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Outsourcing SEM vs DIY SEM For Agencies: Which Is Better?

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In recent years, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) has started to be perceived as a practice that could drive footfalls and fulfill desirable sales.In recent years, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) has started to be perceived as a practice that could drive footfalls and fulfill desirable sales. However, running a successful PPC campaign is no piece of cake. You have two options when it comes to SEM in specific; should you do everything by yourself or outsource your search engine marketing services to an experienced agency? It’s a tough question to crack but a crucial one.

Outsourcing SEM or in-house SEM, both of these options have their pros and cons, and it all depends on which approach is best applicable to your marketing needs. To help you out, in this article we’ll be looking at the pros and cons of each option, as well as offer our take on which of the two is a better option. But before we jump right in, what exactly is SEM? And how is it different from SEO?

SEO vs SEM: A Quick Recap

Google’s search results are divided into two main categories: paid search results and organic search results.

SEO expertise ensures that your website ranks high on SERPs through organic search. (Search that you have not separately paid for)

On the other hand, SEM relates to paid search optimisation. You pay to get traffic and visibility for your website by appearing at the top of SERPs. PPC (pay per click) is another term used to refer to SEM.

Should you DIY your SEM?

It is important to note that SEM harder than it seems. Only 15% of the traffic on search engines click on an ad, according to a Forbes article. A PPC campaign needs to be exceptional to attract that 15%.

PPC campaigns, thus, come with a massive cost but low RoI (return on investments). This makes in-house or DIY SEM a relatively less ideal option.

Outsourcing SEM: PROS 

1. Access to tools of the trade- Search engine marketers use more than just their minds to perform their jobs – they have many specialised tools that they use to implement and improve specific search engine marketing tasks and efforts.

These tools can burn a significant hole in your pocket and require the proper training to use them in-house. It is better to outsource your search marketing to experts or an agency who use these particular tools daily.

2.  More Efficient Results- Unlike DIY SEM, outsourcing allows you to seek help from google adwords experts  who work dedicatedly on your SEM efforts and produce results more quickly and efficiently.

With the help of a digital marketing agency, your SEM campaign has better chances of producing positive results that too quickly, owing to their experience and human resources.

3.Lets you focus on other aspects of your business– Outsourcing your SEM, gives you more freedom to focus on other tasks and aspects of your business. You can monitor your SEM campaign as the specialists handle it while you evaluate your results to come up with better strategies for the future.

4. Expertise & Experience- Going the agency route means that the professionals are solely focused on SEM, are up to date with the latest trends and tools in the industry ensuring that the techniques they’re using will bring the most significant benefit to their client.

Moreover, agencies have worked on a variety of marketing campaigns from different types of business. This means they have more knowledge and exposure as compared to an in-house SEM team. From account structure to conversion optimization and everything else in between, agency PPC specialists are true experts.

5. Agency Support- Search Engine Marketing agencies offer dedicated agency support who assist in everything from escalating ad approvals to providing competitive insights. It can be assuring to know that if something goes wrong, someone has got your back.

6. Affordable– Going the agency route will save you money. It will save you the cost of recruiting and maintaining an in-house employee as well as the equipment costs.

Majority of SEM agencies charge approximately twenty to thirty percent of ad spend. This is a lower cost than that of employing another head and getting the systems in place to make it affordable.

Outsourcing SEM: Cons

1.Compliance and Legal Issues- These issues may hinder the agency’s ability to execute the most optimal search marketing plan on a timely basis.

2.Quality Control- When you outsource your SEM, you may encounter a problem where the quality of the work would be compromised and you won’t know until it’s too late. This is a significant con. It can result in considerable lost time and money.

You can avoid this by following a rigorous screening process before partnering with an agency. Opt for a reputable agency to prevent such problems.

DIY SEM: Pros

1. Employee Accountability – In-house google adwords experts are ultimately responsible for the success of your PPC efforts. In-house PPC managers are more accountable as the account’s performance can influence his or her employment, salary and advancement. You would expect him or her to give their best.

2.Understanding of your business- No one knows your business better than your in-house staff- having a solid understanding of how your company operates, its core competencies, unique selling proposition, and most importantly, your customers.

3. Experience SEM first hand– The fundamentals of SEM may be complicated at first, but once you get the hang of it, you will discover that SEM is quite interesting.

4. Flexibility – When it comes to flexibility and control, in-house SEM is the best. It gives you more control over specific aspects of the campaign and allows you to manage the campaigns more efficiently.

