How Hunter Got 100+ Mentions in 3 Months With Cold Outreach

Google ranking factors are constantly changing, but links remain one of the most critical factors used by search engines.

If you want your website’s pages to rank in search and attract tons of organic traffic, you will undoubtedly need links.

Good links are like “votes”, which help search engines identify the best content to show for specific search queries.

There’re tons of link building strategies you can try depending on your goals and needs. With some strategies, you can get those important “votes” and increase referral traffic and gain more visibility for your company.

At Hunter, we’re constantly improving our link profile and getting more visibility for our brand. We’ve tested tons of link-building strategies, and there’s one that showed us the best results — link building via “best” listicles.

In less than three months, we got 96 new links from 54 domains, were mentioned in 33 new product listings, and upgraded our positions in 17 listings.

How did we do it? Read this guide, and I’ll show you how we implemented this strategy step-by-step.

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First things first: What are “listicles”?

A “listicle” is an article made of a list — typically with some kind of extra detail below each item. This is a popular format to review products or services as it’s easy to skim to find important information.

Titles tell you what to expect (e.g., each title could be the name of the product or service), and each paragraph/chapter has a similar format, making it easy to compare many items quickly.

Here is an excellent example of a listicle created by HubSpot: Sales Prospecting: 26 Tips, Techniques & Tools to Succeed.

This is a review of the best techniques and tools for prospecting, which has a similar structure and approach to each product.

Why is it essential for you to get featured in listicles?

Listicles are powerful tools for product comparison and independent views on specific products or services.

Just imagine: You’re new to sales prospecting. You barely know anything about the popular tools on the market, and you need to find the best one for your team. To get some information about the topic you don’t know much about, you typically go to Google and type in something like “best prospecting tools” or “best sales prospecting tools review.”

You click “search” and stumble upon a similar search result page which consists mainly of listicles:

best prospecting tools search results

At Hunter, our key product is related to sales prospecting, and we wanted to be present in many listicles (especially those that generate high organic traffic).

By appearing in those listicles, you can get:

  • More visibility for your brand: Just imagine someone searching for “best [your product/service].” You appear number one on Google in the first independent listicle and are mentioned in all top positions in the listicles below.
  • New backlinks: By appearing in those listicles in 95% of cases, you’ll get one or a couple of backlinks to your website (only in rare instances do editors not include external links).

There are also cases when you can be already featured in the listicle of “10 Best [Tools/Products] for XYZ” as the #10 item that gets minimum visibility. So, your goal might also be to improve your position in that listicle.

Now, let’s jump right into the exact steps and strategies that will help you to get dozens of mentions in the listicles in no time.

Step 1: Collect prospects for outreach.

The first step for this strategy would be to find all prospects relevant to outreach for the mention in the listicle.

There are two approaches to do it: manual and automated.

Using a manual approach, you Google all searches related to your product or service with modifiers.

For example: “best + [your product category]” or “top tools for [your product category].”

The most popular modifiers to find listicles would be:

  • Best
  • List
  • Tools
  • Top
  • Software
  • Review
  • Free
  • Toolkit
  • Services

You can use these modifiers in combination with your product or service category.

At Hunter, we created a simple spreadsheet that listed everything relevant to our product terms and a list of modifiers that can be used with those terms. Then, the most successful combinations like “best tools for email lookup” or “best free software to verify email” generate.

You might prefer using an automated approach, which allows you to find more prospects in less time (compared to Googling it all manually).

You need an Ahrefs account for it. If you don’t have a subscription, there is a $7/week trial, so that might be enough for you to find all of the prospects you need.

In Ahrefs, enter your keywords into the Keywords Explorer and export the results in CSV.

ahrefs keyword searcher for hunterRepeat it for all of the keyword ideas you generate with your spreadsheet. Then, merge all CSVs you collected with Ahrefs in one.

In the merged CSV, make sure to remove duplicates (from this point, I suggest using Google Sheets). Here, you can find a quick guide on how to remove them.

After that, it’s time to do some manual work, which is a bit time-consuming but very rewarding in the end.

Open each URL you exported. Remove the irrelevant ones or those that are not listicles. Add a sequence tag for each email. You’ll use it to personalize outreach.

In our case, we used four key tags:

  • Hunter not mentioned (our product is not mentioned in the listicle)
  • Hunter mentioned below (our product’s position is below #1 in the listicle)
  • Hunter mentioned #1 with no link (no need to pitch the product, only ask to add a backlink)
  • Hunter mentioned #1 with a link (no need to contact this website)

email list for outreach campaign for hunterBesides adding a sequence tag for each relevant listicle, you’ll want to add a sentence of personalization to your spreadsheet that you’ll be using in your automated outreach sequence as an icebreaker.

This is what it looked like in our spreadsheet:

email list for outreach with qualifier for hunter

I recommend exporting from Ahrefs monthly traffic and domain authority of the URLs you collected. That helps to set your team’s priorities better. You should focus on the pages with the highest traffic and highest domain authority.

Once you complete this step, it’s time to find decision-makers in those companies and their emails.

As we noticed, the highest response rate for the listicle outreach was from the blog editors and content managers, so I recommend focusing on these positions. In small companies, it could be marketers and business owners.

You can easily find the full name of the decision-maker from a specific company just by checking the company’s LinkedIn profile.

Once you know the full name of your prospect, enter it in Email Finder along with a company domain. You’ll get a verified email address in seconds. With Email Finder, you can search 25 emails/mo for free.

how to find someones email for outreach campaignAnother quick way to find the email addresses of the listicle authors is to use Author Finder. If you install a free Chrome extension, you can simplify the email lookup process even more.

Just open the listicle URL and click on the extension icon. You’ll get the email address of the listicle author.

finding an authors email for outreachAdd columns to your spreadsheet, such as the prospect’s name, company, and email address. You’ll use it later to personalize outreach.

Note: If you find emails with other providers, verify them. Using unverified emails may cause bounces, which can hurt your deliverability rates.

Step 2: Prepare email copy.

Now, it’s time to prepare an email copy for your cold outreach.

It’s essential to segment your outreach sequences, personalize your emails on a high level, and provide maximum value to your prospects.

For our outreach, we created three sequences:

  • Those who didn’t mention our product
  • Those who mentioned our product but below other products
  • And for those who mentioned but didn’t link back to us

Here is an example of the email we sent for those listicles that mentioned other products from our niche but didn’t mention us.

There’re a few critical things to include in your email copy when reaching out to listicles:

  1. Short and catchy subject line. No one will ever respond to you if no one opens your email in the first place. Thus, the first thing to do while working on a new cold email campaign is to create the perfect subject line. Keep it short and catchy so your reader isn’t overwhelmed or lost. Instead, make them intrigued and engaged.
  2. Quick intro and catchy opening line. After the subject line, the opening line is the second most crucial sentence in your cold email. Because you wrote a successful subject line and made prospects open your email, the next step would be to make them read your message. If you start with something blurry, dull, and generic, chances are you’ll never get a response from your prospect. At this step, it’s essential to add a personalized icebreaker. (This is the reason we added this personalized line about each article to our Google Sheet earlier.)
  3. Personalize at scale with custom attributes. When you send dozens of emails simultaneously, it might be time-consuming to do it all manually. Here is where cold outreach automation tools come in handy. Create a spreadsheet with all data to personalize your emails and then add custom attributes to email copy. Your emails will be personalized on a high level automatically, and you don’t need to do tons of manual work.
  4. Provide value in return. You can’t ask a stranger for an offer and not give anything in return. Offer them the option to participate in your affiliate program, or help with the content update or promotion. Think of anything that can bring them value.
  5. End your email with a powerful CTA. It’s essential how you end your emails since it directly impacts the response rate. Ask an open-ended question that requires no time to get an answer. Make it clear and straightforward.

Step 3: Set-up outreach campaign.

Cold outreach is a time-consuming process, but when you find the right approach to automate it, you won’t need to spend that much time on your campaigns.

For our listicle outreach campaign, we knew two things we planned to do:

  • We would need to send highly-personalized emails to our prospects.
  • We would need to send follow-ups as they significantly increase the response rate (typically).

When you have hundreds or even thousands of prospects to outreach, the thing that you don’t want to do is to write every single email from scratch.

Also, you might find it overwhelming to remember when you need to follow up with every prospect. When you have more than one follow-up for each, doing it manually may sound like a nightmare.

So, this is the point where you need to use intelligent automation.

For the listicle outreach, we used Campaigns, a free tool that helps to automate cold emailing directly from your Gmail account.

As I mentioned above, we used custom attributes to automate personalization at scale. You need to spend time collecting all data for personalization before the outreach. Then, you just import it from your spreadsheet and have highly-personalized emails in a single click.

Here is how the final email we sent looked: personal and relevant to the prospect.

We also added two automated follow-ups to the sequence that used the personalization from the spreadsheet. The rule was to send the 1st follow-up in three days to all those who didn’t respond, and a 2nd in six days after the initial email.

When scheduling cold follow-ups, it’s essential to:

  1. Not schedule too many follow-ups. Our crucial rule is to focus on writing irresistible emails instead of adding too many follow-ups. So we recommend limiting it to three follow-ups for your cold email campaigns. If you are sending too many follow-ups to someone who’s never heard about you, you may seem like an annoying person and damage your brand reputation.
  2. Use the same thread for all emails. This way, prospects quickly get reminded about the offer from the previous email. Moreover, you can use follow-ups to continue telling the story or offering additional benefits, in this case.
  3. Keep in mind a sending schedule. According to many studies, when you automate outreach, you’ll want to make sure you exclude from your sending window weekends and public holidays.

Step 4: Be proactive in negotiations.

Your cold outreach campaign doesn’t end when you hit “send.” Your negotiation skills and proactivity determine how successful your outreach campaign will be.

In the perfect world, each answer you receive to the listicle outreach campaign looks like this:

The thing is that we don’t live in a perfect world, and most of the prospects will try to get more benefits for you in exchange for a link, product mention, or position upgrade. So, be ready to negotiate!

Here are a few tips that helped us to get the most mentions after receiving answers from our prospects:

  1. Be fast and provide what you offered right away. It doesn’t mean you have to skip sleep and update your inbox regularly. Just answer as soon as you see an email.
  2. Be flexible. If you contacted a DR 90 website and the traffic to the desired listicle is 1K sessions, be flexible in negotiations. You don’t want to lose a “big fish.”
  3. Do something for them. You get more chances of being featured if you provide even more value in return. Offer to share content after the update or give free consultation on something you’re good at.
  4. Don’t forget to follow up. Make sure to schedule manual follow-ups for those who showed interest. Sometimes, people are just busy at the moment you send an email or can forget about the conversation. It’s OK. Just make sure to follow up regarding your conversation gently. You can use Gmail functionality to snooze conversations and get a reminder to follow up on a specific date.
  5. Track all negotiations. Update your spreadsheet regularly and keep track of all negotiations. If you have too many prospects to handle, use a CRM.

Link building via “best” listicles is an effective strategy that can help to get tons of mentions and links for your business — if you do it right.

Make sure to spend enough time researching your potential prospects and collecting in-depth information on them.

Prepare email sequences that are unique and relevant to each segment, and add ice breakers and information pertinent to bring value to your prospects.

Automate routine work by using tools for cold outreach, and at the same time, spend as much time as needed on negotiations.

Hopefully, you’ll begin to see powerful results from your listicle outreach almost immediately.

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How to Create Marketing Offers That Don’t Fall Flat

In marketing, offers are the gateways to lead generation. Without them, site visitors have no way of getting converted into leads. They are also a critical tool for nurturing existing leads into a position that makes them more sales-ready. But gosh, isn’t the word ‘offer’ so utterly vague and abstract? What the heck is a marketing offer, and what are the qualities of a good one?

Because we see so many marketers get tripped up on this concept, let’s discuss exactly what a marketing offer can be, highlight the characteristics of an effective offer, and explain how you can start using them the right way.

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What an Offer Isn’t

Sometimes the best way to explain what something is, is to first identify what it isn’t. Unfortunately, many of the things marketers sometimes consider to be marketing offers aren’t actually offers at all. First, let’s clarify. What marketers should classify as an offer is something of value that a website visitor must complete a form to get access to. And yeah, sure you can put just about anything behind a form. But there are certain things that, when put behind a form, just won’t contribute much of anything for your lead gen or lead nurturing initiatives. We’re not saying you shouldn’t bother with these types of content. What we’re saying is that you shouldn’t put them behind forms or rely on them to effectively generate and nurture leads.

Here are some great examples of things you should never consider to be a marketing offer:

  • ‘Contact Us!’: Okay, so you can put this one behind a form if it’s one that allows site visitors to email you. But this will never bring in leads as effectively as true offers will.
  • Product-Centric Content: We’re talking brochures, product videos, etc. Yes, these can be great tools to introduce to leads who are close to making a purchasing decision, but there’s no reason they should be gated behind a form. You should want your site visitors to be able to access this type of content freely and frictionlessly. And if site visitors are looking at this type of content, they’re likely already in your sales funnel and much closer to making a purchasing decision.
  • Customer Case Studies: Just like product-centric content, customer case studies are likely something you want to make it very easy for visitors to access. Making a visitor or lead fill out a form is unnecessary.
  • Fact Sheets: Simply put, fact sheets and other company-focused content is not lead generation material.
  • Press Releases: Putting a press release behind a CTA or form will lower your chances of getting the word out, defeating their main purpose.

What an Offer Is

The good news is, you have quite a few great options at your disposal in terms of the types of offers you can, well, offer your target audience. These include but are not limited to:

  • Ebooks and Guides: Providing visitors with guides or ebooks that help them solve a problem, or are tailored to their interests will help establish you (or your brand) as an authority on the topic.
  • Discounts and Promotions: Visitors to your website might be more inclined to hand over their information if it means they get a discount or promotion code in exchange.
  • Webinars and Courses: Another way to establish yourself as an authority on a certain topic is to offer a webinar or course. When visitors register, you’ll get their information and they’ll learn more about a topic or gain a skill in return.
  • Industry Case Studies and Research: Industry-specific reports and research can be a great incentive for prospects to give their contact information. You offer value by doing the research for them, making it readily available, and providing it for free.
  • Membership or Loyalty Programs: These programs provide potential customers with a sense of exclusivity — access to rewards and perks not offered to non-members.
  • Templates: Templates provide an easy way for prospects to create their own documents without having to start them from scratch. Some common template options you’re probably familiar with are resumes, proposals, and email.
  • Free Tools: Free tools such as HubSpot’s Website Grader are a great way to have site visitors test your products without having to make a purchase.
  • Free Trials: Similarly to free tools, free trials allow visitors to your site to test your services out risk-free.
  • Product Demos and Consultations: If a potential client is on the fence about using your services, offering a consultation or demonstration might help reel them in. Not only will you get their contact information when they sign up, but they’ll learn more about how your product or service can help them.

