What Is Digital Marketing?

With how accessible the internet is today, would you believe me if I told you the number of people who go online every day is still increasing?

It is. In fact, “constant” internet usage among adults increased by 5% in just the last three years, according to Pew Research. And although we say it a lot, the way people shop and buy really has changed along with it — meaning offline marketing isn’t as effective as it used to be.

Marketing has always been about connecting with your audience in the right place and at the right time. Today, that means you need to meet them where they are already spending time: on the internet.

Enter digital marketing — in other words, any form of marketing that exists online.Click here to download our free guide to digital marketing fundamentals.

At HubSpot, we talk a lot about inbound marketing as a really effective way to attract, engage, and delight customers online. But we still get a lot of questions from people all around the world about digital marketing. So, we decided to answer them. Click the links below to jump to each question, or keep reading to see how digital marketing is carries out today.

So, how do you define digital marketing today?

A seasoned inbound marketer might say inbound marketing and digital marketing are virtually the same thing, but there are some minor differences. And conversations with marketers and business owners in the U.S., U.K., Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, I’ve learned a lot about how those small differences are being observed across the world.

Because digital marketing has so many options and strategies associated with it, you can get creative and experiment with a variety of marketing tactics on a budget. With digital marketing, you can also use tools like analytics dashboards to monitor the success and ROI of your campaigns more than you could with a traditional promotional content — such as a billboard or print ad.

How does a business define digital marketing?

Digital marketing is defined by the use of numerous digital tactics and channels to connect with customers where they spend much of their time: online. From the website itself to a business’s online branding assets — digital advertising, email marketing, online brochures, and beyond — there’s a spectrum of tactics that fall under the umbrella of “digital marketing.”

The best digital marketers have a clear picture of how each digital marketing campaign supports their overarching goals. And depending on the goals of their marketing strategy, marketers can support a larger campaign through the free and paid channels at their disposal.

A content marketer, for example, can create a series of blog posts that serve to generate leads from a new ebook the business recently created. The company’s social media marketer might then help promote these blog posts through paid and organic posts on the business’s social media accounts. Perhaps the email marketer creates an email campaign to send those who download the ebook more information on the company. We’ll talk more about these specific digital marketers in a minute.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most common digital marketing tactics and the channels involved in each one.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This is the process of optimizing your website to “rank” higher in search engine results pages, thereby increasing the amount of organic (or free) traffic your website receives. The channels that benefit from SEO include websites, blogs, and infographics.

There are a number of ways to approach SEO in order to generate qualified traffic to your website. These include:

Content Marketing

This term denotes the creation and promotion of content assets for the purpose of generating brand awareness, traffic growth, lead generation, and customers. The channels that can play a part in your content marketing strategy include:

  • Blog posts: Writing and publishing articles on a company blog helps you demonstrate your industry expertise and generates organic search traffic for your business. This ultimately gives you more opportunities to convert website visitors into leads for your sales team.
  • Ebooks and whitepapers: Ebooks, whitepapers, and similar long-form content helps further educate website visitors. It also allows you to exchange content for a reader’s contact information, generating leads for your company and moving people through the buyer’s journey.
  • Infographics: Sometimes, readers want you to show, not tell. Infographics are a form of visual content that helps website visitors visualize a concept you want to help them learn.

Want to learn and apply content marketing to your business? Check out HubSpot Academy’s free content marketing training resource page.

Social Media Marketing

This practice promotes your brand and your content on social media channels to increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and generate leads for your business. The channels you can use in social media marketing include:

  • Facebook.
  • Twitter.
  • LinkedIn.
  • Instagram.
  • Snapchat.
  • Pinterest.

If you’re new to social platforms, you can use tools like HubSpot to connect channels like LinkedIn and Facebook in one place. This way, you can easily schedule content for multiple channels at once, and monitor analytics from the platform as well.

On top of connecting social accounts for posting purposes, you can also integrate your social media inboxes into HubSpot, so you can get your direct messages in one place. 

Pay Per Click (PPC)

PPC is a method of driving traffic to your website by paying a publisher every time your ad is clicked. One of the most common types of PPC is Google Ads, which allows you to pay for top slots on Google’s search engine results pages at a price “per click” of the links you place. Other channels where you can use PPC include:

  • Paid ads on Facebook: Here, users can pay to customize a video, image post, or slideshow, which Facebook will publish to the newsfeeds of people who match your business’s audience.
  • Twitter Ads campaigns: Here, users can pay to place a series of posts or profile badges to the news feeds of a specific audience, all dedicated to accomplish a specific goal for your business. This goal can be website traffic, more Twitter followers, tweet engagement, or even app downloads.
  • Sponsored Messages on LinkedIn: Here, users can pay to send messages directly to specific LinkedIn users based on their industry and background.

Affiliate Marketing

This is a type of performance-based advertising where you receive commission for promoting someone else’s products or services on your website. Affiliate marketing channels include:

Native Advertising

Native advertising refers to advertisements that are primarily content-led and featured on a platform alongside other, non-paid content. BuzzFeed-sponsored posts are a good example, but many people also consider social media advertising to be “native” — Facebook advertising and Instagram advertising, for example.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation refers to the software that serves to automate your basic marketing operations. Many marketing departments can automate repetitive tasks they would otherwise do manually, such as:

  • Email newsletters: Email automation doesn’t just allow you to automatically send emails to your subscribers. It can also help you shrink and expand your contact list as needed so your newsletters are only going to the people who want to see them in their inboxes.
  • Social media post scheduling: If you want to grow your organization’s presence on a social network, you need to post frequently. This makes manual posting a bit of an unruly process. Social media scheduling tools push your content to your social media channels for you, so you can spend more time focusing on content strategy.
  • Lead-nurturing workflows: Generating leads, and converting those leads into customers, can be a long process. You can automate that process by sending leads specific emails and content once they fit certain criteria, such as when they download and open an ebook.
  • Campaign tracking and reporting: Marketing campaigns can include a ton of different people, emails, content, webpages, phone calls, and more. Marketing automation can help you sort everything you work on by the campaign it’s serving, and then track the performance of that campaign based on the progress all of these components make over time.

Email Marketing

Companies use email marketing as a way of communicating with their audiences. Email is often used to promote content, discounts and events, as well as to direct people toward the business’s website. The types of emails you might send in an email marketing campaign include:

  • Blog subscription newsletters.
  • Follow-up emails to website visitors who downloaded something.
  • Customer welcome emails.
  • Holiday promotions to loyalty program members.
  • Tips or similar series emails for customer nurturing.

Online PR

Online PR is the practice of securing earned online coverage with digital publications, blogs, and other content-based websites. It’s much like traditional PR, but in the online space. The channels you can use to maximize your PR efforts include:

  • Reporter outreach via social media: Talking to journalists on Twitter, for example, is a great way to develop a relationship with the press that produces earned media opportunities for your company.
  • Engaging online reviews of your company: When someone reviews your company online, whether that review is good or bad, your instinct might be not to touch it. On the contrary, engaging company reviews helps you humanize your brand and deliver powerful messaging that protects your reputation.
  • Engaging comments on your personal website or blog: Similar to the way you’d respond to reviews of your company, responding to the people who are reading your content is the best way to generate productive conversation around your industry.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing refers to a marketing methodology wherein you attract, engage, and delight customers at every stage of the buyer’s journey. You can use every digital marketing tactic listed above, throughout an inbound marketing strategy, to create a customer experience that works with the customer, not against them. Here are some classic examples of inbound marketing versus traditional marketing: 

  • Blogging vs. pop-up ads
  • Video marketing vs. commercial advertising
  • Email contact lists vs. email spam

What does a digital marketer do?

Digital marketers are in charge of driving brand awareness and lead generation through all the digital channels — both free and paid — that are at a company’s disposal. These channels include social media, the company’s own website, search engine rankings, email, display advertising, and the company’s blog.

The digital marketer usually focuses on a different key performance indicator (KPI) for each channel so they can properly measure the company’s performance across each one. A digital marketer who’s in charge of SEO, for example, measures their website’s “organic traffic” — of that traffic coming from website visitors who found a page of the business’s website via a Google search.

Digital marketing is carried out across many marketing roles today. In small companies, one generalist might own many of the digital marketing tactics described above at the same time. In larger companies, these tactics have multiple specialists that each focus on just one or two of the brand’s digital channels.

Here are some examples of these specialists:

SEO Manager

Main KPIs: Organic traffic

In short, SEO managers get the business to rank on Google. Using a variety of approaches to search engine optimization, this person might work directly with content creators to ensure the content they produce performs well on Google — even if the company also posts this content on social media.

Content Marketing Specialist

Main KPIs: Time on page, overall blog traffic, YouTube channel subscribers

Content marketing specialists are the digital content creators. They frequently keep track of the company’s blogging calendar, and come up with a content strategy that includes video as well. These professionals often work with people in other departments to ensure the products and campaigns the business launches are supported with promotional content on each digital channel.

