How to Create an Ecommerce Video Marketing Strategy for Your Products
In today’s world, eCommerce accounts are no longer indulged in using content and images to interact, promote or sell their products; instead, they use video content to pique people’s interests.
Videos are a powerful marketing tool, especially in e-commerce. Videos can explain a product or service differently than text and images. When executed correctly, videos can also be shared and embedded into other forms of media, which have a tremendous impact on your e-commerce business.
Businesses have been using videos to promote products and services and have seen significant results. But not all companies are using videos to their full potential. Most businesses cannot create an e-commerce video marketing strategy.
In this guide, we will walk you through creating a video marketing strategy that will help you boost your sales and reach your target audience. We will cover everything from defining your goals for e-commerce videos to creating engaging content for all socials.
Guide to Get Started With Video Marketing Strategy
Defining Your Goals: Why do you want to create e-commerce videos?
There could be several reasons to create eCommerce videos. Video marketing is not simply about putting out videos with messages and pulling in a response from the audience. Each goal of the videos will demand different production.
The first step in video marketing is planning.
You want to increase sales or improve customer engagement. Maybe you want to create more brand awareness or improve your search engine ranking. Whatever your goals, creating eCommerce videos can help you achieve them.
1. Selling Point:
Creating videos can be a great way to increase sales. By creating videos that showcase your products, you can give potential customers a better idea of what you offer.
2. Engaging Videos:
You can use videos to improve customer engagement. Creating informative or entertaining videos can keep customers engaged with your brand. Engaging videos should have a compelling message, visuals, and catchy content. An effective way to make engaging and powerful videos is to use a video editor. It helps you to create and edit high-quality videos that capture your audience’s attention.
3. SEO Videos:
Creating videos is a great way to increase your search engine ranking. Videos that are keyword-optimized and relevant to your product or service can improve your e-commerce store’s chances of appearing in search results.
It is common knowledge that videos are one of the best ways to optimize a website for a search. Focus on improving the overall SEO through your videos in the long run. Multiple studies prove that videos are more likely to rank on the first page of Google.
Videos are also a common way for people to interact with companies. We can combine product videos with a landing page that uses a video to show customers how the product works.
4. Brand Awareness:
By sharing your videos with customers and potential customers, you can introduce them to your brand and increase your visibility.
Determine Your Target Audience
Your target audience for an eCommerce video marketing strategy is people interested in buying the products or services that you are selling.
You can do this by targeting specific keywords related to what you are selling or specific demographics. Google trends will help you with demographic information.
Once you have a good understanding of who your target audience is, you can then create videos that are tailored to them.
Platforms To Host And Distribute Your Videos
There are a variety of platforms that you can use as a video creator to host and distribute your videos. Some of the most popular platforms include YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. Now it is not an unpopular thing that Pinterest has become famous for uploading videos.
You can share them on social media, post them on your website or blog, or even run ads on them.
You can also submit them to video-sharing websites and directories. The more viewers the videos receive, the more likely they will be watched by others.
Decide Where You Will Use The Videos
By providing your potential customers with a video, you allow them to see your products and services and how they can be used. The ability to see something in action allows them to make a more informed decision, such as with a product video or explainer video.
Your video marketing strategy must include how you will promote your videos on your website. Videos can be great as a part of an email blast and on your website. If you plan to post your videos on other social media sites, ensure that your videos are short enough to be viewed in the time frame allotted for each platform.
The Goal of Each Ecommerce Video
Every video should have a specific goal. This could educate, entertain, or persuade potential customers to buy a product. You should have a general idea of what you wish to accomplish with your video to achieve a video’s goal. Otherwise, your video will be ineffective. The most obvious goal is to sell a product. But this is not always the best way to sell a product. The most effective way to sell a product is to educate your potential customers about the product.
Maintain A Practical Budget
With introducing an e-commerce video marketing strategy, it is essential to maintain a budget to help your business succeed in the long run. Video marketing is a fantastic way to market your business, but you must ensure you put the right amount of money into it.
If you do not have a budget, making a profitable video marketing strategy will be challenging. This will help you decide how often you create new content and how much you need to pay for certain things, such as a video editor.
Experiment With Different Video Types
As an e-commerce store owner, you know that the content is king. How you deliver your content is just as important. You need to create a video marketing strategy if you want to get your products in front of the right people at the right time. But where do you start?
The core step is to figure out how to create a video that will get people excited about your products. You can create many e-commerce video types, but not all of them will be equally beneficial. The goal is to create a video to get people talking about your products, sharing information on social media, and driving traffic to your site. Here is a quick list of the different e-commerce videos you can create.
1. Brand story videos: Create mini-movies displaying short stories behind your brand inspiration, how it can change people’s lifestyles, perspectives, well-being, and anything that fits aptly with your brand.
