Find Success By Putting Your Digital Advertising to the A/B Test

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Digital-Advertising-AB-Test

Testing different variations is one of the quickest ways to learn, and Digital Advertising is no exception. When you begin talking about A/B testing, many of us get nervous and all sorts of possible catastrophes begin swimming around in our heads.

But the truth is, advertising is a quickly evolving tactic, and in order to gain momentum, testing has become a necessity. Whether your advertising is social, display, native or search, the key to better results and return on investment is testing.

To help you navigate the sometimes-confusing world of digital advertising testing, we’ve provided some helpful resources below.

What is A/B Testing?

An A/B Test is simply a test between two variants, a control and a variation, or as Google likes to call it, an experiment. Examples might include creating two different:

  • Landing Pages
  • Assets
  • Ads

How to Approach an A/B Split

An A/B split needs to be shown to the exact same audience, during the same times of day, same days of the week and in the same areas in order for you to have a firm grasp on which variation is truly performing better.

It’s important to have a firm grasp on your data set or audience so that you can split the information and create an equitable ad deliver. You’ll find that most platforms have options for testing including, Google AdWords, Analytics Experiments, Optimizely and Unbounce.

Considerations for Length & Time of Testing

In order to measure success, you need to make sure you’re giving you tests enough time to run. We typically recommend running tests at a minimum of 2 weeks with most tests running for 1 month.

Volume

How much data is required for you to have statistically significant results? If your program sees low volumes (clicks, impressions, conversions), you need to run longer tests. If you have a high volume account you can call tests much faster.

Seasonality

If you have drastic peaks and lows due to seasonality, I suggest finding the middle ground for testing. I never recommend testing during a seasonal low unless you dealing with a high volume account.

Day of Week/Month Activity

Make sure that both groups have equal coverage during your peak days and weeks. Again, try to avoid running tests during your low periods, especially if you see significant swings in CTR and conv. rates.

It’s also essential to make sure that your test is going to have impact. Sometimes slight copy variations and image changes aren’t going to tell you much. You want to make sure the variant has a very clear goal and hypothesis. For example, by changing a button from “Download” to “Get My Guide”, I’m hoping to see a 10% lift in conversions.

What Types of Digital Advertising A/B Tests Should You Try?

When we implement digital advertising tests, they are directly tied to helping to meet program goals. Depending on the goals for your digital advertising program, we recommend launching the following types of tests:

Message Testing:

Test your messaging simple ad variations such as:

  • Length of Message
  • Promotional based Messaging vs. Informational Based Message vs. Benefit Messaging
  • Various Ad Extensions

Changing a single word within your message normally doesn’t lead to strong insights so make sure there is substantial change.

Below you’ll find a couple of examples where we have tested different messaging tactics for significant engagement improvements.

Promotional Based Text Ads Driving Significantly Higher CTR’s Than Benefit Messaging:

Chronic Care Management

Benefit Based Text Ad Driving Significantly Higher CTR’s Than Information Messaging:

Sales Training

Landing Page Element Testing

Testing different elements on your landing pages can lead to surprising results. Whether it’s the layout, form fields or buttons, it’s always important to experiment.

Below you’ll see a simple button label change driving a major improvement in lead volume!

Get eGuide

Imagery Testing

For social posts, display channel and landing pages, it is always good to test a couple of contrasting images, themes and concepts.

Especially if you have multiple audience personas, you’ll want to know what type of visuals and graphics resonate best with your audience. Do you need to be straighter forward, does humor resonate with your audience, and does your audience like to see the product? Are certain concepts better for social than display? You’ll discover these answers via testing.

Here’s an example of a test we ran for a social campaign. #FuranceFail had a humorous twist that resonated much better with our social audience.

FurnaceFail

Make Informed Testing Decisions

Again, make sure you’re testing has purpose, a hypothesis and a goal. If you’ve put serious thought into your A/B tests you won’t be disappointed. While the outcome may not have been desired, now you know and knowledge is power.


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Find Success By Putting Your Digital Advertising to the A/B Test | http://www.toprankblog.com

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July 27th 2016 Online Marketing

Online Marketing News: Millennial Psychology, Influencer Misconceptions & SEO Issues

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Millennial_Marketing_Psychology

Millennial_Marketing_Psychology

The Psychology of Successfully Marketing to Millennials [Infographic]
Marketing to Millennials can be a unique challenge. The University of Southern California found that “the younger demographic values authenticity and their peers’ opinions. Consider that 84 percent of millennials say that user generated content influences what they buy. Plus, 82 percent are comfortable enough with brands to interact directly with them.” PR Daily

Dispelling Common Influencer Marketing Misconceptions (Report)
Influencer marketing is a broad topic with many facets and interpretations. As with any complicated concept, there will be misconceptions. When it comes to influencer marketing, TapInfluence found the most common misconceptions are it’s too manual, it can’t be measured, and it’s for big brands only. SocialTimes

SEMrush Study: 11 Most Common On-Site SEO Issues
A new study from SEMrush audited 450 million web pages to determine the most common technical SEO issues online. They found that 50% of websites face duplicate content issues, 45% have missing alt attributes, and 35% suffer from broken internal links. SEMrush

CMO Survey: Which Emerging Technology Will Transform the Customer Experience?
A recent survey from CMO council and SAP Hybris found that 61% of CMOs think that of all emerging technologies, big data-driven engagements, like smart recommendations, will have the biggest impact on their organization and the customer experience. That was followed by 37% who said the internet of things, and 15% who said augmented reality. MarketingProfs

MTV Debuts ‘Gaze-Activated’ VR Experience for ‘Teen Wolf’ at Comic-Con
As you may have predicted from the rise in augmented reality and virtual reality in popularity with marketers over the last year, the shift to making that popularity tangible has begun. At Comic-Con, MTV debuted a gaze-activated virtual reality experience designed to promote the show “Teen Wolf” and engage existing fans at the large convention. AdAge

