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Tag: Marketing

Amazon & Google: Affects Of COVID-19 On Digital Marketing

April 2, 2020 No Comments

We are in unprecedented times where the only thing we can expect is uncertainty. This is equally true within the digital marketing landscape for the time being.

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Video marketing: The ultimate guide (You’ll only need this)

March 25, 2020 No Comments

Video is not only a content type anymore, but it has also become a culture. Before that, theater movies and TV had driven the culture, and the only thing that has changed over the past few years is the platform.

Culture is what drives the marketing around it, and 83% of marketers believe that video is becoming increasingly important; a clear indication of more brands using them as a part of their marketing strategies. It can be clearly seen how important video has become for every platform and marketing channel.

And, if you’re not creating videos for marketing campaigns, then you will be left behind this decade.

According to Cisco, 82% of internet traffic will be through videos by 2022. And according to TechCrunch, people watch 1 billion hours of YouTube video per day (That’s more than Netflix and Facebook video combined). 

In our digital times, everyone is capable of publishing videos and everyone is publishing videos; all you need is a good camera and an internet connection. This culture-driven ability now belongs to anyone who can create a video and is so captivating that the right group of people choose and prefer to watch videos.

A person who will never read a 100-page book will gladly watch a 10-minute IGTV.

Video is more than just cute babies and funny animals. It’s so powerful that, even mentioning the word “video” in your email subject line can increase the open rates by 19%.

In this article, I’ll unveil all the fundamentals, tactics, and best practices for video marketing.

What is video marketing?

Video marketing is all about creating a video to market and promote your product/service, educate your audience, increase engagement on social media, widen your brand awareness and reach your audience with interactive content. There are some popular platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat that businesses are using for video marketing. 

Brands are making videos to help customers make better purchasing decisions by understanding and analyzing their favorite products and features in an engaging way.

Share of businesses using video on their landing pages worldwide from 2016 to 2018

Source

According to HubSpot, 72% of consumers prefer to watch a video about a product than a read product description and more than 50% of consumers want to see videos from brands more than any other type of content.

A quick question.

Why do videos work so well? 

Because our brain can’t resist the visual outburst, videos are easy to follow-through and we get addicted to them. We remember dialogues from the movies we watched in the past decade but we hardly remember some paragraphs from some book we read a few years back. Movies are just a visual representation of the scriptwriter and storytelling of the director.

Half of the internet users look for a video before visiting a store (Google) and your campaign can’t survive without video in your marketing strategy where 87% of businesses now use video to help market their product and services (WyzOwl).

Using video marketing for business isn’t something brand new but to obtain the best results, implementing a proper video marketing strategy is a must.

Gone are the days when throwing some random video in your strategy worked, it’s now more than 80% of the content on the internet and the field has become highly competitive.

Developing a video marketing strategy that works

According to HubSpot research, customers and consumers prefer low-quality authentic video than high-quality inauthentic video. Simple, mundane videos don’t work all the time in the world of marketing. Today, documenting your different work processes like BTS (behind the scenes), vlogs, live videos, and product walkthroughs seem more real and human than videos created filled with artificial effects.

The versatility of the video content you publish also makes it a successful marketing strategy. Be it the branding of your ecommerce business or tapping into new audiences, videos have always got your back.

93% of businesses reported getting a new customer on social media, thanks to video. It’s also very important to create a sound strategy when you’re planning to implement video in your marketing which should include:

  • Creating a script based on customer’s pain points
  • Designing a template that reflects your branding
  • Distribution of video on different platforms
  • Feelings or emotions you want to evoke
  • The persona you’re targeting with the video
  • Recording and editing the video
  • Integrating video into different marketing content
  • Coming up with new topics and trends
  • Analyzing the video performance
  • Improving your strategy based on your data

As we have discussed before, that video is accessible to everyone and any type of business, you only need the right strategy to kick-off. Whether you’re executing operations in the service team or the marketing team, the usefulness of video is apparent everywhere.

Let’s dig deep into the types of video you can create for the different marketing campaigns:

Types of marketing videos

You will be having different objectives for your marketing campaign and based on that you’ll choose the type of video you’re going to create. So, here is the list of top marketing video types to choose from:

1. Explainer videos

The primary purpose of explainer videos is to educate your audience whether it’s your product/service or some concept in your industry. They generally are short in length and it shouldn’t be more difficult than curating decks of slides in the presentation. It’s kind of a scripted journey of your customer’s problem and how they can resolve it.

2. How-to videos

How-to videos are the most popular type of video which customers love to consume and revolve around the educational concept to teach your audience in a step-by-step manner. These types of videos are compelling because they literally show you how to do something.

3. Customer testimonial videos

Customer testimonial videos are the best way to showcase social proof and brand advocacy for your brand. You can ask your consumers to tell their story on camera, what challenges they faced, and how your brand helped them overcome those obstacles.

4. Demo videos

In this type of video, you have the ability to brief your product or service to your audience in a systematic way. It can be an unboxing review, walkthrough or run your physical product through some tests.

72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service (WyzOwl).

5. Personalized video messages

Are you out of ideas for your email marketing campaign?

Try creating video messages.

Nothing can be more personalized, charming and captivating than this type of video message. It will not only improve engagement rate but it will also move your prospect down the funnel towards conversion. See how Marketo used personalized video messages to invite their audience to the summit.

6. Live videos

According to Livestream.com, users watch live videos 1.8x times longer than non-live video, representing the present aspect of your brand. It allows your audience to participate, engage, and connect with your brand in the live video.

You can use live video content to stream events, Q&A sessions, presentations, interviews with experts and foster your audience to interact with your brand.

In this Facebook live video, Martha Stewart prepares viewers for holidays with some outdoor decorating ideas and encourages them to buy each product at Home Depot.

7. AR/VR and 360° videos

Everyone in the industry knows that AR/VR is the future and its market has already reached $ 16.8 billion US. These are future tech that will skyrocket your customer’s experience and you should be integrating your products by now.

VR and 360° videos are important videos that let you put your customers into another person’s shoes, for example, Oreo ran this fun campaign which lets you experience the Oreo virtual world. On the other hand, AR allows people to check out products while sitting in their homes. Everyone knows IKEA furniture App did this beautifully by showcasing their furniture and homeware in your specific living rooms.

Customer experience journey through video marketing

Everyone is familiar with the customer journey or the funnel as we say in which a customer goes from showing interest in your products or services to buying them. Videos are not any piece of content that you can introduce to your audience at any time or any platform. I say that no content should be introduced to the customer in the funnel at the wrong time.

Customers can be offered an additional incentive to push them towards buying a certain product. According to the latest coupon statistics, 86% of millennials say that deals and discounts impact their purchase decisions. This makes coupons a perfect weapon of choice for video marketers.

Here’s a brief to every stage of the customer journey and what type of videos you should introduce to your audience at each stage of the funnel:

1. Awareness

This is the initial stage of the customer’s journey where you show them who you are and what you represent.

  • Your prospect has a great product but he is unable to generate revenue.
  • Prospects try to find the solution on Google by typing their issue.
  • He ends up watching YouTube videos and learns that his problem is ‘A’.
  • Again, he searches “how to solve problem A” and one of your customer review videos pops up in the suggestion.
  • He gets intrigued by the comments on your video and checks out your YouTube channel.
  • Finds out that you have uploaded tons of helpful videos and shares them with the team.
  • Every time he visits YouTube, your videos are recommended as suggestions.

“84% of marketers credit video with increasing traffic to their website.”

