The Secret History of the Google Logo

Roughly 3.5 million Google searches happen each day. With stats like this, it’s not unlikely that the average person might see the Google logo anywhere from one to 30 times per day.

Throughout the past two decades, the Google logo has been iconic and easy to recognize. And across all of its evolutions, it has stayed misleadingly simple. 

What many don’t know is that there’s a fascinating backstory to the most well-known design on the internet. It all started in 1996.

Below is a full timeline of Google logos over the years.

Google Logo History

1996: The First Google Logo

The search engine’s very first logo actually predates the name “Google.” Larry Page and Sergey Brin originally called their web crawler “BackRub.” Brin and Page chose this name because the engine’s main function was to search through the internet’s back links.

Google's first logo with its old name, BackRub, and a hand in the background

Luckily, by 1997 they’d changed the company’s name to the much less creepy “Google” — a misspelling of “googol” — a Latin term that literally means 10 to the 100th power (written out, that’s one followed by 100 zeros). The idea behind the name was that Google’s search engine could quickly provide users with large quantities, or googols, of results.

1998: First (real) Google logo

Some sources credit Page with the creation of the first Google logo, while others say Brin designed it with a free image editor called GIMP. Whomever it was, their design wasn’t exactly the most polished. 

Earliest Google Logo from 1998 with colored letters and exclamation point
Want another little fun fact? An exclamation point was supposedly included in Google’s rebranded design because Yahoo!’s logo also had this punctuation. All tech companies followed each other’s leads back then, it would seem.
 

1999-2010: Ruth Kedar’s logo designs

A mutual friend introduced Brin and Page to Stanford assistant professor Ruth Kedar. Because they weren’t in love with their logo, they asked Kedar if she’d design a few prototypes.

She started with a mostly black logo using the Adobe Garamond typeface. She also removed the exclamation point that was in the original logo.

Page and Brin like this logo because the mark in the middle looked like a Chinese finger trap, Kedar says.

Early black serif font Google logo prototype where Os are connected by a colored square pattern

The graphic designer’s next attempt used the Catull typeface (which should look familiar). The logo was meant to evoke accuracy, like a target.

Black font Google logo where O is a compass and bullseye

Then Kedar got a bit more playful, experimenting with color and interlocking Os. Those Os ended up becoming the basis for the Os at the bottom of every search engine results page.

Early Google logo where letters are black except for Os which are designed to look like a compass

Between the crosshairs and the magnifying glass, Brin and Page thought this design was a little visually overwhelming.

Early capitalized Google logo iteration with solid colors where the first O is a compass and the second O is a magnifying glass.

The next few iterations appear more like the Google logo we know and love today. These designs feel younger and less serious than their precedents.

Early iteration of Google logo where the O is a magnifying glass with a smiley face

Kedar makes the letters pop off the page with shadowing and thicker lines.

Google logo iteration from Ruth Kedar using more intense coloring and thicker lines

The eighth design was the simplest yet. Ultimately, Kedar wanted to show Google’s potential to become more than just a search engine (hence the removal of the magnifying glass). She also changed the traditional order of the primary colors to reemphasize how untraditional Google was.

Early iteration of Google logo by Ruth Kedar which includes a risen O

This version’s colors and the slanted angling make it feel youthful and energetic.

2010 Google logo iteration by Ruth Kedar

The final design is one of the most minimal. It was Google’s official logo from 1999 to 2010.

On May 6, 2010, Google updated its logo, changing the “o” from yellow to orange and removing the drop shadowing.

Original 1998 Google logo compared to iterations from Ruth Kedar launched in 1999 through 2010

2015: A new logo for Google

In 2015, designers from across Google met in New York City for a week-long design sprint aimed at producing a new logo and branding.

Following the sprint, Google’s logo changed dramatically. The company preserved its distinctive blue-red-orange-blue-green-red pattern, but changed the typeface from Catull to the custom schoolbook-inspired Product Sans.

At the same time, Google also rolled out several variations on its logo, including the rainbow “G” that represents the smartphone app and the favicon for Google websites, and a microphone for voice search.

Google mobile app logo launched in 2015

The new logo might look simple, but the transformation was significant. Catull — the former typeface — has serifs, the small lines that embellish the main vertical and horizontal strokes of some letters. Serif typefaces are less versatile than their sans-serif typefaces, since letters vary in weight.

Google's full name desktop version of logo Product Sans is a sans-serif typeface. That means it’s easy for Google’s designers to manipulate and adapt the logo for different sizes — say, the face of an Android watch or the screen of your desktop computer. As Google’s product line becomes more and more diverse, an adaptable design becomes essential.

The logo is also meant to look young, fun, and unthreatening (read: “I’m not like other massive tech corporations, I’m a cool massive tech corporation.”) This was a prescient move — since Google unveiled this design in 2015, concerns about data privacy have reached a fever pitch.

A Dynamic Logo

Google’s logo is also now dynamic. When you begin a voice search on your phone or tablet, you’ll see the Google dots bouncing in anticipation of your query.

As you speak, those dots transform into an equalizer that responds to your voice. And once you’ve finished talking, the equalizer morphs back into dots that ripple as Google finds your results.

“A full range of expressions were developed including listening, thinking, replying, incomprehension, and confirmation,” explained a Google design team blog post. While their movements might seem spontaneous, their motion is rooted in consistent paths and timing, with the dots moving along geometric arcs and following a standard set of snappy easing curves.

Implementation and Growth of the Google Doodle

In 1998, Google started playing with the Google Doodle — a temporary modification of the traditional Google logo.

The first Google Doodle originated in 1998 — before the company was technically even a company. Page and Sergey were attending the Burning Man festival. As a kind of “out of office” message, they put a stick figure drawing behind the logo’s second O.

Image result for google doodles burning man

As the years progressed, so did the detail of the featured doodles.

In 2000, Brin and Sergey asked then-intern Dennis Hwang to come up with a doodle for Bastille Day. Users loved it so much that they appointed Dennis “chief doodler.”

Today, doodles are often used to commemorate holidays, special occasions, and birthdays of scientists, thinkers, artists, and other important people.

The first Doodles tended to mark well-known holidays, like Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and Indian Holi (in India). But as time has gone on, they’ve become more and more global and creative. For example, on September 1, 2017, this Doodle celebrated the first day of school (or mourned it, depending on who you ask.)

To decide which events, figures, or topics get doodles, a team gets together periodically to brainstorm. Doodle ideas can also come from Google users. After an idea or doodle pitch gets the green light, the actual doodles are designed by illustrators and engineers.

Google reported in 2015 that they’d launched more than 2,000 doodles for various homepages around the world. While Google hasn’t shared more recent stats on its doodles, PRI noted that they’d climbed over 4,000 by 2016.

Google has continued to embrace doodles with a verified Twitter account devoted to updating its audience about newly-published doodles. The account has over 127,000 followers.

Google also invites people to submit ideas for doodles at proposals@google.com.

There’s more than meets the eye to Google’s logo. As people and technology evolve, the design has too. At the rate things are changing, we’ll probably see a new version in a few years.

How to Run a Marketing Campaign with GSuite

4 Signs Your Experiential Marketing Lacks Purpose

From interactive philanthropic experiences to augmented reality, experiential marketing is on the rise, with more brands looking to create memorable experiences for consumers in order to drive sales.

According to a 2018 Mosaic and Event Marketer EventTrack study, 84% of brands use events and experiences to promote their products and services to consumers. But simply following a trend, doesn’t guarantee success if your brand doesn’t have purpose. 

So what does it mean to be a purpose-driven brand? It means defining who you are—your mission and values—and then creating business and operational models that deliver on those goals. It’s about making a lasting and positive change in the world. And when that message resonates with consumers, there’s a lasting impact.
According to new Accenture research, two-thirds of consumers prefer to purchase from companies that stand for a purpose and reflect their own values and beliefs.

Create Purpose-Driven Campaigns

One of the quickest ways to learn what consumers think about your brand and the message it’s sending is to meet them where they’re already voicing their opinion: on social media. Strengthen your brand-consumer relationship by practicing social listening and responding to comments—both positive and negative—in a timely manner. This allows you to tap into consumer sentiment, get feedback on products and marketing campaigns, and even recruit brand ambassadors.

After learning what consumers want, you can use that knowledge to create an experiential marketing campaign that aligns with your brand’s purpose and determines where changes need to be made in your current marketing efforts.

Here are four signs your experiential marketing efforts are lacking purpose:

1. They don’t align with your brand values or could be perceived as offensive

For an experiential marketing campaign to be successful, it has to authentically tell your brand story in a way that’s relevant to consumers. Consumers are savvy and can detect inauthenticity and bravado a mile away.

Brands also need to ensure they are not sending the wrong message. One marketing push that caused offense was an Amazon promotion for its show “The Man in the High Castle.” The show looks at what life might have been like had Germany won World War II. The promotion included a New York subway car decked out with Nazi eagles, an image that looked similar to the Japanese rising sun, and more. Riders complained, and the ads were pulled.
Reach out to your public relations or communications team to share ideas and come up with a strategy to handle negative attention from the media should things go awry.

2. They’re not attracting the right consumer

Every campaign should start with an intimate understanding of consumers—who they are, what motivates and excites them, and why they buy. This helps brands identify their best source of business and target other consumers who think and act similarly. When brands create experiences that don’t resonate with consumers, they’re not utilizing their marketing dollars effectively.
However, this doesn’t mean you should be afraid to think outside the box. Ford Europe took a unique approach when it made the unprecedented decision to launch a vehicle at a gaming event. While Ford Europe’s executive director of communications and public affairs admitted that gaming tends to attract younger consumers who aren’t in the market to buy a car, he said that he views it as a way to make a lasting impression on future customers.

3. They’re boring

Consumer trends continue to accelerate at breakneck speed. If people have “been there, done that,” your event or experience isn’t going to gain the buzz you’re looking for. Brands need to constantly think of new ways to bring their brand story to life in innovative, groundbreaking ways.
One successful campaign that piqued the interest of passers-by was from Lean Cuisine. Women at New York’s Grand Central Station were encouraged to weigh in on custom-built scales. But the “scales” were actually boards that weighed women’s accomplishments rather than their pounds. They included things like “finishing med school” or “caring for others.” The overall campaign encouraging healthy lifestyles instead of only focusing on weight garnered more than 200 million social media impressions.

4. You haven’t gained consumer insights

Experiential marketing offers a chance for brands to gain deep insights into their consumers and provide real-time data tracking on sales, awareness, sentiment, and customer relationships. This data informs marketers’ future experiential retail ideas and campaigns by allowing them to pinpoint what drives sales and eliminate less successful elements from their marketing strategies.
In an EventTrack study, consumers were asked to describe an experience or event they attended that had a lasting impression on them. Based on those responses, here are a few tips for brands that are looking to create an insightful and meaningful experiential marketing campaign: Make the experience welcoming, immerse consumers in interactive games or competitions, provide samples, create a sense of discovery, offer an emotional tie, and make sure it’s entertaining.
When it comes down to it, advertisements and social media strategy simply aren’t enough in today’s evolving world of marketing. Take your brand to the next level by creating an experience that resonates with consumers and reflects their values. That is what creates brand loyalty for a lifetime.

The post 4 Signs Your Experiential Marketing Lacks Purpose appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Website Migration: What it Is & How to Do It

Website migration involves moving content from one website to another. Reasons for site migration vary, from creating a new site rather than overhauling an existing one, to changing to a totally different content management system (CMS). When done successfully, site migration can boost traffic and search rankings, ultimately growing sales and brand awareness. Before you…

The post Website Migration: What it Is & How to Do It appeared first on Fit Small Business.

The 4 Best Content Management Software Tools in 2019

These days, websites are so much more than words and pictures on a page — while design and content are still important, it’s becoming increasingly critical to put thought into the platform your site is built on, as well.

Oftentimes, we let our developers make this choice for us. And, while it’s true that they need to have input, marketers should have a seat at the table, as well.

After all, if development resources because a bottleneck to website content changes, that can prevent speed and agility in your marketing campaigns.

Your developers and engineers want a certain set of criteria — including control, security, access to underlying code, and customizability, all of which are important. Marketers, on the other hand, need easy access to make quick updates, the ability to integrate the software with other tools, and access to support.

Without a good integration between your content management software and your other systems, something as simple as trying to successfully send a follow-up email after a form submission can turn into a massive time suck.

Ultimately, the content management software that a website lives on can greatly affect a marketer’s ability to succeed.

Here, we’re going to explore the characteristics you need for any content management software tool, as well as our four favorite options for marketers.

Characteristics of the Best Content Management Software Tools

Here are some of the features marketers should feel good about in a content management software tool.

1. A powerful, flexible editor.

As marketers, we need to be able to do things like quickly produce a landing page for a Facebook campaign, make simple layout changes to a page (like adding a column, or testimonials module), and easily edit content on existing pages (like changing some of the text of your homepage to promote your upcoming annual conference).

