Month: August 2017

A Strategic Guide to Promoting and Selling Digital Goods Online

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Editor's Note: Joydeep Bhattacharya is a digital marketing evangelist who writes for SEO Sandwitch. Today he joins us to discuss digital goods, and how to sell them online.

 

Selling digital goods was once a complicated venture, but over the years and with the introduction of numerous online services and tools, it is now much simpler.

Digital products are informational in nature. They may exist in many formats, including eBooks, audio or video courses, bulletins, programming and access to membership sites.

7 unique aspects of marketing digital goods

  1. The target audience for digital goods is unique. Your customer base stands to be benefited by your product, but may not be aware of its existence precisely because it did not exist before.
  2. It follows that product discovery is often not accompanied by a desire to purchase; this makes your marketing message highly important.
  3. Price is less of an issue because it costs less (or even nothing) to create copies of digital content for the maker.
  4. Mechanism of sale is very different from traditional or online commerce; whereas physical goods may be sold in online stores, digital goods often require an individual landing + sales page. This is especially well for one-off items like e-books. 
  5. There are also specialized selling platforms for digital products, and some will be reviewed in this article.
  6. ‘Packaging’ heavily influences the sale of a digital product. The way you design your landing page, cover art, etc. will influence the initial interest it generates among audiences.
  7. Digital goods often come with additional bonuses that raise the perceived value of the purchase for the audience.

These core differences in the nature of e-commerce of digital and physical goods change the game for marketers. Read on to learn how you can formulate and execute a better plan for selling digital goods - 

Selling Your Products Directly

E-junkie

E-junkie is a very simple marketplace that uses HTML codes to generate great product pages for your digital goods. It's a great and easy choice for beginners: simply create an account on the E-junkie website, list your item and install the code on your site.

Once you get started, you'll be able to manage a lot of different options including inventory management, affiliate management, Google Analytics tracking, and more.

An advantage to E-junkie that sets it apart from other options is that you will not be charged a percentage or portion of your sales. Rather, you'll have flat monthly subscription fee which starts from $5/month.

There are many services similar to E-junkie if the format works well for you: others include Easy Digital Downloads, SendOwl, Gumroad and Sellfy.

PayPal

It's impossible to mention digital goods without discussing PayPal. PayPal has been a staple of digital commerce for many years, especially because of its strong protection policies that prevent sellers and buyers from being scammed. has always put their efforts in protecting buyers and sellers from all kind of scam. You can integrate PayPal into a WordPress website and use it to sell digital goods with a simple plugin.

The WordPress PayPal Shopping cart is simply a plugin which will help you to sell your products from your WordPress website with one click.

In order to set up:

  • Download the WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart plugin and upload it your site.        
  • Activate the plugin through your WordPress “Plugins” menu.
  • Click on "Settings"
  • Configure the options to your liking. This can include your email address, your shopping cart name, and the URL users will return to after purchasing.
  • Navigate to a page where you want your product to appear.
  • Make use of the trigger text to insert the product into your page.
  • Publish your page when you’re ready.

Marketing Your Digital Goods – How It’s Done

Finding Opinion Formers or Influencers

Influencers are those whose opinions, attitudes and activities influence others. Getting these people to like your product is a great way to spread the word. Start by researching the most important figures in the market you are selling to; then, reach out to them and pitch your product.

Blogger Outreach and Guest Blogging

This is a 2-pronged strategy that works well when your digital products are centered around information or education (for instance, courses, webinars, books, etc.).

First, identify the most influential bloggers in your niche, and reach out to them with your product hoping for some coverage on their blogs.

Sharing free samples often does the trick here. You can also become a guest blogger on their blog or invite them to become a guest blogger on your blog and target readers with proper landing pages that lead to your course.

Sam Ovensmaster entrepreneur and online educator - does this brilliantly, not only by maintaining a high quality and much followed blog of his own, but also by contributing to other blogs and getting fellow bloggers to chip in with their insight on his courses.

Tip: AllTop is a great tool for finding popular blogs relevant to a topic. Just search with your main keyword and you’ll see a list of categories. Click on the closest match to make your list.

Get Some Product Reviews

Expect any potential customer to research your company on Google, and prepare for this by making sure that solid and positive customer feedback is easy to find. Invest effort towards:-

  • Capturing genuine positive messages by sharing free samples and curating them on your landing pages, along with proof of authenticity.
  • Requesting that shoppers leave reviews on at least a couple of review websites, in exchange for discounts on subsequent purchases.
  • Looking to be innovative? Create a podcast with a customer who’s benefited from your product; host a webinar, and think out of the box.

Note: Never solicit positive feedback, as this is considered unethical by most major online retailers and users. Ask for honest feedback, and make your product great so the reviews will be too.

Final Suggestsions

There are a few important tips to adopt if you want to gain a bigger presence in the marketplace of digital goods. Here are a few -

Offer a special reward: Everybody adores free gifts with a purchase. That is the reason numerous digital products include free digital books, worksheets or other resources with a download. It’s an additional perceived value that can persuade doubtful customers to finish a transaction.

