Omnichannel

Affiliate content has skyrocketed in popularity alongside social media marketing and other digital marketing tactics. Since social platforms have inconsistent monetization policies, influencer content offers creators a way to vouch for their favorite brands while generating income. Lifestyle brands, in particular, can align themselves with creators whose audiences overlap with their own. 

Lauren Neels, Customer Engagement Manager and Marin Software’s resident expert on all things related to ecommerce, paid search, and digital marketing, shares some valuable insights about how lifestyle brands can use creator content to reach highly specific audiences more effectively. 

How influencer content can help brands reach their audience 

Shed the negative perceptions associated with advertising 

While advertisements used to be a popular way to reach large audiences, viewers seem to have had enough. According to research from Statista, 41% of people online find themselves regularly annoyed by advertisements. More than a quarter of web surfers went as far as installing ad blockers to make their browsing experience better. 

Advertisements are everywhere but Lauren shares that “people are more likely to trust influencer content since it comes from trusted creators that already have a relationship with their audience. This is evidenced by higher conversion rates experienced by businesses that leverage this type of content in their marketing campaigns.”

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Allow your customers to engage with your content using actionable touchpoints 

It’s not enough for your customers to view your content. Businesses must be able to measure how their ads are performing and ensure that each investment is yielding the appropriate results. 

“Affiliate content is generally better than television ads for businesses that want to engage with the customer. This content is usually clickable or has some other CTA that customers can actively engage with,” Lauren shares. 

Encourage greater conversion rates compared to cheaper outreach alternatives

Businesses can sometimes show a preference for alternatives such as television or billboard advertising. However, each method of outreach has a place within a greater marketing campaign

Lauren explains that “paid ads work well for people who already have intent to purchase, but are less effective when people need convincing. Influencer content would be more effective at convincing or when trying to build a brand.”

Influencer content can be repurposed as paid social media posts or ads if needed

Some influencers have very niche audiences, but the reach of their content can be amplified when it is converted or repurposed as paid social media posts. However, Lauren warns that when creator content is converted to paid ads, “not all of that audience has chosen to follow that influencer so some of the trust won’t carry through to the new, wider audience. Conversion rates could go down but your reach is larger. This could help brand awareness, and boosted creator content would still have more trustworthiness than just a paid ad.”

Things to keep in mind while engaging creators for content

Social media trends often change before businesses can hop on them

All social media marketers are intimately aware of how quickly trends can change online. What is fashionable and topical today might be outdated next week. Businesses must always have their finger on the pulse of running trends and have employees that understand these trends to take charge of marketing campaigns that need to run alongside certain fads. 

“If trends change before your approval process is complete, you’re too late. Millennials, for example, have a good idea of how trends work online. Put them in charge and trust them when it comes to trends and how to use them for effective marketing,” Lauren suggests. 

Trends can differ wildly across platforms, content types, and audiences

Marketers often view social media as an effective channel for reaching younger audiences but each platform is unique. Trends, content types, audience demographics and more can differ significantly from platform to platform. TikTok, for example, is more likely to host a younger audience with a preference for short-form video content while Facebook is more likely to host a middle-aged audience with a preference for image-based content. 

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Background checks should be conducted for every collaborator you work with

When businesses sponsor a particular creator, they connect the brand with the creator in the minds of the viewer. While this can be a powerful way to gain the trust of customers, it also means that any misdemeanor committed by the creator can be associated with the brand or can lead to backlash against the brand. 

“While apologies are more readily accepted now, it is always better to be in a position where an apology is not required at all,” Lauren recommends that you should “do your research to check the background of people you might be sponsoring to make sure they’re legitimate and not problematic.” 

Rates can vary greatly depending on a creator’s reach, engagement, and more

As audiences become more diverse and use more social media channels, marketers must be strategic in how they spend on each platform and each creator. Marketers must always measure how much a creator is charging against their reach, engagement, history, alignment with the brand, and more. Each of these factors can lead to great variations in asking price from the influencer. 

Affiliate or influencer content should be part of a larger marketing strategy

Affiliate content is a great way to reach targeted audiences and improve engagement rates with the brand. However, it’s not enough for a marketing team to rely exclusively on affiliate or influencer content. Like every other marketing method, creator content should be a smaller part in a larger marketing strategy designed to cover all of a business’ customer bases. 

MarinOne’s modern optimization solution helps marketers ensure that each dollar spent on partner content and other marketing strategies yields maximum results. Our paid advertising management solutions creates automated recommendations to optimize your marketing configurations that will improve return on investment. 

If you would like to reach your customers with relatable and likable content, reach out for a free demo of our solution today.

For marketers, there are more ways than ever before to conduct outreach, contact your target audience, and increase sales. With so many different methods available, it can be a challenge to determine which will produce the best outcomes and which ones are worth incorporating into your marketing efforts. 

While everyone has their favorite strategies, certain forms of outreach have proven to have a high rate of success. The key is in the variety of methods you employ, and the consistency with which you use them. 

8 Proven Prospecting Techniques that Actually Work

While excelling at prospecting still demands mastery of many of the same age-old techniques that worked 30 to 50 years ago, there are new approaches you can take to boost your game. 

Here are eight advanced tactics you can follow to secure more sales. 

Use a Qualification Framework

To assess which prospects are strong potential buyers, you’ll need to identify the major criteria that you and your salesforce team consider to define a good candidate. Before you reach out to your leads, develop a set of qualification questions to help prioritize your outreach efforts. This way, you’ll discover which leads are worth connecting with, and which can be ruled out immediately. 

Create a Lead Scoring System

Don’t let your hottest leads grow cold while you spend time on lukewarm prospects. After you’ve identified which leads are qualified, rank them using a lead scoring system so you can prioritize advancing those most likely to close. Develop a lead scoring system by assigning value based on data pulled from previous lead successes. 

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Follow your Prospects on Social Media

The best insight on your leads will come from your leads themselves. Scanning their social media channels can help you determine whether or not they’re a good prospect by yielding relevant data. LinkedIn research reveals that social selling influences more than 50% of revenue. Staying informed about your audience’s interests and values can give you a deeper understanding of their needs while simultaneously allowing you to build rapport and win their trust. 

Strategically Structure Your Communication

The way you approach your prospects can impact how you close a deal or lose one. Use these methods to discover the best ways to reach out.

  • Wow” them: You don’t need a complex strategy to capture attention. If you’re going to draft an email, go beyond a standard pitch. Instead, use a clear statement of what you do and how you’re different, one that makes the prospect say “wow.” With so many software suites available on the market today, testing emails to see which work best is easy to do. If your outreach involves phone calls, recognize that leads warm up more when you make it personal. Pay close attention to what their needs are, gain a clear understanding of their industry, and research your competitors. By knowing what they want, you can tap into solving their needs and “wow” them with a golden pitch they’ll respond well to. 

  • Offer added value: With any kind of sales communication, adding value is critical. Leads are more responsive when you win them over with free offers. Consider giving them a free demo or providing a sales guide. Not only does this give you an opportunity for a follow-up later on, but it gives your prospects a chance to become more familiar with your products. 

  • Use a single call to action: Whether you’re pitching your lead via email or on the phone, ending with a single call to action is key to encouraging them to take the next step. Request a follow-up phone call, another meeting, or ask them directly to buy. When presented with a single, clear CTA, your lead is more focused and you’re more likely to close a deal.

Ask for Referrals

Referrals are a powerful sales prospecting technique that can earn you the credibility you deserve. Word-of-mouth has impact. In fact, when making buying decisions, 91% of B2B buyers are heavily influenced by it. With statistics that high, it pays to be proactive about tapping into your network so you can receive lead-boosting referrals that prospects will value. A testimonial, quote, case study, or social proof can elevate your leads’ confidence in you, ultimately converting them into a prospect. Either way, referrals are a win-win. As a salesperson, you increase your sales with little groundwork involved, and leads adopt your product using word-of-mouth as a preferred and reliable buying strategy. 

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Consider Using Video

The rise of video is one of the latest trends sales prospecting pros are using as a marketing and outreach tool. Incorporating video throughout your sales cycle can boost your numbers significantly. According to current statistics, after watching a video, 88% of buyers continue to complete a purchase, and 73% prefer to learn about products this way. With video rising in popularity, it’s worth taking advantage of this medium. 

Be Well Aware of the Competitive Landscape

To be a sales prospecting pro, it’s critical that you scope out your competition. By keeping a close eye on the competitive landscape, you can rest assured that you are optimally positioned for your intended audience. If you aren’t already doing so, analyze magic quadrant results, follow competitor news, survey competitor websites, and track the latest advancements across relevant industries. 

Leverage Marketing Automation Tools

Complement your prospecting strategy with an automation tool so you can nurture your leads and convert stragglers into sales. By using these tools, you can link content distribution, allowing you to get the right message out to the right people at the right time. Automating various processes to optimize your marketing-sales pipeline can convert leads into customers more quickly and efficiently. With the right tool, you can segment groups based on specific criteria, prioritize based on highest needs, generate interest along every step of the buying process, and much more. 

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Closing More Deals with MarinOne

There’s no doubt that prospecting skills matter. However, with so many opportunities to help you outsource work and automation tools at your fingertips, along with a vast array of software choices to help you work more efficiently, you can multiply your successes and fill your pipeline with an abundance of qualified leads.  

Using tools by MarinOne can help your marketing team optimize paid advertising processes, bring in more interested candidates into the sales funnel, and ultimately close more deals. MarinOne is a customizable, enterprise-class solution that can help accelerate your paid media efforts.

Ready to start prospecting for new leads? To learn more about how MarinOne can help you achieve the results you want, get in touch with one of our team experts today.

Do you remember the last advertisement you saw on social media? Chances are the answer is no, and not just because your memory is poor. As soon as you (and most consumers) recognize an ad, you are far more likely to scroll on.

That's why native advertisements are becoming increasingly popular. These “disguised” ads are meant to blend in with their surroundings and give advertisers an extra moment to hook viewers. Native ads are usually found in social media feeds, but they can be used in other places like email newsletters and search engine results pages.

If you are interested in testing this marketing approach at your own business, read on for 8 native advertising examples you can use to start brainstorming.

What is Native Advertising?

Native advertising is a form of online marketing associated with branding that integrates promotions into the content that people are already consuming. Native advertisements are designed to blend in with the surrounding content, making them appear less intrusive and more natural.

Because of their strategic placement, native ads are a powerful way to build brand awareness and connect with a highly targeted audience. Most often found on social media and in long-form written content, these ads have the potential to drive much higher click-through rates and engagement rates when executed well.

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Keys to Effective Native Advertising

Native ads are meant to be a non-disruptive way to share your product or service, so it’s important to keep a few principles in mind when creating them. Here are three key elements to consider:

  • Relevancy: Native ads need to be relevant to the user’s interests and what they are already browsing. While this is highly platform-dependent, native ads can be used to provide additional context around a topic, highlight a related offering, or feature customer-generated content.
  • Creativity: Although they are intended to blend in with their surroundings, native ads still need to be creative and engaging enough to keep people’s attention. Use AI to create new images, visuals, formats, and messaging to see what works best with your audience.
  • Authenticity: The modern consumer can see right past an obvious sales pitch, so it is necessary to be genuine and honest in your native ads. Native advertising should not feel overly promotional — instead, focus on providing value and educating your audience.

How Native Advertising can Backfire

Native advertising sometimes gets a bad rap due to the potential for users to be misled or taken advantage of. Native ads can easily blur the line between an organic post and a sponsored one, which can damage the trust and credibility of a brand.

