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Archive of ‘Marketing Strategy’ category

How to Optimize Your YouTube Campaigns

youtubeAfter your YouTube ads run for a while, you have access to valuable data about their effectiveness.  You can measure views and clicks as well as actions that happened at a later date but were initiated by your YouTube ad. Using these available metrics, you can measure performance and make decisions about what to optimize in the campaign moving forward.

Below are some considerations in optimizing your YouTube campaign.

Start with automatic placements

When selecting a targeting method, such as the topic, Google will select the relevant placements for you. Give this some time to run before adding managed placements to the campaign.  This gives you time to learn which types of sites perform well for you.

Remove low performing placements

After a period of time, compare your views and conversions for the different placements where your ad is viewed. If there are some placements that do not do well, you may want to exclude them from your campaign. Even if a particular site seems relevant to your business, it does not guarantee your audience is there.

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Web Seminar Recap: You Can’t Ignore Email Marketing: It Still Works!

We’re inundated with too much email! From past purchases to new promotions, we receive a steady stream in our in-box which is not always desirable. Yet, if people still do email marketing, it must work. This web seminar  explored successful email marketing campaigns, reviewed the components of a good campaign, and talked about what to measure.

This 1-hour web seminar was presented by Tina Arnoldi on November 3, 2015. Some topics covered in this presentation include:

  • Click/Open Rate
  • Customer Retention Methods
  • Types of Successful Emails
  • Components of a Good Message
  • And Much More!

Missed it? Catch up by downloading the presentation slides and recording.

Combining the Powers of Peers and Incs

ZipCar

Zipcar, Uber, AirBnB. Companies we’re familiar with now, but were unimaginable years ago. What they have in common is they are all part of the new Peer Inc model which is about sharing physical resources by using these platforms.  In Peers Inc, Robin Chase shares her experience starting Zipcar and how the internet has changed the way we do business. The reason Robin Chase co-founded Zipcar is because she found that many urban dwellers, including herself, do not need to own a car on a full-time basis.  With Zipcar, they can rent a car for as little as a few hours at a time and do the renting through a user friendly platform.

Many of us have excess capacity that we often don’t think about.  If you drive your car to and from work by yourself, you have three passenger seats frequently unused and perhaps 20+ hours when your car is parked each day.  Your guest bedroom is occupied occasionally when people visit from out of town but is mostly unused.  The power of Peers (individuals) combined with the power of Inc (corporations) makes it possible for property to be a shared resource rather than individually owned.

As we look into the future, the vision is not one where machines replace humans. It is one where machines and humans work together. Our devices are the platforms but we are still needed to determine different ways of using these platforms and we make the decision about whether a solution, such as Zipcar,appeals to us or not. And for it to work, it needs to be simple.  Complicated solutions decrease the appeal for both the Peers and the Incs. (more…)

How to Optimize your Email for Mobile Devices

These five steps will help you successfully optimize your email campaigns for mobile devices:

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1. Go easy on images:

Some email providers (like Outlook) do not immediately load images when the user opens the email. For example, if you have a promotion going on, and the promotion is only advertised on the header image, then a lot of your viewers may not see it because the image may not download automatically.

According to MDG Advertising, “94% total views on average are attracted by content containing compelling images than content without images.” While mobile download speeds are increasing every year, if you have a huge image file trying to download, your viewer is going to become irritated quickly. “Every 1 second delay in loading time results in an average 7% drop in conversions.”

Optimize your emails by reducing the file size. Services such as FastStone Photo Resizer and JPEGmini can reduce the image size by as much as 80% without losing image quality. This allows you to still use quality images within your emails and keeping your viewer’s attention.

An easy way to maintain your images proportions when being viewed on a mobile device is to set the image max-width. Within your email’s HTML editor, edit the style portion of the code so that your image size is defined by the proportion of the screen, not the pixels. See below for an example.

<img style=”max-width: XX%; max-height: auto;” class=”alignCenter” src=”YOUR IMAGE SOURCE.JPG”/>

Set the width of the image to the ratio of the screen that you want to take up (for example, an image set to 60% of the screen width). Make sure to set your height to ‘auto’ so that the image will automatically adjust according to the width, avoiding any distortion.

2. Consider your layout & design:

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Content Marketing Campaign of the Week: Lyft

The ridesharing trend has skyrocketed in the past couple years in the United States. Specifically, Lyft has taken the streets by pink moustache and impressed marketers with their content marketing, earning them this week’s Content Marketing Campaign of the week. While slightly older rival Uber has more social media followers, Lyft outshines its main competitor for one simple reason:  memorable storytelling.

From its home page to the blog, Lyft focuses on people. It only makes sense considering the prime resource and the customer are both people, and each person has a story. Lyft has capitalized on the value of human interactions between drivers and passengers by posting funny and sentimental stories on their blog, and then sharing those stories and more via social media.

