Friday, 18 August 2017

3 Easy Steps to Setting Up Facebook Dynamic Product Ads

Since our how to hack Facebook’s custom audiences for big payoffs post, we’ve had a lot of feedback from business owners wanting to know more about Facebook Dynamic Product Ads – or DPAs – and how they can cash in on the action. Why the big buzz? Facebook Dynamic Product Ads allow advertisers to dynamically generate product catalog ads and show specific product ads to specific users depending on which products they may be more interested in. Plus, with the use of lookalike audiences, you can find tons of potential shoppers who are interested in what you’re selling.


In other words, Facebook Dynamic Product Ads takes automated marketing to the next level, allowing online stores to target more accurately, automatically create highly relevant ads and tailor campaigns to where ad-viewers are in the sales funnel to get the timing just right for increased conversions. And unlike Google Shopping, advertisers don’t need to rely on and compete for small sets of keywords, as DPAs allow you to take remarketing to the next level as you target potential shoppers based on past actions and interest.


So, how do you get in on the action? These 3 easy steps to setting up Facebook Dynamic Product Ads will get you set up in no time.


how ti implement facebook product ads


Step 1: Creating Your Product Catalog


The first step is to set up your product catalogs. You can either do this by starting your first campaign as shown above, or by clicking on ‘all tools’ and selecting ‘Product catalogs.’



Then, you’ll be asked to name your catalog, list the type of product category and link it to a specific Facebook account page.



Next, import your product feed into Facebook, where you can either upload a file or create a schedule to download your products if they’re hosted online.


How to set up facebook dynamic product ads


‘Scheduled recurring uploads’ is where you will point to your dynamically-generated feed file by way of URL, and ‘Single upload’ is where you can add a .cdv file with all your product data.



If you’re opting for the latter, the next point is for you:


How to Create a Product Catalog .csv File


To create your .csv file, you will need to create a spreadsheet that includes the following information:


  • Product ID

  • Product Title

  • Price

  • Category

  • Description

  • Availability

  • Condition (New/Used)

  • Image Link

  • Link to Product Page


[Image Source]


Once you have inputted all the data above into your spread sheet, which should look like the table below, you’ll save it as a .csv file, ready to upload as explained above.


how to set up facebook dynamic product ads


Once you have inputted all the data above into your spread sheet, which should look like the table below, you’ll save it as a .csv file, ready to upload as explained above.


Step 2: Custom Audience Pixel Setup


As we learned from our hacking Facebook Custom Audiences for big payoffs, remarketing is an absolute must and without setting up your Facebook pixel, you’re dead in the water. If you’re thinking, “I’ve already set up my pixels,” don’t skip this thinking it is old news. For Facebook Dynamic Product Ads, there are three must-have data you will need and there is a chance you may still need to customize your audience pixel to include: AddToCart, Purchase and ViewContent.


This is pretty straightforward, and should already be implemented when you set up your pixel if you’re using integration or tag manager.


Faceboom dynamic product ad pixel setup


If you have set up your pixels manually, then you will need to adjust the code on your website and update your existing code.


Facebook pixel codes for dynamic product ads


[Image Source]


For those of you who are more tech savvy and opting to code yourself, head over to Facebook’s developer help pages for more details: Pixel setup guide for DA implementation.


Step 3: It’s Ad Template Setup Time


Facebook Dynamic product ad templates


[Image Source]


The last step, before launching your first Dynamic Product Ad campaign, is to set up your template. Facebook allows you to run either single- or multi-product DPAs and can be displayed on the right-hand column or in the Newsfeed and across all devices.


Facebook dynamic product carousel ads


You can see above that those tags will be replaced with the product name and descriptions from your product feeds. Once you have launched your campaign, your ads will automatically adjust based on your inventory and price changes, and as a big bonus, any customer who buys will be automatically removed from seeing any purchased products again.


Bonus Optimization Tricks


Yes, these are automated, but there are some tweaks you can do to get better Facebook Dynamic Product Ad results.


Don’t State Out of Stock


Instead, opt for ‘available for order’. This is because unlike Google Shopping, Facebook doesn’t assume you’re going to restock, so changing to ‘Available’ will prevent a sale being lost completely.


Include Price in Your Product Photos


Try including the price in the actual product photos. This can be particularly effective if you have a good-value product or are running a great sale.


example of ecommerce store using facebook dynamic product ads


Optimize Images


Test a few images until you have the best performing product shots. Ideally you will want to ensure your single-product ad images are 1,200×630 pixels while your multi-products are 600×600 pixels. Test between great product displays or showing people using your products to find the images that bring you the best CTRs.



There you have it: setting up Facebook Dynamic Product Ads is as easy as 1-2-3. If you’re still a little unsure, check out this podcast from Social Media Examiner below for a review. And if you are running ads but they are not performing as you want them to, try these must-do tips from our Facebook Ads Not Performing? Here are 7 Reasons Why post.



Source: B2C

Why Comparing the Number of Customers Year Over Year Isn’t Sufficient


How well do you know your customers?


Just knowing how many customers you have doesn’t tell you much. Do you have a clear picture of who your customers are and what they care about?


Take, for example, a politician who knows he or she has 10 million voters—but they don’t know the voters’ top concerns. Or, a doctor knowing how many patients she sees every year, yet unable to quantify the top three health issues people see him or her about. Or, a car dealership that sold 5,000 cars last year, but who doesn’t understand their clientele’s demographics.


We could go on, but hopefully you get the picture. Numbers don’t tell you too much without context or a story to go with it. The same goes for growth or decline. You may know you’ve grown, but do you know why? Likewise, do you understand why you may have lost customers this year versus last?


Your customers are more than a number.


