How to Run Google Ads

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How To Run Google Ads

CONTENTS

  1. Vocabulary
  2. What are Google Ads
  3. Setting Up Your Ad

VOCABULARY

  1. Objective – What you want the ad to accomplish
  2. Keyword – a google search that is related to your product (what a customer might type to find your product)
  3. CTR (Click-through-rate) – the percentage of people that click on your ad after seeing it

WHAT ARE GOOGLE ADS?

Google Ads, formerly known as Google Adwords, is an online advertising platform. Google ads can work for any product or service because people search Google for almost any and everything.

One strong suit of Google Ads is that the system is centered around showing your ads to people who are ALREADY looking for a solution that your product or something similar will offer, as opposed to a lot of other forms of advertisement that may show it to people way outside your target audience.

The pricing system is pay-per-click (PPC). This means that you do not pay except the ad actually gets people to click on it and get to your chosen landing page/website. You can set your maximum bid for each click (Google Ads pricing works with a bidding system) and Google Ads will not spend more than that from your account. Payment could be CPC cost-per-click, CPM (cost-per-mille i.e. cost per 1000 impressions) or CPE (cost-per-engagement).

Google Ads, generally, averages an 8% click-through rate. With almost 250 million  different visitors and about 700 million dollars return on investment from the 2.3 million searches that Google gets every second, you can be sure that there are a lot of potential customers on the platform for your brand or business. The exception is that Google Ads does not support ads for products or services that are:

  • Dangerous e.g. weapons, recreational drugs
  • Inappropriate or offensive e.g. bullying and racial discrimination
  • Advocative of dishonest practices e.g. hacking software, fake documents

Types of Google Ads

There are five different types (also called campaigns) of google-ads namely: 

1. Search: These are the types, in text form, you see at the top of the result page when you make a google search. Ads can also be created to appear in Google Maps.

2. Display: These show up on Gmail and other websites that are a part of the GDN (Google Display Network) like youtube, gmail. etc. alongside relevant content, Google Display Networks have 180 million impressions per month. 

3. Shopping campaigns: These can show off your products with images and include links to your business page.

Source: Search Engine Land

4. Video: Ads shown on YouTube by the side bar and also placed when playing videos.


5. App: These promote your app on Google Search, YouTube, Google Play and other platforms to advertise to the right people.


 

Objectives of Google Ads

You can choose the goal you want to accomplish for your brand from the list of laid out objectives that will be shown to you in the process of setting up your ad. This list is comprised of the following:

  1. Sales
  2. Leads
  3. Website Traffic
  4. Product and Brand Consideration
  5. Brand Awareness
  6. App Promotion

 

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SETTING UP YOUR ADs

There are 3 stages to setting up your Google Ads Ad:

  • Create Campaign
  • Create Ad group
  • Create Ad in Ad Group

Before you start creating your campaign, it’s best you do some research on the most effective keywords for your niche.

There is a tool in Google Adwords that can help you do this, but you must have created your first campaign to have access to it. It’s called ’Google Ads Keywords’.

You can create a campaign, use the Keyword Planner and then edit your keywords for that ad. However, sites like keywords.io, ahref can help you with this before your first campaign is created.

  1. You must have a Gmail address to run a Google Ad.
  2. Go to Google Ads.com and click ‘Start Now’ at the top right corner of the page.
  3. At the bottom middle, click on “Switch to Expert Mode”

i. You’ll see an outline of different objectives. Select the one that is most relevant to you. For This example, ”Website Traffic”

a. Select web-site traffic.
b. Select the type of ad you want to run e.g. ‘search-based’
c. Input your website
d. Click continue.

e.Create your campaign

    1. Name your campaign (this won’t show on the ad)
    2. Deselect ‘search-network’ and ‘display-network’ if you don’t want your ad shown on the sidebar of other websites outside Google. Since Google seems to be more effective than its search partners, unchecking this box should save you some money.
    3. Set your start-date and end-date. If you don’t set an end-date, the ad will continue to run and you will continue to be charged.
    4. Select the location(s) where you want people to see your ad e.g. your country. (the more specific you are, the more the ad might cost you).

Instead of typing in a specific location, you can also set the ad to run within a specific-mile radius from a particular point e.g. a 30-mile radius from your store.

    1. Select the language you want your ad displayed in.
    2. Set your budget. You can start small and see how effective the ad is.  
      A very low budget like 1USD per day might not give you an accurate representation of how effective Google Ads is for your business because it is likely to afford you just a couple clicks.

You can set a maximum CPC. You can also experiment with this and see how it works .

Choosing accelerated means Google will spend your budget as quickly as possible, Standard means your budget will be spread over the course of your ad’s lifespan.

In additional settings, you can do things like set a time schedule for your ad to run, if you want it to run for specific periods during the day. You can also add more business information and your prices to your ad, amongst other things.

  1. Click ‘Save and Continue’.

f. Create an Ad Group

    1. Name your ad group (this won’t show up on the ad itself)
    2. Enter the phrases/keywords you want to trigger your ad. Once you have set up your account (which we’re doing right now), you’ll have access to Google Keyword Planner which will help subsequently in helping you choose the most precise and profitable keywords for your product or service.

There are also other tools that you can use to take the guesswork out of the game, even for your first attempt e.g. keywords.io

In inserting your keywords, you can type it in 4 different formats for 4 different effects, these effects are called ‘matches’.

      • Broad match: If you enter your keywords in this format: dresses for babies, it will give a broad match to those words and anything related e.g. baby clothes, baby things.
      • Modified broad match: In this format, you put the plus sign before words that you want to be in the Google search mandatorily e.g. +baby clothes (if someone searches ‘infant clothes’, the ad won’t show up) or baby +clothes (if the user types in ‘baby apparel’, the ad will not come up.
      • Phrase match: If you enter the keyword in quotation marks like so “dresses for babies”, it’ll give a narrower match to google searches that contain that exact phrase e.g. if someone searches ‘dresses for baby’, your ad won’t show up but if someone typed ‘colorful dresses for babies’ or ‘dresses for babies discount’, your ad will be displayed.
      • Exact match: Entering your keyword in square brackets allows a match with the exact phrase and no other additional word. It has been modified to include searches with synonyms or reordered phrases e.g. if your keyword is [dresses for babies], it will match with searches that say ‘dresses for babies’, ‘dresses for infants’, ‘babies for dresses’.

Each keyword can be entered in multiple formats in one ad, if you so wish, for any reason.

A column on the side will show you an estimate of how many clicks you could get with those keywords and how much it would cost you.

    1. Click ‘Save and Continue’.

g. Create Ad

      1. You can use split-testing and split your budget between multiple ads under one ad group so you can see which one works best and continue to use that one in the future.

