How Women Can Disrupt The Tech Industry

Recently, things at Reddit have been tumultuous, and there has been a change in CEOs. After a short time in the role, Ellen Pao resigned her position as interim CEO of Reddit. Die-hard Redditors called for her resignation after a fury ensued when Victoria Taylor, popular moderator of Ask Me Anything, was terminated.

Several subreddits that vented about Taylor’s dismissal were shut down, and the calls for resignation began. Pao, understanding the strength of community, stepped down. Unfortunately, many of the anti-Pao comments were disgusting in nature and highly misogynist.

If Ellen Pao’s name rings a bell, it’s because she recently lost a gender discrimination suit against Kleiner Perkins that had put the issue of women in tech in the spotlight.

In May 2012, Ms. Pao sued her former employer, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, for gender inequality. Pao argued that she was denied a promotion because of her gender. The powerful venture capital firm argued that “she didn’t speak up enough and was too passive — but also that she spoke up too much and was pushy and entitled.”

The San Francisco jury found no gender discrimination or any wrongdoing in the case. For some women, they see themselves in Ellen Pao. For others, it begs the question: why haven’t more women reached leadership positions in the tech industry?

Gender biases don’t affect only professional women. Disenfranchisement and lack of high expectations in the industry start at a young age. For example, it can be seen in Mattel’s book Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer which recently went viral when the public pointed out how it marginalizes women.

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We asked the women of Kissmetrics to share their favorite quotes of inspiration and wisdom:

“Clearly there is nothing preventing women from being great leaders, so the lack of women in tech has to be a systemic bias which we should all be fighting to overcome. It starts small and early — talking to our daughters to get them passionate and interested in science and respectful of diverse opinions and thoughts. I have already heard girls in my daughter’s 3rd grade class say they are not good at math. That is a terrible outcome at 9 years old.”

— Sarah Friar, CFO at Square

“Women are bound by subtle double standards that are hard to describe and hard to fight back.”

— NY Times

“I’ve always competed with the boys (neighborhood boys’ teasing, skate park boys’ skills, tech boys’ jobs) so all my life I’ve lived with those sour ones who don’t think a girl can do it, or playing nice on what they perceive as their turf means getting stepped on. I’m used to it – I don’t dwell on it much – but I can say that those boys best come prepared, ’cause girls like us *never* aren’t.”

— Laura Lippay, Organic Search & Technical Optimization Lead, Netflix

This isn’t a power struggle, it’s about being equal and respected.

“When you put the helmet on, it doesn’t matter if you are woman or man: your mission is to compete to win. The important thing is your ability, your intelligence and your determination.”

— Milka Duno, Race Car Driver, NASCAR

“Science is not a boy’s game, it’s not a girl’s game. It’s everyone’s game. It’s about where we are and where we’re going.”

— Nichelle Nichols, Former NASA Ambassador and Actress

“If you want to boost your bottom line, try balancing the number of men and women in your office, new research suggests.”

 —  Chad Brooks

You have to be tough for the uphill battle.

“Do the brave thing, do the thing that scares you a little, and amazing things happen. Play it safe or start from fear, things just end up average or worse. Now, I try to be brave as often as I can. It doesn’t always happen, old habits die hard, but when it does it’s wonderful.”

 — Joanna Bloor, VP of Sales at Pandora

“I was told I’d never make it to VP rank because I was too outspoken. Maybe so, but I think men will always find an excuse for keeping women in their ‘place.’ So, let’s make that place the executive suite and start more of our own companies.”

— Jean Bartik (Deceased), Programmer, ENIAC

“By learning to create technology, girls learn to speak up.”

 — Regina Agyare, Founder, Soronko Solutions

Of course, remember to always be a lady.

“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”

— Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook

“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.”

— Marissa Mayer, CEO, Yahoo!

“This is exactly what happens when our life, our essence, is one and the same with our work. It’s when job descriptions and titles no longer make sense because we don’t go to work — we are the work.”

— Elle Luna, Designer and Author, The Crossroads of Should and Must

“There are many incredible women in tech building the products of tomorrow. Whether it’s Mary Lou Jepsen, who’s working to make phones, laptops and computers self-powered (no more charging!), Corinna ‘Elektra’ Aichele, who’s bringing WiFi to any location, Monica Lam, who leads the MobiSocial group at Stanford and is ‘[creating] a social internet, where users can share anything … while owning their data’ or Ruchi Sanghvi, who’s behind the algorithm that powers our Facebook newsfeeds, the innovations women have made in tech will only be outpaced by the innovations they have yet to make.”

—  Mic Branded Content Team

At Kissmetrics, we value equality and we strive to live by these company values:

We asked the women of Kissmetrics to share their own thoughts

Keep It Simple

“Being a female during this tech era is an incredible experience. It’s what all women have been waiting for because it has given us a chance to finally say ‘I deserve to be treated equally’ and actually be heard by people around the world. Tech and sales are no longer just a man’s sport, and it’s not just men who have kept us away from entering the arena. It has been us telling ourselves that we are not equal and that we are not meant to be aggressive; we are to act ‘lady like.’ Well it’s time for the ladies to step in and show the tech industry that we are women, and we can sell! The time to discuss is gone and the time to take action has come! It’s as SIMPLE as that.”

Masch-al Malek, Sales Development Representative, Kissmetrics

Be a Leader

“I’ve learned to never be completely married to an idea. We grow by reinventing ourselves and our ideas. This is where true innovation comes from. I want to be a leader and trailblazer full of great innovations that put people first.”

— Brandy Rosenbaum, Account Executive, Kissmetrics

Take Care of People

“At every step in my education and career, I have had people who encouraged and pushed me to pursue tech. I always had a passion for math but had little knowledge about computer science. A friend who was studying the subject convinced me to take an intro course my freshman year of college. I ended up graduating with a degree in Mathematics & Computer Science. I had no intentions to use the newly learned skills. Once again, I had a friend convince me to continue in the field and apply for an engineering role. I had my reservations about the new job opportunity. I never felt like I deserved the role or could excel at it. My new team was welcoming and supportive. Thanks to them, I never had the chance to fail.

I was lucky. Every step of the way I had people supporting and pushing me. This is an important aspect of changing the current state of women in tech or any other male dominated field. We all need to support, believe and most importantly respect each other. Onward and upward!”

— Sam Courtain, QA Engineer at Kissmetrics

Be Open, Listen and Share

“I often wonder: How do women in leadership positions carry themselves in meetings? How do they raise kids and manage people? I make a conscious effort to surround myself with strong, successful women. I see these women as role models. They are people I want to be like in 20 years. Look for a mentor; man or woman. Observe and learn from them. Talk to your co-workers. Talk to your friends. Open up a safe, inclusive and non-judgmental space for you to have a dialogue. You’ll be surprised what you’ll find. I’ve been inspired by how receptive people are to talking about women in tech.”

— Jessica Tiao, UX Designer, Kissmetrics

Be Better Than Yesterday

“Sometimes, it’s rewarding to take a step back to realize how far along I’ve shifted from my beginnings to my current-day realities. If we measure our current state of ourselves to John Locke’s theory of tabula rasa, then we can attribute everything we are today as a culmination of our morals, responsibilities, expectations, shortcomings and accomplishments. In other words, when you wake up in the morning, always remember it’s a new day to enrich yourself. Most important, always say ‘yes’ to new opportunities. ”

— Patty Castaneda, Marketing Design Manager, Kissmetrics

All that being said, we’re hiring.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a male or female, since we only care if you’re a self-driven rock star. If that’s who you are, we would love to chat because we’re growing like crazy. Start by checking out our careers page, or email us at careers@kissmetrics.com.

About the Authors: Patty Castaneda (@PattyCreates) and Jessica Tiao (@JessicaTiao) are designers at Kissmetrics. The rest of the female teammates helped source quotes from other industry leaders and provided their own quotes including, but not limited to: Brandy Rosenbaum (@brandylro), Maura Ginty, Masch-al Malek (@maschal), Megan Connor, Megi Theodhor (@Megi248), Robin Kuhn (@robinmkuhn), and Sam Courtain (@samcourtain).

Make Twitter Profitable: Here Are 6 Companies That Did Just That

Adwords in ‘01.

It was a goldmine – If you knew how to use it.

Twitter Ads have the potential to be the next gold rush for anyone looking to market their business.

But as with Adwords in ‘01, you need to know how to maneuver around and bend the Twitter platform to earn a ROI.

In this article we’ll look at the strategies used by 6 companies who managed to earn an ROI using Twitter Ads.

We’ll look at how their campaigns worked and why they worked. We’ll be pulling examples from all over the web, looking at companies in a variety of niches.

By the end of this article you’ll have a handful of Twitter tactics that you can take away and implement in your own business.

They won’t require you to play big. Even the smallest of takeaways could help you redefine your marketing approach.

1. The bathroom freshener that generated $73,000 in sales (94% of which came from new customers) using Twitter Ads

One thing I want to convey in this post is that you can pretty much market anything (within reason) if you know how to use Twitter Ads.

The first case study we’re going to look at is based on a company called ‘Poo-Pourri’ — a company that essentially sells a bathroom odor neutralizer.

They had already experienced some success with a viral video boosted by some YouTube Ads. The viral effect of their video allowed for them to build an organic following. They wanted to expand their efforts, so they looked into using Twitter and Facebook Ads.

The team at Poo-Pourri loves to instill humor into their ads and branding. They discovered that their Twitter audience resonated best with their comedic style.

Based on what they had found, Poo-Pourri decided that they should run a Twitter Ad campaign over the holidays.

The results were impressive:

  • $73,000 in sales
  • 93% sales came from new customers
  • A 50% increase in basket size

The campaign targeted people who had relevant interests. They also targeted the followers of relevant Twitter accounts.

If you look at an example of a Poo-Pourri ad below, you’ll notice a number of things. Each of which contributed to their success.

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Source

 

  1. Notice how the image explains how the product works. It’s simple and easy to understand — also a bit funny. The image also makes up for limited character space too.
  2. Look at the ad copy. There is a little bit of humor in the first line — though you could argue that isn’t really important. What’s more important is that it gives you a reason to consider the product. Poo-Pourri helps fix the problem of knowing what to buy for someone during the holidays.
  3. The 20% off is also a big help. It entices people to consider the product and maybe even buy it.

If you want success with Twitter Ads, don’t worry about having a small Twitter following. Just target the right audience and consider experimenting with humor and have some fun. It’s always easy to switch to another advertisement if you’re not having luck with your original.

How you can implement the Poo-Pourri strategies into your own campaigns.

Awareness Days

Poo-Pourri based their campaign around the holidays. However, you don’t have to wait that long. You can try and promote a campaign around an ‘Awareness day.’

Check out national-awareness-days.com to find out if there is a relevant awareness day coming up.

Piggybacking off of an up and coming awareness day. In doing so, you too might be able to boost your sales in similar fashion to Poo-Pourri.

