Connect with us

MARKETING

The Ultimate Guide To A Successful NPO Email Strategy

Published

on

The Ultimate Guide To A Successful NPO Email Strategy

Effective email and newsletter marketing is crucial for a nonprofit organization’s (NPO) success. With scarce resources, limited staffing, and divided leadership attention, investing in marketing efforts can often take a backseat to more urgent matters.

Luckily, email marketing is both cost-effective and less time-consuming than other NPO marketing strategies. Regularly sent out, well-crafted newsletters can give your nonprofit authority while also helping you stay at the forefront of your donors’ minds.

Download Now: Nonprofit Marketing & Fundraising  Trends for 2022 [Free Report]

By reading this post, you will discover how your nonprofit can stay connected with donors and attract exciting new prospects through personalized and meaningful email marketing.

Table of Contents

Advertisement

Why does email work for nonprofits?

Studies show that email continues to offer the highest return on investment (ROI) of any outreach strategy. TruConversion reports that an email marketing campaign can deliver a return of $40 for every $1 spent. This makes email the channel with the highest ROI that nonprofits can use to reach prospective donors.

Additionally, 91% of all US consumers still use email daily. Email can therefore enable NPOs to reach audiences that might not otherwise engage with their marketing efforts on social media.

Pro tip: Before starting a new email campaign, make sure it aligns with your nonprofit marketing plan and helps you reach your organization’s goals.

onprofit newsletter, 91% of US consumers still use email daily. Use email to reach new audiences.

Email Marketing Best Practices for Nonprofits

1. Commit to regular sends.

Nonprofits are often stretched for resources, and it’s easy to set marketing aside for matters that seem more pressing. However, regular email marketing is one of the most effective ways to grow your organization. A content schedule for your emails can keep you organized you can frequently engage with and steadily grow your donor base.

Advertisement

Making email sends an “always on” part of your marketing strategy will play a big role in your success on the channel. “Always on” doesn’t mean that you’re bombarding your email list with constant messages — it means that you’re committed to consistency in how often you send your emails.

Send informative emails on a predictable schedule, instead of only when you’re actively running a campaign or seeking donations. This will help nurture your audience towards deeper forms of engagement (like donating or attending an event) in the future. Remember: the goal is building long-term relationships.

Setting the right cadence for your emails is important to keep the members of your list engaged with your organization. When you’re first starting out, this requires a careful balancing act. You don’t want to send too few emails, but you also don’t want to veer into potential spam territory. More on that in the next section.

Pro tip: Double-check that your email offers value to your readers before sending. Value could include the latest information about your nonprofit, ways to get involved, upcoming events, or recent projects your organization has completed.

2. Be wary of spam folders.

If your audience is only used to hearing from you on a one-off basis, you’ll need to gradually shift to sending more emails. A sudden switch could trigger some users’ email clients to send you to the spam folder.

Email deliverability can be a complex subject, but here are a few important things to remember if you’re transitioning to more frequent email marketing.

Advertisement
  • Don’t directly embed forms or include attachments in your emails. Linking out to web pages with forms is a better practice.
  • Send your emails from a recognizable address. If you can, avoid sending from a [email protected] address. Use a name your readers will recognize.
  • Lead with informative subject lines instead of direct calls for donations. Check out our blog post on picking great email subject lines.
  • If you’re emailing a list that isn’t used to frequent sends, let them know what’s going on. Tell your readers that you plan to start sending more informative emails, and most importantly, allow them to opt out. It might seem counterintuitive in the short term, but cleaning disengaged folks off your email list is important to the long-term health of your email program.

Pro Tip: Assign a staff member to send your monthly newsletter using their name. This increases your chance of avoiding donors’ spam folders.

For more tips on improving your email deliverability, check out our blog post on the subject here.

3. Leverage personal connections with your audience.

Personalizing your emails is a simple — but powerful — step that you can take to create a personal connection with readers.

First, make sure you’re using an email tool that enables personalization. It might be an investment upfront, but having access to personalization features will greatly improve the value your audience gets out of your email sends.

