What is a content upgrade and how can it impact your conversion rates?

What is a content upgrade and why does it help you increase your conversion rates more than a lead magnet? Kevin McGrath from Beacon will explain you this and how you can create it with Beacon tips and tricks.

But before delving into the topic, let me start introducing you, Kevin McGrath.

About Kevin McGrath

Content Upgrade

Kevin is from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of Beacon, a plugin that can be used with WordPress to help you generate more leads.

He has a background in Design and initially ran a web design agency called Starfish for about 6 years. But he is now more focused on Marketing and Growth.

Through his webinar, he talks about:

Lead Generation

  • Every marketer looks for more leads to gain more clients. However, most people don’t buy on their first interaction.

Indeed, people like to do research before they make a purchase (web price comparisons, shipping rates..). If people spend a big budget, they will want to make sure they get it right. When you do your research, you want to find out things like: How does this company work like another business like mine? Can this company offer a solution to the problem that I’m facing?

  • As marketers, we want to help you with your research and also available and stay in touch with you through the course of that research.

We want leads and email addresses from people who are likely to buy from us in the future.

  • Better Leads.

Avoid having an email list of poor leads not interested in your products. This will be a waste of your time to target these people.

So, in order to get email addresses, marketers have been doing this for decades. If you give somebody something of value in exchange for their email address, they are more likely to give it to you. We can give something like an eBook in exchange for an email address.

Generally, when people offer eBooks, they do so on a dedicated landing page to offer the prospect a lead magnet. A lead magnet is essentially a downloadable piece of content like an eBook, or a whitepaper or something that is basically information-based that you are giving your prospects to help nurture to become your customer.

Now, there are two points in this strategy:

1. Landing Page

2. Lead Magnet.

content upgrade

The Problem with lead magnet strategy

The strategy is flawed. Basically, if you are putting a lead magnet up on a landing page, you are going to have to spend a lot of time preparing the content for that lead magnet.

  • Large lead magnet.

The lead magnet will have to be impressive and well package (100 pages long).

  • Another page to drive traffic to.

That’s a new page in your website. You are not having the benefit of, say, a blog post, that is already gaining lots of organic traffic. You are going to have to come up with a new traffic acquisition strategy, in order to drive customers to the page.

  • Visitors need to be ‘warmed up’.

Once your visitors get to the page, you are going to have to warm them up to get them to download an eBook and see its benefits. You are essentially starting from scratch.

  • Trying to appeal to everyone is another issue with this lead magnet strategy.

I’m sure, guys, to have familiar with various customers’ personas, various stages in the buying cycle. Say, you have 2 or 3 personas with their individual needs and problems that they want to resolve, each may be at a different stage of the buying cycle. Some may not know you at all and others may know you well and just need a gentle reminder note.

  • eBooks aren’t anymore the new kids on the block.

They have been around for a while and as marketers tend to overdo these strategies with this as soon as we see some success with that. People have become jaded with the overall eBook strategy and do not take the time reading a lengthy book.

But don’t worry, there is a solution to that.

the SOLUTION WITH content upgrade system strategy

content upgrade

A content upgrade is a targeted resource for individual blog posts.

So, instead of having a dedicated landing page for a big eBook type of resource, it’s just a bonus offered as part of a blog post. You will place this free bonus just after the introduction of the blog post in a centred embedded box for better results. If you click on the box, you will get a pop-up asking for your details. It will bring you to a checklist or short 1-3 pages long content.

  • So, a content upgrade is a short actionable download like a checklist or resource guide.
  • It will build on the subject of the blog post.

So, the blog post is the theory and the free bonus is the practical application of that theory. So, you are educating people with the blog post. They are already interested in and read it and you are helping them to implement the advice in the blog post with your download.

  • It’s just a simple strategy and that’s why it’s so effective. You basically capitalise on that existing blog traffic.
  • It is also very targeted as related to a blog post for a specific persona at a specific stage in the buying cycle.

After anyone downloaded that targeted content, you can segment them as, for example, ‘a copyrighter who is interested in SEO’ if that’s the blog topic.

  • When you have that extra information, you are more likely to sell and market to them more appropriately in the future.

So, they are more likely to purchase his premium products from him.

  • But most importantly, this content upgrade system strategy results in high conversion rates.

Your conversion rate is essentially the percentage of people that come to your blog post and give you their email address. For eg, if you have 100 people visiting your page and 10 people downloading your content, you have a conversion rate of 10 %, The higher conversion rate is, the more efficiently you are using your traffic. It means the fewer resources, i.e time and money, you will have to spend driving traffic to your blog posts. So optimising for conversion rates is important. You can generate between 5 and 16 times more leads for your business. It’s a life-long evergreen strategy.

So, why is it working? You are offering something is short.

  • It’s a short article. Most people are more likely to download something short as they have a short attention span.
  • It’s useful. It is directly related to the blog post to help implement tactical and practical advice. It helps reader getting closer to the goals they want to achieve.
  • Because this is part of a blog post, readers are already engaged. The next part is to convince them that you can help them further by doing the content upgrade. People are more likely to opt-in when they are already engaged.

People tend to ignore pop-ups when they scroll down the page. So, if you can include your call-to-action within the main flow of the blog post, you will see better results. I would say to use the in-line forms.

Actually, LeadPages did some research into the number of clicks required to opt-in. They said that the two-staged call-to-action is more effective/ than the single stage one and perform better in terms of conversions. So, if you show an email box with an input form straightaway, people will try to avoid it.

So, before we move on, I’d like to recap.

What is the difference between a content upgrade and a lead magnet?

Content Upgrade Lead Magnet
 

  • Embedded within a blog post
  • Builds on the content of a blog post
  • Is short
  • Is actionable
  • Uses existing traffic
  • Prospect is nurtured by the blog post (more qualified traffic)
  • Has high conversion rates
 

  • Has a dedicated landing page
  • Lies on a standalone content
  • Is long
  • Is educational
  • Has new traffic required
  • Prospect needs to be convinced by the landing page
  • Has lower conversion rates

 

Content upgrades should be part of your blogging routine and go along with it.

So, your blogging strategy probably looks like this:

Content Upgrade

What I’m proposing is that you add an extra step to that process:

Content Upgrade

I want to show you how you can create these content upgrades.

Beacon can help to speed up the content upgrade strategy for you. I want to show you time-saving tips to implement these content upgrades into your blog posts quickly.

Beacon Time-Saving Tips and Tricks

  • Set up brand colours. This is quickest overly most overlooked feature within Beacon.
  • Create a re-usable content library, so that you can drop in any pieces of content into any content upgrades you create in the future.
  • Create a re-usable template so that you can create your branding and keep re-using it, instead of having to work from scratch every time.

So, in Beacon’s normal interface, I create a workbook with one of our standard templates. The template contains a cover page, a short introduction, a worksheet with some questions to answer. This kind of school-like exercise helps people think about strategic things by working through the process on their own. The content upgrade finishes with a call-to-action.

  • If you choose that template, go through each page to see what you can customise for your business. First thing, you are going to have to change that logo. You will need to pick your brand colour on all pages to get the colour scheme in line with my brand. I would advise a more sullen kind of colour but there is no colour to avoid.

