HubSpot Marketers’ Favorite Integrated Marketing Campaigns

A tv show is returning, and I am pumped. “The Umbrella Academy” is a sci-fi show based on the comic book of the same name, and it’s nothing short of fantastic. 

Superheroes, comedy, a talking animal, and saving the world from imploding — what more could you want?

When I first learned about the season, I was scrolling Twitter and came across the video announcement. I was stoked. A little later, I decided to check Facebook, and saw promo stills for the new season — only building my excitement.

A couple of weeks later, I saw the official trailer for the first time on Instagram, and again on YouTube. Up until that point, I’d come across promotional content from three different channels for the new season.

This rollout has become one of my favorite integrated marketing campaigns of 2020. The Netflix team is pulling out all the stops across multiple different fronts to keep users excited about the premiere.

It’s working for me — I can hardly wait. And in this post, we’re going to go over other integrated marketing examples that were extremely effective for them.

HubSpot’s Favorite Integrated Marketing Campaigns

Integrated marketing is any marketing campaign that uses multiple channels in execution. For example, you might see a popular new donut flavor in a commercial, then drive past the donut shop to see posters of the donut. And if you flip through Instagram once you get to your destination, you might see a GIF on your feed, displaying the donut.

This style of marketing is great for boosting leads and brand awareness. Using multiple sources to deliver the same campaign diversifies the audience that interacts with its content. Let’s look at some recent integrated marketing campaigns that delivered a great experience for customers and leads alike.

1. Hulu’s HAHA Awards

Channels: Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Website

One of my favorite integrated marketing campaigns to come along is the launch of Hulu’s HAHA Awards. HAHA is a clever acronym, standing for “Hilarious Animated Hulu Awards,” which I love.

Initially, I saw the commercial during a regular ad break while watching — of course — Hulu:

Because there’s no awards show for animated content, the team at Hulu decided to change that — and get fans involved. Fans can vote for the awards on Twitter and Hulu’s website.

I appreciate that anyone with a Twitter account can participate in voting, regardless of if they are Hulu customers. Some of the categories are popular tv shows, like Archer and Bob Burgers, so the masses can vote. Additionally, people without a Twitter or Hulu account can vote, just by visiting the website.

The tactic of using YouTube to introduce the campaign, as well as alternate methods of voting, make this campaign a chance for Hulu to delight customers and earn more quality leads from social media.

2. Victoria Monet’s “Audience”

Channels: Instagram, Facebook, Billboards

For new single, “Experience,” R&B singers Victoria Monet and Khalid collaborated with Spotify for a release campaign. The campaign included online and in-person marketing tactics, and is the favorite campaign of staff writer Jay Fuchs.

In Canada, there was a billboard put up in Toronto, promoting the song’s Spotify release. In response, Monet posted a picture on Instagram to share with her fans and promote the single:

The use of online and in-person marketing methods makes this integrated campaign one that can be seen by eyes from anywhere. From the billboard in Canada, to international Facebook and Instagram fans, the release of “Experience” was anticipated globally. In fact, in one month, the single has become Monet’s most popular song on the streaming service.

3. Gillette, “The Best Men Can Be”

Channels: Website, YouTube

“In 2019, Gillette launched their campaign, “The Best Men Can Be”. The campaign included an inspiring video, a landing page that celebrates male advocates and leaders in the community, and a hashtag, #thebestmencanbe, to encourage user participation across social channels,” says HubSpot’s Marketing Blog Editor, Caroline Forsey.

Gillette's

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“The campaign, created in response to the #metoo movement, urged men to hold themselves to a higher standard,” says Forsey. In the corresponding ad for the movement, viewers are shown hypothetical real-life instances of men stepping in to be themselves, and making positive change in their community. To heighten awareness of the movement, the landing page highlights real accounts of men upholding the hashtag Gillette created.

“While the campaign received some backlash from both stakeholders and consumers, I think it was worth the price because it redefined the shaving brand as a relevant, values-oriented brand. For me personally, I shared the ad with all my male friends and family members, and it sparked a discussion — which, really, is what marketing is all about,” Forsey commented.

Gillette’s tactic of getting their customers involved proved to be successful in the moment and long-term. Discussions, like the one Forsey had with males in her life, were happening nationwide; In fact, my university class had one about the campaign. This integrated campaign, boosted by real accounts, was proven to be not only successful, but valuable.

4. REI, #RecreateResponsibly

Channels: Website, Instagram

Outdoor activity is at the core of REI’s products. REI sells camping essentials, such as tents, clothes, and insulated containers. In 2020, REI partnered with several groups in Washington state that aim to preserve wildlife and nature, making it the favorite campaign of service blog manager, Clint Fontanella.

Outdoor Alliance, The Outdoor Industry Association, and national parks came together for the #RecreateResponsibly campaign. The point of which was to educate the public about how to stay safe when venturing outdoors, with the main content player being graphics similar to the one below:

#RecreateResponsibility by REI

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This graphic was shared on social media to spread awareness of tips to responsibly venture outdoors to avoid health concerns. #RecreateResponsibly‘s hashtag asks followers to share the tips in real life situations, shared by REI’s Instagram.

With the hashtag and partnerships, the campaign is also boosted by related blog posts on REI’s website. Posts like this one offer ways to stay safe while traveling.

The hashtag has been used by The National Park Service, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and Los Angeles National Forest, and brings awareness to large audiences. The partnerships and REI’s content share an educational message and an interactive component — making this campaign diverse and engaging.

5. Melt Cosmetics, “She’s in Parties”

Channels: Website, Instagram, Facebook

“She’s in Parties” is the name of an eyeshadow palette from Melt Cosmetics. Says staff writer Rebecca Riserbato, “The purple palette sparked a hashtag of the same name on Instagram. On the landing page for the collection, there’s a section dedicated to Instagram posts with the hashtag.”

The campaign inspired a purple theme, which took over the company’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. Along with this social media content, influencers who were sent the palette began to upload their reviews on YouTube.

For this launch, a variety of social tactics were used. A matching social campaign, user-generated hashtag, YouTube recommendations, and a revolving landing page were all contributions to where the campaign was distributed. When you know where your audience spends their time, like the team at Melt, you can reach them with a diverse, omnichannel strategy.

6. Brew Dr. Kombucha, “Love Wins”

Channels: Website, Instagram

“In May 2020, Brew Dr. Kombucha released its signature kombucha with limited-edition colorful, rainbow-wrapping for Pride Month,” Forsey recalls. “The wrapping has the lifeline number to The Trevor Project printed directly on it — the company partnered with The Trevor Project and supports the organization through proceeds of its limited-edition kombucha.”

The "Love Wins" campaign for Brew Dr.

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“Along with the limited-edition wrapping, the company created a dedicated landing page for #LoveWins, and supported Pride Month with the #LoveWins hashtag across its social channels.”

Forsey continues, “Ultimately, I chose this campaign as one of my favorite integrated campaigns of 2020 because I was inspired to see this brand uplift and inspire communities while giving proceeds back to an incredibly worthy cause.”

The brand chose a social movement that was important to them, Pride, and celebrated it with this integrated campaign. This tactic brings awareness to a social cause, a respected organization, and enhances a celebration.

7. The New York Times, “The Truth Is Hard”

Channels: Commercial, Facebook, Billboard

In early 2018, newspaper The New York Times was struggling. With dwindling subscriptions and dwindling trust in the news from the general public, the team behind the famous publication had to figure out how to build widespread trust.

That’s where “The Truth Is Hard” came in — It was a campaign designed to offer transparency. “I think the best advertising not only gets you to pause and pay attention in the moment, but also encourages the viewer to take action and learn more after the fact,” says Alicia Collins, senior brand manager.

The New York Times’ ‘The Truth Is Hard’ campaign does that. It tells a clear and impactful story, and demonstrates the value and importance of journalism right away.”

Following a tribute to journalism at the 2018 Oscars, the campaign began. The Times aired a minimalist film to display the clarity of newsprint, and challenged viewers to think about what truth means to them.

Refugee crises, sickness, and wars — the second phase dove deep into conveying what journalists endure in order to deliver the most accurate coverage. And, with a paid media campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, all of this content was broadcasted for the world to see.

The New York Times campaign billboard.

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This campaign earned the Times their highest number of new subscriptions since the paywall started, increasing signups by 100%. The multiple channels used by the news source to restore their image to the public worked, and made this integrated campaign a win.

I’ll have to wait a few more weeks to see the return of The Umbrella Academy. I’m sure until then, I’ll see more diverse social media content. In the meantime, what are some of your favorite integrated marketing campaigns — did they make the list?

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Author: Kayla Carmicheal

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How to A/B Test CTAs Like HubSpot Experts

The call to action is a put up or shut up moment that can turn curiosity into a legitimate business opportunity. It’s the bridge between visitors and leads — a point of entry that allows you to capitalize on the web traffic you generate.

Despite its potentially massive business implications, your average CTA is generally pretty small and unassuming — maybe a button or a line of text. It might seem like the blog post or product page the CTA is placed on is all that matters when it comes to how many leads it ultimately generates

It’s easy to think that the copy, color, or placement of a call to action doesn’t really matter, but that’s not the case. A lot goes into creating an effective CTA. The best ones have been carefully crafted and consistently tested. Here, we’ll focus on that process.

We’ll learn how to A/B test CTAs successfully and get some insight on the subject from some expert HubSpotters.

1. Decide on a specific factor you want to test.

A/B testing isn’t supposed to be some indiscriminately applied process. In this context, it’s designed to help you best optimize specific aspects of your CTAs. That means conducting a thoughtful, effective A/B test rests on you definitively selecting the individual variables you want to better understand.

Are you trying to zero in on the best word-choice for your CTA? Are you looking for its optimum visual characteristics? Do you want to identify where its most effective placement on your blog posts might be?

Try to lock in on one factor — above all others. You don’t want to A/B test multiple CTAs with different shapes, colors, and copy all at once.

2. Create multiple, distinct CTAs.

There’s a reason A/B testing is called “A/B” testing — not just “A” testing. The concept itself rests on comparing multiple options, so naturally, if you want to A/B test CTAs, you need more than one.

There are a variety of variables you can use to create unique, distinguishable CTAs, including color, position, size, shape, and wording.

