Social selling—where salespeople leverage social networking to connect with the right prospects and forge deeper, more meaningful relationships—has emerged as one of the hottest sales industry trends in recent times. This is mostly thanks to the growth of social media. However, many organizations are finding the process of actually implementing a social selling methodology into their sales training programs to be a challenge.
According to the CSO Insights 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study, 43.1% of respondents felt their social selling training needed improvement. In addition, 30.4% felt social selling training required significant redesign; more than any other training process.
In this blog, we take a closer look at how to successfully implement a social selling methodology into your sales training.
1. Go Beyond Social Media Tool Training
One of the single biggest obstacles to successful social selling training is the popular misconception that this type of training is just a type of tool training for social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Not only is this a mistake in terms of covering all of the social selling aspects that need to be included, but it also makes salespeople much less receptive to the training that is provided to them, reducing its effectiveness.
“Whenever social selling is treated as merely a LinkedIn tool training, salespeople will perceive it as a low-value task that’s just added to their already full plates,” says Tamara Schenk, Research Director for CSO Insights. “Social engagement methods and the required skills have to be integrated into an organization’s sales methodologies.”
Of course, salespeople need to know how to use the various social media platforms, especially LinkedIn. They also need to learn how to actually insert social selling into their day-to-day activities. In particular, they will need to learn how to find useful content, how to create useful content of their own, which brand messages are most important, how much time to spend on social selling, and how to leverage the relationships to achieve sales success.
2. Adopt a Formal or Dynamic Approach
The CSO Insights 2017 World-Class Sales Practices Report outlines four sales process implementation levels:
Random: Salespeople decide for themselves what is appropriate.
Informal: There is a documented process for salespeople, but there is little in the way of enforcement.
Formal: Adherence to the process is inspected and enforced.
Dynamic: The process is measured, and cross-functionally aligned.
Although social selling requires individual salespeople to adopt their own voice and establish their own brand, it is vital that you do not mistake this for a random or informal approach. In order to successfully implement a social selling methodology into your sales training programs, you need to adopt at least a formal, or preferably dynamic approach, where adherence to core principles is enforced, and performance is measured.
In particular, alignment with marketing is paramount, as this allows for more consistent messaging. In fact, when the social strategies of sales and marketing are not aligned, research shows that 37.2% of salespeople say they are unsure what the primary benefits of using social selling tools actually are. Despite this, only 20.7% of companies report that the two departments’ strategies are currently aligned.
3. Assess Performance and Offer Feedback
Finally, it is essential that you take steps to measure social selling success, as this will help you to understand which areas need to be worked on through your sales training and coaching. The social selling performance of your team needs to be continually assessed, as does the performance of individual members. Once you are armed with performance metrics, you can use sales coaching to set individual goals and address specific problems.
Measurement can be difficult as there is not always a direct path to results. However, this doesn’t mean that social selling can’t be measured at all. Many CRMs can add a ‘social’ source of deal options. Measuring success also helps companies to quickly identify flaws in their social selling training, so that they can be resolved. Effective training can improve win rates and quota attainment significantly. Conversely, ineffective training can reduce win rates by 7.8% and quota attainment by 7.4%. Social selling can help you win big in 2018 if it’s implemented strategically.
Have you implemented social selling into your strategy? Tell me about your process in the comments.
The post How to Implement a Social Selling Strategy appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog - Best Practices and Thought Leadership.
Why Account Managers Need to Know GTM Basics
As an account manager, I believe in being able to handle most things myself, within reason. While having Google Tag Manager knowledge is not a requirement of my job it feels very necessary, plus it’s fun. I have had clients that fall into different parts of the spectrum, but a few reasons you may want to get the basics down:
Google Tag Manager has several different permission options: no access, read, edit, approve, and publish. I recommend having your client add you with edit permissions.This option will allow you access to create new workspaces, tags, and triggers as needed but doesn’t let you publish live to the website. This removes any liability for breaking tracking or accidentally publishing other users changes unless you have a solid experience in GTM and you have a rapport with your client.
