display ads

Three new ad targeting features introduced by Quora

  • Nandita Raman
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  • 16 October , 2019
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    • 2 min read

It is the Internet era where people consider Google to be the universal encyclopedia that has answers for every query under the sun. As much as users love browsing information, interactive platforms like Quora have made their way through the plethora of information available online. For the past decade, users have embraced Quora for the concept that common people can share their thoughts as answers. It has emerged as a powerful tool that brings like-minds together on common grounds for knowledge sharing. It has also grown as one of the best platforms to amplify your content and ads.

Recently, Quora has introduced three new targeting options for ads that advertisers can utilise to enhance customer engagement, with an interested and valued audience. Here are the three new features added to Quora.

                                                                  Source: Google

Keyword targeting

Advertisers can customise their Display Ads to a relevant audience depending on their history of content consumption. Targeting is based on the keyword search, or related questions read previously. Say, for example, let the keyword be ‘baby food chart’. If users search or read questions regarding baby food or nutrition, then Quora narrows down the target audience and displays your ads in their feed and question pages. Advertisers can target audiences who have typed in the keyword in their search or read related questions in the past 20 days. This feature enables advertisers to focus on the interested audience, thereby improving the number of leads.

Gender targeting 

Gender targeting paves the way for more specific targeting of ads. If your product is women-centric, like cosmetics, then you can opt to display your ads in the Quora accounts of women. Similarly, for products relating only to men, the same principle applies. You will be able to find this option under the demographic category in the ‘Ads Manager’ search box. This streamlines your ad spends on targeting the right users who are potential customers.

Browser targeting

If your ad pertains to any software that is useful for a particular browser, you can choose to target customers with respect to the browser that they are using. This is an add-on to the existing feature, in which Quora targets the users depending on the mobile and device usage.

It is always exciting to experiment on different ad platforms. Now is the time to leverage the interactive Q&A platform of Quora with the new features introduced for targeted customer engagement. Implement these latest strategies to accelerate lead generation through Quora and reap maximum benefits. 

 


Programmatic Advertising: The Future of the online advertising landscape

  • Nandita Raman
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  • 23 September , 2019
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    • 8 min read

Programmatic advertising is considered to be one of the biggest digital marketing trends in 2019 and Google has predicted that 60% of its advertising budgets will be put towards programmatic by the end of this year. Although programmatic advertising has taken over a fair share of the digital advertising space, there is still a level of uncertainty among many marketers. The main reason for this is the lack of information when it comes to programmatic advertising and the reluctance in letting go of traditional advertising methods. So how can programmatic advertising help you take your customer reach to the next level?

What is programmatic advertising?

Today, two important factors that play a crucial role in the success of a business is its marketing techniques and digital advertising tools. Earlier many companies were dependent on offline mediums of advertising, but in recent years digital advertising has become the primary means of marketing for many businesses. Programmatic advertising is taking centre stage when it comes to this type of marketing. 

‘Programmatic’, as the name suggests, is the use of a program or software to buy digital space/inventories. Not only is this process more cost-effective but it is also incredibly efficient. There was a time when the process of advertising involved numerous sub-processes and human negotiations that resulted in a lot of delays. But with the use of artificial intelligence, programmatic advertising has made ad buying in the digital space easier than ever. 

How does programmatic advertising work?

In its simplest form, programmatic advertising is an automatic bid on advertising inventory which happens in real time. This is known as real-time bidding. It gives the owner of the ads the freedom to create and optimise the adverts to their liking. However this type of programmatic advertising is just one type, there are other programmatic types that guarantee impressions from specific websites. This is referred to as programmatic direct. 

When a person engages with a programmatic ad, the website publishing the ad bids for an impression in an auction of the ad in the marketplace. This auction is run among the different advertisers who want their ad to be displayed on the webpage. The brand with the highest bid wins. 

Although this auction process may seem time-consuming in theory, the system is automated and the entire auction can happen in milliseconds that it takes for the web page to load. The bids of each of the competing advertisers is pre-programmed into the system. When the customer clicks on the ads, the advertiser will convert this into a sale.

To learn more about programmatic advertising check out our video on how can it help your brand scale your digital marketing efforts. 

