Instagram Launching Shopping Inside Their App!

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Instagram Launches its shopping feature inside! #instagramshopping

Instagram Shopping is ROLLING OUT Next Week!!

Its a new feature being rolled out on Instagram.. shopping right there on Instagram!!

As a business owner, you will no longer have to figure out creative ways to get people to GO to your website to shop!! Now you can add shopping right on the picture in your Instagram account. Instagram Shopping should increase your ability to sell quickly and easily.shopping-1015559_1920

Starting next week you will be able to post items that people can BUY in your Instagram account.

You won’t have to say — go to my profile, click on the link…. they can click right there on the post!!

Of course — your friends can like the post and share it, comment on it and it can help you to add more followers to your account as well.

It  is all just on the horizon.

So how could Instagram Shopping help your business?  Do you have products that you sell right now?

This is ideal for retail shops that are already posting their products.  Now, they can price them and sell them!!  Not just  build buzz around them.

Is your business positioned on Instagram to benefit from shopping?  If not, get in position.  It is NOT too late!!

Be sure to read the full article about the release at: http://blog.business.instagram.com/post/152598788716/shopping-coming-to-instagram

Not on Instagram yet — pick up my free getting started report–>>> HERE Or the Full REPORT HERE

7 Things That Illustrate What Marketers Think About the Future of Technology

future of tech

Author: Chandar Pattabhiram

Marketers are the first to feel the pressure of emerging technology. It comes from all sides; from competitors, as new tools come to market, are adopted, and become essential for effective strategies; and from customers, as individuals and businesses show preferences for new channels and methods of communication.

As the number of channels grows, the potential touchpoints through which marketers can engage customers and understand their behaviors is rapidly expanding. Formally, we refer to it as “proliferation,” but I think of it as a blizzard.

Yes, a blizzard of data that marketers need to sift through to determine what matters and what doesn’t. The ones that matter I think of as the “beacons in the blizzard.”

To learn more about how marketers and their customers are approaching emerging technology and this subsequent blizzard, Marketo surveyed members of the Marketing Nation and non-Marketo users from around the world on their priorities for 2017. We broke down the data by region. Thankfully, everyone is excited about the potential for new touchpoints, but marketers in the United States shared different priorities from their counterparts in Australia, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

Typically, American marketers adopt new technology categories faster than their global counterparts. However, while U.S. teams are more focused on figuring out the “why’s” behind customer behavior, European marketers in particular are usually ahead of the curve in adopting “cool” technology. This may account for some of the disparities that we see below.

Among the findings:

  • 57% of all respondents in the U.S. believe predictive analytics will be the primary technology they leverage in order to best engage with their customers, compared to only 11% of international marketers.
  • 50% of U.S. marketers believe their customers will be utilizing machine learning next year, while only a quarter of international marketers believe their customers will be using machine learning.
  • As marketers continue to prove demonstrable value and ROI, they cite reporting and analytics as a critical need, with 37% of everyone surveyed listing it as a top priority; interestingly, however, U.S. marketers feel more strongly about this need than their international counterparts (42% vs. 34%).
  • 31% of international marketers believe IoT would be the primary channel for interacting with customers in 2017, while only 16% of U.S. marketers believe the same.
  • 37% of all marketers feel better reporting and analytics to make sense of all the data is the key to successfully maintaining customer relationships, while 33% say they require a platform to keep up with the speed and volume of interactions.
  • American marketers are more pessimistic about the impact of new touchpoints on their engagement with customers, with only 48% saying they are excited compared to 62% of marketers around the world.
  • More than a quarter (26%) of U.S. respondents feel they don’t have a handle on existing touch points, juxtaposed with only 14% of international marketers reporting the same concern.

So yes, it is a blizzard, but it’s one that’s full of opportunity, not only to weather the storm but to find and capitalize on those beacons. And don’t let the disparities between U.S. and international marketers concern you, even if your team spans multiple continents. The channels of communication and technology means may vary, but it is important to keep yourself laser-focused on the ultimate goal: winning the battle for the hearts and minds of your customers.

