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. 

Typing on slack.

How We Set Up the Right Lines of Communication with Clients

Typing on slack.

Here at Tuff, we put a lot of time and energy into creating partnerships rooted in transparency and authenticity. The more informed, honest, and clear conversations we can have, the better work we will all do. 

Kicking off a new partnership comes with getting really clear on ‘where’ we’ll work. We’ve been a remote team since Day 1 and this helps us be really thoughtful about ways we communicate with our clients. Aside from setting the growth strategy for each company, choosing the tools, and executing tactics, we’ve got to be master communicators. 

That’s why, when we work together, we make sure it’s easy and clear where and how to communicate. 

Channels we often use with clients to streamline communication include:

  • Weekly Growth Marketing Meetings 
  • Shared Google Drive 
  • Slack Integration 

Tuff client communication map.

Weekly Growth Marketing Meetings

Weekly growth marketing meetings give us a chance to come together on Zoom and align on the most important marketing priorities. 

In these 30-minute sessions, we recap what was done the previous week, review corresponding metrics, and align on what we want to get done the following week as a team. 

Here’s what a common agenda might look like: 

  • What are we working on this week?
  • What do we think we can achieve this week?
  • Who is doing what? 
  • What do we expect the results to look like? 
  • What does the data say? 

Following this call, we have a specific game plan for the week that keeps us focused on executing tactics that influence revenue (vs. running around chasing ideas like a headless chicken).

Below is an example of our weekly marketing doc with one of our partners, Renogy. We’ve met every single Wednesday since August 2019 and this weekly marketing doc has a running record on everything we’ve collaborated on as a team. 

Example of weekly meeting doc.

The reason we like having weekly meetings is because it increases the visibility and accountability of each team member and tactic for that week. Short pockets of time (5 workdays) force us to make the most efficient use of our time because there isn’t an opportunity to push something down your to-do list or to do it later. 

It allows us, as an agency, to make sure all of our attention goes toward our top priorities. 

Shared Google Drive 

Google drive screenshot at Tuff.

Anytime we bring on a new client, we create a shared folder in Google Drive or Dropbox. During onboarding, we’ll ask our clients to drop in information like: 

  • Product description
  • Historical data 
  • Projections 
  • Value points
  • Personas 
  • Sales Data 
  • User Flow 

Then, on an ongoing basis, everything we work on at Tuff goes into this shared folder. This keeps us organized and efficient. As a client of Tuff, you have access at any time to data, creative, strategy docs, and more. 

Slack Integration

With Slack’s “Shared Channels” feature, separate organizations can collaborate together in a Slack channel, each from within their own Slack workspace. Members can send direct messages, upload files, use apps and integrations, and start calls—all in a common space.

Opening up Slack with our clients is inline with the type of relationship we like to create with our clients, one that mimics the experience of having an internal growth marketer on your team.

Slack channel example with client.

Setting Ground Rules

Opening up Slack with clients is a very big step. It eliminates back and forth emails and helps remove that blocker question of ‘should I send this in an email? Or, wait till we meet in person?’. 

But, it is important to set the right expectations on both sides. Deep and focused work is critical to the success of our clients and their campaigns so we don’t want clients or team members to constantly get pulled in by Slack notifications. 

If we’re going to get meaningful results together we need the time and space to focus on strategy and execution (without pings!) which is why we work to protect this with specific Slack expectations. 

  • We don’t expect clients to immediately drop everything and answer our question, and neither should they.
  • We can cut down on email by using Slack to share documents, ask questions, schedule meetings, update on goals, etc.

Open Communication Channels

These processes are part of what sets us apart as an agency and our goal to serve as true partners. By asking the right questions and being intentionally transparent about everything we’re working on, we’re able to build a relationship that’s grounded in authenticity and intention. 

And this, more than anything else, enables us to get results. 

Data on eCommerce with YouTube ads.

4 Reasons You Should Be Using Microsoft Ads For Your Business

Data on eCommerce with YouTube ads.

Microsoft Ads, formerly known as Bing Ads, is the often overlooked PPC platform that many marketers and businesses treat as a lower-budget extension of their existing campaigns that are running on Google Ads.

But as Microsoft Advertising Partners and veterans of the platform, we know the value that Microsoft Ads can bring, especially in certain industries.

In fact, when recently split-testing the exact same campaign and keywords across Microsoft Ads and Google Ads, we found more value from Microsoft Ads in multiple KPIs.

You can see this for yourself in the KPI table below:

This platform-based split test experiment was done alongside our partner, CITI Program. Essentially, we wanted to know which search network would provide higher quality traffic for CITI Program’s target market of research organizations searching for research-specific training courses.

Although Google eked out higher pages/session, Microsoft Ads had a lower bounce rate and much higher conversion rate. 

Had we run this search campaign solely on Google, we may have paused, thinking that perhaps Search isn’t the right channel. Or, had we not split tested Google against Microsoft Ads, we may have never known that there was better performance to be had on the latter platform.

Now that you’re convinced Microsoft Ads is worth a try for your business, let’s take a look at a few of the benefits and efficiencies we’ve found in our recent experiments.

Enjoy Lower CPCs & Scale

“But who even uses Bing search?”

That’s one of the most common rebuttals when discussing advertising on Microsoft Ads, and I admit, I’ve fallen to this misconception before.

But in reality, Bing search accounts for 6.4 billion monthly PC searches and 36.9% of PC market share in the US. 

Source: Microsoft Ads

Simply put, if you’re not advertising on Microsoft Ads, you are missing out on a whole lot of traffic.

And, the fact that there are less advertisers on Microsoft Ads than on Google Ads, means less competition, which also means lower CPCs.

