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What Is Predictive Analysis and Its Role in a Winning Marketing Strategy

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What Is Predictive Analysis and Its Role in a Winning Marketing Strategy

Predictive analysis is often applied to manage supply chains and business operations and to analyze consumer behavior. According to Statista.com, predictive analysis is here to stay with a value of $5.29 billion in 2020, and is forecast to grow to $41.52 billion by 2028.   

But what is it? How can it positively impact your business and marketing strategies? Let’s find out.    

What is Predictive Analysis?

Predictive analysis is a form of business analysis that uses statistics or machine learning to predict the outcome of something. That something can be anything from consumer intent and customer lifetime value to sales trends. 

Compared to other types of business analysis, while predictive analysis focuses on what is likely to happen, descriptive analysis looks at what has happened. Prescriptive analysis seeks answers based on the other two analytics to determine what should happen – according to what has happened and what is likely to happen. 

Predictive analysis can be used to:

  • Forecast future customer churn rates. 
  • Accurately predict future sales forecasts.
  • Enable businesses to order the optimal amount of inventory to meet customer demand.
  • Calculate a customer’s lifetime value (CLV).
  • Predict what products a customer is likely to buy in the future. 
  • Prevent logistics or warehouse equipment malfunctions. 

What Are Methods of Predictive Analysis?

Harnessing current and/or historical data with statistical techniques like predictive modeling, deep learning algorithms, machine learning, and data mining, predictive analysis can forecast future likely events.  

Other types of predictive analysis techniques include:

  • Data clustering uses machine learning to group objects into categories based on similarities, such as audience segmentation based on past engagement.  
  • Classification is a prediction technique that involves calculating the probability that an item belongs to a particular category.
  • Logistic regression finds correlations between inputs and outputs.
  • Decision trees are supervised learning algorithms used to determine courses of action and the probabilities associated with each, depending on sets of variables. 
  • Time series analysis is a technique used for analyzing time-series data, such as changes over periods. 

What is a Predictive Analysis Example?

A good use case for predictive analysis is in the eCommerce space – specifically product recommendations. Smart algorithms create accurate projections for consumers based on what they’ve previously bought and other contextual reasons. 

One example of these algorithms in practice involves looking at the purchase and reviewing the history of the consumer and recommending products on similar user data. Any products that the user has previously purchased would be disregarded.  

Brands seeking to improve customer engagement and conversion rates often garner great results from recommendation engines. Done right, this predictive analysis marketing strategy encourages upsells and cross-sells, establishes brand loyalty, and ensures the customers return for more.

The Role of Predictive Analysis in Marketing 

Personalized Experiences 

Predictive analysis forms the backbone of winning marketing strategies. This is because using data in the right way enables personalized customer experiences and drives sales. In marketing, needs forecasting is a widely used predictive analytics tool, where businesses anticipate customer needs based on their web browsing habits. 

For instance, online home renovation retailers can predict when a customer is in the market for decorating products due to increased searches for home improvements. 

Solving Problems

Predictive analysis solves customer problems before they are aware that they have problems. Using customer intent and behavior data, businesses can see which customers are more at risk of churn and act accordingly, even if they have a PandaDoc convertible note agreement template in place. Proactively addressing potential issues is a good business position to be in and minimizes the impact on the overall customer experience. 

New Customer Acquisition 

Use data segmentation as predictive analysis to define customer identification models. This practice works by identifying potential customers based on your existing customers’ needs, wants, purchase behavior, and preferences.  

Optimize Marketing Budget 

Predictive analysis enables marketers to spend budgets more effectively – whether the goal is to convert potential customers, attract a new audience segment, or retain existing customers. Because predictive analysis can help you understand the actions of users that indicate their conversion intentions, you can craft relevant landing pages, sales funnels, and marketing campaigns that are poised to positively impact your bottom line.

The Predictive Analysis Marketing Process

How could predictive analysis look in your business? 

  1. Define what question you want to answer – e.g. which prospects are likely to sign up for my service within the next 30 days? 
  2. Gather the data – our example needs historical prospects data (specifically how much time it took past prospects to convert), demographic and channel data, plus a current list of prospects. 
  3. Undertake descriptive analysis to determine facts, such as whether the average conversion time varies between channels and whether demographics correlate with these time frames.  
  4. Use statistical techniques to test your theories. 
  5. Create a predictive model after your test discoveries to predict outcomes. 
  6. Deploy the predictive model to glean actionable insights, e.g., the prospects that will likely sign up within the next 30 days.
  7. Create targeted marketing strategies with these prospects in mind in the hope of maximum conversions. 
  8. Update the predictive model regularly to meet new requirements. 

Remember that external influences can skew your data – think about seasonal changes, news events, global crises, etc. 

How to Maximize Success in Marketing with Predictive Analysis

Some critical tips to use predictive analysis to its best effect include:

  • Gather as much of the right data as possible. 
  • Decide on the most relevant modeling techniques and algorithms for the specific project. 
  • Have processes to reduce potential biases. 

We Predict That Predictive Analysis is the Future of Marketing

Predictive analysis is fast becoming a vital decision-making tool for forward-thinking businesses. Regardless of industry, predictive analysis can give you the insights you need to drive your marketing. By enabling intelligent data for science collection and harnessing it to accurately predict future outcomes, organizations use predictive analysis to make extremely profitable decisions.




