kids bike

“Bikes:” How We Helped Cleary Rank on Page 1 And Snag a Slice of the 135k Monthly Search Volume

kids bike

Cleary Bikes is not just any kids bike brand. The company—based out of Oakland, CA—makes among the highest-quality kids bikes out there. Their philosophy: instead of giving your kid training wheels and a rickety frame as they’re taking their first pedal strokes on their own, give them a sized-down experience of what it’s really like to be on trail, in the air, or at the park. That way, they’ll be building real, transferable skills from the get-go. It’s a perspective that resonates. That’s among the reasons that, when we first met the folks at Cleary, we learned their organic revenue was already booming! 

The health of their organic traffic was one of the reasons we were eager to partner with them. We knew that continuing to put in the work to improve Google search results while layering on other acquisition channles would help us build a holistic, long-term, and scalable path to growth. 

When we look at partnering with a brand at Tuff, really any brand, but especially eCommerce, we examine their current traction to help us understand how we plan to craft our Growth Marketing Strategy to help them reach their goals.

For Cleary, our minds were blown (literally), when we saw that organic revenue was the largest sector of their overall revenue d2c eCommerce makeup. 

Here’s how their traffic looked prior to April when we started our partnership: 

organic traffic results

Of their organic traffic, a large percentage of it converted due to Cleary’s success in showcasing the benefits of their bikes, the high quality of their messaging, and the overall praise from their customer base. 

From a growth perspective, we could see that a great formula for growing Cleary’s revenue would be to increase the volume of quality organic traffic to the site. 

This step by step guide lays out how we were able to develop an SEO Growth Content Strategy to increase Cleary’s organic traffic by getting them to rank on page one on Google for keywords specific to their business. 

Step 1: Lay The Technical SEO Content Foundation

No matter what you’re selling – SaaS, physical products, or a service – having the correct Technical SEO foundation for your performance content to work from is the most important thing you can do. 

With Cleary, they happened to be in the middle of a website overhaul so making some of our big changes was a no-brainer for their website and easy to implement. 

Step one was identifying tactics and updates we could implement to help us earn a website health score over 90%. A high health score helps our performance content rank faster and more efficiently. To get to the bottom of what was keeping us from better site heath, we first needed to run a SEO site audit

The results of this audit showed us what to change and included information about page errors, broken links, and more. The site audit also shows us how to fix those errors. 

In addition to the website audit solutions, we also provided Cleary with information about how best to migrate their website. 

Our biggest fear with their website migration and with any website migration is that we’ll lose our organic traction and need to rebuild from square one. This is not a great scenario to confront, so the only way to keep that from happening was to make sure the website migration process was accompanied by a strong SEO perspective.

Here are some of the suggestions we made: 

  • Setting up redirects on the server side for product pages, collections, etc. 
  • Switching to WP Engine servers. 
  • Using a third party migration tool like Cart2Cart

The final suggestions we made addressed Cleary’s product page descriptions and collection page descriptions. We noticed that most of Cleary’s rankings were coming from their home page. To help diversify the high-ranking pages as well as lead high-intent users further into the funnel, we worked with their team to develop SEO-focused copy for the mentioned page descriptions. 

Step 2: Develop A Strategic Content Strategy

As the decade-old saying goes “Content is King!” 

Yes that’s true, but not if the content itself is total garbage 💩

To develop an informed content strategy, it’s imperative to do some research. A great place to start is to first run a keyword gap audit against your brand’s competitors. Here’s the one we did for Cleary to show us where we were weak against their competitor Guardian Bikes. 

seo comparison chart

As you can see in the above “Missing” category, Cleary didn’t have any ranking keywords (KWs) related to bike sizing. Therefore, we determined that our first piece of content needed to be related to sizing. 

Step 3: Produce Content, Publish, Repeat 

This first piece of content wasn’t just a normal article, instead, we created a main hub page, which we called Kids Bike Sizing Guide. This is designed to be a sort of center around which all of our following sizing content could sit. This clustered approach—essentially similar to a whike wheel hub and its spokes—helps communicate to search engine algorithms that Cleary truly is an expert in this topic and therefore should appear at the top of search results.

Leveraging this one hub page, we were able to help Cleary rank for multiple KWs related to kids bike sizing, which tied back into the data we saw in our Competitor Keyword Gap Analysis. Examples of our focus KWs for this hub page were: kids bike sizing guide, bike size guide, bike wheel size chart, bike size chart.

Once we had our hub page developed we began developing auxiliary content pages that were related to our hub page and would help us boost its ranking through internal linking. 

Examples of these auxiliary content pages included a “Bike For X-Year Old Series” that featured more than four content pieces related to kids bike sizes that we could use to support our hub page. 

From there, we were in a great position to begin supporting our other hub pages like our product and collection pages using high volume KWs related to Cleary’s industry, missing and weak topics (from Keyword Gap Analysis), and full-funnel strategy content. 

Step 4: Improve Google Search Results  

Within 60 days, we started to see encouraging results with our Growth Content Strategy for Cleary. 

seo results conversation

Step 5: Keep Repeating The Formula

Just because you land on page one for specific terms doesn’t mean you’ll stay on it forever. Similarly, if you haven’t gotten onto page one for a specific KW, that doesn’t mean you won’t. 

Growth content is a long-term solution, not a quick fix, but you’ll see key indicators of growth like higher search rankings and new traffic within 30-60 days of publishing in most cases. Typically, within four to five months you should see significant traction toward your goals.

Excited about growing your organic traffic but not quite sure where to start? We’ve got your back. Let’s talk about how to level up your site traffic and land you on page one. 

shoes for an ecommerce case study

Stacking the Top of the Funnel: How We Captured High-Value Email Leads for Canoe Club

ecommerce quiz example

Among our list of eCommerce partners, the central focus of nearly all of their growth marketing strategies is the same: grow revenue. So, in order to do this, channel selection and tactics are primarily focused on driving customers to their websites who convert the most efficiently. That way, we’ll be able to scale their businesses and put marketing dollars towards the channels with the highest return. Winning.

While there are many metrics to keep track of and many ways to measure the success of revenue-driving campaigns, at Tuff, we cut through the noise and hone in on last-click attribution. This is the best way to quickly learn which channels are most effective and deserve the most attention from our paid ad budgets. 

9 times out of 10, last click is a great performance indicator for growing a brand, But what about the other 10% of the time? What’s the right strategic approach for eCommerce brands that have longer customer journeys? We most often see these longer journeys associated with luxury items that are higher priced—here, the customers spend more time in the consideration phase, making sure their decision to buy is right before they pay the high ticket price.

In those scenarios, we still keep last click as our preferred attribution model, but instead of locking in on just revenue as our main goal, we add leads into the equation as well.

Here’s how we do it: 

eCommerce Lead Generation: is it right for me?

For eCommerce lead generation to be a smart tactic for your brand to employ, you need a dedicated email marketing funnel—one that you’re managing relatively hands-on and improving on a regular basis. You also need some sort of sales strategy designed to convert your leads. You also need a way to qualify leads and have a measurable way to determine their value or potential value. Without these two mechanisms, lead generation will not work for your eCommerce brand. 

I have an eCommerce popup, does that count as lead generation?

To get super pointed with a definition: lead generation is defined as the initiation of consumer interest into products or services of a business. 

While eCommerce website popups are one proven way to grab website visitors’ emails in exchange for a free shipping or percentage offer discount, they can limit the consumer experience and hurt your perception (blame this on their overuse in the last decade). 

