If you could divulge your biggest challenges in paid search advertising to an expert who is highly revered by industry peers, approved by 15 US & UK agency leaders, and a driving force in PPC innovation, would you?
At Hero Conf you can.
Hopefully by now your experience with PPC Hero has introduced you to Hero Conf, our annual PPC conference encompassing all the training, networking, and Brad Geddes your nerdy heart could desire. We offer 40 breakout sessions alongside 4 keynotes across 2 days designed to give you an unparalleled education on the industry’s latest innovations in paid search. But what is regarded as the most valuable piece of the conference by those who attend, is our half-day workshops following the main event.
Wait a minute. “You suggest I take more time away from the office to attend even MORE training?!” Yes, I certainly do. And here’s why…
Hero Conf is built on exceptional, actionable content. Your list of ideas and action items post-conference will be pages long. The biggest complaint we get is there’s so much to implement, you’re not sure where to start. The workshops solve this problem.
The small group size (5-15 people) means you will get personal attention and have your specific questions answered. The focus on either agency growth, excel skills, or 1:1 suggestions for your specific account helps narrow your priorities further. And the extra half-day out of the office will make sure you fully immerse yourself in becoming the ultimate PPC Superhero.
Already registered for a Hero Conf London Conference Pass and want to add on a workshop? No problem. Email HeroConf@hanapinmarketing.com and we’ll get you all set.
Keyword research is an important process in your Amazon product launch. Investing the time to properly assess the most important keywords in your niche can maximize your revenue potential and position your product for the most searched for, and valuable, search queries. If you have seen the Amazon product listings with the super-long text-heavy keyword-stuffed one-size-fits-all uber-optimized Product Title, you may wonder what human would actually read such a title and be convinced to purchase the product. This is a valid question. Humans don’t naturally like long sentences, but Amazon’s algorithm may find value in it. The sellers who use these long titles have done keyword research to identify the exact search terms that they want to target and incorporated variations in the Product Title, Description, Bullet Points, FAQ, and even images. In this post, we’ll explore different tools that you can use to find the most important keywords for your product, and how this can help you sell more product and ultimately generate more revenue. Keyword Research and Search Engine Optimization for Amazon Amazon is one of the largest search engines in the world for ecommerce and products, where a third of all product searches begin on ... Read More
The post 3 Tools to Do Keyword Research for Your Amazon Product appeared first on Jungle Scout: Amazon Product Research Made Easy.
Launching an agency means challenges are bound to arise, and these challenges often revolve around money and perspective. When the two collide, that’s when most agencies stumble a bit.
As soon as the words “revenue” and “loss” appear in the same sentence, many agencies understandably freeze with fear. It’s easy to lose objectivity and the ability to stay focused on the big picture. That often leads to an agency scrambling to take on new clients, regardless of their suitability. This “any port in a storm” mentality can really jeopardize an agency’s ability to create stability and profitability.
It also leads to agencies being less willing to stand their ground and advocate for what they know is the best solution for their clients. It’s easy to capitulate when you’re worried about making payroll.
But when clients search for an agency, they’re looking for that outside perspective. They don’t need a “yes” man; they need objectivity and an outside viewpoint they can’t find internally. This difference in opinion won’t always have you seeing eye to eye, but that’s usually what sparks the big idea—that collaborative, 360-degree viewpoint.
If you’re challenging one another, ideas get better. And it’s the co-creation of those ideas where trust is earned.
The bottom line: Your agency must have the confidence—or dare I say, the bravery—to find your voice and speak up. That’s the value you bring to your clients, which in turn is what creates value for you as a business.
How you go about finding your voice and solidifying those bonds with clients is entirely up to you, but it often starts with mustering the courage to do the following:
1. Hold Strong Opinions
To be treated as a partner, do what partners do: poke, prod, and push with your opinions. Ask harder questions, both of yourself and your client. Differentiate your agency by being willing to question everything and then take a firm stand. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but you’re doing clients a disservice when you tell them only what they want to hear.
