For the longest time, I and the PPC industry as a whole, have defaulted and still in a lot of circumstances still default to a Google Paid Search first strategy.
Google Ads is still the number 1 platform, and is still required in any digital marketing strategy. It can produce great results, but in some industries that have more obscure keywords and when higher results are needed, I now choose Facebook as one of the first platforms I use. It is always at the top of the list.
Reason 1: Campaign types and goals
With Facebook, I can create multiple types of campaigns all aimed at very different strategies. So, for my lead gen account, I can create a direct lead form campaign and for my ecomm client, I can just as easily integrate and create a shopping campaign or remarketing campaign using my shopping feed. Also, I can then have Facebook optimize to my goal. So for lead forms or website conversions, I can make sure that whatever my targeting type, Facebook is helping me optimize towards that specific goal.
The other benefit of Facebook is that there are more options than just clicks and conversions as goals.
I can use campaigns based on 3 broader goals of awareness, consideration and conversion. This helps funnel out my strategy and get in front of more people, create engagement and ultimately convert my audience.
Reason 2: Targeting options
Targeting is another reason Facebook wins, is the targeting options when tied to the goal of the campaign. Yes, keywords are no longer a targeting option in Facebook, but that is part of what I think it has going for it. By being able to target a type of user, I can get closer to the intended audience than I can with a broader search, especially as match type rules continue to go out the window. Keywords and searches have a ton of room for interpretation, especially between B2C and B2B, which can use similar or same phrasings, but be looking for very different things. By tying a user type through behavior, interests and demographics, lookalikes or custom audiences, I can find the people in their normal routine and encourage them to get more information, remind them of our brand, or convert.
Obviously, Google has these features too both through audiences for search as well as display, but I have found greater success with the ad types and opportunities with these audience targets in Facebook and have had more ongoing success. Also, custom audiences and lookalikes only work in certain campaign types and need a much larger list and match rate compared to Facebook.
Reason 3: Ad Types
Text or Display? Why not have both and more. Use photos and text as well as an integrated button that shows what the user will do once they click through. Will they be shopping? Downloading? Signing up? You can give clear calls to action as well as single or multi-image carousels. Video is growing exponentially, and not just the 30+ second videos, but short, gif or moving images that capture a users intention and engagement. By having these options, it is easier to test multiple variations in a single ad set and with Facebook’s optimization towards your goal and placement, it is quick and easy to learn what converts and where.
Reason 4: Results
Google Search has always been consistent and with the proper research and analysis, I can predict how a campaign will do and improve results over time, but when I have campaigns with harder-to-reach audiences through search terms, I can always count on Facebook to pick up the slack and usually outperform not only the low-performing counterpart on Google, but also some of the top performing campaigns, as well. This is due to getting away from harder to reach search intent and focusing on the user type and optimizing towards the ultimate conversion. In the case of the example below, the goal was to get brochure requests for under-performing international courses. On search, these courses would only garner 1-5 requests per month, but once Facebook was started, that went up to
Higher and Continuing Education, Asia Leadership course Example:
Data is for Last 30 Days:
Google Search Result (Keyword targeting):
Facebook Result (Interest/behavior/Demographic targeting):
This was just one example of many that I could point out to show how Facebook can easily outperform Google search. So, if you have a campaign in need of a boost, try Facebook, you may be surprised on what results you can receive.
If we would not have recommended Facebook and pressed for this test, this program would have continued to suffer and be detrimental to their success in Asia courses. By finding the right audience to target and using the correct optimization goals and ad types, we were able to turn around something they only had expectations of receiving a few requests from.
*Note: We compared front end results with back-end to match up the quantity and quality of the results. In this particular case, we had almost 100% match rate to the back-end leads and quality was high when their teams reported back to qualified interest.
So, the point of this run-through is not to bash or discount Google Paid Search or to say to only use Facebook ads. All platforms are important in the larger marketing mix and strategy, but each platform should be analyzed for their strengths based on the client and the industry. PPC and Digital Media is no longer cookie cutter and in some cases, has flipped, in terms of what to recommend for results.
Image credits: https://business.facebook.com/adsmanager/
The most critical part of cross-functional teams simultaneously executing on small and large projects is the right process. Proper setup and management include four key areas: team, time, tools, and process.
In this blog, I’ll cover the four key areas you should focus on to set your project and team up for success: team, time, tools, and process.
We start with your team because it’s the most important. People write the code. People create the design. People manage customers. People that have families, lives, hobbies…
Remembering that people are the most important piece of the puzzle will keep you grounded in what matters and ensure you hit your timelines.
