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2020-10-26 11:00:00| Adrants

Digital advertising is a big deal in today's economy. Whether you're looking to boost conversions, promote a client, or brand yourself, you need to be seen online. The trouble is, digital marketing campaigns almost always take longer than anticipated. Going from ideation to research to design to debut can take months. And relevance is key. Because trends change quickly, campaigns need to be ready in weeks. To create and debut your campaign on time -- without sacrificing quality -- check out these six tips: 1. Meet Your Users at Scale The first step in your campaign is both the most important to its success and the best place to save time: getting to know your audience. Consumers don't buy from brands that don't "get" them. Don't default to stereotypes, but don't waste time with consulting firms or one-on-one interviews, either. Online focus groups give you a chance to not just connect efficiently with many customers, but also to see how they interact with each other. In Twitter's early days, its co-founders convened a focus group to find out what Facebook users didn't like about it. Their takeaway? The news feed was too cluttered -- leading Twitter to take a bite-sized, trends-based approach. 2. Set a Single Goal A lot of digital marketing campaigns try to have everything. Thanks to pressure from above, they try to build brand awareness, increase web traffic, increase their share of voice, and more. One of the best things you can do for your campaign's development timeline and results is to set a single goal. Worry about just one metric at a time. You might want to: - Increase total site traffic - Reduce bounce rate - Generate impressions - Boost share of voice - Increase proportion of return visitors - Raise clickthrough rate - Improve brand sentiment With that single goal, be specific. For example, do you want to improve conversion rates? Okay, by how much do you want to increase them? Five percent in the first quarter? Ten percent? If you're to hit it, you need a clear target. 3. Play the Long Game, but Take Shortcuts High-quality content is the bedrock of every digital campaign. It can net you more web traffic, social media followers, and authority in your space. Creating better content takes more time. But there are shortcuts, and in the long run, it's worth it. A great example is Gary Vaynerchuk. Despite starting out in wine, "GaryVee" is known worldwide for his work in branding and digital media. Vaynerchuk's secret? "Micro content," which he creates by carving up his #AskGaryVee and DailyVee podcasts. He posts these snippets to his social media profiles, using them to direct traffic to the main show. Vaynerchuk doesn't skimp on the main fare. But by deriving most of his content from a few big pieces, he can roll out cross-platform campaigns much more quickly. 4. Track the Team's Progress Any writer can tell you: It's easy to waste an hour perfecting a paragraph. Designers are artists who want their work to be beautiful. No doubt: Digital campaigns benefit from better design and content. But you have to find the sweet spot. The difference between "great" and "outstanding" may be days and thousands of dollars worth of work. Budget your team's time with project management software like Teamwork. For each phase of the campaign, set a time budget. Teamwork lets you do this by individual contributor, team, and project. Say you need social media support for a YouTube series you're developing. You might give the social team six hours -- to be spread across as many or as few people as they please -- to deliver a dozen posts to each target demographic. 5. Be Choosy With Channels. Not every campaign needs to be on every channel. The reason is, not every audience uses every channel. Take social media. Social media is the marketing channel for reaching younger audiences: 90.4% of Millennials are active social media users, compared to 48.2% of Baby Boomers. Social media can be an inexpensive, speedy way to reach an audience online. But with some audiences, it's a big waste of time. Approach platforms the same way. Buffer, a social media scheduling tool, learned this lesson the hard way. Why? Snapchat users weren't the tool's target audience. After Instagram introduced its Stories feature, Buffer struggled to justify using Snapchat. Balance experimentation with commitment. You shouldn't continue to use a channel that isn't performing. But at the same time, nothing will perform without adequate investment. On social, you shouldn't be going months between posts on the platforms you deem valuable. Two meaningful posts per week is more likely to pay off than multiple mindless retweets per day. 6. Be Boldly Relatable Authenticity gets attention. Rather than making meaningless claims about being "the best value" or "the No. 1 choice," be bold in your tone and style. A good example is Dollar Shave Club. Remember its launch video -- the "our blades are f**cking great" one? The content might've been low budget, but it resonated with viewers. Less than five years after Dollar Shave Club's launch, it was bought by Unilever for $1 billion. Remember, attention spans are short online. You may just get a few seconds before someone clicks away, so make sure they get the message. What about once your campaign is live? Keep tight tabs on its progress. Assign someone to the role: Performance checks shouldn't be an ad hoc activity. Until that time, know your audience, be clear about what you want to achieve, and be boldly yourself. You'll be on to your next campaign soon, so don't stress about perfecting this one. Summary Digital advertising cycles are shorter than ever, and far shorter than those in traditional media. Especially in times of uncertainty, it's important to get campaigns to market quickly. To do so: - Meet your users at scale - Set a single goal - Be realistic with your budget - Play the long game, but take shortcuts - Track the team's progress - Be choosy with channels - Be boldly relatable Digital advertising is all about experimentation. If one experiment doesn't work, move on. There are always new tactics, channels, and tools to try.