Today’s consumers want to be a part of the story. They want to be engaged. They want to be entertained. Suppose you want to build a video marketing strategy to help you sell. In that case, you will need to create different videos, and you can easily create different videos with minimum editing skills using an online video editor.
The importance of using video in eCommerce cannot be overstated. Video allows you to tell your brand’s story, build trust with your customers, and even help them make buying decisions.
2. Ad videos: These videos should fully discuss the product covering most of the features.
3. Product videos: Show people how your product works. It is a great way to show your viewers the ins and outs of your products without the need to read a long article.
4. Social media-specific content: Unlike ad videos, you cannot keep social media videos lengthy, and the ideal video must be around 60 seconds.
5. Explainer videos: These videos should teach your customers how to use the product detailing every step.
6. Testimonials: Honest testimonial videos build trust and give people a reason to invest in your products.
How To Measure The Success of Your E-commerce Video Marketing Strategy?
There are a few key metrics you can measure to gauge the success of your eCommerce video marketing strategy:
1. The number of views: This will give you an idea of how many people are watching your videos.
2. Engagement: likes, comments, and shares can measure engagement. This will give you an idea of how your videos resonate with viewers.
3. Conversions: This is the most important metric, as it will show how many viewers are taking action after watching your videos (e.g., making a purchase).
4. Revenue: This will give you an idea of how much money your video marketing strategy is generating.
By tracking these metrics, you will see how successful your eCommerce video marketing strategy can improve your results.
It is not just about making a video, but about making a video that is good for your business. If you create good videos, the audience themselves will promote your videos through various channels.
The post How to Create an Ecommerce Video Marketing Strategy for Your Products first appeared on PPC Hero.
$100M donation powers decade-long moonshot to create solar satellites that beam power to Earth
It sounds like a plan concocted by a supervillain, if that villain’s dastardly end was to provide cheap, clean power all over the world: launch a set of three-kilometer-wide solar arrays that beam the sun’s energy to the surface of the Earth. Even the price tag seems gleaned from pop fiction: one hundred million dollars. But this is a real project at Caltech, funded for a nearly a decade largely by a single donor.
The Space-based Solar Power Project has been underway since at least 2013, when the first donation from Donald and Brigitte Bren came through. Donald Bren is the chairman of Irvine Company and on the Caltech board of trustees, and after hearing about the idea of space-based solar in Popular Science, he proposed to fund a research project at the university — and since then has given more than $ 100 million for the purpose. The source of the funds has been kept anonymous until this week, when Caltech made it public.
The idea emerges naturally from the current limitations of renewable energy. Solar power is ubiquitous on the surface, but of course highly dependent on the weather, season and time of day. No solar panel, even in ideal circumstances, can work at full capacity all the time, and so the problem becomes one of transferring and storing energy in a smart grid. No solar panel on Earth, that is.
A solar panel in orbit, however, may be exposed to the full light of the sun nearly all the time, and with none of the reduction in its power that comes from that light passing through the planet’s protective atmosphere and magnetosphere.
“This ambitious project is a transformative approach to large-scale solar energy harvesting for the Earth that overcomes this intermittency and the need for energy storage,” said SSPP researcher Harry Atwater in the Caltech release.
Of course, you would need to collect enough energy that it’s worth doing in the first place, and you need a way to beam that energy down to the surface in a way that doesn’t lose most of it to the aforementioned protective layers but also doesn’t fry anything passing through its path.
These fundamental questions have been looked at systematically for the last decade, and the team is clear that without Bren’s support, this project wouldn’t have been possible. Attempting to do the work while scrounging for grants and rotating through grad students might have prevented its being done at all, but the steady funding meant they could hire long-term researchers and overcome early obstacles that might have stymied them otherwise.
The group has produced dozens of published studies and prototypes (which you can peruse here), including the lightest solar collector-transmitter made by an order of magnitude, and is now on the verge of launching its first space-based test satellite.
“[Launch] is currently expected to be Q1 2023,” co-director of the project Ali Hajimiri told TechCrunch. “It involves several demonstrators for space verification of key technologies involved in the effort, namely, wireless power transfer at distance, lightweight flexible photovoltaics and flexible deployable space structures.”
These will be small-scale tests (about six feet across), but the vision is for something rather larger. Bigger than anything currently in space, in fact.
“The final system is envisioned to consist of multiple deployable modules in close formation flight and operating in synchronization with one another,” Hajimiri said. “Each module is several tens of meters on the side and the system can be built up by adding more modules over time.”
Eventually the concept calls for a structure perhaps as large as 5-6 kilometers across. Don’t worry — it would be far enough out from Earth that you wouldn’t see a giant hexagon blocking out the stars. Power would be sent to receivers on the surface using directed, steerable microwave transmission. A few of these in orbit could beam power to any location on the planet full time.
Of course that is the vision, which is many, many years out if it is to take place at all. But don’t make the mistake of thinking of this as having that single ambitious, one might even say grandiose, goal. The pursuit of this idea has produced advances in solar cells, flexible space-based structures and wireless power transfer, each of which can be applied in other areas. The vision may be the stuff of science fiction, but the science is progressing in a very grounded way.
