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Using the Flowchart Method for Diagnosing Ranking Drops — Best of Whiteboard Friday

Posted by KameronJenkins

Being able to pinpoint the reason for a ranking drop is one of our most perennial and potentially frustrating tasks as SEOs, especially in 2020. There are an unknowable number of factors that go into ranking these days, but luckily the methodology for diagnosing those fluctuations is readily at hand. In this popular Whiteboard Friday, the wonderful Kameron Jenkins shows us a structured way to diagnose ranking drops using a flowchart method and critical thinking.

Flowchart method for diagnosing ranking drops

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Video Transcription

Hey, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Whiteboard Friday. My name is Kameron Jenkins. I am the new SEO Wordsmith here at Moz, and I’m so excited to be here. Before this, I worked at an agency for about six and a half years. I worked in the SEO department, and really a common thing we encountered was a client’s rankings dropped. What do we do?

This flowchart was kind of built out of that mentality of we need a logical workflow to be able to diagnose exactly what happened so we can make really pointed recommendations for how to fix it, how to get our client’s rankings back. So let’s dive right in. It’s going to be a flowchart, so it’s a little nonlinear, but hopefully this makes sense and helps you work smarter rather than harder.

Was it a major ranking drop?: No

The first question I’d want to ask is: Was their rankings drop major? By major, I would say that’s something like page 1 to page 5 overnight. Minor would be something like it just fell a couple positions, like position 3 to position 5.

We’re going to take this path first. It was minor.

Has there been a pattern of decline lasting about a month or greater?

That’s not a magic number. A month is something that you can use as a benchmark. But if there’s been a steady decline and it’s been one week it’s position 3 and then it’s position 5 and then position 7, and it just keeps dropping over time, I would consider that a pattern of decline.

So if no, I would actually say wait.

  • Volatility is normal, especially if you’re at the bottom of page 1, maybe page 2 plus. There’s going to be a lot more shifting of the search results in those positions. So volatility is normal.
  • Keep your eyes on it, though. It’s really good to just take note of it like, “Hey, we dropped. Okay, I’m going to check that again next week and see if it continues to drop, then maybe we’ll take action.”
  • Wait it out. At this point, I would just caution against making big website updates if it hasn’t really been warranted yet. So volatility is normal. Expect that. Keep your finger on the pulse, but just wait it out at this point.

If there has been a pattern of decline though, I’m going to have you jump to the algorithm update section. We’re going to get there in a second. But for now, we’re going to go take the major rankings drop path.

Was it a major ranking drop?: Yes

The first question on this path that I’d want to ask is:

Was there a rank tracking issue?

Now, some of these are going seem pretty basic, like how would that ever happen, but believe me it happens every once in a while. So just before we make major updates to the website, I’d want to check the rank tracking.

I. The wrong domain or URL.

That can be something that happens a lot. A site maybe you change domains or maybe you move a page and that old page of that old domain is still listed in your ranking tracker. If that’s the case, then the rank tracking tool doesn’t know which URL to judge the rankings off of. So it’s going to look like maybe you dropped to position 10 overnight from position 1, and that’s like, whoa, that’s a huge update. But it’s actually just that you have the wrong URL in there. So just check that. If there’s been a page update, a domain update, check to make sure that you’ve updated your rank tracker.

II. Glitches.

So it’s software, it can break. There are things that could cause it to be off for whatever reason. I don’t know how common that is. It probably is totally dependent on which kind of software you use. But glitches do happen, so I would manually check your rankings.

III. Manually check rankings.

One way I would do that is…

  • Go to incognito in Google and make sure you’re logged out so it’s not personalized. I would search the term that you’re wanting to rank for and see where you’re actually ranking.
  • Google’s Ad Preview tool. That one is really good too if you want to search where you’re ranking locally so you can set your geolocation. You could do mobile versus desktop rankings. So it could be really good for things like that.
  • Crosscheck with another tool, like Moz’s tool for rank tracking. You can pop in your URLs, see where you’re ranking, and cross-check that with your own tool.

So back to this. Rank tracking issues. Yes, you found your problem. If it was just a rank tracking tool issue, that’s actually great, because it means you don’t have to make a lot of changes. Your rankings actually haven’t dropped. But if that’s not the issue, if there is no rank tracking issue that you can pinpoint, then I would move on to Google Search Console.

Problems in Google Search Console?

So Google Search Console is really helpful for checking site health matters. One of the main things I would want to check in there, if you experience a major drop especially, is…

I. Manual actions.

If you navigate to Manual Actions, you could see notes in there like unnatural links pointing to your site. Or maybe you have thin or low-quality content on your site. If those things are present in your Manual Actions, then you have a reference point. You have something to go off of. There’s a lot of work involved in lifting a manual penalty that we can’t get into here unfortunately. Some things that you can do to focus on manual penalty lifting…

  • Moz’s Link Explorer. You can check your inbound links and see their spam score. You could look at things like anchor text to see if maybe the links pointing to your site are keyword stuffed. So you can use tools like that.
  • There are a lot of good articles too, in the industry, just on getting penalties lifted. Marie Haynes especially has some really good ones. So I would check that out.

But you have found your problem if there’s a manual action in there. So focus on getting that penalty lifted.

II. Indexation issues.

Before you move out of Search Console, though, I would check indexation issues as well. Maybe you don’t have a manual penalty. But go to your index coverage report and you can see if anything you submitted in your sitemap is maybe experiencing issues. Maybe it’s blocked by robots.txt, or maybe you accidentally no indexed it. You could probably see that in the index coverage report. Search Console, okay. So yes, you found your problem. No, you’re going to move on to algorithm updates.

Algorithm updates

Algorithm updates happen all the time. Google says that maybe one to two happen per day. Not all of those are going to be major. The major ones, though, are listed. They’re documented in multiple different places. Moz has a really good list of algorithm updates over time. You can for sure reference that. There are going to be a lot of good ones. You can navigate to the exact year and month that your site experienced a rankings drop and see if it maybe correlates with any algorithm update.

For example, say your site lost rankings in about January 2017. That’s about the time that Google released its Intrusive Interstitials Update, and so I would look on my site, if that was the issue, and say, “Do I have intrusive interstitials? Is this something that’s affecting my website?”

If you can match up an algorithm update with the time that your rankings started to drop, you have direction. You found an issue. If you can’t match it up to any algorithm updates, it’s finally time to move on to site updates.

Site updates

What changes happened to your website recently? There are a lot of different things that could have happened to your website. Just keep in mind too that maybe you’re not the only one who has access to your website. You’re the SEO, but maybe tech support has access. Maybe even your paid ad manager has access. There are a lot of different people who could be making changes to the website. So just keep that in mind when you’re looking into it. It’s not just the changes that you made, but changes that anyone made could affect the website’s ranking. Just look into all possible factors.

Other factors that can impact rankings

A lot of different things, like I said, can influence your site’s rankings. A lot of things can inadvertently happen that you can pinpoint and say, “Oh, that’s definitely the cause.”

Some examples of things that I’ve personally experienced on my clients’ websites…

I. Renaming pages and letting them 404 without updating with a 301 redirect.

There was one situation where a client had a blog. They had hundreds of really good blog posts. They were all ranking for nice, long tail terms. A client emailed into tech support to change the name of the blog. Unfortunately, all of the posts lived under the blog, and when he did that, he didn’t update it with a 301 redirect, so all of those pages, that were ranking really nicely, they started to fall out of the index. The rankings went with it. There’s your problem. It was unfortunate, but at least we were able to diagnose what happened.

II. Content cutting.

Maybe you’re working with a UX team, a design team, someone who is looking at the website from a visual, a user experience perspective. A lot of times in these situations they might take a page that’s full of really good, valuable content and they might say, “Oh, this is too clunky. It’s too bulky. It has too many words. So we’re going to replace it with an image, or we’re going to take some of the content out.”

When this happens, if the content was the thing that was making your page rank and you cut that, that’s probably something that’s going to affect your rankings negatively. By the way, if that’s happening to you, Rand has a really good Whiteboard Friday on kind of how to marry user experience and SEO. You should definitely check that out if that’s an issue for you.

III. Valuable backlinks lost.

Another situation I was diagnosing a client and one of their backlinks dropped. It just so happened to be like the only thing that changed over this course of time. It was a really valuable backlink, and we found out that they just dropped it for whatever reason, and the client’s rankings started to decline after that time. Things like Moz’s tools, Link Explorer, you can go in there and see gained and lost backlinks over time. So I would check that out if maybe that might be an issue for you.

IV. Accidental no index.

Depending on what type of CMS you work with, it might be really, really easy to accidentally check No Index on this page. If you no index a really important page, Google takes it out of its index. That could happen. Your rankings could drop.So those are just some examples of things that can happen. Like I said, hundreds and hundreds of things could have been changed on your site, but it’s just really important to try to pinpoint exactly what those changes were and if they coincided with when your rankings started to drop.

SERP landscape

So we got all the way to the bottom. If you’re at the point where you’ve looked at all of the site updates and you still haven’t found anything that would have caused a rankings drop, I would say finally look at the SERP landscape.

What I mean by that is just Google your keyword that you want to rank for or your group of keywords that you want to rank for and see which websites are ranking on page 1. I would get a lay of the land and just see:

  • What are these pages doing?
  • How many backlinks do they have?
  • How much content do they have?
  • Do they load fast?
  • What’s the experience?

Then make content better than that. To rank, so many people just think avoid being spammy and avoid having things broken on your site. But that’s not SEO. That’s really just helping you be able to compete. You have to have content that’s the best answer to searchers’ questions, and that’s going to get you ranking.

I hope that was helpful. This is a really good way to just kind of work through a ranking drop diagnosis. If you have methods, by the way, that work for you, I’d love to hear from you and see what worked for you in the past. Let me know, drop it in the comments below.

Thanks, everyone. Come back next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday.

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9 Ways to Engage Your Customers With Instagram Story Highlights

Instagram is one way people, businesses, and organizations connect and engage, whether it’s by posting pictures, shoppable tags, live videos, or IGTV. And Instagram continues to come up with new ways people can interact with one another on the social media platform, enhancing the customer experience for many brands and businesses.

One of the popular features Instagram offers—which gained a great deal of attention from its initial release and is now used by 500 million accounts every day—is Instagram Story Highlights.

Instagram Story Highlights on WordStream's profile

WordStream’s own Instagram Story Highlights

In this post, we’ll share how you can use Instagram Story Highlights to promote your business and engage with customers. Now, let’s start by exploring what this feature is and how to use it, and then we’ll dive into nine ways you can use it for your business!