Tags vs. Triggers
The difference in tags and triggers confused me initially when I was first learning GTM. It wasn’t until I actually got into the interface and started playing around that I understood it fully. Hopefully, I can explain it in a way that lays a foundation of understanding that you can build on with hands-on experience.
Triggers are created in order to determine what action to track on the website. For example, if I want to track page views with a certain URL or a click on a submit button, the trigger is set up in a way to track those specific actions. Triggers are non-specific to any platform so you only need one unique set of triggers based on the actions you want to track on the website.
Tags allow you to link the trigger to a platform to begin tracking that website action through that platform. GTM has several platform options built in to choose from such as AdWords, Bing, LinkedIn, Crazy Egg, and many more.
As an example, let’s say I want to track a form submission that leads to a thank you page URL for AdWords and Bing.
To create event tags you will need to match the tag configuration options with information in the event code. Step one is to create a conversion action in AdWords/Bing, which will populate a customized code snippet. Take the AdWords conversion ID and conversion label from the snippet and input into GTM for that tag creation. For Bing, you will need to input the event category, action, and label.
Event triggers for actions that don’t lead to a destination URL are slightly more complicated for a beginner and won’t be covered here. However, there are several resources online for each type of trigger you may need to create. One of the most common is click events, which you can find a basic example in the article, Tracking Click Events in Google Tag Manager.
Prior to creating specific event tags, you will need to create a universal tag for AdWords and Bing. The universal tags will collect data from all website pages. To create a trigger for universal tags you will select the page view trigger option and set it to all pages. This means that the trigger fires on every page of the website. Next, you will create a new tag for each platform, fill in the tag configuration options and select the all pages trigger that was just created. You can find the tag configuration options within the universal code snippet, similar to the event tags.
Adwords requires an additional step, which is a conversion linker tag. This tag is created the same as the others but you will choose the tag type called “conversion linker” in place of the platform. The trigger will be the same all pages trigger.
To make sure Google Tag Manager is working all together you can install a Chrome extension called Google Tag Assistant. If GTM is not listed or is highlighted red then GTM is not working or installed properly.
To make sure your individual tags are firing Tag Manager has a debugger console. You can get to this through the GTM interface by clicking the preview button in the top right. Next, open your webpage in another tab and you will see the console in the bottom part of the page. It will tell you what tags are or are not firing. In this example below I clicked the “click to call” button on the page to test and my event tags for both AdWords and Analytics fired so I know it is working properly. If you are having trouble enabling preview mode, switch to an incognito window.
Once you get the basics down I encourage you to keep reading online resources and learn all the different trigger types you can create. If you are in the digital marketing realm this will be a very helpful skill to have. Also, if your client is new to Google Tag Manager and needs to implement it from scratch check this article, How to Migrate to Google Tag Manager.
More and more, marketers are starting to use Google Sheets instead of Excel in their day to day tasks. They’re collaborative, easy to share, and keeps your team updated in real time so that everyone stays on the same page. But in that transition, there are some tips to know so that you can make your Sheets experience as wonderful as that on Excel.
In this webinar, Hanapin’s Alaina Thompson and Briana Ogle will show you the similarities and differences between Sheets and Excel, and the benefits to using a more collaborative approach.
Metrics, metrics, metrics! You can’t avoid them. Did you know that when it comes to tracking your social media metrics, there are millions that you could be analyzing to reach your KPIs? (Well maybe not millions, but there are really quite a few to choose from.) KPIs of course, are the values used by marketing and social media teams to measure the performance of your social media campaigns. But the real question is, do you know where to find these numbers, and will those statistics provide actual value for your business (a.k.a. ROI)?
