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How a testing model is driving SEAT and CUPRA’s search marketing performance

June 23, 2022 No Comments

“Will we ever be able to put search marketing strategy in the driver’s seat?” This is almost every search marketer’s dilemma as the community continues to remain at the mercy of Google’s algorithms and updates.

SEAT S.A, the Barcelona-based multinational automaker part of the Volkswagen group have innovated a testing model that is driving growth for its brands, SEAT and CUPRA in the European market. While SEAT is the young, cool and urban brand that offers cars with striking designs and several mobility solutions – CUPRA is an unconventional brand, which is defined by its progressive design and the performance of its electrified models.

How a testing model is driving SEAT and CUPRA’s search marketing performance

We spoke with Corinne Calcabrina, Global Media Manager at SEAT S.A, Sophie Santallusia, Global Paid Search and Programmatic Director, and Alejandro Sebastian, Global Search Team Lead at PHD Media Spain to discuss the ‘Performance innovation program’ (SEAT S.A’s testing model) and its value add to the businesses.

A fast-paced industry

Digital is a fast-moving sector and search is always reinventing itself with new formats and everchanging ways to create and manage accounts. The teams at SEAT and CUPRA had several pain points:

1. Staying on-top of all innovations and changes in the industry

“We needed to become first movers who actively capitalize on opportunities that appear. To ensure this our teams needed to take advantage of search space dynamics, apply best practices, and gain a technological and intelligence edge over the competition.”

– Corinne Calcabrina, Global Media Manager at SEAT S.A.

2. Improving visibility of the team’s hard work

“While we were putting all these efforts, we wanted to improve our team’s visibility. While we are busy becoming the best performing channel, always reinventing, working towards results and efficiencies, we often miss the glitter of other channels. Adding an official scope and framework means we get to report and showcase our achievements.”

– Corinne Calcabrina, Global Media Manager, SEAT S.A.

3. Maintaining performance and improving efficiency

“As the best performing channel on a last-click attribution model, we were also facing multiple challenges. The pandemic lockdowns and microchip shortages made search performance improvements a constant, ongoing must-have. This meant decreasing the cost per click (CPC) and improving the cost per acquisition (CPA) were always core reasons to develop such a testing model.”

– Corinne Calcabrina, Global Media Manager, SEAT S.A

Putting testing in the driver seat: The SEAT and CUPRA Performance innovation program

The SEAT S.A testing model, ‘Performance innovation program’ was designed to align with the inherent love for innovation that runs at the core of SEAT and CUPRA brands. The testing model was built centrally to maintain brand focus on the strength of paid search – improving cost efficiencies and accelerating performance.

Corinne and her team at SEAT S.A and their agency, PHD Media reviewed brand strategies for SEAT and CUPRA respectively, their performance, and local needs. They created a framework that provides structure, helps the brands expand their market share, and deliver central visibility on the testing results. They created specific testing roadmaps, based on quarterly goals that align with local markets based on their needs and strategies.

“We then applied our tests, sharing the hypothesis (highlighting results from other markets) of what we hope to achieve and then applying the test into the main strategy.

“We had a clear timeline and roadmap. We always test and learn. This allows us to have a specific position with partners, allowing us to always be part of the alphas and betas, testing new formats, always trying to improve results at the same time”, Corinne shared.

To facilitate consistency the SEAT S.A team organized tests throughout the year pacing one test at a time for an ad group or campaign to maintain efficiency and gain clear observations. The roadmap was created on these factors:

  • Priorities for markets based on the impact and workload
  • Changes that Google makes to ad formats or different features that it sunsets or iterates

The search marketing grand prix: data, automation, and visual optimization

SEAT S.A and PHD Media started differentiating strategies by keyword type and defined them for each ad group. Keywords were segmented based on brand and non-brand search, their role, and their respective KPIs. This data was then used during the auction bidding. Artificial intelligence (AI) was used to segment audiences and target ads that were top of the funnel. Comparative insights from these tests were later fed into the business to inform the direction of strategy.

To improve the click through rate (CTR) and lower CPCs, the SEAT S.A team focused on adding visuals to ads, improving ad-copies, and testing new extensions. They also decreased CPAs by using bid strategies and the system’s AI to get the best of their budgets.

To master their visual impact on audiences SEAT S.A used image extensions for each ad across all their campaigns. Google displayed these images based on multiple factors like clicks, content, and keyword triggers to optimize the best performing ones.

