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The Beginner’s Guide to Retargeting

The Beginner’s Guide to Retargeting written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

You put a lot of effort into driving consumers to your website. Your site is where the magic happens—people get to learn more about your business and purchase your goods or services. But what happens when someone goes to your website but doesn’t become a customer?

This happens a lot. A full 92 percent of consumers do something other than make a purchase on their first visit to a business’s website.

And when you think about the customer journey, it makes sense. People want to get to know, like, and trust your business before they commit to handing over their credit card. So the real question becomes: How do you recapture the attention of those 92 percent of consumers? Their first visit to your website does you no good if they never return.

That’s where retargeting comes in. This digital advertising technique allows you to remind those consumers who might otherwise drift away that you’re still here! If you’ve never tried it before, this simple guide is exactly what you need to get an effective retargeting campaign up and running.

What is Retargeting?

You’ve likely undertaken some form of digital advertising before, but maybe you haven’t ventured into the world of retargeting specifically. Retargeting is different from other forms of digital advertising. It allows you to direct your ad content at people who have previously interacted with your brand.

If you’ve ever clicked on a product description on a website and then had photos of that product crop up in banner ads on other sites, you’ve experienced retargeting firsthand!

How it Works

Google and Facebook have created nifty tools to track consumers’ behavior on your website. Once they know someone has been on your site, the tool triggers your ads to display to those consumers on either Facebook or via Google Ads’ search or display network.

Retargeting on Facebook

Crafting retargeted ads on Facebook begins with the creation and installation of a Facebook Pixel. The pixel is a snippet of code which you can automatically generate in your Facebook Business Manager. You then copy and paste the code into the header tags on your website, and that starts feeding information about your website visitors into your Business Manager account.

With the installation of the pixel, Facebook now sees everyone who visits your website. Then, it’s up to you to tell Facebook which of those people you’d like to target with advertising. You go back into Facebook to define custom audiences for your retargeting campaign. You can select different behaviors and attributes for your campaign.

For example, let’s say you’re looking to reduce cart abandonment on your website. You can create a custom audience on Facebook that will show advertising to people who have been to your website, put items into their shopping cart, and then left before completing their purchase.

Next, it’s time to create your actual ad. Because the audience you’re targeting is shoppers who have abandoned their cart, you might want to show them an ad offering free shipping on items—something to entice them to come back to your site and complete their purchase.

It’s important to create advertising that has a specific call to action which speaks to the target audience. If you’re targeting folks who abandoned their shopping carts, it doesn’t make sense to show them an ad for an entirely different product. By tracking visitors’ behavior on your website, you have insider information on their wants and needs. Use that to create an ad that’s tailored to exactly where they are in their customer journey!

Retargeting on Google

There are a lot of similarities between the process of retargeting on Google and Facebook. On Google, you’re able to link your Ads account with your Google Analytics to track user behavior. Analytics allows you to create a tracking pixel, just like with Facebook, which can also be installed on your website between the header tags.

Once you’ve linked your Ads and Analytics accounts, it’s time to set up your audience lists. Using their retargeting platform, you can reach audiences in search, display, or video campaigns (via YouTube). Again, like on Facebook, you can define specific parameters for the behaviors or demographics you’d like your retargeting audience to display. These can be attributes like people who have clicked a specific call to action on a page or have previously purchased a specific item on your site.

Once your audiences are established, you move on to creating your ads. As with Facebook, it’s important to make sure that the content of your ad syncs up with the previous actions of your targeted audience.

Retargeting 2.0: Get Specific with Your Codes

You don’t have to settle for just one pixel on your homepage. In fact, you can and should customize the pixel for different pages of your website. If yours is an e-commerce business, you can add unique pixels to each specific product page. That will put those visitors to each individual page into a specific retargeting bucket, ensuring they’re seeing content that’s most relevant to them.

For example, if you own a shoe business that sells men’s, women’s, and children’s shoes, you can create different pixels for each product page. Someone who visited a page for men’s dress shoes will then be added to the men’s dress shoes retargeting list. That way, they’ll see ads for men’s dress shoes—rather than men’s sneakers or kid’s dress shoes—across other sites. Creation of specific audiences guarantees that every prospect sees retargeted ads that are personalized to their own behavior on your site.

The Secret to Retargeting

It’s this type of customization that’s the secret to successful retargeting. You want to use your retargeting to create a funnel. This funnel moves those who simply know your business to come to like you, and those who like and trust you towards the sale. You can even use retargeting to approach existing customers with cross-sell offers.

Let’s say you have a pixel on the “about us” page of your website. You figure that most visitors to this page are just getting to know you. Therefore, you might retarget these folks with more in-depth information about your business. Perhaps your ads show them links to your blog content or invite them to listen to your podcast. You’re greeting them with content that will help them to come to know and trust your business. And that’s the next logical step in the customer journey.

