Category Archives: Advertising

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A Quick and Effective Approach to Facebook Advertising

A Quick and Effective Approach to Facebook Advertising written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Facebook remains the dominant social media platform. In a recent earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared that there are more than 2.2 million daily users on the platform. That means that small business owners who are not advertising on Facebook are missing out on an opportunity to connect with about a third of the global population.

If you’ve been thinking about Facebook advertising but are intimidated by the process of starting an ad campaign on the platform, never fear. This simple guide will help you get your first campaign up and running.

Start by Setting Goals

What are you really hoping to accomplish with your Facebook campaign? Yes, you’re hoping for more business, but how will you measure success? Set clear goals with firm numbers. Something like, “We’re hoping to increase website traffic by X percentage” will help guide you through the process much more effectively than a goal like, “find new prospects.”

Establish Your Budget

Before you dive into the actual creation of the campaign, you’ll want to know the limits of what you can actually spend. A lot of small businesses don’t set a firm budget for Facebook and end up increasing their spend month after month, chasing greater results.

That is a recipe for spending well outside your means, and will also allow the Facebook advertising platform to run you, rather than you working intelligently within a budget to get the most out of what you can actually afford to spend.

It’s best to set a daily budget when you’re first starting out. This allows you to monitor your spend more closely, and you can adjust or pause spending as you learn more about your ad costs.

Find Your Audience

Facebook advertising can allow you to stay top of mind with your existing customers and also reach a whole new audience who might also have interest in your products and services.

You should already have some information about the customers you interact with regularly. Things like age, location, and gender are ways that you can narrow down the audience for your ads. You’re able to customize all of this information, or if you don’t feel comfortable doing that just yet, Facebook can auto-select your ad placement for you.

You can also target your advertising towards people who have interacted with your business in person but haven’t necessarily encountered it online. By creating a custom audience for offline activity, you can present your advertising to people you’ve either met at in-person events or at your brick-and-mortar store (more details on how to establish a custom audience for offline activity can be found here).

You can also use the Facebook Pixel tool to install a line of code into your company’s website. This code tracks those who visit your site and will send them targeted Facebook ads based on their behavior. For example, if you own a shoe store and someone recently browsed your site for women’s shoes, you can target them with Facebook advertising for your new wedge sandals.

Facebook also allows you to create lookalike audiences using information you have on the demographics of your existing customers. You upload the information on your current customers into the Facebook ad platform, and they will generate a list of users who have similar attributes.

Settle on Your Ad Type

Facebook offers a variety of ad types of businesses. The type of ad you choose to create will depend on the goals you’ve set for your campaign.

  • Link click ads and video ads are probably what comes to mind when you picture a Facebook ad. They’re incorporated into a viewer’s newsfeed. They contain either a static image or video, and will direct traffic to your external website, to a landing page or blog post of your choice.
  • Boosted page posts are a little different. You can always post something on your business’s Facebook page for free, but you can choose to boost the post for a cost, amplifying the reach of the original post.
  • Carousel ads and collection ads also appear in viewer’s newsfeeds, and they provide them the opportunity to scroll through a variety of images. These are popular with retailers offering a variety of similar products.
  • Dynamic product ads are those ads linked up with the Google Pixel code. These ads are displayed based on a visitor’s past actions on your company’s website.
  • Lead ads contain a form within the ad, allowing viewers to download your ebook or sign up for your newsletter all from within the Facebook platform. This allows you to eliminate the steps of asking them to travel to your external website and click a call to action button there.
  • Page like ads allow you to drive visitors to your business’s Facebook page. They contain an image and text, plus a button for them to like your page.
  • Page post photo and video ads allow you to share photos or video from your Facebook page with your chosen audience.
  • App ads allow you to present viewers with a photo and an accompanying link encouraging them to download your business’s mobile app.
  • Event ads and offer claims allow you to promote a specific upcoming event or promotional offer for your business.
  • Local awareness ads allow you to target viewers within a certain geographic location. This is a great option for small local businesses hoping to reach people in their neighborhood.
  • Messenger ads are incorporated into the viewer’s Facebook Messenger feed. These messages appear alongside chats with their friends, and when they click on the ad, they can chat with your business.

Check out the guide in this article for more on which types of ads best align with which goals.

Check Your Progress

Once you’ve selected your ad type, you’re not done just yet! You’ll want to check in on how your ad is performing against the goals you set for the campaign. Continue to refine your approach as you go, tweaking your images and messaging in the ad, adjusting your target audience, or considering another ad type if you’re not getting the desired results with your present type.

Google Ads Changes Affecting Small Businesses

Google Ads Changes Affecting Small Businesses written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch on Changes to Google Ads

Google has recently made some drastic changes to their ads program—starting with a name change, from Google AdWords to Google Ads. Some of the changes are technical, like tweaks to the interface. Others represent fundamental shifts in the way Google views advertising. These will affect more than just your Google advertising efforts, but also how you approach other marketing tactics, SEO, and content.

Google is the dominant force in online advertising, so you can’t afford to ignore what they’re doing. Here, I’ll walk you through the most important changes and new features that small business owners need to be aware of.

Goodbye, AdWords

The biggest change is that we have known the primary Google ad tool as AdWords. Now, they’ve dropped Words, and it is just Google Ads. This is more than just a technicality, I think it signals a fundamental shift in the way they’re viewing advertising.

When Google originally launched their ad product, advertising was all about keywords, but times have changed. Google is so much more than just a search engine at this point, and the change in name reflects their omnipresence on the web.

The new name indicates a move towards a more comprehensive approach, one that will incorporate machine learning and behavioral tracking to better understand the true intent behind people’s actions online.

Google Ads on Your Desktop

One of the other significant changes small business marketers will see is that there is now an application you can download to your desktop: AdWords Editor.

Similar to the Facebook editor, the idea here is that you can now download your campaigns, work on them offline, and then upload them again. This means that you’re not stuck sitting on the platform the entire time, and can now get more work done if you’re offline and on the move.

Google Sheets Integration

If you’re not already familiar with Google Sheets, it’s essentially a free, online version of Microsoft Excel. The integration with the new ads program allows you to pull reporting from Google Ads and into Google Sheets.

Doing so allows you greater flexibility in parsing the data. You can filter by your own criteria, create reports, and track data more easily. This will be particularly useful for agencies or consultants who need to create reports for multiple clients.

New Comprehensive Campaigns

With their new advertising program, Google is providing additional support to small business advertisers, allowing those who don’t have the time or energy to create their own campaigns to leave that all in Google’s hands.

The skeptic in me feels that there is a tradeoff between convenience and value. They make it very easy for you to give them a budget and they’ll do the legwork, but you’re also handing over control and the appropriate measures to monitor and adjust how that money is spent. Without visibility into what’s actually being done to market your business, how can you understand how to get better results in the future?