From a data point of view, in Search SEAT S.A used Google Search Ads (SA360) to manage and monitor their Google Ads and Bing Ads respectively. The data sets tracked all the core essentials of paid search:

  • Keyword conversion performance
  • Ad copies
  • Audience data through all the custom bidding options available in SA360

Outcomes

The ‘Performance innovation program’ model has helped SEAT and CUPRA achieve one of their best tests which catalyzed their search performance in terms of the cost per visit (CPV), one of their main KPIs that signaled top of the funnel conversions. The cost per visit (CPV) improved by 30% and cost per acquisition (CPA) improved by 37%.

SEAT S.A (SEAT and CUPRA) are now equipped with new ways to deduce and analyze conversions on a market-to-market basis.

Sharing intelligence across diverse markets

After completing the testing phase, the SEAT S.A team and their global partner PHD Media reported on results and observations. Sharing their learnings and insights with other markets has empowered other teams to benefit from the knowledge and expertise derived from the successful test prototypes. Focusing on components that drive results has allowed the teams spread across to be challenged and has facilitated constant learning while embracing changes and new features. The SEAT and CUPRA teams are now strongly positioned to outperform the competition.

Gearing up for a cookie less future

Going cookie less will bring challenging times and impact the search channel. SEAT and CUPRA plan to counter this with the use of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) to maintain performance and target the right audience. Opening up to new visual formats like Discovery campaigns and MMA/MSAN from Bing will also take an important place within search in the future, as the core of search might evolve with more automation, less granularity and control.

Greater focus on measurement and a privacy-first future

The team is testing ‘consent mode’ with GA4 and ‘enhanced conversion’ to estimate the attrition due to privacy guidelines. They are also focused on identifying and designing a risk contingency plan for the paid search elements that they won’t be able to test in the near future.

“We are testing all the new solutions and features that Google is bringing to the market in terms of privacy and cookie less capabilities. Particularly, our testing is focused on deploying the full suite of Google Analytics 4 (GA4), site-wide tagging, consent mode, and enhanced conversions.

Additionally, we are also testing new audience segments that GA4 allows within a privacy first ecosystem on our paid search campaigns. We are seeing some positive and promising results.”

– Corinne Calcabrina, Global Media Manager at SEAT S.A

SEAT S.A and PHD Media are actively focused on Google solutions for mapping markets and audiences that are privacy compliant and applicable for targeting segments.

They are also working towards gathering and connecting first party data like CRM audiences and customer match solutions.


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The post How a testing model is driving SEAT and CUPRA’s search marketing performance appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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As low-code startups continue to attract VC interest, what’s driving customer demand?

September 15, 2020 No Comments

Investor interest in no-code, low-code apps and services advanced another step this morning with Airtable raising an outsized round. The $ 185 million investment into the popular database-and-spreadsheet service comes as it adds “new low-code and automation features,” per our own reporting.

The round comes after we’ve seen several VCs describe no- and low-code startups as part of their core investing theses, and observed how the same investors appear to be accelerating their investing pace into upstart companies that follow the ethos.


The Exchange explores startups, markets and money. You can read it every morning on Extra Crunch, or get The Exchange newsletter every Saturday.


Undergirding much of the hype around apps that allow users to connect services, mix data sources and commit visual programming is the expectation that businesses will require more customized software than today’s developers will be able to supply. Low-code solutions could limit required developer inputs, while no-code services could obviate some need for developer time altogether. Both no- and low-code solutions could help alleviate the global developer shortage.

But underneath the view that there is a market mismatch between developer supply and demand is the anticipation that businesses will need more apps today than before, and even more in the future. This rising need for more business applications is key to today’s growing divergence between the availability and demand for software engineers.

The issue is something we explored talking with Appian, a public company that provides a low-code service that helps companies build apps.

Today we’re digging a little deeper into the topic, chatting with Mendix CEO Derek Roos. Mendix has reached nine-figure revenues with its low-code platform that helps other companies build apps, meaning that it has good perspective into what the market is actually demanding of itself and its low-code competition.

We want to learn a bit more about why business need so many apps, how COVID-19 has changed the low-code market and if Mendix is accelerating in 2020. If we can get all of that in hand, we’ll be better equipped to understand the growing no- and low-code startup realm.

A growing market

Mendix, based in Boston, raised around $ 38 million in known venture capital across a few rounds, including a $ 25 million Series B back in 2014. In 2018, Mendix partnered up with IBM to bring its service to their cloud, and later sold to Siemens for around $ 700 million the same year.