The Passengers

People use Lyft for a variety of reasons:  a ride to the airport, a safe way home, Lyft Line is even beginning in some cities as a commuting rideshare program. But we all know there are plenty more unique reasons, and Lyft loves to share them. The weirder, the better – their logo is a pink moustache, would you expect anything else? Here is one favorite:

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The Differences between Native Advertising and Sponsored Listing

This post was originally published on rso-consulting.com

Native advertising and sponsored listing are two terms that you may have come across recently, especially if your company is involved in any form of paid advertising.

But unless you have been paying close attention to how online advertising has evolved over the last couple of years, you may have missed the distinction between the two. (There’s no shame in that; even AOL and Yahoo are playing catch up.)

To get you up to speed on the differences between native advertising and sponsored listings, we offer you a concise explanation that you can just as easily adapt for the next stakeholders meeting or impromptu networking.

Native Advertising

The simplest way to explain native advertising is that it is paid media that takes on the feel and function of the site where it exists, almost always a publisher or platform like Facebook, The Wall Street Journal or Mashable, for example.

Now, because not all sites are the same, how one site integrates native ads may be completely different from another site.

Case in point: Facebook native ads are placed in the newsfeed, whereas Google’s native real estate is within search results – although ads are placed along the top and sidebar.

The reason: it flows more naturally with the rest of the content. Rather than disrupting the user experience, native advertising caters to it.

Native advertising is about how the content looks rather than what it does.

Sponsored Listing

Sponsored listings, on the other hand, are paid ads that are prominently featured on websites in order to drive traffic to specific landing pages.

In many cases, the website that hosts the sponsored listing will place it naturally within existing, non-paid, content so that it mimics the qualities of the site.

If you noticed, we said that the content takes on the characteristics of the website…remind you of anything?

That’s right; sponsored listings can also be a form of native advertising.

The sponsored listing is more about what the content does rather than how it looks, although it can be considered native if the ad is placed accordingly.

Have any questions?

We invite you to ask us any questions about paid advertising in the comments below, or just leave a comment as to your thoughts.

Why Customer Personas Matter

Consumers expect you to talk to them.  Not them as a group, but as individuals.  Marketing to the masses with a single message for everyone is a tactic of the past.  Remarketing campaigns were introduced in recent years, but even they are not perfect, not always reaching the right customer.

In Crafting the Customer Experience for People Not Like You, Kelly McDonald reminds us that one size does not fit all.  Simply recognizing this fact is a win because businesses are moving into the right mindset to beat their competitors and show they are ready to think in terms of personas.  Once customers are treated as individuals, they become loyal to a brand.  It’s about the pre-purchase experience all the way through the post-purchase care.  When you understand who your customers are, you can create a great experience for them.

The Obama campaign is a perfect example of collecting individualized data for decision making.  His team was able to send out messages that were relevant, personalized, and delivered in context.  Mainstream media and research organizations discussed his ability to “reduce every American to a series of numbers”.   In Converge, Bob Lord and Ray Velez talk more about Obama’s campaign and that the personalization of an experience is what positions anyone – a company or a presidential candidate – as the right one to meet a consumer need.  With millennials especially, personalization is not an option, but rather a necessity.   Jeff Fromm and Christie Garton write in Marketing to Millennials that this particular audience wants to engage with brands who offer personalized conversations.

Segmenting and targeting go hand in hand with building personas.  These personas represent your customers and are ideally based on real data, like demographics, education, and online activities.  Fortunately, Google Analytics can also help with some of this demographic data to develop personas, but the best source is your internal data from your CRM.

Personas are based on real people so a one-dimensional description isn’t enough.  They’re not rich, poor, male, female – they have a lot more to them.  Take multiple aspects into consideration and base this on existing research or through interviews with customers.   It can also help to talk to non-buyers.  It may be tough to recruit prospects who went to a competitor instead, but it is a valuable source of data.  Some people may even want to provide this feedback because they may have really wanted to buy from you initially.

If you are launching a new brand or product, you may not have the benefit of existing CRM data so your personas will be fictional creations of who you think your users will be.  This needs to be established early on – especially if you are developing something new.  Aim to do surveys or interviews with different types of buyers so you know who to target when you are ready to launch.

You can take this a step further with negative personas. These represent who you do not want as a buyer.  When you segment these personas out of your marketing plan, you may find lower costs in both leads and customer acquisition.  Although it can be hard to admit, “everyone” is not the audience so by owning that early and ruling groups out, it can be a time-saver in the long run for everyone on your team.

Once you can identify your target audience by developing personas, only then can you market to them with appropriate messaging and through use of the right channels.  In addition to helping marketing staff with their role of creating content, personas help the sales team know what a good lead looks like, and your software developers will know which features matter to different users.

