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7 Dos & Don’ts for Taking Charge of Your PPC Program (Again)

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Pay Per Click

Over the past weeks, we’ve seen major economic changes due to the coronavirus and associated lockdowns.

Consequently, some companies are reluctantly letting go of their pay-per-click (PPC) marketing agencies and bringing those responsibilities back in-house.

In other cases, companies are making cuts to their marketing teams and shuffling responsibility for PPC to other team members.

Whatever the cause, many experienced marketers – who haven’t been hands on with PPC for many years – are now finding themselves with that responsibility again.

These marketers are now scrambling to get back up to speed.

If you find yourself in that situation, here are some dos and don’ts to help you get your footing.

1. Do Get Lean

Start by taking steps that will make managing these accounts simpler and easier.

Look at Your Ad Schedules

If your company currently has ads turned on all the time, it’s not a bad idea to tighten these schedules until you get a handle on things.

Reduce schedules to those days and times that are your best bets.

For example, you may want to stop running ads on weekends if those are historically less productive.

Tightening up these schedules can also help alleviate pressure to monitor these accounts 24/7.

Turn Off Broad Match Keywords to Limit Your Ad Spend

Or limit broad match only to hot revenue producing campaigns rather than development focused campaigns.

Again, this will help to alleviate pressure and keep spending under tighter control.

Tighten up Location Targeting

Again, this is the time to focus on your best bets and keep things simple – at least until you get a better handle on things.

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2. Do Act Fast

This is not the time to ease into things slowly.

An unmonitored PPC account can experience unpredictable upticks in spend quickly.

So make a habit of checking your ad spend daily and getting on it right away.

And by daily, I do mean daily – even if it’s just a quick peek.

You never know when Google’s algorithms will throw things out of whack.

Alternatively, you can set up a daily budget tracking script.

This will save you from having to log your account every day to take a look.

You may also want to lower your daily budget for peace of mind.

Remember, even if you set your daily ad budget to maximum $100 (as a simple example), you can, in practice, spend more than that each day.

In case you missed it, in 2017 Google Ads changed its rules so that your campaigns can spend up to twice your average daily budget.

The “max daily budget” is now calculated over the course of a month, not day by day.

You won’t go over your monthly charging limit (which is the average number of days in a month multiplied by your average daily budget), but you might go over your daily limit on certain days.

If all this makes you nervous, consider lowering your daily ad budget from $100 (for example) to $75.

3. Don’t Expect Exact Match to Be Exact

Depending on when you last had your hands on a PPC account, you may still think of “exact match” (as a Google Ads keyword matching option) as exactly that – an exact match.

In other words, a match has to include the specified keywords, only those words and in the same order for an exact match to be made.

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Ah, the good ‘ole days!

Unfortunately, this is no longer the case.

Google has updated its exact match rules to allow close variants.

Those variants allow for changes in word order or slight variations in spelling.

And since September 2018, exact matches now allow for keyword variations that share the same meaning.

(If you’re looking for a more in depth examination of this topic, Melissa Mackey has a great article about it: Close Variants Are Like Click Fraud – Here’s Why.)

4. Do Ask for Help

Does all this sound overwhelming?

Consider reaching to your former agency for help.

Sure, you may not be able to hand the controls over to them like before but perhaps you can work out a bare-bones arrangement.

After all, the current economic climate is very fluid.

Some PPC agencies might be happy to take on new or former clients with modified work arrangements.

5. Don’t Panic

As you’re relearning to manage these accounts, expect to get some surprises.

You may see a particularly large daily ad spend.

Or you may identify campaigns that look like total duds.

But whatever you encounter, resist the urge to panic.

Maybe you simply need to adjust down your budget to cope with how Google manages daily budgets and to keep things more comfortable.

And maybe that dud of a campaign isn’t a dud at all.

Do some digging, and you may find there’s an issue at the group or keyword level that you can fix.

So when these kinds of things come up, take a deep breath and do some digging.

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Base your decisions on data, not gut reactions.

Otherwise, you might just make things worse.

6. Don’t Shut Down Your PPC Account

Given everything I’ve written here so far, you might be tempted to shut down your company’s PPC account to avoid all the hassle.

That would be a bad idea.

At a minimum, you’ll miss out on Google’s $340 million ad credits program.

This program will give ad credits to all small and medium size businesses that have had active accounts over the past year. (Although admittedly, some of the details of this program remain murky.)

At worst, you’ll set your company and its PPC program back significantly.

You’ll not only miss out on new opportunities, you’ll also open the door to your competitors.

Further, when you eventually reopen the account, you might find yourself with a massive clean-up job, lower click volumes and higher costs per click.

(In theory, you shouldn’t experience higher costs per click when you reopen a closed account.

But in practice, it’s something we see again and again with client accounts.)

7. Do Stay Positive

Depending on the industry you’re in, things might look dire.