A powerful WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get”) editor is critical, so if you can, make sure you’re comfortable with making changes within the content management software tool.

2. The ability to test.

It’s important you’re able to understand what’s working, so you can do more of the good stuff. You need to be able to easily run tests on outcomes for different headlines, layouts, and more. It’s especially critical when doing something like a paid campaign, where maximizing results is tied directly to spend.

3. The opportunity for increased collaboration.

Chances are, you have a team of people working on one website.

You may have a developer who works on complex design pieces and integrations, a marketer who runs the day-to-day and manages campaigns, and content creators who write blog posts.

The ability to collaborate within the content management software tool and set permissions makes life a lot easier — and ensures issues don’t arise, like your social manager accidentally overwriting the developers’ code.

4. Accessibility to support.

Oftentimes, your developer can fill this need — but that can get expensive if you’re paying by the hour. It’s maybe not mission critical, but it sure is nice to have a support team you can call for help when you really need it, especially when it’s halting your ability to launch a campaign.

5. Ability to integrate with the rest of your tools.

Last, but probably most importantly, you need your content management software to offer the ability to integrate with the rest of your tech stack. Generally, the best choices here are going to be open platforms or all-in-one solutions.

Ideally, it should at least have the ability to integrate forms with a mailing tool (for lead/ mailing list collection), as well as your CRM or some kind of database so you can personalize content. Additionally, you’ll want to integrate with your CRM so you can customize pages, and add pages quickly and easily.

Now that we’ve explored five critical components of any content management software tool, let’s explore our four favorites.

1. HubSpot

HubSpot is way more than just a content management software tool, since it lives on top of your CRM.

HubSpot’s content management software tool has nice features like A/B testing, but it’s particularly powerful when it comes to features like personalized content and smart content. If you’re using HubSpot’s marketing platform, it also works seamlessly with forms, your email list, and database management.

For instance, let’s say you want a list of everyone in your database who visited your pricing page in the last 30 days. With HubSpot’s content management software and CRM, this is incredibly easy to do.

It scores well on the design side, too — like any content management software tool, it offers predesigned templates, a developer platform, and a network of partners certified on the content management software.

There are also some great out-of-the-box features designed to help with content creation — like the ability to natively host video and add forms and calls-to-action in the video using the native editor, along with video analytics and a YouTube analytics integration.

Some of the features marketers will love on a platform level are the ability to partition content so it’s easier for teams to work together. Additionally, you can publish content behind passwords and easily personalize content. Best of all, there’s high-quality security and hosting, which takes the worry out of the technical side. And, of course, you get top-notch analytics since everything is working together.

2. Squarespace

Squarespace offers beautiful out-of-the-box designs with tons of customization options. You can download any theme and change colors, fonts, and other design elements with ease. It seems to be geared more towards the end user than the developer, so most edits are made in a WYSIWYG design editor.

Behind the scenes, they boast high-quality, secure hosting — something that isn’t always top of mind when selecting a content management software tool, but probably should be. It also allows for unlimited bandwidth and storage, which isn’t always the case if you’re buying hosting on its own.

It’s also nice to have a support team, and Squarespace has a team that answers support tickets, so you’re not totally on your own or stuck calling a developer for every single question. Additionally, they offer incredibly useful help documentation.

Squarespace offers tons of modules and integrations, although you might want to check their built-in integrations to make sure the rest of your tech stack will play well with Squarespace.

Image Source

3. Wix

Wix features tons of templates and has a free plan that gives you unlimited pages. If you need to get an online presence up and running right away, it’s a great choice.

They also have paid plans that give you some additional features, including increased storage, the ability to add forms, a calendar, and access to VIP Support.

It’s important to note, Wix is a bit tougher to customize — they don’t give access to CSS, although they do say you can “take full control of your website’s functionality with JavaScript and Wix Code API’s.”

Additionally, it can be challenging to insert third-party code (like tracking code), so eventually, as your business grows, you or your developer may want something with a bit more customization capability.

Image Source

4. WordPress

And finally, last but certainly not least, we come to WordPress. WordPress is everywhere — it’s a popular platform and has a large eco-system of developers, designers, and plenty of others who are familiar with it.

The content management software tool itself is free, although you’ll need to pay for hosting and probably a template at the very least, and more likely a developer or designer to help you get it up and running.

Your ease-of-use here will likely depend on how it’s set up and which theme you use — some have simple WYSIWYG editors, while others are more complex. This is a decision you’ll definitely want to chat through with your developer, since once it’s built, there isn’t much you can change.

It’s also incredibly customizable. There are a ton of plugins and add-ons you can use to help with anything from SEO, speed, automatic image resizing, and more.

WordPress doesn’t offer support, but you can mitigate this problem if you have a good developer and a good host. There’s also a massive network of web professionals that you can hire.

On the hosting side, I’d recommend a hosting platform that specializes in WordPress, like WP Engine, as I’ve found that their support teams are well-versed in WordPress — which means they can help with questions and offer additional resources. Using a popular theme with plenty of existing help documentation, or even a support team, can also make a huge difference.

It’s important to note, the openness of the platform results in a vulnerability to hacking (this is another reason to get a good host). Be aware that addressing security should be part of the initial plan and not come as an afterthought to design, since security breaches are hard to fix and require technical expertise.

While these are four popular choices for marketers, there are many more out there. The options are endless for content management software tools. Ultimately, it’s critical you consider your workflow, your team, and the workflows you have in place to help you make the best decision.

editorial calendar

How to Do Keyword Research for SEO: A Beginner's Guide

While Google keeps us on our toes with all the algorithm updates they keep rollin’ out, one thing has stayed pretty consistent for inbound marketers looking to optimize their websites for search: keyword research.

Well, the need to do keyword research has stayed the same. How you actually do it hasn’t.

What is keyword research?

Keyword research is the process of finding and analyzing actual search terms that people enter into search engines. The insight you can get into these actual search terms can help inform content strategy, as well as your larger marketing strategy.

Why is keyword research important?

More and more, we hear how much SEO has evolved over just the last 10 years, and how unimportant keywords themselves have become to our ability to rank well for the searches people make every day.

And to some extent, this is true; using keywords that exactly match a person’s search is no longer the most important ranking factor in the eyes of an SEO professional. Rather, it’s the intent behind that keyword, and whether or not a piece of content solves for that intent (we’ll talk more about intent in just a minute).

But that doesn’t mean keyword research is an outdated process. Let me explain:

Keyword research tells you what topics people care about and, assuming you use the right SEO tool, how popular those topics actually are among your audience. The operative term here is topics — by researching keywords that are getting a high volume of searches per month, you can identify and sort your content into topics that you want to create content on. Then, you can use these topics to dictate which keywords you look for and target.

By researching keywords for their popularity, search volume, and general intent, you can tackle the questions that the most people in your audience want answers to.

How does intent affect keyword research?

Like I said in the previous section, user intent is now one of the most pivotal factors in your ability to rank well on search engines like Google. Today, it’s more important that your webpage addresses the problem a searcher intended to solve than simply carries the keyword the searcher used. So, how does this affect the keyword research you do?

It’s easy to take keywords for face value, and unfortunately, keywords can have many different meanings beneath the surface. Because the intent behind a search is so important to your ranking potential, you need to be extra-careful how you interpret the keywords you target.

Let’s say, for example, you’re researching the keyword “how to start a blog” for an article you want to create. “Blog” can mean a blog post or the blog website itself, and what a searcher’s intent is behind that keyword will influence the direction of your article. Does the searcher want to learn how to start an individual blog post? Or do they want to know how to actually launch a website domain for the purposes of blogging? If your content strategy is only targeting people interested in the latter, you’ll need to make sure of the keyword’s intent before committing to it.

To verify what a user’s intent is in a keyword, it’s a good idea to simply enter this keyword into a search engine yourself, and see what types of results come up.

I’m going to lay out a keyword research process you can follow to help you come up with and narrow down a list of terms you should be targeting. That way, you’ll be able to establish and execute a strong keyword strategy that helps you get found for the search terms you actually care about.

How to Research Keywords for Your SEO Strategy

Step 1: Make a list of important, relevant topics based on what you know about your business.

To kick off this process, think about the topics you want to rank for in terms of generic buckets. You’ll come up with about 5-10 topic buckets you think are important to your business, and then you’ll use those topic buckets to help come up with some specific keywords later in the process.

If you’re a regular blogger, these are probably the topics you blog about most frequently. Or perhaps they’re the topics that come up the most in sales conversations. Put yourself in the shoes of your buyer personas — what types of topics would your target audience search that you’d want your business to get found for? If you were a company like HubSpot, for example — selling marketing software (which happens to have some awesome SEO tools … but I digress … you might have general topic buckets like:

  • inbound marketing” (21K)
  • “blogging” (19K)
  • “email marketing” (30K)
  • lead generation” (17K)
  • “SEO” (214K)
  • “social media marketing” (71K)
  • “marketing analytics” (6.2K)
  • “marketing automation” (8.5K)

See those numbers in parentheses to the right of each keyword? That’s their monthly search volume. This data allows you to gauge how important these topics are to your audience, and how many different sub-topics you might need to create content on to be successful with that keyword. To learn more about these sub-topics, we move onto step 2 …

Step 2: Fill in those topic buckets with keywords.

Now that you have a few topic buckets you want to focus on, it’s time to identify some keywords that fall into those buckets. These are keyword phrases you think are important to rank for in the SERPs (search engine results pages) because your target customer is probably conducting searches for those specific terms.

For instance, if I took that last topic bucket for an inbound marketing software company — “marketing automation” — I’d brainstorm some keyword phrases that I think people would type in related to that topic. Those might include:

  • marketing automation tools
  • how to use marketing automation software
  • what is marketing automation?
  • how to tell if I need marketing automation software
  • lead nurturing
  • email marketing automation
  • top automation tools

And so on and so on. The point of this step isn’t to come up with your final list of keyword phrases. You just want to end up with a brain dump of phrases you think potential customers might use to search for content related to that particular topic bucket. We’ll narrow the lists down later in the process so you don’t have something too unwieldy. Once you have your final list, there are several data-driven tools available to you for finding out which keywords you’re most likely to rank well for. 

(Note: If you’re a HubSpot customer, you’ll actually be able to spend a little less time cutting down your topics and keywords list with HubSpot Content Strategy. Content Strategy helps you identify and research topics to approach based on existing content.)

Content Strategy, and SEO keyword organizing tool by HubSpot

Although more and more keywords are getting encrypted by Google every day, another smart way to come up with keyword ideas is to figure out which keywords your website is already getting found for. To do this, you’ll need website analytics software like Google Analytics or HubSpot’s Sources report, available in the Traffic Analytics tool. Drill down into your website’s traffic sources, and sift through your organic search traffic bucket to identify the keywords people are using to arrive at your site.

Repeat this exercise for as many topic buckets as you have. And remember, if you’re having trouble coming up with relevant search terms, you can always head on over to your customer-facing colleagues — those who are in Sales or Service — and ask them what types of terms their prospects and customers use, or common questions they have. Those are often great starting points for keyword research.

Step 3: Research related search terms.

This is a creative step you may have already thought of when doing keyword research. If not, it’s a great way to fill out those lists.

If you’re struggling to think of more keywords people might be searching about a specific topic, go to Google.com and take a look at the related search terms that appear when you plug in a keyword. When you type in your phrase and scroll to the bottom of Google’s results, you’ll notice some suggestions for searches related to your original input. These keywords can spark ideas for other keywords you may want to take into consideration.

related-searches

Want a bonus? Type in some of those related search terms and look at their related search terms.

Want another bonus? HubSpot customers can get suggestions for keywords and topics to consider within the Content Strategy tool.

hubspot-keyword-suggestions-feature

Step 4: Check for a mix of head terms and long-tail keywords in each bucket.

If you don’t know the difference between head terms and long-tail keywords, let me explain. Head terms are keywords phrases that are generally shorter and more generic — they’re typically just one to three words in length, depending on who you talk to. Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, are longer keyword phrases usually containing three or more words.

It’s important to check that you have a mix of head terms and long-tail terms because it’ll give you a keyword strategy that’s well balanced with long-term goals and short-term wins. That’s because head terms are generally searched more frequently, making them often (not always, but often) much more competitive and harder to rank for than long-tail terms. Think about it: Without even looking up search volume or difficulty, which of the following terms do you think would be harder to rank for?

  1. how to write a great blog post
  2. blogging

If you answered #2, you’re absolutely right. But don’t get discouraged. While head terms generally boast the most search volume (meaning greater potential to send you traffic), frankly, the traffic you’ll get from the term “how to write a great blog post” is usually more desirable.

Why?

Because someone who is looking for something that specific is probably a much more qualified searcher for your product or service (presuming you’re in the blogging space) than someone looking for something really generic. And because long-tail keywords tend to be more specific, it’s usually easier to tell what people who search for those keywords are really looking for. Someone searching for the head term “blogging,” on the other hand, could be searching it for a whole host of reasons unrelated to your business.

