Customers who shop online and in-person spend on average 4% more on each in-store trip and 10% more online than shoppers visiting only one channel, according to the Harvard Business Review. Coordinating online and offline marketing requires following omnichannel best practices—including being mindful of your budget and resources, keeping consumer data uniform, and offering a seamless, experience to customers.
Whether your business is reaching a customer through in-store signage, social media, or face-to-face interactions, the experience you provide should be positive, consistent, and meaningful. As you consider running a business with both a physical and digital footprint, read on to learn how to develop a singular, coordinated promotional strategy.
Develop a Cross-Channel Strategy
Documenting your cross-channel strategy helps define what success looks like offline and online, describes the reasoning behind your omnichannel marketing approach, and reduces issues that may arise (like the duplication of efforts or spending time on the wrong channels).
Start by creating a one-page plan that outlines your existing goals, target personas, and marketing initiatives—they’ll need to be expanded upon to account for online activities. Here’s what the plan should include in more detail:
Outline three to five marketing goals for your business, like generating awareness or increasing engagement with customers. Next, pair each goal with three to five key performance indicators (KPIs) that account for how it’ll be measured online and offline. For example, generating awareness as a marketing goal could be monitored by the number of page views on your website and the number of in-store visits from neighborhood foot traffic.
Beyond what’s known about your existing customers (like their job, age, income, education, etc.), add online behaviors to your profiles of each persona. This will inform your approach to marketing to them across digital channels. These might include their preferred methods of online communication, social networks they’re active on, topics they most often search online, blogs and digital publications they read, or other places they like to shop online.
Avoid spreading your promotional efforts too thinly by focusing on two to three marketing channels that will allow you to reach your target audience online and offline. List the channels you’ll test to see if your customers respond to your offerings and messaging, which should then inform where you’ll invest further. Whether that’s focusing on direct mail, Instagram or both, it’s important to achieve your goals and provide value to your target personas with these channels.
Use Online Channels to Drive Attention to In-Store Events and Experiences
With an understanding of your marketing priorities, it’s time to execute your cross-channel strategy by making use of the distinct qualities of both online and in-store retail.
Beyond promoting your products, use online channels like email and social media to draw attention to events and experiences offered in-store. While driving purchases is a practical focus, the best way to have a memorable interaction with customers is to get them to visit your retail location.
Since you’re able to control more of the experience in person, host in-store events related to your product offerings and promote them consistently online. This matters, as 49% of consumers surveyed said they visited stores more often due to the introduction of food and entertainment options.
For example, Lululemon, the apparel brand that specializes in yoga and running gear, regularly hosts free yoga and workout classes, as well as running clubs at their stores. Many of their stores have their own email newsletters and Facebook pages to alert their regional customers of upcoming events, which help to drive consistent in-store traffic.
In addition, use social media, articles, or video to highlight service experiences that provide value to customers, relate to your products, and are only available in-store.
For instance, TuxMat is a company that produces custom car mats designed to match the specific dimensions of any vehicle make or model. When customers make a purchase at their retail showroom, their team will also install the custom car mats for them at no additional charge—streamlining the experience for in-store visitors. The company promotes its custom installation options on Instagram and Facebook, highlighting one of the key benefits of visiting its retail store.
Sync Your Communications Efforts Online and In-Store
To grow your business, all your communications efforts online should support your in-store activity and vice versa. What’s advantageous about your online presence is the ability to communicate with your customers long-term over email, a loyalty program, or social media.
Building an email list, social media following, or loyalty program online can help your business:
Promote exclusive in-store offers and sales.
Highlight articles and videos created by your business that provide relevant advice or showcase your products.
Alert your customers to in-store services and seasonal events.
At the same time, your ability to interact with customers face-to-face in-store is an opportunity to expand your list of online customer contacts, and provide your business with a channel for consistently encouraging more in-store visits.
To sign up customers in a nonintrusive way in-store:
Ask for their emails at checkout to support your email marketing.
Alert them to the benefits of your loyalty program.
Draw attention to the ongoing offers shared on your social media accounts.
The goal is to be purposeful when talking with customers to drive sales, but ensure you’re able to communicate with them again by supporting your online efforts.
Measuring Omnichannel Marketing
To understand if your organization’s efforts across channels are succeeding, identify a more balanced mix of KPIs that highlight success online and in-store.
While your business and sales goals will remain the same, the KPIs paired with each goal should reflect customer activity online and in-store. Depending on where you’re active, here is a range of KPIs to consider:
Since there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all KPI, it’s important to choose metrics that align with your business performance goals. Determine which measurement tools are the most effective for accurately tracking and reporting on the metrics you’ve identified.
KPIs about your website (like average session duration or page views) can be calculated with measurement tools like Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, or MixPanel.
For KPIs associated with in-store interactions (like the number of people visiting your retail locations or sales per square foot), use tools like Square Analytics or Springboard Retail.
Creating target KPIs for your marketing goals will help you understand which online and offline tactics are working and which tactics need to be optimized (or abandoned all together). By keeping a pulse on performance metrics you can optimize and reinvest in initiatives which drive the most revenue for your business.
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When you think about SEO and what’s changed over the last 5 years, what comes to your mind?
Chances are, it’s something related to how it’s harder to get rankings on Google.
But why has it gotten harder to get more organic traffic?
Well, if you ask most SEOs, they’ll say it’s because Google has created a much more complex algorithm.
They look at factors like page speed, brand queries, and hundreds of other factors that it may have not been placing much emphasis on in the past.
But that’s only half the story.
The reason SEO has gotten harder is only partially related to Google’s algorithm changes.
Here’s what most SEOs aren’t talking about that you need to pay attention to because this will show you the future of SEO.
Google’s ever-changing layout
When you perform a Google search, what do you see?
Some organic listings and some paid results, right?
And that’s what Google has shown for years. Much hasn’t changed from its core concept.
But over the years, they have continually made small layout tweaks which have added up to big changes.
Let’s look at Google’s layout changes over the past few years… lucky for us, Orbit Media performed random Google searches in 2013, 2014, and 2015 and compared them to Google’s current layout for us.
The big differences from 2013 versus 2019 are:
The first organic listing is drastically pushed down
The ads used to be clearly identified through design elements, but now they blend in more.
Now let’s look at 2014 versus 2019:
And 2015 versus 2019:
The big trend is that the organic search results have been drastically pushed down below the fold. Roughly by 3.3X.
That’s a huge difference!
A listing these days may have a map, elements from their knowledge graph, more videos and images, and whatever else Google feels their users may want.
Another big trend is that there are now featured snippets. Although these featured snippets can drive traffic to your site, they also provide the searcher with the answer they are looking for without having to click through to your site.
Just perform a search for the largest tree in the world…
Sure, I could click through over to livescience.com to get the answer, but why? Google gives it to me right then and there.
With organic listings being pushed down, and Google answering a portion of people’s questions without them even needing to click through, this means organic listings will get fewer clicks over time.
And it’s not stopping there
Let me ask you a question…
How many organic listings are on the first page?
Well, that’s what we are used to, but when’s the last time you actually counted?
And over time you should continually expect Google to run more layout experiments and make more permanent changes.
Now before we get into the future of SEO, let’s get one thing straight.
Google is a publicly traded company. Sure, their goal is to create an amazing product, but they have to make money at the same time.
You can’t blame them for making changes that increase their ad revenues.
Yes, you may claim that this is creating a terrible experience for users, but is it really? If it was, people would switch to Bing or any of the other alternative search engines out there.
I still use Google every day. Yes, it may be harder to get clicks organically, but as a user, they’ve created an amazing experience.
The future of SEO
Google doesn’t just make changes to their layout blindly. They run experiments, they survey users, they try to figure out what searchers want and provide it.
Based on the layout changes they have made over the years, you can make a few assumptions:
More rich snippets – people want the answers to their problems as quickly as possible. You’ll see more versions and variations of rich snippets integrated within future layouts as this provides searches with their answers faster.
People are trained to ignore ads – no matter how much Google pushes the first organic listing below the fold, people are trained to ignore ads. No matter how much Google blends them in, most people tend to click on organic listings.