Take my colleague, Sam Mallikarjunan. When working as an onboarding consultant at a software company, his manager overheard a conversation he was having with a prospect, pulled him aside, and said, “You can’t talk to people that way.”
Oh, how wrong she was.
You see, Sam had adapted his communication style to the customer. This prospect was a gregarious fellow and wanted to feel like he was talking to a confident, competent person—a person willing to tell him what he needed to hear to drive change.
As long as your opinions or advice add value, your agency can begin to build stronger relationships with your clients. In turn, your clients will feel more comfortable being open and honest with you, making your job that much easier.
2. Accept Revenue Loss
As an agency, sustainability is key to keeping clients, but to sustain, you have to evolve. And to evolve, you can’t be held back or thrown off course by short-term revenue loss.
In fact, we’ve all had our fair share of customers who cost more than what our agencies bring in. But we only have to look at Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to recognize you can drive real company growth without necessarily paying a ton of dividends.
For the longest time, Amazon was unprofitable, largely due to Bezos’s disinterest in short-term gains. He’d rather focus on the actual or true value of the company: free cash flow and revenue, not stock price and dividends.
Can an agency adopt that same attitude? Yes, but not for years like Bezos did. You need to chase smart, right-sized revenue, and sometimes that means leaving room on your plate so when you find it, you can grab it.
If you want to scale and build a sustainable business, avoid getting stuck in a cycle where you bring in revenue for the sake of it. That’s just “make-do” thinking, and it will generate the wrong kinds of leads (in turn, generating the wrong kinds of sales).
Instead, it’s best to monetize recurring revenue with your existing client base or invest additional resources into securing retainer clients. By devoting time and money to these sources of revenue, you may take a loss initially, but it’s more sustainable long-term.
3. Educate Clients
Owning an agency calls for the courage and confidence to recognize the value you offer. Part of this value, naturally, comes from results. But an even larger portion is owed to your knowledge.
Tap into this knowledge to educate your clients. Share information in an instructive yet conversational fashion. That way, clients never feel like you’re talking down to them, and they’ll glean a better understanding of what your agency can do for their business.
According to a recent study by Conductor, consumers are 131% more likely to buy immediately after reading or hearing educational content. Thus, see every customer interaction as an opportunity to educate.
We all know it costs significantly less to keep existing customers than to gain new ones; it’s also easier to get someone who has already given you money to give you more. Educate clients you already have so they make more informed decisions, and these decisions could lead to more revenue—sustainable revenue, at that.
Recently my colleague, Sam, helped a friend remove an agency. It wasn’t because that agency was necessarily bad; it was more about the effort—or lack thereof, really—that it put into proactively helping the company understand.
You need to find your bravado—you know, the one that inspired you to launch an agency in the first place. Get your swagger back and embrace your knowledge. Share it even when it feels a bit uncomfortable. Your clients will thank you for it.
As a marketer, these are the values to look for when you’re choosing an agency. Look for those who hold strong opinions, those who are not afraid to accept revenue loss, and those who are striving to educate their clients. Are there any other values an agency should strive for? Tell me about them in the comments.
The post Clients Long for Brave Agencies: 3 Fears to Conquer appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog - Best Practices and Thought Leadership.
In the middle of March, Google announced they would be extending custom intent audiences to YouTube and also launched TrueView ads with more prominent calls to action. This is a potential big win for anyone currently advertising or thinking of advertising on YouTube.
In my experience, it has always been a bit more difficult to drive action with YouTube for a variety of reasons. This new type of targeting allows you to cut through the 1.5 billion monthly active users and get your message in front of the customer when they’re looking to convert.
It appears to be rolling out slowly because I have yet to have it populate in many of my accounts but it’s something I’m really looking forward to testing out. It’s also an additional feature of the new interface to help nudge the switch.
What Are Custom Intent Audiences?
At its most basic, these audiences allow one to target users based on their Google searches. You can add keywords related to your product/service and websites that prospects would be visiting. From there, you can get your message out in front of prospects and tell your story in a much more engaging way using YouTube.