In contrast, with an outsourcing agency, you must frequently communicate messages from and to the agency. With in-house SEM, you can simply walk to the next office or even turn to the person next to you in case of any questions or concerns.

DIY SEM: CONS

1. Lack of expertise

The lack of technical know-how and expertise is a significant con for in-house SEM. If you’re not sure that you can execute or know enough to run an SEM campaign, then you shouldn’t take up that challenge. As they rightly say, do what you do best and outsource the rest.

If you are a novice at SEM, you should avoid in-house SEM as you may waste valuable time, money, and may even set yourself back rather than make progress. You want to avoid making mistakes early on that can cost you big time.

2.  Time-Consuming

Managing SEM without professional assistance is a recipe for disaster. Not to mention that it’s time-consuming as well. You can think of hiring a digital marketing agency to do SEM for you.

3. Lack of Accountability

Lack of accountability remains a common pitfall for most businesses as their resources may be limited. When you decide to do your SEO in house, it can fall by the curb of other “priorities.”

On the other hand, when you outsource, you can be sure that the agency will deliver by a specific date if they want you to renew with them again.

So The Question Still Remains: Outsourcing SEM vs DIY SEM for Agencies: Which is Better?

I’m sure by looking at the detailed pros and cons of each option; you would have gotten a fair bit of an idea as to which option is better for you. To give you some more detailed insight, here are my 2 cents.

For more than ten years or so, in-house SEM campaigns have taken a back seat to SEM agencies for most small, medium, and large businesses. This is because building an in-house team for every stage of a PPC campaign isn’t optimal or feasible. The solution is partnering with professionals who live and breathe SEM- Outsourcing SEM! Their literal job is to maximize your PPC ROI.

It is also helpful to note that most SEM agencies have a monthly rate, so you pay the same amount every month- saving you the headache of fluctuating costs.

With strategic planning and a dream-team at your disposal – success is bound to happen. Get on board with an SEM agency to start your journey of growth.

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Advocate | DigitalMarketer

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Advocate | DigitalMarketer

Happy customers love to share their experience, but sometimes they need some encouragement to do so. The cool thing is, once they do, they become even more loyal to your brand.

So, at this stage of the Customer Value Journey, ask people to share their positive experience with your brand by writing a review or sharing a social media post.

Once you get to stage seven, the Customer Value Journey is going to get a whole lot easier for you. This stage is all about learning your customer’s experience, and building up your testimonial database. 

The most important part of this step is asking these four questions. 

What Was Your Life Like Before Finding Our Solutions? What Challenges Were You Facing That Caused You to Consider Us? 

These questions are great not only because it gives you some really good stories, but because it gives you some insight on how you can provide similar prospects with that AHA moment. Understanding the average day of your clients is important in reflecting on your Customer Value Journey, and helps you understand what really set you apart from your competitors.

What Key Features Had the Biggest and/or Fastest Impact?

Not only is this going to get you to really specific stories, you will understand the specific things you provided that gave the biggest impact. The answers to these questions will not only give you great insight and testimonials, it will provide you with ideas for new lead magnets. This part is a new Entry Point Offer goldmine! 

What Has Been the Impact or Results in Your Life or Business Since Using Our Product or Service? 

This is a fairly broad question, and that’s why we put it after the others. You will have already gotten all of the specifics out of the way with #1 & #2. But when you ask this question, this is where you get the most valuable stories. You can use this part as testimonials, as an order form, as a sales page, this part is testimonial gold. 

If You Were Asked to Justify this Purchase to Your Boss or a Friend, What Would You Say? 

This is our favorite question by far. If you had to go back in time and justify this purchase, what would you say? I promise you what we’re going to find is a lot of great ideas for the jobs that your product or service has done. You’ll get a lot of great ideas for your core message canvas. This question is about backfilling all of the assets that you may not have. Here you’re going directly to the customer who are already happy, and using their justifications to help you sell to new customers. 

Hopefully you now understand just how valuable the Advocate stage could be, as well as the key questions you need to ask to get your customers talking. Here’s how it works for our example companies.

When it comes to fashion we all love to show off our outfits. So a good example for Hazel & Hems would be to have customers write reviews for a discount code or points towards their next purchase. 

Better yet, follow up with the customers to ask them to share and tag themselves wearing the items in a social media post and providing them with something valuable as a reward.

For Cyrus & Clark Media, hopping on zoom meetings or a streaming service for live talks about them and their business could generate valuable awareness for them, and a live case study for the agency. They can use the questions Ryan provided during this lesson to conduct the interview.