Mobile – TechCrunch


COVID-19 is driving demand for low-code apps

August 31, 2020 No Comments

Now that the great Y Combinator rush is behind us, we’re returning to a topic many of you really seem to care about: no-code and low-code apps and their development.

We’ve explored the theme a few times recently, once from a venture-capital perspective, and another time building from a chat with the CEO of Claris, an Apple subsidiary and an early proponent of low-code work.

Today we’re adding notes from a call with Appian CEO Matt Calkins that took place yesterday shortly after the company released its most recent earnings report.


The Exchange explores startups, markets and money. You can read it every morning on Extra Crunch, or get The Exchange newsletter every Saturday.


Appian is built on low-code development. Having gone public back in 2017, it is the first low-code IPO we can think of. With its Q2 results reported on August 6, we wanted to dig a bit more into what Calkins is seeing in today’s market so we can better understand what is driving demand for low- and no-code development, specifically, and demand for business apps more generally in 2020.

As you can imagine, COVID-19 and the accelerating digital transformation are going to come up in our notes. But, first, let’s take a look at Appian’s quarter quickly before digging into how its low-code-focused CEO sees the world.

Results, expectations

Appian had a pretty good Q2. The company reported $ 66.8 million in revenue for the three-month period, ahead of market expectations that it would report around $ 61 million, though collected analyst estimates varied. The low-code platform also beat on per-share profit, reporting a $ 0.12 per-share loss after adjustments. Analysts had expected a far worse $ 0.25 per-share deficit.

The period was better than expected, certainly, but it was not a quarter that showed sharp year-over-year growth. There’s a reason for that: Appian is currently shedding professional services revenue (lower-margin, human-powered stuff) for subscription incomes (higher-margin, software-powered stuff). So, as it exchanges one type of revenue for another with total subscription revenue rising a little over 12% in Q2 2020 compared to the year-ago quarter, and professional services revenue falling around 10%, the company’s growth will be slow but the resulting revenue mix improvement is material.

Most importantly, inside of its larger subscription result for the quarter ($ 41.4 million) were its cloud subscription revenues, worth $ 29.6 million for the quarter and up 30% compared to the year-ago period. Summing, the company’s least lucrative revenues are falling as its most lucrative accelerate at the fastest clip of any of its cohorts. That’s what you’d want to see if you are an Appian bull.

Shares in the technology company are up around 45% this year. With that, we can get started.


Enterprise – TechCrunch


How to turn your customer feedback into a driving force for your product

June 19, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Customer reviews are a powerful tool that helps businesses understand what they are doing right and where there’s room for improvement.
  • To efficiently collect client reviews, use multiple channels to encourage users to share their feedback both internally and on third-party platforms.
  • Negative customer feedback is especially precious as, if handled properly, it helps businesses grow and offer better service.
  • Social media can help you build a positive brand image, you just need to engage with people mentioning your brand and start building relationships with influential figures in your field.

Businesses tend to think that it’s better to get no reviews than to get bad ones. We at SE Ranking, have an opposing view – for us, customer feedback is always a blessing, be it positive or negative. We have developed a system of collecting, processing, and responding to user reviews that is beneficial both for us and our customers.

Over the years, we’ve built an engaged and motivated community of clients who help us shape our product. They are not just people who happen to use our platform, but also our consultants, partners, and friends who know that their feedback is always appreciated.

I’m Maria Kazakova, reputation manager at SE Ranking, and in this article, I’ll share our experience of gathering user feedback and using it for the product’s sake. The guide will be especially useful for SaaS products.  

How to encourage users to share their feedback through different channels

Leaving reviews takes time, so normally users don’t rush to your contact us page or review platforms unless they had a remarkably positive or exceptionally poor experience. Our task as a business is to provide users with opportunities to easily share their feedback across different channels. This is how we do it at SE Ranking.

1. On-site communication

We have a live chat widget on our website, where users can ask their questions and get assistance at any time. The chat is available for both our website visitors and customers with the only difference: our clients are asked to rate their experience on a three-point scale when the chat ends. Then our customer success team works with every feedback approaching both happy and disappointed clients. 

When the feedback is negative, our agents’ task is to figure out what went wrong and how we can solve the problem. If the client is happy, we ask them to review our product on a third-party platform. In most cases, they won’t leave a review straight away but will agree to write one sometime later. We add such customers to the list of potential reviewers and later send them a follow-up email once again asking them to leave a review. 