If you’re running this type of targeting on the Display Network, you should be familiar with the ins and outs as they appear to be very similar. Google has announced two different audience types: auto-created and custom built. Auto-created is made by Google and is based off their machine-learning as your account is analyzed. The other is created by you using popular search terms and websites your target market would be using while researching. The setup is very similar to custom affinity audiences if you have created those in the past.
In essence, these are very powerful targeting options that take the intent behind Google searches and allow targeting on YouTube of those same people.
Ideas for Utilizing Custom Intent Audiences
By targeting specific searches (or ideas), this opens up very similar opportunities to targeted messaging that one could do when writing ad copy for specific keywords. Gone are the days of using YouTube to target broad audiences with a brand message.
With that comes a shift in how we approach YouTube and the creative we’re displaying to prospects. We need to make the shift from branding to more tailored content like one would utilize to drive organic traffic. While there is still room for basic branding, custom intent targeting can really open up the opportunity to use long-form content and educate your prospect. Build that goodwill between your prospect and your company. Sell them on your brand without actually selling them.
The couple examples I have come from one of my favorite hobbies, home brewing. It’s a pretty research heavy hobby with a lot of different toys to buy which makes this type of targeting really interesting. These ideas could likely be used across eComm and LeadGen with some slight tweaking to your business and specific points in the funnel.
Rarely do people jump into a new hobby without a bit of research or minor experience. Hone in on some of those very basic research terms and popular websites one would be checking out while doing their preliminary research. Getting the basics in front of them and building that goodwill could become invaluable when they’re looking to make the investment and buy equipment.
Here is an example of an audience that is full of exploratory search terms and websites that someone new to the hobby may check out.
This would be a great opportunity to run a longer video that dives into the basics of the hobby. Rather than selling why someone should buy from you, you take the time to educate them and build a connection.
Users Looking for Specific Products
Especially useful for eComm clients, one could try testing audiences targeted towards specific product segments. This more specific targeting is really where intent becomes powerful. You’ll be able to target users before they’re performing the actual searches to purchase something. The strategy is similar but here you can provide very specific types of content geared toward exactly what they’re looking to invest in.
Kegging is an investment people normally make after they’ve gotten their feet wet. Kegs, kegerators, taps, there is a lot that can go into this equipment purchase; even more if someone decides to DIY everything themselves. These are sales that can run from a couple hundred to close to $1,000 depending on how big a leap one wants to take.
Once again, by utilizing this intent based targeting we can get some very informational videos in front of users. Show them step by step guides to building their own kegerator or a guide on how to keg & carbonate their beer. Make yourself a thought leader in the space but target users as they’re looking to make a purchase.
Target Your Top Keywords
If you’re interested in getting one of these audiences up and running quickly, simply adding some of your top performing keywords and top competitors is a great way to get things going.
This could be especially useful on high average CPC terms with YouTube generally being much more inexpensive. Maybe toss those users who watched your video into a remarketing list and layer that on your search campaigns or create a separate category in display to target those users again.
With this new type of targeting being rolled out to YouTube, it really opens the door when thinking about content creation and how it can overlap with paid search. It’s no secret that people are consuming more video content across the internet and this gives marketers a unique opportunity to pair that with intent.
In PPC, we have a lot of data at our disposal. Being able to match traffic with potential sales volume (or lead volume) can really help guide your content creation team to make the most impactful videos for your business and help grow your brand.
Targeting on YouTube is transforming a lot. Become the gold-standard in your niche by building out a large content library and use it to its full effect with these intent-based targeting tactics.
No one sets out to fail. Yet nearly everyone sets out to learn.
This contradiction had me thinking reflectively over the last couples of weeks as I quickly approach the end of my 3rd year with Hanapin. I’m truly in awe at how much has happened during that time within the industry, and how seamlessly those around me appear to transition from one phase to the next. And that’s when it hit me — it only appears like that.
