Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the latest and greatest new Google Adwords features released recently.
A keyword’s Quality Score indicates the relevancy of the ads it triggers and the landing pages it directs traffic to; it will help drive down your CPCs and improve your ad positions, hence improving overall campaign performances. And so the fact that Google is providing more insight into the Quality Score is being welcomed with open arms by advertisers.
By hovering over individual keywords in the Keyword Tab, we’re now able to understand how expected click-through-rates, ad relevancies and landing page experiences rate — average, above average or below average —compared to other advertisers.
This arguably overdue information should allow advertisers to more easily identify where improvements for relevancy can be made, and by increasing Quality Scores, should see overall campaign performances improve.
April saw the launch of account labels in your account. This allows the quick segmentation of keywords, ads, ad groups and campaigns into custom groupings. These groups can then be easily filtered and reported on across various appropriate segments.
For online clothing businesses, for example, these labels could be used for separating categories, for example, into women’s shoes, men’s shirts, girl’s accessories and so on.
With the importance of testing and analysing PPC, these labels improve your ability to segment test groups appropriately.
This update is due to go live in mid-May, when the use of exact and phrase match types will be expanded to capture misspellings, plurals and stemmings for searches. Ultimately this means your keywords will be triggering ads for more searches and potentially resulting in higher click volumes.
This means you’ll spend less time compiling extensive keyword lists to include every search query variation and keyword misspelling you can think of — with the reassurance that Google will automatically do this for you.
Of course, there is some danger of ads triggering unwanted impressions and affecting our click-through-rates. The answer here is negatives, which you should use meticulously. Or, you can turn this Adwords feature off!
Events can be a great addition to a marketing activity plan. Whether it’s a tradeshow, exhibition or an event you’ve put together yourself – getting access to real potential buyers in the flesh can be highly effective.
As a fairly traditional technique, you’d think that most people had this one nailed in terms of dos and don’ts – but there are still many pitfalls to avoid if you’re going to make an event worth its while for your small business.
Even hosting a modest stand at an exhibition is a lot of effort. It’s important to remember that an event is a perishable item in terms of a marketing technique. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. You have one chance to get your money’s worth.
If I were to pick out just three mistakes that many small firms make, they would be:
Shy and retiring members of your team are not the best people to staff your stand. You need the person you’re putting out there to be gregarious and full of energy. By all means have the more reserved expert at the event to answer questions – but the person out there needs to be a showman.
Standing meekly waiting for people to approach you and ask you to sell to them just isn’t going to cut it. You’ll need to say hello to every passer-by and engage them in conversation. You’re likely to need to do this every few minutes for six hours or more. That takes energy. So think carefully before you stick the graduate trainee on the stand. We all know it’s a grind of a job for the day – but unless they have the showmanship and the stamina, they’ll be little more than a wallflower.
Every events specialist will tell you that you need to follow up after an event. This is absolutely true. Simply adding event attendees to your email marketing list does not count as follow-up (in fact, this kind of assumed permission could be detrimental). It’s a lazy way of following up, and it is unlikely to get the response you were hoping for… which was a number of conversations that could lead to a sale, right?
Keep in mind that event attendees will now be followed up by every exhibitor. So, you’ll need to stand out. The ideal approach would be to personalise as much as possible. If you chatted to someone in person, send them an email that reflects the conversation. If you know you didn’t meet someone, reflect that. And, remember that other exhibitors are worth following up too – if they’re not your competition, they could be your next customer.
You could even do something as radical as picking up the phone or sending a letter – you know that everyone else is going to be emailing. You can also get some extra mileage from the event by penning a follow-up blog. If the event has a Twitter hashtag and you use it, your article is often passed on by the event organiser.
Follow-up is essential. But lead-up is also a fantastic opportunity. So many small businesses simply turn up on the day. The smart business makes the most of attending an event by using it as a conversation piece in the weeks leading up to the day itself. Some simple things you can do in the run-up to an event include:
The really smart businesses will pre-book sales meetings. Your stand is important. But, a quiet corner and a coffee budget can be even more powerful. Your sales people should be finding out which of your customers are attending and booking a coffee or a lunch with them (this keeps them off other people’s stands and gives you time to catch up).
With a laptop and an internet connection, you could also book in a series of private demos. Check your current hot prospects – are any of them attending? If so, can you pre-book a time slot to buy them a coffee?
There’s no doubt that having a strong understanding of social media is increasingly important, even critical for many careers these days. But is your own social presence bearing up to the scrutiny of others?
A Wired article recently highlighted how an experienced marketer interviewed for a position at a Toronto agency was unsuccessful when he wasn’t able to explain what Klout was, and subsequently returned a poor score with the social profiling service.
is a social media measurement service that aims to rank the influence of every person online. Scores are collated from letting Klout link to social sites like Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. The scores are based on variables such as the number of followers you have, frequency of updates, the number of likes, retweets, shares that you receive and the Klout scores of your followers. Unlike other scoring services, it’s not exactly clear how these scores are amassed.
Klout has already sparked a debate in the marketing industry and has further repercussions as recruitment and other professionals seek to use social media measurement to assess potential employees.