Types of creative formats for Programmatic advertising

When it comes to programmatic advertising, there are many different ad formats that companies can use so that they can create the largest impact and scale using creatives. 

Here are a few:

Native video

Many brands prefer native ads because they can be customised to meet the look and feel of the publisher’s page. This can result in better visibility and higher engagement with the ad. Native ads also allow you to reach the market quicker because a set bundle of assets are used to fill in the ad templates.

Youtube ad

In today’s mobile-first world, it can be hard to grab the attention of the audience. Bumper ads a quick and efficient way to give the viewer snippets of your product or service while they are on the go. Insteam ads, on the other hand, can be skippable or non-skippable, based on the objective of the advertiser. These ads are optimised with the help of AL and ML for better traction. They also have the added advantage of tracking post-view floodlight activity conversions for a specified attribution window. 

Lighbox ad

Lightbox ad comes under responsive ads which have the ability to fit to any ad space depending on the display screen. Lightbox ads typically contain galleries with images and videos that enable the customer to effectively engage with the ad. Moreover, lightbox ads streamlines the ad engagement which can be done by clicking or tapping on the ad that is displayed. This way it prevents any accidental engagement.

App Promotion ad

The app install platform helps you to create an ad that helps in increasing the number of app downloads. You can promote your app by creating an interstitial ad containing images or youtube videos, catchy title and suitable description. App Install ads are designed to create awareness about the app and also allows users to directly install the app by engaging with the ad.

Parallax ad

Parallax ads helps you create a distinctive and creative ad display. By utilising the parallax animation effect, you can display different images in layers with description. Users can view the entire ad only if they scroll down screen. Unlike other types of ad, the engagement is measured with the number of users scrolling down for complete information, even if they do not click on the ad.

Audio ad

Audio ads helps in brand awareness for reaching to a wider audience thereby increasing the number of leads. With the availability of different platforms like spotify, Apple music, google play and many more, leveraging audio ads will be a potential ad strategy to improve brand reach.

Flipbook

Flipbbok is a unique way to grab the attention of users with a short video on the mobile screen. This video is as short as five seconds and if the user is interested to learn more about the video, they can tap on the clipping to view the entire video. The video clipping plays  while the user is scrolling down and and while scrolling up the video plays in reverse. Similar to parallax ads, the engagement rate is measured by number of users scrolling, even though they do not click on the ad.

How can your business do Programmatic advertising?

Many consider Programmatic advertising to be the future of digital advertising. A report by Magna global stated that by the end of 2019, 50% of all advertising will be Programmatic. 

So how can your business do Programmatic advertising? Like traditional advertising, there are many factors that a business needs to consider before they implement this. They include:

Set goals

Once you know how and where you are going to implement the programmatic ads, the next step is to set goals. You need to know what you expect to get out of programmatic advertising such as the conversion rate or the click rate and set goals accordingly.

Study the market

As with any medium of advertising, the first step is to study the market. Programmatic ads appear on webpages, apps and audio-video content, to name a few. So, you need to know what type of web pages your customers are visiting as well as what competitors in the same space are doing. This will give you a better understanding of what webpages to target based on the audience personas identified.

Take up a full-funnel approach

Programmatic advertising is a great way to put your brand name out there, hence, it is crucial that your ad appears in the right places to the right audience. It is a good idea to take up a full-funnel approach and target the audience based on the consumer's journey. Pick out the information that brings out the essence of the brand in the ad.

Select your audience

DV360 provides comprehensive targeting options in order to fulfill the campaign objectives. Advertisers have the option of choosing Google-provided audiences for no extra cost, along with first-party audiences or purchase third-party audience, based on the campaign goals. 

How to use your company’s data to your advantage?

With the help of data available on the market, the brand needs to gather behavioural insights to run a successful programmatic campaign. There are three types of data that come into play when thinking about programmatic advertising. The first would be the data collected by the marketer on the customers. The second would be the data gathered by an advertising agency who would use the information to help the brand build its programmatic advertising strategy. The third type of data, also known as third-party data are reports that can be purchased by any company online. 

