But Black Friday isn’t just a day for queuing outside of packed shopping centers and fighting through aisles to grab the last deals on quickly emptying shelves anymore. As bargain hungry shoppers continue to take their hunt online, they have changed the nature of this shopping phenomenon. For starters, it’s no longer just one day: it’s Black Fiveday.
In 2014, US retailers including Radio Shack and JCPenney started opening their stores at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Since then, the Black Friday period has continued to expand. It is now commonplace for retailers to continue their sales over the weekend and through the first Monday after Thanksgiving, now commonly known as “Cyber Monday.” Cyber Monday is quickly becoming one of the most significant days of the year for ecommerce sales across the world, with shoppers flocking from the stores to their screens to grab last-minute deals. This marks the end of the Black Friday craze, hence the period of the five-day sales now referred to as Black Fiveday.
With the Black Fiveday period falling a week earlier than in recent years, there is no time like the present to get preparing. Follow these five simple tips to get your search campaigns ready for the Black Fiveday madness.
1. Plan Time and Bid Adjustments
While typically seen as best practice for any paid search campaign, ad scheduling may interfere with your performance potential over the Black Fiveday period. With many advertisers dropping bids during evenings and over the weekend, and some completely excluding activity altogether, the last thing you want is to not be eligible to appear for relevant searches during these five days. Give your ad schedule a once-over and ensure you are taking advantage of the unconventional buyer behaviour.
Similarly, you should consider time and day bid increases. Peak hours occasionally differ during the Black Fiveday period. For instance, the average peak hour for traffic and sales in the UK and Europe in 2017 was 4 p.m., meaning that usual lunchtime peak you typically see on Fridays may not be...
On any given day, a content marketer might spend time researching content, developing an audience persona, chatting about trends with influencers, or calculating traffic with Google Analytics. There are daily tasks, weekly tasks, monthly tasks, and campaign-specific tasks to keep in mind.
So, to help organize the chaos and provide a useful roadmap, we designed an infographic!
If you work alone on projects, this process might help you plan enough time for each step and avoid getting bogged down somewhere in the middle.
If you work with a large team, it might help you to better understand what your colleagues do.
Remember that the audience segments, content channels and content formats will vary from company to company. These are just examples to get you started. In any case, we hope it makes you more efficient and effective!
If you are ready to start a new project, check out our post about choosing content topics that will resonate with your audience.
Of course, we’d love any thoughts you have about how we could improve our diagram to accurately reflect the content marketing process.
The post Content Marketing Process Explained [INFOGRAPHIC] appeared first on BuzzSumo.
Cost per acquisition, which measures the aggregate cost to acquire one paying customer on a campaign, is one of the most important metrics to watch in PPC.
We previously shared five ways to lower your CPA:
Lower your bids
Find more specific keywords to target
Increase your Quality Score
Analyze your offer types
Qualify with your ad text
Here, we delve into five more methods you can use to improve your account. Ready? Let’s go.
1. Review your locations
One of the most common causes of wasted spend is non-converting locations. While it might be tempting to target as many locations as you can, targeting too broadly often means showing your ads to uninterested audiences and paying for unqualified clicks. You can be a lot more methodical about location targeting by observing your geographical data at a granular level. This way, you’ll discover opportunities to immediately reduce wasted spend.
Simply log into your Google Analytics dashboard, and check the Goal Conversion Rate for each location. For example, if you’re targeting the US, you can sort out the best and least converting states.
Here, Wyoming and Vermont have the highest conversion rates for this goal, but California drives the most traffic. In this example, you can choose to dive even deeper into the data by checking the best and least converting cities or metro areas for more insight.
Once you have identified your least converting locations, you can either completely turn off ads or reduce the bids for these areas considerably.
2. Maintain high Quality Scores, always
Despite the arguments over the role of Quality Scores in PPC, we continue to see evidence that high Quality Scores are key not only to better-performing ads in general but also lower CPAs. Larry Kim has argued that optimizing for Quality Score is the same as optimizing for CPA and provides clear evidence to support this by analyzing CPA data from hundreds of WordStream client accounts. As the diagram below shows, Larry found that the CPC decreased as quality score increased.
Even without a graph, it’s not difficult to figure out...
Optimizing your local SEO means more website traffic, leads, and conversions since the strategy is more relevant to your base of local customers. Think of this focused strategy as a way to help you compete more effectively against larger national brands that have unlimited resources to spend. By focusing on specific local-SEO to-dos, you can neutralize the advantage of bigger brands that routinely optimize for broader keywords and rely on brand recognition, instead of value propositions, to bring in traffic.