Creating Twitter Images

If you go to http://sproutsocial.com/insights/free-image-creation-tools/, you’ll be able to view websites related to photo editing and design. The websites listed will allow for you to create some awesome images for your Twitter Ads.

This article too, lists how you can create some images for your Twitter Ads.

If you have the budget, you might even consider using a service such as 99designs, to help you create the perfect image.

When creating images, try and ensure they’re eye catching. Faces are often helpful. Though if you can explain your product in the image, that can also help.

How to create effective copy for your Twitter Ads

This article can help you create the copy for your Twitter Ads. The examples listed use proven principles related to the world of copywriting.

These principles are then condensed so that they fit the Twitter character limit.

Experiment, and see how you can adapt the ideas to your own tweets.

2. The non-profit that managed to save lives using Twitter Ads

Nonprofits are always in need of ideas that help them raise awareness for their cause.

The nature of their business means that creativity is often key. Otherwise, they won’t be able to attract any attention, in what is an already crowded space.

Here is an example of a nonprofit called ‘The British Heart Foundation’ (BHF). They used Twitter Ads to raise awareness.

The BHF wanted to teach people how to administer CPR. Normally they’d go straight to TV.  This time, however, they decided to use Twitter in order to promote their video first. Their campaign lead to 1.7 million views.

They also sparked a dialogue that lead to new Twitter trends being created. The trends were based on the BHF’s initial Twitter Ad campaign.

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Here’s the video (it’s really well done!):

The most important metric, however, is that they were able to save lives.

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Source

 

So what did they get right?

  1. Firstly the video itself was very entertaining. Not all companies consider using video in their ads, so that decision alone was a creative move.
  2. Secondly, the ad copy did a great job at developing curiosity. Upon reading it, you want to learn more.
  3. The company also took another step to get their message out there. That was the act of creating a promoted trend.

If you’re familiar with Twitter you’ll know that trends refer to popular topics on the platform. A lot of people check out these trends to learn what’s going on in the world. The fact that the campaign was promoted as a trend, meant that it was placed in another location where people would be able to see it.

The trend tag #hardandfast, generated curiosity, compelling people to find out more. A promoted trend, however, can be very, very, expensive. Either way, even if it weren’t for the Twitter promoted trends ad, the campaign would do well.

That is because the key to their success, was that they created an entertaining campaign. As with the ‘Poo-Pourri’ campaign, comedy on Twitter is something that seems to flourish.

How you can implement the BHF strategy into your own campaign.

Creating a Video

It can be hard to create a viral video. This Kissmetrics post gives you some tips on how to create a viral video. Yet, even still you might find it challenging.

As a result you might just search for a company that can produce a great video. You don’t have to focus on this video going viral. You just have to ensure that it does a good job at selling your offer.

A lot of people have found that demoduck.com is a good company for creating video content. Though your video’s might not go viral, you can still experience an ROI if your video does a good job at communicating your message or value proposition.

3. The restaurant chain that created its biggest opening event ever thanks to Twitter Ads

A lot of the examples mentioned in this post relate to sales and conversations taking place online. However, there are going to be some of you who want to know how Twitter Ads can produce offline results.

The next company we’re going to look at is a restaurant chain. They promoted a new opening using Twitter Ads.

Known as Poncho 8, this restaurant is commonly referred to as a burrito bar. They were already active on Twitter. Using Twitter, they mainly focused on engaging existing customers and asking for feedback.

However, when the time came for promotion, they had to take a more active approach. The change led to them using Twitter Ads.

Using the platform, Poncho8 experienced the biggest restaurant opening ever in the company’s history (there are 6 restaurants). Twitter was definitely a big reason as to why this happened.

Let’s take a look at the steps that this company took to produce such results.

Their goal was to promote the launch event. To do this they used promoted tweets and promoted accounts.

Their promoted tweets mentioned special offers and popular menu items. The copy on the ad alluded to a new restaurant opening. This can be seen with the #Paddingtoncomingsoon tag.

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Source

 

To ensure that the people saw their content, the company created a few promoted accounts. These promoted accounts were designed to attract followers . These users would then see more tweets on their timeline – related to the company.

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An example of a promoted account

 

The promoted account copy alludes to a new restaurant opening. The offer of freebies and food is entices people to follow the company.

Being based in London, a lot of their target market is young professionals. As a result, Poncho 8 targeted the followers of companies that had an aligning customer base.

This was done by targeting the followers of publications which were aimed at young professionals. In doing so they were able to build up a relevant audience.

Poncho 8 monitored their results and focused on the twitter accounts that were bringing them the best results. This was in terms of the Twitter accounts that had the followers Poncho 8 wanted. The constant tinkering ensured that they were always maximizing their results.

The campaign produced a 23% increase in engagement rate for their tweets. This was a sign that they were targeting the right people.

All of the effort, led to the company having a huge restaurant opening. On the day, the company experienced one of their busiest lunches ever.

How You Can Implement the Strategies Used by Poncho8

Poncho 8 did a few things to ensure that their campaign went well. Here is how you can follow in their footsteps. Keep in mind that these tips relate to offline and online campaigns.

Creating a Promoted Account

A promoted account is effective in the long run. When you have a bunch of relevant followers you can reach a lot of people without having to spend money.

If you want to create a promoted account, you’ll need to take the following steps.

Go to the Twitter Ads dashboard and click on the “Create new campaign” button.

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Then pick ‘Followers.’

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Give your campaign a name. In terms of run date, choose immediately. That is unless you have another strategy in mind.

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Set up the creative you want, i.e. the tweets. These tweets will need to entice people into following your account. Be benefit rich and include a call to action. You can use an existing Tweet. Though you might not have any Tweets that are designed to attract followers.

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Here is some inspiration:

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Remember, you can use the formulas mentioned in the Poo-Pourri section. That article will help you create copy that encourages people to take action.

Set a budget for your campaign.

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When choosing the price, you have the option of using an automatic bid or a maximum bid. The challenge lies in working out the lifetime value of a follower.

If you know this, you might be able to decide on a maximum bid. If you want to just get started and not worry, an automatic bid is best.

Of course, you are free to enter a very high maximum bid to ensure tweets are shown. However keep in mind that Twitter still takes into account the relevancy, recency and the resonance of a tweet. The more you can improve those metrics, the increased chances of your ad being shown instead of another ads.

How to target a competitor’s Twitter followers

Target Twitter followers that are similar to the followers of other companies.

As seen, one way to find relevant followers is by targeting the followers of relevant companies, or direct competitors.

You can either target people who are similar to the followers of your competitors, or you can target the exact followers of competitors.

If you’re going to target similar followers, this is how you’d do it.

Create a campaign and then click on the add followers tab, underneath the targeting header.

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Then enter the usernames of competitors or accounts that have an audience that matches your needs.

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Once you’ve entered an account that has similar followers, Twitter will let you know what the estimated audience size is. It will also let you know of other companies you might want to include in your targeting preferences.

Underneath the suggested usernames, you’ll see an option to target users like your followers. Whether or not you click this option depends on what your goals are.

Do you want more people who are like your current followers? Or do you want to attract a completely different crowd?

How to target the exact followers of another Twitter account

If you want to target the exact followers of your competitors or of a relevant company, this is how you’d do it.

You first need to compile a list of followers, based on the company you’re interested in.

You can either go to your competitors account and spend a couple of hours entering their followers into a spreadsheet, or you can use FollowerWonk.

Assuming you use FollowerWonk, this is how you’d go about the process.

To export follower CSV lists, you will need a paid subscription – though there is a free trial of 30 days.

Once you become a member, click on the ‘Analyze’ tab. This is found on the homepage.  Then enter the username you want to target. Once done, use the drop down menu and pick ‘analyze their followers’

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It takes a little while to create the report.

FollowerWonk struggles in terms of downloading information based on more than 100,000 followers. It will therefore take a sample size.

After a little while click on FollowerWonk reports.

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You’ll then see this screen. Pick the report you want to view.

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You’ll then see the report.

Click on the icon highlighted to download the data.

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It will ask you what format you want.

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Pick one and then the report will be created. It will take some time.

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Once downloaded, delete every other column in the file apart from the screen names. Be sure to delete the line called ‘Screen names’ too.

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Then go about uploading this list to Twitter. Go to the Twitter Ads Dashboard. Then click on ‘Tools’ and choose ‘Audience manager.’

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Pick a list name. Then click on usernames and upload your list.

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Submit it all and then wait for Twitter to approve everything.

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Note that the number generally needs to be over 500. If the audience is too small and you’ll get this message.

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It will look like this when complete. Twitter will remove some people from the list you’ve added. The reasons for this vary. Some accounts might be inactive for example.

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Once you’re custom audience has been uploaded, create a campaign.

Then go to this section of the page.

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Click on ‘Add Tailored audiences.’

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You’ll then be able to target the list of followers you uploaded.

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Unclick the ‘Expand reach by targeting similar users’ button.

This feature is designed to include people who might be similar to the audience you’re targeting in that list. You most likely do not want this, as it will include other people and reduce the precision of your campaign.

Excluding a List of Twitter accounts

If you look at the text that follows the button, you will notice that it explains how you can exclude the audience that belongs to your list.

That might be helpful if the list you have downloaded, includes existing customers for example. If you want to create a campaign that excludes this audience list, you’d do the following.

Scroll down and click on the ‘Browse your tailored audiences’ button.

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Then as before, select your audience list. Once selected, you’ll see that the chosen list of Twitter users are now excluded from your campaign.

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From there on, go ahead and create the campaign as you normally would.

Viewing Twitter analytics

If you want to quickly find out some interesting information about your Twitter account, you can head over to analytics.twitter.com.

Even if you’re not running paid Twitter Ads, you can use the page to view some analytics data, based on past tweets.

4. The Twitter Ads technique that became the main source of app downloads for this London startup

If you thought your business was in a crowded market, you might just change your mind after looking at the market for apps.

Tons of apps are coming out each and every week. Yet despite this, a London startup still managed to gain some traction with their app.

Their main source of app downloads? Yep you guessed it – Twitter Ads.

Known as Bizzby (Their story is documented here), the company found that customer value was 20% higher for leads that came through Twitter. Their Twitter leads also produced more quality installs and lead to more returning users.

So what made their Twitter Ads effective?

As with every other company mentioned so far, they first focused on their targeting. They decided to take advantage of the fact that their app relied on local services.

Using Twitter’s ability to target by location, Bizzby focused their ads on specific locations.

When they did this, they were able to convey the precise targeting in the copy. Check out the image below.

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Source

Because they were able to target by postcode, they could catch a user’s attention with personalized and relevant copy. This made the ad highly intriguing.

They also made the genius move of customizing their images –  based on the device being targeted.

If they were advertising to android users, they would show what their app looks like on an android device. They did the same for an iPhone too. This added level of relevance, improved their ability to resonate with potential customers.

Bizzby continually optimized their campaign. They targeted audiences who had not downloaded their app before. The way that their campaigns were set up, meant that they were reaching new people each and every day.

