Tips to Help You Select the Best Facebook Ads for Your Goals

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Last week I discussed the different types of Facebook ads available. Today, I’m going to cover how you choose among the options.

 

  1. What are your goals?

Like with any ad campaign, before you begin you must first establish goals or what it is you want to achieve with your campaign. Goals can be to drive leads to your website, increase store visits, or encourage attendance at an event, etc. Know your goals and then build your ad campaign around them.

  1. Which ad type(s) are relevant to your goals?

Now that you know your goals, take a look at the list I published last week. Which ones are relevant to your goals? You can see how this narrows things down for you, making your work easier and far more targeted. Another thing you’ll quickly notice is that more than one ad type will apply. Great! Make use of all of them! This is a great opportunity to gain some valuable analytics, testing one Facebook ad type against another to see which one(s) work best for your needs.

  1. Whom are your talking to?

You must know who your target audience is and then speak to them directly. Create compelling ad copy that addresses their needs, concerns, interests, etc.

  1. What is your call-to-action?

Facebook can help here. They supply you with different calls-to-action you can use on your ads. This is another opportunity to test different calls-to-action to see which works best for your prospect.

  1. What does your ad need to look like?

Facebook’s Ads Manager tool can help you with this one too by offering an array of options for your ad design. Not only can you choose between image, video, photo grid, and carousel layouts, but you can also customize your ads for mobile and desktop audiences. And, make sure you vary your design. Don’t use the same template for every ad.

  1. Test, analyze, and repeat.

The real beauty of digital advertising is that it makes testing, analyzing, and optimizing future ad campaigns relatively easy. If you want a high ROI, you must study your data analytics over time and make the proper adjustments.

Armed with these six tips, you should be in a strong position to begin your Facebook advertising. Remember that successful advertising is all about proper layering. You need to get your message out on several different platforms. If you’re not currently advertising on Facebook, I encourage you to give it a try.

How to Include Audio in Your B2B Marketing

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Yes, you “heard” that right. Today, I’m talking about audio and how it can enhance your marketing efforts. Despite the growing number of digital technologies, our affinity for audio continues. According to the 2016 Edison Research Infinite Dial report, online radio listenership has increased by 35% since 2005. And, if you’re thinking that audio is just for the consumer market, you’re wrong. Audio is a great opportunity to create branded content for the B2B market, too. Here are three ways you can include audio marketing in B2B:

1) Create Branded Podcasts

Podcast listenership is steadily rising, creating a significant marketing platform.

Source: Edison Research

Podcasts are similar to blogs in that you need to create content that delivers something of value. Tell your company’s story, interview experts in the field, educate on a specific topic…you get the idea. Come up with an editorial calendar and a plan for distributing your Podcasts. In a pinch, you can use blog copy and tweak it for a Podcast.

2) Create an Audiogram Snippet

This is the cutting-edge technology, aiming to make it easier to share audio. There are apps that enable you to clip up to 45 seconds of whatever you’re listening to and share it with whomever you choose. It turns audio into something bite-sized and shareable, which is pretty cool. You can also attach your own (minimal) copy to the audio snippet, if you’d like.

3) Try Facebook’s Live Audio

It launched in 2016 and has largely been under the radar since. But, that doesn’t mean it’s not effective. It’s also a good option if you are needing to broadcast live from a low-connectivity area that doesn’t support video. Just as with a live video on Facebook, listeners can discover live audio content in News Feed, ask questions, and leave reactions in real time during the broadcast – and easily share with their friends.

I encourage you to consider adding audio to your marketing plan in 2017. It’s a great way to reach your prospects (and loyal customers) in a new and impactful way.

 

 

 

Web Design Trends for 2017 (Part 2 of 2)

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2017 is leaving us with no shortage of new web design trends to take for a spin and see how they work. I always stress that you should NEVER view your website as static. You need to regularly look at it with fresh eyes and see what needs to be eliminated or added. By keeping your website fresh and interesting, you are keeping visitors interested.

Last week I shared six trends in web design for you to consider using on your own site. Today I’m sharing five more.

    1. Duotone

    In the minimalist family, the duotone is a good option when you’re looking to keep things simple while still adding a pop of interest with a monochromatic palette.

2. Horizontal and Vertical Text

Add dimension by breaking the standard text rules. Shake up your text and run it vertically and horizontally. The page can still be simple, but it will be anything but boring.

3. Mix Geometric Shapes and Patterns

This is a great way to add dimension and texture to your website – not to mention visual appeal.

4. Modular

If you are looking for a clean design option that organizes everything into separate modules, then this one is for you. It works well to compartmentalize different categories of information.

5. Text and Image Overlap

Stacking your text over an image adds visual appeal. Just make sure the text can ALWAYS be easily read. Never sacrifice readability for design.

 

That does it. I hope this two-part blog gave you some ideas you can implement on your own website in 2017. Have fun!