Our new favorite eCommerce Trend for lead generation is to develop a standout quiz or poll to capture contact information and provide you with the following: 

  • A way to prove your industry expertise.
  • A non-aggressive tactic to grab consumer insight.

Can you show me an example of an eCommerce Lead Generation Strategy?

Why yes, we can!

One of our partners, Canoe Club, is a high-end fashion retailer based in Boulder, CO. 

From a marketing standpoint their products differ from traditional eCommerce brands in two distinct ways: 

  1. Their inventory is ever-changing. Products from their brands are purchased in low quantities so what might be available one day won’t necessarily be available the next day.
  2. They’re a retail brand store, so they are selling other brands’ products. These products are on the higher end and have a higher barrier to entry. 

Due to these distinctions, Canoe Club’s customer lifetime value is higher than average, but finding individuals who meet their criteria doesn’t happen at a mass scale. 

Many people need time to find their Canoe Club fit and often times that won’t be on their first, second, or even third visit to the store. 

Additionally, even if Canoe Club has something a new visitor likes, they might not necessarily have it in their size. Their product lineup is based on buying seasons and quantities are limited per size. 

So instead of paying expensive costs to keep customers in an advertising funnel’s consideration phase, we worked with Canoe Club to develop a lead generation machine that captured leads at a high rate. We originally spotted this opportunity when we noticed the high traffic to email conversion rate

While we drove much of the strategy that laid the foundation for this successful tactic, we couldn’t have done it without the Canoe Club team. They developed a highly addicting, user-friendly quiz that drives prospective customers to sign up with their email. 

Appropriately called the Style Compass Quiz, this interactive quiz uses sophisticated TypeForm logic to assign users one of four style archetypes. 

We fell in love with the Style Compass Quiz the minute we laid eyes on it at Tuff. It’s far from stuffy and spammy, and is so unique that our Growth Marketer, Kristin said:

Slack message about Canoe Club quiz.

And she wasn’t wrong. On Instagram, Facebook, and even Reddit – the quiz has done insanely well at generating leads for Canoe Club. Here are our Campaign Results to date: 

Campaign Results 
Spend$3,191.43
Traffic8,691
Emails3,108
Cost Per Email$1.02
Traffic to Email CVR39%

With this style quiz, we’ve been able to increase Canoe Club’s email list size significantly and provide a way for them to capture people in the awareness and consideration phase at a low cost. 

From here, Canoe Club can do what they do best, which is to provide their subscribers with email marketing updates on their ever-changing lineup of fits and seasonal brand drops.

And we can keep doing what we do best, driving qualified traffic from established and niche ad channels that take action. In this case, the action is subscribing with an email address.

We are currently using Facebook to hone in on luxury audiences that may not convert on the first few website visits, but are great consumers to have in an email marketing flow. 

The other channel we are using is Reddit. Often left out of most Growth Marketing Strategies, Reddit presents a unique opportunity for brands to leverage their extensive collection of niche communities on topics ranging from fashion and style to bitcoin to sports (to name a few). 

Reddit advertising allows you to get in front of these niche communities with an offer. In this case, it’s for our style compass quiz: 

Canoe Clube Reddit Ad

While generating revenue from Redditors isn’t the easiest, we’ve been fairly successful at generating email leads from these communities. 

To conclude, finding a piece of content, quiz, or poll that your potential customers can interact with and leave their contact information is a great way for you to grow your email list, prove your expertise in your industry, and learn about your consumer. 

Finding the right channels and audiences to market this to is the challenge, but when done correctly can diversify your business’s revenue streams and provide an opportunity for you to grow other parts of your business aside from daily revenue. For more eCommerce growth tips, head to our eCommerce Playlist

A clean desk with a fresh document up for writing a new blog

Powering eCommerce Growth With Content Marketing

A clean desk with a fresh document up for writing a new blog

When we hear from eCommerce companies how they are powering their growth traction with digital marketing, they usually reference their ads performance, how specific products are selling, or how their revenue growth looks from a year over year perspective. 

Rarely do they talk about their eCommerce growth in relation to their organic revenue and content marketing strategy. 

From our perspective, as an eCommerce growth agency, that should be the number one focus for every eCommerce marketing strategy: generating targeted performance content that search engines will slap on page one. This, most importantly, drives potential customers to your site. And as a bonus, it becomes fodder for sharing in your email newsletter, on social media, and more. 

What is Content Marketing?

“We have a blog!” is the answer we get when we ask brands about their eCommerce content marketing efforts. 

That’s all well and good, but what exactly is on your blog?

If it’s content written for a specific target audience that helps them solve a problem using focus keywords that will enable the search engines to rank you as an authority figure in your industry, then you’re on track. 

If it’s brand content about what your founder had breakfast then keep reading.  

Content marketing is an inbound marketing strategy that eCommerce companies (but really all companies no matter who you’re selling to) should leverage as their go-to lead generation strategy. That’s a bold statement for an agency that also has a robust and powerful team of paid acquisition experts. 

Used in tandem with search engine optimization (SEO), a strong content marketing strategy produces content (think product copy, written articles, infographics, how-to videos) based on keyword analysis and topics related to an eCommerce site’s industry. 

A content strategy agency like Tuff can help you do it, too. 

Why Content Marketing for eCommerce? 

The answer is simple: would you rather pay top dollar for every single keyword you want to rank for in the form of paid search placements or would you prefer to get top rankings for free? 

We’ll assume you went with the less costly approach. 

You may be familiar with content marketing from other industries outside of eCommerce like B2B and SaaS. They produce content like ebooks, white papers, and case studies that contain information that their audience finds useful based on their own unique industry perspective or product. 

eCommerce content strategies are no different, but instead of ebook and white papers, we’re all about helpful guides, how-to articles, and most importantly product pages stacked with content that’s highly optimized for search engines. 

A content marketing strategy for eCommerce enables you to show search engines and most importantly potential customers that you’re an expert on your industry. Just selling products within your industry space isn’t enough, you need to prove that your product or service is solving a problem by being the authority leader in your space. 

How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy for eCommerce

The good news: getting started growing your business with a content marketing strategy for your eCommerce business isn’t rocket science. But it does take some deliberate planning and focused research. 

First, you’ll want to put together a core list of target keywords you want to rank for. 

You might use words you’re bidding for on Google Search campaigns or do research using a search engine marketing tool to find non-branded organic keywords related to your eCommerce industry. 

These will be your focus keywords. As the name implies, you’ll build content around these keywords. For example, check out the focus keywords for this article: 

  • eCommerce content marketing
  • eCommerce growth
  • eCommerce growth marketing
  • content marketing

We’ve chosen them specifically because we know that there’s an opportunity for Tuff to improve our ranking on keywords related to eCommerce content marketing. And the higher we rank, the more people click through to our site. Although we’re not an eCommerce business, the principles hold true: more clicks = more revenue. (How meta is that?)

Once you’ve done your homework, you’ll want to figure out how to incorporate these keywords into a strategy. While there are a number of different ways to go about creating a content strategy, our favorite is the pillar strategy. This is where each keyword focus represents the foundation and you want to build articles off of your foundation to create a pillar. 

Putting These Focus Keywords to Work

Each focus keyword needs to have different types of content built on it. As mentioned, this could be a variety of content types. Consider everything from articles to infographics—this is where things can get tricky, it’s important to create content that is not just designed to attract the attention of search engines, but real humans looking for real answers to their questions. 

The good news: oftentimes many eCommerce brands already have a huge bank of content that they’ve built up over the years. So instead of starting from scratch, it’s possible to take stock of what you’ve already created and design a roadmap for combing through and strategically infusing targeted keywords. This can kickstart a performance content strategy without bucking up and going from 0-60 out the gate.