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2020-10-21 19:45:26| Adrants

Digital marketing matters more than ever during COVID-19. Rather than go out, people are logging on. This isn't just happening on the consumer side, either. Businesses are using more software tools as they switch to remote work. Rather than schedule in-office demonstrations, they're doing their research online. Whatever your business does, chances are good your market has moved online. If you want to convince them to choose you -- especially in a tight economy -- you have to up your digital marketing game. Here's how to do it: 1. Redo your market research The writing is on the wall: COVID-19 will be around for awhile. Many believe the pandemic will have a lasting, permanent effect. In fact, some voices in the scientific community say the world will have to practice social distancing until 2022. In other words, you can't think of this as "just a phase." Your audience's needs and pain points may have changed for good. Given the dramatic shift, the first thing you need to do is to gather new targeting data. Basically, you have to unlearn and relearn your audience -- because in some ways, you do have a new audience. For this, look to the customers who've continued to buy from you. You can use surveys, email correspondence, or even video conferencing tools to interview them. However you do it, your sample size should be in the dozens. Your marketing strategies will be based on this data, so accuracy is critical. 2. Take advantage of inexpensive ads Because consumers aren't spending money at the moment, companies are spending less on their efforts to reach them. For the first time ever, Google actually lost ad revenue, according to B2B agency Hawke Media's latest coronavirus report. Take advantage of rock-bottom ad rates. Because Google Ads uses a bidding system, you may find that you're able to name your price on certain keywords. Winning a bid secures you a top spot for that search term. What's more, internet traffic has skyrocketed. More people are looking at ads, but fewer advertisers are competing for those spots -- an ideal combination, if you're in the market for digital ads. As with any marketing tactic, do your research before you break the bank on digital ads. Every audience is different. You don't want to find out your readers find you through some other channel after betting the farm on digital ads. 3. Be helpful People are deeply concerned about their financial security and physical health right now. The brands they look to are those that are helping customers get through this difficult season. The key is to focus on contributions, not conversions. Here are some ways you can do that: Offer payment plans Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, and untold millions more are making budget cuts because they're worried. A simple but effective way to help is to offer payment plans. Break down installments into smaller pieces and stretch them out. Consider deferring payments until some future date. Not only will this bring in more business, but it'll boost customer loyalty into the future. You might even snag some positive reviews out of it. Offer discounts or freebies There's a delicate balance here: Obviously, you don't want to discount yourself to death. However, being flexible on price can help you net customers who weren't able to afford your products or services previously. A good middle ground might be small freebies: Why not throw a small bottle of hand sanitizer in with every purchase? That shows you care, and in most cases, the cost pales in comparison to the larger purchase. Be transparent Sharing knowledge is a free way to build trust with your audience. Keep them in the loop on how COVID-19 is affecting your business. Share articles with tips about how they can protect themselves. Provide resources, such as mental health help lines, for people who might be struggling. In addition to the branding benefits, transparency can also help you better understand your customers' needs. Pay attention to feedback on the content you share: You might just learn a new pain point your customers are experiencing, or a competitor they're considering. 4. Check your brand voice The coronavirus crisis has changed the emotional climate for everyone. Make sure your brand doesn't come across as out of touch. For example, if your brand voice is typically sarcastic, that might not resonate right now. Don't abandon ship altogether, but do shift toward more serious statements. Consumers are looking for authenticity right now, even from brands like Steak-umm that are known for their happy-go-lucky style. Audit your web and social media content for anything that could come across as inappropriate or insensitive. Take down pictures that could be misinterpreted. Make sure none of your influencers are spreading misinformation. When in doubt, cut it out. 5. Switch your pitch In normal times, a great way to pitch your products or services is to use urgency. The trouble is, pressing people to spend through scarcity may create a backlash. Even elements like countdown timers could rub your audience the wrong way. Don't discard this tactic altogether. Shelve campaigns and content that use urgency because you'll likely be able to use them in the future. For the time being, try the inverse: Communicating patience with phrases like "When you're ready," or "When you feel comfortable" adds a caring angle to your brand. 6. Try teaching Online courses and certifications are hot right now. Millions of people have lost jobs and are looking into new careers. In the information age, most of those call for some fresh education. Under other circumstances, these individuals might consider going back to school or taking an apprenticeship. Between social distancing guidelines and economic instability, however, these options aren't as appealing as they once were. To drive traffic to your site, put together a course on your area of speciality. If you work at an agency, could you teach social media marketing? What about copywriting or graphic design? Unless you're direly in need of revenue, avoid charging for your course. If you must, use a freemium model, which provides value even to people who can't pay. Think of your course the same way you would a blog post or email newsletter: The goal is simply to bring in fresh leads and build awareness of your brand. 7. Maximize your landing page Landing pages get clicks because they provide value at the cost of the visitor's contact information. Whether through an online course, a discount, or helpful content, take advantage of the fact that people have more time but less money right now. Before you use those low-cost digital ads to drive traffic to your landing page, make sure it's buttoned up. Concise copy, a clickable call to action, and a caring tone go a long way. Use A/B testing to find what resonates best with your audience. COVID-19 has thrown a lot of marketing teams into chaos. When -- and frankly, if -- things will go back to normal is an open question. The good news is, marketers are adaptable. Market conditions change all the time. Shifting with them can help you not just survive, but actually distinguish yourself from competitors who are stuck in their ways.

