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4 Essential Lessons for Travel Marketing on Instagram
The travel industry is growing fast, and it is one of the largest and most competitive in the world. Modern customers are more likely to spend money on traveling, and 34% of millennials plan to spend more than $5,000 on upcoming vacations, according to Business Insider.

To stand out from the crowd, travel industry players need to keep up with the trends, and one podcast by Facebook claims Instagram has a significant impact on the travel industry: 70% of travel enthusiasts use Instagram to share their travel plans, 67% use this platform to find inspiration for new journeys, and 61% find things to do on Instagram while they're traveling.

Brands like National Geographic recognize this. Today, the brand has over 128 million followers on Instagram—making it  the most followed brand account on the social platform. Whether you’re a massive brand, an airline, a car rental company, or even a travel blogger, Instagram is a great way to reach your target audience, build brand awareness, increase brand loyalty and trust, and grow revenue.

Image Source

Simply put, Instagram has become a perfect marketing tool for visual storytelling that attracts travelers. And if you want to improve your travel marketing on Instagram, here are four Instagram marketing lessons from top travel industry players:

A cohesive feed attracts more followers
Social proof builds loyalty
In-app shopping is flourishing
Excellent Customer service is a must
Lesson #1: Cohesive feed attracts more followers

Practically every travel company aims at acquiring new customers, and the more Instagram followers you have, the more potential customers you can get. If you want to stand out from your competitors and attract more followers, pay close attention to the Instagram feed and make it eye-catching, as 65% of people are visual learners.

Plus, 72% of Millennials and Gen X share their photos on social media while traveling, so it’s no wonder that 67% of people claim that the Instagrammability of a location is the most important factor when choosing a holiday destination, as specified in one study by Expedia. What’s more, 40.1% of young travelers choose a holiday destination by how “Instagrammable” it will be.

This means that it’s important to showcase destinations to inspire travelers, and STA Travel is a good example of using UGC photos to create a beautiful and cohesive Instagram...
7 Video Content Marketing Strategies to Skyrocket Engagement: 2020
The post 7 Video Content Marketing Strategies to Skyrocket Engagement: 2020 appeared first on BuzzSumo.
The 11 Landing Page Best Practices to Swear By
If you’re in marketing, you’re no stranger to landing pages. We’ve all clicked through an interesting ad looking for more information and abandoned the landing page because it was too confusing or didn’t hold enough information. And if we’re paying attention, we usually take note of what not to do with our own landing pages.

But what about what we need to do to keep those visitors? Whether you’re using a plug-and-play solution like Marketo or Hubspot or Unbounce to make your landing pages or you’re having an in-house dev team build them out, you can swear by these 11 landing page best practices for better pages and, of course, more conversions.

1. Align your landing page with the goal of your ad campaigns

Now, I think landing pages are harder to create than ads, so I think this tip should be the other way around. But others disagree. Either way, when you’re setting up a landing page, keep your eye on the prize. What ad campaigns will drive traffic to this page? What’s the goal?

Based on that, make sure the language on the page echoes the language in your ads or vice-versa. If your ad says, “Get free internet! Learn how here,” then your landing page should explain exactly how to get free internet. Badda-bing-badda-boom, you have a new customer.

2. Simplify your forms

Though forms can be an important part of landing page design, I’m not going to dive in too deep since we have another (far more helpful) post on that here. But rule of thumb: Never ask for more information than you need. Try to keep it under seven fields of input. Appreciate white space. When in doubt, always keep it simple.

3. Test your copy and CTA

Speaking of keeping it simple, let’s talk landing page copy. Anytime you’re writing copy for a designed page, keep the layout in mind. You don’t want your audience to be staring down a wall of text that they need to comb through to get to the point. When you can, use bullet points, headers, and subheads to drive your point home concisely.

But as always, test your copy. And test your CTA. And then test some more copy. And then test CTAs again. You’re never going to know what resonates with your audience until the numbers tell you the truth.

You’re going to have to trust me that this landing page has been tested against other copy and different forms and different CTAs. Turns out, competing in AdWords (without...
5 Tips for Better PPC Budgeting in 2020
PPC budgeting might not be the sexiest topic, but being a good steward of your budget can have major impacts on your PPC performance. Budget considerations usually go by the wayside when there are lots of other new, trendy topics to focus on, like a new ad format, targeting type, or new channel. But staying on top of your budget can be more impactful—and more profitable—than trying out any of these new tactics. 

That’s why in 2020, I’d love for one of your PPC resolutions to be centered around your budgeting.

It doesn’t have to take up a bunch of time. A quick check in at the beginning of each month or quarter can go a long way in making sure you’re treating your budgets with the care they deserve.

At this point, you might be thinking, “That sounds great, but what can I do to pay more attention to my budget?” Here are five simple things you can do to take better care of your budgets in 2020.

1. Start forecasting

I’ll be the first to admit it: I hate forecasting.

In a number of ways, forecasting feels like guessing as to what performance is going to be—-and it is, but hopefully it’s an educated guess that can help you make smart decisions about where you spend your advertising dollars.

