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The 5 Core Stages Of The Buying Cycle

Identifying and developing the right content for your campaigns is a challenging task. If you push the wrong content to your viewers at the wrong time, you risk sending the wrong message and missing out on potential sales. We’ve helped hundreds of brands grow with paid ads and have developed a simple, go-to list to identify which content is best for each stage of the buying cycle and turning ad viewers into customers.

Before we dive into the best types of content for each stage of the buying cycle, let’s discuss the cycle itself. 

When running ads, your customer flows through what is called a buying cycle. This buying cycle or customer journey is the process of starting as someone that doesn’t know about your brand or product to become a fan or first-time purchaser. 

Understanding the buyer’s journey improves your ability to push the right content to them at the right time, increasing the likelihood of generating a sale. Below is an overview of the five places we should be targeting our customers with ads to drive sales.

  1. Cold Traffic (no engagement with the brand) 
    • People that have never seen or heard about the product/service
  2. Social Engagement (no website action)
    • Liked social page, commented, follows you but has never been to the website
  3. Website Engagement (no attempt to purchase action)
    • Been to the website but hasn’t attempted to purchase or convert
  4. Attempt To Purchase Action (no checkout)
    • A person has attempted to purchase but did not complete 
  5. Post Purchase (value add)
    • People that have made at least one purchase with you

Finding Winning Content for Each Stage

The 5 stages of the buyer’s journey are the foundation for successful campaigns, providing the roadmap for your ad copy and creatives. 

One of the keys to building winning campaigns is to test everything. Once you’ve found that a creative performs well at one stage of the funnel, don’t be afraid to test it at a different stage to see if it succeeds elsewhere.

Middle of Funnel (MOF) and Bottom of Funnel (BOF) creatives should be a mixture of User Generated Content (videos and images from your customers), trust-building content you have created, and for the Bottom of Funnel, essential creatives to encourage users to return and purchase again.

10 Middle of Funnel Content Types You Should Be Using

1. Unboxing Videos

Show how the product gets delivered, showcase the branding experience, and show and discuss the product.

  • Excellent for every stage of the buying cycle
  • For colder audiences, the best performing unboxing content is concise (10-15 seconds). When a customer has a deeper interest and understanding of your brand, longer videos can perform better (30-60 seconds).

2. Reaction Videos

Show people’s reactions to receiving the product themselves or as a gift. Capturing the excitement from these moments is super engaging content.

  • Excellent for every stage of the buying cycle
  • Great if you’re able to source quality user-generated content.
  • When creating reaction video ads, we recommend starting with a clear CTA in the first 3 seconds and not letting the full video exceed 30 seconds.

3. Competitor Review Videos

Compare your product to a competitor’s or discuss why your product is superior.

  • BOF winner (sometimes MOF)
  • An opportunity to demonstrate how your product is better and what makes your brand unique.
  • When developing product comparison videos, ensure you showcase your brand personality to be more relatable and keep the viewer’s attention.
  • Videos of this type are best between 30-90 seconds.

4. Product in Use Videos

Show different angles and features of the product in use.

  • Excellent for every stage of the buying cycle
  • Often 15-30 seconds and identify the core customer problem and how your product solves it.

5. Customer Collage Videos

A video that combines all the different elements above into one video, including short videos and photos from customers using a product.

  • MOF & BOF winner
  • Similar to reaction videos, mixing short clips of customers using the product adds credibility and trust in your brand. This is because a potential buyer sees other people just like them using your product and enjoying its benefits.
  • These types of videos are great at 15-30 seconds, providing enough depth without being too long.

6. Full Product Experience Videos

These videos are from a customer, showing them receiving the item, discussing the brand experience and why they purchased the product, what made them buy it, how it compares to competitors and what they love about it. They also demonstrate the product’s key features and benefits and how it solves their problem.

  • BOF winner
  • These videos work best when a customer has engaged with the brand multiple times. Given that these videos are much more in-depth than all other kinds of creatives, we need a customer to have a high interest in learning more.
  • Full product experience videos have shown to perform best when between 45-2 minutes long. 

7. Customer review videos

Videos from your customers talking about why they purchased your product, why they love it, and why others should buy it.

  • MOF & BOF WINNER
  • This content is the foundation of user-generated content and consistently provides the final encouragement needed to make a purchase.
  • The best review videos are 20-40 seconds.

8. Testimonial Videos

Videos from customers discussing how the product has helped them or made a difference in their lives and how it could benefit others.

  • MOF & BOF winner
  • Testimonial creatives show off your product and add trust in your brand. If your video testimonial is mixed with imagery, this often performs best.

9. Finish Checkout Creatives

Images or videos encouraging users to return to the website and finish checking out.