73 PERCENT OF INTERNATIONAL INTERNET USERS DISLIKE POP-UP ADVERTISEMENTS

Branded Content Scores Better Than Pre-Roll
According to MediaPost, “Nielsen analysis says branded content generated an average of 86% brand recall among viewers, compared with 65% from the pre-roll ad.” Branded content also garnered a lift in perceptions vs. pre-roll video, according to the report. MediaPost

New Google ranking study shows links are incredibly important to the ranking algorithm
A new study from Stone Temple Consulting found that “there is a “near-perfect correlation” between ranking highly in Google and the links pointing to that page. This study aggregated the count of links by ranking position for the top 50 results across 6,000 search results pages, and it showed a near-perfect correlation between links and ranking.” Search Engine Land

Hootsuite Announces High Profile Content Integrations
On Tuesday, Hootsuite announced new integrations with leading content sources, including Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive and WebDAM.Digital assets stored in any of those sources can now be accessed through the Hootsuite dashboard. Direct Marketing News

Facebook Announces New Options for Live – Both for Viewers and Broadcasters
Facebook has announced three new features to help boost their live video streaming: The option to go live in full screen mode, the ability to stream for up to four hours per session, and the ability for viewers and broadcasters to hide comments and reactions on videos. Social Media Today

What were your top online marketing news stories this week?

I’ll be back next week with more online marketing news! If you have something to share, send your thoughts in the comments or Tweet me @Tiffani_Allen or @toprank!

The post Online Marketing News: Millennial Psychology, Influencer Misconceptions & SEO Issues appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

July 22nd 2016 Online Marketing

Should You or Shouldn’t You: 3 Ways to Tell if Influencer Marketing is Right for Your Brand

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influencer-marketing-right-for-your-brand

Reaching and connecting with customers in a meaningful way has become incredibly challenging. There I said it.

It’s no wonder with the sheer number of  flash-in-the-pan marketing practices have somehow made their way into brands large and small only to leave marketing teams throwing their hands up in frustration. The amount of knowledge and data that we have access to today really is incredibly. Unfortunately, it can be hard to filter out the sage advice from that which is better left undiscovered.

It wasn’t so long ago that everyone started saying: “brands need to be on social!”, so companies jumped at the chance and signed up for every social platform available (even those that didn’t make sense). Then, when people said: “we need content!”, it led to a huge boost in the amount of content created and even today 76% of marketers plan to create more content this year than the year before.

While it can be tempting to jump at the opportunity dig your teeth into every new tactics because well, everyone else is doing it, it’s important to take a step back and consider whether it is the right fit for your customers, for your brand and for your message.

Influencer marketing is no exception. When implemented correctly, a content driven influencer marketing program help accomplish everything from building awareness to developing trust with current and potential customers.

If any of the following pains sound like what you’re experiencing, then chances are influencer marketing might be a welcome addition to your marketing strategy.

Budgets Aren’t What They Used to Be

Most marketers today are being tasked to do more with less. The hefty ad and marketing budgets aren’t what they used to be (even at larger companies). In addition to having less to spend, marketers have been tasked with amping up the creativity and improving results.

Instead of feeling frustrated with smaller staff and budgets, the current state of affairs presents an opportunity for marketers to get creative.

Co-creating content with influencers enables brands to align with like-minded individuals and extend their reach significantly. Do keep in mind that depending on your industry or the type of influencers you’re working with, there may be some cost associated with partnering. However, partnering with influencers has to potential to reap rewards that far outweigh the cost of other marketing initiatives.

Content Isn’t Resonating with Your Audience

If you’re like most marketers, your team spends countless hours poring over data to identify the content that is resonating best with your target audience. You may notice that you have some breakout content, but in all, your audience doesn’t seem to be very engaged with the message.

If it doesn’t catch their attention they don’t read it. If they don’t read it then they’re definitely not sharing it. By incorporating a combination of curated and original content from influencers into long and short-form content, you’re able to add signals of credibility and up the “Interesting factor” of what might otherwise be a dull article, eBook or white paper.

Adding influencers that can empathize with your customers will help them see themselves in your content and create a stronger connection with your brand.

Your Buyers Don’t Like Being Sold To

Let’s face it, who does? When you feel like a company’s only interest is in getting you to buy their product or service, it’s a turn off. And as we know, all of the research clearly states that people buy from people that they feel like they know and can trust.

If your goal is to create value for your customers (as it should be), then the inclusion of influencers into your content can help build authority, credibility and trust which can in-turn lead to sales. If you collaborate with top tier influencers then those people are essentially endorsing your brand as one that is credible and trustworthy.

Influencers are a powerful tool and when incorporated appropriately, they allow brands to focus on adding value for customers all while encouraging more engagement.

Could Influencers & Content Be a Winning Combination for You?

Influencer content programs aren’t a magic bullet or replacement for an integrated digital marketing strategy. However, knowing when and where to add influencers to your content mix can be an incredibly effective way of providing value for customers and potential customers.

We’d love to hear what some of your content challenges have been and help you determine if adding influencers might help!

influencer-marketing-ad-blog


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Should You or Shouldn’t You: 3 Ways to Tell if Influencer Marketing is Right for Your Brand | http://www.toprankblog.com

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July 21st 2016 Online Marketing

Going Native: Tips & Examples for Effectively Incorporating Native Video Into Your Social Strategy

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Native-Video-Social-Strategy

These days, it’s pretty safe to say that all marketers understand that video is an increasingly important marketing tool for capturing audience attention, showing value and encouraging engagement across the digital universe. In fact, 87% of online marketers use video content, according to an infographic from Hyperfine Media.

However, when it comes to promoting that video content on social media, marketers often ask users to click a link to a website, blog or another outside platform to watch, rather than just giving them the content outright. But as social media platforms improve their video shooting, editing and uploading capabilities, many brands and marketers are going native with their video content.

What is Native Video?