How to Optimize Your Product Copy with Focus Keywords

A great way to start using your focus keywords is to assign them to top selling products or your entire product catalog (depending on the number of products within your catalog). You will want each of your products to have keyword focus. 

Then using that keyword, it’s best practice to include it within the product title, product description, SEO title, meta description, and product URL. 

This will provide the foundation for your eCommerce content strategy. From here, you’ll want to produce content that features your focus keywords and links back to the foundation product pages that you assigned each specific keyword to. Simple!

Great eCommerce Content Marketing Examples 

Having trouble grasping what a eCommerce content strategy looks like in practice? Here are three examples to show you how it can be done: 

#1) REI.com 

A screenshot of the REI blog with the headline "Expert Advice"

Meet the little-known retailer called REI (kidding). They have a supercharged content strategy that enables them to pull in potential customers on just about any question someone might have about outdoor recreation products. 

Their blog strategy has morphed into what is more clearly defined as a knowledge base on all things recreation equipment—an incredible, powerful, and most notably profitable achievement.  

Strategically creating a knowledge base is becoming a more and more frequent play for eCommerce brands who want to organize their content in a way that enables them to help potential and existing customers on a range of topics. 

Instead of scrolling through endless pages of blog content, website visitors can easily search their knowledge base using a query-based search feature or by selecting topic categories. 

#2) Quietkat.com

A screen shot of the QuietKat blog

For a second selection, here’s a shameless plug for our client, QuietKat, an electric bike brand based out of Colorado. 

We’ve been working with them for the last year to define their SEO content strategy and product content that helps educate existing and potential customers. 

We won’t get too into the nitty gritty of how we do what we do with QuietKat, but take a drive through the QuietKat blog and check out how we’ve designed a content strategy to inform our existing and potential customers on all things electric bikes. 

#3) CulturesForHealth.com

A screenshot of the Cultures for Health blog

The final example of a content strategy from an eCommerce brand we really love is Cultures For Health. Similar to REI, their content is organized within a knowledge base learning center format which enables their website traffic to quickly access the information they need. They can also host multiple types of content together in an aesthetically pleasing fashion that doesn’t look cluttered. 

Their content marketing strategy has allowed them to lay off the paid search play and focus 100% on producing content that their audience loves. 

Here’s a break down of top keywords they rank for and how much organic traffic those keywords generate: 

  • Kombucha – ranking #13 (368,000 searches per month) 
  • Sourdough starter – ranking #16 (201,000 searches per month) 
  • Sauerkraut – ranking #4 (165,000 searches per month) 

Final Thoughts 

While an eCommerce content marketing strategy is not a quick fix, the benefits of a well thought out and executed SEO performance content strategy are huge.

Don’t be in a rush to start ranking on page one for your focus keywords. Rather, build out a strategy and look at from a quarterly growth timeline: where do you want to be ranking in three, six, nine, 12, and 15 months from now? How much content do you need to produce each month to hit your goals? 

Finally, don’t try to do it all yourself. You’ll need some help along the way.

Let a Content Strategy Agency like Tuff help you with the heavy lifting!  

LinkedIn Ads Cost

How Much Do LinkedIn Ads Cost?

LinkedIn Ads Cost

It’s a simple truth that success in business requires success in advertising. As the market presence of eCommerce continues to explode, online advertising becomes more important with each passing day. For many business owners, online advertising begins and ends with Google Ads and Facebook Ads. However, while LinkedIn Ads cost more, savvy marketing professionals recognize the specialized benefits this platform offers.

If you need a new channel to generate leads and traffic, LinkedIn can present an ideal solution. What’s more, if you work in the B2B space, LinkedIn offers a veritable goldmine of potential customers. According to data collected in 2018, 65 percent of B2B marketers have found a successful return on their LinkedIn Ads cost. 

LinkedIn also continues to grow at an exceptional pace. In its Q3 2020 report, Microsoft states that LinkedIn has ballooned to 690 million members, with more than a 25% growth in user sessions for a new record in terms of engagement. What does this mean for you? Exposure to an active and professional audience on a platform with clear dominance in the world of B2B eCommerce.

LinkedIn Ads Cost: Is It Worth It?

Though LinkedIn stands as a juggernaut in the world of B2B commerce, its advertising opportunities can provide clear benefits for practically any company. Whether you own or market for a university, nonprofit, or another type of organization, you can utilize LinkedIn for targeted goals to achieve success. 

Also, keep in mind that the ROI on your LinkedIn Ads cost is not only apparent in new customers, but also in potential employees. Any savvy business owner knows that finding the right applicant is less about dangling a hook, and more about finding the right spot and casting a net.

That said, B2B companies do represent the standard candidates for LinkedIn advertising. Before you commit resources to the platform, ask yourself whether a career-minded professional would have an interest in your service, product, or offer. If your answer is “yes,” then LinkedIn likely offers a good avenue for you to follow. 

Remember, people join and engage with LinkedIn to further their careers, network with other professionals, establish business contacts, and find new jobs. Whatever your offer or message, it needs to appeal to people engaged in these activities. 

How Do LinkedIn Ads Work?

Though LinkedIn advertisements do not appear as obvious as ads through other platforms, an engaged user will encounter them on a daily basis. As typical with online advertising, LinkedIn Ads cost different amounts and exist in different forms. If you decide to advertise on this platform, you can choose between Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, Text Ads, and Dynamic Ads.

Sponsored Content

The native advertisements users see most frequently, Sponsored Content operates on the LinkedIn Ads cost-bidding structure to surface in users’ news feeds. When it appears, a piece of Sponsored Content will look similar to any typical LinkedIn post. You can create Sponsored Content in a few different formats. 

Single image ads are typical feed ads composed of a single image paired with some text. A video ad allows you to substitute a short clip for the static image. Lastly, carousel ads consist of a swipeable series of images that allow advertisers to tell a story, display multiple offers, or provide an audience with business insights.

Sponsored InMail

With Sponsored InMail, you use LinkedIn Messaging to send advertisements to specified prospects. This program only targets people who engage with LinkedIn frequently. It also comes with delivery caps that increase the chance your messages actually get read. Sponsored InMail is ideal for a few types of goals, including:

  • Boosted registrations for events or webinars through personalized invites
  • More conversions for service promotions and targeted product advertising
  • Promoted downloads of white papers, infographics, and eBooks

Text Ads

Text ads appear on a desktop in LinkedIn’s right column area. You can choose between four formats for these ads: horizontal, long, tall, and square. With text ads, you can directly target a premium audience to derive top-quality leads. Text ads also allow for tight control of how much your LinkedIn Ads cost. For example, this type of ad has no contract or commitment requirement. You only pay for ads that work via clicks or impressions.

Dynamic Ads

These ads capture immediate attention. Dynamic ads feature a LinkedIn member’s own profile data, including company name, profile data, job title, a photo, and more. Thanks to automation, you can launch dynamic campaigns quickly with individually populated ads across the LinkedIn desktop. 

What Is the LinkedIn Ads Cost Breakdown?

With LinkedIn, you customize the amount you spend and bid on ads. This means that LinkedIn Ads cost different amounts from campaign to campaign. Typically, advertisers on Linkedin pay a median price of $3.99 for every click. Keep in mind, however, that this number is generated through s blended analysis of all advertisers. In reality, the average cost-per-click (CPC) on LinkedIn lands closer to $5. 

