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Quora’s Lead Gen Ads Beta: Ready For Round Two

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As advertisers, we are usually drawn to new ad platforms and betas, first and foremost, for the cost savings. Entering a newer platform, like Quora, is generally cheaper than a mature platform, like Google. However, in our latest beta test with Quora, we found that there’s another MAJOR reason to test younger ad platforms and betas within those platforms: The personalized attention. 

Why are betas difficult?

You might be wondering why advertisers would want personalized attention when launching a beta test in an ad platform and on top of that, why we would value that as high as generating a low cost/lead. Let me paint a picture of what it’s like to NOT have personalized attention when launching a beta.

Here’s the headline for why betas are hard: Uncertainty is high. Best practices are nowhere to be found. Even a good first test may not be enough to convince stakeholders that there should be future tests.

Imagine you test a new campaign type that’s currently in beta. Your platform reps give you access to the campaign type and that’s it. Maybe there’s a support page on their site somewhere with some basic setup details, but since it’s a beta, there’s very little documentation. You set up the campaign to the best of your knowledge and then you launch. The first few days of the campaign, you’ve spent $50/day and generated ZERO leads. This worries you, naturally, but you know that 1. The campaign might be “learning” on the back-end and 2. Your data (ZERO leads) isn’t statistically significant yet. Any experienced, logical performance marketer would tell you not to change the campaign settings, bids, creative, etc. because your results are not yet statistically sound. In other words, you haven’t run the campaign long enough to know, FOR SURE, that it’s OFFICIALLY not working.

So you wait it out. By the time you’ve hit statistical significance, your campaign has spent $500. Maybe even $1,000 or $5,000, depending on the beta, campaign goals, cost/click, etc. At this point, you’ve generated a few leads, but the cost/lead is still 100% higher than your average paid social campaign. Sure, you learned something from this test, because you can always learn from failed tests. Failing is actually fundamental for growth, so that part isn’t too frustrating.

The frustrating part of this whole situation is that you can’t help but wonder if there were some simple best practices you could have implemented from the start to get good enough results to then get the go-ahead from your boss/team to keep testing.

Were there settings you should have used? More niche targeting you could have implemented? Because you were flying blind during the campaign setup phase, you’re never going to be 100% confident that the results are truly indicative of the beta’s potential. I think it’s rare for a new campaign type or ad platform to hit our goals the first time around, but if you miss your goal by a longshot, it’s now going to be even harder to convince your team that this new beta or new platform is worth continuing to test.

Because what’s usually happening with any team that’s testing a beta ad or new ad platform is that stakeholders are looking at it as a one-time test. It either works or it doesn’t. Whether that’s the best way to view it or not (I believe it’s NOT, but that’s a whole separate topic), that tends to be the trend that I see across companies, especially those with smaller budgets.

Testing Quora Lead Gen Ads

Enter 1:1 attention from an ad platform team.

This is what we got from the Quora team, every step of the way when we tested Quora’s new lead gen ads. Here’s the process we went through:

  1. We were offered access to the beta. This is one of the perks of working with agencies. We have more connections, as an agency, to platforms reps. (Shoutout to JD Prater)
  2. The Quora team initiated a meeting where they asked us a number of questions about our goals for the lead gen campaign.
  3. Following the meeting, our team set up the lead gen ad campaign, based on the details discussed in the group meeting.
  4. Quora’s team asked us to let them know when the campaign was drafted so they could review it for potential optimizations, prior to launch. Note: in my past experience as an account manager, I’ve had to be the one reaching out to reps, prior to launching a beta, to see if they have any pointers. The proactivity from the Quora team in this phase was unlike any other beta experience I’ve had.

Pre-launch Feedback

The Quora team reviewed our lead gen ad campaign the same day that we sent them a notification to let them know it was drafted.

Here’s what the ads looked like before we made updates:

Here are the initial points of feedback (I’ve left out 1 note on audience targeting because it won’t make sense without the full context of the campaign) :

  • Headline sentence – I recommend considering asking questions on Quora as the data shows they perform better than statements. Maybe flip the question in your description with your current headline, “Is your 2020 digital advertising strategy ready?” Try making the question intriguing and qualifying to pull in the right audience. You can also see Hanapin Marketing 3x in the top left so this will help break that up and give you some text characters back. 
  • The logo is too small – I recommend updating the company logo by eliminating the text and just zooming in on the image.
  • Confirmation headline on the lead form – Consider setting expectations here that people can view the report (the ads were for Hanapin’s 2019-2020 State of PPC report) now and they’ll get an email from you later. Something like, “View the report now and look for it in your inbox soon.”