Brands need to pay close attention to the data they collect as it can give them valuable insights into customer patterns and behaviour. Programmatic advertising can then be targeted based on scale and accuracy. If the target audience is small, the accuracy can be intensified on a small scale or vice versa if the target audience is large. 

When it comes to retargeting existing customers, it is important to use programmatic advertising to give them a story behind the brand rather than information about the product or service as you would with a new customer. But don’t focus solely on retargeting, your programmatic advertising campaign needs to be optimised from start to finish to keep the customer engaged at all times.

Challenges of programmatic advertising

There are many challenges for online advertising and programmatic is no exception to these challenges. Although programmatic advertising is slowly gaining traction, the concept is still in its nascent stage. This is mainly because of lack of information about the concept, where and how to use the technique. 

The next big challenge is , having invested money in ads, it is a natural expectation for brands to reap maximum benefits. But what if your ads are viewed by bots and not real audience? This is called as the AdFraud where your investment on advertisements yields no results. Here is where research and knowledge plays a key role in displaying your ads to the relevant audience. You should make sure that your ads are displayed on reputed and trusted websites, for which you should be sure of the website. 

Brand safety plays a prime role in securing your ads on the webpages. Here are some brand safety methods that you can incorporate for your programmatic advertising.

Brand safety measures

One of the key concerns for many marketers today is brand safety. In recent years many brands have become more vigilant about safety measures which were spurred by the many ads being placed next to political and violent content that often took the focus away from the brand’s message.

Here are a few important tips advertisers can use to ensure that their programmatic ad buys to protect the brand name. 

Invest in private marketplaces

It is recommended that advertisers leverage their relationships with publishers and run ads in the private marketplace (PMP). This is an effective way to purchase programmatic ads because you know exactly who you are purchasing the ads from and where the ads will be placed.

Opt for premium placements

It is crucial for advertisers to escape the vicious cycle of posting their ads in fraudulent and irrelevant websites. Your advertisement should protect the brand’s reputation by making sure you place your ads on premium and trusted web pages. Using brand safety you set a platform for the right audience to engage with your ad.

Whitelists

In contrast to blacklisting certain websites, you can also whitelist them. This is a list of sites that are safe to run your ads on. This may seem like a time-consuming task but there are many exchanges that require websites to complete an intense inventory approval process.

Make use of exclusions in your targeting

Not only do you focus on targeting relevant audience, you should also be aware of your negative targets. Under brand safety tools, you can exclude certain web pages from showing your ad, considering the site to be unsafe for your ad to be displayed.

Ad fraud verification services

Advertisers can use the services of third-party vendors to prevent ad fraud. This feature is present under the "brand safety" tab where you can choose between leading providers like Integral Ad Science, Double Verify and Adloox to prevent your ad from being showing to fraudulent websites while saving up on advertising dollars. 

Is programmatic advertising the future?

Programmatic advertising is definitely on the rise in India in 2019 largely because of the efficiency it provides. Traditional ad campaigns require a lot of iterations and can either be a hit or miss. But with programmatic ad campaigns, brands don’t need to worry about their ad expenditures. The program ensures that money is spent in the best possible way. All you need to do is enter the required information into the software and you are all set. 

Programmatic advertising uses customer’s data and company goals to create and set ads to effectively target the customer base. This type of ad buying frees up more time from brands and agencies that they can use to think more creatively about the customer and how programmatic advertising can be leveraged to engage with India’s next billion Internet users.

 


Are interactive ads changing the way brands advertise?

  • Rhea
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  • 23 August , 2018
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    • 5 min read

Interactive ads allow users to engage with them or explore them in new ways. The average digitally-active user is exposed to hundreds of ads every single day! With so many ads bombarding them, people automatically turn on their filters and are able to ignore a majority of these. While this coping mechanism might help a user wade through an ads-saturated world, it can also be a source of great concern for brands. With brands spending huge amounts on advertising, they can’t afford to have their audience simply ignore their ads. So how do you prevent a user from scrolling past, turning off or forgetting about your ad? The answer might lie in the new format of advertising: interactive ads.

What are interactive ads?

