Tag Archives: Website

Increase Your Website Traffic with These Killer Marketing Hacks

20171115 bnr killer traffic hacks 351x200 Increase Your Website Traffic with These Killer Marketing Hacks

Key takeaway. If you want to instantly drive higher engagement, more shares, and greater traffic to your website, maximize your impact by testing headlines that are focused on the impact to the reader.

Drive Traffic through Guest Blog Posts

A popular strategy for getting significant increases in website traffic is guest blogging. With this strategy, you identify influencers in your business, create relationships, and write high-value posts for their blogs.

For example, let’s say that you sell software that leverages the Internet of Things. Find influencers in that space who share your target market. These people may have large or small audiences, and both are good. Once you identify these individuals, you can start creating relationships, commenting on their content, and connecting through social media. You can pitch guest blog posts, which will allow you to get in front of their audience, present amazing content, and hopefully entice readers into learning more about your company ― usually through some type of lead magnet.

But let’s back up and first uncover how to pick the best influencers for your brand.

Finding the right influencers. Does your target market spend time on Twitter? If so, check out tools such as Followerwonk, which is an advanced Twitter analytics tool that allows you to search Twitter profiles and bios by keywords. You can also use tools such BuzzSumo, which can be used for finding the right content topics.

Pitch a guest blog post. Once you identify a list of the right influencers, check out their sites. Do they have blogs? If so, they may already have guidelines established for accepting blog posts, and they may be published on the website. If they don’t, send a quick email and ask. Once you find out, send a carefully crafted pitch.

Capturing maximum results through a lead magnet. Once your blog post is accepted, you will likely get a bio section, which highlights the author of the post. Don’t waste this space! Instead of linking to your site, set up a landing page with a lead magnet. This could be an eBook that addresses your target audience’s largest pain point, a great infographic, or some other high-value piece of content. The goal? Capture each piece of traffic that you get and start nurturing the visitor through the sales funnel. After all, once someone new arrives at your site, you don’t want that person to get away.

Similarly, you can also allow others to guest post on your website to drive greater traffic. When others create content, they share it with their audience, which helps you bring new people to your site.

Key takeaway. A guest-posting strategy can help provide large spikes of traffic to your website, but it’s also part of a long-term traffic-building strategy. The more content you post on related sites, the more traffic that will trickle into your site, even after that initial spike, which provides long-term results, leads, and sales.

Leverage the Power of Visual

Visual content is starting to get a lot of attention from marketers, and for good reason ― it provides a large impact. Check out these stats on using images, graphics, and videos in content:

  • 37 percent of marketers said that visual marketing was the most important form of content for their businesses.
  • Video content is expected to represent 74 percent of all Internet traffic in the near future.
  • Four times as many consumers report they would rather watch a video about a product than read about it.

The data is impressive, but how does it relate to images and driving more traffic to your brand? Humans are visual beings and can absorb that type of data much faster and easier than other types of information. As a result, they prefer it ― and share it. This translates into greater interest and more website traffic.

A great place to start with creating visual content is developing infographics to share via social media. If you’ve started to forge relationships with influencers, you can reach out and ask them about what they’re working on. Then see if you can contribute an infographic that would make their next blog post stronger. As a result, they would likely share that infographic, which would be credited and linked to your site, driving greater traffic. There are some really fun tools out there that make creating video a both a snap and affordable: GoAnimate, Moovly, VideoScribe. Tools like Canva or Vizualize can help you make engaging visual infographics as well, for little to no cost.

Key takeaway. Examine your existing strategy and ask the question “How can I make more content visual?” Take a look at your existing content an see if you can just repurpose it into a different, more visual format. Then look for different strategies and tools to help you create those types of content and increase your website traffic.

A Few Last Words

The above strategies will help you increase your website traffic while advantageously planting seeds to continue to nurture that traffic in the future. But it’s key to remember that creating traffic is not a sprint ― it’s a marathon. Some of these methods, such as guest posting, will give you initial large spurts of traffic, but the longer you work at these tactics, the greater long-term traffic you’ll build.

Plus, it’s critical to keep in mind that, while having lots of traffic is excellent, when you let that traffic slip through your fingers, it becomes pointless. Instead, entice readers to take that next step, such as exchanging their email for a high-value piece of content. That way you’ll convert more traffic into leads and ensure that your business will thrive in the future.