When looking at it in the context of social media, native video is any video content that is created in or directly uploaded to a social media platform, which then auto-plays with the news feed. Native video is perhaps most recognizable on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Why should your brand consider native video? How do you get started? Below I aim to answer those questions and more, as well as provide you with some insights for incorporating native video and examples of native video in action.

Why Brands Should Consider Native Video

#1 – Native video boosts engagement.

Successful social media marketing requires creating a connection with your audience by providing them with content that educates, entertains, and encourages interaction and engagement. Since native video content lives on your social media page, you’re eliminating a barrier to that interaction and keeping people engaged with your brand in that very moment—rather than sending them to another space.

In addition, if your native video content hits the right spot, it will inspire shares and expand your reach beyond your current following.

#2 – Native video has a leg up on third-party embeds.

At least when it comes to native video on Facebook, the social media platform’s algorithm seems to favor native over embedded video content. Last year, Search Engine Journal took a look at native video content versus YouTube content on Facebook and found that native content reaches two times more people—and, as mentioned above, native video content receives way more engagement.

Search Engine Journal YouTube Native Video

(Image Credit: Search Engine Journal)

#3 – Native video can help further the brand-customer relationship.

When you give your audience compelling native video content—with no strings attached and no extra clicks needed for them to enjoy—you’re showing users that you’re not just looking for a sale, but to give them something of value. This approach can help build brand awareness and trust that is the foundation for the brand-customer relationship.

Examples of Native Video on Action

#1 – TopRank Marketing & DivvyHQ

Earlier this year, TopRank Marketing partnered with DivvyHQ to create the Easy-as-Pie Guide to Content Planning eBook, which featured three recipes for improving content planning and effectiveness. As part of the project, we created a motion graphic video to tease all the great stuff in the eBook. The video was uploaded to YouTube and web content, but was uploaded it natively to Facebook.

For TopRank Marketing’s Facebook channel, we saw a almost 2000% more views for the native video than the one that was uploaded to YouTube.

#2 – Tasty

Tasty videos have become a staple in many Facebook feeds and cause many users to stop, watch, drool and save the recipes to make later.

What makes these videos so compelling is the fact that they do their job without relying on sound. When a video auto-plays in a news feed, they’re usually muted until you click on the video. Below is one of Tasty’s latest Facebook posts. Check out the engagement data on it!

#3 – FamilySearch

FamilySearch is the world’s largest genealogy organization, providing family history lovers with the ability to preserve and discover their family’s past. They boast huge followings on their social networks not only because they provide a quality service, but they also work to engage their audience—and native video is a part of their strategy.

Here’s an example of a recent Twitter post promoting their efforts to get 72,000 people to index and save world history records in just 72 hours.

In addition, a motion graphic video posted natively to their Facebook page has nearly 11,000 views, 476 likes and 165 shares after being posted about a month ago.

;

#4 – Great Big Story

Great Big Story is a CNN-funded startup that produces original videos on off-beat topics that aim to engage young audiences. A recent blog post by NewsWhip dove into the company’s native video strategy, featuring insights from Great Big Story’s Director of Audience Intelligence Khalil Jetha.

One key part of their strategy is customizing the experience for each of its channels—Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube and their own website. Below is one of their most recent native Facebook posts. When I found it, it was just two hours old and already had nearly 460,000 views.

Tips for Incorporating Native Video into Your Social Strategy

#1 – Use your text wisely.

While native videos will auto-play in the news feed, you’ll need to add a little flavor and context to what you’re showing people in the post itself. Be creative and compelling, and try to keep it short and sweet.

#2 – Customize content for your audience.

In NewsWhip’s article, Jetha stresses the need to understand your audience and the platform you’re using.

Figuring out out who your audience is, and why they’re interacting with you on that platform is more important than creating one unified brand strategy across every single social network,” he said. “When I say that, I mean that you can’t expect to repurpose one piece of content the exact same way and put it up on different networks.

#3 – Create something that speaks for itself.

As I mentioned in my comments about Tasty’s native video posts, in most cases sound doesn’t happen unless the video is clicked on. Work to create something that doesn’t need sound to give it meaning and understanding.

#4 – Experiment with live video options.

Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook Live, as well as Instagram, provide brands with the opportunity to give their audiences native video content that’s a little more raw and authentic. This kind of video content can be great for giving your followers a sneak peek of a new product or special event you’re attending.

#5 – Make native video a part of of your overall social media (digital marketing) strategy.

Tossing up a native video every now and then won’t give you the results you’re looking for. Use your audience personas and data you’ve collected for each social media platform and decide where native video would make sense. Then work it into your overall strategy like you would any other piece of content.

#6 – Don’t force it.

It’s true that users are hungry for video content, but that doesn’t mean you need to burn your current strategy to the ground and rebuild it with native video. Whether or not native video is right for your brand is ultimately going to depend on who your audience is and what resonates with them, as well as what your overall marketing and business objectives are.

Are you using native video as a social media marketing tactic? What have your results been? Tell us in the comments section below.

Disclosure: FamilySearch was a TopRank Marketing client at the time this campaign was launched.


