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Technology Content Marketers' Priorities

The top areas that technology content marketers are investing in include website enhancements and content creation, according to research from MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute. Read the full article at MarketingProfs

Reblogged 1 year ago from www.marketingprofs.com

How Much Should Your Marketing Team Budget for 2021? [By Industry]

When I was hired for my first marketing role, I got really excited to pitch new, exciting ideas to my team.

And I thought — as long as I had data to support the potential success of a project — that my team would be thrilled to hear these ideas.

Which they were. But they were also cautious, and one of their biggest concerns was, “Okay, this sounds great … but how much is it going to cost?”

Ultimately, being a successful marketer isn’t just about thinking strategically. It’s also about adhering to a strict budget, and achieving new levels of growth while simultaneously choosing the most cost-effective option for your business.

Here, we’ll explore typical marketing budgets, as well as marketing budgets by industry, so you can determine how your budget matches up against competitors.

Plus, we’ll explore how much of your yearly revenue you should re-invest in marketing materials to see stronger long-term growth.

What’s a typical marketing budget percentage?

As of February 2021, Deloitte’s annual CMO Survey reports that marketing budgets are now roughly 11.7% of total company-wide budget — a slight decrease from the 12.6% marketers saw in June 2020, but still a record high that most marketers haven’t seen over the last four years.

(It’s important to note, we saw record-high marketing budgets over the course of the pandemic as companies relocated some budget towards digital marketing strategies, rather than more offline tactics.)

Gartner’s 2020 CMO survey confirms most marketing budgets rest around 11% of total company budget.

how much budget should I give to marketing? While your own marketing department’s budget depends on a variety of factors — including industry, company revenue performance, and business needs — this should help you ballpark a reasonable percentage of your total company-wide budget that you should allocate for your marketing teams.

Of course, what strategies/channels marketing teams choose to invest in varies depending on individual company goals. For instance, while 73% of companies invested in website optimization in 2020, only 20% invested in machine learning and automation.

Web optimization, digital media and search, and digital marketing were the top three priorities for companies when determining budget allocation in 2020 — with roughly 73%, 65%, and 57% of companies (respectively) investing in each.

These trends are predicted to continue into 2021 and beyond.

However, the data we’ve reported so far pertains to marketing budget percentage of overall company budget — but what about marketing budget as it pertains to overall company revenue? Let’s dive into that, next.

Marketing Budget Percentage of Revenue

The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends small businesses (businesses with revenue less than 5 million) allocate between 7% and 8% of total revenue to marketing — assuming your business has margins in the range of 10-12 percent.

The amount of revenue businesses allocate to marketing has increased steadily over the past 10 years, with average marketing percentage of revenue landing around 13% in 2021, compared to just 8% back in 2011.

B2B Product industries allocate, on average, roughly 10% of revenue to marketing, which is similar to B2C Services (10.1%). B2B Services and B2C Product allocate higher numbers of 15% and 18%, respectively, of total revenue.

Of course, decisions related to marketing budget allocation remain largely industry-specific. To determine more accurate, industry-specific insights, let’s explore marketing budgets by industry, next.

Marketing Budget Percentage by Industry [2021 Data]

Deloitte’s 2020 CMO Survey found B2B (product-focused) companies attribute roughly 9.4% of overall budget to marketing efforts, while B2B (services-focused) companies attribute 11.4%.

Alternatively, if you work for a B2C (product-focused) company, Deloitte reports 15.9% of overall budget is the average given to marketing teams — for B2C (service-focused) companies, this is closer to 12%.

Of course, the type of business you work at (B2B or B2C) is only one factor when determining marketing budget percentage. Industry is a major factor, as well.

For instance, marketing expenses are highest in the Education sector at 19.4% of total budget — and they’re lowest in the Energy industry, at roughly 4%.

If you work in the healthcare industry, you might expect to see a marketing budget around 7% of total budget.

Alternatively, consulting services typically attribute 13%. Lastly, technlogy/software platforms attribute 12% of total company budget to marketing.

If you’re unsure how to manage your marketing budget, you’re in luck. We’ve covered marketing budgets extensively in How to Manage Your Entire Marketing Budget [Free Budget Planner Templates]. Take a look at that post to create a marketing budget that works for you — and use templates and samples to get you started.

download free marketing budget templates

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.hubspot.com

Reactivity In Vue

In this article, we’re going to look at reactivity in Vue, how it works, and how we can create reactive variables using newly created methods and functions. This article is targeted at developers who have a good understanding of how Vue 2.x works and are looking to get familiar with the new Vue 3.

We’re going to build a simple application to better understand this topic. The code for this app can be found on GitHub.

By default, JavaScript isn’t reactive. This means that if we create the variable boy and reference it in part A of our application, then proceed to modify boy in part B, part A will not update with the new value of boy.

let framework = 'Vue';
let sentence = `${framework} is awesome`;
console.log(sentence)
 // logs "Vue is awesome"
framework = 'React';
console.log(sentence)
//should log "React is awesome" if 'sentence' is reactive.

The snippet above is a perfect example of the non-reactive nature of JavaScript — hence, why the change isn’t reflected in the sentence variable.

In Vue 2.x, props, computed, and data() were all reactive by default, with the exception of properties that are not present in data when such components are created. This means that when a component is injected into the DOM, only the existing properties in the component’s data object would cause the component to update if and when such properties change.

Internally, Vue 3 uses the Proxy object (an ECMAScript 6 feature) to ensure that these properties are reactive, but it still provides the option to use Object.defineProperty from Vue 2 for Internet Explorer support (ECMAScript 5). This method defines a new property directly on an object, or modifies an existing property on an object, and returns the object.

At first glance and since most of us already know that reactivity is not new in Vue, it might seem unnecessary to make use of these properties, but the Options API has its limitations when you’re dealing with a large application with reusable functions in several parts of the application. To this end, the new Composition API was introduced to help with abstracting logic in order to make a code base easier to read and maintain. Also, we can now easily make any variable reactive regardless of its data type using any of the new properties and methods.

When we use the setup option, which serves as the entry point for the Composition API, the data object, computed properties, and methods are inaccessible because the component instance has not yet been created when setup is executed. This makes it impossible to take advantage of the built-in reactivity in any of these features in setup. In this tutorial, we’re going to learn about all of the ways we can do this.

The Reactive Method

According to the documentation, the reactive method, which is the equivalent of Vue.observable() in Vue 2.6, can be useful when we’re trying to create an object all of whose properties are reactive (such as the data object in the Options API). Under the hood, the data object in the Options API uses this method to make all of the properties in it reactive.