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Your Digital Doorstep: Website Design Tips for B2B Ecommerce

Posted by Nair Hid Ahmed, Sr. User Experience Designer

The first time customers arrive at your company’s digital doorstep, they make an evaluation of your brand unconsciously, in a fraction of a second. In that first glance, visitors judge the credibility of your site based on the design elements. They haven’t yet read any content, compared prices or seen your competitive shipping services — they form a gut feeling about your brand; and then, if they decide to stay on your site, they’ll look for ways to justify that feeling.

With so much riding on providing great experiences, why is website design often overlooked and undervalued in B2B environments? To make a great first impression, here are a few tips to keep in mind when designing your B2B ecommerce experience.

Tip 1: Don’t Make Me Think (Too Much)

In his book, “Don’t Make Me Think” Steve Krug writes that there are two types of cognitive load. The first is “intrinsic” load that comes from absorbing new information while keeping track of our own goals. The second, and this is the one that should be minimized through design, is the “extraneous” load. Those are the processes that occupy our mind but don’t help us understand the information, such as visual clutter, confusing color-coding, unclear call to action, grammar and spelling mistakes.

Your B2B customers will need to process a lot of information, given the nature of complex B2B business cases. One way to minimize the extraneous load is using progressive disclosure design. These design patterns will help show buyers what they need to see and when they need to see it, in a clear and concise way. Showing the key elements at first sight makes your content easy to scan, but also gives users the possibility to discover more information while interacting with the site.

Tip 2: Self Service – Empower Your B2B Buyers 

Even though it was fine doing business on the phone a few years ago, today’s expectation is that B2B customers will be able to do the same and more at their own convenience online. An empowered customer can perform dozens of self-service actions, making them feel you’re a company that values their time, while also being available to support them when they need a more personalized service.

By giving your customers more control, like choosing what to read and when, or providing the ability for buyers to check their account balance and pay invoices online, it empowers your customers to take care of these tasks when the time is right for them.

B2B%20ecommerce%20design Your Digital Doorstep: Website Design Tips for B2B Ecommerce

Tip 3: Speak to Choosers and Users

In a B2C environment, it’s usually the person choosing the product that will be using it. In B2B, that’s not necessarily the case. B2B buyers are not impulsive. Often, more than one person is involved in the purchase decision and validations need to be made to justify a purchase. Many B2B sites go wrong by tailoring their content to only decision makers or users, while alienating the other visitors.

For example, you can see that this page accommodates the technical questions a user might have regarding the artwork specifications, such as providing a template, print size and color format. This is probably more than enough to convince a user about this product.

B2B%20ecommerce%20design2 Your Digital Doorstep: Website Design Tips for B2B Ecommerce

But for more complex or expensive products it’s recommended to also provide an “advocacy kit” with ways to justify this decision to the boss. These kits usual include brochures, templates, answers to questions that a decision maker might ask (price, ROI, reliability, success cases, how your product compares to others in the market, etc.).

Tip 4: Pricing Levels and Selection

Most B2C products have straightforward prices that stay the same from one customer to the next. However, B2B pricing can be very challenging to display because products may be heavily customized, have quantity discounts, or customer-specific discounts.

If you offer quantity discounts, showing the discount structure on your site is recommended.

B2B%20ecommerce%20design3 Your Digital Doorstep: Website Design Tips for B2B Ecommerce

For more complex matrix item type of products, providing a worksheet where the product pricing depends on selected items simplifies the ordering process.

B2B%20ecommerce%20design4 Your Digital Doorstep: Website Design Tips for B2B Ecommerce

Tip 5: Provide real-time, reliable, updated information 

B2B websites need to support very complex content and functionality that can give any good web designer challenges. But it’s not just about functionality that will optimize and streamline the buying experience, it’s also important to have updated and consistent data.

Outdated, static information on an ecommerce site will only lead to frustration and distrust toward your online channel and brand. A unified commerce platform provides a single source of inventory, order and customer data which can be used to enable better customer experiences.

Remember that web stores are your company’s digital doorstep, and first impressions matter.

It is important when selecting a B2B ecommerce platform, to consider how the platform helps you follow best practices, how it sets you up for success and provides for your customers’ needs even before you knew them. Think about the digital impact you wish to have and the type of relationship you want to build with your customers.

Posted on Mon, August 28, 2017
by NetSuite filed under

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Learn how to convert website visitors into customers with Dynamics 365

CRM Blog Learn how to convert website visitors into customers with Dynamics 365

Did you know that less than 12% of visitors to your website take any action? How do you leverage website visit data to engage with visitors and drive conversions? Join us to learn how.

