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How to conjure big PPC profits with a few hundred dollars

advertising, digitaladvertising, digitalmarketing, ppc - admin - December 5, 2018

Many PPC marketers are frustrated. Why? Because they feel like AdWords is no longer an option.

Over the past few years, CPCs have increased by 3X in some verticals — that’s even with a Quality Score of 9 or 10. According to WordStream data, the average cost per click in AdWords across all industries is $2.32 on the search network.

Meanwhile, the average cost per action (CPA) is $59.18 on the search network. But if you’re in an industry where it takes multiple clicks before someone purchases, you easily could be burning through hundreds or thousands of dollars on paid search advertising.

And conversion rates? Those haven’t changed much in 15 years. The average conversion rate is about 2.5 percent.

Some PPC marketers honestly believe there’s no way to make money with Google AdWords anymore. They think that Google AdWords is too expensive, and the competition in their vertical is downright scary.

Game over?

Actually, no. There is a way forward.

If you’re marketing in an insanely competitive vertical with outrageously high CPCs where conversion rates are challenging, this post is for you.

Are you ready to increase conversions by 10X at half the cost per click and a quarter of the cost per conversion?

I thought that’d get your attention.

RLSA will save the day

With RLSA — or remarketing lists for search ads — you tailor your paid search campaigns based on whether users have previously visited your website (or app) and which pages they viewed.

So will RLSA save the day? Let’s look at some data.

These two campaigns have the exact same keywords, but one targets returning visitors (RLSA) while the other targets new visitors.

The RLSA campaign results in a:

  • higher CTR (4.8 percent vs. 2.2 percent);
  • lower average CPC ($1.45 vs. $2.80); and
  • lower CPA ($36 vs. $140).

The nightmare is over, right?

Actually…

Some frightful news about RLSA

RLSA doesn’t create new volume. It actually slashes volume substantially. You’re only getting about a tenth of the volume.

And consider this dismaying observation: If you look at the previous month, RLSA added nothing in terms of total conversions (245 this month vs. 250 last month).

RLSA is merely cherry-picking the 10 percent of cheap conversions out of a pile that used to include both cheap and expensive conversions. You would have gotten those conversions anyway!

If the circle represents your entire potential customer base, you’ll notice that people who are already familiar with your brand make up just a small portion of your audience.

The problem with RLSA is that it only targets people familiar with your brand — it doesn’t target people unfamiliar with your brand (Well, duh!).

Yes, RLSA delivers on cost savings, but the number of conversions is scarily low.

But there is a solution to this dilemma.

A solution to die for!

You want to use RLSA to get more quantity at lower costs, right? Well, here’s how you make money with AdWords in an insanely competitive vertical with super-expensive CPCs:

Only do RLSA! Don’t do any unbranded vanilla search ads at all. None. Zero.

Instead, use the power of social media ads to dramatically — I’m talking 10x to 100x — increase the size of your cookie pools.

If you can increase the size of your remarketing pool by 10X (making that tiny circle bigger for cheap), then it stands to reason that you’ll get 10X more conversions!

If you shift or totally eliminate the budget for non-RLSA campaigns and put them toward social media feeder campaigns for your RLSA audiences, then you actually get the best of both worlds. You’re going to have:

  • a higher number of conversions;
  • higher click-through and conversion rates; and
  • lower costs per click and costs per action.

How to scare up more cheap conversions

It all starts by promoting inspirational or memorable content about your brand to your target audience with social media ads. People will see your ad, but won’t necessarily take action right away. But you will start the process of biasing them.

And when I say promote amazing content, of course, that means promoting your unicorns: the content that has outperformed all your other content. Content that has received the most social shares, page views or opens. Your one percent.

This is critical because when you promote a unicorn, you’ll get a really low CPC and high number of free clicks. You can actually get hundreds, thousands, or even millions of clicks, engagement and visits by investing $500 or $1,000.

People didn’t know about your brand before. Now they do. Continue to bias them with RLSA.

Later, when the need arises, people will either do a branded search for your stuff, in which case you win, or they’ll do a non-branded search, but they’ll be more likely to click on your result because they’ve visited your site, which is how you truly reap the benefits of RLSA.

Shift your budget from unbranded search campaigns to social campaigns. This will let you build the audiences you need to drive cheap RLSA campaigns through search.

The end of horrific ROI

Some marketers do Google Display Network advertising exclusively using remarketing. Why? Because the ROI for remarketing-targeted ads is so much higher than interest- and demographic-based targeting alone.

So all I’m suggesting is that you do the same thing with search!

Interest targeting and managed placements (i.e., where you specify certain websites you want to target) are such weak signals of intent. Remarketing is so much more awesome. All you have to do is focus on your target audience (e.g., people who live in Miami, Florida, make more than $500,000, own a boat and are conservative ­– or whoever you want to reach).

Target your target audience with social ads. Bias them so they’ll search for your stuff. You’ll still be one of the companies in the list competing for that search, but now you’ll have a HUGE advantage.

Start conjuring up PPC profits!

Despite all the obvious challenges posed by crazy high CPCs, conversion challenges and inventory concerns, you can still make money with Google AdWords by investing just a few hundred dollars.

Let’s be honest. Targeting unbranded search is a suicide mission in a lot of industries. Vanilla unbranded search is a rat race. You have no competitive edge. You’re just one of seven companies on Google’s SERP.

Marketing is all about finding and exploiting a ridiculously unfair advantage. With the ridiculously awesome new way forward I’ve laid out in this article, RLSA will be like printing money!

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The 10 Best & Biggest New PPC Features of the Year

advertising, digitaladvertising, ppc - admin - December 5, 2018

Another crazy year is almost behind us. The year 2016 will be remembered for some huge and unexpected changes, some awesome new PPC features, and welcome changes to both the Google AdWords and Bing Ads platforms.

But some new PPC features stuck out more than the rest this year. This article will separate the unicorns from the donkeys!

Here are my picks for the top 10 new PPC features of 2016.

1. No More Right-Side Ads

In February, Google killed off right-side text ads on desktop results, bringing the SERPs more in line with Google’s mobile experience. In addition, Google added a fourth ad spot above organic search results for “highly commercial queries.”

This massive change was a shocker to pretty much every PPC marketer.

When people woke up and discovered they were now living in a world in which desktop search results didn’t have text ads where they were supposed to be, many people freaked out. They predicted that PPC would never be the same again. (Spoiler alert: very little has changed.)

As I pointed out at the time, most paid clicks (about 85 percent) came from the top ads, based on WordStream data for 2,000 accounts:

In a follow-up post by Mark Irvine, The New Google SERP: 3 Changes & 3 Things That Haven’t Changed… Yet, we discovered that paid traffic and CPCs remained consistent after the change, CTRs were up, and impressions were down. Surprisingly, we discovered Position 3 was the biggest winner for advertisers, as CTRs doubled after the change:

This change failed to wipe out advertisers in lower positions. In fact, as I detailed in Google’s Right-Side Adpocalypse: Anatomy of a Loser [New Data], one advertiser lost desktop impressions and saw CPC increase, but also saw their CTR double and average position increase!

2. AdWords Expanded Text Ads

After we lost right-side ads, Google announced some big changes to AdWords. One of those huge changes was Expanded Text Ads.

Google called this the biggest change to text ads since AdWords launched 15 years agoAdWords will phase out the old text ad format as of Jan. 31.

Designed for today’s “mobile-first” world, Expanded Text Ads are twice the size of the text ads we’ve known and loved for so long. We now have two 30-character headlines and one 80-character description line.

Google told us that in early testing advertisers saw CTRs increase by as much as 20 percent. Well, after transitioning to the new AdWords ETAs, many of WordStream’s clients saw their CTR double!

Note: We created a FREE guide and cheat sheet that has everything you need to know about creating Expanded Text Ads.

3. Bing Expanded Text Ads

In an effort to keep pace with AdWords, Bing Ads also introduced Expanded Text Ads. However, unlike Google, it seems like Bing won’t be retiring standard text ads.

ETAs on Google and Bing are pretty much identical, with the same character limits and formatting (but fewer truncation issues, thankfully). You can either create ETAs within the Bing Ads platform, or import your existing ETAs from Google AdWords.

But hold your unicorns! There’s some great news for advertisers. WordStream data indicates that Bing’s Expanded Text Ads outperform Google. Check out this great CTR data:

If you haven’t yet tested out Bing Expanded Text Ads, make sure to put it on your to-do list in 2017!

4. Local Search Ads, Responsive Display Ads, and In-Store Conversions

In addition to Google expanded text ads, Google unveiled more exciting new features at the Google Performance Summit in May:

  • Responsive Display Ads: With this new type of ad, you provide a URL, headline, description, and image, and Google creates responsive display ads for you. These ads adapt to the content of the websites they’re on and apps in the GDN.
  • Better In-Store Conversion Measurement: OK, this feature isn’t new. But it is new to many types of businesses that gained access to this feature for the first time this year. How it works: Google looks at phone location history to figure out whether someone who clicked on your ad ended up walking into the store.

5. New AdWords Interface

Speaking of the AdWords Performance Summit, something else notable happened. We got a preview of the new AdWords interface, which rolled out more widely in August (and we can expect more design changes heading into 2017).

The new interface is sleeker, but still pretty familiar. It’s easy enough to figure out where to find the things I was looking for.

Nothing here changed how AdWords works. All these changes were cosmetic and aimed at smartly reorganizing all the AdWords features and functions you know and love.

6. Demographic Targeting for Search Campaigns

Targeting age and gender demographics within your search campaigns? Yes, please!

Google gave advertisers the awesome demographic targeting for search campaigns feature in September.

Now you can see the performance data on how ages and genders within ad groups. Based on this data, you can either create bid adjustments for different demographics or exclude people of a certain age or gender from seeing your paid search ads.

Demographic targeting worked ridiculously well for our clients, as Mark Irvine detailed in these AdWords demographic targeting case studies.

7. AdWords Message Extensions

AdWords introduced a new and exciting type of mobile ad extension in October: message extensions.

These extensions let users tap to start texting a business directly from the search results. Advertisers can write a pre-written text message to start the conversion.