Always test: Testing is time consuming, but gives you the sort of information that you need to set the ideal price for every product. It will also help you in to see the real results with every methodology you apply, which will enable you to pick the best pricing approach.

Know the market and price competitively: Finish a competitive analysis and assessment in order to know how others in the business are selling similar digital products. At that point price yours to position it against the opposition. On the off chance that your product is especially unique, include content that your competitor’s products do not include and consider pricing that is marginally higher.

Learn more with these related OMI classes:

 

How to Find & Engage Brand Influencers

Beyond Blogging: How to Create a Vibrant Thought Leadership Community

 

Visit the Online Marketing Institute to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space.

 


The 4-Step Content Marketing Strategy for Growth-Hacking Conversions

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Editor's Note: Josh R Jackson is a contributing editor at BestMarketingDegrees.org. To complement the brand new classes in our updated catalog, he joins us to discuss a growth hacking strategy that content marketers can use to boost their conversion rates.

 

There are thousands of workable content marketing strategies, but a select few have higher-than-average conversion rates. These content strategies fall under the category of growth-hacking strategies, which include ways of enhancing leads and conversions in a very short period of time.

One of these content strategies is the four-step process outlined below, which I’ve personally seen increase conversion rates for nearly a dozen affiliate marketing websites focused on growth hacking. Let's dive in!

1. Research and Develop Consumer Insight

Every business has indicators of success, or success signals. These success signals range from the number of leads generated by a single blog post (obvious), to a single click through to a landing page (less obvious).

Growth hackers and conversion-oriented content strategists research and develop consumer insights by harnessing the power of data to narrow down exactly what these success signals tell us about our users. Their methods might include conducting polls, surveys, and interviews—each of which can be achieved with ease on social media—as well as implementing user tests or following the trail of web analytics wherever it goes, which can require some buy-in.

(Source: Inflow)

All of these methods can and should be used to pinpoint exactly what your business is doing that is working to convert casual users into customers, and what your site is doing that isn’t working to convert casual users into customers.

Pro-Tip: Use at least two different methods to test your insights into what’s driving users to convert.

2. Publish Information Most Relevant to Incoming Traffic

One easy success signal we haven’t mentioned is incoming traffic to your website.

Most businesses know that if users perform a search and click through to our website, then we’re doing something right in terms of relevance.

But content strategists and growth hackers also know that a steady stream of traffic doesn’t always spell a steady stream of conversions. They also know that the right kind of traffic does.

So what’s the right kind of traffic? Organic search traffic.

Organic search traffic is drawn to your website because you publish some of the most relevant information pertaining to a certain set of keywords, whether that information appears in an advertisement, a search result, or both.

Now having the most relevant information available on a certain set of keywords also means publishing content well and publishing ads often, both of which should focus on repeating the set of keywords that best draws your organic search traffic.

Pro-Tip: Match your calls-to-action with the keywords that incoming traffic is searching before they are referred to you. That means if users who search “content marketing strategy” are coming to you, you should probably include a call-to-action that says “Get Our Content Marketing Strategy” on a landing page.

3. Appeal to Authority for Credibility

If content strategists want to enhance the pagerank for their content on Google (or any of the Internet’s most popular search engines), they need credibility.

What most people underestimate is how long the path to earning credibility usually is. Even sites that start with a bona fide audience or brand name can lose public interest quickly if the content doesn’t measure up to that audience’s expectations. This is why earning credibility is arguably the most difficult step to surmount in this four-step process: it requires knowing how to build relationships and play the long game, fast.

Growth hackers and content marketing strategists know that in order to gain credibility, they must efficiently use each and every piece of content they publish to build trust and establish relationships with authorities in their industry.

The most surefire way to build trust and establish relationships is to curate content that appeals to authority. Publish content you want those big names to read. Build a network of company reviews, logos, and backlinks that connects your brand with some of the biggest and brightest names in industry. Then watch your conversions start to grow.

This takes time, patience, and maintenance, but it will pay large dividends if you persist.

Pro-Tip: Post company email addresses with a person’s name attached to them on your contact or support pages. Doing so enhances transparency, trust, and ultimately credibility.

4. Offer an Option with Calls-To-Action

Think about the last time someone asked you to do something. Now think about whether or not you were happy to do it. If you were, chances are the person gave you an option, and you chose to do what they asked because you felt it wasn’t too much to ask, especially if the other option didn’t sound as good.

If you didn’t choose to do what they asked, then chances are they offered you too many options when too much was at stake, and you felt the offer was too much to ask, which may have forced you into a state of so-called “analysis paralysis,” or worse, to simply ignore the offer in the first place.

So why do people prefer fewer options to more? According to two studies by the same two researchers, giving people fewer options increases their likelihood of making a decision to buy something.

That means it is a virtue in sales to provide consumers with a simple choice.

The same can be said for the content marketing and conversion strategies of growth hackers.

