What is Guerrilla Marketing and How It Can Help Your Brand?

Let’s be fair - advertising is all about getting the attention of people. At the end of the day, your goal as a business or a marketer is to get your target audience to do something - subscribe, watch a video, buy something, etc. As time goes by, brands have to find more ways to be creative in their efforts to impress audiences. A good way to do that can be by integrating guerrilla marketing in their strategy in some way. 

Gorilla* marketing? What is that?! 

If you have never heard of it, it is pretty normal to get confused. And the proper term is “guerrilla marketing”. However, a lot of people get confused and think it is “gorilla” at first. This is why you see it written in this way in the heading above. Well, there is no King-Kong hopping around, but this type of marketing can be quite impressive as well. 

Guerrilla marketing is often referred to as the most unusual way of marketing. And because of that, it has a lot of fans worldwide. Over the years brands have successfully used it in their strategies in various ways. It can be traced back to the ’80s. If it is done right, the equation “low budget = high effect” will be correct. The best campaigns go viral in a matter of hours. 

By definition, guerrilla marketing is:

an advertisement strategy in which a company uses surprise and/or unconventional interactions in order to promote a product or service.

What is not said by the authors is that it is meant to catch you off guard and surprise you when you least expect it. That is the whole charm of it. 

How does guerrilla marketing work?

There are several ways that you can influence people with this type of marketing. The most popular one is to get them to interact with your brand in a fun and creative way. The conventional types of guerrilla marketing (if there are such) are the ones that place the brand outside or indoors with some sort of ad in a place you won’t expect. 

Street art, art installations, interference in the urban landscape, interference with the crowd of an event are all different ways brands can use to send their messages McDonald’s painted a crosswalk to look like a box of french fries and Adidas put a 3-meter shoebox in a middle of a town square. 

There are some common rules that apply to all of the success stories: 

  1. The message has a clear relation to the brand, product, or service - in the case of Mr.Clean, the main ones are there - better results in cleaning with less effort;

    Source: wordstream.com
    Source: wordstream.com
  2. It has to be a driver of emotion - some organizations like the UN use guerrilla marketing to raise awareness about serious issues in other parts of the world.

  3. Adopt a segment and make it yours - Red Bull and everything they do is a perfect example for this. They have taken over the segment of extreme sports and often use that in guerrilla marketing. Sponsoring the jump from the stratosphere a while ago was probably their most famous one.

However, keep in mind that like everything, there are certain pros and cons of this type of advertising. 

Pros and cons of guerrilla marketing

Like everything in life, there are some downsides here too. Let’s start with them: 

  1. If your message is not clear enough people might misunderstand what you want to communicate to them; 
  2. In some cases, you will have to deal with a lot of permits and meet with institutions if you want to get something done. Especially if you want to interfere with the urban environment; 
  3. You don’t have control over everything. You can be dependent on the weather or some other condition that has the potential to ruin all of your efforts. 

Enough of the bad news. When you look at the other side of the coin, you might consider taking the time and effort to invest in guerrilla marketing because: 

  1. You can achieve high results with relatively low investments - it can go viral quickly and even attract media attention; 
  2. Creativity is essential if you want to be successful; 
  3. It can remain “alive” for a long time if you invest in street art in some form. Or improvement of the urban landscape.

Social media and its relation to guerrilla marketing

The whole point of guerrilla marketing today is to go viral - achieving maximum exposure online and in traditional media with a single action. The really good brand message presented with guerrilla marketing will spread online like a forest fire. And that is exactly what brands and marketers strive for. For that to happen, there are two things that you have to get right:

  1. Send a clear message to the people; 
  2. Be interesting and provocative enough to spark attention. 

Besides the viral postings, you should not do guerrilla marketing as a stand-alone type of effort. It has to be integrated into your marketing strategy. Once you execute it, you can put a video of how people react, some behind-the-scenes shots. You can tease it in advance or even make a case study about it. 

If you go online you will find hundreds of good ideas on how brands have used guerrilla marketing in the past. Some of them are complicated for execution, while others are quite simple and effective. How brands use guerrilla marketing constantly evolves as a practice and we for sure will be seeing even more impressive things in the future. 

How can guerrilla marketing be useful for your brand?

We want to say it loud and clear in the beginning - DON'T COPY WHAT OTHERS DO AND DON’T USE GUERRILLA MARKETING FOR THE SAKE OF USING IT. Like everything in marketing, this is a tool that can bring you benefits if you use it right and cause disaster when you don’t. 

If you want to have success, you have to be creative and think outside the box. Is there even a way that your brand can be positioned with guerrilla marketing? What are the main strengths or unique advantages of your business that you want to communicate? Or maybe there is something specific like the opening of a new store, or releasing of a new product that you want to bring awareness to? 

It is important to know the answers to these questions before you start planning. That will give you the basis for your campaign. After that make sure that you send a clear message, that won’t confuse people and won’t be controversial. One of the textbook cases for a campaign gone wrong is the good old Cartoon Network. They installed electronic devices around the city of Boston that were mistaken for bombs. There were police, bomb squads, and a large reimbursement for the city from the company. After all, you don’t want to be going in the news with headlines like: “A toothpaste company uses “White power” as a slogan for marketing”. 

Creativity is a knife that cuts both ways - if you have a good idea, deliver it in the proper way. And we remind you again - don’t do this as a stand-alone marketing effort. Integrate it into your overall marketing campaign. And make sure you know what you are doing - in this case, it is better to do nothing rather than do it poorly. 

Finally, we can say that guerrilla marketing is an outstanding way to promote your business and send a strong message to the people. Consult with professionals with these things and discuss what is the best way to implement them. However, if you decide to do it alone you are risking a lot. Guerrilla marketing is a knife that cuts both ways. Use it wisely for your advantage and it can turn into a game-changer for your business. 


How to Create an Engaging Email Marketing Campaign?

In 2021 e-mail marketing remains a crucial aspect of the marketing strategy of every business. Email remains one of the most efficient ways to reach your potential customers. Don’t take our word for it - let’s look at some numbers

  • 59% of marketers share the insight that when it comes to revenue generation in B2B campaigns, the email is the channel they rely on the most; 
  • B2C - people who purchase email spend almost 2,5 times more money compared to online shoppers that don’t receive email promotional offers.
  • B2C - the main driver for customers, according to the retail sector is e-mail campaigns. Only 20% of retailers don’t recognize this as a useful channel - the other 80% do. 

Most people don’t realize that, but email marketing is a form of art for marketers. Sometimes there is a very thin line between marketing and spam when it comes to emails. In the great and engaging email campaigns, the small details make the difference between “good” and “genius”. 

In this article, we are going to explore how to create an engaging email marketing campaign for your brand. There are some basic rules you must follow if you want to do great with email outreach to your customers. 

The perfect email campaign - how to do it?

We are in front of the canvas for your email campaign. Let us explore together what steps you have to go through to have a masterpiece at the end of the process. 

Choosing the right platform for your campaign

The first step in creating the actual campaign is choosing what platform to build it on. Countless tools can help you with this task. You have probably heard about the most famous automated platforms for email marketing like: 

  • Mailchimp; 
  • Zoho campaigns; 
  • Campaigner. 

They include a lot of useful things that can help you set up your campaign and even campaign automation. There you can find customizable templates that will help you in creating the email you address to your clients and many useful tools to help you track the open rate of the e-mail, calculate the ROI, UTM tracking, and more. One of the great things about this type of platform is that you can automate a lot of processes you will have to otherwise do yourself, therefore will help you save time on which you can focus on your business. 

When it comes to choosing the right platform for email marketing, keep in mind that every single one has its pros and cons, including the pricing model. You can do some research and find out which will be the perfect choice for your goals and budget. 

Creating that perfect e-mail

The next step in the process is creating the email itself. Several aspects have a key role in capturing and retaining the attention of the people who will open it: 

  • The subject of the email; 
  • The visuals in the email; 
  • The content itself;  
  • Call to action. 