In early testing, message extensions boosted mobile CTR by an average of 50 percent for some WordStream clients who got early access to the ad extension.

There is one downside of message extensions, however: no conversion tracking. Hopefully this is in the works!

8. Google Display Keywords Targeting Settings

In October Google quietly introduced some new display keyword targeting settings that give you more control over how your display ad campaigns are targeted.

Google now gives you the choice to target either:

  • Audience: This is the default option. You can serve display ads to anyone potentially interested in your keywords, regardless of what type of site they’re currently on.
  • Content: Your ads will only be served on websites, apps, and videos that are contextually relevant to your keywords.

9. The AdWords iPhone App

This year got off to a ridiculously awesome start when @adwords tweeted me to let me know about the release of a new AdWords app for iOS. This app is super-impressive!

The AdWords app is great for managing and monitoring AdWords campaigns when I’m on the go (which is a lot!). It’s beautiful, ridiculously fast, and simple to use.

If you haven’t already, you should download it and try it out.

10. The Return of Device-Level Bidding

In 2013, AdWords introduced enhanced campaigns. But one huge side effect of enhanced campaigns was our loss of device-level bidding. Marketers mourned, loudly and at length.

Well, this year Google gave us all reason to celebrate: device-level bidding is back! You can now set mobile bids, desktop bids, and tablet bids independently or make them dependent on each other.

What’s Next?

Whew! 2016 was a heck of a year, huh? So what does the future hold for PPC? Stay tuned. Whatever happens, WordStream will be here to keep you up to date on all the latest developments!

What’s your favorite new PPC feature of this year? And what PPC features would you like to see added to AdWords and Bing Ads in 2017?

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The Five Challenges of Digital Marketing Transformation

automation, digitalmarketing, marketing - admin - December 5, 2018

“Digital transformation” has become a popular buzzword — senior executives and experts are all talking about it.

Some enterprises are already leveraging the benefits of digital transformation, while others struggle with incorporating the necessary changes into their business processes.

Digital marketing transformation is a very broad term: there’s no single definition of it, and expert opinion on it is highly divergent.

Ivan Menezes, CEO at Diageo, says, “it’s not about doing ‘digital marketing’, it’s about marketing effectively in a digital world.

Brian Solis, a principal analyst at Altimeter Group, defines digital marketing transformation as “the realignment of, or new investment in, technology, business models, and processes, to drive new value for customers and employees, and more effectively compete in an ever-changing digital economy.

In today’s world, it is essential for enterprises to stay current as their competitors carry out digital transformation and increase their revenue and market share.

Tim Howell, a digital marketing strategist, says, “the majority of marketers understand the need to evolve their businesses, they recognize the urgency in changing how they do business, and they know that their competitors are having the same conversation.

Digital marketing transformation is exactly what enables enterprises not to stay competitive. 27% of senior executives believe that digital transformation is a matter of survival.

At the same time, 33% of enterprises see digital transformation as a real challenge.

Why is digital marketing transformation considered so complex? When carrying out digital improvements, CMOs may encounter various challenges. In this article we will discuss them and ways to overcome them.

The Challenge of Big Data Management

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

The term “big data” refers to quantities of information so large that they are extremely difficult to process using traditional software and databases. Effective big data management is crucial for digital marketing transformation.

Large enterprises collect and work with vast amounts of data, which is a challenge to manage and process. In fact, many corporations manage various siloed systems that contain only scraps of information about customer operations, behavior and so forth.

Customer data is at the core of any top company. Leaders like Facebook, Airbnb, Uber, and Amazon achieved success because they leverage all of their customer data.

Facebook, for example, has a data science team that analyzes the habits and behavior of millions of people.

Efficient operation is impossible if data is not organized into a single system. This means that effective management of big data defines the company’s success.

In some cases, the best solution is to gather and centralize big data into one platform. If the data is stored in one place, all staff members can access it whenever they need it. This enables better management and processing of data.

There are various big data solutions that help organize vast amounts of information. Examples include Microsoft’s big data solution, Google Cloud Platform, Oracle Big Data Solutions, and many others.

All of these have some common features:

● They enable organizing and managing big data in the cloud.

● They provide reliability, flexibility, and faster scalability across the entire environment.

● They protect the company’s investments and data.

The Challenge of Finding the Right Team

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Digital marketing transformation requires people with specific expertise in the digital sphere to lead and manage organizational changes. These modifications may include, for example, the adoption of artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented realities, the Internet of Things, and many other technologies.

People with traditional marketing educations do not have the required knowledge to conduct digital transformation effectively.

Consider Adobe’s survey, “DIGITAL DISTRESS: What Keeps Marketers Up at Night?”. It indicates that senior executives don’t feel confident about their digital capabilities. Less than half of the questioned marketers claimed that they were proficient in digital marketing.

Around 52% of CMOs consider their major barrier to digital marketing transformation a lack of familiarity with technology.

In the realm of digital marketing transformation, more focused marketing roles with more specific responsibilities should be introduced to stay agile.

According to Gartner, 19% of companies are planning to appoint a chief digital officer. Some examples of other relevant roles could be: Head of Digital Marketing, Digital Optimizer, Chief Data/Information Officer, and so forth.

Staff expertise directly influences a company’s ability to incorporate new technologies, and consequently, adapt to constantly changing business demands. Hiring the right people with the correct knowledge is a critical factor in carrying out digital marketing transformation.

The Challenge of Understanding Digital Customer Behavior

Source: canadiangovernmentexecutive.ca

Today’s digital customers expect superb experiences from companies. These high expectations drive innovation and cause enterprises to go out of their way to meet customers’ needs.

Forrester Research defines an enterprise prioritizing customer experience as a company that “focuses its strategy, its energy, and its budget on processes that enhance the knowledge of and engagement with customers, and prioritizes these over maintaining traditional competitive barriers.”

For successful digital marketing transformation, the customer must be a central point for all changes. To enhance the customer experience, digital improvements must be personalized.

The challenge is to understand the specific needs of a digital customer as well as to outline the whole customer journey.

According to the “Digital Transformation Report” by Altimeter Group, technology is not the most important factor in digital marketing transformation. Digital customers’ expectations and experiences influence digital transformation to a greater extent.

When deciding to shift to digital, CMOs should analyze what their customers actually lack. They should then find out the actual indicators of how digital transformation will help meet these needs and improve customer experiences accordingly.

Additional research from Altimeter Group, “The 2016 State of Digital Transformation,” shows that 55% of executives responsible for digital transformation think that “evolving customer behaviors and preferences” is a crucial factor for change.

Yet 71% of marketers state that the biggest challenge is understanding customers’ behavior and their impact.

The Challenge of Overcoming a Digital Marketing Paradox — “Transformation is Important but Not Urgent”

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Senior executives talk a lot about the importance of digital marketing transformation.

The paradox is that as long as the enterprise’s revenue is high enough, and senior management is satisfied, executives tend to think that there is no urgency to this process.

Meanwhile, other companies — likely including their competitors — are already introducing digital improvements, giving them a competitive advantage over those satisfied with the status quo.

To avoid losing market share to competitors, enterprises need to work out and communicate a clear vision for carrying out digital marketing transformation.

According to the results of Capgemini research, “The Digital Talent Gap: Developing Skills for Today’s Digital Organizations,” 87% of organizations think that digital marketing transformation provides a competitive advantage.

Moreover, Capgemini Consulting and MIT Sloan Management Review showed that 78% of senior executives consider digital marketing transformation an essential part of their company’s growth. Furthermore, 51% of CMOs believe that it is critical to incorporate digital improvements into their business processes within next 12 months, and 63% of respondents state that the speed at which innovations are introduced in their companies is too slow.

Digital marketing transformation really is a matter of urgency. If adopted in a timely manner, it can help outpace competitors and gain market share.

The Challenge of Shifting to Mobile

Source: pexels.com

The customer journey is influenced by mobile technologies, which are developing and spreading rapidly. This fast development contributes to the fact that digital customers’ needs are accelerating.

Software that not long ago was used only on PCs is now expected to be accessible on mobile devices. Meeting digital customers’ mobile needs is a real challenge for many companies.

Merkle | RKG analyzed Fortune 500 companies websites, and found that around half of them did not comply with Google’s mobile-friendly standards. As a result, these companies may lose their position in Fortune’s ranking.

Google has already announced that it will be shifting to mobile-first indexing, meaning that search engine result pages will be based on mobile content, and will give preference to mobile-friendly websites.

This will have a serious impact on how business is conducted.

According to eMarketer’s prediction, “by 2019, 65% of the US population will be mobile users.”

Wrapping it Up

In today’s world, digital marketing transformation is a necessity for enterprises to remain competitive and win new markets.

However, the transformation process involves certain pitfalls.

Here is a summary of the challenges of digital transformation we discussed in this article:

  1. Management of enterprise big data, especially when organized in siloed systems, is a real challenge. This is made easier when all of the data is collected in a single platform. This should be combined with a big data solution to help better manage customer data.
  2. Without an experienced team, digital marketing transformation is impossible. Employees need more specific knowledge of technology and digital customer requirements.
  3. Many enterprises have problems with estimating and meeting digital customers’ needs. Improvements should be driven not by digital technologies, but by the customer experience, and what is needed to improve it.
  4. Many enterprises think that digital transformation is not urgent, but they are actually wasting precious time and losing ground to competitors.
  5. Digital transformation is influenced by mobile technologies, but many companies still underestimate their importance, and as a result, lose potential clients.
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6 Digital Marketing Trends That Will Explode Your Brand Awareness

digitalmarketing, marketing, SEO - admin - December 5, 2018

Online marketing has changed a lot over the last few years. The paradigm has shifted, and what worked for you last year won’t work for you this year. What got you to this point won’t get you to where you want to be, and your job as an entrepreneur is to keep up with this change.

 

The leads you bring in and the customers you attract are the lifeblood of your business, and it’s no longer enough to create a single marketing funnel and expect a return on your investment.

Today, your ability to create leads comes down to building trust and intimacy with those who need you the most, and to then convince them you’re the most relevant choice. You need to become omnipresent and top of mind, and you can do this by paying close attention to these six digital marketing trends.

