Tag: Using

5 Steps for Using Paid Internet Advertising to Drive Conversions

Paid advertising is a great way to guide more traffic to your site and increase business, but it can become expensive quickly — especially if you aren’t careful. How do you make sure you are getting the most out of your paid ads?

A few weeks ago, I was talking to a business owner in my community. They recently started an aggressive Google AdWords campaign that was working, sort of. They getting tons of new leads, but the leads were for services they didn’t offer! The problem was their campain was way too broad, and they were paying tons of cash for useless leads.

Don’t let that happen to you. Here are five simple things you can do to make sure you are getting the most for your paid ad dollars.

1. Understand (and Use) Long Tail Keywords

Longtail keywords are keywords that are several words long. Rather than targeting “plumber,” you might target “emergency plumber near me” or “plumber to unblock a drain.” These are critical because they are more likely to match the words searchers use and they also indicate the searcher is ready to hire or buy.

Ubersuggest is a great resource for discovering keywords in your industry.

When using Ubersuggest, remember that you aren’t necessarily looking for the highest-traffic keywords. You are looking for the words your customers use to look for you.

Be on the lookout for long-tail keywords that are longer, more specific keywords that make up the majority of search-driven traffic.

Here’s a simple system you can use:

Step #1: Enter Your Head Keyword and Click “Search”

paid internet advertising tool ubersuggest

Step #2: Click “Keyword Ideas” in the Left Sidebar

paid internet advertising tool ubersuggest 2

Step #3: Analyze the Results

paid internet advertising tool ubersuggest keyword ideas

In the example above, the term “social media marketing” is considered a “head” keyword, which means it is searched for very frequently. The much less popular term “social media marketing strategy” receives fewer searches, but indicates the searcher is looking for something more specfic.

You might go even further and try something like “the best social media marketing strategy.”

To find even more keywords, click the “Related” tab next to “Suggestions.”

For this particular keyword, doing so gives you nearly 16,000 more keywords, the majority of which are long-tail. For example, here’s what you see as you scroll down the results:

paid internet advertising tool ubersuggest keyword ideas

Once you find a long-tail keyword that piques your interest, click on it for a better idea of your competitors, both for paid ads and organic search.

paid internet advertising tool ubersuggest kewyord overview

The big mistake that many first-time marketers make with SEO or pay-per-click advertising is choosing the wrong keywords.

When you purchase head keywords like “social media marketing,” you will spend significantly more money and reduce your ROI dramatically.

The key that you have to remember is you get a lot more bang for your buck by targeting a large number of lower-traffic terms than by targeting a small number of higher-traffic terms.

Finally, the best source of keywords can come from your own website. Consider using a survey tool like Qualaroo to find out what your customers are looking for or why they decided to do business with you (after checkout for example). The language they use can be very effective ad copy for internet advertisements.

2. Understand the Different Types of Paid Ads

There are a lot of places to buy ads and each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses. Before getting started, you should understand the major types of paid advertising as well as their pros and cons.

paid internet advertising examples

Display Ads or Banner Ads

Banner ads immediately come to mind when we think about online advertising because they stand out. They are very common and come in a variety of sizes. These ads can be effective, but they tend to target customers who are not actively looking for something new.

For example, a person may be reading a newspaper article and not be interested in a new social media course. Display ads can be successful, but they need to be used properly. Display ads can be purchased using a pay-per-click model or they simply can be displayed for a certain length of time.

different type of internet ads display ad example

Text ads are the type you usually see on the primary Google search page. These ads generally are less expensive than display ads and target customers that actually are looking for something specific. They can be very effective but depend heavily on good keyword research and A/B testing (a topic we will discuss later in this post).

Here are a few of the places you should try listing your ads, though there certainly are many others:

Google Ads

Google Ads (previously Google AdWords) are an obvious choice for many businesses. They offer display and text ads in association with highly targeted keywords. AdWords are a clear choice for any campaign.

Bonus Tip: Your Google Adwords ads will produce a better return on investment the longer you use Adwords. Google rewards long-term customers with better “quality scores”.

Bing or Yahoo

Bing and Yahoo both offer alternative ad platforms that work similarly to Google’s. They combine display and text ads with targeted search terms. Some brands find that, while these options bring less traffic, the overall ROI is a bit better.

Social Media Ads

Social media advertising has grown enormously in popularity over the last few years. These ads combine text and display elements and are targeted based on user preferences, demographics, and location. Depending on your business type, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok are valid options to consider.

BuySellAds or Direct Buy

BuySellAds.com is a great place to go to find additional display ad opportunities. These usually allow you to “rent” space on a site or a blog for a fixed cost. Additional opportunities like this can exist if you contact some of your favorite bloggers directly.

Can’t decide between Facebook or Google (two popular options)? Then check out this video for some guidance:

Start by trying several of these options and use hard data to make final decisions about where you want to put your money. Rely on hard data, not guesses, to understand what platforms provide the best return.

3. Track Your Paid Ad Results

If you aren’t able to see how each of your ads is performing, then you shouldn’t be buying paid advertising at all. The beautiful thing about online advertising is that you get the opportunity to track everything. Google Analytics is an absolute must when it comes to online ad buying. This analytics package is free and easy to install.

Once you have it set up, you should become very familiar with Google Analytics Custom Campaigns. These options allow you to create a customized URL for each ad that will help you see overall performance for all of your advertising. Using Google Analytics in this way will give you a single dashboard for comparing all of your advertising campaigns.

4. Create a Landing Page

It is important to send incoming visitors to a unique page (called a landing page) on your website, rather than your homepage. This may seem counter-intuitive, but there are three very good reasons for using this strategy:

  1. Landing pages allow you to customize your message for incoming visitors. This means that you can continue the message you started with your ads, which creates a more cohesive experience.
  2. Custom landing pages allow you to push visitors toward specific actions, such as downloading a free ebook. (Displaying traditional navigation may distract your visitors.)
  3. Landing pages make tracking your visits very easy. This is especially important.

When you combine this strategy with easy funnel-tracking tools, you quickly can gain a lot of information about how to reach and sell to your new visitors.

In some cases, you can create a single landing page for an entire ad campaign. In other cases, you may want to create a specific landing page for each keyword that you purchase.

landing page example paid internet advertising

This landing page helps us track who comes to the page and exactly how effective our ads are.

It is important to remember to block your custom landing pages from search engines. This can be done with a simple edit to your “robots.txt” file. This is an important step that will make your ad tracking more reliable. If you allow Google and Bing to send non-paid visitors to your page, you may get a false sense of how your page is performing.

Here are two more tips to create high-converting landing pages.

Create a Call to Action

Once you have a visitor on your landing page, how do you convert them into a lead or a customer? Every page you send them to should have a clear call to action. Think about this one carefully, because it’s the difference between a sale and wasted money.

I like to decide what the “number one” desired outcome for each page is before I design a landing page. Simply ask yourself, “What do I want them to do the most?” Then create the page accordingly.

a good call to action example paid advertising guide

A good call to action will tell your visitors exactly what you want them to do.

Everything on your page should push your visitors toward the action you want them to take. Without considering this, you’re throwing money away.

Use A/B Testing

You may have launched your page, but you aren’t done yet. Small tweaks and adjustments can make a huge difference in your overall conversion rate. If you’ve followed the tips above, you should have the proper landing page and conversion tracking to make this task very easy.

A/B testing is being scientific about testing which methods work best. When you go about A/B testing, it is important that you make only a single, testable, change each time. For example, you could test the effectiveness of your page’s headline or button placement, but not both at the same time.

By testing a single change, you will be able to see conclusive results about what works best. A/B testing is an ongoing process, too, so don’t stop. Keep testing and modifying your page. You might be surprised at what it does to your overall conversion rate.

5. Review Your Paid Ad Results Regularly

Whatever you do, don’t look at your results every day. This practice can lead to hasty changes based on incomplete data. It is best to wait so that your analytics have time to accumulate accurate trends and information. Then determine a set time period for reviewing your statistics and making changes. It might be monthly, it might be weekly. Checking monthly is a good plan for picking up broad shifts.

Consider setting up spreadsheets to track your statistics. It’s easier to pick up on trends and understand what you’re seeing when you dig into your analytics to pull out the numbers for your spreadsheet.

tracking metrics for paid internet advertising

Use simple spreadsheets to track your incoming ad traffic.

Be prepared to kill keywords that are under-performing. Remember, conversion rates are your most important statistics, not clicks. Clicks just waste money if they aren’t driving leads or sales.

In paid advertising, the longer you run your ads, the better your rates and quality score will become. This will be true particularly if you rely heavily on good A/B testing and are constantly refining your ad buy.

5 Steps to Getting Started with Paid Ads

Time needed: 6 minutes.

Not sure how to get started with paid ads? Here’s five steps to make sure you don’t waste your investment.

  1. Understand (and Use) Long Tail Keywords

    Long tail keywords are less competitive and mimic the way people search.

  2.  Understand the Different Types of Paid Ads

    Each type of ad has different costs, audiences, and reaches. Understand the difference so you don’t waste ad spend!

  3. Track Your Paid Ad Results

    If you aren’t able to see how each of your ads is performing, then you shouldn’t be buying paid advertising at all. T

  4. Create a Landing Page

    Landing pages help drive conversions and make it easier to track. Don’t forget to add a CTA and use A/B testing.

  5. Review Your Paid Ad Results Regularly

    Check your results weekly or monthly to make sure your ads are driving results, not just clicks.

Conclusion

Paid ads are not a get-rich-quick scheme. Don’t expect to be finished in a week or two. Give your ads time and finesse your plan to get the best results. Cumulative trends and information will give you a clearer picture of which ads actually convert.

Start by setting a small budget, and increase it as you gain confidence. If you need help getting started, feel free to reach out to my team. We can help create an advertising plan that works for your business.

Are you considering adding paid ads to your online advertising strategy? What is holding you back?

A Complete Guide To Using Business Credit to Buy Real Estate

If you need to buy commercial real estate, it is probably best to do with business credit rather than a personal loan.  Of course, if you can buy real estate with any loan at all, that’s even better.  But how would you do that? How do you go about using business credit to buy real estate? What is business credit exactly? These are all questions that you need answered. 

The Ins and Outs of Using Business Credit to Buy Real Estate

To put it simply, business credit is credit you get based on the creditworthiness, or fundability, of your business, no you the owner.

Find out why so many companies use our proven methods to get business loans.

So, what are the options for funding real estate?  There are a few! If you are using business credit to buy real estate, you can do a commercial loan or hard money loan.  If you want to try to reduce the amount of debt you have to take on, you can try crowdfunding a well. You may get all you need, but you may need to combine funding methods.  

Real Estate Crowdfunding 

Crowdfunding real estate is not all that different from crowdfunding anything else. You use a crowdfunding platform, and others on the platform can donate, or invest, in your cause as they see fit. It began the JOBS Act of 2012.  Small businesses gained relief from a lot of requirements in place by the SEC. These requirements held many businesses back. 

Though similar to crowdfunding for small businesses, crowdfunding real estate investing isn’t exactly the same. Most of those that list on real estate crowdfunding sites are commercial real estate businesses. They are seeking funding for their endeavors. Anyone can invest in commercial real estate. This is similar to investing in the  stock market. Then they can enjoy the returns without actually buying an entire piece of commercial property.

As a result, commercial real estate investors can raise equity and avoid a loan. At the same time, individuals can enjoy the benefits of commercial real estate investing for as little as $500. 

Benefits of Equity Crowdfunding for Real Estate Investors

First, you can raise funds without debt. This is the same reason crowdfunding is a popular way to fund a small business startup. It isn’t free money. There are fees and profit sharing involved. It is often substantially cheaper than borrowing the funds, however. 