Tip: Make sure to assign tangible amounts of money to each ad so you can get an accurate reflection of its effectiveness.

      1. Insert your 2 headlines. Try something catchy, maybe add a

discount to the second headline.

      1. Insert your descriptions.
      2. Save and Continue.
      3. Insert payment info and if you have a promo code, insert that also.
      4. Submit.

Congratulations! You just created your first campaign.

Tools to optimize your Google Ad:

      1. Now that you’ve set up an ad, you can make use of the Google Keywords Planner Tool to optimize your ads.

Click on explore your campaign.

To create a new campaign, go to All Campaigns” and click on the plus sign.

      1. Monitor the insights that Google Ads gives you on how well ads are doing. This will help you understand what’s working and what’s not so you can further optimize your ads in the future and gain more bang for your buck.
      2. Negative keywords: These stop your ad from being shown in search results if someone uses certain words along with your keywords e.g. discount or babies if you don’t give discounts or sell clothes only for adults. It also stops Google from bidding your set price/budget against the advertisers that want to use that/those keywords.
        • Click on keywords
        • Add negative keywords
        • Save

You can also create a negative keywords list to use in the future by clicking ‘Explore Campaign’, then ‘Tools and settings’ then Negative keywords list. When you’ve named it and created the list (it can be one or two words long), click on it, then click on “Apply to Campaigns’ to apply it to all or some of your campaigns.

Tip: You can use Ubersuggest.io to find negative keywords for your brand

      1. Google keyword planner:
        • Click Explore Campaign
        • Click on tools and settings at the top-right corner of your screen
        • Click Keyword Planner. Two bars will come up.

-You can use the first to find new keywords, see how much each will cost you, how much competition each keyword has (you want to pick the ones with low competition but relatively high searches; compared to others on the list).
-The second bar will help you see potentially how well your ad might do -this will help you ‘discover new keywords’ that you can use and see how well existing keywords do for other ads e.g. the CPM (cost per 1000 impressions).

      1. When you click on a particular campaign, you can change certain settings like what types of devices your ads are shown on by clicking the tab that says ‘devices’ on the lower left portion of the screen. Selecting the most likely option for your business removes the risk of your budget being used to show your ad on devices that are irrelevant to your business.

THINGS TO NOTE:

      1. You can choose to pause or even stop your ad at any point in time you so wish. You can even adjust your budget after it starts running.
      2. One campaign can have more than one ad group and one ad group can have more than one ad in it
      3. The more clicks you get, the less your CPC becomes.
      4. if you will be creating a large number of campaigns, you can use an app/tool called ‘Google Adwords Editor’ to help you out with managing them.
      5. If you’re managing multiple accounts for multiple clients, you need to first create a managers account.

You can then create your clients’ accounts under that and start from there. You can use one email for both the manager s account and up to 20 client accounts.

      1. To track conversions, you need to define what a conversion is to you: leads, sales, signups, phone calls from your settings. This will help you know which ad is working and which is not, know what time of day your ads are most effective etc.

Conclusion.

Remember Google shows your ad to who is looking for you. You have the ability to advertise to individuals that want to find you. This step-by-step guide covered the necessary knowledge you need to have before, during and after creating your first google ad. From Knowing the types of google ads, creating your campaign account, drafting your ad, picking a suitable keyword to tracking and measuring your first google ads.

 
 
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Marketing Campaigns: Creating Highly Effective Promotions

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Marketing campaigns: Creating highly effective promotions

This is the ultimate guide to crafting online marketing campaigns that converts traffic to clients. This article is written to get you high ROI from organic and paid marketing.

Do you want a highly effective marketing campaign that delivers quality traffic that converts to paying customers? This article is for online businesses who want to attract prospects & qualified traffic that converts to happy customers.

1. What you will learn in this article

In this article we address marketing campaigns. For starters we provide the definition of a marketing campaign. We provide some background history. We outline developments in internet advertising which set the playing field. There is a list of ten steps to plan a perfect marketing campaign. We discuss the challenges marketeers face; what makes it difficult to launch a successful marketing campaign. We discuss options specific to LinkedInGoogle, and Facebook.

To give value, we provide tools for improving your chances of launching a successful marketing campaign and seeing a return on your investment. Learn more by watching this video.

Table of contents:

  1. What you will learn in this article
  2. Definition of a marketing campaign
  3. Best way to plan a marketing campaign
  4. Problem (issue) the difficulty of launching a campaign in today’s environment
  5. Potential solution – use measurement for data-driven campaign planning and execution
  6. Recent developments in the history of marketing campaigns
  7. The current landscape – challenges facing marketers – better targeting
  8. Avoid spend without ROI
  9. Measure and Increase Chances of Measurable Success
  10. Conclusion

2. definition of a marketing campaign

The definition of a marketing campaign is an effort to publicize new or existing products and services through established channels using advertising and marketing materials. A typical combination of media might include email, social media, pay-per-click, and print, television or radio advertising.
dictionary for marketing campaign

The main goals of a marketing campaign should be to drive traffic, improve brand awareness, and increase market share through additional sales.

3. best way to plan a marketing campaign

This list of ten modern Best Practice will help you create an exceptional data-driven marketing campaign.

Ten steps: the best way to plan and run a successful marketing campaign. The process from campaign launch to leads.

  1. define your marketing campaign goals
  2. define measurement metrics for your marketing campaign goals
  3. build your call-to-action – what do you want people to do
  4. plan the work flow – where will visitors land – build and test your landing page(s)
  5. outline campaign goals: define success – the minimum numbers needed for ROI
  6. determine your marketing campaign budget
  7. asset production: prepare your message and offers
  8. identify marketing campaign channels
  9. identify target personas
  10. measure results: monitor conversion closely once the campaign is launched

4. The difficulty of launching a successful marketing campaign in today’s environment

On the face of it, this should not be so complicated. At the moment however, many people are losing money on marketing campaigns. It’s become increasingly difficult to guarantee success or even positive ROI outcome in today’s landscape. The point of a marketing campaign should be to: use a formula to put in Spend and get out Desired Outcome. At the moment however, we see people spending money and losing it.

Question: what is the current problem with launching marketing campaigns?
Answer: the complications and uncertainty involved in predicting success, or even break-even outcome

5. Potential solution – use measurement for data-driven campaign planning and execution

Question: what is the solution?

Answer: social web and mobile analytic data now available for measuring marketing efforts allows you to deliver data-driven campaigns. This increases the chances of a successful outcome. Identify your ideal target buyer personas and use data to target them. Marketing can target them with content. Once they are engaged, leads can be passed on to Sales. Use metrics to manage and improve the process.

