What No One Talks About When it Comes to Successful B2B Influencer Marketing

Whether you’re just starting to explore B2B influencer marketing efforts or you’re well on your way to putting influencer content in place, there are myriad articles that can help you plot out the major steps to success.

However, many of those articles don’t quite dive deep enough into some of the often overlooked yet oh-so-critical details that happen in between those big steps.

What No One Talks About When it Comes to Successful B2B Influencer Marketing

Sometimes, that understanding comes from experience. In this case, it comes from our experience, and we’re happy to share it so you can avoid common mistakes and missteps along your B2B influencer path to success.

 

You Need More B2B Influencer Meetings Than You Are Thinking

Whenever anyone talks about the process of getting B2B influencer marketing efforts off the ground, they make it sound like all you need is to identify influencers, reach out, agree on the scope and then content magically appears.

walnut interactive demos

While that process is kind of true, it’s also not the whole picture either. It actually leaves out a plethora of meetings.

No one wants another meeting on their calendars, but conducting a lot of the right meetings is essential for B2B influencer marketing success.

Team Communication

Instead of one big meet-and-greet-scoping-contracting-kickoff meeting, schedule smaller, more intentional meetings:

  • Initial meet-and-greet: You’re forming a new business relationship, so use this time to get to know the influencer on a personal and professional level. Talk about what they like to create, what they don’t like to create, the topics they usually cover, their upcoming availability, and overall bandwidth. Also, let them get to know you and/or your team, too.
  • Vision/goal setting meeting: After the meet-and-greet call, come back to the table with some initial ideas and options for how you and the influencer can work together, but make sure there’s room for the influencer to ideate and brainstorm, too. This should be the time you both talk about goals for working together.
  • Formal scoping call: Once you and the B2B influencer are on the same page for the vision and goals, put together a formal scope of work based on your conversation. Be sure to include essential information, like what exactly is being created, when and for how much. Then, go through all of it, together. Make sure any gray area is cleared up and all questions are answered.
  • Official project kickoff: Formally kickoff the project(s) to signify the official start of the scope. Get on the same page about deadlines, assign the main point of contact for the influencer, and set creation expectations. While this seems like it might be over-the-top, it’s also creating a fresh start and giving everyone clear direction on how and when to move forward.
    Regular check-in meetings (as needed): Depending on the final B2B influencer scope, you may want to have weekly, biweekly or monthly check-ins, just to make sure you’re on the same page and give yourselves the opportunity to talk through any details or issues that may come up along the way.

Of course, your meeting cadence and schedule will be completely dependent on what you’re using B2B influencer marketing for and what the scope of engagement looks like. Just be prepared to have a lot more meetings than you might think are necessary.

Also, remember to keep every meeting focused on accomplishing the next steps or a specific set of goals. That way, meetings will never feel excessive and they’ll be more like working sessions instead.

 

Tailor Your B2B Influencer Marketing Ask to the Influencer’s Talents

Not all influencers are writers. Not all influencers are speakers. Not all influencers are social media and content marketing strategists. It’s actually incredibly rare to find a B2B influencer who can do it all, so don’t jump into B2B influencer conversations with the expectation that they can. Instead, tailor your content to their talents.

Marketing Team

While this may seem obvious, it can be hard to remember when you have a big vision and finally find a B2B influencer who is a great match for your goals and organization or get wrapped up in brainstorming.

Of course, you’re going to want them to create all the amazing things and be part of exciting co-creation efforts! They also might feel pressured to live up to those expectations or feel like it’s a deal-breaker if they can’t, so don’t put them out there, to begin with.

Just keep in mind that you likely aren’t the world’s best writer, editor, videographer, speaker, social strategist, and content marketing specialist all rolled into one, so don’t expect your B2B influencers to be the same either.

 

Be Prepared to Get B2B Influencer Content in Other Ways

Let’s say you have tailored the influencer marketing ask to the influencer’s talents, but they don’t have the bandwidth to take on a huge ebook project, or the availability to put together a full webinar, or even the time to put together a blog series. That’s ok because you can get creative with how B2B influencers can create and contribute:

  • Interview B2B influencers: Have them get camera-ready and sit down for an old-fashioned interview. Give them questions that can help you get the content you need to piece together an ebook, a social series, blogs, and more.
  • As a bonus: because they’re camera-ready, you can slice up and reuse the recordings of that interview, with influencer permission, of course.
  • Have them record short-form videos: B2B influencer contributions don’t have to be massive all the time. Simply having a great idea + short-form video can be really powerful. This is exactly what Oracle Marketing Clouds did for their On the Fly series, where B2B influencers recorded short pieces of marketing advice while on the go in airports, train stations, and more.
    Use a staff writer to work with the influencer: Sometimes you might just have to help the B2B influencer get their thoughts out of their head and onto paper, which may take a staff writer working directly with them. In this scenario, have the writer set up multiple working sessions with the B2B influencer. Then, the staff writer can bring the influencer’s own words to life.

Team meeting

Yes, it might be ideal to have B2B influencers create and deliver their own content from start to finish, but that just might not be possible all the time. Thankfully, there are plenty of backup options to still get that great B2B influencer-originated content.

 

Treat B2B Influencers Like a Contractor and a Client

While you may technically be “hiring” a B2B influencer, they don’t work for you. They’re working with you. Instead of viewing the relationship as you hiring someone to create content, look at your B2B influencers more like contractors or clients.

It’s a mutual working relationship that takes a lot of work, and they have other clients and a whole other business of their own to run, too.

Also, B2B influencers are very, very connected to a much larger network, and they know through the grapevine who is great to work with and who they wouldn’t work with again.

Team work

 

Need Help with Making Your B2B Influencer Marketing Successful?

Our team of strategists is here to help you. Contact us today.

 

The post What No One Talks About When it Comes to Successful B2B Influencer Marketing appeared first on Content Marketing Consulting and Social Media Strategy.

Source: convinceandconvert.com

15 Conversion Rate Optimization Tips to Boost Your Rankings

Conversion rate optimization, or CRO, is the process of optimizing your website to increase the completion of a specific action. In most cases, the desired action is an actual sale, but not always.

Desired actions could include demo sign-ups, downloading an asset from your website, trying out a new tool, or signing up for your newsletter. If it helps you grow your business, it’s a conversion—and it can be optimized.

15 Conversion Rate Optimization Tips to Boost Your Rankings

The beauty of these conversion rate optimization tips is they work regardless of your intended conversion method.

 

CRO Tip 1: Add Site Search to Your Website

Up to 30 percent of visitors will use a search box if it’s offered. Unfortunately, nearly 84 percent of companies don’t optimize their on-site search to meet user expectations.

This means if your website doesn’t already include a site search, it’s time to consider adding it.

The main benefit of site search is user experience. However, data from search results can provide valuable insights into user behavior by showing you exactly what they’re searching for.

This information can help you tailor content to meet those needs or add new pages to your site to fill any gaps.

You may even be able to identify users in different parts of the funnel based on the search terms they use. This information can help you to narrow your customer’s most common questions and pain points, helping you tailor the website experience to their needs.

If you use WordPress, you can add a site search using a widget. If you use Webflow, they’ll actually let you customize it. Wix and Squarespace make it easy to add site search as well.

 

CRO Tip 2: Ensure Forms Are Easy to Fill Out

The average form abandonment rate is 68 percent—which means most people won’t finish filling out your form.

Website forms serve many purposes, including newsletter signup, lead magnet acquisition, and product/service inquiry.

Keep in mind: the easier a form is to fill out, the higher your expected conversion rates.

According to Hubspot research, a typical form has about 5 fields on average—and forms that are A/B tested get about 10 percent higher conversion rates.

In my experience, simple is better.

conversion rate optimization tip for forms

This is an example of a simple form I use on my blog. All the user needs to do is enter their website’s URL and the action is complete. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

A few ways to ensure your forms are easy to fill out:

  • make form names clear use proper HTML formatting
  • use relevant sample placeholder text (I used “Your website URL” in the example above)
  • have a distinct and easy-to-local submission button

 

CRO Tip 3: Improve your CTAs

If you want to improve conversions, CTAs are low-hanging fruit. The average CTA click-through rate is just 4.23 percent, but many factors can impact what helps your CTA convert.