What helps us streamline the whole process is our customer communication software by HelpCrunch. It automatically sends the rate-us chat message I mentioned earlier, it keeps all the chat histories, so we can analyze them when necessary. Finally, it provides us with statistics on the number of highly and poorly-rated chats.

Needless, to say that we strive to keep our satisfaction rate high. Our customer success team’s KPI is getting 98% of positive feedback, and they do their best to deliver outstanding service and reach this goal.

2. Net promoter score survey

SE Ranking users who have no reason to contact our customer service also get a chance to share their feedback. After using SE Ranking for a few weeks every customer is asked to rate their experience on a scale of 1-10 – a window with a survey pops up after a user signs in to the platform. 

NPS survey SE Ranking - Using customer feedback to drive product

If the client is not ready to rate us immediately, they can close the window and get back to the survey at any time by clicking the ‘Rate us” button. It is accessible across the platform and only disappears when a user completes the survey. At the same time, we made the button absolutely unintrusive so that users could keep using the platform without any inconvenience. 

Once a user rates their experience, another window pops up inviting them to leave detailed feedback on how we can further improve our product. Just like with feedbacks we get via chat, we contact every unhappy customer to learn what we can do to provide them with a better experience. Customers who gave us a nine or a ten automatically get an email with a request to review our platform on G2.

3. Wishes

Every year before Christmas holidays we ask our users to make a wish—tell us which new features they want us to add to the platform in the year that comes. 

SEranking wishes animation

We get hundreds of wishes from our customers all over the world which we then carefully analyze. Many customers actually ask for the same things, so we group all the similar ideas and forward them to our CTO who decides which suggestions to take on. And once we have a clear plan to follow, sometime around January we share all the details with our customers committing to fulfill the wishes that made it to our roadmap.

Such an approach is a win-win strategy because through wishes we get to understand what our clients lack the most and users can help us transform the platform in a way that speaks to their needs. We get lots of encouraging comments from users whose wishes were included in our roadmap. These users keep track of our updates become a part of what we call “customer development”—testing new features together with our clients. 

For example, last year we implemented the new reporting system. Interested customers were granted early access to the test version of the new tool. We asked them to share their suggestions and report any possible bugs, and once we polished the tool and followed the customer’s most relevant recommendations, the new version replaced the old one.

4. Review platforms

Often, review platforms are considered to be the most important channel of user feedback. For us, it’s rather secondary. Before users leave comments elsewhere they most like have already shared their opinion with us through live chat, surveys, emails, or wishes. 

However, reviews on third-party platforms work as rumor mills—more people get to know about our product and its advantages. So, for sure, it’s important to keep an eye on the reviews across different platforms and encourage loyal customers to share their feedback.

Keeping track of the reviews

We at SE Ranking monitor over 20 websites where people can write reviews about us. We realize that users can leave reviews at any time with no push from our end. So, even though monitoring all these platforms is a bit time-consuming, we still want to be sure not a single review goes unnoticed.

My recommendation is to pay special attention to Google reviews. They are a part of a company’s Google My Business profile. It can be seen when the business is searched for on Google Maps, but also often makes its way to the brand SERP as a panel to the right of the blue links. For brick and mortar businesses, Google reviews is the primary platform for working with customer feedback. As we are a SaaS product, Google reviews are not as important for us. However, it’s crucial to monitor and answer reviews and questions on Google, so users won’t get a feeling that you ignore your clients. 

SE Ranking Google reviews

Also, keep a close eye on Trustpilot. It is one of the review platforms whose little stars are likely to appear in your brand SERP. 

SE Ranking Trustpilot reviews

The good and, at the same time, the bad thing about Trustpilot is that there’s no moderation procedure. Nobody checks where the reviews come from, so anybody can write anything about your product here including sneaky competitors trying to manipulate your rating. On the other hand, users find it easy to leave feedback here, so you may get plenty of “organic” reviews.

Encouraging users to leave reviews

When asking your users to share their feedback, you can’t embrace every platform where your business has a profile. To get tangible results, you have to choose one platform to focus on along with one or two supplementary review websites.

Important note: Don’t offer users to leave a review on several platforms at once. If you ask them to “write a review on G2, Capterra, Trustpilot, or Google”, you’ll probably get none. Pick one platform to focus on (we’ve chosen G2). Over time, you can approach the same users and ask them to leave another review on a different platform (on Capterra in our case). 

Just like Trustpilot, G2, and Capterra ratings often make their way to the brand SERPs. But the reason that made us choose these two platforms is their excellent reputation.

