Ask the #SMXpert: Smart B2B SEM Tactics

If you have a question on A/B split testing or are having challenges with ABM targeting on paid search, read on. Contributor Brad Geddes answers these questions and more in our continuing SMXpert series!

The post Ask the #SMXpert: Smart B2B SEM Tactics appeared first on Marketing Land.

The following is a continuation of the Q&A segment with moderator Brad Geddes from the “B2B SEM: Meeting Specific Challenges With Really Smart Tactics” session held during Search Marketing Expo (SMX) West 2018.

Intro

Challenges facing business to business (B2B) search advertising buyers are unique and include:

  • Finding enough search volume on technical, niche keywords.
  • Keeping clear of high-volume consumer-oriented keywords.
  • Attributing properly despite long sales cycles and conversions that frequently take place offline.

SMXpert Brad Geddes answered questions and shared some of his strategies and tactics for creating profitable B2B ad campaigns.

Question: Given the long sales cycle and not so much search volume, how do you run A/B split testing in B2B SEM?

Brad: There are two parts to ad testing in this scenario. The first is determining what to track (conversions). If the sale doesn’t happen for two years, then you might try looking at qualified leads. If a lead isn’t qualified for 12 months, then you might try leads and so on.

The goal is to get as close to a conversion as possible in a reasonable time frame. Generally, you want the conversion event to happen in seven to 30 days so that the data isn’t so stale that you’re taking action on old data.

Because you have low volume, you want to use multi-ad group testing. With multi-ad group testing, you can aggregate the data from patterns, lines, labels and so on across ad groups so that you have more data upon which to make decisions.

For instance, in B2B pay-per-click (PPC), there are usually a few main considerations for your headline:

  • Best call to action (CTA).
  • Ability to pre-qualify the audience.
  • Primary use benefit.

If you were working on call to action (CTA) testing, you could write two or three different CTAs and use them in all of your ad groups within that test segment.

You could then examine the data by CTA across ad groups to see which one has the best conversion per impression, and that would be your ad winner. Then you could repeat with other tests, lines and so forth.

Question: Let’s talk six-month-plus sales cycles. You don’t want to jam forms down people’s throats from the beginning, but simply spending money on awareness (via ungated content) doesn’t always look good in the eyes of executives. Any thoughts or ideas on this?

Brad: The advantage of ungated content is you push your content to more people and make it easily shareable and discoverable by search engines. The downside is that you collect fewer form fills early in the funnel.

The way we measure this is with attribution management.

For example, we can give away the content and put an email signup form for more info on the page. As people come back and fill out demo request forms or take a free trial or move to the next step of your process where you can count them as a qualified lead, we can use that piece of information as a conversion.

Once we have the qualified leads, then we can examine how well our ungated content is leading to qualified leads at some point in time. We can also do some high-level comparisons of time frames to each other to see if we have more total conversions.

When you use ungated content, your conversion rates might drop, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s that more people are discovering your content; so you might see total visitors increase, conversion rates drop and more total conversions increase.

That’s still an overall business win, even with a drop in conversion rates, as you received more total customers in the end.

Question: Our B2B accounts always have low Quality Scores. Does this matter, or should we just ignore Quality Scores?

Brad: This is a tricky question; we need to break the keywords into three types first:

  1. Brand.
  2. B2B only terms (buyer agent words, B2B intent and so on).
  3. Terms that can be B2B or business to consumer (B2C).

For your brand, you can still get 10s.

For your B2B only terms, you should be able to get a 6 to 10.

The terms that are ambiguous: safety gates, accounting, task management and so on are trickier, as they can be searched for by both consumers or businesses. This means your ad’s job is to pre-qualify users and to weed out B2C wasteful clicks so you are only attracting B2B clicks.

If you don’t pre-qualify your audience you might find you have lower conversion rates at higher quality scores and you are attracting too many B2C clicks:

Think about the Quality Score factors:

  • Expected CTR.
  • Ad relevance.
  • Landing page experience.

You can create a good landing page experience. Depending on the situation, ad relevance can be average or above average, depending on how you are trying to weed out B2C clicks.

However, you should not have an above-average expected click-through rate (CTR), as that means you are attracting B2C clicks. Usually, you’ll see your expected CTR as average or below average; and that’s OK if your goal is to weed out consumers.

Based on the Quality Score math, a 7 might be possible, but a 5 is much more likely.

When you have a 4, that means that you can improve the numbers, as this often indicates that your landing page experience has dropped.

While you shouldn’t make changes based solely upon Quality Score, in B2B, we usually aim for a 5 or 6 for the terms that can be B2B or B2C and start optimizing at a 4 or re-evaluating our metrics at a 7 just to make sure we aren’t getting too many B2C clicks.

Question:  What challenges have you experienced with ABM targeting on paid search?

Brad: When we think about just PPC for account-based marketing (ABM) and we’re ignoring LinkedIn and Facebook data, it’s impossible to only target an employee of a company outside of customer match.