 

Web Design Trends for 2017 (Part 1 of 2)

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imagesThe trends in web design are always evolving. To stay relevant, you must direct ongoing attention to the design of your website. Sometimes that means doing a complete redesign, and sometimes it just means making some tweaks to freshen the look.

Today I’m sharing six trends in web design that you will want to look at and consider for your own site.

  1. Ultra-Minimal

This year I think we’re going to see more companies pushing the envelope on what a website needs to look like and what it needs to say. Obviously, this option doesn’t work for everyone. Here’s a good example of the ultra-minimal look.

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  1. Bold Typography

A growing number of companies are choosing to anchor their home page with bold typography. When you go with this option, make sure you keep the rest of the design minimal so the typography gets the spotlight.

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  1. Cinemagraphs

You may not be as familiar with this option. Cinemagraph is a technique of blending the effects of images and videos. Cinemagraphs are typically created as animated .gif files, which makes them easy to use on a web page.

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  1. Experimental Compositions

Who says your website has to look like all the others? Some companies are creating websites that are anything but ordinary. While different is good, functionality is always key.

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  1. Vivid Layers of Color

Bright colors beautifully layered or presented in kaleidoscope are becoming increasingly popular. You can’t beat the visual appeal.

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  1. Illustration

This hot new trend feels more like a refreshing blast from the past. Custom or stock illustrations can be a dynamic addition to your website, adding visual interest that also lends personality to your brand.

 

 

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In my next blog, I’ll share some more web design trends for you to consider for 2017.

 

3 Ways You Can Make Your Online Newsletter Better

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E-Mail ImageThere are plenty of tools out there that have made it easier than ever to deliver an electronic newsletter. However, ease of use is not a substitute for good content. The hard work still needs to be done there. Here are three steps you can take to help your newsletter promote your brand and drive sales.

  1. Build a Database of Engaged Prospects

You want your newsletter to go to prospects who actually have an interest in your product or service. Respect their time and their in box. If they decide they no longer want to receive your newsletter, respect that.

  1. Recognize That Your Newsletter is a User Experience

Sending a newsletter via e-mail is a great opportunity to build a relationship with your prospects. Make sure you deliver information that is relevant to your prospects – not necessarily just information you want to share. There has to be a reason why prospects should want to read your newsletter. And, create a schedule and stick to it. Prospects want to know when they are going to receive communication from you. If you promise to reach out to them every week, make sure you do that.

  1. Always Start at the Beginning

Prospects opt-in to your newsletter at different times, so not everyone sees all of the same information. That can cause some confusion. It’s a good idea to catch prospects up by doing a series of e-mails geared directly to doing just that. Here’s where analytics can help you. After sending a welcome e-mail, you will want to follow up with strategic e-mails that highlight important information that may have been missed due to when the prospect entered the buying cycle. Choose past newsletter content that has scored the highest at converting to sales and send them out in a campaign.

Newsletters can be very successful at driving sales if you make sure you approach the opportunity correctly. Follow these three steps to get your newsletter on track.

SEO and Content Marketing: Your Dynamic Lead Gen Duo

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seo-and-content-marketing-working-togetherYou know about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). You’re creating content for your marketing plan. But, are you connecting the dots between the two? SEO and content marketing must be viewed synergistically. The content you create appeals to the prospects you want to convert to sales. SEO helps the right prospects find your content at the right time. Stripped down to the basics, you can see how reciprocal the two are. That’s why you have to consider both SEO and content and how the two will aid each other when you are developing your marketing plan. Here are some suggestions to help you do this:

  1. Perform an SEO audit and make the necessary changes. This isn’t as difficult as it sounds and is very necessary to let you know how your website is performing. You want to make sure your website is up-to-date with the latest search engines, using the relevant terms and phrases. There are lots of SEO audit DIY instructions online, or I’d be happy to assist you.
  2. Create valuable content and create links. If you do, your content will most likely be optimized for search based solely on its high quality. That means it gets ranked, found, and read, which is exactly what you want. If your content doesn’t get linked and doesn’t have links, it doesn’t get ranked.
  3. Use keywords in your headlines so your content gets viewed strategically. By legitimately using keywords in your headlines and throughout your copy, you optimize your content so it speaks to your prospects where they are in the buying process.
  4. Don’t forget about social media and its important role. Social media platforms are vehicles to assist you with SEO and content. Social media helps you deliver content to talk directly to your prospects, engaging them personally. Social media can help you deliver the solutions prospects are looking for.
  5. Use your employees to help build SEO and content. Businesses can take advantage of their employees’ social networks to build links and help promote their business. For example, an employee with a personal blog can link to the company’s website to share the company’s expert content. This benefit is double-sided. The company gets traffic to the website, and the employee builds his/her online reputation.
  6. SEO is a process of trial and error, but it’s worth it. Data analytics will tell you how well your SEO optimization is working. And, this information is very valuable. You can use it to reshape and retarget your content marketing strategy. But, you have to look at your analytics, and you have to react to what you’re seeing – good or bad.

By following these six steps, you’ll ensure your SEO and content marketing are working together to give you the most benefit.