The MnSearch Summit Interview Series: Larry Kim

larry-kim-2We had the opportunity to interview several experts who are speaking at MnSearch Summit to help you learn and develop stronger bonds with these industry leaders. Keep reading and be sure to attend Larry’s session on Friday June 27th at the MnSearch Summit!

Bio: Larry Kim is the founder of both MobileMonkey and WordStream. Where he has been providing internet consulting services while funding/managing a team of engineers and marketers to develop and sell software for search engine marketing automation since 2007. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+.

1. What are you most excited for the MnSearch Summit in the Twin Cities this summer?

I grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba. When I was younger, the cool thing to do was to do a road trip to Minneapolis (via Fargo, etc.) and hang out at the mall. I also went to Minneapolis a few times to play American teams in various hockey tournaments. I haven’t been back there for nearly 20 years now, and I’m looking forward to going back!

2. What actionable tips could attendees expect to walk away with after your session?

At WordStream, we have over $10 Billion in AdWords data! Recently we reverse engineered how AdWords really works – we found a lot of surprising stuff in there. In my presentation I’ll be sharing many of these insights.

I think it’s fascinating because in AdWords, it’s really hard to see the forest for the trees. Meaning, most advertisers see what’s happening in their own accounts – but success in AdWords often requires understanding and beating what is happening in competing accounts, which is nearly impossible to see (unless you have billions of dollars in customer spend data).

So, we’ll be reviewing tactical insights into the top 1% of AdWords accounts and the weird tricks they employ to crush the competition. But my hope is by seeing and understanding the big picture – including key insights into how AdWords really works, that attendees will move to adopt radically different PPC strategies.

3. What piece of career advice could you give to someone new to the search marketing field?

One challenge in SEM is that you need experience working on larger accounts in order to land a job in the industry. It’s a bit of a chicken/egg problem. One way I’ve seen people who are new to search break through this dynamic is to offer to do unpaid SEM work for 4-6 months. Most professional SEMs always could use additional help running reports or optimizing stuff (etc.) since there is always more stuff you could do than time in the day to do it. By the end of the internship, they’ll either hire you on as full time, or you’ll have the experience and a strong reference to land your first paid gig.

4. What PPC targeting options and platforms would you recommend to advertisers trying to tap into local Minneapolis customers?

I would target unusual Minneapolis pronunciations of keywords for people searching using the Google Voice Search App. (ha ha – I’m just kidding!!).

5. How would you approach ad copy writing and testing for that of a Minnesota-wide campaign vs that of Minneapolis and St. Paul?

The more local your searches are, the more important it is to use stuff like location and call extensions since the intent of those more localized searches will more likely be to get directions to your store or call and place an order, etc.

But I’ve done a lot of research into the use of Ad Extensions and while they certainly provide a modest uplift, what I’ve found is that there are potentially far bigger gains to be made in ad copywriting in other areas.

For example, changing your offer, providing a guarantee, rethinking your unique selling proposition, or writing emotionally charged ads that play to people’s insecurities or fears, etc. I consider these kinds of ad copy writing strategies to be foundational and so they shouldn’t vary too much based on your geo-targeting.

6. What have you always loved/wondered about the State of Minnesota?

I love seeing freezing cold photos of Minnesota on the Weather channel in the winter (e.g.: when the polar vortex is around, etc.) It reminds me of my home town of Winnipeg, which is one of the few places on earth that is actually colder on average.

Don’t Miss Larry’s Presentation!

Join us on June 27th for the first annual MnSearch Summit to see Larry and many others share their marketing knowledge!

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