In a competitive field like real estate, you need to make sure that you stay up-to-date with any and all of the real estate marketing tactics for 2019 and beyond. Knowing what you can do to stay ahead of the curve isn’t bad, it’s required.
Any efforts you make to keep your real estate marketing ideas fresh will be rewarded because there’s no firm guarantee that yesterday’s tactics will still be just as successful as today’s.
So here are some tips for real estate marketing in 2019 and beyond.
First, a refresher course, because you keep something else in mind: if you are in real estate, there’s a reason why you want to be investing now in digital marketing tactics.
Top 12 Real Estate Marketing Trends for 2019
Granted, there was a time when a prominent downtown office was all a real estate agent needed to attract prospective sellers and buyers searching for their dream home.
Pretty soon, the Millennial and Generation Y age groups will account for more than 50% of all new home buyers. So, if you’re a tech-savvy real estate agent, you meet them where they’re at – online. That’s why real estate marketing online is a must for real estate agents.
You need a virtual office — an online presence that stands out and provides crucial information, particularly to the younger generation of first-time home buyers.
Those are the basics. But where is the market in 2019?
Here are some top predictions.
1. Use Video Today!
With the year more than half over, it’s a smart idea to be preparing your marketing efforts for tomorrow, and that means if you haven’t already embraced video, you need to start immediately. Today it’s impossible to ignore the impact videos are having, even if they’ve been on the internet for a while now.
Video is also what people want to see and share with friends, and social videos have been shown to generate far more shares on social media sites than text and images combined.
Videos also drive organic traffic, and if you’re a Realtor with social media accounts, you can use videos to create stories.
Do you have clients who absolutely fell in love with the home you sold them? That’s a great video right there.
Are there exciting new things going on in the neighborhoods where you’re selling homes? Another great video idea.
If you’re not sure how to make a video, there are plenty of apps and software out there to help you out. iMovie from Apple can turn your videos into movie magic, they like to claim, where you can piece together different clips and pictures and even add some music to the mix.
Videolicious also allows you to make videos from scratch, and with high quality.
2. Use Social Media to Promote Authenticity
People like to do business with others that they know and trust. So what’s the point of doing social media as a real estate agent?
It’s all about you. You are your main brand, so you want to use your social media accounts to project honesty and trustworthiness. Don’t just post photos of your homes. You want people to get a sense of who you are as well.
And two other key factors are the people you know and your reviews. If you can show people who loved your work and are ready to let everyone else know about that, so much the better.
When you post on social media that you’re doing an open house, what’s important is they know you’re the one organizing it. The most successful real estate agents are able to put themselves into the stories. You need to be doing that as well.
3. Don’t Allow the Digital to Overwhelm the Personal Touch
Marketing automation and technology offer us amazing options in 2019, but here’s some very old-fashioned advice: don’t forget about something far more basic, and that’s building relationships.
Keep looking for ways to add a personal touch. With every opportunity possible, reach out and offer direct help to prospective buyers. As often as possible, visit your clients in person and see how you can be helpful.
Consider that more people on the internet are using ad blockers, so it’s going to get even harder in 2020 to reach them with traditional online ads. That’s why personal relationships will still make a difference.
4. Aim to be Creative
You’ll need to get creative in 2019. Creating videos or opening social media accounts isn’t creative — everyone is doing that. In fact, chances are your strongest competitors went digital a while ago. What you want is to be aware of what your competitors are doing, and try to do something that’s uncommon.
Look to launch new campaigns that focus on smart ways to engage audience members, something your competitors are not doing.
5. Follow How Your Customers Communicate
Considering that technology keeps evolving, we can expect more changes in 2019, for advances still left to the imagination. But be aware of how your customers are communicating with others. Find the ways they like best. And make a concerted effort to reach them that way.
And think about how sophisticated our kids are when it comes to using digital devices. What will mobile phone manufacturers create to excite them? You need to keep aware of that.
6. Provide a virtual tour
Today, buyers are not driving around looking for their “perfect” neighborhood or dream home. Instead, they’re scouting Zillow.com, Trulia, or the hundreds of Facebook or Google Ads they’re being inundated with every year.
Forget about price, square footage or amenities.
The best sites provide prospective buyers with a virtual tour of the home, going from room to room to see what it has to offer.
7. Create a real estate friendly website.
There are plenty of easy-to-use site providers like WordPress that enable a business to create an appealing site that customers want to visit.
Don’t rely entirely on the written word — provide plenty of photos and visuals.
After all, 83 percent of all home buyers* want to see pictures of properties online.
Make your site user-friendly and easy to navigate. Include text, images and stories that excite your prospects and help them build an emotional attachment with each featured listing.
Most of all, showcase why you can serve them better than the agent down the block.
“Internet usage on mobile devices account for over 60% of all internet traffic, overtaking usage coming from desktop computers. While this outcome was seen by a consensus of market analysts as inevitable, few predicted how soon this transition would take place, or the brisk pace that mobile internet traffic currently outstrips that of PCs. The writing is on the wall for business sites, and the real estate market is certainly no exception: go mobile now, or be left behind in the dust of your competitors.” —IndxCentral
Focus on your years of experience in the region. Sell your special techniques, like the way you stage a home or take photos. Or, point out your personalized approach to selling each property.
Whatever makes you stand out from the crowd, make sure your website communicates that message well.
8. Remember Mobile users
Studies show that 52 percent of all homebuyers* have used an iPhone in their home search. Any strong real estate marketing plan uses this to their advantage by optimizing every page for their mobile buyers and sellers.
Make sure your site has been adapted for iPhones, Androids and every other mobile device. Don’t lose out on these customers with a site that can only be read on a desktop.
9. Solidify your brand.
2019 is the year of the brand. With more of a focus on authority, brands are quickly becoming one of the single most important factors in determining trustworthiness among consumers; developing your brand now more than ever is essential to your business. You need to have an identity the people know, and more importantly, that people trust
Don’t use your website or social media presence just for your listings — create your own brand.
Emphasize who you are and why you stand out in the field. Use your site to demonstrate why you’re going to make the entire home buying process simple and cost-effective for buyers.
If buyers feel they can trust you, you’ve made a connection that will likely pay off handsomely in terms of future word of mouth business.
10. Optimize Your Website
Make sure that your real estate website is keyword optimized. This means creating compelling content for your pages and blog posts that will get you ranking #1 on Google or Bing.
This means doing your own keyword research, but don’t worry, that’s not too hard. There are tons of tools out there you can use to help you find the keywords you need, such as Ubersugget or the Keywords Everywhere extension for Google Chrome.
If you don’t feel like doing keyword research just yet, just remember, since you have a local real estate business, you can use this little trick:
Local Keyword: Location + Service or Service + Location
Each keyword/service should have its own page.
11. Utilize Google My Business
If your business has a storefront, then you should claim your Google My Business (GMB) profile. This takes no time and is worth the little effort for maximum return.
Having your location on GMB means your business will be on Google’s map listings, whether that’s on Google Maps (on mobile) or on Google when someone is searching at home or on their desktop.
About 46% of all Google searches are done to find local businesses and Google My Business search results always show up on top of the search listings. What does that mean? You can be right there at the top.
Whoever said email marketing is dead? The simple truth, it isn’t. Email is still one of the most proven methods for keeping people up to date on offers, and what’s going on in the real estate market.
About 91 percent of consumers check their email daily. This is your own channel and way to communicate with prospects. It’s also important to note that emails convert better than many other forms of marketing. It’s estimated that someone who converts by email is likely to spend 138 percent more than someone who converted over other means.
You can collect more email addresses by offering something tangible for potential clients or leads in the form of lead generation. You can do this by offering a tutorial, or a how-to guide to buying a home on a landing page or Facebook ad and collecting emails.
Remember, there’s not a single “right way” to build a marketing strategy.