The only way to make sure that you’re achieving the best results from your campaigns is by tracking the right social media metrics—outside of the “vanity metrics” like follower count and likes. Realistically, you can evaluate a variety of different social media metrics, but you only need to focus on those that apply to the following questions:
That said, in this blog, I’ll cover four key social media metrics that will prove ROI.
I like to describe social media engagement as a long-term relationship—sort of like a marriage. Let’s think about it; a relationship takes time and dedication, and the ability to think about the foreseeable future to ensure that everyone’s happy. According to a Forrester report, “engagement is the level of involvement, interaction, intimacy, and influence an individual has with a brand over time.” Simply put, social media engagement measures the number of likes, shares, and comments that your social updates receive.
As a social media marketer, I believe that engagement should be the #1 focus-area, for many reasons. It shows early signs of growth and progress that you can assess and eventually add to your planning. For example, if your Twitter handle has a broad reach with low engagement, that’s usually a negative, because it shows your content hasn’t resonated well with your audience.
So now it’s time to take action!
Here’s are a few things you should track:
Clicks. You posted a blog on your webpage, and now you want to track how many times viewers clicked on the link. Link clicks are pretty much a representation of the quality of your content—whether it is the title or image you used. Your fans are only going to click on links that interest them. Plain and simple.
Likes. The more likes your posts are generating, the higher the possibility that your branding is reaching larger audiences. And that’s a great sign! Fans typically are attracted to content they find valuable or eye-catching.
Shares. Or even Retweets. It’s always good to know that your fans are sharing your work. It shows that your content was valued by them! In short, shares are a reliable indicator of the quality you’ve put into your content.
Brand Mentions. If your social handle is mentioned or tagged, it shows that people are talking about your brand. This is a key social media metric because it shows that your brand is driving awareness and creating conversations amongst your audience. (P.S. It’s always good to double check if your mentions are positive or negative sentiments.)
How far does your content really go in terms of viewership? This is a question all social media marketers must ask themselves, which is why ‘reach’ is an important metric to track. Reach indicates a variety of different things—from how far your posts are traveling, to the number of eyes that read it.
Also, take note that reach is a measure of your potential audience size and the range of your conversions. It can be very misleading since this metric does not tell you everything. For example, reach only highlights how many people came across your post. So, unlike engagement, which provides actual statistics, reach serves more as an estimate. But a crucial metric to track nonetheless!
A significant challenge for social media marketers is identifying how your content is generating sales. You can quickly get caught up raving about how many likes and shares your posts are getting, but at the end of the day, it’s creating new sales that matter the most. Now ask yourself,
Every salesperson knows that an essential stage in the sales process is to establish a relationship and get to know your prospects. According to Sprout Social, 74% of shoppers make buying decisions based on social media. So, if you’re not tracking leads through your social platforms, now might be a good time to consider it.
Customer conversions are critical to the success of marketers, and no strategy would be complete without measuring the number of acquired customers. Is there a better feeling than getting your customers to take action based on the social media content that you’ve created?
The best way to track how many leads you convert from social media is by using UTM parameters in the link you are promoting. By doing so, you’ll be able to organize and see which of your social posts result in the best lead conversion rates. Just in case you’re not familiar with UTM parameters, they are merely personalized tags that are added to a URL, and when the link is clicked, the tags are relayed back to your analytics platform (ex. Google Analytics) and eventually tracked.
Understand your audience. Focus on providing content that attracts them and keeps them engaged. This could possibly be the best social media advice you’ll get (maybe). But once you get your audience engaged with your brand, you’ll start to find out who’s most interested ready to purchase your product or service. Also, don’t forget to pay attention to which social media channels produce the best conversion rates. This will show you where to focus more time and where your best leads are coming from.
Remember, the goal of measuring your social media KPIs isn’t just to validate your organization’s marketing strategy, but to improve it. Analyzing your social media key marketing metrics is essential for every business. However, the key is finding which metrics are most relevant to the channels your brand is active on. Run your analytics reports, make adjustments, and enjoy the process! Measuring your metrics is a beautiful thing and will ensure that you’re stepping in the right direction.
