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How to Create Content for Every Stage of the Buyer’s Journey

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How to Create Content for Every Stage of the Buyer's Journey

No one wakes up in the morning and decides, “I’m going to buy something today.” Instead, they go through a path to purchase that includes research and evaluation before committing to a sales call.

That journey is called the buyer’s journey. Because consumers are more informed and empowered than ever, it’s important to deeply understand your buyer persona and their journey so you can create content that helps them along that path while positioning you as an authority in your space.

In this post, we’ll cover:

Understanding the Buyer’s Journey in Marketing

In most cases, with the exception of impulse buys, an individual begins their journey in an “unaware stage.” This individual likely fits the demographics of your ideal client, also known as your buyer persona, but they are unaware of your product or in need of it.

However, they may experience a triggering event that changes their situation or pain that needs to be solved. This kicks off their buyer’s journey.

buyer's journey graphic showing progression through the awareness stage, consideration stage and decision stage

Let’s say that an individual wants to kick off a personal fitness journey. They may not immediately decide to purchase a gym membership. This individual may take to the internet to learn more and make decisions as they progress through the following stages in their buyer’s journey, and it’s our job to assist them in that decision-making process.

Awareness Stage

In the awareness stage, the buyer is experiencing a problem or symptoms of a pain, and their goal is to alleviate it. They may be looking for informational resources to more clearly understand, frame, and give a name to their problem.

An example of a search query a prospect might begin with is: “How do I get stronger?” In the awareness stage, they are not yet thinking about solutions or providers; it’s much too early for that. Instead, they’re looking to contextualize their problem first. As a content marketer, you’ll want to show up in search engine results, even in these early stages, to establish your authority and gain the trust of buyers who are starting the journey.

Consideration Stage

In the consideration stage, the buyer will have clearly defined and given a name to their problem, and they are committed to researching and understanding all of the available approaches and/or methods to solving the defined problem or opportunity. In other words, they are considering potential solutions.

An example of a search inquiry a prospect would make at the consideration stage is: “What’s better: going to a gym or hiring a personal trainer?” In the consideration stage, the prospect is not yet ready to buy, but they are deciding on the potential solution for them. Your goal will be to consider your indirect competitors and educate them on the pros and cons.

Decision Stage

Once they’ve progressed to the decision stage, the buyer has decided on their solution strategy, method, or approach. Their goal now is to compile a list of available vendors, make a short list, and ultimately make a final purchase decision.

An example of a search inquiry a prospect would make at the decision stage is: “Planet Fitness vs. Gold’s Gym.” Now they’re ready to spend money, and they’ll likely go with a provider that they like, know, and trust so long as that provider can meet their needs.

Why Creating Content for the Buyer’s Journey Is Important

As in all marketing disciplines, it’s essential to understand your audience: how they think, the answers they seek, and the path they tend to take to find a solution. From that research, you can begin crafting a documented content strategy that maps your content to the various stages of the buyer’s journey.

When you don’t completely understand your audience, a disconnect is created between your business and your potential customers. For content marketers, this usually means you’re putting out content that your readers don’t really relate to, which can cause you to lose them.

To avoid this, you’ll have to consider the stage they’re at in their journey, how to meet them there, and the best channels to put the content in front of them. The internet has made it easier for marketers (and salespeople) to engage customers at the various stages of their journey using content marketing. That’s one of the main reasons that 60% of marketers consider content as ‘very important’ or ‘extremely important’ to their overall strategy.

However, it can be challenging to create the right content, for the right people, at the right time.

Building a content strategy starts with identifying the types of content you’ll need to reach your audience according to their progression through the buyer’s journey, and we’ll guide you through it in terms of both the marketing flywheel.

Creating Content for Each Stage of the Buyer’s Journey

Once you have an idea of your buyer persona and how prospects move closer to purchase, you can begin creating content for your buyer at different stages and tailor that content per channel.

Doing so can help you map your content to the relevant stages of the buyer’s journey to make a marketing funnel.

  • Awareness Stage: The stage where people look for answers, resources, education, research data, opinions, and insight.
  • Consideration Stage: The stage where people are doing heavy research on whether or not your product or service is a good fit for them.
  • Decision Stage: The stage where people figure out exactly what it would take to become a customer.