So, you could be also missing out on cheaper search traffic.

There are anecdotes all over the internet of companies and agencies who have achieved lower CPCs on Microsoft Ads than on Google Ads when testing the same keywords, but we have multiple first-person examples where this has proven to be true.

In the scenarios below, we’ve been split testing the same campaigns and keywords with the same budget splits across Microsoft Ads and Google Ads during the same dates. In both cases, CPC is lower on Microsoft. 

With more than enough search volume available and comparably low CPCs, experimenting with Microsoft Ads can help you identify opportunities to introduce your business via Search to a new audience that has the same high intent, but in many cases, costs a lot less to get to your site. 

Access Premium Placements With Audience Ads

Although Microsoft Ads doesn’t have a traditional display network in the same vein as the Google Ads Display Network, Microsoft Ads does boast access to some top quality native ad placements, many of which are currently in beta, or ‘pilot’, for Microsoft Ads.

One such available pilot is the Audience ads pilot, which provides access to premium placements on msn.com, the Outlook inbox, and the Microsoft Edge browser.

It’s only been a short couple of weeks since we began our testing with Audience ads in Microsoft Ads, but so far, the results have been promising. I’ve also been enjoying the flexibility and appearance of the ads, which are automatically cropped to fit a variety of responsive placements.

Even better, Audience ads feature expansive job and industry specific targeting options ala fellow Microsoft product, LinkedIn. This makes Audience ads an excellent choice for B2B businesses looking to reach their targeted audience.

With these placement and targeting options available, we’ve been able to scale our prospecting efforts for Vision33, a B2B partner, by reaching their targeted industries and buyer job titles through Audience ads and maximizing clicks and impressions in a way that simply wasn’t possible through Search ads alone.

We’ve also seen early success in our retargeting efforts through Audience ads – a previous pain point of running campaigns on Microsoft ads.

Compared to our RLSA Search campaigns that are set up to target the same audience of previous site visitors, Audience ads have provided greater impressions and much lower CPCs, with a $0.47 average, compared to $5.12 via Search ads.

Same retargeting audience, but a huge difference in the cost to get them back to Vision33’s website. I’ll mark that as an early win for Audience ads!

Snag More Desktop Searches

You may have missed it earlier, but the chart linked earlier from Microsoft mentions that the Microsoft Search Network accounts for 36.9% of all PC aka desktop searches.

Here it is again, so we don’t forget.

In a world where mobile traffic is ever-increasing, it can be easy to overlook desktop traffic as we continue to optimize campaigns, landing pages, and entire websites for a “mobile-first” world.

But in some cases, like that of our B2B partner, Vision33, desktop traffic is still incredibly important.

In fact, when analyzing Vision33’s primary conversion (form fills) from January – June 2020, I noticed that desktop traffic converts much higher, across every single channel, than mobile traffic on the Vision33 website.

In fact, in some instances, desktop converts at a rate more than double that of mobile and/or tablet.

Knowing what we know about form fill conversion rates and desktop performance on Vision33’s website, coupled with what we know about Microsoft Search Network’s search market share of 36.9%, it’s clear to see why Microsoft Ads is working well for this B2B business.

Every business has different performance on its website, so “mobile-first” may not always be the best approach. If your business is converting higher on desktop than other devices, it’s time to increase that traffic by increasing your search volume through Microsoft Ads. 

Save Time By Importing from Google Ads

If you like saving time automating things as much as I do, Microsoft Ads makes this easy by allowing and even encouraging you to import your ads from Google Ads.

If you’ve already begun running ads on Google Ads and have a campaign structure set up that you’re comfortable with, it is incredibly easy to import these campaigns into Microsoft Ads and even set the import on a schedule. 

With this in mind, split testing Microsoft Ads vs. Google Ads, or even adding additional campaigns to your overall PPC mix becomes a lot easier. And, let’s face it, building campaigns in Google is still a much cleaner and more familiar process (sorry, Microsoft). 

The import feature has allowed us to experiment with the Microsoft Ads channel fast, while making sure we are still serving top quality campaigns and ads, leaving more time for optimizations and data analysis.

Note: If you’re ready to test Microsoft Ads for your business and decide to import your existing campaigns from Google Ads, be sure to double-check the fine details, like device bid adjustments, time and days of week, audiences, etc.

Conclusion

Although Microsoft Ads may not be the first choice for businesses when deciding where to allocate their PPC funds, it certainly deserves a closer look, and preferably an experiment or three, to decide if it’s right for you and your business goals. 

Certain industries thrive on the platform, and the lower CPCs make it incredibly enticing for those who are running out of room to scale their core search campaigns on Google, or are looking to increase high intent traffic for a lower cost through search campaigns.

If you’re ready to give Microsoft Ads a try, reach out to Tuff today.

two women looking at a computer

The 30-Minute Technical SEO Audit Anyone Can Do

two women looking at a computer

In the last article, we talked to about technical SEO and what it entails. 

In this article, we’ll talk about how to conduct a technical SEO audit. What to look for? What tools to use? And what to focus on? 

Selecting Your SEO Tools

Unless your website has less than 50 pages or so, you’re going to need an SEO auditing tool to crawl the website. The most popular SEO auditing software tools are SEMrush, ahrefs, and ScreamingFrog. 

Personally, SEMrush is my favorite because they grade your overall site health and provide a comprehensive user-interface for reporting, keyword tracking, and a lot of other features. 

Ahrefs is great for backlink auditing, building backlinks, and anything that has to do with the back links. But it is not ideal for auditing websites.