What other key marketing metrics for social media do you measure? Which do you find most useful? I would love to hear your thoughts!
If you are feeling the surge toward automated bidding but are unsure of where to begin, you are in good company. Whether it’s a client’s uncertainty or your own, handing over the reins of power is unsettling. However, don’t let feelings of doubt hold you back. AdWords experiments provide an opportunity to test new (and old) features. While there are many ways to utilize AdWords experiments and drafts as illustrated by our very own Stephanie White in a great article, How To Use AdWords Campaign Drafts And Experiments; in this article we will cover automatic bid strategies available and how to set up a campaign experiment for testing these strategies.
Before we dive into setting up the experiment, let’s walk through a brief overview of the AdWords automatic bidding options available.
Why Use Experiments?
Attempting to opt into automatic bid strategies has resulted in quite a few conversations with clients pushing to maintain a manual bid strategy. Offering the option of running a test using Google’s experiments has provided an avenue to move towards automation without unsettling clients or the account.
If you’re still unsure of what AdWords experiments do, they basically are a clone of one of your current campaigns where you can make changes without altering the original campaign. From there you can send a percentage of your budget to the experiment. AdWords will configure the data leading to an easy analysis of results.
Setting Up An Experiment
Let’s walk through the steps of setting up a campaign experiment. In the new AdWords experience you will want to navigate to the search menu on the left. Click on Drafts & Experiments.
From there you will be taken to a page that has all of your current campaign drafts. To start a new campaign draft, click the blue plus sign.
Next you will choose “Select a campaign” up at the top of the page and this will pull up a list of all current campaigns. Choose a campaign from the list. Enter a draft name that will be easily recognizable and save your new draft.
Once you have created a draft of the campaign you can set up your bidding experiment. Check to make sure you are indeed making changes to the draft and not to the original campaign. This is easily identifiable by looking at the top of page panel, here you should see your draft campaign name.
To set up a bidding experiment, using the left navigation bar click Settings. Navigate to the Bidding portion of the Settings page. From here you can edit your bid settings, moving from manual bids to automatic bids.
Save your bid changes and then click “Apply” up at the top of the page. A box will pop up asking if you want to apply these changes to the original campaign or run an experiment.
Choose to run an experiment. You will then have the option of naming your experiment. You can also set start and end dates.
You will want to set a long enough date range to gather enough data to reach statistical significance. You cannot go back in and edit your experiment end dates, so make sure you have given the test enough to time to adequately determine your results. The experiment split allows you to choose what percent of the campaign’s budget you want to send to the experiment and what percent to the original campaign. Keep in mind, your experiment split and impression share may not always be the same. For example, your experiment could have a higher impression share than your original campaign, despite having a lower experiment split.
Once your experiment has been running for a while, you will easily be able to check results. In the new AdWords interface the results will give you detailed information into resulting statistical significance. There is also greater control over which metrics you want to look at.
If you still need convincing that automated bidding is a good tool to put in the testing rotation, check out Lara Lowery’s insightful post, A Case For Automated Bidding. Until then, put AdWords experiments to work to start gathering data and allowing data to guide your decision-making process.
Campaign settings, rules and other factors change over time, which can have substantial impact on your campaigns. For example, starting October 4th, 2017 Google announced they could spend up to two times your daily budget. If you’d been sitting calm with $1,000/day budget, not wanting to spend a penny more, you could have been surprised.
There are many unpredictable reasons you can wind up with traffic or spend you didn’t plan for (and may not even know) — which is why it’s useful to consider intended vs. actual traffic.
Here’s what I mean:
In short, the gap between intended and actual traffic is wasted ad budget. But, fortunately, you can identify and fix this to save money.
Wasted budget is like wasting pizza, only worse. (via Giphy)
In this post I’ll cover three ways you might be wasting your PPC spend and how to ensure you’re both aware, and can turn things around with quick fixes.