For his part, Bren seems to be happy just to advance the ball on what he considers an important task that might not otherwise have been attempted at all.
“I have been a student researching the possible applications of space-based solar energy for many years,” he told Caltech. “My interest in supporting the world-class scientists at Caltech is driven by my belief in harnessing the natural power of the sun for the benefit of everyone.”
We’ll check back with the SSPP ahead of launch.
How to create an XML sitemap and submit it to Google
- A sitemap is one of the technical sides of SEO.
- A sitemap doesn’t boost your SEO traffic but helps search engines index your web pages faster.
- It’s very easy to create an XML sitemap and doesn’t require any coding knowledge.
- Once a sitemap is created, you need to submit it to Google.
- Through your Google Search Console dashboard, you can see detailed index coverage reports and fix any technical errors if present.
- Founder of WPMyWeb.com, Jyoti Ray guides you through the process of creating an XML sitemap using different tools and details on how you can fix existing sitemap errors.
When it comes to SEO, there are over hundreds of Google ranking factors you need to master as well as execute them in order to increase your search engine visibility. Believe me, it’s lots of work – generating content ideas, keyword researching, creating high-quality content, building backlinks, auditing your website, etc. And working on each of the techniques is time-consuming and requires lots of effort. Fortunately, there are some SEO techniques that are easier to perform but have a huge impact on SEO. One of them is – submitting an XML sitemap to Google.
Although a sitemap is one of the parts of “technical SEO”, it doesn’t require any technical knowledge, and most importantly, it’s free and easier to create.
Even, in just 10-15 minutes, you can create an XML sitemap and submit it to Google.
So, in this article, we will first explain what is an XML sitemap, why do you need a sitemap, and then show you how to create an XML sitemap and submit it to Google. Let’s get started.
What is an XML sitemap?
A sitemap is a list of a website’s URLs. It’s a roadmap of a website that tells Google what information is available and where to find it. A sitemap contains important information about each URL, such as – when a post or page was last updated, how often do you change, etc.
The best part of a sitemap is that you can specify what pages, posts, or media files to be indexed by search engines crawlers.
Sitemaps are specially written for search engines, not for humans. So, it would be hard for us to understand if not seen before.
Here’s how an XML sitemap looks:
Why do you need a sitemap?
Search engines use crawlers to find and index all the information on the web. While crawling a page, they use both internal and external links to discover new content.
However, if a new webpage hasn’t linked from other known pages, crawlers find it difficult to discover new pages on a website, and as a result, the indexing process gets delayed.
That’s where a sitemap comes.
A sitemap doesn’t only contain a bunch of valuable links but also helps Search Engine crawlers to discover new information faster.
Once you submit your XML sitemap file to Google, you can see that all new posts/pages you are publishing are available somewhere on Google search results (after a couple of minutes). It’s because of the sitemap file.
When do you need to use a sitemap?
Not everyone needs a sitemap. Google has its own complex algorithm to schedule crawling.
Google officially stated when a webmaster needs a sitemap:
- Your website is really large
- Your website is brand new and has few external links pointing to it
- You don’t build internal links
However, in most cases, having a sitemap could be beneficial in a few ways.
Now I know the basics of a sitemap, let’s see how to create an XML sitemap and submit it to Google.
How to create an XML sitemap
Creating a sitemap is very simple. You can use an online tool to generate an XML sitemap and for WordPress sites, there are plenty of plugins available.
I will show both of them.
1. Creating a sitemap in WordPress
More than 35% of the total websites are powered by WordPress.
If you run a WordPress site, you can create a sitemap using a plugin.
There are several WordPress plugins available that allow you to create an XML sitemap, such as Yoast SEO, Rank Math SEO, etc.
Method 1, Create a sitemap using Yoast SEO
Yoast is one of the best SEO plugins for WordPress. Yoast plugin helps you to optimize your page titles, meta descriptions, SEO analysis, etc.
It also has an option to create an XML sitemap.
If you are not using the Yoast SEO plugin, download and install it from the WordPress plugin directory.
Follow the steps below
From your WordPress admin panel, go to Plugins > Add New and search for “Yoast SEO”.
Once activated, go to SEO > General > Features. Click on the Question icon to reveal the sitemap URL.
Method two – Creating a sitemap using Rank Math SEO
If you are using the Rankmath SEO plugin, you can generate a sitemap like the way you created using the Yoast SEO plugin.
But, I prefer using the Rank Math plugin because it gives more advanced options that are missing in Yoast SEO.
First, log in to your WordPress dashboard and go to Plugins > Add New.
Search for “Rank Math” and install it.
Upon activation, go to Rank Math > sitemap Settings.
From there, you can set how many links you want per sitemap page, exclude URLs, images in posts, etc.
