Account Based Marketing – Simplified

ABM1Is ABM a facade or the next big thing? Today most marketers are focusing on account based or vertical marketing so it’s important to understand what ABM really is. Account based marketing, also known as vertical marketing, is a strategic approach to personalized marketing efforts specific to a vertical or prospects you wish to convert into customers.

B2M marketers that cast a wide net hoping to attract a prospect is a thing of the past. Marketers need to now identify their target accounts, build content specific for problems they wish to solve, and then position their offer. Is it tricky? Not really; marketers adopt ABM to identify key prospects and then tailor customized programs and messages for their sales team.

The process begins with creating a target account list of prospects who are likely to buy or likely to receive great value from your product. This list may be ranked in order of priority, urgency, or interest.

Let’s simplify this with a few examples. As a marketer you’re tasked to create demand for a cyber security product focused towards a health care and a finance market. You start this process by building a strategy–geography, company size, and narrow down on who you’re targeting – business decision makers or technical decision makers. Once the strategy is crafted you then identify the collateral you’d like to  leverage and tailor it to the audience you’re focusing on. In our example, we are focusing on healthcare and finance. For health care, your content can be focused on safeguarding patient medical records and you’ll most likely target a technical decision making audience who may be responsible for protecting patient data from cyber criminals. For finance, your content could be focused on today’s challenges consisting of data breaches and fraud. Content, landing pages, and sales enablement tools will all have to be vertically focused engaging prospects to acquire their trust and confidence in your ability to solve their and their customer’s problems.

Vajre, co-founder and CMO of Terminus, recommends that marketers deliver content that is aligned to the buyer’s stage, persona and channel. Great pieces of content include:

  • e-Books (for practitioners)
  • Webinars (for learners)
  • Infographics (for influencers)
  • Blog posts (for decision makers)
  • SlideShare (for thought leaders)

In essence, account-based marketing means you send prospects something they care about. Now go build your ABM strategy.

Understanding Search Impression Share

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Google defines “Impression share as a metric that represents the percentage of times that your ads are shown out of the total available impressions for which your ads were eligible to appear. Eligibility is based on your current ads’ targeting, match types, and bids.”

SO what does this really mean?

In a nutshell, if there were 100 searches for the term you are searching for in broad, phrase or exact match, and your ad showed up 80 out of the 100 times, your impression share is 80%. If you ran out of budget that day, you most likely missed those last 20 impressions.

Lets simply this a bit more – Lets assume the online advertising space as a large delicious extra topping pizza pie. You, along with your competitors are each trying to grab the biggest slice of that pie. By tracking your impression share metrics, you’re keeping tabs on the size of your slice compared to the whole. The farther your reach to grab more of these slices the more you’re able to keep for yourself. So, now lets get into how do you actually grab a lot more slices.

Keyword Budget

If you bid low for your keywords, you risk that your ads will not appear on the first page, which may lead to missed opportunities for impressions, clicks, and even conversions. Ensuring that your bids are high enough that your ads are appearing in a competitive position will greatly improve your chances of capturing impressions and clicks, and generating traffic to your site.

As a general rule of thumb, Google will stop displaying your ads for the day once your daily budget is exhausted. If your campaigns have a low daily budget, and that budget limit is reached early in the day, your ads will not be shown later in the day.

Match type

Every ad on the network is populated by a keyword or a query that’s typed in a search bar. These keywords are associated with corresponding Ads that then display them to the user. They are several different match types and each match type usually has a different bid associated with it.

E.g. for a single search query “buy new tires”, this will trigger an impression for “new tires” and “buy new tires” and +tires +new and +buy +new +tires (plus others). Only one of these three keywords will get the impression, but broad match impression share calculation applies the impression to all three keywords.

The above would give a 33% impression share, even if you appeared on 100% of all instances of that search.

An exact match example can be a query with a brand, for example: [Goodyear tires], this will trigger ads with matching the brand Goodyear tires. This will give a 100% impression share since your brand Goodyear tires matched exact to the query.