43.9% of the world still hasn’t come online – we all know Google is the dominant global search engine. But only 56.1% of the world’s population has Internet access. As more people come online, more people will use Google as their search engine, which means more people to click on your organic listings.
In other words, SEO isn’t dead and it is still an amazing channel. Just look at my traffic stats over the last 31 days:
Now of those 4,362,165 monthly visits, guess how many come from search engines like Google?
A whopping 2,343,362 visits.
In other words, SEO makes up 53.71% of my traffic. That’s a ton of traffic.
And even with Google’s continual changes, you would expect my traffic to be lower, but it isn’t… it’s gone up.
A year ago, I was generating 1,088,251 visits a month from Google. It’s now gone up to 2,343,362 even though Google’s algorithm has continually gotten harder and organic results are continually being pushed further below the fold.
But still, you shouldn’t only rely on SEO
I love Google and even though there is a future for SEO, you shouldn’t rely on it. No matter how good you are at SEO, it doesn’t guarantee success.
Let’s look at a company that you are familiar with… Airbnb.
Did you know that Airbnb didn’t come up with the concept of renting out your house or rooms in your house?
Can you guess who it was?
It was VRBO and they came up with that model 13 years before Airbnb did.
But here’s what’s interesting… who do you think wins when it comes to SEO?
Airbnb does rank for organic keywords as well, but most of them are brand related.
They crushed their competition without relying on SEO and they were 13 years late when it came to entering the market.
So how did Airbnb win? Well, the main way was they built a better product.
But in addition to that, you focused on an omnichannel approach. From SEO to PPC to advertising on TV screens in airplanes, they tried all of the major channels out there.
Yes, you need to do SEO, but you can’t rely on it as your only source of traffic or income. Diversify, not because of Google, but because you can’t control consumer behavior.
People may not prefer to use search engines in the future, they may want something else, which means you will have to adapt.
Plus you can no longer build a big business through one channel.
Yes, Facebook did grow through referrals. Quora did grow through SEO. Dropbox grew through social media… but those circumstances don’t exist anymore. What worked for these old companies won’t work for you.
You have to leverage all channels to do well in today’s market.
Google may be making changes that you don’t like as a marketer or business owner, but that doesn’t mean SEO is dead.
Despite that echoing refrain that pops up year after year, affiliate marketing is far from dying. In fact, it’s thriving: affiliate marketing spend hit $5.4 billion in the U.S. in 2017, and is predicted to reach $8.2 billion by 2022. And the industry already generates 16% of all online orders — the same amount as email marketing. That makes affiliate marketing one of the top four biggest sources of e-commerce orders, beating out both display advertising and social commerce.
As members of the partner marketing ecosystem, affiliates are a valuable resource for brands looking to grow incrementally while maximizing ROI. (We would know; HasOffers is the original software for affiliate networks, and we’ve been writing about the industry for years.) Yet the cries of Affiliate marketing is dead! continue. That’s why we’re going back to the basics in this post to cover the what, who, and how of affiliate marketing — so you can make your own informed decision about the health of the industry. Let’s get started.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance marketing. It is one of many partnership-driven marketing strategies that exist under the umbrella of partner marketing.
In affiliate marketing, an individual (the affiliate) earns a commission for promoting an advertiser’s product. Commissions are usually based on the sales or revenue the affiliate generates for the advertiser; this is called revenue sharing. However, commissions can also be earned for leads or clicks, and be paid as a flat payout, tiered rate, set percentage plus a fixed amount, or a number of other ways.
You probably see affiliate marketing in action a dozen times a day. When a beauty blogger reviews a new makeup collection and links to it on her blog. When a “Bachelor in Paradise” star reveals the contents of their latest subscription box on Facebook, then encourages fans to purchase it with a unique promo code. When a website displays an ad in the sidebar for a camera, and the website publisher receives a commission for every purchase the ad drives.
Today, affiliate programs exist for almost every business and industry out there: big box stores, hotel chains, airlines, credit cards, fashion, subscription boxes, home improvement, gaming, online retailers, gig economy apps, dating services, e-learning, real estate, cryptocurrency, health and wellness, sports, beauty brands, DTC retailers, SaaS companies, et cetera ad infinitum. Not surprising, given that 81% of brands were already leveraging affiliate marketing programs in 2016, and the industry’s only grown since.
Who Are the Main Players in Affiliate Marketing?
For those just getting started, it can be difficult to lock down exactly who is who and who does what in the affiliate marketing ecosystem. It doesn’t help that many terms in the industry are interchangeable or loosely defined. Before you begin to build an affiliate program, you should understand these key terms:
Affiliate Program (also known as a partner program, affiliate marketing program, or partner marketing program)
A program offered by an advertiser that provides affiliate marketers a way to earn compensation in exchange for promoting a product or service. Affiliates are paid by the advertiser when a predetermined measurable action occurs. This action can be a purchase, form fill, registration, download, or other conversion.
Advertiser (also known as a brand, marketer, merchant, or seller)
An owner of a product or service looking to pay affiliates to drive traffic to their website and/or app, with the goal of increasing revenue. In other words, someone with something to sell. Examples: a retailer looking to sell athletic shoes, a subscription box company looking for new subscribers, a real estate firm looking for new leads.
Affiliate (also known as a publisher or partner)
A marketer who promotes advertiser products and services by driving traffic to their websites and/or apps through paid or non-paid channels. They generate revenue for the advertiser and earn a commission each time a predetermined measurable action occurs, such as a purchase or registration. An affiliate is the owner of a website, app, or other marketing channel where the advertisement can be promoted. Examples: personal blogs, Instagram profiles, podcasts, major news websites, gaming apps.
For example, if an advertiser wants to sell athletic shoes, they may choose to partner with several affiliates who run sports blogs. These affiliates have gathered audiences who align well with the advertiser’s target market. The advertiser provides a tracking link, which records each unique affiliate and the traffic they drive to the shoe website. The beautiful part about affiliate marketing is that everything is transparent and performance-based, so the advertiser only pays when a sale occurs.
Customer (also known as a consumer, user, visitor, or traffic)
No surprises here; the customer is you and me — the ones buying the products being sold by advertisers and promoted by affiliates. In technical terms, traffic can be considered the actions that are measurable against an ad. Impressions (ad view), clicks (ad click), and conversions (ad engagement) are the most common.
In our example, the customer would click the tracking link in the athletic shoe promotion on the affiliate’s sports blog. If they ultimately purchase the shoes, the advertiser pays the affiliate a commission.
Affiliate Tracking Software (also known as a performance marketing platform, partner marketing platform, affiliate marketing software, or affiliate program software)
Software that empowers businesses to measure and manage their performance-based partnerships directly through one unified dashboard.
After the predetermined action occurs, affiliate tracking software acts as the glue that ties together the referral from the affiliate and the conversion from the advertiser, making accurate attribution and compensation possible.
Affiliate Network (also known as an ad network or network)
A company that acts as a relationship liaison for advertisers and affiliates. Networks help advertisers remain free to focus on their products and services, and affiliates remain free to focus on publishing and promoting offers. In other words, the middleman that connects all the pieces.
For some advertisers, affiliate networks provide additional value and insight, but it comes at additional cost. Affiliate networks typically specialize in managing both advertisers and affiliates in the context of an affiliate marketing program.
In addition to what’s covered above, there are a few other important details you’ll want to know about affiliate marketing. These details vary among affiliate marketing campaigns and should be managed by the advertiser’s affiliate tracking software. Namely:
The maximum time period during which a conversion event can be claimed by an affiliate. Let’s say an affiliate drives a consumer to visit a website, and that same consumer comes back seven days later and makes a purchase. If the attribution window is 30 days, the affiliate will get credit for that purchase. If the attribution window is 36 hours, they won’t. (This is why affiliates usually prefer longer windows versus shorter ones.)