Type of videos to use:

  • Explainer Videos
  • Commercial
  • How-To Videos
  • Fun Videos

2. Consideration

In the consideration stage, prospects know that they have a problem and want to find the solution. They try everything to find the solution, ask a friend, compare alternatives, search on Google and want a cost-effective solution to the problem.

  • They know the problem and watch one of your videos on YouTube but it is just a teaser. They click on the given link to watch the full video on your website.
  • They watch one video after the other because of the pop-ups.
  • In between, an email submission form comes up and they fill it. Congratulations, you’ve captured a lead. It triggers an email via your automation platform.
  • Just a few days later, they receive an email with a relevant video.
  • After checking their watch history, the sales rep sends them a personalized video that is shockingly relevant. They end up booking a meeting.
  • This kind of customer care strengthens the relationship.

“80% of marketers credit video with increasing the average time on page for their website.”

Type of videos to use:

  • Testimonials and Video Case Studies
  • Detailed Product Demos
  • Personalized Video Voicemails
  • Setup Webinars

3. Decision

In the decision stage, customers are quite close to making a decision to buy your product or service and it’s your job to create crystal clear smooth processes for the transaction. They should feel like they have control over the complete process and know every detail.

  • Team of prospect lists out all the alternatives including your brand, then they schedule a demo but only your brand sends them a video which makes it easier to understand the product.
  • Prospect sends you an email with a few concerns and you reply to them with a video walkthrough.
  • During their research, they search for a solution to problem X and they find your YouTube video, which makes you the top vendor.
  • After a few days, with a deal on the table, they receive a personal video from a senior executive of yours and they buy.
  • Prospect receives a welcome video from the sales rep and an intro to what’s gonna happen next.
  • You redirect the prospect to the on-boarding video library which makes the whole process even smoother.
  • Now, when their team faces any problem, support videos with screen recording resolves every issue in minutes.

“83% of marketers say video results in a good ROI.”

Type of videos to use:

  • FAQ Video
  • Campaign Nurturing Videos
  • Instructional Video

4. Advocacy

If someone buys your product or service, you’ll always get a chance to engage them with your content and updates that help them grow with your product and industry.

  • The customer finds your product very useful and is very pleased with it.
  • They create a short testimonial video and your marketing team uploads it on your YouTube channel.
  • New prospects find that testimonial on Google and visit your YouTube channel. The cycle repeats again.

“86% of viewers say they regularly turn to YouTube to learn something new.”

Type of videos to use:

  • Troubleshooting Videos
  • Product/Brand Update Videos
  • Interview Videos
  • Social Live Videos

I have shown you how we can integrate videos in each stage of the customer journey. It’s not mandatory to use all of them but it’s recommended to use personalized videos as much as you can. So, design your next customer journey close to perfection with a sound video marketing strategy.

Video analytics

No marketing campaign can be successful without a defined goal and continued experimentation after measuring the data metrics of the campaign. Your goal for running the campaign could be brand awareness, increasing website traffic, or even conversion.

How can you define your goal for the campaign? 

By considering your target audience, buyer personas, media they consume, when they consume it, and which stage of the buyer’s journey they are in.

Video marketing

Having a better understanding of these metrics will help you measure your campaign success and define your goal of the campaign. There are several marketing tools available that make it easy for you to evaluate different Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Here are a few important metrics that you need to keep your eye on:

1. Rate of play

This metric helps you grasp insight into how many people are actually watching your videos. The rate of play is the percentage of people who played your video divided by the number of impressions on the video.

Factors that play an important role in improving this metric include your thumbnail, platform you are publishing the video on, the initial few seconds of the video, and many more. If you’re getting tons of impressions but no one is playing your video, then you need to optimize your videos as soon as possible.

2. View count

The total number of view count on your video reflects how many times viewers have watched your video. It’s easy to measure but tricky to derive because different platforms measure view count differently.

Facebook takes 3 seconds and YouTube an entire 30 seconds of playtime to measure one view count. This metric is also known as reach which means if your goal is brand awareness then this metric is great to track.

3. Click-through rate (CTR)

This is an important sign that signifies if your video is extremely good or not because its primary goal is to make viewers take a desired action that leads them to an already-optimized landing page with a clear call-to-action (CTA).

CTR is the number of times your call-to-action (CTA) is clicked divided by the number of times it’s viewed.

4. Social media sharing

It’s way too easy to monitor the social sharing metrics and it’s extremely important to increase your organic reach on the internet. The social sharing metric shows you how many shares you’re getting on social media from your viewers.

A “share” is the active engagement that a viewer takes to share a video with his friend when they really like the content. When one viewer shares the video, then a similar audience on his network is more likely to share and it creates a chain reaction that helps you reach a wider audience organically.

5. Conversion rate

It’s the rate of conversion for your video campaign that tells how many leads, prospects or customers were generated through your videos.

Conversion rate is the number of times visitors completed your desired action divided by the number of clicks on your CTA. However, measuring this metric is kind of difficult but you can surely track it if you work smartly.

6. Completion rate

It’s the most liable metric for videos because it shows how many people have watched your video completely.

The completion rate is the number of people who completed your video divided by the number of people who played it.

If no one is watching your videos completely then your content needs to be optimized. It shows the success rate of your video marketing campaign.

7. Bounce rate

You might be thinking about how this metric is important in measuring video success. Sometimes, it happens that adding a video to the web page improves the session duration.

The bounce rate is defined as the rate of your video played, where the viewer actually watches some part of your video.

So, start off by noting down the bounce rate of the page before you add the video and after adding the video to the page, check if there is any improvement in the bounce rate. And how the audience is interacting with the new video content.

Bonus tips for awesome video content

As I mentioned in the beginning, everyone is capable of producing and publishing content these days and everyone is doing it. So, before concluding this blog, I would like to give you readers a few more tips, techniques, and strategies to give you an edge over other creators.

Video equipment checklist

Video marketing checklist

Source

Here’s the list of resource requirements you need to fulfill in order to start producing the video content:

  1. Camera: A decent quality DSLR camera would be perfect for the job and will cost you around $ 500-$ 600. A high-end camera smartphone like Samsung S10+, Google Pixel 4, or iPhone 11 Pro will also do the trick and will cost you the same.
  2. Tripod: It’s very effective for video stabilization and vlogging purposes as it makes your camera portable to carry. So, spend on tripods which are lighter in weight.
  3. External Mic: This will improve the quality of sound in your video and especially when you’re shooting for online courses and explainer videos. It will cost you around $ 100-200.
  4. Lighting: In the starting, you can use a reflector to take advantage of ambient light. If you want to step up to more powerful lighting, you can use something like a softbox.
  5. Editing Software: You just need a few skills like editing out your vocal pauses and inserting some text. This would be enough to make a good quality video, as the final content matters the most anyway. You can use expert tools like Adobe Premiere Pro in Windows and Final Cut X Pro in Mac.
  6. Editing Hardware: As much as you need the editing software for finishing videos, you also need some graphic power to run that software. Low-graphic power systems make it difficult to alter large size files. It should have minimum requirements – 8GB RAM, 2GB VRAM Graphic Card, Intel 6th Gen or AMD FX.