Worried about coming off as creepy or not sure where to start? Focus on personalizing emails based on actions your email recipients have taken on your website, advises Rachel Leist, a VP of marketing, automation, and demand generation at HubSpot. Instead of using personal data in your contact management system, perhaps thank them for a donation or downloading a report.

“If a person receives an email that refers to an action they took on your website, they will not be as nervous as they would if you were personalizing around specific personal information you happen to have on them,” Leist explains.

Pro tip: Personalize your emails by using first names and interesting taglines. Emails with personalized subject lines generate six times higher transaction rates.

Advertisement

4. Segment your database.

A segmented email list can help you ensure that the right person receives the right email at the right time. While everyone on your email list believes in your organization, you don’t need to send every email to everyone. Each person in your database is at a different stage on their journey with your organization, and the emails they receive should reflect that.

For example, someone who has donated $5 to your organization in the last year is probably not as engaged as someone who has donated $1,000 to your organization in the last month.

Factors like donation amount, events attended, and actions taken on your website or social media channels can all be important indicators of engagement level, and shouldn’t be ignored when you’re sending out emails.

More engaged audience members will likely respond more positively to more frequent emails, while folks with fewer touch points should receive fewer emails giving them more basic information about your NPO.

Pro tip: When people download your content or subscribe to your newsletter, make sure you enter them into a specific drip campaign that sends them automated emails relevant to the topics they are interested in.

5. Test, analyze, and adapt accordingly.

Finally, running an email program is not a “one-and-done” marketing strategy. You’ll need to note key performance indicators and make changes to your approach based on real-world data.

Advertisement

If you’re just getting started, industry benchmarks can be a useful point of comparison. But remember, not all NPOs are the same, and not all NPO audiences are going to respond the same way to emails.

To start, keep track of a few key email metrics, measure them with each email send, and look for trends over time. Our article on email marketing metrics for beginners offers a helpful starting place if you’re not sure what to track.

Pro tip: Regularly monitor your email open rate using the Hubspot email health tool.

How to Write an Amazing Nonprofit Newsletter

1. Write an eye-catching subject line.

Subject lines can be tricky. You’re looking for a short phrase that communicates your intent while retaining your non-profit’s unique voice. An interesting subject line should include the following elements.

  1. Urgency. You want recipients to feel the urgency to both open emails from your NPO and take action.
  2. Specificity. If you have an interesting statistic or data point to share, be sure to put it in the subject line.
  3. Upcoming events. To increase engagement, your newsletter should let people know what upcoming events they can attend or volunteer at.
  4. Name recognition. Pique your audience’s interest by including their name in the subject line (when appropriate).
  5. Relevancy. If current events or politics influence your nonprofit’s goal(s), referencing those events can make your newsletter more relevant and timely.

Pro tip: 46% of email opens take place on mobile, so be sure to make your subject lines 50 characters or less so mobile viewers can read the entire message.

Explore this blog for more subject line best practices.

Advertisement

2. Give compelling updates.

An amazing nonprofit newsletter should include the latest and greatest from your organization. Inform your recipients of recent goals reached, heartwarming stories of those you help, life updates of staff and volunteers, and anything else of note.

Pro tip: To make your emails visually interesting, take pictures during events to include in your newsletters. With permission, include the names of the volunteers pictured and describe what activities took place.

3. Have an attitude of gratitude.

Your cause is near and dear to those who subscribe to your newsletter. Their time spent volunteering and money donated should always be received with a spirit of gratitude.

Let email recipients know the immediate impact of their donations with interesting data points. For example, “Your donation helped x number of families” or “Your volunteer efforts fed x number of children.”

Pro tip: Some of your newsletter recipients will be more involved than others. Consider opening the line of communication with these donors by sending a personalized, non-automated email that references their specific efforts to the cause.

4. Include a Call-to-Action

A call-to-action (CTA) is an invitation to your audience to do something. In an email or newsletter, your CTA should be a button that links to the action you want recipients to take next.

Advertisement

Examples of CTAs for your nonprofit email could be “Subscribe to the newsletter,” “Donate now,” “Refer a friend,” or more. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your CTAs, and be sure to measure your conversion rate.

Pro tip: There are lots of CTA tools you can use to make linking to the next step easier. Explore common options here.