For example, if you include more personalization in your CTAs, conversion rates can improve more than three times as much.

Banner CTA buttons A/B testing

 

That’s why you should continually test CTAs to see what works and what needs improvement. You’d be surprised at how quickly user preference can change!

Start by testing these CTA elements:

  • copy
  • colors placement
  • button shape
  • button size page placement

Consider testing different types of CTAs as well. Here’s how CTA types convert, according to a study by Vye Agency:

  1. button CTAs have an average CTR of 5.31 percent
  2. text CTAs have an average CTR of 2.06 percent
  3. designed CTAs have an average CTR of 3.53 percent

When it comes to branding, consistency is key. However, using colors outside of your branding palette for CTAs is worth trying. Colors within your palette might blend in too well with the rest of your site, making them easy for website visitors to overlook.

 

CRO Tip 4: Run User Testing

Poor usability can kill your business. 70 percent of online businesses fail because of poor usability.

If you’re in e-commerce, your conversion rates could increase by 35 percent by just improving the design and flow of the user checkout process.

User testing is the way to get valuable data that can help you get more conversions across your website. So it’s important to get this process started as quickly as possible.

One of the most common ways to run UX testing is with heat maps, which show how users navigate your site and what interactive elements they’re clicking on.

You’ll see if they’re looking at your links, navigation bar tabs, CTAs, and so on. Some heat maps even incorporate eye-tracking software to show where your users look first.

Conversion Rate Optimization Tips - Hotjar heat map

There are several heat mapping tools on the market, but my favorites are Crazy Egg and Hotjar. If you decide to use Hotjar, the process for setting them up is very simple and straightforward.

 

CRO Tip 5: Add More (Better) Social Proof

More consumers than ever read social proof. In fact, 77 percent of users say they always or regularly read online reviews before buying.

Local Consumer Review Survey Review Use Infographic

You want to leverage customer loyalty as often as you can. Why? It’s free marketing and brand exposure. Even better, reviews can drive revenue.

According to Womply, businesses with more than average reviews across earn 54 percent more in annual revenue

It is also easy to create.

Social proof is a simple and great way to leverage user-generated content for your brand. This can include positive reviews and ratings, creative social media posts about your brand shared by customers and influencers, user-submitted content like photography, and more.

The benefit of adding more social proof to your website is it shows other users that other people trust you. Trust and credibility play a big factor in getting more conversions.

To add more social proof, try:

  • Send a follow-up email asking for reviews.
  • Host a contest with a branded hashtag on social media.
  • Include a card with a branded hashtag when shipping physical products.

If you want to do it on a larger scale, consider automated tools like HotFomo and OptinMonster.

 

CRO Tip 6: Add Chatbots or Live Chat

If you have a question, wouldn’t you rather get the answer fast? That’s the idea behind chatbots. No matter how great your customer service is, sometimes call queues to get long.

The good news? Users like chatbots. The average satisfaction rate of chatbots is 87.58 percent. They can also reduce customer service costs. One study predicts chatbots will save businesses $8 billion in customer service costs by 2022.

Chatbot Statistics 15

These tools help your brand build an instant connection with customers, making them more likely to purchase your product or service. Here are a few ways to leverage chatbots;

  • answer FAQ
  • qualify leads
  • suggest related products
  • troubleshoot common issues
  • Share information about new products
  • increase your email list

With so many chatbot options available, it can be challenging to find the right one. I recommend focusing on native channel integrations to narrow your search.

If you want an app with widespread integration options, consider Landbot, which offers chat features through the web, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and API.

Perhaps you just need to integrate with Facebook Messenger? In that case, Chatfuel is an affordable solution.

Make sure that whatever chatbot you choose aligns with your business goals.

 

CRO Tip 7: Review Customer Persona and Adjust Your Messaging

A customer persona is a fictional snapshot of your ideal customer. Personas are commonly used by marketing agencies and businesses to give their target audience a human face. They can help drive leads, increase conversions, and shorten the sales cycle.

According to MarTech, creating a persona can increase email CTR by 14 percent—and conversion rates by 10 percent.

Buyer Personas

The gap between who you think your ideal customer is and your actual customers may be more significant than you think.

For example, if your personas are businesswomen in their early 30s but your customer base is primarily homemakers in their 50s, there’s going to be a massive disconnect in how you approach your target audience.

Here are six steps you can take to make sure you are targeting the right customer personas:

  • Make a list of your highest value customers.
  • Use a customer persona template to create a new persona.
  • Start adding details from your highest value customers.
  • Start with demographics like location, age, budget, education, etc.
  • What channels do your highest value customers use to find you?
  • Add that to your persona as “methods of communication.” Look at the content they consume—what does that tell you about their motivations?
  • Add those to your template.
  • Repeat the process for every product or service you offer.

It’s important to realign your customer personas with your messaging, sometimes as frequently as every two or three months. In some cases, this could mean tailoring your brand approach altogether to connect with the new target audiences working.

 

CRO Tip 8: Use Targeted Lead Magnets

Lead magnets are a free resource (like an ebook or guide) given away in exchange for user data. The most common lead magnets are PDFs or videos, but there are plenty of media types to use.

How to Craft Lead Magnets Your Customers Can't Ignore

The best part? They work.

Fifty percent of marketers say lead magnets increase their conversion rates.

The more targeted your lead magnets, the more effective they are likely to be. The key is to get creative with your targeting.

You could even consider creating some more interactive lead magnets like quizzes or online calculators. According to LeadQuizzes, the average quiz has a lead capture rate of 31.6 percent.

The way you target your magnet will depend on your product or service. For example, if you serve a geographical area, it may make sense to target leads based on location. Other websites might target leads based on industry or how they got to the site.

Here are a few other targeting options:

  1. time on page
  2. type of content
  3. whether they’ve purchased before
  4. industry
  5. customer persona
  6. location
  7. time period (for example, a pop-up for an upcoming event)

Not sure how to add targeting to your lead magnet strategy? These lead magnet tools can help.

Whatever type of lead magnet you decide to create, be sure it aligns closely with your intended customer. Since the goal of lead magnets is to collect user data, you want to make sure the offer is valuable to your intended audience as well as your business.

 

CRO Tip 9: Use Pop-Ups Carefully

Pop-ups have an average conversion rate of 3.09 percent, which makes them ripe for CRO.

I have a love/hate relationship with pop-ups because they walk such a fine line between being beneficial (for you and your customer) and incredibly annoying. However, when done right, pop-ups can be an invaluable conversion tool.

In fact, Marketing 112 increased its conversion rates by 62 percent by adding a pop-up to its website.

First and foremost, your pop-ups should respect universal UX rules. These include fast load times, visible exit options (like the example from Wishpond below), and platform-appropriate size.

There should also be limits as to how often users see the pop-up. For example, a user who bypasses the pop-up once shouldn’t be bombarded with it on each page of your site they navigate.

Conversion Rate Optimization Tips - Use Popups Carefully

When it comes to conversions, keep the messaging short with minimal effort to take the desired action.

You can also implement A/B testing to see how users interact with different versions of the pop-up. This is important for optimizing conversion rates across the board.

 

CRO Tip 10: Check Your Site Speed

If your site loads slowly, all of the conversion rate optimization tips in the world won’t make a difference. In fact, website conversion rates drop by 4.2 percent for each additional second your site takes to load.

Even more surprising? More than 80 percent of sites don’t meet acceptable speeds.

Fortunately, there are plenty of free sites and tools that let you test your site speed and troubleshoot common issues.

PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom are two of the industry leaders in this domain. These tools have been around for years and offer the most in-depth testing and troubleshooting. They first look at contentful paint, time to interact, and total blocking time to calculate your overall score.

Conversion Rate Optimization Tips - Check Your Site Speed

What are some of the most common issues that slow down site speed?

  • render-blocking JavaScript
  • poorly optimized CSS
  • large media files
  • bulky code

While some of these may require a database engineer or developer to resolve, you can usually start to tackle some issues (like large media files) on your own.

 

CRO Tip 11: Recover Lost Sales by Following up on Abandoned Carts

According to the Baymard Institute, the average cart abandonment rate is 69.82 percent. That rate is even higher on mobile where the average shopping cart abandonment rate is 85.65%.

