If you run an e-commerce business or any kind of brand in a competitive market, then you understand just how difficult it is to convert traffic into profit. With that in mind retargeting ads is one of the best ways you can bring existing traffic back and also reach new audiences that are similar to your existing audience. Retargeting ads are a highly effective way for you to capture customers that are already interested in your product, service, or brand.
By putting a portion of your marketing spend toward retargeting users that have already shown interest in your company, you will be able to capture more conversions at a lower cost than trying to reach brand new users.
How Does Retargeting Work?
Retargeting is the process of reaching users that have engaged with a website or brand in some way with content that’s relevant to the user at that time. The goal of the content is to increase your brand’s reach, trust, recall and guide the user to the goal conversion (ie. Email Sign Up, Form Fill Out, Purchase) In order for us to use retargeting ads we need to know who we are targeting, why we’re targeting them and where our Ads will be placed. With this knowledge, we can tailor the content to users based on the action’s, they’ve taken on the site. One of the best ways to do this is to outline the buyer’s journey and compare that to the path users are currently doing on the website. By visualizing and comparing the journey a user takes, we can understand why our users are dropping off and what content should be pushed to them. When retargeting is executed correctly it can be a huge driver for consistent growth and become a solid foundation for businesses to expand from.
One example where retargeting does very well is the checkout pages on an eCommerce site. The checkout pages are often one of the best and easiest places to get started with retargeting because these users have shown a high level of interest in the product/service. Often the users that left the checkout pages we’re distracted or didn’t like the shipping costs. In order for us to target these users, we need to create audience lists that users fall into when they don’t complete the checkout process.
Note: when building custom audiences it’s best practice to create multiple audiences based on both the target action/page and the amount of time that’s based since the action or page.of time-based filters. A common example of this is when we want to target a user that left the cart page five different audiences and test what amount of days from leaving the cart page is most profitable. The six most used day based filters are 1,3,7,14,21, and 30 days by using these to further segment your audience you can find what amount of time from a specific action is most profitiable.
From there we create a campaign with each of our audiences and place them into their own ad group with branded abandon cart ads. When an abandon cart campaign is executed correctly, a website can see massive increases in the number of sales because it targeted the right users at the right time with the right offer.
Creating Custom Audiences That Convert:
As we had just shown in the previous example retargeting based on actions or events are great ways to get the most out of retargeting campaigns. Thankfully, creating custom audiences isn’t hard but it takes time to make sure you’re granular enough to weed out non-relevant traffic.
To recall from a previous example, the audience has already shown interest in buying but hasn’t committed yet because they’d left the checkout page without purchasing. We can target all of the people that have left the checkout pages, with either event tracking (Pixel Data) or we can target based on pages visited. By following either of these processes we can segment our users further and find the highest converting audiences and get the most from our campaigns.
Note: Make sure the names of these custom conversions make sense. You’ll want to know what your custom audience is related to so you can find it easily when creating your campaigns.
Good Example #1: All Users > Initiate Checkout > No $$$ > Past 14 Days
Good Example #2: Top 25% Users > Initiate Checkout > No $$$ > Past 30 Days
Each site has slightly different custom audiences based on their goals but, it never hurts to have a go-to list for getting started. To make life easier we’ve created a list of our go-to custom audiences for all forms of retargeting. Better yet, many of these audiences work great for all platforms (Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and Google Analytics); however, some audiences are meant to be used only on social media, based on the actions that can be tracked on the platform. With this massive list of go-to custom audiences, there is no doubt that there is a winning audience in here for your business.
Best Practices For Setting Up Retargeting Campaigns:
In order to crush it with retargeting ads, it’s important to have a basic process that’s easy to follow and built to scale. Often campaigns are created for short term only the goals of the business and not built for long term success. With our easy to follow campaign set up process, you’ll have a go-to method for creating campaigns that makes finding winning ads and long term optimization a breeze.
High-Level Review Of Set Up Process:
- Naming Campaigns & Ad Groups
- Choosing A Conversion Goal
- Creating Ad Groups
- Putting Ads Into The Campaign
Naming Paid Ads Campaigns & Ad Groups:
One of the first steps in creating a high performing campaign is to use follow a clear campaign naming structure. When campaigns are named correctly, it makes optimizing the campaign easy because it quickly explains the goal of the campaign, thus saving by not having to dig into old excel sheets to see why it was created. Although naming a campaign is a simple process, when done correctly and consistently it will help you spend less time in the ads manager more time focused on other aspects of marketing.