What makes a good marketing offer?

While the types of offers we mentioned above are all great options for marketing offers, there are a number of qualities that an offer should possess in order for it to be effective for lead generation and nurturing. Offers should:

1. Be High Quality and Valuable to Your Target Audience

The important thing to remember is that, if you’re requiring a site visitor to complete a form in order to obtain your offer, the value of that offer needs to be compelling enough to convince those visitors to do so. People don’t like to give up their contact information freely, and your lead-capture form will create some friction. So if you start putting mediocre, low-value offers behind your forms, your business will eventually be known for having a poor user experience and subpar offerings, seriously hurting your lead generation and nurturing goals.

In the simplest sense, an offer is valuable if it addresses the problems, needs, and interests of your target audience. This value could also mean different things for offers used in different stages of the sales process. For example, an offer you’re promoting to generate net new leads at the top of your funnel (like, say, an educational ebook or a webinar) is likely valuable because it educates your prospects and fulfills a need. A free product trial, on the other hand, may not be as educational in nature, but it’s still a very valuable offer for existing leads you’re trying to nurture and who are closer to making a purchasing decision.

2. Align With Your Business and the Products or Services You Offer

A great marketing offer complements the products and services your business sells. That educational ebook is probably not very focused on how awesome your products and services are, but it should address concepts that align with your paid offerings.

For example, HubSpot sells inbound marketing software, so our offers focus on helping prospects with their marketing challenges. These offers help set HubSpot apart as an industry thought leader and educate prospects about the problems our software helps to solve.

3. Be Tailored to the Right Buyer Persona at the Right Time

As we hinted at before, a truly great marketing offer also takes into account a person’s point in the sales process as well as that buyer persona’s specific interests and needs. How this really comes into play is in lead nurturing campaigns and how you decide which calls-to-action (CTAs) to place where on your website.

lead management interface

If you use lead management software, you can easily collect key pieces of information (AKA lead intelligence) about your prospects that will help you segment your leads into nurturing campaigns based on their buyer persona, their point in the sales process, and what you can determine their interests are based on their activity on your website. Sending them offers that appeal to those interests as well as how close they are to making a purchasing decision can help you better qualify a lead before they get handed off to sales.

For example, if your business is in plumbing and a first-time visitor comes to your site and downloads an ebook on how to unclog a minor plumbing backup, you might enter them into a lead nurturing campaign that then invites them to also attend a webinar about common plumbing problems and how to fix them. As they move further through the sales cycle, you could then offer them a coupon that discounts your services for that (apparently) not-so-minor drain problem they’re having.

The same concept applies to how you choose which calls-to-action should be placed on different pages of your website. For example, if you conduct analysis that shows that your blog is typically how new visitors find you (whether through social media, search engines, or another referrer), you can infer that many people who land on your blog are first-time visitors to your website. Therefore, on your blog, you should probably place CTAs for offers that appeal to people who are just entering the top of your funnel and know little about your company (like an educational webinar, ebook, or kit, for example).

On the other hand, a visitor on something like a product page probably indicates they are much closer to a purchasing decision. What might be more valuable to those types of visitors is a CTA for a free product trial, or a demo if you’re a software vendor.

How to Use Marketing Offers

Now that you have a much clearer understanding of what makes a good marketing offer (and what doesn’t), let’s dive into some offer best practices. After all, you can create a ton of great offers, but if you’re not using them to your best advantage, they’re not going to do much good to generate and nurture leads.

1. Create multiple types of targeted offers.

First things first. With all that talk about targeting and segmenting the right offers to the right buyer persona (at the right time), you can probably guess that what all that translates to is a need for a variety of offers. Building up an arsenal of offers can be a big lift, but it can mean the difference between good results and awesome results.

Create a spreadsheet that allows you to list the offers you currently have, highlight the holes in your group of offers ( what topic are you missing an offer for that your audience would appreciate?), and map offers to the various points in your business’ sales process. Then slowly work through your offer to-do list, gradually filling in those gaps.

2. Put offers behind lead-capture forms.

If offers are the gateways to lead generation, lead-capture forms (AKA conversion forms) are the gateways to your offers. Always place your offers on landing pages, gated by forms. This allows you to collect information that helps you qualify a new or reconverting lead and track what they’ve downloaded from you throughout the sales cycle.

3. Create calls-to-action, and place them appropriately.

We mentioned this above, but it’s an important one. Create CTAs for each of your offers, and align them with the pages on your website. If you’re that plumber we mentioned and you just wrote a blog post about the best and worst products to unclog a drain, you might place a CTA for your free guide to the best plumbing products on the market.. Once you have created awesome-looking CTA buttons for your site and you’re moving onto ninja status, you can also test different versions of your CTAs to determine which ones generate the best click-through rate.

4. Create content around your offers.

Taking things a step further, create content specifically around your new offers to help launch and promote them. If you just created that ‘Best Plumbing Products’ guide, write a blog article that highlights the top 5 products mentioned in the guide and couple that with your CTA, explaining that readers can learn more by downloading the new guide. Excerpts make for easy blog content, so you’ll be killing two birds with one stone!

Video is also a powerful tool to keep in your marketing toolbox. You could create short, how-to videos explaining to viewers how to fix common plumbing issues. Using a CTA, prompt them to subscribe to your newsletter or YouTube channel for more content and resources.

5. Promote your offers on social media.

The promotion of your offers shouldn’t be limited to just your website. Use social media as a promotional vehicle by sharing links to the landing pages for your offers and briefly explaining their value in your tweets, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn posts. Spend some time to build your social media reach so you can expose your offers to as large an audience as possible.

6. Entice potential customers with contests.

A great way to leverage social media exposure is through contests. For example, surf brand Billabong ran a contest to win a trip for two to Baja, Mexico. To enter, contestants must enter their contact info into a form. You could run a promotion for free services or products that would be of interest to your target audience in exchange for them completing a form.

Billabong advertises vacation giveaway marketing offer via Instagram

Other contests may ask users to tag a friend under the contest’s post, which helps build brand awareness and acts as free promotion through word of mouth.

7. Use them in email marketing and lead nurturing.

As we mentioned above, offers are critical to a business’ lead nurturing efforts, but you can also promote them using general email marketing as dedicated sends. Promote your new offer in a dedicated email send that only highlights that one offer and conveys its value. If it’s a very general offer that every buyer persona in your audience would enjoy regardless of their point in the sales cycle, send it to your entire list. If it’s a more targeted offer, segment your list, and send it only to the people to whom it will appeal.

8. Align offers with prospects’ stage in the sales process.

This is another one we’ve already talked about, but it’s worth emphasizing. Aligning the offers you use in your lead nurturing campaigns and in the CTAs on your website with a prospect’s likely position in the sales cycle will not only help to better qualify a lead, but it may also shorten the sales cycle, as a prospect will be much closer to a purchasing decision with a ton of knowledge about your business before he/she even talks to a sales person.

9. Track performance and update strategy as needed.

Measure the performance of your offers. This will help you identify which types and topics of offers are successful in generating leads and customers so you can create more offers around those topics or in those formats, helping you become a much more effective marketer. Do your prospects prefer webinars to ebooks? Do they only care about certain topics that your offers are addressing? Use what you know to improve your lead generation and lead nurturing efforts in the future.

Using Offers in Your Marketing

How many offers are in your back pocket? How much do they factor into your business’ lead generation and nurturing efforts?

Offers are an invaluable tool for generating leads. Use them wisely and watch your business reap the benefits.

 

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in February, 2012 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

 

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The Ultimate Guide to Successfully Rebranding in 2020

When you’re first starting a business, branding is likely the last thing on your mind. After all, it’s hard to sit down and flip through fonts when you’re still trying to figure out who your customers are (and where to find them).

Plus, even if you made creating a brand identity a priority, in the beginning, a change in business plans might have made your initial branding strategy obsolete. Whether your branding design efforts started (and ended) with a logo jotted down on a napkin, or you whiteboarded your way through the complete branding process — from brand values to logo variations — somewhere along the way things stopped working.

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However you got here, you’re not happy. Fortunately, rebranding is not uncommon — many major brands, ranging from Dunkin’ Donuts to Uber, have successfully rebranded in the past. If you’re considering a rebrand, keep reading to learn how to rebrand a company, plus examples of other brands who’ve successfully rebranded their website, name, logo, or entire company mission, and purpose.

Okay, now that we know what rebranding is, let’s make sure you have the right reasons to rebrand.

The Right (and Wrong) Reasons to Rebrand

Rebrands are complicated and carry big risks.

Even big brands aren’t immune — just look at Uber. After redesigning its logo, 44% of people were unsure of what Uber’s logo represented. 

Ultimately, knowing the risks of rebranding can help you determine whether or not you’re going into a rebrand for the right reasons.

If you’re looking at rebranding your business because sales have been slow or brand awareness efforts don’t seem to be paying off, you might want to reconsider — these issues can potentially be solved by creating a new marketing strategy or conducting market research to identify the underlying cause.

But if you’re considering a rebrand because your company’s vision, mission, values, and market are no longer reflected in your brand, then a rebrand might be the right decision.

There are a few other major reasons you might consider a rebrand, including:

New locations

You might need to refresh your brand if you’re expanding to international markets that won’t identify with your current logo, messaging, etc.

Market repositioning

Brands are designed to connect companies with their customers, so if you reposition your business to target a completely new customer profile — whether through product, place, price, or promotion — your brand will need to follow suit.

New philosophy

Your business’s mission, vision, and values should govern every decision you make — including brand decisions. If your MVV are shifting and pivoting the direction of your business along with them, you’ll need to reevaluate your brand.

Mergers and acquisitions

When two companies come together, two brands come together, as well. If your company was acquired or joined with another company, you can’t just let both brands battle it out. Finding a new brand that reflects the new entity will prevent confusion and build trust.

Additionally, here are a few reasons not to rebrand: 

Boredom

Too often, people consider a rebrand because they’re sick of seeing the same logo and slogan every day. When you’re starting to feel restless with your brand, remember that your customers (who see it much less frequently) might love that signature color you’ve come to loathe.

Covering up a crisis

Whether you’re working against persistent internal issues or fending off bad press, a rebrand isn’t the answer. Most consumers and employees are smart enough to see right through your rebrand and recognize it for what it is — a cover-up.

Impact and ego

For new managers, a rebrand might seem like the fastest way to make your mark. But most new managers aren’t implementing the kind of institutional change that justifies a rebrand. More often than not, new leadership that insists on a rebrand is doing it more for themselves than the company.

Looking for attention

Maybe sales have been floundering, or perhaps brand awareness efforts aren’t picking up, but either way, jumping into a rebrand is the wrong move. At best, you’ll generate some short-term buzz, without the sales and marketing strategy to sustain it. At worst, you’ll lose whatever brand recognition you had and set back your sales and marketing efforts.

If you’ve determined a rebrand is still the right choice for you, keep reading to learn how to devise a rebranding strategy.

Rebranding Strategies

1. Change your logo.

One of the main strategies of rebranding is changing your logo. Using a new logo will let your customers know that your brand’s identity is different. You can make it sleeker, use different colors, etc. The main reason to change your logo is so it matches with the new identity that you’re marketing with the rebrand.

2. Shift brand positioning.

After changing your brand logo, it’s important to also shift your brand positioning. You can’t just change your colors and logo and call it a day. The content that you’re marketing needs to communicate a certain message, whether that’s your mission, values, or vision. Shifting your brand positioning will let your customers know what your new mission, values, or vision is.

3. Create new ads.

Once you know what your logo and messaging will sound like, it’s time to create new advertisements and content with this messaging in mind. These ads should clearly communicate the changes to your brand and what they mean for customers. This can help you draw in a new demographic and reach larger audiences.

4. Change your brand’s voice.

Finally, when it’s time to rebrand, you’ll want to change the brand’s voice. Your brand’s voice is the perspective that you write all your marketing content from. Your voice is either formal, causual, witty, etc. If you’re rebranding, it makes sense to change your brand’s voice and announce your rebrand in your new tone of voice.

Now, let’s remember that bot all rebrands are created equal, so let’s first consider whether a partial or total rebrand is the best option for your business.

Partial vs. Total Rebrand

The more established your business and brand are, the more you have to lose from a rebrand.

If your business is more mature, a partial rebrand can help you retain the brand loyalty you’ve built, while refreshing your image to keep up with changing times.

Think of a partial rebrand as an adjustment focused on your visual brand identity to suit new offerings or markets — as opposed to a complete identity crisis.

That’s not to say that a partial rebrand can’t be effective. Just look at Old Spice. The men’s deodorant company redefined its place in the market and has seen massive growth every year since repositioning the brand — all while retaining what made Old Spice cool in the first place.

However, if you’re undergoing a complete identity shift and your company’s mission, vision, and values are changing, a total rebrand might be in order. This option is typically suited to situations like mergers, product overhauls, and other similarly foundational shifts.

Here, everything is on the table — from your name to your purpose, your market, or your brand identity.

If a partial rebrand is a quick touch-up, the total rebrand is a complete makeover.

Once you’ve determined whether you need a partial or total rebrand, take a look at the following five steps you’ll want to implement to successfully rebrand.

1. Reestablish your brand’s audience and market.

After extensive market research, including focus groups and analyzing the data, you’ve noticed something startling — your customers (or competitors) aren’t who you thought they were.

Maybe it’s a demographic with which you never thought you’d engage. Alternatively, maybe there’s a new competitor on the market and its products or services are directly competing with yours.

And you have the data to prove it.

Take a look at who’s actually buying from you — and who they’re buying from, instead of you. Comparing this against your initial target market and audience might reveal some stark differences.

Once you’ve established your actual market and audience, you’re ready to start rebranding your company to connect with your customers (and outsmart your competitors).

2. Redefine your company’s vision, mission, and values.

What are you doing? How are you doing it? Why are you doing it?

When you’re re-evaluating your vision, mission, and values during a rebrand, these are the three questions you’ll need to ask yourself. While it’s easy to take your messaging foundations for granted, they can change as a company grows.

New products, priorities, services, or stakeholders can completely undo what once seemed like a given.

Here are a few major components of your company you’ll want to analyze to decide which part(s) of your company need a little TLC.

Vision

This is a big one. Vision acts as the North Star for every action your company undertakes, so it’s critical you have a firm understanding of your vision before moving forward — additionally, perhaps over time your vision has changed. That’s okay, but it’s vital you redefine your vision as quickly as possible to ensure all your employees are making decisions with that vision in mind.