  • Google Local SearchLocal Ads: Google allows you to create one campaign that will propagate against search, maps, places, pages, display, and even YouTube. This means you only have to design one campaign to be used across all of their many platforms, while Google makes the decisions about how to best tailor the approach in each place.
  • Lead Ads: A new unit on YouTube, Lead Ads allows you to collect an email address through an ad message. This is similar to Facebook’s Lead Ads, which have been around for a while.
  • Responsive Search Ads: You create a pool of headlines and descriptions, and Google tests each of those possible combinations to determine which is most successful. Depending on how many concepts you create, you can end up with thousands of possible combinations—it’s A/B testing in hyperdrive. This is designed to help you lift click-through and conversion rates significantly.

Responsive Search Ads

What About Organic Search?

While these new campaigns are great for those who are taking advantage of the Google Ads platform, what about those marketers or small business owners who are putting all of their faith in the power of organic search?

These new ads will drive up conversion rates, as Google continues to do the analytics on what makes the most successful campaigns for its paid advertisers. In addition to being successful, these ads are also huge. They still contain extensions, and so they are going to take over. This will only serve to force organic results further and further down the page. Those users searching on a mobile device will have to scroll for a very long time before hitting the first organic result.

The message here for small business marketers is that you can’t ignore Google Ads. You still need to have a comprehensive marketing system with other tactics, including social media and content, as a means to get into organic search. But at the same time, you can’t ignore paid advertising.

Google Local Services Ads

The last item, which does not impact everyone yet, is Local Services Ads from Google. Formerly known as Home Service Ads, Local Services Ads are currently focused on tradespeople, technicians, and providers of other services to homeowners, with plans to expand to additional categories.

Business owners must apply to be in this program and become “Google Guaranteed,” which means that they’ll have to clear a background check and Google will provide a money-back guarantee to anyone unhappy with the company’s services.

Google Local Services Ad

This comes at a price: Google does not send users directly to a website when they click on this type of ad. Google uses a tracking phone number so that they’re able to see which leads are generated from these ads; the business owner is then charged for those leads. And rather than charging a nominal fee per click, Google will now ask for $25-$100 per lead, depending on category and competition, because they’ve delivered a verifiable lead.

This new approach allows Google to be fully involved in the lead generation process, which gives them valuable information about the way people are searching for services and also allows them to charge small business owners a greater fee than they would for pay-per-click advertising.

As we see advertising moving more towards a focus on intent, a shift that is powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence, we will see Google Ads encroach more and more in the search space. Google has created a system that encourages you to give them more of your ad budget, and while you certainly can’t ignore Google Ads as a part of your overall strategy, I would argue that there’s still great benefit in attending to your other marketing channels.

If you are struggling with managing the rapidly-changing online advertising landscape, Duct Tape Marketing can do an audit for you. Our Total Online Presence Audit is a comprehensive review of your assets online, including your ads. We can assess your strengths and weaknesses, and point you in the right direction.

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Facebook and Google Ads – The Keys to Small Business Paid Search

Facebook and Google Ads – The Keys to Small Business Paid Search written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

If you want to run a business today, you need to be advertising on Facebook and Google. These two tech giants dominate the online advertising market, and their reach is so incredibly broad (both have billions of users each month) that to leave them out of your strategy is to not have an online strategy at all.

However, if you take a look into how to approach advertising on these sites, you’ll find some conflicting opinions online. And of course the advertising approach for a large company is going to be very different from the one undertaken by a small business with a limited marketing budget.

Here, we’ll look at how to make Facebook and Google work best for you, the small business owner.

Determine Your Budget

Before you go off down the marketing rabbit hole, the first thing you need to do is set a realistic budget for yourself. It’s entirely possible to run an effective marketing campaign online with an outrageous spend, but you’ll need to understand what you’re willing and able to spend before you can develop an approach to using these tools effectively.

When you’re thinking about budget, it’s critical that you consider the budget for the year, not just month to month. Your online marketing campaign will not be successful if it comes in fits and starts—as one of our guest bloggers noted here, being a consistent presence online and in front of customers is a key component of building trust and driving conversions. That means that when you think about marketing budget, you need to think about your long game.

Have a Gameplan

After you’ve determined what you’re willing and able to spend, you’ll also want to set really clear objectives for your marketing campaign. Sure, you’re hoping to win more business, but how do you measure success? Number of conversions? Number of sales? Percentage of revenue growth?

Understanding what your expectations are for your marketing efforts will allow you to better understand the results of your campaign and refine your approach further in the future.

Understand Your Prospective Customers

Each small business is solving a unique problem, and therefore has their own unique cohort of prospective customers that could benefit from their good or service.

One of the key benefits to using Google and Facebook advertising is that they allow you to get really specific about the people who will see your advertising.

How to Find Your Audience on Facebook

I go into greater detail on this podcast about setting up your Facebook Business Manager account, but once you have that up and running there are a number of tools you’ll want to take advantage of to identify your most promising prospects.

  • Facebook Pixel is a line of code that you can install on your own company’s website. This code will allow you to track those who visit your site and send them targeted ads on Facebook based on their behavior. If someone’s already expressed interest in your business by visiting your website but hasn’t yet become a customer, you’ll want them to encounter you again on Facebook. The more consistently someone sees your brand across various channels, the more likely they’ll be to go and check you out in greater depth.
  • Creating lookalike audiences is another key component to optimizing your Facebook advertising. Facebook allows you to upload a list of your current customers, and then they generate a list of users who have similar attributes to those with whom you already do business.

How to Find Your Audience on Google

Google also provides business owners with a number of avenues to target specific users with their advertising.

  • Google Ads (formerly AdWords) allows you to target your ads by location and search words. There is some legwork you need to do up front to research the most effective keywords for your business. Putting in the time at the start to do the research phase correctly can result in really stellar results for your business and will get you the most bang for your advertising buck.
  • Google Local Services Ads are an important tool for tradesmen, technicians, or those who offer services to homeowners. Local Services Ads curates a list of providers of a particular service in a particular area (i.e. “electricians in San Francisco”). This puts your business front and center with those homeowners who are in immediate need of the service you provide. Your contact information is available, and so it’s a direct way to not only generate a lead but gain a new customer right on the spot.

Understand How to Best Use Each Platform

Facebook and Google both allow you to target your most promising prospects and to get detailed analytics about the success of your campaign, but there are some differences between advertising on the two sites, and so your approach to each should be unique.

Facebook’s ethos is all about creating community, so when someone searches for a business there, the first thing they see is how their friends are interacting with the brand. Once they head to the business’s page, they’re encouraged to invite their friends to “like” the page. The advertising is visually-driven, allowing you to paint a picture (literally) of what your business can do. The endorsements of friends and other Facebook users and the image-rich pages all allow you to present your business as one that’s trustworthy—you’ve earned the kudos of real people and you’re not afraid to share pictures and videos that show who your company really is.

Google’s paid search takes a different approach that’s more about immediacy. With a paid search ad, your company appears in line with results to a particular query. That means that if you’re a florist in San Diego, and someone is in desperate need of flowers in that geographical area, you can ensure you’re the first name they see when they type “florist near me” into their Google search. This allows you to become the immediate solution to their pressing issue. Google’s platform also incorporates ratings and reviews into some of its advertising (specifically as a part of Local Services Ads) and those with the highest ratings are often bumped up to the top of the results list. This means that reviews and trustworthiness are still a key component of the game on Google.