Cart abandonment analytics

Recovering just a fraction of those missed sales could do wonders for your conversion rate.

If the main benefit of CRO is converting users already on your site, then abandoned cart users are the cream of the crop. They actively started the transaction but didn’t complete the purchase.

There may be some obvious reasons for this, such as a discount code no longer being valid or high shipping rates. Whatever the reason, you should always aim to recover the lost sales using (almost) any means necessary.

In fact, if e-commerce sites just fixed checkout usability issues in their process, they could increase conversion rates by 35.26 percent. This translates into more than $200 billion in recovered sales from the e-commerce industry alone.

Here are some other ways you can recover abandoned carts:

  • automated email flow
  • son-site push notifications
  • retargeting ads
  • personal outreach
  • automated social outreach

You don’t want to harass potential customers who have abandoned carts, but you do want them to feel wanted. Sending just one email could help you recover up to 29.9 percent of these sales.

You may want to play with your outreach timelines to find the right approach for your customer base.

 

CRO Tip 12: Make Sure Landing Pages Match Your Messaging

The average landing page converts just 2.35 percent of the time across all industries. If you want to be a top performer in your sector, you should be aiming for conversion rates above 10 percent.

good conversion rate

So, how do you increase your landing page conversion rate?

One way is to ensure the messaging on your landing page matches the ad or copy that brought them there in the first place. This creates a more cohesive experience, showing users that your page is the right fit for what they want. It will also help improve your PPC quality score.

Here’s how to match your messaging:

  • use similar language in your landing page and ad (especially the main keywords)
  • keep branding consistent (include your logo and use brand colors)
  • use a clear CTA on both your ad and landing page

Just imagine how off-putting two distinct messaging styles can be to the user. Imagine if you agreed to a job interview for a tech company and found out it was a restaurant when you arrived. It would feel like a bait and switch, right?

While a difference in messaging between an ad and landing page isn’t quite as off-putting, it’s close. The differences can be jarring and steer users away.

When creating your landing pages and ad copy, make sure you have a clear focus in mind. This would start with your keyword research when you select the target phrase for the page. You can include some secondary keywords on the landing page as well if you plan to use them in your ad copy.

 

CRO Tip 13: Target High Intent Users

High intent users are very close to making a buying decision. According to a report by the CMO Council, 87 percent of B2B buyers say that online content has a major or moderate impact on the vendor they choose.

That means there’s an extremely high opportunity to improve your content to convert these users.

How can you target high-intent users?

As previously mentioned, looking at the internal search terms users interact with on your site is one way to get an idea of content that works. Someone at the bottom of the funnel might be trying to distinguish between different options, so they’ll be looking more closely at shipping timeframes and return policies.

Here are a few other strategies:

Types of Buyer Intent Keywords

  • Add high-intent keywords to your ads and landing pages.
  • Use the information from your internal search to gauge what keywords are and how your customer base interacts with them.
  • Build content that targets customer pain points.
  • You can often identify these pain points with SERP analysis of high-intent keywords.
  • Pay attention to intent data.
  • Contact users who visit your pricing page, return to your site several times, or book a demo but don’t follow up.

High intent users are ready to convert, so don’t leave them hanging.

 

CRO Tip 14: Optimize Your Content

If your content isn’t performing well, it’s time to re-evaluate and optimize it. The first thing to check is title tags.

According to Backlinko’s research of more than 11 million Google search results, sites that include the main keyword in their title tag are far more likely to rank higher.

Content optimization looks at a number of factors including:

For time and efficiency, you don’t have to do all of the above. Instead, research the top 10 results on Google for your target keyword and see how they are structuring their content.

Their approach is clearly having an impact on their ranking and can provide a path for you to improve your search engine rankings.

 

CRO Tip 15: Before You Make Changes, See What Works Now

It’s easy to see all of the things that need to be improved, but what about the things that are working?

There are likely some areas of your website that are already working. For those, look for patterns in what the data is telling you, determine what the essential parts that led to the results might be, and come up with an approach to replicate this across your site.

If you aren’t sure how to approach this yourself, you can hire a professional to audit conversions across your website and highlight what is working well. This process alone could uncover a lot of great things you’ve been doing but probably don’t realize.

The last thing you want to do is a major content overhaul that loses conversions from pages or strategies that are already working.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Conversion Rate Optimization Tips

What is conversion rate optimization?

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of increasing the conversion percentage for a website or mobile application. The aim is to increase the number of people taking the desired action in relation to the number of visits by improving customer experience and testing interactive elements.

What is the most effective CRO strategy?

There’s no one way to approach conversion rate optimization. However, a good CRO strategy will focus on user experience optimization, customer journey analysis, and website performance.

Is CRO different for ecommerce?

The benefits of CRO are the same whether they’re being implemented for an ecommerce site or not. However, the processes may differ slightly. When it comes to ecommerce, the conversion funnel has a larger part to play than it might on a non-ecommerce site.

How can conversion optimization affect your return on investment?

In simplest terms, CRO aims to make the most of the site traffic you already have. By increasing the conversion of your existing traffic, you have the potential to lower your customer acquisition costs.

Conclusion: Conversion Rate Optimization Tips

When you consider the fact that customer acquisition is more than half of the battle, it makes sense to focus heavily on conversion rate optimization.

After all, converting more of your existing website traffic could drastically reduce customer acquisition costs.

You’ll notice most CRO tips focus on improving the user experience and enhancing the customer journey. That’s because they tend to have the most significant impact. However, you don’t have to implement all of these CRO strategies immediately. Think about which will have the most significant impact and test those first.

Which of the CRO tips above do you think will have the most impact on your conversion rate?

Source: neilpatel.com

Google Ads for eCommerce: How to Make Your Website Conversion-Ready

So, you’re eager to run Google Ads for your eCommerce business.

You took all the critical first steps to ensure your business is set up for Google Ads success—your brand identity is rock solid, your budget and time expectations are reasonable, your selling proposition is one-of-a-kind.

The next step? Make sure your website is ready to convert.

Google Ads for eCommerce: How to Make Your Website Conversion-Ready

After all, those precious ad clicks will lead customers to your virtual front door. And we need to make sure that the door is open wide to welcome each visitor before we spend time and money on Google Ads campaigns.

Here’s how we’ll make that happen:

  • Website CRO Best Practices
  • Product Preparation
  • Media (Images and Video)
  • Lifestyle Images
  • Robust Titles and Descriptions
  • Live Chat

 

First Up: Website CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) Best Practices

Customer Journey

Building an eCommerce store isn’t that hard.

Building an eCommerce store that converts? Whew! That is a different story entirely.

Here are some CRO best practices to ensure your site is ready to make sales:

The Big Three:

  1. Website Issues and Errors

You can’t drive traffic to a broken website. So, it’s crucial to ensure you catch any website issues or errors:

  • Frequently (at least once a month) check your site and make sure everything is working properly and there are no high-risk issues and errors.
  • Schedule a website audit at least once a month.
  2. Website Speed

Website speed has a massive impact on your quality score; in fact, it is considered slightly more important than content(!) according to Google. A few things to consider:

  • Mobile users are going to be less tolerant of slower websites due to the smaller size of the device and often slower connection.
  • The biggest contributing factor for slow sites is large image sizes.
 3. Mobile Engagement
  • 60-65% of website visits are done on mobile devices. So ensure your site is mobile-friendly!
  • Look at your conversion path: although many purchases happen on desktop computers, research is often done on mobile devices. In other words, consider each step of your buyer’s journey so you can make it as effortless as possible.