Social Media Manager

Main KPIs: Follows, Impressions, Shares

The role of a social media manager is easy to infer from the title, but which social networks they manage for the company depends on the industry. Above all, social media managers establish a posting schedule for the company’s written and visual content. This employee might also work with the content marketing specialist to develop a strategy for which content to post on which social network.

(Note: Per the KPIs above, “impressions” refers to the number of times a business’s posts appear on the newsfeed of a user.)

Marketing Automation Coordinator

Main KPIs: Email open rate, campaign click-through rate, lead-generation (conversion) rate

The marketing automation coordinator helps choose and manage the software that allows the whole marketing team to understand their customers’ behavior and measure the growth of their business. Because many of the marketing operations described above might be executed separately from one another, it’s important for there to be someone who can group these digital activities into individual campaigns and track each campaign’s performance.

Inbound Marketing vs. Digital Marketing: Which Is It?

On the surface, the two seem similar: Both occur primarily online, and both focus on creating digital content for people to consume. So what’s the difference?

The term “digital marketing” doesn’t differentiate between push and pull marketing tactics (or what we might now refer to as ‘inbound’ and ‘outbound’ methods). Both can still fall under the umbrella of digital marketing.

Digital outbound tactics aim to put a marketing message directly in front of as many people as possible in the online space — regardless of whether it’s relevant or welcomed. For example, the garish banner ads you see at the top of many websites try to push a product or promotion onto people who aren’t necessarily ready to receive it.

On the other hand, marketers who employ digital inbound tactics use online content to attract their target customers onto their websites by providing assets that are helpful to them. One of the simplest yet most powerful inbound digital marketing assets is a blog, which allows your website to capitalize on the terms which your ideal customers are searching for.

Ultimately, inbound marketing is a methodology that uses digital marketing assets to attract, engage, and delight customers online. Digital marketing, on the other hand, is simply an umbrella term to describe online marketing tactics of any kind, regardless of whether they’re considered inbound or outbound.

Does digital marketing work for all businesses?

Digital marketing can work for any business in any industry. Regardless of what your company sells, digital marketing still involves building out buyer personas to identify your audience’s needs, and creating valuable online content. However, that’s not to say all businesses should implement a digital marketing strategy in the same way.

B2B Digital Marketing

If your company is business-to-business (B2B), your digital marketing efforts are likely to be centered around online lead generation, with the end goal being for someone to speak to a salesperson. For that reason, the role of your marketing strategy is to attract and convert the highest quality leads for your salespeople via your website and supporting digital channels.

Beyond your website, you’ll probably choose to focus your efforts on business-focused channels like LinkedIn where your demographic is spending their time online.

B2C Digital Marketing

If your company is business-to-consumer (B2C), depending on the price point of your products, it’s likely that the goal of your digital marketing efforts is to attract people to your website and have them become customers without ever needing to speak to a salesperson.

For that reason, you’re probably less likely to focus on ‘leads’ in their traditional sense, and more likely to focus on building an accelerated buyer’s journey, from the moment someone lands on your website, to the moment that they make a purchase. This will often mean your product features in your content higher up in the marketing funnel than it might for a B2B business, and you might need to use stronger calls-to-action (CTAs).

For B2C companies, channels like Instagram and Pinterest can often be more valuable than business-focused platforms LinkedIn.

What is the role of digital marketing to a company?

Unlike most offline marketing efforts, digital marketing allows marketers to see accurate results in real time. If you’ve ever put an advert in a newspaper, you’ll know how difficult it is to estimate how many people actually flipped to that page and paid attention to your ad. There’s no surefire way to know if that ad was responsible for any sales at all.

On the other hand, with digital marketing, you can measure the ROI of pretty much any aspect of your marketing efforts.

Here are some examples:

Website Traffic

With digital marketing, you can see the exact number of people who have viewed your website’s homepage in real time by using digital analytics software, available in marketing platforms like HubSpot.

You can also see how many pages they visited, what device they were using, and where they came from, amongst other digital analytics data.

This intelligence helps you to prioritize which marketing channels to spend more or less time on, based on the number of people those channels are driving to your website. For example, if only 10% of your traffic is coming from organic search, you know that you probably need to spend some time on SEO to increase that percentage.

With offline marketing, it’s very difficult to tell how people are interacting with your brand before they have an interaction with a salesperson or make a purchase. With digital marketing, you can identify trends and patterns in people’s behavior before they’ve reached the final stage in their buyer’s journey, meaning you can make more informed decisions about how to attract them to your website right at the top of the marketing funnel.

Content Performance and Lead Generation

Imagine you’ve created a product brochure and posted it through people’s letterboxes — that brochure is a form of content, albeit offline. The problem is that you have no idea how many people opened your brochure or how many people threw it straight into the trash.

Now imagine you had that brochure on your website instead. You can measure exactly how many people viewed the page where it’s hosted, and you can collect the contact details of those who download it by using forms. Not only can you measure how many people are engaging with your content, but you’re also generating qualified leads when people download it.

Attribution Modeling

An effective digital marketing strategy combined with the right tools and technologies allows you to trace all of your sales back to a customer’s first digital touchpoint with your business.

We call this attribution modeling, and it allows you to identify trends in the way people research and buy your product, helping you to make more informed decisions about what parts of your marketing strategy deserve more attention, and what parts of your sales cycle need refining.

Connecting the dots between marketing and sales is hugely important — according to Aberdeen Group, companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve a 20% annual growth rate, compared to a 4% decline in revenue for companies with poor alignment. If you can improve your customer’s’ journey through the buying cycle by using digital technologies, then it’s likely to reflect positively on your business’s bottom line.

What types of digital content should I create?

The kind of content you create depends on your audience’s needs at different stages in the buyer’s journey. You should start by creating buyer personas (use these free templates, or try makemypersona.com) to identify what your audience’s goals and challenges are in relation to your business. On a basic level, your online content should aim to help them meet these goals, and overcome their challenges.

Then, you’ll need to think about when they’re most likely to be ready to consume this content in relation to what stage they’re at in their buyer’s journey. We call this content mapping.

With content mapping, the goal is to target content according to:

  1. The characteristics of the person who will be consuming it (that’s where buyer personas come in).
  2. How close that person is to making a purchase (i.e., their lifecycle stage).

In terms of the format of your content, there are a lot of different things to try. Here are some options we’d recommend using at each stage of the buyer’s journey:

Awareness Stage

  • Blog posts. Great for increasing your organic traffic when paired with a strong SEO and keyword strategy.
  • Infographics. Very shareable, meaning they increase your chances of being found via social media when others share your content. (Check out these free infographic templates to get you started.)
  • Short videos. Again, these are very shareable and can help your brand get found by new audiences by hosting them on platforms like YouTube.

Consideration Stage

  • Ebooks. Great for lead generation as they’re generally more comprehensive than a blog post or infographic, meaning someone is more likely to exchange their contact information to receive it.
  • Research reports. Again, this is a high value content piece which is great for lead generation. Research reports and new data for your industry can also work for the awareness stage though, as they’re often picked-up by the media or industry press.
  • Webinars. As they’re a more detailed, interactive form of video content, webinars are an effective consideration stage content format as they offer more comprehensive content than a blog post or short video.

Decision Stage

  • Case studies. Having detailed case studies on your website can be an effective form of content for those who are ready to make a purchasing decision, as it helps you positively influence their decision.
  • Testimonials. If case studies aren’t a good fit for your business, having short testimonials around your website is a good alternative. For B2C brands, think of testimonials a little more loosely. If you’re a clothing brand, these might take the form of photos of how other people styled a shirt or dress, pulled from a branded hashtag where people can contribute.

How long will it take to see results from my content?

With digital marketing, it can often feel like you’re able to see results much faster than you might with offline marketing due to the fact it’s easier to measure ROI. However, it ultimately depends on the scale and effectiveness of your digital marketing strategy.

If you spend time building comprehensive buyer personas to identify the needs of your audience, and you focus on creating quality online content to attract and convert them, then you’re likely to see strong results within the first six months.

If paid advertising is part of your digital strategy, then the results come even quicker — but it’s recommended to focus on building your organic (or ‘free’) reach using content, SEO, and social media for long-term, sustainable success.

Do I need a big budget for digital marketing?

As with anything, it really depends on what elements of digital marketing you’re looking to add to your strategy.

If you’re focusing on inbound techniques like SEO, social media, and content creation for a preexisting website, the good news is you don’t need very much budget at all. With inbound marketing, the main focus is on creating high quality content that your audience will want to consume, which unless you’re planning to outsource the work, the only investment you’ll need is your time.

You can get started by hosting a website and creating content using HubSpot’s CMS. For those on a tight budget, you can get started using WordPress hosted on WP Engine and using a simple them from StudioPress.

With outbound techniques like online advertising and purchasing email lists, there is undoubtedly some expense. What it costs comes down to what kind of visibility you want to receive as a result of the advertising.

For example, to implement PPC using Google AdWords, you’ll bid against other companies in your industry to appear at the top of Google’s search results for keywords associated with your business. Depending on the competitiveness of the keyword, this can be reasonably affordable, or extremely expensive, which is why it’s a good idea to focus building your organic reach, too.

How does mobile marketing fit into my digital marketing strategy?