Impression share can really give you an indication on how you can act on an under-performing set of keywords. Whether it is increasing your daily bids or budget, improving the quality of your ad copy and keywords, you’ll have plenty of options for improvement before considering pausing a keyword.

Reconnect, Re-engage and Recycle Cold Leads in Pardot

cold-to-hot_535597063c21f_w1500A percentage of leads that were once considered MQL’s don’t really turn out to be qualified initially; however, adding these leads to a nurturing program can be beneficial to move them through a sales funnel. Before adding all your cold leads to a nurturing campaign, its always best practice to weed out the cold ones that will never convert. This is possible through list segmentation in Pardot

At go2markets, things are no different. Visitors to go2markets get scored on an actions they take while visiting a website. For example, the number of pages they visit, forms they complete and the information they provide on these forms.  Their score is computed based on a numeric value assigned for each page visit, form fill or a download. This is reported under the prospects profile below content (see image 2)

 
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(Image 2)

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Grading can be assigned to these visitor based on the fields they’ve entered on a form; such as their first and last name, email address, phone number, company name and their country.  The combination of these grades and scores in Pardot can help identify leads that have turned cold and can be nurtured.

To do this, we can create a segmentation list in Pardot by creating a rule by first selecting Segmentation -> Profile and build a list of prospects that have a higher grade and score. In this example, we can build a list of prospects that have scored a D+ and scored a 3500 and above.  This step is important because you don’t want prospects that have graded F or scored below 3500 since those leads are not going to convert based on the information they’ve provided on their form fills.

Our first engagement medium would be by building an email campaign for this segmented list with a value proposition including features and benefits. Relevant content would have a much greater chance at being read, responded to and shared. If these cold leads don’t opt out, then they can be added to a drip program that would receive timely emails and newsletters.

A second medium would be by reengaging with these leads through a webinar. The intimate nature of a webinar will allow these cold leads to get a better chance of getting warmed up.

In conclusion, I believe identifying these leads initially through a segmentation rule in Pardot, and building an engaging email and a webinar campaign could be very beneficial to reconnect with leads that were once considered cold.

Cookies: Not the chocolate chip kind!

website_cookieEver wonder how an advertisement appear on a web browser after you’ve visited a website, or perhaps how websites remember your preference from visit to visit? The answers is “cookies”

A cookie is a small piece of text code sent to your browser by a website you visit. It contains information about your visit. The browser stores this data and pulls it out the next time you visit the site to make the next trip easier and more personalized. Additionally, cookies can be used to customize your browsing experience, or to deliver ads targeted to you.

Let’s review an example – You are in the market for a Michael’s Kors wrist watch and you visit Macys.com, you spend a few minutes clicking away and find the one you like, but the price is not something you’d like to pay. You soon close your session and visit a different site. Now you start seeing advertisements of the watch you were seeing earlier at macys.com. Macy’s is not stalking you instead wants you back and purchase that wrist watch online. This is called as remarketing – what macys.com did was place a cookie and recorded your preference.

 

Are they different types of cookies?

Yes, session cookies that are stored in your computer’s memory during a user’s browsing session are automatically deleted from the users computer when the browser is closed.

Session cookies are never written on your hard drive and they do not collect any information from the users computer. They expire as soon as the session ends and are not accessible.

 

Permanent, persistent, or stored cookies

Permanent and persistent cookies are stored on your computer and are not deleted when the browser is closed. Permanent cookies can retain user preferences for a particular web site, allowing those preferences to be used in future browsing sessions. Permanent cookies are used to identify individual users, so they may be used by web sites to analyze users’ surfing behavior by storing clicks, page views, product selections/views and shopping cart abandonment. They are usually configured to keep track of users for a prolonged period of time, in some cases many years.