1. Relevancy wins the war.

It’s no longer about collecting the most email addresses or leads. Those with the biggest lists used to dominate their niche, but this will not work in 2018 as people begin to crave greater intimacy and relevance.

In 2018, relavancy will win the war. If you want to increase your profit this year, it isn’t about creating more leads, it’s about building greater intimacy and relevance with the leads you have — so you provide the right solution, to the right people, at the right time.

2. Attention is the new currency.

If you’re not capturing (the right) attention in 2018, you lose your ability to compete without spending massive amounts of money on advertising and other online marketing.

Attention is getting more and more expensive as more businesses have easier access to it, meaning it’s more important than ever to make the most of the attention you capture. People are so overwhelmed with messages that they’re starved of significance. This is an opportunity for you, because as soon as you capture their attention, you capture their loyalty and wallet.

It’s no longer about spreading your marketing further and further for the sake of it. You have to spread it to the right people at the right time, and make the most of their attention the moment you capture it.

 

3. Be Tai Lopez (kind of).

Love or loathe him, Tai Lopez has mastered a specific skill: He appears to be everywhere.

His ability to reach the masses is an incredible feat, and defines what it means to be omnipresent to your audience. It isn’t about appearing everywhere to everyone, because this is both expensive and pointless.

No, the point of becoming omnipresent is to appear in front of those leads most relevant to you, and who you are most relevant to in return. This combination of omnipresence and relevance leads you to be top of mind, which in turn ensures your audience knows, likes and trusts you.

4. One platform is not enough.

If you think dominating a single platform is enough, think again.

Your leads on Facebook are not on YouTube, and those on YouTube are different to those reading Entrepreneur.com. As such, the key to your success is to repurpose your content across multiple (relevant) platforms.

In the past this was expensive and time-consuming, but these days it’s easy to take a single video and repurpose it into a blog post, an in-depth article, a podcast episode and additional resources. In turn, you can repurpose this content into an email series, social media posts and micro videos.

5. Your marketing funnel has evolved.

You cannot build a single marketing funnel that takes your audience through a predefined step-by-step process anymore. They are onto you. They have been in dozens of marketing funnels like this already. You need to stand out; you need to turn your marketing funnel into an experience, and build real, significant trust.

Scarcity and countdown timers no longer work. Instead, you need to feed your audience with relevant content at the right time, based on their current level of awareness and engagement. This is the only way to build their trust, and their trust is what you need if you’re to make this year your best year yet.

6. Focus on the invisible ROI.

It used to be enough to focus your ad spend on lead generation and sales, but not anymore. My clients who see the greatest success are those who focus a large amount of their ad spend on brand awareness.

It’s not to say creating new leads isn’t important, because it is. But, you must also nurture your audience, not simply sell to them.

You need to become top of mind, and you don’t do this by forcing one sales messages after another on them. It takes time to build their trust and become the “go-to” expert they need. If you only focus on lead generation, you’ll continue to see your ad spend rise while your conversions go down.

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What Is The Future Of Digital Marketing?

digitalmarketing, marketing - admin - December 5, 2018

History has a tendency to repeat itself, and with digital marketing in particular, there is a pattern of disruption.

After finding that B2B organizations are not getting the most value out of the old digital marketing playbooks, our company decided to create digital marketing frameworks. These frameworks, which should be visited at least once every 12-24 months to ensure relevancy, are a guide to help prepare for periods of disruption.

We’re entering into the fourth digital marketing framework — the first was in 2000 — and there are things your business can do to prepare for the next disruption.

What Is Digital Marketing 4.0?

The prior framework includes websites, email campaigns, digital advertisements, basic social media management and basic blog publishing. It only focuses on increasing visits to websites but has no focus on lead conversion and proper online lead qualification. This most recent iteration, though, includes:

More Integrated Global Marketing: Inbound and outbound marketing should now be combined. In comparison to cold-calling, consider this “warm-calling.” For example, after someone reads a blog article on your site, follow it up with an email sharing more meaningful content.

A Cohesive Marketing Technology Stack: No one software tool can save the day. Marketing is not about the creative aspect alone anymore. Marketing technology infrastructure needs to be designed and integrated correctly. One social media tool alone will not save the day, nor will one CRM tool be the solution to a challenge anymore. Consider your full stack and how it can work together.

Evolving Marketing Roles: Digital transformation is no longer limited to the CIO. Your CMO now needs it more than ever. The CMO needs to know more about the possibilities of implementing marketing automation to not only help execute on the marketing playbooks but also to help CIOs measure a full, end-to-end ROI.

Omnichannel Marketing Strategy: This includes deep analytics and data mining, such as AI and machine learning. Omnichannel marketing brings a diversity in mediums when it comes to communicating your brand and value-add. Focusing only on one medium can be limiting, especially if your buyers don’t exist on that channel.

A Focus On Account-Based Marketing (B2B): Account-based selling should be an integrated part of your digital marketing process even if you are a B2B SaaS or a modern managed service provider (MSP). This will be the key differentiator between B2C and B2B organizations in 2017 and beyond.

Understanding What Drives Disruption

While working at a Fortune 100 company for nine years before moving to lead my current team, I became fascinated by customer behavior. What kinds of digital offerings most deeply engage customers in their digital lives? I started by looking at some case studies of the products, services, communications and experiences that had been embraced and adopted by customers during the first two decades of the internet. Over a period of seven years working on inbound marketing campaigns, what I found was a recurring pattern of three behaviors that drove the adoption of new digital experiences, which I call the three core behaviors of a network:

Access

Consumers are looking to interact with digital content and access digital data as quickly and as conveniently as possible. Any offering that enhances this access is incredibly compelling. Think of text messaging on early mobile phones, which revolutionized communications with the ability to receive and send messages from anywhere at anytime.

Engagement

Once consumers can access this content, they want to engage with something that fits their needs and is sensory and interactive — from the early popularity of web portals to the spread of online video, to the next generation virtual realities. Their digital desires are marked by a thirst for content. The old media adage that “content is king” is correct. There is no question that the desire to engage with content is a key driver of customer behavior.

How are you transforming mass online marketing to one-to-one interaction and engagement in your online marketing plans? How do you become a source of valued content for your customer? Always focus on the customer care. Be consultative in your online conversation. Seek to ask and go deeper into a prospect’s business challenge, and be very honest in your marketing campaigns to ensure you are progressively qualifying the prospect.

Customization

Consumers seek to customize their experiences by choosing and modifying a wide assortment of information, products and services. In a generation, customers have gone from having a handful of television channel options to a digital world with more than a trillion web pages. They have been trained by their digital networks to expect more options for personal choice, and they like this. From Pandora’s personalized radio streams to Google’s search bar that anticipates search terms, consumers are drawn to increasingly customized experiences.

In summary, whether you are a B2B or B2C business, building the buyer’s journey is very critical when building your marketing engine.

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53 Digital Marketing Tools You Should Check!

automation, digitalmarketing, marketing, SEO - admin - December 4, 2018

Here is a list of the top digital marketing tools you should learn to use in 2018.

  1. Google Trends
  2. Google Keyword Planner
  3. Ahrefs
  4. AppAnnie
  5. Serpstat
  6. SimilarWeb
  7. Buzzsumo
  8. Facebook Audience Insights
  9. Facebook Ads
  10. Google Adwords
  11. Bing Ads
  12. Google Analytics
  13. Facebook Analytics for Apps
  14. Yandex Metrica
  15. Color Picker
  16. Google Analytics URL Builder
  17. Tag Assistant
  18. FB Pixel Helper
  19. Google Tag Manager
  20. Data Scraper
  21. Google Analytics Debugger
  22. Pocket
  23. Bootstrap Studio
  24. Canva
  25. Flatpack
  26. Marvellapp
  27. Adespresso ads
  28. Lapa.ninja
  29. Behnace
  30. Dribbble
  31. Unsplash
  32. Headreach
  33. Buzzstream
  34. Pitchbox
  35. Active Campaign
  36. pCloud
  37. Todoist
  38. Jira
  39. Confluence
  40. Evernote
  41. Slack
  42. Digital marketer
  43. Webris
  44. Neil Patel Blog
  45. Medium
  46. Search Engine Land
  47. Ahrefs Blog
  48. Jon Loomer Blog
  49. Hubspot Blog
  50. Content Marketing Institute Blog
  51. Buffer Blog
  52. GrooveHQ Blog
  53. MOZ Blog
  54. Adespresso Blog

Hope you find this interesting.

Digital Marketing Research Tools

Research is essential to the success of any marketing campaign.

Without proper planning and research, you are making your tasks when starting a campaign a lot harder. Always do your research and plan this will not only make your job easier but you will learn a lot more things in the process.

1. Google Trends

Google Trends lets you see the latest trends, data, and visualizations from Google and find out what’s trending near you right now.

It can give you validation on an idea pretty fast and it is very easy to use.

Simply go to the website and type the keyword or the industry name you are interested in a hit “Enter”.

You can also add other terms so you can compare data.

They also show you an interest by region on a map and also related queries

You can also search by countries, time period, categories and type of search which includes Youtube search.

And as you may know, Youtube is the second-biggest search engine in the world.

So if you are going to start a business, research competitors, create a new campaign or just curious about certain words Google Trends is one awesome tool you can use!

2. Google Keyword Planner

So there are two opinions on the Google Keyword tool there are the people who love it and the people who hate it and think it’s data is misleading.

I will not be telling you what I think I will just tell you how you can use it in the best way possible.

What is the Google Keyword tool?

It’s a feature in Google Adwords which I will be talking about later in this article. It’s located in the “Tools” tab.

It is similar to Google Trends but it gives you actual numbers you can work with.

Google Keyword Planner

You can choose one or more keywords, choose the country and the language you want and see approximately how many times your word is searched.

You can see if the competition is “High”, “”Medium” or “Low” and what is the suggested bid for that keyword.

I do not recommend to use only the Google Keyword tool to research your keywords, but it is a great tool to begin with, to get some kind of idea on volumes.

A cool thing about the keyword tool is that you can export the data and import it somewhere else.

Also, you can start a Google Adwords campaign directly while you research your keywords which I also don’t recommend.