Growth hackers know that less is more, as well as how to avoid overwhelming users with too much information and too many options. One of the best ways to do this is giving users a choice on your call-to-action pages, even if that choice is as simple as a Sign-Up or Login button. Allowing users to choose between two versions of free content (e.g., Free Trial and a Study) is also a great way to increase conversion rates and gain some insight about what your users prefer.

Pro-Tip: Remove the navigation bar from CTA landing pages. Doing so has been shown to increase conversion rates by as much as 16% for Free Trial offers and 28% for Demo offers.

Is the conversion rate for your content marketing strategy optimized? To learn more about how you can implement a content marketing strategy that optimizes your conversion rates with consumer insights, credibility, and calls-to-action, join OMI's newest classes on Content Marketing Consumer Insights and Content Marketing Channels.

For ten days, access to our new courses is completely free.

 


Get the Most From SMS Marketing With This Periodic Table

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Editor's Note: Anastasia Svyrydenko is a content marketer at Textmagic. Today, she joins us to share a graphical aid developed by her company to help SMS marketers build an effective strategy.

 

If you've kept up with SMS marketing over the last few years, you may have come across these numbers: open rate for SMS is 98%, and 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes of receipt.

Now while these numbers may vary with changing trends, SMS still blows other forms of consumer messaging out of the water. There is no quicker or more effective way to clue customers in on a promotion, offer or event. As such, businesses are rapidly adopting text messages to keep their audience in the know.

Whether you've already embarked on your SMS marketing journey or you are just planning your first campaign, there are certain rules and practices you can follow to achieve desired results and make the most of these fantastic open rates.

The Periodic Table below will help guide you through the process of creating and conducting a text messaging campaign:

How to Use the Table

Start off by reading the SMS Marketing Guide below the table, which outlines the whole process. Then, get familiar with the table's categories. Some of these are multiple choice elements: Goals, Ways to grow subscriber list, Metrics. Other categories, like Text message elements and Delivery, are actually checklists so that you don't forget anything important.

Let's take a quick look at each category.

  1. Strategy. Develop an SMS marketing strategy that will align with your main marketing goals.
  2. Goals. Based on your strategy, pick one or two goals.
  3. Types of campaigns. At this point, it is vital to choose the right type of text message. Let's say your goal is to grow sales. You can choose one of the following: Time-dependent discounts, Coupons, Holiday offers, Special occasion offers, Exclusive offers.
  4. Elements of a Text Message. This category will help you make sure nothing has fallen through the cracks when it comes to composing a message. This will prevent you from writing an attention grabbing message and forgetting to include instructions for the recipient.
  5. Delivery Best Practices. This group of elements reminds you to customize messages for each segment of your audience, and stick to the best frequency and timing practices. A good rule of thumb is to send no more than 4-5 messages per month. Don't overdo it, or you'll end up with a skyrocketing unsubscribe rate. Send texts during working hours only, so that clients are not commuting or sleeping when they receive your message.
  6. Metrics. Pick the right metric to evaluate campaign performance.
  7. Ways to grow your subscriber list. Based on your industry and type of campaign, choose the most suitable way to grow your list. If you own a restaurant, include an invitation to subscribe on the in-store sign, and add it to customer receipts. Online marketers can follow list-building strategies like those used in email marketing; there are lots of creative ways forward.
  8. Types of segmentation. Segmentation and customization will help you ensure that you're sending relevant messages to your clients.

Now you're all set to start your next SMS campaign! Use the periodic table through all stages of the process, and rest assured that you'll get the most of your texting efforts.

Learn more with these related OMI classes:

Data and Analytics: Overview to Data Analytics

Email Marketing Getting Started: Build Your List Organically

Visit the Online Marketing Institute to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space.

 

 


How Marketers Use Social Media for Recruitment

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Editor's Note: Josh R Jackson is a contributing editor at BestMarketingDegrees.org. To compliment the brand new classes in our updated catalog, he joins us to discuss how social media is used for recruitment, and how employers can benefit.

 

What if I told you that 94% of recruiters have reported using LinkedIn to vet candidates?

Or that the number of employers using social media to screen candidates has increased over 500% in the last decade?

If you’re looking for a new job, you might think I’m trying to give you a piece of conventional wisdom: “Keep your online presence professional.” (And that’s still true!)

But here's something you hear less often: if you’re looking for a new hire, then you already know these social stats spell far greater changes for recruitment and human resources than for jobseekers, unless they too aspire to become recruiters.

The Great Talent Tug of War

Before LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter were used to headhunt the best talent, Human Resources was the primary driver of talent acquisition.

But over the last 10 years, social recruiting on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms has revolutionized the way we hire, so that now what was once a job for the accounting team has become a job for the marketing team.

So how did this great talent tug of war wind up on the marketing end of things? Short answer: the Great Recession.

When huge job losses started occurring around 2008, HR departments became understandably less concerned with filling positions and more concerned with compensation and risk management.