There are a handful of data points you can use to forecast performance for upcoming months:

Google Keyword Planner traffic estimates.
External news organizations.
Month over month or year over year performance trends.

Google Keyword Planner traffic estimates.

Overall, the biggest takeaway for forecasting isn’t to be exactly right and predict the future, but to have some sort of realistic expectation of performance so you can plan ahead.

Is traffic estimated to double next month? Or will it drop significantly? Is there an expected turn in the market for the second half of the year that suggests you should front load 2020? Or hold your cards for a boom in Q3?

Spend a little time to think ahead and know what’s coming. Then check back in after a month or quarter and see how far off you were and what you can learn and adjust for next time to be a bit more accurate.

2. Create projection sheets

Forecasting gives you a long term look at potential performance, but using a projections sheet can help you understand where you’re pacing to end the current calendar month (or any custom date range for that matter).

9 Comparative Advertising Examples to Help You Get Ahead
Last August, we broke down the 11 best competitive ads we’ve ever seen on Google. Although bidding on your competitors’ brand names is an effective strategy in and of itself, it’s just one iteration of broader marketing approach known as comparative advertising.

Basically, comparative advertising encompasses any and all marketing tactics that involve the comparison of two or more products or services. Thanks to its broad definition, comparative advertising can be executed across media: digital, print, TV, radio, outdoor, and more. As long as the value of one product or service is being communicated through its comparison to another product or service, it qualifies as comparative advertising.

I’ve got plenty of examples to share with you all. But first, I think it’s worthwhile to discuss the why of comparative advertising.

Why comparative advertising?

Well, I sort of answered this question in the introduction: Like all marketing strategies, the goal of comparative advertising is to communicate the value of whatever product or service you’re promoting. Though it may seem as if some big name brands use comparative advertising strictly to entertain people (e.g., Wendy’s repeatedly tweeting about McDonald’s use of frozen patties), the true purpose of the strategy is to communicate value. Wendy’s wants you to laugh, but they also want you to associate their food with freshness.

What’s unique about comparative advertising is the way value gets communicated. Whereas a non-comparative ad may say something along the lines of, “This perfume will make you smell good,” a comparative ad may opt for something like, “That perfume will make you smell good, but this perfume will make you smell irresistible.” Now, the value of Perfume A comes not only from its quality, but also from the disparity in quality between it and Perfume B. Perfume A is valuable, in part, because it is better than Perfume B.

Comparative advertising gives your audience an anchor—something concrete, something they can use as a reference point to better understand the value of your product or service. If you’ve never heard of Perfume A, being told that it’s “good” might not mean much to you. But if you’re already familiar with Perfume B, being told that it’s inferior to Perfume A might make enough of an impression to get you interested. Comparative advertising allows you to...
The 10 Best Business Instagram Accounts to Follow
We’re a few days into 2020, and one thing is certain for this new decade: Social media isn’t going anywhere. You’ve heard me rattle off the Instagram stats before, but the platform keeps growing. Each month, 1 Billion people use Instagram, and 500 million people use the stories feature. Further, more than 75% of businesses will use Instagram in 2020, as 90% of Instagram users follow business accounts on the platform. This leaves a huge opportunity for businesses to cultivate a profile that connects with their followers and helps them solve problems.

Whether you’re killing it on the platform already or just getting started, we can all benefit from some inspiration. Today, I’m sharing my absolute favorite corporate Instagram accounts. These are the best Instagram business to follow and get inspired by.

Let’s get started!

1. @ibm

IBM’s approach to their Instagram account is to use the visual platform to show sides of the business that most people may not see—projects, workforce, and things the company and its employees are passionate about. IBM recently featured six of its “Boldest Moments” from 2019, showcasing some highlights of the year. From company acquisitions to the Apollo anniversary and everything in between, this highlight reel rounded up some of the ways they created an impact in the world.

IBM is also very creative with their Instagram stories and highlights, showing insight through video around campaigns and projects IBM employees are working on. Some highlights categories include: Be Equal, a campaign around empowering women in the workforce, IBM Systems & IMB Research, showing the reach of their technology, Pride, featuring interviews of employees sharing what Pride means to them and more.

2. @moeassist

Moe Assist is a project management tool for influencers, allowing them to better manage collaborations and contracts from mega-influencer Danielle Bernstein. It’s no surprise that her company’s visual social media representation is one of the most inspiring—Danielle is a social media pro.

With quotes, featured user testimonials, and inside looks at the product, there is truly nothing we’re missing from the Moe Assist account. I’m also loving the streamlined look and feel of the Instagram profile, with its similar color palettes and image styles.

3. @latermedia

This Instagram planning tool’s very...
I Spent $10 M+ on Google & Facebook Ads—Here’s What I Learned
Looking back at my time at WordStream, I’ve learned A TON. Most noteworthy, I’ve furthered my paid search and social advertising expertise, backed by over $10 million in ad spend managed. Yup, over $10 million—that means I’ve reviewed a LOT of performance data.

How I feel as an acquisition marketer and our resident data fanatic.