As with many strategic business decisions, fail to plan = plan to fail. Here is a list of campaign components you will need to plan:

Options (channels, platforms)
Audience (target buyer persona)
Workflow (call-to-action)
Plan (budget and objectives)
Mechanisms to track and monitor success (test, deploy, monitor, adjust, repeat)

Uncle Sam's marketing campaign

6. Recent developments in the history of marketing campaigns

Ten years ago, it was relatively easy to launch a marketing campaign. Instead of becoming easier, things have become more complicated. The current landscape is a moving target. It is very hard to guarantee ROI. There are many unknowns; targeting has become both standard and increasingly expensive, to the point of being cost-prohibitive. An additional challenge is designing measurement correctly so you can both pivot and measure conversion. In other words plan for and define the desired outcome.

Some historical background

Advertising and Marketing is an ancient and noble art. A bronze plate advertising a needle shop during the Song dynasty in China a thousand years ago is considered our first advertising medium. Trademarks have been around for up to 4,000 years, in the form of marks and seals. The first advertising agency in the U.S. was founded in Philadelphia in 1840. Think of campaigns such as ‘Uncle Sam wants you’ and ‘Got Milk?’ which have become part of our cultural lexicon. [insert image – Uncle Sam Wants you / Got Milk?]

7. The current landscape – challenges facing marketers – better targeting

Fast forward to the 1990s and the introduction of search engines which allowed for targeting based on search queries. Today, the problem situation is:

  1. the major players are Google Facebook, and LinkedIn
  2. the marketplace for launching campaigns is a shifting landscape
  3. this is further complicated by the fact that lead generation involves several delicate steps
  4. Google and LinkedIn are no longer for testing – they are expensive
  5. You need to be an expert in many fields – ie LinkedIn / Facebook / Adwords certified in order to compete. It takes many months – even a year, to become an expert – which costs money (or hire an agency due to complexity)

Context: a few years ago, Facebook started by copying Google, in allowing you to target ads. Six months ago, for example, you could not target niches on LinkedIn.

Now, Facebook is copying LinkedIn, allowing you to target professions/ professionals using lead ads. Meanwhile, LinkedIn offers targeting via firmographic demographics.

8. Avoid spend without ROI

This may sound like a lot of opportunity, but many people try and fail, because a) prices have become so high and b) linking the technologies together is tricky. In other words, the outcome is a (high) cost without the desired outcome. It is necessary to configure attribution, conversion, and success in order to measure and repeat results. A structured plan will increase the chances of generating a positive ROI outcome because it will allow you to verify results, both good and bad.

9. Measure and Increase Chances of Measurable Success

In spite of uncertainty, by looking at these basics we can help you increase chance that ROI outcome is successful. You can minimise risk through planning. Using the

  • i. point 3. above: Ten steps to plan a Marketing Campaign
  • ii. planning how to measure and
  • iii. using metrics to update campaign elements and increase chances of successful outcome

10. Conclusion

Learn more by watching this video.

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1-click User-Tagging

1-click User-Tagging

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Tag and add notes to Visitor Profiles

We are very pleased to finally release User-Tagging, which is now available. User tagging allows you to actually edit the Visitor Profiles for each and every visitor with a simple mouse click. User-tagging demo video from Opentracker on Vimeo. This new feature turns Opentracker into a very powerful CRM system – you can combine contact information with actual website browsing history. Example: send out an email and combine response to your newsletter with insight into what each recipient (email address) actually looked at on your website. user tagging username in Opentracker clickstream Here are the fields that you can add/ edit:
  • Email address
  • Title
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Description
  • Gender
  • User name
  • Phone number
  • Mobile nr.
  • Fax nr.
  • Source
  • Currency
  • Website
  • Conversion
  • Rating
  • Email opt-out
  • Age
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Articles & White-papers

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How To Measure Active Users (And Everything You Need To Know).

Active Users: How To Measure It
(and everything You Need To Know).

What are active users?

Active users are the unique users that visit or interact with your website or your app (by using one or more of its available features) over a given interval.

The features an active user interacts with depends on the company and the kind of services offered.

For example

  • Online banking application -> Making a transfer.
  • Ecommerce -> Adding to cart.
  • SaaS -> Using the software.

Active users are recognized with a personal unique identifier, this could be their email, id, cookies or a combination of all, in case one fails. This is done to avoid double counting of a user.

Trends in active users
Growth of Monthly Active Users

Types of Active Users.

There are two types of active users; New Users and Returning Users.

  1. New Users: These are the users that are visiting a website for the very first time.
  2. Returning Users: These are users that have visited a website in the past and are visiting again.

Why should you measure your active users?

Some may consider it a vanity metric, but I’d tell you this, every company should have a solid goal to reach as many eyes that fit into your buyer personas, to build a strong user base, brand authority and loyal supporters.

But how do you measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and the user experience of your product/service?

Well, knowing the number of active users you have is a vital step towards that goal.

For example,
When you measure your active users, you can determine key performance metrics like your churn rate and customer retention rate, and the lifetime value of your customers cannot be calculated without knowing your retention rates, and customer retention rates rely on discovering whether users are active over time.

So plainly, the number of active users provides a measure of the general fitness of the business and serves as a basis to calculate more informative metrics.

Like Andrew Chen, Angel Investor said:

“I would argue that the single most telling metric for a great product is how many of them become dedicated, repeat users.”

So why ignore it?

What you should know before measuring your Active Users!

The first thing you should realize is that how you measure active users heavily depends on the long term growth goals of your company.

For instance – Let’s say KIRA is a startup eCommerce store that uses 100% reusable materials for their products.

KIRA’s main aim right now is to create awareness, and the best way for them to measure their active users would be to measure number of unique people that view/login to their site or mobile app.

While another eCommerce store, YAni sells similar products with 100% recyclable materials, but have been in the game longer than KIRA.

YAni’s main aim at this point is to get more sales, their Active User (AU) measurement would be the number of unique users that add to a cart or make a purchase from their website or mobile app over a given period.

So, if a visitor does not add to cart or make a purchase from the website or app of YAni, they might be considered an inactive user.

You, therefore, have the power to decide what action makes a user “Active” according to your company’s growth goal.

Here is a table showing how different the measurement of active users can be, it’s up to the vision of your company and CEO to determine how to define what “active users” means. Here are some examples:

Name of the Company.Industry/What they doGrowth goal of the company.Action taken before you’re considered an Active User
KIRARecyclable Products eCommerceCreate more awarenessNumber of unique views/ logins on their website.
YAniRecyclable Products eCommerceAcquire more SalesNumber of unique persons that add to cart or buys from their store.
KelpDonation platform for Disabled kidsTo reach their monthly goal of $10,000Number of unique persons that donated or shares their website link to others.
AquaA platform to get volunteers to help pick up plasticTo get 400 new volunteersNumber of unique people that sign up to be a volunteer or shares their link.

