All businesses must undergo a change at one point or another. Whether it's a change in leadership, organizational structure, or technology, companies have to adapt to remain competitive.
But change can be disruptive and stressful for employees—and without a well-planned change management strategy, organizations may fail to achieve their desired outcomes.
Case in point: 70% of change initiatives fail due to employee resistance or unproductive management behavior. Luckily, you can mitigate this risk by creating an effective change management plan and ensure a smooth change transition.
This article will explore the steps to develop a change management plan, including the skills needed to lead a successful change effort, common reasons why change management plans fail, and how to avoid these pitfalls.
Why you need a change management plan
As an organization undergoing change, you must prepare your employees for what lies ahead. Change can be difficult for everyone involved. But if you have a process they can follow, it makes the transition easier and ensures everyone is on board.
A change management plan allows you to communicate the change early and often, provide training and support, and be available to answer possible questions. It also reduces change resistance, boosts employee morale, and helps to create a more positive work environment.
In addition, a change management plan helps control the effect of change during the execution and control stage, thereby avoiding overruns in cost and schedule, incoherent scope, or poor quality change management.
Skills needed to lead a change management plan
Leading change is not a simple operation. It's a very human process, requiring human skills. Soft skills like empathy, communication, and emotional intelligence are essential. A change leader must also have strong resilience and be good at motivating others.
Some other skills that are critical for analyzing change, creating a plan, and implementing the plan effectively include:
- Leadership: Good leadership is essential for taking employees through organizational change and delegating roles to the right people. Good leadership styles include qualities like honesty and transparency. A change leader should be transparent about why the change is taking place. They should also have a clear vision of what the company aims to accomplish through the change.
- Strategic thinking: Strategic thinking is a critical skill that helps you create change management plans. When you understand your company's needs, you can develop a strong plan that includes the timeline for the change, the deadline, specific tasks necessary to make the change, and key responsibilities for each employee.
- Organization: Organization is another skill that can improve change management. Establishing a clear change management plan requires organizing various information, including employee roles, project goals, deadlines, and other key information.
- Research skills: Developing research skills can enable you to assist your organization in planning for change. You can research other companies' change management tactics and methodologies to generate ideas for your company's change process.
- Analytical skills: Change management plans also require analytical and critical thinking skills to analyze company data, understand the research, and make the best decisions for your organization.
Here are a few tips to help you develop and improve the skills you need to lead a change management plan:
- Read articles and blogs about other companies' change management experiences to gain more insight and knowledge
- Find a mentor to give you specific guidance and help you make good decisions
- Hire a change management consultant to guide your company through the change and learning from their expertise
- Take and complete an online management course
How to create a change management plan
You shouldn’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to creating a change management plan.
It requires careful consideration of the unique challenges and opportunities that come with the specific change. But, generally speaking, you'll find one to include the following:
- A clear definition of the change
- A timeline for implementation
- A communication strategy
- A training plan
- A risk management strategy
Below are the steps to develop a successful change management plan.
Step 1: Define your change management goals
Start your change management plan by establishing the plan goals. This involves identifying the problem or opportunity the change will address and articulating the desired and expected outcomes.
Use these tips to define your goals clearly:
- Understand the changes: Familiarize yourself with the changes that need to be made and their implications, as well as the methodologies you'll use to prioritize change requests. For instance, if you plan to introduce new software to your employees, it's not enough to simply know how the software works. You also need to understand how it'll affect existing workflows.
- Have awareness goals: Employee awareness and adoption of the changes should be part of your plan, so ensure you incorporate that.
- Define KPIs: Define quantifiable KPIs to define your plan's success. How will you measure your success? What metrics do you need to move? What is the baseline for how things currently stand? Apply the metrics that make sense given the context of the changes.
Step 2: Build your change team
In order to effectively implement change management, it's important to prioritize the building of a strong change management team with the necessary resources.
This team should consist of individuals in leadership positions from various departments, including:
Building alliances with various departments makes it easy to educate the rest of the team on the changes and provide support throughout the change process.
Additionally, it's important to build a finance team to manage change incentives and resources. This will help develop strategies for effective finance change management and avoid delays. You also need support from stakeholders, including the CEO and other members of the executive team, to increase the chances of success.
Step 3: Develop your change management plan
With your team assembled, it's time to develop your change management plan.
- Create a task list: This is a checklist of actionable tasks you must complete to achieve your goals. It keeps your team on track and is easy to reference when determining the next steps.
- Put together a timeline: Assign specific due dates to each task on your list and make sure that those deadlines are met. Your plan should revolve around the project's overall due date. If any tasks cannot be completed before the rollout of changes, consider adjusting their due dates or prioritize them according to their importance and feasibility. You may also complete some tasks after the rollout if necessary.
Change management can be complex, so using a project management tool like Asana or Trello to organize your plans and keep everything in one place can be of great help.
Step 4: Create a communication strategy
Developing a clear and concise communication strategy ensures everyone is onboard and understands what's happening throughout the change management process.
Keep the following pointers in mind when developing your communication plan:
- Ensure all stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers, and external partners are aware of the project timeline and objectives.
- Create a timeline for how often you'll communicate updates.
- Have clear channels of communication. Examples include email, phone, or in-person meetings.
- Ensure that everyone understands the company's change management process and procedures clearly.
Step 5: Execute your change management plan
Executing a change management plan involves several steps, including executing the communication plan, providing training, and monitoring progress.
During the implementation phase, change managers should identify and quickly address any roadblocks that arise. This can be accomplished by encouraging employee participation in the change, being transparent and communicative from the start, and addressing any resistance that may arise.
To help build momentum for the change, be sure to communicate all successes and provide incentives for embracing the change. Employees should also be encouraged to experiment and share their experiences to harness their emotional energy and overcome any natural resistance that may arise.
Step 6: Evaluate, review, and adapt
Evaluating the change management plan is essential to determine its effectiveness. This involves assessing the success of the change and identifying areas for improvement in the change management process.
A few ways you can do this include:
- Use a change management tracking system to track all changes that are made in the organization. This allows you to identify and mitigate any areas of concern before they become major issues.
- Use performance indicators to help you measure the success of the plan. With a collaborative KPI dashboard, you can see if the plan is being implemented correctly or whether there are unexpected side effects resulting from the changes.
- Regularly review team progress to ensure that the employees adopt the changes and that all successful change initiatives are incorporated into future change management plans.
When do change management plans fail?
Not all change management plans are successful. They can fail for a variety of reasons. The following are some common reasons for change management plan failures and ways to avoid them:
People often resist change, especially if it threatens their job security or current way of doing things. This can result in a lack of cooperation and engagement, which can undermine the success of the change management plan.
It's crucial to communicate the why behind the change and how it will benefit the organization, involve stakeholders in the planning process, and provide training and support to help them adapt to the changes.
Clear communication is essential for the success of any change management plan. If stakeholders are not informed about the changes or the reasons, they may become confused or disengaged. Anxiety and resistance are higher when people do not understand the why behind the change.
An excellent way to avoid this failure is to ensure everyone impacted by the change is well-informed. Include the reasons behind it, the expected outcomes, and how it will affect them. Communication should be ongoing and two-way, with opportunities for feedback and questions.
Change management plans require thorough planning to be successful. If the planning is inadequate, the plan may not address all the necessary areas, or it may not be implemented effectively.
It's critical to ensure the planning process is thorough, considering all change aspects. Clearly understand the goals, timelines, and resources required to implement the change effectively.
Lack of leadership support
Without support from leaders, change management plans are unlikely to succeed. Leaders are critical in driving change, communicating the vision, and providing the resources and support needed to make the change happen.
Engage leaders early in the planning process and get their commitment. They should be involved in communication efforts and be visible and accessible throughout the change process.
Change management plans need resources such as finances, time, and technology to be successful. If these resources are inadequate, the change may not be implemented effectively.
The solution is to thoroughly assess the resources required to implement the change and ensure that they are available. Build finance teams that will be involved in reallocating resources or securing additional funding to finance change management.
Change is inevitable, especially in the business world. In light of the market fluctuations, digital innovations, and constant growth surrounding the marketplace, following an articulated change management plan can help guide your organization through any changes they need to adopt or decisions you need to make today for the opportunities you'll find tomorrow.
But to ensure all the information in your change management plan is well documented and easily accessible to employees or to make any needed changes, use a change management tool or software like Spendesk. Spendesk provides you with real-time data to easily manage your company expenses/budgets during change management, keeping you on top of your finances. Schedule a free demo to empower your team to make informed spending decisions.
The main aim of a change management plan is to stay on top of a growing business, manage change, and make the change process easier. A documentation tool can easily create a collaborative, robust, and interactive change management plan for your company.
Rana Bano is a guest blog contributor to Marin Software.
SWOT Analysis for Marketers: A Guide to Better Marketing Decisions
Marketing is a complex and ever-changing field that requires careful strategy and planning. One important technique that can help marketers navigate this landscape is SWOT analysis.
SWOT, which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, is a framework for evaluating a company's position in the market and identifying key factors that can impact success. In this article, we'll explore the basics of SWOT analysis and how it can be used to inform marketing decisions.
What is SWOT Analysis?
SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that helps businesses and organizations identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This analysis allows companies to assess their current position in the market and make informed decisions about their future. Identifying these key factors enables marketers to better understand their target audience, market trends, and competition, and develop effective marketing strategies.
Why is a SWOT Analysis Important for Marketing?
Marketing is all about creating value for customers and driving growth for the business. Using SWOT analysis, marketers can identify their key strengths and leverage them to create more impactful campaigns and marketing initiatives. At the same time, they can also identify areas for improvement, such as weaknesses in their marketing strategy, and take steps to address these weaknesses.
By understanding the opportunities and threats in the market, marketers can also better position themselves to capitalize on new trends and minimize the impact of challenges. This allows them to stay ahead of the competition and keep their marketing efforts relevant and effective.
The SWOT Analysis Framework
The SWOT analysis framework is simple and straightforward. Here's a closer look at each element:
Strengths are the things that your company does well. These are your competitive advantages and the things that set you apart from other brands. Examples of strengths in marketing might include a strong brand image, a loyal customer base, or a highly effective marketing team. For instance, if you have a strong brand image, you may want to focus on leveraging this strength through your marketing efforts to increase brand recognition and build customer loyalty.
Weaknesses are the things that your company doesn't do well. They are the areas in which you are lacking and need improvement. Examples of weaknesses in marketing might include inconsistent content creation, weak branding, or ineffective marketing campaigns. For instance, if you have identified inconsistency in creating content as a weakness, you may want to allocate more resources to hiring a good content team or even use AI marketing tools to automate the tasks.
