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Showing posts from March 29, 2017
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Marketing automation struggles to reach its full potential

Marketing automation is on the rise. The reason? Marketing automation vendors are promising accelerated revenue and improved ROI (return on investment).How will it do this? With lead nurture campaigns that provide specific content aligned to the buyer’s needs and lead scoring models that deliver warmed leads to the sales team.Yet a majority of marketing organizations are not using their highly sophisticated marketing automation tools to their full potential. It’s mortifying to the marketers in the trenches trying to do what’s right.Worse, it’s beyond frustrating to the C-suite who invested in a tool with such promise. Remember, they agreed to the tool purchase based on expected results like 14.5 percent increase in sales productivity or a 12.2 percent reduction in marketing overhead, or a 451 percent increase in qualified leads.While the C-suite has bought into marketing automation, a struggle remains where the rubber hits the road. Executing on campaigns that leverage behavioral info…

Study: PPC cannot accurately identify winning organic titles

Title tags are a meaningful on-page ranking factor and are among the most influential factors in determining click-through rate (CTR) from search engine results pages. Higher CTR not only drives more traffic immediately, it also improves organic rankings when combined with good on-site metrics.Title tag CTR is also difficult to test: it requires a large number of pages that drive a lot of organic visits, and a pretty big chunk of time — usually around two months to give Google time to index all the pages in the test and then collect enough data to have statistically significant results. A tempting alternative is to use PPC ads to get quick answers about what title tag is best.Unfortunately, testing at Wayfair.com shows that PPC ads are not always an accurate measure of what titles will perform well in the organic results. The reason is that users who click on paid ads are not a random sample of searchers; they are a biased group. We know they behave differently from overall searchers …

4 major barriers to being linkable

When it comes to being unlinkable, there’s a lot more to consider besides boring content, poor quality writing and low-end design. Of the many issues that could cause users not to want to link to your content, here are four major ones that I see all the time: intrusive intersitials, gated content, excessive pagination and avant-garde design.You can find someone to argue for and against all four of these barriers, and I’d probably see some of those points in the last three cases, but I’m not sure much can change my mind about interstitials.[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

via Marketing Land

The new marketing mindset

I’ve said before that robots are the gatekeepers to your customers. And by “robots,” I really mean “software.” Consider this:Algorithms run Google’s search rankings, and they decide what users see on Facebook and Twitter.Marketing automation systems let us build engines to distribute content to millions (billions?) of readers, listeners and watchers.Marketers are building massive data warehouses that enable segmentation and personalization on a scale never seen before.Software has eaten marketing, whether it’s the martech that your company uses, the ad platforms that Google runs or the worldwide, real-time content distribution system known as Facebook. The internet has created an opportunity for marketers: to reach most people on the planet, instantaneously, with a personalized and tailored message.It’s a massive opportunity. In fact, the opportunity is so large it’s unmanageable. Technology, software and algorithms have emerged to help deal with the complexity surrounding it:We can o…

How to use social proof in your marketing campaign

When most people try to develop a marketing campaign, they focus on making a sale to potential users. Sometimes, that sale is literal, such as getting a user to buy a product; other times, it’s figurative, such as persuading a user to fill out a contact form or merely convince them that your brand is an authority in your industry.Today’s users are sharp, and naturally distrustful of brands — especially in traditional advertising messages. Accordingly, brands need an alternative way to persuade users, and one of the best modern tools for this is social proof.What is ‘social proof?’Social proof is a general term that refers to any piece of evidence from the peers of your intended audience that verifies some element of your argument. For example, it could be a word of praise from a past consumer that reinforces a claim you made about your products.Why is social proof so important?Social proof lends power to your marketing campaign in a number of ways:First and foremost, social proof is a…

