New year, new you. It’s a new decade and I think it’s safe to say a lot has changed in the search landscape in the last decade. With the change in decade, change in year, change in landscape, I am encouraging all you PPCers to consider doing a PPC reset: reset your outlook on your accounts and look to refresh what you’re doing.
There are endless optimizations we think to do in our accounts, so many things we could test or reorganize or restructure. I encourage you, as this new year starts, to actually move forward with those endless optimizations. At Hanapin, we have implemented a standard where we do frequent mini and complete account audits based on a client’s seasonality and account complexity. We write our quarterly goals and write down at least one testing opportunity for each of our clients. It may sound like extra work, but it isn’t. It is a guide for account managers to follow as we navigate our strategy.
As you start your 2020, I recommend a few things for you to do.
Do an account audit
This will be time-consuming and frankly, a little frustrating. Most likely. But it will be so worth it. I did a full account audit for a client of mine as we headed into their high season. I found one of our product bids in one shopping campaign that I was getting ready to turn on that had been increased to $50. $50! It should have been $0.50.
To expand on this, put together a schedule of different items you’re going to check throughout the month, quarter, or year. Not only is this a PPC strategy, but it is a time management strategy. You will feel so relieved each month that you accomplished something to move the account forward. And, you’ll already have something to put in your monthly reports which will make summary writing much quicker.
Put together FY20 Digital Strategy & Budget Projections
Like an account audit, this will also be time-consuming, but rewarding because of the potential. Even if you think a client isn’t open to testing, or you claim to have tried to pitch for a new opportunity or more budget, try again. Put together a complete strategy with testing budgets and present it. Take the time and put in the thought.
This works. Real-life example: I did this for a client towards the end of November 2019. It was a relatively small account that only spent about $13,000 a month. We were meeting goals and metrics were steady. I pitched for a campaign expansion opportunity as well as the volume of conversions we could get with different levels of increased spend. With a little elbow grease, we received an additional $6,000 a month in spend for 2020. This increased our FY20 budget by $72,000. It could have failed, it could have been wasted effort (I did experience that – I did the same for a different client and it did fail, it fell on deaf ears) but it showed my client that I was invested in their business. If your client takes your recommendations, awesome. If not, you showed up, you put in the work, and you showed your care for your client and their business.
Refresh Your Outlook
This is a very cool industry. It is constantly changing and we are continuously improving how we advertise to our customers. I encourage you to get excited again about your job. This can be a fast-paced, intense industry, but look at that as the upside. You may have heard this before but don’t think about your tasks and optimizations as something you have to do – think of them as something you get to do. You get to work in a fast-paced, intense industry; you get to work with big, complex clients; you get to hit big goals.
New year, new YOU: set the goals for your accounts, refresh your outlook on your work and this industry, and reset your account performance. To get some ideas about what new things to do in your account that rolled out in 2019, check out Hanapin’s Best PPC Resources of 2019.
How to Expand Your eCommerce Business Globally
The Ecommerce industry boomed throughout the COVID-19 crisis, and continues to grow in this post-pandemic world. Now that global trade and commerce are on the rise, eCommerce businesses can rapidly expand into neighboring markets and establish a digital brand presence across the globe.
Of course, this is often easier said than done, no matter how many resources for expansion you have. The sheer competitiveness of the Ecommerce sector hinders the expansion of many small eCommerce ventures. That said, with the right strategy and the necessary tools, you can take your online store from a local to a global brand.
That’s why today we’ll detail the essential steps you need to take to ensure efficient and effective growth in new markets, and how to establish a powerful brand presence on the global scene.
Optimize and Redefine Customer Profiles
A customer profile, or customer avatar, is an all-encompassing overview of your ideal customer(s). Every growth-oriented eCommerce brand needs to create detailed customer profiles to empower marketing, sales, and support teams to do their best work — but of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The overarching importance of customer avatars for eCommerce growth and expansion can’t be overstated. When it comes to global expansion, however, customer avatars will allow you to improve the buyer’s journey and optimize the overall customer and brand experience in every new market you enter.
To that end, make sure to:
- Identify your most important markets for marketing and conversion focus
- Research the local customer bases and compare them with your existing customer profiles
- Identify the key motivators, drivers, values, goals, and needs of your new target demographics
- Observe global expansion as a chance to establish a meaningful connection with numerous new markets
Automate as Much as You Can
Automation might be a buzzword, but it’s important to remember that it allows us to achieve many short, mid, and long-term business goals — if properly implemented. You can automate many things in the eCommerce world, saving you time and money. Furthermore, automation can empower all of your teams to achieve better results — because they’ll be focused on solving complex problems rather than wasting time on menial tasks.
However, for all the benefits of eCommerce automation, it can be a tricky endeavor. You have to be careful with your investments. You can easily overspend on the tools you don’t need, so you need to streamline your automation strategy and choose only the tools that will allow you to expand more efficiently and effectively.
Consider the following essential automation opportunities:
- Inventory and order management
- Email marketing
- Customer support with chatbot technology
- Gathering feedback and customer data
- Targeting and segmentation based on buyer behavior
- Social media scheduling and posting
Become an Authority Figure in New Markets
To expand your business globally, you need to think beyond how you’re going to ship products internationally or how many payment methods you should accept. Those are all important considerations, but today we are focusing on the strategic questions. With that in mind, let’s talk about the importance of building an authoritative brand presence.
You might be a popular brand in your local market, but if you want to establish yourself internationally, you need to double down on brand experience, trust, and social proof. To build trust, you need to publish truly relevant content in the form of articles and videos, as well as live events and an on-demand webinar that will educate your audience, share relevant information, and make your brand more relevant and engaging in competitive markets.
With diversified content offering a deeper understanding of your audience and what they need, you will be able to optimize your content output to engage people on your website, social media, email, and all other customer touchpoints.
Make It Easy to Access Your Products and Offers
Reduce customer effort. Why? It entices people to buy from you instead of the established local brands. To do this effectively, research your top competitors in all your relevant markets around the world and focus on improving their processes.
For example, if your competitors have a long checkout process, shorten yours to make it easier for people to complete a purchase. If people are having trouble reaching the right product pages and categories, then you can generate dynamic QR codes that people can scan to quickly reach the exact page they were looking for. Likewise, make sure to allow customers to place orders via email, social media, and other channels to make it even easier for people to buy quickly.
Localize Your Content and Adapt Your Entire Brand
Finally, think of global expansion as a way to dominate many individual markets. Global expansion, in a practical sense, is not about dominating the world — it’s about dominating the high return on investment markets and customer bases.
To that end, start localizing your brand, messaging, content, and all your strategies. Remember that e-commerce translation and localization are not just about translating your website, but about adapting your entire brand experience and product descriptions to the unique culture, trends, and language of the local community.
Once you have identified your most lucrative markets, you can go ahead and localize your sales and marketing strategies to maximize their potential in the mid and long-term.
Over to You
While global expansion might have seemed like a pipe dream for many small eCommerce leaders in the past decade, nowadays any online store can transition from a local player to a global brand. By allocating your resources wisely and investing in the right tools and tactics, you can quickly expand into new markets while truly connecting with local customers and audiences.
Now that you know the best practices, you can kick-start your journey to become a global eCommerce brand by the end of 2022.
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