When you’re rebranding, company vision will affect everything from your website redesign to your hiring process.

Mission

If vision is your what, mission is your how. Maybe you’re still going in the same direction, but the way you’re getting there has changed. Ultimately, your mission is your company’s roadmap.

When your mission changes, your messaging needs to change as well — making it just as crucial as vision during a rebrand.

For instance, Sweetgreen’s mission statement is “To inspire healthier communities by connecting people to real food.” This motto will help define everything about Sweetgreen’s brand, from the images they use in advertisements to the language they use in press releases.

Values

Your values act as the why behind your brand. They’re why you’re working towards your vision, and why you’re dedicated to your mission.

But, as brands expand and change, some of their founding values might become unsustainable. If you can’t support your old values or you’ve come to prioritize new ones, you’ll need to update them to reflect what your company actually values today.

Brand Voice

As your vision, mission, and values change while rebranding, the way you convey these aspects of your company will also have to change. The vocabulary, tone, and voice you use for your brand have to match your message. So, if what you’re saying is changing, how you’re saying it will need to change, as well.

3. Rename your company during a rebrand.

Changing names is a big undertaking, one that can cost you brand recognition and organic search traffic in one fell swoop. So, if you’re renaming your company as part of your rebrand, make sure you have a plan for recovery as part of your post-rebrand strategy.

On the whole, if your name still fits, your best course of action is to keep it. But if your current name is a mismatch for your company identity, it might be time to go back to the drawing board. To help make that drawing board a little less daunting, here are some starter ideas for the renaming process:

  • Make a new word
  • Use an old word in new ways
  • Say what you do (literally)
  • Modify a word’s spelling
  • Add a prefix or suffix
  • Look to other languages
  • Bring two words together
  • Create an acronym
  • Use a location

If you’re revisiting your name while rebranding, focus on alignment with your brand’s vision, mission, and values — more than just what sounds good. That way, your new name has a better chance of supporting your long-term growth and goals.

4. Reconsider your brand’s slogan.

A good slogan is catchy and captures your company’s mission and vision. It’s your company’s purpose, condensed. Unlike changing names, changing slogans is a little easier for your marketing efforts. But like changing names, you should still consider it carefully.

First, it’s critical you ask yourself, why do you really want to change your slogan?

It’s easy to fall into the trap of hating your slogan because you’ve heard it so many times. But it’s that same repetition that builds brand recognition. Even though you might have gotten sick of your slogan after seeing it constantly, your customers might love it.

If you’re on the fence, you can hold focus groups to see if the slogan is really resonating. If it isn’t, you can get some new ideas for slogans with these starting points:

  • Make a claim
  • Get metaphorical
  • Use poetic language
  • Provide instructions
  • Leverage labels
  • Compliment customers

5. Rebuild your brand identity.

The tangible elements you use to communicate your brand might have been in play for a few years by the time you start considering a rebrand. This means you’ve likely had plenty of time to reconsider their strengths and weaknesses before replacing them.

You might want to redesign your logo, use new colors in your brand material, or even create new brand guidelines. Here are a few common changes you might make as part of your rebranding strategy:

Your Logo

Maybe you loved your logo when you first started your company, but you’re finding your customers never really seemed to “get it”. Alternatively, perhaps your logo needs a refresh to reflect the other major changes you’ve made internally.

If you’re looking to do a logo redesign, going back to the basics of what makes a good logo will help you to get it right this time.

Stay simple. Jamming as much symbolism as possible into a logo generally doesn’t work out too well. But that’s a hard truth for young companies who are still trying to prove themselves. Now that you’re more established, show your confidence with a simple logo.

Make an impact. Maybe you went the opposite route in your original logo design and were too afraid to be bold, so you stuck with something safe. Your logo isn’t worth much if people can’t remember it, so when you’re redesigning your logo, don’t settle for something that won’t stand out.

Be adaptable. One thing you might have learned with your first logo is its limitations. Now that you know what shapes or styles might not be as versatile for the channels your business actually uses, bear those in mind during the redesign.

Aim for appropriate. As companies mature and get to know their customers better, a logo that might have made sense at launch could now be considered completely wrong for that company’s target market.

Look to the long term. As fun as rebrands might seem, you don’t want to do this every year, so really look at your vision, mission, values, and purpose and consider whether this new logo can support them in the long run.

Maintain through-lines. Like your name, your logo is one of your brand’s most memorable components. When you’re rebranding, avoid losing too much brand recognition by trying to maintain the parts of your old logo that worked. If you can maintain a sense of continuity, you’ll be able to carry over some of the brand recognition your old logo initially had.

If we look at a few logo redesigns from 2019, we can see this process in action. Take Zara and The Knot, for example, two companies that changed their logos in the last few years:

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In these brand updates, elements of the old brand carry through. Zara kept its bold, black lettering, but pushed the kerning tighter and switched one Serif font for another. The Knot, on the other hand, stayed in the same typography family with a Script font, but swapped blue for orange in their color scheme.

Choosing Your New Color Palette

Color can have a huge impact on your brand — in fact, some colors are now synonymous with the brands that use them, like McDonald’s yellow. But choosing the right color can be difficult, and as your company develops, your color might need a brush up.

Looking at your brand colors with fresh eyes using color psychology and competitor research can help you evaluate whether they’re working with (or against) the brand image you’re looking to project.

Additionally, now that you’ve been working with your color(s) for a while, you may have noticed that the way your colors show up on-screen vs. in-print isn’t consistent. When considering colors during your rebrand, check to ensure the color looks the same on a variety of brand materials.

Typography

Like your color, your original font may have shown up differently in practice than in theory. When you’re reevaluating fonts, pay close attention to what worked and what didn’t with your old font, along with any difficulties you had — like accessing the font for web design or PowerPoints.

You might also want to consider whether your font is consistent with any markets or messages uncovered while rebranding. If your customers are more mature than you initially expected, that super hip Sans Serif font might be better off as a more traditional Serif font. After all, the medium is the message.

And now that you know your marketing channels, you’ll be able to make more educated decisions on weight and cuts — like which fonts show up well, and which leave your words looking wonky.

Shapes and Imagery Revisited

Like your logo, color palette, and typography, your imagery and shapes play a vital role in your brand identity. If you’re changing any of your brand’s other visual elements, it’s worth reconsidering your imagery and shapes to keep everything cohesive after you’ve rebranded.

But it’s not enough for your rebrand to look cohesive — it needs to support the core messages of your brand, as well. At every step in the branding design process, make sure the what, how, and why behind your brand are also behind your new brand identity.

Building New Brand Guidelines

If you’re going to go through all the trouble of creating a new brand identity for your business, you better make sure you use it correctly. Having (and actually using) brand guidelines will help you keep your brand consistent after the transition.

Brand guidelines are especially critical for logos. Logo guidelines are designed to make it as easy as possible for customers to see, recognize, and remember your logo — making up for any lost familiarity that comes with a rebrand.

Here are a few elements to consider when writing your logo guidelines:

  • Logo elements. What visual elements make up your logo? When and how are each of them used?
  • Color variations. What does the colored version of your logo look like? What about black and white? When are each of these used?
  • Clear space. Also called padding, this is the space around your logo that prevents overlap or obscuring. Aim for at least 10% of width at all times.
  • Unacceptable uses. What can never be done to your logo? What color variations, rotations, scaling, etc. do you want to avoid?

You’ll want to have your guidelines on hand if you’re doing a website redesign, creating a rebrand campaign, or creating other marketing materials.

6. Track brand sentiment along the way.

When you’re designing all the new elements to your rebrand, it’s important to get feedback from customers. You can conduct focus groups and see if the new branding images and messages communicate your new mission, value, and vision. If you don’t get positive feedback, it might be time to go back to the drawing board.

One of the most crucial steps in rebranding is tracking brand sentiment before, during, and after a rebrand launch. You can look at brand sentiment before a rebrand and see what customers feel negatively about. With this in mind, you can conduct your rebrand strategically, adding new messaging that aligns with your audience.

After you’ve evaluated the feedback before a rebrand, and tested your new rebranding elements in a focus group, it’s time to launch your rebrand.

7. Plan a successful launch.

Launching a rebrand isn’t as simple as changing the colors, fonts, or logo on your site. A rebrand is about communicating your new message: What is your new mission, values, and vision? To communicate this, it’s important to plan a successful rebranding launch.

This can include posting advertisements online, in print, on TV, on radio, etc. Then, you’ll want to announce the launch of your rebrand with a press release on your site and a post on your social media channels that says exactly why your company needed a rebrand and what this rebrand means for the future of your company.

At its best, a rebrand can act as an incentive to remain consistent and on-brand in all your marketing efforts moving forward — something that can slip in businesses over time.

Now that we’ve explored various aspects of rebranding, let’s take a look at examples for further inspiration.

1. Chobani rebrand

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In 2017, Chobani made a few major changes to their brand in an effort to stand out in the crowded, oftentimes homogeneous-looking yogurt industry.

First, they shifted their identity from a yogurt company to a “food-focused wellness company” with a new mission — “Fighting for happily ever after.” Under their Impact page on their website, you’ll see the statement, “The most important thing we make is a difference. It’s always been about more than yogurt.” You’ll see this focus on health and nutrition in their advertisements and their new products, including Less Sugar Greek Yogurt and Chobani Flip Yogurt.

Additionally, as shown above, Chobani changed its packaging — instead of using plain white cups with fruit photos, they redesigned their product packaging using 19th century American folk art with a variety of colors. Their rebrand helps their products stand out from the other plain white yogurt packages on the shelves.

2. Candid rebrand

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Rebranding is often a good decision after two companies merge.

For instance, Foundation Center was the largest source of information about philanthropy globally, and GuideStar was the largest source of information on U.S. nonprofit organizations. In 2019, the two organizations joined forces to become Candid, enabling both foundations to enhance the services they offer to millions of people who rely on them to help make the world a better place.

If you visit Foundation Center’s website, you’ll see a message that reads: “Foundation Center and GuideStar are now Candid. You were redirected to candid.org from foundationcenter.org.” The old GuideStar website is still visible and usable, but there is an explanation of the new corporate entity and a link to Candid’s page.

Candid, the new merged foundation, now boasts a sleek website with a mission statement, guiding principles, and a vision that combines the best of both Foundation Center and GuideStar.

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3. Dropbox rebrand

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In 2007, Dropbox launched as a file-storage and file-sharing web service — but in 2017, the company now wants you to think of them as ” the connective tissue for teams and businesses of all sizes”. Instead of just a file-sharing service, Dropbox is now a full suite with APIs, tools, and integrations.

Along with the internal mission shift, Dropbox refreshed its logo to reflect its new products. In a statement regarding the new logo, the Dropbox design team said, “Our old logo was a blue box that implied, ‘Dropbox is a great place to store stuff.’ The new one is cleaner and simpler. And we’ve evolved it from a literal box, to a collection of surfaces to show that Dropbox is an open platform, and a place for creation.”

4. Pet Food Experts rebrand

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Pet Food Experts has a full timeline on their website that reflects all company changes since 1936, when the company first opened.

Among the most notable are the company’s name change from “Rumford Pet Center” to “Pet Food Experts” (in an “effort to establish itself separately from the Rumford Aquarium”), and the logo redesign in 2008. The 80-year-old company has grown significantly over the years, and is now a major distributor of pet products from coast-to-coast.

To reflect their change and growth over the years, the company has taken numerous successful steps to consistently refresh their brand to reflect their products and values as they change over time.

5. Dunkin’ Donuts rebrand

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Beginning in January 2019, Dunkin’ Donuts, first introduced in 1973, adopted a new logo that dropped the “Donuts” on their name — now, signs, logos, and marketing materials simply read, “Dunkin'”.

The new name signifies the companies focus on coffee — Tony Weisman, Chief Marketing Officer, Dunkin’ U.S., said in a statement, “By simplifying and modernizing our name, while still paying homage to our heritage, we have an opportunity to create an incredible new energy for Dunkin’, both in and outside our stores.”

Despite the change in name, Dunkin’ continues to use the same pink and organic colors and iconic font to ensure long-time customers continue to recognize the brand.

6. IHOP rebrand

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As you’ve likely gathered from this post, a rebrand is a fantastic opportunity to refresh your public perception and get consumers’ attention.

Which is exactly why IHOP used a rebrand as a marketing ploy to get people to pay attention to their new product — burgers. In 2018, IHOP announced that it was rebranding as IHOb, the International House of Burgers. It began using IHOb on social media, its website, and in-store promotions.

Eventually, IHOP admitted its rebranding was a joke to get people to pay attention to their new line of ground Angus ground beef burgers. Their “joke rebrand” was a smart play — it incentivized people to either vehemently fight for the importance of IHOP’s most important product (pancakes), while also calling attention to their other offerings.

IHOP has since switched back to its original name and logo.

Bad Rebranding Examples

1. Comcast

Comcast has been known to have the most hated customer services in the United States. So the company decided to change their name and rebrand their logo to xfinity.

However, the company didn’t change its history of bad practices. Superficial updates like a name change and logo change won’t help your company if brand identity and brand reputation doesn’t follow.

While the company could have worked on improving customer support, they spent money on a cosmetic upgrade, which didn’t help them earn the trust back from their customers. To earn your customers trust, you have to listen to them. You can’t just rebrand your visual identity while making no substantitve changes.

bad rebranding example: comcast

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2. Gap

Remember that list of reasons to rebrand and reasons not to rebrand above? Gap made the mistake of rebranding for seemingly no reason. The company changed their logo and caused outrage among its customers. Only 6 days later, the company went back to the old design.

The new logo didn’t communicate anything about the brand, and in fact took the personality out of the brand’s logo. Additionally, customers had an emotional bond with their logo, and changing it for no reason caused upset customers.

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3. Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers changed its name and logo a few years ago to shift its focus from weight-loss to wellness. However, with their new name “Wellness that Works,” customers weren’t sure if the product offerings were going to change.

The shift from weight-loss company to wellness company left customers confused. And this wasn’t a bad idea for a rebrand, however it’s important that your product offerings either change with your new identity or don’t rebrand at all.

Changing the name of your company shouldn’t confuse customers — it should make your offerings more clear.

Additionally, if you’re going to shift your name and product offerings, it’s important to communicate that message clearly. This rebrand failed because the message wasn’t clearly communicated and customers were confused.

bad rebrand examples: weight watchers

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Are You Ready to Rebrand?

