If you want people to listen, you have to speak their language. And if you’re a company that wants to capture the attention of new customers online, you have to speak the language of today’s web users. This means advertising that includes not just plain text, but eloquent, eye-catching visual features.
Rosetta Stone discovered this in a campaign on the Yahoo! Bing Network that featured Rich Ads in Search, a product that lets advertisers build their own search ads for brand terms with not only text, but also other dynamic content. Communicating with consumers via Rich Ads in Search, Rosetta Stone strengthened its brand, heightened user engagement, improved click-through rates, and significantly increased conversions.
The quick translation: a lot more customers.
Rosetta Stone is the world’s leading language- learning software company. In the past, its campaigns have run largely on traditional channels like print and TV. While it had done some online advertising, the results were less than ideal. It wanted to get deeper into search marketing to enhance its brand, achieve higher click-through rates, and acquire new customers—and do it all at a low cost-per-action.
Ideally, the company wanted its search ads to catch the attention of web users, clearly explaining to them how its unique language-learning solutions work, without forcing them to offboard the search results and delve into a series of new pages. Ultimately, a high percentage of users would be converted to Rosetta Stone customers.
To accomplish these goals, Rosetta Stone needed a new, more articulate form of search advertising— and the company found just that with Rich Ads in Search.
Rich Ads in Search, which appear in both Yahoo! and Bing search results, enables advertisers to display not simply text but images, links, logos, video and form fields, thus engaging users more intently. It bolsters brand presence, because the ads display in the first position only and they displace standard text ads to the right on the search results page. The ads can be optimized more effectively through detailed deep-link and image/video reporting. And campaigns are easy to set up and manage.
With Rich Ads in Search, Rosetta Stone was able to quickly and cost-effectively build a powerful search marketing campaign that leveraged embedded video and other features to grab the attention of users, demonstrate for them the advantages of the company’s language-learning software, and motivate many of them to click through and make a purchase.
“It was very different from the other search ads out there,” says Hoan Tchen, Rosetta Stone’s online marketing manager. “When you clicked the video, it would pop up into a bigger window, which was really neat—to have it display right then and there in the search results page without taking you somewhere else. It let the customer engage with the product.”
The campaign began running in April 2011 and has exceeded all of Rosetta Stone’s goals. Because the ad always appeared in the top spot on the search results page, it instilled credibility in the company brand. The video that played with the ad showed in easy-to-understand fashion the effectiveness of Rosetta Stone’s language-learning tools. This encouraged a lot of viewers to click through, and a high percentage of them made a purchase.
“The results were phenomenal,” says Tchen. “The click-through rate was through the roof. I’d never seen anything like it before.” She attributes those higher conversion rates to people being drawn in by the video and gaining more knowledge of the product.
“The video encouraged people to go a little bit deeper and made them feel more confident about Rosetta Stone,” adds Tchen. “If they were unfamiliar or unsure about the product, I think the video convinced them that it really could help them learn a language. And that led to more purchases.”
In past online efforts, Rosetta Stone had seen click- through rates of three to seven percent. But its Rich
Ads in Search campaign drove a click-through rate of around 24 percent, a 400% improvement on the company’s previous best-performing campaign. The conversion rate was “steady and strong,” Tchen says, and the cost-per-action was about $10, well under Rosetta Stone’s goal, representing a much higher return than any other channel the company has used.
“I would say this is our most cost-effective campaign,” says Tchen. “We’ve seen huge increases in conversion and click-throughs. Seeing how little you can spend and how much you can get out of this is definitely very appealing.”
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About Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone provides interactive solutions that are acclaimed for the speed and power with which they unlock the natural language-learning ability in everyone. Available in more than 30 languages, Rosetta Stone language-learning solutions are used by schools, businesses, governments and millions of individuals in more than 150 countries around the world.