Mistake 1. Accidentally spending on bad search terms
Wasted budget on the wrong keywords is fairly common. As Melissa Mackey of B2B agency Gyro sees often:
But the bigger problem here is that some marketers believe that keywords and search terms are the same thing. The terms are commonly used interchangeably, but they’re very different. Here’s how I define each:
If you misunderstand or accidentally misapply keyword match types (broad, broad modified, phrase, exact match), you can have a gap between search terms and keywords causing you to spend unknowingly.
For example, a client in the continued medical education space was targeting medical professionals who need Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) certification. Here’s what happened:
See the Search Terms Report as an example:
Click above to see larger image of how intended medical certification traffic turned into pen pals traffic (via SCUBE Marketing).
Traffic that attracted anyone looking for “pen pals” wasn’t intended, leading to wasted spend. The root cause of this was confusion over the difference between search terms, keywords, and their match types.
Action item: Take a closer look at search terms
To avoid this scenario yourself, run a Search Term report discussed above to identify which search terms (triggered by your keywords) are not relevant.
Then exclude irrelevant terms with negative keywords at ad group, campaign, or account level. From there, use keyword match types to better control your exclusions. For example:
Once you’ve eliminated any obvious waste, reevaluate your keyword match type strategy. If you skip this step, you will continue to trigger lots of irrelevant search terms.
Your match types will range from exact match (with a close correlation), to broad match (with far correlation) between your keywords and search terms.
Ideally, break your broad match keywords into more specific keywords with broad match modified, phrase or exact match types. They will give you more control and trigger search terms you intend to target.
Mistake 2. Wasting spend on unintended locations
Similar to keyword match types, incorrect location settings in AdWords can trigger ads in locations you don’t want to serve and amount to wasted budget.
When we look at the reality of the situation, your location settings can trigger three types of geographies:
To see how you can waste spend this way, here’s an example of how unintended location targeting affected a client in the industrial machinery space:
With respect to intended traffic, this client wanted to target people physically located in the United States. However, they ended up with traffic from Nigeria, India, Canada, United Kingdom, Mexico, and the Philippines. Unfortunately, the client doesn’t do business internationally, so their budget was spent on targeting the wrong locations.
In this case, the client kept the default AdWords setting of ‘Both’, which triggered the traffic from physical location and location of interest, causing the unintended international traffic. Fairly simple mistake to make.
Action item: Stop Wasted Ad Budget on Unintended Locations
Get a list of locations where your ads have triggered by running the User Locations Report in AdWords. See an example below with multiple unintended international locations for the same client I described above.
Click above to see a larger, clearer image.(via SCUBE Marketing)
Once identified, exclude irrelevant locations from within your campaign settings. After your locations have been excluded they will appear next to targeted locations. See an example below.
Exclude locations in campaign settings to stop wasting ad budget
Once you have identified any unintended locations, check how these locations were triggered by reviewing a Geographic Report. In our example, the ‘location of interest’ setting caused the traffic the client did not want.
Click above to see a larger, clearer image.
To avoid this, simply change the setting to ‘people in my targeted location’:
Mistake 3. Using the default regarding unintended networks
Network targeting has similar quirks as location targeting. The devil is in the details and wasted budget often lies in the settings. AdWords has different campaign types. If you’re not careful, and you stick with the default settings, your targeting can (and probably will) be off.
To clarify, here’s an example from the intended vs. actual traffic angle for a new client we audited recently.
They’d wanted to target people using Google Search on Google.com, but ended up with traffic from the Search Network, Search Partners Network, and Display Network. Obviously this was unintended, and they didn’t know. As it turns out, they didn’t execute their targeting properly and their campaign settings had a default setting: ‘Search Network with Display Select’.
Click above to see larger image of default campaign network settings you may want to avoid (via SCUBE Marketing).
