October 27

Brand Building towards 2021 | Three Piece Marketing

If 2020 taught us anything it's change is a r [...]

The year 2020 is proving to be a unique year. Not only has it challenged humanity with a variety of historic events, the pandemic included, but it also has seen a sudden shift in customer behaviour. Just one example; we’ve seen a drastic increase in the volume and value of online shopping, especially as regards people purchasing their groceries and personal hygiene items via the web.

But what we have also seen is an outpouring of support for small businesses, where the community have come together to support their local businesses, and similarly, we have seen the resilience and entrepreneurial spirit of small businesses who have transitioned from what they were doing to a brand new model of operation.

Now, as we move deeper into Q4, 2020, we may think the year is done, but truth is, the trends that have sprung up, are likely to push through the Christmas period and into 2021 and become future branding reality.

Any business and entrepreneur worth their salt realises that building a brand character requires a solid comprehension of who they are, the market around them and what others are doing. This enables a business to set itself up and its products or services to stand out from the crowd so to speak.

To do our part to help you as a business, here are some of the things we encourage you to consider so that you not only maintain your relevancy next year, but improve your business, consider these some simple Branding Opportunities.

Technological disruption in online presence

It is projected that there will be 3.02 billion social media users worldwide by 2021.This, represents almost half the world population and by inference means there is a massive market out there looking for the right business to solve their needs. Whilst not every business can leverage the worldwide market (we know that a local restaurant is not targeting women in Nairobi for example) the point we are trying to make is that there are platforms and solutions which you should be leveraging to boost your profile. And just because you are not targeting that lady in Nairobi I mentioned, does not mean that if you are a restaurant in Sale (Victoria), that once your COVID restrictions lift, you should not look to market yourself to someone in St Kilda – because let’s face it, once those restrictions lift, Victorians are going to be ready to explore near and far.

. Social media represents a chance to interface with customers who meet your target profiles. However, we are not just talking targeted advertising or social posting, but rather, value-adding via engagement.

In fact, businesses can build genuine, lasting connections and relationships when they leverage technology like chatbots and other software applications that allow you to effectively communicate with an audience in real time – a solution which can amplify campaigns and enhance online branding efforts.

Best of all, however, these platforms offer the opportunity to do more than just try and boost sales. In fact, they can be used at different points of the customer life cycle for the purposes of deepening connection.

Makeup brand Sephora, for instance, resolved its customer experience and service issues by engaging chatbots to keep up with the demands of their thousands of customers who wanted personalised attention simultaneously in real-time. It created an AI-run personal assistant that provides shopping recommendations to customers through product reviews and ratings.

Another notable brand leveraging technology to ensure their customers’ experience with them is easy and convenient is Pizza Hut. Whether they’re using Twitter or Facebook, customers can order their favourite pizza via personal messaging and even pay and have the food delivered to their homes without leaving the social media platform.

TIP: Take the time to identify where your customer engagement piece could most benefit and be improved, then determine what interaction you need to provide to make it worthwhile to your market. Once you identify this, you can work out which platforms to use, and how to write the content that automates the process.

Build more authentic and genuine engagements

Brand leadership is attained by brands that are authentic—not the ones with carefully created corporate wording. What you say about your business doesn’t matter, as ‘public perception is more of a reality’ for your customers and prospects.

It is important to create a carefully-cultivated brand grounded in reality. The Internet is too powerful, with infinite amounts of information at our fingertips, people have become too savvy and sharp. People are also worn out on being taken in and misled by brands who say one thing, yet do another, to permit masquerading brands to survive for long.

Today’s customers reward transparency and authenticity in brands and give their loyalty to companies that have these values.

Businesses exist to make money but, more and more now it matters to customers how you make that money and what you do with it. People also want to know that your business has values and, want those values to align with theirs. Marketing expert Mark Ritson has written extensively about this space before and took a new angle on why successful brands should build brand which is mirrored not just in what they say, but what they do operationally. It is worth a read.

The market value brands actually conducting business according to those values. Consumers have an increased consciousness of the types of companies they deal with, and want to engage with the faces behind those companies, safe in the knowledge that all that work in the company embody what they say they do. At this point, the human element is very important as people want to do business with real people and are increasingly wanting that on social media, especially in lieu of being able to get into bricks-and-mortar shops.

Tip: You can’t truly understand your market just through assumption, history and luck. Nor can you fake what you don’t believe. 

What you should be doing is identifying through reasearch what your market want, what they do and where their pain points are, and then and only then identifying what brand values you have which address (some of) these aspects. Then you can craft your strategy and communications. The key lies in research. 

Research your audience and competition

Thanks to insights and analytics tools embedded in social media networks as well as in Google Analytics, Bing, and the like, businesses can gather consumer data and leverage these to help understand their audiences better.  Businesses should be harnessing this insight to delve further into their market to learn who their audience are. Who you think your audience are, may then in fact be different to reality, but this in itself gives you an insight which can be leveraged. Similarly, knowing your audience allows you to ensure that your values align with theirs.

A recent video by insight pioneer Les Binet, is definitely worth a watch, as it sheds new light on the role of search as a predictor for human action and beliefs.

Analysing your competitors, which you can also do via comparative data tools, and additionally focusing on the things that make your business unique lets you know what branding strategy will work. You should also consider and focus on what you can give your clients that others can’t, especially during these turbulent times.

 

Connect people to your brand story

Simply put: Brands contend for individuality and recognition within a crowded market. This is what helps them attract (and retain) customers.

Customer consciousness and awareness has peaked this year for the story behind the brand, not just simply the item advertised. Businesses need to give the shopper what they need: an association that goes further than the transaction.

Tip: Properly deployed stories are very strong marketing tool and provide excellent branding opportunities. This is mainly because stories are all about the emotional connection they build inside a consumer. Good stories bypass the head and pull directly at the heartstrings of the customer. But this story (see above point) needs to be rooted in authenticity, and be consistent to the brand’s core values. In other words, your brand identity is key here.

Anticipate

If you are looking to foray into social engagement and are looking to leverage chatbots or other automation tools, take the time to think like your customers. Not just at the point of sale, but at the point of confusion, the point of dismay, anger, post purchase and after sales. As many points as you can. Then build out questions, and corresponding answers which will help a customer with a particular pain point, to get to a solution which not only helps them, but endears them to your brand.

 

Respond

A brand that exceeds expectations requires a strong social media response strategy. In the previous years, advertising/branding and client support groups operated in silos and often without any data insight overlay. However, with social media, there is a greater overlap between these functions. Today, brand building requires collaboration and coordination between these functions to build and convey phenomenal brand experiences and customer care through social media channels.

So, it should go without saying, you should keep an eye on your accounts always and, endeavour to respond when people reach out to you on social media. Active conversations grow into authentic relationships and are a great driver for brand identity.

It is important to manage and respond to social media comments and organic posts regardless of the comment type. Generally public responses via social media are adequate (replies to replies), but there are circumstances where the discussion ought to be moved to private channels.

Tip: Social listening tools (Social Bakers, Mention, Sprout Social and Awario are just some of the options you may want to consider) will be a huge asset for you. If you can set up these tools to monitor your brand and brand-related terms and topics on both your channels as well as others you interact with, you will be going a long way to improving the way your customer base perceives you.

 

As with all marketing, there is no simple fix, no silver bullet. Good marketing takes ongoing perseverance, solid strategy and authentic consistency. It starts with your brand identity and encompasses your creative execution, your digital marketing and your customer service. Leaving just one part out can be catastrophic to your brand. But getting it right can set you on a path to success. If you are looking for a partner to help build your brand, or if you feel a little confused or are unsure how to implement an appropriate strategy, get started with the help of expert marketing strategists here at Three Piece Marketing. We are here to help.

 

October 27

Online Marketing Platforms | Three Piece Marketing

To make it big as a business, it is vital that you [...]

You know how it is not enough to just have a toothbrush and expect your teeth to be clean? Well because your teeth don’t really clean themselves, you need to take said brush, apply some tooth paste and then get scrubbing if you want to see results (or not have ongoing gum and teeth issues). Well in the same vein, having a product or service on your website or social media is not enough to drive your business. You need to have a plan for using these platforms and adding something to them (the paste) if you want to see results.

To make it big as a business, it is vital that you create a strong online presence, which means taking advantage of a variety of digital marketing platforms available today.

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of online marketing platforms that you should consider (each business and industry are unique so some may be more suited to you than others) in order to reach your business goals.  We’ll go through each one and explain which part in your strategy each platform may work best.

 

What is a digital marketing platform?

 

According to Gartner.com, one of those companies that ooze gravitas when it comes to leading research and advise, digital marketing platforms are “designed to support an extensible set of requirements within a single neighborhood or two…” referring to a specific realm of marketing or domain in the online world. Some of these platforms claim to “… address virtually all digital marketing neighborhoods  but the methods and objectives of each neighborhood vary widely. Any platform sufficiently general to span them all would take the form of a general-purpose tool such as a spreadsheet or a browser with applications outside of digital marketing. So any platform in digital marketing needs to address requirements specific to a limited number of neighborhoods or domains.”

 

Simply put, each digital marketing platform, albeit powerful, has its limitations and only covers a specific component of digital marketing. Where you try to get it to do something outside it’s intended realm, its impact becomes more generalized and less impactful. In short, there is no one-size-fits-all solution that will allow you to extend to other elements. By being cognizant of this reality, it’ll be easier for you to understand that you need more than one platform to ensure your success online.

 

So which platforms do you really need?

You know the analogy about a shotgun approach vs a sniper rifle, whereby you may cover more territory with the first method, but you are likely to get more accurate and meaningful results with the latter, so instead of using everything, it is essential you evaluate each platform deliberately. Make sure each one suits to your business, your target market, your time limitations and even your budget.

 

Before deciding which marketing platform to leverage, endeavour to answer these questions first:

  • Where does your target audience hang out online?
  • What platforms are your competitors using?
  • How will your use of a specific platform affect your existing and future branding?
  • Do you have time to utilize this platform correctly?
  • Do you have the skill set to maximise the platform’s value
  • What is the potential revenue your business will generate from the use of particular digital marketing platforms?
  • What is your budget?
  • How savvy are you with marketing?

 

Keep in mind that different people use online platforms differently. So make sure that you understand how your audience and your prospects consume online content and how and where they access the information they need before you invest in a particular platform or which of the platforms you should prioritise first.

 

Social Media Marketing

 

Did you know that as of December 2019, the boffins at Brandwatch.com worked out that a person has an average of 8 social media accounts? On top of that, between October 2018 and October 2019, social media users grew by 328 million, making today’s social media users total around 3.725 billion.

