• TheDigitalJen
    Jennifer Stalzer on November 19, 2013

    Tough Lessons to Becoming a Socially Engaged Brand

    About 18 months ago, MasterCard set out on a mission to become the most socially connected and engaged brand in the payments space. As I look back, here's a look at almost ten hard lessons we learned.
  • ChristopherCarfi
    Christopher Carfi on December 9, 2013

    Five Trends That Are Going to Affect Marketing in 2014

    Agile marketing is now a common approach, and includes a healthy loop of building, testing, measuring, learning, refining and improving. There are five trends that you need to be on the lookout for when creating your marketing plans in the coming year, a combination of focus on results and a set of new channels that can connect directly to the bottom line.
  • JeffreyDachis
    Jeffrey Dachis on December 18, 2013

    Real-Time Marketing 101: It All Starts With The Trends

    Imagine you are a marketer in 1951. Harry S. Truman is president and Milton Berle is the most famous person on T.V., raking in 80% of all television viewers every night of the week. It’s the dawn of modern mass marketing. What if you were the first marketer to figure out how to use T.V. to sell stuff? You’d probably be in pretty high demand. The potential to sell your products would be effectively limitless. Well, an innovative, new marketing channel with the potential to rival television for its importance has arrived and marketers are starting to take notice.
  • Act-On Software
    Act-On Software on April 18, 2014

    Six Best Practices for Creating a Content Marketing Strategy

    Content marketing is the linchpin of demand creation –the link between brand awareness and lead generation. Done well, it builds familiarity, affinity and trust with prospective and current customers by providing information that resonates – in the right format, through the right channel, at the right time.
  • IBM Social Business
    IBM Social Business on April 18, 2014

    Patterns in Achieving Social Business Success by Leading and Pioneering Organizations

    Here is an excerpt from “Patterns in Achieving Social Business Success by Leading and Pioneering Organizations,” an exclusive whitepaper brought to you by IBM. This whitepaper provides a step-by-step guide for determining your strategy to achieving social business success.
  • Spredfast
    Spredfast Business on May 1, 2014

    The Social Media Pocket Guide: Six Ways Marketers Should Use Social

    This guide walks through each of the “Big Six” objectives and provides a tactical overview of the business case, team considerations and actual content examples and templates to use for your social media initiatives. 
Download the guide now and use it as a cheat sheet on how to get started today using proven tactics and best practices.
  • Actiance
    Actiance Compliance on May 9, 2014

    The Forrester Wave: Social Risk and Compliance Solutions, Q2 2014

    Forbidding employees to use social networks because they may expose your business to risk is no longer a viable business strategy. According to its new report published today, “The Forrester Wave™: Social Risk And Compliance Solutions, Q2 2014,” Forrester Research, Inc. says “the practice of prohibiting social [is] no longer feasible.”
  • Spredfast
    Spredfast Business on June 9, 2014

    6 Blueprints for Social Network Success

    The Big 6 social networks offer tremendous marketing opportunities - but each one is very different from the next. That’s why Spredfast has assembled the 6 Blueprints for Social Network Success. In this quick-read collection, you’ll discover more than 50 constructive, actionable marketing tips and real-world examples from major brands like Hyatt, British Airways, Target, and General Mills. Let’s start building!
  • Synapsify
    Synapsify, Inc. on June 16, 2014

    Piecing Together the Story: Synapsify’s Annual Voice of Customer Industry Survey and Insight

    This eBook reveals the common practices and challenges faced today by social media managers/directors and brand insight analyst and conducted an online survey of 70 social media and content analysts professionally recruited for this survey. The survey results are presented as part of a complimentary eBook in which insight industry professionals shed light on their challenges and common practices they face in understanding the true voice of their customers.
  • Every employee plays a part in your business. Letting themselves brand on social media would give you an extra point as an employer. It’s a simple math. Your company’s social value = Your company’s official social media accounts + Each one of your employees’ social score.

    Would you be in agreement with me if I say social media is teamwork? The importance of social media for businesses is no more a secret. Similarly, social media is important for any individual, who belongs to the world of web. However, if you are asked to keep count on your social media score, most of you would rate it, based on your social media business pages and profiles. WRONG.

