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How To Create A Great PPC Campaign Structure

October 29, 2019 No Comments

Campaign structure is the backbone of your PPC account. Learn all the tips and tricks to creating a great structure.

Read more at PPCHero.com
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Top four social listening tools for 2020 and why they’re great

October 15, 2019 No Comments

Every business wants as much customer feedback as possible. That’s why we obsessively measure NPS (which barely has any statistical validity) and run surveys (which, in addition to being biased by definition, can negatively impact customer experience) like it’s the end of the world.

But the feedback we really want is different. It’s genuine, quick and easy to get, and structured enough so we can analyze it effectively. That’s where social listening, or social media monitoring, comes in.

Social listening is the process of monitoring mentions of keywords (for example, a brand name) or key phrases across social media and the Internet at large. Think of it as a way to measure people’s awareness of any subject – and their opinion on it – without having to ask questions.

Google Trends

More and more companies are adopting social media monitoring every year, and social listening tools are also evolving quickly. Even though they’re called social media monitoring tools, many apps go beyond social media and monitor the web at large. Finally, they analyze the data in order to provide you with insights you can learn from and act on.

In this post, we’ll look at the best social media monitoring tools you can use in 2020.

1. Awario

top-Four social listening tools for 2020 and why they're great Awario

Awario is one of the best options in terms of bang for the buck. With pricing starting at $ 29/month, it comes equipped with many features of Enterprise-geared tools: sentiment analysis, topic clouds, Boolean search, and more.

In terms of coverage, Awario monitors Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, news and blogs, and the rest of the web. Let’s look at what makes Awario stand out.

Rich analytics

Awario lets users measure dozens of social listening metrics, such as sentiment, reach, share of voice, key themes, top countries, and more. On top of that, you can use the tool to identify your biggest influencers and compare several brands side-by-side against crucial metrics for benchmarking and competitor analysis.

Boolean search

Boolean search isn’t for every brand. If your company name isn’t a common or ambiguous word (think Apple or Tesla), you’ll be just fine by simply feeding your brand name to the tool.

However, social listening has plenty of benefits beyond brand monitoring: from lead generation and PR, to doing research for your content strategy, this is where Boolean search comes in handy. It’s an advanced search mode that uses Boolean logic, letting you create flexible queries of any complexity to make sure you only get relevant results, whatever your use case may be.

Alert settings

Pricing

Awario offers a free 7-day trial. Pricing starts at $ 29/mo for the Starter plan (with 3 topics to monitor and 30,000 mentions/mo) and goes up to $ 299/mo for Enterprise. 

2. TweetDeck

Top Four social listening tools for 2020 and why they're great - Tweet Deck

Although TweetDeck isn’t a specialized social media monitoring tool, it definitely deserves a place on this list.

First of all, TweetDeck is free. Second, it lets you run Twitter searches using its powerful filters. And third, it combines the search functionality with everything else you’ll need to manage your Twitter presence.

Monitoring and scheduling in one tool

TweetDeck lets you schedule tweets, manage your DMs, and track mentions of your company on the network. You can set up as many searches as you need and reply to tweets right from the dashboard by connecting your Twitter account to the app.

Customizable column layout

Another great thing about TweetDeck is its column layout where you get to choose what each column shows. For instance, you could have your Twitter feed in one column, your DMs in another, and your social listening search in yet another one.

Pricing

TweetDeck is free.

3. Talkwalker

Top Four social listening tools for 2020 and why they're great - Talkwalker

Talkwalker is an excellent social listening tool for digital agencies. The software collects the latest mentions of your brand and offers detailed analytics on your social media presence.

The tool’s social media coverage is pretty impressive, on top of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, the platform also monitors Flickr and Pinterest. 

Demographic analysis

In addition to monitoring mentions, Talkwalker will give you insights on people who mention you, including your audience’s gender, age, interests, and geography.

Image recognition

Talkwalker’s Enterprise plan offers an ability to monitor images and videos, this way you’ll be notified whenever your logo appears in an Instagram photo or YouTube video. 