Do you need more marketing ideas for realtors in 2019? Do you need help figuring out what real estate marketing tools you should use? Chatter Buzz Media has real estate marketing strategies that can help both agents and home builders nationwide. Feel free to contact us at 321-234-0559.
Facebook ad strategies for education don’t just grow on trees; they take a lot of work. Creating Facebook ads for schools can be time-consuming, hard to put together, and, despite all of the effort, you may be seeing little lead generation.
So are you frustrated by your Facebook ad performance?
Wondering how you could generate more interest in your educational organization on the social network?
Luckily, there are tons of Facebook ad strategies that could help you increase your conversion rates.
In this post, I’m going to show you nine of my favorite ad strategies that we use to help clients in the education sector.
Before diving into the Facebook ad strategies for education, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest Facebook updates.
Latest Facebook Updates
Companies, particularly tech companies, stay relevant by continuously improving their products and features in order to beat out any competition—even giants like Facebook. Recently, Facebook made significant changes to their platform in order to improve user experience (sometimes these changes are to the detriment of many businesses).
This includes changes to their algorithm, interface, Messenger and videos.
Facebook made some major algorithm changes
Recently, Facebook launched an update to their algorithm which will make significant changes to the way in which people see and interact with their feed. In the past, businesses have seen a decline in the number of organic engagements and reach due to similar changes to Facebook’s algorithm, however, this new change is said to not hinder pages (we shall see):
The change will prioritize friends based on post engagements
And it will make links visible that the user might find interesting based on past interactions.
As stated, the changes should not significantly impact your page performance. But, as always, it’s good to track any changes to ensure that there aren’t any issues and that your reach is not affected.
Another significant alteration is the change in the mobile interface of Facebook. This is an update on how Facebook will look on desktop and mobile.
Facebook appears to be focusing on stories, groups, and events more than ever before. The mobile app change has already rolled out to most users, and the desktop alteration is making its rounds.
Facebook Messenger Update
Facebook Messenger has been updated as well. As Facebook says, the application will get “lighter,” and “faster.” This will improve performance. With these updates, expect more ability for businesses to stay engaged with their consumers.
Businesses can soon see some changes to Messenger that can help with their services. These changes will include:
Appointment booking functions
Lead generation template
The way videos will be ranked on Facebook is also being altered. Here are the three factors that affect ranking:
Loyalty: if people continuously go back and watch your video, this will improve your videos ranking.
View Duration: the more people watch off your video, the better. People dropping off a video or bouncing will be detrimental to your ranking.
Originality: Create new content otherwise, you will rank lower.
With this in mind, let’s dive into our Facebook ad strategies!
#1. Attract the right audience through interest-based targeting
I’m sure you know this already:
Facebook ads are as versatile as Google Adwords, if not more.
From information about a person’s location to their education, hobbies and general interests, Facebook has access to a TON of user information.
And you can use all of this data to reach only the most targeted users.
“[A] survey, conducted with 12 advertising networks, shows that conversion rates for the interest targeted ads are 6.8%, compared to 2.8% for the non-targeted. That means that consumers who click on ads targeted specifically to them are more than twice as likely to buy the advertised product.”
A discount is a great lead magnet for target audiences that recognize your brand.
And the price? Sometimes people value free things less.
Try giving away courses at your institution for a discount. There is no doubt students are ready to pay tuition for a good education. Providing a discount for a limited time can create a sense of urgency to register.
#3. Combat Facebook ad fatigue with sequential retargeting
Showing the same ad campaigns to the same target audience can get dull fast. This can lead to conversions dropping off the cliff.
Sequential retargeting is a Facebook marketing strategy that shows the same target audience different ads over time.
Remember, the goal is to market as many benefits as possible to your target audience.
Cycling through different lead magnets appeals to different student personas. Ultimately, this generates higher conversion for your marketing campaign.
Unlike retargeting Facebook advertising strategies, Lookalike Audiences include people that have never interacted with your brand.
That said, getting people that don’t know your brand to convert might seem like a big leap.
Marketers like yourself can run introduction engagement campaigns to warm-up your Lookalike Audiences.
For example, your first Facebook ad can introduce prospective students to the institution.
Once a member of the Lookalike Audience has engaged with the Facebook ad, you can move them along to the retargeting phase. Here they can engage with lead magnets like free online courses with your institution.
Therefore, an important approach to not forget about is to decide where to place your ad and which platform could work best for you. This can be found after selecting “edit placements” when setting up your prospective student targeting campaign.
Here you can select, as previously discussed, that you only want your education ads to be on mobile devices. From there you can choose where you want your ad to end up.
You can choose platforms, such as:
Depending on the demographic and how you’ve set up the campaign, you can select where you want your education Facebook ads displayed.
If, for example, you are trying to reach a younger audience, Instagram or Messenger would be a good place to display your ads.
What works for one campaign may not work for another; each field of study in your college should have its own, unique campaign.
Most colleges attract people with distinctly different tastes, which means an ad campaign that works for the Mathematics department may not work for the English department.
Making your campaign more granular and specific means that you are more likely to reach the intended audience. This breaks down to knowing the distinct “interests” for each audience, all the way down to the ad copy.
Creating individual campaigns for your potential student based on their interests will help you create more leads.
#7 Use Facebook Custom Audiences
For a successful ad campaign, you want to use Facebook custom audiences. This is a list of customers that you can generate using your existing customer base. You can target ads to this audience on Facebook, Instagram, and their audience network.
You can create different types of audiences, including:
Web custom audience
Offline custom audience
Customer List (a.k.a. Standard) Custom Audiences
Facebook Sources – Engagement Custom Audiences
Facebook custom audiences are really useful when creating campaigns and will help you generate more leads.
#8 Use Facebook Messenger bot to generate more leads
People want an instant reply to their questions. Using a Facebook Messenger bot will help answer typical questions that your leads will have. Facebook messenger has about 1.3 billion users, which makes it a great way to reach your audience and to give each inquiry a personalized experience.
A good example is the University of the People who utilized a Messenger bot to help grow their student-base. They found that:
A little over 50 percent of the people who had a conversation with the Messenger bot started an application
There was a 62% decrease in cost per application with Messenger
Using a Messenger bot will help you feasibly grow your leads and conversions.
#9 Use More Video
Use more video. It’s that simple. As mentioned in our Facebook update section, you want to make sure that you use more videos to emphasize your college. For instance, you can use testimonials from past students. This has been successful for many colleges in the past and could work for you, as well.
Here’s a case study that highlights just how important it is to use videos to help enroll more students. In this study, Kranse Insitute, who offers an Online SAT prep course, wanted to increase awareness of their SAT prep course and encourage more enrollments.
In just 16 months they ended up enrolling 13,000 students.
Here’s a breakdown of how their video ad helped them achieve:
2.9 times return on ad spend
3.2 percent increase in email leads
22 percent increase in enrollments
13,000 new students signed up
In this, they used video ads, core audiences, and as mentioned above, custom audiences. This is why videos are so important.
Facebook Ad Strategies for Education
Now that you know how to target students on Facebook using prospective student targeting, you can start seeing your leads grow.
Social media marketing with Facebook makes education marketing that much easier. Utilizing different avenues of approach to help create more conversions with your ad campaigns will help.
Don’t just post organically on your news feed, winnow down the best candidates with advertising using these strategies.
Identifying who you want to convert is the best guide to picking the most effective Facebook ad strategies.
In addition to the Instagram Shopping feature that is currently available in the app, Instagram recently rolled out Instagram Checkout. Checkout allows customers to complete purchases in the app itself without being redirected to a web browser. This is just one of the many new ways that Instagram is helping businesses promote their e-commerce store within their app.
Keep in mind that in order to implement these features for your business you need to first make sure that you have an Instagram Business account.
Instagram has made it its mission to make shopping a pleasurable experience when using their app. They want to make things easier for their users which is why they have worked on enhancing the shopping experience.