Two Advertising Tactics are Better Than One

While each platform has their own unique strengths, there is even more value in using the two together. Facebook cites a case study from the digital marketing technology firm Kenshoo, to illustrate this point. Kenshoo looked at Experian’s paid search approach and found that using Facebook and Google ads together helped to improve the overall effectiveness of their campaign.

Because users often turn to Facebook first and go there for personal recommendations from friends and other users, having advertising present on Facebook is a valuable first step to gaining a prospect’s attention. As I’ve noted before, 90 percent of consumers say they trust a recommendation from a friend or family member, and 70 percent say they trust a personal recommendation from any fellow consumer (even a stranger online).

In their case study, Kenshoo noted that when Experian advertised on both Facebook and Google, they saw a 19 percent increase in total conversions, while spending 10 percent less overall per acquisition. Using both platforms together allows you to get in front of prospects across multiple channels, build trust, and make the conversion.

Pay Attention to the Analytics and Pivot Accordingly

Both Google and Facebook ads provide you with a lot of information about how your ads are performing.

Do you have an ad that’s reaching the right people but isn’t resulting in leads or conversions? If you’ve put together an expensive television ad or print campaign that isn’t generating results, you’ve already spent the money and can’t take it all back.

Fortunately, with online advertising you’re able to quickly scrap ideas that aren’t successful and test out new approaches. And if you make tweaks to your advertising one step at a time, applying the principle of A/B testing, you’re able to see what change you’ve made that’s generating the most positive results from your audience. From there, you can hone in on that approach and expand it to other marketing and advertising efforts.

Facebook and Google ads are really great for small businesses because they’re a low risk and potentially high reward way to reach new customers. Both platforms make it easy to find those who are most likely to want to interact with your brand, which makes lead generation and conversion an easier task. And if you’re willing to go the extra mile and sort through the analytics that come back from your campaigns, you can use that information to further refine your approach in the future, thereby creating more and more effective advertising campaigns each time.

The Central Role of Advertising In The Customer Journey?

The Central Role of Advertising In The Customer Journey? written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

When you think of advertising, your first association might be with attracting new customers. Ads are supposed to reach out to audiences unknown, introduce them to your brand, and bring them on board.

But in reality, advertising can be used effectively throughout the customer journey. It’s not only a tool to reach prospective clients; it can also keep those you’ve already converted around for many years to come.

I’ve talked a lot in the past about the marketing hourglass, and while you’re undertaking that approach to marketing on the whole, you can incorporate advertising into each of the seven key steps along the hourglass.

Advertising to the Know and Like Crowd

Before someone ever becomes a customer, they will first need to come into contact with your brand and decide that you’re offering a product or service that’s unique and that will serve their specific needs in a way that no one else can.

If you’re looking to reach prospects, you want to target people who are similar to your current customers. It stands to reason that those who will have similar needs and wants to your current clients probably also have other similar attributes (age, location, budget, etc.).

Online advertising tools have become increasingly advanced and allow you to direct your ad spend only at those who are most likely to want to know and like your brand. Facebook offers a service called lookalike audiences, where business owners are able to upload the contact list of their current customers, and Facebook in turn identifies people with similar attributes for you to target with your ads. Google Ads offers business owners the ability to target users by geographical location and by those who are searching for specific keywords.

The key to advertising to prospects is knowing and understanding your current clients. The more data you have on them and their habits, the more likely you are to be able to hone in on a similar audience who would be more than happy to stumble across your business.

Advertising to the Trust and Try Crowd

Once someone becomes aware of your company, they move a bit further along the marketing hourglass to the trust and try stages. Here, you’ll want your advertising efforts to help users build confidence in what your brand can do, and to give them an opportunity to take what you’re offering out for a spin.

A key part of a prospect developing trust in your business is seeing you around consistently. The mere exposure effect in psychology says that people are more likely to trust someone or something that they see over and over again. Advertising across various channels (both on- and offline) will help to keep your brand front and center in prospects’ minds.

This also means that part of your advertising strategy is just about hanging in there. If you don’t see results right away from your advertising spend, don’t throw in the towel. Sure, it’s fine to tweak your approach, but scrapping the entire thing will take your business off the radar screen of those who might have been interested in giving your product or service a try if it had only popped up on their screen one or two more times.

Once prospects have seen you around and you’ve piqued their interest, they might want to take your product or service out for a test drive before committing and converting. Providing offers for free, advanced content like an eBook or access to a webinar, or giving prospects a free trial option can be the final step before converting. While I’d suggest that you take a more personalized approach to your interactions with prospects, it’s also possible to include offers in more general advertising. Just be sure that when you’re targeting specific people with personalized messaging, you’re offering something that isn’t generally available to anyone coming across your advertising.

Advertising to the Buy, Repeat and Refer Crowd

Congratulations! Your earlier advertising efforts were successful, and you’ve now gained your newest customer. But your work is far from over—now your focus needs to be on keeping the customer experience high.

Once someone has converted, your contact with them can be much more specific and personalized through other marketing channels, but it’s still possible to use advertising to keep current clients happy, have them coming back for more, and (most importantly) telling all their friends about you.

One of the most important things for creating repeat business is staying on-brand in your advertising. You’ve worked so hard to get in front of these customers and to win their trust, so you want to continue to hammer home your mission statement and keep your messaging and voice consistent so that your customers feel like they really know and understand your company. This helps to reinforce your trustworthiness, and will make those customers all the more likely to come back themselves and to become a referral engine.

You can also use these loyal customers as a part of your advertising efforts. Including testimonials from those who are already brand-loyal in your advertising campaigns can help to win over those who are still in the trust phase of the hourglass. Indeed, 70 percent of people say that they’re influenced by other consumers’ opinions shared online.

Advertising can be a powerful way to reach your customers and prospects alike. Advertising can be seen by and have an influence on people no matter where they are in marketing hourglass. Identifying the proper audience for your advertising efforts, creating a consistent message that builds trust, and staying top of mind with both prospects and current clients will ensure that you get the most out of your advertising dollars.

How to Use Advertising as a Lead Generation Tool

How to Use Advertising as a Lead Generation Tool written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing is a broad term that encompasses a number of channels and approaches. Advertising is just one of them, and in our increasingly digital age, it can sometimes feel like a tactic of the past. However, when advertising is used properly, it can become an effective lead generation tool.

Below we’ll take a look at both online and offline advertising and explore the best ways to harness each approach to generate leads.

Online Ads

Online ads are a highly effective way to generate leads because you’re able to collect and access so much information about your customers when they interact with you online. And the major players in the online game are making it easier than ever for you to create online ads that are highly targeted.

Facebook and Google are the two major players in the space, and they offer small business owners all sorts of opportunities to better understand their current users, find new potential clients, and generate leads and conversions. They do this by providing highly-granular analytics on all of their users and by allowing you the opportunity to customize your advertising approach and target market.