Now that you know everything a rebrand entails, it’s time to consider if and how you want to rebrand your own business. Whether you end up going with a logo redesign, a website redesign, some refreshed messaging or a complete brand overhaul, these steps can help you to consider your best strategy for building a brand that gets it right this time.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Author: Dawson Whitfield

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28 of the Best SEO Tools for Auditing & Monitoring Your Website in 2022

There’s nothing quite like a sudden Google algorithm update to leave you feeling equal parts confused and concerned. It seems as though search engines like Google wait for you to get all of your ducks in a row and then unleash an update that makes your efforts instantly obsolete.

Plus, there’s still some secrecy behind how Google evaluates websites and determines which sites appear — and how they appear — on the search engine results page (SERPs) for different queries.

→ Download Now: SEO Starter Pack [Free Kit]

The good news is that there are several search engine optimization (SEO) tools out there — some free, some paid — that can help you view

your website the way search engines like Google see it — this way, you can improve your ranking and relevance for your target keywords.

Note: Some of the free tools below also offer paid plans while some of the paid tools also offer free plans — so, we recommend you check out the pricing pages for the tools you’re most interested in to determine which plan is ideal for your needs and goals.

For universal SEO tips, you can use today to grow your business, check out our video guide below.

Free SEO Tools

These tools are free to use, but you might find a paid option that has more features. We’ve shared some of the best features in each tool as well as how you can get the most out of them for your SEO strategy.

1. HubSpot Website Grader

SEO Tool: HubSpot Website Grader

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The goal of marketing is to generate traffic and qualified leads via the company’s website. That’s why, as marketers, we need to understand exactly what we can do to improve the SEO of that website.

With HubSpot’s Website Grader, simply enter the URL of your website to automatically receive a report card with actionable insights about your SEO efforts. From there, you can sign up for the HubSpot Academy SEO course that teaches you how to improve your website’s SEO, user experience (UX), and more.

With the HubSpot Website Grader, you can:

  • Website performance: Learn about your website’s performance in seconds, and identify specific performance issues and receive clear, actionable feedback on how you can fix them.
  • On-demand support: Receive how-to education on how you can improve your website.
  • Improve specific website issues: Gain access to a five-lesson HubSpot Academy course on Website Optimization so you can understand how to improve upon your website’s specific problem areas.
  • Optimize for mobile: Discover how to optimize your website for mobile.
  • Boost web security: Learn how you can implement website security best practices.
  • Enhance the user experience: Personalize your website’s UX to create a delightful experience for users.

2. Google Search Console

SEO Tool: Google Search Console

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Google Search Console has a number of tools available to help you appear in the SERPs for the search terms and phrases your target audience is looking for.

If you’re the owner of a business or an SEO on your marketing team, Search Console can help you conduct an initial SEO analysis from scratch or update your existing SEO strategy with fresh keywords. Google Search Console monitors, debugs, and optimizes your website — and you don’t need to know how to code to benefit from this tool.

Here are some examples of website elements Google Search Console will teach you about and help you optimize:

  • Keywords: Learn about the keywords your webpages are currently ranking for.
  • Crawl Errors: Identify any crawl errors that exist on your website.
  • Mobile Responsiveness: Understand how mobile-friendly your website is and discover opportunities to improve the mobile experience for your users.
  • Google Index: See how many of your web pages are in Google’s Index (if they aren’t in Google’s index, you can use the tool’s URL Inspection Tool to submit a page for indexing).
  • Analytics and Metrics: The website-related metrics that matter most to you, like clicks, impressions, average click-through rate (CTR), and average position.

3. Google Analytics

SEO Tool: Google Analytics

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Although Google Analytics has a paid version, the free version of the product can help you manage your website’s SEO — this is especially true if you pair Google Analytics with Google Search Console. In doing so, all of your website’s SEO data will be centrally located and compiled, and you can use queries to identify areas for improvement with the keywords and phrases that you want your website and web pages to rank for.

Other ways that you can use the free version of Google Analytics to understand and improve your SEO are:

4. UpCity Free SEO Report Card

SEO Tool: UpCity Free SEO Report

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The Free SEO Report Card by UpCity lets you analyze your website to determine how it stacks up against the competition.

In exchange for your email address and a few data points, SEO Report Card will serve up a report that covers the following:

  • Rank Analysis: A snapshot of where your website ranks on the most popular search engines.
  • Link Building: A detailed account of the number of websites that link back to your site.
  • On-Site Analysis: A look at how successful you were in incorporating your main keyword throughout your site.
  • Website Accessibility: Information about your site’s load time and accessibility.
  • Trust Metrics: An overview of your site’s level of trust or authority.
  • Current Indexing: An indication of how many of your site pages have been indexed.

5. Internet Marketing Ninjas

SEO Tool: Internet Marketing Ninjas

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Internet Marketing Ninjas is an SEO-focused company with a variety of free tools you can use to compare your website against the competition, optimize web pages for certain keywords, generate meta tags, and increase organic traffic to your website.

Here are some examples of the free Internet Marketing Ninja SEO tools you can take advantage of:

  • Broken link tool: Identify broken links and redirects and use the site crawl feature to generate an XML sitemap of your website.
  • Image metadata: See all of your page links (external, internal, etc.) on your web pages to review what’s working well and what’s broken or needs an update.
  • On-page optimization tool: Use this to evaluate your web page content, meta information, and internal links.
  • Side-by-side comparison: Compare the SEO of your web pages versus a competitor’s web pages.
  • Page load time: Analyze page-load time and how long each component of a web page takes to fully display.

6. Bing Webmaster

SEO Tool: Bing Webmaster

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Microsoft Bing Webmaster gives you access to many tools that offer insight into your website such as reporting, diagnostic, and SEO tools. The SEO tools that you can use for free have the power to help you analyze your website, manage backlinks, and review keywords to ensure your site is well-optimized for organic search.

Here are some of the other things you can do with Bing Webmaster’s SEO tools:

  • See backlink profiles: Learn about your backlink profile to understand referring pages, domains, and anchor links.
  • Perform keyword research: Determine which keywords and phrases your audience is searching for as well as the search volumes of those keywords and phrases.
  • Use the site scanning feature: Crawl your website and identify technical SEO errors.
  • Get SEO reports: Review any errors that are on your website and individual site pages.

7. Google Trends

SEO Tool: Google Trends

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Traditional SEO tools like the ones we’ve already discussed are great for conducting research and audits when your business is already established. But what if you’re starting a new business venture and want to know what popular industries, topics, and ideas people are exploring? Google Trends is a great place to explore untapped potential that can yield a large keyword landscape for your website.

You’ll want to note that Google Trends isn’t where you’ll get granular data. This tool performs best when you use it as a compass to set a direction for your SEO strategy, and then pair those insights with a more robust software like HubSpot’s SEO Marketing Tool.

Here’s what you should look for in Google Trends:

  • Trends: Look for trends in specific countries or regions of the world.
  • Popular topics: Find popular people and long tail keywords related to them.
  • Comparisons: Compare and contrast trends over time.

8. Seolyzer

SEO Tool: Seolyzer

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Seolyzer is a free site crawling, log analysis, and SEO tool that helps you determine how search engines like Google view your website. Seolyzer pulls information that crawling bots leave in your server’s log files while browsing your site to identify and create your SEO KPIs. The tool also identifies error codes, redirects, and page speed performance.

Additionally, Seolyzer can help you:

  • Monitor SEO issues: Identify poor response time, error messages, and crawl volume so you can resolve them before serious damage is done.
  • Manage your unique KPIs: Analyze page performance, crawl volume, HTTP status codes, active and new pages, and desktop versus mobile responsiveness.
  • Segment web pages: Determine what your most crawled pages are.
  • Compare web pages: See what Google deems as the most important to the pages that are crucial to your business’s bottom line.
  • Measure SEO impact: Understand the impact of your SEO efforts on a page-by-page basis or by the category of the page.

9. SEOquake

SEO Tool: SEOquake

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SEOquake is a Google Chrome extension that automatically checks a web page’s SEO parameters quickly for free. This includes on-page SEO audits, internal and external link reviews, real-time URL and domain comparison, and data file export.

Other things you can use SEOquake for are:

  • Link Analysis: Get a detailed description of how all of your links are doing — including URLs, anchor text, and other link types — with the tools Link Examiner feature.
  • Focus on metrics that matter: Adjust the SEOquake reports you receive to display only the parameters and metrics that you care about.
  • Audit your website’s SEO: Identify any SEO-related issues that would be findable by search engines.
  • Share your findings with stakeholders: Export the results of your SEO analysis into an adjustable and shareable report.

10. Seobility

SEO Tool: Seobility

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Seobility is a free SEO-checker tool. With it, you can test your website’s level of compliance with today’s SEO guidelines. By simply entering your URL, your site will be analyzed and you’ll receive tips on how you can better optimize your website.

In addition to a detailed SEO audit of your website, you’ll gain access to 1,000 subpage audits, email reporting and alerts, and keyword monitoring.

Here are some more advantages of using Seobility:

  • Find technical errors: Resolve on-page SEO issues quickly to recover lost traffic and prevent future traffic dips.
  • Accurate SEO scoring: Receive an SEO score that accounts for various website factors including meta-information, page quality, link structure, and more.
  • Meta information analysis: Understand the specific SEO issues with your meta information such as meta titles/ descriptions, meta tags, and invalid or incorrect domain names or page URLs.
  • Optimization opportunities: Identify areas for improvement regarding your page speed and quality (related to text, duplicate content, responsive design, and alt attributes for content).
  • Link structure suggestions: Understand how your page and link structure can be improved by getting data about your headers, internal links, and incorrect anchor text.
  • Server error fixes: Identify specific server errors related to any redirects, HTTP headers, or CSS and Javascript files.

11. Check My Links

SEO Tool: Check My Links

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Check My Links is a Google Chrome extension that you can use to ensure your links on both internal or external web pages work. For instance, if you were to search a term on Wikipedia, Check My Links would be able to tell you how many links that Wikipedia page has in total and how many of those links are broken.

This is helpful because you can make corrections to broken links immediately (or hopefully, before a page goes live). Check My Links is ideal for developers, content editors, and web designers according to its creators.

Here are some more examples of what Check My Links can do:

  • Identify broken links: Check each link on your webpages and identify all invalid links.
  • Auto-highlight issues: Quickly see the good links in green and the broken links in red.
  • Export broken links for further analysis: Copy all of your bad links to your clipboard in one click.

12. BROWSEO

SEO Tool: BROWSEO

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BROWSEO is an SEO browser that allows you to review your webpage in a limited format so you can analyze its UX and content as well as gain insight into its SEO. Once you input the URL, the output will hone in on your HTML so you’re able to understand the page’s structure, optimized search terms, and other SEO-related factors.

Examples of what you can do with BROWSEO include:

  • See the number of words on the page: Find the sweet spot for copy length on your webpages.
  • Determine the number of internal and external links on your page: This allows you to see how your linking strategy is working on each page.
  • See all of your meta information: Review title tags, alt text, and meta descriptions.

Paid SEO Tools

Next, let’s look at some paid SEO tools. (Note that some of these tools have free trial periods. Some also offer entirely free plans but with restrictions in terms of flexibility and customization.)

1. HubSpot SEO Marketing Software

SEO Tool: HubSpot SEO Marketing Software

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Price: $45/ mo for the Starter plan, $800 for professional, and $3,200 for enterprise.

HubSpot’s Marketing Hub includes an SEO marketing software tool that’s perfect for helping you build authority across your website. Since this software is integrated with HubSpot landing pages, webpages, and blog posts, you’ll never miss an opportunity to optimize your content for traffic and conversions.

No matter if you’re creating your first content strategy or you’re an expert in all things SEO, HubSpot’s SEO Marketing Software gives you the tools and the confidence to rank in the SERP and report on your performance.

HubSpot’s marketing software doesn’t keep SEO in a silo. This tool works in conjunction with:

  • Email: Send professional emails using your own branded designs.
  • Marketing Automation: Create dynamic campaigns for segmented audiences.
  • Lead Management: Track leads through each stage in your sales process.
  • Analytics: Review your campaign to identify success and opportunities for improvement.

2. Ahrefs

SEO Tool: Ahrefs

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Price: Seven-day trial for $7, $99/ mo for Lite, $179/ mo for Standard, $399/ mo for Advanced, $999/ mo for Agency

Ahrefs is an advanced SEO resource that examines your website property and produces keyword, link, and ranking profiles to help you make better decisions on your content.

Some of Ahrefs’ main features are:

  • Site Explorer: Shows you the performance of specific webpages on your website.
  • Content Explorer: This allows you to search high-performing webpages under specific keywords and topics.
  • Keywords Explorer: Generates the monthly search volume and click-through rates of specific keywords.
  • Site Audit: Crawls specified verticals within your domain and reveals a number of technical issues at the page level.

3. SEMrush

SEO Tool: SEMrush

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Price: $119.95/ mo for Pro, $229.95/ mo for Guru, or $449.95/ mo for Business

SEMrush is an elaborate dashboard that reports on the performance of domains as a whole and their specific pages. SEMrush offers numerous resources, one of which is the SEO Toolkit.

Toolkit allows you to track a website’s visibility improvement over time as well as identify which keywords it’s ranking for, what the page’s rank is for a keyword, the keyword’s monthly search volume, and more.

SEMrush also allows you to:

  • Build links: Analyze backlinks from other websites to your site.
  • Use the Keyword Magic tool: Identify all keywords you need to successfully build an SEO strategy.
  • See your competitors’ strategies: Identify the paid keywords or ad copy used in the PPC ads of your competition.
  • Receive recommendations: See how you can increase your organic traffic by optimizing your content.

4. KWFinder

SEO Tool: KWFinder

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Price: 10-day free trial; $29/mo

Sometimes you don’t need an SEO tool with all the bells and whistles if you only need to do keyword research. KWFinder is a great software that fills the gap between nuts-and-bolts SEO work and copywriting. You’ll find keywords that aren’t too difficult to rank for but still carry the potential to bring in traffic.

What makes KWFinder unique is how seamlessly it shifts between languages and regions so that you can serve your audience no matter where in the world they are.

Some of the top features KWFinder offers include:

  • Hidden long tail keyword insights: Find long tail keywords that give you more opportunities to acquire traffic.
  • Competitor keyword insights: See how your competitor’s keyword strategy compares to your own, plus find more keyword opportunities.
  • SERP analysis tool: Analyze competition in the SERP to understand what elements readers are looking for on your pages.
  • Local keyword research tool: See what searchers are looking for locally and appeal to local markets for more niche traffic.

5. GrowthBar

SEO Tool: GrowthBar

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Price: Free five-day trial, $29.90/ mo for Basic, $39.90 for Premium, and $79.90 for Agency.