For those who already trust you and are moving towards the try and buy phases of the marketing hourglass, the messaging should be different. Let’s say you install a pixel on your “Get a Quote” page of your site. Anyone visiting this page is likely on the fence about reaching out to speak to your team in person. Presenting them with an offer for a free quote or trial offer might be just the nudge they need to give you a try.

Finally, you can retarget your existing customers. Displaying complementary products to those who recently bought from you is a great way to cross-sell to customers.

The key to great retargeting is to make the right offer at the right time. This approach eases prospects down the funnel towards becoming full-fledged customers. Retargeting allows you to create specific messaging. That way, you can personalize each message and greet your audience with exactly what they need to hear, no matter where they are in their journey.

How Mobile Has Impacted the Customer Journey

How Mobile Has Impacted the Customer Journey written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The customer journey is influenced by many outside factors. As the use of mobile devices has taken off over the past decade, it’s changed the way that businesses market themselves and how customers interact with businesses.

In order to better understand the impact mobile has had on the customer journey, it’s helpful to go through and assess the effect at each stage of the marketing hourglass. By better understanding how mobile changes customers’ behaviors, you can begin to adapt your marketing strategy to meet their evolving needs.

Mobile in the First Stage: Know

How do people discover a new business? Before the days of computers, it was all print and television ads, word of mouth, or simply driving by your storefront. Now, there are dozens of channels for people to encounter your brand. And mobile only further diversifies the field.

In some ways, mobile has shortened the customer journey. Mobile searches with the phrase “near me” and “can I buy” or “to buy” increased by 500 percent between 2015 and 2017. That boost means people are turning to mobile to discover immediate solutions to their problems. By entering this search term, they’re able to quickly check out your website, read reviews, and even find your hours and location on a map. What would have taken more in-depth research in the past is now condensed into a few minutes and a handful of clicks on a mobile device.

It’s also important to remember that not everyone finds you via an internet browser search. With the advent and rise of mobile apps, some people are discovering businesses through a specific app. For example, those who search for local businesses on the Yelp app are only being presented with businesses who have a presence on Yelp. If you haven’t claimed your profile there, you’re not going to be discovered at all. So making sure your business’s profile is claimed on the major local listings sites, like Yelp and Google My Business, is critical to winning at mobile.

For that same reason, you need to have a presence on social media. Some people turn to Facebook or Instagram for advice on which local businesses to patronize. Again, you’re not even going to be in the running if you don’t have a profile on those sites!

How Mobile Influences the Like and Trust Phases

Once someone’s discovered you online, they want to get to know you better. And to do that, they need to be able to learn more about you. Just like you wouldn’t get married after the first date, prospects want to make sure you’re the right fit before they dive in.

You want your content to build that familiarity and trust, while being easy to consume on a mobile device. That starts with creating content that can be enjoyed on the go. Podcasts are an easy listen for folks who are on their commute, and video is often a bite-sized way to share meaningful information that builds trust and authority.

Social media is also critical in this stage. Posting regularly on social media means that those who discover you on mobile can do a quick inventory of who you are and what you do by scanning backwards through your recent content.

For those who aren’t looking to make an immediate purchase, social media remains a great way to stay top-of-mind on mobile devices. People often check their social media accounts multiple times a day, and so if you’re appearing at the top of their newsfeeds each time they log in, you build that familiarity quickly.

Advertising can also help you stay top of mind. Social ads are a way to remain omnipresent on prospects’ feeds. And display ads allow you to keep you name on people’s minds even when they visit other websites from their phone’s browser.

How to Try on Mobile

When we get to the try phase of the customer journey, mobile has an important role in ensuring that customers don’t slip away at this critical stage.

Mobile tactics can help to facilitate the try process by making it easy to prospects to sign up for a demo or appointment. A smart use of chat or SMS marketing techniques can make it easy for you to automate the sign-up process, while providing prospects with a more personalized encounter with your business.

Newer technologies like augmented reality (AR) are changing the way people try on their phones. Take furniture store IKEA as an example. They built an app that allows prospects to try out a piece of furniture in their home through the power of AR. Prospects can point their phone at an empty corner of their room, select the sofa, chair, or lamp that they’re considering, and see on their screen what the item would look like in their home.

While AR technology might not be readily accessible to all small businesses yet, it’s definitely a trend to watch, as more and more retailers incorporate it into their marketing strategy.

Mobile Makes it Easy to Buy

A recent survey found that 79 percent of smartphone users had made a purchase on their phone within the past six months. So not only are folks using their mobile devices for research, they’re actually doing transactions on their phones.