There are a few critical steps any business owner should take before starting an online marketing campaign to ensure they’re going to get the most out of their approach.

Know Who Your Customers Are

You can’t possibly know who you should be targeting without knowing the demographics of your current client base. How old are they? Where are they located? What’s their income level? This is the kind of demographic information you should be collecting on your current clients. You can also get information on prospects with tools like Facebook Pixel, which allows you to track visitors’ behavior on your own website so that you can send them targeted ads on Facebook later.

Go After Your Audience

Once you understand more about the people who already use your service or have expressed interest in your website, you’ll want to go after those specific people with online ads. Facebook and Google also make it easy to target people who might not have encountered your business yet, but are similar to those who already interact with your business. Facebook’s lookalike audiences allow you to present your ads to those who have attributes that are similar to people already on your mailing list. And Google Ads allows you to advertise by location, while tools like Google Local Service Ads put you in front of potential leads right as they’re looking for the service you offer.

Track Your Results

Google and Facebook both offer robust analytics on how many people are seeing your ads, whether they’re then visiting your website, and if that is resulting in a conversion. You should be keeping regular tabs on these analytics so that you can easily catch and solve an issue, or jump on a successful approach and amplify that across other channels.

Testing Makes Perfect

Based on what you’re seeing from the analytics, you can go in and make strategic changes to your approach. A/B testing is regularly used in website design, but the principles can be applied to advertising as well. If a campaign isn’t succeeding, make a change. This might be a change to the content, the delivery method, or the demographics of those you’re targeting, but whatever changes you implement, make them one at a time so you’re able to see how each change moves the needle on the campaign. If you hit on a successful tactic that results in leads, apply that across your other channels. The beauty of online advertising is that if something isn’t working, it’s possible to change it quickly, easily, and without great cost.

Offline Ads

While there is great value in creating effective online advertising campaigns, a robust advertising approach will also incorporate offline ads. And while you may not have the specific analytics to see precisely how your offline ads are performing, there’s still immense value in investing in print, television, radio, and direct mail.

With offline advertising, there’s usually more upfront cost involved, and once a print ad or radio spot is out there, you can’t make modifications. All of this means that there’s value in taking more time up front to be strategic about your approach–you really can’t skip the research step here.

However, many of the same basic principles from online advertising should also be put into use offline.

Identify Your Medium

Different types of customers will interact with different kinds of offline media. That same demographic information you needed to establish a successful online campaign can help you to determine the type of offline campaign that will afford you the greatest reach with the types of customers you hope to find. If you run an auto repair shop, it might make more sense for you to create radio spots, as people tend to listen to the radio while they’re driving. If your target customers are millennial men, consider running your ad during the college football game on your local sports network. Understanding your customers allows you to hone in on a broader audience that will likely have a similar interest in your product or service.

Think Outside the Box

It’s more difficult now to approach offline advertising because a lot of people are conditioned to ignore it or have the means to avoid it entirely (DVRs and streaming services, for example, allow you to skip commercials entirely). This means you’ll need to get creative with your approach. Forget the 30 second radio spot; have you ever thought about texting as advertising? There are lots of possibilities out there, if you’re willing to think beyond the traditional. Hiring an advertising professional is a worthwhile investment because they understand the landscape, the latest trends, and can create a campaign that really stands out.

Create Your Own Analytics

It is possible to get a broad sense of how your offline advertising is being received. While it’s not the same as the incredible detail you can get from online analytics, you can get useful information about how your campaigns are playing offline. If you’re launching a new print or direct mail campaign and include an offer, provide a unique code that allows you to track how new leads who approach you came across your business. There’s also value in creating a brief survey for those who sign up for more information on your website. Simply asking “how did you find out about us?” and listing your individual offline advertising efforts below can provide you with insight into where leads are coming from. Armed with this information, you’ll be able to focus your efforts more on the medium that’s working best, and over time can gain insight into the campaigns and approaches that prove most fruitful.

No matter what advertising approach you choose to take, understanding the results of your advertising efforts is what’s going to lead you to create more effective campaigns in the future that will generate more and more leads. Taking the time to know your audience up front and gather more information as the campaign unfolds will empower you to make the most out of your advertising approach.

A Small Business Guide to Paid Content

A Small Business Guide to Paid Content written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

If you’re a small business out in the world today, it can feel like your competition is everywhere. The ubiquity of the internet means that anyone, anywhere, can turn to any provider to get the goods or services they need. In an environment like that, what can you possibly do to stand out from the crowd?

In the past, advertising was the cornerstone of any plan to get your company’s name out there and to attract new business. However, with giants like Google now committing to filtering ads, and with customers being turned off by loud pop-up videos and irritating banners blocking a site’s content, focusing exclusively on advertising is becoming a less sustainable marketing model for businesses.

So what’s the alternative? Here we’ll take a look at paid content: what it is and what it can bring to your business.

Why Turn to Paid Content?

Content marketing is essentially a way for you to create deep connections with customers, establish yourself as an industry expert, and thereby drive sales. This content can be anything from blog posts to podcasts to e-newsletters.

Whatever form the content takes, it’s critical that it’s high-quality, informative, and results-driven content that really solves a problem your potential clients have. If you prove through your content that you understand their needs and that you have a means to meet them, you can become their go-to source for whatever good or service you provide.

The challenge, then, becomes getting that content in front of the right people. You know that old adage “If a tree falls in a forest and no one’s around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Same goes for content creation. You can be turning out some really impressive work, but if no one’s seeing the content you’re creating, it’s not doing anything for you.

Leveraging Distribution Platforms

Getting your content out there to a broader audience is exactly why some companies turn to distribution platforms. These platforms allow you to set a budget and timescale, and from there they work to put your content in front of a targeted audience that will find it the most interesting and useful. We’ve discussed this approach in the past, and while there are a lot of platforms for you to choose from, some of the most popular are covered here.

Content Distribution PlatformDistribution platforms will provide you with analytics, so you’re able to see which content is getting the most traction and can tailor your approach as you learn more about your audience. The greatest downside to these types of platforms is that the content still lives on the margins of web pages. Often located below the site’s content, they look like paid content, which may turn some potential readers off.

Sponsored Content on Trusted Publications

If you’re concerned about the look of content on a distribution platform, you may want to consider sponsored content instead.

While perusing your favorite online magazine or newspaper, it’s likely that you’ve come across a story that’s sponsored by a brand. Perhaps it’s a mattress store that’s written an article about the importance of a good night’s sleep. Or an athletic goods company that’s published a piece about how the proper running shoe can help marathoners beat their personal records.

These types of posts are imbedded in a publication and are designed to mirror the look, feel, and tone of other articles, but in reality, they’ve been paid for by marketers. This kind of paid content is beneficial in a few unique ways. First, it allows you to target the readers of whichever publication best aligns with the target audience for your good or service. It also provides an air of legitimacy for your advertising; if the reader trusts the publication, they’re likely to also trust your content that they find on its pages.