There’s a lot that Bizzby got right. But by now a lot of it should not be new information. They targeted their ads as much as possible and made the copy appealing.

Something that hasn’t been previously touched upon, is that they picked the right kind of ad when setting up their campaign. The campaign was designed to drive app installs. The big button that says install makes it easy for people to do just that.

How you can implement the strategies used by Bizzby

Precise Location Targeting

Bizzby’s location targeting methods allowed for them to separate themselves from the crowd. If you’d like to try out something similar, this is how to implement that strategy.

Go to the targeting section of the campaign creator.

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You have two options here. You can either enter the locations one by one or you can import a list of locations.

This is what happens when you search for locations.

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Enter a postal code or a location and you’ll be presented with a drop down menu. Pick the one that is right for you.

If you want to manually import locations, click on the import locations button. You’ll then see the following screen.

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When you import the locations you’ll subsequently see a drop down menu. This is allows for you to pick the right option.

Keep in mind that Twitter does not cover all areas just yet, and so there might be some errors on a few locations.

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The drop down option is very useful. I’m actually looking to target the Manchester that is based in the UK, not the US one. If I click the drop down menu, I’ll be able to see the UK option of Manchester.

Once done, create your campaign as normal.

How to focus on obtaining new users

If you want to advertise to people who have not installed your app, this is how you would do it.

Click on the ‘Create new campaign’ button and select ‘App installs or engagements’.

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Before you can advertise an App, you need to obtain the URL of the app. You can do this by going to the Playstore or App Store page of your app.

Visit the relevant store and copy the URL, as shown in the image below.

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Then once you have this URL, go back to Twitter and click on ‘Add new App’.

Note that there is an icon here that relates to conversion tracking. You can set that up now or later. We’re going to focus on setting the app up first.

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Once you click ‘Add a new app,’ you’ll be given a choice in terms of the device that you want to target. You can tailor your campaigns towards different devices. This is what the team at Bizzby did.

Ideally you’ll want to create different campaigns for each app. You’ll then have the option of having custom creatives for each app.

To do that choose the device/OS you’re looking to target and enter the URL of your app. If all goes well you should see a logo, based on the app you’re advertising. Click on save.

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You’ll then see this. Click on ‘Select’ so that you can start setting up a campaign for this app.

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You’ll then see this.

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If you do not set up ‘conversion tracking’, Twitter will be doing a lot of guess work.

That means your ad will be shown to people who Twitter ‘thinks’ will like it. Therefore consider setting up conversion tracking on your app, to ensure you’re maximising your chances of drawing in new users.

If you want to activate conversion tracking, click on the blue link called set up conversion tracking.

You’ll then need to go through a process that will implement the tracking process.

Once done, choose the option of targeting ‘People without your app installed.’

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The topic of conversion tracking on Twitter Ads can become an essay in itself. Here is a page created by Twitter, that details the concept and how you can implement it.

5. How a dating firm changed their Twitter Ads to boost CPA by 800%

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Here is an example of a firm that used the Twitter Ads platform early on, but had little success. However as the platform matured and developed a better interface, the company began to see a return.

Of course they also made a few changes to the ads that they were running too.

Known as HowAboutWe, the dating firm explained here, how Twitter Advertising was a big help.

Eventually, Twitter Ads started to produce leads that had a 20% higher chance of becoming paid customers.

Twitter’s targeting capacities, once again came to the rescue. That is thanks to the fact that they could target by location and interest.

The big wins started coming, however, when they implemented a tactic similar to the one used by ‘Poo-Pourri.’

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Once HowAboutWe decided to advertise a 50% discount using Twitter Ads, the company boosted their CPA by 800%. This was in comparison to other campaigns where no discount was present.

It can be seen, therefore, that if you’re looking to run a campaign on Twitter, a discount might be something to consider.

HowAboutWe also followed a similar approach to Bizzby, in that they called out their target locations in their copy. This was another step that also went on to boost conversions.

How to implement the strategies used by HowAboutWe

Interest Targeting

If you want to target people by interest, this is how.

Create a campaign as normal. Then scroll down to the ‘additional targeting criteria’ tab.

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Enter the relevant interests. You can browse categories if you need some inspiration.

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The more interests you tend to add, the larger your reach.

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At the moment, it seem as though people will be targeted for their individual interests.

Meaning that if you have ‘Small business’ and ‘Marketing’ – you won’t be necessarily targeting people who like one AND the other. Rather its one OR the other, with maybe some occasional crossover.

That’s how it currently seems – it might be different once you start implementing your ads. You’ll notice that as you add more interests, reach expands. This might therefore dilute your market to message match, when advertising.

Such an effect might lead to more irrelevant clicks, therefore producing lower conversions and increased ad spend.

That is, of course, assuming that ‘Interests’ are you’re only targeting method. It is better to combine this tactic with the other targeting options provided by Twitter. That way you’ll be able to laser focus your ads.

6. The SaaS company that boosted conversion rates by 22% using Twitter Ads

The SaaS world can be an easy one to reach via Twitter. After all a lot of tech savvy people hang out there and readily engage with others on the platform.

Because of this, it’s easy to see why Pingometer (a company that helps minimize website downtime), managed to boost their conversion rates by 22% with the help of Twitter Ads.

When starting out, Pingometer explained here, how they targeted the audiences of similar companies. This kind of targeting shares similarities with the restaurant mentioned earlier.

Such targeting meant that 9/10 new customers after the campaign, first heard of Pingometer because they clicked on a Twitter Ad.

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The firm also got into the habit of split testing their ads, so that they could see which variations did best. By testing their own assumptions, they were able to use hard data to improve their campaigns success.

Another thing that Pingometer tested was mobile and non-mobile targeting. They experimented by changing their targeting to non-mobile only. This campaign did much better than the one targeted at mobile users.

If you’re looking to run Twitter Ads, you too should get into the habit of segmenting audiences. There is a lot that you can segment, depending on what your product is and who you’re targeting.

Putting yourself in your customers shoes can really help. Pingometer realized that web developers, for instance, were less likely to go through the sign-up process on a mobile.

When looking to apply this to your own business, you’ll want to consider the product or service you’re offering. Consider whether or not your target market would, or even could, purchase your offering on a mobile device.

In any case, what is to be learned from this campaign?

Firstly, you must figure out how you can reach your target audience.

The easiest way for Pingometer to do this was to target the audiences of similar companies. This is a shortcut used by many firms in a variety of niches.

You must also experiment with different ad variations by adjusting copy and images. A new revelation, however, is that results can be amplified by doing some segmentation, to further improve your targeting.

Targeting Specific devices

If you want to target specific devices, do the following. Go about creating a campaign as normal.

Scroll down until you see ‘Select devices and platforms’. Click on that to expand it and you will see the following.

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Pick the devices you want to target and test out your ads.

If you want to be really clever, you can focus on specific devices and connection types.

Relevance is always a good idea when advertising, no matter what the platform.

The options provided, also allow for you to account for human behavior. You may, for instance, only want to advertise an app to those who are connected to WiFi. People might not want to use their data allowance just to download an app.

Consider the points mentioned when creating ads.

Tips for split testing

When split testing it is important to only make one change at a time. That will tell you what lead to a rise or fall in conversions.

Split test the headline, copy and image (if you have one).

Keeping your own swipe file is a great way to come up with brilliant ad and split testing ideas. If you see an ad you like, or you even responded to, screenshot it and store it in your Evernote. Then adapt it to fit your offering and message.

You can also monitor the results of another company or person who used a bit.ly link. To do that, copy the link and then immediately put a plus sign after it. You’ll then be greeted by a dashboard that tells you what results the link attained.

This can be helpful because it can tell you in a sense, how powerful a certain ads call to action was. That is assuming they used a bit.ly link.

Learning more about your customer

When you know more about your existing customers you can then create better ads in the future. That’s because future ads will then resonate with people who share similarities with your existing customer base.

Figure out why people chose you, or what they like best about your service. Do that using  a survey tool. Qualaroo is a good tool to use for those who want to learn more about their customers.

With the information you have discovered, make the relevant changes to your ads. Tinker with them so that they appeal to your target market as much as possible. That might include changes to the copy, for instance.

You should know what kinds of problems your potential customers are currently facing. These must be problems that you can solve. You should also know why existing customers choose you instead of everyone else.  Once you know that, you can implement that information into your copy.

You can also look at the analytics of your Twitter account. What content resonated the most with your user base? What tweet produced the most customers? How can you emulate pass successes?

Time to Tweet?

So there you have it, 6 companies that managed to create an ROI using Twitter Ads. Looking back at each of the niches, it seems as though a trend is emerging.

Most of the firms who obtain a great ROI with Twitter Ads, found a way to locate their potential customers on Twitter. They put a lot of effort into targeting.

If you want to earn some success with your Twitter Ads you need to know who you’re targeting and how to reach them. If you’re stuck,  target the followers of competitors. You can even target companies outside of your niche, that have followers you’d like to engage.

The ad copy and images must be appealing to your target market. This will help build on your targeting efforts. Once you’ve got the targeting down to a tee, you’re free to really experiment with a number of ideas.

You might offer a discount. You could even make use of upcoming events in order to promote your offer. Remember, however, that even though Twitter is a different ad platform, a great CTA is still essential.

Many of the companies that succeeded with Twitter, made their copy entertaining and conversational. This might not apply to all niches, but it’s definitely something to experiment with.

Provided that you’re watching your numbers with an eagle eye, it should all end well. Experiment wisely, and see how you can benefit from some of the strategies mentioned.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to mention them in the comments below.

Good Luck!

About The Author: Rakesh Kumar is a freelance writer and online marketer. He writes regularly on the topic of online marketing. He can help those in need of content or marketing advice.

How B2B SaaS Companies Can Drive Sales With Display Advertising

“Display advertising doesn’t work.”

You’ve likely heard this. Especially if you run a SaaS company.

I’ll admit Display Advertising can be a tough nut to crack. It can take a bit longer to achieve a positive ROI depending on the length of your product’s buying cycle. Yet, Display advertising CAN work for B2B SaaS businesses. Many well-known SaaS companies already use Display to drive leads and sales. A few examples are Intuit, Zendesk, and Salesforce.

However, you don’t need to be a big start up like Dropbox with a huge ad budget. You just need to dial in your targeting, consistently A/B test and follow a proven advertising strategy.

This post outlines the 5 key components to designing an effective Display advertising campaign.

Step #1: Find the best traffic sources – Ad Networks

The first step is getting qualified prospects to your landing pages. SaaS companies need high-quality sources of traffic. They tend to target a more sophisticated audience made up of business owners and decision makers. You won’t find many “affiliate” traffic sources that cater to this audience.

Here are the 4 most used networks by SaaS businesses.

