15 Examples of Successful Banner Advertising

15 Examples of Successful Banner Advertising
967225_15ExamplesofSuccessfulBannerAdvertising_021621

Banner advertising is everywhere. So prolific on so many pages of the internet you probably visit regularly, you may hardly notice them. 

Which is kind of the point. 

Banner ads are a type of paid ad designed to sit seamlessly on the top, sides, or bottom of a website. In many cases, they fit so well they look right at home. Of course, their actual purpose is to drive you to click. 

Let’s cover what banner advertising is, how to create them, and then explore examples of successful banner ads. 

What Is Banner Advertising?

Banner advertising consists of placing a designed ad on another website. As the name implies, the ad is a banner shape, a long rectangle, either horizontal or vertical. Banner ads are usually at the top or bottom of a website or vertically along the side of a website, next to the main content. 

Banner ads have been around since the dawn of the internet, allowing website owners to sell ad space, much like a billboard or bulletin board owner would. 

While some website owners sell ads directly, most contract with advertising services, like Google AdSense, that create the ads, decide how much to charge, and then display them on your website. 

What Makes an Advertising Banner Successful?

Before digging into creating a successful banner ad, we need to talk about what banner ads do.   There are two primary goals for banner advertising: impressions and clicks. 

Impressions refer to how many people actually see your banner. While these people may not actually click over to your website, impressions help increase brand awareness. 

With click-throughs, your goal is to get people to click through to your website or to a landing page. You may generate leads, capture email sign-ups, make sales, or other specific engagement goals. In this case, you will be tracking how many clicks you get on your ads. 

You might also be thinking about retargeting. Retargeting helps you target someone who already visited your website or engaged with you in some way. You can think about these people as a sort of warm lead. 

They interacted with your brand at some point, and this is your chance to draw them back in. For this purpose, you’ll be interested in both impressions and clicks, as you make people more aware of your brand and entice them back to your website. 

What Elements Help Increase Impressions or Clicks? 

The best banner advertising is the one that draws attention to itself. 

Keep in mind the person visiting the website came for a specific reason. Maybe they are scrolling through their favorite news site or looking up a new recipe. 

Whatever their purpose, your goal is to capture their attention and draw them away.

That’s a tall order. Here are a few elements that can help you get there faster. 

Visual Elements That Fit in, but Stand Out

When it comes to the colors and visuals you choose for your banner ad, think about the modern styles of the websites your ad may be on. While you can’t match everyone, you can use design styles that will fit in well with modern websites and will feel at home. 

Lean toward the eye-catching and bold. You want to be attractive but not overt. 

Bold Text, but Not Too Much

This is your time to make a statement, not write a novel. Don’t try to tell viewers everything there is to know about your brand. 

Instead, choose one item or concept you are selling and focus on that message. Get creative, but keep it simple. 

Relevant Images

Images are a great way to draw people in, but they need to be very related to the message you’re sharing. If you’re selling a product, the clearest picture of that product is your best bet. If you’re conveying a message or emotion, people or animals or even landscapes can be evocative, but just as with the text, keep it simple and clear. 

Strong Call to Action

What do you want them to do next? Use the call to action to tell them. The shorter, the better. Make it obvious how they can learn more or take the next step. Words like “Shop,” “Buy,” or “Find out how” let people know exactly where they’re going if they click on your ad. 

How to Create Banner Ads

To create a banner ad, you first need to choose a display network, such as Google Ads. You’ll work with them to create your ad, with the relevant link, and choose parameters, such as how much you want to pay per click, etc. 

They will distribute to relevant websites, and you will pay them. They will also share data on how well your ad is performing. Learn more about Google Display Ads here

To create the image for your ads, you’ll need to find out the size dimensions from the display network you are working with. Then you can either design on your own or use a template, such as those provided by Canva

Upload your image into your campaign within your display network, and be on your way. 

Real-Life Examples of Successful Banner Advertising

Want to see what others are doing before you start designing your own? Here are 15 real-world examples of banner advertising. 

Let’s talk about what makes them work and how you can emulate some of these elements in your own advertising banners.  

Ashley Homestore Successful Banner Ad

ashley successful banner advertising

They have a clear message here. You can trust their products to be stylish and affordable and make your living space feel like home, they argue. With an evocative image and a clear call to action, you know exactly what to do next if you want that experience. 

Also, the neutral color palette makes it ideal for a range of website placements. 

Nutrisystem Successful Banner Ad

nutrisystem successful banner advertising

Nutrisystem is betting on the idea that you’ll find that price point alluring. They’ve made it really bold so that even when your eyes are looking at something else on the page, you can’t miss the “$249” message. 

The other really bold items are the yellow jacket on the smiling woman and the orange “Shop Sale” button, which implies you’ve got a limited time to act. 

Visible Successful Banner Ad

There is a bit too much text on this ad, but the bold text grabs you with a big promise. The bright blue background and white text makes it stand out on the page. The “Learn more” button is clear and enticing.  

Chicwish Successful Banner Ad

Banner Advertising - Chicwish Successful Banner Ad

This looks like two ads in one, giving viewers two chances to click and learn more. On the left, Chicwish showcases some of their popular items and some selling features, such as free shipping and easy returns. 

On the right, there’s a precise text message about how you really only need a few items to have an ample wardrobe. Either way, you’re encouraged to click and start shopping. 

Outskirts Successful Banner Ad

Banner Advertising - Outskirts Successful Banner Ad

The neutral color palette makes this ad at home on a range of websites. They used the two font colors to highlight what they are really about—making books. On the other side of the ad, Outskirts highlights what makes them stand out from their competitors. The call to action is clear, but creative. 

Square Successful Banner Ad

Banner Advertising - Square Successful Banner Ad

True to their own branding, this banner ad from Square is simple and almost monochromatic. The text is clear, with a blue call to action that really stands out. 

The picture showcases their product in a real-life environment. While the product is the primary object, there are other items in the photo that draw your eyes in. 

discovery+ Successful Banner Ad

discovery successful banner advertising

With this discovery+ banner ad, the offer is clear. The message is simple and creative, encouraging people to give a subscription instead of buying one for themselves. The ad stands out with a bright, on-theme color palette. 

IT Cosmetics Successful Banner Ad

it successful banner advertising

In this IT Cosmetics banner ad, the product takes the spotlight. This is a prime example of staying focused on one product. The text and the photo highlight the selling points, while the call to action invites the viewer to learn more about it.

Nike Successful Banner Ad

nike successful Banner Ad

Here’s another example of a banner ad that focuses on a single product to entice viewers. Without a lot of background visuals, the shoe takes all attention. As you’re scrolling through, you can quickly see the details. The text makes an enticing claim, to learn more about these new shoes. The call to action is simple and clear.

AARP Successful Banner Ad

aarp successful Banner Ad

This AARP banner advertising is a GIF, flashing through several program benefits. The bright red color reflects their brand and stands out on many websites. The evocative photo remains the same, and the call to action at the end is paired with a compelling discount. 

Pottery Barn Kids Successful Banner Ad

Pottery Barn Kids Successful Banner Ad

Here’s another example of GIF banner advertising. This Pottery Barn Kids ad keeps the branding and message the same while switching between two photos. The photos showcase several products in this category.

By focusing on the partnership between two brands, it keeps both brands clear, with an obvious call to action right in the middle. 

American Eagle Successful Banner Ad

AE successful banner advertising example

This American Eagle banner ad is all about keeping it simple. With very little text, only the brand name and a short call to action, all the focus is on the models and the clothes. It also keeps the color palette united by using similar tones for the clothing and landscape. 

The Ridge Successful Banner Ad

ridge successful banner advertising example

This banner advertising does more than just show off the product. It also attracts attention with a side-by-side of the competition. The copy explains what makes this wallet different and then provides a simple call to action. The colors are neutral, making it at-home almost anywhere.

Planet Fitness Successful Banner Ad

planet fitness successful banner advertising example

The bright purple and yellow colors make this ad from Planet Fitness hard to miss. The text is bold with big promises of sales prices and benefits of membership. The call to action is clear on the bottom, and even the branded image on the top has an active tone. 

VRBO Successful Banner Ad

vrbo successful banner advertising example

This banner advertising started with several pictures then landed on this image, which persisted until the viewer scrolled away. The light text on a dark background made the whole image stand out on the website, and the text pops. The creative call to action is enticing. 

Conclusion

Growing your brand is no easy task. As you consider different marketing strategies, don’t forget tried and true options like banner advertising. 

Get creative and focus on what your target market is looking for, their pain points, and make sure to keep your message clear. 

