5 Mistakes That Will Bankrupt Your Agency

These days, agencies tend to get caught up in near-constant talk of creativity, innovation, and disruption. But all that noise can drown out the real reason you’re in this business: to make money.

The truth is that you’re trying to make a living — for yourself, your family, and your employees. And no matter how hard you work to serve clients, when you don’t make money, it’s pretty tough to sustain enthusiasm.

Even when you are making money, this is a tough business. That’s why it’s crucial to avoid certain catastrophic mistakes agencies make every day.

Draining Water From Your Own Pool

Even smart agency owners make some of these painful mistakes. They don’t willfully sabotage their own efforts, but they fail to realize the long-term impact these seemingly innocuous decisions carry.

You might even recognize yourself in these five financially draining errors — and not realize how harmful they are to your bottom line.

5 Mistakes That Will Bankrupt Your Agency

1) Your pricing is too basic.

Nine times out of ten, agencies present clients with a single price and package. However, when you do this, nine times out of ten, they’ll push back.

Instead, always give them three options. Build the middle option first because this is the one they’re likely going to choose. This option should be your ideal sale and what’s really best for the client. According to a study on the center-stage effect, consumers feel that options put at the center of a range of options are the most liked.

Once you’ve constructed your “middle” option, strip some of those deliverables away to create a first option. This bare-bones option is priced about 20 percent to 25 percent lower than the middle option.

As for the third option, add some bells and whistles — not ones that are meaningless to the client, but factors that take things above and beyond the minimum standard. Price it about 30 percent to 35 percent higher than the second option.

When you present these three options, more often than not, clients will talk themselves into the second option. What’s beautiful about it is that they feel like they have control over their budgets and over the work.

2) You give it away for free.

Virtually all agencies have a gaping hole called scope creep: allowing the scope of a project to get larger without the price rising accordingly. If we could control it, we would all be driving nicer cars and taking better vacations.

I’m not suggesting you nickel-and-dime your clients to death, but you do have to plug that hole. Of course, we can look at our clients and be frustrated that they keep asking for more and more. But the truth is that the blame sits squarely with us.

Often, your scope documents are too vague, failing to define deliverables in a way that leaves no room for interpretation. Or maybe they’re too broad, without any boundaries.

If you have account people managing client project budgets, they may not understand agency math. You expect them to be good stewards of your profitability, but they don’t understand the game they’re playing — no one has taught them the rules.

In most agencies, leaders never take the time to teach employees how an agency makes money. Thus, they fail to understand that everyone, every single day, either makes the agency money or costs it money by over-servicing clients or not negotiating better with vendors.

When employees don’t understand that, they believe their jobs are not to make money, but to keep clients happy. Naturally, the easiest, fastest way to do that is by over-servicing clients. Voilà: scope creep.

Don’t take my word for it: It turns out that by overservicing just once a week, an agency can give away a whopping seven figures of essentially free work.

3) You let clients slowly pick you to death.

When your scope documents are too vague, you’ll get clients exceeding them in no time at all, asking for the 12th or 13th revision. Yet chances are good that no one will issue a change order. This is especially true if your scope documents are loose because you know you’re standing on shaky ground.

However, the biggest reason is that by the time you’re far enough along to consider a change order, your account executive is thinking, “The client wants to make a minor change. By the time I calculate the change order costs, write up a document, send it to the client, and get him to sign off on it, we could have just made the change. So why waste more time and irritate the client by issuing this change order? Screw it. I’m just going to make the change.”

Here’s the easy fix: In all of your scope documents, include language that describes a flat fee for changes beyond the number of changes allowed. Clearly define the deliverables and the timetable.

If, for instance, you’re working on a brochure for a client and you’re going to give the client four revisions, include this: “With this estimate, you are going to be granted four revisions. Any revisions after the fourth revision will cost a flat $250.”

4) You put out small fires at the expense of the raging inferno.

You’re so busy running around with a fire extinguisher, chasing after the drama of the day, that you don’t really have a vision for how you want to move your agency forward. How do you want it to be different a year from now?

If you really do want to grow your business — not necessarily in the number of bodies, but in fulfilling your vision for your agency — it won’t happen without planning.

5) Your new business plan sucks.

Have you ever caught yourself saying any of these phrases? “Well, we grow based on referrals.” “We’re going to hire a guy.” “We’re just too busy taking care of clients to chase after clients.” “We’re really lucky the phone is still ringing.”

If so, you don’t have a plan. Sure, all of that may be true today, but if you’ve been in business for any length of time, you know it ebbs and flows. That’s why you need a consistent new business program to keep your sales funnel full. It’s getting tougher and tougher to find great client prospects, and the time period between meeting them and signing them is stretching out.

If you don’t drum up new business now, chances are you won’t start until the minute you get the sense that your most valuable client — your gorilla — is unhappy. Or, even worse, the dread will strike the minute you get the phone call that he or she is done. By then, it’s too late. New business is a muscle you exercise every single day, no matter how busy you are.

If you’re the agency owner, new business should be your primary responsibility, taking up 40 percent to 60 percent of your time. You’re not always out pitching or calling on prospects; maybe you’re writing content. But not spending time on new business is a big money-sucking mistake agencies make every day.

If a Shark Stops Swimming, It Dies

Above all, make sure you’re constantly evolving, growing, and refining. Even at the best and most profitable agencies, there’s room for growth and improvement. Whatever solutions you’re using now, different options will exist a year from now. Our world is changing too fast for us not to keep up with it. And that doesn’t happen without a plan.

social-media-kit

from Marketing https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/mistakes-that-will-bankrupt-your-agency

7 Biggest PPC Nightmares Sinking Your ROI

PPC advertising should be straightforward.

You buy an ad. Your ad appears on Google. That ad gets clicked.

You spend a little dough per click, and voila – you’re a marketing genius.

Traffic is booming and you’re appearing in all the right places.

Except that’s not always how it works.

And for some strange reason, you can’t quite figure out why.

Not to worry. Most of the time, you just need to know where to look.

You need to be able to spot those common problem areas. Many of which might be lying to your face.

Here are the seven biggest pay-per-click nightmares that can kill your ROI before it even gets off the ground.

1. Neglecting Attribution Models

It’s painfully obvious to say that Google Analytics can help you track traffic and conversions.

It will show you exactly which areas of your sales funnel are working vs. which ones aren’t.

via GIPHY

The trouble is that tracking PPC conversions in Google AdWords isn’t quite the same.

Google AdWords uses a “Last AdWords” click attribution model.

Meaning that the last PPC ad someone clicks before conversion gets all the credit for that conversion.

This can make it harder to know exactly where users are engaging, what’s bringing them back, and why they converted.

That’s because PPC attribution is designed to build demand now that you’ll convert later on. It’s less like “click > conversion” and more like:

Generic impression > generic click > generic impression > brand click > conversion

To top it off, there are different attribution models that actually tell you where the credit for your conversions is coming from based on what you find important. You could assign every touch point equal credit for conversions, for instance.