So one of the top goals is to get enough email addresses from the targeted companies to use customer match. You can do that by targeting a very small radius around the company’s campuses, making white papers just for that company and so forth to bolster your customer relationship management (CRM) data.

Then you bring in the LinkedIn and Facebook targeting to help augment the total users, as with those platforms you can often narrow your targeting enough to only target a few companies, or even a single one in some cases.

Another way to help is to focus not just on a single company, but a company type, such as enterprise companies in the tech sector or medium-size financial companies (You’ll need more parameters than I listed).

Then you can also use similar lists to reach more people who are like-minded.

So with search, ABM = audience + keyword. The keywords you know, so the main focus is building the audience lists.

Have a question Brad didn’t cover?

Complete this form, and we’ll run your question and the SMXpert responses shortly!


Want more info on Paid Search? Check out our comprehensive PPC Guide – 9 chapters covering everything from account setup to automation and bid adjustments!

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Who’s Hiring in June?

Here are some of our top picks: Associate Director, Testing (Marketing Analytics) – Walmart eCommerce is hunting for a new member of its Marketing Analytics team who will help “drive optimal efficiency and effectiveness of our Marketing investment through continuous testing of optimization scenarios.” Based in San Bruno, CA, this role requires 6+ years of […]

The post Who’s Hiring in June? appeared first on Brooks Bell.

Here are some of our top picks:

Associate Director, Testing (Marketing Analytics)Walmart eCommerce is hunting for a new member of its Marketing Analytics team who will help “drive optimal efficiency and effectiveness of our Marketing investment through continuous testing of optimization scenarios.” Based in San Bruno, CA, this role requires 6+ years of experience and a deep knowledge of A/B and Multivariate test design and implementation.

Sr Manager, Digital Marketing Measurement & AnalyticsFidelity has an open role in Boston, MA for someone who is an expert in digital analytics, specifically with tools like Doubleclick, Adobe Analytics, Adobe Target, Adobe Audience Manager, Google Trends, Qualtrics, Clarabridge and BrandWatch. This role will “be critical to help improve the value driven by Fidelity.com,” by “measuring and optimizing the performance of Fidelity.com (homepage, logout page, navigation bar etc.), as well as advertising and messaging on Fidelity.com.”

Sr. Analyst, Omni-Channel Strategy & Analytics – Universal Orlando Resort is in the market for a senior analyst to perform “advanced analysis of the effects of various marketing efforts against desired results” as well as drive “the development of statistical executions to optimize marketing tactics.”  If you have omni-channel experience and are able to “deliver data-driven insights and translatable business stories from audience blueprints, channel insights, marketing mix modeling, attribution, guest journey insights, marketing tests and business intelligence reports,” this is the role for you.

Sr. Manager Ad Measurement & Data Attribution – PayPal is looking for someone to head up to the city that never sleeps (New York, NY) to “develop measurement strategies for multi-touch attribution, conversion-lift, halo-impact, optimization plans and general KPI considerations for launching new campaigns and improving existing core campaigns.”

Senior Website Optimization AssociateAthena Health is searching for an associate to own the testing program and its success. The person who’s best for this role will be able to work independently as needed and also liaise with both product managers and leaders as well as technology teams globally. Further, this role will “plan testing strategies, execute those plans and report out results to key stakeholders including senior leaders.”

Sr. Director User Experience & Design – North Carolina is a pretty awesome place to put down some roots (yes, we’re biased) and this job with Lowes in Mooresville, NC—a suburb of Charlotte—is a great fit for someone who really understands the intricacies of customer experiences across multiple channels and the importance of seamless transitions. Lowes wants a team leader who can “think strategically, look at the business analytically, obsess about the customer and implement at scale.”

Senior Product Manager, Experimentation Platform and A/B Testing ToolsHomeAway, an Expedia company based in Austin, TX, is seeking “an experienced technical Product Manager that is passionate about building data & technology platforms that enable great customer experiences.” This role will be responsible for leading the experimentation program, vision and roadmap with a goal of “improving testing insights and velocity.”

Have a job opening in the optimization space?  Get in touch and we’ll post it next month!

The Brooks Bell Team

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Why your marketing performance problem is really a measurement challenge

Figuring out how your company will grow is one of the biggest challenges facing marketers. The playbook is clear: Choose a high-value audience, execute relevant and creative campaigns, and voilà, results and growth for your brand, product or service. But setting your marketing team up for success is tougher than ever. One reason is that, […]

The post Why your marketing performance problem is really a measurement challenge appeared first on Marketing Land.

Figuring out how your company will grow is one of the biggest challenges facing marketers.

The playbook is clear: Choose a high-value audience, execute relevant and creative campaigns, and voilà, results and growth for your brand, product or service.

But setting your marketing team up for success is tougher than ever. One reason is that, at many companies, the individual players aren’t using the same playbook. They choose a lower-value target, or the wrong one altogether, launch campaigns without insight and watch growth and ROI sputter.