This resulted in the client targeting three unintended networks in one campaign. Prepared only for the Search, they didn’t have targeting and ads for Display, and ended up with automatic placements from irrelevant websites. Overall, 53% of their PPC budget went to the Search Partners Network and Display, but the traffic had zero conversions, and was a waste.
Click above to see larger image of Surprise Traffic Coming From Search Partners and Google Display Network (via SCUBE Marketing).
Action item: Stop Wasted Ad Budget on Unintended Networks.
How can you check if you are unintentionally targeting networks without your knowledge?
Segment your campaigns by network. See an example below. Once segmented, you can figure out the right settings, and can plan the action items for further optimization.
If you see traffic from unintended networks, simply change your network settings from the default.
Don’t drain your ad budget
Because of fine details, even the best marketers can fall into traps and overspend unintentionally. Paid campaigns can be difficult beasts to manage, and a campaign that hasn’t been optimized to eliminate waste is a ship with leaks in it, destined to sink.
Take a good look at your data for the above, scrub it against what you’ve learned here today, and see what you can save.
The black card on the table asks, “What is the most successful Toy & Game private label product ever on Amazon, and a true Amazon success story?” In your hand you have ten white cards that read: a stray cat a box of rusty nails Abe Bogoda the H1N1 Virus a crippling sense of dread Elon Musk's disapproval weapons-grade plutonium overpriced Pokemon singles an empty box Cards Against Humanity If you played the last card, Cards Against Humanity, then you'd be correct, although a funnier answer probably would've been more appropriate (I would have picked “a stray cat” personally). Sort of like an Apples to Apples filled with NSFW jokes, Cards Against Humanity is all about picking the most clever, funny, and/or offensive answers to win points with the game's “Card Czar”, the player you have to impress with your ridiculous answer. It's no surprise that Cards Against Humanity is advertised as a “a party game for horrible people.” At this point, you've probably heard about this global-sensation card game. It's sold worldwide in most major retail stores including Barnes & Noble, Target, and Walmart. On Amazon alone, the base game and its expansions sell an estimated 90,000-120,000 units per ... Read More
Acquiring both customers and partners is vital to any company’s success, but many pursue the two groups differently. While customer acquisition usually commands extensive strategy, partners and affiliates are often brought on passively.
If a lack of time, resources, or understanding keeps you from actively seeking out affiliates, you’re missing a significant opportunity. Affiliate marketing is outpacing social commerce and display advertising as a source of ecommerce purchases, matching the effectiveness of email efforts by driving 16% of those orders according to BI Intelligence.
Securing quality partnerships means devoting as much time and attention to your affiliate recruitment as customer outreach. Proactive affiliate recruiting strategies rely on standard customer acquisition tactics.
In this blog, I’ll show you strategies to create partner and affiliate relationships that perform.
Pursuing High-Performance Partners
Waiting for affiliates to come to you reduces your chances of landing quality partnerships. Though this is the most common recruiting method for affiliates, it is not necessarily the most effective strategy to land what you’re looking for. Likely, you’ll get hits from affiliate programs that offer discount prices in exchange for display on their platform. These coupon sites don’t really support your brand because they get paid just for passing along offers. So, taking a passive approach may garner misplaced attention from affiliates who can’t do much for you.
A little more effort yields significantly more brand-aligned partners. The ways you use paid search, Facebook, email, and other channels to acquire customers can also be applied to affiliate partnerships. Like customers, affiliates are people who are interested in your company and want to work with you. Why would you recruit them differently?
Putting Acquisition Into Action
A proactive affiliate acquisition plan combines traditional recruiting methods with the digital marketing channels that are typically used to reach customers. Integrating the two will help you find affiliate partners who are the right fit for your business.
When one of our clients challenged us with an aggressive affiliate recruitment initiative this year, this method worked well. Although our clients sought quantity, they were adamant about only accepting quality, brand-aligned affiliates into their program. To meet this lofty goal, our team approached recruitment in the same way other teams bring on new customers.