Basically, it’s not as easy as saying, “I got a click and therefore my AdWords are working.”

A better solution is to focus on (1) URL tracking and to (2) create an attribution model that meets your conversion goals.

This is important because some devices act like conversion helpers but they don’t actually obtain the conversion credit.

Correct attribution tracking will display your Google AdWord conversion paths more clearly. Breaking these down into micro-conversions can help you tweak each little step.

That’s why first and last-touch attribution models don’t always cut it.

How many steps do it needs to take before the buyers can be converted?

Did they actually convert from your PPC ad the very first time?

Unlikely.

People just used it last.

✅ Social referred them.

✅ Organic found you.

✅ Email nurtured them.

❌ PPC swooped in to steal all the credit.

Put everything in its place. Don’t lose sight of the big picture.

2. Incorrect Conversion Tracking

The thing about PPC is that your ad isn’t the be-all-end-all.

You don’t sell in an ad. You just get people to click.

PPC ads typically go to landing pages that have CTAs and the CTAs are the thing that’s driving the conversion. (But how would you know if you’re not tracking attributions, right?)

Yet conversion tracking isn’t setup properly.

The primary CTA is ignored.

Or worse, you’re counting clicks as conversions.

It’s not that they were just counting the wrong conversion metrics, though. This example was actually ignoring their CTAs completely.

The primary page CTA was a phone number. Anecdotally, phone calls brought better customers that converted faster.

And yet, no call tracking.

You have nothing without historical conversion data.

❌ You have no idea which campaigns are performing best.

❌ You have no idea which keywords are performing best.

❌ And you have no idea where you’re overspending to cut back.

You’re flying blind. Any campaign tweaks or changes are shots in the dark at best.

Neglecting attribution is one thing. But screwing up conversion tracking is quite another.

Notice that this still applies to things outside of “AdWords conversions.”

More often than not, that ringing phone in the background is the direct result of your digital efforts.

70% of phone calls are driven by digital channels, according to Invoca’s Call Intelligence Index that tracked over 30 million calls.

Now compare that to the pitifully low lead generation rates in the Unbounce Benchmark Report that hang somewhere between 2.8% and 6%. And those are just leads, not even closed customers!

Those phone stats are impressive as hell now.

‘Cept for one teeny, tiny problem.

PPC gets the credit about 0.0% of the time in this instance.

Which means you, dear marketer, get 0.0% of the credit. Which nets you 0.0% of the budget required to keep those calls coming in.

Sure. AdWords call extensions are a start.

But more often than not, someone’s clicking through to your site. They’re browsing around. They’re learning and comparing before dialing.

Those call extensions catch none of this.

You need something, anything, like custom phone numbers to track dials from each page.

3. Ignoring Revenue-Based Metrics

PPC “conversions” aren’t always conver$ion$.

If your conversions aren’t making you money, they’re not conversions.

PPC success is about the big picture and the customer journey, absolutely.

But ultimately that journey should lead to a purchase. It should lead to revenue.

Clicks, impressions, and CTRs matter. To a point. But not in the big picture.

But the same holds true when PPC conversions = leads.

Just because campaign A delivers more leads than B doesn’t mean it’s “better.”

Yet that’s what happens. Every single day. In the team talks and discussions with clients or bosses.

Budget gets pulled from B and put behind A.

You need to dig a little deeper. You need to analyze how Cost Per Lead, Revenue Per Lead, and Lifetime Value of a Customer look before making those resource calls.

If you were trying to track LTV, for example, you would want to open up your Google Analytics, set the acquisition date range, select your LTV metrics, and select a few comparison metrics.

This would show you whether or not all your blood, sweat, and tears were actually making you money. Or if you’re still just measuring things that don’t matter in the long run.

4. A/B Testing Bad Offers

Uh oh! Ad CTR is low.

Better A/B test to make sure things are working smoothly, right?

Yes and no.

A/B tests can often be a huge waste of time.

It’s not to say that testing is totally useless. But most of the time you’re not actually ready for it.

Many small businesses and startups simply won’t have the transaction volume when they launch a campaign for A/B testing to make much of an ROI difference.

Roughly speaking, when you have less than 1,000 transactions (leads, signups, purchases and so on) per month, you will be better off pouring your efforts into other areas.

But look.

I know you’re probably going to A/B test anyway. I get it. Some growth hacker said it was a good idea.

If you do want to double check whether or not your campaigns are working, you should focus on testing your offers. Not fiddling with colors or CTA buttons or other A/B testing elements.

Offers are the most important determining factor sabotaging your conversions.

Want better results? Un-suck your offer first.

Don’t spend so much time and energy obsessing over A/B testing PPC ads.

Not when your offer needs help. Not when your landing pages are fugly.

And not when your unique selling proposition isn’t so unique after all.

5. Focusing on Keywords Instead of Search Terms

Google often recommends that you bundle single keywords in an ad group that revolves around the same common theme.

In fact, they recommend you “start with 10-20 keywords.”

This is great advice.

If you are Google. Because it means you make more money – off of people that follow this advice, get terrible results, and then have to spend more on ads.

That many competing keywords makes message match impossible to pull off.

You’ll end up bidding too broadly or bidding on short-head terms.

You won’t be able to laser target ads or landing pages. And you’ll overpay to get competitive traffic that’s not ready to convert.

You might select keywords. But you’re paying for search terms.

And one look at your search terms report will unveil the reason PPC conversion are nil.

In an ideal world, you should keep your keywords as tight as possible in each ad group. Some say limiting it to just a single keyword per ad group.

The reason is because you want to constrict the number of variations each ad shows up for.

Then you can refine with negative search terms to disqualify the leftovers and squeeze more from less.

6. Missing Message Match

The last tip sets up this one.

That way, each one is laser targeted to the ad and landing page.

People will convert better because your results perfectly line up with their query. And you’ll get an added bonus of better quality scores to pay less per click.

  1. The keywords someone types in, should
  2. Show up in the ad you show them, which
  3. Repeats the same messaging on the landing page

That’s how message match should work in an ideal world.

However, that’s not always how it does work.

One day, Oli from Unbounce decided that he was in too good of a mood. So he decided to make himself miserable by clicking on 300 different ads.

The result was that 98% did not match correctly.

Thankfully, there are two easy solutions to solve this problem.

AdWords Dynamic Keyword Insertion.

Create a list of keywords that can be swapped in-and-out depending on what someone searches for.

Let’s say you sell multiple types of furniture.

You can use one basic ad template that will automatically switch out the exact product keyword someone uses (like “Couches”).

Image Source

Dynamic text replacement on landing pages.

Same idea, but this time on your landing pages.

You can run the same scenarios to make sure that the product ad people searched for lines up with the same ad and landing page.

Image Source

In the Stone Ages of digital advertising (like seven years ago), you used to have to do all of this manually.

You would literally create variations of both ads and landing pages to literally match every single keyword you advertised on.

Technology saves the day yet again.

7. All-Around Bad Ad Creative

Sometimes, you just suck.

