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How to use digital PR and cross-channel data to amplify organic growth

November 23, 2022 No Comments

How to use PR and cross-channel data to amplify organic growth

30-second summary:

  • With the right strategy, digital PR can help drive both brand awareness and organic performance
  • During an economic downturn, brand visibility is essential to maintain brand advocacy in the long-term
  • Brands that will come out on top are those that take a cross-channel approach to drive more ROI, using data from other channels to inform their approach

Despite being tempted to pull back on spending during a recession, I believe that it is critical that brands stay visible to maintain brand advocacy — and Digital PR is a great, low-cost way to do so.

Future front-runner brands will be those that adopt a cross-channel approach to drive more ROI, utilizing data from other channels to inform their approach and ensure it resonates with target audiences.

With the current economic climate, brands and businesses are understandably scrutinizing every cent, and will likely make cuts to marketing budgets across the globe. 

Businesses need to be realistic about their growth trajectory over the next few months and ensure every marketing dollar they invest is accounted for. While this may naturally lead to greater investment in performance channels, such as paid media, this will result in increased cost per click (CPCs). A way to still stay measurable but reduce costs is to get creative and focus energy on earning attention rather than continuing to pay for every click and impression.

As a result, I would argue that digital PR is one of the most important tools in your marketing toolkit, as, with the right strategy, it can drive both brand awareness and organic performance.

You’re missing a trick if you’re just using Digital PR to drive links

Digital PR is used to build high authority, and relevant links to key category pages to drive search performance through organic growth. A targeted strategy that aligns closely with SEO objectives will enable you to track ROI if you have the right measurement tools in place. This activity feeds into lower funnel marketing activity as it helps to harvest demand, as increased rankings capture better traffic and conversions. 

However, if you’re only using it for this purpose, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity further up the marketing funnel. 

Through securing brand-led, high-impact coverage on authoritative and influential publications, digital PR can also be used to drive search demand and upper-funnel brand awareness. This third-party validation is the perfect way to build salience, credibility, customer advocacy, and trust while simultaneously driving organic performance through high-quality links.

In order to achieve both brand and performance though, you need to be creating relevant and engaging content that your target audience wants to read and share. You shouldn’t be creating content ‘just for a link’ but taking into consideration wider business goals – and making sure you’re actually targeting press that your audience is reading.

In summary, digital PR shouldn’t just be an ‘intent-led’ marketing discipline to increase rankings. It’s a discipline that can both drive demand and awareness, whilst helping to capture intent-led traffic. 

Why brand visibility is even more important during a recession

Recessions are difficult and uncertain times, which is why it’s even more important to continue to build visibility and salience – as with tighter budgets, consumers are likely to become more selective and want to buy from brands that they trust that stay relevant to them.

We have seen in previous economic uncertainty brands that maintain their brand awareness and relevance, retain more market share, and are able to bounce back quicker. Mark Ritson’s marketing recession playbook provides further information and sources on this subject. 

In order to use digital PR to deliver true brand performance, you need to ensure you’re creating it based on as much cross-channel insight as possible.

Sharing cross-channel insight to deliver better ROI

While many marketers say they work ‘cross-channel,’ the reality is that many teams are still working in silos – especially across brand and performance teams.

To drive the best results, it is essential to break down silos and take data insights from each channel to develop one overarching strategy.

For example, to drive organic growth, while it’s critical to start with key SEO insight, search volumes, brand traffic, non-brand traffic, relevance, and the number of backlinks, you should be considering other channels to maximize performance. 

Another example would be that your PPC and paid search teams will have a lot of useful data that you can use to inform your organic strategy. Which are the keywords that are costing the most? You can tailor your efforts to improve organic rankings for these keywords, effectively allowing you to spend less on those terms. 

Your programmatic team will also have access to display placement reports which will provide insight into the publications and websites your in-market audience is visiting. This should then inform your target outreach list. From a paid social perspective, this team will have lots of useful information on what content performs the best providing valuable insight for your PR brainstorms.

Amplifying your Digital PR coverage further

You shouldn’t just be working with other channel teams to define your strategy, you need to work with them throughout the whole process, to amplify results. 

For instance, if you generate a truly fantastic piece of linking digital PR coverage, on a very credible publication. Whilst this will drive SEO performance and some brand awareness, in order to maximize the opportunity, and the valuable third-party validation, make it work even harder by amplifying through paid social.

