How to Find Popular New Keywords Before Your Competition

SEO is tough!

It can take months if not years to see decent results… especially if your website is new.

Why? Because everyone is going after all the major keywords that you can think of.

Just look at the term “auto insurance” in the United States.

There are 1.1 billion results… but only 165,000 searches.

Do you think we really need another web page on auto insurance? Not really. :/

So how can you do well with SEO if you have a new or even a low authority website, but you don’t have months or even years to wait?

You go after up-and-coming keywords.

SEO gold

There’s gold to be had, each day.

Think of it this way, there are always new topics or phrases people search for based on what’s happening in different industries or even in the world.

From war to diseases, to new companies, to new industries to even new trends… it all creates the demand for new keywords that are popular but very few websites are even targeting these keywords.

Here’s how you find these new popular keywords before anyone else.

Google Suggest hack

Have you noticed in Google whenever you perform a search, Google automatically recommends other keywords?

Just look at this… when I type in “digital marketing” it recommends other keywords based on what people are interested in…

Keywords from Google Suggest constantly change based on trends and how people’s searches change over time.

But what you see from Google Suggest isn’t all of the trending and popular keywords. It only shows you a fraction of what people are interested in.

Here’s how you can easily get the full list.

Ubersuggest

Go to Ubersuggest and type in any keyword that you may be interested in or is related to your industry.

For this example, I typed in “digital marketing”.

Then in the sidebar, I want you to click on “Labs” and then “Keyword Visualization”.

You may have to type in your keyword again…

And then you will have to have a visualization with all the up-and-coming keywords related to the one you just typed in.

What’s cool is you can even click on a keyword and get more data such as cost per click data if you want to run paid ads, how competitive a keyword is from an SEO perspective, or even the search volume.

Not all keywords will have that data as some are up and coming and new.

What’s also cool about this report is you can filter results by questions, prepositions, comparisons, related keywords, or just suggestions (from Google Suggest).

As you can see here there are over 441 suggestions from Google Suggest but when I typed in the keyword “digital marketing” into Google it showed me less than 20 suggestions.

In other words, you’ll get a more detailed list from Ubersuggest as it will pull all the different variations from Google Suggest.

And if you rather see all the keywords in a table view, you can click on the data tab to get a report like this.

Note that both the visualizations and the data tables will change based on the tabs you selected (questions, prepositions, comparisons, related keywords, or just suggestions).

Conclusion

Just because SEO takes a while to see results for most people, it doesn’t mean you can’t see results faster.

You just need to think outside the box.

One way to do this is to use the Keyword Visualization report within Ubersuggest.

Head to Ubersuggest and try it out. It’s a great way to find up-and-coming keywords that your competition isn’t targeting.

Source: New feed 2

What is a Subdomain and How Does it Affect Your Site’s SEO?

What is a Subdomain and How Does it Affect Your Site's SEO?

When navigating the internet you may notice the URL changing as you click from site to site. Sometimes you have a simple URL like www.mysite.com. Or, you might see words added before the site like this, www.shop.mysite.com.

The word “shop” in this case, is a subdomain and it’s used to differentiate the two websites from each other.

In this guide, you’ll learn what subdomains are, how you can use them, and whether or not they impact SEO.

What Is a Subdomain?

A subdomain is an addition made to a URL string to separate and organize content on a website.

Using a subdomain allows you to partition areas of the site, such as a blog or store, from the main areas of your website.

Each time you see a URL, there are essentially three main parts:

1. Top-Level Domain or TLD: This is the extension at the end. Examples would be, .com, .org, or .io.

subdomain example

2. Second-Level Domain or SLD: This is the creative portion of the domain. In Neilpatel.com, Neilpatel would be the second-level domain.

example of subdomain

3. Subdomain: The subdomain in this scenario would be anything that comes before “neilpatel.” For example, if you go to app.neilpatel.com, the “app” part of the URL is what leads you to the keyword research tool, Ubersuggest. In this case, “app” would be the subdomain and it helps separate the tool from the rest of the site.

Many sites use this to create different sections for organization and user experience purposes.

wikipedia subdomain

If we look at the example above from Wikipedia, you’ll see they use one to differentiate the languages across their site. There are many purposes for subdomains, but they’re all used to make the experience easier and faster for the user.

Now you have an answer to “what is a subdomain.” Let’s learn how to create a subdomain.

How to Create a Subdomain

Learning how to create a subdomain is very simple and something you’ll do through your web hosting provider.

Let’s use HostGator as an example.

Step 1: Login to Your Account

You’ll first login to your backend and scroll down a little until you find the section for domains.

creating a subdomain

Step 2: Create a Subdomain

Here you’ll enter the name of your subdomain and the domain you want to attach it to. In this case, I used a tennis site as an example.

entering a subdomain in hostgator

Step 3: Update DNS records

Once you’ve created the subdomain, you’ll need to add a new domain name system record or DNS. It can take anywhere from an hour to 24 hours for the changes to update and be implemented on your site so don’t expect to jump back in right away.

Subdomain Vs. Subdirectory

The biggest misunderstanding is the difference between a subdomain and a subdirectory. Here is an example of a subdomain:

  • App.neilpatel.com

Now, here is an example of a subdirectory:

In the case of a subdirectory, the addition to your URL is still part of the main domain. It’s a part of the website as a whole and doesn’t tell Google that it’s anything different.

Subdomains, on the other hand, intend to stand alone, and want Google to treat them as a separate site.

Subdirectories always come after and subdomains always come before.

The big question of the subdomain vs. subdirectory debate is, which is better for SEO?

The most important thing to understand is that Google treats a subdomain as a separate entity—which means everything you do isn’t associated with the main site. All links and content are not factored into the overall domain rating of your primary domain.

This could be a good or bad thing, depending on your goal.

If you’re doing something completely different on the subdomain that could hurt the reputation of the parent domain, then it could be a good thing. If your subdomain is entirely related to the parent domain and you’re getting all your links and content on that area of the site, then it could be a bad thing.

With customer experience being one of the most important driving factors for businesses this year, I can understand why subdomains seem desirable, but Mr. Google himself has said it:

We do have to learn how to crawl[subdomains] separately, but for the most part, that’s just a formality for the first few days.

John Mueller, Google

In most cases, the difference between the two is extremely minimal, so you’re better off focusing on something else like content audits and mobile optimization.

When Should You Use a Subdomain on Your Website?

Now that you understand some of the differences between subdomains and subdirectories, here’s when you should use one over the other.

Detach From Your Main Site

In some cases, you want to create content or do something on your site but you don’t want it associated with the main page.

Adding a store to your site is a great example of this.

using a subdomain

If we look at the image above from Nascar, we’ll see they use a subdomain for their store. This makes sense if you think about the actual purpose of Nascar.com when compared to a Nascar-related e-commerce store.

Nascar.com is trying to rank for time-sensitive news about races and drivers, while the store targets people who want to buy Nascar gear and apparel.

While they’re similar, each URL has its own purpose and should be treated separately for SEO purposes.

Improve Organization

Google tells us that on-page experience is important and so do consumers. If your site is not well organized and is difficult to navigate, people will leave, it’s as simple as that.

Subdomains help you organize your site by limiting the amount of information on it. No one wants to sift through dozens of pages to find one simple answer that they’re looking for. It’s up to you to provide your customers with a high-quality user experience and both subdomains and subdirectories can help do this.

To Separate Sites By Language

If you operate multiple companies in different countries around the world, you may want to use a subdomain for each language.

I gave you the Wikipedia example above, but plenty of international brands use this to improve site organization while also allowing Google to focus on the right language for your audience at the time.

When Should You Not Use a Subdomain?

If you’re using SEO as your primary way of generating traffic for your site, you might want to avoid subdomains. You want to create cohesiveness across your brand and that includes all aspects of your website.

There’s no reason you shouldn’t put keyword-rich content on sales and product pages as well. By treating your store as a separate site from your blog, Google isn’t taking that link juice and keyword richness and passing it off to your main site.

Keep in mind, Google won’t punish you for doing these things, but it will have no benefit to you either.

I think the focus should be on crafting high-quality and relevant content as your primary means of giving your site an SEO boost. You can still organize your site in a way that works well for everyone without having to use subdomains.

What Are the SEO Benefits of Using a Subdomain?

So far, we’ve talked quite a bit about why subdomains shouldn’t be a major focus for SEO but let’s discuss the reasons why they could actually be beneficial to you.

Improve the On-Site Experience

A massive UX study performed by Amazon Web Services found that 88 percent of online shoppers would not return to a site if they had a bad experience.

That’s no surprise. There are so many options to buy and read anything you want, why would you bother going back to a site that you didn’t enjoy?

Remember this, our job is to recreate the in-store experience but do so online. If you walked around a store for two hours and were unable to find what you were looking for and no one helped you, would you go back to that store?

The same rules apply online.

Boost Your Domain Authority

Domain authority is a rating that essentially states how well you’re trusted to provide what searchers are looking for. The better and older your site is, the higher rating it gets.

When a site is first created, it’s automatically given a score of 1.

If you’re publishing high-quality content, generating traffic, and keeping people on your site for a while, the score will go up. If you’re using black hat SEO techniques, your score can go down.

One great way to use subdomains to increase domain authority is by linking between the two domains.

For example, you can create a piece of content on your blog that includes links to products on your store. This type of back and forth linking looks good for SEO as long as you don’t overdo it.

According to Brian Dean, only 2.2 percent of content gets links from multiple websites, so every step you take helps.

Better Organize Your Content

I’ve talked a lot about user experience and content organization but it’s important to understand why this matters.

When your content is organized, it’s not just easier for people to find—it also makes it easier for Google to crawl your site. This can help Google find the keywords you’re trying to rank for faster, and if Google can easily navigate the site then users can as well.

Allow You to Include Relevant Keywords in Your URL

As of 2018, John Mueller said that keywords in URLs have very little to do with ranking or user experience.

Googles opinion on subdomains

In my opinion, they can very easily have a negative impact, but it’s much more difficult for them to have a positive impact.

That said, including keywords as an overarching subdomain to help organize content could positively affect your SEO. Again, it makes the site easier to crawl, but it also tells Google right away what that section of your site is about.

What Are the SEO Drawbacks of Using a Subdomain?

Here are some of the ways that subdomains can negatively impact your site.

Subdomains Can Dilute Your SEO

Here’s a great analogy for you.

You have two buckets that you’re filling with water and when one bucket is full, you get to drink from the bucket. But, you can’t have a drink until at least one bucket is completely filled.

If you’re dying of dehydration, is the best strategy to fill each bucket equally or focus on one bucket?

Having an unnecessary subdomain spreads your SEO efforts across two sites instead of focusing on one. This means it could take double the links and content to get the same results if you simply focused on one domain.

The consequences can be even worse if you have a blog on a subdomain. Companies with blogs get 97 percent more inbound links, so instead of those links benefiting your main site, they’ll only benefit your blog subdomain and leave your primary URL out to dry.

They Won’t Help With Internal Linking

Links to a subdomain are considered an external link. Anyone in SEO will tell you that internal linking is one of the most important ranking factors.

If you’re linking from a subdomain to a main page, it doesn’t count as an internal link and could possibly force Google to see your site as weak or “thin.”