Examples of Nonprofit Fundraising Emails 

Want to put together an effective fundraising email? Check out some examples to get a sense of what your newsletter can look like.

Alzheimer’s Association

This Welcome email from the Alzheimer’s Association doesn’t lead with a request for a donation. Instead, the team connects recipients to the cause by providing them with resources to learn about the disease.

The main CTA urges readers to “learn the facts.” By gaining a greater understanding of Alzheimer’s email recipients are encouraged to act — either by advocating for the group, volunteering, or donating.

Advertisement

What we love: There are several resources shown in this email, targeting different groups affected by Alzheimer’s disease. A loved one could access a support group. A family looking for care solutions can explore their options. Most importantly, people living with Alzheimer’s are given autonomy and can get matched with a care team.

nonprofit newsletter examples, Alzheimer’s Association

Black Girls Code

This email from Black Girls Code focuses on one webinar that is open to all. By including events and participation opportunities, the nonprofit demonstrates value to those on its email list. As a subscriber, you’ll make sure you never miss an event.

What we love: This email utilizes design to strategically focus readers’ attention. The graphic that includes the panel’s speaker information and time are beautifully designed with eye-catching colors that pop over a black background. The only other colorful elements? Two bold registration CTAs in lavender.

nonprofit newsletter ideas, Black Girls Code

The End Child Poverty California Coalition (ECPC)

ECPC’s email demonstrates the importance of keeping your donors and volunteers informed. This section of the group’s newsletter explains how much the coalition’s Imagine Campaign secured and where funds were used. An infographic makes understanding the complexities of state budgeting easy.

What we love: ECPC has mastered transparency. The group acknowledges that not all of its priorities were included in the state budget. After, the coalition celebrates wins they were able to achieve. The use of honesty makes the nonprofit feel trustworthy and garners even more support.

nonprofit newsletter ideas, The End Child Poverty California Coalition

The Trevor Project

Awareness days, holidays, and important anniversaries offer special opportunities to engage your audience. This is especially true when you can tie the event to your nonprofit’s mission or research.

Advertisement

The Trevor Project sent a dedicated email on Intersex Awareness Day. In the email, the organization explains what it means to be intersex and the importance of acknowledging this community. Then, it links to a report where people can learn more about the well-being of intersex youth.

What we love: Not only does this email highlight Intersex Awareness Day, it also reminds recipients that October is LGBTQ History Month. Readers who didn’t have their calendars marked are now informed and will be more likely to engage with other Trevor Project research.

nonprofit newsletter ideas, The Trevor Project

The International Rescue Committee

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) faces the urgent task of assisting people in conflict zones and disaster areas. This email both explains what the organization does and its historical impact.

What we love: Highlighting articles and the organization’s history increases the subscriber’s emotional investment. Readers will also have a better understanding of the IRC’s values.

nonprofit newsletter example, the International Rescue Committee

The Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian Institution is one of the largest museum and research networks in the world. Keeping up with each museum and department would be exhausting. Luckily, the nonprofit’s marketing team has gathered the highlights into one, easy-to-read newsletter.

What we love: When we go to museums, we marvel at the artifacts and objects on display. The Smithsonian newsletter uses photographs to replicate this experience on any device.

Advertisement

nonprofit newsletter example, smithsonian institute

Save The Children

When folks first sign up for your emails, it’s a good indicator that they’re feeling engaged with your mission. Check out this automatic welcome email from Save the Children introduces the organization to a new subscriber and requests a donation at the end. Your audience wants to help — don’t make them wait!

What we love: Save the Children created a simple infographic to show how a small donation can make a big impact. This can encourage supporters to contribute.

nonprofit newsletter example, save the children

Citizens’ Climate Lobby

Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) demonstrates in the email below how to update subscribers on important current events. By referencing recent policy changes that were helpful to their cause, CCL can both thank their email subscribers for their hard work while getting them excited about future progress.