It may look simple but it is not. As it is said - the simple things are the ones that are hard to master. First of all, you need an amazing subject that will guarantee you that anyone receiving the email will open it. It has to be short, to the point, and informative at the same time. If we can paraphrase the old saying - a good title is like a woman’s skirt - long enough to cover what is important, but short enough to spark curiosity. The same principle applies - you are not going to tell them everything in the title but it must be engaging and click-worthy. Tease them the added value and make them open that email. Of course, there are many different angles to creating the right subject - it really depends on what is the actual email - for example, it could be a cold contact email or a promotional email, or even a newsletter - those are three very different types of emails, therefore the approach will be totally different when creating the right subject.

After this is done we are off to the header. There should be a perfectly placed and selected visual. One of the essential things you can do is check the resolution of the image needed and make it in that size. The whole email should look good and be a joy for the eye, but the header image is the first thing that people will see after they click “Open”. Make sure it is worth it and it makes you read more. 

The content of the email itself is very important too. Okay, you got the people wanting to learn more. What are you going to show them? This depends very much on the type of email you are sending out. In most cases, it can be a sales email or promotion offer. Outline the important information with bold, bullets, prices, or important conditions and quotes (if you are including references from happy customers, if you’re not - well you should definitely consider it). The reader will first “scan” the email for these important parts and if he is interested he will continue reading after that. 

Call to action (CTA) is the final and most important part. The cherry on top, in this case, the cherry can be in the middle or in the bottom. You have already got the attention of the user, you have explained your offer to them and now it is conversion time. You do that by adding a proper CTA (Call-to-action) button. It can be “Get that coupon” or “Check the new collection we have”. You want to point the engaged customers into action. After all, that was the whole purpose of the email in the first place. 

Evaluate the performance and results

The final step of the process is to evaluate what you have achieved with the campaign. At the end of the day, it is all about results. The first thing you can do is check how many people have opened the emails you send to them. 

From there on, you can compare the achievements to the goals you have set before you started. It is very important to have clear and measurable KPIs set in the beginning. Otherwise, you are not going to know what to measure. If your main purpose was to increase sales, check how many people that opened the email purchased on the website. If you had another intention in mind - check if they are achieved. If you’re new at email marketing and are just starting, don’t worry, just be sure to always measure and set your own benchmark for your audience - businesses are very different and so are people so you should have your own benchmark judging from experience.

Measuring the success of the campaign is essential for evaluating if the whole process was good or not. You might be convinced that you have created an outstanding campaign, but the numbers are the ones that speak the truth. Trust them and learn your lessons if you have to. And remember to celebrate the victories as well! 

Final words

Those are the 3 steps in creating the perfect email marketing campaign. As we said - they may look simple, but they sure are not. The good news is that out there are many perfect examples of how to create a campaign for a specific type of business. You can also generate a lot of ideas from successful campaigns that big brands and agencies have carried out. Here is a very nice website that is amazing for email marketing ideas as it collects the best of the best - be sure to subscribe to their newsletter. Just remember that you are unique and that no one knows your customers better than you. This is the secret ingredient to success. 


Do's and Don'ts in Social Media Customer Service

Congratulations! You have a lovely product or service, a great marketing strategy, and are producing engaging content that people interact with. It may seem that you have it all figured out. Not so fast! In this article, we are going to address a crucial problem that most businesses nowadays face. And it is how to ensure that they have outstanding social media customer service. Together we are going to explore the best 5 practices and the worst 5 mistakes any brand can make when taking care of their customers. This is a perfect read for all the businesses and marketers out there that want to check if they are doing things right and want to improve their customer care. 

The 5 biggest mistakes in social media customer service

We are going to start with the bad examples to give you the chills. Some of these are quite common, while others are huge red flags that something is wrong with the customer care unit. And if you think this is not so important, you’d better reconsider - according to helpcare.com, 60% of all customers say they will choose the competition if they face bad service. 

Lie to a client

As it is said - you can fool some of the people some of the time. However, you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. You should never lie to a customer. The most important thing for any brand is trust. And once you lose that you can never get it back. Another valid point - if you get caught lying, people will hear about it. Helpcare.com claims that 90% of customers share their negative experiences, and you can imagine how vocal they are going to be if you lie to them and they find out.  

Don't leave comments under posts or ads unanswered

There is a good chance that if someone leaves a comment on your page, it will be negative. Users want to express their opinion, or even ask a question, and they see the comments as the perfect way to do that. If you are not paying attention to them, you are making a mistake. Comments on social media can offer valuable feedback, and give you ideas on how to improve your business. 

Of course, some will not be relevant or will be just “hater” comments. You have the option to hide them from the comment section for the other users not to see them. We don’t recommend that you delete any comments. That can make people angry in no time.

If you handle an issue with a client in the comments of your page in a good way, a lot of people on social media will see that and you will leave a good impression. However, the perfect social media customer care specialist knows when it is time to transfer the conversation with the client on a personal message. 

Leave a client angry or unsatisfied 

Often if a client is turning to customer service, they will be confused or angry. Turning an angry client into a satisfied one is a piece of art that only the best people know how to do. However, leaving a client angry or unsatisfied after he had an interaction with a customer care representative is a very alarming sign that something is not right. People should feel satisfied even when they don’t have their needs met. 

Apologize for the experience they've had even though you know they may not be right. Try to calm them down and tell them you'll do everything you can to help. Never give exact promises, however. By doing these small things, even if the client was not happy, he or she will have had a positive experience with customer support. 

Make the client wait for a long time

Clients usually want their issues to be resolved (or their questions answered) quickly. The worst thing you can do is slap an automatic answer on your social media pages and make the person that wrote wait 2-3 days before giving them a reply. One of the best ways to ensure poor customer service is not to reply in time. 

Remember how Richard Branson turned this into an advantage? Every person that waited more than a specific time to reach customer support received some amount of money. And people were happy. You can consider some discounts or other bonuses as an apology to people that waited a long time to have their questions answered. 

You think you know it all 

The worst thing you can do in social media customer service is to think you know it all and have the best answers and procedures in place. You should constantly look for ways to improve your work and your team. Working in Social Media can be stressful, working in social media customer service can be double the stress. Make sure that you provide your team with the support they need for that as well. The emotional state of the person providing customer care is a key factor in resolving issues with angry clients. It is not only about the professional skills of the team, but also their emotional state as well. Take care of that. 

Research for new ways to increase client satisfaction and provide additional training for the team that handles social media customer service. Look for good practices all around on that specific matter. 

Top 5 things you can do to make your clients happy with social media customer service 

We have to say that most of the things in the top 5 of what you should do are just the opposite of the ones mentioned above. Great customer service is not rocket science. When you think about it, the steps to achieve are quite logical and should be a must for any business. 

Be quick and precise with your answers 

If you can provide your customers with quick and precise responses, they will be happy. Resolving issues and answering questions promptly will show them that your business cares about customer needs. This will make the brand more trustworthy and reliable. Even if resolving the issue takes some time, the client will be happy that someone got to him quickly and is taking care of his problem. And if you manage to do it the right way, there's a pretty big chance that the customer will give you another shot.

Do a follow-up on the clients

A lot of businesses never do this and they sure are missing out on a lot of potential benefits. Your social media customer service team should always check out how the clients feel after they have interacted with the brand. Here are just some cases in which you should consider doing a follow-up: 

  • Check if their issue was resolved and if they are happy with the answer they got; 
  • Check if everything with their purchase was okay and are they happy with their overall experience;
  • Check if their question was answered and if you can do something more for them. 

Doing a follow-up can help you build customer loyalty. Besides that, you can get some great insights and ideas from the feedback you receive. 

Have a positive attitude

Remaining with a positive attitude even in a situation with a difficult customer is a must. You should aim to cover the following 3 pillars of great customer care: 

  • Be positive; 
  • Wait for the customer to explain the problem; 
  • Have a problem-solving approach. 

Let’s integrate them into an imaginary chat. An angry and frustrated customer reaches you. You respond by being positive and polite. After that, they explain their problem (sometimes in an angry manner). Wait for them to explain, take mental notes, and while they write, think of ways to address what they are complaining about. When they are finished thank them for the feedback and propose a solution to the problem. After they have let it all out, they will be more perceptive about your proposal. 

Remember - customer service can sell!