Interactive ads create immersive experiences for audiences that capture their attention completely. The rich technology that has fuelled interactive ads allows users to experiment and engage with your ads. This helps create a lasting impression on your audience, as a result of which ads perform better. While these ads work on desktop and tablet too, mobile is the platform showing greatest results. As more users spend most of their screen time on mobile phones, this is another reason why brands should start experimenting with interactive ads. Modern-day audiences, millennials, in particular, don’t want to be passive spectators. While digital advertising as a whole offers users a personalised two-way form of communication, interactive ads go one step further.

Why you should start using interactive ads

Interactive ads have delivered clear results for brands using them. If you start using the magic of interactive ads in your strategy, be prepared to see these four results:

1. Better engagement on ads

You might have a beautifully designed landing page, but how do you get users to actually click on it and submit their details? Most interactive ads also come with a call-to-action which takes a user to the brand’s landing page or product page. Since interactive ads are more engaging than other formats, users are more likely to actually click on the button. Interactive ads are also more fun than most other forms of advertising. Interactive campaigns in the past have witnessed a 300 per cent higher CTR, positive brand perception and higher recall than other forms of advertising.

2. Higher lead conversion

For most brands, the metric they’re chasing after isn’t just lead generation, but actual conversions of those leads. Interactive ads have an average of 3x conversion rates than other formats like video ads, with this number going up to 7x for some campaigns. On the face of it, interactive ads might appear to have a higher CPL than other forms of advertising like display. However, users who engage with the ad can be retargeted via display campaigns, leading to higher conversions and improved quality of leads generated via digital.

3. Generates more data

Data is the foundation of every marketing strategy and is immensely valuable to marketers everywhere. Interactive ads offer a huge goldmine of data that can go deeper than other kinds of ads. You can gain granular information on how long people viewed your ad, what they clicked on, if they answered any questions, whether they replayed it and if they shared it with others. This data can help you formulate a more refined approach, improving the performance of future campaigns as well.

Interactive ad formats

Like other forms of advertising, the platform you choose for an interactive ad will also depend upon your target audience and your defined metrics for success. Here are the top-performing interactive ad formats that brands need to sit up and take notice of.

1. mCanvas

mCanvas is a rich media ad format that helps brands communicate their story in an experiential way. It is designed exclusively for mobile, a platform that is becoming popular in India.

Ads designed for mCanvas are beautiful and visually appealing, which plays a large role in attracting higher CTRs and user engagement. After clicking on an ad, mCanvas is able to detect smartphone sensors, allowing users to interact with the ad by shaking, tilting or speaking a command. mCanvas also allows brands to reach out to their consumers in a more focused way through a number of targeting options.

For Piramal Mahalaxmi, we decided to look beyond the commonly used digital marketing strategies for real estate in India. We used captivating images of the view from the property to create interactive experiences through mCanvas. Through mCanvas ads on premium placement sites, we were able to direct a number of high-quality leads to our landing page. We retargeted them through Google Display Network, which fetched us a sizeable number of conversions. In this way, mCanvas was an innovative strategy for digital marketing for real estate that helped us push leads through the conversion funnel.  

2. Rich media ads

A rich media ad includes interactive features like videos, audio, gifs and other elements that make it stand out from a static display ad. With rich media, there is no limit to the creativity brands can use to captivate their audience. These ads are created through HTML5 technology, allowing multiple content formats to be placed in the same ad. An ad, for example, can play a video and conduct a poll simultaneously. Rich media ads can help brands achieve the twin objectives of higher CTR and greater brand awareness.

One of the best examples of how rich media lets brand push creative boundaries is Nissan’s 2016 World T20 tournament campaign. Nissan detected an opportunity in the fact that many Indians weren’t able to watch television and keep track of live scores. They developed a series of rich media banner ads that also kept track of live scores. The ads were also interactive because they asked users to vote for their favourite teams before a match started. Nissan’s innovative approach helped them stand out from the numerous other brands advertising during cricket season. Their rich media interactive ads delivered a 4x increase in website visits and 10x higher interaction rates compared to industry standards.

A commonly used form of rich media ads is Lightbox.