What we love: This email does a good job of providing relevance and timeliness to the nonprofit’s conversation. nonprofit newsletter example, Citizen’s Climate Lobby

826 Boston

826 Boston is a writing, tutoring, and publishing nonprofit that works with students and community members. As a local nonprofit, community events offer an opportunity for Boston residents to get involved and learn more about the organization. This email highlights Books for Breakfast, including critical information about where the event is held and when.

Pro tip: If your organization relies on donations from corporate sponsors, email offers an opportunity to showcase your partnership. This creates added value for the businesses you work with.

nonprofit newsletter example, 826 Boston

Wikimedia

Not every donor or subscriber should be emailed every day. Wikimedia is sparing with its calls for donations, making their infrequent sends more impactful. By highlighting a past action and demonstrating urgency for a repeat donation, recipients will be more likely to give.

Advertisement

This type of email works best for past donors and less active members of your email list. Even though they don’t visit your website daily, they may be willing to donate on occasion.

What we love: This email from Wikimedia shows what percentage of your donation goes to which parts of the organization. This creates transparency and makes donors feel good about their contributions.

nonprofit newsletter example, Wikimedia

Free Email Marketing Software for Nonprofits

Want to use professional email software for your nonprofit without breaking the bank? There are several free versions of professional marketing software that you can use. Check out what some of the most popular programs offer. Then, decide which option works best for you.

1. HubSpot Email Marketing Software

HubSpot offers a free version of its paid email marketing software that integrates with its free CRM software. Users can run a sophisticated marketing campaign and get access to forms, landing pages, and Facebook, Instagram, Google, and LinkedIn ads, as well as templates.

HubSpot also has access to contact management and live chat capabilities. These tools allow you to optimize the experience for each subscriber. There are also traffic and conversion analytics capabilities for campaign optimization.

Advertisement

2. Sender

Want to reach lots of people with beautiful, personalized emails? Sender could be just right for you. This program has extensive HTML editing and personalization capabilities. Sender also has impressive analytics capabilities that allow you to track the delivery and opening of individual emails. You’ll also be able to build individual recipient profiles to further optimize your strategy.

3. Sendinblue

If you’re looking for variety in your emails, Sendinblue has you covered. This program includes over 70 responsive templates for emails that can be designed for any screen. The free version gives you the ability to send 300 emails a day.

You also have the ability to use A/B testing to find email content that works and segmenting options to make sure the right person receives your message.

4. SendGrid

SendGrid specializes in email campaigns that are tailored to individual preferences. Its free version gives you access to a wide range of personalization tools, including APIs, Webhooks, and STMP Relay.

You’ll also have granular control over who receives your emails with a wide range of delivery optimization tools. Plus, you can access sophisticated email editing and analytics tools that allow you to optimize sends for your target audience.

Start Today

You don’t need to be a professional marketer to get professional results from email marketing. However, you do need to set some time aside to get started.

Advertisement

Remember, email marketing when done thoughtfully, can have a big payoff. Get started today if you haven’t already, and you could generate more buzz for your organization than ever before!

nonprofit trends

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

MARKETING

Roundel Media Studio: What to Expect From Target’s New Self-Service Platform

Published

on

Roundel-media-studio-featured-image

Commerce


By Tinuiti Team

Roundel™ Media Studio (RMS) has arrived, revolutionizing Target’s advertising game. This self-service platform offers seamless activation, management, and analysis of Target Product Ads, with more solutions on the horizon.

Powered by first-party data from both in-store and online shoppers, RMS provides new audience insights. Coupled with Target’s new loyalty program, Circle 360, advertisers gain precision targeting like never before.

Advertisement

But Target isn’t stopping there. With the rollout of a paid membership program on April 7th, bundling Target Circle, the Circle Card, and Shipt delivery, Target is elevating its media and membership offerings to rival the likes of Walmart and Amazon.

Curious to learn more? We sat down with our experts at Tinuiti to dive deeper into the potential implications of this platform for brands and advertisers alike.

What is Roundel Media Studio?

Roundel™ Media Studio is an integrated platform that consolidates various solutions and tools offered by Roundel™. At its core, it kicks off with our sponsored product ads, known as Target Product Ads by Roundel™.

example of target roundel ad
Example of Target Product Ads by Roundel™
Image Source: Target.com

This comprehensive platform grants access to the complete range of Target Product Ad placements, featuring tailored slots like “More to Consider” and “Frequently Bought Together” to enhance relevance and personalization.

