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July 2015 archive

Pinterest Quick Guide to Promoted & Buyable Pins

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What are the differences between promoted pins and new buyable pins on Pinterest? Let’s discuss.

Ever since Pinterest became the go-to online tool for people who wanted to find, save and categorize items by interest, businesses have been looking for ways to monetize their Pinterest activities.

In just under two years, the visually driven social media network has introduced two programs to address these needs: Promoted Pins and the new Buyable Pins.

So how do you decide if one or both of these pin products are the right fit to help you build brand awareness or drive revenue?

You can start with our short review of these pin types to gain a better understanding:

Buyable Pins vs Promoted Pins on Pinterest

Promoted Pins

Promoted Pins are a form of paid advertising. They are native advertisements, so they show up in your Pinterest feed just like any other pin. Promoted Pins can be targeted at specific users in various demographic, geographic, and other behavior- and interest-based groups. For this reason, they tend to perform better than organic pins, which are displayed to a more general audience. U.S.-based business accounts can enroll in Promoted Pins now or join the waitlist.

Buyable Pins

Buyable Pins are a brand-new feature for Pinterest users. So new, in fact, that they are just rolling out to iPhone and iPad users (desktop forthcoming). Buyable Pins will make it possible to purchase a product directly from the pin, without leaving the Pinterest app. If a product is available for purchase, it will display a Blue “Buy it” button in the upper right corner.

Unlike Promoted Pins, the new Buyable Pins are free to use, and they work together with Rich Pins. For now, Buyable Pins will play nicely with Shopify accounts and Demandware accounts, but most retailers will be asked to join the waitlist while the program rolls out to more users and devices.

What other questions do you have about Promoted or Buyable Pins?

Web Seminar Recap: Using SEO for Social Media

Ranking high on Search Engines is a great way to bring awareness to your brand. It is important to be aware that the same tactics used to rank on search engines can also help you on ranking your profiles on social media. Where and how you position content on profiles makes a big difference in how people see your posts.

This 1-hour web seminar was presented by Chris West on July 28th. Attendees learned:
• How to choose Keywords
• Ranking Linkedin profiles
• Twitter Keyword use
• Organizing Social media posts

Missed this seminar? Catch up by downloading the recording and slides here.



How to Design Landing Pages for your Paid Search Campaign

When developing a paid campaign, advertisers need to think beyond the ad content and have appropriate landing pages for each ad. Instead of using an existing page on the site and assuming that’s “good enough”, build one specifically for the campaign to ensure the landing page serves as an extension of the ad.  The worst scenario is when a user clicks on an ad and can’t immediately identify the connection between your ad and the content of your landing page.  That’s when you’ll see a high bounce rate as they become frustrated and try another site instead of yours.

Keep it simple

Simplicity applies in so many areas of your digital marketing efforts and a simple form is very important.  Do not ask for more than you need.  An ideal form will have only email, name, and a place for a message.  Sometimes if the offer is some kind of trial, only the email address is needed.  If you are convinced your form with 15 fields is simple, try this quick test.  In your analytics, look at the number of visitors to that page compared to the number of forms completed.  For example, if 100 people visit the landing page and 30 people fill out the form, it implies they changed their minds once they saw the level of commitment (i.e. number of fields) required of them.  If you still feel the 15 fields are necessary, at least do some A/B testing where some users come to this longer form and others are sent to a simpler version.

Use arrows

Use arrows?  We create a form and think it’s incredibly simple with no other directions needed.  Keep in mind though that users will only spend a few seconds on your landing page and if it’s not obvious what to do, they may not do it.  Don’t assume it’s easy because the people who designed the site tell you it’s obvious.  We all become consumed with our own areas of expertise, forgetting others don’t have the same benefit of being immersed in something all day.  With arrows on your landing page, you can point them directly to the call-to-action button.  Your page should only have a small amount of copy, but users may not even bother reading that and instead be ready to go ahead and sign-up for what you offer. Make it easy for them to do so.