These strategies will help you overcome banner blindness, which can occur when internet users see too much of the same visual noise again and again. Keep it fresh and keep them clicking. 

What kinds of successful banner advertising have you seen out there?

The post 15 Examples of Successful Banner Advertising appeared first on Neil Patel.


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SiteGround Review

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SiteGround is one of the most popular web hosting providers out there. Over two million website users trust SiteGround for their hosting needs. 

They offer a wide range of hosting options, plans at different price points, and phenomenal customer support. Whether you’re a small blog, medium-sized business, or large online store, SiteGround has an option for you. 

In a nutshell, SiteGround is a host that your business can grow with, which is pretty darn important. 

SiteGround Compared to The Best WordPress Web Hosts

SiteGround fares exceptionally well against other products in its category. It’s without a doubt a key contender for top web hosting for WordPress services. 

But what I love most about it is that they’re both extremely scalable and dedicated to supporting your WordPress website. 

Whether you’ve got 10,000, 25,000, or 100,000 visitors, there is a plan for you. There is also room for exponential growth for websites starting out without committing to the highest available plan. 

SiteGround also supports your WordPress website with their specifically designed features (which we’ll discuss below) and their 24/7 WordPress wizard customer support team. 

But I appreciate that you may have different needs or wish to explore your hosting options a bit further before committing to one host. 

That’s why we’ve taken the time to research and test some of the top web hosts for WordPress for you. Be sure to see all of my top picks before making your decision. 

Who is SiteGround Best For?

If I were extremely broad, I would say SiteGround is excellent for just about anyone who wants to host their website on WordPress. 

But to get specific, I’d say SiteGround is best for a small website owner who has little to no experience running a website and expects their website to grow over time. With flexible plans and excellent customer support, SiteGround is great for beginners and scaling over time.

SiteGround: The Pros and Cons

The Pros

Top-Notch Customer Support: Ever had seemingly unresolvable issues with technology and tried everything under the sun to fix it to no avail? Yeah, me too. 

Building a website doesn’t have to be scary or traumatic when you have SiteGround support on your side—your wish is their command. The customer support team is phenomenal. They receive almost a 100% satisfaction rating every year. 

Their 24/7 support comes via a live chat channel, phone support, and a helpdesk ticketing system. Even the most complex issues are resolved in an average time of 15 minutes, meaning you can get back to business asap. 

These things are super important for a beginning website owner to combat the inevitable challenges they face.

WordPress Recommended: SiteGround hosts over 80% of the two million domains on WordPress. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that they are experts at managing WordPress. 

Many of the support team are highly trained in WordPress and will happily assist you with WordPress related troubleshooting, compared to other hosts, who will simply tell you it’s not their issue (which truthfully, it isn’t). 

This is also why SiteGround has developed and implemented WordPress-specific features, such as the SG Optimizer, WP Auto Update, and Supercacher, in their plans. I’ve not come across another host that can boast such features, so SiteGround stands out in this area.

Low Introductory Price & Money-Back Guarantee: With a monthly hosting solution starting as low as $6.99 per month, SiteGround is a perfect option for even the most beginner website creators. 

Furthermore, the lead-in hosting plan includes all of the key features a new website owner would want in a plan, rather than having the absolute bare-bones to get the user to commit to a higher plan immediately. 

If something goes wrong, or your website doesn’t function the way you expect it to, you can get a full refund of your hosting fees within 30 days of signup.

Excellent Uptime & Site Speed: Uptime and site speed go hand-in-hand. Uptime refers to the amount of time the server stays up and running, while site speed refers to how quickly your website loads. 

You can see below that SiteGround’s average uptime over 12 months is 99.98%, with only 73 minutes of total downtime over the whole year. Reliable uptime means your website is virtually guaranteed to be running around the clock, keeping visitors happy.

Have you ever heard the notion that if your page doesn’t load within three seconds tops, you’ll lose the visitor’s interest? 

You won’t have to worry about that with SiteGround. They claim that they load your website four times faster than other hosts, so you won’t have to worry about visitors losing interest while waiting for your graphics to load. 

And, as you’ll see here, their slowest load time between 2019 to 2020 was 693 ms. 

Free Website Transfer: Many people are worried about making the switch to a new host. After all, it’s a scary process. What if you lose your entire website or cause irreparable damage? 

With SiteGround, you don’t need to worry. They’ll do it for you.

Most hosts will just move the files over. But SiteGround will also make the necessary tweaks to ensure everything is working smoothly for you after the transition. 

No blood, sweat, tears, or big bucks required in switching to a new host. SiteGround includes the WordPress migrator plugin in their plans, though if you prefer a professional to do it, it will cost you only $30 per website. 

Free Daily Back-Up: Most hosts will only back your website up every other day or even once a week. So, if anything happens to your website that you can’t fix, you might be forced to go back an entire week, meaning you’ll lose everything you’ve done in the meantime. 

But, with SiteGround, the worst-case scenario is that you’ll only lose the changes you’d made in the 24 hours since the last back-up. If that’s not peace of mind for someone making constant changes to their website, I don’t know what is! 

Great for Scalability: When you’re just starting out in business, there is no way but up, right? With SiteGround’s flexible range of plans, you don’t have to worry about outgrowing your host. Simply upgrade your plan as your business grows.  

The Cons

Renewal Price: As dreamy as the promotional rates of SiteGround’s hosting plans are, once the honeymoon is over, it’s truly over. 

When you renew, your rates will jump up quite high. The cost of your plan will essentially triple across the board once your promotional period is over. Ouch.

The best way to combat this is to sign up for the longest term available on the promotional period, which is either 24 or 36 months before you face the higher renewal rates.

No Monthly Billing Cycle: The higher renewal rates might be easier to cop if you could pay month-to-month. But unfortunately, monthly billing is not something that SiteGround offers. 

Personally, this is not a deal-breaker for me, but I can certainly appreciate how it may be restrictive and frustrating for some.

Storage Limitations: The low amount of storage space available on the shared hosting plans is unlikely to bother most of you reading this post. However, if your site does grow beyond 40 GB, you’ll have no choice but to switch to the more expensive cloud hosting plans. 

The StartUp plan includes just 10,000 site visitors, so if your website traffic grows exponentially too quickly off the bat, you may find yourself needing to upgrade your plan sooner than you think. 

SiteGround Pricing

SiteGround offers three tiers for their hosting options:

  • StartUp
  • GrowBig
  • GoGeek

These tiers’ pricing remains the same across the board for web hosting, WordPress hosting, and WooCommerce hosting. Cloud hosting has its own levels and pricing, which we’ll discuss. 

StartUp 

As the name suggests, this plan is perfect for those new to business or looking for smaller websites. The StartUp plan allows you one website, 10 GB of space, and up to 10,000 monthly visitors. Pricing starts at $6.99 per month on the introductory offer. 

Some other features included in this plan are:

  • Free WordPress Installation
  • Free SSL
  • Daily Backup
  • Free Cloudflare CDN
  • Free Email 

Overall, it’s a great plan for those who are just getting started. The only thing to be wary of is outgrowing your monthly visitors limit. If you think you’re going to scale quickly, it would be worth starting straight off with the GrowBig plan.

GrowBig  

The GrowBig plan is perfect for medium-sized businesses or those who know they will be managing more than one website. You’ll have access to unlimited websites, 20 GB of web space, and up to 25,000 monthly visitors. Pricing starts at $9.99 per month on the introductory offer. 

Aside from the features included in the StartUp plan, this plan also includes:

  • On-demand Backup copies
  • Speed-boosting Caching 
  • Staging environment 
  • Add collaborators to your site

It’s easy to understand why GrowBig is SiteGround’s best-selling plan. It includes a range of great features that are easy to use and will fit the brief most in need of a website out there that expects a steady traffic flow. 

GoGeek

The GoGeek is the most extensive shared hosting plan SiteGround has to offer. As the name suggests, it’s designed for ‘technology geeks’ who want lots of control over their website. 

The GoGeek plan will give you unlimited websites, 40 GB of web space, and up to 100,000 monthly visits. Needless to say, it’s truly designed for large businesses with a high volume of traffic. Pricing starts at $14.99 per month on the introductory offer. 

The GoGeek plan includes all the features mentioned above, as well as: 

  • Register your clients with white-label access to Site Tools
  • Use more server resources for higher process execution time
  • Ultrafast PHP for faster page loads
  • Priority support from SiteGround’s most experienced customer support agents

In a nutshell, this plan is for those of you who know what you’re doing with websites. If you don’t understand some of the plan’s technological features, it may not be the best plan for you. Unless, of course, you have a specialist on your team to manage your website and need access to high volume traffic capabilities. 