We are all failing, in some way or another, nearly every single day. But it is that exact phenomenon that leads to our greatest growth. This is by no means my own original thought, simply a topic I’ve come across more frequently both in the news and communicating with family members working in public education. I highly encourage anyone interested in this topic to explore it more.
With all of this in mind, I’d like to explore my 5 biggest shortcomings as an account manager and the takeaways unearthed by being able to identify them.
Blindly Following the Status Quo
Following the status quo is not always a bad thing. The issue here is that I did so out of contentment with current performance. Either our team was hitting the primary KPI comfortably, or the client was performing well ahead of YoY numbers. The combination of these factors led to an ill-advised “stay-the-course” type of approach.
While this may work for awhile, the digital landscape is too dynamic for this to be a long-term strategy. Making major changes to an account that meeting goals are a scary decision, but even the most successful ones will show Red Flags.
Personally, I’ve noticed a major knowledge shift in clients which has moved the status quo. A great example of this comes in client’s opinions on How To Use Attribution Models. Previously, employing any model beyond last-click was viewed with great skepticism. Even if they agreed with the logic, the complexities added to comparing YoY numbers were enough to justify maintaining the current model. That narrative has switched radically, however. Nearly every client is not only informed on attribution, but they are now huge advocates of Data Driven Models. Most now need very little convincing to embrace a more full-funnel approach to performance tracking.
Reluctance to Adding Automation
While human-driven PPC isn’t going anywhere soon, there is simply no denying the impact of account automation. Initially, I didn’t trust it at all. I’d heard endless horror stories of them performing simple tasks as effectively as shown below.
A major obstacle to testing automation was actually the success in which those around me had already established manual processes. We’re not talking about one-off changes or the use of simple filters in the interface, but complicated bid matrixes factoring in recent, historical, and projected seasonal changes. Much like the above, performance metrics provided no indication that a switch was needed. While there are certainly Reasons To Not Use an Automated Bid Strategy, it’s a fool’s plan to not at least test.
Gaining confidence in these tools is a long process. Begin with small, controlled tests that demonstrate value. Soon enough you’ll be employing SQR scripts, automating your bid strategy, setting account notifications, and creating automatic budget trackers.
Reactive Vs. Proactive
I think it’s safe to say that just about every client would prefer a proactive account manager. Fortunately for myself, Hanapin has championed a Consultative Approach which helps foster this type of management. That said, this has remained an obstacle in accounts that are often changing or seemingly always on tight deadlines. Examples of this include online retailers and travel providers which face sharp seasonality, competitive markets, and the tendency to run frequent promotions.
The continued grind of prepping for the next seasonal spike or the upcoming sale makes it more difficult to step back and provide proactive advice. That time is needed to reassess larger account strategy instead of simply running from one project to the next. With the help of those around me, I’ve become better at “steering the ship” even when there are countless minor tasks leading away from the greater account goal.
Failing To Delegate
Despite my sports-heavy background, I occasionally fail to embrace the team aspect of account management. When I first became the lead member of larger accounts I found myself trying to tackle every single task. I wanted to be aware of every variable within of every campaign. While I still strive for that level of familiarity, my ability to delegate has grown much higher with experience.
Often times it was tough for me to delegate a task because I wasn’t yet 100% certain what I wanted to achieve. Additionally, insecurities in my skill set often led to less than clear instructions for those around me. Becoming more comfortable with my deficiencies have led to a quicker progression of my own skill set, and in return provided a huge benefit to the accounts I’ve worked on.
Chasing the Shiny New Toys at The Expense of The Basics
My final failure is a by-product of the successes I discussed earlier. Essentially, proactive management seeking to steer away from the status quo while employing new automation tools is not without risk. If not properly tempered, the combination of these three can lead astray. While it will always be our goal to implement the most recent beta in AdWords or leverage new targeting options on Facebook, it’s important to prioritize properly.
I imagine many readers can relate to this list. It’s neither unique or truly profound, but it is a constructive exercise in self-awareness. Each of these failures has provided me an opportunity to learn and improve. With each step, I’ve cultivated a stronger account management style, one that is still countless failures away from its final state.