Google Display Network

The Google Display Network on Google Adwords should be your starting point. No network has the quality of traffic or the ability to scale that Google has. This is why most B2B advertisers use Google as their main traffic source. There is, however, one downside to Google: they’re extremely strict with what they’ll allow you to say in your ads and have on your landing pages. Everything will need to be 100% transparent. You’ll need to back all claims up with legitimate evidence. You’ll need to clearly explain your offer. You’ll need to have a privacy policy and make it clear how you handle user privacy. Most B2B SaaS companies won’t have issues with this, but it’s worth mentioning.

BingAds

BingAds is the 2nd to Google in traffic volume. Like Google, their publishers are also going to be of higher quality. The downside to BingAds is they have fewer publishers when compared to Google, making it harder to scale your campaigns. However, Bing is a great addition when you’ve already got your Google campaigns up and running.

Native Ad Networks (Outbrain and Taboola)

Native Ad Networks are the latest and greatest ad networks at the moment. They serve the “Recommended” and “Around the Web” ads you see on large publishers like Huffington Post, Business Insider and Forbes. Ads served by Native Ad Networks look like recommended content and news stories. This means the landing pages and creatives advertisers use tend to be in a different format. A few large SaaS advertisers (like Salesforce) use Native Ad Networks to drive traffic to blog posts or white papers.

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Native Ad Network ads being served on Forbes.com

Prospects read the content and can opt-in to receive more information. This is a great, non “salesy” way to move prospects into your sales funnel. Some of the largest Native Ad Networks are Outbrain, Taboola, Content.Ad and rev:content.

Direct Buys

A Direct Buy is when an advertiser bypasses ad networks and ad exchanges and buys inventory directly from a publisher. This gives you the ability to negotiate prices. You can often get a much better deal with a Direct Buy than on an exchange or network.

Step #2: Find your best customers – Publishers

A “publisher” is the website that you buy ad inventory from. For example, Huffington Post is a publisher. This is one of the most important components and one of the number one reasons why people fail with display advertising. It goes without saying that you need to get your message in front of the right audience.

You’d never sell steaks at a vegan food festival. Yet a lot of advertisers try to sell their enterprise software to prospects on celebrity gossip sites. It sounds crazy, but I see it all the time.

Industry Dependent

The first place to begin when choosing publishers is to select websites with content related to your product.

 

Let’s use Quickbooks accounting software as an example. Quickbooks wants to target small business owners, accountants, or anyone who is going to do the books for small businesses. Intuit (the company who created Quickbooks) buys traffic on sites like accountingweb.com and journalofaccountancy.com. Both sites contain content related to accounting. People browsing these sites will have accounting on the brain. They’ll be more receptive to an ad about accounting software.

 

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Example of a Quickbooks ad on AccountingWeb.com

Another example is Yahoo! advertising on Search Engine Land (a website targeted at SEM and SEO professionals) for their webcast. Search Engine Land’s audience will be interested in a webcast that teaches how to write better ad copy.

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User Demographic and Mindset

One of the keys to success — and best ways to scale — is to not just target sites based on their content. There are only going to be so many accounting and SEM websites out there. You’ll soon run out of options for converting publishers. However, there are hundreds of news, political and general interest sites out there.

This is where it helps to know the demographic and psychographics of your prospects. There are likely certain political, religious and general interest sites that people who might be interested in your software regularly browse. For example, someone who is republican or democrat might be more likely to be an accountant, small business owner or SEM manager. You’d then want to target sites where these people hang out.

How do you find these sites?

This is where competitive intelligence comes in. You’ll want to browse — or use competitive intelligence software — and find sites that might be relevant to your target market. Take note of who advertises on these publishers. Are you repeatedly seeing ads from other SaaS companies or even general B2B business offers? Then you know this might be a good publisher for your company as well. Keep track of these specific publishers in an excel file. Also take screenshots of their ad creatives. You’ll want to create a “swipe file” with ad creatives that work for other B2B businesses.

Common Publisher Categories For SaaS Businesses

Most SaaS businesses end up selling to other SaaS businesses. This means there are a few common publishers categories that work well for most SaaS advertisers.

  • Tech News – Business owners and decision makers want to stay on the pulse of what’s going on in the tech industry. The best place to reach them is through tech news websites. Some of the most common include Mashable.com, VentureBeat.com and TheNextWeb.com.
  • SEO/SEM News Sites – Business owners and employees who might use your SaaS tool are likely going to be on internet marketing websites. Specifically, SEO and SEM. You’ll see a lot of SaaS and small internet businesses advertising on publishers like Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and Search Engine Journal.
  • Job Sites – Businesses are always looking for a few good men and women. It might be a bit harder to drill down to target only business owners (and not unemployed job seekers) but many SaaS businesses advertise here. One advantage to job sites is that companies with enough cash to hire new employees probably have enough cash to afford your product. A few popular publishers in this space include jobs2careers.com and Monster.com.
  • General Business News Sites – Similar to tech news, anyone interested in business might read sites like Business Insider, Business.com, Fortune and Forbes. These publishers are a great place to test out the Native Ad Networks we talked about in step #1.

Step #3: Get them to click your ads – Ad Creatives

The ad creative serves the purpose of cutting through the clutter and picking your prospects out from the crowd. Most B2B SaaS companies will be best served by using straightforward offers in most of their ad creatives. This selects only the most serious customers on a given publisher.

Most B2B SaaS companies rely on two different ad creative + landing page combinations:

The Free Trial Offer and the “Ethical Bribe”.

Free Trial Offer

A simple concept: the user can sign-up for a free trial of your software. It’s can work, but it’s not always the best route to take. Why? Take a look at the usage statistics of your free trial users. The majority login once and then never again.

Examples of Free Trial ads:

 

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Ethical Bribe

You’re unlikely to get many sales or even free trial leads from Display or any other advertising channel. People are going to be hesitant about committing their time or money to anything they’re unsure about. You’ll need to educate them on how your specific solution can solve their problems. You can also show them how other companies have used your solution to solve their issues.

The way to do this is to offer an “ethical bribe”. An ethical bribe usually comes in the form of a white paper, guide or case study. The idea is to present your product in a way that convinces a prospect to at least give it their attention. Most advertisers force users to opt-in with a valid email address (and sometimes phone number) in order to download the ethical bribe. This allows the advertiser to pitch them through email marketing or even call them.

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Ensighten creates software to help businesses manage their websites more effectively. This ad leads to an opt-in page to receive their free report, “How Enterprise Data and Tag Management Will Boost Conversions & Revenue Beyond Your Expectations”

The “ethical bribe” is more commonly used than the free trial offer. Most SaaS products require more customer education in order for the prospect to see the value of their software and even consider giving it a test run.

Ad Creative Formula

The best way to design higher converting ad creative is not to reinvent the wheel. The best strategy is to analyze the ad creatives of other SaaS companies (competitors and non-competitors) and “copy” their successful template. You can be sure that a specific “formula” is working well if it’s being used over and over again.

Here’s a basic formula you can follow. It might not be the optimal design for your specific product, but it will do the job 90% of the time.

  • Company Colors – Most companies tend to use the colors that are shown on their landing page/logo. This helps the prospect begin to associate those specific colors with your brand. For example, the green in the Quickbooks ad above captures your eye and you begin to associate that color with Quickbooks (green is a great color for them because it’s also the color of money).
  • Company Logo – SaaS advertisers also tend to use their logo within the ads to further the effort of brand recognition.
  • Product image – Besides the logo, they usually show screenshots of the software being used on a monitor or phone. This instantly signals that they’re going to be led to a page all about a specific piece of software. If you’re doing lead generation with a white paper or guide, you can even put together a picture of an eBook cover or a PDF. Anything that makes it transparent what the user will receive when they click through tends to work very well.
  • Benefit Driven Copy – Your copy should be benefit driven. You don’t want to list out what technical features your product includes. You want to list out the benefits your prospects receives by clicking through and signing up for a free trial or by downloading your ethical bribe.
  • Call-To-Action Button – No need to get fancy here. All you need to do is tell them what they’ll receive after they click your ad. A simple “Download Your Free Guide” is often all you’re going to need. Buttons in your ad creative tend to work well because people are used to clicking on them. They see a button and they immediately know it’s meant to be clicked. Avoid using just simple text unless you find a way to make it stand out.

Here are a few different ads that follow the above guidelines quite well:

 

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Step #4: Get them to convert – Landing Pages

The success of your Display campaigns has less to do with your ad creative, and more to with what happens after the click.

You can have the best copy. The best images. And the highest quality traffic. Yet, if your landing page isn’t designed for conversions… say goodbye to positive ROI.

The good part about landing pages for SaaS businesses is that simplicity seems to reign supreme here. You won’t need a fancy video sales letter or long-form sales page to get people to convert. You can just follow the formula of what the most successful SaaS Display advertisers are doing.

Ethical Bribe Landing Pages

These landing pages follow up on your offer of some sort of “ethical bribe” in exchange for your prospect’s contact info. These pages tend to be pretty simple and focused on one goal, which is getting their email address. Also a great way to cookie someone for retargeting for a webinar, more free content, free trial or a direct sale.

Example: Tableau

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“Ethical bribe” landing page used by Tableau.

Tableau is data visualization and business intelligence software.

A large graphic right below the header with a headline that calls out what the prospect will get if they opt-in to receive the ethical bribe. In this case that comes in the form of a white paper that gives you five of the best practices for creating an effective dashboard. Below the call-to-action there is a bit more text, which explains what is contained in the whitepaper and why you should download it. Further down the page there is a short testimonial and a brief overview of what Tableau software does.

Free Trial Landing Pages

Offer your prospects a free trial to test out your software. This requires a different style of landing page, albeit very simple to design. Even though the trial is free, you’ll still have to get them excited enough about your product to actually use their free trial, because most people don’t.

Example: Kissmetrics

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One landing page Kissmetrics has tested out to get free trial sign-ups.

Most free trial landing pages (like the Kissmetrics page above) include a few paragraphs of info about the product and what it does. These landing pages usually include the free trial sign-up for directly on the page. Very rarely will an advertiser make their prospect click through to another page to sign-up for a free trial.

So now you’ve got your traffic, your ad creatives and your optimized landing pages. But what happens if the people that come to your site don’t convert? Step #5 could be the most important part of your Display funnel, so read on.

Step #5: Didn’t convert? Follow-up with them.

The vast majority of people who see your landing page will neither sign-up for a free trial, opt-in or directly purchase your product, EVEN if you do steps 1-4 perfectly.

However, not all is lost. There is a way to follow-up with prospects who have already seen your page. This is called “retargeting”. It works like this: a user hits your page and is tagged with a piece of code (called a cookie). That cookie allows you to follow them around and serve them ads on other websites. Some people call them “stalker ads”. It might seem a bit creepy, but it works.

Retargeting works because people are busy. They might want your product, but something might have distracted at the moment of purchase/sign-up and now they’ve moved on. People need to be constantly reminded.

Retargeting is especially important for SaaS businesses with long sales cycles and high price points. Since the user has already seen your site and is familiar with your brand, most SaaS companies hit them with a free trial during their retargeting campaigns, not the initial campaigns.