Cloud Hosting

We’ll touch on the cloud hosting product offerings shortly, but in terms of pricing, there are four plans for SiteGround’s cloud hosting: Entry, Business, Business Plus, and Super Power. 

As you can see in the screenshot below, the pricing ranges from $110 to $410 per month. The major difference in the plans is CPU cores, memory, and SSD space. 

Due to the easy scalability of the cloud hosting options (which you’ll learn about shortly), you can confidently start with the Entry plan if it’s your first time using cloud hosting. 

SiteGround Offerings

SiteGround Web Hosting

SiteGround offers fast and secure web hosting for websites of any kind. Their general web hosting product is optimized for a range of Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and more. 

You’ll be able to build and launch your website quickly and easily with their full website solution, including your choice of site builder: WordPress or Weebly. If you’re an online store, you’ll be able to install the shopping cart of your choice for free. 

Domain registration is easy and affordable with SiteGround, so you’ll be able to enjoy the convenience of managing both your domain and your site in one place. 

You’ll also have access to an unlimited number of email accounts when you create your domain, which is perfect for managing different areas of your business. 

SiteGround WordPress Hosting

SiteGround is one of the few web hosting companies that offer hosting options specifically for WordPress. As mentioned previously, they are even highly recommended directly by WordPress. 

With SiteGround, you won’t need to download and install WordPress manually. Instead, you’ll be able to automate the process with a simple click of a button using the WordPress Launch feature. 

Upon login to your new website, you’ll be prompted to set your site up simply and easily with SiteGround’s WordPress Starter kit. The whole process takes minutes from start to finish, even for a beginner!

One of the most popular features of SiteGround’s WordPress hosting is the free SiteGround Migrator plugin. This feature is perfect for users who may hold their website with another host and wish to transfer over to SiteGround. 

Better yet, if you’re not confident in your abilities to navigate the migrator plugin, you can have a WordPress whiz from SiteGround do it for you for an additional fee. 

SiteGround WooCommerce Hosting

SiteGround also offers hosting options for users looking to build a powerful online shop using WooCommerce. This plan comes with WooCommerce pre-installed, saving you time and hassle, allowing you to straightaway focus on uploading products to your online store. 

With WooCommerce, you can sell any type of product or service online. SiteGround will support your ecommerce growth by keeping your website safe with a unique AI anti-bot system, free pre-installed SSL, and custom Web Application Firewall (WAF).

If you choose the WooCommerce GrowBig or GoGeek plan, SiteGround will also include a convenient staging tool. You’ll be able to develop your store safely, testing changes and updates made on the staging copy before going live. 

SiteGround Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is a relatively new way to host websites. It’s an ideal solution for businesses and websites of medium to larger sizes, who have the capacity to grow very quickly. If you are starting to outgrow your shared hosting plan, cloud hosting is the next step. 

SiteGround’s cloud hosting will provide you with guaranteed resources with your very own RAM and CPU. You can also upgrade the RAM, CPU, and disk space of your cloud plan at any time. Better yet, there is no downtime with this process—the resources are added immediately. 

If you want to automate the scaling process, you can do that, too! SiteGround’s unique auto-scale option will adjust your CPU and RAM to meet the needs of unexpected traffic surges, preventing any slowness or downtime. 

The best part is that the scalable amount is pre-determined by you, so you’ll still have control over the scale’s parameters. 

Finally, cloud hosting with SiteGround will also include a free dedicated IP. This feature will give you peace of mind that your website is safe from IP blacklist due to other webmasters’ actions.

The Best WordPress Web Hosting Service

Not sold that SiteGround is the perfect match for you? Or maybe you simply want to know what else is out there, so you can ensure you’ve chosen the best of the best. I get it. 

That’s why we’ve written a whole post about the Best WordPress Web Hosting Services out there. Here are the contenders I’ve reviewed:

1. Bluehost — Best WordPress Hosting For New Websites
2. DreamHost — Most Versatile WordPress Hosting Plans
3. Nexcess — The Best For Customized Managed Hosting Solutions
4. SiteGround — The Best For Scalable Traffic
5. WP Engine — Best Managed WordPress Hosting
6. A2 Hosting — The Best For Site Migrations
7. IONOS by 1&1 — The Best For Pro Users

The bottom line: Would I recommend SiteGround for your web hosting needs? Absolutely.

They have a range of plans to suit any business and budget, and they compete well with their competitors in terms of features. They excel in site speed time and offer phenomenal customer service. With all this in mind, they are a sound choice. 

The post SiteGround Review appeared first on Neil Patel.


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What is the Difference Between B2B vs B2C for Paid Social Media?

What is the Difference Between B2B vs B2C for Paid Social Media?

While the terms B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing may sound similar, they differ vastly in practice, especially when it comes to paid social media.

Areas like content, objectives, best practices, and which platforms to use can impact the most effective strategies in paid social media. This chart outlines a few of the main differences.

B2B vs B2C customer identification table

These differences are particularly evident in the approaches for paid social media strategies. Before we dig into the different strategies, let’s take a deeper look at the differences between B2B and B2C.

What is B2B Paid Social Media?

B2B buyers are typically large organizations (like enterprise companies, hospitals, or universities) that market their products or services to other businesses. Those businesses typically need agreement from multiple stakeholders before making a purchase, which often extends the sales cycle length.

When conducting B2B marketing, the message should focus on logic and ROI, rather than emotional impact. How can you help their organization achieve its goals? What is important to their organization’s mission?

When creating a B2B paid social marketing strategy, ensure your campaigns and accompanying materials highlight a solid return on investment (ROI) that underlines how your product or service helps them save time, money—or both.

What is B2C Paid Social Media?

Conversely, B2C marketing means you’re marketing directly to a consumer. The focus should be on the benefits of the product—and how that product can benefit the consumer. However, the purchase decision is based much more on emotion than tangible ROI.

Buyers don’t want to put in extra work to understand the value of your product. You must clearly indicate benefits in a concise way that uses an emotional pull.

B2C vs B2B also differs in length of the purchasing process, with consumers making purchases in minutes to days. In contrast, B2B consumers take much longer, with the decision process occasionally extending a year or more.

B2B vs. B2C Marketing on Social Platforms

In addition to the above differences, B2B vs B2C users tend to use different social platforms. This distinction matters for marketers, as it guides where you should focus your time and resources to target these consumers.

If you’re attempting to sell to a consumer on a historically business-heavy platform (like LinkedIn), it is unlikely you’ll have much success.

B2B Social Platform Use

Historically, social media platforms don’t perform all that well for B2Bs. For example, trying to sell an enterprise software solution on Facebook might not get you very far.

Despite this precedent, there is an exception to every rule, and in this case, that exception is LinkedIn.

LinkedIn

Since the platform’s start, marketers have been trying to take advantage of LinkedIn’s ability to connect with powerful decision-makers in a professional setting.

Now you can. Credited with 97 percent of a business’ social media leads, LinkedIn is the platform every B2B marketer should be using to reach their audience and drive leads.

This may sound easier said than done, but luckily, there are multiple strategies to turn LinkedIn into your own personal lead-generation machine.

While LinkedIn is inarguably the most favored B2B platform, Twitter and Facebook earn second and third places in the hierarchy.

Twitter

Twitter may not be your immediate go-to for B2B marketing, but the platform is filled with potential consumers ready to buy. In fact, 53 percent of Twitter users are likely to be the first to purchase new products.

Twitter can help B2B marketers:

  • build brand awareness
  • increase social monitoring
  • assess competitor analytics

Collaboratively, these three benefits help increase your brand’s visibility, but also allow you to dive deep into competitors’ performance, assessing metrics like follower growth, impressions, and mentions to know where your competition stands.

Facebook

While Facebook use is declining among younger users, many B2B decision-makers regularly use the social networking site. A recent study reported that 74 percent of users use Facebook for professional purposes.

Facebook may help you gain access to new prospects who would never set a virtual foot in LinkedIn.

Want more evidence Facebook is advantageous for the B2B marketer?

With Facebook ads, you can:

  • target your audience based on detailed preferences
  • gather prospect information
  • use lookalike audiences to target users similar to your best customers
  • retarget users who have already interacted with your brand

Moral of the story: if you’re considering nixing Facebook from your B2B marketing strategy, don’t.

B2C Social Platform Use

While savvy marketers flock to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to reach B2B consumers, marketers targeting B2C consumers must adjust their targeted platforms accordingly. Let’s look at a few of the most common platforms for B2C marketing.

Instagram

Instagram was once dismissed as too juvenile to waste marketing spend on. Today, however, the platform is a marketer’s dream, offering countless opportunities to reach established and new consumers.