GrowthBar is a Chrome extension that can help you perform keyword research, competitive analysis, and track SEO rankings. With the GrowthBar, access data points about any website directly from the search engine results pages. This allows you to assess your competitors’ performance and view the growth channels, keywords, backlinks, and ads that are working for them.

Here are some more key features of GrowthBar:

  • Use the Top Keywords and Backlinks feature: See which paid and organic keywords are driving the most traffic for your website and get a list of the most authoritative backlinks pointing to your site.
  • Get your Keyword Difficulty Score: Quickly assess how hard it would be to rank for a particular keyword based on the strength of the domain authorities of the URLs ranking on page one.
  • Use the Word Count tool: View the word count of any page directly from the SERP.
  • Run Facebook Ads: Get a visual of what they look like from a search engine’s perspective.
  • Use the Keyword Suggestions tool: Get a list of related keywords you might want to rank for along with their Search volume & CPCs.

6. Woorank

SEO Tool: Woorank

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Price: Free 14-day trial, $79.99/ mo for Pro, $199.99/ mo for Premium, or contact for Enterprise quote

Woorank’s in-depth site analysis helps marketers reveal opportunities for optimization and improvement. This analysis takes into account the performance of existing SEO initiatives, social media, usability, and more.

Each report is divided into sections to help you easily analyze your site and identify targets for optimization. Here are a few features of the report:

  • Marketing Checklist: Review common marketing tasks that you can complete as part of your SEO strategy execution.
  • SEO: Analyze your SEO metrics against your goals.
  • Mobile: Decide which mobile optimization tactics to employ based on the mobile data.
  • Social: Get insight into how social media is playing a part in your traffic and SEO goals.

7. BuzzStream

SEO Tool: BuzzStream

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Price: Free 30-day trial, $24/ mo for Starter, $124/ mo for Group, $299/ mo for Professional, $999+ for Custom

Although backlinks to your website are critical to ranking well on Google, the outreach you do while link building can feel a lot like cold calling. BuzzStream makes it easy to research the appropriate people, come up with effective email messages, and track who’s accepted each link request.

BuzzStream also helps you:

  • Identify candidates for outreach: Find them based on their industry and how engaged they are across various social networks.
  • Identify candidates for backlinks: These are individuals who will likely be receptive to your backlink request for other reasons that are unique to your business’s niche.

8. Moz Pro

SEO Tool: Moz Pro

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Price: Free 30-day trial, $99/ mo for Standard, $149/ mo for Medium, $249/ mo for Large, $599/ mo for Premium

The Moz Pro subscription serves as an all-in-one tool for increasing your business’ search ranking. Moz’s collection of research tools provides subscribers with the resources they need to identify SEO opportunities, track growth, build reports, and optimize their efforts.

Moz Pro also includes:

  • Website crawler: Analyzes up to 3,000 links on a given URL.
  • Email report: Details that crawl data for the pages your site links to.
  • Insight into various “crawlability” factors: These include duplicate content and redirects that could be influencing your SEO performance.

9. Linkody

SEO Tool: Linkody

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Price: 30-day free trial; $14.90/ mo for Webmaster, $24.90/ mo for Advanced, $49.90/ mo for Pro, 99.90/ mo for Agency, and $153.90 /mo for Agency XL

The best way to understand the performance of your off-page SEO is by having a good overview of your backlinks. Linkody allows you to discover, track, analyze, and disavow backlinks all from an easy-to-use interface.

Aside from that, the tool checks your links 24/7 and informs you of any changes so you can take immediate action in case a link is lost or broken.

Other Linkody features include:

  • “Spy” on your competitors’ backlinks: Simply enter the URL of your competitor and let the tool pull all the links and metrics. The information returned will help you discover niche-relevant, high-quality backlink opportunities for your brand.
  • Gain useful insights: See your most important metrics when it comes to backlink tracking, such as the ‘rel’ attribute, Google indexation status, the website’s Domain Authority, Spam Score, Alexa rank, and more.
  • Create white-label reports: Download reports that can be shared with your team and/or clients to get a better idea of your backlink distribution and link-building progress.

10. Screaming Frog SEO Spider

SEO Tool: Screaming Frog SEO Spider

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Price: Free or €149/ year

Designed specifically for the SEO-minded, this program crawls the websites you specify, examining the URLs for common SEO issues. This program simplifies and expedites an otherwise time-consuming process — especially for larger websites. (It could take hours or days to manually evaluate the same URLs.)

Other notable features of Screaming Frog SEO Spider are:

  • Java Program: Screaming Frog includes an intuitive Java program with easy-to-navigate tabs.
  • Easy export to Excel: Further analyze your SEO data.

11. Remove’em

SEO Tool: Remove'em

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Price: $249 one-time payment for Life-Time plan, $99/ mo for Subscription (one website), or $899/ mo for Agency (10+ websites)

If you’re buying a website domain that has been used in the past, or you’re rebuilding a poor SEO strategy, you may discover some problematic backlinks while conducting your audit. Artificial or unnatural links have the potential to seriously hurt your search ranking. Remove’em helps get rid of those links.

This tool has the ability to:

  • Scan your backlink profile: Discover a list of contact information for the links and domains you’ll need to reach out to for removal.
  • Export a list of backlinks: If you wish, you can disavow backlinks by telling Google not to take these “bad” links into account when crawling your site.

12. AnswerThePublic

SEO Tool: AnswerThePublic

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Price: $99/ mo for Monthly plan, $79/ mo for Annual plan, $199/ mo for the Expert plan

AnswerThePublic is a search listening and keyword tool that listens to autocomplete data from Google and other search engines, and then provides you with a list of phrases and questions that people are searching for around your keyword. This allows you to craft your website and content to your audience to increase traffic and conversions.

With AnswerThePublic, you can also:

  • Receive updates: See when people are talking about your most relevant keywords.
  • Monitor keyword trends: Understand keyword research behavior among your target audience and customers.
  • See real-time searches: View the keywords and phrases that your audience is researching in real-time.
  • Get ideas for your website and blog: Discover new content ideas based on relevant keyword research.

13. Keyword Hero

SEO Tool: Keyword Hero

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Price: 14-day trial for any plan, Free for Little Hero, $9/ mo for Big Hero, $49/ mo for Giant Hero, and $149/ mo for Ultimate Hero

Keyword Hero pairs your visitor’s sessions with the keywords they used to land on your page, all within your Google Analytics account. In other words, this tool gives you an understanding of the search intent of your organic traffic.

Here are some more actions you can take with Keyword Hero:

  • Identify the organic traffic and conversions: Uncover the success you receive from your intended keywords.
  • Separate traffic: Identify brand versus non-brand search traffic.
  • Optimize your position in the SERPs: Optimize your website for specific target keywords.
  • See query details: Understand whether your visitors used informational versus transactional queries to find on your website.

14. SpyFu

SEO Tool: SpyFu

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Price: $39/ mo for Basic, $69/ mo for Professional, $129/ mo for Unlimited.

SpyFu is a competitor keyword research tool for Google Ads. In addition to keyword research, it helps with PPC competitive research, SEO competitive research, and the creation of custom lists and domains.

The tool helps you drive traffic to your Google Ads campaigns and website, monitor both paid and organic rankings on Google, Bing, and Yahoo, and obtain reliable and accurate contact information for leads.

With SpyFu, you can also:

  • Download a competitor’s PPC keywords: Use this insight to develop more competitive PPC strategies that can compete in the ad space.
  • Download a competitor’s SEO keywords: Use this insight to develop more competitive organic keyword strategies that can compete in the SERP.
  • Review ranking trends: the ranking of a page or website for a keyword over time.
  • Discover keyword ideas: Keyword advice for your Google Ads to increase chances of conversion.

15. Seomater

SEO Tool: Seomater

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Price: Pay as You Go (starting at $5), $19/ mo for Small Business, $49/ mo for Professional, $179/ mo for Unlimited.

Seomater is an SEO auditing and website crawling tool. It assists with technical SEO analysis and SEO on-page optimization testing. Once the tool crawls your site, you’ll receive an SEO report that explains your website’s various SEO-related elements including internal and external links, backlinks, page quality and speed, social media, organic presence, and more.

Your analysis will also come with tips on how you can improve each of these SEO elements. In addition, you can:

  • Use the SEO Monitoring Alerts feature: Your website will be automatically crawled and you’ll get an immediate notification if something is problematic in terms of SEO.
  • Get detailed reports: Find insights about your on-page and off-page SEO elements.
  • Use the Domain Comparison tool: Compare two competitors’ websites to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their SEO (such as broken links, content quality, HTML tags, and more).

16. ContentKing

SEO Tool: ContentKing

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Price: $139/ mo for Basic, $319/ mo for Standard, $449/ mo for Pro, or $1,279 for Enterprise.

ContentKing is a real-time SEO auditing and content tracking tool — it tracks your website 24/7 so any issues related to SEO don’t go unnoticed for too long. The tool is cloud-based, meaning there’s no installation required and your data and reports are available whenever you need them.

With ContentKing, you can also:

  • Improve your SEO: Use ContentKing’s 24/7 website audits (and algorithms) to gain insight into your SEO and receive tasks that will help you optimize your webpages.
  • Get alerts: Get notified whenever something on your website is broken or is no longer well-optimized so you can efficiently fix the issue.
  • Track Changes: Follow the history of all your content changes on your site (such as changes on individual web pages and changes in robots.txt) and search the history of your changes.
  • Visualize data: See real-time dashboards and reports.

Now that you’ve learned about some of the best free and paid SEO tools on the market, determine which option will help you achieve your SEO goals and get started auditing, optimizing, and monitoring your website, individual web pages, and content.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in December 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Social Media Demographics for Marketers in 2022

I get it, fellow marketers —sometimes, you just need the numbers.

The new year means a lot of things: new life changes, new opportunities, chances to change lives, and, for marketers, new campaigns to plan.

The juggernaut known as social media only gets bigger with every new year, and because of that, demographics shift with it. And, ultimately, keeping on top of important numbers before your social media campaigns can help you with ROI in the long run.

Download Now: Social Media Trends in 2022 [Free Report]

Here, we’ve compiled the state of social media demographics, optimized with the most important data you need to know about your audience and shaping your personas for 2022.

General Social Media Demographics

  • Roughly 82% of Americans between 18 and 49 years old use at least one social media site. (Pew Research Center)
  • The top way marketers find their audience on social media is by researching relevant online communities, such as Facebook Groups and subreddits. (HubSpot Blog Research, 2021)
  • 84% of marketers are targeting Millennials in their social media strategy, followed by Gen X (52%), then Gen Z at 22%. Only 14% of marketers target Baby boomers. (HubSpot Blog Research, 2021)
  • Most marketers say that short-form video content is the most popular content format for Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z. (HubSpot Blog Research, 2021)

Facebook Demographics

General

  • As of 2021, Facebook has over 2 billion monthly active users. (Statista)
  • Users spend an average of 19.5 hours a month on Facebook. (Hootsuite)

Age and Gender

  • Male consumers between 25 and 34 years of age represent the largest demographic on Facebook. (Statista)
  • Globally, 56.4% of Facebook users identify as male while 43.6% identify as female. (Statista)
  • Marketers believe Facebook is the most popular social media platform across all age groups. (HubSpot Blog Research, 2021)

Geography

  • India has the most Facebook users at 349 million, with the United States in second place with 193.9 million users. (Statista)
  • Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa are the countries where Facebook users are growing the fastest. (eMarketer)
  • In 2020, Facebook’s user base is declined in Germany, Japan, Switzerland, and South Korea. (eMarketer)

Takeaways

As the most popular social media network, Facebook is definitely a platform worth investing in. Its largest user group is Millennials but it still has a wide range of users across all ages. Furthermore, Facebook is popular worldwide, making it a great social media network for brands of all industries and locations.

Instagram Demographics

General

  • eMarketer forecasts that Instagram will reach 1.1 billion users in 2022. (eMarketer)
  • 500+ million users are active on the platform every day. (Instagram)
  • Users spend an average of 10.3 hours a month on IG. (Hootsuite)

Age and Gender

  • Males between the ages of 18 to 24 represent the largest demographic on Instagram, followed closely by males between 25 to 34 years old. (Statista)
  • Most women on Instagram are between 18 and 34 years old. (Statista)
  • The smallest age group on Instagram is senior males 65+. (Statista)

Geography

  • For two consecutive years, the most geo-tagged city in the world on Instagram has been Los Angeles, California. (Mention + Hubspot)
  • The country with the most Instagram posts in 2020 was the the U.S., leading with 571K posts, followed by Brazil with over 300K posts. (Mention + HubSpot)
  • India and the U.S. lead the board as the countries with the largest Instagram audience sizes, similar to Facebook, (Statista)

Takeaways

Instagram is another leading social media platform with a large user base spanning all age groups. While it’s not as big as Facebook, it does offer advanced ecommerce features, making it incredibly popular among consumers and valuable to brands.

Twitter Demographics

General

  • Twitter’s user base reached over 320 million users in 2021. (Statista)
  • Roughly a quarter of Americans use Twitter. (Pew Research Center)
  • Twitter ranks #12 in the world’s most visited websites. (SEMrush)
  • Users spend an average of 5.6 hours a month on Twitter. (Hootsuite)

Age and Gender

  • Most American Twitter users (65%) are between 18 and 29 years of age. ((Pew Research Center)
  • Twitter’s user base heavily skews male with only 29.6% of users identifying as female. (Statista)

Geography

  • The U.S. is the country with the most Twitter users, at 77 million with Japan right behind at 58.2 million. (Statista)
  • 27% of U.S. adults living in urban areas use Twitter. (Pew Research Center)

Income and Education

Takeaways

If you’re looking to build a community surrounding your brand, Twitter is a great place to start. It’s particularly popular in the U.S., so that aligns with your target audience, consider setting up your virtual shop there.

TikTok Demographics

General

  • Users spend an average of 13.3 hours a month on TikTok. (Hootsuite)
  • Because TikTok’s audience is younger, most users earn between $30K to $50K. (Pew Research Center)
  • Tiktok has 1 billion monthly active users. (Influencer Marketing Hub)
  • TikTok ranks #2 on the platforms social media marketers build communities on, behind YouTube. (HubSpot Blog Research, 2021)
  • On average, consumers spend roughly 13 hours a month on TikTok. (Hootsuite)

Age and Gender

  • 25% of U.S. TikTok users are between 10 and 19 years of age. (Statista)
  • Only 18% of U.S. Tiktok users are 50+ years old. (Pew Research Center)
  • Marketers believe TikTok is the second most popular social media platform with Gen Z, behind Facebook. (HubSpot Blog Research, 2021)

Geography

  • TikTok is most popular in China with 600 million active daily users, followed by the U.S., Indonesia, and Brazil. (Business of Apps)
  • In 2020, Latin America was the fastest-growing region for TikTok usage, excluding China. (Statista)

Takeaways

TikTok’s audience heavily skews young, with a large Gen Z population. As such, it’s a great platform for B2C brands targeting this demographic. With short-form video taking off, it’s an opportunity for brands to not only hop on a growing trend but do it on a platform that caters to their target audiences.