Real Estate Financing Using Hard Money 

If you struggle with bad credit, hard money  loans are an option.  The loans are asset-based. They can fund any real estate investment. They are based on the property value. This means, there is no need for background checks or credit scores. Some lenders even offer hard money loans based on the after-repair value of a building. 

Since it’s based on the real estate value , a borrower with poor credit can get these loans. Hard money loans are fast, sometimes even within 24 hours of application.

Interest rates can be very high, some even up to as much three times that of banks. Terms can be very short, like 6 – 18 months, versus a standard 30-year mortgage.

Plus, a hard money lender wants you to have some money in the project as well.  Typically at least 10% of your own money is required. That way, the lender knows their interests are protected because you don’t want to lose your money. Hard money loans are usually not subject to consumer lending regulations. 

Commercial Real Estate Loans

Commercial real estate is income-producing property that is solely for business purposes, not residential. Examples include retail malls, professional offices such as for medical professionals, office buildings and complexes, and auto dealerships. Financing, including the purchase, development, and construction of these properties, often comes from commercial real estate loans. These are mortgages secured by liens on the commercial property. 

Commercial real estate loans are often made to business entities. These include developers, corporations, limited partnerships, and funds and trusts. These entities are sometimes formed for the specific purpose of owning commercial real estate.

Find out why so many companies use our proven methods to get business loans.

However, such a business entity may not have a financial track record or any credit rating. In that case the lender may require the principals or owners of the entity to guarantee the loan. 

The owner then puts their property on the line. In case of loan default, the lender can recover from them.

If the lender does not require this type of guarantee, and the property is the only means of recovery in the event of loan default, this debt is a non-recourse loan. It means the lender has no recourse against anyone or anything other than the property.

What are Typical Commercial Loan Terms for Real Estate? 

Using business credit to buy real estate usually means shorter loan terms.  Usually, they range from less than 5 years to 20 years rather than the typical 30 year residential mortgage. The amortization period is often longer than the term of the loan. 

Amortization is an accounting technique. Its use is to periodically lower the book value of a loan or intangible asset over a set period of time.

For example, a lender might make a commercial loan for a term of eight years, with an amortization period of 30 years. Then, the borrower would make payments for eight years, of an amount based on the loan being paid off over 30 years. 

Then one final balloon payment of the entire remaining balance on the loan is due at the 8 year mark.

The length of the loan term and the amortization period affect the rate the lender charges. Depending on the credit strength of the borrower, these terms may be negotiable. However, general, the longer the loan repayment schedule, the higher the interest rate.

Credit Suite Options for Funding Real Estate Investments

These options are all viable, but some work better than others. It can be hard to determine what will work best for you.  

Credit Suite has commercial real estate financing that you should check out.  It ranges from $100,000 – $10,000,000. This financing can be used for refinancing a property, even if you are doing a cash-out refinance. The maximum LTV 70% and loan-to-values range from 55 – 65%, depending on the purpose of the loan. Renovations get loan-to-value of up to 60%.  Credit Suite has funding programs available including: 

  • conventional property financing
  • money for investment properties and hard money loans
  • bridge loans and
  • loans for the purchase of commercial real estate

Credit Suite offers financing for various, and even unique, property types. You can get funding for offices, industrial offices, industrial facilities, light manufacturing buildings, self-storage facilities, mixed use properties, commercial condos, auto dealerships, light auto services, day cares, assisted living facilities, entertainment venues, multi-family properties, retail warehouses, and more.

Find out why so many companies use our proven methods to get business loans.

How a Business Credit Expert Can Help

If you plan on using business credit to buy real estate, you can do so even if your personal credit score isn’t great. However, you may get better terms and interest rates if you have a strong business credit score also. A business credit expert can help you evaluate your fundability and guide you as you navigate the process of increasing fundability and building a strong business credit score.

The post A Complete Guide To Using Business Credit to Buy Real Estate appeared first on Credit Suite.

The post A Complete Guide To Using Business Credit to Buy Real Estate appeared first on Business Marketplace Product Reviews.

A Complete Guide To Using Business Credit to Buy Real Estate

If you need to buy commercial real estate, it is probably best to do with business credit rather than a personal loan.  Of course, if you can buy real estate with any loan at all, that’s even better.  But how would you do that? How do you go about using business credit to buy real estate? What is business credit exactly? These are all questions that you need answered. 

The Ins and Outs of Using Business Credit to Buy Real Estate

To put it simply, business credit is credit you get based on the creditworthiness, or fundability, of your business, no you the owner.

Find out why so many companies use our proven methods to get business loans.

So, what are the options for funding real estate?  There are a few! If you are using business credit to buy real estate, you can do a commercial loan or hard money loan.  If you want to try to reduce the amount of debt you have to take on, you can try crowdfunding a well. You may get all you need, but you may need to combine funding methods.  

Real Estate Crowdfunding 

Crowdfunding real estate is not all that different from crowdfunding anything else. You use a crowdfunding platform, and others on the platform can donate, or invest, in your cause as they see fit. It began the JOBS Act of 2012.  Small businesses gained relief from a lot of requirements in place by the SEC. These requirements held many businesses back. 

Though similar to crowdfunding for small businesses, crowdfunding real estate investing isn’t exactly the same. Most of those that list on real estate crowdfunding sites are commercial real estate businesses. They are seeking funding for their endeavors. Anyone can invest in commercial real estate. This is similar to investing in the  stock market. Then they can enjoy the returns without actually buying an entire piece of commercial property.

As a result, commercial real estate investors can raise equity and avoid a loan. At the same time, individuals can enjoy the benefits of commercial real estate investing for as little as $500. 

Benefits of Equity Crowdfunding for Real Estate Investors

First, you can raise funds without debt. This is the same reason crowdfunding is a popular way to fund a small business startup. It isn’t free money. There are fees and profit sharing involved. It is often substantially cheaper than borrowing the funds, however. 

Real Estate Financing Using Hard Money 

If you struggle with bad credit, hard money  loans are an option.  The loans are asset-based. They can fund any real estate investment. They are based on the property value. This means, there is no need for background checks or credit scores. Some lenders even offer hard money loans based on the after-repair value of a building. 

Since it’s based on the real estate value , a borrower with poor credit can get these loans. Hard money loans are fast, sometimes even within 24 hours of application.

Interest rates can be very high, some even up to as much three times that of banks. Terms can be very short, like 6 – 18 months, versus a standard 30-year mortgage.

Plus, a hard money lender wants you to have some money in the project as well.  Typically at least 10% of your own money is required. That way, the lender knows their interests are protected because you don’t want to lose your money. Hard money loans are usually not subject to consumer lending regulations. 

Commercial Real Estate Loans

Commercial real estate is income-producing property that is solely for business purposes, not residential. Examples include retail malls, professional offices such as for medical professionals, office buildings and complexes, and auto dealerships. Financing, including the purchase, development, and construction of these properties, often comes from commercial real estate loans. These are mortgages secured by liens on the commercial property. 

Commercial real estate loans are often made to business entities. These include developers, corporations, limited partnerships, and funds and trusts. These entities are sometimes formed for the specific purpose of owning commercial real estate.

Find out why so many companies use our proven methods to get business loans.

However, such a business entity may not have a financial track record or any credit rating. In that case the lender may require the principals or owners of the entity to guarantee the loan. 

The owner then puts their property on the line. In case of loan default, the lender can recover from them.

If the lender does not require this type of guarantee, and the property is the only means of recovery in the event of loan default, this debt is a non-recourse loan. It means the lender has no recourse against anyone or anything other than the property.

What are Typical Commercial Loan Terms for Real Estate? 

Using business credit to buy real estate usually means shorter loan terms.  Usually, they range from less than 5 years to 20 years rather than the typical 30 year residential mortgage. The amortization period is often longer than the term of the loan. 

Amortization is an accounting technique. Its use is to periodically lower the book value of a loan or intangible asset over a set period of time.

For example, a lender might make a commercial loan for a term of eight years, with an amortization period of 30 years. Then, the borrower would make payments for eight years, of an amount based on the loan being paid off over 30 years. 

Then one final balloon payment of the entire remaining balance on the loan is due at the 8 year mark.

The length of the loan term and the amortization period affect the rate the lender charges. Depending on the credit strength of the borrower, these terms may be negotiable. However, general, the longer the loan repayment schedule, the higher the interest rate.

Credit Suite Options for Funding Real Estate Investments

These options are all viable, but some work better than others. It can be hard to determine what will work best for you.  

Credit Suite has commercial real estate financing that you should check out.  It ranges from $100,000 – $10,000,000. This financing can be used for refinancing a property, even if you are doing a cash-out refinance. The maximum LTV 70% and loan-to-values range from 55 – 65%, depending on the purpose of the loan. Renovations get loan-to-value of up to 60%.  Credit Suite has funding programs available including: 

  • conventional property financing
  • money for investment properties and hard money loans
  • bridge loans and
  • loans for the purchase of commercial real estate

Credit Suite offers financing for various, and even unique, property types. You can get funding for offices, industrial offices, industrial facilities, light manufacturing buildings, self-storage facilities, mixed use properties, commercial condos, auto dealerships, light auto services, day cares, assisted living facilities, entertainment venues, multi-family properties, retail warehouses, and more.

Find out why so many companies use our proven methods to get business loans.

How a Business Credit Expert Can Help

If you plan on using business credit to buy real estate, you can do so even if your personal credit score isn’t great. However, you may get better terms and interest rates if you have a strong business credit score also. A business credit expert can help you evaluate your fundability and guide you as you navigate the process of increasing fundability and building a strong business credit score.

The post A Complete Guide To Using Business Credit to Buy Real Estate appeared first on Credit Suite.

How Brands are Using NFTs

Technology has been advancing at warp speed in the past few years.

One area that has been enjoying some of the most rapid advancements is blockchain.

That doesn’t mean solely cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the slew of other cryptos being peddled on the crypto market.

Let’s look at non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and how brands can use NFTs in their marketing campaigns.

What Are NFTs?

While they’ve been around for a couple of years, NFTs have recently become a hot topic (and even hotter investment).

What are they, and how do they work?

To understand non-fungible tokens (NFTs), we must first define the word “fungible.”

If something is fungible, it can be exchanged for something of equal or similar value. A typical example would be fiat currency (and even cryptocurrency). It’s fungible because you can trade it for goods of an equal value. You can also trade it for another currency if need be.

On the other hand, something that’s non-fungible is unique and therefore can’t be exchanged at equivalency. For example, a diamond is non-fungible as no two diamonds in the world are alike, and thus each has its unique value. You can’t trade one for another at equivalency.

A non-fungible token is a cryptographic asset created using blockchain technology.

What sets NFTs apart from cryptocurrencies (which are fungible tokens as they are identical to each other) is that they have unique identification codes and metadata to distinguish one NFT from another.

Because each NFT is unique, it cannot be traded or exchanged at equivalency with another NFT. The result is that each NFT is a digital collectible, a one-of-a-kind asset that can’t be replicated.

That’s where the craze for NFTs started. In 2017, CryptoKitties, a blend between Tamagotchi and trading cards, exploded onto the scene. Each kitten is unique and can be raised, reproduced, be traded— some for as much as $140,000.

NFT mania was born, and today, the interest in NFTs is only increasing.

Why Are Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) Important to Brands?

One of the main reasons NFTs are important to brands is that they can be used to represent digital files, such as art, audio, and video. They are so versatile, they can be used to represent other forms of creative work like virtual real estate, virtual worlds, fashion, and much more.

