Archive for the ‘Digital Marketing’ Category

Consumer Decision Journey – throw out the Sales Funnel model!

November 8th, 2016 by Heather Maloney

image-consumer-decision-journey
As the creator of a broadly used email and SMS marketing solution (eNudge) for the Australia marketplace, I thought that over the years I would see a general improvement in the way email marketing campaigns were constructed and delivered. I’m sad to say that on the whole, nothing much has changed. eNudge provides a myriad tools to help you segment, target, automate, measure and analyse, but it’s in the execution where many people fall down. Business owners and marketers get busy, and then just flick off a quick email to get a spike in sales. They are content with a spike and move on.

However, I know there is a better way … there always has been. Many marketers refer to it as lead nurturing, and email campaigns (including the eNudge Message Series functionality) are an excellent way to nurture your leads. For many years, marketing personnel have been working with a Sales Funnel model in mind – a linear movement of a potential buyer through awareness, interest, desire and finally action (buy). Lead nurturing refers to understanding where your lead is in the sales funnel, and give them the next piece of information that they need to take them to the next step in the journey; the next step closer towards being ready to buy.

I could be placated if I saw email marketing being used more for lead nurturing … more value and information being supplied, in a logical flow, engaging with potential buyers and taking them down a path to understanding and trusting you. However, thoughts even on lead nurturing have moved on …

The changing landscape of information availability via the internet including the impact of social media, and more recent research into buyer behaviour, suggests throwing out the sales funnel model and replacing it with what is being called by McKinsey as the “Consumer Decision Journey“. McKinsey research revealed that far from systematically narrowing their choices, today consumers take a much more iterative and less reductive journey of four stages: 1/ consider, 2/ evaluate, 3/ buy, and 4/ enjoy, advocate, bond. During stage 2 (evaluate) where the Sales Funnel approach says the the options get narrowed down, this in reality is where the brands most active online often replace the brands that were in the original consideration list (perhaps added to the list because of traditional advertising). The consumer’s options actually expand during this phase and the originals often get thrown out where there isn’t enough information online or customer reviews to support them.

Even more critical in what is being seen now in consumer behaviour, McKinsey discovered that during the 4th stage (enjoy-advocate-bond) more than 60% of consumers conduct online research about the products after purchase – a touch point entirely missing from the sales funnel approach. It is during this after purchase where your customer will advocate for your product or service by word of mouth, and produce online content to help future consumers in the consider and evaluate phases.

Other recent research by the Harvard Business Review team has shown that achieving the “full” sale to a B2B client is best achieved by providing the opportunity for that client to purchase small prototypes or incremental products along the buying journey i.e. as part of the evaluate stage. For more about this read: “To Increase Sales, Get Customers to Commit a Little at a Time“.

It was no small task, but the Harvard Business Review article describes an example implementation of changing the view of marketing to that of the ‘Consumer Decision Journey’ lead to a new TV becoming the top seller on Amazon.com and the company’s best performer in retail stores, far exceeding the marketers’ expectations.

To ensure that your product or service is not thrown out by prospects during the Evaluate phase of the consumer journey, and to help new customers to Enjoy, Advocate and Bond:

  1. Make sure your product or service is present online, not only in your own website, but also in comparison sites and marketplaces (for B2C) and online communities (for B2B)
  2. Foster online reviews of your products and services via social media and 3rd party websites
  3. Provide rich and easily accessible information online for people who have already purchased your product or service to help them get the most out of it
  4. Introduce new ways to inspire existing customers to refer their friends and colleagues to you – think DropBox who give away additional storage space for referring business

Your email marketing activities should assist you with with each of the above. Email campaigns should be created specifically for new customers and should point to additional online resources, and specifically ask for reviews or feedback. Email campaigns to your wider database should reference case studies and additional information available to help prospects in the evaluate phase.

If you need help with:

  • creating incremental or prototype products to sell to your clients as they evaluate,
  • creating additional online content,
  • making your online content more engaging,
  • ensuring you have a vibrant social media presence,
  • ensuring your product or service can be found easily online (SEO), or
  • creating email marketing campaigns that engage,

don’t hesitate to get in touch.

