Tag Archive | "Marketing"

SearchCap: The open marketing cloud, Bing improves web crawler efficiency, more

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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17 Tips on Creating Thoughtful Marketing Your Audience Will Love You For

Some people talk about “ethical marketing” and “effective marketing” like they’re two different things. But that’s just silly. This week’s…

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How to Create a Local Marketing Results Dashboard in Google Data Studio – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by DiTomaso

Showing clients that you’re making them money is one of the most important things you can communicate to them, but it’s tough to know how to present your results in a way they can easily understand. That’s where Google Data Studio comes in. In this week’s edition of Whiteboard Friday, our friend Dana DiTomaso shares how to create a client-friendly local marketing results dashboard in Google Data Studio from start to finish.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Hi, Moz fans. My name is Dana DiTomaso. I’m President and partner of Kick Point. We’re a digital marketing agency way up in the frozen north of Edmonton, Alberta. We work with a lot of local businesses, both in Edmonton and around the world, and small local businesses usually have the same questions when it comes to reporting.

Are we making money?

What I’m going to share with you today is our local marketing dashboard that we share with clients. We build this in Google Data Studio because we love Google Data Studio. If you haven’t watched my Whiteboard Friday yet on how to do formulas in Google Data Studio, I recommend you hit Pause right now, go back and watch that, and then come back to this because I am going to talk about what happened there a little bit in this video.

The Google Data Studio dashboard

This is a Google Data Studio dashboard which I’ve tried to represent in the medium of whiteboard as best as I could. Picture it being a little bit better design than my left-handedness can represent on a whiteboard, but you get the idea. Every local business wants to know, “Are we making money?” This is the big thing that people care about, and really every business cares about making money. Even charities, for example: money is important obviously because that’s what keeps the lights on, but there’s also perhaps a mission that they have.

But they still want to know: Are people filling out our donation form? Are people contacting us? These are important things for every business, organization, not-for-profit, whatever to understand and know. What we’ve tried to do in this dashboard is really boil it down to the absolute basics, one thing you can look at, see a couple of data points, know whether things are good or things are bad.

Are people contacting you?

Let’s start with this up here. The first thing is: Are people contacting you? Now you can break this out into separate columns. You can do phone calls and emails for example. Some of our clients prefer that. Some clients just want one mashed up number. So we’ll take the number of calls that people are getting.

If you’re using a call tracking tool, such as CallRail, you can import this in here. Emails, for example, or forms, just add it all together and then you have one single number of the number of times people contacted you. Usually this is a way bigger number than people think it is, which is also kind of cool.

Are people taking the action you want them to take?

The next thing is: Are people doing the thing that you want them to do? This is really going to decide on what’s meaningful to the client.

For example, if you have a client, again thinking about a charity, how many people filled out your donation form, your online donation form? For a psychologist client of ours, how many people booked an appointment? For a client of ours who offers property management, how many people booked a viewing of a property? What is the thing you want them to do? If they have online e-commerce, for example, then maybe this is how many sales did you have.

Maybe this will be two different things — people walking into the store versus sales. We’ve also represented in this field if a person has a people counter in their store, then we would pull that people counter data into here. Usually we can get the people counter data in a Google sheet and then we can pull it into Data Studio. It’s not the prettiest thing in the world, but it certainly represents all their data in one place, which is really the whole point of why we do these dashboards.

Where did visitors com from, and where are your customers coming from?

People contacting you, people doing the thing you want them to do, those are the two major metrics. Then we do have a little bit deeper further down. On this side here we start with: Where did visitors come from, and where are your customers coming from? Because they’re really two different things, right? Not every visitor to the website is going to become a customer. We all know that. No one has a 100% conversion rate, and if you do, you should just retire.

Filling out the dashboard

We really need to differentiate between the two. In this case we’re looking at channel, and there probably is a better word for channel. We’re always trying to think about, “What would clients call this?” But I feel like clients are kind of aware of the word “channel” and that’s how they’re getting there. But then the next column, by default this would be called users or sessions. Both of those are kind of cruddy. You can rename fields in Data Studio, and we can call this the number of people, for example, because that’s what it is.

Then you would use the users as the metric, and you would just call it number of people instead of users, because personally I hate the word “users.” It really boils down the humanity of a person to a user metric. Users are terrible. Call them people or visitors at least. Then unfortunately, in Data Studio, when you do a comparison field, you cannot rename and call it comparison. It does this nice percentage delta, which I hate.