Knowing more about your customers—other than how many you have—will become your superpower to better serving them and maintaining a competitive edge. You should be collecting enough data on your customers that you can craft a story about them and have a solid understanding of how they interact with your business. For example, you’ll want to know:


  • What They’re Buying. What specific products or services are they buying? And how much of it are they buying?

  • Frequency. How often are they making a purchase? How often are they engaging with your business, either through your website or visiting your store?

  • Shopping Habits. How are they shopping – in person, via desktop or from their phone?

  • Customer Satisfaction. Do you have an idea of their satisfaction level? For example, have they completed surveys, or can you tell if they’ve referred you to a friend?

  • Marketing Effectiveness. How are they responding to your marketing programs? Do they prefer email marketing versus print ads? How are they interacting with your display campaigns?

  • Their Personas. Can you paint a picture of what your customers may look like? Roughly how old are they? Are they male or female? What do they care about and where do they spend their time?

It’s all about the context.


At a glance, seeing your customer base grow is a good thing. Much like how many marketers view website traffic, it’s an instinctive response to welcome a larger number year-over-year. Growth is a great starting point!


However, without understanding what is driving that growth, or how your customers view you and spend their time (and money) with your business, you might as well be staring at meaningless digits. Make the effort to understand all the complexities behind that year-over-year number so that you can arm yourself with the data you need to make smart decisions and thrive.


Business intelligence dashboards make this ongoing effort painless, since you’re able to collect information, couple it with context, and view it instantly.



Source: B2C

4 Use Cases for Personalizing Emails at Open Time

personalizing emails at open time


According to the Radicati Group, 269 billion emails are sent and received every day. While there are certainly other channels marketers can use to reach customers, 72% of consumers indicate that they still prefer email as their main method of communication. And, of course, email remains a relatively low-cost method of communication that marketers can use to build and maintain relationships with customers.


So despite the inbox overload, email remains a key channel for marketers. That’s why relevancy is so critical. Irrelevant emails are easy to ignore. But a relevant email has a better chance at standing out among the clutter. There are several ways to be relevant to recipients, but one key method is to ensure that emails are relevant at open time, rather than send time. This ensures that the decision of what content to display in the email is based on up-to-the-moment information. This information includes anything that may have changed based on a recipient’s behavior, intent, preferences or affinities, or with the content itself. In this blog post, I’ll describe some examples.


1. Avoid suggesting an action a person has already taken


One of the most important reasons for emails to be relevant at open time is that between when an email is sent and when it is opened, a person can take additional actions that make certain CTAs or messages outdated for the individual. You never want to recommend a product in an email that someone has just purchased, for example, because that makes it look like you do not know the person very well (and it is a missed opportunity to recommend something else instead).


This situation can occur outside of retail as well. Let’s say that a technology provider has an onboarding flow of emails that it sends to new users. The first CTA in the email may contain a message asking the user to download the app. But if a user has already taken that action, the email should instead offer a new CTA when the email is opened — such as asking the user to invite her colleagues to use the solution.


personalizing emails at open time


2. Leverage up-to-date intent or preferences


A person’s behaviors with your brand or company can also be a clue into that person’s intent or preferences, which can change between when the email is sent and when it is opened. For example, a shopper on a retail site may have originally demonstrated a strong affinity for the shoe category. But later, when he returned to the site, he may have spent more time checking out jeans and even put a pair in his shopping cart. While the retailer’s original product recommendations in an email may have focused solely on shoes, after he demonstrates an intent to purchase jeans, recommendations for appropriate jeans should be incorporated as well.


For more information about using behavioral data to uncover a person’s preferences and intent, check out this blog post.


3. Display updated information


Beyond individual relevance, some businesses have information that changes regularly. Those types of businesses should ensure that any emails update in real time so that when customers click through to the site, they aren’t confused by conflicting information. For example, consider betting odds that global gaming sites regularly publish. Odds can change by the minute, and gaming sites should make sure that the odds they send to customers are updated the second the email is opened so they are always accurate.


Another example of content that is constantly changing are fundraising efforts. The distance from the goal can impact the type of message within the email. For example, if a company is far from reaching its fundraising goal, the content could ask recipients to donate and then share on social media to increase awareness. But if it is close to the goal, the message can change to indicate how the company just needs a little bit more to meet its goal. When the content updates in real time, the fundraising efforts can be reflected accurately and relevant messaging can be paired with it.


personalizig emails at open time


4. Include accurate prices


Finally, price changes can be reflected when emails are updated at open time. For example, if a product is on sale when the email is originally sent, but not on sale when the email is ultimately opened, the recipient could become confused or angry when she clicks through to the website to find that the price is higher than she expected. Alternatively, if a price drops between when an email is sent and when it is opened, it can be an even better incentive for the recipient to click through. In both cases, the price can be displayed accurately with open-time updates.


Final Thoughts


Ensuring that emails are relevant at open time is a key aspect of email personalization.


To help marketers boost clickthrough and conversion rates, Megan Knisely and T.J. Prebil, Customer Success Manager and Director of Product Marketing, respectively, presented the webinar, 5 Ways Personalization Improves Email Marketing Results. In this webinar, they walk through the importance of open-time email personalization and going beyond just personalizing the first_name field. Watch the webinar replay for their insights.




Source: B2C

Need More Email Addresses? There’s a Hack For That!

Need More Email Addresses? There’s a Hack For That!


For the multi-tasking solopreneur, one email address is never enough. But setting-up and managing multiple accounts is a time-suck you could live without.


With Gmail, you can have your cake and eat it too.


How to Create Unlimited Addresses in Gmail


Use your domain-based email addresses (i.e., you@yourdomain.com) for business. For everything else – road-testing software, registering for free webinars, you name it – use a Gmail address.


When one isn’t enough, add a “+” sign and then add other characters after the “+”.


