If you’re a regular internet browser, which is most of us these days, you’ll no doubt have noticed certain types of ads popping up with some regularity that are directly related to the websites you have visited prior. It’s all part of a service called remarketing and when used wisely, it’s a really handy way to reinforce your brand and encourage your potential customers to take action.
Remarketing – see you again soon
If you’re in a service business, your sales cycle is likely to take longer on average than a straightforward product purchase. See our most recent blog for more on this.
Once a potential customer has visited your site, but not converted, you can then use remarketing to make sure they don’t forget you while they’re making their purchase decision.
In order to reach them with the most appropriate message, it’s important to analyse their previous activity. Using Google Analytics, you can establish which pages they visited on your site, how long they were there and so forth. This way, you know what they’re in the market for, and also where they came from – whether that’s an ad, a Google search or directly to your website.
The what, where and how
The key with retargeting messages is to empower your customer. They’ve already had the idea to purchase for themselves… you’re just giving them to boost they need to take action! For this reason, imperative call-to-action statements are popular, e.g. “Put your plans into action”. You can also create a sense of urgency, by displaying a limited-time discount offer on the service they viewed.
As for where to reach them, Google Ads will do the leg work on that. Once your visitor has picked up a cookie from your site, Google will be able to reach them with your ads across their Google Display and YouTube networks. Likewise social media sites like LinkedIn and Pinterest allow you to do the same. And once you’ve got some user data built up, you can then further analyse each channel to see where your best “bang for buck” remarketing ads are.
The secret to good advertising is that it feels like customer service. By responding to your visitors’ activity and validating their interest, you are continuing to nurture the relationship and remind them that you’re ready and able to assist.
To set up, deploy and optimise remarketing for your business, talk to Ark Advance today.
Canvas Factory’s mission is to make photo printing easy and affordable for everyone. The business believes shoppers should be able to buy cheap canvas prints without sacrificing quality and craftsmanship.
But in such a competitive industry, it is imperative for a company like Canvas Factory to be able to hold trust at all levels and all stages of the buying journey. That’s why Canvas Factory started collecting reviews with Trustpilot.
Their focus on customer satisfaction has helped their Australian team achieve an amazing 9.4/10 rating on Trustpilot, from over 2,600 reviews.
To better understand how the business uses reviews to increase customer confidence and boost marketing efforts, we spoke with Tim Daley, Founder and Managing Director at Canvas Factory.
When Canvas Factory started exploring review solutions, they were looking for two things: a licensed Google Review partner to gain more visibility via Seller Ratings and Rich Snippets, and a platform that would be recognised globally.
Working with Trustpilot has allowed Canvas Factory to get more visibility earlier in the journey. Having reviews displayed right on SERPs (search engine results pages) means customers who plan to purchase a product will be provided with as much information and user-generated content as possible, before they’ve even landed on the website.
In addition to displaying reviews on search, Canvas Factory also showcases its Trustpilot rating and customer reviews at every stage of the journey. The website’s homepage and product pages all include reviews in order to boost customer confidence and reduce scepticism throughout the journey.
Canvas Factory’s homepage
One of Canvas Factory’s product pages
The company also chose to add the Trustpilot trust mark in their customers’ shopping carts. This helps reduce cart abandonment and generally increases conversions.
Customer reviews front and center on Canvas Factory’s checkout page
Canvas Factory understands how important it is to showcase their reputation on social channels too. Today, 59% of consumers visit the brand’s social media account(s) once a week or more before making a purchase, and 87% of consumers trust an ad more if it has a Trustpilot logo or rating.
“Sharing and posting reviews is key to amplifying trust signals to Canvas Factory’s current and future customers. The Trustpilot platform has been used to visually share reviews across the site, post reviews on social media, for broad based advertising and also to integrate reviews into email campaigns. This increases the brand’s visibility and offers consumers a chance to create dialogue, while placing the brand and products into their purchase behaviours.”
Canvas Factory chose Trustpilot as a review platform because of its openness. The business really believes it is essential for all customers to be able to give and share feedback, both positive or negative. Collecting honest feedback allows Canvas Factory to gather consumer insights, identify areas of developments, and engage with existing customers.