Obviously, that’s not ideal. So I want to show you this trick. It is buried a little bit under the document settings (4th icon down the left-hand side). Once you click on it, it will open this ‘default styles’ panel. You will notice that the colour template is set up for you. This means that if you set up your template colours, this will be updated throughout the document.

  • What you are going to find in content upgrades is that you may be re-using certain types of content in every single content upgrade that you make.

One example of that would be an ‘about the author’ page to give readers context about who prepared the content upgrade. Why should they trust you? The purpose is to nurture prospects into qualified leads.

Let’s create an ‘about the author page’. Underneath the first ‘pages’ tab, I’m going to click on the ‘Add New Page’ button. I’ll look for a text focused page template. I’ll filter that. I’m going to choose the two columns layout. I’ll include an image. It’s always good to add an image of the author. I’ll also add some information from social media in a headline box/card at the bottom.

Every time I make a content upgrade, I don’t want to go through all those steps each time. Instead, I’m going to go to ‘Pages’ tab, then click on the 3rd button down ‘Page settings’. Then I’ll click on the ‘Convert’ button under ‘Convert this page into a template’. I’ll save that template and refresh the page. So, next time you click on ‘Add New Page’, you will have your template saved if you scroll down the templates.

  • How to convert an entire publication into a reusable template. I want to show you how to convert a document into a template.

Let’s create a re-usable template as a starting point. We are not going to have a worksheet in each template, so let’s delete that. You can your logo/image. You will be able in a week time to save image library as well.

To convert this into a reusable template, I’m going to click on ‘Document Settings’ tab on the left-hand side and click on the ‘Convert’ button. I’ll give this template a name and save it. Then I’ll leave the editor, go back to the ‘Dashboard’. When you go and click on the ‘Create New’ button, then ‘New Editor’. This will lead you to the ‘Pick your Magnet’ screen to choose a template. Let’s say we create a ‘Checklist’, select ‘No’ to import content. Then, on the next screen for ‘Choose a theme’, scroll down to the bottom and you’ll find your re-usable template. Then, you’ll click on ‘Add New Page’, filter for the checklist and add what you saved.

Note: Some of the features that I did show you are Premium Features. The part where I showed you the convert templates (page and document), you need a paid account to use that feature. However, the brands and colours are available for free. To justify going for a paid account, you will get exclusive bonuses.

EXCLUSIVE BONUSES

These will be available to you if you upgrade to a paid account after this webinar (Kevin will be notified once you do so). For that, just shoot an email to Kevin so that he can send them to you.

  1. Lead Magnet Learning Pack is a swipe file of 13 content upgrades used on our blog to help Beacon grow to 25000 users. This is a good source of inspiration for a content upgrade to make. They are all different in design.
  2. Expert Audio Interview with Laura Roader, founder of MeetEdgar. Laura has grown to 7 figures business. She developed a software product that uses content marketing, content upgrades and lead magnets to grow her business. I’ll be sharing with you some of the strategies she uses.
  3. Free Beacon Template Design that I will personally design for to your business worth $1000. I’ll have a consultation with you to understand your needs (2-3 days work).

If you have any questions, drop an email to Kevin@beacon.by and he will be more than happy to follow-up with you individually.

To finish off with this talk, you want to watch its demo and presentation:

Finally, if you are interested in, you may explore these 30 Content Upgrade Ideas to Grow Your Email List (Updated).

How to optimise your website performance for marketers and developers

WEBSITE PERFORMANCE

I signed up for a Learn Inbound Marketing event a few months ago and I must say the content of the Website Performance – A marketing priority presentation was outstanding! It also complements very well my previous blog post on how to understand your website traffic data with Google Tag Manager.

Website performance

This presentation delivered by Emily Grossman is divided into 6 topics:

  1. Definition and importance of web performance to marketers

2. Why might it be valuable for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)?

3. Why do we suck at this?

4. Measuring performance

5. Auditing performance through Lab tests and Real User Metrics tests (RUM)

6. Optimising your site, your UX (user experience) and your Business.

If you prefer listening to a podcast than reading, please find the presentation recording below.

If you have a more visual memory, you will find the podcast transcript and PDF presentation further in this article.

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

1.Definition and importance of web performance to marketers

  • Definition

What is web performance? Performance is the speed in which web pages are downloaded and displayed on the user’s web browser. Web Performance Optimisation (WPO) or website optimisation is the field of knowledge about increasing web performance.

  • Why is that important to marketers?

Let’s go back to Maslow’s modernised hierarchy of needs with Wifi access added to the pyramid. People feel that slow wifi is worse than no wifi at all. Waiting for something to load is stressful and annoying. And as marketers in general, we try not to piss off the people, who make us money. So you can see why this might be a problem.

But even if we look at it quantitatively, this could be a really big problem, like 10% of your audience lost. Luckily, the flipside of this is that when we do well with delivering great experiences to our customers at a fast pace, they also reward us. We get:

  • an increase in our conversion rate and engagement
  • a decrease in bounce rates in orders on the e-commerce site
  • an increase in conversions amongst new customers.

This can translate to real money. It can an increase in revenue and in customer spending.  So performance can really be valuable for marketers.

2. Why might it be valuable for SEO?

In terms of SEO, earlier this year, people announced something called the ‘speed update‘. Basically, it is a new update to the algorithm that adds a ranking impact to sites based on the site’s speed in mobile search results for the first time.

However, this update only impacted slow sites. The idea was that if you were really slow, you might get demoted. If you were super fast, it wouldn’t impact you. Actually, I would say, the speed of your site performance is critical for searches because it impacts their experience in an interesting way when viewing a search contact.

If you imagine that all the sites in Google are like products in a grocery shop, you’ll know that your competitors are right next to you in breathing. If your product is broken and busted, leaking all over the place, nobody wants to deal with it. Not only will you lose that customer but they will probably put money right into the pocket of your competitors who are lurking there.

So, there are tons of reasons to care about performance. As marketers, you would think that the web would be blazingly fast but that’s not true. In fact, Nicola did this incredibly intensive study in the UK. She looked at 1000 of the top UK domains and found that a lot of them were really struggling.

They were struggling to provide an interactive experience to the users in less than 10 seconds. Irish websites can be on this struggle bus, too, at getting a navigation up to users in a reasonable amount of time on different networks.

3. Why do we suck at this?

It’s hard. A developer evangelist posted a blog post detailing all the challenges that the developers are going through right now in 2018. A huge section is about optimising a website for performance.

I’d like to focus on 2 main issues:

  • Developers don’t know what the goals they need to aim for are.

Indeed, developers do not have all the information about their user base and the impact their decisions have on them. But marketers love user base data collection and impacts.

  • How do we fix slow web performance?

Today, I would like to talk about involving marketing in this conversation around measuring performance, auditing performance and optimising performance.

4. Measuring WEBSITE performance

Measurements are just actually a proxy for feelings. But how do we know what a fast experience feels like? Can we associate that with something else?

Google has done a good job at labelling what kinds of things users might be looking for, indicators that things are moving along quickly and fastly from experience.