Cover image by Thomas Hawk
Account-based marketing is the ultimate personalization tool.
Instead of incurring the unnecessary expense of marketing to broad swaths of the population, an account-centric strategy isolates key business accounts and markets directly to these individual units. By appealing to specific leaders and stakeholders who can benefit from what your company has to offer, you can make marketing efforts simultaneously more tailored and more effective.
This strategy is not new by any means, but it’s gained widespread recognition over the past few years as it’s evolved with the progression of technology. Inherently tech-based, a plethora of marketing automation solutions has made ABM more measurable and affordable for businesses of all sizes.
If It’s Broken, Fix It
ABM is an antidote to the conventional lead generation efforts that leave marketers increasingly frustrated. In fact, a report on B2B lead generation presented by the Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn showed that only 16% of marketers believe their current efforts are extremely effective. And while generating the highest-quality leads is a main priority for almost 70% of marketers, it’s also their biggest hurdle. On the other hand, research from Marketo suggests that ABM delivers a better return on investment than various other strategies for an impressive 97% of marketers.
Marketing automation plays a key role in driving such impressive results, as it allows companies to hyper-target their outreach based on interests and actions. Say you’re an agency offering social media, content marketing, and PPC services. A visitor from one of the accounts you’ve been targeting arrives at your website. Through webpage tracking, you can see the pages he is visiting.
In this case, let’s say your visitor is most interested in PPC. You can see the actions he has taken on the page: what he clicks on, when he bounces, etc. You can then immediately trigger a PPC-focused campaign (featuring emails with relevant content, tasks for your sales rep to follow up, and lead scoring) so your website isn’t out of sight, out of mind.
Here are four steps you can take to use marketing automation to drive ABM efforts.
1. Tag and Segment Accounts
A good CRM will allow users to automatically filter contacts based on demographics, but you should also be able to manually apply certain tags. Use this feature to differentiate accounts from one another based on the criteria that are most important to you—whether that’s demographics, phase in the purchase cycle, products, etc. Tools such as Zapier will allow you to automate CRM tagging so you can identify the most promising accounts without having to wade through the duds.
2. Set Up Automation Workflows
Draw out your entire customer lifecycle. Typically, the journey will look something like this: subscriber, lead, marketing-qualified lead, sales-qualified lead, and, finally, customer. To make the most of your ABM strategy, you’ll want to automate certain interactions. To nurture leads, you might set up a system that automatically emails subjects when they click a link in your newsletter. If they interact with that email, it’s time to alert sales reps to give them a call. Your salespeople have limited time, and an ABM approach will help them use it wisely.
3. Tailor Your Content
It should go without saying, but make sure you’re delivering the right message to the right target customer. Creating customized landing pages based on how people have recently interacted with your brand is a great way to do this—just don’t make it feel invasive to your customer. Tools can automatically message target accounts with relevant messages when they engage with you, helping you build the connections that become conversions.
4. A/B Test For Success
Putting an ABM strategy in place is just the beginning. Next, you need to determine whether it’s meeting your goals—and adjust accordingly. Measure success at each stage of the funnel and use B2B-centric metrics. With account-level advertising, you can monitor campaigns in real time and make rapid changes when messaging doesn’t appeal to your audience. Remember to change just one variable in each piece of content and keep your prior iteration as a control.
ABM is an approach driven by results: ITSMA reports that 87% of marketers cite it as delivering the greatest returns. But without automation, ABM becomes a scattered process of spray and pray. Marketing automation allows your team to provide personalized, immediate outreach with valuable content that’s more likely to push visitors down the sales funnel. With the right execution, cold leads will soon convert into valuable customers.
Have you used marketing automation to improve your ABM strategy? Tell me about your experiences in the comments.
