one is going to get annoyed that you’re showing up, and they might just be intrigued enough to place a delivery order or head into the store.

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • It looks “native” (like an organic Instagram post)
  • Emojis in the ad text are a nice touch to resonate with hungry millennials

Best Director

This artistic ad from Dance and Beyond is slightly mind-bending, like looking at an illusion on your phone screen. Props for some awesome photography skills—you know the photographer (director) had to rearrange these legs 10,000 different times and take 10,000 shots to get this exactly right.

Don’t be afraid to up the ante on Instagram. If you have an amateur photographer on staff—or if you run a photography studio—show off your skills! Everyone is always looking for the perfect angles. Capture your audience!

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Eye-catching, artsy photography begs to be “liked”

Best Original Screenplay

This Chik-fil-a Instagram won the show with a pregnancy announcement. To be honest, I thoroughly enjoyed the play on the typical bun-in-the-oven announcement but I truly identified with Dad. He was upset that there was only one mini chicken sandwich in his box! The emotions were so real!

To create an Instagram ad like Chik-fil-a’s, think about how your brand or product can unexpectedly be involved in the personal milestones of your customers. Everyone loves a great success story; do you run a boutique where your salesperson had a meet-cute with a customer? Do you have a restaurant that hosted a surprise birthday party recently? Tell your story through a video ad! 

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Uses self-deprecating humor—exactly what you’re looking for from a fast food restaurant
  • Tells a complete story quickly

Best Animated Feature

This adorable Haagen-Dazs ad combined a very real-looking ice cream cone with some very animated bumble bees to celebrate Free Cone Day. They even included a nice play on the “busy bee” idiom in the caption!

This advertisement isn’t too flashy or cartoonish, but draws awareness to the endangered honey bee population and the free cone event in a cute way. You know that they considered featuring real bumble bees, then immediately realized it would be a terrible idea. Way to go, Haagen-Dazs!

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Latches onto a popular event and a popular environmental issue
  • Creative use of hashtags

Best Adapted Screenplay

Though this might be a stretch for an ad, the popular show 13 Reasons Why is based on a book, and was adapted for television by Netflix. This carousel ad features the show’s main characters with some dramatic overlay quotes.

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Eye-catching carousel without being a full-blown trailer
  • Intrigues your audience, drives subscription conversions

Best Cinematography

This ad must have been filmed with a high-def, fisheye drone (or something like that, I’m not a photography expert). The footage is amazing! It makes the viewer feel as though they are in the crowd with the best seats in the house. And it never gets boring, with quick action shots, clips of an excited audience, and sporadic camera flashes.

Have Go Pro, will travel? This type of ad is great for travel agencies, car share companies, boutique hotels, or any business that assists their customers getting from point A to point B. Make your audience fight the FOMO with some fast and slow video compilations.

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Incredibly well-taken video
  • Makes the audience feel present but not as though they are being swindled

Best Costume

This adorable Starbucks ad wins best costume for that great camouflage! On top of the adorable factor, it has all the makings of a great Instagram on a personal account. Don’t kid yourself, one of your more photography-inclined friends could have captured this for a ludicrous amount of likes.

Take advantage of scenery! If you have an especially cool mural or view around your business, take photos of it—maybe with your products strategically placed in the shot.

Why this Instagram ad works:

Best Makeup and Hair

Just looking at this ad from Glossier brings the great, classic song to mind, “My lip gloss is poppin’, my lip gloss is cool!” Glossier has a series of strong ads featuring their products, which closely resemble make-up tutorials that you would find on Instagram organically. This advertisement draws your eye with the enhanced sparkles, and can provide swift gratification with a click of a button to order the same gloss.

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Like so many of the best Instagram ads, it mimics a great organic ‘gram
  • Clever copywriting is the icing on the cake

Best Comedy

Who doesn’t love a good pet-shaming? Not only does this Instagram ad blend in with the rest of my feed full of naughty puppies and silly cats, it includes a plot twist! This naughty goat head-butting a car door is the perfect advertisement for car insurance—because who knows when a trip to the petting zoo could go awry.