Mini case study: Maryland cookies use PR to reach 5+ million people

Maryland came to us because they needed to align PR, programmatic, and paid social to drive mass awareness of their new Sugar-Free cookie and deliver an immediate surge in new customer sales. Through an integrated approach of PR, paid social, and programmatic, we reached 5.3 million people across all channels. View the case study here.

We have seen in past campaigns that by utilizing PR content as part of your social ads, not only can they actually perform better than the ad creative, but they can also help to prevent ad fatigue and provide you with additional assets (that you don’t need to pay anything extra for!). 

Immediate steps to help your 2023 marketing plan

In order to be successful, it’s important to create a framework that helps to pull all channels together. 

At Journey Further we use the ‘4Ds’ – Discover, Define, Develop, and Deliver. 

Discover

This phase involves asking all the channels to provide insight and data based on their recent campaigns and learnings to date. It is recommended to assign a client lead who can be tasked with pulling together a list of questions and a briefing document to ensure the discovery phase is as useful as possible. This will help identify where the biggest opportunities are across channels. 

Define

Agree on the best objective and goals based on the insight provided by all channels. Create an overarching strategy that will deliver against them and drive maximum ROI. 

Develop

Set a clear roadmap, with roles and responsibilities outlined across each channel. Whilst in the case of an organic growth strategy, SEO and PR will take the leading role, it’s important other channels are clear on the ways they can amplify the activity at each stage, and what learnings they can also gather from the activity to improve their own results in-channel. 

Deliver

Marketing activity is activated. If this is a digital PR campaign then influencer marketing and paid social tactics may be used for example, alongside outreach, to bolster the campaign and drive more buzz and engagement. 

Reporting on the right metrics

Another benefit of working cross-channel is that you will be able to report on many more metrics, giving a more holistic and accurate view of ROI. 

Creating a live, 24/7 reporting dashboard utilizing tools such as Data Studio will allow you and your team members to check in and monitor progress at all times. This will provide you with a continuous cycle of insight to allow you to continuously improve your marketing efforts and deliver one overarching strategy that enables you to remain visible while also driving performance.


Beth Nunnington is the VP of Digital PR and Content Marketing at Journey Further, leading Digital PR strategy for the world’s leading brands. Her work has been featured in The Drum, PR Moment, and Prolific North. Find Beth on Twitter @BethNunnington.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

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The post How to use digital PR and cross-channel data to amplify organic growth appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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From cookie, to beyond CRM and constant consent – why cookieless means a brighter future for digital experience

November 12, 2022 No Comments

The demise of the cookie as we know it may have been given yet another stay of execution by Google, but let there be no doubt: its end is coming. Yet, people are still underprepared: one recent study of 500 CMOs in the UK and US suggests that nearly 50 percent are not well prepared for the days when cookies become a thing of the past.

They are not alone. Repeated delays and a lack of concrete roadmaps for credible scalable long-term alternatives for identification, targeting, reporting and evolving marketing strategies are muddying the waters. However, there are steps which can and should be taken by businesses of all kinds to prepare for the day the cookie is finally removed from the jar. Parking the issue and sleeping on the job could prove more problematic in the long run, as the cookie has been one of the more foundational aspects of performance marketing and digital infrastructure as a whole. Preparing for its absence is a marathon, not a sprint.

It may not be sexy, but a full data compliance, first-party data and activation strategy needs to be a crucial first step. The problem with cookies is their ubiquity. We’ve all become very used to dealing with them; still, they are far from the be all and end all of recognising customers online and especially in these increasingly privacy-conscious days, they have significant limitations. Google’s own VP and GM of ads, Gerry Dischler, put it best: “Cookies and other third party identifiers which some are advocating for within the industry do not meet rising expectations that consumers have when it comes to privacy. They will not stand up to rapidly evolving regulatory restrictions. They simply cannot be trusted in the long term.”