In addition to traditional tactics, such as cross-recruitment with other client programs and personalized email communications to prospective affiliates, our team leveraged:
Ultimately, any tactic used to acquire customers can also be used for affiliates. To illustrate: Just as you would retarget a customer, you can run Facebook ads and retarget affiliates when they come to your site for information but don’t sign up. You can also use referral bonuses for affiliates, just as you do for customer referrals. Offer a credit or a kickback to partners who refer others.
Because you’re engaging on various platforms, make sure you involve other departments in your affiliate marketing efforts to get your social media, paid marketing, organic search, and business development teams on board. Understand how those teams leverage their channels and how affiliate marketing assists their efforts to build a unified, multichannel approach.
Qualifying Your Strategy
Finally, maximize your plan by gathering feedback about your methods and measuring progress toward your goals. Testing is imperative. Our team continuously refined its approach based on incoming data, including A/B testing of content and subject lines and optimizing landing pages to enhance and scale acquisition.
Be sure to test the quality of affiliates by calculating the lifetime value of the partnership. Measure your affiliate performance by determining how much revenue each affiliate has driven, then compare that to the cost per acquisition to determine the return on your investment. While all companies want more (and better) partners, they’re not all actively looking for them. An acquisition strategy for recruiting affiliates that mirrors how you acquire new customers will make your program more productive, profitable, and performance-focused.
Do you have a strategy specifically for attaining new partners? Do your methods differ from mine? Tell me about your process in the comments. I’d love to hear about it and keep the conversation going.
Social media has created many exciting phenomena. One of the most interesting is that of the influencer. Often these are ordinary people, made famous by their catchy or creative posts. Other times they are more traditionally famous people. Either way, these influencers can make a pretty good living by promoting brands or products to their large group of followers.
Whether you’re considering an actor, athlete, or “regular person” as an influencer for your brand, there are a lot of risks involved.
and your company’s overall values.
Fortunately, social media posts, conversations, interactions, and even photos and videos contain profound insights into what your target markets want and need, like and don’t like, where they’ve gone, what they’ve eaten, what they wear, and much more. Likewise, their social media interactions show who, and what, influences their decisions.
Whether you’re choosing a traditional celebrity or a social media star, there is no shortcut to finding the right person. Thoroughly analyzing this wealth of data available is the only way to choose a brand ambassador that speaks to, and with, your audience, and shares your values. There is so much to think about!
Here are three fundamental questions to ask in your search for the perfect influencer.
Does Your Influencer Resonate With Your Target Audience?
Identifying your target audience is something you should do when you start a business. But we’re talking about more than “men 35 to 45” or “women who make over $100,000.” Sure, these groups are often used to segment ads on traditional media like radio and TV, but you need much more for a successful influencer campaign.
The first step is making sure that your broad target market is also drawn to the celebrity. This may seem obvious, but how many ads have you seen—on TV, on social media—where your first reaction is, “Hmm, I wonder how they decided on that person to represent them.” If you know your target market is generally men over 50, make sure your chosen influencer appeals to that group—maybe a Hall of Fame athlete rather than a young pop star. Yes, this is broad, but it’s an essential first step.
Do the Followers of Your Influencer Have the Same Interests as Your Target Audience?
Identifying your target audience in broad terms prepares you to answer the all-important second question. This is where more in-depth social research can pay real dividends and let you look at things beyond gender, age, and the traits we use to roughly segment.
For example, use the social data available to understand what your target market is talking about, and compare those topics to what fans of your potential influencers are discussing. If the primary interests of your target market are travel, dining out, minivans, wine, and movies, and the interests of your potential influencer’s followers are beer, football, movies, gardening equipment, and baseball, you probably don’t have a match.
Overlapping interests is maybe the most important thing for having an influencer resonate with your audience in a meaningful way. If your audience and your influencer’s audience are naturally talking about and interested in the same things, your campaign is set up for success.