Want to make an ad like this? Simply find a way to incorporate cute animals into your business proposition. Works like a charm.

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Great repurposing of the pet-shaming meme
  • Copy and CTA both reinforce the next step: Calling for help

Best Set Design

Mrs. Meyer’s subtle boomerang ad could be from any parent’s Instagram—spilled milk on some cookies that you know left the kitchen covered in flour and sprinkles. The real eye-catcher is the great title, “Perfect is Boring” that steals the show.

Face it, good cleaning products aren’t the most thrilling selling point. If your product is similarly sleep-inducing, try putting a fun twist on it! Sell cat litter? Pictures of silly kittens. Paper products? Find some way to work The Office into the conversation. You got this.

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Perfectly paired image and caption
  • Blends in with an Instagram newsfeed, but is eye-catching enough to create pause

Best Dance

Shout out to Brooklinen for having the best boomerang jump-into-bed dance that everyone can identify with. #BedGoals, am I right? This Instagram ad features (what I can only assume is) a sweet Brooklyn loft, a beautifully made bed, and a satisfying “poof” when that attractive man somersaults into it.

As so many Instagram models can tell you, being scantily clad goes a long way (ahem, every Kardashian, ahem). However, I would recommend duplicating the relatable satisfaction displayed in this ad—the bed jump—like pulling a cheesy slice of pizza or perfectly landing a water bottle flip.

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Boomerangs are always effective at drawing attention
  • The caption boasts a sale!

Humanitarian Award

Last, but absolutely not least, our Humanitarian Award goes to Donate Life America! Doesn’t that sweet face stop your scroll in its tracks? This simple and to-the-point ad is for a great cause, too.


Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Well-taken photo for a good cause

Congratulations to all our winners! Did we miss an outstanding Instagram ad that you’ve seen? Send it our way!

Snap Inc. Opens Advertising Opportunities to SMBs

Starting in June, Snap Inc., the parent company of the popular mobile app Snapchat, will begin offering advertisers a suite of self-service advertising tools.

For the past few years, Snap ads have been available to big brands through large media buys accompanied by a Snapchat sales rep, or third-party software providers that plug into Snapchat’s advertising API. To invest, your company had to fork over hundreds of thousands of dollars on custom campaigns, often executed and run by third parties.

 In a move to include more brands, Snapchat Ad Manager will allow smaller businesses to access advertisement opportunities on the platform. Now in beta with more than 20 brands, Snap Inc. plans to make the ad manager available to advertisers in 29 countries in June 2017. The new self-serve ad manager will be free to businesses of all sizes.

The three new Snap business tools include Ad Manager, Snapchat Mobile Dashboard, and Business Manager.

Snapchat Mobile Dashboard 

Allows advertisers to view ad creative as seen by Snapchat users, monitor live campaign analytics, edit campaigns, and receive notifications about key metrics. This dashboard can be accessed through the Snapchat consumer mobile application.

Ad Manager 

Buy, manage, optimize, and report on campaigns for all Snap Ad types, including video, app install, long-form video and web view. Organize targeting capabilities, goal-based bidding for swipes or installs and assets like video creative or audience lists like emails and mobile IDs.

Business Manager

Change billing contacts, manage permissions for team members and multiple ad accounts—an opening for agencies to add a platform to their roster.

Snapchat ads seem to be taking a page out of Facebook’s playbook after releasing demographic, lookalike, and device-matching targeting last year. More recently, they released a lighter form of retargeting and results-based bidding; all of these features will be on the self-serve ad manager. This move is expected to significantly grow Snap, Inc.’s ad business, which is projected to reach $1 billion this year, the first since going public.

Adding Snap Ads to Your Marketing Strategy

According to users in beta, the ad manager is relatively self-explanatory and encompassing. Snap ad formats will include:

Snap Ad: the most basic option, an up-to 10-second vertical video.

Ad + Article: provides the same multimedia canvas as what is currently featured in the discover section of the app. Articles can include text, in-line videos, gifs, and galleries. These can be run in publisher stories and shows.