So check your keyword lists to make sure you have a healthy mix of head terms and long-tail keywords. You definitely want some quick wins that long-tail keywords will afford you, but you should also try to chip away at more difficult head terms over the long haul.

Step 5: See how competitors are ranking for these keywords.

Just because your competitor is doing something doesn’t mean you need to. The same goes for keywords. Just because a keyword is important to your competitor, doesn’t mean it’s important to you. However, understanding what keywords your competitors are trying to rank for is a great way to help you give your list of keywords another evaluation.

If your competitor is ranking for certain keywords that are on your list, too, it definitely makes sense to work on improving your ranking for those. However, don’t ignore the ones your competitors don’t seem to care about. This could be a great opportunity for you to own market share on important terms, too.

Understanding the balance of terms that might be a little more difficult due to competition, versus those terms that are a little more realistic, will help you maintain a similar balance that the mix of long-tail and head terms allows. Remember, the goal is to end up with a list of keywords that provide some quick wins but also helps you make progress toward bigger, more challenging SEO goals.

How do you figure out what keywords your competitors are ranking for, you ask? Aside from manually searching for keywords in an incognito browser and seeing what positions your competitors are in, SEMrush allows you to run a number of free reports that show you the top keywords for the domain you enter. This is a quick way to get a sense of the types of terms your competitors are ranking for.

Step 6: Use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to cut down your keyword list.

Now that you’ve got the right mix of keywords, it’s time to narrow down your lists with some more quantitative data. You have a lot of tools at your disposal to do this, but let me share my favorite methodology.

I like to use a mix of the Google AdWords Keyword Planner (you’ll need to set up an AdWords account for this, but that doesn’t mean you have to create an ad), and Google Trends.

In Keyword Planner, formerly known as the Keyword Tool, you can get search volume and traffic estimates for keywords you’re considering. Unfortunately, when Google transitioned from Keyword Tool to Keyword Planner, they stripped out a lot of the more interesting functionality. But you can make up for it a bit if you take the information you learn from Keyword Planner and use Google Trends to fill in some blanks.

Use the Keyword Planner to flag any terms on your list that have way too little (or way too much) search volume, and don’t help you maintain a healthy mix like we talked about above. But before you delete anything, check out their trend history and projections in Google Trends. You can see whether, say, some low-volume terms might actually be something you should invest in now — and reap the benefits for later.

Or perhaps you’re just looking at a list of terms that is way too unwieldy, and you have to narrow it down somehow … Google Trends can help you determine which terms are trending upward, and are thus worth more of your focus.

And … You’re done!

Congratulations! You’ve now got a list of keywords that’ll help you focus on the right topics for your business, and get you some short-term and long-term gains. You can even download our free SEO template to help you organize your keywords and track which terms you’re focusing on for different pages of your website.

Be sure to re-evaluate these keywords every few months — once a quarter is a good benchmark, but some businesses like to do it even more often than that. As you gain even more authority in the SERPs, you’ll find that you can add more and more keywords to your lists to tackle as you work on maintaining your current presence, and then growing in new areas on top of that.

People Also Ask

seo myths 2019

Marketing and Web Security: How Marketers Can Mitigate Risk

Think site security and performance are mutually exclusive? Think again. Having proper protections behind your site not only keeps it secure but also improves its reliability. The more reliable your site, the more your visitors trust you can keep their information secure and the greater their trust in your brand—and your marketing.

Organizations across industries and regions are becoming increasingly digital. As your company undergoes its own digital transformation, not only are you generating more and more data across more devices, you’re progressively responsible for the information others share with you. And, the more data that’s produced, the more difficult it is to keep it safe.

But wait, there’s more!

Pretty straightforward so far, right? Let’s make it a little more complicated.

The growing digital landscape gives malicious actors greater motivation, whether they’re a computer-savvy hacker in their parents’ basement or a professional cybercriminal working for the cybercrime equivalent of a large department store. Cyber attacks on businesses are growing in number, with bad actors employing increasingly sophisticated and evolving methods to obtain access to all the data that’s up for grabs.

To make matters a little scarier, there’s a global shortage of skilled security operations professionals to thwart the bad guys and keep the data safe. The talent gap is so large that Gartner predicts by 2020, “60% of digital businesses will suffer major service failures due to the inability of IT security teams to manage digital risk.”

What does this have to do with marketing?

In 2018, Chrome and Firefox began marking any unsecured pages with clear ‘NOT SECURE’ warnings to encourage the use of SSL, essentially designating the certificate as a basic, foundational security feature.

While warnings are certainly worthwhile, in today’s digital world, basic security features are no longer enough.

Let’s try an analogy.

Think of the World Wide Web as your neighborhood, your landing pages as your house, and an SSL certificate as the standard lock on your front door. You work hard to make your house a home. You’re happy you can lock the front door to keep that home safe, and you’d never really consider not ­having a lock. Yet, you (and your guests) would feel much safer knowing your front door not only locked but that you’ve implemented a comprehensive security system to better protect your home and everything in it—especially if you live in a high crime area with very smart and opportunistic criminals.

Put simply, while it may slow them down, you can’t prevent bad people from entering your home with only a sole lock on the front door, just as you can’t protect your data from cyber threats with only an SSL certificate.

The current IT environment is ripe with threats perfectly poised to take down your landing pages. While we’re seeing Denial of Services (DoS), Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), and malware attacks decreasing in number, the magnitude, and severity of these types of threats is growing tremendously, with attacks 37% larger on average.

With a whole heap of malicious traffic to defend against, there’s increased pressure to keep your users’ data safe no matter your role. As such, keeping your pages up and running while proactively guarding against potentially damaging cyber-attacks is now a top business priority. A secure, live, functioning website is not only crucial for brand trust but could potentially save your business from spending thousands-to-millions of dollars to repair the damage done to your security infrastructure—and your reputation—by a successful breach.

Extending domain security beyond SSL

SSL certificates both protect your end user data and improve your search rankings and conversion rates. They’re integral to site security and performance. But, there’s more to landing page security than certificates.

For most, managing SSL certificates is a manual, time-consuming endeavor. It’s also one with increasingly greater consequences. Expired or poorly maintained certificates can either cause downtime or your landing pages to crash, leaving your site vulnerable to attack—DoS, DDoS, malware, malicious code, etc. Crashes and downtime are costly, both from a revenue and a reputation standpoint, and result in a painful experience for those managing and visiting your pages.

Five things to look for in a marketing automation solution for web security

Marketing automation solutions with servers backed by advanced security technology do more to help you secure the pages they host for you, as well as all other hosted assets, including forms and images.

1. Automated certificate maintenance and renewal

Automation removes the need for manual SSL certificate management, lessening the burden of cybersecurity for the marketer and ensuring a more secure, reliable digital experience for your site visitors, protecting both their data and your reputation.

2. Landing pages served via Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS—emphasis on the ‘S’)

HTTPS means all communications between a browser and your website are encrypted. Encrypted communications not only better secure your pages and your visitors’ data, but also help you avoid the dreaded ‘Not Secure’ warning.

3. Managed Web Application Firewalls (WAF)

Managed WAF keeps your pages secure by monitoring, filtering, and blocking malicious HTTP traffic moving to and from your website. Bonus? The WAF is automatically updated when new vulnerabilities are released, ensuring your environment remains secure within an ever-evolving threat landscape.

4. DDoS protection

DDoS protection is designed to protect your environment from even the largest DDoS attack. By preventing the bad traffic that causes your pages (and your solution’s infrastructure) to crash, DDoS protection ensures your pages will remain live and highly performant.

5. Content Delivery Network (CDN)

CDNs act as load balancers to distribute page views based on geolocation. By geographically distributing cache page content to end users based on their physical location to the closest server, CDNs allow your landing pages to load more quickly and improves your visitor’s experience with your website. Effective cybersecurity has gone far beyond the realm of IT teams—now each employee bears some of the burdens for properly securing their environment. Marketers especially need to answer the call for a more comprehensive approach to security as we’re responsible for our end users’ data throughout every stage of their buying journey, from lead to loyal customer.

As we steadily abandon print for electronic media and the amount of digital data proliferates, the bigger the amusement park we’re building for cybercriminals. And, without the proper protection in place to help police it, we’re giving them V.I.P. passes and unlimited rides on the tallest, fastest, most adrenaline-inducing roller coaster there is.

The post Marketing and Web Security: How Marketers Can Mitigate Risk appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Website Design Inspiration: 25 Top Sites 2019

Website design is critical to business success; it serves as a first impression for new customers and encourages user engagement, resulting in sales. However, it can be difficult to design a site well; to help, we scoured the internet for website examples to inspire you as you build your own professional, user-friendly business website. For…

The post Website Design Inspiration: 25 Top Sites 2019 appeared first on Fit Small Business.

The 8 Types of Social Media Community Managers (+ Job Descriptions)

In the last decade, the need for social media managers has boomed. According to the U.S. Department of Labor statistics, this trend is not slowing down any time soon. The role of a social media manager or specialist is categorized within the “Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Manager” sector of the labor force, which is projected to grow by 10% before 2026.

Although more companies are hiring social media community managers, the role hasn’t evolved much towards goal-oriented, metrics-driven marketing. This could be because many companies haven’t figured out the right way to measure the ROI of their efforts. Because of this, they don’t know how to hire someone who can help them drive real business results.

Download a ready-made job description for the social media manager role here.

With little focus on bottom-line social media efforts, companies relegate the social media role to people with little experience. Once hired, those social media specialists aren’t ready to lead successful goal-oriented efforts. 

While a social media job might center around posting strategies, companies should broaden their search and look for experts who are also creative or strategic. Here’s an example of what a strong job description for a social media role might look like:

A strong social media manager should have versatile skills that span from copywriting to design, but each type of social role usually requires a primary focus or expertise.

If you’re a manager trying to hire your next social media maven, it’s important to identify how your company needs to grow first. For example, if you want to expand your brand on visual platforms, you will want to hire a social media expert with knowledge and experience related to multimedia production.

If you’re an aspiring social media manager, it’s also important to know which skills you should hone in on to become in expert in your field.

To help businesses managers and young social media specialists, we’ve crafted a list of eight social media job roles that could help a company grow.

Social Community Manager Jobs

1. Copywriter

Content is a key component in any marketing strategy, especially when social media is involved. Even if you have dedicated bloggers or ebook writers, text-based content still needs to be adapted to each social network. For example, a strong social media manager might write Instagram captions with a relaxed and relatable voice, but might write in a more business-oriented voice for LinkedIn

This role is typically responsible for the creation and adaptation of written content for specific social media networks. This person should be comfortable writing social posts that are as short as 140 characters or blogs over 200 words.

Skills Necessary

  • Copywriting
  • Understanding of Brand Voice
  • Adaptability
  • Positioning
  • Creativity

How This Drives Results 

Writing generic posts for all platforms might make your brand seem out of touch, so it’s important to have a social media manager who can maintain a brand voice while still adapting it to different platforms. A great caption or piece of written content that speaks directly to your audience could lead to more engagement. 

2. Digital or Multimedia Producer

In 2018, 80% of marketers used visual assets as part of their social media strategy, and 63% were regularly using video

With the growth of visual platforms like Snapchat and Instagram, and the launch of Story and Live Video features on most major social media sites, there is now a greater need for social media managers with multimedia skills. 

Social media community manager works as a content creator by preparing a photo for a social media post

This type of social media manager might focus on creating images or graphics to accompany Facebook posts, taking and curating photos or videos for Instagram, producing mobile-optimized stories for Snapchat, and creating other content from scratch that helps to grow your following.

Skills Needed

  • Experience with Design Software
  • Basic Photography and Videography
  • Adaptability
  • Creativity

How This Drives Results

Adapting visual content specifically for each social network yields more clicks and leads. For example, in an A/B test, we found that tweets including both a link and an image optimized for the platform yielded 55% more leads than tweets with just a link. Adapting and creating content for each specific network is critical to driving results. 

3. Social Media Metrics Analyst

As all marketing roles become more and more data-driven, a social media community manager needs to be able to dig into the data, analyze that data, and draw actionable insights.

Social media community manager showing his team marketing analytics.That includes macro data, such as overall reach and leads generated, and micro data like individual experiments around content positioning. This person should also be able to set goals that are just out of reach — and find a way to hit them.

A successful social media community manager enjoys looking at data and knows how to use it to make informed decisions. At the same time, this person shouldn’t be so stuck in the data that it prevents experimentation and risk-taking.

It’s important for a social media community manager to constantly test new strategies, new content, and new campaigns. This person will be skilled at running experiments, such as post frequency tests, and refining their social strategy based on the results.

Skills Necessary

  • Data Analysis
  • Curiosity
  • Experience with Running Scientific Experiments
  • Strong Presentation Skills

How This Drives Results

Constantly testing and analyzing results helps social media community managers build more effective standards in their routines. For example, that Twitter image test discussed above was designed, implemented, and measured by one social media manager. That experiment’s results have had a serious impact on our social media efforts.