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What is Social Selling? (+How to Sell on Social Media)

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What is Social Selling? (+How to Sell on Social Media)

If you sell things to people who spend time on social media, you need to learn about social selling.

Social selling lets you use social media to find perfect prospects, build a genuine connection with them, and become the automatic choice when it’s time to buy.

It’s not rocket science. But you can’t go in guns blazing with the hard sales tactics. There’s more nuance required.

In this extensive guide, you’ll get a complete plan to launch your own social selling strategy. What to post, when to connect, and how to get more conversions with less pitching.

Table of contents

What is social selling?

Social selling is a lead generation strategy where you find, qualify, and connect with new prospects on social networks. The strategy includes using social listening to know what topics are important to prospects and then joining or generating conversations to build relationships with them.

Let’s say you work for a commercial contractor. Someone on X (formerly Twitter) talks about expanding their business in your area and has a question about building codes. You give an answer with some helpful links. You’re at the top of the list when they ask for a bid to upgrade their new building.

Notice that social selling focuses on generating new leads rather than quick conversions. You want to build trust through genuine connection, not complete an impersonal transaction.

The best part of social selling is that it’s like a free, always-on networking event you don’t have to fly to. You get to generate and nurture 1:1 relationships at a scale you never could with in-person networking or cold calls.

💡 Want more oomph in your outreach? Download this huge list of emotionally charged marketing words and phrases.

Social selling vs. traditional selling

Social selling differs from traditional sales strategies by where it happens, who you target, and how you connect.

Social selling - differences between social selling and traditional selling

Social selling happens on social media platforms. Traditional selling often takes place in person or via cold calls.

With social selling, you directly target product users or decision-makers. Traditional sales strategies usually start with engaging a gatekeeper before you speak with the person writing the checks.

Social selling uses warm introductions and personalized conversations to engage with targeted prospects. Traditional sales tactics rely on generic scripts and shotgun outreach.

Social selling vs. social media marketing

Social media marketing is usually a one-to-many broadcast. In contrast, social selling is more about building relationships with one-to-one conversations.

Social media marketing can also be conversion-focused and even include social shopping, where people can buy right from the social media platform. With social selling, you’re meeting and interacting with prospects, but the conversion happens outside the social network.

While they have differences, social media marketing and social selling do support each other. You may write some generally helpful social media posts as part of your social media marketing strategy, but when a prospect comments, they move into your social selling funnel.

Who is social selling for?

Social selling is for any company that sells products to people who spend time on social media. That is to say, it’s for just about every company since over 62% of the global population (and over 90% of the US population) is on social media.

Any size business can use social selling. A Fortune 500 software company might interact with chief technology officers who make million-dollar purchasing decisions. A local physical therapist can provide health tips to weekend warrior athletes in their network.

What are the benefits of social selling?

Social selling isn’t hard (we think it’s fun), but it takes some time. Are you on the fence about trying it? Let’s see if these social selling benefits convince you.

You connect with people where they’re comfortable

The average person spends about 2.5 hours each day scrolling social media platforms. Many are there to catch up with friends and family. But a large percentage of people head to social networks to learn about products and get content from brands.

Social selling - Graphic showing the reasons people use social mediaSocial selling - Graphic showing the reasons people use social media

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That audience of information seekers presents a perfect opportunity to jump in and be the helpful authority when they need you most.

Builds trust through conversation

An older study from HubSpot showed that a dismal 3% of consumers consider salespeople trustworthy. Ouch!

Social selling - LinkedIn post about rude salespeople.Social selling - LinkedIn post about rude salespeople.

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You’re unlikely to overcome the trust gap in the first few seconds of a cold call. But on social media, it’s possible to create relationships that generate trust over time.

Think about it this way. Say you need to hire more people. Would you be more likely to use a recruiting company that’s answered several hiring questions for you on LinkedIn or the company that cold-called you?

Lets you time outreach perfectly

In general, success on social media means posting at the right time. And that’s why social selling is so great. You use social listening to tell you when someone’s talking about your brand, your competitors, or some aspect of your business. Then, you can connect with them at the exact right time.

Social selling - Tweet from BiothermSocial selling - Tweet from Biotherm

Every major social media platform has a search bar. You can use it to search for hashtags, company names, or job titles that lead you to excellent prospects.

Plus, social media bios often hold lots of information about the people they represent. With a quick glance, you might learn where someone works, their job title, and what types of things they’re interested in.

You’d have to buy one heck of a cold-calling list to get all of that!

It’s a proven technique

LinkedIn data shows that sales teams who use social selling are more successful.

According to the research, social selling leaders:

  • Create more opportunities
  • Are more likely to reach quota
  • Outsell peers who don’t use social media

Social selling - stats from LinkedIn graphciSocial selling - stats from LinkedIn graphci

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What’s more, your competitors are already taking advantage of social selling. Compared to 2015, sales reps spend 12% more time connecting with prospects and customers virtually.

EveryoneSocial, a brand advocacy software provider, says that social sellers close 48% larger deals than their nonsocial seller counterparts.

Delivers a fantastic ROI

All you need to get started with social selling is a free social media account, a little time, and a strategy. There’s no significant initial investment, ads to buy, or travel to pay for.

As you start to generate quality leads from social media, you can invest in tools that make you more efficient, which we’ll cover in a bit.

What are the four pillars of social selling?

There are four concepts that, when taken together, form the foundation of a social selling strategy.

