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6 Super Effective Ways to Up Your Video Email Marketing Game
Video and email go together like ketchup and eggs. Some people love it, while others are a bit confused by the concept. Personally, I’m a fan—of both! Adding a little acidity from the tomato-based ketchup to a nice scramble hits the spot every time, but I can understand the controversy. Ketchup is traditionally paired with burgers and fries, so grabbing that squeeze bottle for breakfast breaks up that routine. If you’re looking to get out of your everyday marketing routine and spice things up, exploring the use of video outside of YouTube channels and social platforms may be the way to do just that.

We all know how effective and captivating video is in marketing. According to HubSpot, 87% of businesses use video as a marketing tool in some capacity. If you are one of those marketers who has played it safe with video keeping your content limited to website landing pages and social platforms, it’s time to marry these two beautiful marketing tools.



What is video email marketing?

Video email marketing does not necessarily mean that your email receivers will be playing videos without leaving their inboxes. In fact, marketers often use video email marketing in the capacity of linking a video thumbnail image within an email to a landing page where the video lives.

“Due to spam and security reasons, embedded videos are not supported in email across most major email clients,” says HubSpot.

The other thing to consider if you are trying to go the technical route of embedding a video directly into your email is that it might not work for all email receivers and could default to your fallback image (assuming you have one set-up). In order to be safe, it’s easy and effective to create a video thumbnail image, paste that into your email, and link the entire image to a landing page where your video lives.

Here’s an example of an email I received from America’s Test Kitchen of what this looks like:



While that image might look like a video, it’s actually an image with a fake play button that links to a gated landing page that requires me to sign up for a course to access the video content.



Why is using video in email effective?

Did you know that the average office worker receives 121 emails per day? What could be a better way to stand out from the noise then incorporate some engaging video content into these emails? But...
How to Use Google Ads for Account-Based Marketing
Over the last few years, account-based marketing (ABM) has become a big buzzword in the digital marketing industry. A lot of B2B and SaaS companies—especially those going after the large and enterprise-level accounts—invest heavily in ABM platforms that allow them to target potential prospects with custom messages and content through various marketing channels.



However, some marketers don’t consider making Google advertising a part of their ABM mix. How so? With account-based marketing, advertisers want to serve unique ads and messages to specific companies or decision-makers. With Google Ads, you can’t control who searches and clicks the links or follows the banners. Even with Google’s various audience-based and geographic targeting options, it is still impossible to narrow down the targeting to very specific Google users. Therefore, ad networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, programmatic networks, or demand-side platforms (DSPs) look more appealing for ABM strategy because they can target and deliver ads to specific people or by industry, company, and job title.

The truth is, not including Google Ads in your account-based marketing strategy is a huge missed opportunity.

Account-based marketing is a complex marketing operation that requires you to choose the target accounts, use predictive analytics, select paid advertising platforms, serve highly customized ads linked to personalized content, and track the activities in the lead/sale funnels. Buying an ABM platform or building an ABM strategy in-house is a big investment. Without web traffic, your ABM strategy is like a luxury car with no gas. That’s where Google Ads come in. Google advertising—with its options including search, display, video, and remarketing ads—can be the top source to drive traffic to your site and get your ABM process brewing.

Fueling an ABM strategy with Google search

When you’re going after large organizations and specifically trying to influence the decision-makers and end-users for your products and services, it can be really tricky, since there are often hundreds and even thousands of people with similar job titles in each company. Many of those people will end up on your site after performing a Google search. A click and visit to your site from a Google search ad can reveal a lot of information about the visitor, including what they originally searched for....
3 Ways to Leverage Data for Creating Popular Content
Content planning is essential for
establishing a profitable online presence for your business.



It often seems like a no-brainer, too. You
understand your market, so how hard can it be to guess the kind of content they
want to see?



Unfortunately, it’s almost always a lot more difficult than that. The companies that regularly create the kind of popular content that results in impressive ROIs are also the ones that know how to use data to do so.



Why Data Has Become Essential to Creating Popular Content



Content marketing is more important than ever. Companies that show up most often in search results enjoy an ongoing source of potential leads which can last for years after the content was actually created.



However, content marketing takes time to
produce these kinds of results.



According to Maria Mora, you shouldn’t expect any results until “around six months into your inbound marketing efforts.”