Lightbox

 

 

Lightbox is a format of interactive ads developed by Google. When you click or hover over a Lightbox ad, it responds by expanding. A Lightbox ad can expand to fill your entire screen, play a video or take you through a carousel of images. The ads also generally end with a link to your website. Since these ads are more engaging than traditional formats, it increases the likelihood that a user will actually click on your website link. Lightbox ads automatically adapt themselves to fit your screen size, so they work perfectly on mobile, tablets and desktops. The same display targeting options are also available for Lightbox ads, helping brands ensure they reach the right audience.

3. Interactive video ads

Video ads are one of the best-performing advertising mediums with 64 per cent of viewers buying the product after watching branded videos. When combined with interactive features, they become even more effective. Interactive videos transform what is usually a passive viewing experience into one that actively engages with them. Viewers can answer questions during a video, influence sequences of the storyline and even play games. Interactive videos capture your audience’s attention completely and can be a powerful way to generate leads or send viewers to your website.

 

 

At Social Beat, for example, we used an interactive format for our Team video to make it more fun and engaging. Questions popped up at regular intervals and viewers could click on them for answers. This held their attention for a longer time and even helped them learn more about our brand in the process.

Interactive ads have delivered proven results across the board for FMCG, BFSI and B2B brands. With audiences today looking for greater value from advertisements, interactive formats certainly have the upper hand.


How in-app ads delivered 76.38% lower Cost per Lead

  • Rhea
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  • 10 July , 2018
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    • 3 min read

A recent study by Nielsen and BCG revealed that India has a $100 billion opportunity for brands as the amount of time consumers spend on mobile and the number of digital transactions conducted increases. As 81% of users research their options on a mobile phone before actually making a purchase, reaching them through mobile platforms is becoming increasingly important. This is why, for digital marketers, in-app marketing has become one of the most important channels to drive customer awareness and generate leads.

Mahindra Lifespaces took advantage of this trend in their lead generation strategy. The phenomenal results they achieved proved that a mobile-centric approach might be the future of advertising for brands.

Background

Mahindra Lifespaces is one of India’s leading real estate developers with multiple projects spread across the country. They are the pioneer in developing environmentally sustainable projects and deliver premium living spaces to their customers. To match the company’s novel approach, they also needed an innovative digital advertising strategy to help them stay ahead of competing brands and expand their customer base.

Goal

For this campaign, the objective was to leverage in-app ads to drive more leads for Mahindra Lifespaces at a significantly lower cost per lead as compared to other targeting strategies previously used.

Approach

For the Mahindra Windchimes project in Bengaluru, we made extensive use of in-app ads to tap into a huge potential consumer base. In-app ads are placed strategically within selected apps, so customers are exposed to it while spending time on the app. With consumers today spending more time on essential mobile apps, reaching them through this medium has proved to be one of the most effective strategies. In-app marketing will also prove to be one of the biggest ways digital marketing will transform the real estate sector.

To do this, we implemented a three-step approach to developing an effective in-app marketing strategy.

Defining the Target Audience

The demographic targeted for this campaign was the 35+ age group as this would be the segment who were advancing their careers and looking to buy a home. All marital statuses and both genders were also targeted, however, males performed better.

Selecting App Platforms

After setting the target audience, we then needed to research into what kind of apps this segment would be most active on. Based on their interests, we targeted apps that belonged to the following categories:

  • Business - document editors/viewers, email management, job searches, etc.
  • Finance - banking, digital payments, financial news, ATM finders, tax calculators, etc.
  • Photography - camera and editing tools, photo management, file sharing, etc.
  • Books and reference - book readers, reference books, dictionaries, thesaurus, etc.
  • House & Home - house and apartment searches, interior decoration, home improvement, mortgage calculators, etc.

These apps would be the most effective ways to maximise reach among our target audience.

Utilising Powerful Images

As in-app advertising is a largely visual medium, the display creatives used needed to be catchy, informative and entice customers to visit the page. A mix of high-performing standard display creatives was successfully used to capture the target audience’s attention.

Results Achieved

With this advanced targeting strategy, we were able to generate unprecedented results for Mahindra Lifespaces. Utilising in-app ads helped us not only generate more leads but also led to higher conversion rates.  These ads helped us accomplish two major outcomes:

  • With in-app ads, we were able to deliver conversions that were 76.38% cheaper than other display targeting campaigns.
  • In-app ads also helped us increase conversion rates by 267.92% compared to previous display targeting campaigns used.

