Overwhelmed with questions about how to approach their media efforts in this time of Covid-19, organizations are seeking guidance and clarification. Google's Vice President of Global Marketing for Media Joshua Spanier decided to pinpoint five guiding principles for his team to focus on as they approach the new normal. We find these to be succinct, universal values that our clients and colleagues can rely upon. "Inside Google Marketing: 5 principles guiding our media teams in the wake of Covid-19" by Joshua Spanier is an important resource for those looking for values to reinforce with their teams and clients as we move forward into uncharted terrain.

1. Context, always

Though this is a global pandemic, its impact is local. We’ve found it helpful to carry that thinking into the evaluation of our marketing campaigns. Our global teams are providing guidance centrally, but we’ve found it’s best to trust each market to make decisions locally. In other words: direction from the center, but decisions on the ground.

At a very practical level, we have built out a centralized, shared spreadsheet for all paid and owned tactics across markets, so we can capture and learn from what is being decided locally. Every team around the world has access to this worksheet in real time.

One example of what we’ve learned from this shared context: As interest in news surges around the world, there are many more ad impressions being served in the news category. We’re having to ask ourselves, “In what instances are we comfortable putting our brand alongside news content?” This debate, and local nuance, has helped us make choices, especially around the use of paid social media. Local context is key.

Guiding question: Is this campaign right, given the current context in a local market?

2. Constantly reassess

As market dynamics change rapidly, we’re constantly reassessing campaigns, creative, and even our guidelines. What we decided two weeks ago isn’t necessarily appropriate today. The one constant assumption we have in this situation is that things will change. Because of that, we’re reassessing every possible touchpoint for our brand across paid and owned channels, from video ads to the automated emails we’re sending via customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

We’re asking ourselves every day, “Is this creative or ad placement right for this moment and in this context?” And when the answer is no, we pivot. For instance, we’ve had an Android campaign running that referenced being “out and about.” Was that OK in the U.S. market a few weeks ago? Sure. Today? Not so much.

Guiding question: Though we greenlit this campaign last month/last week/yesterday, is it still right for the context and moment?

3. Creative considerations

In the spirit of reassessing campaigns, we’re finding that all kinds of creative elements need scrutiny right now. From tone and visual imagery to copy and keywords, the context of our media buys needs to be carefully assessed. We’re asking ourselves these questions with every campaign, no matter the channel or size of spend behind it.

For instance, we don’t think slapstick humor is appropriate for our brands right now. So we’re holding off on some campaigns that were funnier in nature. We’re reevaluating creative that shows interactions like hand shakes, hugs, and high-fives, since social distancing is an important tactic for slowing the spread of illness. We’ve also reviewed all our Search ad copy to spot phrasing that’s now awkward — “virus checks,” for instance, have taken on a whole new meaning in light of this moment.

Guiding question: Are all of the creative elements — tone, copy, visuals, keywords, placements — appropriate and relevant to this new reality?

4. Changing priorities to navigate uncertainty

As business professionals, we recognize that we have a responsibility to navigate uncertainty. Through it all, we’re evaluating our media budgets through the lens of what’s most relevant to our consumers.

Our guiding principle as a brand, particularly in this moment, is to be helpful. And as people turn to technology for information and connection in these times of need, we’re mindful that some of our products — like Google Search, YouTube, Hangouts, and Google Classroom — can be more helpful today than they were even yesterday. In that spirit, we’re shifting our paid media priorities to brands that help more people get vital information or bridge the gap between what was once “normal” and their current reality.

For instance, our emphasis is moving to products like Search as people need information, YouTube as people need inspiration and know-how, and Hangouts and Chrome as educators turn to live streaming and digital lessons.

Guiding question: What are the most relevant brands, products, or campaigns our media can support right now, and do we need to shift budgets?

5. Contribution, at every opportunity

If there’s ever been a moment for us to come together and help one another, this is it. As our CEO Sundar Pichai wrote, “In this unprecedented moment, we feel a great responsibility to help.” We’re asking ourselves how we can help our consumers, our customers, and our partners — especially when it comes to our owned channels.

Every brand has its “owned media,” whether stores, websites, or even social handles. Across Google, we’re using many of our surfaces to help however we can. Take the YouTube homepage, for instance, that directs users to videos from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or other locally relevant public health agencies. We’re also taking a look at our brands’ social handles and evaluating how we can use their reach to amplify the information people need now. As the days go on, we’ll continue to assess our owned touchpoints for new opportunities like this.

Guiding question: What ways can our brand — and even our owned media channels — be helpful to people and businesses in this moment of need?

Please find the original post by Joshua Spanier on the Google website here.

Are you advertising on Google? If not, you may be surprised by the results you get from Google Advertising. Google Ads promote incredible visibility for your business or brand. You can also be very specific with who sees your ads. Google Keywords can also help you predict the audience for your ads. Even if you don't want to run ads, Google Keywords can provide incredible insights for the traction of your business concept.

If you have never tried Google Keywords for your business, trying it out to see the potential audience is recommended. You might be surprised at the detailed statistics you can see about your targeted audience. You might also be surprised that the keywords you may think will garner the most attention for your business aren't those you expect.

How do you access Google Keywords?

Using your gmail email address, start a Google Ads Account here:


A Google Ads Account is free and you will only be charged if you decide to run ads. Don't be worried about accidentally running ads. The ads platform is pretty complicated with multiple layers of campaigns and ad groups. Accidentally running an ad is actually pretty difficult! 

What's the path to the Keyword Planner?

From the main Ads dashboard, select Tools. You can see in the below image it is the wrench in the top grey panel.

This will open the tools menu, as seen below. You can then select Google Keywords from the Tools options. Under Planning, it's the first and only selection, Keyword Planner.