Pricing

Pricing starts at $ 9,600/year for 10,000 mentions/mo. 

4. Mention

Top Four social listening tools for 2020 and why they're great - Mention

Mention is a social media tool that’s primarily geared towards agencies and big brands, although they do offer plans for smaller businesses. Mention’s focus is on real-time monitoring – if you sign up and create an alert, you’ll only see mentions from the last 24 hours. Historical data is available under custom plans.

API access

For businesses that like to have their analytics in one place, Mention offers API access, letting you integrate it into your own tools. If you’re not into coding, Mention offers an integration with Zapier, letting you automatically send mentions to a Google Spreadsheet, set up Slack notifications, and more.

Influencer marketing

In addition to social media monitoring, Mention lets you search for industry influencers across Twitter and Instagram; on top of that, it finds influential websites that you can partner with or guest post on. 

Pricing

Mention’s pricing starts at $ 29/mo for its basic Solo plan, which lets you monitor one topic. For bigger brands, the app offers custom plans which start at $ 600/mo.

Conclusion

That’s our list of the best social media monitoring tools for the coming year. Each of them has its own unique pros, so I do hope you’ve found one that’s a perfect fit for your use case and budget.

This is a sponsored post from Awario. Awario is a social listening and analytics platform trusted by over 5,000 companies worldwide. The tool gives brands access to meaningful insights on their customers, industry, and competitors through real-time social media and web monitoring. Awario monitors social media networks, news websites, blogs, and the rest of the web in real time, crawling over 13 billion pages daily to ensure you never miss important conversations that spark out online.

The post Top four social listening tools for 2020 and why they’re great appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


Five great tools to improve PPC ads

August 24, 2019 No Comments

Every digital marketer wants to reach the top position on the search engine results. However, if you’ve recently launched a new website or your niche is saturated, starting with paid search ads sounds like a good idea.

Strategically created PPC campaigns can drive leads, sales or sign-ups to your websites. You know what? In fact, businesses earn an average of $ 8 for every dollar they spend on Google Ads.

Optimizing PPC campaigns is not easy, but it’s very powerful if you do it properly. Just like SEO, it is essential to conduct extensive keyword research, optimize ad copy, and design high-converting landing pages.

Fortunately, there are a lot of effective PPC tools that will help you analyze your competitors’ PPC strategies, figure out tricks in their campaigns, and improve your PPC campaigns.

If you are ready to take an evolutionary leap in your PPC advertising, take a look at my list of five amazing tools to save you time, give you crucial insights, and raise money for your business.

Five tools to improve PPC ads

1. WordStream Advisor: Streamline your PPC campaigns at scale

WordStream offers a pretty neat tool that is targeted to small and medium-sized business owners who want to manage their PPC campaigns across advertising platforms properly. The tool can integrate with different PPC channels like Google Ads, Facebook, Bing, and Instagram.

One of the best features is the 20-Minute Work Week, a workflow that includes 9 items to help you improve the overall PPC process. It will analyze everything: get suggestions for ad budget and ad changes, identify valuable and negative keywords, split up ad groups, and create reports around conversion and call data. You can read more about it here.

wordstream tool ppc

The true worth of WordStream is the fact that they adapt and integrate all of the changes and upgrades when it comes to Google and its algorithm updates. So, you don’t need to constantly check them.

Cost: Free trial for 7 days, paid plans start at $ 299/month for 3-month plans.

2. SE Ranking: Comprehensive keyword and competitor analysis

SE Ranking PPC research tool focuses on keyword research, competitor analysis, and advertising campaign planning. When researching competitors on SE Ranking, you can enter your domain to find a list of websites that compete with you in paid search.

You can also find which keywords they are using, which ads drive the most traffic, how they rank in search engines, and how their ads look like in paid search. The tool shows competitor’s data like search volume, CPC, KEI, traffic cost, and a number of clicks.