A Little More Difficult for Google to Crawl

Earlier in the article, I talked about how Jon Mueller said the algorithm needs to learn to crawl subdomains separately, but that’s not something that lasts forever. Since subdomains are a separate site, you’ll need to verify them and track everything in Search Console and Analytics separately.

All of these factors combined can make it more challenging for Google to crawl the site in the beginning with hopefully a better experience on the backend.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Impact of Subdomains on SEO

What are the benefits of subdomains for SEO?

Subdomains can improve the on-site experience when used properly, boost your domain authority if you’re linking between the two sites, and can help you better organize content.

How do you set up a subdomain?

You’ll login to your cPanel, find subdomains, create a subdomain name, attach it to the primary domain, and update your DNS. Expect to wait up to 24 hours for changes to take place.

What is the difference between subdomains and subfolders?

Subdomains come before the URL while subfolders come after. Subdomains are treated as a completely different site from the primary URL while subfolders are simply new pages on the main domain.

What are the drawbacks of using a subdomain?

The main drawbacks are you’re spreading your SEO efforts across multiple websites, which makes internal linking more difficult. They can also make your site more difficult to crawl if you don’t organize everything properly.

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Conclusion: What Is a Subdomain?

Now you know what a subdomain is—so what do you plan to do now? Do you think subdomains are the right choice for your site?

While they certainly have their time and place, I’d recommend treading carefully and only using them if you absolutely have to. In terms of overall SEO ranking factors, this is pretty close to the bottom.

Instead, focus on organizing the content you have on your site, fill up your content calendar, and work towards improving your on-site SEO.

What is your opinion on subdomains? Do you think they’re good or bad for SEO?

Source: New feed 2

How to Generate More Leads Through Your Online Marketing Campaigns

How to Generate More Leads Through Your Online Marketing Campaigns

Are you happy with the number of leads your marketing campaigns are generating? Or, do you wish they were a bit more effective? 

If you’re serious about growing your business—whether it’s a B2B company, an e-commerce store, or a startup—increasing the number of leads should be a top priority. Setting up online campaigns is a good start, but it’s not enough. You need to optimize those marketing campaigns to squeeze every last lead from your funnel. 

Are you ready to get to work? Here are seven strategies to generate leads like never before.

Why Are Leads so Crucial to Business Growth?

Two of marketers’ top priorities are generating leads and converting those leads to customers. Only increasing customer satisfaction comes close to the importance of getting new leads. 

It’s no surprise that lead generation is a top priority. Without a continuous flow of new leads, sales dry up. Without sales, there’s no revenue. And without revenue, your business folds. 

What’s more, most people who land on your site won’t purchase right away. You need to constantly collect leads so you can nurture them and convert them into buyers in the future. 

Not just any leads will do, however. Referrals, conferences, and cold calling are all great lead generation strategies, but they aren’t enough. You also need to learn how to generate more leads from your online campaigns. 

Why are advertising leads better? Using targeting you can gather better leads faster and even automate parts of the process. How do you make sure your ads are driving quality leads? 

How to Generate Leads Online: 7 Strategies to Drive More Leads

If you aren’t sure how to create a lead generation campaign, I have previous articles to walk you through the process. What I’m going to do is show you how to generate leads online by improving your existing ad campaigns. 

Optimize Your Landing Page 

Your landing page (or squeeze page) is one of the most important elements of your online lead generation campaign. The goal is to leave the visitor with no choice but to hand over information in exchange for something valuable.  

Landing pages convert better than most other ads or offers. The average conversion rate is 2.35 percent, but some have conversion rates in excess of 10 percent. If your landing page’s conversion rate isn’t pushing double digits, you should look to optimize one or more elements ASAP.

I recommend looking at your page’s copy, including its headline, first. Make sure your copy is short, sharp, and engaging. Users need to understand exactly what your product is and how it helps them within a few seconds of landing on your site. Make sure you focus on the benefits of your product to the user, not its features. 

Spend more time tweaking and testing your headline than anything else. This will be the first thing a user reads and one of the biggest deciding factors in whether they continue browsing the rest of the page. 

You can speed up a user’s understanding of your product by including a video on your landing page. A good chunk of your audience would rather watch a video than read your copy, which is why 76 percent of sales teams say video is key to securing more deals. 

Finally, remove all distractions from your page. The layout should be as simple as possible and there’s no need for a navigation bar or links to any other pages on your site. This leaves the user with two options: close their browser window or sign up. 

ConvertKit’s Creator Pass is a fantastic example of how to create a great landing page. There’s no headline navigation, the headline copy offers a clear benefit, and there’s an enticing call to action right in front of you.

How to Generate More Leads - Optimize Your Landing Page Like ConverKit

Offer Real Value

Arguably the most important part of your landing page isn’t the copy, image, or CTA. It’s the piece of content, tool, or resource you offer in return for each lead’s email address.

For most brands, gated content takes the form of a PDF download, something like an ebook or a whitepaper. But it doesn’t have to be. Case studies, surveys, webinars, and video series are all excellent types of gated content. 

Whatever form your gated content takes, it must deliver tremendous value. Otherwise leads will leave your funnel as quickly as they entered. How do you deliver value? By solving a problem your leads have. What are their pain points? Where do they get stuck? What expertise can you leverage to make their lives a little bit easier? 

Delivering value also means presenting gated content in the best way possible. Make it visually appealing, with images, videos, and other forms of multimedia content. The nicer it is for your leads to consume, the more they’ll engage with it.

Here’s an example of a non-ebook lead magnet from Leadpages: 

They know their leads often struggle to create high converting pages, so they created a training course to solve that issue. 

Use Automation to Nurture Leads

Collecting leads is just the first step of the process; you also need to nurture them. Only two percent of sales are made at first contact, yet most salespeople give up after the first attempt. If you automate the follow-up process, you don’t have to worry about a thing. 

I recommend using email to nurture when possible. It is a great way to drip feed messages to your leads, it also generates massive ROI. According to research by the Direct Marketing Association, the ROI of email marketing is £42 for every £1 spent

If you don’t have an email automation platform yet, check out my review of the best solutions. Then integrate your landing page’s form so every email is automatically added to your mailing list. 

Next, create an automated series of emails that is sent out at regular intervals. Your goal is to take leads through each stage of the buying process—and that means providing them with the right educational content at the right time. Start by educating them about your wider industry and their general problems. A couple of emails later, you can start to focus on your product and service and how you can help. 

The more emails you send, the more you can make your product the hero of the email, and the more direct you can be with the lead. 

Use Chatbots to Turn Conversations Into High-Quality Leads

Your salespeople aren’t the only ones who can nurture leads. Chatbots can automate almost every part of the lead generation process. They’re incredibly effective at it, too. Over half of businesses that use AI-powered chatbots generate better quality leads. 

Start by replacing forms on your landing page with a chatbot. Forms can be long-winded and rarely offer a great user experience. Chatbots make it easier for prospects to fill out their details. In some cases, users may not even be aware they’re filling out a lead form. 

You can also use chatbots to respond to leads at lightning speed. Response time matters in lead generation. A study by Harvard Business Review shows businesses that respond to leads in under five minutes are 100 times more likely to convert them. With chatbots, you can automate the response process and send a message as soon as a lead fills out a form. 

Finally, use chatbots to nurture and qualify leads. Chatbots can ask the same qualifying question as your salespeople to separate the wheat from the chaff. The best can be sent directly to sales, while everyone else is added to a nurturing sequence. 

Drift’s chatbot is an excellent example of this. It asks a qualifying question as soon as someone lands on the site, putting them straight through to a sales rep if they’re ready.

How to Generate More Leads - Use Chatbots Like Drift

Use Multi-Platform Campaigns

How many platforms are you using to advertise your landing page and gated content? You probably aren’t using enough.

Today’s customer journey is long. Most don’t convert to customers the first time they land on your site. The majority probably won’t sign up on your landing page, either. A recent Google study found it takes between 20 and 500 touchpoints to become a customer. 

The solution is a multi-touch campaign, where your message is delivered in multiple formats across multiple channels.  

Advertising on a range of channels maximizes the chances that potential customers will see and click your ad. It’s a numbers game at the end of the day. The more shots you take, the more chances you have to score. 

Leverage Personalization

If you want an easy way to increase conversion rates at every stage of your online lead generation campaign, try personalization. In a survey of B2B sales and marketing professionals, over three-quarters (77 percent) said personalization made for better customer relationships, and over half (55 percent) said personalization led to higher sales conversions. 

How can you add personalization into your funnels to generate leads? 

Start by personalizing your ads. While Apple may have made creating hyper-personalized ads a lot harder, Google still makes it relatively easy to personalize paid search ads with dynamic ads. 

Next, personalize your landing page, particularly the call to action. Research shows personalized CTAs achieve 202 percent better conversions. Marketing tools like HubSpot and Unbounce can help you create dynamic CTAs that change depending on who views them. But you could also go old school and create several different versions of your page for each ad group and personalize the copy accordingly. 

Finally, build personalization into your email automation tool. Every major email marketing tool makes it easy to automatically insert the recipient’s name into the subject line and body copy, so there’s absolutely no excuse not to personalize your nurturing emails. 

Target Your Ads Carefully

There’s no point wasting resources nurturing leads who will never buy your product. That’s why you need to target your lead generation ads carefully. 

I’ve written extensively about how to find your target audience and identify target markets for paid campaigns, so I’m not going to cover old ground here.  

I will say it’s important not to be too hasty when judging the performance of your landing page ads. When pruning and optimizing ad campaigns, don’t just judge performance based on how many people they send to your landing page that sign up. That’s a good measure, but it’s not as important as how many people actually convert into customers. 

Think about it. One ad campaign could have a ridiculously high signup conversion rate of 20 percent. But if only a tiny fraction of those people make a purchase, it’s not a particularly effective ad. An ad campaign with a much lower signup conversion rate could be far more effective at generating high-quality leads.

Of course, this means you’re going to have to wait longer to collect relevant data. But the end result should be a much more targeted and effective ad campaign. 

The best way to target ads effectively? Target keywords with higher buyer intent. These are search terms that indicate the user is closer to conversion. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Generating More Leads

How do you build a lead generation campaign?

Start by having an objective and defining your target audience. Create a valuable piece of gated content and drive traffic to it using paid ads. Collect emails and then use email to nurture those leads. 

What is an example of a lead generation marketing campaign?

A gated whitepaper is an example of a lead generation marketing campaign. Webinars can also be used as a lead generation marketing campaign to acquire leads and nurture them using video

How do I optimize my lead generation campaign?

There are several strategies to optimize lead generation campaigns. Improve your landing page copy, put your emails on autopilot, use chatbots to speed up response time, and personalize messaging. 

Where should I advertise for my lead gen campaign?

Social media platforms are one of the most cost-effective places to advertise your lead generation campaign. But the important thing is to advertise wherever your target audience hangs out online.

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Conclusion: Generate More Leads to Improve Marketing ROI

Improving your online marketing campaigns and optimizing how you generate leads are the keys to growing your business. But you don’t have to use all of the strategies I’ve listed all at once. 

Optimizing your campaigns should be an ongoing endeavor, so pick one or two of these strategies to implement at a time. Pretty soon you’ll send your ROI skyrocketing. 


Now you know how to generate leads online, which strategy will you start with first?