Is the Influencer Already a Fan of Your Brand?
For example, a men’s clothing company might leverage a celebrity who already has pictures on social media of themselves wearing the company’s jeans.
The great thing about finding an influencer like this is that the message rings so true—because it is. Social media users are very savvy. If they sense a campaign isn’t authentic, there’s a real danger of turning them off. Finding an advocate that’s already a fan, and has a following that knows he’s a fan, gives you the best opportunity for a campaign that sticks with potential customers.
Of course, not every potentially great advocate for your brand will come out of this analysis with a qualified “yes” to all these questions. As always, in marketing, it’s not black and white, it’s many shades of gray. But, by using all that social media data you have at your disposal, and asking the right questions, you can find an influencer that resonates with your intended audience and gives your campaign a real lift.
Do you have an influencer strategy? How did you select your influencer? Tell me about your process in the comments.
The ultimate goal of most companies is to grow. How do we grow our brands? We increase the profitability of the company and strategically reinvest those profits into the company.
That means our #1 question as digital marketers should be, “How do I increase the profitability of our PPC campaigns?”
We often forget to step back and ask that question directly. However, we spend our days optimizing PPC campaigns in order to hit our goals which are (hopefully) based on increasing our brand’s profitability.
The reality is that we don’t often measure that profitability. We generally stop at our goal metrics like ROAS, CPL, or cost/conversion.
But why stop there when we could estimate the profitability of our campaigns?!
In my experience, tracking and optimizing towards estimated profitability is very effective for PPC e-commerce accounts. In this blog post, I’ll explain how I optimized towards estimated profitability for an ecom account and the resulting performance.
How Do We Measure The Profitability of Our PPC Campaigns?
First, we need to know the profit margin of our products. Most products within a brand’s inventory do NOT have the same profit margins, so it’s easier to use the average profit margin of a company’s sales. That’s why I have been using the phrase “estimated profitability”. I did NOT take the time to find the profit margin of each ad group in my PPC campaigns. I simply used the average profit margin in my calculations.
Next, we need to understand the basic profit calculation:
(Revenue * Profit Margin) – Cost = Profit
In AdWords and Bing, you should be tracking your ecom revenue in the All Conv. Value column or Revenue column, respectively. Cost is simply the total spend for the campaign.
Finally, we take this calculation and apply it to our account or campaign-level data. Your calculation should look something like this.
In AdWords, you can create a custom column for profit.
How To Use Optimize Towards Profitability
When you know that a campaign is profitable, is there any reason not to allocate more budget to that campaign? When one season is more profitable, is there any reason not to allocate more budget to that season?
In my experience, the answer to both of these questions is “no”.
In 2016, I started measuring the profitability of my AdWords and Bing campaigns for one brand. After the year concluded, it was evident that Q2 and Q4 were the most profitable quarters for this brand. Demand is highest during those months, but we had kept the PPC budget relatively constant throughout the entire year.
To optimize towards that profitability, the client and I agreed to use a seasonal budget. We agreed to an average monthly budget of X. Then, we spent more than X in Q2 and Q4 and less than X in Q1 and Q3.
When you look at the YoY Non-Brand ROAS charts, you might think this strategy, budgeting in favor of profitability, wasn’t successful in terms of growth for the company.
Below are Revenue and ROAS charts for 2016 and 2017.
In terms of growth trends, 2016 looks better than 2017. Both revenue and ROAS grew from the start of 2016 all the way to the end. In 2017, ROAS and revenue seemed to peak in Q2 and then dipped back down.
In terms of profit, 2017 crushed 2016 performance. Estimated profit grew over 650% from 2016 to 2017.
If you’re adhering to a monthly ROAS goal or a monthly revenue goal for your PPC campaigns, you could be missing out on profit. Monitoring and optimizing towards estimated profit helps drive the growth of your brand, which is our ultimate goal!