Making Cents of PPC and AdWords

Google Agency Partner Matt Roche’s presentation at May’s  Newport Interactive Marketers focused on how businesses can utilize Google AdWords/PPC. Matt explained why businesses should consider advertising with Google and shared his secrets for success.  Here are the highlights of the presentation.

AdWords is a Keyword Action 

  • AdWords is Google’s brand name for their pay per click ad platform)
  • Keywords are words or phrases users search for on Google to locate what they’re interested in
  • Advertisers bid on keywords used to describe their business
  • When your keywords are eligible in the auction an ad you write, appears in the search results
  • When a user clicks on your ad Google charges the you a cost for the click (CPC)

PPC is Highly Targeted

  • Keywords: “Red Running Shoes” is 50% more profitable than “Red Running Sneakers”
  • Ad Messaging: “Fast Shipping” is 25% more profitable than “Fast Delivery“
  • Geo Targeting: a [X] mile radius around your business, city/towns and countries
  • Devices: desktops, tablets and mobile, and even mobile providers
  • Time and Day: only during your business open hours or 24/5

What You Pay for a Click

  • You set your monthly budget and divide it over a 30 day period
  • For example: $1,000 monthly budget equates to $33 a day
  • If your average cost per click is $1.00 you’ll get 33 clicks in a day
  • One day you may get $33 worth of clicks, another day you may get $36 worth of clicks
  • You won’t pay more than $1,000 in a month

YOU Set Your Maximum Cost Per click (CPC)

  • Often you’ll actually pay less per click than your max CPC.
  • For example: Your max CPC is $1.00, the advertiser below you has max CPC
  •    at $0.80. When a user clicks on your ad  you pay only $0.81 for the click

How Your Ad Ranks

  • Ad Rank determines your ad’s position in relation to other advertiser’s ads
  • Ad Rank = Quality Score x Maximum Cost per Click
  • Quality Score = The quality of your ads, keywords and landing pages
  • Ad Rank is recalculated each time your ad is eligible to appear – ad position fluctuates
  • Even if Brand X has higher bids than yours, you can still win a higher position at a lower price by using highly relevant keywords, ads and landing pages!

What to Do Before You Get Started

1. Establish Clearly Defined Goals – What may seem really obvious to you may not to good portion of your visitors. What do you want your visitors to do?

2. Why Should Visitors Buy From You? – What makes your product or service unique?

3. Understanding ROI – You need to understand your ROI to determine how profitable your PPC advertising is. To calculate ROI sales you need 3 numbers: revenue from PPC advertising, cost related to goods sold, and Adwords cost. The formula is:

Revenue – Overall Costs / Overall Costs = Profit Percentage (Overall Cost = Cost related to good sold + Adwords cost). 

Ex. R = 1,300 O= 1,000

($1,300   –   $1,000)   /  $1,000          =  0.3

Revenue    Overall Costs   Overall Costs   Profit is 30%

Explaining Keywords

  • Broad Match: Most traffic BUT lots of irrelevant clicks – least CPC
  • Modified + Broad Match: Less traffic than broad – more relevant clicks – higher CPC
  • Phrase Match: Less traffic than broad  –  more  relevant clicks  –  higher CPC than broad
  • Exact Match: Least amount of traffic –  most relevant clicks  –  highest CPCs
  • Negative Match: Keeps your ads from appearing for irrelevant queries. Not using negative matches is one of the biggest mistakes advertisers make. Adding negatives is a huge cost controller especially when using broad match terms.

Writing Effective Ads

  • Include target keywords in your ad content
  • Include a value or unique selling proposition
  • Include a call to action
  • Include transactional words such as prices, fee, discount, etc.
  • Create a sense of urgency

Monitoring and Measuring Your Campaigns

Daily

  • Are your ads running?

Weekly

  •  Are impressions , clicks and conversions normal?
  • Did you think of new keywords in the shower this morning?
  • Do you have a new promotion | product | value proposition?

Monthly  

  • Month to month, quarter to quarter, year to year
  • Keep in mind seasonality
  • Make note of promotions
  • Make note of major website changes
  • Make note of major news events, weather, holidays, etc.

Here’s what Newport Interactive Marketers were saying on Twitter:

:  Networking with friends Katrina & Emily enjoying !  

@Sue_DesigEditor:Ingredients to a better quality score by

: … A view from the back … Great presentation on

 

Recipe for an effective ad via @semseopro #NIMRI #MidtownOyster  

mattrocheMeet Matt Roche

Certified AdWords Professional since 2005, Google Agency Partner Matt Roche currently manages $100,000+ in monthly client ad spend. Prior to launching his firm SEM/SEO Pro, Matt served as Director of Search Marketing at Boston-based Emagine Communications and was WIMCO’s Online Marketing Manager from 2000-2006.

