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Posts Tagged ‘ppc’

Mining Gold through Email Integration: 3 lessons from MarketingSherpa Email Awards 2013 winners

February 19th, 2013 No comments

On the first day of MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013 in Las Vegas, I’ll be interviewing the Best-in-Show winner of MarketingSherpa’s Email Marketing Awards 2013, sponsored by Responsys. In this session, our winner, The National Football League, will discuss its fantastic NFL.com newsletter campaign.

However, there were several outstanding, winning campaigns from this year’s awards deserving of recognition as well.

Note: If you want to see the entire collection of winning entries, download the free Email Awards 2013 Special Report. There’s no squeeze page – just download, learn and share.

As the lead editor on this year’s Email Awards, I found it interesting that, of the myriad submissions we received, email integration played a part in many, if not all, of our winning campaigns.

In fact, as we’ll likely learn from our upcoming Summit sessions, one of the reasons email has been such a venerable channel throughout the years is because of the creative, strategic ways marketers have evolved the tactic to include elements of social media, PPC and website integration.

So, before we head west to the glitter of Las Vegas, let’s pull a few nuggets from these campaigns, seeing what you can learn from other Email Awards 2013 winners’ use of effective integration to find pure gold.

 

Lesson #1: Facebook contests don’t all have to look alike

Ritos GmbH, a consumer electronics company, submitted the OSRAM Innovation Store “Light ‘n’ Style” contest for Email Awards 2013. It was the one entrant in its category that bridged the gap between creativity and results, as it successfully tied together three key factors of an efficient, integrated email campaign:

  • Personalized emails as a support to the contest
  • A fan-gating tab on Facebook
  • A unique contest mechanism that created a viral response

The fan-gating tab on Facebook ensured only persons who were already fans of the OSRAM Innovation Store on Facebook could enter the contest. Contact with all participants was maintained throughout the contest through highly personalized emails.

The emails were personalized through use of the recipient’s name, an image of their favorite lighting product and the product’s current place in the real-time voting. The unusual contest mechanism also made the campaign go viral.

In the end, this creativity paid off handsomely, with the campaign achieving high rates of customer interaction, significantly increased social sharing and a tremendous boost (39%) in newsletter opt-ins – a “side effect” that wasn’t even a focus of the initial campaign.

  • 1,583 people participated in the contest, more than 10% of the existing newsletter mailing list.
  • 1,761,614 people were reached through Facebook ads and made aware of the new products – 119 times more than the size of the newsletter mailing list.
  • Facebook page increased its fan base by 18%.

Additionally, 582% more people posted on the Facebook page during the campaign run, while email open rates about the contest were between 55% and 70%.

Read more…

Content Marketing: How shifting the budget led to a 152% boost in landing page traffic

September 30th, 2011 1 comment

 At this week’s B2B Summit in Boston, one of the case studies presented was on a multi-channel lead generation campaign conducted by CenterBeam, a technology infrastructure company serving mid-sized businesses. This campaign included an extensive outbound element with multiple phone calls and follow-up email, and a “friends and family” referral program.

The third piece of this campaign, a new content marketing strategy, was created from the ashes of a failing pay-per-click effort.

 

Reallocate the budget away from losing efforts

CenterBeam simply took money from the PPC campaigns, and put that budget line into the content strategy. There was no new expense, just a reallocation of money Marketing had to spend.

Karen Hayward, EVP and CMO, CenterBeam, says the company’s paid search program was not producing positive results. The campaigns were bringing in smaller companies that weren’t part of the CenterBeam’s target market.

The solution was to take that spending and apply it to a concentrated content marketing strategy to boost organic search traffic, and hopefully draw in more qualified leads.

For this effort, CenterBeam went to an outside vendor specializing in custom news creation with a number of requirements:

  • 50 articles per month
  • Every article had to be unique and exclusive to CenterBeam’s website
  • CenterBeam optimized the keywords
  • CenterBeam provided six categories of relevant topics for the articles

Here you can see a screenshot of the news page at CenterBeam showing the heavy dose of new content: Read more…

B2B Inbound Marketing: Top tactics for social media, SEO, PPC and optimization

March 8th, 2011 12 comments

Inbound marketing is growing in B2B companies. Investments in webinars, SEO, social marketing and page optimization are all on the rise, as noted in this chart from MarketingSherpa’s new 2011 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report.

B2B inbound tactics chart

As inbound grows, more marketers are finding the right mix of tactics and channels for their companies. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but certain tactics are commonly reported as effective.

Below, we pulled stats from four charts in the benchmark report to highlight the most-effective tactics for B2B inbound marketing. Check out how the best tactics are interrelated.

Search engine optimization

  • Most effective tactic: On-page content optimization

An effective SEO program is vital to an inbound strategy. Most B2B marketers research keywords and create great content about topics surrounding them. One of the most popular content platforms is the blog. Although blogging is not easy, many B2B companies have stuck with it (because it works).

Social media marketing

  • Most effective tactic: Blogging

Blogging is the most effective B2B social marketing tactic. This ties directly to the popularity of blogs as a platform for publishing search-optimized content, as well as their ability to engage audiences.

Website optimization and design

  • Most effective tactic: Using unique landing pages for campaigns
  • Second-most effective tactic: Optimizing design and content for conversions

Inbound marketing can pull more visitors to your website — but visitors have to take action when they arrive. They have to download a report, subscribe to your newsletter, request to be contacted, etc. Otherwise the traffic is wasted.

This is why using unique landing pages for each campaign and optimizing them are the most effective tactics for B2B websites. The tactics reach into all facets inbound marketing and ensure your traffic is put to use.

You can find out a lot more about effective landing page optimization and design tactics at the upcoming MarketingSherpa 2011 Optimization Summit in June.

