BarnRaisers


8 surprisingly simple steps to conduct a content audit 0

Posted on June 19, 2017 by Rob Petersen

content audit

Content audit is an analysis of the all the content your organization is responsible for. A content audit is a cornerstone for content strategy, SEO, social media marketing, corporate communications, digital advertising, brand guidelines, style guide and your voice and tone.

While the analysis involves quantitative measures, much of the process is qualitative. It involves identifying high-quality content, removing low quality content and establishing guidelines and standards. The areas that usually are most inspected are the content on your website and social media pages.

The goal of a content audit is to raise your company’s profile and build trust. A few reasons why a conduct audit makes sense are:

  • 88% of B2B marketers use content marketing in their marketing strategies
  • 73% of major organizations hire someone to manage their content marketing strategy
  • 56% of marketers believe that personalized content promotes higher engagement rates (source: Content Marketing Institute)

Here are 8 surprisingly simple steps to conduct a content audit.

  1. START WITH A SPREADSHEET OR LIST: In order to do any audit, you have to begin with an inventory. A spreadsheet or list is what you’ll need. A simple set up is create column for: 1) Webpage URL’s, 2) Page Titles, 3) Descriptions or snippet of essential text, 4) Date published or created and 5) Actions (whether, at the end of the audit, the page  stay, goes or is reworked).
  2. IDENTIFY WHAT’S UNIQUE AND DIFFERENTIATING: Look at your inventory and see what your content  says about you, your company and your products or services. What’s unique and differentiating? Why should your audience take note and care? How do you keep it fresh? Avoid being repetitive. Add news?
  3. MEASURE INTEREST AND APPEAL: Objective measurements such as Pageviews, Search Rank, Links and Shares, Comments, Likes, Views and Re-Tweets for social media pages are considerations to measuer. They can all be found in a web analytics tool like Google Analytics or through search queries and review of your social media pages.
  4. ASSESS ACCURACY, DATE AND WRITING PROFESSIONALISM: The relevance of your content is influenced by its recency, reliability and writing. Examine content by how often you write about it, what is included (e.g. images, video, charts, contact forms) and how well it’s written. Ask yourself if your believe your company is publishing quality content?
  5. EXAMINE SEO ELEMENTS: Review the Page Titles, Keywords, Meta Descriptions, Headings and Alt Image Tags. Are target keywords and phrases used on the page? Are page descriptions and metadata employed appropriately? Are headlines optimized for search? Search engine optimization (SEO) begins and ends with content. So evaluating to what extent content conforms to best practices in search is an essential part of an audit.
  6. EVALUATE WHAT NEEDS TO BE ADDED AND REMOVED: Now, you are ready to determine what stays, goes, is reworked as well as any organization or reorganization. If you are revising or refreshing a website, a content audit provides learning for site architecture, navigation tabs and drop-down menus.
  7. JUDGE FOR CONSISTENCY OF VOICE AND TONE: How do you express yourself? What is your attitude to people know something about you?. They are essential qualities that should be consistent because they create trust and help others determine if they would like to get to know you better.
  8. PLAN FOR SUCCESS: Now you’ve done the hard work. And you have a template, game plan and actionable scorecard for seeing improvement and success. Examine progress periodically. Once a quarter or even twice a year is a good schedule for reviewing your content audit.

Once it’s done, a content audit is a valuable company asset. A great piece for learning, insights and actions.

Do these steps convince you of the value of a content audit? Are they simple enough to follow? Do you need help conducting one for your company?

 

 

Facebook Ads vs Google Adwords. 7 key criteria to decide 0

Posted on June 12, 2017 by Rob Petersen

facebook ads vs google adwords

Facebook Ads vs Google Adwords. Consider these facts.

  • Digital ad revenue in the U.S. grew by more than 20% last year to a record $72.5 billion. (IAB)
  • Google and Facebook accounted for almost 100% of all the growth in U.S. digital ad revenue last year. (IAB)
  • Google and Facebook are predicted to make $106 billion from advertising this year, almost half the world’s digital ad spend. (eMarketer)

The facts state, if you do any digital advertising, you likely to be using Facebook Ads or Google Adwords.

Should you be using one? Or the other? Or both? Which one and why?

Facebook Ads vs Google Adwords. Here are 7 key criteria to decide.