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How to Amp Your Business by Capturing and Nurturing Leads

Former Eloqua CMO Thor Johnson’s presentation focused on what strategies and tactics businesses can use to better gather and grow leads into sales.  Here are the highlights of the presentation.

Truth One: No Processes to Manage Leads

  • Idealized Lead Management Process
  • Reality: Data Flows Broken or Non-Existent

Truth Two: No One Understands their Customer

  •  Why they buy or HOW they buy
  • Sit down with customers and figure out why they buy their stuff
  • If you’re in retail it’s pretty much walk in and buy
  • If it’s B2B it’s probably a couple of interaction s before they buy
  • If it’s a big company it’s a long process

Marketing the Complete Buying Cycle

  1.  Collect Leads…at any stage
  2. Engage and Nurture…throughout
  3. Win & Deliver
  4. Set Expectations…. Declare Victory

1) Collect Leads

  • Buy ‘em
  • Meet ‘em
  • Reel ‘em in

Where to collect leads:

  •  Your website
  • Facebook – big mailer
  • Twitter – it’s great listening tool
  • LinkedIn – b2b astonishingly powerful, get information out to the people who will consume it
  • Google+ – Up and comer, who knows how big they will grow

Get referrals

  • And save them where you can use them again and again

Get Organized 

Outlook is not a business tool, so you should not use it as if it is. Here are two inexpensive tool options.

  • Salesforce.com $200/year single user
  • Nimble $180/year single user

Engage and Nurture

  • Offer fresh and relevant info to your customer
  • Get ‘em on your website

Where there’s more challenges…

  • What are you producing?
  • How do you get them there?
  • What  do you do when they’re there?

Make a promise…and keep it

Example: NIM makes the promise to share, connect, and grow. They validate this by offering meetings, networking events, and blogs with relevant information. NIM makes a promise and keeps it. This is what you want to do.

 Declare Victory

Declaring victory is especially important  if what you are selling is complicated or expensive.

Take stock by…

  • Sat Survey NPX
  • Referral
  • Testimonial
  • Pictures
  • Videos

Ask your customers what’s going on. Ask if they’re happy. Take videos. Get referrals. Get testimonials.

Videos of happy customers cost nothing, but you can’t make them without happy customers. So you have to remind people they’re happy and take advantage of it.

Your Full Lifecycle Marketing 

  • Have some discipline around
  • Collecting contacts and prospects – if these contacts and prospects are not being put in a database you’re doing all this work capturing interest, but you’re missing out on these opportunities.

Communicate Regularly

  • Keep it fresh
  • Keep it relevant

With some business it’s okay to pepper emails with sales and leads…but don’t bombard your customers.  Manage your website actively. Everyone will end up at your website. You want to focus on delivering on the same promise you are sending out.

Manage Your Website Actively

  • 100% of your customers will visit it
  • make your promise
  • make content available

Email Tools

  • Constant Contact $180/year and up
  • Icontact $164/year and up

Website Analytics

  • Google Analytics (free and super useful)

Challenges for Us All

Thor examined the websites of the meetings attendees prior to the presentation. He shared the common challenges he found among the websites.

All about me? – The website is all about the  who wrote it. According to Thor, looking at a website the last person you care about is the “me.”  Customers are going to the website looking to solve a problem. They want to know if the website can solve thier problem. Instead of all about me, it should be all about the customer.

Ongoing Converstation? OOD? Sales Pitch? – Many of the blogs were out of date.  Thor saw websites that were copyrighted years ago. These simples mistakes show that you are not paying enough attention to your website.

Lead Capture? The lead capture should NOT be a contact form with 90 things on it. Customers don’t want to tell you all these different things about them. First, get the email and ask these questions later.

Here’s what Newport Interactive Marketers were saying on Twitter:

@NPTRestoration You don’t have control over Facebook. Facebook has control over Facebook. #NIMRI #socialmedia

@sue_DesigEditor Salesforce, nimble well-priced tools even for low budget. Outlook does not cut it! @ThorJohnson #NIMRI

@JoshSinger33 “I’m the customer, it’s all about me, solve my problems” –@ThorJohnson #Truth #Marketing #Websites #NIMRI

@NPTRestoration Communicate regularly, manage your website actively, but don’t bombard customers #NIMRI

@franciscosamuel #nimri testimonial from a happy customer … Costs $000

@JoshSinger33 You’ve got to figure out why your customer buy your stuff. Seems simple yet #marketers don’t bother to understand their customers #NIMRI

@NPTRestoration Everyone wants videos on websites #NIMRI

@sue_DesigEditor Challenge of small biz folks — your website shouldn’t be about your company. It should be about solving your problems @ThorJohnson #NIMRI

Newport Interactive Marketers speaker Thor JohnsonMeet Thor Johnson

A Demand Generation and Marketing Automation pioneer, Thor Johnson leads Team Thor Marketing, a US-based marketing consulting agency that drives sales via demand-generation strategic planning and implementation.