Having clear team roles and responsibilities is important to avoid confusion on who handles what. This means assigning someone to handle requests not related to the current project —such as support requests. If you already have a website or other digital products, this new build will not be the only thing that requires your team’s time. Having clear paths for other inbound requests will minimize the distractions (and delays) caused by managing big and small projects side by side in your sprints.
The team should include the following roles and responsibilities. Sometimes these responsibilities will be shared on one project, but it’s best to avoid if possible.
The product owner or (PO) leads product strategy and project management, as well as design and engineering prioritization.
Their job is to:
Not sure what UAT or QA is?
UAT is short for User Acceptance Testing
QA is short for Quality Assurance.
First Comes QA
QA typically includes a regression test to check each feature and function detailed in the specification and previously available on the site to ensure it’s all working properly. Regression tests are a quick way to check each use case and note what passed and failed. A good regression test makes a difference between QA representing 5% and 40% of the project time.
I use Google Sheets for the regression plan and Google Forms for the reported issues. I then update the regression plan for the development and design team noting what has passed, failed and why.
Next Comes UAT
UAT is a form of QA focused on stakeholders, allowing them to go through the product or website the way they would naturally. I use Google Forms to collect feedback from stakeholders and Google Sheets to organize feedback into categories: functional, formatting, and content.
You might wonder why use so many tools to organize this information? Why not use JIRA?
Google forms are easy to complete on any device. JIRA is the tool for support requests and tickets for sprint planning. Prioritizing and organizing feedback directly in the regression plan or the JIRA tickets in the sprint will create a nightmare of confusing inputs. Using external tools, I can communicate with the stakeholder, make sure I understand the issue, then provide the details necessary to the dev or design team to prioritize and address each reported issue.
The technical captain (or technical team lead) is in charge of the day to day management of your dev team.
Their job is to:
The design captain (or design team lead) is in charge of delivery for all project design needs.
Their job is to:
The support captain is in charge of managing all stakeholder and user support requests for existing sites or products.
Their job is to:
It doesn’t matter if the team is four or 40, clear roles and responsibilities are critical to meeting product release schedules.
Time comes next. Time management is the simplest but most overlooked part of project planning. Tools and processes impact time management, of course, but here are a few simple practices to reduce distractions.
The tools you use should be flexible by project and team. Use what your team is comfortable with. I do not force all of the tools and processes I prefer on any team. Focus on the requirements and make the team part of the process. It’s important to be inclusive, and you’ll also learn from them.
Here is a list of the tools I use by requirement:
Enforcing or reinforcing the processes are a key part of the POs job. Once the project has started, for the most part, your job consists of keeping the train on the tracks and clearing the paths.
Keeping the Train on the Tracks
Daily standups are your most important tool in understanding if the train will be on time and if not—what’s getting in its way. During the standups, each team member should be reporting what’s done, next, any blockers, and anything out of the process. Out of the process refers to stakeholders sending them direct messages about a change to the project or an existing product.
Review progress after daily standups to identify any barriers in meeting goals. Product and project management means paying attention to potential delays. Listen to complaints about blockers or communications issues with stakeholders. Look at what each person is working on and make sure it’s critical to this phase of the project. Many talented people work ahead. Their mind goes off to the ideal, and they forget what’s needed and who’s waiting. It’s the POs job to make sure the team is focused.
Clearing the Tracks
Clearing the tracks means being a great filter. No requests, “bugs” that aren’t really bugs, it’s your job as PO to clear as many things from the tracks as you can to eliminate clutter in the team’s slack, email, or mind.
Here are some examples of dos and don’ts that are useful for setting expectations and transparent processes for stakeholders and team members. The example is based on a company that has several websites used by their marketing and product teams.
Sharing the Load
Sharing information across sprint planning, support planning, and reporting, and project planning with the team exposes them to the details important to the success of the project. It also gives them authority in the group and experience that’s valuable to their professional development.
Yes, I am repeating team. There’s nothing more important than your team.
Here are a few of the things that I do to make sure the team is happy:
A lot can happen once you start a project. We’ve given you the foundation for a successful build, and in my next post, I will walk you through the day to day to preparing for a commercial launch.
Google My Business Lets Businesses Add Products to Listings - Search Engine Journal https://t.co/hd2lJkW8L3
Here’s the truth: All marketers think their creative is “good” until it is tested. Ultimately, consumers will tell you how effective your creative is, and that realization can be harsh. Some marketers might lean on a flashy web page to reel in consumers’ interest. However, standing out only scratches the surface—what you do next with that attention can make or break your campaign.
According to CBS News, consumers in the U.S. witness roughly 5,000 messages per day, which means colorful links and snappy taglines don’t stand a chance against the barrage of other media in the cultural zeitgeist. As a result, creative should focus on content that’s relevant to your audience, not just pretty words and attractive graphics. A sure way of turning potential consumers into active customers is strategically utilizing the art of persuasion.