Your journey may look very different depending on your industry, business model, product, pricing, and audience. Some B2C customers, for example, spend very little time in the middle of the buyer’s journey compared to B2B customers that require far more nurturing, engagement, and relationship development before a purchase is made. A $50 pair of sneakers, for instance, requires a lot less hand-holding when it comes to making purchase decisions than a $10,000 business software investment.

Content Ideas for Each Stage of the Buyer’s Journey

Because audiences can vary widely based on industry and intent, persona research is of the utmost importance. By understanding their unique process for awareness and evaluation, you can create a truly effective content marketing strategy packed with custom content that best supports their journey toward making a purchase.

content for each stage of the buyer's journey: awareness consideration decision stage examples

So let’s take it from the top and start from the beginning of the buyer’s journey.

At the awareness stage, a buyer is trying to solve problems, get an answer, or meet a need. They’re looking for top-level educational content to help direct them to a solution, like blog posts, social content, and ebooks. Their value as a lead is low because there’s no guarantee that they’ll buy from you. But those who find your content helpful and interesting may journey on to the middle of the funnel.

content for each stage of the buyer's journey: awareness stage with example search inquiry

The ideal channels for the awareness stage may include:

  • Blogging
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing

Let’s run through the different content formats best suited for these channels.

1. Blog Post

A blog post is an ideal piece of content targeting the awareness stage. By targeting a pain, problem, or topic your target audience wants to discover and then posting it to your website, you’re creating a brand asset that’s crawlable by Google and discoverable by search engine users. You can also promote your blog content across other channels.

content formats for the awareness stage: blog post

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Arel=”noopener” target=”_blank” hrefs is an excellent example of a brand that does blog content right. They include original data and informational advice to create long-form articles that serve their audience.

Featured Resource: 6 Free Blog Post Templates

6 free blog post templates hubspot resource

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2. Social Media Post

Social media is a channel that can be used to promote your other content, and you can also create content specifically for the channel. According to Pew Research, 72% of the public uses some form of social media, so your audience is likely native to this channel. Unlike blog posts, social media posts are likely in shorter form, and video consumption is also on the rise.

content formats for the awareness stage: social media post linkedin example

In the above example, HubSpot Agency Partner Yokel Local shares attractive customer marketing tips on the LinkedIn platform. SlideShare formats are popular on LinkedIn, so the content is created to be snackable with short-form take-aways.

3. Whitepaper

A whitepaper is an organization’s report or guide on a particular topic. Whitepapers are especially useful as downloadable offers when readers want to go more in-depth on a specific subject they’re reading about. For whitepapers, it’s essential to provide information that can’t be found elsewhere so that your audience understands the report’s value and is compelled to get it.

content formats for the awareness stage: whitepaper

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Every year, HubSpot publishes a survey on the state of marketing to provide helpful guidance based on thought leadership to marketers, sales professionals, and business owners. Inside, readers find statistics from a broad survey and industry experts’ opinions on what the data means and where the industry is going.

4. Checklist

For complicated tasks with many moving parts, individuals may simply want a blueprint that spells out what they’re supposed to do to achieve their end goal.

content format for the awareness stage: checklist

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Buying a home is a perfect example of this, and Opendoor meets its audience’s needs by providing a handy checklist (in infographic form!) for the reader that spells out all the steps that need to be taken. The graphic is aesthetically pleasing and even allows room for a few tips along the way.

5. How-To Video

Sometimes, the best way to solve a pain or problem is to learn a new skill. Sure, a purchase of some kind may be required along the way, but the audience may need to become more informed about the problem and how to solve it. That’s where instructional video content comes in.

HubSpot Marketing has a series of videos dedicated to teaching viewers about where SEO principles are broken down to the audience in easy-to-understand language and visuals. Knowing that SEO is a complex subject, the Marketing team aims to make it accessible to viewers.