Around the same time, all of our most popular modern social media platforms (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram) were undergoing a development renaissance, all while performing an admirable job of bucking the Recession’s downward trends and revitalizing the online economy that had crashed at the beginning of the 21st century.

The net result of this decline in hiring and ascent of social media was that social recruiting became many companies’ primary resource for not only scouting talent but acquiring it.

Where we once followed recruitment protocols that relied heavily on HR spending, talent scouts, and physical energy to go forth and fill a company’s talent pipeline, we now inhabit a world where free social recruiting technology has placed a vast and easily accessible talent pool right at our fingertips.

This heightened selectability has altered the job market’s center of gravity in major ways. If you’re an investor, then you might say what was once a seller’s market became a buyer’s market. If you’re in HR, you might say what was once an employee’s job market became an employer’s job market. And if you’re a social recruiter, you might say what was once a hustle for HR to fill an abundance of positions is now headhunting: the practice of sifting through hundreds of perfect-fit candidates to fill a choice few jobs with the best talent possible.

Yet with all of the convenient recruiting this talent acquisition revolution has created, there are perhaps an equal number of complications that arise from vetting people online. Chief among these is the age-old HR question: “How do I know I can I trust this person?

How to Know: Using Facebook for Social Recruiting and Talent Acquisition

Using Facebook for social recruiting requires a very discerning eye, but if used wisely, the world’s largest social network can be an excellent tool for talent acquisition.

One of the first reasons Facebook emerged as a tool for talent acquisition was largely a negative one; in its early years, Facebook was a more personal posting platform where employers could research whether prospective new hires behaved badly outside of work and could result in a PR nightmare for the company.

Rest assured, Facebook can be (and still is) used in this way. But many prospective hires know their Facebook pages will be vetted, so they often take precautionary measures that render the process of using Facebook to root out the bad apples less effective.

But there are still jobs for which Facebook vetting remains a highly recommended recruitment strategy. In fact, some of the web’s best social media managers were picked up from scrolling organically through News Feed and coming across users with carefully curated Facebook posts and great, engaging voices. Others use Facebook to cultivate and monitor an audience of enthusiastic fans, followers and groups that can be used as an excellent resource to mine brand advocates whose skill with word-of-mouth messaging could make them excellent candidates for new marketing jobs.

How to Know: Using LinkedIn for Social Recruiting

At first glance, LinkedIn might seem like the easiest tool to use for social recruiting. After all, it was created to connect job seekers with job offers, right?

In fact it was, but its features have grown in number and complexity since the service’s inception, so that now users have to navigate interfaces such as LinkedIn Premium and LinkedIn Pulse, and constantly think about how to execute a content strategy or promote their brand outside of the seasonal job search.

That makes good leads out of job candidates who regularly update their profiles with new content, experience, and education. But as with print resumes, social recruiters should trust but verify what they read on a job candidate’s LinkedIn profile and cross-check all of the candidate’s online profiles for consistency, credibility, and digital footprint.

All these layers of complexity mean that those who want to engage in social recruiting as a form of talent acquisition should be working hard to revolutionize their marketing strategy on the micro-level every day, especially if their brands, businesses and HR departments want to stay on top of the job market.

 

How are you using social recruiting for talent acquisition? To learn more, check out OMI’s brand new selection of classes. Our expert educators cover social recruiting, human resources, talent acquisition, and many other topics. For ten days, access is completely free.

 


5 App Store SEO Tips to Increase App Downloads

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Editor's Note: Nick Rojas is a freelance journalist who has written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, and Yahoo. Today he joins us to discuss App Store SEO techniques that can increase your downloads and app revenue.

 

App Store Optimization (ASO) is an essential element for growing the success of your mobile apps. If you're bringing a new app to market, or need an ASO update, you can certainly increase your downloads with a little App Store SEO.

Publishers and developers often believe that their latest app is the perfect new utility, game, or source of information for the public. But in truth, there's probably already an app like yours in Google Play or the Apple Store. It may not be half as good as the product you've developed, but with an extended history and presence, it will be more easily discovered by users.

In fact, there are more than 6.5 million apps ready to be installed across the major app stores. According to Think with Google, the average number of apps a mobile user has in his or her smartphone is 36, and only 26% of them are used on a daily basis.

How do you get your app to stand out among millions, and achieve daily use with your audience? Apply these app store SEO tips, and you'll be well on your way -

1. Have an Eye-Catching App Icon

Icons are often a second thought when it comes to marketing an app, but this is a tremendous mistake. People are motivated by images, and your icon is often the first exposure they will have to your product. So what better way to entice mobile users than putting in the effort to design a catchy icon?

Tayasui Sketches Pro is a great example of an app with an eye-catching icon. Not only is it powerful and interesting, but it's relevant to the app's function. Users browsing an app store will quickly recognize what the app does, and why it might suit their needs.

2. Make the Most of Your Title Tag

The second most valuable app store SEO tactic is a title tag that sells. To maximize rankings with ASO, you want to ensure your app title is as enticing as your website’s <title> tag.