Many people are ignoring this option and this is just insane! When you provide great customer care and people are happy, they will listen to recommendations from you. Imagine someone asked about the size or color of a dress. After you take care of their needs, you can always throw in a line like: “Do you know that this bag or these shoes go great with that dress? Now we have it on 20% off and people are crazy about it!”. 

Small things like that can turn social media customer service into a sales booster for your business. Nowadays, everyone sells in one way or another, from accounting to the actual salespeople. Don’t miss out on good chances to get more purchases. 

Have a tailor-made approach. Create a custom response for each client and be personal

Even big brands don’t go the extra mile for their clients. If you do it, you will forever win their hearts. In most cases, there will be an answer that most people responsible for customer service just copy-paste and send to different unhappy clients. Use the personalized responses and try to understand the problems of the people that write to you. If the situation is serious, give them a little something to feel better, like a discount code or a coupon. And when you put your name in your answers, this creates a feeling that there is at least some personal touch. 

They are going to love it! Small things matter the most. Even if you think they don’t. This might take some extra time and effort, but it is going to pay out for sure. 

Those are our top five picks for social media customer service don’ts and do’s that every business should be aware of. Do you agree? What are the biggest mistakes and good practices in this area that you have seen? Let us know! Leave a comment below or reach out to us. We would be happy to hear your story and give you some advice.  


Display Advertising in 2021: Size Matters (Part 2)

Welcome to part 2 of our article about display ad sizes in 2021. In Part 1 we discussed the basics of display advertising and the most popular desktop display ad sizes for this year. If you still haven’t read it yet, you’re missing out on some useful tips and tricks, just saying.

Although there are still some people that use desktop devices more than mobile, mobile web traffic accounts for 52.6 percent of the global web traffic, as oberlo.com shares. Therefore, in this article, we’ll be focusing on the best sizes for mobile display ads in 2021. We’ll be also looking at some key display ads types, so grab a notepad, and let’s get started.

Mobile Ad Size Cheat Sheet

As you probably know, marketers and business owners alike are prioritizing mobile over desktop and always optimize their ads for mobile users first. For the past year, the world gained 93 million new mobile phone users and now we’re looking at an audience of 5.22 billion unique mobile users. As DataReportal shares, that's an increase of 1.8% in comparison to the same period in 2020. When it comes to mobile display ads, one great feature is that they can be shown not only while the user is browsing the web, but also in apps. And although some sizes work great both on desktop and mobile devices (such as the Medium Rectangle), there are specific sizes only for mobile users:

Mobile Leaderboard

This is the most effective and popular size for mobile display ads. Similar to the desktop version, it’s a horizontal stripe, however, on mobile it covers the full width of the screen, being 320x50px. It accounts for 12% of all impressions globally and can be used in apps as well as in the browser. This format is often placed at the bottom of the screen, but it can also be a good top-of-the-screen option. Keep in mind that when using this format you need to make sure that your texts and CTAs are big enough to be readable.

If you want to have more room for creativity, you can opt-in for the Large Mobile Banner instead. Its size is 320x100px, which allows for more visuals or text to be included. It’s not as popular as the Mobile Leaderboard, but it’s still one of the top five most deployed mobile ad sizes. An important note, which we must mention is the fact that currently the Large Mobile Banner can be used only within the Google Display Network, so if you’re using another advertising platform, then you should avoid this format.

Mobile Full Page Flex

The Mobile Full Page Flex format refers to a responsive ad format, which can dynamically adapt to the entire available advertising space while maintaining the same aspect ratio. Therefore, in this case, the size does not matter (yes, yes, we know we said it matters but this format is an exception). That being said, advertisers must make sure that the ratio of their creative is 1:1 (for example 300x300px; 320x320px, 500x500px, etc.) This is an official ad format, defined by IAB as a creative “full-screen ad experience with sight, sound, motion, and interaction capabilities”. This format can be used in two ways: The ad can either run at a specific time set (for example in-app ads while the application is loading), or it can be triggered by users when they click on a CTA of another ad. For example, you can create a mobile leaderboard ad with the following CTAs: “click here for more information” or “swipe up for details”. When the user clicks or swipes, this action will trigger the full page flex ad and it will be displayed on the device’s screen.

Square

This format is a good alternative to rectangular formats. That being said, the square format is not as popular as the others on our list and can prove to be hard to master as it is quite small - 250x250px. That is why you should carefully consider your visuals and text if you decide to use this format.

The Small Square is even a smaller version of the Square with dimensions 200x200px. Keep in mind that if you use this format your ad performance may be restricted due to the limited supply of display ad space for this specific ad size.

Aside from the size of your display ads, you should also consider the creatives with which you’re going to promote your product. What images will you use and what text should you include? Should you use a static picture or a video? Those are important questions that you must answer in order to create a successful ad that is tailored to your campaign goals. To help you out, we’ve decided to list some of the popular display ad types, so you can decide which of them might work best for you.

Display Ads Types

Did you know that the average person is now estimated to encounter between 6,000 to 10,000 ads every single day? This shocking data is shared by ppcprotect.com. They also inform us that back in the 70’s people saw between 500 and 1,600 ads daily. Given this data, it’s not hard to assume that today marketers need to put much more effort into grabbing user’s attention than 50 years ago. And while a lot of factors play a role when it comes to the creation of enticing ads, the ad type is arguably an essential point that you need to think about. Some of the most popular display ad types in 2021 are:

  • Static

Static ads are simple banner ads that consist of an image and text. They do not work with additional media such as audio or video. As you already know, static ads come in different sizes and shapes and continue to be used by hundreds of thousands of brands worldwide. They are the easiest to make but don’t come without drawbacks. One limitation of static ads is the fact that they are often ignored by the reader because a static image needs to be really creative to capture users’ attention. Additionally, static ads are more or less one-way communication, as they are less interactive than other ad types.

  • Animated 

As the name suggests, animated ads usually consist of image/s that move. So for example, an animated display ad could have a static background image with only one or two elements blinking or moving. Additionally, you could create an animated ad, in which all parts of the image perform some kind of movement. Animated ads are much more successful in grabbing user’s attention than static ads because people tend to notice movement with their peripheral vision. So even if a given person is not looking directly at the ad, he/she is going to be constantly reminded of the creative because of its movement, and sooner or later the user’s curiosity will push them into investigating your offer.

  • Video 

Video ads are another great type of display ads. They are quite similar to animated ads because both types involve moving pictures or objects. In that sense, video ads are great for attracting the attention of your target audience. Not to mention that video is the king when it comes to marketing in 2021, as more and more consumers prefer watching instead of reading. Furthermore, as WordStream shares, viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text. (We might come up with a quiz to prove that’s not the case for Marception Blog’s readers, so pay attention guys! Just kidding... or are we???)

  • Interactive 

If you want to create a truly memorable ad, interactive ads are your best choice! Those ads require the user to take a certain action, for example, play a short game (this approach is often seen in mobile app application ads). Additionally, interactive ads could include quizzes, polls, and other lead forms. As HubSpot shares, 73% of businesses agree that combining traditional content marketing tactics with interactive content enhances the retention of their organization’s message.

  • Lightbox

Last but not least, lightbox ads can enable you to offer immersive experiences to your target audience. This type of display ad looks just like a regular static ad, however, when the user hovers their mouse over it, the ad expands and takes up a much bigger space of the display. Once the ad has expanded it transforms from a practically static ad to a comprehensive sensory experience for the user. You can add audio, video, animation, or even interactive elements to your lightbox ads. To avoid accidental engagement with the ad, the expansion functionality only works when the user hovers their mouse for two seconds over the banner, as TechCrunch explains. The source also states that lightbox ads grant an engagement that is 6 to 8 times higher than the one of standard click-to-expand ads.

Though we have listed some of the most popular display ad types, we couldn't include all the options available to marketers and advertisers. Furthermore, innovative sizes, formats, and creatives are being introduced to us daily. Therefore, you need to keep up with the advertising trends and perform comprehensive research before you settle on the right ad type and format for your campaign. If you need help with the planning, implementation, and analyses of your display ad campaigns, Markception is always ready to help you. As a digital marketing agency, we are passionate about creating content, running advertising campaigns, and optimizing our clients’ digital performance. Contact us for a free consultation now.