For example, if your regular Gmail address is yourname@gmail.com, use any of these…


  • yourname+test1@gmail.com

  • yourname+softwaresubscription@gmail.com

  • yourname+whatever@gmail.com

To Gmail, these are all the same. To any site where you have to sign up or register, they are all different. Why is that so great?


It’s particularly useful when signing up for free offers…


Put a company’s name (ex., “supersoftware”) after the “+” to find out if it spams. When you see email coming from a business that you don’t know, and if they are sending it to yourname+supersoftware@gmail.com, you know that “supersoftware” sold your account! Report it to…


  • abuse@supersoftware.com (or whatever their domain is)

The beauty of this approach is that you can create an infinite number of addresses and have them all arrive in your Gmail inbox!


Another important use? Use them as disposable addresses to take back total control of your email..


You Can Also Filter Unwanted Messages!


Finished testing that software? No longer want to receive messages from that company? Most folks click the “Unusubscribe” link. But what if they don’t obey? Or what if you later change your mind and want to catch up on missed emails?


“Gmail Unlimited” offers you many useful options. For example…


To stop receiving email from “test2” (an account you set up to test a product), set up a filter to direct these messages to the trash (or anywhere you like). Here’s how…


1) Open your Gmail and click on the down arrow in the search box at the top…


Need More Email Addresses? There’s a Hack For That!


2) Add the customized email address (yourname+test 2@gmail.com) to the “To” box, then click “Create filter with this search”…


Need More Email Addresses? There’s a Hack For That!


3) Select the action you want Google to take (“Delete” in this case) and create the filter…


Need More Email Addresses? There’s a Hack For That!


If you figure that you may want to catch up on posts by a blogger at some point, choose to store these in a folder instead. The options here make “Gmail Unlimited” super-useful!


Bottom Line Takeaway?


Time is the most precious resource you have. Don’t waste it on needless tasks like managing multiple email addresses. Instead…


  1. Set up a “Gmail variation” whenever you need a different address.

  2. Filter it (usually to the trash) when you’re through.

Oh, and if you’re worried about what Gmail thinks of this hack… they suggested it on their official blog!


Since time is the commodity you have the least of when operating as a solopreneur, be diligent about freeing more of it up. Use these 3 simple hacks (in addition to the email hack above) to create more time for your business.



Source: B2C

Who are you Targeting? How to Create a Customer Profile

 


What is a customer profile?


Believe it or not, a customer profile is an important part of your brand’s identity. It is a detailed description of your ideal customer including where they live, their personality, their dreams and frustrations, and even where they are gathering information.


Think about your favorite customer. They are most likely someone who you generally enjoy doing business with, who is loyal to your company and refers additional people to your business. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have more customers exactly like them? A customer profile can assist in doing just that!


Why is it important to have a customer profile?


A customer profile can help you create content that targets people exactly like your ideal customer. Each time you are producing content or answering the phone, you will have a detailed description to help guide you to speak in a way that grabs their attention and fulfills their needs.


A customer profile can also help speed up the process of creating content and aid in maintaining voice throughout your various types and mediums. Because the process of creating a customer profile requires you to dive deeper into what influences your customer you will better understand what your customers’ needs are and how your business can fulfill those better than your competition!


How do I collect information to create a customer profile?


Gathering enough information to create a customer profile may take some time. When working with our clients we use a 9-question exercise to gather what we can about our client’s customer. Since we don’t have direct access to their customer, this Persona Exercise helps us gather as much information as we can.


If you have direct access to the customers, you can use a customer survey to gather more detailed information. When creating a survey, you will want to gather information about your customer, their preferences, their thought and feelings about your industry and your business without being too intrusive. You can create a survey using tools like Google Forms or Survey Monkey to send out to your customers. Be sure to keep it short! Use the example survey below to gather ideas about the types of questions you should be asking.


Creating the profile document.


Once you’ve gathered enough information about your customer we recommend combining it all into a document. We use a template when creating our customer profile documents and are happy to share that with you here! If possible, we like to include a headshot of the customer so that you can picture who exactly you are talking to when drafting content.


Your customer profile is a vital tool in maintaining consistency throughout your company’s brand. We highly recommend printing it out and keeping it handy to help you create strong content. In order to obtain more ideal customers, your content needs to be written in away that it will attract them.



Source: B2C

6 Things to Know About FTC Influencer Marketing Rules

Influencer marketing works well in terms of celebrity social media partnerships. In fact the Federal Trade Commission is wary of these posts fitting in a little too seamlessly. There are enormous benefits to influencer marketing as we all know. But like blogs there is some regulatory framework to wade through. Several companies and dozens of influencers have come under fire in the past few months for deceptive influencer advertising. Learn what you should and shouldn’t do to keep your own brand out of hot water.


A Guide to FTC influencer marketing rules and regulations


Read these 6 points to make sure your next influencer marketing campaign doesn’t catch the attention of the wrong people.


  1. Not all product reviews require disclosure. And that’s because not all product reviews are endorsements. If your campaign doesn’t involve a transfer of funds or something of value from the company to the influencer or their audience it is not a paid advertisement. From the company’s side this is the ideal scenario. But accomplishing it in reality is tough especially with anyone above the level of micro-influencer. One case where a disclosure is often unnecessary is if it is broadly understood that someone is a spokesperson for a brand. Stephen Curry has a shoe deal with Under Armour. If he posts about the company his followers can be reasonably expected to know about his relationship to UA. It’s likely no disclosure is necessary. Now, here’s a random Stephen Curry video to make this post more interesting.

    Okay, now back to important but boring stuff. Keep in mind however there’s no objective threshold for the definition of broad awareness so it’s smart to err on the safe side.


