Three Key Legal Issues Online Marketers Need to Know About

Editor’s Note: For any issues or questions regarding the law, please contact an attorney.

Marketing can be extremely beneficial for your business. It consolidates already-existing client relationships and builds new ones.

However, there are several key legal issues you need to be aware of before you start contacting customers or potential customers. The three main legal areas you need to consider are privacy and data collection, intellectual property issues, and rules and regulations of the FTC and other consumer protection bodies.

Let’s begin by looking at privacy and the online collection and storage of data.

1. Privacy and Data Collection

It may seem simplistic to point out that before you can send marketing emails or messages, you need to collect the contact information of your customers or potential customers. Yet, the actual process of collecting the information is far more complex than it seems, particularly if you’re trying to collect it in a legally compliant manner.

Laws and Your Privacy Policy

Most jurisdictions around the world have privacy legislation in place that requires you to notify people before you collect their personal information. This includes someone who is already a customer, although the UK has some slightly more permissive laws for people who have already purchased something from you.

In the US, there is no overarching privacy law that applies to the collection of data, but California has a piece of legislation that covers online privacy – the California Online Privacy Protection Act (OPPA). It requires that you need to disclose:

  • The kinds of information your website or online marketing tactics collect
  • How the information may be shared
  • The process your customers can follow to review and change the information you have about them
  • Your policy’s effective date and a description of any changes since then

If you have an online store or if you’re marketing to people online in the US, you’re quite likely to have customers or potential customers in California, so you should take care to comply with this law.

The easiest way to comply is to set up a Privacy Policy on your website and require your customers or website users to agree to it when you collect information from them.

To make sure your customer’s or user’s agreement will stand up legally, use a clickwrap method. A clickwrap method is where your customer or user has to click “I Agree” to your Privacy Policy in some way. This could be when they sign up to receive your marketing messages or when they make a purchase on your website. Here’s an example of what a clickwrap method looks like:

 

weather-channel-signup

 

Source

 

In this example, the customer or user is required to tick the box to agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy of The Weather Channel before they can receive the newsletter.

Security and Cloud Storage

It’s also important to reassure your customers that once you’ve collected their information, you will keep it secure. Your users need to feel they can trust you. You can show them you are trustworthy by informing them about how you will protect and store their information.

Take a look at this example from Google that lists the protection mechanisms they have in place:

 

google-privacy-policy

 

Source

 

One simple way to protect customer privacy when you collect information is to use security mechanisms such as SSL. SSL means that the connection between your website and the user’s browser is secure when data is transmitted. Ensure that any websites you use with your customers have SSL enabled.

Another potential security issue is the storage of customer data. A popular way for many online businesses and marketing companies to store data is to use cloud storage providers. To reassure your customers that you are keeping their data safe, always choose a reputable provider.

And, preferably, choose a reputable provider within your own jurisdiction. This is because some jurisdictions have legal requirements that data should either not be transferred out (or must be accessible even if it is stored overseas) or should be transferred only to jurisdictions with similar legal protections for the data in place. If you overlook this fact and store data with a cloud storage provider in another jurisdiction that has inadequate protections, you may be in breach of your local laws.

If you use a cloud storage provider, you need to ensure that your Privacy Policy and/or your website Terms of Use cover the situation in which a cloud storage provider has a privacy breach and your customer data is released. Here’s an example from Amazon of that type of clause:

 

amazon-cloud-drive-terms-of-service

 

Source

 

You can see that the clause limits Amazon’s liability and includes no liability for loss to any files. You want to ensure that you are not liable if a third party (the cloud storage provider) has a data leak. To maintain customer trust, use only reputable providers and be transparent about whom your customer data is stored with.

How to Comply

  • Set up a Privacy Policy on your website
  • Require your customers or website users to agree to it when you collect information from them
  • Once you’ve collected the data, keep it with a reputable cloud storage provider
  • Protect yourself from liability in the case of data loss

2. Intellectual Property Issues

The next legal issue to consider as a marketer is intellectual property. First, you want to protect your own intellectual property, such as trademarks and copyright. Second, you want to ensure that you don’t infringe on the intellectual property of others. Let’s take a look at the main types of intellectual property protection you may need.

Trademark

If you are sending out marketing emails or contacting people with flyers or advertisements, the first thing you will need to protect is your brand or logo.

Registering a trademark gives you the exclusive right to use a specific word or words, name, design, or logo in connection with specific goods or services. It is valid for 10 years and is renewable if certain requirements are met.

Before you register yours, check that you are not infringing on anyone else’s trademark and that your logo is not too similar to someone else’s. The easiest way to do this is to have your lawyer check whether your proposed mark is similar to any other marks. The lawyer will search an intellectual property register, namely the US Trademark Database. They may also search international registers or registers in other jurisdictions, depending on how broadly you plan to market using your mark.

You can search the US Trademark Database yourself, but an intellectual property lawyer will have a better idea of what you need to search for. Sometimes you need to search for the same trademark in multiple categories of goods; for example, a trademark that you want to register for marketing relating to a supermarket roadshow may come under categories relating to food, alcohol, other beverages, supermarkets and retail stores, marketing, and many more.

When you’re ready to file your trademark application online, in the US, you can use the Trademark Electronic Application System.

Copyright

If you use original marketing language on your website or text in emails, you may want to copyright that text. Copyright relates to authorship of original works, including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, architectural, and a broad range of other works.

If you work with any third parties who write your marketing copy or text for you, ensure that their work is checked for plagiarism. You don’t want to infringe on someone else’s copyrighted work when sending out your emails or newsletters.

Here’s an example from Ads Direct of what you might include in your Terms of Service to protect your intellectual property:

 

ads-direct-intellectual-property

 

You can see that they list a number of different types of intellectual property (names, graphics, logos, etc.) and that they also claim they do not own any third-party names, trademarks, or service marks that may appear on their website. If you partner with any other organizations or use quality assurance marks on your marketing materials, this may also be worth covering in your clause.

How to Comply

  • Check that your proposed branding is not infringing on anyone else’s
  • Get your intellectual property registered
  • Hire a lawyer if you need help
  • Set out your intellectual property use expectations clearly in your Terms of Service

Rules and Regulations of the FTC and Other Consumer Protection Bodies

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has dominion over several key areas relevant to marketers: privacy, anti-spam legislation, and truth in advertising. We’ve already covered privacy above, so let’s take a look at some of the FTC’s rules on advertising and anti-spam practices.

3. Advertising

The FTC requires that advertisements and marketing messages must not mislead consumers or unfairly affect consumers’ behavior or decisions about the product or service. Unfair or deceptive advertising is prohibited, which means that any marketing must tell the truth and not leave out any relevant information that a consumer would be interested in.

Be careful with any comparative advertising or marketing. If you don’t compare products fairly and transparently, you may be breaching advertising standards. Check the wording of your marketing messages carefully and ensure that someone outside of your marketing team (such as someone from your legal team) has a quick look at what your message is saying. A fresh pair of eyes may notice claims that aren’t quite true or descriptions that overemphasize a product’s abilities.

Other regulators on the advertising front that you may need to keep in mind are the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council, which governs the National Advertising Review Board and the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU). If any of your marketing is targeted at children, ensure that you are fully aware of CARU’s guidelines.

Anti-Spam Law

The main anti-spam law in the US is called CAN-SPAM. The FTC enforces CAN-SPAM and has issued guidance on how to comply.

We’ve covered this previously. To recap, CAN-SPAM requires that you:

  • Don’t use false or misleading header information
  • Don’t use deceptive subject lines
  • Identify the message as an ad
  • Tell recipients where you’re located
  • Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you
  • Honor opt-out requests promptly
  • Monitor what others are doing on your behalf

The FTC also has a great guide that provides a checklist and guidelines to help you make your business “consumer friendly” overall for international ecommerce. Before you begin marketing your business, be sure that you’ve incorporated some consumer friendly business tips so that you don’t run into trouble further down the line.

If you get into trouble with the FTC or any other consumer protection body, be prompt and clear in your communication with them. Aim to work together toward a solution right away, as it may help you avoid prosecution.

How to Comply

  • Be aware of what regulations and laws the FTC and other regulators cover
  • Educate yourself on what you need to do to comply
  • If you get into hot water with any regulator, work with them to solve the problem

Conclusion

To comply with the law, the key things to remember are: get consent to send your marketing material; ensure that your customers are aware of and sign up to your Privacy Policy when you originally obtain their information; protect your intellectual property and don’t infringe on that of others; be honest and clear with all marketing messages; and allow your customers to opt out of your messages if they wish.

As a marketer, you may be wary of legal pitfalls, but by keeping the issues of privacy and data protection, intellectual property, and consumer protection laws and regulations in the forefront of your mind, you can ensure that you won’t run into any problems.

About the Author: Leah Hamilton is a qualified Solicitor and writer working at TermsFeed, where businesses can create their Privacy Policies and Terms and Conditions in minutes.