Opportunities are the external factors that can positively impact your marketing efforts. They entail the trends and changes in the market that you can capitalize on to achieve better results. Examples of opportunities in marketing might include new demographic groups, new geographic markets, or changes in consumer behavior. For instance, if you have identified a new audience with high potential for growth, you may want to allocate more budget towards targeted marketing efforts to reach this customer base.
Threats are the external factors that can negatively impact your marketing efforts. These are the challenges and risks that you need to be aware of in order to minimize their impact. Examples of threats in marketing might include changes in consumer preferences, new competitors entering the market, or shifting economic conditions. For instance, if a new competitor has entered your market, you may want to evaluate your marketing strategies and tactics to ensure that you are effectively differentiating your brand from the competition.
How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis for Marketing
Conducting a SWOT analysis for marketing is relatively simple and can be done in several steps. Here's a basic outline for how to do it:
- Gather data: The first step in conducting a marketing SWOT analysis is to gather data on your marketing efforts, your target audience, and your competitors. This can include customer feedback, sales data, market research, and other relevant information. The goal of this step is to gather as much data as possible to support your assessments in the next steps.
- Identify your strengths: This is the internal analysis of your marketing plan where you make a list of your company's key strengths in marketing. Consider the things you do well and what sets you apart from your competitors. What are your unique selling points? What are your core competencies?
- Assess your weaknesses: Next, make a list of your company's weaknesses in marketing. This is where you assess your internal shortcomings. What are the areas where your marketing efforts fall short? What can you improve upon?
- Determine opportunities: Next up is the external analysis of your marketing plan, whereby you look at the market and identify the trends and changes that could positively impact your marketing efforts. What are the trends in your industry? Is there new technology, artificial intelligence software, or anything else to boost your productivity? What are the untapped markets you can explore?
- Analyze threats: Here, you assess the external challenges that could negatively impact your marketing efforts. What are the challenges posed by your competitors? What are the changes in the market that may negatively impact your marketing efforts?
- Evaluate the results: After you've identified your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, take some time to evaluate the results. Determine which factors are the most important and which areas need the most attention.
- Develop a plan of action: Based on the results of your SWOT analysis, develop a plan of action for how you will address your weaknesses, capitalize on your strengths, take advantage of opportunities, and minimize the impact of threats.
- Regularly reevaluate: Because marketing is something that keeps changing over time, it's important to regularly review and update your SWOT analysis. This will help you stay up-to-date with changes in the market and make sure your marketing efforts are always effective.
SWOT Analysis Example
Below is a SWOT Analysis example for a marketing agency:
- Experienced and knowledgeable marketing team
- Strong portfolio of successful marketing campaigns and projects
- Wide range of services, including digital marketing, branding, and advertising
- Strong relationships with media outlets and influencers
- Relatively high prices compared to smaller or less established agencies
- Limited ability to handle large-scale, complex projects
- Dependence on key clients for a significant portion of revenue
- Limited international reach and presence
- Growing demand for digital marketing services
- Ability to expand into new industries and markets
- Opportunities for growth and expansion through acquisitions or partnerships with other agencies
- Growing awareness of the importance of branding and marketing to businesses of all sizes
- Intense competition from larger and more established agencies
- Disruptions in the advertising and marketing industry, such as changes in consumer preferences or technology
- Increased regulation of marketing practices and advertising
- Changes in consumer spending patterns, particularly in a weak economy
By considering these strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, the marketing agency can develop a plan to address its weaknesses, capitalize on its strengths, and position itself for success in a competitive industry.
Common Mistakes in SWOT Analysis
While it can be a valuable tool, SWOT analysis is not always done correctly, and there are several mistakes that can occur.
Lack of Objectivity
One of the biggest mistakes in SWOT analysis is the lack of objectivity from those conducting the analysis. When evaluating your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, it's important to be honest and unbiased. This can be difficult when personal opinions and emotions are involved. To avoid this mistake, it's important to gather data and opinions from a variety of sources, including employees, customers, and industry experts.
Not Considering the Right Factors
Another common mistake in SWOT analysis is not considering the right factors. As you identify your strengths and weaknesses, it's best to focus on factors that are relevant to your business and the market.
For example, while a strong company culture may be important, it may not be relevant to your marketing efforts. It's important to focus on factors that are directly related to your marketing strategy and can impact your success.
Ignoring External Factors
SWOT analysis is designed to evaluate both internal and external factors, but some organizations tend to focus too much on internal factors and ignore external ones. This can lead to a limited understanding of the market and can impact your ability to capitalize on opportunities and minimize threats. That’s why it's important to consider both internal and external factors when conducting a SWOT analysis.
Not Updating Regularly
It is important to keep in mind that a SWOT analysis is not a one-time event. Marketing is a constantly evolving field, and it's important to regularly reevaluate your SWOT analysis to stay up-to-date with changes in the market.
However, many organizations make the mistake of not updating their SWOT analysis regularly, which can lead to an outdated understanding of their position in the market.
Not Using the Results
Finally, a common mistake in SWOT analysis is not using the results. After conducting a SWOT analysis, it's important to integrate the results into your marketing strategy. Plan how you will address your weaknesses, capitalize on your strengths, take advantage of opportunities, and minimize the impact of threats. Even so, many organizations make the mistake of not following through on these plans, which can limit the effectiveness of the SWOT analysis.
SWOT analysis is a powerful tool that can help marketers make better decisions and achieve more impactful results. Understanding your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, marketers can help you identify areas for improvement, capitalize on new trends, and stay ahead of the competition. By incorporating SWOT analysis into your marketing strategy, you as a marketer can drive more success for your business and create more value for customers.
In case you need assistance with paid search, retail or social advertising, Marin Software may interest you. The platform offers expert solution for digital marketers to save time and scale their campaigns. Get in touch today!
Mike Stuzzi is a guest blog contributor for Marin Software.
Incredible Snapchat Ad Examples You Can’t Miss (And Why They Work)
Since Snapchat made its debut in 2011, it has drawn millions of users to its platform. And although other social media competitors burst onto the scene to compete, it has stood the test of time. In fact, Snapchat still remains one of the most popular apps for users between the ages of 15 and 25.
With 319 million active users each day, the app continues to be a valued marketing tool for brands looking to reach millennials and Gen Z’ers. Because of its unique ad formats and its power to extend audience reach and increase brand awareness, Snapchat has gained much attention and made it possible for marketers to create some of the most memorable Snapchat ads.
Why you should use it
Here are a few convincing reasons to add the social media platform to your marketing mix.
Highly engaged audience
Because they’re young and highly-engaged, Snapchat users are more likely to pay attention to and interact with ads. This makes it an ideal platform for reaching younger demographics.
Snapchat allows businesses to target their ads to specific demographics, locations, and interests. Through targeted advertising, marketers can ensure that their ads are seen by the right people and increase their effectiveness.
Many businesses have seen a high return on investment from their Snapchat ad campaigns, making it a cost-effective marketing tool.
Strong mobile presence
Snapchat is primarily a mobile app, which means it's easy for users to view and interact with the ads on their smartphones. This can be particularly effective for reaching users on the go.
The best Snapchat ads ever
Sephora, a leading beauty brand, partnered with Snapchat to create a gamified AR Lens. They ran their campaign for four weeks and increased the total amount of transactions on their website by 5%.
What they got right: Users were directly engaged for 37+ seconds because the brand created an interactive game that kept their audiences’ attention by teasing them with a coupon code redemption.
An airline-booking app, Hopper helps users find the best deals on flights and the best time to fly. To engage Snapchatters, Hopper developed creatives for different routes with ads that were simple, static, and had a clear call to action. Through their campaign, Hopper discovered that Snapchatters were not only 37% more likely to watch a route, but booking rates from Snapchatters were 4x higher than users of other platforms.
What they got right: The airline-booking app used location radius targeting along with geographically relevant creatives to reach millennials.
Bacardi spearheaded a Snapchat ad campaign with the slogan “Do what moves you” to target their ideal audience. They chose Snapchat as their primary vehicle for digital communications, because not only does it offer ad engagement varieties, but it allowed them to reach the age group they were after. As a result of their strategy, the brand was able to gain maximum proximity to their target group, ultimately reaching 2.5 million Snapchatters.
What they got right: In an attempt to update their brand image and attract more followers from the younger generation, Bacardi utilized Snapchat’s ad formats to create an immersive “summer feeling” for Snapchat users that kept them engaged.
To increase consideration intent and brand awareness for their Moto g7 power smartphone, Motorola used Snapchat to present the product’s three-day battery backup feature.
What they got right: By leveraging Story Ads and Snap Ads, Motorola was able to show their customers just how much they could benefit from the brand’s long-lasting battery.
As the first brand to partner with Snapchat for a global AR shoe try-on campaign, Gucci had a very successful outcome. Through the campaign, Snapchatters were able to virtually experience trying on four different kinds of sneakers. From the Lens, Snapchatters were able to go straight to Gucci’s website to purchase the shoe of their choice.
What they got right: Gucci’s AR try-on experience not only captured the attention of many Snapchatters, but it also kept them engaged, leading to an increase in sales and positive ROAS.
To cement themselves as a leader in the competitive grocery delivery space, Shipt turned to Snapchat’s impactful ads to expand their audience and reach potential prospects with relevant Snap Ads. As a result of their creatives, their message was received by over 10 million Snapchatters in as little as two months.
What they got right: They chose an illustrative animation strategy to generate awareness of their brand and increase reach.
Snapchat Ad best practices
With so many users worldwide, Snapchat is an ideal platform for connecting and engaging with consumers. When planning your Snapchat campaign, keep these best practices in mind.
Use interactive features
Snapchat offers a range of interactive features such as sponsored lenses, filters, and polls that can make your ads more engaging and memorable. Consider using these features to create an interactive experience for your audience.
Always use NEW story content
While it may be tempting to reuse an existing ad, it’s not recommended. Snapchat’s user base attracts a broad audience, so creating a tailored message will help you take advantage of the platform’s Gen Z niche.
Be consistent and stay on brand
If your brand has a limited budget, develop a strategy that allows you to advertise consistently rather than being highly active one month, and completely inactive another. Of course, if your budget allows and your strategy permits a sprint advertising style, then go ahead with it. While every brand is different, it’s a preferred practice to keep your brand front of mind over long stretches of time.
Ditch the sales pitch and create content that’s fun and natural
Work with micro-influencers and content creators to produce content that’s appealing to your audience. Keep content organic and authentic, and shift your focus away from being 100% sales-pitch oriented.
Focus on the first two seconds
The first two seconds of your ad can either make or break performance. When promotion pop-ups appear immediately rather than in the final end card, optimal results can be achieved. Ads that have followed this best practice have outperformed others that have not.
Test different ad formats
As part of your Snapchat advertising strategy, be sure to test different ad formats to see which ones are performing well for your brand and your target audience. By gaining key insights into how your ads are doing and why, you unlock the maximum return on investment for your budget so you can grow your business.
Supersize your Snapchat presence
Whether your goal is to boost sales or raise brand awareness, Snapchat is an ideal platform for innovative and effective advertising campaigns. Creative Snapchat ad design relies on the combination of eye-catching visuals and a clear and compelling message that guides viewers to take the next step.
By creating memorable, shareable, and interactive experiences that resonate with your target audience, you can supercharge your advertising efforts. Partnering with an expert in Snapchat advertising can get you started on the right track. MarinOne can help you develop engaging ads that inspire action and drive results to unlock more opportunities for your business. With its Snapchat integration, you can easily identify budget by channel, audience, and products that can be tested across multiple platforms.
To learn more about how you can maximize the potential of your Snapchat ads and fine-tune your omnichannel advertising strategy, reach out to one of our MarinOne experts today.
Why Managing Your Brand's Online Reputation is More Critical Than Ever Before
You’re a customer-first brand that prioritizes customer satisfaction, but no matter how hard you try, there will always be a handful of unhappy customers who leave disgruntled reviews or share negative sentiments about your brand on social media. Perhaps they received a faulty product, or maybe they were just having a bad day and the product didn’t live up to their expectations. You can’t please everyone, but having a strong online reputation management (ORM) strategy can minimize the impact of negative feedback to help your brand maintain a positive reputation.
Online reputation management (ORM) involves monitoring mentions of your brand name on the internet, primarily in reviews and on social media. This may sound like a job for your PR team, but ORM is different. PR teams work proactively to increase exposure to your brand and strengthen your reputation. ORM is a more defensive strategy that centers around seeking out negative content and working to minimize the damage.
Virality's Role in Online Reputation Management
In the age of Instagram, ORM is more important than ever before. Social media algorithms favor viral content, and unfortunately negative and controversial content has some of the highest potential for virality. This is because virality is based on engagement. Engagement meaning, how many people are watching the video (most likely a tiktok or reel) from start to finish? How many people are liking and commenting? The more controversial a video is, the higher the engagement will be. This can cause negative press around a brand to spread quickly. However, the phenomenon of virality also causes trends to come and go rapidly. So while negative press around a brand could be trending for a day or two, as soon as a new scandal happens, the internet will all but forget about it.
Internet trends move so quickly that most viral mishaps are often looked past within a matter of weeks. For example, many of us remember the Kendall Jenner + Pepsi Ad Debacle of 2017. For those who don’t, Pepsi released an ad where Kendall Jenner walked into a crowd of protestors, approached front line police, and handed the police officers a can of Pepsi which miraculously ended a conflict between police and protestors. Viewers were outraged as they felt this ad belittled protestors and minimized the issue of police brutality.
In April of 2017 it felt like this ad was all anyone was talking about. Folks on Twitter were calling for boycotts of all Pepsi products, and Pepsi’s stock certainly took a hit. But today, most people scarcely even remember that it happened. This scenario exemplifies how brands can quickly move past even the most ‘cancellable’ scenarios. Between Pepsi’s reputation as a staple household soda and the speed at which internet gossip moves, Pepsi recovered quickly. By May, the internet had moved on to other scandals, and nowadays no one thinks twice about drinking a Pespi. Virality is both an enemy and a friend to brands trying to maintain a positive online reputation.
Online Reputation Management aims to get ahead of any negative sentiments and address them before they become a larger, or even a viral issue. Things rarely escalate to the viral level, but regardless, social media has made people more connected than ever before which enables negative or positive sentiment about a brand to spread quickly if you let it.
Here are a few key steps to an effective ORM strategy:
Hire a Community Manager or Community Management Team
If someone tweets about a negative experience and tags your brand, they expect a response within a few hours. The speed of communication on social media demands a dedicated employee or team to monitor mentions of the brand on Twitter, Instagram and Tiktok. Additionally, if a customer contacts a brand via social media and does not receive a timely response, they may post a negative comment on the brand’s account in order to get the company’s attention, or to express their frustration and gain sympathy from others online. Instagram has even started including a ‘typically responds within’ blurb that users see when messaging a verified business account. People are utilizing social media as a way to get a quick response from a company representative when they have an issue. And this makes sense; we scarcely talk on the phone anymore as everyone communicates through Instagram instead. So instead of relying on a customer support hotline, brands need to meet customers where they're at, which is on Instagram and Twitter. For example, check out this helpful exchange with a member of the community management team at clothing retailer Savage X Fenty:
Their community management team responded within minutes and began working to answer the question at hand. This quick response was possible because Savage X Fenty has a dedicated team managing their social media accounts. If this customer were to receive no response to their direct message, they might start commenting on the brand’s posts asking why they’re being ignored. Then, others will see the comments and develop a negative impression of the brand.
It’s interesting; people spend so much time on Instagram talking to their friends who are also on Instagram all the time and therefore respond quite quickly to each other. But now, people expect the same behavior from brands. Which is fair, since brands want their followers to see their social media content as native and relatable, just like a post from a friend. In turn, brands are held to the same standards that we have for our peers when it comes to social media interactions. These high expectations are exactly why having a community management team is so important.
Provide a Respectful Public Response, then Move the Conversation to Private Messages
Let’s say a customer tags a clothing company in a tweet stating their pants developed holes after just two wears. The customer likely wants two things; a refund and a public apology. A generic example of an appropriate response would be to reply to the tweet stating “This is not the experience we want our customers to have. Please message us directly so that we can make it right.” This way, you’re showing you care and will work to correct the situation, but you're also taking the conversation out of a public forum so the details can be handled privately. The disgruntled customer gets their resolution, and the public viewers of the tweet see that you value customer satisfaction.
The same goes for responding to negative reviews on your website. Publicly state that you are sorry to hear about the customer’s negative experience, and ask them to email your customer service team directly so you can make it right. This way future customers who read the review will know that if they receive a faulty or defective product, the situation will be remedied.
Here’s an example of a great response from Starbucks to a customer complaint on Twitter:
The Starbucks care team expressed empathy, apologized, and provided clear and concise instructions on how to continue the conversation in a private forum. That’s how it’s done!
Do not delete negative reviews or “bury” negative reviews under positive ones. Customers are smart, and an overwhelming amount of 5 star reviews will be seen as a red flag that your company is hiding negative reviews. It may seem counterintuitive, but a couple bad reviews actually help to validate the positive reviews by proving that the feedback is unbiased. However, if a review has overly vitriolic or profane language, it’s best to delete it as that is an unreasonable reaction and you don’t want other customers to be confronted with foul language when visiting your site.
If your company makes a more widespread mistake, quickly post a public apology stating why the mistake happened and what you plan to do to fix it. Utilizing the pants with holes example again, I’d recommend an instagram story post explaining that the fabric was faulty and the team will be sending out higher quality replacements or refunding customers who experienced that issue. The Instagram story is the best placement for a public apology because it is easily visible by your engaged customer base, but it won’t live on your Instagram grid forever like a feed post will. This way, you’ve addressed the issue without drawing unnecessary attention to it, so it can be resolved and your brand can move on.
In order to be forgiven in the court of public opinion, you must truly take action to remedy the issue at hand. This often comes in the form of issuing a refund or store credit for a problematic item. Or if you provide a service, making fixes easy for the customer. Here’s a great example of a helpful response from Jetblue Airways:
The ORM team responded quickly and helpfully. Rather than just telling the customer to stay on the line until they reach a customer service representative, the community manager offered to fix the issue for them. The key here is that they are making issue resolution as easy as possible for the customer, diffusing frustration. This experience could have caused K. M. Sutton and their followers to stop being brand loyal to Jetblue, but by fixing the issue, their team was able to retain a loyal customer.
Stay Informed with Google Alerts
Set up Google Alerts for brand terms so that you know immediately when any negative press arises. Setting up a Google alert is easy. Simply visit https://www.google.com/alerts, type in your brand name and enter in a few settings around where the alerts should be sent and how often you would like to be alerted:
Google alerts are a great way to monitor sentiment around your brand, both positive and negative.
In conclusion, a branding issue or bad review can feel like a big deal, but utilizing our ORM tips, your brand should be able to recover quickly. The internet moves fast! So as long as you’ve got a plan in place that involves reacting to negative sentiment with empathy and truly making things right with your customers, you’ve got nothing to worry about.
ORM is a part of your business that requires empathy, energy and genuine connection between the customer and the brand representative. If you're struggling to find the budget to hire a dedicated community manager, or your current team lacks the time to do community management yourselves, consider using a tool like MarinOne to automate some of your more mundane and time consuming tasks like reporting, paid media ad creation, and ad account optimization. Automate the things you can, so that you can focus on the things you can’t. Click here to schedule a demo of MarinOne today.
How to Develop the Most Effective Demand Generation Strategies in 2023
Businesses all over the world strive to convert brand awareness into customer conversions and profits, but marketing and customer service efforts are only as effective as the principles that are driving them. Demand generation is the strategy that helps B2B and B2C companies create reliable brand interest that translates directly to high quality leads.
Gordon Ferris, Director of Growth Marketing at Marin Software, shares significant insight to help us understand the principles that will define the success of demand generation strategies in 2023 and beyond. With more than a decade of experience in search, social media, and ecommerce marketing, Gordon generously explains the key tenets of demand generation that every marketer must understand to succeed in both B2B and B2C companies.
The Core Tenets of Demand Generation
Understand Your Brand
Most brands believe they know what they stand for in a general sense but this does not always translate into effective messaging. A major reason for this disconnect is not knowing how the brand is perceived within the minds of internal and external stakeholders. Each brand makes a promise to their customers and these promises must be ratified through consistent, concrete behaviors. Businesses that successfully communicate their marketing messages consistently have seen a 33% rise in overall revenue.
Gordon shares that businesses must “understand the power of their product and what makes their brand unique because this is what people will respond to. This needs to be actively pushed through across marketing activities and channels.”
Understand Your Customer
Once a business defines the promise it makes to its customers, it needs to understand how those promises relate to each customer segment’s needs. Marketing can be viewed as one-way communication from a brand to its customers, but successful demand generation requires more than that. Businesses should actively collaborate and engage with customers to collect customer insights to better define and meet their needs. This can also help businesses create brand advocates that further amplify a business’ message through organic communication.
Even if businesses want to listen to their customers, it can be challenging to define what they’re looking for. Gordon explains how businesses can break down a customer’s needs into two distinct categories. “Businesses need to identify a customer’s rational and emotional needs. Rational needs relate to the functional needs and attributes they want from your product. This can be quality, variety, efficiency, saving time, reducing cost and effort, and more. Emotional needs, on the other hand, relate to how your customers want to feel when interacting with your product. This could be a customer feeling confident or enjoying exclusivity through the ownership or use of your product.”
Understand Your Product Positioning
In an ideal world, the relationship between a brand and its customer would be enough to translate effective communication into active demand. However, brands don’t exist in a vacuum. Competing services, products, and brands present constant challenges. This has led to almost three quarters of people actively avoiding advertising with the use of ad blockers or other tools. To avoid overwhelming the customer, businesses must position themselves as a partner customers can trust.
Gordon adds that “positioning can only be done appropriately when businesses know their brand and all its components. They also need to understand the competitors they share space with. Marketers should ask questions such as what are some of the brands in your direct category? What brands fall just outside the category, but have an overlap or affinity with your customers? Analyze competitor brand positioning; how do they want to be perceived by their customers?”
How to Generate Demand Effectively in 2023 and Beyond
According to Gordon, “Once you do those first three steps of understanding your brand, your customers, and your positioning, then you get into tactics and the tactics become easier.”
The principles listed above should apply across all demand generation activity. They can help businesses be more proactive in learning about their customers, themselves, and their competitors.
Remain Authentic to Your Customers
Authenticity has been cited by 88% of customers as an important factor in determining whether they like and will support a brand. Even if marketing messages have a proven track record of success with a customer base, if the brand that is sharing those messages doesn't believe it, it will not resonate with customers. Businesses should identify and amplify the messages that lie in the overlap of the brand’s beliefs and the customer’s needs.
Learn to Make the Most of First-Party Data in a Cookieless World
Businesses have been trying to phase out the use of third-party cookies as major browsers and search engines ditch the information-gathering method in favor of first-party data. However, a staggering 83% of marketers still rely on third-party cookies to learn about their customers. Businesses must learn to extract actionable insights from the information they already have or are able to gather.
Gordon explains that “once someone is on your site, you need to make the most of that engagement. Allow your customers to find what they’re looking for, but at the same time, by the way they click or navigate your site, find what’s important to them.”
Make it as Easy as Possible for Your Customers to Buy into Your Messaging
Marketers can sometimes overlook the needs of the average customer when designing messages that seem eloquent to their own eyes. While there is value in including flair in a brand’s marketing, it should always be accessible and easily understood by the business’ most important customers – and the message must connect to the priorities of the intended audience.
Businesses should actively “create bite-sized paths that are addressing specific value propositions or questions that your customers might have for your product or the industry you’re in,” shares Gordon.
With MarinOne, businesses can gather information about how well each message is resonating with their customers, learn what their customers are actually interested in, and how their competitors are faring with different marketing tactics and messages.
To learn more about how MarinOne can help you reach your audiences more effectively, request a free demo of our solution now.
6 Proven Strategies to Run a Successful Twitter Marketing Campaign
According to Pew Research, 72 percent of U.S. adults use at least one type of social media, and 23 percent of these use Twitter, making Twitter the 7th most used social media platform in the United States in 2021.
Twitter is a free social networking site that houses over 300 million active users, allowing people to post ‘tweets’ to engage, socialize and connect with users on the same platform.
While the purpose of Twitter for each person or organization remains the same, the ‘hows’ of using the platform vary for regular Twitter individuals or organizations using Twitter as a marketing platform.
Why Twitter Marketing—and How?
Digital marketing has a long history, and one can’t deny how it has transformed the way marketers and audiences consume content, especially on social media platforms like Twitter.
Twitter might seem like a daunting platform to venture into for marketing, mainly because, unlike Tiktok, YouTube, or Facebook, Twitter’s main algorithm focuses more on conversations rather than visuals.
We’ll look at this tweet from the Climbing House as an example:
Alejandra Leyva, a Content Manager working with Climbing House emphasizes, “Different social media platforms require different techniques for marketing. In this case, we tried to spark a lighthearted conversation around climbing as a go-to activity for a first date. This makes it easier for us to converse on Twitter and grab the attention of young or old people looking for exciting date alternatives while leading them to our website.”
This is what the magic of Twitter marketing is—conversations. As a social media platform, Twitter is well-known for its ‘trending’ lists, be it words or hashtags. This trending list shows Twitter users the most talked about topic at a given moment for a specific location or worldwide. This is one of the best ways to clue into what’s happening in the zeitgeist quickly and understand what topical conversations your team should pay attention to in relation to your industry.
Benefits of Twitter Marketing
Because the charm of Twitter is centered around conversations, the benefits of using this platform as a marketing tool are centered around this as well.
The benefit of Twitter marketing is that because people are used to conversations, tweeting multiple times a day is normal and is not annoying for most users. However, Twitter is heavily chronological in the sense that it could take a nanosecond for one tweet to be buried among the tweets of the other people your followers follow, so making the best out of your content that would make people stop scrolling should be one of your top priorities.
There are endless benefits to Twitter than you might think, and these benefits have become successful strategies that marketers have utilized over the years.
Strategies for Twitter Marketing
Establish a Brand Voice
Twitter is one of the most excellent platforms for establishing a company’s brand voice. While selecting a brand voice and reputation takes time and effort, Twitter as a platform makes this easy.
A company’s brand voice can either come off as lighthearted and casual or serious and professional, and you can establish this through your tweets and interaction on Twitter.
Take, for example, this tweet from Felix:
Kyle Zien, Director of Growth Marketing at Felix, says, “We aim to reimagine the Canadian healthcare experience, and we believe it starts with how we interact with our audiences. We try to build our brand voice in a casual, friendly way where people feel like they’re taking advice from a friend rather than an organization.”
Make a Content Calendar
Social media marketers often have a lot on their hands, juggling three to four social platforms simultaneously. Using a social media content calendar allows you to plan and organize content ahead of time, making strategic content posts rather than just winging whatever content at any moment.
What’s more, most social media content calendars let you schedule posts even without logging in to the platform, so you don’t have to fear forgetting to post your marketing content.
Create and Join Trends and Conversations Through Hashtags
If you ask any person who uses Twitter what’s the most significant feature of Twitter that’s most attractive to them, at least three out of five will have one thing in common—hashtags.
While other social media platforms also use hashtags, Twitter makes the most use of this feature through its trending tags list immediately visible when you log in to the website.
An important aspect of Twitter's marketing campaign is that it utilizes hashtags to join conversations or create and invite discussions surrounding its product and services.
An example is this tweet from Prize Rebel:
A person who does not necessarily follow Prize Rebel will discover this tweet because it has joined in on the conversation about making money online or earning extra cash.
According to Jerry Han, CMO of PrizeRebel, “Ever since we established our Twitter account, the use of hashtags has proven how easily people can see us when they search for the same tag on Twitter. We sometimes supplement this with a “retweet to win” CTA as a condition for the prize, which also gives us more visibility to our audience.”
This tweet from PluginHive about their FedEx WooCommerce plugin also uses several hashtags to help increase the tweet’s visibility among those looking for information on shipping through FedEx.
Get Verified and Increase Your Follower Count
Before the great Twitter overhaul by Elon Musk, getting the tiny blue checkmark beside your profile name meant that your profile was your ‘proof of authenticity. Today, two forms of verification badges exist on Twitter—the old blue checkmark (which can now be bought on Twitter Blue by any user) and the ‘Official’ badge found at the bottom of your profile name.
Technicalities of these verification badges aside, there is a sense of authority emitted by accounts with blue or official verified badges, making them more reliable to Twitter users. Working to increase your follower count also helps in marketing and spreading your content throughout the platform and also helps establish you as a reliable content creator and organization.
Sponsored and promoted ads
On Twitter, you can do both paid and organic social media ads. The question is how can you harness the power of both.
This is an example of a paid ad:
You should be able to see a “promoted” tag at the bottommost part of the post for a paid advertisement. Having a promoted tweet increases the visibility of a tweet and is just basically paid advertising, taking your tweet to users who might be interested in your products and services.
In the case above, BPI utilizes Twitter advertising to encourage more people to apply for a credit card with the bank. Not only are they getting more credit card applications, but they are also generating more leads using the information users input through the application.
Stay Human and Interactive
The best way to ‘attack’ Twitter as a marketing platform is to stay human. You may be thinking, “But wait…what does that even mean?”
To put it frankly, in many cases marketing posts sound like they were extracted from an AI machine and then copy-pasted to the platform. This is the last thing you want to do if you wish to engage and convert your Twitter campaigns.
Twitterverse loves conversations. So go ahead, converse! Just like this tweet from Fig Loans:
Jeff Zhou, CEO of Fig Loans, says, “Our Twitter marketing campaigns don’t only rely on regularly creating or posting content for our follower’s timelines. We interact and reply to our customers or anyone interested in our products and services. That way, they know they will get top-notch customer service with us.”
Take another look at this Snickers-UNO interraction:
There is a more lighthearted approach present here for both organizations. Engaging in conversation for your followers to see an unusual interaction between two verified accounts is a fun way to tickle and grab the attention of Twitter users. Not only is Snickers bringing fun to their initial post, but they’re also subtly implying how your next pre-football tailgate isn’t complete without Snickers. UNO calling them out on the typo was really the cherry on top to reaffirming that both companies are made up of real people behind the brands, having real conversations.
Why and How Twitter Marketing Matters
It should be no surprise that digital and social media marketing has been all the rave in the last few years. As humankind fixates on digital technology, marketers must adapt to these changes and be interacting where their target audience likes to hang out virtually.
These social media platforms are different in their ways and should be dealt with differently. Twitter, as a marketing platform, should center around conversations and engagement. This allows marketers to establish a brand voice and take valuable information and data about consumer behavior in return.
For help on strategically approaching any social media platform, meet with one of Marin’s marketing experts today. We will ensure your paid social advertising performs at it’s best.
Rachel Melegrito is a guest contributor to Marin Software.
Create Landing Pages that Convert
Your marketing landing pages are receiving a lot of traffic — but are they converting visitors into leads? A landing page is an essential part of your marketing strategy for attracting new prospects and pulling them further into the customer funnel.
The average conversion rate for landing pages is 2.35% across industries. Of those, 25% of sites have a conversion rate of 5.31% or above. The top 10% of sites have a conversion rate of 11.45% or higher. If your conversion rate isn’t reaching the high end of these percentages, we have some key strategies to share that will help you create top-performing landing pages that convert.
Eight Ways to Create a Landing Page that Converts
Here are actionable tips to get your landing page to convert like the top 10%.
Create a Good UX
For an optimal user experience, follow the best design principles. Sometimes, even if your copy is good, a poor design can hurt your landing page conversion rate.
What you need to do: Test different designs and tweak the highest-converting elements until you reach an ideal landing page look, feel, and experience.
Lyft’s landing page is well-designed and well-balanced, with a good proportion of text and imagery. With a single-field form and a CTA that stands out, they make it easy for users to sign up right there and then. The page also includes a benefit-oriented headline, encouraging visitors to take the next step.
Using social proof as part of your marketing strategy is one of the easiest tactics to adopt. Once you’ve successfully driven visitors to your website, you want them to stay there. Findings reveal that online reviews impact 88% of consumers’ buying decisions. Customers don’t trust brands as much as they trust other people. Using testimonials on your landing page can also:
- Give you the opportunity to showcase important features in an easy-to-read format
- Help you get ahead of your competition
- Establish use cases that might otherwise not be highlighted in marketing copy
- Give prospects a chance to read a review that addresses their concerns
- Demonstrate your product has been approved by a wide range of different people
What you need to do: Include testimonials on your landing page by displaying simple quotes or videos to help build trust. Alternatively, link the quotes to a person’s direct social profile. To add a more personal touch, use customer photos where possible.
KeyScouts is an online marketing agency that has chosen to use a socially proven customer testimonial widget on their landing page. Not only does it look authentic, but for visitors who want to verify that a review is real, it connects them to the reviewer’s LinkedIn profile.
Keep Forms Short (and don’t forget to link to a thank you page)
You don’t want to sacrifice lead quality, but if you find a way to eliminate a form field or two, it could have a serious impact on your conversion rate. When you reduce the number of form fields, even by one, it improves your conversion rate by almost half. If users have to go through a lengthy process just to receive your offer, chances are they will leave the site without completing the form.
What you need to do: Determine the value of what your offer will bring your consumers. Then begin formulating how many fields, and what types, to show your user, eliminating any that are unnecessary.
Shopify has created a single field on their landing page, making it as easy and quick as possible for customers to take action. All you have to do is provide your email address to start a free trial. When a form is simple to complete and customers don’t have to offer up too much personal information, they may be more willing to commit.
Compel Visitors to act NOW
Leverage a sense of scarcity and urgency. This creates higher demand by inducing FOMO (fear of missing out), thereby motivating consumers to act faster. However, scarcity alone will not create demand. Using a combination of the value of an item and showing consumers that they can trust you as a vendor when the deadline hits is key.
What you need to do: Determine what offer will drive urgency and decide how you want to present it. Be sure to make a clear and meaningful distinction between the offer and the normal price. You can use keywords like “hurry,” “limited quantity available,” and “time is running out.” Using red throughout your designs is also a powerful tactic that tends to attract consumer attention.
There’s a reason Amazon is one of the most widely used e-commerce sites. If you’re already an avid Amazon shopper, you’re probably well aware that it’s one of the best places to strike a good deal—and that’s because Amazon knows how to make its customers keep coming back for discounts. They show you the quantity left for the product you’re considering with a harmless “order soon” side note that generates impulsive purchases. Amazon also masters the principle of creating urgency by sneaking in copy that lets you know how much time you have left. And if that’s not enough, they incentivize customers to act quickly by advertising “lightning deals” and offering warped perspectives on savings to “trick” you into buying things.
If you aren’t already using videos on your landing page, it’s time to start. Videos are a valuable way to create trust and comfort. It gives the information you’re conveying more context and makes it more personal. In fact, businesses that utilize video as part of their content marketing strategy see an 86% increase in conversion rates.
What you need to do: Define why your visitors need your solution and what’s going to happen next. If you can effectively answer these questions in your video, you will exponentially increase your chances of landing more conversions.
PartnerMD uses a video to address the common pain points of the normal healthcare experience. In the video, there is a clear explanation of what PartnerMD offers and why concierge medicine is the best solution. More importantly, the video explains why the form is there and what the visitor will accomplish by filling it out.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of White Space
Using white space on your landing page helps you create a visual hierarchy that guides the viewer where you want them to go. By focusing on white space placement, you can strategically draw attention to the most important elements of your page first. Essentially, creating a bigger impact for your content.
What you need to do: Break up your content by separating text from images to improve readability. Remove any distractions and give all elements enough surrounding space so your landing page isn’t cluttered.
Wix has created a captivating and stunning illustration of a website design on its landing page. The headline copy is short and to the point, the white text is easy to read, and the use of white space is carefully balanced with the other elements on the page. By using white space, the page’s touchpoints are clear, encouraging visitors with a direct call to action.
Grab Attention with the Right Imagery
Using relevant images or humanizing your offer can make it more relatable, encouraging visitors to convert more easily. Images usually catch consumers’ eyes before they even read your headline. In fact, because our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text, they influence a visitor’s immediate opinion about your brand.
What you need to do: Since you don’t have long to make a first impression, choose your images wisely. Make sure the images you select accurately promote your product or services. And of course, use visuals that are high quality. Your goal should be to create a landing page that is memorable, easily understood, and emotionally relatable.
Tushy’s landing page is creatively brilliant. From a humorous image to its soft pastel color palette and clean design, they successfully capture their visitors’ attention. It’s minimal, attractive, and memorable. Their value proposition is laser-focused, identifying who the target audience is while highlighting the benefit of their product.
Eliminate Customer Fears
There are many strategies you can use to alleviate customer fears. Take buyers’ concerns into account, and you’ll be seeing more conversions before you know it. By eliminating any hesitations they have about your product or service, you can boost their willingness to buy.
What you need to do: Give consumers the confidence that your product is one they can trust. Keep your promises. Follow through on shipping policies if you offer them, consider offering money-back guarantees, and give customers a way to test-drive your product.
Example: Warby Parker
Warby Parker gives customers ease of mind by letting them try on glasses before fully committing to buying them. By giving their customers time to make a decision from the comfort of their own homes, Warby Parker sways its customers towards a more enjoyable experience.
Ready to Start Converting Leads?
When done right, landing pages can generate a significant number of qualified leads. By implementing our tips you’ll get ahead of your competitors in no time.
Contact MarinOne today to learn how our platform can help improve your paid media management processes and get the landing page conversion rates you seek.
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 higher 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 level up your game.
Here are eight advanced tactics you can use 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.
Follow your Prospects on Social Media
The best insights into 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 and Recommendations
Referrals and recommendations are a powerful sales prospecting technique that can earn you the credibility you deserve. Word-of-mouth is incredibly impactful and should not be underestimated. In fact, when making buying decisions, 91% of B2B buyers are heavily influenced by first-hand accounts.
With numbers that high, it pays to be proactive about tapping into your network. You can use this opportunity to build relationships with your current customers by offering them discounts or other incentives for referring new people. Sometimes, it might be as simple as getting a testimonial, quote, information for a case study, or other social proof from past customers, all of which can elevate your leads’ confidence in you, ultimately converting them into a prospect.
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.
Closing More Deals with MarinOne
To stay ahead of the curve, sales pros need to be proactive about leveraging the latest prospecting tactics and technologies. From researching your prospects to using automation tools, every step counts when it comes to closing deals faster and more effectively. By mastering each of the above techniques, you’ll have an edge over competitors and will see better results from your outreach efforts. With so many opportunities to help you outsource work and many 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.
There are plenty of online shoppers in this day and age, but there is also increased competition! If you are looking for a way to stand out from the crowd, increase engagement, and say thank you to your customers, get into the spirit of giving with competitions and giveaways.
Here are our top four favorite competition strategies to incentivize shoppers to get involved with your digital communications, boosting sales in the process.
Competition idea #1: Video submissions
Improve your brand awareness with a themed video contest that asks customers to perform a specific task or show off forms of customer appreciation via video. User-generated content is a great way to spread the word about your products or services.
Some popular video contest ideas include:
- Sing your favorite trending song
- Show off your best product idea
- Demonstrate how fast you can perform a certain task relating to your product (speediest submission wins)
- Send some before/after shots of an area of your home the product improved
Always set a time limit for the video submission, and be sure to share the user-submitted videos and tag your customer's social media accounts (with their permission). You can choose the winner by the highest customer votes; be sure to follow a strict deadline and shout out the winner on your website as well as your social channels.
Competition idea #2: Refer a friend
There are plenty of ways to get your content in front of people who do not already follow you, such as hashtag marketing and refer-a-friend competitions, which both work in a similar fashion. An effective way to cut through the competitive noise is by getting recommendations people will trust; and who better than their personal friends.
Get in front of new customers by running a referral contest and generate organic word-of-mouth while boosting brand awareness and minimizing customer acquisition costs. This approach can also help to retain existing customers by offering a discount for the person doing the referring.
Some referral contest best practices to consider include:
- Offering a reward to the person who refers, and their referral
- Setting a purchase limit to earn the referral reward
- Ensuring you have social sharing buttons available to share the referral link
- Providing a dynamic referral link for individual customers
- Setting a contest deadline
When promoting your competition, don't forget about using offline channels, especially if your business has a physical presence. Make your storefront a feature with posters, props, or other forms of visual communication that grab the attention of new shoppers.
Competition idea #3: Run a sweepstakes contest
A sweepstakes contest is a little different from a standard contest, but is still a valuable engagement-boosting activity. As all participants receive some form of prize, people are more likely to enter as they are not off-put by high odds. Prepare to receive a high number of entrants, all of whom require a prize, so keep your prize budget in mind when choosing rewards. The lowest level prize can be as simple as a small discount off the next purchase (encouraging purchases in the process).
As sweepstakes have many winners, these can all be selected by chance, like in a lottery. This is a great way to acquire valuable information which you can use for future business marketing strategies and growth with data mapping. Think about the type of data you would like to gain about your customers, and use these as question prompts to enter the sweepstakes.
Sweepstakes are very easy to run, as all you need is a simple landing page that collects email addresses for people to enter. The key with sweepstakes is promotion, and it is important to consider the following before running one:
- Ensure you have enticing visuals and prizes to grab attention
- Make it easy for people to enter
- Set a predefined probability for choosing the winner
- Include attractive social sharing buttons
- Give bonus entries to people who complete short surveys
Competition idea #4: Gamification
If you can make your competition fun, you'll likely get more participation. This is where a gamification contest can be an effective tool; simply play a game to win a prize! Incentivize unique actions and then reward customers, gaining their business and loyalty in the process.
Gamification contests can include any of the following:
- Spin the wheel
- Scratch and win
- Enter a quiz or raffle
- Scavenger hunt
- Play trivia
Make sure the theme of the game is relevant to the season and that it is easy and fun to navigate. Promote the game on your site's homepage and social channels, and keep the prizes a surprise to increase interest.
Creating fans of your brand
People who enjoy your brand’s output are more likely to become repeat customers. Rewarding followers for their loyalty is a great way to keep them coming back to your business. Consider the cost of your competition, how much the prize you are offering is worth, and if the cost is viable when considering the potential spend of a new, loyal customer. The marketing return of a contest should also come into consideration, as the exposure it gives you to new segments can often be more cost-effective than some other marketing methods. MarinOne can also help with this by supercharging your paid search, social, and e-commerce advertising, so reach out to meet with one of our expert consultants today.
Luke Carlino is a guest contributor for Marin Software.
How Modern Marketers Can Turn Behavioral Data Into Actionable Insight
Customers are interacting with brands more than ever, and they’re doing so across channels that can provide marketers with important customer insights. In a world where customer data has never been more important, marketers must navigate increasing scrutiny over data handling while collecting and processing data about their customers’ behaviors, needs, and preferences.
Approximately two-thirds of customers expect brands to know and understand their needs and expectations. With rising competition and amplified customer voices, businesses must find new and better ways to attract and retain modern customers.
Brand website analytics, custom applications, feedback forms, and cookies have empowered businesses to understand how customer interactions affect sales, marketing, and communication efforts. The extent to which businesses can extract actionable insights from behavioral data depends on their understanding of how customer behavior analysis can serve them, however.
Businesses have also had to evolve to keep up with a rapidly changing regulatory landscape. Third-party cookies are being phased out around the world and businesses are constantly looking for new ways to collect and analyze critical customer data.
Why businesses struggle to extract insights from customer behavioral data
Customer information is stored across operational silos
While most businesses collect customer information in some form, they struggle to build a coherent and complete image of their customers—especially when departments don’t collaborate and share the data they have. When fragmented data is scattered across departments in the organization, it can’t help businesses understand their customers and make informed choices about how to reach them.
Sales and marketing teams can benefit from knowing a customer’s communication preferences, social media teams can view a customer’s online interaction history, and finance teams can understand a customer’s payment preferences. In general, businesses can use this data to make sure they are making financially responsible decisions.
Paid marketing campaigns can sometimes go under the radar or be under-analyzed because of this data fragmentation.
Businesses fail to establish and integrate effective data processes into existing workflows
Data processes can be cumbersome and tedious for non-technical staff who are unfamiliar with complex data management systems. As a result, mistakes are made and data is not collected effectively and efficiently.
Businesses must find new ways to encourage widespread participation with data processes across the organization. This could include automating repetitive or tedious tasks or improving education on data processes and how they can be conducted without excessive disruption to non-technical staff. This data also needs to be funneled effectively to marketing teams who can then use it to strategize future initiatives and outreach.
Data processes are not aligned with business objectives
Even though data processes can confer significant benefits to businesses from reduced costs to increased efficiency, these benefits have to be targeted. Business leaders must design and implement processes to align with their data strategy goals. Marketing campaigns can vary wildly in their objectives, from increasing visibility to changing customer perceptions of the brand, to improving conversion rates. The metrics used to analyze customer data change significantly depending on the priorities of the business.
A haphazardly planned data strategy can lead to significant time and resources being wasted in service of a poorly defined plan. Poor planning during the data process design stage can also increase the likelihood of data errors caused by a lack of understanding of these processes within the organization, inconsistent participation with data practices, and more issues that could be costly and cumbersome to resolve.
4 tips for transforming your data into truly actionable insights
Evaluate the data that has already been collected
The average person generates 1.7 MB of data per second. Businesses can sometimes collect insightful data without realizing it. Before designing and implementing widespread changes to existing data operations and workloads, business leaders must evaluate the data that has already been collected or is continually being collected unintentionally.
Businesses that interact with customers on social media often have a base-level understanding of important metrics that the platform’s integrated analytics tool provides. That would be considered data that is already collected or being continually collected. Modern businesses have to go beyond that and analyze attribution data to optimize their presence on each platform.
Morgan Gelot, Director of AdTech Partnerships at Marin Software, revealed how marketers can use attribution data to receive insights that standard social media back-ends fail to provide.
MarinOne provides marketers with “a collection of insights that are refreshed daily, that looks at things like search queries and performance trends. Advertisers can filter through this information to visualize the importance and the impact of certain sites and prioritize on the most impactful ads or platforms,” he shared.
Modernize data collection strategies to receive a holistic view of marketing performance
Insightful data can be collected in a variety of ways. Some businesses set up data pipelines to directly collect data from the customer but most companies supplement that data with information that they receive from social media platforms and different marketing channels.
Close the gaps between information silos and integrate data workflows into regular business processes
It’s not enough for businesses to collect and analyze data effectively to achieve marketing success in highly competitive markets. Marketers must be able to easily access these insights and integrate them into their daily activities. The first step to achieving this is to close the gaps between information silos and make sure information is collected from multiple sources and combined on a single platform.
This information has to then make its way to crucial operational teams such as customer service. MarinOne empowers marketers by making marketing data easily digestible and providing them with the information they need to optimize interactions with customers across communication channels.
How MarinOne can help businesses improve digital marketing performance by unifying customer data
Many factors influence a customer’s purchasing decision. Information about these factors exists across communication channels and social media platforms. MarinOne, Marin Software’s flagship product, allows marketers to easily consolidate performance data, customer behavioral data, generated insights, and more from multiple sources, platforms, and campaigns. A native automation engine allows marketers to simplify how they identify opportunities and tie them into existing customer journeys.
To get started in understanding more deeply how your customers interact with your brand contact one of our MarinOne experts.
How Competitive Benchmarking Can Help Your Business Reach Its Omnichannel Marketing Goals
Innovations in marketing and the popularity of social media have made it easier than ever for businesses to reach their customers effectively. However, this has also led to customers being inundated with marketing material. Competitive benchmarking can help your business rise above the competition and make an impact on potential customers.
What is competitive benchmarking?
All marketers want to drive the best performance of their campaigns, but how do you know if your efforts are paying off? Understanding and analyzing performance in a vacuum can be unproductive—or worse, misleading. Competitive benchmarking analysis is the study of marketing performance as measured against the performance of your closest competitors.
“There are several competitive analysis tools marketers can use to monitor their competitors organically - which track most things available to the public, and there are also tools you can use to track your competitors' paid activity,” Candace Boren, Product Marketing Director at Marin Software explains. “Once you’ve collected metrics for your competitors, you can use that information side-by-side with MarinOne to analyze your performance to see how you are or aren’t stacking up to your competitors.”
Monitor organic competitive intel
Take a look at what content your competitors are producing for their website, blog, and social channels. Press releases and news mentions will also allow you to keep track of the messaging strategies employed by your competition. Vendors such as Crayon, Klue, and Contify can help you keep track of your competitors’ owned content and mentions. You could supplement this research by analyzing competitor SEO performance using vendors like Semrush and Ahrefs.
Monitoring paid competitive intel
In addition to organic intel, you should also keep an eye on paid media and where your competitors are advertising across search, social, display, television, and other channels. The success they experience can be replicated while their failures can be avoided. Some tools that can help you keep track of your competitors’ paid marketing efforts include MediaRadar, The Search Monitor, and Pathmatics.
How analyzing the competition can give you greater insight into your own marketing performance
So you’ve gathered intelligence on when and where your competitors are advertising and distributing organic content. Now what?
The key to competitive benchmarking is to use this data to your advantage! Take a look at which channels your competitors focus on. This may be a good indicator of where to best reach your target audience. Have they moved away from a particular channel? Maybe they haven’t seen strong performance here. And of course, notice if there are channels you’re missing in your campaign strategy—you want to maintain a presence everywhere that your competitors are reaching potential customers.
“Competitive benchmarking is important because even if you think your performance is where it needs to be, you don’t want to look at it in a vacuum because there’s always more opportunity to acquire customers who might otherwise go to your competitors. So if you are monitoring their performance to make sure you are in line with it, you're capturing every opportunity that you can see,” Candace explains.
Keeping an eye on your competitors can help you ride the wave of success that they might be experiencing on another platform. For example, TikTok has become important since its rise in popularity in 2019. Analyzing the competition can help you identify the opportunities a new popular social media platform can present to businesses.
The benefits of competitive benchmarking don’t stop there. Modern customers are highly opinionated and fragmented. Effective targeting can help you find and reach customers who are being underserved by your competitors. If a competitor is experiencing success on a platform or with a specific marketing strategy but are unable to meet customer demand, competitive benchmarking would put you in the perfect position to fill that gap in the market.
3 ways to extract maximum value from competitive benchmarking data
Make your competitive benchmarking data work for you by pairing it with effective analysis and improved strategizing using these tips.
Use the RACE Framework to analyze the effectiveness of your marketing activities across all channels
Sometimes, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact area within a wider marketing strategy to adjust for the best results. The RACE Framework gives marketers a simple way to analyze marketing activity and it can be applied to any channel or platform that you wish. RACE is a mnemonic device. It stands for Reach, Act, Convert, and Engage.
These steps represent the journey that marketers must take from the beginning of a customer interaction to its conclusion. Analyzing marketing results at each of these steps can help marketers understand how to capitalize on the opportunities presented to them by competitive benchmarking data.
Improve marketing data utilization with effective and uncomplicated reporting processes
Data is only as valuable as the insights it can provide. These insights also have to reach the right team members to actually be useful. Marketing teams must make sure that decision makers, team leaders, and other relevant stakeholders have access to critical information so they can strategize effectively. It is also important for this data to be presented in an easy-to-understand manner.
Optimize spending on channels and strategies that have a proven track record of encouraging conversions
The average social media user visits over seven social platforms each month. How do you decide how much attention each platform should get from the marketing team and how the marketing budget should be distributed across these channels? Competitive benchmarking data can pinpoint the platforms that seem to generate the most conversions and interactions for businesses with a similar profile to your own. Marketers should use this information to optimize their spending on important platforms while keeping niche platforms in consideration in case they become more important in the future.
"Analytics tools like MarinOne can help you look at your performance and compare it to your competition. And if it's not where you need it to be, budget allocation tools can help you find the right level of investment for your campaigns to get you up to par," Candace explains. "And as you move through your spend period and find you are not performing in one channel and performing really well on another channel, these algorithms will automatically shift your budget allocation for you. You'll be outperforming your competition without having to manage your campaigns manually day in and day out."
Demystify data-driven reporting and marketing strategy with MarinOne
To compare your competitors’ marketing strategies with your own, you need a comprehensive picture of your digital program. MarinOne’s advanced analytics suite pulls all your search, social, ecommerce, display, and app advertising into one view. It’s easy to see at a glance where you are spending and where you are performing, so you can easily compare your performance with the competition.
If you want to take it a step further, MarinOne’s budget allocation tools will shift your budget between campaigns and channels based on how well they’re performing—all while ensuring you hit your budget targets at the end of each month.
Learn more about MarinOne today. Get in touch with one of our experts to learn how MarinOne can help you make the most of insights generated through competitive benchmarking.
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.
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 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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
Change Your Business With Growth Marketing
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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. You should also empower employees with the latest solutions so that they can fulfill their roles effectively. For instance, using a telephone system that automatically distributes incoming calls will benefit team members and customers alike.
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.
8 Tips for Increasing the Conversion Rate of Your Digital Ads
Conversion rate is a crucial metric for digital marketers. It indicates how well your ads are working—since conversions are the main reason you're running ads in the first place. If your conversion rate is low, your advertising dollars are going to waste. But if it's high, you'll have much more money to spend on other marketing campaigns, like PPC. If you're running display ads and not seeing the results you want, it might be time to tweak your strategy. So, what exactly can you do to increase your digital ads’ conversion rates?
In this article, we'll walk you through eight tips to help boost conversions so you can reach a larger audience and increase sales. Remember, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to conversion optimization, but following these tips will help get you started on the right path!
What is conversion rate and why is it important?
Conversion rate is a tricky concept. It's not as simple as measuring how many customers you get out of each ad. Instead, it's a measure of how many people who see your advertisement actually do what you want them to do, like download an ebook or make a purchase.
By increasing your conversion rate, you can make the most of your digital marketing budget and maximize your return on your investment.
A high conversion rate is a result of:
- A streamlined and appealing sales funnel
- A well-designed website that is formatted effectively
- A unique and compelling brand and proposition
- An effective call-to-action
A low conversion rate means your website’s performance or design may be lacking. This could be as a result of slow loading pages, forms that are broken, or content that doesn’t accurately convey the offer’s value.
Through conversion rate optimization (CRO), you can allocate your PPC budget more efficiently and persuade prospects to take action.
How to calculate your conversion rate
To calculate conversion rate, divide the total number of conversions by how many visitors clicked on your ad. To get the percentage, multiply that result by 100.
Leads Generated ÷ Website Traffic x 100 = Conversion Rate %
This formula can be used for every conversion opportunity on your site. Count only the number of visitors on the web pages where the offer is listed.
8 tips for improving conversions
Identify your conversion goals
To optimize your conversion rates, create a robust conversion optimization plan. Consider what your prospective customers really want from you so you can make the conversion path as smooth as possible. Conversion goals help you optimize your advertising objectives more easily. With defined goals, you can also measure your marketing performance and set benchmarks for improvement. Clear objectives will lead to more successful campaigns.
Make sure your landing page copy is clear and concise
There are a few ways to make your content more accessible and clear to readers:
- Your landing page copy must be short, simple, and easy to understand.
- The tone should be conversational so it makes a natural connection between you and the reader, rather than sounding like an overly formal marketing pitch.
- If possible, use bullet points to highlight key benefits that would appeal to the specific type of customer who is visiting this page.
- Separate long lists into multiple sections so they don’t create readability issues when viewed all at once.
Create a sense of urgency to get customers to act now
“Accelerators” offer the extra push users sometimes need to convert. To increase conversions on short-lived deals and offers, use copy that provokes a sense of urgency such as “Limited time only,” “Last chance,” or “While supplies last.” As part of your ad creative, add direct call-to-action buttons to increase conversions. Offer limited-time discounts or free shipping for orders placed in the next 24 hours with no coupon code needed! This will help drive traffic and increase sales, especially for those final hours before major holidays.
Add an interactive element like an online chat window or live demo for more engagement opportunities
By engaging customers with a live chat capability, you can increase both customer satisfaction and conversion rates. Live chat tools are perfect for consumers who are on the fence. This is one of the best ways to respond quickly when a customer has a question about your product or service, which can lead to increased sales.
Offer content upgrades that are relevant to people who have already converted
If someone has bought a product, they might be interested in learning more about the topic or how to get even more value from the purchase. If someone has signed up for your email newsletter, they're probably interested in staying up-to-date on new products and promotions. Content upgrades can include:
- More information on the same topic
- A free trial of a paid service
- A coupon code for a discount on future purchases
- A digital download
Use social proof such as testimonials from other satisfied customers
Social proof is a powerful persuasion tool that we've all seen in action—and reviews are one of the most instrumental forms: 89% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase. Social proof builds trust and when your customers have established trust in your brand, they’re more likely to convert. Here are some tips:
- Build a strong online presence
- Incorporate social proof into your digital ads by including links to where others have left reviews
- Include testimonials from happy customers
Reading reviews and testimonials puts consumers at ease. If it’s not apparent that your customers have faith in your product or enjoyed using it, your conversion rate will likely suffer.
Create a FAQ page so customers can find answers quickly and easily
Include a search button on each landing page where a customer can type in their question or issue so a link to the answer appears at the top of the page for them. Next, make sure you include links to the FAQ page from both your homepage and contact page, or wherever else is relevant. This ensures that anyone who uses Google to research your business before clicking on one of your ads will be able to find this valuable resource immediately after landing on one of these pages.
Surround buttons with lots of negative space
When your button stands out from its background, it becomes more obvious and easier for users to spot when they're scrolling through pages of content or shopping carts filled with products. This means that more people are likely to click on the button than if it was surrounded by other things like photos and logos, which can make buttons less visually prominent or harder to see.
Get started improving your conversion rate today
There's no doubt that digital advertising is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. In fact, display ad spending is projected to increase by 20.9% in 2022 alone. So if you're looking for a new way to increase conversions and improve your bottom line, MarinOne can help.
Knowing how to improve the conversion rate of your digital ads is critically important to the growth and development of your business. With MarinOne, you can create, manage, and measure your digital ads so you can gain insights into what's working and what's not, allowing you to make adjustments that improve your results. MarionOne’s automation tool enables you to track ad metrics and conversions automatically.
Learn more about MarinOne’s ad automation tools. Or reach out to one of our MarinOne experts today to schedule a demo.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Go-to-Market Guide for Snapchat Ad Strategy and Campaign Optimization
When it comes to creating snap ads, the little ghost has your back. Snapchat distributes quite a bit of information to help advertisers find success on their platform. In this post, we’re consolidating their tips along with the insights from veteran users to give you an all-in-one guide to Snapchat ad strategy and campaign optimization. Let’s get into it.
How to create a Snapchat Ad strategy from scratch
When you start out, you’ll set up your campaign similar to how you would with Facebook ads. It goes like this: campaign > ad set > ad. You can have multiple ad sets in one campaign and multiple ads in one ad set.
The Snapchat ads manager doesn’t save your work halfway through. If you start creating an ad, make sure you have time to finish it. The last thing you want is to waste time creating ads that only the Snapchat ghost will end up seeing.
Instant Create vs Advanced Create
Choose your campaign objective
With Instant Create, you can build a single ad in under 5 minutes. It’s a solid option for beginners.
For more detailed targeting options, you’ll want to opt for Advanced Create.
Choosing a campaign objective in Instant Create is as easy as clicking one of the 5 options in the screenshot above. With Advanced Create, the options are a bit more thorough. Here’s what that looks like:
When choosing your campaign objective, think about what you want your audience to do when they swipe up on your snap ad. Choose from the following options:
- Promote Places
- App installs
- Drive traffic to website
- Drive traffic to app
- Video views
- Lead generation
- App conversion: Drive specific actions on your app.
- Website conversions: Drive specific actions on your site.
- Catalog sales: Drive sales on your chosen product catalog.
You can find out which ad types are available for each objective here.
Once your campaign objective is set, choose a start and end date (or just a start date, if you plan on running the campaign indefinitely) and set your daily and lifetime spend caps. Campaign spend caps must be at least $20.
On the next page, you’ll name your Ad Set then attach Snap Pixel and Snap App ID Tracking. Snap Pixel is a tool that helps you measure your campaign’s cross-device impact. This means you’ll be able to track the actions Snapchatters take on your site after seeing this ad. Snap App ID tracks actions snapchatters take in your mobile app after seeing your ad. Using this feature unlocks additional targeting benefits like Mobile App Custom Audiences, App Re-engagement Optimization Goals, or SKAdNetwork.
Right under that is where you pick your ad set budget and schedule. The daily budget minimum is $5. Then you have the option to pick your placements. Snapchat recommends choosing automatic placement, but here’s what it looks like to customize:
Instant Create Audience Targeting
Select the appropriate demographics for your campaign. Here, you’ll specify your audience by gender, age, and language. Next, you pick the location(s) you want to target.
Click “Show Advanced Targeting” to view the final two targeting sections: “Interests and Custom Audiences” and “Devices”.
“Lifestyles” and “Visitors” are the two Snapchat Lifestyle Categories within the Interests and Custom Audiences section. According to Snapchat, these are “Audiences that have been built and packaged using Snapchat and Third-Party Data, allowing you to reach people based on their online and real-world interests and behaviors.”
- Lifestyle categories are created based on what the users are most interested in according to what media they consume.
- Visitors are categories based on where the users go on their mobile devices.
There are a lot of options to choose from, so spend a good bit of time scrolling through and designing the audience that best fits your target customer base.
Last up is device targeting. You can pick between android and iOS, cellular or wifi, and specific device makes. This is only relevant in some situations, like if your app is only available for iOS. Otherwise, clicking “All” is your best bet.
Advanced Create targeting options
In addition to demographics offered in Instant Create, you also get to choose a household income, education level, and marital/parental status.
The biggest difference between the two is the Interests and Custom Audiences section. With Advanced Create, you can pick from Predefined Audiences or create custom audiences from scratch. Predefined audiences are the Lifestyle and Visitor categories available in Instant Create.
Custom Audiences can be created using Snap Audience Match (CRM Lists), Snap Engagement Audience, and Lookalikes. You can choose to deselect the option to expand your audience automatically to optimize performance if you want, but it’s automatically selected based on Snapchat’s recommendations.
When you click the “Create Audience” button, you’re taken to a page where you choose from one of 3 options:
- Custom Audience
- Lookalike Audience: Choose a seed audience, a location, then a Lookalike type.
- Similarity: Matches your seed audience the best, but is smaller.
- Balance: Mid-sized audience that balances resemblance and reach.
- Reach: Larger audience that prioritizes reach by broadening resemblance to the seed audience.
- Saved Audience: This option takes you to the Audience Insights page. Here, you can customize your audience and then save or export. You can also click through a visual representation of the audience you create.
In addition to the operating system, device make, and connection type, Advanced Create also allows you to target specific mobile carriers.
Here are some best practices to keep in mind:
- Keep your audience size under 20 million people per ad creative (be warned: a minimum audience size of 1,000 is required to run an ad).
- Create one ad set per unique audience.
- Use the Lookalike Audience feature to find new customers.
- A/B test ad sets with a specific audience by running multiple ads with unique creative assets.
Choose your budget and goal
Now’s the time to pick your daily budget, goal, and bid.
Auto-bid will get you the lowest CPC if you’re new to Snap ads. If you plan to choose a bid amount, go with whatever you’re willing to pay to get the action you want.
With Advanced Create, you’ll adjust your per-ad budget in the Delivery section. The options change based on your goal, but here’s what it looks like if you choose “Swipe Up”:
While Snapchat recommends auto-bid, you can play around with Target Cost and Max Bid and see how they affect your results. When you click the Max Bid option, Snapchat will offer a recommended range to choose from. You don’t have to pick within this range, however.
Choosing Max Bid also unlocks the Pacing feature, You can pick Standard to spread your CPA organically across your set dates or you can choose Accelerated to deliver your ads as quickly as possible (best for time-sensitive campaigns).
How to create a Snapchat ad
The next page is where you create your content.
- Choose your ad type/placement at the top of the screen.
- Create an ad name, headline, and make your ad sharable.
- Upload your Top Snap media (AKA your ad’s creative asset). Snapchat’s Instant Create has built-in templates for the Top Snap, but you can also create your own on a design platform like Canva. Alternatively, you can use a pre-existing logo from Wepik to give your ads a professional and recognizable look.
- Select and customize your attachment (where you want your viewers to go).
- Select your CTA.
- Last but not least, add impression tags and swipe up tags for impression tracker verification.
- Click next to review your ad, pay, and publish.
You’ll also get access to additional features depending on where you send your viewers. For example, you might see the option to enable autofill for lead generation or smart prefetching to speed up mobile site load times.
How to optimize your Snapchat Ads campaigns
When it comes to optimizing your Snapchat Ads, it all comes down to trial and error. First check that your ad type aligns with your advertising goal:
- For example, single image ads are great for conversions.
- Use filters and lenses for UGC marketing. These ads tend to inspire trust in your brand and are less intrusive than traditional ad formats. And when users in your chosen location use your filter or lens to send Snaps to friends in other locations, you get even more exposure. When creating a filter, opt for something artistic that doesn’t obscure the main part of the user’s Snap. That’ll encourage more Snapchatters to use your filter.
- Lenses are also a powerful AR shopping tool. Create a lens that shows users how your product will look when they bring it home and put it to use.
- Story ads are good for snagging attention quickly.
- Commercials are only available to selected advertisers, but they’re super effective as they can’t be skipped.
- Collection ads are ideal for e-commerce stores looking to drive sales. To set yourself up for success here, choose the top-performing products on your site, optimize your photos, and add some enticing CTAs.
- We all know how effective video ads can be. Keep your Snapchat video ads short and hook viewers by calling out their pain points from the start. Use audio and captions to make your ads accessible. Lay out your solution to the viewers’ problem, then end with a strong CTA.
9 tips for optimizing your Snapchat Ad campaigns:
- A/B test (aka split test) your ads.
- Define strong KPIs.
- Keep up with your audience insights and optimize targeting accordingly. Pay key attention to the purchase intent metric.
- Familiarize yourself with Snapchat culture.
- Only advertise to locations where your product is available for purchase (that includes shipping options for e-commerce).
- Make your creative asset fun, snappy, and shareable. Shoot for 5 or 6 seconds.
- Create Snapchat ads that feel like native content. That means throwing out the polished, professional vibe and going for a more casual, conversational ad.
- Launch a broad, data-gathering campaign; then study your Delivery Insights.
- Try out goal-based bidding. It’s a strategy where you optimize ads toward a specific action you want viewers to take. You set a cost-per-action requirement, and Snapchat will deliver impressions to efficiently achieve your desired outcome.
Want to make Snapchat an integrated part of your marketing strategy?
Marin Software's team of marketing consultants are standing by to get you started. Our tool makes cross-channel executive perspectives easy to see, and helps you make the best tactical marketing decisions possible…which is especially important when testing new channels. When you integrate the management and analysis of all your social and paid search platforms together, you'll save time and energy for everyone on the team. Our experts will make sure everything is tied together properly at the start so you can automate the systems that slow you down.
There's no reason to put all your social media advertising eggs in one basket when there’s a whole world of low competition and high ROI advertising opportunities out there. If you’re ready to branch out, consider giving Snapchat a chance.
Snapchat demographic statistics
With a recent resurgence in popularity, the platform is experiencing a new fleet of users among teens and young adults. As of the second quarter of 2022, the app had 347 million daily active users worldwide, which is an 18% increase from the previous year.
Snapchat reaches 75% of Gen Z. If you’re trying to reach a younger demographic, Snap ads might just be your secret weapon. Many of today’s teens even use Snapchat over their phone’s native messaging platform for chatting with friends. While these users might also use social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, the fact that many advertisers sleep on Snapchat means less competition for your ads.
Take the airline-booking app Hopper, for example. A recent case study from Snapchat’s inspiration page revealed some pretty impressive stats:
- Snapchatters were 37% more likely to watch a flight on Hopper vs users acquired from other social platforms.
- Snapchatters had a booking rate 4 times higher than users acquired on other platforms.
- The brand achieved a 50% decrease in cost per install (CPI) by using radius targeting on Snapchat.
What sets Snap apart from other social media platforms
Now that we’ve piqued your interest, let's find out what Snapchat ads are all about. Snapchat started as an app used solely for sharing vanishing images. Soon after, they added the ability to send direct messages and send short videos. They led the pack when it came to the Stories concept, lenses, and geofilters.
Nowadays, they’ve expanded to include a Discover Page filled with news, articles, and stories by featured creators. That Discover Page is your ticket to advertising success. It houses Stories at the top. Scroll down a bit to see the featured content.
Snapchat ads are similar to the ads you’re used to on popular advertising platforms like Facebook and Instagram. They appear between Stories, on the Discover Page, and in the form of branded lenses and geofilters.
Ad types available on Snapchat
Below are all the Snap ads formats you can use to reach your target audience:
Single image or video ad
This is Snapchat’s basic ad format. It displays a single image or video full screen and can be used for most any brand objective. Videos can be up to three minutes long, but the platform recommends keeping them between 3 and 5 seconds for the best results. Snapchat’s images and videos are lumped together in the same category. This full-screen ad format enables users to take action by swiping up.
These ads take up the entire screen, meaning they don’t have to compete for the viewer’s attention with other content. They appear between content in the following sections: User Stories, Publishers, Creators, and Our Stories.
Here are a few use cases:
- You can attach your website to the ad so that the CTA swipe-up link lets users make a purchase without leaving the Snapchat app.
- Generate more app installs by attaching an “Install Now” swipe-up CTA to the bottom of the ad screen. This allows viewers to download your app without leaving Snapchat.
- Long-form video is also an option. Snapchat will play a 10-second preview of your chosen video. The bottom CTA will have a swipe-up link directing users to watch the full video.
Perfect for ecommerce brands, Snapchat’s Collection ads allow you to showcase a series of products. If a Snapchatter is interested, these ads include four different tappable tiles that make it easy for them to buy and browse.
Create an On-Demand geofilter for users visiting your location of choice. This is a good option for brand awareness campaigns. There are a few different types of geofilters:
- Event geofilters: Become available at the time and location of your event.
- Shared Spaces geofilters: Appear to users in communal areas like malls, airports, parks, etc.
- Chain geofilters: Available to your brick-and-mortar store customers.
- National geofilters: Available to everyone in your chosen country.
Filters can be made smart to serve ads with real-time updates based on the user's location, name, time, etc.
Snapchat really paved the way for TikTok and Instagram filters. I mean, how could we forget the OG puppy ears? Snapchat’s lenses are its AR filters.
Lenses give Snapchat advertising a creative edge. Using these, advertisers can encourage viewers to participate in memorable interactive augmented reality experiences. With the platform’s Lens Web Builder, marketers can select from hundreds of animations, 3D objects, and effects to build a branded AR lens to connect with audiences in an engaging way.
Face lenses manipulate the user's facial features to make them appear different in some way or another. They can be used to transform users into a character relevant to your brand or as a way for users to try on your products without leaving the Snapchat app.
World lenses appear on the outward-facing camera (aka the back camera). They detect the user’s environment and allow users to interact with 3D objects overlaid on their world. These filters are also an effective method of showcasing products.
Branded filters allow brands to advertise inside user interactions. Most of the other ad types offered by the platform live on the Stories/Discover Page. Branded filters show up when a user goes to send a Snap to a friend. Filters are, by far, one of the most fun things about the social media app because they can be applied to photos and videos as an extra, entertaining add-on. Brands can also develop their own unique filters for users to apply. Creating these filters is a great way to build brand awareness among users who might not have clicked your ad on the Discover Page.
Story ads, part of Snapchat’s Discover feed, help you reach your target audience and drive brand awareness with a branded tile. Snapchat story ads are a series of images or videos that appear in between user stories or in the Discover Feed. They can display a collection of between 1 and 20 images or videos. These are pretty effective considering many Snapchat users watch their entire Story feed multiple times a day.
You can also advertise an article via the article ad format. It will pop up in the Discover section amongst other featured Stories and Articles.
Product catalog ads
Display a series of products with this shoppable ad format. These catalog ads can display as collection ads, single image/video ads, or story ads. They allow users to purchase without leaving the Snapchat app.
Commercial ads are non-skippable 6-second video ads. The actual video can last up to 3 minutes, but the ad is only non-skippable for the first 6 seconds. They appear within curated content and for better or worse, Snapchatters can’t skip them.
Marketers who are active users of Facebook, TikTok, or Instagram may already know that running dynamic ads is a great way to promote your brand. However, unlike other social media platforms, the Snapchat dynamic ads are only sent to users who’ve previously interacted with a brand. Offered in two formats — single image and collection — these dynamic ads are designed from pre-set templates and from your product catalog, eliminating the need to create them manually each time.
Now that you understand the basics of Snapchat ads, it's time to get to snapping. Snapchat's ads manager has a pretty nice suite of analytics where you can find what segments interact with your ads (including segments you didn't choose to include in your campaign). This is super helpful when it comes to improving your campaign relevance and reducing your advertising costs.
Paired with MarinOne's Snapchat integration, you can see all your advertising campaigns in one place, making it easier to identify budget by channel, successful products, and successful audiences that can be tested across various platforms. Speak to one of our marketing experts for a free consultation to get started with am omnichannel advertising strategy, featuring Snapchat.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.