What are Instagram Story Highlights?

Instagram Story Highlights are collections of pictures, videos, and posts that you’ve posted to your Instagram Story in the past. These curated collections are often referred to as “albums,” and these albums are usually different categories of topics.

Unlike Instagram Stories that vanish after 24 hours, Instagram Story Highlights live permanently on your profile, allowing you to add or delete content from them at any time. These albums sit right underneath your profile bio section and above your regular feed.

Instagram Story Highlights in profile

Google’s Instagram Story Highlights. Here you can see where Highlights appear.

How do you create an Instagram Story Highlight?

Before you can start sharing great content on your Highlights, you must first learn how to create them! The first step to this process is to make sure that Instagram’s auto-archiving feature is turned on. This feature automatically archives and saves each Story you post to your Instagram feed or story to the cloud, eliminating the worry of losing any valuable content. Once this feature is turned on, you can share and repost any content that you’ve posted even after it disappears from your Instagram Stories. To locate the archive feature, follow these steps:

1. Navigate to the settings of your Instagram account.

Instagram Story Highlights settings view

2. Click on the “Story” button.

3. Make sure the “Save to Archive” button is turned on.

Instagram Story Highlights story controls

After you’ve made sure the “Save to Archive” button is turned on, your next step is to create an Instagram Story Highlight! To do this, go to your profile and tap the “Story Highlights” button below your username and bio. Then, tap the Stories that you want to add to your highlight. To continue, pick a cover photo for your Highlight, as well as a title. And after tapping “Done” or “Add,” you’re all set!

The best ways to use Instagram Story Highlights for your business

You could just include all your Instagram Stories in an Instagram Story Highlight, but that isn’t very appealing to your followers, and it certainly won’t encourage engagement. This feature is much more effective if you have multiple highlights that feature the different types of Instagram Stories you create. So here are nine Instagram Story Highlights ideas you can use to get your followers and customers engaged.

1. Showcase your products

One of the best ways to promote your business and engage with your customers is by creating an Instagram Story Highlight promoting your products or services. According to Instagram, 75% of users take an action, such as visiting a website or making a purchase, after looking at ads on the platform. Whether or not active Instagram users have engaged with your business before, if they’re browsing your profile and see a highlight dedicated to “Products,” they might be more likely to click through the content included in your highlight versus scrolling through your entire feed. Your highlight will be an easier and faster way to find information about your offerings, and you can direct customers to your website, to sign up for a newsletter, or, ideally, to make a purchase via Instagram. By tagging products in your highlights with the Instagram Stories stickers (interactive elements that you can add to engage with your followers), you can showcase your products more creatively and in less direct or salesy ways.

Let’s take a look at how Letterfolk, a home decor company that offers unique paper goods and gifts, showcases its products.

Instagram Story Highlights on Letterfolk's profile

Letterfolk organizes its Instagram Story Highlights to showcase different products they offer—tile mats, calendars, ABC prints, and more. This allows users to find more information about the specific products they’re interested in. This is a good way to make separate product highlights focused on seasonal collections, new releases, product promotions, and more. Using a similar approach, depending on how many products your business offers, you might combine all product-related stories into a single album. A great way to include a CTA in these stories is to use the “See More” link, engaging with your followers and directing them to find more exciting information about your offerings on your website.

Lettfolk uses the “See More” link on their “New” Highlight.

2. Promote events

As we all know, social media is a great place to promote events and build brand awareness, especially because users look for information there. Although we’re restricted from gathering in large groups right now and your business might not be hosting in-person events, you can still use the Stories feature to showcase past events, promote upcoming ones, and help raise awareness about others. This will allow followers to get a better idea of what the events your business actually hosts are like—and increase interest for future ones!

Boston Business Women's Instagram profile

Boston Business Women has a highlight showcasing all events organized by the group.

If your business hosts events, workshops, or training experiences (all can be virtual, too), dedicating an Instagram Story Highlight exclusively to event promotion is a strategic, fun, creative way to share more of your brand’s personality while also increasing brand awareness.

Instagram Story Highlights for events example from Boston Business Women

3. Show what you’ve been up to

Keeping clients informed is always one of the most important objectives of businesses, and offering a behind-the-scenes look at what your business has been up to while #WorkingFromHome is a great idea for an Instagram Story Highlight.

Instagram Story Highlights example from Chobani

Chobani’s #chobaniathome Instagram Story Highlight

With Stories like these, your followers—and your customers—are able to picture people at your company or new initiatives, and both of these help humanize your brand.

Here are some great ways your business can do this today:

  • Tease viewers by giving them an inside look at some of your new products.
  • Share pictures, videos, or screenshots taken during company meetings.
  • Show where your employees have been working recently.

4. Interact with customers with interactive polls

Using ad interactive polls on your Instagram Stories not only allows you to engage with customers, it also allows you to collaborate with customers. You can gain a greater understanding of your audience and insight into their pain points, as well as ask them fun, different sorts of questions, inviting them to interact with your brand.

Instagram Story Highlights poll example

Mother Juice, located in Boston, interacts with followers by asking them what they miss most about their company.

Even more, the results you get from Instagram Story polls can help you reframe your marketing and advertising campaigns more effectively. Creating a highlight including all the ad polls you’ve posted on your Instagram Stories is a great way for followers and users to see that you’re interested in their opinions and feedback on your products or conversations.

Instagram Story Highlights poll results example

If you want to learn more about ways you can use ad interactive polls to drive engagement with your customers, we’ve got a whole blog post on this topic waiting for you!

5. Answer your followers’ questions

Another interactive feature you can use to capture your followers’ attention is an Instagram Story Highlight with answers to common questions.

Instagram Story Highlights Q&A examples

Remote Year’s Q&A Instagram Story Highlight

In 2018, Instagram introduced the “Questions” sticker, which allows your followers to submit questions to your business when you add this to your Instagram Story. A unique feature of the Questions sticker is that you can view the profiles of the users who responded; you can share someone’s questions or comments, but their photos and their profiles and usernames won’t be disclosed. This allows you to share the questions that users have asked, or their responses to questions you’ve asked, and their profiles won’t be shared publicly.

Instagram Story Highlights Q&A example from WordStream

Our own Story Highlight answering customer questions.

A good place to start is by asking common questions about business hours, new products, features, or location, and begin by answering those. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think of what you’d like to know if you clicked through your business Q&A highlight. A restaurant may ask, “What’s something you’d like to see on our menu? Or an agency might ask, “What’s your favorite social ad we’ve created for you?” Or a realtor could ask, “Is proximity to mass transit important to you?” Users can also type an answer instead of asking a question.

6. Feature product tutorials

Creating an album specifically for tips and tutorials for using your product or service helps to establish your credibility and build trust in your brand. Part of the album can be showcasing actual customers using your product or service to demonstrate the ease of product use. This Instagram Story Highlight also allows you to show a more in-depth look at the functionality of your product or service and gives customers an inside look, an idea of what to expect when they (hopefully) make a purchase.

Tagwalk has a collection of “How to Guides” in one of their Highlights.

For businesses selling higher price points or lesser-known brands, there’s a longer consideration phase before people buy. You can cut straight to the chase with your prospects (or at least try to) by giving them a sneak peek of what they get when they buy!

7. Highlight your customer testimonials

We all know the importance of sharing customer reviews, so be sure to share your company’s reviews with your followers, too! Creating a highlight dedicated to reposting screenshots or testimonials of your customers’ experiences using your product, service, or brand, and highlighting these on your Instagram account is a great way to share the stories of your happy customers. Customer testimonials are valuable to emphasize the benefits customers have received from your products or service.

Instagram Story Highlights customer testimonials example

These customer testimonials are also a great opportunity to use the “See More” button, allowing followers to swipe up and shop the product your customers were raving about.

Just be sure to ask customers if they’d be willing to be featured on your business’s Instagram profile, but hopefully you’ll have trust built with them already and they’ll say yes!

8. Share sales and discounts

One of the most effective ways to boost sales on Instagram and attract followers to engage with your content in some way is through offering discounts or giveaways.

Offering discounts and sales on your products provides greater visibility to your brand and has the potential to increase sales, generate leads, and boost traffic to your website.

Creating an Instagram Story Highlight dedicated to sharing current sales, discounts, and promotions is a great idea. Discounts or giveaways naturally attract prospects, prompts them to engage with the content on your Story, and then encourages them to buy your product or services.

9. Start a series

You’ve now read many tips on how to promote your products and services, advertise your events and highlight past ones, and communicate sales and discounts you’re having right now. Another creative way to engage with your customers on Instagram Stories and earn extra visibility is by creating a highlight dedicated to posting fun, relatable content. This can be related to your company’s offering, your company’s mission—or, it doesn’t necessarily have to be related with your particular business or industry.

Instagram Story Highlights series

Califa Farms has a Story Highlight named “Smile” dedicated to sharing daily moments of joy.

You can do this is by creating a story album dedicated to sharing motivational quotes related to your business, jumping on current trends happening on social media, or dedicating a highlight to sharing about your content, like a blog or video series.

Instagram Story Highlights example from Curds & Co

Curds & Co. has a Story Highlight created for their website blog.

You can also share with your followers’ non-business motivational quotes, and funny quotes (humor goes a long way in engaging an audience). The key here is to stay consistent. Post those quotes regularly for the duration of your campaign or make a story every time you’re posting a new blog or video. This consistency keeps your customers coming back!

Put these Instagram Story Highlight tips into practice

As we know, social media is constantly evolving, and Instagram and the many features it offers are growing with it. I hope this post has given you some ideas on how to use Instagram Story Highlights to add a whole new dimension to how your business interacts with followers on Instagram. If you are looking for ways to grow your business, experimenting with the unique Story Highlight feature on Instagram is a great way to do so!

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6 Webinar Marketing Tips We Swear By

Webinars are a great way to inform and engage your audience. Not only will you be able to generate new leads, but you will also be given a platform to build upon established relationships. 

According to ON24, “76% of marketers say webinars allow them to drive more leads” and  “75% agree that webinars help them to extend their brand reach,” so leveraging webinars can really help boost your success.

webinar marketing stats from ON24's report

All the webinar benefits covered in ON24’s report.

If you’re looking to leverage your credibility, increase your brand awareness, and drive engagement, you have come to the right place! In order to see any of these benefits from webinar, you need to make sure you’re promoting the event. You need a solid, cross-channel webinar marketing strategy. So in this blog post, we will be sharing six tips we swear by to help you set up your own strategy to make your next webinar a success!