Getting on the right track for growth is easier said than done. If you’re not seeing the number of leads, conversions, sales or other key metrics you’re looking for, finding out what’s not working and knowing how to fix it is tough.

The issue may not be your marketing tactics at all. It might actually be how you’re measuring performance. Without accurate measurement that de-duplicates results across customers and gives each touch point the proper credit toward a desired outcome, you really don’t know what’s working and what’s not.

This makes it almost impossible to invest in the channels that are driving results and avoid wasting spend on those that aren’t.

Digital marketing is complex

This is a common problem for today’s marketer. For decades, marketers have used traditional channels such as print, radio, TV, yellow pages and outdoor ads to reach consumers. But the digital revolution has proved disruptive to traditional marketing approaches. TV, radio, print and outdoor now work alongside digital marketing —  search, organic and paid search, email, social and video.

An explosion of digital channels, platforms and tools have made marketing more complex than ever. There are more touch points as consumers take control of the funnel, interacting with brands across multiple devices, niche media outlets and streaming TV.

Being able to reach and engage your best customer as they move along a tangled digital path requires sophisticated understanding of tools and tactics and clear strategy and vision. But the strategies and technologies that marketers have relied on for years to target, analyze and optimize their marketing and advertising campaigns have not evolved fast enough to keep pace with these demands.

Click on the image above to get the free ebook.

Marketing teams don’t share goals

Another challenge to growth is that it’s common for marketing teams to operate in silos. Most marketing organizations are split between marketing (direct mail, website, mobile, email, SEO, social, PR, events) and media (display, paid social, SEM, affiliate, print, radio, TV).

This split is compounded by multiple layers up and down the org chart: CMO, VPs, and directors, each with a team of managers and specialists under them, executing tactics and managing spend for each channel. Every organization also has multiple agency and vendor relationships.

That’s a lot of people in the pool. This complex structure often leads to individuals or teams working toward independent key performance indicators (KPIs) and incentives, leading to fragmented, ineffective optimization — by channel instead of across channels.

Aligning your organization toward common goals is challenging, especially when the goals change. Organizational silos and the complexities of the digital era have created measurement challenges that make it more difficult to maximize marketing effectiveness.

You may be hurting rather than helping performance

When goals, metrics and incentives align, teams can work together to boost performance and enhance the consumer experience along the entire funnel. But when they don’t, channel managers may unknowingly be working at odds.

Assuming that every part of the organization is doing all they can to feed the funnel and drive results is no longer enough. If your organization sets individual goals and incentives by silo, you may be hurting rather than helping performance.

That’s because each silo has its own metrics. Your Paid Search Manager is optimizing keyword performance while your Email Marketing Manager is tracking opens and click-through rate. How can you be sure they’re looking at the right numbers to achieve company goals?

Aligning metrics to a common goal is key

To truly understand the value of each consumer interaction with your brand, it’s not enough to count impressions or eyeballs or to measure the effectiveness of your marketing using last-touch metrics. You need to know the effectiveness of each marketing touch point in every consumer journey, regardless of where those touch points occur.

No matter which goal you’re focused on, you have to make sure your metrics align so that you’re tracking the right indicators. From a marketing perspective, this is critical. Marketing teams and management need to align on objectives and the KPIs that track progress toward achieving them.

Multi-touch attribution: New measurement for all channels

Many brands are reluctant to use advanced attribution methods that accurately assign fractional credit to marketing and media touch points, yet they’re spending millions of dollars annually measuring performance using last-click metrics they know are flawed.

To be effective, marketing organizations and their agency partners must rely on a data source that offers a holistic picture of performance and makes it possible for everyone to work toward shared goals. At the same time, each team member has different needs for actionable marketing intelligence at a different cadence.

Multi-touch attribution is an approach that makes sure all members of the organization are working together. Multi-touch attribution integrates disparate marketing performance data to establish a single source of truth.

By collecting, consolidating and normalizing performance data into common measures and taxonomy, this methodology supplies the insights your team needs on a consistent, holistic basis. Some multi-touch attribution solutions even integrate third-party behavioral and demographic audience data to provide tactical performance insights by audience segment.

Five attribution use cases

Here are five ways multi-touch attribution helps make sure your team is looking at the right numbers.

CMO: Budget allocation

It’s budget-planning time. The CMO of a large retailer needs to justify current marketing spend to other C-suite leaders and decide how to allocate budget and coordinate messages and experiences across online and offline channels.

Because they use multi-touch attribution, s/he knows VPs of marketing and media can report on which channels are driving business objectives for each target audience. The CMO uses that information to reallocate budgets to achieve higher top-line growth and better bottom-line efficiency.

VP: Cross-channel interaction

It’s the end of Q2. Last quarter, the brand launched a new multichannel campaign to drive sales of a new product, but the campaign fell short of its performance goals. The VP needs to know how to best allocate spend in order to increase sales by 20 percent in Q3.