  2. Anything you get or give away for free qualifies as a sponsored partnership. Free has a different definition here. Anything influencers are paid to use, items that they are given for free or giveaways that influencers are paid to distribute need disclosure. It doesn’t have to be the influencer who ultimately benefits either. If anyone ends up taking home some free merchandise via sweepstakes or giveaway the influencer has to disclose the sponsor of the contest.

  3. Sponsored posts have to be easily recognizable: A large part of the FTC’s crackdown on Instagram influencer marketing boiled down to something they called deceptive marketing. All that was required of an influencer before this change to demonstrate sponsored content was to post a #ad, #sp, or a similar hashtag anywhere within the post. The meaning of a vague two-letter hashtag buried in a post – possibly among a string of other hashtags – is not entire obvious. The FTC decided to crack down on ads that deliberately muddy the paid nature of the post by trying to hide the sponsorship. To avoid fines or worse, bad PR, try the following:
    • Acknowledge the sponsor at the beginning of a video

    • Include a #Ad at the beginning of the post

    • Use Instagram’s custom sponsor subheading to acknowledge the sponsorship in an understated way.

    • Just note that “Brand X gave me product Y to try” as part of the text.


  4. You’re responsible for what your influencers post. Pleading ignorance won’t get you anywhere with the FTC. It’s your burden as a business to make sure that your influencers comply with FTC influencer marketing rules and regulations, because a failure to do so will land you in as much trouble as the influencer. Your influencers may not be particularly experienced with the practice of posting sponsored content. You should present them with a clear guide of what they’re supposed to convey in a post. Educate your influencers on what they have to do so that they aren’t dragged into legal trouble which could mean a crisis for your brand. And check in periodically to make sure every post is following FTC influencer marketing rules. Keep in mind that microinfluencers in particular may be new to the game and need a some education.

  5. Influencers have to actually try a product before endorsing it. Don’t pay someone to spout a canned – or even false – statement about the usefulness of a product.
    If an influencer hasn’t actually experienced a product, they are not allowed to make any public statement regarding it. Likewise, if an influencer ends up disliking your product you cannot continue with the partnership as if they enjoyed the product. This kind of deceitful behavior intentionally misleads consumers and is decisively illegal.

  6. There’s still a long way to go until everyone follows the rules. The FTC has a lot on its plate. Noncompliance is still rampant. A recent Consumer Media study reported over 90% of sponsored posts of celebrities are not disclosed. That means there is some big money to be made on fines. The FTC will get involved when they notice a pattern of misleading content or a particularly egregious case of a concealed sponsorship.

But it doesn’t matter how hard or easy it is to get caught. An FTC infraction is bad for your brand. Put in your best effort to stay within FTC influencer marketing rules and regulations. It could keep you out of big trouble.



Source: B2C

Thursday, 17 August 2017

6 Things to Know About FTC Influencer Marketing Rules

Influencer marketing works well in terms of celebrity social media partnerships. In fact the Federal Trade Commission is wary of these posts fitting in a little too seamlessly. There are enormous benefits to influencer marketing as we all know. But like blogs there is some regulatory framework to wade through. Several companies and dozens of influencers have come under fire in the past few months for deceptive influencer advertising. Learn what you should and shouldn’t do to keep your own brand out of hot water.


A Guide to FTC influencer marketing rules and regulations


Read these 6 points to make sure your next influencer marketing campaign doesn’t catch the attention of the wrong people.


  1. Not all product reviews require disclosure. And that’s because not all product reviews are endorsements. If your campaign doesn’t involve a transfer of funds or something of value from the company to the influencer or their audience it is not a paid advertisement. From the company’s side this is the ideal scenario. But accomplishing it in reality is tough especially with anyone above the level of micro-influencer. One case where a disclosure is often unnecessary is if it is broadly understood that someone is a spokesperson for a brand. Stephen Curry has a shoe deal with Under Armour. If he posts about the company his followers can be reasonably expected to know about his relationship to UA. It’s likely no disclosure is necessary. Now, here’s a random Stephen Curry video to make this post more interesting.

    Okay, now back to important but boring stuff. Keep in mind however there’s no objective threshold for the definition of broad awareness so it’s smart to err on the safe side.


  2. Anything you get or give away for free qualifies as a sponsored partnership. Free has a different definition here. Anything influencers are paid to use, items that they are given for free or giveaways that influencers are paid to distribute need disclosure. It doesn’t have to be the influencer who ultimately benefits either. If anyone ends up taking home some free merchandise via sweepstakes or giveaway the influencer has to disclose the sponsor of the contest.

  3. Sponsored posts have to be easily recognizable: A large part of the FTC’s crackdown on Instagram influencer marketing boiled down to something they called deceptive marketing. All that was required of an influencer before this change to demonstrate sponsored content was to post a #ad, #sp, or a similar hashtag anywhere within the post. The meaning of a vague two-letter hashtag buried in a post – possibly among a string of other hashtags – is not entire obvious. The FTC decided to crack down on ads that deliberately muddy the paid nature of the post by trying to hide the sponsorship. To avoid fines or worse, bad PR, try the following:
    • Acknowledge the sponsor at the beginning of a video

    • Include a #Ad at the beginning of the post

    • Use Instagram’s custom sponsor subheading to acknowledge the sponsorship in an understated way.

    • Just note that “Brand X gave me product Y to try” as part of the text.


  4. You’re responsible for what your influencers post. Pleading ignorance won’t get you anywhere with the FTC. It’s your burden as a business to make sure that your influencers comply with FTC influencer marketing rules and regulations, because a failure to do so will land you in as much trouble as the influencer. Your influencers may not be particularly experienced with the practice of posting sponsored content. You should present them with a clear guide of what they’re supposed to convey in a post. Educate your influencers on what they have to do so that they aren’t dragged into legal trouble which could mean a crisis for your brand. And check in periodically to make sure every post is following FTC influencer marketing rules. Keep in mind that microinfluencers in particular may be new to the game and need a some education.