Basic Campaign Naming Process:
- Agency Or Company: (AD LABS | Company Name)
- Campaign Ad Type: (Display | Shopping | Search)
- Campaign #: (This helps when there are multiple campaigns with the same goal running)
- Campaign Goal: (Brand Awareness | Lead Generation | Cart Abandonment | ETC)
- Target Group: (Cart Abandonment | Past Purchasers | All Visitors | Cold Traffic | ETC)
- Device Targets: (All Devices | Mobile Only | Desktop Only | Tablet Only)
Example Of A Properly Named Campaign:
AD LABS | Display | Retargeting Campaign #1 | Visited > MP Event Sales Pages | Mobile Only
How To Name A Campaigns Ad Groups:
- Campaign Ad Type: (Display | Shopping | Search )
- Campaign Goal + #: (Brand Awareness | Lead Generation | Cart Abandonment | ETC)
- Target Group: (Cart Abandonment | Past Purchasers | All Visitors | Cold Traffic | ETC)
- Device Targets: (All | Mobile Only | Desktop Only | Tablet Only)
- Ad Group # (AG 1 | AG 2 | AG 3)
- Campaign Content Types Used: (Image | Video | Image + Video)
Example Of A Properly Named Ad Group:
AD LABS | Display | Retargeting Campaign #1 | Visited > MP Event Sales Pages | Mobile Only | AG 1 | Image + Video
Choosing The Campaign Conversion Goal & Budget:
When you building your campaign it’s important to understand the end goal and how much you should be putting towards that goal. The vast majority of retargeting campaigns will be focused on either Website Conversions or Catalog Sales. The budget for a retargeting campaign should be based on how big your audience because you want to be spending enough to reach as much of your existing traffic without quickly exhausting the list. We often see that companies with 1k-5k in monthly traffic should be spending at least $10-30 perday on each campaign to see results in a fairly short amount of time and not exhaust the audience with the same content.
Website Conversions: The conversion objective on Facebook is used to get people to take a specific action on your website, such as a purchase, adding items to cart, or downloading your mobile app.
Catalog Sales: If you choose “Promote a product catalog” as your Facebook advertising objective, you will be able to create dynamic ads, ads that advertise products from your product catalog.
(If On Facebook) Turn on CBO or Campaign Budget Optimization:
With CBO being the new standard now for Facebook ads, your campaigns will automatically optimize your spend to target the highest performing Ad groups. While Campaign Budget Optimization can automate some of the optimization processes, this means you should have a more careful eye on where your spend is going. This is because sometimes Facebook will stop putting spend behind a campaign before it’s even had a chance to run its course. With the CBO strategy in mind, it’s important to breakdown your ad groups so you can force your spend to go to the best ad groups if CBO isn’t doing so automatically.
Ad Group Planning And Strategy:
When planning out ad groups, consider who and where you’re targeting. When we set up ad groups, we segment the ad groups in two ways: the audience and device used (mobile, tablet, desktop).
With this in mind, we might have two ad groups for one audience, targeting mobile and desktop users separately to determine which device best engages the audience. This strategy allows us to quickly optimize campaigns and drive spend to the ad groups that bring the best results.
Putting Ads Into The Campaign:
Once our ad groups have targeting set up, we can begin adding the images or video content we will use to promote our businesses product/service. Depending on the campaign, we can use dynamic ads or the many variations of standard ads. The most significant difference between these two options is that dynamic ads automatically show the user content based on the products or pages they have viewed whereas a standard ad is static and unchanging unless altered by us. We always recommend testing as many ad variations as possible so that the winning ad type and offer can quickly be found.
After we’ve created all ads and have reviewed all of the steps in the campaign, we’re ready to publish our campaign and get it up and running. The next step in the process requires some patience; but, once we begin seeing results we can start to use our data to optimize our campaigns for long term success.
Want to learn about how to quickly and easily optimize your marketing campaigns?
Take a look at our Top 4 Campaign Optimization Strategies for improving the success of your campaigns..
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One of the hardest things for people to be able to do one the campaigns are up and running is campaign management and optimization. For many marketers and agencies, they just create campaigns and watch them run for a while and see what happens.
A while back I had a chat with a local business owner here in Cincinnati, OH about how to grow their business with online marketing.
Throughout the conversation, we both kept bringing up the fact that they only had one service, and how hard it was to sell it. In most cases, this is great since they can focus on how to do that single service better than everyone else.
Unfortunately, this service was expensive ($20k+monthly), on top of that they can only handle a few clients at a time. Thus, we all came to the conclusion that they need a value ladder. Which is what brought me to write this article on how you can grow your business with a value ladder.
So, What Is a Value Ladder?
A value ladder at its core is just a series of products or services that stack on top of each other. Often they are used to engage people at different levels and push them to your core products and both help and educate your customers while making your business money.
Some of the best value ladders are almost automated and require simple maintenance but a shipload of cash on the reg.
For example, let’s say you run a sales consulting company and your core service is 40k. Your a value ladder might be a series of free content and products. Then, by leveraging trip wires and message based funnels you push these people to Low Barrier Offers or LBOs.
