Are you like me during the Super Bowl- you turn the volume down during the actual game, and turn it up during the commercials? Don’t get me wrong, I love watching sports (although I do prefer baseball over football), but as a long-time marketing nerd, the opportunity to see what some of the top advertising minds in the country can create, with seemingly unlimited budgets, is far more exciting than the actual game. The pressure to create a winning commercial, along with the knowledge of the immense audience, really push the adpeople to new heights each year, and it inspires me to push the limits in my own marketing efforts.
While the fundamentals of Inbound Methodology Attract-Convert-Close-Delight still stand, at AdVision, we are constantly trying to evolve the tools and tactics we use to deliver on these fundamentals. We don’t want our partners’ campaigns to become stale, and you shouldn’t want yours too either. We Here are 6 ways we are keeping our campaigns fresh:
Gone are the days when a potential customer would fill out a lengthy form in exchange for a an ebook. With the massive amount of free content available today, you have to make sure that what you are providing delivers high value and stands out from the competition, especially if you are gating the content. At AdVision, we have had great success using interactive content to turn data into interactive, engaging experiences. In addition to standing out from other content, interactive content increases time on site, conversion rate and active engagement. Not only does this lead to more customers, but it builds strong relationships with the prospects right from the start, leading to long-term loyal customers. Here is an example of a piece of interactive content we did for our sister agency, Touristy. The content is valuable, and consumers are engaged by selecting content they want to read next. You can also use quizzes, calculators and assessments to collect data from visitors. Qzzr, which helps users create interactive quizzes, shares some very impressive numbers:
- 81% quiz completion rate
- 5% lead conversion rate
- 2:27 average time on quiz/site
Don’t think you have to start from scratch: this is a prime opportunity to repurpose your existing content. Go back through old blog posts, e-books, or infographics and upgrade them into something that will capture attention and convert leads.
Promote Your Content with Video
We all know that video has become a major player in digital marketing. It’s a great tool to increase engagement and time on site, educate your prospects in the consideration stage, and show your personality. Our partners are seeing amazing results when we use video in their social campaigns, both to promote their brands and to promote their content. We aren’t the only ones doing so. According to research from our paid search optimization partner, Kenshoo, video ads were 25% of social ad spending in Q4, a 93% increase YOY. Plus, Facebook wants you to use video! People look at video 5 times longer than static content on Facebook and Instagram. CPCs on Facebook are determined not just bid level, but also estimated action and ad quality and relevance. Since video ads have proven to incite action more than static content, and are deemed relevant by Facebook, you should see lower CPCs with your video ads. One of our partners is seeing CPCs under $.10 on their video ads, three to four times less than their static ads!
And consumers aren’t just watching the videos, they are taking action! According to PointVisible, 64% of consumers purchase after watching social media video. Not suprisingly, given the success of video ads on other social media platforms, LinkedIn plans to roll out video ads in 2018. Businesses cannot currently post videos to their page, so this update opens the door to new opportunities in the B2B category!
Automated, Integrated Reporting
I am a firm believer in letting data guide our marketing decisions, and am constantly reviewing results, tweaking and testing to optimize our partners’ campaigns, and you should be too. With data being such an integral part of our marketing strategies, having one place to view and manipulate the data from all the different tools we use is a big advantage. There are many platforms out there (TapClicks, Databox, Domo to name a few) and they are integrated with the top platforms for Inbound Marketing, CRM, SEM, SEO, Analytics, e-commerce, help desks, email marketing, video marketing, social marketing and more! Additionally, we can pull in data for multiple sources in one report, so you can see a holistic view of your campaign, and pinpoint why something is happening, identify trends, and make smart decisions quickly. Our partners can access this information at any time too, which guides them in where to put their marketing dollars, and see a true ROI across multiple channels.
Here is an example of a Databox report which integrates Google Analytics and HubSpot to give a complete view of content marketing performance:
Upgrade Your Blog Posts
Content is king, and helpful, utilitarian content even more so. Gone are the days of churning out one 500-word, keyword heavy blog post after another to increase your presence in organic search. With millions of blogs to compete with, the quality of your content has become even more important. According to a 2017 HubSpot survey of 1000 bloggers, longer posts (over 1000 words) perform better. With the prominence of featured snippets in Google’s organic search, you should focus on writing content that answers a question, with the how-to format being most effective. Think of something your target personas need answers to, and write a detailed how-to with those answers.
Of course this all requires research, and investing more time. The bloggers in the HubSpot survey said that the average time to create blog is now 3 hours and 20 minutes, nearly one hour higher than in 2014. This is another opportunity to repurpose your existing content. Review your past blog posts and update them with current data and more helpful information.
Drop Forms, use Live Chat or Chatbots
AI technology is advancing rapidly, which is great news if you are taking advantage of it. Live Chat and Chatbots ensure that you can engage with your prospects at all times. Additionally, as people are getting more and more weary of forms, collecting information through chat seems less intrusive and more conversational. Some of the key benefits of using this technology include increasing lead generation, having a better customer experience (thus increasing satisfaction from the start), simplifying the buyer’s journey, and delivering instant, targeted content based on the prospects feedback. Some companies are seeing a threefold increase in lead conversion by implementing chat scripts. And you don’t have to be a coding expert to implement these. There are many companies which make it simple to integrate, Drift and Intercom being two of the most popular. Facebook Messenger is another option, although it isn’t quite as mature as the others (yet!).
Influencer marketing has been around for decades, but the dominance of social media has taken it to a whole new level. Consumers have grown to become skeptical of advertising, causing the power influencers have over buying decisions to skyrocket. Instagram is the social network where influencers have the most power, followed closely by Facebook and Twitter. In a recent study by gen.video, they found that 90 percent of the social media users surveyed are influenced to make a purchase after seeing content on social media. Twitter surveyed their users, and the results showed that users now trust influencers nearly as much as their friends: 56 percent of users surveyed said they rely on recommendations from friends, 49 percent said they rely on influencers.. We have seen the power of influencers with our partner, Western wear brand CINCH Jeans, who regularly features influencers in their blog posts. Their influencers are top rodeo athletes who wear CINCH apparel while competing. In this blog post, they share which CINCH products they wear while competing:
This not only adds credibility to their products and increases sales, it’s highly shareable content, and also nurtures the relationship with their athletes. It’s important to note that influencers have to feel genuine, and credible. Social users are smart, so can recognize when an influencer is not authentic. A pro rodeo athlete promoting western wear makes sense. A fashionista, not so much. Be true to your brand!
I hope you are inspired to shake things up! To learn more about these and other Inbound Marketing strategies, schedule a free 30-minute consultation!