First, make sure your branding is front and center. This includes your app name, followed by a short description with your top keywords. For the Apple App Store you will have 30 characters to work with by fall of 2017. Google Play allots 50 characters.

Photo Editor Movavi makes good use of their app title. They ensure their branding is first with primary and secondary keywords, “Remove Objects & Enhance” following it up. Those keywords should link up with photos for user search queries.

3. Develop a Robust App Description

The biggest mistake many app publishers make when bringing a new app to market is not having a robust description that tells potential users exactly what they need to know. Like website SEO, you should make your above the fold content descriptive, following it with an information-packed, authoritative description below.

Terpy is a good example of how to offer a service, fulfill a need, and build trust. You want your title to lead app store browsers to your app, an icon that makes them click, and a description that makes them install.

4. Use Actionable Graphics

If you browse an app store, you may notice a number of apps with simple screenshots showcasing their features. This is great, but you should take your images one step further by creating actionable graphics.

To improve your install chances and increase your user base, take screenshots of your app in action, then add arrows, text, and other exciting, actionable images to highlight certain features.

SimCity™ 4 Deluxe Edition combines compelling text with eye-catching images. This gives potential users a better idea of how they can navigate and use the app, essential for increased installs.

5. Take Keyword Optimization to the Next Level

Like SEO, keyword optimization for your app is a very important element of ASO. In fact, keyword optimization is slightly harder for apps since you have limited space to place them.

For instance, a user may only see the first 600 or so characters of your description on their mobile devices. Another key factor in ranking when optimizing app keywords is that the first 167 characters are the most important, according to Mobile Action.

World of Tanks Blitz shows 220 characters above the fold and uses some very good keywords. In fact, the keyword “award-winning” nets in upwards of 1.7 thousand searches per month in the U.S. alone.

App Store SEO Keyword tips include . . .

  • Find keywords with a large monthly search volume
  • Ensure you are not trying to rank with keywords big companies are already ranking for
  • Make your top keywords a priority
  • Don’t use spaces between keywords; instead commas instead

Bonus Tip: Always Track Your Analytics

It's vitally important to track your app analytics, just like you would for your website. With the use of mobile SDKs you can implement services like Google Analytics for your app to keep track of important KPIs. You can also maximize your ASO efforts with SDK services for analytics, marketing, and more.

It does well to remember that ASO also serves profit benefits - the more users you have, the more in-app ads and purchases you can use and make. Employing the above app store SEO tips and tracking them via analytics will ensure you get the installs, user base and funds that your app deserves.

Learn more with these related OMI classes:

 

Mobile Consumer Insights: How People Spend Their Time on Mobile

SEO For Business Owners

Data and Analytics: Web Analytics

Visit the Online Marketing Institute to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space.

 

 


3 Mobile Marketing Strategies Proven to Convert Customers

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Editor's Note: Josh R Jackson is a contributing editor at BestMarketingDegrees.org. To compliment the brand new classes in our updated catalog, he joins us to discuss three mobile marketing strategies that your business can use to build conversion right away.

With over 8 billion mobile connections to the web in 2017, there are now more mobile devices than people on the planet.

Compound that fact with the following statistics:

  • For mobile searches, the first position on Google nets a 31.35% clickthrough rate. 
  • One in every three (34%) of online retail purchases now occur on mobile devices.
  • More Google searches are made from mobile devices than computers in 10 countries, including the U.S. and Japan.
  • Mobile is the fastest growing media channel by digital media consumption.

You get the idea—mobile has reached heights of global availability, marketability, and saleability that TV, Radio, and Print media could only dream of.

This is why most online marketers will ask themselves this question between now and 2020: Right now, aside from the lengthy and expensive process of developing new mobile applications, what can my business do with mobile marketing strategies to increase conversions?

Here are three cost-effective ways to do exactly that.

3 Mobile Marketing Strategies to Increase Conversions

1. Optimize Your Site for Mobile Users

This should be an easy check off the list for most people who know that in 2015, Google decreed that mobile optimized sites would get an extra boost in their rankings.

But the main reason to optimize sites for mobile users has changed slightly, from a directive of following Google’s guidelines to an industry imperative to follow mobile wherever it goes, especially when it signals higher conversion rates.

The the most basic reason to go mobile-friendly is to get a seat at the table, or have a shot of ranking anywhere near the top of the Internet’s most popular search engines. But currently the best reason to optimize your site for mobile is that users engage more intimately with mobile interfaces than they do with desktop interfaces.

In other words, people prefer mobile for finding specific pieces of information rather than for general research, which they reserve for desktop/laptop searches.

That means if a user is looking up “best mobile streaming service” on their phone, they will very likely click on the first search result they see, and either convert if they find a definitive answer, or bounce if they can’t.

This is why it’s imperative, when optimizing your site for mobile devices, to place the most informative and interactive components of your interface at the top of your landing page.

Example: If your goal is getting users to sign up for your email list and you already know your audience comes to your site looking for information about mobile streaming services, place an email sign-up at the top of your page with the header: Get Our Definitive Ranking of the 10 Best Mobile Streaming Services.