What I recommend is that you check it out and find out if it fits your needs.

3. Ahrefs

Maybe one of the best SEO and SEM tools on the market.

Ahrefs Home Page

Why?

Mainly because you can learn almost everything about your competitors with the Ahrefs Site Explorer.

What it gives you is the opportunity to learn where your competitors get traffic, where they rank for specific keywords in Google Search, how many backlinks and who exactly links to their website and much more.

For instance, you can set “Alerts” so each time a website ranks for a keyword or receives a mention somewhere on the web.

Also with their “Content Explorer” they give you the opportunity to find the most shared content on the web.

Here you can see the most shared article about iPhone cases with a total of 91k shares.

You can, of course, filter that in many ways.


Ahrefs Keywords Explorer 2.0

It has an enormous database of keywords and you can research keywords in 170 countries.

It shows you accurate search volume data, how many searches are with clicks and how many searches remain without clicks.

Another awesome thing about the keyword tool is that it shows you the keyword difficulty in other words. How hard is to rank for that specific words.

It has a ranking history graph, a very detailed SERP analysis with all the data you need in order to make a plan and a marketing strategy.

Last but not least, thousands of keyword ideas with all the metrics you need to know in order to make your decision easier.

Since I make my decisions based on data I can say that I really like how Ahrefs works.

4. App Annie

Appannie Homepage

If you are an App developer or a Marketing Manager in a startup that has an App, you need Appannie.

It is the best tool for tracking competitors in almost every app store there is.

Here is a screenshot on how you can use it.

The coolest feature in my opinion is the ASO (App Search Optimisation).

What it does is that it shows you where your app is ranking on a specific keyword in Google Play and Apple Store.

Keywords for pCloud App

Based on that you can edit your titles and descriptions when you upload a new version of your app.

It’s pretty real-time so you can test different text in a matter of days and see what works better for you.

5. Serpstat

Serpstat is also an amazing keyword tool that I love.

It’s similar to Ahrefs. I use it mainly to compare data and because the data for some countries is more accurate than other tools.

Recently the guys made a redesign of the dashboards and now it looks amazing.

Here is a screenshot from the keywords tracking tool

Aesthetic by science keywords tracking

You can also track competitors keywords, backlinks and much more.

It is a super easy to use and you should check it out.

6. SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb it the first tool that I use to get an Idea for a website.

What it does is give you an estimated traffic of a website, what are the sources of that traffic, what are the countries, a basic idea of the keywords that the websites ranks for and some other cool stuff.

I mostly use the Chrome extension that they have because as I said it gives me the information I need to decide if I want to go further with research or not.

Similarweb Chrome Extension

For instance when someone contacts me with a review proposition or something like that I open the website and see what traffic that website does and where is it from.

7. Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is a tool for content discovery. It will analyze a certain topic or competitor that you give it and tell you the content that performs best.

If you have writer’s block or want to see what are the best posts about something just type it in and you will get your answers.

You can even see who shared the content with twitter and contact them when you have yours ready.

8. Facebook audience Insights

One of the most powerful and underestimated tools that exist right now. As we know Facebook has one of the best targeting ad systems that has ever been built since it has tons of data for all of us.

If you learn to use this tool you will make your job as a marketer a lot easier.

The cool thing is that it is super easy to use and you will not waste days trying to figure out how it works.

It can help you make a plan for a Facebook Ads campaign in the best way.

You can see how many people you can reach based on country, interests, devices they are using, behavior, habits and even life events.

It shows you demographic data and for some countries, you can even search by household income.

Also, you can see what other interests the people you want to target have and what is the best way to target them.

You can create an audience for an advertising campaign right there and instantly start using it without having to do it all over again.

Advertising Platforms

The easiest and fastest way to share a message with a massive number of audience is advertising.

Today ad networks have become thousands of times smarter and there are a million ways you can target so that your message gets to the just right people.

Here is just a fraction of that how the best ad networks work and how you can use them.

1. Facebook Ads

As you know Facebook is the biggest Social Network in the world with an average of 25.5 Billion visits per month, average session duration of 16 minutes and 5 seconds and an estimate of 14.36 scrolls per visit.

Exactly because of those numbers and the ability to collect data Facebook Ads is, in my opinion the most powerful ad network right now. So if you don’t use it for marketing purposes you should learn how and start immediately!

There are many types of ads you can place in Facebook based on where are the users you are targeting in you marketing funnel.

Creating a New Campaign

The ad types speak for themselves but I will try to explain them better with a few words.

Awareness

  • Boost Posts — This type of ad is for the posts on your Facebook Page (already posted or not) they can be photos, links, videos, events, and offers
  • Promote your page — If you want to get more likes on your Facebook Page you should use this type of ad because it is optimized for People that are more likely to like your page (based on your targeting of course)
  • Reach people near your business
  • Increase brand awareness — This type of ad is to be used when you just want to reach as many people as you want so they learn about your brand

Consideration

  • Send people to a place on or off Facebook (Clicks to website) — One of the most used Ad types by Facebook Marketers. What it does is that it sends traffic to your website and by default it’s targeted to people that are more likely to click on your ad.
  • Get installs your app — If you want to drive users to install your app this is the type of ad you should be placing.
  • Raise attendance to an event — This type of ad is targeted to people that are likely to attend an event based on your targeting.
  • Get Video Views — One of the most powerful types of ads in my opinion not just because video on Facebook has exploded but you can create Audiences of people based on how long they watched a certain video! This is great because you can create amazing automated funnels based on how people engage with your content!
  • Collect leads for a business — Another super powerful type of ad that is very underestimated by businesses. You see Conversion rates on landing pages have a lot of variables one of which is the speed of the page. With this type of Facebook ad, you can collect a lead directly on Facebook without the user even leaving.

Of course most of the times the user has to receive something in return so you can send

Him to a thank you page that is off Facebook.

After you have his email you can use it via integration with some of the biggest email CRMs or just download it and use it however you want. No spam of course!

Conversion

  • Increase conversion (mostly sales) on your website — This type of ad I love the most. For it to work properly tho you need to set up your Facebook Pixel the right way. This means that you have to put it on every page of your website and report different events based on what the user is doing

For example, if a user is viewing a product on your website you must send the ViewContent event.

If he is in the Cart you must send the AddtoCart event.

The most important event you must log in the Purchase event. You must log it on your thank you page with ALL the Parameters that the Purchase includes.

Here is a [link] with every Event and all it’s parameters. Give it to your developer.

This is very important to do because as I said Facebook has massive amounts of data for every one of us and based on those events it can create a profile of you perfect buyer so you can get the best ROI for your ad spend. Also, you can create lists with people that are similar to your perfect buyer which is called Lookalike audience.

  • Increase engagement in your app — If you have set your Apps events the right way you will be able to show personalized ads to people using your app. For example, if a user is close to completing a level but hasn’t visited the app in 1 week, you can show him an ad that tells him that he is close to completing that level.
  • Get people to Claim an offer — As you know your are able to post an offer in Facebook. This type of ad targets people that are most likely to claim your offer.
  • Promote product catalog — This type of ad is mainly for people that own big store. This a basically Dynamic Remarketing Ads. These type of ads are of the most profitable for marketers because they show to the user the exact product that he was looking at. With these types of ads you can show the user that right now only for him this product has a discount and most of the times he will buy. Dynamic ads increase the CTR and reduce the cost per purchase!

The best thing about Facebook Ads is the Pixel

What the pixel is, is a chunk of code that helps you track what users do on your website.

Based on that you can create personalized ads specially for them.

But that’s not all.

Facebook is so good at targeting it offers you to create audiences that are similar to the people you are tracking. They are called “Lookalike Audiences”.

You can create this kind of audience for the people that have already converted on your website or app.

Based on that Facebook creates a profile and helps you show your ad to people that are likely to convert too.

In order for this to work Facebook needs to gather information so it will not happen right away.

The other thing is that you have to put the Tracking Pixel In a way so it can track the exact steps of a user before he converts.

It can be a bit hard on some websites but by far this is the thing that has brought me the highest ROI based on ad spend.

2. Google Adwords

Google Adwords is the tool that made Google $67.39 billion in 2015 alone according to statista.com

It is one of the most used and complex ad platforms ever.

So if you are a marketer you definitely need to learn how to use it. At least the basics because it is not a coincidence that people get hired for doing just Google Adwords.

It’s capabilities are massive and you will need quite a lot of time to learn all the things it can do.

I recommend the Google Partners Certification Program

Google Adwords is very important because you can use a lot of channels that are connected to Google via Adsesnse and Tap into Google Search.

I am sure that everyone has seen this

Google Ads Screenshot

This screenshot has been taken on a 1920×1080 monitor and you can see that 70% of the visible part of the page search results are Ads.

With Google Adwords you can be there. And this is important because of the graph you are going to see next. 36% of people in the US have researched the item from a search engine.

Also the majority of banners that you see in websites are served via Google AdSense. With Google Adwords, you can advertise on websites that are using Google AdSense. You can target them in very different ways.

Keywords -This means that you can target websites or apps that are contextually matched with the keywords you want or have that specific keywords in their content. For example, I want to target articles in websites that are doing WordPress theme reviews. Than I will choose the option only to show my ads where “best WordPress themes” is present in the content of the website

Topics -Here you can target websites on certain topics. For example, you can target websites that usually write about SEO and Affiliate Marketing like so

Interests & Remarketing -This type of targeting means that you can target people based on what Google they might be interested in. The cool thing is that here you have a couple of options. You can choose “Affinity Audiences” — Target People in large numbers based on their long-term interests, “In-market Audiences” — Reach people that are actively searching and comparing products like yours, “Remarketing” — Terget people that already had interaction with your website or app, “Customer email lists” — You can show ads in Gmail to people that have provided you with their Gmail email address.

Placements — Choosing this you can target people that visit specific websites. Let’s say that you sell Macbook Pro Accessories and know your potential customers read Macworld.com. You can tell Adwords to show ads only on this website. To make the targeting even better you can combine Targeting Preferences. What this means is that I can show ads to people who read Macworld.com and read articles that contain the keyword “Macbook Pro Accessories”.

Demographics — Of course, you can target people by their demographic profile too.