Some users prefer to block cookies, which is why most browsers give you the ability to manage cookies to suit your tastes. You can set up rules to manage cookies on a site-by-site basis, giving you greater control over your privacy. What this means is that you can choose which sites you trust and allow websites to cookies you for those sites thus blocking cookies from everyone else.

 

Conclusion

We marketers love capturing user data on product views, cart abandonment and return prospects that convert and become customers. Online advertising gives us the ability to target and retarget our ideal prospects. Through remarketing we serve ads based on our prospects prior engagement. Each action that’s taken online draws a sharper and more useful profile of our prospect. Delete your cookies and you’re a lot less valuable to us.

 

Understanding Call to Action Buttons

call_to_actionCalls to actions are a vital part of all websites. Over the years, those action buttons, urging website visitors to act on a website, and disclose the visitor interest have moved from basic “click here for more info” or “Call Us Now” buttons to those that are designed to complete an online ecommerce acquisition.

The most significant change has been the adaption of calls to action across all types of marketing collateral.  Website visitors are usually more reactive rather than proactive. They respond to your Call to Action only if you tell them to click on the link or tell them to respond to another one of your requests thus making calls to action a fundamental part of the lead-generation and lead-nurturing process.

A call to action should not be limited to ecommerce pages. Instead, every website should have an objective it wants users to complete whether it is filling in a contact form, signup for a newsletter or download a free trail. Your value proposition should be conveyed through the message on your website/ landing page and the urgency for a visitor to take action through the button you provide.

Calls to Action of the Past No Longer Work

What once worked for calls to action, fails to impress today. That could be because of increased competition and the shorter attention spans of Internet users, or because of the constant need for innovative designs and ideas that help companies retain visitors on their sites for longer durations.

A button that reads “Enter Your Email Address for Updates” is obsolete in the current business environment, where the focus is on providing value to a visitor at every step and gradually winning their trust. Unless visitors will get something in return, leaving their email addresses on a company website offers them no value and, hence, fails to make them act.

“Contact Us” buttons have also lost their relevance now that contact pages offer website visitors multiple options for getting in touch with the company—via phone, chat, email, or social media. In fact, most companies have a Contact Us page that is listed in the navigation or on the footer of their website.

Call to action phrases use action verbs, like:

  • Sign-up
  • Register
  • Subscribe
  • Buy
  • Donate
  • Urgency Phrases:

Time sensitive words or deadlines should be included alongside the action verb to create a sense of urgency:

  •     Offer expires on Labor Day.
  •     Limited time offer.
  •     Act now before supplies run out.
  •     Respond before August 31st to enroll at this special price.

Conclusion

The objective of a marketing professional is to engage his audience through content, build a value proposition, create an urgency for his audience to convert by clicking on a call to action and cycle them through a sales pipeline. A call to action can be considered pivotal especially since it’s the last step between defining a site visitor to a marketing qualified lead or a sales conversion.

Setting up Goals in Google Analytics

set goalsA Goal represents a completed activity; called a conversion, A conversion can be a specific page a prospects lands on or an action that is recorded. Examples of goals could be one clicking on an About Me page or looking up a contact Us or making a purchase (for an commerce site)

Defining Goals is a fundamental component of any digital marketing plan. Having a properly configured goal allows Google Analytics to provide you with critical information, such as the number of conversions and the conversion value for your site. Without this information, it’s almost impossible to evaluate the effectiveness of your online business and marketing campaigns.

Goals are limited to 20 per reporting view. To create a call, you’ll have to login to your analytics account. Once logged in, you’ll select admin and create your goal

 

admin_view

Once in your Admin view, you would select Goals

goal_view

Once in your goal menu, you would select +New Goal

new_goal

How Goals work

Goals are configured at the view level. Goals can be applied to specific pages where a triggered action is placed. A Goal can be set to trigger a user’s visit, pages they view in a session, how long they stay on your site or app, and the events/ button clicks they trigger while they are there.

Every Goal can have a monetary value, so you can see how much that conversion is worth to your business. Using values for Goals lets you focus on the highest value conversions, such as transactions with a minimum purchase amount.