Social selling - Four pillars of social selling in a graphicSocial selling - Four pillars of social selling in a graphic

  1. Establish your brand on social media: Before connecting with prospects, create an engaging profile and publish relevant content that cements your brand as the expert in your space.
  2. Fill out your network: Identify your current customers, future potential customers, thought leaders, and influencers that you’d like to connect with.
  3. Engage them with insights: Become the go-to source for information by sharing thought-provoking directly with your prospects right when they need it.
  4. Build relationships: Strengthen your connections by establishing trust with the people who make decisions and influence others.

Which social selling platforms are best?

The best social selling platform for you depends a lot on the things you sell and where your audience hangs out.

That said, LinkedIn and Twitter are more geared towards social selling. People go to those networks more often for professional conversations. Plus, those platforms have some great tools to make creating a sales network easier.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the best platform for B2B social selling. Not only does the platform have more than 1 billion users, but most of them are also there to talk shop. That means your conversations about professional topics will fit right in.

LinkedIn makes it really easy to grow your professional network. You can use the search bar at the top of the page to look for specific job titles or people working for a company. Then, you can refine the list to only show people connected with your current network. Hello, warm introductions!

There’s also a really powerful tool called LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Use it to prioritize your prospects, find advocates who’ll help you connect, and even surface accounts showing high buying intent.

And the pièce de rèsistance is LinkedIn’s social selling index (SSI).

Social selling - LinkedIn SSI dashboardSocial selling - LinkedIn SSI dashboard

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The SSI is a metric from LinkedIn that measures your success against the four pillars of social selling. Just log into your account and head to your Social Selling Index dashboard. You’ll get an overall score and see how you fare against others in your industry.

X (formerly Twitter)

X is built for public discussions, which makes it a perfect place to jump into conversations and establish your brand’s expertise.

Finding those conversations is easy since many users add hashtags to their tweets. Search for hashtags using the bar at the top or click a hashtag from someone you already follow and see who else is using it.

Say one of your customers uses the hashtag #HRIssues on their Tweets. Click it, and you’ll likely find a host of other prospects who need your human resources software.

But what’s really cool about X is the List feature. With Lists, you can quickly find whole groups of people in your field.

Social selling - A list on Twitter XSocial selling - A list on Twitter X

Follow existing lists to grow your network. Or create your own private lists to keep tabs on competitors or customers.

Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram

Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram are popular social marketing platforms. But they’re less hospitable to social selling since people gravitate to them to get away from work. You can still see some benefits there, depending on what you sell.

Social selling on Facebook

The challenge with Facebook is that its privacy controls make it more difficult to engage with new people. Unless someone has made their post public, you won’t be able to interact with it. One potential workaround is Facebook groups. Look for existing groups that align with what you do, or build your own Facebook group.

Social selling - A group on FacebookSocial selling - A group on Facebook

Once you’re in the group, remember to be friendly and helpful. Most groups have admins that will boot you out if you get all salesy.

👀 Speaking of Facebook…Want to know how your ads compare to the competition? Download our latest Facebook ads benchmarks!

Social selling on TikTok

TikTok is growing as a sales channel because more people now use it to find new products and services. But it’s a very visual platform that kind of buries comments. So, it’s not ideal for generating conversations.

Your best bet is to post entertaining videos that follow trends on TikTok and build awareness of your brand.

Social selling on Instagram

It isn’t easy to find individuals to connect with on Instagram unless they’re a celebrity or you know their handle. Plus, starting an organic conversation there is hard, especially since it’s such a visual platform.

Like TikTok, your social selling play here is to post helpful content that attracts people who would eventually use what you sell. You could also try following complementary brands (think of cosmetics companies if you’re a fashion brand) and reply to the comments you see there. Just don’t go too hard. No brand wants another company harassing its followers.

9 tips to become a pro-level social seller

We’ve got the pillars down and seen how they work on different social media platforms. Now, let’s look at nine ways to accelerate your program.

1. Provide value and prove your expertise first

Before trying to make direct connections, you’ll need to build a foundation of credibility. Remember, you don’t want to be the person who meets someone new and instantly starts blurting out a sales pitch.

The easiest way to start is simply posting helpful, insightful content. Make it a mix of new content and posts you’ve shared from others.

Social selling - Real estate agent's helpful post.Social selling - Real estate agent's helpful post.

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Social sharing is built on two-way, mutually beneficial relationships. Before you ask for something like scheduling a demo or booking an appointment, give something first to keep the scales even.

2. Be an active social listener

Social listening gives you the superpower of knowing what people are talking about online. That way, you can get in on the conversation and engage with prospects organically.

On LinkedIn, you can set alerts to notify you when an account posts. Over on X, you can be notified anytime someone uses a specific hashtag.

For more robust social listening, use a social media management tool. They’ll let you monitor:

  • Brand mentions
  • Product mentions
  • Competitor mentions
  • Trending keywords
  • Branded keywords
  • Relevant hashtags

3. Optimize your profiles

    What’s the first thing people do when they see your social media account pop up for the first time? Many of them head right to your profile.

    That’s why a professional and complete profile is critical.

    Social selling - Jabil LinkedIn profile.Social selling - Jabil LinkedIn profile.

    Source

    Each social network has different profile styles, but in general:

    If you’re connecting through your personal LinkedIn account, gather some recommendations. In fact, it’s a good practice to trade LinkedIn recommendations with people you work with.