  1. AUDIENCE: SEARCHERS OR FRIENDS AND FANS? Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average. This translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year.  For Facebook, 1.28 billion people log on daily, an 18% increase year over year. Both numbers are huge. But the Google user is looking for something specific. Facebook’s audience is looking to find out what others, mostly people they know, are doing and saying.
  2. MESSAGE: NEEDS OR INTERESTS? With every Google search query, someone is looking for something to meet a need. Google is trying to answer that question, based on keywords for the product or service that meets that needs. And the advertiser with the most competitive bid for that keyword. On Facebook, people share almost every conceivable detail of their lives. They consume content that aligns with a huge range of personal interests, beliefs, ideologies, and values. And Facebook knows better than anyone, what are their interests and value to best connect with a business’ solution.
  3. BUDGET: KEYWORDS OR CAMPAIGNS? Facebook Ads vs Google Adwords. Both are very affordable because both are based on Cost Per Clicks (CPC) set by a predetermined budget of your choice. The Google budget is based on keywords and the bid for those keywords. With any ad buy, Google lets you know the bid for a keyword that gets the best ad position. Although costs are fixed and controllable, there are a few variable to manage to get the best value for your ad investment and not overpay. Facebook very simply lets you know what you will spend by day for the predetermined budget on your choice. However, Facebook asks you to first answer questions about what you are trying to do. Is it create awareness, drive conversions, generate Likes? There is less risk of overspending but there is some specific direction that has to be decided first.
  4. MEASUREMENTS: MEDIA OR SOCIAL? Measurements are different so there is a learning curve. To measure effectiveness, Google Adwords uses more traditional digital media measurements like: 1) Impressions, 2) Clicks, 3) Click Thru Rate and 4) Conversions. Facebook uses metrics based on social interactions like: 1) Reach, 2) Engagement, 3) Page Views and 4) Likes. Although both measure Conversions, Google Adwords allows for multiple Conversions.
  5. TYPE OF BUSINESS: B2C OR  B2B? Facebook ads vs Google Adwords. Facebook is more consumer-oriented because people log-in frequently to see what their friends are doing. While they may log-in from work so business interests are also on their mind, Facebook is inherently more B2C. Google is both B2C and B2B because it is based on keywords that represent a need that either a B2C or B2B target is searching.
  6. BUYING CYCLE: TOP OF FUNNEL OR BOTTOM OF FUNNEL: The stages of the Purchase Funnel are: 1) Awareness, 2) Opinion, 3) Consideration, 4) Preference and 5) Purchase. Because Facebook is more interest-oriented, it is more of a top of the funnel advertising solution. Google Adwords, being more needs-based, it s more bottom of the funnel.
  7. ROI: RETURN ON AD INVESTMENT: With either Facebook ads vs Google Adwords, the tracking is established to track your visitors from their initial contact with your ad; whether they went to the desired destination you drive them and take the action you want. You should know how many who take that actions result in a purchase. If you do, you will know the ROI of your ad investment with either Facebook ads or Google Adwords.

Facebook ad vs Google Adwords. Do these criteria help you decide which is better suited for your needs. Do you need help with your Facebook or Google ad buy?

 

16 ways to ramp up SEO search rankings in 20 days (Infographic) 0

Posted on June 05, 2017 by Rob Petersen

seo search rankings

SEO search rankings refer to a website’s positions on search engine results pages (SERP). There are various ranking factors that influence whether a website appears higher.

To increase SEO search ranking with a plan, SEO Reseller has quantified and qualified it with specific steps and a plan. And they have created an infographic to be your blueprint to make sure you know what to do. With keyword research, you’re ready to get to work.

Here are 16 ways to ramp up your SEO search rankings in 20 days in a brief summary and then the infographic.