Example: Optimizely

Retargeting ad creatives lean more towards being “branding” style ads. The prospect has already seen your site and has some familiarity with your brand. You don’t necessarily need to state what you do. You just need to give them a quick reminder of what your software is about (in this case “The #1 Website Optimization Tool”). Most retargeting ad creatives follow the simple formula of having a large headline, the brand’s logo and a big call-to-action.

 

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“Branding” style remarketing ad. Shows the logo, basic text and a large call-to-action

As mentioned in the previous section, MuleSoft sends most cold traffic to a lead generation page where they can download a white paper. Once they’ve downloaded the white paper and are sold on the benefits of using MuleSoft in their business, they’re more likely to sign-up for a free trial.

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Optimizely uses a simple free trial landing page that gives the user no other option but to test it out

Although the example of Optimizely is very basic, you can get things advanced very quickly with retargeting. You can show different offers, messages and opt-in opportunities depending on how long it’s been since they’ve visited the page. You can show different messaging to users who hit specific pages (e.g. someone who looks at your “tour” page might receive a different message than someone who just looks at the home page).

All of that is quite advanced and goes beyond the scope of this beginner post. But trust me when I tell you that retargeting is very powerful tool that ALL businesses should be using.

Conclusion

While the strategies in this post will get you started, I can’t emphasize enough that the key to seeing success with paid advertising is patience. Things will often not work on the first go. That’s okay. The key is to do your competitive intelligence and see what other companies are doing successfully and then test that out. Testing and patience are two of the most important aspects of Display, bar none. But trust me when I tell you that the sky is the limit when you get paid advertising converting. It’s one of the best ways to get a steady stream of customers and I highly recommend that any business take advantage of this amazing channel.

About the Author: Mike is the Founder of Adbeat, an advertising intelligence tool that will help you find your competitor’s advertising strategy at a glance on 100,000+ websites – view competitors winning ad copy, best website placements, and landing pages. Learn more about digital media strategy on the Adbeat blog.

How to Use Social Proof to get Better Results from Facebook Ads

Today’s article is a guest contribution by Aimee Millwood.

Facebook ads provide enormous potential to grow traffic and sales. But knowing how to create ads that get results isn’t easy. Many businesses fail to grow traffic on social because they don’t know how to create ads that grab attention.

Here’s the bottom line: To sell on social media, you must use social proof, and it has to be the right social proof.

Don’t just take our word for it.

What the Data Has to Say about User-Generated Content (UGC) Facebook Ads

We ran A/B tests to compare how Facebook ads with customer content performed against ads with only brand content.

We saw that cost per acquisition dropped significantly, while conversion rate and average order value shot up.

On average, Facebook ads with UGC had:

  • 300% higher click-through rate (CTR)
  • 50% lower cost per click (CPC)
  • 50% lower cost per acquisition (CPA)

Why the great results?

For one thing, selling on social has traditionally been difficult for many brands. Social is a place where people go to connect with their friends and networks, not to look for things to buy. As Gilt’s Susan Lyne put it, trying to sell on social is like trying to sell at a bar.

She may have a point, but done correctly, selling on social is possible. You’ve just got to join in the conversation rather than interrupt it.

By integrating content created by customers (and Facebook friends), people see a recommendation from a person they trust, not an ad thrown at them by a brand.

These results are great, but they don’t mean you should run off to Facebook and start putting your customers’ UGC on ads.

It’s not enough to simply plaster a customer-submitted Instagram photo or product review on an ad. You need to know how to integrate customer content intelligently in order to tap into its potential.

How to Get the Best Results from Facebook Ads

We’re here to teach you what the data showed us about how to drive the best results from Facebook ads.

We sat down with our Director of Advertising and took a look at insights gained from testing thousands of customer-content Facebook ads. Here are our conclusions along with insider tips on how to get the best results from Facebook ads.

These tips and statistics deal specifically with using reviews in Facebook ads, but the advice applies regardless of what type of UGC you’re using.

1. Take Advantage of Ad Copy

The review (or other UGC) is obviously the most important part of the effectiveness of the ad. But the ad copy is a key element as well. Some tips:

  • Keep it short. Shorter ad copy performs better.
  • Though it may seem counter-intuitive, don’t use the word “reviews”! It comes across as too salesy. Ads with the word “reviews” in the copy don’t perform as well.
  • Make sure the voice in the copy matches your brand voice and message, not the customer’s. The review is where you let the customer speak. The top of the ad should stay on brand.

For example, in the ad below, notice how the ad copy is short and to the point, in the same tone as the review itself. Also, the copy is concise but comprehensive, making it easy for people to understand the message instantly.

brathwait-return-of-the-gentleman

However, the following ad copy refers to the review; and because of this, it comes across as too salesy and forced. Additionally, the tone is much more formal than the review, so it doesn’t work as well. Also, it’s too long, so it doesn’t have the same impact that short, snappy ad copy does.

brathwait-return-of-the-gentleman-2

2. Use Product Reviews for First-Time Visitors and Site Reviews for Re-targeting

In social advertising, it’s vital to target the right person with the right message at the right time.

When it comes to Facebook ads, this means you should use a specific kind of review, depending on whether people are familiar with your store or they are first-time visitors. When you’re trying to gain clicks and traffic, it’s better to use product reviews.

Use reviews of top-rated, top-selling products to attract first-time visitors with specific items.

nations-photo-lab

Once someone has clicked through to your site, seal the deal by re-targeting them with ads containing site reviews.

nations-photo-lab-2

Why? Top-rated, top-selling products will attract new visitors, but after they visit the site and don’t buy the product, it’s more effective to re-target them with site reviews. Site reviews emphasize the authenticity and strength of the brand, not a specific product, so the reviews will reinforce your brand even if the visitors don’t want to buy the specific product.

3. Include Personal Key Words

You might be proud of a review that says “Great shipping and excellent service,” but that doesn’t mean it makes good copy for an ad. Especially on social media, people want to read about real experiences. Using personal pronouns is a psychological cue that the stories are authentic.

Because of this, reviews that have words like “I,” “my,” or “we” are much more effective than reviews that don’t refer to personal experiences.

4. Avoid Reviews with Multiple Exclamation Points

The beauty of using UGC as ad creative is that it is genuine and credible content from real people.

However, when the copy is too enthusiastic, even if it is real, it looks fake to the reader.

Even though the overexcited review looks good to you, it is less trustworthy, which is why ads using reviews with “!!!” are less effective.

So, keep your reviews to one exclamation point maximum.

Look at the difference in the two ads below. While subtle, including too much enthusiasm doesn’t seem as trustworthy.

life-beam

life-beam-2

5. Focus on the Experience

It’s better to use a review in which someone talks about using the product than one in which they describe the fast shipping. Once again, it comes back to people wanting to relate to a real and personal experience.

Reviews that tell a story like “I gave these bracelets to my daughter for her birthday and she was so excited,” are more effective than something like, “The bracelets arrived quickly.”

In the example below, the carousel displays reviews with generic praise about the product and service.

pawstruck

In contrast, the following carousel contains specific examples of personal experiences, making it much more effective and relatable.

pawstruck-2

6. Test It First

Try not to put money into anything you haven’t tested organically first. The beauty of Facebook is that you have a lab where you can test content, albeit on a smaller scale than with an ad.

Test different copy, images, and audiences to see what resonates before you pull out your money.

test-it-first

In summary, the customer’s voice is your most powerful marketing tool. Use it to your advantage by integrating customer content in your Facebook ads. These tips can help you get the best results from this effective strategy.

About the Author: Aimee Millwood (@aimeemillwood) manages the Yotpo blog, where she writes about marketing, growth, and engagement.

How to Find Which Areas of Your Site Need A/B Testing

If you’re an online marketer running the majority of your A/B tests on your homepage, you’re missing out on a big opportunity. Don’t get me wrong. Running tests on your homepage is fine, but there are other areas of your site that likely need some optimization. And, with Kissmetrics, you can find them and even track your tests. Read on to see how it’s done…

Using the Funnel Report to Identify Roadblocks

Every SaaS and ecommerce website has a set of steps that each visitor needs to go through before they purchase. Your typical SaaS funnel may look like this:

  • Visited site
  • Signed up for a trial
  • Activated/used product
  • Credit card billed

Visitors may browse around after visiting the site (e.g., viewing pricing page, features page, about page, etc.), but viewing those pages is not necessary in order to complete signup.

Ecommerce funnels are a little different and may look like this:

  • Visited site
  • Viewed product
  • Added product to cart
  • Purchased product

Once a marketer views their funnel, they’ll clearly see where visitors drop off.

Let’s use the Kissmetrics Funnel Report for an example ecommerce site to identify where people are dropping off.

may-kissmetrics-funnel-report-ecommerce-example

We see two major drop-offs here. Only 33% of visitors who viewed a product added a product to their cart. And, of those 25,000 people, only 13% purchased a product. We can test both of these areas, but today we’ll test some ways to increase that 13% conversion rate.

The 25,000 people who added a product to their cart have shown interest in the product, like the price, and have indicated a desire to purchase. Our next step is to dig a little deeper into the purchase process.

Zoom in with Micro Funnels

Getting from adding a product to cart to purchasing involves quite a few steps for many ecommerce companies. It has a few variables as well.

For some ecommerce companies, visitors have to register for an account before they can purchase. Others let visitors complete their purchase first.

Current customers have an easier time. For them, the entire process is only about two steps, from proceeding to checkout to purchasing.

In our example, of the 25,000 people who added a product to their cart, some are registered customers and some are unregistered visitors. We’ll zoom in and focus on the new visitor checkout funnel. This funnel looks at how our new, unregistered visitors move from Added Product to Cart to Purchased Product.

zoomed-in-funnel-ecommerce-kissmetrics-may

This micro funnel makes it clear that the culprit is converting visitors from the cart page (Added Product to Cart) to Registered. After visitors convert to Registered, about half of them move to Confirmation, and then most of those people purchase.

We’ll start with the area that needs our attention the most. Our goal is to move more people from the cart page to Registered. Before we begin testing some variation pages, we’ll need to gather feedback from people in this area of our site.

Gathering Feedback before Testing

We can jump to dozens of conclusions about why our new visitors don’t move to Registered. They may not be ready to buy, don’t want to register, don’t know shipping costs, don’t feel safe buying from us, are unaware of the return policy, have questions but no one is available to answer, etc.

Instead of guessing what they’re thinking, let’s ask them.

Qualaroo provides one of the best platforms for quickly and easily gathering user feedback. You’ve probably seen them around the web. They’re those small boxes that appear in the bottom right of a page. Here’s how ours will look:

qualaroo-question

We’ll target the people who have at least one product in their cart, and place it on every page. We’ll wait until we have about 700+ responses and see if we can find trends in the feedback.

Now, let’s fast forward and get our feedback. The majority of responses say they don’t know the shipping costs and don’t want to register for an account if shipping costs are unreasonable.

Once we have this feedback, we can create a variation cart page that includes a shipping calculator.