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Going Native: Tips & Examples for Effectively Incorporating Native Video Into Your Social Strategy | http://www.toprankblog.com

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July 19th 2016 Online Marketing, video

Online Marketing News: Brands Killing Passwords, Pokémon Go and Twitter Tells All

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online marketing news businesses dropping passwords

online marketing news businesses dropping passwords

72% of Businesses Plan to Kill Passwords By 2025 (Infographic)
According to a survey by Telesign, 70% of business security experts surveyed believe that passwords are not a sufficient security measure. That same survey found that 90% of businesses surveyed had been victims of fraud. In light of this, many companies are changing their ways in terms of security. SocialTimes reports that “by 2025, 72 percent of companies will stop using passwords, and 36 percent will stop using them in as little as four years. The two main avenues of change are two-factor authentication and behavioral biometrics.” SocialTimes

Pokémon Go Is Inspiring Small Retailers. So Has Augmented Reality Gone Mainstream?
According to AdWeek, “by Monday, Pokémon Go already had more users than popular dating app Tinder and was set to surge past Twitter in daily active users on Android devices. Pokémon Go also ranked ahead of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat in Google Play.” There’s no doubt that the Pokémon Go app is successful, but it’s also helping to boost revenue for local businesses. Does this mean that augmented reality will become an area of focus for other like-minded marketers? AdWeek

Twitter will tell brands more about people who see their tweets, visit their sites
Marketing Land reports: “On Tuesday Twitter-owned data platform Gnip officially opened up its Audience API so that any brand can use the analytics tool to get a cheat sheet of demographic and interest data about any group of Twitter accounts.” This is great news for social media marketers and advertisers who are trying to customize their messaging to be the most relevant for their audience on the platform, as this information was previously not easy to access. It’s worth noting, however, that this data won’t be given for singular accounts but more as a holistic, big picture. Marketing Land

Polaroid hopes its brand name attracts people to its new app, Swing
Polaroid, the iconic camera brand, has launched a new app called Swing, “which,” according to Digiday, “lets users shoot a burst of images that are combined into a second-long video clip and is swipeable with their finger.” The app allows filters as well, and is only available at present for iOS. Will this be a growing trend among physical camera providers? How will consumers use this new platform? Time will tell, but it’s worth a look for brands which rely heavily on visual storytelling. Digiday

social media stars as celebrities in marketing campaigns

Simply Measured offers “first social measurement API” for marketers
Rather than pulling reports from social analytics platform Simply Measured, the service is not offering an API which will allow users to sync their data within their own reporting platform. For social marketers, this is a big break — it’s now much easier to compare relevant social data side-by-side in the dashboard of your choice with other relevant data to help marketers glean deeper insights into their social efforts. The platform will offer data from eight networks: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr, LinkedIn and Google+. The first four are currently connecting through the new API currently, and the others will reportedly be added later. Marketing Land

Google Launches Smarter, More Visual Ads Timed for Holiday Shopping
The ‘Showcase Shopping’ ads, as Google calls them, will help shoppers find what they’re looking for, regardless of how vague the search terms they’re using may be. Google reports that 40% of shopping queries on the search engine are for broad terms, and many shoppers use images as a way to find ideas for their online shopping. These Showcase Shopping ads will help leverage those preferences and guide buyers to the right products, according to how the brands using the ads categorize their merchandise. AdWeek

As publishers see rising returns on video, Facebook is getting more of their ad campaigns
Referencing a survey conducted by Mixpo of sales and marketing professionals in the U.S., Marketing Land reports: “Across the board, video formats topped the list of ad units seen as most likely to drive the highest ROI or ad revenue, with pre-roll video by far the preferred ad format.” Facebook has become a preferred platform for publishers to extend their ad campaigns, with half reporting running their campaigns on Facebook, vs. 31% on Twitter and 17% on YouTube. Marketing Land

What were your top news stories this week?

I’ll be back next week with more online marketing news! Have something to share? Tweet me @Tiffani_Allen or @toprank, or share in the comments.

The post Online Marketing News: Brands Killing Passwords, Pokémon Go and Twitter Tells All appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

July 15th 2016 Online Marketing

A Comparison of the 3 Most Popular All-In-One Online Marketing Tools

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The three most popular online marketing tools generate a whopping 433, 500 searches every month.

There’s a reason for that.

These three particular tools also generate confusion as to what they are used for, the differences between them, and pricing. The three tools we’ll compare are MailChimp, which is mainly for email marketing, and all-in-one online marketing tools like GetResponse and HubSpot, which are used for many other functions, email marketing only being one of them.

What are all-in-one online marketing tools?

Let’s think about all the elements involved in online marketing. I like the way Curata depicts the areas:

Description: Tools-Update-v1.png

Now, you could use tools for each element, or you could use one tool to do everything from one dashboard.

Perhaps you’re even nodding your head as you think of the stack of Excel spreadsheets you’ve been using to try and keep tabs on all your initiatives. Tracking is a nightmare, and trying to keep up with your email plan is just about hopeless.

And then…how do you get a collective picture of how it all ties together, and whether it’s working or not? And the bigger your business gets, the harder it becomes to manage all your online marketing workflows…

Online marketing tools streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows so that businesses can increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster.

The most common functions of all-in-one marketing solutions include:

  • Email marketing
  • Lead management
  • Web forms
  • Website management
  • Drag and drop landing page builder
  • Content management and marketing
  • A/B Testing
  • Search engine optimization guidance
  • Workflow automation
  • Analytics

 

Marketing automation, which is what all-in-one online marketing software does, connects all the touchpoints of various activities.

With marketing automation, you can personalize the customer’s journey and segment behaviors, interests, and demographic details.

It ties all workflows together, to give you one complete picture.

The difference between Mailchimp, GetResponse and HubSpot

Now, all three platforms – GetResponse, HubSpot and MailChimp – offer a complete email marketing and autoresponder platform, but only GetResponse and HubSpot offer not only email marketing, but also other marketing automation for small businesses.

MailChimp can by no means be called an “all-in-one” online marketing tool, but I’ve included the service in this post for the sake of clarity; mainly to show the difference between an email marketing software platform and an all-in-one online marketing tool which includes email marketing as one element in the overall bundle.

This post details the differences between all three platforms, and you’ll be able to see how they compare in terms of pricing and offering.

Why online marketing tools?

Why is there so much interest in these tools, and what makes them so powerful for small businesses?

Well, there are four aspects to this:

  1. Marketing may not be your core service or product offering, so you wouldn’t want to spend enormous amounts of time on it. These tools help streamline your processes to give you more time.
  2. The tools act as somewhat of an online marketing guide, which makes learning about this business area a lot easier.
  3. They help make you more productive and effective because you can manage all, or most of your activities from the same platform.
  4. They help you target prospects better and improve your customer’s journey.
  5. Paying for one tool instead of many to do different tasks, can end up saving you a substantial amount of money.