Pay-per-click advertising

  • Most effective tactic: Creating highly-targeted ad groups
  • Second most-effective tactic: A/B testing landing page content

Landing page testing is nearly tied for first as the most effective PPC tactic for B2B companies. This, again, illustrates that websites have to be designed to convert traffic that is generated by inbound marketing. Otherwise the traffic is wasted.

Related resources

MarketingSherpa 2011 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report

MarketingSherpa 2011 Optimization Summit

Inbound Marketing: How to pull-in customers without pushing ads

Landing Page Optimization: Value-focused revamp leads to 188% lead gen boost, increase in personal interaction

MarketingSherpa: Subscribe to our Inbound Marketing newsletter

Instant Speculation on New Google

September 13th, 2010 2 comments

Google rocked the search world last week by introducing a new feature that automatically predicts and displays search results as users type their queries.

Google Instant met with a swarm of speculation, including predictions that it would kill SEO, change SEO, and not change SEO.

All commentary is speculation at this point. Google Instant’s impact on search marketing will not likely be clear for another 30 to 60 days. The change will likely affect some marketers more than others, depending on search’s role in your marketing.

The folks at search agency and software provider Covario sent me a seven-page brief on the topic they wrote for their clients. Three highlights from their analysis and predictions:

1. Top organic positions are more important than ever
Google Instant pushes down organic results
As users type search queries using the new feature, a drop-down “suggestion box” appears, pushing down paid and organic search results, and pushing some organic results below the fold.

Results pages with three or four ads in the top position sometimes only list one organic link above the fold (see image). The links pushed below the fold will likely experience a drop in traffic.

2. More ‘broad matching’ in PPC

Since users see results as they type, marketers will migrate toward strategies that use broad matching on the first keywords of popular multi-keyword queries.

In the short term, CPCs will increase and advertisers will have to budget more toward Google to drive similar volume, according Covario’s brief.

3. Not all searches are “Instant”

Google’s new feature is designed to work in the following browsers:
o Internet Explorer v8
o Safari for Mac v5
o Firefox v3
o Chrome v5, v6

Users running other browsers will perform traditional Google searches. Filtering your website analytics to track visitors by browser will help your team better understand how Google Instant changes your visitors’ behavior.

Please note: Covario’s brief emphasized that its analysis is strictly speculation. Only time and rigorous testing can determine what impact Google’s latest feature will have on your marketing and the marketing community as a whole.

Slow Converting PPC Clicks

April 23rd, 2010 5 comments

I spoke with several paid search experts over the last two weeks for an article about timing PPC ads to optimize performance, and an interesting side-topic came up.

Seeing which PPC clicks are helping your bottom line is not always crystal clear. For example, a consumer may click an ad on Saturday and purchase the advertised item on Tuesday. These slow-converting, or latent clicks help drive sales. But by how much?

One way you can help figure this out is by looking to see whether an ad’s search phrase contains branded terms. Branded searches are likely driven by another marketing channel — because the consumer knew your brand name. Conversions on generic, non-branded search terms signal that your PPC ad had a much stronger influence on the sale.

You can track these slow-converting clicks using cookies — but even that can be challenging. Consumers often search the Web at work on one computer, and surf at home on another. Unless you’re able to connect those two machines, you’ll likely be missing some clicks that later become sales.

The lesson here is you should track the behavior of consumers who click your ads as well as you can. Doing so will give you a better idea of which clicks are driving delayed sales, and that information can help you better allocate your spending.

Have you found a good way to uncover slow-converting clicks? Has it helped you much? Let us know in the comments…

Big Returns on Low-Cost SEO

September 1st, 2009 2 comments

We’ve had a couple of great search marketing articles come through the pipeline recently, and we have one more this week on the way. Since our articles are available for one week before being added to our membership library, I thought I’d highlight a few key points while our readers can still peruse the pieces for free.

Last Tuesday, we featured Dan Tate, COO, The Concrete Network, and his team’s video SEO strategy. The team has uploaded over 220 short videos about concrete design to YouTube. The videos are:
o Branded
o High quality
o Generally less than 5 minutes

Tate’s team optimizes the videos’ metadata, adds them to relevant pages on ConcreteNetwork.com, and hosts them on their YouTube channel. Many of the videos show up in Google’s universal search results for broad phrases such as “concrete pool decks,” giving the team multiple links on the results page.

The videos capture thousands of views daily, have about a 17.9% clickthrough rate, and have about a 12% conversion rate among those who clickthrough to the site. That’s pretty amazing for not spending one dollar on advertising! (Details are in the article here)

Today, we published an article featuring Sean Reardon, Director, Sales and Marketing, The Liberty Hotel, and his team’s efforts to enhance their Google Maps result. The Boston luxury hotel opened about two years ago. Around that time, the team checked their result in the local search engine and noticed that it had the wrong address. Yikes!

The team jumped into action to take ownership of the result through Google’s Local Business Center and fix the address. They also started adding loads of descriptive content and pictures.

After building up their result, the team noticed that they were ranking high in local searches for terms such as “Boston hotels,” and increased their traffic from Google Maps by several thousand percent.  (Details are in the article here)

The two campaigns mentioned above are great examples of the low-cost, high-effort nature of SEO. Natural search often involves a little research, a little cash investment, and a heaping load of elbow grease–but it can pay off with time.

Lastly, keep an eye on our business-to-consumer newsletter this week, as we will feature Jennifer Brady, Director of Marketing, UMassOnline, and her team’s PPC strategy. Brady’s team started with a single generic landing page, expanded into dozens of search-specific pages, and used multivariate testing to further strengthen results. Their cost-per-lead plummeted and their per-month lead volume shot up over 80%.