Just think about the number of people using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other social media platforms—TikTok included. Whilst the majority are not going to be in your target market, it is hard to ignore the wide reach that social media marketing offers. In publishing relevant and engaging content (whatever that means for the chosen platform) you can create awareness for your brand. And once you have awareness, you have the ability to go beyond that and generate conversation leading to leads and (hopefully) conversions.

If you are a small business starting out and want an affordable and easily accessible platform to promote your products and services, getting into social media marketing should be on your list.

 

Search Engine Optimisation

While it is true that each person has a preferred online platform, more often than not, people generally choose between Google and Bing to conduct an online search. Whether it is hunting for a new bicycle or looking for restaurant recommendations, people’s daily online experience usually includes the use of a search engine.

Because of this, it is vital for you as a business to invest in search engine optimisation aka SEO. Aim to rank on the first page of the search engine results page for search terms that are relevant to your business and to your target market. By optimising different elements of your website—including the code, content, and images—you should be able to reach a large number of people who might be interested in what you are offering.

This all said, remember that SEO is a long-term strategy and you won’t see immediate results. But if you abide search engine best practice and are somewhat familiar with how the different algorithms work, you should be able to attract high-quality traffic to your website that, when partnered with impressive copy and strong website design, will result in conversions too.

 

Paid search marketing

Paid search marketing, which is also known as search engine marketing (SEM) or pay-per-click advertising (PPC), refers to paid listings shown in a search engine’s results page, its network, or its partner sites. Usually, advertisers pay only when their ads are displayed (cost-per-thousand impressions), when clicked (pay-per-click), or when a call is generated from a specific ad (pay-per-call).

Google Ads is probably the most used digital advertising platform for paid search marketing today but it is for a good reason. Being a search engine giant, Google has thousands of partner sites and related networks where you can run a plethora of campaigns: search, shopping, app promotion, display, and even video.

 

Content Marketing

You know your audience, you know your product, and (hopefully) you know their pain points. The key is to now build content that speaks to the common intersects of these three things. But the key here is not to focus so much on the second part (your product), but rather to focus on adding value to your audience by discussing and providing solutions to their pain points. By inference your product or service is why they are reading or viewing your content.

The next key is to tie in your content in such a way that it is native to the platform you share to and as importantly, that you are considering where in the purchase cycle they may be. If you are posting on Instagram, are they generally in the awareness stage, consideration phase, or even a potential repeat purchaser? Remember that your end goal is still to influence their buying decision not to scream at them what to do. Influence, not dictate, so you avoid coming off as an insensitive and pushy business looking desperate to bring in sales.

 

Funnels

If you are relatively familiar with the above methods, then you may be ready to step up and consider marketing funnels (which we have discussed in a post (The Role of Sales Funnels in Marketing and Business Development). We are not talking about the old-school approach of pushing as many leads as you can into a sales process which are then hounded and called by a team till they convert. Rather we are referring to the use of multiple digital platforms that seek to engage, add-value to and then hopefully convert would-be customers. Think of it as marketing automation driven at converting you to a sale.

It is seeking to engage customers on a platform and drive them to an action which in turn triggers a series of other actions which should hopefully, add value to them, nurture them and then turn them into a sale. But they shouldn’t stop there, they should then move them into a new funnel which keeps them engaged and keeps them returning for more sales well into the future.

Think of it as a CRM on steroids. A system that seeks to keep your target coming back for more, and which you can tease into the right direction.

It requires you to have many steps, and value-adding content for these steps and these may be something which we need to tackle in their own right (stay tuned for that blog). Suffice to say, a funnel may have multiple components including:

  • Lead generation across search marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing and newsletter updates
  • Landing pages and forms
  • Lead nurturing
  • CRM integration And campaign management
  • Lead scoring, tagging and triggers
  • Visitor tracking
  • Analytics and optimization

 

There are many ways to approach this type of marketing, but ideally it involves use of digital platform. There are many to choose from, so researching what is right for your needs is essential.

 

Staying Competitive in 2020 and Beyond

If you want to be relevant and stay ahead of the game in the digital marketing world, you need to make a splash across different channels. Learn how to piece each one together to be consistent with your overall digital marketing plan and ensure you have a cohesive net to capture as many people as possible. And if you need any help with any of it, give us a shout.

October 07

Wrapping your head around conversational marketing | Three Piece Marketing

Conversational marketing may or may not be a term [...]

Conversational marketing may or may not be a term you are familiar with. It is a relatively new concept (by marketing standards) which seeks to engage would-be customers and buyers through authentic and meaningful content and conversations.

As people grow cynical, ever more time-poor and new ways to connect become available, switching to conversational marketing is something more businesses need to do.

For a better understanding of what you need to consider, what tools you may want to use and other tidbits of info, come on a journey with us, and let’s break it down for you.

 

What is conversational marketing?

Conversational marketing is a relatively new standard in digital marketing. In simple terms, it is the concept where brands and businesses engage with their customers in a personalised, two-way experience in real-time. It is designed to build a good relationship with potential and existing customers through personalised, highly targeted messaging instead of a generic ad or content.

Conversational marketing is a dialogue-driven tactic where consumers can feel the human side of a business. The interaction starts usually via a question (by either party), and depending on the answer of the user, dialogue ensues. To make it possible a platform of some description is required, and as should be no surprise, common tools used include chatbots and messaging applications.

The exciting part of conversational marketing is that it can exist at all touch-points within the sales funnel – from building awareness, through to facilitating information gathering, through to post-sales support. But better again, it doe snot need to be siloed and as part of an integrated digital marketing strategy used at multiple points, not just one.

Why should you care as a business?

The modern customer no longer cares about how awesome you claim your product or service to be – and there is social media to verify with others what they think. But even if you have the best offering in the market, if a consumer doesn’t have a great experience with your business, she will never come back or patronise you in the first place if you don’t meet or exceed expectations from the get-go. Worse, she will tell the general market place about how bad your customer service is.

In a consumer world that relies heavily on recommendations from family and friends and word of mouth, it is vital for you as a business to maintain a customer-centric reputation at all times. This is where conversational marketing comes in. If you find a review that is not up to standard, conversational marketing allows you to reach out, ask a question and through conversation, potentially turn around the experience they had.

 

In conversational marketing, the key is understanding your customers more.

To have an effective conversational marketing strategy, go back to the drawing board and assess your target market’s behaviour before you start working out responses. Anticipate the issues they may have, the feedback they may share or the questions that they may ask, no matter how crazy they may be and document them. Then categorise the items on the list into common categories and down into the segment of the sales cycle so you can develop responses which are helpful and still on-point with your broader marketing strategy.

The key is offering something valuable and helpful to answer those queries. Remember, customers don’t care if you’re speaking to 1,000 people at one time; all they care is that their concern is addressed right away and that they feel heard. Remember to engage the customer, seek to understand their pain points, and provide recommendations and solutions to their problems.

It is also important to bear in mind that customers want you to be there for them at any time. Whether they’re having their morning coffee or lying in bed in the middle of the night, once they decide to get in touch with you, YOU NEED TO BE THERE in some shape or form so that you don’t miss the opportunity. Whilst it is not mandatory, it is helpful for your overall marketing if you do consider utilising automation.

Conversational Marketing Tools That You Can Use

Automation sounds scary at times. touching on the realms of AI, automation within marketing refers more to the use of scripted responses which best answer an enquiry. There are a few options you can use, but similarly, you can still rely on humans and use other options available to you.

Chatbots

This is the most budget-friendly way to implement your conversational marketing strategy. Run by artificial intelligence, you can set this up in Facebook Messenger, as website chat support on most platforms, and other messaging platforms to respond to the customer in real-time. Chatbots usually offer pre-programmed answers as a way of engaging in ‘conversation’ with someone. These platforms try to understand the context of the conversation via conditional logic so that it can give the most appropriate response.

 

Live chat

A Live Chat plugin can be integrated into your website so that your site visitors can directly ask questions and speak to someone on your staff looking for more information about your products and services. In the case of higher-priced options, a live chat feature can transition to a chatbot for out of hours service.

Customer engagement platforms

There are software programs that allow you to design a comprehensive conversational marketing solution that involves the use of chatbots and scheduling calls with your own rep. Different platforms have the capability to segregate your interactions with the customers and qualify score as leads (cold, warm etc), making it easier for you to remarket to those that expressed interest in your products and services.

Examples of these tools include Tidio, Draft, and Intercom.

 

Stay ahead in the competition with exceptional customer experience.

The world of business and entrepreneurship has become extra competitive especially with the growth of different web-based platforms and technologies. Even big brands that have massive marketing budgets can no longer guarantee a big share of the market pie, purely because there are plenty of alternatives rising up, foccussed on both great experiences and service/products for their customers.

It goes to show that aside from having a great product, what matters today is customer experience. How do you make people feel special? How well do you respond to enquiries? Is your customer engagement timely? Are you offering help or are you being pushy with your products and services? How does someone feel when they are not talking to you?

With conversational marketing, you have the opportunity to better connect with potential and existing customers and meet their needs for special attention, support and personalised solutions. Being there to answer their concerns will also open up a plethora of opportunities for your business. Let’s say for instance, a customer is comparing two products, and asked you what made one better than the other. If you are not there to offer a recommendation, you may lose the customer, who was already deciding which product to buy.  If you are there and con show them you are invested in them as much as they are in your decision, you have a better chance of locking them in.

If you want to bridge the gaps in the buyer journey, conversational marketing is a tool you should consider in your overall digital marketing game plan. Of course, if you are unsure, or need to ask for advice on platforms or integration into your website, speak to our team here at Three Piece Marketing.

September 17

Strategic Digital Marketing | Tips and Tools to Make it Easier

With all the changes in the world going on at the [...]

Strategic Digital Marketing: Tips and tools to make it easier

September 15, 2020

Posted by Hamish

 

The world of marketing is full of complicated twists and turns. With the ever-changing behaviours and attitudes of consumers plus the rapid and often unannounced changes in various marketing platforms’ algorithms, it truly takes a resourceful marketer to thrive and stand out in his niche. Yes, we are talking about strategic digital marketing, but we are also talking about much more than just this.

If anything, during COVID, what has been evident, is that succeeding in the online world no longer relies on a marketer’s expertise but also on the ability of the entire firm to adapt and to find opportunity in a seemingly hostile environment.

Whilst this means changing how you do business, it equally means, changing how you use using a variety of tools, resources and strategies on an ongoing basis.

But staying on top of it all can be hard work, so to help you understand what is transpiring in marketing and online, here’s a rundown of what we see as important tutorials and insightful digital marketing industry articles.