Another key component of digital marketing is mobile marketing. In fact, smartphone usage as a whole accounts for 69% of time spent consuming digital media in the U.S., while desktop-based digital media consumption makes up less than half — and the U.S. still isn’t mobile’s biggest fan compared to other countries.

This means it’s essential to optimize your digital ads, web pages, social media images, and other digital assets for mobile devices. If your company has a mobile app that enables users to engage with your brand or shop your products, your app falls under the digital marketing umbrella, too.

Those engaging with your company online via mobile devices need to have the same positive experience as they would on desktop. This means implementing a mobile-friendly or responsive website design to make browsing user-friendly for those on mobile devices. It might also mean reducing the length of your lead generation forms to create a hassle-free experience for people downloading your content on-the-go. As for your social media images, it’s important to always have a mobile user in mind when creating them as image dimensions are smaller on mobile devices, meaning text can be cut-off.

There are lots of ways you can optimize your digital marketing assets for mobile users, and when implementing any digital marketing strategy, it’s hugely important to consider how the experience will translate on mobile devices. By ensuring this is always front-of-mind, you’ll be creating digital experiences that work for your audience, and consequently achieve the results you’re hoping for.

I’m ready to try digital marketing. Now what?

If you’re already doing digital marketing, it’s likely that you’re at least reaching some segments of your audience online. No doubt you can think of some areas of your strategy that could use a little improvement, though.

That’s why we created Why Digital Marketing? The Essential Guide to Marketing Your Brand Online — a step-by-step guide to help you build a digital marketing strategy that’s truly effective, whether you’re a complete beginner or have a little more experience. You can download it for free here.

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Everyone loves getting mail. There’s something about a
personalized letter that just makes us feel extra special. Nowadays, however, we
don’t find quite the same sense of joy when our inboxes are overflowing with
work emails and spam. That’s why, at the very least, we can look forward to newsletters.

Good email newsletters offer a breath of fresh air amongst the mundane daily scroll and keep us up to date in our digital industry. But not all newsletters are created equally, and some are just better left unsent.

So we decided to do our own research and round up all of the
best marketing newsletters on the web just for you.

We don’t expect you to sign up for all of these top-notch
newsletters—let’s be honest, your inbox is full enough—but pick a few of your
favorites and stay in the loop! You’ll thank us later.

1. Moz Top 10

Moz email newsletter

Kicking off our list of best marketing newsletters is the Moz Top 10, a bi-weekly roundup of the 10 most valuable pieces of SEO content curated by the experts of Moz. These hand-picked articles offer an exclusive snapshot of all the latest industry news and the best part is all of the research has already been done for you. Subscribe here.

2. Unbounce

Unbounce Email Newsletter

Founded by the folks of popular marketing site Unbounce, this newsletter features all of the best content from the Landing Page and Conversion Optimization Blog. With topics ranging from illustration design trends to B2B lead gen, Unbounce is chock-full of expert advice to help you really crush your next online marketing campaign. Subscribe here.

3. Convince & Convert ON

Convince & Convert ON Email Newsletter

Convince & Convert boasts their newsletter is the “most relevant email in digital marketing” and we can certainly see why. With over 65,000 subscribers, this weekly marketing newsletter is devoted to key trends in each of the following industry pillars: content marketing, social media, amplification, word of mouth marketing, and social customer service. Founder Jay Baer is a 24-year digital marketing veteran with a wealth of knowledge to share with your inbox. Subscribe here.

(NOTE: Tired of your email marketing being mostly guess work? Use this FREE plug and play guide and tracking sheet to track, analyze, and optimize your email marketing strategy. Download it here!)

Get your free guide to track, analyze, and optimize your email marketing strategy.

4. Non-Obvious Insights

Non-Obvious Insights Email Newsletter

If you’re more interested in the less obvious stories circulating through the marketing world, then you’ll definitely want to sign up for Rohit Bhargava’s Non-Obvious Insights newsletter. This weekly digest, sent to over 10,000 subscribers, offers the most interesting and under-appreciated stories and tells us why they matter. Subscribe here.

5. The Daily Carnage

Daily Carnage Email Newsletter

With a name like Daily Carnage, this marketing newsletter is already posed to inspire your curiosity. Every morning the folks at Carney curate a hand selected list of the best marketing content on the web just for you. Current subscribers say that if you love reading The Skimm, this daily rundown is a must for your inbox. Subscribe here.

6. Buffer Social

Buffer Social Email Newsletter

Buffer Social is well-known for their expertise in all things social media related and their newsletter is no exception. This weekly email is sent to more than 45,000 marketers and features Buffer’s latest blog content as well as the latest social media experiments and trends to help you succeed. Subscribe here.

7. HubSpot’s Marketing Blog

Hubspot Email Newsletter

With a community of over 350,000 subscribers, HubSpot’s reputation speaks for itself. Their newsletter offers a roundup of the latest blog content as well as marketing insights, sales, customer service tips, and research—all to your inbox. Go ahead, sign up. You’ll thank us later. Subscribe here.

8. Marketing Dive

Marketing Dive Email Newsletter

Marketing Dive prides itself on offering you an informative newsletter that you can read in 60 seconds. Yes, 60 seconds. Their clean and concise format is perfect for the marketer who’s always on the go. Subscribers can look forward to daily updates on marketing technology, advertising creative, social media, video marketing, analytics, and mobile marketing. Subscribe here.

9. Total Annarchy

Ann Handley Email Newsletter

Best-selling author and digital marketing pioneer Ann Hadley has been sharing her wide breadth of marketing knowledge with email subscribers since 2015. Her bi-weekly newsletter Total Annarchy is the perfect balance of entertainment and information. Hadley offers writing tips, useful marketing ideas, fresh thoughts, and much more. Subscribe here.

(NOTE: Tired of your email marketing being mostly guess work? Use this FREE plug and play guide and tracking sheet to track, analyze, and optimize your email marketing strategy. Download it here!)

Get your free guide to track, analyze, and optimize your email marketing strategy.

10. Content Marketing Institute

Content Marketing Institute Email Newsletter

Seasoned experts over at the Content Marketing Institute are bringing all of the latest in content marketing right to your inbox. With over 200,000 subscribers and growing, CMI has both weekly and daily newsletter options. Readers can stay up to date with all aspects of content marketing and even find current job listings. Subscribe here.

11. Sketchalytics

Sketchalytics Email Newsletter

If visuals are your thing, then you HAVE to sign up for the Sketchalytics newsletter from Ceralytics. This weekly email provides micro-lessons about marketing in the format of a sketch. Founders say the goal of Sketchalytics is both educate and entertain marketers and business professionals. No sales pitches and no BS. Subscribe here.

12. MailChimp

MailChimp Email Newsletter

It might seem like a no-brainer that a successful email marketing company such as MailChimp would have a pretty kick-ass newsletter. Every email that hits your inbox is a friendly and welcomed breath of fresh air featuring playful yet informative content focused on the latest in email marketing. Subscribe here.

13. Search Engine Land

Search Engine Land Email Newsletter

As you may have already guessed, the minds of Search Engine Land are hyper focused on everything SEO related. Search marketers rely on this daily newsletter to provide them with all of the most in-depth SEO content. From blog posts to insights, Search Engine Land will add a wealth of information to your inbox. Subscribe here.

14. Contently

 Contently Email Newsletter

Last, but certainly not least, Contently is your go-to resource for content strategy. Their comprehensive blog provides content marketers with everything they need to stay up to date with the latest industry trends. Readers can sign up for Contently’s newsletter featuring the best blog posts of the week and much more. Subscribe here.

Now go forth and subscribe!

(NOTE: Tired of your email marketing being mostly guess work? Use this FREE plug and play guide and tracking sheet to track, analyze, and optimize your email marketing strategy. Download it here!)

Get your free guide to track, analyze, and optimize your email marketing strategy.

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This collection of social media marketing and new hire announcements is a compilation of the past week’s briefs from our daily Marketing Land newsletter. Click here to subscribe and get more news like this delivered to your inbox every morning.

Pinterest pushes auto sales. According to new data from Oracle Data Cloud, Pinterest users tend to be early adopters of new car models.
Oracle’s report revealed that people on Pinterest are 28% more likely
to buy a new vehicle than people who don’t use Pinterest, and 31% are
more likely to buy a new SUV model. Pinterest also says it now reaches
one in two adults who plan to buy a car in the next six months, based on
a March ComScore Plan Metrix Audience Profile report. “People are
actively using Pinterest to learn more about their car shopping
options,” writes Pinterest on the company’s blog, “Over seven million
people on Pinterest engage with car-related content.”

Reddit comes to the Midwest. As part of its continued effort to bring more brands to the platform, Reddit is opening an office in Chicago’s historic Merchandise Mart location. “In addition to key Chicago and Midwest-based brands,
Reddit’s Chicago team has built strong relationships with the region’s
leading agencies and media companies, including Starcom, Publicis, OMG,
and GroupM,” writes Reddit on its Upvoted Blog. Reddit began its dive
into the Chicago market in April of 2018, working with Midwest-based
brands like McDonald’s, Target and KFC. The Merchandise Mart office is
Reddit’s first office in Chicago. 