We don’t want to get too far into the weeds here, but you may hear terms like client-side tracking, pixel tracking, cookieless tracking, server-side tracking, and postback tracking thrown around a lot. Many of these terms overlap or only vary slightly, but those small differences matter. For example, pixel tracking is also known as client-side, cookie-based, and in-browser tracking. It’s one of the easiest ways for performance marketers to measure on the web, as it relies on cookies stored in users’ browsers, but can be affected by ad blocking measures. It also doesn’t work when it comes to mobile apps. Postback tracking is a HasOffers invention that is also known as server-side, server call, server-to-server, server postback, and cookieless tracking. Postback tracking is more technically complex to set up, but is much more reliable and accurate than pixel tracking, as two servers handle the entire process. Postback tracking also works on mobile apps and mobile web. You can read more about the differences in our pixels versus postbacks article.
There is no hard and fast rule for how to pay an affiliate for the results they drive. As mentioned above, revenue share models pay commissions that are based on the sales the affiliate generates. But commissions can also be earned for conversions other than sales, such as leads, clicks, registrations, form fills, and others. These can be paid out as a flat fee, in tiered rates, as a set percentage plus a fixed amount, and many other variations and mixtures of payout models. When determining payout, remember that different companies, industries, and affiliates will prefer or require different methods. There are also a variety of factors to consider, like how much influence a given affiliate has, how engaged their audience is, how much a brand wants to work with them, and how niche their market is.
What Should Affiliate Marketing Programs Measure?
Since affiliate marketing is a type of performance marketing, measurement is an essential part of the process. Here are a few things you’ll want to track, analyze, and optimize in your affiliate marketing program:
Clicks: A click interaction with an affiliate tracking link
Affiliate sales: Income generated by affiliates
Revenue: Total income generated for the brand from all sources
Cost per click: How much it costs to get a user to click on an affiliate promotion, paid as a flat amount
Cost per sale: The percentage of the total sale amount that an affiliate earns for driving the sale (good where multiple items may be added to a shopping cart)
Cost per lead: How much it costs to acquire a prospective customer, paid as a flat amount
Conversion rate: The percentage of how many clicks turn into completed actions (click to sale, click to registration, click to download, etc.)
Return on ad spend: How many sales result from the total money spent on advertising, which informs how much revenue is generated (or in some cases lost) per dollar spent
Top affiliates: An advertiser will want to know their top-performing partners and affiliates so they can allocate more advertising and resources to them
Affiliate referrals: Incentives for existing affiliates to recruit new affiliates to a program
Program diversity: How many different types of affiliates and audiences a program covers
2019: Affiliate Marketing’s Best Year Yet
Whatever you decide about the health of the affiliate marketing industry in 2019, we’ll be here with plenty of resources to support your performance and partner marketing goals. Check out HasOffers.com to learn more about the industry’s most flexible partner marketing platform, or visit our resource library for how-to guides, best practices, and other educational materials.
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Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor’s degree in English from Wake Forest University. You can find her waxing poetic about the South and exploring her new home from her headquarters in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood.
Most marketers are equipped with copious amounts of data that help us understand our customers, create meaningful messaging that resonates with our audience and drives the business outcomes we need to achieve our goals. Marketers also have the ability to translate different trends across customers and prospects such as strong lead generation sources, common themes, objection trends and overall responses to different campaigns. But, many organizations operate in siloes, making it difficult to share these data points with the necessary people.
A solution? Establish a revenue optimization team to bring together the key internal players in your organization to improve alignment and ultimately, drive more revenue.
Marketers and sales need to track the same goals
Thanks to the amount of valuable information accessible through our martech stacks, marketers can — and should — play a critical role in establishing a customer-centric revenue optimization team.
“Revenue optimization starts with the idea of putting the customer in the center of every interaction an enabling everyone to align around the customer to generate value in every interaction,” said Patrick Morrissey, chief marketing officer of customer revenue optimization platform, Altify. And according to Morrissey, marketers should play a critical role as part of the revenue team, and are best positioned to lead the charge. For many marketers, this requires a shift in thinking about our revenue contributions.
“From a marketing perspective, thinking about the fundamental outcomes, marketers have to start thinking of themselves as part of the revenue team,” said Morrissey. “This intersection presents an opportunity for marketers who are generally better communicators to become the translation mechanism for an entire team. Instead of tracking pipeline, marketers need to track revenue in closed/won business along with the sales team.”
The shift in mindset expands past the marketing team, however. According to Jenn DiMaria, senior manager of client services at marketing automation solution provider Digital Pi, the shift in mindset needs to be organizational. “Marketing is often viewed as a cost center, but in reality, other teams are lusting after the tools and data we have access to,” said DiMaria. “Aligning a revenue team creates opportunities for marketers to improve accessibility to the data and help bridge gaps with other parts of the organization.”
Marketers, get closer to the customer
Marketers tend to be far removed from any interactions with customers, but it is extremely valuable to engage face-to-face with customers. After all, marketers understand that relationship-building is key to retaining customers. According to Morrissey, marketers need to put themselves in the shoes of the customer in order to understand their challenges.
“Marketers should focus on how we can get out of our own way and put ourselves in the shoes of the customers,” said Morrissey. “Going on the road to meet with salespeople and sit with customers will help marketers better understand the market, the broader changes in technology and fundamentally how to help customers succeed, personally and professionally.”
“Marketers need to have some real-world customer experience, explained Mary Ngai, founder of Connector42 and head of analytics and technology at RI. “Even if marketers are listening on sales calls, it can be incredibly insightful in grasping a better understanding of their needs.” Ngai also recommends that marketers attend customer site visits during ongoing projects or sales deals to increase visibility into accounts.
In addition to more face time with customers, Morrissey recommends that marketers lead internal account reviews and deal reviews with the sales and customer success teams. Regularly reviewing the accounts with members of different parts of the organization will expose different issues and areas that can be addressed by the necessary members of the revenue optimization team. Working with customer success can also bring to light what some of the daily challenges and successes the customer experiences — valuable insight for marketers as they developing retention campaigns to drive renewals.
Leading the path to revenue optimization
Revenue optimization teams present an opportunity for marketers to leverage their communication, analytical and creative skills to improve holistic marketing efforts in coordination with other internal departments.
“Marketers have proven that we can lead revenue optimization teams as we typically bear the brunt of the responsibility when it comes to acquiring new leads and we have to track our efforts,” said DiMaria. “Also, tools that have entered the market in the past ten years have made this possible.”
The concept of implementing a fundamental shift in thinking may seem overwhelming, but the long-term benefit is streamlined efforts across your organization and consistent communication around prospect and customer activities.
“If you think about the customer journey, we’re all trying to get a numeric view of the customer — BDRs are measured by the total number of call they make and are concerned with propensity-to-buy data,” said Morrissey. “Marketers are providing that data, creating segments and determining what funnel to put a prospect in. Then we talk about deal size or ACV, then finally we’re just an NPS score. Marketers are the ones who can best translate this into plain English, for everyone to understand.”
About The Author
Jennifer Videtta Cannon serves as Third Door Media’s Senior Editor, covering topics from email marketing and analytics to CRM and project management. With over a decade of organizational digital marketing experience, she has overseen digital marketing operations for NHL franchises and held roles at tech companies including Salesforce, advising enterprise marketers on maximizing their martech capabilities. Jennifer formerly organized the Inbound Marketing Summit and holds a certificate in Digital Marketing Analytics from MIT Sloan School of Management.
Is it me, or does Facebook just want to keep you on Facebook?
Every time I post a link to my site, I get less and less traffic. And it’s been this way for years.
In other words, my organic reach on Facebook was dying.
And to make matters worse, they give you hope every time they launch a new feature.
For example, when they launched Facebook Live, you used to be able to get tons of views because they promoted it organically… but not really anymore.
The same goes with Facebook Watch. I used to easily get 30,000 plus views per video when Facebook Watch came out… again, not anymore.
Now I am lucky to get 10,000 views.
But hey, I can’t really hate on Facebook. They are a business and they have to do what’s best for them. So instead of getting upset at Facebook, I decided to run some tests to see if I could find a way to get more organic traffic.
Because there has to be a way, right?