A good example of a value ladder for a sales consultant company might go something like:
Businesses Core Offerings:
- $40k Corporate Level: Sales Team Consulting Session On How To Closing More Sales And Grow Key Accounts
- $25k MasterMind To 10x Your Entire Teams Sales Growth
- $8k 1–1 Consulting On How To Improve Your Close Rate
Med/High Priced Level Offering/s:
- $1297 Comprehensive Guide On How To Close Cold Leads And Make More Sales In The Next 90 Days
Medium Level Offerings:
- $347/M Get One Monthly Consulting Call With A Sales Member Monthly
- $97 (30 Minute) Call with our XYZ expert.
Low Barrier Offers:
- $7 (one-time payment) Download Our Top X Sales Scripts And Convert More Clients Starting Today.
- $37 (one-time payment) Access To A Private Facebook Community Of Like Minded Sales Experts And Weekly Live Sales Training.
- Top X Rejections Every Sales Guy Experiences & How To Over Come Them
- 21- Day Sales Closing Challenge
What Does This All Mean For The Sales Company?
In the example above we have their core services but they are not always easy sales. So, through the power of the value ladder, they now have a series of products and services they a can promote to get someone actively engaging with there business.
Then through great account management, they can leverage these lower product/services to grow the accounts and sell their core services.
How To Make Your Own Value Ladder:
For most businesses, you can take the example value ladder and use it as the building blocks to create your own. But, how can you create your own value ladder and know people will actually want what you create?
If you have been in business for a while, I’d be willing to bet that you have a good idea of 5–10 business related topics people always bring up.
Is that you?
Great then write them down and take a serious look at them.
Often businesses can create digital products based on what they do. Similar to the value ladder above you see that a lot damn near all the products are about 2–4 topics. Each product takes one or two topics and creates an entire educational series about them.
So, for you what are TWO big pain points you could create a kick-ass course or educational series on?
If you don’t know, you just need more time and that’s ok you don’t need to build the entire value ladder in a day. But, you should keep it front of mind because a value ladder can help you get WAYY more sales than your closing today.
Going back to where we left off, with the value ladder, you need to take your series of topics and put add value to each topic. Then, place the topics into one of the offer levels that were shown above. Ideally, by the end of this exercise, you have at least 1 topic for each step of the ladder.
Once, you have your topics in place its time to create your offers and build what you feel is best to provide at each level. Some of the best ways to go about doing this are:
- Core Services (Highest Priced Offer)
- Mastermind Or Private Training (Mid-High Priced Offer)
- Educational Course On A In-depth Topic (Mid Priced Offer)
- Downloadable Swipe Files Or Guides (Super Low-Cost Offer)
- Free Content Or Video Series On XYZ Topic (FREE OFFERS)
After you’ve outlined every part of your value ladder and know what you’re going to talk about. Then you can finally get the ladder created, I recommend getting your value ladder created as fast as possible.
Why, though I want to look like the best.
Great question, the best way to get results is by doing it. So if you create your 1.0 version of the value ladder fast. Then you can actually start putting it to work. Once you have your value ladder up and running you can make adjustments and improve the quality to better fit your customers and business goals.
How To Take The Value Ladder And Get More Sales:
Now, how can a business with a value ladder similar to the above start making more sales and getting leads?
There are a few ways you could go about doing it but the easiest way is to start with the stacked approach. This is where you start with the lowest possible offers you can promote (aka free offers) and get ads or organic traffic going to them. Then, once someone had made the first touch point by signing up for the free offer you can send them the next highest offer, then the next highest offer, and so on.
This process can move both fast or slow based on the readiness of the user that engages with the product offering. Starting in this way is often better for businesses than trying to go in for the kill with the high-end services.
By, starting with the lowest offerings first, you are able to capture a much larger audience with the same or less time and money. One of the best parts about a value ladder is this key difference. The larger your engaged audience is the most opportunities you have to grow accounts. Where in the case of the just selling the high-end offerings you are solely focused on trying to find people that are at the very end of the sales process and looking to spend serious cash to get results.
Keeping Your New Audience Engaged & Make Sales:
Once you have a series of people or businesses actively using you’re (damn near automated) products. Then you use the multiple platforms available to us today like email, SMS, chatbots, phone calls, etc to keep these people engaged with you. Throughout this messaging automation, you are providing MORE value and sending them offers that are in the same bracket of there last purchase or higher. Then over time, you will start to see some of these people ask for your services without you having to do a hard sell.
Alright, I think this is a great stopping point for today. If you enjoyed the information you’ve came across today please show some love with those claps. I hope this article helps you get more from your business efforts and gives you a new point of view on how to make sales. As always, if your looking to get access to people that care about the success of your business just connect hereor here adlabs.social
Data shows that nearly 100 million hours of video are consumed each day on Facebook. 100 million hours!! Not only that, videos on Facebook generally achieve 135% more organic reach than photos, showing that users enjoy watching videos on this platform specifically. Because Facebook influences more than half of consumer’s online and offline purchasing behavior, it’s important to get in front of these potential prospects as quickly and as often as possible. This way to do this is through creating a profitable paid ad strategy.