That way, mobile users who come to you looking for that nugget of information will see it right away. Otherwise, they’ll bounce, and bounce fast.

Unique clicks on ads: 15% higher on mobile-optimized sites.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) among mobile users: 64% higher than conversion rate optimization among desktop users (socPub)

2. Research Audiences and Target Demographics By Operating System

This strategy traces its roots way back to the timeless debate between Mac, PC and the demographic data that distinguishes those sets of users.

That demographic data includes distinctions between more affluent users (who tend to use Mac) and less affluent users (who tend to use PCs), as well as a smaller global sample of users (who tend to use Mac) and a larger global sample of users (who tend to use PCs).

For mobile operating systems, this debate centers around the difference between iOS and Android, the two software systems that respectively run iPhone and Android devices.

For mobile marketers, the distinction between user demographics holds true on mobile platforms, where a smaller but more affluent sample of iOS users tends to convert more often than the larger but less affluent global sample of Android users.

The most likely explanation for higher conversion rates among iOS users has to do with affluence: i.e., that iOS users likely have more expendable income than Android users. This doesn’t mean that Android users don’t buy or sign up for things on mobile platforms, but it does mean that there is a smaller subset of products and services that Android users will buy or sign up for on mobile.

The key takeaway here is that mobile marketers can and should research, target, and segment their audiences according to the demographic data most readily available to them about their users’ mobile devices.

Avg. Conversion Rate for mobile users of iOS: 2.09% (Smart Insights)

Avg. Conversion Rate for mobile users of Android: 1.47% (Smart Insights)

3. Offer Direct and Seamless Checkout

One of the biggest barriers to mobile conversions is any friction that gets in the way of completing a sign-up or purchase, either on-website or in-app.

Such friction usually comes from page redirects that take mobile users outside of your app or website and onto another forum that asks for information, money, and in some cases, new member sign-up. PayPal and some email services have become slightly notorious for doing this by asking users to log in and create new accounts to complete checkout if users are not already members.

Creating such friction often comes at the expense of a sale or sign-up, because it breaks the bond between the user and the service provider, who is expected to create and offer a uniform user experience.

As such, it’s imperative that mobile marketers work tirelessly to make sign-ups and purchases as direct and seamless as possible for mobile users.

There are a currently a number of ways to offer your services as directly and seamlessly as possible, including the use of mobile media for native advertisements that take users directly to your email sign-up, or in-app purchase landing pages.

Avg. Conversion Rate for mobile device that minimizes friction (e.g., tablet): 2.42%

To learn more about how you can implement mobile marketing strategies that will optimize your site for mobile users, join OMI's newest classes on the Mobile Channel, Mobile Consumer Insights, and Mobile Media Ad Formats.

 


Infographic: Choosing The Best KPIs to Boost Your Growth

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Editor's Note: Colin Cieloha works for Skilled, where a version of this article first appeared. Today he joins us to share a comprehensive strategy for choosing the best KPIs to grow your business, all in a simple infographic.

 

KPIs or Key Performance Indicators are an essential part of modern business planning and goal setting. These carefully chosen and specific metrics can be tracked to indicate the performance of a department, employee, marketing strategy, or any other object oriented venture.

This diverse utility makes KPIs a unique tool for achieving your business's vision and objectives. However, when it comes to implementing KPIs, managers often find it hard to isolate the most useful ones to track. That's no wonder: the average Internet Marketer has over 20,645 potential options.

In this infographic, we outline a comprehensive strategy for choosing KPIs that will optimize the success of your business. We cover common mistakes that lead to the adoption of poor KPIs, and aim to give you a feel for the metrics that are relevant to your goals. Before diving in, here's a summary -

Using KPIs

Good Practices

Before choosing KPIs, you should have clearly defined goals that follow the rules of SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-limited. Here's a cheat sheet for factors that correspond to common desired outcomes:

  • A website visitor count can help to predict and understand customer needs.
  • Income from leads helps to predict future sales based on projected traffic and conversion rates.
  • A visitors to leads ratio helps you to gauge the value of your current traffic.
  • Optimizing response time leads to faster engagement between your sales department and prospects
  • A leads to clients ratio helps to diagnose areas of your sales funnel that need improvement.
  • Customer lifetime value indicates the revenue that a customer is likely to generate during the span of their relationship with your company

Marketers should understand that the best factors for gauging success change depending on business type. For instance, a content website should focus on click through rates and time spent on page are important; these factors are less important for e-commerce sites, which should focus on cart abandonment and products per order.

After selecting the KPIs for your business, its important to monitor them on a regular basis. Analysis will help to determine

  • What changes your company should make to attain desired outcomes.
  • Which KPIs are more useful than others: the poorest should be weeded out.
  • How often your KPIs should be tracked (weekly, monthly, quarterly?)

