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How to Leverage Visual Search for e-Commerce Growth

October 5, 2022 No Comments

Online shopping is booming as people become more comfortable buying online as opposed to in-store. It’s easy, comfortable, and convenient, with the possibility of finding a wider range of products at better prices.

As with everything in the digital space, online shopping is evolving, and visual search is the latest opportunity to increase sales, boost revenue, and grow your customer base. So let’s learn more about visual search and how to optimize content to maximize profits.

What is Visual Search?

Visual search is appropriately named as it involves users searching with an image, as opposed to a keyword.

The reasons why someone would do this come down to the following benefits:

  • Visual search makes it easier when you don’t know what you are looking for
  • It can help to match a particular style
  • Your search query may be long and complicated, so an image simplifies things

Consider visual search as a targeted and user-friendly method that involves pointing a camera at something to find an exact match or something similar.

The Differences Between Image and Visual Search

They sound similar but are incredibly different. Image search requires you to type in a query in the search box, with image results returned based on your keyword; a method that people are very familiar with. 

On the other hand, visual search requires an image or your Google Lens camera to search and return images that match or are similar. Voice, visual, and conversational search are improvements on typing search, all with the goal of making life easier for us all.

The Popular Visual Search Options

  • Pinterest Lens

The Pinterest lens was the first social media platform to use visual search. In the Pinterest app, a new or existing photo can be used to complete the search. This has been extended to hybrid search, which uses the aesthetic of an existing pin to find similar items, and the “complete the look” feature, which can generate case-based recommendations to match an outfit or room layout and style.

  • Google Lens

Google Photos lets you use an existing image for a visual search with the ability to identify over 1 billion items. You can also scan your environment to search for things in reality or have Google identify and recommend items on a menu. Other popular features include the ability to translate text from print directly onto your phone, identify animals and plants, and historical facts about your location.

  • Snapchat Camera 

Snapchat camera allows you to search for products on Amazon by pointing it at a physical product or barcode. If recognized, an Amazon card will appear on-screen with a link to buy on Amazon.

Visual Search Issues

Before we dive into optimizing your store for visual search, it is important to be aware that this new innovation still needs some improvements. Lenses commonly auto-select the wrong focal point, categorize a person instead of a product, or display items that are out of stock.

It is vital to be aware of these pitfalls as they may cause you to lose some sales along with the trust of your customers. Optimizing your images correctly can help lower the risk of this, however.

How to Optimize for Visual Search

Optimization of all kinds is important, as emphasized in this e-commerce SEO case study. Visual search success comes down to optimizing your images. By doing this, you will hopefully avoid the visual search mistakes mentioned above. To optimize your images and truly leverage the benefits of visual search, do the following:

  • Submit image sitemap to Google

Ensuring your images are indexed is the first step, and you do this by submitting image sitemaps. With basic product data from the shopping feed, visual search technology will be able to understand your content.

  • Sync product data 

Sync from your site with the Google merchant center and Pinterest catalogs to keep product info updated, allow people to search by brand, and avoid penalties from Google.

  • Use structured data

Put your USPs in the product description (especially free shipping), as this can help you get the much sought-after click. With a relevant schema for all images and rich pins to your site, you reduce friction and potential frustration by eliminating out-of-stock items from the user’s feed.

  • Standard image optimization

We know about optimizing site images for site speed and user experience, but they also help with visual search. One of the most important elements is image size. Keeping your image sizes under control helps your website load faster, which reduces user frustration, and much like personalized content which helps users understand the information they’re seeing is specific to their needs, it can be the defining factor when it comes to making or losing the sale.

  • Filename and alt-tags

Use appropriate, targeted, and descriptive file names for all of your images along with alt-tags, which means an alternative tag, a name that appears in place of an image if it fails to load. The alt-tag text is also read by search engines to help them understand the purpose of the picture. Be sure to use the most relevant alt-tag for the image, as this can impact your rankings and boost sales. An SEO booster can help with all of this!

While all of this sets your digital assets on the right path, we also recommend looking into having a local presence in the real world to reach customers in cities outside of your local area. By allowing them to call you when they have an issue (which you can do by providing a local phone number), you can increase customer satisfaction!

Making the Most of Your E-commerce Opportunities

As an e-commerce store owner or digital marketer, it is always important to be aware of the opportunities that arise in the digital space, like visual search. Utilize the emotions of your audience via social media and adapt your content to be attractive and relevant to improve discovery, engagement, and above all, sales.

The post How to Leverage Visual Search for e-Commerce Growth first appeared on PPC Hero.

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5 Social Media Advertising Tips to Nail Your Efforts and Get Your Expected Results

October 2, 2022 No Comments

Do you want your social media advertising efforts to succeed?

Of course, you do. 

According to data, brands saw 33% more purchase intent from exposure to LinkedIn ads.

The figure highlights how ads are more than just one of the social media marketing trends of 2022

With the right strategies, social media ads can help you raise awareness, boost website traffic, generate leads, and grow your sales. 

Jumpstart your efforts to optimize social media advertising with the five tips below. 

Let’s get right to it. 

1. Set Clear Social Media Advertising Goals

Reaching your goals is challenging if you don’t have a clear set of objectives to run your social media ads. 

You need to know what you want your social media advertising efforts to achieve since this will shape and inform your strategy. 

It can also help you choose the right tools, audiences to target, and the best platforms to run your ads.

For example, if your goal is to boost your engagement rate, you could run ads with trending or popular quotes on TikTok

It’s one way of drawing more eyeballs to your ads while engaging audiences with familiar content.   

Your social media advertising goals can include the following:

  • Raise awareness
  • Expand your brand’s reach
  • Drive traffic social traffic to your website
  • Boost your engagement rate
  • Generate more leads, clicks, and downloads
  • Increase your conversions and sales 

Once you’ve identified your goals, you can start looking for the best-fitting tools to help you implement your ad strategy and reach your targets. 

Consider platforms such as Vista Social. 

The social media management platform helps you plan, organize, prioritize, and schedule your content posting with its content calendar and auto-publishing features. 

Image source: vistasocial.com.

Identify your social media advertising objectives to determine how to best implement your strategy. 

Your goals can also tell you what metrics to track and measure to assess your ad’s performance. 

2. Understand Your Audience and How They Spend Their Time Online

Get the best bang for your buck by targeting audiences who need or want your products, services, and offers in your ads. 

After all, you’re not likely to achieve your social media ad campaign goals if you advertise to the wrong audience. 

For instance, running ads about your UI/UX software to people looking for reliable security testing tools won’t get you conversions. 

Know your target audience by developing personas (or refining your existing ideal buyer personas). 

It can help you understand the people and segments to target and focus your social advertising efforts on. 

Use Facebook Audience Insights to get an overview of your target audience demographics, interests, liked pages, activities, etc. 

Understanding your ideal buyers can help you to tailor your social media ads to their pain points and needs. It can increase the chances of your audiences clicking on your ads and acting on your offers. 

It also helps to know how your audiences spend their time online, including the social media platforms they frequent. 

Doing so gives you a good idea of the social media channels you should focus on and the content types that appeal to your potential customers. 

For instance, most younger audiences (teenagers to early 30s) are on Instagram. Visual elements such as images and videos work best for running ads on the platform. 

Determine your ideal buyers’ preferences, main interests, and the platform on which they’re most active.

Use the information to create social media ads that cater to your target audience’s needs, making your content irresistible. 

3. Learn About Your Social Advertising Options

While casting a wide net by advertising on multiple social media platforms can have certain benefits, it can also be tedious and resource-draining.

The key is to focus on at least three social media platforms to run your advertising campaigns. It can help you avoid stretching your team and resources too thin while getting results.  

Run ads on the following platforms depending on your social media advertising goals, target audiences, and campaigns.

  • Facebook. You can run various ad formats on Facebook, including videos, photos, and carousels that display on users’ news feeds. Other FB advertisement options are Messenger and Story ads. 

Facebook also offers the Lookalike audiences feature that lets you create targeted ads based on your known audiences or existing customers.  

Image source: mention.com
  • Instagram. Instagram offers similar ad formats and audience targeting features as Facebook under Meta Business.

For example, you can run an IG Story ad on how customers can buy SEO articles as part of your efforts to promote your SEO marketing services.

  • Twitter. Select or create a tweet that you want Twitter to show people who are not following you to advertise on the platform. You can choose audiences to target based on user behavior, demographics, interests, and who they follow.  

The Twitter Promote option can advertise your tweets with a monthly charge. 