Most visitors to your website have an interest in your products/services or they wouldn’t be visiting in the first place. If you are not using website visitor data in your marketing & sales efforts you are missing significant opportunity.

There are a number of ways to integrate your website with Dynamics 365 to convert visits to customers. During this informative webinar we will review the options for integrating your website with Dynamics 365.We will also demonstrate how to create a closed-loop process for harvesting website visitor intelligence and applying a sales process in Dynamics 365 to assure action is taken.

All attendees will receive “Top Productivity Hacks”, a valuable whitepaper with the top hacks used by some of the most successful business owners across the globe.

Click here to register for this free training

This free training is brought to you by Sträva Technology Group. We help businesses evaluate, plan, implement & support Dynamics 365 solutions. More information - www.stravatechgroup.com

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

Translating Website Visits Into Quality Leads

Back in the day — like, 1993 — every company had to have a website because it was the thing you did! A website was something new, fresh and shiny, and it allowed the marketing team to reach more people than ever before. It was on the Internet, which automatically made your company seem cool. It was totally rad!

Within about 18 moths, though, everyone had a website and the novelty wore off. That was when marketers needed to assert why the website existed. There was a branding role, and an informational role — but the real reason to spend money on a website was to drive more leads.

That became somewhat lost as websites became mandatory for businesses. Building and maintaining the website itself became the objective — and too often, the mechanisms to gather lead information from the website were neglected.

A Buyer’s Journey

Marketers today have a far better grasp on the need to harness their websites’ power for lead generation. Unfortunately, the versatility of Web pages means they are responsible for a remarkable range of business duties: They convey news, they serve as a repository of business information, they offer gateways to other services for customers and partners, they promote products and events, and they deliver the business’ most important messages.

All these things are important — but they can steal attention away from the lead generation function. As a result, many websites function as “billboards” — flashing information at potential buyers who remain anonymous, because there’s no mechanism for capturing lead information.

That no longer has to be the case. With the right tools, businesses can gain a better understanding of anonymous visitors, tracking their progress and attaching it to their identities when, as buyers, they offer that information. This allows marketers to see the entirety of a buyer’s journey through the website’s content.

On a micro level, it equips sales and marketing with an understanding of what a particular buyer is viewing, and what level of understanding the buyer has achieved. On a macro level, it allows marketers to see the patterns buyers exhibit as they move through a site, and to use that information to change content and get better results.

It also allows the website to do some things to make visits more pertinent to buyers on repeat visits. If visitors are tracked, a dynamic site not only can employ some basic personalization, but also can refine what the visitor sees upon arrival, based on the content viewed during previous visits.

Easy on the Forms

Having a tracking capability for anonymous visitors allows businesses to avoid the trap of putting all of their content behind a registration form. While this is a natural tendency — you want to show the ROI of all content, and how better to easily generate the metrics than a form-fill? — it drives down the open rate of that content by creating a less-than-optimal experience for the buyer.

Numbers vary, but the general consensus is that a 3-5 percent form fill rate is phenomenal. To get that form filled out, be judicious in what you’re gating.

  • Does it make sense to gate content that’s aimed at educating the broader market? Probably not.
  • Does it make sense to gate content deeper into the funnel, at a point where a buyer may be compiling a short list or looking for technical content to influence other decision makers at his or her company? Probably.

It all depends on the content, the customers, and the nature of what you’re selling.

If the website is really effective, the buyer should have to fill out a form only once and then be recognized from then on. That creates a better experience for the buyer, and it also sets the stage for the buyer to spend much more time with your content.

That gives you a more complete view of the customer’s stage of readiness to buy, lets you know what content has been viewed in order to set up sales to deliver additional value that complements the buyer’s experience thus far, and allows the website to better fulfill its educational responsibility for potential buyers.

Repeated requests to fill out forms drive visitors away from the website. It’s more than annoying, as customers recognize that it’s no longer necessary, and it comes across as disrespectful of their time.

Tracking website visitor behavior doesn’t just generate more leads — it generates higher quality leads that come with context and with data that can help sales prioritize them based on the nature of their visits.