Going to the “Adverts history” section, you can get visual graphs of the previous stats by time period, which displays position, monthly budget, and keywords. Having this information allows you to see all competitors’ keywords they have bid on in the past and figure out whether you should take a similar bidding strategy.

se ranking tool to improve ppc ads

You can easily export all the necessary information into an Excel file that you can share with your team. You can check it out in action here.

Cost: Paid plans start around $ 39 per month. SE Ranking provides a 14-day free trial and demo account.

3. Finteza: Conduct an impactful PPC analysis

Finteza is an advanced advertising analytics tool that shows you the exact percentage of high-quality and low-quality traffic coming to your website. The tool includes collection, processing, and instant data mapping through real-time charts and reports to give the most important information whenever you need it.

Finteza provides plenty of options to create, configure and target marketing campaigns for any website and instantly pull out detailed reports and statistics on clicks, impressions, and conversions of your ads.

finteza tool for ppc ads

You can also set up different conversion goals, and even use the retargeting option to display your optimized ads to the users who have performed a certain action on your website. The tool offers integrations with multiple CMS systems.

One of its biggest advantages is to track end-to-end user interaction. It means that the software provides data of all advertising platforms from which you purchase traffic and enables you to adapt them to individual conversions.

You can get the full list of Finteza’s features here.

Cost: The software offers a 30-day trial, and pricing starts at $ 4/month.

4. Unbounce: Build dedicated landing pages

Effective landing pages are crucial for the overall PPC process. At the very least, your ad will get them there, but conversions happen on landing pages. Creating a solid one with tools like Unbounce intended to simplify the whole process.

The tool includes a wide range of awesome features like A/B testing, dynamic text replacement, AMP landing pages, and real-time data dashboard. You can quickly change the text on your custom landing page to match what users are searching for, and split test them without touching a single line of code.

Unbounce offers over 100 high-converting templates for every type of landing page you need (sales pages, ebooks, events, products, webinar, etc.). It works with tons of in-app integrations and thousands more through Zapier.

Cost: Pricing starts at $ 79 per month, but you can try out a 14-day free trial.

5. Bannersnack: Display ad image creation and inspiration

The main purpose of advertising is to make people curious about your products. If you design banner ads that have interactive content, people are far more likely to click on them. One of the best solutions to do that is Bannersnack.

The tool is designed for advertising specialists to save their time and efforts on designing banners of different sizes. You can create both animated and static banners from scratch or select one of its high-quality templates created by professional designers and optimized by marketers.

bannersnack tool to improve ppc ads

One of its most convenient features is the ability to create the entire banner set on one toolbar within minutes. The banner maker is compatible with all major ad networks, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and social networks. One of the recent features is the option to create AMPHTML ads.

Cost: Freemium; paid plans start from $ 7 per month.

Wrap up

Using the right PPC tools, you can find out your competitors’ best performing keywords, ad copy information, and much more. They help you save a lot of time and efforts as you know what marketing strategies your competitors are using to get maximum results and reach.

What PPC tools do you use and love? Share your views in the comments below.

Irina Weber is Brand Manager at SE Ranking. She can be found on Twitter @irinaweber048.

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Search Engine Watch


The Great Hack tells us data corrupts 

July 29, 2019 No Comments

This week professor David Carroll, whose dogged search for answers to how his personal data was misused plays a focal role in The Great Hack: Netflix’s documentary tackling the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal, quipped that perhaps a follow up would be more punitive for the company than the $ 5BN FTC fine released the same day.

The documentary — which we previewed ahead of its general release Wednesday — does an impressive job of articulating for a mainstream audience the risks for individuals and society of unregulated surveillance capitalism, despite the complexities involved in the invisible data ‘supply chain’ that feeds the beast. Most obviously by trying to make these digital social emissions visible to the viewer — as mushrooming pop-ups overlaid on shots of smartphone users going about their everyday business, largely unaware of the pervasive tracking it enables.