Why do you need a cross-channel webinar marketing strategy?

Before we get into how to create your strategy, you should know why it’s important to have a cross-channel strategy for webinars in the first place.

Here are some benefits you should be aware of:

  1. It increases your reach. Promoting your webinar through multiple marketing channels allows you to capture a wider audience.
  2. Through a wider reach, you can gain more registrants since more consumers will be seeing your promotions and have the potential to engage with it.
  3. Using multiple channels will impress your audience and improve their likeness to convert.
  4. A cross-channel webinar marketing strategy puts your audience in the driver seat. By showing up through multiple channels, you’re allowing your prospects to engage with your offer in their preferred way.  
  5. It is a great conversation lender for the sales team. The highly engaging format of a webinar makes it a strong touchpoint for sales to start a conversation with a prospect.
webinar example from WordStream

Our previous WordStream webinars are also on our YouTube channel.

Now, continue reading to find out six very useful and actionable tips to help you become a webinar marketing pro!

How to create a successful cross-channel webinar marketing plan

Now that we have reviewed the benefits of a cross-channel webinar promotion plan, let’s talk about some tips so you can put this plan into action.

1. Plan, plan, plan!

When it comes to making a webinar, you can never plan enough. Here are some tips to help you stay organized and on top of things:

Create a schedule. When it comes to scheduling, it is important to think about every detail. Some things to think about when scheduling includes:

  • What the best day would be to host the webinar?
  • What time should the webinar be at?
  • When you should begin to promote the webinar? 
  • When each email invite should be sent out leading up to the webinar.

Brainstorm as a team. Brainstorming all together can be an effective and fun way to come up with interesting and exciting webinar topics.

Choose your marketing channels. Before you get too far, nail down where you’re going to promote the webinar in your cross-channel approach. You can stick to standards like paid search and social, email marketing, or test out other marketing channels. We’ll talk more about this when we get into audience targeting in just a minute.

Make a checklist. Making a checklist can help you keep track of what has been done and what still needs to be completed—so that no step is overlooked or forgotten about.  At WordStream, we use a Google Sheet as a collaborative tool to stay organized and on track.

checklist image

Establish ownership. In order to make it clear who is doing what, it’s a good idea to make a webinar plan that outlines ownership. (Pro tip: Make sure you add this ownership to your Google Sheet or checklist.)

Stay aligned with your team. It’s important to communicate and be on the same timeline as others. Here at WordStream, our team stays aligned during webinar marketing by:

  • Communicating over Slack.
  • Checking the schedule for webinar processes.
  • Sharing performance results and insights. 

2. Nail your audience targeting

A cross-channel approach allows you  to find your target audience no matter where they are or what channel they are using. By figuring out who your prospects are and what personas you are working with, you will be able to personalize your ads based on their behavior and needs. Here are some tips we employ in our core channels when promoting our webinars.

Facebook recently hit a new record of 2.6 billion monthly users. This extensive reach provides a great place for advertisers to reach and convert new prospects for their business. This is why we go to Facebook as a powerful channel to convert webinar registrations as part of our cross-channel approach. We’ve found that lookalike audience targeting performs the best—as we’re reaching prospects who show similar interests to our seed customer and website lists.

Here’s an example of an ad we personalized towards a lookalike audience of users interested in Facebook advertising:

webinar marketing Facebook ad example

Another great place to promote your webinar is on your website—particularly if you have educational content hosted on your site. Users who engage with resources on your website are likely to be interested in further educational offers, which makes your webinar a powerful CTA. For WordStream’s webinar promotion onsite, we determine our target audience based on user’s behavior and content engagement. 

With email marketing, understanding your database segments will help you nail your targeting. In breaking down your database, you should consider:

  • Activity: Review your database’s recent activity to understand their likelihood to convert or engage with your webinar promotion.
  • Stage: You should also consider the funnel stage of your prospects. This will help personalize your promotion based on their familiarity with your brand and other offers. 

3. Be consistent in your promotions

Consistency is key when you are using multiple channels in your promotion strategy. Aligning your creative and message makes your promotion cohesive and effective as prospects see your promotion through multiple touchpoints. Not only do you want your promotion to be relevant to your audience, but you want scroll-stopping and compelling creative that will catch your lead’s eye and ultimately influence them to take the action

To show an example of consistency, let me share what we did for our most recent webinar last month. Our promotions spanned across email marketing, Facebook advertising, and pop-ups on our website. We incorporated a consistent theme in every creative and aligned on our copy. Here’s an example of our email, Facebook, and web promotions:

webinar marketing examples of consistency across channels

In these examples, you can see how consistent each promotion is with each other by employing a common summer theme. By being consistent in our promotions, our consumers will be able to make a connection between the channels and may be more inclined to engage with our content.

4. Consider what you can A/B test

You should always be testing! By A/B testing, you can gain a better understanding of what works best for your audience. Keeping a log of what variables win in your tests will help you make your future promotions even better, allowing you to build on your learnings.

There is so much you can learn when you A/B test. But remember to only change one variable at a time so it is easier to analyze and understand what is really driving the change in numbers.

Some ideas that would be smart to test are:

  • Messaging: Find out what CTA is the most effective for you.
  • Title: See if a simple or themed title would be more engaging for your audience.
  • Creative: Learn what ad formats work best in your channels.
  • Seasonality: Determine if there is any seasonality in the engagement of your webinar promotions.
  • Topic: Figure out which topics resonate best with your audience.
  • Promotion timeline: Test different promotion timelines to understand what the most effective time would be to begin promoting your webinar before the live date.
  • Day of the week/time of the day: Establish what day and time generates the most registrants for your promotions.

Here’s an example where we A/B tested the title in our webinar promotions:

webinar marketing a/b testing example

Here we controlled one variable: the title.

5. Set goals for each channel you plan on using

Setting goals will allow you to measure your success while also motivating your team to work towards a unified goal. (Spoiler: You’ll notice in the next point, we share tips on how to review performance which will drive the goals you set.)

We find that webinar registrations is a great centralized objective to align your webinar team to, and it’s one goal you can set for each marketing channel. Make sure you keep a log of your historical webinar performance, as well. This will allow you to reference benchmarks and compare performance when setting new goals.

6. Review performance

Last but definitely not least, reviewing your performance is a good way to determine what worked and what didn’t work for you. By discovering your strengths and weaknesses, you can discuss your learnings and what you can improve on for next time.

There are endless metrics to review in your cross-channel performance, but we’ve found that the foundation to analyzing our webinar promotions is reviewing registration numbers and attendee engagement. We document these results in a shared report so we can stay on top of benchmarks and core KPIs that we can set out to improve for future promotions.

high five team meme

Use this cross-channel webinar marketing checklist

Just to recap, webinars are a great marketing tool because they are highly engaging and full of value. Webinars help grow your business through promoting brand awareness and generating full funnel impact.  We want to help you build a successful cross-channel webinar which is why we provided the following six tips to help guide you in the right direction:

  1. Plan, plan, plan!
  2. Nail your audience targeting
  3. Be consistent in your promotions
  4. Consider what you can A/B test
  5. Set goals for each channel you plan on using
  6. Review performance

So put these tips to use and report back on your success!

from Internet Marketing Blog by WordStream https://ift.tt/2Drq1G6

10 Examples of Interactive Content Marketing Done Right

Quizzes from media company BuzzFeed are perhaps the best-known examples of interactive content, which Alex Membrillo, CEO of Cardinal SEO Company, said allows user to select their own path to receive information.

BuzzFeed Quizzes

The latest Buzzfeed Quiz offering, an even more interactive.

If you’re not creating interactive content already, this is a great way to expand marketing strategy, and in this post, we’ll show you how it’s done best. Here are 10 examples of interactive content marketing done right.

But first, let’s talk about why interactive content marketing is and why it can help your strategy.

What is interactive content marketing?

Interactive content is content a user can engage with and manipulate, like those aforementioned quizzes, as well as data visualizations, calculators or infographics, as Mitchell Kelly, digital marketing director of performance marketing company Pathfinder Alliance, put it.

Another common example is the free quotes consumers can receive on insurance company websites, said Greg Heilers, co-founder of SEO and content marketing firm Jolly SEO.

Interactive content is one of the best ways to engage your audience and enhance the customer experience,” Membrillo added. “Interactive content allows the reader to actively participate, as opposed to passively reading, watching or listening.”

Why is interactive content marketing effective?

Interactive content is indeed more engaging: BuzzFeed said 96% of users who start its sponsored quizzes finish them, for example.

Buzzfeed quiz graph

“Since customers engage more with interactive content, this leads to more views, resulting in more brand awareness, which eventually translates to more customers,” Heilers said.

Samantha Moss, editor and content ambassador of relationship blog Romantific, noted it’s a form of content that helps brands target the right consumers.

“Most of the people who will react to your content are people who are likely interested in your brand,” she said.

Kelly said there’s a lot of buzz about interactive content among publishers because of its potential to drive links, shares, and engagement.

“However, I think interactive content is being slept on big time in terms of its potential to skyrocket conversion rates for both lead generation and ecommerce websites,” he added.

That’s in part because interactive content can be used to collect customer information, said Oli Graham, marketing manager for copywriting company RightlyWritten.

“The bonus with interactive content is that the information gleaned from the customer when interacting with the content … can be used to segment your customers into different personas,” he noted. “This will create better-converting funnels in the long term.”

It’s also a channel that enables users to send direct feedback to brands.

“With this feedback, the marketer immediately knows what’s working and what’s not working,” said Tom De Spiegelaere, founder of digital marketing agency Tom Spicky.

It also provides an experience that cannot be cited without a link.

“Say, for example, you write an article based around what a new interactive map shows people,” Graham said. “You cannot create that story without linking to the map itself. Therefore, interactive content is highly linkable and becomes a linkable asset on your website.”

Our 10 favorite examples of awesome interactive content

Now that we’re clear on what interactive content is and why it’s effective, let’s move on to learning from some awesome examples. There are tons out there, but here are 10 favorites among digital marketers, which educate and entertain.

1. CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer

This tool from marketing software CoSchedule analyzes headlines and determines how useful they are with scores based on features like word balance and character length.

interactive content example: CoSchedule Headline Analyzer

CoSchedule Headline Analyzer

“I don’t know a single content marketer that hasn’t heard about this app or used it,” said Malte Scholz, CEO of project management tool Airfocus. “The app just works and it’s probably one of the top lead generation methods for their website because you can’t get your results if you don’t submit your contact information.”