To make sure that doesn’t happen, avoid these pitfalls:

  • Overpromising: Native ads should never make unrealistic or exaggerated claims that don’t align with the product or service you’re offering. Even if the ad is more disguised than normal, always be true to your brand and the value you provide.
  • Using misleading visuals: Native ads should never use visual elements that are intended to deceive. This includes images that don’t represent the product or service you offer, or presenting facts or data in a way that might not tell the full story.
  • Not being upfront: Native ads should be clearly labeled as sponsored content and not made to look like editorial pieces. To maintain your brand's integrity and reputation, be transparent about who is behind the ad and make sure users can distinguish between promoted content and organic material.

8 Native Advertising Examples for Inspiration

Native ads are all about finding clever ways to advertise while still blending in with the surrounding platform. To give you an idea of what this looks like, here are 8 native ad examples to inspire your creativity:

1) Adidas on Spotify

Adidas partnered with Spotify to create a unique experience and promote their new shoe line — the Nite Joggers. Users who opted into the interactive campaign would receive a "Nite Score" based on their evening listening habits as well as a personalized playlist. This soundtrack was a blend of favorite hits, new recommendations, and promotional content for Adidas.

This native advertisement is a great example of nondisruptive yet nondeceptive marketing. Although it was clearly an advertising campaign, Adidas was able to engage a targeted audience without interrupting their listening experience. Plus, the company effectively tapped into a growing marketing opportunity in the music streaming industry.

2) General Mills on The Guardian

General Mills wisely sponsored content on The Guardian to align its brand with regenerative agriculture and small-scale farming. These themes are reinforced with high-quality closeups of their sustainable practices and the families that they work with.

The photos and videos show the human side of food production, which helps viewers establish an emotional connection to the brand. Other than its "Paid content" label, this informative article looks and feels like a regular piece of expository news on The Guardian — making it a powerful example of subtle native advertising.

3) SpongeBob on Instagram

Where are SpongeBob's original fans hanging out? On Instagram, of course. Nickelodeon's hit show recently partnered with Instagram to create an interactive filter called "What SpongeBob character are you?"

This collaboration is one of the most engaging native advertising examples on this list because it tapped into the nostalgia of an older generation and made it easy for anyone to participate. The SpongeBob fan base didn't care whether it was a marketing ploy or not. This filter was genuinely fun, it fit in with other content on the platform, and it allowed people to reconnect with the characters they love.

4) Purina with BuzzFeed

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJPJUaZZOss&t=12s (to embed)

Purina teamed up with BuzzFeed to create a clever marketing video from the perspective of a cat. The cute and comical two-minute production explains how cats view their responsibility to take care of humans.

Although it highlights Tidy Cats, Purina's cat litter product, the video is not purely promotional. In fact, it offers real entertainment value to its targeted audience and anyone who can appreciate cats' quirks. Even almost 10 years after its creation, this content marketing example still sets the standard for how to both reinforce brand identity and drive sales.

5) Taco Bell on Snapchat

Taco Bell created a Snapchat filter that turned users' faces into a taco. Released just in time for Cinco de Mayo, the filter was an instant viral hit with more than 224 million global views.

This campaign was a success because Taco Bell nailed both the timing and the culture of Snapchat with its native ad placement. Plus, the company was able to boost brand awareness by prominently including its logo on every snap. 

6) Netflix on WSJ

To promote its upcoming show Narcos, Netflix worked with the Wall Street Journal to create an interactive webpage on "Cocainenomics", the business of the Medellin cartel's drug trafficking operation. This detailed profile of a $4 billion underground empire is the perfect fit for the business and finance-minded readers of the WSJ.

Netflix put together one of the most compelling native advertising examples on this list by elevating a standard piece of content from the daily newspaper. The article reads like a piece of investigative journalism but is paired with clickable maps and timelines, and a timed quiz.

For most WSJ consumers, the portal likely serves as one of the most interesting stories they read that day. And if readers are hooked by the topic, watching Narcos is a natural next step for even more detail.

7) Allbirds on The New York Times

Allbirds partnered with The New York Times to create an incredible full-page experience for readers, complete with sound, vivid imagery, and responsive video. This native advertisement ran as an article in the paper, but rather than promoting its signature footwear directly, the brand instead focused on sustainability.

The Allbirds article dives into the importance of birds to our environment, and what eco-conscious readers can do to help birds. At the conclusion of the post, the brand offers a single call to action — visit the Allbirds website to learn more about conscious commerce.

8) Samsung on TikTok

To raise awareness for the Galaxy Z Fold3, Samsung launched a Branded Hashtag Challenge on TikTok. Boosted by TopView ads, Brand Takeover ads, and Reach & Frequency ads, the phone maker was able to eclipse more than 1 billion video views.

Samsung's "I'Mpossible Generation" campaign slogan was a nod to the innovative foldable smartphone. And the challenge's catchy tune and promise of prizes engaged creators from all over Vietnam. The native ad strategy not only caught fire boosting Samsung's brand awareness, but it also proved social commerce is alive and well with a 14% uplift in sales.

Final thoughts

Native ads have the potential to hook viewers in a more subtle way than traditional advertising methods. With relevant and engaging content, brands can communicate their values, foster an emotional connection, and fill their marketing funnels.

The most successful native advertising examples leverage creative content and fit in seamlessly with the surrounding user experience. By matching the appropriate look, feel, and voice of the adjacent content, brands can break through the noise to capture attention and form authentic relationships with potential customers.

Daniel Anderson is a guest contributor to Marin Software.

Communication is the most important arrow sales teams have in their quiver for generating leads and producing sales. It also happens to be the most important tool for marketers to create relevant, qualified content, personalized customer query forms, and more. Making excellent communication an initiative throughout your organization will help you approach more prospects and increase conversion rates.

Unfortunately however, most demand generation tactics still do not encourage easy two-way communication between the brand and the user. You can create loyalty with existing customers and attract new potential customers by reaching them with your content, but for most companies, users can really only get in touch with a brand via the customer service team.

This is why we as marketers need to start to view customer service as a lead-generating channel. Opportunities to keep customers with your organization for the long run, upsell customers or encourage repeat purchases, and create an incredible brand reputation are omnipresent in the customer service process. These are all key ways that your customer service team contributes to the overarching bottom line. So how can you formalize making customer service a cog in your larger demand generation machine? Read on to learn more about strategies for making customer service a revenue-generating team.

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Customer Service and Demand Generation

Freshdesk’s blog says, “Customer service is the key to generating leads in your marketing strategies that can be used not only to develop prospects but to nurture them and enhance customer retention.” 

Still, customer service will only have a positive effect on your customer journey if buyers feel their concerns are heard and addressed. The first step is to follow customer service best practices to leave every person who contacts your company on an individual basis with a great experience. Once your team has a solid understanding of how to make customers happy and resolve issues quickly, then you can funnel energy toward retention and lifetime value.

Marketing strategies have evolved as catchy advertisements and self-promotional events no longer attract consumers. Now organizations are turning their focus to being recognized for their services and products and learning to develop long-term customer loyalty. Here are a few ways you can do the same.

  • Be methodical about the number of audiences you target and create a unique customer journey for each persona. This will create an inbound dynamic that will engage prospects more efficiently.
  • You can build brand awareness among customers via email marketing. This helps to keep your business top of mind–it can be particularly impactful for service-oriented companies that may not have a physical product to sell. The more people recognize your brand, the greater likelihood you will see more ratings and customer responses coming in, increasing brand equity and website traffic.
  • Advertising is the best short-term tactic any marketer has. While it can sometimes be pricey, especially when compared to PR, SEO, or other slow-burning channels, a great digital advertisement can capture the attention of thousands very quickly. This will kickstart your business and help you create a pool of people to nurture for lifetime sales.
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How can you Integrate Customer Service into your Demand Generation Channels?

Customer service can easily use your marketing team's messaging to directly communicate your brand’s ethics. Do this by showing how your team emulates those values in real time instead of simply telling prospects what your company stands for without supportive action. Here are some ways to optimize that communication cycle.

  1. Use Personal Lead Information to Endow Future Communications 

Before initiating any communication with a customer service contact, ask the user relevant questions like their name, email address, or contact number. It helps your team to have the data they require to develop future relationships with the client and be proactive should technical issues arrive, like dropped phone calls or ineffective email sends.

  1. Employ Chatbots to Streamline Response Processes

Automated chat features have assisted quite a bit in this area. Developing frequently asked questions are a great way to get your chat feature up and running. It also allows wiggle room in the customer service process that keeps you in the drivers seat. Once a customer has exhausted the FAQ series in chat, your CS team members can then jump in and interact with customers with more complex queries to help them get their issues resolved. You'll be surprised how many customers will get the answers they need from the pre-loaded questions, which saves your customer service reps valuable time.

  1. Engage with Customers Even When Your Team is Offline

In addition to saving time during regular office hours with FAQs, chatbots can also be setup to communicate with customers 24/7 when your customer support agents need to go offline. For issues that require a representative, these chatbots can ask potential visitors for their email address or phone number for your team to respond later the same day. According to the latest surveys, 82% of visitors who interact with these chatbots are more likely to convert into long-term purchasers. 

  1. Maximize Your Efforts with an Outbound Call Center

Outbound call centers have been an integral part of sales and marketing strategies for a long time, adopting methods beyond cold calling. They can coordinate with your CRM platform and various other tools delivering targeted user experiences. This can also be a good way to utilize customer service teams' time when they don't have a high number of inbound calls.

Get the most out of your call center services by transitioning from analog to online phone services, as VoIP mechanisms provide customer service attributes like call recording, automatic tracking, customer concerns analysis, and more.

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Key Takeaways

Customer service is a crucial part of your association for building a strong brand identity and to keep customers coming back to your organization again and again. Demand generation tactics are far more successful when paired with great customer service. Look at how to streamline these processes and make your CS team a revenue contributor to the company's bottom line by using tools like chatbots and live chat, seeking customer feedback, and training your customer support representatives on how to identify and take advantage of upsell or cross-sell opportunities.

Joy D'Cruz is a guest contributor to Marin Software.

Marketers are commonly tasked with making educated guesses covering an array of topics, such as buyer’s journey, which accounts are worth targeting, what content will resonate best with their customers, and so forth. While these guesses help drive business decisions and are used to create marketing campaigns, they are not the best tactic for accelerating your business. 

To maintain a true competitive edge by making smarter, more informed decisions, marketers must stay on top of new technologies and trends such as predictive analytics. Let’s take a closer look to see what it’s all about and hear from MarinOne expert Joe Southin on how it can help you improve your business and increase your company’s bottom line. 

Understanding predictive analytics

Predictive analytics is the use of machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), data mining, predictive modeling, and other statistical techniques to forecast behavior, trends, and activities by analyzing past and present data. Using these analytics, you can strengthen your marketing efforts, enabling you to respond to developments more strategically. Predictive analytics can be used for predicting:

  • Which factors impact customer preferences and their buying decisions
  • Customer behaviors and their purchasing journey
  • Bidding
  • Marketing strategies and forecasting sales

5 ways predictive analytics can optimize your marketing budget

According to Gartner, marketing budgets are steadily climbing across all industries in 2022, increasing from 6.4% to 9.5%. That’s why using predictive analytics is more important than before. 

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Predictive analytics can be immensely useful. Here’s how:

1. Analyze data to predict how your strategy will perform over the next few days and the immediate future

For enhanced marketing performance, applying predictive analytics is crucial. With accurate data, you can implement a marketing strategy that will generate the impact you need to be successful. When you use predictive analytics to guide your strategy, you'll be more prepared to make informed business decisions and deliver campaigns that drive the results you’re seeking with minimal risk. 

“Here at MarinOne we predict with confidence how an individual object is going to perform, not just tomorrow, but for the next few days,” says Joe Southin.

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2. Use forecasts to manage, adjust, and optimize budget allocations 

Predictive data helps you determine where to focus ad spend. It identifies the advertising channels and times that warrant increased spending and resources, and it provides useful insights so you know when to reduce investments. Use your forecasts to pinpoint where adjustments need to be made and how you can allocate your budget more efficiently. 