Further, 35% of all search traffic is local according to an estimate in a 2017 ReviewTrackers’ study. Without local SEO, your business could be losing out on a significant amount of traffic.
Here are the top 10 ways you can make your local SEO successful.
1. Create and Optimize Your Google My Business Account
To get started, you need to claim your business on Google My Business. This establishes your presence, for free, on the search engine, and it means your business will also show up on Google Maps. Not only will your business appear in search results on all devices, but, if Google authenticates your business as legitimate, it could also surface in the valuable sidebar space of a Google search.
Image from Google My Business
To optimize Google My Business, ensure that you:
Verify your listing
Provide accurate and up-to-date information
Include your logo, hours of operation, acceptable payment methods, the product or service you sell, and plenty of images
Encourage your customers to review your business online
Respond sincerely to customer reviews
Create content within your account with Google Posts
2. Get Regular Reviews from Happy Customers
Getting your customers to write glowing reviews for your business doesn’t just optimize your Google My Business presence; it also encourages more local customers to buy from you. BrightLocal’s 2017 Local Consumer Review Survey reveals that 85% of customers believe online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Image from Yola
In fact, I have a bunch sitting unopened in my inbox right now. The sender is hoping to catch my attention, so we can work together in a way that grows their business.
But here's the cold, hard truth: I won't reply to the majority of these messages. I'll put most in my trash folder.
The Most Important Lesson of Sending Outreach Emails
When I first started out in sales 15 years ago, my outreach emails were also ineffective at driving action. I was wasting my time writing messages that ended up in people's trash folders.
That was, until I learned one important lesson: The true goal of any email outreach is to build meaningful relationships with the person you’re hoping to contact. It isn't to bombard them with offers until they magically decide to purchase from or collaborate with you.
Once I realized this, my outreach emails started to get opened. Since then, I've scored business opportunities with everyone from startup founders to Fortune 500 executives. I’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t.
That's why I put together relationship-building email templates inside our product at Close.io. These templates help hundreds of thousands of sales professionals increase their open rates, start more conversations, and drive more sales.
So whether you’re looking to secure a spot as a contributor for a major online publication, book yourself on someone else’s podcast, or land your next big client, outreach emails are a necessity in today's business world. Follow my 5 tips below to learn how to effectively write them so they don't end up in someone's trash folder.
(Heads up: An outreach email is different than email marketing. You send an outreach email to a single recipient who has no prior relationship with you. Email marketing, on the other hand, is a message sent to a mass audience that has opted-in to receive your content.)
1. Use mutual connections
Did you know that 92 percent of people trust referrals and recommendations that come from people they know?
When sending outreach emails, remember that you’re probably not the only one emailing with a similar request. (Let alone the only one pitching them that very same day.) So whenever possible, leverage your personal or professional connections who have a more direct...
“My feelings about newsletters are strong. It’s the one enduring place that we have as marketers, and it’s the place where conversations are most intimate,” Handley says, noting that subscribers voluntarily opt in to your newsletter and choose to receive your emails. “[Newsletters] are 100% effective and they’re still the backbone of so many content marketing efforts."
Yet, in 2017, she sent only four newsletters. She missed talking directly to her audience on a regular basis.
That's why she knew it was time to approach her newsletter differently. Handley wanted something she was excited to send, and that her subscribers would be excited to open.
So in January 2018, Handley unveils her TotalAnnarchy newsletter. It was unlike any other email she had sent before.
And it's one of our must-read newsletters.
During my interview with Handley, she explains the format of her revamped newsletter, how to gauge if your newsletter is successful, and her writing process for crafting effective emails fast.
What is TotalAnnarchy?
TotalAnnarchy is sent every other week, and it's filled with curated content for marketers, writers, and content creators.
Handley begins each TotalAnnarchy email with a long-form essay on one topic — like Mr. Rogers, the words people hate, and even her battle with the squirrels who are eating her tomato plants. She follows this essay with content pieces she thinks are worth sharing that week, like the most common grammar mistakes people make.
Each newsletter is riveting, valuable, and beautifully written.
How to determine if your newsletter is successful
Every great newsletter helps its subscribers. It educates, amuses, or provides some kind of value. But how do you know if your subscribers are actually finding value in your emails? Email analytics and qualitative data (like responses from your subscribers) can help. For Handley, there are four email health indicators she examines to determine if her newsletter was a success on a given week:
1. Welcome email responses
When someone subscribes to...
“Authoritative research and reference content are the two types of content that consistently get links and shares.” –Steve Rayson, BuzzSumo Director and Co-Founder
The takeaway: Publishing original research is a substantial opportunity for marketers right now.