It’s just like a programmer clearly came up with this. But for now, we have to deal with it. Although by the time this video comes out, maybe it will be something better, and then I can go back and correct myself in the comments. But for now it’s percentage delta. Then goal percentage and then again delta. They can sort by any of these columns in Data Studio, and it’s real live data.

Put a time period on this, and people can pick whatever time period they want and then they can look at this data as much as they want, which is delightful. If you’re not delivering great results, it may be a little terrifying for you, but really you shouldn’t be hiding that anyway, right? Like if things aren’t going well, be honest about it. That’s another talk for another time. But start with this kind of chart. Then on the other side, are you showing up on Google Maps?

We use the Supermetrics Google My Business plug-in to grab this kind of information. We hook it into the customer’s Google Maps account. Then we’re looking at branded searches and unbranded searches and how many times they came up in the map pack. Usually we’ll have a little explanation here. This is how many times you came up in the map pack and search results as well as Google Maps searches, because it’s all mashed in together.

Then what happens when they find you? So number of direction requests, number of website visits, number of phone calls. Now the tricky thing is phone calls here may be captured in phone calls here. You may not want to add these two pieces of data or just keep this off on its own separately, depending upon how your setup is. You could be using a tracking number, for example, in your Google My Business listing and that therefore would be captured up here.

Really just try to be honest about where that data comes from instead of double counting. You don’t want to have that happen. The last thing is if a client has messages set up, then you can pull that message information as well.

Tell your clients what to do

Then at the very bottom of the report we have a couple of columns, and usually this is a longer chart and this is shorter, so we have room down here to do this. Obviously, my drawing skills are not as good as as aligning things in Data Studio, so forgive me.

But we tell them what to do. Usually when we work with local clients, they can’t necessarily afford a monthly retainer to do stuff for clients forever. Instead, we tell them, “Here’s what you have to do this month.Here’s what you have to do next month. Hey, did you remember you’re supposed to be blogging?” That sort of thing. Just put it in here, because clients are looking at results, but they often forget the things that may get them those results. This is a really nice reminder of if you’re not happy with these numbers, maybe you should do these things.

Tell your clients how to use the report

Then the next thing is how to use. This is a good reference because if they only open it say once every couple months, they probably have forgotten how to do the stuff in this report or even things like up at the top make sure to set the time period for example. This is a good reminder of how to do that as well.

Because the report is totally editable by you at any time, you can always go in and change stuff later, and because the client can view the report at any time, they have a dashboard that is extremely useful to them and they don’t need to bug you every single time they want to see a report. It saves you time and money. It saves them time and money. Everybody is happy. Everybody is saving money. I really recommend setting up a really simple dashboard like this for your clients, and I bet you they’ll be impressed.

Thanks so much.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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Emotional Marketing: How to be a killer marketer and have a clean conscience

How businesses are achieving significant conversions by shifting to an emotional, customer-first marketing strategy. Research shows that the ultimate reason many people buy is …
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How to Define Buyer Persona for More Successful Marketing

Do you really know who your customers are? You might believe your product is popular among millennials when in reality your main consumers are 50-year-old housewives. Not knowing who buys your products will lead to disappointed consumers and an ineffective marketing strategy.

Unfortunately, a lot of companies do not understand what their customers want and need. In one survey, Brandshare discovered that more than half of 11,000 of respondents who took part in one brand engagement activity felt companies don’t do enough to find out about their needs.

This disconnect with consumers can have dire consequences. Another study showed that a lot of consumers have “broken up” with their favorite brand because of irrelevant or poor marketing messages. One way to avoid such a disaster is to have a buyer persona.

What is Buyer Persona?

Buyer personas are generalized, fictional representations of a brand’s ideal customers. Also known as marketing personas, they help companies understand the customer they’re trying to attract and relate to them as real people.

A buyer persona helps all aspects of your business. It is essential in developing a solid marketing strategy and coming up with relevant content. It also helps in product design and development, the follow-up of sales leads, client acquisition and retention, and improvement of customer service.

But do not think of a buyer persona as a simple profile or you’ll end up with too many personas and not enough information to devise a marketing strategy.

Why is Knowing Buyer Persona Important?

Buyer personas are important because they can help brands understand their customers and prospective clients. Once you have nailed your brand’s buyer persona, you will have crucial insights into what your customers think about your business and how they feel about conducting it with you.