What is Influencer Marketing and How to Choose the Right Influencer Type for Your Campaign?

Given the accelerated digital growth that we all went through in the last couple of years, we can safely say that anyone with a smartphone and Internet connection could become an influencer. Although not every influencer can be appropriate for your marketing campaigns, partnering up with the right ones will set you on the path for growth and success.

Influencer marketing happens when popular (and not only) communication platform users with recognizable accounts promote brands and businesses in exchange for free products and services, or financial gain. This form of marketing has been around for years now and businesses continue to rely heavily on it in 2021. In fact, according to Big Commerce, 9 out of 10 brands use influencer marketing. Furthermore, The State of Influencer Marketing 2021 report finds that the influencer marketing industry is set to grow to approximately $13.8 Billion in 2021. Because this form of marketing is quite popular and effective, we’ve decided to dive into the topic and give answers to what exactly does it mean to use influencer marketing and how to choose the right influencers for your campaigns.

What is an influencer?

Although you can find thousands of influencers on all sorts of media platforms: blogs, social media, YouTube, podcasting platforms, and others, according to backlinko.com, over 90% of influencer marketing campaigns take place on Instagram. But what exactly does it mean to be an influencer? Well, as influencermarketinghub.com puts it, you can consider someone an influencer if they have the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of their authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their followers. In that sense, celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Demi Lovato can be perceived as influencers just as much as ordinary Internet users who have grown their follower base and popularity organically through consistent posting and engagement with their followers. Additionally, influencers are often experienced in one or two main topics, which allows them to grow a following in a specific niche.

Influencer Marketing Tip: Your goal should be to collaborate with influencers that are competent on topics related to your business. For example, if you are selling shoes, you need to be on the look for fashion influencers. If you are offering short-term accommodation services, it’s best to partner up with travel influencers.

Based on the number of their followers, influencers can be divided into five main groups:

  • Nano-Influencers have the least amount of followers. Their audience is usually composed of 1 000 to 10 000 users, which means that working with them won’t grant you the widest reach possible. That being said, because of their authenticity and ability to produce highly targeted content, users can relate to nano-influencers’ posts and creatives easily. Nano-influencers have the highest engagement rate out of the five influencer groups. As marketingdive.com shares, Influencers with 5 000 to 10 000 followers have an engagement rate of 6.3%, and those with a following of 1 000 to 5 000 have a rate of 8.8%. Another benefit of working with nano-influencers is the fact that they don’t require expensive fees. Collaborating with them on Instagram will cost you between $10 and $100 per post (or simply a free gift could be enough, for example, one of your products or services) as noted by Andrew Macarthy.
  • Micro-Influencers are creators who have between 10 000 and 50 000 followers. Although their reach is wider than nano-influencers’ they still have a significantly smaller audience than mid-tier, macro, and mega influencers. That being said, 92% of customers trust a micro-influencer more than a traditional ad or an endorsement from celebrities and 82% of consumers are likely to buy products recommended by micro-influencers, according to ana.net. If you decide to collaborate with a micro-influencer on Instagram, then you should be prepared to pay anywhere between $100 and $500 per post.
  • Mid-tier influencers usually have a follower base consisting of between 50 000 and 500 000 users. As the name suggests, when it comes to popularity mid-tier influencers stand right in between the widely popular influencers and the more niche-oriented less known creators. Therefore by choosing to work with them you get the best of both worlds - a relatively high engagement rate, as well as a decent reach. When it comes to pricing, a single post in collaboration with a mid-tier influencer can cost you anywhere between $500 and $5,000 per post.
  • Macro-Influencers have an impressive amount of followers - usually between 500 000 and 1 million users. Those influencers are well-known not only on the web but often also in real life. They could be a reality TV star, an established expert, or a top-performing sports player. Despite the high reach macro-influencers' follower base provides, engagement rates associated with campaigns in collaboration with them tend to be low. According to mmi-analytics.com, it is 6.2% on average. If you decide to work with a micro-influencer, it will cost you $5,000–$10,000 per Instagram post.
  • Mega-Influencers are the “big fish” of influencers. Think Beyonce, Shane Dawson, Christiano Ronaldo, and other celebrities. They are followed by more than one million users which grants them incredible visibility on social media. Collaborating with mega-influencers ensures great reach, which makes them the perfect choice for awareness campaigns. However, more often than not, mega-influencers have a low engagement rate of 4.96%. Because of their vast popularity, the price for collaborations with mega-influencers is very high - usually more than $10,000 per post.

Influencer Marketing Tip: If you want your influencer marketing efforts to be successful, you need to carefully analyze the specifics of your target audience and choose influencers who can grab the attention of your customers. You need to decide what type of influencers to work with based on your audience’s demographics and interests. For example, if your ideal client is a talkative, young woman, who cherishes the importance of personal connection, it might be best for you to partner up with micro- or nano-influencers because they often spend more time engaging with their followers and usually create consistent, highly targeted content.

Influencer Marketing’s Impressive Numbers

Marketers and business owners alike continue to use influencer marketing in their campaigns as we see daily. In fact, nearly 68% of US marketers from companies with 100 or more employees will use influencer marketing in 2021, and influencer and other paid content will represent 20% of US agency and marketing professionals' digital ad budgets in 2021, as reported by Business Insider.

We shouldn’t be surprised by this data, however, because influencer marketing can help you achieve your business goals and see great results pretty quickly. Since influencers are already established authorities in their field, they are liked, followed, and trusted by many users. We could argue that some followers even perceive their favorite influencer as an idol and a role model. Therefore, when you collaborate with a respected influencer you get the chance to communicate with a very dedicated and responsive audience. Furthermore, through influencer marketing, you are able to reach an audience that is already interested in what you offer (just don’t forget to collaborate with relevant to your business influencers).

How to choose the right influencers for your campaigns?

Whether you plan to organize a giveaway, broadcast a live video stream, grant access to your social media account for a one-day takeover, or simply publish a single post that promotes your business, choosing the most suitable influencer/s for your campaign should be your highest priority when it comes to influencer marketing. There are several key points you need to consider when making this decision:

  1. The platform on which the influencer is active: If most of your customers are active Facebook users, choosing an influencer that only uses TikTok is not going to be the wisest decision you could make. That is why it’s important to research your customers’ social media behavior and settle on a platform (and influencer who’s active on it) that is often used by your target audience.
  2. The type of influencer based on his/her following: If you have a huge budget on your hands and your campaign’s goal is to spread awareness, then mega- and macro-influencers might be the best option for you. However, if you don’t want to spend a lot of money and your campaign targets hyper-niched audiences then nano- and micro-influences will do. It all depends on the goal of your campaign, your target audience, and your budget.
  3. The expertise of the influencer: Your campaign’s message should correspond to the original content the influencer usually creates. So, for example, if your campaign promotes real leather clothing, it might not be wise to contact influencers who are outspoken animal rights defenders.
  4. The demographics of the influencer’s audience: Think about whether this influencer’s followers resemble your target audience or your buyer persona. You have to be sure that the people who will hear your message are also interested in your products. Therefore it’s crucial to choose an influencer who is directing his/her messages towards a similar audience to yours.
  5. The influencer’s authenticity: You need to be sure that the follower base of your chosen influencer is authentic. As you may know, there are all sorts of platforms that offer paid followers or paid engagement and some influencers take advantage of those deals. This means that even if a given influencer has a lot of followers, their audience is composed of people who aren’t interested in the influencer’s content. And you definitely don’t want to spend money on collaborating with someone who is communicating with an uninterested audience. You can easily check if there are any drastic changes in a given influencer’s follower base by visiting socialblade.com. In case there are, it’s almost certain that the particular influencer went on a follower shopping spree recently. Additionally, through Social Blade, you can also see the engagement rate of your chosen influencer. It’s not a good idea to collaborate with influencers who have an engagement rate of less than 5%. (NB! Don’t be tempted to buy some fake followers yourself! It can actually harm your social media presence more than it could boost it, trusts us!)
  6. The reputation of the influencer: Don’t collaborate with influencers who are not well-liked amongst social media users, who have participated in public scandals, or who spread rumors about other recognizable people on the internet. After all, your brand name will be associated with this person. That is why you want to choose someone who is competent, polite, and avoids drama.