Description: Slide12_0.jpg

Image Credit: EmailMonday

#1: GetResponse

GetResponse first started out as an email marketing software provider, and today, they offer an all-in-one online marketing tool that features just about everything a small business needs for marketing in the virtual sphere. It can no longer be viewed as just email marketing software, because it offers a complete solution.

GetResponse offers a comprehensive email marketing campaign platform that you can use to plan workflow automation and email campaigns. On top of that, you can create landing pages and call-to-action forms with ease. The new features include tracking visitors in real-time to maximize profit and traffic, as well as cart abandonment recovery features.

GetResponse is the only all-in-one online marketing tool that includes webinars in their offerings, and it’s also known as the world’s easiest email marketing platform.

With a starting price of $49 per month for the marketing automation service, which also includes an email marketing platform, it’s the ideal place for small businesses who plan to grow. If you want all the features, the most popular plan is only $49 per month, compared to HubSpot’s which starts at $200 per month.

Getresponse

Automation packages offered by GetResponse

#2: HubSpot

Hubspot

HubSpot is a sophisticated all-in-one online marketing tool that features inbound marketing benefits.

HubSpot allows you to create your own landing pages and call-to-action forms, and it guides you with on-page SEO. HubSpot is also a content management system so it’s easy to update your website content and optimize it for search engines.

At an extra cost, you can even add the CRM and Sales functions.

HubSpot is mostly used by small to medium businesses.

HubSpot’s plans start at $200 per month, and their most expensive option will set you back $2400 per month.

#3: Mailchimp

Mailchimp

MailChimp is only an email marketing platform, not an all-in-one tool. Depending on the package you choose, it allows you to create, automate, manage and measure email campaigns.

It doesn’t boast the features that GetResponse or HubSpot has of course, but it is an excellent option for entrepreneurs just venturing out into online marketing, or who have a very tight budget.

MailChimp is one of the biggest players in the realm of email marketing with a huge database of active users. While it incorporates some automation elements, these are mostly for email marketing campaigns that do not extend beyond or apply to other verticals.

Functions comparison

Hubspot

GetResponse

Mailchimp

Email marketing

Yes

Yes

Yes

Email templates

Yes

Yes

Yes

Email workflows

Yes

Yes

Yes

Marketing campaign workflows

Yes

Yes

No

Website management

Yes

No

No

Build landing pages

Yes

Yes

No

Build webpages

Yes

No

No

On-page SEO

Yes

No

No

Automation

Yes

Yes

Yes

Landing pages

Yes

Yes

No

Analytics

Yes

Yes

Yes

Social media management

Yes

No

No

Blogging blueprints

Yes

No

No

Blogging SEO

Yes

No

No

Content management

Yes

No

No

Call to action forms

Yes

Yes

Yes

Webinars

No

Yes

No

Shopping carts integration

No

Yes

Yes

Website tracking

Yes

Yes

No

Email marketing & automation

All three online marketing tools have the same email marketing and automation capabilities. Mailchimp only offers this service, whereas GetResponse and HubSpot offer additional features.

Landing pages

Both HubSpot and GetResponse offer landing page builders. MailChimp does not have this feature.

Analytics & website tracking

All three platforms offer analytics according to their service offerings, but only HubSpot and GetResponse offer website tracking.

Shopping cart integration

Only GetResponse and MailChimp offer shopping cart integration.

Webinars

Webinars are offered exclusively on the GetResponse platform.

Conclusion

When you first either take your business online, or you’re venturing into online marketing, Mailchimp is the most affordable entry-level email marketing tool. GetResponse’s email marketing plans are cheaper than MailChimp if you have decent amount of subscribers. Also, MailChimp only centers around email marketing and is not an all-in-one online marketing tool like GetResponse and HubSpot.

If your business is at a place where you can afford it, it’s obvious that Hubspot offers more all-in-one online marketing tools and automation, but also comes at a hefty price that not all smaller business can afford.

For almost all the same functionality as HubSpot offers, GetResponse gives you at a fraction of the cost, which makes GetResponse my choice of all-in-one online marketing tools for small businesses.

The post A Comparison of the 3 Most Popular All-In-One Online Marketing Tools appeared first on SEO Chat.

July 15th 2016 blogging, Online Marketing

21 Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Tools to Increase Your ROI

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Conversion-Rate-Optimization-Tools

Today’s savvy marketers have moved beyond just collecting website analytics, and are instead focusing on how to inspire customers to take action based on their digital marketing. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is essential for any marketer and proper CRO is how you will make your marketing as actionable as possible for your customers. No matter what your role is within your marketing department, it is important to understand the key Conversion Rate Optimization tactics to improve your ROI and to grow your business. If fact, only 22% of companies are satisfied with their conversion rates according to Econsultancy.

Improving your conversion rate is a never ending battle that requires testing and optimization. To make your conversion rate optimization efforts easier, we have selected 21 tools to get a better ROI on your website. 14 of the tools are either free or have a free version to get you started on optimizing for conversion rate.

CRO Testing Tools

Five Second Test

Five Second Test

The five second test is a free tool that allows you to post a screencap of your website and test what users think your site is about within five seconds. The tool can be helpful to make sure your messaging is clear to your target audience.

Cost: free

 

Unbounce’s Dejargonator

Dejargonator

Unbounce recently released a Chrome extension that calls out “marketing speak” that make landing pages less persuasive. The extension is free and can really help with creating targeted messaging without using overused buzzwords.

Cost: free

 

Readability Score

Readability Score

The readability score website states how difficult your content is to read. The tool can provide insight to if your content is too difficult to understand for your target audience.

Cost: free

 

Golden Ratio Typography Calculator

Typography Calculator

The Golden Ratio Typography Calculator is excellent for finding the ideal font size and width. The tool calls out how to optimize your typography based on font size, line-height, width, and characters per line.