What does this have to with your brand and marketing strategy?

Thanks to the global interest they’ve generated, NFTs have opened up new ways of brand storytelling and consumer interaction, which, as you know, are the two main pillars of an effective marketing strategy.

With NFTs, you can:

  • create unique brand experiences
  • increase brand awareness
  • encourage interaction
  • create interest in your brand and product

Ultimately, NFTs can help you increase conversions and drive revenue.

Here are ways brands are using NFTs to power their marketing.

6 Ways Brands Are Using NFTs

The concept of NFTs in marketing may be a bit difficult to grasp. Like most things that are difficult to understand, the best way is to look at examples.

Here are some nifty ways brands are using NFTs. Hopefully, you’ll get some inspiration from them.

1. Taco Bell GIFs

Research shows that 83 percent of millennials prefer to do business with brands that align with their values. That’s why brands need to support causes they believe in openly (and genuinely).

While Taco Bell has been doing this for years through their foundation, they took it to a whole new level by selling taco-themed NFT GIFs to support the Live Más Scholarship.

Ways Brands Are Using NFTs - Taco Bell GIFs

Within 30 minutes of putting their 25 NFTs (dubbed NFTacoBells) up for sale on Rarible (an NFT marketplace), all the GIFs were gone. Each GIF started at a bidding price of $1. However, they all sold for thousands of dollars each, with one going for as much as $3,646.

Creating and selling NFTs was a clever move on Taco Bell’s part as it generated a lot of buzz on mainstream media and social media; that’s always good for business.

Like Taco Bell, you can use NFTs to kill two birds with one stone:

  1. drive brand awareness
  2. support a good cause

Both are potent factors that can help drum up business for your brand.

2. RTFKT Digital Sneakers

Looking for a way to disrupt the market and make a name for yourself?

NFTs can help you do that.

That’s what happened when a little-known Chinese virtual sneaker brand called RTFKT designed an NFT sneaker for the Chinese New Year and put it up for auction.

The sneaker sold for a whopping $28,000.

Ways Brands Are Using NFTs - RTFKT Digital Sneakers

That’s quite impressive for a brand that’s barely two years old, especially considering they sold a sneaker that can’t be touched, let alone worn. Impressive as this was, it was still way behind the $3 million they generated from another NFT sneaker they designed in collaboration with the 18-year-old artist, FEWOCiOUS.

With NFTs still in their infancy, this is the right time for marketers to join the bandwagon. It’s a great way to grab attention and build a tribe of followers.

As a marketer thinking of ways to leverage NFT technology, you can take a cue from RTFKT. Create limited memorabilia to celebrate special milestones and holidays, and use them in your marketing campaigns around those holiday seasons. You can give them away to the first X number of customers or even auction them off as stand-alone products.

3. Grimes Videos

Six million dollars in 20 minutes.

That’s how much Grimes made from a collection of 10 NFTs auctioned on Nifty Gateway.

Artist, Grimes, sold an NFT collection featuring 10 pieces for $6 million.

It’s clear that people are interested in NFTs, and brands can leverage that interest to market their products. For example, you can:

  • Partner with artists or auction sites and have your brand present in the auction.
  • Create an NFT and auction it for charity.
  • Run a contest (for lead generation) with NFTs being the prize.

Marketing is all about riding current trends and using your creativity to harness the excitement around them to draw attention to your brand.

4. Kings of Leon ‘When You See Yourself’ Album Launch

With so many musicians and bands around, the music industry has become very competitive. Building and keeping a loyal fanbase isn’t as easy as it used to be.

The Kings of Leon found a way to get around that.

They released their album, “When You See Yourself” in the form of an NFT.

The Kings of Leon are using three types of tokens for this first-of-its-kind album release. One type features a special album package, while the second offers live show perks. The third type of token features exclusive audiovisual art.

While the album is available on all music platforms, the NFT version was only available on YellowHeart, priced at $50.

The Kings of Leon are the first band to release an NFT album.

The sale of the NFTs was only open for two weeks, after which no more album tokens were created. This move made the tokens a tradeable collectible.

Being the first band to release an NFT version of an album put the Kings of Leon in the history books.

More than that, it put them in the hearts of their fans by allowing them to own a digital collectible. Now that’s an excellent way of fostering brand loyalty.

5. Beeple Artwork

Virtually unknown in mainstream art circles, Mike Winkelmann has become something of a legend.

He sold a JPG file for $69.3 million, making him the third-most-expensive living artist at the time of the auction.

The file is a piece of art sold as a non-fungible token and is the first digital-only NFT auctioned by Christie’s.

A piece of NFT artwork sold by Beeple for over $69 million.

The two-week timed auction had to be extended by 90 seconds as a flurry of bids came in when the auction was about to close.

What lessons can brands learn from this?

Be quick to embrace new technologies and ideas. With the competition becoming more fierce with each passing day, you must be willing to take risks and be disruptive to outperform.

6. Nyan Cat GIF

A decade ago, the Nyan Cat GIF burst onto the digital scene with a colorful bang. Creator Chris Torres made an NFT version of the GIF that sold for over $500,000 on the crypto auction site, Foundation.

Nyan cat is a GIF turned NFT that sold for close to $500,000.

That’s right. An animated GIF from the past sold for over half a million dollars.

Chris, however, didn’t stop there. He organized an auction where classic memes are being auctioned off as NFTs. One of the memes, Bad Luck Brian, sold for over $34,000 on Foundation.

What can brands take away from this?

The lesson here is that your customers are willing to pay for great experiences. Capitalize on this by turning some of your best ads into NFTs. Create an event where you auction them off and make sure to publicize the event well.

Not only will this boost your brand awareness, but it will also help you reach new audiences in the tech space.

The Future of NFTs

Sure, NFTs are still relatively new, and their practical use is still limited. However, people love them and are willing to spend on them. These are sure indicators that they’re here to stay.

Like blockchain technology powering them, NFTs could play a significant role in the digital landscape of the future. That’s particularly true for marketers as non-fungible tokens have opened up new avenues for interacting with your audience and creating memorable experiences for them.

Remember, most common technologies we use today (like social media) seemed like fads when they started.

Yet today, we depend on them for so many things in life. NFTs may seem like a craze today, but they bring to the table a lot of beneficial features (like transparency coupled with security) that break the limitations of current technologies we’re using.

Conclusion

NFTs are fantastic in creating memorable experiences for your customers. They’re also an excellent way of engaging with and interacting with your target audience.

While the technology is still in its infancy, brands need to pay close attention to it. More specifically, you need to research ways you can leverage NFTs in your marketing strategies. For example, you can mint luxury designs of your product, create memorable ad campaigns, or collaborate with NFT creators.

The bottom line is that NFT technology is here to stay, and it’s undoubtedly set to be a part of digital marketing.

Are NFTs a fad? Or are they here to stay?

Using Credit Cards to Fund Your Business

Are you using credit cards to fund your business? No? Then what are you waiting for? Even during the age of COVID-19, it is possible.

Using Credit Cards to Fund Your Business

We researched a ton of company credit cards for you. So, here are our favorites.

Per the SBA, company credit card limits are a whopping 10 – 100 times that of consumer cards!

This reveals you can get a lot more cash with small business credit. And it also shows you can have personal credit cards at stores. So, you would now have an added card at the same retail stores for your business.

And you will not need collateral, cash flow, or financials to get company credit.

Using Credit Cards to Fund Your Business: Advantages

Benefits vary. So, make certain to select the benefit you prefer from this choice of alternatives.

Using Credit Cards to Fund Your Business With 0% APR

Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

Take a look at the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. It has no annual fee. There is a 0% introductory APR for the first year. Afterwards, the APR is a variable 14.74 – 20.74%.

Get double Membership Rewards® points on day to day business purchases like office supplies or client dinners for the initial $50,000 spent each year. Get 1 point per dollar afterwards.

You will need great to excellent credit to qualify.

Find it here: https://creditcard.americanexpress.com/d/bluebusinessplus-credit-card/

American Express® Blue Business Cash Card

Also check out the American Express® Blue Business Cash Card. Keep in mind: the American Express® Blue Business Cash Card is identical to the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. But its rewards are in cash instead of points.

Get 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year. Then get 1%.

It has no annual fee. There is a 0% introductory APR for the first one year. After that, the APR is a variable 14.74 – 20.74%.

You will need good to exceptional credit to qualify.

Find it here: https://creditcard.americanexpress.com/d/business-bluecash-credit-card/

Using Credit Cards to Fund Your Business with Flexible Financing

The Plum Card® from American Express

Check out the Plum Card® from American Express. It has an initial yearly fee of $0 for the first year. Afterwards, pay $250 annually.

Get a 1.5% early pay discount cash back bonus when you pay within 10 days. You can take up to 60 days to pay without interest when you pay the minimum due by the payment due date.

You will need excellent to outstanding credit to qualify.

Find it here: https://creditcard.americanexpress.com/d/the-plum-card-business-charge-card/

coronavirus and biz Credit Suite

Establish business credit fast with our research-backed guide to 12 business credit cards and lines.

Using Credit Cards to Fund Your Business Despite Fair Credit

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Have a look at the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business. It has no annual fee. There is no introductory APR offer. The regular APR is a variable 24.49%. You can earn unlimited 1% cash back on every purchase for your company, with no minimum to redeem.

While this card is within reach if you have average credit scores, beware of the APR. But if you can pay on time, and in full, then it’s a good deal.

Find it here: https://www.capitalone.com/small-business/credit-cards/spark-classic/

Using Credit Cards to Fund Your Business for Luxurious Travel Points

Flat-rate Travel Rewards

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

Have a look at the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business. It has an introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, which then rises to $95. The regular APR is 18.49%, variable due to the prime rate. There is no introductory annual percentage rate. Pay no transfer fees. Late fees go up to $39.

This card is great for travel if your expenditures don’t fall into conventional bonus categories. You can get unlimited double miles on all purchases, without limits. Earn 5x miles on rental cars and hotels if you book via Capital One Travel.

Get an initial bonus of 50,000 miles. That’s the same as $500 in travel. But you just get it if you spend $4,500 in the initial 3 months from account opening. There is no foreign transaction fee. You will need a great to outstanding FICO rating to qualify.

Find it here: https://www.capitalone.com/small-business/credit-cards/spark-miles/

Bonus Travel Categories with a Sign-Up Offer

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

For an excellent sign-up offer and bonus categories, take a look at the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card.

Pay an annual fee of $95. Regular APR is 17.49 – 22.49%, variable. There is no introductory APR offer.

Get 100,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 in the first three months after account opening. This works out to $1,250 towards travel rewards if you redeem with Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Get three points per dollar of the first $150,000 you spend with this card. So this is for purchases on travel, shipping, internet, cable, and phone services. Plus it includes advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year.

You can get 25% more in travel redemption when you redeem for travel using Chase Ultimate Rewards. You will need a great to exceptional FICO score to qualify.

Find it here: https://creditcards.chase.com/business-credit-cards/ink/business-preferred

No Annual Fee

Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World MasterCard® credit card

For no yearly fee while still getting travel rewards, have a look at this card from Bank of America. It has no yearly fee and a 0% introductory APR for purchases during the first nine billing cycles. After that, its regular APR is 13.74 – 23.74% variable.

You can get 30,000 bonus points when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases. So this is within 90 days of your account opening. You can redeem these points for a $300 statement credit towards travel purchases.

Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases, everywhere, every time. And this is despite how much you spend.

Likewise earn 3 points per every dollar spent when you book your travel (car, hotel, airline) through the Bank of America® Travel Center. There is no limit to the number of points you can get and points do not expire.