Avoiding the Pitfalls
Experimenting with different creative strategies is essential. An Ipsos study revealed that 75% of a strategy’s influence stems from creative quality. Consequently, ambitious brands understand the significance of creative testing, a trial-and-error approach.
But regardless of the product, industry, or creative process, every brand needs passion behind its tactics. This passion can fuel the fire behind your power of persuasion. Think about it this way: If you don’t care about your product, why should anyone else? And proving that you care requires much more than a colorful, intrusive banner.
Too many marketing executives forget the importance of relaying their passion to their specific consumer base. From Ford’s inability to carve out a niche for its “Edsel” line to Coors’ flop in capitalizing on the bottled water craze, even household names tend to forget what their audience wants in the first place.
The Edsel model didn’t fit into a defined demographic, and few people were willing to spend money on bottled water that could easily be confused as alcohol. These failures all originated from misguided strategy, poor creative, and underwhelming persuasion. By learning from them, brands can avoid tripping up on similar creative mistakes.
6 Ways to Master Persuasion in Your Creative
The art of persuasion is over 2,000 years old, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. In 55 B.C., Cicero described a six-part process for developing a successful argument, and these steps can still be utilized today when building effective creative:
1. Introduce Yourself
No matter the size of your business, assuming everyone knows who you are is a recipe for failure. The importance of your “About Us” page cannot be overstated. It’s not only your chance to establish credibility, but it also highlights what you stand for. Nike, for instance, quotes a key message in the company’s formation at the bottom of its page: “If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
Everyone aheard of Nike, but many might write it off as a basic sporting goods store. However, after reading the “About Us” page, consumers will better understand that the company aims to support people similar to them who are at different stages of their fitness journey.
2. Outline Your Message
Achieving an emotional impact with your message starts with an outline. Rather than jot down a series of vivid campaign slogans, consider how your corporate culture can connect with your base. Think about your consumers’ deep emotional needs—not just the surface ones your competitors can service. Finding the emotional “hooks” in your message is what differentiates your product from the masses.
3. Explain Your Product’s Benefits
While an emotional impact is essential, you’ll have to balance it with facts. You can’t sell something on pathos alone, and a generic “ours is better than theirs” statement isn’t fooling anyone. Finding statistics and testimonials that prove your product’s superiority is the secret ingredient in a well-developed strategy.
4. Prove It
Combining an emotional thread with logical reasoning is a solid first step to good creative, but until you keep those promises, it’s all empty rhetoric. Once you decide what qualities will create a long-term connection with consumers, enlist the help of your entire organization to bring those ambitions into reality. Otherwise, your customers might think they’re being scammed.
5. Refute Your Competitors’ Messages
Of course, you can’t claim to be better than your competitors if you don’t mention their names. The trick, though, is to do it without sounding boastful and tasteless. One way to stay humble is to showcase your weaknesses in a positive way.
In 1962, Avis came in second when compared to Hertz, and it eventually developed the tagline “When you’re only No. 2, you try harder.” Thus, according to Slate, the “We Try Harder” campaign was instrumental in helping Avis earn $1.2 million the following year. With this simple tagline, Avis proved that marketing leaders don’t need to brag to attract customers—they just need to be smart about how they reveal their strengths.
6. Conclude With a Call to Action
Perhaps the most straightforward and challenging part of making your customers active is through the call to action. It has to be concise enough to keep everyone’s attention but specific enough to guide customers in the right direction.
For the best success, pretend your customers have no idea what they’re doing, making it imperative for you to explain their next steps as clearly as possible. This way, when you only use action words such as “buy,” “download,” or “submit” in your CTA, you’re not limiting your base to those who already understand how your business works.
Throwing together an aggressively complex web page will generate some hits, but the ultimate goal of effective creative is to have a lasting impact on consumers that urges them to take action. Follow the above steps and polish your persuasive marketing approach to establish stronger connections so your creative can go from mediocre to compelling.
The post The Art of Persuasion: How to Make Effective Creative appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog - Best Practices and Thought Leadership.
In June 2017, the EU Commission sentenced Google to pay a fine of 2.4 billion euros. Now, up to 5% of Google’s daily revenue is at stake if they fail to make their Google Shopping channel more competitive. Google is taking aggressive measures to adhere to the EU’s ruling: namely, incentivizing Comparison Shopping Services (CSS) to advertise in Google Shopping. For merchants advertising in Europe via Google Shopping, joining the auction as a CSS can yield unprecedented advantages in terms of bidding power and visibility.