According to Joe, “Forecasting gives you the opportunity to accurately project sales, revenue, and expenses. When you can map out how an object will respond with marketing spend, you can evaluate different price points.”

3. Respond to the latest trends to stay current and relevant

You can optimize your marketing budget by staying up to date with the latest marketing trends. Not only will it make your marketing campaigns more targeted and effective, but it will improve ROI, customer retention, and customer experiences as well. Competition in today’s marketing landscape is fierce. Understanding current market trends is key to remaining competitive. With predictive analytics, you can predict future shifts and plan your campaigns accordingly. 

“Keeping up with the most current trends is key to strategizing so you can make better business decisions,” says Joe. 

4. Use customer data to adjust campaigns

Provided it’s assessed and interpreted properly, customer data can be used to maximize the efficiency of advertising expenditure. By harnessing the power of predictive analytics, you can pinpoint everything from usage to customer buying behaviors. Customer data can help ensure that you don’t waste ad spend on irrelevant ad positioning or unnecessary communications. In turn, this can free up part of your budget for other revenue-boosting opportunities. 

“No matter what industry you’re in, predictive analytics provides you with the necessary insights you need so you can make your next move. With a deep understanding of customer data, you can change your course of action for your campaigns to be more successful,” explains Joe. 

5. Manage spend across different publishers to optimize effectiveness 

If you are looking to optimize your marketing budget and maximize profitability, it's essential to allocate every dollar effectively. To fine-tune your budget allocation across different publishers, focus on the ones where you can fully control targeting and cost instead of spreading your budget thin. This will condition you to get rid of what does not work and focus your resources on what does. 

Joe adds, “It’s essential to manage spend efficiently so you can yield the most optimal results. To do so, pay close attention to what’s actually working and what’s not by using predictive analytics to maximize value.”

3 Predictive analytics best practices

Managing and coordinating all steps in the analytical process can be complex. By following best practices, you’ll be well-positioned to glean the maximum benefit from predictive analytics. 

1. Define your objectives

Predictive analytics empowers you to optimize operations by predicting outcomes. The predictions directly inform the action to take such as focusing marketing efforts on those most likely to make a purchase or identifying those who may commit fraud. To get the most value out of your data, be sure to align your strategy with your business objectives. 

2. Organize your team

Before you determine your marketing spend, thoughtfully assemble your marketing and sales teams. By making sure everyone is on the same page, departments will be able to work together more successfully. Having a transparent approach is not only beneficial for collaboration, but it also helps generate useful feedback regarding marketing tactics from different teams. 

3. Plan for disruption and continue to refine your predictive analytics models

There will always be factors that change. As a result, as you develop your predictive analytics models, you must continue monitoring them, improving them where necessary, and refining them when needed. These steps ensure the accuracy of your analytics. 

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MarinOne powers success with predictive analytics

No matter what industry you are in, the need for predictive analytics is more critical than ever before. Predictive analytics can help you make better marketing predictions so you can start to achieve real growth. By mastering predictive analytics, you will also gain a competitive advantage. 

For a deeper understanding of how you can put predictive analytics to work for you, consider MarinOne. 

When you partner with MarinOne for your predictive analytics needs:

  • Your marketing spends go further and you can make effective use of your budget
  • You can scale campaigns that are predicted to perform well and filter out those that are not achieving your desired results
  • We can advise you on how to allocate your spend across multiple publishers and campaigns and much more.

Want to learn more about how our platform can help you integrate predictive analytics into your marketing campaigns and bring added value to your business? Schedule a demo with one of our MarinOne experts today.  

Apps are now discoverable in more places across the App Store thanks to the new Today tab and product page ad placements. Thanks to these new placements, your ads can now reach users when they first visit the App Store, and while they browse. This expands the touchpoints you can reach users along the App Store customer journey, increasing your chances of snagging your target customers’ attention.

The Today tab ad

This is where visitors (over half a billion of them) start their journey on the App Store. You can now advertise your own app here, using high-impact creatives to capture App Store visitors’ attention. The ad will leverage a custom product page you create in App Store Connect. The custom product page has to include at least four portrait or five landscape assets. It also has to use the correct language for the countries and regions where the campaign will run. 

The custom product page has to be approved first by App Store Connect then by Apple Search Ads for advertising. Once it’s approved, you can head to Apple Search Ads Advanced to begin Today tab campaign creation and submit your Today tab ad creative to Apple Search Ads to be approved for advertising. If you don’t schedule a start date or click Pause while the ad is still in review, it will run as soon as it’s approved. You can always create and submit ads for approval ahead of time to ensure they’re approved and running by a specific date. Note that Today tab ads aren't currently available on mainland China, so keep this in mind when running any international campaigns in the APAC region.

Because these ads are featured right on the front page of the App Store, they are the first content users will see. This makes them solid options for driving app awareness for new launches, special events, and seasonal promotions. 

Today tab ad guidelines

  • Promotional messaging should be 50 characters or less, with the lines of text not to exceed three.
  • Creative assets have to be screenshots from the app you promote. Promotional, lifestyle, or other images aren’t allowed. 
  • The screenshots must be prominent and undistorted, filling up at least ⅔ of each creative asset.
  • Pricing, offers, and ranking claims are not allowed in ad creative assets.
  • Creative cannot include a font style similar to the App Store Today Card. Phrases “Game of the Day” and “App of the Day” are also not allowed.
  • The language in the ad creative must match the language in App Store Connect. 
  • Any image that mocks a device and contains a bezel (the border between the screen and the frame of the device) must feature a bezel accurate to the most current Apple devices. 
  • The ad creative must comply with Apple Advertising Policies and cannot contain any images considered violent, sexually explicit, or otherwise inappropriate. 

Product pages – while browsing ads

Product pages – while browsing ads are a new ad placement that shows your app to interested users as they browse the App Store. These ads appear at the top of the You Might Also Like list to users who scroll down relevant product pages. You can run your ad across all relevant product categories, or you can refine the categories where it runs. Product pages ads aren’t currently available on mainland China either.

These ads are created using the metadata already uploaded to your App Store product page. They include your app name, icon, and subtitle. 

Time to get started

With these new ad placements, you can reach customers at multiple points during their journey through the App Store. The Today tab places your app in front of users before they think of a solution to their problem. And once they start browsing, product page ads present them with your app as they scroll through similar options. 

With so many new features to explore in Apple Seatch Ads's new ad placements, the next question is what are you waiting for? You can start running these ads now and they're certainly worth a test, especially as we enter the busy holiday season.

Meet with a Marin marketing consultant today to learn how to effectively integrate Apple Search Ads into your omnichannel marketing strategy.

Market segmentation is the foundation of a successful marketing campaign. There are likely many different types of consumers that could be interested in your products, and sending the right message to each type of customer is key to acquiring new users. Whether it be targeting customers based on their age, or understanding that different types of customers value different aspects of your product or service, you’ll want to deliver unique, personalized messages to different segments in order to foster enthusiastic brand loyalty.

Let’s run through the 5 different types of market segmentation in detail so that you can understand which is right for you.

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Demographic Segmentation

This is usually the first type of segmentation we think of when starting to define our different customer personas. These are basic defining characteristics such as age, gender, race, income level and education level. Demographic targeting can be anything from advertising high end products to those with higher income levels, to a clothing company advertising gendered clothing to women and men separately.

This is mostly used in B2C marketing efforts, as these traits focus on the individual. The B2B counterpart is firmographic segmentation.

Firmographic Segmentation

Firmographic segmentation is the most basic form of market segmentation for B2B marketing efforts. Firmographic traits of a company include size, location, industry, structure and financial performance. For example, you’ll want to use different messaging when marketing towards a small business than when reaching out to an organization with hundreds of employees.

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Geographic Segmentation

A subset of demographic segmentation, geographic segmentation entails segmenting customers by their location. You can segment by city, country, zip code or even language region. The most straightforward example of this is trying to drive foot traffic to a brick and mortar store by targeting people who live within a certain number of miles from the store. But even for online businesses, it’s important to analyze which geographic areas your website traffic is coming from. Sometimes these answers may seem obvious, like a company selling cowboy boots targeting states in the south. But you may be surprised what other regions are interested in your product, beyond the most obvious opportunities. Often market research brings about data that cannot be acquired by intuition alone. Who knows, there could be a lot of cowboys in Vermont…

Behavioral Segmentation

This is the most complex and arguably the most valuable type of segmentation. Behavioral segmentation is the ongoing process of tracking and targeting users’ behavioral trends. As you collect data about your target market over time, you’ll be able to segment your audience into groups based on things like purchasing habits, brand interactions, buying history, website visits and interactions with competing brands. This form of market research is very valuable because it brings to light users with intent to buy, allowing you to target your most interested audiences.

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Psychographic Segmentation

This form of segmentation attempts to understand the consumers’ motivations. It’s not the what, or where, but the why that psychographic segmentation strives to make sense of. Why do customers buy your product, or choose your competitor's product over yours? Is it their values? Their political beliefs? Their interests? This sort of segmentation is extremely valuable for media companies, for example. News stations will market towards those with aligned political beliefs. Gossip magazines will target those interested in celebrity content. This form of segmentation can be difficult to nail down, but is very powerful.

Now that we’ve got an understanding of the different types of segmentation, let’s discuss how to begin segmenting your market. 

Start with testing

The first step is market research. You’ll want to cast your net wide with broad targeting, then see what content appeals to different segments of users. Once you’ve identified segments based on engagement with your different categories of content, you’ll understand what sorts of products or services they are interested in. Then you can hit those segmented audiences with more specific retargeting ads.

It’s important to set a measurable goal when testing. Let’s say you’re trying to understand if your products appeal more to women or men. Send ads to both groups equally, and measure performance with a metric such as click through rate or conversion rate. If women seem to drive a higher conversion rate for a particular product, break men and women out into separate audiences and allocate proportionately more ad spend to the female audience. This is one simple example; but there are countless ways to run this same sort of test based on the segmentation factors you believe could apply to your particular campaign.

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Never stop analyzing

It’s important to continually analyze these different sorts of user trends, as things can change over time and new segments may emerge. Moving forward, allocate a small portion of your marketing budget to testing ongoing so that you can make sure you're capitalizing on emerging segments and keeping your audience fresh.

Streamline analysis with MarinOne

If you create strong audience segments and send the right message to each segment, you’re sure to win in performance marketing. With so much data to navigate when analyzing the unique performance of your various market segments, it's best to bring it all together in a powerful tool like MarinOne. MarinOne makes your life easier by enabling you to optimize campaigns in bulk, pivot bidding types on the fly, and get a holistic view of all your paid media campaigns in one place. Start your journey to better market segmentation and great advertising performance with MarinOne today. Our team of experienced marketers is ready to help you achieve your goals.

The marketing world is constantly changing and developing with new tools and methods. Strategies that are effective today may not work next year, or even next month. What we know for certain is that successful marketing requires looking beyond the top of the funnel for customers who will stick around. Without retention, there is no growth. 

That’s why growth marketing is more important than ever. So, what is growth marketing all about? Learn why growth marketing is important, what its core components are, and five different ways to turbocharge your business with it. 

Growth marketing defined

Growth marketing is a spin on traditional marketing with additional digital layers such as A/B testing, SEO optimization, data-driven blog posts and email campaigns, and careful attention to each aspect of a user’s experience. Insights inform strategies that are quickly implemented to achieve sustainable and robust growth. Unlike traditional marketing, growth marketing prioritizes small hypotheses, fast experimentation, and rapid iteration over large, long-term campaigns.