  5. Influencers have to actually try a product before endorsing it. Don’t pay someone to spout a canned – or even false – statement about the usefulness of a product.
    If an influencer hasn’t actually experienced a product, they are not allowed to make any public statement regarding it. Likewise, if an influencer ends up disliking your product you cannot continue with the partnership as if they enjoyed the product. This kind of deceitful behavior intentionally misleads consumers and is decisively illegal.

  6. There’s still a long way to go until everyone follows the rules. The FTC has a lot on its plate. Noncompliance is still rampant. A recent Consumer Media study reported over 90% of sponsored posts of celebrities are not disclosed. That means there is some big money to be made on fines. The FTC will get involved when they notice a pattern of misleading content or a particularly egregious case of a concealed sponsorship.

But it doesn’t matter how hard or easy it is to get caught. An FTC infraction is bad for your brand. Put in your best effort to stay within FTC influencer marketing rules and regulations. It could keep you out of big trouble.



Source: B2C

How to Write For A B2B Audience in 2017

Free-Photos / Pixabay


Writing is writing, right? And compelling copy always converts, no matter the audience, right?


No, not really.


There’s a massive difference between writing for B2C and B2B audiences – because the audiences themselves are quite different.


Here are just a few ways how:


  • B2B audiences are less varied – in terms of preferences, demographics, desires, and pain points. B2C audiences can come from anywhere, but B2B ones are usually purchasing decision-makers in an organization.

  • ‘Fun’ isn’t as important in B2B – B2C audiences respond to humor, fun and creativity. With B2B, the message is more important than the humor.

  • B2B audiences have fewer channels to find your message – B2C audiences are happy to take a look at content on social media, radio, TV and a multitude of channels. There’s evidence, however, that B2B audiences still tend to be hard to reach, relatively time-poor, and clustered around membership networks and online communities.

  • B2B audiences purchase less frequently – You need to be aware that ther e is a process of consideration, comparison and due diligence to get through. There are few impulse purchases in the B2B world, so a play to emotion isn’t going to work.

With this in mind, let’s jump into some easy ways that messages can be tailored to gain valuable B2B eyeballs, and spark better conversions.


What’s the Pain Point?


This is the right place to start your investigation. Find out why B2B audiences want to buy your product.


What problem are they suffering that your brand can alleviate?


Once you’ve figured out what problem your audience wants help with, knit answers into your copy. If you’re writing about air-conditioning disinfecting technology, don’t lead with “Cutting-edge technology.” Instead, try something like “20% fewer sick days for your business – proven.”


Takeaway: B2B audiences are motivated by specific pain points, not by the desire to consume.


What Benefits Are You Bringing to the Table?


This is an extension of the last point. B2B audiences are focused on benefits.


There’s no such thing as an impulse buy here: Examine what makes your value proposition unique.


Is it the customer service? The reliability? The fact that it streamlines business processes? List those benefits clearly, loud and proud.


Takeaway: B2B audiences are buying to boost their business. So let them know how you can help in your copy.


Keep it Simple


Remember how we discussed that B2B audiences tend to be time-poor? They don’t have the bandwidth to wade through reams of clever copy. So let’s get to the point without too many twists and turns along the way.


If you’ve written five great paragraphs, see if you can shrink that message into one power-packed paragraph instead. Simplicity is the one trick to higher conversions.


Something along the lines of “Want to bring down logistics costs? Truber puts you in touch with truckers in the area for fast and efficient road haulage with full tracking and transparency.”


Get their attention fast, and move them to the next step.


Takeaway: B2B audiences are time-poor. They’re not going to wade through text. Convince them early.


Understand Their Language


Good copywriters hate jargon. They’re not alone.


Jargon tends to obfuscate and confuse. It complicates simple statements. I actively encourage writers to not hide behind a wall of linguistic excess.


But jargon is also a shared language for B2B audiences. It helps them speed up internal communication, and refer to very specific things easily.


Using terms we consider jargon is how they speak on the job – and how they’ll search for your client’s product on Google. Not knowing their language will make your words seem unconvincing.


Worse, it might mean that your client’s website just doesn’t show up in search results, and your words are never seen.


There’s a fine line between too much jargon, and not knowing how your audience speaks. Learn how they refer to key products and services, and speak a little like them.


Takeaway: Too much jargon is bad. But not knowing the specific language your B2B audience relies on can leave you out in the cold.


Remember Mobile


“Businesses don’t buy on mobile,” goes popular advice. Maybe, but many B2B buyers will search for solutions on mobile first, while they’re away from their desk.


The average time spent on mobile has hit around 3 hours a day. Increasingly, people are treating mobile phones as their primary platform. Yet, B2B conversion rates are low.


Yes, there are barriers to B2B conversions on mobile – forms, payments, registrations and so on are all difficult on a smaller screen. But better copy for smaller screens can help.


The trick is to get your potential client to make the transition from mobile to the desktop at work. And clever copy can entice them to do that.


To do this adeptly, keep your copy short, succinct, and easy to read on smaller screens. Go the route of more bullet points and breaks, and fewer dense chunks of text.


Follow up with a great call to action – perhaps a demo sign-up, or a reminder to schedule a call when at work – to seal the deal.


Takeaway: Even if B2B audiences don’t buy on mobile, they’re likely to encounter your copy on mobile first. Make your text mobile-friendly.



Source: B2C

Protect Yourself From “Bad” Clients With This Sales Agreement Language

Sales agreement language may be the only way to protect yourself from unruly clients once they’re in your portfolio. What I’ve found is that there aren’t really “bad” clients, just uneducated clients. But if for some reason things go sour, strong language in your sales agreement may be your only saving grace. Here’s how to protect yourself.


sales-agreement-language


“Bad” Clients


Using the term “bad client” may conjure up Maleficent, but it’s not as if clients set out to be evil or malicious (at least ours don’t).



via GIPHY


I used to work with someone who had many “bad” clients. Eventually, I realized this person was the problem more so than the clients; the lesson here is to remove the phrase “bad clients” from your vocabulary (maybe save it for clients who don’t pay).