In his book, Content Inc., the founder of the Content Marketing Institute, Joe Pulizzi, estimated it would take longer: “it takes 15 to 17 months of consistent content creation and content marketing distribution to reach monetization.”



Either way, that’s why you can’t afford to “wing it” with content creation. The more tries it takes to get your content right, the longer you’ll have to wait for that ROI.



Data will tell you what works best on search engines and social media, both of which are sources of traffic no company should be without.



Furthermore, data has never been more accessible. A decade ago, the kind of research we’re about to discuss wasn’t possible for the vast majority of businesses. Today, the increased accessibility to data means a more level playing field. It also means no company can afford to forego this advantage as more and more of their competitors leverage it.



3 Ways You Must Use
Data for Successful Content Planning  



Popular content will both generate greater
amounts of traffic for your website and help
you build the kind of authority that makes conversions much easier.



Fortunately, creating the kind of
data-driven content that’s now required for these kinds of results only takes
three simple steps:



1. Understand What Brings Your Market to Google



Every company should invest in a successful blog that both attracts traffic and establishes authority. Fortunately, using the right data can...
11 Creative Strategies for Facebook Ad Targeting After the Changes
A while back, one of our blog readers posted a comment asking for targeting guidance in their industry. As an in-house acquisition marketer, I love a new challenge and opportunity to think outside the box when it comes to targeting. So, after responding back to this visitor, I had the idea for my next blog post: recommending creative targeting options for a variety of industries.



To get started, I enlisted the help of the one and only Conor Bond. I asked him to challenge me with 11 industry and target audience combos to find creative, effective targeting strategies to work around Facebook’s recent changes. And from there, I plopped down into my bean bag and got to digging through audience manager.

Before we get started, let’s do a quick recap of the state of Facebook advertising:

Potential reach: Recent studies show that there are 2.32 billion monthly active users on Facebook. Now that’s a whole lot of reach—and a whole lot of potential for advertisers to reach the wrong audience.
Advertising: Facebook reported an advertising revenue of $9.16 billion in the second quarter of 2017, a 47% year-over-year increase.
Targeting: Despite the changes to Facebook’s targeting options over the past year, there are still so many options for advertisers to find their target audience.
Within these targeting options, there are three types of audiences:

Custom audiences
Lookalike audiences
Core audiences
Since I am not able to get in the back end of each reader’s analytics account or CRM data, I will only be providing core audience recommendations throughout this post. However, I highly recommend that all Facebook advertisers leverage custom audiences and lookalike audiences for targeting in their campaigns.

Okay, now that we’ve done some housekeeping, let’s take a look at new Facebook targeting strategies for these 11 industries looking for these 11 specific audiences.

1. Automotive industry: People in the market for new cars

According to a study from Autotrader, car buyers spend 59% of their car buyer’s journey researching online. This means that this audience is likely to engage with pages posting content that helps with car research. To capture this behavior, I would recommend leveraging interest targeting toward company pages that fall into this category. Here are a few I came up with:

Interests → search for

Kelley Blue Book
Autotrader...
Bing Ads Rebrands, Facebook Tests Hybrid Interface, & More Recent News
Welcome to another edition of our online advertising news round-up—the recurring feature where we break down what’s been going on in the worlds of search, social, ecommerce, and more. Let’s get into it!

Bing Ads rebrands as Microsoft Advertising

In a move reminiscent of last summer’s shift from AdWords to Google Ads, Bing Ads has officially rebranded as Microsoft Advertising.

Almost exactly one year after the introduction of the Microsoft Audience Network (MSAN)—a native advertising solution that enables you to reach prospects across Microsoft’s web properties according to search behavior, demographic information, professional characteristics, location, and device type—Microsoft has deemed the Bing Ads brand too narrow given the range of advertising products the tech company offers in addition to search.



An example of a Microsoft audience ad.

Say what you want about them following in the steps of Google—the decision makes sense. Across MSN, Outlook, and Microsoft Edge, Microsoft connects marketers to millions of users. Plus, thanks to a partnership with Verizon, Bing advertisers have exclusive rights to paid media on Yahoo! and AOL. And how could we forget the rapidly rising value of LinkedIn user data?