Luckily, businesses have been gifted more breathing space to prepare for this coming paradigm shift both organisationally and technically in how brands and platforms garner consent, remain relevant and foster full-funnel, and long-term, relationships. Make no bones about it, the impact of cookie depreciation will be wide ranging. It will restrict the potential for remarketing, long a staple of online acquisition in an attempt to recapture the attention of those who may have looked at a product or site and slipped through the net. It will also limit resolution with walled gardens, which have become so influential. Brands often cannot envisage a future without liaison with Facebook or LinkedIn platforms to broaden the perspective on customers. Apple are already ahead having taken a product first stance on ad privacy opt-ins – given this path is now beaten, it looks set to be a well-trodden one. This may also trigger a complete overhaul of consent and re-evaluation of remarketing as a strategy, and many should be acting now to overhaul their first party data consent if they re-imagine their propositions in a new, cookie-free future.

The reappraisal of data doesn’t stop there – to fill perceived gaps in knowledge we are looking at a rise again in use of second party data sources and partnerships, and profiling to build a more complete view of the customer. As ad networks’ audiences diminish, the size, scale and accuracy of cross-device tracking will make it harder and less valuable to sequence creative. CRM approaches will become much more valuable as a result, evolving into Experience Relationship Management (ERM) and providing a much richer view of customer behaviour. This will fold CRM-to-ERM strategies much more closely back into digital planning, but also drive yet further focus on consent. This in turn will raise the bar for value exchanges with consumers – basic offerings will no longer suffice, and bolder service exchanges will be needed to match the needs of audiences who are well aware of the value of their time, attention and data. When you need to reaffirm consent frequently, you open regular doors to people jumping ship. The value to stay needs to be significant.

The relationship between brand and publisher will also change – no longer as simple as starting with ‘dropping a cookie’, the onus will be on brands to pass express and clear first party consent on to any intended publisher for enrichment. Data clean rooms and an owned-ID graph will become much more widespread to manage this process alongside dynamically maintained consent practice. We also expect to see further IP masking develop, again following the path beaten by Apple with Mail’s ability to mask tracking pixels, and to mask IP addresses from email senders. All of this combines to make brand trust in data handling and stewardship a fundamental given within the post-cookie world.

All of this may seem like a lot – effectively some of the longstanding fabric of digital marketing practice and internet infrastructure is being unpicked, without clarity on what will replace it. But brands and marketers can take action to prepare for what comes next. Embrace changes of adtech partners, who are also better prepared for the newly cookieless landscape. Rethink consent and the reciprocal value exchanges to consumers. Amplify current data collection, and find an ID resolution partner who suits your purposes. Start to build second party data partnerships, and ultimately, recognise that tough conversations are coming and necessary. The cookie-free future might seem uncertain, scary and unfamiliar, but it is worth remembering it’s roots and the often missed potential. Cookies have always been given credibility without question which for technologists has always been a frustration. The cookieless future should remove the limits they have long set on the market, and instead open up a new, broader and richer future for well-rounded and valuable digital experiences with audiences as a whole.

There are some key actions that we’ve been taking with our savvy clients over the past 12-24 months which turn what can seem like a daunting negative into a consumer focused positive:

  1. Assess your vendor list to see which partners you already have, and may not be utilising their data clean room functionality e.g. Microsoft, AppsFlyer, Snowflake, AWS and GCP. Don’t be scared off by putting your eggs into one basket – the whole purpose of the clean room is to be a safe platform agnostic home for all your 1st part data to broker its integration between your external marketing ecosystem partners

realtime monitoring of the marketing ecosystem

  1. Get your technology, product marketing, data and experience design teams talking seriously about evolving your data-value exchanges. Start evolving now, and accelerate if you’ve already started. Move beyond newsletter sign-ups, voucher-codes and re-engagement well after purchase. Build true unique reasons to sign-up and keep connected with your brand e.g. exclusive bundles, loyalty only you can do, sustainability and community programmes that amplify reasons to share data beyond the core products. This can include recycling schemes, pop-up experiences, and partner events.
  2. Don’t forget that the 3rd party cookie-sunset doesn’t shut the door on partner data sharing. Use your clean room (AKA. CDP, DMP 2.0) to broker meaningful and transparent relationships with trusted partners whose proposition is complimentary or can extend new value-adds to your customer base.
  3. .. don’t forget addressing the measurement challenges that the cookie-sunset is already causing. Rethink or reconsider Multi-touch Attribution. It has fallen short of delivering on its promises. Multi-touch Attribution is developing a reputation for failure. It’s NOT about deploying an off the shelf CDP/DMP or attribution modeling solution and hey-presto!