Instagram Story views are, literally, unreal. Instagram confirmed to TechCrunch that it is aware of an issue with Stories getting a high volume of
views by Russian accounts — and is working to fix it. “It [Instagram]
also said this inauthentic activity is not related to misinformation
campaigns but is rather a new growth hacking tactic,” reports
TechCrunch. The bad actors involve third parties that are paid to boost
account profiles by generating inauthentic activity like watching
Instagram Stories — an effort aimed at winning the account more
followers. Hydrogen,
a UK social media agency, called mass viewing of Instagram Stories “the
new buying followers of 2019” when it noticed the trend in June. 

What time is the show? Facebook has rolled out two new ad units for movie studios:
movie reminder ads and showtime ads. The movie reminder ads allow
moviegoers to click an “Interested” button on a film advertisement in
their News Feed for a film that hasn’t come out yet. When the movie hits
theaters, users will get a notification that it is now playing, with
details on showtimes and tickets. 

films already released, the showtime movie ads include a “Get
Showtimes” button within the ad that links to the Facebook Page listing
where and when the movie can be seen. Available for advertisers in the
U.S. and the UK, Facebook’s new ads for movie studios were beta tested
by Universal Pictures, which reported a significant increase in showtime
look-ups and ticket purchases after using the ads. 

Changes to Facebook Group settings. Facebook has revised its Group options to include only two settings: public and private. Previously, Group
admins had access to three settings: public, closed and secret. The
revised options are designed to offer more clarity around a Group’s
setting and simplify the privacy model for Facebook Groups. 

two privacy settings — public and private — will help make it clearer
about who can find the group and see the members and posts that are part
of it,” writes Facebook Product Manager Jordan Davis on the Facebook
Newsroom blog. Groups that were formerly set to “secret” will now be
switched to “private” and “hidden,” while Groups that were formerly set
to “closed” will now be “private” but “visible.” Public Groups will
remain “public” and “visible.”  

Group admins will also be able to choose whether or not a Group can be found in Search or other places on the platform. 

Quora integrates LiveRamp IdentityLink. Advertisers on Quora will now be able to add audience lists to Quora’s Ads Manager via LiveRamp IdentityLink,
the same platform used to add customer audiences to the Microsoft
Advertising platform. “Now, marketers can use segments from their
offline records in order to activate and run ad campaigns on Quora, all
in a privacy-conscious way. This should also increase match rates for
targeting, exclusion, or lookalike modeling,” writes Quora Software
Engineer Ryan Oshima on the Quora for Business Blog. LiveRamp is an
identity resolution platform that helps brands and agencies implement
people-based targeting campaigns. 

Spectacles 3: The latest version of Snap’s sunglass cameras. Snap is rolling out the latest version of its Spectacles sunglasses,
wearable cameras that let you capture images and upload to Snapchat.
This marks the third generation of the devices, which will begin
shipping in the fall and costs $380 — up from the $200 price tag on the
last version. Spectacles 3 include new 3D effects, 3D filters and 3D
lenses. “It will have dual cameras to add depth and dimension to photos
and videos. After uploading the content to the messaging app Snapchat,
users can add new lighting, landscapes and three-dimensional effects to
the images,” reports Reuters. 

Spark AR on Instagram now available to all developers. Facebook has moved Spark AR on Instagram out of closed beta, making the AR development platform available to all
developers. Along with the AR platform, Facebook is launching an
Effects Gallery where developers can search for new filters. “To find
it, users will have to reach the end of the effects tray in the
Instagram camera and click on it there. Users will also be able to see
the effect being used in Instagram Stories,” writes TechCrunch reporter
Lucas Matney. 

YouTube testing new appeal process. YouTube confirmed to The Verge that it is testing a new appeal process for creators who have lost
monetization privileges. The pilot program will allow creators to submit
a video appealing the decision in real-time, versus the current policy
that enforces creators to wait 30 days before making an appeal. The
videos are reviewed by YouTube team members who then, within a seven-day
time period, decide whether or not monetization for the channel can be

Facebook reportedly offering million-dollar licensing deals to news publishers. Multiple “big-name” news publishers have been approached by Facebook to sign content licensing deals, according to the Wall Street Journal. Per the report, Facebook is offering as much as $3 million a year to republish stories from the likes of ABC News, Bloomberg, Dow Jones and The Washington Post. 

In response to the Wall Street Journal report, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed to CNBC the company does have plans to launch a dedicated news section later
this year, but would not comment on the licensing deals: “No details to
share on the WSJ report, but I can confirm we’re working on a news tab
to launch this fall.” 

Reports claim Facebook’s licensing deals with publishers could last as long as three years. As part of the deal, news outlets would have control over how their stories appear on Facebook, and whether or not readers get full access to the content or only a headline with a snippet from the article.

On the Move

Karuna Rawal has been appointed CMO for the biotech startup Sustainable Bioproducts. She will serve as the
company’s first CMO, reporting to CEO Thomas Jonas. In her new role,
Rawal will be charged with strategic marketing and innovation
initiatives that support the company’s mission to launch new alternative
protein product lines. “Karuna’s acumen as a storyteller and innovator
along with her deep experience in building iconic brands that connect
with consumers at an emotional and purposeful level is exactly what we
need for the next stages of our company’s growth,” said Jonas. Prior to
joining Sustainable Bioproducts, Rawal spent time at the Publicis
Groupe, leading its Arc Worldwide shopper and commerce agency, and was
the chief strategy officer for Leo Burnett’s Farmhouse, the agency’s new
venture and innovation group. 

The cloud data integration platform Talend named Lauren Vaccarello as its new CMO.
She will lead the company’s marketing organization and oversee its
branding efforts. “Lauren is a dynamic leader with a deep understanding
of the software industry and proven skills at helping SaaS organizations
increase revenue and retain and grow their customer base through
cutting-edge marketing techniques,” said Talend CEO Mike Tuchen. Before
joining Talend, Vaccarello was the vice president of marketing at Box,
and has held marketing roles at AdRoll and Salesforce. In addition to
her marketing leadership experience, Vaccarello has published two books
focused on the marketing industry: “Complete B2B Online Marketing” and
“The Retargeting Playbook.” 

GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, has named Christian Juhl as its next global CEO.
Juhl will take over the role on October 1, 2019. “Christian has the
right combination of leadership, people and technology skills to build
the modern media company, something he has demonstrated extraordinarily
well at Essence,” said CEO of WPP Mark Read. Currently, Juhl serves as
CEO for Essence, the digital ad agency that was acquired by WPP in 2015.
Juhl will succeed Kelly Clark who currently serves as GroupM’s CEO.
Clark will continue to serve as a senior advisor to WPP and GroupM
following his departure as CEO. 

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.

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The savvy content marketer knows that the most direct path to a consumer’s conscious awareness is through offering them what they both want and need to see.

For some, that’s information. For others, that’s humor. For many, that’s great deals.

For almost everybody, that’s an escape.

Travel contests, therefore, have become hugely popular with brands looking to boost their following and reward their consumers. With trends in consumption leaning more towards experiences than things, customers flock to them. They’re a smart marketing move, they’re a very good way to get a wide base of appeal and engagement, give information about your brand, win loyal customers and showcase testimonials.

Four companies’ travel contests reveal a lot about how to leverage travel contests for maximum ROI: before, during, and after a contest.

These four contests offer brilliant insight for companies wondering if launching a travel contest is the right move for them and those who just want to understand the psychology of contests, customers and engagement.

Read on for four case studies to see four real-life examples and takeaways for running your own travel contests.

Lesson One: Don’t Underestimate the Value of an Experience.

Company: Reo Rafting

What it was: Enter to win, $500 credit towards an adventure package (yoga, glamping, rafting, massage).

What to learn: Reo Rafting understood that people don’t always need a fully paid trip to an overseas hotel: sometimes, they just need a little encouragement to take the leap and go on that adventure.

Reo Rafting’s competition appealed to a wide base, and their travel contest allowed customers to see they offered much more than just the sport. With glamping, yoga, and massage added, even non-winners were now aware that the company catered to a much bigger market than their name alone suggested.

With a $500 credit reward, the company minimized the cost of their giveaway, and their customers still got an amazing deal on an unforgettable wilderness getaway. (Sounds like everybody won!)

Lesson Two: A Happy Customer is the Best Promotion.

Company: Fonte Travel

What it was: Enter-to-win, flights, accommodation, activities and transportation to the Azores.

What to learn: Fonte travel shows that, particularly for companies that cater to tourists or travelers, travel competitions can offer ongoing returns. The dividends aren’t just the leads or the increased engagement (although those are great in and of themselves).

As an additional reward for a well-run contest, your winners can also become stellar brand ambassadors – without doing anything.

Check out the reviews of the trip on the contest landing page, which don’t only talk about the destination, but about Fonte’s impeccable customer service and planning.

This is the most valuable promotion a company could ask for: authentic and positive reviews that potential customers will be bound to see (as they’ll be searching the page for more information about this prize and how to get it!)