ScreamingFrog is a great tool and I will sometimes run it in parallel alongside SEMRush. It’s also significantly cheaper than both SEMrush and ahrefs, probably because there is no user interface in the cloud. It’s great to crawl the website and export that data to Google Sheets or Excel but there isn’t a user interface that allows you to run reports and present to clients.

Google Search Console and Google Analytics are also tools that you will want to have set up and connected so that you can accurately track your organic traffic.

For the purpose of this article, I will be using SEMrush and a few other tools for specific things such as site speed.

What to Focus on First

SEM Rush errors.

Another reason why I like SEMrush is that it prioritizes the most important errors, warnings, and notices.

  • Errors are issues of the highest severity and should be fixed first. 
  • Warnings aren’t as important but you should attempt to fix as many as possible. 
  • Notices are not so important and most likely will not be fixed on larger sites. 

These errors may look alarming but it’s important to understand that you’re not going to be fixing every single one. The audit takes into account SEO best practices and this would be the ideal if you are 100% focused on SEO and we’re willing to potentially compromise other aspects of the website to fix all SEO notices. So let’s drill down into the errors and see what to fix first. 

Errors list in SEM Rush.

The above screenshot shows the eight most critical errors that we must fix. You can click on each one and drill down to see exactly which pages the errors occur on. They also do a great job of explaining what the error is and how to fix it.

Since we have to fix them all we have to decide which one to start with. The easy thing to do is look at which one has the most errors and start there – hreflang conflicts. Another reason why this is a good error to start with is that it can be fixed programmatically. With a few lines of code, we can fix all 1400+ hreflang errors in the span of a few hours.

This is just a personal preference, but it’s always great to come back to your client and say “hey look, we fixed 1400 errors in our first week of implementing SEO fixes”. It’s a quick win and it goes a long way rather than starting with the 900 duplicate meta descriptions, which may take weeks to completely finish and deliver to the client.

After fixing all of the errors to the best of our ability we would then go on and do the same with the warnings and then the notices. My personal goal is to get the site health to 90%. That tends to be very challenging with large websites.

Page Speed

With page speed being so important, there are a dozen different tools we could use to check our page speed. We’re going to rely on the ones that are provided by Google today, specifically Google pagespeed insights.

Google page speed insights report example.

Focusing on the opportunities, we can see that images are significantly slowing down this particular website. So we would click on the errors and find solutions to the problems and present them to the client. 

Mobile Accessibility & Core Web Vitals

The rest of the technical SEO aspects that we’re going to look at today can all be viewed from Google Search Console.

Google search console screenshot.

Fortunately, this particular website doesn’t have any errors but if it did we would click on open report, find the specific hour, and go in and fix it.

Google search console screenshot.

This usually requires working closely with the developer as you can see most of the errors revolve around coding. This is also the same for the core web vitals, which mainly focuses on the speed of the website on desktop and mobile.

Conclusion

This is not an exhaustive list of all technical SEO aspects that you should be focusing on and fixing but it does cover the most critical issues that you should be prioritizing. If you are not experienced with this then I recommend hiring a technical SEO agency to take care of it for you.

The Power of Technical SEO: How Optimizing Your Site Will Increase Organic Performance

Technical SEO is one of the most important elements of your website. It’s also, at times, one of the most confusing. 

You don’t need to be an expert, but a basic technical knowledge will help you optimize your site for search engines and avoid costly mistakes. 

As Tuff’s technical SEO strategist, I work on sites of all sizes. From websites with 5 pages to websites with 5,000 pages, I’ve helped companies make sure their web pages are structured for both crawlers and humans. 

In today’s post, I share my experiences and strategies with you and leverage these learnings to help you get started with technical SEO tactics on your own website. 

Let’s dig in! 

What is technical SEO

Technical SEO covers a variety of different technical optimization techniques and strategies to improve a website’s organic traffic. Some areas are more technical in nature than others. Some borderline on development and some borderline on content SEO, which we’ll touch upon later.

Why is technical SEO important?

Technical SEO is important because it is the foundation of your website, which may also be the foundation of your whole company. If you build a weak foundation, then nothing you do afterwards well give you the results that you’re looking for.

It’s important to start with technical SEO before any other areas of SEO. If you start building high-quality content or high-quality backlinks on a website that is not fundamentally strong then you will not rank well in SERP. 

Most important aspects of technical SEO

Core Web Vitals

Rankings on core website vitals.

Just a few months ago, Google released what is now known as the core web vitals that revolve around loading, interactivity, and visual stability. 

And they describe them as,

“Web Vitals is an initiative by Google to provide unified guidance for quality signals that are essential to delivering a great user experience on the web…Core Web Vitals are the subset of Web Vitals that apply to all web pages, should be measured by all site owners, and will be surfaced across all Google tools. Each of the Core Web Vitals represents a distinct facet of the user experience, is measurable in the field, and reflects the real-world experience of a critical user-centric outcome.”

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): measures loading performance. To provide a good user experience, LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading.
  • First Input Delay (FID): measures interactivity. To provide a good user experience, pages should have a FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): measures visual stability. To provide a good user experience, pages should maintain a CLS of less than 0.1.

Speed

From tracking how long it takes before the page visually loads, to how soon you can start interacting with the page, and then if the page moves after you start interacting with the page; the core web vitals all revolve around website speed and usability. 

Google wants its users to have the best experience possible so it’s easy to see why they have such a focus on speed and usability, as well as security.

Mobile Usability

In this mobile-first indexing world it’s necessary to make sure that your website performs well on mobile. 