Facebook is unlikely to be a fan of the treatment. In its own crisis PR around the Cambridge Analytica scandal it has sought to achieve the opposite effect; making it harder to join the data-dots embedded in its ad platform by seeking to deflect blame, bury key details and bore reporters and policymakers to death with reams of irrelevant detail — in the hope they might shift their attention elsewhere.

Data protection itself isn’t a topic that naturally lends itself to glamorous thriller treatment, of course. No amount of slick editing can transform the close and careful scrutiny of political committees into seat-of-the-pants viewing for anyone not already intimately familiar with the intricacies being picked over. And yet it’s exactly such thoughtful attention to detail that democracy demands. Without it we are all, to put it proverbially, screwed.

The Great Hack shows what happens when vital detail and context are cheaply ripped away at scale, via socially sticky content delivery platforms run by tech giants that never bothered to sweat the ethical detail of how their ad targeting tools could be repurposed by malign interests to sew social discord and/or manipulate voter opinion en mass.

Or indeed used by an official candidate for high office in a democratic society that lacks legal safeguards against data misuse.

But while the documentary packs in a lot over an almost two-hour span, retelling the story of Cambridge Analytica’s role in the 2016 Trump presidential election campaign; exploring links to the UK’s Brexit leave vote; and zooming out to show a little of the wider impact of social media disinformation campaigns on various elections around the world, the viewer is left with plenty of questions. Not least the ones Carroll repeats towards the end of the film: What information had Cambridge Analytica amassed on him? Where did they get it from? What did they use it for? — apparently resigning himself to never knowing. The disgraced data firm chose declaring bankruptcy and folding back into its shell vs handing over the stolen goods and its algorithmic secrets.

There’s no doubt over the other question Carroll poses early on the film — could he delete his information? The lack of control over what’s done with people’s information is the central point around which the documentary pivots. The key warning being there’s no magical cleansing fire that can purge every digitally copied personal thing that’s put out there.

And while Carroll is shown able to tap into European data rights — purely by merit of Cambridge Analytica having processed his data in the UK — to try and get answers, the lack of control holds true in the US. Here, the absence of a legal framework to protect privacy is shown as the catalyzing fuel for the ‘great hack’ — and also shown enabling the ongoing data-free-for-all that underpins almost all ad-supported, Internet-delivered services. tl;dr: Your phone doesn’t need to listen to if it’s tracking everything else you do with it.

The film’s other obsession is the breathtaking scale of the thing. One focal moment is when we hear another central character, Cambridge Analytica’s Brittany Kaiser, dispassionately recounting how data surpassed oil in value last year — as if that’s all the explanation needed for the terrible behavior on show.

“Data’s the most valuable asset on Earth,” she monotones. The staggering value of digital stuff is thus fingered as an irresistible, manipulative force also sucking in bright minds to work at data firms like Cambridge Analytica — even at the expense of their own claimed political allegiances, in the conflicted case of Kaiser.

If knowledge is power and power corrupts, the construction can be refined further to ‘data corrupts’, is the suggestion.

The filmmakers linger long on Kaiser which can seem to humanize her — as they show what appear vulnerable or intimate moments. Yet they do this without ever entirely getting under her skin or allowing her role in the scandal to be fully resolved.

She’s often allowed to tell her narrative from behind dark glasses and a hat — which has the opposite effect on how we’re invited to perceive her. Questions about her motivations are never far away. It’s a human mystery linked to Cambridge Analytica’s money-minting algorithmic blackbox.

Nor is there any attempt by the filmmakers to mine Kaiser for answers themselves. It’s a documentary that spotlights mysteries and leaves questions hanging up there intact. From a journalist perspective that’s an inevitable frustration. Even as the story itself is much bigger than any one of its constituent parts.

It’s hard to imagine how Netflix could commission a straight up sequel to The Great Hack, given its central framing of Carroll’s data quest being combined with key moments of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Large chunks of the film are comprised from capturing scrutiny and reactions to the story unfolding in real-time.