  • TikTok. You can run TikTok video ads with brand filters and branded hashtags. TikTok also provides an automated creative optimization feature. It tests combinations of your video, copy, and images to the ads that work best for you.  

Focus on running ads on the social media platforms that make the most sense for you. 

Follow content writing time-tested tips to help you create compelling ad copies and Calls-to-Action (CTAs). 

4. Test Your Social Media Ads

Test your various social media ads to assess and improve their performance. 

Start A/B testing several ads initially with small audiences. It can help you determine the ads (and ad elements) that work best and use the top-performing ad in your main campaign. 

You get instant feedback with social media, so you can learn what ads work (and don’t) for your brand faster. 

Use a reliable social media ad analytics tool to test your ads and make improvements efficiently. 

For instance, Facebook offers a built-in A/B testing feature for your ads.  

Image source: hubspot.com

A/B testing takes away the guesswork on what ad element or variation you need to tweak and improve to get better results. 

5. Track and Measure Social Media Ad Results and Performance

Tracking and measuring your social media ad performance can tell you if you’ve reached your targets. 

You’ll know whether your social media ads perform well (or not) and what aspects worked and didn’t work. It gives you the information you need to improve your ads moving forward. 

Measure your results to get reliable data about your ad’s value to your company, such as leads and purchases, and prove Return on Investment (ROI) or Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). 

Develop a well-thought-out content tracking strategy to help monitor and assess your social media ads’ performance and returns. 

It can also help you determine if your ads contribute to your entire social media marketing efforts. 

Nail Your Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising isn’t as easy as pie, but it’s not rocket science. 

Kick off your efforts with this guide’s social media advertising tips to set you on the path to success. 

Continue learning, testing, and improving to run effective social media ads that help you reach your targets and get the results you expect. 

The post 5 Social Media Advertising Tips to Nail Your Efforts and Get Your Expected Results first appeared on PPC Hero.

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How Can PPC Help Inform a Powerful Link-Building Strategy

September 29, 2022 No Comments

If you’re just setting out to create a marketing strategy, then you may have read a lot about the power of link building, and how much it can supercharge an SEO campaign.

Though link building is certainly a powerful discipline, like any marketing technique, it shouldn’t exist in a vacuum. In today’s post, we’ll look at the relationship between PPC and link-building, and how the insights you glean from PPC campaigns can inform your link-building strategy for greater success.

How to Succeed in PPC Marketing

Before we get into how you can leverage PPC findings for better link-building, let’s go over some of the fundamental principles of PPC marketing success…

Effective Keyword Research: Just like when creating content, choosing the right keywords will determine whether or not your PPC ads will be seen by a particular audience segment. Researching, testing, and tweaking your keyword selection as you incept and manage a campaign will magnetize your audience, and ensure that you’re getting a good return on investment from your PPC budget.

Know your Audience: Although PPC is heavily data-driven, and a far cry from more creative, traditional advertising techniques, you’ll still need to craft your ads based on a firm understanding of your audience. By going into PPC campaigns with a clear picture of your customer personas, the audience segments they feed into, and how this should inform your copy, you’ll be able to enjoy stronger results right off the bat.

Leverage Automation: All major PPC platforms now offer automation tools you can use to bring in more leads, improve your conversion rate, and enjoy a stronger ROI, all while saving your team time and energy. PPC automation algorithms are also capable of analyzing countless data sets to inform decisions, based on your past performance, budget, and goals.

Strategies to Follow When Building Quality Links

Now that we’ve looked at the key components for success in PPC marketing, it’s time to run through some of the most effective link-building strategies you can employ for a successful campaign. Here are our top 3 for the current SEO climate…

3 Main Link-Building Techniques to Use in 2022

1. Digital PR

Digital PR refers to applying proven PR tactics to earn organic backlinks. This means creating linkable assets, such as long-form blog posts, infographics, and interactive content, then promoting these assets to journalists or publications in a way that encourages them to write about your company or assets and link to them. 

This tactic is fairly challenging because you’ll need to come up with some truly great content to earn a link. However, if it’s successful, you can gain some hugely valuable link equity.

2. Contributed Content / Guest Posts

Contributed content and guest posting have been popular methods for link building for some time, and for a good reason: it’s a great way to generate the kind of trust and quality signals that Google favors when ranking websites. 

“Providing valuable, optimized content to real businesses’ websites via guest posting allows [business] to build natural references from related websites in the industry,” says link-building agency Hive19. “Like all marketing activities, there are good versions of this – and bad. [S]pecialise in working closely with editors to provide editorials that seamlessly fit with their brand voice and editorial calendar.”

3. Reclaiming Unlinked Brand Mentions, Broken and Lost Links

Sometimes, all the necessary legwork is done in the way of gaining a link, and all you have to do is reach out to the right contact. There may be instances where a blogger has mentioned your brand, but not linked to it. 

In other cases, there may be links pointing to dead pages that had previously hosted content in your topic or niche, which can be reclaimed by creating a similar piece of content and reaching out to the referring domain’s webmaster. Sometimes backlinks are lost through routine maintenance of a referring domain, and a simple email to the webmaster can be enough to replace it. 

Combining these kinds of low-hanging fruit can be a great way to supercharge your backlink profile, and require very little effort! 

How PPC Analytics Can Help Inform Your Strategy

For many marketers, PPC data is used to inform current and future PPC campaigns, and their usefulness stops there. Though you may not be aware of it, there are a number of ways PPC data analytics can be used to inform and optimize your link-building strategy.

Use PPC Data to Identify your Strongest Landing Pages

If you’re managing a large website with large PPC campaigns, then it may be hard to know which pages will be the most prudent to target in a link-building campaign. PPC analytics suites offer a quick and easy way to see a complete breakdown of your landing pages, keywords, and how they’re being received by your target market.

Simply drill down to the destination URLs in your campaign, and analyze metrics like conversion rate, clickthrough rate by keyword, etc. By carving off a proportion of the highest-performing landing pages, you’ll easily be able to prioritize target pages for your link-building campaign.

Use PPC Data as a Starting Point to Recycle Content

To flip the previous technique on its head, PPC data can also be used to identify pages that aren’t performing well but show masses of untapped potential. Let’s say, for example, that you’re running a campaign advertising a free ebook for your marketing agency. You may have a great clickthrough rate for a keyword like “content marketing guide”, but see that a poor proportion of people are actually downloading the ebook. This shows that although people are finding your copy compelling, they’re not convinced by the content on your pages. 

These kinds of scenarios can be a fantastic starting point for you to recycle content, and attract new links through quality, authoritative pages.

Look for Spikes in Demand to Inform Topical Content

Finally, analyzing both your own ads and the average CPC for certain keywords can be a great source of inspiration when you’re looking for topical content. If a certain ad suddenly gains a much higher-than-average click-through, and trends in your other ads discount a universal jump in your brand equity, it may be time to ride the buzz around a certain topic by meeting it with relevant content. 

Suggested CPC can also be a good indicator of when a certain type of content is gaining traction, giving you a useful advance warning to get ahead of the game and publish popular content before everyone’s talking about the same trends.

In Conclusion 

This article has given you the fundamentals of leveraging PPC insights for a more targeted and data-focused link-building strategy. 

We’ve discussed the relationship between PPC and link building and how these valuable insights can help guide and inform your link-building strategy for greater success. 

Adopting link-building strategies such as digital PR and guest posting to reclaiming unlinked brand mentions, using your PPC data will help inform and optimize your marketing strategy going forward. By identifying your highest and lowest-performing landing pages through PPC insights, you’ll be able to prioritize the most valuable pages for link building and see higher ROI for your marketing efforts.

The post How Can PPC Help Inform a Powerful Link-Building Strategy first appeared on PPC Hero.

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6 Best Metaverse Marketing Techniques to Adopt in 2022

September 25, 2022 No Comments

Metaverse is taking the world of virtual reality to unimaginable heights. It’s a whole new world, after all. And with that, not just entertainment but the future of marketing is here too. Metaverse marketing techniques allow marketers to explore new frontiers to deliver the ultimate immersive brand experience. 

With metaverse marketing, you can promote your brand digitally in a way that’s never been done before. You get to target your audience like PPC marketing but can put those ads up on billboards inside the metaverse like traditional marketing. 

Grayscale Research predicts that by 2030, the metaverse market size will be more than $ 1 trillion. The report also says that advertising forms over 40% of the total addressable market on the metaverse.

Image via Grayscale

So, it’s clear that marketing is going to be big in the metaverse, which makes it important to get on the bandwagon sooner than later. But as complex as it is, the metaverse can be overwhelming.

To help you get started well, I’m sharing 6 metaverse marketing techniques you can consider for your business in 2022. 