Why the initial ruling?
In 2009, UK comparison shopping service Foundem initiated a complaint against Google with the EU Competition Commission. Other comparison shopping services soon joined. They accused Google of abusing its dominant search position to deny other CSS good placement on the search engine result page (SERP) and subsequently using the competitive vacuum to promote their own Google Shopping CSS system. Google’s initial response was a blog post defending their model and highlighting the fairness behind the rankings on the SERP:
“The important thing to remember is that we built Google to provide the most useful, relevant search results and ads for users. In other words, our focus is on users, not websites. Given that not every website can be at the top of the results, or even appear on the first page of our results, it’s unsurprising that some less relevant, lower quality websites will be unhappy with their ranking.”
Despite their attempts to defuse the situation, the EU Commission ruled against Google, which led to the 2.4 billion euro fine mentioned above. The Commission reserves the right to fine Google billions more if they determine that Google is non-compliant.
What does this mean for comparison shopping services and online merchants?
Google had to react fast to comply with the EU’s ruling – within 90 days. As a first step, they detached their comparison platform (known to many as the “Shopping Tab”) from the parent company within the European market: Google Shopping Europe (GSE) is now its own business unit. To prove the unit’s independence, they are obligated to operate in a demonstrably profitable manner. To prove competitiveness, they must enter the bidding auction under exactly the same conditions as other CSS providers. Together, this means Google Shopping Europe must deduct a margin percentage from every participating merchant’s bids.
Image 1: Google Shopping format changes
Simply creating a new business unit was not enough, though. Product listing ads on the SERP had to undergo cosmetic adjustments to increase transparency. An additional line of text now states which comparison shopping platform the ad is run by – which is either Google itself (“By Google”) or one of a multitude of other comparison shopping services (“By CSS x”, “By CSS y”) – see image 1. For Google Shopping users, things haven’t changed much. Google is still striving to show them the most user-relevant ads – and succeeding. Meanwhile, advertisers and comparison shopping platforms have had to face considerably bigger changes. Advertisers can now choose to run their ads via Google Shopping Europe or any other CSS – or both simultaneously, which is the approach we recommend.
What advantages do advertisers get by using CSS providers other than Google Shopping Europe?
These are still the early days of this Europe-wide market shift: CSS adoption is still quite low overall. There are strong first-mover advantages resulting the auction mechanics from advertising via both Google Shopping Europe and an alternative CSS.
Bid auction advantages
GSE has to act in a cost-effective manner: the unit is not permitted to rely on the Google parent company to absorb its operating costs or otherwise keep it afloat. Google is forced to operate with a margin per bid, currently estimated to be about 20%. At the same time, they can’t impose these profit margins upon a competitive CSS. The end result is that merchants who advertise via a CSS have the possibility to enter the Google Shopping auction at significantly lower costs, depending on their CSS provider. If the CSS provider decides not to deduct any margin whatsoever, this bid auction advantage is transferred directly to the merchant (see image 2).
Image 2: Differences in bid auction – GSE & CSS
Advertising via CSS therefore enables the advertiser to reach one of two potential goals: They can either achieve higher efficiency due to lower click prices, or a higher volume at the same cost.
Double presence on the search engine result page
Additionally, if a retailer advertises using both GSE and an alternative CSS provider, then their Google Shopping ads are able to show up twice in the same search – sometimes even right next to each other. In other words, you’re able to get double presence in the Google Shopping box. Does that mean you’re essentially competing against yourself? That’s a good question that people sometimes ask us, but the answer is clear: no. You cannot bid against yourself, because Google takes into consideration only your competitor’s highest bid (meaning the next merchant in the auction).
Should I still advertise on Google Shopping Europe?
It definitely makes sense to hold on to your existing GSE accounts. The advantage of a double presence is not to be ignored, and it gets more urgent as more merchants are jumping on the bandwagon. You do not want competitors claiming this real estate because you’re not participating. Beyond that, we are talking about a disrupted auction environment where the final legal outcomes are unknown. You should proceed rapidly, but carefully. For many merchants, this means strategically balancing the share of GSE and CSS spend in order to maximize profits.
SpendMatch ad credits
Now, this is the tricky part. Google initially offered a completely unprecedented incentive system, with up to 30% of monthly ad spend being returned to CSS-served advertisers as a “SpendMatch” ad credit within their Google Ads account. At the beginning of October, however, they announced that SpendMatch as we have come to know it will cease by the end of the month. From November 1st to December 31st 2018, there will be a fixed SpendMatch of 5% (no longer dependant on the amount of ad spend per month). At the end of the year, the SpendMatch program will shut down – maybe temporarily? We have no way of knowing at this point in time.