And here at WordStream, we aren’t just spending online to spend; we have aggressive goals to generate quality leads and new business for the company. With aggressive goals come significant account activity—constant analysis, optimization, testing, and strategizing.

So, in today’s blog post, I’m going to share my top lessons learned spending over $10 million, which estimates to over 90M impressions and 4M clicks captured. That’s a lot of reach. Here are the five most important lessons I’ve learned:

Intent, intent, intent
Master the algorithm
Optimize for quality
Tracking and alerts are crucial
Make your channels work together
Before we jump into these lessons today, I want to let you know about an exclusive offer. On Wednesday, January 22, along with the other face behind our WordStream ads, Allison Day, I will be presenting in our live webinar, revealing even more real-life examples and data. While this blog post will give you the introduction, this webinar will share even more on how you can apply these learnings to your paid search and social strategy. Don’t miss your chance to save your spot!

1. Intent, intent, intent

Intent marketing is any kind of marketing that aims to meet an end user or prospect’s intent—that is, what they really want or need in that moment. Most of the time when we talk about executing on “intent marketing,” we’re referring to using a known audience parameter, such as a search query, remarketing list, or a prospecting audience.

Driving your advertising strategy based on intent is a concept that should never retire. But, overtime, with changes in the industry, it’s become even harder to nail down a prospects intent solely by the parameters I listed above.

Applied example: Here you can clearly define the intent on the left, but how do we know what someone is looking for on the right?

For example, just in August, Google released changes to broad match modifier. This update meant that advertisers would now start to match new close variants to their BMM (broad match...
6 Research-Backed Ways to Reduce Churn
Churn rate, or rate of attrition, refers to the percentage of customers who stop using your products or services within a set period. This could be annually, quarterly, or monthly, but your churn rate gives you a clear idea of how many users are moving into your business vs how many are moving out.

Properly analyzed, and all things being equal, an organization’s churn rate is the key metric that gives the clearest idea of how long the organization will be in business. If more people are leaving a business than are joining—or if not enough people are joining compared to the percentage of people leaving—it’s only a matter of time before the business dies.

Avoidable customer churn is said to cost U.S. businesses a whopping $136 billion annually. In a study that analyzed growth of technology companies, McKinsey found that if a SaaS company grows at less than 20 percent annually, it is 92% likely to no longer be in existence in just a few years. Zoho also found that if you can reduce customer churn from 2.5% to 1%, you’ll have double the number of customers in eight years.

So how do you reduce churn and retain more customers? Here are six research-backed strategies that you can start using today.

1. Over-deliver during the first customer interaction

First impressions matter when it comes to customer churn. Most customers will make up their minds about your brand based on the first interaction they have with you, and it can be difficult to change their minds once an impression has been formed.

An example of a good first impression is this welcome email from Envira Gallery.

The welcome email does a few things well to build trust with customers and potentially reduce churn:

It makes users feel welcomed to be using the product.
It prompts users to get started and links to clear documentation and guides to help them get started.
It not only makes it clear that users can get in touch with comments, questions, or feedback—it also encourages them to do so.
Paying careful attention to customers’ first interaction with your brand is so important that, according to research by thinkJar, 67% of customer churn can be prevented if a customer’s issue was resolved at first engagement.

Of course, it is worth noting that there are both direct and indirect ways of achieving this:

If you notice a common customer complaint/issue during the initial...
Google Doubles Its Life Event Targeting & Expands to Display Ads
Google Ads has always been a great way to reach a wide audience—but advertisers often learn quickly that not everyone converts the same and it’s very easy to waste a lot of ad spend on people whom might not be your target audience. People are complex and finding your ideal audience is more than just the sum of their keywords or demographics. Back in 2017, Google introduced the ability to target users based on their recent or upcoming major life events—and advertisers rejoiced!

Well, recently Google’s doubled down on this tactic and recently released even more life events to target your customers online and expanded this targeting option to the Display Network. In this post, we're sharing what you need to know.

Google’s new life events

When Google first introduced life event targeting, it allowed advertisers to target user whom were about to our recently experienced three kinds of life events: college graduation, marriage, and moving.

Today, Google’s introducing four new major life events for advertisers to target within their campaigns.

Purchasing a new home
Business creation
Job change
Let’s talk about each of these major life events and how this affects your Google Ads accounts.

1. Purchasing a new home

Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases you'll make in your life. But it can also takes of research, planning, and browsing online before you make that big purchase. Real estate advertisers know too well that it can be difficult to convert searchers in their industry and it can be tough to find users ready to make the big move—and this new targeting is a dream for these clients.

Beyond buying a house, this audience will also likely be in the market for a mortgage and financing, insurance, moving services, new furniture, and all the comforts they’ll need to fill their new home. Savvy marketers from many industries may want to target this audience while they’re all ready to make big purchases.

You can also target current homeowners or renters within your campaign’s detailed demographic settings. By layering these audiences together, you can segment users between first time homeowners and those purchasing a second or new home.

2. Business creation

B2B advertisers will rejoice over this new targeting! Starting a business is no small feat and certainly not just one action. People who are starting a new...

Number of Total Worldwide Registered Domains Updated: Jan 18 2020