The team communicates with customers through Trustpilot reviews: Canvas Factory tries to keep all customers happy and satisfied by addressing issues quickly, as today, 95% of unhappy customers return if the business resolves the issue efficiently.
Example of negative review
“Both the marketing and customer service teams use Trustpilot as a director indicator of how the brand is doing in being consistent with its values, character, and culture,” says Tim.
“Trust is such an important brand asset for us. It supports product and service improvements along with growth and revenue, and allows us to deliver a seamless customer experience.”
“The Trustpilot team have worked closely with us throughout the process, from strategy through to implementation, to ensure that we achieve success with our review strategy. This has been done through regular business reviews, strategy meetings, and A/B testing guidance to ensure that the platform delivers solutions driving results.”
As Canvas Factory continues to grow and improve, they’ll use Trustpilot reviews to continually improve their service, demonstrate their value to new, potential, and existing customers as well as boost sales and revenue.
If you’d like to learn more about what Trustpilot can do for your business, you can get in touch with us here.
A couple of years ago I wrote about a Google tool called Life Events, which interprets people’s search activity to anticipate what they’re likely to do in the near future.
When you think about it, that’s a bit of a superhero power to own. Marketers love to know what people are doing right now. Knowing what they’ll do soon is like taking that ability and dialling it up by a factor of 10. It means you can get the jump on your competition by connecting with those customers before anyone else does, but without investing months or years of relationship building to make the sale.
In 2017, when Life Events was still in nappies, the range of life events (eg, moving home, buying a car) that it could predict from people’s online behaviour was limited. Since then, like any healthy child does, it’s grown bigger and more able.
In the process, it’s become especially useful to any marketer who sells into the home.
Life stages that Live Events can now alert you to include:
If you’re wondering how big a deal this is, the short answer is it’s a really big deal. Traditional marketing targets demographics – millennials, baby boomers, and so on. But that model’s becoming more outdated thanks to tools like Life Events, which use machine learning to predict what people will do in the near future based on what they’re doing now (or just did).
In the words of one blog writer, if you’re still targeting millennials, you might as well be targeting buyers by their star sign. “Consumers going through life events are much more likely to have similar purchase needs than consumers that are merely in the same age, gender or income demographic,” said research company Networked Insights.
Sonos, a company known for pretty cool home sound systems, saw these results from life events targeting:
If you market products for the home – anything from cat food to high-end electronics – and are considering spending money on search advertising, stop now. Your competitors are doing that already, and all you’ll achieve is being listed alongside them in search results. That’s not bad – but you may be able to do much better.
Talk to us about Life Events. It may be a great way to get a serious edge on your competition and boost sales by identifying people just before they’re ready to open their wallets – at a time when your competitors are still ignoring them, the poor fools.
Online marketing has changed the world, especially for the small to medium business.
Being able to target your goods or services specifically and directly to your customers has revolutionised advertising and they way people do business.
Are you a lawyer specialising in immigration? Boom, a simple Google search of “immigration lawyer” will allow local people to find you. People know what they want and you have done the work to ensure you’re easy to find.
But what if immigration is just part of what you do? What if you also help immigrants find their first job in the country too? An immigration lawyer isn’t the first place someone would look when searching for a job.
What do you do if people aren’t looking for your services, even though they might be interested in them? How do you reach people online when they’re not specifically looking for something?
By conducting extensive market research into your customer’s and client’s personas, you can build up a profile of what they need or what they might be interested in. These people are your ‘unreachables’ – the group that are part of your market, but have remained out of your grasp so far.
If you already offer these services or products, then ask yourself why your unreachables don’t know/want your product. Are you on the right platform for them? Are you appealing to the right demographic? Who do they go to instead of you?
Once you figure out who your unreachables are, you’ll be able to target them online.
Targeted Google Ads can use factors such as age, geographical location, gender, relationship status, interests, education and prior search activity to zero in on the people you are trying to attract.
So to go back to our immigration lawyer example, if you want to appeal to those who have just arrived in the country and are looking for a job, then single, 18 -35 year olds with a post-graduate education who are searching terms that fit their specific needs.
In a perfect world, we would have all the money we need to market to each and every potential client or customer. Unfortunately, the real world isn’t like that – we need to pick and choose where we spend our marketing budget.