G2

Unlike Trustpilot, G2 has a complex moderation system in place: every profile needs to be validated and it takes up to a week for a review to be approved and published. To leave a review a user has to spend up to 40 minutes answering 30 questions and sharing detailed feedback. Naturally, such a complex process puts off some customers but this is what makes every review so valuable and the platform so reputable. 

So how one can convince clients to review their product on G2?

  • First of all, provide a service that is worth talking about. 
  • Second, use both manual and automated ways of collecting reviews.

I’ve already mentioned how we collect reviews automatically—we target users who shared their feedback in the live chat or through the NPS survey. If a user is happy with your product, or if they were unhappy with it but you solved their problems, they will most likely be up for writing a review for you. Besides, we collect reviews manually by emailing our most loyal customers. 

Such an approach has proved efficient as we’ve managed to collect over 500 G2 reviews. Thanks to the amazing feedback of our happy customers, SE Ranking was named the second-best SEO Software among 66 other tools listed. Besides, we were listed among the 50 best software solutions in line with HubSpot, Zoom, and Grammarly.  

The big advantage of G2 is that it asks users whether we can use their review elsewhere. This means that we can use G2 reviews on our website without spending time on gathering new ones. 

Capterra

Capterra is another reputable review platform that also has a complex moderation procedure. Among others, they verify the reviewer’s identity, check if they are in any way affiliated with the product or on the contrary work for the competitors. For this platform, we only encourage users to leave a review manually. For example, if a user has already shared their feedback on G2 Crowd, we ask them to share one on Capterra as well. Naturally, some users review us on Capterra out of their own initiative. 

How we work with negative feedback

We insist that negative reviews are very important for brand self-reflection. 

Most of the time, users write such reviews on the spur of the moment, after having a short unpleasant episode with your product or your staff. 

However, sometimes, even a loyal customer with long-lasting relationships with you can still be unsatisfied with some aspects of your work. Negative feedback from such clients shows that you’ve been doing something wrong systematically, so they should be treated as a signal to start fixing things up immediately.

It also happens that users rate you badly by mistake. A misclick can result in a negative review—an actual case we had with our NPS survey.

Misclick bad review

In any case, you should reach out to the clients, figure out what the problem was, and make things right. 

  • First, thank them for sharing their feedback and letting you know that something was off. 
  • Second, say that whatever is the reason for their negative impression, you are sorry for that and ready to make up for it. 
  • Third, try to figure out what exactly went wrong and how you can help to remedy the situation. At this stage, we can offer our users a demo session, extended trial access, or a prolonged subscription. 
  • Finally, if you solved the problem and you feel that the user is happy with your efforts, ask them to change the review.

You shouldn’t really care too much about the bad review themselves, but you should feel concerned about providing poor service. Your task here is to do your best to turn the negative experience a user had with your brand into a positive one.

How to build your reputation through monitoring mentions and working with influencers

In addition to internal feedback and review on third-party platforms, we also track our brand mentions as they have a tremendous impact on business online reputation.

Social media brand mentions 

People often use social media to share their experiences and exchange recommendations, so we track all social media mentions of our brand to be able to engage with our audience. It helps us build a positive image in social networks. 

We have configured Awario to send daily notifications to our “Brand mentions Chat”. Our outreach managers and customer success team try to respond to every post either offering a solution to a problem or simply leaving a thank-you message.

We have Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn public pages that people tag when mentioning us. 

customer feedback can be through social media and response example

On top of that, we have a special private community on Facebook, where our users seek advice and share their feedback about our tools and marketing activities. We go through every message, and depending on the nature of a post, it can be answered by our support managers, SMM specialists, content, or tech team members. 

Working with influencers 

Every now and then SEO specialists and marketers publish reviews of our platform. 

Such reviews are especially valuable for two reasons. First, as they are written by the experts in our field such reviews can give us precious insights into the capabilities of our tools. On the other hand, these professionals usually have an audience of people working in the same industry. So, if an influencer recommends our service, lots of potential customers get to know about our platform. 

Expert reviews come in all shapes and sizes: blog articles, YouTube videos, social media posts, and other forms of content. We tend to share them on our social pages—provided that they are positive :). We also normally reward reviewers with discounts, presents, or by promoting their blogs to our community.

Most of the reviews come organically, however, it’s always a good idea to boost this process. 

To find influencers who could review SE Ranking we use two approaches: 

  1. We find experts with a large following among our clients and ask them to review the platform; 
  2. We find influencers in the field of SEO, offer them an extended trial, run a demo and guide them around our platform. Then, we ask them to share their opinion about the platform. 