Thor has pioneered B2B and online marketing for more than two decades.  As chief marketer for Eloqua, now Oracle, the industry leader in B2B marketing automation software, Thor’s team drove explosive revenue growth for nearly four years and helped define today’s marketing automation industry and best practices.

As Agency.com President, he lead its largest and most successful divisions, in New York and Boston. Thor was also Juno Online Services’ COO. He learned B2B marketing internationally with Schlumberger, while based in Paris. He earned a Harvard MBA and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Brown.

Don’t miss  Newport Interactive Marketers’ FREE monthly networking-learning gatherings.

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Simple Tests to Improve Your Website

Which Test Won logoWhichTestWon publisher Anne Holland’s quiz-show-style presentation at February’s Newport Interactive Marketers focused on how to use simple tests to improve website sales, signups, and conversion rates.

Holland provided copious examples of how small – often nontechnical – tweaks can result in huge improvements. Here are the highlights of the presentation.

Why Synchronous Testing?

  • Create two versions simultaneously
  • Traffic engine splits it into two different versions to see which does better
  • Super cheap and easy to do
  • You can go to Google Experimental Engine or Visual Website Optimizer
  • Great for an agency: You’ll impress your clients

Why You Shouldn’t Go With Your Gut

WhichTestWon’s founder Anne Holland says: If you’re just using your gut you are probably wrong.  “I’m still surprised by the results,” she said. “I follow my gut, knowing what I know, and it’s the opposite. If my gut is wrong, yours can be wrong.”

Knowing the product or the client too well can actually be a drawback. You’re not the visitors, so you don’t look at the product the way they do. For this reason, you’ve got to test. Amazon tests, LinkedIn test, Dell tests, and you should, too!

Where to Start Testing

Do not start testing on pages with high abandon or bounce rate because you won’t see a much change.

Pages to Test & Track

  • Thank you & receipt pages
  • Follow up
  • Emails
  • Digital Marketing Campaigns
  • Landing Pages
  • Search Results
  • Category Pages
  • Product offer description pages
  • Abandons

How to Decide What to Test

  • Use the same size screen that your traffic will be viewing: a 15” monitor, 1-24x 786 resolution (Hint: 980 pixels across, 520 down)
  • Quickly glance at page to see what you notice that needs to be changed
  • Remove clutter
  • Vary headlines
  • Big images, change images
  • Buttons: sizes, colors, wording

Make One Change at a Time

  • If you test two changes on the same page, your results won’t be useful
  • Don’t change the headline and the image because you won’t know which worked better
  • Example: If you change the size of the button, don’t change the wording on the button

Or Test a Radical Redesign

  • Radical redesign means you make the dramatic changes.
  • Then you compare your old page to the redesigned pages and see which does better
  • Then tweak the winning page to see which elements made the difference

What You Want to Achieve by Testing

You don’t want just more clicks. If extra clicks don’t increase sales, no one cares.

Instead of simply more clicks you want

  • More sales
  • More qualified leads
  • Lower cost per lead
  • Higher revenues per cart

How Long Should You Test?

Typically you should run a test for 21 days

Testing Examples:

1) Dell Mega Image Test

  • Mega Image Won (Mega Image is an image that fills the majority of the homepage screen)
  • Increased leads generated by 36%
  • Lowered the page bounce rate by 27%

2) Dell Search Box Test

  • Test between a button that says search or a magnifying-glass icon
  • Search button won
  • Resulted in a 6.3% Lift in RPV (revenue) avg.
  • A winning test is usually results in a 3% lift

3) Local or Toll Free Number Test

  • Toll free number or local phone number
  • Which would generate more sales?
  • The local number increased sales (checkout page visits) by 18.3%

4) Email Test

  • Should it say: “Click here for more info” or “Find out more”?
  • “Click here” won
  • 97% lift in unique clicks
  • 16% increase in page views

5) Overlay Test

  • Overlays are like pop-ups on your website
  • They are much more responsive than saying: Please join our email list
  • Often come free with email service provider or free WordPress plugin
  • Test was how wide should the overlay be
  • Smaller overlay won
  • Results 8.8% More Opt-Ins

Don’t miss  Newport Interactive Marketers’ FREE monthly networking-learning gatherings.

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How Can URI’s Business Concierge Help Your Brand?