 

Your Marketing Strategy

As we have espoused countless times, the key to achieving your marketing goals and reaching your KPI targets always starts with a solid marketing strategy in place. This includes an understanding of your target market and having a clear picture of your mission and vision. Without these, any marketing plan is irrelevant and likely to be unable to help your business propel forward.

Our recommendation is to start a plan with data and insight. Insight into your pain points, insight into your market, and their pain points, and insight into what has been happening to date through the market.

Whether you are developing a new business, launching your brand for the first time, or creating a new campaign, data and analytics always play a huge role. These four articles shed some light on the need to get all these ducks in a row:

 

Importance of Content Marketing

Content is king, as the popular saying goes. But no matter how great your videos, blog posts, images, infographics, and other types of content might be, they won’t help you achieve your business goals if they are not distributed to the right channels or are lacking relevancy for your audience. As our Founder is often heard saying to clients “I can give you the best white paper on Napoleon Bonaparte you have ever read, however, if your business is paint, then this paper is going to be meaningless to you”. In other words, make what you say to people relevant to what they need to know – when they need to know it.

As we move towards the end of the year and you ramp up your end-of-year activities, these articles may help you better understand avenues open to you (assuming you know the right things to say to your market). Is email marketing saturated or is it still a gold mine waiting to be uncovered? Should you use social marketing more? Is a landing page better than a Facebook page? Discover some useful tips through these articles:

 

Providing Value to Your Customers

As we enter the last quarter of 2020 and move beyond it (here’s to a more positive 2021), concentrate on fulfilling the needs of your target customers. This will be more essential than ever due to COVID, Australia’s first recession in 30 years, Christmas and the Summer holidays all combining to create times unlike what we have ever experienced before. It will be critical that you bridge the gap between consumers’ needs and aspirations, and what you can provide to solve that issue. If you can you will benefit. If you can’t, others will fill the gap you cannot. As such, you should give yourself every advantage possible by using insights and data.

Data-driven marketing partnered with intentional messaging is a winning recipe and something it is never too late to use. Check out some of the below for some advice on what to consider:

 

Keep an eye of Reviews and Social Opinion

Did you know that according to Hosting Tribunal – up to a staggering 72% of customers will not take action and purchase/commit until they have read reviews? Good reviews are a god-send, but a bad review can sway people away. Whilst you cannot change a review necessarily (we are sure you don’t have many) what you can do is respond to the review and show positive action on your behalf. This then shows your customer lifecycle extends beyond the purchase and into ensuring the enjoyment is ongoing. This can change opinions and it can also bring people back.

Take the time to keep across platforms such as Google, Facebook, Yelp, travel sites (if relevant), food sites (if relevant) and so on to make sure you are across the reviews being shared about you.

A couple of tools you may want to consider are listed below, just to make your job a tiny bit easier.

 

Wrap it all up

Ultimately, good marketing is only part of the puzzle, the other part is what you are doing to provide the best in class service/product you can. But where a brilliant product cannot market itself, good marketing can help you grow your business to a point where you can invest back into your product, improving it so you can be even better for your customers.

Make sure you take the time to get the balance right and reap the rewards.

August 24

Get Results with Your Remarketing Campaign | Three Piece Marketing

It’s time to rethink your remarketing campaign if [...]

Posted by 3PM Team

Visitors who put products in their carts but leave them there…

Shoppers who add your item in their Favourites list…

Customers who keep on viewing your offering every day for an entire week, but nothing else…

 

You know you have all have these types of website visitors. But what are you gonna do with them? Sitting and keeping your fingers crossed that they come back without any prompting is not going to cut it, you know you need to  up your game.

Today marketing is not just about building awareness and creating intent, a true marketer knows you need to have a user journey mapped out (from first impression all the way through to multiple repeat purchases) with ways to entice a user to get to the end goal – a(nother) sale.

But how do you remind users who have checked your website to visit you again and complete their goal (READ: sales)? Through a remarketing campaign, of course. You know those ads that follow you around the internet, and even more so the ads that suddenly be there when you need them to be – we’re talking that type of campaign.

The process of making a website visitor complete a purchase is a tricky one. So today, we thought we’d shed light on something many people know, but not everyone understands with a view to helping you convert more website visitors into actual paying customers.

Getting started with remarketing campaigns

 

Search engine giant Google defines remarketing campaigns as activities aimed “…to show ads to people who have visited your website or used your app.”

These ads show up in various places online:

  • when your past visitors are watching YouTube videos;
  • when they are browsing through a variety of websites; or
  • when they are reading their favourite online news magazine, among others.

Remarketing ads basically serve as a reminder — to prompt your previous visitors to come back to your website and finish a goal; whether you’ve set it as subscription, signup, purchase, pr anything else which adds value to the visitor.

If it’s your first time to set up a campaign of this type, Google will ask you to create a remarketing tag and lists. You can easily do this by choosing specific conditions from the “Visited pages” drop-down in your Google ads setup. Simply explore and add values that are applicable to your campaign and you’re pretty good to go (refinement will go a long way to improving this, but for all intent and purposes, you’re set).

One important note you need to remember is to make sure that your remarketing tag (a script or code that can capture data about the pages visited by viewers) isn’t associated with any sensitive or personally identifiable information (PII). Running afoul of Google’s personal advertising policies is not a good idea, nor is it a nice thing to do to your potential and actual customers. Your remarketing lists could get disabled and you won’t be able to use these anymore in your ad campaigns. Accounts can also get suspended if you’re found to have made several violations, and any new accounts you create could automatically get suspended, as well.

Strategies for the best remarketing campaigns

Now that you’re all set up, what are the most effective strategies for enticing customers to finally hit that Buy/subscribe/CTA button? There are several options (of course), but the following is a short cheat-sheet of shorts which you can cherry pick from and use as a general rule-of-thumb:

Keep things simple

You know that acronym – KISS, well it applies here too. We know you are thinking you should dazzle and wow your targets so much that they’ll have no choice but to type in their credit card information in a hypnotised trance, but the truth is, sometimes simple is best?

There’s a reason why the basics are the basics, and that’s because they work. The Google Display Network, for example, manages to reach approximately 90 percent of folks online. That’s not bad at all for a “basic” strategy which works to put ads in front of people. It gets even more impressive when you consider that remarketing on the Display Network typically has a Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) that’s equal to only 2 percent of the CPA on Google AdWords.

For a basic remarketing ad, you can opt to only target website visitors from a set period, like the past 30 days or so who did not get to a target page (like the Confirmation page). This makes sure that their interest in a product is fairly recent, so they’re still likely inclined to make a purchase.

Get their emotions involved

At the core of marketing any product, the most important question that you need to ask is this: How will this make a customer’s life better?

Let us consider smartphones, for instance. Any model that allows a user to connect to the web and use applications is, in essence, a smart device. But why do some phones sell more than others? And why do people who still have perfectly fine gadgets decide to toss them and buy the latest model every time one gets released?

It comes down to customer perception of certain brands, which is inherently emotional in nature. Customers may check spec sheets as much as they want but at the end of the day, they pick a model based on their preferences or gut feel. That’s why there are Apple “Fanboys” for example.

Using emotional triggers in your ads will not only grab attention but also encourage engagement. This can help draw back previous visitors to your website. Maybe you can appeal to people’s fear of missing out on a good deal, or maybe you can appeal to their greatest desires or need to fit in. If you get their emotions involved, they’re more likely to buy your product.

Use funnel-based ads.

Once you’ve got your remarketing list, you can sort them into different funnel stages. These stages correlate to the buyer’s journey and where each potential customer is currently at, which is crucial if you wish to present the right offer to someone at the right time.

If someone is still at the awareness stage, for example, then they’ve only just started researching to better understand their pain point. This type of audience would not appreciate it if you immediately start pushing your product at them when they themselves barely know what they’re looking for.

Whether you’re using Google or Facebook, you can segment your remarketing list and switch your offers by each funnel stage so you can get the best results. To do this, you need to target the specific pages on your website that can point to where a user is on the buyer’s journey. If someone has already ended up on the pricing page, for instance, then they’re a better remarketing target compared to someone who has visited your site, but not made it to a product page. Make sure you target the right users with the right ad content and then, the right page.

Target custom audiences.

Finally, remarketing can be its most effective when you narrow your focus on the customer profiles that can afford your product. General remarketing ads that try to appeal to a broad audience can be successful, yes, but at most you would only be converting 2 to 4 percent of website visitors. Yes, that’s not bad considering the low cost involved, but why settle when you can aim for a higher figure.

Identifying your typical customer profile can help you cut through the masses of average visitors and serve highly targeted ads. You can refine your audience list by demographics including gender, age, income level, location, etc. to correspond to your customer profile. This helps you to accomplish more in less time because you’re directly placing your product in front of the people who are most likely to buy it.

Time to plan your next retargeting campaign!

Remarketing campaigns can lead to a higher return on your investment. They give you the opportunity to convert customers who might otherwise never visit your website again. Remarketing also helps you build up your brand profile at a cost that’s considerably lower than what you would spend on other advertising channels.

We’ve compiled these simple introductory strategies to help get started on your own campaign and take the first step on the path to greater success. However, if you have questions, or unsure or need some help, speak to one of our team for more information or insight on just how we can help you and how affordable our marketing services are.

August 24

Why Web Development and Digital Marketing Go Hand in Hand | Three Piece Marketing

It is no secret that marketers often feel they are [...]

It is no secret that marketers often feel they are attacked from all sides. CFOs and the accounting department, in general, are always looking to curtail budgets, the sales department are looking for more qualified leads and point to a failure in marketing if this is not the case and consumers in general often deride any marketing which they feel isn’t in-line with the brand as a whole.

So perhaps it is time that within the marketing department for more cohesion and less bickering between roles and functions. In this case, we are looking at developers and digital marketers.

While developers are focussed mostly on the code, UX and functionalities of a website, digital marketers are usually concerned with site optimization: how easy it is to find the site through search and other channels, Click Rate Optimisation, making the site sticky and ensuring (in-line with product teams) that people make multiple repeat purchases. Both roles are trying to achieve the same thing, but a failure in communication often means that because both professions prioritise different things, more often than not, it takes numerous exchanges between these two departments before a well-optimised website is ready for launch/the market.

So as we asserted above – it is time for the marketing department to function more cohesively and with joint purpose.

 

Stop looking for quick Wins

Once upon a time, it may have been enough to build a site with a view to a quick way to increase SEO rankings and online traffic. But those days are LONG gone. In fact, it is no longer enough to simply build a website, load it with keywords, get it up and running online, and keep your fingers crossed that your target market finds it. If you want people to actually visit your website, use it, and return to it regularly, you need to ensure that it is designed intuitively and optimised properly for search engines. But this is not about spammy use of keywords or hundreds of inbound links. Rather it is about adding value to the site visitor in such a way that they get more than a transaction from it.