At the top, you can see your sitemap URL which looks like:
Now, you are ready to submit to Google Search Console.
2. Creating a sitemap without a CMS
If you are not using any CMS, you can still generate a sitemap.
For this case, Screaming Frog would be a great option. Screaming Frog is a desktop-based program (available on Windows & Mac) that crawls your website. The software comes both in free and premium versions.
If your site has less than 500 URLs, you can start using the free version of Screaming Frog to generate a sitemap.
Follow the steps given below
Once downloaded and installed, open the software on your computer.
At the top of the screen, enter your website URL and click on Start.
It will start crawling your site and may take a few minutes to finish.
Once the crawl is finished, take a look at what pages are being crawled.
If the number is below 500, then you are good to go.
From the top of the menu section, click on sitemap > XML sitemaps.
You can also include or exclude any options that you want in your sitemap file, such as Noindex pages, last modified date, Paginated URLs, PDFs, Images, etc.
I recommend keeping this default, however, you are free to make any modifications.
Once done, hit on the Export button and save the file on your computer.
Your XML sitemap file is ready to use.
3. Creating a sitemap in Wix
If you are using Wix, then you don’t need to manually create a sitemap.
Wix does it automatically.
You can view your sitemap file by going to “your-wix-site.com/sitemap.xml”.
However, in Wix, you wouldn’t have much control over your sitemap.
If you want to exclude a page from the sitemap, simply go to the “SEO (Google)” settings tab under page settings and turn off “Show this page in search results”.
Note: Wix recommends that you submit your sitemap each time you make any changes.
4. Creating a sitemap in Squarespace
Like Wix, Squarespace also creates a sitemap automatically.
You can view your sitemap by adding “/sitemap.xml” at the end of your website’s URL, which is “your-website.com/sitemap.xml”.
You can’t manually edit your sitemap in Squarespace, however, you can exclude pages from search results.
To perform this, go to Page setting and check “Hide this page from search engine results” in the SEO tab.
5. Creating a sitemap in Shopify
Shopify automatically generates an XML sitemap file for you. You can view your sitemap file by going to “your-website.com/sitemap.xml”.
The generated sitemap contains all the products, collections, blogs, and webpages. The sitemap files automatically updated when made any changes.
Now your sitemap file is ready for submission.
Suggested read – How to optimize your Shopify site for SEO
How to submit an XML sitemap to Google
Now you have just created an XML sitemap file, it’s time for submitting to Google.
For this, you will need to connect your Google Search Console account with your website. Here’s the step by step procedure by Google.
Once connected, log in to your Google Search Console account and select your website.
From the dashboard, click on the sitemaps.
You will see the option “Add a new sitemap”. Enter your sitemap URL in the blank field, and hit the Submit button.
That’s it. Now, sit back and relax. Google will take care of the rest.
Fixing your sitemap errors to improve SEO
Generally, if your site consists of one or more technical errors, it’s really hard to figure it out. However, in most cases, it’s not even detectable unless you use a paid site auditor tool.
But, there is good news for you.
If you have submitted your sitemap to Google, you can see detailed index coverage reports to check if there is any technical error present on your site.
Log in to your Google Search Console account, and click on Coverage.
Then click on the Error, Valid with a warning, Valid, and Excluded tab to get the details.
From there, you can check pages for:
- Indexed but blocked by robots.txt
- Pages that have a server error (5xx)
- Excluded by ‘noindex’ tag
- Crawled but not indexed
- Not found (404)
- Page with redirect
- Blocked by robots.txt, and many more
Click on each of the error pages to check what you need to fix. Once done, you can request Google to mark it as fixed by clicking on Validate Fix.
Once you fix all the technical errors with the help of your XML sitemap file, you can see a significant improvement in your search traffic.
Creating an XML sitemap is very simple and doesn’t require any technical skills. If you are using WordPress, you can create a sitemap using SEO plugins in just a few clicks. It’s also easier if you are not using any CMS.
There is no evidence that a sitemap boosts your website’s SEO, but it helps Google to find and index your website’s content faster. I also recommend you use a sitemap.
Submitting a sitemap to Google is just a tiny part of the full SEO game.
Jyoti Ray is the Founder of WPMyWeb.com. He writes about blogging, WordPress tutorials, hosting, and affiliate marketing.
The post How to create an XML sitemap and submit it to Google appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
How to Create Thumb-stopping Social Ads
No one is really looking forward to seeing another ad. Overcome banner blindness with Bahador’s top tips for creating attention-grabbing social media ads.
Read more at PPCHero.com
How to create a consistent omnichannel customer experience
- Customers today have high standards when it comes to their online shopping experiences, so you can’t afford to be lax with your operation.
- Before you do anything else, you should create some in-depth brand guidelines to steer your company’s creative and conversational output.
- Responding quickly is paramount because it shows that you’re committed to excellent service and are paying attention to what people are saying.
