Facebook Ad Options to Consider

We all know that organic reach for brands has been choked off. To reach our audience, we need to have a paid strategy. Facebook has a wide range of ad formats, targeting options, and campaign types, so you want to do some research before you dive in.

Facebook Ad Types to Consider

Engagement Ads on Wall Posts

Engagement ads are shown to the people who are most likely to engage with your post.

Lead Ads

Facebook Lead Ads are both an ad and a landing page where people can respond to your call to action. With Lead Ads, you can collect information from potential customers.

You can use these ads to get people to sign up for your email newsletter, volunteer, schedule appointments, and more.

Video Ads

Video ads can be more memorable than ads with text and images. To create one, you upload the video to Facebook’s native video player, customize the description, thumbnail, budget, and targeting.

Carousel Ads

Carousel Ads display multiple images or videos within the same ad. Each image or video can link to a different page of your website.

Try Remarketing

Facebook’s remarketing lets you reach people who’ve already interacted with your brand in some way. Maybe they visited your website (or a specific page on it), took some sort of action in your app or game, or gave you their email address or phone number.

Facebook tags these people via web cookies. Your remarketing ads can then be shown to those people as they go through their Facebook News Feed, so they’ll remember you, and perhaps convert on one of your offers.

Use the Facebook Pixel

Facebook’s tracking pixel tracks actions that happen on your website as a result of your paid ads (as well as your organic posts). All you have to do is add code to any pages you want to track.

Actions include things like adding an item to a cart, viewing content, making a purchase, and completing registration.

 

9 Tips for Great Email Marketing

You need an email marketing strategy. You really do.

Email is used by 3 billion people. If you’re doing business in the developed world, your customers are actively using email. Some other stats to consider:

  • According to Constant Contact, for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $38.
  • According to Forrester, people are twice as likely to sign up for your email list as they are to interact with you on Facebook.
  • Email has a higher conversion rate than social media and search COMBINED.

Like your other marketing efforts, email needs to be approached strategically. With a plan that outlines goals and activities, you will be more successful. Plus, when you define what you want to achieve, it becomes much easier to make course corrections to keep you on track for success.

As you develop your email marketing strategy, address these 9 tips:

  1. Set goals: Define what you want to accomplish with email outreach. Be specific – what will success look like?
  2. Have a calendar: Create a calendar for your messages. Define what messages will be sent and when. A calendar ensures that you cover all your topics. It also helps you to be consistent, a trait that helps recipients get comfortable with your messages.
  3. Personalize: Use personalization options in your email marketing tool of choice to make sure your messages speak directly to each recipient.
  4. Think small screen: Most emails get read on the small screen of a smart phone. Make sure your design looks great and your content does not overwhelm.
  5. Segment your subscribers: All subscribers are not the same. Send messages that reward active subscribers with perks and others that engage inactive subscribers. See Tip 2 – make sure your messages address recipient needs.
  6. Allow recipients to respond to a real person: No one wants to communicate with a generic info@ mailbox. Messages should be clearly from a person. Responses should go to that person.
  7. Call to action in every message: I get your email and I open it. What do you want from me? Make the desired action clear. Stick to a single, explicit call to action for the best results.
  8. Analyze your data: Pay attention to your message data over time. Look for trends. What does the data tell you about the topics, timing, etc that resonate best for your recipients?
  9. Adjust: As you follow these steps, look for insights that help you to refine your efforts. Never hesitate to make adjustments. That great idea that didn’t get any opens isn’t as great as you thought. Let it go and spend your time finding a better message that does work.

A New Way of Approaching Digital Content

Guest post by Carrie Hane, Principal Strategist & Founder of Tanzen, and author of Designing Connected Content: Plan and Model Digital Products for Today and Tomorrow

Maybe you’ve felt it too. Time speeding up. Technology changes overnight.

Personalization isn’t the future, it’s what people demand now. If you’re a marketer, web manager, or communications director, it can seem like a losing battle to keep up with the amount of content you need to publish, let alone all the places it needs to show up.

You aren’t alone. And there is hope! The future isn’t going to wait for you, but you can be ready for whatever it holds.