Similarly, it is not a case of executing a gorgeous looking or highly functional site as part of your web development. You need to have the insight of the digital marketing professionals within the team (analysts, strategists, and those working to engage the customer) to be able to identify on-site optimisation activities, which your web development team can implement. This then needs to be mapped in a way which allows the site to be created efficiently and with a view to ensuring that the code base of the site allows the marketing team to draw down on the insights they need to make the right decisions moving forward (case in point: adding “no follow” and “no-index tags” and including a JSON script in the code that digital marketers know they need but are unsure how to implement).

 

Cooperation – everyone wins

 

Brand awareness is ultimately one of the most powerful indicators for a brand’s success. Early uptake will come from good marketing, but ongoing brand awareness (driven by the consumers themselves) will be what gives a business true advantage. When your broader digital marketing team is on the same page, it is easier for your business to develop and maintain a clear branding message and core promise. This clarity is what your consumers want – a clear understanding of what you stand for and what they will get through interacting with you.

Bringing it back to your website design, upfront there needs to be discussion and agreement on how the core brand message (your identity) will be implemented and designed into the site. With this agreed to and shared with all, mapping out how everyone can contribute and what the expectations are is the next important step. Your web development team will rely on the other team for creating a design that relays the vision of your business. But they need to also consider landing page design, heading use, and so forth, so that the promotional efforts of the others in the team are optimised from the getgo. This means the analysts and strategists need to work in-step with the developers and creative teams to think through the process so all assets and functionalities can be captured early and built-in as part of the scope.

In other words, it is important that everyone is aligned and cooperating right off the bat.

 

Improves Data Gathering for Analytics

It may be obvious to most, but if you are not analysing user behaviour on your website, then you are potentially missing out on key information that can improve your business. This data is essential for future decisions, but for a developer, this data is less exciting than knowing how fast a page loads. This is again where both teams need to work together to implement the tracking mechanisms in such a way that pulling live data as and when needed is easy, as knowing your audience will give you an advantage in terms of formulating ongoing development and digital marketing strategy.

That is why it is essential to Incorporate analytics in your website. While the marketers have the goals and metrics in hand, it will be the web developers who will insert the necessary tracking codes and pixels that will help generate data about your website’s performance and your actual audience. Having these in place will help you understand the customer journey, the abandonment possibilities, and the channels where your audience has reached your website, among others.

 

Avoid Costly Mistakes

When your web developers and marketing personnel are not coordinating with each other, costly mistakes are more likely to happen. Without proper communication, more time might be required on redesigning your website.

But perhaps worst of all, failure to plan will likely mean that there may be features missing and you might need to push back on your website launch and the content developed for the site may be low-quality which would not only hurt your SEO efforts but turn your potential customers away as well.

 

Web Developers Working Hand in Hand with Digital Marketers

Well-synchronized web development and digital marketing campaigns are one of the secrets to your business’ online success. The roles of a digital agency providing web development and design services as well as digital marketing are vital in building a strong website and making sure that you achieve your business goals.

If you are looking for an agency that understands the balance between web design, web development, and digital marketing, or if you are looking for an agency that can balance the make-up of your own in-house team, let’s have a chat, our experts are ready to help you.

August 16

Why Paid Social Media Marketing Should be Part of Your Strategy This 2020 | Three Piece Marketing

With most businesses going digital this year, SEO [...]

Why Paid Social Media Marketing Should be Part of Your Strategy This 2020

July 24, 2020

Posted by Cam

Social media is everywhere. As at last count, there are more than 18 million Australians who have active social media accounts. In February 2020 alone, Aussies spent an average of 17 hours on Facebook; 11 hours on Twitter; 10 hours on LinkedIn; and 7 hours on Instagram, according to data provided by Sydney-based B2B consultancy company, Genroe. Scary statistics really and that is not including a raft of other emergent platforms such as TikTok.

As someone trying to get their service or product noticed (especially at the moment where the world is so uncertain), these figures represent opportunities that you should not miss. While posting on social media platforms is the base level of what you should be doing really, it is not enough to make your followers see what you’re posting nor your potential buyers aware of your brand. Aside from venturing into organic social media marketing, we believe there is a strategic imperative to consider paid social media marketing.

Why paid social media marketing matters

Social media has changed the way marketers and our audiences communicate. Not only have we all come to rely on it in some shape or form (to share updates, to get our news, or to stay in touch), but these platforms have accumulated so much data on each of us, and we have invested so much into each, that there is a treasure trove of data waiting to be extracted.

Specifically, as compared to the old days of Press, TV and Radio, it has become easier to target and reach specific audiences, thanks to the combination of social media, machine learning, the ubiquity of the platforms and big data insights you can extract in each platform.

In fact, the power of social platforms means you can easily analyse the campaigns that you’re running and make adjustments accordingly, using the native analytics that gives you information on the engagement and interaction rates, what your most popular content type is, the reach and impressions, the demographics of your audience, the days and times when your audience usually interacts with your brand, and so on and so forth.

But here is the kicker, irrespective of whether you’re creating campaigns for brand awareness, lead generation, website traffic, or sales, paid social media marketing activities help amplify your promotional reach even further.

 

It increases your reach a bigger demographic.

When you rely on organic efforts alone, you are limiting your brand’s visibility only to the people who liked your page, their friends, and those who might be inclined to interact with your company (friends of friends). But if you have a well-planned paid social media strategy, you’ll be able to go beyond a platform’s algorithm and have more opportunities to increase your reach.

Paid social media allows you to identify your target audience in terms of age, location, behaviour, interests, and other targeting settings. Having the power to control all these enables you to precisely serve your campaigns to the feed of those whom you can generate leads from or get conversions from.

It gives you the opportunity to work within your budget.

Cost efficiency is probably one of the biggest benefits of paid social media marketing because you get to select the budget you wish to invest without any requirement for thousands of dollars. This makes it an attractive and affordable advertising solution for those who can only spend a minimal amount for their brand promotion.

Look at it this way:

According to data provided by WordStream — a Google Premier Partner, Bing Elite Partner, and digital marketing solutions provider — the average cost per click or CPC in Facebook across all industries is $1.68.  Depending on your industry of course, but assuming you had $200 budget to spend per month, you could get up to 120 clicks on your ad — giving you a good new audience who may be interested in your services.

But if you want to get a little bit more precise, and want to gauge how far your budget could stretch check out this list of Facebook CPC per industry, based on WordStream’s data, which we have arranged from lowest cost to the most expensive.

  • Food & Drink – $0.42
  • Pets & Animals – $0.61
  • Hobbies & Leisure – $0.68
  • News – $1.11
  • Science – $1.33
  • Real Estate – $1.81
  • Beauty & Fitness – $1.85
  • People & Society – $2.01
  • Jobs & Education – $2.11
  • Business & Industrial – $2.48
  • Home & Garden – $2.78
  • Internet & Telcom – $3.07
  • Finance – $3.89

While Facebook’s CPC is relatively cheaper than other platforms’, it is important to note, however, that you can also reap exceptional benefits from Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, among others.   For instance, Instagram may be a bit more expensive than Facebook—but if your target engages and uses this platform more, then there is no use of running ads on Facebook. Twitter, on the other hand, is ideal when you want to target people using a specific hashtag or keyword, which you cannot do in other social media advertising platforms. Keep in mind, that CPC and budget maximisation are just a couple of factors that you need to consider when choosing a social media platform. Ultimately, it will boil down to the marketing objective you want to attain. Let us know if you want some assistance with it.

It allows you to refine your market research.

Once your social media campaigns are launched, it is not a matter of sitting back and waiting for the sales to roll in. What you should take advantage of are the insights we alluded to above. These valuable audience insights, when combined with your own knowledge of the industry will help you refine your campaign, and boost your performance.

The longer your ads are served, the more accurate the information you will see on the ads’ performance—like the times of the days when most of the conversions happen, which locations actual searches and clicks about your brand happen, and which of the ad messaging didn’t convert the targeted people.

With these crucial data on hand, you can come up with better campaigns, conduct A/B testing, and try other optimisation activities that will help improve your ads’ performance based on KPIs, competition, and business goals that you are using as a yardstick.  But be warned, as valuable as this activity is, it is time-consuming, so make sure you have the capacity, or hire someone who does so you are not wasting your money.

 

Why invest in paid social media marketing

Today, consumers demand for personalisation, transparency, sense of community, and authenticity from a brand means brands have to evolve. Whatever your personal thoughts about a platform, whether you like it or not, a large chunk of your audience may be on social media and it is here where you can achieve the connectedness that modern audiences look for. By complementing your organic social activities with a solid paid social strategy, you’ll be able to build on a strong foundation for your brand to help you achieve your business goals on a bigger scale.

June 25

Understanding Your Market Through a Data Management Platform | Three Piece Marketing

As marketers, we all want to avoid wasting preciou [...]

Posted by 3PM Support

As marketers, we all want to avoid wasting precious dollars on campaigns that don’t work. If we have it our way, we’d like our strategies to be on point and to deliver results right away. But – and as much as we may like to believe it – it’s not all rainbows in the marketing world and we are bound to fall short numerous times before we get the right marketing recipe that will bring in money into our businesses. (Well unless you are using data management of some description…).

But fear of falling short should not render us impotent. Sometimes it is a case of not seeing the forest for the trees. But, the good news is, there are things that we can do to minimise our errors and create more meaningful and efficient campaigns that make our ROI worthwhile, these things can be achieved through a data management platform.

In this article, we’re going to dive into the role of data management platforms in data-driven marketing and how we can maximise one to make our work as marketers easier and more productive.

Leaning into Data-Driven Marketing

If you’re one of the marketers who rely on gut feeling, constantly telling yourself, I think this will work for my customers, then you are someone who needs to read on. Nowadays, it is hard to stand out as a brand by simply relying on your hunch, especially when there is so much data available for you to leverage. There’s no way you can predict what your target market will do or what their needs and behaviour will be except by analysing real customer information.

If you want to provide meaningful experiences and value to consumers (because let’s face it, this is what brings them back time and time again), beyond the obvious first sale, you need to invest in data-driven marketing which gives you useful insights into the preferences of your customers.

Why is data important in marketing?

We cannot emphasise enough the value and overlap between IT platform management and marketing, specifically, using customer data analysis from IT based initiatives. In fact, some of the most compelling benefits you can take away from shifting your marketing approach include.

  • Clearer understanding of the target audience
  • Better understanding of where they engage and when
  • More ways to develop personalised advertising messages
  • Engaging communication with your customers in the right channel

In short, solid analysis facilitated by a customer data platform manager, will enable you to target your customers at the right time and through the right promotional channel. Not only is this a more native experience and one which people engage with more, but it translates to more satisfied customers, increased revenue, and improved loyalty.  Who wouldn’t want that, right?