Source: New feed 2

Introducing NPD Canada

neil patel canada

As my enterprise-level agency, NP Digital, has grown, we’ve been able to expand across the globe. We’ve opened agencies in Brazil, the UK, Australia, India, and now: Canada! That’s right: we have opened a full-service digital marketing agency in Canada. 

And to kick things off with a bang, I’ll be heading to Canada to present at the Collision Conference. I’m so excited to talk about what I’ve learned you can do to ace your digital strategy in the years to come. 

It’s not just me who will be there: Ronnie Malewski, managing director of NPD Canada, as well as Ryan Douglas, VP of Strategy & Performance, will also be teaching a master class on CRO called “What Optimizing 500+ Sites Has Taught Us.”  

Why Did We Choose Canada as Our New NPD International Location?

It’s no secret that international expansion has been a big focus for us for awhile now. So why Canada? And why now? 

Well, this year, for the first time, digital ad spending will be more than double traditional ad spending, accounting for 68.3% of the total ad market in Canada–and that number is expected to reach 15.4 billion by 2024

Since Canada is expected to become one of the world’s fastest growing markets this year in terms of ad spending, it only made sense for us to bring our expertise there meet the demands of the market.

Services Offered by NPDC

NPD Canada is a full-service digital marketing agency, focusing on strategies and solutions that accelerate growth for your brand. 

Our primary areas of focus are: 

Digital Intelligence:

  • strategy and planning
  • customer journey mapping
  • data analytics and insights
  • dashboard development
  • email marketing automation
  • conversion rate optimization

Earned Media

Our team excels in delivering across the full spectrum of earned media specializing in:

  • Technical SEO
  • On-Site Optimization
  • Content ideation
  • Content creation
  • Link Building
  • Digital PR
  • Implementation

Paid Media:

Our team of specialists can help take your performance media strategy to the next level across a wide array of channels

  • Search (Google ads, Microsoft Ads)
  • Social (Meta, LinkedIn, TikTok, Snap, Pinterest, Etc)
  • Programmatic Display & Video
  • Ecommerce (Google Shopping, Amazon, Marketplaces)

Tools and Tech:

We have access to the latest tools and technologies that give us the data and UX features you need to grow your brand.

Client Services:

Our client services ensure the cross-channel collaboration you need to drive customer success.

Why Choose NPD Canada? 

So, why should you choose to work with us? 

First, we are bringing serious talent to the table.

Ronnie Malewski, Managing Director, has more than 16 years of experience in digital marketing. In that time, he’s helped both SMB and enterprise brands grow their businesses. He’s worked with major brands like Adidas, Loblaws, and Microsoft. We’re lucky Ronnie is able to bring his years of proven success in the digital marketing space to provide strategic oversight to the clients of NPD Canada.

Other key players include:

  • Ryan Douglas, VP of Strategy and Performance: Ryan has over a decade of experience driving strategy and media activation for SMB and enterprise brands. He is a subject matter expert in SEM, SEO, display, video, social media, and email. Ryan brings years of experience driving holistic media strategies proven to deliver meaningful business results.
  • Nikki Lamb, SEO Director: Nikki has years of experience in SEO analytics and has excelled in working across channels to ensure consistency, drive innovation, and maintain operational excellence.
  • D Doan, Director of Data Analytics: D’s team develops advanced analytics strategies for some of the world’s most recognizable brands.

Our talent isn’t the only reason to choose NPD Canada for your digital marketing partner.

In a matter of three months we’ve already onboarded seven clients and are growing so quickly we’re hiring at a rapid pace

A few other things that make NPD Canada great:

  • We’re minority founded and minority owned.
  • We’re supported by NPD U.S., meaning we have access to even more of the brightest minds in digital marketing across multiple service areas.
  • Our agencies have won over ten awards, we have 500 clients globally, and over 600 employees worldwide. 

Are you ready to take your business to the next level by partnering with NPD Canada? Let’s talk. 

Source: New feed 2

15 Market Research Tools That Will Help You Uncover Incredible Insights

15 Market Research Tools That Will Help You Uncover Incredible Insights

In a world of increasing competition, understanding your target market is vital.

Conducting thorough research of past, current, and prospective customers helps you uncover insights to improve your product or create more effective marketing messages.

Those insights don’t have to be hard-won, either. Thanks to new tools and data sources, businesses no longer have to rely on traditional methods like surveys and focus groups.

Ready to learn what your audience really wants? These are the 15 best market research tools to use.

Benefits of Leveraging Marketing Research

There’s a reason the global revenue of the market research industry has more than doubled since 2008 and is now valued in excess of $76.5 billion. It comes with a heap of benefits. Any business wanting to improve their product or launch a new marketing campaign will be at a significant disadvantage without it.

Market research keeps your target audience at the center of every decision. By understanding their needs and desires, you can tailor everything from your product to your marketing to your customer. In doing so, you’ll reduce the number of bad customer experiences—one or two of which are enough to make 66 percent of customers switch to a competitor.

Market research tools can also help you discover new business opportunities and threats. New markets become obvious when speaking to customers and understanding their behavior. So, too, do competitors and external threats that could threaten your business if you don’t act.

Ultimately, using market research will give you a huge competitive advantage. That’s because of the benefits above and because less than 40 percent of marketers are using consumer research to drive decisions.

How to Use Marketing Research Data in Your Marketing

You can leverage market research data in several ways, but using it to inform and optimize your marketing strategy, from campaign creation to execution, is one of the most powerful.

For instance, market research can ensure your new product launch goes off without a hitch. Almost half of all product launches are delayed, and 20 percent fail to meet targets. By understanding exactly what customers want, a successful product launch simply becomes a case of delivering it.

Market research can also help you focus your marketing efforts on areas where you have a competitive advantage. By understanding what customers are really searching for, you could identify untapped markets with very little competition in terms of paid ads or SEO. Focusing your efforts here, rather than on saturated verticals, will send your ROI soaring.

Finally, you can use market research data to optimize your marketing efforts after launch. Analyzing social media and other types of user engagement data can highlight how effective each message is so you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

5 Best Free Marketing Research Tools

You don’t have to spend a dime to get the benefits of marketing research. There are plenty of free market research tools out there. I’ve highlighted five of my favorites below.

1. Google Trends

The Best Free Marketing Research Tools - Google Trends

Google Trends shows you what people are searching for on Google. It was introduced in 2006 and tracks the popularity of topics over time by location. You can see exactly how popular searches are for Taylor Swift in the U.S. this year. Or how searches for Brexit have declined in the U.K. since 2019.

At the time of writing, Google processes 102,000 searches every second. That’s 88 billion searches every day, making it the largest and most valuable search data source in existence. Google Trends gives you access to that data in a categorized and aggregated way.

Enter a trend and Google will show you how trendy that term is with a line graph and give you a score out of 100. You can also compare different terms.

Pros

  • easy to use
  • visually appealing
  • huge amount of data

Cons

  • doesn’t show the exact search volume
  • related topics aren’t always relevant

Price

Free.

2. Facebook Page Insights

The Best Free Marketing Research Tools - Facebook Page Insights

Facebook Page Insights is a fantastic and free market research if you use Facebook to market your business. If you don’t use Facebook for marketing yet, you probably should. With 2.9 billion monthly active users, it’s one of the best social media platforms for marketing.

The tool provides insights into your audience, post performance, and the health of your pages. You can use the tool to see who likes your page and why, which posts get the most engagement, and learn how to increase the reach of your content.

If you’re struggling to get started, Facebook offers two courses: one on how to generate insights and make data-driven recommendations and one on how to make the most of marketing insights.

Pros

  • unparalleled insight into your Facebook audience
  • easy to use
  • courses available

Cons

  • limited to your Facebook pages
  • not as comprehensive as it once was

Price

Free.

3. Think With Google

The Best Free Marketing Research Tools - ThinkWithGoogle

Think With Google is one of the search giant’s lesser-known tools, but that doesn’t make it any less powerful. It’s a free-to-use resource library of facts and figures based on Google’s own data and other research that can supercharge your marketing efforts.

If you want a broad understanding of what’s going on in the world, Think With Google is a great starting point. Search the platform, and you can uncover marketing trends, understand the latest consumer behavior and find the insights you need to drive your marketing strategy.

The site is split into four areas (Consumer Insights, Marketing Strategies, Future of Marketing, and Tools) which you can use to find the insights you’re looking for.

Pros

  • huge resource of statistics and studies
  • easy to use
  • great for marketing research

Cons

  • limited to marketing studies

Price

Free.

4. Living Facts

The Best Free Marketing Research Tools - Living Facts

As part of the Pew Research Center, LivingFacts provides a free overview of how Americans live today. It’s bursting with research, statistics, infographics, and videos that can help you understand the opinions of your U.S. customers on everything from religion and work to health and family.

The site gets its data from several sources, including the Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel, the U.S. Census Bureau, and other reputable organizations. If that wasn’t reassuring enough, you should know the Pew Research Center has over 160 staff members and 11 different research teams. In other words, you can trust the data on LivingFacts.

Pros

  • great for understanding U.S. demographics
  • huge amount of free information
  • understand your target audience across multiple topics

Cons

  • limited to the U.S.
  • research can be too basic for some

Price

Free.

5. U.S. Census Bureau

The Best Free Marketing Research Tools - US Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau website lets you search U.S. census data for free. The Bureau of the Census conducts over 130 surveys a year (which are used to allocate billions of dollars in federal funds), making it an in-depth source of reliable data.

You can filter by several variables, including age, location, and income. It also provides visualization of some data sets. One interesting way to use this data set is to filter the results using your business’ NAICS code to see where and with whom your industry is most popular. This is a great way to discover new target markets.

Pros

  • one of the biggest demographic resources online
  • easy to search through reports

Cons

  • limited to the U.S.
  • older census reports can become outdated quickly

Price

Free.

10 Best Paid Marketing Research Tools

Free market research tools are a great way to dip your toes into the industry. However, there will always be limitations when you don’t pay for the data. If you’re serious about market research, you’re going to want to pay for premium access. These are the best paid market research tools to use.

1. SurveyMonkey

survey monkey best market research tools

So far, we’ve only discussed secondary data sources. If you want to collect your own market research data, polls and surveys are one of the best methods. SurveyMonkey is one of the best and most popular tools to use, with over 20 million questions answered using the platform each day.

The company’s enterprise-grade platform makes it easy to create, send out, and analyze surveys. Surveys can be sent via a link, email, social media, or embedded into a web page. You can browse through individual responses or use the tool’s custom reports and charts to visualize data.

Pros

  • easy to use
  • good template selection
  • great free plan

Cons

  • analytics could be improved
  • lack of customer support

Price

Basic plan is free. Standard plan costs $99 per month.

2. Statista

The Best Paid Marketing Research Tools - Statista

Statista is a hub of visual data, market research reports, and statistics. It collates data from several reputable sources, turning most of them into graphs and charts that are easy to digest. Because Statista’s data is continually updated, you can keep coming back to the same chart year after year to see how trends are changing.

The site has data on almost any topic you can imagine, making it a great way to discover consumer behavior and market trends, no matter your business.

Getting started with Statista is as easy as searching for a particular topic. The site’s search functionality is excellent and will return hundreds of reports and dashboards that you can use to influence or support your marketing efforts.