Travel marketers, are you looking for more insight into ways to design your online experience to cater to today’s digitally savvy, globetrotting consumers? Read our free ebook, The Complete Guide to Online Marketing for Traveling Marketers!

Lesson Three: Let Your Users Do The Talking

Company: Honua Kai

What it was: Photo contest, five-night visit, daily breakfast with an ocean view, $300 credit

What to learn: Honua Kai cleverly targeted former guests for this competition, asking them to share their best memories from their time at their resort for the chance at a five-night return trip. The result was a user-generated gallery of personal snapshots of crystal clear oceans, turtles gliding underwater, striking sunsets, cocktails by the pool, and happy families soaking in the island sun.

Consumers trust few things more than other consumer experiences. Travelers are especially likely to check reviews, as they’re concerned not only about the money they’re spending, but their safety and enjoyment over hours, days or weeks.

Honua Kai’s photo competition not only raised engagement and secured the loyalty of a set of customers but provided them with valuable user-generated content, social proof they can use and re-use and powerful free promotion for the duration of the contest. Their ‘ask to vote’ feature ensured that their guests’ friends and family saw the resort’s offerings (and everyone else’s top photos) as well.

Lesson Four: Tap Into Your Local Audience

Company: Reader’s Digest

What it was: Nominate, then vote-to-win contest. The ‘Nicest Places’ contest asked American readers to send in their candidates for the “Nicest Place in America”, with stories and pictures to prove why. (Their definition of ‘nice’ being, “It’s a place where the people believe in kindness, civility, and each other, neighbors help each other out, and strangers are welcomed as friends.”)

Winning place would be on the cover of Reader’s Digest.

What to learn: When we think ‘travel contest’, we often think exotic and expensive – all-expense-paid trips to places like Bali, New Zealand, or Paris. However, Reader’s Digest turned the idea on its head by asking their readers to vie for a prize much closer to home (quite literally).
They proved that a travel contest doesn’t have to be exotic and expensive to be effective. It doesn’t even have to involve moving! Rather, companies can tap into hometown pride.

Personal gain is a primary motivator, but people are also driven by altruism, pride, friendship, and gratitude, and these are less catered to. Reader’s Digest managed to tap into that for its ‘Nicest Place’ contest, winning itself greater exposure and a fanbase that would return to see their town on the cover of Reader’s Digest.


Running a travel contest can have a great ROI, but it isn’t just a matter of offering a prize and drawing a lucky winner. Use these tips to help you design and run a travel contest that works for both you and your customers.

  • Don’t Underestimate the Value of an Experience
  • A Happy Customer is the Best Promotion
  • Let Your Users Do The Talking
  • Tap Into Your Local Audience

Looking for more about the nuts and bolts about running contests? Check out our free courses on Wishpond Academy!

Need Help With Your Travel Contest?

Book a free call to learn how our team of contest experts can help you create high converting travel contests today.

Whether we’re sending your contestants on an African safari, on a yoga retreat, to the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, or for a five-star meal at their local restaurant, our friendly expert team is excited to bring your next contest to your customers.

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John Wilander, Apple Webkit engineer and architect of Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) solution, said Wednesday that Chrome’s new approach to privacy and cookie handling will do little to stop trackers.

Google announced Tuesday that it is changing the way its Chrome browser handles third-party cookies and will more aggressively aim to limit fingerprinting. It will require developers to identify cookies that are allowed to work across sites and potentially could be used to track users with a mechanism based on the web’s SameSite cookie attribute. Cookies without the new SameSite attribute will not be available in a third-party context. The browser will later introduce tools to allow users to block or clear third-party cookies and keep first-party cookies to stay logged in and retain site settings.

“What Chrome has announced is a change to their default cookie policy, going from allowing third-party cookie access to not allowing it,”  Wilander said in a Twitter thread. “However, developers can simply reconfigure their cookies to opt out [of] this new policy and we should expect all trackers to do so immediately.”

Wilander said while he sees Chrome’s willingness to “acknowledge that tracking is a problem on the web” and make changes as positive steps, it’s not going far enough. “For a cookie policy to have meaningful effect on cross-site tracking,” he wrote, “you also need to partition storage available to third-parties such as LocalStorage, IndexedDB, ServiceWorkers, and cache.” Safari has enabled this kind of partitioning to prevent cross-site tracking in a third-party context since 2013.

He pointed to a 2013 WebKit bug tracker page on cache partitioning in which a Chrome engineer — back when Chromium used Webkit — essentially asked to be able to opt out of the partitioning because “the cache partitioning feature is not supported by the consensus of the WebKit project.” Just over a month later, Google forked WebKit and launched Blink, its rendering engine still used by Chromium.

ITP cross-site cookie blocking. Safari introduced ITP in 2017 to block third-party trackers from capturing cross-site browsing data — chiefly preventing retargeting efforts. “ITP detects which domains have the ability to track the user and either deletes all of their cookies and website data, or blocks third-party cookie access,” said Wilander. The latest versions, 2.1 and 2.2, go further to keep third-party cookies from abusing first-party storage space, he added.

“This is all to say that Chrome has a long way to go if they are serious about fighting tracking on the web,” Wilander said. “Their announced changes will not do anything now, but they are important steps because they show Chrome’s willingness to move.”

Why we should care. Wilander’s response can be seen simply as a jab at a rival, but it highlights the divergent approaches to — and attitudes toward — tracking by Apple and Google. Apple has long staked out an anti-tracking stance, and ITP’s escalating restrictions have marketers scrambling to understand the impact on retargeting and analytics.

Chrome’s approach is significant given Google’s decade-long role in data collection and tracking. Privacy was a theme of I/O this week  (supported by a New York Times op-ed by CEO Sundar Pichai Tuesday) and spanned multiple products, including more location data controls in Android and products such as search and Maps.

That said, Chrome’s cookie handling change is relatively small and likely just a first step. With both a developer component — which may invite workarounds as Wilander suggests — and a user component that may or may not be widely adopted. It’s entirely unclear how much of a shakeup this will mean for marketers. But two different approaches means marketers will need to have both eyes open.

About The Author

Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, managing day-to-day editorial operations across all of our publications. Ginny writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, she has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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Google Analytics allows you to access detailed information regarding your online store’s traffic and sales.

It doesn’t matter what type of business you have or what your selling, Google Analytics is a staple component of your marketing strategy that will allow you to monitor and grow online conversions.

Google Analytics can seem a bit confusing at times even for a seasoned analyst. Sometimes it’s hard to know which metrics or reports are relevant to your e-commerce store, and which ones are just fluff.

In this article, I’ll be showing nine ways to use Google Analytics for your e-commerce store to help you get started today.

If you’re new to Google Analytics or you’d like to create an account you can use this guide to help set up Google Analytics in under 15 minutes. to follow along better in this article.

1. Use Google Analytics to Track Your Marketing campaigns.

With the power of Google Analytics, you can track any of your store’s online marketing campaigns (with or without Google Adwords/AdSense).

Track which landing pages and sources of the campaigns people interact with to complete a purchase. Giving a detailed data to see which funnels are the most effective and which aren’t so you can do A/B testing.

Maybe you already have a landing page running and your not sure what to do? Why not try these 7 Step from a Conversion Playbook To Quickly Optimize Your Landing Pages to point you in the right direction.

If you have a video or youtube channel included in your campaign you can use Google Analytics to track how many people watched your video or completed a purchase because of that video.

If you’re looking for amazing landing pages to use with your market campaigns or contest to host, Wishpond provides all the tools and features you need from start to finish with an easy Google Analytics integration so you can measure your results.

You can also use Google Analytics to help you know which channels to retarget customers to bring back lost sales.

I said it before, and I’ll say it again when it comes to conversions and sales. Google Analytics is your partner in crime.

2. Use Google Analytics to Track Your Sales and Revenue

For any business owner tracking revenue and sales is important. You want to know if your meeting your financial goals or see where you’re falling short.

So how do you use Google analytics to track your website’s revenue accurately?

First, you have to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What are the landing pages that are getting the most conversions?
  2. How do people arrive on these pages?
  3. Which products represent the highest value to your customers in your store?
  4. How do you track your online revenue?

Stop yourself from diving into endless reports, and try to answer the questions above, from there best action to take after would be to set up a goal in Google Analytics. based on your answers. Your goal can be tailored to track completed transactions, which allows you to track your landing pages and products customer make on purchases.

The second step would be to set up your Google Analytics E-commerce tracking, which we’ll get to further in this article, on your website to help you accurately track your sales. From there you can use the “Conversion” tab to view your “Goals”, “Sales Performance”, and “Transactions” reports.

3. Use Google Analytics to Track Your Website Traffic

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. Google Analytics shows you can show you detailed reports on:

*Organic Traffic
*Referral Traffic
*Social Traffic
*Direct Traffic
*Email Traffic

You can compare different website site traffic sources and time periods (i,e 30 days or last 7 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.

For example, you’re running a giveaway contest on your website, but you see more traffic coming from your email newsletter when compared to other traffic sources, which would naturally be a cause for concern.