DAY 1 TO 3: SET UP YOUR SITE FOR SEO SEARCH RANKING

  • 79% of customers are less likely to repeat from a site with low speed performance
  • Speed up your site by removing unnecessary plugins, JavaScript and templates (CSS)
  • Optimize for mobile-friendliness with a responsive design
  • Implement Google AMP (Accelerate Mobile Pages) to deliver a better experience to users

DAY 4 TO 8: FOCUS ON CONTENT DEVELOPMENT

  • 89% of B2B marketing use content marketing as part of their strategies
  • Find relevant keywords, use visuals, videos and infographics and create clear calls to action
  • Implement Schema Markup, code (semantic vocabulary) that you put on your website to help the search engines return more informative results for users; choose a specific schema that best describes your business

DAY 9 TO 11: OPTIMIZE LOCAL LISTINGS

  • Google local listings are taking up more space than organic
  • Optimize your Google My Business
  • Optimize your Yahoo Local
  • Optimize your Bing Places for Business
  • Optimize your Yelp and manta profiles
  • Use Localeze to insure business information consistency

DAY 12 TO 14: GET REVIEWS

  • 68% of customers are likely to trust a business if they read a positive review about it
  • Get users to review you
  • Get vouched by local institutions

DAY 15 TO 20: GO SOCIAL AND MOBILE

  • Get on social media networks
  • Optimize for mobile-friendliness
  • Tap into your YouTube traffic

Below is the infographic so you have a visual reminder.

Do these ways to ramp up SEO search rankings make sense to you? Are you ready to get started? Do you need help with your SEO search rank?

SEO search rankings infographic

31 facts on winning new business pitches for ad agencies 0

Posted on May 22, 2017 by Rob Petersen

winning new business pitches

Winning new business pitches is a key barometers of success for any ad agency.

On Google, if you search the phrase, how to win an ad agency pitch, you’ll find 11.7 million entries. That’s means a good number of people are looking for the answer to this question.

In the titles of these entries, you’ll find words such as “rules,” “playbook,” “guide,” “tips” and “tactics.” In other words, someone’s else opinion.

This article doesn’t pretend to have that wisdom. Instead, here are 31 facts on winning new business pitches broken out into categories so you know by the numbers;

  • What are chances for success
  • What works against you
  • What works.

WHAT ARE CHANCES FOR SUCCESS

  1. 96% of ad agencies have participated in a new business pitch. (Provoke Insights Study)
  2. 49% are general ad agencies and 23% are digital, 9% are brand consultancies and 8% are media. (Provoke Insights Study)
  3. Average closing rate in the U.S. is 43%. (Cubeyou)
  4. New business pitches cost ad agencies between $15,000 and $20,000 to prepare. (Cubeyou)
  5. The average amount of work that goes into each proposal is 150 hours. (Cubeyou)
  6. Small to mid-sized receive 10-12 requests for proposals (RFPs) a year. (Cubeyou)
  7. 299,000 Google results for “best advertising blogs.” (Peter Levitan)

WHAT WORKS AGAINST YOU

  1. 80% of agencies say the New Business Director lasted less than 2 years. (Smart Insights)
  2. 66% have no methodology or business development plan for winning new business pitches. (Smart Insights)
  3. 53% of clients investigated 6 or more agencies in addition to your agency for the preliminary review. (McKinsey)
  4. 48% of clients said their previous agency relationship lasted less than 2 years. (RSW/US)
  5. 47% of ad agency professionals are dissatisfied with their agency’s current approach to winning new business ptiches. Unrealistic timelines and long hours are the primary reasons. (Sanders Consulting Group)
  6. Average Client-Agency Relationship has shrunk from 7.2 to 2.8 years. (Media Post)
  7. Average CMO tenure has decreased from 48 month to 44 months. (Spencer Stuart)
  8. 33% of the CMO’s in the study are new to their job as of 2015, the largest percentage since 2004 (Spencer Stuart)
  9. Clients typically invite 3 agencies to pitch when there is a full-blown review. (RSW/US)
  10. Most clients take 2-3 months before a final appointment is made. (HubSpot)