A/B tests should take fundamentally similar CTAs that convey the same information in unique ways, leveraging separate — but not outrageously different — options to help hone in on the slight distinctions between choices your audience would be most receptive to.

3. Measure your Results

Identify a date range you’d like to use as your reference point for your experiment. Once you’ve carried out your testing across that period, take the time to analyze and understand your results.

Get a feel for how your various choices performed in terms of metrics like overall views, clicks, and submissions to see which of your CTAs are garnering the most attention and converting the best. 

Once you have your results, you can start to identify the more effective aspects of each option and start to piece together CTAs that will consistently deliver the results you need.

How to A/B Test CTAs like HubSpot Marketers

Avoid testing multiple variables at the same time.

It’s recommended that you don’t employ radically different variations of the same CTA when A/B testing. The hope in carrying out these tests is to identify the specific factors that make your CTAs most effective.

If you’re comparing CTAs with various aspects when A/B testing, your results might be muddled. You won’t have a clear idea of which aspects are most effective — you’ll lose out on the ability to identify the factors worth applying to your CTAs going forward.

As Carly Stec, Team Manager for Blog and Academy Acquisition at HubSpot, suggests you “avoid testing multiple variables at the same time.” She stresses the value of keeping things straightforward.

She discussed a recent series of A/B tests her team ran for HubSpot’s thank-you pages that involved changing the messaging, placement, and visuals of a CTA. She noticed strong increases in conversion but didn’t have a firm picture of the key factor at play, “While we saw a strong increase in conversion, we were left wondering, what exactly did the trick? Was it one of the elements or all three?”

Her team opted to partition the tests to identify what was making the difference. As she put it, “We reran the test as three separate single variable tests and found that placement actually had the most influence on conversion. The lesson? Keep it simple so success is easier to trace.”

Treat it as a marathon — not a sprint.

Slow and steady — that’s the name of the game when it comes to A/B testing CTAs. It’s a piece-by-piece process. Your most successful CTAs will be the sum of several minor adjustments, often carried out over somewhat substantial periods of time.

As AJ Beltis, HubSpot Marketing Manager for Content and Acquisition, put it, “Don’t be afraid to start testing incremental changes.” Minor tweaks to language, visual characteristics, placement, and other factors wind up making for the most effective CTAs. If every A/B test you run for your CTAs is based on a major overhaul, you might pass over the aspects that were working best for you.

Beltis went on to discuss an experience with some tests he and his team ran for the HubSpot blog, “For example, we did an entire series on testing our anchor text CTAs. While we saw marginal increases from every test, it was the combination of these results that resulted in the optimal version of this CTA, which has resulted in a significant increase in annual leads from the blog.”

What HubSpot Learned From A/B Testing CTAs

If there’s one lesson that HubSpot has taken away from A/B testing CTAs, it’s that there’s always room for improvement. A/B testing CTAs is an ongoing process. As Stec put it, “At HubSpot, we constantly iterate on our tests to make sure we’re not settling for the winner. Just because something won once, doesn’t mean it can’t be beat. Keep going.”

A/B testing CTAs is about zeroing in on the perfect option — the caveat here is that perfection isn’t real. Always aspire to consistently improve your CTAs, and A/B testing is central to that process.

It’s important to maintain focus and effort when it comes to this process, and Stec captured the essence of that mindset when she said, “Don’t underestimate the importance of persistence in A/B testing.”

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How to Set Up Ad Retargeting on Facebook

In college, I took an advertising class. It was helpful in teaching me what I needed to know about traditional advertising, but the social media portion wasn’t as expansive. 

When we covered Facebook Advertising, for example, I found it difficult to follow along with a lack of examples and the lofty overview of content. Because of that, I decided to look online for a deeper take on the subject.

I ended up watching a video that taught me the basics, and one that covered a subject I’d struggled with in class — retargeting. 

The video first gave an overview of audience retargeting. Then, it went into depth about how that looks on Facebook with vibrant examples, really helping a visual learner like me. 

I loved that I was able to watch a short, yet impactful video on my own time and learn what I needed to fill in the gaps of what I knew about retargeting, and how it works. Retargeting helps re-engage customers you lost, and one method to do that is with social media, like Facebook. 

If you’ve never used retargeting before, don’t worry — in the following post, we’ll go through the basics of how retargeting works, explain how you can use it to support your larger marketing goals, and even outline an example of a Facebook Ad retargeting campaign.

How Retargeting Campaigns Work

There are two main types of retargeting: pixel-based and list-based. The way each works is slightly different, and each has different advantages based on your campaign goals.

Pixel-Based Retargeting

Pixel-based retargeting is a way to re-display your material to any anonymous site visitor.

This is probably the most common type of retargeting. When someone comes to your website, an unobtrusive piece of JavaScript (often referred to as a pixel) is placed on their browser — making their browser “cookie-d.” When they leave your site to surf the web, that cookie notifies retargeting platforms to serve specific ads based on the specific pages they visited on your website.

The advantage of pixel-based retargeting is that it is timely (they can be retargeted pretty immediately after leaving your site), specific to a particular page on your site, and behavior-based. Downsides to this method are that there is a lower volume of people in the campaign at any given moment in time since it’s all based on how often people are coming to your website, viewing certain pages, and leaving. It also can be complicated or time-intensive to implement the JavaScript on many website pages.

List-Based Retargeting

List-based retargeting works after you already have someone’s contact information in your database.

You can also use lists of your existing contacts for certain types of retargeting ads. To do this, upload a list of the email addresses to a retargeting campaign (usually on a social network like Facebook or Twitter), and the platform will identify users on that network who have those addresses and serve retargeting ads just to them.

Though it’s a little less common than pixel-based retargeting, list-based retargeting allows you to have highly customizable criteria for your ads because it’s based on more than behavior — you’re choosing who goes in which list.

On the flip side, it’s possible that a person in your list gave you one email address and the social network another — and in that case, they won’t see your ads. Also keep in mind that because you are in charge of uploading and maintaining the list, list-based retargeting also is less automatic and timely than pixel-based retargeting.

If you’ve ever heard of the term “retargeting,” it’s likely it was in comparison to remarketing. And while the two are often mistaken for each other, they do have differences. Let’s talk about when you would use either.

Remarketing and retargeting are often confused with each other. Though they share similarities, retargeting allows you to reach new prospects with your ads, while remarketing focuses on re-sparking interest of your company to current or inactive old customers.

A retargeted ad helps those who’ve never heard of your company understand how your product or service fits into their lifestyle or solves a potential problem. Retargeting helps you make the message more personal.

When you analyze sales, you can determine what’s popular among the audiences you’re aiming to reach. For instance, if you find that a certain line of products perform really well among millennials, pull images of them into a carousel ad and use it to retarget customers. The personalization of a separate ad promoting a collection, aimed at a segment of your target market, is one example of how retargeting can be successful.

Take this ad I saw today. Despite never having purchased from Nasty Gal, this ad showed up on my News Feed:

Retargeted ad on Facebook.

This ad introduces Nasty Gal to new leads (like me) by giving an overview of diverse clothes that are popular among target audiences.

It’s likely I saw this ad because I fit into Nasty Gal’s target audience set on Facebook, and because my previous behavior on the social channel involved looking for reviews of similar clothing retailers.

On the other hand, to re-engage a lost or inactive customer, you might decide to use remarketing. This tactic aims to improve customer relationships by utilizing marketing tactics that

Essentially, if you want to give customers an incentive to purchase again from your company, turn to remarketing.

For customers that are already acquainted with your brand and have shown a need for your product, create a personalized message to reignite their interest. For example, if your company offers a membership, remarket to those whose memberships are expiring and are up for renewal. This email I received is an example:

Example of a remarketing email.

This marketing email not only served as a reminder to renew my subscription but was also Thrive Market‘s way of reminding me about the benefits of being a member. In the email, I got to see how much I saved by using the grocery service, where my membership money was being spent, and was offered a special promotion to renew.

Because I was already familiar with the brand, Thrive was able to use the email to add personal touches and provide a snapshot of what I can enjoy (again) as a member.

Like retargeting, this tactic is successful when messages inspire action. The email’s CTAs, like “Browse our options here!” told me that I could peruse my options in one click, so I did. Use remarketing efforts to remind customers of the perks that come with shopping with your brand, like easy shopping access.

Which Goals You Should Have for Retargeting

Now that we have the background for how retargeting works and the different types of audiences you can segment by, we can focus on goals. The main types of retargeting campaigns you should consider running are those for awareness and those for conversion.

Awareness

Awareness campaigns are useful when you want to re-engage website visitors and tell them about relevant products, features, or announcements. These ads are usually served to pixel-based lists.

The obvious drawback to awareness campaigns is that you’re serving less targeted content to people who haven’t engaged heavily with your brand. They’re not in your contacts database, and often, there are lower expected clickthrough rates than other types of campaigns.

However, since the goal is to make prospects aware of your business, impressions and engagement are acceptable metrics to track. Often awareness campaigns are precursors to a much more effective campaign goal: conversions.

Conversion

Conversion goals are just that — you want to get people to click on your ad and take a next step, such as filling out a landing page form. Conversion campaigns are best used to align a specific list with a clear next step in the flywheel, and can be measured with typical conversion metrics like website clicks, form submission, and cost-per-lead (CPL).

The best thing about a conversion campaign is that you can use it for multiple parts of the flywheel. Pixel-based ads, for instance, generate leads and will direct people to landing pages where they can give over their information.

List-based ads better qualify those leads. Ads will appear to contacts who gave you limited information and lead them to longer forms with additional fields.

Additionally, retargeting can be used to move those qualified leads further along their sales cycle. For example, you might use retargeting to send a list of contacts that have downloaded an ebook to sign up for a free trial of your product.

Regardless of your goal, it is important to align the positioning, creative, and next step in the conversion process — whether that’s an offer landing page, site page, or request for more information — with your audience list. List-based retargeting can have low match rates (users synced with accounts on each platform, usually by email address), so make sure you’re fueling your retargeting activities with inbound content.