Well, there is. 🙂
And here is my traffic from Facebook over the last 7 days:
That may not seem like a big increase, but I generated 10,621 visitors the month before. In other words, I took my Facebook traffic from 10,621 visitors PER MONTH to 10,085 visitors PER WEEK.
I am getting roughly the same amount of traffic I used to get in 30 days from Facebook, now in just 7 days.
So how did I do this?
Taking control of your own destiny
As marketers, our faith typically relies on the big giants… you know, Google, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram…
If they decide to change their algorithms your traffic could go up, down, or stay flat.
For that reason, over the last few years, I’ve been building up marketing channels that aren’t as reliant on algorithms.
For example, you may learn about new blog posts I publish through my email lists because every time I publish a new post, I usually send out an email blast.
We’re talking about an 88% open rate on Messenger. That is crazy!!!!
Now over time, you will notice that it will go down, but it is still substantially higher than email.
But here is where it really gets interesting.
With email marketing, you’ll typically see a 2% to a 4% click-through rate. So for every 100 emails you send, you will get 2 to 4 clicks back to your site.
To give you a benchmark, again, I spend a lot of time fine-tuning my emails and I can get about 6 clicks for every 100 emails I send.
Better than the 2 to 4 percent most people get, but still not life-changing.
With Messenger? You can get 20% click rates.
Over time, you will see it go down, but it is still substantially higher than email marketing.
And it is not just marketing, it works with pretty much any industry. Here’s an example of a real estate company that leverages Facebook Messenger:
As you can see from the screenshot above, Facebook Messenger works like how you would chat with a friend on Facebook or even email. You don’t always have to promote or link, you could just have a conversation with a friend.
This is why their adoption rate is continually climbing in the United States.
That’s almost 140 million users that are projected to use Messenger.
Messaging apps are also surpassing social networks in popularity. Just ask yourself… how many times do you use WhatsApp each week?
But the key is to start now because it will become saturated just like every other marketing channel that works. So whoever builds the biggest list early on will have the best shot of doing well in the long run.
If you are already leveraging Messenger, great, just skip to the tips below to start growing your Facebook traffic.
So I wondered, what would happen if I installed a Messenger bot on a website?
What’s great about adding this is that visitors get answers to their questions immediately, 24/7. Say goodbye to conversion bottlenecks.
But also, everyone who starts a chat on the site becomes a new contact in my Messenger list.
So how does this work?
Add a Facebook Messenger bot to your website with a widget.
Everyone who visits your website is invited to become a Messenger contact. Website traffic turns into Messenger contacts.
Most users are already logged into Messenger on their desktop or device. So when they have questions or want info and see the Messenger widget, they tap it and boom — new Messenger contact.
If your site is on WordPress site like 34% of the world’s sites, a WordPress plugin called WP-Chatbot is the quickest way to add Facebook Messenger chat to your site.
Install the plugin on your WordPress site and you’ll have Messenger chat on your site in just a few minutes.
This widget makes list building easy. An active website could get hundreds or thousands of new contacts from the visitors on the site who engage the chatbot every day.
Think about yourself.
Are you more likely to search for a contact form on a site, fill it out, and sit back and wait who knows how long for an answer to your question?
Or are you more likely to pop open the chat window, ask your question, and get an immediate response?
Tactic #2: Run Facebook click to Messenger ads
You can do a lot without leveraging paid traffic, but if you really want to put some fuel on the fire, a few hundred dollars goes a long way.
And for the purpose of this blog post, I spent $391.58 just so I would have some stats to share with you. 🙂
Facebook Messenger ads are a Facebook Ad format in which the user who clicks on the ad is immediately added to your Messenger contact list as opposed to going to a landing page where they may bounce or exit, anonymously.
Everyone who clicks the button on the ad converts when they send the advertiser a message — becoming a permanent Messenger contact.
The key part is… they need to send the advertiser a message. In other words, if you don’t get them to send you a message they won’t be added to your Messenger contact list so you won’t be able to send blasts to them.
That’s why you want to use an autoresponder. If which you automatically start talking to each person to increase your chance that they will get added to your contact list.
Here’s an example of an ad:
How much will Facebook click-to-Messenger ads run you?
I personally haven’t scaled a campaign too large yet, but with a $391.58 test budget, I’ve been able to generate leads for roughly 62% less than traditional Facebook ads.
But again, the key with all of this is in the autoresponder. Without that, your numbers won’t be too great.
Within MobileMonkey, use the bot content builder to create the autoresponder to your Facebook Ad.
Then create a new Messenger ad in MobileMonkey to connect your autoresponder to your Facebook Ad.
Next, pick the autoresponder from a drop-down of all your bot dialogues and connect it to your Facebook Ads Manager account.
The result is a low-cost ad campaign that drives more contacts into your Messenger list.
Facebook Messenger ads work time and again across industries, including e-commerce and service businesses.
Now, if you are like me and you prefer to do things a bit more organically and save some money, here’s how you generate more contacts without spending money.
Tactic #3: Use organic Facebook post autoresponders
Growing your list with a little ad spend goes a long way, but this next list building power tactic is totally free.
Anyone who comments on your Facebook Page posts instantly becomes your Messenger contact.
A Messenger bot automatically responds and as soon as that person replies, they’ve become a contact in Messenger.
You can see an example of this tactic in action here:
The more engaging your Facebook post, the more likely it will be that people will want to comment on it.
These kinds of posts always get a ton of comments and contacts:
You could ask fans to post a GIF in response to a question. “Describe your boss with a GIF.”
Or ask them to tell a story or ask them a question like “What industry are most of your clients in?”
Even just asking them “what do you do?” is super-engaging because people love to talk about themselves!
This store asks fans to name how many duck species are in the photo. Comment with your guess and get a discount code in the autoresponder follow-up.
You can create the Messenger dialog for this technique in MobileMonkey with the “FB Comment Guard” tool.
That feature is what allows you to add the autoresponder to an organic post.
I love this technique because it converts my hard-fought organic Facebook engagement into a list of contacts I can follow up with.
Tactic #4: Convert page fans into Messenger contacts
I’m a fan of cross-promoting, traffic-sharing, and allowing various marketing channels to build off each other.
After all, if someone follows you on one channel, they may want your updates on a different channel as well. This increases your odds of connecting with them and amplifying your content reach at any given time.
This tactic combines several methodologies for a boost to Messenger contacts.
If you’ve gone to the effort of building a robust Facebook page, you will want to convert these fans into Messenger contacts. Fans are great, but Messenger contacts are better because Messenger is personalized, interactive, one-on-one, and has way more visibility than Facebook News Feed.
Organic reach on Facebook is very low. Maybe 1%, of your fans on your Facebook Page will even see your post.
Using Facebook Messenger changes this. Instead of a low organic reach, you’re getting high-powered interactions that are personalized.
This is important because page fans aren’t automatically Messenger contacts. You have to invite them or connect with them in Messenger first.
Here are three ways to convert your Page fans into Messenger contacts.
First, and this one is pretty obvious, you can change the CTA button on your Facebook Page to “Send Message”.
Right now your Facebook Page CTA button might be sending traffic to your site with a button like “Learn More”.
Hover over the button until you see “Edit Button.” Then choose the option to “Contact you” and “Send Message.”
Customize the message that people will see when they click that button in MobileMonkey.
Boom. Now anyone who clicks the “Send Message” button from a Facebook Page will become a Messenger contact.
Second, create a Facebook Post Autoresponder (see tip #3).
This autoresponder was a simple invitation — Stay in touch! Sign up for Messenger updates.
Third, you can then use Page fan audience targeting of a click-to-Messenger Facebook Ad campaign.
Remember, your existing Page fans are more likely to take another step into more interaction with a brand that they know and trust.
Tactic #5: Turn your email subscribers into Messenger contacts
Email marketing has a low engagement rate.
Facebook Messenger has high engagement.
Would you rather send your content to your subscribers in a channel with a 2% click-rate or 20% click-through rate?
Ideally, you should do what I do and leverage them both.