    4. Personalize connection requests

    After you’ve built a rapport by sharing content and conversing in the comments section, it’s time to formalize the relationship with a connection request. The best introduction messages are specific and relevant to the recipient. That’s true in social selling since you’ve done so much to create a personal connection.

    Here are a few ways to personalize your connection requests:

    • Mention people you’re both connected with
    • Call back to a recent interaction you’ve had
    • Provide something of additional value (like a link to a relevant article)
    • Use their name and reference their company or job title

    5. Continuously grow your network

      Social selling isn’t a one-and-done strategy. It’s a long-term play that gains steam over time. Set weekly goals for the number of posts, comments, and replies you publish. Block out time dedicated only to tending to your social media network.

      And most of all, don’t rush it. Many of your new connections won’t need what you sell right now. But they will eventually. And even if they don’t, they could offer a warm introduction to other people in the future.

      6. Be active in comments and replies

      This is a foundational tactic of social selling. A well-timed, relevant comment is your first foot in the door with a new prospect. You are adding to the conversation, and your engagement helps boost the post with the platform’s algorithm.

      Don’t forget to listen out for people who’ve already bought, too.

      Social selling - Post reply from Away brand.Social selling - Post reply from Away brand.

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      Jumping in to save the day is the ultimate social selling tactic.

      7. Strike up conversations in your posts

      You don’t always have to seek out people to converse with on social media. You can bring them to your posts with questions and polls.

      Social selling - LinkedIn post with a pollSocial selling - LinkedIn post with a poll

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      Whether they’re funny or serious, questions get people talking. Make a note of who shows up and what their opinions are. And always reply to keep the discussion going.

      8. Engage with influencers

      Influencers in your industry can be beneficial allies in your social selling campaign. They have an audience of people that you’d like to know. Plus, the topics they discuss could be great fodder for your posts and outreach.

      Social selling - TikTok from Shopify with an influencerSocial selling - TikTok from Shopify with an influencer

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      You don’t need a formal agreement to engage with influencers. Just start liking and commenting on their posts. Reference and link to them in your own posts. Mine their comments sections to take the pulse of your industry and get new ideas. And invite them to collaborate on content.

      9. Find communities to join

      There are loads of online communities, both on social networks and elsewhere, just waiting for you to join. These groups are ideal for social selling since they’re all about conversing and providing mutual support.

      Social selling - A helpful post in the Maverick Truck ClubSocial selling - A helpful post in the Maverick Truck Club

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      You can learn much about your target audience by observing what happens in an online group. But the real magic happens when you jump in, answer questions, and celebrate successes with the other members.

      If you don’t see a group you like, build your own brand community.

      What are the best social selling tools?

      Social media management tools help you to become more efficient and effective at selling online. Here are a few such tools to consider.

      LinkedIn Sales Navigator

      It’s not surprising that LinkedIn would offer one of the best tools for social selling. What’s unexpected is just how robust LinkedIn Sales Navigator is.

      Social selling - Screenshot of LinkedIn Navigator.Social selling - Screenshot of LinkedIn Navigator.

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      One of the best features on Sales Navigator is the Relationship Explorer. With this tool, you’ll quickly find people who can help you get “in” with an organization—like people who share connections with you. It also helps you find the most relevant people to target and notifies you of important events like a change in management.

      Meltwater

      Meltwater is a leader in the social listening space for good reason. Its purpose-built tool lets you track brand, product, or audience mentions across all your social media accounts. You get audience sentiment data, and it can even recognize images.

      Social selling - Meltwater dashboard.Social selling - Meltwater dashboard.

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      The social listening alerts on Meltwater are worth noting. Set an alert for your brand, and you’ll get a notification when it’s mentioned. That’ll help you respond while the conversation is hot.

      EveryoneSocial

      EveryoneSocial is a brand advocacy platform that makes it easy for employees and executives to plan, post, and share content about their business. The tool has features designed to help sales professionals grow their pipeline on social media channels.

      Social selling - Screenshot from everyonesocial websiteSocial selling - Screenshot from everyonesocial website

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      With EveryoneSocial, you get a hub of content anyone on your team can share through their social channels. You also get an analytics dashboard that shows the team’s engagement, reach, clicks, and more from all the accounts linked to your plan.

      3 stellar social selling examples

      Here are a few real-world examples of businesses big and small selling on social media with flair.

      TruMotion Therapy

      Here’s an example that proves social selling isn’t just for the Fortune 500. TruMotion Therapy is a local physical therapy practice that regularly posts on Instagram. They’ve built a loyal following of people looking for solutions to aches and pains.

      Social selling - Social media replies from TruMotion Therapy.Social selling - Social media replies from TruMotion Therapy.

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      The activity after the post is published transforms this strategy from social media marketing to social selling. TruMotion Docs take time to continue the conversation with individual commenters. Many of the replies are personalized advice and answers. And when it’s called for, the TruMotion team will take the chat to DMs, moving the new connection further down the funnel towards becoming a client.

      Starbucks

      You may not think of chain restaurants or consumer brands as social sellers, but some are really good at it.

      Scroll through Starbucks’ feed on X, and you’ll see an endless stream of interactions the brand has with its fans. Most are simple “cheers,” while others are more personal.

      Social selling - Starbucks TweetSocial selling - Starbucks Tweet

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      Either way, social media lets Starbucks connect with a singular customer one-on-one in a way other marketing and advertising strategies don’t.

      Zoetis CEO

      Kristin Peck is the CEO of Zoetis, a pharmaceutical company specializing in pet care. She regularly comments on posts from people in her industry, especially when they mention animals.