Our Substandard Client Example:


Client A and Client B are both clients, and both make soap. While Client A makes every single weekly call, comes armed with feedback on reports and ideas for upcoming campaigns, Client B rarely makes their calls. In fact, they usually answer emails days or weeks later when we ask for critical campaign information or updates. Which client do you think would have more success with an outsourced social media management partner?


If you said Client A … ding ding ding! What we’ve found over and over again is that clients who make the weekly meetings almost ALWAYS see the most success. Therefore, we felt we needed to underscore the importance of what it means to be a “good” — successful! — client with our company.


Client education goes a long way with curing “bad” clients, and this includes using your sales agreement language as an educational moment.


Using Sales Agreement Language To Educate Your Clients


For us, our partnership means everything and is paramount to show our success.


To help educate clients like Client B in the example above, we added language in our sales agreement that looks similar to this:


“Meetings and client input play a vital role in the success of your service agreement with [YOUR COMPANY]. Please make every attempt to notify your Account Manager when calls will be missed and plan for a rescheduled time to talk. Regularly missing meetings by [CLIENT NAME] may result in the non-renewal or termination of your agreement. Our success relies heavily on having a dedicated partner within your company.”


If meetings, or brand assets, or any other element of the partnership or relationship is crucial to you being able to succeed, make sure you have language in your sales agreement that will highlight this point and protect you.


Other Sales Agreement Saviors


There are two other places I often hear entrepreneurs lamenting about their clients:


  • Slow or no pays

  • Scope creep

Try the below language examples in your sales agreement for payment issues and/or scope creep.


Slow/No Pays


Spell it out when it comes to slow or no-pays.


“Invoices for ongoing services are sent [when you send invoices] and payment is due upon receipt. A 2% late fee will be assessed for payments received after the 5th of the month. All account services will be stopped if no payment has been made by the 10th of the month, and will not resume until payment and late fees are paid in full. Services not rendered due to nonpayment are not the responsibility of [YOUR COMPANY] to make up to the client.”


Scope Creep


Clients often decide they want more work, which is GREAT! However, make sure your sales agreement outlines how that new work will be accepted.


“We’re happy to make changes to the project scope with [CLIENT NAME] request at any time, but please know these additions are subject to additional billing and a signed addenda outlining the new scope of work.


At the end of the day, it’s easier to point to your signed agreement when snafus pop up than it is to try to enforce invisible rules.


There Are No “Bad” Clients!


There are very few cases where clients have actually been considered “bad” — refusing to pay for services rendered is awful.


It’s your job as an entrepreneur or sales associate to educate your clients on your partnership and processes.


How do you protect yourself from unwanted client behavior? Let us know in the comments section below!



Source: B2C

Online Ad Creation

We’ve all seen them, those ads that are small and sometimes inconspicuous. I’m talking about the ads that show up on mobile websites in banners or small sidebars. They may be trying to tell you something, but sometimes can be confusing. Often, this is the result of the focus shifting to what they look like, rather than what they’re intended for. This can be a problem on your ads objective.


There are many studies that show how to create online ads in order to entice potential customers to click on them. Sometimes these practices may feel wrong or just not look as pretty. To be truthful, that’s ok. I’m not advocating for a bad design. However, I am talking about optimizing your advertising for conversion.


One tool to use to create online ads is Photoshop. I say that because I happen to have a creative cloud account and I’m a little biased. I know there are many other apps out there and third party services. But if you’re paying $50 a month for creative cloud I’d go with Photoshop.


Create a Photoshop template (PSD). There your template contains all the ad sizes you need. In the template, each layer is a shape that is the exact size of that ad. And is a smart object. Within that smart object, it will open up a new file (PSB). There you make your ad. See below screenshots of Photoshop or click here for tutorial:




I know that sounds complicated. But I’ll supply a link below to Adobe and you can see how this works, and it’s fantastic. Adobe layers will accept file extensions (layer1.jpg). And by using the “image processor” output that file the folder. There is no more need to save each individual layer out or to save out the entire file as a JPEG or file you require.



https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/generate-assets-layers.html


The other obstacle is to create more than one ad. Often we think we make one set of ads to the different sizes we need. For the devices, we will place them on (placement). But that’s not the end of the ad creation.


Ad sets


In an ad set there are up to 2 to 4 different types of ads. All at the sizes required for the placements that you need for your campaign. In the campaign can be multiple ad sets. To have only one set of ads limits your ability to see how effective your ads are in your overall campaigns effectiveness.


So that is how ads are made. However, the main reason of this post is why we make ads the way we make them.


Click Thrus


I sure you’ve heard the term “click through rate” (CTR). While it may sound like a fancy marketing term it actually is a very simple term describing what users do when they click on ad and land on a destination.


Ads must be enticing and they must grab attention. Moreover, be very clear as to what they are about and the destination you’re taking the user to. This is not easy to do in a space smaller than your finger. That said, you can see why being concerned about what an ad looks like versus how an ad will perform can sometimes be a personal struggle.


Different Types of Ads


There are different file types we typically generate for online ad creation. The first type is a simple JPG. This type is a simple image. Just as you would take with a camera. The next is a GIF. Pronounced as “Jiff,” like the peanut butter, but there is debate that it is also pronounced GIF with a hard “g.” This file type allows for simple animation. Remember, more animation equals more layers, thus larger the file (NOT good). The final file type is HTML5, but that’s for another post.