Given the B2C sales cycle’s brevity, Instagram is the perfect pair for business-to-consumer marketing. For marketers looking to get quick returns on visually-appealing products, Instagram is the go-to social platform.

Visuals aside, Instagram is also highly-trafficked by active consumers.

In fact, Instagram’s business portal reports:

  • 60 percent of people say they discover new products via Instagram.
  • 200+ million Instagram users visit at least one business profile per day.
  • 1/3 of the most-viewed Stories are from businesses.

Those statistics should have every marketer sprinting for their phone to start an Instagram campaign.

TikTok

TikTok might not seem like the ideal platform for your B2C marketing campaign, but many brands have found success on the interactive platform.

With the average user spending 52 minutes a day on the app, there are limitless opportunities for marketers to reach their desired audience.

Unlike other social platforms, TikTok offers marketers a variety of unique avenues for advertising, including:

  • in-feed videos
  • influencer packages
  • sponsored AR content

As the fastest-growing social platform on the market, be sure to take advantage of the massive audience that is just a video away.

table displaying B2B vs B2C social media platform marketing use

B2B vs. B2C: Content for Paid Social Media

After identifying the social platforms best-suited for your paid social campaign, it’s time to settle on what type of content to share. B2B and B2C differ in this area as well, with B2Bs historically performing well with an informational approach, whereas B2Cs find success with a more approachable, fun tone.

B2B Social Marketing Content

As noted above, businesses buy for a clearly-defined reason—which is based on statistics, not emotion. To successfully market to B2Bs, provide content that focuses on ROI. Here are a few types of content that tend to perform well in B2B paid social campaigns.

Informational Content

To demonstrate that ROI, consider building a library of consumable content that informs. A few mediums that traditionally perform well for B2Bs include:

By showing clear value in these pieces, you can scratch that ROI itch and begin the process of moving your B2B prospects through your marketing funnel.

Answer Industry Questions

Filling in industry content holes not only allows you to position yourself as an undeniable field expert, but you can also build content that satisfies specific long-tail search queries. Targeting these queries drives qualified traffic to your site, ideally earning conversions.

B2B vs B2C marketing infographic

B2C Social Marketing Content

While B2C’s counterpart craves ROI data, B2C consumers are more emotional buyers. To take advantage of this motivator, use content that inspires, delights, or evokes another positive emotion.

Storytelling

Your aim is to delight and engage your B2C buyers. Use narratives to hook and maintain consumer interest. Telling a story (either in a single iteration or across your campaign’s lifespan) can attract consumers, while also humanizing your brand.

Visual Content

Visual content grabs and holds attention much more effectively than text. By incorporating visuals into your campaigns, you’re more likely to elicit an emotional reaction, resulting in a B2C consumer making a purchase or mentally bookmarking your product for future reference.

B2B vs. B2C: Objectives for Paid Social Media Campaigns

Given the differences in content, sales cycle, and preferred platform, it’s no surprise that B2B vs B2C also differ in objectives for paid social campaigns. Understanding the different objectives provides the information you need to design successful social media campaigns.

B2B Objectives

The intent of most B2B marketing campaigns is not simply to make sales. Rather, a B2B marketing campaign will be marked successful if it improves:

  • brand growth
  • brand awareness
  • lead generation
  • industry-expert status

Since the sales cycle for B2B consumers is so long, factors like brand growth and brand awareness are incredibly valuable, as they allow you to build connections with potential buyers.

B2C Objectives

While B2B marketers find success benchmarks in growth, B2C markets tend to value direct sales and interactive metrics that show content that is interesting to users. Popular goals for B2C social campaigns include:

  • engagement
  • likes
  • follows
  • going viral

For the B2C marketer, these interactions indicate consumers are attracted to the brand’s offering and willing to interact with the organization.

B2B vs. B2C: Best Practices for a Paid Social Strategy

Although a few best practices apply across the aisle when it comes to B2B vs B2C paid social marketing, a few are particularly relevant to each audience.

B2B Best Practices

To start deploying successful B2B campaigns, look to these four practices to guide you in your planning phase.

Utilize Multiple Channels

Multichannel campaigns increase ROI by 24 percent, with a 9.5 percent increase in revenue gained and a 7.5 percent decrease in cost per lead. That’s ROI you can’t easily ignore.

Identify Goals

Goals only work as hard as you do. You need to establish achievable benchmarks for each campaign, allowing you to note successes and adjust failures.

Measure Results

Without measuring results, how will you know if your campaign was a success? By breaking down marketing metrics, you can gain specific insights into performance, identifying strengths, and recalibrating weaknesses.

Provide Quality Content

You’re only as good as your content. If you’re not creating quality pieces that provide your B2B consumers with clear, tangible ROI, then you’re not going to see results.

B2C Best Practices

Looking for a list of B2C best practices that can get your next campaign off the ground? These three tips can help.

Track the Right Engagement Metrics

As marketers, B2C goals rely heavily on engagement, so tracking these metrics should top your list of must-dos.

  • social platform engagement
  • website traffic
  • ROI
  • quality of leads
  • customer retention
  • conversion rate

Test Your Ads

Testing your ads on social platforms is a great way to see which ads perform well with your intended audience. This helps limit spend and increase audience engagement. A/B testing is an especially effective way to better understand which ads customers like.

Clearly Identify Your Audience

Without clearly outlining your target audience, you can’t market effectively on social media. By identifying the who and the why you can target the audience most likely to engage with your content or purchase your product.

Conclusion

Whether you’re marketing a B2B or a B2C audience, it is crucial to recognize the differences between the two audiences so you can create a campaign that actually converts.

As you begin to build paid social campaigns, focus on identifying content that works best for your audience and use the platform where your audience is most active.

By giving your consumers what they want, when they want, where they want it, you achieve every marketer’s goal: increased visibility.

What is the biggest difference you’ve found between B2B and B2C audiences?

The post What is the Difference Between B2B vs B2C for Paid Social Media? appeared first on Neil Patel.


Source: New feed 2

How to Make a Sponsored Snapchat Filter

How to Make a Sponsored Snapchat Filter

Snapchat advertising has a lot going for it. With 249 million daily active users, you can get your brand in front of a large audience. The level of engagement on the platform is equally massive. Snapchatters open the app more than 30 times on average every day. 

There are three types of Snapchat ads: Snap Ads, Filters, and Lenses. I’ve written before about the value each Snapchat ad can bring to your business. That post provides an excellent overview of the different advertising options available on Snapchat and whether they are worth the investment. 

Today, I’m going to get more specific. Below, I focus on sponsored Snapchat filters, how to create them, and why you should.

What Are Sponsored Snapchat Filters?

Snapchat filters are overlay images used when taking selfies. They are one of the most popular features on the app and have been responsible for driving record growth. The gender-swapping filter attracted 7 million new users days after it was released, for instance.  

Businesses can pay to create their own Snapchat filters. Each filter is available on the app for a limited period of time. Filters can also be limited to a specific area, which advertisers can set before they launch. This is called a geofilter. 

Why Use Sponsored Snapchat Filters?

There are plenty of reasons why a business would want to pay for their own Snapchat filter. 

First, they are a great way to drive brand awareness, given the kind of popularity they inspire. A 2019 study by Snapchat found filters are one of the main reasons users spend time on the app. 

They can be incredibly cost-effective. You can create your own Snapchat filter for as little as $5, meaning you don’t have to be a massive brand to take advantage of them. 

Snapchat filters offer much less competition. While every business in the country has a Facebook presence, only a fraction of them are creating their own filters. They are a great way to differentiate your brand from competitors. 

Finally, Snapchat offers targeting that almost rivals Facebook. Being able to geofence your filters to a specific area, say, near your stores, means you can limit your ad spend to people who are actually likely to buy. 

How to Create a Sponsored Snapchat Filter

Creating a Snapchat filter isn’t nearly as daunting as you think it is. I promise.

Simply follow my step-by-step guide below, and you’ll have your filter live in no time at all. 

Load Snapchat

Head to Snapchat’s Creative Tools page. Click on ”Filters.”

Note: You don’t need to have a business account to create a filter on Snapchat. But it’s in your interest to do so. You’ll have more control with a business account and access to more advertising features. 

create snapchat filter

Use a Template to Create A Snapchat Sponsored Filter

Snapchat offers businesses all the design help they need in the form of templates. Use the drop-down list to find a relevant topic, then choose the template you like best.

dropdown snapchat filter

You should be able to find something to suit your tastes regardless of your industry or the kind of filter you’re looking to create. 

Create Your Sponsored Snapchat Filter From Scratch

You can create your filter design from scratch if you don’t like any of the templates. I recommend using a design tool like Canva, which comes with preset design dimensions for Snapchat.  