Tracking the A/B Test

We’ll design the new page and launch it in a tool like Optimizely. The great thing about Kissmetrics is that we don’t have to leave it to track our tests. With the A/B Test Report, we create our test in an A/B testing platform (like Optimizely) and track the results within the Report.

So we’ve launched our new test and it has been running for a few weeks. Let’s check the results in the A/B Test Report.

Here’s the setup for the A/B Test. We’re tracking people who convert to Purchased Product. This is the real strength of the A/B Test Report – it allows you to test any part of your funnel. You aren’t limited to testing to the next conversion step.

cart-page-ecommerce-ab-test-kissmetrics

We’ll click Run Report and see which page won.

winning-variation-ab-test-report-kissmetrics

The variant page is a winner the entire way. It clearly performs better at delivering purchases than the original page, which did not have a shipping calculator. And, since we were testing for Purchased Product, we can confidently move forward and push the variant page to 100% of visitors.

Use Kissmetrics’s Engage to Increase Conversions

Engage lets marketers display triggered popups, nudges, and lightboxes that boost conversions. From now until January 2016, you can test-drive Engage as part of your Kissmetrics plan.

In addition to running A/B tests on areas of your site where you lose customers, you can also display an engagement.

For example, let’s say you’re an ecommerce site running a flash sale. To increase awareness of your sale, you display a lightbox that appears on all, or selected, URLs on your site. When visitors click on the lightbox, you can send them to the landing page detailing that flash sale. So you can improve conversions and sales with this lightbox. There’s nothing additional to install, and no code or design resources are needed. It’s all done in Kissmetrics.

Increase Your Success by Improving the Most Underperforming Areas

Here’s a recap of the main points:

  • Too many A/B tests are run on homepages.
  • To increase conversions, it’s important to find which areas of your site are underperforming, and run tests there.
  • Use the Funnel Report to find which parts of your funnel are underperforming.
  • Create a test in your favorite tool and track the results in the Kissmetrics A/B Test Report.
  • Use Engage to create popups, nudges, and lightboxes to boost conversions.

Demo

Want to know more about the Funnel Report and the A/B Test Report? Just watch the short videos below, starting with the Funnel Report.

//fast.wistia.net/embed/iframe/apnuygikma?videoFoam=true

Test any part of your funnel with the A/B Test Report.

//fast.wistia.net/embed/iframe/1k4ptzuox4?videoFoam=true

Move visitors to actions with Engage:

 

 

Sign up for a free 14-day trial to get your hands on the Funnel, A/B Test Reports, Engage, and our other suite of reports.

Want to explore Kissmetrics a little more before signing up? No problem. We’ve set up a Demo site where you can poke around and see how Kissmetrics benefits both SaaS and ecommerce businesses. Better yet, request a personal demo to see how Kissmetrics can work for your business.

About the Author: Zach Bulygo (Twitter) is a Content Writer for Kissmetrics.

The Top Frustrating Problems with Instagramming for Business – And How to Fix Them!

So you’re taking the time to really be active in engaging with and posting for your target audience. Props to you my friend! You’re tapping into a seriously engaged community.

But holy cow, you’re starting to realize that the Instagram app isn’t the most time-efficient mode of marketing.

Like, how do businesses find the time to post everyday at prime positing times? And there’s gotta be a better way than constantly logging in and out of personal vs. business Instagram accounts!

But let’s take a step back here… *deep  breath*. Instagram wasn’t made for time saving marketing necessarily, but you can make it a serious marketing tool that doesn’t suck 4 hours out of your day with the right tools. (PS. You can learn all the tactics for engaging with your audience and turning them into customers here.)

I’ve put together a comprehensive list of the Top 7 Most Frustrating Instagram for Business Issues – and best of all, how to solve them with some pretty rad time-saving and automation tools!

Problem 1: No Time to Post Around Your Optimum Sharing Schedule

The secret nitro-injection to getting more likes and engagements on your Instagram photos is to post around the ideal engagement times for your followers. And you should find these optimum posting times (if you haven’t already, tsk tsk!) with a little research on analytical apps like Iconosquare.

But… what if that research told you that your followers are most active on Fridays at 5:00pm… and darn it that’s right when your weekly reports are due – you just don’t have a clone to both polish up an Insta-post and also finish all your biz at once!

Well, check out these time-saving scheduling apps for Instagram (I know, it’s been an elusive concept!). Queue up those like-worthy posts when you have the time, and send ‘em out throughout the week. Time crunch nightmare over!

Latergramme – Your Personal Instagram Assistant (who works for free!)

This simple-to-use app lets you schedule Instagram posts for future dates – choose your photo, caption, hashtags, and then pick the date and time this post will go out. Easy as that!

Choose and crop your photo:

Latergram-1

Choose your caption and hashtags:

latergram-2

Then pick the date and time for the post to go out:

latergram-3

You can also queue up and schedule posts from your desktop!

Latergram-4

When it’s time for one of your scheduled posts to go out, you receive a push notification to your phone.

latergram-5

Just click the notification, which will bring you into the IG app with your photo and caption all queued up, just waiting for you to tap “publish”. Piece. of. Cake.

Note: This app doesn’t actually post for you! You gotta actually click through.

The Latergram perks:

  • You can switch between IG accounts from one spot
  • You can queue up photos FROM YOUR DESKTOP (this is huge!)
  • Scheduling posts means you won’t forget any prime posting times
  • It’s Free! (for 30 posts a month)

“Latergram takes the hassle out of remembering to post work. I would forget to post to my work Instagram for weeks at a time, then I’ll remember to post four days in a row” says Sarah Williams of FStoppers. “You’re not going to build a solid following on Instagram with spotty posting.”

Schedugram – All the Bells and Whistles of Instagram Management

As far as handy features and time-savers go, Schedugram is on the rampage. In a good way. We’re still covering Insta problem number one at this point – scheduling – but the more I talk about Schedugram the more you’ll see it’s going to solve a lot of your other Insta-issues, too.

Just be ready for the price tag that comes along with it (starts at about $20 a month if you have less than 10,000 followers).

With Schedugram you can schedule future posts using a calendar system similar to Latergram, but when the time comes to publish you don’t even gotta be hooked up to the grid. Schedugram posts it for you! Voila.

Schedugram-1

This clever app that found a way around Instagram’s third-party posting rules (they’ve got a fleet of physical phones and tablets shootin’ out posts via the Instagram app) also boasts some totally kick-butt features.

Perks of Schedugram:

  • Upload photos in bulk (from either desktop or iPhone)

Schedugram-2

  • Built-in photo editing (it’s integrated with Canva, for awesome text overlay and filters!)

Schedugram-editing

  • Easily post to multiple Instagram accounts without always logging in and out
  • Add as many users as you want to be able to contribute and collaborate on your Instagram account
  • Fill out your caption, hashtags and ALSO a first comment (if you like stickin’ your hashtags in the comment, not that caption)

Schedugram-4

Photo courtesy of Luiz Centenaro.

Downsides?

  • Not free.
  • Double check your posts – Because this app has to work around Instagram’s third-party terms to post for you, some users have found troubles with posts not actually getting posted, or Instagram deleting posts later… it hasn’t happened to me, but if you want that assurance that your post really goes through, Latergram’s manual posting might be the option for you!

An important disclaimer – remember that Instagram is intended for ‘sharing moments’ and the culture of this social media revolves around authentic, real-life glimpses into behind-the-scenes lifestyles. So don’t go all robot, and impersonal and schedule everything. Keep it personal and human, too!

Runner Ups (because it’s always good to have options!)

  • OnlyPult – starts at $12 a month (with a 7-day free trial). Schedule posts from both desktop and mobile, built-in filters and editing, and it posts for you (like Schedugram does)

onlypult

  • Postso – Starts at $14.95 a month (14-day free trial), this scheduling app works for multiple social media sites (including Twitter and FB). Simple and straightforward scheduling.

Postso

Problem 2: Balancing Multiple IG Accounts

The Instagram app does NOT make it easy to flip between accounts. So when you wanna go from your personal account (just posted those great Hawaii sunset pics!) back to your brand’s account (time to launch a contest!)… it can get time consuming logging out and logging back in every time!

Here’s the trick – use a third-party app to manage BOTH (and more) accounts from one spot.

I’ve already mentioned the motherload offered by Schedugram… and yes, they have an awesome option for switching between accounts easily. Just keep in mind that Schedugram charges per account, so again, it’s the pricier option.

Here are some more options for solving this Insta inconvenience and managing multiple accounts from one place (check out this awesome list from Digital Trends, too):

Fotogramme – Your Two-Places-At-Once App for Balancing Multiple Accounts

David Lee King was recently struggling to switch between both his personal IG account and his library’s account – until he discovered Fotogramme!

“Fotogramme is an Instagram management iPhone app with multiple account support. It allows me to view photos, post Likes and comments, manage followers, and Favorite users and hashtags for easier recall,” says King. “It also sends alerts to my iPhone, so I know when there’s activity on the library’s Instagram account.”

The Perks of Fotogramme:

  • It’s free!

Photogram-1

  • Switch between multiple accounts without annoying logins! You can view your feed, comment and like all from one place.

Fotogram-2

Fotogram-3

  • Search for hashtags and users right on the app
  • Create a ‘Favorites’ list of users, with a separate feed of only the peeps you never want to miss a post from

Fotogram-5

Downsides of Fotogramme?

  • You can’t upload or schedule posts
  • Mobile only (but so is Instagram, mostly).

So, if you’re mainly looking for a more comfortable and convenient way to manage your engagement and comments on Insta – Fotogramme’s got you covered.

Primary – Fine-tuned Instagram Perusing for Time-Efficient Engagement

Boasting a few more features than Fotogramme at a one-time price of $1.99, Primary (previously Gramatica) is another tool for switching between multiple accounts without cumbersome log-ins.

Primary-1

Perks of Primary

  • again, easily switch between multiple accounts
  • view feeds, comment, and like photos

Primary-2

  • make lists of favorite users or hashtags you’re interested in, so photos you’re really interested in are easier to find in your feed!
  • filter out videos, and also disable the auto-play option

Primary-3

  • url links in IG captions are clickable in this app (which IG itself doesn’t do!)
  • Easily find where you left off! If your Instagram scrolling gets interrupted (psh, people calling me on my phone while I’m on Insta!) the ‘last photo viewed’ flag, and pick up where you left off. Total time saver.

Negatives to Primary?

  • Again… no posting or scheduling abilities
  • Mobile only.

Problem 3: It’s Tricky to Respond to Every Comment!

So your brand is popular on Instagram – right on! But if you’re getting tens – even hundreds – of comments for every post,  how are you supposed to keep up that engagement and get to everybody? There’s an app for that.

InstaCommentor: Your Interactive To-Do List for Responding to IG Comments

You don’t have hours to go back through all your comments and holla back at every fan… but the truth is, engagement with your people on Instagram is a huge boost for your brand loyalty. So how do you keep track of all your comments and replies?