      Social selling - LinkedIn post from the Zoetis CEOSocial selling - LinkedIn post from the Zoetis CEO

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      It’s a quick and easy way to generate camaraderie among people in your network. Plus, you can use your comments to inspire future posts to help establish your brand on social media.

      The 30-day social selling launch plan

      Let’s bring all of this down to ground level. Follow this step-by-step plan for the next 30 days to have a fully functioning social selling strategy.

      Day 1 to 5: Get set up

      The first week is about picking the tools you’ll use, setting them up, and creating the rules for your social selling strategy. Some of this may already be done if you’re marketing on social media.

      To get set up:

      • Decide which social media platforms you’ll use
      • Create a social media style guide
      • Find relevant hashtags
      • Create and optimize your social media profiles
      • Pick your social selling tools
      • Set up social listening for brand, competitor, and industry mentions
      • Review five competitor social media accounts

      Day 6 to 15: Establishing credibility

      Now, it’s time to lay the groundwork with your audience. Go into this phase looking for ways to help and show off your expertise (without bragging, of course).

      To establish credibility:

      Day 15 to 25: Begin outreach

      We’re getting more proactive here. Let’s find some people and social media accounts to lightly engage with.

      To begin outreach:

      • Search for people in your industry that post often
      • Narrow the list to 10 targets
      • Reply to 2 to 3 posts from each account
      • Go beyond agreeing and add to the conversation
      • Repost or retweet content from at least one of those posts and tag the account

      Day 26 to 30: Make contact and analyze

      For this last phase, you’ll connect directly with one new contact and check the results of your efforts so far.

      To make contact and analyze:

      • Send a connection request to one new contact
      • Review the metrics on your social selling tool of choice
      • Note which posts, comments, and replies get the most engagement
      • Use the data to plan out month two

      Now, keep growing your network!

      👋 Plan out your entire year’s marketing strategy with this free must-have marketing calendar.

      Social selling FAQs

      Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about social selling.

      Does social selling really work?

      The data proves social selling helps you fill your sales pipeline and close bigger deals more often.

      For example:

      • Instagram found that 78% of social sellers outperform peers who don’t use social media
      • EveryoneSocial says a lead generated through social selling is 7x more likely to close than leads from other tactics.
      • 51% of Baby Boomers, 69% of Gen X, and 86% of Gen Z have interacted with a company on social media.

      What is social selling the inbound way?

      An inbound marketing strategy attracts new buyers to you instead of chasing them through ads and cold outreach. Social selling is inbound by nature. So, “social selling the inbound way” is another way of saying social selling.

      Is social selling creepy?

      Social selling is not creepy if you do it the right way. That means engaging at appropriate times and offering help instead of leading with a sales pitch.

      Grow your business with social selling

      The days of knocking on doors and cold-calling prospects are numbered. Generic sales scripts turn buyers off. And impersonal outreach gets ignored in the inbox. Replacing these old-school sales techniques are genuine connections and authentic relationships built on social media.

      It doesn’t take a considerable effort to give social selling a try. Just start reading posts that interest you and add your two cents. People will notice, and you’ll be off and running.



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6 Google Ads Performance Max Pre-Launch Optimizations

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6 Google Ads Performance Max Pre-Launch Optimizations

Google Ads Performance Max campaigns can be a great tool to help you reach further into the Google network and attract new customers as well as convert existing ones. But this campaign type is also quite a bit different from many others that Google has rolled out in the past. Rather than focusing on one network, like Search or YouTube, Performance Max campaigns can run across nearly all Google-owned properties, meaning your ads could look very different from one place to the next. Additionally, the user’s intent and/or state of mind could also be very different on each platform.

For these reasons and others, I suggest having a few things checked off a list before rolling out Performance Max campaigns, just to make sure you’re being cautious with your funds and putting yourself in the best position possible to see success:

  1. Use brand exclusion lists
  2. Control placements with brand suitability
  3. Take advantage of all creative options
  4. Don’t be shy with audience signals
  5. Confirm all conversion tracking and set clear goals
  6. Track lead quality performance

Google Ads Performance Max campaigns: 6 pre-launch optimizations

Let’s take a deeper look at the six optimizations you should make before launching Google Ads Performance Max campaigns.

💡 Already running Performance Max campaigns but not sure if they need to be further optimized? Find out with our free Google Ads Grader!

1. Utilize brand exclusion lists to avoid search cannibalization

If you’re running traditional search campaigns and Performance Max is a planned expansion, I encourage you to add a brand exclusion list to your Performance Max campaigns. This list will provide added control so your Performance Max campaign will not show for branded queries, meaning your search and shopping campaigns won’t have any internal competition for those terms.

google ads performance max campaigns - brand exclusions navigation screenshot

These lists are very simple. First, navigate to the tools portion of the left-hand navigation, then shared library, and click brand lists.

google ads performance max campaigns - brand list screenshotgoogle ads performance max campaigns - brand list screenshot

From there, you’ll be prompted to create a new brand list. You’ll be able to give that list a name, which could be useful if you have multiple brands being advertised in the same account. Next, start typing in your brand name and select the box next to the brand that matches yours.

You may be surprised how many brands Google already has available in the list, but if you don’t see your brand identified here, you do have the option to Request a New Brand down at the bottom.

google ads performance max campaigns - brand exclusionsgoogle ads performance max campaigns - brand exclusions

Once you’ve created your list, you’ll need to apply it to your Performance Max campaign in the campaign settings section. This is nearly always hidden under “additional settings” toward the bottom. Select the brand lists you want excluded from that campaign and you’ll be on your way.

