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.
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.
Maybe one of the best SEO and SEM tools on the market.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The ad types speak for themselves but I will try to explain them better with a few words.
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
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
So what Bootstrap studio is, is how I love to call it “Photoshop for Landing Pages”.
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.
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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.