When a visitor to your site performs an action defined as a Goal, Google Analytics records that as a conversion. That conversion data is then made available in a number of special-purpose reports, which are described below.

When you set up a Goal, you have the option of assigning a monetary amount to the conversion. Each time the Goal is completed by a user, this amount is recorded and then added together and seen in your reports as the Goal Value.

Every action a user takes can be translated into a dollar amount. One way to help determine what a Goal value should be is to evaluate how often the users who complete the Goal become customers. In my example, I added a $5 value to every visitor that clicks on the “About Me” page.

 

Goals types

Goals fall into one of 5 types, listed in the table below:

The real benefit of setting up Goals within your Google Analytics is having the ability to prove that digital marketing investments are paying off. These Goals provide you with insight on how to improve your efforts. Getting 15 new leads each month from your website is great, but unless you understand what assisted the conversion. Goal conversions are a primary metric for measuring how well your site is fulfilling business objectives.

 

Understanding Lead Scoring

Lead scoreLead scoring is a method of assigning a value to prospects against a scale based on specific criteria. The resulting score is used to determine which leads is sales ready or simply going to be nurtured until they are ready to buy. The higher the value, the more likely the prospect is actively engaged in the buying process.

Listed below are a few mediums where leads are generated –

  • Paid Search
  • Organic Search
  • Events
  • Syndication
  • Aggregation

Lead scoring provides us with intelligence on leads that are ready to buy, ones that need to be nurtured, and the ones to ignore. By categorizing or scoring leads you can make the call as to how they should be targeted and whether they need to be approached by your sales team or your marketing team.

Lead scoring is nothing new, but up until recently automation  tools have been used to remove any or all guesswork. These systems take into account behavior (whitepaper downloads, email opens/clicks, website visits, form fills, etc) and personal attributes (job title, geography). The objective for a marketer is that he/she attributes a score based on an action a prospect takes and assign these leads to either a sales ready lead campaign or a nurture one.

Sales is usually concerned with leads that are sales ready – those that are in the buying process. Marketing focuses on leads that are in the sweet spot but are not ready to buy, but can be nurtured until they are ready to buy.

Lead scoring is a collaborative effort that involves at least three areas of the business: Sales, Marketing and Sales Operations. There is some required planning that needs to take place that will cover responsibilities, terminology, processes, systems, accountability and reporting. It is absolutely critical that the head of Sales and Marketing be actively engaged in lead scoring for a successful implementation and smooth execution that will increase productivity, revenue and profitability.

A well thought out demand creation plan requires a great deal of time, people and program dollars and to maximize Marketing ROI it is critical to systematize lead scoring and lead nurturing.

SEO Rankings

Published by in SEO on January 26th, 2015

seo_go2marketsSearch engines work by using algorithms to evaluate websites by search query and relevance. This evaluation structures pages in an index, which ultimately results in displaying the best possible ranking of the results displayed.

Google has grown increasingly more sophisticated with its ranking algorithm, and has added a host of new variables that affect how your site ranks in an individual’s Google search results page.

 

Here are the variables –

  • Search History: A user’s search results page can vary depending on what websites they’ve visited in the past
  • Site Architecture: links from other websites are a very important signal for Google’s ranking algorithm
  • Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumb navigation is a technique that not only works to improve the user experience, but is also appealing to search engines—and can even help boost your organic ranking
  • Loading Time: A poor performing site results in a poor user experience, and sites with poor user experiences deserve less promotion in a search result
  • Social Media: If a user’s friends +1ed a page. Google gives preferences to endorsement of friends

Four Ways to improve your Site’s Ranking (SEO)

Meta tags

The descriptions entered into meta tags are not worth a lot in most search engine algorithms, but the meta text is still often displayed under the page title in the search engine results. Write your meta tags to include some keywords without being hard-to-read. Also make sure the text is informative, engaging, and representative of the content on your page, to encourage people to click and stay.