Marketers often apply lead scoring to website behavior, which is good for qualifying leads, but an understanding of the specifics of the behavior gives sales a secret weapon for delivering value in the sales process.
end enn Translating Website Visits Into Quality Leads

Chris%20Bucholtz Translating Website Visits Into Quality LeadsChris Bucholtz has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2009. His focus is on CRM, sales and marketing software, and the interface between people and technology. He currently serves as director of content marketing for
CallidusCloud and writes the Stevie Award-winning Lead to Money blog. Email Chris.

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4 Steps to Properly Score Your Website Leads

funnel 300x225 4 Steps to Properly Score Your Website Leads

If you’re lucky enough to have so many leads you don’t know where to focus your attention, then lead scoring is for you. In a nutshell, lead scoring allows you to assign points to leads based on certain criteria, allowing you to focus your efforts on leads that have higher scores.

So how do you come up with a system for scoring leads? First let’s brush up on our sales funnel basics, then we’ll dig in.

If you visualize the sales funnel, it basically represents a state of sales-readiness for all your leads. At the top of the funnel, you’ll tend to have a big pool of “cool” leads that have done something to indicate their interest in your product/service, but are not really close to buying. Towards the middle of the funnel are “warm” leads that have shown an ongoing interest in your product/service, but still aren’t quite there. And at the bottom of the funnel, you’ve got leads that are “marketing qualified leads”—aka “sales-ready”—aka hot, hot, hot and ripe for the taking!

011217 1507 4StepstoPro1 4 Steps to Properly Score Your Website Leads

Your goal is to focus your time and energy on those hot, marketing-qualified leads, and not waste your time on the leads at the top of the funnel. That’s where lead scoring comes in!

Many customer relationship management (CRM) systems have lead scoring capabilities or add-ins. For instance, PowerObjects uses the PowerPack add-on PowerScore to automatically dole out points to leads based on a wide range of criteria. You may have a different system. No matter what technology you are working with, the basic steps you take to determine how to score your leads should be pretty standard.

Step 1: Figure out what your goal is.

For most sales-type organizations/departments, the goals tend to be straight forward. Your main goal could be to identify which leads are “hot” by analyzing their behavior and/or characteristics to determine which are most likely to buy within a certain timeframe. For some organizations, the goal may be to sort out the leads who are most likely to be open to a phone discussion with a sales rep. For others, it may be just filling out a form on a website. The goal will be unique to every organization.

Step 2: Designate a score you want your leads to get to.

011217 1507 4StepstoPro2 4 Steps to Properly Score Your Website Leads

Step 3: Determine your scoring criteria based on lead behavior.

Step 3. Determine your scoring criteria based on lead behavior.

Scoring can be based on set characteristics of a leads, such as how big the lead’s organization is, whether they are in a target demographic, if they fit a certain geographic region, or have a history with your business.

Scoring can also be based on the leads behavior, so think about the types behavior that indicate positive action in your leads. These are some things you can use to give leads scores through the PowerScore add-on:

  • Opening a page on your website
  • Opening an email you sent
  • Clicking on a link in an email you sent
  • Filling out a web form
  • Filling out a survey
  • Lowering lead score through activity or inactivity

Step 4: Profit!

Kidding (sort of). But really, once you’ve put in place the scoring rules, these “hot” leads that have made it to your goal score should, in theory, be the most valuable, and reward you with a higher close rate and/or a faster time to close.

Further Reading: Using Nurture Campaigns to Coax Your Leads Down the Funnel

Okay, so you know the goal—getting those leads to “sales-ready”—and you know what behaviors you want to score your leads on. Next you’ll want to think about ways to help your leads down the funnel. That’s where nurture campaigns come in! Check out our blog on how to develop compelling content that nurtures your leads and gets them to the bottom of the funnel!

Happy CRM’ing!

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PowerObjects- Bringing Focus to Dynamics CRM

The Internet Archive aims to preserve 100 terabytes of government website data… just in case

A little over a month since becoming President-Elect of the United States of America, there is an almost tangible tension in the air about what life will be like under a Donald Trump regime.

In some cases, there’s blind panic.

News emerged yesterday that environmentalists, academics, and climate scientists were frantically working to preserve U.S. government climate data in a Canadian archive. The reason? Well, let’s just say that Trump, and some of his team, have a track record of refuting climate change.

But while some are concerned about the preservation of data under Trump’s stewardship, there has been a campaign over the past decade that has sought to preserve the government’s website data as a president’s tenure nears its conclusion.