Worst Practices

Common mistakes when choosing KPIs include:

  • Measuring factors that are irrelevant to your success
  • Tracking too many KPIs at one time
  • Choosing factors that are difficult or even impossible to measure

E-commerce stores frequently overrate certain KPIs, and overlook better ones. Examples of overrated KPIs include,

  • Number of visits
  • Pageviews
  • Emails sent
  • Twitter followers
  • Bounce rate

Underrated KPIs include:

  • Revenue conversion rate
  • Average order value
  • Cart abandonment rate
  • Task completion rate

Continue your crash course in choosing KPIs with the infographic below. Feel free to save for future reference, or pass it along to your colleagues!

Learn more with these related OMI classes:

 

Web Analytics Fundamentals for a Data-Driven World

Planning SEM Campaigns: Establish Goals & KPIs

 

Visit the Online Marketing Institute to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media market

 


What’s AdTech & MarTech, and Why Should Your Business Care?

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Editor's Note: Josh R Jackson is a contributing editor at BestMarketingDegrees.org. To compliment the brand new classes in our updated catalog, he joins us to introduce AdTech and MarTech and explain their ever expanding role in marketing.

 

AdTech & MarTech are two of the biggest buzzwords and most difficult-to-understand practices in the modern marketing industry.

There are two reasons why:

    1. AdTech & MarTech are still developing. Trying to understand them is almost like trying to understand two teenagers based solely on the fact that they play the same sport. In other words, it's too early to know where they will end up with any certainty.
    2. AdTech and MarTech are virtually becoming the online marketing industry. Any time you use a service that provides you with analytics and feedback on how people see and engage with your business online (think: Facebook and Twitter for Business), you’re harnessing the power of AdTech & MarTech networks. Translation: AdTech & MarTech are an ever-growing part of an ever-widening industry.

Despite the fact that they’re moving targets, we can say two things for certain: AdTech & MarTech are converging, and they have been riding waves of venture capital-backed search interest for at least ten years.

But arguably the biggest reason they are so important is not because of top-down investment, but because of bottom-up interest. That is, because businesses are recognizing that AdTech & MarTech​ affect their digital footprint​​, no matter how large or small that footprint is.​

Look no further than the top three search results the next time you google your business or industry—those first three returns will likely come from Google’s Search Network, an adtech service hosted by Google AdWords. If you or your business isn’t in that network, it will appear below those entries.

Complex search algorithms are at work behind adtech systems like Google’s, and these algorithms require some awareness of data management to properly integrate advertising platforms. But ultimately, that integrated advertising platform - or omnichannel - makes online advertising much easier to use and understand.

Definitions for AdTech & MarTech: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Despite the growing size and complexity of the marketing industry they influence, AdTech & MarTech can be broken down into simple definitions that parallel and complement each other.

AdTech (noun; adj)

  1. Short for "advertising technology."
  2. The industry name for any tool or application for researching audiences and delivering targeted advertisements to them.
  3. A group of platforms and software for hosting the automated exchange process of buying and selling advertisements through a machine-based ad network or marketplace (e.g., Adobe Advertising Cloud).
  4. Used in a sentence: "Were you able to attend that conference on AdTech in NYC? Reps from Fortune 500 companies sponsored a great exhibit on this adtech and artificial intelligence platform that helps you advertise on social media."
  5. See: "Facebook Ads," "Google Ads," and "MarTech" 

MarTech (noun; adj)

  1. Short for "marketing technology."
  2. An industry term that encompasses a vast body of tools, platforms, processes, and applications that we use to market online products and services (e.g., Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Marketing Analytics, and Marketing Management).
  3. Platforms and software for managing marketing data and automating marketing processes (e.g., Oracle Marketing Cloud).
  4. Used in a sentence: "Did you see the martech issue of Ad Age? They did a cover story on how the number of companies in MarTech has grown exponentially since 2011."
  5. See: "Facebook for Business," "Twitter for Business," and "YUGE DEAL."

Advertising is just one form of marketing, and AdTech is just one form of MarTech. As such, it's best to think of AdTech & MarTech as two sides of the same coin: AdTech is the front (what most people recognize a coin by), and MarTech is the tail that most people touch and see everyday without noticing.

So What (Do AdTech & MarTech Mean for My Business?)

Data and Targeting

Because AdTech and MarTech are driven by data collection, data analysis, data presentation, and data management, they have a much more nuanced research methodology for delivering ads than traditional methods of marketing and advertising.

Traditional methods tend to operate on the principle of "shoot-first-ask-questions-later" (e.g., billboard ads, radio ads, television commercials, and online banner ads). Traditional methods do involve at least a small amount of research, such as finding the best locations to air an ad for a targeted demographic. However, they also reach a substantial number of people who are not the intended audience for their particular product or service. This overreach can result in annoyance (or worse, distrust) for brands that are particularly repetitive or intrusive. Just think about the last time an infomercial for cleaning products interrupted your regularly scheduled programming when you weren’t in the mood.  

AdTech & MarTech make it possible to target your intended audience without as much overreach, so that video or banner advertisements will reach an intended audience that is not only more likely to be interested, but also most likely to convert.

