The Science Behind Optimizing Your Facebook Ads Campaign

July 13, 2017 in Small talk

Facebook ads are a quick-and-easy option for hassle-free, affordable advertising for your business. Within minutes, you can create a campaign, set up goals, and choose a budget. Sometimes, however, these simple steps may still lead to a failing campaign. Fortunately, there’s a bulletproof way to optimize a winning ad.

Know Your Goal

Before you begin creating your ad, keep your goals in mind. Think what do I want this ad to do? Small businesses, for example, should choose “Website Conversions” as their main goal. This way, you’ll be able to see just how much a new lead or customer will cost.

Create A Narrow Audience

One of the best features of Facebook’s advertising platform is that you can create your own audience. By breaking your audience into several smaller audience segments, you’ll be able to see which audience setting optimizes conversions and works best for your business.

Monitor The Metrics

Facebook allows users to monitor their CPC, CPM, and CTR. Keep your ads thriving by checking out your average-value-per-customer and subtracting it from your cost-per-customer.

Take Advantage Of Lookalike And Custom Audience Targeting

If you’re trying to enhance your click-through rate, then lookalike and custom audience targeting is the way to do it.

Custom Audience Targeting: Facebook will let you target your audience by uploading their phone number or email address into the system.

Lookalike Targeting: Facebook will then copy traits (location, gender, age) from that list of people and generate a brand-new lookalike audience.

problem solving

A/B Test Your Ad

A/B testing is a marketing strategy in which two versions of the same ad are created and tested against each other.

A/B testing requires you to create a few different versions of your ad. Each version should only have one change. For example, if you’re A/B testing your headline, you would use the exact same photo and copy, and only change the headline in the new version.

Keep It Short And Sweet

If your ad is long and boring, no one is going to read it. In fact, a recent study found that Facebook posts with 80 characters or less received 66% higher interaction rates than longer ones. In addition, posts with 40 characters or less received 86% engagement.

Rotate Your Ads

If you pay attention, you’ll notice your Facebook ad’s CTR decrease after a few days. This is because your ad is repeatedly showing up to the same audience over and over again. To avoid Facebook ad fatigue, change the headline and the copy of your ad. You could also try using a new photo, or something that will grab your viewers’ attention.

Five Reasons To Use Facebook Ads

June 29, 2017 in Small talk

According to eMarketer , more than 96% of social media marketers consider Facebook the most effective platform for advertising. And, as reported by TechCrunch, Facebook’s daily active users’ number rose to 1.23 billion people in 2016 (that’s an 18% increase). In addition, social media analysts predicted a 26.3% global increase in spending for social media ads overall for 2017.

Today, more than 65 million businesses are using Facebook as an advertising tool. This number will only continue to expand as new mediums, like Facebook video ads, gain popularity. Here’s a few reasons why you should, too.

Set Target Audience

Facebook allows you to select who see your ads, meaning you can set up an ad campaign that only shows up for people who haven’t visited your site within the last six months. Or, if you want to narrow your audience based on location, work, education, or language, you can do that, too. Facebook’s targeting abilities are a major reason it’s the social media advertising platform of choice.

Engage With Lost Customers

The social media platform allows you to reach customers who either aren’t reading, opening, or receiving your emails. By launching an ad campaign the day after you send out your weekly newsletter, you’ll be able to cover all your bases and optimize conversions.

spread the word

Track Your Performance

When it comes to analytics, Facebook allows you to track your ad performance (for free). Tracking your ad performance will give you insight as to what appeals to your audience and who your main audience is.

Excite Your Audience

Before you launch a new site or product, you can create pre-launch content to promote on your Facebook page. Building this hype will carry momentum over to the actual launch, and start your business on the right foot.

Facebook Ads Are Relatively Cheap

Facebook ads cost a fraction of what most other online marketing channels cost. For example, for just $5 per day you could potentially reach 200 people.