You will need exceptional credit scores to get this one (as in, 700s or better).

Find it here: https://www.bankofamerica.com/smallbusiness/credit-cards/products/travel-rewards-business-credit-card/

Hotel Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

Have a look at the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ Card from American Express. It has a yearly fee of $125. There is no introductory APR offer. The regular APR is a variable 17.24 – 26.24%. You will need good to outstanding credit to get this card.

Points

You can earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after using your card to make purchases of $3,000 in the initial three months. Get 6x the points for qualified purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. You can get 4x the points at US restaurants and filling stations. And you can get 4x the points on wireless telephone services purchased directly from American service providers and on American purchases for shipping.

Get double points on all other qualified purchases.

Rewards

Plus, you get a free night each year after your card anniversary. And you can earn an additional free night after you spend $60,000 on your card in a calendar year.

You get Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status with your Card. Plus, spend $35,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year and get an upgrade to Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status through the end of the next calendar year.

Plus, each calendar year you can get credit for 15 nights towards the next level of Marriott Bonvoy Elite status.

Find it here: https://creditcard.americanexpress.com/d/bonvoy-business/

Using Credit Cards to Fund Your Business with No Yearly Fee

No Yearly Fee/Flat Rate Cash Back

Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

Have a look at the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card. Beyond no annual fee, get an introductory 0% APR for the initial twelve months. After that, the APR is a variable 14.74 – 20.74%.

You can earn unlimited 1.5% Cash Back rewards on every purchase made for your business. And get $500 bonus cash back after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months from account opening. You can redeem your rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel and more using Chase Ultimate Rewards®. You will need superb credit scores to qualify for this card.

Find it here: https://creditcards.chase.com/business-credit-cards/ink/unlimited

Using Credit Cards to Fund Your Business Despite Fair to Poor Credit, Not Requiring a Personal Guarantee

Brex Card for Startups

Look into the Brex Card for Startups. It has no yearly fee.

You will not need to supply your Social Security number to apply. And you will not need to supply a personal guarantee. They will take your EIN.

However, they do not accept every industry.

Additionally, there are some industries they will not work with, and others where they want added documentation. For a list, go here: https://brex.com/legal/prohibited_activities/.

To determine creditworthiness, Brex checks a company’s cash balance, spending patterns, and investors.

You can get 7x points on rideshare. Get 4x on Brex Travel. Also, get triple points on restaurants. And get double points on recurring software payments. Get 1x points on everything else.

You can have poor credit scores (even a 300 FICO) to qualify.

Find it here: https://brex.com/lp/startups-higher-limits/

Using Credit Cards to Fund Your Business and Get Cash Back

Flat-Rate Rewards

Capital One ® Spark® Cash for Business

Check out the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business. It has an introductory $0 yearly fee for the first year. After that, this card costs $95 each year. There is no introductory APR offer. The regular APR is a variable 18.49%.

You can get a $500 one-time cash bonus after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening. Get unlimited 2% cash back. Redeem at any time with no minimums.

You will need great to exceptional credit to qualify.

Find it here: https://www.capitalone.com/small-business/credit-cards/spark-cash/

Flat-Rate Rewards and No Yearly Cost

Discover it® Business Card

Have a look at the Discover it® Business Card. It has no yearly fee. There is an introductory APR of 0% on purchases for year. Then the regular APR is a variable 14.49 – 22.49%.

Get unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no category restrictions or bonuses. They double the 1.5% Cashback Match™ at the end of the first year. There is no minimal spend requirement.

You can download transactions| easily to Quicken, QuickBooks, and Excel. Note: you will need great to excellent credit to qualify for this card.

https://www.discover.com/credit-cards/business/

Bonus Categories

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Take a look at the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. It has no annual fee. There is a 0% introductory APR for the initial 12 months. After that, the APR is a variable 14.74 – 20.74%. You can get a $500 one-time cash bonus after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months from account opening.

You can get 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on net, cable, and phone services each account anniversary year.

Get 2% cash back on the initial $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. There is no limitation to the amount you can get.

You will need outstanding credit scores to receive this card.

Find it here: https://creditcards.chase.com/business-credit-cards/ink/cash?iCELL=61GF

Boosted Cash Back Categories

Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards MasterCard® credit card

Take a look at the Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards MasterCard® credit card. Get an 0% introductory APR for the first 9 billing cycles of the account. After that, the APR is 13.74% – 23.74% variable. There is no annual fee. You can get a $300 statement credit offer.

Get 3% cash back in the category of your choice. So these are gasoline stations (default), office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom & wireless, computer services or business consulting services. Earn 2% cash back on dining. So this is for the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year. After that earn 1% after, with no limits.

You will need exceptional credit to qualify.

Find it here: https://promo.bankofamerica.com/smallbusinesscards2/

Using Credit Cards to Fund Your Business Credit Suite

Establish business credit fast with our research-backed guide to 12 business credit cards and lines.

Using Credit Cards to Fund Your Business for Jackpot Rewards

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

Have a look at the Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business. It has no yearly fee. You can get 1.5% cash back on every purchase. There is no limit on the cash back you can earn. Also earn a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rewards never expire.

Pay a 0% introductory APR for 9 months. Then pay 14.49% – 22.49% variable APR after that.

You will need great to outstanding credit scores to qualify.

Find it here: https://www.capitalone.com/small-business/credit-cards/spark-cash-select/

COVID-19 business credit cards Credit Suite

Establish business credit fast with our research-backed guide to 12 business credit cards and lines.

The Best Business Credit Cards for You

Your absolute best business credit cards hinge on your credit history and scores.

Only you can select which features you want and need. So, make sure to do your homework. What is excellent for you could be disastrous for others.

And, as always, make certain to develop credit in the recommended order for the best, fastest benefits. Because the COVID-19 situation cannot last forever.

The post Using Credit Cards to Fund Your Business appeared first on Credit Suite.

The Ultimate Guide to Using UTM Parameters

Do you know which online marketing campaign drives the maximum traffic and business to your website?

Sure, you might be keeping tabs on various referral sources inside your Google Analytics (GA) reports. But, wouldn’t it helpful to have an advanced tracking option that keeps you on top of the marketing campaign that drives maximum traffic for you?

That’s where UTM parameters come into play.

By tagging your URLs with UTMs (Urchin Tracking Module), you can understand how your visitors interact with your website.

Here’s how these UTM parameters appear at the end of your URL.

UTM parameter link example

So, what can these snippets of text tell you, after appending your URLs?

I’ll tell you the traffic aspects you can track in the next section. First, let me tell you one catch associated with them….

UTM parameters are stubborn entities that stick to your links, even when you switch to different networks and mediums.

That means if a visitor picked your link (tagged with a UTM) from Twitter to share on Facebook, it would still count as a share from Twitter.

According to research conducted by BuzzFeed , content actually spreads across the social web in a branching tree pattern.

how content spreads the ultimate guide to UTM parameters

Research by 33across found that 82% of online sharing is done by copy-pasting URLs.  This means that UTMs stick around and can give misleading data for cross-platform social media sharing.

There’s a potential solution – cleaning the URLs by stripping UTM codes at the end, once sharing on one social platform has occurred.

But, if this clean URL then gets shared on private social media (think Email, WhatsApp and Messenger), it appears as direct traffic in your analytics.

Again, this is misleading information – which becomes a part of your dark social traffic.

With this limitation, I just wanted you to understand that UTMs aren’t the end-all solution to understanding the performance of your content.

But, they sure make your marketing campaign picture less chaotic.

So, let’s start with generating custom URLs for your campaign and some UTM best practices. Then, we’ll move on to live UTM use-cases. 

But before we dig in deep, let me clearer on the basics.

What Are UTM parameters?

Here’s a succinct and super helpful definition from Kissmetrics:

“UTM parameters are simply tags that you add to a URL. When someone clicks on a URL with UTM parameters, those tags are sent back to your Google Analytics for tracking.”

Are you ready to get going on your UTM campaign and figure out how these insights might shape your marketing effort?

How to Generate URL Parameters With Google’s URL Builder

UTM parameters are a great way to figure out which URLs are most effective in attracting visitors to your content. So, is there a systematic way to append them to your URLs?

Fortunately, yes.

Say hello to Google’s URL builder — but there are now three different ones depending on whether you want to track data in GA, Google Play, or the Apple App store.

We’ll look at the one inside the Google Analytics help center (looks like the screenshot below) for setting up your URLs.

google's UTM builder example

Here are the five form fields that you need to complete:

  • Campaign Source: The platform (or vendor) where the traffic originates, like Facebook or your email newsletter.
  • Campaign Medium: You can use this to identify the medium like Cost Per Click (CPC), social media, affiliate, or QR code.
  • Campaign Term: You’ll use this mainly for tracking your keywords during a paid AdWords campaign. You can also use it in your display ad campaigns to identify aspects of your audience.
  • Campaign Content: If you’re A/B testing ads, then this is a useful metric that passes details about your ad. You can also use it to differentiate links that point to the same URL.
  • Campaign Name: This is just to identify your campaign. Like your website or specific product promotion. Here’s an example screenshot with the campaign names you might see when you navigate to Traffic Sources >> Sources >> Campaigns.
UTM parameters traffic source data

You can also use the Effin amazing UTM Builder Chrome extension (now called UTM.io) to create UTMs. It auto-populates the URL and saves your most used terms as presets.

UTM parameters builder example

UTM Parameter Best Practices

Here are three best practices that you must follow for tagging your URLs. It will help you easily identify where traffic comes from.

1. Create Standard Naming Convention for UTM Parameters

If you stay consistent, you can avoid a lot of confusion and ensure that your UTMs are reportable.

First, use dashes over underscores, percentage (representation for spaces inside GA), and plus signs in your URLs. Google algorithm doesn’t penalize you for using them and they work better – Matt Cutts explains why here.

Second, stay consistent with lowercase throughout all of your campaigns. For example,

utm_source=LinkedIn is different from utm_source=linkedin.

Changing to uppercase, camel case, or any other capitalization gives you an additional responsibility of remembering this convention. So, it’s better to stick with lowercase and not let human error creep in.

Third, keep your URLs clean, descriptive, non-redundant and easy to read.

For example, you might mistakenly put the same values inside source and medium parameters.

UTM parameters example

Or, you can put the specific originating aspect under medium (like the example below), but still manage to confuse yourself with the double use of ‘facebook.’

UTM parameters example

The best way is to simply make the UTMs flow like a normal sentence sans any redundancy. See how easy it is to decipher your campaign details in the URL below.

The traffic source is Facebook with post as the medium and a part of the new admin dashboard 2014 April campaign.

UTM parameters example

Here is a visual summary of the points I just mentioned.

best practices for UTM parameters

Note: Once you’ve taken sufficient time to create data-rich URLs, I recommended that you shorten them, using tools like bit.ly or Google Link Shortener. A long and bulky URL does not make for a good user experience and might even come across as spammy.

Also, the UTM parameters are visible to the users in their address bars. So, be transparent and don’t use values that you don’t want to be seen by the user.

2. Track Your UTM Links Inside a Spreadsheet

Keeping a record of the tagged links will ensure that your marketing team stays on the same page. You can use this free spreadsheet template by Sam Wiltshire or this free link tagging tool by Rafflecopter to get started.

Additionally, create a naming convention guide document that lays out clear instructions for tagging links. This can be an iterative and expanding guide – if you come across a new scenario, you can add the example to this document.

3. Next Steps After Establishing a UTM System

The most important aspect for a business isn’t the number of clicks and traffic generated by various sources; it’s revenue.

So, once you know your way around UTMs, it’s useful to connect your tracking data with your CRM. It shows you a clear picture of how various online marketing channels are affecting your bottom line.