Over the last year, they have introduced a number of updates geared specifically towards people that love Instagram and that love to shop. Instagram Checkout is their latest update.
If customers wanted more time to decide they could simply add it to their saved posts and revisit it later.
However, if they wanted to purchase it immediately, once they tapped on the tag, they would be redirected to a web browser where they could then complete their purchase.
Since it was introduced last year over 130 million Instagrammers have been tapping product tags in Shopping posts every month.
What is Instagram Checkout?
Instagram Checkout simplifies the Shopping experience by eliminating some steps for the customer while also adding a layer of security. Instead of being redirected to a web browser, customers will be able to complete their purchase within the app.
Customers simply have to tap the “Checkout on Instagram” button on the product page, select the size and/or color that they want, and then enter their information. They’ll only need to enter their name, email, billing information and shipping address the first time they checkout.
After that their information is securely saved for a faster checkout experience the next time they purchase and users can even add a PIN for purchases to make their Instagram accounts even more secure.
Customers will then get shipping and delivery notifications right in the app.
How to Utilize Instagram For Your Business
There are a lot of potential customers to tap into for Instagram Checkout for businesses.
Let’s break it down:
36% of Instagrammers surveyed in the U.S. say that they love to shop and consider it a hobby.
70% of shopping enthusiasts turn to Instagram for product discovery.
500 million accounts access Instagram Stories daily.
That is a lot of potential; all you need to do is make your products accessible to them.
By simplifying the process Instagram has made it easier and more convenient for people to shop directly in the app. This enhances the customers’ buyer’s journey by making shopping as easy as a couple of taps in the app, an app that they are already using and familiar with.
While in the beta testing stage customers can only purchase one item at a time but Instagram is hoping to implement a multi-item checkout cart at a later date.
The easier you make it for your customer, the higher your chances of conversion are and the added convenience of in-app purchasing keeps them coming back for more.
Implementing Instagram Checkout
Currently, Instagram Checkout is in closed beta testing for a select group of brands throughout the rest of the year. The full list of brands is unknown however Instagram announced that the brands listed below have begun implementing it or will begin using it in the coming weeks.
While established brands are sure to get a boost by using the Checkout feature it could also potentially boost the sales of smaller brands or independent sellers.
Instagram still has not disclosed how much the selling fee is for merchants however this might be a good alternative for businesses currently using other marketplaces with high or increasing transaction fees.
This is still fresh off the presses, having only rolled out a week ago, so we’ve still got a ways to go to see how effective this update is.
It’s true, iPad giveaways, funny t-shirts, and live product demos are cliché, but you don’t need tacky conference “swag” to effectively generate new leads or reach your target customer at a trade show or conference. Use Twitter. Here’s how to use Twitter ads to help you generate more traffic at your conference, and on your website.
Twitter allows conference organizers to share up-to-the-minute updates about conference events, breakout sessions, announcements, and even networking opportunities. For conference exhibitors, Twitter is the perfect platform to connect with attendees and reach a much broader audience of potential customers who couldn’t attend the event.
To help your brand stand out in a crowded exhibit hall, here are two Twitter hacks to help boost your brand awareness and generate potential leads.
Create or Subscribe to Twitter Lists
There are three reasons why growth marketers need to start adding Twitter Lists to their digital marketing toolkits.
First, lists can help filter out the noise of tweets about politics, celebrity gossip, and the latest Internet challenge, and allows you to create a curated Twitter timeline from only the accounts you add.
This is a great way to easily keep track of a competitor’s activities, quickly find updates, and follow the ongoing conversations from industry influencers.
Secondly, public Twitter lists saves you time from having to manually research Twitter influencers and key accounts yourself.
Let’s say you want to find journalists who cover the financial industry to cover your new app. Instead of doing several Google searches or investing in influencer marketing software that can cost thousands of dollars, you can subscribe to existing Twitter lists of influencers.
Third–and here’s a personal Twitter hack of mine–you can use Twitter lists to create your own little Twitter Group. Unlike Facebook or LinkedIn, Twitter doesn’t have a formal “group” feature. But with Twitter lists, you can encourage your friends, colleagues, or potential clients who may be interested in the content curated in your Twitter lists.
To put this into perspective, I work at a PR agency and my colleagues and our clients are always looking for opportunities to build relationships with journalists and social media influencers around certain topics, like financial news, consumer news, health news, etc.
As a result, we create Twitter lists with journalists, bloggers, and influencers in each of these verticals, and we encourage our colleagues and some clients to subscribe to them. Having a curated timeline of tweets from these key stakeholders helps us–as PR professionals– better understand what these writers are talking and tweeting about in real time so we can pitch them a new story idea at just the right moment.
If I’ve successfully convinced you to start using Twitter lists (and I hope I have), here’s how to get started:
Start by clicking on your profile icon to show the drop-down menu. Then click on “Lists”.
Next, on the right side of your screen, click “Create new list.” If you’re on a mobile device, click the “Create new list” icon.
Then, you’ll select a name for your list and write a short description.
Next, select if you want the list to be private (i.e. only you’ll have access to it) or public (i.e. any Twitter user can subscribe to your list). When you’re done, click save. If your goal is to grow your list, don’t make it private.
Now, with a list set up, there are two ways to add a new user to a list. The first method is to click on the new list you’ve created and then add users by name.
Alternatively, you can add an account to your list from the account’s profile page.
To do so, visit the profile page of an account you’d like to add. On the right side of their page, click on the overflow icon (the three vertical dots). On the dropdown menu, select “Add or remove from lists…”
Next, you’ll see a popup with all of the lists you’ve created. Simply click the checkbox next to the the lists you would like to add the account to.
When you’ve finished adding all of the accounts you’d like to follow to your list, you can view a live stream of tweets from that list by clicking or tapping the “Lists” tab, clicking on the list you want to view, and then you’ll see a curated timeline of tweets from the accounts included in your list. That’s it!
In an ideal world, you’ll have plenty of time to add accounts to your Twitter lists yourself…or you can subscribe to an existing one!
Let’s say I want to subscribe to a list of tech influencers that are likely to attend and/or talk about the CES Conference. Before creating a brand new list, I’ll go to the CES official Twitter page and select the “Lists” tab.
When I see all of the lists CES is subscribed to, I notice a list curated by Mashable that has “Experts and sources to keep up with the latest in tech”– exactly what I was looking for.
When I click on the list, I immediately see a timeline of tweets from the list members, and I can also see individual members of that list.
Next, I can either subscribe to the entire list, or I can select individual accounts from this existing list to add to a brand new list I’ve created, which saves me a lot of time.
Now that you’ve mastered the art of Twitter lists, let’s move on to my next hack: event targeting.
How to Use Twitter Ads Event Targeting Feature
You may be familiar with Twitter ad targeting features, but I want to specifically focus on the Event targeting option.
Aside from targeting ads based on a user’s behavior, interests, or demographics, you can now create targeting ads around major holidays, sporting events, music festivals, and big conferences and trade shows.
More importantly, as you prepare your campaign for an upcoming event or conference, check out Twitter’s Events Calendar.
Twitter’s Event Calendar shows you hundreds of events taking place around the world and offers useful audience insights data and benchmark data from the previous year. For example, I can see approximately how many people tweeted about the event last year, the total reach and audience size during last year’s event, the percentage of age groups tweeting about the event, device types, and much more.
To access the Events Calendar, click on your profile picture, and select “Analytics” in the dropdown menu.
On the Analytics homepage, select the “Events” tab.
When you reach the Events page, you’ll be able to manually search for events on Twitter’s Events Calendar, or browse through upcoming events by category, including sports, movies, and recurring trends.
For example, let’s look up insights for the Mobile World Conference. Although the conference hasn’t taken place yet, Twitter’s event summary data will give me some metrics based on activity from last year’s conference. Now, I know in 2018, 808,000+ people tweeted about the event and those tweets reached approximately 14 million people.