But are you limited to having just one goal when calculating your active users?

No.

You can have two, three or even four growth goals.

For example:
Let’s say a start-up eCommerce, KIRA has grown in awareness and now, they want more sales but they’re also aiming for new leads.

Meaning they have two growth goals.

All they have to do now is decide what action suits each goal like this;

Name of the Company.Industry/ What they doGrowth goal of the company.Action taken before you’re considered an Active User
KIRARecyclable Products eCommerceCreate more awarenessNumber of unique views/logins on their website.
Acquire more SalesNumber of unique persons that add to cart or buys from their store.

If 200 unique people create an account or log in to their site but only 50 unique users add to cart or make a purchase from their store, their Active Users according to their sales goal (ie acquire more sales) would be only 50, but their active users according to their awareness goal would be 200.

You can segment your audience according to what they do and what goal their actions or inactions helps you achieve.

The sine qua non to this is using the appropriate action for the goal it fits.

Once you figure out the exact goal(s) you’re aiming for, you can then proceed to measure your active users and progress towards your goal.

 

How to measure Active Users.

There are three main ways to measure active users in a given period. They include;

  1. Daily Active Users [DAU].
  2. Weekly Active Users [WAU].
  3. Monthly Active Users [MAU].

Daily Active Users.

DAU is a term used for the total number of unique people that take action within your website or mobile app on a given day.

Always have in mind that “Take action” is very relative, it depends heavily on the kind of company and its goals.

If you run a SaaS used for scheduling meetings and your long term goal is to get over 10,000 people to schedule meetings through your site,

Your DAU would be;

The number of unique users that make use of your software to schedule a meeting on a given day.

Anyone that logs in without scheduling anything will be considered an inactive user.

Whereas if you aim is to get views on your site, the unique amount of individuals that log into or visits your site will be considered as active users.

If a single user visits your app or website more than once a day. They are counted as 1 active user when calculating your DAU because it is the number of unique users that visit or perform an action.

Measuring your growth goal with the DAU method can be very misleading.

This is because it’s a very short amount of time to calculate accurately your retention rate and to know if the unique visitors are clients or even prospects.

You could have 20,000 unique visitors in one day and by the end of the month, the actual number of people engaging with your product/service (ie return users) could be drastically low. This can be very disheartening.

This can be as a result of an increase in your churn rate (he percentage rate at which customers stop subscribing to a service). Here are some of the reasons for the rise in your churn rate.

Regardless of this, Your DAU can still be meaningful, keep on reading to find out how.

 

Weekly Active Users.

WAU is the total number of unique users that view/engage with your website or mobile app within the last 7days, starting on the designated day.

If you have 10 unique visitors from Monday to Saturday and on Sunday, you lose 2 but the rest come back.

Your WAU would be 10.

The reason being, as long as they visited/engaged at least once within 7 days they are considered to be an active user for that week. 

Monthly Active Users.

MAU shows the total number of unique individuals that view, log in or interact with your website/mobile, by sharing it or engaging with the features on it at least once within 30 days.

The MAU is a key metric because you can use this as an indicator of a healthy growth trajectory for your company. It shows a picture of how many returns and new users your company has.

User Engagement

The best way to use these metrics to determine your user engagement more effectively would be by

The DAU/MAU Ratio:measures how many days an active user engaged with your product within a period of 30days.

It calculates the stickiness of your product – that is, how often people engage with your product. It is commonly called the Measure of “Stickiness”.

It is expressed as:
DAU/MAU * 100

Example 1:
If your DAU is 50,000 on the first day of the month and your MAU is 100,000 unique users

Your Measure of Stickiness would be 50,000/100,000 * 100 = 50%.

This would mean that the average user of your website visits it 15 out of 30 days that month. I.e 50/100 * 30 = 15.

Example 2:
If your DAU is 700,000 and MAU is 3,000,000

Your measure of stickiness would be

700,000/3000000 * 100 = 23.3%

That means the average user of your service returns to your website or app 7 days out of 30 days.

More on measuring stickiness!

Conclusion

The ability to segment your audience is valuable. You can discern between two or more groups of active users, those that are clients and those who are prospects.

You may be worried that when measuring your active users it would be difficult to figure out why some users are active and others decide to leave.

That’s great thinking, the pressure will keep you alert and on your toes!

When using a tool like Opentracker, you’re in the know of everyone that has visited your website, what they browsed, from the very first time to the last, you get a good grasp of why the return users keep coming back and why your lost users leave.

Having the right metrics at hand will help your company understand how best to engage with prospects who have viewed your services or products and how to retain your existing customers.

Hereby, improving your customer retention rate and the overall growth of your company.

And don’t you want to know that?

Fill out this form to apply for a free consultation session with OpenTracker and find out how relevant & accurate analytics can help grow your business.  

Author : Vera Agiang

Vera Agiang is an Experienced Marketing Specialist with a demonstrated history of working with B2B FinTech and Saas companies. Follow her on LinkedIn.

Best Practices in Email Marketing in 2020

The Best Practices Based on 2019 Email Marketing Metrics

Marketers can only make improvements if they take the time to assess the effectiveness of their previous campaigns. This is where email marketing metrics enter into the picture.

With the help of metrics, you will be able to identify which actions you should continue using and which ones you should rather pull the plug on. The following are the most important email marketing metrics that you should pay attention to and a couple of best practices that will help you to give your percentages a boost too.

Open rate

Your open rate is pretty unambiguous and straightforward. In short, it refers to how many of your email subscribers have actually opened a specific email.

By analysing your open rate, you will learn more about which subject lines were the most effective and which days are the ideal time to send those emails. Not only is this metric easy to make sense of, but you do not have to work out this percentage on your own as this metric is also included by all the different email platforms in every email campaign report.

Though, achieving a good open rate is unfortunately more challenging! For instance, the open rate of an e-commerce company’s marketing email campaign is only about 18% on average. So, if you want to improve on that average open rate, you should seriously consider segmenting and customizing your campaigns.

Spam rate

A possible reason why subscribers are so reluctant to open a promotional email is because they often perceive it as spam. Thus, one rate that you do not want to see increase is your spam rate (in fact, you should strive to keep it as low as 0.1%). If your spam rate increases, it basically means that increasingly more subscribers are labeling your emails as spam.

So, before you just send those emails, ask your subscribers if that will be okay with them. Then, once you have received everyone’s permission, be sure not to email them too often and try not to include a deal in every email that you send.