Alternatively, you can also set up goals inside GA. For example, if you want to measure reader loyalty and engagement, I show you the process in this article.

I recommend, though, that you track more concrete conversion-focused metrics, like leads generated and email signups.

Alright, now that you’re aware of these best practices, let’s talk about when to use UTM parameters.

Where to Use UTM Parameters

Here are tjree UTM parameter use cases you can implement right away.

1. Insert UTM Parameters to Social Media Links

Suppose you want to find your highest ROI-yielding social media platform and which links on that platform perform the best, traffic-wise. Then, UTMs can help you analyze your social media referral traffic.

For example, on Twitter, you have four options to promote your links – a regular tweet, a promoted tweet, a website field, a and profile/bio description.

Barring the profile link (since it displays the first part of the URL you enter), you can track all of these link clicks separately.

UTM parameters example of link

Here are example UTM parameter strings, based on Twitter with different medium values.

?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=profile&utm_campaign=email

?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=tweet&utm_campaign=email

?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=promoted&utm_campaign=email

Once you’ve generated a custom URL, you can shorten the link, using shorteners I mentioned earlier and save the precious 160 character real estate.

Similarly, on Facebook, you can create separate UTM links for promoted posts, profile contact info, posts in a group, organic posts from your page and more. Kristin Hines shares UTM parameters for major social media here.

Once you start getting data and if you create goals (as I mentioned in the best practice 3 above), then you’ll get an enriching GA report like the one below.

UTM parameters data example

2. Test Clicks From Your Email Newsletters

Want to understand the parameters inside your newsletter that contribute the majority of traffic to your website?

Then, appending UTMs to your URLs can help.

Let’s look at an example instant update email by Redfin.

UTM parameters example in email

All of the links inside the above email share these UTM parameters:

utm_campaign : instant_listings_update

utm_medium : email

utm_source : myredfin

But, Redfin has correctly set up different utm_content values for all of their links (the screenshot above displays the unique values for each link). So, even when the subscribers of the myredfin list go to the same page, redfin knows the link they have clicked.

Now, let’s look at a bad example of UTM.

Here’s an email from Pinterest, recommending certain boards to follow.

UTM parameters example from Pinterest

As you can see, every board has an author, 5 images and a follow board CTA.

All of the above links share the following UTM parameters:

utm_campaign : weekly_wkly_130722

utm_medium : email

utm_source : sendgrid.com

Note that the utm_camapign value at 13 07 22 represents the date it was sent on (22/07/2013). It’s a useful piece of information.

But, other than that, Pinterest fails to impress with its UTM implementation.

  • There’s no way to find out the specific images and CTA buttons inside the email where the audience clicks. So, Pinterest doesn’t even know which of their “Follow Boards” buttons work well. The utm_content can be employed to gain this insight.
  • The utm_campaign value adds a confusing overhead with double usage of ‘weekly’ and ‘wkly.’ And, sendgrid.com as utm_source does not add any value, from an analytics perspective. It’s the email service provider that Pinterest uses and they are already aware of that.

I recommend that check out the UTM analysis of 8 more companies, by Puru Choudhary, here.

You can further implement UTM parameters inside your email signature to track if it leads visitors to your website.

Gniewko Oblicki created a company-wide signature template, appending UTM parameters. Here’s how it looks in CodeTwo Exchange Rules HTML editor.

UTM parameters case study

He ran five footer campaigns in the company and found that users engaged incredibly well on their website. Here’s the GA report showing the results of 1682 sessions initiated by the five campaigns.

utm parameters case study

3. Track the Most Effective Banner Advertisements

If you regularly perform paid marketing, then I am sure you would like to know the banner ads that perform the best.

With UTMs, you can not only find out the external website that brings the most traffic, but you can even find out the banner placement, design, size, color and banner types that are most effective.

For example, suppose you use two banner sizes, 300px and 600px, for advertising on a third-party website, Koozai.

Here’s how the UTM might look if it is 300 px wide.

UTM parameters link example

Here’s how it would look when it is 600 px wide.

UTM parameters example

Once you’ve tagged both sizes, you can easily find the one that’s more effective and double down on it.

Kristi uses 320px banner ads in her blog’s sidebar. And, here’s how they perform against other clicks on her eBook.

UTM parameters traffic insights

Once again, I want to emphasize that if you’ve set up goals inside GA, then you can find the most valuable piece of info that affects your business.

For example, Kristi navigated to ‘Goal Set 1’ to find out how her banner ad converts to sales. And, she can compare it with her eBook sales through other links.

UTM parameters example of traffic growth

Conclusion

UTM parameters provide extremely valuable insights into your traffic. You can uncover a goldmine of behavioral data to help boost your sales and refine your overall marketing strategy

To recap here, to create UTM parameters for your links, use Google’s URL builder. It’ll help you start campaign tracking. And, remember to keep the best practices in mind as you do so.

Have you ever used UTM parameters for campaign tracking? Did it lead to insights about building a custom campaign? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.  

The post The Ultimate Guide to Using UTM Parameters appeared first on Neil Patel.

How to Boost Your SEO by Using Schema Markup

How to Boost Your SEO by Using Schema Markup

One of the latest evolutions in SEO is called schema markup. This new form of optimization is one of the most powerful but least-utilized forms of SEO available today. Once you grasp the concept and method of schema markup, you can boost your website in the search engine result pages (SERPs).

My goal in this article is to show you exactly how to get started using schema markup for your website.

What is Schema Markup?

Schema markup is code (semantic vocabulary) that you place on your website to help the search engines return more informative results for users. If you’ve ever used rich snippets, you’ll understand exactly what schema markup is all about.

Here’s an example of a local business that has markup on its event schedule page. The SERP entry looks like this:

google search result schema for SEO

The schema markup told the SERP to display a schedule of upcoming hotel events. That, for the user, is exceptionally helpful.

Here are some facts about schema markup:

Schema Tells Search Engines What Data Means

The content on your website gets indexed and returned in search results. Obviously. But with schema markup, some of that content gets indexed and returned in a different way.

How? Because the markup tells the search engine what that content means. For example, let’s say the word “Neil Patel” appears in an article. The search engine sees this, and produces a SERP entry with “Neil Patel.”

However, if I put the right schema markup around the name “Neil Patel,” I’ve just told that search engine that “Neil Patel” is the author of the article, not just a couple of random words. The search engine then provides results that display better information for the user who was searching for “Neil Patel.”

Schema.org explains it this way:

Most webmasters are familiar with HTML tags on their pages. Usually, HTML tags tell the browser how to display the information included in the tag. For example, <h1>Avatar</h1> tells the browser to display the text string “Avatar” in a heading 1 format. However, the HTML tag doesn’t give any information about what that text string means — “Avatar” could refer to the hugely successful 3D movie, or it could refer to a type of profile picture—and this can make it more difficult for search engines to intelligently display relevant content to a user.

Schema Markup Uses a Unique Semantic Vocabulary in Microdata Format

You don’t need to learn any new coding skills. Web pages with markup still use HTML. The only difference is adding bits of schema.org vocabulary to HTML Microdata.

Schema.org, the Website for Schema Markup, is a Collaborative Effort by The Teams at Google, Bing, and Yahoo

It’s not too often that competitors come together to help each other, but Schema.org is exactly that kind of inter-industry collaboration. What you have, then, is an agreed-upon set of code markers that tells the major search engines what to do with the data on your website.

Schema Markup Was Invented for Users

When a website has schema markup in place, users can see in the SERPs what a website is all about, where they are, what they do, how much stuff costs, plus plenty of other stuff. Some people have taken to calling schema markup “your virtual business card.”

This is a user-focused improvement. Search engines exist for users to gain the information they need. Schema markup does exactly that.

Why is Schema Important?

Schema markup helps your website rank better for all kinds of content types. There is data markup for a ton of different types of data, including:

  • Articles
  • Local businesses
  • Restaurants
  • TV episodes and ratings
  • Book reviews
  • Movies
  • Software applications
  • Events
  • Products
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

There are hundreds of markup types—from toy stores to medical dose schedules. If you have any type of data on your website, there’s a good chance that it will have an associated itemscope and itemtype.

Websites that use schema markup will rank better in the SERPs than companies without markup. One study determined that websites with markup rank an average of four positions higher in the SERPs than those without schema markup. While it’s not totally clear that this higher result is due to the markup alone, there is obviously some correlation.

Right now, one-third of Google’s search results incorporate rich snippets, which includes schema markup. However, according to recent research, less than one-third of websites use schema markup.

In other words, there are millions of websites missing out on a huge source of SEO potential. If you use schema markup, you’ll automatically have a leg up on the majority of your competition.

How to Use Schema Markup for SEO

Now, let’s talk about how to use schema markup. Your goal is to rank better, look better, and do better in the SERPs and in front of users.

Schema markup will help you. With your website in hand, follow these steps.

1. Go to Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper

google structured data markup helper

2. Select the Type of Data

There are several options listed. This list is not exhaustive. For the sample below, I’m going to use “Articles” since it’s one of the most common types of content.

3. Paste the URL You Want to Markup

If you only have HTML, you can paste that instead. Then, click “Start Tagging.”

structured data markup helper

The page will load in the markup tool and provide you with the workspace for the next phase of markup—tagging items. You’ll see your web page in the left pane, and the data items in the right pane.

schema structured data markup

4. Select the Elements to Mark Up

Since this piece of content is an article, I’m going to highlight the name of the article in order to add “Name” markup. When I finish highlighting, I select “Name” from the tooltip.

structured data markup schema for SEO

When I select “Name,” the tool adds it to “Data Items” in the right pane.

structured data markup schema for SEO

5. Continue Adding Markup Items

Use the list of data items as a guide, and highlight the other items in your article to add them to the markup list. You probably won’t be able to tag every item in the list. Just add what you can.

6. Create the HTML

Once you’ve finished, click “Create HTML.”

create html for schema for SEO

In the following page, you will see the HTML of your page with the relevant microdata inserted in the spots that you selected.

google structured data markup helper schema

7. Add Schema Markup to Your Site

Next, you will go into your CMS (or source code if you’re not using a CMS) and add the highlighted snippets in the appropriate spots. Find the yellow markers on the scrollbar to find the schema markup code.

yellow bars that point to the correct markup schema

A simple alternative is to download the automatically-generated HTML file, and copy/paste it into your CMS or source code.

structure data markup download for schema

When you click “Finish,” you will be presented with a series of “Next Steps.”

next step for adding schema to your website

8. Test Your Schema

Use the Structured Data Testing Tool to find out what your page will look like with the added markup.

Instead of analyzing a published web page, I’m going to analyze the code that the tool generated for me, and which I downloaded.

structured data tool for schema

Once the code is pasted, I click “preview.” The testing tool shows me what the article will look like in Google search results:

14 structured data testing tool for schema

In addition, I can inspect every markup element that I added.

schema item type property

If necessary, I can edit the HTML directly in the testing tool in order to update the schema and preview results again.

Tips for Using Schema Markup for SEO

The purpose of this article was to get you started in the world of schema markup. It’s a big world.

The next few tips will show you how to dive even deeper, and gain even richer results from schema.

Find The Most Commonly Used Schemas

Schema.org provides a list of the most common types of schema markup. You can visit the Organization of Schemas page to see this list. Check out the types that are best suited to your business.

organization of schemas

Use All The Schemas You Need

As I mentioned previously, there is a myriad of markup types. To get the full list, visit The Type Hierarchy. This master list provides most of the markup types that are available.

schema.org the type hierarchy

The More Markups, The Better

Schema.org’s instructions explain clearly, “the more content you mark up, the better.” When you start understanding the vast array of item types, you begin to see just how much there is on your web page that you can mark up.