Cost: free

 

CRO Analytics

Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager

If your site uses Google Tag Manager, you can create Google Analytics events for scroll tracking, click tracking, form abandonment, and other conversion metrics. Setting up the metrics as events allows you to create goals based off of whatever conversion metric you want in Google Analytics.

Cost: free

 

Google Analytics – Experiments

Google Experiments

Google Analytics already provides insight on conversion metrics that you can use for conversion rate optimization. You can also run content experiments within Google Analytics to find the best converting version of your pages.

Cost: free

 

Kissmetrics

kissmetrics

Kissmetrics shows how each visitor behaves and makes decision on your website. The analytics platform focuses on tracking users rather than pageviews to better understand the customer journey through the funnel.

Cost: $120 per month

 

Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg is a platform that tracks scroll and click tracking on webpages to better understand customer interactions. Crazy Egg does a great job tracking a heatmap of where people clicked on your website.

Cost: $9 per month for Basic package

 

Hotjar

hotjar

Hotjar is a conversion rate optimization platform that utilizes visitor recordings, heatmaps, form analytics, polls as part , and other features as part of their all-in-one suite.

Cost: free for the “Basic” package

 

Lucky Orange

Lucky Orange

Lucky Orange is a conversion rate optimization platform that records visitors on your website to show potential reasons why they didn’t convert. Lucky Orange offers recordings, heatmaps, chat, conversion funnels, form analytics, and polls as part of their suite. Lucky Orange provides a lot of value for the price.

Cost: $10 per month for the “Starter” package

 

Peek User Testing

Peek User Testing

Peek is a free user experience testing tool that was created by User Testing. The free tool provides a 5-minute video of a real person using your site or mobile app. Having a real person test your site can be highly beneficial when understanding potential usability problems that you may not recognize.

Cost: free

A/B testing/Landing Pages

Visual Website Optimizer – Test Duration Calculator

Test Duration

The Test Duration Calculator helps you decide how long you should run an A/B split and/or multivariate test. The calculator can definitely lead to efficient testing ranges that still provide enough actionable data.

Cost: free

 

Optimizely

Optimizely

Optimizely is an enterprise platform to conduct A/B tests for websites and mobile apps. Optimizely provides multiple features to create high-performing experiences for your website visitors.

Cost: $999 per month for the “Standard” package

 

Unbounce

Unbounce Tool

Unbounce is a tool that makes it easy for anyone to build quality landing pages. ALong with building the landing pages, Unbounce makes it easy to conduct A/B tests to optimize for conversion rate.

Cost: $49 per month for the “Starter” package


CRO Surveys/Research

Qerz

Qeryz

Qerz, a Qualaroo alternative, is a survey tool that you can add to your website to ask questions to your visitors. Qerz helps you understand who your audience is and what challenges they may be up against.

Cost: $15 per month for the “Starter” package

 

SurveyMonkey

Survey Monkey

SurveyMonkey is a free online survey software that can help improve customer satisfaction, engagement, or market research. Create your own surveys to send to different audiences to gain more insight and data.

Cost: free (along with other paid packages)

 

Data Brain/Maxymizely  

Maxymizely

Databrain (now Maxymizely) is a user experience tool that includes A/B split testing, traffic quality ratings, crash analytics, and CRO tools. This CRO tool is beneficial for analyzing the traffic quality of your website, but provide other features that can help increase your ROI.

Cost: free depending on amount of active users


Page Rendering

BrowserStack

BrowserStack

BrowserStack is a cross-browser compatibility tool that enables you to test your websites across various browsers and devices. BrowserStack helps you view how your website appears on any device with a browser to make sure it renders correctly.

Cost: $29 per month

 

Google Mobile-Friendly test

Google Mobile Friendly Test

The Google Mobile-Friendly test is a free tool that analyzes if you webpage is mobile friendly or not. Although the tool is free, it only checks pages individually and not the overall site.

Cost: free


Site Speed

Pingdom Website Speed Test

Pingdom

Pingdom website speed test is a tool to analyze the page speed for your website. The tool provides a score out of 100 and also outlines next steps to take to increase the page speed.

Cost: free

 

WebPageTest

WebPageTest

WebPageTest is another page speed testing tool for your website. Much like the Pingdom website speed test tool, WebPageTest shows what areas to optimize to increase page speed.

Cost: free

Get Started on Optimizing Your Conversion Rate Today

Hopefully, these 21 tools will help you increase your conversions. There is an opportunity for all of us marketers to make sure our companies are satisfied with the conversion rate metrics. There are many more conversion rate optimization tools being used, but this list above should provide enough insights to get you started.  Which tools have you found to be most helpful for your CRO?


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21 Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Tools to Increase Your ROI | http://www.toprankblog.com

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July 14th 2016 Online Marketing

Prime Day was Biggest Day in the History of Amazon

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Amazon knocked it out of the park on yesterday’s Prime Day with customer orders surpassing Prime Day 2015 by more than 60% worldwide and more than 50% in the United States. Amazon said it was also the biggest day ever for Amazon devices globally and set sales records for every Amazon device category including Kindle, Alexa, Fire TV, and Fire Tablets. Globally, the Fire TV Stick was Amazon’s best-selling device.

“Prime itself is the best deal in the history of shopping, and Prime Day was created as a special benefit exclusively for our Prime members,” said Greg Greeley, Vice President, Amazon Prime. “We want to thank our tens of millions of members around the world for making this the biggest day in the history of Amazon. We hope you had as much fun as we did. After yesterday’s results, we’ll definitely be doing this again.”

Small businesses and selling partners on Amazon with Prime deals had nearly triple year-over-year sales, both worldwide and in the US. “We offered customers our best products at great deals and they responded in a big way,” said Dov Brafman, CEO of Sharkk, which offers cool and unique audio solutions and other consumer accessories. “Prime Day helped us reach our highest sales day ever.”