But how can you gather data to make your marketing efforts better and more targeted?

Types of Data

  • First-Party Data. This is first-hand data that you collect from your customers and prospects when they use your website, subscribe to your email list, engage in your social media posts, download your app, and other related actions they do within assets that you own.
  • Second-Party Data. This is information that you acquire from a partner company with whom you signed a data sharing agreement with.
  • Third-Party Data. This data is readily available for use by the public (you may need to buy it) and is usually collated by marketing research groups, website analysis companies, and analytics platforms.

In evaluating your market, your first-party data will provide the most useful information. However, to ensure accuracy in what you collate, we recommend you compare your own data with industry insights so that you can have a more intelligent approach to developing your branding and advertising strategy.

Tools You Can Use to Find Data

It is all good and well to tell you to use data-driven marketing but the catch is, , actually collecting data that matters. Top-level quantitative or qualitative data is not going to cut it. It is important you use the data-driven marketing tools – not only ones that allow you to collate information easily, but which allow you to leverage it for true insight. In our experience, there are a few key tools you should consider when gearing up.

  • Google Data Studio – This is an amazing platform that allows you to import data Analytics, Google Ads, BigQuery, and spreadsheets. You can also integrate other tools including SEMRush, Ahrefs, and the like. And the interface is easy to use
  • AnyRoad – If you want to gather data from live experiences to help improve your understanding of your customers’ buying behaviour, AnyRoad is a must for your business.
  • GetFeedback – Learning about how satisfied consumers are about your product or service is key to helping you modify your offering to further meet the needs of the people who need it. A tool like GetFeedback, which you can integrate with SalesForce, gives you valuable data straight from the customers who used your product or service.

Creating a Strategy Using Data

It’s hard to collect information when you don’t know what you’ll be using the results for. As such before you even attempt to gather data, you should first establish clear marketing goals and objectives and postulate what you may want to do. Look at the current performance of your product or service and your company and then identify areas of improvement that you can use as the basis for your objectives.

Let’s say, for instance, that you’ve been paying to show your ads on Facebook and the Google Display Network but you notice that your business is not getting enough traction. Despite the paid ads, you are not getting sufficient leads to make you profitable. The questions you might have include:

  • Are my ads not communicating well to my target audience?
  • Am I showing my ads in the right place?
  • Where are the majority of my target audience hanging out online?

First thing you should do, would be to develop some theories as to the causes of your business dilemma, and then counterbalance it with your end goal and of course, the data that you need to collect so that you can create a plan that will help you achieve your end goal.

This is when you can start collecting data from different sources. Remember to use a data IT management platform to organise the data and for you and your team to easily analyse the information collected later on.

At the start, use Google Data Studio or another simple to use insights tool that you find comfortable using as your data management platform. As you get more skilled, then look to change it up to a more powerful suite. But this should all come once you have proven it is working and have extra money as a result to spend on a better data management platform.

Once all of the data points you need are laid out properly, transform raw data into the metrics that you can use to devise a new data-driven strategy. You and your team can now brainstorm ways forward including campaigns you can launch as part of your experiential marketing plan.

But don’t treat it as a set and forget, make sure you are constantly monitoring and tweaking things to drive towards better performance.

A final thought on Data Management Platform

It may have once been the way to go, but today, it is not enough to expect that advertising alone will boost sales. You need to be more intentional and data-driven. By shifting to a data-driven approach, you can help reach your customers at the right time and you can craft more personalised messages that they will truly love.

If you are seeking help to make the shift to data management and analysis as part of your marketing strategy, consult us here at Three Piece Marketing today.

June 05

Conversion Rate Optimisation - Your 3 minute guide

Conversion rate optimisation can be challenging an [...]

Posted by Hamish

Getting people to visit your website is great, in fact, it is a large part of the puzzle, but, the question is, do you know what to do if you have solid incoming traffic, but that traffic is not completing the gaols you need them to. In other words, if they are not purchasing, signing up, or downloading your products – you have a problem. If you want to improve your conversion rates, it’s time to master CRO or conversion rate optimisation. Today, our focus is on helping you understand what CRO is, how it benefits your business, and effective tactics to use.

Reduce Page Loading Times

You know when you’re at a café and you take a seat? You read the menu, you wait for service, you see things happening around you, and yet, they don’t come to you. It is frustrating isn’t it? It is the same really when someone comes to your website. If the page is slow to load, or elements do not load, then studies show people will abandon your website. Imagine, all that hard work getting them to your site, just for them to leave.

How do you expect to convert website traffic if your visitors are unable to load your landing page quickly? Improving website speed should be a priority as it reduces loading times

According to Akamai Technologies, your website should load within 3 seconds. Otherwise, 40% of your website visitors will leave your page. Amazon – the e-commerce giant – has proven that 100ms latency in loading speed can cause sales to drop by 1%! If you are a business expecting sales of a million dollars, then 1% is a sizeable number.

Make it a habit to test your loading speed regularly and ensure you optimise conversion rates on your website, Use tools such as Google PageSpeed, Pingdom Tools, or GTmetrix. If possible, also use a lightweight theme, remove unnecessary plugins from your website and reduce your image or video sizes.

 

Write Powerful Headlines which Inspire or Provoke Thought

Headlines serve an important purpose – they call the attention of your target visitors and they make it easy for people to skim to parts that may be more of interest if the content is long. The key thing to remember, however, is that the headlines need to be compelling, not just placeholders. Your goal is to pique the curiosity of your potential visitors so they are more likely to click or act on it.

A few good examples of powerful headlines are ones that ask questions, offer to solve a problem, give out directives, or promise to instruct or provide information. Without a powerful headline, you can end up wasting your leads by not being able to convert them.

In an analysis of headlines conducted by the Content Marketing Institute; the following conclusions ensued:

  • Write headlines with an average of 8 words to get 21 percent more click-throughs.
  • Add numbers on your title to boost click-throughs by 20 percent.
  • Use hyphens to separate and/or emphasize thoughts or details.

Keep Your Checkout Funnel as Short as Possible

The checkout funnel refers to the steps that customers need to take to reach the end goal –a paid transaction or sales. To facilitate conversion optimisation, you must simplify this process and require as few steps as possible.

A traditional checkout or sales funnel involves four steps: awareness, interest, decision, and action. A complex sales funnel looks is convoluted and long. It may include requiring your customers to set up an account, subscribe to a newsletter, input the products they want to buy, agree to your store policy, and go through a complicated payment procedure. This is exhausting and will discourage your visitors from making a purchase.

Avoid this mistake by keeping the checkout process as simplified as possible. Fluid website navigation and requiring minimal info from your customers is the sweet spot for higher sales conversion.

 

Utilise Strategic CTAs and Placement

The Call to Action (CTA) is one of the most important elements to look into for higher website conversion optimisation. CTAs can come in a variety of forms: buttons, pricing tables, or pop-ups. You can conduct tests to see which of these types to implement.

Ideally, your CTA should be visible across all pages of your website. They should be prominently positioned to optimise responses from your visitors without necessarily being obtrusive. To ensure higher conversion using your CTA, you must take three important things into consideration.

Firstly, think about the positioning of your CTA. Experts agree that placing it on top of the page is more effective than when it is below the fold. Second, its colour and shape should be visually arresting so that your website visitors will notice it easily.

And finally, make your CTA message benefit-oriented. Avoid the traditional CTAs that do not offer anything of value such as “click here” or “download now”. Instead, focus on the benefits such as “show me more” or “get started free”.

As we mentioned earlier, undertaking A/B testing (for colour, words used, and positioning) can all lead to important ongoing improvements.

Tap into the Power of Visual Stimulus

A huge percentage of successful websites with high conversion rates rely on their visual elements. If you want to increase your conversions, you need to consider the power of good photography or stellar imagery. Choosing high quality and high-res photos on your website’s landing page can help increase your conversion rate. Not only does it make your page more attractive, but it also reflects on your brand’s credibility.

Engaging your audience with engaging images is just one aspect to consider though. The images must also be accompanied with text content that is compelling enough to convert!

 

Highlight Verified Payment Systems, Free Shipping, and Other Symbols of Trust

When you are trying to sell your customers something, it is important that you gain their trust. If you have no trust, then no matter what you do to improve your on-site conversion rate optimisation factors, you will be pushing the proverbial uphill.

There are several ways to build rapport, which includes offering verified payment systems. Using trusted symbols such as Symantec SSLs and Verified can increase your customers’ trust. And when customers trust businesses, this leads to an increase in sales.

Aside from a reliable payment method, offering free shipping can also help you generate more sales conversion. The high cost of shipping and handling has been linked to shopping cart abandonment. Make sure you address this by offering your customers free shipping, whenever you can, even if it means absorbing some of it into your overall price of sale.

If free shipping is too costly, you can set a minimum order amount for them to get free shipping (but keep the threshold reasonable).

Conversion rate optimisation can be challenging and as a practice it is constantly evolving. Make sure you analyse the current strategies you have in place to see if they are helping you reach your sales goals. If they are not, look at your data and determine where you can implement tweaks to boost conversions. Or if you are lost and unsure what to do, or don’t have the capacity to do it yourself, call Three Piece Marketing, we are here to help.

June 05

How Email Marketing Can Benefit You in 2020 | Three Piece Marketing

Email marketing is one of the underrated means of [...]

Posted by Hamish

Most people hate receiving emails from businesses. I, for one, dislike it when I get too many messages from the same company, seemingly trying to shove their products and services down my throat. It just makes you want to click Unsubscribe as quickly as possible and never hear from them again. Yup email marketing can be polarising – especially if you are not reading your audience.

The truth is, people do not hit Unsubscribe because they don’t like the brand, they opt-out from the email list because the emails, instead of adding value to them, spam them with overly sales-sy messages or email them too often which is downright annoying.

But when planned out properly and sent out at the right moment, email marketing can prove to be a valuable supplement to your entire marketing efforts that will generate a high return.

Let’s find out when to use email marketing and how you can maximise them in your customer’s buying journey.

How you can benefit from email marketing

According to Statista, more than 293.6 billion emails were sent and received each day in 2019 alone, and that number is set to grow to 347.3 billion daily emails by 2022. Of that total, a large number are marketing emails:

Indeed, email marketing has become such a powerful tool for marketers because:

It helps with lead generation.

If done right, an email marketing campaign can produce valuable leads that give you a higher chance of getting a sale. Since subscribers are already familiar with your brand, reaching out to them is a warm(ish) lead and closing the deal that little bit easier.

It helps you build credibility.