Send your email list an invitation to join your Facebook Messenger list. Those who choose to do so will become email subscribers and Messenger subscribers, but their engagement level (and therefore your reach) will increase using Messenger.
One of the most effective marketing methods is to convert your existing contacts into more effective marketing channels.
Using MobileMonkey’s chatbot builder, you can create an opt-in page consisting of a quick and simple “Want to receive occasional updates?” invitation.
Link to that invitation anywhere you’d normally include a link.
Link to that invitation in a button, like the examples below.
Link to your Messenger experience in your:
CTAs in blog posts
Business card in QR codes
Newsletter subscription forms
The list is as long as you are clever. And it works very well!
You are always going to deal with algorithms, but if you want more consistent traffic you need to take matters into your own hands.
Just look at me, I leverage email marketing, push notifications, and even Facebook Messenger marketing.
I’m now looking into leveraging text messaging too.
Sure, I leverage SEO, content marketing, paid ads, social media marketing… and every other major channel out there.
But I focus a large part of my efforts on controlling my own destiny and you can too.
If you haven’t started, start with Facebook Messenger. It works so well right now and I expect it to last for a while. The key is getting in on the right time and time is right now.
So what do you think about this strategy? Have you tried Facebook Messenger marketing yet?
Sales have dropped, and traffic is slowly dwindling, it looks like you might have a problem on your hands.
It sounds like you might need help with your website marketing strategy?
Your website is one of your most important marketing tools today. The more you promote your website, the more clicks from potential customers can come your way.
With over 1.8 billion websites, including your competition, you’ll need a game plan to get the most results from your website marketing strategy.
Let’s get started, here are 30 proven website marketing strategies to help you get more customers today.
1. Improve Your Website’s SEO
Having a strong SEO presence online isn’t an option anymore; you either fight for Google’s first-page ranking, or you’re doomed to obscurity (aka the second page).
When most people hear the word SEO, they start to overthink the complexities of SEO, and might even think that it’s only for trained experts.
That’s where they’re wrong. At its core, SEO isn’t complicated. It just takes consistency, a sound strategy, and time. You can’t tighten up your website’s SEO in one day and expect results in the next.
Whether you’re an expert or beginner here are some helpful facts to get you up to speed with SEO.
But here are some simple tips you can use on your own to improve your website’s SEO:
Five Website SEO Tips Every Beginner Should Know
Optimize Your Images for SEO: Use High-Quality Images with specific or relevant keywords words in the file name or ALT Text.
Keywords Everywhere: Add specific keywords on each website page or URL
Check Your Website URL: Ensure that your website URL is your (brand) name, so it’s easier for people to find you
Optimize Your Website Pages: Write detailed and keyword heavy meta titles and descriptions for your website or blog articles.
Add Keywords To Your Content: Whether it’s a video, blog, or your about page ensure that you add industry-specific keywords, so Google knows what your content is about helping your ranking online and make it easy for people to find.
2. Google My Business
If you haven’t done it already, you should claim your business on Google My Business. Google’s business feature includes showing essential information people need to know about your business on Google Maps, Search, Mobile, and other Google properties.
You can also add your contact details and website so that potential customers can find everything they need to know about you on the first search.
3. Add & Use SEO In Your Blog
You’ve probably heard this a thousand times, but having a blog is a great way to promote your website and increase your brand’s online presence.
Brands who blog receive 97% more links to their website. That means other brands or bloggers can referencing your products and articles to their audience, expanding your online reach. Add that to the fact that 57% of marketers say they’ve gained customers specifically through blogging.
At Wishpond we practice what we preach. Our marketing blog receives more than 200,000 views a month and traffic from our blog helps to convert readers into paying customers. This is partially due to the fact that 95% of B2B buyers see content as a primary factor in determining trustworthiness for a company when evaluating it’s products and services.
Need I say more?
You can always be or hire a content writer for your marketing team or hire a freelancer to do the writing for you. I find the first option usually works best.
Unlike other social media platforms, YouTube videos have a longer shelf life because their growth isn’t solely dependant on instant engagement, but over time because they’re available to people via search.
But as great as emails are, the problem is you’re not the only one who’ll be sending to your prospective customers. As someone who receives up to 50 emails a day, standing out in the inbox is important…and difficult.
Book a free call to learn how our team of email marketing experts can help you create high converting email campaigns today.
6. Keyword Research
I can’t stress enough how important keyword research is especially if you’re doing content marketing to drive traffic to your website.
When it comes to keyword research, you have to be in it for the long game.
Keyword research isn’t just for your blog; it’s for your Google ads, promotions, social media ads, and overall website optimization. You can find keywords organically or use paid keyword searches, at times you’ll have to do both.
If you need to SEO & keyword ideas, you can use Google’s Keyword Planner and search for related keywords that show up in your Google Analytics Acquisition reports.
5 Keyword Research Tools To Improve Your SEO
Here are five keyword research tools experts swear by that can help you to improve your SEO:
Wordtracker Use Wordtracker to Reveal high performing keywords in minutes with their online keyword research tool.
Moz Analytics Moz Analytics automatically audits your site, tracks your rankings and link metrics, and shows you what your competitors are up to. A great way to highlight useful and actionable insights.
Keyword Discovery Keyword Discovery is a keyword research tool that can help you in search engine website site optimization, managing pay per click keywords, and achieving top search engine rankings.
WordStream A pay-per-click advertising tool to help you get more from your marketing budget.
Keyword Eye Keyword Eye is a fast and visual keyword research tool that can help with your PPC and SEO campaigns.
7. Contribute Articles to Expert Sites
Find blogs or websites that are thought leaders in your industry, then submit articles that can put in front of their audience. This is also a great way to build backlinks and drive organic traffic to your website.
But know that contributing articles takes work, you’ll have to ensure that your current blog has quality work and the article you contribute has 10x more quality even to be considered. If you’re aiming to contribute to websites like Forbes or Huffington Post, you’ll also have to build up your credibility a writer online before you reach out to be a contributor.
If you’ve been writing content you can also check out sites like [Business2Community] that reshares high traffic articles for experts in the industry. To apply to get your content syndicated through Business2Community, check out their contributor page.
8. Create an Affiliate Program
Affiliate programs are an easy way to get people clicking to your website to learn more about your company. To date, 81% of brands have adopted an affiliate marketing program.
An affiliate program is a long term investment; you’ll have to build a program people will want to join, try to get and manage quality affiliates so you can get the fruits of your labor.
When Shout Me Loud started their affiliate program, they found that 80% of affiliate sales came from 20% of the affiliates because 80% of the affiliates will do very little, or nothing at all that contributes to sales. So you’ll have to engage with affiliates via email or social media to keep the program going.
But once it’s up and running, you’ll have thousands of people placing, sharing and promoting your website and products, bringing traffic and clicks to your website.
Around 62% of people consider blogs that have multiple authors to be more credible. So if you’re the only one who writes your articles, you might want to consider accepting guest post.
At Wishpond, a lot of marketing and e-commerce content writers reach out to use to guest post on our blog. Some of which are so popular with our readers, they bring organic traffic, conversions, and help with our blogs SEO ranking.
It sounds like a tall order, but having an online course pays off big time when it comes to promoting your website and brand. Hootsuite is known for their Hootsuite Academy where they help social media marketers brush up on their skills.
An online course, along with your blog is also a quick stamp of approval that you know your stuff. You can host your online class in several ways:
You can do an email campaign teaching people via email. Sending a course once a day until completion.
You can host classes on video platforms like Facebook Live, YouTube and now IGTV.
Online classes come with their pros than cons, mainly you’ll have to work hard to maintain a community of students who’ll be looking to you for answers. You’ll also have to create a platform that has a good user interface, or students will get frustrated and leave.
If an online course is done right (paid or free), you’ll have a large community of students and fans who will advocate and promote your brand for free on or offline.
Adding your links to all your platforms allows you to optimize your website for more clicks.
When you forget to add your website to your social media platforms, you miss out on customers who might be actively or curiously seeking you out. Today and counting attention spans have shrunk by 50% over the past decade. Having your link right there and waiting helps to grab people who might get distracted while looking for your website.