Periscope launches analytics dashboard & activity tab for video creators

Periscope is launching three new features today, topped by the development of an Analytics Dashboard that will give video creators an in-depth look at how viewers are interacting with their videos. In addition to the additional analytics data, today’s launch includes a new Activity Tab and the news that Periscope videos can now be watched inside Twitter Moments. This batch of news comes on the heels of Periscope’s announcement yesterday that it will be supporting pre-roll ads.Here’s a look at what’s new today.Analytics dashboardPeriscope creators can already see a handful of metrics associated with their broadcasts, such as the number of live and replay viewers, how much total time viewers spent watching a video and the average time each viewer watched.The new analytics dashboard includes those same metrics, but adds in extras like how many hearts a video earned and a breakdown of time spent watching the live video and its replay. The biggest benefit of the dashboard is that it gives …

Pinterest launches Propel, a hands-on support program for new advertisers

rvlsoft / Shutterstock.com Pinterest has seen a massive influx of tens of thousands of advertisers leveraging the ad platform for exposure. A new program launched today will make it even easier to advertise, thanks to one-on-one support from Pinterest ad experts. The program, Pinterest Propel, helps to teach, train and build campaigns alongside advertisers.In order to qualify for Pinterest Propel, an advertiser needs to be ready to spend $100/day on ads, and the program is only for US and Canadian participants. Those that sign up for the program will receive:phone support and customized tips from Pinterest experts.custom-built Pins that are ready to promote.access to tips, best practices and Pinterest Guides.Support from the Pinterest experts will help advertisers learn how to create a successful campaign, build customers, analyze Pinterest traffic and track sales and online conversions. While the program isn’t about building new campaigns from scratch for you, it may in fact be more v…

The connected brand: A framework to guide content and creative development

When brands build a framework and connect all aspects of their marketing approach, they create efficiency and effectiveness. At my agency, we view it as necessary to break down the barriers of silos and strive for synchronicity — connecting the brand, audience and channels.With a connected approach, brands are able to reshape the way they market online. The marketing tactics and messaging are consistent across all channels and audiences, creating a more effective presence at each phase of the consumer journey.In the first installment of the connected approach series, we’ll dive into the connected brand. The connected brand is what audiences see, from the home page to interactions on social media. What makes this approach successful is that all digital content presents a distinct brand voice, personality and unique messaging. It gives customers a consistent sense of the company.Brand voiceA brand’s voice defines the brand, dictating how brands present information across channels. Havin…

Video ads for direct response: What’s the best length?

Video advertising creative is perhaps the most painstaking for advertisers to deal with during the planning and production stages. While there’s no magic formula to creating the “best” video ad, direct response-focused advertisers are inherently test-oriented, and they will eventually find creative that works well with their target audiences to achieve their larger objective.One thing we can learn from looking at aggregate advertiser data is that the best-performing video ads for a given vertical generally fall within a narrow duration and typically share a few commonalities.As a note, the findings outlined in this column reflect data analyzed as part of my work at Nanigans. Specifically, the sample consists of Facebook video advertising activity originating from 10 of the highest-spending gaming and e-commerce video advertisers. Ads studied were those run by the sampled advertisers at any point from September 1, 2016, through February 28, 2017.Let’s first focus on the gaming vertical…

Understanding voice search: What are the implications for marketers?

Last week, Amazon added their voice search product “Alexa” to their iPhone app.This is yet another signal in the continuing avalanche of signals that voice search is a major part of every major tech company’s strategy. One report by VoiceLabs predicts that voice device growth will quadruple this year. In last year’s Google IO conference Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that 20% of search queries were coming from voice search.What data can help us to understand the impact of voice search when it isn’t yet a reporting field that is provided by most publishers? Also, what are the implications for search marketers?What data do we have to potentially understand voice search?Without specifically understanding voice search data provided by search engines we have to rely on other indicators. I like to use query keywords (who, what, where, when, why, how) as a way to understand how consumers may be using voice search. While not perfect, I think it helps give some insight into how consumer be…