Moreover, Roundel™ Media Studio operates without any DSP or access fees for Target Product Ads, ensuring that your media budget is optimized to deliver greater efficiency, more clicks, and ultimately, increased sales.

“One of the larger benefits of the transition is that advertisers have an opportunity to capitalize on the additional dollars saved by switching to RMS. Without the 20% fee, brands can re-invest those funds to scale campaigns or optimize budgets, all without having to allocate more funds which drives better results. Roundel™ is putting more control in the hands of advertisers by introducing this new self-service platform.”

– Averie Lynch, Specialist, Strategic Services at Tinuiti

To summarize, key benefits of using RMS include:

Advertisement
  • No Access or DSP Fees
  • All Target Product Ads Inventory
  • 1st Price Auction with Existing Floor Prices
  • Closed Loop Sales & Attribution
  • Billing via Criteo Insertion Order
  • Access Using Partners Online

How to access Roundel Media Studio 

According to Target, there’s 3 steps to access Roundel™ Media Studio:

Step 1. Check that you have a Partners Online (POL) account for access. Don’t have one? Reach out to your POL admin to get set up with an account (reach out if you need help locating your organization’s admin). 

Step 2. Once you have gotten access to POL, reach out to your Roundel representative who will grant you access to the platform. 

Step 3. Users can access Roundel™ Media Studio in 2 ways:

Roundel Media Studio Best Practices

Target offers a variety of tips on how to best leverage their latest offering to drive performance. 

Let’s take a look at the latest best practices for strategies such as maximizing efficiency or driving sales revenue. 

Recommended bidding tactics for maximizing efficiency:

Advertisement
  • Set your line-item optimizer to Revenue for the highest return on ad spend (ROAS) or to Conversions for the lowest Cost per Order (CPO).
  • Since the Revenue and Conversions optimizers modulate the CPC you enter to maximize performance, it is useful to set a CPC cap to make sure that your bid will not exceed the maximum amount you wish to pay. The CPC cap should always remain at least 30% above the bid you enter to allow the engine to optimize effectively.
  • Set your bids competitively to balance scale and performance (ROAS or CPO) targets.
  • Optimize bids with respect to your CPO targets: lower CPCs slightly to increase efficiency, or raise them to increase scale

Recommended bidding tactics for maximizing sales revenue:

  • Set the line-item optimizer to Revenue.
  • Set bids to maximize scale and competitiveness while staying above KPI thresholds. Since the Revenue optimizer modulates the CPC you enter to maximize performance, it is useful to set a CPC cap to make sure that your bid will not exceed the maximum amount you wish to pay.
  • Adjust your bids progressively and preferably at the product level: filter the top products by Spend and then slightly reduce any bids that have a ROAS below your threshold.
  • In general, slightly lower CPC to increase efficiency or raise CPC to increase win rates and therefore increase sell-through.

Takeaways & Next Steps

This is just the start for RMS. In the future, Tinuiti will continue its partnership with Roundel to refine features and introduce additional ad types and functionalities.

When exploring any new advertising opportunity, the best results are typically realized when partnering with a performance marketing agency that understands the unique landscape. Our team boasts years of hands-on experience advertising in new and established marketplaces, including Amazon, Walmart, and Target. Working directly with Roundel, we ensure our clients’ ads harness the full functionality and features Target has to offer, with results-oriented scalability baked in.

Ready to learn more about how we can help your brand? Reach out to us today!

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

MARKETING

Unlocking the Power of AI Transcription for Enhanced Content Marketing Strategies

Published

on

Unlocking the Power of AI Transcription for Enhanced Content Marketing Strategies

Have you noticed how artificial intelligence (AI) is slowly integrating into, well, everything? Then it won’t surprise you to hear that it’s also infiltrated content marketing.

How can AI enhance your content marketing? Through AI transcription.

Want to learn how?

Why AI Transcription is Revolutionary

AI transcription is transforming the way we access and interact with information. Here’s how it’s changing the game:

Rapid Content Transformation

Imagine turning a one-hour podcast or webinar into a comprehensive text document in minutes.