Let’s take a look. 

What is Metaverse? 

Metaverse is exciting. But what is it really? 

The word means “beyond the universe.” Metaverse technology is a combination of multiple innovative technologies like artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, the Internet of Things (IoT), and 5G.

It consists of several elements, as you can see in the image below.

Image via Gartner

In simple words, it’s a 3D virtual world that delivers a fully-immersive media experience. Think of it as a digital world that you can experience on your gadgets. 

From a marketer’s perspective, a whole new and advanced dimension can be added to advertising by exploring metaverse marketing techniques. 

6 Metaverse Marketing Techniques to Deliver Ultimate Brand Experience

As an entrepreneur, if you want to get your business future-ready, it’s important to consider including metaverse marketing techniques into your strategy mix.

Take a look at these top 6 metaverse marketing techniques you can adopt in 2022 to get ahead of your competition. 

1. Replicate Real-Life Marketing in Metaverse 

The introduction of the metaverse doesn’t mean that your real-life marketing strategies become redundant. In fact, many metaverse marketing techniques are based on the most successful techniques that you and I already use. 

If you learn to successfully replicate your real-life marketing strategy in the metaverse, you can surely achieve the same brand awareness and engagement. In fact, you can get targeted advertising while getting the complete attention of your target audience.

And the best part is that you don’t even need to change your tech stack for it. You could still use the same lead generation software or keyword research tools to create and manage ads for the metaverse.

2. Consider Creating Metaverse Brand Assets 

To engage users and deliver unique experiences, businesses need to invest in creating a brand identity on social media and other digital platforms.

And you can do that in the metaverse too.

One of the top metaverse marketing techniques is to create distinct metaverse brand assets to drive brand awareness and distinguish your brand from others. 

Non-Fungible Tokens or NFTs, badges, collector coins, and so on can all be used to support your brand identity on the metaverse. In fact, you could even open your brand outlets in the metaverse to build your presence there.

Take a look at some of the cool NFTs Coca-Cola created for its metaverse fans. 

Image via Coca-Cola

Remember, when you are creating NFTs, make sure that they are something your audiences will cherish. 

3. Incorporate Gaming into Your Strategy 

In its most basic form, the metaverse is a virtual reality game. The excitement that gaming renders is unmatched, and an element of the same excitement can be induced into your metaverse marketing strategy too.

One of the most effective metaverse marketing techniques you should consider is to create mini-games within the metaverse to grab the attention of your audience. Whether you are a fashion brand, sports brand, or something else, you can use a series of metaverse games to engage your visitors. 

These could include things like football, fashion shows, cooking games, and so much more. Think of it as a game within the game.

You can incentivize users with points, gaming cards, or brand assets to have them come back to play the next level of games and stay connected with your brand. 

4. Create Live Immersive Environments

Your metaverse marketing strategies should not be limited to preset scenes. You can go ahead and create highly immersive live environments where users can interact with your brand and each other in real time.

You should consider hosting events, concerts, hangouts, live video shopping events, and parties in the metaverse.

When planned thoughtfully, these can deliver the same degree of fun and socialization that people experience in the real world. 

Such metaverse live events can draw a lot of following, gaining visibility and even sales for your business.

5. Sell Digital Products for Metaverse Avatars

Here’s one of the top metaverse marketing strategies that several brands are already using to generate revenue. To exist in the metaverse, users create their digital avatars, and they would love to customize them in various ways. 

Brands can cash in on this opportunity by creating digital products for their avatars and generating revenue from them. You can even come up with creative ways for partner marketing and influencer marketing to promote your products in the metaverse. For instance, you could work with an influencer and have them try out your apparel in the metaverse.

And the best part?

You can create any kind of digital product, right from accessories to apparel and much more. And for the payment, you can generate QR codes that avatars can scan to make a payment, just like they do in the real world. 

Nike recently purchased RTFKT Studios, a digital merchandise company. They are now creating and selling digital products for avatars and generating sales for the company. 

Image via YouTube

Are You Ready to Explore Metaverse Marketing Techniques for Your Business?

We are living in an era where technology is evolving rapidly. Be it AI tools for digital marketing or metaverse, the advancement is phenomenal. 

And while metaverse is becoming increasingly popular among users, it’s also a great avenue to promote your business in a virtual world just like you’d do in the real world.

If you are looking to get ahead of your competitors, you should consider the metaverse marketing techniques discussed above. Go ahead and try out these techniques to create unparalleled brand experiences for your audiences. An exciting world awaits you. 

The post 6 Best Metaverse Marketing Techniques to Adopt in 2022 first appeared on PPC Hero.

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How to Get Found Online: 5 Tips for Small Business Owners in 2022

September 23, 2022 No Comments

Not all small businesses or bloggers have the capital to run massive paid marketing campaigns.  47% of small business owners handle marketing efforts on their own.

Many are on a tight budget and don’t know where to start. Once you have a website, its value primarily relies upon how well you can engage consumers.

Engaging initially through one channel creates an impression, leading to conversion opportunities and improved traffic of qualified visitors to the page. Visibility is critical when 70-80% of people research a small business before visiting or making a purchase from them.

There are many ways to boost your online presence between paid and organic channels. 

So, are you looking for some new ways to market your product or service?  We’ve got five proven methods that will help get the word out.

1) Optimize for Organic Search (aka SEO)

Organic SEO is (and should be) the foundation of your website traffic. 

Did you know that 68% of all trackable website traffic is sourced from organic traffic and Paid Search, vastly exceeding all other channels, including Display and Social Media?

When you know what your website users want, you can use that information in your paid and organic campaigns, your website, social media platforms, and any other channels.

So, how do you optimize your website’s SEO for organic search? 

Here’s how you can start:

Find the Right Keywords 

Keyword selection is vital to be successful with organic search. Using keyword research, you can identify queries searched by your potential customers, including products or services your business offers.

Create Quality Content 

Once you’ve decided on your keywords, you must create content supporting customer intent. 

You can create blog posts, product descriptions, and other content that resonates with potential customers.

If you don’t know what to write or aren’t exceptionally skilled at writing, there are several AI writing tools you can use to write for you.

Build Backlinks 

You need to build backlinks to improve organic traffic to your website.

Backlinks are links from other websites to your website. They’re essential because they help improve your site’s visibility and authority in search engines.

But how do you build backlinks? Get your site sourced by high authority and relevant websites. 

There is plenty of SEO software for small businesses that can help. 

2) Use Content Marketing to Your Advantage 

Some small business owners think content marketing is unnecessary for their business. 

After all, why invest time and money to create content when you’re running a small business? 

Why create content when you can focus on sales or leads?

Content marketing is about creating quality content to attract potential customers to your website. 

Content can come in different forms, but some of the most commonly used are blog posts (i.e., listicles, how-to articles), podcasts, and videos. 

Notably, 86% of marketers use blog post publishing as part of their content strategy. That is to say, it’s the most popular content format among marketers.

On the other hand, 94% of marketers agree that videos have helped increase user understanding of their product or service.

Either way, the critical element of content marketing is value.  What value does your content offer? 

Start With Value

If you’re unsure where to start, remember that when writing a blog post, recording a podcast, or shooting a video, your goal should be to provide value for your audience. 

Think about what you can offer and how it can stand out from competitors in the SERP (search engine results page). 

Stick to a Schedule

Anyone who has tried to improve their ranking on Google knows it is no easy task. 

Algorithm updates can make it feel like you are constantly playing catch-up, and it can be tough to know which strategies are effective and which are a waste of time. 

However, there is one thing that is universally accepted as a foundational element of online visibility: content. 

A website with high-quality, well-written content will always fare better in the search algorithms than a website with thin or duplicate content. This is where blog posting comes in. 

By regularly publishing new articles on your website, you are giving the search engines new material to index and helping to ensure that your website remains relevant. 

Of course, quality is more important than quantity, but even a short blog post can be beneficial. 

The next time you wonder how to improve your Google ranking, remember that content is still king.

SEO Opportunities

Another benefit of content marketing is that it opens up plenty of SEO opportunities. 

When you run a blog on your website, you can use it as an opportunity to improve SEO.

You have limitless opportunities to optimize and improve your website’s SEO by writing and publishing blog posts alone.

Every article you publish is an opportunity to engage with new potential customers and improve your website’s SEO. 

It is your chance not only to engage with potential customers but to build trust and authority in your niche.

3) Grow Your Social Reach

Suppose you’re not already utilizing social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and LinkedIn to market your product or service. 

These digital marketing channels allow you to publish content for free and advertise your products and services cost-effectively. In that case, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to reach a wider audience. 