    Let’s assume your company has a strength of 50 people. When you are about to calculate your company’s social media score, you should count each and every member’s social media score along with that of your company’s. And this is the reason that every employer should ask his employees to brand themselves on social media.

    It’s a simple math.

    Your company’s social value = Your company’s official social media accounts + Each one of your employees’ social score

    Every employee plays a part in your business. Letting themselves brand on the space would give you an extra point as an employer. You can enrich your portfolio, stating that such talented people are working with you. And there are other benefits as well.

    When they will participate actively on social media, your company’s content will be shared more and more. It will increase your reach. Similarly, every person is different in nature and communication. By encouraging them to use social media, you are actually allowing them to market their skill set to a broader niche.

    Aren’t they good enough motivations to egg on your employees start from today?

    But there are some don’ts as well, if you want success from your initiative.

    Don’t ask your employees to share only your company content.

    This will bring boredom and they will consider it as a duty. Even if they will start with it, they will stop shortly. Rather, ask them to be themselves while maintaining the company decorum.

    Don’t let them share your company’s secrets.

    I still remember an incident, when a colleague tweeted about office power-cut and what consequences she had to face. Prepare a DON’Ts list beforehand and make sure everyone understands them properly.

    Happy teamworking!

    Any marketer will tell you they are stretched, that they don’t have time to waste and want actionable answers. The same goes for most people, so when a recent study from Incite Collaborators found that marketers are focused on creating more, not better, content, I knew the market was ripe for a conversation about emotion.

    recent study from Incite Collaborators found that marketers are making more and more, not better, content.

    Please. Stop. Right. There. 

    Any marketer will tell you they are stretched, that they don’t have time to waste and want actionable answers. The same goes for most other people as well – i.e., your audience.

     

     

    Don’t believe me? Here’s what experts say:

    If you believe quantity trumps quality, you are entitled to that opinion.

    If you want to produce more QUALITY content, here are a couple things to keep in mind:

    1. Emotion drives behavior. Study after study shows that when people are moved by emotion – good or bad – they take note.
    2. Higher emotional intensity means higher chance of action. Mediocre levels of emotion don’t motivate us to act, but if we’re emotionally charged – positively or negatively – watch out! 

    Now, here are some questions to ask yourself, or your team:

    • How does emotion play into the content we develop now?
    • What does our audience care about most?
    • What emotions does our content evoke? (Is that good or bad?)
    • Are we getting the action we want from our content?

    Depending on the answers, you may have some opportunities to re-assess why you crank out content and find ways to make it better. Here are some tips to do that:

    • Find out what your audience really cares about. This goes beyond volume and sentiment of discussions. (Not sure how to do this? There are very few compnaies that can measure the intensity of emotion from unstructured data, i.e. online conversations. Connect with me and I’d be happy to explain more.)
    • Understand the emotional drivers. For every emotion, there are underlying drivers to provoke them. Things like fear, lack of communication, moral conflict, etc. If you know why people react a certain way, you can improve how you deliver a message.
    • Do some testing. A/B testing is common in the marketing world and isn’t as difficult with all the emerging tools and technology available today. Try different headlines, graphics, etc. and monitor your analytics for changes.

    Ultimately, you’ll only be as successful as the goals and objectives you first put in place. If your strategy is to drown out the competition with meaningless content quantity, then emotion may not be the route to go, If you prefer people share and comment so bigger media outlets take notice, then baking an Emotion Analysis into your content development process is a good next step.

    Marketing automation is not exactly guerrilla marketing (I think the big boys call this bootstrapping now — which can be abbreviated with BS because it’s either time or money, and if you aren’t tech savvy, it’s a whole lotta time, but that’s another story). In the right hands, though, it can allow you to scale your business and manage your leads in a bigger way than you can if you have to do everything by hand.
    Marketing Automation: Not for Robots

    “It is human nature to make things convenient for ourselves, it’s why we invented indoor plumbing. Automating rote, repeatable tasks can save you a lot of time and aggravation. Today’s tools are very good at helping you do exactly that, however, I would be careful to balance those tools with a healthy amount of interaction. It’s this interaction that plants the seeds of success, and it can’t be automated. You need smart people who will devise the right strategy for you, and help you with the execution.”