But we can create our own reactive object like this:

import { reactive } from 'vue'

// reactive state
let user = reactive({
        "id": 1,
        "name": "Leanne Graham",
        "username": "Bret",
        "email": "[email protected]",
        "address": {
            "street": "Kulas Light",
            "suite": "Apt. 556",
            "city": "Gwenborough",
            "zipcode": "92998-3874",
            "geo": {
                "lat": "-37.3159",
                "lng": "81.1496"
            }
        },
        "phone": "1-770-736-8031 x56442",
        "website": "hildegard.org",
        "company": {
            "name": "Romaguera-Crona",
            "catchPhrase": "Multi-layered client-server neural-net",
            "bs": "harness real-time e-markets"
        },
        "cars": {
            "number": 0
        }
    })

Here, we imported the reactive method from Vue, and then we declared our user variable by passing its value to this function as an argument. In doing so, we’ve made user reactive, and, thus, if we use user in our template and if either the object or a property of this object should change, then this value will get automatically updated in this template.

ref

Just as we have a method for making objects reactive, we also need one to make other standalone primitive values (strings, booleans, undefined values, numbers, etc.) and arrays reactive. During development, we would work with these other data types while also needing them to be reactive. The first approach we might think of would be to use reactive and pass in the value of the variable that we want to make reactive.

import { reactive } from 'vue'

const state = reactive({
  users: [],
});

Because reactive has deep reactive conversion, user as a property would also be reactive, thereby achieving our goal; hence, user would always update anywhere it is used in the template of such an app. But with the ref property, we can make any variable with any data type reactive by passing the value of that variable to ref. This method also works for objects, but it nests the object one level deeper than when the reactive method is used.

let property = {
  rooms: '4 rooms',
  garage: true,
  swimmingPool: false
}
let reactiveProperty = ref(property)
console.log(reactiveProperty)
// prints {
// value: {rooms: "4 rooms", garage: true, swimmingPool: false}
// }

Under the hood, ref takes this argument passed to it and converts it into an object with a key of value. This means, we can access our variable by calling variable.value, and we can also modify its value by calling it in the same way.

import {ref} from 'vue'
let age = ref(1)

console.log(age.value)
//prints 1
age.value++
console.log(age.value)
//prints 2

With this, we can import ref into our component and create a reactive variable:

<template>
  <div class="home">
    <form @click.prevent="">
      <table>
        <tr>
          <th>Name</th>
          <th>Username</th>
          <th>email</th>
          <th>Edit Cars</th>
          <th>Cars</th>
        </tr>
        <tr v-for="user in users" :key="user.id">
          <td>{{ user.name }}</td>
          <td>{{ user.username }}</td>
          <td>{{ user.email }}</td>
          <td>
            <input
              type="number"
              style="width: 20px;"
              name="cars"
              id="cars"
              v-model.number="user.cars.number"
            />
          </td>
          <td>
            <cars-number :cars="user.cars" />
          </td>
        </tr>
      </table>
      <p>Total number of cars: {{ getTotalCars }}</p>
    </form>
  </div>
</template>
<script>
  // @ is an alias to /src
  import carsNumber from "@/components/cars-number.vue";
  import axios from "axios";
  import { ref } from "vue";
  export default {
    name: "Home",
    data() {
      return {};
    },
    setup() {
      let users = ref([]);
      const getUsers = async () => {
        let { data } = await axios({
          url: "data.json",
        });
        users.value = data;
      };
      return {
        users,
        getUsers,
      };
    },
    components: {
      carsNumber,
    },
    created() {
      this.getUsers();
    },
    computed: {
      getTotalCars() {
        let users = this.users;
        let totalCars = users.reduce(function(sum, elem) {
          return sum + elem.cars.number;
        }, 0);
        return totalCars;
    },
  };
</script>

Here, we imported ref in order to create a reactive users variable in our component. We then imported axios to fetch data from a JSON file in the public folder, and we imported our carsNumber component, which we’ll be creating later on. The next thing we did was create a reactive users variable using the ref method, so that users can update whenever the response from our JSON file changes.

We also created a getUser function that fetches the users array from our JSON file using axios, and we assigned the value from this request to the users variable. Finally, we created a computed property that computes the total number of cars that our users have as we have modified it in the template section.

It is important to note that when accessing ref properties that are returned in the template section or outside of setup(), they are automatically shallow unwrapped. This means that refs that are an object would still require a .value in order to be accessed. Because users is an array, we could simply use users and not users.value in getTotalCars.

In the template section, we displayed a table that displays each user’s information, together with a <cars-number /> component. This component accepts a cars prop that is displayed in each user’s row as the number of cars they have. This value updates whenever the value of cars changes in the user object, which is exactly how the data object or computed property would work if we were working with the Options API.

toRefs

When we use the Composition API, the setup function accepts two arguments: props and context. This props is passed from the component to setup(), and it makes it possible to access the props that the component has from inside this new API. This method is particularly useful because it allows for the destructuring of objects without losing its reactivity.

<template>
  <p>{{ cars.number }}</p>
</template>
<script>
  export default {
    props: {
      cars: {
        type: Object,
        required: true,
      },
      gender: {
        type: String,
        required: true,
      },
    },
    setup(props) {
      console.log(props);
   // prints {gender: "female", cars: Proxy}
    },
  };
</script>
<style></style>

To use a value that is an object from props in the Composition API while ensuring it maintains its reactivity, we make use of toRefs. This method takes a reactive object and converts it into a plain object in which each property of the original reactive object becomes a ref. What this means is that the cars prop…

cars: {
  number: 0
}

… would now become this:

{
  value: cars: {
    number: 0
  }

With this, we can make use of cars inside any part of the setup API while still maintaining its reactivity.

 setup(props) {
      let { cars } = toRefs(props);
      console.log(cars.value);
      // prints {number: 0}
    },

We can watch this new variable using the Composition API’s watch and react to this change however we might want to.

setup(props) {
      let { cars } = toRefs(props);
      watch(
        () => cars,
        (cars, prevCars) => {
          console.log("deep ", cars.value, prevCars.value);
        },
        { deep: true }
      );
    }

toRef

Another common use case we could be faced with is passing a value that is not necessarily an object but rather one of the data types that work with ref (array, number, string, boolean, etc.). With toRef, we can create a reactive property (i.e. ref) from a source reactive object. Doing this would ensure that the property remains reactive and would update whenever the parent source changes.

const cars = reactive({
  Toyota: 1,
  Honda: 0
})

const NumberOfHondas = toRef(state, 'Honda')

NumberOfHondas.value++
console.log(state.Honda) // 1

state.Honda++
console.log(NumberOfHondas.value) // 2

Here, we created a reactive object using the reactive method, with the properties Toyota and Honda. We also made use of toRef to create a reactive variable out of Honda. From the example above, we can see that when we update Honda using either the reactive cars object or NumberOfHondas, the value gets updated in both instances.

This method is similar and yet so different from the toRefs method that we covered above in the sense that it maintains its connection to its source and can be used for strings, arrays, and numbers. Unlike with toRefs, we do not need to worry about the existence of the property in its source at the time of creation, because if this property does not exist at the time that this ref is created and instead returns null, it would still be stored as a valid property, with a form of watcher put in place, so that when this value changes, this ref created using toRef would also be updated.

We can also use this method to create a reactive property from props. That would look like this:

<template>
  <p>{{ cars.number }}</p>
</template>
<script>
  import { watch, toRefs, toRef } from "vue";
  export default {
    props: {
      cars: {
        type: Object,
        required: true,
      },
      gender: {
        type: String,
        required: true,
      },
    },
    setup(props) {
      let { cars } = toRefs(props);
      let gender = toRef(props, "gender");
      console.log(gender.value);
      watch(
        () => cars,
        (cars, prevCars) => {
          console.log("deep ", cars.value, prevCars.value);
        },
        { deep: true }
      );
    },
  };
</script>

Here, we created a ref that would be based on the gender property gotten from props. This comes in handy when we want to perform extra operations on the prop of a particular component.

Conclusion

In this article, we have looked at how reactivity in Vue works using some of the newly introduced methods and functions from Vue 3. We started by looking at what reactivity is and how Vue makes use of the Proxy object behind the scenes to achieve this. We also looked at how we can create reactive objects using reactive and how to create reactive properties using ref.

Finally, we looked at how to convert reactive objects to plain objects, each of whose properties are a ref pointing to the corresponding property of the original object, and we saw how to create a ref for a property on a reactive source object.