WHAT WORKS

  1. The best marketing and advertising agencies in US close on average 85% of the pitches and participate in 6 times more than the other agencies. (Cubeyou)
  2. Creativity and Strategic planning represent more than half of the total cost. (Cubeyou)
  3. To improve strategic planning, agencies say important areas to apply resources are: 57% against the target audience, 53% for competitive intelligence, 53% for industry trends, 47% for industry intelligence and 42% for social listening. (Provoke Insights Study)
  4. 96% of executives said “chemistry” was the key factor. (Launch Engineering)
  5. 82% of executives select an agency who they believe “differentiated” themselves from other agencies. (Launch Engineering)
  6. 61% of executives said the agencies they’ve selected had a confident, articulate team. (Launch Engineering)
  7. If you close 60% of your new business pitches, your new business effort will be profitable. (Cubeyou)
  8. 50% of executives suggested agencies need to develop “a new business culture.” (Launch Engineering)
  9. Clients generally enjoy the process of looking for a new agency, with 41% of respondents saying they either “look forward to it” or “enjoy it.” (RSW/US)
  10. 41% are not happy with their current agency’s strategy and thinking; 40% cite lack of pro-activity; 39% are not happy with creative and 33% are looking for new ideas. (Holmes Report)
  11. 39% of executives said passion for the client’s business, demonstrated by a “seamless link between strategy & creative.” (Launch Engineering)
  12. Only 33% of executives said brilliant creative was enough to win the pitch by itself. (Launch Engineering)
  13. 23 of agency appointment now involve a procurement specialist, so don’t ignore them. (RSW/US)
  14. 22% of clients use a roster system, suggesting that most clients use other means to learn about the strength and value of agencies in consideration. (RSW/US)

Do this facts on winning new business pitches make sense to you? Do facts serve as a better guide than rules and playbooks? Do need help winning new business pitches or selecting the right agency for your business?

Why 11 Facebook Business case studies showed great results 0

Posted on May 15, 2017 by Rob Petersen

facebook business case studies

Millions of businesses, big and small, use the Facebook family of ad services and apps.

  • 4 million businesses advertise on Facebook
  • 75% of all brands on Facebook promote their posts
  • 50% growth in Facebook advertisers from 2015-2016 (source: DMR)

Facts show Facebook Business is big, fast growing and easy for businesses to access.

But, in a situation like this, there are always plenty of losers and winners.

Here are 11 Facebook Business case studies that showed great business results. What makes for success is each brand clearly established a business objective for their ad investment. See for yourself.