Of course this is a very small part of what Google Adwords can do, as I said.

In my opinion, it is essential for a modern marketer to know how it works.

3. Bing ads

Bing ads are similar to Google Adwords and in my opinion is a super underestimated and underused channel for advertising. I see great results coming from there.


Analytics Tools

For one to be successful in the long-term one must learn how to analyze.

Successful campaigns or mistakes can be tracked and optimized.

Here are some of the best Analytics tools.

1. Google analytics

There are many data-sources on how many websites use Google Analytics.

In a post from 2015 Marketing land says that Google analytics is used by 30–50 Million websites.

Other data-sources like W3Techs say that Google Analytics is used by 54.9% of all the websites, that is a traffic analysis tool market share of 83.5%.

Either way no matter how many websites use it is one of the most popular analytics tools in the world and if you are Digital Marketer, Growth hacker, Marketing Manager and even a CEO you must learn how to use it.

With Google Analytics you can track everything about your users even what resolution screen they are using.

You can create all kinds of reports and thus learn more about the people using your service.

Where they come from, which channel provides the most leads, sales, downloads etc.

You can even perform A/B testing!

It is extremely powerful if you know how to use it and if you invest more time to understand it you can only win.

Here is a link with the Google Analytics Academy

2. Facebook analytics for apps

Facebook has recently gone into the direction of becoming a whole in one Marketing platform.

Facebook Analytics for Apps Homepage

The Facebook Analytics for Apps recently came out of beta and it is one of the most powerfull analytics for apps tools there is if not the most powerful one.

Why am I saying that?

Well in the platform you can everything you need to know about a user.

It is by far one of the most accurate demographic segmentation ever.

And that’s not all. If you don’t know the Facebook Applications has a lot of permissions that you grant when you install it.

But the true power of it comes when you set it up just like they want you to.

With events.

You see with Facebook analytics for apps you can track specific actions that users have taken in your app and create a segment to target them.

Yes.

You can show ads to people based on specific events.

For instance, you can show personalized ads to people that haven’t completed the level of your game or give a discount to people that were one step away from subscribing to your service.

Also you can create Lookalike audiences to those segments but and I will talk about why this is amazing when we get to the Facebook Ads tool.

Last but not least there are “Push Campaigns”.

Push Campaigns feature is part of the Facebook Analytics for Apps SDK and it gives you the opportunity to send Push Notifications to your users totally for FREE!

There are two types of Push Notifications

  • In-app Notifications — Pop-up screens that show up while the user is in your application
  • Push Notifications — Notifications when the user is not using your application

The best part is that you can use Push Campaigns with the Events and instead of paying for ads you can get to your users for free.

3. Yandex Metrica

Yandex is the Russian equivalent of Google so of course, they have their on Analytics.

Yandex Metrika is good for two things the most.

  • Free heatmaps — Heatmaps basically show where people click on your website. Most heatmap tools are paid but this is not and it’s pretty good
  • Video recording — When you enable it Yandex gives you the opportunity to watch what users are doing on your website. Yep video. You can’t see the passwords of the users but you can see everything else so use this with caution and make sure you mention it in your Terms of service

Additional Tools

Here is a list of the best tools to make your job as a full-stack marketer a lot easier and get stuff done faster.

1. Color picker

With this you can pick any color from any web page. It is awesome when creating designs or landing pages.

2. Google analytics URL builder

In order to understand where exactly your users come from when you are advertising or doing some kind of a PR campaign it is good to tag them so you can she the data in google analyics.

This Chrome Extension is by far the best one I have found.

3. Tag Assistant

With the Google Tag Assistant you can easily check if all your Google tags are installed properly

4. FB Pixel Helper

Same as the Google Tag Assistant you can check if your Facebook Pixel is installed properly and what events it sends.

5. Google Tag Manager

So if you have a website and you want to track a lot of stuff you must have a lot of codes placed in all sorts of places of the website. One must be loaded before the other and all kinds of stuff that I promise you, you don’t wanna be doing.

Google Tag Manager takes care of all this.

Basically, you can put all your codes in GTM and put JUST ONE code on your website.

It might be a bit overwhelming if you are not familiar with Basic HTML, event tracking and the concept of how a website actually works but there are a TON of tutorials to make everything clear.

Check this playlist that Ryan Stewart made.

Hope it helps and you start using GTM. No more calling developers to ask them do something because you want to track that button in the footer.

It will change your life I promise.

6. Data Scraper

With this tool you can scrape and download any kind of data from a website. You just define your filters and download the spreadsheet.

I use it manly when I do display campaigns in Google Adwords.

What I do is I tell Google to show me the first 100 results for a given query by adding %var% at the end of the link when I do a certain query and download them.

Than I just put the links in Google Adwords so I can show specific ads in those specific articles.

You can also do this to scrape websites for outreach.

7. Google Analytics Debugger

With this tool you can check if all your Google analytics events fire up like they should be firing without going into Google Analytics Real Time View.

8. Pocket

I keep all the stuff I need to read later in Pocket.

A cool feature it has is that with the apps for iOS it can read you the article so you can just listen while you, run, workout, drive or commute.

You can create categories with tags so you can find your links faster.

Basically you can store every link you need for later.

Design Tools

A list of tools I use to build Landing pages and make creatives for ads when I need a proof of concept.

1. Bootstrap Studio

So what Bootstrap studio is, is how I love to call it “Photoshop for Landing Pages”.

Bootstrap studio homepage

It is an amazing tool built with the Electon Framework [Link] which enables you to create amazing responsive Landing pages and the front end of a whole website really.

It has two options.

You can either build the pages via drag and drop or if you like you can write the code.

The awesome thing is that it has a ton of predefined sections and if you happen to not like one of them you can easily edit it with the HTML, CSS, Javascript editors or you can use the special section which enables you to just type in the text you want, change the color or the width of an element.

Everything you do is updated in-front of you in real time and you can see how your page will look like on different devices.

It is super easy to use but if you are a complete novice in HTML and CSS it might take more time for you to learn how to use it in it’s full potential.

Here is a short video of it’s features.

2. Canva

If you are not a designer and you need to create some pictures for ads of for a website Canva is your savior.

What it does is provide you with the tools to easily create a great design in just a few minutes.

Of course you must know what you want to do otherwise it might take you more time to do it with Canva than just paying a professional.

It has so many options that you can create almost anything.

I personally prove my consents to designers with testing in with Canva first.

Just to make it clear, it is not in any way a substitute of a professional designer tho, but if you want something done with good quality, Canva is the tool to use.

3. Flatpack

Flatpack is a drag and drop landing page designer. Again I am not saying that those tools are a substitute of a designer or a front-end developer. With Flatpack tho you can create a landing page very fast.

It is pretty easy to use and it’s kind of self-explanatory.

You choose an element you put it where you want and then play with the settings.

It is great just to make a quick test of something. It’s $18 which is an amazing price for what it can do!

I strongly recommend it!

4. Marvellapp

A great tool for prototyping and collaboration on app and website mock ups.

It is integrated with most of the popular tools that designers use and has a lot of cool features to make your life easier when dealing with explaining how something works!

Inspiration Websites

Everyone needs inspiration. Here are a couple of tools I use to see best practices and interesting ideas.

1. Adespresso Ads

As far as I know this started as a side-project of AdEspresso and I think it is awesome.

With this tool you can type in a keyword or a company name and it will show you what kind of facebook ads they were/are running.

Here is an example with Dropbox.

2. Lapa.ninja

This is my favorite website for Landing Page inspiration.

It has a lot of screenshots of websites and landing pages all in one place. If you feel the need to be inspired by a website design just browse for a while.

3. Behance

Maybe the most famous and big designer portfolio website in the world.

If you need to be inspired in any way not just web-design but architecture, typography, motion-graphics or anything that is designer related this is the place to check out.

It’s awesome if you are trying to find a good designer to do something for you.

4. Dribbble

My favorite designer portfolio website. Here you can see case studies, animation, logo designs and basically everything designer related from big companies or really really good freelancers.

You can stay on top of modern trends and really learn a lot. Plus most things that are posted are really awesome!

5. Unsplash

This is THE (di) BEST website that I have found for awesome AND free photos. Anytime I need something cool for a Landing page or a Ad or an email or just want browse for ideas I visit this awesome place.

Another thing is that I really love the culture of the people that stand behind this awesome project!

Make sure to check it out you will not be disappointed!

Email tools

Email is still the channel with lowest cost-per-conversion.

Here are some tools I use to either find the email of someone or fully automate a customer or outreach flow.

1. Headreach

HeadReach is a simple prospecting tool for marketers and sales folks.

It helps you find the right decision makers and their emails without paying for a LinkedIn premium account or spending hours on using a plethora of different email finding tools. You just simply chuck in a company name, domain name or person’s name and the tool finds the right people. You can use HeadReach to find professionals in your field to do a roundup post, for content promotion or to find the right people in charge of a popular outlet. For example, you can search for all editors at TechCrunch, Forbes and Entrepreneur magazine via a single search.

Here is a short demo on how it works

 

2. Buzzstream

This is one of the best tools to research influencers, contact and outreach to them in a personalized and efficient manner and manager your relationships with them.

You can discover all kinds of information about people that are considered influencers in all kinds of niche markets. It is very easy to keep track with conversations and also you can set reminders for a follow up email.

3. Pitchbox

I use Pitchbox mainly for outreach because if you automate it the way it’s supposed to be you can scale on outreach very fast because it will need you to dedicate very little time to it.

4. Active Campaign

One of the best email automation tools.

In a few hours playing with it you can set up a whole customer journey from the time of the registration of the user to sending him personalized emails based on his actions.

It’s not cheap but it is super easy to use and it is very powerful if you set it right.

5. Autopilot

Project Management Tools

Maybe the hardest part of a successful project is it’s management.

Working as a team is essential.

Here are some tools to help you collaborate faster even with people that are on the other side of the globe.

1. pCloud

As you can see I am part of pCloud’s team

pCloud is a Cloud Storage. For those of you who don’t know what cloud storage is, it is basically a place where you can store all your files and access them any time you want on any device. It is kind of like Dropbox, only much better and I will tell you down below why.