YouTube Demographics

General

  • YouTube is the number one platform social media marketers build communities on. (HubSpot Blog Research, 2021)
  • YouTube is the second most visited website in the world. (Hootsuite)
  • 81% of U.S. consumers say they use YouTube, a 7% increase from 2019 and the biggest jump of all major social media platforms (Pew Research Center)
  • On average, consumers spend 23.2 hours a month on YouTube, more than Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. (Hootsuite)
  • YouTube has over 2 billion users. (Omnicore)
  • YouTube accounts for over 25% of total worldwide mobile traffic by volume. (Sandvine)

Age and Gender

  • 49% of U.S. internet users over 65 years of age say they use YouTube, compared to only 13% on Instagram, 7% on Twitter, and 4% of TikTok users. (Pew Research Center)
  • YouTube’s largest advertising audience (21.2%) is 25- to 34-year-olds, followed by 35- to 44-year-olds. (Hootsuite)

Geography

  • Roughly 15% of YouTube’s traffic comes from the U.S. (Alexa)

Takeaways

YouTube is the leading video platform, with a wide range of users from Gen Z all the way to Baby Boomers. Because it’s known for long-form content, users tend to spend much more time on this platform compared to other social networks.

With this in mind, brands should develop a long-form video strategy to capitalize on this huge traffic source and lead generator.

LinkedIn Demographics

General

  • LinkedIn’s user base in 2021 is roughly 774 million, with 21% of that being U.S. internet users. (Statista)
  • LinkedIn saw a slower user growth in 2021 (4.2%), compared to the previous year at 6.2%. (eMarketer)
  • LinkedIn makes up the largest share of B2B display advertising in the U.S. at 32.3%. (eMarketer)

Age and Gender

  • 56% of LinkedIn users identify as male while 43.1% identify as female. (Statista)
  • Roughly 60% of LinkedIn users are between 25 and 34 years of age. (DataReportal)

Geography

  • LinkedIn is used in 200 countries and territories. (LinkedIn)
  • India, China, and Brazil have the largest LinkedIn user bases after the U.S. (DataReportal)
  • Over 75% of members are outside the US. (LinkedIn)

Education/Income

  • 51% of U.S. adults who have a college education use LinkedIn. Only 12% of U.S. adults earning less than $30K use the platform. (Pew Research Center)
  • Half of U.S. adults who earn $75K+ use LinkedIn. .(Pew Research Center)

Takeaways

Although LinkedIn’s user growth has slowed down, it’s still the number one social media platform for B2B brands. It’s full of decision-makers and young adults entering the workforce prime for social selling.

Reddit Demographics

General

  • There are 430 million users on Reddit. (Statista)
  • Reddit saw 14.4% user growth in 2021. (eMarketer)
  • 18% of U.S. internet users use Reddit, growing 7% from 2019. (Pew Research Center)

Age and Gender

  • Gen Z makes up roughly 2% of Reddit users. (eMarketer)
  • Reddit is made up of 62.8% male and 37.2% female users. (Statista)
  • Only 3% of U.S. adults over 65 years of age use Reddit. However, 36% of U.S. adults between 18 and 29 years of age use it. (Pew Research Center)

Geography

  • 46% of desktop traffic to Reddit.com comes from the U.S. (SimilarWeb)
  • 21% of U.S. adults living in suburban areas use Reddit, compared to only 10% living in rural areas.

Takeaways

Along with YouTube, Reddit’s user base has grown significantly in recent years, compared to other social media platforms. This suggests that consumers are becoming more interested in what the network has to offer. From an audience perspective, it’s made up mostly of male Millennials, attracting most of its users from the U.S.

Snapchat Demographics

General

Age and Gender

Geography

Takeaway

One thing that’s clear with this Snapchat data is that young people love it. After Instagram introduced Stories, many thought Snapchat was on its way out. Turns out, it’s still a major player in the social media game. If your target audience is Millennials, you should definitely consider having a presence on that platform.

Feel free to refer to this list periodically as you’re working through your editorial calendars and audits for the new year. As this time of year calls for a fresh slate, the research behind your next incredible campaign has to be fresh, as well. Happy planning!

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The Best Social Media Platforms for Video Content in 2022

As of June 2021, TikTok users on Android devices now spend more time each month watching content than YouTube users (also on Android devices). In UK countries, the difference is even more drastic than in the U.S. as TikTok users continue to watch more video content than on YouTube.

Additionally, HubSpot’s 2021 State of Marketing Report reveals that video is the top content marketing strategy used by brands while social media is ranked as the top marketing channel.

With data like that — and all the growing social media video platforms out there — it’s become obvious that social media marketing and video content go hand in hand.

While creating great social media videos for your company can be an incredibly effective marketing tactic, each social media content strategy shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach. To ensure that your videos are seen and spread quality brand awareness, you’ll need to ensure you’re making the right videos for the right audiences on the right platforms.

To help you figure out where to publish your video content — and which types of videos to post — we surveyed 300+ consumers to find out where they most commonly watch videos on social media.

Below, we’ll reveal the results and a few expert tips for building the best social media video-sharing strategy for 2021 — including one from an expert at Wistia.

→ Access Now: Video Marketing Starter Pack [Free Kit]

Where are Consumers Watching Social Media Videos?

In recent years, Gen-Z-targeting platforms like TikTok and Instagram have been on the rise. But if you think that everyone’s primarily watching video on these platforms, you might be surprised by what our poll found.

When I asked consumers “On which social media platform do you most commonly watch videos?”, 35% of respondents said YouTube.

Youtube, Facebook, and TikTok are the go-to social media video platforms for consumers

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While it’s not surprising that YouTube or Facebook, some of the world’s biggest online platforms, are the preferred video viewing sites, only 8% of respondents said they primarily watch videos on Instagram — one of the pioneers of Stories and live video.

Another surprising find was that 20% of respondents — or 1 in 5 people — primarily use TikTok (the youngest social network on the list) for video viewing. While this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to shift your whole strategy to TikTok, it does show that the platform could continue to have a promising future for content marketers.

If this data has you worried that you’re publishing videos on the wrong platforms, take a breath. Remember that this is just one informal consumer survey. Had we polled a specific age group, people from a specific industry, or consumers from different regions, the results might have swayed to other platforms — like LinkedIn or Twitter.

However, even though this is just one small survey, it does remind us that a mix of older and newer platforms, like YouTube and TikTok, are the go-to video platforms for vast audiences.

In another study, we surveyed 310 social media marketers in the United States to find out which social media platforms they leverage, which formats they use, and their plans and expectations going into 2022.

In this study, we found the top format marketers leverage on social media is video content: short-form video (54%) and live videos/streaming (47%). Additionally, this format is known to be the most effective as well, as 85% of respondents said short-form videos, and 70% said live videos/streaming are most effective.

This being said, marketers reported that video content has the highest engagement levels and ROI on both Facebook and Instagram.

With this in mind, it’s not surprising that 95% of marketers who leverage short-form videos plan to increase their investment or continue investing the same amount in 2022. Additionally, 95% of marketers who leverage live videos/streaming plan to increase their investment, and 89% of marketers who leverage long-form videos plan to increase their investment or continue investing the same amount in 2022.

Now that we’ve gotten an idea of where consumers are primarily watching social media videos, we’ll walk you through a few tips for sharing the best videos for different social media audiences.

Tips for Sharing Social Media Videos

1. For most platforms, zone in on snackable content.

The world is becoming more fast-paced every day. While many people are watching social media videos in their spare time, some are watching them between meetings, while in line at the store, or on public transit. Even if people do have time to watch hours of video, there’s so much out there that they’ll want to scroll to more content almost immediately after their video starts.

That’s why one social media video strategy to focus on in 2021 is mastering the art of “snackable” or super short-form content.

“Using snackable videos on social can actually drive more engagement than static images,” says Meisha Bochicchio, Content Marketing Manager at Wistia. “A recent study found that 60% of marketers saw more clicks with video posts compared with static images.”

When it comes to creating effective snackable content, Bochicchio says, “First things first, keep in mind that most social media platforms will automatically start playing video content as viewers scroll. So, make sure your videos are autoplay-friendly. Keep them short and put your key messaging in the first few seconds. For example, take a look at this video from Wistia announcing their State of Video Report.”

“Remember that most people won’t hear your audio, so make sure your videos are also silent-friendly,”Bochicchio advises. “Consider text overlays, or upload captions directly on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

In the video example below, Wistia marks the launch of their series “Show Business” with a captioned video that allows viewers to get key information without any sound.

To learn more about this strategy, check out this post on snackable content, or this post that highlights the latest short-form video trends.

2. Test different video formats, too.

While snackable content is a great tactic to harness in 2021, you can still publish longer videos, as long as they’re engaging and valuable to your audience.

For example, while people might not want to watch a two-hour commercial, they could watch a longer live video Q&A, an interview with a thought leader, or a video that tells a longer, but entertaining story.

While you can certainly test longer-form video, you can also test out other formats, such as live streams, interactive videos, and shopping videos on platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

As new video formats emerge, it can be helpful to determine if they might work for your brand and design a test around them.

Be sure you identify and track the right success metrics. For example, if you’re testing a longer video, look at its views and dropoff rate to see how long viewers stay tuned. Meanwhile, if you try a more interactive approach like a live stream or Q&A you can also take note of comments, engagements, and shares on the content while you’re live.

3. Meet your video audiences where they are.

As with any social media strategy, some content will perform better on some social media platforms rather than others. While snackable, consumer-facing content might perform well with YouTube, Facebook, and TikTok’s large consumer audiences, a B2B marketing video or a Q&A with a corporate thought leader might perform better on a professional-facing network like LinkedIn.

Luckily, to create a great marketing strategy, you don’t (and shouldn’t have to) place your videos on every single social media platform. However, you should research the demographics of each major network, identify which audiences might engage most with your content, and start publishing videos where it makes the most sense for your brand and goals.

Then, continue to keep an eye on platforms you’ve ruled out in case they continue to evolve and provide your brand more audience opportunities in the future.

4. Don’t always lean on repurposed content.

When I was a startup marketer, I loved to repurpose content whenever it was possible. And, back then, when social media platforms were less evolved, this strategy would work.

Today, it can still be beneficial for brands to repurpose some video content for different platforms when they have similar audiences and features. This can also be a great way to test whether your content strategy for one platform will work with one audience.

However, because knowing your social media audience is more important than ever, you might want to consider having a slightly different video strategy for your most important video platforms. While there will be times where you can easily repurpose content to save time or bandwidth, some platforms like TikTok and Instagram are evolving with algorithms that could deprioritize your content if it has a watermark from another network.

5. Embrace influencers — and customers.

Even if you’ve done all of your research and churn out videos daily, it can still be incredibly hard to post a viral piece of content that grows your audience.

Luckily, there are experts on every social media platform who know how to create videos. And, some of them will even create videos for you — and then share them with their audiences.

That’s why one great growth strategy can involve reaching out to influencers or thought leaders with expertise in your industry and either featuring them in your videos or getting them to endorse your brand in their content.

If you can’t afford to have an influencer help boost your video strategy, you can also look towards happy consumers. With this strategy, you can encourage customers to share a video about their experience with your brand on social media, or you can create a video filled with multiple pieces of user-generated content from happy customers.

Because today’s consumers crave authenticity from brands, user-generated content not only can provide you with free video content but can also spread brand awareness to prospects or people researching you on social media.

Navigating Social Media Content

More than ever, social media and content marketing are always evolving. As a marketer, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest trends and data to better inform your strategies — whether you’re investing in video or other tactics.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in June 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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How Consumers Responded to Black Friday Ads in 2021 [+Trends to Watch]

After 2020, there were big expectations for what 2021 could bring. Some predicted lower Black Friday sales as supply chains struggle to meet demand. Others said 2021 would bring record numbers.

As an advertiser, you might want to learn more about growing online purchasing behaviors – and how you can leverage them in 2022.

Download even more examples of remarkable marketing and advertising campaigns  here. 

Below, we’ll highlight what we learned from polling 300+ consumers after this Black Friday. Then, we’ll present a few consumer behavior predictions you’ll need to know about when determining your 2022 Black Friday ad strategy.

What We Learned About Black Friday Shoppers in 2021

To help marketers discover more about the consumer behaviors behind Black Friday’s 2021 results, I surveyed a pool of more than 300 people using Lucid Software. The goal was to learn what led them to engage with or purchase products in Black Friday ads.

Here’s what we learned from our results.

1. Social media was the leading driver for ad engagement.

With Black Friday deals comes an inundation of Black Friday ads throughout all forms of media. It’s no surprise that millions of people shopped on Black Friday – but which ad strategies actually led to purchases?

When I asked participants, “Did you engage with any online ads or promotions for Black Friday?” 56% said they engaged with one or more ads in some way, while only 26% said they ignored them.

lucid survey results on black friday ads 2021

We also found that social media was the number one place consumers engaged with ads, with 54% of consumers surveyed clicking on ads they saw on a social network.

Social media is a big revenue driver when it comes to Black Friday ads and the opportunities it offers continue to expand. Let’s take a look at Instagram for example.

You can discover a brand, scroll through their profile, see a product you like, and complete a purchase without ever leaving the platform.

With so many social media platforms offering ecommerce features, brands can attract shoppers at every stage of the buyer’s journey and consumers can experience a seamless shopping experience. It’s a win-win.

From an advertising perspective, this is a big indication that brands should be well prepared for social media ads as Black Friday approaches.

Instead of waiting for the week before Black Friday, where timelines are already flooded with ads, consider starting early and you may get better results.

That said, having an online presence beyond social media is also important. Our survey found that while most of the ads consumers clicked on came from social media, 23% clicked on ads they saw on brand websites and 22% on search engines.

With this in mind, it’s important to diversify your ad channels, as each has the potential to drive revenue.

2. Consumers showed interest in technology and electronic deals.

Aside from the ad’s location, the product or service advertised could have played a role in an audience’s level of engagement.

To get an idea of which products were most popular, I asked survey participants, “Which industries were you most interested in shopping?” 49% answered “Electronics and appliances.”