But remember, our current situation won’t last forever – and hopefully, you’ll be able to get back to working with your agency or grow your marketing team again soon.

In the meantime, use these dos and don’ts to keep your sanity and stay the course.


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Featured Image: Dreamstime.com

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MARKETING

How to Grow Your Customer Base

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How to Grow Your Customer Base


Every business owner wants more, is never satisfied with the customer base, and will do whatever is required to grow their brand and increase conversions. That’s because the growth of your company is directly dependent on customer base growth.

Especially the ones that keep returning to patronize your business after their initial purchase. But customer base growth is tough work. And if you don’t know what you do, you’ll end up wasting resources on endeavors that yield little to no results.

However, today we have a ton of skill sets, tools, resources, strategies, and information at our disposal than ever before that can help ease up the process. How do you take advantage of all of them to boost your business?

Do you run a loyalty program? Or launch a referral program for customer acquisition? Or do you opt for traditional marketing?

What are the most powerful ways to boost your customer base? We’ll help you out with the answer in this article. But first, we’ll define a few basic terms to ensure that we’re on the same page.

Let’s get started.

What is Your Customer Base?

Your customer base is made up of your repeat customers. These are buyers who keep returning to your business to purchase more of your services and products. They are loyal as well as display loyalty to your brand, even engaging with it on various platforms and channels.

These people are your organization’s most prized assets. So when we talk about “customer base”, we mean buyers who don’t just patronize your business once but who keep coming back for your offers.

What is the Difference Between Your Target Audience and Customer Base?

Your target audience is made up of the people that your product or services are made for and that you want to purchase your offer but haven’t yet. These people are the wide pool where your customer base is gotten from. Your customer base, on the other hand, is made up of your current customers who keep purchasing from you.

How Do You Know the Size of Your Customer Base?

The size of your customer base can be calculated through various means but the simplest way to do so is to capture the data of every prospect turned buyer via a contact detail like an email address. This way you can know the people who buy from you and generate offers that suit them.

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Steps to Grow Your Customer Base

Let’s have a look at the various ways you can boost your customer base:

1. Use User Generated Content

Fashion retailer Monsoon requests shoppers to share photos of themselves using their product, which are then used on their website.

User-Generated Content is brand content created by customers. The thing is, people would likely listen to a fellow consumer talk about how great your product is based on their personal experience than if you do it yourself. So obviously you need to improve your customers’ experience with your products before encouraging them to produce content about their experience.There are so many ways to encourage user-generated content.

Take the chips brand, Doritos, for example. To keep customers engaged with the brand and generate user content, they launched a website doritoslegionofthebold.com that allows users to create branded videos and images that the company shares on its social media platforms.

You can also create a social media giveaway that involves customers making Instagram posts using your product with a caption about their experience and the best one wins a reward. These posts are then reposted by your official page and prospects can see what other people think about your offer and this motivates them to trust your brand and make a purchase.

2. Referral Program

Casper mattress referral program

Just because people like your product doesn’t mean they’ll recommend it to others. It’s your duty as a brand seeking to boost its customer base to induce this behavior via incentives, which is what a referral program is. Consumers believe the opinion of their family and friends more than they do yours and that’s where the power of referral marketing comes in.

You tell your existing customers to promote your business to people in their circle and in exchange, reward them for their actions. So not only are they telling people about their experience with your business because they love it but they get a reward for doing so, which motivates them further.

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Here’s how fashion brand Rent the Runway does it. They run a referral program that offers $30 in store credit to customers in exchange for them referring the business to their colleagues and friends. And in addition the referred friend also gets $30 in credit for use in the store.

3. Engage Your Customers and Ensure they’re Satisfied

Starbucks loyalty program incentives

The primary way to build a customer base is to ensure that you retain your customers. One-off purchases have their place but if you intend to grow as a business you need customer retention. And the only way to do this is to ensure that they’re engaged, happy, and satisfied.

How do you achieve this? Loyalty programs.

A great loyalty program works by offering existing customers a reward for continuous patronization of your business. The rewards can be discounts after say 5 purchases, or a free product or service after a specific number of purchases. With loyalty programs, you can even give specialized offers on the birthday of your customers to boost engagement and make them feel valued. Set up a recurring emails campaign to ensure your customers receive scheduled messages with special offers, discounts and promotions.

The whole idea is to show your customer that you value their continuous support of your business and at the same time, you get them to make recurring purchases with the reward as an incentive.  

Jillian Michaels runs a fitness app that does this excellently. The app offers badges to users once they complete particular tasks to ensure that the customer feels appreciated as they use the app. In this way she incentivizes customers to use and subscribe to the app as they feel valued with each reward.

Another way to ensure that your customers are happy and engaged is by offering stellar customer service. If buyers have questions and they’re unable to get answers, problems will arise. Customer retention is most demanding after a buyer is through with their purchase. So you need to provide your current customers a place where they can return to ask questions to give feedback. For example, you can use a cloud phone system for your business to deal with customer inquiries faster and therefore understand your customers’ pain points beter.