“It’s not a question of how much Facebook costs, but how far your money will go,” WordStream’s Paid Acquisition Coordinator, Brett McHale said. “If you go into Facebook advertising with a clear focus and follow a simple strategy, the cost-efficiency of the platform will astound you.”

One of the quickest ways to figure out Facebook advertising is to dive right in. Try promoting a blog post to people who aren’t connected to your brand and see where it goes from there. What is clear is that advertising on this social media platform is essential, so it’s time to get accustomed with best practices for advertising on Facebook.

Why Your Brand Needs to Use Snapchat Stories

June 25, 2017 in Small talk

Many businesses that launch an ad campaign on social media will focus on only one or two outlets. For most, the choice is Facebook, indicated by its close to $9 billion in revenue earnings for Q4 2016. The second outlet for a social media advertising campaign is often the tricky decision, and nowadays comes down to Snapchat marketing vs. Instagram.

Both outlets offer advertisers a unique set of tools for connecting their brand with users. With competition between the two increasing, their features are becoming more similar to each other. Snapchat Stories and Instagram Stories, for example, are quick and engaging ways to reach consumers. Which one is best for your brand, though, comes down to audience: Who is using Snapchat Stories? Who is on Instagram? With a far greater millenial audience that is actively engaged to maximize a social advertising campaign, Snapchat Stories beats Instagram Stories every time.

Who Uses Snapchat vs Instagram?

The users on each social media platform vary, and this affects your ad’s performance. As a result, it’s important to be aware of both the type of person on these apps and the overall population.

Gatorade Snapchat ad

Here’s what Instagram users look like:

And here’s an overview of Snapchat:

How Snapchat Stories Succeed

Brands that optimize their Snapchat ad to publish in Stories have the benefits of reaching an engaged, target audience. For example, 58% of college students said they would purchase a product if they saw a coupon for it on Snapchat.

The instantaneous and raw nature of Snapchat Stories make consumers feel more connected to a brand. For larger companies that value a younger audience, this outlet is especially effective at expanding brand awareness.

Though Instagram has tried to complete by launching a similar set of engagement tools within Stories, Snapchat users are already accustomed to these since they originated in Snapchat. Therefore, they are able to engage and connect more easily than on Instagram with brands that incorporate these features. Essentially, Snapchat Stories are more intuitive for users.

NBA Snapchat Story

With Snapchat continuing to roll out new features to its advertising platform, Snapchat Stories are becoming even more accessible to smaller businesses. An ad running on this platform has the potential to increase campaign engagement over 200%, reach hundreds of millions of people, and have a high conversion rate at low costs. Geofilters still represent one of the biggest bargains in social media marketing, starting at $5.

Facebook will remain the paid social media outlet priority for advertisers. However, for an additional option that complements the ROI-driven strategy of Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram represent methods focused on brand engagement and awareness. Of these two, Snapchat is the choice, especially for large brands, due to its wide reach with an ideal audience, intuitive interface, and instantaneous appeal.

Common Mistakes People Make When A/B Testing

June 8, 2017 in Small talk

Whenever you’re creating web content, it’s easy to make assumptions about what your audience will respond to. Unfortunately, this way of thinking doesn’t always yield optimal results.

A/B testing is a common (and easy) way to test your site’s CRO, if done correctly. If done incorrectly, however, this method can leave you frustrated and broke. So, to save you time and money, here’s what you should avoid when A/B testing your content.

Testing One Element At A Time

While it’s fine to change just one element of your media per test, this approach usually ends up being problematic. For starters, it’s time consuming.

According to Peep Laja, sites that already have a steady stream of traffic take two to four weeks to test. For other websites, it takes even longer. If you lack the resources, testing just one element per month is an unreasonable way to find the trick to a high-converting page.

Small Changes Rarely Bring Big Returns

In general, subtle changes to your page are less likely to yield a big payout. If your business is small (read: does not generate billions of dollars a year) then a 4-5% increase in conversion rate will not make a difference in your return.

target

It’s All About The Viewers

Your CTA button, copy, and hero might all be in the wrong place, but are you going to test each item individually to see where the problem lies? Hopefully not.