Creating and maintaining an online presence via social media is an excellent tool for boosting visibility and generating interest in what you have to offer.

There are many ways you can use social media to generate traffic and increase visibility for your website, but here are some of the most effective.

Share Your Blog Content 

One of the simplest and most effective ways to generate traffic from social media is to share your website’s content on social media platforms. 

This is especially effective if you have engaging and valuable content that is likely to be shared by other users.

Boost Posts

Organic social media reach is limited to the number of people who follow your company page. You can boost your posts if you want to reach a larger audience.

Boosting is a paid feature that allows you to promote your posts to people outside your follower base.

You can target specific demographics, interests, and even locations.

Boosted posts are a great way to generate more leads and sales from social media.

4) Get Those PPC Ads Up and Running

Paid advertising is not just a way to get your message out there but rather an investment many small businesses need to grow.

Curious about how you can generate more leads? 

Initially, it makes sense to focus on channels you can get started with little to no investment, including organic SEO and content marketing (which can be free). 

google ads

But eventually, even these cannot sustain growth without some paid campaigns too!

For immediate traffic and results, you can run pay-per-click advertising.

Paid ads allow you to target a specific audience and get your content in front of them immediately.

PPC is a great way to generate leads and sales quickly.  However, with quick results, the trade-off will be an investment.

PPC ads can be expensive, but if results are what you’re looking for, they’re worth it.

Facebook Ads

Despite the rise of other social media platforms, Facebook is still the largest, with 2.7 billion active monthly users compared to TikTok’s 1 billion active users. 

(Although, don’t underestimate the growth trajectory of TikTok.)

facebook budget stats
source: databox.com

Facebook Ads is one of the most popular channels for PPC advertising.

Within the platform, marketers, agencies, and SMBs reported that ads were the most effective way to reach their goals– above organic and boosted posts.

With Facebook Ads, you can target specific demographics, interests, and even locations.

Facebook Ads make it easy to reach your target audience and get your content in front of them.

However, it is important to note that Facebook ads have become less effective since the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the impacts of targeting and iOS updates.

Due to privacy concerns, many users have become weary of giving away their personal information.

As a result, Facebook ads may not be as effective as they once were. 

However, it is still a top PPC platform for agencies, marketers, and small businesses, with more than 60% of companies that increased their Facebook ad budgets in 2021 and then increased again in 2022.

Google Ads

Google Ads and Facebook Ads are PPC (pay-per-click) advertising. They both involve paying to have your content appear in front of a specific audience.

However, there are some critical differences between the two:

Google Ads is search marketing, while Facebook Ads is interruption marketing.

Search marketing is when you target people who are already interested in what you have to offer. 

They are actively searching for information about a specific topic, and with Google Ads, you show up as a result of their search.

Interruption marketing is when you target people who are not necessarily interested in what you have to offer. 

You interrupt them with your content, whether they like it or not.

Due to its nature, interruption marketing can be less effective than search marketing. People tend to ignore or block ads they don’t want to see.

However, interruption marketing can still be very successful if done correctly. It just requires more effort on the part of the advertiser.

Google gives you three ways to get your ad in front of users and potential customers: 

  • Google search (and optional partner networks)
  • Google Display Network (ad banners on websites)
  • YouTube

Google Ads is an excellent option for businesses that want to generate leads and sales quickly. It is highly effective and can be very successful if done correctly.

Google has even reported a “conservative” estimate in 2022 that for every $ 1 a business spends on Google Ads, it received $ 8 in profit- an average of 800% ROI.

5) Analyze and Test 

It may seem like there are unlimited ways to get your message out, but the truth is that not every strategy will work for you. 

It can be challenging to analyze and test all the different marketing and advertising strategies. 

However, by doing so, you will be able to find the ones that work best for your business. 

Remember to Start Small

When starting in marketing and advertising, it’s important to start small. Trying to do too much at once can be overwhelming and ineffective.

Instead, focus on one channel and master it. Once you’ve got that down, move on to the next channel.

This way, you’ll be able to learn what works and what doesn’t and make the necessary changes to improve your results.

Conclusion 

Small businesses have many options for promotion and increasing online visibility.

These options include search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, content marketing, and social media marketing.

Each of these strategies has advantages and disadvantages, so choosing the ones that will work best for your business is important.

SEO is a long-term strategy that can take a while to see results. However, if done correctly, it can effectively improve your website’s rank in search engine results pages (SERPs).

PPC advertising is a great way to quickly get your content in front of a specific audience. However, it can be expensive and can quickly eat into your marketing budget.

Make sure you choose the marketing and advertising strategies that will work best for your business. 

Success in marketing and advertising requires a combination of the right strategies, effort, and dedication. 

However, by choosing the right strategies and analyzing and testing them regularly, you’ll be able to see success in no time.

The post How to Get Found Online: 5 Tips for Small Business Owners in 2022 first appeared on PPC Hero.

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Your Guide to Winning with Performance Max Campaigns

September 22, 2022 No Comments

The first mention of Performance Max dates back to 2020, but it is still considered the new kid on the block for businesses and marketers alike. 

For many business owners, and especially eCommerce store owners, there has always been that search for the Holy Grail to simplify online advertising. With many options available, it was difficult for many to choose where to start. For those unfamiliar with the Google Ads ecosystem, it became a very expensive lesson, with many chalking it up as an expensive lesson in futility.

Then came a shift in the landscape, with the release of their automated behemoth, Smart Shopping. This new campaign option offered the likes of many amateur shop owners a simplistic way to take their first steps into the online advertising universe. This made for a simplified process for users to easily showcase all their products, putting most of the decision-making in the hands of Google. 

Whilst this provided some relief for many, there were still boundaries. For one, the ability to extract pertinent data to review and assess was one of them, as was providing the opportunity to the inexperienced to expand into the other Google advertising ecosystem (YouTube, Display, etc.) where their products may flourish. This provided a void for advertisers to expand their reach and required something to fill the gap.

That was until now!

With the announcement that Google is sunsetting the Smart Shopping campaign, the talk moved quickly to how this will be handled. There was the mention of a “one-click” solution to transition across to this new kid on the block, which was music to the ears of those still not familiar with the Google advertising network. Whilst this may sound like the perfect solution for most, not having that understanding of what you’re working with, could be the difference between the success and failure of your efforts.

This is why I want to equip you with a full understanding of what Performance Max is, and how you can go about implementing the moving parts to set it up for success.

Introducing Performance Max

Performance Max is the latest installment from Google’s war chest of advertising tools. Unlike other automated options of its predecessors, Performance Max harnesses the power of its advertising ecosystem and enables advertisers to serve their ads across YouTube, Gmail, Discover, Search, Shopping & Display networks from a single campaign.

In their own marketing efforts, Google has made it sound simple to get these new campaign types in place, and in some ways, they have. Simply provide your ad copy, upload inspirational product images, add links from your YouTube account, and connect to your Google Merchant Center and you’re only a button click away from unleashing its power. From there, Google’s all-powerful machine learning systems will seek out and find the perfect customer and serve your ads to whichever platform they may be using at the time.

So now, instead of having to create multiple ads and assets for specific channels, you get to “throw it all together” and let Google work its magic, managing its potential to full effect across their advertising landscape.

Performance Max campaigns leverage their automated bidding and targeting technology, creating tailored ads and putting them in front of customers, no matter where they are on the Google Ads network. From the average person, this sounds too good to be true, especially those that are happy to let Google have complete control over their funds.

To help you get the most out of Performance Max, let’s break it down into the many parts that go into making it work.

Anatomy of a Performance Max campaign

Unlike other previous campaign types, such as Search which focus on text-based queries, from this single campaign, you can now show ads to other platforms that include Shopping, Search, YouTube, Display, Local, Gmail and Discovery.

As an automated campaign type, all you need to do is add your assets, select your goal and let Google proceed to do the job by showing your ad to the right person, on the right network, to give you the best possible chance of success. It sounds like the holy grail of advertising and whilst you will see results, having a better understanding of how to put it all together will go a long way to its success.

So where to begin.?

Whilst you’ve read this far, let’s presume that you have a good understanding of the basic campaign settings for creating a Google Ads campaign, including your budget, location, language, etc. As these are generally pre-determined when you plan your campaign and the goals you want to achieve, there are some areas to take into consideration when doing so.

With Performance Max campaigns, you have 2 options with the bidding strategy. Maximize Conversion or Maximize Conversion Value. While there are only these options to choose from, your success is based on choosing the right one. Whichever goal aligns with the outcome you are wanting to achieve, we suggest not putting in any limitations such as a target ROAS or CPA when starting out, and allowing Google to “spread its wings” to jump-start the campaign.