Cloud storage has become essential for me from the first day I found what it does. Here are a couple of reasons I love it.

  • Organization — I love everything organized and easy to find so this is perfect for me. You can organize your files and folders however you want.
  • Access — As I said since it is a Cloud Storage you can access all your files on any device you want
  • Collaboration — One of the main reasons you need to start using such a service right now. You can Invite people to folders you own so you can work together on your projects. Of course you can give users specific permissions. You can also create download links so people can download the content or a file you want to send them. It is very easy. Also you can create an upload link. This means you give permissions to people to upload files in your folder without having an account in the service.
  • Backup — You can use Cloud storage as a backup service for the files you want to keep the most.
  • Stream music and video — with pCloud you can stream any music or video file in it’s full quality (as long as our internet is good enough) on any device you want as long as it’s in your account. You can also access it offline of course as long as you marked the files for offline use.

So all of those features are essential for a cloud storage and most of the services have them. Let me tell you why you should choose pCloud and why it’s better than the rest.

So apart from all the things that every cloud storage has pCloud has some pretty cool ones that make it an amazing service.

  1. pCloud Drive — pCloud Drive is pCloud’s desktop application. What it does is that it essentially creates a virtual drive on your Computer and does not use it’s storage too keep your files like Dropbox and Google Drive.What this means is that you can access and use all of your files as if they are on your computer but without them taking any of it’s storage. This is amazing especially for Mac users since the Hard Discs of the newer versions are not upgradeable. Here is a video of me telling how I got 2.7 TB on my 512 GB Macbook Pro Retina.

 

Of course for this to work you need to be connected to the internet, but there is nothing to worry about because if you know you are not going to have internet you can always access your files offline using the Sync feature of pCloud. This way you will Sync a folder from or to your pCloud account and you will be able to use your files offline and when you become online again all the change s you made will be uploaded automatically to the cloud.

2. Speed — I just watch the next video

 

3. Security — pCloud has a feature that makes sure ONLY YOU have access to certain files. It is called pCloud Crypto. When you opt-in for pCloud Crypto you get to create a Crypto folder. It provides client-side encryption, i.e. the encryption process is performed on your device. The encrypted version of your files is uploaded to the servers. Even pCloud, as a service provider, will not know what kind of data you store in your account. Your files can be encrypted and decrypted only with your Crypto Pass. Be careful tho because if you lose or forget your Crypto Pass your files cannot be returned since the folder cannot be decrypted even by pCloud’s Sys Admins.

4. Password Protected Download Links — You can set passwords and expiration dates on your download links (Premium Feature)

5. Remote download — This is one of my favorite features. Basically, you can download any file from a direct link (link that ends with .pdf, .mp3, .mp4, .pptx, .mov etc. basically any file) into your pCloud account at a Sever-to-server internet connection (very, very fast)

6. Mobile Apps — the apps for iOS and Android are full-featured which means you can do everything you can do on other platforms (Share links and folders, Encrypt files, Stream video and music etc.).

The apps have one more feature tho. They can free up space on your phones. Basically when you get 500GB of 2 TB of storage with pCloud and you install the app you need to turn on the Automatic Upload feature which uploads all your photos and videos in the cloud. Once the files are uploaded you can automatically delete them from your phone with one click and still have access to them in the pCloud Apps. Here is how it works on an iPhone

 

There are many other features and I hope you find this helpful because we put it a lot of work to compete with services like Dropbox and Google Drive and make something better than them.

2. Todoist

I have tried a lot of to-do lists and by far this is the best one for me.

I love it because the design is super clean. Also one of my favorite things about it is that managing projects is super easy.

First of all you can have a different color for every project which is good if you work ok more that 2–3 things.

Second of all you can create child projects. So for instance if you are a person the manages a lot of things like project managers do this will be great for you.

Last but not least. You can move your projects with drag-and-drop so you can arrange them however you want in a matter of seconds.

Another cool thing is that you can collaborate on projects in Todoist.

You can assign tasks to the people you work with.

It is not the most complex todo list and I think that’s why I like it.

 

3. Jira

So if you are not used to using todo lists you might find Jira a bit overwhelming.

It is great for software development and working on bigger projects. It can be customized in any way you want.

Because it’s a bit more complex at first it might be harder to you use but once you get the hang of it is super helpful.

4. Confluence

Confluence is a project organization tool. What it does is basically give you a place to organize all the things you need while managing a project.

You can create teams, you can upload designs, you can discuss basically everything that is on there with comments.

It is a great tool but it’s for bigger projects.

5. Evernote

Evernote is a great place to store ideas. The great thing is that you can sync it to all your devices.

So when you want to remember something and write it down on your phone it is instantly synced on all your devices and you can continue working on it on your desktop.

Another cool thing is that you can share everything you have created with someone and work on it together.

My favorite feature tho is the document scanner.

6. Slack

You have probably already used Slack. It is maybe the most talked about team-chat platform for a couple of years now.

There are two sides tho.

The people that think it ruins productivity and those who think it makes it better.

On one hand it has a lot of integrations with the most popular work tools that teams use.

It also has bots that can do a lot of different stuff.

So in a way it can be really helpful when you send a lot of emails.

Here is a cool article with 22 Slack hacks so you can become better at using it.

On the other hand tho Slack has become for some teams the tool that stands in the way of productivity.

I say that because in a lot of cases people find themselves chatting about something that has nothing related to what they must be doing.

Chatting is really addictive and some even think that slack can destroy the work-life balance because you will constantly feel that you are missing out on something when you are not looking at it.

Digital Marketing Blogs

The most valuable tool for a marketer is knowledge and practice. This is why I consider good blogs to be tools. I have learned most of the things I know by reading and watching videos.

Here is a list of the best marketing blogs in my opinion.

1. Digital Marketer

One of the best marketing blogs there is. Because of blogs like this I don’t pay $1000-$2000 dollars for marketing online courses. Everything you need to know to be a good online marketer can be found there. There are hundreds of articles with helpful tips and expert advice.

There are case studies and step-by-step guides, example spreadsheets and some “hacks” that can get you to the next level.

Definitely a must follow!

2. Webris by Ryan Stewart

This is my favorite marketing blog. I love people like Ryan that are super transparent and honest in what they do.

He shares super helpful things and honestly I’m glad that not much people know about him and his blog. The things he shares are just too good.

Definitely check out his videos on youtube, they are a bit long but so worth it.

If you are a junior marketer you need to read everything that’s on there.

 

3. Neil Patel, Quicksprout, Kissmetrics

Neil Patel is the true definition of a Growth Hacker. His articles are super long but they are full of value.

He is a serial successful entrepreneur and it’s amazing that he share the tip and tricks he uses to grow his business.

Definitely check out his $100K challenge.

4. Medium

In my opinion Medium is a somewhat a reading social network and in my opinion is the best place to find interesting stuff to read and learn.

If you curate your “Newsfeed” right you could be stuck there for hours.

By the way if you want to learn but you don’t like to read or don’t have time to read a 2–3–4k words article this is the Chrome Exstension you need:

It automatically ads a Play button at the bottom of your screen when you are in Medium and when you click it, it starts to read the article. I use it a lot and I really mean a lot.

Make sure you follow me.

https://medium.com/@Proffi

5. SearchEngineLand

If you are a Digital marketer specializing in SEO, SEM and PPC you need to bookmark this website. Everything related to these three categories is often times published there first.

6. Ahrefs

Just line DigitalMarketer, Ryan Stewart and Neil Patel I love the Ahrefs blog because they share amazing case studies and everything they write about is strongly backed up by data and I as I said I make my decisions based on data.

Numbers never lie.

7. Jon Loomer

In my opinion Jon is one of the best and most practical bloggers related to Facebook Marketing.

Either if you are a Junior of a Senior Facebook advertiser you can always learn something new from his articles.

His step-by-step guides are super easy to follow and everything is explained in a very easy to understand way.

He often posts results from experiments which are the things that I read the most from him, but if you are just starting with Facebook Advertising Jon’s blog is one of the best if not the best place learn from.

8. Hubspot

Hubspot’s blog is another gem. There you can find all kinds of articles about how you can get more traffic based on data.

They have a lot of free tools that can help you so keep an eye on the blog because they often include them in massive articles.

9. Content marketing institute

Awesome content marketing blog.

10. Buffer

I love the Buffer blog because they are super transparent.

They share everything about their journey.

11. Groove

Same as the Buffer blog I love Groove because they take us through their journey. And their content is packed with good advice especially for startups.

You can learn a lot. From marketing strategies to leadership and building teams.

Make sure you check them out.

12. MOZ

Another data packed blog.

I love the Whiteboard Fridays. Honestly. Rand Fishkin is so good at explaining stuff. The most complex and difficult thing he can explain in a way that you can understand it immediately.

His examples are always good and you can really learn a lot from him.

The MOZ blog is good both for Junior and Experienced Marketers.

There are things can can blow your mind there.

13. Adespresso

Last but not least the Adespresso blog. Adespresso is a tool that helps you optimize your Facebook Ads in the best way possible.

Their blog is full of case studies and interesting experiments. If you want to learn interesting facts about Facebook Marketing make sure you follow them.

Conclusion

These are most of the tools I used and still use to try and be the best at what I do. Hope you learned something you did not know. If you see tools that are not listed in here be sure to comment. Also if you have any questions at all please, ask. I will make sure to answer every one of them.

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10 Techniques how to Start a Blog Post to Engage Readers to Stay on Page

SEO - admin - December 4, 2018

10 Techniques how to Start a Blog Post to Engage Readers to Stay on Page

People can looks for ways to engage their blog post readers. When a viewer arrives at a post they can be looking for getting new information. A blogger can creatively express their thoughts which will make a visitor want to learn more, by working on more fully engaging the blog viewer they can start to increase their readership.

Bloggers will usually spend time creating an attention getting headline to draw users in to find out more. This headline can prime the reader to expect a certain concert to be more fully explained when reviewing the content.

After the headline the blogger should further cement their interest by forming an engaging opening. These sentences will be a continuation that lets them know what tone or type of content they will see.

1. Direct Statement

Opening a blog post with a direct and to the point topic can make the reader want to learn more. The blogger can get their attention by making a direct statement about a certain topic without a long intro.