“Sales were much higher than I was expecting with that 60% growth rate,” says R.J. Hottovy on CNBC. Hottovy is a Consumer Equity Strategist at Morningstar. “That will probably put the company ahead of where it was last year. You are talking about sales in the $500 to $600 million range for this day alone. The real take-a-ways for me are that international markets seem to be adopting Prime and competing sales from the likes of Walmart don’t seem to be impacting Amazon sales at all. We estimate there are more than 70 million Prime members globally, about 80% of that, or 56 million, coming from the US. What it has shown is that there is real stickiness to this business.”

The real impact of Prime Day for Amazon is not sales but in enticing more “sticky” Prime memberships. “Sales are really besides the point, it’s about driving Prime membership,” said Shelly Banjo of Bloomberg. “One estimate had Amazon adding 6 million Prime members. What that does is lock you in an average of 7 years according to one estimate. Prime is Amazon’s secret sauce.”

People get “hooked on Prime” she says and no longer making shopping lists to go to Walmart or somewhere else. Instead they think of something to buy and with a couple clicks of the phone it’s done.

Below are the complete Prime Day 2016 stats provided by Amazon.

Prime Day 2016 highlights globally:

  • Sold over 2.5x more Amazon Fire TV devices compared to Prime Day last year – Fire TV Stick was the best-selling Amazon device.
  • More than two million toys and more than one million pairs of shoes were purchased by customers on Prime Day 2016.
  • More than 90,000 TVs were purchased on Prime Day 2016.
  • Hundreds of thousands of Kindle e-readers sold on Prime Day.
  • Prime member orders on the Amazon app surpassed Prime Day 2015 mobile app orders by more than 2x.
  • More than a million customers used the Amazon app for the first time on Prime Day to shop and to watch-a-deal.
  • The Prime Photos sweepstakes had two million submissions worldwide during the lead-up to Prime Day, the winner will be randomly selected on or about July 14.

Prime Day 2016 highlights from the US:

  • Amazon devices were up over 3x compared to Prime Day last year.
  • Biggest day ever for Amazon Echo – up over 2.5x compared to previous record day.
  • The most popular Amazon Dash Button brands purchased on Prime Day were Cascade, Charmin and Tide.
  • Members purchased over 215,000 Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cookers.
  • Members purchased over 200,000 headphones.
  • Members purchased over 24,000 Double Hammocks by Vivere.
  • Members purchased over 23,000 iRobot Roomba 614 Vacuum Cleaning Robots.
  • Members purchased over 14,000 Lenovo laptops.
  • Members purchased on average one Alexa-exclusive deal per second during Prime Day using their voice.
  • Prime members had exclusive access to deals on top rated TV series and blockbuster movies to rent or purchase and instantly stream on the Amazon Video app on TVs, mobile devices, Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire tablets, or online – the top three Prime Day deal titles purchased or rented were: Deadpool, Kung Fu Panda 3 and 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.
  • Customers saved over $1 million on Kindle Unlimited memberships on Prime Day and the Prime Day Lead-up Deal on July 5.
  • The most selected Audible audiobook on Prime Day was A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1.

Fire TV Stick was Amazon’s best-selling device globally. Other top sellers around the world, excluding Amazon devices were:

  • U.S.: Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker
  • UK: Oral-B Pro 6000 CrossAction Electric Toothbrush with Bluetooth Connectivity and Smart Series
  • Spain: SanDisk USB memory stick
  • Japan: Calbee Breakfast Cereal 800 grams
  • Italy: Lexar JumpDrive
  • Germany and Austria: Tefal Jamie Oliver Frying Pan
  • France and Belgium: Game of Thrones DVD – season 1 to 4
  • Canada: Sennheiser HD 598 Special-Edition Over-Ear Headphones

The post Prime Day was Biggest Day in the History of Amazon appeared first on WebProNews.

July 14th 2016 Online Marketing

New Short Story: How GREAT Marketers Win at Digital Advertising

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Great Marketers Win at Digital Advertising

How can you help your brand knock out the competition and win customers’ attention?

Sometimes great content and a solid content marketing strategy aren’t enough to achieve the results you hoped and planned for. Despite all your training and drilling on tactics, you enter the ring and end up hitting the mat face-first.

It’s nice to think that people would be magnetically drawn to your content. That every search for a relevant term would return your brand at the top of the SERP. That word-of-mouth or a couple of posts on social media would create a stampede of partygoers to your site. But a strictly organic approach can lead to lukewarm and limited engagement.

Marketers today are competing for attention against infinite options. A few weak jabs won’t win the championship belt—you need to add some power to your punches. To make sure you’re the one left standing in the final round, you need a digital advertising strategy.

Let’s take a quick look at how to succeed with some of the key elements of digital advertising.  

#1 – Paid Social

For a while, it seemed like social media was the great free marketing platform of our dreams. In retrospect, we should have known better. Social sites exist to make money, and they don’t make it directly from their user base. So, while it’s a good idea to use the free options available on social platforms, it’s most helpful to think of them as pay-to-play sites.

Here are a few things to keep in mind for your paid social campaigns:

  • Go where your audience is. Resist the siren song of new platforms and stick with the ones you know your audience uses.
  • Use targeting wisely. Most social platforms give you dozens of options for choosing your audience. Pick too many options and you can end up shutting out good leads. Stick with the 2-3 most important parameters that will give you a relevant, but still sizable, audience.
  • Quality matters. Each of the big 3 platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) has a quality metric that affects who wins bids. Even if a competitor outbids you, if your content has proven more valuable in the past, you win the display auction. Max out your quality metric by increasing budget to well-converting ads and shutting off underperformers.

#2 – Remarketing

If you’ve been online in the past five years, you have encountered remarketing. It’s the ads that show up regardless of what site you’re on, reminding you to buy that item you saved for later in your Amazon cart. Or from the resort casino after you researched your Vegas vacation. It may seem a little bit creepy or intrusive (when done poorly), but remarketing is a powerful way to capture opportunities that otherwise would be lost.