Since a business rival is launching a competing product, she knows the marketing messages need to resonate with target customers and compel them to take action. She asks the managers of paid search, display, email and their e-commerce site to use multi-touch attribution to report on cross-channel interactions before deciding how to best allocate her quarterly budget to reach Q3 targets.

Channel manager: Email

It’s Monday, and there are campaigns rolling out on Tuesday and Thursday to different audience segments. The email channel manager needs to boost click-through rates to meet the weekly KPI.

Using multi-touch attribution, he checks the response to last week’s campaigns and sets up A/B tests for the emails going out this week, tweaking creatives for each audience segment to see which raises CTR. He then optimizes the email by segment and pushes those out to generate a higher return.

Channel manager: SEM

At the agency, the SEM channel manager sees via multi-touch attribution that the effectiveness of her Tier 1 campaign has suddenly dropped off because a new competitor has started aggressively bidding on the same keywords with an enticing offer that’s stealing click share.

She directs the SEM specialist to increase max bids by 10 percent and asks for an update on impact to performance in 24 hours. In the meantime, she asks the media analyst to report on which ads in the rotation are driving conversions at the highest rate for that campaign so she can direct her SEM specialist to pause the weaker performing ads.

Media analyst: Dimension analysis

At the agency, the media analyst pulls the numbers gathered via multi-touch attribution from yesterday’s mobile app, digital video, display and paid search ads. He compares creatives, ad sizes, offers, devices, geography and publishers to see which ones are performing well. He notices that last night’s new creative is working well across publishers, but only in the bigger size. He alerts the media buyer to boost ad size across channels.

Getting the marketing performance you deserve

Digital innovation has created a new set of opportunities and challenges for marketers. As a result, many brands today think they have a performance problem. The truth is that they actually have a measurement problem. If they can solve the root of the issue — poor measurement — they’ll get better results.

Multi-touch attribution allows brands in all industries to tackle the daunting task of properly measuring and optimizing the results of their marketing efforts. This makes it a whole lot easier for your organization to work together toward shared goals and grow.

To learn more about how you can be a better marketer in the digital era, download the Nielsen Visual IQ e-book: Crossing the New Digital Divide: Your Guide to Marketing Effectiveness

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How To Create & Capture Demand Using Our Google Display Network Audience Targeting Method

The Google Display Network provides a variety of targeting options to reach existing and prospective customers at every stage in their purchase journey…. > Read More
The post How To Create & Capture Demand Using Our Google Display Network Audien…

The Google Display Network provides a variety of targeting options to reach existing and prospective customers at every stage in their purchase journey.... > Read More

The post How To Create & Capture Demand Using Our Google Display Network Audience Targeting Method appeared first on Retail Performance Marketing Blog - CPC Strategy.

WhatsApp Business | Scaling Customer Service With Messaging

WhatsApp Business released late last year, enabling small companies to scale their customer service to the encrypted messenger app’s 1.5 billion (and growing)… > Read More
The post WhatsApp Business | Scaling Customer Service With Messaging appeared …

WhatsApp Business released late last year, enabling small companies to scale their customer service to the encrypted messenger app’s 1.5 billion (and growing)... > Read More

The post WhatsApp Business | Scaling Customer Service With Messaging appeared first on Retail Performance Marketing Blog - CPC Strategy.

Top 5 Insights from Every Speaker of Digital Elite Camp 2018

Elite Camp 2018 (10th anniversary!) brough together 180 marketing and optimization people all over Europe. It was 3 days in a secluded beach resort with the best speakers and parties. Here are 5 (or so) thoughts from every speaker from this year’s lineup. Peep Laja: Repeatable Patterns in CRO We cannot predict what will work. […]

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Elite Camp 2018 (10th anniversary!) brough together 180 marketing and optimization people all over Europe. It was 3 days in a secluded beach resort with the best speakers and parties.

Here are 5 (or so) thoughts from every speaker from this year’s lineup.

Peep Laja: Repeatable Patterns in CRO

  • We cannot predict what will work. Our intuition is terrible at it.
  • You can’t copy market leaders or competitors to get ahead.
  • Can we skip conversion research if we know the repeatable patterns? No.
  • Basic things like “less unnecessary forms fields” are best practices, it’s a stretch to call them repetable patterns
  • The only repeatable pattern in CRO is doing the hard work of conversion research – it gets results every single time.

Hana Abaza: Thriving on Change, Driving Growth and Lessons Learned at Shopify

  • Positioning: Is it really the product you have to differentiate or is it the experience?
  • Your customers are ready for the future of commerce. Are you?
  • Marketers are often talking about unicorns, ice-creams and rainbows. But actually there is no basis to positioning. Use plain language. No jargon. No ice-cream, unicorns, rainbows.
  •  Balance short and long term impact. Low hanging fruit seems tempting, but can lead you astray.
  • It’s not about more leads, but better leads.