There are a few key strategies to create profitable Facebook ads for lead generation businesses. With the right strategy for your videos, you can boost your business and grab a foothold in the marketplace. Here are 6 crucial steps you should take to make sure you generate those leads and close those deals.
Choose Your Budget
Begin with the end in mind. Know how much you want to spend. There are a few ways to go about this, with the two most common being a combination of a maximum daily spend and a set campaign budget. Setting a daily budget helps stretch your advertising dollars over a longer period of time.
When you select your budget in Facebook, you’ll be able to see your potential reach. There are several metrics, but here are the most important ones.
- Reach – The number of unique individuals who saw your ad
- Impressions – The number of times someone had the opportunity to see your ad
- Cost per result – How much it cost to reach the goal (clicks, messages, etc.)
As you start out with your advertising, you may not know how many people you should be reaching and how much it ought to be costing. Spend a few minutes looking online for industry averages. You’d be surprised at how many agencies, service providers and individuals like to share their results. In broad brushstrokes, depending upon your industry, cost per leads can vary to as low as $11 to as high as $100.
With those ranges in mind, think of what you want to accomplish with the budget you’ve set. Remember, video advertising in general is more expensive, but that also is because it drives more attention, consideration and conversions when you reach the right audience.
Did you know that it can take up to 48 hours for Facebook to approve an ad? If you don’t plan ahead and your strategy is to quickly boost a video advertisement the day you post it, then you might not get the results you expected. (Especially if your content ends up taking more than 24 hours to get approved.)
Additionally, you might not be letting your ads run long enough. It’s fine to do a single, one-day advertisement if you’ve primed your audience to buy. However, if your one-day advertisement is the first time they’ve seen your brand, service or offering, you likely won’t be able to convert as many people into leads as you’d like.
Furthermore, remember that 85 percent of Facebook users watch video without the sound on. You need to plan to have your video ad make sense. This can be accomplished with text overlays or by using subtitles. No matter what, in order for your video to shine and generate leads, you have to think about how your content will look and how you will support your message through paid ads.
Pick Your Campaign Objective
You’ve budgeted and planned ahead. As part of that planning, you should have thought about what the objective of the ad campaign would be. While the end result is to generate leads through your fantastic video content, there are lots of ways to accomplish that task. Within Facebook ad campaigns, there are three overarching objectives – awareness, consideration and conversion.
In an ideal world, you would run video ads that support each objective in order to move people through the purchase funnel. Let’s talk about the tactics within each. Choosing the right objective for the right video can help improve your lead generation numbers and reduce your cost per lead.
Awareness campaigns help generate interest by letting people know what products and services you offer. Facebook has two ways to create campaigns with awareness objectives.
- Brand awareness
Each option has different ways the algorithm targets your audience. However, both types of awareness campaigns support single video ads. These campaigns are great for general brand lift.
Consideration campaigns are designed to get people thinking about your business and wanting to look for more information about what you do. For video ads on Facebook, there is a consideration campaign designed entirely around lead generation. These lead ads include forms that your customers can fill out. This is perfect for creating a profitable Facebook ad campaign.
A conversion campaign encourages people to purchase or use your product or service. People can fill out forms and not be ready to buy. Sometimes you need to let your video ad help seal the deal and convert those on the fence into your camp.
Set Up Your Website Correctly
It can take several hundred digital touchpoints to convert someone from consideration to conversion. One of the most painful things to watch is businesses who spend lots of time and money on video ads not take the extra step to ensure their website is ready to help them convert their leads into sales later. The two most important tracking tools to do this are Google Analytics and a Facebook Pixel.
The Facebook Pixel is especially crucial when setting up Facebook ads. These tracking cookie are all over the internet. By setting up these cookies on your website, you are learning who your customer is and what their behavior is. These cookies can be used to later remarket to people who have already interacted with your page, ads or website. This is really powerful and important stuff, so don’t think setting up a campaign on Facebook is enough.
Adjust, Adjust, Adjust
Once your Facebook ad campaign kicks off, check in on it. After 500 impressions, your ad will be given a relevance score. The closer to 10 that number is, the better the ad is performing with the audience you chose. Anything under 7 should be adjusted. That adjustment could be audience, creative, copy or call to action. A Facebook video ad campaign shouldn’t be set and forget. (The need to adjust to get things right is another reason to follow No. 2 and plan ahead so you have time to make changes.)
Along with the relevance score, you need to check in on how much of the video ad has been watched. It’s important to see where people drop off. Is there a jarring cut? Change in the music? Do people lose interest? What percentage? Perhaps you want to remarket to people who started, but didn’t finish your video. Without reviewing the metrics, you won’t know if your video content is hitting the mark and ultimately making you money.
A profitable paid ad strategy for your videos requires budgeting, planning and reviewing. It’s not enough to set up a last-minute campaign and hope things will go off without a hitch. Start taking advantage of the video real-estate landscape Facebook has to offer and watch paid video ads take your business to new heights.