It’s ABOUT combining all available data to interpret and contextualise performance drivers, to demystify contributors and influence confident optimisation – we call this Full-funnel Attribution outputs of which include:

  • Marketing spend with attributed view lens (e.g. Attributed vs Last Click)
  • Channel contribution to drive trusted budget reallocation
  • Explore conversion paths to easily act on conversion blockers
  • Act on segment impact to optimise linear spend and invest in specific cohorts
  • Content effectiveness attributes value to pages and contribution to conversion
  • Project and campaign incrementality drill-downs to map performance attributed to specific initiatives run across teams
  • Unify measurement of search (Paid + Organic) to align strategies and begin to eliminate cannibalisation – starting to confidently prove incrementality

 

funnel attribution modelling without the cookie


Anthony Magee is the Director of data and experience technology at SYZYGY.

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The post From cookie, to beyond CRM and constant consent – why cookieless means a brighter future for digital experience appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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How To Use Statistics in Digital Marketing

November 11, 2022 No Comments

Marketing, traditional or digital, relies mostly on human psychology. As a marketer, you can follow a few fundamental customs that have worked for similar businesses in the past but can never be too sure about its success until it works. It’s especially true in the case of traditional marketing, where a lack of metrics is quite evident. 

However, with the rise of analytics, numbers have started to play a major role in the success of digital marketing approaches. For example, now that marketers know email marketing, on average they get a return of $ 36 for every $ 1 invested and they can spend a lot more resources on it. 

Statistics offer the much-needed support that marketing strategies need to precisely hit the target audience and their pain points. In this article, we’ll discuss the use of statistics in various digital marketing strategies. 

1. Use of Statistics in Content Marketing

Content marketing involves producing and distributing content in the form of videos, blogs, and social media posts to stimulate interest in the product or service. Although the objective is to generate sales, content marketing doesn’t explicitly promote the products to the audience. 

When you put your first set of content out, a huge engagement and conversion shouldn’t be expected. As you keep uploading content, you start to understand who your ideal audience is and what you can do to refine your approach with content marketing statistics. As a business owner wondering how to grow your business online, closely monitoring the marketing statistics with statistical data analysis methods can help you identify the trends early on, to make the best use of them.

A handy tool for tracking content is Google Analytics. It offers a wide range of metrics including:

  • Traffic, 
  • Bounce rate, 
  • Average session duration, and 
  • Demographics. 

If your content is indexed, you’ll start seeing numbers on these pages. If an underwhelming output is perceived, you need to tweak your approach to satisfy the needs of your intended audience. 

For example, suppose the session duration is lower than expected without it being a fault of the website. In that case, it tells a content marketer that the users aren’t taking the content as valuable and bouncing back sooner than intended. It empowers the marketer to work on it and try something that may work better—like a long-form blog post.  

Another use of statistics in content marketing is keyword research. Content is costly, and resources and money are wasted if you don’t put enough effort into researching the keywords that your content may rank on. The search volume, YoY change, and other attributes are factored in while researching for keywords. Depending on the industry and ranking, you can either go with short-tail keywords or longer ones. 

2. Use of Statistics in Paid Advertisements

It’s quite challenging to generate leads and gain customers without paid advertisements. Although content marketing strategies are great for long-term returns, they don’t work well to get quick returns as paid ads do. Social media platforms, search engines, and mobile apps are major sources of paid ads. 

Statistics and paid ads are linked together to a great extent. Although it may seem like you can get increasing returns by spending more on ads, it’s often not the case. Even if your ads are optimized, it takes in-depth data analytics to generate a satisfactory ROI. 

Irrespective of the platform, you need extensive insights to help you optimize your ads. But let’s keep the discussion limited to Google Ads for they are as effective and complex as you would need.

When starting with Google Ads for any business, different marketers take different approaches. But all of them rely on ad statistics. A common strategy is to start with the PPC model. In this model, the marketer takes the necessary keywords and produces ads that run on a pay-per-click billing system. This often results in great engagement and provides the marketer with insights about the ideal customers and demographics. You can tweak your ads depending on these information sets. 

Following the success of the PPC campaign, you can either go with the conversion or ROAS model. However, if your target is to generate leads or increase brand awareness, you may go a different way depending on your requirements and industry. 

3. Use of Statistics in Social Media Marketing

Social media has become an integral part of marketing campaigns for most B2B and B2C businesses. Although the average conversion rate from social media is quite limited, being free, they’re great for brand awareness campaigns. However, you may need to tweak your approach and content depending on the particular platform.