2. HubSpot’s Website Grader

This free website tool from marketing software HubSpot grades sites based on factors like performance, mobile readiness, SEO, and security.

interactive content example: HubSpot Website Grader

HubSpot’s Website Grader

Heilers called it a “quick, free way to evaluate a website,” adding, “It’s a great way for HubSpot to increase their leads, by offering to provide further advice to website owners with poor ratings.”

3. Allbirds: Why Our Future May Depend on Birds

Nate Nead, CEO of SEO firm SEO.co, pointed to DTC shoe brand Allbirds’ paid post with the New York Times on how birds impact the environment, how consumers can help protect birds, and how Allbirds makes “better shoes in a better way.”

interactive content example: Allbird NYT paid post

The experience includes sounds of various bird calls, as well as visuals of the birds and their environments in motion.

“One of the biggest boons to interactive content marketing is the stickiness factor,” Nead said. “When content is sticky and dwell time significantly increases, so, too, do rankings, conversions, and sales. It tends to have a triple-net effect.”

4. Function of Beauty’s Hair Quiz

For her part, marketing consultant Olga Tsimaraki pointed to the quiz on the website of DTC haircare brand Function of Beauty, which asks visitors for information about their hair, goals, and fragrance and color preferences to come up with a personalized product recommendations.

Tsimaraki said she likes this example because “they’re providing a simpler customer/user experience.”

“What people are looking for today is simple answers and interactive content allows companies to do just that,” she added.

5. Clinique’s Foundation Finder

Makeup brand Clinique’s Foundation Finder offers similar functionality—by answering questions about skin tone, coverage preference, and skin goals, Clinique suggests foundation types and shades.

interactive content example: Clinique's Foundation Finder

“You can see images of real women with different skin tones and you just select the closest option to your skin tone,” said Medha Mehta, content marketing specialist at website security firm Sectigo. “It also has images for all the other options to help you choose your preferable coverage, forms, and types of finishes … after that, they suggested not only the closest shade for my skin tone but also the foundation that matched all other criteria.”

6. Nove Bike’s Aero X

Similarly, Nove Bikes offers a customization tool on its website to allow customers to build their ideal high-performance bicycle.

interactive content example: Nove Bike's Aero X

“For any online business selling customizable products, making it easy for your customers to visualize what the final product will look like as well as engage them in the buying process is critical,” Kelly said. “While the upfront cost to build something like this is expensive, the impact can be measured easily in terms of conversion rate on product pages.”

7. Disney’s My Disney Experience

According to Membrillo, Disney’s My Disney Experience app proves it has “mastered the art of interactive content.”

It allows visitors to check in to the Disney Resort, find character greeting locations, make dining reservations, navigate the park, and, of course, shop.

“Users can select locations on their interactive map to view real-time wait times for attractions and plan their day by building an itinerary,” he said. “Utilizing Disney’s Magic Band technology, guests can also use the My Photo feature on the app to view photos that automatically synced from attractions they were on.”

8. Missy Empire’s You vs. the Kardashians

Going for more of the shock factor, clothing brand Missy Empire created a calculator that allows regular Joes and Janes to type in their salaries to see how many minutes it takes members of the Kardashian family to make what they earn in a year.

interactive content example: Missy Empire's You vs. the Kardashians

Missy Empire’s Calculator

“To date, the piece has 127 referring domains,” Graham said.

9. BBC’s Will a Robot Take Your Job?

In 2015, as autonomous machines were first being integrated into the workforce and we were starting to see a shift in labor and related anxiety, the BBC published an interactive post that allowed users to type in their job titles to see what the odds are their job will be automated in the next 20 years.

“This is a more creative example for getting readers engaged,” said Vinay Amin, CEO of supplement brand Eu Natural.

10. CNN’s Marvel Cinematic Universe Timeline

In 2018, CNN followed with an interactive timeline for Marvel’s cinematic universe to prepare viewers for the release of the superhero film Avengers: Infinity War.

interactive content example: CNN's Marvel Timeline

“Over the last decade, Marvel has been dropping hints—Easter eggs, along with mid-credit and post-credit scenes—to set up one of the biggest showdowns in Marvel comic book history: ‘Infinity War,’” the site says. “It’s hard to remember every semi-hidden tip over 10 years, but we’ve got you covered.”

Per Heilers, in addition to netting backlinks, it increased the amount of time people spent on the website.

Make interactive content work for your business

These examples illustrate the range of possibilities for interactives content that you can create to start accruing back links, attracting site visitors, and more. Take these examples and start thinking what kind of interactive content would attract your audience—then go and get them!

from Internet Marketing Blog by WordStream https://ift.tt/2XrXPcW

Daily SEO Fix: Investigate Changes in Your Rankings with Moz Pro

Posted by Ola.King

As members of the Moz onboarding team — which gives one-on-one walkthroughs of Moz products to over 500 customers a month — we have our finger on the pulse of what people are asking for when it comes to SEO. We’re here to help you uncover the relevant Moz Pro features for your business.

We know that somewhere along the journey of improving your website and drumming up more traffic (and hopefully conversions), you’ll want to track rankings for your target keywords. Perhaps you started by noticing a traffic drop on your website. Or maybe you’re actively adapting your business in response to new challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll ultimately want to know how your page rankings were affected, and start to explore what you can do next.

In this series of Daily SEO Fix videos, the Moz onboarding team takes you through workflows using the Moz Pro tools. We help you coast through your rankings analysis to gain some actionable insights, from tracking your performance against your competitors to making impactful improvements to your pages.

Don’t have a community account or free trial yet? Sign up first, then book your walkthrough to chat with our onboarding team.

Start your free trial


Segment and sort keyword rankings

One constant in SEO is that ranking positions are always changing. Some keywords tend to move around more than others, and they can be tricky to spot. Luckily, Moz Pro has a simple way to focus on these keywords.

In this Daily Fix, Maddie shows you how you can sort out your keywords by ranking gains and losses, so that you can glean some insight into how to make the relevant improvements.


View rankings over time and vs. competitors

They say you can’t manage what you don’t measure. This is also true for SEO.

By tracking your keywords, you can measure the impact of your SEO efforts and identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities to optimize your SEO.

Moz Pro allows you to track your ranking performance over time. You can quickly see exactly what page on your site is ranking in the highest position for a particular keyword, as well as other pages that may be ranking for the same keyword. This helps you easily flag potential keyword cannibalization on your site.

In this Daily Fix, Jo on the learning team will shows you exactly how this works.


On-page optimization

There aren’t many things more confusing than seeing pages rank for keywords that have absolutely nothing to do with your business. You’re always signalling something to the search engines — whether you intend to or not. Optimizing your on-page SEO ensures you control that signal.

On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages for specific keyword(s) in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines.

In this Daily Fix, I show you how to use the page optimization tool to improve your on-page SEO.

Be sure to check out our post on on-page ranking factors if you want more tips.


Compare link profiles

Link building is one of the aspects of SEO that can’t be done in isolation. In order to know how much effort you should dedicate to link building, you first need to look at your competitive landscape.

Moz Pro’s link explorer allows you to compare the link profile of up to five websites. In a snapshot, you get insight into many important metrics like domain authority, spam score, external and follow links, etc. You can easily use the graphs to spot trends in the type of links your competitors are getting, and even click through to see the individual links. In this video, Alicia shows you how.

For more tips on building links, check our beginner’s guide to link building.


All crawled pages

Technical SEO is table stakes, and arguably the most important aspect of your SEO work.

Even if you use the right keywords, create the most optimized pages, and have every authoritative site in the world linking to you, if the crawlers are’t able to index your pages correctly or you’re not following best technical SEO practices, your pages won’t rank as well as they deserve. Moz Pro’s Site Crawl tool helps you ensure that your technical SEO is on point.

In this Daily Fix, Emilie shows you some tips you can use to improve your rankings with Site Crawl.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

from Moz Blog https://ift.tt/3kbjEHH

How to Sell on Etsy: Your All-in-One Guide to Getting Started

If you are the proud owner of a new cloth mask, maybe you bought that mask from a seller on Etsy. And you’re in good company; I bought mine on Etsy, too! And maybe when you were scrolling through an endless supply of masks—tie-dye, sports-themed, silly mouths, and inspirational slogans—you stumbled upon some other cool merch. I’m a sucker for the vintage jewelry and needlepoint from Etsy sellers.

how to sell on etsy

Etsy shops have exploded during the pandemic, not just with mask sellers, but with new boutiques started by people who got into “quarantine hobbies” or small businesses pivoting to ecommerce. If you’re looking to make some cash money from your side hustle, we’re going to break down exactly how to sell on Etsy, including:

  • Why you should sell on Etsy
  • How to set up your Etsy shop
  • How to sell A LOT of your product on Etsy

Let’s get started.

Is selling on Etsy worth it?

The short answer is yes.

But let me explain. One of the best things about Etsy is that they help sell your merchandise. Yes, that means they advertise your items for you! So if you’re just getting started on your ecommerce adventure, Etsy is a great place to get your feet wet and crowd-test your products.

Etsy’s top sellers make $10,000 per year from their shops, and the platform boasts 31.7 million active buyers. This means that your products could be discovered by millions of people who would never hear of your business otherwise. The exposure and free advertising is a great place to kick off your custom-made craft business.

Particularly because the world of ecommerce can be fraught with scams, Etsy is a safe place to start. The platform truly teaches you best practices on how to sell your products, with plenty of hand-holding, community forums, seller handbooks, and a dedicated team to help sort out any issues you may run into.

How to set up your etsy shop

If you’ve bought items on Etsy before, you probably already have an account. If not, go ahead and set up a shiny new Etsy login. Once that’s all set, you’ll be able to start setting up your very own Etsy shop!

Set your shop preferences

The process is fairly simple. Etsy walks you through the step-by-step process below, starting with the basics: your shop language, country, currency, and a little bit about yourself as a seller.

Etsy shop preferences

Name your Etsy shop

Truly, the toughest part is the next step: naming your shop. The pressure. is. on. I recommend naming your shop something broadly descriptive. For example, if you’re interested in selling fresh pizza dough and you want to name your name PizzaDoughOnly2000, think about how you might diversify or expand in the future. What if you want to sell bread one day? Or pizza toppings?