4. News Commentator and Curator

A successful social media community manager will be able to find new opportunities for the company by keeping track of their industry, news, and social media trends. They need to know where to look for the news and what people are saying about it. They also need to know what’s changing on social networks and in the industry. When shifts or new trends occur, they must be able to react and respond accordingly. 

A social media community manager reviews news and trends regularly.They should be skilled at “tactful newsjacking,” meaning the ability to (tactfully) capitalize on a news story, trend, or hashtag. And if something goes awry, they need to be able to mitigate the issue calmly and diplomatically.

Recently, Netflix capitalized on the news that IHOP was changing its name to IHOB. The Netflix US Twitter account simply tweeted, “brb changing my name to Netflib.” See this list for a few other great examples.

The social media community manager can act as an extension of the PR team, connecting your team directly with journalists and reporters, which can result in increased coverage for the company. For global brands, it will also be important for the social media community manager to be able to think outside their own region.

Skills Necessary

  • Content Curation
  • Hungry for Information
  • Effective Monitoring
  • Quick Decision-making
  • Good Judgment
  • Can Think Globally

How This Drives Results

Staying on top of trends as they rise allows your social media community manager to newsjack. Posts relating to news or trends can boost social media traffic, encourage more engagement from followers who might re-share or retweet your content, and could even gain attention from journalists looking for story fodder. 

5. Customer Service Representative

When someone runs social media, they are perceived as the voice of the company. They’ll constantly get questions and comments about their company’s products, services, and content which might not always be positive.

A social media community manager opens his platform's messenger app to answer follower messages.The social media community manager needs to be able to communicate with people in different buying stages and mood dispositions. They’re the “traffic director.” They must be able to understand where a follower’s question or comment is coming from, address it appropriately, and provide a course of action or solution.

To successfully communicate with followers, they should be intimately familiar with their company’s brand, products, and services.

Skills Necessary

  • Strong Communication
  • Adaptability
  • Calmness
  • Desire to Solve Others’ Problems
  • Ability to Troubleshoot
  • Knows @here to Pass Complex Questions,
  • Knowledge of the Company, Products, and Services

How This Drives Results

Having a link to customer service on social media allows you to respond to customer issues on your audience’s preferred platform. Responding to someone’s concerns on social media, rather than over a phone call, can also save your company time, money, and other resources.

Because social media is a public forum, your community manager can use these opportunities to showcase your company’s quality of customer service. For example, if a company is happy with your product or tweets about a positive experience, you can retweet or share the post. 

6. Community Manager and Facilitator

Part of building a following on social media is helping that following connect with each other and become a community.

True communities don’t simply engage with the company or moderator; they engage with each other — which actually scales the social media community much better, too. But community management takes work, including asking questions to seed discussions and kicking out people who spam or otherwise detract from the community.

A social media community manager responds to posts in an online discussion. A good facilitator asks relevant and thought-provoking questions in an engaging way. Another part is setting the tone for the community, being present, enforcing community guidelines, and sometimes even removing members or deleting posts when appropriate.

Skills Necessary

  • Resourcefulness,
  • Ability to Connect People
  • Can Stimulate Discussion
  • Firm but Empathetic

How This Drives Results

If your followers like your community, they’ll recommend it to others — either on purpose or inadvertently by commenting and having it show up on their timeline. This leads to more exposure, which leads to more reach.

To grow a social following, the social media community manager needs to help the company’s community get value from each other. 

7. Funnel Marketing Manager

Social media is a powerful tool that can help the whole funnel, not just the top. It expands the reach of your content, attracts visitors to your website, generates leads, and nurtures those prospects into becoming customers. That means a social media manager needs to be able to pick and share content in a way that will accomplish each of those goals.

A funnel marketing social community manager plans a strategy around the company's funnel.

At the top of the funnel, they need to share social content that generates leads. As they get further down the funnel, the social media expert needs to engage one-on-one with potential customers who are considering a product or service.

Social media is also particularly effective as a lead nurturing tool because prospects use multiple media to consume information. Because social channels are more fast-paced than traditional media, like email, you can engage with leads in a more timely manner.

Social media community managers need to have a strong understanding of the sales and marketing funnel. Then, they must understand which content is appropriate for each level of the funnel.

To be effective, this manager will need to keep in touch with multiple teams in their company. For example, they’ll need to pass appropriate leads to the sales team or product feedback to customer service.

Skills Necessary

  • Funnel Understanding
  • Knowledge of Content for Each Funnel Stage
  • Basic Sales Skills
  • Strong Communication

How This Drives Results

Sharing conversion-oriented content on social media can attract more visitors to your site and convert them into leads for your sales team. According to a 2018 GlobalWebIndex Study, 40% of digital consumers use social media as a tool when researching products. With the right person at the helm of your company’s social media accounts, your posts could catch the eye of these users.

8. Project Manager and Campaign Coordinator

Many people across a company may want certain things posted, responded to, favorited or “liked.” It’s up to the social media manager to decide which requests to honor and when to honor them. This means they need to be highly organized and able to manage multiple requests.

A project manager meets with colleagues to plan social projects or campaigns.They need to be able to quickly assess whether a request would resonate with the company’s followers, or whether it’s too niche or too narrow. For example, a location-specific post might be too narrow to send to a company’s entire Twitter following.

Social media community managers also need to effectively coordinate with different departments to organize campaign launches, while still pushing launches and growth initiatives of their own.

Skills Necessary

  • Strong Organization
  • Strong Communication
  • Ability to Negotiate
  • Data-Based Decision-Making

How This Drives Results

Social media plays a big role in promoting initiatives from different departments and teams across a company. When a social media community manager effectively balances these promotions with other engaging and relevant content, they’ll be able to win the hearts and minds of their followers and internal stakeholders. 

How to Think About Social Media Management

With this diverse and highly visible role, it’s hard to believe that the social media community manager position is often still considered entry-level.

These eight jobs should be in the back of any hiring manager’s mind as they interview potential social media managers. If we can change the perception of the role, we’ll have a good chance of mastering the ability to measure and value social media’s ROI. 

 
download social media manager job description

Can Facebook Ads Influence Integration Adoption? Here’s What We Found.

Platforms are embedded in our daily lives — whether we realize it or not.

Have you recently … Ordered food from a service like GrubHub or made a reservation using OpenTable? Booked a ride using Lyft? Used your phone to check your email? All of these seamless interactions require systems to talk to each other via open platforms.

What about at work? How many tools do you use to do your job? Do you spend a lot of time updating disparate systems, or do you use a connected stack of technologies to keep things up-to-date? If it’s the latter, you have a platform to thank for your saved time.

A platform makes it possible to connect tools, teams, data, and processes under one digital roof. It’s the nucleus of all systems and allows you to connect all your favorite tools seamlessly using integrations. An integration allows disparate systems to talk to each other. By joining tools via integrations, a change made in System A automatically carries through to System B.

Leveraging platforms and integrations hasn’t always been commonplace. A couple of years ago, HubSpot Research found that 82% of salespeople and marketers lost up to an hour per day managing siloed tools — a costly mistake.

Today, employees recognize that integrating technologies to do their jobs isn’t an option but a requirement. Individual employees are opting to connect their tools and, on average, leverage eight apps to do their job.

Employees and businesses alike run on connected applications. Okta found that it’s small-mid sized customers (defined as companies with less than 2,000 employees) average 73 apps — up 38% from last year. While larger customers (companies with over 2,000 employees) leverage closer to 130 apps — up 68% from the past year.

From personal life to work, platforms have become a staple in our day-to-day. These platforms are well-oiled machines that initiate seamless connections between technologies. Today, the consumer not only anticipates but also expects their systems to connect — raising the bar for companies to make it possible.

But more tools shouldn’t mean more friction. At HubSpot, we want to help our customers connect their tools on our platform to reduce friction and grow better. Customers should have tools and solutions to solve their needs, regardless of if HubSpot built them. Connecting tools allows for uniform data, processes, and experiences. This year, we’re experimenting with ways to expose integrations to our customers to increase adoption.

However, as a platform scales, it becomes increasingly tricky for customers to navigate exhaustive lists of integrations and identify what’s relevant to them. We recognized this at HubSpot and began experimenting with paid ads to see if this could be a valuable distribution channel to our customers.

Our Experiment on Paid Integration Ads

At the end of Q4, the Platform Marketing team decided to use some leftover budget to try a channel we hadn’t yet proven viable for integration adoption — paid ads.

We hypothesized that we could influence the adoption of an integration through paid ads. To test our hypothesis, we ran a retargeting campaign for three integrations on Facebook. The ads were surfaced to HubSpot’s retargetable audience.

These ads featured three HubSpot-built integrations: Slack, WordPress, and Eventbrite. We selected these integrations because they are natively built (built by HubSpot) and structured in a way that allowed us to measure multi-touch attribution.

By leveraging Google Tag Manager on the in-app integration directory, custom UTM parameters, and funnel reports, we were able to measure all steps from viewing the ad to installing the integration. Before launching the campaign, we tested our Google Analytics custom funnel reports by completing all actions — including installing the integrations to make sure they worked as designed.

Before running the campaign, we made the conscious decision to split our budget evenly across all three integration ads — regardless if one ad outperformed the others. We did this to minimize variables for the experiment.

Because we ran ads through November and December, we decreased spending from $130 dollars a day to $5 a day on and around holidays. We did this to “pause” the campaign on days where the ads would get lost in the noise, as this data could skew overall results.

Lastly, we determined our success metrics. Because we didn’t have apples-to-apples benchmark data for integration paid ads, we worked with our paid team to establish reasonably similar benchmark data. While it wasn’t a direct comparison, we were curious to see how ads could influence multi-step actions. We evaluated our performance based on click-through rates (CTR), cost per click (CPC), and cost per acquisition.

Experiment Results

The integration ads surpassed our benchmark data for click-through rate (CTR), cost per click (CPC), and cost per acquisition at the 7-, 30-, and 44-day marks — supporting our initial hypothesis and prediction.

The 30-day CTR for our integration ads was higher than the 7-day and 30-day CTR for the benchmark data, which is surprising as we expected the audience to become more fatigued over time.

Fatigue can be measured by the frequency a user views the same ad. For example, at HubSpot, we look at if a viewer has seen the same ad over 2.5 times within 30 days, which we consider high. Additionally, we kept an eye out for an increasing cost per acquisition.

Paid ads for these integrations was attractive to our retargetable audience and a legitimate acquisition point for HubSpot. It helped us influence adoption of integrations — resulting in hundreds of installs in the featured technologies. It also provided us with a data point we’ve been curious to see — the cost of an install.

When considering the value and acquisition cost of an install, it’s helpful to understand the impact on the business. At HubSpot, our customers with integrated stacks of technologies tend to be more successful — and they stick around.

This makes sense — as the more apps installed, the higher the likelihood someone will stick around. This is a common finding among platform companies.

On a recent trip to San Francisco HubSpot’s VP of Platform Ecosystem Scott Brinker found that “a common pattern on platforms is that the more apps a customer integrates into their system, the higher their retention rate will be — for both the platform and the apps integrated into it.”

Connecting their tools allows customers to access all their data in one core system while staying flexible and adaptable to their needs as they grow.

Since HubSpot doesn’t currently charge integrators to be part of our ecosystem, spending money to drive a net new install may seem counterintuitive. When weighing the long-term benefits of an install for customer value and retention, we are able to determine what is a reasonable cost per install. The experiment cost was worth the insight, as it allowed us to gain a baseline understanding of the cost per acquisition of an integration install.

Ultimately you can determine if the long-term value outweighs the upfront cost. (While directional value is a good baseline, you’d ideally look to lifetime value [LTV] to establish actual value.)

What This Means for HubSpot — and For You

Our experiment with paid ads outperformed our expectations and helped us reach a larger audience than we anticipated. It became clear that this was and is a viable channel for us to increase adoption of integrations and better understand the cost per integration install.

Future looking, we could alter who we target to see how it impacts CTR. We could leverage enrichment software like Datanyze or Clearbit to see if users have tools and cross-reference install data to create a list of folks using tools we integrate with but have yet to connect to. Alternatively, we could leverage this data to target a group of users going through onboarding to encourage them to connect existing tools to HubSpot.

Additionally, we could look through the required steps to connect an integration and consider how we could reduce them to simplify the process for our users and potentially increase our CTR.

Not a platform company? No problem. This retargeting campaigns can be leveraged to evaluate other valuable actions for your users, such as sign-ups, free trials, or event registration.

FB Ad Examples

 
Facebook Ad Examples

Demand Generation’s Secret Sauce? Strategic Content.

When mastered, demand generation can help transform even an underdog brand into a market leader.

But getting there requires patience. The goal of demand generation isn’t overnight success, but a gradual, methodical shift in perception among your audience.