Ad networks like those owned by Facebook and Google are particularly good at this, since they can deliver "native ads" in user feeds to appear more like solicited information than annoying or intrusive advertisements.

How are you using AdTech & MarTech?

Whether you know it or not, you probably already are. If you want to learn more about controlling the size of your digital footprint in marketing and advertising technology, view our new classes on search engines, data management, and integrated advertising platforms, free for ten days!

 


How to Build an Engaged Social Media Community

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Editor's Note: Tess Pajaron works in business management for Open Colleges. Today, she joins us to explore how brands can build an active and engaged social media community.

 

While consumers have been using platforms like Facebook and Twitter for over a decade now - beginning with the raging success of MySpace in the early 2000s - brands have only begun to catch on in the last five years and realize the full potential of social media for marketing.

Social media not only makes people better, but offers plenty of amazing opportunities to businesses of every shape and size.

Instead of using social networks solely as marketing platforms to advertise products, companies can now use social media to build customer experience and create engagement. The ability to connect and communicate directly with a target audience allows brands to build a solid fan base and grow their community easily.

Here are 6 tips to help you create an engaged network of followers that will support your brand -

1. Make sure your business is easy to find

You can't grow your social media community or spread the word about your product unless customers can easily connect with your business.

Here are a couple of tricks you should use to make sure that your brand is accessible to customers and prospects:

  • Your social sharing icons should be prominent on your website
  • Feature the URL of your website and social media handles on business cards and other print media
  • Include a link to your brand website in social media channel descriptions
  • Personalize your email responses: don't solely rely on automated messages
  • Track all associated hashtags and mentions to know who is talking about you and your product. Engage with those who are!

2. Know your audience

Your social media community is not a homogeneous gathering of people who behave in the exact same way. Rather, it is comprised of individuals. Each one of them has unique reasoning and behaviors that predict how they will interact with your brand. Segment your audience, and target these smaller groups with the right messaging in order to reach them more effectively.

To create a strong social media community, good communication is vital. And in order to communicate well, you need to get to know your family. You will have a completely different relationship with different segments of your family. Your engagement with followers will differ on the basis of what you know, resulting in better responses.

3. Solve the problems of your followers

Use social media not just to directly promote your products, but to interact with your customers and learn what their key pain points are. If you want more results from your marketing, you need to do your best to solve problems for your customers.

Most likely, there are plenty of businesses out there that offer similar products to yours, so you need to stand out. That's something you can achieve by building trust in your community and helping your followers with issues unique to them.

Invite your community to join you in helping others deal with such issues. Promote user-generated content on your social media channels as well – that's how you build loyalty and offer real value.

4. Be generous

Motivate the members of your community to share their own content and spark exciting conversations on your social profiles. One way to do this is offering incentives, like coupons, or giveaways. Another way is by sharing user-generated content, and bringing valuable contributors into the spotlight.

Analyze your social media data to find out who your top contributors are. These will be the people responsible for engagement on your website. The more feedback signals you get – like shares or comments – the more likely the social platform is to show your posts to a higher percentage of your followers.

Create content for your top users. Be generous and add a personal touch to all your communications. That's how you build relationships and help fans feel connected in the community surrounding your brand.

Don't forget to keep the communication lines open and instantly respond to your followers if they reach out to you.  

5. Listen to your audience

To build a social media community, you need to produce content that your audience wants to consume. That's why your first step is finding out what they want, and there are many ways to go about doing this.

Create a quick video and ask your fans what they want to talk about. When your community provides you with answers, follow through by implementing new initiatives based on what they requested.  

Put your followers and their needs or desires at the center of your social media strategy. Actively listen to their social chatter to build further engagement.

Instead of asking your followers to share photos of the products that they purchased, ask them to share content that shows what your products have enabled them to do.

Make your social media channels focus on lifestyle, not just on products or services. You can be sure that purely promotional content will reduce engagement. Offer your fans behind-the-scene content that shows the inside of your company or how your product is developed. That's how you take your brand to the next level and develop a community of people who share a sense of purpose.

6. Be honest

People like to deal with businesses they trust. A smart way to build trust in your business is admitting to your mistakes when you make them. No company is 100% perfect. And some forget that it pays to be open and honest.

If you admit your faults and offer transparency in the face of criticism, you will win big among followers by showing your willingness to listen and your ability to adapt. On the other hand, if you try to mask a bad situation or avoid the problem, you will be on your way to destroying that trust. Show the human side of your business to win loyalty among your fans.

Conclusion

Social media is a great opportunity for brands, but building a community is about much more than just promotion. With a little bit of effort and creativity, you stand a great chance of engaging existing customers and raising your bottom line in terms of prospects and exposure.

Get started with any of the methods listed above, and watch your community grow!

Learn more with these related OMI classes:

 

How to Perform Segmentation Using Google Analytics

Content Marketing Implementation: Executing a Winning Content Program

Crisis Management with Social Media

Visit the Online Marketing Institute to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media market