These constant “tweaks” that you need to implement in your social media marketing rely on statistics. Even though some platforms have more users than others, they may not be the best for your business and industry. 

For example, if you’re an HR SaaS provider, you may find better engagement on LinkedIn than on TikTok. On the other hand, if you’re selling cosmetics, Instagram may be the best place. Marketers should determine which platform deserves their time and resources through statistics.

Statistics is also used in social media marketing to determine the ideal customer profile. As social media users are diverse in terms of their interests and demographics, the harvested data from previous post engagements offer a great insight into who might be your best customer. You can build your sales funnel around their demographic, interests, and behavior to maximize the interactions & conversions. 

Social media is also great for understanding customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and feedback. The homogenous data from the platforms allows social media marketers to understand their prospects better and analyze what can be done to improve unfortunate situations.   

4. Use of Statistics in Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is not only about indexing a page and backlinking. It also revolves around: 

  • Mobile Optimization 
  • User experience
  • Internal links
  • Domain authority
  • URLs
  • Relevance
  • Keywords
  • And of course—content! 

As a marketer, it’s your responsibility to take care of these elements statistically before engaging in other marketing approaches. 

Google search console and Analytics are notably competent tools for this purpose. From providing data about search performances to letting you know about the responsiveness of your website, they make it easier for marketers to leverage statistics to their benefit. They also help you check the website speed and keywords. By following the recommendations provided by the tools, you can rank higher on SERPs. You also can use PageSpeed Insights to get in-depth statistics on the performance and user experience. 

5. Use of Statistics in Email Marketing

We already discussed how effective email marketing is in terms of ROI generation. But to get that sort of return, marketers fall back on statistics to a great extent. Moreover, as emails are heavily filtered and neglected by the majority of email clients and users, extensive statistical data analysis methods are essential for them to be nearly as effective. Let’s discuss a few of them: 

  • Clickthrough Rate

It’s the most common tracking mechanism for any email marketer. The clickthrough rate (CTR) is calculated by how many recipients have clicked on one or more links in the email. You can use the data to conduct A/B tests and tweak your future emails to engage more customers. 

  • Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is determined by the percentage of users who complete a specific action after clicking on a link. It could be purchasing a product or filling out a lead generation form. These stats are highly effective in informing marketers about their emails’ viability and conversion rate optimization. 

  • Bounce Rate

Different from the bounce rate mentioned earlier, the email bounce rate is the percentage of emails that couldn’t be delivered to the recipient’s inbox. It could be a technical issue or a typo, but you must consider removing the hard-bounced emails immediately. Failing to do so can influence your other metrics negatively. 

  • Forwarding Rate

The number of recipients that clicked on the “Share” or “Forward” button present in the box determines the forwarding rate. These tracking measures are mostly used for email newsletters and content. However, you may use it to lure newer inactive prospects into making a sale and reaching hitherto territories. 

  • Unsubscribe Rate

Although not a reliable stat, unsubscribe rates often allow you to understand how the recipients are reacting to your emails. If you’re getting a lot of unsubscribe requests, you may want to change your email marketing strategy before it does more damage. 

FAQ

1. What is the role of statistics in digital marketing?

In marketing, statistics are used to identify market trends, measure and evaluate marketing programs, and assess their effectiveness. In order to be successful in a campaign, it’s important to identify the target market accurately as well as use effective marketing communication channels.

2. What is the best way to analyze data in digital marketing?

Here are some ways to analyze data:

  • Site Traffic
  • Engagement on social media
  • ROAS
  • C.T.R

3. How does digital data analysis work?

 The purpose of digital analytics is to provide you with a better understanding of what and how users are looking for products and services, and how to enhance your customer experience and strategies by analyzing digital quantitative and qualitative data from all the digital platforms.

4. What happens if I disregard statistics and work on intuition? 

If you fully devote yourself to your intuitions by ditching statistics, you may succeed a few times, but you won’t be able to provide results consistently. 

5. What are some effective tools to source marketing statistics? 

Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Ahrefs, PageSpeed Insights, Google Keyword Planner, etc. are great tools for generating data for marketing purposes. 