And content is key to this shift. In fact, you could argue the whole reason demand generation exists is due to the rise of content and inbound marketing.

Sure, people have always advertised their wares, but the traditional approach followed a model we’ve come to know as push, or interruption, marketing. Think telemarketing calls, radio ads, or postal campaigns.

But then we all went online, and everything changed.

Quality over quantity

The internet has leveled the playing field for consumers. They’re no longer dependent on marketers telling them how they should spend their money. Instead, social media allows just about anybody to share their thoughts on a good or service.

We live in an era where opinionated YouTubers and impassioned online influencers can make or break a product—in some cases, before it even launches. This means today’s marketers have their work cut out for them, which is why relevant, strategic content created with your prospects in mind is so vital.

By providing this, marketers can successfully drive brand affinity, capture mindshare, and generate the kind of leads that turn onlookers into lifelong, loyal customers.

There’s always a “but”

As many as 87% of enterprise B2B marketers are using content marketing today, yet only 3% say their application of content is “very effective.” Surprisingly, only 35% of organizations have even documented their content marketing strategy.

But why? First, content marketing is still in its infancy. Many organizations are finding their footing with it. And despite the inexorable link between content and demand generation, many companies manage them separately with little collaboration between their teams.

This misalignment can lead to many missed opportunities. Not only will demand generation teams lack visibility into content ideation, planning, and scheduling, but content teams will lack the insight into the buyer’s journey they need to create relevant, timely content.

One solution is to create a strategic content committee made up of key organizational stakeholders. By holding monthly or quarterly meetings, both teams can:

  • Determine a content road map
  • Support company-wide content requests
  • Ensure consistency of message and voice
  • Streamline content creation for scalability
  • Reduce duplicate efforts and resources

This way, both teams can identify which types of content work best and ensure the content they create always has a purpose.

What content works?

To understand what content resonates when, it’s important to first make the distinction between demand generation and demand capture.

The two terms are often used interchangeably, but that leads to confusion about the buyer journey stage as well as misaligned content.

With demand generation, you’re acquiring net new names for your database, nurturing leads, and accelerating their progression to “qualified”—when they can be handed off to sales.

Demand capture does just what its name implies: captures active demand. That means people who are ready to talk about your products and solutions.

And they require different approaches. As you’re drumming up interest among your target audience, demand generation content needs to be clever, creative, funny, unique, eye-catching, and maybe even a little controversial.

This content should rarely be gated, so stick to formats that are shared and consumed, like blog posts, videos, listicles, and infographics.

Demand capture content, on the other hand, can be gated because you’re catering to an audience with active interest. This content can also include lower-funnel pieces—whitepapers, webinars, and solution sheets—that explicitly discuss your products and services.

When people engage with this type of content, it indicates they’re ready to speak with sales.

Mobility comes first

By 2021, the number of global smartphone users is expected to pass 3.8 billion.

And while it’s easy to get caught up in the marketing narrative that only young people expect seamless mobile experiences, it’s safe to say that anyone with a smartphone is familiar with mobile content. In fact, 58% of site visits were made from mobile devices in 2018.

So, what does this mean for your content? At a demand generation level, all content must follow a mobile-first mindset. Think about how it’ll be viewed and shared, and on what devices, and how it’ll appear on various screen sizes. You want it to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, so craft it to fit the most common source of consumption.

Of course, once your prospects are further down the funnel, you can begin rolling out whitepapers and more long-form content best enjoyed at a desktop with a cup of coffee.

But for now, think snackable.

Back to basics

Content is the lifeblood of effective demand generation. So, think smart, think exciting, and think mobile. Master your content strategy and you’ll be in the ideal position to raise awareness, draw in prospects, and take them on a powerful, lifelong customer journey.

The post Demand Generation’s Secret Sauce? Strategic Content. appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

How to Get a Free Facebook Ad Coupon & Avoid Scams in 2019

Facebook ad coupons provide free credits that businesses can redeem for use on its social advertising platform. It’s a great way for those new to Facebook advertising to try the platform without a financial investment. Free Facebook ad coupons are not easy to find, but can be acquired through Facebook promotions, events, and partnerships. Before…

The post How to Get a Free Facebook Ad Coupon & Avoid Scams in 2019 appeared first on Fit Small Business.

How businesses can build their own mobile solution for less: Part 1

For most businesses, investing thousands of pounds in a mobile solution that gives them everything they and their customers want is just not possible. But with the huge increase in the popularity and usage of mobile phones, it is almost becoming an integral part of any successful business to have a mobile solution, which for small businesses can be a real headache.

Thankfully having a mobile solution doesn’t have to break the bank and you can build your own mobile solution with all the tools and products that we provide for you here at Text Marketer. No need to spend thousands of pounds on a fancy solution, just use good old SMS.

What you need to do
A mobile solution needs to allow businesses to communicate with their customers, allow customers to easily connect with the business, quickly collect feedback and multiple ways to collect customers information.

To do this there are 4 key areas below that you will need to select at least one way of using SMS from each. Once this is done, you can start planning on how you are going to use your new mobile solution in part 2 (coming soon).

1. Communication with customers
With 75% of people wanting to have offers sent to them via SMS (Source: Digital Marketing Magazine) the perfect way to communicate with customers is through SMS. But offers aren’t the only thing that customers want to receive via SMS.

Marketing and sales messages – Yes probably the most effective way to communicate with your customers is to send them a marketing or sales message. Promoting your sale or new service in a simple SMS message can really boost sales.

Updates and info – Update customers by sending them a text message, whether it is an update about an event, items that are now back in stock, digital receipt, or even just providing them with information on closing times are just a few ways you can use SMS to update customers.

Reminders – SMS can be used as a reminding service, and because 98% of all messages are read you know your reminder message will be seen. You can remind customers of late payments, renewal dates, or their appointments.

2. Customers connecting with you
Not only do customers want to hear from you, they want to be able to connect with you in an easy method that’s fits around their busy days.

SMS chat – An SMS chat service is a great way to do this, you can simply allow customers to text you using a virtual mobile number and you can either reply using Email2SMS or through our online platform. From there you can have a full conversation through text messages, meaning the consumer can reply when it suits them best.

Keyword – A keyword can be used in multiple scenarios to allow customers to get in contact with you. You can use a keyword for competitions, allow customers to text it for out of stock updates, or a support service where a customer texts your keyword and a support agent can get back to them.

3. Collect feedback
The third step to a successful mobile solution is to be able to collect your customers feedback, a daunting task for many but an imperative one.

SMS Survey – The best way to collect feedback is with an SMS Survey, simply send an SMS Survey to customers after they have purchased, interacted with you, or at the end of the month and with a higher response rate than email, watch the feedback come rolling in.

Keyword – Sending a survey to customers is good, but you need to give them an option to leave feedback in their own time. By using a keyword and asking customers to text your keyword followed by their thoughts gives customers that easy option to leave feedback.

4. Collect customer data
The final part of any successful mobile solution is to collect your customers and potential customers information. This will then allow you to send them a message, surveys and communicate with them better.

Form2SMS – Using our Form2SMS feature you simply add the pre-made code to your website, which will generate a sign-up box where users can enter their details to receive SMS messages from you.

Keyword – Again a keyword can be used to collect mobile numbers, email addresses or any personal information you need. Ask customers to text your keyword followed by their email address or any other information you require, with it all being sent to your SMS account.

 

Once you have read up on everything and decided with areas you are going to use in your mobile solution, you can move onto part 2 (coming soon).

7 Ad Design Tips to Help Your Brand Cut Through the Noise

Before your copy can persuade an audience to buy your product, your design must persuade them to buy your copy. In advertising, your design catches your audience’s eye and points their attention to your copy. Then, it’s your copy’s job to hold your audience’s attention.

To help grab people’s attention in your advertisements, we’ve put together a list of seven ad tips, supported by examples, that’ll help your brand cut through the noise. Read on to learn how to craft creatively refreshing ads that will convert your audience into customers.

7 Ad Design Tips to Help Your Brand Cut Through the Noise

1. Stand Out From The Crowd

Estee Lauder Ad

Image Credit: VeryGoodCopy

In a world where countless brands fight for a limited amount of attention, the only way your advertisement can grab people’s attention is by being original.

As a marketer, though, it can be tempting to leap onto the latest trend that all your competitors have already pounced on. If everyone else is implementing the latest tip or trick, it must work, right? To captivate an audience, though, you must resist this urge.

Cliches repel attention. They sap your advertisement’s creativity and can’t activate the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain responsible for experiencing emotions. But how exactly do you create an original advertisement? Consider one of Estee Lauder’s print campaigns from the 1960s.

Back then, Estee Lauder’s main competitors like L’Oreal, Revion, and Helena Rubinstein all ran vibrant, colorful ads in magazines. Every makeup ad was beautiful and rich. But even though they seemed eye-popping at first glance, audiences became accustomed to these types of ads — they all looked the same. They started blending in with each other.

Realizing that no one could differentiate between the brands running full-color makeup ads flooding magazines during that time period anymore, Estee Lauder did something so controversial it was deemed “radical”, “stupid”, and even “ugly”: they ran their ads in sepia.

Estee Lauder’s print advertising move received its fair share of criticism, but they’re ability to be original helped them immediately stand out from the crowd and rake in 25% more responses than their previous color print campaigns.

2. Turn Your Ad Into a Game

Fisher-Price Ad

Image Credit: AdWeek

The brain is wired to predict things. It’s an evolutionary trait that allows us to anticipate what’s going to happen next and quickly react to it. That said, advertisements that are predictable only require a shred of thought to understand, so they’re too easy to grasp and, in turn, too boring to engage anyone.

With this in mind, if you can scrap predictability from your advertisements, you force your audience into a deeper level of thinking to digest your message, compelling them to pay more attention to it.

One of the best ways to ensnare your audience attention and get them to interact with your advertisement is by turning it into a game. By framing your advertisement like a game that can be beat, just like Fisher-Price’s ad above, your audience has the opportunity to earn an intellectual reward if they spend just the right amount of mental energy playing your brand’s game and grasping your advertisement’s message, which is something most people won’t ever pass up.

3. Convey One Message — And One Message Only

Citizen Eco-Drive Watch Ad

Image Credit: VeryGoodCopy

Sometimes, marketers think the more benefits and features they include in their ads, the higher their conversion rate will be. But trying to read a jumbled ad requires a lot of thought and energy, so cramming an ad with a bricks of copy doesn’t actually grab people’s attention. It repels it.

To immediately hook people and persuade them to read the rest of your ad, consider conveying one message per ad. Spotlighting your product or service’s main benefit or feature will make it easy for your audience to understand its value and increase the likelihood of doing business with you because they’ll leave your ad remembering only one message: your product’s or service’s main feature will benefit their lives somehow, someway.

For example, in Citizen’s ad for their Eco-Drive watch, they only use a single line of copy and a simple image to convey their product’s value to their audience — the watch is powered by light.

4. Make It Visual

Lego Ad

Image Credit: VeryGoodCopy

When we were babies, we relied on vision to associate objects with behaviors, like a ball meaning play time. Vision was the only way to learn about the world.

That’s why you can understand visual information in 250 milliseconds and why your visual system activates over 50% of your brain. Visual storytelling is the best way for people to grasp concepts and data easily.

For instance, in LEGO’s ad, they only use two images, a simple lego creation and a shadow of a dinosaur, but you can instantly form a concrete understanding of its core idea — with Legos, you can create anything.

5. Leverage Hyperbole

Nikol Paper Towels Ads

Image Credit: Brilliant Ads

Exaggerating your product’s benefits, in a clever and obvious way, is one of the best methods for slipping some humor into your advertisement, which can capture your audience’s attention and trigger an emotional response from them.

For instance, Nikol’s paper towels obviously can’t turn grapes into raisins, but this ad highlights the product’s absorbent powers in such a clear and artful way, they didn’t need to write a single line of copy.

6. Show, Don’t Tell

Siemens Ad

Image Credit: Brilliant Ads

Showing your audience something is much more engaging and interesting than telling them it. Relying on implication to convey a message is mysterious, making it more fun for your audience to figure out.

For example, in Siemens’ creative ad, they show the benefits of their product by unexpectedly placing their washers and dryers in a library to show you that they’re so quiet, even a librarian wouldn’t need to shush them.

7. Swap Connotations

Heinz AdImage Credit: Brilliant Ads

In relation to food, the word “hot” has multiple meanings: having a high temperature and being spicy. Heinz brilliantly used the connotation of high temperature to highlight the spiciness of their ketchup, and their creative method of communicating the value of their product helped them instantly attract people’s attention.

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7 Social Media Activities You Can Do in Under 15 Minutes

Success with content on social media can be simple if you’re organized and focus on efficiency. Of course, you know that you need to cater content directly to your audience’s needs or challenges and that you need to provide a variety of content to keep your audience engaged. But how can you create efficiency in an increasingly frenetic digital space?