Newport Interactive Marketers partnered with the URI Business Engagement Center (BEC) to explain the valuable resources available for businesses at URI.

Think of Katharine Hazard Flynn as your concierge if you have a question about how to work with interns, sponsors research that could become product, or host an event at URI.

Think of Katharine Hazard Flynn as your concierge if you have a question about how to work with interns, sponsors research that could become product, or host an event at URI.

Leading the new Business Engagement Center, Katharine Hazard Flynn, serves as the University of Rhode Island’s connector to the private/nonprofit sectors, helping brands leverage URI’s resources for the betterment of the state.  A Brown alum, she also has significant finance experience in senior positions at Prudential Bache, Alex Brown & Sons, Toronto Dominion Securities, and Societe General.

Think of Katharine Hazard Flynn as your concierge if you have a question about how to work with interns, sponsors research that could become product, or host an event at URI.  Flynn discussed how the BEC was created to give businesses a place to come and connect with URI.  This center was modeled after successful programs such as University of Michigan’s BEC.

In addition to the BEC, URI also has another new initiative, the Small Business Development Center. The center is primarily for small businesses to get counseling and financial support in variety of different counseling mechanisms.

The BEC acts a one-stop destination for business owners to connect with the university. Through the BEC businesses can be connected with URI’s students, faculty, equipment and facilities. Here are some of the resources the center offers.

Find Talent

The BEC’s main goal is to increase industry engagement. URI wants to connect their students with jobs, internships, and faculty research. Some 60 percent of the university’s students are from Rhode Island. According to Flynn, this means that students want to stay here, work here, and thrive here.

The BEC is able to connect businesses with students from all disciplines including business, engineering, healthcare, arts and sciences, technology, and many other fields.

Sponsor Research

Whether you have a manufacturing issue, new product concept, or business challenge you’d like to do research on, URI can help. URI student and faculty researchers have experience working with businesses and can help you solve these issues. Use the BEC to aid you in accessing URI’s research expertise.

Develop Your Workforce

The BEC provides customized workforce training and skills development to help you achieve your business goals.  It offers opportunities to help your staff polish their skills as well as specialized training programs. Here is the full list of training programs the Business Engagement Center offers.

Facilities & Equipment

URI has facilities perfect for accommodating small and large groups. Its meetings rooms range from small meeting rooms to auditoriums accommodating up to several hundred people, and everything in between.

URI also has equipment that can be a valuable asset for businesses.  From the 3-D Imaging capability, to equipment in URI’s Sensor and Surface Technology Lab in chemical engineering, its equipment can fit the needs of many different businesses.

Here are some examples:

Meeting space and planning

Equipment Usage

BEC Success Stories 

Although new, the BEC has already partnered with many local business. One example is their partnership with the Pizza Gourmet. Co-Owner Jack Parente approached the center to help him create a better, and safer, grill for his pizza crusts. Hazard connected him with with professors at the engineering school and five seniors. They are now working on a capstone project to help improve Parente’s grill. The owner has been thrilled by the students’ discoveries and suggestions.

Another example of the BEC’s success is its YMCA partnership. When the center was approached by the YMCA looking for students to provide physical therapy, the Y was not disappointed, connecting with the URI physical therapy department for and  interns.

Lastly, the BEC has helped to connect GTech with writers from URI. Not only does GTech utilize members of URI’s writing and rhetoric majors as interns, but the global giant also often hires these students after graduation.

URI’s BEC has helped a wide range of businesses find what they are looking for.

Looking for help with any aspect of your business from internships to research? Be sure to URI’s Business Engagement Center Executive Director Flynn.

 

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Go Epic with Content!

Go Epic with Content! with Joe Pulizzi

Vocus hosted a webinar with Joe Pulizzi, Founder of the Content Marketing Institute, to discuss how the incorporation of a content marketing strategy can position companies ahead of their competition. In 2014, the ability to produce engaging content that provides value to customers will make or break a company’s marketing strategy.

Here are the key points from Pulizzi’s webinar:

Content Marketing refers to producing content that is meaningful or informational to the customer on the company’s owned media—website, blog email, social media platforms, etc.

NIM Vocus Webinar 2

The word Pulizzi emphasizes in his definition of content marketing is consistency. It’s important to create good content, but it’s even more important to consistently create the good content and consistently deliver the content on a regular basis. A successful content marketing strategy ensures consistency, which in turn captures and maintains the customer’s attention, and strengthens the relationship between the customer and the brand.

The biggest challenge that faces a company’s content marketing strategy is producing enough content. By following the six steps recommended by Pulizzi, you will be well on your way to brainstorm enough content to consistently drive your company’s media channels.