Bounce rate

For your subscribers to be able to open your emails, they need to have received it in the first place. This might sound like common sense, but you will be surprised that some emails actually do not reach their destinations.

The bounce rate measures the percentage of emails that do not reach their intended destination. It could simply be that your subscriber’s inbox is full (referred to as a soft bounce). Though, if your bounce rate is more than 4% it could be a sign that it is time that you update your subscriber list as many of the email addresses very likely no longer exist.

Click-through rate

So, your email managed to sidestep the Spam folder and has, in fact, been opened by the subscriber. You can now shift your focus to your click-through rate which refers to the number of subscribers that clicked on at least one link found in your email.

A high click-through rate is a sign that your writing team is doing a good job as the call-to-action prompts were effective and your subscribers found your content interesting. If your click-through rate is too low, consider segmenting and customizing your email campaigns. Also, pay attention to your email’s structure. It should be easy to scan and click. Ultimately your recipients should know exactly which action they should take next.

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Conversion Rate

Two goals of email marketing are to get more people to sign up to a newsletter and, needless to say, boost your sales. Unfortunately most email service providers do not offer conversion rate metrics. Instead, you will have to use Google Analytics or a tool like Omnisend.

Your conversion rate is one of the most important things to assess. If you boast a great conversion rate, it is a sign that your email campaign is targeting the right group. What’s more, it is also an indication that your offer is attractive and that people are convinced by your copy to take action.

Return On Investment (ROI)

You have probably spent some money on your email marketing campaign. In that case, you would like to work out if you have gained anything, right? You can assess if your email marketing campaign has been successful by working out the return on investment (ROI). The formula is very simple: take what you have gained (in other words, the sum of all the sales that you have made via your email marketing campaigns) and subtract what you have spent (like the fee of your marketers and copywriters). Then, divide this answer by what you have spent (yes, the same amount that you used earlier) and you will get your ROI percentage.

Unsubscribe Rate

The reality is that you will always have subscribers who choose to hit that unsubscribe button. That being said, luckily, on average only about 0.25% of subscribers choose to unsubscribe. Though, if your e-commerce business has loads more who opt to unsubscribe, it could be that your content is too promotional or one-sided or that you are simply sending emails too often.

Wrapping Up

You can only manage your email marketing campaign effectively, if you take the time to analyze the metrics. Start by looking at your open rate to determine if your subject lines need more attention, while your click-through rate will help to determine if the rest of your copy needs to be improved. Whatever you do, do not send emails too frequently! While it may be tempting, your spam and bounce rate will only suffer.

 

best practices in email marketing

Author : Whitney Blankenship

Content Marketing Manager for Omnisend. When not writing awesome content, Whitney is reading up on the latest in digital marketing, ecommerce, and social media trends. Obsessed with pop culture, art, and metal. Powered by coffee. Fastest Googler in the West.

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5 Powerful Ways to Combine Social Media and Email Marketing

5 Powerful Ways to Combine Social Media and Email Marketing

Social media and email marketing provide businesses with opportunities to promote, interact, and share information with customers. Companies can use different methods, such as an email list, to combine both of these networks together. This makes sense, because bringing both together can lead to further company growth and success.

social media and email marketing

When email marketing and social media marketing are separate, it prevents either from building off of each other. By combining both together, a company can increase efficiency and effectiveness for both branches. We’re here to give you five different ways you can combine these branches together so that you can see more success within your company.

  1. Encourage People on Social Media to Sign Up For Emails

Take advantage of your current social media following and invite people to sign up for email newsletters. People who follow your business on social media show that they are interested in your business and its products, so why not extend an offer to join your newsletter? You can mention what the newsletters entail and the benefits of signing up.

If people feel that they gain something from signing up, they will do it. You can mention deals or sales that the email newsletter provides. The offer to save money will draw in more people willing to sign up for it. You can also have a social media contest to bring in more subscribers Offer people incentives and it will increase the odds of them signing up for the newsletter.

  1. Collect Email Addresses Through Social Media

Many people include their email addresses on their social media accounts. With this in mind, you can make joining your email newsletter easier by doing it through their social media. People like convenience, so the easier you make signing up for them, the more likely they are to do it. Signing up through social media provides this convenience.

Facebook and Twitter make it easy to set up. Twitter provides a way for people to quickly join your newsletter while staying on the app. Facebook provides a call to action button which allows people to sign up for newsletters by clicking a button on your Facebook page.

  1. User-Generated Content

User-generated content allows you to make customers happy while getting free advertisement from them. When people create content, they want others to recognize their hard work. Your company can use social media and emails to share content created by your customers that relates to your business. This spreads your business to others while showing customers appreciation.

social media and email marketing

Make sure that you get permission before you use customer content in newsletters. Some people may be shy to share something they wrote and others may want to remain anonymous. With social media, you can easily share content with the “share” button. This will show that you pay attention to customers and they will appreciate you sharing their content with others.

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  1. Retarget Ads on Facebook

Retarget ads refer to using a website, email, or other medium to advertise your business. After a person views it, they can be exposed to it again on social media or other networks. In short, you can use your most effective email newsletter subjects as posts on Facebook. By retargeting this content to the other group, you can draw in more customers.

Take it a step further by testing different subject lines, subjects, and images to see which ones work the best. You need to test out different approaches and track the statistics to see which ones will work the best. Use the most successful ones on your social media pages and any successful social media posts in your email campaigns.

  1. Create Private Facebook Groups

You can create a private Facebook Group that people can access when they sign up for your email newsletters. People like to be part of different groups and to have access to more information, so providing a private Facebook Group draws in those types of people. However, you can’t just create the group and expect people to join: you need an incentive.

You can mention that people get access to special deals and discounts through the private group. They could also be entered into a contest to win something from your company. Adding simple little incentives like these draws in more people, because people love free things and saving money.

Conclusion

Bringing your social media and email marketing together can lead to various benefits for your company. By cross-promoting and providing people multiple ways to gain information about your company, you also provide further advertisement for your company. People go on their emails and social media accounts constantly, so this brings in more traffic and views.

Keep working to bring these two markets together. While these five steps will help you work towards that goal, always look for other ways to bring them together. Social media and email marketing both remain effective ways to draw in more customers. Continue to use them, to build them up, and to have them work together to have more success within your business.

Author : Evaldas Mockus

Evaldas Mockus is an Experienced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and Saas companies. Currently, he is associated with Omnisend, an e-commerce marketing automation platform built for growing e-commerce businesses. Follow him on LinkedIn.

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Content Promotion Plan for 2020

The content Promotion Plan for 2020

It’s easy to overlook the importance of content marketing, but even the most interesting and relevant content can’t succeed without a strong promotional plan. The best content marketers are always looking for ways to improve visibility and drive more traffic to their sites and blogs.