From this data, I also learned that users talk about the Mobile Web Conference on the Web 1.3 times more than any other platform, users in the United States talk about this event 1.5 times more than anywhere else, and people between 45 – 54 talk about this event the most.
Using this information, I can create a Twitter ad that reaches the right audience before, during, and after the event takes place. The best part is that I can start creating an event-based Twitter ad right from the events calendar!
On the right corner of your screen, select the “Create new campaign” button. On the dropdown menu, select the campaign objective you’d like to optimize for.
Next, you’ll be brought to the campaign details setup page for the campaign objective you’ve chosen. Continue entering information about your campaign, including a name, budget, etc. Also, add details to the campaign ad group.
When you reach the “Targeting” section of your Twitter ad group, enter your target demographics, location, technology, and language.
When you reach the “Audience features” section, click the “Events” option.
Next, type the name of the conference you’d like to target with your ad campaign. Also note that when you add your event to your targeting parameters, the “Audience summary” section on the right may not display an estimated audience size. That’s why it’s helpful to reference the events calendar to get a benchmark of activity from last year.
Now continue adding additional campaign parameters, and when you’re ready, go ahead and launch your campaign.
Before I move on, here are a few other things to note when using event targeting:
Twitter recommends only adding geo-location and language targeting on top of events targeting for a greater chance of reaching users participating at the event.
Twitter also suggests using event targeting instead of typing in the event name as a keyword because “the platform will analyze the content of Tweets and other contextual clues to only display to people actively interested in the event you’re targeting.”
Although Twitter has included hundreds of events to target, there may be some that aren’t available just yet–this may especially true if you’re attending a local or regional conference or trade show. Twitter says that if an event doesn’t appear in the calendar two weeks prior to the event going live, it won’t be a targetable event.
As I was doing some research for this article, I stumbled upon a surprising figure: a 2018 Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) study found that B2B exhibitors allocate roughly half of their marketing budgets to exhibitions, and the median amount spent per exhibitions by respondents last year was $20,000.
Therefore, if you’re considering spending thousands of dollars on a massive booth, branded pens, and neon-colored t-shirts, why not consider allocating some of that budget to arguably the most cost-efficient social media ad platform, Twitter.
Ready to start generating buzz around your brand at an upcoming conference? Give this Twitter hacks a try, and let us know how they performed in the comments below!
Social media advertising is showing no signs of slowing down in 2019. That’s why it’s so important to utilize new social media platforms for business, to keep the edge on your market and competition.
According to Statista, 77 percent of Americans have at least one social media profile. 61 percent of the Earth’s population share the same passion for connecting and have at least one profile. Products having a presence on social media is no longer a secondary option, it is the life-blood of any growth campaign; understanding how to leverage social traffic for brands is key.
Knowing and understanding the platforms where growth is imminent, is vital to the success for your campaigns and KPIs.
The List of New Social Media Platforms for Business
The Social Media Team at Chatter Buzz is well-versed in all things social media, so we’ve put together a list of some of the high-growth social media platforms where you may want to invest your next best dollar and cultivate long-term sales growth.
With the explosion of instant messaging platforms, QQ is one that is primed for high-growth in the United States as well. This Chinese-based app has more than 15 million users and offers advertisers access to a population that has been heavily regulated. 60 percent of the users are under 30-years-old; a majority of them are high-school and college-aged students.
Current high-volume consumer products are already using QQ, including:
While the brand is not well-known in the US, the potential to impact a brand’s social marketing campaign effectiveness is limitless.
While Reddit is not new, it’s advertising prowess has grown over the past 18 months. With 234 million users, the site is an online community where the conversation takes place. And with most communities, they hate to be disrupted with a barrage of ads.
The key to Reddit is authenticity. If your product is “spammy,” the natives will lead an e-revolt and your brand credibility will take a hit. Following many popular social advertising platforms with the ability to target by interest, Reddit allows for a conversational tone to the content promoted. With its latest rollout or Reddit CPC ads, this is a great platform to start utilizing.
While it won’t be a major driver in terms of sales, brands can no longer afford to pass up the opportunity for potential users to get to know their offerings on a deeper level.
Another messaging app, Viber is similar to WhatsApp. It allows the user to send text, multimedia messaging, peer-to-peer calls, GIFs and more. Viber for Business offers a robust ecommerce offering, where brand products will be offered a seamless native shopping environment.
With 6.3 million brand messages opened daily on the platform, there is little wonder why brands like Foot Locker and GameStop are finding success with this audience, a majority of which is under 25. The growth for Viber looks promising in terms of advertising offerings.
As long as direct messaging is popular, expect this podium to remain in growth mode for the foreseeable future.
The photo app under the Facebook umbrella is the king of the hill in terms of sharable content and captured audience. The demographics are on point in terms of capturing the audience brands covet.
Instagram User Stats:
Over one billion users are currently on the network.
80 percent of users are outside of the US.
59 percent of Instagram users are under the age of 30
Marketing for Instagram has shown the ability to make marketers love the platform:
27 percent of brands report a lift in awareness
29 percent of businesses report a solid ecommerce ROI
For brands that have a clear engagement strategy, have content for consistent frequency, a distinct style and understand their audience, Instagram is a clear contender for advertising dollars. Add in the fact that only 36 percent of bands use Instagram, there is still room for ecommerce growth in 2019.
Nearly five years after video was introduced on to the photo app, Instagram developed IGTV, a long-form video platform within Instagram, where content can become more in-depth and creative. For advertisers, the longer videos will help with brand engagement, and creating an easier method for messaging. Advertisers can leverage their community with creative content and consistent brand experiences.
Twitch is a new-ish, but popular social site, as it has tapped into the live-streaming marketplace and has been able to harness the power of the gamer subculture. The platform has an average daily user rate of 15 million subscribers, garnering nearly 200,000 hours of watch time with a 24-hour period. At any given time, there are upwards of one million users tuned in to watch live game feeds.
With the demographic skewing heavily male (81 percent), and between the ages of 18-34, the platform offers advertisers a premium opportunity to partner with high-viewership channels within the eco-system.
With Twitch, brands have a great chance at creating a conversation with a group that spends heavily on products they believe in.
Where do you see the brands attacking social?
While Facebook will take the lion’s share of the social media ad spend in 2019, the impact of the lesser-known social sites can become invaluable to a social media marketing campaign. These new social media platforms for business will help you drive more sales and ROIs.
Regardless of the platform, as long as the brand has the ability to target its audience properly – and throw in robust video or ecommerce ability – the potential for brand growth is there for the taking.
If you want to learn more about where to spend digital advertising dollars in 2019, be sure to stay up-to-date on the latest Chatter Buzz Media blog posts.
In addition to Reddit’s current offering of digital advertising, the recently announced Reddit CPC ads are a new way to target customers and drive more revenue for your product, or more users to your site.
In addition to these new CPC ads, Reddit’s self-serve advertising platform offers CPM (cost per mile 0r cost per impression) and CPV (cost per view) ads.
The introduction of CPC ads will allow advertisers to set their bids based on their click-through performance, rather than the number of impressions or video views that the ad receives.
CPC bidding has been a featured option for years on many other digital advertising platforms such as Facebook, Google Ads, and LinkedIn. The announcement of Reddit CPC ads follows several months of beta testing with more than 50 advertisers.
According to the CPC rollout announcement on the site’s blog, “The new offering will open up more inventory, enable a brand new kind of advertising on Reddit and should result in better ROI as advertisers are only paying when someone clicks on their ad.”
Intro To Reddit As An Advertising Platform
Reddit offers a unique platform for online advertisers. The site is structured around Reddit’s user-driven and user-moderated communities called “subreddits.”
Visitors can view news and content in virtually any area that interests them. Users can create subreddits that are specific to any topic or interest. This allows people to find and subscribe to communities built around content that interests them and also helps them find communities of like-minded Redditors to discuss and share their content.