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Drive Conversions and Generate Engagement With Instacart Promotions

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Drive Conversions and Generate Engagement With Instacart Promotions

Through deals and coupons, Instacart has saved consumers more than $700 million in 2022. As we dive into 2023, the leading grocery technology company in North America has big plans to help consumers save even more while also helping CPGs generate sales. Instacart recently announced an advertising solution that helps both sellers and consumers called Instacart Promotions. This exciting feature is designed to help drive conversions, boost sales, and generate overall engagement on the app.

Interested in this feature and how it can help your business on Instacart? Read on as we dive into everything you need to know about this ad solution including benefits, how to get started, and more.

 

What are Instacart Promotions?

 

Instacart Promotions is an advertising feature that’s now available to all brand partners, including emerging brands, within their open beta program. Promotions give CPGs the opportunity to offer new deal structures, promotions, and incentives with Instacart Ad campaigns. With this feature in place, consumers will have access to more promotions, coupons, and deals that are tailored to them within the Instacart Marketplace.

“With the launch of our new Instacart Promotions, all of our brand partners now have the ability to set up coupons and promotions that can drive meaningful business results while also passing on more savings opportunities to consumers. We’re proud to continue expanding our portfolio with additional self-service capabilities, ad formats that drive results, and measurement that brands need to understand the true impact of their campaigns on Instacart.”

 

– Ali Miller, VP of Ads Product at Instacart

 

Source: Instacart

 

How Do Instacart Promotions Work?

 

Promotions, now available in Ads Manager, gives consumers the ability to discover more promotions and savings opportunities within the Instacart app. These promotions now show up directly on product item cards before checkout for easy accessibility. Promotions allow advertisers to customize their campaigns to sync with their goals and objectives whether that be driving sales, building baskets, or boosting trials.

Instacart shared a recent example of a brand successfully utilizing Promotions… 

Athletic Brewing, General Mills, Sola Company, and Wells Enterprises (maker of Halo Top) are strengthening campaign performance by pairing Instacart Promotions with ad formats such as Sponsored Product and Display. Instacart Promotions include two new flexible and customizable structures: Coupons (“buy X units, save $Y”) and Stock Up & Save (“Spend $X, Save $Y”). 

According to Instacart, in the coming months, the company “will work to further enhance the new offering with new deal structures such as Free Gifts and Buy One, Get One (“BOGO”). The new deal structures will help brand partners run “Free Sample” programs that can win new customers and serve personalized discounts for different customer segments, such as “new to brand” and “new to category.”  

 

Example of Instacart Promotions

Source: Instacart

 

Instacart Promotions Benefits

 

Deliver Value and Savings to Consumers

 

With Instacart Promotions, you have the opportunity to deliver value and savings that will have consumers coming back for more. With this savings feature, your brand can stand out among the competition and offer a variety of deals to shoppers ie: “Buy X units, Save $Y”.

 

Hot tip: Ensure you are selecting products for your promotion that are well-stocked and widely available.  

 

Tailor Your Campaigns to Specific Objectives

 

With a variety of savings options available, your brand can structure deals to fit specific business goals and objectives. 

 

Hot tip: If you’re looking to drive visibility and awareness, try pairing promotions with Sponsored Product campaigns. 

 

Access Real-Time Performance Insights 

 

The Promotions beta program is live and can be accessed within Instacart Ads Manager. Within Ads Manager, advertisers can access real-time insights to maximize performance and adjust campaigns as needed.

 

Hot tip: Make sure your budget matches your discount and objectives.

 

“As an advertiser, Instacart’s unique offering to self-manage promotions is so exciting! Historically, making adjustments to offer values and other promotion parameters was a more manual process, but now we’ll be able to easily make optimizations in real-time based on redemption performance.”

Emily Choate

Emily Choate, Senior Specialist, Marketplace Search at Tinuiti

 

Interested in Instacart Promotions?

 

With Instacart Promotions, you have the opportunity to reach new customers, build bigger baskets, and drive sales. Interested in testing out the beta program or looking to get started with advertising on the app? Drop us a line – we’d love to help elevate your CPG brand on Instacart.

 

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(Re)Introducing your favorite Optimizely products!

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(Re)Introducing your favorite Optimizely products!



It’s important to us that you, our valued customers and partners, can identify with the tools you use daily.  

In that pursuit, Optimizely set out to simplify the way we talk about our product suite. That starts, first and foremost, with the words we use to refer to the technology.  