6 Steps to Creating an Amazing Content Strategy

1. Find Out the “Why?” Behind Each Media Channel– Look at your company’s website, blog, newsletter, and social media outlets think about why your company has each one of those media channels. What purpose do they serve to convey your company’s call-to-action to your customer? Pulizzi advises that this exercise does not focus on internal goals or lead generation—it focuses on what makes your customers tick and what your customers wants to see.

2. Create a Content Marketing Mission Statement– After you have thought about the profile of your customers and their needs, look at one of your media channels. Identify the core target audience you want to reach, what type of content will be delivered to your audience, and the expected outcome for your audience.

Example: “Welcome to Inc.com, the place where entrepreneurs and business owners can find useful information, advice, insights, resources and inspiration for running and growing their businesses.” (Inc.com)

“Remember our customer doesn’t care about our company, our product, or our services—they care about themselves,” says Pulizzi. “You better have some really amazing information that’s going to change their lives, help them get better jobs, or whatever the case is.” If you help your audience, they will return the favor by recommending your company’s product and services to others, but first you have to focus on what your audience needs.

3. Answer Customer Questions to Start Generating Content– What a better way to meet the needs of your audience by answering their questions? Pulizzi discusses how one company, River Pools & Spas, led by CEO Marcus Sheridan, started a blog to answer customers’ questions, such as the difference between various pools or “How to Prepare Your In-ground Swimming Pool for a Hurricane.”

In 2007, River Pools & Spas had $4.5 million in sales and $250,000 in advertising spend. Sheridan started the blog in 2008—by 2011, River Pools & Spas sold more fiberglass swimming pools than any other pool retailer in North America and had a reduced advertising spend of $40,000.

Answering customer questions on a blog is an easy opportunity for your company to provide valuable content and increase visibility to a bigger audience. Don’t know where to start gathering questions? Ask your co-workers and your customers themselves what they would like learn more about.

4. Get Your Content on the Same Page in Your Company– If your company has several departments—PR, sales, marketing, etc—make sure everyone is aware of each other’s activities. Every department should produce content in accordance with the content marketing mission and in sync with what other departments are producing. There are a lot of opportunities for social media, public relations, marketing, email, mobile, sales and search to embody the same content marketing mission for an overall, seamless marketing strategy. Pulizzi suggest that a representative from each department meet on a designated day to discuss their marketing ideas.

5. Plan to Repurpose Up Front, Not After– Instead of creating one piece of content, then figuring how to repurpose it later, Pulizzi suggests finding ways to repurpose content at the beginning. Repurposing the content at once saves a lot of time and ensures consistency and higher quality. The example Pulizzi uses Kelley, a transportation company, as an example—they were able to repurpose the original content for three different personas, for several different media channels.

6. Build Audience with Influencers– Pulizzi introduces the “4-1-1 social media plan” to build relationships with influencers. For every one post of content marketing or sales, four posts should be drawn from influencer sharing. “You’ve got to give to get in social media,” says Pulizzi. Create an influencer list—bloggers, media companies—that your audience is likely to visit when they’re not on your site. Use Google search, Facebook search, or even Twitter #hashtags to identify influencers for your company’s media.

Once your content marketing strategy is implemented, be sure to evaluate your ROI/ “return on objective”:

  • Is the content driving sales?
  • Is the content saving costs?
  • Is the content making our customers happier, thus helping with retention?

NIM Vocus Webinar

To watch the webinar and listen to Pulizzi’s full commentary, visit the Vocus website.

About Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the founder of the Content Marketing Institute, recognized as “the leading content marketing educational resource for enterprise” and “the fastest growing business media company by Inc. magazine in 2013.

Pulizzi, an author—as well as a public speaker, educator  recently published, Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break Through the Clutter, and Win More Customers By Marketing Less (McGraw-Hill), and has co-authored two other titles, Get Customers, Get Content: Turn Prospects Into Buyers with Content Marketing (McGraw-Hill) and Manage Content Marketing: The Real World Guide for Creating Passionate Subscribers to Your Brand (Content Marketing Institute).

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What to Expect in 2014 and How to Stay Ahead of the Curve

NIM Silverpoint Webinar-title

Laurie Hood, Vice President for Product Marketing at Silverpop, hosted a marketing webinar, “What to Expect in 2014 and How to Stay Ahead of the Curve.” Hood provides insights on what marketers have learned in 2013 and gives advice on how to best approach marketing in 2014:

The Main Takeaways for 2013

  • “The customer is in control of the buying journey”-Because customers have more access to information, they have the freedom to choose what products or services they want based on their own research. According to one survey Hood shared, “one out of five people would pay 50% more if they felt the company put the customer first.”
  • “Marketers can no longer market to audiences, but instead need to market to customers at an individual, personalized level”- Mass marketing does not make the cut anymore: the same survey Hood had shared claims “83% of customers are willing to spend more on a product or service if they feel a personal connection to the company.” The customer is looking for an interactive, personable experience, so organizations must find ways to establish a high-level of customer service and build strong relationships with customers.