The Bottom Line

Hopefully, you’ve understood how digital marketers use statistics to their advantage. Possibly, if you have ever been involved in any digital marketing efforts, you’ve used statistics to refine your approaches. Statistics help digital marketers make informed decisions to maximize their strategies. 

The post How To Use Statistics in Digital Marketing first appeared on PPC Hero.

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A Letter to New Digital Marketers

July 14, 2021 No Comments

Dear new digital marketers: here are a few tips that you can actively do now to jumpstart your growth as a digital marketer or PPC specialist.

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The New AI Tools On the Scene in Digital Marketing

July 2, 2021 No Comments

Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the digital marketing world. Here are some of the best AI tools currently available for small businesses.

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The New Wave of Digital Marketing in the Post-Pandemic World

June 25, 2021 No Comments

The pandemic greatly accelerated the evolution of digital marketing, creating new marketing trends and opportunities for businesses in a short period of time.

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Here’s how you can master your next seasonal digital marketing campaign

June 18, 2021 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • To ensure organic visibility for your seasonal pages, start creating, optimizing, and analyzing them now
  • Start creating, organizing, and scheduling seasonal content assets now for a head-start when it’s time to start focusing on driving sales
  • Evaluate your past seasonal content performance to be able to recycle, update, and possibly even expand them into standalone projects
  • Research your competitive tactics to evaluate how they utilize seasonality in their digital marketing strategy
  • Create a detailed editorial calendar to plan out all assignments and deadlines to “catch” the rising interest in seasonal content and deals

Summer is a slow season for many businesses, especially those in a B2B niche. If things are a bit slow for you now, here’s an idea – Use these quiet months to turn your next big season into a huge boost for your business. Here is how you can start preparing for your next big seasonal content marketing campaign now:

1. Check your seasonal rankings now

Do you have a page (or pages) offering seasonal deals, gift ideas, and special offers? The demand for this type of content may be seasonal but its rankings should be permanent. That’s why I always advise against removing these pages or even delinking them throughout the site.

You want those pages to always be accessed by Google for your rankings to be there when the searches start climbing.

If you cannot find your site ranking for your target seasonal queries, it is time to set them up even if the actual season is still months ahead.

Seasonal campaignsSource: Screenshot created by the author

Furthermore, Spyfu offers a comprehensive analysis of all SERP movements for you to identify important patterns and spot a competitor that was doing the best job retaining their organic visibility for seasonal search queries:

SERP analysis of seasonal marketing campaignsSource: Screenshot created by the author

Read more about this feature here.

When it comes to SEO, seasonality can be tricky but it definitely needs to be planned ahead as organic SEO takes time to yield results.

2. Start creating seasonal assets (content and social)

Your high season is going to be a busy time for you and your team, so while planning your upcoming campaigns, start creating (and even scheduling) your content assets beforehand.

When brainstorming seasons content ideas, I always turn to Text Optimizer that does a great job suggesting related concepts and angles to focus on:

Semantic search for seasonal content ideas

Source: Screenshot created by the author

The tool relies on semantic analysis.

Content marketing involves a lot of channels, so the more you are prepared, the easier (and more productive) your seasonal campaign will turn out to be.

Furthermore, there are a few cross-channel content marketing tools that can help create and organize your seasonal content. For example, Boosted by Lightricks allows you to easily create festive videos in multiple formats:

Formats for cross channel marketingSource: Screenshot created by the author

This way you can create content assets that will fit all of your channels. There’s also a handy Brand Kit feature allowing you to maintain a consistent visual identity throughout all your assets:

Creating a brand kit for seasonal campaignsSource: Screenshot created by the author

The app is available on iPhone and Android for free. You can choose to upgrade for $ 4.99 per month. I for one have been using the free tier (and the above screenshots are taken when using the free version of the app).

The platform also offers a list of seasonal content ideas and hashtags to make your campaign even more effective.

There are a few more video creation apps out there but I don’t think any of them let you access so many great features for free.

Another great content creation tool that gives you lots of free features for free is, of course, Canva. I’ve been using Canva for free for as long as I can remember without ever having to upgrade.

Christmas campaignsSource: Screenshot created by the author

Here’s the guide on planning a Christmas marketing campaign.