What options are available in the Keyword Planner?

The Keyword Planner offers two options. The option to generate specific keywords or the option to get more specific statistics on various keyword strategies. See the screenshot below for these options.

How do you find new Keywords?

After you select "Find New Keywords," you will be redirected to the keyword form. You can add multiple keywords that you are interested in for your business. However, it's probably best to only add one keyword to start so you can get specifics. You can always add more later.

What type of keyword information can you receive?

After you select your keyword or words, Google will generate details about your keyword. You can learn approximately how many people per month search for your keywords and also the average bid that other businesses pay to use that keyword in their ads.

For example, in the below screenshot, I searched for "Yoga." Google generated all the related terms for this keyword. You can then select the keywords you choose for your business and import them easily into an ad group for your business. 

Need help?

Interested in creating a Google Ads campaign or learning more about keywords? Call Cote Media today! We can develop a keyword strategy to generate more leads for your business!

Google Shopping gets a tough rap among many designers and advertisers. Some find the platform perplexing and challenging to navigate.

There's good reason advertisers balk on Google Shopping campaigns. Unlike traditional Google advertising campaigns, keywords are driven from the products themselves. Rather than entering your target keywords into the Google Ads platform, advertisers must make sure these keywords are in the original product listing. 

That's why it's important to partner with an e-commerce developer like Cote Media who understands all the nuances of online shopping from the get-go. This type of work can be streamlined well in advance of a website's launch. Streamlining this work vastly reduces production time and costs, as well as headaches when the store inevitably wants to start advertising on Google.

When's the best and most efficient time to create these keyword strategies?

Believe it or not, these keywords are best written and crafted before you ever upload any products to Shopify or your e-commerce channel. Where do you do this? The best time and place to craft your keywords is in Excel or Google Sheets in the original product spreadsheet before you ever upload it to Shopify.

Why create these keywords in the original product spreadsheet? By creating these keywords in the original product spreadsheet, you greatly reduce production time. You can quickly add these keywords line by line in one spreadsheet.

This also allows the developer to collaborate with the shop owner. Once the products are in Shopify, most shop owners do not want to meddle with keywords and other details. If you work on these keywords in Google Sheets BEFORE uploading them to Shopify, the client can edit the keywords themselves if they choose to do so.

What happens if you forget to add these keywords for Google Shopping in the original product spreadsheet?

In that instance, Google Shopping will default to your product title. But that might not be enough. If your product titles are insufficient or not what you seek for your Google Shopping goals, you will then have to edit the products using the bulk product editor.

You can still use the bulk product editor to add in these keywords in Shopify. However, it is far more efficient to have the keywords populated into the original product spreadsheet and upload them to Shopify. 

The problem arises if you need to collaborate with the shop-owner on the keywords and the shop owner does not wish to use Shopify. In that case, designers must receive the information from the shop owner and reenter it into Shopify. By collaborating from the get-go with the client on the keywords in Excel or Google Sheets, the production time for a shop is greatly reduced. 

These are the nuances of online Shopify set-up that only seasoned professionals like Cote Media can make you aware of. We learned these lessons through training and experience. We know how to build you an online shop in the most efficient manner from the get-go.

Google Shopping Uses Negative Keywords, Unlike Traditional Google Ad Campaigns

Google Shopping does not use traditional keywords for its campaigns. Instead, advertisers use negative keywords. What are negative keywords? These are words you do not want your ads to appear for in Google searches.

For example, in traditional Google Ad campaigns, you would put in a keyword like "Golf Clubs" if you want to be discovered for those terms. But in Google Shopping campaigns, you cannot do that. Those terms must be in the original product in Shopify. You can only add into Google a term you do not want to be discovered for in Google Shopping as a negative keyword.

Therefore, if you notice that you are appearing in searches for "Happy Gilmore" for your golf business, you can put the movie title as a negative keyword strategy. This allows you to prevent showing the ad to searchers who are not looking for your product.

Contact Cote Media today for a consultation!


Last week, we hosted a Google Partners live stream focusing on Google Adwords. As a Google Partner, we’re in the market of promoting small businesses via Google Adwords, the search engine’s advertising platform. A lot of time and energy goes into finding your potential clients, but that’s what we’re here for! So what are we doing behind our computers?  We promise we’re wearing pants.

“Google” has become a verb.  We google history, we google trending topics, and we google the next big thing. In the time it has taken you to read this sentence, there have been over 250,000 Google searches performed. (http://www.internetlivestats.com/) Someone just searched for your services, but they didn’t find you on page one of their results, as an ad or as an organic result! (What’s the difference? That’s for another blog!) Are you even in their results?

If your Google Partner is on top of your Google Adwords, you are! Here’s is what we work with: what you are promoting, keywords associated with your business, where you want to reach people, and the peak time to reach that audience. We create advertisements (maximum 95 characters) for your business. Yes, more than one ad! Science 101 tells us that every experiment needs something to compare your results to, or a constant.

feb blog pic 2

So here is your experiment: You want to find customers to buy your winter shovels.

*Ads appear at the top of the results list or to the right module.

After one month of advertising, we review the activity of each advertisement.  If the advertisement focused on price worked better than the one about features, we’ll mold a new advertisement based on that information. Another month, another review, another adjustment.

That’s just one small part of using Google Adwords to find your customers. It might sound simple, but we only make it look easy because we’re experts.  You’re an expert at your own business. Don’t lose that title by trying to take on a whole other arm of marketing! Let us do our thing and we’ll make sure you succeed in yours!

We also mentioned keywords associated with your business, where you want to reach people, and the peak time to reach that audience.  Those deserve their own blogs! If you’d like to get a jump start on that education, call us!