What makes it worse is that the attention span shrinks even further to a whopping 18% due to stress, which means if your viewers have trouble finding your website they’re more likely to be quickly and go somewhere else. You can also ask employees to share your website link on their work profiles and social media.
12. Use Your Google Analytics Reports
Google Analytics allows you to access detailed information regarding your online store’s traffic and sales.
When it comes to measuring website traffic for e-commerce stores, Google Analytics is the undisputed champion. It gives detailed information on how many people have visited your online store, what pages they’ve been on, demographic details of users, and various traffic sources.
You can use your Google Analytic reports learning about your website traffic sources.
You can compare different website site traffic sources and periods (i,e 30 days or last seven days) to see if your website traffic is declining or increasing. This can help you to track:
Where on your site or landing pages might be affecting your sales
How well it’s performing, what links are providing the most traffic
If you need to focus heavily on link building
Notice any pages with errors that need fixing
Create a better sales or marketing funnel for your online store
13. Have a Backlink Strategy
You can drive more clicks to your website with a strong backlink strategy.
Google’s search engine uses links as one of the three most important search engine ranking factors for a website. It’s a known fact that the first page of Google always captures most of web search traffic. Google’s first result gets 36.4% more click-through rates than any other result page.
Believe it or not, you can improve your website’s SEO by backlinking your website in the article you contribute as a guest writer. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to backlinking.
Once you have a strategy in place, you’ll begin to see your website’s click-through rate increase and traffic coming your way.
Hosting a giveaway on your website is a sure way to promote your website. Giveaways pack more of a punch for your business than you think. In fact giveaways do the following:
If your goal is brand awareness, then you can ask contestants to use your products in the images or incorporate a creative concept that resonates with your brand’s message.
Allow contestants to give their email address to enter or subscribe to your email subscription to generate leads.
If you want to drive traffic and increase conversions on your website, then allowing your audience to sign-up on your website or be directed back to your site to sign up for your giveaway can help.
Need help planning your next giveaway or contest?
Book a free call to learn how our team of contest experts can help you create a high converting giveaway today.
15. Feature Industry Experts in Your Content
Incorporating experts in your industry in your content or on your website is a great way to promote your website. It also adds credibility and builds trust with your audience.
Reach out to experts in your industry have them do a guest post, video, or highlight their work in a way that compliments the content on your website.
Let’s be honest, sometimes experts busy, and attempts to reach out get unanswered. Don’t worry, there’s a simple way around it. Try to reach out via email or add some of their expert advice to your online content.
People are four times more likely to buy when referred by a friend that’s because 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals.
A referral program is different from an affiliate program. A Referral Promotion allows your customers or fans to earn a reward in exchange for referring their friends to sign up or complete an action for your business.
Referral programs are a powerful way to grow your business by leveraging your current fans. Instead of trying to do all the heavy-lifting on your own, it allows your fans to do it for you.
Once your promotion is complete, you can use it to promote your website further.
17. Respond to Online Reviews
92% of consumers view online ratings and reviews before buying something, and 40% of them form an opinion of your business before contacting you.
Whether it’s a positive or negative review, you can use it to improve your SEO and promote your websites and services. Online reviews are seen on places like:
Influencer Marketing has been in the top five marketing tools and strategies for the past four years and counting.
Adweek reported that Influencer marketing would become a $10 billion industry by 2020. That’s how invested marketers are in influence marketing. You can use influencer marketing to drive traffic to your website.
Co-branding is a fantastic strategic marketing and advertising that can help to promote your overall brand.
You would have to pick a brand that has a service or product that compliments your own for it to work. If done right it’s a win-win for everyone.
When they say that two heads are better than one, it’s true, you have double the audience and double the manpower to do digital promotions, social media contest, giveaways, and promotional projects.
For example Uber & Spotify, two unlikely brands came together for their “Soundtrack for Your Ride” marketing campaign allowing fans of Uber and Spotify alike enjoy better experiences thanks to the app.
90% of all marketers say social media marketing has increased their business exposure?
Back in 2013, it was estimated that 67% of consumers use Facebook and Twitter for customer service, and that was five years ago! Now over 8 billion messages are exchanged between people and businesses on Facebook Messenger each month alone.
The thing is people love positive interactions with brands on social media. It organically allows you to promote your website and products without coming off as a sell-all robot.
A perfect example is an Instagram favorite Peel; with each post, they ensure to comment and engage with their fans.
21: Fix Broken External Links & Errors
Broken external links, just as the states, are links that lead nowhere or give users an error.
Maybe your busy sharing other links from your site or there are some old content or web pages you forgot you deleted. Over time you’ll be losing potential traffic and clients if you forget to audit your site to find broken external links.
Facebook found that up to 78% of consumers using Facebook to find products and services, from business owners like you.
Facebook is still seen as an online business directory. You can create a business profile and add your business relevant contact information, most of all, a link to your website.
The first and most natural step you should take is creating a Facebook page for your brand if you haven’t already. From there you’ll have to optimize your Facebook page to get the most out of it for your business because believe it or not.
YouTube ads campaigns are an effective way of generating leads for your brand; earlier I stated that it was the second largest search engine online, well it’s also one of the top three social media with people worldwide watching over 150 million hours of YouTube every day.
Wouldn’t it be great to place an ad there for everyone to see?
Add that to the fact that 60% of people prefer video platforms to live television.
About 400 million people use Twitter every month; that’s why Tweeting about your blog can be an incredible way to reach out and connect with your consumer. With over more than half of the tweet population ready to retweet content for you it’s time to drop a link to your blog or website in your tweet and let the world see what you’re made of.
If you’re a B2B business, LinkedIn is the ideal place for you to connect with your market, develop relationships, and drive traffic back to your blog. With over 500 million users worldwide LinkedIn is your go-to social site for business networking.
If you want to drive traffic to your website from LinkedIn, then you need to be active, and frequently post on the site.
Post status updates a few times a week. The more you’re seen by your connections, the more trust you build, and the more likely they will click through to your blog. Additionally, this trust can develop into potential clients or partners.
Don’t spam your network. Use your judgment (or analytics) to determine how many times a week, you should be posting.
Post article links to your blog. Use LinkedIn to nurture relationships further, by inviting your contacts to connect with on your business blog too.
Post links to other articles. If you don’t have two or three articles in a week to post, post links to other articles too — for example, post articles about news in your industry, or from well-known industry leaders.
Online webinars are one of the most popular and effective ways to capture and nurture highly engaged buyers. You can use webinars to promote your products, teach a class, or build relationships with new leads. The choice is yours, just ensure it’s engaging and it’ll capture the attention of your target audience.
Book a free call to learn how our team of marketing experts can help you setup a high converting webinar campaign today.
29. Automate Your Marketing
Think about it, automation is the way of the future. We’ve come a far way from 2011. According to recent studies, marketing automation on average drives up to 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead.
More than 11x more companies are using marketing automation these days than back in 2011.
You can automate your email, chat, ads and social media cutting your workload in half and allowing your marketing efforts to be active while you work on other projects.
Here is Wishpond we offer marketing automation for a business like yours. From emails to ads and then some. Click here to see what our marketing experts can do for you.
30. Review Your Website Marketing Strategy
One of the most important things to do to ensure your online presence is growing is to review your digital and website marketing strategy. Take time out to see what’s working and what needs improving as you invest more time and money into your strategies.
So how do you review your website marketing strategy?
You check your analyze your website traffic and data along with your brand’s keywords and SEO placement. The best place to start is Google Analytics.
There you have it 30 proven website marketing strategies to get more clicks. If I’m honest, choosing one method just won’t cut it, you might need to use as many as you can if you want to start making a dent online.
There is a lot of competition online. Your website isn’t the only one of it’s kind, which isn’t to say it’s impossible it just takes consistent action to keep driving clicks and traffic to your website.
You’ve got this.
Are you currently promoting your website? Comment below what’s been working and what you might need help with your website marketing strategy. I’d love to know.