3. Evaluate your past seasonal campaign performance

If you were publicizing any seasonal content over the years, find all of it to:

  • Explore an opportunity for an update (“Can I reuse this asset this year?” as well as “How can I make it better?”)
  • Evaluate how effective it was in attracting traffic as well as turning those clicks into conversions

Google Analytics offers an easy way to identify landing pages that did the best job attracting traffic during any period:

  • Go to the Acquisition report and select one channel (for example, “social” or “organic search”)
  • Select the date range of your seasonal campaign from the last year
  • (Optionally) Check the box “Compare” and select “Previous year” from the drop-down
  • Click “Landing page” tab in the chart below:

Analyzing past seasonal campaigns' performance in Google AnalyticsSource: Screenshot created by the author

This gives you an at-a-glance report of the highest traffic page from your previous campaigns. You can further narrow it down by using word filters (for example, type “blog” there to see your best performing seasonal content).

To analyze conversions, you can use Google Analytics goals and funnels. Another tool I am using to closely monitor incoming traffic and its conversions is Finteza. Because it makes it incredibly easy to narrow the data down to identify which traffic source is sending traffic and how well it converts as compared to other pages.

Finteza dataSource: Screenshot created by the author

Read more about Finteza’s conversion funnels here. Finteza costs $ 25 a month and there’s a 30-day trial available for you to play with the tool before committing.

4. Consider starting a tradition

If any of those previous content assets turned particularly successful, consider expanding that idea into a new project! We all remember the overwhelming success of “Elf Yourself”, Ask Santa, and NORAD mini-projects that were able to engage (and convert) thousands of people year over year.

 A separate (single-page) site will be easier to brand and promote without causing any strong associations with your main business. If you need some inspiration, check out Namify:

Start a tradition for your next seasonal campaignSource: Namify

5. Look what your competitors did (or didn’t)

Competitive analysis is important because it motivates a business owner to do more and do it better. Therefore I always include competitive analysis in any of my marketing planning.

There are plenty of ways to research your competitors and what they are doing. My first step is always checking Ahrefs and what other search queries they are ranking for:

competitor analysisSource: Screenshot created by the author

Ahrefs is the only platform in the industry that also offers an estimate of traffic each search query sends. Here’s how they calculate it. Ahrefs lowest tier is $ 99 per month but it is definitely a must-have tool if you are doing SEO.

Similar Web is another nice tool for competitive research. I like looking at their “Referral Traffic” report to identify which sites are sending traffic to my competitors:

Similar WebSource: Similar Web

This basic report is available for free.

It is also a good idea to set up Google Alerts to be modified when your competitors are doing something new.

6. Create your editorial calendar

Every year people seem to start preparing for big holidays earlier. It is not unusual to spot a Holiday-centric social media ad in October. This can actually cause both excitement and irritation.

So the important question remains: When should I start publishing seasonal content?

This may depend from niche to niche, so I always suggest typing your target seasonal search query into Google Trends:

Google search trends on seasonal keywordsSource: Screenshot created by the author

It also helps to compare several of your target search queries. For example, in this niche the demand seems to be pretty consistent over the years:

Google Trends compareSource: Screenshot created by the author

When it comes to organizing and scheduling your content assets, there are a few great calendar plugins to choose from. I mostly use CoSchedule because it allows me to also schedule those updates to your social media channels as well as assign certain content assets to various contributors. 

CoSchedule costs $ 29 per month. It supports scheduling to Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram. I prefer the tool because it combines on-site content planning (assigning content assets to be written) and social media scheduling. This allows me to create a very well-aligned content marketing campaign and makes it easy to organize editorial workflow across many channels.

Instagram also offers a helpful guide on planning your seasonal content strategy here:

Instagram resource on holiday seasonal marketingSource: Screenshot created by the author

Conclusion

Seasonal planning is a great way to make the most of those seasonal interest spikes and build more sales. The earlier you start preparing for your big season, the more time you have to handle an increased amount of sales. Good luck!

Ann Smarty is the Founder of Viral Content Bee, Brand and Community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. She can be found on Twitter @seosmarty.

The post Here’s how you can master your next seasonal digital marketing campaign appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Once a buzzword, digital transformation is reshaping markets

May 29, 2021 No Comments

The notion of digital transformation evolved from a buzzword joke to a critical and accelerating fact during the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes wrought by a global shift to remote work and schooling are myriad, but in the business realm they have yielded a change in corporate behavior and consumer expectation — changes that showed up in a bushel of earnings reports this week.