Here are the ads after we implemented the feedback

We made the changes and launched the beta campaign.

Quora Lead Gen Ads: Campaign Setup Friction

On top of providing great feedback throughout the entire test, the Quora team proved to be quite nimble too. Of the three main areas where we felt that there was friction in the campaign setup process, they were already working on resolving one area. They were clearly getting similar feedback from other advertisers and making the product updates as soon as possible. Here are the points of friction we ran into:

  • Not being able to edit the ads or forms – their team was working on this
  • Ads not being approved due to capitalization. Example: Wouldn’t let us capitalize state in “State of PPC report”
  • Not being able to exclude more than one audience. Given the opportunity, we would have excluded an uploaded list and a remarketing audience.

Outside of those few items the overall technical experience was great. We found it to be easy and intuitive!

Why More Advertisers Are Testing Quora Ads

My team will continue to test Quora Ads, and especially the betas, because:

  • Their team gave lots of helpful feedback along the way, helping our team to trust the results and see the potential.
  • Their team was quick to listen and quick to implement improvements.

We aren’t the only advertisers planning to budget more for Quora, either.

According to Hanapin’s 2019 State of Paid Social, “the number of marketers investing in Quora has grown nearly 4x since last year. The platform has rolled out 5 betas just in the last 8 months (from when State of Paid Social was published in June) and shows no sign of slowing down.”

So if you’ve been waiting to jump into Quora Ads, you really need to stop stalling. Your competitors are starting to test Quora Ads and their team makes it easy to get started. But that’s just my two cents! If you want to procrastinate a bit longer, it will be less competitive for our team and I’m good with that.

Quora’s Lead Gen ads are currently in a closed beta but you can request access by completing this form.

PPChero.com

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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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Email Marketing Trends 2023: Predictions by the Industry Stalwarts

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Email Marketing Trends 2023: Predictions by the Industry Stalwarts


Every year, we see new trends entering the world of email marketing.

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5 Simple Things You Can Do To Improve the Content Experience for Readers

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5 Simple Things You Can Do To Improve the Content Experience for Readers

Who doesn’t like to have a good experience consuming content?

I know I do. And isn’t that what we – as both a consumer of content and a marketer of content – all want?

What if you create such a good experience that your audience doesn’t even realize it’s an “experience?” Here’s a helpful mish-mash of easy-to-do things to make that possible.

1. Write with an inclusive heart

There’s nothing worse than being in a conversation with someone who constantly talks about themselves. Check your text to see how often you write the words – I, me, we, and us. Now, count how often the word “you” is used. If the first-person uses are disproportionate to the second-person uses, edit to delete many first-person references and add more “you” to the text.

You want to let your audience know they are included in the conversation. I like this tip shared in Take Binary Bias Out of Your Content Conversations by Content Marketing World speaker Ruth Carter: Go through your text and replace exclusionary terms such as he/him and she/her with they/them pronouns.

Go through your text and replace exclusionary terms such as he/him and she/her with they/them pronouns, says @rbcarter via @Brandlovellc @CMIContent. #WritingTips Click To Tweet

2. Make your content shine brighter with an AI assist

Content published online should look different than the research papers and essays you wrote in school. While you should adhere to grammar rules and follow a style guide as best as possible, you also should prioritize readability. That requires scannable and easily digestible text – headings, bulleted text, short sentences, brief paragraphs, etc.

Use a text-polishing aid such as Hemingway Editor (free and paid versions) to cut the dead weight from your writing. Here’s how its color-coded review system works and the improvements to make:

  • Yellow – lengthy, complex sentences, and common errors
    • Fix: Shorten or split sentences.
  • Red – dense and complicated text
    • Fix: Remove hurdles and keep your readers on a simpler path.
  • Pink – lengthy words that could be shortened
    • Fix: Scroll the mouse over the problematic word to identify potential substitutes.
  • Blue – adverbs and weakening phrases
    • Fix: Delete them or find a better way to convey the thought.
  • Green – passive voice
    • Fix: Rewrite for active voice.