Choosing a Retargeting Platform and Tool

Truthfully, you’ve got quite a few options for actually implementing your retargeting. There are tons of third-party platforms to do web and social retargeting, such as Perfect Audience, AdRoll, Retargeter, and Bizo. You can also do retargeting through specific platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

While email targeting can be effective, it’s important to note many of the other platforms that could also be beneficial.Although each platform you use to implement ads will be different, there are some advantages and disadvantages for choosing ones that serve up social media ads or elsewhere on the web.

Social media retargeting often works well since people are more likely to share, reply, and discuss your content on one of these well-known platforms. They can also see the ads are posted from a real account, as opposed to a small web banner ad with little text that could be posted by anyone. That being said, web retargeting works well for impressions since the ads follow your targeted audience throughout the internet, not just on a few specific social media sites.

Want to see how setting up a remarketing campaign is like? We’ll walk through a step-by-step process on setting up a retargeting campaign and measuring its success.

Facebook Retargeting

Facebook retargeting is no different from the other types of retargeting we’ve talked about — It helps you advertise to potential customers and lost leads. Facebook’s technology leverages data from different profiles to help you connect with the right audience. Data, like web behavior, is used to show your ads on the right news feeds. 

On Facebook, you have the advantage of its large audience. Coupled with the amount of data Facebook collects about its users, it’s highly likely that the leads you lost are seeing your ad. The website looks at the previous search history of users and pulls ads that are relevant. 

For example, every time I online shop for clothes and leave the site without making a purchase, the ads I see on Facebook are from the store I’d visited. If I were to use the search bar on the social media network, I would see similar results.

To run a retargeting campaign on Facebook, you’ll set an ad campaign and choose your audience set — just like a regular campaign. The difference is this: In Ad Manager, you’ll toggle a switch that tells the website that the campaign is a retargeting one. That way, the software will know how to filter the right target market for your ad. 

For this example, we’ll pretend we’re setting up a remarketing campaign for HubSpot. To drive qualified leads to a free trial, we’ll set up a mock Facebook retargeting campaign for leads in our database who we know are interested in marketing automation. Here’s how we would set up that campaign.

1. Create a list or existing contacts, or gather groups from pixel on your website.

First, you’d need a list of leads to retarget to. In your marketing software of choice, compile a list based on two criteria: lifecycle stage, interests based on the topic of their most recent download. If this list is sufficiently large, you can move on to the next step. If it’s not, you should revisit your segmentation properties and/or type of retargeting to implement.

2. Uploading the list to Facebook’s Audience Manager.

Once our list is processed, we can export the .CSV file and import it into Facebook’s Custom Audience manager to match email addresses with Facebook Profiles. (There are third-party platforms that also sync these lists on social media, so feel free to pick which upload/sync option works best for your company.)

Aside from Facebook retargeting, Audience Manager will allow you to do standard targeting, which allows you to set demographic, geographic, and other audience targets for an ad — even without a retargeting list.

Once you hit “Manage Your Ads” on Facebook’s advertising home page, click “Audiences” on the left toolbar. This will allow you to create a customer list by uploading a .CSV or .TXT file and options to sort by user ID, phone numbers, or emails.

Uploading the list to Audience ManagerGive your list an appropriate name to easily find it later. Additionally, leave at least a few hours for it to populate. if you try to create an ad immediately, the audience may not be fully loaded.

3. Determine your destination URL.

To create a new campaign on Facebook, hit the green “Create Ad” button in the top right of the ad platform home screen. This will prompt you to choose an objective for your campaign. Whatever option you select, include a UTM tracking code — a snippet of text added to the end of your URL — to help you track success and attribute clicks and conversions from your campaigns. For example, we would create a campaign called “Retargeting” and our URL for the free trial would look like:

Clicks to website image

http://offers.hubspotm/free-trial?utm_campaign=retargeting&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook

Once you enter your URL to promote, the next step is to rename your campaign directly underneath the URL text box. Keep similar names for your campaigns to make it easier to track if you have multiple running.

4. Segment your ads.

Select your custom audience and set the geographic location you want to target. The location is an “AND” setting, meaning if your list contains leads from all over the world and you only select “United States,” some people won’t be shown your ads.

Facebook Ads target audienceDepending on your buyer personas, you can also segment by interest, behaviors, age, and other demographic settings which can help ads become even more targeted. For conversion campaigns, you’re retargeting to a specific list of contacts already interested in your product, so including other Facebook categories might not make sense.

5. Set your budget.

Before even starting the campaign, have a set budget for paid tactics, broken out by channel. For Facebook campaigns, set a lifetime budget for the length of the campaign, then monitor and adjust accordingly. Most beginners should leave the bidding to “Optimize for Website Click.”

How to set a budget in Facebook Ads.You can also name your ad set at this stage, which is helpful if you’d like to differentiate lists, creative, budget, etc. for different ad sets in the same campaign (i.e. leading to the same page).

6. Creating your ad.

Each ad can have up to six images associated with it, so you can test which ones perform the best. Be clear and concise with your positioning as the headline underneath the image can only be 25 characters long and the text above the image is capped at 90 characters. You can also include call-to-action buttons such as Shop Now, Learn more, Download, etc. on the bottom right of the ad.

Some important details on Facebook ads:

  • Image size is 1080 x 1080 pixels.
  • Images can only contain 20% text.
  • Under “Advanced Options” you can write a News Feed link description up to 200 characters to better explain your ad.

By default, ads are shown on mobile newsfeeds, on the right column on desktops, and in partner mobile apps. Depending on where you’d like your customers to see these campaigns, you may want to turn one or all of those options off to only display in the desktop News Feed.

Once you have everything set up, go ahead and click the green “Place Order” button in the bottom right of the screen.

7. Tracking your progress.

Congratulations, you’ve now created a conversion-based retargeting ad on Facebook! Now you can track website clicks, reach, CTR, CPC, and total spend to match them up to your initial goals.

You can get a glance of how your Facebook retargeting campaigns are doing by going to your Facebook Advertising home page. If you want to dive further into the ad’s metrics, you can go into the ad set where you’ll see information like clicks and spending per day. It is also easy to make edits to your ad from this screen, such as extending the budget, schedule, and creative assets.

If you’re using a CRM, like HubSpot, most offer tools to look at the performance of your destination URL to track views, clicks, and submissions back to specific retargeting campaigns.

Retargeting is a great way to keep your prospects engaged and interact with people who have already shown interest in your company.

While it may sound like a simple enough concept, there are many aspects of a retargeting campaign that must be worked out before you make the ad copy and creative. Be sure to give enough time to make your lists, set goals and types of campaigns, determine the platforms your ads will run on, and tie the whole conversion path together.

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25 Stats That Prove Why You Need Link-Building in Your SEO Strategy

You probably already know how crucial SEO is for your website’s traffic.

One of the most important sub tactics within an SEO strategy is link-building. Not sure what this means? Here’s the quick explanation.

When websites link to your website, search algorithms determine that you have “authority” in  your industry because other brands are referring to you. The higher your authority gets, the better your search rankings could be. Additionally, linking to other posts within your site can also help to boost your authority as its a sign to algorithms that you’ve thoroughly covered a topic you’re discussing.

But, here’s where it gets a bit more tricky. When a more credible website, such as a notable publication with a high search ranking links to you, that link counts for more than an internal link or a link from a site with less search credibility. Also, if you link a blog post or page to a site with no or poor search authority, your ranking might go down because you aren’t linking to sources that search algorithms deem as credible.

These are just a few of the nuances that make link building difficult and time-consuming for many marketers. But, research shows that taking the time to build a solid link strategy can quickly boost your search rankings.

In fact, in 2019, most SEO experts said external links were one of the three most valuable aspects of their search optimization strategies. Meanwhile, 51% of marketers say they notice positive effects of general link building strategies within one to three months of executing on those tactics.

The above stats are just a taste of what link building can do for your web strategy. To help you understand the opportunities, challenges, common tactics, and costs behind successful link building, here are 25 helpful stats.

Link Building Opportunities and Challenges

  • Links are one of the top two criteria considered in Google’s page ranking algorithm. (Search Engine Land)
  • SEO experts say the third most important factor for search optimization is external linking. (Databox)
  • In the near future, 53% of marketers believe link building will have the same impact on search rankings, while 41% think it will have less of an impact. (Aira)
  • 52% of marketers believe brand mentions impact organic search rankings. (Aira)
  • In five years, 92% of marketers believe that links will still be ranking criteria in Google algorithms. (Aira)
  • 13% of search experts say link building is the most valuable SEO tactic. (Ascend)
  • 51% of marketers say it takes one to three months to see the impact of link-building efforts. (Aira)
  • In a study of web content, zero correlation between backlinks and social shares. (Backlinko)
  • 94% of the world’s content gets zero external links. (Backlinko)
  • Only 2.2% of content generates links from multiple websites. (Backlinko)
  • 41% of SEO experts consider link building to be the most difficult part of search optimization, (Ascend)
  • 65% of marketers measure their link quality by looking at their domain authority. Meanwhile, marketers also use domain ratings (48%) and page authority (36%) to determine link quality. (Aira)
  • If they could only choose one metric for studying link quality, 34% of marketers would look at domain authority while 22% would look at domain rating. (Aira)
  • 38% of marketers say page rankings are the top KPI they use to determine the effectiveness of their link-building efforts. (Aira)

Link Building Processes

  • 36% of businesses hire outside experts or freelancers for link building efforts. (Aira)
  • 48% of marketers report on “nofollow” links as part of their process. (Aira)
  • 42% of SEOs spend equal time on building internal and external links. (Databox)

SEOs spend most of their link building time on getting external links

Image Source

Link Building Costs

  • 46% of marketers spend $10,000 or more annually on link building, while 22% spend between $1,000 and $2,500. (Aira)
  • 61% of marketers say they use zero to ten percent of their total budget on link building.  (Aira)
  • It often costs brands $1,000 or more to gain a quality link. (Siege Media)
  • 41% of marketers expect the cost of link building to increase in the future. (Aira)

Common Link Building Tactics

  • 69% of marketers believe that buying links positively impacts search rankings. (Aira)
  • “Why” posts, “What” posts, and infographics received 25.8% more links compared to videos and “How-to” posts. (Backlinko)
  • Long-form content gets an average of 77.2% more links than short articles. Therefore, long-form content appears to be ideal for backlink acquisition. (Backlinko)

long form blog content pulls in the highest amount of backlinks

Image Source

  • 51% of SEOs say bloggers should include two to three internal links in a blog post while 36% say three to five should be included. (Databox)

How to Embrace Link Building

As you can see from the stats above, link building can be crucial for search rankings, but can also be quite challenging. Luckily, there are a few simple strategies that you can take on immediately to help boost your site’s authority through links.