Pros

  • one of the best statistical resources online
  • great UX
  • easy to search for data

Cons

  • free plan is limited
  • visuals aren’t the best

Price

Basic account is free. Premium account costs $59 per month.

3. Typeform

The Best Paid Marketing Research Tools - Typeform

Typeform is another survey-based market research tool and an alternative to SurveyMonkey. It benefits from a more user-friendly design with a bunch of pre-made templates, making it easy to create forms and online surveys that you can send to customers. Typeform drives more than 500 million digital interactions every year and integrates with hundreds of other apps.

You can format questions in multiple ways, including multiple-choice, scale ratings, and open-ended answers—perfect for collecting quantitative and qualitative data. You can even use conditional logic to change the structure of your survey based on a respondent’s answers.

The respondent experience is also different. Unlike other survey tools, respondents are only shown a single question at a time. This makes for a more user-friendly and less intimidating experience that can increase the number of responses.

Pros

  • easy to use
  • respondent-friendly
  • strong data visualization
  • mobile-optimized

Cons

  • lack of customer support
  • data reporting isn’t amazing

Price

Limited free plan available. Premium plans start from $25 per month billed annually.

4. ??Buzzsumo

The Best Paid Marketing Research Tools - Buzzsumo

Think of Buzzsumo as the content marketing and social media market research tool. It analyzes over 8 billion articles and 300 trillion social engagements, so you can see which topics or types of content receive the most engagement, what’s getting shared on social media, and find influencers who can help increase the reach of your content.

This makes Buzzsumo an incredibly effective market research tool for any marketer looking to put together a content marketing strategy. There’s no need to second guess what’s going to rank well and receive engagement when you can use Buzzsumo to see what’s getting traction at the moment.

There are several ways you can use Buzzsumo. The easiest way is to use the tool’s Content Analyzer to search for a topic and see which articles have the most engagement. You can also set up alerts to monitor mentions of a particular optic or keywords.

Pros

  • accurate social share counts
  • great for competitor research

Cons

  • doesn’t include every social media channel
  • filtering could be better

Price

Free plan available. Premium plans start from $99 per month.

5. Qualtrics

The Best Paid Marketing Research Tools - Qualtrics

Qualtrics is an all-in-one market research tool. From creating advanced surveys to segmenting markets and analyzing data, Qualtrics does it all. Create your own survey to gather data or upload an existing data set and Qualtrics will run statistical tests and apply visualizations to help you gather insights.

There’s no need to spend time finding respondents for your surveys, either. You can use the platform to find a representative sample of your target audience and have them fill in your survey.

There’s even on-demand training to help you get the most from the platform.

Pros

  • easy to build surveys
  • excellent data reporting

Cons

  • software has a steep learning curve
  • limited customization of surveys

Price

Plans start from $1500 per annum.

6. Qualaroo

The Best Paid Marketing Research Tools - Qualaroo

Qualaroo is an advanced customer survey tool that helps you ask the right questions at the right times. What separates Qualaroo from other survey tools is that you can embed surveys into your site, allowing you to catch users in real-time, with context. That makes their responses significantly more valuable and insightful.

Creating surveys is easy thanks to a wide range of templates and customization options. Analyzing and reporting results is also a breeze thanks to the platform’s AI-powered analytics tool. There are also tons of other features like dozens of answer types, branching questions, and automatic language translation.

Pros

  • easy to create and deploy surveys
  • analytics reduces reporting time
  • easy to learn

Cons

  • pre-built templates can be generic
  • dashboards could be improved

Price

Plans start from $80 per month.

7. BrandMentions

The Best Paid Marketing Research Tools - BrandMentions

BrandMentions is another social media monitoring platform similar to Buzzsumo but with a greater emphasis on social media. It estimates it currently analyzes billions of social media mentions for over 10,000 companies.

You can use the tool to quickly understand social media users’ opinions on practically any topic. Simply search for a keyword, and BrandMentions will display the most recent social posts as well as the context in which it was used. So not only do you see what people are saying, you understand the broader sentiment around the topic.

The tool also shows a range of other metrics, including how many people view the topic each day, how many people engage with the topic, and which days the topic trends on.

Pros

  • great for social media research
  • can also be used for brand monitoring
  • intuitive UX

Cons

  • can be time-consuming to automate reports
  • only analyzes social media data

Price

Plans start from $99 per month.

8. Gartner

The Best Paid Marketing Research Tools - Gartner

Global research and advisory firm Gartner is a heavyweight when it comes to market research. The company has three core services (trusted insights, strategic advice, and practical tools). We’re only going to focus on its trusted insights offering here.

Trusted insights offer an incredible amount of detailed, verified, and peer-driven research. It’s a fantastic way to identify trends in your industry, spot gaps in the market, and discover other insights to power your business.

These reports are at another level compared to other research teams. Gartner boasts over 2,000 research experts and several proprietary research methodologies to deliver objective and unmatched insights.

Pros

  • unmatched insights
  • unbiased data

Cons

  • very expensive

Price

Plans start at $30,000.

9. Tableau

The Best Paid Marketing Research Tools - Tableau

Tableau is a business intelligence suite centered around data visualization. You can connect to almost any data source and Tableau will transform that data into beautiful visual reports that make it easy to analyze and share with stakeholders.

You don’t need to know any code to use Tableau, and the tool makes it easy to be as broad or granular as you like with data analysis. Import data from tons of different data sources, like PDFs, spreadsheets, and Google Analytics.

Tableau is a trusted market research tool for some of the country’s biggest companies, including Verizon, Lenovo, and Charles Schwab.

Pros

  • best visual data reporting tool
  • acts as a central repository for data
  • analyzing data is easy

Cons

  • can be slow to upload large data sources
  • requires you to source your own data

Price

Tableau Explorer starts at $42.

10. Ubersuggest

The Best Paid Marketing Research Tools - Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is one of the best tools for doing SEO and PPC-focused market research. Put a phrase into the search bar and it will provide you with a list of other relevant keywords people are searching for, along with search volume and a difficulty score. You can also enter your own domain or that of a competitor to identify areas for improvement.

It’s a great tool for identifying the size of a potential market, how competitive that market is and what chance you have of ranking in it. You can also use it to get the low-down on a competitor and find out which audiences they’re targeting.

Pros

  • great UX
  • one of the best market research tools for digital marketing
  • wide range of affordable plans

Cons

  • limited to SEO and PPC data

Price

Plans start at $29 per month or $290 for lifetime access.

Market Research Tools Frequently Asked Questions

What are the primary market research techniques?

There are five main techniques for conducting primary research: surveys, one-on-one interviews, observational studies, focus groups, and field trials.

The best insight from market research is the discovery of a relevant and actionable insight about your target market you can use to improve your offering or influence your marketing efforts.

Are market research tools worth the cost?

If you are on a budget, there are plenty of free market research tools available. However, the best market research tools cost money and provide access to more data and additional capabilities that can increase the effectiveness of your market research.

Why is it important to do market research?

Market research uncovers important information about your business and target market that can highlight opportunities for your business that would otherwise be missed.

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Conclusion: Market Research Tools

Market research tools are an invaluable way to find out exactly what your target audience is thinking. Whether you use free market research tools or paid market research tools, you can uncover plenty of insights that can have a transformative effect on your business.

Stop making uninformed decisions and start taking time to understand your customers and use that information to inform your marketing strategy.

What are your favorite market research tools?

Source: New feed 2

Mastering Google Reviews For Business: Everything You Need to Know to Grow Your Brand

As a business owner, you know that online reviews are essential, and they can make or break your business.

In fact, 89 percent of worldwide consumers say they read online reviews before buying products, and 49 percent report trusting those reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

Good reviews can help you attract new customers, while bad reviews can deter potential customers from doing business with you.

That’s why it’s crucial to learn everything you can about Google reviews and how to use them to your advantage.

In this blog post, we’ll show you everything you need to know about Google reviews and ratings, including how to get more reviews, how to respond to negative reviews, and how to use Google My Business to your advantage.

What Are Google Reviews?

Google reviews are public comments and ratings left by customers about your business.

Customers can review businesses on Google Search, Maps, and Local Finder. These reviews are essential because they help potential customers learn more about your business before they decide to patronize it.

example of 5 star google reviews for business on website agency profile

Google reviews can be up to 4,000 characters and include a small writeup and rating from 1 star (lowest) to 5 stars (highest).

It probably doesn’t surprise you that Google is the most popular online review platform, with more than 59 percent of consumers using it.

Why Do Google Reviews Matter for Your Business?

Google reviews for business are critical because they can improve your business’s visibility and click-through rate (CTR) on Google Search and Maps.

A higher CTR means that more people see and click your listing in search results, leading to more customers.

In addition, Google reviews and ratings act as social proof. They show potential customers that other people have had positive experiences with your business, making them more likely to shop with you.

Google reviews for business are also one of the many factors that search engines consider when determining local SEO rankings.

This means that if you can get more positive Google reviews, you may be able to improve your position in local search results. In other words, Google reviews have the potential to bring you more customers and help you grow your business.

pie chart showing high google ratings have positive impact on purchasing decisions

Asking for Google Reviews: How to Get Customers to Leave Google Reviews and Ratings

According to BrightLocal, 67 percent of consumers are willing to leave a review for a positive experience, and 40 percent consider leaving a review for a negative experience.

However, just because a customer is willing to leave a review doesn’t mean they will. If you want to increase the number of Google reviews left for your business, you need to make it easy and convenient for customers to leave them.

The best way to do this is by asking your customers directly. Consider including your Google My Business review link in:

  • email signatures
  • post-purchase confirmation emails
  • physical receipts
  • thank-you cards or notes

When asking customers to leave a review, make sure to:

  • Personalize the request: Address them by name and mention their recent purchase or experience.
  • Keep it short and sweet: Customers are more likely to leave a review if the request is simple and to the point.
  • Include a link to your Google My Business listing: Make it easy for customers to leave a review by including a direct link.
  • Send a prompt: Try sending a short prompt for the review you’d like them to leave. This gives reviewers a starting point and can make sending the review a little easier. For example, “My favorite thing about <company> is….”

NOTE: Most review sites, including Google, do not permit businesses to offer something in exchange for a review. Instead, focus on making it as easy as possible for them to leave their review.

Remember, the best Google reviewers have had a recent, positive experience with your business and are likely to leave a detailed review.

By following these tips, you can get more Google reviews for business and start building your online credibility.

Tips for Responding to Google Reviews

Responding to Google reviews is just as important as getting them in the first place.

When you take the time to respond, you show potential customers that you value their feedback—good or bad. You also have a chance to give your side of the story if a customer leaves a negative review.

Once you start gathering reviews, take the time to respond to positive and negative feedback.

While positive reviews are great for boosting morale, responding to negative reviews is essential for maintaining your business’s reputation.

ReviewTrackers found that more than half of customers expect a business to respond to negative reviews within a week. Yet, 63 percent reported never hearing back from a company about their review!

In addition, research from BrightLocal found that 89 percent of consumers would continue to frequent a business that responds to all of its online reviews.