Looking Ahead to Marketing Goals for 2014

“Actionable vs. Big Data”

Bigger doesn’t always mean better—sometimes it’s easy to get lost while navigating through large amounts of data. Hood explains that actionable data answers questions such as “How should I treat this customer?” or “What’s the next product the customer would purchase?” Although keep track of Big Data is still important, identifying information to answer day-to-day issues and applying the information leads to more immediate, active results in shaping customer interactions.

  • Tip #1: To start working with actionable data, consider 5-10 data elements in your organization that have the potential to become more personalized for your customer, then incorporate those ideas in your marketing strategy.
  • Tip #2: Get to know your customers by gathering “explicit data,” conducting surveys, progressive forms, or modal windows. While conducting surveys, give customers an incentive by offering a prize, such as a gift certificate or a free service from your organization.

“Move Re-Marketing Up the Funnel”(Browse Abandonment/Cart Abandonment)

How do you convert online browsers to online buyers? Hood notes that cart abandonment marketing became a mainstream tactic in 2013, but in 2014, the best marketers will get ahead by launching browse abandonment campaigns to encourage online browsers towards making a purchase. In comparison to cart abandonment, browse abandonment occurs more often and there are more browse abandoners to reach out to than cart abandoners.

  • Tip #1: While developing your browse abandonment campaign, identify which pages are visited most frequently or which categories are most important to your business goals. Also be sure to choose pages that are most suggestive of an engaged prospect looking to move to the next level.
  • Tip #2: Deliver educational content to your browse abandoners. Because browse abandoners are most likely in the research phase of the buying process, send them helpful information that is relevant to their website activity—sometimes this can be more effective than simply sending a discount or other buying incentive.

“Responsive Design Becomes Mainstream”

“Multi-screen” will replace “mobile” as a marketing buzz word for 2014. Not only is there is no single device that captures “mobile”—operations that work for Apple devices may not necessarily work for Android devices and vice versa—but there is a need for easy-to-use interfaces that are compatible different Smartphones and tablets for both email and Web browsing. Responsive design, according to Hood, “uses tags in your emails to present different versions based on device screen size and other variables.”

NIM Silverpoint Webinar-subject matter

  • Tip #1: For mobile email, your company has a limited number of characters to convey your message to your customers. Think about what your email hopes to accomplish in terms of what your organization wants and how you want your customers to respond to your message. Make sure that the “From Name” is clear, the “Subject Line” contains a call to action for the reader, and the “Pre-header” works with the “Subject Line” by providing supplementary information.
  • Tip #2: Think simplicity and clarity—remove unnecessary elements and provide mobile-appropriate length. Every organization will use responsive design differently based on the organization’s marketing goals, but the goal of responsive design is to efficiently and effectively deliver a strong marketing message.

“Delivering a Consistent Customer Experience Across Channels”

In 2014 and beyond, Hood states successful businesses will be prepared to engage with customers based on the customers’ terms. Businesses will offer opportunities when and where the customer wants to engage and will offer individualized content the customer wants to use. Even though technology has enabled companies to capture consumer behavior, it is the marketer’s job to use the information to better connect the brand and the customers.

  • Tip #1: Pick a channel your company has not yet individualized and add a personal touch—personalizations in emails are also available for websites. Alternatively, add more customized content to an existing channel to make it more helpful and engaging.
  • Tip #2: Post content on one company channel that leads to another company channel to best optimize content. For example, on a Facebook post, include a link your company’s website or another one of your company’s social networking sites.

To watch the webinar and listen to Hood’s full commentary, visit the Silverpop website.

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What Is Corporate Strategy?

Newport Interactive Marketers took a broader approach to its usual new-media focus to welcome Harvard Business School’s approach to developing a strategy for your brand.

NEW STRATEGY GROUP Founder P. Lawrence Fagan earned an MBA from HarvardNEW STRATEGY GROUP Founder P. Lawrence FaganBusiness School, where he spent 11 years researching corporate and organization strategy, six years as a member of the HBS research faculty.

While at HBS, Mr. Fagan contributed to the development of a general theory of organizations and authored numerous business case studies, several of them bestsellers. Subsequently he worked nine years as a strategy leader causing breakthroughs for clients in diverse industries and geographies with Monitor Company, HBS Executive Education, the Corporate Learning division of Harvard Business Publishing, and independently.

What Is Corporate Strategy?