For example, you can include internal links in your blog posts and web content, publish original quotes or data that people will link to, or create a basic outreach strategy that allows you to share your newest posts. To learn more about how you can start or broaden your SEO strategy, check out this detailed link building guide.

Want to learn about other search optimization techniques and tools? You might also enjoy our Ultimate Guide to SEO.

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Integrations: The Newest Addition to Your Marketing Ops

Marketing isn’t just about campaigns, content, and creativity. There’s a whole lot of “getting things done” that needs to happen behind the scenes for campaigns to roll out on time and performance to scale.

This is where marketing operations comes in. Also called marketing ops or MOps, marketing operations is how a marketing team is run. It’s the processes, technology, data, and people that power a marketing strategy.

Of these key pillars of marketing operations, data sounds like the most abstract one. But getting the data right in your marketing ops is crucial.

How do you do this? By cleaning, organizing, and enriching the data in every app as well as integrating data between your apps.

An increasingly important role for any team or Marketing Operation Manager is maintaining data quality and connectedness. This not only includes marketing apps but also bridges to other departments in the organization.

Let’s dig into how to make this happen so you can scale the impact of your marketing ops.

What Are Integrations?

Integration brings different pieces of software together and enables their data to interact.

When done well, integrations enable your marketing team to:

  • Create the most holistic marketing ops strategy across your software ecosystem.
  • Allow data to seamlessly flow between key platforms and enrich each one.
  • Automate more tasks and free up time.
  • Provide stronger customer experiences with more accessible and insightful data.
  • Remove data silos and other barriers to collaboration.
  • Deliver accurate insights, reporting, and decision making.

As an example of a valuable integration, think of your CRM and email marketing app. A good email list is a marketer’s most treasured possession, but for your email marketing to be successful, you need accurate and in-depth insights into each contact’s interests, behavior, and communication preferences. You can solve this by integrating data from your CRM.

The integrations that matter most to your marketing operations depend on your organization and industry.

That said, there are certain integration best practices that businesses with strong marketing operations follow. Let’s explore those.

1. Understand the Ecosystem Your Marketing Data Lives in

A strong marketing stack that your team loves using is a pivotal part of your marketing operations management.

This can include an all-in-one marketing platform or individual systems for:

  • Content management
  • Marketing automation
  • Lead Generation
  • Email marketing
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Project management
  • Communication

One of the first steps to perfect your marketing ops is understanding the ecosystem your marketing data lives in. Some valuable questions to ask are:

  • What data are we collecting in each app?
  • How should data interact with other apps?
  • How can we sync apps to enrich the data in each one?

With answers to these questions in mind, you can decide how best to integrate your apps and allow data to flow between them.

2. Ensure Clean, Up-to-date Data in Every App

To get the best results from integrations, you need high-quality data in every app. Dirty data in one app is bad, but the negative impact is multiplied for every new app it enters.

To prevent this, clean up the data in every app before adding new integrations. This includes:

  • Duplicate contacts
  • Inaccurate contact data
  • Unsubscribes
  • Bounced email addresses

With clean data in every app, you can seamlessly integrate your marketing platforms and create the most streamlined and effective marketing ops.

3. Make Your CRM the Heart of Your Marketing Ops

There’s a high chance your sales team is already using a CRM to store all of the key insights about your customers and their interactions with your business. That’s because centralizing your data in your CRM is one of the best things you can do for strong contact management.

One way to test the strength of your CRM is by checking if anyone in your business can answer questions about a contact and their interactions with your business – whether in sales, support, marketing, or billing – just by glancing at their contact record.

To make this happen, you can use integration to bring data from other apps into your CRM. The inverse is also valuable: syncing your CRM data with your marketing apps to enrich the data in those places.

Alongside syncing names and emails, you can choose which other information makes sense to have available in your other marketing apps. This could include:

  • Lead status/stage
  • Location
  • Industry
  • Customer Success Owner
  • Business size
  • Communication preferences

4. Use Contact Segmentation

Segmenting your contacts using lists, tags, and properties is a fantastic way to deliver the most personalized customer experience. But it’s also a key ingredient for effective integrations.

With an iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service) solution like PieSync, you can create customized workflows and sync data based on specific conditions. That way, you maintain the segmentation of your database across tools. These specific conditions could be configured according to If-this-then-that rules. For instance:

  • IF a contact’s Lifecycle Stage is ‘Lead’
  • THEN sync the contact to your email marketing tool and add to the list ‘List of leads’

If the contact stops being a customer, you can automatically reflect that in your email marketing app, remove the ‘Customer’ tag, and no longer send relevant communications.

To create powerful if-this-then-that rules, first segment data in individual apps, and then create connections across your ecosystem.

5. Create Strong Alignment With Sales Via Integrations

Your marketing operations strategy isn’t just about marketing. It’s essential to look at the other teams in your organization and understand how to create the strongest alignment.

The most important bridge for marketers to maintain is with sales. By working collaboratively instead of in silos, marketers can deliver the perfect leads for sales and both teams can share what’s working as well as opportunities.

To optimize your bridge with sales, you can integrate your marketing software with sales apps such as:

  • Sales CRM
  • Contact Management
  • Live chat software
  • Sales automation software
  • Integrations between your marketing apps and customer support software

With your marketing and sales apps in sync, both teams are in the best position to exchange data, deliver unified reporting, and do their best work both independently and together.

6. Integrate Customer Data with Your Marketing Apps

Although marketing usually has the strongest alignment with sales, make sure not to forget about your service team.

If your data is siloed, you run the risk of the nightmare scenario of sending a promotion offer to a customer who subscribed a week ago at full price.

With integrated apps and data, you can keep your customers in mind for every marketing campaign and create personalizations based on the products, services, and upgrades that are most relevant to them.

You can align your Marketing and Service team with either:

A good starting point is to make sure that all customer interactions and support requests are synced with your CRM. Marketers can then easily use this information to personalize campaigns and workflows.

How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Integrations

You can measure the impact of integrations in your marketing operations strategy by asking if:

  • Your data is accurate, enriched, and reliable in every app.
  • You have a centralized contact database that quickly gives you a 360-degree view of each contact.
  • Your marketing team is aligned with sales and can quickly collaborate.
  • You have removed all data silos.
  • You can personalize marketing campaigns for customers or exclude them from certain messaging.
  • You have clear marketing reporting that brings together data from all channels and apps and highlights key areas for optimization.

As you optimize your marketing operations, remember to look at the holistic view of your marketing stack and the individual pieces of the puzzle. By paying attention to the two in tandem, you can understand where to connect the dots for the best overall outcomes in your marketing team and throughout your organization.

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Author: Lucy Fuggle

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5 Creative Ways to Use Social Media Data as a Source for Your Content

Creating powerful, newsworthy, and informative content is the goal, but it can be hard to achieve if it’s not data-driven.

After creating content for seven years, our team fully believes that having data as the driving element in your content campaign is the differentiator between good content and newsworthy, link-worthy content.

Coming up with creative sources for your data-driven content can be difficult sometimes, especially if what you want to examine with your content can’t be revealed through a survey methodology or an existing data set.

There are hundreds of sources of data you can use to shape your content, but the type of data I’m focusing on today can be collected from scraping publicly available information from social media platforms.

Social media platforms offer something unique that other data sources cannot. When you scrape a social media platform with intention, you have the opportunity to acquire massive amounts of information from real people, in a matter of minutes.

With the right analysis, this information can glean insights into your topic of choice that the public wouldn’t have otherwise known. Any new, surprising, or controversial information you infer from the analysis will have journalists begging to take the exclusive and cover your content marketing campaign for their publisher.

In this post, I’m going to share five examples of social media scrapes that earned top-tier publisher press, and why they worked. But first — what does social media data scraping mean, anyway? 

What is social media data scraping?

Social media data scraping is a methodology that incorporates third-party technology to automatically scrape data from a website such as Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

By using third-party data scraping tools such as Octoparse or Parsehub, you’ll receive your data in a neat excel package that will then allow you to analyze it however you wish.

Popular aspects to analyze with social media data sets include conducting a sentiment analysis, analyzing volume and frequency of certain words or symbols, and looking at patterns of individual words with location data.

Next, let’s dive into how you can use the data you scrape as inspiration for future content. 

How to Use Social Media Data as a Source for Your Content

1. Peruse Instagram to come up with fun content ideas.

In our first example, we’ll look at a content campaign called #SexiestLocations on Instagram.

The execution of this project was fairly simple: our research team collected over 4 million posts on Instagram that contained the hashtag #sexy. They then analyzed the posts that included a geolocation tag. From this, they were able to glean the “sexiest” countries in the world, as well as U.S. states.

social-media-source-for-content

Safe to say, publishers ate it up.

While it’s actually impossible to truly learn what the sexiest place in the world is (sexy is a subjective term) our team produced a fun campaign for our client that used geo-bait to appeal to light-hearted online sites, like Glamour, E! Online, Women’s Health, and Elite Daily.

2. Explore Twitter to learn more about a pressing topic.

In our second example, we’ll look at a campaign covering a much different topic: college drinking habits.

In this methodology, rather than exploring Instagram, the team analyzed Tweets from Twitter instead. The researchers looked at tweets within a 1.5 mile radius of the center of small, four-year colleges and universities that included the keywords “drunk,” “drinking,” “alcohol,” “booze,” “beer,” or “wine.”

social-media-source-for-content

There are official rankings that come out every year that pit universities in America against each other for the top “party school” in the nation. This project speaks to this notion in a new way, by looking to data from Twitter to back up those claims.

This campaign speaks to the ongoing conversation about the problem and prevalence of dangerous levels of college drinking in America. Again, using geo-bait and highly targeted digital PR outreach, this campaign was able to earn coverage at the Huffington Post, Adweek, Elite Daily, and BroBible.