This mirrors data from SEMrush, which shows that the most popular and searched products include laptops, televisions, watches, headphones, video games, and cellphones.​​semrush data on most popular shopping categories

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Amazon reported that its top-selling items were also electronics: Apple Airpods, the Fire TV Stick, the Echo Dot, smart lightbulbs, and more.

This is great news for brands that fall within this industry, as Black Friday is a great opportunity to drive traffic to your products.

3. Consumers are shopping more online.

40% of Lucid survey respondents said they shopped exclusively online, with only 7% doing an even mix of online and in-person.

Although traffic at retail stores is up almost 50% from last year, it’s still not back to pre-pandemic numbers, according to a CNBC report.

Ecommerce brands are benefiting from this recent shift, with Shopify reporting a 21% increase in Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales year-over-year. Globally, the platform reached peak sales of $3.1 million per minute on Black Friday.

However, what data does suggest is that online ads can drive shoppers to head to stores in person. Fiffy-four percent of consumers surveyed on Lucid said that they visited a store to grab a deal they saw in an ad online.`

3 Predictions for Black Friday 2022

1. Brands with a strong social strategy will outperform those without one.

Our survey results and mounting research continues to show the growing importance of developing or constantly improving a web presence.

And as we mentioned, an online web presence might not just be a nice perk for your customers. It might result in ROI for your brand, especially on Black Friday.

Growing an online presence doesn’t have to be expensive and daunting.

For example, if you’re just dipping your toes into online marketing, you could start with free strategies like building a social media profile, launching a basic website, starting a marketing email, or creating a Google My Business for your store.

Then, once you’re comfortable, experiment with larger investments such as buying online ads.

The strategies above will allow people across the web to learn more about your brand, offerings, or services. These tactics could also make it easier for prospects to find you when they’re researching products or services in your industry.

2. Consumers will start shopping earlier.

In previous years, shoppers waited closer to Thanksgiving weekend to start shopping. This year, things are changing.

According to the National Retail Federation, this early shopping trend has been rising since 2011.

They report that most consumers (61%) started shopping as early as Halloween this year, almost a month before Black Friday. In fact, some completed roughly a third of their holiday shopping by the beginning of the month.

In addition, shoppers aren’t just waiting to stumble upon ads, nearly 48% of Lucid respondents surveyed said they actively searched for Black Friday deals and promotions.

lucid survey results 2021 on black friday ads

For advertisers, this means launching ads early to reach consumers as they’re starting to shop for the holiday season.

3. Shoppers will be more intentional about where they spend.

In early 2021, Intuit ran a survey of over 1,000 Americans and found that 70% are supporting local businesses.

The survey also revealed that Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to support local businesses by only shopping online (45 percent).

This intentionality was also apparent during Black Friday 2021. Among the consumers surveyed in our Lucid poll, 63% said they either prioritized shopping from small or local brands or did a combination of small to large businesses.

5 Tips for Creating Effective Black Friday Ads

1. Plan (and launch) early.

This year, consumers started holiday shopping early.

We can’t predict with full accuracy what things will look like next year. So, in absence of knowledge, it’s better to stay ready so you don’t have to get ready.

In other words, don’t start planning your promotion strategy in early November. You want to give your team enough time to plan an effective strategy that will reach your target audience at the right place and at the right time.

You’ll need enough time to craft a plan, develop the strategy, build the creative assets, and launch the campaign. You’ll also need to account for any obstacles you may encounter along the way.

2. Highlight how a service or product can solve for your customer.

Your ads should aim to educate ideal customers about your offerings, how they can help them, or why they might need them in their daily lives.

But, how do you convey that your offerings are valuable, important, or necessities when you don’t actually sell an essential product? Although it can take some creativity, it is possible to do this.

Above is an example of Twitter content from InfoArmor, an information security service owned by Allstate.

In the tweet, InfoArmor shared a blog post about the dangers of information security when working remotely and how InfoArmor could protect remote employee information.

3. Diversify your promotion channels.

We mentioned that social media is a huge revenue generator during Black Friday.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s the only channel you should leverage to attract shoppers. In fact, you should promote your ads across all channels to maximize your reach.

Have a newsletter? Share your offers there. You could also consider running a Google Ads campaign.

Regardless of which online platforms you embrace, be sure to create content that speaks to those customers, rather than just placing a basic ad on every website you can access.

By creating content that’s tailored to platforms your customers use, you’ll increase the likelihood of catching their eyes as they scroll through endless web pages, feeds, or email inboxes. And, once you grab their attention, you can use that content to highlight your value proposition in an entertaining or interesting way.

For example, if you’re creating an ad for Instagram, it might be tempting to just use a picture of the ad you made for a website or newspaper on with a basic caption.

But, that might not be engaging for people scrolling through their feeds looking for valuable product information or entertaining content. Instead, consider creating a short marketing video or a series of photos of customers with your product to better engage this audience.

Below is a great example of a Black Friday post that could also work well as an ad on Instagram. The post shows a video demo of someone from Hair Vivi putting on one of the brand’s wigs.

While the video shows viewers how easy it is to put on the wig, the caption also highlights the product’s value and the company’s Black Friday deals.

4. Present deals, sales, or affordable offers.

Aside from aiming to buy products with the best value, budget-conscious shoppers will also be looking for the best deals this holiday season.

If you can offer a deal or sale on your product or offering, embrace that information in your advertising.

Here’s a great ad from Walmart that highlights all the online deals they’ll be offering this year:

walmart black friday adAlong with the ad highlighting a bunch of great deals and alternatives for Black Friday in-person sales, the ad is also interesting because it’s interactive online but formatted so it can also work as a static print ad if needed.

Aside from the ad above, Walmart has created content with a similar aesthetic and deal-oriented message for social media platforms like Facebook. Here’s a screenshot of featured content on its Facebook Business page.

walmart black friday ad

5. Embrace video marketing.

In our 2021 State of Marketing Report, we found that video is the leading form of marketing content used across industries. And, with Gen-Z and millennials embracing video more than ever for product discovery, this format becomes more of a low-hanging fruit each year.

If you think video marketing is only for big brands, think again.

In the last year, we’ve seen all sorts of small and large brands affordably embrace video to attract and nurture leads.

Here’s one great example of a startup demo video created by Beauty Bakerie.

While the content allows viewers to see what the products will look like in real life, Cashmere, the brand’s CEO – Cashmere Nicole Carillo – gives instructions on how to use it so they’ll also know just how easy it is to add to their daily beauty routine.

Every Black Friday is an opportunity to learn more about your target audience. Pay attention to what works, what doesn’t, and look out for trends that will help you improve your ad strategy.

Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published in December 2019 but was updated for freshness and comprehensiveness.

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How to Automate Your Account-Based Marketing Strategy

Today, marketing is all about personalization.It’s about reaching the right people in the right place at the right time. Account-based marketing (ABM) is no different — it’s a strategy that’s been growing in popularity in recent years. In fact, 94.3% of respondents to a 2020 State of ABM survey use an ABM strategy.

That’s why ABM is an important strategy to implement if you sell high-value B2B products or services to a finite number of companies with several decision makers. Using ABM automation tools is the key to scaling these efforts.

Here, we’ll show you exactly how to automate your account-based marketing strategy using ABM automation tools.

Learn More About HubSpot's ABM Software

Learn More About HubSpot’s ABM Software

1. Scalable Acquisition Strategy

We know that anytime a process is automated, it’s scalable. When ABM strategies are automated, bandwidth on your marketing team becomes available. Your team can spend more time nurturing the accounts they’re responsible for and personalizing the sales cycle for the decision makers within the account. That way, new business can be acquired without the limitations of manually nurturing each account.

2. Shorter Sales Cycle

Consider this: When your sales reps have just a few accounts to target to close deals, they can become more selective about who moves through the sales cycle and when. When a specific marketing tactic works to generate leads in a particular account, the sales rep can shift their focus to that deal. ABM automation benefits sales reps by incentivizing them to work efficiently to close deals which leads to shorter sales cycles.

3. Better Marketing and Sales Alignment

For far too many marketing and sales teams, alignment between the two seems to be a goal instead of reality. An automated account based marketing strategy causes and requires alignment between these two business functions in order to close deals.

The marketing team is responsible for creating sales enablement content while the sales team is responsible for cultivating the relationships and closing deals. Without both of these parts of the puzzle working together, the ABM strategy would fail. Automating the strategy by producing content at scale and tracking accounts through the sales process using ABM automation tools like RollWorks keeps both teams aligned and achieving their goals.

ABM Marketing automation results on a dashboard

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4. Stronger Customer Retention

Leveraging personalized marketing and sales materials for each account is a fundamental tactic used in account based marketing. But that can be difficult to maintain if your team is doing this manually. Eventually, the personalized materials transform into more general content and the relationship between your business and the account fizzles out.

With ABM automation, this doesn’t have to be the case. Automating emails and direct mail campaigns (just to name a few) throughout the account’s life cycle can strengthen the relationship, yielding improved customer retention and satisfaction.

1. Create your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).

Before you can get started with ABM, you’ll need to define your ideal customer profile. This is similar to a buyer persona, except it’s built around targeting entire organizations rather than individuals.

You’ll want to know what types of companies you want to target. For example, your ICP should include information on company size, revenue, industry, and location.

With software, like HubSpot’s ABM software, you can use ICP workflow templates to help you spot common traits that can be used to classify companies in your database by how well they match your ICP.

Ultimately, automation should help you identify and organize your target accounts. Once you’ve created your ICP, you should be able to use this information in your ABM software to manage your audience.

2. Set up your target accounts.

Once you’ve created your ICP, you should be able to set up your target accounts in your ABM software.

Tagging “Target accounts” in your software will enable you to manage your audience from a Target Accounts dashboard. For example, with HubSpot’s ABM software, you can tag accounts as target accounts and then rank them with the ICP Tier property. Your priority accounts will be marked “Tier 1,” while lower priority accounts will be marked “Tier 3.”

Additionally, a great ABM software will use AI-powered target account recommendations to automate the process of researching companies that are a good fit.

These types of tools will help you manage and then segment your lists so you can deliver personalized content to your target accounts.

3. Integrate your ABM, marketing automation software, and CRM.

Before you can build your ABM campaigns, you’ll want to integrate your ABM software with your marketing automation software and your CRM.

For example, with HubSpot, you can use many of the ABM software features if you have Marketing or Sales Pro.

Integrating your marketing tools is important in the automation process. If your ABM software doesn’t interact with your email marketing software or your ads tools, then you won’t be able to automate the process.

Additionally, if it doesn’t interact with your CRM, it’ll be impossible to know if leads become accounts and track the ROI of an account-based campaign.

By integrating these tools, you’ll have your ICP research, target accounts, content, and CRM all in one place.

4. Build your campaigns.

When you have your ABM software and marketing tools set up, it’s time to create your campaigns.

To start, you’ll want to decide what channels you want to use and what actions will trigger an automated workflow.

First, look at your target accounts and find out where they spend their time online. For example, you can build an ad campaign based on people’s job titles or companies on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Then, you’ll want to think about your customer journey and set up automated workflows. For instance, you can have a task created for a sales rep when someone who works at one of your target accounts interacts with an email, your website, or blog content.

5. Personalize your content.

You probably got started with ABM so you could personalize your marketing campaigns. To do this, you’ll want to create your content, and use your automation tools to segment your audience.

For example, with HubSpot’s ABM software, you can use company lists to create an ad audience or use company ad targeting for your LinkedIn ads.

With your ICP set up, you can create your content based on your target audience. The content in your ABM campaigns will be similar to other marketing content, except that you’re now targeting specific accounts and companies.

Ultimately, your messaging should address specific pain points, and appeal to solving your target account’s problems.

6. Tailor your engagement.

Another aspect of your ABM strategy will be collaborating with your sales team so they can tailor their engagement with target accounts.

A great way to do this is through automation tools. That’s why your CRM and ABM software need to work together.

For example, with HubSpot’s ABM software and Sales Hub, you can automate your follow up emails and tasks based on the prospect’s behavior.

However, remember that even though you’re focusing on automation right now, your sales outreach and content should still be personalized.

7. Set up a dashboard to assess ongoing efforts.

The last step to automating your ABM strategy is to track and measure your efforts. With ABM software, you’ll want to see information at-a-glance.

For instance, on your dashboard, you might include information on your target accounts such as company score, open deals, total pipeline, and the number of decision-makers identified.

ABM automation dashboard to assess ongoing efforts

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If your ABM software has company scoring available, you should use it. This is similar to lead scoring, where you assign a score based on the properties in your software.

Additionally, you should consider running A/B tests when you get started with ABM automation so you can see what messaging appeals to your ICP.

While ABM does require thoughtful planning and coordination, using ABM software tools — ideally ones that integrate with your CRM and marketing automation tools — can help you automate and scale your strategy.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in May 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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What Is Servant Leadership?

Leadership looks different for everyone.

Some choose to use a democratic style, where they make final decisions after getting input from team members. Some are individualists, focused on personal development and improvement, while others act as a coach that works to help employees develop their skills and build strong teams.

Although different in practice, most leadership styles have in common that the leader is a force of authority at their business — entirely different from servant leadership, where authority is purposely left by the wayside.

In this post, learn about servant leadership, its main characteristics, and how it can benefit your organization.

→ Click here to download leadership lessons from HubSpot founder, Dharmesh  Shah [Free Guide].

What is servant leadership?

Servant leadership is the idea that a leader’s primary goal is to serve their employees and give them the support they need to develop their skills and succeed at their jobs. This differs from traditional leadership in that a leader doesn’t enforce their authority or treat others as subordinates.

Robert K. Greenleaf first coined the term servant leader in his 1970 essay The Servant as Leader. In the essay, he says that the servant leader “Focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong” and that they “Put the needs of others first and help people develop and perform as highly as possible.”

Essentially, the leader (a boss, CEO, or any type of executive at a business) exists to serve the people that work for the company. In turn, employees supported by a leader with their best interest at heart are more motivated, empowered, high-performing, and able to provide customers with the best possible experience.  

Servant Leadership Characteristics

In his essay, Greenleaf outlines ten fundamental principles of servant leadership, which we’ll discuss below.

servant leadership characteristics

1. Listening

Servant leaders must be good listeners. It helps them get to know the people that work for the business and what they’re all about.

With listening, servant leaders will discover insight about employees that will help them best support their needs, whether it’s understanding areas for personal development or simply learning how employees feel at work and if anything needs to be done to improve their experience.

2. Empathy

Servant leaders need to be empathetic as it’s one of the best ways to help employees grow to be the best they can be.

For example, an employee may express a desire to develop a particular skill, and they want to feel as though you’re listening to them and understanding their needs. Empathy helps with this, as you’ll be able to relate to their interest and ask further questions that help you help them move forward.