If you are a happy customer of any business, leave a review

I’d like to round up this post by addressing the clients of any businesses. 

Choose to be an active, contributing client.

Reach out to the support team of the company that you have any trouble with. Don’t hesitate to complain—it helps businesses get better.

If there are some online services or products you use daily—share your feedback through any channel you find convenient. Your review can be a decisive factor for someone trying to make the right choice. 

We at SE Ranking are thankful for every review and mention from our clients, as we strongly believe that review culture is a driving force that helps businesses grow and provide an outstanding user experience.

Maria Kazakova is the Reputation Manager at SE Ranking.

The post How to turn your customer feedback into a driving force for your product appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Driving conversions: No other method is more effective than video marketing

April 18, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • According to Magisto, 60% of businesses already spend more than a quarter of their marketing budget on video.
  • Animoto states that 60% of consumers who buy from a brand say they discovered it on social media.
  • Marketers have some common misconceptions that creating videos is too time-consuming, expensive, or complex. Fortunately, none of these assumptions is true.
  • You can create effective marketing videos at virtually the expense of nothing thanks to modern technology and often in lesser time than, writing a blog post or designing an infographic.
  • Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and other social channels are gradually optimizing for video, and you’d be wise to follow suit.
  • Hope Horner, CEO of Lemonlight Video Production guides you through the what, how, and everything related to video marketing.
  • Dive in for a clear segmentation of goals and corresponding types of videos, great examples from Casper, Bumble, and more.

As modern consumers start to favour video over other forms of content, more companies allocate their media budgets accordingly. According to Magisto, 60% of businesses already spend more than a quarter of their marketing budget on video.

But how, exactly, is that money used?

How Casper crushes video marketing

The mattress company, Casper, uses its budget wisely (and effectively). For one, the company crushes video marketing on Twitter: It often shares videos of dogs enjoying its beds and, unsurprisingly, followers can’t get enough. Not only does Casper create and share its own videos — like this cute “ode to bedhead” clip — but it also shares user-generated content, which is a great way to build brand affinity.

Casper’s videos aren’t usually direct sales pitches. They don’t include calls to action that prompt viewers to buy a mattress. However, a dog happily snoozing on a bed featuring the Casper logo does frame the product nicely. And if it’s viewers truly retain 95% of messages received through video, that image will stick.

Why video marketing works

Real results

Dynamic content will always be more enticing than a static image or wall of text, so why do some companies continue to avoid video as a marketing tool? Often, they’re held back by common misconceptions that many marketers have prior to exploring the medium — namely that creating videos is too time-consuming, expensive, or complex.

Fortunately, none of these assumptions is true. You can create effective marketing videos at virtually the expense of nothing thanks to modern technology (and often in less time than, say, writing a blog post or designing an infographic).

So where do you start?

As with any piece of content, each video you create should align with a particular goal. Here are a few to give you a clear skeleton – If you’re trying to:

  1. Reach a new audience segment: Consider creating an awareness-stage video that introduces viewers to your brand for the first time.
  2. Drive engagement among your existing audiences: Create a consideration-stage video.
  3. Sell, sell, sell: Create a decision-stage video that demonstrates why your product or service is better than a competitor’s.

These aren’t the only use cases. Internal videos can be great for motivating employees or onboarding new hires. You can also create videos that reinforce customer loyalty post-purchase, either by entertaining and delighting new customers or educating them so they get the most out of your product. Moreover, as Casper and others demonstrate, video is an integral part of a strong social media strategy.

The social element

Social media advertising works — and it’s becoming even more effective. According to Animoto, 24% of consumers buy more today than they did last year due to social media ads. Social media is more than a sales channel, it’s also an incredible platform for building brand awareness. In fact, the same study discovered that 60% of consumers who buy from a brand say they discovered it on social media.

If awareness is your goal, social media and video make the perfect match. The latter is a great way to deliver messaging about what makes your brand unique, as it increases the likelihood that consumers think of you when it’s time to make a purchase. Plus, social media is all about sharing content. A whopping 92% of users report sharing videos on social platforms (and that’s just mobile users), meaning there’s no limit to the exposure your video can earn overtime.

Social videos are also great for prompting repeat purchases among existing customers. If you can build a network of followers and consistently engage them with quality content, you’ll create a unique customer experience that allows you to rise above the competition.

Social media companies know that video earns engagement, which is why many social algorithms prioritize video over other forms of content. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and other social channels are gradually optimizing for video, and you’d be wise to follow suit.