3. Don’t overlook niche social platforms, like Yelp.

You don’t just have to stick to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram when creating content from social media data. There is a world of niche community platforms that can give you so much unique, interesting information that you can’t find anywhere else.

For instance, this content example uses popular restaurant review platform Yelp to glean insights about Americans’ dining preferences. What are the most popular cuisines in different cities across America? Using Yelp’s Fusion API, this study analyzed more than 120,000 restaurants in the U.S. with their ratings, pricing, and restaurant categories.

social-media-source-for-content

Yelp turned out to be a treasure trove of solid data. This visualization shows viewers the most unique restaurants for each city, the number of restaurants, and more. From this, you can see that Boston has more bagel restaurants than other cities, per capita.

This project saw a lot of success very quickly — once the exclusive went live on the Temple University section of ULOOP, it quickly syndicated to other U.S. university sites and earned over 100 pieces of unique media coverage.

4. Analyze tweets for advanced textual insights.

There are times when using a Twitter scrape just isn’t enough, and you need external analysis. In one of the coolest uses of Twitter data I’ve seen, a campaign called “Most Powerful Women” does just that.

IBM Watson Personality Insights is a free online tool by IBM that allows you to analyze text for prevalence of character traits. Typically you might use this tool to analyze speeches that people have given, or articles they’ve written. In the absence of that, you can use their own personal Twitter timeline to get samples of their writing.

social-media-source-for-content

The study sought to find out what the similarities and differences are between some of the top 100 “most powerful” women in the world. From Oprah to Queen Elizabeth, the takeaways gleaned from this study are numerous.

The exclusive to this project went to Bravo, a site that often covers powerful women for their audience, anyway.

For those of us who want to be powerful women too, we can learn which traits will take us all the way to the top, based on the most common traits shared by these famous and powerful women.

5. Conduct a survey for more actionable insights.

In my final example, we’ll look at #AdAnalysis, a campaign that combines an Instagram scrape methodology with a survey of 1,000 Americans to derive fascinating insights on the topic of influencer marketing on Instagram.

The campaign researchers sought to answer a few questions: What types of photos are popular for advertisements, and which demographics respond to promoted posts the most positively?

The first question was answered with a data scraping, and the second was answered with a survey.

Combining the two methods of research allowed the campaign to offer more well-rounded and actionable insights to journalists and news publishers.

social-media-source-for-content

This campaign earned coverage for our clients’ desired niche with placements on Adweek, eMarketer, MarketingProfs, and Tech.co.

Best Practices for Scraping Social Media for Content Marketing Campaigns

After producing over a hundred social media scrape campaigns over the past seven years, we’ve learned first-hand what types of social media campaigns excel during digital PR outreach.

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit, and Yelp all have their unique benefits and can offer valuable insight into topics across the spectrum.

In this post, I walked through five campaigns that used social scraping as a methodology. All three campaigns represented diverse subject matter: college education, sex and relationships, food, leadership, and advertising. This methodology can clearly be used across all verticals — for nearly any brand in any niche.

Here’s some tips to keep in mind when producing content with a social media scrape.

  • Hashtags are typically subjective, so keep projects lighthearted in nature in order to earn major coverage.
  • Stay away from using social scrape methodologies to talk about things that are scientific or close to health topics — people looking for health advice should get information from licensed professionals.
  • Make sure that no matter the topic, whatever you produce contributes to an ongoing conversation.
  • Exercise caution when combining newsjacking and the scrape methodology, because trending news topics can become old very quickly if you don’t earn coverage immediately.

Happy scraping!

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How to Succeed in Account-Based Advertising

Right now, Account-based Marketing (ABM) is the hottest B2B ticket in town — with 87% of marketers stating that it delivers better ROI than other marketing activities.

While for many people it may be a relatively new strategy, it has in fact been around for many years in different guises. In fact, you might’ve already heard the term as Key Account Management, Key Account Marketing, or Client-centric Marketing.

The objective of ABM is, quite simply, to treat one account as a market of one, i.e. to focus all your energy (and resources) on engaging, winning, and maintaining one named account.

Expanding on this, ABM has four underlying principles:

  1. Client centricity and insight
  2. Partnership between sales and marketing
  3. Focus on reputation, relationships and, ultimately, revenue
  4. Tailored programs and campaigns

Simple right? Well, the reality is that to justify this level of effort and resources the prize must be sufficiently large enough to warrant this expenditure. ABM therefore is best suited to complex, high ‘ticket price’ solutions with longer life-cycle sales, and where typically multiple stakeholders are involved.

Strategic ABM (one-to-one) and one-to-few (clusters of 15-20 accounts with shared commonality, i.e. vertical, industry, pain, challenge, etc.) have defined ABM for the last few years.

But there is a new ABM kid on the block who is shaking things up: one-to-many ABM.

The Rise of the ABM Tech Stack

One of the key reasons why ABM has become so popular and now forms a key part of any B2B marketing and sales playbook is the use of technology to automate and target those accounts (and individuals) you are looking to influence and convert.

The rise of one-to-many ABM programs targeting hundreds (and even thousands) of accounts has been largely possible due to the technological and data advances that are now available to B2B marketers.

Quite simply, one-to-many ABM would not have been possible several years ago.

Bev Burgess, one of the world’s leading ABM authorities, recently stated “One-to-many ABM now allows companies to have an ‘Always-on’ strategy to those accounts that are of interest to you'”.

What is Account-based Advertising?

The analogy most commonly used to describe the difference between ABM and Inbound Marketing is fishing with spears vs. fishing with nets. As the image below shows, ABM is the inverse of Inbound Marketing:

 

 

Image Source

Account selection is the starting point. As such, being able, from the outset, to target named accounts and the relevant Decision Making Unit (DMU) within the account is the foundation of any successful Account-based Marketing program.

And this is where Account-based Advertising comes in. Account-based Advertising allows you to hyper-target and hyper-personalize digital marketing campaigns to these named accounts.

Simply put, account-based advertising means your digital advertising campaigns are highly focused and centered on only those accounts you wish to engage, penetrate, and win.

Account-based advertising allows you:

  • Amplify your digital advertising campaigns to increase the chances of winning a deal. Expanding your retargeting from the original website visitor to the wider DMU will increase your chances significantly.
  • We’re familiar with the large number of target account contacts involved in a decision making process (6-10 according to Gartner). Digital advertising allows you to reach and influence this wider important group.
  • Focus your marketing spend and drive higher ROI of your digital advertising budget by targeting those accounts that display intent signals.

How to be Successful with Account-based Advertising

Let’s take a look at what makes up a successful account-based advertising campaign.

1. Consider your account-based advertising options.

There are many digital advertising options available (and the number is growing). There are a large number of digital advertising partners and ABM platforms that can provide access to these channel tactics.

Ensure you carefully choose your tactics and channels, based on your marketing budget, messaging, and audience.

A) Programmatic Advertising

Many of us are familiar with this form of advertising. These advertisements are generated via cookie-based targeting and the advertisements appear natively in-channel, delivering a far more natural impact. The ads are served up on websites and apps through online platforms such as Google, Avocet, or AdRoll publication networks.

A subset of Programmatic Advertising allows you to target the actual device that conducted the search, as well. This is a step forward from traditional IP-based targeting, particularly in light of the explosion in remote working in the last few months which will undoubtedly continue for some time.

B) LinkedIn Paid Advertising

LinkedIn has become a major player in the digital advertising arena. They offer a (growing) number of formats and options for you to target the Accounts and/or Persona of interest to you:

Advertising options such as Sponsored Content allow you to deliver content to the LinkedIn feed of members beyond those who are following you or your company — which enables you to target specific prospects within target Accounts. The important benefit is specific content can be delivered at-scale.

Additionally, LinkedIn paid advertising allows you to test different ad units depending on the campaign objectives, which stage of the funnel to which you’re looking to promote, and the scale of the tactic/channel.

C) Content Syndication

This is a common awareness stage tactic you might use for one-to-many ABM to promote your content across a wide B2B content syndication network of websites, blogs, social media, etc. (To learn more about how to syndicate your content, take a look at Content Syndication: What It Is & How to Do It Successfully).

D) Retargeting

We’re all familiar with retargeting, although we may not know it. Did you ever notice that ads appear related to your recent searches when you’re reading your favorite blog content or perusing Facebook? This is thanks to retargeting.

Retargeting is a feature that lets you customize your display ads campaign for people who have previously visited your site, and tailor your ads (using dynamic retargeting) to these visitors when they browse the web and use social media apps.

The key here is not to tire your audience with the same ads but to constantly refresh and always be relevant to your audience.

2. Keep your audience and persona top-of-mind when personalizing content.

Data-backed buyer persona research is the foundation of any ABM campaign and this is certainly true with any digital advertising campaign that accompanies it.

Personalization is key. Desk research and in-depth insight reports will shine a light on the account and the industry to which it belongs. Further research into the DMU and named individuals within the account will inform your messaging and digital advertising strategy.

Keeping your audience in-mind will ensure your content resonates.

Remember that your message will be read by human beings who are facing specific challenges, so make it a priority to understand their pain points and challenges.

Always ensure that your message is empathetic, builds rapport, and focuses on how you can help solve their challenges — rather than how great your business is.

Putting your personas at the heart of your campaign strategy will help you see success with your Account-based advertising campaign. Always review which of your previous campaigns have resonated strongly with your audience — what content formats and language do they respond to best?

3. Make your messages as relevant as possible to your target audience.

With an ABM one-to-one campaign, you should research the target company in detail to make sure your messaging is as relevant as possible, speaking to both the challenges of the persona and the organization at-large. With a one-to-few program, you might customize the message by industry vertical or sales challenge.

Even at the one-to-many level, consider how you can add light-touch personalization and keep it relevant. Review whether the advertising tactic/channel you choose enables you to add some helpful personalization tokens, including first name, last name, company name, job title, and industry.

As a general rule, it’s best not to get too carried away with the number of CTAs you use. Rather than presenting users with a short message and five CTAs, start by compelling them to take the most important action first (such as downloading an ebook) and then stagger the additional options using the sequence to ensure there’s enough context around each offer. The ‘ask’ should be crystal clear!