Future of Tech - Marketo

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7 Things That Illustrate What Marketers Think About the Future of Technology was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. | http://blog.marketo.com

The post 7 Things That Illustrate What Marketers Think About the Future of Technology appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Promote Diversity Of Thought

Drew Stern, Co-CEO of Esquify, shares a tip on starting a business — it is all bout connecting, engaging and selling.

How to Set Up ‘Google My Business’ for Your Small Business

One of the most important aspects of a small business is getting found by new customers.

How to Hire a Digital Marketing Agency: Red Flags and Key Questions

hiring a digital marketing agency

Author: Mike Tomita

Let’s face it, even the savviest marketing teams sometimes don’t have the bandwidth to take on digital marketing, which is a strategy in itself. Digital marketing agencies help businesses by creating comprehensive online strategies and optimizing their digital presence through paid search, display advertising, SEO, content creation, and social media.

There are many reasons to consider hiring a digital marketing agency. Some organizations need to completely outsource their digital marketing, while others might just be looking to augment their in-house team. No matter what the reason is, the digital landscape is in such a constant state of flux that you’ll need to partner with an agency that will keep you ahead of the curve.  

A few fast moving areas you might need expert guidance on include:

  • Social media: Social platforms are continually updating feed algorithms, adding (and retiring) advertising features, reformatting displays, etc.
  • Content marketing: Best practices are constantly evolving as users adapt to new devices and features, and update their expectations accordingly.
  • Search engines: They are the most notorious for consistently changing the rules of the game, making optimization an ever-moving target. (I’m looking at you, Google.)

At its core, digital marketing is a series of trial and error tasks. The advantage of hiring a digital marketing agency is that they’ve already figured the basics, as well as advanced marketing strategies that can take you years to figure out alone. Digital marketing agencies are uniquely focused on the fast-paced digital marketplace and are equipped to stay up-to-date on the latest strategies and tactics while you run the rest of your business.

If you’re thinking about hiring a digital marketing agency, here are a few things you should look for before you take the plunge and some questions you definitely need to ask:

3 Digital Marketing Agency Red Flags

Your search for the right agency will be easier if you can rule out the ones that probably won’t be a good fit right off the bat. There are exceptions to every rule, of course, but here are some serious red flags to watch out for:

  1. No track record: Everyone has to start somewhere-as a businessperson, you know that more than most. Still, it’s important to know that the agency has proven itself with successful campaigns to minimize the risk of errors and bad judgment calls. Your brand doesn’t need to be the guinea pig.
  2. Unappealing websites and little social media activity: Plumbers with ugly websites are fine. Digital marketing agencies? No. If they can’t impress you when it comes their own digital marketing, how will they do better with yours?
  3. Poor communication: You need an agency that communicates well, and that includes communication with you. Any agency that you are considering should respond to your emails and phone calls in a timely manner, provide clear project guidelines, and have a standard structure for regular meetings with clients.

9 Questions to Ask a Digital Marketing Agency

During the selection process, you will need to interview potential agencies. This can be done in person, by phone, Skype, or email, but it must be done. Make it easy for yourself by making a list of key questions to ask:

  1. What KPIs do they measure? Measuring KPIs is vital to successful digital marketing campaigns. Make sure the candidate agency has a proven system in place for measuring a flexible set of KPIs. Most importantly, see if they ask what your marketing goal are. A good agency will learn your business objectives and help you reach your KPIs.
  2. Do they have experience? How long have they been in business? What is the educational and/or professional background of the people who will be working with you? Study the agency’s “About” page, and ask questions if their content doesn’t assure you. Connect with your sales rep on LinkedIn and ask to see case studies that prove their abilities.
  3. How do they handle reporting? How often do they report their progress (monthly, quarterly, etc.)? What do those reports look like? Can they provide samples? How customizable are those reports? You want an agency that can report on progress as often as you want. The reports they provide should track the progress of your unique KPIs and provide actionable insights based on the data.
  4. What ROI can you expect? What is the expected return on investment (ROI), and what is the timeline in which you can expect to see a return? Ask for projections based on your business goals, etc., but also ask to see case studies (again). Predictions are good, proof is better.
  5. Do they have a client portfolio and success stories? Can they show you past campaigns that were successful? Do they have customer feedback? Are they willing to provide names and phone numbers for references?
  6. Do they outsource? Do they outsource work, or do they do it all in-house? If they outsource, do they have a strong and reliable team of contractors? If an agency keeps all their work in-house, they’ve definitely vetted the people they have hired. But that doesn’t mean agencies who outsource necessarily provide inferior work; just make sure they work with a consistent team of freelancers and contractors who have been successful in the past.
  7. What is their specialization? What areas of digital marketing do they specialize in? Some agencies focus on SEO, while others specialize in PPC, social media marketing, or content. How focused are they in those areas? It can be tempting to hire one agency to do all your digital marketing, but you might see better results from working with two or three specialists who can collaborate.
  8. How do they handle meetings? How do they prefer to conduct meetings with clients? How often, who generally attends, and why? How flexible is their schedule?
  9. What are the contractual terms? How long is the contract term? How does payment work? What are they going to deliver to you? What are renewal and/or cancellation options?

Interview as many digital marketing agencies as you reasonably can. Take note of each agency’s “personality” and how it aligns with your company’s brand.

Find the Right Digital Marketing Agency

Digital marketing isn’t easy. It’s multi-pronged, continually evolving, and complex. As digital marketing becomes more and more vital for a business’ growth and success, the need for people with proven, up-to-the-minute expertise becomes more and more of a necessity.

As you begin your search, go in with your eyes open, keeping in mind your specific needs. Once you’ve established that the agency is compatible with your brand and has the track record and customer satisfaction you’re looking for, you’re on your way to building one of the most important relationships your business can have.

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How to Hire a Digital Marketing Agency: Red Flags and Key Questions was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. | http://blog.marketo.com

The post How to Hire a Digital Marketing Agency: Red Flags and Key Questions appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

4 B2B Marketing Tips for Running Successful PPC Campaigns

tips for successful PPC campaigns

Author: Divya Dutt

When I joined Marketo three years ago, I had previous experience running paid search campaigns at a B2C company. However, I quickly realized that pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns for typical B2B products are very different from those for B2C.

PPC campaigns for B2B and other considered purchases typically have longer sales cycles, so marketers may not be able to prove ROI right away. Of course, we can tell how many conversions one campaign is bringing in over the others, but conversions don’t always result in sales. Over the next few months in my new role, I quickly learned how to leverage marketing automation and CRM systems to measure key indicators-from lead conversions all the way to sales data-to come up with baseline numbers and let the back-end data (opportunity and pipeline) help me drive my budget and optimization decisions. In this blog, I’ll share these insights with you so you can ramp up your PPC campaigns.

If you’re new to running B2B paid campaigns or just need a refresher, these four tried-and-true tips will come in handy:

1. Don’t Focus Solely on Conversions

In most B2C campaigns, conversions are important because they indicate how many people made a purchase. But when you’re running B2B campaigns, the circumstances are a little different. Lead conversions are normally an indicator of how many people filled out a form, downloaded gated content, or registered for an event, but because these actions are many steps away from an actual purchase, we can’t rely on lead conversions as the only guiding force.

Some of your keywords might bring in a lot of new leads, but you need to evaluate whether those campaigns and keywords are generating actual sales for your company. You will need to look at other important indicators like the demographic scores, leads scores, marketing qualified leads, and pipeline that each campaign is generating.

2. Don’t Allocate Budget Based Off CPA

B2B keywords can be a lot more expensive than B2C keywords. For example, a keyword like marketing automation or marketing software can cost you anywhere from $35–$70 per click. Based on the high cost-per-acquisition (CPA) of some keywords, it might seem like a good idea to reduce your costs by pausing or reducing keywords that are expensive and investing in others that are cheaper.