Adjusting a headline or button color is a quick and easy fix, but let’s face it: If your content doesn’t resonate with your audience, then your site will never optimize conversions.

You’re Testing Too Much

While the goal is to optimize your site, it is possible to test too much. If you test two completely different formats with different colors, form fields, headlines, etc., you may find that one clearly works over the other. However, with so many elements changed, you’re likely to not know which was the deciding factor. This is how you realize you’re testing too much.

The solution? Keep the testing variations at a minimum, and maintain a strict record of what’s being altered within each test. At any point, you want to be able to refer to a version and know what made it succeed or fail.

While A/B testing is time consuming, performance marketers all agree it’s worth the effort. Just remember, luck isn’t something that comes along often. If you want to see results, you’ll need to take a methodical, scientific approach that works for your individual business.

The Best Conversion Optimization Tools

April 13, 2017 in Small talk

With the right tools and the perfect strategy, conversion optimization transforms into something of a science. The scientific method even applies as such: Beginning with a clearly defined hypothesis, each phase of the strategy provides valuable, actionable data that will produce the best results for your website.

Here, we’ll go over five tools that, when combined, can lay the groundwork for a complete conversion strategy.

A/B Testing Platform

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is essentially a way to compare two versions of a web page (version A and version B) to see which one performs better.

While the idea of A/B testing is simple, the right A/B testing service makes it fun and easy to run multiple tests quickly with immediate results.

When integrated with other services, A/B testing platforms can ignite your conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategies. By adding analytics to the mix, you can get details on exactly how each version performed. Many platforms offer integrations that allow for advanced custom tracking and goals. For the best results, it’s best to pair your A/B testing platform with an analytics service.

Analytics Services

Analytics platforms are one of the most well-developed tools for web marketing. Bonus: there are tons of free analytics tools available online that can provide data on where your traffic is coming from, the path your visitors take through your site, and how long they spend looking at each page, among other things. In the beginning, all of this data may seem overwhelming; don’t worry, it gets easier!

A few online analytics services include:

Google Analytics is one of the most popular digital analytics services in the world; plus, it’s free.
SEOQuick reasons to Use Google Analytics

 

  • User-friendly – new users can easily navigate the platform.
  • Access to customizable reports – Google Analytics lets you create your own reports with an easy drag-and-drop interface.
  • Real-time visitor tracking – The software allows you to view who is visiting your website in real time, meaning you’ll be able to see the number of active users at any given moment.
  • Insights to visitors – there’s so much data available within Google Analytics that can help you determine which advertising campaign is performing well, and which one is not.
  • Essential to understanding where your customers are coming from – The platform allows you to view your visitors’ behavior and their preferences.
  • Google community – There is a great community of marketers who are there to help you with whatever you need.
  • Its free – there’s no fee.

Once you’ve integrated an analytics service with your A/B testing platform, you’ll be able to see how the traffic segments that saw each page variation behaved. Information such as site paths, bounce rates, and time on page for each page variation are all measurable with analytics.

Marketing Automation Platform

An automated marketing machine involves automating and measuring the communication between you and your next potential customer. A new lead can be classified and added to an email program automatically, sent to the best member of the sales team, and more.

Linking A/B tested pages with different marketing campaigns will help you gauge the quantity and quality of leads coming from them. You should ask yourself the following questions when testing a lead generation page:

  • How does the number of form fields impact lead quality/quantity?
  • Will higher qualified leads fill out forms with more fields?

If you keep track of both metrics, the lead quality and quantity, then you’ll be able to successfully scale your business for the long term.

business meeting

Heat Mapping Service

Heat mapping tools offer a direct insight into how many visitors interact with your website. By monitoring clicks and other manipulations, like scrolling, a heat map can provide you with a clearer picture of where users are spending the most time on your site.