Tips for Responding to Negative Google Reviews

Follow these steps to help turn a negative review into a positive interaction:

  1. Thank the customer for their feedback and apologize for their poor experience.
  2. Acknowledge the issue they raised and offer a solution.
  3. If appropriate, invite the customer to reach out to you directly so you can resolve the issue offline.
  4. Once they reach out, consider offering them a discount or coupon to incentivize them to return (and hopefully leave a nicer review.)
Google Reviews for Business - Tips for Responding to Negative Google Reviews

Tips for Responding to Positive Google Reviews

Here’s how you can reply to a positive Google review to create a lifetime customer:

  1. Thank the customer for their feedback and let them know you appreciate their support.
  2. If appropriate, invite the customer to reach out to you directly so you can thank them personally
  3. Personalize your response so they feel seen by your business.
example of business responding to positive Google review by thanking them

The most important thing to remember when responding to Google reviews is to be responsive, professional, and courteous. By doing so, you’ll show other potential customers that you care about your business and are committed to providing the best experience possible.

How to Leverage Google Reviews for Your Business

Google reviews for business are more than a way to get feedback from customers—they’re also a powerful marketing tool.

Here are five tips for leveraging Google reviews to improve your business.

1. Showcase Reviews on Your Website

Once you have a collection of Google reviews for business on your Google My Business page, you can showcase them on your website using a widget. This gives potential customers an easy way to see what others think of your business before they decide to make a purchase.

Different widgets are available depending on the content management system (CMS) you’re using. Be sure to choose one that’s compatible with your website platform and fits the style of your site.

If you’re not sure how to add a widget to your website, most providers offer instructions or customer support that can help you.

Some popular Google reviews for business widgets include:

2. Use Positive Reviews to Reduce Abandoned Carts

If customers see that other people have had a positive experience with your brand, they’re more likely to complete a purchase.

One of the easiest ways to increase customer confidence is by adding testimonials and product reviews to your checkout process.

A detailed review can help you reduce abandoned carts by:

  • helping customers with specific problems
  • building trust, which is important for potential buyers
  • reducing any friction during the checkout process

When adding reviews to product pages or checkout flows, make sure they’re specific and highlight the features that are most important to your customers.

For example, if you sell headphones, a customer might be looking for reviews that address sound quality, battery life, or comfort.

If you’re not sure which reviews to showcase, start with your most recent ones or those from customers who have made similar purchases in the past.

In fact, online flower delivery service Flowers.ie saw a 37 percent increase in purchases on products that showcased reviews.

table showing increase in conversions for online flower delivery service using google reviews for business

You can also use Google reviews and ratings to collect feedback about your business, product, or service. Use this valuable customer feedback to improve your business.

For example, if you see that customers are mentioning a problem with your checkout process, you can take steps to fix that pain point.

3. Update Reviews Regularly

Not only do customers want to see that you have reviews, but they also want to see that you’re actively collecting them. Would you rather shop at a company that hasn’t gotten a review in the past six months, or one that gets them regularly?

If it’s been a few months since your last review, reach out to some of your recent customers and ask them for feedback. You can always offer an incentive for leaving a review, like a discount on their next purchase.

PhysioRoom.com increased its review collection by 1,900 percent, which improved its monthly B2B sales by 8 percent.

online google reviews for business for physiotherapy b2b seller

Here are a few ways to collect new reviews:

  • Ask customers for reviews in confirmation emails.
  • Post signs in your store or office promoting reviews.
  • Include review requests in product boxes or packaging.

4. Leverage Best Reviews in Retargeting Campaigns

Did you know retargeted display ads convert almost as much as high-intent search ads (and sometimes more in certain industries)? That’s because you’re targeting people who are already interested in what you have to say.

One way to make your retargeted ads even more effective is to include customer reviews. This social proof will remind potential customers why they were interested in your product or service in the first place– and it could be the push they need to convert.

For example, if you’re selling a new type of toothbrush that’s gentle on sensitive gums, you could include a review in your retargeted ad that says, “I learned to love brushing my teeth again!” or, “I don’t have to dread going to the dentist anymore.”

Similarly, if you’re an accountant, you could include a review that says, “I have so much more time to dedicate to running my business now.”

Here’s an example from TaxSlayer whose featured reviews brought in a whopping 60 percent increase in CTRs.

example of ad from taxslayer showing positive google review for business

Including customer reviews in your retargeted ads is an easy way to show social proof and improve your click-through rate. When done right, can be a powerful way to increase conversions.

Take the time to read through your reviews and find the ones that would be most impactful for your target audience. Then, start testing different review placements in your ads until you find what works best for your business.

5. Choose Reviews That Elicit Emotion

Think about some of the recent reviews you’ve read online. What really stood out to you?

It likely wasn’t the two-line review about the product working as expected. Instead, it was probably the review that made you feel something. Maybe it was funny, maybe it was weird, but whatever it was, it made an impression.

The same principle applies when choosing which reviews to showcase in your marketing strategy. Look for ones that evoke an emotional response from your target audience. For example, if you’re focusing on new parents, look for reviews that mention how your product has made their lives easier.

On the other hand, if you’re targeting millennials, you might look for reviews that are funny or quirky.

No matter who your target audience is, make sure you’re choosing reviews that will resonate with them on an emotional level. The bigger the impact you can make, the more likely you are to convert prospects into customers.

Here’s an example from G-Form, an athletic equipment company that isn’t afraid to flex its funny bone.

g-form using humorous google review for business in email campaign

Google Reviews for Business Frequently Asked Questions

Are Google reviews fake?

Generally no. Google states it has a zero-tolerance policy for fake reviews. However, BrightLocal found that 62 percent of consumers believe they have seen a fake review in the last year. If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of a review, check the username and avatar of the reviewer to see if anything is suspicious. You can also look at previous reviews the reviewer has made.

Pay attention to the date, time, and location of past reviews. If you see a reviewer has left reviews in cities across the world in a matter of days, that’s a red flag. If the reviewer has never left another review, that’s also something to take note of. If you believe a review is fake and in violation of Google’s policies, you can request a removal from Google.

Can Google reviews be removed?

In some cases, yes. Google has a request removal system. However, the company is very clear that decisions to remove (or not remove) a review is final. In most cases, Google will only remove reviews that are in violation of their policies. These include reviews that contain profanity or sexually explicit language, reviews that promote illegal activity, reviews that are off-topic, and spam.

Should I respond to negative Google reviews?

Yes, responding to Google reviews is a critical part of managing your online reputation. By responding to negative reviews, you can turn a bad situation into a positive one. When responding to negative reviews, always be professional and courteous. Never leave a response that is derogatory or inflammatory.

How many Google reviews should I try to get?

As many legitimate reviews as possible. Generally, the more Google reviews for a business you have, the better. Having more reviews will protect your Google My Business rating if you do get a negative review. A good rule of thumb is to try to get at least 50 Google reviews.

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Generally no. Google states it has a zero-tolerance policy for fake reviews. However, BrightLocal found that 62 percent of consumers believe they have seen a fake review in the last year. If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of a review, check the username and avatar of the reviewer to see if anything is suspicious. You can also look at previous reviews the reviewer has made.

Pay attention to the date, time, and location of past reviews. If you see a reviewer has left reviews in cities across the world in a matter of days, that’s a red flag. If the reviewer has never left another review, that’s also something to take note of. If you believe a review is fake and in violation of Google’s policies, you can request a removal from Google.


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Conclusion: Google Reviews for Business

Google reviews for business are a powerful way to build trust and credibility with potential customers.

Reviews show customers that your business is reputable. They can also highlight your company’s best assets and show your customer service commitment.

By following Google’s review policies, you can build a strong list of reviews that will benefit your business. Plus, by responding to negative reviews in a professional manner, you can turn a bad situation into a positive one.

Do you feel Google reviews have an impact on your business?

Source: New feed 2

How to Use Customer Segmentation to Improve the Performance of Your Marketing Campaigns

How to Use Customer Segmentation to Improve the Performance of Your Marketing Campaigns

Your audience wants personalized marketing from your business.

In fact, they expect it. According to research, 71 percent of customers expect businesses to send them personalized marketing messages, and 76 percent are disappointed when they receive generic communications instead.

The challenge? If you don’t know your audience, you can’t send them personalized content. You don’t know what matters to them, so you can’t reach them on the right level.

If this dilemma sounds familiar, don’t worry. I have a solution for you, and it’s called customer segmentation. Customer segmentation helps you understand your audience so you can target your marketing campaigns with greater precision. Let me show you how it works.

What Is Customer Segmentation?

Customer segmentation means dividing customers into groups, or “segments,” based on traits they have in common such as age, buying habits, gender, and needs.

Businesses use customer segmentation models to better understand their prospects so they can target them with relevant personalized marketing campaigns including ads, emails, and social media posts.

Customer segmentation isn’t just about reaching a new audience more effectively, though. It’s also a way to reconnect with lapsed customers and encourage new purchases by sending them carefully targeted messages.

Remember, every customer is unique. They each have own buying behaviors and reasons for choosing you over your competitors. While it’s impossible to personalize your marketing to every individual, a customer segmentation strategy is the next best thing.

Why Is Customer Segmentation Important?

For one thing, it helps you improve your customer service. By understanding your customers’ needs and wants, you’re better placed to help solve their problems.

Does customer service matter? Absolutely. Research says one in five customers will abandon a brand after just one poor customer experience, so the more effort you invest in great service, the better.

Similarly, segmenting your audience helps build customer loyalty. How? Because customers are typically more loyal to brands offering personalized messaging—for 79 percent of consumers, the more personalization a company uses, the more loyal they are.

What do loyal and happy customers have in common? They’re more likely to shop with you. By personalizing the shopping experience through segmentation, you create more dedicated customers, so you increase conversions over time.

Not convinced? Well, studies show that over 60 percent of customers are likely to be repeat buyers after a personalized shopping experience, so the stats speak for themselves.

Customer Segmentation Models

You can use various customer segmentation models, depending on your business needs and marketing goals. Here’s a look at seven of the most common models.

1. Demographic Segmentation Model

Demographic segmentation means dividing people into groups based on certain demographic factors, including age, income, marital status, and occupation.

Let’s say your audience is men and women aged between 30 and 65. You want to run a TikTok campaign to promote a new product.

  • 61 percent of TikTok users are women.
  • 11 percent of users are over 50.

If you only run a campaign on TikTok, you miss out on a huge chunk of your target audience. Perform some demographic segmentation, and you’ll know to target Facebook, too, since 73 percent of 50- to 64-year-olds use this platform.

Want to try it?

  1. Set your campaign goal.
  2. Choose your variables, whether it’s age, gender, and so on.
  3. Select your platforms to run personalized marketing campaigns, such as social media, email, etc.
  4. Measure success using tools like Google Analytics and revise your campaigns as needed.

Pros and Cons of Demographic Segmentation

On the plus side, it’s easy to use this model, and it helps you adjust your tone to target different genders and ages.

The main downsides? You risk making false assumptions about a particular segment. You could also lose your brand voice by targeting such varied demographics.

Always use this customer segmentation model alongside other techniques. For example, it might be helpful to know a customer’s buying habits and values, or where they live.

2. Geographic Segmentation Model

With geographic segmentation, you categorize your audience based on where they work, live, and shop.

This type of customer segmentation analysis is fairly straightforward. The main disadvantage? Ironically, it’s simplicity. On its own, geographic segmentation doesn’t reveal much about your audience, but you can use it alongside other models on this list to build the fullest possible picture of your audience.