However, if the expensive keywords are the ones that are bringing in the sales (not just conversions), you need to make sure that you continue to invest in those keywords. Again, don’ let the front-end conversions like form-fills and CPA guide your decisions. You need to look at how much you can afford to spend on the keywords that are driving closed-won deals and base your CPA thresholds on those numbers. Instead, start thinking in terms of cost per opportunity or closed deals. This will give you the true ROI of your PPC campaigns so you can understand how to best allocate your budget moving forward to drive opportunities and sales, not just conversions.

3. Dig into Historical Data to Determine Your Conversion Rate

Take a look at your previous PPC campaigns to map the conversion rate from leads generated to opportunities generated. The conversion rate is extremely important because it helps you determine how many leads you need to generate upfront to generate X number of sales opportunities. Since there are drop-offs at each stage, this number will help you better estimate how many leads you need to generate from each PPC campaign.

For example, if you generate 2000 conversions, there might be a 20% drop off from leads to targets (i.e. new names), leaving you with 1600 leads-of which 40% of might actually be marketing qualified leads. In that case, you’re left with 640 leads, of which only 15% of these leads might turn into new opportunities. By calculating the conversion rate, you can estimate that your PPC campaigns need to generate at least 2100 conversions every month to create approximately 100 sales opportunities. This helps you forecast your goals and budget for the upcoming quarter.

4. Create Precise Ad Groups

If your PPC campaigns are not grouped in tight ad groups with closely knit keywords, it can be tough to optimize these campaigns. Broad campaigns bury expensive keywords in other less-costly keywords, which makes it hard to pinpoint its effectiveness. The best way to manage your costs is to create campaigns with similar themes.

For example, for the keyword digital advertising, you might want to create ad groups within the campaign that contain closely related keywords like digital advertising solutions and digital advertising tips. You can also keep your costs down by attaching a comprehensive negative keyword, which is a term that you don’t want to be included in the set of clicks that you’ll pay for, and setting up your campaign so your ad only shows up for an exact match search. By creating campaigns and ad groups with these distinctions, you can control your costs more easily and only invest in keywords that are bringing in opportunities and sales.

To accomplish most of the above, you’ll need to use a solution that allows you to easily look into your back-end data so you can make data-driven budget and optimization decisions based on the ROI metrics like sales opportunities, pipeline generated, and deals won. Certain marketing automation and CRM systems will sync this offline back-end data into your Google or Facebook campaigns, making your life as a B2B marketer a lot easier.

While there are many other things that you need to consider when you’re running paid search campaigns, these are some of the most important things that may not be as intuitive.

What other tips would you recommend? Comment them below!

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4 B2B Marketing Tips for Running Successful PPC Campaigns was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. | http://blog.marketo.com

The post 4 B2B Marketing Tips for Running Successful PPC Campaigns appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

3 Key Characteristics of the Best Startup CEOs

Wanna succeed in the startup world? You’re gonna need a laser-like focus and the ability to become a sponge — for learning purposes, that is.

4 Effective Methods to Increase Your Survey Response Rates

increase survey responses

Author: Audra Sorman

If you build it, they will come…right? When it comes to surveys, not necessarily.

Like many of today’s savvy marketers, you’re probably looking for creative ways to bring in new leads or contacts and learn more about them, surveys being one of them. But creating your survey is just the start-perhaps the biggest hurdle to overcome is actually getting your potential and existing customers to take it.

It’s likely your survey is just one of many marketing messages your audience receives every week, so how do you cut through the noise and get them to not only pay attention to your survey but also fill it out? Here are four effective methods for increasing your survey response rates, from sending the right message to offering incentives:

1. The Main Message: Make Them Feel Special

To get people to want to complete your survey, express your genuine appreciation for their participation. Consider incorporating this messaging:

  • “We want to know what you think.” Emphasize the fact that you value their opinions-and explain how their feedback will directly impact your product roadmap or oferrings, the content you send them, etc. Be as specific as possible so they understand how you’re going to leverage their expertise and opinions.
  • “Please take 5 minutes to complete our survey.” Be respectful of their time by giving them an idea of how long it will take them to complete your survey. Don’t guess-ask a coworker who hasn’t seen your survey to time themselves taking it. Also, be sure to tell them how much you appreciate the time they’re taking out of their busy day to do you a favor.