6. Kit or Tool

Informational content provided to a broader audience may not always be enough for your buyer persona to make a decision or take action. In some cases, they may require a little more utility or personalization. That’s why kits and tools are a great piece of content to create to help the reader along their path to purchase.

content format for the awareness stage: kit or tool

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Nerdwallet creates content around several financial topics, budgeting being one of them. It can be challenging to create a budget, though, so they developed a calculator that allows users to provide their own numbers to receive a customized recommendation.

7. Ebook or Tip Sheet

Like whitepapers, ebooks and tip sheets are great options for downloadable content. In contrast, they tend to be shorter form and more actionable.

content format for the awareness stage: ebook or tip sheet

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CoSchedule combines a few tactics by promoting their headline analyzer tool with a blog post about writing great headlines that drive traffic. On that blog post, they include a great tip sheet of powerful words to include in headlines if you want to catch a reader’s attention.

Featured Resource: 36 Free Ebook Templates

36 free ebook templates hubspot resource

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8. Educational Webinar

A webinar is a web seminar where information is typically provided through video. A webinar can be prerecorded or streamed live, which opens up many possibilities to disseminate information to an audience who wants more visual and auditory content.

content formats for the awareness stage: webinar

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SEMrush makes webinars a key part of its content marketing strategy, often running a valuable topic multiple times to get more mileage out of the content.

Moving on from awareness stage content, let’s delve into the next stage of the buyer’s journey.

When someone moves into the consideration stage, it means you’ve captured their attention. They know they have a problem that has to be solved, and now they’re trying to discover the best solution. The need for a future purchase commitment creeps up as they’re evaluating their options.

This stage is typically a point of extended engagement where you’re nurturing a lead, building a relationship, and establishing trust between the audience and your brand.

The ideal channels for your consideration stage may include:

  • Website or Blogging
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media

Let’s go through the best content formats for this part of the buyer’s journey.

1. Product Comparison Guides

In the consideration stage, the buyer persona still considers solutions to their pain or problem. For this reason, product comparisons are a great way to help them decide.

content format for the consideration stage: product comparison guide example from very well fit that reads "pros and cons of hiit training"

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Verywell Fit provides such a comparison to help their readers choose between high-intensity workouts vs. steady-state cardio, providing the pros and cons and use cases for each.

2. Case Study

A case study can be used in both the consideration and decision stages simultaneously by convincing the reader that the solution works by establishing that the provider achieves results for their clients by administering the solution. A good case study will appeal to the emotions and logic of the persona by providing detailed information and quantitative data on the final solution.

content format for the consideration stage: case study example from bluleadz that reads "lead generation strategy lands 77 new clients for credit counseling agency"

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HubSpot Partner Agency Blueleadz tells a story about their client and their problems while providing a detailed account of how they solved them.

Featured Resource: 3 Free Case Study Templates

case study creation kit hubspot resource

Download for Free

3. Free Sample

A free sample is another example of content or an offer that overlaps between the buyer’s journey stages. Consider this: An individual wants to paint the inside of their home but doesn’t know what color.

As they consider which color (the solution), they pick up paint chip cards from their hardware store. A provider creates these cards based on their individual solution. When the individual falls in love with a color, they already know who the provider is that makes it.

content format for the consideration stage: free sample example from 4colorprint that depicts a pack of sample business cards

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SILKCARDS taps into this buying behavior by offering samples of their unique printing methods on the content that they create. They know their business is tactile, and digital content alone is not enough to close a deal. Once their prospective customer holds the sample in their hands, other business cards are put to shame.

So now that you’ve provided content to help customers list out or sample their options, it’s time to move them into the decision stage.

the buyer's journey decision stage with example inquiry

As prospects near the end of the buyer’s journey, they’re evaluating providers down to specific or specialized offerings.

Marketers, in turn, want to go above and beyond their expectations and provide an easy and frictionless customer experience that can win them over their competitors.

Handling objections, remove hesitation, position ahead of comp

The ideal channels for your decision stage content may include:

  • Website
  • Email Marketing
  • Live Chat and Chatbots for Service

With your prospects getting increasingly interested, let’s go through the content formats that can help them get closer to purchase.