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After all, adhering to quality feedback from a customer can help to build your customer base as well because it means solving an issue that bothers customers that you may not be aware of.

Lastly, consider using your knowledge to continually offer educational content that your customers will find valuable and keep them engaged with your platform.  For instance, let’s say that you run a popular SaaS that helps salespeople keep track of their sales pipeline.  It’s obvious that your customers are interested in sales skills, so it would be wise to invest in an online course platform and invite sales specialists from within your company or outside of it to help create a free educational course about sales skills that can provide a ton of value for your customers.  

Conclusion

Growing your customer base involves a lot of work and sometimes can get confusing. However, with the right tips, you can craft powerful strategies as we have seen in this article that will help to not only grow your customer base but keep your customer satisfied and engaged.

With a referral program, for example, you can retain customers by keeping them engaged with the goal of finding new customers and receiving an incentive. In the same breath, you also attract new customers who believe in the recommendation of their family member or colleague more than yours.  Others like loyalty programs help you ensure that your customers are happy and satisfied while enticing them to make recurring purchases from your brand.

So why the wait? Get started!



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MARKETING

5 Social Media Predictions Marketers Got Wrong Last Year

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5 Social Media Predictions Marketers Got Wrong Last Year


The world around us is constantly changing — it only makes sense that the marketing world does too.

Every year, marketers pull out the crystal ball to predict trends and shifts in the coming year. Sometimes we’re right on the tail — and other times the social media marketing landscape surprises us.

(more…)

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5 Reasons You Should Start Using Influencers to Create Content for You

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5 Reasons You Should Start Using Influencers to Create Content for You


Imagine spending 3, 5, 7, 10 years creating content about topics you love out of pure passion. Working through decision fatigue on what to create, what platform to focus on building, and not knowing the latest marketing monetization strategies to actually make money. Only creating from a place of inspiration because you care and have a message to share for years before making a dime. The dedication and consistency is what builds audiences that LOVE your media channels, listening, watching, liking, and sharing your content on a regular basis. That’s what majority of influencers have done to build their channels. 

So why work with influencers to create content for you: 

Reason #1: Audience  

If you are looking to break into a new audience and build brand awareness working with an influencer is a good path to explore. An influencer knows it’s audience better than any SEO search so they know what content to create that will motivate, inspire, and trigger to get a response. They’ve built trust through years of content creation and testing out new ideas to engage their audience.    

Reason #2: Creative 

When you find the right influencer to work with they can be an extension to your business adding to the creative content department. Creative content is a pain point in a lot businesses and why organizations for years have paid big buck to marketing agencies to take this off their hands to make the commercial, promo video, and ads. When you have someone who’s outside of the organization, who’s built an audience, and can play in their strength it will be an added value to any brand and business.  

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Reason #3: Dynamic 

It’s not just any content that’s being created from influencers, it’s dynamic! Ideally, working with an influencer they are coming to the table with ideas for videos, social media, and ad content that will seamlessly incorporate the brand into their audience. Since they know their audience best let them lead this conversation and find a common working ground to let them move forward on their ideas. This type of content is the win-win-win for the brand, the audience, and the influencer’s media channels. 

Reason #4: Consistency 

Consistent content with any media channel is key to creating brand awareness for a business. When you have an influencer who’s outside of the organization not distracted by the day to day operations of a company, leaving them to create consistent dynamic content is something most brands didn’t even know they needed. 

Reason #5: Strategic 

It’s a strategic move for an organization to outsource content creation to an influencer who’s put in the creative work to build an audience. It’s an immediate traffic source to tap into and create brand awareness. There’s an opportunity to put paid marketing dollars behind the content and boost it’s engagement creating more opportunity for a brand. 

On average it takes a person 5-7 impressions to link a brand’s logo to the company. Add in another 7 impressions for them to remember it in the abyss of brands that are being marketed to them daily. When you work with an influencer to create dynamic consistent content you’re increasing your odds of your brand being recognized faster and identified by a trusted source. Good luck on your road to content creation with influencers!   

Valerie Viramontes

Valerie Viramontes is a purpose-driven entrepreneur, women’s and girls empowerment leader, conscious marketing expert, media strategist, and founder of V2 Solutions & Girl Hacks.

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Valerie created her boutique agency specializing in product launches and sponsorships for health conscious podcasters, influencers, and wellness companies. She uses her experience to create win-win-win deals for her clients, brands, and audiences. This has put her behind launches of companies and products with sales into the millions working with brands like Spartan Races, Barbell Shurgged, The Strong Coach, Complete Human and so many more! 

In Valerie’s free time she is a catalyst to remind young women of their inherent wisdom, intuition and power, and guide them to access the confidence within to make healthy choices in their lives. Add in hiking, dancing, reading, exploring new places to eat and she’s in her happy place!



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