Reddit’s thousands upon thousands of subreddits cover politics, news, hobbies, trades, entertainment, and nearly anything else you can imagine. Since its launch in 2005, Reddit has developed a highly engaged and active community of regular visitors.
Reddit offers advertisers a number of ways to target their preferred audience. You are given the ability to target your audience based on their interests, specific subreddits, location, device type, and time of day.
Interest-based targeting can be selected through broad, pre-defined categories such as Business & Finance, Entertainment, Travel etc. These broad categories are then broken down into more specific sub-categories that you can choose to add or remove from your targeting.
For example, Entertainment is divided into Humor, Movies, Podcasts, and several more specific areas of interest.
The option to target specific subreddits means that, in many cases, advertisers can find communities that are highly engaged with their product, service, or industry.
If you can’t find a desired existing subreddit to target, it means that it is too small (too few subscribers) to target. You also have the option of excluding specific subreddits from your audience targeting.
Reddit’s Advertising Programs
Reddit has two programs for advertisers.
1. The self-serve program.
This has a minimum budget of $5 per day and will accommodate most small to mid-size advertising needs, and offers an array of targeting options as well as an optional conversion pixel for a deeper analysis of ad conversion performance.
2. The second program is called the managed advertising program.
This requires a minimum of $50,000 quarterly ad spend. Managed advertising comes with premium advertising products (such as traditional banner display ads), custom traffic reports, campaign planning, set-up, monitoring, and a dedicated account manager.
Above: Example of a banner ad, a premium ad product offered in the managed advertising program
The ad creation process in the self-serve program is pretty straight forward. Ads created through Reddit’s self-serve program are known as link posts, text posts, or video posts and will appear as promoted posts within the Reddit feed.
Promoted posts are differentiated from normal posts by a blue highlight and are labeled as promoted within the window of the post.
They can contain text, images, videos and accompanying “Learn More,” “Watch Now,” or a variety of other CTAs to drive traffic, views, or brand awareness as desired by the advertiser.
Video, Link and Text Reddit CPC Ads
There are two types of Reddit CPC ads that advertisers can use, these are:
Video posts can feature MP4 or MOV format videos up to 15 minutes in length.
Link posts will take users to an advertiser’s site.
Links vs Text Posts
While text posts take users to another page in Reddit where an advertiser can expand on their product or offer or facilitate discussion among users – these are not a feature that Reddit uses for CPC, as of yet.
Link posts are ideal for driving traffic to your site, while text posts are better suited for promoting discussion and engagement with your audience.
It should be noted, however, that text posts currently only allow CPM bidding.
Creative advertisers who are familiar enough with the Reddit community can utilize text posts to harness the power of Reddit’s user base to increase awareness and get people talking about their product.
These three varieties of ads will appear as promoted posts within the main feed of the site. A visitor who is scrolling through the site will generally see promoted posts toward the top of the feed and occasionally as they scroll down the feed.
Above: A Verizon link ad within the Reddit feed.
How Does Reddit’s CPC Advertising Work?
Using the self-serve advertising platform, the objective that you choose for your campaign will determine the bid type (CPC, CPM, or CPV).
In other words, the goal of your campaign is tied to the method that you will be bidding (and ultimately, how you will be charged) for your ad’s performance.
Campaigns with Traffic, Conversions, or App Installs selected as the campaign objective will be bidding on a per-click basis.
This means that they will be charged for every click on their ads, based on the bid that they have set.
Campaigns that have selected Brand Awareness and Reach as the objective will be bidding on a CPM basis and will be charged for every 1000 impressions.
The Video Views objective will have a bid type of CPV (cost per video view) and will charge for every view of their video.
Above: Campaigns with Traffic, Conversions, or App Installs selected as their objective will automatically utilize CPC bidding
Above: Example of a video post.
Reddit Video posts are a naturally popular medium for film marketing teams and streaming services looking to introduce new movies, shows, or season premieres to the Reddit audience. The ability to add videos up to 15 minutes in length allows advertisers the freedom to go well beyond the approximate 2-minute range of typical a movie trailer.
Above: Some of the content features available for link posts in the self-serve ad program.
General Advice For Advertising On Reddit
The best thing to do if you’re thinking of advertising on Reddit is to take some time to familiarize yourself with Reddit as a whole and some of the subreddits that would be appropriate for your target audience.
The same engaged and passionate user base that rewards properly-executed and creative promotion on the site can be brutal to advertisers or promoters who they feel are misusing or spamming the community with poorly disguised or misguided marketing efforts.
Reddit’s CPC bidding is sure to attract new advertisers, but they would be wise to study and understand the nature of the platform and what separates the success stories from the failures.
The addition of Reddit’s CPC bidding will give advertisers more control over their ad spend and may offer a higher ROI for many advertisers who were previously only able to advertise with CPM and CPV bidding.
There are more advertising announcements coming in the future as well.
According to the CPC announcement on the Reddit blog, “CPC is the first, and biggest, of several upcoming performance offerings from Reddit, that include enhancements to targeting, reporting, campaign management and more.”
Once there, you will need to sign into your Google account.
If you don’t have a Google account, you’ll need to create one.
2. Enter Your Business Name
You can begin by typing in the name of your business. Google will automatically give you suggestions about the business you’re operating.
Click on your business if it appears. If not, continue with the name you provided.
3. Enter Your Physical Business Location
Once you’re here, enter the location of your business.
You can decide on this screen what kind of service you provide.
If you want your business to be located on Google Maps, you will enter your business address and then hit Next.
If you deliver a service to clients or customers and don’t want to put down your business address on maps then you can check the box “I deliver goods and services to my customers.”
This will arrange for you to appear in searches for your area, but your physical address will not show up.
Once done, hit Next.
4. Select Your Primary Business Category
This is where you can select a business category. For some business owners, deciding on a business category can be easy.
Here’s how to choose your business category for optimization:
First, you want to know what area of service you provide.
If you’re a bakery, then you would select “bakery” under the categories.
5. Add Phone Number and Website.
This is self-explanatory but just make sure you follow some hints below:
Make sure that your phone number is a local number with the appropriate area code of your location. Do not use 1-800 numbers.
Add the page address for that specific location that has your company name, address and phone number. (This applies if you have a large website (ex. franchise) and you have multiple location pages on your website.
6. Verifying your Location
Now that you added your store information, you will now need to verify this with Google.
There are two options for you to do this:
You can either verify your location with your address. Google will send you a postcard in the mail with a verification code you will enter as instructed on your profile to verify your account.
The second option is Google will verify your location by phone.
Google will decide which option is best for you. In most instances, the verification code will be sent by postcard.
Google wants to verify and make sure your storefront is a physical store because the goal for GMB is to send people to your map listing.
If you don’t have an actual store location (let’s say you own an e-commerce store), you should not use Google My Business.
If you have a PO Box, you will also not be able to set up an account.
Make sure that you have a location to verify.
How to Optimize Google My Business
Now that we have shown you how to add your business on Google specifically on the Local map. Follow the steps below to fully optimize your listings so you can show up higher than your competitors.
To optimize your GMB listing, you want to go to Info and fill out the following information as accurately as you can.
Hours / Special Hours
Website / Appointment URL
7. Add More Business Categories
You can select multiple categories for the services that you provide.
Remember, you only have one “main” category. Make sure you select the correct one.
Categories are an important feature to consider. You want to think about the service you provide, but also the search intent of your potential customer and client.
Doing a little competitive research doesn’t hurt. Find your competition and see what categories they use. You can do that by typing the competition’s name in Google, and their location.
The category name is under the reviews.
8. Specify Your Service Areas
You can let customers know where you provide deliveries or services. Select the areas by city, postal code etc. This is only needed if you deliver services.
9. Accurately at your Working Hours / Special Hours
Make sure you completely and accurately fill out your business hours.
Always update any changes. You don’t want customers to show up and find your office closed.