Ad + App Install: swipe to open an embedded app store page and tap to install the app in the background. Seamless and simple!

Ad + Long-Form Video: combine a teaser with a swipe to reveal a short film or full-length trailer, these campaigns can be run anywhere on the app.

Ad + Web View: Swipe from the ad to the site for easy and almost instantaneous access. These can also be run anywhere on the app.


Measuring the Impact of Snap Ads

While creating high-quality video ads can be difficult for SMBs, there are more options! Sponsored geofilters and sponsored lenses will also be available through the ad manager. Geofilters are available on-demand at a select location, for an event, for high-traffic shared spaces, at chain retail locations, and nationally. 

Snap currently utilizes first and third party tracking to determine the success of campaigns, with a handful of set measurement metrics.

Viewability: how much attention your ad received.

Reach: how many Snapchatters saw your ad and their demographic information.

Resonance: how Snapchatters thought or felt based on your ad.

Reaction: the impact the ad had on in-store traffic and sales.

Verification: how many times your ad was served with tracking support.


While it’s not yet time to divert ad spend from AdWords or Facebook, this is a unique and high-engagement set of ad formats on a platform with a growing user base. Stay tuned for more from Snapchat! 

31 Must-Ask Interview Questions for Marketing Jobs

Here at WordStream, we know how difficult is it to find the right person to fit a position and a team. Especially when your company is rapidly growing and you’re interviewing for multiple positions at once, it can be hard to keep up!

The marketing team is hiring for several roles right now, and we were lucky enough to receive interview training from our lovely recruiter, Michelle Cataldo, and our great HR manager, Hillary Reilly, and wanted to share our wealth of new-found information.

In this post, you’ll learn the top marketing interview questions you should be asking every candidate you bring in for a marketing job interview. (If you’re the one applying for the marketing job, make sure you’re prepared to answer questions like these!)

Behavioral Interviewing for Marketing Jobs

Though hard skills can be taught, soft skills are harder to instill in a new employee. Behavioral interviewing is based on the premise that past performance is indicative of future performance. The goal of this technique is to create a profile of each candidate, which allows for comparisons when you’re trying to choose who to offer a job to. 

Watch out for yes-or-no questions! You want your interviewee to take you on a journey—ask open-ended questions that require an explanation.

Pro Tip:

Our recruiter, Michelle, recommends making a set list of interview questions that will highlight a candidate’s behavioral qualifications and split it up among the interviewers. Then, each interviewer can take a subset—List A, List B, etc.—and when the team meets to confer, everyone will be on the same page, without having to repeat questions.

Interview Questions to Assess Background

This is a great way to ease into the marketing interview and start a conversation. Begin with a general background question that can lead to dialogue.

“Tell me about your career up to this point.”


Make sure the right candidate shows up for the interview…(that’s not Will Hunting)

And let the interviewee provide you with a jumping off point. Listen carefully and follow along on their resume; note what they specifically highlight because this could allude to the most important points of their career. Follow up with a question that is more specific, such as:

“What is your largest responsibility in your current/last role?”

The next questions can gauge how driven and motivated the candidate is. Every marketing leader wants to stack the team with passionate employees—try to get a feel for what kind of go-getter your candidate is.

“How has your current role evolved since you started?”

This will give you a sense of how the person has grown in their past role. Did they seek out learning opportunities and show a clear increase in experience and skill level?

Finally, address the elephant in the room.

“Why are you looking to make a change?”

This question can give you a feel for your candidate’s weak spots as well as their ambitions. Watch out for red flags, such as complaining about their manager.

Interview Questions about the Role

Before diving into specific questions about qualifications, make sure that you are both on the same page. If the candidate is a little confused about the role, jump in! Make sure they know what they are applying for, what your specific needs are, and if they could be a good fit.

“What do you know about this role? What made you apply to work here?”