Three Key Legal Issues Online Marketers Need to Know About

Lawn Service Company Palm Beach Co | 561-307-9411 | Jupiter Lawn Care West Palm Beach

Lawn Service Company Palm Beach Co | 561-307-9411 | Jupiter Lawn Care West Palm Beach

visit our website: http://Broedelllandscaping.com Call: 561-307-9411 Lawn Maintenance Jupiter – West Palm Beach – Boca Raton Florida

 

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Palm Beach County’s Reliable Lawn Maintenance Company

 

If you have yard, you probably want it to look good. Regular lawn maintenance is not an easy task. Landscaping requires hard work in the Florida heat and has to be done consistently. The endless need to keep your grass healthy and maintained can be challenging for busy schedules, definitely for homeowners who have a family and work full time jobs. If your agenda is full or if you just don’t feel like mowing your yard every week in the West Palm Beach heat, you’re going to want lawn cutting services to help. Broedell Landscape is a residential and commercial grass cutting services in Palm Beach. We take pride in the care of your yard and ensure it always looks great so you don’t have to.

 

Why Choose Broedell Landscape?

 

We have serviced the Palm Beach County FL area for 15 years and we have completed hundreds of highly rated commercial landscaping credential and residential landscape services, producing satisfied customers with positive reviews from Jupiter, west palm beach FL, and Boca Raton FL who continue to choose us for their lawn care needs. We can execute any kind of lawn service you may need. Our team offers reliable, cost effective services. We understand everyone’s lawn is different, and we will adapt to execute your specific tree cutting requirements. No Project is too big or too small.

 

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There are a lot of companies that offer landscaping service in the Palm Beach area. You might have hired one in the past and not been happy with the results. We offer a total lawn cleaning that takes care of your front and backyard with the most affordable pricing. We will adapt to your needs and make sure to have your yard looking the way you want it to. Many of our packages automatically send our team to your home or business on the right schedule; there’s no need to remind us! Ask for a free quote. Hire us for garden services worth bragging about, you’ll want to give us your best verified reviews with five stars!

 

Certified Professional Lawn Cutting Pros

 

During the hot West Palm Beach summers, lawns can be cut on a weekly schedule. Every job will be inspected on location for loose debris before we bsing moving and we always make sure we don’t damage valuable sprinkler heads. No lawn care job is complete without blowing any green clippings from sidewalks and driveways back into the grassy areas. Any sidewalks, tree lines, fence lines, beach walls, ocean walls, and bordered sections not accessible to mowers will be trimmed every week giving your property a well maintained look.

 

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If the weather conditions prevent us from performing lawn care services on the date, we will reschedule your lawn mowing service as soon as the weather is under control.

 

Broedell Landscape is the #1 option for you with free estimates, affordable prices along with quality work, on time, and on budget. Our Landscaping business has over 15 years of expertise in the tree care business and is fully insured and is known for first class staff and safe work ethics. As a business that has been serving the Palm Beaches for several years, our longevity is a testament to our commitment to quality craftsmanship, customer service, and low costs.

 

 

 

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3 key things to look for when selecting a landscaping and lawn maintenance company in Palm Beach County Florida

 

 

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Lawn Service Company Palm Beach Co | 561-307-9411 | Jupiter Lawn Care West Palm Beach

Make Twitter Profitable: Here Are 6 Companies That Did Just That

Adwords in ‘01.

It was a goldmine – If you knew how to use it.

Twitter Ads have the potential to be the next gold rush for anyone looking to market their business.

But as with Adwords in ‘01, you need to know how to maneuver around and bend the Twitter platform to earn a ROI.

In this article we’ll look at the strategies used by 6 companies who managed to earn an ROI using Twitter Ads.

We’ll look at how their campaigns worked and why they worked. We’ll be pulling examples from all over the web, looking at companies in a variety of niches.

By the end of this article you’ll have a handful of Twitter tactics that you can take away and implement in your own business.

They won’t require you to play big. Even the smallest of takeaways could help you redefine your marketing approach.

1. The bathroom freshener that generated $73,000 in sales (94% of which came from new customers) using Twitter Ads

One thing I want to convey in this post is that you can pretty much market anything (within reason) if you know how to use Twitter Ads.

The first case study we’re going to look at is based on a company called ‘Poo-Pourri’ — a company that essentially sells a bathroom odor neutralizer.

They had already experienced some success with a viral video boosted by some YouTube Ads. The viral effect of their video allowed for them to build an organic following. They wanted to expand their efforts, so they looked into using Twitter and Facebook Ads.

The team at Poo-Pourri loves to instill humor into their ads and branding. They discovered that their Twitter audience resonated best with their comedic style.

Based on what they had found, Poo-Pourri decided that they should run a Twitter Ad campaign over the holidays.

The results were impressive:

  • $73,000 in sales
  • 93% sales came from new customers
  • A 50% increase in basket size

The campaign targeted people who had relevant interests. They also targeted the followers of relevant Twitter accounts.

If you look at an example of a Poo-Pourri ad below, you’ll notice a number of things. Each of which contributed to their success.

image29

 

Source

 

  1. Notice how the image explains how the product works. It’s simple and easy to understand — also a bit funny. The image also makes up for limited character space too.
  2. Look at the ad copy. There is a little bit of humor in the first line — though you could argue that isn’t really important. What’s more important is that it gives you a reason to consider the product. Poo-Pourri helps fix the problem of knowing what to buy for someone during the holidays.
  3. The 20% off is also a big help. It entices people to consider the product and maybe even buy it.

If you want success with Twitter Ads, don’t worry about having a small Twitter following. Just target the right audience and consider experimenting with humor and have some fun. It’s always easy to switch to another advertisement if you’re not having luck with your original.

How you can implement the Poo-Pourri strategies into your own campaigns.

Awareness Days

Poo-Pourri based their campaign around the holidays. However, you don’t have to wait that long. You can try and promote a campaign around an ‘Awareness day.’

Check out national-awareness-days.com to find out if there is a relevant awareness day coming up.

Piggybacking off of an up and coming awareness day. In doing so, you too might be able to boost your sales in similar fashion to Poo-Pourri.

Creating Twitter Images

If you go to http://sproutsocial.com/insights/free-image-creation-tools/, you’ll be able to view websites related to photo editing and design. The websites listed will allow for you to create some awesome images for your Twitter Ads.

This article too, lists how you can create some images for your Twitter Ads.

If you have the budget, you might even consider using a service such as 99designs, to help you create the perfect image.

When creating images, try and ensure they’re eye catching. Faces are often helpful. Though if you can explain your product in the image, that can also help.

How to create effective copy for your Twitter Ads

This article can help you create the copy for your Twitter Ads. The examples listed use proven principles related to the world of copywriting.

These principles are then condensed so that they fit the Twitter character limit.

Experiment, and see how you can adapt the ideas to your own tweets.

2. The non-profit that managed to save lives using Twitter Ads

Nonprofits are always in need of ideas that help them raise awareness for their cause.

The nature of their business means that creativity is often key. Otherwise, they won’t be able to attract any attention, in what is an already crowded space.

Here is an example of a nonprofit called ‘The British Heart Foundation’ (BHF). They used Twitter Ads to raise awareness.

The BHF wanted to teach people how to administer CPR. Normally they’d go straight to TV.  This time, however, they decided to use Twitter in order to promote their video first. Their campaign lead to 1.7 million views.

They also sparked a dialogue that lead to new Twitter trends being created. The trends were based on the BHF’s initial Twitter Ad campaign.

image31

Here’s the video (it’s really well done!):

The most important metric, however, is that they were able to save lives.

image30

 

Source

 

So what did they get right?

  1. Firstly the video itself was very entertaining. Not all companies consider using video in their ads, so that decision alone was a creative move.
  2. Secondly, the ad copy did a great job at developing curiosity. Upon reading it, you want to learn more.
  3. The company also took another step to get their message out there. That was the act of creating a promoted trend.

If you’re familiar with Twitter you’ll know that trends refer to popular topics on the platform. A lot of people check out these trends to learn what’s going on in the world. The fact that the campaign was promoted as a trend, meant that it was placed in another location where people would be able to see it.

The trend tag #hardandfast, generated curiosity, compelling people to find out more. A promoted trend, however, can be very, very, expensive. Either way, even if it weren’t for the Twitter promoted trends ad, the campaign would do well.

That is because the key to their success, was that they created an entertaining campaign. As with the ‘Poo-Pourri’ campaign, comedy on Twitter is something that seems to flourish.

How you can implement the BHF strategy into your own campaign.

Creating a Video

It can be hard to create a viral video. This Kissmetrics post gives you some tips on how to create a viral video. Yet, even still you might find it challenging.

As a result you might just search for a company that can produce a great video. You don’t have to focus on this video going viral. You just have to ensure that it does a good job at selling your offer.

A lot of people have found that demoduck.com is a good company for creating video content. Though your video’s might not go viral, you can still experience an ROI if your video does a good job at communicating your message or value proposition.

3. The restaurant chain that created its biggest opening event ever thanks to Twitter Ads

A lot of the examples mentioned in this post relate to sales and conversations taking place online. However, there are going to be some of you who want to know how Twitter Ads can produce offline results.

The next company we’re going to look at is a restaurant chain. They promoted a new opening using Twitter Ads.