4. Consider your searcher’s intent and use the right keywords to match it.

Intent data can provide valuable insights to help you ensure that you target only those Accounts that are in an active buyer’s journey. The image below illustrates the process to narrow down an initial ‘in-house’ Target Account list by a) looking at your first party data — who is engaged with your brand? and b) using intent data to see which Accounts are in an active buyer journey.

This intersection of first and third-party data is the sweet spot and where your Account-based Advertising can be deployed at will.

Equally, when it comes to the topics and messaging you’ll be sharing, intent data can ensure they will resonate with your intended audience. What keywords are they trending around and does your messaging answer the questions they’re actively trying to solve?

account-based-advertisingImage Source

Work any relevant keywords into your sequence … without going overboard with buzzwords, of course!

Even though your audience may be trending around multiple topics, it’s best to keep your messaging focused on just one topic to avoid confusion. This ad format works especially well when you have multiple assets around a single topic — for instance, an ebook, video, and blog article. This enables users who aren’t ready to convert yet to explore some of your other content and increases your brand awareness within the audience.

Top tip: If you only want users to take a single action, then consider using LinkedIn InMail messaging or a Sponsored update, instead.

It’s All In Your Hands

Account-based Marketing is clearly here to stay, and more and more organizations will adopt or expand their existing ABM programs.

Data and technology now open up a myriad of opportunities to B2B marketers to deliver a hyper-personalized experience that will only increase as new ways are discovered to seek out and target the accounts you wish to win or grow. Account-based advertising will be a thrilling area to watch over the coming months and years.

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Author: Declan Mulkeen

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How to Master Website Personalization

In the summer, there’s so many things I enjoy: The sun, the temperature, chilled drinks, BBC’s Pride and Prejudice miniseries, but most of all … my summer subscription box.

The seasonal subscription box I’m subscribed to gives me a little something extra to look forward to every couple of months, and the company has a knack for making me feel like a valued customer.

In my opinion, it starts with the website. Every time I log on, the homepage is configured to my account, browsing history, and activity:

Example of a personalized website.

The dashboard greets me by name and gives me an update about my next box, like when it’ll be shipped. Next to that, I can look at order history and manage account settings. Underneath, I can look at what I received the previous season with the option to purchase something I really love.

Websites that are designed to adapt based on previous behavior make me feel like a valued customer. Every time I visit FabFitFun, I know I won’t have to follow multiple links for updated shipping information because it’s displayed at the top of the page. This tells me that the company thought of a question I might have and solved for it beforehand.

If you’re one of the 63% of marketers ready to update their website, let’s talk about an essential: personalization. Personalized websites deliver a customized experience to visitors. They configure based on a visitor’s behavior on the website, demographics, and interests.

88% of marketers believe that customers expect a personalized website experience when they visit. Static, generic websites are becoming a thing of the past. Given these figures, a multi-channel personalization strategy should be among your top priorities.

However, only 12% of marketers are satisfied with their personalization efforts. Personalization helps with traffic, customer retention, and sales. But if you aren’t experiencing that with yours, it can be easy to think you’re doing something wrong.

Maybe there’s something you can be doing better. Let’s look at examples of personalized websites that are doing it right, and tools that’ll help you deliver the best visit possible to customers.

How does website personalization work?

When I visit Disney+ or Hulu after a long day of work, I don’t feel like searching for new things to watch; Instead, I’d rather jump right back into The Bachelor. Hulu tracks which shows I’m currently watching and my homepage configures accordingly — so I can quickly play them without having to go to the search bar. When I do want to browse my options, though, the recommendations based on my interests have me covered.

Hulu’s team thought about the intentions I might have for streaming, like to unwind after a long day, and streamlined the process of catching up on shows by offering them on my homepage. This makes me feel like a valued customer, and knowing I can easily jump back in makes me want to stay a customer. And, when I’m browsing my options, I spend a lot of time going through my recommendations, increasing my time spent on the service.

My challenges are solved before I identify them, making me an advocate for the service. This is how website personalization adds to the customer experience — by making the consumer’s life easier.

You can use website personalization to give customers recommendations based on what they like, and offer premium content to repeat visitors. Ultimately, it tailors content based on your buyer personas to delight your audience.

Website personalization happens with data. Data that’s collected by the website is then used to add unique features to homepages, enhancing the browsing experience for the visitor. For example, you may be recommended products on an ecommerce website based on your past browsing history the next time you visit.

Customers want their website visit to be individualized because it makes them feel valued. Having the security of knowing that I can easily repeat an order on Amazon makes me feel as if they know what I want — it’s the joy of being a “regular,” just online.

Personalization can happen in a variety of ways; It’s not just regulated to a fancy homepage. Having CTAs that are relevant to a specific audience is personalization. Product recommendations and location-based copy are also examples.

Even though subscription services and streaming platforms are probably the most prominent examples of website personalization, nearly every company can benefit from having it on their website. Let’s look at some ways B2Bs, ecommerce, and software websites are using it to engage audiences.

1. English Tea Store

I’m a huge loose leaf tea fan. Unfortunately, new flavors are hard to find — so I decided to get international with my next purchase. That’s how I found English Tea Store, which offers a variety of teas, tea accessories, and sweets.

Today, I visited the website for the first time, and I explored how the ecommerce experience was personalized for leads. When I found a tea I liked, I was brought to a page that was full of customized options:

Personalized offers from English Tea Store

Teas I might like based were displayed to the right, catching my attention. Additionally, I was given a special offer as a lead: I could sign up for the website and use the special code for a percentage off of my first order. A completed form is one way websites collect data to improve future visits.

I appreciated having a discount offer right off the bat; it gave me an incentive to complete that form. The recommendations streamlined browsing the products on the website. Instead of becoming overwhelmed with the many offerings, I was able to navigate through a smaller set of recommendations.

If your business has a large array of products like English Tea Company, use personalization to offer recommendations based on the products viewers are exploring. To gain leads, consider adding a special offer to first-time visitors like a discount — give them an incentive to fill out the form.

2. HubSpot Academy

Every quarter, I challenge myself to learn something new. Online courses like HubSpot Academy make that easy for me with personalized homepages.

When I log into the Academy homepage, this is what I see:

Personalized courses from HubSpot Academy.

The page greets me by name and lists the courses in progress. Unlike the first example, I’ve been using Academy for a while, so every time I come back, I can quickly jump right back in where I left off.

Personalization doesn’t have to be overly complicated. If you’re a B2B marketer that prefers minimalist design, think about simple elements that will still give you the results you need. Greeting the user by name and showing previous interactions are great ways to make the customer feel valued.

3. AccuWeather

Every morning, I check the weather so I can dress accordingly. Even though I work from home, I like to match my wardrobe with Boston’s unpredictable forecasts. On AccuWeather, I don’t have to type a thing to find what I need.

Accuweather's GPS personalization.

AccuWeather’s website uses location data to automatically generate the current forecast in that area. This is a great example of how a company guessed what visitors would want to know, then used personalization to cater to them.

If location-based data is huge for your company’s offerings, like Zipcar or Airbnb, offer visitors suggestions based on where they are in the world. It’ll make them feel like you’re an expert in offerings that only locals know.

4. Google News

If I’m on a website I visit frequently, I instantly go to the section marked “For you.” Google News is no exception. This app looks at my browsing history on Google and pulls relevant, recent news articles that I may like in the “For you” section.

For instance, I’ve been really into searching for sci-fi movies and pasta recipes lately, so I had quite an interesting mix of articles for today:

Google News personalized news sources.

Google pulls from different sources, including websites I visit, to give a range of options for me to read. Remember, personalization doesn’t have to be limited to one goal. You can use the data you have from customers to think of new content to offer them.

5. Topshop

Online shopping for clothing is tough sometimes. Often, it’s hard to know what you’re looking for with so many options. Especially if you don’t know your sizes. That’s why I really like Topshop’s personalization.

The website has a quiz that gives visitors an entire edit, wardrobe, and outfit recommendations based on the answers. The quiz asked me to choose clothes I liked, what I wanted suggested, and my budget. For sizes, I go to choose from competitors I frequent, like Forever 21 and H&M, and use their sizing details to inform Topshop of mine.

After taking the quiz, this is the screen I saw (Not before creating an account, so the website could store my data):

A Topshop personalized wardrobe.

I loved that my wardrobe had a name. Plus, I liked the organization — I could choose recommendations by piece, season, occasion, or outfit. It was also cool to see what closet staples to have and avoid.

Topshop’s team thought about the worries I have about online shopping and solved it with a quiz that personalized my visit. Offer a quiz or chatbot that answers questions and uncertainties first-time visitors might face. Use them to create a page just for that visitor or lead them to the one they need.

We’ve seen how personalization can look when it’s done well. So next, let’s talk about some best practices to keep in mind when you’re setting up personalization on your website.

Personalization Best Practices

When website personalization works, it can account for a delightful, interactive website visit for visitors. But what about when things don’t work so perfectly?

For example, what if a repeat customer visited your website and got an offer for leads? Or, what if your website gives inaccurate recommendations to audience segments? Websites that are personalized, but done poorly, may result in a loss of leads or customers.

To make sure your website aces personalization, let’s look at some best practices.

1. Solve for your buyer personas.

Buyer personas are fictionalized accounts of your ideal customer. They help you identify challenges, interests, and demographic information about your audience. Figuring these things out helps you improve the effectiveness of marketing messaging.

Use personalization to create content that will be valuable to your personas. To illustrate, let’s say you’re part of a computer company and you have two buyer personas: The university student and the professional.

The university student is looking for an affordable, functional laptop that’ll allow them to complete assignments without hassle, while the professional is looking for a sleek computer with all the bells and whistles.

To personalize your website for those personas, you can create two content offers for each; One that advertises an upcoming webinar, “Choosing Your College Computer,” and one that promotes an ebook for the best professional laptops by industry. That way, when these personas visit your website, they’ll see special offers that are specific to their needs.

When you personalize according to the challenges, or needs, of your personas, they’ll feel like a valued advocate for your company.

2. Make the design simple.

Poor personalization can be a result of too many moving parts at once. Would you want a first-time visitor to access your homepage and be bombarded with content offers, their name plastered across the banner, and product recommendations from every section of your website?