Keep in mind the disclaimer, however: “You should mark up only the content that is visible to people who visit the web page and not content in hidden div’s or other hidden page elements.”

Final Thoughts on Schema Markups

As simple as schema markup is to implement, it’s surprising how few businesses and websites have taken advantage of it.

Schema markup is one of those SEO techniques that will probably be with us for a long time. Now is the time to learn and implement the relevant microdata to improve your search results. Doing so right away will put you ahead of the curve, giving you a leg up on the competition.

How do you use schema markup for your company’s website?

The post How to Boost Your SEO by Using Schema Markup appeared first on Neil Patel.

How Using Emotional Marketing in Content Can Help Drive Way More Sales

Whether you care to admit it or not, the decisions you make today will be driven by your emotions. In emotional marketing, we talk a lot about using psychological triggers to get customers to click, convert, engage, etc.

“By leveraging common psychological triggers all people have,” you might hear, “you can drive more sales.”

While it may feel like we make decisions with our minds, using logic and reasoning, the “mental triggers” we hear about are tied more to emotion than anything else.

Case in point, Antonio Damasio spent time studying individuals with damage to the area of the brain where emotions were generated and processed.

While these subjects functioned just like anyone else, they couldn’t feel emotion.

The other thing they had in common was they all had trouble with making decisions.

Even simple decisions about what to eat proved difficult.

While they could describe what they should be doing using logic and reason, most decisions couldn’t be settled with simple rationale.

Without emotion, they weren’t able to make a choice.

This is supported by data from Gerard Zaltman, author of “How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market.”

Zaltman found that 95% of cognition happens beyond our conscious brain, instead coming from our subconscious, emotional brain.

ecards emotional marketing

Emotions are an X factor you can’t control, but you can’t afford to ignore them in your content marketing.

Why is Emotion Marketing so Effective?

When you make an emotional connection with your audience, it’s incredibly easy to steer them to the desired outcome.

You’ve formed an emotional bond, however brief and fleeting, that makes them open to ideas and suggestions. It creates a certain level of trust that’s virtually impossible to artificially manifest.

Rob Walker and Joshua Glen found firsthand what an emotional connection can do.

In one experiment, they bought hundreds of items from thrift stores and similar locations — all cheaply priced.

The duo wanted to see if they could sell the products using an emotional connection through the power of stories alone.

With 200 writers on board, they generated fictional stories for the products and used those stories to sell the thrift store items at auction on eBay.

significantobjects example | Emotional Marketing

They raised just under $8,000, which was a profit of approximately 2,700%.

And they did it all using that emotional connection through storytelling.

That’s not to say there isn’t a place for the logical or the rational in decision making.

This is where marketers often leverage the theory of dual processing in psychological marketing.

The theory holds that the brain processes thoughts and decisions on two levels.

Emotional Marketing dual process

The first level is that of emotion, which processes automatically, unconsciously, and provides a rapid response when we need it with virtually no effort.

The second level is the more deliberate and conscious thought process, where we handle decisions with reason and logic. It happens far slower than the emotional response.

In most cases, we fire back with a ready response from our emotions and then try to consciously rationalize it.

Think about some big-brand rivalries and preferences will surface in your mind.

How do you feel when you look at this major brand comparison?

brand rival in Emotional Marketing

Here’s another common one that has people divided, sometimes within the same family:

brand rival example in Emotional Marketing

And then there’s this brand rivalry we know all too well.

Jobs vs Gates in Emotional Marketing

In each of these, you likely have an opinion almost instantly about which you prefer, but it’s not because you have a logical reason.

It’s typically tied to emotion and/or experience; how you feel using their products, or how the brands left you feeling after an experience or reading a news article.

The brain then tries to rationalize that emotional response.

For example, your emotional response goes straight to Coke and then your brain works to rationalize the decision by deciding that it tastes better in a can, it’s fizzier, has a stronger bite than Pepsi, etc.

So, while you might feel like you’re making a rational choice about your beverage, it’s really just an emotional one.

The most successful marketers know how to lean on the emotional over logic in order to make their content draw in the audience.

That’s why nearly a third of marketers report significant profit gains when running emotional campaigns, but the number of successful campaigns dips if you introduce logic into the marketing.

emotion logic in Emotional Marketing

And those results get sliced in half when marketers switch to logic over emotion.

Emotion Marketing Doesn’t Guarantee Successful Engagement

We experience a laundry list of emotions every day.

Is it really as simple as leveraging some emotion to make content more effective?

Yes and no.

Emotion is certainly important, but there are also other factors like timing, exposure, the format of the content, how it’s presented, who produced or shared it, etc.

Despite understanding the role emotion plays in content, we still haven’t quite perfected a formula for what makes content go viral.

Though we’ve gotten pretty close.

Brands have long tried to inflate the consumer’s emotional response through manufactured content; some met with great success.

Take, for example, Intel’s five-part “Meet the Makers” series.

The videos profile a person around the world who uses Intel’s technology to create new experiences and build new technology that makes a difference in the world.

intel in Emotional Marketing example

Like 13-year-old Shubham Banerrjee, who used Intel’s technology to build an affordable Braille printer.

intel 2nd Emotional Marketing example

And of course, some companies try to leverage emotion and create viral campaigns that just don’t take off.

CIO reported a number of failed viral marketing campaigns, such as “Walmarting Across America.”

In this blog, two average Americans travel across the country visiting Walmart locations, reporting their interactions on a blog along the way.

After countless upbeat entries about how people loved working for the company, it was discovered that the trip was paid for by Walmart and the entire thing was a campaign created and managed by the company’s PR firm.

That didn’t receive a warm reception from the blogosphere, which deemed the content to be a “flog” or fake blog.

Which Emotions Attract the Most Marketing Engagement in Content?

Many emotions fuel our behaviors and our decisions, especially our purchase decisions.

Some more than others — especially when they’re authentic.

A study was done by Buzzsumo analyzing the top 10,000 most-shared articles on the web. Those articles were then mapped to emotions to see which emotions had the greatest influence on content.

The most popular:

  • Awe (25%)
  • Laughter (17%)
  • Amusement (15%)
popular emotion | Emotional Marketing

Conversely, the least popular were sadness and anger, totaling just 7% of the content that was most shared.

Two researchers at Wharton also wanted to dig deeper into virally shared content to find commonalities and better understand what makes that content spread.

What they found was the emotional element, and some very specific results tied to emotions.

  • Content is far more likely to be shared when it makes people feel good or it creates positive feelings such as leaving them entertained.
  • Facts or data that shock people or leave them in awe were more likely to be shared.
  • Instilling fear or anxiety pushes engagement higher, from comments being posted to content being shared.
  • People most commonly shared content that incited anger, leaving comments as well.

While some emotions are more likely to engage than others, every audience is different. What drives one to action may do very little for another.

This modern adaptation of Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotion, illustrated by CopyPress, shows the range under eight primary emotions: joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, anger, and anticipation.

emotion wheel in Emotional Marketing

For content to be widely shared and have an impact on your audience, it needs to leverage one or more of these emotions.

The proof is on the web, not only in the statistics I shared above, but also in the popularity of user communities that regularly share content.

Just look at Reddit and some of the most popular subreddits by subscriber count. Each can be tied back to emotions (some more obviously than others) like anticipation, awe, joy, and more.

subreddits Emotional Marketing example

Here’s how some of those emotions can play into the engagement with your audience:

Anxiety May Cause Uncertainty For Customers

You don’t want your audience to make bad decisions. Bad decisions can lead to buyer’s remorse, which can paint your brand and the overall experience in a negative light.

But it can be helpful if you leave the audience a bit more open to influence.

A Berkeley study revealed that anxiety can be linked to difficulty in using information around us to make decisions. When we experience uncertainty, it becomes harder to make decisions and our judgment is clouded.

anxiety example in Emotional Marketing

Still, anxiety can also spur people to act as a result of that uncertainty.

Take a two-year study by Wharton Ph.D. student Alison Wood Brooks and a Harvard Business School professor.

They found that upon increasing the anxiety of certain subjects with video footage, 90% of the “anxious” participants opted to seek advice and were more likely to take it.

Only 72% of the participants in a neutral state, who viewed a different video, sought advice.

Capture the Focus of Your Emotional Marketing Audience With Awe

Awe is comparable to wonder, but it doesn’t always fall under the umbrella of joy or humor.

It’s intended to captivate the audience and keep them riveted.

You often see this kind of hook in headlines that seem so earth-shatteringly significant that no one in their right mind would want to miss it.

Here’s a good example of that kind of awe used in content when Dropbox first launched.

dropbox start | Emotional Marketing example

Co-founder Drew Houston submitted his product to the website Digg, hoping to get some visibility from the social bookmarking site. That headline helped significantly.

Another great example of using Awe to capture attention is a video produced by Texas Armoring Corporation.

To emphasize the quality of the company’s bullet-resistant glass, the CEO crouched behind one of TAC’s glass panels while several rounds were fired at it from an AK-47.

Awe can impact decision making as much as anxiety.

A study from Stanford University found that people experiencing awe are more focused on the present and less distracted by other things in life. They also tend to be more giving of their time.

When you have their attention and their focus, they’re more likely to have time to rationalize a decision.

Drive People to Action With Laughter and Joy Through Emotional Marketing

While joy and laughter can have their lines blurred, they’re really two different emotions when it comes to your content.

Because while laughter often leads to joy, not everything that is joyful is laugh-out-loud funny.

Still, next to awe, joy, laughter, and amusement were the highest contributors to social sharing and engagement in the above studies.

That influence goes all the way back to early childhood.

As babies, out first emotional action not long after being born is to respond to the smile of our parents with our own smile.

social smile | Emotional Marketing

Per psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, joy and amusement are hardwired into us from birth.

His studies tell us that our innate desire for joy increases when it’s shared. That’s the nature of the “social smile.

That explains why these feelings or emotions are such huge drivers behind the virality of content. Happiness, overall, is a huge driver for content sharing.

In fact, Jonah Berger’s study of the most-shared articles in the New York Times (around 7,000 articles) revealed the same kind of results around emotion.

The more positive the article, the more likely it was to go viral.

Brands have worked “joy marketing” into their strategies for decades, aiming to make their audience feel warm, comfortable, and happy.

That’s the intent of campaigns like P&G’s highly successful and viral “Thank You, Mom” campaigns that are injected with a lot of emotion (especially joy) when celebrating the strength of mothers.

pg

Joy can take a lot of forms, though, and it doesn’t have to be commercially intended to elicit a direct sale.

Look at what Beringer Vineyards did with influencer marketing.

Russian Instagram sensations Murad and Nataly Osmann built a following of more than 4.5 million people with photos featuring them holding hands at locations around the globe during their world travels.

They attached the hashtag #FollowMeTo on those posts.

muradosmann example Emotional Marketing

The couple teamed up with Beringer Vineyards to create some images meant to inspire joy, love, and of course the sense of adventure the couple already shared with their hashtag.

beringer example | Emotional Marketing

Immediate Gains in Emotional Marketing From Anger

Anger may be perceived as a negative emotion by some, but it can have positive influences as well as positive outcomes when leveraged in the right way.

A leading researcher in the study of anger, Dr. Carol Tavris, draws a parallel between anger and how it impacted society over the years.

Women’s suffrage, for example, developed from anger and frustration.

Anger can be empowering for the individual, bringing a sense of clarity and positive-forward momentum. It gives people a feeling of direction and control according to a study from Carnegie Mellon.