Wondering how to do this?

Here are three tips for marketers who haven’t yet discovered everything this medium has to offer:

1. Try it out. What have you got to lose?

If you’re a novice to video marketing, even just thinking about where to start might be a little intimidating. But don’t stress. You don’t have to dive right into the deep end and create content that rivals a Super Bowl commercial. You can film yourself (in your own space with no fancy equipment) and still deliver a video that accomplishes more than text or image could.

Consider Bumble as an example

The dating app created the popular “Life at Bumble” video series that it shares via Instagram Stories. The clips are by no means professional quality, but that’s not the point. The point is that Bumble offers an authentic, engaging view of the company from an insider’s perspective, which strengthens Bumble’s brand as an employer and spreads awareness.

Remember that video content isn’t just used for paid media. Posting a simple “about us” video on your social channels and website gives you an owned asset that can be repurposed and refined over time. Add it to your email signature or a campaign landing page, and tell your brand story to the people who most want to hear it  – which leads us to our next tip!

2. Incorporate video into existing content.

If you already have a successful blog or popular website, think about whether it makes sense to supplement that content with video. When my company added a video to one of our pages that shared information about video marketing, it boosted our SEO efforts significantly. The page now ranks in the fourth or fifth slot on Google for a number of search terms that are critical to our business.

Owned media — such as your website content, blog, and social channels — is the primary source of information about your company as well as an important SEO tool. Whenever you add video to an existing piece of content, make sure it aligns with the voice and messaging projected in that content. Also, try to capitalize on positive feedback your content receives by highlighting it on social channels and in future content pieces.

3. Invite users to share their own content

User-generated content can be a valuable source of earned media and accomplish all the same things your owned media can. Pampers, perhaps surprisingly, was ahead of its time when it came to harnessing the power of earned media. Back in 2013, the diaper company encouraged users to submit baby footage via Facebook. Then, they created this incredibly cute video using curated customer content. Through this, Pampers built a sense of community and trust around its brand.

There tends to be a perception that videos are more shareable than other content types, probably because people (correctly) assume watching a short video will require less time and energy than reading an article or consuming media in other ways. Video content is also generally viewed as more entertaining than other content types, which further increases shareability. Perhaps most importantly, a video marketing strategy that includes user-generated content builds trust in a time when viewers increasingly demand more authenticity from brands.

To fully harness the power of social sharing and earned media, you’ll need a plan. Create a content calendar that includes a posting schedule and regularly share your video content from both your corporate and personal social accounts. Then, ask your friends, family, and professional contacts to do the same. Returns on video marketing are cumulative, so don’t worry if you don’t see the results you want after sharing just one video. Continue to refine your approach based on viewer feedback and engagement, and you’ll become a video pro sooner than you think.

Hope Horner is CEO and founder of Lemonlight Video Production, a company that produces branded video content at scale. Hope is a three-time entrepreneur who has been featured in Inc., Entrepreneur, Forbes, and other publications highlighting her successes in the Silicon Beach community over the past decade.

The post Driving conversions: No other method is more effective than video marketing appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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From SEO to CMO: Self driving technology and the path to C-Suite

September 30, 2019 No Comments

There is an incredibly exciting trend happening in the SEO community where more and more marketers are taking on more responsibility across multiple facets of digital marketing.

As digital marketing develops more nuanced and targeted execution, marketers see ways to diversify their skillsets and impacts on their organizations.

For search marketers, there has never been a better time to take advantage. According to BrightEdge data from CEO Jim Yu, more SEOs are taking on broader roles and having a bigger impact  – with 51 percent of customers expanding the role of SEO across all digital marketing and 23% become CMOs in recent years.

Last week at Share19, hundreds of digital marketers, SEOs, and content strategists gathered to collaborate towards a common goal – to driving growth and revenue to their businesses and progress their SEO and digital marketing careers. Attendees learned new and advanced techniques for keyword research, learned about the career journeys of chief marketing officers at Fortune 500 brands and were the first to hear the big news that BrightEdge is releasing technology that literally puts SEO on autopilot.

Self-driving SEO: Impossible or possible?

As marketers, we all get frustrated with lack of resources — not having enough time and people to have the impact we want. No doubt, right now you are competing for resources and fighting with barriers to communication with your web dev team, your IT team, and your paid search team. Doing the same thing day in and day out can get mundane – especially for those with a bias towards the creative.