How to Segment Customers Through Geographic Segmentation

Here’s how to get started with geographical segmentation:

  1. Determine your segments. You can divide people by, for example, climate, culture, language, or land area.
  2. Gather data, such as website location data and sales data, to identify the size of your community.
  3. Send targeted messages to customers based on these segments. As an example, you might run paid ad campaigns based on location, or if you’re launching an exclusive location-based product, email your target audience a promo code.

Case Study: McDonald’s

McDonald’s frequently uses geographic segmentation to target different audiences around the world. For example, here’s a burger found in McDonald’s India:

How to Segment Customers Through Geographic Segmentation -McDonalds example

McDonald’s creates products to suit its diverse audience and tap into the flavors and products they may respond to based on geography.

This brings me to another advantage of geographic segmentation: exclusivity. Since the McDonald’s menu varies by location, each item feels exclusive, harder to acquire, and more valuable, which may increase conversions.

3. Psychographic Segmentation

We each have unique personalities, but we share traits or characteristics. Psychographic segmentation means forming groups based on common traits such as hobbies, lifestyle choices, personality traits, cultural beliefs, and values.

Psychographic segmentation helps you understand a customer’s psyche so you can devise highly focused, relevant campaigns. However, the main challenge is gathering (and organizing) the relevant data.

How to Use Psychographic Segmentation

Follow these steps to start using psychographic segmentation:

  1. Determine your ideal customer. Who are you selling to? What do they love about your products? This stage may involve some consumer research.
  2. Choose your segments, such as hobbies, values, or personality traits.
  3. Identify where your audience congregates. For example, over 1.5 billion people visit Reddit every month, and 38 percent of Americans listen to podcasts every month.
  4. Perform some (more) consumer research. Whether you run Instagram polls or send surveys, ask your audience what type of content they want from you.
  5. Evaluate the data to decide how to properly target your groups.

Case Study: Patagonia

Patagonia, an outdoor clothing brand, knows its customers care about sustainable living. They’ve made sustainability a core part of their brand messaging:

Patagonia Consumer Brand Awareness Sustainability in Customer Segmentation

If you ran a store like Patagonia, you could segment customers based on whether they prefer hiking or cycling and then send targeted campaigns to meet their needs while retaining this core brand message.

4. Technographic Segmentation

Technographic segmentation means categorizing people depending on the devices, hardware, and software they use. Why does this data matter? Well, according to statistics:

  • 79 percent of U.S. smartphone users purchased something online through their mobile phone in the last six months.
  • 40 percent of consumers switch to a competitor after one (yes, one) bad mobile phone experience.
  • Purchases made on tablets are set to rise to over $64 billion in 2022.

As a marketer, you should care about how people are accessing your content so you can optimize their user experience (UX) and target them effectively. Technographic segmentation can help.

How to Perform Technographic Segmentation

There are a few ways to segment your audience using this method, but here’s how I suggest you start.

  1. Know your audience: Identify your customers, as they will determine which categories you choose.
  2. Pick your segments: For technographic segmentation, you might group people based on the devices they use, the software they’re working with, the apps they prefer, or how they use technology.
  3. Gather data: Collect the data you need to segment customers. You might do this by scraping websites, sending surveys, or even purchasing data from service providers.

Armed with this data, you can create your campaigns.

Example of a Technographic Segmentation Campaign

Let’s say you run a tech store. Some customers use Norton 360 for PCs. Others use Avast Security for Mac.

You split your marketing campaign by software. You send one email to Norton subscribers offering a discount on their annual subscription. You send another email to Avast customers offering the same discount for Avast.

The result? Emails that speak to your audience’s specific tech needs, which increase your chance of making conversions.

You could take it further, too. Say, through analytics, you notice your Norton PC customers are looking at mobile antivirus solutions. You could send them a discount code like this one from PCWorld:

Technographic Customer Segmentation PCWorld Norton Discount

By anticipating what matters to your audience based on their tech preferences, you’re meeting their needs…and hopefully nurturing them through to checkout.

Is this a perfect customer segmentation model? No. One significant drawback is its limitations: Knowing a customer’s tech preferences is only one part of what shapes their buyer’s journey. However, it’s a marketing technique worth adding to your toolbox.

5. Behavioral Segmentation

Want to know how your audience interacts with your business? Try behavioral segmentation.

Behavioral segmentation means grouping people together based on behavior patterns. These patterns reveal how consumers feel about your business so you can determine how to successfully reach them at every stage of the buyer’s journey.

As with other models, behavioral segmentation can be used at any point in your marketing strategy, whether it’s to revamp a landing page or send promotional emails.

How to Use Behavioral Segmentation

First, identify the behavior patterns to track. There are many ways to approach this, but you might segment customers based on their:

  • buying stage
  • engagement
  • historical purchase history
  • purchase frequency
  • response to previous marketing campaigns

For example, say you group customers based on engagement. What counts as an “active” and “lapsed” customer varies depending on your business, but here are three groups you might have:

  • Active customers shop with you every month.
  • Infrequent customers only buy products every few months.
  • Lapsed customers haven’t purchased from you in a year.

Next, you can devise three separate marketing campaigns. You might send active customers a loyalty discount, and infrequent customers a separate discount to tempt them back.

Once your campaigns are up and running, track your analytics. If you’re not getting the results you want, adjust your campaigns and try again.

Netflix and Behavioral Segmentation

With over 221 million subscribers, Netflix knows how to use behavioral segmentation to satisfy customer demand.

  • Netflix uses machine learning to track what customers watch.
  • The algorithms generated help Netflix customize everything for each customer, from the homepage to the show recommendations.
  • Netflix can use A/B testing to track the impact of different recommendations and personalization features.
Netflix Recommendations for Entertainment - Customer Segmentation

Behavioral segmentation has a significant downside, though: There’s always the chance you get the algorithms wrong. That said, if you track results diligently and respond to your findings, you can offset this drawback.

6. Needs-Based Segmentation

Successful marketing often comes down to showing prospects how your goods or services meet their needs. That’s where needs-based segmentation comes in.

With needs-based segmentation, you’re grouping people based on what they need from your product. The benefits they’re looking for when they buy something. What pain points they have, and the problems they need solving.

The biggest challenge? Identifying what these needs are.

For example, say you’re a food brand. Two prospects follow you on social media. One cares about fresh chicken, and the other wants vegan food. You might sell meat and non-meat products, but the same ad campaign won’t appeal to both.

Driving down into groups’ needs and motivations helps you maximize your campaigns.

Let’s do a simple comparison. Heck sells gluten-free vegan and non-vegan meat. They know some customers love the gym and care about high-protein snacks, so they launched a campaign to sell their meat at local gyms:

Example of Customer Segmentation Heck Sausages Gym Tour

They know other customers care less about fitness and more about a vegan lifestyle, so they frequently create social media posts around meat-free products:

Needs-Based Customer Segmentation Heck Vegan Meat Examples

Heck clearly spent time learning about its wider customer base and what drives them so it can effectively reach every segment while retaining a consistent brand voice.

Here’s another example. Beauty store Revolution lets customers shop by skin concern and by ingredient to directly target consumers’ needs:

Skincare by Revolution Example of Customer Segmentation by Concern

Needs-Based Segmentation Pros and Cons

Now that you understand how this customer segmentation model works, is it right for you?

Well, there are clear advantages. Needs-based segmentation helps you market with greater accuracy than, say, targeting groups by age or location. It’s comprehensive and effective, and it could help you build loyal customer relationships.

The main drawbacks? It’s challenging to identify the “right” needs to target, and if you don’t have accurate data, your campaigns may fail. What’s more, consumer needs evolve, so you’ll need to review your strategy regularly to maximize your campaign effectiveness.

How to Perform Needs-Based Segmentation

Here’s the simplest approach.

  1. Start with your products or services. Look at them from every angle and write down all their features and benefits.
  2. Build customer personas around these features. If you know how to segment customers based on behavior, age, location, etc., use the data you already have to help here.
  3. Finally, reach out to customers and learn what matters to them. You might, for example, look at product reviews, ask for customer testimonials, or send out questionnaires.

Once you have enough data, use your findings to create segmented marketing campaigns. Track your campaigns and tweak them as needed.

7. Value-Based Segmentation

The better you understand how much it costs to lose a certain client’s business, the better you can direct your marketing efforts. Value-based segmentation can help you by grouping customers together based on their value to your business.

Why group customers together this way? Well, there are two advantages.

Firstly, if you know which customers spend the most money on your products, then you know which customers you can’t afford to lose. You can direct resources into providing these customers with highly targeted campaigns and great customer service.

Secondly, you can identify your most loyal clients and how much it costs to retain their business. Once you know a customer’s relative value, you can decide if it’s worth retargeting these inactive customers with personalized messaging.

Is retention worth the effort, though? There’s evidence that it can be up to seven times more expensive to acquire rather than retain customers, so yes, retention matters.

Using Value-Based Segmentation

Here’s how to segment your customers on a value basis.

  • Decide on your campaign goals. Maybe you want to identify your most lucrative audience and launch an ad campaign for your high-end products, or you want to nurture lapsed customers back to your store with enticing loyalty discounts.
  • Identify your segmentation criteria. For value-based marketing, you might segment customers based on average spend or relationship duration as described above.
  • Determine how you’ll target customers based on your findings; for example, on social media, by email, or through paid ads.
  • Analyze your efforts such as by running regular A/B testing or asking customers for feedback.

On the plus side, value-based segmentation helps you quickly identify your most valuable customers in order to target them more effectively. However, if you’re a startup or young business, you may not have enough relevant data to use this customer model just yet.

Case Study: Global Cruise Company

Here’s an example of the basic value-based segmentation principles in action and how this method helps with retargeting and conversion.

Merkle, a marketing company, helped a global cruise company develop a value-based approach to their next marketing campaign.

The cruise company sent the same messages to every customer regardless of their lifetime value (LTV). To boost revenue, they wanted to segment customers based on their LTV to send tailored ads and emails.

The company broke down each customer’s total predicted economic value. Once they identified the highest-value and most loyal customers, they could better nurture them through the sales funnel with specific, smaller campaigns.

The results? Five percent of lapsed but loyal customers returned, and they shortened the purchase cycle by 24 percent. All it took was some focused, personalized messaging based on a customer’s relative value.

Customer Segmentation Frequently Asked Questions

What tools do I need to do customer segmentation?

You need data to segment customers effectively, so you’ll want analytics tools such as Google Analytics. You might also use dedicated customer segmentation software, depending on your budget and business goals.

Is customer segmentation worth it?

By segmenting your customers, you learn more about your target audience and what matters to them. The result is more effective marketing campaigns based on the unique needs of each segment within your broader audience base.

What type of campaigns does marketing segmentation work best with?

Segmentation works best on any channel when you’re using personalized ads aimed at certain people because you can run multiple smaller, highly targeted ad campaigns designed to deliver the right message to the right audiences.

How is customer segmentation used in customer retention?

Customer segmentation ensures your existing customers don’t feel overlooked. You can segment your loyal customers into smaller groups to deliver relevant, loyalty-based rewards that could help increase customer retention over time.