Advertisement

AI transcription allows for quick conversion of long-form audio and video content, making it a breeze to repurpose these materials into articles, blogs, or reports.

This means you’re spending a lot less time working on making your content as accessible as possible—the AI is doing it for you—and more time on simply creating new content.

Inclusivity and Accessibility

By providing a text version of audio and video content, AI transcription breaks down barriers for people with hearing impairments. This widens your audience.

It also aids non-native speakers in understanding the content better by allowing them to read along, improving comprehension and engagement.

Content Amplification

With AI transcription, a single piece of content can be repurposed into a multitude of formats.

For example, a transcribed interview can be used to create an in-depth blog post, several engaging social media posts, and even quotes for infographics. This not only amplifies your content’s reach but also maximizes the return on investment for every piece of content created.

Advertisement

SEO Benefits

Transcripts can be a goldmine for SEO. They are rich in keywords spoken naturally during conversations. Including these transcripts on your website or blog can significantly improve your search engine ranking by providing more content for search engines to index.

Real-Time Engagement

With real-time transcription services, audiences can follow along with live events, like conferences or webinars, through captions. This enhances the interactive experience and viewers don’t miss out on important information.

AI transcription is revolutionary because it democratizes content, making it accessible and usable in a variety of formats. It caters to a global audience, and multiplies the impact of the original content, all while improving SEO and user engagement.

Integrating AI Successfully

To truly tap into the power of AI transcription, you need a game plan. It starts with picking the right AI transcription service—one that’s not only accurate but also savvy with the lingo of your field.

Here’s how you can integrate AI transcription into your workflow like a pro:

Record Quality Content

The clearer your audio or video recording, the better your transcription will be. Invest in good recording equipment, minimize background noise, and ensure speakers articulate clearly. Think of it as laying the groundwork for flawless transcription.

Advertisement

Transcribe with AI

Once you have your high-quality recording, it’s time to let the AI work its magic. Upload your file to AI technology like Clipto and let it transform your spoken words into written text. This step is where the tech shines, turning hours of audio into text in minutes.

Edit and Polish

AI is smart, but it’s not perfect. Review the transcript for any errors or awkward phrasings. Adjust any text you need to. This editing process ensures the final product is not only accurate but also engaging and readable.

Incorporate into Your Strategy

Now that you have your polished transcript, use it to upgrade your marketing materials. Transcripts can be repurposed into blog posts, social media content, eBooks, or even used to enhance video and podcast SEO by providing searchable text.

AI transcription is  a dynamic tool that can extend your capabilities. By treating AI as a collaborative partner, you can enhance your content marketing efforts, making your message clearer, more accessible, and far-reaching. Integrating AI transcription allows you to engage with your audience on multiple levels.

Spicing Up Your Content with AI Transcription

Let’s get real—AI transcription is more than just a fancy way of turning chatter into text. It’s a secret weapon in your content marketing arsenal.

Boosting Quality and Nailing Relevance

Think about it: when you transcribe your audio and video goodies, you’re capturing every little detail and nuance that might have slipped by unnoticed. Here’s the scoop:

Advertisement
  • Accuracy is Key: With AI, you can nail the exactness of your content, catching the subtle hints and expressions that give it flavor.
  • SEO Magic: Those transcripts are like SEO gold, stuffed with keywords that naturally pop up in conversation, giving your site’s visibility a hearty push.

And the cherry on top? AI transcription can sort out the big themes in your content, keeping your marketing vibe consistent and spot-on across all platforms.

Digging into Data

Now, here comes the detective work. AI transcription lays out all the juicy data about what your audience loves (and doesn’t). With this goldmine of info, you can:

  • Analyze Engagement: Spot the hotspots in your videos or podcasts where people hang on every word—and where they hit the fast-forward button. This insight is like a roadmap to your audience’s heart.
  • Strategize with Confidence: Armed with data, you can tweak your topics, amp up engagement, and keep your audience coming back for more.