Upload your own design by clicking on the Upload button at the top of the page.

Upload snapchat filter

Your file size may be too big initially. If that’s the case, use a tool like Compress PNG to make it smaller. 

Set Date and Time

Next, you’ll need to set the date you want your filter to be available and how long you want it to run. The longer your filter lasts, the more you’ll have to pay. 

date of snapchat filter

Set Location

Next, you’ll need to set the location for your filter. You can search for a town or monument in the search box, or you can draw an area as shown below.

area snapchat filter

Note: The geofenced area must be smaller than 50 million square feet.

Again, the bigger radius you choose, the more expensive your ad will be. 

At this point, you’ll also be shown the price of your sponsored filter.

Price of snapchat filter

All you need to do now is check out. It will take a few days for Snapchat to approve your filter manually, but after that, you’re good to go.

4 Tips for Creating Great Sponsored Snapchat Filters

Don’t rush into creating a Snapchat filter. If you want to make your filter as successful as possible, there are a few things you’ll need to bear in mind. 

Have a Specific Goal

No one will engage with a filter that looks like advertising spam. You need to have a valid reason for creating your filter and a measurable goal you want it to achieve. Being clear on both factors will make designing your filter much easier and, ultimately, make your filter more successful in the long run.

For instance, if you’re using your filter to promote a new product, you can find fun and creative ways of including the product. If you’re promoting an event, you’ll want to make sure you nail the geographic area and include the event’s name in your filter so guests can show off where they are. 

Keep Specifications in Mind

Snapchat has a series of specifications your ad must meet to get approved. They include:

  • image must be 1080 x 2340px
  • file size must be 300kb or less
  • file must be in PNG format
  • at least 50% of the image must be transparent
  • there must be a 310px buffer zone at the top and bottom of the image
  • logo placement must be clear and obvious

Take time to read through these specifications carefully. There’s no point going through all the trouble of designing a great ad for it to get rejected for something avoidable.

There are also restrictions brands should be aware of, too:

  • No gambling or lottery images.
  • No URLs, barcodes, usernames, CTAs, phone numbers, email, or logos of other social platforms allowed.
  • No hashtags allowed.
  • Filters should honor Snapchat’s advertising guidelines.

K.I.S.S.

If there’s one piece of advice you should follow above everything else, it’s this: Keep It Simple, Stupid. 

The best Snapchat filters are the most simple. Don’t take up loads of room with images, and don’t plaster your brand everywhere. The cleaner your filter looks, the more people will want to use it. 

Check out this example from Starbucks. 

Create Great Snapchat Filter - Starbucks example

The design is so simple even I could mock this up. You can bet your bottom dollar thousands and thousands of consumers took a selfie using it, however.

In other words, you don’t have to be a design genius to run a sponsored Snapchat filter. Any business owner can do it.

Measure, Optimize, and Improve

A sponsored Snapchat filter isn’t different from any other form of marketing. You need to measure and optimize your ad to drive the most value. Luckily, Snapchat makes doing this easy with its built-in analytics tool that gives you access to all of the metrics you need like impressions and engagement.

You can use this data to improve your next sponsored filter. For instance, you may want to avoid regions with low engagement and invest more in regions with high engagement. You may also want to look at other metrics, like store revenue, to see what kind of impact your sponsored filters had. 

Ways to Use Your Sponsored Snapchat Filter

Are you still unsure about how to use a Snapchat filter for your brand? Don’t worry; there are many different tactics you can use, and I’m going to cover a few of my favorites.

Promote Your Brand Partnership

If you’re sponsoring an event like a charity run or a festival, use a Snapchat filter to make sure your name gets seen. Everyone loves to use social media to show off what they’re doing, so a filter will get tons of engagement. Plus, when you brand it carefully, you’ll get the recognition you deserve. 

Attract Customers to Your Brick-and-Mortar Store

You can use the geofencing feature of Snapchat, so your filter is only available to consumers within the vicinity of your stores. A fun Snapchat filter can be just the kind of nudge people need to eat at your restaurant or shop your store. 

It can also be a great way to leverage word-of-mouth marketing. If consumers take a selfie with your filter after shopping at your store, they may encourage their friends to visit, too.

If you have a lot of stores, setting up individual ads will require a lot of work. I recommend running a test program with a couple of stores to see if your filter is successful before expanding the campaign to the rest of your locations. 

Launch a New Product

Snapchat filters are a great way to raise awareness of a new product launch. Including an image of the product within the filter will help consumers to identify it easily and engage with the product without needing to buy it.

The product doesn’t even need to be physical. The Terminator movie franchise created its own filter to promote the launch of “Terminator Genisys.”

Ways to Use Sponsored Snapchat Filter - Example of Terminator

Are Sponsored Snapchat Filters Better Than Other Forms of Digital Advertising?

I highly recommend businesses experiment with sponsored Snapchat filters. As I mentioned at the start of this article, they are very affordable and are less competitive than Facebook ads or Google PPC ads. This makes them a great choice for small businesses.

Major brands can also win big with Snapchat filters, especially if you have a product that Snapchatters can interact with. McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Disney have all had success with Snapchat filters. 

Snapchat filters will be particularly relevant if you target young consumers and women. Over 75 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds use the app regularly. Almost two-thirds of app users are women. 

If you are a B2B company or you target older consumers, then Snapchat probably isn’t for you. In that case, you’re better off spending your advertising budget on Facebook ads or Google ads, or even investing in SEO.

Otherwise, give Snapchat a go and see if it works for you.

Conclusion

Snapchat may not be the dominant social media platform it once was, but it’s still a valuable addition to your digital marketing strategy.

The site still enjoys almost 250 million daily active users, and filters enjoy a ridiculously high engagement rate. That means thousands of consumers could be interacting with your brand on a daily basis.

If your brand is B2C and targets young consumers in particular, creating a sponsored Snapchat filter could be a winning strategy.

What will your brand’s Snapchat filter look like?

The post How to Make a Sponsored Snapchat Filter appeared first on Neil Patel.


Source: New feed 2

Who is Generation Alpha, and Why Are They Important to Marketers?

Who is Generation Alpha, and Why Are They Important to Marketers?

Every new generation brings new customs, behaviors, and cultural phenomena that shape the world as we know it.

Baby boomers brought significant economic influence.

Millennials taught us new ways of viewing our socio-political world.

Generation Z showed us what the intersection of technology and humanity looks like.

Now, we have Generation Alpha, a demographic of tech-savvy, racially diverse, and unapologetically influential children who will start entering adulthood at the end of the 2020s.

But, they’re children. They aren’t our buyers. Why should marketers care about them right now?

Studies have shown children under 12 can influence parental purchases of $130 to $670 billion a year. And, it won’t be long before they are the buyers.

It’s never too early to prepare. In fact, since the oldest kids in this generation are starting to hit middle school, we may even be cutting it close.

Let’s take a look at the climate shaping this upcoming generation and what we can expect from them in the future.

What Birth Years Are Considered Generation Alpha?

Generation Alpha covers those born between 2010 and 2024. Most of their parents are Millennials.

Every nine minutes, a new member of Generation Alpha is born in the United States. By 2025, this group will reach a worldwide population of more than two billion.

infographic of generation alpha births

Generation Alpha Culture and the Future of Marketing

Although some Gen Alpha babies haven’t been born yet, there are a few things we can predict about them.

For starters, Generation Alpha will be the most technologically advanced generation to date, growing up with mobile devices, AI, social media, advanced healthcare, and robotics as parts of their everyday lives.

They will be digitally literate and adept multi-taskers as a result.

Gen Alpha also stands to be the most materially endowed generation of all time. This means they could end up being able to spend more on nonessentials than previous generations.

They also stand to be the most globally informed group so far, and they will have the longest life spans.

Generation Alpha Technology Trends

As Generation Alpha evolves, so will their familiar technology.

We’ve already seen the effects of exponential technological growth on current generations, and these effects will continue to grow.

It’s expected that AI and robotics will be completely integrated into modern life by 2025. We can also expect machine learning, natural language processing, and smart devices to change, improve, and further connect us in the coming years.

Gen Alpha may find themselves interacting with robots just as frequently as with humans.

For marketers, this means speaking to an astute audience that may know the ideal product better than we do.

Similarly, we can expect Gen Alpha to reject traditional forms of marketing, much like their Millennial parents did not long ago. An increasing interest in personalization, humanized messaging, and social shopping should be assumed.

Generation Alpha Education Trends

Generation Alpha stands to be the most educated generation to date.

Access to education is at an all-time high, with most countries reporting twelve or more years of schooling for every individual citizen.