Alt text

When adding pictures to your blog post, try to find original pictures that are meaningful, not just pretty. Then add very descriptive alt text to the pictures, as well as descriptive file names. This can help your pictures be ranked higher in image searches, where it is often easier to rank for a high-quality term.

Alt text is also useful outside of search engines, as people with screen readers or other specialty devices cannot view or access the images, but can find the text.

Subheadings

Search engines give more weight to terms appearing in header tags within your text. Make sure your subheadings are literal and descriptive, and format them using Header 1, 2, and 3 tags instead of just making them bold. Remember that you can use CSS to format header tags to look however you want, but they still communicate importance to search engines no matter how they look.

Links

Don’t forget to include a few high-quality links in your body text. You can link to relevant posts internally, and you can also link to other great sites. It’s good to affiliate yourself with similar sites by linking to them.

 

Paid Search Vs Organic Search

Published by in SEO on November 4th, 2014

image_paid_organicYou’ve added content to your website, uploaded your product list and are now open for business. One question you keep asking is should I invest in paid search, and if so how much? Or should I invest my time and grow organically. Let’s dissect and analyze this way you will have an understanding and will be able to make a decision on how to start your time and money wisely.

Before we dissect organic and paid, lets pick a search engine where our search will appear whether it’s a paid listing or and an organic one. How often have you heard the phrase “Google it”? Upon close examination, you will see that Google is most powerful in search and a “clear leader” on successful search rates, with a 91 percent successful search rate. Bing’s percentage of successful searches equates to around 76 percent.

Organic search results appear based on an algorithm that’s used by the search engine;  paid search is just that – Ad links that come from advertising dollars appear on the top and the side of a search engine page.

paidsearch_organicsearch

Paid search is easily measurable. Conversions on your site have a direct correlation to the amount you bid for a keyword, the relevance of your Ad description and the quality score of your Ad. There are a lot of factors on how an ad appears when searched for a keyword and I will cover this in another topic on how to build effective Ads.

Organic results are search engine results that are returned by indexing pages based on relevant content and keywords. Getting your pages to appear high up in organic results is a combination of relevant page content, proper title tags, keywords and meta tags – all parts of proper SEO. Here are a list of SEO techniques that can help you build organic traffic and rank higher in SERP.

Growing originally takes time and requires patience. Google uses complex ranking algorithms to determine which websites will be listed nearest the top of the page. These algorithms consider more than 200 individual factors about a given web page automatically when determining whether or not to include it in the results that are displayed to the user. And while Google and the other engines never reveal the inner workings of their algorithms, savvy online marketers have uncovered many of these different factors through the process of experimentation – revealing a series of techniques that can be implemented both on and off a site to make it more attractive to the search engines’ indexing programs.

Google My Business

Published by in SEO on October 12th, 2014

GooglebusinessYou’ve heard of Yahoo Small business, Bing Places and Google My Business, all 3 promise results and indeed its crucial to list your small business with these search engine directories. Hundreds of million of consumers turn to these search engine giants every day. There is no doubt that Google is the largest player in search. Businesses know that appearing in Google search results is a key step in getting found by consumers around them.

Back in the day it was all about using the right tags and keywords on your site so that Google could pick it up. SEO consultants relied on webmaster tools to fetch and render your site  to a top Google listing for a few thousand bucks, and many could deliver for about 60 seconds until your site gets pushed to the 5th or 6th page of this search engine. Keeping your site on page one of the search engine is a never-ending process, an ongoing commitment of dollars and resources, a continuing evolvement of keywords, online activity, back linking, social media activity and a thousand other ways so your site gets relevance from Google and stays on page 1.

To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a variety of tools, including Google places and Google + Local. Now, Google is simplifying those tools with a new offering for businesses called Google My Business Locations.

googlemybusiness

Google My Business has  made it easier for businesses to list their physical address, verticals  they operate in, reviews and create a following. Your business listing can be created by following this link.

 

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