Make a great video

In this section, we will check everything that makes a video great:

  1. Use a script: Writing a script for your video helps you deliver 2-3x content in a short period of time. You don’t have to write each and every word; the outline structure will do just fine. For reference read: Write a Video Script 
  2. All direction lighting: Using the omnidirectional method gives your object more sharpness and natural feel.
  3. Soundproofing: Shooting in an echoing room will make you sound terrible. Buy soundproofing material or throw some thick yoga mats on the floor.
  4. Color Correction: This can make a huge difference in the output of your raw footage. It is the most undervalued but an important editing part of the video.
  5. Lots of cuts: Cutting is essential to the delivery of your audio and making it clean, and precise. It can help you remove all the noise, avoid filler words, and streamline the content flow.
  6. Animation Effects: If you’re making explainer videos or educational content, then graphics give you a bonus in conveying your message. You can use software like Adobe After Effects and also outsource tasks to some experts in the field.

Few more strategies

Here are a few more advanced strategies that will help you give more views on your videos:

  1. First Impression: Capture your audience’s attention in the first 5-10 seconds by starting your video with a question, compelling story, or telling them what they will learn in the whole video.
  2. Longer Videos: Try uploading videos longer than 5-10 minutes on very different topics and make them detailed and filled with insights. Long-form content works greatly if created well.
  3. Theme Consistency: You should be consistent with your branding in each and every video. Try to create a theme consisting of your brand color, font, voice, and niche topics which will help you increase brand awareness.
  4. Humor: Using humor in your videos will make your content more watchable. I don’t recommend filling it up with jokes unless you’re a comedian. Just using one or two light-hearted funny lines in the script would be perfect.
  5. Sequence: Always ask your audience to watch the next related video on the topic. On YouTube, you can show them in suggestions and make a playlist.

Tools for video analytics

Video marketing tools

We have already learned what metrics we should measure and here’s how we can measure them:

  1. Vimeo: Advanced video analytics to help you learn more and decide better. It delivers quality and focuses on building a huge community.
  2. Wistia: It has a great feature to show you the bounce rate when a person jumps off from your video and a complete brand customization capability for embedded players.
  3. Vidyard: It offers a defined reporting dashboard and has integration with major marketing automation software. It also gives real-time video views data.
  4. Google Analytics: Firstly, it is free to use. Perfect if you’re just starting off. It gives you the ability to build a customized dashboard and can be specifically used to track conversion rates.

Conclusion

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this guide for video marketing and its best practices.

Video marketing may look intimidating at first but it’s the present and future of content and you can always start slow. You’ll be able to produce good quality content with practice and don’t forget to align content with your brand.

Creating and publishing videos to grow your brand is way easier than ever and make sure to be a part of this big bubble. Start by turning your epic blogs into different, small pieces of videos in an interesting way and re-purpose all your insightful text content into videos.

Go out other and amaze your audience with your videos and keep improvising all the time.

Light, Camera, Roll, Action!

Which part of this guide intrigued you the most and what points did I miss out on?

Please have your say. I am listening.

Himanshu Rauthan is an entrepreneur, Co-Founder at MakeWebBetter, BotMyWork, and the Director of CEDCOSS Technologies. He can be found on Twitter @himanshurauthan.

The post Video marketing: The ultimate guide (You’ll only need this) appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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The email marketing landscape 2019 and way ahead for 2020

March 19, 2020 No Comments

Email marketing has always been one of the top ways when it comes to reaching out to a targeted set of audiences for product marketing. One of the best drivers behind email marketing being a major element for product marketing is the fact that for every dollar you spent on email, the ROI is substantial in terms of the conversion drawn from the pursuit.

Email marketing has also always managed to be a great platform for collecting user data and making an effort to understand their behavior better. With this data at hand, marketers have been able to supercharge their email personalization efforts and target the right set of the audience so that the RoI on conversion is highly enhanced.

2019 for email marketing was all about the mobile and interactive approach to marketing, event-based email marketing, personalized email marketing, an automated email marketing system in place along with a lot of other trends. It would be fair to say that these trends just got stronger for the new year and they will definitely be finding their way into the 2020 guides meant for running successful email marketing campaigns.

In this blog post, we will be talking about the email marketing landscape drawn from 2019 and the way ahead for email marketing professionals in the new year, 2020.

1. Email personalization for better conversions

The subscriber that you are basically looking to target is clearly receiving over 50-100 other marketing emails every day. So, what makes you think that your email stands a chance of being clicked upon? Well, that is the power of email personalization. We are just not talking of using the first name of the subscriber because that is so old-school and won’t help you sail the boat.

Personalization can be easily introduced by assessing and working on these factors

  • What time of day do your subscribers want to receive emails?
  • What segment of your subscribers from a particular list is interested in what type of products?
  • Do they enjoy interactive email copy?

We are talking about implementing segmentation and adding tags so that you can really kickstart your entire personalization strategy when it comes to marketing emails. This can be effectively done through creating customized emails by using the purchase and browsing history of these subscribers along with other moves such as setting a customized email frequency for these subscribers. Location-based dynamic content is also a hyper-personalized effort in this direction.

As a business, it is important to have specific and measurable goals in mind before starting an email campaign. To be able to get to a stage where you are able to measure the success of your personalized email campaign, open and click-through rates are a great tool. Here’s how businesses can do it:

  • Begin by collecting the right data from readers on sign-up forms. Email marketing tools like Campaign Monitor can be highly effective.
  • Next up, test your subject lines thoroughly to assess the strength of personalization juice in them. Tools like Drip can help you split-test subject lines to see how your audience responds.
  • Explore triggered emails; tools like Intercom can help. They are very helpful with up-selling and cross-selling, welcome, re-engagement, and more.

2. Mobile marketing FTW

Just in a manner that mobile websites became a mainstream trend and have continued to, mobile marketing is a successful thing. It is true because marketing data has shown significant growth in mobile average order value in 2018 and beyond. People are open and willing to make larger purchases by placing orders through their mobile devices because the user experience on mobile devices is seamless.

So, it is recommended that marketers do their best when it comes to offering details around their product i.e. images, descriptions, or customer reviews so that subscribers get backed by the nudge to take some action on the email. It is going to be imperative for email marketers to choose a fluid design and enable their email for seamless viewing. CTAs will continue to get more pressing yet subtle in the game of mobile email marketing. So, watch out.

The right mobile email strategy in place will always entail how you, as a business, can use the prowess of the smartphone lying in your prospective customer’s pocket. Mobile email marketing for businesses begins with a mobile-friendly website. Your business website actually needs to be best friends with mobile compatibility if you want the optimum success of your email marketing campaigns.

With a mobile-friendly website on the table, mobile-friendly content is a must. A great headline and compact content is the recipe. Just remember that people don’t want to read much but they want to absorb max information without scrolling too much. With Localization and access to geographical data, you can power-up your mobile strategy game.

3. Interactive emails will continue to engage

If you were to put yourself in the shoes of your subscribers, wouldn’t receiving marketing emails with fun content such as games and quizzes be a better way? Yes, absolutely yes! This is why interactive content in your email marketing strategy will continue to dominate the arena and bring better conversions. In 2020, the approach is going to be around pushing functional interactivity in marketing emails. Animated CTAs are fun and functional along with roll-over effects for product browsing while also serving the purpose of boosting sales and conversions. This “fun” clickability pursuit will usher in as the new year rings in.

Here are a few ways to integrate interactive content in your emails

  • CSS animated buttons attract the right attention and bring a sense of gamification
  • An interactive email template with a multi-question survey for the audience pre and post their buyers’ journey.
  • The image rollover effect is also a great way to attract some attention and introduce interactivity to your email strategy.

4. User-generated content

A very important email marketing heads-up for the new year 2020 is the implementation of user-generated content (UGC) for driving real-time engagement. It is something as simple as encouraging your subscribers to submit content through these marketing emails. User-generated reviews have a huge potential and are super valuable when they can help you make other users make an informed purchase. Adding interactivity to your emails can also be an asset in gathering this UGC.