2. Control placements with brand suitability

As I mentioned earlier, Performance Max campaigns can be shown across the whole Google network, and with each of these platforms comes its own worries about what your ads will show up next to.

Search and shopping exclusions

In addition to the brand exclusion lists mentioned above, you can also control the queries your Performance Max campaigns will show for with account-level negative keywords.

google ads performance max campaigns - negative keywords list google ads performance max campaigns - negative keywords list

While this is a great improvement over no negative keywords, you still need to be cautious. Adding negative keywords at the account level prevents every campaign in your account from showing on those queries. That includes Performance Max, but it also includes your regular search and shopping campaigns as well.

If there are terms that are not suitable for your brand to show up for in any scenario, adding them at the account level can help control both your traditional campaigns as well as Performance Max.

google ads performance max campaigns - screenshot of admin account settingsgoogle ads performance max campaigns - screenshot of admin account settings

Account-level negative keywords can be found in the account settings portion of Google Ads (under Admin) in the main navigation and function the same as regular negative keywords.

Display and YouTube exclusions

Beyond search and the control of keywords, we also need to monitor the content our ads are showing alongside on YouTube and the Google Display Network.

google ads performance max campaigns - content suitability in navigation panelgoogle ads performance max campaigns - content suitability in navigation panel

The best way to prevent your brand from showing on unsavory content is to use controls available in the content suitability section of Google Ads.

google ads performance max campaigns - screenshot of excluded contentgoogle ads performance max campaigns - screenshot of excluded content

Toward the bottom of the page is a list of additional exclusion categories you can utilize. Each of these settings will apply to its intended network type, meaning they’ll help control either the display placement, YouTube placement, or both for your Performance Max campaigns.

google ads performance max campaigns - content exclusionsgoogle ads performance max campaigns - content exclusions

You can use the broadest set of controls and select exclusions based on their sensitive content category (shown above), or you can add in content keyword exclusions or even individual placements like websites or YouTube channels if you know where you want to avoid.

🌱 Get more ways to grow your business across all your marketing channels with our free growth strategy guide!

3. Take advantage of all creative options

Since Performance Max campaigns have many different options for placements, there are tons of different forms your ads could take. You’re given space for text, images, videos, brand identifiers, and ad assets all in the same location. Take advantage of them!

google ads performance max campaigns - screenshot of performance max ad editorgoogle ads performance max campaigns - screenshot of performance max ad editor

Both fortunately and unfortunately, your ad itself is what the user has to make their first impression of you. If your ad looks clunky and boring, you’re not really creating any sort of appeal.

Utilize the review tool in the right-hand portion of the builder to get an idea of what your ads will look like in all of the available placements. If one is slacking, go find new assets to slot in and make sure you’re creating the impression you want, not just the one you have to settle for.

4. Don’t be shy with audience signals

In the same asset group builder, you’ll find where you can influence the audience that Performance Max campaigns target.

google ads performance max campaigns - audience signals screenshotgoogle ads performance max campaigns - audience signals screenshot

As you can see above, you have quite a bit of options when it comes to providing audience signals. These can be from your data sets, like remarketing lists or customer uploads. It can also be based on additional signals like interests that include in-market and life event audiences as well as detailed demographics like parental status and household income.

google ads performance max campaigns - search themes examplegoogle ads performance max campaigns - search themes example

Additionally, you can provide search themes, which are keywords (up to 25 per asset group) that you identify as some words or phrases users may look for when searching for your products or services. They’re best used when you’re launching a new product or your site doesn’t have complete details about your offerings to help guide Performance Max to find more qualified users. These are optional but can be useful in the scenarios mentioned above.

google ads performance max campaigns - screenshot of google ads performance max network explanationgoogle ads performance max campaigns - screenshot of google ads performance max network explanation

However, both of these sets of directions only go so far when you’re trying to influence your audiences. As Google states: these are just a starting point and they’ll serve ads based on what the algorithm says is a qualified user.

I encourage you to add as detailed insights as you can in this section as they will work in conjunction with the next optimization to make sure your ads are showing to the right users across the Google environment.

5. Confirm all conversion tracking and set clear goals

Performance Max campaigns are driven heavily by the goals you set at the campaign level. On every placement, they’re trying to help you drive either sales, brand awareness, content downloads, or some other goal. But for Performance Max to be successful, you have to feed it accurate conversion data.

performance max campaigns - conversion goalsperformance max campaigns - conversion goals

In the campaign setup process, you’ll be prompted to choose the goals you want to optimize for in this campaign. Be sure you have all of your conversion actions and goals set up properly so you can easily opt into the actions you want for this campaign. (If you need more guidance on conversion goals in Google Ads, you can watch this video.)

This also opens up a new world of optimization with Performance Max. For example, if you wanted to have one Performance Max campaign optimizing for brand awareness and another focusing on your bottom-funnel conversion actions, this is where you would set that up. Don’t hesitate to be creative with how you can use this machine learning to influence your portfolio of campaigns rather than just one at a time.