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Why growth marketing matters

An average of 4 million businesses are opened every year, and over $297 billion is collectively spent on marketing expenditures. With those figures, it’s more important than ever to make your business stand out. To compete, it's crucial to have a growth marketing strategy. A strategy that is creative and compelling will:

  • Help improve customer acquisition rates and allow you to expand your loyal user base
  • Allow you to grow and scale your business rapidly
  • Enable you to maximize your marketing activities across many different channels
  • Provide you with insights into the full customer journey
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Core components of a growth marketing strategy

The primary focus of your marketing strategy should be based on metrics like retention rates, acquisition rates, conversion rates, and customer lifetime value. Some of the most frequently used tactics that growth marketers find successful include:

A/B testing

A/B testing can be used in a variety of formats, such as email marketing, landing pages, social media ads, and more, making it one of the primary tactics to be used in a strong growth marketing strategy. By deploying “A” or “B” tests, you can gain a better understanding of which content pieces are performing better. With better insights into how to engage your audience, you can optimize future campaigns and increase your likelihood of boosting conversion rates. 

Pro tip: Just because one test proves to be more effective with a particular audience segment doesn’t mean you should stop testing. Concentrate on customized segments and keep testing new content variations to understand which content resonates best. 

Cross-channel marketing

With cross-channel marketing, your focus should be on building a plan to extend customer reach. It can include push notifications, email marketing, direct mail, in-app messages, and other action-driven initiatives. The key is to know your audience’s preferences. When you incorporate your plan into your growth marketing strategy, zeroing in on communication preferences will help you build your campaigns accordingly. 

Pro tip: When you integrate multiple channels into your marketing plan, your audience can remain engaged from anywhere. Use contextual campaigns to help you gain a deeper understanding of your audience’s behavior across different platforms. 

Customer lifecycle

As part of your growth marketing strategy, be sure to pay close attention to the three critical life cycle stages: activation, nurture, and reactivation. You need to: 

  • Target your audience with introductory campaigns to build credibility
  • Nurture them to strengthen relationships through cross-channel marketing efforts
  • Re-engage them to drive retention and loyalty through post-purchase or win-back campaigns. 

Pro tip: Each customer will progress through the life cycle at their own pace. However, proactively accommodating users' changing needs will help you create more need-specific campaigns, setting you up for success. 

5 ways to turbocharge your business with growth marketing

Know your clients and competitors

To optimize your campaign, know your clients. Analyzing their data can often shed light on surprising insights such as discovering which leads have a higher likelihood of converting. It can also help you tailor communications to improve retention rates. 

While it’s important to analyze your client base, it’s equally important to determine what your competitors are doing. Seeing what works well (or doesn’t work at all) for them can give you insight into new marketing opportunities to test, too. 

Pro tip: To see what your competitors are doing well, use an online competitor analysis tool. To learn what media your clients consume or what terms they use when searching for your product, use the Google Keyword Planner and try client and industry surveys. 

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Optimize your content marketing

When done right, content marketing can create a lasting impact as part of your growth marketing strategy to help you generate new leads. Demonstrate your expertise in your field with articles, videos, and other sources that your potential customers are searching for. By optimizing your content around keywords your audience is looking for, you can boost the chances of them coming to you and staying. 

Pro tip: Be sure to plan, test, and analyze which content is working. When you determine which content is attracting the most attention, adjust your campaigns to ensure you improve results. 

Maximize your advertising

You’re probably already employing advertising as part of your marketing strategy — be it sponsored content, display advertising, remarketing, pay-per-click, social media ads, and so on. In most scenarios, real-time data is accessible, allowing you to closely monitor your ads’ performance. Dig into the data and follow growth marketing principles by planning, testing, tweaking, and repeating. 

Pro tip: By digging into that data, you will be able to identify insights that enable you to improve leading indicators over time. But to truly maximize your growth marketing efforts, don’t lose sight of the big picture. While data is important, stay focused on broad performance metrics (like sales and revenue) over time so you don’t repeat ineffective advertising moves. 

Prioritize your website

Optimizing your website is key to generating more leads. It’s important for communicating why prospective customers should choose you. If you haven’t already done so, advance your SEO strategy. Ultimately, your goal should be to funnel your clients to the action you want them to take. Additionally, your site’s aesthetics and user experience should be familiar for your target audience. 

Pro tip: Seeking advice on your SEO strategy is wise, since it’s a specialized technical area. You can also consider identifying CRO improvement opportunities by conducting A/B testing, individual user testing, qualitative research from focus groups, and client surveys. 

Make sure your customer service team is motivated

For growth marketing to be sustainable and successful, focus on the customer experience. Having quality service will help you build loyalty and turn consumers into brand advocates. Your products alone will not keep customers happy — they must be coupled with high-quality customer service. Make sure that all brand interactions leave your customers feeling satisfied and valued. If your customer service team isn’t motivated to give each person the "white glove" treatment, your customers probably won’t be coming back…which can make the colossal effort of attracting new users feel like a waste. As we said at the beginning of this article, growth marketing is nothing without a great retention strategy. 

Pro tip: To create a good customer service experience, collect customer feedback through surveys and ask for suggestions on how to improve. 

Scale Growth Efforts with MarinOne

With growth marketing comes countless tools, channels, platforms, and tactics. One thing is clear: growth marketing requires work, but the return makes it very worthwhile 

MarinOne has the tools you need to be a successful growth marketer and can help you focus on both testing and optimizing to boost engagement and provide a better customer experience. 

Ready to take your growth marketing to new heights? Contact one of our MarinOne experts today.

Advertising is more of an art than a science, and digital marketing is certainly no exception. In the last decade, a lot has changed in the world of online marketing, and the field will continue to adapt along with the quickly evolving technology landscape and ever-shifting consumer trends. In this article, we’ll take a look at how it all began, how it has evolved, and where it's headed next. 

The evolution of digital marketing

Let’s first take a look at how digital marketing has developed over the years by looking at some major milestones in its history.

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The late 1990s: The rise of the internet

Digital marketing made a strong start in the 1990s due to the rising popularity of personal computers. Between 1994 and 1996, the number of people using the internet jumped from 25 million to a whopping 77 million. Why? Well, when the World Wide Web launched in 1989 and the first popular browser, Netscape, arrived on the scene, it caused an explosion of new users. From then on, the digital landscape began to grow exponentially as more and more browsers and search engines popped up, including many of the most popular search engines we know and still use today. 

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Early 2000s: The social media revolution

The invention of the World Wide Web created a collaborative space for sharing information, leading to a social media revolution. You may or may not remember MySpace, but it was the first truly popular platform of its kind, and it set the trend for all the others to follow. After its release in 2003, Facebook made its grand entrance. As a social media leader, it quickly became an outlet for businesses to reach global audiences. Brands began to realize the immense opportunities that could be achieved through tweets, posts, videos, emails, blogs, PPC advertising, and more—and this opened the door for digital marketing to expand. 

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By 2011, TV viewership began to decline for the very first time in history, and marketers were taking note of the transition. With this shift came the introduction of “cookies.” If you’re not already familiar with them, cookies are small pieces of code that are useful for tracking user behavior and content retargeting. Advertisers took advantage of tracking techniques, giving attention to browsing habits and usage patterns so they could fine-tune their campaigns and other marketing efforts. 

The emergence of the internet and the rise of search engines also created an ideal space for what came to be known as native advertising. Using native advertising, marketers can promote content more effectively and connect with target customers through search ads. 

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Mid 2000s: Mobile devices surpass desktop internet usage 

When iPhones became available around 2007, they completely changed how we access the web. As the world quickly invested in the many glories of smartphones, mobile usage served as a major motivation for brands to undertake search engine optimization. By 2014, mobile device usage crossed a key threshold and predictive analytics started to gain some traction. 

In 2016, marketing automation went into effect and marketers started to build more personalized and efficient campaigns. When Facebook and Google prevailed as the two most recognized leaders of the internet in 2017, influencer marketing skyrocketed—and advertisers took the opportunity to grow their audiences. Paid advertising was no longer considered a supplementary strategy for marketers. 

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2018 and beyond: content popularity surges

When 2018 rolled around, marketers continued to improve their SEO efforts, realizing that long-form content was another strategy they could use to increase session durations. But SEO wouldn’t be the only strategy on the minds of advertisers. By 2019, marketers were dealing with an entirely new frontier: the quickly growing landscape of video platforms. By this time it was clear to advertisers that if they wanted to succeed, they would have to prioritize content creation as part of their marketing strategy — be it short-form or long-form text content, or videos

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However, the digital marketing landscape changed once again in 2020 when the pandemic hit and there were restrictions on many daily activities. Digital marketers were forced to keep up with skyrocketing social media use, new purchasing behaviors, and changing consumer behavior patterns. Consumer expectations skyrocketed and marketers had to shift their strategies to create more digital experiences. Marketers realized to adapt they would need to focus on customer values and experiences while placing a stronger emphasis on relationships than ever before. While online strategies are nothing new to the marketing world, COVID-19 initiated a stay-at-home virtual age that couldn’t be ignored. Since then, marketers have needed to focus on online strategies more than ever as a channel for reaching their existing and potential target audiences in order to remain competitive. 

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The future of digital marketing

As it has done in the past, digital marketing will continue evolving and developing every year. So what can you expect for digital marketing next? Current trends forecast that AI, automation, and machine learning technologies will likely become more pervasive. Influencer marketing will continue to grow and voice search and chat bots will soar in popularity. Interactive marketing content will pop up more, and you can also expect to see digital marketing become algorithm-driven. 

While it’s impossible to say with complete certainty where the ever-changing digital marketing landscape is headed in the future, it’s exciting to see where it will go next. 

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How to stay in the loop

Digital marketing has come a long way in its development. However, the digital market industry is continuously evolving and digital marketers must keep up with the rapid acceleration of changes. They must be able to identify emerging trends as well as the creation of newer and more intelligent search engine algorithms.

To help you keep up with trends and make the most of your digital advertising campaigns, MarinOne gives you full visibility into your campaigns while continuously integrating the latest developments in digital marketing.

MarinOne can help you elevate and scale your paid search, social, and ecommerce advertising by helping you automate your campaigns. To see how contact one of our experts today and schedule a personalized demo.

Content marketing is buyer-centric. It’s measurable, compounding, and scalable. In fact, it typically performs more reliably than other tactics, which makes it one of the best foundations to build marketing success. Creating unique, consistent, and valuable B2B content is simply the best way to connect with your audience. In this article, we’ll explore what B2B content marketing is, why it’s important, how to build a strategy, and how you can use it to grow your business. 

What is B2B content marketing?

Business-to-business (B2B) content marketing is the practice of producing and distributing content methodically to increase brand awareness, improve traffic, generate leads, and boost sales. It’s the process of using content to grow your audience, strengthen brand affinity, and ultimately improve your bottom line. Traditional forms of B2B content marketing include blogs, podcasts, email newsletters, and infographics. 

Why do B2B companies need content marketing?

Builds brand awareness

Content marketing directly influences your organic traffic. When traffic is flowing, you’re building awareness for your brand. Done right, content marketing can help 

  • Improve customer retention rates 
  • Boost organic ranking of your site 
  • Help you create brand partnerships, and 
  • Attract more followers on social media. 
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Creates better engagement rates 

Simply focusing on content creation isn’t enough to create an effective B2B strategy. Marketers must also take notice of leading metrics like engagement rates, clicks, and bounce rate. When content is tailored to suit their interests, audiences will continue to consume it. If content is geared towards a buyer’s tendencies and intent, it will also improve overall engagement as well as conversion rates. 

Affordable, cost-effective, and supports long-term growth

A good SEO strategy coupled with high-quality content produces long-lasting results that compound over time. Once content is generated, it has great potential to drive organic traffic to your site—without you having to compete for top spot ads. 

Although upfront costs for content marketing may initially seem high, it is considered to be more cost-effective than other traditional forms of marketing, paid advertising, and video marketing. 

Additionally, the content you create can be frequently updated and repurposed, costing you a fraction of the price it took to make it. In the long term, the more you use your content, the cheaper it will become. 