 

Conversion Rate Optimization Checklist

Customer Talk

Now let’s put those best practices into action. First up, run through this CRO checklist to make sure visitors have a smooth journey to purchase from your site:

  • Everything works properly
  • Website is fast (under 2-3 seconds load time)
  • Your email/phone number is in the header or footer
    • Customers need to know they can trust you (i.e. get in touch with you)
  • Website design is appealing to your audience
    • Make sure the design is centered around your product and isn’t a distraction
  • The website has high-quality images
  • Products are described clearly with all features displayed
  • CTAs are in a contrast color (bold!) and easy to find
  • There are reviews on product pages
  • Verification badges (secure payment, BBB, SSL, guarantees, free returns, etc.)
    • This helps improve the trustworthiness of your site and brand
    • Turn anything you offer into a badge (free shipping? Make it a badge! Free returns? Badge! Much more exciting than text)

 

Website Speed Optimization Checklist

  • Choose a “light” theme
    • A good developer can improve your site speed a lot—but make sure you don’t rely too heavily on customization
  • Scale your images properly
  • Decrease the weight of your images without losing quality
  • Limit the number of plugins/apps
  • Limit the number of displayed products on category pages
  • Check-in on your page speed
    • Try PageSpeed Insights
    • Don’t aim for a 100/100 score—just aim for a good user experience

 

Quality Assurance (QA) Checklist:

Customer Relationship Management Software

Include quality assurance checkups in your monthly standard operating procedures to make sure your site is in tip-top shape. You can do this through internal QA and external QA:

Internal QA: Pretend to be your own customer

  • Try to break the site
    • Navigate through your site the way a customer would
    • Gauge how easy it is for a distracted customer to use your site.
    • Ask yourself, “If I weren’t paying full attention, could I still do this?”
    • Make an actual purchase

*You can hire someone to go through your site on Fiverr.

External QA: Have someone else pretend to be a customer

  • Just tell them where you want them to go—but not how to get there

Analyze Top Competitors:

  • What is different between their website and yours?

Pro-Tip! Diagnosing Issues: Screen Recording Software

You can install screen recording software on your site that tracks users’ navigation via heat mapping (note: it will likely slow the speed of your site). This works on desktop and mobile—so for eCommerce sites that aren’t converting, you can use this software to figure out what’s going wrong along the way.

Here are a few notable options:

Keep in mind: You don’t need to use these apps forever. Diagnostic tools are a great way to assess the state of your website and determine any site optimizations or product additions.

 

Product Page Preparation

Your product pages are the most important pages on your website. In most cases, it’s the landing page for your traffic: your very first impression.

Many businesses put tons of energy into optimizing their homepage, yet neglect the product pages customers land on. What’s worse? Smart Shopping can only drive traffic to product pages. So let’s make sure your product pages are ready to shine:

Product Page Checklist

  • Product title and subtitle 
    • Make sure the product title is clear, descriptive, and honest enough for Google to identify the product and send relevant traffic your way (Look at Amazon for inspiration)But avoid “keyword” stuffing! Honesty and simplicity are key
  • Product description
    • Product descriptions are supplementary to your title
    • Use this opportunity to elaborate on the specifics of your product: any particular materials, special  features, ingredients that are worth highlighting but would be too long for your title
  • Product media (images and videos)
    • We purchase with our eyes first
    • Custom imagery is always going to be better than stock photos, particularly lifestyle images that help customers picture themselves using your product
  • Nested navigation 
    • Make sure navigation is clear, easy, and accessible—we don’t want people to get lost
    • Use breadcrumbs so users can always find their way back
  • Social proof (i.e. reviews)
    • Customers buy from businesses they trust—Enter: reviews
    • Aggregating enough reviews takes time, so ask your customers for a review after 30 days of purchasing and give them an incentive or reward for the completion
    • The 30-day rule gives you at least a few days/weeks to resolve any issues—and get a good review for it.
    • Once you have enough five-star reviews, you can add them to your site.
  • Clear call-to-action (CTA)
    • If you don’t tell people what you want them to do they won’t do it
    • A clear, bold CTA nudges your customer to the next step
    • Isolate the action you want them to take: make the CTA a BIG button (not just a hyperlink)
  • Clear customization options
    • If you offer customized products, make sure the options are clear and don’t overwhelm your customers to avoid cart abandonment

 

Product Media

When it comes to adding images to your website, here’s the thing:

You don’t need to be a professional photographer.

In fact, all you need to create high quality images is:

✔ A smartphone (new iPhones or Samsung do a really good job)

✔ A plain white background

✔ Natural lighting

Don’t zoom in.

Don’t use flash.

And edit your photos if you can (check Fiverr or pixc for outsourcing options).

That’s all it takes!

Photography Expert

Remember,  your photos should give context and further showcase details of the product. If your product has a unique feature, it’s best to explain what that feature is in the descriptions and show it in your images.

Overwhelmed by how many products you need to capture? Start with your bestsellers. Make sure each of them has a decent product photo and (if possible) a short video. 5-7 images per product should be enough.

We are visual creatures. High quality product media will close the sale.

 

Product Media Part Two: Lifestyle Images

Speaking of product media, lifestyle images are critical for customers to visualize your product in action.

*Remember: Lifestyle imagery is a photo or video of products being used*

Here are some tips:

✔ Give context

  • Hey, your product doesn’t have to be the “main subject” in the photo. In fact, it could be in the background—like this poor Nespresso machine, competing with George Clooney’s eternal handsomeness:

✔ You can use photos from your Instagram or Pinterest

  • Speaking of Instagram, you can send your product to influencers (for free) in exchange for promotional content on their page
  • Check out imagency.com to find influencers

✔ Shoot a YouTube overview of the product and paste it on your product page

4AA37E2B-1772-4DD6-88BB-694138301933.jpeg

 

Robust Titles and Descriptions

✔ Use the product description to sell the transformation

  • The description sells the TRANSFORMATION, not the product
  • Use the language that your avatar uses but make sure you also include in the right keywords that Google understands

✔ Include specifications

  • Size, material, weight, features

✔ Use the product titles and descriptions to communicate with Google

  • Google relies on product titles and descriptions to identify products and send relevant traffic—so, make sure they are “machine friendly” (clear and easy to understand)

✔ Good descriptions can be repurposed

  • Save some time and energy! Quality descriptions can be loosely reused for other product pages as well as for ad copy

 

Live Chat

We strongly recommend live chat on your website. Here’s why:

✔ Diagnose errors

  • Live chat allows you to compile visitor questions and create content that answers those questions for future customers
  • Add helpful information to your product pages and place them near the top of your page

*Try tawk.to*

*Check out Shopify’s app integration here https://apps.shopify.com/tawk-to*

✔ Identify objections

  • Live chat can give you insight into what holds customers back from making a purchase—what questions do they ask before abandoning their cart? What concerns do they bring up in the chat?

✔ Improve conversion rates

  • Sometimes, all it takes is a little supportive nudge for customers to make a purchase
  • By “being there” through their virtual journey, you have a higher likelihood of making a conversion

 

Get That Website Ready to Convert

I know, I know. I just gave you a lot of homework.

But listen up: I’ll be back with a guide on the next steps of setting up successful Google Ads campaigns—the dreaded technical and legal requirements.

But if you’re feeling extra-eager, you can check out this Google Ads Mastery Workshop.

Or, you can check out my entire step-by-step guide to Google Ads for eCommerce here.

Kasim Aslam

Kasim Aslam is the founder and CEO of Solutions 8, one of the world’s top ranked Google Ads agencies.

Recipient of the Arizona Interactive Marketing Association’s 2017 TIM Award for Person of the Year, Kasim was also named one of the Top 50 Digital Marketing Thought Leaders in the United States by The University of Missouri in 2020.

Kasim was hand-selected as the Traffic Coach for DigitalMarketer.com’s ELITE coaching program by their executive team. He is also the co-host of the long-running podcast, Perpetual Traffic.

His book, The 7 Critical Principles of Effective Digital Marketing, was featured as one of the Top 100 Digital Marketing Books of All Time by Book Authority.

Kasim helped launch the National Association of Child Helplines (NAACH) and worked with the United States Army, Intel, as well as a Gates Foundation-funded nonprofit, a 54,000 member PPO, the largest privately-owned bank in the United States, and an Academy Award-contending documentary.

He lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with his wife and two sons.

 

The post Google Ads for eCommerce: How to Make Your Website Conversion-Ready appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

Source: digitalmarketer.com

Do Links from Guest Posts Even Work? Here’s What We Learned from Analyzing 1,091 Sites That Accept Guest Posts.

It’s frowned upon to build links through guest posts.

If you do, they should be nofollowed and ideally you should be guest posting for brand awareness and referral traffic.

Even though that’s what I follow, it doesn’t mean others do.

Plus, I get hundreds of emails a day asking me if I accept guest posts, hence I know it’s still a popular link building method (although I ignore all those emails).