So, by turning your spoken content into text, you’re not just filling up space. You’re diving deep into the analytics pool for a smarter, more data-driven approach to content marketing. It’s about getting down to the nitty-gritty of what your audience really likes, making every word you publish count.

Bottom Line

It’s clear that AI transcription is not just a fleeting trend but a robust ally in the realm of content marketing. Equipped with tools to make your message not only heard but felt across the globe.

From crafting precision-packed text that search engines adore to unveiling layers of audience insights waiting to be explored, AI transcription is your go-to for making every piece of content count.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

MARKETING

How To Adapt Your SEO and Content Strategies for SGE and AI Experiences

Published

on

How to Adapt Your SEO and Content Strategies for SGE and AI Experiences

A massive change is coming to search.

As Google experiments with AI in its standard search results and its Search Generative Experience (SGE), marketers must understand how to adapt their content strategies for new AI-impacted search experiences.

Since 2023, Google has been prolific in its AI experimentation, changing the way content is represented in search results. Its content-led SGE recently moved out of its testing lab to show up in a small percentage of results in Google’s main search interface.

Brands that produce content experiences that align with new search behaviors and focus on conversion stand a better chance to survive the search change.

Advertisement

Google adds generative AI, first-person reviews, and anti-spam actions

Your news feed says all. Search and generative AI investments are everywhere. And it’s not just Google — new entrants, such as Perplexity AI and You.com, are on the search scene. Meanwhile, OpenAI is working on a search engine powered by Microsoft’s Bing.

Still, Google owns the biggest market share in search, so let’s focus on the ways AI is affecting Google SEO.

Reddit and new content sources

Google added new content sources to its traditional results and Search Generative Experience.

In traditional search results, adding more content sources helps fine-tune its AI technologies. The recent content licensing deal with Reddit is a prime example. You can already see its content appearing more often in traditional search results.

This screenshot shows the search engine results for “Is Volvo a good car?” A discussion from the Volvo subreddit appears as the third result on the page (or fourth if you count the people-also-ask module.)

Click to enlarge

Advertisement

SGE appearance

The image below shows the SGE for the Volvo query. The first paragraphs are an AI-generated summary drawing on ratings from RepairPal (after an alert explaining the experimental nature of the generative AI content.)

Below the SGE summary, a search box prompts the visitor to ask a follow-up question. After that element, the Reddit discussion on Volvo reliability appears.

The image shows the SGE for the Volvo query.

Click to enlarge

Showing Reddit content in SERPs lets Google show more first-person reviews and opinions (the experience element of Google’s EEAT (experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) for search ratings.

But how will Google distinguish between subjective, objective, and informative opinions? With Reddit content, which can include positive and negative opinions readily on display, brands will need to follow relevant discussions on Reddit.

Google goes after spam sites

You may have read about Google’s latest update, which aims to avoid sites with low-quality (often AI-generated) content and give helpful content more prominence in SERPs.

This hammers home the message to avoid relying on generative AI alone for content creation. Content needs a human touch to earn the experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness that Google and, more importantly, searchers want to see.

Advertisement

Expect more penalties from Google for content that’s just churned out from AI prompts.

SGE’s impact on brands

SGE is the rollout that will impact every industry and content marketer.

My company, BrightEdge, built a tool to detect how and where search engines experiment with AI and new content formats. The chart below shows an estimate of the percentage of queries by industry affected by SGE results once it’s fully rolled out.

Health care will see the biggest impact, with 76% of its searches affected by SGE. Finance will be the least affected, with only 17% of queries impacted by SGE. Here’s how SGE will affect other industries:

  • E-commerce (49%)
  • B2B technology (48%)
  • Insurance (45%)
  • Education (44%)
  • Restaurants (36%)
  • Entertainment (36%)
  • Travel (30%)
The chart shows an estimate of the percentage of queries by industry affected by SGE results once it’s fully rolled out.

Click to enlarge

Once SGE rolls out completely, it will likely impact over $40 billion per year in ad revenue on Google for marketers per BrightEdge estimates.

How to prepare for SGE and changing search behavior

Google has always shown relevant sources and articles so searchers can make informed decisions. With the generative AI changes, Google’s engine now asserts an opinion. This represents a fundamental shift in how a search engine responds to queries.