For any small business with an e-commerce component, it’s critical that you make it easy for people to purchase via mobile. This is all about creating a customer experience with the least amount of friction in the buying process. Make it easy for people to navigate to their cart. Don’t ask for lots of additional information in the checkout process–only collect information necessary to process the transaction.

After the initial purchase has been made, great mobile UX can also help facilitate the onboarding process. If you’re an e-commerce brand, provide updates on shipping status, and make sure that customers can easily track their packages.

No matter what kind of business you’re in, there is content that you can create in a mobile-friendly format to make it easier for new customers to get the most out of their new purchases. Put together an email series with responsive design (so it looks great on any screen, big or small!) that outlines special tips and tricks for using the new product or service.

Use Mobile to Inspire Repeat Purchases

Once you’ve gotten a prospect to convert to customer, there’s still work to do! And pushing existing customers towards a repeat purchase can be achieved with some mobile-friendly tactics.

Retargeting is a great way to bring existing customers back into the fold. You can advertise on social media or via display ads, and direct certain content towards those who have already bought from you. If someone recently made a purchase, you can target them with advertising for a related product or service in order to encourage an upsell. If a customer has drifted away over the past few months, you can show them ads welcoming them back with a special offer for return customers.

Building out a rewards program is another way to engender loyalty amongst existing customers. This can be done either through your website (which should be mobile-friendly!) or with an app specifically for your business. The additional benefit of creating an app is that you eliminate the competition. Your existing customers come directly to you via the app to make a purchase, rather than going onto the web to search for your solutions and run the risk of getting drawn in by one of your competitors with a smart SEO or paid search strategy.

Mobile and Referrals

The final stage of the customer journey is getting your customers to refer others. As I mentioned in the earlier phases, reviews are a key part of the referral process, and that’s particularly true on mobile. People who are searching for solutions on the go will turn to reviews in lieu of asking friends or family for recommendations. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re doing the work to solicit reviews from your customers.

You can also consider creating a referral program. If you have a mobile app for your business, creating a program directly through the app is a great, easy way to help your mobile-minded customers refer their friends.

Finally, social media can help you generate referrals. Share user-generated content that sings your brands praises. Create contests and opportunities for your existing fans on social to give your brand a shout-out to their friends. Get influencers to try your product and vouch for you to their followers. A referral from a real friend or trusted influencer on social can go a long way in winning over new customers.

Mobile marketing has changed the way consumers buy, and so businesses have had to adjust their marketing accordingly. By considering how to get the most out of mobile at each stage of the customer journey, you can position yourself to reach the majority of consumers, who have become more and more focused on mobile over the years.

How Mapping Your Customer Journey Can Improve the Customer Experience

How Mapping Your Customer Journey Can Improve the Customer Experience written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

When you’re driving to an unfamiliar location, you pull up directions on Google Maps. When you’re hiking a new path in your favorite state park, you stop at the trailhead to check the posted map. You never go into a physical journey without taking stock of where you’re headed. So why wouldn’t you do the same for the customer journey?

Understanding where your customers go when they’re interacting with your business can help transform your marketing efforts. Here, I’ll walk you through the steps of customer journey mapping—everything from what it is to why it matters so much.

What is Mapping the Customer Journey?

Let’s start with the basics. Mapping the customer journey requires you to create a visual representation of every interaction a customer has with your business that leads them to a certain conversion. This might be the path they carve from discovery of your brand, at the very top of the marketing hourglass, to signing up for your email newsletter. Or perhaps it’s a look at the steps they take between clicking on your social ad for a given product and purchasing the item.

In order to create a map, you should conduct interviews with real customers. Ask them how they discovered your brand. Find out about their experience interacting with your website. Take stock of where else they found you on the web (social media or local listings sites, perhaps?). And collect feedback on their ease of making a purchase and getting support from your team, if they needed it.

You should also take the time to do your own research. Pretend you’re a customer searching for a solution that you offer, and go onto the web. Google yourself or a related search term, and walk through the process of navigating your website. Check out your social profiles, and see where they lead you. Sometimes you’ll discover something new and interesting about your own online presence when you experience it through the lens of a customer’s journey.

By creating customer journey maps for the steps that lead to those important conversion moments along the broader journey, you can gain a deeper understanding of the people who love your brand. When you can wrap your head around how your customers behave and why they do it, you can refine your marketing tactics and messaging to best complement those behaviors.

Understand the Complexities of the Journey

Today’s customer journeys are incredibly complex. In the olden days, someone would read a print ad, catch your commercial on the television or radio, or maybe simply see the sign out in front of your store and stop on by. Now, with dozens of digital channels to consider, it’s hard to know exactly when and where someone encountered your brand.