LinkedIn requires a minimum bid of $2 for CPC and cost-per-impression (CPM) campaigns. This results in averages of $5.26 for the clicks and $6.59 for every 1000 impressions your ads generate. Sponsored InMail presents the most expensive option, with an average of around $.80 for each send in the campaign.

One company that has worked with LinkedIn often, HubSpot, has raised the curtain on its experience with the advertising platform. According to HubSpot, prices for ads averaged $5.74 per click and had a conversion rate of 6.1%. If you apply these numbers to a budget of $1,000, you will pay for 174 total clicks and 11 conversions. Break this down, and you’ll find that you’ve spent about $90 for a conversion through LinkedIn.

Your actual LinkedIn Ads cost will depend on three factors

Target Audience

Advertising on LinkedIn centers on competition between advertisers for a target audience. If you want to go after a high-demand audience, you will pay more for your campaign. There are two reasons for this: the audience’s perceived value, along with the the number of competitors for their attention.

Bid Amount

Of course, the amount of your bid also influences your LinkedIn Ads cost. Though you will never pay higher than your bid amount, you will pay some percentage of it. This occurs because LinkedIn’s advertising auctions requires the winner to pay one cent more than the runner-up bid.

Ad Relevance Scores

The relevance and value of your ad plays a huge factor in your LinkedIn Ads cost. If you achieve a high score in regards to relevance, your expenses will actually decrease. This occurs because LinkedIn actively wants to provide engaging ad content to its users.

Your Budget and Bidding Options

LinkedIn Analytics

Advertisers on LinkedIn have three options for the control of an advertising budget. 

Total Budget: You set a total budget for the entire ad campaign. This works best for those who want to quickly deliver a campaign for a set amount of money. The minimum you can spend is $10 per campaign.

Daily Budget: Another type of budget with a $10 minimum, the daily budget suits those who want to design a campaign that runs on a continuous basis.

Setting Bids: As discussed above, setting a bid means that you identify the maximum amount you will spend for impressions, clicks, or sends. You will never pay more than your bid. For this option, LinkedIn has established a $2 minimum for every click.

You have three options when you bid for LinkedIn Ads. The first is cost-per-click (CPC). This means that you pay when users click on your ad. If you want to drive traffic to a website or generate leads, this presents a great bidding option.

Cost-per-impression (CPM) ads are the second bidding option. With these, you spend money each time your ad generates 1000 impressions. An impression means that someone has seen your ad, but not necessarily interacted with it. This bidding option typically appeals to companies who want to increase brand awareness.

The final bidding option, cost-per-send (CPS) applies only to those engaged with Sponsored InMail. When you bid CPS, you set the maximum price you will pay for every user that receives your Sponsored InMail advertisement. Since this lands advertising directly in a user’s mailbox, it works best for companies who wish to target specific users with a product or service.

How Do LinkedIn Ads Compare to Other Platforms?

Put simply, LinkedIn Ads cost more than advertising on other platforms. For example, one study showed that the median CPC for Facebook Ads comes in at $0.51. The same study pinned LinkedIn at $5.61 CPC. Though this represents nearly a 10x multiplier, however, the leads found through LinkedIn tend to generate much more value. 

In addition to higher-quality leads and a better ROI, LinkedIn clicks are 500% more likely to generate quality conversions. If you operate in B2B sales or an industry that targets high-value professionals, these lucrative, quality conversions are exactly what you want. 

As for Google Ads, LinkedIn again proves its superiority for more targeted, niche marketing. In terms of costs, Google Ads cost between $1 and $2. However, this price can increase a great deal if you need to compete for popular keywords. Google Ads is also best utilized for intent-driven searches. This means that it delivers ads to users who search for a specific thing. 

LinkedIn, on the other hand, can catch people before they have shown intent. In other words, with LinkedIn, you can target potential consumers before they know they need your services or products. Since you establish audience criteria as part of your campaign, you benefit from refined targeting that exposes your business to entirely new markets.

Though LinkedIn Ads cost more than other outlets, they stand out on the strength of their audience. Furthermore, LinkedIn’s unrivaled options for specific targeting make each of its ad formats highly effective investments. No one wants to feel as if their advertising budget has gone to waste. If you know your market and are willing to spend some money, LinkedIn Ads will not disappoint. 

top linkedin lead gen strategies

Top LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies (+1 Bonus Lead Gen Experiment)

LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies

As a business owner, chances are good that you have some type of familiarity with the LinkedIn platform. Maybe you’ve used the world’s most famous business networking website to meet more leaders and experts in your space, as a recruitment tool for finding top talent or to share a piece of content about your business. But what’s your record like with LinkedIn lead generation strategies? Have you dabbled with getting in front of your target audience through LinkedIn’s display advertising options, lead gen forms, or sponsored inmail? 

For those of you not fortunate enough to have applied a portion of your ad budget to LinkedIn, an assessment of the channel should be on your list. It provides you with a great way to get in front of your target audience to introduce your brand and generate quality leads.

However, it is important that you know a few things about LinkedIn Advertising before you start building campaigns and developing ads. One top of mind aspect of LinkedIn Advertising should be that it is not a cheap platform to use. The expensive aspect of LinkedIn ensures that not all your competitors will be using it for lead generation, but it also requires that you be very well positioned to on LinkedIn before you even start advertising. 

Is LinkedIn Lead Generation Right For Your Business? 

At Tuff, our clients have seen the most success with LinkedIn lead generation strategies when they’ve had three things nailed down. Here’s a step-by-step guide to determine whether this type of advertising channel makes sense for your business:

     1. Is LinkedIn Lead Generation right for you from a business model perspective? 

As mentioned, LinkedIn is expensive. Expect to see extremely high CPMs not to mention CPCs. Given the high barrier of entry for LinkedIn Advertising, you need to figure out if your business model is even right for LinkedIn. What space are you in? Our clients who see the most success with LinkedIn lead generation strategies are ones in the B2B space with multi-thousand dollar lifetime values from their customers. 

     2. Does your LinkedIn Business Page contain regularly posted organic content?

You can’t kick off a well-coordinated and strategic LinkedIn advertising campaign unless the lights are on in your LinkedIn Business Page. More than little signs of life, you need to have a big presence on your page to make sure your LinkedIn ads perform well. If you’re prospecting, users will want to learn more about you before they head to your website or fill out a lead form. 

Your organic LinkedIn posting strategy needs to involve information about your business, your current clients, and your culture. One agency that we think has done an exceptional job at their LinkedIn organic presence is Directive. Check out the video above to see their LinkedIn page and notice how much different content in various formats they have posted to their page!

    3. Do you already know your target audience? 

Knowing your audience is incredibly important on LinkedIn (as it is with other channels, but even more so with LinkedIn). With other advertising platforms like Google and Facebook, you can set up tests to figure out what the audience will respond best to your advertising. We highly recommend not doing this on LinkedIn, it’s not an audience research phase-type platform unless you can afford it. 

Given the cost, you’ll waste large amounts of money doing audience research on LinkedIn, which is why it’s so important that you know your audience before you start your LinkedIn strategy. 

A great example of this is from one of our clients, Thalamus, who is the premier GME interview management platform that connects residency and fellowship applicants and programs. 

Their target audience is residency coordinators or program directors at academic medical centers and hospital systems throughout the US & Canada, which is exactly who we targeted on LinkedIn. 

Strategy #1: Leverage Lookalike Audiences 

You might be familiar with Lookalike Audiences from running Facebook advertising campaigns. If not, there’s nothing complicated about understanding them. As the name implies, they are lookalikes of an existing customer audience that has already interacted with your business. 