For many Ecommerce businesses, AdWords shopping campaigns can make up a large share of PPC traffic, and often a significant proportion of overall revenue. The importance of these campaigns can sometimes provoke paralysis on the part of digital marketing managers; it’s easy to adopt the attitude of “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” when the prospect of even a small dip in performance can make a big difference in the bottom line. While such a thought-process is certainly understandable it can foreclose on growth and optimization opportunities. This is especially significant in a PPC landscape that is seeing more and more Ecommerce spend weighted towards shopping campaigns. In this blog post, I’ll make the case for testing Target ROAS bidding for AdWords shopping campaigns, and share some tips on how to successfully set up such a test.
What Is Target ROAS Bidding?
First, let’s establish what Target ROAS bidding is and how it works. AdWords describes Target ROAS bidding as “setting an average conversion value you’d like to get for each dollar you spend on your ads. With Target ROAS bidding, AdWords automatically sets bids to help get as much conversion value as possible at the target ROAS you set.” In other words, if you set a Target ROAS bid of 500% for a shopping campaign, AdWords will aim to produce $5.00 in revenue for every $1.00 spent, and maximize conversions within those parameters. In general, a higher Target ROAS setting would lead to lower volume, and a lower Target ROAS goal would lead to relatively more volume.
A Brief Case Study
One of Hanapin’s clients, an Ecommerce business specializing in industrial supplies, had been seeing satisfactory results from their shopping campaign that was utilizing an Enhanced CPC bid strategy. The client wanted to increase volume and grow overall revenue, and after seeing success with automated strategies with other campaigns in their account, was amenable to testing Target ROAS bidding for the shopping campaign. They had previously used Enhanced CPC, a strategy that already makes use of limited automated bidding within a range of the manually set bids. I’ll explain more in depth how we set up the test later in this post, but wanted to preface the case for Target ROAS bidding in shopping campaigns with the results below:
The switch to Target ROAS bidding delivered outstanding results for the client. Not only did conversion volume and revenue grow by nearly 50%, the growth occurred without losing anything in the way of efficiency. In fact, ROAS actually improved by ~7%.
Granted, this is just one example of improved performance, and one could easily make the case that the results could be anomalous for a shopping campaign. I hope, though, that it does illustrate that there are significant gains possible when switching bid strategy to Target ROAS. At the very least, I hope it supports the case that rather than assuming Target ROAS will harm the performance of any one shopping campaign, testing the bid management switch may be warranted. Below, I’ll speak more generally as to why those managing shopping campaigns should give this strategy a shot.
The Case For Target ROAS Bidding
There are many, many factors that can affect the predicted revenue generated from a click on a shopping ad, among which are:
Good digital marketers that are manually adjusting bids will evaluate each of these variables, and set bids and bid adjustments accordingly. The truth of the matter is, though, that while an advertiser can manually account for many of these variables, with enough historical data a machine learning algorithm is likely better equipped to evaluate them in their full complexity. This is especially true for companies with large shopping feeds. For example, manual bidding may be a reasonable time investment for a company with 250 SKUs, but that time investment can become much more burdensome for feeds that have 250,000 SKUs.
Perhaps you’ve had a bad experience with automation in the past, or are a skeptic of machine learning strategies in digital marketing. If you fall in that camp, consider the following:
That said: Target ROAS bidding strategies are never guaranteed to be more effective than manual ones, and digital marketers should always view a bid strategy shift as a provisional test, not a set-it-and-forget-it switch. Additionally, tests such as these require some tolerance for risk, and should not necessarily be attempted for campaigns that are consistently exceeding goal if the business could not suffer even a small performance hit. One specific pitfall to keep in mind: if the target is set higher than historical performance, growth may be limited. Often in this situation marketers will initially see promising performance, but have difficulty growing the campaign.
Setting Up The Test
First, some bad news: AdWords does not allow for the creation of experimental shopping campaigns. There’s no denying that this is a major bummer, as it means that you won’t be able to split traffic evenly between a Target ROAS shopping campaign experiment and the status quo bid strategy. Instead, you’ll have to run the test sequentially rather than simultaneously. Keeping that in mind, here are a few tips on setting up your experiment successfully:
If you are manually adjusting bids for a shopping campaign, I hope that this post at least has you considering whether or not a Target ROAS bidding strategy is worth testing. Not convinced? Or have you seen poor performance from applying a Target ROAS strategy to your shopping campaigns in the past? Chime in on Twitter @ppchero!