Not only is that bad service, but it’s also bad for business and reviews.
You can also add any special hours you want to the site.
Go to Info and select special hours and enter your information.
That way, if you’re closed on the 4th of July, you can let people know.
10: Add Your Website Appointment URL
Make sure you add your website URL. If you have multiple locations, you can set up multiple GMB’s for each location.
If this is the case, make sure you add your location-specific URL here.
Do not enter your main site.
You can add your Appointment URL as well. People can click on a link to schedule an appointment.
11: Add All Your Business Services
You can add services that you provide and categories as well.
You want to enter all the data in your listing. Google will always pull up the best results, and if your page isn’t complete, you’re less likely to show up above a competitor.
You want to enter as much data related to your services as you can provide.
12. Optimize Your Business Descriptions
With your business description, you’re allowed up to 750 characters. Just remember that only the first 250 characters will show up.
Your business description should follow Google’s Guidelines, which you can find here: Guidelines .
Make sure you put all the important information in here. Don’t be misleading or inaccurate.
Write a brief summary of your services and what your company does, and incorporate your main keywords into it.
If you don’t know your main keywords, start by assessing what services you provide. Type those services into Google and see what Google auto populates. These terms are terms people search for most on Google and will be the keywords.
Inversely, if you have SEMRush, Moz, or are well-versed in Google Keyword Planner, use those to do your keyword research.
13. Add Multiple Relevant Business Photos
You can add photos to your Google My Business.
Important photos to add:
Photos of the office interior
Photos of the office exterior
Group photos of coworkers and events…etc.
Make sure photos are good quality and formated as JPG or PNG.
How Do You Remove Photos By Customers?
Sometimes, customers or clients will post pictures that are not at all pleasing and it can be tricky to remove them.
Here’s an easy way to remove unwanted Google My Business pictures:
Go to the photos section
Click on “by customer”
Click on the image
Click on the flag icon
Follow the prompts and the reason you want to remove
It may take some time to remove the post because it has to be reviewed by Google. Check back in 5 to 10 businesses days.
14. Add Google My Bussiness Posts
Google My Business posts are a good way to put up offers or keep people informed about any specials, events, or services that you have to offer.
They’re similar to social media posts, but they can be utilized to make ads and offers.
These posts last about 7 days.
15. Solicit Reviews
Customer reviews are an essential part of your business listing.
More than 88% of people who shop online use reviews to make a decision. When it comes to Google Reviews, it’s important that you have positive reviews. You want to nurture those reviews.
When someone comments, you can respond.
How to Deal with Negative Reviews
Here are some helpful tips for how to respond to negative reviews:
Don’t be defensive
Don’t be defensive. We can’t stress this enough. You want to show that you care about your customers, even if they seem rude.
How to Get More Reviews
If you want to gain more reviews, you can create an email campaign to send to prospective clients. There are a number of great services out there that can help you utilize an email campaign.
Traditionally, the greatest achievement for a website was to rank #1 on search engines. This has changed since Google introduced Featured Snippets.
Within this blog, I am going to show to explain:
What is Google Featured Snippets
Why is it important
and How to Optimize your Content to show featured snippets
Google Featured Snippets Explained
Featured snippets gives you the chance to rank above the #1 organic search result, right below the paid ads.
As the name suggests, snippets contain a small part of the solution to search queries which attempt to answer the searcher without him/her necessarily leaving Google.
They present content in form of paragraphs when the query is on “what/why is,” tables when the query is “how much,” bulleted lists for “how to/does,” queries, and answer boxes for “meaning of.”
These are broken down into four types of snippets:
As a web developer or online marketer, you cannot afford to ignore the snippet feature as it is inarguably the leading traffic puller today.
Searchers who find satisfactory answers to their queries from your snippet are more likely to visit your site before any other SERP and to engage with your content.
According to a study by Hubspot:
posts that become featured snippets have a 10.5% increase in clicks.
Websites that rank among the top 10 SERP results have a real chance of being featured in the Google Snippets, although it appears the #1 search result rarely gets that chance. Perhaps Google considers it to be privileged enough with its top ranking.
The secret to being featured lies in attaining the 2nd to the 10th SEO rank.
In this post, we will look at what you should do in order to increase your site’s chances of being featured and improve your site’s SEO.
How Can You Optimize Your Web Content for Featured Snippets
1. Use questions in your content
If your content’s heading and subheadings are questions that people ask often, then you stand a good chance of getting picked by Google as its featured snippet.
You can use Google to help you ask questions. Just start typing in question on Google and pay attention to the autofill feature, which will help you find common questions people ask.
Just type in a query and it will generate common questions people ask on search engines for you.
2. Break your content into small, readable chunks
We have mentioned that there are four types of Featured Snippets: Tables, lists, paragraphs, and answer boxes.
All four types have one thing in common, and that is their ease to scan through.
Always organize your content in small and comprehensive paragraphs, break it up with readable bullets, and use tables where applicable.
If you have a lot of data to share, do away with paragraphs and instead display it as a table.
3. Use video
You cannot run away from visual content these days.
Google mostly answers tutorial questions e.g. “how to’s” by displaying tutorial videos as a Featured Snippet.
If you have a solution to a possible “how to” query, post a video of it.
4. Use long-tail keywords phrases
Long-tail keyword searches yield more Featured Snippets than short ones. See how we have cleverly used this strategy… instead of using a simple “Optimizing Featured Snippets” subheading, we have instead used a longer keyword phrase “How to Optimize for Featured Snippets.”
Just like with asking a question using Google as help, do the same for longtail keywords.
Do the same for your site.
5. Leverage high-quality backlinks
To rank well, you need to make sure you have good domain authority. The only way to build authority on your site is to acquire backlinks. Make sure that you have a good backlinking strategy that will help you garner good links.
Creating original content can help you gain more links, and posting on social media can help others find and share your content or stories, gaining more traffic and potential for acquiring backlinks.
Google will earmark authoritative websites that answer search queries from its users.
6. Answer Questions
How many probable search queries can one article contain?
Don’t leave out questions that you can easily answer just to avoid prolonging your article.
The more answers an article has, the more relevant Google deems it to be for its searchers, and the higher its chances of making it to the Featured Snippets.
Create rich content that helps guide the reader through a topic and answer questions that can help the user.
7. Use Factual Data
Don’t use unproven data because people will realize it and ignore your content.
When visitors hurriedly leave your site, it signals Google that your content isn’t helpful to them.
To convince the search engine otherwise, only use data that makes sense to readers.
Make sure you answer the question and answer it well.
So that’s how to optimize for featured snippets.
Trying to get featured snippets does not have to be a difficult process. You just have to make sure that you utilize the resources you have.
Have you acquired a feature snippet? Let me know in the comments!
Many business professionals don’t know how to track, analyze, and understand how their PR and content marketing efforts are helping them meet their business KPIs.
Here’s how you can use Google Analytics to measure the reach and success of your PR campaigns using Google Analytics’ Audience Interests reports and show how to measure the impact of press mentions on your website’s Direct and Referral traffic.
Audience Targeting: How To Determine If You’re Reaching A High-Value Target Audience
On every introductory call, I always ask my client: “Who are you trying to target?”
Some clients know exactly who they want to reach: “Decision makers including CEOs and CISOs, running medium-sized to enterprise-sized companies in the San-Francisco metro area.”
There are a few who have a general idea of who they’d like to target: “People interested in finance and/or tax-related news and publications.”
And there are others who have absolutely no clue.
This is why Google Analytics’ Audience Interest reports are so special. This data can help decide the types of content they should be creating, identify publications we should target for future press mentions, help us understand who is currently visiting our website, and how we can optimize paid advertising campaigns.
To access these reports:
click the “Audience” tab, and
select the “Interest” drop-down menu.
Let’s first look at Affinity Categories.
Affinity Categories are assigned to users based on their general interests, passions, and lifestyle based on their online behavior.