Further Resources

Reblogged 1 year ago from smashingmagazine.com

Growing UX Maturity: Knowledge Sharing And Mentorship (Part 2)

This series of articles presents tactics UX practitioners can use to promote the growth of UX maturity in their organizations or product teams. I covered the importance of finding and utilizing UX Champions and showing the ROI/value of UX in the first article of this series. Today, I’ll focus on two additional tactics for UX practitioners to grow their organization’s UX maturity in this article, knowledge sharing and mentorship.

Chapman and Plewes’ framework (see image below) describes five steps or stages of organizational UX maturity that I’m referencing when I mention UX maturity stages within the tactics I present.

The table below lists the six tactics and their relationship to UX maturity. Note that the tactics don’t build on the prior tactics, you can and should implement multiple tactics simultaneously. However, some tactics, such as mentoring, might not be possible in an organization with low UX maturity that lacks the support for a mentoring program.

  1. Finding and utilizing UX Champions (Go to Part 1 →)
    Beginning stages: the UX champion will plant seeds and open doors for growing UX in an organization.
  2. Demonstrating the ROI/value of UX (Go to Part 1 →)
    Beginning stages justify more investment; later stages justify continued investment.
  3. Knowledge Sharing/Documenting what UX work has been done
    Less relevant/possible in the earliest stages of maturity when there is little UX being done. Creates a foundation and then serves to maintain institutional knowledge even when individuals leave or change roles.
  4. Mentoring
    Middle and later stages of maturity. Grow individual skills in a two-way direction that also exposes more people to UX and improves the knowledge transfer of more senior UX, which should lead to a shared understanding of how UX looks and is implemented in the organization.
  5. Education of UX staff on UX tools and specific areas of UX expertise (coming up in Part 3)
    All stages of maturity require continued education of UX staff.
  6. Education of non-UX staff on UX principles and processes(coming up in Part 3)
    All stages of maturity benefit from the education of non-UX staff.

I’ll focus on two tactics in this article:

  • Tactic #3
    Knowledge sharing/document what’s been done and make it available across the organization;
  • Tactic #4
    Mentorship

These two tactics are particularly applicable for an organization at stage 3 or early stage 4 of Chapman and Plewes’ UX maturity model. These tactics serve to document and build upon existing UX accomplishments, provide UX resources for current and future staff, and create and propagate the specific UX processes and values within your organization.

Tactic 3: Knowledge Sharing/Document What’s Been Done And Make It Available Across The Organization

Organizations with more mature UX have well-documented UX processes, as well as a history of what they have learned through UX research and exploration through design iteration and testing. You can’t create a mature organization without lessons learned. Mature organizations do not reinvent the wheel each time they start a product or project, in terms of how UX is integrated. Organizations with more mature UX gain efficiency through documentation of the lessons learned from past UX, and consistency in how UX is practiced/applied across products.

Each organization might have a unique culture of how information is documented and shared. Sometimes intranets and shared internal sites are highly used and easily searchable for the content you need. Sometimes, not so much. In the latter case, these repositories gather dust, and the knowledge is eventually lost in time which is replaced with something flashier or something considered more in-line with the needs of the company.

You will need to decide what might be the best way to both document and then preserve lessons learned for the needs of your organization. Here are some options:

  • Manual sending/sharing
    Manual sharing includes one on one and group conversation about UX research and design with other professionals both within and outside of UX roles at your organization. This can include e-mailing reports and files as attachments or links for others to access. This is the most time-consuming and least impactful in terms of the ability to have others easily find your work. You’re essentially relying on word of mouth and for others to save your work to pass along to future team members. I still suggest having these conversations as often as possible. There is a lot of value in these conversations when you have them with individuals and they see your passion for UX and creating great experiences.

  • Informal meetings, one-off presentations, lunch and learns, and cross-project meetings focused on the organization’s UX work
    These are events where you can talk about relevant examples of UX from projects or products within the organization. The great parnjksvt of this is making connections between the people attending these presentations, who might otherwise not interact with each other during the course of their day-to-day tasks. As with manual sharing, this is time-consuming and relies on getting the right people in the room. You can increase the impact of these events if you record them and share out the video link with others who are unable to attend live.

  • Catalogued research and files accessible online
    This can include traditional go-to file repositories: Sharepoint sites, Onedrive, Box.com, Dropbox, and Google Drive (whatever platform works for your organization). You might also look towards licensing UX-specific platforms meant for storing and sharing UX research and product information such as Handrail, Productboard, and other collaboration tools that offer repositories. (Note: I haven’t used nor do I endorse either platform listed.)
    While any of these options offer the positive side of being accessible by anyone within the organization, each has the drawback that people need to know how to access it and how to use it. Also, each needs someone to create and maintain standards like tags and naming conventions, if it will stay manageable and useful. UXPin offers a resource detailing what you can consider documenting as part of your UX documentation, and Nielsen Norman Group offers a guide for setting up a research repository.

  • Systems and guides
    Organizations reaching the highest levels of UX maturity have design standards and design systems in place that include content and code for facilitating UX consistency and standards across the organization. Audrey Hacq provides a thorough guide to what makes up a design system. Hacq, in citing the words of Jina Anne states that design systems consist of “Tools for designers & developers, patterns, components, guidelines” as well as “brand values, shared ways of working, mindset, shared beliefs.”
    The drawback with a design system is the effort you will need to put in to create and maintain the system. You aren’t likely to have the time or ability to mandate the use of the design system if you are in an organization with little UX maturity. However, you can set your sights on reaching this level of documentation, and as UX becomes more prevalent and resources are increased, the value of creating the system will overcome the inertia that might initially exist to such a large endeavor.

You might consider a mix of the options above. For example, you should always consider including informal and one-off presenting opportunities in conjunction with something more formalized and enduring. However you decide to start documenting your UX, you need a foundation in order to grow and focus energy on other areas of UX. You don’t want to start your process from scratch each time.

If your organization is in the beginning stages of UX you might find yourself responsible for starting the repository. You might not have control over each area or product UX work is occurring, or how documentation occurs. You can attempt to work with others in order to standardize what and how things are documented. You can also use the list from UXPin to begin documenting what you can, and add to this as you get more resources or other motivated UX practitioners join your organization.

Case Study: Large Pharmaceutical Company With Low UX Maturity

We were tasked with building UX capacity and documenting the accomplishments of specific UX work over the course of eight months working across product teams with a large pharmaceutical company. We conducted stakeholder and user interviews, redesigned a number of products, and did usability testing of current and future designs. We documented our processes and accomplishments with interview protocols, sketch files, journey maps, research reports, usability testing finding and recommendation reports, and decision trees to use for the creation of future designs.

We used each of the methods listed above to share the knowledge we’d gained and document this for future staff engaging in UX work at the company.

  • Manual sending/sharing
    We worked directly with members of various teams to provide them an understanding of the research protocols and other outputs our team created. We also shared these files in an editable format for them to repurpose or use as templates for later projects. We used our contacts to identify people who might benefit from having the documents and included them in emails containing the files.

  • Informal meetings, one-off presentations, lunch and learns, and cross-project meetings
    The company was very large, with staff located across the world. We were fortunate to have an effective internal Champion who was able to identify critical individuals and teams for us to present our work too. We also spent time onsite at various locations and were able to have one on one conversations with key parties who we were introduced to while we were on site. Many of these interactions were impromptu, and would not have occurred if we did not have a presence and an insider advocating for us to share our work. We presented multiple times on the various aspects of the work we were doing, and tailored the message to be effective to the audience — e.g., tactical usability testing findings were presented to product team members, while higher-level overviews and near-final designs were presented to key executive stakeholders.