They want to know: ‘Is it happening? Is it useful? Is it usable?’ If we understand that these are our users’ expectations, we can start to associate various measurements with those feelings. Those measurements might have interesting different names, things like ‘First Contentful Paint’, ‘First Meaningful Paint’, ‘Time to Interactive’.

But what we are really trying to figure out for these users is: ‘Do they know that it is happening? Do they know that it is useful? Do they know that it’s usable?’

As marketers, getting involved in these conversations allows us to make our measurements truly meaningful to us when we get them back to our engineers. It also helps engineers to know:

‘What matters at the marketing level? Does this content need a picture loaded for it to feel meaningful or is that image irrelevant?’ These are the kinds of decisions we have to make hand-in-hand with our developers.

5. AUDITING WEBSITE PERFORMANCE

We know what we want to measure but how do we do that? This is very tricky and in general in-performance optimisation tasks. For this, we are looking at and going to do two different kinds of measurements:

  • Lab tests or simulated tests
  • Real User Metrics tests (RUM).
  • Lab tests sometimes referred to as ‘simulated tests’.

There are lots of different tools that will allow you to do these lab tests. Basically, what you are doing is inputting a URL. Then, you are getting out some information from a simulated test environment. There’s a machine somewhere that says:

‘We are going to try and simulate what a user might experience over various different connections or the connection that you set yourself. We will give you back some results.’

You might get back something like this from a Lab test. It’s a set of ‘timings’ that are going to indicate some of the measurement that we talked about before. You can certainly set those up yourself as well.

You might also get what looks like a film strip. The ‘film strip’ shows you what is visually happening while those calculations are made. In the case of webpage test, which is the tool I’m using to show you information.

Another alternative is to get ‘waterfall‘. It allows you to view large sites/pages. Those little bars show you the requests you made. You can see that in a lot of cases, there’s a lot of Javascript, some CSS and some images. These are the building blocks that make up your site. These tools can help you segment each individual request so that you know how long each request is taking.

So, there is a benefit in running lab test. There’s almost no set up required. You can input a URL and go, which means it’s also very easy to track your competitors.

Because you can test pages before they launch, you can see how certain pages are going to run ahead of time. You can also do interesting tasks with the controlled ‘variables‘.  So, if you want to test something before it goes live like adding or removing something, you can see what happens.

You don’t have to deal with other variables in the real world. You can also test for things on multiple networks and compare how things changed when you moved to, say, a 4G network connection to a 3G network connection.

However, the problem with these lab tests is that they can be hard to scale and keep current. We are doing everything at the URL level. They can be automated but it takes some manual labour. You often have to run multiple tests to get some real results.

So, in webpage test, for eg, we’ll run 3 tests and take the median results, to get rid of our data layers. Because there are no variables, we have issues understanding the real impact on our users. If we are testing on 4G but 75% of our users access the internet through a 3G connection, how much is that telling us?

It can also be really difficult to measure these pages when they are dynamic. When they are having ads changing sizes, we are also not getting an understanding of how things look like for users. What we are testing with our users is their experience. It’s actually what we were talking about with Google Tag Manager (GTM) before. We want to track how far our user gets down our page with GTM.

  • Real User Metrics tests (RUM)

With Real-User Performance Monitoring, we want to check how far along the loading process our users are getting. So, the deal you get back gets a little bit different.

Suddenly, your performance metrics are not a single number but a widespread of numbers. You can break these down by dividers but there’s no real way around it. You are going to get a lot bigger spread of numbers when you look at real users.

Sometimes it’s easier to break down this data into a table. For eg, in this table, we can see that 10% of our users are struggling to get time to interact in less than 12.6 seconds. This is the kind of information we can use to truly understand what is going on with our user base in a real-world context.

There are pros and cons to this table.

  • Pros:

The pros are the inverse of the lab tests. It’s very scalable. It’s great for seeing the customer pains in real-time. We don’t have to run the test every so often, it just comes in as our users do.

  • Cons:

This is going to require a lot more engineering support to set up. You have to load some software, put some ‘event tracking‘ to understand what’s happening. You also have to deal with the ‘survivorship bias‘. This is an issue, where for us to understand how long it took somebody to get time to interact, you actually have to get to ‘time to interactive’.

If your webpage is so slow that people are willing to weed it out, you are not going to get these data points as they are waiting for the page to load. This is important to understand and measure against your lab tests as well. There are also some issues with variables. There are a lot more processes involved with this data in your marketing procedure.

But if you are thinking it may be nice to look at this RUM data and the lab testing together, then you would be right. In fact, most organisations that do some sort of ongoing performance optimisation will involve a cycle like this. Where they will write code, test it in the lab to make sure that it meets their standards. Then they’ll deliver it to their users, validate that data with RUM to make sure that users are experiencing the lift they predicted in the lab.

I also think it’s important to combine your lab and RUM test when it comes to auditing. And here is why.

When you think about what your developers can do right now, they can add it to a lab test data. They can understand what are the real users’ pains but also what we do think this website could be. Where are the potential issues that we are seeing in our lab tests? Remember that the developers could potentially do that and what they really need is information from ourselves about who our users are, what our user base looks like and the impact of their potential changes.

So, if you can, later on, look for the analytics information about:

  • the traffic to your site or maybe more specifically
  • the search traffic to your site
  • your conversion rates and maybe even your click-through-rate (CTR) from your search console.

You would then start understanding what’s important and start helping developers to prioritise. You could also develop with them an ‘efforts’ squad. This made-up squad will help you understand how much work it will take to improve your performance on those various pages.

Then, at the end of your audit, you have an understanding of how bad shit sucks, but also what are the most important pieces of content/page templates/URLs for you to try and fix first.

Today, I hope that you are able to understand that performance isn’t just about improving your site speed. This is only part of the performance optimisation process.

6. Optimising your  website – actual speed

I also want to open your mind to the idea that site optimisation can be about optimising your business and its processes. this will ensure that over time you develop a culture that is going to prioritise improving your performance metrics.

Now, when you are working on optimising your performance in your organisation, most of you are not going to be coding these improvements yourself. You are going to be working with a development team.

How to not motivate your developers:

The number one thing not to do with developers is just giving them tasks, assignments and they’ll resent you forever.

How to motivate your developers:

Remember that developers are problem-solvers. So, if you frame your request as a problem statement instead of a command, you have much more success with your development team. Let them in on your goals, give them access to your users’ information. That’s what they want and need to be empowered and successful.

But if you are worried about what they are going to do when they get their hands on the site and start working on this goal of improved performance:

‘it mostly boils down to ship less stuff to your customers and what you do ship, try and deliver it in an optimal order.’

I love this quote by Patrick Meenan, creator of webpagetest.org because you go and read decades-old books on performance optimisation, so much of them still hold true.

I also want to spend some time talking about some of the noddy requests that, we, as marketers, will make to our development teams. Because I want to make sure we are aware of the performance impact of those requests so that when we are making those requests, we understand what we are asking them to do.

Images are still the number one cause of bloat on the web because we love images. If you would like to know what it is like to optimise images on your site, please read this extensive guide. We read it all through and find all the different ways the developers have had to clean up after us in our giant image requests. It’s really interesting.