You can also go abstract, like “Rising Yeast 2020,” or add your name into the mix, e.g., Mary Lister Baking. Before you commit, google your Etsy shop name to make sure you’re not replicating an existing shop (on or off Etsy), or accidentally choosing a problematic name.

Finally, remember that capitalization and spelling matters! Proofread before you publish!

Stock your shop

Next, it’s time to stock up. This is the most laborious part of setting up your Etsy shop—but it’s easier than setting up an ecommerce website since Etsy lets you plug-and-play. They suggest adding ten or more items when you get started since shoppers love to have options.

Etsy shop stock

First, add your imagery. Etsy walks you through the best ways to take product photos—and, in exciting news, you can now add videos to bring your product to life! One video seems way easier than 15 pictures from different angles, and it’ll help give your shoppers a better understanding of the craftsmanship.

Etsy product photos

Next, you’ll be prompted to fill in details about your items. The options displayed below are mandatory fields and self-explanatory.

Etsy product information

The next options involve creating sections in your shop. For instance, if you sell leather goods and want to break it down into wallets, purses, keychains, etc., as well as selecting tags to make it easier to search and find your goods, and the materials you used to create them.

Select pricing and shipping

If you’re already selling your wares elsewhere—maybe a swap meet or farmer’s market—pricing your products should be pretty easy. I would adjust pricing to include Etsy’s fees, which are $0.20 per listing and 5% of the item price when it is sold. You’ll have the option to assign SKUs to your products, display any variations (e.g., color, material, size), and allow a shopper to input personalization information.

After you set the price for your listing, you can set up shipping costs. While it may seem simple when you’re the shopper, stores meticulously choose what type of shipping costs they want to cover, build into the cost of the item or bill directly to you. 

Etsy gives you the option of manually selecting the cost of shipping or having their algorithm calculate it for you. You’ll input the zip code you’ll be shipping from, how long it’ll take you to ship, if you want to ship internationally or just domestically (and which countries you can ship to), the types of shipping services, and allow you to add a handling fee. Finally, you’ll need to input the weight and measurements of your products to accurately estimate the total shipping costs.

How to get paid

You can enroll in Etsy Payments, which gives buyers a variety of ways to pay for your products, like Apple Pay, Paypal, major credit cards, Google Pay, and Etsy credit and gift cards. It means all the money you collect from sales can be directly deposited in your account, in your own currency, on a regular basis. Etsy requires all eligible sellers to enroll in Etsy Payments to provide a more consistent shopping experience for their users, but … it’s unclear how you wouldn’t qualify for Etsy Payments. Otherwise, you can select your own preferences for which payments you’ll accept from buyers.

Set up billing

Final step! You need to attach a line of credit (credit card) to your brand new shop in order to pay Etsy’s seller fees. Make sure you understand all of Etsy’s fees before you dive in. It can get complicated, and while it probably isn’t expensive off the bat, the fees can add up. Check out more detail on those fees here.

How to sell A LOT on Etsy

There you have it—getting started selling on Etsy is straightforward. But it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd on Etsy. That’s why we rounded up some quick tips to make you’re not just selling on Etsy but selling a lot on this platform.

Do some competitive research

Before you start selling, check out your favorite Etsy stores to see what stands out to you! Why did you pick those sellers—was it the description of their offerings? The materials they use? The efficiency in shipping and handling? Identify the best traits in each shop so you can replicate them in yours for an optimal buying experience for your own ecommerce brand on Etsy.

Etsy shop example

Image source

Follow the guidelines

Follow the guidelines for what to sell—more specifically, what you’re allowed and not allowed to sell. Etsy is different from ecommerce platforms like, say, Amazon or eBay. Etsy requires their sellers to offer unique items. That means you need to be selling vintage, handmade, or craft supplies to open an Etsy shop. Etsy has an article about items that are prohibited from sale on their site, which you can view here.

Tell your brand story in your Etsy profile

Take the time to tell your brand story in your shop description. Like cooking blogs, with cool backstories about where they found the recipe and how they adjusted to make it their own, it’ll draw shoppers in. Kingsley Leather explains his leather working journey in his shop description; how he began working with leather as a hobby and eventually made it his full-time job. 

Etsy product example

He also dives into why he values quality leather products, namely, that he was sick of cheaply made goods and hated wearing through wallets quickly. This particular tidbit is great marketing; sure, his products may be expensive, but they’re worth it.

Connect your social media accounts

Connect your social media accounts and website for your business. This gives shoppers more options if they want to see your designs IRL (online), you can show off new projects you’re working on, and promote your buyers through your social channels. Think of it as a great way to get more followers on social, more buyers on Etsy, and, even better, it can help you sell more goods that may not meet Etsy’s guidelines.

etsy social media example

BrynnandCo connected her Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, so you can take a peek into her work studio and see more of how she displays her finished products–needlepoints!

Keep your availability and estimates up to date

If you’re on vacation or experiencing difficulties with productivity, make an announcement so your shoppers know what to expect. This will prevent disappointments if they can’t get their item on time or can give buyers a heads up if you’re about to drop a new line of cool new shirts. Even better, provide them with a discount code for their patience, as The Fro Experts did.

Etsy shop availability example

The first step to selling on Etsy: Go and get started!

And there you have it—everything you need to know about how to sell on Etsy, a platform that offers everything. If you want anything handmade and personalized, unique and crafted, it’s on Etsy. And I’m all for it. I’ve even taken a dive into taxidermy Etsy (yes, it’s really real), vintage board game Etsy, and miniature doll Etsy for photoshoots, which *did not* disappoint. If you have a unique product created with your own two hands, Etsy is the place to sell. Good luck out there!

from Internet Marketing Blog by WordStream https://ift.tt/3k1uL5Q

What Do Dolphins Eat? Lessons from How Kids Search — Best of Whiteboard Friday

Posted by willcritchlow

We’re bringing back this slightly different-from-the-norm Whiteboard Friday, in which the fantastic Will Critchlow shares lessons from how kids search. Kids may search differently than adults, but there are some interesting insights from how they use Google that can help deepen our understanding of searchers in general. Comfort levels with particular search strategies, reading only the bold words, taking search suggestions and related searches as answers — there’s a lot to dig into. 

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Hi, everyone. I’m Will Critchlow, founder and CEO of Distilled, and this week’s Whiteboard Friday is a little bit different. I want to talk about some surprising and interesting and a few funny facts that I learnt when I was reading some research that Google did about how kids search for information. So this isn’t super actionable. This is not about tactics of improving your website particularly. But I think we get some insights — they were studying kids aged 7 to 11 — by looking at how kids interact. We can see some reflections or some ideas about how there might be some misconceptions out there about how adults search as well. So let’s dive into it.

What do dolphins eat?

I’ve got this “What do dolphins eat?” because this was the first question that the researchers gave to the kids to say sit down in front of a search box, go. They tell this little anecdote, a little bit kind of soul-destroying, of this I think it was a seven-year-old child who starts typing dolphin, D-O-L-F, and then presses Enter, and it was like sadly there’s no dolphins, which hopefully they found him some dolphins. But a lot of the kids succeeded at this task.

Different kinds of searchers

The researchers divided the ways that the kids approached it up into a bunch of different categories. They found that some kids were power searchers. Some are what they called “developing.” They classified some as “distracted.” But one that I found fascinating was what they called visual searchers. I think they found this more commonly among the younger kids who were perhaps a little bit less confident reading and writing. It turns out that, for almost any question you asked them, these kids would turn first to image search.

So for this particular question, they would go to image search, typically just type “dolphin” and then scroll and go looking for pictures of a dolphin eating something. Then they’d find a dolphin eating a fish, and they’d turn to the researcher and say “Look, dolphins eat fish.” Which, when you think about it, I quite like in an era of fake news. This is the kids doing primary research. They’re going direct to the primary source. But it’s not something that I would have ever really considered, and I don’t know if you would. But hopefully this kind of sparks some thought and some insights and discussions at your end. They found that there were some kids who pretty much always, no matter what you asked them, would always go and look for pictures.

Kids who were a bit more developed, a bit more confident in their reading and writing would often fall into one of these camps where they were hopefully focusing on the attention. They found a lot of kids were obviously distracted, and I think as adults this is something that we can relate to. Many of the kids were not really very interested in the task at hand. But this kind of path from distracted to developing to power searcher is an interesting journey that I think totally applies to grown-ups as well.

In practice: [wat do dolfin eat]

So I actually, after I read this paper, went and did some research on my kids. So my kids were in roughly this age range. When I was doing it, my daughter was eight and my son was five and a half. Both of them interestingly typed “wat do dolfin eat” pretty much like this. They both misspelled “what,” and they both misspelled “dolphin.” Google was fine with that. Obviously, these days this is plenty close enough to get the result you wanted. Both of them successfully answered the question pretty much, but both of them went straight to the OneBox. This is, again, probably unsurprising. You can guess this is probably how most people search.

“Oh, what’s a cephalopod?” The path from distracted to developing

So there’s a OneBox that comes up, and it’s got a picture of a dolphin. So my daughter, a very confident reader, she loves reading, “wat do dolfin eat,” she sat and she read the OneBox, and then she turned to me and she said, “It says they eat fish and herring. Oh, what’s a cephalopod?” I think this was her going from distracted into developing probably. To start off with, she was just answering this question because I had asked her to. But then she saw a word that she didn’t know, and suddenly she was curious. She had to kind of carefully type it because it’s a slightly tricky word to spell. But she was off looking up what is a cephalopod, and you could see the engagement shift from “I’m typing this because Dad has asked me to and it’s a bit interesting I guess” to “huh, I don’t know what a cephalopod is, and now I’m doing my own research for my own reasons.” So that was interesting.

“Dolphins eat fish, herring, killer whales”: Reading the bold words

My son, as I said, typed something pretty similar, and he, at the point when he was doing this, was at the stage of certainly capable of reading, but generally would read out loud and a little bit halting. What was fascinating on this was he only read the bold words. He read it out loud, and he didn’t read the OneBox. He just read the bold words. So he said to me, “Dolphins eat fish, herring, killer whales,” because killer whales, for some reason, was bolded. I guess it was pivoting from talking about what dolphins eat to what killer whales eat, and he didn’t read the context. This cracked him up. So he thought that was ridiculous, and isn’t it funny that Google thinks that dolphins eat killer whales.

That is similar to some stuff that was in the original research, where there were a bunch of common misconceptions it turns out that kids have and I bet a bunch of adults have. Most adults probably don’t think that the bold words in the OneBox are the list of the answer, but it does point to the problems with factual-based, truthy type queries where Google is being asked to be the arbiter of truth on some of this stuff. We won’t get too deep into that.