We recently partnered with BuzzSumo to study if and how marketers are using research, and we found that approximately half of them are. Another quarter (26%) have not conducted research but are considering doing so in the next 12 months.
The bad news? Those who are considering research think the biggest challenge will be understanding how to approach a project like this.
Publishing your own survey-based research is time-consuming, in part because it’s a multi-step process, but also because it is a new “muscle” for many marketers. But, you can do this if you educate yourself on the process.
During a recent webinar with BuzzSumo I shared key results from our joint research and answered the most common (and challenging) questions we tend to hear from survey respondents and those we talk with who are considering or conducting research.
If you prefer a more detailed version, you can view the webinar on this topic or check out the slides.
To check the performance of research content in your industry, use BuzzSumo’s Most Shared section to search for the topics you write about. Add the word “Research” to your content topic.
Common Questions About Original Research, Answered!
What is involved in an original research project?
All research projects go through 4 stages:
Strategy and planning: Similar to what you would do at the start of any new project, answer key questions such as why you are conducting research, what topic you want to cover, and how you’ll use the research.
Data science: When you conduct survey-based research, you need to decide which questions to ask (and how to ask them); program and test the survey; get responses and analyze the data.
(Note: This is where marketers have the most questions because this is where they have the least experience. Many of the questions below focus on data science.)
Research journalism: Next, you need to create the...
Seasoned entrepreneurs don’t build a product until they know how they plan to sell/market it.
Seasoned content marketers shouldn’t build an epic piece of content unless they know how it will reach a wide audience. — Henley Wing, Co-Founder, BuzzSumo
I decided to ask 13 content marketing experts to share their strategies for promoting content. I also got them to reveal their biggest challenge with promoting content. Read on for their insightful responses.
How to promote content before hitting publish
Several themes emerged in the advice from these experts. Here’s a quick summary:
Know your goals
Work with influencers
Do your homework
Define your audience
Get buy-in from clients
Michael King, Digital Marketing & Lead Generation Consultant
1) What are some ways to plan content promotion before you hit publish?
Certainly it depends on the goals and the type of content, but one of the most common ways to is to leverage Snip.ly to promote content.
We plan out influencer outreach, sharing wireframes and ideas before a piece of content is launched. We want to get buy-in and convince people to link to or share the piece even before it’s done. Additionally, we identify similar content types and the people who shared them using BuzzSumo and a number of other social listening tools.
2) What’s the biggest challenge you face in promoting content?
It’s never a question of buy-in from clients for us because we wouldn’t be able to create something if it they hadn’t bought into it. Boring industries represent opportunities to me since there’s not much cool stuff already in existence in that space. Typically the biggest challenge is lack of budget. Clients see content marketing as a
largely organic function, and they are leery of putting paid media into it. Therefore we have to do all of the leg work through outreach of some kind. Launching content works a lot better when you have a Paid, Owned and Earned strategy to support it.
Simon Penson, Founder of Zazzle Media
1) What are some ways to plan content promotion before you hit publish?
We do a huge amount of work in the planning phase. That starts with...
According to Edison Research, podcasts are becoming increasingly popular. The ‘share of ear’ on mobile devices is almost tied between traditional radio and podcasts.
Even though we are not yet ready to let go of the text-based article, there is a noticeable online trend toward an equitable balance between written words and audio content.
Why choose audio content for your content marketing strategy?
There are many reasons for a marketer to choose to create audio content.
Firstly, the traditional visual and text-based genres aren’t enough to drive engagement in 2018. To succeed in a saturated content landscape, where overall shares have fallen by 50 percent, marketers need to think outside the text box to drive engagement.
Audio content makes sense because it’s second only to video as people’s preferred format, according to Activate. The average American consumes five hours of video each day and two hours of audio content.
BuzzSumo can help you determine if your audience is interested in audio content.
See the Most Popular Podcasts for an Industry
Activate also found that people spend seven hours a day on non-work related activities. With limited free time, audio becomes even more important because people can listen to podcasts and audio courses when they are doing something else — running, walking, at the gym or doing house chores.
Video content, because it requires two senses instead of just one, is more limiting.
So, audio content drives engagement and (or even because) it’s easy for your audience to use while multi-tasking.
Audio content is also poised to become incredibly lucrative. Three years from now, podcast ad revenue is projected to double: from $237 million in 2017, to no less than $642 million in 2021.
According to a recent study published by IAB, almost two-thirds of listeners admit they are inclined to consider purchasing or researching a product based on podcasts’ recommendations, or ads streamed during the podcasts they love. This includes both podcasts published by marketers and any relevant ads streamed during podcasts.
Finally, according to IAB’s research, audio content has become more relevant...