- By closely tracking when people reach out to you and storing relevant information, you can provide a personalized — and impressive — support service.
Since the rise of ecommerce to a position of prominence, an omnichannel customer experience has steadily become a stronger point of focus for ambitious brands, and it’s easy to understand why. Prices alone aren’t enough to sway shoppers or service users when the profit margins are so narrow, and occasional eye-catching deals won’t earn the loyalty that returns the most value.
At the same time, the complexity involved in the process of designing good customer experiences has skyrocketed. Not only have expectations gone up immensely due to the standard-setting performance of the biggest brands in the world, but there’s also far more competition out there than ever before — and it’s so much harder to stand out.
Notably, it isn’t enough to provide great customer experiences through just one channel. However you reach our customers, you must always offer the same level of polish. This is where the omnichannel approach comes in, pushing you to focus on what you do (being highly actionable with your inbound marketing) instead of where you do it.
Here are some tips to create a consistent omnichannel customer experience:
1. Design and adhere to clear brand guidelines
A great omnichannel customer experience first and foremost would need you to have a set of brand guidelines in place to ensure that every area of your customer service is on the same page. This becomes more of an issue the more people you have working in your business. Knowing that the preferred company tone is one of genial informality, for instance, will prevent an errant support assistant from being overly critical.
And if you think that isn’t particularly important, consider how quickly negative comments can spread through social media. If someone has a great experience dealing with your support team through Facebook but sees some scathing remarks about you on Twitter, it will (at the very least) tilt them towards questioning you. Depending on the identity and influence of the complainant, it may even completely invert their opinion of you.
It’s a good idea to put a system in place to monitor feedback from all relevant avenues because otherwise, you’d need to manually trawl channels to see if anyone mentions you. There are plenty of tools on the market capable of doing this, so I suggest checking out HubSpot’s roundup to see which one might work best for you.
2. Invest in being extremely responsive
Customers can afford to be demanding at this point. Even if there weren’t so many businesses making similar products and services available that any given one (with rare exceptions) could be replaced with a substitute at any time, we’re inarguably living in a time of consumer power. Anyone who’s willing to publicly call out a company can cause it no end of trouble.
If you want to consistently keep customers happy across all possible platforms, you don’t just need to normalize your responsiveness: you need to normalize impressive responsiveness. When an issue comes to your attention, you must take action to address it extremely quickly. This will show that you’re actually invested in making things better.
This will partially come down to implementing smart automation, particularly through using chatbots, though be mindful of the need to adhere to the aforementioned brand guidelines. Don’t just slot in a generic design: provided you’ve chosen a decent platform, you should be able to customize your website’s live chat with your brand colors, your preferred design elements, and — most importantly — content that suits your tone. Extend this philosophy to your social chatbots (anything you deploy via Facebook Messenger, for instance).
In addition to that, you need support assistants that can promptly handle any complex issues that arise. Don’t worry too much about immediately meeting demand, though, because you can’t realistically have enough people to address issues in real-time during crunch periods. Instead, ensure that every issue gets acknowledged (most likely by a chatbot) and that you have a guaranteed response window that’s clearly indicated so everyone knows where they stand.
3. Use platform-independent issue and loyalty tracking
Imagine that one customer reaches out to you via Twitter because they need some help with choosing a product. You provide that assistance, then they go on their way. Later, you receive an email from that customer seeking further information, but the assistant responsible for helping ends up sending them the same information they were previously given.
This is an awkward scenario because it can easily make the customer feel insignificant and unmemorable. Is it your fault? Well, not exactly, but it depends on the exact circumstances. Did the person responsible for the email reply ask the customer if they’d made a prior query? Did the social media assistant note down their details? You shouldn’t expect your customers to track these things. Where it’s convenient, they’ll ignore previous queries if they possibly can.
What you need, then, is a combination of two elements: a platform-independent cloud-based CRM tool (CRM meaning customer relationship management: here’s a good example) and a standard procedure for ensuring that every notable customer interaction is appropriately logged.
Whenever a support assistant speaks to an existing or prospective customer, they should note things like their social media handles and their email address. When subsequent interactions arise, then, you can impress that customer by already knowing what they’re looking for and what they might need support with.
We’ve only looked at a few tips here, but they’re particularly important ones when you’re trying to consistently outperform your competition when it comes to omnichannel customer experience. Assuming your website itself is well optimized (running quickly, being responsive even on mobile connections, and scaling with demand), a renewed focus on brand identity and comprehensive live support could be just what you need.
The post How to create a consistent omnichannel customer experience appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
How to use personal passions to create meaningful content
- Nearly half of all consumers consume plenty of content before deciding on a purchase, so brands should focus on crafting compelling, useful reads.
- If you position your brand as a trusted source, people are five times likelier to look to you for pre-purchase information.
- RAPP copywriter Jack Schuleman shares three tips for encouraging a team to use personal passions to write richer content.