When you have your personas, you are in a better mindset to determine how buyers’ lives might improve as a result of your product or service.  This is the opposite of an advertising strategy focused on why you think your offer is great.  When the audience is not identified, much time is wasted trying to convince people to buy what you have.

The better you know your audience, the better you can serve them beyond the point of sale.  When you view things from their perspective, you can maintain the relationship with them and ideally build them as advocates for your brand.   Building personas is much more than a theoretical exercise.  It has implications for your day-to-day work across the organization.

AdWords Tips for Ecommerce Sites

Your goal with AdWords varies based on the type of website you have.  Sometimes it is to drive people to a lead capture form where the conversion happens offline.  Other times it’s to bring someone into your brick and mortar location, like a restaurant. With e-commerce sites, the purpose is clearer since someone can make a purchase directly upon landing on your site.  Although there are best practices to follow for AdWords in general, here are a few tips specifically for your commerce ads.

Using call-out extensions

Call-out extensions highlight special features you want people to know about your company with a short phrase, or call-out.  For e-commerce, some good call-out phrases include “free shipping” or “next day delivery”.  You may be in a very crowded market so you need to point out something about your business that would encourage people to buy from you.  Experiment with different call-outs so you can discover what appeals to shoppers.  Some people may not care about the speediness of delivery, but free shipping is turns them into a new loyal customer.

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Google Set to Flip the Switch on Mobile Friendly Update

This content was originally posted on rso-consulting.com.

google-mobile-algorithm-on-off-660x660Yesterday marks one of the most significant days in search engine history.

On April 21, 2015, the new Google mobile algorithm will go into effect and introduce sweeping changes to the way we use – and work within – the mobile search environment.

Specifically, Google will give preference to websites it deems “mobile-friendly.”

Everything from site security and page load speed to the way content displays on mobile devices will be scrutinized by the algorithm, and those that meet certain criteria will rank higher in Google’s mobile search results.

While this may seem like just another interruption from Google, in reality the mobile algorithm update will benefit both websites and users.

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7 Ways to Change Your Content Marketing in 2015

If you look at internet marketing, it’s obvious that it is ever changing. Content marketing in particular seems to be changing so fast we can barely keep up. The constant development of new technologies and software make for rapid evolution. It is important you stay up to date on trends in the industry, as your marketing success will depend on it. Keep these 7 things in mind this year in order to succeed in content marketing.

1.       Spend More on Content Creation

Content marketing has quickly become the top priority for most B2C and B2B businesses. It is predicted that spending for high quality content marketing will grow in proportion to digital marketing in the upcoming year. In order to continue to compete in the market, it is important you adjust your marketing budget to follow suit.

2.       Focus More on Personalization

Internet marketing is incredibly important in almost every companies marketing plan, but advertisements and web pages are beginning to clutter. How do you separate yourselves from the competition? Thankfully we now have access to much more technology and data than we have in years past, giving us a better insight into our customers.

Facebook does a great job of tracking personal information and what types of articles, links and pages their users share and look at to better personalize the ads they see. If you change your relationship status to “engaged”, or start looking at wedding planning articles you will probably start noticing advertisements for florists, photographers, and venues.

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3.       Make Better Use of Visuals

If you have been on the internet anytime in the last couple of years, you’ve also probably noticed the increasing trend of the use of visuals rather than text. People respond much better to graphs, charts, images and videos and the content marketing field is no exception. It looks like the trend is here to stay and visuals will only continue to increase in importance, so jump aboard now.

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4.       Utilize Measurement Tools

If you haven’t already fallen in love with measurement and testing tools, now is the time to try them. There are dozens of options to utilize, but content marketers in particular really seem to like A/B testing. A/B testing is when you compare two web pages or other types of content, against each other and see which performs better. This method is also sometimes referred to as split testing, but is incredibly easy.

5.       Go Local with Your Content

Google’s plan to go mobile isn’t just to make mobile versions of websites. It is to make content with mobile in mind. Content marketers are beginning to allocate large portions of their budgets to reach local users in their day to day activities.  Make an effort to reach them while they are grocery shopping, looking for a restaurant to eat at, etc.

6.       Connect Content Marketing and Social Media

We tend to use content marketing and social media so closely that you question if there is even a difference. Although there is a difference between the two, what little lines there are now are set to disappear in 2015. And with the continued rise of social media, it is crucial that your business succeed online. Social media is meant to build relationships, not just post content. Communicate with other businesses, customers, and brand advocates. If you retweet and share their content, they are much more likely to do the same for you.

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7.       Collaborate with Other Social Media Users

Use your professional connections to reach more people. Along the same lines of sharing each other’s content, guest post on each other’s pages as well. If Donald Trump posted on my blog or Facebook page it would reach not only my readers, but his as well. This has the potential to expand your reach exponentially.

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