You can easily turn abandoned shopping carts into realized sales with the use of UGC in your email marketing. You can easily convince the user to consider the fact that a real user is a loyal follower of your brand and with their UGC, they vouch for your credibility. For example, a travel planning business can use the photos taken by their previous clients such as photos taken on the customer’s planned itinerary. It will really help build excitement for the prospective customer.

5. Social + Email = Absolute marketing success

This one isn’t new. Bringing together social media marketing and email marketing is quite the success recipe for expert email marketers. When brought together, the platforms become an enabler for each other and in the process, they impart value to your marketing emails.

This process has always been there; prompting your social media followers to sign up for your emails/newsletters and embedding your social media links in the email copy of your marketing emails. In 2019 and 2020, the approach has managed to evolve and now using your social media to send out updates about your emails is a thing.

6. Automated email marketing

We cannot emphasize enough on the fact that email marketing automation is going to be a priority in 2020 as it was in 2019. Having Marketing software has always and will help marketers unlock more data, get the increased workflows kicking, and get the real work done. Considering the AI and machine-learning vertical, the world of automated email marketing systems is only going to get stronger and more performance-focused.

In a nutshell, the landscape for the 2020 email marketing domain is going to be very similar but an edge over from what it was in the fleeting year of 2019. Based on the predictions made by experts in the marketing world, these trends will continue to thrive with chunks of improvements and evolvement every now and then. For the skilled marketer out there, it is imperative that they think the landscape through and develop a rocking email marketing strategy that is infused with all the power-pointers mentioned above and have a blast in 2020 by delivering a successful email marketing approach.

The post The email marketing landscape 2019 and way ahead for 2020 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Top tips to grease your email marketing wheels in 2020

March 10, 2020 No Comments

Sometime back the COO of Facebook had blurted out some unfortunate things about email marketing – that emails are going away and that marketers will have to focus on teenagers of today to finalize the marketing strategies of tomorrow, and so on and so forth.

Food for thought

Emails are timeless, dependable, unsung moneymakers that have invariably found continued success and more customers for almost 50 years now. And still, there’s no stopping it.

In fact, researches by Radicati Group found out that there were 3.9 million email users in 2019, and the market is expected to grow over to 4.3 million by the end of 2023.

email marketing

This means, over half of the world population has been using emails in 2019 and the medium happens to generate more ROI than what meets the eye – $ 44 per dollar spent

Underlining the strength of emails, yet another research by Drift and Survey Monkey revealed that 65% of respondents in the past 12 months have communicated with organizations via emails, ranking it way above the rest.

email marketing

Being around for so long, this phenomenon in economics is known as the Lindy effect.

The Lindy effect

Author Nassim Taleb in his popular book ‘Antifragile’ speaks about the Lindy Effect. According to him, the life expectancy of a business or an idea is in proportion to its current age.

Taleb states, “If a book has been in print for forty years, I can expect it to be in print for another forty years. And, if it survives another decade, then it will be expected to be in print another fifty years. Every year that passes without extinction doubles the additional life expectancy.”

Now, emails have already been around for 50 years, and so we could expect to see it around in 2070 as well. But then no, you can’t just get out there and shoot emails.

As email marketers, first and foremost, you will have to think about re-inventing the existing email marketing strategies in a big bang way if you wish to sustain your business’ email ROI in 2020 and beyond.

Simply put, email marketing will have to embrace videos, personalization, data, mobile, among many other strategies to retain their respective audience base.

This post is an attempt to highlight the key strategies that businesses need to adopt in 2020 to grease their email campaigns in 2020.

1. Mobile-centric emails

If anything, the mobile-mindset is sweeping across the digital marketing spectrum. According to email usage stats by emailmonday, email opens are happening more on mobile than desktop.

email marketing

This means, if you still haven’t got your emails mobile-responsive, you are leaving a lot of money on the table.

Now, the question is how to optimize your emails for mobile?

Simple, you need to cut down the size of your copy, images and the overall design to suit the mobile format. A concise copy gives a clear view of the CTA button, which, in turn, leads to more visitors to your landing pages, blogs or product pages. More importantly, shorter copies make the emails much more scannable.

Here’s an example by campaignmonitor on how short copies offer clean, easy-on-your-eyes email experience to subscribers while checking their messages on mobile.

Unlike the first image, the second image is perfectly tailor-made for mobile screening.

The benefits of such copies can be seen clearly when you open such an email on mobile:

  • Sufficient white space in the copy offers an easy reading experience
  • The image on the first fold inspires further scrolling
  • A short copy means the CTA appears clearly. This saves the recipient from scrolling further down to reach a CTA button.

In case any additional copy or data needs to be added, you could accommodate that on the landing page to which your email CTA directs.

Further, make sure to test your emails from a user perspective. You cannot leave this to chance because users might spare only some time to check your emails on their phones. If they don’t like what they see, they are sure to delete your emails at once, let alone read the message.

2. Voice-friendly emails

Being mobile-centric is just one thing. By and by, you will have to make it voice-technology-friendly as well as the use of voice technology is growing worldwide.

In 2019, almost 112 million people, in the US alone, used a voice assistant, at least monthly, on different devices.

If you look at it, that’s quite a huge pool of users who’d love using voice-enabled emails as the technology progresses in the future. Some of the popular voice-assistant technologies currently in use include Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Samsung’s Bixby, and Microsoft Cortana.

Presently, if you are using Amazon Alexa it will help you do five basic things with your email.

  •  Read it
  •  Reply to it
  •  Delete it
  •  Archive-it
  •  Switch to the next message

This could prove to one of the most effective and ingenious email marketing strategies of this century as it makes your message heard despite the busy schedule of subscribers. So, even if your email recipient is busy pursuing some other activity, a voice-enabled email would help you to quickly figure out the content of your email.

Even Apple’s Siri is programmed to offer you similar functionalities. You can check out How Alexa Reads Your Emails & Impacts Email Marketing blog to get further ideas on how to use Alexa for your emails.

3. AI-driven emails

Not long ago, email marketing was purely driven by human instinct, be it the subject line or the send time. It was spray and pray strategy, more or less.

No more. AI has taken the hassle out of email marketing as marketers can now make accurate predictions, that too, not just with the subject lines but the send time as well. Plus, it also offers amazing recommendations.

How does AI do that?

AI, powered by machine learning, makes use of massive data to arrive at decisions that keep evolving as it learns. Though humans are involved in AI training initially, but then, by and by, they evolve themselves to find their own solutions and pathways.

Here are a few top use cases of AI in email marketing:

A. Craft outstanding subject lines

AI-powered by NLG, which runs on large and structured data sets, is quite good at churning out outstanding subject lines that could even beat copywriters’ hands down. In addition to subject lines, AI is quite capable of generating content for social shares, press releases and more. From word choice to emojis and sentiments, the copies are spot on and delivered quickly.  And, more than anything generates more opens for your emails.

B. Optimization of  send times

In 2020, marketers will have to optimize email send times based on historical open patterns of the audience. Say, for example, if Jonny opens his inbox between 10.00 am and 1.00 pm then you need to make sure that your emails reach his inbox during that period of time and not later.

But then, his sister Joanna opens her inbox around 5.00 pm. Manually it’s almost impossible for marketers to shoot so many emails, at different points in time, especially when tens of thousands of customers are involved.

This is where AI could chip in with its expertise. AI is programmed to handle problems of scale easily. The technology dissects mountains of data to come up with a predictive model for every contact on your list. This way, every individual, on your list, is sent an email at a time when they are most likely to open it.