Using a heat map will help you determine which page elements you need to optimize. Before you think about optimization, try examining the heat map of that particular page. Get a feel for how your visitors are engaging, navigating, and clicking through the page. It’s important to explore how your users are behaving.

A few heat mapping services include:

Social Customer Relationship Manager (CRM)

Social CRM is the last, and “newest,” tool in the toolkit. Social CRM is an expansion of traditional Customer Relationship Management that seeks to respond and capitalize on large amounts of personal data and engagement opportunities made available by the social web i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Implementing a social CRM will allow you to turn communities and conversations into customers.

The easier it is for a visitor to connect with a company, the faster and more effectively conversion optimization will increase your site’s performance. Additionally, the amount of data collected by a company practicing social CRM will make future optimization a breeze.

social media networking

Examples of Social CRM in Action

If a business creates a fan page for their company or product on Facebook, customers will be able to sign up as “fans,” creating a venue for communication, marketing, and networking. This business can then receive relevant information on who is interested in the company or its products and follow conversations about its brand for real-time market data and feedback.

With social CRM, customers have the ability to communicate what they like, and what they don’t like, about certain companies. This ease of access in turn makes it possible for business owners to respond quickly to negative feedback and maintain, regain, or rebuild consumer trust.

 

Conclusion

If done right, conversion optimization is not a one-time project. By effectively combining the tools mentioned in this article – A/B testing, analytics, heat mapping, marketing automation and social CRM – you will have all the information you’ll need to increase your conversion rates and turn those conversions into customers.

Here’s How Pokemon GO Became an Overnight Phenomenon

August 15, 2016 in News, Small talk

For years, despite the clamboring of fans everywhere, Nintendo had stubbornly refused to develop mobile games. Perhaps it was the success of SEGA and Capcom ports on the mobile platform, perhaps it was the underwhelming performance of the Wii U, or maybe a combination of pressure from investors and falling stock, but in 2015, Nintendo realized sequestering themselves from the massive mobile market, was acting against their best interest. Early that year, CEO Satoru Iwata announced that Nintendo would finally be coming to smartphones.

 

Almost exactly a year later, Nintendo took their first steps into the mobile landscape with the social app Miitomo. The app immediately jumped to the top of the charts, but the success was short lived. A recent report showed that the app is in decline and Nintendo is having trouble maintaining active users.

 

Enter Niantic Labs. The San Francisco based company was founded by John Hanke as an internal startup within Google in 2010. Over the next four years, Niantic rolled out two mobile games, one of which was Ingress, an augmented reality game which would later become the basis for Pokemon GO. Only one year ago in 2015, Niantic officially split from Google, but Google, along with Nintendo and the Pokemon Company, quickly saw an opportunity and the three became majority investors in Niantic, pledging $30 million combined to support Niantic’s future projects. Thus Pokemon GO was born. A year later, Pokemon GO was released and Nintendo stock jumped 35% due exclusively to Pokemon hype. Over night, Pokemon became a worldwide phenomenon. But it’s not simply coincidence or luck. Pokemon GO relies heavily upon several factors that create the perfect formula for the game.

Malik-Pokemon-1200

The app relies heavily on the nostalgia of people who grew up with the Pokemon GameBoy game and TV show. Catching a new Pokemon mirrors the excitement of opening a brand new pack of Pokemon cards and adding them to your collection. Additionally, for people who didn’t grow up knowing all the words to the Pokemon theme song, there’s an air of excitement in discovering a Pokemon you’ve never seen before or seeking out the strange silhouette displayed in the “nearby” menu.

 

Despite being relatively primitive in its implementation (and limited by the power of the smartphone) Pokemon Go takes advantage of augmented reality technology to make the game even more fun. A game that could easily be simply flicking a Pokeball at 2D rendering of a Pokemon on a pre-rendered background, but Pokemon Go chooses to immerse its user base by placing the well-designed models in the real world to emulate the experience of the GameBoy games.