What else do I have to consider as a retailer?
We believe balancing CSS and GSE accounts is still the single biggest opportunity right now to see long-term profitable growth in Google Shopping, regardless of admittedly fluctuating SpendMatch incentives, so acting fast is essential. However, steer clear of making impulsive, imprudent shifts of media budget.
Our approach is to apply machine learning to this highly-disrupted bidding environment – specifically, a predictive supervised learning model. To this end, we provide an array of technical features alongside a heavy consultancy element. The combination of human and machine intelligence offers the highest yield in terms of optimization. There are big profits to be had in the CSS opportunity, but don’t rush: whoever you work with, make sure you are selecting a reliable CSS partner who wil help you pursue long-term, stable goals. Be suspicious of anyone claiming to wave a magic wand.
What will the future of Google Shopping x CSS look like?
In one possible scenario, Google may just be one out of many shopping comparison providers with dwindling presence on the SERP. Even if this solution seems like a satisfying one to those leaning against Google in the EU proceedings, it still does not fully comply with Foundem’s demand for free placement on the SERP. Also, the amount of participating comparison shopping providers has increased dramatically since the ruling and subsequent announcement of the SpendMatch system – so has the competition. As a result of Google’s actions, classic comparison shopping providers now face a variety of competitors from similar business segments but with more modern business models. Whether that intense dilution of the CSS scene is final – or intentional – is up for debate and might come under scrutiny by the EU commission once again. In any case, the Google Shopping x CSS story is definitely not over yet.
For the last 2 and a half years or so, I have had the opportunity to work remotely from the comfort of my own home, while still getting to avail of the luxuries of working full time for a great employer. Over the years, Hanapin has created an amazing RWE (Remote Work Environment) program, that has helped attract the best people in the industry, while maintain strong prospects, who entered into the Hana-family right out of college, wanting to branch out and live in other areas of the country.
To most people who work in an office, thinking working from home is the ultimate dream job, and in many cases it is. I get to avoid commuting 30 minutes each way, I can be home for a repairman, should I need to be, I get to play around with my dogs during my lunch break and I get to avoid stepping outside in the delightful Spokane winters.
While these are all great benefits, remote work can be tough, particularly in the winter. You can feel isolated, find it difficult to disconnect from work, get into a rut of inactivity. Below are some of the tips that I have found to be effective to make remote work a success.
Invest in your office
Working in an office, you are usually assigned a desk, given a chair, computer etc. When you work from home, your company will probably provide a second monitor, some may provide a furnishing budget, but if they don’t, make it look like a real office. Don’t settle for an old second hand desk and a rickety old chair. Your back and mental stability will thank you in the long run.
Personally, I invested in a standing desk from Autonomous.ai. It was a pricey option at the time, but I am grateful that I did. I can alternate from sitting to standing in a few seconds without having to adjust anything. Over time, i added small decorations and chairs, happy lights, whiteboards etc. Originally my office was our spare bedroom, giant spare bed and all. Over the summer, we decided to fully transform my “office” into an actual office, with plenty of space, little clutter etc.
Treat it like a normal work environment
Even though you are working from home, it is still your “work environment”. Make sure you create separation from home & work. When you leave “work” for the day, shut the door and try to avoid the office for the remainder of the evening, if possible. It really helps with the mental aspect of being a work only space.
Also, be prepared to actually dress relatively normal. While the lure of sweatpants and hoodies seem amazing, and will occasionally happen, try to prepare yourself as if it is a normal office job. Does this mean, suit up every day and look like you are running for congress… No, but something that would not be ashamed to wear to your office or outside amongst civilization. It helps break away from the relaxed feeling sweats or PJs can bring.
Get out of the house
This may sound counter intuitive, but it is necessary. Working from home, can lure you into a false sense of security and you become comfortable in never having to leave the house during the week. It can also bring on severe cabin fever. Try to take a day every week, or bi-weekly to work from somewhere else, like a coffee shop, or a co-working space. It is a great reminder that there is a world outside of your little bubble. Personally, I go to a local co-working space at least once a week. It has great light, a lot of space, free coffee, phone booths for calls and most importantly PEOPLE. Even if you don’t interact with many people there, it is just nice sometimes to be around the usual office noise.
Communicate with your team
Because at Hanapin, we have more than 20 people who work remotely, we have found multiple ways to interact with the head office and reduce the feeling of being disconnected. We use im’s to communicate internally for “non-scheduled” conversations, and video chat for meetings. I have found Video chat to be much more valuable in a meeting scenario, just because a.) you can read body language and b.) you actually see a human person.