Own up to it. Admission is always the first step.

Your ad text is still lame. Or, God forbid, your ads or landing pages are not mobile optimized (← yes, this still happens in 2017).

Some PPC hack once told me that, “Most of the time we’ve found that people don’t even pay attention to the ad, it’s the landing page or website impression that matters most if we get that click.”

So maybe the problem you think is a problem isn’t really the problem.

But the good news is that this one is easy to fix.

You just have to avoid some of the most rookie mistakes and focus on the tried-and-true PPC methods like using headline formulas, landing page formulas, and, where appropriate, power words.

If you try to run through the exact process your customers will, these problems should become obvious.

Here’s a perfect example.

This morning I looked for a “aptitude test for digital marketing” for hiring new people.

Everything started off great, until the first result’s ad text started going into MS Excel and a bunch of other random stuff that has very little to do with marketing.

Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt, though.

I decided to overlook the irrelevant ad copy to click on their site and check out if they had what I was searching for.

I immediately regretted it:

There are so many issues with this page it’s hard to know where to start. But here goes:

  • Zero message match. Page headline doesn’t match ad text or search query.
  • Cheesy stock photos don’t perform well.
  • A wall of text. Seriously. No one’s reading it.
  • Random salary and employment stats.
  • “Free Trial” CTA that doesn’t communicate benefit you’re signing up for.

You can see the page right here for yourself.

I’m not trying to be a jerk. (Not completely, anyway.) But so you can see how obvious these issues become.

Scroll down below the fold and here’s what you see:

More random junk.

Look:

They’re paying good money for these ads! I bet it’s not cheap.

Yet they’re shooting themselves in the foot with basic errors.

There are plenty of places you can go to learn about this stuff. You just have to do your own research. Spend an hour reading any good blog on PPC and you’d spot these issues instantly.

At the end of the day, you have to know the game in order to improve your game.

Not taking the time to learn the basics, or not learning which metrics are important or which ones you should ignore, can sabotage your PPC results.

Conclusion

Nobody said PPC was easy.

But there are certain things you can do to make it easier.

And there are many cases where you make it harder on yourself then it needs to be.

Look for conversions that lead to revenue. Track metrics and data that matter.

Don’t bother A/B testing miniscule information when it’s your offers and value props that dictate results.

Segment your funnels, but make sure each step in that funnel aligns to everything matches properly.

All of these mistakes are common. But they’re not surprising or new.

The solution is out there if you know where to look for it.

About the Author: Brad Smith is the founder of Codeless, a B2B content creation company. Frequent contributor to Kissmetrics, Unbounce, WordStream, AdEspresso, Search Engine Journal, Autopilot, and more.

from The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog https://blog.kissmetrics.com/biggest-ppc-nightmares/

Perfect your Post-Click Experience to Boost ROI

Imagine you’re a restaurant and you hire a sign spinner to stand out front and welcome guests inside. And let’s say that you invest your whole year’s budget in them—you hire Jerry Seinfeld. He’s witty, he’s gregarious, and he talks hordes of people into coming through your doors … only for them to find out that the food’s no good and walk right back out. What would you have on your hands? The exact same problem as many modern marketers when they ignore the post-click experience.

In this blog, I’ll give you some tips to help boost your post-click experience to maximize your ROI.

Post-Click Matters

Visitors always want to know that they’ve made a good click. It’s an attention-based economy out there, and nobody has a moment to spare. If a potential customer is given any reason to think the place they arrive at isn’t as promised, they’ll bail. That’s why 63% of all new web visitors bounce instantly according to Kissmetrics and why most landing page conversions are so low. (To see how your landing page performance stacks up to your closest competitors, see the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report.) So, what qualifies as a good click? When visitors find precisely what they came looking for. “The closer the ad matches the page and terms of the offer, the greater chance of conversion,” says Finge, CEO of ConversionLab, a conversion rate optimization agency.

If you’re a marketer spending bazillions on optimizing your advertising spend, but are just directing people to your main website or to convoluted landing pages, you’re essentially hiring Jerry Seinfeld to push people into a restaurant with bad food. For both your pre-click and post-click success, you can help yourself by getting more specific.

What Makes a Good, Soft Landing?

First off, stop sending PPC traffic to your website. Websites are for general exploration while PPC campaigns are for directing visitors to take a very specific action such as downloading or making a purchase. Send your traffic to multiple PPC landing pages that each match your various PPC calls to action, images, and keywords. This gives you what is known as message match and visitors can make an instant connection. With this in place, do all you can to boost your conversions, including:

  • Strip the site navigation from your landing pages: Isolate them so that you know precisely where your traffic is coming from.
  • Use directional cues: Guide your visitor’s gaze to the CTA with images. For a great example, see this landing page by Vidyard.

Directional Cues_Vidyard example

  • Get to your unique selling proposition right away: People don’t read anymore, they skim. Get right to the good stuff.
  • Sell benefits, not features: Tell visitors how converting will make them feel, such as elated, secure, or proud.
  • Forget colors, focus on contrast: Landing page colors are a bit like UFOs: Everyone has a theory. In our experience, the colors are irrelevant as long as there’s high contrast between them.
  • Tailor it to your industry: Above all, know thy customer and the activity of your direct competition within your industry.
  • Keep it simple, keep testing: One of the biggest mistakes marketers can make is not continually testing and developing new and simpler ways of getting that conversion.

These changes are shown to result in increased conversions which can be tremendously impactful to your ROI.

The chart below shows the mean and highest conversion rates for lead generating landing pages in 10 different industries.

Lead Generating Landing Page in 10 Different Industries

Source: Unbounce’s Conversion Benchmark Report

If you’re a travel company with a 5% conversion rate who brings your landing pages up to par with the highest performers in your industry, you’ll see a 5x increase in ad ROI.

And, we’re not even finished. While most users already know that landing page improvements boost ROI, did you know that they also impact how AdWords and Facebook Ads themselves treat you? When these platforms get word about your optimization your ads will also become automatically less expensive to run—further boosting your ROI—with this often overlooked benefit.

Perfecting Your Post-Click Experience Reduces the Cost of the Ads Themselves

Ad platforms like Google and Facebook give priority to ads that provide what the user is searching for. They gauge if the searcher is satisfied by whether or not they converted. If everyone who saw an ad clicked and converted, it’s a pretty safe bet that the ad provided a good and relevant experience.

 Boosting ROI 

AdWords offers some insight into how it judges your ad experience with its Quality Score which you can view for each of an ad’s keywords. That score is based on three factors and the higher it is, the less AdWords charges you to run ads:

  • Expected click-through rate (CTR): How likely does Google think users are to click?
  • Ad relevance: How closely does your ad match the user’s search intent?
  • Landing page experience: Wait, really? Yes, really. This metric is based on how relevant, transparent, and easy-to-navigate Google’s web crawler finds your landing page.

The digital marketing agency Workshop Digital went through the trouble of exporting and analyzing 1.7 million data points from its AdWords account and verified that using offer-specific, well-designed landing pages led to a 26% increase in conversion rates for its clients.