Advertisement

Imagine you search the web to learn more about a BMW model you’re interested in. Previously, a Google search would display results with links such as BMW’s official site, Top Gear, Consumer Reports, and Carfax. The searcher then could choose the resources to explore and form an opinion about the vehicle.

In the generative AI world, Google’s primary result might not be a direct link to BMW’s website. Instead, it could be AI-generated content that provides an evaluative perspective. The AI content might include important factors to consider when looking at a BMW, such as the potential for high maintenance expenses or issues with parts availability due to supply chain challenges. This AI-curated summary will be presented before the searcher can see the resources with links for further exploration.

This shift may lead to reduced but higher-quality traffic. Brands are likely to experience better conversion rates. The reason? Consumers are more likely to act because they’ve been influenced by prior engagements and information provided by Google.

Still, you’ll need to adapt to the new search environment. Here are some tips on how to prepare.

Focus on the search basics

Solidify your foundation of SEO and website fundamentals. The essential elements will gain more significance as time progresses.

Make sure your website is optimized for user-friendliness and complies with Google’s guidelines regarding Core Web Vitals, Helpful Content, and EEAT (experience, expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness).

Advertisement

You may also want to review these tips for optimizing content for SGE.

Deepen your understanding of new search behaviors

Use data to grasp user and conversational intent, especially since these factors influence the AI-generated search results. Identifying high-value searches is essential.

Make sure that your content responds to the specific query and addresses its broader context to attract results for long-tail keyword searches.

Content generated by AI draws from reliable and credible sources. Ensure your brand’s content is considered an authoritative source.

The growing prominence of trusted sources and an increase in consumer reviews signal a pivotal change: Brands are likely to have less control over the customer journey.

Align content with other marketing disciplines

Search engine results now encompass an array of media types and formats, including social media, reviews, and news sources. So, teams in marketing, content creation, digital strategies, brand management, design, social media, and public relations must align closely.

Advertisement

Strategies for an AI-first future

According to BrightEdge research, 98% of enterprise organizations say they’ll prioritize SEO in 2024. And 94% of organizations are looking to integrate SEO into all marketing (omnichannel) strategies.

Strategies for adapting your content approach to new search experiences will vary by industry.  Here are a few examples.

E-commerce: Google commonly presents content for e-commerce queries via product viewers. SGE replaces these with better, more visual, and informational (combined) content.

Google has experimented with several formats, including a general shopping result that details what a searcher would expect to see in a universal listing. However, as SGE results have evolved, so have the ways a user can view products.

This image shows an example of SGE’s integrated product viewer carousel with grouping for apparel, which displays multiple apparel options in a single display.

This image shows an example of SGE’s integrated product viewer carousel with grouping for apparel, which displays multiple apparel options in a single display.

These tips will help you prepare for the various viewer modules (see viewer examples).

  • Optimize for trend relevance: Aligning category pages with current trends can increase your chance of being included in SGE dynamic displays.
  • Incorporate product reviews: Showing product reviews on your site boosts credibility.
  • Present clear pricing Information: Use schema markup to highlight pricing details.

Travel, restaurants, and local: Places have long been a key module for Google. Now, we’re seeing the places module showing up in about 45% of SGE queries. So, make sure to include location-based keywords.

You might also try these optimization suggestions:  

Advertisement
  • Monitor and respond to reviews.
  • Tailor your local listings for location-specific queries.
  • Keep an eye on how and where SGE displays local modules. SGE displays local results even in queries without location-specific terms.

Entertainment: SGE entertainment results are primarily informational. But more reviews (and warnings for age-appropriate content) are appearing in both traditional search and SGE.

Get ready to shift your SEO thinking

Whoever provides the best experience for their target consumers will win in the new AI search experiences. Focus on third-party content reviews, social, PR, and brand authority. Expect your competitive landscape to change with new entrants that might eat into your market share.

Be aware, ready, and prepared to optimize for multiple AI search experiences.

All tools mentioned in this article were suggested by the author. If you’d like to suggest a tool, share the article on social media with a comment.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Advertisement

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

Trending

Follow by Email
RSS