The best way to get value for money and to attract new customers is to know your audience. As you develop a closer relationship with them, you may begin to recognise similar customers who could also benefit from your service or product. That’s when your business starts to grow.
Attracting new customers is the lifeblood of any company, and finding ways to sell yourself to people who otherwise wouldn’t consider you is an essential part of marketing.
Ark Advance can help you reach new clients who you would have been otherwise hidden from via this type of targeted marketing. Contact us today for more information on how this could work for you and your business.
So after a lot of hard work, your website is on the first page of Google’s search results.
Congratulations, it’s not a simple task. The problem now is that it is surrounded by your competitors. Will it stand out?
Online marketing is a unique beast. The internet can sometimes be the only time you’ll find your name sitting right alongside that of your competitors.
In the pre-search engine days, we wouldn’t have to explicitly state why we’re different, just what we do and how we do it. Now anyone searching our product or service is faced with a list of companies which present themselves as doing all the same thing.
We live in an age of product and pricing parity, especially for small / medium businesses. There’s no longer a unique selling point for many companies – there are simply too many competitors doing the same thing.
You sell scented candles online? Well there’s a 99% chance your competitors sell the exact same candles. You offer a carpet cleaning service? Well there’s no reason why your vacuum does a better job than anyone else’s.
With a level playing field for everyone, it’s up to you to find the difference when it comes to your business, even if it’s a tiny one.
Ok, you and your competitors sell the same scented candles, but when it comes to packaging aesthetics, you can’t be beat. And sure, any cleaning company will do a good job, but do the others offer carpet shampoo that’s guaranteed safe for pets?
The little things will make a difference to your business, but it’s up to you to find them, focus on them, and then leverage them in your marketing.
So how do you stand out from the crowd? What makes your website the one a customer should click on? Depending on what your business does, there are three points of differentiation to consider.
This is the general area that most B2B marketers and consumer marketers spend the majority of their time and dollars. Simply having a better product than your competitors means you will stand out. This may take the form of the latest features, technology, performance, or efficacy.
It sounds easy, but everyone’s trying to make their product the best on the market, and even if you do manage it, your competitors will probably just copy you, so you need to let everyone know you’re the original and best.
Outstanding service isn’t just doing what you promised, it’s going above and beyond what you promised. This includes all the aspects behind the scenes too, from training to ease of ordering. Showing potential customers why your service is better than your competitors can take the form of outstanding testimonials or 5-star Google reviews. People need to see the results of your service, not just your promise that you’re better than everyone else.
There’s no point talking about how you pride yourself on your customer service – every business claims this. No one says, “Our customer service isn’t great, but our product is pretty good!”
Customers will return to you again and again if they feel valued. Taking responsibility for you clients’ overall experience will bring its own rewards, and the little things that you do which others don’t will go along way to your success.
Whatever you choose for your point (s) of differentiation they must be both clear and easy to understand. If you can’t explain why your different from your competitors in a simple sentence, then you need to rethink your sales pitch.
Remember, there are ten results on Google’s front page, not even including the ads. The reason you’re different from the rest must be there for everyone to see, relate to and then hopefully, act upon. Good luck.
This recent article on the Google Analytics blog reminded me of a great strategy that allows you to market your message to a very precise group. Yep, people who have opened their wallets before and – all going well – are most likely to do it again, if you can locate them as they browse the Internet.
Google’s Customer Match product allows you to do exactly this. Just four steps to follow and you should be up and running in moments.
First up, locate a list of their email addresses. Hopefully, that’s close to hand as you have been using it frequently but respectfully with your pre-Christmas email marketing messages.
Now take this list – having encoded it in a Google-approved format – and upload it into your AdWords account. Sit back and let Google see if it can match these addresses with those of existing Google account holders.
All going well you will get a response that confirms that a good number have been matched – and that this number is over the Google threshold. This is the target audience for your advertising.
Finally, you are left with the task of creating some swanky images and / or advertising text to put in front of this audience while they are either, a) using Google Search, b) watching videos on YouTube, or c) reading email messages within their Gmail account. (The only proviso being that they need to be logged into their Google account to make the match work and the advertising be seen.)