But let’s move to something called ‘Third-Party Scripts‘. They are translated as things like ads, analytics, widgets, things that can be embedded into any sites that come from a 3rd party source. We, marketers, love to pop things into a website.

But remember that asking developers to do this is like asking them to put a loudspeaker on a finely tuned car. You can optimise the car as much as you like. It’s not going to fix the fact that there’s a loudspeaker on top. So, the real question we need to ask ourselves as marketers is: ‘Do we really need the loudspeaker?’ Before we go and make supplementary requests, we need to be aware that developers can’t always control what it will do on the other end.

Now, a few days ago, someone in the SEO space made a great post about how we can go into the development tour’s part of Chrome and check how many requests from our site are actually coming from third-party scripts.  Through Chrome Dev, you can also run a site speed. You can see on a simulated test how much site speed improvement do we get from turning those off. When you do this, you’ll probably figure out just how much pain your users are feeling, not because of these extra scripts you keep adding to your site.

This is something you can also do on webpage test. You can see in side-by-side ‘film strip views’ how fast your site might get without your scripts. You can then go back and look out all the things you’ve requested on your site and clean them up.

The other thing that can be sometimes an issue with third-party scripts is when they are rendered blocking. ‘Render Blocking Scripts‘ are special. They prevent the webpage from being displayed until they are downloaded and processed themselves. They are like roadblocks that come in and say ‘Wait for me, I’m important’.  You might actually want your CSS to be rendered blocking because you don’t want your users to see a flash of unstyled text. You want them to see it the way it’s supposed to look.

But there are some other scripts we sometimes add to our sites that shouldn’t be render blocking, as they cause huge delays. Some of those are ‘A/B Testing Scripts‘.  Most A/B Testing tools will default to being rendered on the client’s side. What this means is your website says’ Hey, there’s a user here we want us to send the website test’. And then they go and get the website from the server. Then, the server comes into the browser and says ‘Hey, I’ve got the website’. The browser then edits the site. It inserts the Javascript it’s using to make changes to the site and then renders it for the user. This part can take some time to be executed.

The other option that you might have is something called ‘Server-Side Experimentation’. If you are doing A/B Testing, you want to see if this is an option for you because it can cut down substantially on load times. In this case, the experiment decisions are made. Then, when it gets sent back to the browser, the browser doesn’t have to submit extra processing time making that decision.

Another thing I want to briefly mention is that Google Tag Manager can also sometimes be rendered blocking. If you want to make sure that the decisions you are making in your GTM aren’t going to cause delays to your site, you need to make sure that not only is the Tag Manager loaded asynchronously (not render blocking) but also that all the things it’s doing aren’t  going to block render as well.

The other thing that you might come across as a marketer are these very interesting new websites entirely built with Javascript frameworks. They have fun names such as React, Angular, Amber, Preact… You might consider working with your developing team to figure out whether they should do something called ‘Client-Side Rendering‘ (CSR) or ‘Server-Side Rendering‘ (SSR).

  • Client-Side Rendering

I’d like to talk about the impact this has on loading. In a CRS situation, the servers are responsible for the browser. The browser downloads the Javascript and executes it. The whole page is now viewable and interactive.

  • Server-Side Rendering

SSR can be a little bit different.in this instance, the server is already sending some rendered HTML to the browser. The browser can then render. The browser downloads the Javascript executes it and now the page in interactive. It’s important to think about how you might perceive the SSR approach to be faster (image shows up sooner). But we have to remember that there is a potentially a delay between when the content is viewable and when the page is interactive. This means that you can get something that looks like a visually ready page but when you tap on a button, it’s actually not responding to you.

This is the problem we sometimes run into with SSR content. To solve this, we need to do something called ‘Code splitting‘, which essentially breaks out that Javascript into small pieces. This will focus on executing one piece of inactivity at a time so that we can load something much faster than that whole Javascript file.

The other things you can do are optimising for that ‘Repeat Views‘. So, if someone hits your website for the first time, there’s not a lot of things you can do to serve them. But what if they are coming back for the second time? It is possible for us to change things so that we don’t actually have to go back to the Internet every single time we want to get ‘assets‘? can we actually save that information on their device?

There’s a new technology called ‘Service Worker‘ API.  It is about to be supported in Safari and allows us to do just that. With the ‘Service Worker’, you can actually intercept those requests and store some items in your Service Worker cache. Then, if the user needs them again, we can just go to the cache. This can save a lot of repeated load time.

The last thing I want to leave with you in this section is a process called ‘Resource Hinting‘. It is using our users’ downtime to start downloading assets we know they are going to need for the next page.

So, imagine you own a business that sells cat toys and you have a giant page of cat toys. You know that at the end of that page, the user is probably going to click on your check-out page that contains a giff image. You like that image and don’t want to sacrifice it. But you think nobody is getting to my check-out page from anywhere else. They have to be on the resale cat toys page first. So, while the user is spending time browsing back, can I start to download that cat giff for the next page and just save it until they click that button? Yes, you can and that’s through something called ‘Resource Hint‘. If you can predict where the user is going to go next, you can actually start downloading assets for that next page ahead of time and save them.

7. Optimising UX – user perception

I talked about how measurements are proxy for feelings and in some cases, we may have difficulty influencing those metrics. But if we can impact the user’s feelings, that’s still ok. We may bypass the proxy but we can still read the end results., the improved conversions and engagement…

So, I want you to think about two different kinds of queues you have been in your life. There’s a queue that moves really slow and another one that moves really fast. I think about two processes.  I think about when I am at Dublin airport and have to wait for an hour and a half. There’s a painfully long process versus when I go to a restaurant in London. In fact, the quoted waiting time is the exact same in the airport and in the restaurant.

The difference is that at the restaurant they shuffle you in different places: outside, sitting down in a place inside, then going to the bar to have a drink. Then they send you to a different bar before sitting you at a table. By the time you are done, you think ‘Hey, that is really fast’. but isn’t. It’s just that you are constantly in an active state. Things are still happening. If you are still walking and moving into that queue, you feel like it gets fast, even if you are waiting just as long. You can use this same tactic when it comes to your users.

So, the next time you log into Slack, think about what Slacks does when they shuffle you through different states. When they put you in an active state, they are making you forget how long it’s actually taking for their product to load.

This is also the same principle behind skeleton screen, you get this kind of flash of something that looks like content and it changes our mind. You start thinking ‘Hey, maybe I’m ready for content now’. It gives you just that extra to time to get users into a state to make them feel they are not waiting that long. But on an even more practical level, your standard progress bars can feel slower or faster depending on how they are designed. There’s a great study with stylised different progress bars. They track users ‘ perception based on those progress bars. They found out when they animated backwards bars on the progress bars, they felt faster to users than the standard progress bars.

8. Optimising your business – priorities and process

The last thing I want to touch on is how to optimise your business for future success. It’s really important for your business that you rally everyone behind this effort.