There is one caveat within the settings and that is the Final URL Expansion section. If there is a page on your site that Google believes is more relevant than the landing page you want to direct them to, it will send them there. This does take some control out of your hands, but it is based on your historical conversion data combined with the characteristic profile data it has on users. If there are pages that you specifically do not want to be included, you have that option through the Add the URLs you want to exclude option.

Asset Groups

Asset groups can be similarly described as the “new ad groups” of these Google Ad campaigns. Within these asset groups, you have the infrastructure to create themed assets, including imagery, video, shopping products, and text ad copy, that will provide an inventory for Google to showcase across its advertising platform. Keep in mind that if you are not utilizing your own video or YouTube channel, Google will create one as part of the asset group. If this is not an option, you can contact your Google rep to remove the Performance Max campaign from the video network.

Listing Groups

Within each asset group, you can manually select which products you want to be served up across the Google Shopping network. These listing groups can be segmented by Category, Brand, Item ID, Condition, Product Type, Channel, and Custom Labels. While there is no right or wrong way to set these up, I suggest breaking them down so they align with your themed Asset Group. For example, you may have an Asset Group for Nike and it would make the most logical sense to only include the range of Nike products, especially if you’re using keywords as an audience signal to find your customers.

For those a little more advanced, you can take advantage of using custom labels to get granular with the products that you want to include, such as top sellers, on-sale items or even by a price point. Aligning your products is a key element here, so ensure you spend time looking at how you want to segment these out in comparison to the audience that you will be targeting.

Audience Signals

Creating these signals will guide Google’s machine learning models on the way to better optimize your campaign. One caveat with this is that these campaigns may show ads to audiences outside of these signals if Google’s machine learning indicates that there is a likelihood of attaining a conversion that falls within your goals.

When starting out, it’s always good to have a solid foundation of audience signals in place to get things going. This initial information is going to help your campaign ramp up and optimize performance faster. Whilst having all your products and signals in one group is the simplest way to start, ideally, every audience should get its own asset group and intended audience. These audiences should include:

  1. All website visitors
  2. Competitor terms and website
  3. In-Market with a combination of relevant and “outside-the-box”
  4. Affinity
  5. Customer match list or All converters
  6. Converting keywords
  7. Brand

These are not the specific audiences that you’ll be targeting but the characteristics of those audiences Google will use to find the right customer.

*Top tip – If you’re looking to create a large number of asset groups by combining categories and audience signals, Google Ads Editor is going to be your best friend. Whenever you duplicate an asset group from within the Google interface, the Listing Group defaults back to all products and you’ll need to segment it each time. If it is duplicated in the Google Ads editor, it will retain the original segmentation of the products.

All Done, What’s Next?

Absolutely nothing!

Not quite but you do need to understand that these new campaigns take time to work through the learning process, gathering all the data from your assets and signals, to achieve the goals you have in place. While this doesn’t mean you won’t see some early wins, and you should, it just means you’ll have to be a little more patient. Generally speaking, this can take up to 5-6 weeks from the time you hit the GO button for new campaigns, which for some can be a nervous period. 

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you can walk away and let it do “its thing” for the next few weeks. As they say, a champion team will always beat a team of champions, and this is no different when talking about your Google Ads account. Relying on a single campaign, as many did with Smart Shopping, can be fraught with danger. Whilst Performance Max campaigns utilize all of the advertising networks that Google has to offer, you want to ensure that you’re not missing any opportunities. 

For starters, a Brand campaign.

I suggest running a branded search campaign alongside to ensure that Performance Max is not taking all the glory in sales and converting the low-hanging fruit of those people looking for your business. Although there is hope that it will eventually become available, you’ll still need to speak to your Google rep about adding your brand name, and its derivations, as negative search terms to Performance Max.

Running a standard shopping campaign can also be beneficial, especially if you have core products that need to be front and center with your audience. There is a lot more control, and data to analyze, which can help with improving the overall account, too. The Performance Max campaign will help with “filling in the gaps”, especially with the additional channels it has to market to.

You should also look to run a Dynamic Remarketing campaign. Unlike the previous Smart Shopping that so many were used to running, the remarketing component was far superior, and a dedicated remarketing campaign will give you far more information to review and make decisions.

We live in a media-rich world, where platforms such as Instagram and TikTok rule. The reason they are the kings, or queens, of the social media world is the use of visual creatives. This is no different when it comes to Performance Max campaigns. Make sure you keep a stock of fresh visual images and videos and implement them into newly created themed asset groups for further testing.

But won’t this reset the learning cycle?

Thankfully, it won’t reset the learning phase for the entire campaign, just the newly created asset group. 

Will Performance Max campaigns take traffic/sales from my other campaigns?

The short: it depends. Whilst they are known to “steal” impressions and clicks from other campaigns, there are reasons why. Part of the reason comes down to your ad ranking across all your campaigns. For Search based campaigns, if there is no exact match term in other Search campaigns, then it will be based on the highest ad ranking in your account. When it comes to competing against other YouTube and Discovery campaigns, it’s different again.

To clear up the confusion, here’s a table to give you an idea of which campaign will show:

Campaign #1 Campaign #2 Campaign entered in the auction
Search campaign that matches user query exactly Performance Max Search Campaign
Search campaign that does not match user query exactly Performance Max Campaign w/ higher ad rank
Standard Shopping campaigns Performance Max Shopping Ads on Search/Shopping: Performance MaxShopping Ads on search partners: Performance MaxShopping Ads on Gmail & YouTube: Campaign with higher ad rank
Display campaigns (with no feed) Performance Max Campaign w/ higher ad rank
Display campaigns (with feed) Performance Max Dynamic remarketing: Performance MaxAll other display ads: Campaign w/ higher ad rank
Video campaigns Performance Max Campaign w/ higher ad rank
Discovery campaigns Performance Max Campaign w/ higher ad rank
Local campaigns Performance Max Campaign w/ higher ad rank
ACE campaigns Performance Max Campaign w/ higher ad rank

Conclusion

As you can see, getting started with a Performance Max campaign isn’t as difficult as it may seem, and for those that are either new to Google Ads or crossing over from Smart Shopping, that journey has been made simpler. 

Whilst the above will get you up and running, there is still much that can be done through review and testing, as well as working on accompanying campaigns to complement the performance of your account.

If you’d like to find out how to get the most out of Google Ads for E-commerce, you can contact me at Digital Darts.

The post Your Guide to Winning with Performance Max Campaigns first appeared on PPC Hero.

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Broad Match in Review: Putting Google to the Test

September 19, 2022 No Comments

In the world of digital media – and in paid search in particular – it can feel like we’re always on high alert, waiting to jump on the next product announcement or new beta that will come along and help us to squeeze incremental performance out of our paid marketing budget.

So it’s maybe somewhat counterintuitive that in 2022, the single biggest improvement you can make to your paid search program comes from a product that has been around since the inception of Google AdWords, over 2 decades ago. Broad match is that product.

What Is the Size of the Prize?

From their internal studies, Google suggests that advertisers using smart bidding who adopt broad match see an average conversion increase of 30%, at a similar CPA. The exact figure you hear quoted may vary depending on the exact nature of the test – for instance, if your KPI is conversion value rather than conversions – but broadly speaking, the number you hear won’t deviate too far from this 30% mark.

As an agency, our role is to run our own experiments that either validate or reject these claims from media partners, so that we can present the right solutions to our clients. At Brainlabs we’ve invested heavily in this capability, and our “Hippocampus” database allows us to track the results of all tests that have been run across the agency.

From our extensive recent testing of Broad Match, our experiments uncovered two major findings.

1.  We found convincing evidence corroborating Google’s claims. Whilst falling just short of the 30% figure, the median uplift we recorded was +19%, which is by no means a figure to be scoffed at.

2. Arguably more interestingly, our analysis reminded us just how much can be hidden behind an average. We didn’t just see an impressive median uplift; we also saw broad match deliver successful tests with remarkable consistency. Out of all 54 tests we have on record, broad match emerged as the winning variant on 46 occasions. When you consider the array of external factors that can impact testing in digital media, an 85% success rate is almost unheard of.

But let’s take a step back from the nuances for a moment. Regardless of whether the uplift is 19% or 30%, that’s a number you can’t afford to ignore – especially for a feature that requires almost no effort to implement. And if your budget won’t stretch as far as a 19% increase, the good news is that it doesn’t need to: by enabling broad match and maintaining your current investment, you can instead convert that added value into an improvement towards your CPA or ROAS goals.