C. Smarter segmentation of email marketing lists

Segmentation of the email list enables marketers to develop a relevant buyer persona, which, in turn, helps them shoot tailor-made emails.  Such segmented email campaigns are known to increase revenues by a whopping 760%. However, such segmentation, though it yields good results, isn’t good enough.

Combined with AI, smarter segmentation, on the other hand, helps you generate a list that significantly accelerates open and click rates. This is because it thoroughly analyzes the behavior of the current customers and finds patterns that help you segment the audience in new ways. And, the brilliance of it is, that it gets the job done faster than what any humans could do.

Customization is central to capturing today’s audiences. And with smarter segmentation, you get optimized email lists that help your emails perform better.

4. Video centered emails

Yet another way to bolster your email marketing efforts is to add videos to your email campaign. It’s one of the proven ways to increase leads, educate customers and, in the process, enhance brand awareness.

And being a clear differentiator in terms of content, it manages to stand out from the mass of emails that you receive every day. They offer several advantages:

  • Immediately hooks the audience and drives engagement
  • More impactful than plain text as it communicates product or service information better and faster. This, in turn, ensures a faster response rate from users.
  • Complex topics are easily explained
  • Videos are viral in nature
  • Wide social media sharing, thus boosting a brand’s SEO ranking

Also, don’t forget, if your client’s emails are not HTML5-compatible, they won’t be able to view your videos. In such cases, you could do two things: One, you could create an image that looks like a video image. Once the user clicks on it, it would direct the user to YouTube. Just ensure that your video is on an autoplay mode. Two: Embed GIFs or cinemagraphs. According to Experian Research, 72% percent of brands using animated GIF or a cinemagraph experience higher transaction rates.

5. AMP for emails

As it turns out, AMP or accelerated mobile pages was introduced by Google to speed up the mobile web, specifically the landing pages, blog posts, and even full websites.  Now, with millions of domains already under the “AMP”ed umbrella, the open-source technology is expanding its reach to emails as well.

AMP for emails will allow email marketers to create more interactive and actionable emails with the help of AMP elements. Broadly put, when you add interactive features such as accordions, confirmation, carousels, and purchase buttons in your email, AMP will allow you to take actions inside their emails without opening a new tab or visiting the website.

Additionally, emails can be updated in terms of news articles, weather, stock prices, and so on.

Of course, each of these things is possible when you run a third party script Javascript inside these emails. However, according to Google experts, running a third party script inside an email may cause loads of security issues, which is not the case with AMP for emails.  In this case, the documents are analyzed for spam, phishing, among many other things, which, in turn, ensures the safety of the user.

Other benefits of AMP for Emails

The technology will swap static content with a more dynamic web-page like the content. So users will be able to receive highly personalized content on-demand in the form of current product prices, weather updates, news, and so forth.

It’s a red hot technology. Only a few marketers are experimenting with this technology. This means you have the edge over your rivals if you have a clear cut idea on how to use AMP elements inside your emails while interacting with the users.

Known email service providers such as Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook support AMP technology. This means you can add AMP elements into the emails for most of your subscribers.

Examples of AMP emails

Pinterest: AMP allows you to enlarge each of the images, inside the email, and see more detailed information, instead of visiting the Pinterest webpage.  

Source: sendpulse

Doodle: With the help of the Doodle website, AMP for emails can help you create, manage, and respond to polls. Plus, you can set dates for meetings without opening a new tab.

Source: sendpulse

Bonus point

Overall quality should be the goal

Integrating all the latest technology and all is fine, but then don’t forget it’s the rudimentary aspects that make your emails click-worthy, that is content and design. So, by all accounts, take into consideration the following points while designing your email.

A. Content

An email shouldn’t have more than 50 words because a reader won’t be putting in more than 13.4 seconds to read it.

So, how do you write a compelling copy in 50 words?  Litmus recommends the following tips:

  • Short sentences
  • Limited jargons
  • Localization

B. Design

Some simple ways to make email designs accessible and effective to a broader audience:

  • Use Real text HTML
  • Be cognizant of font sizes, line spacing, and text justification
  • High contrasting colors
  • Ensure visual hierarchy

C. Code

To make sure that your emails can be read as soon as they are opened you need to slightly tweak your code. A solid code-base assures accessibility.

So how do you ensure a solid code-base?

  • Enter alternative text for images
  • Make HTML tables accessible to screen readers
  • Use semantic HTML
  • Specify a language in the HTML

Going by the Lindy Effect, email marketing, at the very least, is going to around for the next 50 years. So, no matter what, make it a point to update your current email marketing tactics with the latest technologies, be it AI, voice, video or AMP for emails.

The post Top tips to grease your email marketing wheels in 2020 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Marketing On Amazon [Report] – My Top Takeaways

March 9, 2020 No Comments

Innovell has recently released Marketing On Amazon, a 67-page report based on months of interviews and in-depth surveys. I’ve read the entire report and want to share my top takeaways with you.

Read more at PPCHero.com
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10 “Real” Marketing Tips for Wealth Management Firms

March 5, 2020 No Comments

Are you getting tired of sifting through countless marketing articles trying to get some actual tangible advice to grow your Wealth Management company? Finding out that many of them fall short in terms of specific strategies by merely stating the obvious? Well, this article is different. I will cut through the gibberish and provide actual “hands-on” strategies that can help either a wealth management office or even financial consultants looking to grow their online presence.

#1 Basic Digital Marketing

Most of the public associates Google with SEO (Search Engine optimization) and even though they are somewhat correct, it’s much more than that. Even though PPC (Pay-Per-Click) has been a staple in digital marketing longer than algorithm-optimized SEO, they are both still a major factor in generating traffic and sales to websites. However, (SEM) Search Engine Marketing has evolved immensely, and industries such as Legal, Banking and Wealth Management communities need to adjust their strategies accordingly.

Honestly, there’s a reason why Google’s offices serve Gelato and Filet Mignon at lunch for their employees. It’s because they can charge outrageous amount of $ $ for specific keyword based on their alleged value. Let’s face it, Google Ads is not always cost-effective. For example, anything with the keyword “Wealth Manager, Estate Planning, ” is crazy expensive. The only way that this might be profitable is if you Cost/Conversion or “life-time value” metric that meets your requirements. To help explain, I will provide some “outside the box” strategies that can help ease the $ $ pain

Here’s an example of Google Ads Pricing (These are lower than in reality)

#2 Outside the Box Matters

When thinking about search marketing, the most important metrics to consider are (1) search volume and (2) estimated value of the content/keywords. However, when doing PPC Marketing keyword research, it’s not so easy. For example: Bidding on general legal keywords (IRA Rollover, Wealth Management) can result in the following dilemmas:

  • Highly competitive
  • Very Expensive
  • Higher risk for click fraud
  • Loss of Ad serving due to budget constraints

How do we remedy the problem?

Below are a few examples on how to classify keyword research in order to evaluate ROI and overall understanding of searching behaviors.

  • Long-Tail Keywords: These are longer specific phrases to filter out general searches
    • (wealth management services for veterans, retirement planning for military widows)
  • Intent Classification: Grouping keyword terms that are segmented by an interaction potential
    • High Intent: (wealth management office in Wayne, PA)
    • Medium Intent: (Finance planner in PA)
    • Low Intent: (Financial Consultant)
  • Industry Specific Terms: These terms are highly specific in their service and can provide less competition and lower CPCs
    • “HNWI Financial Planning”
    • “REIT’s Consultants”
    • “UITs Unit Investment Trusts”

#3 Stock Portfolio (No Pun Intended)

Yes, in the digital marketing world, the stock portfolio approach is a virtual must. We are “fishing where the fish are” in today’s world that is EVERYWHERE.