All of these functions, while helpful, can be overwhelming when working together — and lower the load time of the webpage. To avoid a busy webpage, keep your personalization simple. Choose one or two elements that will be the most useful for your company and audience.

Think of Amazon or a streaming service. The personalization tool, recommendations, used on homepages are usually separated into minimal, relevant categories. Keep categories based on genres or audience preference — Like “Horror movies” or “Based on your last purchase.”

3. Keep your goals in mind.

Identify the reasons why you’re personalizing your website. In addition to thinking of your customers, keep those goals at the forefront of personalization decisions.

Let’s say one of your goals is to increase customer retention. How can you keep customers coming back, outside of retargeted ads and emails? Design webpages for returners that feel familiar to them and are easy to navigate.

Save login information, make the homepage greet a customer by name, and display recommendations based on their recent purchases. That way, when customers return to your site, they’ll find it easy to navigate and repurchase. In addition, they’ll recognize that your company wants its audience to feel catered to directly, even online.

The ease and delight of your website will keep customers coming back for quick purchases. Because you made personalization choices based on your goals, you were able to delight your customer and accomplish your company’s objectives.  

4. Make sure your data is quality.

We know by now that website personalization is powered by data. This data needs to be accurate to make an impact. When you make forms, add fields that will give you the right information for personalization.

One way to do this easily, especially if you have an ecommerce website, is to use chatbots or quizzes. Think back to the style quiz from Topshop and how the questions were related to products and preferences. Use chatbots to answer FAQs leads might have.

A personalized chatbot example.

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These tactics will give you the data you need to make accurate personalization choices. If you don’t know about your audience’s interests, it can be hard to know which strategies you should implement with your design.

The right data helps your audience do what you want them to, and nurture them along in their buyer’s journey. You’ll have those insights about what they want and how you can help.

5. Pick the right tools.

Behind every great personalized website is fantastic software. Choosing the right software is important — it’s what powers those beautiful web pages. A CRM and a CMS work together to make this happen.

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is what you’ll use to manage and organize customers, leads, and your relationships with them. It’s what will store that quality data you need.

This data can range from completed forms and chatbot conversations to lead tracking. Look at the pages your visitors are returning to often and the time spent on pages to personalize offers.

Then, your content management system (CMS) will allow you to implement what you’ve gathered on your website. It will change based on the data it has about specific customers. Data, like location and returning visitors, can be logged by a CMS.

Next, let’s talk about some software options you can use to build your website.

Website Personalization Tools

For ease, look for software that has a CRM and CMS rolled into one, like HubSpot. Software should be simple to operate and its tools should be useful to your customers and business goals.

1. HubSpot

Price: $300/mo. For CMS Hub Professional

HubSpot’s CMS allows you to build and manage a stunning, personalized website. You can also leverage forms and chatbots to enhance the options you give customers to customize their experience with the software.

A personalized website example for HubSpot.

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The drag and drop editor in HubSpot’s software makes it easy to add smart rules or personalized features. Using the CMS, you’ll collect data about the behavior of website visitors and use those insights to enhance your website.

You can also test different web pages to find out which options are the most valuable for customers. This can help you decide on a final personalization design that’s exciting and functional. If you’re looking for an all-in-one software package that’s easy to use and scalable, check out HubSpot.

2. Barilliance

Price: Contact for pricing

Ecommerce platform Barilliance offers tools to personalize online storefronts. Options, like relevant recommendations, can help reduce shopping cart abandonment and close more sales. With Barilliance, you can optimize and customize shopping trips for every visitor.

A personalized website made using Barillance.

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Pushys website was created using Barilliance. In the image above, notice how you can add relevant product recommendations to fit the visitor’s interests. There are two categories that show off the expansive catalog of Pushys’ health products.

If you have an ecommerce website that you want to tailor to every visitor, consider using Barilliance’s campaign and website features to make that a breeze.

3. Qubit

Price: Contact for pricing

Personalization using Qubit is just as unique as the websites you can create with the software. Offerings are categorized into three parts: Start, Grow, and Pro. These categories target company goals and are separated by experience level.

Qubit Start is for those who just want personalization foundational tools, like chatbots or recommendations. Grow is meant for solving more specific goals — for instance, integrating customer data across platforms. Pro, on the other hand, offers different packages for you to choose.

Every Qubit category comes equipped with the same base features: tests, integrations, recommendations, and omnichannel personalization. If you’re looking for software that has tools fit for your skill level and business size, look into Qubit.

4. SiteSpect

Price: Contact for pricing

If user behavior is one of your biggest goals, SiteSpect is a great option. Its tools offer personalization that is based on user data, like previous visits, sessions, and omnichannel behavior.

This data is collected by SiteSpect, which you can analyze and use to customize web pages for audience segments. When you create segments with the software, choose from an array of factors that will enhance the impact of your site, like location and device type.

Home decor company, Temple & Webster, uses SiteSpect. The “Room ideas” tab offers tons of different rooms styled using the company’s products. As you scroll down the page, you can see similar ideas based on the one you chose initially.

A personalized website made using SiteSpect.

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This website’s personalization features are very interactive and cover a range of decor styles, so it’s easy to find furniture attuned to your interests.

SiteSpect can help you build a website like Temple & Webster’s — and track their effectiveness among your visitors. When you analyze campaign performance, you can know what’s working and what’s not, to better configure your design for customers.

5. Hyperise

Price: Starts at $29/mo.

If your company is a B2B, Hyperise was created just for you. With it, you can use hyper-personalization (using data to recommend products) to boost conversions, all without coding experience.

You’ll be able to use tools that nurture leads such as IP lookup and form completion. For company branding, you can add your logo, profile images, and dynamic text. Additionally, you can create multiple, custom, CTAs to engage your audience.

Hyperise website personalization example.

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This software lets you pull data from your CRM and upload it into Hyperise, so the platform is highly integratable. Hyperise also offers an extension you can download to make it easy to continue on website building.

Maybe you’re in search of a personalization tool that will integrate with your HubSpot, Salesforce, Shopify, or Google Sheets account. For that, Hyperise could be the solution.

When you visit sites that give you an amazing personalization experience, what about it makes it great? Pull influence from your favorite brands if you find yourself stuck. But ultimately, personalization allows you to take a decent website to one that behaves like customers expect it to, every time.

My subscription box order shipped today, and I can see when it will arrive from my homepage. While I excitedly await its arrival, I can’t wait to see what you come up with for your shiny, new, personalized website.

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Author: Kayla Carmicheal

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Everything You Need to Know About Twitter Ecommerce Marketing in 2020

Twitter was one of the first social media platforms I ever joined, but it wasn’t nearly as fancy as it is today. Now, there are a variety of features you can use to take your ecommerce business to the next level.

In fact, according to Twitter, its users are 2.7x more likely to purchase a product after seeing it on the platform. Partner with influencers and that purchase intent increases by 5.2x! Needless to say, Twitter can be a powerful marketing tool for your business, whether you’re new to the platform or growing steadily.

Without further ado, let’s walk through some strategies and examples to help you perfect your Twitter presence

Twitter Ecommerce Marketing Strategies

1. Design an eye-catching profile.

To start, your Twitter profile should be optimized to make a great first impression and eventually generate sales. To do this, you’ll need consistent branding across your profile layout, which means your cover photo and profile picture should be complementary and visually appealing.

The profile picture will likely be a picture of your logo or something that represents your business while the cover photo will further communicate your brand, mission, or message.

As for your bio, this section is like the elevator pitch of your business. Think of this section as another opportunity to spark interest in those who come across your profile. You can use keywords relevant to your business here for a more targeted approach. Also, don’t forget to add a link to your ecommerce site so people know where to find your products!

Lastly, you can use the pinned tweet feature to keep a tweet at the top of your profile. This feature is great for emphasizing a message or promoting new products.

Here is an example of a well-optimized Twitter profile from Away, a travel & luggage ecommerce company:

twitter ecommerce marketing strategy featuring away's eye-catching profileSource

2. Engage with your fanbase.

What’s great about Twitter is that it’s made for 24/7 interactions and constant activity, whereas very frequent posting from brands on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook may feel disingenuous and spam-like.

This perk means you should always be interacting with your followers and fans. To do this, keep an eye out for your mentions (tweets including @yourusername) and respond to them. You can also retweet and favorite mentions to give a nod to these users.

Another way to engage with your fanbase is by sending interactive tweets. Question prompts or Twitter polls, tweets where you can create polls and see instant results, are perfect for this.

You can ask about topics related to your product or even something entertaining relevant to your industry. Polls are also another way to gather opinions, so there’s some bonus market research! Here’s an example of a poll that Old Spice included in one of their Tweets:

3. Grow your following.

Beyond your existing followers, it’s also important to grow your audience to increase your brand awareness and attract more customers to your ecommerce store. From a technical standpoint, having more followers also allows you to distribute your content and get the word out about whatever it is you sell faster.

Garner new attention by participating in Twitter conversations relevant to your business. A strategic way to be part of the conversation on a large scale is by using trending Twitter hashtags. With trending hashtags in your tweets, you’re tapping into an entirely new network of people who may find interest in what you have to offer.

On a smaller scale, you can reach new users by searching keywords relevant to your ecommerce business using Twitter’s search function. You’ll find conversations and questions about these keywords that you can offer some value in, which may lead someone to tap on your profile and give you a follow in return. You can go about this practice yourself, but here are some social listening tools to lend a hand.

To acknowledge new followers, set up your account with automated direct messages, which send new followers a customized message. Your message should be friendly, welcoming, and show appreciation for the new follow. An automated DM that feels sincere can begin a relationship and move a prospective customer forward in their buyer’s journey.

4. Schedule your content.

With Twitter, the more active you are, the better. Having constant activity boosts your brand reputation and keeps your business top of mind for prospective customers, assuming your tweets are meaningful and speak to the audience. You can enlist a social media management tool to help you maintain your presence by scheduling your posts in advance.

There are also optimal posting times on Twitter you can take advantage of when scheduling your content. B2C companies experience higher clickthrough rates on weekends while B2B companies see more success on weekdays. B2C companies also find the best times to post in the day to be 8 to 10 a.m., 12 p.m., and 7-9 p.m.

Scheduling your content is also a great way to plan ahead for special occasions such as holidays and cultural events. Joining conversations regarding these topics is another opportunity to promote your ecommerce business, so think in advance of how you want to craft your message.