  1. ADDIDAS: Wanted to showcase its latest premium athletics Z.N.E Hoodie with a captivating video while also promoting related items. To advertise the collection, adidas uploaded its video creative and product catalog. The product images in the experience were automatically pulled from the product catalog. The ads also featured 4 complementary products beneath the video, such as sweatpants, shoes and accessories. Their campaign had a 43% decrease in cost per conversion and 5.3X return on ad spend.
  2. AIRBNB: Wanted to reach people with its “Live There” campaign—which pointed to Airbnb as an alternative to mass tourism. They developed a Facebook and Instagram campaign that would reach people where they spend a majority of their time: mobile News Feed. Ad creative highlighted the magical experiences that were made possible through Airbnb. For instance, one video showed people watching a sparkling Eiffel Tower from the balcony of their vacation rental, while ad text encouraged others to “Live Here.” Within four month, Airbnb had a: 1) 4-point lift in purchase intent in the UK and India, 2) 6-point lift in purchase intent in Germany and Australia and 3) 125 million people reached.
  3. BAKED NYC: Has one location in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan. The bakery is especially proud of its Oprah-endorsed brownies. Baked NYC wanted to broaden its customer base and encourage people to sign up for its email list. Baked NYC built videos around pre-ordering pies for Thanksgiving using only a $20 tripod, a $15 clamp lamp, a phone and a variety of apps to create stop-motion videos with animated text overlays. Baked NYC targeted baking fans to generate subscriptions to its email list. To reach people most likely to pre-order a pie, Baked NYC ran those ads to those living within a one-mile radius of both its locations.
    Baked NYC’s seasonal campaign, which began on November 9, 2016 and ran until Thanksgiving. It helped reach a local audience, drive qualified people to its website and increase sales of its Thanksgiving pies. It achieved: 1) 40% increase in pie sales, 2) 68% increase in leads and 3) 30% decrease in cost per lead
  4. GENERAL MOTORS ONSTAR: OnStar is a subsidiary of General Motors that provides subscription-based services for emergency, security, guidance, connectivity and vehicle management. The OnStar team wanted to increase sales of its 4G LTE Wi-Fi data plans among owners of General Motors vehicles that are OnStar-enabled. General Motors’ data to create a Custom Audience of people with OnStar-enabled vehicles and segmented them. OnStar also used a “Call Now” call-to-action button for the first time. It received hundreds of phone calls, further proving its ads resonated with GM owners. The advertising effort generated a 2.3% overall sales lift for OnStar’s 4G LTE Wi-Fi data plans and 7.2% sales lift among people who had never used a data plan.
  5. GOPUFF: Is an on-demand delivery service launched in Philadelphia in 2013. goPuff wanted to boost awareness of its app and increase downloads so that it could encourage more people to place an order through its on-demand service. goPuff examined its Audience Insights dashboard to determine the best audience to target with this campaign. The built a series of mobile app install ads, which direct people to the app store where they can immediately download the app. GoPuff drove more app downloads and sales, delivering a 35% increase in app installs, 30% decrease in cost per install and 35% decrease in cost per purchase after download.
  6. MICHAEL KORS: Is an American luxury fashion brand, known for its handbags, ready-to-wear and watches. The company has 780 locations worldwide. The fashion brand wanted to measure the impact that its Facebook ads had on its offline sales. Using link and carousel ads, the fashion brand drove traffic to its physical stores, and then used offline conversions to measure the impact its ads had there. The 4-day September 2016 campaign revealed:1) 33% increase in attributed return on ad spend, 2) 31% increase in attributed transactions and 3) 25% increase in attributed revenue.
  7. OREO’S: Used a business milestone to generate awareness and brand vitality. To celebrate its 100th birthday, Oreo produced 100 Facebook Posts in 100 days that turned trending news stories into “visual treats.”  Oreo garnered over 231 million media impressions from over 2,600 articles. They increased their Facebook fans by over a million and increased their Facebook engagement by 195%. They also increased their share rate by 280% with each post being shared an average of 1,472 times.
  8. PIXELBERRY STUDIOS: Is a gaming studio in Mountain View, California that develops socially-minded games for young people. Pixelberry Studios wanted to increase downloads of Choices among players around the world, particularly among people most likely to pay for additional features. Pixelberry Studios developed mobile app installed ads and optimized its ads for certain app events, including installs and purchases. Optimizing for app events ensures the ad is automatically targeted to the people most likely to take that action. They had a: 1) 2.2X increase in rate of acquiring payers with app event optimization (compared to traditional mobile app install ads), 2) 27% increase in return on ad spend with international targeting (compared to traditional single-country campaigns) and 3) 30% decrease in cost per paying player with international targeting (compared to traditional single-country campaigns).
  9. SHUTTERFLY: Is the market leader in digital personalized photo products and services. To increase sales at Shutterfly.com, the company wanted to provide a high-value offer—a free personalized white ceramic mug—to reach a specific demographic: moms with kids at home. Using Facebook Offers, Shutterfly could distribute a unique, single-use offer code to each person who clicked on its ad. The new Offers feature gave the company better control over how many people redeemed the offer. The 3-day campaign successfully reached Shutterfly’s target demographic and got them excited about the unique mug offer. The campaign also achieved over 16,000 offers saved, over 8,000 purchases and 11X return on ad spend.
  10. SMARTBUYGLASSES: Provides quality designer eyewear online. As an online-only retailer, SmartBuyGlasses continuously aims to grow its revenue. For this month-long campaign, it wanted to increase sales by at least 30%. SmartBuyGlasses decided to segment its ad placements after learning that product ads tended to be more successful in desktop News Feed, and that special offer images featuring people wearing its products were more effective on mobile. The campaign achieved 30% increase in sales, 2X increase in traffic and 35% increase in conversions, year over year.
  11. TREE HUT: Is a maker of hand-made watches, known for its one-of-a-kind, nature-inspired designs with personalized engravings, each handcrafted out of real wood. Tree Hut wanted to boost awareness of its handmade wooden watches and increase online sales by using the data available on its third-party ecommerce platform. Taking advantage of Facebook’s advanced targeting and measurement tools, the company used Shopify’s Facebook pixel integration to install the pixel on its website and advanced targeting to deliver personalized dynamic ads to the right audiences, increasing sales by 4.1X.

Do these Facebook Business case studies help you see how to to use Facebook advertising effectively? Do you need a partner to help your business on Facebook?

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    BarnRaisers builds brands with proven relationship principles and ROI. We are a full service digital marketing agency. Our expertise is strategy, search and data-driven results.



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