But in displaying the ruthlessly transactional underpinnings of social platforms where the world’s smartphone users go to kill time, unwittingly trading away their agency in the process, Netflix has really just begun to open up the defining story of our time.


Social – TechCrunch


Ten ways to pump out a stream of great content without burning out

July 9, 2019 No Comments

There’s always more content to write. 

Sometimes that can be encouraging, even exhilarating. You’ve got plenty of space for all your ideas, and countless opportunities to engage with potential customers and to build a stronger relationship with existing ones.

But producing a constant stream of content can be exhausting.

You’ll find yourself running out of ideas and running out of steam. And at that point, it can be really difficult to keep creating high-quality content on a regular basis.

Even if you’re in a position to hire someone to help, you’ll still need to have a fair amount of involvement in content production – supplying ideas and outlines, at the very least.

So how can you keep up with all the content you need to produce? Before we dig into some specific tips, let’s take a look at how much you actually need to create.

How frequently should you post on your blog and your social media accounts?

There are no rules here different blogs do different things, often within the same industry. In the content marketing world, for instance:

  • Smart Blogger posts (very in-depth) pieces once a week
  • Copyblogger publishes three or four posts a week
  • Content Marketing Institute posts one piece each weekday

As a rough guideline, you’ll probably want to aim for at least one weekly post, one daily Facebook and/or Instagram post, and three or more posts a day on fast-moving networks like Twitter. (According to Louise Myers, the “general consensus” is that anything from three to 30 Tweets per day is fine.

So how do you keep up with this level of content, week after week?

How to create great content without burning out

Here are nine ways to keep up your content production without getting to the point of feeling so burned out that you simply give up.

You can use these as a step by step process, or you can pick and choose ideas that’ll make your existing process go more smoothly.

1. Decide how often you’ll post content

While there’s no “right” answer to how often to post content, there’s definitely a “wrong” one. Posting content whenever you feel like it, at wildly varying frequencies.

It’s best – for you and for your audience – to have a consistent posting schedule, both on your blog and on social networks. That might mean, for instance, two blog posts each week, one Facebook post each day (more may be counter-productive), and five Twitter posts each day.

While you might vary your schedule a little, having a clear idea of what to aim for makes it much more likely that you’ll write and publish regular posts.

2. Come up with a suitable pattern for your content

With social media, in particular, it’s helpful to “pattern” your content. This is also a useful practice for blog posts, especially if you post twice a week or more on your blog.

Rather than starting with a blank page when it comes to generating ideas, you can have a pre-set “pattern” for the content you’re going to create.

For instance, if you’re writing five Twitter posts each day, you might decide to have:

  • Two posts linking to other people’s great content
  • One post linking to your most recent piece of content
  • One post linking to a piece of content from your archive
  • One post that asks a question or prompts a discussion

3. Brainstorm lots of ideas

Simply coming up with ideas for content can take a lot of time. Instead of sitting down and staring at a blank page, try “batching” the idea generation process: set aside time once every week or two to come up with a whole list of ideas.

Some great ways to find content ideas include:

  • Common search terms within your industry: this is part of keyword research and as well as being a useful SEO tool, it’s great for idea-generation.
  • Questions that you frequently get asked by potential customers.
  • Problems that you faced when you were starting out in your industry.
  • Other people’s content – could you create something that tackles a topic in more depth, or from a different angle?
  • Your own content: can you go back to an old blog post and update it, or take some social media posts and weave them into a piece for your blog?
  • Asking influencers for their contributions – this might be in the form of a quote or two from one person, or a “round-up” post with quotes from lots of different experts.

4. Outline longer pieces of content

With short posts on Twitter and Facebook, you probably don’t need an outline – just a clear idea of what you’re trying to accomplish.

For blog posts, though, you’ll find it’s much faster to write when you’ve got a solid outline in place, especially if you’re producing long-form content. Again, it’s often a good idea to “batch produce” your outlines, by picking four or so ideas and outlining all those posts at once.