Strategy is an integrated set of choices an enterprise makes to create a unique and valuable position in market space.

Unfortunately, employees seldom know or understand the corporate strategy.

A study in Australia found that 70% of the company doesn’t “get it” when their CEO talks about strategy.

According to Fagan, we are living in strategy’s dark age.  We are so busy with daily tasks that we don’t see the big picture and to develop an effective strategy. You must see the big picture.

 10 Fatal Misconceptions About Strategy

  1. Striving to be the best
  2. Strategy is goal-setting
  3. Strategy is innovation
  4. Being all things to all people
  5. Strategy is your boss’ problem
  6. Strategy is secret
  7. Strategy is abstract
  8. Strategy is academic
  9. Strategy doesn’t matter, execution does
  10. Strategy is measurement

Strategy and Purpose Are Not the Same

  • Purpose: Our call to action
  • Values: Our beliefs and code of conduct
  • Vision: The immediate future we are creating for the company
  • Strategy: The choices we make to build unique and valuable positioning in our markets, enabling us to win.
  • Metrics: How we track the performance of our strategy

The Universal Structure of Strategy

  • A goal that is singular, time delimited
  • A clear advantage to customers, in specific geographies with a winning proposition
  • Activity Set – degree of vertical integration, interlinked activities

The Key to Strategy

  • If you can’t turn a goal to action, it doesn’t exist
  • You must offer something unique and different: If you’re for everybody, you’re for nobody
  • You’ve identified a set of problems on customers’  behalf and owning those problems for them – that’s the key to strategy

How to Be Different

  • You must always be different. Different in ways that matter to your target customers.
  • Deliver reliably on your offering. Don’t say one thing and deliver another. Be reliably different.

 What Is Your Winning Proposition?

What is uniquely yours to say?

Paint a portrait to the customer to articulate your value proposition.

For example, what is the unique winning proposition of Coke Zero?

First, determine Coke Zero’s unique qualities and the target audience.

    • Zero calories
    • For people who like Coke
    • Dieting, health conscious

Now, craft your unique winning proposition Only Coke Zero gives you zero calories with the same great taste.

Don’t miss monthly #NIMRI gatherings.

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Boost Your SEO: How to Create & Organize Content

On Tuesday September 24th, Dan Shure spoke to the Newport Interactive Marketing audience at Salvation Cafe about how to create content and engage in effective search engine optimization (SEO). Here are the highlights of his talk:

Seven Challenges to Content

  • I don’t know what to write about
  • I keep talking about the same thing
  • I don’t have time/resources
  • The content is overly SEO’d
  • The content doesn’t connect with people
  • No obvious purposes/goals
  • Using wrong metrics of “success”

Inbound Marketing– It’s the new and improved way to approach content that’s not sales-based. The foundation of inbound marketing relies on creating great content that draws potential customers to your brand.

Brainstorming Content

  • Conduct a basic mental exercise: think of other interests that parallel what your target audience wants. Push yourself to think of what parallel interests your target audience has!
  • Site to Help Brainstorm Content Keywords: ubersuggest
  • Three Things to Keep in Mind: Passion/Purpose; Target and Audience; Exceptional Execution
  • Expand Repertoire of Content Types (watch the classic video by @jasonfried for an example)

Creating Content

  • Tell a story-Not only tell a story, but tell stories that relate to your brand and make it memorable
  • Show transparency- If you’re in a business that works in technology, use internal data (There are free tools available to compile data: MailChimp, Upworthy)
  • Why not curate content? Gather all links/resources from an event, share w/ social network
  • Start an Industry Study or Report
  • Find Topic Ideas on Social Media-What are trending topics on social media? Are there any tweets/posts/links relevant to your brand?
  • Turn a Blog Comment Into a Post
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Dan giving great tips on content and SEO

Keyword Search and Data

  • Analytics- Use internal search data tracking and find internal search words users are exiting from & create that content
  • Use Webmaster Tools Query Data to Connect to Analytics
  • Impressions are another element to check on analytics and then you can project data easily
  • Important Metrics for 2013-2014: Propriety Words and Brand Mentions
  • Branded Search Volume: don’t forget to search that of competitors as well
  • FYI: Keyword data from Google is no longer available. You can still check rankings, but you can’t see what keywords drove rankings. In other words, Google is keeping the data from the public…

Tools for Keywords: HARO-use for links as well as topic inspiration; Quora- fill in keyword you want to use, and look for questions you would like to answer

Networking Group to Watch: Search Engine Marketing New England

Planning and Organizing Content

  • Improving the creation process requires planning and organization
  • Use a content calendar to organize posts and content
  • Excessive tags aren’t good–they are for internal navigation process of your site
  • READ/SEARCH “Setting Up WordPress” article by @dan_shure on @SEOmoz