According to UNESCO, each additional year of education increases a person’s earnings by roughly 10%.

With improving digital resources and the increasing availability of technology, Gen Alpha will have better access to long-term education than any previous generation.

That said, the way they view education will likely be different. There may be less emphasis on formal degrees and, instead, a focus on skills.

The Eduniversal Evaluation Agency (EEA) put it this way:

In an age where every other tech CEO and startup founder dropped out of college and now rakes in millions, it’s hard to argue that moving forward, a degree will remain an absolute prerequisite for success.

In addition to these trends, we’ll see the continuation of highly personalized instructional content.

A generation used to instant access to information is unlikely to succeed in three-hour-long lectures. Instead, we can expect an increase in online learning, especially tutorials, which will further the technological proficiency of Gen Alpha.

Generation Alpha Social Media Trends

Young people are increasingly drawn to social media. With the introduction of social media e-commerce, social media has become one of the most essential tools for marketers in the modern age.

One survey found 49% of 16- to 24-year-olds look to social media for purchase inspiration. This is higher than older generations—their parents may only do this 20% of the time, for instance.

As more Gen Alpha kids grow up immersed in social media, we can predict social media usage will become an increasingly inextricable part of their lives.

Gen Alpha already uses social media differently than their parents. They’re less likely to be on Facebook or Twitter, favoring Instagram and TikTok. Brands that stay on top of the newest technology stand to see greater success with this burgeoning generation.

engagement table of generation alpha

Generation Alpha Data Sharing Trends

Gen Alpha may be warier of providing or allowing access to their data to social media giants, search engines, ad agencies, and so on. We’re already seeing this trend today, with more and more countries instituting data privacy laws such as the GDPR.

By the time Generation Alpha reaches maturity, they’ll probably have a deep understanding of their data and how it’s used. This could lead to higher levels of criticism and questioning when consenting to data usage—they might read that fine print.

Companies looking to leverage consumer data should consider what they give back in return. Often, an equal exchange is enough to encourage consumer consent.

Brands doing this incorrectly risk losing their rising audience.

Generation Alpha Healthcare Advancements

Much like their millennial parents, Gen Alpha will likely spend more time finding medical information online. Self-service and convenience will continue to be driving factors for Gen Alpha’s healthcare.

In addition, younger generations are increasingly aware of mental health and are more likely to seek help for challenges with theirs when needed. They’ll likely expect their workplaces to offer mental health coverage and resources.

On the brand side, this means staying compassionate and aware of mental health can greatly improve overall brand integrity.

The Bell Let’s Talk movement is a strong example of a brand doing this right.

Healthcare Advancement for Generation Alpha

Generation Alpha Media Literacy Trends

Gen Alpha will have the best media literacy of any generation. They’ll be able to separate fact from fiction and more likely to identify conspiracy theories or fake news circulating on the internet.

For marketers, this means speaking to a well-informed audience that isn’t likely to be persuaded by traditional marketing tactics.

It also means engaging Gen Alpha in the arenas they prefer. Podcasting, video content, and gamification will become increasingly important when delivering information.

Additionally, personalization in marketing will continue to grow in popularity. For Gen Alpha, it won’t be enough to simply push a sale. Marketers will need to connect with this generation in an ongoing way.

Generation Alpha Diversity Trends

The US is becoming more diverse, and younger generations are increasingly aware and accepting of challenges based on race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Gen Alpha’s patience for inequality will almost surely continue to decrease as they grow up.

Children of this generation are unlikely to work for a company that doesn’t reflect their values. In the same way, they won’t buy from brands that go against what they believe in.

Brands championing diversity and social issues while embracing widespread change will flourish. Brands that don’t evolve will be left behind.

Generation Alpha Economic Trends

Generation Alpha first came into being during an economically tumultuous time as the world recovered from the Great Recession.

They’ve gone through some pretty interesting ups and downs since then, and significant political and social issues will continue to affect their economic standing.

We can be reasonably sure that they’ll be largely invested in the experience economy, including live entertainment, amusement parks, spectator sports, and tours.

This economy has largely been fueled by social media and technology, as people share the fun they’re having and others want to have adventures as well.

Additionally, Gen Alpha is predicted to be the longest-living generation of humans so far. Because of this, they’ll likely stay in the workforce longer, meaning more money over their working years.

As marketers, we need to plan for all of this. Our consumers face a bit of a question mark in terms of the economy. But, we know what they want—experiences—and that they’ll be educated and in the workforce for a long time. Catering to a changing climate and meeting their needs and desires throughout their lifetimes is essential.

Conclusion

Generation Alpha represents a fascinating, technologically advanced evolution of the human species.

People in this generation are digital natives growing up with smartphones, social media, and AI. They’re entering a genuinely advanced world where automation and innovation rule.

Additionally, their purchasing influence is already present, and they’re influencing their parents buying decisions even now.

Marketers who pay attention to this generation now will be better prepared to out-market big competitors in the coming years.

We can expect to see a well-educated, digitally fluent, socially-conscious generation. We need to keep up.

What predictions do you have for Gen Alpha?

The post Who is Generation Alpha, and Why Are They Important to Marketers? appeared first on Neil Patel.


Source: New feed 2

DreamHost Review

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

Founded in 1996, DreamHost is one of the oldest web hosting services to date. Hosting over 1.5 million websites with 400,000 customers and 750,000 WordPress installations—I think DreamHost is one of the best web hosting services for most website owners. 

With extensive product offerings that aren’t just limited to hosting plans, DreamHost can help you integrate domain names, website builders, and email hosting into your website efficiently and affordably. 

It’s web hosting with a purpose and will make sure your site is fast, secure, and up to date for your visitors.   

DreamHost Compared to The Best Web Hosting Services

Compared to other web hosting services, DreamHost is a more well-rounded and inclusive option, with an extensive range of website hosting products for different needs. 

DreamHost is my top pick for quick and responsive website changes because of its dedication to excel and adapt to new trends. Not only that, DreamHost also has a passion for privacy, security, and is employee-owned, so they have a strong focus on its users and their individual needs. 

I reviewed dozens of different web hosting services and narrowed it down to the top eight options. I looked at each option to see who it’s best for, what options there are to choose from, and how to choose the right one. 

See all of my top picks and get an in-depth analysis of each one to make the best buying decision for your website needs. 

Who is DreamHost Best For? 

With its low price and high quality, DreamHost is an excellent option for most website owners. This may seem broad, but hear me out. 

DreamHost is the most inclusive web hosting service for both small and large businesses working on different sized projects. This is because it has a high enough performance speed, customer support, and reliable uptime for most website owners. 

Whether you’re in the blogging or site developing niche, DreamHost will offer sturdy and dependable hosting support at an affordable price. 

Because it supports SSDs and high-level technology, DreamHost makes it easy for users to customize their control panel with no issues. 

From beginners to tech-savvy users, DreamHost knows that your website is your future, making it the best for most website owners who are looking for extra support and high-quality performance. 

DreamHost: Pros and Cons 

Even the best web hosting services have flaws, and it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of a product before purchasing to make sure each element contributes to your preferences and the success of your site. Below is a list of the pros and cons for DreamHost.

Pros 

Affordable pricing: DreamHost is one of the most affordable web hosting services on the market, which we will cover later on. To make it short and sweet, DreamHost offers a nice variety of pricing plans you can customize to pay for in either monthly or annual installments. 

Monthly payments start at $4.95, whereas annual prices start at $3.95 per month, which means you save more by paying annually. This is a rarity for web hosting services, as many of its competitors seem to charge more for annual payment options. 

Automated integrations: DreamHost offers automatic integration and one-click installation for a few CMS options, such as WordPress, MediaWiki, and Joomla. 

This is a major advantage for most users because it gives them the option to choose a different website and transition with ease. It’s even easier for users who already use one of the supported CMS options because DreamHost will install it for you with one click. 

The most popular CMS option DreamHost supports is WordPress, and you will have the easiest time integrating this specific option with your hosting provider. DreamHost also allows you to choose any WordPress theme or plugin for your website. Essentially, you will have full control of your website’s appearance, while DreamHost does all the nitty-gritty behind the scenes. 

Extensive customer support: Another significant feature of DreamHost is its comprehensive customer support base. There are two main ways to contact them for free support via your control panel, including live chat and email support. 

Live chat operates seven days a week from 5:30 am-9:30 pm Pacific Time, while the DreamHost support team strives to answer all emails within 24 hours. However, if you feel you need extra guidance for technical issues, DreamHost does offer a callback service for an additional fee. 