Your website traffic reports can tell if people are having problems accessing your giveaway from other platforms or you might need to promote your giveaway as heavily as your emails to get the same results.

To view your website traffic click on the “Real-Time” tab and check each report to learn about your traffic. With it, you can understand who and where your potential customers are coming from, which brings me to my next point.

4. Use Google Analytics to Understand Your Target Audience

Use Google Analytics data to get a clear picture of who your potential customers really are.

You can leverage Google Analytics to discover the following about your website visitors:


Compare data to see if your traffic is mainly made up of male or female visitors. This report can guide you to see if you’re attracting the right gender(s) to your store or how you can use it to tailor your content. You can find this report under Audience > Demographics > Gender.

Age Range

Take a glimpse at your audience age range so you can understand which age ranges are most likely to visit your site. You can find this report under Audience > Demographics > Age.


See what devices (even the OS system) your visitors are using the most to visit your store. Now more than ever online shoppers are turning to mobile devices compared to desktops. This means having a mobile-friendly store is an essential part of the buyer’s journey and capturing sales.
You can find this report under Audience > Mobile > Devices

Interest Reports in Google Analytics will tell you your users’ interests on other parts of the internet. This will help you identify a more specific target audience, cross or upselling opportunities, better blog content ideas.

You can find this report under Audience > Interest > Overview.

If you’re not satisfied with the demographics basics, you can learn more about your customers by taking a look at their shopping behaviour. Learn about the type of products they view, click on, and add to cart all while tracking checkouts and transactions.

To find this report go to Conversions > E-commerce> Shopping Behaviour.

Use the “Shopping Behaviour” report and the Behaviour tab in Google Analytics to understand your buyer’s journey for both new and returning customers on your site.

You’ll only see this report if you enabled your E-commerce setting for your Google Analytics. From there you can find it with Conversions > E-commerce > Shopping Behaviour.

6. Use Google Analytics for Specialized SEO & Keyword Search

The Google Analytics “Site Search” report gives an overview of the terms, keywords and pages customers are searching for the most on your website.

Instead of relying heavily on Google Keyword Search you can get insight from visitors coming to your page. Site Search helps you to optimize your website so that you can rank higher in search for topics, features or products that customers are actually looking for.

To find this report go to Behaviour > Site Search.

Combine your “Interest” report from the Audience tab, and your “Search Site” report as an excellent way to gather the right keywords and phrases to optimize your e-commerce stores specifically for future customers.

Shopping cart abandonment is a problem for all e-commerce sites, big and small. It’s been estimated over the past nine years that more than $260 billion in sales were recoverable through better checkout systems.

Studies show that almost 70% of online purchases are left unfinished. And if you’re not taking this number seriously, chances are, you’re losing more money than you thought.

Using Google Analytics to track your online store’s shopping cart abandonment can help you to catch the problem before it becomes worse.

To track your shopping cart abandonment with Google Analytics, first, you’d need to create a Google Analytics Goal, where a visitor needs to complete an order/purchase. If you’ve just created your goal for the first time, you’ll need to give GA some time to populate the report first.

After that you can view reports like “Goals” and “Funnel Visualization” in the “Conversion” tabs to track which pages customers fall off short.

8. Use Google Analytics with Google AdWords & AdSense for Better Ads

Linking you’re Google Analytics account with your AdWords accounts allows you to access powerful information to create PPC campaigns and Google Ads that convert. Because the data from Google Analytics data is specialized to your online store, you can find keywords that result in better conversions.

Combined this with your AdSense account, you can find useful data results including the ability to view your online store’s earnings based on how many users visits you have/ or had instead of relying on page impressions.

If your interested in seeing it in action you can use this guide to Link AdSense with Google Analytics to Track Earnings Per Page, it’s pretty easy to do.

How Connect Google Analytics with your Ecommerce store

I’ve listed the best step-by-step guides you can use to connect Google Analytics to your e-commerce store. If you have more than one e-commerce store, you choose to link it to one or two different Google Analytic accounts.

Google Analytics isn’t just for your website, it’s can also be used for your website’s social media. Here’s a list of the best ways to use:

Top Google Analytics Reports for E-commerce Stores

In order for you to see some of these reports or gather the data you need for them, you’ll have to set up Google Analytics e-commerce tracking.

Set up E-commerce Tracking in Google Analytics in 3 Easy Steps

Step 1. After creating your Google Analytic, go to the “Admin” Section which is shown on the top right side. Under “View” select “E-commerce Setting.”

Step 2. In the third column on the right side, you can see the “Ecommerce tab,” click on it and set it to “YES.” Now you are allowed to see the information about transactions. You can also add funnel steps to get more detailed reports.

Step 3. You can view your e-commerce reports under the “Conversion” tab on the left-hand side of your page. You might not see your reports fill up as yet so give Google Analytics some time to gather the data from your website.

Pro Tip: It’s essential that you add your E-commerce tracking code to your website or Google Tag Manager for more accurate data collection and reports.

Here are the following reports that you should check for your e-commerce store:

  • Shopping Behavior Report

  • The Checkout Behavior Analysis Report

  • The Product Performance Report

  • The Sales Performance Report

  • Product List Performance Report


Here are nine amazing ways to use Google Analytics for e-commerce:

  1. Use Google Analytics to Track Your Marketing campaigns.
  2. Use Google Analytics to Track Your Sales and Revenue
  3. Use Google Analytics to Track Your Website Traffic
  4. Use Google Analytics to Understand Your Target Audience
  5. Use Google Analytics to Learn About Customers Shopping Behavior.
  6. Use Google Analytics for Specialized SEO & Keyword Search
  7. Use Google Analytics to Track Shopping Cart Abandonment
  8. Use Google Analytics with Google AdWords & AdSense for Better Ads

Knowing how to use Google Analytics for your e-commerce store is only half the fight. It’s what you do with the data that matter the most.

Take the information and make actionable steps to optimize your ecommerce store for better conversions and buyer experience.

Are you currently using Google Analytics for your online store, which tip(s) do you think you’ll try today? I’d love to know.

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As nice as new leads are, customers are the most important resource your brand has. Customer loyalty is one of the best goals a company can aim for since it not only shows you’re doing your job well but is also a big driver of profits. 61% of customers go out of their way to buy from brands they feel loyal to, and 75% recommend them to others. Not to mention, customers that feel an emotional connection to a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value.

In a crowded marketplace, where all your competitors are vying for attention from your target audience, earning customer loyalty is a challenge. You need to find a way to build a unique and personal connection with each of your customers. For smaller businesses, giving each customer individualized attention can create intimacy. But the more your business grows, the harder it becomes to create that individualized connection with every customer you have.

You can still create customer intimacy as a large business, you just have to get creative. Here’s how:

1. Personalize your product offerings

Most of the conversation around personalization is all about marketing. But you can bring personalization to your products as well.

One of the features the messaging platform Intercom offers is custom bots that customers can tailor to the exact needs of their business. Instead of offering a one-size-fits-all solution, they allow clients to input the categories and answers their customers care about to automate personalized conversations with website visitors. This makes for both a customized solution for Intercom customers and a personalized experience for their website visitors.

Intercom chat bot example


2. Send creative, personalized direct mail 

A couple of years ago, direct mail may have seemed on its way out, but as online marketing grows more competitive, physical mail has become a way to be noticed. Valassis research shows that including a direct mail component in your marketing leads to an average 6% lift in sales.

However, there’s still a challenge to overcome. People receive so much junk mail, it’s tough to find a way to make anything stand out and become memorable.

Here are three effective strategies for nailing the unique factor:

Personalize your direct mail

Direct mail services now let you personalize mail with variable data printing. Maps4Mail does a clever version of this—you already have the recipient’s address, why not use that to send them a custom map of how to get from their place to your office or event?

Maps4Mail Personalized Mail Example

Send objects rather than paper

We all get a stack of junk mail almost every time they check the mail, but we always notice the 3D objects. Commercial sound production house GGRP memorably sent a cardboard phonograph that actually played the sample record they included as a way to promote their services to ad agencies. You can bet recipients took notice!

Combine the two with a personalized gift

The phonograph was smart, but could it have been made more personal? You can go a step further by sending an object personalized to your customer’s taste. If you have hundreds of customers to reach, that may sound unrealistic, but it’s not anymore!

Paper Magazine turned to Prazely to instantly send over 100 personalized gifts to partners, based on the interests that Prazely’s AI identified from their social media profiles. For instance, clients who shared their love of cocktails online received a glass shaker and bourbon bears.

Prazely personalied gift example

3. Host customer events

Tech tools have done a lot to enable greater personalization, but the most direct path to intimacy is still meeting someone in person. That’s hard for a company with an international audience, but you can still coordinate ways for people from your company to meet with customers directly.

Set up events like lunch and learns or customer appreciation dinners in each city where you have a location, or when your representatives visit a new city for a conference or business trip. Or go big and host a conference that brings hundreds of your customers together.

In-person events provide opportunities to get to know some of the faces and personalities behind the different accounts your company depends on. And just as importantly, lets them get to know the human beings behind your brand.