So how could you use this over the next few weeks?
Let’s say you are running a Boxing Day Sale with deals so good that spending large on marketing will burn through your margin. Let’s also say you want to reward your customers by letting them know the good news before you tell everyone else.
Yes, you will send out an email letting customers know, hoping they will clear them before Christmas Day. However, you could supplement this with Customer Match to find those customers on Search – YouTube and Gmail as well.
Customer Match is just one of a dozen or so ways you can target your advertising across the Google environment. This short overview of Display Advertising Options provides more detail for anyone interested in finding more nooks and crannies on the Internet to find high quality leads.
It’s with great pleasure that I can confirm the ongoing sponsorship by Ark Advance of the Auckland Arts Festival — 8-26 March 2017. Working with Thierry Pannetier — the festival’s Marketing and Communications Director — we have a list of marketing smarts to implement for 2017.
Google Analytics was our focus in 2016. First up, we helped them gain ownership over their Google Analytics and Google AdWords account and then managed the upgrade to Google Tag Manager.
This upgrade enabled us to track a range of intricate website behaviours — such as:
– PDF documents being downloaded from the site
– Email addresses clicked for both desktop and mobile audiences
– Users clicking outbound links to their social media properties
– Measuring how far down users scroll on particularly deep pages
– Detailed use of the shopping cart
To explain all this new data, we took the festival team through our Google Analytics Group Training so they could interpret all this new data as valuable marketing information. Custom dashboards were then installed so summaries of the key points could be presented to their management team.
As you can imagine, the arts is not a category awash with advertising spend, so there’s no room for wastage. This improved level of measurement enabled the team to see exactly where their dollars were producing the greatest return.
Part of our sponsorship has us “matched” with one of the festival performances. Last year it was Emily Kingin the Spiegeltent — she was nothing short of amazing. This year we are with Mexrrissey, where Morrissey gets a mex-over — tequila anyone?
Somehow you have heard of others growing their business by buying clicks on Google. Deep down you wonder if this could be the trick to give you the growth you want. However, you are stretched for time and drowning under a deluge of tasks. All of which means you are suffering from some serious Google advertising FOMO (fear of missing out).
Thankfully you have three minutes to read this short note and get a quick business-owner-focused primer on the key parts of Google Advertising and whether it could work for you.
First, some background on my experience with Google clicks. My company started buying Google advertising on behalf of its customers way back in September 2003. Thirteen years managing hundreds of different campaigns has helped us see what does and doesn’t work for this channel. So here are my top four reasons to either slay or nurture any FOMO feeling you may have.
1. You have a product or service that people search Google for.
If you sell a product or service in a category that no one knows about, it follows that few people will search for it on Google. Basic, I know, but easy to trip up on. Let’s say, for instance, that you develop new software that analyses a Xero account and reveals what’s required to double the profit of the business.
You start a Google campaign, bidding on the search terms “profit”, “improve profit” and the nebulous term “business software”. One search term you don’t bid on is “Xero Accounting Software Profit Improvement Add On” – because nobody is looking for that. So you’re stuck with your three choices. And you struggle to produce results because behind the search terms “profit”, “improve profit” and “business software” are dozens of different types of searchers all looking for very different things.
Compare this to someone who sells sisal carpet. People will go to Google looking for sisal carpet with the phrase – you guess it – “sisal carpet”. Their chances of success are better – but profits are still not guaranteed.
2. They followed the dollars they spent
Profitable clicks are those that convert. For your business, converting could look like someone arriving at your website and deciding to call your office, fill in your quote request, purchase an item from your shop or even book a meeting at your clinic. By doing any or all of these great things your click visitors become click prospects or, even better, click customers.
Unfortunately, buying clicks doesn’t automatically mean you will be able to track their ability to convert. Tracking may well require some setup in your website analytics account. Not a lot, but still some. And it’s important you do that so you know if spending your hard earned advertising budget with Google is working or not.
3. Money was invested in the juiciest of baits
I can assure you that Google will help you spend any budget you have in lots of different ways. So the smart advertisers go where the returns are the greatest.