Pro tip:  Make your survey as short as possible. Our research shows that 45% of survey takers are willing to spend up to five minutes completing a survey, while only a third are willing to spend up to 10 minutes.

2. Eye on the Prize: Provide Incentives

Sometimes, you can’t rely on goodwill alone. If you’re having a tough time getting people to complete your surveys, try offering incentives to boost your completion rates.

  • Discounts, gift cards, and raffles. Without a doubt, cash incentives increase response rates. Yes, there are pros and cons to incentivizing surveys (e.g. people might rush through surveys just to receive the incentive). But in the same research cited above, out of all the people who said they take surveys because they want a prize, 94% report they still give honest answers extremely or very often. Just make sure that your incentive will appeal to everyone in the segment you’re targeting. For instance, an Amazon gift card will probably be appealing to more people than tickets to Disney On Ice.

  • The “show me yours and I’ll show you mine” approach. If you’re on a tight budget and can’t offer discounts or prizes, considering sharing the survey results with your survey takers after you’ve collected all of your responses as the incentive (e.g. “See how you compare to your peers.”)

3. Don’t Waste Their Time: Keep Surveys Relevant

Put yourself in their shoes: Would you spend time on a survey that doesn’t give you a way to say “Does not apply” or skip questions that aren’t relevant to you? Probably not.

For example, if you don’t drink coffee, answering questions about your coffee habits would be a waste of your time-plus, the answers you’d give wouldn’t be accurate or helpful. Instead, use the following methods to keep your surveys relevant:

  • Give them an out. Don’t have enough information about your prospects? Add a screening question to send them down the right path. Here’s an example:

In general, how often do you drink coffee (hot or iced)?

Several times a day

About once a day

A few times a week

A few times a month

A few times a year

Never or almost never

If your respondents select “Never or almost never,” you can send them directly to the end of the survey and thank them for their time. That way, you don’t get a bunch of opinions on coffee from people who don’t drink it.

  • Send them down the right path. However, let’s say you want to find out why those people don’t drink coffee. Maybe they don’t like the taste or it’s too expensive. If you’re a company looking to market a new brew to a niche audience, use survey logic to send those who select “Never or almost never” to a set of questions tailored to their answer choice.

Pro tip: Good survey platforms will give you the option to easily build survey logic rules and multiple paths into your surveys.

4. Be Top-of-Mind: Offer Surveys in Multiple Channels

You already have your subscribers’ email addresses, so the easiest way to make sure your survey reaches them is to send it via email. But what if they ignore the survey you send to their inbox?

One thing that can really pique their interest is if they “run into you” all over the internet. Try posting your survey in your social media channels or embedding it into relevant marketing pages. You can even send surveys via SMS. By the second time they see your survey, they’ll undoubtedly remember it. The third time it comes to their attention, they may be extremely curious and complete the survey just to see what you’re up to.

Pro tip: Avoid spamming by mapping your survey responses to your marketing automation platform, then exclude anyone who has completed the survey from receiving future sends.

The Bottom Line: The More Accurate Responses, the Better

Of course, in addition to learning more about your target audience, you’ll be in a better position to identify and analyze data trends when you receive more responses. If only 12 people take your survey, you’d be hard pressed to come up with accurate conclusions that generalize your target market’s habits and behaviors.

Whether you’re looking to draw conclusions about your target market, learn crucial details about your audience, or identify hot MQLs, send surveys and sync survey feedback with your marketing automation solution to reap all of the benefits.

Have you used surveys to generate demand? Share your own tips and tricks in the comments below!

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4 Effective Methods to Increase Your Survey Response Rates was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. | http://blog.marketo.com

The post 4 Effective Methods to Increase Your Survey Response Rates appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.