In a nutshell, in-app advertising helped us gain higher conversions at a lower cost. This proves just how effective platform apps can be for brands looking to boost their lead generation and conversion strategy.

With the Digital Marketing Industry Report 2018 stating that 40% of brands are looking for lead generation through digital marketing, implementing in-app ads could be one of the most important methods for them to achieve this goal. The faster brands adapt to this advertising strategy, the better equipped they will be to reach larger customer bases.

 


A Comprehensive Guide to AdWords Smart Display Campaigns

  • Sreekar
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  • 8 August , 2017
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    • 3 min read

The Google Display Network is a vast network in the digital world. It helps not only by displaying ads to people who are looking for your brand but also to people who might be interested in your brand and are occupied currently with some other work like browsing another website, watching a video on YouTube, checking their mail, reading reviews or using their mobile apps.

Google display network offers umpteen ways of targeting your ad but finding the best targeting might seem to be a tough job at times. For this reason, Google has made it easy and has introduced smart display campaigns where our job is just to provide ad assets and set a target CPA, and Google does its best to drive as many as conversions as possible. The ad’s adaptability allows you to expand your reach without you having to create dozens of ads in all the combinations of ad types and sizes.

In these types of campaigns, Google sets its target audience and placements which it feels is worth spending for. Smart display campaigns are used when the advertiser wants to target additional customers beyond the manually targeted audience. As per google, the daily budget should be 10-15 times the target CPA bid.

Eligibility Criteria for running a Smart Display ad

Unfortunately, smart display ad option may not be open for all the accounts. The advertisers have to check if they are capable of running a smart display ad before they plan. There is a passing criterion of at least 50 conversions on the display network and 100 conversions on the search network in the past 30 days without which running the ad might not be possible.

Setting up a Smart Display Campaign

Creating a smart display campaign is very simple. The process is similar to that of a display ad creation. When you promote the ad,  click on “Marketing objective radio button.” In the drive action objective, select an appropriate option which then lets us know if our account is eligible to create a smart display campaign.

Once you have created the campaign, set the campaign budget, and the target CPA goal.

We provide only the ad assets, Google then scans your website and selects appropriate images with which it creates a series of responsive ads to be tested.

Size Restrictions for a Smart Display ad

Be aware of your asset size restrictions before you start, so you have all your ducks in a row before you start creating your SDC.

  • Headlines: 25 Characters
  • Descriptions: 70 Characters
  • Display URL: No limit
  • Final URL: no limit
  • Images (optional): 1200 x 627 (1 MB limit)
  • Logos (optional): 1200x 1200 or 1200 x 300 (1 MB limit)

Optimization techniques

Automated bidding

The smart display bids are based on target CPA where the performance data suggests the highest likelihood of conversion occurrence. The bid is automatically set higher, and when there is a minimum probability of conversion,  it is set lower.  The campaign should start optimising in two weeks or after 50 conversions, whichever comes first.

Note: Google does not guarantee to stick to the target CPA, it may vary according to various factors.

Automated targeting

As the name suggests, the targeting is based on tracking which demographics, locations, etc. help in more number of conversions for the ad.

Smart display campaigns cover two targeting methods; automated remarketing where ads are targeted to the website visitors and automated targeting where people just above the buying phase of the marketing funnel are targeted.

If a remarketing campaign is already created in another campaign, the ad with higher relevance shows up.

Apart from these, site category exclusions can also be specified.

Note: Avoid going for smart display campaigns if you have a very specific target audience in mind.

Automated Ad creation

This feature is similar to that of a responsive ad. We enter the ad copies, images, logos, etc. and google assembles it into various types, sizes and shapes based on where the ad appears on the google display network.

Also, read our blog on the most definitive guide to optimising your AdWords campaign.

Benefits of Smart Display

  • A lot of time and energy can be saved as you need not create different ad sizes manually.
  • A successful conversion rate can be achieved.
  • Smart display ads help you discover which of your ad copies or images have worked well for your brand.

Have you created your smart display campaign? Do share your learnings and experience with us in the comments section below


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