There are two main places your Google dollars can go: the first is above and below the Google search results, and the second is on websites that support Google Advertising. Thinking about the different customer dynamics at play in each case will help you choose where to spend your money.
Consider that people generally go to Google to solve a problem. This week, for example, I’ve been looking for some new trail running lights to help me deal with the dark evenings. Last week it was to find a piece of equipment to help us improve our printing at the office. In both cases I went to Google and hunted down the solution.
During my quest I was taken to a range of websites that included Google Advertising in the form of banners around the text. I was hungry to get information, so I just screened the banners out – they had little effect.
It’s easier to sell to people who are searching to solve a problem. The bigger the better. Therefore, we always suggest you buy search clicks before buying clicks from banners. Think of Google search being the land of problem solving, whereas banners is the land of interruption.
Of course you can test this yourself by setting up a test to try both types of advertising and seeing which delivers the best results for you.
4. Control freaks have more fun
The thought of running a test like the one I just suggested could feel utterly repulsive for some. Dealing in that level of detail for such a small part of your business may not make sense. Unfortunately, detail is where success lives for Google advertisers. Like it or not, you, or someone in your business, or someone you pay needs to focused on it.
Avoiding detail can cost you when buying Google clicks. For instance, when you set up a new advertising account with Google, by default they’ll display your ads around the search results and also on websites. What’s more, the default search term settings when you build your campaign allows Google maximum interpretation in how they are displayed.
For instance, you may want to bid on “computer servicing”, intending to reach businesses who need a mobile service like yours that can come in, solve a problem, and leave. Google doesn’t have to worry about that. It’s free to show your ads when someone types in “service my computer at home” or “computer service training” – neither of which are relevant to your business.
As to whether you should experience FOMO at all, here are three questions to ask:
Answer “yes” to any one of these and you can rid yourself of FOMO for Google Advertising. Feel better?
For everyone else, contact us today and we will help you turn your Fear into Action – perhaps some AdWords group training could be a good start?
Youŕe a busy business owner and the idea of starting anything new makes you shudder. However, you’ve heard that others have transformed their website from a brochure into something special. So you’re committed – but where do you start?
This three-minute primer is for you – any anyone else struggling with online marketing FOMO plus a task list longer than their arm? It distills my 16 years of online marketing experience into techo free jargon to get you started.
First I need you to look at your website in a different way. Chuck out any thoughts of it being technical or colourful – from now on think of it as a sales person. Yep, shiny shoes, white socks and a charming smile. It’s tasked with selling your business and the solutions you provide – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The outcome of any online marketing tactic is to improve your sales person’s ability to sell.
This can be a challenge – impossible even – if you can’t measure who visits your website and what they do while there. That’s where Website Analytics – yours free from Google Analytics – fits in. Register for an account, install a piece of code onto every page of your website, and you’ll start to see how busy the site is and where your visitors arrive from.
A word of advice: go no further until you’ve properly set it up and configured it. Without a reliable way to measure your progress, you’ll get hopelessly lost trying to figure out where your time and money are best spent.
Now that you have measurement sorted, the next step is to find where your visitors come from. A few will arrive by typing your web address into their browser. Some may come via a link in your email newsletter. A few more could arrive from a recent Linkedin or Facebook post.
And then there’s Google. Your measurement tools will tell you the role it plays in sending you traffic. Don’t be surprised if it accounts for up to 50%.
Now most online marketing is about increasing website visitors, especially when it involves Google. And armies of jargon wielding people will tell you they can improve your visibility on Google.
However, improving visibility is NOT the whole story.
For instance, imagine you’ve employed a website salesperson who’s converted 1% of the visitors they saw. So last month your site made 50 sales after being visited by 5000 people. Your target, however, is 150 sales. At the current conversion rate, you therefore need to see 15,000 people, not 5000. That’s a LOT of extra traffic and, if you use Google AdWords, it’s going to cost you a LOT to buy it. That’s assuming the extra traffic is even there in the first place.
So improving visibility is likely to be a poor move. Here’s the smart one – improve your conversion rate from 1% to 3%.
And that brings us to a lesser known element of online marketing – conversion optimisation.