That way, when it’s time to write those posts, a lot of the hard work is already done. Plus, if you outline several posts in a single session, you’ll find it much easier to create links between them.

5. Write several short pieces of content at once

Instead of opening up HootSuite (or your favorite social media management tool or app) every single time you want to send a tweet or create a post, write lots of posts ahead of time.

You might want to queue up a week’s worth of posts all at once. Buffer is a great tool for this, allowing you to schedule posts to go out at any time you want – making it easier to reach potential clients in other timezones or those on unusual schedules.

6. Set aside focused time for longer pieces

Creating content requires a lot of focus – it’s not something you can easily do while you’re fielding phone calls or responding to emails every few minutes.

Block out periods of time (ideally two hours long) in advance, where you can shut your office door, ignore your email, and let calls go to voicemail.

6. Set aside focused time for longer pieces

While you may have no choice but to self-edit your content, if it’s possible, get an editor involved. This might be someone already on your team, or a freelancer external to your company.

A good editor will go far beyond correcting spelling mistakes and grammatical slips. They’ll help to ensure your content is well structured, that it flows smoothly, and that it’s as engaging as possible.

8. Have an assistant format and upload your content

If you’re uploading all your own posts on your blog and social media, you’ll be spending time finding images, selecting categories, adding hashtags, including links, and so on.

While these tasks are an important part of the content creation process, they don’t need to be done by you. Delegate as much of the repetitive work as possible to an assistant so that you can free up more time to write or design the content itself.

9. Get ahead and take time off

If content creation is starting to feel like a treadmill that you can’t get off, then you’re probably heading for burnout. Plan your schedule so you can get ahead, perhaps by creating an extra piece or two of content each week.

That way, you can take a week off from content creation occasionally (plus, you’ll also be covered for any unexpected events, like a particularly busy period, or illness).

10. Repurpose your existing content

There may well be excellent blog posts in your archive that rarely get read, and your social media posts will almost certainly only gather fleeting attention.

Instead of always coming up with fresh ideas and creating new pieces from scratch, how about reusing some of your existing content? That might be as simple as writing an updated version of a blog post, and republishing it – or it could involve something more involved like turning a series of tweets into a blog post, or turning a post into an infographic.

Valuable, high-quality content is great for your business, your potential and existing customers, and your SEO. By trying some or all of the tips above, you can keep up the flow of content, without burning out.

If you have a tip for creating lots of great content, consistently, feel free to share it with us in the comments below.

Joe Williams is the founder of Tribe SEO. He can be found on Twitter at @joetheseo.

The post Ten ways to pump out a stream of great content without burning out appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


CRO: Great UX Isn’t Random or Coincidental

May 1, 2019 No Comments

I want to shed light on some broader concepts that we use to approach CRO strategically—and to demonstrate that great UX doesn’t happen by just saying, “Yeah, I think that will probably work.” There are reasons as to why you feel like some websites are better than others. The best ads, landing pages, and websites didn’t just happen by coincidence or chance.

Read more at PPCHero.com
PPC Hero


How do you hire a great growth marketer?

April 19, 2019 No Comments

Editors Note: This article is part of a series that explores the world of growth marketing for founders. If you’ve worked with an amazing growth marketing agency, nominate them to be featured in our shortlist of top growth marketing agencies in tech.

Startups often set themselves back a year by hiring the wrong growth marketer.

This post shares a framework my marketing agency uses to source and vet high-potential growth candidates.

With it, early-stage startups can identify and attract a great first growth hire.

It’ll also help you avoid unintentionally hiring candidates who lack broad competency. Some marketers master 1-2 channels, but aren’t experts at much else. When hiring your first growth marketer, you should aim for a generalist.

This post covers two key areas:

  1. How I find growth candidates.
  2. How I identify which candidates are legitimately talented.

Great marketers are often founders

One interesting way to find great marketers is to look for great potential founders.

Let me explain. Privately, most great marketers admit that their motive for getting hired was to gain a couple years’ experience they could use to start their own company.