Through Affinity Solutions, brands can now target the purchase histories of customers from 4000 banks

Affinity Solutions has made its living for nearly two decades by providing loyalty programs to credit and debit card holders through banks.This means it has the purchase histories of participants who have granted permission for the use of their records when they signed up.This week, the New York City-based firm is making these purchase histories from customers at 4,000 US financial institutions available to outside brands through the launch of a Purchase-Driven Marketing Cloud.The Cloud provides real-time data on purchase patterns, so that brands can identify and pitch the most appropriate potential customers. A brand’s own customers are identified, while others are anonymized.The Cloud also makes it possible to track attribution to individuals, so that Starbucks, for instance, could know if Prospect 123 actually made a purchase after an ad or an email was delivered.[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

via Marketing Land

Cortana comes to Android’s lockscreen, Siri does some new tricks

Earlier this year we reported that Cortana was coming to the Android lockscreen. Now it has officially launched.Here are some of the things you can do with Cortana “above the lock”:Get your schedule/see your day at a glance.Get and set reminders.Interact with and add to lists.Get answers to questions.Microsoft previously announced that Cortana has 145 million users across its ecosystem, including on Windows 10 machines, Android, iOS and the Xbox. There will also be standalone Cortana hardware devices using the Cortana SDK.It’s not clear how many Android users will download Cortana and opt in for the lockscreen experience. The Google Assistant does essentially the same things as Cortana and is native to Android. But the lockscreen strategy does help differentiate Cortana from the Google Assistant, which currently doesn’t offer much “above the lock” functionality.Separately, Apple released its iOS 10.3 update. It includes a wide range of new features, with a number of Siri-related upgra…

Mobile now accounts for nearly 70% of digital media time [comScore]

Time spent with digital media continues to grow — but that growth is all mobile. Last week, comScore released its “2017 US Cross-Platform Future in Focus” report, which tracks consumer usage patterns across digital media channels and platforms.The measurement firm found that mobile “now accounts for 69 percent of digital media time spent.” By comparison, the desktop has fallen to less than one-third of total digital media time. Mobile apps are 60 percent of the total, with smartphone apps specifically commanding 51 percent of all digital media time.Remarkably, seven out of 10 minutes spent with YouTube video are now on mobile devices.Here’s another sobering statistic for those that have yet to go all in on mobile: for the top 1,000 online properties, mobile visitors are roughly 2x desktop audiences in the aggregate. In addition, there are growing audiences that rely exclusively on mobile for internet access. The largest single group in that category is women 18–24.Google, Facebook and…

A visual history of Google SERPs: 1996 to 2017

Over the past 20 years, Google has revolutionized how we source information, how we buy products, and how advertisers sell those products to us.And yet, one fact remains stubbornly true: the shop-front for brands on Google is still the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).The original lists of static results, comprised of what we nostalgically term ‘10 blue links’, have evolved into multi-media, cross-device, highly-personalized interfaces that can even adapt as we speak to them. There are now images, GIFs, news articles, videos, and podcasts in SERPs, all powered by algorithms that grow evermore sophisticated through machine learning.Nonetheless, in the face of such change, it still matters where our website ranks on those all-important SERPs. The content of those results pages, however, is in constant flux, as a result of 20 years of innovations and new products.We experience this evolution iteratively and, while we can all appreciate that significant changes have taken place, it can b…

How To Check PHP version of Hosting from WordPress Dashboard

Anyone who is using WordPress platform for building blogs or Websites are already using PHP. Chances are you may never need to learn anything about PHP because everything happens at the backend. With the help of plugins (which all uses PHP) we can add functionalities to WordPress without even editing code.In December 2015, PHP version 7 was launched & if you hear carefully, you would notice almost all the popular WordPress hosting companies like SiteGround, Bluehost are shifting to PHP 7. As an end user PHP version really matters as it can speed up your blog by a considerable amount.In this article you will learn a bit about PHP versioning & how to check PHP version of your hosting. This is useful even for non-technical user as it would help you to improve the overall performance of your WordPress blog. Also, if you are planning to switch hosting in coming days, the supported version of PHP is going to be another deciding feature for your purchase.Before the launch of PHP 7, a…