So, that means you have to simplify your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). You must understand everything you want to measure. But what are the two KPIs that really affect your bottom line? When you associate them with money, to make sure that everybody in your organisation understands how important 200 milliseconds really means. Once you have this culture of everybody in the organisation knowing how important these 200 milliseconds are, you will find that people will start asking questions like ‘Can we afford it?

When the marketing team wants a script implemented, everybody wants to know ‘What does that do to our load time? How much is that going to cost us in users?’

When you have those situations where you can’t compromise, you have to compromise on something that isn’t performance. That can be really challenging. But ultimately when you are able to tie your performance decisions back to your bottom line, that’s something you can do. Even the BBC says that in peak use times when their servers are overloaded and things are getting incredibly slow, they are willing to sacrifice a lot of marketing features on their site for the sake of performance. Tha’s because they know that one second added is 10% of their audience.

So, I hope you can start thinking about what time can mean to you. Does it mean 300 000 $ in revenue? Does it mean 800 million £ every year in increased customer spending? How much are you leaving on the table by not investing in performance?

Finally, for those who would like to download the PDF document containing more visuals and her contact details, click on the link below:

Web performance PDF presentation

How to understand your website traffic data with Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager

I signed up for a Learn Inbound Marketing event a few months ago on Google Tag Manager data insights!

The presentation delivered by Tom Bennett is divided into 5 topics:

  1. Understand and invest in your data
  2. The challenges of engagement traffic
  3. Google Tag Manager can help us improve our data collection
  4. Smarter segmentation
  5. Work with your developers.

Since it is quite technical, I recommend you to sign up for Google Tag Manager and follow the process he is talking us through.

If you have a more audio or visual memory, you will find the podcast transcript and powerpoint presentation further in this article.

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

1. Understand and invest in your data

Google Tag Manager helps you measure success in Google Analytics.

If you take away only one thing from this evening, it’s understanding and investing in your data.

Google Analytics is designed to work well. Out of the box implementation with zero customisation, it’s very easy to set up.

But let’s be honest, ‘the one size fits all’ approach to marketing is rarely the best. Indeed, the needs of your business and the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)  of your website are unique.

Consequently, data collection is crucial for the entirety of the analysis process. It doesn’t matter:

  • how many segments you build
  • or how  many goals you define,

if you mess up your data collection, it will screw up every other stage, too. So, what the value of the insights your analytics software will give you is directly tied back to the investment you have made in data collection at first stage of the whole process.

So, today I’m going to run through few examples of how a smart implementation of Google Tag Manager (GTM) can dramatically improve the relevance and quality of the available data in Google Analytics.

There are no magic bullets, but I hope everyone here will be able to take away at least one technique they weren’t previously aware of and get some of the value from it.

2. The challenges of engagement traffic 

So, we are going to start with engagement tactics, specifically content engagement, because so many organisations are stuck trying to answer meaningless questions like ‘why is that Bounce Rate so high?’

The problem with that is that you see reports saying things like ‘Our content is really good because our sitewide’s average bounce rate is down to 10%’. But this statement is worse than misleading and is often inaccurate.

in fact, many people who use Bounce Rate as the primary KPI don’t actually understand what Bounce Rate is measuring. The effect of this is that the individuals are encouraged to fix the metric rather than the underlying problems, which are of course unique to your site.

So, let’s refresh ourselves with the definition of a Bounce Rate.

Google finds a single page session calculated as only being a single request through the analytics server. What that typically means is that a user arrives and leaves your site via a single page without doing anything on any other pages in-between.

It’s important to remember that sessions are really these fictional constructs Analytics come up with when it processes your data.

Analytics doesn’t know how long a user spends looking at a particular page. It doesn’t set any kind of timer to measure when a session started and when it ended. All it has is this raw hit data:

  • pageviews
  • events
  • transactions.

From this data, it extrapolates and builds this arbitrary notion of a session, which starts and ends after 30 minutes of inactivity (a time gap between hits, midnight or a campaign change).

Now, incidentally, this is why if you commit the sin of tagging your internal links with UTM parameters, you generally see a very high Bounce Rate on most pages. Navigation via those links will result in a new session starting.

So, in order to calculate, divide as the ‘average time on page’, it actually measures how long it takes until the next page is received. To get the session duration, it just measures the time between the first and the last ‘hit‘ in that session.

So, when it uses ‘Bounces’, GA doesn’t have enough data to generate all those metrics it reports such as average time on page, for example.

Indeed, there is no second hit it can measure against to calculate ‘time on page’, which is why it’s not a really good metric to use as your sole KPI, especially when used in aggregate. It becomes meaningless because the questions we can’t answer are substantial.

We don’t know what the user did on the page, how valuable they are to us as potential customers. We don’t even know either if:

  • the website functions properly on that device
  • they read every single word of that content and
  • they bookmarked it to come back later.

Ultimately we lack data.

3. Google Tag Manager can help us improve our data collection

A smart implementation of Google Tag Manager (GTA) is necessary.

  • CONTROLLING AND TWEAKING THE BOUNCE RATE

So, we will stick to the ‘Bounce Rate’ for a while because it demonstrates some good points. You do have control over the bounce rate calculation.

Indeed, you can control which hits will affect Bounce Rate(BR) and which don’t. To illustrate this point, this is an example of a client I recently on-boarded. They received a 0% BR on most of their pages and couldn’t figure out why.

Ultimately, what happened is the development team, which configured not just the standard page but also an ‘Event‘ that fired when all the dependent resources on the page were ready (images, skyscrapers…).

Consequently, it was impossible to have a single hit session because every page viewed was firing two hits. That’s the same principle why really bad WordPress implementations will often see low Bounce Rate because you get duplicate tracking code, i.e two hits per page.

But don’t worry, you can control which ‘events’ effect the Bounce Rate by using the ‘Non-Interaction Hit‘ Flag. You can set this very easily in GTM when you are configuring your ‘event’ tag to  ‘Non-Interaction Hit’ to ‘True’. The BR for the page, on which this ‘event’ fires will be calculated as if the event wasn’t there.

So, for example, if you absolutely have to fire an event when an auto-playing video starts, just set ‘Non-Interaction Hit’ to ‘True’ and the BR will be calculated as if our second hit wasn’t there and would be more accurate.

This idea of using ‘events’ to control our BR plays nicely into the whole idea of ‘On-page Engagement Tracking‘, in a single page new session for eg.

A lot of people started using some of GTM built-in triggers to try and manipulate the BR. For example, GTM has a ‘Timer‘ trigger and by using that, you can avoid relying on GTM arbitrary ‘time-on-page’ calculations.

But one trigger I’m really fond of is the new ‘Element Visibility‘ trigger. To illustrate my point, I picked random examples from the Learn Inbound website. Let’s say you have strategically distributed throughout your longer pieces of content ‘Calls-to-Action‘ like this email sign-up widget.

You may be interested in who is getting to that position in your content or preventing people who got that far through your guides from being counted as Bounces.

If you strategically position these kinds of elements at different positions throughout your various page types, then the ‘element visibility’ trigger can be a powerful way to take advantage of this.