Don’t let that scare you. Leverage it: You can sidestep the competitive landscape for marketing talent by recruiting past founders whose startups have recently failed.

Why do this? Because great founders and great growth marketers are often one and the same. They’re multi-disciplinary executors, they take ownership and they’re passionate about product.

You see, a marketing role with sufficient autonomy mimics the role of a founder: In both, you hustle to acquire users and optimize your product to retain them. You’re working across growth, brand, product and data.

As a result, struggling founders wanting a break from the startup roller coaster often find transitioning to a growth marketing role to be a natural segue.

How do we find these high-potential candidates?

Finding founders

To find past founders, you could theoretically monitor the alumni lists of incubators like Y Combinator and Techstars to see which companies never succeeded. Then you can reach out to their first-time founders.

You can also identify future founders: Browse Product Hunt and Indie Hackers for old projects that showed great marketing skill but didn’t succeed.

There are thousands of promising founders who’ve left a mark on the web. Their failure is not necessarily indicative of incompetence. My agency’s co-founders and directors, including myself, all failed at founding past companies.

How do I attract candidates?

To get potential founders interested in the day-to-day of your marketing role, offer them both breadth and autonomy:

  • Let them be involved in many things.
  • Let them be fully in charge of a few things.

Remember, recreate the experience of being a founder.

Further, vet their enthusiasm for your product, market and its product-channel fit:

  • Product and market: Do their interests line up with how your product impacts its users? For example, do they care more about connecting people through social networks, or about solving productivity problems through SaaS? And which does your product line up with?
  • Product-channel fit: Are they excited to run the acquisition channels that typically succeed in your market?

The latter is a little-understood but critically important requirement: Hire marketers who are interested in the channels your company actually needs.

Let’s illustrate this with a comparison between two hypothetical companies:

  1. A B2B enterprise SaaS app.
  2. An e-commerce company that sells mattresses.

Broadly speaking, the enterprise app will most likely succeed through the following customer acquisition channels: sales, offline networking, Facebook desktop ads and Google Search.

In contrast, the e-commerce company will most likely succeed through Instagram ads, Facebook mobile ads, Pinterest ads and Google Shopping ads.

We can narrow it even further: In practice, most companies only get one or two of their potential channels to work profitably and at scale.

Meaning, most companies have to develop deep expertise in just a couple of channels.

There are enterprise marketers who can run cold outreach campaigns on autopilot. But, many have neither the expertise nor the interest to run, say, Pinterest ads. So if you’ve determined Pinterest is a high-leverage ad channel for your business, you’d be mistaken to assume that an enterprise marketer’s cold outreach skills seamlessly translate to Pinterest ads.

Some channels take a year or longer to master. And mastering one channel doesn’t necessarily make you any better at the next. Pinterest, for example, relies on creative design. Cold email outreach relies on copywriting and account-based marketing.

(How do you identify which ad channels are most likely to work for your company? Read my Extra Crunch article for a breakdown.)

To summarize: To attract the right marketers, identify those who are interested in not only your product but also how your product is sold.

Other approaches

The founder-first approach I’ve shared is just one of many ways my agency recruits great marketers. The point is to remind you that great candidates are sometimes a small career pivot away from being your perfect hire. You don’t have to look in the typical places when your budget is tight and you want to hire someone with high, senior potential.

This is especially relevant for early-stage, bootstrapping startups.

If you have the foresight to recognize these high-potential candidates, you can hopefully hire both better and cheaper. Plus, you empower someone to level up their career.

Speaking of which, here are other ways to hire talent whose potential hasn’t been fully realized:

  • Find deep specialists (e.g. Facebook Ads experts) and offer them an opportunity to learn complementary skills with a more open-ended, strategic role. (You can help train them with my growth guide.)
  • Poach experienced junior marketers from a company in your space by offering senior roles.
  • Hire candidates from top growth marketing schools.