High ROI

According to Statista, 30% of marketers believe content has the highest ROI of any channel. Marketers commonly try to amalgamate content’s strategic and financial value into a single metric: campaign ROI, or the success of a single campaign. When measuring the value of your content, be sure you stay focused on the challenge you are trying to solve. Content assets can be employed in numerous ways and can simultaneously be used across multiple platforms. It can also be used for video purposes, on your website, as a transcript for a blog, and so on. 

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How to build a successful B2B content strategy

Every B2B content marketing strategy is unique. However, to create a successful roadmap, you need goals and understanding of your company's long-term objectives. Don’t let the idea of a content strategy be too daunting. It’s actually not very complicated and once you understand what it takes to plan one, you can start creating content that can drive success in your business.

Understand your audience

When you know your audience well, you’ll find it a lot easier to create the right content for them. Even if you have a large audience, explore your Google Analytics data on a granular level. By doing so, you can learn a great deal about your site’s visitors such as gender, age, location, and what topics interest them the most. Once you have more insight into your audience, you can expand content into new relevant subject areas. 

Map the customer journey

When you have a good understanding of your audience, review the customer journey. This can be complex, as they probably went through multiple touchpoints. However, it will help you discover which kinds of content are most effective at leading prospects down the sales funnel. When you have a good idea of where a prospect is in the customer journey, you can adjust your content to keep them interested.

Set yourself apart from competitors

Determine who your biggest competitors are and what kind of content they’re producing. To distinguish your company, aim to deliver content in engaging ways that your competitors can’t.  Present content that highlights the unique value of your business and services. If they have specific content that is performing well, you can implement similar strategies. Unique and approachable messaging will give you a better chance of attracting ideal customers. 

Measure leads and micro-metrics

Data can provide a lot of information, allowing you to measure what’s working and what’s not. To advance your B2B content, you must take analytics seriously. Some metrics that are worth measuring include: 

  • Current statistics such as total views, conversions, and shares of posts
  • Benchmarks and trends
  • High-performing content

Once you understand how your content is performing, you can adjust your strategy accordingly. If there is specific content that gets better than average conversion rates, promote it via sponsored content or paid social ads. 

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Common mistakes content marketers make 

Content marketing pitfalls can often be prevented with careful planning. With the market so crowded, there’s little room for error and missed opportunities. Marketers need to focus on getting it right as they are limited by a finite number of potential customers. Common mistakes include:

Not taking advantage of user-generated content 

When user-generated material goes ignored, marketers miss out on a major opportunity to build a solid foundation of trust with consumers. To ensure content reaches their audience with a greater impact, marketers can include reviews and testimonials where appropriate, and even outsource content creation to users. This saves time and resources.  

Not having a content approval process 

A review and editing process is vital to ensure high-quality content that is relevant and engaging. It is also wise for marketers to create a content review and approval checklist. Alternatively, using a content management platform can help mainstream the process, making it easy to create, approve, and publish your content. 

Not promoting content enough

Promoting content is key to extending your reach to relevant audiences. Include new content in your emails and social media posts to drive more traffic to your content pieces and help nurture potential prospects. Keep in mind that producing content is only as effective as the efforts you make to advertise it. Native ads, display ads, and paid social are also great tactics for distributing articles or whitepapers as far reaching as possible. It no one reads the content then it doesn't matter how much you have or how good it is…which is why content creation is just as important as content promotion

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10 quick tips and tactics for effective content marketing

  1. Use personalized nurture journeys
  2. Engage employees in active audience building
  3. Create content for ALL search engines
  4. Make sure your case studies aren’t too formal or stuffy
  5. Use “smart” popups
  6. Maximize digital PR to extend promotions and reach
  7. Use content snippets to make product education more digestible
  8. Segment your retargeting audience
  9. Promote your high-converting blog posts
  10. Partner with brands and influencers in your industry

MarinOne can help you supercharge your content

As a B2B company, MarinOne is well versed in what it takes to reach the right audiences with the right messages. Through our cross-channel approach, your campaigns will persuade and convert like never before. 

Business to Business advertisers gain a competitive advantage by identifying and analyzing the right data and integrating insights from that data to help campaigns perform. With MarinOne, you can easily optimize your content and automate key workflows using first-party data.  

Get in touch with one of MarinOne’s experts today to see how we can help you with your marketing needs.

We all have a fundamental need to belong. In fact, this is not unique to humanity; some animals only survive or thrive in groups as well. The foundation of a community is built upon support from acquaintances or family, as well as shared interests or backgrounds. Churches, schools, clubs, neighborhoods are some of the primary ways people get a sense of community or togetherness. Brands can create a community using the same methodology: a group of people that are all passionate or interested in a central topic.

Why Should Community Marketing be Important to Brands?

Community marketing's primary objective is to help companies engage with members of their target audience through their products, creating an engaged and long-term audience of customers. A key component to true lifecycle marketing, creating an active brand community can keep the same customers coming back to your brand again and again. It is a pillar of brand loyalty

Community marketing leverages the power of social media or other online platforms to build meaningful relationships with consumers. Many consumers want to get the "brand perspective" on various topics they are interested in, and this can impact how the community members interact. Many companies underestimate the influence they may have to start meaningful conversations online. Fitness, beauty, and lifestyle brands often do this quite well as consumers of these products are addressing needs that are quite personal, like their appearance or health, and they crave a safe space to discuss those needs. Organizations doing community marketing well are hosting and owning that safe space for discussion.

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What Goes Into a Successful Community Marketing Plan?

There are a few crucial aspects to establishing a healthy community marketing strategy. One component of this involves creating messaging that focuses on everything your target consumers love doing. Look at the broader universe surrounding your product and the problems it solves. 

Savage X Fenty did this successfully when they set out to have a unique discussion around body positivity and inclusivity in the lingerie space. Their approach in setting up email lists, and Facebook groups, and community boards, all added to that sense of togetherness where many people of different backgrounds could connect on feeling "on the outside" with other lingerie companies marketing tactics. The result of this harmonious messaging resulted in incredible growth for the brand. Making your company mission about more than just a set of products brings customers or prospective customers together, getting them psyched about what they already have a genuine interest in.

Advantages of Initiating and Running a Brand Community 

If you still have doubts about using community marketing for your business, here are some benefits that might help you make up your mind.

  • Improved customer experience for your prospects. By constantly interacting with the community, you get first-hand information about customer satisfaction. In turn, you can use this info to upgrade your products to suit their needs.
  • Increased customer retention and brand growth. An effective program seeks to build loyalty in customers who buy from your brand severally. The goal of every business is to achieve loyal relationships with their customers.
  • Instead of monitoring your brand reputation like an eagle overlooking an expansive landscape, with community marketing you're more like a deer living within the environment, overhearing what is being said and interacting with the other creatures in your brand forest. Your company becomes an integral part of the conversation. The opportunity to answer questions, redirect customers, and have ownership over public opinion in this way, especially if there are any questions being thrown your way from a PR standpoint, is invaluable.
  • New members of the community easily become your customers. Although a larger following does not always translate to more significant sales, you get new customers from the brand awareness that comes through your existing customers interacting and enjoying the community. 
  • The business grows organically. Thriving communities have people willing to share their good experiences with the world. These advocates can result in tremendous growth, and this kind of engagement becomes a great funnel and natural segue into ambassador, influencer, or affiliate marketing strategies.
  • Customers can feel the product's authenticity. We all know that advertising can sometimes be a bit fabricated. Community branding brings out honesty and transparency, resulting in an authentic feel to your product and brand.
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Misconceptions Surrounding Community Marketing

Even with many benefits to businesses that use community marketing, the lack of clarity in some areas has led to misconceptions surrounding it. Let's look at a few that are the most common.

  1. An extensive community is always the best.
  2. Communities can only spring up naturally.
  3. A product can only have a single community branding.
  4. All the members should be customers.

Best Ways to Start and Run Community Marketing

If you are starting or want to better your strategy, brace yourself and put your best foot forward. You do not want your audience feeling too much pressure, coercion, or any form of spam. Here are some tips to get you started without coming across too "salesy."

  • Interact with the members of the community on general topics surrounding your industry. Start with an internal brainstorm session to have a full list of ideas that you can refer back to whenever in doubt. Remember too that you're facilitating conversations, not lecturing. No need to stand on a pulpit and declare things–ask questions and let the community bring their ideas to you. The community will tell you what they care about and want to discuss.
  • Exercise your expertise in the specific field. If you strike your followers as an expert, people will start coming at you with questions and seeking clarification. Seek more knowledge in the niche and focus on helping your audience build their expertise. Positioning multiple employees as thought leaders and including them in the engagement process also builds authority for your company and humanizes the interactions that take place.
  • Be reachable. Group participation alone is not enough. Show up regularly, respond to direct messages, and avoid ignoring reactions. After all, you want followers to see your brand as authentic and human.
  • Be consistent. If it has been a while since you created a community and no one has shown up yet, or you can only hear cricket noises, don't lose hope. Keep sharing, and in time, the audience will gain confidence in your products and their ability to contribute in a meaningful way.
  • Engage with the audience. This is the surefire way to quickly learn what your community values and what they appreciate, between plain posts and videos. If you can also do a poll, that would come in handy. Sometimes simply liking, commenting, or tagging community members is enough to make people feel they are important to the company.

Conclusion 

Community marketing contributes significantly to accelerated growth and a positive brand reputation. Incorporating this channel as a tactic can help keep company goals in line with the audience's wants. Identify the best platform for building your community based on where you believe your existing target market spends their time online.

Once your organic social media strategy is inline, MarinOne can assist in continuing to drive brand awareness, revenue growth, and holistic omnichannel analysis. Our tool provides an all-in-one place to see how all your campaigns are performing against each other, and how organic channels are assisting paid channels. Speak to our marketing team of experts today to learn more about cross-channel paid media management.

It’s hard to keep up with what’s new in the world of marketing with so many new strategies emerging every day. A decade ago, marketers focused on creating catchy ads and putting them in the right places at the right time. However, a lot of things have changed since then. For one thing, effective marketing now requires businesses to implement a more holistic approach. 

With more competition than ever before, simply creating an ad won’t yield the best results. In this day and age, customers are more in control and are more discerning. You must understand your buyer, learn what they want, and develop a strategy to meet their needs. One of the best ways to do that? Precision marketing

Read on to learn about precision marketing and gain meaningful insights and advice from one of our very own MarinOne digital advertising experts, Anu Adegbola, on how to create an effective strategy that will get your brand noticed and help you win your customers’ loyalty. 

What is precision marketing?

Precision marketing uses data and relationship-building to precisely target a brand’s customers. The technique involves nurturing relationships—specifically, prioritizing existing customers over new ones and connecting with them in a more relevant way. It’s about customer retention, upselling, and cross-selling. Using precision marketing, marketers rely heavily on market segmentation to analyze shopper habits, behaviors, and other patterns to help increase the success of their marketing efforts while providing a better and more intelligent customer experience. 

Why precision marketing is important

Marketing needs to be agile

The internet has made it easy for customers to respond to marketing campaigns and ads in real time. If you want to stay ahead of your competition, you need to be prepared to adapt quickly. 

Marketing is more complex than it used to be

To thoroughly understand your customer base, you need more than just demographic information. While it’s helpful to know the basics of where and who your customers are, it’s just as critical to know what’s important to them, how they communicate with one another, and more. When you have accurate data, you’ll be able to create messaging that resonates with your key audiences

Customers have high expectations

Customers expect their user experience to be frictionless. In this new digital age, they want what they want, when they want it. To ensure customer satisfaction it is critical to stay up-to-date with the latest marketing trends. If you don’t, your customers may look elsewhere, seeking out your competitors instead. 