We are passionate about helping businesses to grow using online technologies.

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Custom Digital Marketing Solutions are here!

September 1st, 2016 by Cameron Collins

image-custom-digital-marketing
Providing a customised Digital Marketing Solution ensures that our services are tuned to your budget, objectives, target market, and current position in the digital landscape. We are tuned into giving your organisation a competitive advantage, and delivering measurable results.

The following list summarises the activities that may be part of a digital marketing solution for your organisation. We would love to talk to you about your particular requirements, so feel free to get in touch.

1. Content curation

Content curation involves sourcing relevant articles, media and editorial and then re-posting possibly after adding your slant on the content. The aim here is helping, not selling. Curated content must be engaging, or provide a solution to common problems your target audience would face. Curating content is a cost effective way to gain exposure, whilst building trust and demonstrating your leadership and expertise within your industry.

2. Blog / Editorial writing

Looking for a way to add some personality to your businesses image? Want customers to be interested in who you are and what you are doing? Blog posts let you draw your audience in a bit closer and inform them about what is going on in your organisation and industry. Editorials posted into another businesses blog or email newsletter instantaneously broaden the reach of your organisation.

3. Web content writing

You know what you are selling, but not sure how to present it on your website? People have a hunger for information, yet do not have the time or patience to dig through hundreds of words.

Instead of visiting or calling each store, customers are searching the internet to narrow their selection before talking to sales staff. We construct web content that gets your key points across in a clear and concise manner, and in a tone that engages your target audience.

4. Social media posting

How do you reach out and find new customers that are not actively looking for your product/service, but may be very interested once they know you exist? How do you advertise and create brand awareness, without spending a fortune on television ads and billboards? Social media has levelled the playing field, allowing those in small businesses that have creative and unique ideas to compete with much larger organisations.

5. Social media ads writing

Are you looking to conduct an advertising campaign, but you only want to be seen by your target market, instead of wasting money sending it to everyone? Many traditional forms of advertising are expensive and inefficient – you may be selling cricket bats, but your television ad is being shown to people that don’t even play cricket! We create social media ad campaigns that only reach those you wish to target.

6. Social media management (ads and interactions)

Would you like to have an ad campaign, yet don’t have the time to manage your ads and create new posts? Social media does require regular attention and can cause communication issues with customers if it is neglected. We manage campaigns, respond to customer interactions, seek constant improvement in ad performance and report the key results back to you.

7. Paid ads writing & landing page design and build

When was the last time you googled a product, a service or a shop, before making a purchase? Many people turn to Google almost daily to quickly compare their options and make their buying decision.

If you could ensure your business was on the top of the page when someone searched for your type of product/service, how much money would this be worth to you? We collaborate with businesses to ensure that your name is seen by the right people at the right time!

8. Paid ads management

How much is an adequate amount to spend each time a customer clicks on my ad? How many conversions am I making each month? Who is seeing my ads? Setting up and managing a Google ad campaign on your own can be confusing! We manage the ad campaigns for a variety of clients and know how to give your brand the best exposure regardless of budget. Our monthly reports give you the information you need in a simple, easy to read format.

9. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

When was the last time you looked at the second page of Google search results? You probably don’t remember! Most people don’t have time to look at every website that appears in the Google search rankings, and if they can find what they were looking for in the first 2 or 3 clicks, then why bother?

How many more sales would you make if prospective customers saw your business ahead of your competitors? We work with a wide range of organisations to lift their Google rankings for relevant and popular search terms.

SEO is a constantly changing field. With more businesses optimising their websites for SEO and Google regularly changing their algorithms to provide the best quality search results, websites need frequent attention to ensure they don’t just make the top rankings, they stay there too.

10. Email Marketing

Email is by no means dead … in fact, it is still the most cost effective tool in the Digital Marketing landscape. Of course… we are all flooded with emails, so it is vital that your email campaigns are executed very well. We assist our clients to design, build in HTML (preferably mobile responsive) and send, ensuring that you make the most of technology opportunities to automate a stream of messages, personalise, track interactions, and encourage social and other sharing.