  • Catalogued research and files accessible online
    The company used a number of common platforms for archiving and storing documents. We created a UX-specific repository and tagged the content with user-friendly tags, using terminology that would be familiar to company staff across the organization. We shared the link to the page and the documents in as many forums, online, email, and in documents, as we could.

  • Systems and guides
    We didn’t create a design system. We did create a guide for making certain UX decisions for a specific set of products the company had. Essentially, a decision tree to determine if there was a need to update an element of the design, and if so, whether we had any existing information from our research and design to help inform the new element, or if new research and testing would be required. This document was shared with the appropriate members of the product teams, as well as with managers who might be able to advocate the creation of similar guides for other products as more UX work was accomplished.

While I can’t speak to the long-term impact of our work, we left behind a foundation of UX outputs that were well documented, distributed, and accessible for reference in the future. We completed our time with the client and left them with the framework for how to continue conducting, documenting, and distributing UX work. You can use similar techniques and tailor them to the needs and culture of your organization.

Tactic 4: Mentorship

You, your organization, and your peers all stand to gain from an effective mentorship program. Mentorship, possibly more than any other kind of training or experience, has the potential to grow individuals’ skills, create cohesive teams, and shape the UX philosophy and processes of an organization. Mentorship is a key component of the growth of professionals in many other fields including health care and education.

Effective mentorship can help with growing your organization’s UX maturity in that you utilize the existing resources of your more experienced UX staff to grow the abilities of the less experienced staff, who in turn push the more experienced staff to grow and learn more about their own UX practice. This two-way process of growth can compound the benefit and lead to a larger change in the products and teams the UX staff work with. You can use mentorship to start a positive reaction that can set the direction for UX growth for a long-term period of time. You need to put thought into a mentorship program if you want to maximize the benefit. Since mentorship is an inherently personal relationship between the mentee and the mentor, the connection to growing UX maturity needs to be made explicit. You might also expand the influence and understanding of UX if you choose to include team members from outside of typical UX roles in your mentorship program.

You need to consider the following when designing your mentorship program:

  • What is the goal
    What are you trying to accomplish and what are the outcomes of your mentorship program? You should include thinking about how this program will increase UX maturity at the organizational level, and how the program will benefit participants, both as mentees and mentors.

  • Formal or informal
    Will your program be formal with guidelines for mentors and mentees to adhere to, or will it be more informal and unstructured, with loosely defined outcomes? The table below compares some key factors differentiating formal and informal mentorship programs:

Formal Informal
Participant Pool Predefined roles and positions are able to or required to participate. Individuals expressing interest are able to participate.
Timeline Set timeline with milestones identified and a predefined end date. Less structured, milestones are flexible, mentor/mentee determine end date.
Goals Program managers set generic goals, mentor/mentee refine goals using existing structure. Most goals have a relationship to the growth/benefit of the organization and the individuals. Mentor/Mentee customize goals to the needs of the individuals involved. Goals might not tie directly to the organization’s needs. Mentor/Mentee revisit goals and update them to reflect the reality of how the mentee has progressed and other factors impacting the mentee.
Assignment Mentors and mentees are matched through a formalized process. For example, completing a questionnaire that sees who is most aligned, matching based on role/job title, or team/product based. Mentors and mentees have the opportunity to determine who they match with. For example, prior interactions suggest a potential for positive relationship, offering mentees a brief intro call with a number of potential mentors before deciding who they might want to match with.
Activities Predefined relationship building and education opportunities, for example attending networking events, conferences, review sessions, and trainings. Participants choose which activities and the frequency. For example, a weekly coffee chat with a monthly review meeting and informal conversations as needed.
Outcomes/Assessment Outcomes and assessment are based on a template and reflect the desired outcomes of the organization. Assessment is formalized and used to determine effectiveness of the program as part of a final evaluation. Outcomes and assessment are reflective of mentee’s needs and goals that have evolved over the course of the program. Assessment might be informal discussion and reflection.

Whether you choose to have a formal or informal mentorship program, you can look at the line between the two as blurry. You should borrow from either side. For example, why wouldn’t you encourage coffee/tea/water walks and informal conversations as a way to build closer relationships in a formal program? And if an effective assessment exists for your organization to measure the effectiveness of your informal mentorship program, why wouldn’t you use it?

You should also give deep thought to who participates in your programs. As mentorship benefits both mentors and mentees, you can use this as an opportunity to inspire and educate more seasoned staff, along with an opportunity to grow newer employees. Reverse mentoring is a potentially powerful idea to explore when thinking about maximizing the benefit of a mentoring program to growing UX maturity. This type of mentoring involves pairing more senior-level staff as the mentees, while they gain the perspective of the more junior staff. You might find many of your senior leadership are not as familiar with UX, while newer staff have the opportunity to show them what the benefits are, turning them into advocates for UX growth in the organization.

You need to provide training and support to mentors regardless of the decision to make your program formal or informal. You cannot assume someone will make a good mentor based on how well they perform their job. We can all benefit from additional insight into research-backed ways to support mentees. An additional suggestion from research on effective mentorship programs is allowing mentors and mentees to provide input into the mentor matching process.

Case Study: Mentoring A Large Media Company Staff Member Transitioning Into A UX Role

I’ve had the privilege of serving as a mentor to someone transitioning into a UX research and strategy role at their organization. Initially, our relationship started as a formal client-consultant relationship, however, it evolved once we realized there would be an opportunity through informal mentorship-type activities for both of us to grow personally and professionally, as well as growing the role and maturity of UX at the media company.

I’ll provide the details of mentoring relationships using the factors from the chart above.

  • Participant Pool
    Our mentorship relationship was highly informal. We were the only people participating in the mentorship program because we chose to form the relationship after interacting with each other through professional activities and realizing our interests and goals overlapped. We didn’t initiate our relationship as a mentorship, this developed organically.

  • Timeline
    The mentorship lasted approximately 18 months. This is notable in that the time I spent with the client was less than 12 months, we voluntarily continued our mentoring relationship and activities beyond the time I was working with the organization. In that sense, the arrangement was truly voluntary in the end, even though we initially were together as client-consultant.

  • Goals
    Our goals shifted over time. Initially, the purpose of the mentorship was to develop the UX skills of the mentee. Our goals were broad and high level — for example, learn common UX processes, gain experience with common UX research methods. As we progressed our goals become more refined — e.g., present findings to product team X and develop a protocol for usability testing. We were able to have micro-goals that we updated frequently given our constant contact and checking in. I think there was an additional benefit in that I was working on the same products and projects as my mentee. I know this isn’t always the situation, but it allowed me to have an understanding of the day-to-day challenges and requests being made of my mentee. We were then able to turn these challenges into goals to address next.

  • Assignment
    We self-assigned to each other. We determined to engage in mentorship on our own after spending weeks working together and realizing mentorship would further both of our goals.

  • Activities
    We were able to frequently collaborate given the working relationship I had. I don’t think it would be realistic for mentor-mentee relationships to have as many activities as this if you aren’t able to have frequent — almost daily — interactions. Our activities informal calls, formal assignments, attending meetings together, conducting strategy sessions to roadmap goals and related activities, observation of what I did, creating and iterating on documents together, collecting and analyzing data together, co-working at each other’s spaces, co-creating reports, attending conferences together, and sharing conversation over coffee or a meal.

  • Outcomes/Assessment
    Our assessment of the mentorship was informal and frequent. We would often discuss if we were still getting what we needed and expected out of the arrangement. Fortunately, the answer was yes. We also spent time reflecting and determining if we wanted to focus more on certain areas.

