We mentioned general tips in our recent blog post and today we’re listing specific social media tips for communicating effectively on these platforms at this time.
While some Provinces in Canada slowly open businesses and public areas, clear and transparent communication is essential for businesses as we adapt to this “new normal.” One of the easiest and most convenient ways to communicate effectively with your customers and community during COVID-19 is through social media. Continue reading →
They say content is king and this statement rings true when keeping your website fresh and up-to-date. Optimizing blog posts or website content can effectively boost the digital performance of your site. It can also enhance your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) resulting in more of your target audience finding you online.
Did you know that email is the most popular activity on smartphones or that 53% of people open email on their mobile phones?
Over the past few years, email marketing has seen a huge renaissance. E marketing isn’t as sexy as social media but it is a workhorse and when it comes to conversions it blows social media out of the water.
If you craft your email strategy and build your campaigns the right way, then they can offer a return on your investment (in both time and money) of up top 44% for every dollar spent – according to Campaign Monitor.
Hands Up, Who Has an Email Account?
The answer is everyone. Email is effective because of it’s wide reach – 2.3 billion people have email addresses and many (like me) have more than one (there are over 4 billion email accounts).
For most people email is the thing they check in bed before they go to sleep, and first thing in the morning when they’re having their coffee (or on the loo!). It is versatile for all business types and it has a low barrier to entry since it is so easy to set up. Even better – when it comes to your campaigns and lists you are in full control (as long as you stay CASL compliant).
You Need An Email Marketing Plan
Crafting an email marketing plan that takes into consideration your target customers and resources is key. It should set out your business goals, map your email goals to your business goals, and outline the steps you will take to achieve them. Doing so makes it easier for you to stay on track and makes a successful campaign much more achievable.
Here’s What to Include in your E Marketing Plan:
Goals (Strategic, Campaign and Overall Email Marketing) – make them quantifiable i.e. $ sales, % increase in website traffic, number of leads of hope will result.
Audience – identify who will receive your campaign (more on defining your audience below).
Research – sign up for third-party newsletters to get ideas.
1. Define your audience – determine whether you will you send it to current customers, past customers, new projects, suppliers and partners, or by geographic area, age, gender or job role. Hint – segmentation will increase your conversion rate.
2. Create great content starting with a content list:
Determine what content will be included and outline general content types
Identify who is going to write it
Determine whether to recycle content you’ve already created or create new content (bear in mind that content should be useful and add value)
Get creative – if you have a popular Tweet – expand on that
3. Outline Timing – the frequency of your email blasts will depend on your target audience, products/services and the resources you have. It’s better to send fewer higher quality email campaigns than try to send too many. If you get a great response and have the time resources to do so, then increase frequency
4. Scheduling – Work back at least a month from your intended send date to give you enough time to get this right.
Week 1 – Editorial basics – develop content topics, graphics, ideas, and define your audience then start tracking down your lists. If you don’t have an email tool set up this is the time to do so then create your template (most email marketing tools have templates you can adapt or you can have your developer custom code one for you).
Week 3 – Log in to your email marketing tool, create your campaign and add your content. Send a test campaign.
Week 4 – Get feedback, refine and improve your campaign. Send your campaign (Wednesday or Thursday morning is a good time if your audience is corporate, if it’s consumer then evenings, weekends or earlier in the morning will be best).
Week 5 – Track responses and measure success based on the goals you set at the start.
Week 6 – Start over!
If you need help or support with your email campaigns, please reach out. We’d love to work with you!
Google’s AdWords platform is a great way to advertise online. It allows you to pay to show up on the first page of Google for search terms that your targeted audience might use to look for products or services online. You can choose which geographical area you want your ads to show up in and you choose how much or how little (there is no minimum) you would like to spend. It’s a great way to generate leads and to drive sales and your campaigns are highly measurable (especially if you link to Google Analytics).