These details will assist you in aligning your content, product development, messaging, and services to that of your customer’s needs and expectations. For instance, you know your target market are millennials, but what are the specific interests and requirements of your ideal customer? Are they looking for a product that will last them for years or do they expect to buy a similar item again in a few months?

However, you’ll have to develop a detailed buyer persona to really understand your customers and their needs,

How to Identify Different Types of Buyers

The strongest and most reliable buyer personas are created using a combination of market research, insight, and information gathered from your actual client base.

Here are some ways to extract this information and define your buyer’s persona.

1. Start by Asking the Right Questions

Developing an accurate buyer persona starts by asking the right questions. Coming up with relevant questions will guide you in your quest. For instance, you want to ask current and prospective clients about the features they care about, their everyday concerns and responsibilities, or the position they hold in their organization.

Use surveys, in-person or phone interviews, or web surveys to get answers. The information you generate can then be utilized to evaluate the characteristics and traits of particular markets and buyers that you have successfully closed deals with. By identifying common elements, you can start plotting out possible buyer personas.

2. Utilize Site Analytics

Make good use of analytic tools like Google Analytics to generate data. Your site’s analytics will show you the search words visitors used to discover your site, where they came from, and how long they were on your web page. This data can be used to create good buyer personas as it shows the keywords that led prospects to your site and the platforms and devices they used. You can then harness this information to plot your marketing plan more strategically.

3. Expand Your Research

Developing your buyer persona would sometimes require you to go beyond what information sales and marketing experts can supply. You might have to expand your research and look into other areas. For instance, you can check the LinkedIn profile of a previous customer or the company website of a recent associate. A social network profile will give you information about a person’s career background and skill set while a company page can tell you about the business’ size, values, and motivators.

4. Focus on Creating an Ideal Primary Persona

When it comes to buyer persona development, the best practice is to limit it to four main personas at most. Think of these primary personas as the clients responsible for starting or approving a purchase. They are your point of contact during the entire sales process.

5. Develop a Persona Template

Once data has been collated, analytics checked, and insights gained, it’s time to develop a buyer persona template. Make sure that your template has a persona name, job title, demographics, goals and values, proposed pitch and marketing message. Try to bring your persona to life as it will help humanize your marketing and sales efforts.

Buyer personas are a critical tool that companies should take advantage of. They can give brands insights into how to improve user experience, develop compelling copy, or come up with good pricing models.

[Featured image via Pixabay]

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The Long-Term Link Acquisition Value of Content Marketing

Posted by KristinTynski

Recently, new internal analysis of our work here at Fractl has yielded a fascinating finding:

Content marketing that generates mainstream press is likely 2X as effective as originally thought. Additionally, the long-term ROI is potentially many times higher than previously reported.

I’ll caveat that by saying this applies only to content that can generate mainstream press attention. At Fractl, this is our primary focus as a content marketing agency. Our team, our process, and our research are all structured around figuring out ways to maximize the newsworthiness and promotional success of the content we create on behalf of our clients.

Though data-driven content marketing paired with digital PR is on the rise, there is still a general lack of understanding around the long-term value of any individual content execution. In this exploration, we sought to answer the question: What link value does a successful campaign drive over the long term? What we found was surprising and strongly reiterated our conviction that this style of data-driven content and digital PR yields some of the highest possible ROI for link building and SEO.

To better understand this full value, we wanted to look at the long-term accumulation of the two types of links on which we report:

  1. Direct links from publishers to our client’s content on their domain
  2. Secondary links that link to the story the publisher wrote about our client’s content

While direct links are most important, secondary links often provide significant additional pass-through authority and can often be reclaimed through additional outreach and converted into direct do-follow links (something we have a team dedicated to doing at Fractl).

Below is a visualization of the way our content promotion process works:

So how exactly do direct links and secondary links accumulate over time?

To understand this, we did a full audit of four successful campaigns from 2015 and 2016 through today. Having a few years of aggregation gave us an initial benchmark for how links accumulate over time for general interest content that is relatively evergreen.

We profiled four campaigns:

The first view we looked at was direct links, or links pointing directly to the client blog posts hosting the content we’ve created on their behalf.