Higher conversion rates lead to higher Quality Scores, which give you more traffic (and thus, a higher ROI) for the same level of spend. 

Facebook works in a similar, albeit slightly more mysterious way. Unlike Google’s ads, Facebook’s (often) include both images and text, and there are more variables at play in determining how users find value with ads. What is clear, however, is that it ranks them with a Relevance Score and charges less for ads with a higher score. That score is based on two factors:

  • Negative feedback: Facebook encourages users to tattle on brands by hiding or reporting ads (using that “x” in the upper-right hand corner). These punish your score heavily.
  • Positive feedback: Facebook rewards ads that are relevant. Depending on the ad’s objective, this could be video completions, clicks, or, if you’re a savvy advertiser using Facebook’s pixel, conversions.

That is, “if your landing pages in any way result in higher conversions, you’ll increase the Relevance Score of your Facebook ads,” says Matthew Weller, Director of Performance Marketing at AspireIQ. “A higher relevance score means that you’re rewarded with a lower CPC, resulting in more efficient delivery given the same ad spend.” Again, high-converting landing pages are a key factor in boosting traffic, and thus, ROI.

Rescuing your Restaurant 

When you invest in your post-click experience, you are essentially hiring Robert Irvine of the reality TV series Restaurant: Impossible to come whip your eatery into shape. He’ll leap into action simplifying your menu (just one CTA per landing page), adding tastier dishes (talking benefits, not features), and adding some consistency to the decor (true message match). Suddenly, having your highly-paid sign spinner out front is totally worth it because far more of the diners who enter, stay, and eat.

If you’re driving good traffic but aren’t seeing the conversions you expect, optimize your landing page. Get more conversions with the same budget.

How do you maximize your post-click experience for your customers? What other tips have worked for you? I’d love to hear about what you’re doing in the comments.

The post Perfect your Post-Click Experience to Boost ROI appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog http://blog.marketo.com/2017/08/perfect-post-click-experience-boost-roi.html

29 LinkedIn Tips for Professional Networking, Business & Marketing

In April, LinkedIn announced it had reached 500 million members, making it one of the most popular social networks for professionals and one of the top social networks overall. But are you using LinkedIn to its fullest potential?

With new social networks sprouting up constantly, LinkedIn is a platform that often gets underutilized or put on the back burner. But the truth is, LinkedIn can be extremely powerful — especially when you’re aware of all the platform’s hidden features that don’t get nearly as much attention as they deserve. Get a free two-week planner on how to run successful LinkedIn Ads here.

So to help you learn how to use LinkedIn effectively, this post is chock full of LinkedIn tips you may be overlooking … but definitely shouldn’t.

What Is LinkedIn?

About LinkedIn

Before we dive in, here’s a quick little primer on LinkedIn for those of you who may be new to the social network. LinkedIn launched in 2003 and is currently the fourth most popular social network among U.S. adults. The social network is primarily centered around careers, and it enables users to connect and share content with other professionals, including colleagues as well as potential employers, business partners, and new employees. If you’re a business on LinkedIn, it can also be a fantastic marketing tool.

Now, are you ready for a treasure trove of LinkedIn tips? Let’s get our hands dirty.

29 Top LinkedIn Tips

1) Customize your public profile URL.

Make your personal profile look more professional (and much easier to share) by customizing your LinkedIn public profile URL. Instead of a URL with a million confusing numbers at the end, it will look nice and clean like this: http://www.linkedin.com/in/amandazantalwiener. For detailed instructions on customizing your URL, click here.

2) Add a LinkedIn background photo to your personal profile.

In June 2014, LinkedIn finally jumped on the cover photo bandwagon and starting rolling out the ability for users to add a background photo to their personal profiles. Give your LinkedIn profile a little bit more personality by adding a background photo of your own. Just keep in mind LinkedIn is a professional social network, so choose your photo accordingly.

LinkedIn recommends a background photo size of 1584 x 396 pixels, and that it must be a JPG, PNG, or GIF file under 8MB. 

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 3.32.14 PM.png

Check out how Sam Mallikarjunan, Executive Strategist at HubSpot, uses his background photo:

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 1.35.09 PM

3) Add a ProFinder Badge to your profile.

Over the years, LinkedIn has made some changes to the types of Badges it offers. But depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, you might want to consider adding a ProFinder Badge, which is used to identify freelancers within LinkedIn’s ProFinder — a service that matches contractors with project managers seeking help. Freelancers can display a ProFinder badge on their profiles to show prospective clients their skills, expertise, and recommendations.

4) Take advantage of the blog/website links on your LinkedIn profile.

Instead of using the default anchor text links in the Websites list within your LinkedIn profile’s Contact Info section, you can now add links to your portfolio and social networks, to name a few. Plus, you can also add links to your work under each job description —  so if you want to increase clicks, make sure you populate those areas with the online presence to which you want to draw the most attention.

Even cooler: If you produced multimedia for a given job or assignment, you can now upload those files. For example, if you’ve produced podcasts and want to feature that work, you can add links to something like SoundCloud tracks.

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 1.51.25 PM

5) Search engine optimize your LinkedIn profile.

SEO isn’t limited to blogging — it turns out, you can also optimize your profile to get discovered by people searching LinkedIn for key terms you want to get found for. You can add these keywords to various sections of your profile, such as your headline, your summary, or your work experience. 

6) Add, remove, and rearrange entire sections of your profile.

LinkedIn also enables you to reorder entire sections of your profile in any way you prefer. When in edit mode, simply hover your mouse over the double-sided arrow in each section. Your mouse will turn into a four-arrowed icon, at which point you can click, then drag and drop to another position on your profile.

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 2.04.07 PM

Find a full list of sections to add to and remove from your profile here.

7) Take advantage of Saved Searches.

LinkedIn allows users to save up to ten job searches and three people searches. After conducting a search, clicking the Save search option at the top right allows you to save a search and easily run it again later. You can also choose to receive weekly or monthly reminders (+ daily for job searches) via email once new members in the network or jobs match your saved search criteria.

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 2.05.48 PM

8) Find a job through via LinkedIn’s job postings.

Now that you’ve optimized your LinkedIn profile, use it — and LinkedIn Jobs — to help you land a fabulous new position. Using its Advanced search feature, LinkedIn allows you to search for jobs by keyword, title, industry, location, company, function, experience level, and more. Also, based on your application history and saved searches, LinkedIn can send suggestions of jobs you might be interested in, relating to location, company size, and industry.

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9) Get endorsed for your skills.

Back in 2012, LinkedIn launched a feature called Endorsements, which enables users to endorse their connections for skills they’ve listed in the Skills section of their profile — or recommend ones they haven’t yet listed. These endorsements then show up on your profile within that same Skills section, as you can see in the screenshot below.