It’s Valentine’s Day, but what does that have to do with your online business? When you have a website you can use this seasonal consumer spending to your benefit.
Here’s how you can use Valentines Day to improve your website’s positioning on Google, and how to keep your seasonal content fresh year after year.
Valentine’s Day Sales
Valentine’s day generated over $18 billion in sales in 2018, and in 2019 consumers are expected to spend $19.6 billion. So who is making purchases for this date? Men are the biggest spenders, spending double what women spend, with about 66% of them between the ages of 25 and 34.
While the most popular gifts range from candy, flowers, jewelry, and evenings out—there is also a trend of people buying ‘anti’ Valentine’s Day gifts. Clearly, on this special day your online store can offer something for everyone.
If you make sales through your website, then one of your main concerns is appearing in search results when people search for products or services you offer. Holidays and special dates like Valentine’s Day can help you improve your positioning in these results.
How Can Valentine’s Day help your SEO?
When you create quality content on your website specifically around a special date, such as Christmas, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, St. Patrick’s Day, etc. you’re improving your chances of searchers finding you.
In the image above, you can see how there is a spike in searches for ‘valentine’s day gifts’ in January and February every year.
Before starting, ask yourself whether your products are given as gifts, and to whom? This is usually a no brainer for most eCommerce stores and many websites selling services, but there are also some great online businesses such as specialty tools, enterprise software, supplies, and machinery that will likely not have to invest their time into creating content for Valentine’s Day.
Curating a gift guide is a great option to help your SEO because it showcases a large selection of your products to potential shoppers in a single space, and it can be easily shared on social media.
In order to take full advantage of the gift guide, follow these steps:
Create a new page on your website, or a blog post. Ideally, you should start over a month before the special date.
‘Best Valentine’s Day Gifts for Bike Lovers/Outdoorsy people’ (if you sell bikes)
‘Best Valentine’s Day for Friends’
‘Valentine’s Day Gifts on a Budget’
‘Top 10 Valentine’s Day Gifts for Staff’
‘The Ultimate 2019 Valentine’s Day Gift Guide’
Fill in the page or post meta description to fit the upcoming holiday season—remember to include your chosen keywords—Valentine’s Day, Gifts and a keyword that makes your page more specific and relevant to your desired audience.
It’s also helpful to include the year in parentheses, so visitors understand it’s fresh content. For instance, ‘Best Valentine’s Day for Friends (2019).’
Populate the page or post it with your products – either the actual items to be added directly to a cart, or a list of your products with a description and link to the item. Link to other pages on your site that are relevant to the seasonal shopper.
Make an image for your page using a tool like Canva or Pablo, and upload it to Pinterest. Special dates usually have people creating wishlists on this social platform, and with a good cover image, you can get on those wishlists.
Optimize the page for speed and mobile – don’t fill it with animated images, auto-playing videos, gifs, or large images.
Link to your new content from other pages on your site, and share on social media.
Place a banner on your homepage promoting your dedicated page. POWr and Hello Bar are good options.
If you’ve created your content with over a month to go before the date, then you can do outreach to other sites in order to build external links for your page.
Run your page through a quick SEO audit to make sure nothing is stopping your site from being well positioned in search engines.
Well Optimized Gift Guides
Get inspired with the following gift guides that rank well on Google and do a great job of showcasing the website’s products:
Personalized Valentine’s Gifts for Her – this dedicated page has links to their best-selling products. A visitor doesn’t have to search and filter throughout all their products—this guide has already made the selection for them. There is a medium amount of text on the page that contains their keywords.
Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Her – this gift guide has more of a blog post feel, where items are listed with a brief description and what makes it a great gift. The ‘buy’ button is clearly places for each item.
Unique Valentine’s Day Gifts – this is a category page that directly links out to their products and more category pages. It has very little text, but note how well optimized the titles are, and the amount of relevant links this page is pointing to. It’s a ‘hub’ for everything about unique Valentine’s Day gift ideas.
What Happens After V-Day?
So now that you’ve created your dedicated page, promoted it, and Valentine’s Day has passed, what should you do until next year?
Most of your content should stay ‘timeless’, but make sure to update the page in advance each year: adding your new products, linking to new blog posts, and looking for others to link to your gift guide.
Grow your online brand and reach new heights. Explore subscription plans to see how Weebly can help take your business to the next level.
Each year, mobile marketing solutions company 3Cinteractive publishes its Mobile Loyalty Report. These reports offer important insights for brands looking to improve loyalty through mobile channels. Over the past four years, the mobile reports have revealed that loyalty program growth is steady and that brands are making progress in meeting customer expectations.
Recently, Loyalty360 sat down with Margie Kupfer, Vice President of Marketing at 3Cinteractive, to discuss the 2019 report. Our conversation revealed some key data. Overall, we discussed mobile technology, personalization, and communications. Kupfer also offered improvement advice for brands.
On the genesis of the report, Kupfer said, “We have seen a lot of research about how consumers are interacting with technology, but we hadn’t seen a lot of research around how brands were trying to keep pace. As consumers ourselves, we had this hypothesis that there was a really wide gap between what customers wanted from mobile and what brands were really able to provide. That was the lens through which we put the first survey together.”
Looking back to the 2016 report, Kupfer found two pieces of good news. She said, “Back in 2016, 52 percent of the customers surveyed said that a mobile-enabled loyalty program made them visit or purchase more often. In the years since, it has gone up to 61 percent.” Even though, according to Kupfer, 52 percent was a large number, 61 percent is even better.
The second piece of good news is that more brands are mobile-enabled. Kupfer said, “For brands who are not mobile-enabled, the biggest blocker was lack of IT resources and the know-how to get started. That was 65 percent in 2016. That number has come down to 49 percent this year.”
Kupfer did say, however, that the report encouraged 3Cinteractive to take a step back and re-strategize. She said she feels that, as a sales and marketing team, her company needs to help brands take the necessary baby steps as they expand their capabilities. “It’s almost like a crawl-walk-run roadmap we need to put together for brands,” she said.
This crawl-walk-run roadmap is especially important when it comes to personalization. Kupfer noted that respondents to the 2018 Mobile Loyalty report said that personalization was a high priority, something they really want from the brands with whom they shop. So, Kupfer had some advice.
“Start small,” she said. “Don’t try to boil the ocean. Start at broader segments. Start at a preference level and get it into chunks. Then, continue to have a roadmap to work your way down the funnel until you can really get at that one-to-one relationship.”
Another piece of advice Kupfer had involves communication. She explained the issue, saying, “One of the other things we’ve started to see is the consumer appetite to want to chat with a brand. We know that today’s phones are actually used more for texting than for phone calls. People are very used to texting with their friends and their family, and we’re seeing a growing trend toward wanting to do that with a business. We’re seeing it start in customer-care functions: where’s my order, track my shipment, how much data do I have left, when is my bill due. As technology gets better, this is going to continue to grow.”
She continued, “Consumers don’t necessarily feel well-informed from their favorite brands about where their status is. They can’t always remember their login number, that sort of thing. They really want easy access. They want to be able to text into a brand and say, ‘How many points do I have that I can use?’ They want to be able to get an easy answer back, rather than having to login into an app or login to a website.”
This state of affairs has reinforced the need for brands to become omnichannel. “There’s not one channel that all customers are going to, so you have to be everywhere,” she said. “It may change throughout the day. An email might be fine in the morning as the customer is online and getting ready for her day, but if she has a change in status, or she has points that are going to expire, that’s probably better as a text message.”
She continued, “We’re all about testing and learning, understanding where customers are and starting small. So, messaging is really key. We see a lot of brands still not using messaging, but the brands that do use it are seeing incredible results. The read rate is much higher than email.”
In addition, she said, “You have to tailor the message to the channel. It can’t just be one message that goes across five channels. The same message you put in email might be slightly different in a 160-character text message. You also don’t want them to get the same message across three or four channels.”
Her final recommendation was that brands become early adopters. “We’ve noticed, particularly in retail, that D2C brands are pretty nimble, and they’re absolutely willing to try new things. They seem to adopt new technologies much faster than traditional retailers, and that hurts [the traditional retailers]. They’re not as quick to move. They’re not as quick to adapt. The early adopters are faster moving and they’re outpacing the competition. Technology is fueling that.”