InstaCommentor – Your Interactive Comment Organizer

This app organizes all your incoming comments to more easily manage any un-replied-to comments.

Perks of Instacommentor:

  • See awaiting comments on your last 20 posts

InstaCommentor

  • Choose to see a list of all comments, and even specifically your not replied to comments.

instacommenter-2

  • Easy clicks to knock out personalized replies, and automatically switch pending comments over to the ‘replied’ list
  • You can even reply to multiple commenters at once.

Instacommentor-3

Downsides?

  • This guy costs you $1.99
  • You have to log-out and log back in to switch between accounts.

Iconosquare – The Ridiculously Helpful Instagram Manager That Almost Shouldn’t be Free!

So we talked about this big-player earlier when I mentioned analytics for your Instagram. But there’s so much more you can get from Iconosquare – including a simple comments manager!

Iconosquare shows you a list of your latest posts:

Iconosquare

And tells you which comments you haven’t replied to yet:

Iconosquare-2

Easy as that. (Iconosquare’s got some more tricks up its sleeve – we’ll go over them more in Problems 5 and 8)

Problem 4: Hard to Edit Photos and Manage Feeds from Small Mobile Screens

So, mobile is awesome when you’re out and about, jetsetting, and waiting in line at the bank. But sometimes you just want a big screen to edit your shots and organize your Instagram business.

While primarily mobile, Instagram does have some functions for desktop – you can view your feed and you can comment and like photos.

IG-Desktop-1

BUT, you can’t post anything, and searching is kinda a no-go. Which sends you back to the ol’ smart phone. Unless:

Use one of these for easy breezy Instagramming on your big-screen desktop. Did somebody say full keyboard? Woot!

Remember Iconosquare?

That always helpful app lets you view your Instagram on your desktop as well:

Iconosquare-desktop

Iconosquare-desktop-2

You can comment, like, and follow as well.

Ink361 – A Stylish Big Screen Instagram Viewer

The attractive, functional look of Ink361 makes it easy to quickly scan your feed plus like and comment on people’s photos.

Ink-361

Perks of Ink361:

  • Big screen viewing on a desktop
  • Track statistics about your account, like most-liked photos, engagement-to-follower rates, and comments-per-post rates.

Ink-361-2

  • Search for hashtags and users (and Ink361 gives you relevant tags, too)

Ink-361-3

  • Make albums to organize some of your photos a little easier.
  • It’s free!

Negative?

  • You can’t post (we’ve heard that one before).

Runner Up:

  • Webstagram – Similar to Ink361, Webstagram lets you keep track of your Instagram from the desktop. Organize your feed in a one by one list for fast commenting:

Webstagram-1

Or in a grid format:

Webstagram-2

Problem 5: It’s Time Consuming to Post Across Social Media Networks

Want a magic spell to make your insta post insta-appear across your other social networks? As of right now, you have to go in manually to Instagram and check the ‘Share’ buttons. BUT, with the wizardry that is IFTTT, all that can be done automatically for you! Because, you know, when you’re busy every second saved is sooo worth it!

IFTTT – Your Secret Short Cut for Maximum Efficiency

IFTTT is an amazing app of recipes – no, not food recipes, but little time-saving recipes that add shortcuts to your daily routine.

IFTTT stands of “IF This then That” and it’s awesome for soooo many things, but we’ll focus on Instagram for now.

Basically, you set up any ‘recipe’ for something you want to happen anytime you do something else. So, for example: “If [I post a photo to Instagram] then [share that photo on Twitter]” and so on.

Perks?

  • Your time-consuming technical tasks are done for you, automatically

Downsides?

  • Uhhh… none!

I’ll run you through an example of IFTTT’s magic:

Say I want to create a photo post on my WordPress blog every time I post a photo to Instagram with a specific tag.

Here’s how I make the recipe:

IFTTT-1

First choose the “this.”

Untitled

I scroll down until I find “Instagram”.

IFTTT-3

I pick the action I want. For this example I’m going with the second option – every time I post a photo with a specific tag.

IFTTT-4

Now I decide what I want that specific tag to be.

IFTTT-5

First half done, time to choose my “that.” I want it to go on my blog, so I scrolled down til I found WordPress.

IFTTT-6

Then choose, “Create a photo post.”

IFTTT-7

Now I get to fill in my specifics for the WordPress post…

IFTTT-8

And click create.

Done!

IFTTT-9

Problem 6: Need to Tidy Up Followers List for Only Quality Connections

When your follower list gets up there, it’s hard to see who’s really engaging with you, who’s following you back, and who’s unfollowing you. That’s where Crowdfire (formerly JustUnfollow) comes in.

Crowdfire – For Managing Your Fans and Friends on Instagram

Organize your followers and fan lists with Crowdfire.

The Perks:

  • See who’s not following you back (#nonfollowers)

JustUnfollow

  • See who just followed or unfollowed you
  • Whitelist and Blacklist people (highlight as ‘friends’ or ‘don’t want to hear from them anymore’)
  • FriendCheck – quickly look up a specific account to see if they follow you

Problem 7: Promote Your Instagram Photos Outside of Instagram

Let’s face it – we love Instagram but not quite literally EVERYBODY is on it. So how do you include all your fans in your photo-sharing world?

Here are some options for sharing your Instagram love with the non-instagram world:

Remember IFTTT? Check out all the amazing options that magic app has for connecting your IG posts to your WordPress site, Flickr, Facebook… even Reddit, Digg, emails… there are a ridiculous amount of options there for getting your IG photos into other publicly accessible places.

Iconosquare – Back Again to Save the Instagram Day

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this app is totally amazing for analytics (like, we boosted our IG followers by 3,622% in 1 month once we used Iconosquare to strengthen our strategy!).

The Perks of Iconosquare for Promotion:

Iconosquare-promotion-1

 

They can even see comments, add their own comments, and share your IG photos on their other social media accounts.

 

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  • Install an app on Facebook through your Iconosquare, that displays your IG images on a separate tab.

Icono-promo-3

The Iconosquare app adds a tab to your Facebook page, so FB users can check out your feed.

  • Create a photo gallery widget that shows off your latest IG images right on your website or blog.

Icono-widget-1Untitled1

There are plenty of other widgets available for integrating an IG portfolio onto your WordPress site.

Choose the IG Managing Apps That Solve Your Logistical IG Hiccups

Ok, phew… that was a lot. And let me tell you, this list isn’t even half of the app options out there to manage your business’s Insta. Yeah, I dove in deep. With this list of apps, you should now be able to smooth over the logistical inconveniences of using Instagram for business.

As a refresher, here’s a quick re-cap and link to all the apps I’ve mentioned here, and why you’d want ‘em.

  • LatergrammeSchedules posts for future dates, then sends you push notifications (free!)
  • Schedugram – Covers post scheduling, multiple accounts, multiple users, and some analytics (not free)
  • OnlyPult Schedules future posts (not free)
  • Postso Schedules future posts (not free)
  • FotogrammeEasily switch between multiple accounts for commenting and liking – can’t post, mobile only (free)
  • PrimarySwitch between multiple accounts, filter your feed, create favorites lists and comment/like ($1.99)
  • InstaCommenterManage incoming comments into “Replied” and “Not Replied” lists ($1.99)
  • Ink361View your Instagram on a desktop for big screen commenting and liking – can’t post (free)
  • WebstaComment and like on Insta from desktop – can’t post (free)
  • IFTTTHandy systems for sharing posts across other social media – and more! (free)
  • CrowdfireEasily manage your follower list (free)
  • IconosquareUseful analytics, view your feed on a desktop, manage and reply to comments, promote your Instagram for non-instagram users (free!)

Just think how strong your Instagram engagement and marketing can be with the help of these time-saving management tools.

Everything you wanted from your IG just got a heck of a lot more convenient. Leave a comment if you’ve tried any of these tools and which one is your favorite!

About the Author: Rachel Daley is the content manager at MadeFreshly, the simplest online store platform that truly helps you succeed in business.

A Love Affair: Social Data & Strategy

Less than a decade ago, data merely functioned as a way to track operations or forecast needs. However, today, we collect data to learn about every single interaction of our potential customers. We even invest in new technology just to gain insight about how people learn about our products and services.

Big data is big business. Wikibon projects that the big data market will top $84 billion in 2026.

Image1_Wikibon

Source: Wikibon’s Big Data Market Forecast

An intense bond exists between social data and strategy. Social data determines how your company designs a system to influence consumers. With a plan anchored in analytics, you have the chance to tailor to your customers’ needs and offer top dollar for your services.

Be proactive by integrating social data into your business’s overall plan. Focus on the following four areas:

1. Establish Brand Credibility

Use social data to start a conversation about your brand. From tracking hashtags to monitoring posts, gather intel from positive and negative feedback. Then, build a marketing campaign to engage consumers with your mission and values.

In a September 2014 survey, the Pew Research Center found that 52% percent of online adults reported using two or more social media sites. This is a significant increase from 42% in 2013.

Online conversations are occurring in several places. Focus on two to three social media channels, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Hashtags play a major role in driving viral content. They can help spread your brand’s message, track industry-related headlines, and analyze the tone of customer discussions.

Consider creating your own brand hashtag. It can be your company’s name or tagline. If your business name is generic, develop a unique hashtag. Keep it short and easy to spell.

KitKat uses its tagline as a brand hashtag: #HaveABreak. On Instagram, KitKat fanatics share photos of how they indulge with the product. Here’s an example:

Image2_KitKatInstagram

Source: KitKat’s #HAVEABREAK

On Twitter, KitKat communicates directly with customers in a fun-loving manner. See below.

Image3_KitKatTwitter

Source: @KitKat

Depending on your marketing team’s capacity, closely oversee your brand. Steer clear from outsourcing your brand monitoring. Value remains in performing it in-house. Your team members are the most qualified to handle the brand. Moreover, you want your voice to be authentic when talking with customers.

Key Takeaway: Establish brand credibility with a hashtag on multiple social media channels.

2. Create Meaningful Content

Content is only king if it benefits your bottom line. Learn what keywords and phrases resonate with buyers. Crowdsource ideas to produce content that matters to the user. All your content–website, brochures, and tweets–should be a reflection of your consumer.

Data mining for editorial content is common for companies. In 2014, the OKCupid blog highlighted the link between race and attraction. This actionable data helped improve its matchmaking algorithm, while providing attractive content for its audience.

To create great content, figure out what type of content already exists. For example, if you want to compose a blog post about SasS marketing, look for all articles that include the words “SaaS” and “marketing” near each other. A simple search query with Boolean operators will work. Try this: ++“SaaS” NEAR/4 marketing.

Image4_GoogleSearch

Source: Google Search

Also, use these other boolean operators.

Image5_BooleanOperators

Source: Boolean Operators

Improved content creation begins with access to this kind of data. It accelerates more targeted and informed topics to interested readers. In return, you get increased audience engagement and more traffic to your website.