Promote coming soon

It’s not too soon to start your paid campaign even if your product or service is not quite ready for launch.  You can create a very simple page with a “Coming Soon” message to build up some interest before you go live.

Include images

Pictures are still worth 1,000 words. Although you will have copy explaining your offer, you should also include an image that is related to what you are asking.  And it doesn’t hurt to also include your logo to establish your brand.

Keywords are still important

Landing pages for paid campaigns need to have the keywords in them that you bid on.  This helps improve your conversion rate because it reinforces the ad message.  Also, the page may still come up in an organic search, which means you could get some free traffic along the way.  Landing pages are not only for paid search.

Use reviews/testimonials

You may say what you offer is great, but what carries more weight is if other people say you are great.  Use reviews or testimonials that include not just the user’s name, but also the user’s company name so it comes across as more legit.  And always get permission first before using someone’s info on your site.

Remember to structure the landing page on your site with the goal of presenting the content as the solution to a problem.  In all aspects of your marketing, never forget that it is always about the customer and never about you.  Think of each page on your site as a different entry point to a conversation and create pages accordingly.  When people are on a page that is about what they specifically need and it matches the message that brought them there, they will be more engaged and more inclined to see you as the provider of their solution.

Content Marketing Campaign of the Week: ADP

We see a lot of great content marketing examples for B2C organizations, but where is the B2B love? In 28 content marketing campaign of the week posts only two of the featured companies could be considered B2B. Shame on me considering I’ve worked primarily for B2B companies during my career. It’s true that we hear more about the B2C publicity because they tell stories on a personal level, and they are speaking to individuals instead of businesses. But that doesn’t mean B2B content marketing campaigns are any less creative or effective.

In the 2014 B2B Content Marketing Research study by Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, results showed that 90% of B2B marketers are using content marketing, and 44% have a documented content marketing strategy. This is a core concept that has been lost on many practitioners, you need a strategy. Many people say they do content marketing, but they don’t have goals, metrics or results they can show you.

Automatic Data Processing (better known to all of us who get a paycheck as ADP) is an example of a company that created a strategy and followed through with content marketing efforts, earning monumental results. People often complain that it’s hard to do content marketing with a boring product. You don’t ge

The Value Added Services division of ADP, along with the help of agency Stein IAS, created a quarterly, multi-touch campaign mixing digital materials and other collateral. The results are staggering:  $1 million in new sales opportunities. In 2014, ADP attributed $3.7 million in closed business to its content marketing and an ROI for the effort in the first three quarters of 905%.t more plain or droll than payroll and human resource management. So what did ADP do?

Here are a few lessons to learn from ADP’s success:

1.       Set yourself up for success:  Determine how you will measure success or failure

If you don’t monitor your data, you don’t know how you did. If a weight lifter trains for a year and at the end can bench press 300 pounds, great. But how do you know how much he actually improved? Maybe he could press 295 to start with and his training wasn’t really all that successful.

Where do you start with numbers for marketing? Everywhere and anywhere. Whatever data you can get your hands on about your sales pipeline, revenue, followers and likes on social media, web traffic, in-bound calls, database size, etc. is useful. Prior to this multi-touch campaign that started in late 2012, ADP hadn’t run a trackable digital campaign. Head of Brand Management Jim Ferrauilo stated they didn’t even use landing pages before then.

2.       Have clear objectives

Some people confuse objectives with measuring success or failure. The simple difference to ask yourself is what outcome you want to accomplish. Whether it’s actionable or awareness based, what do you want people to do? All of the KPIs can go toward measuring how much you’ve accomplished, but make sure you have a consistent message that follows your objective, both internally to fellow employees and stakeholders, and externally to the customers. ADP had a clear business objective:  build awareness and demand for ADP Workforce Now; One clear goal.

3.       Know your target audience

In promoting their Workforce Now software, the campaign strategy was to associate customer pain points with the Workforce Now solution from ADP. To determine these pain points, they defined their audience as businesses between 50-999 employees as the prime audience. Further, they identified HR decision makers, chief human resource officers and midsize business owners as the people within those businesses. Finally, they used their own research about top concerns of midsize business owners in a post-2008 economy to develop a persona and read into what are the true concerns of their ideal buyer.