The blogger can succinctly tell what they will review in the post. This can be appealing for readers who want a specific piece of content without extraneous details. By presenting a statement and then explaining it can make them want to keep reading on.

2. Query

Some bloggers might find that posing a question and explaining further about the topic increase the possibility of people reading more. They can use their previous data to find out unique questions that their visitors would like to see answered.

This can be a way to reach them by reviewing things they have asked in places such as the comment section. If the blogger accepts emails from their reader they can review these and see if the same type of question is being asked then they formulate a general question that allows them to use the post to answer.

Some bloggers might actually use a word for word query from a visitor to illustrate a point. Either way this can make the viewer feel a part of the process and that the blogger is listening to their concerns.

3. Personal Content

Revealing a personal piece of content can draw a viewer in who wants to learn more.

Taking events from this life the blogger can present a personal anecdote that will open their blog post. This story can be engaging and give the viewer a glimpse into the author’s personal experiences.

People enjoy learning about others and want to learn who the story will relate to the content being presented.

4. Humor

A writer that can express humor effectively can use this technique to get the reader’s attention. Making someone laugh will unusually be an opening that will make them want to read more.

A blogger can work on crafting humorous opening to appropriate topics to increase engagement. Reviewing the topic from this angle can show a unique way to view the content.

This type of content can need more feedback to make sure that the joke is being understood. The blogger can reach out to people around them and tell them their idea and see if others get the concept. Having feedback, they can be more assured that others will find it funny and interesting.

5. Multiple Choice

Asking a question and then presenting various possible answers will make the reader think about the topic. Having taken time to ponder the opening can make them more engaged. Presenting various possible answers, the writer can use these to develop several diverse ideas that relate back to one theme.

Presenting ideas like how to write my paper and showing the various ways to do it can be informative. This might make a reader curious to see how the answers relate to the topic being presented.

6. Surprising Elements

Introducing elements of surprise can quickly get a viewer’s interest. If the writer can find things that will make the user think about something new in a unique way they probably can get them to read more.

The blogger can back this type information with more detailed content such as numerical statistics  to prove their point or make the reader more fully believe what they are saying. Having the data to backup the unique opening can establish trust in the readers mind that the content below will make sense and give an interesting take on some topic.

7. Quoting

Some bloggers can find it effective to open their posts with a quote that relates to the content.

Taking time to research for these quotes can be time consuming but they can establish a bond between the writer’s content and something someone well known has said, this can make the reader want to learn more about a topic that was commented open by the public figure.

Quoting from less well known sources is fine if the readership will recognize the person. While the quoted material might be understood by a general audience a specific niche group of viewers can know how it is being presented.

8. Claim

Some bloggers will make a claim in their opening. This will tell the reader what they will get by reading on. Some people can be interested if the claim appeals directly to their situation. This type of opening will require the writer to effectively make good on the claim or they could lose goodwill.

The claim is a way to get a bold reaction from the viewer whose expectation will be higher. Delivering on the promise of the claim will make the reader interested to learn other things the blogger has discussed and can increase more long term visits.

9. Imagination

Getting the reader to think about something in the mind can make them want to see what is being said. If the writer can have them imagine them self doing something they probably will want to learn more.

Finding a way to reach the reader this way will take more effort but can be rewarding to see things from other people perspective.

10. Needs

Some bloggers, depending on the content can start their post explaining a need or problem that people have. Then they can use the post as way to explain how to satisfy the need or fix the problem. This way the reader will be interested in how they can also use the content to accomplish this goal.

Blog owners can review their readership to find things that the readers want to know more about what to fix. Finding their specific issues can make the viewer feel a connection with the writer when they explain how to go about solving something or how to accomplish a project.

Starting the out a blog post will be a way to move the viewer down a path. At each step in the process the blogger will be further demonstrating the next step to take. Connecting their thoughts from the headline to opening to content will create a natural progression for the viewer. They can understand how they all relate together and want to learn more. Reviewing the above topics can give blog owner ideas on how to create openings to more fully engage their readers.

 

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The Secret to an Effective Chatbot Marketing Strategy

automation, digitalmarketing, marketing, SEO - admin - December 4, 2018

When Facebook released its chatbot platform in 2016, many in the tech world thought that bots would be the next frontier of human-computer interaction. However, as time has passed and the hype around Messenger bots has died down, it has become increasingly clear that bots are not going to supplant apps as the primary way individuals use the internet any time soon. That said, chatbots have found a promising niche in digital marketing. Increasingly, marketers have found that the killer app for chatbots is conversion rate optimization.

Chatbot marketing offers the promise of a more engaging lead generation and qualification process. Of course, to actually see any of these benefits you need to know how to approach the technology for the first time.

As someone who has worked in the chatbot space for the last three years, I have found that many businesses have a misguided notion of how chatbots are going to help them, resulting in a subpar chatbot that fails to meet their and their prospects’ expectations. Don’t fall into a similar trap. Learn how chatbots can actually help you boost your conversion rate and achieve the marketing holy grail: a lower CPA.

A Chatbot is not a Chatbot

To understand how a chatbot can help you reach your PPC goals you need first to deconstruct your preconceived idea of what a chatbot is. Most people define a chatbot (especially in the context of business) like this:

“‘A computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users’ to facilitate a trade of information or services.”

While such a definition is technically correct, it is not the right way to look at chatbots as a PPC marketer. The definition above sets the benchmark for a chatbot’s capabilities at human-level intelligence. When applied to PPC marketing, this benchmark generally manifests itself as an expectation that chatbots will serve as highly intelligent sales or customer service reps who live on your PPC landing pages and can guide prospects through the buying journey.

This expectation is certainly novel but it is unrealistic. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will undoubtedly play an increasingly important role in the way PPC marketing campaigns are run in the future, but:

Unless you are Google, Facebook, or Amazon, there is little chance that your chatbot will be able to understand human language well enough to handle every query users send its way.

This will inevitably leave both you and your prospects disappointed when the bot gives a nonsensical answer to a reasonable query.

poor_chatbot_experience

Chatbots are Conversational Forms

So if chatbots aren’t the ultra-intelligent beings that we were promised then how are they going to drop your cost per acquisition? The key to answering this question is to set a more manageable benchmark: the humble lead capture form. Think of chatbots not as hyper-intelligent sales agents, but rather as conversational forms. If you task a chatbot with collecting the same details as a lead capture form, it does not require AI, so it will not fail to meet expectations and might actually exceed them.

chatbot-lead-form-comparison

Lead capture forms are not hard to beat. They are fairly dull and no one likes filling them out. The back-and-forth, two-way nature of a chat (even if it is with a dumb, AI-free bot), is a far more interactive way to capture the same information a form does. Prospects are given a constant stream of instant feedback for each of the details they send which is reminiscent of the gratification that their favorite apps give them every day.

chatbot-information-collection-workflow

The end result is a more engaging lead capture experience which leads to a higher conversion rate. This, in turn, drops cost-per-lead (by half in many cases) which in turn drops CPA.

Where’s the proof?

I have tried this approach with several of my clients’ ad campaigns and have seen an increase in conversion rate by as much as 200%. But, my favorite demonstration of the effectiveness of this approach doesn’t come from the marketing space.

I am a big fan of the DoNotPay app which lets you sue people with the tap of a button. When it began, DoNotPay was a chatbot that helped aggrieved citizens draft short letters to contest parking tickets. Joshua Browder, the bot’s creator, recognized that the contestation letters were formulaic, requiring the same set of details for every citizen.

His bot asked for each of these details individually in a conversational manner. As you might imagine, the bot didn’t require highly advanced AI to accept the details (e.g. you don’t need too much AI to pull a name from the phrase “My name is Arnav Patel” or to pull an address from “I got the ticket at 12345 Clover Blvd”). After collecting these details, the bot could compose a short letter by plugging details into a template the citizen could send to their local government. The bot did not have to use any fancy underlying tech and performed more like a conversational form than a robot lawyer.

This approach was so effective that DoNotPay helped squash over 200,000 tickets over the months following its release. This process of essentially tricking users into filling out a form is the same approach to chatbots that I described above.

DoNotPay-chatbot-parking-ticket-bot

The Upshot

The key to building an effective chatbot strategy is managing expectations. If you try to recreate a conversational agent with the intelligence of Jarvis from Iron Man you will inevitably fail. Both you and your prospects will be disappointed when the bot doesn’t perform as promised. If you set a more manageable goal and make a bot that improves your lead capture experience, your prospects will feel more engaged and you will convert more leads with the same ad spend.

This thought process affects your bot’s goal and how you phrase the bot’s conversational flow. I would recommend creating bots which have a very fixed and narrow objective (e.g. capturing a lead for a particular product/service) and phrasing questions with a similar fixed objective as one might do with a form field (e.g. ask “would you like help with X or Y” instead of a more open-ended “how can I help you?”).

Using this approach allows you as a marketer to feel the benefits of a chatbot’s engagement without the fear of awkward examples of failing AI that alienate prospects. The end result is a higher conversion rate, lower CPA, and a more efficient PPC campaign.

 

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5 Ways to Automate your Sales Process

automation, digitalmarketing, marketing, Uncategorized - admin - December 4, 2018

We live in the sparkly, shiny world of automation. Everything from switching lights on/off to assembling cars can now be automated. This calls for the question though—how important is automation? Is it really of much help?

The answer is yes. Automation is adding value by reducing manual labor, saving time, and in some cases, saving lives.

This is a tweet by Anton Zaslavskia (aka Zedd), a Russian-German record producer and DJ. He tweeted out in support of the smart car Tesla, talking about how it saved his life.

Automation-Example

The autopilot feature in the car alerted the driver awake when it detected that he had fallen asleep. Thanks to the automation amalgamation, Anton’s life was saved.

automation

Automation has created a paradigm shift in the way we work, across industries and businesses. And it is the same in the case of sales. The daily life of a sales rep is a list of crucial tasks that can make or break a deal. These include sending out emails, making calls, creating contracts, negotiating deals and more. They do these tasks multiple times in a day for multiple accounts, and it might be challenging to stay on top of all the accounts with just manual work.