In this blog, I’ll describe seven simple actions that each takes no more than 15 minutes to complete to keep your social posts engaging throughout the year. Follow them, and soon you’ll build a full-blown social media content calendar to drive traffic and growth.

Activity #1: Set up and maintain a calendar

Why?

We all know that consistent posting is key. By specifying the publication times, you eliminate the need to decide on the posting frequency manually each time. What’s more, you optimize the amount of information you’ll share each day, ensuring you’ll never overload the audience with updates.

How does it work?

To set up a posting plan, you first need to analyze when your audience hangs out online most often. Based on this information, you should choose the best times to post your social updates, and set up a posting schedule in your scheduling software.

It also helps if your scheduling tool has content categories to tag the types of content you routinely share to create a robust posting schedule. However, setting up a posting plan is not something that should be done once and forgotten. I always review my posting schedule for the upcoming month to make the necessary adjustments.

Make sure you are mindful of opportunities like holidays and current events to ensure you are staying relevant for your audience.

I also recommend analyzing your posts’ performance to see if you notice any patterns. You may notice that your posts tend to perform best on certain days, so try scheduling your most important updates on those days.

Activity #2: Break your feed’s monotony with curated content

Now that your posting plan is set up, you can start filling those slots with valuable content.

Why?

Not only does curated content break the monotony of your feed, but it also communicates your desire to help the audience and not just self-promote. That’s a critical factor in determining whether they’ll follow your updates at all. The problem? Finding content to share can be time-consuming. Luckily, you can automate much of this process.

How does it work?

Look for scheduling software with content curation features. This means you will be able to add RSS feeds of your favorite blogs and media. Once you add those, it will take you five minutes a day to scroll through the list and select articles that you want to post along with your own content.

Activity #3: Post as you browse the web

Why?

It saves you a whole load of time. Whenever you come across something interesting you’d like to share with your audience, you just click on it to schedule or send it to your posting queue.

How does it work?

Some scheduling tools will allow you to schedule content while browsing the web with their Chrome extensions. As you read new content, share it use a posting extension. Here’s how it works with the Social Media Poster Chrome extension:

Activity #4: Upcycle your evergreen content

Why?

There will always be relevant content that will provide your audience with consistent value.  This can be anything from your cornerstone content to an industry influencer list of your own.

How does it work?

There are two solutions here. One, you can automate the process by setting your piece to go live at regular intervals. Most scheduling tools will provide you with this option. It’s also great for advertising your upcoming events, like webinars or any other updates inviting your followers to sign up or avail of time-sensitive information.

Another way to upcycle your old content is by repurposing. This can mean recycling a quote from your old blog post and overlaying it on an image that you can circulate on your social channels, or simply asking a question about that blog post to really keep the topic going.

Activity #5: Draft seasonal posts

Why?

Holidays tend to creep up on us, leaving no time to prepare for full-scale marketing campaigns. Think about all the events and occasions you could have used to promote your business, but you haven’t because it was just too late.

How does it work?

Thankfully, many scheduling tools provide you with the option of creating drafts of the articles and promotions you have in mind and setting a reminder for the time you should come back to them. You can plan ahead and compose your updates for the whole year, or even schedule and draft them right from the calendar.

Activity #6: Use routine automation

Why?

Social media marketing involves more than just scheduling updates. You also need to set up tracking of your content, shorten links to make your posts visually appealing, edit images to fit the size allowances of social networks, etc. So why use automated posting and scheduling if you still have to switch tabs to create a UTM, edit an image or shorten a URL for an easy retweet?

How does it work?

Many scheduling tools offer a variety of time-saving features that can help you automate those routine tasks. The same goes for link shortening. Long URLs can be shortened automatically while creating a new update. And then there’s the matter of engagement. At times, you may want to break the monotony of a typical update with animations or by tweaking whatever image you want to use in it.

Activity #7: Generate new content ideas by reviewing top-performing content

Social media marketing can fuel your content strategy by more than driving traffic. It could also help you discover new topics or audience problems to target, both in your articles and on the social media itself. Okay, but isn’t that something you do while flicking through the news feed anyway?

I’d argue that no, you don’t. When viewing updates from others, you’re typically seeking information for yourself. To find new content ideas, you must look at those articles from the audience’s perspective.  Reviewing what content engaged your competitors’ social media audience is a great opportunity to understand the digital landscape in your industry or field.

How? I have two options for you:

  • Set up tracking of your competitors’ social media feeds using tools like Rival IQ or BrandWatch and review those regularly, looking for updates and topics with the highest engagement rate.
  • Dive deep into your core topic to uncover what specific information customers typically look for online. Tools like Topic Research and BuzzSumo’s Content Analyzer are great for this.

It’s that simple!

With these seven simple actions that each takes no more than 15 minutes to complete, you can create a social media content promotion strategy that’s going to drive traffic and increase engagement, while letting you focus on other aspects of your work first.

The post 7 Social Media Activities You Can Do in Under 15 Minutes appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

6 Best Dedicated Server Hosting Services 2019

Dedicated server hosting allows businesses to rent entire servers to host website files without having to share space with other businesses, providing optimal security and website speed. We reviewed 30+ dedicated hosting providers to find the top six — including the best overall — based on price, features, customer support, ease of use, and reviews….

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One year on from GDPR and how it has affected businesses

It felt like only yesterday that the GDPR apocalypse had hit and businesses were running around like headless chickens, scared that if they sent an email or SMS message they would be hit with a 20 million pound fine. We now know that isn’t the case and even just a few months after GDPR, businesses needn’t have worried so much and they just needed to “keep calm and carry on sending”.

In fact, now the fallout from GDPR has settled down, consumers actually think it is a good thing.

So, with all this fuss around GDPR, what has the actual impact been? Well in a nutshell, more pop ups on website asking you if they could store your data to improve the service they offer you.

Of course, that wasn’t the only thing, but it did feel like the stress was all for nothing. It seemed like for businesses who were keeping customer data safe and were not sending unsolicited messages, they were only required to make a few minor tweaks to their current processes to be in line with the new rules.

We have however identified 2 key areas that we believe have been the biggest areas for businesses in terms of both GDPR as a whole, and more specifically SMS marketing. We would like to note that the below information is not legal advice and if you require more information on GDPR please visit the ico website where you can read up more about GDPR.

Opted in data and legitimate interest

Being able to send customers marketing messages, promoting your products or services, and informing them of sales is pivotal for businesses to be able to sell. With GDPR this became an issue, both because businesses didn’t have opted in data and because the legitimate interest area was a bit confusing.

Opted in data
This was the biggest area that affected businesses, they did not have proof that their customers were opted in and happy to receive messages from them, which caused panic which saw a flourish of emails and text messages being sent out asking consumers to opt it. After these messages were sent out, because many decided to not opt in, businesses would have lost a large chunk of the data, which seemed bad, but in truth was actually good for them.

All this meant was that when a customer replied and opted in, they were truly engaged with that business and were very receptive to the messages they were receiving. For all those who didn’t opt in, they were probably never engaged with your brand in the first place and were ignoring your messages anyway.

Remember quality is better than quantity. So sending fewer messages to a smaller, more engaged group, will save you time and money in the long run, whilst giving you the same outcome.

Legitimate interest
For a lot of businesses, they thought the opt in rule was a bit harsh, many had long standing customers that they had no proof of an opt in form, businesses still need to be able to sell their products and services and this seemed very strict that they could no longer send these customers messages.

This is why with GDPR there was a ‘legitimate interest’ section. This allowed businesses to communicate with consumers who had not opted in, but believed they had a genuine reason to connect with them.

This area is still a grey area and is purely down to the business to decide if the consumer fits into their legitimate interests’ assessment (LIA). There are 3 areas to consider when working out if a consumer fits into your legitimate interest assessment.

Identify the legitimate interest and keep a record – You must first identify where the legitimate interest comes from and then keep a record of this. A good reason of legitimate interest would be if a new customer has purchased from you, the interest is that they may want to know about more of you products or services.

Show that the processing is necessary – By this we mean, is sending them an email or SMS message the only way of communicating with them, or is there another way to achieve the same result in a less intrusive way?

Balance it against the individual’s interests – You must balance your interests against the individuals and you should not send them a message that they would not reasonably expect to receive from you. Therefore, if someone hasn’t purchased or heard from you in 5 years, then they would probably not expect to receive a message from you.

We strongly suggest that you include an opt out on every marketing message you send, this way if the recipient doesn’t want to hear from you, they can easily opt out. This will also help if you ever receive a complaint, because every time you sent them a marketing message you included a free opt out, if they really were annoyed and wanted you to stop sending them messages, why didn’t they opt out?

For more information on this have a read of the legitimate interests section on the ico website.

Processing personal data

The second area, where all those cookie pop ups on websites have come from, was that businesses were now required to tell consumers what information they were storing on them, and if they are happy with them to do so.

For your business to keep information on an individual, you need to:

Ask for approval – You need to tell the consumer what information you are keeping on them and ask them if it is ok for you to keep that information.

Keep safe – Store the data in a secure place and not share it with anyone.

Correct data – Ensure that personal information is kept up to date.

Provide information – If the individual asks for the information you have on them, you must be able provide them with it.

Don’t keep information – Don’t keep information on consumers for longer than required.

Think about it this way, would you like a business to keep information on you, that you never gave them permission for, in an insecure location, and 10 years after you bought from them? Probably not.

You need to remember that individuals have the right; to be informed, of access, to rectification, to erasure, to restrict processing, to data portability, to object, in relation to automated decision making and profiling.

For more information on this have a read of the individual rights section on the ico website.

What can your business take from this?

To summarise, you should not worry about GDPR and just make sure you;
– Can prove an opt-in or have legitimate interest
– Inform and ask for data to be kept
– Keep that data safe
– Provide the information when asked

Then there is nothing to worry about.

 

We would advise that if you are still unsure about GDPR to read the ico website on their Guide to the General Data Protection Regulation.

The Non-Programmer's Guide to Using APIS

Even if you don’t know what an API is, you’ve undoubtedly interacted with one.

Today, we take connectivity between technology largely for granted. For instance, we don’t question when we use OpenTable to make a reservation at a nearby restaurant.

Alternatively, if you use Kayak.com to book flights, you’ve probably never wondered, Wait a minute … how does Kayak know JetBlue has an open seat in 27A?

Ultimately, any time you need applications to communicate with one another, you need an API, or application programming interface.

Here, we’re going to explore what an API is, and why you’d need to use one. Even if you’re not a programmer and don’t need to know extensive technical jargon, you should still understand the basics, since nowadays, integrations between technology are often critical components of anyone’s job.

What is an API?

At its most basic definition, an API lets one piece of software talk to another piece of software.

To understand an API in action, let’s consider a real-life example — HubSpot’s integration with Typeform. Typeform, a tool that supplies mobile-ready quizzes, contact forms, and signup forms, needs to integrate with HubSpot’s Forms API to to interact with the forms tool and seamlessly send submissions from Typeform forms into the HubSpot CRM.

To do this, Typeform’s API and HubSpot’s API need to talk. An integration can act as a translator, ensuring each API’s information is correctly translated for the other application — in this case, the integration may ensure that Typeform form fields are correctly mapped to the corresponding HubSpot fields.

Isaac Takushi, a HubSpot Developer Support Specialist, explains — “You can think of APIs and the ‘endpoints’ they comprise as access points for different information. Each API endpoint may only have one specific job. When combined, however, different endpoints can support powerful, multifaceted integrations.”

Kayak.com, for instance, needs some API to communicate with JetBlue’s systems. When you search “Boston to Charlotte” in Kayak, JetBlue’s booking API will essentially receive this request from Kayak, pull up information related to that request, and send it back. However, Kayak will need its own API or code to understand and act on the information the JetBlue API returned.

To use an API, you’ll want to check out the API’s documentation for access requirements. For instance, HubSpot’s Contacts API requires authentication:

Similarly, you’ll need an API key to access Google’s API, Facebook’s API, and Twitter’s API.

Once you have access requirements, you can use a tool like Postman or Runscope to manually interact with an API. These third-party tools, or “REST clients,” allow you to make one-off requests to API endpoints without coding. They’re great for getting a feel for what your backend systems may do automatically. Check out this resource on how to make your very first API request with Postman.

If you’re not quite ready to jump in on the deep end with a REST client, try punching the following into your browser:

https://restcountries.eu/rest/v2/name/united

This is a public API endpoint from the free REST Countries service. Specifically, we’re using the “Name” endpoint, which accepts country names as search queries. A successful search will return potential country matches, along with key information about each nation. In this case, we’re searching for countries with names that contain the word “united.”

You should see following block of JSON data returned:

Congratulations! You just made an API request from your browser!

The endpoint returned raw data (formatted in JSON) on countries with “united” in the name.

It may not look pretty, but remember that APIs are designed for applications, which don’t require the styling humans expect on an HTML web page. While you can easily Google “countries that begin with ‘united’,” applications cannot. They might have to rely on services like REST Countries to look up that information.