11. SMS (Text Message) Marketing

SMS is a very personal communication channel for your contacts. It has it’s own peculiar advantages and disadvantages. We assist our clients to ensure that this medium is used well, including the ability to easily unsubscribe and receive immediate replies to your messages.

12. Surveys / Diagnostics

Also known as an online questionnaire, these tools can be highly engaging, help to build trust, and of course feed your pipeline with pre-qualified leads. Often these tools will be combined with a pay per click and/or email campaign.

13. Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)

Okay, so you have lots of people coming to your website, and lots of interactions happening, but in the back of your mind you worry that more can be done … but what exactly?? That’s where CRO comes in – the programmatic adjustment of layout, content and imagery to determine which elements, or combinations of factors, deliver the optimal number of conversions (leads, sales, enquiries, submissions).

Let’s not call this list complete! The ways that we can assist you with marketing your organisation using online technologies will continue to evolve.

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Getting Started with Google Adwords for your Website

April 5th, 2016 by Trevor Robinson

You’ve heard about Google Adwords or Pay Per Click campaigns to bring people to your website, but you don’t know what’s involved, or how to get started. This blog post will help you take your first steps to enticing additional visitors to your website, and inspiring those visitors to take action (buy, browse or enquire).

Before we get into that, a quick summary of Google Adword… Google’s paid text ads can appear at the top, in amongst, or at the bottom of, the regular (referred to as ‘organic’ in the web developer world) search results. The text ads have a set format specified by Google. You can recognise the ads by a small orange image that says ‘Ad’ – well, that’s for the moment, Google changes ad positions and styles from time to time. Your ads can also appear in the ‘Display Network’ – websites of organisations or individuals who have decided to try earn some extra revenue by being paid by Google to display your ads. The feature embedded into 3rd party websites to show Google ads is called ‘Google Adsense’.

GoogleAd

You can also setup image ads, which can encourage more people to notice and click through. Google more recently has implemented an initiative called ‘Re-marketing’ whereby Google tracks who is visiting the websites of advertisers, and then show that advertisers’ ads to those same people when they visit other sites containing Google Adsense. In a way the ad “follows” the person. This strategy is clearly very effective in getting a person to return and buy the product or service being advertised, however, it can be disconcerting / annoying for some. You need to specifically set up Google Re-marketing if you want your ads to follow people around.

GoogleRemarketingAdsinGumtree

The Google Shopping Feed is another tool for inserting your products into search engine results.

GoogleShoppingFeed

Whenever a person clicks on your ad, they are taken to a page of your website that you specify, and in doing so, are causing you to owe Google a small fee for that click. The fee amount depends on numerous factors, but will usually be around the same amount for a specific ad – when you setup the ad, Google will tell you the likely cost per click. When you setup your ads, you will also set a daily budget for click costs per day, and Google will not exceed that cost.

That’s the summary… now, back to getting started!

Step #1 – your objectives

Knowing what your objectives are is essential for achieving them!

Your objectives for your Google Ads are likely to be phrased in one of the following formats:

  • Attract 50 new visitors looking for product/service XYZ per month, in order to receive 25 enquiries and convert 10 into new customers
    OR
  • Attract 500 new visitors requiring service XYZ, in order to add 400 people to our email database
    OR
  • Attract 1000 people wanting to purchase XYZ product, in order to sell 250 products

It can be tempting for business owners to think that they want unlimited new visitors to their website… why put a number on it!? However, in reality, unless your product or service is 100% delivered in a hands-off manner, there will be a limit to the number you can sell in any given month based on your current stock / staffing / processes etc.

Step #2 – writing your ads

Your ads will potentially appear in amongst ads of your competitors and/or in amongst other search engine results, so it is important that your ad stands out or grabs the attention of the searcher, to be more likely to be clicked.

Before writing ads for our clients, we always look at the ads of competitors, and ensure that we take a different approach.

The set format for ads means that there are very few words for you to play with, so writing a succinct but attention-grabbing ad, which appropriately represents your organisation and the destination page, can be tricky!