Known as Poncho 8, this restaurant is commonly referred to as a burrito bar. They were already active on Twitter. Using Twitter, they mainly focused on engaging existing customers and asking for feedback.

However, when the time came for promotion, they had to take a more active approach. The change led to them using Twitter Ads.

Using the platform, Poncho8 experienced the biggest restaurant opening ever in the company’s history (there are 6 restaurants). Twitter was definitely a big reason as to why this happened.

Let’s take a look at the steps that this company took to produce such results.

Their goal was to promote the launch event. To do this they used promoted tweets and promoted accounts.

Their promoted tweets mentioned special offers and popular menu items. The copy on the ad alluded to a new restaurant opening. This can be seen with the #Paddingtoncomingsoon tag.

image33

 

Source

 

To ensure that the people saw their content, the company created a few promoted accounts. These promoted accounts were designed to attract followers . These users would then see more tweets on their timeline – related to the company.

image32

 

An example of a promoted account

 

The promoted account copy alludes to a new restaurant opening. The offer of freebies and food is entices people to follow the company.

Being based in London, a lot of their target market is young professionals. As a result, Poncho 8 targeted the followers of companies that had an aligning customer base.

This was done by targeting the followers of publications which were aimed at young professionals. In doing so they were able to build up a relevant audience.

Poncho 8 monitored their results and focused on the twitter accounts that were bringing them the best results. This was in terms of the Twitter accounts that had the followers Poncho 8 wanted. The constant tinkering ensured that they were always maximizing their results.

The campaign produced a 23% increase in engagement rate for their tweets. This was a sign that they were targeting the right people.

All of the effort, led to the company having a huge restaurant opening. On the day, the company experienced one of their busiest lunches ever.

How You Can Implement the Strategies Used by Poncho8

Poncho 8 did a few things to ensure that their campaign went well. Here is how you can follow in their footsteps. Keep in mind that these tips relate to offline and online campaigns.

Creating a Promoted Account

A promoted account is effective in the long run. When you have a bunch of relevant followers you can reach a lot of people without having to spend money.

If you want to create a promoted account, you’ll need to take the following steps.

Go to the Twitter Ads dashboard and click on the “Create new campaign” button.

image35

Then pick ‘Followers.’

image34

Give your campaign a name. In terms of run date, choose immediately. That is unless you have another strategy in mind.

image37

Set up the creative you want, i.e. the tweets. These tweets will need to entice people into following your account. Be benefit rich and include a call to action. You can use an existing Tweet. Though you might not have any Tweets that are designed to attract followers.

image36

Here is some inspiration:

image40

Remember, you can use the formulas mentioned in the Poo-Pourri section. That article will help you create copy that encourages people to take action.

Set a budget for your campaign.

image38

When choosing the price, you have the option of using an automatic bid or a maximum bid. The challenge lies in working out the lifetime value of a follower.

If you know this, you might be able to decide on a maximum bid. If you want to just get started and not worry, an automatic bid is best.

Of course, you are free to enter a very high maximum bid to ensure tweets are shown. However keep in mind that Twitter still takes into account the relevancy, recency and the resonance of a tweet. The more you can improve those metrics, the increased chances of your ad being shown instead of another ads.

How to target a competitor’s Twitter followers

Target Twitter followers that are similar to the followers of other companies.

As seen, one way to find relevant followers is by targeting the followers of relevant companies, or direct competitors.

You can either target people who are similar to the followers of your competitors, or you can target the exact followers of competitors.

If you’re going to target similar followers, this is how you’d do it.

Create a campaign and then click on the add followers tab, underneath the targeting header.

image39

Then enter the usernames of competitors or accounts that have an audience that matches your needs.

image41

Once you’ve entered an account that has similar followers, Twitter will let you know what the estimated audience size is. It will also let you know of other companies you might want to include in your targeting preferences.

Underneath the suggested usernames, you’ll see an option to target users like your followers. Whether or not you click this option depends on what your goals are.

Do you want more people who are like your current followers? Or do you want to attract a completely different crowd?

How to target the exact followers of another Twitter account

If you want to target the exact followers of your competitors or of a relevant company, this is how you’d do it.

You first need to compile a list of followers, based on the company you’re interested in.

You can either go to your competitors account and spend a couple of hours entering their followers into a spreadsheet, or you can use FollowerWonk.

Assuming you use FollowerWonk, this is how you’d go about the process.

To export follower CSV lists, you will need a paid subscription – though there is a free trial of 30 days.

Once you become a member, click on the ‘Analyze’ tab. This is found on the homepage.  Then enter the username you want to target. Once done, use the drop down menu and pick ‘analyze their followers’

image42

It takes a little while to create the report.

FollowerWonk struggles in terms of downloading information based on more than 100,000 followers. It will therefore take a sample size.

After a little while click on FollowerWonk reports.

image43

You’ll then see this screen. Pick the report you want to view.

image44

You’ll then see the report.

Click on the icon highlighted to download the data.

image45

It will ask you what format you want.

image46

Pick one and then the report will be created. It will take some time.

image47

Once downloaded, delete every other column in the file apart from the screen names. Be sure to delete the line called ‘Screen names’ too.

image48

Then go about uploading this list to Twitter. Go to the Twitter Ads Dashboard. Then click on ‘Tools’ and choose ‘Audience manager.’

image19

Pick a list name. Then click on usernames and upload your list.

image20

Submit it all and then wait for Twitter to approve everything.

image21

Note that the number generally needs to be over 500. If the audience is too small and you’ll get this message.

image22

It will look like this when complete. Twitter will remove some people from the list you’ve added. The reasons for this vary. Some accounts might be inactive for example.

image23

Once you’re custom audience has been uploaded, create a campaign.

Then go to this section of the page.

image24

Click on ‘Add Tailored audiences.’

image25

You’ll then be able to target the list of followers you uploaded.

image26

Unclick the ‘Expand reach by targeting similar users’ button.

This feature is designed to include people who might be similar to the audience you’re targeting in that list. You most likely do not want this, as it will include other people and reduce the precision of your campaign.

Excluding a List of Twitter accounts

If you look at the text that follows the button, you will notice that it explains how you can exclude the audience that belongs to your list.

That might be helpful if the list you have downloaded, includes existing customers for example. If you want to create a campaign that excludes this audience list, you’d do the following.

Scroll down and click on the ‘Browse your tailored audiences’ button.

image27

Then as before, select your audience list. Once selected, you’ll see that the chosen list of Twitter users are now excluded from your campaign.

image28

From there on, go ahead and create the campaign as you normally would.

Viewing Twitter analytics

If you want to quickly find out some interesting information about your Twitter account, you can head over to analytics.twitter.com.

Even if you’re not running paid Twitter Ads, you can use the page to view some analytics data, based on past tweets.

4. The Twitter Ads technique that became the main source of app downloads for this London startup

If you thought your business was in a crowded market, you might just change your mind after looking at the market for apps.

Tons of apps are coming out each and every week. Yet despite this, a London startup still managed to gain some traction with their app.

Their main source of app downloads? Yep you guessed it – Twitter Ads.

Known as Bizzby (Their story is documented here), the company found that customer value was 20% higher for leads that came through Twitter. Their Twitter leads also produced more quality installs and lead to more returning users.

So what made their Twitter Ads effective?

As with every other company mentioned so far, they first focused on their targeting. They decided to take advantage of the fact that their app relied on local services.

Using Twitter’s ability to target by location, Bizzby focused their ads on specific locations.

When they did this, they were able to convey the precise targeting in the copy. Check out the image below.

image09

Source

Because they were able to target by postcode, they could catch a user’s attention with personalized and relevant copy. This made the ad highly intriguing.

They also made the genius move of customizing their images –  based on the device being targeted.

If they were advertising to android users, they would show what their app looks like on an android device. They did the same for an iPhone too. This added level of relevance, improved their ability to resonate with potential customers.

Bizzby continually optimized their campaign. They targeted audiences who had not downloaded their app before. The way that their campaigns were set up, meant that they were reaching new people each and every day.

There’s a lot that Bizzby got right. But by now a lot of it should not be new information. They targeted their ads as much as possible and made the copy appealing.

Something that hasn’t been previously touched upon, is that they picked the right kind of ad when setting up their campaign. The campaign was designed to drive app installs. The big button that says install makes it easy for people to do just that.

How you can implement the strategies used by Bizzby

Precise Location Targeting

Bizzby’s location targeting methods allowed for them to separate themselves from the crowd. If you’d like to try out something similar, this is how to implement that strategy.

Go to the targeting section of the campaign creator.

image10

You have two options here. You can either enter the locations one by one or you can import a list of locations.

This is what happens when you search for locations.

image11

Enter a postal code or a location and you’ll be presented with a drop down menu. Pick the one that is right for you.

If you want to manually import locations, click on the import locations button. You’ll then see the following screen.

image12

When you import the locations you’ll subsequently see a drop down menu. This is allows for you to pick the right option.

Keep in mind that Twitter does not cover all areas just yet, and so there might be some errors on a few locations.

image13

The drop down option is very useful. I’m actually looking to target the Manchester that is based in the UK, not the US one. If I click the drop down menu, I’ll be able to see the UK option of Manchester.

Once done, create your campaign as normal.