1. Free Trial or Live Demo

What better way to know if you want to purchase a product than take it for a spin? Car dealerships have used the “test drive” tactic for years because it works. If the product itself checks all the boxes the buyer has, all the sales team has to do is handle their objections and make the close.

content format for the decision stage: free trial or demo

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Hellosign does this well. Though they have a free option with limitations, they know that offering a free trial upfront is the key to getting clients into their larger tiers. Their pricing page sets the prospect’s expectations and points them to the free trial.

2. Consultation Offer

A consultation is another example of providing just a little bit of service in exchange for the opportunity to close the sale. The best consultation reduces the anxiety of entering into a sales conversation by promising something concrete they can walk away with (a strategy or actionable advice) in exchange for their time.

content format for the decision stage: consultation offer from blkbld & co that reads 'for our initial consultation, we will discuss what you are looking to do, your budget, my marketing plans you can execute & lastly the next steps"

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Blk Bld & Co.’s consultation offer is a great example because it reduces the friction of scheduling a consultation. By removing friction, this organization increases the chances of conversion.

3. Coupon

A coupon appeals to a fear of missing out (FOMO) mindset. By reducing the price by a certain amount, a coupon is handing a price objection while convincing the prospect that they’re leaving money on the table if they don’t use the coupon. This inertia is enough to win the prospect’s business.

content format for the decision stage: coupon

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Fragrant Jewels does this well by gamifying its coupons. By spinning the wheel, the website visitors have the chance to get a coupon before checking out the products. They’ll likely evaluate the products that are a good deal with the coupon they won.

In addition to decision stage content, you should create content to delight your existing customers. This may include FAQ and knowledge base content to make the customer experience more accessible, coupons for the opportunity to upsell, and additional educational content that deepens their understanding of a topic.

Mapping Content Across All Stages of the Buying Cycle

Every business offers a unique buyer’s journey that can’t necessarily be replicated from one business to another. When creating your buyer’s journey, you must understand your audience and develop a strategy that maps custom content specific to each phase of their journey through the process.

If you do it well, it can have a significant impact on your customer relationships and lift your overall conversions.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Blog - Content Mapping Template

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Amazon Announces Auction System for FBA Storage Space [What Sellers Need to Know]

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Amazon Announces Auction System for FBA Storage Space [What Sellers Need to Know]

Amazon’s FBA program is a tremendous asset for brands who sell products on the platform. With FBA, retailers can outsource the heavy lifting of logistics such as warehousing, fulfillment, and distribution for a fee. In the last few years, sellers have expressed the need for more capacity, predictability, and control over their inventory. Amazon’s recent update helps sellers tackle those challenges and so much more.

Amazon just announced a new streamlined FBA capacity management system that will go into effect on March 1, 2023. With this new system in place, Amazon FBA will be turned into an auction where sellers can bid for additional storage space.

The system will now incorporate a single, month-long FBA capacity limit rather than weekly restock limits that can make inventory planning challenging for sellers. Now, capacity limits for the upcoming month will be announced in the third full week of each month via the Capacity Monitor in Seller Central and email notification. According to Amazon, the majority of sellers will now have access to greater capacity volumes than before.

With this new update, Amazon also announced they will provide estimated limits for the following two months to help sellers plan over a longer period. In a recent blog post highlighting the announcement, Dharmesh Mehta, Vice President of Amazon Worldwide Selling Partner Services stated, “We will forecast how much space and labor we expect to have to provide these estimates, but these estimates may vary up or down based on how efficiently sellers are using their capacity, as measured by the Inventory Performance Index (IPI) score.”

With the new Capacity Manager in place, sellers will also be able to request additional capacity based on a reservation fee that they specify. Mehta noted…

“Requests are granted objectively, starting with the highest reservation fee per cubic foot until all capacity available under this program has been allocated. When additional capacity is granted, sellers’ reservation fees are offset by earning performance credits from the sales they generate using the extra capacity. Performance credits are designed to offset up to 100% of the reservation fee, so sellers don’t pay for the additional capacity as long as their products sell through.

 

Our goal is to provide sellers with more control over how much space they can have while limiting unproductive use. We’ve piloted this feature with certain US sellers, and we’re excited that with this launch, we will expand it so all sellers can request higher FBA capacity limits.”