  • Google Ads (search, display)
  • Bing Ads
  • LinkedIn Ads
  • Twitter Ads
  • Facebook Ads
  • Ad Retargeting
  • Organic Search

#4 Ever Heard of LinkedIn

Yes, LinkedIn can be used as a marketing tool not just for gloating about a job promotion and posting articles; it is also a powerful B2B and B2C advertising platform. In fact, LinkedIn Ads has impressive targeting abilities that include targeting specific industries and individuals based on job position levels.

#5 Team vs. Player

In some cases, many Wealth Management offices would rather NOT want to advertise specific employee and just focus on the generalization of their law services. However, in some instances, it can be a marketing “gold-mine” based on news and/or buzz online. If a firm is known for a specific service and is written up in a magazine where the representing attorney has received an award, then having that persons’ name in marketing efforts will most likely provide a higher intent to convert at a lower cost.

#6 Bridging the Channel Gap

This is sort of an “oldie but goodie” strategy. If a Firm is advertising outside of the online world, it is always a good idea to compliment the same branding and messaging online. For example, if a Firm’s slogan/tagline on TV is “ Were the Money Makers”, then there should be the following online:

  • Google Ads campaign with keywords related to “Were the Money Makers”
  • Creation of a content-heavy landing page (within the existing website) about “Were the Money Makers”
  • Banner Ads that say “Were the Money Makers”

#7 Free, Free, Free

Once in a while, it is nice to generate website traffic and visibility for basically nothing. In this case, I am talking about Google Places and pushing content/blog posts through social media.

In the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), Google Places is a very lucrative position, especially on mobile devices within a specific geographic. In the Legal world, this is golden. It doesn’t cost anything, includes the ability to post photos, receive reviews/feedback, etc..

Pushing content via Social media: Now, it may cost money to hire a writer to develop content, but it does not cost anything to make it viral through social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others.

#8 Little Secret from Comedians

You’re probably wondering where I am going with this. Well, it has been widely known that “Timing” is a crucial part of a successful comedy. Moreover, the same can be said for online marketing. For example, let’s suppose there is a big news story about a lawsuit regarding a case involving Estate Charitable Giving. Well, since “Estate Charitable Giving” is in the public eye, the shelf life will eventually dissipate by the next day or so. To leverage this, a Law Firm that provides Estate Charitable Giving could benefit by pushing their own content, provide opinions in social media, or even create a small PPC Marketing campaign around these terms.

#9 That Annoying Retargeting:

I’m sure everyone has experienced that annoying banner that follows you everywhere you go, but in the same breath, you want to do the same to others than visited your website. Well, there are more refined strategies to retargeting that can help filter out that annoyance. For example, here are some retargeting options:

  • Target people who only visit specific pages or interactions to limit wasteful ad dollars
  • Upload email lists of current and past leads/customer into Google Ads and Facebook Ads (called RSLA)
  • You can create “Look-a-like” audiences in Facebook Ads were Facebook can identify similar audiences and target ads to them directly. (little scary but works)

#10 Ever Heard of Analytics?

Analytics is the key to everything. The biggest issue Law Firms face is not only trying to understand what the data means but also to make sure their website is being accurate tracked for every interaction point. For example:

  • Phone Calls
  • All Online Forms
  • Online Chats
  • Visits of a specific highly relevant page

Besides validating that the Analytics tracking code is correctly tracking information, advertisers also need to have a firm understanding of at least the following metrics:

  • Where did they come from?
  • What pages did they visit most?
  • Where are my leads coming from?
  • What is their GEO location?
  • Which days of the week are better than others?
  • Did that TV commercial increase traffic for a specific day?

In conclusion:

The purpose of this article was to provide actual “tangible” strategies that have been used with legal clients in the past (and present). If you are a wealth management firm of in the financial planning industry and would like to connect with us, please feel free to reach out to me greg@afterclicks.com


PPC Marketing | Google Ads Consultant


Six great ways to get more out of your digital marketing campaigns in 2020

March 4, 2020 No Comments

As we enter 2020, it’s time to leave behind old marketing strategies and adopt new ones. After all, there is a lot of innovation happening. From AI in customer service to influencers taking over social media, a lot has changed in the last year. Digital marketing campaigns now sprawl across different channels, tools, and processes.

While some strategies might remain partially the same, they will get a facelift in 2020. If you are looking to take your marketing to the next level in 2020, we’ve got some tips for you.

Here are some of the best ways to get more out of your marketing campaigns this year:

1. Create more video content

Videos have transformed the content marketing landscape. They have changed the way brands promote their products and create content. And video content is also becoming more popular. Wondering why?

Because people like watching videos.

In fact, 72% of people said that they would like to watch videos to learn about a product or service.

If you haven’t been using video content, you’re losing out on a lot of opportunities to grow your brand. With the evolution of social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook, the video content game has changed dramatically. Video content is a versatile tool to increase brand awareness and drive engagement.

So, what kind of videos can brands create for promotion?

There are many different options — educational videos, onboarding videos, meet-the-team videos, customer journey videos, event videos, and more.

Looking for inspiration?

Take a look at the Reebok video marketing campaign

They created a video for their #HonourYourDays campaign which shows a woman’s relationship with running in reverse mentioning that the average human life is about 25,915 days.

While it doesn’t directly promote their products, it does highlight the importance of fitness. It’s a great way to spread awareness without being too promotional.

Source: YouTube

2. Use chatbots to enhance customer experience

With the help of intelligent chatbots, you can also leverage customer data. These virtual assistants are capable of collecting data from customer interactions and giving you insights into how your brand can improve.

For example, if customers are complaining about a specific product, you can dive deep into the issue and understand the problem on a granular level.

Providing a great customer experience can help brands increase lead generation and revenue. What’s more, it can also help you improve your customer experience and lower your customer acquisition cost.

One of the biggest benefits of customer service chatbots is that they are available 24×7 and give quick responses to queries.

Chatbots are also great tools for helping customers keep track of their purchases.

Mastercard’s chatbot on Facebook Messenger

For example, Mastercard’s chatbot on Facebook Messenger allows its users to ask specific questions. On it, a user can ask how much they’ve spent on food or on Uber.

For each user, the answer is personalized based on their bank statement. Users can also send submit questions to ask for more information about a particular product.

Mastercard's Facebook Messenger chatbot used for digital marketing

Image via Mastercard

3. Focus on personalization

Most content marketers believe that when a prospect customer engages with their brand and makes a purchase, it’s a win.

But what’s next?

A customer journey starts right from when a target customer engages with your brand and it continues through conversion. But it also includes providing customer support and elevating their buyers’ journey to turn them into cheerleaders of your brand.

So, it is essential to reach out to your audience and provide valuable services that are not solely revenue-centric. 76% of consumers believe that it’s easy to switch to a different brand to find an experience that will match their expectations.

So, how can you provide a memorable experience to your customers?

That’s where personalization comes into play. Not only can it improve the customer experience you deliver, but it can also boost your sales.

Providing a personalized experience can significantly impact your relationships with your customers. So, how can you create a more personalized experience for your customers?

Tools like Google Analytics and Cortex can help you get insights into your audience’s behavior. By using that data, you can find out what kind of content your audience is looking for and then optimize your content creation strategy accordingly.