In the previously mentioned study on content shares in the New York Times, negatively perceived emotions like anger are equally associated with the virality of content.

angershare in Emotional Marketing

In fact, Berger’s study of the New York Times content found that content which incites feelings of frustration or anger is 34% more likely to be featured on the Time’s most emailed list than the average article.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you deliberately create controversy by taking shots at readers or picking fights.

The key with using anger in content is to frame an issue that incites anger or frustration in a way that’s constructive.

You have to be thought-provoking and engaging.

This interactive graph from the New York Times is an example of how content can lead to frustration and anger over economic or societal issues.

interactive chart NYT in Emotional Marketing

This piece of content is simple, yet it provokes engagement as well as thought when results are revealed in comparison to what an individual perceives to be the truth.

Using the Right Emotional Marketing Words in Content

The difference between logic and emotion in content comes down to the words we use and how we position statements and information.

It’s just like the laundry list of power words used to improve conversion, or terms commonly used in e-commerce to get customers to buy more products.

ecommerce words in Emotional Marketing

When creating copy and content, you have to be acutely aware of whether you’re taking a rational or emotional approach to the information you’re sharing.

You need to think about the response you want to elicit to help guide your content development to make the right kind of psychological and emotional connection with your audience.

rational and emotional mind in emotional marketing

The context of your copy can remain the same.

By changing the words you use, however, you can make content appeal more to the emotions of the audience and prospective customer.

The simplest approach to finding the right high-emotion words takes only three steps:

  1. Think about the action you want your audience to take when they read your content.
  2. Decide what kind of emotional state will drive that action. What would make them do what you want them to do?
  3. Choose emotionally persuasive words appropriate to the action and the emotion.

What you’ll find in researching the right words is that emotionally persuasive and impactful words tend to be abrupt. It’s the short, concise, basic words that appeal most to our emotions over our intellect.

Just look at this list from the Persuasion Revolution.

emotional words in Emotional Marketing

The majority of this emotionally weighted list (and there are over 350 items) is made up of shorter words.

The rational mind, on the other hand, tends to associate with longer and more complex words.

rational words in Emotional Marketing

You Can’t Assume When it Comes to Emotional Marketing

It’s not easy to make that emotional connection with your audience. You have to know them.

Like anything else in marketing, your decisions and the content you create needs to be based on data. In this case, that data is your audience research.

That same research that tells you what topics to create, where your audience spends their time, and the content they prefer to view, can clue you into how to make that emotional connection.

You just need to expand your buyer personas.

buyer personas demographics in Emotional Marketing

In this case, you want to build up the psychological profile of your audience. You can achieve this by asking the right questions to help steer your content research and production.

  • What do they find humorous?
  • What are the pain points that frustrate them?
  • What topics make them angry?
  • What are common problems they speak about?
  • What kind of content is being shared that clearly pleases them or brings joy?

Your research could turn up a common topic or theme that appears frequently in the content they read and share.

For example, you might discover that a certain segment or demographic in your audience has a strong affinity to family values, or health and wellness.

Turn that into a content campaign that shares the feel-good side of your company.

Delve into the family life of your employees, how your company supports the work/life balance, or better health initiatives.

Google is well known for its company structure, promoting flexible schedules, support of family time, personal projects, and a focus on work/life balance.

The company often shares behind-the-scenes images (visual content) showing off employees enjoying what they do. Here’s an example from Google Sydney’s offices:

google sydney | Emotional Marketing example

That can influence a positive emotional response toward the brand when targeted segments see that content.

Emotional Marketing Works in the B2B Process

Don’t get caught up with the dated idea that emotion is only applicable to consumer-focused businesses.

Emotional marketing has its place in the B2B world as well.

You may be dealing with a longer buying process between one or more organizations, but the decisions are still made (and fueled by) people who are absolutely driven by emotion.

That includes emotions like:

  • Awe: over what a solution is capable of and feeling empowered to bring that solution to the workplace.
  • Anticipation: in finding a piece of the puzzle in a product or service that will help the company achieve its next goal or milestone.
  • Fear: in purchase decisions that could reflect on the individual, resulting in a personal risk associated with a B2B purchase.
  • Joy: in knowing that a B2B purchase is likely to lead to a positive outcome that will reflect positively on the individual.

Emotion absolutely influences B2B purchases, and in some cases, emotion matters even more than logic and reason.

Conclusion

You hold a great deal of influence with your audience when you’re able to tap into their emotions.

Once you understand your audience, you can better determine their emotional state.

From there, make the decision about whether you need to influence and exploit emotions that are already present, or if you want to create or give rise to emotions the audience wasn’t initially expecting or experiencing.

Even the most (seemingly) rational decisions are influenced by emotion — and that applies to everyone.

When you learn how to leverage that emotion in your content, you will see increases in engagement, social action, and conversions within your funnel.

How do you use emotion in your content and copy?

The post How Using Emotional Marketing in Content Can Help Drive Way More Sales appeared first on Neil Patel.

How to Write PPC Ad Copy Using AI

It’s no secret: the world of PPC advertising is not for the faint-hearted. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could end up throwing money down the drain.

How can you increase the chances of the right people clicking on your ads? You need to learn how to write ad copy that converts.

Thankfully, technological advancements like artificial intelligence (AI) are here to save the day. AI tools can help you write ad copy that produces results.

How Can Artificial Intelligence Help Your PPC Campaigns?

Just so we’re on the same page, let’s quickly look at a simple definition of AI.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a multidisciplinary branch of science that includes machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), deep learning, and many other emerging technologies.

The main benefits of AI when it comes to creating compelling PPC ad copy include:

  • Unmatched data processing power
  • Ability to better “predict” click-through rates and quality scores
  • Identify bids that will get the most traffic
  • Saves you time managing campaigns

However, no matter how much data you have at your fingertips and how well you can identify lucrative bids, all that will be to no avail if your ad copy sucks.

AI can help you with that. I’ll show you how below.

6 Ways AI Can Help You Write Good PPC Ad Copy

Many tools can help you write ad copy. However, many AI-powered tools have one huge advantage: unlike their predecessors that relied on historical data, AI-powered tools give you real-time data. This process allows you to refine your copy to better suit the market situation when the content is created and published.

These are tips that will help optimize your ad copy, whether you’re advertising on Google, Bing, Facebook, or any other of the myriad platforms available.

Use AI for Audience Research

The very first thing you need to do before writing ad copy is to understand your target audience. The key to successful ad copy is to know not only who your target audience is, but also to know:

  • What they’re looking for
  • Why they’re looking for it

In short, understanding your audience will help you understand the intent behind your prospect’s search. Knowing this could help you write personalized ad copy that will resonate with your audience, eliciting a click through to your offer.

It will also help you create ads that are so targeted that only the right people will click on them. Additionally, it will help you write ad copy that addresses any objections your audience may have.

When you know how to write ad copy that speaks directly to your audience, you’ll likely enjoy a reduction in wasted clicks and an increase in your return on ad spend (ROAS).

How do you get to know your audience? This process is where AI shines best.

How to write PPC Ad Copy Using AI IBM Watson audience insight

AI-powered audience research tools like IBM’s Watson are great for helping you with predictive audiences. These consumers may not look anything alike but have some common threads that make them relevant targets for your PPC ads. By processing data from multiple sources, AI helps you understand the type of people you should target with your ads.

These insights help you significantly reduce the risk of ad waste, as your ad copy will be hyper-personalized, making it appealing to the right people. With ad spend steadily increasing across all industries, AI will help ensure that you get a good ROI from your campaigns.

Conduct Competitor Research Using AI

Before you put pen to paper, you must study the competitive environment.

You must conduct competitor research. This data will help you understand (among other things):

  • The type of ad copy that generates clicks
  • Ad formats that work best in your niche
  • Opportunities your competitors are missing that you can leverage

The data you get from your competitors’ ad campaigns is invaluable in helping you know how to write ad copy that will perform exceptionally well.

This process is where AI-powered competitor research tools like Adthena come to play.

how to write ad copy using the Adthena AI powered competitor analysis tool

By gaining insights into your competitors’ PPC activity and market shifts, you’ll be better armed to write compelling PPC ad copy.

The real-time data AI technologies provide may help you gain or keep a corner the market by ensuring you’re up-to-date with trends and news that affect your market audience. Real-time data is also essential when conducting competitor analysis, as any lag in time could result in the competition cornering the market.

Don’t delay to get on the AI bandwagon, especially when it comes to writing ad copy.

AI Can Help You Discover Keyword Opportunities

Everyone knows keywords are the foundation of every good PPC campaign. Unfortunately, with more businesses vying for the same target audience, relevant keyword opportunities are becoming harder to find.

AI can help.

With the competition for profitable keywords being uber-stiff, normal keyword research just doesn’t cut it anymore. You must leverage AI to help you uncover hidden keyword gems.  

This fact is especially true since keyword research for SEO and PPC is not the same. For PPC, your money rides or sinks on the keywords you use. That’s why you must find keywords that will give you a good return when you bid for them.

AI-powered tools like BrightEdge, for example, not only help you discover profitable keywords but are also able to give insight into the intent behind those keywords.

How to write ad copy using BrightEdges AI powered keyword intent tool

Because they offer real-time data, you are in a better position to write ad copy based on keyword opportunities as they arise. Of course, this will give you an edge over the competition, as your ads will have a better chance of being served to users while keeping your ad spend low.  

Headline Optimization Is Easy with AI

Saying that your headline is a critical part of your ad copy is an understatement. Its value can never be overstated because it’s your first chance to hook your customers.

If your headers are poorly crafted, users will just scroll past your ad. But if you write your headline well, it will stop them from scrolling so they look at the rest of your ad copy. AI can help you craft headlines that stop people in their tracks by helping you write headlines that result in much-coveted clicks.

A great example is Persado. The AI-powered copywriting tool helped Chase Bank increase the CTR on their ads by as much as 450%. How? By crafting headlines that resonate more with their target audience.

How to write ad copy using artificial intelligence

There are AI-powered tools that are designed to help you optimize your headers to elicit users to click on your ads.

The success of your ad campaigns rides on your headlines.

The next part users look at is the ad description.

Use AI to Nail Your Ad Description

Next to your headline, your ad description is the most crucial part of your ad copy. While the headline is the hook that grabs your prospect’s attention, your ad description is the sales pitch that gets them to click on your ad.

However, there’s a catch: you have a limited number of characters to use to convince your prospects to click-through to your offer. This means every character counts. It must help elicit a positive reaction from users. That’s why you must make sure you know how to write ad copy that drives clicks.

Fortunately, AI can help you write compelling ad copy.

With AI copywriting tools like Phrasee, you don’t have to guess what kind of copy works.

Discover how to write ad copy using Phrasees AI powered copywriting tool

Using machine learning and gathering data from different platforms, AI copywriting tools have “mastered” the art of writing great ad copy.

Using machine learning (ML), natural language generation (NLG), deep learning, and other technologies, AI-powered copywriting tools can help you create compelling ad copy that stands out from the crowd. AI takes into consideration many facets, such as language, semantics, sentence structure, and a whole lot more to help you create optimized ad copy at scale.

Another great AI-powered ad creation tool you can consider is CopyAI.

Use CopyAI to write PPC ad copy that converts

Copy AI is designed to take the grunt work out of brainstorming unique ad ideas. It will help you increase your ROAS by helping you come up with relevant audience-based copy that your customers won’t be able to resist. The deep learning platform that powers CopyAI can personalize your ad copy to suit any holiday, occasion, or campaign.

AI-powered copywriting tools are a great way to save time and money as they work faster and more efficiently. And at the end of the day, they’ll help you boost your bottom line.