Security – HTTPS

Having a secure site that runs on HTTPS is certainly a ranking factor that Google looks at. As far back as 2014 they started to penalize websites that were not secure with https. This also includes the sites that you linked to. So if you’re linking to websites that are not secure, I recommend that you update your external links with secure HTTPS links.

Duplicate Content

There are many different types of duplicate content. The most common is duplicate content within your own website. 

This usually happens when you duplicate a page and then forget to change the title and/or meta description on that page. Search engines will penalize you for this, especially if the main body of content on the page is not unique. The reason for this is if both pages are the same how does Google know which one to rank. This is common with archived pages that have the same title and meta description on each paginated page. One way to avoid this is with canonical tags.

Crawlability

One of the most important aspects of technical SEO is making sure that Google and other search engines can crawl your website efficiently.

Depending on how large and complex your website is, this will most likely involve editing your robots.txt file, a well-thought-out XML and HTML sitemap, and the use of noindex tags to save your crawl budget. 

Broken Pages & Links

Having broken pages in broken internal and external links on your website will not only hurt your organic traffic but also your user experience. 

Search engines crawl all of the links on your website and check, amongst other things, if that page is broken or not. if you have a lot of broken pages or broken links on your website then it is seen as a poor user experience and search engines will penalize you for it.

SEO Tracking & Reporting

This is something that I don’t see mentioned much when talking about technical SEO and I believe it is an important piece that needs to be addressed. The famous saying “if you can’t measure it then it doesn’t exist” applies to SEO as well. 

Assuming you’ve got Google Analytics and Google Search Console set up, the first thing to do is connect those two together. This way you can view your organic search traffic in Google Analytics. This gives you the ability to run reports and compare organic to other channels as well as other useful capabilities.

The next thing to do is get a keyword tracking tool such as SEMrush or ahrefs so that you can track your organic progress month-over-month

Conclusion

The above is a non-exhaustive list of the most important technical SEO aspects to optimize. 

In my next article, I will describe more in-depth how to conduct a technical SEO audit. With that being said, in order to efficiently conduct a full technical SEO audit of your web properties, you will need an experienced SEO or technical SEO agency.

Implementing technical SEO fixes generally require going into the code and/or advising a developer on what changes to make. 

Though technical SEO is the first aspect of SEO that you should focus on, it is still only one piece of the puzzle.

Example of an ecommerce email on a phone.

A Crash Course in Email Marketing for Your eCommerce Store

Man working on a computer.

If you sell products online, you have a lot of options when it comes to marketing tactics. From influencers to ppc, it’s less about what you can do, and more about what you should do.  

Whether your limits are resource-related or budgetary, you will typically want to prioritize the marketing tactics that are likely to have the highest impact on your revenue.  In terms of reliability and ease of implementation, you can’t do much better than email marketing. 

Getting your ecommerce email strategy right, however, can prove a challenge. You only get one chance to grab a potential customer’s attention, after all, and you don’t want to lose sales once you have someone in your funnel. 

Keep reading for tips on how to build your list, the most popular email triggers, and inspiration from some of the greats! 

Building your list

In order for any type of marketing to work you need an audience. To pursue email marketing, this requires, of course, email addresses. There are several ways you can go about collecting these. The easiest is to simply acquire emails at your point of sale. This is a natural part of eCommerce, and customers who do not want targeted marketing can always opt out. Of course, this only allows you to target people who already buy from you.

One popular method to grow your customer base is to institute a “pop-up” that entices website visitors to submit email addresses for a coupon. Keep in mind that you do not need to directly ask for the email address. Instead, simply offer the coupon. If the customer bites and you gain a sale, you will collect the email naturally. 

eCommerce email pop up example from Brumate.

Another strategy involves giving away free content. For example, you could provide “how-to’s” related to your industry, such as recipes if you sell cookware. These are called “lead magnets”, because they lure potential customers to your website through the voluntary submission of contact details. If you have a popular blog, you can request emails for access to a newsletter with exclusive content. 

Picking your triggers

Since online consumers get bombarded with marketing, a straight-forward email-based solicitation likely won’t get you many buyers. Because of this, you’ll need a trigger, or a purpose for your email. Some of the most effective triggers you can utilize include emails for abandoned carts, up-sells and cross-sells, promotional offers, and special promotions for customer loyalty and re-engagement.

Abandoned Cart Emails

We’ve all seen them in brick-and-mortars: the abandoned shopping cart, left idle like flotsam amidst the swift-running current of commerce. The e-commerce equivalent of this happens all the time. Any number of reasons can drive us to click away from our shopping carts before we complete a transaction. A sudden caller may arrive at the door, for example, or the phone rings, the baby cries, or we get diverted through a particularly salient social media post.

Believe it or not, nearly 70 percent of all online carts get abandoned before submission of payment. Shipping fees provide the number one reason for this, as customers get turned off by what they perceive as an “extra cost”. A simple way to transform this loss into a win is to send an abandoned cart email that offers free shipping. If you can’t take this hit to your margins, you can alternately send an email survey to learn the reason for the abandoned cart.

Up-Sell Emails

Up-selling occurs when you invite a customer to purchase a more expensive item in order to increase the overall value of their order. Cross-selling, a similar practice, happens when you recommend a similar or complementary product. Since customers with a three-year relationship spend 67 percent more than new customers, it makes sense that these tactics regularly target preexisting business. One way to capitalize on this tendency is to simply send an order follow-up email with related items. 

Promotional Emails

The promotional email offers a one-time discount or coupon, or announces a sale. These are among the most popular types of email marketing for sellers and consumers alike. Seasonal sales provide shoppers the opportunity for discounts, and give sellers the ability to clear out unsold stock. Coupons can help drive a burst of immediate sales, and can provide shoppers discount on bundles, or one-time savings that convince them to finally buy that expensive new toy. 