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2020-10-15 21:38:14| Adrants

Of all the forms of content marketing, video offers the greatest opportunity for digital marketers. And yet the majority of us are blowing it. Broadly, mistakes in this strategy manifest in three ways: - Not creating a clear standard for ROI - Publishing new videos and moving on without promotion - Whiffing on the content itself, particularly the video topics When the COO asks about the performance of video marketing, the reflex is to talk about views. But views don't count as ROI; they're a vanity metric. Only 35% of marketers report using "intermediate" analytics, i.e, anything beyond views. Videos are often uploaded to YouTube without much thought for SEO optimization or distribution. Then it's on to the next one. It's that old Field of Dreams mentality: build it and they will come. It doesn't work like that. Meanwhile, people are absolutely feasting on video. YouTube reaches more 18 - 49 year-olds (so a huge majority of the population) than any TV network. If you're a content strategist, or have any stake in the success of your company's content strategy, you should be thinking about how to excel at video marketing. In this post, we'll cover how to improve your video analytics, distribution, and engagement, so you can stop counting views and start delivering some real ROI. Create specific goals. Use deeper analytics. On better strategy First things first: every successful video strategy has to have a goal. Getting more views isn't a great strategy, but it's unclear how that benefits your organization. Here are better examples of goals: - Increase traffic from video content by x% - Generate x number of conversions from video - Attribute x amount of revenue to video content Of course, each of these depends on the needs, budget, and capabilities of your company. Personally, I would go with the second option: generating conversions and building a contact list. Focusing on lead generation allows you to take a full funnel approach, which means you can produce top of funnel, mid funnel, and bottom funnel videos that each serve a distinct purpose. (More on that later.) On better analytics If you want to have better goals and realize a better return on video, you need better data. The native analytics provided by Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram can tell you how people are interacting with your content on their platforms. But it won't be that helpful when you're trying to measure results. You're going to need to grab a video publishing platform like Vidyard or Wistia and hook it up to your marketing automation system. This not only unlocks a deeper set of analytics, but also connects the data from Facebook et al. to what's happening on your website. Think of video analytics as intention data. Once you have access to a more expansive dataset, you can see how many viewers watched your entire video, which parts they rewatched, and what percentage clicked through and converted. Plus, you'll be able to associate how many leads that originated from your video strategy convert into customers, giving you that all-important baseline for ROI. Without these analytics, you'll be adrift in the YouTube sea, wondering which videos actually perform and which just get meaningless views. Expand your content strategy Now that you've got a better plan -- and a better means of measuring success -- let's talk about content strategy. A lot of B2B brands struggle with video content strategy, because they tend to excel at mid and bottom of the funnel content, while writing off the top of the funnel. But video marketing is an entertainment game, so if you want to win, you need to get better at the top of the funnel. There are a couple of ways to do this. The first is to move your SEO up the funnel and focus on topics that are only mildly related to your product -- if at all. For example, at Soundstripe we doubled down on production assets for our video creator community. That means we wrote entire articles about these topics, built landing pages for them, and then made videos about each topic. Check this video for our storyboard template to get an idea of what I'm talking about. Does this topic have any direct application to Soundstripe's YouTube royalty free music product? Not really. But we know that it's important to our audience, and showing up for this keyword makes us relevant. That's the top of the funnel in a nutshell. There are probably tons of topics that your audience is interested in that are several degrees removed from your product. On social platforms like Facebook and Instagram, people are not actively searching for anything to purchase. They're just scrolling aimlessly. So you're going to need to meet people where they are, and that means focusing on broad, entertaining topics. That's alright, because as long as you can get someone to engage with your video, you can retarget them later. (Or if they convert on the video, nurture them through email.) Another important way to attack the top of the funnel is to go beyond keyword research. Yes, it's possible. Social monitoring tools like Buzzsumo allow you to search for topics your audience is talking about on social media. These ideas aren't always represented in search volume, but that doesn't mean people aren't interested. So find some of those topics, make a few videos, and see if you can grab people's attention. Bada bing, bada boom: you're relevant to a whole new segment of your audience. Get your distribution right Now it's time for the big finale, the third pillar of this video marketing temple: distribution. Organic social reach is more or less a relic of a bygone era -- except on LinkedIn, strangely. So if you want to really get a return on your video marketing, you're going to need to put some dollars behind distribution on the big social networks. Now, that doesn't mean you should just start dumping money into the black hole of Facebook Business Manager. You need to be judicious. Start small and run some tests. And for the love of all that's holy, don't serve the same ads to every part of your funnel. Since you've done all that work creating top of the funnel videos (you're doing that, right?) follow those up with mid funnel and bottom funnel videos. These guys should have more of a conversion focus, because the audience you're showing them to will be better acquainted with your brand. Once you get some data from your initial campaign, analyze, tweak, and repeat. Look, no one said video marketing was easy. It takes a lot of effort to get right. You have to set up your strategy, collect the right data, and optimize your content. But once you approach video marketing in a formalized way, you'll start to make waves in the most popular content format in the history of mankind. This guest article was written by Zach Watson, Content Marketing Manager for Soundstripe, a royalty free music company that helps creators and businesses with YouTube monetization, among other things.

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2020-10-15 21:23:34| Adrants