So, we’ll set up a trigger now. As you can see, it lets us define an ‘event’ based on either an ID or a CSS selector. We have control over when this trigger will fire. We can set it to fire when the element is on-screen for a certain duration as your user scrolls through your content. Or it has to be visible for a certain percentage of the element in the ‘View post’. You can even control how many times it will fire if the element appears multiple times per page.

So, in this example, we use this trigger and other triggers to fire an ‘event’ when someone starts scrolling through our content. Obviously, that would be a ‘Non-Interaction Hit’ trigger, when they view the ‘call-to-action’ and then when they reach the footer.

So, by drilling down to a particular page and then viewing this kind of ‘event’ data, it can be very powerful in allowing us to get a sense of who is actually reading our content versus just bouncing immediately.

It can also be segmented by audience types and page to give us insight. This way, we can actually stir our internal linking or content strategy, based on what we learnt about which pages people are engaging with. It can be specific to your other page types. So, needless to say, it goes much further than tweaking the Bounce Rate.

  • TAILORING YOUR DATA COLLECTION METHOD AROUND THE PAGE TYPES

Your data collection method needs to be tailored not just to your business but to that different page types, the different page types of content on your site.

As an example, we are going to look at ‘Interactive Content‘. It’s an interactive piece of content marketing which lets you calculate the heating costs for their home. You can select your ‘Room Types’, ‘Sizes’ and ‘Glazing’. Then it will give you an approximate cost for heating.

Now, in a classic example of ineffective communication between marketing and developing teams, this was pushed out of the door with very little consideration given to its tracking requirements.

It is a shame because GTM is really good at letting us track high relevant interactions that would be taking place on a piece of content like this. Interactions which are very relevant to the kind of audience we are trying to appeal to with this content.

One of the best ways that allow us to do that is with the ‘Custom Event‘ trigger type. In practice, you will ask your developers to implement a piece of Javascript code into your Application. This will push an ‘Event’ to the ‘Data Layer’. All it does is provide us with something that we can listen for at the other end in GTM.

In this instance, we have touched the ‘Data Layer’.push’ in the ‘Event’  and we have pulled ‘CalculatorGo’.  To listen for this as a trigger in GTM, all we do is set up a ‘Custom Event’ trigger. Then, name the ‘Event’ that will appear in ‘Data Layer’ ‘CalculatorGo’.  We can use this to fire a Google Analytics Event Tag, so we know how many people are using interactive.

  • USING CUSTOM VARIABLES TO GET MORE GRANULAR

We want to know how people are using this content. The purpose of it is to appeal a wide audience and drive more revenue. Ultimately we want to know how people are engaging with this content we built.

So, let’s say, for example, we want to know which option uses our selecting when they use our calculator. We can supplement our ‘Data Layer’ Event with two data variables. We’ve gone from ‘Room Type’ to ‘Glazing Type’. These simply populate the ‘Data Layer’ with variables reflecting the user choices at the moment. At the moment, they hit ‘Go’.

Then, we set these as data layer variables in GTM. This means they are now available for us to use in our tags, in our Google Analytics ‘Event’ Tag, for eg.

So, here we have referenced down variables as the ‘Event’ action label respectively. This will give us relevant data about:

  • our audience
  • what they are using our interactive content for
  • and what they are looking for.

We can use this to iterate not just the layout, the functionality of the page, but also use it as the basis for guiding our content strategy or improving our lead nurturing process.

You can extend this approach a long way by using our ‘Goals’. By segmenting to a particular campaign for eg., we can then see how people are engaging with this content and analyse that in isolation.

Thanks to native ‘variable types’, we can get quite creative.

So, to keep the same example, we could set up an ‘Event’ value which fires when someone engages with our piece of content and we can set the value based on what we know about them as users.

We could come up with systems using ‘Lookup Tables’  or even ‘Custom Job Description’ running in GTM, which will assign an arbitrary value to them based on how valuable they are to us as ‘leads’. Then set this as the ‘Goal’ value in GA.

This will give us a sense of how valuable that traffic is as potential customers. So, we can see the absolute number of conversion, but also an approximation of the fair value to us as customers.

And of course, when segmented based on a particular campaign, we can start to gauge the content value of our marketing content efforts.

4. SMARTer SEGMENTATION

The last area I want to explore is using GTM to better group our content.

  • CONTENT GROUPING

For example, if we wish to segment our content strategy into different groups based on the offer, we can do that with the ‘Content Grouping’. It’s very easy to implement.

We can create the ‘Content Grouping’ at a ‘View’ Level. Then, we enable a content tracking code based implementation, and give it an ‘Index Number’ of ‘1’. Afterwards, we can set up the actual author using a ‘Data Layer’Variable’.

By using the ‘Data Layer’, you can work much more smartly. We get our development team to implement the ‘Blog Author‘ as a ‘Data Layer Variable’.

Same principle as we did earlier for our interactive content and then we can reference that in our ‘Pageview’ Tag.  Under ‘More Settings’, we can reference the ‘Data Layer Variable’ in there, so that every page you hit will fetch the account of the author from the ‘Data Layer’. Then it will fire that as the value for that ‘Content Grouping’.

As a result of this, you can view an aggregate performance of pages by particular authors and get a sense of how they perform as a whole. That’s very useful data when it comes to assessing how well your content strategy is performing.

  • CUSTOM DIMENSIONS

To segment further users, let’s look at particular groups of our audience like ‘Behaviours‘.

For example, we might decide to track users who comment on our blog. Then, view that ‘Audience’ group as a separate segment of traffic with ‘Custom Dimensions‘.

Whereas ‘Content Grouping’ allows us to organise our pages into logical groups, ‘Custom Dimensions’ let us record extra like non-standing data on top of GA standard dimensions. They are very flexible in how they let us do this as well.

Remember that every hit which goes to GA has a different scope. For eg, the ‘Pageview Hit’ has a scope limited to that page view. But ‘Landing Page‘ has a scope which applies to the whole session.

 Now, it’s the ‘User Level Scope‘ we are interested in because it lets us apply the data from that hit from the user and all of their subsequent interactions on that website.

So we set it up at the ‘Property Level’, giving 20 ‘Dimensions’ per ‘Property’. We’ll give an ‘Index number’ of ‘1’ and set the ‘Scope’ as ‘User’. So, back in GTM, we are going to fire these ‘Custom Dimensions’ as part of an ‘Event’ hit that will be launched when someone is coming on our blog.

Then under ‘More Settings’, we can set the ‘Custom Dimensions’. We will put an ‘Index number’ of ‘1’ and a ‘Dimension Value’ of ‘Commenter.

In terms of trigger, we can once again use a ‘Data Layer Event’. To run through what happened in the back of this, I user a ‘User Submitted Content’. That action will push an ‘Event’ to the ‘Data Layer’, which we are listening for in GTM.  GTM fires out a normal GA Tag ‘Event’. That hit goes on and includes a ‘Custom Dimension’, which defines the user as a commenter and that will apply to all his subsequent actions on the site as well.

As a result, we can now view the behaviour of our engaged users as a segment in GA. We can also see how they differ from our wider readership. We can use that as the primary dimension in a report to analyse the results in our funnel.

5. Work with your developers

It is important to collaborate with your development team when it comes to data collection.