Everything you should know about content marketing to grow your business and reach your goals
Have questions about content marketing? Then you’ve come to the right place. This comprehensive guide takes you from inspiration through distribution to answer every question you’ve ever had about content marketing (and some you’ve never thought of).
Definitions and driving forces:
- What is content marketing?
- Why do I need a content strategy?
- What is content marketing strategy?
- What types of content do I have to choose from?
- How do I distribute content?
- How does social media fit into content strategy?
Getting started or improving performance in content marketing:
- Where can I research content topics?
- How often should I post to my blog?
- How often should I release videos?
- How often should I post to social media?
- How do I post content to social media?
- How do I organize my content marketing?
- How do I track results?
Definitions and driving forces:
What is content marketing?
Marketing trends come and go. In the 1930s, radio ads were the hot new thing. In the 50s, it was TV ads. Marketing has pretty much always evolved to take advantage of the latest technology. You might call content marketing the marketing tactic for the internet age.
But you came here for a definition, not a history lesson. Content marketing is text, videos, audio images, or other content, thoughtfully distributed with the goal of building customer relationships and, ultimately, driving sales.
You build customer relationships by providing interesting and engaging content that your audience is eager to consume. As they consume your content, customers come to trust your business and see you as an authority in your industry. As a result, they feel comfortable giving you money in exchange for a product or service.
The best thing about content marketing is that rather than being annoyed by the commercial break, customers seek content to consume. According to Demand Metric, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing while bringing in 3 times as many leads. So you spend less money and get a better result.
But content alone is not enough. The best content in the world is useless if nobody sees it. So you also need to distribute it to your audience.
Where and how you do that is all part of your content marketing strategy.
Why do I need a content strategy?
There are two kinds of businesses: businesses that don’t bother to create a content strategy and businesses that are top performers in their industry.
If that seems like an extreme statement, consider this. The 2018 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Report from the Content Marketing Institute found that 62% of top performing companies have a documented content marketing strategy.
If you don’t have a documented content strategy you’re going to miss opportunities, miss customers, and generally just miss out.
How do I make a content marketing strategy?
A content marketing strategy tells you what content to create and what to do with it once it’s made. Developing a content marketing strategy starts with goals. Think about the effect you want your content to have. Are you trying to boost sales? Increase customer loyalty? Make more people aware of your product?
To measure your progress toward those goals you need to identify trackable metrics. How many people are clicking your link, reading your blog, leaving comments, sharing your posts and videos?
Make sure that every piece of content is effective by codifying your unique value. What sets you apart from other companies in your industry? What is your brand story? How you tell this story depends on who your audience is.
Create customer personas to help you understand who your audience is. That way you can ensure that every piece of content you make appeals to the people you’re trying to reach. Personas will also help you decide where to distribute your content for the greatest impact.
Compiling all this information into a document that everyone on your team can access puts you on the road to being a top-performing company.
What types of content do I have to choose from?
Almost anything can be content. A blog post? Content. A video? Content. That funny gif you shared on Twitter? Content. All of it is content. The trick is to choose the format that fits your message and your audience.
Longer-form content is good for conveying complex messages or big ideas. It includes videos, blogs, newsletters, infographics, podcasts, e-books, webinars, case studies, apps, white papers, and slideshares. So, yeah. Pretty much everything can be content.
Short form content is better at conveying a single clear idea or topic. It includes charts and graphs, lists, mind maps, templates, quizzes, and polls.
Super-short content is good for reinforcing an idea you’ve already presented in long-form somewhere else. It can also help solidify your brand voice. Flash form content includes cartoons, illustrations, GIFs, memes, quotes, user-generated content, and timelines.
It’s almost impossible to assemble a truly comprehensive list of content marketing formats, because anything that entertains, educates, or informs your audience counts as content.
If you try to make content in all of the formats listed above, you’ll likely overwhelm your audience. Also, your marketing team might stage a coup.
You’ll get the best results by choosing two or three formats and doing them really well. Once you’ve mastered your messaging and customer interaction around one format, you can add another format to the mix.
How do I distribute content?
Where you distribute your content depends on who your audience is, the type of content you’ve created, and what your goals are.
The best content is created with the distribution channel in mind. For example, if you’re making a video, the length and tone might be different if you’re creating a video for an email to existing customers versus one that will be publicly shared on your Facebook page.
The go-to distribution channels are your website, your blog, marketing emails, and social media platforms. Choose your distribution channels based on who your clients are. If you’re selling designer sunglasses, LinkedIn probably isn’t your platform, but Instagram might be.
Find out: How to distribute your videos for maximum growth
While choosing the best distribution channel is important, don’t make the mistake of distributing on only one channel. Ideally, your content appears in some form on the go-to channels that fit you, like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram.
You’ll probably make some adjustments to fit the platform, but the extra work spent repurposing one piece of content means more eyes on it—and ultimately higher return on investment.
Where does social media fit into content strategy?
If you keep your content confined to your website or blog, you’re limiting its reach. Social media is where content goes to make new friends.
