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Should I outsource my media buys?

DigiWorld Partners White Paper Shows The Value of Outsourcing Media Buys

According to recent statistics reported by eMarketer, total digital ad spending in 2017 is projected to exceed 77 Billion dollars, which equates to roughly 38% of all ad spending and will surpass television ad spending for the first time globally. A large component of that advertising pool comes down to PPC Management of paid search and social media campaigns on major platforms like Google and Facebook. The trajectory of global digital ad spending is also expected to reach critical mass in 2018 with a spend of more than $252 billion overall. Those numbers seem powerful, but how much of that is dead money chasing false targets, and what kind of ROI can buyers rely on when their spend is being managed by an in-house team of traditional ad buyers attempting to monetize the period of transition while they are learning new skills at the same time?

Modern media buying isn’t just slightly different from the sort of ad channels many traditional advertisers are accustomed to harnessing, it requires a new set of tools and a completely different approach due to the velocity of the audience and the rate of change trends now create. The reason this white paper is gathering so much attention is the fact that I have a background working in both B2C and B2B markets from the client and consultant sides of the equation. The purpose of the paper is simply to help companies establish a sensible plan of action as they seek to expand their reach into new media channels without wasting resources along the way.

DigiWorld Partners explores 7 key benefits of outsourcing media buys to digital professionals based on clearly identifiable elements of successful new media campaigns. Resource Management, Broad Market Insight, Big Data Insight, Specialized Tools, Team Scalability, International Expertise and Cost Effectiveness.

Some executives mistakenly assume they would be best off attempting to build a media buying team from the ground up. The fact is, the strategic aspects of running a for-profit business campaign require an immense amount of experience, and the learning curve is usually far more costly than some may expect. Getting the most out of each ad spend requires a massive amount of data collection, analysis, habit tracking, pitch tuning and testing. That work is made exponentially more complicated by variances in local cultures around the globe, an array of billing restrictions, trend and policy changes by major platforms in the market, so having a professional team that is already well-versed in what actually works makes a huge difference.

Among clients who opted to outsource their media buy activities after attempting to manage them all in-house, DigiWorld Partners reported a median sales revenue gain of approximately 18%, while their clients also reported a corresponding reduction in overhead costs of 25-35% which demonstrates the enormous power of working with an experienced team. The savings come predominantly from eliminating the need to orient, train and retrain staff because DigiWorld retains its edge by continuing to work with properly vetted, experienced buyers that have already established a proven track record in relevant niche markets. The revenue increases are a function of running the right ads, during their best efficacy and being able to evolve campaigns effectively as trends change, marketing materials become stale and audience demand new lures to earn their attention.

The proliferation of ad blockers, pre-paid credit cards and free content online along with the rise of a more jaded millennial consumer clientele have left some companies feeling left out. It’s no longer good enough to just throw-up passive advertisements and hope for revenue to return as a result. Modern marketing is much more about creating a sense of engagement, establishing a connection with cue givers, understanding your target audience and enticing them to want to participate in your campaigns. When a customer contacts you about your product or service, rather than being contacted by you, that’s when you know your latest campaign is a success.

It’s a very simple concept to grasp – You don’t go out and tell a twenty year old college student what car they should buy, or what kind of clothing that ought to wear. In fact, if you really want them to be interested in your products you don’t want to initiate interactions with them directly at all. You want their girlfriend to mention your shirts look sexy, or their friends to chat about your car as being the coolest one in their price range. Real social media engagement and ad buying these days is about building consensus, establishing trends and fueling conversation. In the end, when done well, your target audience identifies you before you even have the chance to identify them.

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5 Basics You Need For Effective Lead Generation

As a mark of an effective sales funnel, lead generation is an important metric for marketing. However, few marketers actually feel that their lead gen campaigns are useful. To make sure you’re creating the most leads,  here are five basic tips and techniques you’ll need to follow:

1. Create Irresistible Offers
Entice your leads by making an offer they can’t refuse, so to speak. There are certain keywords that can induce a psychological response that increase your offer’s appeal. In other words, while your product or service may be great, the way you present it needs to be greater. It should create a sense of urgency and need in your potential leads.

For example, one of these keywords is “scarcity.” When something is in short supply or only available for a limited amount of time, it creates a sense of exclusivity. Whoever is lucky enough to get in on the opportunity feels that they have been given a special experience.

It can also work to show how popular something is. As unique as people wish to be, they also don’t want to feel left out. If you can prove your product or service’s impact with numbers, it can be a great way to reel in potential customers.

Whatever method you choose, be sure to tailor these offers to different stages of your sales funnel to guide your leads through it. If your leads are at the later stages of buying, you don’t want to provide them basic educational materials, like you would for those who are just beginning the process. Use a variety of product formats with varied, interesting language to engage your leads and see the deal through to the end.

“You can’t settle for anything less than amazing when it comes to CTAs.”

2. Use A Superior Call To Action
If you aren’t using effective calls to action, you’re missing out on an important aspect of lead generation. CTAs are essential for driving conversions, so you can’t settle for anything less than amazing when it comes to this part of your marketing.

First, make sure they’re visible. You don’t want website visitors to gloss over your CTA, so make it visually enticing and place it in a spot where it can’t be missed.