From our own Loyalty360 research, we’ve seen that technology is a hurdle in meeting customer expectations. However, it’s good to see that we’re not the only ones who recognize the pulse of the industry.
Chances are, if you’re a marketer for a small business, you wear many different hats. Some of them probably aren’t even marketing hats. From product marketing to content creation, social posts to event presence—even sales—you name it: It’s on you.
So why would you want to and add video marketing on top of all that? The truth is, there are A LOT of benefits of video marketing for small businesses.
We’ve got 14 reasons why you should care about video—along with examples of how video can help your business and save you time and money in the long run.
1. Get on the second largest search engine in the world
With over a billion users who watch over 250 million hours of video each day, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. It’s where your potential buyers are searching, so you’d better be there. “How-to” searches are among the most popular on YouTube, making educational content a strategic opportunity in this space.
Products can be complex, and it’s essential that your audience understands yours before they make a purchase. Lucky for you, website visitors are 64 to 85% more likely to purchase after watching a product video.
An explainer video gives you a chance to show—not just tell—potential customers what you’re offering and how it solves a problem. It tops our list of recommended videos to make first. So if you don’t have one yet, get on it!
The best way to include video in email is not to embed the video itself. This is because most email clients don’t actually support inline playing of the video. Even if they do, large video files increase the likelihood of your email getting caught in spam filters. Instead, include a thumbnail from the video in the email body that users can click to view the video on your website or landing page. You can even set the player to autoplay for the fewest clicks.
See what it looks like in the screenshot below.
6. Build stronger brand affiliation and connection
Watching a video provides both audio and visual stimulation. The mere activation of both of these areas of the brain means that viewers are more engaged and therefore naturally develop stronger affiliation and interest in the content they’re consuming.
This is crucial for a small business striving for brand recognition and dependent on loyal customers who keep coming back for more.
7. Capitalize on the low barrier to entry
A lot of small businesses (and businesses in general) think that there are high costs associated with video and a long list of equipment that makes getting into the video marketing space tricky. It turns out, that’s all a myth. Chances are, you have at least a 1080p camera in your pocket or on your desk right now. Maybe you’re even reading this post on it.
All you actually need to get started is a smartphone and some basic editing software. Even something like iMovie can be all the muscle you need to get started. So play with the big kids—you’re ready now!
8. Show up more in social feeds
Social feeds (Facebook and Instagram, specifically) do a great job of showing people what they want to see. Algorithms based on users’ previous activity, make it hard for small businesses to be discovered by new audiences.
You don’t have a big team… even outside of marketing. So the more you can encourage your audience to educate and help themselves throughout the buyer’s journey, the better.
By creating low-touch educational video content, you make it easier not only on the buyer but also on the sales team. (Especially if that sales team is you!)
10. Tell a stronger story
There’s no better way to reel buyers in than with a compelling story. And who better to share your story than your biggest advocates: Your customers? You can record customer testimonials in person, but that isn’t always possible.
Luckily, there are other ways to make the magic happen. Getting a customer on video can be as simple (and as low-cost) as asking them to record themselves on their webcam or phone (use a free tool like GoVideo to make it even easier). You can provide them with a list of possible questions to answer or let them run with things completely unscripted. Either way, it’s powerful to have a real person explain in their own words why they love your product, your brand, and your team.
11. Increase conversions
Conversion rates double for websites using video. Your website is dying for a play button.
12. Track potential buyer consumption patterns
As video evolves, so do video metrics. It’s now not only possible but easy to track how long people are watching and what areas of your video are being re-watched or skipped.
Wait: It gets better. If you’re using a video platform that’s integrated with your marketing automation platform (MAP), like Hubspot, you can see this info for each of your potential buyers. That means you can create targeted follow-ups and have a more accurate idea of who’s interested and most likely to buy. If you have HubSpot, find out how to add video to your campaigns natively from your account.
13. Make friends with authentic video footage
While you may think that high-budget, Hollywood-style videos are the ultimate goal, they may not be. And your smaller budget might actually pay off.
Today, buyers want to connect with brands, and creating scrappy webcam videos or screen shares can start to build that relationship authentically. Free video creation tools like GoVideo allow you to create, track and share these videos with three clicks of a button.
Get your CEO behind the camera and get going!
14. Get More ‘Bang for Your Buck’
As many as 40% of consumers state that video increases the chance that they’ll purchase a product on their mobile device. Website visitors are 64% more likely to purchase on an online retail site after watching a video.
Companies that use video are growing revenue 49% faster than those that don’t. The numbers speak for themselves, but we’ll say it anyway: You need video.
Ever see an advertisement for a fitness program? There’s typically a “before” photo and an “after” photo of a customer who followed the workout.
On the left is a “before” photo of a shirtless, slouching man. He’s pale. Average-looking. He’s not smiling.
Then, in the photo on the right, the same guy magically turns into a tall, bronzed, Greek God with an eight-pack of cobblestone abs. His biceps are the size of bowling balls. He’s ridiculously happy.
They barely look like the same person. But that’s the point, right?
You can relate to the guy on the left, but you want to be the guy on the right. If lefty could do it, so can you!
I may be exaggerating this a bit to make my point, but here’s the thing: Social proof works.
What is social proof?
The gist of social proof: When people are uncertain, they’ll look to others for guidance. In marketing, social proof can be a powerful psychological trigger to influence people to buy a product or service.
Social proof is so effective because it helps your customers confidently make a decision. You’re providing evidence that your product is beneficial, has more fans than just your mom, and can positively transform people’s lives.
Luckily, you don’t have to get your customers to go shirtless to provide evidence that your product works. (If you’re not in the fitness industry, that would be . . . awkward.) There are other ways to do it.
5 Ways to Include Social Proof in Your Emails
Social proof #1: quotes
Ask a satisfied customer for a quote about why they love your product or can’t wait to try it. Or grab quotes and comments from your social media feeds.
When a new subscriber reads that other people are excited about your product, they’ll be more likely to take action, too.
Jonathan Goodman, the founder of Personal Trainer Development Center, uses quotes from his social feeds as proof of happy customers. This helps drive more sales for his latest issue of Fitness Marketing Monthly, a print newsletter delivered to subscribers’ doorsteps.
Social proof #2: numbers
Marketing professionals use data all the time to persuade people to buy a product or donate to a cause. They call it the “Statistics Appeal,” and it’s based off research that shows people generally trust numbers. So use numbers and stats that tie directly to the success or quality of your product to give perceived weight to your product.
Brian Dean, the SEO expert behind Backlinko and an AWeber customer, uses his numbers to prove why he’s an expert in SEO on YouTube. He uses this as social proof for why you should sign up for his course.
Social proof #3: ratings
Have 5/5 stars on Amazon or Google? Let your subscribers know!
Great reviews or ratings provide social proof that others recommend your business or products, which might compel prospects to click through to the order page or check out the reviews. If your subscribers see others taking positive actions, they will be more inclined to buy.
Below, you can see how Henneke Duistermaat of Enchanting Marketing ends her 16-part snackable writing course with links to buy her two books. She also points out that they both receive 5/5 star reviews.
If you have famous customers, tell your subscribers. Or have them give you an endorsement that you can include in your messages. People are more likely to buy a product if they admire a person or business that uses it.
Social proof #5: case studies
Have a customer who is extremely excited about your product or service? Ask them to relay their experience to you, and post it on your blog or website. Their story may entice others to try your product, as well.
Ramit Sethi uses case studies of happy students to sell his 6-Figure Consulting Program.
Social proof — when used to drive home whyyou’re an expert in your field and why your product can help transform your subscribers’ lives — can exert immense influence over your readers’ actions. But like any other email marketing tactic, social proof only works if you provide your audience with compelling, helpful content.
Ready to get started adding social proof to your email marketing campaigns? Try AWeber for FREE today. It’s never been easier to connect with your audience and drive success for your business.