Empathy is also critical in servant leadership when it comes to correcting behaviors. For example, say that an employee could not meet a goal at the end of the quarter. With traditional leadership, you may tell the employee that they must perform better without giving actionable advice that will help them do so.

Instead, a servant leader would be empathetic towards the situation and want to understand the roadblocks that caused them to struggle. Of course, you’d still like to ensure that it wouldn’t happen again, but you’d work alongside the employee to guarantee they have the tools to perform better and meet their goals next quarter.

3. Healing

Greenleaf says that servant leaders must understand the importance of healing as people aren’t always used to working in situations where their leader doesn’t force their authority and require compliance.

A servant leader needs to understand that they may need to work with employees to become comfortable with the process and create a working environment that builds trust and helps them be comfortable with your leadership style.

4. Self-awareness

Servant leaders must be self-aware because they need to understand their position and perception within their team. For example, if you’re enforcing your authority, you’re not a servant leader, and you’re likely pushing employees away. Therefore, it’s essential to be aware of the space you take up within your team on a day-to-day basis.

Self-awareness also helps servant leaders understand their strengths and weaknesses when assisting employees to be the best they can be. For example, if you receive feedback that you’re not the best at communicating, you should identify your weakness and work to improve, as employees can’t succeed if they don’t understand you.

5. Persuasion

Servant leaders use persuasion instead of power and authority to influence their teams and get everyone on the same page. You should convince others and get buy-in without forcing compliance or telling people that they simply have to do something because you said they have to.

6. Conceptualization

Conceptualization means that servant leaders can develop a direction for their teams that will bring company success.

This key characteristic directly relates to other skills on this list. For example, suppose a servant leader conceptualizes a goal for employees. In that case, they should be able to persuade without forcing compliance and provide employees with everything they need to help actualize the goal and be there for them throughout the process.

7. Foresight

The Oxford Language Dictionary defines foresight as the ability to predict or the action of predicting what will happen or be needed in the future. With servant leadership, this means using historical performance and current objectives to predict future outcomes and what employees will need to help them succeed.

For example, if your teams have historically struggled with a particular task and that task is required to meet an upcoming objective, your foresight should let you know that you’d want to be present to assist when employees are undertaking that task, and maybe provide extra resources to ensure people don’t get stuck.

8. Stewardship

Stewardship is synonymous with accountability in servant leadership. The leader can take responsibility for their actions and understand how their support for their employees contributes to the overall performance of their teams.

9. Commitment to the Growth of People

Servant leaders want employees to be equipped with the tools and resources they need to succeed and feel motivated to help the company succeed. As such, servant leaders must be committed to the growth and development of people.

In practice, this can look like ensuring employees have the proper training for their required duties, planning development opportunities, or even checking in with employees to understand their career goals and figuring out how to help them get there.

10. Building community

Workplace communities foster a sense of trust and togetherness, which helps people feel like they are working together to meet a common goal. As a servant leader, you’d want to ensure that your workplace feels like a community by building relationships with others and encouraging people to build relationships with their coworkers.

As mentioned above, servant leadership is significantly different from traditional leadership styles. The leader is not an authoritative force but more of a collaborator that works alongside employees to help them succeed. It may be helpful to have some examples of what servant leadership can look like in action, so we’ll discuss some below.

Servant Leadership Examples

Leading by Example

A servant leader is willing to do anything that they ask their employees to do.

So, let’s say that employees are rushing to meet quotas for the month. Rather than instructing employees to just work harder, a servant leader will sit down with them and help them get there. Maybe they take on some tasks, motivate employees, and provide actionable advice that helps them meet their targets.

Collaboration

A servant leader sits down with employees and asks them to share feedback about business processes and whether they help them perform their duties. The servant leader actively listens to feedback, learns from what they’ve heard, and works to make necessary changes to help employees seamlessly do their work.

Empathy

A servant leader cares about their employees as people. If someone comes to them and lets them know that they’re going through something, the servant leader doesn’t tell them to check their feelings at the door or inform them that they better not fall short of expectations.

Instead, they work with the employee to develop a plan that will allow them to succeed despite what they’re going through.

Servant Leadership Can Help Companies Succeed

Although different from traditional styles, servant leaders can build motivated and capable teams that succeed in business.

If you’re a leader looking to try their hand at this leadership style, make sure that you understand who your employees are as people, provide them with the tools and support they need to succeed, and act as an ever-present resource, no matter what they need.

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How to Create a Product Launch Email [Outlines + Templates]

There are few times more exciting in a company than during a product launch. Anticipation brews and a sense of optimism emerges around the prospect of a growth in market share.

Still, a question always arises when a new product launches: do enough people know about this launch for it to be successful?

There are multiple avenues to communicate through during a product launch — ads, social media, PR, and blog promotion, to name a few. Yet, one of the most underrated and effective communication methods to alert internal and external stakeholders is a product launch email.

→ Download Now: Free Product Marketing Kit [Free Templates]

Not only do product launch emails make your customers aware of the product launch, but they also communicate vital information about the launch to those inside of your company.

In this post, we’ll walk you through the steps for writing three different types of product launch emails, including offering suggestions for your product launch email subject lines and outlining the ideal product launch email sequence.

Featured Resource: Product Marketing Email Templates [Download Now]

Product-Marketing-Graphic

HubSpot’s Free Product Marketing Kit is full of the organizational templates you’ll need to spread the word about your product, including email templates. Why waste time starting from scratch? Click here to download the templates.

Internal Product Launch Email

You’ll want to share an internal product launch email with your entire company on either the day of or prior to your product launch. With this email, you’ll want to turn all of the employees at your company into an enthusiastic, well-informed, word-of-mouth marketing team by providing them with:

  • An overview of the product
  • Why employees should be excited about it
  • “Lazy copy” for email and social media that employees can copy and paste

Here’s an outline of an internal product launch email. You can also download it as a template with more details.

1. Subject line and preview text.

Keep the subject line at or under 12 words. We’ll provide a list of examples below.

2. Greeting and tl;dr.

Just like you, the employees at your company are busy, so capture their attention with a quick hello and a 1-2 sentence overview on the product launch.

3. What is it?

Give your readers the very basic info on your product, like what it’s called, what it does, when it’s available to the public, and how much it costs. You should also include an image so readers have a visual reference.

4. Why it matters.

Why should your employees be excited about this launch? You can go a little more in-depth here, so explain what void this product fills in the market and what opportunity you’re seizing on to expand your market share, delight more users, and expand your customer base.

Some questions you can answer in this section are:

  • Does this update address a common customer complaint?
  • Are you bringing your product up to par for the market you’re in?
  • Do you have statistics or revenue projections to prove the importance?

5. How it works.

In this section, give a brief overview of the steps required to get or use this product/feature. How do your customers sign up? Are there any usage limitations? Anticipate frequently asked questions — particularly from salespeople, marketers, account managers, and support reps — and try to reduce confusion upfront.

6. Who it’s for.

If you haven’t already covered it, say who the intended audience for this product is, or if any users will automatically see this new feature. This section is particularly important for regional or language-specific products.

7. Where to go with questions.

Provide the contact info and name of the person or people who are best equipped to answer any questions about the product, its launch, or its promotion.

8. Lazy copy.

You’ll want to make it as simple as possible for employees to share the product launch over email or social media. Provide sample text and URLs that can be copied and pasted — or better yet, pre-made social links from a site like Share Link Generator.

Here’s an example of lazy copy for every situation.

  • Twitter: We’ve just launched [Product Name] here @[Company Name]! This new feature will let you [List Main Benefit]. Click here to learn more about it [Insert URL].
  • LinkedIn: It’s an exciting day here at [Company Name]! Today, we’re announcing our launch of [Product Name] – a new product that [List One or Two Major Benefits or Features].
    We’re thrilled to finally share this with our customers. Learn more at our website, and reach out to me if you have any questions about the new product! [
    Insert Product Page URL]
  • Email:

internal product launch email template lazy copy

Product Launch Email Templates

Remember, you can save time by using product launch planning and email templates. You can download free product marketing email templates here in our Product Marketing Go-To-Market Kit. You and your team can work together to make an exciting product launch campaign if you take advantage of these tools.

So when you create or find the template that’s right for you, add in your product’s information and get your network buzzing about it.

Internal Product Launch Email Subject Lines

Need a good email subject line for your internal product launch announcement email? Try one of these on for size.

  • It’s Time! [Product] is now live. Click to learn more!
  • We just launched [Product] – And we need your help
  • [NOW LIVE]: [Product] is available to the public
  • [Product] launches today. Here’s what you need to know.
  • The moment you’ve all been waiting for: [Product] is here.
  • [PLEASE READ]: Everything you need to know about [Product].
  • [Product] goes live today. Help us spread the word!

Internal Product Launch Update Email

The internal product launch update email is best shared with direct stakeholders in the product launch. For example: product marketers, product managers, designers, social, and PR.

These emails should be sent routinely leading up to the official product launch (every week, every other week, etc.) and provide readers with actionable steps on what has happened since your last email, what needs to be done, and whether or not you’re on track for launch.

Here’s an outline of what your internal product launch update email should look like. You can also download it as a template with more details.

1. Subject line and preview text.

Keep the subject line at or under 12 words. We’ll provide a list of examples below.

2. Days until product launch.

Reiterate the scheduled date of the product launch in addition to how many days remain.

3. Major updates.

List out any major updates that have occurred between the previous email and this one. For example: a bug was fixed, final designs were approved, or you secured placement in a leading circuit on announcement day.

4. Resources.

Link out to shared documents, the campaign planning spreadsheets, or any other resources that your team may need to reference this week.

5. Progress against goals.

Remind your team of the overarching campaign goals in this section and provide a status update (complete, meeting, exceeding, or lagging).

6. Updates by the team.

Run through brief status updates and developments from each team. This is also a great place to share each team’s focus for the upcoming week.

7. Questions or comments.

Encourage recipients to reach out to you directly with any questions.

Internal Product Launch Update Email Subject Line Examples

Choose a subject line for your internal product launch update emails and make it the standard for whenever you send out your updates.

  • [Date] Bi-weekly [Product Name] Update
  • [#] Days Until [Product]: This Week’s Update
  • [Product] Launch Status: Today’s Action Items
  • New from [Company]: A Solution for [Main Problem]
  • [Product]: A Solution to Your [Problem]
  • Available Now: [Product], the Solution to [Problem]
  • [Product] is Now Available. Here’s How You Can Get it.
  • Problems With [Problem]? Try [Product] – New from [Company]
  • At Last – A Solution to Your [Problem]
  • Meet [Product]: A New Product to Help You [Benefit]

External Product Launch Email

The time has come to share your exciting new product with the world.

If you have an established list of loyal contacts in your CRM, create a list of recipients you think would benefit from the product launch email. While you can send out a mass email to all of your contacts, it makes sense to group your contacts together by their lifecycle stage or their interests so that you’re prioritizing customers who would be most interested or ready for your new product.

Here’s how you might want to format an email to your contacts to encourage them to buy or learn more about your new product.

1. Subject line and preview text.

Keep the subject line at or under 12 words. We’ll provide a list of examples below.

2. Greeting and tl;dr.

Like your fellow employees, your customers are also very busy. Don’t bury the lede — start the email off with the big news! Buzzwords like “new,” “big news,” or “now available” would be good to implement here, alongside a quick overview of what the product is called, what it does, and an image of the product.

3. Overview of the product.

Provide a high-level summary of what the product is, why it was made, and what it does.

4. Key features.

List the key features or benefits of this offer. If you have a product demo video, you may want to link to it here.

5. Call-to-action.

Leave your contacts with an actionable next step. Do you want them to reply to you with questions? Sign up for a demo? Check out the new product page on your website? Whatever your desired next step is, make it abundantly clear with a link or by bolding the action.

External Product Launch Email Subject Lines Examples

Want to grab the attention of your contacts? Try one of these product launch email subject lines:

  • New from [Company]: A Solution for [Main Problem]
  • [Product]: A Solution to Your [Problem]
  • Available Now: [Product], the Solution to [Problem]
  • [Product] is Now Available. Here’s How You Can Get it.
  • Problems With [Problem]? Try [Product] – New from [Company]
  • At Last – A Solution to Your [Problem]
  • Meet [Product]: A New Product to Help You [Benefit]

Product Launch Email Sequence

To spread the word for your product launch more efficiently, consider enrolling your contacts into an email sequence in your email marketing software. Here are the steps you might want to follow:

Internal Product Launch Email Sequence

1. Introductory email: Alert the employees the product development is in progress and why.2. Pre-launch email: Let employees know when the product is set to be launched and what is expected of them on launch day.
3. Launch day email: On the day of the product launch, alert all employees the product is available to the public and provide share links.
4. Follow-up email: After some time has passed, send employees an update of your performance against goals, and a reminder of how employees can help the product launch be more successful.

External Product Launch Email Sequence

When you want to build anticipation among your contacts, consider an external product launch email sequence. This can be used to gradually increase your prospects’ interests before and after the product comes out.

Remember: you may only want to enroll people in this sequence that meet certain qualification criteria.

1. Pre-Announcement Email.

This email comes once you feel the product is in a good place and you’re comfortable announcing its release date to the public. It should include a basic description of the product in addition to an expected time frame. We suggest not identifying an official launch date unless you are absolutely confident the date you have chosen is accurate — you never know what could go wrong between now and then, so it’s best to play it safe.

2. Announcement Email.

This email should be the official email announcement of your product. We’ve outlined what should be included in this email in the section above, but remember to keep the content in this email short, informative, and actionable.

3. Follow-Up Email.

This email should be sent to the contacts you feel would be a good fit for your new product but didn’t follow up with your original email. Kindly remind them that you think they would benefit from this new product and you’re excited to hear if they’re interested.

When building excitement for your new product, having this sequence can keep your customers waiting in anticipation of your next best thing. Take a look below at an example of a real, recent product launch.

Email to Customer about New Product Example

Samsung has been exceptionally successful in advertising its new Galaxy Fold cell phones, and its emails have been building suspense for them for over a year.

This email example serves as one of its pre-announcements, allowing excited customers to pre-order the device. Previous emails they’ve sent have included the specifications and features of the Fold, and this email gives a time frame of when customers should expect its arrival.

email to customer about new product example

You can keep it simple as shown above, or get creative in your new product emails — just make sure it’s conveying the information your customers want to know.

Ready, Set, Launch! (Your Next Product)

Build your email marketing campaigns in a way that appeals to your own internal team, and your customers in search of the next best thing. We hope you can implement some tips from this guide into your marketing, and wish you the best of luck in your next product launch.

Product Marketing Kit

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Author: AJ Beltis

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