The final outcomes benefited me, the mentee, as well as the UX maturity of the organization. I grew as a mentor and as a UX practitioner. I was forced to think deeper about the things I do and why I do them throughout the course of the mentorship. My mentee was excellent at asking me to share the logic behind why we use certain methods, why we make certain recommendations, how we present findings to different stakeholders, and what supporting information I can provide to justify my process. I found it challenging and refreshing.

My mentee grew their UX knowledge and skills to the point they were able to lead the UX work on a number of projects. They accomplished the goals we had set out to accomplish, as well as many of the micro-goals we set along the way.

The organization’s UX Maturity benefited equally from the outcome of the mentorship. The mentee understood when and how to implement UX in their organization. The mentee went on to justify a budget to hire an additional UX staff that reported to them (increased resources). This allowed the mentee to have time to implement UX processes on other products that were currently lacking UX attention (improved timing of UX on a number of products). The mentee made numerous presentations to leadership and was able to get a number of the staff engaged and excited to promote the growth of UX at the organization (impact leadership and culture).

Putting These Tactics Into Practice

I’ve covered two additional tactics for UX practitioners to grow their organization’s UX Maturity. You won’t need to spend money on either of these tactics, but they do require resources of time and access to tools for storing or sharing information. You will need to decide on many of the best ways to approach information sharing or setting up a mentorship program that works for your organization.

Hopefully, I’ve demonstrated that there isn’t a large barrier to entry for either of these tactics. You can engage in knowledge sharing if you start documenting what you have learned from any UX work (these documents should already exist) and create an easy-to-find repository using the file storage system your organization uses. Or, you can create a list of relevant people to distribute UX-related material to and start sending them artifacts via email attachment. For mentorship, you don’t need to create a huge program with complex rules. I was able to engage in an informal relationship mentoring someone with whom I was already working with on a daily basis. Our key ingredient was a desire to learn from each other and common goals. Your organization might require some level of definition and oversight, but you might begin by looking at some of your teammates when it comes to exploring what the seeds of a mentorship program might look like.

You can use the tactics presented here standalone or along with the ones presented in the previous article. The third and final article will focus on the education of UX staff on UX tools and specific areas of UX expertise and the education of non-UX staff on UX principles and processes. Stay tuned!

Reblogged 1 year ago from smashingmagazine.com

3 Ways to Earn (Even More) Money with Your Emails

Image of a vintage cash register

Learn how you can turn your emails into revenue streams.

Growing an audience is one of the most exciting and engaging things you can do online. Through a variety of many different outlets, including email, you’re able to offer value to like-minded people across the planet. And as a bonus, you also have the opportunity to earn revenue from your audience, as well.

Whether by selling goods or services, offering sponsored content or hosting ads on your site, there are many different ways to monetize your online presence. And your email list is no exception! Generating income from your emails is quite similar to other methods available online, with a few small tweaks. (And if you’re not collecting emails, it’s a great time to start doing so!)

This blog post walks you through three different ways to start earning revenue from your email marketing efforts. We’ve deliberately left out selling goods and services from this list to highlight simple actions you can implement today to get started – if you have goods or services to sell, you should clearly be using your email marketing program to do that!

Please note: These outlets are heavily dependent on the email service provider (ESP) you work with. Always check with your ESP’s terms of service before incorporating any of these options.

3 ways your emails can generate income without direct sales:

  1. Become an affiliate (and use an affiliate-friendly ESP).

    Affiliate programs are designed to reward participants who recommend their product or service. Essentially, if you know of something that you use and love and you share that love with your audience, you can be rewarded—whether financially or with complementary items—based on the number of people who sign up.

    Search for the products, goods, and services you use regularly to see if an affiliate program, discount codes, or referral links are available. Incorporate them into your emails or link them in your template for a simple way to earn rewards or generate a side income.

    And then, start telling your audience, and sending timely reminders, via email! Please note that some affiliate programs and some ESPs have strict rules about affiliate marketing. We highly recommend to you check before you send to ensure you’re in full compliance with both the affiliate program and your ESP’s terms of service.

    At FeedBlitz, we don’t restrict your mailings associated with affiliate programs. As long as you’re compliant with your individual affiliate program’s policies, you are welcome to send as many emails including affiliate links as you’d like.

  2. Insert ads into the emails you send.

    If you’ve put ads on your site, why not in your emails? Both your site and your emails offer coveted space, are viewed by your audience, and are opportunities to generate revenue.

    When it comes to inserting ads in your emails, there are two main categories:

    1. Selling space in your email and manually inserting ads based upon an agreement you have secured.

    2. Ads that are inserted automatically into your emails through an integration with an online ad service.

    Either option is a viable way to earn income from your emails without directly selling to your audience.

    FeedBlitz offers a one-click advertising program to automatically insert ads into your emails and you get to determine where the ads are displayed. Our clients typically see ad earnings run between $2 to $3 (USD) per 1,000 opens for US-based readership, depending on real-time ad markets and available inventory. If you mail frequently and to a large audience, this can help to offset the costs of your email marketing or used towards another endeavor.

    If you’re monetizing your website by showing ads, but not taking your emails into consideration, you could very well be leaving money on the table.

    Highlighted Box: Want to learn more about FeedBlitz’s one-click advertising program? It’s quick and easy, and all ads are G-rated. (We work directly with the ad company to ensure any political or inappropriate ads are quickly removed from inventory.) Check out our monetization program or enable ads in your account.

  3. Sign up for your ESP’s affiliate program.

    An email service provider is a service just like any other. And many services offer their own affiliate programs to reward clients who tell their friends and network about them. With some ESPs, you may automatically be enrolled, and with others, you may need to manually sign up to get started.

    FeedBlitz offers a robust affiliate program, now in place for all clients, with no caps or limits, with members earning a revenue share every month while the referral’s account is in good standing. The affiliate program works on a 2-tier basis and is a great option to generate another stream of side income while you are mailing your list. Details about the program and tier reimbursement details, are outlined in great detail here.

Nurture your audience to grow revenues.

The options offered above heavily depend on the sending habits you currently have (i.e., frequency and open rates) and the relationship you have with your audience. With minimal setup and minimal ongoing efforts, the highest potential of earning comes from an active audience who regularly open your emails.

However you choose to monetize your mailings, we highly recommend your priority should be sending high-quality email content that offers value to your readers. This not only builds a foundation of trust but leads to increased open rates. Whether selling something directly or indirectly, both are ideal when it comes to earning revenue online.

Are you ready to start earning revenue with your emails? Learn more about our free trial and reach out to us on our Support Page to contact us via email, chat, or even over the phone. Live support is available Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM Eastern.

      
Reblogged 1 year ago from feeds.feedblitz.com

Cross-channel marketing: why you shouldn’t put all your eggs in the Google basket

30-second summary:

  • Very few SMBs use multiple channels for their online advertising
  • Facebook is the most effective channel based on the cost for CPM and CPC
  • It’s important to remember that every business is unique when it comes to deciding on budget allocation

For any business in the software as a service (SaaS) space, data analysis and science are crucial to ensure they keep pushing ahead to reveal those insights that can really make a difference. With this in mind, the Cambridge MBA team looked to leverage Adzooma’s extensive data to identify new ways for SMBs to maximize their ad spend with cross-channel marketing.

For the team at Cambridge University, this was an exciting opportunity to produce some truly unique insights, given that even the big players such as Google and Microsoft only have data that pertains to their individual channels.  The project promised to provide a much broader view and deliver some new insights thanks to the access to anonymized data from thousands of accounts across the three big platforms via Adzooma.