If there has ever been a silver bullet in paid advertising, broad match is it.

So How Have We Got Here?

Over the years, broad match has made a bit of a bad name for itself – and it’s easy to see why. It’s not too long ago that the presence of broad match in an account was a surefire indicator of a hands-off approach to management, leading to suboptimal results, and ads being served to users who were really not even close to converting with your product.

As time has passed, the rise of broad match has been the story of gradual & consistent technological progress. Whilst there’s a lot of noise around the topic nowadays, there probably aren’t too many outside of Google’s engineering & leadership teams that could have anticipated just how big a hit it would become more than three years ago.

If there ever was a turning point, it came in February 2021. In one of their flagship announcements of the year, Google told the industry:

Encapsulated in that small print was the fact that there had been a fundamental algorithm shift towards semantic matching, rather than syntactic matching. With this change, broad match ceased being the fire-hose it once was, and became a genuinely viable tool to accurately expand your ad targeting.

The product improvements haven’t stopped there, and today, Google’s vision for broad match continues to reflect a slow burn of updates and performance enhancements:

  1. Utilizing state-of-the-art natural language recognition models
  2. Continual improvements to data quality and infrastructure
  3. Simplified management of broad match
  4. Updates to the keyword prioritization process
  5. Building a joint optimization process across creative, bidding & keyword targeting

Of course, nowadays Google are anything but subtle in the way they talk about broad match with their agencies and advertisers. Recommendations tabs in Google accounts across the World are littered with the call to arms of “upgrade your existing keywords to broad match”, as one of the most consistently highly ranked opportunities.

Despite the bolder approach that Google are now taking in their comms, the steady stream of product changes and refinements will continue, with it being likely that many will go unnoticed for the most part.

When Can Broad Match Go Wrong?

You already know this by now, but auction-time bidding is table stakes in paid search. However, this is never more true than when combined with broad match. If you aren’t using this Google Ads feature to tailor your bids in real-time, then for sure broad match will see you spending a lot of money across a lot of users who each have very little interest in your product right now.

Flipping that logic on its head though, it’s also crucial to appreciate the value that some of those more tenuous-looking queries bring to the table when combined with smart bidding. As humans, we can very easily dip into a search query report, find a handful of questionable examples & overreact: “these queries will almost never convert for us, we need to exclude them!” But as long as there is a non-zero probability of those users converting, then by setting an appropriately low bid you are well justified in serving an ad.

To be clear, we’re not advocating an entirely hands-off approach to search query reports, and you will need to use some element of human judgement. But if performance is your goal, then you really should be trying to give the algorithm as much freedom to optimise as you’re comfortable with.

Another common pitfall is to start focusing on the wrong metrics. The dynamics of your paid search account won’t look the same after adopting broad match – and that’s okay because the numbers you care about will be going in the right direction. All else being equal, a move to broad match should typically see your campaign metrics do something like the below:

it’s true that some of these numbers are in the red, and you can already hear the reaction from the less assured marketers in the room – “Why’re my CTR & conversion rate going down?! Broad match must be driving less qualified traffic!” But the point is, you’ve delivered incremental value and conversions with that additional traffic – and because your bid strategy has paid less for the clicks, there’s not been any adverse impact on your CPA & ROAS.

Finally, there’s an increasing emphasis on being able to steer Google’s automation in the right direction. Remember: an algorithm will optimize single-mindedly towards achieving a conversion goal. So if you haven’t developed a conversion goal that’s sophisticated enough to distinguish your most and least valuable customers, then you should be prepared to see an increase in low-quality customers. Depending on your business, that might mean MQLs that never turn into sales, or it might mean one-off shoppers who never come back for repeat purchases. Sharing first-party conversion data with Google is the solution to offset this trade-off.

In Conclusion

As a matured, world-weary PPC marketer, you’ve every right to have a healthy level of skepticism about broad match. Try to overcome that, and bear in mind the steady progress that has been made in the field of machine learning.

Whilst you’re going through that mindset shift, make sure you stay focused on the objectives of your marketing – and ideally, think about how you can advance these objectives to better target your most valuable customers.

But most of all, make sure you take action – don’t let that 19% uplift pass you by. It’s no exaggeration to say that broad match is at a stage where we’d consider it a fundamental component of your search activity. If it isn’t on your roadmap, assess how you can bring it to the forefront – and get testing today.

The post Broad Match in Review: Putting Google to the Test first appeared on PPC Hero.

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The Pros and Cons of Combining Content Marketing With PPC and How to Pull It Off

September 14, 2022 No Comments

It’s no secret that content marketing and PPC are two of the most important and popular types of digital marketing strategies. But what happens when you combine the two? Is it a match made in heaven, or does it end in disaster? In this post, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of combining content marketing with PPC, and we’ll also offer some tips on how to make it work.

What Does It Mean to Combine Content Marketing With PPC?

As we all know, content marketing is all about creating and distributing valuable, relevant, engaging content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience to drive profitable customer action. Content marketers focus on crafting well-written, compelling, SEO-friendly copy that answers users’ questions and helps boost organic traffic and website authority within a certain niche.

On the other hand, PPC is a paid form of advertising that allows you to place ads on search engines and other websites to drive traffic to your website.

This is nothing new. But what exactly does it mean to combine the two? It means using PPC campaigns to promote highly-valuable and highly-converting content on your website. In other words, you’re using SEO-friendly content to attract organic traffic while also using targeted PPC ads to drive traffic to that same content.

Why Would You Want to Combine PPC and Content Marketing?

There are several reasons why you might want to consider combining content marketing with PPC. The most important are:

1.) High-Quality Content Can Be Better at Converting Than a (Very) Well-Written Ad

It’s common for PPC marketers to focus their attention solely on the quality of their ads and landing pages. While that’s certainly important, it’s not the only thing that matters. If you’re driving traffic just for the sake of a sale and you disregard the reason or intention behind a user typing in a keyword in Google, visitors are likely to catch on quickly. They’ll realize that they won’t find what they’re looking for on your site and click away.

But if you use your PPC ad to drive traffic to valuable content that answers a user’s question, they’re much more likely to stick around. This is great for you because good content is much better at driving conversions and generating leads than other forms of marketing. In fact, marketers who focus their strategies around content marketing report six times higher conversion rates than those who don’t.

But it can sometimes take time for a good piece of content to reach the top of the SERPs. That’s when combining it with a well-targeted PPC campaign can help. Both strategies work together as one: your PPC campaign drives traffic to your content, getting people to interact with your brand and share it with others. This helps boost your content’s ranking. On the other hand, your content is more likely to convert readers than PPC ads alone. So, by driving traffic to your content with your PPC ads, you’re effectively getting more value from your PPC campaign.

2.) Build Trust With Good Content and Boost Your PPC ROI

When users see a PPC ad, they’re generally aware that it’s an advertisement and that the company is trying to sell them something. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that there’s a certain level of distrust there, making people less likely to click on your ad. In the best of cases, an ad does very little to improve the level of trust in your brand from someone who only just found out you exist.

But what if, instead of selling your reader something right off the bat, you direct them to a piece of content that yells, “We know what we’re talking about here!“?

If you take them to content that positions your brand as an authority within your niche, content that offers value and will make your readers keep coming back for more, this can build trust between you and your audience. Nowadays, trust is one of the most important forms of equity a brand can have, as people are more likely to buy from a brand they trust.

It’s a bit of a roundabout way to go about it, but the truth is that driving traffic to valuable content using PPC and building trust with your audience is an effective way to improve conversions and, in turn, the ROI for your PPC campaigns in the long run.

3.) You Can Use PPC to Test Different Types of Content

If you’re not sure what type of content will work best for your target audience, using PPC to test different pieces is a great idea. You can create different ads that link to different types of content and see which ones perform better in terms of engagement, conversion rates, and other important metrics.

This is a great way to fine-tune your content strategy and focus on types of content such as videos, infographics, blog articles, and UGC, which are most likely to resonate with your target audience and lead to conversions.

4.) PPC Can Help You Promote Time-Sensitive Content

If you have time-sensitive content that you want to promote, using PPC is a great way to do it. You can create ads that specifically target people looking for the type of information your content provides and make sure that your ad reaches them at the right time.

This is particularly important in some very dynamic niches like the crypto investment space or the stock market, where a piece of news can make an exchange go ablaze, like what happened in 2021 with the Reddit-GameStop-Robinhood saga. In those cases, getting a good piece of content up in record time can mean the difference between making it big time or missing the wave.