This article will cover some of the most effective ways to increase interest in your content and get more traffic on each new piece. Keep in mind that it takes time to build an audience—don’t get discouraged if you don’t achieve your goals overnight.

Segment Your Audience

content promotion plan for 2020Audiences expect more relevant and personalized content than ever, and creators that offer the same generic content to every reader will quickly fall behind the competition. Segmentation tools allow you to target specific groups of readers rather than treating your audience as a single entity.

Marketers commonly narrow down audiences based on criteria like location, age, gender, and purchase history. A number of marketing automation services offer the tools you need to set up fine-tuned audience segments and send the right content to the right readers.

In addition to personalizing content depending on user information, you can also adjust your approach to match each unique channel. For example, you might use a different tone on Facebook or Twitter compared to email or text. Think about what users on different platforms are looking for and try to create messaging that aligns with their preferences.

You can also implement a wider range of content types including both short- and long-form videos. Research indicates that users on all platforms are more interested in videos than other forms of content. You can use video marketing in a variety of interesting ways.

Use A/B Testing

content promotion plan for 2020A/B testing is an incredibly powerful tool in every area of marketing. It has the potential to take your content marketing strategies to the next level. Split tests give you the opportunity to compare results with multiple versions of one ad or even two completely different promotions.

Without A/B testing, it’s almost impossible to identify the strengths and weaknesses in your existing approach. If you’re trying to attract more readers, for example, you can test two different ads to see which one has a greater impact on traffic.

It’s important to only adjust a single variable in each test in order to accurately identify your best option. When you change more than one factor, there’s no easy way to determine which one was primarily responsible for your results.

Use a Calendar

It can be difficult to track every aspect of your content strategy. A promotion calendar makes it easy to view the details of your plan. A typical calendar includes a schedule of upcoming content along with any other relevant information your team needs to know.

With a content calendar, you’ll know exactly how much time you have for each upcoming assignment, helping you stay on schedule and delegate tasks when necessary. Try to stay in regular communication with the rest of your team in order to keep everyone on the same page.

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Create Drip Campaigns

Audience segmentation allows you to tailor content to specific sections of your audience, but you can also add personalization by implementing drip campaigns. Drip campaigns target users who have completed specific actions such as reading your content or signing up for your email list.

Most internet users expect a welcome sequence when subscribing to a new newsletter. So it is a good place to start with email drip campaigns. An effective welcome sequence introduces readers to your brand, keeping them engaged and interested in upcoming content.

Build a Backlink Profile

Directly marketing to new readers is the simplest way to increase traffic. That said, a strong backlink profile can be even more effective when it comes to maintaining long-term readership and generating more sustainable leads.

Your backlink profile is the set of links from other websites that lead to your site or blog. These connections help you reach out to people who read similar blogs, and they’re essentially a free source of new leads. While it takes time to develop your backlink profile, this is one of the best investments you can make as a content marketer.

If you’re interested in gaining more incoming links, start by reaching out to other blogs in your niche to ask about guest blogging opportunities. Blogs often allow guest posts as a way to network with their peers and offer a new perspective to their existing readers.

Of course, you should always offer to return the favour when you’re accepted as a guest blogger on another blog. The network of guest posting depends on people allowing each other to post. So you’re more likely to find opportunities in the future if you let other creators write guest content for your site or blog.

Target Multiple Channels

Customers engage with brands and content creators on numerous platforms, so websites that only engage with readers on a single channel often have trouble with outreach. On the other hand, sites and businesses of all kinds get more traffic and revenue when they start advertising on three or more channels.

Moving from one channel to several can feel overwhelming, but marketers now have access to countless applications that facilitate important aspects of each campaign. For example, you might be able to configure automatic messages based on behaviour across multiple channels.

That said, it’s easy to spread your team too thin if you ask them to manage too many campaigns. It’s better to have a strong presence on two or three platforms than to post the same generic content on five or six. Gather audience data to determine which channels are most critical to your success.

Content promotion is more competitive and complicated than ever before, but you can differentiate your site from the rest by making a few simple adjustments. These are just a few of the most cost-effective ways to increase traffic and improve your content marketing strategy.

Author : Evaldas Mockus

Evaldas Mockus is an Experienced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and Saas companies. Currently, he is associated with Omnisend, an e-commerce marketing automation platform built for growing e-commerce businesses. Follow him on LinkedIn.

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How to Use SEO to Improve Your Website Ranking in 2020

How to Use SEO to Improve Your Website’s Ranking

Summary

This article contains background and practical advice for improving your website ranking. If you read this article you will learn about what you can accomplish with a better ranking. We also cover:

  1. Focusing on a Niche
  2. Title tag and Meta Descriptions
  3. Keyword maintenance

Introduction

First things first. In order to improve website ranking, you need to make sure that there is more traffic. Traffic means that more people are accessing your website which is great for sales and revenue. But how do you do this?

Everyone knows that improving a website’s ranking is hard work. After all, there are millions upon millions of websites on the internet. However, the amount of people accessing the internet is actually fixed. Not all of the inhabitants of the earth have access to the internet. In fact, the number’s somewhere between one-third and one-half of the population. Then there’s the fact that everyone has their own interests and occupation, and this severely limits the amount of people who’ll be interested in the content you provide on your website. It is a simple economic problem: There is a limited demand but a massive supply of goods. So, what do you do?

How do you stand out in this intense competition?

Well, we have a solution for you which shows results in a matter of days.

Enter SEO – a tool you can use to improve your website ranking.

First Up, What is SEO?

If you didn’t know what SEO is, then you’re in the right place.

SEO standards for Search Engine Optimization.  It’s actually one of the holy grails in internet marketing. It is the science and the art of getting your website a higher rank on search engines. If utilised correctly, SEO can get your website in the first couple of pages in the organic section of the search engine results.

After all, everyone knows that getting onto the first couple of pages of the search engine results pages is what you should be aiming for. Especially because users are guaranteed to click on at least half of the results on the first page alone. This is essentially free advertisement for your website and being high on the search results translates to a higher traffic.

The aim and purpose of SEO is to make your website appear on the first few pages for a bunch of different categories. You don’t want your website to be in one category only. You want it to be in multiple because the more people see your website the more likely they are to click on it.

This is why SEO is so important. It is free advertisement for your website and you know for sure that the audience interested in the products and services you offer on your website will be viewing it.

But how does it do that?

We’re glad that you asked!

What does SEO depend on?

Google has a very complex algorithm which ranks websites and searches that people conduct in order to figure out which website is best to help them find what they’re looking for. There’s a range of things that come into consideration which affects the ranking of your website. Google looks at how many websites link to yours, the quality of your website, the number of people who trust your website based off reviews and reports (usually obtained through Google Analytics which Google also uses), and the relevance of your content (here’s where SEO keywords come in).