A cross-channel approach

The findings immediately identified that very few SMB customers use multiple channels (Facebook, Google, and Microsoft).

Although this wasn’t part of the main project, it was a really interesting piece of analysis and it’s something we’ve stressed the importance of a lot. Most people just stick to Google, for example, as that’s where they think they should be but that’s not always the best case for everyone’s business, and being seen across multiple touchpoints – or at least trying out multiple channels – can be crucial to digital marketing success.

Our analysis found Facebook to be the most conducive channel for SMBs based on cost (CPM, CPC) as well as return (impressions, clicks), however, it was Microsoft that came out on top for reaching a more professional and affluent audience.

The research highlighted the importance of pre-determining your specific target audience. Hence, when it comes to choosing the channel – or channels – for your business it’s really worth thinking about what you are trying to achieve with your ad spend and who you’re truly trying to reach.

What are you really trying to achieve?

Right at the offset, it’s important to think about your end goal and ask yourself who are the customers you are looking to target and what is the most efficient way to get to them.

Existing research told us that for SMBs acquiring new customers was the most chased goal on the customer journey followed by ‘generating awareness’, ‘generating leads’, and ‘retaining customers’.

Taking this into account, the Cambridge team found that merging the traditional sales funnel with the customer lifecycle model would be the best way for an SMB to manage its overall marketing goals.

Overlapping resolution methodology then allowed the team to determine the impact of cost on different marketing channels. This way, SMBs would be able to effectively determine which platform is best to use when similarities occur.

We found through the research that it was the choice of the channel itself that had the most significant impact on both CPM and CPC. Having determined a connection between channel and cost KPIs, further research was conducted to find out the average CPM and CPC across Google, Facebook, and Microsoft Ads.

While it was Facebook that was the most cost-effective channel on average for SMBs overall, the recommendations were that businesses should still look at the click-through rates of other channels to determine whether other factors such as industry or geography could make a significant difference.

If you’re choosing between Google and Microsoft, the results suggest using Google due to its high reach and low cost, however, Microsoft could also be useful, particularly as it offers high-level targeting and demographics that can be suitable for specific business types.

What is your ad saying?

Another factor that perhaps many businesses don’t consider when deciding on a platform is the sentiment of their messaging.

When analyzing the data this was another area where the research team saw differentiation depending on the channel where the advert appeared.

cross-channel marketing and advertising CTR stats

Microsoft proved to be the most popular platform when it came to a positive sentiment with a CTR of 4.2 percent, compared to 3.6 percent for neutral and 3.3 percent for negative sentiment.

Interestingly, the opposite was true for Google ads where negative sentiment proved most popular with users, gaining a CTR rate of 6.5 percent compared to 5.7 percent for neutral and negative messaging.

Again, it highlights how important it is to take that time to tweak your ads for testing purposes and learn what works best for your target customers so you can capitalize on your spends.

Every business is unique

It’s no secret that the one size fits all approach doesn’t necessarily work. All businesses are different and therefore their ad spend and utilization will of course differ.

Some people, as we all do, want to go with the stats and what has proven to have worked historically for businesses, and whilst that can be taken into account, that’s not to stay that it will work for every business. Therefore, it’s always important to remember to take the time to consider where you are spending and who you are trying to reach.

Plus, it is worth remembering that although GoogleFacebook, and Microsoft Ads are the most popular online advertising platforms, there are alternative (and less expensive) places to list your ads including Reddit, Amazon, and industry-specific sites such as Capterra. Despite having fewer users, these are still effective as it’s often easier to reach your exact target audience and could work as an addition to your primary platform.

Looking ahead

We hope that through this research we’ve provoked SMBs to think carefully about their target audience and specific objectives prior to ad spend allocation.  What we’ve showcased here is that the advertising platforms explored within this study work effectively in their own right depending on the end goal and we hope these insights will enable SMBs to achieve greater overall results.

These learnings help determine how cross-channel partnerships can be best leveraged for SMB customers. As Facebook seems to be the most used channel by 70 percent of SMBs, and data analysis suggests it is optimal in terms of cost and return, the data will be used to scale Facebook features and opportunities. A lot of the learnings we unearthed from this study will also go directly into the core technology of the Adzooma product.

Rob Wass is Co-founder and CEO of Adzooma.

Akanshaa Khare is currently pursuing an MBA at Cambridge University and has five years of Product Management experience and three years of Consulting experience, helping consulting firms such as BCG and ZS Associates.

The post Cross-channel marketing: why you shouldn’t put all your eggs in the Google basket appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Reblogged 1 year ago from www.searchenginewatch.com

7 Dead Simple Ways to Reduce Bounce Rate

Posted by Cyrus-Shepard

Is a high bounce rate bad? The answer is: it depends, but yes, sometimes it can be. Is a high bounce rate bad for SEO? That’s where it gets a little more complicated. In this week’s episode of Whiteboard Friday, Cyrus gives you seven easy SEO tips to address your bounce rate, and increase engagement and satisfaction to make your users happier.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Welcome, Moz fans, to a new edition of Whiteboard Friday. My name is Cyrus Shepard. Today we’re talking about bounce rate, specifically seven dead simple tips to reduce your bounce rate. 

So most of you already know what bounce rate is. But for those who are uninitiated, bounce rate is an analytics term. It simply means a single page or non-interaction visit. When a visitor comes from Google or another website and they visit one page, they have no interaction, and they leave, that’s considered a bounce. That is a high bounce rate.

So is bounce rate bad? That’s a common question. The answer is, yeah, it can be bad. For example, if everybody is coming to your homepage and you want to get them to your sales page or your checkout page, you don’t want a high bounce rate. In that situation, yes, bounce rate is definitely bad. But is bounce rate bad for SEO? Well, there it gets a little more complicated.

Now, to be clear, Google does not use bounce rate. It is not a ranking signal for Google. That said, we do know that there’s a lot of evidence that Google does use some sort of engagement signals for SEO that we don’t have access to. So in that way you can think of bounce rate as a proxy signal for engagement and satisfaction, and that’s really what we’re trying to measure here. We’re trying to measure how satisfied our uses are, how engaged they are with a page. In some instances, there is evidence that this could help your SEO in some circumstances. 

Now just lowering your bounce rate is not going to automatically improve your Google rankings. It doesn’t work that way. But lowering your bounce rate can have positive effects. In fact, your visitors may be more satisfied.

Now to be clear, before we get into these tips, I want to be very clear the goal is not to reduce your bounce rate number. It’s just a number. It doesn’t mean anything. The goal is to increase engagement and to increase satisfaction, to make your users happier. Just reducing your bounce rate, that doesn’t do anything. But if you make your users happier, give them what they’re searching for, that’s what we’re trying to do, and we’re using bounce rate as a proxy to measure that along with other metrics, such as time on site, the number of pages visited, and things like that.

1. Page speed

So we’re looking to make users happier. So how do we do this? How are we going to lower our bounce rate? Well, seven quick tips, very basic stuff in SEO. First of all, page speed. It’s not very sexy, but I included it here because out of all of these tips improving your page speed is probably the number one way to guarantee a reduced bounce rate.

I’ve seen it on hundreds of sites. Make your site faster, bounce rate goes down. Why? Well, for one, more people can simply access your content. They’re not waiting for it to load. They’re in the subway, on their cell phone, it loads faster. Second, it’s just a better experience than if they’re waiting for images to appear and things like that.

It will almost definitely guarantee to lower your bounce rate. This is the number one reason that, in my opinion, you work to improve the speed on your website. Yes, speed is a Google ranking factor. It is a confirmed Google ranking factor. In most cases, though, it’s a pretty small one.