Guess what the most popular social media channel in the United States is.
You said Facebook didn’t you? #facebookmarketingislife #remarketingcentral
In 2016, you would have been right. But in 2018, the Pew Research Center found that YouTube is actually the most popular social media site, with 73% of U.S. adults using the platform.
Facebook was a close second with 68% The next most popular were Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat. LinkedIn was on the list at 25% and Twitter at 24%.
Before you run to post your video on YouTube, hang on a second. The most popular site isn’t always the best option. Theoretically, more popularity means more eyes on your content. It also means more competition from other marketers.
If you’re posting only on YouTube and Facebook, you’re hitting a wide swath of the American public—but that might not contain your ideal customer.
Different platforms have vastly different demographics. Pinterest users are overwhelmingly female at 70%. Snapchat users are young, with 85% percent are between the ages of 18 and 34. LinkedIn users are business professionals.
Instead of distributing to everyone and hoping the right people see it, distribute on the platform with the highest concentration of your target audience.
Getting started (or improving performance) in content marketing:
Where can I research content topics?
Great content starts with a great topic. You need something that resonates with your target audience. Something that makes them sit up and take notice. Something they’ll go out of their way to consume.
So it’s no surprise that selecting content topics is the task voted Most Likely to Cause Marketers to Bang Their Heads Against the Wall. But the right tools can help you avoid those headaches.
Before we get into tools, let’s relieve some of the anxiety you’re feeling. If you think you’re going to come up with a completely unique topic that nobody has ever talked about before, you’re wrong.
Everything has been talked about before. Absolutely everything. The goal isn’t to come up with something completely unique. It’s to say it in your voice colored by your brand story.
Okay, now to the tools.
Google Analytics. The perfect tool for researching keywords and search terms that will help your content show up in Google searches. That’s a useful insight since Google is the top search engine in the world with 1.6 billion unique monthly visitors. The next runner up, Bing, only gets 400 million.
Google Trends. While we’re tapping the rich resources of planet Google, don’t forget Google Trends. This handy dashboard shows you what’s trending on Google. You can even search for specific keywords or phrases and see how popular they’ve been over time.
Ubersuggest. This helps you discover keywords and phrases related to your topic. Results include search volume, competition, and cost per click.
BuzzSumo. This website helps you find the most shared, trending, and highest performing content for specific topics across the web. This is a paid service, so expect a monthly fee.
EpicBeat. Similar to Buzzsumo, EpicBeat lets you see shares comments and engagement for popular posts on different topics. They have limited free functionality, but you can upgrade for full access.
Ahrefs Content Explorer. See how content has performed across different social media channels with this powerful content research tool. You’ll pay for this one, too.
Quora. A free membership site where anyone can post questions and anyone can answer. Search by your topic to find out exactly what questions people are asking about it.
Answers.com. Like Quora, you can type a keyword or phrase in the box and get questions from real people on that topic.
Answer the Public. This is a weird one, but you can’t beat it for ease of use and volume of ideas. Type your search into the box and get a graphic with dozens of questions asked by the internet hive mind.
All those tools are useful, but don’t forget your greatest resource—your customers. Pay attention to the questions they are asking. Your sales and customer service teams probably have a short list of questions that they hear all the time. Find ways to answer those questions with your content.
How often should I post to my blog?
Your blog is often the cornerstone of your content marketing efforts. It’s where you post videos, engage with customers, and share the special bonus content you’ve created.
According to Hubspot, B2B marketers who use blogs get 67% more leads. And companies that blog get 97% more links to their website.
The general rule is 11 or more posts per month will maximize your results. Anything less than that, and you’re getting small improvement for each additional post.
Super-small companies (10 employees or fewer) see a jump in traffic with each additional blog post per month. Even one or two additional posts can increase traffic by 50%.
The outlier here is large companies with more than 201 employees. They see very small change when they increase from one post to 10. But by posting 11 or more times a month, they can increase traffic by 4 times.
So, if possible, post about 3 times a week to get the most out of your posting schedule.
How often should I release videos?
There’s no hard and fast rule for how often you should release videos. It depends on how you’re using them. If your videos are part of your sales funnel, you might create 8 or 10 and push them to potential customers through email over a period of weeks. If you create videos for your blog, you might need one per week.
But remember that they take little longer than a blog to produce, so you may want to make several in advance.
How often should I post to social media platforms?
Every social media platform has different methods of sorting posts. Those algorithms impact the lifespan of posts on the platform. Generally, marketers talk about the half-life of a post, the length of time it takes for content to reach 50% of its total lifetime engagement.
Twitter posts have the shortest half-life at 18 minutes. Pinterest has the longest with a half-life of 3.5 months. In between, you get Facebook at 30 min. Instagram at 19 hours. And YouTube at 6 days.
How often you post depends on how your audience responds to your posts, but the following are a good starting point.