Although search remains table stakes for businesses hoping to grow via digital marketing, the importance of other channels has become increasingly clear. Generally speaking, being there only when a prospect is actively searching for a solution isn’t going to cut it. Rather, you need to meet consumers at every stage of the funnel—making them aware of your brand at the very beginning and staying at the tops of their minds as they make their way down.

Microsoft offers the necessary tools, and this rebrand reflects exactly that. With the ability to target consumers according to previous online behavior, geographic location, job title, and tons of other parameters, you can both confidently introduce yourself to cold audiences and tactfully remarket to those who’ve shown an interest in your product or service. Plus, because Microsoft audience ads leave room for visual imagery, you can build the differentiated brand you’ll need to win conversions from prospects in the final stages of their buyer journeys.

Bing advertisers have access to all these capabilities as of right now, and more tools will roll out as the year goes on. Within a few months...
CTRL+ALT Digital: Scaling a Small Agency Team
Although running a business of any kind requires overcoming a variety of obstacles, you’ll find in most industries a single challenge that pretty much everyone agrees is the biggest one.

For ecommerce businesses, it’s finding a way to succeed in a landscape increasingly dominated by Amazon and Walmart. For professional sports teams based in Los Angeles, it’s getting people to care that they exist. And for digital marketing agencies, it’s winning new clients.



More specifically, the predominant challenge faced by digital agencies today is winning new clients at scale—growing the number of clients you serve at a higher rate than the number of people you employ. Whether you offer a full suite of services or focus solely on SEM, any agency that’s unable to scale is doomed to either starve (succumb to insufficient revenue) or drown (succumb to unbearable costs).

None of this is lost on Jen Stafford, co-founder and CEO of the full-service, Jacksonville-based shop known as CTRL+ALT Digital. She sat down with WordStream’s Kim Castings to talk about the work her company does and the challenges that come with building it from the ground up.

Let’s take a closer look at CTRL+ALT Digital and their approach to scaling successfully.

Small team, immense value

When you sign a contract with CTRL+ALT Digital, you’re not simply buying a run-of-the-mill service. You’re investing in a partnership with a tight-knit group of digital marketing experts.

Although the company is young—Jen and Chief of Technology Tina Bobango founded it together in early 2018—the aggregate experience among its ranks is nothing short of remarkable. Jen and Tina each bring over a decade of digital marketing experience to the table and now employ a small number of senior-level team members.



This is Jen.

That’s right—the CTRL+ALT Digital team is small. Considering they offer everything from search engine marketing to mobile app development, it’s a pretty impressive machine they’ve got running down there in Jacksonville.

The breadth of the services they provide their clients speaks to what I said earlier about investing in a partnership. If Jen and company dedicated themselves solely to PPC, they could collectively crank out a lot of projects in a short period of time. But that’s not what they’re interested in doing. Instead, CTRL+ALT Digital is built to make long-term,...
13 Must-Know Sound Bites from #HeroConf 2019 (And Why You Should Care)
The biggest names in the industry. Crowds of people losing their minds at every stage. Kanye West screaming into a microphone about nothing in particular.

No—I’m not talking about Coachella. I’m talking about Hero Conf.



I went to Hanapin Marketing’s eighth annual US conference to learn from the best and brightest minds in PPC—including WordStream's own Navah Hopkins and Mark Irvine! Here are the 13 most brilliant sound bites I heard.

(Disclaimer: I’m only a man. I wasn’t able to attend the majority of the sessions at the conference. I’m certain that every single speaker dropped some serious knowledge, and I’m sorry that’s not reflected here.)

1. Isadora Coelho (Facebook Blueprint)

Representing Facebook Blueprint—the educational brand that Facebook created to train and certify business owners and digital marketers in all things Facebook advertising—Isadora kicked off the conference with a keynote address about ad delivery.

That sounds boring as hell. Trust me when I say that it wasn’t.

During the lead-up to the meat of her presentation—which focused on the ad auction, bidding strategies, and advertiser controls—Isadora had this to say about Facebook’s approach to ad delivery:


“At Facebook, when it comes to ads, we’re always trying to maximize value both for businesses and for people.”


I think it’s essential for anyone who’s running (or considering) Facebook ads to understand what Isadora is saying here. Facebook, not unlike the Federal Reserve of the US, has a dual mandate: keep advertisers happy by driving returns on their ad spend and keep users happy by delivering relevant content.