You need to tap into the criteria set by Google, and use it to your benefit. That’s what SEO teaches you to do. With that in mind, we can turn to how you can use SEO to improve your website’s ranking. While there are many ways out there which you can use, our tips are a mix of things beginners need to know about SEOs as well as what experts ought to know.

How Can You Use It To Improve Your Website’s Ranking

With that in mind, here is a list of tips and tricks you can do with SEO that will improve your website ranking.

#1: Focus on A Niche

Websites that talk about one particular subject are able to improve their ranking faster than websites that talk about ten different things. It’s OK if you want your website to be about a lot of different things but it’s best to find common ground between the topics. Think of it this way: you want to write articles about computers, mobile phones, video games and movies. They might seem to be completely different things and if you talk about them individually you will see that you don’t get much traffic.

However, if you put them under the umbrella of media entertainment- you’ll find that you can cover them and many other things and also be able to get more traffic. Why?

This is because anyone who’s ever searched media entertainment will be able to view your website because you will be structuring the content in such a way that it will cover everything. If you just have a website that has URL centered around computers but then also talks about mobile phones and video games, people who’re searching mobile phones and video games will not be clicking on your website because to them, you’re a computer expert, what could you possibly have to say about those two things that they don’t already know?

So be thorough and think through the content you want to focus on. Then you can move onto the second tip. 

#2: Optimize Title Tag and Meta Description

It’s very important that your website title tag and meta description are good enough to attract people to them. You need to make sure that they’re grammatically correct, informative and yet appealing enough to make people click on your website. The best way to do so is make sure that you have the perfect title tag that includes the ‘keywords’ i.e the terms people will search when they’re looking up information. Following the previous example of a media entertainment website, you can have a title tag that includes the word media entertainment, computers, mobile phone and more- just make sure it makes sense. Here’s an example.

Say, your media entertainment website’s name is MedEnt. Your title tag should be something like this:

“MedEnt: The Media Entertainment Website You Need To Follow To Get The Latest Information On Computers, Mobile Phones, Video Games, Movies & More!”

Of course, try to keep it as short as possible but it doesn’t hurt if you do make it long- as long as it isn’t ridiculously long.

Similarly, make sure that your meta description gives an accurate description of what your website is all about. Make sure to add the keywords in but it should feel natural and attract the reader. Don’t force a keyword in when it doesn’t make any sense. That will just make the reader think that your website is badly written and they won’t trust it.

#3: Keywords

Last but not the least, be careful about the keywords. Keywords can help your website improve rankings significantly but you need to make sure that they appear naturally. Believe it or not, this article that you’re reading right now has tons of keywords in it. However, we’re positive that you won’t be able to tell exactly how many we’ve used because we’ve made sure they’re inserted in such a way that it feels natural.

On the other end of the spectrum you’ll have websites that have great content but haven’t mastered the art of using keywords to attract their audience. Well, if that sounds like you then you should use Google Search Console. It’s free of cost and once you sign up, you can actually use it to track the keywords used in your website, how many people actually used it and how many clicks you managed to get from them. If you notice that some keywords had a higher traffic rate than others then…. well you know what to do. Use these keywords in your content more often but remember- it should sound natural.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are various ways you can use SEO to improve the ranking of your website. We’ve discussed them in detail above but the bottom line is that you have to:

  1. Focus on a niche
  2. Optimize your title title and meta description
  3. Use SEO Keywords to generate more traffic

If you’ve got these points down, we’re sure you’ll be able to improve your website’s ranking almost immediately. We hope you found this article useful!

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How to Use an Email List for Business Advantage

How to Use an Email List for Business to Your Advantage

Executive Summary: In A Nutshell

What will you learn if you read this article?
In this article we explain a bit about the history of email lists and newsletters. We explain the role they play. Perhaps more importantly, we have reviewed Industry literature and collected Best Practices (Secrets) which will tell you how to actually leverage the great potential an Email List holds. 

Action – Practical Recommendations

1. Use your List to Highlight Events & Promotions
i. excite audience
ii. build suspense
iii. build hype
 
2. Bring Out Human Competitive Nature – Everybody is looking for a DEAL
 
3. Data-driven Excellence: Understand Your Audience
 
4. Create Customer Loyalty
 
Expert Insights – who is ready-to-buy?

Your list reveals mission-critical information about your customers. By analyzing demographics, you can identify and segment your target audience. Key metrics are:  preferences, brand loyalty, and browsing interests. This is very valuable information, because after understanding your audience, you can then advertise on your email list in a format that you know will appeal directly to actual interests. 

Research tells us that 91% of consumers check email daily, often anticipating new promotions and deals. Your emails can function to re-direct them to your business, thus increasing the probability of generating conversion.

Conclusion: Do not let your email list go to waste. Grow your business using your existing Marketing asset (mail list) for marketing purposes.

 
Why an email list?

There are plenty of articles floating around the internet that highlight the urgent need to create an email list for your business. You will also find a lot of articles that give you step-by-step instructions on how to create an email list. What these articles lack, however, are key tips that will allow you to use an email list to your advantage. After all, what good is an email list for your business if it isn’t helping you?

You could have a foot long email list and it wouldn’t help your business prosper if you don’t have a clue about what you’re doing.  How does one capitalise on your email list? Most business owners face this problem. This article is dedicated to helping you use your business email list to your advantage.

What is an email list?

An email list or a mailing list is quite literally just a list of contacts. It might consist of the email addresses of your clients, or maybe the people who signed up for a newsletter or promotion updates on your business’s website, or perhaps even colleagues or business partners, if you are good with networking.

An email list is quite simply, a list of people’s contacts. Back in the older days, this ‘list’ consisted of the physical address of individuals where they would receive letters from a company advertising its products. It’s the same concept but instead of physically delivering the update, we now send emails in a virtual space. Best of all, unlike a physical mailing service, it’s free to send and relatively cheap to manage.

So, why should you use it?

An email list can be particularly useful when it comes to marketing your product or services. When accessing a website, people often agree to sign up for newsletters, not because they’re particularly interested in the services offered but because they simply can. There was probably something about your business that caught their eye that made them subscribe to your mailing list. This means that while you may not have sold products to these people, they might consider using your services if you do provide them with a good bargain. This is why an email list is so important. There’s so much potential for it. For one thing, even if these people never use your product, they will probably suggest it to a friend or a colleague. It’s all about catching people’s attention with new offers on a regular basis. 