Though scheduling your content can make your workflow more efficient, it doesn’t mean you can just schedule and forget. Twitter is a platform that is very much about the here and now as news and trending topics change by the hour. A mix of scheduled posts and live tweets are a perfect combination to grow your exposure.

5. Make the best of Twitter Ads.

Twitter offers a variety of ads depending on your objective. For ecommerce, the best types of ads are awareness and website click campaigns which promote your brand and generate conversions respectively.

For awareness ads, you will be billed for every 1,000 impressions and for website ads, you will be billed for every click to your website. You can also use remarketing in your ads to target people similar to those who have visited your website.

When creating ads, there are several tips to keep in mind for best performance. Twitter users crave short and sweet content, so keep your ads concise and to the point. You also want to make sure your ad copy is friendly, human, and approachable to match Twitter’s conversational atmosphere.

Beyond text, visuals are also a helpful tool to use since images and videos can speak louder than words. They can also be a great way to provide better context for your audience. Below is an example from Daily Harvest of a website click campaign so you can see how all of these characteristics of an effective Twitter ad complement each other:

For a step-by-step outline on how to set up Twitter Ads, check out our simple guide.

Twitter Ecommerce Marketing Examples

1. Alexa

Amassing 1.1million followers, Amazon’s Alexa is a fan favorite on Twitter for its funny and conversational tweets. Just a look at Alexa’s profile can provide a good idea of the account’s personality.

twitter ecommerce marketing example - AlexaSource

To break it down, the branding of this account is well done because the bio is written in such a human tone and is comparable to the typical Twitter bio of any other person. Additionally, its Twitter handle, @alexa99, is like what you would find of the average Twitter user handle, making the account much more relatable.

Alexa is also no stranger to sending polls and asking prompts to create engagement with its fans. Its prompts are also personal and lighthearted, so users who choose to share their opinions are happy to do so and feel like they are part of the conversation.

2. Zappos

twitter ecommerce marketing example - ZapposSource

Zappos is known for its phenomenal customer service, which certainly carries over to their Twitter. The Zappos Twitter account managers focus on social listening and reply to their mentions or relevant tweets almost every hour, allowing them to win over new fans and continue to impress loyal followers.

Below is an example of how Zappos uses social listening:

Although Zappos was not directly mentioned with an “@,” they were still quick to hop in and provide a solution for the potential customer. Zappos also put the cherry on top by providing a direct link to solve the customer’s problem, accelerating the customer’s buying process while standing out against its competitors.

Above is another example of Zappos keeping in touch with customers. They replied in a witty way and also retweeted the customer’s mention. It may be easier to leave a satisfied customer be, but why not join the party and celebrate their satisfaction with them?

3. Warby Parker

twitter ecommerce marketing example - warby parkerSource

Beyond celebrating customers, it’s also important to show customers your values and your support for them. In light of the continuing Black Lives Matter movement, Warby Parker has used Twitter to show their stance through words and actions.

The above shows Warby Parker’s statement on the Black Lives Matter movement. The company not only shows solidarity but has also gone beyond performative activism by sharing what actions they will take to tackle the issue.

As a business with influence and power, their allyship and support for anti-racism speaks volumes to their target audience and has the potential to dramatically improve their customer and employee relations.

4. Fenty Beauty

twitter ecommerce marketing example - fenty beautySource

Right off the bat, Fenty Beauty differentiates itself by using a hashtag in its bio. This makes the brand easier to find for people who are searching for cruelty-free beauty products on the platform. However, if you choose to put hashtags in your Twitter bio, one is enough. Try not to flood your description with hashtags since it can be off-putting.

What the Fenty Beauty Twitter account does well while selling beauty & cosmetics products is show real use cases of their collection that other customers can relate to.

In the above example, Rihanna, founder of Fenty Beauty, shows a short demo of one of the company’s lipsticks. This video is an effective way to reel in people who may be on the lookout for similar products. On top of that, video content on Twitter is a useful tool to cut through the text-focused platform and grab the attention of more potential customers.

For your ecommerce business, consider how you can show your audience why they should care about your product through your tweets. This could be in the form of video demonstrations or perhaps a before and after comparison.

5. Chewy

twitter ecommerce marketing example - chewySource

Chewy is an online one-stop-shop for all pet needs, from pups to lizards. Chewy’s Twitter account lives up to its slogan and brings together pet owners of all kinds. Pet owners tweet at the account and, similarly to the previous accounts we reviewed, Chewy replies in a way that feels personal. Here’s an example of what I mean by this:

In this customer interaction, Chewy was able to provide a solution while showing empathy, something customers often crave from businesses.

Chewy also takes advantage of their large Twitter following to promote their blog posts, which provide helpful information for the various types of pet owners their target audience includes. Their insights are relevant, valuable, and prove how much the company cares for pets and parents.

Phew! That’ll give you plenty to think about. If you want more examples of successful Twitter accounts, we’ve got you covered here. At the end of the day, Twitter is a top social media platform that can bring your business values and mission to life.

It’s also a powerful marketing tool to tune into your audience, build relationships with your followers, and boost sales. For more detailed information on exactly how to raise brand awareness and increase sales on Twitter, see our ultimate guide to Twitter marketing.

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Extended Marketing Mix: What It Is and Why It’s Useful

Cooking is my favorite pastime. It’s so much fun to find new recipes and learn about new ingredients. Plus, (usually) the results are delicious. Finding new recipes and ingredients is nothing short of delightful.

One meal I love to make is grilled cheese — but not just any ole’ grilled cheese. Instead, I use plant-based ingredients and add two condiments: butter, and mayonnaise (trust me).

If I were making grilled cheese for me, I’d have to add some things. First, all of my ingredients have to be plant-based due to my dietary restrictions. Second, I’d add two more condiments: butter and mayonnaise (trust me).

On its own, cheese and bread is a great duo. But with a few additions, a nice duo becomes an excellent mix — one that I’m always excited to eat.

Like a perfect sandwich, every marketing structure calls for good strategies, or “ingredients,” that make it great. Those “ingredients” are generally referred to as a marketing mix, and can be summed up in four categories: Product, pricing, placement, and promotion.

While the marketing mix describes the basics for product marketing, it doesn’t have room for services marketing. That’s where the extended marketing mix comes into play. And, just like my vegan grilled cheeses, a few additional changes can elevate your service marketing structure to the next level.

Here, let’s dive into what extended marketing mix means, and how it can help

Extended Marketing Mix vs. Marketing Mix

The marketing mix pillars work together to help you make business decisions that’ll define marketing strategy and activities. Identifying these pillars points out what you need, where your company excels, and where it can improve.

The four pillars of the original marketing mix are as follows:

  • Product — This is what your company sells.
  • Place — This identifies how you will sell the product to customers in their preferred way to shop. For instance, will you sell your product on a website, or in a brick-and-mortar shop?
  • Price — This determines how much money you need to sell your product for to hit revenue goals while remaining within price ranges determined by the industry at-large.
  • Promotion — This is where you flesh out the methods you use to engage customers. Promotion, selling, PR, sales, and ads are how businesses commonly communicate with their target market.

Notice how the marketing mix naturally works together. Products need a price, place to be sold, and promotions to reach an intended audience. Promotions need a product, price, and place to make that messaging effective. Ultimately, any way you look at the mix, you’ll find how the other three fit.

On the other hand, the extended marketing mix is just that — an extension of the original pillars. Instead of just four components, there’s an additional three. These three allow for a more complete, updated mix.

The extended marketing mix came along when marketers noticed the original was outdated and needed a few extra pillars. With the additions, the marketing mix now allows for services marketing.

  • People — Describes the people behind the company. No matter the role, the people working with the product are as essential as customers. They advocate for the company and communicate the business’ value to their customers.

Example: The baristas at my local coffee shop create an exceptional customer experience. Of course, the lattes are good, but my favorite barista greets me by name and knows my order, and that ultimately keeps me coming back. A company is only as good as the people behind the scenes.

  • Processes — Identifies how you will meet customer expectations. Outline what you will do to deliver a fantastic consumer experience every time. Consider creating standard operating procedures (SOPs) to solidify processes.

Example: Let’s revisit the coffee shop scenario. Baristas have a recipe to follow when making various drinks that make sure the customer gets their order the way they expect.

  • Physical Evidence — Notes the physical elements needed to complete the mix. Even if a company provides services, there are physical aspects that companies use to delight customers and set themselves apart from competitors, like promotional materials.

Example: The coffee shop in my neighborhood thrives and defines itself with being a local business among the mass of coffee chains in my area. Everything is local — the beans, the mugs, and the decor comes from the Boston area — and that’s how it’s different from a massive chain.

The extended mix, like the original, works with the rest of the mix.

First, let’s talk about how the three Ps can intertwine. People at your company have to follow the processes set in place, using physical evidence. We can also say the processes set in place define the role of people and physical evidence.

If we look at the both mixes, we see the same. Companies need the right people to execute promotion of the product or service. To put the connection between the mixes in a different way, the extended mix is a customer-facing toolkit for enhancing the marketing mix.

The extended marketing mix helps companies define their marketing strategy in a well-rounded system. Identifying each portion of the mix gets you one step closer to a functional, complete marketing plan.

Consider using the extended marketing mix to help you make business decisions that sets your company apart from competitors. For instance, fleshing out the tools needed for promotion involves coming up with an individualized marketing campaign audiences love.

Marketing mixes are considered a foundational part of any organization. If you are just starting to define a business plan, use this strategy to help with budgeting for marketing. The different elements of the mix helps figure out costs.

Every pillar, especially price and promotion, help you determine where to allocate your budget. For example, you have to determine a fair price for your product, and finalize how much you’re willing to put towards other factors, such as promotion and physical evidence.

Now that you know a little more about the extended marketing mix, are you going to use it to figure out your next campaign’s expenses? Remember, this strategy isn’t just for start-ups. If you’re struggling to define a successful strategy, identifying these pillars can be a helpful organizational tool.

Marketing mixes and their extension. Cheese and bread. Chai leaves and hot water. Duos are best when they work together — how are you going to make your marketing mixes work together for your company?

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Author: Kayla Carmicheal

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