Facebook Posts and Google Searches

Similar in concept to the sponsored content approach, you may also consider placing sponsored posts on Facebook or paying for Google search ads. This is another form of native advertising, which again allows your content to blend in with its surroundings.

Google Search Ad

If someone happens upon a Facebook ad as they’re scrolling through their newsfeed, or sees a search result at the top of their Google results, they’re less likely to be put off in the same way they might be with a more obvious marketing tactic. Since these ads are intended to look like a part of the larger platform, readers don’t feel they’re being “sold” a product or service.

The New Approach to Influencer Marketing

When you think of influencer marketing, it’s possible that your mind jumps immediately to the Kardashians or another celebrity with a massive social media following. But the trend in influencer marketing is changing, and many marketers are now moving away from the celebrity endorsement.

In fact, in a recent study by Collective Bias, 70 percent of millennials said they’re more likely to buy a product that’s been endorsed by a non-celebrity blogger, rather than a celebrity. This is good news for smaller businesses, who can’t afford the seven-figure endorsement price tag that Kylie Jenner commands.

If you’re a small business, think smaller scale. Target influencers who are important to those in your desired network, and reach out to them. If you have a compelling pitch and are willing to send them a free sample of your product, they just may cover your business on their blog or give you a shout-out on their social media platforms.

There are a lot of small businesses out there, creating content and competing for the attention of potential customers. While this can make the world of content creation feel overwhelming, if you focus on creating quality content that really helps your target audience, and find ways to get this content in front of an ever-broadening audience, you can make the content creation approach work in your favor to drive revenues and expand your business.

Advertising Your Small Business: Small Budget, Big Results

Advertising Your Small Business: Small Budget, Big Results written by Guest Post read more at Duct Tape Marketing

If you’re a small business owner with a modest budget, you may be wondering where to begin with advertising. Although the advertising world can be overwhelming, the good news is that you know your business better than anyone else. Here are a few things to consider when creating your advertising plan.

1. Define your goals

You may think your goal is to increase visibility for your product or service. But take it one step further. You don’t just want people to know about your company, you want people to become customers of your company. In order to covert people from an audience to your customers or clients, you’ll need to solve a problem for them.

Either your product is something they need or would like, or your service offers a convenience or skill that is sought after. As you define your goals, you’ll also need to define your potential customer’s problems and how you solve them.

Then, this solution will need to be communicated in your advertising.

2. Learn where to find your audience

Reaching your audience is important, but do you know where to reach them? If you’re a DIY woodworking company, would a roadside billboard work best or would you be better off targeting bloggers who like your medium?

Advertising is not a one-size-fits-all solution. You must tailor your content and choose your advertising platform based on where your customers are most likely to be reached.

3. Do your homework before committing to an advertising method

If you’ve defined your goals and think you know how to best target your audience, you’ll still need to do some research before signing a contract or sending money to a partner. When working with a local advertising agency or freelancer, do your due diligence in calling references and searching the web for reviews.

Be wary of too many 5-star or “perfect” reviews online. While many companies really are that good, sometimes, a perfect record is forged with fake reviews. You don’t want false advertising for your company, so it’s best to avoid any companies or individuals you suspect may be using these tactics. You want real results from real people.

And you want to know how your advertising partner’s clients felt about their bottom line results.

4. Stay on brand

Although almost anything goes in the advertising world, it’s important that you know who your company is and the importance of staying on brand. What may work well for a beer or entertainment company may not translate to your industry. Knowing what’s appropriate in your field is as important as knowing where to reach your customers.

Many advertising agencies or contractors can help you develop a brand for your company if you don’t already have one. It’s critical to keep the messaging consistent throughout all your campaigns.

By keeping your brand front and center, customers will remember it when they’re looking for your product or service.

5. Learn how to do some things yourself

Let’s say you have a small business that does a lot of online sales. If your business has active social media sites, you may want some help branding those, but if you’re proficient at using the platforms you may want to interact with your customers on your own.

Be aware that the world is watching you. Keep everything very professional. If a customer or client has a complaint or leaves a bad review, acknowledge it, and then try to take the conversation into a private setting.

Above all else, avoid getting into an argument with your client or customer on a public forum. Even in private, this is very bad for business. But one rude or nasty comment from a business owner online can haunt your company’s reputation forever.

6. Be realistic about your goals

If your company is brand new and you’re just getting into advertising, don’t think you’ll become the next national sensation overnight.

Building a quality business with reoccurring and loyal customers takes a lot of time and effort. Every “overnight success” is actually years in the making. You probably won’t have new customers or clients knocking down your doors in the first week of your advertising campaign. But over time results will come.

7. Commit what you can afford to ongoing advertising efforts

Instead of running one or two random campaigns, consider your financial situation and determine how much you can afford to have an ongoing campaign or contract with an advertising agency.

By consistently advertising your business, you’ll drive more traffic. People are more likely to try something they’ve heard about or feel they are familiar with so getting name recognition for your company is often the first step in an ongoing campaign.

After you’ve gained the trust of your advertising audiences, you can move on to promotions, events and other advertising campaigns for more specific things.

8. Make use of free resources

Things like Google Maps, Google Locations, Yelp, and Facebook pages are free to create. If you have a physical location or website for your business, you’ll want to make sure it can be discovered through Google, Yelp, Facebook or other prominent social media sites.

To create a listing in Google, visit the Google Business page and create your listing. You’ll need to verify it, but once it’s done your place of business will be easy to find and review on Google. For Yelp, the process is similar. Visit the Claiming your Business page on Yelp and follow the steps to get your business up on the site.

Remember that when you begin advertising, instant results are unlikely. Advertising should always be part of your long-term business strategy to establish and maintain awareness of your brand.

To keep customers and clients coming back, you’ll need to stay top of mind. Consider rewarding your loyal customers with some sort of incentive to keep using your small business, and focus on customer service. Word of mouth is still some of the best advertising of all.

About the Author

wood work boss

I’m Paul from Woodwork Boss – and as you might have guessed, I love woodworking!

Woodworking is one of my true passions, and I love to share this passion with other interested people on my website. At, you’ll find woodworking tips, free project plans, buying guides, and inspirational posts.

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AdWords for Local Businesses

AdWords for Local Businesses written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

We all want to grow our business, and no matter what industry you’re in, the truth of the matter is that digital space matters. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t care about providing an excellent experience in the real world. Obviously, that should be at the core of everything you do because that’s what’s going to turn a one-time customer into a long-term champion. Even so, more and more customers are going to be looking for you in the digital space, and that means you need to be smart about what steps you take to reach them.

I don’t know about you, but the first thing I do when I’m looking for something, anything, is pull out my phone or crack open my web browser and jump straight to Google. This is, of course, fundamental to Google’s business model, and the reason that the first place any business should look when they’re thinking about digital is to AdWords. However, it’s not as simple as just flipping a switch and waiting for the phone to ring.

Instead, let’s dive into how AdWords works, how you can use it, and why it’s such a great choice for local businesses looking to reach local customers.