For example, a common first Lookalike audience that we create for our clients is one based on your current customers. You can also create a Lookalike audience based on users who have taken a specific action on your site (tracked by the LinkedIn Insight Tag).

A great way to leverage this in a LinkedIn Campaign is to use a Lookalike as your base audience, then layer in other demographic or job-specific targeting options specific to your target audience. 

Strategy #2: Optimize for higher in the funnel

Another great LinkedIn lead generation strategy has to do with how you position LinkedIn in your overall advertising strategy. 

In a very, very rare circumstance will LinkedIn be a sustainable way for you to scale your business. What’s more likely is that LinkedIn Ads will provide your business with a method for introducing specific people to your business, piece of content, and if your budget allows you to drive them to your website. 

Since LinkedIn has a higher cost associated with running ads on it than other platforms, we suggest optimizing your ads for goals that are higher in the funnel and planning your advertising strategy accordingly for those higher objectives. 

For example, you might want to run an ad with a lead gen form that you optimize for engagement. You’re essentially telling LinkedIn that you want to get your ad in front of as many people as possible that will engage with your ad and will give those a way to get in touch with you with a CTA linking to a lead form should engagers want to learn more about your business. 

Experiment #1: Influencer marketing lead generation  

Finally, we’d like to suggest a theoretical lead generation experiment that we’ve been developing at Tuff for LinkedIn. In full transparency, we don’t have any evidence to support that this works, because we haven’t had a chance to try it out on any of our current campaigns. 

To start generating leads for your business without needing to allocate enough budget resources to a paid LinkedIn campaign, we recommend this strategy which utilizes Influencer Marketing

The first part of this strategy is to have one of your customers, a business acquaintance, or other business influencers make a written post on LinkedIn that advocates for your business – make sure the post doesn’t include any links because LinkedIn wants to keep their users on LinkedIn as much as possible so they keep posts with outbound links from getting as much organic traction as ones without links. 

The second part of this strategy is to then have other customers or influencers like and share the post with their network on LinkedIn. Eventually, you should be able to get a snowball effect going with your post to cause it to go viral. When done right this type of strategy should help you get in front of your target audience without needing to pay steep LinkedIn advertising costs. 

 

Data to measure your ecommerce conversion rate.

Pairing Market Boom With an eCommerce Growth Strategy

ebike in the snow

When we think about a brand as a good fit for us at Tuff, we look to their current traction and historical growth. How’s their momentum currently and how have they been growing?

Based on the answers to these questions, we then think through whether our team will be helpful to them. Will our strength in Growth strategy specifically around services like Social Advertising, PPC, and SEO be channels that we can drive significant growth month over month? 

In addition to larger growth marketing opportunities, we look to a brand’s success within their market as well as that market’s current growth. Is it an industry that is booming or stagnant? How does the brand’s offering work within that market and how is that market responding to them? 

We then seek to pair external market forces with a growth strategy.

A great example of how we paired market boom with an incredibly smart growth strategy is from our partnership with QuietKat. 

QuietKat is an electric bike retailer based out of Eagle, Colorado that sells direct-to-consumer, on Amazon, and through a network of large and mid-sized retailers including within the Cabelas and Bass Pro Shop network. 

Unlike many electric bike brands within the cycling industry, QuietKat’s primary audience is not your typical urban commuter. Instead for the last few years, they’ve been carving out a place for themselves with a hunting and outdoorsmen space. 

Turns out that electric bikes, in addition to hauling groceries and kids in an urban environment, are also ideal for backcountry hunting when outfitted with fat tire mountain bike tires and accessories. 

Electric bikes are specifically good for hunters due to their quiet and stealthy approach (hence the name QuietKat) combined with new battery efficiency that gives riders the ability to go further for longer. 

QuietKat came to Tuff to talk about growth in March 2020. Their success in the hunting space had propelled them to seek new audience growth within the Outdoor space.

As mentioned, before we bring on new partners, we do our research to make sure that specific clients are a good fit for Tuff. QuietKat was no different, we did our homework and spent time pouring over historical data, Electric Bike Industry insights, and projections for where the market was headed.  

From our research, we found numerous opportunities for growth within QuietKat’s offering that would pair perfectly with Tuff’s Growth expertise. In addition, we learned that the E-Bike Market was in the midst of a Market BOOM. In short, while e-bikes had taken years to gain popularity outside of niche customer markets specifically for environmentally conscious buyers, the market had shifted sometime in the late 2010s and the mass opinion had decided that electric bikes were ‘in’ and were buying them quicker than brands could build them. 

For example, during our research, we found that Rad Power Bikes, an urban commuter electric bike industry leader from Seattle, had one of their largest revenue-generating years in 2019 with over $100M in electric bikes and accessories sold. In 2020, following their successes in 2019, they’ve seen 300% revenue growth month over month. 

Due to a pairing of market boom with growth strategy, QuietKat has also seen significant growth in 2020. Here’s how we were able to yield results with our growth strategy attached to a growing market. 

We Made Our eCommerce SEO Strategy a Top Priority

We often find that organic is overlooked as a channel. Strategies for growing organic often get put somewhere at the bottom of the marketing strategy and harped on the least. 

Don’t get us wrong, paid advertising is very exciting but in our opinion, brands with organic revenue making up the largest chunk of their overall revenue stand to do the best in the long run. 

The simple fact is that it’s incredibly difficult as a brand to subsist on just paid growth. Typically, you need a pipeline of investment to help pay for that growth when costs increase or you need to scale. 

With a strong organic revenue-producing strategy, you can build your own investment pipeline for the days when cost is high or turning up the scale is prime time. 

But doesn’t an eCommerce SEO Strategy take years to actually start working? 

organic growth from Google Analytics

Yes, it takes time (so does growing a brand), but you can start seeing results in 90-days or less should you know how to build on organic momentum through a tactic called SEO (Search Engine Optimization). 

One of Tuff Growth’s Channel Expertise is SEO, we even have a dedicated channel expert who heads up SEO strategy for our clients. 

For QuietKat, we found that in 2019 Organic Traffic made up 40% of eCommerce revenue, the highest revenue-generating channel with the highest conversion rate in our analysis.

By making Organic Growth a priority we’ve been able to grow that channel. Currently organic makes up 60% of revenue for QuietKat. 

We were able to grow organic with three main SEO tactic improvements. 

Dashboard example from SEM Rush

1. Improving Site Health + Speed

When we first start working on improving the organic performance for our clients, we typically run an SEO Audit to determine whether we can start implementing organic revenue-driving strategies that will work with the current infrastructure. Two primary data points we look to when making this assessment are Site Health and Site speed. 

Site health is based on the number of total errors and total warnings that are found on the pages crawled on your site. We typically feel comfortable implementing revenue-driving strategies when websites have a 90% or better score. 

Another check we do is on site speed. We find that website’s with slower speeds perform at lower rates than ones with faster speeds. This impacts how organic traffic will perform on your website. We can spend lots of time developing revenue driving organic strategies but if the website infrastructure they land on isn’t ready to handle their needs then performance will suffer. 

2. Improving Internal Linking 

Once we’ve improved site health and speed, then we seek to improve the internal linking on your website. For QuietKat we made sure that every single page on their website linked to other content in a parent / child like structure. 

We specifically worked on making sure that there were no dead-ends for the user and that the user always had a place to go that we wanted to rank. For example, they might start on a blog post and end on a landing page, because we had included a link to a collection page within the blog post that then pushed the user to checkout a product page. 