Content marketing can be a time-consuming endeavor, especially for small business owners or marketing teams that only include a few people. While compiling personas is a vital part of the process, many people choose to skip this step because they don’t see the value. This can save time in the long run, but the content you produce isn’t likely to drive the kind of conversions you’re hoping to see. With so much content constantly being posted, anything that doesn’t connect with your potential consumer and address their pain points is likely to get lost in the shuffle.
Personas can help you identify key points about your potential customers, like the topics they are interested in and the issues that you need to address to help them convert into customers. Once they are completed, you can use them in the long term to come up with content ideas and create a roadmap to bring more people in and get them to convert.
Here are some of the ways personas make editorial calendar and content creation easier.
What are Personas and Why Are They Important?
Personas are a kind of snapshot of fictional people based on the target consumers who might use your product or service. Each persona represents a different potential consumer with unique pain points, preferences, and interests. Some personas are centered around the potential customer’s job title, while others focus more on their goals and how your product or service can help achieve them. Marketers typically use data from multiple sources to come up with a full persona.
Some popular sources of data for marketing personas include:
You can add details to each persona like what other products or services they are likely to be loyal to, what social media networks they are active on, and their personal and professional goals for the next few years. As you build out the personas, you’ll begin to learn more about each type of target consumer and the unique concerns they may have about the product.
How Do Personas Make It Easier to Create Content?
Personas make it easier to identify the unique pain points stopping each target consumer from purchasing your product or signing up for your service. You can then create content that addresses these specific concerns and helps the potential customer overcome those objections.
For example, if you identify that one of your personas has limited disposable income, the price of your product or service might be holding them back. You can then create a content piece that explains why your product or service is worth the extra money, or how it can replace several other competing products or services the potential customer is already using. This kind of content is more likely to connect with them and help them progress down the sales funnel. By contrast, general content pieces that highlight how great your product or service is might increase the potential customer’s interest, but it will not prompt them to take an action towards buying for you.
Using Personas to Help Fill Your Editorial Calendar
Personas can be a great help when it comes to one of the hardest tasks for any content team: filling up the editorial calendar. Each persona should get their own content pieces often enough to keep them engaged with your brand and help them progress naturally down the funnel towards a conversion. If you have multiple personas and you write pieces for each one every month, suddenly your editorial calendar fills up pretty quickly. To fill any holes that remain, take stock of the content you have for each persona and what parts of the sales process they address. Create new content pieces that speak to prospects in the stages of the process you haven’t yet covered.
Once you have personas in place, you might be surprised by how much easier they make the process of coming up with content ideas and producing pieces that really connect with your target consumers.
Do you use personas in your content creation strategy? Tell me about your best practices in the comments.
Improving your paid search results is an ongoing challenge – CPCs are constantly rising, and finding new areas for optimization can be increasingly difficult. A critical, but often overlooked part of an SEM strategy is focusing on call conversions.
Mobile search drives billions of calls to business each year, and calls convert at a higher rate than digital leads. When properly optimized, calls can have a transformational impact on your bottom line. Join this webinar as we partner with Invoca to teach you tactical tips and smart strategies to boost your PPC results with call analytics.
While having thousands upon thousands of social followers is certainly something to brag about, the number means little if those followers largely ignore your brand. Engagement is the key to success for social media marketing—brands that drive more engagement from their audience are generally rewarded with better visibility and organic reach.
All of these things—a large number of followers, an engaged audience, and a boost in organic visibility—are lofty achievements in today’s tough social media climate, but they’re not the end goal. Ultimately, the blood, sweat, and tears you put into your social media campaigns should translate to leads and sales.
The good news is that if you’ve already mastered social media engagement, you’re partway to the finish line. But how do you translate ordinary social media conversations into actionable sales leads?