It is really vital that you understand how these technologies work so that you can communicate effectively with your development team.

Google Tag Manager is kind of unique in it’s an inextricable tool for both marketers and developers. They are about tracking what users do, how valuable they are for us as customers. But Google Tag Manager is also a complex Javascript Application. You need to have a familiarity with Javascript in order to work properly with it.

The ‘Data Layer’, which kind of underpins a lot of the techniques that run today, is in international waters. If you look at the kind of data encoded into the ‘Data Layer’, its semantic information about:

  • our audience and our customers,
  • what they are doing

enforces a shared language.

A well defined and maintained ‘Data Layer’ means the data about your content and interaction that take place are accessible in a format independent of any platforms or technology. You are not reliant on scraping your HTML. You can instead make the data points you are interested in available to use.

However, you need to get your development team to implement it. Indeed, it is a very powerful tool that can easily break your website. The ‘Data Layer‘ should be regarded as a pre-requisite for good measurement.

I will give you a gift for your developers. It is the ‘Javascript Error‘ trigger tag. All it does is fire an ‘Event’ tag when the browser encounters an unquoted Javascript error.  This is normally the information only available in Javascript Console on your developers’ machine. It lets you fire an ‘Event’ whenever a user’s browser encounters an error in GA.

Thanks to the built-in variables of error messages, error URL, error line, information which the user wouldn’t be seeing, we can the fire the information to GA on real-world usability issues. Don’t forget to set that ‘Non-Interaction Hit’ to ‘True’. This will take no more than 5 minutes to implement. It will get real-world testing of your data about:

  • what’s breaking on your website
  • where
  • and for who.

You can cross-reference it with the other built-in dimensions as well, like upgrading system and browser. You can give that information to your developers, segment it by page. And you will make your website more accessible, functional. The value of the insight you can get from your analytics software is tied to the investment you make in data collection.

By demonstrating success and by unlocking the kind of actionable insights that you need, you can justify whatever it is that you are looking for:

  • bigger budgets
  • more innovative projects
  • more development time for your team
  • and ultimately whatever you need to do your job better.

For those who would like to download the Powerpoint slides containing more visuals and his contact details, click on the link below:

Google Tag Manager Insights Powerpoint presentation

How to generate business growth through Facebook advertising funnel

Facebook advertising funnel

I signed up for a Learn Inbound Marketing event a few months ago and I must say the content of the Facebook Advertising funnel presentation was outstanding! It also complements very well my previous blog post on Instagram organic and advertising growth.

Facebook Advertising funnel

This presentation delivered by Susan Wenograd is divided into 4 topics:

  1. Mistakes advertisers do with Facebook Advertising
  2. Facebook Advertising funnel
  3. Creative Ads
  4. Beyond selling: messenger and bots in a new era of service & growth.

If you prefer listening to a podcast than reading, please find the presentation recording below.

If you have a more visual memory, you will find the podcast transcript and powerpoint presentation further in this article.

PODCAST transcript

1. ADVERTISERS MISTAKES WITH FACEBOOK ADVERTISING

  • The first error advertisers do is to open an account and go straight into the conversion campaign.
  • Then, the target population told by Facebook is probably more than what you are trying to reach. I’ll explain to you what I mean. When you pick the actual targeting, for eg 1.4 million people, in reality in that pool of target audience they are not all likely to convert. Indeed, some may prefer watching videos, others engaging with your posts and a portion will convert into customers. Consequently, when you select that ‘conversion campaign’ target, you are actually selecting a very small subset of that 1.4 million people.
  • Besides, the conversion rate has the highest Cost Per Mille (see this article for more information on C.P.M). Indeed, they are the most expensive adverts you can run on Facebook.
  • Furthermore, by selecting the conversion campaign, you are trying to optimise towards the very high-value action, for which Facebook wants you to have 50 conversion events firing per ad set per week. That’s a lot!
  • In addition to the expensive adverts with limited audience data, people usually need more than one experience to buy and convert.

Remember that on Facebook, people have no idea who you are, why they should buy your stuff. So you have to convince them like pretty much in any other sales cycles. It’s different from Paid Search (SEO), where people are looking for you.

2. FACEBOOK ADVERTISING FUNNEL

Why an advertising funnel? Funnels are used in marketing and advertising to think about the long sales cycle.

The funnel follows 3 stages:

  • Awareness:
  • Consideration
  • Conversion.

So, you need to complete one stage before moving to the next when you get started with Facebook Advertising. Make sure to run one campaign at the time.

  1. Awareness: this is the lowest cost phase of them all. You use cheaper campaign types to cast a wide net and identify interested users through:
  • Video views
  • Reach
  • Website Clicks
  • Post Engagement

2. Consideration: this is when your audience is warm, has started to know you. You can use campaign types such as:

  • Website Clicks
  • Reach
  • Conversion

This time, you will measure more their reaction to your advertisement such as users who:

  • watched 10 seconds of your video
  • interacted with posts
  • submitted lead ad.

3. Conversion: this is when the audience is accustomed to you and ready to convert. During this phase, you will use retargeting strategies.

To manage complex funnel cycles, let’s use a good methodology.

3. CREATIVE AUDIT

A creative audit starts with the brainstorming of ideas for posts. For this:

  • make a list of things to offer or sell to your audience. Think about the content to repurpose. Go through the list from top to bottom. Now you have enough of content to get you started.

Facebook Advertising funnel

4. Campaign types

Let’s talk about them. Pick an asset and find a good and cheap way to run it.

  • Got videos:  Video view campaigns
  • Downloadable content: Lead ad campaigns
  • Healthy conversion data: Conversion campaigns.

5. AUDIENCES

Aligning with audiences, email list and website traffic are generally the two main ways for people to create custom audiences.  You can do so by, for eg, uploading your email list, specifying certain URLs…)., like in any other types of remarketing.

In the last year and a half or so, Facebook released ‘Engagement Audiences’. This is meant to get people to stay on Facebook and consume content within the platform. Most people don’t want to click and be re-directed to another site.

Consequently, Facebook created ways to retarget these people based on what they did on Facebook like:

  • video watching time, i.e engagement
  • lead form fill out
  • interaction with/on your page…

When you create a custom audience, you tell Facebook ‘I want you to find more people like these’, which Facebook calls ‘look alike’.

When you do that, consider how much percentage of the population you want to match to the audience you specified. If you are on a restricted budget, select a small percentage. Contrarily, if you have a large budget, pick 5+ % or more of look alike.

Then, start testing:

  • exclude people/interests or include others
  • Facebook feed or Instagram
  • mobile vs desktop

Think about what you are optimising for, so don’t pick a conversion campaign unless you have 1.5 million followers or more.

5. Return on Ad Spend (ROAS

Auto-bidding does most of the time a better job because Facebook has more data than we do and bid more strategically.

There’s a new feature rollout for e-commerce, the optimisation to value, i.e optimising return on spend. It works very well.

Don’t generalise too much about creatives. Follow these tips to get a better ROAS:

  • Video: high engagement, low conversion
  • Static image: cheap, still has a decent conversion
  • Slideshows: generally don’t do great
  • Carousels: generally get great results from them, high interaction. However, testing is crucial (ensure it picks the correct images)
  • Canvas: expensive and can be difficult to get results.