6. Track lead quality performance

From my own experience as well as that of others I’ve talked to in the industry, Performance Max does really well for direct sales and ecommerce types of campaigns. All of the sale and revenue data is available directly from the platforms and product feeds usually have tons of creative and copy to work with.

google ads performance max campaigns - screenshot of Google Ads lead quality tipsgoogle ads performance max campaigns - screenshot of Google Ads lead quality tips

Unfortunately, that means lead generation campaigns have a harder time. (Don’t they always?) The quality of leads can be, well, really terrible from Performance Max if you’re not careful. There are some strategies Google suggests you employ to improve lead quality, but you’ll notice these are all on your site, not directly through PMAX controls.

Regardless, I think these are all very valid suggestions and can help you prevent your forms from getting flooded with bot leads and annoying your sales department. If you’re running lead generation campaigns, I highly suggest you leverage at least one of these tactics to help avoid junk leads and keep the data clean.

Get ahead of your Google Ads Performance Max campaign optimization

Performance Max campaigns can be great tools to extend your reach beyond single network campaigns and can help drive results, but they almost always need handholding to make sure they’re hitting the targets you want. This list of optimizations should help you focus your campaigns right from the start and see decent performance after launch rather than starting without any controls and hoping things turn out.

Here are the six ways to optimize your Google Ads Performance Max campaigns before they go live:

  1. Use brand exclusion lists
  2. Control placements with brand suitability
  3. Take advantage of all creative options
  4. Don’t be shy with audience signals
  5. Confirm all conversion tracking and set clear goals
  6. Track lead quality performance

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March Content Ideas for Blog Posts, Videos, & More

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March Content Ideas for Blog Posts, Videos, & More

March is the start of spring. The clocks spring forward, flowers bloom, and people get excited for the warmer months ahead. So why not design your March content calendar to capitalize on the anticipation of the season? There are dozens of creative ways to make your March blog, video, and other content sing with spring feelings.

Of course, whenever you’re creating content—in any season—it pays to keep two things in mind: Your broader marketing goals and the audience you want to reach.

You set yourself up for success when you use your strategy and your customers to guide your content output. Here’s how to fill your March marketing calendar with blogs, videos, and more that will get attention and build trust.

Table of contents

 

Tips for approaching your March content ideas

Before we get into specific March content ideas, let’s step back and explore content strategy and creation. 

Building a strategy is about more than assigning publish dates in your marketing calendar. To get it right, you want to ensure each piece of content you publish throughout the year is working to serve your broader business goals.  

Here’s a high-level look at what your content strategy and creation process should look like this March.

🗓 Get year-round marketing ideas, tips, and examples for inspiration with our new 2024 marketing calendar!

1. Know what your goals are

Your business has goals for the year, and your marketing efforts are designed to support them. Make sure they’re SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound).

march content ideas - wordstream smart goal chart

Your big business goals might look like:

  • We want to increase sales by 20% year-over-year.
  • We want to sell 5,000 units of our new product in the first 30 days after it launches.
  • We want 300 people to register for our event when we announce it in March.

2. Define how marketing can support those goals

With those macro goals in mind, you can brainstorm ways your marketing team can contribute to achieving them. Take that sales growth goal as an example. Your marketing team will look to create content that supports filling up your marketing funnel. That includes:

  • Top-of-funnel content to build awareness and attract a new audience.
  • Educational content to support those in the consideration stages.
  • Content that creates a top-notch customer experience when they decide to convert.

🌱 Discover more ways to grow your business this March and beyond with our easy-to-use growth strategy template!

3. Get clear about who’s in your audience

So, what do these people moving through your marketing funnel look like? The best marketing content speaks directly to your audience and their needs—and you can’t do that if you don’t know who your audience is!

That’s where research comes in. Look at your current customers. What characteristics do they share? Can you send them a survey or conduct interviews to understand why they chose to do business with you?

march content ideas - screenshot of audience surveymarch content ideas - screenshot of audience survey

In this example, the project management tool ClickUp invites users to submit feedback and feature requests on its site.

Knowing who your current customers are and how they act, think, and feel can help you create content that will speak to others like them.

4. Start defining your content needs

At this point in the process, you can begin looking at how to create content to speak to your ideal customer and serve your business objectives.

Start by evaluating the content you already have. Are there gaps in that content? Are there pieces that could be repurposed, refreshed, or otherwise spruced up or repackaged for your needs? What else can you create to complement or enhance your existing content?

This is a great place to undertake some competitive research and see if there are opportunities for you to own a specific search term or fill a content gap left by your competitors.

5. Home in on content types and ideas

Once you’ve done all of this work upfront, you can get specific about your March content ideas. Now’s the time to brainstorm different types of content.

march content ideas - content marketing funnel chart march content ideas - content marketing funnel chart

Returning to the example of the sales growth goal, you might create content like:

  • A webinar series that lets your in-house subject matter experts share advice on a topic your ideal customer cares about.
  • A blog series that addresses a significant pain point your customers have.
  • A gated white paper that details proprietary research you’ve done in your area of expertise.

Once you have a broad sense of where you want to go with your content, you can place things on the calendar and find opportunities to refine the idea in line with the season.

How to brainstorm content ideas for March

What kind of content do you want to put on your calendar in March?

Look to the season to help you brainstorm specific ideas. There are quite a few noteworthy days that fall in March, including:

  • Women’s History Month (March 1-31)
  • International Women’s Day (March 8)
  • Ramadan (begins March 10)
  • Start of Daylight Savings (March 10)
  • Pi Day (March 14)
  • Patrick’s Day (March 17)
  • First day of spring (March 19)
  • NCAA March Madness (begins March 19)
  • Purim (March 23-24)
  • Holi (March 24-25)
  • Easter (March 31)
  • International Transgender Day of Visibility (March 31)

march content ideas - womens history month march content ideas - womens history month

Spelman College, a women’s college and HBCU, celebrated Black women trailblazers last Women’s History Month.