4. Leverage influencer marketing

Influencer marketing has grown to become a whopping five to ten billion-dollar industry. It has helped marketers reach their target audiences, generate brand awareness, get more leads, and boost sales.

Collaborating with social media influencers has become a great way for brands to promote their products and services. When an influencer endorses your brand or reviews your product, it can get you a lot of publicity.

How?

Take a leaf from Daniel Wellington’s digital marketing strategy

To create buzz about their brand, they send their watches to multiple influencers. They encourage those influencers to create posts with the hashtag #DanielWellington to help promote their products.

Daniel Wellington’s digital marketing strategy

Source: Instagram

Another example of great influencer marketing is Subaru’s #MeetAnOwner campaign

In this campaign, the company reached out to influencers from diverse backgrounds. One of the biggest influencers in their campaign was Devin Graham (@devinsupertramp) with over five million YouTube subscribers at the time. He is known for his daredevilry.

By partnering with Devin, Subaru was able to reach out to outdoor adventure junkies. Graham’s sponsored video with Subaru gained around 1.3 million views and 1.1k comments.

Source: YouTube

5. Automate your email marketing campaigns

About 73% of marketers consider email marketing to be crucial to their company’s success.

But it can be a time-consuming strategy. If you’re short on time, there is a way out – automate your email marketing campaigns. Not only can it help you save a ton of time, but it can also help you create more personalized content.

With this strategy, you can ensure that your content is delivered to your customers at the right times.

For instance, if a customer has abandoned their cart, you can send them a reminder to complete the transaction.

Here’s an example of how American technology company, FiftyThree, notifies their customers about abandoned carts with an appealing message.

example of automating email marketing campaigns

Source: Shopify

Marketers often use these emails to encourage their customers to take another step or get closer to a purchase.

Emails also provide you with an opportunity to upsell your products.

For example, an email that includes a section containing products similar to a user’s previous purchases can trigger their engagement.

Amazon's example of using product suggestions via email marketing

Source: Smartrmail

Email automation saves the time and efforts that are otherwise invested into following up with each action of a user. It also reduces the potential for errors such as hitting the send button prematurely when the user might not be ready.

6. Build a community

Building a community around your brand will help you improve your brand awareness, drive higher engagement, and organically boost your SEO.

When users create and share content around your brand, you are likely to get noticed by search engines. Brand mentions, post shares, comments, and likes — all of these help your cause.

Further, having a community of followers also helps strengthen your branding.

When you share valuable content that helps your target audience or aligns with their interests, they tend to associate more with your brand and become loyal customers.

Some companies even have brand ambassadors who regularly create content for them in return for benefits such as free products, invites to product launches or other events.

A great example of a community is GoPro, an action camera company that has solidified its position in the market by building a strong community of sports enthusiasts, photographers, and adventurers across the world.

The brand builds personal relationships with their customers while maintaining a focus on its target audience of sports enthusiasts.

example of GoPro's digital marketing campaign

Source: Instagram

Conclusion

Videos, chatbots, influencer marketing, personalization, and more — there is a lot of innovation happening in the digital marketing space. Anyone, from big brands to mom-and-pop stores, can use these strategies to grow their business. What are you waiting for? It’s time to incorporate these strategies into your marketing plan for 2020.

Have you used any of these strategies before? Please share your experiences and insights in the comments section.

Shane Barker is a Digital Strategist, Brand and Influencer Consultant. He can be found on Twitter @shane_barker.

The post Six great ways to get more out of your digital marketing campaigns in 2020 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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TikTok: The next marketing platform for brands

February 11, 2020 No Comments

TikTok, it’s the social media platform that’s taking the world by storm. Gen Z is all over it, and even millennials are joining in on the fun. Can brands be far behind? But what is TikTok, and is it lucrative enough for brands to include in their 2020 marketing plan?

We look at the growing popularity of the channel, what it means for brands, and how companies can maximize their TikTok marketing.

The rise of TikTok

TikTok is a mobile video app much like the now-defunct Vine, created by parent company ByteDance, a startup based in Beijing, China. Launched in 2016, the app currently boasts over 500 million active users and is popular in India, China, and the US.

Users create short, fun looping videos, from 15 seconds to a minute long that’s usually set to music available from the vast TikTok library. The app also offers effects like split screens and filters much like in Snapchat and Instagram. It also provides live streaming.

Alongside the videos that users can create, they can also remix songs and create playlists, in the same vein as Spotify. Like most other social platforms, there is a certain level of interaction between members on the app, such as liking, commenting, hashtagging, and sending hearts.

TikTok recently incorporated paid advertising, which has encouraged brands to join the app and promote themselves.

Why brands should join TikTok

The number of users on TikTok and the app’s potential to grow should be sufficient enough reason for brands with a mobile marketing strategy to join.

But there is reason to seriously consider whether or not it is worth joining the app. For one, the majority of TikTok users are Gen Z, with a few millennials thrown in for good measure.

If your target audience is Gen Z, TikTok may be the next platform to try while Instagram and Snapchat also cater to this demographic, TikTok is centered entirely on them. 

A presence on TikTok could help you boost the reach within this demographic with ease.

On the other hand, if you aren’t exclusively catering to Gen Z – though most marketing trends suggest you should, TikTok may be superfluous to your social media strategy. 

There is no point in stretching yourself thin if the other platforms are doing the job of improving your reach and conversions.

Additionally, take a look at how important video content is to your marketing strategy. Ask yourself, are you creating videos for your channels regularly? If yes, then TikTok could be a good fit.

You also need to ascertain whether your niche will be well represented on TikTok since the app is very entertainment-focused and takes a whimsical approach to content.

Can you mimic that tone in your content and will it be appropriate for your audience? If you answered, “yes” to those questions, then you should be joining TikTok.

How to market a brand on TikTok

Now that you’ve decided that TikTok is the platform for you and will help you reach your target audience of under-30s, how do you market your brand on the app?

Because of how new the app is as compared to the popular platforms of today, it’s difficult to define a TikTok strategy. However, there are a few methods of engagement that you can use on the platform that we will outline below.

1. Behind the scenes

TikTok is a great channel to showcase life behind the scenes, take your followers through an intimate look at the workings of your organization.

A number of entertainment and news brands are making TikTok videos of their brainstorming sessions or inside writers’ rooms.

You can show how a product is conceived and goes through the stages of production until it’s finally ready to be launched for customers.

Note: You may want to consider how you’d want to do this without giving away crucial or business-sensitive information.

But remember, this is not the place to be overly sales-y as we have mentioned earlier, TikTok is about entertainment. If you can make this content fun and quirky, then it can earn you views and followers on TikTok. If you can’t accomplish this, don’t post content on the app.

2. User collaborations

A handful of TikTok users consistently create such entertaining and unique content, that they have already earned millions of followers. These creators are akin to the influencers on Instagram and Snapchat, and it is worth looking into setting up collaborations with these individuals.

Brands are still considered interlopers on TikTok, which is why creative individuals we have mentioned are the real draw.

Instead of trying to appropriate the platform with content that may not be right for the audience, partner up with creators who already know the lay of the land to make promo videos.

3. Duets

Another type of collaborative content that brands can create on TikTok is duets. These are videos where users can add a new video to an existing piece of content. The final product looks like a split-screen video. If executed well, the result can be incredibly entertaining.

Creating a video that can easily be spliced into another is a great way to boost engagement on the app and improve follower numbers.

4. Hashtag challenges

By far the most popular way to engage users on TikTok and to go viral is – to join or issue hashtag challenges. 