Content is still one of the best ways to engage consumers. Create meaningful content, and you offer like-minded customers more reason to get involved and invested with your brand. Whether information is coming from peers, family, or brands, people like the feeling of being understood. That’s what meaningful content does. It makes the individual feel seen and heard.
Besides, nearly half of all consumers engage with copious amounts of content before arriving at a purchase decision. This is the perfect opportunity to persuade with a compelling, useful read and move the ultimate choice in your favor. It may also help position your brand as a trusted source, which has benefits of its own. Individuals will be five times more likely to look to you for information prior to a purchase, giving you yet another opportunity to persuade.
The question then is, how do you go about crafting a meaningful piece of content?
The power behind a passion
It all comes down to one two-syllable word: passion. Personal passion makes all the difference in the creation of meaningful content. It brings deeper insights into an intended audience. You already know what that community likes, engages with, and finds compelling. If you’ve spent a life immersed in a given subject, you know these people on an intimate level.
I’m a car guy. Anybody who knows me knows that. Working for an automobile client now, I’m able to incorporate my wealth of industry knowledge into the work — and get a little return on the years of magazine subscriptions. It’s allowed me to tap into not only my passion for cars but my understanding of the people who own and love them.
Take an SUV, for instance. One buyer’s interest stems from a desire to go off-roading regularly, while another may only use it to go to the mall. Other than the obvious, what’s the meaningful difference between the two? Where might their interests coincide? How can you speak to both effectively? My passion affords me a better understanding of how to write to either one of these customers, helping to craft more compelling and engaging content.
Unleashing the full enthusiasm
Using a passion to inform content is straightforward, but instilling this idea throughout a team can take some time. There’s a comfort level that varies from one person to the next. But there are few steps to make the process easier, and it goes something like this:
1. Find opportunities to utilize your passion
Integrating your passions into your work can certainly have a positive impact on your job performance. I can attest to that. It simply comes through in the work — and, best of all, consumers can feel it. When customers understand that the people behind the brand are passionate about the products, it sets an expectation: You can trust us to deliver quality goods. In fact, studies show that communicating passion in your advertising influences everything from purchase behaviors to brand attitudes. Look for the opportunities in the workplace to best utilize your passions. Ask to take part in that work.
2. Bring more of yourself to work
My previous team knew I was into cars, so they were more than willing to keep an ear to the ground should something on the automotive front open up. Had I decided to leave that part of myself at home, who knows whether I’d be working on that client today? Not that you need to divulge your entire personal life to co-workers, but sharing more of your “self” in the workplace allows you to bring your passions with you each day. You can more easily lean on your enthusiasm and do your best, most innovative work. There’s a lot of potential in that.
3. Give credit where credit is due
Whether ideas come from trade publications or industry events, lived experiences advance the work. So you should feel comfortable sharing its origin; it won’t make the idea any less valuable or worthwhile. And while on the topic, look for suggestions outside the confines of your department. Someone from customer service, for example, could provide valuable insights for your next marketing campaign. Ask for ideas. Challenge teams to bring new concepts to the table, and provide feedback on what you like most about it. The constant exchange can create momentum throughout your company and encourage everyone to think outside the box.
Speaking from a place of knowledge will always be more compelling. It simply provides an air of expertise that consumers respond to. Of course, each individual has only so many interests, which is why building a team with an eclectic mix of hobbies, passions, and lifestyles is essential to an agency or marketing department. The more backgrounds you can get, the better off your team will be — and you’ll see it in your content.
Jack Schuleman is a writer who never learned the meaning of the phrase “slow down”. After a lifetime of drag shows, car meets, and all sorts of misadventures, he’s been able to apply his unique point of view and improv-honed creativity into engaging copy across nonprofits, automotive brands, and tech companies. Now writing for Toyota, he’s pursuing the most elusive target yet: a 100% click-through rate.
The post How to use personal passions to create meaningful content appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
Agency lead generation: How to create white papers that convert
- Agency lead generation strategies are top of mind right now and attracting more leads regularly has become a challenge with more and more content being available online now.
- Agile marketers are paving the path forward combining technology and talent.
- You can boost lead generation using content that adds value to your prospects—content such as white papers.
- Venngage’s Content Marketer, Ronita Mohan shares a five-step guide to design papers that will generate leads for your agency.
Agency lead generation strategies are top of mind right now. Attracting more leads regularly has become a challenge—the world is more online, but that also means that there is more content available.
Rising above the noise to draw in the right leads can seem like an impossible task. But we’re here to tell you that it isn’t.
You can boost lead generation using content that adds value to your prospects—content such as white papers.
While designing white papers from scratch can be tricky, there are online resources to create attractive white paper designs that boost brand awareness and increase conversions.
So, how do you create white papers that convert? We share a five-step guide to design papers that will generate leads for your agency.
1. Target agency lead generation audiences
Before you design a white paper, you need to define the audiences who will read it.