Connections matter

Marketing is no longer about copy that sells. While engaging ads are still very important, success now requires social insight along with an understanding of psychology. When you understand why customers are making their purchase decisions, you can develop a more tailored marketing strategy. 

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5 tips for an effective precision marketing strategy

Implementing an effective precision marketing strategy that produces results requires following a careful and comprehensive plan.

Engage with your customers

When promoting your product, don’t forget that commitment to your customer comes first, and their purchase comes second. Developing real relationships will help foster more brand loyalty along the way. 

“If all you’re focusing on is getting clicks, you’re not going to get the return you’re looking for. It’s not all about volume—it’s about the right volume. You need to make sure you’re showing things to the right audience,” says MarinOne marketing expert, Anu Adegbola. “Those who have focused on just the data and not building a relationship with their clients won’t succeed because they don’t have the whole picture.” 

Have a strong online presence 

Besides having had a profound effect on marketing, social media has proven to be an essential part of a successful marketing strategy. Old marketing strategies like live events and cold calls may have worked in the past, but not now. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media platforms give you a way to connect with customers more personally. 

Anu’s advice: “If you’re going to have a presence on a social platform, you need to do it well. Test the various platforms to see what’s working for your brand or company—if it’s not working for you, move on and find what does. Make sure you’re on the appropriate platform for your brand and your customers. If you’re in the wrong space, you may get a negative reaction.”

Offer real value to repeat customers

Customers respond well to brands that cater to their needs and consistently offer them real value. “It’s not just about targeting the single purchases, but it’s about building repeat customers,” Anu explains. Make lifecycle marketing an integral part of your precision marketing strategy by creating interesting and dynamic content that brings your precisely targeted customers back to your brand again and again. Personalized offers that relate to past products they've bought, birthdays, or unique interests are all great ways to get repeat purchases from the same customer over time. 

Be authentic

Customers appreciate authenticity. Understand where your brand sits in the market and what makes it unique. To be effective, know your brand values and make sure you represent those values through your marketing efforts. It also helps to have an approachable brand voice–test out multiple variants of landing page or ad copy when running a targeted campaign. Most likely the assets that will perform the best will be the most simple to comprehend; making things too complex increases the likelihood that you'll lose interest by those unfamiliar with your brand.

Create a desirable customer experience

Customers today live in a digital world with unlimited options. Give them a compelling reason to work with you. By delivering an exceptional customer experience, you can win their trust and expect that they will keep coming back. 

“You need to make things easy for the customer,” suggests Anu. “For example, if the return process is easy, they’ll come back to shop again, and hopefully buy something even more expensive the next time they shop with you.”

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5 keys for success in brand loyalty

Here are some of the best ways to get in front of your customers and build their loyalty. 

Maintain a strong brand

Customers naturally gravitate towards brands they’re familiar with and can trust. Aim to align your brand with your values, mission, and your customers’ expectations.

Understand your audience’s habits

Use precision marketing to gain accurate insight into your audience’s behaviors. When used effectively, audience data can help you create content that is engaging and relevant. 

Stick to your goals

Setting realistic goals will make it easier for you to track the success of your marketing efforts. By measuring what’s working and what’s not, you can adjust your goals accordingly. Consider evaluating click through rates, the number of email newsletter subscribers, how effective CTAs are working, as well as ups and downs in website traffic. 

Make retention a priority

While it's good to attract new customers, it’s far more cost effective to focus on retaining your existing ones. The goal is to have people keep coming back. To drive more conversions, focus on creating personalized experiences and deals that your existing customers will find appealing. Segment your audiences, collect data about each audience group and their behavior, and you’re sure to be on your way to higher retention rates. 

Stay on top of trends

You may already be aware that marketing trends change frequently. Staying on top of trends—even if they come and go—gives you a competitive advantage and helps you maintain a close connection with customers. When a new trend pops up, assess whether it will be effective for your brand. To make sure you're in the loop, read current blogs and listen to your customers so you can meet their needs. 

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Use MarinOne to boost your precision marketing efforts

The marketing industry is constantly evolving and it will continue to do so in the years to come. To remain responsive, marketers must use precision marketing to build solid relationships with their existing customers and attract the right audiences for new potential customers. 

MarinOne can help you streamline and amplify your precision marketing campaigns using the latest analytics and automation tools. We can also provide tactical and strategic advice, guide you on what strategies will work best for your specific needs, and much more. Learn more about MarinOne today. 

Get in touch with one of our experts to see how we can help you get the information and tools you need to increase the effectiveness of your precision marketing campaigns.

In 2023, Google will stop supporting Universal Analytics and switch all customers to Google Analytics 4. Prepare ahead of time to make your transition as seamless as possible by making GA4 an integral part of your tech stack now. We will discuss how Google Analytics 4 differs from earlier versions and there will also be pointers for maximizing the platform's functionality. 

Google Analytics 4: What’s new?

So now comes the question of what new features there are in GA4, and the answer is, in short… a lot. The data collection algorithm and data structure in GA4 are quite different. Now, rather than sessions as in the past, everything is built around users and events. Every user interaction is treated as a separate event in an event-based approach.

This shift is important since, in the past, we relied on a session-based model that categorized user activities over a certain time. Marketing grows significantly from shifting the focus from sessions to events, including improved pathing analytic capabilities and cross-platform analysis.

By switching to an event-based approach, GA4 becomes more adaptable and has improved user behavior prediction.

Google Analytics 4 property events

Normally, the data in your reports comes from activities that occur as people engage with your website or blog. A page view event is triggered whenever a user accesses a page on your site.

The following events may be gathered without the use of any code:

  • Automatically collected events: Events that are automatically captured when data collection is set up include first visit, ad clicks, and file downloads.
  • Enhanced measurement events: This option automatically gathers enhanced measurement events such as page view, scroll, and video engagement.
  • Recommended events: This represents events that you design but that have fixed names and parameters. Common events in this category could be ad impressions, coupon use for purchases, or a search performed by the user on your website directly. 
  • Custom events: Custom events are ones you designate and give a specific name. If none of the events in the other categories meet your requirements, you can build events that are completely bespoke to your business.
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How to make the transition from Universal Analytics to GA4

To update the GA version, you can follow the steps that are listed below:

Step 1: 

Easily install GA4 by navigating to the admin part of your reporting view in your GA3 property. Open the admin section and start the process.

Step 2:

You will see that the "Setup Assistant" link for GA4 located under the Property column. Click on it. 

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Step 3:

You will find the heading "I want to create a new Google Analytics 4 property," click the "Get Started" button.

Step 4:

In this step, you need to click on the Create Property button. New GA4 properties will now be created automatically by Google Analytics. Your current GA property will continue to exist. So you will have access to at least two GA properties. With gtag.js, the GA4 setup assistance operates automatically. You must add the Analytics tag manually if you use a website builder like WordPress, Wix, etc. However, this new GA4 property won't start gathering data automatically. For the data to begin flowing into your new GA4 property, you must configure your GTM (Google Tag Manager).

Step 5:

Now click on the "see your GA4 button. A new tab will open. Click on the Data stream link.

Step 6:

In this step, click on your web data stream. Note: Both "web stream" and "data stream" are used in Google Analytics 4. These two terms refer to the flow of analytics information your website sends to Google Analytics.

Step 7:

Select "Use existing on-page tag" from the Tagging instructions section. Select Google Tag Manager from the drop-down option. Now you will see the instructions for setting up a tag to track your website data in the new GA4 property. Note down the measurement ID.

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Step 8:

Go to your GTM account and click the link for New Tags. Give your new tag a name like "GA4 tracking - All pages" and choose Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration as the tag type.

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Step 9:

In the Measurement ID text box, type the measurement ID you recorded earlier. Make sure that your trigger fires on all pages. To save your tag, click the Save button.

Step 10:

Click on the Preview button, which is situated in the upper right corner. The Tag Manager Preview mode window will appear in a new browser tab. If it doesn't, it indicates that your browser is blocking the window.

Step 11:

Now enter your website address and click on the Connect button. Your website will appear in a new tab in your browser window as soon as you click the Connect button.

Step 12:

Return to the tab of your browser that displays the Tag Manager Preview mode window, and click the Continue button. Your tag is firing properly if you see the tag "GA4 tracking-All pages" in the Tags Fired column.

Step 13:

Now again, open your GTM account and click the submit tab. Click the Publish button after naming your version. Go back to your website, click on a few pages, and open them. After scrolling up, open your GA4 property again and click the cross button next to the Web stream details.

Finally, check your reports

From the menu on the left, just select the Reports icon.

Your home page report's quick response will be:

  • What are the locations of your new users?
  • Which of your campaigns performed the best?
  • Which screens and pages receive the greatest traffic?
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Select Real-time report by clicking over it. Your real-time report should show new data. Remember that Google Analytics 4 reports differ significantly from the Universal Analytics reports. In addition to using the new catalog, several well-known metrics and reports have been totally removed. Basically, you would have to start again with Google Analytics 4 if you were using standard reports like the Top Landing Pages report.

Keep in mind that GA4 property is the default option while establishing a new property from within an existing GA3 property. However, you can still use the GA4 Setup Assistant option in your GA3 property even after you have created your new GA4 property.

The option to "See your GA4 property" should appear when you click the GA4 Setup Assistant link once more, indicating that you have successfully set up the GA4 property and connected it to your previous GA3 property.

What is an App + Web Property?

App + Web was basically Google Analytics 4's beta version. All App + Web properties are now accessible as GA4 properties. This means that you don't need to do anything.

Open the property in your Google Analytics account. The previous Universal Analytics interface will have been replaced with the new GA4 interface.

Next Steps

Google Analytics 4 uses artificial intelligence (AI) to effectively gather user data, provide statistics based on customer life cycles, and help you customize your advertising to your target audience. Combining these elements can increase your chances of conversion and ROI while also building your business.

Using GA4 in combination with MarinOne reporting and conversion tracking tools will give your marketing team complete visibility on all your website impressions, engagement, and actions…with a holistic view of users and events across channels and devices. By automatically connecting and combining siloed marketing data from thousands of sources, you can understand the impact of your marketing at both high and granular levels. 

Ready to know your best-performing tactics across the consumer’s journey and optimize every marketing dollar? Speak with one of our expert consultants today to learn how to get started.

The global e-commerce market reached a value of $13 trillion in 2021—and is forecasted to rise to $55.6 trillion by 2027. What are some of the major factors that led to this growth?  There was an explosion in demand for smart devices like smartphones and tablets, making it easier than ever for people to shop online from anywhere. COVID was another big factor: when stores closed, consumers  all went online—and they liked it.

In this article, we'll share some of the benefits of the current e-commerce landscape, then give you some tips on getting your e-commerce site to perform at its best this year and beyond.

Reasons to Ramp Up your E-comm Presence

There's no doubt that online sales are more important than ever, regardless of your company structure. With a growing population of e-comm shoppers and a marketplace that's constantly expanding, it's essential to have a strong e-commerce presence if you want to stay competitive and meet customers’ demands. Here are five reasons you should focus your efforts on e-commerce: 

Meeting Consumers Where They Are

Since the onset of the pandemic, consumer behavior has dramatically changed, shifting more towards digital shopping habits. A study done by Pew Research states that 79% of U.S. consumers shop online, indicating that this new habit is here to stay. And for good reason: it’s far more convenient than having to step foot in any physical retail store. It saves time, gives consumers the flexibility to shop for the best prices, and allows them to choose from a wider range of products.

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Unrestricted Store Hours

Having an e-commerce site means your store is theoretically open all day, every day. With 24/7 access consumers can browse whenever they want, be it 1 AM or 1 PM. Not only does this make digital shopping more appealing for customers, but it also increases sales opportunities. 

Manage Your Business From Anywhere

As opposed to a traditional brick-and-mortar storefront, using an e-commerce site allows you to run your company from anywhere. Whether you prefer to sit in an office, work from home, or even your local coffee shop, you can watch your business grow without being tied to a physical space. 