Chris Out: How to Build a Top 1% Growth Team 3 times faster than your Competition?

  • The growth system is broken: product, marketing and sales are siloed. That’s a problem.
  • Growth hacking is not only top of the funnel. You need high tempo testing and experimentation throughout the whole customer journey.
  • A high impact teams needs top skills. Rockboost process of building up a skill set:
    • Personal T-shape plans.
    • What do your clients need?
    • List all the hard and soft skills.
    • Learning plan per person
    • Plan dedicated learning time into your day!
    • Monthly check-ins.
  • Look at your growth team score and ask yourself: are you working in a multi-disciplinary team where you focus on high tempo testing on the entire customer journey for bottom line and valuation impact?
  • Use CXL Institute to train your team members on growth

Ed Fry: Data-driven Growth – Lies, Lawyers & Outsized Results

  • Where is your customer journey captured? Go a little bit further, it is not always in Google Analytics. What does your team need to access that data? How to get access to the right data? It’s in website analytics and emails, but that is just a small piece of it.
  • What are the decision making moments in your growth process? Can you create rules for them? There is automation & there are processes, but for growth you also need rules.
    • Pricing is a rule.
    • Sales compensation is a rule.
    • Content modelling is a rule. (Booking.com: user reviews, location..)
    • Content modelling for a blog: use different elements
    • Design = rules.
    • Development = rules.
    • Content = rules.
    • Segments as rules: “Who to talk to”
    • Templates as rules: “What to say” and “What to say” internally
    • Workflows as rules: “When and where to say it”. Control the complexity in your workflows.
  •  Unify all user data in one place.

Alexa Hubley: The Agile Marketing Playbook

  • Create your agile process:
    • Map (start at the end)
    • Sketch (remix & improve)
    • Decide (Rumble, storyboard)
    • Prototype – test
  • Active campaigning works. If you want more product adoption, market to your user base. 
  • Solve at the micro level.
  • Show, don’t tell.

André Morys: Understanding Disruptive Growth – Why Most Optimizers Fail to Produce Great Results and How to Change it

  • Understand the real challenge. It is not statistics, tools, errors on websites.
  • It’s all about customer experience. We have to help companies provide a better experience. Make a connection between A/B testing and your boss/strategy. It’s not about technology, but customer centricity + agility, data drivenness.
  • You are not optimising websites but helping your boss and client get over ignorance and see the real problem. Connect what you are doing to their strategic challenge.
  • Prioritise impact over speed. Go for “High Impact Testing” – those tests need a triple amount of effort of an average A/B test, but are worth it. Challenge your prioritisation. Select tests that make a real impact.
  • Have a workshop with the management to agree on how to report real ROI in a way they understand and care about.

Karl Gilis: Why You Fail at Digital Marketing

  • Hope is not a strategy. You have to know the basics – why something works or doesn’t.
  • Offline marketing is about getting attention. Online marketing is about paying attention.
  • Video backgrounds are the new sliders.
  • Zoom in into the problems. Don’t make it about you. Make it about them.
  • If you don’t care about words, you are a decorator, not a designer.

Craig Sullivan: Tools and Techniques for Optimising Cross-device Experiences

  • If customers cannot read the content, because it is too small, then it’s a marketing whiffle.
  • We all have product defects, we just don’t know where they are and how much they cost us. But until you have tested it, they are just bad assumptions.
  • Why don’t we hear about these bugs? Even if nobody complains, it does not mean everything is working fine. Everyone needs a process for finding the defects. Customers will not call.
  • Most important thing in the checklist: audit of Google Analytics. Otherwise you might have bullshit data, bullshit boards, bullshit dashboards, bullshit executive boards.
  • Data-driven is a tricky concept. Information does not tell you what to do. You are the lens that needs to figure that out.

Annika Oorn: Optimizing High Converting Websites

  • Aggregate data is crap as it hides the gold inside the segments
  • Optimisation is more than just running tests. Find bugs. Get started and move on to automated solutions.
  • What if you don’t have heaps of traffic?
    • You can still do personalisation
    • Look at broad segments
    • Learn from segments – dig deep
    • Cross-sell/up-sell
    • Use micro-conversions
    • Increase motivation
    • Qualitative research
    • First impression tests, user testing before going live (UsabilityHub etc)
    • Lower the statistical significance
  • Focus on upsells, cross-sells and personalization when the conversion rate is already very high

Andy Carvell: Driving Impact on Mobile

  • Apple App Store and Google Play store have a lot of competition. You would probably find 6-7 functionally identical apps for every idea.
  • Mobilegrowthstack.com – A framework for strategic mobile growth.
    • Acquisition
    • Engagement & Retention
    • Monetization
    • Analytics & Insights
    • Tech
  • Push notifications. Pretty saturated. In-App messages. Definitely not saturated. Segmented targeted interaction with your user.
  • Use of in-app messaging to rapidly test segmented onboarding. Impact = Reach x Relevance x Frequency.
  • Optimise relevance – you can improve it with personalisation. Leverage the demographics, behavior. If the relevance is high enough, people are happy to get the notifications.