Ultimately, remote working is great, there are very few drawbacks to it. I get to work in a comfortable environment, while still working with a great company and, get to have my wife hangout with me during the summer and hangout with my dogs all day during the winter.
Graphic design is one of the oldest forms of communication for design and marketing. It is described as an art form and is the practice and planning of sharing ideas and stories through visual and text format. Graphic design was initially a print practice but is mainly digitized now, with images, words, and graphics all part of an end-to-end design.
Graphic design exists to persuade, advertise, promote, or otherwise elicit an emotional response. Expertise in this field is a crucial element in almost all marketing campaigns, and marketers need to know how to use it effectively.
Marketers often use their own in-house resources to create graphic design, although some may work with specialized agencies or freelancers. As the world’s digital transformation continues, is there even any need for traditional graphic design? People have asked the question “is print design dead?” for many years but the answer remains a resounding “no.”
Research by Nielsen’s Books looks at how we can link the children’s book industry with print design. The children’s book market continues to grow throughout the digital age, showing that print design is far from being unimportant; it is just often overlooked.
This is further corroborated when you look at digital brands still committed to print such as Red Bull, who still maintain a print magazine despite their extremely successful and far-reaching digital presence.
Marketers cannot discount any kind of graphic design, and will soon find similarities to keep in mind across the ages.
Basic Principles of Graphic Design
There are some principles of graphic design that will never change. No matter if you’re looking to create a digital brochure, flyer, poster, online advertisement, landing page, microsite, or website—all require excellent user experience (UX). While it is important to recognize these rules and apply them in all design projects, context will determine what will work best.
The intended use of the design is key as print can be wildly different from digital in terms of standard print sizes, pixel volume, and much more. That is to say—people don’t consume magazines in the same way that they consume Buzzfeed articles.
The hard and fast rules which make a successful design include the following:
Proximity is the term for grouping elements of a design together to help guide the viewer to your key message. It adds continuity to a page and helps guide a reader or viewer to the main point being made.
Common proximity best practices include grouping similar information in the same area (such as contact information), and keeping captions close to images to create a single visual unit rather than a disconnected set of images.
Alignment ensures everything is visible, digestible, and readable. “Centered” design is widespread and used by many designers early on in their career. However, even the most unsystematic designs created by professionals still have the balance needed to succeed and get their message across.
In the below example, it is possible to see how aligned text works to convey the design effectively. Alignment needs to be consistent but does not always have to be “centered.” It is worth also keeping in mind how print and digital design may differ in terms of alignment, especially when you consider how things look different on a page than online.
Effective and persuasive marketing design can make good use of repetition in many different ways. It creates visual appeal and can make a statement, and even typify a brand.
In this example, Violeta by Anagrama, it is possible to see how a simple line creates the identity of the brand and begins to represent the brand in any format it is displayed.
Contrast is when two elements of a design are different. It could be a color change, starkly different fonts or shapes, or something else altogether. Contrast appeals to the human eye and adds interest and intrigue to any design. It brings flat design to life.
In this example from magazine Lados No.29, stark contrasts are used to create the striking cover image. Dark blue and black against yellow creates high contrast and the circular shape positioned behind the model in the image also contrasts against the hard lines of the magazine and rectangular background.
White space can make or break a design. It is another way of creating contrast, and it can also help to promote a direct message in a clear and obvious way. Brands use it bring their point across and ensure that a key message stands out.
In this example by Made By Sofa, their message could not be more clear. Minimal design helps to further push the brand’s message, and it’s eye-catching too. In this example, sensible and clever use of white space helps the graphical elements to stand out prominently.
Print Design vs. Web Design
It would be naïve for marketers to apply the exact same approach to print and web design. In print design, one primary goal is to keep the audience on the page long enough to impress and inform. And—you might not even have a full page to achieve this task!
Another primary goal may be to keep them reading or make them pick up the physical product in the first place. This is used in book or magazine covers or on the first page of a brochure. The benefit of working with a physical product is that you can use texture and shape as well as image and text to create the end result.
In digital design, you are still trying to keep the viewers on a single page, or on a single website, for as long as possible. The number of pages on the site may be unlimited, so design consistency and longevity is particularly important. Clear navigation, animation, and sound can be core elements of online graphic design too, as well as the chance to expand into video.
Marketers should not discount the value of traditional graphic design and what it can generate for their campaign. Being mindful of all design principles can help shape both digital and print campaigns to ensure success.