 

The recent announcement also highlighted how Amazon will set capacity limits and measure sellers’ inventory usage in cubic feet (vs. number of units), which better represents the capacity sellers’ products use in our fulfillment centers and transportation vehicles. As many sellers prefer to plan in units, Amazon will continue to show inventory usage in units but will also provide an estimate of how many units specific cubic volume capacity limits are likely to permit.

 

Tinuiti’s Take on the New FBA Capacity System

 

Change is certainly on the horizon. Let’s hear from Tinuiti’s own Bjorn Johnson on tips for how you can prepare for the FBA change coming March 1st.

“These changes are likely to be impactful, especially to sellers with larger products. Amazon reverting to cubic foot-based storage limits is likely to reintroduce previous issues for these clients in maintaining healthy inventory levels. Their difficulties look to be exacerbated by the addition of the bidding system. In order to keep their already high-fulfillment-fee products in stock, they’ll need to bid on large amounts of space. On the other hand, sellers with smaller products are likely to be able to store more units than before, and have the flexibility to bid on smaller amounts of space. The decision from Amazon looks like a clear effort to encourage small, light, easy-to-ship and fulfill products.”

– Bjorn Johnson, Operations Manager at Tinuiti

 

Want to Learn More About the New Auction System for FBA Storage Space?

 

We will continue to keep you informed as we learn more about the new FBA capacity system. If you’re interested in learning more about our Amazon offerings or if you have any questions concerning FBA, contact us today.

 

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How to optimize your online forms and checkouts

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How to optimize your online forms and checkouts



Forms are probably the most important part of your customer journey. They are the final step where the user entrusts you with their precious personal information in exchange for the goods or services you’ve promised.

And yet, too many companies spend minimal time on making sure their form experience is a good one for their users. They don’t use data to establish where the UX problems are on their forms, and they don’t run form-specific experiments to determine how to improve their conversion rate. As a result, too many forms are unnecessarily driving potential customers away, burning potential revenue and leads that could have been converted if they had only spent a little time and effort on optimization. Two-thirds of people who start a form don’t go on to complete it, meaning that a lot of money is being left on the table.

This article contains some of our top tips to help optimize your forms + checkouts with the goal of improving their conversion rate and delivering more customers and leads.

Use data to identify your problem fields

While user testing and session replay tools are useful in identifying possible form issues, you should also be using a specialist form analytics tool, as this will allow you to quantify the scale of the problem – where are most people dropping out – and prioritize improvements accordingly. A good form analytics tool will have advanced insights that will help work out what the problem is as well, giving you a head start on creating hypotheses for testing.

A/B test your forms

We’ve already mentioned how important it is to nurture your forms like any other part of your website. This also applies to experimentation. Your A/B testing tool such as Optimizely should allow you to easily put together a test to see if your hypothesis will improve your conversion rate. If there is also an integration with your form analytics tool you should then be able to push the test variants into it for further analysis.

Your analytics data and user testing should guide your test hypothesis, but some aspects you may want to look at are:

  • Changing the error validation timing (to trigger upon input rather than submission)
  • Breaking the form into multiple steps rather than a single page
  • Removing or simplifying problem fields
  • Manage user expectations by adding a progress bar and telling them how long the form will take upfront
  • Removing links to external sites so they are not distracted
  • Re-wording your error messages to make them more helpful

Focus on user behavior after a failed submission

Potential customers who work their way through their form, inputting their personal information, before clicking on the final ‘Submit’ button are your most valuable. They’ve committed time and effort to your form; they want what you are offering. If they click that button but can’t successfully complete the form, something has gone wrong, and you will be losing conversions that you could have made.

Fortunately, there are ways to use your form data to determine what has gone wrong so you can improve the issue.

Firstly, you should look at your error message data for this particular audience. Which messages are shown when they click ‘Submit? What do they do then? Do they immediately abandon, or do they try to fix the issue?

If you don’t have error message tracking (or even if you do), it is worth looking at a Sankey behavior flow for your user’s path after a failed submission. This audience will click the button then generally jump back to the field they are having a problem with. They’ll try to fix it, unsuccessfully, then perhaps bounce back and forth between the problem field a couple of times before abandoning in frustration. By looking at the flow data, you can determine the most problematic fields and focus your attention there.