  • BOF Abandoned Cart winner
  • This is one of the few times being very direct generates a great return. When developing checkout creatives, we’ve found that the more straightforward you are with segmentation, the better it performs. If someone checked out a product but didn’t buy, then call it out and test different creatives to see which converts best.

10. “We miss you” creatives

These videos address in a creative way that we know a user has revisited a website but has not purchased — they encourage the user to return and make a purchase.

  • MOF & BOF winner
  • These creatives focus on the re-engagement of potential customers that have shown a high level of interest but haven’t taken any action in a while. This style of creative works well as an image or 6-10 second video that’s very direct. Since these viewers already understand your brand, you can be direct with creative.

By leveraging our paid advertising insights and strategies in creative development, we aim to provide you with a clear path to creating ads that massively impact your brand. If you’re able to implement a variation of each type of content outlined above, we’re confident that your ad performance will improve. 

2018 Update Of The Latest Innovations From Google

https://www.facebook.com/adlabssocial/videos/285161442217948/

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.

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.

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.

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.

4. Google Assistant has made a major breakthrough, according to CEO Sundar Pichai. Soon, it will sound <em>much</em> more natural — in fact, the new voice of Google Assistant, coming later this year, is none other than the R&B star John Legend.”></span></p>
<p class=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.

5. Google Assistant is also much smarter now. Thanks to a feature called Continued Conversations, you don't need to say

read more about smart compose

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.

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

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.

8. Google's new version of Android, called Android P, focuses on

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.

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.

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.

11. Android P has a

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

 

Resources:

https://www.businessinsider.com/google-io-announcements-highlights-2018-5

https://www.businessinsider.com/google-io-live-blog-updates-coverage-2018-5

https://markets.businessinsider.com/stocks/googl-stock

https://google.com

 

5 Reasons Why You Must Have a Brand Persona

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5 Reasons Why You Must Have a Brand Persona

There are three main pieces that every company must put together in order to put forth their best marketing effort, and one of the most crucial is your brand persona. Most companies know the importance of the role marketing plays in their business.

After all, Mcdonald’s didn’t get to where it is today without those Golden Arches! Companies who, therefore, put more time, money, and overall effort into their brand persona, will have an easier time measuring their success compared to those who don’t.

A brand persona is what’s used to define who you are and to single you out from the competition. If you don’t have a brand, then you can’t move forward with your marketing strategy.

HR Persona
HR Persona

1) A Brand Persona Defines Who You Are

If you want people to be interested in engaging with you as well as buying your products or services, then people need to know who you are. Just like no two personalities are the same, no two brand personas should be the same, either. In order to establish your brand, think of what personality it would have if it were a human being. What would its traits be; its character? What are its values? Think of these questions when you try to formulate your brand persona, and you’ll have no issue coming up with all the other aspects that often coincide with a brand — your story, your logo, your mission, etc.

Example Brand Or Buyer Persona
Example Brand Or Buyer Persona

2) It Tells Your Audience What You Can Provide

If you’ve ever used a brand name to refer to a general product — for instance, calling a tissue a “Kleenex” — then you already have an understanding of how much your brand persona has the ability to influence your audience. Of course, your company may provide more than one product or service, but there’s something about what you’re offering that people should crave and that they can’t go without. For some companies, this might just be one item, and for others, it may be a whole list of items. And, even though people can likely find those items elsewhere, your brand persona tells them why they need to get it from you.

Example Of Either Buyer Or Brand Persona
Example Of Either Buyer Or Brand Persona

3) It Sets the Tone or Voice for Your Company

We’ve mentioned that one way to create your brand persona is by giving it human characteristics. But, behind all that, are the actual human beings who have helped to create and build the company. A brand persona not only tells your audience what you can provide, but it tells them who you are based on your company’s tone or voice. Sometimes when these two things don’t match up well, people can choose to boycott your products (Chick-fil-a can speak to this), especially if they don’t feel that what you’re providing agrees with what your values are.

The tone or voice your possess, therefore, demonstrates to the world what you stand for. Perhaps you have an interesting backstory that inspired the business, or you donate a percentage of your profits to charity. This is all part of your brand persona, and why having this particular piece of your marketing strategy matters. People are much more likely to buy from your company when they feel they can relate to you as a person.

4) It Makes Your Company Unique

Having a brand persona as part of your marketing effort means that you’ve worked to create something that makes you stand out, even if there are many other companies doing something similar.

Think of ice cream companies in the United States. Ben & Jerry’s is known for its unique, yet familiar, flavors, Baskin Robbins is known for traditionally having 31 flavors, Friendly’s is known for creating an atmosphere for friends and family, and newcomers — like Salt & Straw — are known for using local ingredients to create flavors that no one else has ever tried before. These companies are all more or less doing the same thing, but there’s a reason that a customer would gravitate to one more than another. For them, it’s all about your brand.