In this episode, we cover Amazon tax and legal structures for your FBA business. How to set up an Amazon business properly What type of legal formation is BEST for Amazon FBA sellers? Sales tax and income taxes? What is Nexus? How to keep accurate books? Missed an episode? See them all here. We’re covering all of this today in our eleventh episode of the Million Dollar Case Study. Watch the video, keep reading and don’t forget to claim your EXCLUSIVE MDCS Jungle Scout discount! Subscribe to the Million Dollar Case Study list here, so you never miss an episode! Before you get started, if you’re not already using Jungle Scout, you’ll need to get a Jungle Scout subscription to follow along with us and complete your product research. To help you out, we’ve put together a Jungle Scout discount code that gives you more than 30% off Jungle Scout – both the Web App and Chrome Extension! Plus, you get a pretty fantastic FREE t-shirt to go with it. Welcome Back to the Million Dollar Case Study! Today, we’re going to be talking about legal structures and taxes. Although this isn’t a super exciting topic, it is vital to understand the ... Read More
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Maybe it’s because my drink of choice is a rum and diet. Maybe it’s because I was in Sydney to keynote a conference on marketing.
But as the train pulled into the station in Australia’s Blue Mountains region, I immediately noticed an ad for Coca-Cola Zero. The headline read “Tastes a lot like Coke. No joke.”
Five simple, single-syllable words. But together, they create a powerful marketing message.
Tap into the Power of Rhyme and Surprise
Why? Two reasons. First, they rhyme. Social scientists have found that rhyming phrases are easier for the brain to process. And when something is easier for the brain to process, it feels right. More importantly, when something feels right, you don’t usually question it. You accept it.
In fact, researchers conducted an interesting experiment. They showed people two phrases with the same meaning—however, one rhymed, the other did not. People judged the rhyming phrase to be the more truthful one. Simply put, when what we read rhymes, we are more likely to believe it. We feel more confident in our ability to make a decision about it.
The second reason this headline packs some serious marketing punch is that it’s surprising. If you assumed Coke Zero wouldn’t taste as good, you’re surprised to be reassured that it does indeed taste like Coke. And if it never occurred to you that Coke Zero wouldn’t taste as good, you’re actually surprised when the ‘tastes like’ line ends with “… Coke.”
Surprise can be a very powerful marketing tool. Social scientists have found that when we’re surprised, it activates the brain’s reward center. It intensifies our emotions by about 400%. It makes us focus and it’s more likely we’ll remember what we’ve just seen.
So if you want your marketing message noticed and recalled, one tactic to use is to be novel or unexpected—to be surprising.
Tell a Story, and You’ll Like the Ending
Telling a story is another smart way to make sure your target audience understands and remembers your message.
As I write this, I’m on my way home to Boston after an incredible 16 days touring Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji. Although I saw a lot, I still clearly remember Jill Rowley, Marketo’s Chief Growth Advisor, addressing the crowd at the Mumbrella B2B Marketing Summit in Sydney, sharing the story of how she got started in her career and how she dealt with certain challenges along the way. That’s because stories are incredibly powerful.
Social scientists have found that when you hear or read a story, you understand the information better and you remember it longer. This is because stories involve more parts of the brain than mere facts and figures do. Facts and figures engage the two parts of your brain that are responsible for processing language. But hearing or reading a story involves many other parts of the brain, including regions that process action, scent, and touch.
The more parts of your brain that are activated, the better you digest and recall the information.
Storytelling also engages and involves you, and allows you to draw your own conclusions. As Joe Vitale, author of Hypnotic Writing, observes, while we often argue with what others tell us, we rarely argue with our own conclusions. Perhaps that’s why when I was recently speaking to Deb Roth, co-owner of Japs-Olson, she told me that she encourages all her salespeople to incorporate stories into their customer calls.
Maybe This Is Why a Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words
A third way to ensure your marketing message is engaged with and retained is to harness the power of visuals. Long before the written word, people communicated using visuals. As a result, the human brain is drawn to images over words and finds them easier to process and remember. Social scientists refer to the Picture Superiority Effect, which basically means that pictures are better recalled than written words. If you can deliver your message incorporating pictures, you will improve the likelihood that it will be noticed and remembered.
Of course, some visuals are more effective than others.
For example, a New Zealand study found that pictures accompanying text bolstered the believability of that text. Additionally, a Cornell University study found that charts and graphs also made copy more credible.
Get Emotional and Get Results
If you’re looking for a fourth way to increase the likelihood that people will engage with and remember your marketing message, consider incorporating emotion into it. When you do, you make people feel a connection to—and trust—your brand. This makes it easier to persuade them. Additionally, emotion creates a more lasting imprint than rational thought.
Several scientific studies have shown that people make decisions for emotional reasons, and then later justify these decisions—to themselves and others—with rational reasons. This is true in both B2C and B2B and environments (even though we think our B2B clients make only rational decisions).
Creating that emotional connection is vital.