It’s All About the Keywords

Ever since the earliest days of online search, when Google competed with Yahoo, AltaVista, and Ask Jeeves—and Bing was just a glimmer in Bill Gates’ eye—search engine optimization (SEO) has been a keystone for marketers looking to reach their audience online. While a lot of conversation around this topic can take the tone of people looking to find loopholes or exploits in search engines via reverse engineering, at its core it’s really just recognizing the fact that any piece of digital content that you put out needs to balance being useful and engaging to your audience and being easy to find.

The key to all of this is the keyword, a flag that helps Google understand that you just might be exactly what a user is looking for.

If you haven’t already done your homework, and even if you have, the best place to start when you’re launching an AdWords campaign is with keywords. The good news is that Google actually provides you with a free tool to do all the research you need to get started, via their AdWords Keyword Planner. Regardless of whether or not you actually go forward with a paid campaign, you’ll get actionable information for building and refining a highly targeted keyword list.

Once you’ve logged in and given the Planner the info it needs about your site, you’ll be presented with a bunch of options for potential keywords you can bid on. Give special attention to the Locations setting: You can target specific ZIP codes to give your results a local focus for potential customers or clients near your business’s address.

Starting a campaign can be as simple as setting a budget, combing through your options, and dropping in some ad copy, but there’s more to the story. You’re looking at a list of words that Google thinks are relevant to your website, so it’s better to pull out the magnifying glass and make some observations.

Sifting Through the Keyword Options

Now you have this list of suggested terms, and you need to figure out what to do with it. The first thing is to get rid of anything irrelevant— stuff that maybe pops up because of how your products are named or something recurrent in your copy that actually isn’t relevant to your business. On the flip side, you want to use the “More like this” option to get more suggestions for keywords that look promising to dive even deeper into choices for your campaigns.

Then, it’s time to put them into action and collect some data on them. We need to learn more about how these keywords will actually work, so we’re basically going to hop on Google and make some observations. Because search gets customized based on your history, it might be a good idea at this point to bring up an Incognito window so you can get a clearer picture of what’s going on for the average user.

Take the most promising words and phrases from your list and run an organic search. Pay attention to everything! What AdWords posts come up? What does the front page of organic results look like? Are they mainly proprietary or third party? What words or phrases show up consistently in the results? How are the organic results titled? These kinds of things can help you identify what your current site is doing (and not doing) and make improvements. The other thing to pay attention to is what is happening with the autocompletion of the phrase, as targeting these narrower phrases can help you carve out a niche with relatively less competition.

Hopefully, all of this research helps you narrow down your list of keywords to some prime candidates for what will actually accomplish your goals. The next step is to take a step back and really think about how these pieces of the puzzle fit together. What is the intent behind a particular search term or phrase? Think about the person behind the keyboard or holding the phone. Is their query oriented towards just doing research, or is it what someone would search if they’re actually looking to make a purchase? If someone Googles “best locksmith number,” for example, they’re probably going to make a phone call to the first legit-looking place that they can find in their area. Really put yourself in a buyer’s shoes and you should be able to whittle down your terms to a useful selection for your business.

Do Recon on the Competition

Another important reality to consider for small businesses is that you have competition, and they probably have very similar goals to yours. While it’s natural to feel like you’re the smartest player at the poker table, the truth is that what you don’t know can hurt you, and you don’t want to be surprised by pocket aces. You need to look into what your competitors are doing so you can copy the good ideas and leverage their bad ones.

When you’re going through possible keywords to invest in, make special note of any time your competition pops up. Pay attention to the ad copy and titling they’re using, and compare it to both what the search term was and how it looks next to the organic results. If you put yourself in that buyer mindset, does it actually appeal to you? It’s easier to see things objectively when you’re looking at something that you haven’t made yourself, but make sure to take careful note of your observations and then ask yourself if your AdWords copy really is better, or if you’re falling for the same traps.

Tools to Research Your Competition

Beyond some simple observations, you need to know if your competitors are doing something you haven’t thought of yet. If they’re staking out keywords that are perfect for your local business, then you should make sure that you’re able to throw your hat in the ring, too. Luckily, there are tools to help you get a complete picture of what your opponents are doing.

SpyFu is the classic option for competitor keyword research. It’s the second generation of GoogSpy, and it’s an excellent way to get the information you need to see everything that’s going on with other businesses. All you need to do is enter a domain and you’ll get a report showing your competitors’ top organics, AdWords buys, and your competition’s competition for these terms, plus a whole slew of other useful information.

When you’re looking at a SpyFu report, there’s so much data available to you that it can make your head spin. Side-by-side across the page you’re looking at you get to see their organic search performance and estimated value vs. their AdWords performance and estimated monthly budget. The key here is that it gives you an idea of what their AdWords spending and performance is like, relative to their content marketing efforts, which helps you understand what their strategy may be. What you need to be thinking about is why they’ve chosen to commit to the keywords that they’re paying for, and how that might fit in with how their organics perform.

As you keep digging into the report, you can look at where they share keywords with competitors and where they occupy exclusive real estate (again, for both paid and organic). This can give you an idea of how they’re focusing their efforts in terms of a broad versus a narrow strategy in a particular area.

SpyFu will also analyze a company’s buys and those of its competitors, and let you know where there might be space for you to invest, and which other competitors have bought AdWords space for those terms as well.

Put it all together, and you’ll have a complete picture of what the AdWords terrain looks like, which will help you make some informed decisions about how you want to approach your own strategy.

Making Sure an AdWords Buy Makes Sense

Before we go forward, we need to take a moment to make sure the simple math checks out. With digital advertising, it can often be easy to lose track of what your ROI actually is while you focus on “winning” the digital scoreboard. The fact of the matter is that there are some keywords where there’s just no chance of being profitable, and you want to make sure you know what the situation is before you invest your time and money in something fruitless.

Since AdWords comes down to how much you pay per click, you need to understand what your maximum cost per click (CPC) is so you know whether or not it’s worth it to pay Google’s CPC. This ultimately comes down to your website’s conversion rate, your average profit per customer, and what kind of advertising profit margin you’re shooting for. While this seems like it’s getting a little complicated, Kissmetrics explains that it really comes down to fourth-grade math:

Max CPC = (profit per customer) x (1 – profit margin) x (website conversion rate)

Basically, we’re calculating how much you can pay per click and still hit your profit margin goal, considering your website’s conversion rate. So, if you make $100 per customer and you want to have a 40% profit margin with a 5% website conversion rate, you’re looking at a Max CPC of $100 x (1 – 0.40) x (0.05), or $4 per click.

Keep in mind that for something like conversion rate you’re going to have to hedge your bets based on how good your data is. The more data you have the more confident you can be in that number, and on the other hand, if there’s more uncertainty you’ll probably want to play it safe with a more pessimistic projection. You’re paying per click, so you want to ensure those clicks ultimately translate into growth. If you do your targeting right, you’ll be able to bump that conversion rate, which will allow you to have a higher Max CPC and put even more valuable keywords in play.