These challenges are social media contests usually based on a particular topic or subject, and users are encouraged to send in responses to the challenge as quickly as possible.

TikTok hashtag challenges draw in millions of users and views—if you have a creative enough challenge to share, you can see some serious engagement. 

5. Paid advertising

TikTok advertising is still a new concept but some major brands like Nike and Disney have already managed to create successful ad campaigns on the platform.

However, TikTok advertising may not be for everyone, ad campaigns need businesses to spend at least $ 500, and the cost of a campaign could number in the hundreds of thousands.

One can see why only mega brands have tried it, making it thus far for smaller businesses, native videos, and challenges that may be the way to go.

If your company does have the budget for a TikTok ad campaign, you will need to create a TikTok Ads account.

Once you have been verified, you can set the parameters for your ad, similar to how one would create a Facebook Ad campaign.

6. Reaction videos

Similar to duets, TikTok’s reaction videos are another way to create interactive and engaging content. These videos prompt reactions from people, which they can share via video.

Unlike most other platforms that only give users the option of leaving comments or likes as reactions to posts, TikTok allows users to create a reaction video that can be embedded in the original content.

Creating content that will evoke reactions strong enough for users to leave a reaction video is a good way to boost your follower numbers.

7. Branded stickers

Snapchat has had branded stickers for a while, and TikTok recently released the ability to create your own stickers, alongside importing them from Giphy.

Branded stickers, like the brand emojis on Twitter, can improve your brand awareness on the app. They don’t need to be elaborate, just fun.

However, try to keep the stickers as relevant to the popular TikTok hashtags as possible to increase the possibility of them being used.

Summing up

TikTok is new and exciting but it may not be for everyone. With a large Gen Z following and their quirky video output, TikTok is as niche as a social platform can get.

Brands need to ask themselves whether this is the audience they need to reach and whether they can commit to creating the kind of content that is popular on the app. Because TikTok is gaining popularity every day and it’s targeting the crowd that knows what is on-trend before anyone else knows it. TikTok could be the channel that sends your marketing strategy through the stratosphere. But it may be too much hard work for your team right now so you might want to keep it on your mind for the near future.  

Look at the history of the app and its niche, as well as the content channels available to brands, and make a decision about whether it is right for you or not.

Ronita Mohan is a content marketer at the online infographic and design platform, Venngage.

The post TikTok: The next marketing platform for brands appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Mastering Data: Marketing and Analytics Workshop

February 7, 2020 No Comments

Get the skills you need to better understand marketing performance, uncover new insights, build custom reports & dashboards, maximize leads, revenue, & ROAS +more.

Read more at PPCHero.com
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Four key email marketing practices to lead your business into 2020

February 5, 2020 No Comments

Even though marketing has changed quite a bit over the past decade as new channels and strategies have opened up, there is one method that remains just as effective as ever – email marketing.

Email marketing averages a 3800% ROI for both B2C and B2B companies, and 80% of businesses find that it directly correlates to higher business retention, too. However, email marketing has not stayed completely the same over the past few years and companies will need to adjust to stay relevant in 2020.

For example, in 2020, the vast majority of emails will be opened on mobile devices as opposed to desktops or webmail apps.

Source: Litmus

But, there are other changes and trends that marketers need to be aware of to keep their email marketing engaging and fresh as we enter a new decade.

Let’s break down the best practices that businesses should be using as they transition their marketing strategies for the new year.

1. Embrace the concept of smart permission-based advertising 

Email marketing used to be sort of a wide net that was cast to a large audience with the intent of catching whatever it could. These days, technology allows companies to be far more strategic and hyper-target their receivers based on data, such as demographics or behavior.

However, customers do not always love this idea of intense targeting or generalized marketing. 77% of consumers prefer permission-based advertising, specifically through email – as opposed to direct mail, text, or social ads. 

This means that to grow open rates, businesses must understand the importance of consent for targeting through opt-in email marketing. This means providing customers with the option to choose what types of marketing messages they receive from you – as well as the frequency of these emails.

For example, West Elm allows their email subscribers to choose when they want to receive emails, such as when the store is running a promotion or there are new arrivals in stock. Customers can also choose the frequency.

Westelm example on email marketing

 

Source

The majority of people will unsubscribe if they feel like businesses are constantly trying to sell them something. So it is important for companies to find the sweet spot by giving customers options that put them in control of the content they receive.

2. Remember: We live in a post-GDPR world

Modern businesses are extremely reliant on data for just about everything these days. But after all of the data leaks and breaches that occurred over the past years, as well as scandals coming to light of giant companies illegally gathering and selling customer data, consumers are warier than ever of sharing personal information.

Although the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is only in place in Europe currently, it has implications that affect businesses around the globe. For example, if your business services customers within the EU, your data collection processes must be GDPR compliant. Furthermore, these regulations have opened the eyes of many consumers to the importance of data protection.

Email marketing is heavily scrutinized when it comes to data collection so it’s important to incorporate elements into your email marketing that build trust with your audience.

One way to encourage data sharing is through transparency. Let your customers know how data sharing benefits them with personalized offers or better experiences. See how Teva does with their email opt-ins for data sharing.

Teva personalized email marketing offers

 

3. Don’t overdo the email designs 

Flashy designs, animated graphics, and multiple CTAs within an email no longer work the magic they used to. Many people find them simply annoying or even spammy, especially if they are checking the message on their mobile device.

Instead, keep the focus on what your brand has to offer and not solely on how “cool” the email looks. Get to the point quickly. If you are promoting a sale, display some good deals and incorporate CTAs that drive customers directly to those product pages.

Also, be sure to stick to the elements that influence customer behavior – like reviews. Not only do reviews help to improve your SEO, but they can also increase click-through rates.

For example, The Pearl Source used Trustpilot to automatically embed reviews into their marketing content – including email marketing, on their website, and on product pages. This helped consumers see overall ratings and comments before buying.

By displaying their total number of over 6,500 verified reviews, the brand also established social proof and cultivated trust with new consumers off the bat.

In the world of email marketing and marketing as a whole, authenticity trumps flashy designs. This is a reality that has solidified itself over the past decade and will almost certainly continue into the 20s.

4. Automate your hyper-personalized campaigns 

Automation in email marketing offers a lot of great benefits. It can do wonders to impact sales by lowering cart abandonment and boosting customer retention rates. The more relevant your emails are, the more revenue you stand to generate and the best way to ensure this is through personalized automation.

This goes beyond just including the customer’s name in the subject heading. Instead, every element of the messaging needs to be catered to a customer based on key data points, such as:

  • Their product viewing history
  • Past purchases
  • Recent behavior

One great example is this automated email from Tarte Cosmetics, which sends out personally curated product suggestions based on the customer’s purchases and product views.

Tarte example of hyper personalized email marketing

 

In 2020, it will be crucial for companies to use trigger-based automation to perfect the timing of their messages. For instance, say that a customer views a product and adds it to their cart, but ends up abandoning it. If an email is sent 24 hours later alerting them that stock is running low or the price has dropped, it could result in a conversion.

Tarte retouching on incomplete user journeys for conversions

In conclusion  

In 2020, it is quite apparent that consumers want more control over their experiences and interactions with brands. So, it is important that marketers understand how to accommodate consumers’ preferences when it comes to email marketing – while still being able to increase sales.

By opting for permission-based marketing and including more elements that matter to consumers like personalization, reviews, and data sharing options, you can expect to see impressive returns from your email marketing in 2020.

Manish Dudharejia is the President and Founder of E2M Solutions Inc.

The post Four key email marketing practices to lead your business into 2020 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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