Extend Your Reach

As an e-commerce company, your number one priority is to get the word out about your products and services. It is possible to advertise in different ways and improve traffic to your site. However, this is easier said than done. It's always hard to get noticed online with so much noise and competition shouting their message out. By honing in on the right niche messaging for your target demographic, and utilizing an omnichannel marketing approach with SEM, email marketing with proper authentication protocols, influencers, and more…you can "find your people" on a global scale. Once the right brand message is identified, the opportunity to extend your reach to a wider target audience is virtually limitless.

Reduce Your Costs

If you were at all hesitant to start an e-commerce site because of the cost, think again. Launching a site is more affordable than owning a store, and it minimizes infrastructure, communication, and other overhead costs. 

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Tips for Creating a Profitable E-commerce Site

Follow the Latest Trends

With e-commerce best practices constantly evolving and changing, it’s vital to keep your e-commerce site current and your business competitive. By keeping up with the latest trends, you'll find new and innovative techniques that will offer your business huge value, while identifying the tactics that may not be suitable for your specific company needs. To determine which trends are worth pursuing, know your customers and competitors well so you can make the right move. 

Understand How to Optimize your E-Commerce Presence

Adopt advanced conversion tactics and push your organization to improve your baseline goal. Routinely examine bounce rates, exit rates, click-through rates, and average session durations. It is also wise to invest in e-commerce tools that can help analyze your current conversion rate issues. Some other strategies for boosting conversion rates include using high-quality images and videos on your product pages, providing limited-time coupon codes, and tweaking your store checkout process. 

Develop Strategic Shipping Policies and Options

Offer your consumers free shipping on orders over a specific amount and offer expedited delivery options like three-day shipping or two-hour delivery windows for customers who need their items immediately. An effective product delivery strategy will help to differentiate your business from competitors.

Include Customer Reviews on Product Pages 

Without a storefront, customers can’t physically experience an item before purchasing it. Give them the confidence they need to make informed decisions about products by providing them with easy access to online product reviews. By helping them navigate your business’s digital space, you maintain a positive reputation and a strong brand name, leading to happy customers and returning business. 

Create Social Media Profiles for Your Brand 

Having a social media presence allows you to connect with existing customers and reach out to potential new ones. Statista data indicates that users spend an average of a whopping 147 minutes per day on social media. Using social media to market your e-commerce store allows you to reach shoppers directly, advertise new products, or engage them with attractive promotions. According to BigCommerce statistics, businesses with an active and unique social media presence have at least 32% more sales than those without one. 

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Integrate your Point of Sale and Inventory Management Systems for Best Results 

Consumers prefer a seamless shopping and purchasing experience, with expectations that their products will arrive at their doorstep as fast as possible. Backend integration can help streamline e-commerce operations like inventory management, so that your customers remain satisfied and get what they want, when they want it. Integrating inventory management allows your organization to track its stock so you can balance the quantity of products on hand while meeting customer demands. By being able to analyze trends and sales patterns, you can also successfully maximize sales margins. 

Make your Site Mobile Friendly

Making sure your e-commerce site is mobile-friendly is the key to driving more sales and ensuring a smooth customer journey. A mobile-friendly design leads to more page views, stronger customer loyalty, increased online purchases, and many more benefits. 

Site Speed Matters

The last thing you want is a slow-loading website that will irritate your visitors. If your site can’t move fast enough for your customers it will negatively impact the user's perception of your brand, increase bounce rates, and encourage buyers to look elsewhere. In fact, studies prove that if a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, 40% of users will quickly give up and leave.  

Conclusion

Not only is centralizing your business to an e-commerce website cost-effective, it’s also been the preferred way for customers to shop for several years now. To stay competitive, it's essential that you get your website running like a well-oiled machine.

Not sure where to start? MarinOne can help by streamlining your advertising efforts and give your website a jumpstart in sales and traffic. This will buy your team time to get the web backend exactly how you want it while we build your front-end brand through advertising on marketplaces, paid search, and social. With MarinOne, you can gain an edge over your competition, maximize performance across all channels, and utilize impactful retail marketplace advertising features to set your e-commerce site up for success. 

Learn more about how MarinOne can help. Get in touch and speak to one of our team experts or schedule a free demo today.

This is a story about people doing bad things on the internet. It’s not the first and certainly won’t be the last. We decided to tell our story to help prevent others from becoming victims. Of course we don’t want people misusing our brand, but the people who have spent their precious time and lost money in this are the real victims and are the ones we are looking to protect.

It started with a DM

We started getting strange messages to our social media accounts and various company email addresses asking “is this project real?” The project: Translation work from somebody who is using a name very similar to ours and our company logo.

This has nothing to do with our company (if you look closely, you can see the misspelled name). We responded to these inquiries letting the email senders know the project was not real and that they should not communicate with these Scammers (I’d really prefer to use a stronger term here, but my editor would not allow it). We also let the platforms where these conversations originated know what was happening.

As we received more messages, some of them became more urgent. Some of these new Victims were panicked because they had done the work and then sent money to the Scammers. One of them had sent $1,500.

How does this work?

We believe that these scams start with a job posting on sites like Freelancer.com and Upwork. The Scammer then asks the Victim to move their communications off the original platform and to communicate directly through Telegram or another messaging platform, including email. 

The Victim is given work that seems legitimate, and completes the task. When the Victim seeks payment, the Scammer then requires the Victim to establish an account for payment, which requires the Victim to send an “account registration fee” to the Scammer. This advance-fee scam is not new. Similar scams have been around in various forms for decades or longer, including the Spanish Prisoner and Nigerian Prince scams.

 

The Scammer promises that the account registration fee will be refunded upon the Scammer’s payment for the Victim’s work. At this point, many of the Victims realize that they have fallen for a scam.  But some Victims, having already done some work and not wanting to walk away from a potential payment, go ahead and pay the account registration fee. A behavioral psychologist might refer to this as an escalation of commitment or sunk-cost fallacy.

In a few cases, the Scammer further escalates the commitment by asking the Victim to make an additional payment to link their account.

How can freelancers protect themselves?

According to HR statistics, freelance work in the US has been on the rise, with 53 million registered freelancers in 2014 versus 59 million in 2020. So how can these freelancers protect themselves? The first thing that people can do when working on freelance projects is to always work through the platforms. They have established policies in place to ensure that payment happens once the job is completed and that payment should happen directly through the platform. Being asked to move communication to email or another platform should be a red flag. 

Secondly, there is absolutely no reason that we can think of where a legitimate company would ask you to provide payment in order to get paid. If it sounds like it doesn't make sense, it probably doesn't.

Third: watch out for projects that look too good to be true. The pay for the projects that we've seen were quite generous and this of course gets people more interested. If it seems like you are being overpaid for the amount of work involved, keep your guard up. 

There are many articles and videos with additional advice on what to watch for.

What are you doing to stop this? What can other companies do?

We aim to work with the freelance platforms and relevant law enforcement to try to prevent these types of scams from happening. Below are some contacts and links that we used so you can use them if needed.   If you become aware of a scam online posting, please report the posting and/or the user to the relevant platform.

US Agencies

Online Platforms

Also, provide a way for people to contact you. People who have lost money are very resourceful about getting in touch with someone who can help. We have seen direct messages on social networks, emails to every alias listed on our website, and well as personal telephone outreach to team members and their families. By posting a link on our Contact Us page, we have made it easier for people to connect with our legal team and get additional information.

Open request to freelancing platforms

As we discussed how to handle this internally, one of the things that we think could provide a significant Improvement in the freelance ecosystem would be to allow companies to become certified. This would be similar to the blue check on Twitter. This way, a freelancer would know that the job is legitimate and coming from the official company account. It seems like a step in the right direction. It appears there is something similar for individuals, but we couldn’t find anything for companies.

We are not experts in this area, so there may be other things in place or better ways to solve this problem. We'd love to start a discussion about how we can do that. For now, know that Marin's cyber security practices are strong. If we need any freelance assistance, we will not be contacting anyone through Telegram or Whatsapp.

As we live in a world with increasingly remote employees, we expect that we will all face more of these types of threats.  We all should keep our guards up.

There's nothing worse than feeling like you're wasting perfectly good product in storage facilities because certain items in your inventory just don't seem to be selling. This is frustrating both for operations and marketing teams. Operations teams are facing supply chain issues, shipping headaches, storage fees, and more while they watch waning product take precious warehouse space that best selling items could occupy. 

Meanwhile the marketing team is pouring money into ads, thinking that more exposure will lead to more sales, while certain items cannot seem to get out the door quickly enough. Sometimes, no matter how many times you tweak a campaign, the results just aren't there. Too many companies suffer from the "left hand not speaking to the right" in regard to marketing and operational teams. If this sounds familiar, it might be time to take a closer look at your inventory management strategy and realign the effectiveness between operations and marketing. 

As Julie Durante, the Director of Inbound at Impulse Creative, said, “Operations must serve the customers that marketing helps attract. If marketing and ops aren’t in alignment, no one will be successful.”

What are the benefits of aligning operations and marketing roadmaps?

If your operations and marketing teams work side-by-side, you'll see great results. Making sure operations are aligned with what marketing is doing ensures a smooth workflow and you'll end up with more leads and revenue because of this close collaboration. Entering into a mutual agreement means you can share ideas, improve efficiency, and create the right environment for company growth. Here's a quick overview of the advantages of this approach.

  1. Avoid over-ordering products that aren’t selling well 

By reducing your exposure to products that aren’t moving, you can save money on advertising and inventory costs. By ordering just enough to meet consumer demand— no more and no less—you can avoid major losses. 

  1. Improve your company cash flow with inventory management

When an effective management strategy isn’t in place, you can tie up your money by purchasing large quantities of inventory all at once. With careful management, this can be avoided, resulting in improved cash flow that can be spent elsewhere when needed, like special marketing initiatives. 

  1. Improve your organization’s bottom line 

When you streamline processes, it impacts the rest of your business by increasing revenue growth and leading to more consistent profitability

  1. Benefit from a well-organized operations and marketing system 

Since you now have insight into exactly how much product you have, it makes it easier to determine the right products for upselling, cross-promotion, and bundling. An inventory that is well organized and well documented will also help save staff time and prevent errors, leading to tight shipping schedules and a greater overall customer experience, which is an important part of reputation management for the marketing team as well. If your inventory is properly organized, the rest of your supply chain will fall right into place.  

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3 Challenges of operations-marketing alignment

Obviously creating the kind of multi-team synergy we're describing takes time and effort. That’s why it's important to find the right balance between having autonomy amongst each team and finding the most opportune moments for both teams to work together. 

  1. Changing processes can be difficult to implement for larger businesses

Poor operational oversight and control can slow down fulfillment, and make errors more frequent. Some of the tactics we've mentioned, like engaging an inventory management tool, or reorganizing documentation processes, will make things much easier.

  1. It requires accurate and up-to-date communication

As with most things in business, communication is key. Constant, transparent communication between the marketing team and operations team is a vital part of achieving success. The idea is to encourage the free flow of information. Promote collaboration by giving everyone a chance to share their ideas and knowledge. Make sure that people can easily talk to one another in person or through conference tools, and help break barriers between departments.

  1. Assigning ownership and responsibility can get messy

Great teams work to understand the full range of what work is taking place and who owns what pieces of the puzzle. Who will take charge and make sure your teams function as well as they should? The answer lies in the question of ownership, not control. Establish early on the areas where one team will have to dictate the actions of another and vice versa, based on the greater good and big picture objectives of the company. 

If a shipping promotion marketing wants to run will ultimately cost the company too much, operations may have a veto in that area. But if a product bundle idea could potentially bring in a significant amount of additional revenue and it doesn’t add too much time in terms of labor or packaging, marketing may have the final vote in that scenario. 