Calls-to-Action: AI Can Help With That Too

Calls-to-action (CTAs) are a tricky part of writing ad copy. That’s because your CTA is usually made up of 2-5 words to inspire people to take action.

While platforms like Google and Facebook give you some CTA options to choose from as you create your campaigns, it’s always better to create your own CTAs. After all, if you use the options generated by search engines and social media platforms, you won’t stand out from the competition.

Your CTA plays a crucial role in pushing your prospects across the finish line. As such, give it careful consideration. You may get every other element of your ad copy correct, but if your CTA is weak, your hard work will be in vain.

What makes for a strong clickable CTA? One word: personalization.

Different audiences respond differently to CTAs. That’s why you must pay special attention to the language your audience uses and try as much as possible to implement it in your CTAs. This is one area where audience research pays off because it helps you craft personalized CTAs. Studies show that personalized CTAs perform up to 202% better than generic ones.

Note: make sure to create a different CTA for each campaign. Don’t just regurgitate past CTAs, even if they worked well in previous campaigns.

Yes, it may be a lot of work if you do it manually. That’s why you shouldn’t do it manually; use AI instead.

Again, tools like Persado make creating impactful CTAs easier.

how to write ppc ad copy using Persado tool

Leveraging data such as sentiment analysis (or emotion AI), AI-powered tools help you create CTAs that tug at your prospects’ heartstrings. Of course, every marketer knows that it is easier to loosen your prospects’ purse strings if you can do that.

By leveraging AI in crafting your CTAs, you increase your ad copy’s chances of achieving its goal of boosting your bottom line.

Conclusion

It’s impossible to ignore AI as a digital marketer. It’s everywhere around us. From AI SEO to AI in website design, every facet of digital marketing is becoming more efficient thanks to artificial intelligence.

As a marketer, if you’re looking to know how to write ad copy that converts, you must lean heavily on AI-powered tools to help you. From the planning stage to deployment, AI can help you optimize every part of your PPC ad campaigns.

Though remember: without good ad copy, your ad spend will be wasted. How do you write good ad copy? By using AI.

Sure, AI may not be able to handle the creative side of writing ad copy completely alone. However, it does go a long way in helping you create ad copy that sells.

Are you ready to embrace the power of AI in your ad copy creation?

The post How to Write PPC Ad Copy Using AI appeared first on Neil Patel.

How to Get More Traffic Using Bing Analytics

It’s easy to forget that Google isn’t the only search engine.

Sure, it dominates the market. In the time it’s taken you to read these two and a half sentences, Google has processed about 280,000 searches.

But you should also look beyond Google when it comes to driving traffic to your site.

Take Bing, for instance. It has a 2.83% share of the global search market. Its search engine powers Yahoo, which holds 1.65% of the market share. Combined, that’s just shy of 5%. Do you want to miss out on 5% of the global search market?

If not, you should be focusing on Bing and Bing Analytics to boost your web traffic.

What is Bing Analytics?

We all know about Google Analytics. It’s the tool we rely on to track and analyze our traffic. So you’d assume Bing would have a direct equivalent, but that’s not the case.

Bing Analytics technically doesn’t exist (although Bing itself returns almost 40 million results for the phrase “Bing Analytics”). What does exist is Bing Webmaster Tools, a dashboard with a bunch of Google Analytics-like features. But, it is more like Google Search Console.

So when I say “Bing analytics” in this article, I’m referring to all the stuff within Bing Webmaster Tools.

Why You Need to Review Bing Analytics

If Bing is a significant source of traffic for your site, or you hope it’ll become one, the site’s analytics tools will help maximize your search performance.

Bing Webmaster Tools offers plenty of features to improve your rankings and grab more traffic from Bing.

I won’t give you an exhaustive guide to the Webmaster Tools feature set here, but we’ll review Bing analytics’ most critical aspects and show you how they work.  

Glean Insights From Bing & Yahoo

With Google Search Console, you’re limited to exploring your search performance within Google. Sure, that’s a lot of data. But it’s not the whole story.

Bing analytics in Webmaster Tools helps fill in some of the blanks by combining data from Bing and Yahoo. That means you can see the impressions, clicks, rankings, and the specific keywords that bring users to your site (plus a whole lot more) from two different search engines.

Submit Your Sitemap

By submitting your sitemap to Bing, you make it easier for the search engine to crawl and index your site. That makes it more likely that searchers will find your content and services.

Bing analytics sitemap

You can see all the sitemaps you’ve submitted to Bing via Webmaster Tools. And it’s simple to submit a new sitemap from the Webmaster dashboard.

Control Bing’s Crawl Speed

Does your site get a ton of traffic at specific times? For example, if your site gets a ton of traffic on weekday mornings, you don’t want search crawlers putting your servers under even more strain.

That’s why the Crawl Control feature within Bing analytics is so useful. It lets you tell Bing when you’re busiest, so it’s like asking a cold caller to call you back later when you’re off work. It’s worth noting that you can’t do this within the new Google Search Console.

Demote Sitelinks

Sitelinks, or “deep links” to use Bing’s terminology, are those links that show up just below a site’s main listing on the search engine results page (SERP).

Here’s how they look on Bing:

bing analytics deep links neil patel

Google doesn’t give you any control over the sitelinks it displays. Bing does. Specifically, Webmaster lets you block individual pages, so they don’t show up as sitelinks.

Let’s say I don’t want my article 10 Powerful Instagram Marketing Tips to appear on a sitelink any more. Maybe it’s not relevant to my current strategy, and it doesn’t make sense for it to be displayed so prominently within SERPs. With Bing, I can control that.

Set up Geo-Targeting

You can’t do good local SEO without geo-targeting. It’s the feature that lets you tell search engines which parts of your site should be shown to users in different locations.

Webmaster Tools is the home of all your Bing geo-targeting needs. Whether for a whole domain, a subdomain, a directory, or an individual page, just enter the URL and choose your desired target country or region.

Of course, you can do the same with Google Search Console, but it’s much more fiddly. It’s important to geo-target on Google and Bing.

Connect Social Accounts & App Stores

Chances are, your online presence doesn’t start and end with your website.

You’ve probably got several social profiles, or your products are on all the big app stores.

Those pages are a big part of your brand. So wouldn’t it be great if there was an easy way to see how many impressions and clicks you’re getting from them?

You can, thanks to Bing analytics. By linking your social and app profiles, you can get a whole extra level of insight into how people are finding you online.

Understand How Bing Sees Your Site

The world of search algorithms and ranking factors can be pretty impenetrable. At times, the search engines seem to be going out of their way to make life more confusing.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could lift the lid on a search engine and see what it sees?

The Bing analytics Index Explorer allows you to do exactly that. It shows you how Bing sees your site, laid out in a Windows Explorer-style series of folders and files.

This feature makes it simple to find all the data Bing has collected while crawling your site, so you can identify what needs fixing. If Bing’s crawlers are stumbling across a bunch of redirects, blocked URLs, or pages infected by malware, you’ll find out with Index Explorer.

How to Add Bing Analytics to Your Website

Adding Bing analytics verification to your site is an easy process. Head to the Webmaster Tools site, sign up with a Microsoft, Google, or Facebook account, and then you’ll be given two options:

  1. Import from Google Search Console: If your site’s already verified by Search Console, you can skip any extra verification with Bing.
  2. Add your site manually: You’ll need to make detectable changes to your site so Bing can verify you.
add bing analytics to your site

Bing offers four ways to verify your site:

  • Log into your hosting provider account for automatic verification
  • Upload the XML file on your webserver
  • Add a custom meta tag to your site’s homepage
  • Edit your site’s CNAME record with a custom verification code

Boosting Your Traffic With Bing Analytics

Here are some of my favorite tips for using the Bing analytics Webmaster Tools features to increase your organic traffic.

Find Low-Hanging Fruit With SEO Reports

Google Analytics and Search Console are great, but it can be hard to tell what changes impact your search rankings.

In contrast, Bing analytics runs automated reports that flag areas on your site that don’t follow Bing SEO best practices.

Better still, the SEO reports feature ranks issues by severity (either Low, Moderate, or High). It will tell you how frequently the error occurs on your site, and how many pages are affected.

SEO report in Bing Analytics

But remember, it won’t do all your SEO legwork for you. Even if you make every change Bing recommends, you won’t automatically rocket to the top of the rankings.

For example, it won’t tell you if your backlink profile is weaker than your rivals’ or targeting the wrong keywords.

But it’s fantastic for identifying common issues that can harm your search performance, like missing title tags or multiple H1s on the same page.

View Page-by-Page SEO Improvements

But you don’t just have to seek out SEO improvements at the site-level. Bing analytics also offers a page-level tool called SEO Analyzer. Enter a URL from your site, and Bing will check it against approximately 15 SEO best practices.

Interestingly, you can even use it on pages that aren’t indexed. So if you’re building a new campaign landing page but don’t want it to be crawled yet, you can still check that it’s ticking all the right SEO boxes.

Assess Your Mobile-Friendliness

Around half of all web traffic is on mobile devices. That’s been the case for the last three years, so there’s no excuse for your site not to be mobile-friendly by now.

Like Google, Bing offers a mobile-friendliness test in Webmaster that analyzes how well your site performs on mobile. You can use it to analyze any site, not just your properties, so it’s useful for checking in on competitors, too.

bing analytics mobile friendly

Now, it’s worth noting here that Bing doesn’t place quite as much value on mobile-friendliness as Google. Whereas Google has switched to mobile-first indexing for all websites, Bing isn’t planning to follow suit.

On the flip side, Bing does treat user experience as a ranking factor, unlike Google. If mobile users are having a horrible time on your site and are bouncing straight off, your rankings will likely suffer.

Find Page Two Keywords

An SEO’s job is to make the most significant impact on a site’s organic traffic with the time and resources available.

With Bing analytics, you can use the Search Keywords tool to identify terms you’re ranking just off page one of SERPs (i.e., in positions 11-20).

Those keywords are probably generating very little organic traffic for you at the moment because few searchers make it past page one. But they’re not far off, and a little tweaking could make all the difference.

Analyze the pages where those terms appear, look at the sites ranking above you, and figure out how to leapfrog them. Maybe you need a few more quality backlinks, or perhaps you need to optimize your content.

Do Keyword Research

Once you’ve grabbed all the low-hanging fruit by fixing simple errors and optimizing page two keywords, it’s time to explore new opportunities.

To do that, you’ll need to start with some keyword research. And did you know Bing is the only search engine to offer a keyword research tool based on organic data?

Even better, that data comes from searches on both Bing and Yahoo.

Bing’s keyword research tool has a few useful features. It shows you:

  • Organic search volumes for any given keyword: Helps identify if a given keyword has sufficient search volume to make it worth targeting.
  • Related keywords: Bing uses your “seed keyword” to provide suggestions for other relevant terms and their search volumes.
  • Results filtered by country, region, or language: You can even select multiple countries using the same language, such as the US, UK, and Australia.
bing analytics keyword research

As search engine keyword tools go, Bing’s is one of the more powerful, although it doesn’t offer advanced insights of a dedicated tool like Ubersuggest.

Conclusion

Ask 100 people in the street to name a search engine, and chances are they’ll all say “Google.”

Just because Bing isn’t a frontrunner doesn’t mean website owners can afford to ignore it. It still processes billions of searches a month, so you must include it in your ongoing SEO analysis.

If you’re serious about generating traffic from Bing, you need to be using Bing analytics.

Which of the Bing analytics features and tips are you most excited about using?

The post How to Get More Traffic Using Bing Analytics appeared first on Neil Patel.