Maybe they’re applying because they saw pictures of your cool office on VentureFizz

Each marketing role and team measures success differently. Some marketers have specific goals to hit related to traffic or flawless execution, some marketers are simply judged on the quality of their work. Others have quarterly goals! How does your candidate make sure they are living up to expectations?

“What techniques do you use the measure the quality of your work?  What steps do you take to ensure the desired quality is achieved?”

Take this opportunity to identify and discuss any tools that are necessary to use in the day-to-day of the job. Consider asking them if they’re familiar with marketing analytics tools like Google Analytics, and what marketing metrics they consider most important to track and report on—any number of acronyms; CPC, CPA, CTR, CTO, CVR, the list goes on and on.

“What are the most important skills you have learned that you would utilize in this position?”

Finally, if a large component of this position will be managing a team of people, make sure to touch on their leadership skills:

“What is your greatest personal struggle or limitation in supervising others?  Can you give me an example of a time when you overcame one of your limitations and resolved a problem?”

This is also where it gets a little tricky—some marketing positions can be much more technical than others, i.e. graphic design vs. content writing. We have some tips for how to interview for specific marketing roles.

Interview Questions for a Content/SEO Marketing Role

Content and SEO tend to go hand-in-hand, as it is easier to optimize your content before it is published instead of in retrospect! Make sure this marketing candidate is not only a good writer—a strong voice, attention to detail, knowledge of basic grammar, a portfolio of published pieces—but also a good marketer.

“How did you grow traffic in your last role?”

Look for the candidate to share actual numbers.

Via Salesforce

“What were your content promotion strategies?”

Even the best writing won’t go anywhere if it doesn’t rank on the SERP or get boosted through different promotion channels, like email and social media, and your best candidate will understand how the two are perfectly paired.

“What is your favorite piece of recent content?”

If your candidate is truly passionate about content marketing, they should be able to talk about a favorite recent project they worked on Our content marketing manager, Elisa, also always wants to know which blogs you read to stay current with marketing trends.

Interview Questions for an Email Marketing Role

Email marketers, like most marketing jobs, are a combination of hard, technical skills and soft skills. This candidate should have management skills, attention to detail, and analytical skills.

“Tell me about a time when you owned the process of an email campaign from beginning to end.”

Look for an understanding of key email marketing concepts from subject line to creative to CTA’s to A/B testing to list management.

“Which tools do you use to report on the success of your email campaigns?”

Interview Questions for a Lead/Demand Generation Marketing Role

I always think of these nurture marketing and lead marketing roles as the test-takers of the team. They need to be able to change strategies on a dime, identify important metrics, and be on top of their game when measuring quality vs. quantity.

“What marketing channels do you have experience with?”

“Which channels were most effective in your last role and why?”

B2B and B2C backgrounds can feel like comparing apples to oranges, so make sure this marketing candidate can shift as needed.

“How did you measure lead quality?”

“Give an example of a goal you had to achieve, the metrics you used as benchmarks, and the strategy that you implemented. Did you meet the goal?”

Interview Questions for Social Media Marketing Role

Social media marketers can be the most fun to interview! Usually, because they should be clever, charming, and think well on their feet.

“What social media channels do you have experience with?”

Most social media marketers in the B2C e-commerce space should have familiarity with Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. B2B can be a little trickier, depending on the audience—but Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are generally the go-to’s. We love to see a marketing candidate who has seen success with a more obscure platform (Inbound, Reddit) and hear how they became an expert there.

“Which channels were most effective for your business and why?”

Don’t just take their word for it – make sure you look at the accounts they have managed in the past to see if they stayed active and grew an audience, as well as how they deal with customer service complaints and content or product promotion.

“Social media can be a powerful marketing tool as well as customer service. Describe a time when you successfully merged the two.”

Interview Questions for a Marketing Analyst Role

When you’re interviewing a candidate for a marketing analyst role, ask questions about how they have been able to wear different hats!

“Which analytics platforms are you familiar with?”

It is entirely possible that your marketing team will need this person to help with a variety of reporting and insights—from website traffic to email success to paid search and social conversions.