Grammarly’s paid version works well, too. The premium version includes an AI-powered writing assistant, readability reports, a plagiarism checker, citation suggestions, and more than 400 additional grammar checks.

In the image below, Grammarly suggests a way to rephrase the sentence from:

“It is not good enough any longer to simply produce content “like a media company would”.

To:

“It is no longer good enough to produce content “as a media company would”.

Much cleaner, right?

3. Ask questions

See what I did with the intro (and here)? I posed questions to try to engage with you. When someone asks a question – even in writing – the person hearing (or reading) it is likely to pause for a split second to consider their answer. The reader’s role changes from a passive participant to an active one. Using this technique also can encourage your readers to interact with the author, maybe in the form of an answer in the comments.

4. Include links

Many content marketers include internal and external links in their text for their SEO value. But you also should add links to help your readers. Consider including links to help a reader who wants to learn more about the topic. You can do this in a couple of ways:

  • You can link the descriptive text in the article to content relevant to those words (as I did in this bullet point)
  • You can list the headlines of related articles as a standalone feature (see the gray box labeled Handpicked Related Content at the end of this article).

Add links to guide readers to more information on a topic – not just for SEO purposes says @Brandlovellc via @CMIContent. #WritingTips Click To Tweet

You also can include on-page links or bookmarks in the beginning (a table of contents, of sorts) in longer pieces to help the reader more quickly access the content they seek to help you learn more about a topic. This helps the reader and keeps visitors on your website longer.

5. Don’t forget the ‘invisible’ text

Alt text is often an afterthought – if you think about it all. Yet, it’s essential to have a great content experience for people who use text-to-speech readers. Though it doesn’t take too much time, I find that customizing the image description content instead of relying on the default technology works better for audience understanding.

First, ask if a listener would miss something if they didn’t have the image explained. If they wouldn’t, the image is decorative and probably doesn’t need alt text. You publish it for aesthetic reasons, such as to break up a text-heavy page. Or it may repeat information already appearing in the text (like I did in the Hemingway and Grammarly examples above).

If the listener would miss out if the image weren’t explained well, it is informative and requires alt text. General guidelines indicate up to 125 characters (including spaces) work best for alt text. That’s a short sentence or two to convey the image’s message. Don’t forget to include punctuation.

General guidelines indicate up to 125 characters (including spaces) work best for alt text, says @Brandlovellc via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

For both decorative and informative images, include the photo credits, permissions, and copyright information, in the caption section.

For example, if I were writing an article about Best Dogs for Families, I would include an image of a mini Bernedoodle as an example because they make great family pets. Let’s use this image of my adorable puppy, Henri, and I’ll show you both a good and bad example of alt text.

An almost useless alt-text version: “An image showing a dog.”

Author’s tri-colored (brown, white, black, grey wavy hair), merle mini Bernedoodle, Henri, lying on green grass.

It wastes valuable characters with the phrase “an image showing.”

Use the available characters for a more descriptive alt text: “Author’s tri-colored (brown, white, black, grey wavy hair), merle mini Bernedoodle, Henri, lying on green grass.”

It’s more descriptive, and I only used 112 characters, including spaces.

Want to learn more? Alexa Heinrich, an award-winning social media strategist, has a helpful article on writing effective image descriptions called The Art of Alt Text. @A11yAwareness on Twitter is also a great resource for accessibility tips.

Improve your content and better the experience

Do any of these suggestions feel too hard to execute? I hope not. They don’t need a bigger budget to execute. They don’t need a lengthy approval process to implement. And they don’t demand much more time in production.

They just need you to remember to execute them the next time you write (and the time after that, and the time after that, and the … well, you get the idea.)

If you have an easy-to-implement tip to improve the content experience, please leave it in the comments. I may include it in a future update.

All tools mentioned in the article are identified by the author. If you have a tool to suggest, please feel free to add it in the comments.

If you have an idea for an original article you’d like to share with the CMI audience, you could get it published on the site. First, read our blogging guidelines and write or adjust your draft accordingly. Then submit the post for consideration following the process outlined in the guidelines.

In appreciation for guest contributors’ work, we’re offering free registration to one paid event or free enrollment in Content Marketing University to anyone who gets two new posts accepted and published on the CMI site in 2023.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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