Jonathan Epstein: From Darwin to Digital Marketing: Can Evolutionary AI Create More Effective Customer Journeys?

  • In nature, natural selection has optimal designs. Each species is uniquely optimised for the niche it is in. Modelling evolution this way helps to bring the model to other areas.
  • Evolutionary principles
    • Fitness – The fittest web page, the fittest radio antenna, training system..
    • Combination – if you have 2 better than average design, then you climb a performance hill
    • Mutation – like in nature, we are looking all the angles of possible ideas.
  • Evolutionary Optimization: parallel designing – combine two good designs and get a better one. Each generation requires less traffic than a single A/B test. In 15 generations of 40 designs each. This approach allows you to test much more things. They run 6-8 generations to get highest increase of conversion over time.
  •  Combination of evolution and deep learning. Neural networks connect inputs  (variables: customer profile, device, day of week, time of day) and outputs (what are they going to see).

Lukas Vermeer: Democratizing online controlled experiments at Booking.com

  • The question with data always is: How did this data come about?
  • Evidence-based customer-centric product development. You need to have theories about your customer behavior and ask what this test wants to achieve?
  • Failure is learning. 9/10 tests fail.
  • Take the biggest small step so you can challenge your riskiest assumptions quickly.
  • Customer-centric evidence on what they care about. With this approach you will learn what matters to your customers.

Momoko Price: Data-driven copywriting for brand-spanking new products

  • Worst advice you get for converting copywriting – tweaking random words on pages.
  • Longstanding conversion-copywriting myth is that conversion copywriting is AB testing, copywriting formula. Actual four steps:
    1. Research the customer mindset
    2. Map out the sales narrative
    3. Leverage cognitive biases – framing, anchoring etc- how humans make decisions
    4. Measure the impact
  • Good copywriting = Exercising empathy. Listen. Listen at scale.
  • When you feel it in your gut, you know it must be right. No – that’s confirmation bias.
  • Great technique for copywriting – online review mining. Instead of writing your message from scratch, steal it directly from your prospects. Go to a review site and steal from there – Tripadvisor, Airbnb, Amazon

Ivan Bager: Storytelling with data

  • Storytelling is good for idea pitches, one-off analysis, board meetings, sales efforts, persuasion of stakeholders.
  • When narrative is coupled with data, it helps to explain to your audience what’s happening in the data and why a particular insight is important.
  • When visuals and graphs are applied to data, they can enlighten the audience to insights that they wouldn’t otherwise.
  • Connect the narrative to your story by linking it to events and conclusions in the data. Visuals doesn’t have to be graphs, use images of the people involved.
  • Analyse your audience member’s frame of mind to help them better “hear” you. Structure your story effectively. Instill customer empathy into your audience to increase your story’s memorability.

Robin Langfield Newnham: Optimising for Voice AI in the Post-Website Era

  • Post-website era: No app. No browser. No search. Voice-only shopping. Voice shopping estimated to hit 40 million dollars by 2022 in the UK and US.
  •  Use keywordtool.io to identify long-tail questions with voice intent. Look for long-term keywords.
  • Use SEMRUSH or Ahreds to identify which keywords contain a featured snippet result page.
  • Create in-depth, mobile-friendly guides that succinctly answer each question.
  • Use ‘organization’ schema.org markup to gain a knowledge box snippet. Allows Google Home to pull answers about your brand.

Els Aerts: Without Research There Is Nothing

  • User research is part of every project, may it be information architecture project, conversion optimisation project. You have to do the research for your product/service, website, because it always “depends”.
  • How much research should you do? Just enough.
  • Qualitative research: Why? How? In-depth input needed. Interviews. Moderated user testing. Surveys with open questions. Unstructured data. Small.
  • 80% of companies say they are customer-centric. Only 8% of customers agree.
  • Focus group is not a user test.

Conclusion

It’s a real fun event + you’ll learn a ton.

Elite Camp 2019 dates: June 13-15. Mark your calendars now.

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SMX Advanced 2018 Session Recap: Storytelling with Social Ads that Sell

Contributor Joe Martinez recaps a session of rock-star paid social media marketers sharing how you can use social media to engage, entertain and motivate readers through the sales funnel.

The post SMX Advanced 2018 Session Recap: Storytelling with Social Ads that Sell appeared first on Marketing Land.

SMX Advanced attendees were treated to a rock-star lineup of paid social media marketers. Our presenters spoke to the crowd about how we should be using social media to engage users, move them down the funnel and give them the message they want to hear to increase brand interest.

Here’s a recap from the three speakers on the Storytelling With Social Ads That Sell session panel.

Jeff Ferguson

Jeff Ferguson was first up.