“Have you ever had to reconcile contradictory or misleading metrics from different platforms?”

Platform fluency can be taught, in most cases, but the softer skills of conveying success or failure are harder to ascertain. 

“Tell me about a time where you recommended a certain action that turned out to be incorrect.”

Interview Questions about Team Dynamics

This may be the most important part of an interview—most skills can be learned, but a candidate needs to fit in with your marketing team to succeed. If you are interviewing a candidate for a management position, make sure the people who would be under him/her are in the room for the interview process. If you’re interviewing for a lower level position, anyone who will be working with this person daily should have input.

Start from the top down:

“What kind of management style do you prefer?”

Does your candidate prefer to be given a lot of space to do their own work, or do they prefer a more hands-on style with a lot of direction?

Marketing is a realm that can be a melding of creativity and business structure. Oftentimes, these qualities clash instead of meshing peacefully. Make sure your candidate knows how to stay professional, composed, and diplomatic in that situation:

“Describe a time when you had to work with highly creative people. What was your work relationship?”

Try to get some insight into how they communicate in the work environment.

Or, in a similar vein:

“Tell me about a time when you had a serious conflict with a co-worker or manager. How did you handle the situation?  What was the result?”

One of our own communal workspaces to promote winning together!

Interview Questions about the Company Culture

At WordStream, we recognize leaders on our teams each month who best demonstrate our core values. Our most-recognized value is Winning Together; this question is extremely important! Happy employees, happy life:

“Describe how you were able to build positive team spirit in a new group.”

This is a great time to pause and make sure the interviewee understands the company structure outside of your marketing team. Feel free to dive into a corporate structure, the different teams, and how everyone works together to meet their goals.

With so many new tech start-ups popping up, there are an insane number of perks that promote a “work hard, play hard” culture. Even if this isn’t necessarily something that your company promotes—or even if it is—it can help to see what kind of employee this candidate would be. Do they value bonuses, or summer Fridays? Unlimited vacation or seeing their teammates succeed and hit their goals?

“What motivates you?”

Next, make sure the candidate would fit in with your team. Marketing teams are tight-knit, collaborative, and usually small-but-mighty forces for the company. One bad apple could spoil the bunch, as they say. Does this candidate work best in silence, or in an open workspace? Do they like to communicate on the phone, over email, or face-to-face?

“Describe your ideal work environment.”

The best candidates will probe you more about company culture—we spend most of our lives with our co-workers! They should be very interested in the kind of office they would be arriving at every day.

Some of our awesome Customer Success Reps!

Bonus Round: Interview Questions to NEVER Ask and What Responses to Look for

In our interview training with Hillary and Michelle, we all got some helpful handouts on what we can definitely, absolutely, not ask, ever.

  • Race or Skin Color
  • National Origin
  • Religion or Creed
  • Sex, Marital Status
  • Children
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Address
  • Place of Birth
  • Citizenship
  • Criminal Record
  • Height and Weight
  • Personal Finances/Debt
  • Political Affiliations
  • Military Experience – experience or type of discharge

So, no, it’s probably not a great idea to start a conversation with a candidate by asking, “It sounds like you have a midwestern accent, are you from Minnesota? How tall are you, I hear mid-westerners are pretty tall.”

You get the idea.


When asking these specific, situational questions, it’s good to keep a few things in mind:

Which competencies can you not train?

How much time are you willing to spend on training a new employee?

How strong are the behavioral examples given—and how believable?

Our VP of Marketing, Laura Taylor, loves when a candidate will ask, “Have I answered your question?” to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Our nurture marketing specialist, Michelle Grupinski, wants to hear what project a candidate has worked on that they are most proud of.

Finally, take notes! Probe the stories that a candidate puts before you—are they using “we” or “I” when talking about accomplishments? Is there anything trivial that seems small, but you can’t get off your mind when the interview is over? Look out for warning signs, but be reasonable and keep your biases in check.

What qualities do you look for in a marketing candidate? Let us know what your go-to interview questions are!

We’re hiring! Check out our open positions here.