In creating a JPG of an ad it’s important to remember 3 important things to go into that ad.


1) Make the focal point something recognizable that has to do with the campaign.


If you are advertising a wedding, then you should show wedding rings or preferably a bride. This is because it’s a person with a face. I would personally opt for the bride because people like faces. It attracts more to the eye in order to get the ad to be clicked.


2) Next is a very clear message on what the ad is.


Ads must be done with as few words as possible. Again, you are creating something that is no bigger than your finger. I know that a pretty ad is what seems best. It creates delight in the user and interest, but there is a negative to this. If you’re not careful, delightful details can hurt the usability of your product. It can go as far as the user being too distracted, and thus your ad is now useless to get those coveted click thrus. Also, delight detailed design doesn’t scale because of your audience, but more on that in another blog post on UX Design.


3) Finally, the call to action (CTA)


To be effective, this has be clear. Hopefully, the message on it is more inviting than “click here.” If you take a look at the email marketing service MailChimp, they’ve got calls to action down. Words like “onward” or “rock on” are pervasive in their service. These terms are a part of UX Design to evoke emotional response to their brand. These kinds of CTA words reflect your brands tone, but also these calls to action words create a feel that a real human is behind the ad.


5 Ad Design styles that work


1) Doutone


Duotone is a halftone reproduction of an image that brings out its middle tones and highlights.



2) Minimalistic


In a overcrowded Internet where everybody wants to get noticed, this is another design style that can help your banner ad stand out on the internet and also make the user click.



3) Pastels


They are also described as “soothing”, “soft”, “neutral”, “washed out” or “desaturated”, lacking strong chromatic content.



4) Vivid Colors


Vivid is an adjective that describes an adventurous and bright color, a powerful feeling, or an image in your mind that is so clear you can almost touch it.


The word “vivid” comes from the Latin “vivere” which means “to live”.


So, to make it more clear – vivid is something intense. These are ads with intense color.




5) Simply Native Photos


My favorite because as I stated earlier, people like to look at faces. But take note “how” the photos are taken and shown. Perspective shots draw the eye, and the users are more likely to take interest and click. I bet the ad in the lower corner had you looking over to what the surfer girl was looking at. Models in photos can help draw attention to products or part of the ad by the direct they are looking at.



Coca-Cola is another great example of how to use Native Photos in your banner ads.



Conclusion


As the online adverting space becomes more crowded with messaging, we want to make sure that your message remains clear and can be heard above the noise. Hopefully, after reading this you have some better ideas on how to make sure your message is clear and your customers know exactly what you offer, and most importantly, how to contact you.


What do you think of our article, was it helpful? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below.



Source: B2C

5 Things Your Startup Needs to Spend Money On

Pexels / Pixabay


Many of us don’t like spending money, even if it is for the business. It can be especially hard to get excited about spending money when you are bootstrapping your business. However, every startup needs to spend money on a few things. You really do need to spend money to make money. Here are five things that you should consider spending on, even if you have to stretch to make it happen:


You really do need to spend money to make money. Here are five things that you should consider spending on, even if you have to stretch to make it happen:


1. Technology


Start with what you need to make things happen. The technology your startup needs to spend money on should help advance your business. This can mean paying for good web services, as well as making sure you have the right cell and data coverage.


Your technology needs can even include making sure you have the right payments and invoicing systems. With the right systems in place, you can save money on technological solutions. Pay attention to what will help you advance your business, from a payment platform that accepts multiple payment types to a tablet with a data plan that allows you to run your business from anywhere.


2. Good Design


You don’t want to turn potential customers off by clunky design. Graphic design should be clean and attractive. Your products should be easy to use. Your website should be easy to navigate. From your logo and business cards to your website and social media accounts, your startup needs to spend money on design that works.


When you look professional, others are more willing to spend their money with you.


3. Insurance


Don’t skimp on your business insurance policies. Pay attention to what you need from a business insurance policy. Will you need liability insurance on your company’s headquarters? Are going to need errors and omissions insurance? You might need auto insurance for your fleet of company vehicles.


You want to be covered in the event something goes wrong. Insurance is the best way to cover your needs. Figure out what insurance you need, and pay for the coverage.


4. Professional Advice


Get some help with accounting if you aren’t sure how to do it properly. There are plenty of apps and low-cost accounting programs that can help you get started. You need to keep track of payroll, as well as get an idea of where you have waste. Professional accounting advice can help.


This is also true of legal advice. As a startup, you might think that now is not the time to pay for legal advice. However, it’s important to have a good lawyer on tap. Your legal advice can help you review contracts, as well as make sure you are complying with the law in your business.


Be willing to pay for professional advice and you will benefit in the long run.


5. Marketing


Finally, your startup needs to spend money on marketing. Don’t assume that you will get organic shares for your content. Instead, put together a marketing plan. Research where your audience is. You can use ads on social media, or even on more traditional media. The key is to know your audience or customers and create a plan to reach them.


When you are willing to spend some money for results, you are far more likely to succeed in the long run. Be realistic. Figure out where your startup should be spending, and then make a budget.



Source: B2C

Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange Makes Appearance In Trailer For Marvel’s Thor: Ragnaork


Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange can finally be seen in the upcoming “Thor: Ragnarok”. A new Japanese trailer for Taika Waititi’s upcoming Marvel film has arrived and teases the appearance of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange in the film as he warns Chris Hemsworth’s Thor of dark events to come. “Thor, I sense a great change in your future. Destiny has dire plans for you, my friend,” Strange tells the God of Thunder in the trailer, to which Thor responds, “I have dire plans for destiny.”