STEP 1: Dive Into Your Data
Dig into your data to find out what social media platform generates the most sales leads for your business. Start there. Then, find out what your audience is talking about on social media and how it relates to your brand.
Don’t stick to the conversations happening on your social media pages and profiles, though. Instead, branch out into relevant groups and topic pages where people are engaging in real conversations (although, hopefully, that’s happening on your pages, too). While tapping into the search capabilities (#searches, for instance) of social networks like Facebook and Twitter is an easy way to discover these conversations, social media listening tools make it easy for you to stay on top of hot topics.
STEP 2: Use Conversations to Uncover Hidden Objections and Customer Pain Points
Social media users aren’t shy about sharing their real opinions, so dig into the conversations your target customers are having to glean valuable insights about the struggles they’re facing and what stops them from buying. Start engaging in these conversations and asking questions—on your brand’s social media profiles and off.
Followers who feel ignored don’t often turn into regular customers and raving fans, so once you’ve engaged them in conversation, you must follow through. Use a social media management platform to leave no comment unrecognized and no question unanswered.
STEP 3: Create Offers That Deliver More Value
It’s easy to get your followers to sign up for freebies, which generates engagement. But to keep them coming back for more and move them through the sales funnel, you have to deliver real value every step of the way. That means going beyond, “Here’s a free ebook. Buy my stuff!”
Use the insights you gained from conversation and data mining to develop targeted offers and valuable content that answers questions and helps to overcome buying objections. What does your target customer need the most? If costs are a common objection, use case studies and storytelling to showcase how your products or services can help them increase ROI. Or, bundle value-added packages and services to create an irresistible offer. How about a discount or a chance to win a free product or free six-month subscription?
STEP 4: Make Sharing Simple
When you need to get more eyes on your content and offers, your followers are the best marketing tool in your arsenal. When you offer compelling content and valuable experiences, make it simple for followers to share. Incentivize sharing for a bigger boost in reach.
Most users know how to share a social media post within a social network, but what about people who click through and read content before deeming it worthy of a share? Make sharing a no-brainer by strategically placing social media share buttons on your site. Not only do they serve as a reminder to share, but they make sharing practically effortless. With conveniently located, prominent share buttons, you’ll lower the risk of losing out on a potential social share because someone doesn’t want to bother with copying and pasting the URL to create a new social media post.
STEP 5: Incorporate a Call-to-Action
If you don’t ask for what you want, you’re not going to get it—so don’t shy away from incorporating a clear call to action in your social media posts. Even something as simple as “Learn more” can get users to your landing pages. The key to effective calls to action on social media?
Actionable words, such as:
Build a sense of urgency by using phrases such as:
Remember to be authentic and not too promotional. If your followers know full well that you have half a million products in your warehouse, they might find the claim that there are only five left in stock a bit hard to swallow. Never sacrifice trust, but do leverage the knowledge you gained from conversation mining with messaging such as, “Back by popular demand,” or “You asked for it, so we delivered,” to make it clear not only that you’re listening to your audience, but you actually care what they have to say.
STEP 5: Build Social Media Platform-Specific Landing Pages
Make sure the messaging is perfectly in sync with your calls-to-action and offer messaging in the social media content that drives users to each landing page.
This is where the magic happens. Once you’ve earned that coveted click, you’ve gotten their attention—but now you have to keep it. Landing pages should be concise and compelling, offering a value substantial enough to earn the prospect’s email address or other contact information. Once you’ve crossed that hurdle, you’ve successfully converted a social media follower into a bonafide prospect. From there, you can qualify them, kick off automated, personalized drip campaigns, and implement the other lead nurturing measures to continue moving them through the sales funnel.
Although this process will help you turn social media conversations into actionable sales leads, it’s not a once-and-done initiative. Like all things marketing, doing this right means constantly monitoring conversations to stay in-tune with your audience, testing and optimizing your messaging, and targeting your offers to their current and most pressing needs and wants.