Example of sales promotion from an eCommerce brand.

A special type of promotional email is that which seeks to reel back in an old customer. If someone has purchased from you once, chances are they will do it again if given the right incentive. A customer loyalty or re-engagement email can provide just this kind of incentive, through promotions like those mentioned above. What makes these different than straight-forward promotional emails is that they feel exclusive. For example, the discount could only apply for customers who have made a purchase in the last year, or those who made purchases from a specific category.

Creating your emails

Having seen a ton of great emails pass my way, I’d love to share a short list of some of the emails that have stood out to me. 

Uber

Like all of Uber’s brand-related communications, the email was streamlined, clever, and well designed. These qualities help identify their brand, and therefore make Uber’s marketing efforts all the more successful.

Poncho

Some of the most effective communication weds brevity with humor. I like how the customizable weather forecast tool Poncho regularly utilizes this strategy through colorful, short marketing emails punctuated with witty copy. For example, the email below used a bright gif to communicate a forecast of high temperatures, and paired it with a statement about slathering on sunscreen to impress the dermatologist you’re crushing on.

Pit Viper

These emails have character. Pit Viper sells sunglasses online and their brand has a voice unique. Here’s one of my absolutely favorite emails from them that came after I ordered a pair of their sunglasses. This sticks out to me because it’s a simple confirmation email. They already had my money but instead of it being the same boring “thanks for your order” they took the opportunity to leave a lasting impression with their customers. 

Example of an order confirmation email.

Warby Parker

Lastly, Warby Parker, which could probably offer a PhD in emailmarketing, sent me a feedback email a couple of weeks after I bought a pair of glasses. I like this one because it’s short to the point and honest. And the subject line “Three cheers for feedback” is human and inviting. 

Bottom line, all eCommerce sites should get into the practice of email marketing as soon as possible. The benefits are simply too broad, and the expenditure so low, that it makes email marketing a no-brainer. Once you have your list of recipients, you can experiment with which types of emails work the best for your business. Get started soon, and each sympathetic recipient will not only grow your list of subscribers, but also your business’s bottom line.

Google search console results.

How to do SEO Link Building in 2020 [Free Email Template]

Google search console results.

Behind only quality content, content is always king, high quality link building is arguably the most important SEO ranking factor. So it’s no surprise that companies and SEOs put a lot of effort into building backlinks. I stress the term high quality, because the majority of link building that goes on is not high quality in my opinion. So what exactly does link building entail?

Link building can be both technical SEO and content SEO. It usually involves public relations, partnerships, and communication. In simple terms, link building is the process of getting another website to link to your website. This can be done naturally or it can be done strategically. 

Why is link building important?

Link building is important because one of the most important ranking factors that Google uses to determine how and where to rank your page in Google search results. Acquiring backlinks from authoritative domains can be very beneficial for your company. 

For SEO purposes, search engines crawl two different types of backlinks. A dofollow link and a nofollow link. A dofollow link simply tells the search engine crawler to follow that link, whereas a nofollow link does the opposite. So if you’re receiving a backlink from another website, a dofollow link is preferred, since a nofollow may not be crawled at all, though Google has recently announced that using nofollow is now seen as a hint, not a directive.

Beyond just getting a link from a high-quality website, there are a lot of additional factors that Google is looking at to determine how high quality that link is. The links that appear in the body of content with related anchor text are some of the highest quality backlinks you can get. For instance, if a news outlet covers a story on your company and links to your web page with text that is related to your core business, that is seen as a high quality backlink.

Link building research

When crafting a link building strategy, research is one of the most important factors. You’ll want to know exactly what type of link building you’re going to be doing, what websites and blogs you’re going to be focusing on, how you’re going to reach out, and what you’re going to offer.

Link building is certainly not easy. If you’re asking someone to insert a link to your website you better have a good reason why they should do so.

Let’s look at some different types of Link building strategies.

Link Building Strategies

This is not an exhaustive list but rather some of the most common link building strategies.

Mentions – using a tool such as Mention to find all mentions of your brand name and then reaching out to that webmaster and asking if they will link to your website because it will be beneficial to their readers.this has a higher success rate since they are already talking about your brand name and are familiar with your company.

Lost backlinks – this technique involves using a tool such as SEMrush or ahrefs to find backlinks that you have lost, for whatever reason, reaching out to the particular website or blog owner and asking if they can add back the backlink. This has varying degrees of success because maybe they removed the link on their own or maybe the link was broken, which takes us to our next method.

Partnership building – This is the most common form of link building. General outreach to bloggers and webmasters in your industry. Just like any other outreach, its success depends on how targeted the outreach is, how enticing your offer is, how relevant your content is to their audience, and so on. NinjaOutreach and BuzzStream can be great tools for mass outreach, though I’ve always chosen to do it manually.

Since I’ve had pretty good success with this method in the past, I’m going to share with you some things that have worked well for me in the next section. 

Broken links – this method is very tedious and has a lower success rate than the previous methods. For this method, you use a tool such as ScreamingFrog to crawl a website with related content and find broken links. Once you find a broken link that is linking out to a piece of content that is similar to a piece of content on your website, you reach out to the blog owner and ask him/her if they want to replace the broken link with your new link.

HAROHARO stands for Help a Reporter Out and provides writers with daily opportunities to be featured in high quality articles. Each day you receive an email with stories that reporters are working on and if you are an expert on any of the topics, you respond and have a chance to be featured in the article. This doesn’t always guarantee a backlink, but they usually make it clear whether or not they will link to you.