While your agency may have a diverse set of clients, when you’re trying to generate leads, you need to narrow down your focus.
You don’t want to create content that aims to please everyone—the chances are, you will end up attracting no one.
Generic content is easier to create—there’s a proliferation of it online. But you want your content to stand out in the crowd. That is how prospective clients will notice your agency.
To do this, you should study your market segments and answer these questions:
- What pain points do your clients have?
- How can your agency resolve those issues?
- Is your current market large enough for your service?
- Are there market gaps that you should explore?
- What kind of content has already been successful?
Following this process will help you understand your audience’s needs better. This will make it easier to choose topics and designs for your white paper and boost conversions.
2. Define topics for agency lead generation white papers
Now that you’ve defined your audience—and you know your goal is agency lead generation—you need to pick a topic that is suitable for your prospects.
Remember, your aim with your content is to provide solutions to your clients’ pain points—that should be the driving factor behind creating any kind of content.
There are a few ways to find topics of interest for your prospects.
One method is to send survey questions to your existing clients asking them what kind of content they would like to see from you.
You can also look at content that has already done well on social media, past white papers, and blog posts. This will help you decide which topics attract the most views.
Consider searching online for keywords related to your clients. Google’s longtail keyword suggestions are a great place to find new content ideas.
Plus, SERP results give you an idea of what content is being searched for and why.
It is best to get granular with your white paper topics. Instead of creating a paper on the wider topic of brand awareness, the below example focuses on brand positioning.
If you’re writing about email marketing—which is a broad topic—consider focusing on something narrower.
Write about incorporating user-generated content in emails, or how email marketing can be used to improve hiring rates.
You can also focus on specific aspects of your industry, such as the impact of phishing scams on company cybersecurity, or how to outsource IT departments.
The more targeted your topics are for your audience, the more likely they are to engage with your content.
3. Agency lead generation content creation
When you’re creating content designed for agency lead generation, your mind is on sales and conversions.
However, that shouldn’t be the primary thrust of your content. If you create white papers solely to sell your agency to leads, you might end up losing them instead of converting them.
Nobody wants to be sold to—especially when they’re investing time and energy into reading a white paper.
Additionally, white papers are gated content—they require interested parties to fill up a form to obtain access to the paper.
You can’t ask prospects to put in that much effort to get a piece of content that doesn’t enrich their lives or educate them about a topic.
But you do still need to convert prospects into clients. How can you do that?
Your white papers should be educational and informative about the subject matter, like in this example about employee engagement.
Do original research into the topic and include data that backs up your assertions.
Share case studies and illustrated use cases from your agency. Not only do case studies make for interesting content but they also act as testimonials for your work.
The process of attracting prospects should be organic—encourage them with well-researched and well-written white papers.
4. Designing white papers for agency lead generation
Your white paper needs to be interesting and engaging, but it also should be attractive to prospects.
You could create a Word document, export it as a PDF, and share that with your audience. But is that going to get prospects’ attention like this example below?
It is possible to design a white paper that is colorful and detailed with templates and even from scratch.
We outline how to design great white papers to improve your agency lead generation efforts.
Be on-trend with your agency lead generation white paper design
Your white paper needs to follow present graphic design trends. This is important because, while you want to stand out from a crowd, you don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb.
In the foreseeable future, these are some of the design trends agency marketers need to be aware of:
- Muted colors, not bold or neon colors
- Flat icons and illustrations, as opposed to 3D icons
- Geometric shapes, instead of the abstract, flowing shapes of 2019
- Classic Serif fonts, which are coming back into fashion
All these design elements will influence how you create your white paper and how successfully they draw in prospective clients.
Use visuals to design attractive lead-generating white papers
Visual communication has become one of the pillars of content marketing—which is why visuals need to be incorporated into your white paper design.
Start by designing an attractive cover page for your paper.
Similar to book covers, the top page of your paper has the power to draw people to read further, like in this example.
Your cover page should also convey what leads will find within the pages of the paper—don’t mislead them with visuals that are attractive but irrelevant.
Though papers are largely text-based, that doesn’t mean that visuals don’t help engage readers further.
You can use visuals like icons, illustrations, photos, and charts to add depth to your white paper. They also make the content more readable and scannable.
When using photos, look for imagery that reflects your target audience—that will make the white paper feel more relevant to your readers.
Structuring your agency lead generation white paper
We have already mentioned the importance of having a cover page for your paper. But you also need to include an index that outlines the chapters of the paper.
To make the process easier, always include page numbers in your white papers.
Readers will be able to return to sections they are interested in if they have an index to refer to, like in this example.
When you can, try to include quotes from experts in your field—this will give your paper more gravitas. Quotes should be highlighted with a bigger font size to vary the design.
In the same vein, include tables and text boxes that focus readers’ attention on specific facts and data.
Highlight key takeaways in the summary section of your paper—it is best to summarize your findings only after the paper is written.