4.       Offer something different that captures attention of your target audience

Is payroll exciting? Doubtfully. But ADP created content that made peoples’ jobs easier and informed them of a massive change in their profession (the Affordable Care Act). Take a look at the ADP tools and resources page. The infographics are informative AND pleasing to the eye. This short style of information is easy to digest, much easier than reading 100s of pages of legal jargon that affects the HR of a company.

Not only were these infographics on the site and distributed via social media, this and other content such as white papers, online videos and case studies were leveraged with display advertising, industry publications, and stalwarts like Forbes and The Wall Street Journal.

5.       Test different ideas

The more you test, the more likely it is you will find the best solution. When you know what works you can invest more in that and let the less successful ideas fizzle. About the ADP content marketing strategy, Ferrauilo said, “We refocused the entire campaign on five strategies to help navigate healthcare reform – specifically for midsize business. We did a lot of optimization along the way – pulling out elements that just weren’t working – and the response rate went way up.

The bottom line is that there is no one way to do marketing anymore. A content marketing strategy is unique to every organization, and success depends on the ability to create a plan, follow it, test it, measure it, and adjust when needed. This type of content marketing can attribute to hard sells of products and services, for B2B and B2C companies, but it’s the ability to measure and report findings that will give a voice and recognition to deserving marketers.

Note:  Much of the information in this post came from the Advertising Age article ADP Content Campaign Pays Off.

Web Seminar Recap: How to Use Filters and Segments in Google Analytics

There’s a big difference between filters and segments in analytics, which includes temporary versus permanent removal of your analytics data. Understand how filters and segments work, how to create them, and when to use them. You’ll learn specifically how to use them to get rid of referral spam that is becoming more prevalent in Google Analytics accounts.

This web seminar was presented by Tina Arnoldi on July 15, 2015 and was geared towards people who have a basic understanding of analytics.

Missed this web seminar? You can find the slides and recording here.

How to Write PPC Ads that Convert

It can be frustrating to create a paid ad campaign and receive a number of clicks, but not see many conversions on the site.  These conversions may be direct revenue, such as a purchase, or a micro-conversion where someone fills out a form or downloads a file. You may also feel good about your ad copy and see a lot of impressions, but unfortunately discover that very few people even click on the ad.  Below are some tips to consider when writing your ad to increase your chances of conversion.

Keep it simple

You may do a lot of things well.  If you are an IT company, you may sell software and hardware.  Maybe you also offer support for different product lines.  One ad should not attempt to highlight everything you do. If you want to promote the page on your site with desktop computers, write an ad that is only about desktop computers.  Keep it very simple so people are not distracted by multiple offers.

Have a valuable Call-To-Action (CTA)

Is your call-to-action ‘learn more’ or ‘buy now’?  Although the ability to learn more or buy is not a bad call-to-action, it does not set you apart from other advertisers. Is there an offer you can include, such as free shipping, overnight shipping, or a time-limited discount? Find something that sets you apart from other advertisers in your industry.

Include a countdown timer

With Google’s countdown customizers, you can speak directly to people’s fear of missing out on something. With a little bit of code, your ad will include a real-time countdown by the day, hour, and minute.  Two words of caution with a countdown.  If you continually run ads  with the same deal and just change the end date, customers will catch on to you quickly and will know it’s not a real deal.  Also, if you always run a deal, customers will know that discount prices are your standard operation and will then buy from you only when you offer a deal.  When countdowns can work well is if they are used occasionally, such as around holidays like Christmas or Valentine’s Day.


Write for the customer… not you

You may think your products or services have great features which is, of course, important.  Customers will be curious about your features, but they are much more concerned with the benefit to them.  Always remember, you are not offering your products or services, you are selling the customer’s solution and ensure your ad language reflects that.  Include words such as “you” to make it clear that you are customer focused.