Vetting growth marketers

If you don’t yet have a growth candidate to vet, you can stop reading here. Bookmark this and return when you do!

Now that you have a candidate, how do you assess whether they’re legitimately talented?

At Bell Curve, we ask our most promising leads to incrementally complete three projects:

  • Create Facebook and Instagram ads to send traffic to our site. This showcases their low-level, tactical skills.
  • Walk us through a methodology for optimizing our site’s conversion rate. This showcases their process-driven approach to generating growth ideas. Process is everything.
  • Ideate and prioritize customer acquisition strategies for our company. This showcases their ability to prioritize high-leverage projects and see the big picture.

We allow a week to complete these projects. And we pay them market wage.

Here’s what we’re looking for when we assess their work.

Level 1: Basics

First — putting their work aside — we assess the dynamics of working with them. Are they:

  • Competent: Can they follow instructions and understand nuance?
  • Reliable: Will they hit deadlines without excuses?
  • Communicative: Will they proactively clarify unclear things?
  • Kind: Do they have social skills?

If they follow our instructions and do a decent job, they’re competent. If they hit our deadline, they’re probably reliable. If they ask good questions, they’re communicative.

And if we like talking to them, they’re kind.

Level 2: Capabilities

A level higher, we use these projects to assess their ability to contribute to the company:

  • Do they have a process for generating and prioritizing good ideas? 
    • Did their process result in multiple worthwhile ad and landing page ideas? We’re assessing their process more so than their output. A great process leads to generating quality ideas forever.
    • Resources are always limited. One of the most important jobs of a growth marketer is to ensure growth resources are focused on the right opportunities. I’m looking for a candidate that has a process for identifying, evaluating and prioritizing growth opportunities.
  • Can they execute on those ideas? 
    • Did they create ads and propose A/B tests thoughtfully? Did they identify the most compelling value propositions, write copy enticingly and target audiences that make sense?
    • Have they achieved mastery of 1-2 acquisition channels (ideally, the channels your company is dependent on to scale)? I don’t expect anyone to be an expert in all channels, but deep knowledge of at least a couple of channels is key for an early-stage startup making their first growth hire.

If you don’t have the in-house expertise to assess their growth skills, you can pay an experienced marketer to assess their work. It’ll cost you a couple hundred bucks, and give you peace of mind. Look on Upwork for someone, or ask a marketer at a friend’s company.

Recap

  • If you’re an early-stage company with a tight budget, there are creative ways to source high-potential growth talent.
  • Assess that talent on their product fit and market fit for your company. Do they actually want to work on the channels needed for your business to succeed?
  • Give them a week-long sample project. Assess their ability to generate ideas and prioritize them.


Social – TechCrunch


No computer science skills are needed to build scripts OR great landing pages

February 13, 2019 No Comments

In sessions 3 and 4 of the PPC Hero Summit, members of Hanapin’s Analyst and CRO teams, alongside Fred Vallaeys from Optymzr and Oli Gardner from Unbounce, tackle how to start using scripts to automate your tasks and how to build great landing pages for more traffic and more conversions.

Read more at PPCHero.com
PPC Hero


Designed for iPhone 8, Weather Atlas is a great replacement for your stock weather app

September 3, 2017 No Comments

 There’s no shortage of weather apps on the market, but you may have noticed that few of them are actually all that good. That’s where a new entry called Weather Atlas, from the developer behind the popular productivity app Launch Center Pro, comes in. This newly launched weather application aims to be a better alternative to the stock weather app, offering a more modern take on… Read More

Mobile – TechCrunch


All the major cases where an LTE-enabled Apple Watch would be great

August 6, 2017 No Comments

 Apple is reportedly working on an Apple Watch that won’t have to be tethered to your phone for data, freeing that small fitness tracker on your wrist from the oppressive confines of having to carry around a now-critical piece of technology for operating in your daily life.
This will probably have repercussions for the battery life of the watch that you have to charge every evening. We… Read More

Gadgets – TechCrunch