Consumers these days are more connected than ever and this gives them more access to information than ever. With strong email marketing strategies in your arsenal, you’ll be able to build your company credibility and be more relevant in your industry.

It helps improve your communication with clients.

You know how important it is to build a strong relationship with your clients, but have you realised how important they are as a marketing tool themselves? Look after them, add value and be humble and they may just become advocates, helping to sell your brand and products above what you can do yourself.

It helps you determine what’s working and what’s not.

Email marketing services go a long way to helping you obtain the metrics you need to see how the rest of your marketing campaigns are performing. For instance, you can determine what type of content is mostly consumed by customers through your click-through rates. Do they like images? Videos? Content about super user tips? Learn from what they engage with and use it to improve your content to make it more effective.

 

 So, when should you use email marketing?

To build a good foundation for your email marketing strategies, you need to remember that an email is a personal experience for your consumer. Unlike advertisements that are targeted towards a general audience, an email campaign seeks to reach out to a consumer on a more personal level. It should be more targeted.

Think about it as sending that first message to a girl or guy you like.

  • You don’t go in too brash and bold, or they will think you are arrogant.
  • You don’t tell them why you are amazing, you let them find out slowly.
  • You don’t shout at them or make them feel pressured, you give them the power to decide.
  • You make sure your reputation matches what you are trying to say.
  • It comes down to tone, what you have to say and being interesting.

Keep this in mind for your emails as well. With that in mind, here are some scenarios where email marketing is a smart strategy to employ:

To Inform your consumers about a new product, service, or promotion.

Send a short yet compelling email message that offers a sneak peek of a new offering. Tease at it, show the benefits, but let them be in control. Let them drive interest in your product and choose to visit your website or give you a call.

Keep in touch with your customers.

These people already know your brand and they’ve probably tried your product before. But the truth is, you can’t rely on your consumers’ memory to keep them loyal to your brand. After all, (as we said above) they are digitally connected and trying something new is simple. Sending emails is a smart way to keep in touch with customers where you can deliver timely and relevant information to them. Alluding to a “Soon-to-be-released” offer means you can then ask them to register interest/or give you a reason to contact them (see above).

Reach out to prospects who are not active on social media.

Although social media is used by almost everyone these days, you can’t pass up the opportunity to reach out to consumers who are not as active on these platforms.

With email marketing, you have the power to reach out to a demographic on a more personal level to give your audience useful content, and not just focus on sales.

Plus, you can use email to augment what you are saying across other channels.

 

What are some of the best practices in email marketing that you can adapt?

Email marketing should never be used to bombard your consumers and prospects with emails that don’t add any value to them. Here are some key points that you should remember when creating an email people want to engage with:

Have purpose.

Remember, your customers are receiving potentially hundreds of emails every day. Don’t be just another email.  Have a clear purpose for what your email is about and make the relevant. It could be to introduce a new product, to request feedback, or to offer a discount or promotion to your consumer.

 

Personalise your content.

Creating personas which group people is a good start to personalising email, BUT if you have the tools to embed insights truly relevant to each recipient (EG if they have visited your site and not transacted), then use them to make the emails you send truly valuable.

Stick to a schedule.

When it comes to email marketing, you need to distribute regularly but not too often or too little. It’s best to stick to a schedule so consumers can anticipate your content and make it part of their reading routine.

Keep an eye on your metrics.

Open rates and click-through rates are very important metrics that will allow you to know if your email marketing campaign is effective or not. You should keep an eye on these numbers to make the necessary adjustments to your strategies and create content that is not only readable but also shareable. This is already easy with all the modern email analytics tools available today.

 

The Bottomline

If done right, email marketing can do wonders for your business. As long as you know what your goals are and how you can implement them properly, you’ll get the benefits out of your email marketing campaign.

If you need help in developing a good email marketing strategy for your brand, we are here to help – drop us a line and one of the Three Piece Marketing team will get back to you.

 

 

May 11

Building Effective Sales Funnel | Business Growth | Three Piece Marketing

Sales growth doesn't come from just having an amaz [...]

The Role of Sales Funnel in Marketing and Business Development

May 8, 2020

Posted by Hamish

We all know that the most important aspect of running a business is converting your audience into actual customers—READ: those who buy your product or service and hopefully, refer you to their friends, colleagues, and family.

Let’s say you have an amazing product or service but your target market doesn’t know you or they can’t see what differentiates you from the competition. This makes it difficult to grow revenue.

Timing is everything. If you hard-sell to tire kickers or those just canvassing, they may be turned off by your “aggression”. If you are running awareness campaigns to the component of your audience holding space in their cart, you risk losing them in the process.

It is important for you to evaluate your potential customers’ purchase decision journey. Identify how to approach them to raise awareness of your brand and then lure them into buying what you are offering. You can do that through a sales funnel.

So what is a sales funnel and how do you create one for your business?

Here is your step-by-step guide.

Sales Funnel Defined

A sales funnel, also known as a marketing funnel, is an essential marketing strategy and development tool that every marketer should use. Shaped like an inverted pyramid, it provides a breakdown of the stages or steps that a customer goes through in their purchase journey.

Now imagine you’re running an ecommerce website selling essential oils.  Before a person purchases your product, he or she could;

  • Search Google for “essential oils seller AU”.
  • Visitor sees an ad about your shop or discovers your business in the SERPs.
  • The user clicks on the link and visits your online shop.\
  • The user browses through your product listings and views the one he/she likes.
  • He/she adds items to the cart.
  • The user finalises the order by paying for it.

Stages in the Customer Journey Funnel

A funnel’s purpose is to provide sound promotional tactics based on the intent of your buyer. The funnel is divided into three or four stages that represent the steps the customer undergoes.

Awareness Stage

This is the stage where the buyer recognizes they have a problem that needs a solution.

Let’s use our example above on essential oils.

Let’s say that the person has regular headaches. He is looking for essential oils to relax his mind and lessen his stress at the end of the day.

You have the product he is looking for. Great! But… how will my target market know I have the answer to their problem? How will they know I sell essential oils to alleviate stress and headaches?

When your prospects are still in the awareness stage, remember it is not ideal to have a very salesy approach. It will just turn them off. Instead, make them aware of who you are and what you sell. Run a paid search campaign that uses the keywords that your target market uses in their searches. You can also post a link of your website on your social media channels using the appropriate hashtags and boosting the post to show to the right audience.

Alternatively, start showing informational content, for instance, about the health benefits of essential oils. You can put this online either as a blog post, infographics or even as a short video to grow  interest in your offering.

Remember, the goal is to provide useful information and to lead your target market to the next level of the funnel.

Interest and Evaluation Stages

In the ‘Interest level’ stage, people already know who you are. They are aware you sell essential oils. It is therefore crucial to lure them further into the ‘evaluation stage’, which you can only do with the right marketing business development actions.

Before making a purchase decision, they will often compare you to your competitors on the below factors:

  • Price point
  • Effectiveness of solution provided
  • Promptness of delivery
  • Returns policy
  • Materials / ingredients used
  • Reputation of company

So how do you approach this phase successfully? The simple answer is educate and engage your target.

Sharing customer testimonials detailing how your product has benefitted others is a great angle to approach. Featuring real people and highlighting their problems and solutions you’ve provided can help earn the trust of your target market.

The evaluation process will also be less complicated for potential buyers if you offer them a FREE TRIAL pack or a similar promotion in exchange for their email addresses. PLUS, once you have their personal information on file, getting in touch and utilising an email remarketing campaign will be easier and more succesful.

The key thing to remember at this point is, your audience is closer to making their purchase decision. Don’t let them go. Give them valuable content that will help make the decision process easier.

Purchase Stage

This is the final step in the sales funnel. Your prospective buyer has identified his problem, sought for and investigated the solutions in the market, and finally narrowed down the options with the final choice. What needs to be done at this point is entering the payment details and clicking on the BUY or ORDER button.

A good way to hook the customer is to offer something of value to them at that exact moment. For instance, you can offer an exclusive discount if the person orders in a timely manner. Always capitalise on personalisation so that the customer feels special; this emotional tug will contribute to their final decision of purchasing from you.

After the Conversion, What Happens Next?

Your role as a marketer should not end when the buyer finally purchases your product. In fact, business marketing development efforts need to be undertaken post-purchase in order to convert your buyers into advocates of your business.

Sending them a thank-you email or a voucher for their next order will make a huge difference in your reputation as a business. Your customer will most likely refer you to their peers, which will be PLUS points for you.

Remember, at the end of the day, it is by treating your customers right, even after the end of their transaction with you, that will keep you relevant and loved in this highly competitive industry.

 

May 11

How To: Planning A Marketing Campaign | Three Piece Marketing

Launching a marketing campaign soon? Check these 6 [...]

Posted by Amanda

“It’s much easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rate instead of doubling your traffic.” This is what online marketing pioneer, Bryan Eisenberg, said. He believes that businesses focus on the wrong side of advertising. Instead of managing campaigns – specifically a marketing campaign –  that prioritise paying customers and those who are already prepared to purchase, many marketers are purely focussed on bringing in traffic to their websites. There needs to be balance.

This shouldn’t be the case. Instead of spending money, predominantly on making the audience aware of your website, marketers should focus on converting their website traffic into sales, which is only possible if you build a solid marketing campaign as your foundation.

Whether you have a $5000 or a $100 monthly budget, the truth is, you want to bring in as many purchases from your target market as possible, right? It is therefore important for you to understand how to plan a campaign that will get the most out of your budget and the time you spend on your promotion. And at Three Piece, that is our core focus – helping you spend less on production and more on bringing business.

So, what are the details you need to gather before launching an effective marketing campaign? Here’s what the brains trust at Three Piece Marketing have to say about it…

Detailed Audience Persona

Successful marketing and campaign management means effectively identifying your customer, audience, or buyer persona.

Managing various marketing campaigns is an exercise in targeting. Hone in on who can, and will likely, buy your products and services. Delve into their demographics, gender, age ranges, livelihoods, income ranges, buying psychology, and habits. By knowing how they tick, you can tailor your advertisements properly without wasting a lot of your marketing budget.

Improve your targeting by grouping your audience into four categories: spontaneous, methodical, humanistic, and competitive.

  • Spontaneous buyers tend to just go by catchy titles or headings to convince themselves to purchase.
  • Methodical people, meanwhile, will need detailed product reviews. Competitive individuals may respond better to marketing campaigns that benefit their status in society while Humanistic buyers will look for human dignity, compassion, and similar approaches before parting with their money.

Success Measurement Factors

A campaign management system is incomplete without key performance indicators (KPI’s). These should not be vague – more than being smart and measurable, they must be the right factors to measure and conversion-driven in order to not waste any of your marketing budget on simply attracting visitors to your website.