Include numbers

Numbers can really stand out in an ad. Is your price $99 or do you offer “free shipping for purchases over $50”? State that in an ad.  It can make your ad stand apart from the ones that have text only.

Include “free” only if it is

Have you clicked on an ad with a free offer and learned that it was a 3-day trial, or “free” with some type of initial payment? This is why you need to be very careful about using that word. It could simply attract people who have no intention of ever paying for what they’re seeking, such as software. But if you have a “free 14-day trial”, that’s more honest and clearer to the searcher.  When they click your ad, they know it’s not something that’s free forever.

Reinforce your offer in the Display URL

The Display URL does have to include your domain, but can include any text after that.  So, if your domain is, after the .com, you have room to reinforce your message.  It could be or  It gives you some extra space for your message, so don’t give away this free space in the Display URL by only including your top level domain.

You will never find a 100% conversion rate on your ads and there will always be searchers who visit your site and choose not to make a purchase.  However, with some of these suggestions above, you can at least increase the number of people who do convert after clicking.

Content Marketing Campaign of the Week – Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board

Cheeseheads may be the nickname for the Green Bay Packers’ contingency, but the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board is going above and beyond to make sure that Wisconsin is the number one location to think of when it comes to cheese. There are 600 styles and varieties of cheese produced in Wisconsin and the Milk Marketing Board created a successful, sustainable content marketing strategy to spread the word.

As a non-profit with limited budget and a national audience, the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board decided to get creative and have fun. With one informational and educational site and four microsites to engage and build supporters, they targeted a wide audience that appreciates food. The websites maintain a similar look and feel throughout and are entertaining while informative. If you’re like me and think everything is better with cheese, these sites are a haven of ideas. Below is a look at all five sites the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board created in their content marketing efforts.

Eat Wisconsin Cheese

While the content of this site covers your basics that any non-profit organization would provide, its style is simple and visual. Of course there is information about the cheese, but there are also listings for events, recipes, pairings and entertaining and more. From touring America’s Dairyland to reading Grate. Pair. Share., an online magazine about cooking and entertaining with Wisconsin Cheese, this site has a wealth of content – all relating to cheese and dairy. The Cheesecyclopedia, best chef nominees and all types of swag are available on this page.

Cheese and Burger Society

Perhaps the most successful, this site dedicated to delicious burgers to “celebrate the greatest cheeseburgers ever made.” For example, the Inaugural 30 are 30 different burgers with 30 types of Wisconsin cheese. For each one there is a recipe as well as a “Meet The Cheese” section that gives in-depth information about the cheese used. There’s also a humorous electronic recipe index that features the voice of Patrick Warburton, as well as a sweepstakes involving the beloved Green Bay Packers. While the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board set out to gain more of a national audience, this site has gained worldwide popularity. There are even monthly meet up groups in Australia to cook the burgers on the site and wear Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board paraphernalia.


Grilled Cheese Academy

This site takes grilled cheese to a higher level. It’s no longer about a slice of cheese and two pieces of bread that are grilled. The artisanal chef movement heavily inspired this microsite, and in return, the site inspires professional and amateur chefs to create new creations for the palette. With close to 40 original grilled cheese recipes, from The Sergeant Pepper to The Low Country to The Athena, mouthwatering is an understatement when looking at these sandwiches. For the past three years, there has also been a free, downloadable book called the Grilled Cheese Recipe Showdown Book of Champions. Recipes featured in this book are also part of the annual recipe contest.


Cheese Cupid

A simple yet helpful and fun solution for many entertainers, the Wisconsin Cheese Cupid site pairs alcoholic beverages with types of Wisconsin cheeses. Pick a beverage and it will tell you which types of cheese goes best with it. You can also pick your cheese and they will pick your beverage. And although as a Tar Heel who thinks being part of the wine and cheese crowd is not offensive because I love both, I’m extremely impressed by the breadth of selection. From champagne to a porter to scotch, and Gouda to blue cheese, this site has great variety.