It’s obvious how services like Klout may be used (particularly in the advertising, marketing and PR sectors) to source digitally high net worth people for careers and campaigns, but it won’t stop there. As the importance of social connections within digital environments increases, business owners have caught on to how networking online is just as important as offline, if not more so.
Employers will naturally gravitate to what are perceived as influential and powerful individuals, but are they reading between the lines? When the emphasis is on the volume of followers and fans, rather than conversation and how followers are amassed, you have to wonder. Shouldn’t the focus instead be on if and how the individual can create strong social channels for clients, the business and the brand rather than themselves?
You could argue that, above all, a senior marketer should have a deep understanding of their own industry and what is shaping it. You have to wonder if the recruiter didn’t see they had other attributes to offer?
Researching, using and understanding Klout isn’t a bad thing, especially as its popularity grows. However, it needs to be balanced with realism. Klout has positive aspects as well as flaws — as raised on the Forbes blog site. After all, with similar services such as Kred and Peer Index, there needs to be a better understanding of how social scores are collated, crunched and presented.
How effective is your marketing strategy? Here are ten signs that your business may need some marketing help. Be honest — how many of these statements are true of your business?
Sookie Shuen is the community manager at Tomorrow People, an inbound marketing consultancy. The Tomorrow People’s eGuide, The Marketing Funnel of Love, promises to help you fall in love with your marketing strategy again!
I like a glass of good wine.
I wouldn’t say that I’m a connoisseur but I appreciate the differences in wines and enjoy pairing wine with food.
Everyone’s taste is different but I have learnt that there are two types of wine.
The first is mass-produced, in massive steel vats. It’s made to taste “popular”. Wood chips are sometimes added to make the oaky taste and the wine tastes very similar regardless whose name is on the bottle.
The second is a whole different story.
It’s made in smaller quantities, often still by hand. The taste is derived from the mixture of grapes, soil, conditions and love with which it’s made.
Wine like this is often the life’s work of the producer — an expression of the best he can offer. He marks his name on the bottle with pride. The small producer’s wine is sought after for its uniqueness and quality —for which he is well paid.
You have the choice to brand yourself like everyone else, be mass-produced, or stand out in your marketplace.
You want to stand out? Here is how to do it with some help from the world of good wine.
Don’t try to be like everyone else. Your knowledge is unique. Even if you sell similar products and services as others you have a unique experience, unique stories and illustrations. Be yourself, express yourself and let people see what you stand for and how you can benefit them.
If you’re not unique you’re a commodity. You won’t be sought-after for the value that you bring to the market. You’ll join the ranks of small businesses that compete to offer the best price and face poor margins.
Building a successful, profitable small business is about building fantastic customer relationships — relationships that are built on trust.
To build these relationships you, your small business and your products and services have to be trustworthy.
Don’t be like the wine producers who add flavours to wine, be real.
Be genuine in your marketing, explain the benefits of your products and services and how they solve the problems of your customers.
Use testimonials from satisfied customers to show that you have been trusted by other customers and helped them.
If you’re new to your market offer a money-back guarantee for your services and stand by it.
These things help prove you’re authentic; show that you offer value and that you're a person with a small business worthy of trust.
Good wine isn’t just a drink. If you’re thirsty you drink water — good wine is part of an experience, enhancing a meal, celebrating with friends and family or relaxing with a partner.
You need to make your products and services so good, of such quality, that they bring an experience to your customers.
It doesn’t matter what you sell, be the best you can be. Always leave your customers feeling “wow!” and that they have received such value from you.
Also ensure that the quality of your service is consistent — like the good wine from a small producer whose last bottle from a batch will taste as good as his first.
Don’t ever let your service slip because you’re busy, having a bad day or your mind is on something else. Treat every customer like they are the key to your success — because combined they are!
After all, the supermarket shelves are lined with bottles of mass-produced wine.
Yes. It’s worth it because when you find good wine, you keep going back for more. You tell your friends and if you’re like me, you carry on buying the same for years.
Uniqueness, authenticity and quality never go out of fashion.
Robert Peters is a Small Business Advisor and Director of Fresh Eyes Consultancy.
Over the past year, the marketing world has seen mobile become a key tool for marketers with the channel being further integrated with others, such as email. With this in mind, marketers must ensure that their email campaigns are formatted so they can be easily viewed on mobile devices, including smartphones and now tablets.
A recent review by Forrester found that only 4% of email campaigns broadcasted had a deliberate consideration as to how the email would render on a mobile device. Much more needs to be done with mobile in mind so that marketers aren’t missing some fantastic opportunities. After all, many of us are now checking email more frequently by smartphone than ever before.
The opportunity to grow your mobile commerce by communicating directly with recipients who are more likely to make a purchase can’t be ignored. The majority of smartphone users are younger and more trend-conscious, making them key targets to take advantage of m-commerce. In December 2011, it has been estimated that £1.64billion was spent via mobile devices alone, which according to Forrester will grow to 7% of all ecommerce by 2016.
The key to creating relevant mobile experiences for your recipients is quite simple. By following best practice advice you can optimise your messages for smartphones:
Using these steps will immediately improve the relevance of your email campaigns but to leverage long-term opportunities and benefits of m-commerce and mobile marketing, you should also be analysing your customer lifecycles to determine when to send your broadcasts to influence key touch points. This will instigate the desired action and behaviour at these crucial decision points.