For instance, if I follow my favorite sports teams on social media, Google search the results for last night’s basketball game, and purchase tickets to next Saturday’s home game, then there’s a good chance Google Analytics may consider my Affinity Category as “Sports & Fitness/Sports Fan.”
Why would a company care that I’m a big sports fan?
By knowing what my long-standing interests and habits are, a company can launch Google Display ads on sports-related websites that I frequently visit, or secure a press mention in an article in a nationally-recognized sports magazine.
Simply put, businesses can use Affinity Categories to better understand what their audience’s interests and habits are to reach more customers at the top of their marketing/sales funnel, and make them aware of their brand or product.
Pro Tip: Add a secondary dimension to your Affinity Categories report to extract even more information about your audience. You can add information like age, gender, geo-location, traffic type, source/medium, and much more.
Let’s move on to In-Market Segments. In-Market Segments are users who are actively researching and considering purchasing a service and product in the specified category.
Let’s say I’m looking for a new job. I’ll update my LinkedIn profile, search for job openings on job boards, and read company reviews on Glassdoor.com. Based on this activity, Google will most likely classify me as someone in the market for “Employment”.
In-Market Segments are great for gauging if your top-and middle-of-funnel marketing campaigns are attracting the high-value audience you’re attempting to target. It’s even better for advertisers who are focused on reaching audiences who are more likely to complete a conversion and/or purchase for the lowest cost possible.
To see this in action, I’ll use a real-estate investment company as an example. I know that their highest-value target audience are accredited investors interested in real estate. Therefore, I can use the In-Market Segments report to see that several visitors are people looking to purchase a real estate product or service, and more specifically, purchase residential properties up for sale.
I can also use this information to specifically target other high-converting In-Market Segments, such as people interested in financial services, investment services, business services, and real estate in future Google ad campaigns.
To better understand your website visitors and to help you find additional high-value audiences, use Google Analytics’ Audience Interest Reports to make more strategic decisions about who and where you should be focusing your PR, content marketing, and paid marketing efforts.
Correlating Press Mentions With Direct Traffic
What’s an effective way to determine if your press hits had any impact on your website traffic?
Since some press mentions may or may not include a backlink, I’ll show you how to use Google Analytics to correlate your PR campaigns with both Direct Traffic and Referral Traffic.
If your press article does contain an anchor link to your website, start by checking your Referral Traffic.
Referral Traffic is a segment of traffic that arrives at a website through a different source, like a link or another domain. To view your Referral traffic, first click on the “Acquisition” tab and then select the “All Traffic” drop-down menu option.
Next, select the “Channels” report to see an overview of traffic from all default channel groups, including Direct, Organic Search, Display, Referral, etc.
Then click “Referral,” which will generate a report of all the referral sources.
Now, there are two ways to determine if any of these sources were press mentions.
The first method is to simply click on a source, and Google Analytics will show you “Referral Paths,” which are the URLs that referred traffic to your website.
Using one of my current clients in this example, I see that the top source of referral traffic is coming from passiveincomemd.com. When I click on that domain, Google Analytics displays the URLs that referred this traffic.
In this case, the article driving the most referral traffic is a roundup of the best real estate crowdfunding sites—which just so happens to be a press mention!
What’s even better is that I see how many people who visited the website from this article also converted at each stage of the sales funnel.
In the screenshot below, you can see that out of a total of 206 people who completed investments—the final stage of the sales funnel—after visiting from passiveincomemd.com, 196 of those people came from our earned media mention.
Keep in mind that this method only worked because the publisher included a backlink to our client’s website. Oftentimes, we run into several cases where publishers won’t include a backlink at all, especially in cases where an individual is quoted.
If that’s the case, try method two: adding annotations.
Annotations are sticky notes that you can add to your Google Analytics reports to keep track of any external or internal activities that might have influenced your web traffic.
For instance, if you see a sharp dip in traffic one day, you can make an annotation noting that your IT team took down the website for maintenance for a few hours.
To add annotations, start by clicking the down arrow under the line graph of your report.
Next, click “+ Create new annotation” and type in your note in the text box. Then select the date of the annotation. Finally, you can choose to make the annotation private or shared with anyone with access to your Google Analytics account.
When you click save, your annotation will automatically appear as a small speech bubble under your line graph. When you click on the speech bubble, you’ll be able to see if that event correlated with a spike or dip in traffic.
This especially comes in handy when analyzing Direct Traffic. Direct Traffic commonly refers to a segment of traffic from visitors manually typing in your website’s URL or clicking on a saved bookmark.
However, Google Analytics also includes traffic that has an unidentified source as Direct traffic, including mobile messaging apps, from offline documents like PDFs and Microsoft Word docs, missing or broken tracking codes, and several other factors.
Since we can’t tell exactly where visitors are coming from in the Direct Traffic report, Google Analytics does tell us the landing pages through which visitors entered our site.
In the example below, I see that a majority of the Direct traffic visiting my client’s site is going directly to the homepage.
The best way to find out if any of our earned media mentions is responsible for this Direct Traffic is by adding annotations.
Since I added annotations to the Referral Traffic report, I can also see those saved annotations in my Direct Traffic report—super convenient, right?
I can then click on the speech bubbles to see if any of our earned press coverage aligned with spikes in Direct Traffic. In this case, it looks like my biggest spike in Direct Traffic correlated with a quote we earned in a publication called REFI.
But remember, correlation does not equal causation. Therefore, I can’t assume that our REFI article was the only reason why we saw a huge spike in traffic on October 17. That’s why it’s incredibly important to make note of sudden fluctuations in Direct Traffic and any activities on other marketing channels.
Pro Tip: Google Analytics provides a relatively new feature called “Analytics Intelligence Anomaly Detection” that automatically scans your data for outliers for a given dimension value or metric. You can access these insights by opening the Insights cards in Google Analytics or entering a question in the search field, like “Any anomalies last week?”
Why Using Google Analytics to Improve PR Campaigns is the Way to Go
I initially wrote this article to address a specific problem our clients were experiencing, but after doing a bit of research, I found that analyzing the success of PR campaigns is an industry-wide problem.
According to PRWeek and Cision’s 2018 Global Comms Report, 77 percent of senior communications leaders said that there’s a lot of room for improvement when it comes to measuring and proving PR’s impact on business objectives, and 73 percent think “aligning metrics to revenue or vital business KPIs” is the most difficult challenge facing comms measurement.
It’s clear the communications industry has a long way to go, but gaining a basic understanding of how to use Google Analytics to measure the success of PR campaigns is a step in the right direction.
How are you measuring the success of your PR campaigns? Let me know in the comments below!
Digital marketing is about taking advantage of smart and innovative tools that were created to help give your business an edge when it comes to finding leads. The more you know about how many creative digital marketing tools there are out there just waiting to be utilized, the better off you’re going to be.
But make no mistake about it: don’t assume that successful digital marketing is all about new devices, apps and websites. Digital marketing is still about one thing above all else: your customers.
If you focus on the customer and understand what they want to see and learn from you, there are marketing tools that will enhance your efforts and help you expand your audience and maintain a base of loyal customers.
So here are 25 digital marketing tools that have been proven to help the marketers who start using them.
1. Sprout Social
If you’re using social media accounts to reach your audience, there’s one popular site called Sprout Social that offers social media management, advocacy and analytics software for businesses.
This site lets you communicate more effectively with customers on social channels, employing social media management tools that provide you with faster communication tools by allowing you to monitor, respond, and collaborate more quickly.
For example, Sprout Social will collect social mentions from different networks, putting them in one place, and making it easier for you to manage your responses when your account has been mentioned or when you receive follower comments. It also allows you to schedule your content across platforms and add analytics.
The Sprout Social plans include a 30-day free trial period.
Pros: It offers a free trial.
Cons: Reports can be lacking in depth.