Most of us can think of brands we have a real, emotional connection with. Even if another brand can offer a lower price or greater convenience, we’re likely to stick with the one we have positive associations with. Creating customer intimacy is how you become that brand for your customers and earn that kind of loyalty.

Want to learn more about creating unforgettable brand experiences? Check out our webinar: Winning at personalized customer engagement.

Watch it now

Winning at Personalized Customer Engagement Blog CTA

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By now, you’ve likely heard of the flywheel, the new approach to customer acquisition that’s quickly replacing the traditional sales funnel. The funnel places an emphasis on driving customers in and converting them, but lacks a focus on what comes after conversion. In today’s hyper-connected digital world, the post-conversion stage is when you truly cash in on the value of your customers. Yesterday’s sales mindset sees customers as dollar signs, as names waiting to be signed on a check; while companies view their clients in terms of their network and their ability to provide you with additional work in the future.

Funnel vs Flywheel

The flywheel incorporates three stages, allowing you to conceptualize and strategize your customer interactions to ensure that you are creating a recommendable brand: Engage, Convert, and Delight.


The earliest phase of the flywheel involves engaging with potential customers. For marketing providers, it can feel almost impossible to stand out from the ever-growing crowd of competitors willing to undercut your prices. In order to be successful during the Engage phase, you should approach it with two tactics: visibility and credibility.


Customers are the force that make your flywheel spin. But how can you put your business in front of more eyes? In truth, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to achieving visibility; however, the most successful marketing providers utilize a number of common practices that help grow their presence.

First, and most importantly, the most successful marketing service providers focus on web presence. Before focusing on driving leads, you need to consider where you’re sending them. It takes roughly .05 seconds (that’s 50 milliseconds) for a user to form an opinion about your site and whether they will stay or leave. Does your website make the cut?

Having a well-designed website with a great user experience will help you achieve success in a variety of marketing efforts later on, but having strong organic search fundamentals is equally important. Your website should contain thoughtfully-organized, well-written content that is highly relevant to your audience’s needs; your pages should all contain optimized metadata and keyword-dense body content. Beyond your website, ensuring that your business appears on online directories, like Google My Business, and vertical-specific directories, like UpCity, as well as across relevant social media channels, is key if you hope to achieve the highest level of visibility. Ultimately, your goal should be to engage with users and begin telling your brand narrative regardless of where a user searches.


Once you’ve begun to grow your visibility, you’ll need to start considering your credibility in the eyes of your audience. It’s not enough to provide great service; customers today want to partner with a provider that is credible and well-respected in the industry. Without social proof and continued nurturing of the client relationship, your marketing efforts are dead in the water.

Guest posting for publications like UpCity, Forbes, Inc., and others is an excellent way to get your name in front of a larger audience so you can demonstrate your expertise, Earning awards, like UpCity’s annual Excellence Awards, can help prove credibility to potential customers. With that being said, most marketing providers simply overlook the wealth of offline potential lead generating opportunities in their local area. Speaking opportunities at local business events and networking with your town’s Chamber of Commerce are two excellent ways for early stage marketing businesses to build credibility and gain qualified leads at a lower cost and faster rate than some online marketing methods.

Once you get a new lead through the door, it’s time to start thinking about nurture and conversion.


Customers will usually spend a relatively small amount of time in the convert phase. In such a cluttered market, there’s simply no time to waste when it comes to engaging new leads and moving them towards conversion. Following up with every lead immediately ensures that you don’t leave any qualified business on the table, but you shouldn’t stop at the first phone call. Optimize your convert stage with automated email nurture campaigns and scheduled phone calls.

Too many businesses focus on selling a service, but forget to consider the “why.” Business owners have thousands of other options, so what makes your business different? Don’t just sell, tell a story. Help customers understand why they need your services through informative content and carefully planned talking points; show them how you’ve helped similar businesses in the past with case studies and reviews; close them by demonstrating why you’re the right fit for them. Your salespeople are your storytellers, but they shouldn’t be working alone! Support them with email nurture campaigns, social media posts, and paid retargeting ads.


Once you’ve converted a customer, it’s important to keep the conversation going or risk being forgotten. It goes without saying that you need to provide the highest-quality service possible in every customer interaction, but too often marketing providers don’t reap what they sow. E-commerce companies have long understood the power of product reviews, but service-businesses have been slow to catch up. Customers these days are more likely than ever to leave a review for your business, but you have to ask! Capitalize on the excellent quality of your service by asking for reviews. For those that are further along in their growth, building out case studies can help communicate your brand narrative to potential customers and close more deals.

Spin Your Flywheel with UpCity

No matter where you’re at in your marketing company’s growth, UpCity has the solutions and the expertise to help you spin your flywheel. UpCity has helped thousands of marketing service providers across North America drive more leads, foster great customer experiences, and build their credibility by offering solutions for each stage of the flywheel. Learn more about becoming a Certified Partner and take your UpCity experience to the next level!

Manager of Content & Product Marketing

Jordan is the Manager of Content & Product Marketing at UpCity. With almost a decade of experience designing websites and writing copy, Jordan has helped countless brands find their voice, tell their story, and connect with real people.

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In addition to guest posting on the UpCity blog, The Lorem Ipsum Co is featured as one of the Top Content Marketing Agencies in the United States. Check out their profile here.

Content marketing has swept the business world over the last decade with businesses committing up to 80 percent of their marketing budgets to the relatively new phenomenon. But do you know if that investment is paying off? If you don’t have a clear way to measure ROI on your content marketing, you’re not alone. In fact, 59 percent of B2B marketers either don’t know or are unsure what successful content marketing looks like, according to the Content Marketing Institute.

Image Courtesy of the Content Marketing Institute

If you don’t know if or how a specific piece of content contributed to the bottom line, it’s time for a wakeup call. In order to understand how content can help your business, you need to be able to measure ROI (return on investment) on your content marketing quickly and effectively. Accurately measuring your ROI will ensure you are getting the best results from content marketing.

What is Content Marketing ROI?

Content marketing ROI is the value you receive from your content marketing efforts compared to the costs associated with said efforts, especially the cost to create and distribute content. In order to understand content marketing ROI, you must first understand the goal of your content (i.e., web traffic, brand recognition, revenue, etc.) and then set key performance indicators (KPIs).

A few important KPI to monitor include:

  • Sales/Revenue
  • Web Traffic
  • SEO Improvement
  • Lead Quality
  • On-page Metrics
  • Social Media Engagement

In order to determine ROI, you must understand the cost associated with creating and distributing your content.

Calculating your ROI

For this explanation, let’s assume the goal is increased revenue. Even if you create all content in house, there are costs associated with that time and labor, not to mention your content distribution costs (i.e., PPC or social media advertising). Factor in the cost of stock video and images and any outsourced work as well. Once you have a firm grip on the cost, there’s a simple formula to help you weigh the costs vs. benefit of your content.

When content marketing works as planned, it produces clear, measurable results in the form of web traffic or new sales prospects. The formula created by Convince and Convert, a digital marketing analysis and advisory firm, is one of the best: “Return minus investment, divided by investment, expressed as a percentage.” Here’s an example:

If you spend $1,500 creating and promoting a piece of content and that specific content nets two new sales valued at $2,500 each, that’s a 233 percent ROI.

  1. Return minus investment – $5,000 – $1,500 = $3,500
  2. Divided by investment – 3,500/$1,500 = 2.33
  3. Expressed as a percentage – 2.33 x 100 = 233

If you spend less creating a piece of content than you can accurately measure it earning in sales, it’s successful. However, content doesn’t always translate into direct revenue. Many content marketing metrics produce an ROI without obvious ties to income.

Here are a few of the top content marketing KPIs and how to measure them:

  1. Web Traffic: Web traffic is perhaps the single most important metric to measure content marketing success. Without traffic, there’s no revenue. To monitor the amount of traffic a specific content asset is producing, Google Analytics is the choice of most content marketers. You can build UTM tags to track and monitor content or campaign performance.
  2. SEO Improvement: Content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) go hand in hand. When a piece of content performs well, your entire website benefits through increased domain authority. To gauge SEO performance, you need to monitor how your content ranks for the target keyword. Many free and paid software services, such as Moz, monitor keyword performance.
  3. Social Media Engagement: Successful content can also produce ROI offsite. Social media is a perfect example. If the goal of your content is to grow your social media following, monitoring engagement is crucial. With so many purchasing decisions influenced by peer recommendations, social media growth should be a top ROI metric. Most social media channels have built-in analytics to help you monitor week-over-week or month-over-month growth and engagement.

It’s important to know that you do not need to track every single KPI. You can choose which metrics best suit your business and content goals. You can also change which metrics your monitor between content pieces. As long as you set concrete goals, you can easily and effectively measure ROI on your content marketing.

Now that you know what to measure and how; it’s time to get busy creating content with those specific goals in mind and watch the returns roll in!

Jeramy Headshot

Jeramy Gordon

Jeramy Gordon is the Chief Content Officer at the Lorem Ipsum Company, a full-service digital marketing agency specializing in content marketing. With nearly two decades of experience creating and honing award-winning content strategies, Jeramy and his team strive to help brands break through the barriers and static associated with online marketing and grow their businesses. The Lorem Ipsum Company has offices in Orange County, Calif., and Santa Barbara.