Do Links from Guest Posts Even Work? Here’s What We Learned from Analyzing 1,091 Sites That Accept Guest Posts.

 

What Kind of Sites Did We Analyze?

First off, not all blogs accept guest posts. So, if a blog didn’t accept a guest post, we clearly didn’t include it in our study.

Second, we looked at sites that clearly labeled content as a guest post or as a post written by a guest author or guest contributor.

Third, we looked at sites that used dofollow links in the guest posts (even though they should have been nofollowed) to see if they had an impact on rankings.

1,000-guest-blog-sites-analyzed-distribution-by-domain-authority

As you can see from the graph above, we looked at sites across different domain authority levels. We wanted to see what impact it had on whether a guest post received traction or not.

We also looked at sites with varied traffic ranges to see where posts might perform best.

1,000-guest-blog-sites-analyzed-distribution-of-traffic-by-domain-authority

As you can see, targeting sites with a domain authority above 90 will likely lead to more traffic. At the same time, those are also the sites that will be hardest to get links from.

 

So, What Did We Learn?

The short answer: guest posts links kind of work and kind of don’t.

guest blog

I know that isn’t a clear answer, but it is if you read the rest of the post. Because there are certain types of guest post links that work and there are others that don’t.

Here are some more insights…

 

Too Many External Links Is Bad

Some guest posting sites link out a lot.

Some don’t link out too much.

Although you shouldn’t be focusing on how many times you do or don’t link out, you should be focusing on providing the best user experience to your audience. If that means including a relevant link to another site in your article, by all means link out.

If it doesn’t make sense, then you shouldn’t.

Look at this chart.

1,000-guest-blog-sites-analyzed-ratio-inbound-links-vs-outbound-links

Now, it’s hard to know for sure if a link received from a guest blog site with more outbound links than inbound links is effective since websites don’t just have 1 backlink. Most websites can have hundreds and, in some cases, millions of them.

Just look at my site NeilPatel.com. Sadly some spammy websites link to me (scrapper sites) and some high authority websites link to me. It’s hard to know for sure what the impact a spammy site link has on my rankings compared to the ones received from high domain authority sites.

Instead, what we could do is look at the number of keywords a guest posting site ranks for. In theory, the more keywords a site ranks for, the better they are since they are liked by Google. I would think that a link from them would be more favorable.

1,000-guest-blog-sites-analyzed-ranking-keywords-per-DA-threshold

What you’ll notice is, generally speaking, the higher domain authority a site has, the more keywords it ranks for. But we already knew that.

When looking at the domain authority range from 0 to 59, you’ll notice that there isn’t a consistent upward trend. That’s because many of the domains from our analysis in this range tended to be sites that were expired or bought-out and are mainly used for guest posting purposes.

Even more interesting. The guest posting sites that had more external links than inbound links all had a domain authority of less than 60.

From this one insight, someone could infer that you should aim to get links from sites who have more inbound links than external links. As in, sites that have higher domain authority.

You should also avoid guest posting sites that exist for the sole purpose of linking out to other sites. These can be considered spam links.

 

The Right Links Help

From all of the guest posting sites we analyzed, we found 14 businesses who were exclusively receiving links from some of the sites we looked at. From these 14 businesses, six of them only received links from guest posting sites with a domain authority of less than 60.

In other words, they didn’t have links from any other sites.

So, we dove into their rankings and traffic.

What’s funny is that these six businesses had little to no rankings or traffic.

Let’s look at the number of page 1 Google rankings they had.

1,000-guest-blog-sites-analyzed-number-of-page-1-google-rankings-under-60-DA-only

Since these six businesses only received links from spammy guest posting sites, we know that each of those sites had more outbound than inbound links. It’s clear that those sites didn’t really serve a purpose other than for guest posting.

The remaining 8 businesses we looked at also had links from spammy guest posting sites but also received links from more legitimate sources too. As in, guest posting sites that had more inbound links than outbound links.

1,000-guest-blog-sites-analyzed-number-of-page-1-google-rankings-all-DA-sites

The businesses that built links from the spammy guest posting sites had, on average, 3.16 page 1 rankings on Google. On the other hand, businesses that also built links from the higher quality guest posting sites as well had, on average, 14.25 page 1 rankings on Google.

Keep in mind some industries are easier to rank for than others and some keywords drive less traffic than others, so not all page 1 rankings are created equal.

At the same time, this trend shows that if you target links from higher quality guest post sites, there is a better chance of ranking on the first page.

 

Conclusion: Do Links From Guest Posts Work?

When I originally said guest posting links can or can’t help it’s because the quality of the link really matters.

When you get links from spammy sites, as in sites whose sole purpose is to link out and don’t get as many links coming in, search engines know this. If this is a practice you have been doing, don’t expect your rankings to go up as much.

On the flip side, if you generate links from higher quality guest post sites, you are going to be much better off.

The goal of this post was to figure out if links from guest posts really help and now we know the answer. However, if you’re going to build links from guest posts than they should be nofollowed and you should be doing it primarily for branding and referral traffic purposes.

Source: neilpatel.com

Essential SMS and Email Tips: 5 Strategies You Can Implement Now [Free Webinar on February 15th]

How important are SMS and email for a company’s success in 2022? Very.

78 percent of marketers say email is an important part of a company’s success.

And texting is quickly becoming another way for businesses to succeed. In fact, a 2021 survey found the majority of marketers reported increased revenue from SMS efforts.

If you are looking for new and innovative ways to engage your customers, adapting custom email and SMS strategies might be the solution you need to grow subscriber lists and improve the customer experience.

Join us on Tuesday, February 15th at 8 am PST for a FREE webinar on 5 No-Brainer SMS and Email Marketing Strategies You Should Implement Today!

Essential SMS and Email Tips: 5 Strategies You Can Implement Now

 

Why Having an SMS and Email Strategy is Important?

By 2024, an estimated 4.5 billion people will use email. When done correctly, email marketing can increase traffic to your website, conversions, and revenue.

What do we mean by “correctly?” We mean following trends, using the latest tools, and relying on data to optimize your emails for opens and conversions.

SMS is also becoming a more effective communication channel. Texts can be used for marketing, to increase revenue, or even to offer quick customer service. In fact, close to 60 percent of consumers check their text messages within 1-5 minutes so they are a great way to get people’s attention.

The click-through rate of SMS is also very high at 19.3 percent, better than email which has a CTR of 4.2 percent, or Facebook ads, which have a 0.05 percent CTR.

You may be wondering how can you get such a high click-through rate with SMS as well, turning those opens into conversions and revenue? Attend our webinar to find out!

 

Who Will Benefit from Attending the Webinar?

Marketers who want to learn insider tips so they can expand their email and SMS skills.Small business owners who want help launching or improving their email and SMS efforts.Blog writers who want to grow their subscriber list.Anyone who wants to improve their SMS or email click-through and conversion rates.

 

What Businesses Do Will Benefit from New Email and SMS Tips?

Marketers, small businesses, e-commerce companies, and B2B organizations alike will all benefit from this webinar. Need proof?

SMS is becoming just as important for all these business models. How it is used ranges from appointment confirmations to sales promotions, to customer service, and everything in between. In case you need more convincing:

About 33 percent of marketers expect to prioritize mobile loyalty programs over the next year.85 percent of customers say they prefer receiving text messages over a phone call or email.64 percent of consumers think that companies who text value their time and are more progressive.

The email and SMS strategies covered in this webinar can be applied to any business model.

 

What You’ll Learn in This Webinar

In this webinar, we’ll first go over some of the top email and SMS trends we see coming in 2022. We will explain what each of them means as well as the impact they can have on you and your business.

Next, we’ll provide five detailed email and SMS tips. For each tip, we’ll discuss why we think it could be a game-changer for your business in 2022 and also provide some examples of how each can be used.

Finally, we’ll walk you through some step-by-step processes you can take to implement each tip and start seeing results right away.

By following the tips you will learn in this webinar, you’ll be in a prime position to grow your subscriber list, create a cohesive email and SMS strategy, and get more conversions from each communication you send. We look forward to seeing you on February 15th!

Source: neilpatel.com

2022 Social Media Prediction: The Year of the Creator

Twitter launched Communities, everyone launched a creator fund, and TikTok became the #1 website in 2021. All of these events and more have built a foundation for the creator economy to take off and shape the future of social media.