Content marketing has been a buzzword in the marketing industry over the past few years. It revolves around answering your target customers' questions and providing them value (mostly free of cost) with evidence-based strategies. Every business can benefit from content marketing strategies. There is no restriction based on the type and scale of the service you provide. Whether your business is big or small, you can use content marketing to increase your reach and attract more customers. Content can be of several types. Marketers use written, visual, audio, and video content uniquely at different marketing funnel stages. Forrester claims that a buyer consumes almost twelve pieces of content before deciding to make a purchase. Informative content like blogs, infographics, ebooks, and explanatory videos adds value to customers' lives by providing answers to their queries. Emails and web copy can effectively remarket and convert visitors into leads. Moreover, social media content like catchy product descriptions and testimonials helps generate sales. In this blog post, we have given you eight compelling reasons to invest in content marketing. So, let's begin. 1. To Establish A Brand Identity A company becomes a brand when customers ask for them instead of the product they need. For example, when you ask for a "Kleenex" instead of a tissue. Or, when spotting a pink and orange billboard from a distance, the name of "Dunkin Donuts" pops in our minds even if we can't read the billboard. Content marketing strategies like guest posting, infographics, LinkedIn publishing, and podcasts are great ways to instill brand awareness among the masses. They establish your authority in the niche, automatically creating a reputable impression in the minds of prospects. 2. To Help Your Business Appear On Top Of SERP Producing quality content and then optimizing it according to the latest SEO trends will help your website rank higher in the search engine result pages (SERP). Why? Because search engines rank content based on the authority and the value it adds to the lives of the users. The higher your website and social platforms appear in the search engine, the greater are your chances of securing leads and sales. People mostly view the top results that appear on the SERP, and if your website is there, they will visit your website. Having a blog section on your website is a reliable content marketing strategy. All the keywords in your niche, which are essential to use in your content, can't be added to the homepage or product/service section alone. But by regularly publishing blog posts, you will be able to use all the high-ranking keywords to generate organic traffic. 3. To Develop Meaningful Relations With Your Audience Content makes it possible to create a lasting and meaningful relationship with your audience based on trust. Every written or visual content provides different benefits in terms of forming these relationships. It also helps increase engagements and, subsequently, conversions. Twitter statistics reveal that 94% of people plan to purchase from a business they follow. An effective content marketing strategy is to evoke the emotions of the customers via brand stories and personalized content. It can be a funny/sad/inspirational incident that gave you the idea for your business, or how your products had a positive impact on the life of your customers. Reading personal anecdotes makes the customers feel connected with a brand. In addition to it, CMI research shows that Interactive content like quizzes and contests are the most engaging form of content. 