How to focus on obtaining new users

If you want to advertise to people who have not installed your app, this is how you would do it.

Click on the ‘Create new campaign’ button and select ‘App installs or engagements’.

image14

Before you can advertise an App, you need to obtain the URL of the app. You can do this by going to the Playstore or App Store page of your app.

Visit the relevant store and copy the URL, as shown in the image below.

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Then once you have this URL, go back to Twitter and click on ‘Add new App’.

Note that there is an icon here that relates to conversion tracking. You can set that up now or later. We’re going to focus on setting the app up first.

image16

Once you click ‘Add a new app,’ you’ll be given a choice in terms of the device that you want to target. You can tailor your campaigns towards different devices. This is what the team at Bizzby did.

Ideally you’ll want to create different campaigns for each app. You’ll then have the option of having custom creatives for each app.

To do that choose the device/OS you’re looking to target and enter the URL of your app. If all goes well you should see a logo, based on the app you’re advertising. Click on save.

image17

You’ll then see this. Click on ‘Select’ so that you can start setting up a campaign for this app.

image18

You’ll then see this.

image00

If you do not set up ‘conversion tracking’, Twitter will be doing a lot of guess work.

That means your ad will be shown to people who Twitter ‘thinks’ will like it. Therefore consider setting up conversion tracking on your app, to ensure you’re maximising your chances of drawing in new users.

If you want to activate conversion tracking, click on the blue link called set up conversion tracking.

You’ll then need to go through a process that will implement the tracking process.

Once done, choose the option of targeting ‘People without your app installed.’

image01

The topic of conversion tracking on Twitter Ads can become an essay in itself. Here is a page created by Twitter, that details the concept and how you can implement it.

5. How a dating firm changed their Twitter Ads to boost CPA by 800%

image02

Here is an example of a firm that used the Twitter Ads platform early on, but had little success. However as the platform matured and developed a better interface, the company began to see a return.

Of course they also made a few changes to the ads that they were running too.

Known as HowAboutWe, the dating firm explained here, how Twitter Advertising was a big help.

Eventually, Twitter Ads started to produce leads that had a 20% higher chance of becoming paid customers.

Twitter’s targeting capacities, once again came to the rescue. That is thanks to the fact that they could target by location and interest.

The big wins started coming, however, when they implemented a tactic similar to the one used by ‘Poo-Pourri.’

image03

Once HowAboutWe decided to advertise a 50% discount using Twitter Ads, the company boosted their CPA by 800%. This was in comparison to other campaigns where no discount was present.

It can be seen, therefore, that if you’re looking to run a campaign on Twitter, a discount might be something to consider.

HowAboutWe also followed a similar approach to Bizzby, in that they called out their target locations in their copy. This was another step that also went on to boost conversions.

How to implement the strategies used by HowAboutWe

Interest Targeting

If you want to target people by interest, this is how.

Create a campaign as normal. Then scroll down to the ‘additional targeting criteria’ tab.

image04

Enter the relevant interests. You can browse categories if you need some inspiration.

image05

The more interests you tend to add, the larger your reach.

image06

At the moment, it seem as though people will be targeted for their individual interests.

Meaning that if you have ‘Small business’ and ‘Marketing’ – you won’t be necessarily targeting people who like one AND the other. Rather its one OR the other, with maybe some occasional crossover.

That’s how it currently seems – it might be different once you start implementing your ads. You’ll notice that as you add more interests, reach expands. This might therefore dilute your market to message match, when advertising.

Such an effect might lead to more irrelevant clicks, therefore producing lower conversions and increased ad spend.

That is, of course, assuming that ‘Interests’ are you’re only targeting method. It is better to combine this tactic with the other targeting options provided by Twitter. That way you’ll be able to laser focus your ads.

6. The SaaS company that boosted conversion rates by 22% using Twitter Ads

The SaaS world can be an easy one to reach via Twitter. After all a lot of tech savvy people hang out there and readily engage with others on the platform.

Because of this, it’s easy to see why Pingometer (a company that helps minimize website downtime), managed to boost their conversion rates by 22% with the help of Twitter Ads.

When starting out, Pingometer explained here, how they targeted the audiences of similar companies. This kind of targeting shares similarities with the restaurant mentioned earlier.

Such targeting meant that 9/10 new customers after the campaign, first heard of Pingometer because they clicked on a Twitter Ad.

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The firm also got into the habit of split testing their ads, so that they could see which variations did best. By testing their own assumptions, they were able to use hard data to improve their campaigns success.

Another thing that Pingometer tested was mobile and non-mobile targeting. They experimented by changing their targeting to non-mobile only. This campaign did much better than the one targeted at mobile users.

If you’re looking to run Twitter Ads, you too should get into the habit of segmenting audiences. There is a lot that you can segment, depending on what your product is and who you’re targeting.

Putting yourself in your customers shoes can really help. Pingometer realized that web developers, for instance, were less likely to go through the sign-up process on a mobile.

When looking to apply this to your own business, you’ll want to consider the product or service you’re offering. Consider whether or not your target market would, or even could, purchase your offering on a mobile device.

In any case, what is to be learned from this campaign?

Firstly, you must figure out how you can reach your target audience.

The easiest way for Pingometer to do this was to target the audiences of similar companies. This is a shortcut used by many firms in a variety of niches.

You must also experiment with different ad variations by adjusting copy and images. A new revelation, however, is that results can be amplified by doing some segmentation, to further improve your targeting.

Targeting Specific devices

If you want to target specific devices, do the following. Go about creating a campaign as normal.

Scroll down until you see ‘Select devices and platforms’. Click on that to expand it and you will see the following.

image08

Pick the devices you want to target and test out your ads.

If you want to be really clever, you can focus on specific devices and connection types.

Relevance is always a good idea when advertising, no matter what the platform.

The options provided, also allow for you to account for human behavior. You may, for instance, only want to advertise an app to those who are connected to WiFi. People might not want to use their data allowance just to download an app.

Consider the points mentioned when creating ads.

Tips for split testing

When split testing it is important to only make one change at a time. That will tell you what lead to a rise or fall in conversions.

Split test the headline, copy and image (if you have one).

Keeping your own swipe file is a great way to come up with brilliant ad and split testing ideas. If you see an ad you like, or you even responded to, screenshot it and store it in your Evernote. Then adapt it to fit your offering and message.

You can also monitor the results of another company or person who used a bit.ly link. To do that, copy the link and then immediately put a plus sign after it. You’ll then be greeted by a dashboard that tells you what results the link attained.

This can be helpful because it can tell you in a sense, how powerful a certain ads call to action was. That is assuming they used a bit.ly link.

Learning more about your customer

When you know more about your existing customers you can then create better ads in the future. That’s because future ads will then resonate with people who share similarities with your existing customer base.

Figure out why people chose you, or what they like best about your service. Do that using  a survey tool. Qualaroo is a good tool to use for those who want to learn more about their customers.

With the information you have discovered, make the relevant changes to your ads. Tinker with them so that they appeal to your target market as much as possible. That might include changes to the copy, for instance.

You should know what kinds of problems your potential customers are currently facing. These must be problems that you can solve. You should also know why existing customers choose you instead of everyone else.  Once you know that, you can implement that information into your copy.

You can also look at the analytics of your Twitter account. What content resonated the most with your user base? What tweet produced the most customers? How can you emulate pass successes?

Time to Tweet?

So there you have it, 6 companies that managed to create an ROI using Twitter Ads. Looking back at each of the niches, it seems as though a trend is emerging.

Most of the firms who obtain a great ROI with Twitter Ads, found a way to locate their potential customers on Twitter. They put a lot of effort into targeting.

If you want to earn some success with your Twitter Ads you need to know who you’re targeting and how to reach them. If you’re stuck,  target the followers of competitors. You can even target companies outside of your niche, that have followers you’d like to engage.

The ad copy and images must be appealing to your target market. This will help build on your targeting efforts. Once you’ve got the targeting down to a tee, you’re free to really experiment with a number of ideas.

You might offer a discount. You could even make use of upcoming events in order to promote your offer. Remember, however, that even though Twitter is a different ad platform, a great CTA is still essential.

Many of the companies that succeeded with Twitter, made their copy entertaining and conversational. This might not apply to all niches, but it’s definitely something to experiment with.

Provided that you’re watching your numbers with an eagle eye, it should all end well. Experiment wisely, and see how you can benefit from some of the strategies mentioned.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to mention them in the comments below.

Good Luck!

About The Author: Rakesh Kumar is a freelance writer and online marketer. He writes regularly on the topic of online marketing. He can help those in need of content or marketing advice.

Make Twitter Profitable: Here Are 6 Companies That Did Just That

Get Over Your AdWords Performance Plateau with These Strategies

When you’re launching a new AdWords account or getting your hands dirty optimizing an existing account, the world is full of possibilities. You implement all your ideas, do heaps of testing and are left with fairly mature campaigns…

… and that’s when the real challenges spring up.

Walking the GR20 in Corsica
Once you’ve scaled the mountain that is correctly configuring your AdWords account, you realize you’re only halfway to the top… Image source.

As a seasoned AdWords marketer, you find yourself yearning for more volume, better CPAs and higher click-through rates.