2022 Social Media Prediction The Year of the Creator

According to SignalFire, there are over 50 million content creators driving the creator economy, a “class of businesses built by independent content creators, curators, and community builders… plus the software and finance tools designed to help them with growth and monetization (SignalFire).”

The creator economy is the antithesis of the 9-5 cubical grind and overly polished online profiles. After months of lockdown and a global pandemic, consumers are pursuing purpose and looking to creators to provide an authentic escape.

This means several things for marketers:

  1. Niche, online communities are going to grow
  2. User-generated, creator, and authentic influencer content will become a necessity while brand content will continue to decline in reach and engagement
  3. Employee creators and employee brands will be differentiators

Social Listening

 

Niche, Online Communities Are Going to Grow

The rise of niche, online communities and groups is happening across the digital world. On Facebook alone, there are 1.8 billion users utilizing groups with the average user claiming membership to 5 or more groups.

Communities around gaming have skyrocketed with GWI reporting gaming amongst Gen Z has drastically overtaken TV in terms of interests. Google reports a 70% increase in searches containing “online games with friends” while Discord boasts millions of members in their gaming channels.

Oftentimes these communities are built around creators or moderators with immense influence.

Personally, I am part of 7+ communities on Facebook and a handful of groups across other channels. Each group meets a need or desire the others cannot. The groups are relatively small but have an immense influence on buying decisions and other choices I make.

  • #BookTok in TikTok? I have screenshots of 7 books I am going to buy when I get a chance.
  • The $100K Club Facebook group? I opened a Chime high-yield savings account the day Tori Dunlap suggested to
  • Twitter’s Marketing Twitter community? I’m just one of 800 members and growing
  • Reddit’s r/CatsAreAssholes? I have two cats that are jerks and these people just get me

For brands, this means looking at your audience in a new light and asking how you can build an online community, not just a following.

People in a community enjoying eachother's company

 

User-generated, Creator, and Authentic Influencer Content Will Be Essential

Younger generations shape our demand for fashion, products, celebrities, music, media, and more, which is why all brands, including brands with older audiences, should pay attention to Gen Z.

According to PR Daily, 13- to 17-year-olds  are spending 56% of their media consumption time with user-generated content, a huge jump compared to other generations.

Lays-Potato-Chips

This means brands posting too much brand content are going to continue to see decreases in reach and engagement while UGC, creator, and authentic influencer content will become essential for performance.

What do I mean by authentic influencer content? Well, there is a measurable backlash to the pre-pandemic influencers who carefully curated glamour and luxury in each photo.

“If [Gen Z] is a sign of where global consumer sentiment is headed, it’s likely the “polished” curated self we’ve come to know won’t have the same impact it once did; this would clear a path for more diversity and self-expression in the influencer sector (GWI).”

Girls busy on smartphones-mobiles

We are seeing the rise of nano- and micro-influencers and creators because they tend to have smaller, niche followings and a more authentic look and feel.

What does this mean for brands? It means adapting your strategies to include these content types or being okay with declining content performance.

 

Employee creators and employee brands will be differentiators

LinkedIn’s Editor in Chief, Daniel Roth, recently wrote about the rise of the creator employee, which describes the balance between employment and being a creator.

As a marketer in social media, I see friends and colleagues navigate being a creator and employee all the time with mutual benefits to both their employer and their own careers.

For many brands, the idea of employees building personal brands is foreign and concerning but I think the benefits outweigh the risks. Daniel Murray explains it best, “employers are either threatened they will lose that employee, think it’s taking time away from their work, or they are worried about their brand.

But on everything they post, especially on LinkedIn, it has the company they work for [displayed]. So they can see this as free impressions and also as a tool for attracting future talent.”

Here at Convince and Convert, many of our strategists are known in the industry in their own right thanks to their personal brands, which means we win business across industries thanks to those personal brands.

So, what does this mean for brands? I would start with identifying employees interested in creating and then providing them the tools and space to do so.

 

Is Your Brand Ready for the Year of the Creator?

Brands are going to need to look for community building opportunities, ways to significantly increase their external, authentic content, and empower their employees to represent the brand as employee creators.

Start with a simple audit of your social channels. What is your current mix of content types? How can you increase the amount of external, authentic content?

 

The post-2022 Social Media Prediction: The Year of the Creator appeared first on Content Marketing Consulting and Social Media Strategy.

Source: convinceandconvert.com

What We Can Expect from Core Web Vitals in 2022

2021 was a big year for SEO. We saw Google’s rollout of indented results, where sites can have multiple relevant pages shown on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP); its continuous scroll update to mobile search, which automatically loads the next batch of results when users scroll to the bottom of a search page; and its title tag rewrites, where it replaces a site’s title with its H1 tags or other elements.

Were all these changes met with thundering applause? Not quite, but it’s Google’s SERP world, and we’re living — and trying to rank — in it.

Another release that wasn’t an immediate hit was the Page Experience Update, based on Google’s Core Web Vitals metrics.

What We Can Expect from Core Web Vitals in 2022

These new metrics “prioritize” (more on this later) the user experience by analyzing a web page according to three signals:

  • Largest Contentful Paint
  • First Input Delay
  • Cumulative Layout Shift

URLs that pass each Core Web Vitals threshold are supposedly more likely to rank than URLs that don’t, and vice versa. However, Google has seemingly changed its mind over time on how big of impact sites will see and how many thresholds they ought to pass.

Google’s goal with this release? Get site owners to improve their website’s performance. Unfortunately for Google, though, they didn’t take the bait.

 

Core WebVitals Aren’t Going Anywhere

Although it received a lackluster response, don’t expect Core Web Vitals to go quietly into the night. Heading into 2022, we can expect Google to ramp up its importance for ranking.

In fact, I’d wager that there’ll be more of a ranking disadvantage for sites that fail one or two of the thresholds — as opposed to just those failing all across the board, as is currently the case.

MDES 1122 PMB Blog Announcement Blog 1180x400

This means that sites need to start optimizing pages collectively for each Core Web Vitals signal, so they’re not left behind if and when their competitors’ sites begin ranking higher.

Effective marketing requires visibility and reach, and there’s no better option than ranking high on SERPs. This means adhering to Core Web Vitals is a must. But when venturing to do so, it’s best to know ways to optimize sites and what shortcuts to avoid that could hinder a site’s usability.

 

Understanding Each Core Web Vitals Signal

Core Web Vitals essentially put user experience at the forefront by measuring a site’s performance in three parts: visual stability (Cumulative Layout Shift), interactivity (First Input Delay), and loading performance (Largest Contentful Paint).

Let’s briefly define each signal:

  • Cumulative Layout Shift: The maximum change to the layout of a page within a five-second session.
  • First Input Delay: How long it takes from a user’s first click on an interactive element (such as a link or button) to when processing happens on that click.
  • Largest Contentful Paint: How long it takes the largest element on a page to load. Note: the largest element varies, depending on the device used.

 

What Not to Do When Optimizing a Site for Core Web Vitals

Core Web Vitals are supposed to enhance a website for the user experience, but how SEOs go about it can do more harm for usability than good. The metrics for Core Web Vitals are fragile, allowing them to be passed easily even with terrible optimizations.

Mind Mapping

Let’s take these two scenarios:

One way the Largest Contentful Paint threshold can be passed is by making text larger on a page. This metric measures how long the largest element on a screen takes to load — the quicker it loads, the better the metric.

Since text loads faster than an image, making it bigger would allow a site to pass this threshold. But this tactic won’t improve the site’s user experience, and the larger text may be an eyesore to an otherwise visually-appealing site.

Because visuals are essential to marketing, it’s easy to see why this wouldn’t be a good idea.

Another bad optimization example that passes a Core Web Vitals threshold is removing valuable links. First Input Delay measures the time it takes to process a user’s click on an interactive element on a site.

For example, let’s take blog pages, which consist of an image, a title, a summary and a “read more” CTA for each post. Typically, SEOs make both the image and CTA linkable to the full blog post, and users have come to expect it.

If an SEO removes the links from these interactive elements, users will still click them (because they’ll assume they link somewhere), but nothing will happen. The user will eventually find a functioning element, but later than they would otherwise.