    — Dino Dogan, Founder, Triberr

    I’ll be honest. When I started marketing my first business (Materia Medica, a yoga, Ayurveda, and holistic massage business), guerrilla marketing sounded great. It was all about low-cost ideas like slipping fliers into books about massage at your local bookstore.

    Times have changed and so have I.

    Now that guerrilla marketing has gone tech savvy, beginners have a whole lot to understand and not very much time to understand it before our friends at Stanford (Silicon Valley’s talent incubator) University come up with the next bright idea.

    What to do?

    I can’t solve all of your problems, but I can at least help you understand what they are — and help you figure out the steps you need to take to make your (guerrilla) marketing happen new style.

    What is Marketing Automation?

    Marketing automation is not exactly guerrilla marketing (I think the big boys call this bootstrapping now — which can be abbreviated with BS because it’s either time or money, and if you aren’t tech savvy, it’s a whole lotta time, but that’s another story). In the right hands, though, it can allow you to scale your business and manage your leads in a bigger way than you can if you have to do everything by hand.

    Definition. Marketing automation is, according to our friends over at Wikipedia, “software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks.”

    Sounds good, especially if your marketing department is made up of one person who also does sales, production, and admin!

    What Can Be Automated?

    Here’s a short list of tasks, programs, and areas that can be automated to greater and lesser extents:

    • Newsletters
    • Nurture emails
    • Triggered emails
    • Drip emails
    • List management
    • List segmentation
    • Lead generation
    • Lead scoring
    • Dynamic content
    • Forms
    • Polls
    • Surveys
    • Text messages
    • Landing pages
    • Analytics
    • A/B testing
    • Benchmarking and
    • Measuring ROI

    Now I know you’re mad at me because the above list is pretty flippin’ overwhelming. I know!

    Don’t Believe the Hype

    Your first exercise is to Google every word or phrase in the above list that you didn’t understand. The reason? While marketing automation can be great for small businesses and solopreneurs in the long run, in the short run it’s best to understand what you’re getting into before you get into it.

    Where Do I Go?

    Here is an (extremely partial) list of marketing automation providers:

    • eMarketeer (full disclosure: I am an affiliate and use their product)
    • Hubspot (the hands-down most popular)
    • Eloquoa (Oracle’s answer) and
    • Marketo (Also popular)

    While each of these providers caters to a slightly different market, my affiliate, eMarketeer, is the best fit for guerrilla marketing lovers. It’s not a big name — yet — in the US, and it’s a little more hands-on then some of the other names on the list. On the upside, if you have questions you’ll always know where to find me.

    Here’s what you should know: While marketing automation providers provide email automation, Email Service Providers (ESPs) such as MailChimp, do not offer the full range of marketing automation functions.

    What Do You Want?

    If you just want to send out an email to your subscriber list a couple times a month, marketing automation probably isn’t for you.

    If you are looking to grow and scale your business long-term, automating your marketing is an excellent choice.

    What You Need to Know

    I started this post off with a quote from Dino Dogan. Dino knows a lot about marketing, and his words of wisdom (echoed by Wikipedia) are, well, wise.

    Take home. Marketing automation is great for guerrilla marketers who want to automate rote and repetitive tasks, but don’t expect it to do miracles.

    Instead, expect a learning curve and to to spend time doing some research. Figure out which provider is best for you and at which price point, and evaluate which parts of your marketing can be automated and which parts of your marketing need to remain personal and high touch.

    Questions?

    Ask me or leave a comment, below.

    The post Guerrilla Marketing Goes Tech Savvy: Marketing Automation for Beginners appeared first on Anna Colibri.

    Facebook revealed its Q2 2014 earnings report. Facebook had another strong quarter and Q 2 2014 sets a new benchmark for the company. CEO Mark Zuckerberg further added, “We had a good second quarter. Our community has continued to grow, and we see a lot of opportunity ahead as we connect the rest of the world.”

    Facebook revealed its Q2 2014 earnings report. Facebook had another strong quarter and Q 2 2014 sets a new benchmark for the company. CEO Mark Zuckerberg further added, “We had a good second quarter. Our community has continued to grow, and we see a lot of opportunity ahead as we connect the rest of the world.”