Aside from measuring sales and profit margins, ensure you set a timeline for your success measurement factors and monitor conversion rates closely.

Eisenberg gets it

“Most business websites often do not have a traffic problem. Instead, they have a conversion problem.

Statistics state that for every $92 marketing spend on traffic generation campaigns, only $1 is for conversion drives.

It is important that you prevent this from being a statistic you relate to. Start with conversion optimisation at the forefront of your mind. Make sure the amount you are spending on advertisements is cost-effective when considered against factors such as what ads are encouraging visitors to buy what you’re offering and how much you are spending.

Persuasive Marketing Content

Creating persuasive content is essential to marketing and campaign management. According to an in-depth study that interviewed over 500 marketers, content marketing is considered “the second most important future skill for marketers.”

In particular, persuasive marketing content is what you should aim to achieve each time your business launches an advert. What exactly classifies as persuasive marketing copy?

Marketing-Schools.org provides three specific elements of persuasion marketing:

  • Structured communication – have control of the conversation between you and your target market. Be sure as to which funnels you are letting them experience.
  • Storytelling and copywriting – connect with your audience through the power of stories and the emotions those narratives can stir.
  • Neuromarketing – apply the right psychology to your marketing messages and aim to tap 90% of the brain’s decision-making process that happens in the subconscious.

Implement these techniques and see your conversion rates soar.

Solutions to Conversion Rate Obstacles

Employ insights-driven marketing by carefully analysing customer behaviour and preference data. By pouring over the numbers and understanding why and how your consumers interact with your offers, you’ll be able to more easily convince them your services are valuable.

Additionally, you can use the information to grow your business by creating supplemental products and services. You can use the data to inform your future campaign management system and marketing decisions, as well as empower your team to cross-sell or upsell more successfully.

A Word to the Wise, however: Carefully check the button labels and functionality on your website and see if they are resulting in conversions. Go over headlines or headings as well. See if the forms are customer-friendly and if there are any improvements you can make to the marketing copy and images on your webpages.

Effective Marketing Technology and Channels

Due to an influx of options; identifying which marketing technologies and channels to use can be a headache.

Start with conversion analysis tools. Good examples are Google Analytics, Website Optimizer, Website Testing Tools, BitBuckets, and Runa. If you are a heavy user of Facebook, Instagram, or other social media platforms, make sure to take full advantage of the analytics tools they provide their users.

If you are dealing with shopping cart abandonment, which is an ubiquitous issue for most e-commerce site owners – check out CafePress. This is an online shop that marketer Bryan Eisenberg worked on. It should give you plenty of useful ideas on how to improve your own shopping cart system.

Cohesive Customer Privacy and Security Plan

Online communications company, Zoom, are currently receiving coming under intense scrutiny for the mishandling of their customers’ private information and messages. And other big names such as Facebook and Google have not gone unscathed when user privacy is concerned. Learn from their mistakes and react – you have the power with your size to be faster. Ensure you have up-to-date privacy policies, advise users how you are using their data and keep it safe!

When you manage campaigns for your marketing plans, ensure that your consumers’ data is secure. Inform your customers that you are taking the necessary steps to keep their data safe. This will help with your brand trustworthiness as well as increasing conversion rates.

Key Takeaways for your Next Marketing Campaign

For marketing and campaign management to be successful and worth your ad spend, do not focus too much on traffic generation that you forget to allocate resources on targeting and conversion endeavours.

Make sure you dedicate planning time on all of the considerations outlined above in order to ensure a cohesive, cost-effective, and profitable marketing campaign.

April 22

10 Brand Development Strategies | Three Piece Marketing

Develop a smart strategy to build your brand and m [...]

Posted by Hamish

With everything going on in the world, it may seem hard to know how to build, let alone ensure your brand development is on track. And as you sit there contemplating everything deciding how to either arrest a fall in revenue or capitalise on new opportunities you may find that you start to second guess yourself. Working from home, (in ISO as has become the catchphrase) comes with inherent issues (and advantages) and one of these is that you don’t have the ability to bounce ideas off co-workers as easily as you do when face-to-face. In fact, you may find that as you start figuring out how to pivot that questions and issues start to cloud your mind and, because you don’t necessarily have a team around you to discuss things through like you would at work, you may find you are getting confused which direction to take.

WHAT should our logo look like as we evolve Does it need to change?

WHO are our target market now?

HOW should we position our business with the target market?

ARE we evolving?

WHAT differentiates my brand from the competition?

There will be plenty more of these and answers that seem to be just beyond your field of vision. The key is to take some time out and look at your brand development plan.

At Three Piece Marketing, we understand some of the skepticism surrounding brand development and marketing. After all, it is challenging to connect the dots between the people you are targeting and the product you are offering and at times people think it is as easy as having a great product and a solid offer. But the reality is it is more complex – customers expect end-to-end service which means you need to consider how your brand is perceived at all touch points, not just in the lead up to purchase. Given this, we wanted to give you an easy-to-follow guide to help you build your brand in what is likely to be one of the more challenging years you are likely to face.

#1 – Determine your brand’s purpose.

When you get down to the very heart of it, what is your brand all about? And no, it’s not just about the product or service that you’re selling. It’s who you are as a company and what great accomplishments you wish to achieve. There should always be at least one lofty goal that drives you forward in every decision you make as if it is too easy to achieve, you will never truly stand out.

So, ask yourself why you exist as a business. What makes you different from similar enterprises? What problems do you solve for your customers and, most important of all, why should people care?

Once you’ve figured out what gets you up every morning to do what you do, then you can start making plans for your brand development marketing. Make sure you have a story you can tell to your customers so they know what you stand for. IF you don’t have a story…. Why would they want to engage you?

#2 – Identify your target customers.

The whole world can’t be your client. Trying to keep up and deal with all the different customer profiles would drive your marketing and sales teams to distraction. Instead, you need to keep a narrow focus on those who would derive the most benefit from what you’re offering. Remember, the customer needs to be at the centre of all you do.

Get specific and find out details about the lifestyles and behaviours of your primary consumers. Determine why they look to buy from your industry and build a buyer persona that lists the characteristics of your target demographics. Determine their ages, locations, genders, incomes, and education levels.

Then, discover the motivations and pain points that compel them to take action. For brand development, Internet marketing can be a vital tool. So make sure your analysis takes into account usage trends including sites visited, social media, key influencers etc. Take all this information into account when formulating your marketing strategies.

#3 – Find out about your competition.

When you’re just starting out and you take a look at your more established competitors, you may feel you could never catch up and reduce the gap between their businesses and yours. But herein lies the key to success. You can learn from the mistakes they’ve made.

Study the competition and what worked for them, and pay special attention to what didn’t work. Their failures can provide you with invaluable insights that would be useful for your marketing brand strategies development. Create a spreadsheet that helps you compare the different aspects of each competitor’s brand identity, then note their success rates. Pay special attention to the quality and consistency of their messaging, and how customers respond to their marketing efforts.

#4 – List the qualities that are unique to your brand.

Once you’ve done your research on both your target customers and competitors, it’s time to identify what makes you different in the market. This difference should clearly set you apart from your competition while making you attractive to clients.

Don’t just focus on the apparent features of your products or services. Instead, determine the value that you offer in terms of experience. How will your service or product make things better for your customers? Why should people choose you over another business? Your responses will help determine the best way you can position yourself in your chosen industry.

After you’ve answered those questions, you can begin executing the rest of your brand development strategies marketing plan.

#5 – Define your Brand Identity

This part can be the trickiest (which is why we offer it as a current component of our portfolio) but it is definitely the most rewarding for your brand. Determining (or for established businesses, refining) your brand identity and as part of that your tone of voice ensures you have a platform for consistency, accuracy and delivery.

Ensure you interrogate yourself and your brand values thoroughly, so that what you get is not just what you want, but who you actually are. Involve others from the company where you can so you get a truthful and holistic view.

#6 – Create your messaging strategy.

As part of your brand identity you will define your tone of voice. You will have also, as part of this process developed a list of things you excel out, identified pain points and know what you want to do. The intersects of these areas becomes your marketing opportunity. Now it comes time to craft the right messages for your target audience.

Make sure you are keeping your messaging simple, that there is value for a customer and that you can back up what you say. Consistency, is the key to success – especially when it comes to brand development.

#7 – Create a content marketing strategy.

In the digital age, content marketing is shaping up to be more efficient than traditional marketing when it comes to increasing a company’s visibility and reputation. It’s because this branch of marketing makes use of educational content in order to attract and nurture leads. It provides value right away, so potential customers become more receptive to a brand’s efforts to make a connection.

When that connection is established, it becomes easier to build the trust needed to develop a relationship with a prospect, turning a potential customer into a loyal one.

#8 – Create or revisit your website.

Having your own website is one of the most important brand development tools you can employ. It is also a massive proof point – a destination where your audience go to find learn about you and what you offer. It also serves as a repository for the online content that you will use to engage your audience and improve your search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts.

You might be wondering if you really need a website when there’s social media. You can definitely post content on your accounts, but think about this: Do you really want to exclusively rely on a third-party platform you have no control over?

By all means, establish a social media presence. It’s great for reaching out to and interacting with customers. But having your own website is vital because it helps to establish your legitimacy and brand identity.

#9 – Create a marketing toolkit.

Develop other essential marketing tools for your business. These can include brochures, customer presentations, sales sheets, pitch decks, infographics, videos, etc. The information contained in these materials should highlight both your key offerings and brand identity. Make it easy for your sales teams to use and share these tools when interacting with clients.

#10 – Keep working at it.

The hard part’s over, right? You’ve already got your brand name, logo, tagline, website, and toolkit. You’ve done all your research and you know all about your customers as well as your competitors. Don’t take it easy yet. There’s still more work to be done.

This is where you keep close track of what’s working and what’s not working with your plan. Is your target audience responding favourably to your messaging? Is there any confusion about your brand positioning? Are you seeing successful results from all your efforts in building your brand?

Develop a system that will help you track the implementation of each stage of your plan so you can identify what aspects need to be adjusted in the future. Tracking will help you formulate better strategies that will, in turn, make your brand stronger.

 

If you would like any help with your overall brand development, or a specific item listed above, we’d love to have a chat. Send us an email and tell us a few details so we can get started.

January 17

The Digital Marketing Landscape. A 2019 Review | Three Piece Marketing

There’s been a lot that has shaped the digital mar [...]

Posted by Hamish Anderson

We’re almost at the end of the calendar for 2019 and hasn’t it been quite the year! There’s been a lot which has shaped the digital marketing landscape. As always, what the experts pitch as the things to watch in the year to come, often falls short of expectations or totally exceeds them, and this year the developments in social media, content marketing, PPC, and SEO are no exception.