Microcopy can make the checkout experience less stressful

If a user is confused, it makes their form/checkout experience much less smooth than it otherwise could be. Using microcopy – small pieces of explanatory information – can help reduce anxiety and make it more likely that they will complete the form.

Some good uses of microcopy on your forms could be:

  • Managing user expectations. Explain what information they need to enter in the form so they can have it on hand. For example, if they are going to need their driver’s licence, then tell them so.
  • Explain fields. Checkouts often ask for multiple addresses. Think “Current Address”, “Home Address” and “Delivery Address”. It’s always useful to make it clear exactly what you mean by these so there is no confusion.
  • Field conditions. If you have strict stipulations on password creation, make sure you tell the user. Don’t wait until they have submitted to tell them you need special characters, capital letters, etc.
  • You can often nudge the user in a certain direction with a well-placed line of copy.
  • Users are reluctant to give you personal information, so explaining why you need it and what you are going to do with it is a good idea.

A good example of reassuring microcopy

Be careful with discount codes

What is the first thing a customer does if they are presented with a discount code box on an ecommerce checkout? That’s right, they open a new browser tab and go searching for vouchers. Some of them never come back. If you are using discount codes, you could be driving customers away instead of converting them. Some studies show that users without a code are put off purchasing when they see the discount code box.

Fortunately, there are ways that you can continue to offer discount codes while mitigating the FOMO that users without one feel:

  • Use pre-discounted links. If you are offering a user a specific discount, email a link rather than giving them a code, which will only end up on a discount aggregator site.
  • Hide the coupon field. Make the user actively open the coupon box rather than presenting them with it smack in the middle of the flow.
  • Host your own offers. Let every user see all the offers that are live so they can be sure that they are not missing out.
  • Change the language. Follow Amazon’s lead and combine the Gift Card & Promotional Codes together to make it less obvious.

An example from Amazon on how to make the discount code field less prominent

Get error messages right

Error messages don’t have to be bad UX. If done right, they can help guide users through your form and get them to commit.

How do you make your error messages useful?

  • Be clear that they are errors. Make the messages standout from the form – there is a reason they are always in red.
  • Be helpful. Explain exactly what the issue is and tell the user how to fix it. Don’t be ambiguous.

Don’t do this!

  • Display the error next to the offending field. Don’t make the user have to jump back to the top of the form to find out what is wrong.
  • Use microcopy. As noted before, if you explain what they need to do early, they users are less likely to make mistakes.

Segment your data by user groups

Once you’ve identified an issue, you’ll want to check whether it affects all your users or just a specific group. Use your analytics tools to break down the audience and analyze this. Some of the segmentations you might want to look at are:

  • Device type. Do desktop and mobile users behave differently?
  • Operating system. Is there a problem with how a particular OS renders your form?
  • New vs. returning. Are returning users more or less likely to convert than first timers?
  • Do different product buyers have contrasting expectations of the checkout?
  • Traffic source. Do organic sources deliver users with higher intent than paid ones?

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Om författaren

Alun Lucas is the Managing Director of Zuko Analytics. Zuko is an Optimizely partner that provides form optimization software that can identify when, where and why users are abandoning webforms and help get more customers successfully completing your forms.


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3 Smart Bidding Strategies To Help You Get the Most Out of Your Google Ads

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3 Smart Bidding Strategies To Help You Get the Most Out of Your Google Ads

Now that we’ve officially settled into the new year, it’s important to reiterate that among the most effective ways to promote your business are Google Ads. Not only do Google Ads increase your brand visibility, but they also make it easier for you to sell your services and products while generating more traffic to your website.

The thing about Google Ads, though, is that setting up (and running) a Google Ads campaign isn’t easy – in fact, it’s pretty beginner-unfriendly and time-consuming. And yet, statistically speaking, no platform does what Google Ads can do when it comes to audience engagement and outreach. Therefore, it will be beneficial to learn about and adopt some smart bidding strategies that can help you get the most out of your Google Ads.

To that end, let’s check out a few different bidding strategies you can put behind your Google Ads campaigns, how these strategies can maximize the results of your Google Ads, and the biggest benefits of each strategy.