A Forrester report states that automating tasks can help save 90% of costs. You can increase efficiency and productivity while cutting down on costs. Those are enough reasons to invest in sales process automation. But how do you go about automating the sales process? Where do you start? Here are the five aspects of your sales process that can be automated:

1. Email

Studies say sales reps spend 21% of their day on emails. That is a large chunk of their day, almost a quarter, which can be better spent talking to prospects. This calls on the urgent need for email automation.

Email Automation

 

To get started with email automation, you need to analyze the daily sales tasks performed by your sales reps and figure out :

  1. What are the most common emails that are sent daily?
  2. What is the time spent on creating and editing emails before hitting send?
  3. How much personalization and customization is needed for each email?

There are quite a lot of sales emails being sent in a day, and many are repetitive. As part of the sales cycle, sales reps send out various generic emails like:

  1. Welcome emails to new leads
  2. Follow up emails to unresponsive leads
  3. Demo emails to new sign ups
  4. Reminder emails about meetings
  5. Thank you emails to new customers

Creating the email copy, customizing it for each lead and sending them out requires a good chunk of your sales reps time. Let’s assume that a follow up email containing a helpful resource needs two minutes of preparation time before hitting send. If the sales rep has to send the email to 10 other prospects, that is 20 minutes of their time. Also, these emails are only the first touch point in the sales process. They need to spend more time on highly personalized emails for nurturing the leads further. These would take more time to prepare and send, and your sales reps would end up spending hours just sending out nurture emails.

Your frustrated sales reps deserve better, and email templates can eliminate this frustration. Rather than typing out the same email over and over again, they can create and save email templates that can be repurposed as needed saving tons of time. They can also schedule emails so that they can be sent out to multiple prospects at the same time.

email templates in sales process automation

However, not all emails can be automated. Sales reps exchange multiple emails with prospects, customers and team members and these need to be manually worked on. Some emails require personalization on the basis of content and context. Email automation cannot come into play for emails containing:

  1. Discussion on legal parameters
  2. Pricing negotiations
  3. Questions on premium features of the product
  4. Confirming meetings
  5. Contacting a C-level executive

DO’S:

  • When creating emails templates, keep in mind to customize email signatures with links to collateral that can further help nurture the lead.
    For example, in a “thank you for signing up” email, add links to product videos and customer case studies. This would help the lead understand product features and use cases better.
  • Always add a hint of customization to bulk emails using placeholders.

DON’TS:

  • Avoid sending emails during their out of office hours. Schedule emails according to the time zone of the recipient.

2. Lead Prioritization

Your business may receive a high volume of leads from multiple resources. Some of these leads may be looking for a fling while some may be interested in starting a relationship with your company. While it makes no sense to spend a lot of time with the former set of leads, your sales reps may not be aware of that. There are, of course, AI-based lead scoring tools to help your sales reps prioritize leads. But before you go ahead and get one for your business, ask yourself the following questions.

  1. Are your sales reps spending a big chunk of their time in the qualification process?
  2. Are the conversion rates low?
  3. Are your sales cycles longer due to leaks and bottlenecks?

If the answer is yes to any of the questions, your business can benefit from automating the lead prioritization process.

Before you set off to create your lead scoring model, consider the metrics that are indicative of your business type. Most businesses score leads based on explicit signals like job title, industry type and company size. In some cases, businesses require deeper knowledge into how the customer uses the product and can lead based on implicit signals like website activity, page visits, and collateral downloaded.

Depending on how your customer uses the product, you can create a hybrid scoring system, using a mix of implicit and explicit signals. For instance, you can grant a higher score to a CFO who visits the pricing page as compared to an intern who visits the landing page.

lead prioritization in sales process automation

 

DO’S:

  • If you are a multi-product company, set up different lead scoring models for each product.
  • Set thresholds for the scores on the lead and bucket your leads based on their score as cold, warm and hot.

DON’TS:

  • Make sure you configure the model for negative scoring. This is a common mistake made while creating lead scoring models. We take into account only positive attributes but over time, the lead interest may begin to wane. For instance, you can assign negative scores to leads who have stopped engaging with your website and aren’t responding to the emails sent by the sales rep.
  • Do not score based on vanity metrics like say, email opens. They are not the best indicators of the lead’s interest as the lead may have opened the email multiple times to read it but may not have gotten the chance.

3. Lead distribution

Research indicates that calling a lead within the first five minutes of sign up will increase the likelihood of them answering the call by 100X. But this isn’t the case in most companies. In most cases, the business receives leads from multiple sources—website, blog and social media—and they remain untouched within the CRM for a period of time before being assigned to a sales rep. There is a gap in the time from when the lead enters the CRM and the sales rep reaches out to them.

This is where lead distribution comes in. By automating lead assignment, the response time is cut down which, in turn, increases the lead conversion ratio. You can assign leads by geography, industry type, company size, and deal value, making it a lot easier and faster for the sales rep to get in touch with prospects. This helps increase sales efficiency as it avoids multiple reps reaching out to the same lead.

lead distribution in sales process automation

DO’S: If you have leads from all over the globe or you have a multi-product business, you can automatically assign leads to sales rep handling a particular region or product.

4. Day-to-day tasks

Apart from modular tasks like sending emails and qualifying leads, sales reps do various administrative tasks on a daily basis. These contribute in small ways to the larger growth of sales.

The various tasks could entail:

  • Data entry

The true success of a CRM lies in the fact that it serves as a single source of truth. It is an organized collection of data on prospects, customers, deals, accounts, and related sales activities. But this information has to be entered manually by the sales rep. Automating CRM data entry can help reduce the time and effort spent on it.

With automatic call logging, your sales reps can crush their daily sales call quota and not worry about missing out on adding calls to the CRM. The CRM will automatically log calls into the respective lead profiles.

With lead enrichment tools, the lead profile can be auto-populated with relevant information like job title, industry, and company. This eliminates the need for the sales rep to manually research on the lead.

  • Creating appointments and setting reminders

To schedule a meeting with a lead, there is usually a flurry of emails sent back and forth with various time slots. Automating appointments using a tool like Calendly can eliminate this hassle. You can forward a link to your calendar with the available time slots and the lead can choose their preferred time slot. A calendar invite is sent to both parties automatically and a reminder email is triggered before the scheduled time.

  • Invoice generation

When a deal is won, the deal status has to be updated within the CRM. The sales rep has to switch over to the invoice generation tool and create and generate an invoice for the lead. This is time-consuming as they have to switch between tools. Using automation, an invoice can be generated automatically when the deal status is updated to “Won.”

5. Report generation

Reports are tiresome and boring but extremely important. As a sales manager, you are responsible for revenue targets. You need to be aware of how the sales pipeline is moving and measure the output of the sales process. The easiest way to do this is to maintain records of the sales activities.

But collating data manually would involve updating a spreadsheet after each task is done with a description, like the number of calls completed, the outcome of the call and call notes. For each KPI, you have to maintain multiple records. That’s a lot of manual data entry, tabulation, and graph generation. If you miss out on adding an activity to the list, you will end up with erroneous data. That’s where reporting automation can help you.

Before you automate your report generation, make a list of all the reports you need and the KPIs you need to track:

  1. Annual sales report
  2. Quarterly sales report
  3. Sales calls reports
  4. Sales emails reports
  5. Team performance comparison

These are team reports. For individual rep reports, you’d have to track their KPIs like:

  1. Emails sent
  2. Calls completed
  3. Qualified leads
  4. Deals created
  5. Closed lost
  6. Closed won

By automating reports, you can eliminate the manual task of collecting, organizing and analyzing data. This further excludes inaccuracies that are borne out of human error. Multiple reports can be created easily by choosing the necessary parameters. Sales rep performance can be tracked by customizing reports with the KPIs that need to be tracked.

DO’S: Schedule individual reports so that the rep is aware of their performance and can tweak their activities accordingly.

DON’TS: Avoid keeping information to yourself. Make the reports accessible to the team so they have visibility into how the team performance is progressing.

 

 

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3 Ways to Give your Brand More Meaning: Lessons from Elaine Welteroth

SEO - admin - December 3, 2018

Editor’s Note: Every month, we sit down with industry experts who have broken the mold with new ideas and deliver their inspiration in a video series called SmartSocial Innovators. For our second installment, we sat down with the legendary Elaine Welteroth.

Elaine Welteroth became the youngest-ever editor-in-chief at Teen Vogue at just twenty-nine, and before that, she was Condé Nast’s first-ever black beauty director. She’s known for championing the reinvention of Teen Vogue’s mission—to educate, empower and enlighten the next generation of thought leaders. Here are three key ways Elaine helped build the Teen Vogue brand that all marketers can apply to their work:

Listen to your audience

Elaine recognized Teen Vogue had an opportunity to reinvent how they engaged with their audience. No other media publication was starting authentic conversations with their readers, so her team leveraged the power of social listening to study topics their audience cared about. Using those insights, the team deepened their coverage to feature substantial matters, like cultural, political, and societal issues—ultimately bolstering the magazine’s readership. By tuning into this untapped community and listening to the needs of their audience, Elaine transformed the Teen Vogue publication into a dynamic movement, advancing important conversations and societal progress among readers.

Partner with a purpose

In this age, consumers are not buying into brands they don’t believe in. Gone are the days of working with safe celebrities who don’t have much to say. Now is the time for brands to partner with people that share their values, stand for something on the record, and have a respected point-of-view. Elaine’s advice to brands: “It’s crucial to partner with celebrities, influencers, personalities, and young people who have the freedom of speech to communicate their point-of-view in a way that you find respectable and smart.”

In this age, consumers are not buying into brands they don’t believe in.

 

Lean into what makes you unique

Rather than feeling intimidated by the legacy of the Teen Vogue brand, Elaine leaned into the opportunity to bring something completely new to the table and innovate. She trusted her point-of-view and set her team on their journey to discover their purpose, activate the voices of the next generation, and make a profound impact on the lives of their readers.

No matter what role you play in your organization, take Elaine’s tips and apply them to your role. Listen to the conversations your audience is having, work with those who will say the things you can’t, and empower your team to innovate and do something that’s never been done before.

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