What are we referring to we hear you ponder? Indeed, what are the most monumental things and latest marketing trends that have greatly influenced digital marketing in 2019?

Facebook Messenger Promotion

Before Facebook Messenger, there was email. Then there was SMS.

Marketers used to reach out to potential and existing customers by sending out emails to them but the truth is, unless you are taking the time to test, optimise and test again, the returns you are getting are unlikely to be anywhere near as good as you want them to be. For small business, promotional emails are mostly impersonal and generic, thus readers are usually turned off, making them tag the sender as spammer or prompting them to unsubscribe from the sender’s email list.

In reality, emails have low click-through and open rates, averaging only at 5 percent and 20 percent, respectively (although this can vary between industries). By relying solely on email, it can be difficult to acquire new customers or to inform buyers of an upcoming sale or the launching of your new product. No matter how much you try to personalise a generic message, if you’re not good with your email copy, the people in your email list will simply ignore your emails.

However, enter Facebook Messenger — a platform showing that there is an easy way to increase CTR and open rates; as high as 56 percent and 88 percent, respectively (according to digital marketing guru, Neil Patel). With around 15 million Australians glued to their mobile devices browsing through Facebook, an average of more than 20 minutes per day, it is hard to ignore the power of Messenger.

So what’s in it for you as a business?

Although Facebook Messenger works on basically the same concept as email marketing, what makes the former one of the most revolutionary digital marketing trends in 2019 is its high level of interactivity. You can send a personalised message to a prospect and you can expect an exchange of conversation in no time. And because of the conversational tone of Facebook and the fact it is within a platform that people have obvious comfort with, recipients are more likely to open the messages.

Furthermore, unlike email which requires manual interaction, Messenger’s allows bots, allowing you to create a series of automated responses to common questions usually asked by customers. There’s no need for you to type a response every single time someone asks something about your products and services. The bots can basically answer that for you. And, because Messenger bots work 24/7, you don’t have to worry about missing your clients’ queries while you’re sleeping or offline because the bots can handle those for you.

The rise of Visual Search

In an analysis conducted by popular Moz, it was found that image search is the second most common search performed in the USA, at approximately 26 percent. It follows text search which accounts for almost 60 percent of searches, and is followed by YouTube search at 3.71 percent. This means that more and more people are using photos now to search for new products or to locate a destination or to identify a brand or an item. This is quite incredible really. This rise has been driven by the ease with which people can take photos and search for them, and is facilitated by Apps such as Google Lens which can translate text, identify plants, find similar items and even tell you what meals are popular in a certain restaurant.

But what does it mean for you as a marketer or business owner?

Even though visual search is still in its early stages, we believe its growth will escalate quickly, especially as regards product discovery.

For instance, let’s imagine this: A woman sees a cute bag — one from your collection no less —on someone while she’s sitting on the train.  She can now take a photograph of the item and use an image search to find out the brand and model of the bag or better still, buy it from you then and there. It’s that easy and fast to seal a conversion – as long as you have your site set up correctly and are using meta data properly.  Ask us how if you want more details on how to skip ahead of what your competitors are doing.

Video Marketing – Entertaining the Masses

Ironically, and if you’re reading this, you will know what we mean, customers can get bored with lengthy, text-based content. That’s why everyone tries to spice up their game, using sub-headings, images, and even infographics to make their content more interesting to the readers.

But you have to keep evolving if you want to capture the attention of your target market. Above and beyond taking away a point of pain, you need to entertain. Step in video marketing. After all, humans love to digest video – whether it is on TV or streaming through their mobile, we love watching motion pictures. That is why video has been a steady climber this (and last) year. In fact, thanks to video marketing, companies have seen a significant increase in their traffic, leads, and conversions.

Through highly engaging and shareable videos, brands are enjoying a 41 percent increase in web traffic (when compared to those who don’t employ videos in their promotional efforts) and 135 percent growth in their Facebook organic reach.

The most common videos often shared are the educational and entertainment types, to help raise awareness of a new product or an upcoming promotion. These are usually uploaded on YouTube and Facebook and shared across different social media networks.

Another remarkable platform where you can engage existing and potential customers is through Instagram Stories. Brands have found the value in posting raw, more authentic and relatable clips that can be viewed for 24 hours only. This format allows you to post a lot of content without overwhelming your audience, thanks to the short time limit and 24-hour expiration. If customers are interested in what the story is about, they can simply send a message, thus, making the approach more organic rather than pushy, as what other promotions are.

But a word of caution: video marketing requires creativity and wide knowledge of the target market’s behaviour if you want to develop effective videos. There’s no point of sharing clips just so you can use videos as a marketing tool. You still need to be strategic and creative at the end of the day.

What’s next for 2020?

At the risk of sounding ironic, we will not make a prediction about the digital marketing landscape in 2020. We do know how marketing is undertaken now has been greatly influenced by artificial intelligence and data analytics. If you want to get ahead and be a trailblazer in any new format of digital marketing, it will be important to watch for the latest developments made by social media networks and experiment even at the beta stage (Facebook Libra anyone?). This way you have more room for learning and discovering what will work best to convert your audience from a mere prospect to an actual customer, or later on, an evangelist.

Here’s to the future though and a successful 2020!

January 17

How Chatbots Can Add Value to Your Business | Three Piece Marketing

A Chatbot can either be programmed to respond only [...]

Posted by Hamish

The term Chatbot is one you’ve likely heard countless times because let’s face it,  they’re nothing new really. In fact, they have been around for quite some time but, what makes them exciting is it was only recently that the technology has been enhanced to the point it can integrate and be utilised by conversation platforms and websites. In fact, thanks to continuous developments in artificial intelligence, chatbots have become smarter and now provide logical and more personalised answers to a person’s query.

Thus, it’s no wonder that more and more businesses are leveraging chatbot technology to improve how they provide services to their customers. If you haven’t moved this way yet, here are a few reasons why you should incorporate chatbots in your operations.

But first things first, let’s get to know what this new AI-driven technology is and how to create a chatbot.

 

What is a chatbot?

According to Gary Vela — CEO of Web Daytona, a Florida-based digital marketing agency—who spoke to Forbes for an article, a chatbot is an “… interactive applications designed to interact with humans through platforms, including messaging services such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber and WeChat, using text as a method of communication.

If you still are unsure, then chances are you have come across them before as they are commonly used in ecommerce websites, business pages in Facebook, and other similar platforms where you feel like you are chatting to a person in a pop-up chat window. But truth is, as likely as not you are chatting to a Bot, which provides automated yet human-like responses to common questions asked by customers.

For instance, let’s imagine a woman visits a restaurant page in Facebook and cannot immediately find the information she is looking for. Without a bot, she will need to send an email to the restaurant, asking her questions (and wait for a reply), or get on the phone to call. By Comparison, chatbot marketing, will allow the restaurant to send a reply immediately to her question, by selecting the most suitable answer from a pre-determined set of answers.

How do chatbots work?

Chatbots can either be programmed to respond only to very specific commands or can be powered by artificial intelligence where the bot learns from ongoing and numerous conversations it has with real people. You’ll notice if the chatbot you’re interacting with is the former since its responses seem robotic and when you ask a question it is not programmed to do, the bot will not reply or will give you vague automated answers since it doesn’t know what you mean.

Chatbots powered with AI, on the other, are much smarter since they can process language and semantics, not just commands. Even if you’re asking questions that it is not quite certain of, it will still provide you an answer that seems more intuitive and natural, almost like you are conversing with a real person. Voice assistance apps like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa are excellent examples of this type of bot.

Thankfully, today’s chatbot applications are simplified, allowing even the most novice computer user to set up their very own chatting machine. Facebook Messenger, for instance, offers a series of easy-to-follow tutorials and ready-made requisite apps to get your chatbot working. Here’s an example of a step-by-step Facebook chatbot guide that you can check out.

So, how do chatbots add value to your business?

It may seem the stuff of science fiction, but the truth is, correctly utilised, chatbot marketing will help you move your business forward. In a Salesforce report entitled State of the Connected Customer, 58 per cent of customers say their expectations of companies have changed due to the company’s use chatbots and voice assistance technologies, while 77 per cent say chatbots will transform their expectations of companies in the next five years. Indeed, it is evident that consumers now see the value of chatbots and how elemental they are in providing exceptional customer experiences.

Salesforce also reported in March 2019 that 23 per cent of companies currently use AI chatbots and 31 per cent plan to use chatbots within the next 18 months. It is our recommendation that you take advantage of this development by being one of those organisations who improve their customer service through chatting AI.

We cannot dismiss the fact that in today’s business world, chatbots are indispensable as they create a myriad of opportunities for growing businesses. Here are a few advantages to consider:

Lower operational costs

Instead of manually responding to queries from potential and existing customers, you can automate the task of dealing with customer enquiries through a chatbot. Whether people are asking about FAQs or specific things regarding their orders or a particular product, you can save so much time by designing your bot to cater to these types of questions. In turn, you and your team can use your time to focus on other important aspects of your business like strengthening your product or service.

Minimise human resources

You do not need someone to look at your messaging apps 24/7 since your chatbot can respond to any queries at any time of the day. Whether you are on a holiday or you’re sleeping at night time, you can have comfort in the fact that questions are being seen to in the background without the need for increasing your staff overheads.

Responses are also very easy to set up, thanks to advances in the AI-chatbot technology. That said, you can do the setup yourself and eliminate the need for a technical expert, thus allowing you to get rid of the additional cost of hiring a specialist.

Capture a lost market easily

Chatbots provide a convenient way of retargeting customers in order to improve your conversion rates. If you have customers who left some items in their shopping cart or if you find a person stuck in the middle of the customer journey, you can send them a message to remind them to complete their purchase through Facebook Messenger or any chat application that your customers are using.

Unlike email, personalised chats have higher click-through and open rates, averaging at 56 per cent CTR and 88 per cent open rate. Because of this, it is easier to reach your customers and increase your revenue simply by subtly prompting them to buy the product they are looking at. We recently covered this in our blog The Digital Marketing Landscape. A 2019 Review.

Improve customer service

Perhaps, the most obvious value that chatbots can bring to your business is the improvement of your customer service. With better query response times, customer satisfaction is also likely to increase. And, as responses are automated but human-like, you can ensure that there is no drop in the quality of response provided to hundreds or thousands of customers at any given time.

Time to leverage the power of chatbots

If you’re looking for ways to supercharge your new venture or to capture a particular segment in your target market, chatbots are definitely one of the best ways to do so. And with only a relatively small number of businesses taking advantage of this technology today, you can certainly benefit from being first to market.

If you want help, you’ve come to the right place. Give us a call today!