Reduce shopping cart abandonments at every step of the customer journey

Companies lose $18 billion in sales revenue each year from cart abandonment, with over $4 trillion worth of merchandise predicted to be abandoned in online shopping carts this year alone.Organizations that succeed with reducing cart abandonments are the ones who effectively tailor and deliver personalized experiences at each stage of the journey: before a customer has abandoned their cart, as a customer is displaying abandonment intent, and after the abandonment has taken place.Cart abandonment, rather than being seen as a rejection of a site’s value proposition, presents a unique opportunity to successfully re-engage customers on a personal level.Download this free eBook from Dynamic Yield to learn powerful and effective personalization strategies to apply throughout the three stages of the customer journey, empowering you to maximize conversions, recover sales and reduce abandonments.Visit Digital Marketing Depot to download your copy.

via Marketing Land

Amazon’s newest idea: Online grocery orders delivered directly to your car

Amazon’s latest foray into bridging the divide between e-commerce and physical commerce is AmazonFresh Pickup, a service that offers drive-in pickup of grocery orders placed online.The company says it’s built two physical grocery locations in Seattle, and its employees are currently testing the service. When it opens widely, the pickup service will be available free to Prime members.According to the company’s landing page, AmazonFresh Pickup will include “thousands of items … including fresh produce, high-quality meats, and everyday essentials” that can be ordered online, either via Amazon’s website or mobile app. The explainer video (see below) shows cereal, milk, toilet paper, ice cream, eggs and more available for ordering and pickup. When placing an order, customers will choose a pickup window; for AmazonFresh members, orders can be ready in as little as 15 minutes. When the customer arrives at the pickup location, Amazon employees will bring the bagged order out to the car. In Dec…

Marketing Day: Facebook copies Snapchat again, Twitter pre-roll ad news & more

Here’s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.From Marketing Land:Attend SMX Advanced for SEO & SEM tactics that work. Rates increase next week!
Mar 28, 2017 by Marketing Land
For the past 10 years, search marketers have purchased every available seat for SMX Advanced. This year will be no different. Don’t miss this once-a-year opportunity to attend the only advanced search marketing conference, June 13-14 in Seattle! SMX Advanced is designed and programmed for advanced search marketers like you.SMX West session: Harnessing the power of online reviews
Mar 28, 2017 by Greg Gifford
Columnist Greg Gifford recaps a session by Thomas Ballantyne about the value of online reviews, showing why businesses need to start thinking about them if they aren’t already.Top 10 insights on local marketing at LSA17
Mar 28, 2017 by Wesley Young
Wesley Young shares expert insights about location marketing and local search fro…

Attend SMX Advanced for SEO & SEM tactics that work. Rates increase next week!

10 years of SMX Advanced For the past 10 years, search marketers have purchased every available seat for SMX Advanced. This year will be no different. Don’t miss this once-a-year opportunity to attend the only advanced search marketing conference, June 13-14 in Seattle!SMX Advanced is designed and programmed for advanced search marketers like you. Sessions are fast-paced, interactive and don’t slow down to cover the basics. You’ll learn how experienced SEOs and SEMs like you stay on top of new challenges, and help you overcome them! You’ll leave SMX Advanced with actionable takeaways. Keep reading to see SEO & SEM session and keynote highlights:SEO session highlights:AMP For Advanced SEOsMobile-First For The Advanced SEOInside Intel – The Art & Science Of SEO At A Global ScaleAttaining Position Zero: Featured Snippets For Advanced SEOsSMX Advanced kicks off for SEOs with Google taking on all questions, covering the most-discussed SEO issues including Fred, how to optimize for t…