Introduced initially as George W. Bush’s time in office was coming to an end in 2008, the End of Term Web Archive is a collaboration between the Internet Archive, the Library of Congress, University of North Texas, George Washington University, Stanford University, and California Digital Library, among other libraries, and is designed to serve as a permanent record of government-related communications during presidential transitions.

By way of example, an estimated 83 percent of PDF documents on .gov domains vanished during President Obama’s first term in the White House.

PDFmissing 2 The Internet Archive aims to preserve 100 terabytes of government website data… just in case

Above: Missing PDFs: 2008 – 2012

The disappearance of online content from government websites isn’t always sinister — departments may merge, or projects and programs may simply become obsolete. It’s difficult to maintain millions of web pages. But with the impending Trump presidency, the four-yearly end-of-term archiving ritual perhaps takes on a greater degree of urgency, and this Saturday a team of volunteers will kickstart a guerilla archiving project to “save environmental data from Trump.”

The broader End of Term Web Archive initiative expands far beyond scientific climate change data, and will look to preserve key documents and data from across the .gov and .mil domains, alongside “federal websites on other domains and official government social media accounts,” explained Jefferson Bailey, director of web archiving programs at the Internet Archive, in a statement.

The Internet Archive, for the uninitiated, has been documenting the web’s evolution for two decades, letting anyone revisit the Apple homepage in 1998 or VentureBeat in 2006 by plugging their desired URL into the Wayback Machine. And part of that will involve preserving government websites, while the not-for-profit has other programs designed to record other government-related content — since its inception, the Internet Archive says it has preserved more than 3.5 billion .gov webpages, including in excess of 45 million PDFs.

But the End of Term Web Archive is expansive and specific in its purpose. In total, the Internet Archive and its partners will collect webpages from more than 6,000 domains, 200,000 hosts, and 10,000 federal social media accounts, amounting to “hundreds of millions of individual government webpages,” with the accumulated data expected to hit more than 100 terabytes.

“No single government entity is responsible for archiving the entire federal government’s web presence,” added Bailey. “Web data is already highly ephemeral and websites without a mandated custodian are even more imperiled. These sites include significant amounts of publicly funded federal research, data, projects, and reporting that may only exist or be published on the web. This is tremendously important historical information. It also creates an amazing opportunity for libraries and archives to join forces and resources and collaborate to archive and provide permanent access to this material.”

The Internet Archive’s political role has grown in recent times. It launched the Political TV Ad Archive in January to help journalists fact-check claims made during political campaigning. And last month, it revealed it was seeking to build a backup of its gargantuan database in Canada, to prepare for a web “that may face greater restrictions,” it said.

The End of Term Archive wasn’t built with Donald Trump in mind, but its existence will provide some comfort for those concerned about how data — scientific or otherwise — will be managed under a Trump presidency.

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Big Data – VentureBeat

Have You Seen the Official Microsoft Dynamics CRM Roadmap Website?

Microsoft wants to keep you up to date.

According to Microsoft the Dynamics CRM roadmap website at http://crmroadmap.dynamics.com/ “provides a snapshot of what we’re working on in the Dynamics CRM business. Use the roadmap to find out what we’ve recently made generally available, released into public preview, are still developing and testing, or are no longer developing.”

You can sort by product:

  • Dynamics CRM Online
  • Dynamics CRM On Premise
  • Dynamics Marketing
  • Microsoft Social Engagement

You can view by:

  • What’s New
  • In Preview
  • In Development
  • Postponed
  • Previously Released

You can also download the Release Preview Guide and check Availability by Language and Region.

As of September 2016 this is “What’s New” with Dynamics CRM On Premise and Dynamics CRM Online:

Dynamics CRM On Premise – What’s New

  • Azure service bus integration enhancements
  • Customer field on any entity
  • Interactive service hub enhancements
  • Quote, Orders and Invoices now on Mobile
  • Server-side sync enhancements
  • SLA enhancements
  • Windows Update support for Unified Service Desk

Full details of each feature at: http://crmroadmap.dynamics.com/

Dynamics CRM Online – What’s New

  • Azure service bus integration enhancements
  • Community Portal
  • Company news timeline for mobile
  • Customer field on any entity
  • Field Service
  • Interactive service hub enhancements
  • Learning Path
  • Mobile offline enhancements
  • Partner Portal
  • Portal framework
  • Power BI Sales Manager content pack enhancements
  • Power BI Service Manager content pack
  • Project service automation
  • Quote, Orders and Invoices now on Mobile
  • Self-service portals
  • Shared resources and bookings across Field and Project Service
  • SLA enhancements
  • Social CRM: automation and enhancement
  • Windows Update support for Unified Service Desk

Full details of each feature at: http://crmroadmap.dynamics.com/

This site a great resource to keep up to date. But of course the best resource is your own Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner that can recommend which new features meet the needs of your specific business.