Example Brand Or Buyer Persona
Example Brand Or Buyer Persona

5) You’ll Become a True Competitor in Your Industry

Despite the fact that your company isn’t the first one out there selling ice cream, travel backpacks, or business consulting (if you are, more power to you for getting there first!), one of the main reasons you must have a brand persona  is because it will lead you to become a true competitor in your industry. We know what you’re thinking — “Who wants competition?” In case you haven’t realized this yet (and, if you haven’t, you’ve probably got some more experience to gain), competition is a GOOD thing. It means you’re playing in the big leagues, and people will notice that.

Developing a strong brand persona as a part of your marketing effort isn’t always easy to do. However, by hiring an expert to help (aka we’d love that to be us), you can be sure that you’re starting off on the right foot so your business can be successful long term.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Why Are We Giving Away Our Data So Easily?

I’ve asked myself this question before but, recently with everything that’s been going on in the world of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica.

Personal Opinion Disclaimer

It’s shocking really how quickly we are to give out our personal information.

Now, with the way the online world works. I feel that people should understand that with almost every company we interact with, we’ve openly given them some type of data about us. Arguably the most important part of this is WE CHOOSE to give them our information, they didn’t (in most cases) tricked into giving our personal information for free.

We’ve Been Conditioned Into Using Our Data

Over the past 8–10 years we have been conditioned by companies to use our personal information as gate keys into what they offer. Giving our data away didn’t come easy, it’s been a bit of a struggle for companies to get us to offer them our personal information for a “free service”. One of the first major software’s that comes to mind for me at is email.

In many ways, I think we can agree that some of our information must be given in order to provide a personalized experience, but there is a limit. But to what degree is too much data? After all, over the years we have become so used to giving our data away that what SHOULD be given has been blurred.

Going back to when email first came out we were so excited to use this new software because it allowed us to move away from all the faxing and the phones. More and more of us started creating various email accounts so we were able to connect with friends, family, and business.Down the road, this started to create consumer habits that in order to get access to anything we must provide them with our personal information.

It’s very interesting to see how something that is now considered simple like email. Has given many companies to thrive on our preconditioned habits that gave rise to today’s data behemoths like Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and many more.

Why We Shouldn’t Give Our Data Away For Free

Every one of us whether we agree with it or not are giving out data away. Using data as a gateway to the many services we love could be great.

With any technology it will always with come risks, whats bad about giving our data is:

1. It Makes These Companies BIG Targets For Cyber Attacks

Every website you can imagine has more than likely been attacked by hackers or Dangerous AI that actively looks for loopholes in their system. One of the biggest reasons is because every day hundreds of BILLIONS of personal data transactions are being logged on many sites.

This leaves us and the companies we use open or breaches, this alone makes offering our data a massive risk.

After all, do you want to be one of the Millions of people every year that have there personal data stolen?

Example: The Lawsuit on Facebook & Cambridge Analytica, see more on that here

2. You Lose Control Of Who REALLY Has Your Personal Info

Regardless of whether we like it or not. When we chose to give a company our data we immediately lose control of what they REALLY do with it. Now granted many companies have controls to choose what data they actively pull, but you can’t ever completely remove the data or prevent them from tracking everything.

Because of this fact, it is very important for us to really think about what companies we are handing our personal information to so willy-nilly.

Whats Been Great About Using Our Data Access Products/Services

On the plus side using our data to access free products and services gives us access to tons of amazing solutions to our problems. In many ways giving out data has many positive situations where it drastically increases the opportunity for people and companies to connect with each other.

Some great examples that come to mind are:

1. Brings Rise To World Problems

Every country has issues, everyday people are dying because of drugs, violence and even the more nuanced problems that people are just unaware of. Having access to platforms like Facebook & Twitter give Billions of people the opportunity to bring up large issues and underlying causes to find ways others have solved them or are working through them. Without these services, it’s very likely that we would not be able to spread the word to huge issues such as the #MeToo movement and #BlackLivesMatter.

2. Allows Free Speech To Spread Where It Matters Most

The vast majority of people across the world are repressed and unable to express themselves as they should. Using platforms that offer their service for data gives many people a place in the world to connect and keep people connected.

Conclusion

Over the past few years, we all have been affected in some way by us giving out our data to companies. Just a few examples to recap, Targets hack of credit card info, Twitter accounts being hacked and lost of personal data, and just recently Facebook’s lawsuit because of the theft and sale of millions of peoples personal data to a third party company.

So this should at the least beg these questions…

  1. What company can I really trust with my data?
  2. Should we pay for the services we use that are currently “free”
  3. Should these large companies restrict the amount of data they offer to third parties?
  4. What regulations should be in place so my data is better protected?
  5. What can actually be done to protect my self and family from having my data stolen?

So what do you think about our data? Should it be kept more private and what do you think we should do about better protecting our selves online?

Let us know what you think, we would love to get your thoughts below.

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