Twitter: 10-20 times per day
Pinterest: 10-15 times per day
Facebook, Instagram: 1 time per day
LinkedIn: 1-3 times per workday (skip Saturday and Sunday)
YouTube: 1-3 times per week
And remember, you don’t have to post on all of these platforms. Pick the one or two that are most popular with your target audience and concentrate your efforts there.
How do I post content to social media?
Posting several times a week or even just once a day can get time-consuming. Fortunately, there are tools to help you.
Facebook has a built-in scheduling tool that allows you to plan your posts weeks and months ahead of time.
Most other social media platforms haven’t bothered to add this feature. But that’s not a problem since dozens of social media management platforms exist that can be linked to your social accounts for scheduling and analytics.
Some popular favorites include Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Buffer. They offer similar services at a range of price points and functionality levels. Explore and find the one that’s right for you.
A note of caution when scheduling posts: things change. Markets shake up. Major tragedies happen. News breaks.
If something major is affecting your industry, it’s a good idea to take a look at your scheduled posts and make sure they’re still on message before they go live.
How do I organize my content marketing efforts?
It seems like a new content management tool pops up every day. Some are better than others for specific tasks, but ultimately it comes down to preference. Which tool you choose depends on what you need the most help with and the size of your budget.
HubSpot. Markets itself as all-in-one inbound marketing software. It allows you to plan, create, and track the performance of content across your website and social channels. There is a free version with limited functionality, but the paid versions offer a formidable suite of services that include blog and content creation tools, social media, email marketing, and more.
CoSchedule. A marketing calendar at heart. With drag and drop functionality and the ability to collaborate across teams, this calendar lets you plan blog and social content in one place. Paid plans range from individual to agency versions.
MailChimp. Designed for email marketing, MailChimp also helps you make weekly digests, segmented email lists, and RSS campaigns. A/B testing is built in. The free version has a lot of functionality but limits the number of subscribers and emails you can have per month.
Buffer. This popular social media management tool includes a social media calendar, analytics, and the ability to manage all your social media accounts from one dashboard. The free plan is fairly robust but lacks a calendar. It also limits you to three social accounts.
Trello. A robust project management tool, Trello works equally well when the project is your content. Trello helps you track where content is in the creation pipeline. And it’s free.
How do I track results?
Many of the tools mentioned above include some sort of analytics reporting to help you track how your content is doing. Social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube have built-in analytics dashboards, as do Hootsuite and Hubspot. A few other tools can give you even more insight into how your content is performing.
Crazy Egg. This tool gives you visual reports to track where visitors go on your website, what they click on, and how they move through your site.
Google Analytics. This is the go-to reporting system to help you see how customers are interacting with your content.
Kissmetrics. Helps you measure engagement, track the effectiveness of different marketing channels, and even send emails based on user behavior.
Whatever tools you use, make sure you are tracking your results. Using that information, you can refine your content marketing strategy and boost your ROI.
Join Me In Watching Googles Marketing Marketing Innovations Keynote
Posted by ADLABS on Tuesday, July 10, 2018
2018 Update Of The Latest Innovations From Google
1. Gmail can now autocomplete entire emails (!) with a new feature called Smart Compose — just keep hitting the tab button, and Google will autocomplete your message. You can switch it on right now as part of the new Gmail experience Google is rolling out.
2. A new Google Photos feature called Suggested Actions can spot friends in your photos and offer to share those photos with those people with the press of a button.
3. Google Photos is more powerful now. You can instantly turn photos of documents into PDFs. You can also remove color from your photos — even just in certain areas — or re-colorize your old black-and-white photos of your relatives.
4. Google Assistant has made a major breakthrough, according to CEO Sundar Pichai. Soon, it will sound much more natural — in fact, the new voice of Google Assistant, coming later this year, is none other than the R&B star John Legend.
5. Google Assistant is also much smarter now. Thanks to a feature called Continued Conversations, you don’t need to say “OK Google” every time you want to talk to it — just use the command to get the conversation going, then ask as many questions as you’d like. Google Assistant will also remember your past answers and parse multiple questions in one sentence.
6. Google is rolling out something parents have been craving since the advent of personal assistants: a politeness feature, in which you essentially get credit for saying “please” when you ask Google Assistant for something. It’s designed to teach children to not be bossy when asking for things. When you say “please,” Google will respond in kind — and even compliment you.
7. Pichai unveiled a wild experimental Google Assistant feature called Duplex: You can ask Google Assistant to call a business on your behalf, and Google’s AI will schedule an appointment for you. Yes, this is totally real. Google demoed two phone calls on stage to give people a taste.
8. Google’s new version of Android, called Android P, focuses on “digital well-being.” Basically, Google wants you to spend less time on your phone and more time with your loved ones, so Android will give you information about how you use your phone and even create controls to limit screen time, particularly with apps like YouTube.
9. If you subscribe to multiple publications, like newspapers and online magazines, a new feature called Subscribe with Google will let you access all your paid content anywhere, including on Google Search, Google News, and the publishers’ sites.