If you are interested in evaluating Microsoft Dynamics CRM or adding new features, contact AbleBridge, now a Crowe Horwarth company, at 877-600-2253 or www.ablebridge.com/contact.

By AbleBridge, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Gold Partner, now a Crowe Horwarth company. www.ablebridge.com

Follow us on Twitter: @CroweCRM

625X77forCRMBlog 2 625x77 Have You Seen the Official Microsoft Dynamics CRM Roadmap Website?

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Censorship To Blame For VC-Backed Chinese Website Outage?

When a website goes offline, it’s often the result of a DDoS attack, forgotten domain name purchase, or bad programming. For a Chinese website backed by Sequoia Capital, the outage would be more ominous if it was located anywhere but China.

But in China, government intervention is common and is reported to be behind Fenda’s downtime.

Fenda, a Sequoia Capital-backed audio-based knowledge sharing platform, has been unavailable since last week, perhaps due to external forces beyond its control, says Chinese media reports. The external forces mostly likely refer to government intervention, as the Chinese media monitoring and control bureau often suspends operations of popular content platforms it deems harmful to society.

Since its launch at the end of May, Fenda has become among the most downloaded mobile apps in China after it invited celebrities to answer questions about their private personal lives.

A month later, Vision Plus Capital; Sequoia Capital; Wang Sicong, the son of Asia’s richest man Dalian Wanda Group’s chairman Wang Jianlin; and Chinese knowledge sharing platform Luoji Siwei invested US$ 25 million in a series A round in Fenda.

Since last week, the Fenda app has been offline. Its Wechat public account has also been unavailable. Where has it gone and what happened?

Fenda’s assistant chief executive Wu Yunfei told Chinese media that the company is upgrading its social media technology infrastructure, and the app will be back online soon without offering any details of potential date for the relaunch.

Earlier this year, a popular video series produced by a Beijing film student Papi Jiang was ordered to suspend operations and “adjust” its content. The video series was relaunched shortly after with cleaner language and “softer” content.

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B2B Ad Retargeting: Re-engage Website Visitors without Breaking the Budget

B2B Ad Retargeting Re engage Website Visitors without Breaking the Budget fi B2B Ad Retargeting: Re engage Website Visitors without Breaking the Budget

Conversion lift is every marketer’s goal and it’s the reason we’re quick to try new tactics to rein in that elusive prospect. So, if you’re a B2B marketer looking for a way to re-engage with visitors after they leave your website, you may want to consider ad retargeting. It’s also a great way to better target your online ad budget, and improve your ROI.

Retargeting basics

Retargeting displays your ads on websites that your prospects visit around the internet after they’ve left your website. With retargeting, ads are seen by people who have already shown an interest by visiting your website. This means you’re not wasting precious ad dollars on an uninterested audience.

Just ask any B2C marketer and they’ll tell you just how effective ad retargeting can be. It can boost ad response by up to 400 percent. E-commerce sites like Amazon and Zappos regularly deploy ad retargeting.

I bet you’re thinking that a customer who spends $ 100 at Amazon is nothing like the business solution-seeking prospect you’re trying to lure. And you’re right. But according to Bizible’s State of Pipeline Marketing report, 53 percent of B2B marketers are using retargeting to generate demand. It’s a part of a well-planned demand generation strategy because it complements lead nurturing throughout the buyer journey. It doesn’t replace it.

How does retargeting work?

Proper planning is always important when you’re deploying new tactics. Before you dive into a retargeting campaign, you’ll want to make sure you understand how it all works and how it will fit into your existing demand generation strategy.

Retargeting is enabled by placing JavaScript code on your website, which adds a cookie to a visitor’s browser when they come to your site. Later, that same visitor may go to publisher sites supported by ads, such as USAToday.com. Within milliseconds, the publisher hosts an auction to determine which advertiser is willing to pay the most to deliver an ad to the visitor. By reading the cookie placed on the visitor’s browser, retargeting platforms like ListenLoop can selectively – and aggressively – bid on high-value visitors to win ad impressions at the publisher sites.