3. Improving Product Optimization

Once we had improved internal linking for QuietKat then we worked on product optimization, which involves one of the most effective tasks you can do in eCommerce SEO – optimized product titles. 

Product titles need to have clear and searchable titles that Google can easily index and rank. When titles are optimized, it’s more likely that user queries will trigger your organic content to be shown on search engine results. 

In addition, we also optimize product descriptions, which helps with driving more organic traffic because there’s more content on the page to rank. High quality content in your product description will work in combination with your product title to help you show up higher in search results. 

Developed a Strong PPC Strategy That Plays Nice With Social & Organic 

Example of an eCommerce search ad on Google.

PPC is one our favorite tactics at Tuff. It works really well by itself and can help bring websites extremely qualified traffic due to the fact that when done correctly brings in people already in the discovery phase of what you’re offering. 

It’s also our favorite because it can work really well with social and organic. 

One big issue that is often overlooked when thinking about Growth is how paid tactics work together individually and with organic. My hunch is that this is due to paid tactics usually being performance based. At Tuff we use performance data strategies to inform us on how tactics are working – a very common perspective to use in marketing. 

Where we separate ourselves at Tuff is how we isolate those tactics’ performance and consider how those tactics are working with one another to advertise as a funnel. How are the paid tactics working in combination with a strong organic strategy? How are we informing users on a more impression-based model to consider our brand down the line? 

Just looking at who saw our ads, clicked, and immediately converted is a poor way to judge an overall Growth Marketing Strategy, but it’s also a great way to determine if a particular ad campaign is performing at a high enough rate to warrant increased spend. 

The secret is to utilize a balanced full-funnel approach to decide what channels serve as awareness or reminders and what channels attribute to the last click sale.  

Understanding Audience Has Never Been More Important

Like many marketing strategies, audience understanding is key to success. For QuietKat, we spent a lot of time on both social and PPC refining our audiences. One of QuietKat’s objectives for us was to find new audiences outside of the hunting space. To do this, we worked off of hunters and found subsets of Outdoorsmen closely aligned with their primary audience that existed outside of the immediate audience. 

To do this though, we tested the same creatives across platforms like Youtube, Google Display Network (GDN), Facebook, and Instagram. 

We quickly learned that these top of the funnel placements would not yield immediate results and that we would need to look to longer conversion paths with multiple touchpoints. 

We found that on average it took 7 touchpoints in a sequence to yield a conversion, but on the extremes, we saw 13 touchpoint highs and 1 touchpoint lows. 

Understanding Multi-Channel Sales Paths

Example of mult-touch attribution for eCommerce.

For QuietKat, our analysis found that due to the cost range of an electric bike by QuietKat ($2500 – $6500), we weren’t going to find one advertising channel that would definitively carry our sales. For higher priced items this is generally the case since the decision stage is inherently longer. 

As explained above, we found on average that conversion required 7 touch points. This meant that customers were coming through to convert on a longer sequence that included our multiple channels from social to ppc to organic to direct. 

For less expensive priced items, we might find that a single channel or two channels play a central role in assisting a conversion. For more expensive items, we’ve found that the buyer’s journey is longer and requires more touch points.  

Having an independent strategy for each channel that worked together underneath our larger growth marketing strategy allowed us to increase overall eCommerce revenue by 88% since our partnership began in April 2020.

Focusing on eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization

Example of an eCommerce website.

The final tactic that contributed to our partnership success has been a keen focus on eCommerce Website Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). It’s such an important factor of a successful growth strategy, because you could have the best ad creative and copy, but without a solid conversion rate – your ads might never get the conversion they deserve. 

One area of focus that applied to our overall eCommerce Converison rate was improving onsite navigation by developing a data-driven layout combined with our expertise for eCommerce to build a smart navigation header bar. 

Our strategy helped increase eCommerce Conversion Rate by 26%, which led to over 100% increases in Revenue and Transactions. 

Stats on an increase in online CVR.
Essentially, we were able to get more people to purchase by simply making it easier for them to find what they were looking to purchase. 

By focusing on eCommerce Website CRO, we were also able to increase revenue without needing to increase ad spend budget or traffic. 

MoM data results for online store.

This is possible because eCommerce CVR is directly tied to eCommerce Revenue. When eCommerce CVR goes up, revenue and transactions go up. See the chart above for reference. When we increase the eCommerce CVR to .5%, we see a direct increase in Transactions and Revenue without needing more traffic or an increase in average order value. Growth Marketing Strategy

Each Growth Marketing Strategy looks different for each brand we work with at Tuff. Not all the channels featured in this case study may work for any other brand. Let us take a deep dive into your brand and develop a strategy built for your business. 

Download a Sample Growth Marketing Proposal

working on laptop

3 Influencer Marketing Tools to Find Brand Ambassadors

person at laptop

As we’ve previously discussed in our Influencer Playlist, Finding The Right Brand Ambassador is not an afternoon task that will quickly yield high returns. Influencer Marketing and Brand Ambassador Programs take time to develop and rarely produce massive returns. You will need to define your campaign strategy and goals, assemble a dedicated team, and execute precisely. 

In addition, you’ll need to find a compensation model that works for your strategy and type of Brand Ambassador. 

By far the trickiest part of the building a manageable Brand Ambassador program will be finding the right influencers to work with your brand.

Not all influencers will be a perfect fit for your brand and not all brand ambassadors are easy to work alongside. Be prepared to work with individuals who may or may not have experience working with brands. 

This stage of the process will be the most time consuming and might be the most difficult. To help make finding the right brand ambassador more streamlined, we recommend using a software tool dedicated to helping you find influencers based on specific search filters and parameters. 

At a basic level, these tools provide you with a way to build a query to find influencers that match your parameters. There are free tools that allow you to do this at a more broad level and with some of the higher-end tools you can cater your searches to be extremely granular. 

Here are some of your options for Brand Ambassador and Influencer Marketing Tools that we recommend. We break them out based on three categories – Free, Tools Under $100 Per Month, Enterprise Tools. 

Free Brand Ambassador Search Tool

Influence.co

 

influence.co

Influence.co is a great tool for young brands looking to try out Influencer Branding without much investment. It provides you with basic search parameters, influencer messaging, and a large database of influencers. 

Keep in mind that it is a very popular free tool so many of the influencers you will be contacting have been reached out to by other brands in the past. Try to stay away from brand ambassadors who already have other contracts with brands or post about products / services too frequently. It’s likely that their audience won’t engage with content as much as with an influencer’s content that doesn’t show as much advertising.

Best Tool Under $50 For Brand Ambassador Search

Heepsy

Heepsy

Heepsy is our pick for the best tool under $50 for Brand Ambassador Search.  Like Influencer.Co, heepsy has granular query parameters that make it easy to find the right influencer based on your goals. It’s a bit more robust than Influencer.co and it has a more curated database of influencers. 

You have the option to build influencer reports which allows you to export influencer lists in bulk something that you can’t do with Influencer.co. 

The biggest con and one that you’ll find across the board with influencer marketing tools is that most of the influencers have been contacted by numerous brands so it’s important to do your homework and find ones that don’t have current contracts with brands or don’t post all the time about brands they work on. 

Best Enterprise Tool For Influencer Marketing

Upfluence

Upfluence

The final tool and our best tool for enterprise is upfluence. They are one of the top influencer marketing tools and have robust features like an influencer marketing CRM, campaign management, and analysis tools that are superior to the competition. 

 

person at laptop

7 Well-Designed Landing Page Examples

person at laptop

Well designed landing pages are no easy feat, but much easier to make happen and do well than 10-years ago. With a whole host of tools and content for landing pages at your disposal, developing one for your business has never been easier. 