But if you improve engagement and satisfaction with your speed, that has downstream effects that have much broader, wider SEO implications. It’s the number one reason to improve speed, not for the ranking benefit, but for this reason alone. Yes, this includes the upcoming Core Web Vitals that are coming out, that are going to be a ranking factor soon. We’ll link to some resources on how to improve that:

    2. Broaden intent satisfaction

    So one, nail your speed. Two, the easiest way to lower bounce rate is two broaden your intent satisfaction. Now what do we mean by this? Are we satisfying the intent that people came to your site for in the first place? 

    For example, someone searches for “Nike shoes.” Well, we want to rank for “Nike shoes,” but we don’t really know what the intent is of the person who searched. Do they want to buy Nike shoes? Do they want reviews of different Nike shoes? Are they looking for pictures of Nike shoes? It could be any one of those things. The more broadly we can satisfy that intent on the page or link to other resources, the better we’re going to do with engagement and our bounce rate.

    Deep competitive analysis

    So how do we do this? So one, you want to do deep competitive analysis. You want to see what’s already ranking for these terms, for your ideal search term and look at all of the ranking results and what’s working and try to satisfy those intents. If you’re not offering the same type of content as the top 10 ranking results, you’re probably not matching that intent very well.

    Answer questions

    So you might want to rejigger your content. The second thing you should be doing is answer questions more deeply. Now we talk about long-form content typically performing better in search results. Long-form content isn’t a ranking factor. But the more complete you can answer questions, that usually has a better impact. So simply answering questions better can deepen the intent satisfaction.

    Link to related content

    Finally, and this is my number one trick/tip, link to related intent. An example is on Moz we have literally dozens of articles that we’ve written about various SEO topics, such as canonical tag. Each has a slightly different intent. When someone lands on any of those pages about a canonical tag, we can link to all the other resources about canonical tags in a prominent position.

    Now you often see related articles that are like little widgets at the end of articles. I generally like to place those much higher in the content, where people can see them and engage and click on those articles because we may not have captured the intent perfectly on this page, but we can link to all those related resources and capture the intent that way.

    As soon as they click and go explore the other page, they’re getting their intent satisfied, and we have lowered our bounce rate. So find those related articles on your site and link to them prominently. You’re going to do well. 

    3. Smart CTAs

    Number three, smart CTAs. Oftentimes that’s what you’re trying to get people to do. You’re trying to get them to click your CTA to go buy your product or check out your download or whatever it is.

    The smartest way to improve your CTAs is include the ranking keyword in the CTA itself. So this means go to Google Search Console, go to Moz Keyword Explorer, find what your pages are actually ranking for, and take those top keywords and insert them into the CTA itself. For example, if my page is about credit reports or getting a credit report score, I could have a CTA that says “Add to Cart,” or I could have a CTA that says, “Get my credit report.”

    This is psychologically 100 times more powerful than saying “Add to Cart” because I just typed “credit report” into Google, and aha, here it is. I want to get my credit report. So including your keywords in the CTAs is a very smart way and simple way of improving engagement and lowering your bounce rate.

    4. Use inverted pyramid writing

    Number four, I got this from Dr. Pete Meyers. Thank you, sir. Use the inverted pyramid style of writing. So we want to engage people in our writing, when they come looking for answers, and that means we want to hook them early and draw them into your content. The inverted pyramid style of writing, borrowed from journalism and I’m going to link to Dr. Pete’s post on this, is start with a lead. Start with a quick answer, go into the details and then your content. So you want to grab them. Show them what you’re going to promise them and pull them into the details. That’s all about creating more engaging content, drawing people in, and having good, clean content that looks great and works all well. 

    5. Make site search simple

    Moving on, make site search simple and obvious. Here’s why. If you can provide an easier search solution than Google, that gives the user a reason to search your site instead of going back to Google, which counts as a bounce. If they search on your site, you have engaged them. They’re looking at more content on your site, and you’ve reduced your bounce rate and improved engagement.

    So I like making site search very obvious, very simple. Especially if you’re a resource heavy site and people think that they can find what they want on your site, it’s going to improve it. Don’t make them search Google. Let them search your site instead. 

    6. Add media

    Adding video, images, and different media. Some of our highest engagement pages here at Moz are these Whiteboard Fridays.

    Why? They have a video. One thing I would suggest though, something we’ve learned over and over again, is mix your formats. The average person watching one of these videos stays on the page and the site for 9 or 10 minutes, which is huge for us. But one thing we did several years ago is we started adding transcripts and images to these posts.

    So mixing the media usually does much better than just adding a video or images by itself. So pages with images, video, and text generally do better than pages with just those things by themselves.

    7. Reduce rage and dead clicks

    Finally, something I’ve been getting into recently is reducing what’s known as rage clicks and dead clicks.

    Rage clicks are when people are hitting something that they think is supposed to be a button or a link and it doesn’t work. Same with dead clicks. They’re hitting something, an element on your site, maybe it’s an image, maybe it’s a special color text that they think is supposed to be a link or they think is supposed to be a call to action, and it doesn’t work. Maybe JavaScript is not loading correctly or something like that.

    Or maybe an image looks like a button. Every site has these. You can generally find these with heat tracking software. Microsoft just came out with a new product that’s free — Microsoft Clarity. There’s Hotjar. Any sort of heat tracking or heat mapping software can generally show you these rage clicks and dead clicks.

    If you fix these, people are going to click the elements that are actually workable, and it will give you insight on how to reduce these. These are definitely going to reduce your bounce rate. All right. So if you have any tips on reducing your bounce rate, please leave them in the comments below. If you like this video, please share. Let your friends know about it.

    Thanks, everybody. Bye-bye.

    Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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    Reblogged 1 year ago from feedproxy.google.com

    Consumer insights, presentation tips: Thursday’s daily brief

    Plus, further thoughts on the great martech debate

    Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

    Reblogged 1 year ago from feeds.marketingland.com

    Maryland’s digital ad tax, Gen X work habits: Friday’s daily brief

    Plus, a major adtech acquisition

    Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

    Reblogged 1 year ago from feeds.marketingland.com

    7 Effective Ways to Promote an Event on Facebook

     An event is a fantastic opportunity to delight existing customers, while also reaching new audiences and increasing brand awareness.

    Consider, for instance, how I first came across Southcoast Open Air Market — a local, Massachusetts-based market featuring handmade goods, fresh produce and meats, and live music — by searching “Events near me” on Facebook.

    I never would’ve found the company if not for an event they posted recently:

    SOAM event posting on Facebook And, thus, the ultimate power of online events: The ability to attract new customers to your business.

    Fortunately, an event doesn’t have to be expensive. You can set up virtual events and webinars with Facebook Live for free, or create small events at your company’s physical location to encourage new local visitors.

    Of course, one of the biggest challenges when hosting a Facebook event is spreading awareness of the event to both new and existing audiences.

    If you’re going through the trouble of hosting an event, you want people to show up — and, better yet, you want people to continue spreading the word about your business even after the event is over.

    Here, we’ll explore some creative opportunities you can use to promote an upcoming event on Facebook.

    How to Promote an Event on Facebook

    To demonstrate how to effectively promote an event on Facebook, let’s walk through an example.

    Let’s say I recently started a business — Caroline’s cupcakes — and I want to host an event to drive new traffic to my page.

    But, once I’ve created the event … how do I promote it? Let’s explore how to do that, next.

    It’s important to note — in this section, we’ll explore how to formally promote your event using Facebook advertising features, which means it costs money to run these promotions. If you’re looking for cheaper or free alternatives, skip to the next section in this post, Best Ways to Promote an Event on Facebook.