Data Labelling

As a result, the clock for First Input Delay won’t start until the page is fully loaded, which will improve metrics for this signal but ruin the user experience in the process.

A crucial part of marketing is putting the consumer first. Configuring a site to adhere to Core Web Vitals while simultaneously slowing down the user experience achieves the opposite. Mindful optimizations are what every site needs to truly care about the user experience.

 

What To Do When Optimizing a Site for Core Web Vitals

There are ways to enhance a website for each signal, although Core Web Vitals haven’t been well received. Consider these options to improving a site for Core Web Vitals:

  • Cumulative Shift Layout: Use facades for late-loading content. Facades hold the place for content that will appear once a page finishes loading. Let’s say a site has product images it’s showcasing on its home page.  Facades will hold their place as they’re loading so that the page won’t get rearranged once they do, because they’re the focal point and probably larger than other elements on a page.
  • Largest Contentful Paint: Drop large elements beneath the fold. This allows more unstable elements, such as embedded content (images, ads, Tweets, etc.), to appear gradually as page loads. If an ad needs to be displayed on a page, leaving it beneath the fold will help improve this metric.
  • First Input Delay: Add interactive elements early on that serve a purpose. If a page has an element that needs to be clicked before users can view a site, it will cause a delay since the page is still loading in the background. One example of this type of interactive element is a cookie preferences overlay.

First Input Delay

 

Pass Every Threshold

Core Web Vitals are here to stay. As we head into 2022, any site that hopes to rank needs to make sure they’re passing every threshold. Not doing so will cause a free fall from the ranks, which no marketer wants.

Threshold

There’s a right way to go about optimizing pages for Core Web Vitals. Once we do, we’ll make the SEO world better for both ranking and user experience.

About the Author:

Tom Capper is the Senior Search Scientist at Moz. He’s a thought-leader with a penchant for challenging industry norms and developing unique SEO strategies and tactics. His focus is on designing new research to help Moz solve complex and technical issues for SEO professionals at every stage in their careers.

The post What We Can Expect from Core Web Vitals in 2022 appeared first on Content Marketing Consulting and Social Media Strategy.

Source: convinceandconvert.com

How to Identify and Win the Right Influencers to Promote Your B2B Product

Influencer marketing has been on the rise for several years now and it is not showing any signs of slowing down.

People trust people they follow, and it is true in both ecommerce and B2B sectors, although it is a bit different in the latter because marketers and salespeople have larger decision-making units to keep in mind when they sell to businesses.

There’s no impulse shopping in the B2B sector (or at least not as much as in retail), so influencer marketing has to rely on long-term relationships between influencers and their target customers.

How to Identify and Win the Right Influencers to Promote Your B2B Product

 

How to Identify and Win the Right Influencers to Promote Your B2B Product

How do you find the right influencers to help you sell your B2B product and how can you turn them into your brand ambassadors?

Step 1: Find the right pitch

Depending on the nature of your B2B product, you are likely to be after several types of influencers, including:

  • Your target company’s employees
  • Your (inactive and current) competitors’ promoters
  • People who post or write on related topics (and may be unaware of solutions yet)
  • Companies that sell matching products (possible partners), etc.

Obviously, you cannot use one generic pitch for all of them. “Hi there, I think you will find our product interesting” is not going to get anyone on board.

There are different ways to make your platform appealing for different types of influencers:

  • Affiliate marketing (i.e., paying a commission to your influencer for each successful sale)
  • Broken link fixing (offering your solution as an update to an article that lists broken or outdated solutions)
  • Free tool access (inviting influencers to use your tool for free), etc.

Finding the right tools to make your pitch more appealing will help you onboard more influencers. Try utilizing your sales demos to demonstrate the power of your product.

sales demo images blog header venngage

Walnut is a great tool to include in your pitch as it helps you create reusable and interactive demos which can be easily customized for each pitch type or even influencer:

Here’s a great guide on how to utilize Walnut to target different types of influencers and decision-makers.

 

Step 2: Focus on the right metrics

In B2B, marketers always know precisely what kind of an audience their product is made for: They know the narrow niche and even the size of the company that would need it.

In this type of laser targeting, finding the right influencers is not about the size of the following or even the amount of content they are producing. They need to find social media users who can influence those few people that can make a buying decision within their target company.

Those social media users may have 10 or 100 followers and even post as rarely as once a month but if their message reaches the right people, they are considered influencers.

Using the right tools to identify these micro-influencers is key.

Linkedin is a great platform to start. It shows you how you are connected to employees of your target company so you can reach out and get introduced to the right people:

LinkedIn Influencer Tool

Another great tool to use here is Buzzsumo which allows you to find people who tweet on a topic of your interest.

Depending on the nature of your B2B business, you can play with smart metrics inside Buzzsumo to find Twitter users who engage with their followers:

Buzzsumo Influencers

Finally, Twitter bio search tools like Followerwonk and (again, Buzzsumo) should be used here as well as they will find you to find people who mention your target company in their bios (as they likely work there):

Followerwonk Influencers

 

Step 3: Research your competitors’ promoters

Another great way to find the right influencers is to identify who is promoting your closest competitors (or, even better, your past competitors who closed their businesses).

This is where good old backlink research is useful. SEO SpyGlass is a great tool to use here as they allow you to clearly see how your competitors are acquiring their backlinks and quickly find backlink gap opportunities — websites that are linking to your competitors but not you.

Another useful tactic to use here is social media monitoring as it will let you stay on top of your active competitors’ influencer management tactics. Awario is a great tool here because it has a handy boolean search feature allowing you to laser target your monitoring based on sources and purposes of your monitoring:

 

Step 4: Develop an effective outreach strategy

Once you have defined your pitches, start collecting your data for your outreach. It is a good idea to start a spreadsheet with your defined influencers, their target pitch, contact details (including their social media accounts), and any notes.

There are all kinds of WordPress solutions to share this document with everyone inside your organization.

Hunter is a great way to find the email addresses of your target influencers and website owners. They also have a handy Email Verifier for you to verify any contact details you manage to find.

Domain Search

This will save you time and money enabling you to use valid email addresses:

Email verification is your first step to creating a high quality email marketing database.

 

Step 5: Value those connections

This is the most crucial step: Your influencer marketing is never actually complete. You need to keep in touch with those influencers who chose to reply whether they agreed to work with you or simply sent a generic reply.

Keep talking to them on social media. Send them updates on your product development. Share your achievements and milestones.

It is not about bombarding them with your emails and social media messages. Only send them important updates that they may really find interesting.

It is a good idea to create a separate brand to consolidate your (hopefully) ever-growing community of influencers. This may be as simple as setting up a private Facebook group or as advanced as creating a new community-driven website.

BeRush is a great example of the latter: SEMRush is using this site to keep in touch with the international community of its affiliates. It includes a Q&A inside, product updates, as well as all kinds of materials to help their affiliates better position the product to their audience.

brand name generator

Namify is a great tool to find a great name for your community-driven project. There’s also a huge database of great business names they are offering as ideas:

Unite your whole company (your marketing, customer support, sales, product development teams) around one common goal: Keeping in touch with your influencers. Tying SEO and sales are the only way to make your B2B outreach strategy work.

 

Find the Right Influencers and Soar!

Finding the right influencers to help you sell your B2B product is a great way to create a consistent stream of new sales that won’t depend on Google’s algorithm whims or your advertising budgets.

It is also very rewarding because you get a chance to turn those influencers into advocates who will remain loyal for years and help you build brand awareness and improve your product. Good luck!

Following

The post How to Identify and Win the Right Influencers to Promote Your B2B Product appeared first on Content Marketing Consulting and Social Media Strategy.

Source: convinceandconvert.com

5 Influencer Marketing Myths for 2022

Influencer marketing is not new but it is constantly changing and marketers have thoughts. Below are 5 common influencer marketing myths we’ve heard and want to debunk.

5 Influencer Marketing Myths for 2022

Myth #1: Influencer marketing is a fad.

Actually, this may be true, sort of. Hear me out.

Post-COVID data shows a 37% decrease in brands working with influencers and a 41% drop in the efficiency of influencer marketing.

However, brands are still investing in influencer marketing, specifically through nano and micro-influencers.