Use these tips to keep your remarketing non-creepy and effective:

  • Set frequency caps to 5-7 impressions. You don’t want to wear out your potential buyer. This is a guideline more than a rule, though: You may want to increase spend and decrease capping on your highest-converting landing pages.
  • Segment audiences based on funnel stages. Where your audience is in the buyer’s journey will determine the tone of your ad and the CTA. Don’t rely on a one-size-fits-all solution.
  • Cover all the size and format options. Remarketing platforms like Google AdWords allow you to submit ads in multiple formats for a variety of placements. Don’t leave potential impressions on the table–use all the options available.

#3 – Paid Search

Some marketers are still wary of paid search, worrying that it will compete with the brand’s organic traffic efforts. The truth is, you should never see a dip in organic traffic because of paid search. Paid search and SEO should work together; for example, you can use paid to make up for a gap in organic ranking for a certain keyword.

Use these tips to optimize your paid search efforts:

  • See what your competitors are doing. Use tools to see what keywords they’re bidding on, how much they’re bidding, and see where their strategy is vulnerable. You may identify gaps you can fill, or even keywords they’re winning that you can bid competitively on.
  • Improve relevance with ad customizers. Google Ads let you add dynamic customizers that change your content depending on the time, the search term used, and other factors. Using customizers is the difference between a customer seeing “Bob’s Shoe Store has Men’s Shoes” and “Bob’s Shoe Store has blue Nike men’s sneakers starting at $50.”
  • Focus on an immediate pain point/benefit in your copy. You don’t have much space for a paid search ad, so make the characters count. Tell the audience what’s in it for them if they click. It’s the difference between “We offer secure websites” and “We help keep your business safe from hackers.”

How GREAT Marketers Win at Digital Advertising

Advertising still has a place in the content marketing world. It can help an audience find your content, keep your brand top-of-mind during the journey, and help your brand visibility on search engines. To help you create a heavyweight digital advertising strategy, we created this fun storybook with a few key tips. Read and share it to make sure your digital advertising packs the proper punch.


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New Short Story: How GREAT Marketers Win at Digital Advertising | http://www.toprankblog.com

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July 12th 2016 Online Marketing

Online Marketing News: Beer, Blogs, Snapchat Memories and B2B Content Struggle

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if-your-blog-were-a-beer

if-your-blog-were-a-beer

If Your Blog Were a Beer, What Kind Would It Be?
At first glance, beer and blogs don’t seem to have a whole lot in common. But, like the diverse beverage, blogs have many different flavors and origins of their own. We even consume blogs and beers at roughly the same rate. This infographic, complete with a silly and delicious metaphor, breaks down the hierarchy of blog types and beer types leading to one solid conclusion, be original and substantial in your blog. Visual.ly

Snapchat Just Revealed a New Feature Called ‘Memories’ That Saves Snaps
For those of us who don’t have a great memory, Snapchat has come up with yet another way to save us from ourselves. In a new channel called My Eyes Only, Snapchat is allowing users to save still images or videos into a video collage that’s passcode protected for later reference. Otherwise, users can save these memories in narrative format as ‘flashbacks’. The channel’s switch from the 10-second disappearing message to something more long lasting may translate into their own staying power, only time will tell. AdWeek

B2B Marketers Struggle to Create Effective Content Marketing Materials
With the rising acceptance that content marketing for B2B is a viable and necessary tactic, B2B companies are finding they still struggle with effective content creation. Of all types of content, research reports and videos ranked among the top in terms of production difficulty. These concerns are leading many B2B companies to outsource their content needs to specialists. eMarketer

Content intelligence platform Conductor adds DeepCrawl integration so customers’ sites are tested for search crawls
Conductor, a content intelligence firm, provides insights for companies eager to learn how their content performs in search through platforms like Facebook and Google. According to Conductor CEO Seth Besmertnik, “We found almost all [of our most successful customers] use some site crawler to make sure there are as few errors as possible,” but described their site auditing tool as “rudimentary.” To help provide a better service, the company is integrating with a powerful web crawler, called DeepCrawl, which will allow users to see high-level insights about their sites along with the ability to drill down to understand what changes their developers need to make. Marketing Land

80 % of marketers said they deliver personalized messages through email marketing.

Twitter is testing 2 new customer service features that brands will love
In a feature reminiscent of Facebook, Twitter is now displaying statistics that show when brands are most responsive on the platform. This may only be a test, but will help users understand when they’re most likely to see a customer service response to their Tweets. The platform is now also allowing ‘featured’ tweets in a tab that could have implications for answering common customer questions — like when a site is down for maintenance — as well as help brands promote featured content. The Next Web

Report: What marketers can learn from the biggest brands on Instagram
TrackMaven just released a report called “The Fortune 500 Instagram Report: 2016 Edition” that analyses over 40,000 unique posts from Fortune 500 companies. What can be learned from this report? Over 50% of Fortune 500 companies are using Instagram, posts are mostly on weekdays during working hours, despite the highest engagements being on Sundays, and most images aren’t using a filter. To learn more, check out the report here. Marketing Land

New Facebook Share Data Reveals Why Video Is Key To Your Content Strategy
As I mentioned in last week’s post, Facebook is altering their algorithm to favor friends and families over publishers. This revelation prompted Buzzsumo to look further into share data trends from the last year, and found that video is driving significantly higher shares than other types of content. What does this mean for publishers? To battle the decrease in visibility, be sure to consider integrating video into your social content marketing strategy. BuzzSumo

What were your top marketing news stories this week?

I’ll be back next week with more online marketing news. Have something to share? Tweet me @Tiffani_Allen or @toprank!

The post Online Marketing News: Beer, Blogs, Snapchat Memories and B2B Content Struggle appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

July 8th 2016 Online Marketing