At Out-Smarts we’ve been running AdWords campaigns for clients for over a decade. Over the years we’ve learned a few things that are key to PPC success. Here are 5 Things You Don’t Know About Google AdWords But Should to make the most of your AdWords investment.
The Landing Page is Key To AdWords Success
AdWords does a great job of driving traffic to your website but that’s only half the story. For your Ads to convert, the page people land on your website has to:
Have a relevant headline that relates to the words you used in your ads and the keywords in your AdWords campaigns
It should have short, sweet, original text that tells visitors about the benefits of your product or service (from their perspective, not yours!) and how it solves their problem or makes their lives/jobs better.
It should have a clear call to action telling visitors what to do next i.e. order now, request a free quote
The content on your page is key – if the content doesn’t line up with the context of your ads your Quality Score will be impacted and your ads are less likely to show up. You can even risk having your account being suspended, your ads won’t run.
Be particularly careful with landing pages that have a before and after image or that link to testimonials – in fact you are probably best to avoid using these.
Take Advantage of Free Google AdWords
Did you know that you can enjoy Google AdWords free of charge? This option is only available to non-profit organisations. It allows these groups to access initially $10,000 US n free advertising and if you outgrow that you can sign up for the Grantspro Program which raises this to $40,000 USD per month. To take advantage of this you have to register and meet certain criteria. It’s available in most countries around the world and you must have a valid charity status. To begin this process sign up for Google for Non Profits. This means registering with TechSoup (Canada) or in the US.
There are Two Flavors of AdWords.
There’s full blown Google Adwords and Google Express. They are both really similar but Adwords Express is designed to make it easy for you to set up your ads. Managing your ads easy is because you don’t have to – it’s all automated.
If you don’t have a website then Google Adwords Express is the way to go as it allows you to advertise your Google+ page on Google and Google Maps. It might also be the right solution if you have a small budget, want to spread a wide and targeted net and you don’t have a clue about (or don’t want to learn how) to manage your bids. But beware, with Express Google decides the keywords your ads show up for and you have no insight into how much bids cost.
Ad Extensions will Help your Ads Convert
AdWords give you capabilities beyond the basic Extended Text Ads and you should use them where appropriate as they help increase your Click Through rate to make your ads way more effective.
Ad extensions add extra information to your ads. This is information your business or offering. Such as:
Sitelink Extensions – shows links to specific pages on your site below the ad
Callout Extensions – gives more detailed info about your business as part of your ad
Structured Snippet Extensions – describe features of a specific product in your add
Call Extensions – add phone numbers to your ads, when people click they initiate a call to your company (particularly good if you have a towing company or similar!)
Message Extensions – similar to call extensions, in this case when people click it initiates a text message
Location Extensions – shows location and address information in your ads
Affiliate Extensions – shows the retail chains where people can buy your products in your ads (UK and US only)
Price Extensions – shows prices for different products or services
App Extentions – links to mobile apps
Review Extensions – showcase rave reviews of your product in your ads
Spend Time In Analytics to Improve Your AdWords Success
Google Analytics is key to AdWords success. We find that we spend almost as much time in Analytics measuring Ad performance as we do in AdWords. It is really important to link your AdWords and Analytics account right after you set up your ads but before you launch your campaigns. Next, head over to your Analytics Admin Panel and set up your goals. Your goals will reflect what it is you want people to do on the landing page once they have clicked through on your ad. These can include:
Destination URLs (i.e. thank you for your order),
Duration goals (when people spend a certain amount of time on your site).
Events – When an event on your site is triggered i.e. someone watches a video or clicks to share your content on social media
Pages Per Session – When a visitor visits a specified number of pages
Once these are set up you can then determine if your AdWords traffic is converting once it reaches your site. You will also be able to see which of your Campaigns, AdGroups and Keywords are converting as well as understanding the actual search queries people are using that result in click throughs.
Google AdWords is one of the best ways to drive targeted traffic to your website. It offers a robust platform with lots of options to help you hone your campaigns. Optimizing your landing page for conversions, taking advantage of Google Grants, using Analytics and adding ad extensions are just of few of the tactics you can use to make the most of your pay per click campaigns.