Social data intelligence holds valuable information about how your brand and content is perceived. Executives seek technology that is scalable, measurable, and cost-effective. Take advantage of this opportunity.

Create a content strategy based on the data. By filtering through Twitter and Facebook feeds, observe the top performing tweets and adjust your messaging accordingly.

Image6_ArbysTweet

Source: Arby’s Grammy Tweet

Here’s a good example of Arby’s executing real-time meaningful content, “while also allowing data and clear audience analysis to show where and when it would be appropriate to enter an online conversation.”

Key Takeaway: Create meaningful content by data mining.

3. Gain Competitor Insight

Analyze your competitors’ efforts and compare their key performance metrics to your own. Then, optimize your plans for success.

Decide who are your competitors. They should be grouped as any of the following:

  • Your direct competitors;
  • Companies with similar audience, but in a different sector; and
  • Businesses with a comparable content strategy, but for a different audience.

Social media moves quickly. More than 40% of consumers expect their online requests to be answered within an hour.

Measure your responsiveness against other market leaders. You might not control the industry standards, but you must attain them to retain customers and grow your business. By analyzing how your brand ranks within your field, you can set realistic goals for your social media engagement.

Airline delays are common forms of customer frustration. People usually vent about their airplane woes. To ensure customer loyalty, JetBlue Airways is responsive to their customers via Twitter.

Image7_JetBlueTweet

Source: @JetBlue

Ready to spy? Learning what keywords your competition deems valuable can be helpful. SpyFu and iSpionage are two tools that help automate this process. Enter a keyword or domain, and then discover which keywords your competitors bid on.

Here’s how to find popular keywords amongst your competitors on SpyFu Kombat:

  1. Enter the domains of your three competitors.

Image8_KombatSearchBar

  1. Click the overlap of all three competitors’ keyword circles.

Image9_KombatOverlap

  1. The results are filtered by popular keywords amongst your competitors.

Image10_KombatResults

Source: SpyFu Kombat Tutorial

Learn how competitors are differentiating themselves in the marketplace. What drives consumers toward and away from your competitors? Study the competition’s data to learn and grow from their pitfalls.

Key Takeaway: Gain competitor insight by examining your industry leaders’ keywords and customer responsiveness.

4. Find New Sources of Revenue

Social data can be effective in increasing sales if implemented as a focal point for customer service. Demonstrate the reliability and trustworthiness of your business by engaging consumers.

According to the Sales 2.0 Conference, “70 percent of a customer’s buying decision is now made based on information he or she finds online, well before a salesperson has a chance to get involved.” This disconnection lessens the influence of sales reps with buyers.

Help your salespeople get ahead of the trends. Empower your social media team to interact with consumers. Retweet their announcements and congratulate customers on key victories.

Image11_StarbucksTwitter

Source: How to Do Sales on Twitter

Chief marketing officers are under pressure to deliver above-market growth. According to a study, 72 percent of CEOs stated “that marketers are constantly asking for more funding but can hardly explain how much incremental business this funding will generate.” This is an opportunity for marketing professionals to effectively employ the use of big data.

Kohl’s encouraged its customers to shop with a simple call to action on Facebook. The brand didn’t try to trick people or emotionally persuade folks. And it paid off! In four days, Kohl’s got more than 30,000 people to claim a promotional offer.

Image12_KohlsFacebook

Source: Kohl’s Keeps It Pithy on Facebook

Social media serves as an important touch point for business development success. Nowadays, emails and voicemails go unresponded. Make an effort to follow up with prospects via social media.

Key Takeaway: Find new sources of revenue by engaging customers honestly and directly.

Share Your Story

Social data and strategy are the perfect pair. It’s quite hard to imagine one without the other. Plan with data in mind and your business will benefit from more brand awareness, engagement, and revenue.

How are you implementing social data into your business strategy? What’s working (or not working)? Share your story in the comments below.

About the Author: Shayla Price lives at the intersection of digital marketing, the law and social responsibility. She inspires a new breed of innovative attorneys at Hearsay Marketing. Connect with her on Twitter: @shaylaprice

Creating an Effective Conversion Optimization Process (Infographic)

Many companies don’t have success with A/B tests for one simple reason.

There is no process or system set up to run A/B tests. Marketers blindly throw tests up and see what happens. They have no process for creating tests, running tests, or learning from tests. They run tests on things that don’t impact the bottom line, and they stop tests too early.

The solution to this problem is an easy one.

Create an A/B testing process. It is one of the best things you can do to increase your success. Have a method for finding what to test, creating hypotheses, setting parameters on the test, and writing a recap of what you learn from each test, and you will be on the road to conversion optimization success.

Below you’ll find an infographic that outlines how to create an effective CRO program in your company.

The Perfect Execution to Conversion Rate Optimization
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

Kissmetrics A/B Test Report

The Kissmetrics A/B Test Report empowers you to see how an A/B test impacts any part of your funnel. You can still create your tests in Optimizely, VWO, or any other platforms we integrate with. Then track the results in Kissmetrics with the A/B Test Report, and see how the test impacts the entire funnel. No longer are you limited to testing to the next conversion step. See how a headline test impacts sign-up rates with the A/B Test Report. As long as you’re tracking it, you can get the data that matters to you. Here’s a video demo of the report:

//fast.wistia.net/embed/iframe/1k4ptzuox4?videoFoam=true

About the Author: Zach Bulygo (Twitter) is a Content Writer for Kissmetrics.

How to Use Social Proof to get Better Results from Facebook Ads

Today’s article is a guest contribution by Aimee Millwood.

Facebook ads provide enormous potential to grow traffic and sales. But knowing how to create ads that get results isn’t easy. Many businesses fail to grow traffic on social because they don’t know how to create ads that grab attention.

Here’s the bottom line: To sell on social media, you must use social proof, and it has to be the right social proof.

Don’t just take our word for it.

What the Data Has to Say about User-Generated Content (UGC) Facebook Ads

We ran A/B tests to compare how Facebook ads with customer content performed against ads with only brand content.

We saw that cost per acquisition dropped significantly, while conversion rate and average order value shot up.

On average, Facebook ads with UGC had:

  • 300% higher click-through rate (CTR)
  • 50% lower cost per click (CPC)
  • 50% lower cost per acquisition (CPA)

Why the great results?

For one thing, selling on social has traditionally been difficult for many brands. Social is a place where people go to connect with their friends and networks, not to look for things to buy. As Gilt’s Susan Lyne put it, trying to sell on social is like trying to sell at a bar.

She may have a point, but done correctly, selling on social is possible. You’ve just got to join in the conversation rather than interrupt it.

By integrating content created by customers (and Facebook friends), people see a recommendation from a person they trust, not an ad thrown at them by a brand.

These results are great, but they don’t mean you should run off to Facebook and start putting your customers’ UGC on ads.

It’s not enough to simply plaster a customer-submitted Instagram photo or product review on an ad. You need to know how to integrate customer content intelligently in order to tap into its potential.

How to Get the Best Results from Facebook Ads

We’re here to teach you what the data showed us about how to drive the best results from Facebook ads.

We sat down with our Director of Advertising and took a look at insights gained from testing thousands of customer-content Facebook ads. Here are our conclusions along with insider tips on how to get the best results from Facebook ads.

These tips and statistics deal specifically with using reviews in Facebook ads, but the advice applies regardless of what type of UGC you’re using.

1. Take Advantage of Ad Copy

The review (or other UGC) is obviously the most important part of the effectiveness of the ad. But the ad copy is a key element as well. Some tips:

  • Keep it short. Shorter ad copy performs better.
  • Though it may seem counter-intuitive, don’t use the word “reviews”! It comes across as too salesy. Ads with the word “reviews” in the copy don’t perform as well.
  • Make sure the voice in the copy matches your brand voice and message, not the customer’s. The review is where you let the customer speak. The top of the ad should stay on brand.

For example, in the ad below, notice how the ad copy is short and to the point, in the same tone as the review itself. Also, the copy is concise but comprehensive, making it easy for people to understand the message instantly.

brathwait-return-of-the-gentleman

However, the following ad copy refers to the review; and because of this, it comes across as too salesy and forced. Additionally, the tone is much more formal than the review, so it doesn’t work as well. Also, it’s too long, so it doesn’t have the same impact that short, snappy ad copy does.

brathwait-return-of-the-gentleman-2

2. Use Product Reviews for First-Time Visitors and Site Reviews for Re-targeting

In social advertising, it’s vital to target the right person with the right message at the right time.

When it comes to Facebook ads, this means you should use a specific kind of review, depending on whether people are familiar with your store or they are first-time visitors. When you’re trying to gain clicks and traffic, it’s better to use product reviews.

Use reviews of top-rated, top-selling products to attract first-time visitors with specific items.

nations-photo-lab

Once someone has clicked through to your site, seal the deal by re-targeting them with ads containing site reviews.

nations-photo-lab-2

Why? Top-rated, top-selling products will attract new visitors, but after they visit the site and don’t buy the product, it’s more effective to re-target them with site reviews. Site reviews emphasize the authenticity and strength of the brand, not a specific product, so the reviews will reinforce your brand even if the visitors don’t want to buy the specific product.

3. Include Personal Key Words

You might be proud of a review that says “Great shipping and excellent service,” but that doesn’t mean it makes good copy for an ad. Especially on social media, people want to read about real experiences. Using personal pronouns is a psychological cue that the stories are authentic.

Because of this, reviews that have words like “I,” “my,” or “we” are much more effective than reviews that don’t refer to personal experiences.

4. Avoid Reviews with Multiple Exclamation Points

The beauty of using UGC as ad creative is that it is genuine and credible content from real people.

However, when the copy is too enthusiastic, even if it is real, it looks fake to the reader.

Even though the overexcited review looks good to you, it is less trustworthy, which is why ads using reviews with “!!!” are less effective.

So, keep your reviews to one exclamation point maximum.

Look at the difference in the two ads below. While subtle, including too much enthusiasm doesn’t seem as trustworthy.

life-beam

life-beam-2

5. Focus on the Experience

It’s better to use a review in which someone talks about using the product than one in which they describe the fast shipping. Once again, it comes back to people wanting to relate to a real and personal experience.

Reviews that tell a story like “I gave these bracelets to my daughter for her birthday and she was so excited,” are more effective than something like, “The bracelets arrived quickly.”

In the example below, the carousel displays reviews with generic praise about the product and service.

pawstruck

In contrast, the following carousel contains specific examples of personal experiences, making it much more effective and relatable.

pawstruck-2

6. Test It First

Try not to put money into anything you haven’t tested organically first. The beauty of Facebook is that you have a lab where you can test content, albeit on a smaller scale than with an ad.

Test different copy, images, and audiences to see what resonates before you pull out your money.

test-it-first

In summary, the customer’s voice is your most powerful marketing tool. Use it to your advantage by integrating customer content in your Facebook ads. These tips can help you get the best results from this effective strategy.

About the Author: Aimee Millwood (@aimeemillwood) manages the Yotpo blog, where she writes about marketing, growth, and engagement.