Guest posting – guest posting is one of the most common forms of backlinking and involves writing a guest post to be featured on another website. Within that guest post you will ideally link a few times to specific pages on your website. This is okay as long as you’re not paying to post the guest. Google has recently said selling paid links on blogs is against its webmaster guidelines.

Partnership Building Outreach Template

Here is an email template that has worked well for me in the past. One important thing to note is that you usually need to offer a link swap, or a way to drive traffic back to their website as well. Nobody wants to do anything for you for free. Before I include the template, lets talk about the steps that lead up to it.

  1. Build a spreadsheet of 5 target pages that you want to build link to and save it in Sheet 1
  2. On Sheet 2 (if doing manual outreach) build a list of target blogs and keep track of the URL, website name, DA, contact’s name, and contact’s email.
  3. Once you have that information, you can create a mail merge directly in Google Sheets.

Email template

Hi,

My name is Derek, and I’m reaching out on behalf of [Your Company].

I wanted to see if you’d be interested in exploring ways we can collaborate on content sharing between your blog and [Your Company]. I’ve been reading [WEBSITE/BLOG] for some time and have noticed a lot of content overlap. I think we could benefit from driving our audiences back to relevant content where applicable.

Let me know if you’re interested in discussing further.

Thanks,

Conclusion

These are just a few link building strategies but the best strategy is always to create high-quality content and share it with an interested audience so that they will naturally build backlinks for you. 

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.

When you sell online with your own eCommerce website one of the most important metrics is your website conversion rate. It tells you what percentage of your site visitors are converting to customers. 

A great way to grow your business without increasing ad spend is to increase your eCommerce conversion rate using a tactic called Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

Website CRO is a scientific method-based testing practice that enables you to learn how to convert more visitors to paying customers. It’s also a practice that you can develop into a test sprint to learn. 

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, the client can increase revenue by 110% by simply optimizing their conversion rate to 0.5% from 0.19%. 

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.

Sketching website landing pages.

How To Write, Build, and Test Landing Pages

Sketching website landing pages.

Like a strategic blog post series or email marketing drip campaign, landing pages should be a part of any startup, eCommerce, or enterprise business’ online marketing toolkit.

From creation to testing, tweaking, and more testing, this conversion rate optimization process can help to increase conversion rates when done correctly.

Too many founders and marketers create landing web pages and forget about them. Even more frequently, marketers do one or two tests only to move onto another marketing initiative because they feel that they’ve learned all they can from their website visitors.

Think of your landing pages as a dynamic process. You should be able to learn from them on a recurring basis and leverage your winning results. Even after you’ve found scalable results, the landing page process will allow you to test those positive results and optimize further.

You can use your landing pages to qualify leads, test lead generation concepts with potential customers, and, of course, increase conversions. To do all of this and more, you’ll need a process.

Here’s the complete Tuff guide to help you write, build, and test landing pages.

Step 1: Landing Page Design Structure  

Landing page strategy sketch.

Before you start writing copy or considering your image assets, it’s incredibly important that you design a landing page structure that is the right fit for your industry and audience.

Depending on if you sell a product or a service, your landing page structure will be different. For eCommerce product companies your landing page might feature an offer discount for your product and for startup tech or Enterprise SaaS your landing page might be collecting email addresses through an email signup form field.

Figuring out the basic building blocks of your landing page is the first part in landing page design. When you have that plan, then you are ready to begin your design layout.

A great way to layout your design is through a process known as wireframing.

Wireframes are a blueprint to define the information architecture and layout of your landing page.

For each landing page, you create, you should have multiple versions, but you’ll want the structure of the landing page to be the same across all the landing page versions. Being disciplined with this part of the process will allow you to learn faster during the test phase.

Step 2: Write The Landing Page Copy

Writing copy for a landing page.

Now that you have the structure of your landing page design you can begin the process of writing your landing page copy. For each section of your wireframe, you will want to create a landing page with 5 different versions of the copy for you to use during the revision and testing stages.

For example, all landing pages have a headline, description, and call to action. For each copy component of the landing page, you will want to write 5 different versions – 5x headlines, 5x descriptions, and 5 calls to action.

Remember that your copy should be human, original, and succinct.

With a landing page, you’re focusing your user’s attention down to one goal – to take the call to action (email signup, demo booking, purchase with an offer).

The call to action should be clear and concise, the user should have no problem understanding what you want them to do and what they get in return using the copy you have provided.

Step 3: Build 5 Landing Pages and Add Images

By step 3, you should have your landing page section structured with 5 sets of copy assigned to each section. The next step is to build 5 landing pages with the sets of the copy.

We recommend using a tool to help facilitate your build. This process should be pretty straightforward since you have already done the planning.

If you have a habit of making changes in the middle of a process, don’t. If you can’t help yourself, then have someone else on your team put the landing pages together using the building blocks you already designed and defined.

Now is not the time for you to try to guess what will resonate with your audience – we’ll get to that in the next step.

Once you have your five versions of your landing pages built, then you’re going to pick two of them to use in your first round of tests. We recommend getting feedback from your internal team on what they think will be the most effective two versions to test against each other.

Remember the structure and goals of the two landing pages should be the same, the only variables that should be different are the copy and creative.

Step 4: Landing Page Testing

Woman biting pencil.

To effectively drive traffic quickly and learn efficiently which landing page converts best, you will create a test campaign with two ad sets that contain the same budget.

Each of the ad sets will contain identical ads to the other ad set, the only difference will be the destination that you send the audience to in each ad.

For example ad A will direct to landing page v.1 and ad B will go to landing page v.2.

Run each ad for the same duration.