Next, don’t think too hard about what it says. In fact, the more straightforward you are, the better. Marketers can get caught up trying to be pithy or clever in a CTA, but the result ends up confusing viewers and driving them away. Instead, help it stand out with color and position it strategically. For example, a “thank you” page that follows an action on your site is prime real estate for a CTA.

3. Enhance Your Landing Pages
In many cases, your CTAs will link to landing pages, which are vital to lead generation. According to MarketingSherpa, landing pages are effective for 94 percent of B2B and B2C companies. Clearly, you don’t want to let this part of your website falter.

The anatomy of a landing page isn’t very complex. You need a headline that matches the corresponding CTA, a brief description accompanied by an image and a form to collect information. You’ll also want to make sure visitors aren’t encouraged to move away from the page. You can delete your main navigation bar to do so.

Just as with your CTAs, the mantra for landing pages is to keep it simple. That means a clean, informative page that is clarifying, not confusing. If you’re looking to boost their effect, having more landing pages can be beneficial. The more content on your site, the more opportunities you get to generate leads.

x_0_0_0_14106087_800Keep your landing pages and their respective forms simple to enhance their effectiveness.

4. Optimize Your Forms
Forms are an important part of your landing page. They’ll help you gather information to convert leads.

While there is no exact right way to build the forms for your pages, some suggest that shorter is better. Long forms can look like a lot of work and visitors may avoid them altogether because of it. You don’t necessarily have to limit how much information you ask for, though. You can shorten the form visually by tightening the space between fields. However, the best way to determine these aspects is by testing them out for your company and target audience.

Another tip is to avoid using the word “submit.” Instead, associate the form with a specific action to let visitors know what they’re getting out of it, like “download our whitepaper.”

5. Generate Through Multiple Channels
While we’ve been discussing the many ways your website plays an instrumental role in lead generation, you’ll need to spread your efforts to other platforms. Some channels to consider are blogs, emails, social media and search engine optimization. By targeting buyers in a place that’s convenient for them, these avenues can help you significantly increase your outreach and overall success with lead generation.

With these tips, you have the tools to improve your overall marketing strategy. Lead generation is one of the most important steps in creating an effective sales funnel and increasing revenue, which is why it deserves your time and attention. For further reading, be sure to check out our ebook, “Top 30 Tips & Tricks for Lead Generation.”

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6 Ways Creating Buyer Personas Will Improve Your Customer Experience

Even the greenest marketers have likely heard of “buyer personas,” but it’s not always clear why they’re so important. In this post, we’ll look at what buyer personas are and how they can help you improve your total customer experience.

What Is A Buyer Persona?
Before we can understand why it’s important, it helps to know what a buyer persona is. HubSpot has provided a concise definition of the term: “A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.”

Essentially, you should use customer demographics, behavioral patterns gleaned from analytics and research and other data points to see what kind of personas comprise your customer base. As HubSpot noted, taking the time to create personas will help your entire business become more customer-focused, since you’ll know exactly what to do to attract buyers.

“Buyer personas will help your entire business become more customer-focused.”

Here are six ways that creating buyer personas will benefit your business:

1. Understand Your Customers On A Deeper Level
Well-defined buyer personas help you to better understand who your customers are on many different levels. You don’t want to look at your customers as an undifferentiated mass — each persona (which represents individual customers) has specific wants, needs and lifestyles, so it’s important for every customer to be aware that you understand and care. Using personas allows you to personalize the entire customer experience to specific individuals.

2. Facilitate Better Customer Service
On a similar note, you’ll have a better idea of whom you are dealing with at any given time and how to address his or her issues. Rather than starting with a blank canvas, you can paint the picture before the customer interaction begins. Customers will feel that you can relate to them, which will build their trust in and respect for your brand.

3. Generate Higher Quality Leads
Knowing what will attract certain personas, as well as where they spend time and find information, helps with creating and targeting your content. You can create content for a specific persona and even take it to the next level by basing the content on where that persona could be in the sales cycle. Marketing today is about reaching the right people in the right places at the right time with the right content. Using buyer personas can help you master that.

4. Increase Sales Efficiency
Buyer personas are extremely useful to your sales team in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. Your sales reps will not only know which persona to focus on the most, but they will know how to communicate to the leads that fall under that specific persona. By understanding the leads’ motivations, your sales team will be able to accurately tailor their sales pitches before the conversation even starts. They’ll be prepared for questions customers might ask, and they’ll have a better understanding of what it takes to close that particular deal.

5. Build Understanding Of The Customers Across Your Business
Not only do personas help within the sales department, they also work across different functional areas. This is hugely important for the Sales and Marketing relationship but it also works outside of that. Using personas to reference individual customers ensures that everyone from engineering and product development to customer service knows how to respond to the customers’ needs.

6. Improve Product/Service Development
You can also leverage buyer personas for creating new products, services or features that better suit their needs. Knowing their issues and best ways to solve them will lead you to offer products or services your customers want. By growing and changing with your customers you will be more likely to have long and successful relationships with them.

Let’s start looking at our customers more like actual people with specific interests, wants and needs. You can get to know your customers a little bit more by creating buyer personas and improve the entire customer experience by using them.

What other benefits do you think you could leverage from buyer personas?

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