So, we’ve taken a hard look at everything in our portfolio, and are thrilled to introduce new names we believe are more practical, more consistent, and better representative of the technology we all know and love.  

You may have seen some of these names initially at Opticon 2022 as well as on our website. In the spirit of transparency, the team here at Optimizely wanted to make sure you had full visibility into the complete list of new names, as well as understand the context (and rationale) behind the changes. 

So, without further ado… 

Which names changed?  

Some, but not all. For your ongoing reference, below is a complete list of Optimizely products, with previous terminology you may be familiar with in the first column, and (if applicable) the new name in the second column.  

Used to be… 

Is now (or is still)… 

Meaning… 

DXP 

Optimizely Digital Experience Platform 

A fully-composable solution designed to support the orchestration, monetization, and experimentation of any type of digital experience — all from a single, open and extensible platform. 

Content Cloud 

Optimizely Content Management System 

A best-in-class system for building dynamic websites and helping digital teams deliver rich, secure and personalized experiences. 

Welcome 

Optimizely Content Marketing Platform 

An industry-leading and user-friendly platform helping marketing teams plan campaigns, collaborate on tasks, and author content. 

DAM 

Optimizely Digital Asset Management 

A modern storage tool helping teams of any size manage, track, and repurpose marketing and brand assets (with support for all file types). 

Content Recs 

Optimizely Content Recommendations 

AI-powered and real-time recommendations to serve the unique interests of each visitor and personalize every experience. 

B2B Commerce 

Optimizely Configured Commerce 

A templatized and easy-to-deploy platform designed to help manufacturers and distributors drive efficiency, increase revenue and create easy buying experiences that retain customers. 

Commerce Cloud 

Optimizely Customized Commerce 

A complete platform for digital commerce and content management to build dynamic experiences that accelerate revenue and keep customers coming back for more. 

PIM 

Optimizely Product Information Management 

A dedicated tool to help you set up your product inventory and manage catalogs of any size or scale. 

Product Recs 

Optimizely Product Recommendations 

Machine-learning algorithms optimized for commerce to deliver personalized product recommendations in real-time. 

Web 

Optimizely Web Experimentation 

An industry-leading experimentation tool allowing you to run A/B and multi-variant tests on any channel or device with an internet connection. 

Full Stack 

Optimizely Feature Experimentation 

A comprehensive experimentation platform allowing you to manage features, deploy safer tests, and roll out new releases – all in one place. 

Personalization 

Optimizely Personalization 

An add-on to core experimentation products, allowing teams to create/segment audiences based on past behavior and deliver more relevant experiences. 

Program Management 

Optimizely Program Management 

An add-on to core experimentation products, allowing teams to manage the end-to-end lifecycle of an experiment. 

ODP 

Optimizely Data Platform 

A centralized hub to harmonize data across your digital experience tools, providing one-click integrations, AI-assisted guidance for campaigns, and unified customer profiles. 

 

So, why the change?  

 It boils down to three guiding principles:  

  1. Uniformity: Create a naming convention that can be applied across the board, for all products, to drive consistency 
  2. Simplicity: Use terms that are both practical and concise, ensuring the names are something that everyone can understand and identify with  
  3. Completeness: Develop a framework that showcases the full and complimentary nature of all the products and solutions within the Optimizely suite 

 As the Optimizely portfolio comes together as a complete, unified platform, it’s important that our names reflect this, as well as support our 3 key solutions (i.e. orchestrate amazing content experiences, monetize every digital experience, and experiment across all touchpoints).  

Other questions? We’ve got you covered. 

Q: Why have you made these product name changes? 

    • We wanted to simplify how we talk about our portfolio. The renaming applies a naming convention that is both practical and concise.  

 

Q: Do the new product name changes affect the products I own? 

    • No, there is no impact to product functionality or capabilities.  

 

Q: Do the new product name changes affect who is my Customer Success Manager or Account Manager?  

    • No, there are no changes to your Customer Success Manager or Account Manager. 

 

Q: Do the new product name changes affect the ownership of the company?  

    • No, ownership of the company has not changed. We have only made changes to the Product Names. 

 

Q: Have any contact details changed that I need to be aware of?  

    • Only contact details for former Welcome customers has changed. These are the new contact details you should be aware of: Optimizely, Inc.| 119 5th Ave | 7th Floor | New York, NY 10003 USA. Phone: +1 603 594 0249 | www.optimizely.com 

 

Q: Where can I send any follow up questions I might have?  

    • If you have any questions about the Product Names, please contact your Customer Success Manager or Account Manager.  


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