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Okay, so you can’t guarantee your connections will endorse you for those skills, but because it’s so easy for your LinkedIn contacts to do (all they have to do is click on the + sign next to a particular skill on your profile), you’ll find that many of them will do it anyway. Also, when people visit the site, LinkedIn will often prompt them to endorse their connections passively. Just make sure your profile is complete and you’ve spent the time to list the skills you want your contacts to endorse you for — it will definitely give your profile a bit of a credibility boost.

You can also remove endorsements if you find people are endorsing you for skills that don’t accurately describe your strengths,

10) Use Open Profile to send messages to people you’re not connected to.

With the exception of your fellow group members (more on this later), LinkedIn only allows you to send messages to people who you share a first-degree connection with. But did you know some people let you send them messages anyway, even if you’re not connected? The ability to be part of the Open Profile network is only available to premium account holders, but it allows those users to be available for messaging by any other LinkedIn member (regardless of their LinkedIn membership level) if they choose to be.

There are other options for sending messages to those with whom you’re not yet connected, like sending a request to connect with a note — though we don’t recommend overdoing this one. Or, if you have a premium account, you can use InMail.

11) Check your Network Updates (or share your own).

Found on your LinkedIn homepage, Network Updates are essentially LinkedIn’s version of the Facebook News Feed. Check this feed periodically for a quick snapshot of what your connections are up to and sharing, or share updates of your own, such as noteworthy content related to your industry/career, content you’ve created yourself, etc. You can also sign up for email notifications, and sort by Top Updates or Recent Updates to filter your feed in one way or the other.

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12) Be identifiable.

Allow others to see who you are if you view their profile. To enable this, visit your Settings (click your thumbnail image in the top right and click Privacy & Settings) and click “Profile viewing options” under “Privacy.” Make sure you check off the Your name and headline (Recommended) option, as it will allow you to take advantage of the next feature on our list.

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13) Check out who’s viewed your LinkedIn profile.

How? With the Who’s Viewed Your Profile feature, of course. This tool, which is accessible in the main navigation via the Profile dropdown, enables you to identify which other LinkedIn users have visited your profile page (so yeah, exactly what it sounds like). In fact, LinkedIn gave this coveted creeper feature a facelift in February 2014, so the information it provides is even better than ever. You can also see how you stack up against the profile views for your connections, people in your company, and other professionals like you.

Has someone been checking out your profile that you might want to connect with? This might be the “in” you’ve been waiting for to connect. (Remember, if you don’t make yourself identifiable via the above, you won’t have access to this feature. It’s a two-way street!)

14) Export connections.

Want to transfer your LinkedIn connections to another contact management system? Luckily, LinkedIn enables you to export your connections. Go to your account settings, and under “Basics,” click “Getting an archive of your data.” That will allow you to download a file that includes data on your LinkedIn account, including your connections.

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15) Easily find new connections — or connect with old ones!

Speaking of connections, the Connections tab in the top navigation offers a variety of other tools to grow and connect with contacts in your professional network. When viewing your connections, click the right-hand side display that says, “Manage your synced and imported contacts” From there, you’ll be able to sync your email contacts to see who’s on LinkedIn, and who you can invite to join.

16) Leverage the perks of LinkedIn Groups.

Did you know that if you’re a member of the same group as another user, you can bypass the need to be a first-degree connection in order to message them? As long as you’ve been a member of LinkedIn for at least 30 days and a member of the particular group for at least 4 days, LinkedIn allows you to send up to 15 free 1:1 messages to fellow group members per month (across all groups you belong to).

In addition, group members are also able to view the profiles of other members of the same group without being connected. Join more groups to enable more messaging and profile viewership capabilities — and be sure to participate in the discussions.

17) Share your LinkedIn status updates on Twitter.

Ever since the big LinkedIn/Twitter breakup of 2012, you can no longer automatically sync your tweets to publish on LinkedIn. But don’t fret — as long as you add your Twitter account to LinkedIn, the opposite is still possible. So if you’re ever posting an update to LinkedIn that you’d also like your Twitter followers to see, you can easily syndicate that update to Twitter by selecting the Public + Twitter option in the dropdown menu within the LinkedIn update composer.

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18) Leverage @mentions in your status updates.

In 2013, LinkedIn rolled out the ability to tag or @mention other users and companies in status updates — much like the way it works on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Want another LinkedIn user or company to see your status update? Include the @ symbol immediately followed by the user’s/company’s name in your status update. As a result, that user/company will get alerted that you mentioned them, and their name will also link to their profile/page in the status update itself.

19) Optimize your LinkedIn Company Page.

The design of LinkedIn Company Pages has changed a lot over the years. Make sure yours is set up correctly and optimized for the latest layout, featuring a compelling and high-quality banner image. We’ve published an entire free guide about how to optimize your page for the latest design. Here’s how HubSpot’s Company Page currently looks:

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20) Create targeted LinkedIn Showcase Pages.

LinkedIn Showcase Pages are niche pages that branch off your main Company Page. Think of them as extensions of your main Company Page that allow you to promote specific products or cater to your individual marketing personas, providing a more personalized experience for your Company Page visitors.

LinkedIn users can also follow specific Showcase Pages without having to follow a company’s main page or its other Showcase Pages, allowing your business to tailor the page closely to the audience specific to the page.

To create a Showcase Page, go to your Company Page and click “Manage page.” Then, at the top, click “Admin Tools,” and select “Create a Showcase Page.” Find more information about Showcase Pages here.

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21) Post Company Status Updates (and target them!).

Make the most of your LinkedIn Company Page by publishing Company Status Updates for all your page followers to see. This will give LinkedIn users even more reason to follow your Company Page, growing your LinkedIn reach. For a high-level guide to these updates, click here.

Been using Company Status Updates for a while? Why not step it up a notch and leverage the power of segmentation with LinkedIn’s targeting options, which enable you to target your status updates to specific users? Company Page administrators can target their updates using criteria like company size, industry, job function, seniority, geography, language, or by including/excluding company employees. These targeted updates will appear on the Company/Showcase Page itself for those users as well as in the users’ Network Updates feed on their LinkedIn homepage.

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22) Check out LinkedIn’s Content Marketing Score & Trending Content resources.

If you’re a LinkedIn Business Solutions customer, you can learn how impactful your organic and paid LinkedIn content is with the Content Marketing Score and Trending Content resources. Your Content Marketing Score measures user engagement with your Sponsored Updates, Company Pages, LinkedIn Groups, employee updates, and Influencer posts (when applicable). It then provides recommendations for how you can improve your score, and thus the effectiveness of your LinkedIn content.

23) Experiment with LinkedIn Ads and Sponsored Updates.

If you’re looking to complement your organic LinkedIn marketing efforts with some paid advertising, LinkedIn Ads are a smart choice. One of the biggest benefits of LinkedIn advertising: the targeting options. LinkedIn’s PPC ads let you target specific job titles, job functions, industries, or company size, to name a few — you know, the people who are more likely to want/need what you sell.

If you want to get started with LinkedIn’s advertising platform, check out our free guide to advertising on LinkedIn here.