Cons of Combining Content Marketing and PPC Campaigns

PPC can be a great way to drive traffic to your content, but it’s important to remember that it’s not a silver bullet. If you’re not careful, you can waste a lot of money on PPC ads that don’t lead to conversions.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re thinking of using PPC to drive traffic to your content:

1.) PPC Can Make Your Content Marketing Much More Expensive

PPC can be a very effective way to drive traffic to your content, but it’s important to remember that it can also be quite expensive, depending on your niche and the keywords you’re targeting. If you’re not careful, you can easily spend more money on PPC than you’re making in revenue from your content.

Before you start a PPC campaign, it’s essential to do your research and make sure that you understand the costs involved. Otherwise, you could spend a lot of money with little to show for it.

2.) PPC Requires Constant Optimization

If you want to make the most out of your PPC campaigns, you need to optimize them constantly. This means regularly testing new ad copy, keywords, and targeting options to see what works best.

PPC can be a lot of work, which adds on top of the work needed to craft a good piece of content when you combine the two. If you’re not prepared to put in the time and effort required, it’s probably not worth pursuing.

3.) PPC Can Be Disruptive

If you’re not careful, your PPC ads can disrupt the user experience. This is particularly true if you mistakenly target keywords that aren’t a good fit for the content you’re promoting, even if it is topically relevant.

For example, if you’re running a PPC ad for a blog post about “How to make the perfect cup of coffee,” that has the ultimate goal of selling an online course about becoming a barista, but you’re targeting the keyword “coffee beans,” you could end up with a lot of clicks from people who are looking for information about where to source coffee beans, and not how to make a cup of coffee. While the post may still be interesting to them, it may not lead to a good conversion rate.

Tips on How to Combine Content Marketing With PPC Campaigns

As long as you keep an eye on the potential pitfalls, the pros outweigh all the cons of the content marketing-PPC combo. So, how do you actually combine the two? There are plenty of ways to use PPC to drive traffic to your content without breaking the bank or disrupting the user experience. Here are a few tips:

Tip #1: Use PPC to Promote Content Early in Your Content Marketing Strategy

When you first launch a new piece of content, it can be difficult to get it in front of your target audience based solely on organic search results. As we said above, you can use PPC to promote your content in the early stages to give it a boost and help get it in front of more people and up the rankings. Once the post or other type of content starts performing well on its own, you can turn your PPC budget off or direct it to other content.

For example, if you’re promoting a new digital currency exchange in a country like the U.K. through content marketing, you know that it’ll be quite hard to stand out from the competition through organic traffic alone because crypto exchanges are in a very saturated market, even if there are a couple of major players that dominate the crypto scene. This is where combining your content marketing with PPC can prove to be useful, generating traffic to your content and getting Google to notice it more.

Tip #2: Use PPC to A/B Test Two Types of Content Quickly Within a Very Targeted Niche Audience

If you’re not sure which type of content will perform better with a particular target audience, you can use PPC to A/B test two pieces of content quickly. By setting up a well-targeted ad (something PPC marketers are great at) and directing readers alternatively to one content or the other, you’ll be able to acquire very important data regarding your audience. You can then use that information to decide what content to produce more of in the future.

PPC can be a great way to quickly test headlines, types of content, and even calls-to-action to see what performs best with your target audience without waiting for both versions of the content to start performing well.

Tip #3: Use PPC to Drive Traffic to High-Performance Evergreen Content

PPC doesn’t just work to get new posts off the ground; it can be great at capitalizing on your well-performing content as well. If you have a piece of cornerstone content that’s performing well and continues to generate traffic and conversions over time, you can use PPC to give it an extra boost and reach a wider audience. This is a very smart way to make your PPC dollars go as far as possible because this is content that you already know is doing well.

Think about it, if a record company has an artist generating most of their sales and driving most of their ROI, doesn’t it make sense for the record company to promote that artist wherever they can? Of course, this doesn’t mean they’ll abandon the other artists and put all their eggs in one basket, but they’ll certainly be promoting the ones bringing home the bacon a lot more.

For example, suppose you’re running a website that teaches people about personal finance, budgeting, and expense management. These types of websites usually make money by suggesting partner brands and their products to readers through review posts, comparisons, and listicles. But one of the main reasons people visit the website in the first place is to learn something they didn’t know before.

For example, they may be interested in learning about how investing works or about what factors to consider when choosing a good credit card for their business or for personal use. This type of content is always relevant and will always provide value to the reader. You can use these evergreen posts to drive traffic down your sales funnel, so driving more traffic to the evergreen post through PPC will almost always be highly effective.

Tip #4: Use PPC to Remarket Content to People Who Have Visited Your Site Before

PPC isn’t just for getting new people to visit your site; it can be great for getting people who have already visited your site to come back and engage with more of your content. This is called remarketing, and it’s one of the most effective ways to use PPC to improve traffic and conversions.

The way it works is that when someone visits your site, you place a cookie on their browser that will allow you to show them ads for your content when they visit other sites. This is a very effective way to keep your content top-of-mind and get people who have already shown an interest in what you do to come back and engage with more of your content.

The Bottom Line

Content marketing and PPC are two great strategies that can work together to improve traffic and conversions. The key is to use PPC in a way that complements your content marketing strategy, rather than trying to use it as a replacement for content. When used correctly, PPC will improve your content’s overall performance and, in turn, your content’s performance will improve your PPC campaign’s ROI.

The post The Pros and Cons of Combining Content Marketing With PPC and How to Pull It Off first appeared on PPC Hero.

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7 Simple Tips For Creating Instagram Story Ads That Convert

September 10, 2022 No Comments

Instagram stories drive a ton of engagement. People see them at the top of the feed as soon as they log in, and users want to check them out before they vanish in 24 hours. 

You can certainly reach a lot of people by just publishing organic stories – in fact, a third of the most viewed stories are from businesses. But to scale your organic presence, you need to turn to Instagram story ads

So, here are some of my top tips for creating Instagram story ads

Don’t Make It Look Like an Ad

People don’t go on Instagram to look at ads, they go there to see posts from their friends and brands they follow. If you create visuals that obviously look like ads, people will just swipe and move to the next story. 

To prevent people from skipping your ad, make it look like an organic post. 

A proper example is this ad from Huel. 

Source: Huel Instagram Ad

This is an advertisement for an instant mac and cheese that you can just prepare by adding hot water. When most people promote a product like this, they will create an image with a picture of the product, a headline, and a call to action. When people see the image, they spontaneously realize that it is an ad. 

But this ad from Huel is made to look like an organic post by sharing a video on how to prepare the meal. They promote the product, but they do it very subtly. Fewer people will skip it. 

But Still, Get It To Stand Out

It is crucial to create visuals that look less like ads, but it is also important for you to stand out. Creating ads for Instagram is like creating any other type of content. People will cherry-pick and check out the best content. So, think about various angles you can use to grab your audience’s attention. 

A simple way to do this is by using black-and-white videos or images. It’s because most people create visuals in color and those with a black-and-white palette are rare. 

Again, this will mainly depend on what your competition is using. So, before you create your ad, visit your feed and Instagram pages of competitors to see what types of content they create for their organic posts and ads. You can also use Instagram analytics tools to see which of your competitors’ posts generated the most engagement. Then brainstorm ways to stand out. 

Use More Videos

Instagram videos generate 49% more interactions than images. 

Source: quintly

Also, a study from Smaato found that video ads have a 7.5X higher click-through rate than static ads. 

Videos generally do better than images because something moving in the feed naturally attracts more attention. But to get the most out of video ads, you need to create the right content. Here are 4 top tips.

Keep them short: Story ads are naturally short as they can’t exceed 15 seconds. But you should make them even shorter, as a study from Facebook found that 6 seconds ads generate the best results. 

Add subtitles: 92% of people watch videos on mute when using a mobile device. If your ad contains speech, they won’t be able to make sense of it and will skip it. You should add the speech as subtitles to the ad to help them follow along even while on mute. 

This is one of the reasons why you will frequently come across ads that have no speech on Instagram. The captions explain the product while some background music plays. 

Add thumbnails: Instagram users can turn off autoplay when browsing on mobile data. These people will see a thumbnail instead. This is why you should add a thumbnail to all your video ads. 

Create an audience: You can create a custom audience consisting of the people who viewed your story ad. So, before you launch your ad, make sure you set up this audience. You can retarget based on how much of the video they watched. For example, you can create an ad retargeting people who watched your ad till the end while avoiding people who skipped it in the first few seconds. 

For an idea on how to create a simple ad, check out this one from Cerave.

It is just a few seconds long, and you can understand the message the ad is painting without needing any audio. You can see the product in the ad, and the CTA shows you how to get it. 