    While the user base and revenues have been growing for the world’s most popular social network, mobile has been the main attraction this quarter too. The service is growing about twice as fast on mobile compared to its services as a whole. Facebook now has 1.07 billion mobile monthly users, and 654 million daily mobile users. That helped it bring in 62% of its ad revenue from mobile.

    1. 829 million daily active users or 63% of users returning each day, with positive growth in Asia(228M) and rest of the world(244M)

    Facebook_Q2_2014_DAU

    2. Facebook now has 1.07 billion mobile monthly users, and 654 million daily mobile users

    Q2_2014_Mobile_DAUs

    3. 1.32 billion monthly users with rest of world (411) and Asia (410) witnessing positive growth compared to Q1 2014

    Facebook_Q2_2014__MAUs

    4. It now has 391 million mobile-only users, which dwarfs its 240 million desktop-only users

    Facebook_Q2_2014_Mobile_Only_MAUs

    5. Total revenue $2,910 with total payments revenue was down slightly to $234 million from $237 million in Q1

    Facebook_Q2_2014_Revenues

    6. US  & Canada still lead when it comes to driving ad revenue but again Asia and Rest of World are slowly improving compared to Q1

    Facebook_Q2_2014_Adv_Revenue_By_Geography

    7. Facebook set records around the world for how much revenue it generated from its users on average around the world

    ARPU_Q2_2014_Facebook

    Wall Street responded positively to the earnings release, pushing $FB up 5.25% in after-hours trading to what would be an all-time high above $75.

    Deciding between Google Adwords and Facebook ads? All eCommerce and small business owners face this choice between the two most powerful pay per click advertising options on the web. Each platform provides unique advantages. For example, the Google keyword tool enables marketers to make highly researched keyword targeting decisions, while Facebook ad’s targeting options deliver extremely precise ads.

    Deciding between Google Adwords and Facebook ads? All eCommerce and small business owners face this choice between the two most powerful pay per click advertising options on the web.

    Each platform provides unique advantages. For example, the Google keyword tool enables marketers to make highly researched keyword targeting decisions, while Facebook ad’s targeting options deliver extremely precise ads.

    This post will compare Facebook ads and Google Adwords in a few different categories to help you make your decision.

    Targeting

    Highly targeted ads are very important for the success of any ad campaign, so let’s compare the targeting options available with Facebook ads and Adwords.

    Targeting with Facebook Ads

    Facebook Ads come with a set of incredible targeting options which enable any marketer to create the profile of their ideal customer, and then build a targeted ad just for them. On Facebook you can set up ads according to age, gender, interests, location, and much more.

    You can also set up ads according to your mailing list, create a list, and more using Custom Audiences.

    facebook ads custom audience

     

    Bonus: Check out this post for more on how to make a Facebook ad.

    Targeting with Google Adwords

    Targeting options with Google’s ads work quite differently. Adwords works with a keyword scheme, whereby businesses bid on industry related keywords for the chance of having their ad displayed when a certain specific keyword is searched.

    For example, an eCommerce store that sells sneakers might bid on a keyword like “Nike sneakers” so that if someone searched for that, their ad could pop up.

    Adwords ad search results

    Google advertising encompasses other platforms as well, such as the Google Display Network, a massive network of websites where your ads can be placed, and YouTube ads. These two platforms give your ads more specific targeting options.

    Cost

    The cost differential between Facebook and Google ads is another major point to consider. It’s actually very difficult to compare the costs because both networks work with bidding, meaning, for example, that the amount you would pay for different keywords on Adwords can vary tremendously.

    In order to demonstrate the differences in costs most accurately I’ll mention the average costs, then display the differences with an example.

    Cost of Facebook Ads

    Facebook ads in general are cheaper than ads on Google. According to a study by Nanigans, the average CPC (cost per click) for a Facebook ad is around $0.45. The price for your Facebook ad will vary according to how much competition there is for your target audience.

    Additionally, Facebook offers many other biding options such as Cost per thousand Impressions (CPM) and Cost per Action (CPA). These provide you with alternative pricing options.

    Note: The CPM is generally a lower rate than the cost per click. Meaning you can potentially gain more exposure through this type of ad.

    Cost of Google Adwords

    Due to its widespread acceptance as the premier online ad platform, Google Adwords is a very popular choice amongst businesses of all kinds. This means that a lot of people use it, therefore there’s a lot of competition for the keywords, resulting in higher prices.