If you’re unsure whether you should use your in-house developers to create APIs or look externally, check out First vs. Third-Party APIs: What You Need to Know.

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Lead Generation: A Beginner's Guide to Generating Business Leads the Inbound Way

We’ve all been through it. You know, the moment you’re about to dig into the best darn pile of spaghetti and meatballs you’ve ever seen.

Just as you twist your fork in the pasta, spear a mouth-watering meatball, and go in for the first savory bite … the phone rings. “May I speak to Lindsay Kow-low-witch?” asks the telemarketer on the other end. “This is an important message regarding your oven preferences.”

This frustrating interruption is exactly why we’re here to discuss inbound lead generation. What is inbound lead generation? It’s a solution that can save your business or organization from being that annoying, disruptive cold caller who is ruining spaghetti nights for pasta lovers all over the world.

Let’s start with defining a lead, and then we’ll cover what online lead generation is, why you need lead generation, how you qualify someone as a lead, how you generate leads, and why inbound lead generation is much more effective than simply buying leads.

What Is a Lead?

A lead is a person who has indicated interest in your company’s product or service in some way, shape, or form.

As a lead, you’d hear from a business or organization with which you’ve already opened communication … instead of getting a random cold call from someone who purchased your contact information.

For example, maybe you took an online survey to learn more about how to take care of your car. If you got an email from the auto company that hosted the survey on their website about how they could help you take care of your car, it’d be far less intrusive and irrelevant than if they’d just called you out of the blue with no knowledge of whether you even care about car maintenance, right?

And from a business perspective, the information the auto company collected about you from your survey responses helps them personalize that opening communication to address your existing problems.

Whenever someone outside the marketing world asks me what I do, I can’t simply say, “I create content for lead generation.” It’d be totally lost on them, and I’d get some really confused looks.

So instead, I say, “I work on finding unique ways to attract people to my business. I want to provide them with enough goodies to get them naturally interested in my company so they eventually warm up to the brand enough to want to hear from us!”

That usually resonates better, and that’s exactly what lead generation is: It’s a way of warming up potential customers to your business and getting them on the path to eventually buying.

Why Do You Need Lead Generation?

When a stranger initiates a relationship with you by showing an organic interest in your business, the transition from stranger to customer is much more natural.

Lead generation falls within the second stage of the inbound marketing methodology. It occurs after you’ve attracted an audience and are ready to convert those visitors into leads for your sales team (namely sales-qualified leads). As you can see in the diagram below, generating leads is a fundamental point in an individual’s journey to becoming a delighted customer.

lead-generation-1

How to Generate Leads

Now that we understand how lead generation fits into the whole inbound marketing methodology, let’s walk through the steps of the lead generation process.

First, a visitor discovers your business through one of your marketing channels, such as your website, blog, or social media page.

That visitor then clicks on your call-to-action (CTA) — an image, button, or message that encourages website visitors to take some sort of action.

The CTA takes your visitor to a landing page, which is a web page that is designed to capture lead information in exchange for an offer.

An offer is the content or something of value that’s being “offered” on the landing page, like an ebook, a course, or a template. The offer must have enough perceived value to a visitor to merit providing their personal information in exchange for access to it.

The form on your landing page consists of a series of fields (like in our example above) that collect information in exchange for the offer. Forms are typically hosted on landing pages, although they can technically be embedded anywhere on your site. Once a visitor fills this out — voila! — you have a new lead! (That is, as long as you’re following lead-capture form best practices.)

See how everything fits together?

To sum it up: Visitor clicks a CTA that takes them to a landing page where they fill out a form to get an offer, at which point they become a lead.

By the way, you should check out our free lead generation tool. It helps you create lead capture forms directly on your website. Plus, it’s really easy to set up.

Lead Generation Marketing

Once you put all of these elements together, you can use your various promotional channels to drive traffic to your landing page to start generating leads.

But what channels should you use to promote your landing page? Let’s talk about the front-end of lead generation — lead gen marketing.

If you’re a visual learner, this chart shows the flow from promotional marketing channels to a generated lead.

lead-generation-2

There are even more channels you can use to get visitors to become leads. Let’s go into depth on these and talk about a few others.

Content

Content is a great way to guide users to a landing page. Typically, you create content to provide visitors with useful, free information. You can include CTAs anywhere in your content — inline, bottom-of-post, in the hero, or even on the side panel. The more delighted a visitor is with your content, the more likely they are to click your call-to-action and move onto your landing page.

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Email

Email is a great place to reach the people who already know your brand and product or service. It’s much easier to ask them to take an action since they’ve previously subscribed to your list. Emails tend to be a bit cluttered, so use CTAs that have compelling copy and an eye-catching design to grab your subscriber’s attention.  

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Ads and Retargeting

The sole purpose of an ad is to get people to take an action. Otherwise, why spend the money? If you want people to convert, be sure that your landing page and offer match exactly what is promised in the ad, and that the action you want users to take is crystal clear.

Blog

The great thing about using your blog posts to promote an offer is that you can tailor the entire piece to the end goal. So, if your offer is an instructional video on setting up Google Search Console, then you can write a blog post about how to select your marketing metrics … which would make your CTA highly relevant and easy to click.

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Social Media

Social media platforms make it easy to guide your followers to take action, from the swipe up option on Instagram stories to Facebook bio links to bitly URLs on Twitter. You can also promote your offerings on your social posts and include a call-to-action in your caption. Learn more about social media campaigns in this post.

Product Trials

You can break down a lot of barriers to a sale by offering trials of your product or service. Once a prospect is using your product, you can entice them with additional offers or resources to encourage them to buy. Another good practice is to include your branding in your free versions so you can capture other potential customers, too.

Referral Marketing

Referral, or word-of-mouth, marketing is useful for lead generation in a different way. That is, it gets your brand in front of more people, which, in turn, increases your chances of generating more leads.

Whatever channel you use to generate leads, you’ll want to guide users to your landing page. As long as you’ve built a landing page that converts, the rest will handle itself.

Why Not Just Buy Leads?

Marketers and salespeople alike want to fill their sales funnel — and they want to fill it quickly. Enter: The temptation to buy leads.

Buying leads, as opposed to organically generating them, is much easier and takes far less time and effort, despite being more expensive. But, you might be paying for advertising anyway … so, why not just buy leads?

First and foremost, any leads you’ve purchased don’t actually know you. Typically, they’ve “opted in” at some other site when signing up for something, and didn’t actually opt in to receiving anything from your company.

The messages you send them are therefore unwanted messages, and sending unwanted messages is intrusive. (Remember that disruptive call I got when I was trying to eat my spaghetti? That’s how people feel when they receive emails and other messages from people they didn’t ask to hear from.)

If the prospect has never been to your website and indicated an interest in your, products or services, then you’re interrupting them … plain and simple.

If they never opted in to receive messages specifically from you, then there’s a high chance they could flag your messages as spam, which is quite dangerous for you. Not only does this train to filter out emails from you, but it also indicates to their email provider which emails to filter out.

Once enough people flag your messages as spam, you go on a “blacklist,” which is then shared with other email providers. Once you get on the blacklist, it’s really, really hard to get back off of it. In addition, your email deliverability and IP reputation will likely be harmed.

It’s always, always, always better to generate leads organically rather than buy them. Read this blog post to learn how to grow an opt-in email list instead of buying one.

How to Qualify a Lead

As we covered in the first section, a lead is a person who has indicated interest in your company’s product or service. Now, let’s talk about the ways in which someone can actually show that interest.

Essentially, a sales lead is generated through information collection. That information collection could come as the result of a job seeker showing interest in a position by completing an application, a shopper sharing contact information in exchange for a coupon, or a person filling out a form to download an educational piece of content.

Gauging a Lead’s Level of Interest

Below are just a few of the many ways in which you could qualify someone as a lead. Each of these examples shows that the amount of collected information used to qualify a lead, as well as the that lead level of interest, can vary. Let’s assess each scenario:

  • Job Application: An individual that fills out an application form is willing to share a lot of personal information because he/she wants to be considered for a position. Filling out that application shows their true interest in the job, therefore qualifying the person as a lead for the company’s recruiting team — not marketing or sales teams.
  • Coupon: Unlike the job application, you probably know very little about someone who has stumbled upon one of your online coupons. But if they find the coupon valuable enough, they may be willing to provide their name and email address in exchange for it. Although it’s not a lot of information, it’s enough for a business to know that someone has interest in their company.
  • Content: While the download of a coupon shows an individual has a direct interest in your product or service, content (like an educational ebook or webinar) does not. Therefore, to truly understand the nature of the person’s interest in your business, you’ll probably need to collect more information to determine whether the person is interested in your product or service and whether they’re a good fit.

These three general examples highlight how lead generation differs from company to company, and from person to person. You’ll need to collect enough information to gauge whether someone has a true, valid interest in your product or service — how much information is enough information will vary depending on your business.

Let’s look at Episerver, for example. They use web content reports for lead generation, collecting six pieces of information from prospective leads.

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Episerver provides a great example for what to ask for in a lead gen form:

  • Full Name: The most fundamental information needed to personalize your communication with each lead.
  • Email: This serves as a unique identifier and is how you will contact your lead.
  • Company: This will give you the ability to research your lead’s industry and company and how the lead might benefit from your product or service (mainly for B2B).
  • Role: Understanding an individual’s role will help you understand how to communicate with them. Every brand stakeholder will have a different take and perspective on your offering (mainly for B2B).
  • Country: Location information can help you segment your contact by region and time zone, and help you qualify the lead depending on your service.
  • State: The more detailed information you can obtain without sacrificing conversions, the better. Knowing your leads state can help you further qualify them.

If you’d like to learn more intermediate-level tips on information collection and what you should ask for on your lead gen forms, read our post about it here.

Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is a way to qualify leads quantitatively. Using this technique, leads are assigned a numerical value (or score) to determine where they fall on the scale from “interested” to “ready for a sale”. The criteria for these actions is completely up to you, but it must be uniform across your marketing and sales department so that everyone is working on the same scale.

A lead’s score can be based on actions they’ve taken, information they’ve provided, their level of engagement with your brand, or other criteria that your sales team determines. For instance, you may score someone higher if they regularly engage with you on social media or if their demographic information matches your target audience.

Borrowing from the examples above, you might give a lead a higher score if they used one of your coupons — an action that would signify this person is interested in your product.

The higher a lead’s score, the closer they are to becoming a sales-qualified lead (SQL), which is only a step away from becoming a customer. The score and criteria is something you may need to tweak along the way until you find the formula that works, but once you do, you’ll transform your lead generation into customer generation.

Lead Generation Trends & Benchmarks

So … you’re getting web traffic and generating leads. But how are you doing compared to other companies in your industry? How many leads should you really be generating?

It’s tough to figure out if your lead generation strategy is working if you aren’t looking at industry data. That’s why we partnered with Qualtrics to survey more than 900 marketers from all different industries in North America and Europe to create a demand generation report with data on website visitors, leads, opportunities, customers, and revenue.

Did you know that 74% of companies that weren’t exceeding revenue goals didn’t know their visitor, lead, MQL, or sales opportunities numbers? How about that over 70% of companies not achieving their revenue goals generate fewer than 100 leads per month, and only 5% generate more than 2,500 leads per month? These are just a few examples of what you’ll find in the report.

For in-depth reports, download our Demand Generation Benchmarks Report. Below are some useful highlights.

Cost per Lead, by Industry

The media and publishing industries report the lowest cost per lead at $11 to $25. Software, information technology and services, marketing agencies, and financial services companies all report the highest average cost per lead at $51 to $100.

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Leads Generated per Month, by Annual Revenue

Unsurprisingly, the more revenue a company has, the more leads they generate. The differences are most drastic at the highest and lowest end of the spectrum: 82% of companies with $250,000 or less in annual revenue report generating less than 100 leads per month, whereas only 8% of companies generating $1 billion in annual revenue report less than 100 leads per month.

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Leads per Month

We found that 58% of companies generated 500 leads per month or fewer, and 71% generated 1,000 or fewer. However, as we saw previously, the companies having the most success are also the ones generating the most leads.

Here’s how the data broke down by company size:

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Lead Generation Software

We found that the most successful teams use a formal system to organize and store leads: 46% use Google Docs, 41% use marketing automation software, and 37% use CRM software. (Hint for HubSpot customers: Google Drive integrates with both HubSpot Marketing Hub and HubSpot CRM.)

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Lead Generation Strategies

Online lead generation encompasses a wide range of tactics, campaigns, and strategies depending on the platform on which you wish to capture leads. We talked about lead capture best practices once you have a visitor on your site … but how can you get them there in the first place?

Let’s dive into lead generation strategies for a few popular platforms.