Common misconceptions for kids when searching

1. Search suggestions are answers

But some common misconceptions they found some kids thought that the search suggestions, so the drop-down as you start typing, were the answers, which is bit problematic. I mean we’ve all seen kind of racist or hateful drop-downs in those search queries. But in this particular case, it was mainly just funny. It would end up with things like you start asking “what do dolphins eat,” and it would be like “Do dolphins eat cats” was one of the search suggestions.

2. Related searches are answers

Similar with related searches, which, as we know, are not answers to the question. These are other questions. But kids in particular — I mean, I think this is true of all users — didn’t necessarily read the directions on the page, didn’t read that they were related searches, just saw these things that said “dolphin” a lot and started reading out those. So that was interesting.

How kids search complicated questions

The next bit of the research was much more complex. So they started with these easy questions, and they got into much harder kind of questions. One of them that they asked was this one, which is really quite hard. So the question was, “Can you find what day of the week the vice president’s birthday will fall on next year?” This is a multifaceted, multipart question.

How do they handle complex, multi-step queries?

Most of the younger kids were pretty stumped on this question. Some did manage it. I think a lot of adults would fail at this. So if you just turn to Google, if you just typed this in or do a voice search, this is the kind of thing that Google is almost on the verge of being able to do. If you said something like, “When is the vice president’s birthday,” that’s a question that Google might just be able to answer. But this kind of three-layered thing, what day of the week and next year, make this actually a very hard query. So the kids had to first figure out that, to answer this, this wasn’t a single query. They had to do multiple stages of research. When is the vice president’s birthday? What day of the week is that date next year? Work through it like that.

I found with my kids, my eight-year-old daughter got stuck halfway through. She kind of realized that she wasn’t going to get there in one step, but also couldn’t quite structure the multi-levels needed to get to, but also started getting a bit distracted again. It was no longer about cephalopods, so she wasn’t quite as interested.

Search volume will grow in new areas as Google’s capabilities develop

This I think is a whole area that, as Google’s capabilities develop to answer more complex queries and as we start to trust and learn that those kind of queries can be answered, what we see is that there is going to be increasing, growing search volume in new areas. So I’m going to link to a post I wrote about a presentation I gave about the next trillion searches. This is my hypothesis that essentially, very broad brush strokes, there are a trillion desktop searches a year. There are a trillion mobile searches a year. There’s another trillion out there in searches that we don’t do yet because they can’t be answered well. I’ve got some data to back that up and some arguments why I think it’s about that size. But I think this is kind of closely related to this kind of thing, where you see kids get stuck on these kind of queries.

Incidentally, I’d encourage you to go and try this. It’s quite interesting, because as you work through trying to get the answer, you’ll find search results that appear to give the answer. So, for example, I think there was an About.com page that actually purported to give the answer. It said, “What day of the week is the vice president’s birthday on?” But it had been written a year before, and there was no date on the page. So actually it was wrong. It said Thursday. That was the answer in 2016 or 2017. So that just, again, points to the difference between primary research, the difference between answering a question and truth. I think there’s a lot of kind of philosophical questions baked away in there.

Kids get comfortable with how they search – even if it’s wrong

So we’re going to wrap up with possibly my favorite anecdote of the user research that these guys did, which was that they said some of these kids, somewhere in this developing stage, get very attached to searching in one particular way. I guess this is kind of related to the visual search thing. They find something that works for them. It works once. They get comfortable with it, they’re familiar with it, and they just do that for everything, whether it’s appropriate or not. My favorite example was this one child who apparently looked for information about both dolphins and the vice president of the United States on the SpongeBob SquarePants website, which I mean maybe it works for dolphins, but I’m guessing there isn’t an awful lot of VP information.

So anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed this little adventure into how kids search and maybe some things that we can learn from it. Drop some anecdotes of your own in the comments. I’d love to hear your experiences and some of the funny things that you’ve learnt along the way. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com


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Our Top 10 Social Media Engagement Hacks for 2020

Social media moves dizzyingly fast, but some fundamental concepts stay the same—like the importance of organic engagement and connecting with your audience.  In this article, I’ve rounded up 10 ideas to boost organic engagement, with examples from brands that are successfully adding followers and building communities online. That way, you can use these tips to start improving your own engagement right away.

Burger King Facebook post

Here are 10 hacks for improving your social media engagement in 2020:

  1. Private Facebook groups
  2. Games and giveaways
  3. Video challenges
  4. Gif conversations on Twitter
  5. User-generated content
  6. Virtual events
  7. Collaborations and takeovers
  8. Augmented reality lenses
  9. Mixed media
  10. More in-app actions

But first, let’s make sure we’re clear on why organic engagement is an important metric.

Why organic engagement matters on social media

From time to time, someone will announce that organic social media is over. It’s all about the ads. And it is certainly true that the accuracy of targeted ads on social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok has increased.

 But at the same time, ad costs are rising, and, especially right now, more people are relying on digital media to stay in touch with friends and make meaningful connections.

TikTok tops this most downloaded apps graphic

TikTok was downloaded 87 million times just last month.

All of which means that genuine, organic engagement still matters. In fact, it matters more than ever. If you want your brand to succeed on social media, you need to build an active and authentic community which adds value for your followers.

10 social media engagement hacks in 2020

These engagement hacks are based on strategies and tools that I’ve used myself and found worked really well for different types of companies in many different countries. Take a look and see what inspires you!

1. Private Facebook groups

Facebook has been encouraging the use of groups for a while. While your main Facebook page is great for broadcasting information, groups allow you to create a focused, tight-knit community where people can share, discuss, and collaborate around your brand.

Anyone can request to join a Facebook group, but you can set up filter questions to make sure that your group is populated with your target audience.

social media engagement with Facebook group example

I really encourage people to work with Facebook groups, because they’re a workable way to build engagement for almost any business. There are broadly three categories of Facebook group run by brands:

  1. Support groups: People share ideas, knowledge and advice.
  2. Social groups: People share projects, make friends and organize events.
  3. Insider groups: People get exclusive access to branded content, releases and events.

For example, this fashion brand runs a book club as a private Facebook social group.

social media engagement with social Facebook group example

Meanwhile, this SaaS brand runs a support group for its users. People compare notes about the application, share their work, and even suggest new features that they’d like to see. The group also uses Facebook’s “Mentorship” feature, which connects experienced users with those who need a hand. Brand admins are very active in the group, so members feel that their engagement is valued.

social media engagement with Facebook group example

Lastly, here’s an example of an insider Facebook group, run by a brand. If you’ve ever taken a content marketing course from HubSpot, you probably got an invitation to join this group.

social media engagement with Facebook group example HubSpot

HubSpot uses it to run invite-only webinars and make product announcements. At the same time, they reap all the engagement benefits of running a social or support group.

2. Games and giveaways

It’s strange to think how fast social media has evolved. In the beginning, we just shared written status updates. Then photographs took over. Then we discovered that video content got more engagement then photos.

So what’s next? Interactive video, playable ads, and mini-games. Big brands (with budgets to match) are increasingly ambitious with the content they share: platform games, interactive video storylines and so on. Interactive content increases the time that followers spend on your social media profile, it has strong viral potential, and it can function as a painless method of lead generation.

The most recent example I’ve seen (via Mobile Marketer) is this game from Burberry, a mix of dressing up and classic platform game. It’s surprisingly addictive.

social media engagement game from Burberry

The game is available on Burberry’s own site, other shopping sites, the app WeChat and as an in-store activity. (If you want to know why that’s significant, jump ahead to hack #10!) And when you finish playing, you get access to exclusive Burberry-branded gifs, so that you keep sharing online.

Obviously, this level of game design is beyond most content marketers’ budgets. However, you can reproduce the ideas on a smaller and more feasible scale. Ready-made apps, game platforms for marketers and simple puzzles are rapidly becoming more popular.

Ideally, any branded game will tap into a dynamic that’s already popular. For example, hidden objects games have been around for decades. If you use an off-the-shelf app, you just have to supply your own graphics and the game is ready to play.

social media engagement with game example

Spin the wheel games are also popular, just like the classic TV show “Wheel of Fortune.” People love to play it, it’s completely fool-proof, and you can run a major promotion without blowing the whole budget on rewards.

I suspect that interactive content has partly become more popular this year due to lockdown. We’re all desperate for distractions, either for ourselves or for our reluctantly home-schooled children. Paradoxically, that’s great news for brands—because it means that consumers will reward you for creativity and entertainment value.

3. Video challenges

You might not have taken part in a video challenge yet, but you’ve definitely heard of them.

The ice bucket challenge. The cinnamon challenge. The Renegade dance challenge.

Most video challenges share some key characteristics. They’re quick and easy to do at home. They often have a signature soundtrack or phrase. And because they’re filmed as short video clips, popular challenges tend to spill over from their original social platform and onto other social media. (This is great news in terms of viral reach.)

To create your own challenge, you just need a fun idea and an active audience. Don’t create a challenge that’s too difficult, time-consuming, or derivative; if you borrow someone else’s idea, you risk a backlash.

Here are a couple of examples to get you started. Remember the first few weeks of the 2020 lockdown, when everyone was suddenly making that coffee?

social media engagement with Dalgona coffee

The Dalgona coffee challenge was inspired by a Korean TV show, took off on YouTube, and then spread to TikTok. And it was a gift to instant coffee manufacturers.

Like many challenges, Dalgona coffee emerged pretty much spontaneously. But some consumer brands have successfully engineered viral challenges, such as the NYX cosmetics challenge that publicized their new Butter Gloss Pop product.

social media engagement TikTok example

Image source

Last time I checked, the hashtag had already reached 10.8 billion views. These challenges are designed to increase reach and brand awareness. They aren’t ideal for lead generation or reaching a very focused audience, but they can help to bring your brand to a larger public.

4. Gif conversations on Twitter

Let’s be blunt: I know of at least a few marketers who have given up on Twitter. But I think they’re missing out. Twitter is still a key channel for customer service, customer feedback, and online discussion. It’s also a great way to reach specific demographics, including B2B audiences.

If you want a quick engagement fix, then starting a gif thread can get you some attention on Twitter. This is where you pose a question, or give people a prompt, and ask them to respond with a single gif.

For some reason, this is especially popular with sports communities.

social media engagement with Twitter gifs

So why does this work? Well, like most things on social media, it’s easy for people to join in. A frictionless experience is vital when you want people to engage with you.