24) Create your own industry LinkedIn Group, and join other relevant groups.

Consider creating a LinkedIn Group of your very own, like HubSpot did with our popular Inbound Marketers Group. Create a group based on a relevant industry-related topic, and become a LinkedIn Group administrator. You can then use this group to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, grow a community of advocates, generate new marketing content ideas, and even generate new leads — more on that next. You should also consider joining (and getting executives from your business to join) other relevant groups and participating in discussions to exhibit thought leadership in your industry.

25) Email your LinkedIn Group.

One of the perks of managing a LinkedIn Group is the fact that you can email all the members of your group — up to once per week. These emails take the form of LinkedIn Announcements, which are messages sent directly to the email inboxes of group members (if they’ve enabled messages from groups in their settings). It’s a prime opportunity for generating leads from LinkedIn, particularly if you’ve built up a robust group of users.

26) Experiment with publishing content on LinkedIn’s publishing platform.

Good news! You no longer have to be a LinkedIn Influencer to publish new articles to LinkedIn. Publishing is available to all users, ever since a February 2014 feature announcement. Experiment with how this feature can support your marketing goals by creating content for the platform and promoting it via your Company Page. For example, you could experiment with syndicating content from your business blog to LinkedIn Pulse and using it to promote subscription to your full blog.

To publish an article, click “Write an article” on the update box on your LinkedIn homepage. From there, you’ll be taken to the publishing platform, where you can compose your draft.

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27) Recruit new talent via LinkedIn Jobs.

Looking to fill a position or two on your marketing team — or another department within your company, for that matter? Then be sure to build out the Jobs section of your Company Page, which you can use to promote your available job openings.

The look and feel of your Jobs page depend on what information and images you choose to include, such as a list of jobs, people at your company, a summary section for your careers, what employees are saying about working at your company, and recent updates. Furthermore, if you’re actively recruiting candidates with specific skills and expertise, this goes both ways — you can use LinkedIn’s various search criteria to find the best fit.

Here’s another look at HubSpot’s Company Page — notice how the job listings are prominently displayed on the right.

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28) Add the Company Follow and LinkedIn share buttons to your website/content.

Promote your company’s LinkedIn presence and help grow the reach of your Company Page by adding the Company Follow button to your website. Also consider adding the LinkedIn Share button to your various content assets like blog posts, emails, and landing pages to extend the reach of your content to LinkedIn users. 

29) Analyze your LinkedIn marketing performance with the Analytics tab on your Company Page.

So … how are your LinkedIn marketing efforts faring? Use your Company Page Analytics to evaluate the performance of your Company Page. This feature offers data about the effectiveness of your page’s status updates, engagement, and reach, as well as information about your page’s followers — demographics, where they came from, how your following has grown over time, how your data compares to other companies.

Linking Up

Ready to get started? Great. With so many changes and features added to LinkedIn since its very first launch, we can’t wait to see how the network continues to make itself indisposable to job seekers, marketers, and other professionals.

free planner: how to run successful LinkedIn ads

from Marketing https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/23454/the-ultimate-cheat-sheet-for-mastering-linkedin.aspx

Talking the Talk: The Beginner’s Guide to Designing a Chatbot Conversation

Nothing will impact the way we communicate quite like chatbots.

Whether you need to summon a Lyft, book a flight, or even test out a new shade of lipstick, it’s now safe to say, “There’s an bot for that.”

By plugging into the messaging apps we already use to talk with friends every day, chatbots sit at the intersection of convenience and utility, redefining what it means for brands to be helpful for their customers.

And the numbers live up to the hype. Today, messaging apps have over 5 billion monthly active users, surpassing that of the top social networks. On Facebook Messenger alone there are 100,000 bots, not to mention the growing offerings on Kik, Slack, WeChat, and more.

Needless to say, bots are the future of brand communication.

But that doesn’t mean they won’t frustrate the hell out of you from time to time.

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Image: Why Chatbots Fail

Let’s face it. Aside from the one-year-olds in your life, humans are really good at conversation. We remember contextual details. We get sarcasm. We read between the lines.

Bots don’t.

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Image: Giphy

No matter the amount of headlines you read proclaiming that it’s the “Year of Chatbots”, natural language processing technology is still early, and there will still be those bots that make you want to sling your phone against the wall.

Besides, an entire lifetime of conversations has taught us to expect those we talk with to be relevant, clear, and brief. But, as more and more marketers race to this new communication channel without carefully considering the customer experience, we risk messing up messaging.

It’s safe to say, the greatest challenge of creating a bot is developing the conversational flow.

Don’t get hung up on development. Thanks to platforms like Motion.ai, building a bot is as easy as drawing a flowchart, meaning you can get the whole process done without knowing a line of code.

However, crafting a productive conversation is an art. There’s no absolute template to follow.

It’s really the double-edged sword of messaging. When done well, bots provide a scalable way to have one-on-one conversations with buyers unlike any other communication channel us marketers have gotten our hands on. Yet, bots fail when they don’t deliver an experience as efficient and delightful as the complex, multi-layered conversations people are accustomed to having with other humans on messaging apps.

If this sounds like nothing you’ve ever done before as a marketer, you’re not alone. Designing a great chatbot conversation will take more than some witty copywriting.

To help you wrap your mind around the concept, we’ve created the Inbound Messaging Framework — a beginner’s guide to structuring chatbot conversations that keep the greater customer experience in mind.

So, get out those dry erase markers. It’s time to whiteboard your first chatbot conversation.

The Inbound Messaging Framework

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Connect

The first step of the Inbound Messaging Framework is to connect with your audience. Before you write a line of copy, understand your audience enough to know the messaging app where they’re most likely to spend their time so you’re available when their problem arises. For example, with its wide reach, Facebook Messenger could be the best option for audiences over the age of 18. But it overlooks the teenage demographic, who has proved loyal to Kik.

Engage the user in a conversational tone authentic to the feel of the messaging app, but remains true to your brand’s personality. For example, notice how the Sephora bot for Kik welcomes users with a casual tone and isn’t shy with the emojis.

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Image: NewsWhip

The Sephora bot begins the conversation by getting to know the customer as if they’ve walked into the store and are greeted by a personal stylist. The bot then recalls these details to cater product suggestions accordingly.

This sort of personalization is just the beginning of what the Connect stage could be in the future. Imagine chatting with a bot that remembers your exact shade of foundation or recalls your shipping address automatically. As bot building platforms make connecting to your business’s CRM even easier, personalization will have a new whole meaning for marketers.

Understand

A common misconception with chatbots is that they’re supposed to be chatty. Remember, with each joke or silly GIF, you’re adding another barrier between the user and the solution they’re looking for.

Instead, the goal of the Understand phase is to lead the user through a series of dependent questions to to collect the necessary information to understand their intent or problem.

Here’s where the flow-charting begins. The progression of questions is neither random, nor one-size-fits-all. Start with a leading question that helps you narrow down the user’s intent as much as possible. Then, use the answer to alter each follow-up question until you’re able to hone in on a solution.