Because callbacks aren’t included in your hosting package by default, you will have to add them. You can choose to add three callbacks per month for a nominal monthly fee or a one-time callback feature for a fee as well. 

Not only does DreamHost offer those support services, but they also have dedicated pages for knowledge base questions, system status, tech support, and discussion forums.  

High-quality performance and speed: DreamHost offers incredible performance and speed that will permanently transform your website’s quality. 

For example, DreamHost specifically designs products to be compatible with WordPress for optimal performance. This ensures seamless and fluid integration between DreamHost and your WordPress website, making it run at peak speed. 

Another great performance feature involves the use of SSDs. With DreamHost SSDs, your overall website, data, and caching are 200 percent faster than old HDDs. With lightning-fast speeds and a loading time of 2.35 seconds, your visitors can scroll your website without lag and won’t get caught up in unnecessary wait times. 

DreamHost also guarantees 100% reliable uptime, so your site will always be online and functioning to its maximum potential. With emergency generators, constant monitoring, redundant cooling, and data center locations, your website will never operate as well as it does with DreamHost.  

Cons 

Additional fees for advanced features: If you’re looking for a more comprehensive web hosting service that offers advanced features and tools to transform your website, unfortunately, DreamHost lacks a little in this department. 

In the beginning it’s possible to build your website for next to nothing—but there are some additional costs involved for those looking at extensive support. For example, DreamHost offers products outside of web hosting like website builders, G suite, design services, and marketing tools. 

However, they all cost extra and can become quite pricey, as they aren’t included in your hosting package. If you do want additional support all from one platform for the added convenience, you’re looking at forking out an extra $2.95 per month for website building up to $1,499 for design services. 

Even though a few of the features are quite affordable for monthly payments, if you want more professional services, it’s something you would want to re-evaluate and plan for in your budget. 

The Shared Starter plan doesn’t include email hosting: Although email hosting costs an extra $1.67 per month per mailbox for the shared starter plan, which is still reasonably affordable—it’s also an additional cost for those who wish to purchase the starter plan as a complete beginner with little tech experience. 

This is especially pertinent when it costs an extra $9 per month for the next plan with unlimited email hosting. This can be a disadvantage for website owners looking for a cheaper plan that aligns more with their budget. 

DreamHost Pricing 

A major benefit when choosing DreamHost as your web hosting provider is the price. It is one of the most affordable products on the market when you weigh it up against the high-quality services it provides to its users. DreamHost offers three main hosting plans you can pay annually for a discount, including:  

Each of these three plans, Shared, DreamPress, and VPS, have additional options within the plan.

For example, Shared Starter and Shared Unlimited, DreamPress, DreamPress plus, and DreamPress Pro. And then the VPS plan is broken down into amount of storage, from 30 GB SSD storage on VPS Basic to 240 DB SSD storage on VPS Enterprise. There are two additional VPS plan options between those.

Let’s begin with the Shared plan. The Shared Starter option is brilliant for beginners who have one new website and aren’t sure where to start. It offers the basic tools your website will need for hosting, like one WordPress website, a free domain, and unlimited bandwidth. 

For $3.95 per month paid annually, users also get a bang for their buck with the WP website builder and free automated WordPress integrations. These usually start between $2.59-$9.95 per month, so having both included in the plan for free is an enormous value to your business.

DreamHost also offers the Shared Unlimited plan, which includes everything in the Shared Starter plan, plus unlimited emailing and websites for $9.95 per month paid annually. This would be a good plan for users that have multiple websites who need different email accounts. 

The next main DreamHost pricing plan is DreamPress. You save 15 percent by paying annually at $16.95 per month. This plan includes everything the Shared Unlimited plan has and includes on-demand backups, jetpack free pre-installation, and one-click staging. 

This plan is more suited for users who already have a WordPress website specifically, as it’s created to co-exist with this builder seamlessly. 

There are two other DreamPress options, including: 

  • DreamPress Plus: $24.95 per month with double the SSD storage, jetpack professional, and unlimited CDN
  • DreamPress Pro: $71.95 per month with 120GB SSD storage, 1M+ monthly visitors, and one staging website 

These pricing plans are more suited to high-demanding WordPress websites that require comprehensive tools. 

I will get into VPS hosting and options in the next section. 

DreamHost Offerings 

DreamHost has a few product offerings for web hosting that cater to most users. Below is an in-depth look at the different products DreamHost offer for web hosting services:

WordPress Hosting 

WordPress hosting is by far the most popular product that DreamHost offers to its users. DreamHost specifically optimized most of their tools and technology for WordPress compatibility, so it’s for a good reason that WordPress hosting is so popular. 

WordPress hosting on DreamHost will completely transform your website with powerful features, add-ons, and 24/7 support. They do this by working closely with WordPress.org themselves, so you will always get the newest version and continuous updates to make sure your website is running and secure. 

The easiest part about choosing WordPress hosting is the instant set up and installation process. If you select a plan that supports multiple websites, the one-click installer will do everything for you—offering seamless integration. 

WordPress hosting starts at $2.59 per month for one website with a 36-month commitment.

By choosing WordPress hosting, your website will benefit from some key features, including: 

  • Free privacy protection 
  • Free domain with annual plans 
  • Free email hosting 
  • Advanced and easy-to-use control panel 
  • Free SSL certificate 
  • Automated backups 

WordPress hosting is an excellent option for those who own a WordPress website for the most effortless transitions and seamless integration into web hosting. 

VPS Hosting 

Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting is another common hosting option that DreamHost manages and monitors very well. With performance and security updates, your website will be safest with the wide variety of tools and features of VPS at DreamHost. 

A powerful feature DreamHost offers with VPS hosting is individual resources that only your website can use. This means dedicated resources will help your website create low latency and high performance. 

With an intuitive control panel, VPS hosting has never been easier to manage. DreamHost also allows you to customize this control panel to your individual preferences. You also have the option to upgrade your RAM and storage in under 10 seconds, giving you that extra peace of mind for when your website inevitably grows. 

The DreamHost VPS plans offer basic and advanced features for different goals, including: 

Basic features: 

  • 20x faster SSDs that range from 30GB to 240GB
  • Scalable 1GB RAM
  • Reseller and sub-accounts for client and contractor website access
  • Unlimited MySQL databases

Advanced features: 

  • Automatic software updates
  • Password protection
  • Access to raw file logs 
  • Unique IPv4 and IPv6

These features will work well for users looking for a more comprehensive hosting service on a private server. 

VPS hosting offers four different pricing plans, including:

  • VPS Basic: starting at $10 per month with 1GB RAM and 30 GB SSD storage
  • VPS Business: starting at $20 per month with 2GB RAM and 60 GB SSD storage
  • VPS Professional: starting at $40 per month with 4GB RAM and 120 GB SSD storage
  • VPS Enterprise: starting at $80 per month with 8GB RAM and 240 GB SSD storage

DreamHost makes sure there’s a pricing plan for every website owner looking at VPS hosting. 

Cloud Hosting 

Lastly, DreamHost offers a unique service called cloud hosting with OpenStack. Cloud hosting, also known as DreamCompute, is a product that provides simple cloud servers to advanced network configurations. 

Cloud hosting is an excellent option for users who are looking at hosting a website using software of their choice, are running their own server, for gaming purposes, or are running web-scale applications. 

Like the other two product offerings, DreamHost always makes sure speed and performance are a top priority for all servers. Cloud hosting SSH is ready in 30 seconds because of next-gen processors and accelerated SSD disks. 

Cloud hosting offers a few helpful features, like: 

  • Storage application integration 
  • Backup WordPress sites 
  • Run any application like Ruby, Python, and Redis 
  • Migrate works into your private cloud 

DreamCompute has three pricing plans with really flexible prices, including: 

  • 512MB RAM Server: $4.50 per month ($0.0075 per hour)
  • 2GB RAM Server: $12 per month ($0.02 per hour)
  • 8GB RAM Server: $48 per month ($0.08 per hour) 

With the cloud hosting plans, DreamHost only charges users up to 600 hours in any given month. All plans come with 100GB of block storage and free bandwidth. 

The Best Web Hosting Services 

I’ve spent hours reviewing different web hosting services. You can check out my buying guide here.

Summary 

Overall, DreamHost is an excellent web hosting service option for most website owners looking for high performance and quick adaptation at an affordable price. 

With great pricing packages and product offerings like WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, and cloud hosting, there’s an option for everyone with different preferences. 

The pros definitely outweigh the cons of DreamHost, and I think it’s worth looking into for website transformation and growth.

The post DreamHost Review appeared first on Neil Patel.


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How Niche Communities Are Changing Online Conversations

How Niche Communities Are Changing Online Conversations

Social media is a noisy place.