TechCrunch may tend to have a private-company focus, but we do keep tabs on public companies in the tech world as they often provide hints, notes and other pointers on how startups may be faring. In this case, however, we’re working in reverse; startups have told us for several quarters now that their markets are picking up momentum as customers shake up their buying behavior with a distinct advantage for companies helping customers move into the digital realm. And public company results are now confirming the startups’ perspective.

The accelerating digital transformation is real, and we have the data to support the point.

What follows is a digest of notes concerning the recent earnings results from Box, Sprout Social, Yext, Snowflake and Salesforce. We’ll approach each in micro to save time, but as always there’s more digging to be done if you have time. Let’s go!

Enterprise earnings go up

Kicking off with Yext, the company beat expectations in its most recent quarter. Today its shares are up 18%. And a call with the company’s CEO Howard Lerman underscored our general thesis regarding the digital transformation’s acceleration.

In brief, Yext’s evolution from a company that plugged corporate information into external search engines to building and selling search tech itself has been resonating in the market. Why? Lerman explained that consumers more and more expect digital service in response to their questions — “who wants to call a 1-800 number,” he asked rhetorically — which is forcing companies to rethink the way they handle customer inquiries.

In turn, those companies are looking to companies like Yext that offer technology to better answer customer queries in a digital format. It’s customer-friendly, and could save companies money as call centers are expensive. A change in behavior accelerated by the pandemic is forcing companies to adapt, driving their purchase of more digital technologies like this.

It’s proof that a transformation doesn’t have to be dramatic to have pretty strong impacts on how corporations buy and sell online.


Enterprise – TechCrunch


Video as a Non-Negotiable for Digital Marketing

May 18, 2021 No Comments

Videos are everywhere. And as digital marketers, the need to know what kind of video to make for which platform is never-ending.

Read more at PPCHero.com
PPC Hero


Why Startups Need Diversification In Digital Marketing

April 30, 2021 No Comments

If there was (1) one piece of advice I would give Startups (especially Early Stage), it would be diversification…  and a lot of it. startups typically have very limited advertising budgets so they have to account for every penny they spend. In this article, I will explain the reasons for this diversification as well as how best to execute them on a limited budget.

Set Realistic Expectations:

As one of the most “bastardized” words in agency world, it’s imperative to keep everyone’s hopes and dreams in check with regard to the online marketplace. Attending conferences, reading case studies and talking with other business owners is not only a great idea, it’s encouraged. however, it can also “set off” false expectations that could be devastating to the overall goals and objectives. I have advised clients (both past and present) to NEVER trust Google with their campaigns, keywords and budgets because they don’t care about growing your business, they just want your money. Bottom line: If it sounds too good to be true, your instincts are correct!

Separate of Brand vs. Non-Brand:

It’s simple math. It costs more money to reach consumers who DO NOT already know your brand. Over time, the brand takes “all of the credit” because that is how everyone searches for you. But, here’s the catch. Getting to that phase in consumer behavior can be difficult to achieve, especially on the wallet. Here are a couple strategies that can not only help the wallet, but also the align the expectations.

  • Leverage Google Display, Mobile and YouTube Video networks
    • Low cost ($ 0.10 – $ 1.00 CPC/CPV).
    • More continuous visibility.
    • Expectations are set to branding only.
  • Utilize micro-targeting of Social media for specific audience testing
    • Target specific audience segments within a short period of time.
    • High volume allows for multi-variate ad testing.
    • Conversion tracking pixels allow for full analytics reporting.

Monetize Everything

This may sound like a “no-brainer” to some of you, but startups tend to forget that measuring success is more than just placing an order or a form submission. Often, little things like email signups, chat sessions and phone calls eventually lead to “real” conversions later on in the buying cycle. It’s important for everyone involved to consider these little conversions in the overall big picture. In some instances, these interactions act as a barometer when something is wrong or unclear and can help improve usability within the website experience.

In Conclusion:

Startups are faced with tough decisions when it comes to advertising due to their limited Ad budgets. They also cannot afford to, “bet the farm” on something that they heard at a conference or read in a case study. In 2016, consumers are everywhere (Google Search, Facebook Ads. YouTube. Twitter Ads, etc…) and startups need to leverage all of the platforms to maximize their exposure. They also need to understand that certain ad platforms serve different purposes as well as perform better than others.

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