Before you dive into your first landing page, we recommend doing your research and learning the process of how to write, build, and test landing pages.  Despite the easy accessibility to tools for building landing pages, it is still possible to build a bad landing page. 

In light of this, here are 7 of the best-designed landing page examples for you to hone your skills on. 

1. HelloFresh 

hello fresh

Ever had a HelloFresh box show up out of the blue with really no recollection of how it could possibly have your name on it or be at your front door? 

That’s because their landing pages are so dang cute from a design perspective and genius from a landing page strategy, that you barely realized you had signed up for more than one delivery. 

We’re not saying that HelloFresh tricks people or anything – we’re all aware of what we’ve done, but the landing page process can be so seamless and the offer can be so good that it’s hard to realize what you’ve done. 

That is until you’re standing there with a sack full of new groceries on a Monday staring dumbfounded at the HelloFresh box at your doorstep because you totally forgot it was HelloFresh week and you actually didn’t need to buy groceries. 

That’s the power of a well-designed landing page. 

2. Winc Wine Club

Winc Wine Club

 

Similar to HelloFresh, ever had a box of wine show up at your house that you totally forgot about because again, signing up was so easy that you barely realized what you were doing until you did it, then forgot about it, then found it delivered at your house? 

That’s the power of a well-designed landing page – all the elements come together that it doesn’t even feel like shopping anymore – it feels like… well magic! 

3. Yeti Coolers

Yeti Coolers

Then there are landing pages that are just seriously thought-through, beautifully crafted eCommerce collection pages in disguise. 

Take this Yeti Collection page for their Tundra Yeti Coolers for example. The difference between this one and every single other product collection page you’ve ever seen is that lifestyle image right smack in the middle of the page. 

Set there on the page like that to give you some perspective on what one of Yeti’s coolers looks like out in the wild. As you can see, it looks pretty god damn tough – like their messaging points out. 

And right there on that page, you get why there’s thousands of reviews for what you might have thought was an overpriced insulated box. 

That’s the power of a well-designed landing page. 

4. Monday.com

Monday

Great copy, perfectly styled creative, and well placed CTA can go a long way! 

But not as far as it can go when it’s positioned perfectly between a conversion and an aligning search ad. I triggered this landing page off of searching for “Scrum Board Software.” 

Knowing that my intent was based on managing team tasks, Monday.com came to my rescue and made me feel like they had just the solution I needed for my search. 

That’s the power of a well-designed landing page. 

5. Zapier

Zapier

The reason all of these landing pages are so impressive is partly due to the fact that they are all built around search ads triggered by specific phrases. 

When done right, search advertising paired with a supporting landing page that is dialed to the query is the perfect example of an optimized customer journey.

What I love about this hero copy is that it provides the user with three CTAs:

  • The demo is a bit less aggressive than the trial
  • The trial still being front and center
  • And then that bold small offer looking for the 0.01% who are also looking for an offer to pull the trigger on. 

That’s the power of a well-designed landing page. 

6. Allbirds 

Allbirds

Other times, you end up somewhere you didn’t really intend to be. 

You were searching running shoes and thinking you would end up with some Adidas or Nike ads, instead you get an allbirds ad and think, “allbirds? Is making performance running shoes now? I should probably check this out – just for fun of course.” 

And you get there and it’s as if allbirds is saying, “Hell yeah we’re making running shoes, come check them out, you won’t be disappointed!” 

And you’re so drawn in by the hero video of people running on the beach in what you guess are allbirds, that you have to keep scrolling, and then all of the sudden… you have allbirds on the way to your apartment. 

That’s the power of well-designed landing pages. 

7. Shopify

Shopify

And then there are those familiar ones – the ones you use every day, the Shopifys of the world. 

You run a search just to see if there’s anything else out there. 

A dumb search like, “Sell goods.” You think,  maybe… something… anything else has come up that might dwarf Shopify in comparison. 

First, search result, it’s Shopify. Well of course it’s shopify, you think. You click it – what the hell? 

You don’t need to be sold on Shopify, but you see the landing page and know you’re still in good hands. 

That’s the power of a well-designed landing page. 

holding a phone

Compensation Models For Influencers

holding a phone

How to compensate your influencers for a brand ambassador or influencer marketing strategy is an important part of your program that you must figure out before you start reaching out and finding influencers for your brand. 

The problem is that there is no “right way” to compensate an influencer or brand ambassador for your brand. It depends on a multitude of factors like:

  • Type of Target Influencer (micro, macro, celebrity) 
  • Influencer Marketing Budget 
  • Dedicated Influencer Marketing Team Members 
  • Type of Influencer Content 

There are marketing trends that you can use to help define your compensation model based on the above factors. 

In addition, there are different compensation models you can use to style how you pay your influencers. 

The four that we will cover in this Compensation Model article are:

  1. Advocate 
  2. Performance
  3. Action + Performance
  4. UGC Rights + Performance 

Again, there is a definitive single compensation model that is perfect for every business, some may work better than others depending on your objectives and influencer targeting, but each one has a place within certain types of strategies. 

We’ll seek to unpack each compensation model and provide examples of strategies where they are proven to work. 

Advocate Compensation Model

influencer food photo

 

The first type of compensation model for influencers is what we internally call at Tuff, Advocate. This is a compensation model that relies on the generosity of your top customers to become your influencers. It focuses more on customers who have shown an immense liking for your brand rather than influencers with no prior connection to your brand. 

Using tools like Stamped.io and Klaviyo, you can set up Email Marketing Flows that help you identify advocates and invite them to share more about your brand with their friends and family. Depending on your customers, you may have some macro or celebrity influencers within these advocate circles, but for the most part this will be made up of people who might not think of themselves as “influential.” 

The advocate model can be used in tandem with any of the compensation models on our list or by itself. 

Performance Compensation Model

chocolate

 

The second compensation model on our list is Performance. It is widely used in traditional sales and affiliate marketing strategies as it rewards those who reach specified goals. For example, you may pay your Influencers a 20% commission of all sales they generate or $5 for each app install in the Performance Model. 

To make the performance model work you will need a way to track performance – most use some type of referral, affiliate marketing, or tracking link building software that has the ability to provide each of your influencers with a customized tracking link. This ensures that your influencer and team can both see how well your strategy is performing for a specific goal. 

The Performance Model can work for a variety of industries from B2B to D2C eCommerce to Mobile Apps and Games. It’s a great option for companies who want to try out Influencer Marketing without needing a large budget – as it only pays for performance (usually revenue-generating actions).

The problem with the Performance Model really starts with the popularity of influencer marketing amongst all types of businesses from startups to Fortune 500 companies – everyone is getting in on using influencers of all sizes from the micro to celebrity.

The reason this poses an issue for the Performance Compensation Model is that the larger companies who can afford to pay influencers upfront without needing to see results first have made it very difficult for influencers to be interested in a performance type model. 

Based on our findings with Tuff’s clients, the performance model may only work well in combination with an advocate model. The reason is you’ll need advocates who are interested in spreading your brand’s messaging with or without payment compensation. 

Base Plus

influencer photo

 

The third compensation model is called Base Plus, which is a form of Performance that provides the Influencer with a base payment. With a pure Performance Model, as discussed, you have the issue of the Influencer Marketing world being spoiled with high budgets since content marketers made Influencer Marketing out to be the greatest tactic since the beginning of modern growth marketing

In reality, Influencer Marketing has been around since the invention of sales when one happy customer said to another, “You’ll be happy with your purchase, trust me, I love mine!” 