After the ads have completed their tests, then measure which one is the winner. You can do this by measuring your lead generation results or overall conversions.

You now have a baseline to build new tests off of to optimize your landing page, but you’re far from done. The only real result that you have is that you know that the winning landing page performs better than the loser.

Next, you will need to put your land page winner up against an even better competitor to learn and optimize.

Step 5: Optimizing Landing Pages 

You will need to set up a new test where all the variables are the same except for one. Maybe you’ll choose to test a new headline or call to action in your second test.

To do a new headline, you would take your winning landing page and duplicate it, then change the headline to the new copy. You would then test the winning landing page from your first test against the new iteration.

For each new variable you test, you’ll need to do a new test. Once you have tested all the variables from your baseline winner then you should test against a new structure.

Finding a new structure will require you to repeat steps 1 – 4 to create a new landing page with a new structure and test it against your winning landing page from round 1.

To be successful at the landing page process you need to be disciplined at following the steps. Skipping them or combining too many tests at once within the process will result in a lack of understanding of what is driving positive results.

tuff-paid-advertising-campaigns-2019

Every single result from our campaigns in Q1 & Q2 (and learnings for Q3 & Q4)

Finding the right paid acquisition channels is the key to unlocking effective growth for your company. 

But how do you find the perfect mix without wasting money?

Instead of churning out as many ads as possible and hoping for the best, you should be testing and perfecting early on. At Tuff, we partner with clients to learn what’s working and what’s not so we can prioritize the tactics that will help increase reach, leads, and revenue. 

Here’s the process we follow to do this: 

  • Growth starts with identifying your audience, their problem, and how you solve it. 
  • Then, we use data and analytics to benchmark your goals.
  • Next up, we select and prioritize highly targeted marketing tactics. 
  • Then, execute, test, and learn. Repeat, repeat, repeat.   

With that in mind, we analyzed 150 of our clients’ top-performing paid advertising campaigns from Q1 and Q2 of this year to highlight some common trends. 

Here, we share what we learned and how you can find greater success in Q3 and Q4. 

Facebook and Instagram

We all should have some form of a social media strategy. Seven in 10 adults in the US are active on Facebook, and Instagram now enjoys more than one billion monthly users

Whether you’re ready to expand your strategy to include paid social or you want to focus your current paid strategy, there are three tactics you should be using to make the most of your social advertising dollars:

1. Test multiple audiences and then refine

When it comes to success on Facebook and Instagram, we spend the majority of our strategy and execution efforts on the audience builds in Ads Manager. You can’t do anything without the right targeting and it’s something you’ll test often. If you want to effectively use Facebook and Instagram to reach your goals, start with your audience and work to understand their pain points, interests, location, and purchase behaviors. 

Here are three audience segments we’ve seen work incredibly well on Facebook and Instagram: 

Lookalike Audiences: This is a pre-qualified way to draw potential customers into the fold. It works by taking data on your current customers and searching for Facebook members with overlapping interests and connections. It’s a cool bit of matchmaking that can help you uncover a whole new group of potentially loyal new customers. If your website has a decent amount of traffic, start with website Lookalike Audiences of 1-3% and layer on interests or purchase behaviors for more granularity. 

Facebook lookalike audience.

Custom Audiences: If you have an email list of customers or subscribers, upload it to Facebook. From here, you target these matches or create a Lookalike Audience and target people similar to your existing list. With Lookalikes, we like to layer on interests and behaviors and build a collection of audiences that range in sizes narrow through broad. 

Abandoners: Can you think about your user journey and create specific campaigns for people who drop out of your funnel? For example with ecommerce, we target people who almost bought made a purchase but that needed an extra nudge to make it happen.

Facebook retargeting audience.

2. Exclude current customers or users

Just as you can customize an audience on Facebook and Instagram based on who you want to include, you can also intentionally leave people out. There are plenty of reasons you may want to exclude someone from a targeted audience, but you especially don’t want to waste precious ad dollars on customers that you’ve already converted. There is a time, place, and way to re-engage those customers purposefully, so don’t lump them in with your new leads.

Facebook app campaign audiences.

3. Isolate placements using data

Once you’ve zeroed in your audience, meet them where they are. Just as it was in the days of traditional media buying, placement is everything. When results vary drastically by placement, we’ll look to isolate placements if we think we can ramp up performance on one platform or placement more than others or exclude placements if they are dragging down results. Finding the right spot to place your ad (mobile, Instagram, news feed, etc.) will also help you determine how to best design it for optimal results.

Paid facebook campaign placements.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an especially powerful tool if you’re focused on B2B. 

Ninety-three percent of B2B marketers now consider LinkedIn the most effective site for lead generation. 

There are two strategies to consider if you’re putting money into LinkedIn:

1. Stick with sponsored InMail for lead generation

This ad type allows you to send personalized messages to customized audiences and straddles the line between outbound email and sponsored content. It works like a message in that it’s delivered to the user’s inbox but includes a CTA button that links to your chosen landing page. It’s easy to aggregate an audience, and they’re sure to be primed for engagement, as it’s only delivered to active audiences. When it comes to B2B leads, this is costly but effective. 

LinkedIn sponsored inmail advertising campaign.

2. Use Sponsored Posts for awareness and traffic

Sponsored posts on LinkedIn are a great way to boost your brand’s awareness to a business audience. They are less aggressively “sales-y” than your typical ad, and you can use them to redirect to even more robust content on your company page, encouraging leads to get to know you. You can also edit them easily, which allows for continual optimization through small tweaks based on audience response.