Tracking Conversions

A brief aside here to talk about how important it is to track conversions on your website. Knowing traffic numbers and how people get to you is all well and good, but at the end of the day, what keeps the lights on and the doors open is actually making the sale. There’s a way to track conversions via AdWords by getting buyers to a checkout or receipt page with embedded code, but the simpler way is to use Google Analytics and then plug that data into AdWords. This lets you keep track of not only what’s going on with AdWords, but also other sources of traffic and conversions.

Why Call Tracking is Key for Local Businesses

On the subject of conversions, one key for local businesses is that someone can still be converted without necessarily clicking through. For many places, an inbound phone call has a very high chance of becoming a sale, because it usually means a customer has finished their online research and is now trying to get something done.

So, how do we factor this into our tracking?

One option is a third-party tracking platform, which will help you keep track of more than just the inbound calls generated via AdWords, and gets this data into analytics. If you’ve done any amount of work on boosting your local search SEO (and if you haven’t, you should), you’ll know that a vital component of that work is making sure that there’s consistency across all of your listings, particularly for your name, address, and phone number (NAP consistency).

Because of this, you want to make sure the platform you choose is able to work with your actual phone number and not a special number just for tracking (although that still happens on the backend). Some good ones include CallRail, KeyMetric, and Infinity, but you can also browse through the full list of Google Analytics partners to find something that suits your business’s needs.

If a third-party system just isn’t in your budget, there’s baked-in call forwarding and tracking as part of AdWords, but you’ll have to miss out on other valuable data you can get from tracking all sources. This makes it harder to understand how big a role AdWords is playing in getting people to pick up the phone, but small business marketing budgets are a reality we all need to live with. In this case, install their snippet on your website and get what information you can.

Writing Great AdWords Copy

You don’t get a lot of space to make your pitch on AdWords, so you need to make sure that you do what you can to really reach out and grab your audience. In many ways, this is Marketing 101. What is your unique value proposition? How do you make someone an offer they can’t refuse? How do you make yourself seem like a safe bet?

The challenge with AdWords is that you only have two 30-character headlines, one 80-character description line, and a link to do all your marketing jujitsu. The good news is that you already know one thing, which is what your user is looking for. Going back to our locksmith example, you know that if someone is looking for a locksmith they probably have these kinds of questions in mind:

  • How soon can they get here?
  • How much will this cost me?
  • Can I trust these people?

So, how do you address all that with only two brief title lines, a short sentence, and a link? The key is to pack as much information into all four of those lines as you possibly can to address your customer’s most urgent questions. Here’s some copy that tries to address all those questions:

Boise’s Trusted 24/7 Locksmith – There ASAP, Top Rated on Yelp

30 Minutes Or Less, No Hidden fees, Flat $50 Rate, Satisfaction Guaranteed

Contrast that with this listing, which I pulled from Google (with the location and URL modified to not call them out directly):

Need A Locksmith In Boise – We Can Help Call Us Now 24/7‎

Fast And Local Response · Quality Locksmith Service · Only $19 Service Call‎

This example has a couple of red flags, especially the words “ $19 service call.” What about paying the locksmith? How much will this actually cost? “Local response” also implies that this company isn’t local, which is confirmed by their generic URL. If you click through to the landing page it’s also generic, confirming our suspicions that it’s not actually a local company.

Using Small Ad Groups

Segmenting is all the rage in marketing because it lets you create more individualized campaigns that will appeal to specific groups of customers that you’re trying to reach. If you do household repairs, a pitch that’s going to appeal to first-time homeowners will look very different than one that’s tailored to someone trying to get their house in order so they can sell. We talk a lot about segmentation in mailing lists, but the idea also applies to AdWords campaigns via the concept of ad groups.

Basically, you want to break up your keywords into ad groups that make sense together. You don’t have a lot of space with AdWords, and you need to make sure that your message really grabs your audience’s attention. Again, it’s about putting yourself in the mentality of what the intent is behind a keyword search and creating a message that appeals to that intent. A good rule of thumb is to limit yourself to no more than 20 keywords per group.

Customized Landing Pages

We talked briefly about landing pages in the locksmith example, where a dubious listing led us to a super generic landing page that tipped us off to the fact that the company in question wasn’t actually local. Another takeaway from that example is that customized landing pages for each ad group can make a huge difference in your conversion rates. This principle is well known to email marketers, and it also applies to AdWords as well.

Landing pages are simply a must for online marketing. You establish trust, answer any questions a visitor might have, and drive them to a strong (and precisely placed) call to action. There is so much to be said about making (and tweaking) landing pages that drive conversion but for the purposes of this guide, it’s enough to say that you should customize them based on what each ad group’s mentality is going into the search.

Taking Advantage of AdWords Extensions

As we learned, there’s a lot you can do with the limited space you’re afforded for AdWords copy, but you also have some options for giving even more information via AdWords Extensions. If you’ve set up this feature, your ad is ranked high enough, and Google thinks it will improve your performance, extensions will add things like a call button, location information, links to specific parts of your website, and more. These features mean your ad takes up more space on the page, which is especially important on mobile. Extensions are free to add, so make sure you take the time to configure everything—when the cost is free, you already know it’ll pay off.

But the best reason of all to use Extensions is because they make your add look bigger and more prominent and that alone can lead to better performance.

Focus on Your Customer’s Mentality

At the end of the day, the important thing with building an AdWords campaign is that you are able to put yourself in the mindset of someone trying to get help with a problem—a problem that your business is ready to solve.

If you are able to focus on all the different mentalities that might lead a customer to consider giving you a call, you have everything you need to make a great AdWords campaign for your local business.

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10 Tips for Successfully Re-Launching Your Website

10 Tips for Successfully Re-Launching Your Website written by Guest Post read more at Duct Tape Marketing

An outdated website sends a message that you aren’t up on the latest trends. There comes a time when every business needs to revamp and re-launch for maximum impact.

For example, older websites might not be optimized for speed. About 40 percent of those who visit your website will bounce away if it doesn’t load within three seconds. You can’t afford to keep a bulky, outdated website with statistics like that.

At the same time, relaunching your site might seem almost overwhelming. Fortunately, there are some simple rules of thumb you can follow that will make your re-launch not only easy but successful.

1. Benchmarks

Before you launch your website redesign, be sure to familiarize yourself with your site’s traffic, bounce rate, average time on site and other stats so you have an accurate picture of how successful — or unsuccessful — your re-launch is. This will also give you a baseline if you wish to create some split-testing models.

2. Goals

Once you know where your traffic is, it’s time to set some goals for where you want it to be. Take a look at your competitors. You can do some intensive research through sites such as SEORush and find out what keywords competitors are ranking for, as well as their most visited pages. Using this information, set some firm goals for your own website.

What do you hope to accomplish with your re-launch? Do you want more traffic? Perhaps you want more visitors to convert into customers. Whatever your goals, write them out and then work backward on how you will get there.