The key is a deliberate, forward-looking way of planning and creating content, which can address many challenges organizations face in 2018:

  • Too much content
  • Too many channels
  • Siloed content creation
  • Frequent, expensive website redesign projects
  • Content in too many systems
  • Constant technology changes

The time is now to rethink how you approach creating and publishing content to maximize investment, make experiences coherent across devices and platforms, and ensure you meet audience needs effectively and efficiently.

Start thinking about content in a broader context, outside of an interface. Design content that is stored, structured, and connected outside any user interface, in a way that’s readable and understandable by both humans and computers.

Shifting your approach benefits the business and its customers, the people working on the content, design teams, stakeholders, and the web as a whole.

Content Is an Investment

Designing content that is future-friendly and connected across multiple channels provides a long-term return on investment. Think about how to better invest in digital content now to be in a better position in the long run.

Make Content Work Harder

Content is the whole point of what businesses do – and what people want. Each piece of content needs to match a defined user need and business objective to give it meaning and provide a way to measure value.

A piece of content hardly ever gets viewed only on a single web page and nowhere else. Rather than recreating it for each channel, create it once and publish it everywhere. Think of yourself as a curator. Break content into its smallest pieces and mix and match it in many ways. Tell many stories with those pieces by reorganizing the content parts, creating new displays, and curating the what appears in those displays.

Help People Find Your Content

Content is only useful if it can be found. In a world of billions of web pages, people rely on search engines to get them where they want to go. In a competitive world it takes more than keyword research to make it to the top of search engine results.

Search engines want entities, a single content resource per thing, no matter how many ways it is chunked up and displayed. All that almost-the same-but separate content written by different teams within the same company confuses search engines and the people trying to figure out which link to click. Have an organization-wide plan for publishing that includes creating content that your audience cares about and uses technology and content structure in a way that allows Google’s web crawlers to easily find and display it.

Be Ready For New technology

It is impossible to account for every device and screen size and viewport that exists today, let alone the ones that we’ll have in three years. We need to plan for a seemingly infinite combination of delivery methods and use cases. That means making content machine-readable, ready for any artificial intelligence to repurpose and deliver it.

If content requires visual cues that rely on human inference to interpret meaning, there is no way for it to be ready for voice recognition tools, smart homes, or wearables. It may be hard to imagine that your content may show up on someone’s wrist or on a thermostat. But many businesses couldn’t believe that their content would be accessed on such a small screen as a smartphone. Don’t be left behind just because you can’t imagine the next disrupting device or information delivery method. Make it accessible to algorithms and portable to go from one system to another.

Increase Return on Investment

Content is expensive. Digital products need to pay their own way, delivering on business and customer needs. The continuous cycle of spending five, six, or even seven figures regularly on new websites that don’t deliver results is a drag on the bottom line. Be prepared to justify the expense and show how your content contributes to revenue. Plan content with an eye on reuse and longevity to keep costs down while improving revenue streams.

What’s Next

Until the 20th century, human knowledge doubled every 100 years. By 1945, it was doubling every 25 years. Thanks to the world wide web, it is now estimated to double every 13 months. That is going to keep getting faster.

As technology becomes more advanced, it disappears. Trends in interface design continue to evolve. Voice skills and chatbots are just the latest information delivery methods. And they are finding their place alongside websites and apps, not replacing them.

Change is the only constant. People’s expectations change as technology shifts behaviors. Content drives engagement. More and more, people expect the right content to come to them at just the right time. Personalization and ubiquity will shape the future of content. Is your content ready to be everywhere and delivered with a precision to the people it’s meant for?

Overwhelmed? Rest assured that help exists. Like so much in life, the first step is identifying that there is another way, then you can figure out how to follow the new path. Luckily there are resources to help you make all of this happen. One of those resources is Designing Connected Content: Plan and Model Digital Products for Today and Tomorrow. This book offers a process for building a framework to make future-ready content a reality.

It’s not necessarily a straight path from wherever you are now to being completely future-friendly, but even the smallest step can bring big results. If not now, when?