Step #3 – tailoring the destination page

Your ad needs to deliver – when the searcher clicks on the ad, it MUST take the person to a relevant page of your website that meets the expectation set by the ad. If it doesn’t, the searcher will disappear in an instant (but you’ve paid for that visit), and your reputation will suffer a tiny bit of damage because you have just wasted that person’s time.

The destination page – also called the ‘landing page’ – will likely need some adjustment to ensure that the searcher knows in an instant that they are in the right place. Repeating that text of your add in the first heading and paragraph of the landing page is one way to achieve this.

The landing page should also include a relevant ‘call to action’ related to the ad. Depending on your objectives, your call to action could be ‘sign up for our newsletter‘ or it could be ‘buy now’… Calls to action are often brightly designed images hyperlinked to another page of your site, or text hyperlinks.

Because of the need to tailor the destination page to ensure that the ad, for which you have paid, delivers the highest return on investment, often you are better off creating a specific landing page for every ad you run.

Call-To-Action-Button-Examples

Step #4 – setting up your ads

Once you have your ads written, and landing pages ready to go, you need to setup your ads inside the Google Adwords tool: https://www.google.com.au/adwords/ You need to have a Google Account to login and start configuring your ads. You also need to attach a credit card to your Google Adwords Account in order to start your ads running.

The Google Adwords tool can be a little confusing at first, because there are so many settings and options for your ads. So, if you are going to do this step yourself, you are wise to work your way through some Google Tutorials on how it is done.

Some important settings to look out for when setting up your ads:

  • Keywords – you associate each ad with a set of keywords, and these keywords are the main factor in the cost per click charged by Google for your ad. Google provides a tool for helping you choose appropriate keywords. The most cost effective keywords are those with low competitor activity (few others bidding for that word / phrase) yet a high number of monthly searches.
  • Exact or broad match – the Adwords tool defaults your keywords to ‘broad’ match, meaning that if any of the words in your keyword or phrase appear in any part of the search term entered by the searcher, or synonyms of your keywords, then your ad can be displayed. For example, if the key phrase you are bidding for is ‘ladies hats’ and the searcher types in ‘baseball hats’ in Google, then your ad may appear if you specified broad match. Google defaults to broad match because it is trying to give your ad the most exposure possible, and relies on your ad being written well enough so that only your target market will click on it. However, you run the risk of people mistakenly clicking on your ad, and costing you money.
  • Negative keywords – these allow you to stop Google from presenting your ad if a particular word (the negative keyword) is included in the searched for words. For example, if you sell top end perfume and bid on the search term ‘perfume’ with a negative keyword of ‘cheap’, then if a searcher types in ‘cheap perfume’ your ad will not be displayed. Use of negative keywords is an obvious way to ensure that only the right target audience sees your ad.
  • Time of day – you can specify which days of the week, and the time of the day, that your ad should be displayed. If it is very unlikely that your target audience are looking for your services at 2:00 AM in the morning, then displaying your ad at that time would be a waste and attract people from the wrong country.
  • Location – you can also specify where the searcher can be located, either by city, region or country.
  • Budget – you can specify not only your daily budget but also how quickly you spend that e.g. spread over a month, or spent as quickly as possible. If your ads are not displayed or clicked on, then your budget won’t be spent.

There are many other settings for your ads; reading Google’s tutorials about these will go a long way to helping you work out the best setting for your ads.

Step #5 – managing your ads

In order for your ads to start displaying in Google search engine results you must have a valid credit card attached to your account, and your ads must be approved by Google. The approval process can take several hours, and is necessary after every change to the text of your ads.

It is important to check on your ads on a regular basis with regard to the following:

  • Ensure they are still running!
  • Ad Impressions – if your ad is never being shown, then it will never be clicked on. You may need to adjust your bid, keywords, or ad copy to improve impressions.
  • Ad Position – you need to check that your ads are being placed high enough in the ads to actually be likely to be seen and clicked. This will depend on advertiser competition, and the amount you are willing to pay per click for your ad.
  • Click through rate (CTR) – some ads will attract searchers more than others – these will have higher CTRs, and are likely the ads you will want to spend more money on, and perhaps pause the others – but only if they are also delivering against your objectives.
  • Actual cost per click – if the average click cost is very close to your maximum bid, you may be missing out on potential clicks and therefore should try increasing your budget. If your daily budget, because the average cost per click is so high, won’t deliver enough potential customers to meet your objectives, then you need to consider increasing your budget or choosing different keywords that attract a lower cost per click.
  • Keywords – over time, the terms being used by searchers to find your ads may evolve, so you may need to adjust the keywords associated with each ad. You may also find that people are clicking on your ad
  • Display Network – if you allow your ads to appear within the display network, you should check that your ads are showing in appropriate sites. It’s time consuming to check each website in which your ad has appeared and then adjust, but you can prevent your ad from appearing again in particular websites.

Managing your ads is a little involved, and not managing them well can either cost you serious dollars or mean that you are missing out of potential customers and not meeting your advertising objectives.

We understand that setting up and managing Google Adwords can seem daunting, so if you need any assistance we’re happy to help.

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Integrating your shopping cart with the Google Shopping API

July 29th, 2015 by Harry Liu

The use of Google shopping is becoming more popular in Australia. The norm used to be that you would use the main Google search box, or more recently just type your search terms into the address bar and press enter, to find and compare products. Using this method, the search results is usually a list of websites, requiring you to view many sites to find the best purchase, or if you trusted them, you could use a comparison site to find you the best deal. Now we can use Google Shopping – https://www.google.com.au/shopping – to search items from a collection of ecommerce websites.
google-shopping-example

A search in Google Shopping returns an easy to navigate set of products (images, names, ratings, price) with multiple searching options, a powerful filter to narrow down the set of recommendations, and a Shortlist feature to help you select the product to purchase. Clicking on a product allows you to see more details, including any reviews, and then click through to purchase the product from the original vendor. However Google will only list products that have been submitted by an eCommerce website – Google doesn’t go out and gather product information to populate Google Shopping, as it does with the regular search engine results.

The simplest way to submit your products to the Google Shopping engine is to use the API (application programming interface) supplied by Google. We have recently implemented an automated product feed into Google Shopping for Miami Stainless, so now you can find their stainless steel products through Google Shopping e.g. search on ‘balustrade wire’.

On average it will take around 4 – 5 hours for us to implement automated integration of a Contact Point Shopping Cart website’s product information with the Google Shopping engine. You may elect to only send to Google products that aren’t on sale, or perhaps, certain categories of product – these sorts of rules can be programmed into the automated product feed from your online store.

Why not make the most of this opportunity in Google to place your products in front of more customers?

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Mobile-friendly algorithm update: More Than Paws

June 29th, 2015 by Trevor Robinson

It’s been 2 months since Google rolled out its mobile-friendly algorithm which was set to enhance rankings for mobile-friendly / responsive web pages in mobile search results, so now is a good time to measure the impact of Google’s latest algorithmic update by reviewing one of our clients’ websites.

In order to obtain an accurate gauge between desktop and mobile search results, we needed to select a website without a mobile-friendly website version or responsive design.

More Than Paws is an e-commerce website specialising in clothing, accessories and costumers mainly for our canine friends, as well as other household pets. The More Than Paws team have been thinking about adopting a responsive website since there was first talk of the mobile-friendly algorithm update.

More Than PawsIn order to review the impact of the change, we selected 4 search terms that the More Than Paws website had been ranking well on in the months leading up to the Google algorithm change. The following search engine ranks are for Australian only results in Google, for both mobile and desktop devices – we performed these searches manually, without being signed into any Google Account in order to get the most accurate results.

Dog Bandanas
Desktop: #5
Mobile: #5

Dog Clothes
Desktop: #12
Mobile: #12

Dog Costumes
Desktop: #6
Mobile: #8

Dog Hoodies
Desktop: #3
Mobile: #5

The above results show a small impact on our client website’s Google ranks, with the search terms: ‘Dog Costumes’ and ‘Dog Hoodies’ both showing a 2 position rank deficit compared to the desktop.

We also reviewed the number of impressions for the More Than Paws website via desktop compared to mobile devices, pre and post the algorithm change.