Smart bidding in Google Ads: what does it mean, anyway?

Before we cover the bidding strategies that can get the most out of your Google Ads, let’s define what smart bidding means. Basically, it lets Google Ads optimize your bids for you. That doesn’t mean that Google replaces you when you leverage smart bidding, but it does let you free up time otherwise spent on keeping track of the when, how, and how much when bidding on keywords.

The bidding market is simply too big – and changing too rapidly – for any one person to keep constant tabs on it. There are more than 5.5 billion searches that Google handles every day, and most of those searches are subject to behind-the-scenes auctions that determine which ads display based on certain searches, all in a particular order.

That’s where smart bidding strategies come in: they’re a type of automated bidding strategy to generate more conversions and bring in more money, increasing your profits and cash flow. Smart bidding is your way of letting Google Ads know what your goals are (a greater number of conversions, a goal cost per conversion, more revenue, or a better ROAS), after which Google checks what it’s got on file for your current conversion data and then applies that data to the signals it gets from its auctions.

Types of smart bidding strategies

Now that you know what smart bidding in Google Ads is and why it’s important, let’s cover the best smart bidding strategies you can use to your advantage.

Maximize your conversions

The goal of this strategy is pretty straightforward: maximize your conversions and get the most out of your budget’s allocation toward said conversions. Your conversions, be they a form submission, a customer transaction, or a simple phone call, are something valuable that you want to track and, of course, maximize.

The bottom line here is simply generating the greatest possible number of conversions for your budget. This strategy can potentially become costly, so remember to keep an eye on your cost-per-click and how well your spending is staying inside your budget.

If you want to be extra vigilant about keeping conversion costs in a comfy range, you can define a CPA goal for your maximize conversions strategy (assuming you’ve got this feature available).

Target cost per acquisition

The purpose behind this strategy is to meet or surpass your cost-per-acquisition objective that’s tied to your daily budget. When it comes to this strategy, it’s important to determine what your cost-per-acquisition goal is for the strategy you’re pursuing.

In most cases, your target cost per acquisition goal will be similar to the 30-day average you’ve set for your Google Ads campaign. Even if this isn’t going to be your end-all-be-all CPA goal, you’ll want to use this as a starting point.

You’ll have lots of success by simply leveraging target cost per acquisition on a campaign-by-campaign basis, but you can take this one step further by creating a single tCPA bid strategy that you share between every single one of your campaigns. This makes the most sense when running campaigns with identical CPA objectives. That’s because you’ll be engaging with a bidding strategy that’s fortified with a lot of aggregate data from which Google’s algorithm can draw, subsequently endowing all of your campaigns with some much-needed experience.

Maximize clicks

As its name implies, this strategy centers around ad optimization to gain as many clicks as possible based on your budget. We recommend using the maximize clicks strategy if you’re trying to drive more traffic to your website. The best part? Getting this strategy off the ground is about as easy as it gets.

All you need to do to get started with maximizing clicks is settle on a maximum cost-per-click that you then earmark. Once that’s done, you can decide how much money you want to shell out every time you pay for a bid. You don’t actually even need to specify an amount per bid since Google will modify your bids for you to maximize your clicks automatically.

Picture this: you’ve got a website you’re running and want to drive more traffic to it. You decide to set your maximum bid per click at $2.5. Google looks at your ad, adjusts it to $3, and automatically starts driving more clicks per ad (and more traffic to your site), all without ever going over the budget you set for your Google Ads campaign.

Slutsats

If you’ve been using manual bidding until now, you probably can’t help but admit that you spend way too much time wrangling with it. There are plenty of other things you’d rather be – and should be – spending your time on. Plus, bids change so quickly that trying to keep up with them manually isn’t even worth it anymore.

Thankfully, you’ve now got a better grasp on automated and smart bidding after having read through this article, and you’re aware of some important options you have when it comes to strategies for automated bidding. Now’s a good time to explore even more Google Ads bidding strategies and see which ones make the most sense when it comes to your unique and long-term business objectives. Settle on a strategy and then give it a whirl – you’ll only know whether a strategy is right for you after you’ve tested it time and time again. Good luck!

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