10. Google is preparing for Android phones without buttons. The new Android P has a new navigation system that makes multitasking easier by emphasizing gestures over virtual buttons. It looks very similar to iOS on the buttonless iPhone X, where there’s a swipe icon at the bottom of the phone to help you navigate and multitask.
11. Android P has a “shush” mode. If the feature is turned on and you put your phone facedown on a table, it will automatically activate “do not disturb” mode.
12. Another smart feature in Android P: If you’re looking at the screen and rotate the phone, either on purpose or accidentally, a button will pop up to let you also rotate the screen. Otherwise, you can keep the display the way it is.
13. Google showed off some very cool technology for Google Maps designed to let you use your phone’s camera to navigate around town using Street View. If you waved your phone in front of you, you’d see the Street View version of what you’re seeing. If you needed directions, giant arrows — or even animated characters — could point you where to go next. It’s a lot like “Crazy Taxi,” but in the real world.
14. Google announced a cool new feature for its futuristic camera software, Google Lens. Now, if you point your phone’s camera at a book, you can highlight the text with your finger and copy it to your phone. Yes, really.
15. Google Lens also has a new feature called Style Match. If you point your phone’s camera at an outfit — or accessories or furniture — Google can use its object-recognition and machine-learning prowess to help you buy that item online, and it can even show similar styles you might like.
You may have the best idea, the best product, and the most organized and seemingly effective business plan out there. But, if you don’t know your buyer’s persona, then none of that really matters.
Must-Haves For Any Marketing Plan
Any company that wants to be successful must have a solid marketing plan to get their name out there, bring in leads, and close on a sale. While there seems to be more or less an unofficial system in place that most businesses can follow to design their marketing plan around, why is it that some businesses do so much better than others?
For starters, although all businesses may have a marketing plan in place, there’s a big difference between what’s considered a good marketing effort and what’s considered not-so-good. A good or a great marketing strategy one of the key differentiators that businesses need in order to grow, and although it takes a lot of effort, the guidelines are essentially the same across the board.
As long as you have these three things at your disposal, then carrying out an effective marketing strategy shouldn’t be too much of a challenge:
1) A Brand Persona
The first step in putting forth a great marketing effort is to establish a brand for yourself. When most people think of a brand, the first thing that comes to mind is a logo. While a logo is certainly important in the fluidity of your brand across your website, social media platforms, etc., it’s not really what defines a “brand.” In fact, a brand is actually defined as “A type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name.” This means that when people come to learn about and understand your product (or services), they know that it’s directly connected to YOU.
That being said, developing a strong brand so that you can string it through all your marketing efforts takes a bit of an investment. And, in many cases, it also requires an expert that can walk you through the process. Sometimes, it helps to have an outsider help you understand what makes your business stand out from all the others. You may be selling a product that hundreds of other businesses are also selling, but for some reason, yours is unique. Tell them why. When you have the answer to that, then you know what your brand really is. Only afterward can come the creation of logos, signatures, visions, missions, mottos, and all those things that are generally tied to what people should be defining as a company’s brand persona.
2) A Buyer Persona
In addition to defining your company in terms of a brand persona, there also comes the other side of selling your products and services, and that’s establishing criteria for the people who will buy from you. Therefore, you must also have a buyer persona in order to put forth the best marketing effort possible.
According to Hubspot, a buyer persona is defined as “A representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.”
Customer data can include anything and everything from user behavior, demographics, and the needs and desires of your customer base. Until you gather this information — and you continue gathering it throughout the lifetime of your business — you won’t be able to define your buyer persona and really understand your audience.
But, once you do understand your audience, altering your marketing strategy so that it’s appropriate for your audience, will be a breeze. This can be done in a number of different ways, whether its analyzing information on trends of your buyers or taking a poll to find out more information on your leads.
3) A Plan and Basic Strategies
Finally, once you’ve got your brand persona and your buyer persona all taken care of, it’s time to come up with a plan as well as basic strategies to follow through on. This will allow you to measure the success and positive change that’s happening in your company over time. A great marketing effort comes from company leaders and their employees who work together to create the foundation that determines how things will work, in order to reach the final goal – making money.
It lays out a series of steps that are your best guarantee to finding success. And, once you go through this process, you’ll be able to go back, again and again, to analyze how you’ve done, so you can improve yourself for the next round.
Remember that a great marketing effort can only exist when a company continues to find areas where changes can be made so that you can come out with more profit, more customers, and more leads than the previous quarter. This plan, along with your basic strategies, will be different for each and every business, so it’s a good idea to meet with an expert to make sure that your plan and strategies are directly aligned with your end goal.
Don’t waste time playing around with a marketing strategy that just won’t work. Hire a marketing and branding expert to get you started on the right track from the very beginning. This way, you can be sure you have everything in place to create an outstanding marketing effort that will continue to bring in leads and drive in profit.
Looking To Get Your Buyer Personas In Order?
Check out this free guide!