In this post I want to cover some of the advanced levers and switches you can employ at the more mature stages of your account. For each of the problems above, we’ll look at super-specific tactics and advanced AdWords functionalities that you can use to solve for X.

Let’s dig in.

I want more volume

There comes a time when AdWords has proven a successful advertising channel for your business and your CPA is profitable.

You’ve expanded your keyword list as far as it will logically stretch, you have ad groups covering every possible topic that has been shown to convert customers, and you still can’t seem to get as much traffic as you can eat.

Let me remind you that there’s a subtle campaign setting you can try out: accelerated ad serving.

accelerated-ad-serving-1
 
accelerated-ad-serving-2
Where you can change your delivery method in your AdWords account.

By default, Google tempers your campaigns so that your entire budget doesn’t get spent at 12:01am when the new day begins. They balance your impressions so if you enter a $100/day budget, that $100 gets distributed somewhat evenly throughout the hours of the day.

But when you switch on accelerated ad serving, you’re telling Google to throw caution to the wind and show your ad for every possible relevant impression.

Perhaps you’re thinking, “Isn’t it best to spread impressions throughout the day? Why would I want Google to rapid-fire my ad in this way?”

If your budget is tight, yes, it’s often best to show ads evenly over time. But if what you’re after is the maximum number of impressions that could reasonably yield a conversion, and you set your campaign budgets high enough, accelerated ad serving will get you in front of prospects that would not otherwise see your ad due to “even delivery” or load balancing.

You can learn more about this ad delivery method here.

Pro tip: Be ready to raise budget caps if you go with accelerated ad serving. You don’t want to let Google spend all your budget between midnight at 8am, leaving you out to dry during other peak traffic times that might otherwise be ripe with conversions for you.

I want better cost per acquisition

Most people manage cost per acquisition (CPA) by campaign, keyword and ad group, adjusting bids at those levels.

But there are other factors and dimensions by which you may want to change your bids on the fly.

If you only adjust bids at the ad group and keyword level, you’re basically prioritizing specific search topics rather than information about the searcher. Sometimes, indicators like how they choose to visit your site and where they’re visiting from can be even better indicators of a potential customer than the keyword searched.

For that reason, it’s equally important to look at performance by device and by geography. Take your account to the next level by starting to make mobile/desktop/tablet bid adjustments and geo bid adjustments.

Bid adjustments by device

If you’re running mobile-specific campaigns, then you should be making use of this feature. Here’s the screen where you can make bid adjustments by device:

big-adjustments-by-device
Click for larger image.

As a bonus, you can also learn some things about your visitors’ experience of your site through this feature.

If certain mobile devices or tablets are doing particularly poorly, try opening an incognito browser window and accessing the site from the device in question (this’ll “wipe the slate clean” and remove the possibility that browser cookies you’ve collected will influence how you see the site). You might be surprised by what you discover.

At a former workplace of mine, we used to assume that if a single employee saw a bug or broken experience in a given environment, 100 visitors have experienced the same freak issue. In the case of search ads, this type of usability issue can really hurt conversions.

Of course, you can and should run proper usability testing on your app or site to discover problems of this type — but device bid adjustments can be a handy place to learn about potential issues.

Bid adjustments by geography

Some products and services convert differently in disparate geographies. If you’re selling raincoats, to use a simple example, you will do better in wet climates like Seattle and Portland than in areas that see less rainfall.

Here’s how you adjust bids by geography/by state, using the checkboxes to modify bids for a given geo:

bid-adjustments-by-geography
Click for larger image.

Google reps I’ve talked to tend to suggest adjustments in the 15% range. This is a big enough percentage change to impact the auction and review results, but conservative enough to avoid throwing CPA out-of-whack by much if it doesn’t succeed.

If a device or geo is under-performing, they suggest cutting the bid by 15%, or maybe 10% if it’s doing just slightly worse than desired.

See more info on bid adjustments.

I want better click-through rates

When an AdWords account is sufficiently mature, it becomes harder to figure out ways to take up additional real estate in the search results and really make a splash.

The character requirements of AdWords ads are stingy, with just 95 total characters to differentiate your product or service from the many competitors showing up beside your ad.

Ad extensions offer several ways to get more bang for your buck. Let’s look into three extensions that will help you amp up your ads with:

  • Beefed-up benefits statements
  • Links to relevant areas of your website
  • Additional ways for customers to contact you

1. Callout extensions

The more real estate your ad covers in Google search results, the more dominant your company appears beside the competition.

Callout extensions are extra text snippets that you can use to add callout text beneath your ad when it shows up in the top three slots in paid search results.

They show up in gray beneath your ad and they’re typically used to speak to a few key benefits of your product or service. Businesses will often use this feature to talk about things like free shipping, price matching, 24/7 support or impressive ratings and reviews.

For example, in the ad below, the advertiser has chosen to focus on free shipping, 24-7 customer service and price matching.

acme-electronics-ad
The final line of text in this ad shows what callout extensions look like.

Not everything fits in those two tidy description lines, so take advantage of this additional real estate.

You can learn more about callout extensions here.

2. Sitelink extensions

Although your ad headline should generally point to a dedicated landing page for the keyword in question, there are often peripheral pages on your site that might be of interest customers. Sitelink extensions enable advertisers to link to specific topic areas on their website.

These can range from “About us” to “Our guarantee” to “How to save 15%” and similar offers.

Here’s what sitelink extensions look like:

walters-bakery-for-dog-adwords-ad
 

In the example above, sitelinks help solve the problem of a searcher who isn’t looking for a landing page to convince her that Walter’s dog bakery is awesome. Instead, she may be looking for the bakery’s hours or the specific types of biscuits available.

You may want to add sitelinks to link to pages or secondary calls to action:

  • About us
  • Discounts or special offers
  • Our team
  • Our guarantee

You can also enter descriptions for each sitelink, which appear like this:

example-tshirt-store-adwords-ad
 

If you feel an aversion to increasing the number of links you’re serving in your ad, consider this case study, where sitelinks increased CTR by 64%.

These may not be for everyone, but the only way to find out if this will be an effective feature for you is to test.

Pro tip: Get creative with sitelinks! Google lets you test a slew of them at once, and you can view reports that break down how each performed from a click-through and conversion perspective.

3. Call extensions

If your company encourages phone calls to sales or customer service departments, you can also take advantage of call extensions.

Why? Because they work. In this case study, adding a call extension increased mobile leads by 110%.

What’s more, some businesses find that phone calls convert better than online inquiries. Because it takes more motivation to pick up the phone and speak to a human than it does to fill out a form, leads are often more motivated.

Here’s what a call extension looks like (though it’ll vary depending on the device you’re using):

buscot-travel-agency-adwords-ad
 
geico-insurance-quotes-adwords-ad
 

If you run this type of extension, consider tracking calls via unique phone numbers.

This can help prove out the ROI of using AdWords to drive phone calls, can help determine which advertising channel drives the most calls, and can even let you distinguish between calls from the ad extension text itself (like the GEICO ad above) and prospects who clicked through and landed on the website before dialling in.

Depending on the relevance of inbound calls to your business, you might want to learn more about advanced call analytics.

Never be satisfied

With PPC (and more broadly speaking, with conversion rate optimization), the goal isn’t to achieve a “good” conversion rate. It’s to keep getting better through testing new features and new hypotheses.

Once you’ve got your AdWords account set up and you fancy yourself a more seasoned AdWords marketer, you should never settle.

Keep reading new blog posts. Keep testing new features. Because the only good AdWords performance metrics are those that are constantly improving.


Get Over Your AdWords Performance Plateau with These Strategies

How to Find Which Areas of Your Site Need A/B Testing

If you’re an online marketer running the majority of your A/B tests on your homepage, you’re missing out on a big opportunity. Don’t get me wrong. Running tests on your homepage is fine, but there are other areas of your site that likely need some optimization. And, with Kissmetrics, you can find them and even track your tests. Read on to see how it’s done…

Using the Funnel Report to Identify Roadblocks

Every SaaS and ecommerce website has a set of steps that each visitor needs to go through before they purchase. Your typical SaaS funnel may look like this:

  • Visited site
  • Signed up for a trial
  • Activated/used product
  • Credit card billed

Visitors may browse around after visiting the site (e.g., viewing pricing page, features page, about page, etc.), but viewing those pages is not necessary in order to complete signup.

Ecommerce funnels are a little different and may look like this:

  • Visited site
  • Viewed product
  • Added product to cart
  • Purchased product

Once a marketer views their funnel, they’ll clearly see where visitors drop off.

Let’s use the Kissmetrics Funnel Report for an example ecommerce site to identify where people are dropping off.

may-kissmetrics-funnel-report-ecommerce-example

We see two major drop-offs here. Only 33% of visitors who viewed a product added a product to their cart. And, of those 25,000 people, only 13% purchased a product. We can test both of these areas, but today we’ll test some ways to increase that 13% conversion rate.

The 25,000 people who added a product to their cart have shown interest in the product, like the price, and have indicated a desire to purchase. Our next step is to dig a little deeper into the purchase process.