In addition to these March holidays and celebrations, specific seasonal themes may apply to your business. For example:

  • A landscaping business can discuss how to care for your lawn as spring and summer approach.
  • A restaurant might share information about its spring menu, with fun facts about the seasonal ingredients they plan to incorporate in March dishes.
  • A test prep business may launch an informational webinar series for parents of students preparing to take the SATs in May and June.

You can also consider other national and international days that apply to your business. A dentist could create content for World Oral Health Day (March 20), while a direct-to-consumer mattress brand might celebrate National Napping Day (March 11).

March content ideas for blogs, videos, and more

So you’re ready to create some killer March marketing campaigns? Here are some March content ideas to help you fill out your calendar.

Post some short-form videos

This video format is ideal for your website’s home page, a tutorial on a product page, or sharing on social media. Consumers’ attention spans are short, so 30-60 seconds is the sweet spot for these snack-sized pieces of content from your brand.

With short-form video, the key is to give your content a beginning, middle, and end in a very short time. It also helps to open with a compelling hook. People might scroll right by if you don’t have a strong opener.

march content ideas - st patricks day video examplemarch content ideas - st patricks day video example

Ingredients brand Amoretti shared five St. Patrick’s Day drink recipes on its YouTube channel (featuring Amoretti syrups, of course!).

Here are some ideas for short-form videos you could post in March:

  • A time-lapse video of your team switching over your store to spring merchandise.
  • A mini-tutorial on a seasonal topic (ex., a home cleaning service offers five tips for spring cleaning your closet).
  • A behind-the-scenes look at your prep for a special day (ex., a bakery shows its process for making 314 mini-pies for Pi Day).
  • A recap of a seasonal event you hosted at your brick-and-mortar location (ex., an Irish pub shares the best looks from its St. Patrick’s Day costume contest).

Host a webinar

Webinars are a fantastic way to showcase your team’s expertise and build your prospect mailing list.

Start by brainstorming topics your ideal customers would want to hear from you about. These should be something more complex than you’d cover in a social media video but not something so thorny you can’t speak to it in 30 minutes or less.

  • A real estate agent might partner with a local mortgage lender to host a webinar for first-time homebuyers, helping them prepare for the busy spring and summer season.
  • A garden center might do a rundown of spring planting basics and share suggestions for the best types of plants to select in various environments (low water, high shade, etc.)
  • A college or university might host a “college search 101” for parents of students wrapping up their junior year of high school.

march content ideas - webinar topic examplemarch content ideas - webinar topic example

Source

Don’t forget to promote your webinar! Post about it on your social media, send email invites to existing contacts, and create a customized landing page on your website where interested prospects can register. You might also consider putting some advertising dollars behind your webinar promotional efforts to help you reach a wider audience.

💡 Are your Google Ads campaigns ready to effectively promote your March content? Find out with our free Google Ads Grader!

Launch a seasonal newsletter

Maintaining a newsletter is a big undertaking. It requires constant attention and a steady stream of new content to establish a regular publishing cadence.

If you don’t have the bandwidth to launch a year-round newsletter, why not start a seasonal one instead? A limited-run newsletter allows you to reap the benefits (that is, regular contact with your audience) without the long-term commitment that comes with a perennial one.

Think about ways to share seasonal content in a time-bound manner. You might establish a newsletter like:

  • A weekly plan to help your followers achieve a discreet goal (ex., A fitness studio might launch a 10-week exercise plan to get fit for summer)
  • A series of tips leading up to a set holiday or date (ex., A tutoring organization might share a weekly piece of advice for parents whose children are preparing for the June SAT date)
  • A newsletter that explores different customer viewpoints or approaches in each edition around a shared topic (ex., A home goods store shows how five different customers choose to celebrate the Easter holiday—their favorite traditions, decor styles, table settings, and more)

Draft a how-to blog

The best blog content provides value to your audience, and what’s more valuable than your expertise?

Sharing your knowledge through how-to blog content can do great things for your brand. It’s how you build trust with a new audience and position yourself as the go-to source for learning and advice.

march blog post ideas - example march blog post march blog post ideas - example march blog post

Lawn Love created a seasonal blog post that also worked its geography into the title to help with local search. That’s a win-win!

Want to take your blog content up a level? Include high-quality images! This helps break up the text, makes your piece more scannable, and adds further context to your written content.

Design an infographic

Visual aids are a powerful thing. Research shows that 40% of people respond better to visual information than plain text.

Infographics are a great way to help your audience retain useful statistics, regardless of their learning style. Plus, they’re highly shareable. When you include your logo and website on your infographic, you enjoy free promotion whenever someone reshares it.

March into spring with a host of March content ideas

When you approach the process of content creation with a strategy-first mindset, you set yourself up for success. Speaking to seasonal trends and timely topics empowers you to take your content marketing to the next level with relevant, intriguing blogs, videos, and more that will delight your audience and serve your business goals.

Here is our list of popular March content ideas:

  1. Post some short-form videos
  2. Host a webinar
  3. Launch a seasonal newsletter
  4. Draft a how-to blog
  5. Design an infographic



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