Influencer Marketing Tip: A very important aspect that you must consider is whether you want to create a B2B (business-to-business) or a B2C (business-to-consumer) campaign. While your B2C campaigns could be light, fun, and entertaining, you must take a slightly different approach when it comes to B2B influencer marketing campaigns. You should still aim to have creative content, but it’s important to choose an influencer who can target audiences with deep industry knowledge and who can communicate freely with corporate buyers. Additionally, when it comes to B2B influencer marketing, you need to carefully consider your campaign platform. For example, it will be easier for you to find and collaborate with thought industry leaders on LinkedIn than on Instagram or TikTok.

If you are still not sure what influencer marketing is, or how to choose the right influencer to collaborate with, you are more than welcome to contact us for a free consultation. As a digital marketing agency, Markception empowers businesses to grow in the digital. We’ll be glad to assist you with any marketing struggle you may have - from planning, through implementation, to analyzing.


Top 5 Copywriting Formulas: Your Cheat Sheet For Great Content Structure

If you’re something like me then you probably bear a grudge against math and everything related to it. Unfortunately, those of us who tried to run away from the nasty fractions and the terrifying square roots and sought shelter in the art of copywriting, are now met with yet another set of formulas. Worry not, however, as copywriting formulas have nothing to do with math. Instead, they focus on making a copywriter’s life easier and more productive as well. To see how copywriting formulas can help you, you need to first understand one of the main, essential “rules” of writing and content creation as a whole: Structuring your message so that it’s specifically tailored to answer your target audience’s problems and concerns is the key to a great copy.

The fact that different audiences and occasions require different copywriting approaches and messages shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s easy to understand how the same message cannot be used to sell a pen both to a schoolchild and to a businessman. When talking to diverse audiences composed of people with different interests and demographics you need to always target your writing accordingly, even if you’re selling the same product or discussing the same topic with everyone. This means that you will need to write as many messages as the number of audiences you target. When you need to present a given product in a couple of different ways, it’s easy to run out of creative ideas. And here’s where copywriting formulas come in handy. They help you have a structured approach and to use them means to never start your texts from scratch again. We don’t all have to invent the wheel, do we? The easiest way to visually imagine the function of copywriting formulas is to see them as frames that hold your text and order it in a way that boosts the power and influence of your words making your copies more compelling.

Most Successful Copywriting Formulas

In essence, copywriting formulas heavily rely on psychological triggers and human perceptions. They are carefully thought-out patterns, which have proved their success over the years. You can use copywriting formulas in your titles, blog posts, ad copies, web copies, email subject lines and body, and anywhere else you find fit. It would be hard to go wrong with them, especially because they were designed to be simple, easy to memorize, and comprehensible.

An important aspect that you need to take into account, however, is the fact that you must have an extremely good understanding of your audience’s needs, interests, demographics, and other details to use the copywriting formulas successfully. Therefore it’s best if you create a buyer persona for your business ahead of time. As Stephen Zoeller shares, 90% of companies that use buyer personas have been able to create a clearer understanding of their buyers, 82% of companies using personas have created an improved value proposition and 65% of companies that updated their personas within the last 6 months exceeded their lead and revenue goals. So obviously, buyer personas are key, but that’s a topic for another post. Now let’s dive in and take a look at some of the most successful copywriting formulas that have become a must-have powerful conversion tool for marketers and content creators alike.

AIDA

Of course, we couldn’t write this article without mentioning the AIDA model! It is probably one of the most popular formulas, which is used by thousands of copywriters and marketers daily. AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. If you decide to use this formula, you would have to structure your text around those four key points and help readers feel the respective emotions gradually as they progress through your message. You will need to grab your audience’s attention in the first lines or paragraphs of your text (depending on the intended volume), then you have to sparkle readers’ interest in your product (or the focus of your text), next you should continue persuading your audience until it desires the product you offer, and last you have to encourage the reader to take action (usually through a CTA). Simple as that. Professionals use this model not only for writing captivating copies but also for creating hassle-free sales funnels. Additionally, there are many copywriting formulas, which also follow principles similar to those of the AIDA model, such as ACCA (Awareness, Comprehension, Conviction, Action), IDCA (Interest, Desire, Conviction, Action), AAPPA (Attention, Advantage, Proof, Persuasion, Action), and other.

 

PAS

PAS is another widely popular copywriting formula, but unlike AIDA which aims to persuade the readers into doing something beneficial for themselves, PAS focuses more on the ongoing problems faced by the reader and introduces solutions that can elevate them. The founder of Magnetic Marketing, Dan Kennedy puts it best:

“When you understand that people are more likely to act to avoid pain than to get gain, you’ll understand how powerful this first formula is. It may be the most reliable sales formula ever invented.”

PAS stands for Problem, Agitation, Solution. So if you decide to use it, you should first write a few sentences about your audience’s pain points and problems in connection to your product or business, then you have to agitate your audience by further poking at the problems they might be experiencing and finally, you need to introduce the solution. PADS (Problem, Agitation, Discredit, Solution) is another very similar copywriting model, which adds one more step to the “equation” - Discredit. The goal here is to discredit all other available solutions to the problem, before introducing the ultimate one (your product, of course).

FAB

The FAB copywriting formula is all about presenting the benefits of your product to your audience. The acronym stands for Features, Advantages, and Benefits. To use this formula you need to understand the difference between the features, advantages, and benefits of your product. In the feature section of this formula, you need to talk about the function of your product - what does it do, what does it offer? Then you have to present your product’s advantages - why it is helpful and what problems does it solve? Finally, you have to outline the benefits for your clients - why is your product relevant for the readers, what does it mean to them? If you master the FAB formula, you’ll be able to create short, straight-to-the-point sales pitches, which will boost your conversion rate.

 

The 4 C’s

The 4 C’s is yet another incredibly useful formula and if we have to be honest, you should always strive to incorporate its elements in your content creation. The 4 C’s stands for Clear, Concise, Compelling, Credible. Your text should be direct and easy to understand. It should only contain relevant information, so if you can remove something without changing the overall message, by all means, go for it. The goal is to say what you need in the fewest words possible. A mistake that you should avoid, however, is shortening your text too much and missing important points about your product in an attempt to be concise. Additionally, you should strive to create vibrant texts which capture readers’ interest, in other words, your messages should be as compelling as possible. Last, but not least, you must support your claims with evidence. To make your text credible, you can mention how well-known brands or celebrities have trusted your company, or you can include customer testimonials. Other formulas have similar acronyms to the 4 C’s formula, such as 4 P’s (Picture, Promise, Prove, Push) and the 4 U’s (Useful, Urgency, Unique, Ultra-Specific), however, their approach slightly differs.

BAB

Before - After - Bridge (BAB) is another copywriting formula, which focuses on the positive rather than on the negative. It is slightly similar to PAS, however, once you introduce the problem (before) you immediately prompt the reader to imagine a utopian outcome of the given situation (after) and then show them the easy way to accomplish this desired solution (bridge). So instead of agitating the audience, you are showing them that you understand their pain points and that although their situation may seem unfavorable, there is an easy solution for their problems.

Remember: Stories are also a powerful copywriting tool

Once you get used to incorporating copywriting formulas in your everyday content creation, you should try to blend them within unique stories. Although we can’t call it a copywriting formula, storytelling also has its structure and can be just as powerful and influential when it comes to converting. The typical structure of any story usually goes like this: there’s a main character who’s facing a conflict of some sort and then something happens (for example, the character buys one of your products) and the resolution of the problem/conflict is found. Wordstream cited SEO Blogger Rob Powell of the Rob Powell Biz Blog who also supports storytelling as a powerful copywriting tool:

“We’ve been telling each other stories for hundreds of thousands of years. It’s part of our evolution. And that’s why storytelling is so effective as a copywriting technique. In the copy that you use on a landing page, the character could be your customer. The conflict would be the problem that she faces. And the resolution would be your product."