To set up the presentation, he went over a great analogy of creating cocktails. The difference between a Manhattan cocktail and a martini is one ingredient. The difference between a martini and a Gibson is one ingredient.

The message here is that sometimes all you have to do is change one little thing to get something new and amazing. The same idea can be applied to marketing. Maybe one little difference in your ad copy or one little way we tell a story can make a big impact on your campaigns.

Typically, we write content, and it sits there. Maybe we’ll promote it on social media, but many people don’t see these stories we spend a lot of time on. Let’s take our client’s information and use it appropriately for each stage of the content marketing funnel. Jeff then went on to show examples of how he utilizes this approach.

High funnel. For one client who focuses on meal kits for people with serious health concerns, Jeff and his team asked themselves:

  • What kind of post is a great introduction?
  • What posts can help get users into our funnel?

They found out the meal kit company had a lot of fantastic blog posts which were just sitting on the website with no major traffic. These posts, when finally promoted, led to a lot of user engagement, which was a win. They got the users to notice the brand and introduce them to the funnel.

Mid-funnel. Typically, this is where we see remarketing start to come in. We’re showing ads to users who are already familiar with our brand, even though it may be out of the corner of their eye. Focus the content on:

  • Testimonials.
  • Product comparisons.
  • Demonstrations
  • Before-and-after examples.

Consider using audiences of second touch, proven performers, content downloaders and engaged views from the high-funnel approach to keep moving those users along.

Low funnel. This is where we want to be more aggressive in asking for the sale. By the time users are at the bottom of the funnel, we start to really push the offer-driven message. By this point, they’ve seen your brand message at least two or three times, so it’s OK to start asking for the sale.

Going beyond the conversion. It’s typical in marketing to focus on the same thing, so we lose touch with everything. Not only do we want to get the sale, but we want to get those users to come back. We all should care about customer success. Jeff and his team like to look at the entire customer journey and see where they can come in and help out.

The problem with email after the journey is that email open rates are pretty bad, pretty horrible. We’re talking about a 21.8 percent average open rate. If other marketing channels had that type of success rate, we’d all be fired, right?

Customer match is a better option than email to take the user farther down the road. Take the user story farther down the road to keep feeding those users new stories until we hit your end goal.

Deciding what to communicate. Keeping in mind the same meal kit client mentioned earlier, audience exposure had a much better result over email. Jeff’s team found out that people who picked their own meals stayed on longer with the program. So they took the updated list of those specific users every week and showed new ads to this customer match audience.

Email rate was 56 percent. Audience exposure for search/social campaigns was 80 percent. The efforts increased meal selections by 50 percent and reduced churn by 20 percent.

Remember, none of these changes are big. Storytelling is about helping a prospect through the entire marketing funnel.

Presentation deck: Social Media Storytelling by Jeff Ferguson

Michelle Morgan

Next up was Michelle Morgan from Clix Marketing, who talked about bringing people back into the funnel.

When looking at a basic funnel, we typically see four steps:

As B2B marketers, our goal should be to turn the stereotypical “funnel” into a shape that makes it easier for users to slide down. How do we do this? Michelle breaks it down.

Make users come back happy. One of the worst things we can do to try and move users along the funnel is crappy remarketing.

For example, let’s say you were trying to get users to download a white paper in your initial campaign. What if they don’t convert off the white paper? Don’t remarket to users who didn’t visit the confirmation page for the past 90 days. Break the audiences down into lower cookie durations. Change your CTA as the time decay flows. Have a firm CTA in the initial 30 days, but soften it after 90 days. Test this same strategy with your offers, too. Try different content (e-book vs. white paper) to see if that makes a difference.

Moving down the funnel. If you’re not doing lead scoring, you’re missing out. Michelle had some great examples of creating a point system with a set threshold to move users down your strategy. Come up with a system where the user maintains a certain “worth” during an agreed upon time duration to know which audience the user actually belongs to, and how they should be marketed.

Push users to new content they may not have seen before. Also, move users away from content they have already seen to avoid annoying people with the same message over and over. For users with too low a score, depending on your scoring system, create new lists and re-engage through other marketing channels.

Closing the deal. Win back stalled opportunities with specialized messaging. Sometimes people are deep in the funnel but get stuck for some reasons we can’t easily understand. LinkedIn Sponsored InMail is great. Users only see one ad in their InMail once every 45 days, so you don’t have to worry about bugging users.

Using the LinkedIn ad, offer something they can’t get anywhere else.

Act like a sales rep and work within your customer relationship management (CRM) system. Don’t stop at contacts, look at business targeting. People leave companies all the time, so target the business on LinkedIn, which will be far more accurate than any company targeting on Facebook.

The story is for users. Keep the users’ end goal in mind instead of your own. It’s okay to pick an emotion so your ads don’t seem stuffy. Graphics are great for content, while real-world images are better suited for non-content.