Many people shy away from creating videos, but they are pretty easy to make, especially for Instagram ads, as they just need to be 6 seconds long. What’s more, there are video editors like Videoleap that make your job easy. 

This easy-to-use mobile app has templates, stickers, filters, effects, and an intuitive editor that makes it possible to transform your product clips into ads that stand out in the feed. 

Position Your Text in the Right Areas

On every story ad, Instagram will display your profile image and company name at the top and a call to action at the bottom. 

It is important to keep these two areas in mind while creating your image or video. You need to place important details such as the text, illustrations, and branding away from these areas. 

Keep It Simple

When it comes to Instagram ads, less is more. This is one of the reasons why 6-second ads perform best. The role of the ad isn’t to generate sales, it is to get people to visit your landing page, which can drive the sale. 

Try to include as few details as you can in your story ad. A headline, a short description, one call to action, a picture or illustration, and some branding (such as your logo) are plenty. When you add too many details, it can make your visuals appear crowded. 

Always focus on one goal at a time. Too many goals can confuse prospects and lead to the paradox of choice.

Always Test Various Creatives and Copy

No matter how much research you do, it is impossible to create the perfect ad on the first attempt. This is why you should create several ad versions. It is best to create at least ten versions of your ad. 

You can start by creating five images and five videos. You should then split-test them for a week or two on a $ 5 to $ 10 a-day budget to see which one generates the best results. You can scale the budget for the one that performs best. You can also create new versions of the winner and conduct more experiments with the visuals and the copy.

Using Predis.ai, it’s easy to build out variants of your creative assets. Just enter a web page URL or a few words, and the AI engine spits out everything you need. Plus, it’s all easy to edit before you export the assets for your ad experiments. 

While measuring ad performance, always track KPIs such as return on ad spend and cost per acquisition, as these will matter the most to your bottom line. Metrics like clicks and impressions matter, but they don’t always directly correlate to the number of sales. 

Accompany With a Mobile Optimized Funnel

Instagram ads only appear on the app. This is why it is essential to ensure your funnel is optimized for mobile devices. 

The ad, of course, needs to be mobile-friendly, but on top of that, other elements, such as the landing page, checkout page, and thank you page, need to look good on mobile devices. 

Now Create Your Instagram Story Ads

Instagram is one of the top platforms for media buying, especially when you want to reach a warm audience with retargeting ads. Both in-feed ads and story ads will provide great results. 

I recommend starting with story ads as the network’s users prefer stories. Also, there’s more space for stories because they take up the whole screen. This allows you to get creative and try out new things. 

Now it’s your turn!

The post 7 Simple Tips For Creating Instagram Story Ads That Convert first appeared on PPC Hero.

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How to Utilize AI in Small Businesses Operations

September 1, 2022 No Comments

In general, when you think of “artificial intelligence,” you might think about robots that mimic humans. But AI is much more than just robotics. The common utilization of AI in small businesses and enterprises is widespread in several business operations, including marketing, sales, human resources, logistics, and so on.

And while you may think that advancement in AI is still far away, there are several platforms that are already utilizing it to deliver better results. 

So, let’s discuss the most popular ways AI can be utilized by small businesses.

Utilization of AI in Small Businesses: A Guide

Businesses can now utilize all kinds of data sets (such as customer demographics, location, buying patterns, and frequently searched keywords, among others) to help simplify and improve their workflows for:

1. Marketing and Sales

Growing your marketing budget is great, but as a small business owner, you must invest in modern tools and tactics to differentiate yourself from the rest and grow your brand.

The key to success in 2022 lies in bringing AI and ML into the marketing mix. 

Here’s how:

Utilization of AI in Email Personalization

Personalizing emails can significantly help increase open and click-through rates. Using AI to create engaging content based on previous customer behavior is one way to accomplish this.

You can personalize email reminders, subject lines, calls-to-action, and product recommendations, and even set up drip campaigns with the utilization of AI.

Dynamic Product Pricing

The utilization of AI to enable dynamic pricing is the latest trend in marketing.

Marketers examine customers’ personal and demand data and inventory discrepancies to determine the individual value proposition a product or service delivers. Using these insights, they decide on the prices.

Uber’s surge pricing is one of the best examples of this approach, where the pricing of the cabs dynamically surges based on demand in a particular region.

Image via Thrillist

Assisting Salespeople

One of the other ways through which small businesses can utilize AI in sales is chatbots. These chatbots can help you engage your website visitors in real-time and help with the lead generation and qualification process.

What’s more?

You can also use chatbots for marketing. They can introduce your visitors to new products or services that you offer and build your brand awareness. 

For instance, the online education platform Udacity was able to significantly boost sales by using AI to recognize certain sets of words and customer conversations that led to sales. Salespeople were then advised to use the appropriate dialogues or directions based on the words identified to improve sales.

2. Customer Service

Small businesses around the world are using AI to track leads in their sales pipeline, so they can properly understand their clients, where they come from, and the direct financial impact of certain marketing initiatives.

AI is also a significant contributor to customer service. Here are the most common applications of AI in customer service:

Appointment Scheduling

Many consultants and businesses rely on customer appointments to drive lead generation and sales.

Despite this, many of them neglect to schedule them at the right intervals. This was already a problem before the advent of technologies like AI to assist in scheduling.

With AI, you can automatically schedule appointments with your customers. You can create scheduling rules beforehand too so that the software can learn the best times for scheduling your calls.

Customer Service Personalization

Gone are the markets where offering products/services were enough to earn customers and revenue. It’s 2022, and customers expect brands to understand their needs and offer products and related services accordingly. The experience of buying from the brand matters equally.

Small businesses can use the power of AI to enhance the customer experience. AI-powered software applications are packed with customer information and communication data, which allows them to personalize the customer service experience.

For instance, small businesses can employ an AI-powered chatbot like Tidio to respond to customer queries. 

Image via Tidio

The chatbot can utilize the customer’s purchase history and brand communication to keep the interaction personalized with the customer. It can also suggest new products based on their preferences.

To help your team understand how to use these solutions, you could use video-making software to create videos for them that explain the process of using these AI-powered solutions for customer service.

3. Human Resource Procurement

The time HR employees spend screening resumes can be significantly lowered by using AI tools, which allow more focused time for applicants who match the company’s requirements or needs.

AI can be used during the interview phase as well as candidate screening to automate communication with applicants, collect information from references, and evaluate performance tasks.

The following are the most common utilizations of AI in human resources:

Candidate Background Checking

Checking the background of a candidate is tedious and time-consuming, but it’s an important activity to ascertain their qualities. 

Using AI, the procedure can be quicker, simpler, and more efficient than the traditional method. AI can also dig deeper into the candidate’s profile to help you discover details that you might not be able to find manually. 

Facilitating Internal Hiring

Hiring from within the company saves both time and money.

These employees are already familiar with the company and can start working immediately, saving you the cost of induction. Internal mobility, therefore, is beneficial to businesses, and recruiters are well aware of this fact.

IBM suggests that an AI-driven internal mobility process is the best way to find talented internal candidates, as it uses data, pattern recognition, and natural language processing to collect information about your employees and their roles. This helps it better ascertain who’s the right fit for another role.

Employee Onboarding

With AI becoming mainstream, organizations are using it to reduce the time and resources required to onboard their new employees, even virtually.

Small businesses can use AI-equipped chatbots to answer employees’ questions about the company and guide them through other crucial aspects of the onboarding procedure to help them settle into their jobs more quickly.

4. Logistics and Supply Chain

Thanks to the powerful optimization capabilities AI provides in supply chains, small businesses can achieve precise capacity planning, higher productivity, lower costs, and higher output.

Here are some use cases of AI in the supply chain:

Demand Forecasting

Future demand, market trends, and other supply chain concerns can be better predicted if small businesses utilize AI to predict them.

Even if you’re already predicting them well, AI can help you further refine those predictions.

Improving Supplier Relationships

With AI-enabled supplier relations management software, small businesses can make supplier selection more consistent and efficient by taking into account factors such as pricing, historical purchase history, sustainability, etc. 

AI can also be used to assess supplier performance so that you can choose the right one. It’s the key to building a reliable supplier relationship as you’d have found a good supplier thanks to AI.

Wrapping Up – Implementation is the Key

It has never been easier to implement AI and similar technologies in small-mid-sized business setups.

With off-the-shelf AI solutions offered at nominal rates, small businesses can reap the benefit of technology to improve operational efficiency and obtain more business.

The post How to Utilize AI in Small Businesses Operations first appeared on PPC Hero.

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