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Conclusion: Customer Segmentation

If you’re trying to upgrade your marketing, customer segmentation is your friend. By segmenting your audience, you can learn what matters to your customers, run targeted, more effective campaigns, and ultimately convert more leads into customers over time.

Start by evaluating the customer segmentation models I’ve described and consider which combination works best for your business goals. If you need any guidance for choosing between customer segmentation types, though, check out my consulting services to discover how my team can help.

Have you created your customer segmentation strategy yet? Which model do you find works best?

Source: New feed 2

How to Create an Effective Social Media Content Calendar

How to Create an Effective Social Media Content Calendar

Are you striving for consistency with your social media marketing? A good social media content calendar could be the missing ingredient.

Creating a social media calendar is a simple process, but it can have some impressive results.

Here’s how to quickly set up your social media content calendar and start leveling up your performance.

What Is a Social Media Content Calendar?

A social media calendar gives you a detailed overview of your upcoming social media posts.

This helps you to be more strategic with your content, maintain consistency, and delight your target audience on a regular basis.

Your social media calendar can be as simple as setting out what dates you’re going to post on, or it can be much more detailed.

Many successful social media content calendars will include high-level information to help you get more from each post:

  • Platform: Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or LinkedIn.
  • Content-Type: Behind-the-scenes video, testimonial, product, etc.
  • Date: Proposed schedule date.
  • Time: Proposed schedule time.
  • Title: The title of the post.
  • Topic: What the post is about.
  • URL: The URL of any links you will use.
  • Visuals: A description of any visuals you want to use.

This information gives you an initial framework you can use to build out each post.

Be careful when you are planning, though.

There’s a clear distinction between a content calendar and a content plan. Generally, a content calendar will set out the dates and times for your posts, whereas a content plan will detail the strategies and topics you want to use for your social media marketing.

Since these ideas are closely related, they’re often referred to interchangeably—and can be incorporated into one document.

To give you a better idea of what to include, and where, take a look at this example of a content calendar:

Example of a social media content calendar from Asana

By taking a strategic approach with your planning, you may find a social media content calendar helps you save time and be more effective with your social media marketing.

Why You Need a Social Media Calendar


Over 72 percent of the U.S. population use at least one social media platform
, so your social media marketing is clearly important.

The question is, how does a social media calendar fit in?

Let’s take a look at two of the most important aspects of social media marketing: understanding your target audience and being consistent.

If you don’t understand where your target audience hangs out, what content they want to see, and how they consume information, then how do you expect to reach them? It’s difficult to connect with your audience when you’re making social media posts on the fly, which is why a social media content calendar can be so valuable.

The other thing that takes you a long way in social media marketing is consistency. It might not seem like it, but this one is actually very difficult to pull off. It’s not easy to keep coming back each day (or however often you post) with top-quality content.

It’s simply impossible unless you’re planning ahead.

Whatever niche you’re in, there’s tons of competition out there, so you need time to bring your ideas to life and make sure they’re perfectly targeted to your audience.

Those aren’t the only reasons to start using a social media content planner though. They can also help you:

  • save time
  • schedule posts
  • reduce errors
  • create more cohesive campaigns
  • create a stronger brand identity
  • run timely campaigns that fit with holidays and sales promotions
  • track performance more accurately

The great thing is that anyone can start using a social media content calendar right now and use these benefits to improve their social media performance.

6 Steps to Create a Customized Social Media Content Calendar

You don’t need any fancy software to create an effective social media content plan. All you need to do is open a spreadsheet and follow these 6 steps.

Step 1: Review Your Social Media Goals

Before you create any plan, you need a clear idea of what you’re trying to achieve.

We all have some kind of goal for our social media posts, but it pays to narrow in on this and make them much more implicit. When you know exactly what you’re working towards, then it’s going to be much easier to come up with the content that’s going to help you achieve it.

Before you create your social media content calendar, make sure you sit down with your team and set yourself SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound).

It’s also important to understand what KPIs you will use to measure your performance against these goals. For instance, are you most concerned with followers, impressions, clicks to your site, or something else?

Once you’ve got clearly defined goals, and a process for measuring your performance, then you’re ready to proceed.

Step 2: Audit Your Current Accounts

Now that you’ve got a clear picture of what success looks like, it’s time to find out how you’re currently performing.

This information is important because it’s going to serve as your baseline. Once you have this data, it’s much easier to test the changes you’re making and adjust your strategies accordingly.

You can add a sheet for all your KPIs to your social media content calendar to keep an eye on this and help make sure you’re constantly working to improve your processes.

Gather all relevant information and make sure it’s easily accessible:

  • account details and passwords
  • specific goals for each platform
  • audience demographics
  • responsibilities of each team member
  • information on your most successful posts and campaigns
  • areas for improvement, gaps in your content, poor results
  • platform-specific KPIs to measure future success

This will require a little bit of hard work, but it’s well worth it!

One of the main reasons you’re creating a social media content calendar is to make sure you’re giving your audience the content they’re looking for, and you’ve got to understand your past performance to do this.

Step 3: Choose What Social Platforms You’ll Use

If we went back a decade or so, this step would have been pretty simple. There were a handful of social platforms dominating the scene, which made this question easy to answer.

Today though, there are lots of thriving social media platforms, each with its own demographics. For instance, if you’re advertising to people aged 18-25, you’re probably going to have to use different platforms than if you’re trying to reach the over 55s age group.

Don’t get me wrong though, they’re all on social media!

58.4 percent of the global population is on social media, but how can you best reach your specific target audience?

You don’t have unlimited resources, so that might mean focusing your efforts on a handful of platforms. Bear in mind, that those platforms won’t necessarily be the biggest ones, they just have to be the ones where your target audience hangs out.

Check out the in-depth demographics in the image below and think about which platform might be the best fit for your target audience.

Social Media Content Calendar - Choose With Social Platform to Use

As you can see, these figures vary greatly, so it’s important to decide where you want to be and when.

Step 4: Outline How Often You’ll Post

One of the greatest benefits of a social media content planner is that it helps you to be more consistent, but the question still remains, how often should you post?

The answer will vary for each business.

If you’ve got a huge marketing team working on different elements like images, video, copy, personal interactions with followers, and everything else, then there’s no reason why you can’t post multiple times a day.

However, if you’re a one-man team working on every part of your business, then this probably isn’t realistic.

Ultimately, it’s about utilizing your resources to achieve a good balance between quality and quantity. If you’re putting out poor content that nobody interacts with though, it’s no use to anybody.

There’s no hard and fast answer to this question, but the key is maintaining a schedule where you can be consistent. Most algorithms (whether that’s Google, Facebook, or YouTube) value consistency.

This is something you can be in complete control of, especially with a good social media content calendar.

Step 5: Decide What Type of Content to Post

It can be helpful to break your posts down into categories to give your audience a mix of different content types.

There are two rules that are popular for this and they can help ensure you’re offering variety as well as making life a little bit easier for yourself.

The 80/20 Rule

This rule helps you strike a balance between engaging your audience and trying to sell your products.

It states that 80 percent of your posts should be designed to engage, inform, and educate, and the other 20 percent should be used to directly promote your business.

People don’t go on social media to be bombarded with promotions, so this formula helps you hit the right balance of growing sales while maintaining a positive brand image.

  • 47.6 percent of people use social media to stay in touch with friends
  • 36.3 percent of people use social media to fill their spare time
  • 35.1 percent of people use social media to read news stories
  • 31.6 percent of people use social media to discover content

You’ve got to figure out how your content can fit with these goals.

The Social Media Rule of Thirds

If you’re always posting the same type of content then it can quickly get boring. This is why many brands use the Social Media Rule of Thirds throughout their content calendars.

In the social media rule of thirds, one-third of your posts promote your own content, one-third share curated content, and one-third share personal interactions with your followers.

Step 6: Audit Your Resources

The last thing you need to do before setting up your social media content calendar is audit your resources. How big is your team, and what skills do you have available to you?

If you have a team full of social media specialists, videographers, and content creators, then your plans are going to be a lot more ambitious. However, you’ve also got to put systems in place to bring these people together.

This is where your social media content calendar becomes even more important.

When you’ve clearly set out your schedule for the next month, or even quarter, then everybody can see what they need to work on.

Your writer can work on the copy, and your videographer and graphic designer can work on the visuals, bringing everything together on time.

Social Media Content Calendar Template

The easiest way to create a social media content calendar template is using a Google sheet.

Open up a new sheet, and split your calendar into weeks.

Use the columns at the top to set out your dates, and in the rows, enter the following for each platform you intend to post on:

  • type of content
  • title
  • topic
  • links
  • visuals

This should allow you to create a basic template in just a few minutes. It should look something like this example of a social media content calendar:

Social Media Content Calendar Template

From here, you can build your social media content calendar out as much as you like, however, this should give you an excellent starting point.

If you have a budget, you could look at different project management systems like Trello or Airtable to custom-build your social media content calendar. As you start to use them, you’ll be able to spot trends, plan promotions, and much more.

Social Media Content Calendar Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of a social media calendar?

The benefits of a social media calendar are that it saves you time, helps you to be more consistent, reduces errors, and allows you to be more strategical. This should help you provide your audience with better content and increase brand engagement.

Do I have to have a social media calendar?

You don’t have to have a social media calendar but it can be incredibly helpful. It’s hard to consistently offer your audience high-quality content, and sometimes you need time to plan what you’re doing. Knowing what posts you have coming up gives you time to get your copy and visuals in place and tie them to your promotions.

What should my social media calendar include?

You can get as detailed as you want with a social media content calendar. Some basic information to include is the type of content, title, topic, links, and visuals that are needed.

How do I create a monthly social media content calendar?

The easiest way to create a social media content calendar is in a spreadsheet. It’s very simple to set up, and you can have a functioning content plan in just a few minutes.

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Conclusion: How to Create an Effective Social Media Content Calendar

Creating an effective social media content calendar shouldn’t be difficult.

With some basic Microsoft Excel skills, you can create a content calendar that clearly outlines your strategy for the weeks and months to come. Not only will this help you create better content, but it’s also going to save you time.

Whether you’re a large social media team or an individual marketer, a good social media content calendar is going to make it much easier to coordinate your efforts and ensure you consistently meet your audience’s needs.

Start doing this, and your social media marketing results are going to improve dramatically.

How often do you post to social media?

Source: New feed 2

How One Simple Tool Will Cut Down Your Blogging Time by Half

You heard about AI, but have you ever used it?

Just think of it this way, what if you can use artificial intelligence to create content for you so you wouldn’t have to even write?

Well, believe it or not, this blog post that you are reading now was written by a simple AI tool.

To be fair no AI tool is perfect yet as technology isn’t there yet.

And to give you perspective the AI wrote this post and then I had to modify it and add specific sections and steps.

When I look back and did an analysis, AI wrote roughly 25% of this post.

That’s not too bad. Sure, I had to write 75%, but the hardest part about writing isn’t putting words on a paper it’s coming up with the ideas and the overall format.

So today I am going to show you how to write a blog post using AI… keep in mind over time it will get better as technology improves.

But first, something you should know…

Don’t worry about duplicate content

Google doesn’t penalize for duplicate content and even if they did this AI tools makes 100% unique content for you.

So, you won’t have duplicative or plagiarism issues.