Add a CTA in your agency lead generation white papers
What is the purpose of your paper? You want your prospects to perform some action.
That is why you need to include a call-to-action in your white paper—so that you can convert prospects into leads, and eventually into clients.
Here are some calls-to-action you can add to your papers:
- Subscribing to your newsletter
- Trying out your service
- Scheduling a call
- Learning more about your business
Ensure your CTA is visible and stands out on your page—this will encourage leads to click on it and travel further through your sales pipeline.
Repurpose content into agency lead generation white papers
Creating content for agency lead generation can be a tough task—especially when you have to build content from scratch.
But there is a workaround for agency marketing teams—repurposing existing content. Instead of creating the text and visuals for papers, breathe new life into what you already have.
For example, your company blog may have multiple posts around one topic. These can be collated into chapters for a paper.
Similarly, a webinar can be used to create a white paper, or a long eBook can be broken down into several white papers.
The possibilities for repurposing content are endless—keep an open mind and you can create papers that will generate more leads.
5. Agency lead generation white paper promotion
Congratulations, you’ve created a white paper! Now, what do you do?
Leads aren’t going to find your paper on their own. You need to actively promote your content.
There are numerous ways to get eyeballs on your paper. Here are a few promotion methods to follow:
Create blog posts around your white paper content and include a call-to-action to download the paper, like in this example.
Leads are more likely to access gated content if it has some context around it.
Promoting your white paper through an email campaign can boost downloads.
Share previews, statistics, or facts from the paper to entice your email list to click through to your paper’s landing page.
Write a follow-up email to everyone who downloads the paper to continue a conversation—this will increase conversions.
Social media marketing (SMM)
Leads use social media to find content and future partners all the time. Sharing white papers on your channels will increase visibility for your content and your brand.
Use social media tools to schedule posts about your white paper at relevant times to your audience.
You can build a landing page for your paper that includes a summary and key learnings—enough information to encourage leads to download your content.
Your page should include a simple form that prospective clients can fill in to access the paper—don’t ask for too much information, or they may be deterred from filling the form.
Promoting your content is a necessary step if you want to create agency lead generation strategies that convert.
Key takeaways: Prioritize audience needs to boost agency lead generation
Creating a white paper is a long process but a fruitful one that brings in more clients. To be successful, you need to follow a few crucial steps:
- Target your white paper audience
- Choose topics that are relevant to your leads
- Create content that will encourage leads to partner with you
- Design the white paper to attract leads
- Promote your content on multiple platforms
These steps will help you create white papers that will boost your agency lead generation efforts.
Ronita Mohan is a content marketer at the online infographic and design platform, Venngage.
The post Agency lead generation: How to create white papers that convert appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
How To Create State-of-the-Art Campaign Proposals
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Privacy data management innovations reduce risk, create new revenue channels
Privacy data mismanagement is a lurking liability within every commercial enterprise. The very definition of privacy data is evolving over time and has been broadened to include information concerning an individual’s health, wealth, college grades, geolocation and web surfing behaviors. Regulations are proliferating at state, national and international levels that seek to define privacy data and establish controls governing its maintenance and use.
Existing regulations are relatively new and are being translated into operational business practices through a series of judicial challenges that are currently in progress, adding to the confusion regarding proper data handling procedures. In this confusing and sometimes chaotic environment, the privacy risks faced by almost every corporation are frequently ambiguous, constantly changing and continually expanding.
Conventional information security (infosec) tools are designed to prevent the inadvertent loss or intentional theft of sensitive information. They are not sufficient to prevent the mismanagement of privacy data. Privacy safeguards not only need to prevent loss or theft but they must also prevent the inappropriate exposure or unauthorized usage of such data, even when no loss or breach has occurred. A new generation of infosec tools is needed to address the unique risks associated with the management of privacy data.
The first wave of innovation
A variety of privacy-focused security tools emerged over the past few years, triggered in part by the introduction of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) within the European Union in 2018. New capabilities introduced by this first wave of innovation were focused in the following three areas:
Data discovery, classification and cataloging. Modern enterprises collect a wide variety of personal information from customers, business partners and employees at different times for different purposes with different IT systems. This data is frequently disseminated throughout a company’s application portfolio via APIs, collaboration tools, automation bots and wholesale replication. Maintaining an accurate catalog of the location of such data is a major challenge and a perpetual activity. BigID, DataGuise and Integris Software have gained prominence as popular solutions for data discovery. Collibra and Alation are leaders in providing complementary capabilities for data cataloging.
Consent management. Individuals are commonly presented with privacy statements describing the intended use and safeguards that will be employed in handling the personal data they supply to corporations. They consent to these statements — either explicitly or implicitly — at the time such data is initially collected. Osano, Transcend.io and DataGrail.io specialize in the management of consent agreements and the enforcement of their terms. These tools enable individuals to exercise their consensual data rights, such as the right to view, edit or delete personal information they’ve provided in the past.
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