At the end of the day, everyone is on the same team of reducing costs and increasing revenue for the company at large. Keep that singular focus in mind, have a spirit of teamwork from the top-down, and every situation will play out as smoothly as possible.

What role does inventory-based spend management play?

Inventory-based spend management is a way of making marketing and advertising budgeting decisions based on the product inventory you have available. 

By tracking and forecasting inventory levels and targeting your campaigns more specifically to the products you have in stock, you can increase your chances of making a sale. Surprisingly, 43% of small businesses don’t track their inventory—and 21% of companies overall say that they don’t have proper inventory management in place. Starting with a basic understanding of where things are now is paramount in order for all parties to move forward. To make a strategic sales approach based on inventory management successful you must get on top of existing inventory, the current marketing plan, and identify where those two componencts do not align in the big picture.

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How do we get started?

In this case, unlike other marketing tactics, the operations team takes the first step. Inventory-based spend management starts with a forecast and analysis of your product inventory. You'll need to take a close look at what products you have in stock, the expected rate of turnover, and any supply problems on the horizon. Without this kind of information, the "tail will be wagging the dog" as marketing continues to guess on which products to promote and feature.

Once that data is all in one place, you can start to make decisions about where to allocate your marketing budget both in the short-term and the long-term. If there’s a problem with supply for one item or category, you can shift your marketing strategy to other products. 

Thankfully, all of this can be done by implementing inventory software. With a good system in place, you can automate your strategy, optimize cash flow, successfully manage and control orders, oversee warehouses, reduce handling costs, and much more.

Inventory-based spend management techniques

There are predefined techniques to help you optimize inventory-based spend management. By choosing the techniques that work best for your business, you can maximize your budget and optimize your spend strategy. Here’s a look at just a few of them.

  1. Just-In-Time (JIT) inventory management

The goal of JIT is to have the minimum amount of inventory on hand to meet demand. That means you bring in inventory on an as-needed basis, rather than buying in large quantities. 

  1. ABC analysis

With this technique, goods are split into three categories, A, B, and C. Category A products represent your most valued goods—those that make a huge impact on your overall profit; Category B reflects products that fall somewhere in the middle of your most valued products and your least valued ones; Category C includes small transaction items that are critical to overall profit but don’t individually matter too much. 

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  1. Demand forecasting

Demand forecasting focuses on historical sales data to forecast customer demand. Companies use this type of forecasting as a rough estimate of the amount of goods they expect consumers to purchase in the future. 

Inventory-based spend management is crucial if you want to ensure your customers get the goods they want when they want them, but can also be a key tool to help you properly manage your marketing budget. 

Realizing the potential of inventory-based spend management

Inventory-based spend management is a great way to save money and get the most out of your marketing budget. By targeting your campaigns specifically to products you have in stock at a surplus and those that generate the best profits, you can avoid over-ordering products that aren't selling well and bounce back as a business when inventory levels are off. This approach can also help you make more sales by increasing your marketing focus on products that are in stock.

How MarinOne Can Help

Whether you’ve got a solid marketing and operations strategy in place already, or you’re looking to develop one, MarinOne can get you headed in the right direction.

MarinOne helps your marketing team see all of your ad spend data in one place, so you can make more informed decisions about where to allocate your marketing budget instead of watching your dollars go to waste. 

Paired with a great inventory management tool, you'll have effective multi-team visibility for both operations and marketing needs. Consult with one of our advertising experts to learn how you can successfully manage and optimize spend.

PPC advertising is already used by 45% of businesses to promote their products and services, and 62% of marketers plan to increase their PPC budgets. With figures like this, it’s clear that advertisers need to set themselves apart from competitors to drive more qualified leads and visitors. 

Using the right PPC campaign management tool is a good place to start and can make a world of difference in how you manage your campaigns. In short, they can make your campaigns more effective and less time-consuming. But with such a vast array of tools on the market, choosing the best one can be a complex process—especially if you aren’t sure what to look out for or what features you need. We've put together a quick guide on what to keep in mind as you start exploring your options.

Choosing a PPC campaign management tool

So, what do you need in a PPC campaign management tool? Here are seven things to look for.

Meets your short-term and long-term business needs

Look for a tool that can help your business achieve its goals and enhance performance. The ideal solution should help you find new opportunities to improve your PPC campaigns and produce lasting results. When you begin your search, clearly outline your business needs. Once you’ve identified your goals, you can turn them into measurable objectives. Doing so will help you easily narrow down your options and find the solution that suits your business best. 

Saves you time

The right PPC optimization tool will afford you more time to monitor and manage campaigns instead of getting bogged down with small, tedious tasks. Some tools are designed to create bulk campaigns or PPC ads using a keyword research tool or receive automated recommendations on bid adjustments. Using a PPC campaign management tool will also enable you to reduce in-house resources you’re currently devoting to digital marketing. Not only will it cut your expenditures, but you’ll have more free time to focus on other core areas of marketing that matter the most. 

Has several different features

You want a tool to do more than just run audits or produce results on a dashboard. Pick a tool that has robust functionality and can help with:

  • Analyzing your performance
  • Monthly progress reports
  • Providing recommendations for improvement
  • Automating workflows
  • Optimizing bids 
  • Keeping you on budget
  • ROI calculations

Cost-effective

The price of a PPC campaign management tool may ultimately impact which solution you choose. However, using one allows you to determine an effective budget for your ads by channel and increase the ROI of all your campaigns, making it a worthwhile investment. By automating your campaigns and working at scale, the right tool can also help save costs on additional resources in your organization. So be sure to choose wisely and consider more than just the cost of the tool itself.  

Helps you through the entire PPC journey

A PPC journey begins with an agency offering potential clients a proposal, which is typically done through a PPC audit that illustrates past success stories in the form of case studies, and a bit of sales know-how. After a client is on board, an ROI calculator and monthly reports will be needed. A solid PPC campaign management tool will be able to easily generate performance reports that can be converted into PDF format so everyone has access and can track your team’s success through the journey. 

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PPC campaign management tool features

When you purchase a PPC campaign management tool, you’ll want to be sure it includes all of these basics, and hopefully some additional unique extras too. Creating a criteria checklist of which attributes you need can help you spot which tool meets all of your requirements. 

Standard tool features

  • Intuitive keyword search
  • Campaign optimization
  • Competition analysis
  • PPC monitoring
  • PPC channels to target

Extra features

  • AI-led customer rules
  • Split A/B testing
  • Cross-platform management capabilities
  • Ad scheduling

Why MarinOne is the right optimization tool for you

With the digital market constantly evolving, it’s crucial to keep up with the most current technology, especially when it can help improve your bottom line. The right PPC campaign management tool will deliver measurable results and minimize costs to drive your business forward. Additionally, it can help you stand out from your competitors and stay ahead of the game. 

The success of your PPC campaigns depends on them being fully effective and efficient. If you’re looking to boost your sales and streamline your PPC campaign management, the right tool can make it easy. By taking a strategic approach to selecting the ideal PPC campaign management tool that’s best for you, you’ll achieve maximum results that will grow your business. 

Now that you’ve read about how to choose the best PPC campaign management tool, take a look at why MarinOne is the best option on the market for both B2B and retail-focused marketers. Just a few of the time-saving features our tool offers include: 

  • Optimization Automation
  • AI-powered Keyword Bid Changes
  • Ad Extensions
  • Unique Audience Segmentation and Testing
  • Ad Scheduling
  • Custom Parameters
  • Dynamic Targeting

We offer free audits on your performance marketing campaigns and our team of expert consultants is ready to help you today. 

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Advertisers know how important optimization is, whether it’s major changes or several small changes throughout the week. With Marin Insights, making these regular optimizations is easy. Our Insights are designed to save you time and to catch important details that may have been missed. 

Many advertisers are used to looking through multiple publishers and making adjustments within each of them. With the recommendation engine in Marin, you can easily make adjustments to multiple publishers at once. Whether that is downloading the Insight and re-uploading with the desired changes or using the one-click implementation that will seamlessly adjust each publisher included in the Insight. Leveraging data from multiple publishers can be useful for advertisers as well. 

How Various Marin Insights Work

In Marin's “Duplicate Keywords” Insight, the MarinOne tool will look through your account and find keywords with the same text, publisher, match type, location target, and audience. Instead of looking through the account to find these, they will automatically be searched for every day and show up in the Insights section. We have now made the process of this Insight and several others easier by adding a one-click implementation. Saving more time with the click of a button, rather than manually updating these. 

In the “Keyword Expansion” Insight, artificial intelligence technology looks at top-performing keywords across publishers and recommends adding them to other publishers. If Microsoft has great performance with a specific keyword, our Insight AI will pick up on that and suggest it be added to Google as well.

About the Insights Algorithm

We have years of digital experience that we’ve applied to perfect these algorithms. Every day automated machine learning will search your publishers, seeking out new opportunities for performance improvement. Using the Insights tab can save advertisers time, effort, and money. There are also separate sections of the Insights page that divide the Insights by category. Insights are a key initiative, and we are continuously working on creating new Insights and finding the best way to implement them. 

One-Click Implementation

Our one-click implementation Insights have been created for ease of execution, you click the button and we’ll do the rest. The one-click implementation Insights currently include;

  • Amazon Keyword Expansion - Add high performing search terms as exact keywords to gain bid control and improve performance.
  • Amazon Keyword Match Type Expansion - Add missing phrase and exact match keyword variations for high performing broad and phrase match keywords.
  • Apple Keyword Expansion - Add high performing search terms as exact keywords to gain bid control and improve performance.
  • Apple Keyword Match Type Expansion - Add missing exact match keyword variations for high performing broad match keywords.
  • Keyword Expansion - Add high performing search terms as exact keywords to gain bid control and improve performance.
  • Keyword Match Type Expansion - Add missing phrase and exact match keyword variations for high performing broad and phrase match keywords.
  • Negative Keyword Expansion - Add negative keywords for non-converting search terms to reduce wasteful spending.
  • Amazon Negative Keyword Expansion - Add negative keywords for non-converting search terms to reduce wasteful spending.
  • Budget Capped Campaigns - Increase budgets on high performing campaigns to improve overall efficiency. If spend needs to be maintained, reduce bid targets.
  • Ad Optimization - Pause or replace underperforming ads to drive more traffic to top performing ads.
  • Duplicate Keywords - Pause or delete duplicate keywords, keeping the keyword with the higher quality score or spend, to improve performance and make more informed bid decisions.
  • Landing Page Errors - Pause keywords directing traffic to broken landing pages until the issue is resolved.
  • Landing Page Errors (enhanced) - Resolve landing page errors or replace with functioning URLs.
  • Keyword Bid Overrides - Remove keyword bid overrides to allow Marin Bidding to optimize towards the bid strategy goal.
  • Bid Caps - Remove or raise bid strategy caps to allow Marin Bidding to operate more efficiently.
  • Bid Floors - Remove bid strategy floors to allow Marin Bidding to operate more efficiently.
  • Bid Changes Preview - Review bid changes recommended by Marin Bidding and set Bid Strategies to Traffic.
  • Bidding Reactivity - Prevent drastic daily bid changes by setting ‘Limit Bid Change under %’ to 25%.

The MarinOne Difference

There are many other Insights that we have within the platform as well. Some will eventually have one-click implementation, while others require more analysis. Advertisers have the ability to download any Insight on the page for a more thorough review if desired.  We have set up our tool to include complete transparency on how we define an Insight which allows you to understand why specific recommendations have been made; and you will be able to implement Insights to several publishers from one page.  By utilizing this tool, you will have more effectively optimized accounts and more time to focus on the real building blocks of your business.

To learn more about our automated paid media management Insights or any other campaign management quandary you may be facing, schedule a consultation with a MarinOne expert today.

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