Last but not least, it’s crucial to remember that copywriting formulas are not compulsory nor are they set in stone. If they help you come up with an amazing copy and make your life easier at the same time, by all means, use them all you like. However, they can also kill your creative vibe, especially if you become overly concerned with playing by the “rules” of the particular formula. In that case, your copies will start to sound rather gray and robotic.
If this happens, it will be best for you to find ways to boost your creativity or simply contact us for a free consultation. Markception is a digital marketing agency that fosters business growth and builds strong human relations in the digital world between companies and consumers. We can help you achieve your goals by crafting amazing content for your business. Furthermore, we are here for you if you need assistance with any marketing activity - from social media management to SEO optimization and website creation.


Display Advertising in 2021: Size Мatters (Part 1)

Display advertising has been around for quite some time - 27 years to be exact! That’s right, the story of display ads begins in 1994 when the first banner advertisement was published on the commercial online magazine HotWired (1994–1999). It was a part of the future-predicting “You Will” campaign and it looked like this:

The American telecommunication company AT&T was promoted by a series of ads, which carried the message “You will” and painted a world in which people’s day-to-day life was strongly influenced by the internet and the benefits it offers. Interestingly enough, most of the creatives described our actual reality today. Of course, there were a few inaccuracies, such as the suggestion that payphones will continue to be widely popular and that people could use them for video calls.

While back then banner ads may have been a bit straightforward (and probably should’ve included a photosensitive epilepsy disclaimer warning), now they are not only prettier but also much more popular than before. According to webfx.com the Display Network features more than 2 million websites, targets over 100 countries, and reaches 90% of online consumers.

Basics of Display Ads

As the name suggests display ads are visual advertisements, which usually contain pictures, videos, GIFs, logos, and some text in the form of a slogan, a key campaign message, and/or a CTA. If you want to run display ads to promote your business, then you need to sign up on a platform, which serves as a distributor of your creatives. You probably know many online platforms offer the possibility of display advertising including Google (the most popular one yet), Facebook, Yahoo, mMedia, and others. If you’re wondering which one to choose, check out our article, which compares the two most popular of them - Facebook and Google.

Once you create your ads (according to your chosen platform’s requirements), they will be placed on relevant third-party websites. According to Search Engine Watch, there are three main categories of display ads in terms of their placement.

  • Site Placement Advertising: an approach in which the advertiser chooses the websites on which their ad is going to be displayed
  • Contextual Advertising: when the platform you work with (Google, for example) places your ads on websites with similar content thus increasing their relevancy. For example, if you advertise kitchen utilities, your ads will be displayed on a website about cooking.
  • Remarketing Advertising: in this case, your ads will be displayed to users who have already visited your website. Once they visit other web pages, your ads will be shown to them. This is one reason why marketers love to use cookies because it allows us to segment and target users based on their actions on the web.

So now that we made that clear, it’s time to look at some of the most popular sizes for display ads today.

Popular Display Ads Sizes in 2021

No matter which platform you decide to advertise on, you should first and foremost map out your ad ideas and create great pieces of content to show to the world. Many elements need your attention when designing a good display ad banner. You have to think about the size, the background color (or image), the main product visualization, the headline, the subtext, the CTA, and last but not least, the landing page (where your ads are going to lead to). In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the most popular size options for your banner ads. We will examine the essential practices connected to them, which will improve your campaigns in 2021.

There are quite a few options for the size of your banner ads. Additionally, the size also determines the possible positions of your ad on a given page. This goes both for desktop and mobile display ads. There is a simple reason for that. Website owners have the right to choose where on their pages they want to display ads. For example, if you have a blog and you want to monetize it, you can sign up for Google AdSense and select the exact spots on your pages where you think it’ll be most appropriate for ads to show. Let’s say you want ads to be displayed only on the right side of your content, or maybe you think people will be more likely to click on them if they were near the footer section of your blog. It’s important to note that even if you create an amazing banner ad, it's going to be displayed only on the websites with relevant content and on those who have the specific size option available.

Desktop Ad Size Cheat Sheet

According to a survey executed by Match2One, which examines data from 4.8 billion ad impressions on millions of sites, marketers are mostly using 4 main banner sizes for all of their campaigns. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular ad sizes for desktop devices:

Medium Rectangle

The size for medium rectangle banners is 300x250px. Match2One’s survey shows that 40% of the impressions used this size. It is widely used and can be placed both in the top or bottom sections of the screen and inside the article itself. The visibility of this banner is great because it’s big enough to be able to showcase your creatives, but also discrete enough to not be annoying for the users. The medium rectangle is so popular that Google even created a specific set of requirements for this format. Additionally, it works great on mobile devices as well, so you really cannot go wrong with this one.

Leaderboard

The second most common banner used in the display network is the Leaderboard format. According to spiralytics.com, its ad impression share on the GDN (Google Display Network) is 32%. Although it can be displayed at the bottom of a page, the Leaderboard is usually placed in the header section of a webpage and looks like a horizontal stripe, which is 728 px in length and 90 px in height. Keep in mind that banners, which are located in the top part of a website are generally more successful than those shown near the footer section, simply because not everyone will scroll down. As well as with the medium rectangle, you can use both visuals and text with this format. The leaderboard is a part of the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB), standardized guidelines on banner sizes, which work on all advertising networks, including but not limited to GDN.

The Large Leaderboard (970x90) and the Billboard (970x250) are very similar to the Leaderboard ad format because they are also horizontal banner ads. However, you can see that they are bigger, which accounts for better visibility and more options for ad creative (larger images, CTA’s, and copies). That being said, they are not as popular amongst advertisers. As Match2One’s survey shows, the Large Leaderboard and the Billboard account for respectively 5% and 1% of the impressions.

Wide Skyscraper

The third most popular size for a display ad in 2021 is the Wide Skyscraper standing at 160x600px. It is usually positioned somewhere in the sidebar of a page and looks like a vertical strip. About 12% of all impressions looked at during Match2One’s survey belonged to this format. Therefore, if you are still unsure of what sizes your display ads should be, consider using this format.

The Half Page is a similar vertical ad size, however, it is much wider than the Wide Skyscraper. It takes up 300x600px of the page and is also used in the sidebar section of websites. The Half page is spacious enough, so you can get creative with your ad design.

Bottom Line

If there is one thing you should remember from this article it is that there are some display ad formats that work better than others. The reason for that lies in the available supply of display ad space for certain sizes - some websites simply do not want to enable certain ad placements and sizes. Therefore, if ever in doubt, you should always create your ads in the most popular ad sizes. For 2021, they are:

  • Medium Rectangle - 300×250px
  • Mobile Leaderboard - 320×50px (note: we’ll explain more about mobile display ad formats in our next article on the topic, pinky promise)
  • Leaderboard Banner - 728×90px
  • Wide Skyscraper - 160×600px

The display advertising world is huge. We understand that our list may seem overwhelming for some of you, but we have only talked about less than a third of all available ad formats out there. Additionally, this article only covers the desktop options, so stay tuned for Display Advertising in 2021: Size Matters (Part 2) where we’ll talk about mobile ad sizes and best practices.

In the meantime don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact us if you need help with your advertising campaigns. Markception can take care of every aspect of your marketing strategy. Let us be a part of your digital journey, get in touch now.


How to Create a Marketing Funnel? (part 1)

Imagine that you are going to the store and the cashier says: “Hey, we have discounted gums, would you like to buy some?” - you’ve never heard of the brand, so of course not. Even if you are not a marketer, you will probably agree that most people will not be willing to purchase a given product (or service) if they have limited information about it or are not familiar with the company which offers it. And this is completely normal. The same applies to the online world as well. 

Capturing users’ interest and taking them through every step of the way until they are ready to purchase from you, should be your primary focus. This process is known as marketing funnels (a.k.a sales funnels) and they could often combine both online and offline advertising methods.

What are marketing funnels?

In a nutshell, a marketing funnel is the process, through which marketers (or business owners) convert prospects (potential customers) by persuading them into doing a particular action. This approach allows you to break down the customer’s journey and provide relevant information to your target audience at each stage of the decision-making process. Talking about stages, marketing funnels usually consist of multiple layers, each of them bringing the customer closer to the end of the funnel. Or in other words - to completing the main goal.