Zoom in with Micro Funnels

Getting from adding a product to cart to purchasing involves quite a few steps for many ecommerce companies. It has a few variables as well.

For some ecommerce companies, visitors have to register for an account before they can purchase. Others let visitors complete their purchase first.

Current customers have an easier time. For them, the entire process is only about two steps, from proceeding to checkout to purchasing.

In our example, of the 25,000 people who added a product to their cart, some are registered customers and some are unregistered visitors. We’ll zoom in and focus on the new visitor checkout funnel. This funnel looks at how our new, unregistered visitors move from Added Product to Cart to Purchased Product.

zoomed-in-funnel-ecommerce-kissmetrics-may

This micro funnel makes it clear that the culprit is converting visitors from the cart page (Added Product to Cart) to Registered. After visitors convert to Registered, about half of them move to Confirmation, and then most of those people purchase.

We’ll start with the area that needs our attention the most. Our goal is to move more people from the cart page to Registered. Before we begin testing some variation pages, we’ll need to gather feedback from people in this area of our site.

Gathering Feedback before Testing

We can jump to dozens of conclusions about why our new visitors don’t move to Registered. They may not be ready to buy, don’t want to register, don’t know shipping costs, don’t feel safe buying from us, are unaware of the return policy, have questions but no one is available to answer, etc.

Instead of guessing what they’re thinking, let’s ask them.

Qualaroo provides one of the best platforms for quickly and easily gathering user feedback. You’ve probably seen them around the web. They’re those small boxes that appear in the bottom right of a page. Here’s how ours will look:

qualaroo-question

We’ll target the people who have at least one product in their cart, and place it on every page. We’ll wait until we have about 700+ responses and see if we can find trends in the feedback.

Now, let’s fast forward and get our feedback. The majority of responses say they don’t know the shipping costs and don’t want to register for an account if shipping costs are unreasonable.

Once we have this feedback, we can create a variation cart page that includes a shipping calculator.

Tracking the A/B Test

We’ll design the new page and launch it in a tool like Optimizely. The great thing about Kissmetrics is that we don’t have to leave it to track our tests. With the A/B Test Report, we create our test in an A/B testing platform (like Optimizely) and track the results within the Report.

So we’ve launched our new test and it has been running for a few weeks. Let’s check the results in the A/B Test Report.

Here’s the setup for the A/B Test. We’re tracking people who convert to Purchased Product. This is the real strength of the A/B Test Report – it allows you to test any part of your funnel. You aren’t limited to testing to the next conversion step.

cart-page-ecommerce-ab-test-kissmetrics

We’ll click Run Report and see which page won.

winning-variation-ab-test-report-kissmetrics

The variant page is a winner the entire way. It clearly performs better at delivering purchases than the original page, which did not have a shipping calculator. And, since we were testing for Purchased Product, we can confidently move forward and push the variant page to 100% of visitors.

Use Kissmetrics’s Engage to Increase Conversions

Engage lets marketers display triggered popups, nudges, and lightboxes that boost conversions. From now until January 2016, you can test-drive Engage as part of your Kissmetrics plan.

In addition to running A/B tests on areas of your site where you lose customers, you can also display an engagement.

For example, let’s say you’re an ecommerce site running a flash sale. To increase awareness of your sale, you display a lightbox that appears on all, or selected, URLs on your site. When visitors click on the lightbox, you can send them to the landing page detailing that flash sale. So you can improve conversions and sales with this lightbox. There’s nothing additional to install, and no code or design resources are needed. It’s all done in Kissmetrics.

Increase Your Success by Improving the Most Underperforming Areas

Here’s a recap of the main points:

  • Too many A/B tests are run on homepages.
  • To increase conversions, it’s important to find which areas of your site are underperforming, and run tests there.
  • Use the Funnel Report to find which parts of your funnel are underperforming.
  • Create a test in your favorite tool and track the results in the Kissmetrics A/B Test Report.
  • Use Engage to create popups, nudges, and lightboxes to boost conversions.

Demo

Want to know more about the Funnel Report and the A/B Test Report? Just watch the short videos below, starting with the Funnel Report.

//fast.wistia.net/embed/iframe/apnuygikma?videoFoam=true

Test any part of your funnel with the A/B Test Report.

//fast.wistia.net/embed/iframe/1k4ptzuox4?videoFoam=true

Move visitors to actions with Engage:

 

 

Sign up for a free 14-day trial to get your hands on the Funnel, A/B Test Reports, Engage, and our other suite of reports.

Want to explore Kissmetrics a little more before signing up? No problem. We’ve set up a Demo site where you can poke around and see how Kissmetrics benefits both SaaS and ecommerce businesses. Better yet, request a personal demo to see how Kissmetrics can work for your business.

About the Author: Zach Bulygo (Twitter) is a Content Writer for Kissmetrics.

How to Find Which Areas of Your Site Need A/B Testing

The Top Frustrating Problems with Instagramming for Business – And How to Fix Them!

So you’re taking the time to really be active in engaging with and posting for your target audience. Props to you my friend! You’re tapping into a seriously engaged community.

But holy cow, you’re starting to realize that the Instagram app isn’t the most time-efficient mode of marketing.

Like, how do businesses find the time to post everyday at prime positing times? And there’s gotta be a better way than constantly logging in and out of personal vs. business Instagram accounts!

But let’s take a step back here… *deep  breath*. Instagram wasn’t made for time saving marketing necessarily, but you can make it a serious marketing tool that doesn’t suck 4 hours out of your day with the right tools. (PS. You can learn all the tactics for engaging with your audience and turning them into customers here.)

I’ve put together a comprehensive list of the Top 7 Most Frustrating Instagram for Business Issues – and best of all, how to solve them with some pretty rad time-saving and automation tools!

Problem 1: No Time to Post Around Your Optimum Sharing Schedule

The secret nitro-injection to getting more likes and engagements on your Instagram photos is to post around the ideal engagement times for your followers. And you should find these optimum posting times (if you haven’t already, tsk tsk!) with a little research on analytical apps like Iconosquare.

But… what if that research told you that your followers are most active on Fridays at 5:00pm… and darn it that’s right when your weekly reports are due – you just don’t have a clone to both polish up an Insta-post and also finish all your biz at once!

Well, check out these time-saving scheduling apps for Instagram (I know, it’s been an elusive concept!). Queue up those like-worthy posts when you have the time, and send ‘em out throughout the week. Time crunch nightmare over!

Latergramme – Your Personal Instagram Assistant (who works for free!)

This simple-to-use app lets you schedule Instagram posts for future dates – choose your photo, caption, hashtags, and then pick the date and time this post will go out. Easy as that!

Choose and crop your photo:

Latergram-1

Choose your caption and hashtags:

latergram-2

Then pick the date and time for the post to go out:

latergram-3

You can also queue up and schedule posts from your desktop!

Latergram-4

When it’s time for one of your scheduled posts to go out, you receive a push notification to your phone.

latergram-5

Just click the notification, which will bring you into the IG app with your photo and caption all queued up, just waiting for you to tap “publish”. Piece. of. Cake.

Note: This app doesn’t actually post for you! You gotta actually click through.

The Latergram perks:

  • You can switch between IG accounts from one spot
  • You can queue up photos FROM YOUR DESKTOP (this is huge!)
  • Scheduling posts means you won’t forget any prime posting times
  • It’s Free! (for 30 posts a month)

“Latergram takes the hassle out of remembering to post work. I would forget to post to my work Instagram for weeks at a time, then I’ll remember to post four days in a row” says Sarah Williams of FStoppers. “You’re not going to build a solid following on Instagram with spotty posting.”

Schedugram – All the Bells and Whistles of Instagram Management

As far as handy features and time-savers go, Schedugram is on the rampage. In a good way. We’re still covering Insta problem number one at this point – scheduling – but the more I talk about Schedugram the more you’ll see it’s going to solve a lot of your other Insta-issues, too.

Just be ready for the price tag that comes along with it (starts at about $20 a month if you have less than 10,000 followers).

With Schedugram you can schedule future posts using a calendar system similar to Latergram, but when the time comes to publish you don’t even gotta be hooked up to the grid. Schedugram posts it for you! Voila.

Schedugram-1

This clever app that found a way around Instagram’s third-party posting rules (they’ve got a fleet of physical phones and tablets shootin’ out posts via the Instagram app) also boasts some totally kick-butt features.

Perks of Schedugram:

  • Upload photos in bulk (from either desktop or iPhone)

Schedugram-2

  • Built-in photo editing (it’s integrated with Canva, for awesome text overlay and filters!)

Schedugram-editing

  • Easily post to multiple Instagram accounts without always logging in and out
  • Add as many users as you want to be able to contribute and collaborate on your Instagram account
  • Fill out your caption, hashtags and ALSO a first comment (if you like stickin’ your hashtags in the comment, not that caption)

Schedugram-4

Photo courtesy of Luiz Centenaro.

Downsides?

  • Not free.
  • Double check your posts – Because this app has to work around Instagram’s third-party terms to post for you, some users have found troubles with posts not actually getting posted, or Instagram deleting posts later… it hasn’t happened to me, but if you want that assurance that your post really goes through, Latergram’s manual posting might be the option for you!