Conversion optimisation is like tuning your sales person’s script. It could involve writing additional web pages to suit different kinds of prospects. Or producing a range of videos to make it easier for prospects to see your service in action. Be aware this is not easy work – but it’s a lot more effective, and cheaper, than bumping up your ad spend with Google to get more traffic.
Conversion optimisation requires methodical testing to see if the changes you make actually make a difference. Once you are successful at increasing conversion rates to two or three times that of your competitors, you’ll have gained a massive commercial advantage – especially when you and they are competing equally for the same type of Google clicks.
Good online marketing has you sharing your time between these three spaces: traffic generation, conversion optimisation and website analytics. Get it right and your website should be the best salesperson you ever employed.
So how about getting rid of that FOMO feeling for ever? Try one of our affordable group training products for either Google Analytics or Google AdWords – or even both :).
* FOMO – Fear of Missing Out. LOL!
Hands up if you have enough hours in the day to deliver all the online marketing campaigns you want when you want?
For most there is a conflict, with too much required to be done with too little resource. Which leaves the challenging task of deciding which tasks will produce the greatest return when none have been deployed yet.
But what if there was a way to deploy a selection of campaigns without any manual intervention? You know – marketing campaigns running on autopilot, each focused on achieving its own little “win” for your business with little, if any, time “loss”?
Welcome to the land of online marketing orchestration. Think of this as a “techo buzz phrase” for configuring your online and offline marketing tools to achieve business benefits without the need of any human interaction.
Sound too good to be true? Over the years we have helped set up and configure a range of orchestrations for clients wanting to achieve just this. Here are three examples:
Orchestration #1: Welcoming the new email list subscriber.
I’ll start with the most basic of options which avoids the “black hole” experienced by so many website visitors completing subscription forms – receiving a “Thank You” web page and then … nothing. They then have no idea if their address made it through to the right place and if they are actually on the list.
The simple orchestration automatically sends the subscriber just what they were expecting – a “Welcome” email letting them know all went well. Because of their inherent level of expectation, you should expect an open rate that’s well above your standard baseline. What happens after that first message then depends on the frequency of your messaging and the complexity of your content.
For instance, for a large New Zealand FMCG company we configured orchestration to deliver five messages over two weeks. This dovetailed nicely with their newsletter delivery schedule and allowed them to point new subscribers to specific areas of their vast content library that the subscribers could find interesting.
Orchestration #2: Welcoming the new customer
Now let’s ramp up the complexity a bit. Let’s assume that sales and marketing have done their job and a freshly minted new customer has joined. The task now is to use a selection of online marketing tools to properly “Welcome” them into the fold. There are lots of ways to go about it – I’ll highlight a couple of projects we have worked on.
The first was for a medium-sized service business which chose email and phone as their primary channels of communication. To begin, a series of emails explained the ins and outs of how the company would manage their new piece of work.
The emails were orchestrated to drip feed out over the first few weeks. They were supplemented with a sequence of phone calls from the account management staff. The type and timing of the call was driven by how the clients had engaged with the emails. For instance, someone who wasn’t opening or interacting with anything was called earlier and by a more senior person than those who were.
My second example relates to a card-based loyalty scheme. Here, how the card was used determined the sequence and content of messaging for new customers. This requires a close technical link between the messaging technology and the client’s transactional system. Once the link was formed, the possibilities opened up and orchestration could be designed to respond to card holders’ behaviour.
Orchestration #3: Using email to complete stalled web behaviours
Wouldn’t it be great if everyone who put something in your shopping cart actually purchased it? Or how about those who came to your service-based website, browsed your pages multiple times across many days, BUT STILL failed to pick up the phone or complete your online quote request?
Unfortunately, neither scenario can be completely solved by deploying orchestrations – but they can be improved upon. For instance, an abandoned shopping cart could prompt a follow up email or a tailored piece of creative in your remarketing advertising.
If the person has previously subscribed to your email newsletter (and is now a prospect), and they then return to your website many times over the next few days – all without converting – then it may be an idea to automatically schedule a phone call from your account management team to check in on their requirements.
There are many more possible orchestrations. All require effort to set up and configure; however, the effort invested has the potential to keep on giving, as orchestrations run on autopilot 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Sound interesting? Contact us today for a discussion on how orchestrations could help your business.