Out-Smarts provides AdWords set up and maintenance services. If you are considering your pay per click options we would love to hear from you.
Advertising on Facebook is becoming more and more sophisticated to the point that you now have many different options to help you build your audience, get followers attention and drive traffic to your website.
If your goal from advertising on Facebook is to drive website traffic and conversions, then installing and taking advantage of Facebook Pixel is a must.
What is Facebook Pixel
The Facebook Pixel is a piece of code that you install on your website. It allows you to more effectively measure the performance of your ad campaigns and it helps you determine exactly who sees your ads.
The features and benefits of Facebook Pixel include:
Ability to track customers across devices
More effective targeting
Create custom audiences for retargeting
Uncover niche segments that are similar to your current ones
Dynamic remarketing of ads – people who visit your site will see your ads on Facebook
Getting started with Facebook Pixel
To install Facebook Pixel, go to the link below to create your Facebook Pixel.
There are 2 types of code you have to install on your site to complete this process.
The first is the pixel base code that goes on all of your pages.
The second is the event code which you place on certain pages that you want to track specifically.
Creating Your Facebook Pixel
Facebook is going to step you through a process to set up your pixel and to get the codes for your site.
Installing Facebook Base Pixel on Your Website
The next step is to choose which method you want to use to install the Pixel on your site:
1. Using a tag manager 2. Copy and paste the code
In order for your Pixel to work, you must copy and paste the code into your website. This cookie allows your site to send information back to Facebook and measures visits and where people go on your site.
We prefer to copy and paste the code into the website rather than using a tag manager because that way you have more control over things that can go wrong but if you are not familiar with the code of your site you might want to go with the first option. There are also several WordPress plugins that facilitate this.
Facebook generates a handy dandy Facebook Pixel ID and instructions to send to your webmaster. The code has to go on every page of your site for it to work properly. The best way to do this is to install it in your header file somewhere between the <header> and </header> and before the <body> tag.
Pixel Events Code
The Facebook Pixel events code tracks specific actions on your pages. The first thing you need to think about is your website’s call to action – what is it that you want people to do on your site? There are 3 options in the setup process.
Basic – lets you track events and optimize for conversions based on people who take action on your site.
Recommended – includes all of the above along with basic parameters providing additional data and measurement parameters.
Advanced – adds an extra layer to include product level granularity (i.e product type, style).
Here are the standard Facebook Pixel options:
Add to basket
Add to wishlist
Add payment info Make purchase
Choose the most appropriate of these depending on your goals for website traffic, conversions and what it is you want to track.
Once these pieces of code have been installed on your site you will get a Facebook notification.
You can check to see if your Pixel is working by going to your Facebook Ads Manager. There you will notice a new Pixel tab.
Click on it to see your Pixel Fires (total amount of pixel activity in the date range).
To troubleshoot or validate your Pixel set up, there’s a useful Chrome add-on called Facebook Pixel Helper.
Facebook Pixel Next Steps
Now that you’re all set up with Pixel, it’s time to create audiences and track conversions.
This allows you to target your Facebook ads to audiences of people who have visited your website and lets you remarket to them.
From your Facebook Ads Manager click on Pixel then on the ‘Create Audience’ button. Audience options include:
• Anyone who visits your site • People who visit specific pages • People who visit specific pages but not others • People who have visited in a certain amount of time • Or, you can create your own custom combo.
Decide which option best fits your needs, name your audience and that’s it. You are ready to create your first remarketing ad on Facebook but first, you have to wait till your custom audience is big enough.
From your Facebook Ads Manager, click on Pixel then again on the ‘Create Conversion’ button.
This time you have 2 options:
Track conversions with standard events – use this if you simply want to track and optimize conversions and build your audience.
Track custom conversions – use this if you can’t use standard events on your site or if you want to split conversions on your site.