As described on the Prototypr blog, one method is to consider the who, what, when, where, and why of the situation and order your questions with the most telling variable first. For instance, Spring, a personal shopping bot, begins by asking whether the user wants women’s or men’s items to cut the product options in half from the start.

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Image: SendBird Blog

Deliver

You’ve heard it said before: bots are the new apps. We’ve grown tired of having to download an app we’ll never use again. In fact, half of U.S. smartphone users download a whopping zero apps per month. But since bots are accessed via messaging apps, there’s no longer a need to clutter up your phone with new downloads.

The best bots complete a transaction or deliver a solution without forcing the user to leave the conversational interface. Thankfully, most bot building platforms provide a variety of rich media options to help make this a reality, including image carousels and buy buttons.

Note how TechCrunch’s Facebook Messenger bot delivers content via Instant Articles to prevent mobile users from having to load their website.

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Refine

The process doesn’t end when the user closes the chat window. The best bots apply what they’ve learned from each and every interaction and use it to make subsequent experiences more unique and streamlined.

As Clara de Soto, co-founder of Reply.ai, told VentureBeat, “You’re never just ‘building a bot’ so much as launching a ‘conversational strategy’ — one that’s constantly evolving and being optimized based on how users are actually interacting with it.”

We’re swimming in data these days, and the more we market within the world of messaging, the more we’ll find this to be true. Consider updating the options in the menu based on the options users select or altering the syntax of questions that cause users to bounce.

Remember, building a bot is one thing, but understanding the cyclical nature of this field is another. The conversational flow is the heart of your chatbot and should be something you come back to refine time and time again.

from Marketing https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/beginners-guide-to-designing-a-chatbot-conversation

4 Mistakes I Learned About Marketing and Data While Working at a Fortune 50 Company

For the past nearly 3 years, I’ve been in charge of Audience Development for one of the largest media companies in the US.

I learned a LOT during that time. Even more important, I learned a lot about what NOT to do.

Not all of these things were personal ‘mistakes’ per se. Some were top down decisions that were influenced by lack of foresight, knowledge or budget. Others were due to an industry that is undergoing rapid change.

As John Powell said, “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”

To that end, here are the top 4 mistakes I learned during my tenure. I hope sharing these and their learnings will spark some good discussion – either internally or in the comments below.

1. Not Investing in Building User Data

This one definitely took me by surprise.

When I arrived, I had big plans to leverage CRM data to build remarketing pools, lookalike audiences, email campaigns, etc.

But there was no CRM database.

One thing not often considered about media companies is the fact the consumer data is controlled by the cable provider. The cable company collects the payment and therefore have all the associated consumer data:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Credit Card Info
  • Purchase history
  • Login Username/Password
  • Etc.

In it’s simplest form, the media company simply provides the content the cable provider sells to the consumer. For the longest period of time, the value of collecting this data had been overlooked.

Plan of Action:

To access ‘free’ content within an app from the likes of NBC, CBS, Fox and others, you must go through an authentication process. This is done using the same credentials you would login to pay your cable bill.

In one of these apps, you’ve likely come across a login page that looks like this:

This poses two challenges:

  1. Many consumers don’t know or remember this login. As a result, a lot of potential video consumption is lost.
  2. As mentioned above, this is an interstitial page that drives to the cable provider as they own the username and password information.

In collaboration with the product team, a strategy was developed to implement a ‘free trial’ in exchange for the user’s email address. This would allow the user to forego the authentication requirement.

This was the minimal piece of information required for us to begin building a CRM and the beginning of a customer match marketing program across Google, Facebook and Twitter.

It also provided us with the initial piece of consumer data that we could subsequently build on with supplemental offers in exchange for profile completion.

The overarching lesson here is – invest in CRM. Even if you have to start with just a database of email addresses. Start somewhere.

2. Not Understanding the Nuances of Mobile Tracking

As you might imagine, much of our marketing strategy and budget focused on the mobile space. Interestingly enough, this is also a space where ad-blockers are not working.

That said, with mobile advertising comes tracking nuances that I was initially unaware of.

When I joined the team, we were full-steam into launching the first ever marketing campaign. In our haste to launch, we did not take the time to fully understand the impact of not solidifying our mobile tracking solution.

Our primary mobile advertising consisted of:

Desktop & Mobile Banner and Social Ads:

The standard process for attribution is based on the use of cookies.

When a user visits a website via their desktop or mobile device, your banner displays and a cookie is dropped on the visitor’s computers  – regardless of whether or not they click through to your website.

Depending on the ad-server being used, this cookie can remain active for up to 2 years.

Eventually, if the user performs the desired action, that same cookie fires sending the proper attribution for your campaign. All is well in the world.

Apple’s Safari browser blocks 3rd party cookies by default which makes this ‘standard’ tracking more complicated. Among other things, this means your app cannot read the cookie data stored by Mobile Safari.

This presents a challenge to advertisers as Safari’s market share is around 33% globally.

In-App Advertising (sending users to our brand websites):

I’m sure you’ve noticed when you open a link in an app, it doesn’t open a new browser window. Rather, it opens an “in-app browser”.

This makes perfect sense for UX as it allows you to quickly return to the app.

The issue lies in the cookie drop on your phone. This naturally occurs with the click, however, it only drops a cookie for the in-app browser session. Unless the conversion happens immediately within that session, the attribution is lost.

In-App Advertising (sending users to our apps):

Quite simply, cookies are not used ‘in-app’. This left us with zero attribution or cross-device tracking.

The lack of attention to these details was quickly evident. At the end of the campaign, we were left pointing to engagement metrics like impressions, CTR and social shares as a measure of success.

Not at all what a consumer acquisition campaign should be reporting.

Plan of Action:

The quickest change to a leaky attribution bucket that we could make was to tackle the Safari issue. We simply updated our social and display targeting to remove Safari browsers.

While Google struggles with mobile and socially-driven demographic/interest targeting, Facebook provides the ability to target (or exclude) users by Web browser.

While not foolproof, for the likes of Twitter and Google, we targeted only older operating systems in an effort to capture users who were still using legacy browsers.

Considering our audience was US based, we estimated that we would only be missing out on approximately 15-18% of the overall market.

The other two challenges were a bit more complicated and required a mobile attribution solution that established the match between the user’s advertising ID and the publisher.

While there are many companies available for this, after evaluation, we landed on Kochava as our solution provider.

Pro tip: if you’re on a budget, Branch.io is a completely free solution that provides many of the same features.

3. Focusing on Sexy vs. Efficient

The programmatic display and mobile space is filled with shiny new tools, ad placements, and even ad units.

Combine that with the traditional types of advertising done by media companies (think big billboards, bus sides, etc) and these quickly become distractions from tactics that are proven to work.

I think it’s fair to say we spread our tactics far too wide in the early years in hopes of capitalizing on that sexy new ad-unit or the hot new ad targeting. This was, unfortunately, at the expense of tried and true tactics like traditional paid search.