Why creative matter to your media cost?

It is because it’s highly related to ‘relevancy scores’. A relevance score measures how relevant you are to people you are targeting to. You can add it to your campaign. The higher relevance score rewards you with low media cost/spend.

Relevance scores are based on social interactions (likes, comments, shares, loves…), in other terms to the virality of your posts.

6. PRO TIPS TO GET INTERACTIONS

Start A/B test ads assigned to post IDs. If you duplicate that ID, it gives another ID number but it’s the same ad. You can cumulate social proof by ID. Stack that proof in a split test with two IDs/posts having different types of interactions.

When you create an ad. follow these steps:

  • Click on that ‘preview’ arrow and then view your Facebook post with comments.
  • Look for a URL at the top, that’s the ID you want.
  • Copy that ID to your other ad.
  • For that, you go to your other Ad set B, select ‘create an ad’
  • Click on the button for ‘use existing post’ in the post ID
  • Paste that ID there.

Now everything that cumulates on that ID will show up in every ad set that you put that ID into. It makes your social media proof stack up way faster than having to run several ads in silos. You only have to do it once. You can do the same with another ad by adding your ID.

Warning: A/B testing is hard on Facebook because:

  • you can’t have multiple ad units in the same. They will always add more relevance to video campaigns than any others. It will only select that type of campaign
  • Rotation 50/50 picks the campaign with the highest social media proof because Facebook doesn’t want people to leave their platform.

7. SOLUTIONS TO A/B TESTING ISSUE

  1. Create a split test with two different targets that do not overlap. Choose what you want to split test. The issue with split testing are:
  • it must remain within a set budget
  • the ad has to end, it can’t run continuously with your winning test ad.

2. Facebook recently invested in ‘dynamic creative’. You can add up to 5:

  • headlines
  • text
  • line ads
  • calls to action
  • videos…

It will automatically test and rotate all that for you.

Warning: It won’t tell you which is the best picture, it will only provide you with the best combination. So, you won’t know what’s the ad winner.

8. The FUTURE OF FACEBOOK ADVERTISING FEATURES

Facebook is currently running out of Advertising space in the newsfeed.

So, here are few solutions to remedy this issue:

  • Place ads in Messenger. That’s a better way to monetise.
  • The chatbot is becoming a thing for e-commerce with its automatic responses walking customers through all the way to purchase. Its virtual assistant also guides and advises people and offer a free shipping voucher at the end. Facebook, with its chatbot, is leveraging itself as a customer service platform.
  • You can also buy and sell in the ‘Marketplace’. It has a lower reach. Nonetheless, it is less crowdy and competitive. But most importantly, it’s a very cheap way to advertise as it costs only 1$ per CPM (1$ per 1000 impressions).

Keep an eye on new features as there are new things rolled out every month. I would deter you from using third-party. Indeed, the can’t keep up with what is going on.

For those who would like to download the Powerpoint slides containing more visuals and her contact details, click on the link below:

Facebook Advertising funnel Powerpoint presentation

 

DIY: How to market your music through podcasting

music podcasting

What is podcasting?

Podcasts are episodic series of digital audio files which users can subscribe to much like you subscribe to blogs. In fact, often podcasts are distributed through a blog.

You can either:

  • instruct your reader to download new podcasts whenever they become available
  • or manually choose which podcasts you want to download by clicking a link to the audio file.

These files can then be listened to on your computer. Alternatively, you can transfer them to your portable player (iPod, smartphone or iPhone) to listen to later.

Why should musicians podcast? 

music podcasting

The music industry is getting tougher. Music CDs don’t sell as much as they used to or won’t sell without some prior promotion. Musicians may struggle not only to promote their music but also to make profits from it. Of course, one of the ways to generate revenue is to organise concert tours.

But how can musicians spread the word about their music?

You’ll all heard that online promoting is a great way to reach your audience. But how can you make them want to listen to you more or buy from you? Where can you start?

In our digital area, it’s not only important to share your music on your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, Youtube) but also to get people to pay for your music.

Don’t overdo with putting all your videos or soundtracks on Youtube or Soundcloud! Indeed, short teasers should be enough to attract your audience!

Instead, what about investing time into podcasting? But how can you generate both interest and revenue from it?

Here are few ways you can do so as an independent artist:

http://www.feedforall.com/musicians-should-podcast.htm

why podcasting can be a better format than other online promotional formats? 

music podcasting

Podcasting allows you to have a more intimate relationship with your audience. It can easily mimic or replace radio broadcasting.

Podcasts are Portable On Demand media. This means they are portable and accessible on-demand for your listeners or watchers. Your podcasts can be:

  • subscribed to,
  • paid for to access them,
  • and downloaded through various programs and devices.

However, do bear in mind that there are limitations you need to be aware of when podcasting!

Indeed, you will need to remember not to copyright any other artists’ work. For that, you may learn a bit the basic copyrights legal requirements to follow:

https://create.blubrry.com/manual/about-podcasting/legal-issues/

Now want to get started with podcasting?

music podcasting

Remember to be correctly equipped!

Here are few must-haves to get you started:

This guide will help you get started with basics if you are new to podcasting and are on a low budget!

https://www.thepodcasthost.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/How-to-Podcast-The-Podcast-Host.pdf

 

music podcasting

But keep in mind that you will need to work on few marketing techniques in order to increase the visibility of your podcasts!

Daniel J. Lewis, podcasting industry expert can help you launch and improve your own podcasts (note he isn’t affiliated with Audacity). Have a read at his podcasting tips:

https://theaudacitytopodcast.com/does-seo-really-matter-in-podcasting-tap179/

Finally, do you want to follow musicians’ DIY podcastS?

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Look no further! CD Baby has compiled for you a list of different pod-casters giving you tips on how to use podcasts to promote your music and generate revenue from it!

http://cdbabypodcast.com/

Let me know if you have further questions? I’ll be happy to look for the answers for you!

Music Without Borders benefit live concerts (2016)

First of all, before I start talking about the event I attended and sharing with you videos, I’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas!⛄❄

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MUSIC WITHOUT BORDERS

The charity event in aid of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) took place on Friday 23rd December 2016 at the beautiful and cosy in Dublin (Ireland).🔥 There was a fun and warm filled atmosphere to it and the live concerts were very good!

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If you’d like to know more about the event itself, check their event page.

https://www.facebook.com/events/653950094771897/ 

MUSIC LIVE RECORDINGS

The music was varied. It started off with what I would call ‘ambient music’ with Daniel McDermott playing at the keyboard and using other pre-recorded instrumental pieces.

It continued on with a brand new Irish hip-hop duet called ‘God Creative and Crimes Against’ and finished off with a folk and pop music band led by Conor O’Mally.

Entry tickets and Conor O’Meally music CDs purchased by the audience went into the fundraising initiative for the charitable organisation.

Now, I’m sure you are dying to watch the Youtube videos, right 😜😉?! Here you go!

Did you enjoy these? Have you been to the event and want to share your own videos and pictures? If so, add them to the ‘Comment’ box below!