 

With the steady decline of the WiiU, the failure of StarFox 0, and Mighty No. 9, as well as rapidly falling stock and multiple other missteps, Nintendo needed a win before the release of its new console, the NX, in 2017. At the same time, fans were clamboring for anything Nintendo and Pokemon GO launched at just the right moment, giving fans (and newcomers) exactly what they need–an AR app with Nintendo IP and the promise of longevity.

Why You Need to Build a Growth Engine Before You Build a Mobile App Business

May 16, 2016 in Small talk, Tips & Tricks

Anyone with a pulse has probably noticed just how popular apps are. The number of mobile phones in use continues to rise and more people than ever are using apps to get the most out of life. This huge growth has prompted many people to investigate the idea of creating their own apps as a business. The number of apps being released totals in the tens of thousands per month. It’s harder than ever to stand out in an incredibly crowded field with so many talented, financially sound competitors. In fact, the top apps that get downloaded do so mainly because they’re made by companies with large contact lists and marketing clout. It’s very tough for an unknown app maker to break into this business without a keen strategy.

Almost all apps that are released have a hard time attracting downloads. It’s just the nature of the game being in a hyper-crowded marketplace. Unless you have a method in place to drive downloads, your app will languish unnoticed.

Social Sharing to the Rescue

Virality is the key to app growth since apps are installed and used by end users. Fortunately, these people are highly-connected and social. If they love an app, they’ll be happy to help promote it to friends and family. Although this is true, in theory, the reality is, you not only have to make it extremely easy for people to share, you must have a cohesive digital marketing strategy in place that drives growth. For most successful app makers, that means hiring a digital marketing agency who understands virality and download growth. The viral growth will come, but only when all the building blocks for app distribution have been put in place.

A Blueprint for Activation

Awareness – the “top end” of your funnel involved making people aware that your app exists. Traffic can be driven through traditional digital marketing methods including affiliate marketing and paid advertising. The key is to monitor and tweak your marketing to ensure you get the most out of your spend.
Sharing – all apps experience some amount of drop-off between the awareness stage and the actual download. That’s why you need to monitor the traffic sources that drive awareness. Some of them may not be as effective as the others. Double down on the methods that are working and eliminate the “non-perfomers”.
Download – this is where the rubber meets the road for an app. Are users actually downloading it? It takes careful monitoring of your traffic sources to find out which ones are resulting in the highest conversion rates.
Activation – the activation stage is incredibly important. You’ll need to have a well thought out on-boarding process that captures the user and gets them to actually become a user by activating the app.
You have to track every step of the process as closely as you can. The app stores don’t make it easy, but you can work around their limitations to find out what you need to know.

Use Attributes Extensively

Adding attributes means it will be easy to identify exactly which digital marketing method you’re using that drives conversions. This is incredibly valuable data that can make the difference between the success or failure of your app. Mobile attribution companies exist to solve this problem. Choose one that can help you accurately monitor all of your traffic using tags. With this capability, you’ll no longer have to guess at any part of the process of attracting downloads and activations. This lets you unleash the true power of digital marketing.

The only way to eliminate the guesswork from building a successful app company is to do consistent, trackable digital marketing. Your app won’t be new for long. Each day more and more people upload theirs. You’ll need to use a consistent strategy to keep people flowing in. Without a steady stream of people into the “attraction” phase of your cycle, the downloads and activations will taper off and then finally die. When you look at the hundreds of thousands of failed apps, you’ll quickly realize that marketing was not a big part of many of their plans. They thought the mere process of uploading a finished app would be enough to catapult them to success. If you want to avoid the forgotten app boneyard, you’ll be well served to use effective digital marketing and intense tracking and monitoring to ensure that you’re following the path that has been blazed by successful app companies.

Your app has a chance to be completely amazing. With the right marketing plan in place, consistent downloads and activations are a distinct possibility. Set your funnel up the correct way from the start and you’ll be impressed with the results you get. Despite the number of apps available, users are always ready to try another incredible app like yours.