An important disclaimer – remember that Instagram is intended for ‘sharing moments’ and the culture of this social media revolves around authentic, real-life glimpses into behind-the-scenes lifestyles. So don’t go all robot, and impersonal and schedule everything. Keep it personal and human, too!

Runner Ups (because it’s always good to have options!)

  • OnlyPult – starts at $12 a month (with a 7-day free trial). Schedule posts from both desktop and mobile, built-in filters and editing, and it posts for you (like Schedugram does)

onlypult

  • Postso – Starts at $14.95 a month (14-day free trial), this scheduling app works for multiple social media sites (including Twitter and FB). Simple and straightforward scheduling.

Postso

Problem 2: Balancing Multiple IG Accounts

The Instagram app does NOT make it easy to flip between accounts. So when you wanna go from your personal account (just posted those great Hawaii sunset pics!) back to your brand’s account (time to launch a contest!)… it can get time consuming logging out and logging back in every time!

Here’s the trick – use a third-party app to manage BOTH (and more) accounts from one spot.

I’ve already mentioned the motherload offered by Schedugram… and yes, they have an awesome option for switching between accounts easily. Just keep in mind that Schedugram charges per account, so again, it’s the pricier option.

Here are some more options for solving this Insta inconvenience and managing multiple accounts from one place (check out this awesome list from Digital Trends, too):

Fotogramme – Your Two-Places-At-Once App for Balancing Multiple Accounts

David Lee King was recently struggling to switch between both his personal IG account and his library’s account – until he discovered Fotogramme!

“Fotogramme is an Instagram management iPhone app with multiple account support. It allows me to view photos, post Likes and comments, manage followers, and Favorite users and hashtags for easier recall,” says King. “It also sends alerts to my iPhone, so I know when there’s activity on the library’s Instagram account.”

The Perks of Fotogramme:

  • It’s free!

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  • Switch between multiple accounts without annoying logins! You can view your feed, comment and like all from one place.

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Fotogram-3

  • Search for hashtags and users right on the app
  • Create a ‘Favorites’ list of users, with a separate feed of only the peeps you never want to miss a post from

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Downsides of Fotogramme?

  • You can’t upload or schedule posts
  • Mobile only (but so is Instagram, mostly).

So, if you’re mainly looking for a more comfortable and convenient way to manage your engagement and comments on Insta – Fotogramme’s got you covered.

Primary – Fine-tuned Instagram Perusing for Time-Efficient Engagement

Boasting a few more features than Fotogramme at a one-time price of $1.99, Primary (previously Gramatica) is another tool for switching between multiple accounts without cumbersome log-ins.

Primary-1

Perks of Primary

  • again, easily switch between multiple accounts
  • view feeds, comment, and like photos

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  • make lists of favorite users or hashtags you’re interested in, so photos you’re really interested in are easier to find in your feed!
  • filter out videos, and also disable the auto-play option

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  • url links in IG captions are clickable in this app (which IG itself doesn’t do!)
  • Easily find where you left off! If your Instagram scrolling gets interrupted (psh, people calling me on my phone while I’m on Insta!) the ‘last photo viewed’ flag, and pick up where you left off. Total time saver.

Negatives to Primary?

  • Again… no posting or scheduling abilities
  • Mobile only.

Problem 3: It’s Tricky to Respond to Every Comment!

So your brand is popular on Instagram – right on! But if you’re getting tens – even hundreds – of comments for every post,  how are you supposed to keep up that engagement and get to everybody? There’s an app for that.

InstaCommentor: Your Interactive To-Do List for Responding to IG Comments

You don’t have hours to go back through all your comments and holla back at every fan… but the truth is, engagement with your people on Instagram is a huge boost for your brand loyalty. So how do you keep track of all your comments and replies?

InstaCommentor – Your Interactive Comment Organizer

This app organizes all your incoming comments to more easily manage any un-replied-to comments.

Perks of Instacommentor:

  • See awaiting comments on your last 20 posts

InstaCommentor

  • Choose to see a list of all comments, and even specifically your not replied to comments.

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  • Easy clicks to knock out personalized replies, and automatically switch pending comments over to the ‘replied’ list
  • You can even reply to multiple commenters at once.

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Downsides?

  • This guy costs you $1.99
  • You have to log-out and log back in to switch between accounts.

Iconosquare – The Ridiculously Helpful Instagram Manager That Almost Shouldn’t be Free!

So we talked about this big-player earlier when I mentioned analytics for your Instagram. But there’s so much more you can get from Iconosquare – including a simple comments manager!

Iconosquare shows you a list of your latest posts:

Iconosquare

And tells you which comments you haven’t replied to yet:

Iconosquare-2

Easy as that. (Iconosquare’s got some more tricks up its sleeve – we’ll go over them more in Problems 5 and 8)

Problem 4: Hard to Edit Photos and Manage Feeds from Small Mobile Screens

So, mobile is awesome when you’re out and about, jetsetting, and waiting in line at the bank. But sometimes you just want a big screen to edit your shots and organize your Instagram business.

While primarily mobile, Instagram does have some functions for desktop – you can view your feed and you can comment and like photos.

IG-Desktop-1

BUT, you can’t post anything, and searching is kinda a no-go. Which sends you back to the ol’ smart phone. Unless:

Use one of these for easy breezy Instagramming on your big-screen desktop. Did somebody say full keyboard? Woot!

Remember Iconosquare?

That always helpful app lets you view your Instagram on your desktop as well:

Iconosquare-desktop

Iconosquare-desktop-2

You can comment, like, and follow as well.

Ink361 – A Stylish Big Screen Instagram Viewer

The attractive, functional look of Ink361 makes it easy to quickly scan your feed plus like and comment on people’s photos.

Ink-361

Perks of Ink361:

  • Big screen viewing on a desktop
  • Track statistics about your account, like most-liked photos, engagement-to-follower rates, and comments-per-post rates.

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  • Search for hashtags and users (and Ink361 gives you relevant tags, too)

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  • Make albums to organize some of your photos a little easier.
  • It’s free!

Negative?

  • You can’t post (we’ve heard that one before).

Runner Up:

  • Webstagram – Similar to Ink361, Webstagram lets you keep track of your Instagram from the desktop. Organize your feed in a one by one list for fast commenting:

Webstagram-1

Or in a grid format:

Webstagram-2

Problem 5: It’s Time Consuming to Post Across Social Media Networks

Want a magic spell to make your insta post insta-appear across your other social networks? As of right now, you have to go in manually to Instagram and check the ‘Share’ buttons. BUT, with the wizardry that is IFTTT, all that can be done automatically for you! Because, you know, when you’re busy every second saved is sooo worth it!

IFTTT – Your Secret Short Cut for Maximum Efficiency

IFTTT is an amazing app of recipes – no, not food recipes, but little time-saving recipes that add shortcuts to your daily routine.

IFTTT stands of “IF This then That” and it’s awesome for soooo many things, but we’ll focus on Instagram for now.

Basically, you set up any ‘recipe’ for something you want to happen anytime you do something else. So, for example: “If [I post a photo to Instagram] then [share that photo on Twitter]” and so on.

Perks?

  • Your time-consuming technical tasks are done for you, automatically

Downsides?

  • Uhhh… none!

I’ll run you through an example of IFTTT’s magic:

Say I want to create a photo post on my WordPress blog every time I post a photo to Instagram with a specific tag.

Here’s how I make the recipe:

IFTTT-1

First choose the “this.”

Untitled

I scroll down until I find “Instagram”.

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I pick the action I want. For this example I’m going with the second option – every time I post a photo with a specific tag.

IFTTT-4

Now I decide what I want that specific tag to be.

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First half done, time to choose my “that.” I want it to go on my blog, so I scrolled down til I found WordPress.

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Then choose, “Create a photo post.”

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Now I get to fill in my specifics for the WordPress post…

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And click create.

Done!

IFTTT-9

Problem 6: Need to Tidy Up Followers List for Only Quality Connections

When your follower list gets up there, it’s hard to see who’s really engaging with you, who’s following you back, and who’s unfollowing you. That’s where Crowdfire (formerly JustUnfollow) comes in.

Crowdfire – For Managing Your Fans and Friends on Instagram

Organize your followers and fan lists with Crowdfire.

The Perks:

  • See who’s not following you back (#nonfollowers)

JustUnfollow

  • See who just followed or unfollowed you
  • Whitelist and Blacklist people (highlight as ‘friends’ or ‘don’t want to hear from them anymore’)
  • FriendCheck – quickly look up a specific account to see if they follow you

Problem 7: Promote Your Instagram Photos Outside of Instagram

Let’s face it – we love Instagram but not quite literally EVERYBODY is on it. So how do you include all your fans in your photo-sharing world?

Here are some options for sharing your Instagram love with the non-instagram world:

Remember IFTTT? Check out all the amazing options that magic app has for connecting your IG posts to your WordPress site, Flickr, Facebook… even Reddit, Digg, emails… there are a ridiculous amount of options there for getting your IG photos into other publicly accessible places.

Iconosquare – Back Again to Save the Instagram Day

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this app is totally amazing for analytics (like, we boosted our IG followers by 3,622% in 1 month once we used Iconosquare to strengthen our strategy!).