When you log onto Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok, ready to enjoy some content, you’re bombarded with ads and thousands of posts about all sorts of things—much of which you might not care about.

It’s overwhelming at best, and at worst, it makes us feel lonely. For the most part, we aren’t having meaningful discussions or engaging conversations around our biggest passions.

Instead, we are mindlessly tapping away or not feeling safe to express ourselves online because of trolls.

As a result, people are moving away from crowded online spaces and seeking more curated experiences within niche communities. These platforms bring together people who share interests or experiences—without all the ads and other distractions.

What does this mean for the future of social media and digital marketing?

In this post, we take a deep dive into niche internet communities, where you can find them, and how marketers can use the rise of these sites to boost conversion rates, thought leadership, and brand loyalty.

What Are Niche Communities?

A niche community is a group of people brought together by a common interest, value, or goal.

For example, if you love books, you might join a book club. A massive online book club equivalent is Goodreads, where you can find new books to read, leave reviews, and join community groups and have discussions with other readers.

As an author, it pays to be active on a site like Goodreads. It’s where your core audience hangs out, and their attention isn’t fragmented like it often is on larger social media sites.

For publishers, the site lets people see at a glance what books and topics are resonating with readers. This is a gold mine of market research, and it’s completely free.

What Are Niche Communities Used For?

Niche communities give us the exclusivity and sense of belonging we crave. More than ever, people want to connect with a community, such as a group of people who are equally obsessed with anime or Game of Thrones plot theories.

In a niche community, you don’t need to scroll past dozens of irrelevant posts to find people who want to talk about the things that excite or intrigue you. With a community that shares your interests, all you need to do is log on, and you can instantly connect with like-minded people.

Niche communities do what Facebook can’t. They cut through the digital noise and create safe spaces to discuss specific topics without judgment, trolling, and unrelated content getting in the way.

What I love about these sites is that people get to tap into a hive of shared knowledge. Let’s say you’re starting your digital marketing career and you have dozens of questions, but no one in your life can answer them.

Instead of staying in an isolated state and trying to figure out things by yourself, you can log onto a niche community like a HubSpot User Group (HUG) to connect with other digital marketers. You can get your questions answered by industry professionals and join insightful discussions.

It’s a source of incredible concentrated value you can’t find on your Instagram feed. You get to grow professionally, network, and eventually, give back to the community by helping someone else.

Where to Find Niche Communities

Not sure where to start? Here are some of the best niche communities you can use to connect with your audience or people who share similar interests.

Reddit

One of the biggest niche community platforms is Reddit. Since its creation in June 2005, it’s grown to over 100,000 threads called “subreddits.” You can find a thread on almost everything, but Reddit is a hard nut to crack for marketers. Redditors hate self-promotion. You can’t drop a link and leave. You need to spend time creating value as an active community member and occasionally posting content.

Reddit niche communities example

Goodreads

The Amazon-owned site connects readers with authors and creates an engaged community around books. You can get recommendations based on your past reads, discuss how much you love or hate Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses series, leave book ratings, and get your burning questions answered by your favorite authors. When used correctly, it’s an invaluable way for authors to build relationships with fans.

Stack Overflow

Not only is Stack Overflow the hub for all things IT, but you might land your next full-time or freelance developer gig with its job board. The site allows you to get your coding questions answered by millions of users, collaborate on open-source projects, answer questions and gain insights from developers worldwide.

Behance

Are you a professional creative? Behance might be the niche community for you. Created by Adobe, it has more than 10 million members worldwide. You can upload your portfolio, search for jobs, share projects, and get feedback from the community.

Quora

If you want to build your brand and establish yourself as a thought leader, Quora may be able to help. The site has millions of monthly users asking and answering questions on hundreds of different topics. Besides answering your audience’s most pressing concerns, you can use it to see what people are struggling with or find your next product idea.

Instructables

Instructables is an online community for do-it-yourself projects. You can upload your latest craft creation or musical masterpiece and connect with other creators. The community is also a place for people who need help with a DIY task.

Simply create a post around your problem, and you’ll likely get solutions from people who are even handier than you. You can also watch tutorials and collaborate on projects with other users.

BlogHer

What started as a conference in 2005 has turned into one of the largest online niche communities. BlogHer is a platform for female creators to discuss digital marketing, blogging, and business. There’s a job board for female creatives, yearly conferences, and women-led community support and feedback.

Houzz

Is your weekend hobby or full-time career architecture or interior design? Sign up to Houzz. The social media platform lets you browse designs by other members, connect with professional and amateur builders, and discuss industry trends with its 40 million homeowners worldwide.

Disciple

Want to build a niche community? You can do precisely that with Disciple. The private community platform is customizable to match your brand and lets you sell courses, charge subscriptions, and more.

4 Ways Niche Communities Are Changing Online Conversations

Are you tired of bland online chats and posts? You’re not alone.

Here are some of the ways niche communities are changing the way we communicate online for the better.

1. Niche Communities Encourage Meaningful Conversations

Niche Communities - Wisdo Community Chat App

In a study on online communities by the Global Web Index, 45 percent of respondents said they were frustrated with the offensive language and bullying on traditional social media sites. Additionally, 36 percent felt they didn’t have a genuine connection with other users.

Community chat apps like Wisdo give users the ability to find meaningful conversations that aren’t the norm on other public forums.

Topics on the app range from mental health challenges like anxiety and depression to identity forums around gender transition, racism, and coming out.

It’s a way for you to share your story, find a support system, and have conversations you might be too scared to have in real life.

2. Niche Communities Are More Personal Than Social Media

With these communities closed off from the rest of social media, they generally become safe places for people to share their thoughts, feelings, and interests.

You’re connecting with people who get what you’re going through and why you feel a certain way. This fosters a culture of acceptance, which may be hard to find on traditional social media sites.

A study by Plan International discovered that 39 percent of girls had suffered harassment on Facebook. Twelve percent changed the way they expressed themselves as a result.

3. Niche Communities Allow You to Meet New People With Shared Interests

Niche Communities - Capture, an app that brings niche communities together

Sometimes it feels like you’re the only person in your life who cares about the Impressionist art movement or backpacking across Africa.

Niche internet communities give us a way to stop feeling isolated in our interests and find a community of people who are passionate about the same things.

Capture is another group-chat app bringing niche communities together. The app uses artificial intelligence to suggest group chats and topics to users based on similar interests or locations.

4. Niche Communities Offer a Sense of Belonging

As humans, we are hard-wired to find communities, and as much as we may hate to admit it, we crave group acceptance.

Niche communities give us a sense of belonging we might not have access to outside of the digital world.

Social media can be a way to create meaningful social spaces, but it’s not always possible on larger sites. As a result, people crave more authentic online connections and places where they “fit in” by connecting with others who share their fascination with SEO, hiking, or preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

What Benefits Can Marketers Expect From Niche Communities?

While Instagram and Facebook have billions of users, it doesn’t mean those platforms are the best options for building a loyal and engaged audience.

Here are some of the advantages you can expect from adding niche communities to your marketing strategy.

Access to Highly Targeted Audiences

One of the most significant advantages of niche communities is that it gives marketers access to highly targeted audiences.

Just like micro-influencers see better engagement and conversion rates, the same is true for niche communities. You can connect with a much smaller audience, who is your ideal customer.

You’re not shouting into an endless massive online void: You’re zeroing in on a group of people who care about the same things as your brand.

Plus, people are actively engaging in these communities. Without the digital noise on other platforms, users are not mindlessly scrolling past your posts or ignoring your ads.

Form Meaningful Relationships With Your Audience

Over the years, we have seen more brands step away from boring, corporate, professional online personas. Instead, brands are creating engaging personalities that act and feel like people more than businesses.

An excellent example of this is Wendy’s, which is known for its witty Twitter comebacks.

Users also expect brands to take a stance on important social issues to use their platforms for the greater good. Silence on such matters can quickly get you “canceled” because people want to know what their money is supporting.

This shows that people want to have authentic relationships with brands.

Niche communities may allow you to develop these relationships and engage with your audience on a personable level by stepping away from mass marketing. This, in turn, can help create brand loyalty and show your customers you share the same values.

Conclusion

Niche communities are a trend all marketers need to watch. As users become distrustful of social media giants and those platforms become increasingly crowded, it’s more important than ever to find the online spaces for your niche and connect.

Whether you’re an eco-friendly e-commerce brand or a business coach, a niche community will give you better access to your community, an opportunity to grow as a thought leader, and possibly see an increase in conversion rates.

Are you going to add niche communities to your marketing strategy?

The post How Niche Communities Are Changing Online Conversations appeared first on Neil Patel.


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