    Additionally, take a look at Facebook’s instructions if you’re new to creating a Facebook event. You’ll need a Facebook event to continue with these steps.

    1. As soon as you’ve created your event, Facebook will serve you a pop-up that reads, “Boost Your Online Event”. Click “Boost Event” to promote your event to new audiences.

    Facebook's Boost Your Online Event pop-up

    Alternatively, if you clicked away from the pop-up or created the event a while ago, simply return to your company’s page and click the “Promote” button displayed there:

    The Promote button on your company's homepage, which you need to click to find the boost an event tool

    And then click the box that reads, “Boost an Event”.

    Facebook's "Boost an Event" button2. Next, fill in the Ad Creative you want to use when you promote the event, including an event description, image, and Ad Category. Here’s where you want to use advertising best practices to ensure your copy and image attract new audiences when they come across your event.

    Ad Creative to boost an Event3. Once you’ve filled out the Ad Creative, you’ll want to choose the Audience you want to see your event. Plug in certain key audience factors related to your target audience, or consider using Facebook’s lookalike feature to find similar people to those who already follow, Like, and engage with your content online.  

    The Audience section of a form when you're filling out an ad on Facebook4. Finally, choose the duration for which you want to promote your event. We’d recommend promoting a few weeks before the event, so your audience has time to schedule it into their calendars and even invite friends or colleagues. Additionally, you’ll want to choose your budget here, as well.

    The duration and budget section of an ad when you're filling out the ad form on Facebook5. Once you’ve finalized your ad, click “Boost Event Now” to ensure your event is shared with new, interested audiences.

    The Boost Event Now button on the Ad form, which you'll want to press when you're ready to boost your eventOf course, these steps can help you promote your event through advertising. But if you’re on a strict budget, you might not have the resources to officially promote it.

    Fortunately, there are a few alternative best practices to promote your event — which I’d recommend doing even if you’ve officially boosted your event, as well.

    Let’s explore those, now.

    Best Ways to Promote an Event on Facebook

    1. Change your business’ page settings so your Events are listed first when people find your business page.

    When visitors find your business page, they’ll see a few tabs at the top, including “Home”, “Group”, “Photos”, etc.

    To increase traffic to your events page, consider re-organizing these tabs so an “Event” tab is listed first on your business page.

    To do this, click the “More” dropdown on your company page, and then select “Edit Tabs”:

    The "Edit Tabs" button on your company Facebook page

    Next, drag the “Events” tab to the top, right under “Home”:

    The Settings page where you can rearrange the tabs on your Facebook business page

    This is a small detail, but it could go a long way towards encouraging new page visitors to click and view upcoming events.  

    2. Share and pin your event to the top of your business page.

    Even though you have a different page for your event invite, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be broadcasting the event on your business’ official Facebook page, as well.

    To do this, share a post highlighting details about your event — including where people can sign up, when it is, and what content you’ll cover. Then, right-click the three dots at the top right-hand corner of your Facebook post, and select “Pin to Top of Page“:

    The Pin to Top of Page button you'll need to press to keep an event at the top of your Facebook page

    This is another easy opportunity to promote your event. When both new and existing audiences come across your business page they’ll see, front and center, a pinned post about your upcoming event.

    3. Post a status highlighting the event from your business page.

    A few days before the event, reach out to your page followers with a quick reminder status. Use images, emojis, and other fun, interactive elements to remind your audience about the upcoming event and increase excitement for it.

    If you can, publishing a short, promotional video could help raise awareness and excitement, as well. For instance, take a look at how Content Marketing Virtual Summit published a short video from one of its webinar speakers, Ellie Hernaman, to remind followers of the upcoming event:

    Content Marketing Virtual Summit's Facebook video highlighting Ellie, a speaker for their Content Marketing Virtual Summit

    4. Optimize your event page for wider reach.

    If you’re going through the trouble of promoting an event page, you’ll want to make sure the event page itself is ready to attract and delight new viewers.

    A few small details can go a long way, here. For instance, consider using a unique, original image as your cover photo, as The Honey Pot Company did with its Essence Wellness House Atlanta event:

    A Overall Wellness cover photo showcasing the speakers at The Honey Pot Company's Atlanta event

    Additionally, use relevant tags related to your event — such as “startup” and “technology” — to ensure the event gets shared and viewed by the right channels.

    5. Share your event to relevant Facebook groups.

    If you’ve created a Facebook group for your business, this could be a good opportunity to broadcast your event to audiences who’ve already proven an interest in your brand. 

    Additionally, if you’re a member of a Facebook group made up of people you believe would truly find an interest in your event, go ahead and share your event there as a member post.

    However, a word of caution: This can easily feel promotional and can backfire, particularly if members feel you’re only sharing content related to your own business.

    Instead, you’ll want to ensure it’s authentic and helpful to the topic at-hand. For instance, if you’re part of a Tech Startup Facebook group and your company is hosting a webinar, “8 Impressive New Tech Startups to Watch”, then by all means — go ahead and post with a quick, “Hey fellow members, feel free to join this webinar on Tuesday.”

    Just be careful not to overdo it, particularly if it doesn’t feel relevant to the other topics being discussed.

    6. Copy the link and paste it into an email newsletter, or alternative channels to broadcast it to existing leads.

    On your event page, you’ll see a “Share” option (the arrow pointing to the right) — when you click on it, Facebook gives you an option to copy-and-paste a specific URL link, or share to a Page or group: 

    The Share button on your Cupcake Decorating Content where you can copy a link to share with others off FacebookIf you feel many of your prospects and customers engage with your brand outside of Facebook, it could be a good idea to copy-and-paste the URL into other channels and share with engaged followers on other social platforms.

    Additionally, you might consider opening your event for “pre-access” to an exclusive email subscriber list — like those who’ve purchased your product or service, or your Blog subscribers — on a “first come, first serve” basis. Here’s an example of how that might look in practice: 

    An email to Caroline's cupcake customers, broadcasting an upcoming cupcake decorating content with a link to the Facebook event

    Ultimately, it’s a good idea to paste the URL into other content channels to expand your reach. For instance, if you have a dedicated Instagram following, you might paste the URL into your Instagram bio. 

    7. Ask other businesses or influencers to co-host or sponsor your event so they can share your event with their audiences.

    One sure-fire opportunity to reach new audiences is by asking another business or influencer in the industry to co-host or sponsor your event.

    This can help you increase the amount of people who hear about your event, and it can also make the event itself more valuable by including unique, original thought leadership content. 

    For instance, M&M BBQ, a Boston-based barbecue restaurant, partnered with Dorchester Brewing Company to host events like Sunday brunch and combine its barbecue with Dorchester Brewing Company’s popular beer. 

    Recently, Dorchester Brewing Company posted about the event with a link directly to M&M BBQ: 

    Dorchester Brewing Company's event post, highlight M&M BBQ and inviting people to come eat barbecue and taste beers during Sunday brunch in Boston

    This serves two purposes: First, any Facebook followers or customers of DBC might take an interest in M&M BBQ as a result of the Facebook post (or an in-person experience of testing out the barbecue).

    And, second, Dorchester Brewing Company has increased value of its own event by providing its loyal customers with the option to eat delicious barbecue as they test out beers. A win, win. 

    Ultimately, you’ll need to figure out which promotional methods work best for your brand, your event, and your audience. Fortunately, the sky’s the limit when it comes to promoting an event on Facebook — both on, and off the social network.  

    generate leads with facebook

    Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.hubspot.com