Think of it this way: 

You own a small plumbing company in your city, competing with a hundred others. People subscribe to your email list because it seemed useful- everyone has plumbing issues at one point. However, the person who subscribed to your list did not face any problems and instead, one day, a friend or a colleague talked to them about a plumbing problem in their home. This person, remembering your business, will probably refer you to them.

As you can see, it’s a great way of promoting and marketing your business so you need to make sure that you put your best foot forward.

Ways to use your email list to your advantage

Use your List to Highlight Events & Promotions

An email list can help marketing on your website by quite a big margin. Of course, as a business owner in the era of social media, you might find this to be perplexing. After all, it is quite clear that social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have a massive audience to tap into. With an email list however, you can market to your target audience with a laser-sharp message. You can reach a target audience at set times with an open rate of up to 30%.

Bearing this in mind, an email list will benefit you if you are looking to market your business. This is why it is very important that you highlight your upcoming events and promotions. You don’t have to provide extensive details. All you need to do is 1) provide a little detail to build suspense, 2) excite your audience and 3) build up the hype. People will be more likely to tell their friends and family about upcoming events if they are excited about it. Capitalise on that excitement through your email list.

Bring Out Our Competitive Nature – Everybody is looking for a DEAL

Both established and up-and-coming businesses offer giveaways and competitions. This is because we, as a species, are generally very competitive. By announcing giveaways and competitions, you will be able to garner larger audiences to your business. You can use your email list to make the announcement. As we mentioned before, because email lists are still the best marketing strategy for your business, you can easily attract a greater audience to your business.
 
In a recent study, Unbounce found that they were able to pull up a 700% increase in mailing list signups by adding a giveaway contest onto the front page of some of their clients’ websites. By increasing your email list, you are increasing your business’s exposure by a massive margin.
 

Understanding Your Audience

Your email list can tell you a lot about your customers. By analysing your demographics, you can learn a lot about your target audience. This includes metrics such as their preferences, their income margins, brand loyalty, and so on. You can use data analytics for this. This is the most important thing that you can possibly learn from your email list because, after understanding your audience, you can then advertise on your email list in a format that you know will appeal to your audience the most. It can help your business flourish at a more rapid pace.

Create Customer Loyalty – Who is Ready to Buy?

Last but not the least, you can turn your email list into a platform that will allow you to communicate to your regular customers. This is actually quite important because research has shown that over 70% of the people visiting your business’s website will never return to it. So, in order to get a clear understanding of what your actual clientele looks like, you might want to start giving them exclusive deals. If anything, by telling people visiting your website from the get-go that the email list has exclusive material for your loyal clients, you will be getting people who are actually interested in your product. Studies reveal that 91% of consumers check their emails daily so by giving them exciting new promotions and deals, you will be able to re-direct them towards your business thus increasing the probability of them actually using your service.

Mailing lists can be very helpful in these scenarios because you really want people to buy the services you’re offering them so that your business can flourish. Don’t let your email list go to waste, you can grow your business a lot by using it only for marketing purposes!

Conclusion

In the end, email lists are important for your business, knowing how to use them to your advantage is essential in making your business prosper. In order to do that, you must equip yourself with a variety of skills. One skill in particular is using data analytics to determine the demographics, preference, and interests of your target audience. Use audience preferences to your advantage and provide your potential and current clients with what they’d like to see.

If you’re interested in using data analytics to assess how to further your business then what are you waiting for? You’re already on our site! We, Opentracker, are a data analytics company who can definitely help you! Check out our services- you’ll definitely find at least one that caters to you!

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How To Create Awesome Content That Increases Traffic On Website

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How to create awesome content that resonates with the reader and brings in a lot of traffic

As a business, you have a story to tell and this story telling in the digital age is labeled as content creation. It’s content with a purpose. Good content engages with the reader and creates traffic to your site; traffic that leads to better conversion rates and more sales. But how do you go about doing this?

What you will learn from this article:

  1. The 2 most common mistakes with content creation that drives customers away.
  2. Why it’s important to focus on your business to create great content and drive traffic.

Reading time: 5 – 7 minutes

The 2 most common mistakes with content creation that drives customers away

Mistake number 1: Creating content for content’s sake

That ‘About us’ page on your website- that’s content. And the landing page- that’s content too. In fact anything written on your website or anywhere on the Internet is content. Each piece of content is there for a specific purpose; all of which when pieced together is supposed to form a series of interlocking chains that drives customer attraction, consumption and retention.

Ask yourself why your business needs a brochure or a white paper. Is it because your competitor has also got one? Mirroring other businesses is a sure-shot strategy to failure because you don’t know why they are doing the things that they are. For all you know, their strategy of customer engagement and business philosophy could be very different from yours and may not work for your business.

Bottom line:

Regardless of what everyone else is doing, ask yourself what this blog post/white paper/press release is meant to do for your business. Stop producing content for content’s sake.

Mistake number 2: Not knowing who your customer is and what they want

Let’s say you have a financial consulting business and have started a blog to gain visibility in the blogosphere.

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You write about mutual funds, you write about tax saving plans and retirement funds and pretty much every topic under the sun. Week after week, you put out these awesome posts, but what do you hear? crickets..

Wondering why your blog hasn’t been flooded with comments and business enquiries? That’s because you are writing for “nobody”.

Ask yourself, is your business geared towards meeting the needs of people in the 40-60 year age bracket, who are urban, middle class people saving for retirement or is it for 20-something people who are just starting out with college debt and are unsure how to plan for their financial future? Or, is it for newly married people who want to buy their first home and are waiting to welcome their first born child?

Everyone needs money. But every target audience has different desires, fears and risk taking capacity and they all are at different stages of their financial lifecycle. Understanding these factors and creating customised content that speaks to your target audience’s fears and desires is the key to customer engagement.

If you have a product or a service that solves different problems for different demographics, you can simply create a separate list/newsletter for each category. What would be a mistake would be to blast the same content in a newsletter to everyone when they all have different needs and aspirations.

Bottom line:

Understand your customer and their pain points accurately to create customized  content that resonates with them.

Why it’s important to focus on your business to create great content.

Yes, money is important but remember, your business exists to solve a problem or to meet a market need. What is it that you can do for your clients? What do you do differently than your competitors and why should customers care to work with you?

Focus on the value proposition and everything — pricing, services on offer, the way you engage with your customers, business strategy, marketing tactics, company culture and yes, even the content you create — flows from this.

If people believe that you have something of value to add to their lives, people will listen to you and before you know it, your content will start to attract customers the way bees swarm around a beehive.

As you can tell, this isn’t one of those smart hacks or shortcut tips that will give you great results instantly. This approach requires you to ask if what you’re doing is right for your business and more importantly, for your customer— it’s the authentic way to drive web traffic.

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