In other words, you have no chance of winning the ad auction if your ads aren’t relevant to the users you’re targeting. If you segment your campaigns according to funnel stage and craft your ads accordingly, you’ll give yourself a much better chance of beating your competitors and driving returns on your Facebook budget.

2. Akvile DeFazio (AKvertise)

The founder of the California-based social media marketing agency AKvertise and a regular contributor to the WordStream blog, Akvile used her session to give us insights into the social network that’s been taking over the world for a while now: Instagram.



Via @michellemsem

The conventional wisdom is that, unlike search engine users, social media users are passive—that is, not actively looking...
The 5 Survey Emails That Will Upgrade Your Marketing
There’s a reason top marketers send survey emails so frequently — they work.

Survey emails can decrease unsubscribes, increase engagement, and help you sell more products or services.

Learn about the 5 survey emails that will make your marketing much more effective.

AWeber makes it ridiculously easy to send surveys to your audience. We have 4 ready-to-go email templates waiting for you in our Drag and Drop Email Builder. Start your 30-day free trial to try them out.
1. The welcome email survey
Getting feedback from your audience is so important that many experts include a survey or question in their first email — the welcome email.

Related: How to Write the Perfect Welcome Email

Matt Kepnes, founder of travel company Nomadic Matt, surveys his audience in his welcome email. He asks subscribers to click on a link to tell him where they want to travel.

After they click, he sends them personalized travel advice that matches their choice. For example, if a subscriber chooses Europe, he sends them content exclusively about Europe.



You can even survey your audience by simply asking them to reply to your email. In the message below, Ann Handley, the Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs and an AWeber customer, asks her audience to respond to her email to let her know what they want to learn.



Pro tip: To encourage more subscribers to complete your survey, keep the survey short. One to five minutes is a good range. In your email, mention that it will only take a few minutes to complete the survey.
2. The pre-launch survey email
You could spend hours creating a product or service only to find out your audience doesn’t like it. To avoid this, send a pre-launch survey email to ask your audience’s opinion.

For example, this survey email from The Path asks subscribers to tell them what kind of new products they’d like.



Pro tip: In your survey email content, explain how you’ll be using the feedback you receive from subscribers. This can get more people to complete your survey.
3. The post-purchase email
Want to know what your customers think of your product or service after they purchase? Send them a survey.

In the email below, Old Navy thanks subscribers for purchasing and asks them to complete a 5-minute survey to share their feedback. In exchange, they offer them a 10 percent discount on their next purchase.



Pro tip: Incentivize subscribers to...
What Marketers Can Learn from 5 Timeless Psych Experiments
What can an experiment conducted about a century ago involving a scientist ringing a bell while feeding his dogs teach you about marketing?

How about a Volkswagen experiment in which people are made to use a piano staircase instead of an escalator?



These experiments all tap into the basic, primal nature of humans to get people to act in ways they ordinarily wouldn’t. More importantly, the same principles used in these experiments can be used to design your marketing strategy for maximum impact. Here are five marketing lessons you can learn from timeless psychology experiments.

Lesson #1: Use positive social proof

In 1951, famed psychologist Solomon Asch devised an experiment to see how group pressure impacted decision making. For this experiment, he recruited 50 male students from Swarthmore College to participate in a vision test.

The experiment was set up, however, in such a way that a participant was put in a room with seven confederates who had agreed in advance about what their response to the test would be. Each participant had no idea about this and assumed that the confederates were also participants.

The people in the room were shown a target line and another A, B, or C line for comparison. Each person in the room then had to say out loud which of the lines they believe to be the target line.



By design, the confederates got to answer first while the real participant always answered last.

Asch found that the answer the confederates gave significantly influenced the answer of participants. There were 18 trials, and the confederates were instructed to give the wrong answer in 12 of them, called “critical trials.” In these critical trials, Asch found that 75% of the participants chose the clearly incorrect answer at least once.

After the experiments, participants admitted that they answered incorrectly because of the group—they didn’t want to stand out or be ridiculed. Some even said they believed that the answer given by the group must have been correct.

How to use this in your marketing strategy

“Groupthink,” “herd mentality,” and the “bandwagon effect” are all terms you’ve probably heard at one time or the other. They all refer to the same phenomenon: People are likely to conform to the idea of the majority—of people in the same group or of people they believe to be similar to themselves— when making decisions....

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