Secondly, it mixes text with visual media and pop culture references. It taps into the media and style of communication that people are already using on Twitter, and gets plenty of attention in the process. You’ll benefit from showing that you appreciate and understand online culture, especially if your brand skews to younger demographics.

5. Sharing user-generated content on brand hashtags

This trend has been around for a while, but it shows no signs of slowing down in 2020. The idea is simple, and similar to a video challenge: You create a hashtag that refers to your brand, and encourage people to share. But instead of asking people to complete a challenge or show a specific product, you invite them to share their unique experience of your brand.

Fashion and cosmetics brands are often at the forefront of consumer-focused social media, so it’s no surprise that they’re skilled at this. For example, the cult footwear brand Rothys uses the hashtag #rothysinthewild to collect photos and videos posted by their customers. All of that user-generated content is essentially free advertising, bringing Rothys to new audiences and building a mountain of social proof.

social media engagement example #rothysinthewild hashtag

 The key to getting user-generated posts like this is to reward people who post. Whenever content pops up on your hashtag, reshare it to your own feed or add it to a dedicated Instagram highlight. Show people that you’ve noticed their contributions!

Once your hashtag is established and there’s a regular stream of posts coming in, this is also a way to build community online. People who share posts with your brand will find each other through the hashtag. This solves a key problem for some social networks: While you can’t create groups on Twitter or Instagram, you can develop a strong sense of community through hashtags.

6. Virtual events, chats, and networking

We’ve already touched on the idea of social media groups, or hashtag communities, around your brand. The natural next step is community events in real time: webinars, live chats, interactive livestreams, and networking.

The good news is that social media networks are rapidly introducing new features to support this. You can now broadcast live video on every single social platform, and most offer the option for viewers to share comments and reactions in real time.

Early in 2020, Facebook released Messenger Rooms for live video chats. This takes live broadcasts to the next level: you can invite a select group of people to fully participate in the conversation. When you create a room, you can choose to invite specific people or open the room to anyone. You can also schedule a room to “unlock” at a specific time or date, which is really useful for busy social media managers.

It’s already available across Facebook Messenger and Instagram, with WhatsApp expected to follow soon.

Facebook room example

Facebook is still playing around with the details of Rooms, but this is an app with huge potential. You can create private rooms within Facebook groups. Rooms also works on Instagram—just tap the video camera icon in the top-right of your private messages.

Most brand events in 2020 have, of necessity, been virtual. But even when life goes back to normal, don’t lose touch with these virtual channels. Virtual events—or at least livestreaming in-person events—will help you reach people who can’t attend due to distance, other commitments, or accessibility issues.

(And speaking of accessibility, follow these tips to make your video more accessible for people with hearing impairments. If you plan to use video regularly, invest in good software for automatic captions.)

7. Collaborations and takeovers

When you hear the word “collaboration,” a lot of marketers’ minds jump to expensive influencer campaigns. And those have their value—but, as always on social media, there are simpler and more affordable alternatives.

As we’ve seen, ordinary customers can bring huge benefits to your brand when they share content about your brand. So why not give them the chance to run your account for a day?

You can collaborate with customers, other local businesses, and complementary companies (for example, a brewery teaming up with a snack company). One great example of this is the Paperchase ambassador scheme. Every year, the stationery company selects a few university students to represent the brand. They get to run the brand’s social media accounts for a day and try out new products.

social media engagement with account takeover example

You could team up with an influencer, customer or partner brand to run Twitter chats, Facebook Live, split-screen Instagram Lives or TikTok takeovers.

If you partner with someone who already has a sizeable audience, collaborations can increase your reach very rapidly. But they’re also powerful because they create a sense of excitement for your regular followers. You can transform a weekly Q&A session into a sold-out event just by adding a new name and face into the mix.

8. Augmented reality lenses

Don’t be fooled by the science fiction name: augmented reality is already an everyday part of our lives. If you’ve ever used an Instagram Story effect, you’ve used augmented reality.

With that said, augmented reality lenses are rapidly becoming more sophisticated—and both social networks and brands are waking up to the possibilities. Single Grain has pinpointed augmented reality as a major trend for Facebook Ads in 2020, while SnapChat is busy adding new features for brands and creators to design new AR lenses.

Many young creators, artists, and influencers are already playing around with these lens creation tools. They’re easier to use than you think! If you’re not sure where to start, speak to a graphic designer or try contacting a creator whose work you enjoy.

For example, you can search for AR effects by theme in your Instagram Story editor. Just tap the icon of a magnifying glass with stars on it. Each effect is credited to a creator who you can then track down and contact.

AR lens example

So what’s the engagement value of these lenses?

Well, like every other hack mentioned here, they’re something that social media users already enjoy interacting with. When you join in the fun, you have the chance to increase your audience and connect with followers by showing you care about the same things. Try creating AR filters that link to your followers’ interests, let them play with your products, or even represent your values.

9. Mixed media

One of the things I love about social media is that people always find a way to make it work for them. Long before Twitter had a built-in camera, people were sharing video from other sites. And when Instagram users wished they could use their words more, people started sharing screencaps of Tweets and notes.

The only problem with this DIY version of social media is that it doesn’t always look beautiful. You can save a lot of time on content creation by re-sharing content across different platforms—but you have to make sure your design is up to scratch.

My favorite app for this is Remix by Buffer. The design tools are very effective, and it’s extremely fast to use. Start by putting in the URL of any website, tweet or even a Shopify product listing. The app then allows you to add backgrounds, change the image dimensions and pick a design that will look great.

mixed media example

 This is a fun way to share news, customer reviews or testimonials, or even just funny Tweets that caught your eye. If you decide to share content from other users, make sure you include proper credit. If it’s your own content … fire away!

10. More in-app actions

Finally, let’s take a second to think about the future of social media. What’s coming next?

Judging from the features that social networks are putting out, the goal is to do more and more within social media. Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest have all released new in-app shopping features during 2020. Instagram now offers Story stickers to buy gift cards, make charitable donations and order food. SnapChat has announced their new SnapChat Minis scheme, which gives brands the power to build mini-apps on the platform.

in-app actions example

The inspiration for many of these ideas is the Chinese social media giant, WeChat. You can pretty much live your entire life inside WeChat, including messaging, social sharing, shopping, ordering food, paying bills, and booking appointments.

It remains to be seen whether this approach will work for Western audiences. While in-app features offer plenty of convenience, they also involve handing over a lot more data to the social media giants. So finding the right balance—and keeping your data policies transparent, accurate and up to date—will be key.

Start improving your social media engagement today

The key to success on social media is to keep on posting, engaging, and trying out new ideas. By this time next year, we’ll probably have 10 new social media engagement hacks to share! But in the meantime, I’d love to hear if you’ve tried out any of these engagement hacks and what results you saw

About the author

Corinna Keefe is a freelance writer who specializes in digital marketing, tech and social media. 

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12 Ways to Effectively Promote a New Product or Service

Coming up with a new product or service is a lot of work, which unfortunately does not stop once it’s readylaunching and promoting it is the other half of the equation. You could be offering the best new product or service around, but if you don’t promote it properly, you’re likely to miss out on opportunities or even end up losing money down the line. With so many businesses pivoting their products and services due to COVID-19 and unable to afford opportunity losses, we thought it fitting to give you some guidance around this topic.

how to promote a new product or service new release

In this guide, we’re going to provide steps and examples for 12 effective ways to promote a new service or product. They include:

  1. Exclusive previews
  2. Introductory offers
  3. Google My Business promotions
  4. Contests and giveaways
  5. Email marketing
  6. Blog posts
  7. Events (virtual and in-person)
  8. Upgrades
  9. Trade-ins
  10. Customer reviews
  11. Social media posts
  12. Facebook ads

 So let’s give it a whirl.

The best ways to promote a new product or service

When it comes to promoting a new product or service for your business, it can seem like there are endless options. It can be difficult to figure out where to get started and which methods of promotion will give you the best results. The truth is, there are many low-cost ways to promote your business, and what works may depend on your industry, offerings, and audience. Take a look at these 12 methods below and see which ones make the most sense for your business.

1. Offer loyal customers an exclusive preview

Your loyal customers are a key part of how to promote your product, because they are most likely to not only buy it, but also promote it to their networks. This can take the form of a private, in-person or virtual pre-launch party: an online tour, preview, or demo. Or, it could  even be a special invitation to test it out and give feedback. These exclusive offerings to loyal customers reinforce how much you value them and also help to retain their loyalty.

2. Use a special introductory offer 

Rather than just announcing your new product or service, you can make it available as a part of a special introductory deal. This deal can take many forms, including:

  • Discounted pricing.
  • Reduced-rate bundle or package.
  • Joint promotion with a complementary business.
  • Voucher or coupon with purchase.
  • Buy one get one free deal.
  • Double the points if you have a loyalty program.
  • Free gift for every referral.

Whatever your promotion, be sure to emphasize that it won’t last forever. Customers whose purchase power is limited, either by time or inventory, will feel a more pressing sense of urgency to buy.

3. Make use of Google My Business

There are several ways you can promote your new product or service using your Google Business Profile, provided you have a Google My Business account. The first is via Google My Business posts.

how to promote a new product or service with a gmb post

When in your GMB dashboard, navigate to the Posts tab. From there you can create an “Offer” or a “What’s new” post.

how promote a new product or service posts tab

If you’re just announcing the new product or service, you may want to go with a “What’s new” post. Just remember that Google My Business posts expire every seven days, so you’ll need to repost. On the other hand, if you’re running a special introductory deal, an “Offer” post would be best, as you can set a timeframe. Regardless of which post type you use, be sure to include a picture and a call to action.

You can also promote your new product/service by uploading photos of it to your Business Profile via the Photos tab of your GMB dashboard, as well as adding it as a new item via your Products/Services tab.

how to promote new product or service products services GMB

If applicable, you might even want to post some FAQs on the new product or service in the Q&A section of your Google My Business account.

To get the most out of this method of promotion:

how to promote new product or service GMB photos

4. Run a social media contest

Social media contests are a fun, easy way of connecting with customers and bringing in more fans/followers and prospects for your business. Facebook contests garner an average of 34% new customers per campaign, which is a great way to combat the platform’s low organic reach.

As far as positioning is concerned, the winner(s) of your Facebook or Instagram giveaway should gain the opportunity to be the first to get their hands on your new offering, and get it for free or at a discounted rate.

how to promote a new product or service facebook giveaway

Image source

Be sure to announce the content across all of your marketing channels, and not just the social platform you’re using to run the main campaign. This includes your other social media channels, your website, email newsletters, and even paid ads.