With Base Plus, you provide Influencers with a base payment for each action like a post or mention, then you layer on a commission payment for high performance! 

For example, you might pay $50 per Instagram post + 15% for all revenue generated. 

As a reminder, you will need a way to track performance – you might be able to get away with UTM links, but a custom link tracking software will be better suited and designed for your exact needs. 

User-Generated Content Rights + Performance

woman holding a magazine

 

The final type of model we’ll talk about is a form of Base Plus. It’s what we’re calling User Generated Content Rights + Performance. Instead of making a base payment for an action, you’re paying a base for the right to the content that is created by the Influencer Marketing. 

This compensation model is the most advantageous to a brand because you’re paying for a digital good that you can repurpose across your marketing and advertising strategies. Should the performance of the post or mention not pan out, then you can fall back on collecting user-generated content like images or videos of your influencer using your product. You can then take those images and use them on your website design, email marketing, ppc, and/or social advertising campaigns.

Given the state of Influencer Marketing, it’s unlikely that you’re going to get away with a pure Performance model, so might as well go ahead and get the full rights to the image or video that the influencer is creating to market to their audience. 

For this compensation model to work, you’ll need performance tracking software and a contract that explicitly states you will own the full rights to the video or image used in the post as well as that you will need a raw, original file of that asset. 

The Influencers you use for this type of compensation model do not have to be professional videographers or photographers. In fact, we find that the top-performing assets in 2020 are lower quality user-generated content made on iPhones. 

Interested in Influencer Marketing but don’t have the bandwidth or team to execute a strategy yourself. Talk to Tuff about Influencer Marketing. 

Planning a website update on a white board.

Increase Your eCommerce Conversion Rate with 72-Hour CRO Sprints

Planning a website update on a white board.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated with new links and examples for you to use! 

When you sell services, products, or platforms online one of the most important metrics is your website conversion rate. It tells you what percentage of your site visitors are converting to customers. 

Despite the importance of a website conversion rate, in our experience, the metric can get overlooked.

 

For Tuff, website conversion rate is one of the first places we turn – whether you’re a subscription-based business converting Free Trial Users to Paid Subscribers, a brand selling your product online, or a SaaS platform looking to grow – we undoubtedly will look at the percentage of customers converting. 

The reason: you don’t need to increase your ad spend to convert more. You just simply need to know how to optimize your conversion rate. At Tuff, a tactic called Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is at the heart of everything we do. From constantly testing paid ad campaigns across the internet to figuring out why more leads aren’t turning into customers, CRO is at the forefront of our learning and results.

eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization

For eCommerce businesses we typically look at the eCommerce Conversion Rate to tell us how traffic is interacting and converting through the eCommerce sales funnel.  

When our eCommerce clients at Tuff ask us how they can grow their online business without increasing their budget, we usually take a deep dive into what’s driving their eCommerce conversion rate

For starters, take a look at the table below showing how much you can increase revenue when the only metric that is increased is eCommerce Conversion Rate.

Full MonthTarget
Visitors36,68136,681
eCommerce CVR
0.19%
0.5%
Transactions95200
Average Order Value$1,143.96$1,143.96
Revenue$108,676.05$228,792

In the above example, our client can increase revenue by 110% by simply optimizing their conversion rate from 0.19% to 0.5% (a 163% increase). 

That’s a $120,115.95 revenue increase from pure optimization – no additional resources or ad spend needed!

Website CRO Test Sprints 

A computer measuring ecommerce conversion rate.

To increase your conversion rate you will need to learn what factors contribute to your existing CVR.  

At Tuff, an analysis we might use to learn more about your current CVR is to find out what percentage of your website visitors are getting to your checkout conversion funnel, which traditionally has three stages:

  1. Added to Cart
  2. Initiated Checkout 
  3. Purchased

By analyzing your checkout funnel, we can use our analysis to make a series of hypotheses about what is preventing a higher conversion rate – we then use those hypotheses as frameworks for our tests. Maybe there are frictions in your checkout process that stops visitors from purchasing or maybe it can be increased with a different type of product or service page or completely different user journey. 

Let’s pretend this is your checkout funnel for a month’s worth of visitors.

Visitors% of Total Visitors
Added To Cart5442.25%
Initiated Checkout4922.03%
Purchased4091.69%

Based on this data, we know that a low percentage of total website traffic ends up adding a product to their cart, which will effectively produce a low number of conversions. 

In addition, the amount of visitors decreases by 10% between Added To Cart and Initiated Checkout stages in the funnel. Between Initiated Checkout and Purchase, the decrease is 20%. 

Therefore, hypothetically a solution for us to increase the conversion rate with the above metrics is to increase the initiated checkout percentage.  

Now that we have our hypothesis, we must find a way to test it. 

Developing a Test 

 

Our hypothesis is – if we increase the number of visitors adding to cart then we will increase the conversion rate. 

A simple way to find out if this is true is to run a test that gets more people adding to cart by providing users with a discount code in exchange for information that is valuable to you. 

For many eCommerce websites, a piece of information that is extremely valuable is an email address. 

To find out if our hypothesis is correct, a lean and easy to implement 72 hour CRO Sprint test would be to ask for an email address (or other desired action) in exchange for an offer code. 

This type of test’s results are easy to track because you can see how often the promo code is used through your eCommerce platform. Removing this test is also easy should you find that it’s not working or is causing more problems than it’s solving in your customer checkout funnel.

Implement The Test

A team of marketers sitting at a table with computers.

To implement, the test needs to contain a time-sensitive offer, which will increase the likelihood that the offer is used at a faster pace than one that is not time-sensitive. 

Here are two examples of time-sensitive offers:

  • 15% off your purchase when you order in the next 10 minutes. 
  • Limited Time Offer: Free 2 Day Shipping Today

Create the pop-up through your email service provider (ESP) so that it is triggered when a visitor has been on a specific product page for more than 50% of the average page session duration.

If your average product page session duration is 30 seconds then the offer should open at 15 seconds. 

Do not set it to trigger when someone lands on the homepage. You want the visitor to be more qualified than a unique visitor. 

The offer should contain an email signup field and clear copy that compels the potential customer to use the offer within a specific amount of time. 

Best Practices

Be advised that a best practice for this is to provide the promo code to the customer on the form after they provide their email address and click submit. You can provide it in a separate email as well, but you want to make it as easy as possible for the customer to get the code and continue on their customer journey. 

Once you have the test launched, then set it to run live for 72 hours, but don’t just forget about it. 

Monitoring

Data to measure your ecommerce conversion rate.

You’ll need to closely monitor it. You must make sure that the test is either perpetuating your average conversion rate or increasing it. If it decreases your conversion rate then you will want to abandon the test and return the variables back to their original flow. 

Once your split test is complete then you can take your learnings and create a new test to run. Remember, you only want to run one test at a time or else you risk changing too many variables at a time and not being able to point to what works. Realistically, you don’t want to run more than 2 tests per week. 

Website CRO Test Templates

Here are a list of 7 more website CRO tests you can do to increase the percentage of visitors converting to customers:

  1. Landing Page Offer
  2. Navigation Header Menu Organization 
  3. Homepage copy change
  4. Homepage creative change 
  5. Increase Site Speed 
  6. Exit Intent Offer Popup 
  7. Referral Widget  

If you’re curious to learn more about our process, or want to chat about your CRO potential, schedule a free strategy session with our team. Our team will analyze your marketing, website, and business and present your top CRO opportunities in a PDF.