Otherwise, the trailer is a recut version of the Comic Con trailer with an action heavy focus and a solid remix of the music. Still, it will satisfy Cumberbatch fans. Cumberbatch was confirmed to appear in Thor: Ragnarok back in January, though there has been some indication that he would play a role in the movie since a set photo with his address surfaced in August 2016. Thor appeared in the post-credits scene for Doctor Strange when it released in November. In that scene, Strange expresses concern about the threat Loki poses to Earth before agreeing to help Thor look for Odin.



Thor: Ragnarok will feature the return of Chris Hemsworth as the God of Thunder himself, with Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, Idris Elba as Heimdall and Sir Anthony Hopkins again portraying Odin. Cate Blanchett plays the mysterious and powerful new villain Hela, Jeff Goldblum stars as the eccentric Grandmaster, Tessa Thompson will bring the classic hero Valkyrie to life on the big screen, and Karl Urban will add his might to the fray as Skurge.


Kevin Feige will produce the film, joined by executive producers Louis D’Esposito, Brad Winderbaum, Victoria Alonso, Thomas M. Hammel and Stan Lee. The screenplay hails from Stephany Folsom, Craig Kyle, Eric Pearson and Christopher Yost. Current plans call for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “Phase Three” chapter to shoot until October, although production could feasibly continue through the end of the year.


Directed by Taika Waititi, Thor: Ragnarok will smash its way into theaters on November 3, 2017.


What do you think about Doctor Strange appearing in the next Thor film? Are you excited to see the two superheroes in a scene again? Let us know in the comments section.


Photo Credit: Marvel



Source: B2C

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

The 2 Harshest Truths about Data-Driven Websites

Here at Kayak, we are big believers in the value of content creation and advanced CMS’s like HubSpot. We talk about them enthusiastically, and share the results we see from our own campaigns as well as the ones we deploy for our clients.


That, in turn, gets other marketers excited about them.


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Business owners and marketers who come to us after reading our blogs and snapping up our downloads can’t wait to get started. We love seeing how pumped up they are to get going on inbound marketing plans, but we have to introduce them to one of the harshest truths of all first…


When you create a data-driven website, it’s never truly finished.


We can create a layout, teach the client team about the fundamentals of SEO and lead generation, and put their new site online. But, we can’t deliver a complete job for them. That’s because, even at the point that leads start coming in, the project is really just getting started.


This is something any company looking to replicate our success should understand. So, today I want to explain why it is that data-driven websites are never finished, and what that really means in the long run.


Truth #1: You Can’t Ever Finish a Data-Website


Because my firm focusses on inbound marketing and quality lead generation, our plans and campaigns are content heavy, measured and refined. They require ongoing activities and resources like time, attention, and fresh content to keep them running and refining.


At the same time, even (or especially) when you have lots of traffic coming your way, there is more to do than adding new content.


Data-driven websites are never finished.


We want to watch our analytics to see who was arriving on our website, how long they are staying, which CTAs and content they are responding to, and more importantly, how or where they’re exiting your website, while maintaining an “always helping” perspective that leads to greater trust and more solid sales.


Each of these activities and mechanisms create data points representing an opportunity to get smarter and more efficient. So, it’s easy to find yourself continually tinkering with your site to capture more traffic in the form of leads or subscribers. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.


In one example, we recently noticed that one of our clients was receiving more than 4,000 unique monthly visits to three blog posts. However, they weren’t capturing many leads from that traffic. Understanding there was real interest in the topic, we investigated and saw a connection to one of the services the company offered, worked to tweak the post’s content and link/lead capture strategy to better engage and convert those visitors. If we weren’t watching the data, we would have missed that opportunity.


measured-content-refined.jpg


None of this would have come into play had the client used a traditional static website or foregone the use of advanced analytics like the type we deploy via HubSpot and Google. They would have (maybe) simply noticed good traffic but poor conversions.


Having those data insights paired with a well-defined persona compelled them into action and actually created more work for their team and ours.


The point to be made here is that data-driven websites require more work and attention than some businesses are used to, simply because marketers are more aware of challenges and opportunities revealed by the data.


Truth #2: Evolving Campaigns are Near Impossible to Plan and Quote


Until a site is up and running for a bit, we won’t have any concrete data to tell us if a client’s marketing personas or messages are 100% on target, or require a tweak. We also can’t predict how diligent a client will be at creating content, engaging prospects and colleagues on social, developing their online reputation, or working to convert the leads that come in.


So much of what we do, and a big part of the eye-popping results that attract clients in the first place, has to do with adjusting plans to seize opportunities that the data reveals.


Of course, the flip side to this is that business owners and executives are happy to keep working with us when they find a new source of sales opportunities. But in the beginning of the process, it can be tough to commit to going forward when they don’t know exactly what the campaigns are going to yield.


Is it Worth the Time and Money to Have an Evolving Website?


If you aren’t already a client, and haven’t used a data-driven model for your online marketing campaigns in the past, then you’re probably wondering about the bottom line. What you really want to know is: is it actually worth it to follow this kind of approach?


We can tell you definitively that it is, but only if you recognize that getting bigger results means more effort and patience to set it up and maintain it. If you don’t accept that from the outset, you’re likely to get frustrated and give up too soon.


getting-bigger-results.jpg


The real secret here is that adding good content your website is a great way to generate activity, and start conversations. Once that happens, you start analyzing the results more closely, and are very likely to find yourself looking for ways to keep the flow of traffic coming and generate even more conversions.


You’ll start to think about new offers, informative pages to add, and ways to tweak your landing pages and emails to improve conversion ratios. That will naturally lead to more visits, more data points, and more opportunities to keep growing.


The cycle I just described is full of positives, but on a more practical side, it can take much more of your time and effort than having your developer maintain a static website. But, like all things in life or business, there is a price to success, and one victory or plateau gets you working towards the next.


Are you serious enough about improving your business to make the commitment it takes to generate leads over the internet? If so, maybe it’s time we got together to chat.




Source: B2C