Facebook Lead Generation

Facebook has been a method for lead generation since its inception. Originally, companies could use outbound links in their posts and information in their bios to attract strangers to their websites. However, when Facebook Ads was launched in 2007, and its algorithm began to favor accounts that used paid advertising, there was a major shift in how businesses used the platform to capture leads. Facebook created Lead Ads for this purpose. Facebook also has a feature that lets you put a simple call-to-action button at the top of your Facebook Page, helping you send Facebook followers directly to your website.

Get some lead generation tips for Facebook.

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Twitter Lead Generation

Twitter has Twitter Lead Gen Cards, which let you generate leads directly within a tweet without having to leave the site. A user’s name, email address, and Twitter username are automatically pulled into the card, and all they have to do is click “Submit” to become a lead. (Hint for HubSpot users: You can connect Twitter Lead Gen Cards to your HubSpot Forms. Learn how to do that here).

Learn some lead generation tips for Twitter.

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LinkedIn Lead Generation

LinkedIn has been increasing its stake in the advertising space since its early days. When it comes to lead generation, LinkedIn created Lead Gen Forms, which auto populate with a users profile data when they click a CTA, making it easy to capture information.

Get tips from our experience using LinkedIn ads.

PPC Lead Generation

When we say pay-per-click (PPC), we’re referring to ads on search engine result pages (SERPs). Google gets 3.5 billion searches a day, making it prime real estate for any ad campaign, especially lead gen. The effectiveness of your PPC campaign relies heavily on a seamless user flow, as well as your budget, target keywords, and a few other factors.

Learn more about how to setup successful PPC ads.

B2B Lead Generation

B2B is a particular business model that requires a particular approach to lead generation. HubSpot found that SEO is the top resource for capturing business leads, followed closely by email marketing and social media. Not to mention, effectiveness varies by channel.

Learn the B2B lead gen techniques for every channel.

Tips for Lead Generation Campaigns

In any given lead generation campaign, there can be a lot of moving parts. It can be difficult to tell which parts of your campaign are working and which need some fine-tuning. What exactly goes into a best-in-class lead generation engine? Here are a few tips when building lead gen campaigns.

Use the right lead generation tools.

As you saw in our data, the most successful marketing teams use a formal system to organize and store their leads. That’s where lead generation tools and lead generation software come into play.

How much do you know about the people visiting your website? Do you know their names or their email addresses? How about which pages they visited, how they’re navigating around, and what they do before and after filling out a lead conversion form?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, chances are you’re having a hard time connecting with the people who are visiting your site. These are questions you should be able to answer — and you can with the right lead generation tools.

There are a few different tools and templates out there that’ll help you create different lead gen assets to use on your site:

  • CTA Templates: 50+ free, customizable call-to-action (CTA) templates in PowerPoint that you can use to create clickable CTA buttons to use on your blog, landing pages, and elsewhere on your site.
  • Lead Generation Software Tools: This free tool from HubSpot includes lead capture and contact insights features, which will scrape any pre-existing forms you have on your website and add those contacts to your existing contact database. It also lets you create pop-ups, hello bars, or slide-ins — called “lead flows” — that’ll help you turn website visitors into leads immediately.

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Example of a slide-in lead flow.

  • Visitor Tracking: Hotjar has a heatmap tool — a virtual tool which creates a color-coded representation of how a user navigates your site — that helps you understand what users want, care about, and do on your site. It records visitors and tells you where they spend the most time on your site. You can use it to gather information on your lead generation forms, feedback forms and surveys, and more.
  • Form-Scraping Tool: A form scraping tool that collects submissions on your website’s existing forms helps you automatically consolidate all your leads into your contact database, regardless of which form visitors submitted on your website. HubSpot customers can create and embed forms using HubSpot, which automatically populate into your CMS. Non-HubSpot customers can use a form creation tool like Contact Form 7, JetPack, or Google Forms, and then use HubSpot’s free collected forms feature to automatically capture form submissions and input them to a contact database.

Create amazing offers for all different stages of the buying cycle.

Not all of your site visitors are ready to talk to your sales team or see a demo of your product. Someone at the beginning of the buyer’s journey might be interested in an informational piece like an ebook or a guide, whereas someone who’s more familiar with your company and near the bottom of the journey might be more interested in a free trial or demo.

Make sure you’re creating offers for each phase and offering CTAs for these offers throughout your site.

Yes, it takes time to create valuable content that teaches and nurtures your leads down the funnel, but if you don’t offer anything for visitors who aren’t ready to buy, then they may never come back to your website. From checklists to templates to free tools, here are 23 ideas for lead generation content to get you started.

If you want to take personalization a step further — which will help boost your conversion rate — try using smart CTAs. Smart CTAs detect where a person is in the buyer’s journey, whether they’re a new visitor, a lead, or a customer, and display CTAs accordingly. Personalized CTAs convert a whopping 42% more visitors than basic calls-to-action.

Keep your messaging consistent and deliver on your promise.

The highest-converting lead gen campaigns are the ones that deliver on what they promise and create a seamless transition from ad copy and design to the deliverable itself. Make sure that you’re presenting a consistent message throughout the process and providing value to everyone that engages with your lead capture.

The aspects of your lead gen campaign should mirror everything else on your website, on your blog, and within the product that you will eventually try to sell. If not, you’ll have a difficult time getting your lead to the next lifecycle stage. Your campaign should be about more than just obtaining an email address — it should be about developing a new customer.

Link your CTA to a dedicated landing page.

This may seem obvious to you, but you’d be surprised how many marketers don’t create dedicated landing pages for their offers. CTAs are meant to send visitors to a landing page where they can receive a specific offer.

Don’t use CTAs to drive people to your homepage, for instance. Even if your CTA is about your brand or product (and perhaps not an offer like a download), you should still be sending them to a targeted landing page that’s relevant to what they are looking for and includes an opt-in form. If you have the opportunity to use a CTA, send them to a page that will convert them into a lead.

If you want to learn more about how to build and promote high-converting landing pages, then download our ebook on optimizing landing pages for conversions.

Get your sales team involved.

Remember when we talked about lead scoring? Well, it isn’t exactly doable without your sales team’s input. How will you know what qualifies a lead for sales without knowing if your defined SQLs are successfully sold? Your marketing and sales teams need to be aligned on the definitions and the process of moving a lead from MQL to SQL to opportunity before you even begin to capture leads.

Also, be open to evolving your relationship with sales and how you guide leads along your funnel. Your definitions will likely need to be refined over time; just make sure to keep everyone involved up-to-date.

Use social media strategically.

While marketers typically think of social media as best for top-of-the-funnel marketing, it can still be a helpful and low-cost source for lead generation as shared in the lead gen strategies above. The key is using social media strategically for lead generation.

Start by adding links directly to the landing pages of high-performing offers within your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media posts. Tell visitors that you’re sending them to a landing page. That way, you’re setting expectations. Here’s an example from one of our Facebook posts:

You can also do a lead generation analysis of your blog to figure out which posts generate the most leads, and then make a point of regularly linking social media posts to them.

Another way to generate leads from social media is to run a contest. Contests are fun and engaging for your followers, and they can also teach you a ton about your audience. It’s a win-win. Read our step-by-step guide for growing your email list using social media contests, which covers everything from choosing a platform, to picking a winner, all the way to analyzing your results.

Remain flexible and constantly iterate.

Your lead generation strategy needs to be as dynamic as the people you’re targeting. Trends change, behaviors shift, opinions morph … so should your lead gen marketing. Use A/B split testing to see what CTAs perform best, which landing pages convert better, and which copy captures your target audience. Experiment with layout changes, design, UX, content, and advertising channels until you find what works.

Conclusion

There you have it, folks. Now that you know more about how to generate leads for your business, we recommend you try HubSpot’s free lead generation tool. Use it to add simple conversion assets to your site (or scrape your existing forms) to help you learn more about your site visitors and what content prompts them to convert.

The basics we’ve gone over in this blog post are just the beginning. Keep creating great offers, CTAs, landing pages, and forms — and promote them in multi-channel environments. Be in close touch with your sales team to make sure you’re handing off high-quality leads on a regular basis. Last but not least, never stop testing. The more you tweak and test every step of your inbound lead generation process, the more you’ll improve lead quality and increase revenue.

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5 Strategies to Combat Cart Abandonment Using Push Notifications

Cart abandonment is one of the biggest pet peeves for ecommerce brands. The average cart abandonment rate ranges from 69% to 81% across different industries, according to SalesCycle.

Irrespective of exciting deals and great products, customers have a tendency to research multiple options before making a purchase. As a result, they end up window shopping and adding products to their cart. You can’t stop them from doing this.

The good news is that you can set up a cart recovering program to bring people back. Push notification is an effective strategy brands use to re-engage with customers who have abandoned their shopping carts.

What is a push notification?

A web push notification is a pop-up message a subscriber receives on their desktop or mobile browser. This notification allows the brand to interact with the customer even when the user is not on your website.

Apart from sending personalized reminders about abandoned carts, push notifications are used to deliver promotions, purchase confirmation, and order delivery.

Combined with the right offers and sent at the time when your users are the most active, push notifications can compel your customer to go back to the cart and finish the purchase.

Here are 5 actionable tricks to combat cart abandonment with the help of web push notifications.

1. Send timely push notifications

Push notifications are sent real-time and land directly in the notification bar of the web or the mobile browser. The success of your campaign will depend on the time at which the subscribers receive the push notification. If your users are located in different time zones, schedule the notifications according to their location.

Well-timed push notification can make the difference between an effective and obstructive experience.

For example, a “Happy Hour” discount notification should reach the user’s desktop or mobile browser in the second half of the day and not at 8 am on a Sunday morning.

2. Create a sense of urgency

“We, humans, are more motivated by the idea of potential loss than of potential gain,” observes Dr. Robert Cialdini, author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

Creating a sense of urgency taps into the “fear of missing out” among the customer to make an impulsive purchase without missing out on the deal.

If you have a sale coming up, messages that convey urgency can help you bank on this psychological principle. Consider phrases like “stock running low” or “X hours left to purchase.”

You can create urgency even by showing the recent purchases done by another customer. Let the customer know the stock is running low. This shows that the product is already popular among users. The user is relieved of any apprehension about making the purchase and builds confidence.

Such notifications result in conversions from users who have genuinely liked your product.

3. Segmenting your users

A user may subscribe to your push notification for multiple reasons, ranging from product updates to getting discount codes. Your subscribers would have different preferences, so sending all the users the same web push notifications could lead to a high unsubscribe rate.

In one of the PushEngage studies, we found the click-through rates for web push notifications to increase by 2X with segmentation. Simultaneously, we observed a decrease in push notification subscription rate when the notification is sent to a targeted segment.

Segment users and place them in different buckets. For instance, this helps you identify your most loyal customers whom you could send personalized discounts. Here you could encounter higher engagement and a lower bounce rate. To the most unengaged visitors, you could send follow-up campaigns.

You can segment the subscribers on the basis of:

  • Browser language and browser type
  • Region and time-zone
  • New vs. old visitor
  • Frequency of purchase
  • Actions performed like pages visited, products searched for, previous purchases, and cart or browser abandonment

4. The impact of copy and images in web push notifications

You have a limited space ranging from 40 to 120 characters to fit the title and description of your push notification.

It’s vital to decide on the most important value proposition and create clear and concise copy that reflects that value proposition. Don’t forget to add a CTA to guide the user to the next step they should take in the customer journey.

Be sure to consider:

  • Adding an image to the push notification. The image makes your push notification stand out, thereby increasing the conversion rate and customer engagement. At PushEngage, we analyzed the impact of large images on web push notifications, industry-wise. The results are summed up in the chart:
  • Localize the content of the push notification. According to a 2017 Statista report, English users represent only 25.3% of the global internet users. Based on the geography or country you’re targeting, localize the copy of the push notification to increase the engagement. Nothing excites a user more than receiving a notification in their native language. This is the best way to build a loyal customer base while globalizing your brand.

5. Send a series of push notifications

Send a series of push notifications instead of a single one. The first notification can be a simple reminder about the product abandoned. The next notification promotes the limited-time discount offer and creates urgency. The last notification will instill FOMO by informing the user about the offer expiring soon.

Push Notifications on Google Chrome Example

If the customer purchases the product, make sure you close the campaign for that user.

Wrapping Up

With intense competition in the digital marketplace, you cannot afford to lose out on valuable customers. It is imperative for marketers to build cart recovery programs with effective push notifications.

What kind of push notifications have worked for your business? Share in the comments below.

The post 5 Strategies to Combat Cart Abandonment Using Push Notifications appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Facebook Advertising: The Ultimate Guide with Examples

Facebook advertising targets Facebook users with various ad types and placements based on interests, web activity, psychographics, and demographics. Effective ads deliver eye-catching photos, valuable content, and calls to action (CTAs) aimed at converting your target audience into customers. To optimize ads, use content that captures Facebook users’ attention, trust, and loyalty. Most small businesses…

The post Facebook Advertising: The Ultimate Guide with Examples appeared first on Fit Small Business.