Last year alone Google did 3,234 launches, 595,429 search quality tests, 44,155 side-by-side experiments, and 15,096 live traffic experiments. Simply, keeping up to date with change is a task unto itself. Add to that day-to-day content issues, broken links, algorithmic changes, and mobile issues, and you can see why sometimes progress is elusive.

What if it were possible for some parts of your SEO to run on autopilot? Just imagine if all those repetitive yet necessary tasks that are integral to SEO could be running in the background, freeing you up to focus on higher-impact initiatives?

With an average of  53.5% of website traffic coming from organic search, it is clear that there is a huge opportunity for marketers to automate and optimize their most important marketing channels with speed, precision, and scale.

Last week BrightEdge Autopilot was announced to tackle just that and automate SEO tasks so that they don’t require a human touch. Made possible through a series of technology investments and the recent acquisition of mobile technology developed by Trilibis, marketers can now auto-optimize mobile and fully automate the most critical and time-consuming of SEO tasks.

Within six months of deployment, over 1,000 brands are now using BrightEdge Autopilot to power Self-driving SEO.

Intelligent automation: Performance and scale

So, automation takes our jobs away right? This is a comment and objection we hear not just in this space but across the industry. Sure, if you are happy doing the same things day in and day out and have no desire to get the best results for you and your customer then fine, automation may not be for you.

For those who see the opportunity to spend more time on higher-level work, automation is here to help marketers do more with less and execute more quickly. Routine SEO and content tasks can be implemented with little effort, allowing you to focus on high-impact activities and accomplish more personal and professional objectives. In order to progress in a predominantly technically oriented space, you have to embrace technology.

Automated grammar and spelling checks may have eliminated a few proofreading jobs, but it improved the accuracy and quality of documents and allowed writers to invest more time in the research and articulation of their ideas. Assisted driving automation helps keep you safer on the roads and likewise, automated SEO keeps your site and content safer for Google and makes it more easily discoverable by your audience.

According to Yu, BrightEdge Autopilot technology is already delivering on automation performance promises with:

  • 60% increase in page views per visits​
  • 21% more keywords on page one rankings​
  • 2x increase in conversions​
  • PPC channel impact – 28% improvement in the “Ad Quality Score”​

Campbell’s Global SEO Manager, Amanda Ciktor was able to share the impact of automation with BrightEdge Autopilot showcasing a 204% traffic lift year-over-year.

With one day of implementation work Amanda and her team were able to compress 75,000 images and within a few weeks saw:

  • Move 4,000 keywords to page one
  • Improve faster mobile page load speed for 35% of pages
  • Improve overall load time by five seconds

In fact, brands across numerous industry verticals have seen dramatic performance improvement with up to 65%.

SEO and the CMO

According to Gartner’s CMO survey, SEO is one of the four digital workhorses that account for 25% of marketing investments. And, by 2023 autonomous marketing systems will issue 55% of multichannel marketing messages based on marketer criteria and real-time consumer behavior, resulting in a predicted 25% increase in response rates.

SEO, Automation, and the CMO were three themes that stood out at the launch of BrightEdge Autopilot at Share19 last week. The finale of the event was a roundtable discussion featuring marketing luminaries, including Kelly Hopping, Chief Marketing Officer for Gartner Digital Markets, Lauren Fyrefield, Chief Marketing Officer for WorldStrides and Armin Molavi, Vice President of Global Media Strategy of Hilton Brands.

As the CMO role becomes more results-focused and data-driven, we have seen a change in the skillset and perspective from one that is more brand and positioning-oriented to one that is more technical and technology stack-oriented. This draws on the natural skills SEOs use in generating profitable organic traffic. The problem for SEOs is that they can get buried in tactical execution. Automation allows them to free up time for planning, strategy, and relationship building that will help elevate their visibility and consideration for advancement.

From listening to everyone on the panel it was clear that was a linear progression path to the CMO position developing. A commitment to

1. Embracing technology innovation

2. Drives growth and revenue

3. Fuels digital career growth

As one CMO panelist put it “we are constantly looking at ways to get smarter, automate and scale. We manage everything in-house so if we are not automating, getting smarter then we can’t scale.”

Automation is definitely helping marketers, and especially those who want to unleash more creativity and, who knows, become the next CMO or CDO.

The underlying theme is to pursue opportunities and leverage technology to help you do that.

Andy Betts is a chief marketer, consultant, and digital hybrid with more than 20 years of experience in digital, technology and marketing working across London, Europe, New York, and San Francisco. He can be found on twitter @andybetts1.

The post From SEO to CMO: Self driving technology and the path to C-Suite appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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