    As mentioned though, the cost varies tremendously depending on the keyword.

    cost of keywords on google adwords

    Broader keywords with a higher search volume will have a higher CPC.

    Note: Google does offer a CPM option, but it is only available for certain campaigns and only on the display network.

    Example for the Cost Comparison Between Facebook ads and Google Adwords

    The best way to determine which platform will be cheaper for your campaign is to build your ad on both networks and see the estimates. Let’s take a look at an example of a company that sells painting supplies.

    On Adwords you can see what the estimated cost will be by doing a search in the Keyword Planner.

    First look for keywords related to your brand by using the “Search for new keywords” option:

    google adwords keyword tool

    Then you can look at the list provided and see what the prices look like:

    estimating cost of google adwords ad

    Here you can see that prices span from $0.95 to $1.82. If you set a $10 budget for yourself, based on these numbers you can get between 5 and 10 clicks on your ad.

     

    On Facebook on the other hand you would set up your ad according to the profile of your target customer.

    Facebook ads targeting options

    Next you should scroll down, click on “Advanced Options” then check “Manually set your maximum bid for clicks (CPC).” When you do that you will see the suggested bid underneath that:

    estimating cost of facebook ads

    Here you can see that the suggested bid is between $0.53 and $0.97. Meaning for $10 you can receive between 10 and 18 clicks.

    In this case a Facebook ad is in fact cheaper than an ad on Adwords.

    Conversion Rates

    Finally, we come to comparing the conversion rates of Facebook ads and Google Adwords.

    Conversion Rate of Facebook Ads

    According to a recent study, click through rates (CTR) for Facebook ads run at 0.04% for side bar ads and 2.09% for news feed ads. According to some, news feed ads average up to a 7% CTR.

    These numbers may sound low, but when Facebook ads are done right they can definitely yield results.

    Not convinced? Let me tell you a story. Using nothing but Facebook ads, over the course of six months we helped one of our merchants go from 170 likes on Facebook to 16,000, resulting in an $18,000 increase in sales.

    Conversion Rate of Google Adwords

    For the first four ads on the page, Google Adwords ads average a 3.6% CTR, with the first ad on the page averaging 7%.

    These numbers are clearly higher than the conversion rates for Facebook ads, and the reason for this is obvious; Google’s ads target people who are already interested.

    To go back to the example from before of sneakers. If I already searched for Nike sneakers on Google I’m just as likely to click on the sponsored ad as I am to click on one of the search results.

    Adwords ad on Google

    In this regard, Adwords is essentially a way of cheating in SEO, by getting your page to the top of the search results.

    Google Adwords vs. Facebook Ads in Practice

    When it comes down to making a choice, I think the best practice is to actually use both. These two platforms each have their own unique advantages which can make up for the potential weakness of the other.

    Advantages of Facebook Ads

    Social: Facebook ads are used in conjunction with your company’s business page, and although Google has G+, Facebook is definitely used much more for B2C relationships.

    Facebook ads also take advantage of the information available from the social network to boost trust in the ads:

     facebook newsfeed ad

    Showing that my friend likes this page definitely lends credibility to it in my eyes.

    Targeting: Being able to target according to demographics, interests, likes, and much more is the reason why Facebook is probably the most accurate advertising platform available.

    Price: As was displayed earlier, Facebook ads run at a cheaper rate than Adwords.

    Advantages of Google Adwords

    Search Engine: Adwords uses the Google search engine to display ads to people that are already actively looking for something in particular. For that reason Google’s ads have a very high CTR, since they’re almost always relevant.

    Multiple Platforms: Google’s Display Network gives you the ability to promote your ad across a variety of different websites which can boost your exposure.

    Bottom Line

    In my opinion, the best practice is to use Adwords in order to catch the easy sales – people that are already actively in the process of searching for something in your industry, and Facebook ads in order to build your brand awareness and convert less active users.

    What do you think? We’d love to hear what you have to say about your experiences advertising with Facebook and Google. Please leave your questions and comments below!

    P.S. If you liked this post you should consider checking out How to Choose the Best Social Media Platform for Your Business and Magento vs Shopify vs WooCommerce – Choosing Your New Shopping Cart Wisely.