I see this shift as a more strategic approach to influencer marketing and a way to redefine a tactic fraught with issues. 

Instagram - Social Media

So, is influencer marketing a fad?

In terms of brands spending lots of money on influencers with large followings? Potentially.

However, in my opinion, influencer marketing in terms of nano and micro-influencers — specifically ones that resonate with niche audiences —  is here to stay & will become an important part of a strategic marketing mix.

So, what does this mean for marketers?

Keep influencer marketing on your radar and dive deep into your personas to see if nano and micro-influencers could connect you with your audience.

 

Myth #2: Influencer marketing is only successful for younger generations.

Marketers around the world are trying to woo the next generation of consumers with influencer marketing. In fact, there are over 15 million search results for “influencer marketing to Gen Z.”

Meanwhile, “influencer marketing to Gen X” and “influencer marketing to Boomers” have less than 10 million results combined.

What’s up with that?

I think it mostly comes down to the myth that influencer marketing is only for younger generations, which is simply not true.

In fact, older generations are spending more and more time on social media and shifting their shopping habits toward online retail, delivery services, and subscriptions which means brands have more opportunities than ever to engage across generations.

Businesswoman sitting in office drinking coffee

Gen X and Boomers also control the vast majority of disposable income in the US.

While some marketers are writing strategies around younger influencers, terms like “Grandfluencers” and “elderly influencers’ are becoming more popular.

Influencers like Joan MacDonald and Helen Winkle are over here living their best lives as 70-year-old-plus influencers with almost 5 million followers combined.

Gen X also has some fabulous influencers like Arlinda McIntosh and Ana Pejkanovic.

So, what does this mean for marketers?

If your audience includes Gen X and/or Boomers, influencer marketing may be worth a try.

 

Myth 3: Influencers have to have large followings to be effective.

We covered this a bit in myth #1, but let’s dive deeper.

Traditionally, influencer marketing means utilizing a social media user with a large following. Today, that definition is changing.

While mega influencers (social users with millions of followers) are the first thing many people think of when they think “influencer,” other groups are growing in popularity.

However, there are differing opinions on how many followers each group has, especially in the micro and nano categories where some marketers say nano influencers can have as little as 500 followers and still be effective.

  • Mega: 1M+ followers
  • Macro: 100K+ followers
  • Micro: 10K+ followers
  • Nano: 500 to 10K followers

While influencers generally have a conversion rate of around 3%, nano influencers are converting at upwards of 30% in some cases.

What does this mean for marketers?

Marketers should look for opportunities to work with influencers with niche communities and remember that large followings don’t equal better.

 

Myth 4: Influencer marketing doesn’t work for B2B companies.

This is simply not true.

What does this mean for B2B marketers?

B2B marketers should explore ways to bring influencers into their marketing, whether it’s through employees, customers, or social media influencers.

 

Myth #5: Influencer marketing has no rules.

In an October 2021 news release, the Federal Trade Commission said they’ve officially put hundreds of businesses on notice for “fake reviews and other misleading endorsements”. The penalty for misleading consumers is up to $43,792 per violation.

Social Media Presence - Blog Writing

What does this mean for marketers?

It means there are rules you need to follow, and you shouldn’t be a jerk and mislead and deceive people. Familiarize yourself with the FTC endorsement guidelines and comply to avoid headaches and hardships.

 

2022 Influencer Marketing Myths Debunked!

There you have it! Five myths we wanted to address so you can decide if a dip in the influencer pool is a worthy exploration by you and your team.

The post 5 Influencer Marketing Myths for 2022 appeared first on Content Marketing Consulting and Social Media Strategy.

Source: convinceandconvert.com

Prioritizing Team Connection During a Pandemic

According to the 2021 State of Marketing report, 75% percent of marketers say the pandemic has permanently shifted how they collaborate and communicate at work. Now whether this is good or bad is what I would like to share and discuss with you.

Prioritizing Team Connection During a Pandemic

In life, I naturally chose the positive side of things and live my life as a glass-half-full type. I temper my optimism with a healthy dose of realism too – nobody benefits from toxic positivity.

Even through the pandemic, I’ve primarily been choosing to see the small upsides of the situation, although some days that’s been tough (even for me). (Multiple rounds of home school quarantine, anyone?)

So, let’s take a look at the positive impact that the pandemic has had on team alignment.

Cover page of the Harvard Business Review report

 

Remote Work: Forging a Culture of Connection

C&C has been a virtual firm since Jay Baer founded it in 2008. We’ve had team members from NYC to LA, Portland to Orlando and many stops in between for the last 13 years.

We thrive in a work from home arrangement, across multiple time zones, while only seeing each other in person ONCE per year.

We’ve all entered the C&C family knowing this setup and while some folded right into the work-in-your-slippers mentality, others had a more steep learning curve on self-discipline ahead.

Self-improvement of Freelance Blogger

One commonality across the decade and more while we’ve been WFH is that we each still crave and seek out connection with our coworkers. We have slack-style chats, personal text threads, and monthly virtual happy hours.

Even across the miles, pandemic or not, we have established a culture of connection. It takes intention and effort to keep that connection, but each team member wouldn’t be here without it.

 

The Intersection of Professional and Personal

We recently conducted research with Ascend2 on team alignment and I was shocked in the best way possible. The stat that struck me the most was: 76% of our respondents are strongly integrated or totally integrated.

To me, the word “integrated” has importance here. Has the perception of “integrated” changed with the pandemic? In my past corporate experience, integration equated to one hour a week around a conference table where an agenda was followed and updates went in order.

Team motivation-Leaders Can Motivate Their Teams

It ended up sounding like Charlie Brown’s mom “waaaa, whaaaa, wa, waaaaaa, wa, wa.”

Now, through the broader application of work from home, for better or for worse, everyone is literally IN each other’s home via video conference.

What used to be possibly a passing “hi” in the hallway is now an introduction of a child who enters the frame or an apology for a pet barking as the doorbell rings.

We have all been forced to integrate into one another’s home settings.

75% percent of marketers say the pandemic has permanently shifted how they collaborate and communicate at work.Click To Tweet

We have seen a new side of coworkers. We have met more of their life outside of the office, and have all been impacted at the same time by a global change in how we work, shop, visit and view our health.

Work Distribution

This intersection of our personal and professional lives has never existed as collectively before, and I truly believe for many teams it increases their integration with each other for the better.

 

Empathy Brought On By The New Normal

The humanity of team members has become more tangible in this new world. With COVID involved, people are more empathetic towards each other. We all had to adjust our lives at home and at work.

Every organization has been forced to “figure it out” – figure out how to communicate, connect and keep working among office shutdowns. Each person has had to reconfigure their home into a workspace at some point in the last 18 months. And we did it.

Working from Home

What I appreciate very much is that working from home can often give a deeper understanding of each other’s ability to relate and integrate.

We witnessed how each of us managed our at-home work space and new outside interruptions during a history-making, life-altering pandemic.

I understand that our culture here at C&C is different and special. But I have heard from many clients that they are proud of their team, that working from home is going to continue because they are being successful and the alignment of the goals is better than before.

 

Prioritize Your Team’s Connection

We’ve evolved from a question of “how do you integrate two teams” to optimizing and using technology to increase integration with other teams in the organization.

In my pre-pandemic work life, we discussed things like “lunch and learns” and “ride alongs” as well as “mutual goal setting meetings” around team alignment.

Marketing Team

Now we are finding much more common ground among us and a more genuine “how are you?” and “is everyone healthy” has a new meaning to mankind – therefore bringing us together and teams together.

If this sounds like Utopia to you – a foreign space that is nowhere close to the reality of your professional experience – I’ll offer some advice.

What I am describing is not fictional or only associated with our wonderful C&C team. There are hundreds of open positions at organizations who are aligned in goals, believe in a people-first culture, and support connection. I urge you to seek them.

Work Allocation

If you lead an organization, you must be the model. You owe it to your staff to connect and align them as well. You owe it to them to be genuine and carve out time for 1:1 and team interaction.

The world is still hurting and keeping your best team members connected and not feeling alone, will increase your productivity and success by more than your bottom line.

If you are wanting this type of connection among your team but are unsure how to make it happen, our team would be happy to help.

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Source: convinceandconvert.com