Dairy Doing More

Finally, the Dairy Doing More site focuses on the environment, economic impact and everything industry related to the dairy farming industry. Not only does it function as a resource for the farmers who help fund the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, it’s educational for those who want to learn more about where their cheese and dairy is coming from. With the recent emphasis of organically grown and humanely treated produce and livestock, this has information about the cows, procedures, nutrition and much more. For the societally conscious eater, this site aims to reaffirm that the Wisconsin dairy farmers are responsible in their production.

While all five sites are different and have different goals, they stay consistent with pleasing visuals and the look and feel. The informational sites are easy to navigate while the others focus almost entirely on the pictures of food with cheese. They are all tied back to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board with logos, as well as slogans such as “Proudly Honoring Wisconsin Cheese.” It is with this content marketing strategy that the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board has reached more than 100 million households in the United States. They also have a majority of mindshare with 60% of American respondents saying they think of Wisconsin when they think cheese.

Web Seminar Recap: How to Utilize AdWords Effectively

Pay-Per Click advertising is a essential part of online marketing. This seminar went over how adwords is used to help sites get more awareness online. In order to truly take advantage of the service you need to know how to choose the right keywords that will yield the best engagement by web visitors.

What attendees learned:

• How Adsense works
• Choosing the right Keywords
• How ads should look
• Where to place your ads
• What url to connect to your ad

How to Utilize AdWords Effectively was presented by Chris West on July 8th.

Missed this seminar? Catch up by downloading the slides and recording here.

Advanced Tips on How to Use the AdWords Display Network


If you’re brand new to the AdWords Display Network, my earlier post introduces you to re-marketing, in-market audiences, keywords, managed placements, target by topic, similar audiences, interests, affinity groups, and demographics. Once you have an overview, read some tips for your bid strategy, campaigns, placement monitoring, overall design, and mobile-friendliness.  After those posts and some time implementing previous suggestions, you’re ready for even more tips on how to use the AdWords Display Network.

Combine Targeting: You can use a combination of the targeting methods available to find a very specific audience.  For example, if you choose keyword targeting with one of the other methods, your ads will be served within the context of a relevant article on a content site. This can be a good option if you find clicks from your Display Network ads are not bringing you traffic that converts.


Don’t overdo your targeting: If you combine too many targeting groups, your reach is reduced significantly.  If you combine a number of targeting methods and find that you are reaching too few people, broaden those groups to ensure you reach a larger number.  Another problem can occur if you overdo targeting because it becomes difficult to determine which targeting method is providing the best return. Keep your combination to a maximum of two groups when you start out so you don’t make your audience too narrow and so you can also get a feel for which targeting method has the greatest return.

Custom affinity audiences: An affinity audience is a group of people with similar interests. The custom affinity audience introduced by Google in October of 2014 lets you decide exactly who you want to reach.  For those who are concerned about being too narrow, immediate estimates are provided as the audience is built, which shows demographics and relevant affinities.  This real time feedback lets you make changes to your ads before you launch.


Introduction to Adobe After Effects CC

Get into motion graphics – come learn what Adobe After Effects CC can do! Adobe After Effects CC software lets you deliver cinematic visual effects and motion graphics faster than ever before with new Global Performance Cache. Extend your creativity with built-in text, shape extrusion, and new mask feathering options. The industry-standard motion graphics and visual effects toolset now brings you better ways to work, connecting your desktop and mobile apps with all your creative assets, so you can create your most stunning visuals yet..

This course will teach participants how to:

  • Learn fundamentals of motion graphic
  • Understanding workflow
  • Learn how to create basic animation using effects and presets
  • Work with masks
  • Learn how to animate text
  • Learn how to work with shape and layers
  • Learn about other effects and tools
  • Learn how to render an output

Introduction to Adobe After Effects CC is for video, animation and graphics professionals who need a working knowledge of Adobe After Effects CC.

To find out more information on how you can acquire the necessary skills for Adobe After Effects, check out ASPE-ROI’s Introduction to Adobe After Effects CC.