As the name suggests, you could imagine all of those layers arranged in the form of a funnel or an inverted pyramid. Your audience enters the funnel at its widest (top) part, goes through the middle of the funnel, and exits at its bottom part. So in this sense, the three main stages of a marketing funnel are awareness, consideration, and conversion (decision):

You need to keep in mind that not all of the users who enter it will actually follow through the whole journey and exit the funnel (by completing the action you want them to). However, good campaigns, attention-grabbing visuals, and enticing copies at each stage of the funnel can help you retain the bigger part of your initial audience.

TOFU, MOFU, BOFU

These abbreviations might sound weird to you and you may even think they are referring to vegan cheese but they actually stand for “top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, and bottom of the funnel” if you’ve paid attention to the image above. They are the foundation that every salesman should consider when offering a product or service.

TOFU

Nowadays, people have access to lots of information - both online and offline. This makes selling much harder than it used to be 2 decades ago, as users often want to make informed decisions. 

TOFU is the awareness stage where you have the widest audience. Here you don’t know anything about it, but you are trying to attract people who have a specific problem (or might have but don’t know about it yet). Because of this, the stage should rely on content that is purely educational without necessarily mentioning your business. You want to help your target audience so that they see in you an information source. Address the pain points they potentially have but don’t pitch any sales ideas, as they are simply not ready.

Some content tips at this stage :

  • Infographics are a really easy way of a visual representation of numbers, graphics, charts, etc. with little to no text that give a general overview of the pain point you are addressing.
  • Videos - keep them short and straight to the point. Talk about the problem, not the solution. Let your audience see itself in it.
  • Blog posts - if you have a website, consider setting up a blog. Share your knowledge and expertise. Start with a general topic covering a specific problem that simply aims to educate. If you are not sure what this means, check out our: 6 free tools for managing your marketing channels. The problem we wanted to solve was that there are numerous tools in the online world. However, often people need only a handful of them to conduct their everyday activities.

MOFU

MOFU is the consideration stage where people have already found out they had a problem. Now they are searching for a solution and are actively investigating different options. By far, this is probably the most critical point of the funnel because you need to convince your potential customers why you are the right choice. At this stage you have excluded the people who don’t share the same problems, so you can start mentioning your products or services as a solution to the needs of those who continue the journey. However, be careful what content you decide to choose. Continue keeping it educational and slightly promotional.

Some content tips at this stage:

  • Comparisons - clearly presenting the pros and cons of different solutions could turn out to be a great weapon. Be sure not to talk about other competitors and their products or services, but rather what are the unique features of your own and what makes it better than others. For example, we have a great blog post that compares hiring an in-house marketer or a digital agency for conducting marketing activities. And our goal was not to ultimately “sell ourselves” but to describe what you get if you choose one of the options or the other. Sometimes people could be missing important aspects when making a decision, so we wanted to help with that. 
  • Guides (how-to content) - well, what you are reading right now is actually a guide on how to create a marketing funnel. Does it work so far? 
  • Templates and checklists - give something (for free) in order to get something in return, especially if your content is good, you can be sure people will come back to you.

BOFU

Right. So we finally got to the bottom. This is the decision stage where people are ready to buy. After they’ve done their research at the second stage and compared several other options, some decided that your offer is the best on the market, others not (but they can still consider you if by any chance they are disappointed by their first choice). Here you have a highly targeted, narrow audience that is willing to give you a chance. 

The content you choose should now focus on the product benefits and features, how it works and what it does in order to solve your clients’ problems.

Some content tips at this stage:

  • Videos - unlike the videos we mentioned during the first stage, now we can create longer ones, explaining all about the product’s characteristics and demonstrating how it works. Just like those “unboxing” videos on YouTube. If it’s a service that you offer, various tutorials, tips and tricks will work.
  • Free trials and demos - and still the clients will not be fully convinced and ready for a commitment if they haven’t tried the product or service. To make it even more exclusive, you can give them 30 days to try out, instead of the regular 14 listed on your website. After all, they’ve made the effort to go through the whole journey.

The after purchase experience 

It’s better if you have 100 customers paying every month than 1000 who only come to you once.

Acquiring new clients is great, but as you see the process is long and time-consuming, and there is a really big chance that you’ll end up with very few leads. Instead, do not forget about the people who you managed to convert. If you try to sell them something else, it will be much faster and easier to do so. Because of that, make them feel appreciated. Give them a discount on their next purchase with you, or a small gift that will make them smile. If by any chance your business requires knowing their date of birth, then send them a happy birthday SMS or an email. Ask them what is their opinion on your products or services, what could possibly improve. You might be surprised by their feedback - you could hear things you have never ever thought about.

Retention is the key to the success of any business.

If your returning customers are happy, they are likely to recommend you to others. And we all know how word-of-mouth works. 

Depending on the size of your audience, your industry, budget, and resources, your marketing funnel can also be very long and extensive. It could combine different channels for every step of the way such as Blog, Facebook, Google, Email, SMS, printed materials. If you require a multi-channel approach, then your target audience will be highly segmented and the funnel will probably turn into a huge customer journey map.

But because we want to keep things simple for now, our next article will focus on How to create a marketing funnel using Facebook as that is still the biggest social media network and pretty much every brand should have a page there. What are the types of ads you can use on Facebook and how to incorporate them into a funnel, stay tuned to find out. Until then, do not hesitate to contact us if you need some help or a free consultation because here at Markception we just love talking to people.


10 Easy Ways To Grow Your Email Marketing List In No Time

When it comes to marketing, we can safely say that delivering the right messages to the right audiences is the key to success. As you might know, there are dozens of online platforms and tools through which you can achieve that. One of the most influential content distribution channels, which encompasses a potential audience of more than 4 billion users, is email. The secret to a successful email marketing strategy, however, lies in your ability to target the people, who will be most interested in the products or services you offer and to persuade them to subscribe to your newsletter so you can continue to conduct business with them.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, email marketing is the most effective way of nurturing leads and 31% of businesses cite newsletters as their highest-performing tactic in this area. So if you want to achieve your business goals, we strongly advise you to include essential email marketing practices in your strategy. If you don’t know how you can achieve that, don’t worry, Markception as a digital marketing agency has your back. After we’ve introduced the basics of high-quality newsletters, now we’ll be focusing on the most effective practices through which you can grow your email list and easily attract the right audience in no time.

Why do you need to grow your email marketing list?

First of all, let us explain what an email marketing list is. This is simply a database or a collection of email addresses, which businesses acquire through lead-generation campaigns. The main goal of such campaigns is to engage with potential customers by introducing relevant content in exchange for their email addresses (or any other personal information about the particular user). Once the potential customer (or the lead) has given you their email address, you should ask for their consent to receive regular emails from you, or in other words to subscribe to your newsletter.

Image source: https://lindsayletters.co/

No matter if you’re just starting, or if you’ve been sending newsletters to your customers for years, one of the essential email marketing practices, which you should be implementing is to constantly acquire new subscribers. As HubSpot shares, your email marketing database is degrading by 22.5% each year. This is because subscribers change their jobs, thus also changing their email addresses. Additionally, there are always people who use the unsubscribe link in your emails and willingly cut off your communication with them. Either way, if you simply let those events unfold and do nothing about it, your email marketing efforts will be in vain. You might be creating amazing content, however, if you’re directing it towards an uninterested and tired audience, the results won’t be satisfying at the very least.

Therefore, the importance of fresh newsletter subscribers becomes apparent. You need to be working towards acquiring more contacts in your email marketing list constantly. Keep reading to find out how!

Growing Your Email Marketing List

There are many platforms and communication channels, which can help you grow your email marketing list. These include email, social media, your website, the websites or social accounts of your partners, and more. Additionally, you can also use traditional marketing and prompt the visitors of your physical shop to sign up for your newsletters. So let’s start exploring how you can utilize those and see the numbers grow.