The Perks of Iconosquare for Promotion:

Iconosquare-promotion-1

 

They can even see comments, add their own comments, and share your IG photos on their other social media accounts.

 

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  • Install an app on Facebook through your Iconosquare, that displays your IG images on a separate tab.

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The Iconosquare app adds a tab to your Facebook page, so FB users can check out your feed.

  • Create a photo gallery widget that shows off your latest IG images right on your website or blog.

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There are plenty of other widgets available for integrating an IG portfolio onto your WordPress site.

Choose the IG Managing Apps That Solve Your Logistical IG Hiccups

Ok, phew… that was a lot. And let me tell you, this list isn’t even half of the app options out there to manage your business’s Insta. Yeah, I dove in deep. With this list of apps, you should now be able to smooth over the logistical inconveniences of using Instagram for business.

As a refresher, here’s a quick re-cap and link to all the apps I’ve mentioned here, and why you’d want ‘em.

  • LatergrammeSchedules posts for future dates, then sends you push notifications (free!)
  • Schedugram – Covers post scheduling, multiple accounts, multiple users, and some analytics (not free)
  • OnlyPult Schedules future posts (not free)
  • Postso Schedules future posts (not free)
  • FotogrammeEasily switch between multiple accounts for commenting and liking – can’t post, mobile only (free)
  • PrimarySwitch between multiple accounts, filter your feed, create favorites lists and comment/like ($1.99)
  • InstaCommenterManage incoming comments into “Replied” and “Not Replied” lists ($1.99)
  • Ink361View your Instagram on a desktop for big screen commenting and liking – can’t post (free)
  • WebstaComment and like on Insta from desktop – can’t post (free)
  • IFTTTHandy systems for sharing posts across other social media – and more! (free)
  • CrowdfireEasily manage your follower list (free)
  • IconosquareUseful analytics, view your feed on a desktop, manage and reply to comments, promote your Instagram for non-instagram users (free!)

Just think how strong your Instagram engagement and marketing can be with the help of these time-saving management tools.

Everything you wanted from your IG just got a heck of a lot more convenient. Leave a comment if you’ve tried any of these tools and which one is your favorite!

About the Author: Rachel Daley is the content manager at MadeFreshly, the simplest online store platform that truly helps you succeed in business.

The Top Frustrating Problems with Instagramming for Business – And How to Fix Them!

A Love Affair: Social Data & Strategy

Less than a decade ago, data merely functioned as a way to track operations or forecast needs. However, today, we collect data to learn about every single interaction of our potential customers. We even invest in new technology just to gain insight about how people learn about our products and services.

Big data is big business. Wikibon projects that the big data market will top $84 billion in 2026.

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Source: Wikibon’s Big Data Market Forecast

An intense bond exists between social data and strategy. Social data determines how your company designs a system to influence consumers. With a plan anchored in analytics, you have the chance to tailor to your customers’ needs and offer top dollar for your services.

Be proactive by integrating social data into your business’s overall plan. Focus on the following four areas:

1. Establish Brand Credibility

Use social data to start a conversation about your brand. From tracking hashtags to monitoring posts, gather intel from positive and negative feedback. Then, build a marketing campaign to engage consumers with your mission and values.

In a September 2014 survey, the Pew Research Center found that 52% percent of online adults reported using two or more social media sites. This is a significant increase from 42% in 2013.

Online conversations are occurring in several places. Focus on two to three social media channels, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Hashtags play a major role in driving viral content. They can help spread your brand’s message, track industry-related headlines, and analyze the tone of customer discussions.

Consider creating your own brand hashtag. It can be your company’s name or tagline. If your business name is generic, develop a unique hashtag. Keep it short and easy to spell.

KitKat uses its tagline as a brand hashtag: #HaveABreak. On Instagram, KitKat fanatics share photos of how they indulge with the product. Here’s an example:

Image2_KitKatInstagram

Source: KitKat’s #HAVEABREAK

On Twitter, KitKat communicates directly with customers in a fun-loving manner. See below.

Image3_KitKatTwitter

Source: @KitKat

Depending on your marketing team’s capacity, closely oversee your brand. Steer clear from outsourcing your brand monitoring. Value remains in performing it in-house. Your team members are the most qualified to handle the brand. Moreover, you want your voice to be authentic when talking with customers.

Key Takeaway: Establish brand credibility with a hashtag on multiple social media channels.

2. Create Meaningful Content

Content is only king if it benefits your bottom line. Learn what keywords and phrases resonate with buyers. Crowdsource ideas to produce content that matters to the user. All your content–website, brochures, and tweets–should be a reflection of your consumer.

Data mining for editorial content is common for companies. In 2014, the OKCupid blog highlighted the link between race and attraction. This actionable data helped improve its matchmaking algorithm, while providing attractive content for its audience.

To create great content, figure out what type of content already exists. For example, if you want to compose a blog post about SasS marketing, look for all articles that include the words “SaaS” and “marketing” near each other. A simple search query with Boolean operators will work. Try this: ++“SaaS” NEAR/4 marketing.

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Source: Google Search

Also, use these other boolean operators.

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Source: Boolean Operators

Improved content creation begins with access to this kind of data. It accelerates more targeted and informed topics to interested readers. In return, you get increased audience engagement and more traffic to your website.

Social data intelligence holds valuable information about how your brand and content is perceived. Executives seek technology that is scalable, measurable, and cost-effective. Take advantage of this opportunity.

Create a content strategy based on the data. By filtering through Twitter and Facebook feeds, observe the top performing tweets and adjust your messaging accordingly.

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Source: Arby’s Grammy Tweet

Here’s a good example of Arby’s executing real-time meaningful content, “while also allowing data and clear audience analysis to show where and when it would be appropriate to enter an online conversation.”

Key Takeaway: Create meaningful content by data mining.

3. Gain Competitor Insight

Analyze your competitors’ efforts and compare their key performance metrics to your own. Then, optimize your plans for success.

Decide who are your competitors. They should be grouped as any of the following:

  • Your direct competitors;
  • Companies with similar audience, but in a different sector; and
  • Businesses with a comparable content strategy, but for a different audience.

Social media moves quickly. More than 40% of consumers expect their online requests to be answered within an hour.

Measure your responsiveness against other market leaders. You might not control the industry standards, but you must attain them to retain customers and grow your business. By analyzing how your brand ranks within your field, you can set realistic goals for your social media engagement.

Airline delays are common forms of customer frustration. People usually vent about their airplane woes. To ensure customer loyalty, JetBlue Airways is responsive to their customers via Twitter.

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Source: @JetBlue

Ready to spy? Learning what keywords your competition deems valuable can be helpful. SpyFu and iSpionage are two tools that help automate this process. Enter a keyword or domain, and then discover which keywords your competitors bid on.

Here’s how to find popular keywords amongst your competitors on SpyFu Kombat:

  1. Enter the domains of your three competitors.

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  1. Click the overlap of all three competitors’ keyword circles.

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  1. The results are filtered by popular keywords amongst your competitors.

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Source: SpyFu Kombat Tutorial

Learn how competitors are differentiating themselves in the marketplace. What drives consumers toward and away from your competitors? Study the competition’s data to learn and grow from their pitfalls.

Key Takeaway: Gain competitor insight by examining your industry leaders’ keywords and customer responsiveness.

4. Find New Sources of Revenue

Social data can be effective in increasing sales if implemented as a focal point for customer service. Demonstrate the reliability and trustworthiness of your business by engaging consumers.

According to the Sales 2.0 Conference, “70 percent of a customer’s buying decision is now made based on information he or she finds online, well before a salesperson has a chance to get involved.” This disconnection lessens the influence of sales reps with buyers.

Help your salespeople get ahead of the trends. Empower your social media team to interact with consumers. Retweet their announcements and congratulate customers on key victories.

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Source: How to Do Sales on Twitter

Chief marketing officers are under pressure to deliver above-market growth. According to a study, 72 percent of CEOs stated “that marketers are constantly asking for more funding but can hardly explain how much incremental business this funding will generate.” This is an opportunity for marketing professionals to effectively employ the use of big data.

Kohl’s encouraged its customers to shop with a simple call to action on Facebook. The brand didn’t try to trick people or emotionally persuade folks. And it paid off! In four days, Kohl’s got more than 30,000 people to claim a promotional offer.

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Source: Kohl’s Keeps It Pithy on Facebook

Social media serves as an important touch point for business development success. Nowadays, emails and voicemails go unresponded. Make an effort to follow up with prospects via social media.

Key Takeaway: Find new sources of revenue by engaging customers honestly and directly.

Share Your Story

Social data and strategy are the perfect pair. It’s quite hard to imagine one without the other. Plan with data in mind and your business will benefit from more brand awareness, engagement, and revenue.

How are you implementing social data into your business strategy? What’s working (or not working)? Share your story in the comments below.

About the Author: Shayla Price lives at the intersection of digital marketing, the law and social responsibility. She inspires a new breed of innovative attorneys at Hearsay Marketing. Connect with her on Twitter: @shaylaprice

A Love Affair: Social Data & Strategy