There is a good deal of variability between campaigns, but we see a few interesting general trends that show up in all of the examples in the rest of this article:

  1. Both direct and secondary links will accumulate in a few predictable ways:
    1. A large initial spike with a smooth decline
    2. A buildup to a large spike with a smooth decline
    3. Multiple spikes of varying size
  2. Roughly 50% of the total volume of links that will be built will accumulate in the first 30 days. The other 50% will accumulate over the following two years and beyond.
  3. A small subset of direct links will generate their own large spikes of secondary links.

We’ll now take a look at some specific results. Let’s start by looking at direct links (pickups that link directly back to our client’s site or landing page).

The typical result: A large initial spike with consistent accumulation over time

This campaign, featuring artistic imaginings of what bodies in video games might look like with normal BMI/body sizes, shows the most typical pattern we witnessed, with a very large initial spike and a relatively smooth decline in link acquisition over the first month.

After the first month, long-term new direct link acquisition continued for more than two years (and is still going today!).

The less common result: Slow draw up to a major spike

In this example, you can see that sometimes it takes a few days or even weeks to see the initial pickup spike and subsequent primary syndication. In the case of this campaign, we saw a slow buildup to the pinnacle at about a week from the first pickup (exclusive), with a gradual decline over the following two weeks.

“These initial stories were then used as fodder or inspiration for stories written months later by other publications.”

Zooming out to a month-over-month view, we can see resurgences in pickups happening at unpredictable intervals every few months or so. These spikes continued up until today with relative consistency. This happened as some of the stories written during the initial spike began to rank well in Google. These initial stories were then used as fodder or inspiration for stories written months later by other publications. For evergreen topics such as body image (as was the case in this campaign), you will also see writers and editors cycle in and out of writing about these topics as they trend in the public zeitgeist, leading to these unpredictable yet very welcomed resurgences in new links.

Least common result: Multiple spikes in the first few weeks

The third pattern we observed was seen on a campaign we executed examining hate speech on Twitter. In this case, we saw multiple spikes during this early period, corresponding to syndications on other mainstream publications that then sparked their own downstream syndications and individual virality.

Zooming out, we saw a similar result as the other examples, with multiple smaller spikes more within the first year and less frequently in the following two years. Each of these bumps is associated with the story resurfacing organically on new publications (usually a writer stumbling on coverage of the content during the initial phase of popularity).

Long-term resurgences

Finally, in our fourth example that looked at germs on water bottles, we saw a fascinating phenomenon happen beyond the first month where there was a very significant secondary spike.

This spike represents syndication across (all or most) of the iHeartRadio network. As this example demonstrates, it isn’t wholly unusual to see large-scale networks pick up content even a year or later that rival or even exceed the initial month’s result.

Aggregate trends

“50% of the total links acquired happened in the first month, and the other 50% were acquired in the following two to three years.”

When we looked at direct links back to all four campaigns together, we saw the common progression of link acquisition over time. The chart below shows the distribution of new links acquired over two years. We saw a pretty classic long tail distribution here, where 50% of the total links acquired happened in the first month, and the other 50% were acquired in the following two to three years.

“If direct links are the cake, secondary links are the icing, and both accumulate substantially over time.”

Links generated directly to the blog posts/landing pages of the content we’ve created on our clients’ behalf are only really a part of the story. When a campaign garners mainstream press attention, the press stories can often go mildly viral, generating large numbers of syndications and links to these stories themselves. We track these secondary links and reach out to the writers of these stories to try and get link attributions to the primary source (our clients’ blog posts or landing pages where the story/study/content lives).

These types of links also follow a similar pattern over time to direct links. Below are the publishing dates of these secondary links as they were found over time. Their over-time distribution follows the same pattern, with 50% of results being realized within the first month and the following 50% of the value coming over the next two to three years.

The value in the long tail

By looking at multi-year direct and secondary links built to successful content marketing campaigns, it becomes apparent that the total number of links acquired during the first month is really only about half the story.

For campaigns that garner initial mainstream pickups, there is often a multi-year long tail of links that are built organically without any additional or future promotions work beyond the first month. While this long-term value is not something we report on or charge our clients for explicitly, it is extremely important to understand as a part of a larger calculus when trying to decide if doing content marketing with the goal of press acquisition is right for your needs.

Cost-per-link (a typical way to measure ROI of such campaigns) will halve if links built are measured over these longer periods — moving a project you perhaps considered a marginal success at one month to a major success at one year.