1. Create a sign-up form on your company’s website

A great trick that can help grow your email marketing list is to enable users to register on your website. Include a registration form, which requires information such as email address, name, age, and other relevant data from which your business can benefit. Furthermore, you can create specific pages, which cannot be accessed by non-registered users, such as checkout pages, exclusive blog content, pages that provide tailored experiences to users, etc. That way, users who are truly interested in your products and services and who want to access all of the information on your website will willingly sign-up and subscribe to your newsletter. Therefore, you will be creating a list of people, who are very likely to purchase your products.

Image source: https://klymit.com/

2. Create popups on your website

Yes, we totally agree that by doing this you risk annoying users. All of us have been in a situation when we want to get something done or simply learn something new, but we’re constantly distracted by nerve-wracking pop-ups. However, we have to honestly admit that some of those bright-colored banners are actually relevant and sometimes useful. No wonder why marketers use pop-up banners constantly - it’s because this proven method works! We are not suggesting that you need to create 20 pop-ups and spam users with them constantly (you will only scare them away by doing this), but one well-designed, thought-out pop-up might do wonders. Don’t forget to think about the most appropriate moment to display the banner, for example, it could pop up only when the user has read (or scrolled through) at least 50% of your content on a given page.

3. Enable a commenting section on your blog

Another smart method through which you can grow your email marketing list is to enable a commenting or feedback section under each of your blog posts. Users like to give feedback and to be able to express their opinion, especially if they are interested in the topic of conversation. Therefore, by empowering them to do so, you will not only increase their satisfaction from engaging with your brand, but also gain valuable information about them (their email addresses).

 

Image source: https://www.cardpaymentoptions.com/

4. Add subscription links to your employees’ email signatures

In that way, each email communication may result in a new subscriber to your newsletter. This method is especially useful for companies with a lot of employees. It is very simple as well. All you need to do is create a landing page, containing a subscription form, and include a CTA with a link to it in your staff’s email signatures. So if your team consists of 5 people, with each of them communicating (via email) with at least 5 other businesses or clients in a given working day, you have the chance of gaining 25 new subscribers per day. How amazing is that!

5. Add CTAs on your company’s social media pages

Social media is a great tool for driving traffic to your website, building awareness about your brand, and engaging with your audience. While there are some rules, which you need to follow and some mistakes, which you should try to avoid, for the most part, social platforms are not too hard to master. Therefore, one of the easiest ways, in which you could persuade users to subscribe to your newsletter, is to include CTAs on social media. Many of the popular platforms, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, for example, allow you to have one main CTA button on your company’s page. It’s a good idea to create a landing page with your email subscription form and link it to the CTA button on your social media. Furthermore, you can plan a post or two about this landing page, when you are creating your social media posting schedule, and share the link to it in your newsfeed. Just keep in mind that you also want to provide relevant quality content to your followers and not just over-spam them with action requests (such as asking them to be included in your email marketing list).

6. Offer freebies

Probably one of the most common, yet effective ways, in which you can grow your marketing list is by offering free products (such as eBooks, whitepapers, guides, and more) to your audience. This approach is known as a “gated offer”. The name comes from the fact that users will have the opportunity to access those materials, but to do so, they will need to enter their email addresses first. You can create a landing page and upload the freebie there. Then share the link to it on your company’s social media accounts, run ads, or post a CTA leading to it on your website. Keep in mind that the free content you provide needs to be somewhat connected to your niche or the industry your business operates in. This is crucial because otherwise, you might attract subscribers, who are not interested in your products. If they are not interested in your products chances are they are not going to buy them. Your freebies could include survey data, industry reports, insights, which may be of interest to your target audience, infographics, and other valuable data.

Image source: https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/

7. Organize a giveaway

You probably know how the cliche goes: to receive, you must also give. This is very true when it comes to growing your email marketing list. If you want to see more people subscribing to your newsletter fast, you could organize a giveaway and request that participants provide you with their email addresses to enter the game. Again, it’s important to choose a prize, which is connected to your business or the goods and services you offer (it could even be one of your products or a voucher for a free service). For example, if your company sells toys, you may want to create a giveaway, in which the participants win a trip to Disneyland for the whole family. Don’t forget that your copy and visuals should correspond to your target audience’s interests. In the case of our example, you could include images of the most iconic Disney characters - Mickey Mouse, Donald the Duck, and others. It’s a good idea to build anticipation and excitement in your audience and to create a sense of urgency by including phrases like “enter today, the giveaway ends in 24 hours”. Keep in mind that this approach may not be appropriate for companies, which conduct business with other companies (or in other words for B2B marketing). However, if you sell products to consumers directly (B2C - business-to-consumer) a well-thought-out giveaway can do wonders and help you grow your email marketing list in no time.

8. Host an online webinar

You can build your email list by hosting an online webinar (or any other online event of your choice). Use your company’s social media channels, your website, and a dedicated landing page as means for popularising your event. Create ads, posts, as well as blog articles, which talk about your online event, build excitement in your target audience, and invite interested consumers to save the date. Don’t forget to request users’ email addresses, so that they can register for participation in the event and receive additional working sheets and documents connected to it. Once more, make sure that the topic of the webinar corresponds to your products or services. So if you are selling flower seeds, for example, create a webinar, which talks about gardening. This approach is amazing because it can do wonders both for B2B and B2C businesses.

9. Have amazing newsletters

Imagine this: While going through the boredom that is your inbox, you suddenly come across an email from the cleaning company, which takes care of the tidiness of your home. You are amazed by how nicely this email is done. It has creative visuals, funny copy, and (most importantly) relevant information on how you can easily clean your oven and get rid of grease stains on your carpet. You’ve liked this email so much and found it useful, that you decide to click the “share” button and send it to your friends and family. If this hasn’t happened to you yet, chances are it will. Well-done newsletters are a powerful tool for growing your email marketing list, especially if you include CTAs, which prompt your current subscribers to share it with others. Therefore, even if you are not putting any other efforts towards expanding your email list, your hard work may bring you more leads naturally. Spend some time thinking about your design and your copy. Make sure that they correspond to your target audience and that they offer useful information, which can contribute to solving your audience’s problems. The goal here is to pay attention to the details and create enticing newsletters so that your current subscribers would want to share them with other people. Keep in mind that this approach alone may not bring the desired results. That is why it’s best if you combine it with other methods.

10. Partner up with influencers

Influencer marketing is an incredibly powerful tool for achieving your marketing goals. The reason for that lies in the fact that mouth-to-mouth marketing (when someone you trust recommends something to you) always works and is considered the ultimate conversion tool. This approach works best for B2C businesses, which offer products directly to consumers, rather than for B2B (business-to-business model). Since influencers (especially micro-influencers) usually engage with their audiences and show authenticity, we could argue that their followers perceive them as friends and trust their judgment. Therefore, partnering up with an appropriate influencer and promoting your email newsletter both through your company’s and through the influencers’ communication channels could turn out to be very beneficial.

Need more email marketing tips?

As with any other marketing activity, it’s best if you have a comprehensive understanding of the features and peculiarities of this communication channel before you jump straight to creating your strategy. This is especially true for email marketing because you and your business can get into serious legal trouble if you accidentally (or not) violate GDPR. Our advice is to stay away from websites, promising you hundreds of new subscribers within minutes, because this often means “purchased subscriber lists”. Buying emails, rather than gaining them, can result in a damaged reputation, penalties, and audience, which has no idea who you are and what you are offering (therefore is not willing to spend money on a product offered by a completely unfamiliar brand).

That is why we believe it’s best if you outsource your marketing strategy to experienced professionals. Markception, as a digital marketing agency, is result-driven. This means that you will know exactly what you get out of your agreement with us. At the end of the day, we will analyze the performance of your campaigns. Then we will create a report and will often visualize the results, explaining to you what worked well and what not so much. Furthermore, we will calculate your ROI (return on investment) and give suggestions on what could be changed in order to obtain higher rates during the following campaigns. We are not simply marketing experts, we are your partners! Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.


LinkedIn for Business - A Beginner’s Guide (part 1)

LinkedIn for business allows you to reach other brands, entrepreneurs, professionals and soon freelancers with whom you can build a meaningful network and credibility as well as gain valuable insights about your industry. Read more