2. Google Analytics
Google Analytics — I can not say enough about the importance of using Google Analytics. Numbers are the marketer’s dream. We use numbers to help us make a determination. So what sort of determinations does Google Analytics help with? Site traffic, landing pages, locations from where users use your site. These are all key factors in determining the health of your site and marketing strategy.
Where are people coming from? Is it Organic traffic from Google? Social traffic?
You can learn a lot about your site, as well as your audience. This is a vital tool to analyze how your website is performing, and not surprisingly, it’s among the most popular analytics platforms available today.
Pros: If you want a better understanding of your users and what works (and doesn’t work) on your website, this is not only a great tool but impressively, a free one. Google Analytics is a freemium service, and money is charged for proprietary features and functions.
Cons: There’s a lot here so it can be overwhelming. Google offers a free course to help teach you how to use it. Check it out here.
Any business that posts blogs on their website wants to be sure that their blogs don’t just sit out there in cyberspace, but that people actually find them. SEMRush can help you get those results.
When it comes to SEO, you really need an all-in-one marketing tool to be able to not only do your keyword research but also help you track how your site is doing: whether that’s by tracking keyword positions, site analytics, or backlinks; SEMRush really is an all-in-one platform for SEO and your website’s visibility and analytics.
Buzzstream is an effective tool for finding influencers and potential prospects. While browsing the web you can add new bloggers, websites, and social profiles to your database. You can conduct outreach that will look and feel personal.
BuzzStream is a great way of keeping track of your conversations because this service automatically saves your emails and tweets. You can set reminders so you can follow-up on each discussion, that way you won’t lose track of that conversation. This is the ideal way to prioritize your most important contacts.
This is a highly effective platform for doing research as well. Buzzstream offers different pricing plans for users.
Pros: You can try it for free. You can use the prospecting tool to find potential prospects. It’s great and easy-to-use.
Cons: Only searches for contact information which can be limiting.
ActiveCollab is a great, task management tool to help you organize your client work or your work in general. It’s a good platform to use to be able to make sure everyone is on the same page or same task.
You can comment right in the platform, and assign tasks for anyone on a given project. When it comes to marketing, tasks, and organization is a must. With team collaboration and time tracking, you can make sure everyone is on the same page.
Pros: This allows collaboration which is perfect for any working environment.
Cons: Even though it’s easy to use, the search functionality is really poor and unable to find the task you are looking for most times.
6. Facebook Business Manager & Facebook Insights
Facebook business manager is the perfect way to maximize the use of your Facebook business profile. You can run campaigns, check analytics, and truly utilize all that Facebook offers, whether it’s checking on an ad or previously boosted post or creating an ad from scratch; this tool is something you can really use in your social media arsenal.
With Facebook Insights, you can successfully track user interactions. Anyone who is an admin on your page can use this tool to see how followers are responding to your Facebook Page, then track the number of active users you have. This is an ideal way to better understand how your page is performing.
Facebook Insights lets you determine the best time of day to post or the best day of the week, and what kind of content has been the most popular.
Pros: Facebook Business Manager is free with a business account.
Cons: The interface is not intuitive; so it can be easy to get lost.
“Connect the Dots with One Powerful Solution” is the theme for Hotjar, which allows marketers to gain insights into how users are behaving on your website.
That includes heatmapping – heatmaps are a great way to understand what users want and care about, and what they do while they’re on your site – and recordings of user interactions with your site.
Through those recordings, you can observe the moments in the browsing process when users get frustrated and abandon their search and leave.
It also shows you the content that they spend the most time with. Hotjar also allows you to pose questions to users and get direct answers about how they’re interacting with your site.
Hotjar offers pricing plans for businesses of all sizes.
Pros: Hotjar gives you insights into how your site can be optimized in the future.
Cons: It’s a large site that can affect your load time.
8. LinkedIn Programmatic Ads
If you’re doing paid advertising, a good option is Programmatic advertising. It’s the use of software to automate your media purchase, so your ads get displayed automatically, based on data.
LinkedIn allows you to promote your company updates to targeted audiences on desktop, mobile, and tablet. This is a way to deliver your content directly to the most viewed professional news feeds. It’s also a way to deliver personalized messages that drive more conversions than email.
Pros: Your ads can easily be relevant to the people you’re targeting.
Cons: It can take some time to learn how to use.
Display Retargeting Tools are increasingly popular today, particularly retargeting ads that follow web users from one site to the next. Retargeting is an increasingly popular tool for drawing customers back to your site to make a purchase.
A good site to use for this is AdRoll, which provides you with access to more than 500 ad exchanges, including most of the major social media networks.
Pros: Marketers who have used AdRoll in the past have reported as much as a 265 percent lift in sales.
Cons: With AdRoll, you pay for ad space, and AdRoll retains a small percentage for serving your ad. Your total spend is the cost of buying ad space to deliver your ads.
Not surprisingly, marketers are looking for an edge to cut through all that online traffic, and as a result, social media management tools have become common ways to improve engagement.
One useful engagement marketing tool is Wyng, which helps transform the way brands can engage and convert mobile and social consumers.
Wyng has different pricing plans.
Pros: They have a built-in analytics dashboard that monitors how each campaign is performing, and they help boost engagement through hashtag campaigns, contests, referral programs and more.
Cons: Wyng has different pricing plans. However, it can be pricey.
11. Google Search Console
Google, Google, Google — they are THE search engine! What’s great is that they know it, and offer the tools you need to improve your site and get ranking on search. If you succeed; they succeed.
If you don’t utilize the tools that they offer, you are doing yourself a disservice. Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) is a great platform. You can utilize reports in order to help you measure your website’s performance and traffic.
With Search Console, you can add a sitemap which can help your site get crawled by Google Bots, as well as tell Google to recrawl a site or pages that you just reoptimized.
As Google says, this will “make your site shine in Google Search results.”
Pros: It’s free.
Cons: It can be a bit confusing (particularly with the semi-new update) but it’s worth it once you get the hang of it.
12. Google Ads
To continue the long list of marketing tools that are made by Google, you have Google Ads (previously Google AdWords). Google Ads is a great way to promote your site, services, or page. With Google Ads, you can promote your brand and company, finding relevant users and increasing conversion rate.
Pros: You can get a pretty good click-through rate if you do it right, reaching your intended audience.
Cons: Navigation and cost (for ads) can be quite wonky and pricey.
Optmyzr is another great tool. This tool can help you maximize your Google Ads — or optimize them.
With this tool, you can pull a quality score. The higher the quality score, the lower the cost per click, which is, after all, what it’s all about. The program states that it is fast and can help you better optimize your reports in no time, but that may not necessarily be the case.
Pros: It has a quality score, which can make PPC management so much easier.
Cons: The location bidding tool could be a little more user-friendly.
Moz has so many options for SEO and website monitoring. You can monitor your site, check keywords, do keyword research, or check your site’s domain authority with this digital marketing tool.
The Moz Bar — which is an extension you can use on Google Chrome — is a great, easy-to-use tool that will tell you the optimization of your page. If you just optimized a page, use this tool to check to see how well you did out of a score of 1 to 100 (percentage).
Pros: There are free tools, like the Moz Bar, which, as I already said, can help you check your domain authority and on-page optimization. I suggest downloading the Moz Bar extension.
Cons: The paid version, which can help you track your client campaigns, can get pricey pretty fast.
Need to check on some keywords? Want to see the backlinks of a competitor? Want to know your website’s backlinks? Then look no further than Ahrefs. With Ahrefs, you get competitive analysis, keyword research, backlink research, content research, as well as rank tracking and website monitoring.
Easy to use and a great keyword research tool, there’s no reason why Ahrefs isn’t for you and there’s no reason why you aren’t using Ahrefs to help expand your digital marketing efforts.
Pros: With a seven-day trial for $7, you can see just what Ahrefs can do and if it’s a good fit for you.
Cons: Like SEMRush, it will take some time to learn how to use efficiently.