It’s not just mixing words around it is trying to understand what you are trying to write your article on, do research, and come up with words that encompass everything you are trying to get across.

Let’s get started

First off, go to Ubersuggest’s AI Writer.

First, enter in the keyword you want an article on. For this example, I chose the term “digital marketing” as my blog is on digital marketing.

Then you will want to select a title from the list provided. You don’t always have to use it at the very end but a lot of the titles are based on what people are searching for.

Next, you will want to choose a meta description.

Similar to the above, meta description is also based on keywords that are popular from a traffic perspective.

After you select your meta description you will want to select a few headings.

Keep in mind headings are like book chapters. Pick the ones that work the best, and again keep in mind you can always adjust the text later on.

The last step is, that Ubersuggest will take all of the data and spit out content for you.

By no means is the content perfect and I wouldn’t recommend publishing it or any AI content written by any tool for that matter.

More so use it as a starting ground.

So how do you modify the article?

Well, the AI tool won’t always be contextually accurate, but most of the time it is.

More so the way you make the AI piece amazing is by getting more detailed.

So for example in the digital marketing above, in the “create an online presence” section I would go in-depth on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest on how you can use them for marketing.

As for Google + it doesn’t exist, so I would delete that part and expand the other platforms and give step-by-step instructions on how to leverage them.

I would also include screenshots so each step is clear.

Under the “promote your brand” section I would discuss ads and other ways to promote your brand such as running promotions, sales during holidays, or even doing webinars.

I would give examples of other successful ones that businesses have run and give examples of failed campaigns that have been run and break down what you can learn from them.

The “grow your audience” section already talks about what to do if you have no followers. They are all good tips that the AI tool wrote, but the tips are too surface level. I would dive deep into each one.

From how you should think about commenting on other profiles and blogs to what email templates to use to convince people to collaborate with you.

And the measuring success section was cut off from the above screenshot but it mentions Google Analytics. I would go more in-depth on how to set up goals in Google Analytics and tie in revenue.

Conclusion

The Ubersuggest AI tool isn’t meant to replace humans or for it to perfectly write your content for you.

It’s meant to give you a start.

You have experienced writer’s block and we all hate it. The tool solves that part plus it gives you a head start.

It not only gives you title and meta description ideas, but it writes some of the content for you as well as gives you popular headings based on keyword search volume.

All you have to do is adjust and fill in the rest.

So make sure you give it a try.

Source: New feed 2

How to Track the ROI of Your Online Advertising Campaigns

You just started a new AdWords campaign.

You’re trying to drive some easy, instant sales to your site.

But you quickly realize that you have no idea how to tell if those visitors are converting. No clue if you’re wasting your hard-earned budget without a return.

You’re not alone.

76% of marketers are still struggling to track the ROI of their campaigns.

Even worse is when marketers think they’re tracking the effectiveness of their campaigns, but they’re doing it in the wrong way.

So it looks and seems and feels like they’re on the right track. All while budgets get squandered, and results continue to lag.

Here’s how to get started tracking your return on online advertising campaigns.

Outline What a “Conversion” is For Your Campaign

Conversion tracking can be complex.

It’s not cut-and-dry like most people think.

The first step to tracking the return on investment for an online advertising campaign is to outline what your campaign goals are.

Are you trying to build brand awareness? Are you trying to drive e-commerce sales? Consultations? Free trials?

Depending on your goals, conversion tracking will be vastly different.

For example, a conversion for e-commerce sales is quantifiable without much extra effort.

You can tell exactly what someone bought and how much you spent to acquire that customer via ads.

But what about consultations or free trials?

When AdWords shows a conversion for your campaign, it’s not a sale.

Meaning you aren’t getting a return on investment just yet. Your bank account isn’t increasing when someone signs up for a consultation.

So those conversions don’t tell the whole story.

If you’re not tracking something quantifiable, such as items sold or likes generated to your Facebook Page, then you need to start with some basic math.

If you are trying to get consultations (or other similar conversions) that don’t have a dollar amount to tie back to, you can set up a basic equation to give them value:

(Average Closed Lead Value X Rate of Lead Close) = Per Lead Value

This simple equation will give you insight into how much a lead is worth in your business, making it easier to tie back ROI to your conversions.

Set up Google AdWords Tracking

Setting up Google AdWords conversion tracking correctly is critical for measuring your ad ROI.

It helps you track data on how your campaigns are performing and whether or not you are finding success.

To get started, open up your AdWords account and navigate to the conversions section:

Here, you can begin setting up conversion tracking elements for multiple parts of your campaigns.

From basic call data to website conversions, you have a few different options:

Depending on your campaign, you might need more than one of these elements to track conversions.

For example, if you decide to run AdWords ads with call-based extensions, you’ll want more than just website tracking.

To get started, click on the element that you need to track.

The most common one will be your website conversions, or the people who buy a product or convert on your site.

Select the tracking type and give it a name and a category to recognize it:

Next, under “Value,” you’re going to want to input some basic numbers.

Remember that equation in the section before?

If your product/service isn’t a direct sale like e-commerce, you want to set your lead value as the conversion value here.

This will give you some insight into ROI fast without having to dig through each conversion.

Once you’re ready, save the conversion tracking element, and it’s time to install your tag.

I can tell you’re already jumping for joy. Tone it down, I know it’s exciting stuff.

Now you can scroll down to the box called “Event snippet” where you can select between two options:

The most common one will be the Page Load option.

This simply means that whenever someone lands on a page, AdWords will mark it as a conversion.

So, the key here is to place this tag on the right page.

If you place it on your landing page, your conversion data won’t make sense.

You need to place it on a thank you page that a user will land on after they’ve converted.

So, if someone fills out a form somewhere on your site, they need to be directed to a thank you page. That’s where you want to place the tag.

Simply install the code into your thank you page header, and you’ll have live tracking for your campaign.

If you want to double-check your tag installation, use the Google Tag Assistant to make sure it’s installed correctly:

Voila! That’s it.

Now you can start to track the fundamentals of ROI on AdWords.

But that’s not all. This is just the first step of tracking your advertising ROI.

It’s time to go into some depth.

Setup Facebook Pixels

Facebook advertising is amazing because of all the diverse options it gives you.

The options are virtually endless. You can create campaigns to fit almost any goal you might have.

However, that’s also part of the problem. Determining exactly how likes, comments, awareness, visits, and clicks translate into new paying customers isn’t easy.

First, you need to set up tracking scripts, just like you did for AdWords.

This is the only way to start collecting the initial data on how your campaigns are performing.

To start setting up your Facebook Pixel for tracking, head to your Facebook Ads Manager and click “Pixels” under the Assets section:

Now, click the green “Set Up Pixel” button to get started:

Facebook is easy to work with because they’ve got dozens of integrations that make installation a breeze:

If you know how to install code, you can do it yourself.

If you don’t (or you’re just lazy like me), select the first option.

Once you’ve integrated, be sure to head back to the Ads Manager to make sure there’s a confirmation in the top right corner:

This pixel script will give you the basics. You’ll start to see who does what on your site (and how it all relates back to your original ad campaigns).

But you’re going to need to take it a few steps further before you can glean any ROI insight.

Let’s do it.

Take Advantage of UTM Codes

UTM codes ‘tag’ your URLs to give you extra data about where your traffic is coming from.

For example, let’s say you’re doing paid promotion with an influencer on Twitter.

They are posting a few of your blog posts every day to get you more traffic and sales.

But when you look in Google Analytics, this is all you see:

Great. This isn’t helpful because you could be running dozens of these campaigns at one time. Or your traffic could just be high and diverse.

There’s no way to pinpoint which activities or campaigns are generating those sessions. Meaning, you have no clue if your efforts are working or not.

UTM codes allow you to add tracking data like source, medium, campaign, and even keywords to your URL to properly record each visit.

For example, here’s what a completed UTM could look like:

Here’s what your data will look like inside Analytics when you start to add UTM codes:

Now, you can tell exactly how you got the traffic, why it’s coming to you, and where it’s coming from.

So, how do you set these up?

There are a few ways to go about it.

If you’re running smaller advertising campaigns and just need to track a few links, head to Google’s UTM builder:

You can use this page to fill out the desired tracking tags like campaign source, medium, name, and keywords.

You simply type the final URL that you want to track into the “Website URL” section and generate your new URL.

Use that in your next campaign to get better data in Google Analytics.

If you run tons of AdWords ads and don’t want to make new UTM codes for every landing page, there’s a shortcut.

Head to your AdWords account and navigate to your shared library.

From here, select the URL options tab from your settings:

Then, make sure that auto-tagging is enabled. Head to the “Tracking Template” and here’s where you can enter UTM information.

Enter {lpurl}, then a question mark, and then any ValueTrack parameters you want to use, separated by ampersands (&).

For example, let’s say you wanted to track the campaign it came from. You’d add a string like this:

{lpurl}?ads_cmpid={campaignid}

Doing this will enable tracking at the account level, meaning you’ll never have to set up UTM codes for each new AdWords ad you create.

Track Your Phone Calls

Now that you’re tracking basic conversion data on the top advertising networks, along with more laser-focused link tracking, it’s time to pull it all together.

Without phone call data, you’re missing out on a big piece of the puzzle.

Tons of AdWords conversions are from phone calls.

Why? When someone is going to book something like a consultation or hotel room, they often call in.

It’s easy, especially from mobile phones.

But what happens when this is all you see in AdWords?

You ain’t got nothin’ to show who converted or where in the heck they came from.

Tracking offline events is critical to success.

If you’re getting a lot of conversions from phone calls, you need to know which ones came from advertising and which were already coming from organic traffic.

Otherwise, it’s a shot in the dark as to whether you’re better off spending your dollars on SEO or PPC.

One of my favorite tools for tracking call data is CallRail.

You can set up keyword pools on your site that give each user their own tracking data.

Using dynamic number insertion, CallRail gives each user their own phone number rather than 1,000 users seeing your standard business line.

Meaning you can track each individual as they move throughout your advertising funnel.

You can see how they got to your site, the keywords that brought them to you, and the landing page they landed on.

You can record phone calls for even better conversion tracking.

If you want to tie ROI back to your advertising campaigns, you need tracking at every level.

That includes boring, old-school things like phones.

And yes, people still call businesses (as much as we hate it).

Conclusion

When you’ve started a new online advertising campaign, what’s your first step?

If it’s not setting up conversion tracking, you might be making a big mistake.

Tracking return on investment is critical to understanding how well your online campaigns are doing.

First, you need to start by outlining what a conversion means to your campaign.

Is it a direct sale via e-commerce, or is it a consultation?

The idea here is to tie your efforts directly to ROI and understand that a conversion isn’t necessarily money in your pocket.

Next, set up tracking scripts with the top advertising outlets.

You need these to collect critical data.

Be sure to take advantage of UTM codes to get insight into where your traffic is coming from.

Lastly, track your phone calls. People often forget how important call tracking is for getting an understanding of ROI.

Want to prove that your campaigns are worth it?

Clicks don’t tell you that. Neither do leads, opt-ins, or consultations. Only revenue does.

About the Author: Brad Smith is the founder of Codeless, a B2B content creation company. Frequent contributor to Kissmetrics, Unbounce, WordStream, AdEspresso, Search Engine Journal, Autopilot, and more.

Source: New feed 2