4. To Gain Trust Of Prospects By Providing Valuable Advice Search intent is the reason why a customer searches for a specific query. For example, if a person is searching for "best restaurants near me," then the intent could be that they are going out to eat or want to have something delivered to their house. If you can understand the intent, you can use it to your advantage. Here, keyword research comes handy. SEO experts will tell you the exact terms and phrases your prospective clients use to search for related content. In this way, you can provide value by integrating these keywords naturally into your content. For instance, Kraftwurks, an online 3D printing service in Houston, TX, is an excellent example of a company that informs and educates the customers about revolutionary 3D products in a simple yet fun manner. It's the appropriate way to share your expertise with ideal customers. 5. To Generate Organic Traffic Hubspot conducted a study in 2018, in which 61% of marketers revealed that generating more traffic and leads is their top priority. Creating content and optimizing it with targeted keywords brings organic traffic to your site. Since the traffic is organic, there is a high possibility that your content will hook the visitors and convert them into customers. You can generate organic traffic without spending heavily on paid ads if you produce quality content. Plus, it should include relevant images, GIFs, or facts to make it attractive to customers. 6. To Convert Traffic Into Leads And Sales When you capture your audience's attention with unique and informative content, they are more likely to convert. According to a study by Kapost, content marketing produces thrice more leads per dollar spent than paid search. Take an example of Solar Buffalo. Based in Buffalo, New York, it is a small business providing solar energy solutions in the Buffalo city. Their website features some highly informative content regarding the benefits of solar power with their call-to-action just beneath the content. This type of content educates the audience and converts traffic into leads. 7. To Target Local Customers Initially, the success of every small business depends upon its reputation in the local community and the neighborhood areas. According to Hubspot, 97% of all online searches are from people trying to find a local business. Therefore, focusing on local SEO should be a priority for small businesses to get more customers. A local SEO company that has worked in the area for a long time is well aware of the traditions and customs of the region. So, hiring a local SEO company is a smart strategy, as they will create search engine optimized content targeting local customers. For instance, if you have a small business in any of the cities of Delaware, then hiring a Delaware SEO company for content marketing and local SEO will be highly beneficial to create a name for your business in the region. They can plan campaigns for local festivities and will optimize your content based on local trends and regional lexicon for better results. 8. Using Visual Content To Reach A Wider Audience Visual content, comprisied of images and video, is understandably the most appealing form of content. It gets a lot more shares and visibility than a written post. A survey conducted by the Aberdeen Group found out that marketers who use video get 66% more leads every year. You can use visual content to extend your reach in several ways. If you have a product that provides relief to customers in a unique way, demonstrate it via clear images or a short video. Also, make sure to share it on all your social mediums to get increased visibility and prompt customer feedback. Summing Up Using content marketing for your business will bring you the desired ROI much quicker than other marketing tactics. Make sure to outdo your competitors by keeping a close watch on what they are publishing. Beat them with creativity by making and sharing better and more relevant content. Most importantly, check your content thoroughly for fluff, grammatical, and spelling mistakes before sharing for an expert and authoritative impression on viewers.

Category: Marketing and Advertising


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