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7 Most Attention-Grabbing Words to Use in Your Online Marketing

Words are powerful. For marketers, they can mean the difference between successful conversions or a failed campaign. Certain words can pique a customer’s attention while others might repel them. So what words have the most power to get people interested in what you have to offer?

7 Words That Will Grab the Attention of Your Customers

1. Free

People love to get free stuff, so it’s no surprise that “free” is one of the most persuasive words in the English language. It’s often the primary factor in what product a customer chooses.

While the word can help with conversions, be mindful that it will also attract those who prefer bargains, and this might not be the type of customers you want. Instead, use it as a way to draw attention to your business, maybe by offering free guides, seminars, support, information, etc.

2. You

Using the word “you” in your marketing can be as attention-grabbing as calling someone by their name. It personalizes your message and helps you to quickly connect with your customers.

You can use this personalization to great effect in your email marketing. Make it more effective by developing distinct lists for your products and the customers who would prefer them. Integrate “you” in the message for a more personal touch.

3. TryImage result for 14-day trial

If your product is new to prospective customers, they’ll likely need time to decide on whether they want to buy it. Using the word “buy” can seem aggressive and could make the customer feel pressured. A better word to use is “try” since it’s non-threatening, but can still motivate people to act.

Give your customers a little push by encouraging them to try your product or service first. Offer a 14-day free trial period to test drive your brand or send them samples so they can know exactly what to expect from you.

4. New

When it comes to marketing, people prefer a recognized (or old) brand but love “new” products. This is due to the novelty aspect of an experience. It activates the brain’s reward center and is a great way to keep customers alert and interested.

You can keep your customers engaged by refreshing your website’s design or changing your product packaging. Add new features or find a different way of sending a message or making an offer. Your customers will be interested even in something as simple as a new background color for your ad.

5. Now

Delayed gratification has no place in marketing. Most customers want things immediately. So it’s no surprise that “now” is among the most powerful words in marketing. The word easily evokes your fear of missing out and pushes you to action. Your brain also gets all fired up as it imagines the rewards it will soon be receiving.

Make the most of the word and use it in your headlines, email subject headings, and calls-to-action. Boost the chances of instant conversions by making easily realized promises, like giving customers “Access Now” to services or by giving direct instructions on what they should do (Subscribe Now! Shop Now!). You can also use the word “instant” as it provides the same effect. In some cases, it might even generate a more powerful response.

6. Best

Image result for best selling

People love knowing which items or services are popular, especially when it appears to come from word-of-mouth. This is why consumers look for best sellers or are interested in the best products that a company has to offer. It also gives the impression that many people have already bought the product and had good results.

7. Easy

People want products or services that will make their lives simpler and easier. Use this adjective to call attention to the fact that your product will make things easy for them. Easy is also a very positive and encouraging word to customers.

Make the most of the word by using it to emphasize how easy your product is to use or operate. You can also interchange easy with other adjectives like “simple” or “hassle-free.” But be careful since the former tends to generate a simple response while the latter could cause customers to just focus on “hassle.”

And the Runner Up is…

If those seven words are the winners, then “sale” and “tips” are the runners-up. Sale is actually the granddaddy of advertising words. After all, who doesn’t love a good sale? The word also has the power to motivate customers into buying something. Meanwhile, customers love to receive suggestions on how they can do things better. This is why emails or blog posts with tips about a product or service are always appreciated.


You have to grab your customer’s attention if you want to win in digital advertising. These seven words are simple and can easily be included in any ad or conversation, yet they are powerful enough to generate interest among consumers. Learn to use them in the proper context and improve your online marketing.

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Email Marketing: Why phishing emails (unfortunately) work … and what marketers can learn from them

Phishing emails are just plain thievery. While phishing emails don’t ultimately deliver value, they do communicate value. Not to everyone, but to a specific audience. And that is why some people act on them.
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Set the Strategic Goals that Drive Your Content Marketing

There are a lot of reasons why I dislike the term content marketing, but the most important one is that it’s vague. Are we talking about a YouTube “let’s play” gaming video? A clever tweet from a big brand? Or maybe a blog post or podcast episode? Because that word content is there, the content
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How Successful Marketing Writers Plan Their Content

I never realized just how important it was to connect content with business goals until I had a particular conversation with a client. The client, excited to get started on blog content together, had a running list of topics for me to cover. But then something strange happened. When I asked for background information on
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