And even if you’re aware of some of their interactions with your business—because they happened online and you’re able to track them—it’s hard to know which point of contact is the one that ultimately pushed them towards the conversion.

Mapping the customer journey helps you to understand all that. Perhaps in customer interviews, you keep hearing about a blog post from a local influencer that mentions your business and drives a lot of traffic your way. That’s valuable information! Consider reaching out to that blogger to see if they’d like to become a part of your strategic partner network.

Or maybe you take your own website out for a spin. You have an online booking portal for folks who want to make appointments, but you discover that for first-time users, there’s a lengthy registration process. It requires lots of clicks and form-filling, and can be a source of frustration. Now that you’ve experienced that hurdle first-hand, you understand your booking system could be driving customers away, and you can take steps to change it!

Learn What Matters to Your Customers

What you think matters to your customers and what actually matters to your customers are sometimes two different things. Sure, there’s something to be said for generic best practices; they can be a great starting-point for any brand looking to establish a solid web presence.

But what’s right for a competitor or someone in another industry isn’t always right for you. Perhaps you’ve heard that Yelp is the best local listings site for your industry. So you spent countless hours building out your Yelp profile and driving all of your customers to review you there. But then, you discover that most of your customers are searching for solutions on Google Maps. That means they’re coming across your much sparser Google My Business profile.

As you discover more about the customer journey from your conversations with actual customers and your own experience navigating test journeys, you’ll want to make tweaks to your approach. Maybe that’s changing wording on your social media’s homepage that makes it easier for customers to understand what you do. Maybe it’s rearranging your website’s navigation bar to remove some of the steps it currently takes for prospects to request a demo.

Whatever modification to the journey you want to try, it’s a good idea to implement A/B testing in your process. Display the new element to half of your audience, and keep things the same for the other half. Then measure conversions for each group. If things improve with your adjustment, you know you’re on the right track. If things remain the same (or conversions decrease), it’s best to test another new approach.

Find New Customer Segments (or Redefine Existing Ones)

The way in which you market your business and the shape of the customer journey are inextricably linked. By that I mean, you need to market your business in a way that suits the typical trajectory for the customer journey. But the way that you market your business can also have an influence on the shape of the journey.

Sometimes, your marketing efforts might have you missing out on specific segments of the population who could be interested in your product. Or, there might be a way for you to optimize your current marketing to get your existing customers to return or make larger purchases.

Let’s say you run a yoga studio. You already have some clearly defined personas for your business: young professionals focused on wellness, people looking to reduce stress and anxiety, and pregnant women and new moms.

Perhaps in speaking with those moms in your postpartum segment, you realize that what they appreciate about your studio isn’t the ability to move a little. And it’s not about getting out of the house and away from the newborn for an hour or two on Wednesday mornings. What they love is the community of other new moms, with whom they can share their struggles and successes.

Once you understand that the problem you’re solving for these moms is really about community, not fitness, you can refine your marketing approach. Create a Facebook group that’s a place for yoga moms to come together. They can share tips, commiserate about the horrors of sleep-regression, and even organize playdates for their little ones! Suddenly, you’ve become the architect of this impactful community. New moms who otherwise might not have tried yoga—but who love your Facebook group—might feel compelled to stop in for a class.

By better understanding your existing customers, you can create additional stops along the customer journey to address their needs and attract similar prospects.

Meet Customers Where They Are

Rather than directing your outbound marketing efforts to anyone under the sun, when you understand the customer journey you can develop stronger inbound tactics in the places where your fans are already congregating.

Let’s say you run a catering company. You’ve been advertising heavily on Instagram. Because it’s a visually-based social network, it’s a great place for you to show off your beautifully-plated food.

However, your typical client is more established—it’s not cheap to throw a lavish, catered soiree, after all! For the most part, they’re in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. Statistically, Instagram is not the place to go to interact with people above the age of 30. Less than 40 precent of those in their 30s are on the platform; only 16 percent of the 50-and-over set are on Instagram.

So stop wasting money on Instagram ads. Instead, invest in inbound tactics elsewhere where you’re more likely to bump into your actual customers. Get on Facebook, the social network of choice for most people 40 and older. Work on building out your referral network and case studies, since word-of-mouth matters a lot in the local catering business.

When you’re able to find your prospects and greet them on their turf, you build trust and reduce ad spend. You can certainly still advertise! In fact, when it’s focused on those spaces where your clientele actually gather online, you get a much greater ROI.

The customer journey is only going to get more complex. Digital marketing continues to grow, and new channels for reaching customers develop. When you understand where your customers are and where they want to go, you can create a smoother customer journey—one that guides them right to your desired conversion.