Impressions from March 25 to April 21 (mobile-friendly algorithm introduction)
Impressions pre algorithm change

From the 23rd of March up until the advent of the mobile-friendly algoithm, the More Than Paws website received 5,752 impressions via desktop and 3,530 via a mobile device, which equates to a 47.87% difference.

Impressions from April 21 to June 22.
Impressions after algorithm change

Since the introduction of the update, up until the 22nd June, the More Than Paws website received 20,488 impressions via desktop and 11,931 via a mobile device, which equates to a 52.79% difference, or reduction of 4.92% of impressions between mobile and desktop devices.

It should be noted that most of the websites ranking well for similar search terms do not yet have mobile friendly / responsive websites. We expect that the difference pre and post the algorithm change would be more significant where well ranking competitors have mobile responsive websites. We also expect to see the difference between the ranks to become more significant over time, as Google adjusts the algorithm to achieve its aims in this area.

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Reach Mobile Melbournians billboard

June 27th, 2015 by Heather Maloney

After passing the billboard on the Westgate freeway several times, I just had to know what the advertising was all about. I mean … a Google search box containing the search phrase “reach mobile Melbournians” had to be somehow relevant to the endeavours of Contact Point!

So I grabbed my mobile phone (hubby was driving so that presented no problem) and typed in the search term “reach mobile melbournians” only to find a collection of random unrelated search results for page after page. Very frustrating! I am fairly of-fey with searching, having been involved in search engine optimisation since it began, so I continued on regardless to find what the billboard was all about. I refined my search to ‘reach mobile Melbournians billboard’ and was fortunate enough to get to the right place. The answer? A big new digital billboard coming into Melbourne City. So the ‘mobile’ in those search terms referred to people on their feet (rather than on a mobile device), and the Melbournians was actually people visiting the heart of the city of Melbourne.

Actually, to be completely honest, this was the second I had searched for this search term – the first time, after passing the sign at a pretty good speed, I searched for ‘reach mobile Melburnians’ because I thought that was how it was spelled.

Today I was glad to have my curiosity satisfied, however it struck me that the effort I was prepared to put in so that I could find the answer to the burning question raised by the billboard surely wouldn’t be the norm, and therefore the cost of that billboard wasn’t capitalised on with a complementary search engine marketing campaign.

If Contact Point had been engaged to assist the promoter we would have recommended the following:

  1. Write an article or two like this, explaining the meaning of the billboard advertising, and publishing the blog a day before or on the day that the billboard ad appeared.
  2. Ensure that the blog was well optimised for the search engines.
  3. Include a custom, short URL in the billboard to help the curious find it.
  4. Use social media simultaneously on the launch day or just before, to talk about the billboard, pointing to the explanatory webpage, and using useful hash tags to help searchers find it (eg multiple spellings of words if necessary)
  5. Once the billboard was actually out in the public, take a video of it and post that on the company YouTube account, including appropriate hash tags and including a URL that points back to the landing page on the website.

There’s more you could do if you have budget, but all of the above could be done for very little cost and effort, making it much easier for me to solve my burning question. That’s my two cents worth!

We love helping businesses to grow using technology, so if you are planning to reach mobile Melbournians or Melburnians for that matter, especially through search engines or through the use of mobile apps or a mobile responsive website, feel free to get in touch.

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Mobile Responsiveness just became even more important for high ranks in Google

April 19th, 2015 by Trevor Robinson

As of the 21st April, 2015, the Google search engine, globally, is giving weight to the presence or absence of mobile responsiveness in your website for people searching in Google using a mobile device. For example, if you are searching for a local cafe while using your mobile phone, the local cafe that has a website which is optimised for viewing on a mobile phone is much more likely to appear in the top search results for your Google search.

Google have been warning about this change for some time, so if you don’t have a mobile responsive website yet and if people searching for your business are likely to do that using a mobile device (tablet, phone, mini-tablet etc), now is definitely the time to act.

In a nutshell, a mobile responsive website is one that lays out differently and potentially functions differently, depending on the size of the screen being used, and whether the device has a touch screen or not.

Below is an example of a website which has been built responsively (the Contact Point website):
responsive_contactpoint

You can read more about what it means to have a mobile responsive website here.

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