Google and Bing

Moving away from paid social and into paid search, we’ve narrowed in on three key trends to consider when creating your paid search strategy:

1. Tread lightly with fully optimized bidding

If you’re a service or local business, Google may be pushing you in the direction of using tCPA (target cost-per-action). This is a bidding strategy that relies on automated triggers and this type of automation is where most of PPC is headed. For now though, we’ve found that using manual CPC bid strategies still produces higher quality results. If you want to test out tCPA, make sure to target 20% higher, expect to spend higher amounts in the first 30 days, and be prepared to double-check quality. 

2. Understand and leverage device-specific performance

The majority of your traffic is now mobile which means your mobile strategy needs to be core, not an afterthought. It’s key to consider how your ad will appear and behave on certain devices. Tweaking ad scheduling and audience targeting based on specific mobile devices can seriously boost your ad performance. 

Google ads campaign.

3. Get creative with ad copy

In the past, Google Ad copy was all about finding the perfect keyword. You wanted to stick as close as possible to the exact search term. But these days, we’re seeing better results when we take a more editorial approach.

Don’t be afraid of quirky copy. Catching a customer’s eye is more important than stuffing in the maximum amount of keywords. 

Takeaways for ecommerce

The ability to target potential customers so effectively and with such granularity is huge when you are selling your products online. We love creating paid search and social campaigns for ecommerce because there is so much data to learn from. 

Here are three areas we’ve been focusing on for ecommerce businesses: 

1. Get serious about retargeting

There is nothing worse than drawing consumers to your site and then watching them leave without making a purchase. Retargeting is how you get them to come back and take that next step through the sales funnel. Check out our recent ecommerce retargeting blog post for more information on how to leverage this vital tool.

2. Optimize for conversion actions

If your sales figures are stable, focus on optimizing your paid media for sales, rather than just clicks. We’ve had success running traffic-driving campaigns alongside sales-optimized campaigns this year. We fill the funnel with leads from the click campaigns and then close those leads with sales campaigns.

3. Snag that brand traffic

You’re going to reach massive audiences with paid social. Most of these people aren’t looking for you, so you have to work to make an impression on them as they’re scrolling through their feed. Following that, you want them to head to Google and find you at the top of the results.

Your paid acquisition strategy has to work in a combined fashion like this. The platforms should work together rather than in isolation.

Takeaways for B2B

We mentioned LinkedIn as a successful paid channel for B2B but there are a few trends we’ve noticed on a higher level across campaigns for multiple B2B clients.

Here are three tips for B2B paid campaigns:

1. Switch up those CTAs

You’d be surprised how many benefits you’ll get out of freshening up your copy. We recently worked with a client and changed their CTA of “Start Your Free Trial” to “Try 1 Month Free,” and that small edit helped us increase conversion rates by 279%.

2. Use your ad copy to pre-qualify leads

If your product or service is high-end, drop a mention of your price point somewhere in your marketing copy. This will help you both weed out people looking for a cheap solution and tee up exactly the kind of customer you want.

3. Work social proof into your paid campaigns

Let your loyal customers do the talking for you. Using your paid placements to show off the clients who already love you will help draw in users with a similar profile and tendencies.

Facebook remarketing campaign. Facebook remarketing campaign.

Takeaways for B2C

We’re pretty vocal about the fact that rapid growth doesn’t come overnight. It takes intentional, data-informed campaigns that are continuously being optimized. This is always important but even more so with B2C. 

Individuals are constantly seeing ads and to set yourself apart from the pack, consider these three tactics. 

1. Start with value-based campaigns

It might be tempting to go with flashy, hard-sell ads in an attempt to be noticed and cut through the noise. But most consumers will be instantly turned off by this approach.

What they’re really looking for is value. How can you provide that? Try utilizing things like quizzes, giveaways, and helpful resources.

2. Build product or service-specific landing pages

It’s vital that the page your ads lead to is one where a customer can take immediate action. To that end, making your landing pages product- or service-specific is a smart move. Don’t leave the customer wandering; point them to where they need to be to take the next step in the funnel. 

3. Test and improve your creative

Anyone can slap an ad together these days, so it’s vital that you put creative thought behind what you put out. It won’t matter one bit that you’re reaching the perfect audience if your delivery is lackluster. Think high-quality images and videos as well as top-notch design. 

Facebook a/b test results.

Takeaways for apps

With the number of mobile advertising platforms out there, getting started on your app advertising strategy can be overwhelming. The more campaigns we run focused on app installs, the more we learn.  

Consider these three suggestions for increasing paid app installs:

1. Follow the 80/20 rule

Set up as many audience tests as possible. We like to create a campaign for each location and then create multiple ad sets per location. We set very small budgets for each ad set and allow them to run for 14 days, making small optimizations along the way as we add and drop ad sets. At the end of those two weeks, we kill 80% of the audiences and scale up significantly for that top 20%.

2. Don’t exclude placements

Facebook and Google want max control. While you’ll see better results by placement, don’t exclude anything in the initial setup.

3. Build separate campaigns for iOS and Andriod

Make sure you’re approaching your paid acquisition strategies for iOS and Android differently. They’re going to perform very differently, so you want to plan for that.

Analyze the cost-per-install results broken out so that you know where to allocate your spend. Lumping everything together runs the risk of muddying the waters.

What’s next?

Serving multiple clients ranging from B2C, B2B, and Ecommerce gives us the advantage of running diverse campaigns with tailored goals depending on the industry and growth stage of the company we’re partnering with. It also gives us the opportunity to run paid campaigns at scale and understand what is working, why, and how to recreate it for all of our clients. 

Taking what we’ve learned from examining our clients’ best performing campaigns, we’re excited to launch into Q3 with solid strategy and execution. 

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.