3. Give Your Current Customers a Heads-Up

You likely already have some loyal followers who have been with you and your website for years. They deserve to know before anyone else that you are revamping and relaunching your site. Send a short note to your mailing list and social media followers. Let them know you are in the process of redesigning, why you chose to do so, what you hope to accomplish with the redesign and when they can expect to see the new look.

4. SEO Still Matters

There are more than 1 billion websites on the World Wide Web. You have to stand out from all of those, rise up the ranks and somehow capture the attention of potential site visitors. There are so many factors that play into ranking and how many people visit your site, but in general, you want to do some basic keyword research.

Find the keyword strings that make the most sense for the type of visitor you most want to attract and create content around the information those searchers would actually want to read. You can drive people to your site, but if you don’t have the content to hold them there, it won’t do you much good.

5. Listen to Your Site Visitors

Once you actually re-launch your site, take the time to gather feedback from your site visitors. Devote as much time as you can to answering questions, listening to concerns and fixing problems as they crop up. This is your best test of how users are interacting with your content.

6. Test Different Browsers

Ideally, before you launch your new look, you should test how the site performs across different browsers and screen sizes. There are many services online that allow you to do this for free or a small fee, such as BrowserStack and Browserling. Choose the one you like best and see how your site might look on a mobile device or on a larger screen.

The text should adapt and be clear to read, and images should still have a sharp resolution. Also, test out the way the site functions on a mobile device versus a traditional PC.

7. Revamp Content

A re-launch is a good time to go back and revamp old content. Freshen things up. Fix any issues, such as broken links. You can easily find plugins to help with this, such as the Broken Link Checker plugin WordPress. You can also push older, but still popular, articles to the top by doing a roundup around a certain theme and linking back to those articles.

It is smart to have all these things in place before you announce the re-launch. This way, when site visitors come to see what has changed, they’ll see the content is fresh and updated.

8. Repeat New Branding Everywhere

You’ve redesigned the look of your website, but how does it stack up to your branding on other platforms? Colors and designs should repeat on social media, for example. Update your social media headers and profile images. Link any interesting new content to your social media pages. Update any contact info or “about us” info.

9. Get Some Feedback From Influencers

In each industry, there are influencers who have a lot of reach with consumers. Figure out who the influential people are in your industry and reach out to them about your redesign. Ask for their input and feedback. Not only will you get some amazing tips, but they may decide to announce your re-launch to their social media followers, which will gain you traffic.

10. Test for Speed

Whenever you add new features, images, plugins and such, there is always the possibility one or more of those things will slow your site down. As mentioned before, speed is an important aspect of whether or not a visitor sticks around beyond that three-second mark.

Test your site’s speed. Pingdom has a free and easy speed test you can use to see how quickly your pages load. They will give you a percentage grade and suggestions for ways you can speed up your site a bit more. Follow a few or all of the suggestions to make your site “sticky” and avoid that dreaded high bounce rate.

A re-launch is exciting to both the website owner and site visitors. It is a chance to look at things through fresh, new eyes. By implementing these tips, you’ll have a much more successful re-launch and a site that will work well for your visitors.

Lexie LuAbout the Author

Lexie Lu is a freelance web designer and blogger. Her ideal morning includes some HTML code and a cup of coffee. She writes on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

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How to Create Offline Activity Custom Audiences for Facebook Ads

How to Create Offline Activity Custom Audiences for Facebook Ads written by Guest Post read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Do you want to retarget your offline event customer in Facebook?

Do you know how to create the offline event custom audience?

This article will help you discover how to create the offline events and new offline activity custom audience for your Facebook ads.

To beat the competition Facebook always tries to innovate their advertising features.

Facebook again surprised advertisers by introducing this amazing feature called ‘Offline Activity’ custom audience.

#1 What This Offline Activity does?

Have you heard of the custom audience on Facebook? Well, this is another type of custom audience, which allows you to retarget the people who interacted with your business offline.

According to Facebook – “Create a list of the people who interacted with your business in-store, by phone, or through other offline channels.”

#2 How to Create the Offline Event on Facebook?

Facebook allows you to create offline events just like custom conversion we create to track the online people who interacted with the business online.

This section will walk you through the process of creating offline conversions followed by building a custom audience for offline activity.

Log in to your Facebook Business Manager Account. Go to the ‘Offline Events’ option in the drop-down.

At the top left corner, click on the ‘Add Data Source’ button. Select the ‘Offline Event Set’ option from the down-down menu.

Enter the name and description of the offline event which you are planning to create. The description and name should be self-explanatory.

After clicking the ‘Create’ button, the ‘Offline Conversion Terms’ pop-up appears. Accept the terms to move forward.

If you have only single ad account in your ad manager, that account will be selected by default. If you have multiple ad accounts, you can select manually from the drop-down.

Enable the auto-tracking by clicking on the slider button. Save the changes and click ‘Next’.

Click on ‘OK’ button.

Done! Your offline event has been created.

You can utilize the multiple options from the offline events section according to your business.

Here you can upload your offline events, or create custom conversion or explore new features as per your business objective.

#3 How to Create the Offline Activity Audience?

Follow the step by step guide to creating the offline activity custom audience.

Go to ‘Asset Library’ tab in Facebook Business Manager.

Now just click on ‘Custom Audience’ tab from the drop-down.

Click on ‘Offline Activity’ option from the custom audience pop-up.

So far Facebook allows you to retarget people who interacted with your online channels, events or business. But now you will be able to integrate your offline event activities in Facebook to maximize the conversion rate for your business.

Add multiple filters to refine the audience as per the requirement.

The offline activity feature allows you to add multiple offline events. Create the event and it will populate those events in the drop-down menu.

Select the previously created events from the drop-down menu.

“Enter the number of days prior to today that you’d like to show results from. People will be removed from your audience after this time unless they meet the criteria again.” – Facebook

Add or remove any of the event audience as per the objective. You can add multiple filters and conditions to restrict your offline event audience list.

You can further refine the data by the value of the custom value or aggregated value. Select the value from the drop-down.

Enter the values or parameters to build the audience.

Fine tune the values by adding the conditions. Select the conditions from the drop-down menu.

Add multiple conditions or value in the custom data fields whichever suits your business requirements. For example, if you want to track the number of calls you have received you can add the source equals to call, or you can build your own conditions.

Enter the name of the audience related to your objective and click on create an audience. Your audience is ready.

It takes time to populate the list. Remember, Initially you must have at least 20 people in the list to retarget.

By following these steps you can create multiple offline events audience to track the calls, store-visits, consultations and lots more. Now it’s your turn!


Facebook making advertisers life easier day by day. A wide range of features to track the online and offline audience and retargeting that audience could actually increase the conversion rate.

Now advertisers can draw the conclusion effectively from their offline campaign and make the data insightful. Facebook is expert in understanding customer’s pain points and building solution to overcome.

By introducing this feature Facebook again proved that it is the best advertising platform these days.

About the Author

Richa is the digital marketing consultant, helps clients generate leads, drive site traffic, and build brands through well-designed marketing strategies. She is a blogger. Read her articles on SEM Updates


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