Carousel ads let the person pick the story or let your customers tell the actual story with testimonials.

Presentation deck: Back to the Funnel: Winning Back B2B Users in Social

Susan Wenograd

Last but not least was Susan Wenograd.

“The Princess Bride” fans rejoiced when Susan mentioned she was going to show why Inigo Montoya is the perfect storyteller, and how he can help your business. Many brands think all storytelling is going to be great. They assume every story they tell is going to surprise and delight their audience. We see many brands tell stories that only talk about themselves and assume users are going to want to buy just based on a brand story.

Ask the user to find out (without asking). Think about what Inigo would do if you asked him a question, and he’d start rambling on about a bunch of facts just like a feature-based ad. Susan had a client who was running a lot of feature-based ads showcasing what the product does, the technology behind it and so on. Very stat-based, right?

Average click-through rate (CTR) for these ads was 1.2 percent. When looking at the assets the client had, Susan noticed users always seemed to be skeptical initially. Once the users found out about how great the product was, they had no problem admitting they were wrong. Susan asked, “Why weren’t we running this in the ad copy?” She ditched all the benefits-and-features ad copy and used a customer-made video echoing her discoveries.

The story-based ad copy quantifies belonging to a community. CTR doubled and helped inform how to improve more than just ads. The new approach also informed how to improve landing page design.

Use what’s memorable and don’t fight it. Do you remember the name of the six-fingered man in “The Princess Bride?” Of course you don’t, you just remember that he’s the six-fingered man. (His name is Count Rogen, in case you really wanted to know).

Brands feel they know what story to tell, but people will be the ones to dictate what story you should be telling.

Consumers control the story, not the brand. Find out what people are searching for and use that in your marketing. Consider creating new landing pages that actually speak to what your users are calling your products or services. Then use those landing page visits as the proper page to create Facebook audiences and then lookalike audiences for a better higher-funnel strategy.

Sometimes, you just can’t run. In a different strategy, Susan had a client who was the face of a new company, while also being well-known from his previous company. Even though the client wanted to separate himself from the old company, he was the six-fingered man. He was the story. They started making “helpful tip” webisodes featuring Susan’s client to leverage his notoriety. Instead of running video views, they tried post engagements after seeing people were naturally engaging due to the story content.

CPMs went from over $5.00 to under $3.90. They focused on the story versus what the company does and saw results improve.

Our brains are crushed with information daily. Ask Inigo Montoya who he is, and he’ll tell you over and over and over:

Hello. I am Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

It may be repetitive, but fans of the movies know the quote by heart because they’ve heard it so many times. In marketing, it’s okay for storytelling to repeat the same information more than once. Why? Check this out.

We have to repeat the story, and more importantly, repeat it in multiple places. This type of thinking is going to be extremely important when no one is searching for your brand or products. Susan said it best: “The only way to expand search is to expand the people who will search for your brand.” When you tell your brand story long enough, your language will become your customers’.

Presentation deck: The Inigo Montoya Guide to Storytelling in Paid Social

The post SMX Advanced 2018 Session Recap: Storytelling with Social Ads that Sell appeared first on Marketing Land.

The 13 Most Effective Ways to Increase your Conversion Rate

The average conversion rate for a Facebook Ad is 9.1 percent. Website conversion rates, though, lag at an average of just 2.35 percent. The data varies by industry. On Facebook, for instance, fitness ads top the charts at nearly 15 percent. You might b…

increase-conversion-rate-2018

The average conversion rate for a Facebook Ad is 9.1 percent. Website conversion rates, though, lag at an average of just 2.35 percent. The data varies by industry. On Facebook, for instance, fitness ads top the charts at nearly 15 percent. You might be surprised to learn that B2B ads convert at an impressive 10.63 percent. But what if you don’t want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on Facebook Ads? You’d rather increase conversion rate on your own website through organic marketing. That’s certainly possible. I’ve done it myself. But you need some information before you can start...

The post The 13 Most Effective Ways to Increase your Conversion Rate appeared first on The Daily Egg.

How to Use Framing to Sell More Warranties and Service Contracts

A single hailstorm changed me from rational to irrational…
The post How to Use Framing to Sell More Warranties and Service Contracts appeared first on Neuromarketing.

56% select the service contract after experiencing loss

A single hailstorm changed me from rational to irrational...

The post How to Use Framing to Sell More Warranties and Service Contracts appeared first on Neuromarketing.

Radio’s Ugly Baby

Radio Ink has had a lively discussion lately between radio executives and agency owners about their frustrations in dealing with each other. It’s a worthwhile conversation, but mostly for how what’s not being admitted is warping the dialogue. Here’s wh…

Radio Ink has had a lively discussion lately between radio executives and agency owners about their frustrations in dealing with each other. It’s a worthwhile conversation, but mostly for how what’s not being admitted is warping the dialogue. Here’s what neither the agencies nor the radio industry seem to want to admit: Most advertising clients […]