Take Advantage of the Senses
Finally, think about ways to make your marketing message incorporate various senses. If possible, consider including touch, sound, and smell in them. This is scientifically proven to more deeply encode those messages into your target’s memory.
For example, Sappi Papers has written a guide to haptics, the scientific effect of touch. Daniel Dejan of Sappi explains that how something feels—for example, the paper it’s printed on—can influence how someone perceives the message.
Other studies show that brands can make a more lasting imprint when they also employ scent in mail or include audio with their video.
Adding These Practices to Your Own Marketing
In conclusion, there are at least five ways marketers—both B2C and B2B—can increase the likelihood that their message is noticed and recalled by tapping into what social scientists have discovered about attention and memory.
The human brain is fascinating. And the more marketers understand how it operates, the more effective we can be.
On LinkedIn, you can advertise your product or services to more than 560 million active professionals. LinkedIn is a unique social media advertising platform, because the audience intent is very different from other social media websites and apps like Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat. People on LinkedIn are professionals browsing content relevant to their careers, and interacting with other users in a professional manner.
Because LinkedIn is so different, users are receptive to fairly different advertising language and format when on the site compared to other social media platforms as well. You wouldn’t want to share content that is too “fun” or nonprofessional on LinkedIn, for example, because people are likely using the website while at work or for work-related purposes.
Enter: Sponsored InMail
To reach an engaged audience in a professional setting, LinkedIn uses the format of a custom, personalized message directly in the user’s inbox with Sponsored InMail. It will look as though it is coming directly from someone in your organization, but it will be clearly marked as a promoted message. This hits users when they are already active and engaged on the platform.
In this guide we’ll walk through Sponsored InMail setup and best practices, to get you on your way to becoming a LinkedIn Ads Hero.
Setting Up a Sponsored InMail Campaign
To get started with setting up your campaign, navigate to the Campaign Manager either by visiting linkedin.com/ads directly, or by navigating from your LinkedIn profile.
Next, create a new campaign, and select Sponsored InMail as the campaign type.
Walk through the account/campaign naming screens, using good naming convention best practices, and arrive at the Setup Sender Permissions screen.
You can select from a list of previously set up senders, or you can add a new sender. Choose depending on your campaign goal and offer type (more on this in the next section).
If you choose to add a new sender, remember that the sender must be a 1st degree connection and have a profile picture. To add a new sender you will also have to send a request to the proposed sender for permissions. The requested sender will then receive an email explaining the terms and asking them for consent or denial.
Once the sender has accepted a request, they will be able to manage permissions from their profile at an account level.
After setting up the sender, you will be walked through a series of message component setup screens.
Components of a Sponsored InMail Ad
You have control over the following components in a Sponsored InMail ad:
The most difficult part about Sponsored InMail, in my experience, is writing the copy. It needs to adequately introduce your offer while still sounding personal and not too sales-y.
1. Choose a relevant Sender
For example, if you are a SaaS company sending InMail invites to register for a webinar on a Security topic, you may want to choose your CTO as the sender (as opposed to, say, your HR Coordinator or Marketing Director).
2. Keep the Subject Line Short and Direct
Use the subject line to quickly catch the user’s attention and interest. According to LinkedIn, the best subject lines contain the following:
3. Directly Address the Target
Instead of avoiding addressing the user by using vague and broad language, dynamically insert the user’s name and job title. Use “you” language, and make the message truly personalized.
4. Use Eye-Catching Creative for Brand Impact
Make sure that you use the banner image creative to its full potential, focusing on brand connection (i.e. ensuring the user will link your Sponsored InMail content with your brand.
Note: if you do not use a banner, then ads from other advertisers will appear in that ad real estate.
5. Focus on One Clear Call to Action
Don’t overload the message with too many CTAs. Focus on one result you would like to get from the ad, and make your CTA very clear accordingly.
The LinkedIn Best Practices Guide also states that the top InMail CTA keywords are:
If you’re already familiar with LinkedIn, the targeting available for Sponsored InMail is the same targeting available for any other campaign. However, using an approach tailored to the Sponsored InMail format is a good idea.
Using your best Customer Resource Manager (CRM) platform lists, you can target highly specific segments of users. Retarget old prospects who had attended one of your conferences, or target a list of undergraduate alumni to invite them to an informational session on your Master’s Programs.
You can also target highly specific segments of cold/new audiences. For example, if you are hosting a workshop for C-Level leadership at an upcoming conference, then you can target based on seniority and job title within your industry.
Final Note – Suggested Use Cases
Sponsored InMail is a phenomenal way to generate leads or build awareness in LinkedIn, and most organizations should be testing this in their accounts.
Some possible ways to use Sponsored InMail include: