Paid media is straightforward. “Growth,” however, is very dependent upon the role you play in paid media, so let’s start by defining who these four pillars are intended for and what I mean by “growth.”
My paid media experience is 100% agency-based. Naturally, my experience shapes my viewpoint and definition of growth. From the agency perspective, growth equals managing more marketing budget. It’s no secret, the easiest way to acquire more marketing budget is to produce incremental revenue for your client so your client puts more money towards marketing efforts. It’s a simple cycle, but there are a lot of factors that go into achieving better results. Companies don’t hire agencies to maintain the revenue/ROI they already have; they invest more money into marketing resources, like an agency, to produce more leads, purchases, market share, etc. My point? It’s essential for digital marketers to understand what key factors YOU can control.
I also recognize PPC Hero readers include marketers who manage an agency relationship or in-house marketers who are part of an internal marketing team. If you fall into either of those categories, why keep reading? Well, if you have any level of paid media responsibility, especially if you present digital marketing results to a stakeholder, the following points will apply to you too.
Pillar #1: Product Knowledge
Many believe mastering top platforms (Google Ads, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) is the most important component of managing paid media, but it doesn’t matter how much platform expertise you have if you don’t first master the product/service you are attempting to market. I also think this is one of the biggest gaps agencies have when it comes to managing paid media. This is why the relationship with the client is so important and why “client obsessions” was part of my PPC training (#2 and #4 will cover this in more depth).
In-house marketer, if your agency doesn’t understand your product, how can they advise budget allocation, funnel approach, target audiences, which platforms to run on, etc.? I’m not suggesting the outside entity (agency) needs to know just as much as the client contact, but you do need to understand the product if you are going to provide quality recommendations.
I’ll give you an example. I work with a website security firm. This is a very complex industry; one that both myself and even my main client contact are often perplexed by. However, we both understand the basic differences between the products, thus allowing us to craft a strategy and execute campaigns that produce tangible results. Working together with their team to understand their product has given me the opportunity to ask for budget increases when it makes sense for their business. I share this brief example because I’m not an “expert” in their products, but I know enough to do my job. I also know when I need to leverage other people in their organization to translate paid media results to what they see on their backend.
Pillar #2: Stakeholder Trust
Whether the stakeholder is your boss, a client contact, or the CMO, earning trust is paramount to paid media growth.
6 key ways to earn trust:
Go above and beyond
Scenario: your client asks you to pull numbers for a presentation they have to deliver to the CMO. Don’t just pull the numbers. Format the numbers in a slide and call out key insights. You can’t do this every time, but pick key opportunities to deliver greater value than what may have been expected of you and you will instantly become a go-to person for your client.
Teach your stakeholders
Teaching has to be curated for each individual, but if you can grow your stakeholder’s marketing knowledge, they will see a new side of value to your relationship and see as more than someone who manages their paid media.
Stand by your recommendations when you receive pushback
When I first started managing my own accounts, lacking confidence was perhaps my biggest weakness. Lacking confidence doesn’t look good in any area of life, so stick to your recommendations and explain your reasoning. This will earn you more respect and trust.
Own up to your mistakes AND provide solutions
Mistakes happen. I’ve overspent budgets, forgotten to pause promo ads, made ad copy typos, etc. However, have integrity and own up to the mistake, even if the client will never find out. If you handle the situation with poise and confidence, you will earn trust, not lose it. I also can’t stress how important it is to communicate the mistake along with the solution(s). If there are financial implications, do whatever it takes to make it right for the sake of integrity and a long-term relationship.
Personal connections can really speed up the process of earning trust. Find something in common and lead your meetings in a way that aligns with your stakeholder’s personality. You don’t have to become BFFs, but you do want to show your client you are human and don’t see your relationship purely as a way to make more money.
Face to face meetings [bonus]
Yes, this is 2020 and I’m well aware COVID-19 has made face to face virtually [im]possible (see what I did there), but don’t underestimate the impact face to face interactions have on a business relationship, especially when you are attempting to scale paid media budgets. Do a quick Google search and you will find plenty of evidence. According to greatbusinessschools.org, “84% of people still say they prefer in-person meetings.” Because this research was conducted pre-global pandemic, I will be fascinated to see how the lack of in-person meetings in 2020 effects business relationships moving forward.
Pillar #3: Strategy & Platform Adaptability
You don’t have to be an expert in every technical area of every digital advertising platform, but you need to know how to employ each platform (search, social, programmatic) to achieve your marketing goals. You also need to be able to adapt when priorities shift and your current platforms aren’t achieving your goals. This pillar is truly a separate article so let me leave you with a two questions to ask yourself:
Where are the gaps in my strategy? Look at your funnel – do you have high ROAS but 1% net new customers year over year? Look at your competitors – are they successfully bidding on your branded keywords while you have no counterpunch? It’s imperative that your strategic approach is changing as new business needs arise or KPIs flatline. This leads us to the next question to ask yourself.
When was the last time I tested something new? If you or your client have only run search ads for 10 years, why haven’t display, social, video been tested? If you have run display via GDN for years without any return or minimal brand awareness results, test out native or YouTube ads. If you continually hear, “Andrew, I would love to test, but I get pushback every time I propose a test,” you need to have an honest conversation with your client/internal team to understand why there is resistance. It might be the case that you aren’t explaining the reasoning for the test or providing a framework for expected results.
If you are just getting started in the industry, PPC Hero has thousands of resources for you to develop your skills.
Pillar #4: Communication
What you communicate is clearly important, but how you deliver the information is arguably just as important. I’ve already covered this to some degree, but let’s expand into a few specifics:
Deliver insights, not numbers. It’s very easy to get caught up in different KPIs, especially if your stakeholders are adept in paid media. Rather than listing out week over week or month over month performance, callout what your client needs to know and why CPA increased by 50%.
Learn how to spot wins and opportunities for growth. This comes with experience, but when you get the opportunity to pitch growth, there is one practical step I’ve found to be a game changer — projections.
It’s not difficult to pitch budget expansion and with platform tools available today, it’s also not difficult to project primary KPIs (impressions, clicks, conversions, CPA). Rather than telling your client we should increase search budget by x% and social budget by y%, use platform tools, historical data or industry benchmarks to project what impact the budget increase will have. This will also make it much easier to speak to your rationale. If your client has the budget to spend, it’s almost guaranteed they will say yes. If their marketing budget is strapped, that’s out of your control.
Don’t shy away from communicating poor performance. As marketers, we can’t promise results, we can only put forth the best strategies and tactics. If your client is coming to you questioning why a campaign x performance has declined the last three months and you haven’t brought it up once, you’ve put yourself in a much more difficult spot. In other words, be proactive and focus on what has the highest impact on your account(s).
Learn how to spot outside factors influencing performance you aren’t responsible for. I learned early on that managing paid media is often like being a politician — oftentimes, we get too much blame when things are going wrong and too much credit when performance is declining. So learn how to spot tracking discrepancies, poor landing pages, pricing changes, etc. and then communicate those issues and use the resources at your disposal to help resolve any issues.
I don’t think anything I penned is revolutionary, and this list is by no means exhaustive, but I firmly believe if you can master these four pillars, which are mostly within your control, growth will follow.
For your team, screen recorders can be used for several reasons — from creating tutorials for your website to recording a recurring tech issue to sending your marketing team a quick note instead of an email.
Looking ahead to 2023 and beyond, businesses worldwide face lots of uncertainty.
One thing will remain constant throughout this period — customers expect excellent experiences when interacting with a brand. According to Acquia’s latest CX Report, businesses plan to prioritize customer retention over the next 12 months: 56% plan to improve customer experience, and 58% will focus more on customer service.
This should be a common goal. To weather a potential storm, businesses must keep customers by meeting and exceeding customer expectations.
Cynthia Ramsaran is director of custom content at Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land and MarTech. A multi-channel storyteller with over two decades of editorial/content marketing experience, Cynthia’s expertise spans the marketing, technology, finance, manufacturing and gaming industries. She was a writer/producer for CNBC.com and produced thought leadership for KPMG. Cynthia hails from Queens, NY and earned her Bachelor’s and MBA from St. John’s University.
Are You Prepared for the Shift in Website Design with the Rise of Blockchain Technology?”
Let’s take a deep dive into the exciting future and world of web3 blockchain technology, and its impact on website design and development.
I’m going to provide you with real-world examples, and by the end you should have a clear and concise explanation of how decentralization, data management, and interactions will work in the future of websites.
I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned about the benefits of adopting these technologies, including increased security, website personalization, and user control.
If you want to stay ahead in the field of website design and understand the future of the industry then this article is a must-read.
The way we build websites now is changing!
The way websites are built now is inefficient and requires a huge knowledge base to build correctly. Most website platforms these days use some form of a WYSIWYG “WiziWig” style builder like WordPress, Squarespace, Shopify, and countless others.
It’s taken over 30 years for websites to be as good as they are today, this direction is for the long term thinker who wants to be on the cutting edge of the industry and build their brand in a space that is extremely new.
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You will need to learn the technology overtime and become proficient with the types of industries that are looking to build web3 websites and applications. There are already a few decentralized website and web app builders out there that are fully running on blockchain technology.
Decentralized Web App Builder Example: ICME
One example is a company called ICME that has “world’s first smart contract marketplace and web3 no-code suite.” Their modules even offer the ability to integrate with web2 applications that support API Post Requests.
Their entire code base is built on a blockchain technology called Internet Computer, which is why I’m actually invested in their Cryptocurrency known as ICP on exchanges. It allows you to do everything from building landing pages, websites, blog posts, online stores, Linktree type pages, Store NFT’s and more.
I do see some existing platforms like WordPress evolving into a fully decentralized Web3 platform, that would dramatically speed up market adoption as they have such a huge knowledge base and community of creators, it’s just a matter of time.
The exact evolution of website building tools is yet to be seen, but what’s certain is that web3 and blockchain technology will play a significant role in shaping the future of the web. The sooner you start to adopt and learn this technology the further ahead you will be when the time comes to switch from the internet we know it to what’s coming in the not too distant future.
Web3 Websites will be easier to build and customize with AI Tools.
The process of building websites in Web3 becomes much more intuitive and easy with the integration of artificial intelligence, with tools like OpenAI, you will simply give the program a prompt and give it a clear description of what you want your website to look like, say, do, and create.
This is where things will get fun for a designer and being able to let your creativity and artistic talent reach a level never seen before.
The need or demand for front end website programmers will change as less custom coding will be required, your website will be able to change visual elements and maybe more in the future with ai.
Web3 Websites are going to become very personalized experiences and brand centric.
Websites will collect data with consent(which is another point for later), that allows the user to have a completely customized user experience and interaction. Imagine a traditional website as a restaurant where the customers order their food from the menu and the kitchen staff prepares the dishes.
In this scenario, the restaurant manager is the central authority that controls the flow of information, the menu, and the preparation of the food. However, in a web3 and blockchain enabled website, this centralized authority is replaced by a decentralized network of customers, chefs, and kitchen staff.
With web3 and blockchain technology, website users can interact with the site in a more direct and efficient manner. Instead of relying on a central authority, users can participate in transactions and interactions on the website without intermediaries.
This eliminates the need for middlemen, making the process faster, more secure, and cost-effective.
For example, a user can easily and securely create their own profile, manage their data, and participate in transactions on the website. This level of user empowerment enables them to take control of their online presence and interactions, providing them with greater privacy and security.
The decentralization of website interactions through web3 and blockchain technology represents a shift towards a more user-centric and efficient web experience. It eliminates the need for intermediaries, providing users with greater control over their interactions, transactions, and data.
Web3 Data Management will become more secure.
Imagine now you are running a restaurant and you need to keep track of all the ingredients you have in stock, what dishes you serve, and the orders from your customers. In the traditional system, you would keep all this information in a single ledger book, written by hand.
However, with the integration of blockchain technology in your restaurant, this system of record-keeping becomes much more efficient and secure. Each ingredient becomes a unique item with its own blockchain record, and the orders from customers are recorded as transactions.
This decentralization of data management ensures that all the information is secure and can be easily accessed by any member of the team who needs it.
In the same way, decentralization will work for data management in website design and development. Instead of relying on a single central database to store all website data, this information can be spread out across multiple nodes on a blockchain network.
This means that website data is not stored in one central location, but is instead distributed across many different nodes, making it much more secure and resilient against hacking or other forms of data loss.
For example, user data such as personal information, preferences, and transactions can be stored in a secure and encrypted manner on a blockchain network like Internet Computer. This allows website owners to manage their data in a more secure and efficient way, giving users peace of mind that their information is protected.
The integration of blockchain technology in website design and development will lead to a more secure and efficient way of managing our website data.
Like William Mougayar said author of The Business Blockchain “In a world where data is currency, the blockchain offers a new model of trust and control.” By decentralizing our data management, website owners will know that all information is stored in a secure and transparent manner, promoting trust and confidence among users.
Say goodbye to hackers once websites are on Web3.
There were 22 billion breached records in 2021 alone, the biggest reason behind that is due to the nature of Centralized servers and website platforms. In Web3 security can be compared to a fortified castle, providing superior protection against outside threats and ensuring the safety of you and your clients or customers valuable information and data.
Using blockchain technology, website owners will be able to offer a greater degree of security to their users, protecting their data and transactions from malicious actors.
This will be particularly important in fields such as finance and healthcare, where the protection of sensitive information is of utmost importance and required by HIPAA and other regulatory agencies.
Just as a fortified castle protects its inhabitants from outside threats, web3 provides a layer of security to websites that is unparalleled by traditional web design.
The decentralized nature of web3 eliminates the need for a central point of control, making it much harder for hackers to penetrate. In addition, web3’s advanced encryption algorithms and blockchain technology provide a secure platform for website data and interactions.
In a traditional website, all data is stored in a central database, making it a prime target for cyber attacks. On the other hand, web3 stores data across a network of nodes, making it much harder for a single point of failure to occur. This eliminates the risk of large scale data breaches, as well as reducing the risk of individual data being compromised.
Finally, web3’s immutable ledger ensures that all website interactions are transparent and secure. This means that all transactions and changes made to the website can be tracked and verified, making it easier to detect and prevent any fraudulent activity. So if you want to protect your website and your clients website and their users from outside threats, web3 is going to be the way to go!
“Blockchain technology offers a level of security that was previously unachievable on the internet.” – Don Tapscott, blockchain expert and author of Blockchain Revolution
Automation will be effortless with Web3.
Blockchain Web Apps will have the ability to work together seamlessly, I see a future not too far off where ecosystems of dozens of programs are consolidated into one. Checking your social media posts, messages, your email, text messages, and website inquiries all in one place in just minutes.
Automation when done properly removes friction and resistance from any area of your business that is a lower revenue generating activity. Your time is the most valuable thing you have and using automation tools is how you buy back that time.
With web3, websites will be able to automate many processes, reducing the need for intermediaries and streamlining operations.
I want to give a few examples of ways we can Automate our websites with Web3. The first is dynamic pricing and inventory management: Web3 and blockchain technology will allow for automated and real-time pricing and inventory updates on our e-commerce websites, reducing manual labor and increasing efficiency so that you and your team can focus on higher revenue generating tasks.
The second is user authentication and verification: Web3 and blockchain technology will provide a secure and automated way to verify user identities, reducing the risk of fraud and making it easier for websites to manage user access and permissions.
I’ve already had to dramatically improve my knowledge around user verification after working with nearly a dozen blockchain brands since 2016.
There are already QR codes being used to login to websites like discord and other utilities like Crypto Wallets. The last example is content delivery and distribution, Web3 and blockchain technology allows for the automated content distribution, reducing the need for manual content updates and ensuring that the most up-to-date information is always available on your site.
This will free up time and resources for more creative and meaningful work, and will help to reduce costs for both users and website owners. This is good for any business owner that wants to lower their bottom line costs while raising their top line revenue simultaneously by leveraging time at the highest level of efficiency possible.
When it comes to Revenue Web3 will give you maximum monetization potential.
In the world of websites, monetization is the process of generating revenue from a website. Traditional website monetization methods include advertising, subscriptions, and e-commerce sales. However, with the advent of web3 and blockchain, the landscape of website monetization is about to change.
For example purposes let’s use a loyalty program analogy, a loyalty program is a rewards system offered by businesses to incentivize customers to continue using their services. Similarly, on web3, website monetization will offer new ways for website owners to monetize their content and incentivize users to continue visiting their site.
One example of how websites on web3 and blockchain can monetize their content is through tokenization. In this model, websites can issue tokens that represent ownership of certain content or access to premium features.
Users can then purchase these tokens and exchange them for access to the content or features they are interested in. This creates a new revenue stream for the website and offers users an incentive to visit and engage with the site.
Another way that web3 and blockchain can monetize content is through micropayments. In the traditional web, micropayments are difficult to execute due to high transaction fees and slow processing times. However, with the speed and low cost of transactions on the blockchain, micropayments become a viable option for websites to monetize their content.
This allows websites to offer users access to small amounts of content in exchange for a small payment, giving users a more affordable way to access quality content they are interested in.
One of the best examples I’ve seen so far is how Tom Bilyeu has used NFT’s as a way for people to get access to his content which ranges from events, to video games, tv shows, education and a ton more his nft’s are cleverly called the “Founder Keys.” There are lots of perks that brands are giving to early adopters that support the web3 movement and help us move closer to a better, safer, and more balanced internet.
Websites can also create loyalty program-like systems that incentivizes users to continue visiting and engaging with their site.
As the web3 and blockchain ecosystem continues to grow, we can expect to see an influx of new and creative monetization models emerge, providing websites with new opportunities to generate more revenue, and their users and visitors with new and exciting ways to access and engage with your content.
Decentralization puts Consent into action.
As a designer, the websites or graphics I create that started from an idea, a conversation, or something i’ve experienced are valuable and belong to me, knowing that there are AI design tools that can take my 15 years of experience, and use it to create an even better version in seconds and essentially for free?
That’s a big NO NO for the creators and artists, in fact there is a movement happening right now about consent and how these big platforms don’t have the consent to use their art as reference for AI design tools.
I stand behind being able to give consent if your work is going to be used without your permission, if movie and music piracy is a federal crime shouldn’t companies stealing a designer’s work without consent a crime too?
I think so, and that’s why I’m so excited about Web3 and Blockchain. Being able to create smart contracts and public records of your creative assets is a huge step forward for creators and designers around the world.
Imagine a world where your designs are stored on a decentralized platform, accessible only with your consent. You can choose who can view your work, who can use it, and how it can be used. No longer do you have to worry about your designs being stolen or used without your permission.
With web3 and Blockchain, your work is protected by the power of blockchain technology, ensuring that your designs remain yours.
In this new world, you can also monetize your work in new and innovative ways. For example, you could offer limited use licenses for your designs, allowing others to use them for a specified period of time. You could also offer exclusive access to your designs, giving a select group of people the ability to use them in a unique way.
By giving you the power to control how your work is used, shared, and monetized, web3 decentralization empowers you to take control of your career and build a future that reflects your vision and values. Decentralization is a game-changer for designers and creatives alike.
You get complete power of consent for your work to be used in any way, web3 decentralization empowers you to take control of your career and build a future that reflects your vision and values. So why not embrace this exciting new technology and start building your future today?
Interacting with Web3 Websites will be easier than ever.
Web3 website users will be able to customize a range of interactions on a website like content creation and sharing. Users will be able to create, share and consume content that aligns with their interests and preferences, without relying on centralized platforms.
Community building, users will have the ability to build and join communities that align with their interests and participate in decision-making processes, creating a more personalized and engaging online experience.
Interaction with E-commerce, users will be able to buy and sell goods and services directly with one another, without the need for traditional payment processors, creating a more transparent, secure, and affordable online marketplace.
Users will be able to access personalized services and experiences based on their data and preferences, creating a more user-centered online experience. A good example is a pizza shop website that keeps track of the last purchase you made and gives you the option to re order it at a discount price.
Web3 users will have the ability to customize a wide range of interactions on the website, from content creation and community building, to e-commerce and data privacy, creating a more user-centered, personalized and engaging online experience.
The adoption of web3 and blockchain technology is poised to bring about a revolution in the world of website design. From decentralization to automation and from security to monetization, these technologies offer new and innovative ways to interact with the web.
As a designer, it is crucial to keep up with these changes and be prepared for the new opportunities and challenges that come with them.
Web3 decentralization empowers creators by giving them control over how their work is used. Automation streamlines processes and saves time, while security measures are reinforced, giving website owners peace of mind. And with monetization options like a rewards program, website owners can explore new and innovative ways to earn revenue.
Overall, the future of website design is bright with the integration of web3, blockchain, and ai. Designers should embrace the power of these technologies to unlock new possibilities on the web and create better online experiences for everyone
“Unlock the power of web3 and blockchain to unleash your creative potential, embrace the future of website design, and build the digital world of tomorrow.” – Adrian Boysel