Email matching is another type of ad retargeting that relies on matching email addresses to third-party cookies. Once you upload your list to a retargeting platform, some percentage of your prospects who match an “email-to-cookie” database will see ads. In theory, it’s a great opportunity for highly targeted cross-channel marketing.  But, in practice, this approach still works better for B2C marketers because the databases that match cookies-to-emails have few business email addresses mapped to visitor cookies.

Retargeting and the Buyer’s Journey

Developing a plan for your ad retargeting efforts should include aligning different ads with the various stages of the buyer journey. For example, in the awareness phase, it’s all about education.

Your prospect realizes she has a problem or need so she conducts an online search to learn about possible solutions. Most likely, she will come across your competitors during her search, but she’s drawn to the white paper at your website. When she clicks through to your website, she finds other helpful information.

It’s highly unlikely that your prospect will make a purchase decision during the limited time she spends at your website. But a retargeting campaign that delivers ads based on her recorded interests and behaviors at your website will keep your solution top-of-mind.  Some marketers leverage that capability to leave more top-of-funnel assets ungated so they can build a deeper relationship, making it easier to acquire contact information later.

A first ad can pique her interest by providing a thought-provoking question. A second ad can contain an offer like a free assessment of her problem. The third ad may simply be an eBook offer. Remember, these ads appear over a specified time period, say three weeks. In the awareness stage, your ads are providing her with the exact information she’s looking for and your solution remains top-of-mind.

The consideration phase presents another opportunity to customize ads to further address the needs of your prospect. The retargeted ads your prospect sees on websites as she travels around the internet – like offers to download a case study or a white paper – become more precise and specific to the kind of information she’s seeking. You can even begin to personalize ads as your lead moves through the buyer journey.

Setting Your Retargeting Campaign in Motion

By leveraging the information you’ve collected about your prospect’s activity at your website, you can segment the information you deliver by demographics, behaviors, and personas. Segmenting your ads using this method makes your prospect feel as though you are addressing them in a way that’s timely and relevant.

Your creative should be crafted to speak to your prospect’s needs and interests at each stage of the buyer journey, so you’ll want to consider a few things when creating banner ads for your retargeting campaign.

  • First, create several images and test them to see which perform best.
  • Next, make sure the headline and subtext are within the proper character limits.
  • Test these, as well, to see what works best.
  • Finally, include a call-to-action like “Download Now” or “Learn More.”

Campaign Basics

To set yourself up for success, you have to go back to the basics of any good digital marketing strategy. Set your KPIs such as downloads, movement down the funnel, and closed-won opportunities. Then measure the cohort of accounts that were exposed to ads against these as your campaign kicks into high gear.

Finally, identify a landing page that allows your visitor to take only the exact action you want. Limit unnecessary content and make taking that action as simple as possible, like limiting the number of fields a prospect has to fill in to get that eBook or white paper.

It’s no secret that a good return on investment is essential for any successful online ad campaign. Ad retargeting is a particularly smart use of that all-important ad spend. It gives you a much better shot at improving the ROI for your advertising.

Despite tons of success stories, B2B marketers aren’t taking advantage of retargeting like B2C marketers are. What’s holding you back from taking advantage of this awesome tactic?

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Act-On Marketing Action Blog

What does dropping SharePoint Online Public Website portend?

Since Microsoft deprecated the SharePoint Online Public Website feature, the day is soon coming when we are going…

to have to go to a third-party provider to create public-facing sites on top of SharePoint Online. (For more on the announcement of discontinuation of third-party support, see “SharePoint Online Public Website feature is discontinued.”)

Now it’s not a bad thing except that it costs too much. We have to pay for SharePoint, and we have to pay for the third party. It’s also true that we’ve taken some hits in the area of customization in platforming applications in SharePoint. And the problem that we’re having there is basically that we only have one model to work with and that’s the new app model. That’s basically CSOM, which stands for client side object model. Without getting too technical, it means that you’re leveraging all the .NET functionality that Microsoft wants to bother to support. We don’t have the sandbox model anymore where we can pretty much do what we please in an app in SharePoint, we have to do it Microsoft’s way.

Now they have been very bad about that for 20 years: They make us do things their way. Well, that’s not such a good thing, but it’s something we have to live with. And now that SharePoint on premises is going to look pretty much like SharePoint Online, there’s no place else to go. It’s going to be the app model from here on out.

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