A smarter approach would have been to test into these tactics rather than build a comprehensive media plan that included them.

Plan of Action:

I’m a huge fan of Steve Jobs. And Apple in general. One of my favorite quotes from him is:

Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.”

With more data and proper attribution in place, we were more empowered to direct the media plans across the brands.

We focused on tried and true channels that significantly outperformed the “shiny objects” that had resulted in wasted spend and higher costs for creative development.

This paid off in a big way:

  • Total impressions declined significantly, however, clicks increased just as dramatically
  • Average click costs also declined
  • Cost per app install decreased nearly 200%
  • Cost per video start decreased 230%

Sometimes the ‘simple’ things just work better.

Ultimately, after seeing the data, I took away a few lessons that can be applied to almost any campaign:

Programmatic display isn’t the end all, be all. It’s an industry buzzword. I could even say ‘buzztactic’. It’s rife with click fraud and vendors with non-transparent ‘private networks’. It’s susceptible to ad blockers and comes with many privacy issues.

Don’t get me wrong. It can work.

But, test into programmatic options ONLY after you’ve exhausted the below tactics.

Focus on channels where a consumer is actively searching for you. They’re already self-qualified based on their actions. The most applicable here is paid search across Bing or Google.

Remarket your way to lower cost per acquisitions. You’ve already paid the premium CPC or CPM to get that user to your website. Typically, remarketing campaigns come with much lower costs. Why not re-engage a warm lead for less?

Image Source

#Hashtags are inherently social, but leave them out of social ad copy. Through our trimming of tactics, we also trimmed areas where consumers might be tempted to leave the topic at hand.

In this case, we removed any hashtag mentions in our ad copy so consumers would focus instead on the ‘install’. Our conversion rates improved as a result.

When pushing mobile installs, leverage a device in your creative. When you think about it, of course. It makes sense. But we proved it out via testing. Showing consumers an image of their device in the creative they’re being served improved conversion rates.

4. Not Leveraging an Always on Strategy

Consumers, myself included, are always on. Always plugged in. It’s a bad, addicting habit.

But, that also means running a campaign for a TV show only when that show is in-season leaves opportunity on the table.

There are a few challenges with being able to do this:

First, media companies are selling off the rights to their shows to the likes of Netflix and Hulu. In some cases, the ability to create a show is solely dependent on the revenue coming from these transactions.

This means an always on strategy will never be an option once the rights are sold.

Second, when we first launched our campaigns, we were spending large portions of our budget on fancy creative and higher cost CPMs trying to capture the next big thing.

This left us without budget pacing that would allow for an always on strategy.

Plan of Action:

We tackled the second issue as part of our streamlining of tactics. This enabled our budgets to stretch farther and for longer periods of time both pre-premier and post-finale.

The matter of rights was more complicated and is probably worth a completely separate post. That said, as a test, we decided to focus on a core set of shows where the rights had been retained for several years.

The hope was, if we could show a series with multiple seasons resulted in larger average views per user, we could start to build a case for investing in the rights for the more popular shows.

It worked.

We found not only were the average views per user up, but these campaigns were far outperforming pilot shows and series with limited rights.

This resulted in overall efficiencies for the campaign.

Wrapping Up

There’s no question the digital space can provide lots of opportunity for growth and learning. I have certainly learned a ton.

Hopefully sharing some of these insights will help you better streamline your digital marketing efforts, focus on what works, get your tracking in order and ultimately drive increased performance.

About the Author: Jon Clark is the founder of Fuze SEO, a boutique digital marketing company in New York. He writes regularly on SEO tactics, analytics and social media best practices. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter. When not working or writing, Jon enjoys documenting his travels on Instagram.

from The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog https://blog.kissmetrics.com/4-mistakes-i-learned-about-marketing/

3 Tips to Successfully Integrate Your Paid and Organic Social Media

When it comes to high growth areas, social media marketing fits the definition in terms of both the percentage of your budget it consumes and in the ROI it generates. But the path isn’t smooth or simple.

All too often, marketing teams are drawn to paid or organic social media strategies based on past successes or failures rather than as part of a comprehensive social strategy. The control of each channel might even rest with separate departments, which sets you on a potentially dangerous path where the messaging isn’t coordinated. Many companies fail to properly integrate their social media marketing strategies.

As investment bankers are often fond of saying, past performance is no guarantee of future success. While a single channel strategy might have worked for you in the past, modern social strategies experience greater social media amplification and ROI benefits because they utilize multiple channels and communication styles. The key to success in your social media marketing is to strike a balance between paid and organic social media efforts.

In this blog, you’ll find three actionable items to help you integrate your paid and organic social strategies successfully.

Know the Purpose Each Channel has for Your Marketing Efforts

Paid social has incredibly powerful targeting options, and it is an amazing tool to have in your lead generation toolbox. However, paid social media alone does not let you maximize the ROI that you can generate from your social media efforts.

On the other hand, organic social media can be an equally powerful tool for reaching your audience and building a community. While not as straightforward as paid social media, organic conversations can lead to deeper engagement and social media amplification with clients and influencers that money can’t buy.

Paid and organic social media both have advantages and drawbacks. Achieving the greatest benefit while minimizing disadvantages requires you to integrate both approaches into a larger, comprehensive social media marketing strategy.

Align Your Messaging

While paid and organic social have different purposes and different advantages, they are still both aspects of social media marketing, and they share the same end goal of growing your business. It is entirely possible that potential clients will encounter both your paid and organic messaging in their customer journey.

Look at social media from the customer’s perspective: While your message may come in the form of an advertisement or in a conversation, your audience is likely to come across varying communications across multiple channels. Your messages should be consistent enough to reflect that they come from a single company.

If your messages conflict, you might undermine your own marketing efforts on one or multiple social media channels. Even if there is no conflict across platforms, failure to align paid and organic social media efforts will waste time, opportunity, and marketing dollars.

Make Your Messages Complement Each Other

Aligning your paid and organic social media efforts is the first step to garnering the maximum advantage from your online efforts. However, the work does not stop there.

Knowing that paid and organic media have their own advantages, you should craft a marketing strategy and messaging for the two methods so that they complement each other. This does not need to be complex—it can be as simple as ma the ching tone and then having complementary messages on paid and organic posts.

This can pay additional dividends, as successful organic posts can be cheaper to promote on social media channels like Facebook because they have been proven to have a higher engagement rate. This makes it easier and more cost effective to achieve the social media amplification you desire.

While paid and organic social media are fundamentally different tools, your prospects should experience each of them as a smooth step in your overall social media marketing funnel.

Integrating your organic and paid social media strategies can help you generate increased social media amplification, fill your marketing funnel, and increase your ROI. Don’t do one or the other. They are both needed for success. I’d love to hear about how you’re integrating organic and paid social media strategies in your own business. Tell me about it in the comments!

The post 3 Tips to Successfully Integrate Your Paid and Organic Social Media appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog http://blog.marketo.com/2017/08/3-tips-successfully-integrate-paid-organic-social-media.html