In addition to generating more excitement and buyers for your new offering, the increased engagement with your social media account will likely drive more traffic to your website, put your business in front of new customers, and create a fun means of connecting with your audience.

how to promote a new product or service giveaway

5. Spread the word via email

Did you know that 82% of consumers open emails from businesses, and that 76% of email subscribers have made purchases from an email marketing message? Email is a fantastic channel for getting the word out about your new product/service. Plus, it makes a great incentive to get subscriber signups in the first place.

how to promote a new product or service email list copy

You can run an email campaign specifically about this new offering—perhaps even as a series of emails building up to the day of launch. Or you may want to announce it as the focus piece of your next email newsletter. This email could go out to your general audience, or, in support of method #2, it could be a subscriber- or customer-exclusive offer.

how to promote a new product or service nomad sectional

A few tips for email marketing:

  • Focus more the benefit/ultimate value of the new product than its features
  • Highlight the offer in your subject line
  • Use preheader text to further increase open rates

 For more help with announcing your new product through this tried-and-true marketing channel, head to our post: How to Write Promotional Emails (With Examples)

6. Write a blog post

When promoting your new product or service, you may not have a landing page for customers or subscribers to go to. After all, your new offering could just be an upgrade on an existing platform or account. In this case, your goal may not be to get more customers, but to get your existing customers engaging, or to re-engage dormant customers.

Having a blog post written on the newly launched item is a great way to go into depth on all of the details, features, and benefits you would otherwise include on a landing page, and you can share the link to the blog post via your emails or social media channels.

how to promote a new product or service blog post

An example of a new product launch via blog post, by emma.

Even if you do have a landing page, a blog post is still a great channel for getting the word out about your new offering, and provides ample opportunities for you to link to the landing page. For some more examples of blog posts promoting new products or services, you can check out some of our past launch posts:

7. Host an event

Events not only get customers excited about your new product or service, but can also get new prospects personally engaging with you or other employees of your business—a great way to win them over as customers.

how to promote a new product or service instagram

Events don’t have to be fancy and super organized; something as simple as an open house or an info session will work for locations like salons, fitness centers, yoga studios, spas, and retail stores.If your business is in a location with other local businesses, you can work together to have a sidewalk sale or outdoor open house to draw even larger crowds.

During the pandemic, virtual events still serve as an effective promotion tool. You might:

  • Host a Facebook Live session demoing the product and highlighting its features.
  • Run a live or recorded Q&A on the product itself.
  • Center the event around an influencer who has expertise around your new product or service, with the promise to unveil the new offering at the end.
how to promote a new product or service subscriber-only special

Virtual, customer-exclusive training session for a new version of Salesforce

8. Offer a complimentary upgrade

If your business is more service-based than product-based, like a salon, spa, fitness center, or consulting business, you can offer an upgrade for customers to try out your new service. Promoting a new facial or massage type at your spa? Provide a complimentary (but perhaps temporary) upgrade for existing customers to try it out. Expanding your agency’s PPC offerings? Add the new service to existing clients’ packages at their legacy pricing. Another option would be to offer free shipping of your new product, for a limited time.

how to promote a new product or service offer free shipping

9. Allow trade-ins

If your new product is, in fact, an upgrade of an older one, consider a trade-in program. Trade-in promotions are effective because consumers are more likely to buy a new product using a token or credit they already have (in this case, the product they own). You can also resell the old trade-in products (provided they are in good enough condition) or use them for future giveaways.

10. Share customer reviews

One of the best ways to promote a new product or service is to let your customers promote it for you. If you take advantage of some of the ideas previously mentioned (like offering an upgrade or free trial), you can then ask them to write an online review of the new service or provide material for a testimonial.

how to promote a new product or service email marketing get reviews lunacy 5.0

Image source

 

Reviews and testimonials will be invaluable when rolling the product out to your more general audience. After all, 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

how to promote a product or service share reviews

11. Post on social media

If you’re using any of the tactics mentioned above to promote your new product or service, make sure to spread word of your deals and offerings via your social media accounts (as many of the companies did in the examples above). This is an easy way to reach your audience, and your followers can easily share your post to their own profiles. Another benefit is that customers/prospects can ask questions about the product in the comments section. Their questions and your answers can serve as an organic FAQ. The post can link to a landing page or blog post with more information.

how to promote a new product or service social media

If you have a niche audience or loyal following, you may also want to use a custom hashtag in your promotion post. This will not only expand the reach of your campaigns, but may also inspire customers to share posts and pictures to their accounts, using the custom hashtag. And you know what that means: User-generated content that can then be used to get even more people try out your new service or product! 

12. Run Facebook ads

With 1 billion daily active users, Facebook advertising is a window to a large base of people who will be interested in your new product or service. Facebook ads are particularly useful because the personalized data voluntarily provided through users’ profiles makes for unbelievably specific audience targeting. You can factor in gender, age, location, interests, marital status, profession, and more—ensuring you’ll get the most bang for your buck. There are also several options for ad type, budget, and duration of campaign, so you can accommodate your goals within your means.

how to promote a new product or service facebook ad

For more help with Facebook advertising, here are three resources you can use:

What’s the best way to promote your new product or service?

The best way to promote your new product or service will depend on what channels your audience frequents and what their online behaviors are. Regardless, you should use multiple channels and cross-promote. The more cohesive and consistent your messaging is, and the more your audience learns about it, the more engagement you can expect. Try out the strategies above to get the results you want from your next product launch, software upgrade, or new service offering.

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6 Connectors to Spice Up Your Reporting: Introducing Google Data Studio Connectors for STAT

Posted by brian.ho

Data visualization platforms have become a vital tool to help illustrate the success of a body of work. Painting a clear picture of your SEO efforts is as important as ever, whether you’re reporting out to clients or to internal stakeholders at your own company. More and more SEOs are turning to data visualization tools to do so — pulling in data from across multiple SEO tools, blending that data in unique ways, and helping to pull back the curtain on the mystery of SEO.

Platforms like Tableau and Google Data Studio are becoming more commonplace in the SEO community as we seek better ways to communicate with our teams. We’ve heard from a number of folks in the Moz community that having a central dashboard to present data has streamlined their own reporting processes. It’s also made information more digestible for colleagues and clients, as they can see everything they need in one place.

Thanks to the helpful feedback of many, many STAT customers, we’ve been hard at work building six Google Data Studio Community Connectors to help pull STAT data into Data Studio. Fortified by beta testing and your thoughtful input, we’re excited to launch the six connectors today: Historical Keyword Rankings (site and tag level), Share of Voice (site and tag level), and Ranking Distributions (site and tag level).

If you’re already using STAT, dive into our documentation in the Knowledge Base to get all the nitty-gritty details on the connectors. If you’re not yet a STAT customer, why not chat with a friendly Mozzer to learn more?

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Want to hear a bit more about the connectors and how to implement them? Let’s go!

Historical Keyword Rankings

Tracking daily keyword positions over time is a central part of STAT and the long-term success of your site. The Historical Keyword Rankings connectors send historical highest rank data to Data Studio for every keyword you’re currently tracking in a site or a tag.

You can start out with a simple table: perhaps if you have a group of keywords in a dynamic tag, you might want to create a table of your top keywords ranking on page one, or your top keywords ranking in positions 1-3.

Turn that table into a line graph to understand average rank for the whole site or tag and spot trends:

Find the Site Level Historical Keyword Rankings connector here and the Tag Level Historical Keyword Rankings connector here.

Share of Voice

In STAT, share of voice measures the visibility of a group of keywords on Google. This keyword set can be keywords that are grouped together into a tag, a data view, or a site. Share of voice is calculated by assigning each ranking a click-through rate (CTR) and then multiplying that by the keyword’s search volume.

It’s important to remember that share of voice is based on the concept that higher ranks and higher search volume give you more share of voice.

The default chart type will display a doughnut chart for current share of voice, and a line graph will show share of voice over time:

Find the Site Level Share of Voice connector here and the Tag Level Share of Voice connector here.

Ranking Distribution

Ranking Distribution, available in the Daily Snapshot and Ranking Trends views in the STAT app, shows how your keyword rankings are distributed across the top 119 Google results.

View your top ranking positions as a bar chart to easily eyeball how your rankings are distributed, where shifts are taking place, and where there is clear opportunity for improvement.

Find the Site Level Ranking Distributions connector here and the Tag Level Ranking Distributions connector here.

Getting started with the connectors

Whether you’re a Google Data Studio pro or a bit newer to the tool, setting up the connectors shouldn’t be too arduous. Get started by visiting the page for the connector of your choice. Authorize the connector by clicking the Authorize button. (Tip: Each connector must be authorized separately.)

Once you authorize the connector, you’ll see a parameters table like this one:

Complete the fields using the proper information tied to your STAT account:

  • STAT Subdomain: Fill in this field with the subdomain of your STAT login URL. This field ensures that the GDS connector directs its request to the correct STAT subdomain.
  • STAT API Key: Find your API key in STAT by visiting Options > Account Management > Account Settings > API Key.
  • STAT Site/Tag ID: Retrieve IDs through the API. Visit our documentation to ensure you use the proper API calls.
  • Allow “STAT Site/Tag ID” to be modified in reports: Tick this box to be able to edit the site or tag ID from within the report, without reconfiguring the connector.
  • Include Keyword Tags: Tick this box to add a column to your report populated with the tags the keyword is a member of (only applicable to site and tag historical keyword rankings connectors).
  • Allow “Include Keyword Tags?” to be modified in reports: Tick this box to be able to turn the inclusion of the Keyword Tags column on or off from within the report, without reconfiguring the connector (only applicable to site and tag historical keyword rankings connectors).

Once you’ve filled in the table, click Connect in the top right.

Confirm which columns you’d like to include in the report. Review the columns, and click Create Report.

Once you’ve created a report, the exciting part begins! Whether you’re pulling in your STAT data for a fresh report, adding it into a report with other pieces of data, or using Data Studio’s data blending feature to create compelling views of your search presence — there are so many ways to slice and dice.

Ready to put the connectors into production? We can’t wait to hear how your Google Data Studio reports are strengthened by adding in your STAT data. Let us know how it goes in the comments.

Not yet a STAT user but curious how it might fit into your SEO toolkit? Take a tour of the product from your friendly neighborhood Mozzer:

Learn More About STAT


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