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Saira Nazir, head of digital marketing at Autodesk, speaking at MarTech West 2019.

SAN JOSE, CA — Why digitally transform? Business must go through digital transformation to win share, gain efficiency, make better decisions and delight customers, said Saira Nazir, head of digital marketing at Autodesk, at MarTech Conference Thursday.

Nazir outlined three foundations of digital transformation: organizational design, data and tools and discussed how Autodesk has engaged in digital transformation to move beyond incremental KPI improvements.

Organizations must evolve. “Organizational design is probably the most overlooked” of the three said Nazir. “If you update all your tools but your teams are still relating to each other and working in the same way, you will not be able to truly take advantage of the tools.”

The approach — decentralized or centralized — doesn’t matter, the key is to focus on the evolution of your teams while going through digital transformation, she said.

More insights from the MarTech Conference

Identify bad data. Often marketers get hung up on data gaps, but Nazir cautions that identifying bad data or metrics is critical to the process of creating effective data models and algorithmic outcomes. It’s just as important to identify and tag good metrics such as conversion rates, latency, pages to conversion, etc. as it is to identify and tag bad metrics that will pollute data models, said Nazir.

“As more companies adopt AI, bad data matters a lot,” she said. If you create a model, you need to tag good and bad data to help the machines learn and create a good algorithm. It’s not just identifying gaps in data but tagging bad groups of data.

A bad metric is “a lagging indicator instead of a leading indicator,” said Nazir. “That can prompt you go in a wrong direction.”

Scale with a CDP. To analyze and test at scale, Autodesk deployed a customer data platform (CDP).

The team saw that a large percentage of customers were spilling out of renewals and coming back in to the journey to find new pricing. “About 60% of traffic was leakage from renewals,” said Nazir. “They are already customers, and a CDP can identify them and create a much more tailored experience for those people that already have the product. We can give them tutorials to understand the tool better.” Identifying and specifically addressing the needs of these audiences increases retention.

The team used the CDP to map out the customer journey using Adobe IDs, purchase history and product attributes to understand how customers interacted with them. It then can identify appropriate audiences for tailored email campaigns based on if/and statements that direct users to specific content based on their engagements — at scale.

Chatbot to shorten sales cycle. Autodesk had 68-day purchase cycle. It wanted to shorten it and grow the percentage of people who buy online. The company looked at chatbot offerings to help surface tailored content recommendations to site visitors.

Autodesk ended up creating its own chatbot rooted in machine learning and programmed it using popular content. It ingests the referral data and answers from a couple of  clarifying questions at the beginning of each session before showing content links specific to the user’s needs. Autodesk also thought carefully about the look of the chatbot’s prompts, designing it to feel familiar with the look of Instagram questions.

“We predicted customers need more information,” said Nazir. “This pushes content to them sooner.”

The initiative drove 4x more conversions and 109% more time on page, said Nazir. More impressive, Autodesk didn’t test this effort on brand keywords, but only on traffic coming in on non-brand keywords.

This story first appeared on MarTech Today. For more on marketing technology, click here.

About The Author

Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, managing day-to-day editorial operations across all of our publications. Ginny writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, she has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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As long as I have been in marketing and email (and that’s a long, long time), the mantra most thought leaders have repeated is: “Think about your subscribers, and deliver the brand promise that got you the acquisition in the first place.”

That means you’re offering relevant communications every time you send an email.

As an industry, we need to be smarter, to act more strategically instead of relying on tactics to reach our goals.

Sounds good, right? But today, I’m looking at my inbox and deleting every email that doesn’t have anything to do with me. It makes me wonder, “What are we doing here?”

What are you doing, and why are you doing it?

Your job as a marketer is to serve your customers and to advance your brand story. Some might say their job is “I gotta sell my wares. I gotta drive my KPIs.” And I would say, “I have a responsibility to the people who gave me their email addresses because I’m in the inbox they check many times a day.”

I fully realize the challenge of delivering value, telling the brand story and showing customers that you value them is not easy. What I see is people saying they’re committed to customer service, but it’s a commitment to customer service when things go wrong.

Today, we are living in what Forrester calls the Age of the Customer, and the expectations are different.

Here’s what noted Forrester analyst Rusty Warner says about the concept:

“Empowered customers are quickly becoming entitled customers who expect consistent, high-value experiences, regardless of channel. On their own, traditional marketing campaigns are ineffective at meeting these demands.

The challenge is to align deeply personalized outbound communications with customer-driven inbound interactions throughout the customer life cycle. In short, brands must win customers in their moments of need.

And, to ensure the brand’s success, marketers must leverage real-time analytics and insights to orchestrate contextually relevant experiences. While campaigns are not dead, they must evolve to ensure that these experiences are anticipatory, frictionless, and immersive.”

3 constituencies marketers must serve

There are three ways we can be of service to our customers without waiting for something to go wrong:

1. Marketers must serve their subscribers, customers and fans by using technology and going the extra mile.

Simply put, this means marketers have to think of their customers first, not their marketing objectives. When we talk about putting strategic planning ahead of tactical planning, the strategy should emphasize this question: “What are we doing to help the customer make a choice?”

To achieve their goals, many companies will say, “We need to sell thousands of dollars of crap. How do we get the customer to buy our crap?” The proper response is, “What does the customer need that I have, and can we get sales from it?”

You probably think I’m naïve. But, so many times we blast the heck out of people and hope there’s a segment of people who want the crap we’re blasting. That doesn’t serve our customers.

Use the technology available to you: The last time I got my hair cut, my barber asked me, “What has been the biggest change in marketing?”

I said, “Access to data about our customers, the technology we need to communicate with our customers, and the price of that action, whether in advertising costs, forms or contacts with the customer.”

All three of these things lend themselves to the marketer having access to tools, abilities, strategies and tactics. Saying you don’t want to use those things is an insult to the advancement of marketing technology.

We have an inherent responsibility to use those tools to create and send more relevant messages.

Go the extra mile: Instead of phoning it in, launching a campaign to everyone on the list and hoping some will bite, we try one extra thing. It could be trying a new strategy or carving out time to think about the “why” (the strategy) instead of the “how” (the tactics).

Here’s extra-mile behavior in action:

I bought a product from a seller on Amazon. After it arrived, I found it didn’t work the way I expected. So, I left a review on the seller’s Amazon page. It wasn’t a scathing review (I rated it 4 out of 5 stars), just a comment along the lines of “It’s a good product, but you have to do this to make it work, and that’s annoying.”

Five days later, someone from the company reached out to me, asking how to make it right and offering to send me a new device.

What they sent wasn’t just a replacement. It was an upgraded, costlier device. The company didn’t have to do that. It could have ignored my comment and gone with the natural flow of the business. Its dedication to their customers is what the Age of the Customer is all about.

2. Marketers must serve their practices by constantly getting smarter about what they do.

This practice is how they do their jobs. Do you get a little smarter about marketing every day you’re on the job? Do you use LinkedIn like Facebook (check-in, like something, check out) or like a source of information that can generate ideas and contacts?

I encourage you to take at least an hour a week to connect more deeply to the marketing universe, whether you read up on marketing news and commentary, listen to podcasts and webinars or attend in-person events. Find something in your email program that you can test, and keep track of your results.

This serves your customers because the smarter we get, the better we can talk to the people who have entrusted their email addresses, Twitter handles or Facebook newsfeeds to us.

If we don’t continue to push ourselves in new directions, we will fail.

3. Marketers must serve themselves to find fulfillment.

This is an appeal to marketers who tell me they aren’t happy. Folks, life isn’t about being sad and miserable.

If you aren’t happy with your job, you need to do all the things I’ve told you about here. Learn more. Read more. Connect more. Try new things, not just to benefit your job but to improve your self-worth and fulfillment and to vault you somewhere else.

I hire smart people. I don’t hire “doers.” You know the ones. They are the automatons who go through the motions and do what they’re told. I want people who want more, who are willing to question, grow and watch my team’s back. To ask “why?” and “why not?”

All of these questions are aimed at doing better email. That serves our customers better, and that comes back to the company in more sales and less churn.

You need to push yourself constantly to be happy or go somewhere else to find happiness. If you look just for a “doer” job, that’s all you’re ever going to get, and happiness will elude you.

Wrapping it up

The best marketers I know feel a responsibility to each of these constituencies to take advantage of the wealth of opportunity in our industry. They participate in activities because they’re smart. They know their stuff and they participate and teach and learn and grow.

If you can follow their example, you will benefit your company, your customers and – ultimately – yourself.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Ryan Phelan is co-founder of Origin Email and brings nearly two decades of worldwide online marketing and email experience. Ryan is a respected thought leader and nationally distinguished speaker with a history of experience from Adestra, Acxiom, BlueHornet, Sears Holdings, Responsys and infoUSA. In 2013 he was named one of the top 30 strategists in online marketing and is the Chairman Emeritus of the EEC Advisory Board. Ryan also works with start-up companies as an advisor, board member and investor.

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