Blogging and Marketing Content

  • Master the Art of Blog Commenting- Blogging is About Conversation—get in front of new audiences by actively engaging in the blogosphere by reading other blogs and making genuine, thoughtful comments. Comments are the best way to measure engagement with social community!
  • Make a Guest Appearance- Try to do a guest post on other blogs for links and traffic a new audience to your blog. Another alternative is get interviewed (search youtube.com [keyword] interview; inurl [keyword] podcast)
  • Speak! Check out meetups or other gatherings to discuss your industry or interest.
  • Increase Share-ability- Use short URLs like bitly
  • Optimize Your Content’s Appearance Across the Web- Use Schema, Rich Snippets, Authorship & Publisher
  • Use Social Buttons- Include social buttons on posts, as well as on your email signature, and track shares on LikeExplorer. Choose a select number of platforms you want to highlight: don’t overwhelm your audience!

Tools to Improve Efficiency: Speechpad transcribes; Citation Labs – link prospector

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Thanks to Dan, Salvation Cafe, and everyone who attended Dan’s talk!

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“Ticks vs. Humans: Can Social Media Crush Pathogens?” at SXSW Interactive 2014

NIM Founder and Designated Editor Founder Suzanne McDonald and Dacia Daly from the Tick Encounter Research Center, have put in a proposal to speak at SXSW Interactive 2014. Their talk, “Ticks vs. Humans: Can Social Media Crush Pathogens,” discusses how college interns and professionals in social media and public health collaborated on a pilot research project about lyme disease prevention.

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In addition to giving information about the impacts of lyme disease, Suzanne and Dacia hope to educate attendees at SXSW Interactive 2014 about how their project forged a new model of public health communications and overcame challenges like motivating college interns and working in the virtual workplace.

Here are the questions Suzanne and Dacia’s presentation will answer:

  • How can brands use visual social media when the subject makes people — including the social media team — literally recoil?
  • How can higher ed and social media pros forge a new model to best meet the needs of paying client, intern learning experience, and professionals’ interest and fulfillment?
  • Which social media platforms are most effective in helping to prevent vector-borne diseases and how may they work for other public health campaigns?
  • What do students know already and are they equipped to jump into effective roles as social media communicators on behalf of a brand?
  • What to look for in interns and how to keep interns motivated when working virtually?

Show your support for bringing “Ticks vs. Humans” to SXSW by voting on the SXSW Panel Picker website and spreading the word to your friends and colleagues!

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Must-Have WordPress Plugins

On Tuesday, August 13th, WordPress expert Matt Medeiros highlighted “Must-Have WordPress Plugins” to the Newport Interactive Marketers audience at the International Yacht Restoration School.

To better understand plugins, Matt explained the relationship between a website, WordPress, and plugins in this analogy:

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Website : iPhone

WordPress : iOs software

Plugins : Apps

Before installing plugins, make sure that your webhost can support a lot of bandwidth in the long run. Once your webhost is set up, do thorough research on any plugins you are considering for your site: read reviews, check the number of installations and the dates of the most recent updates.  Staying up to date for safety’s sake avoids malware, site lag, and loss of data.

Free and Premium versions of plugins are available. Although Free plugins are great because they’re “accessible, fast and free,” Matt pointed out that there is a difference between Free and Premium—Premium is better.

Premium plugins have more features, better quality, great support, longer product cycle and higher compatibility. If you get what you pay for, it’s worth paying for premium plugins for contact forms and e-commerce.

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Matt Medeiros explains the effectiveness of WordPress plugins

In addition to explaining the basics of plugins, Matt also shared his favorite WordPress plugins:

  • Ultimate Coming Soon Page
  • Redirection– great for transitioning domain change to WordPress
  • Yoast– WordPress SEO and Video SEO
  • BackWPup-Wordpress backup plugin
  • BackUp Buddy– premium version of BackWPup
  • Gravity Forms– premium, very powerful; creates contact forms and can create users
  • W3 Total Cache-“cache-ing” helps server, which ultimately helps drive the bottom line for business
  • Paid Membership Pro– available in free version and premium version
  • Responsive WordPress Slider by Soliloquy
  • WooCommerce– E-commerce plugin, also provides extensions for shipping
  • bbPress– “be all, end all” discussion platform for WordPress
  • JetPack-“a single plugin that does a thousand things”; it has its own analytics and has the capability to cache images and speed up load time
  • WPtouch– premium mobile version of WordPress site
  • Powerpress– the only plugin for podcasts

**Can’t find a plugin you want? Matt advises to have a developer create it

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Thanks to the International Yacht Restoration School and Bridge Liquors for hosting!

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