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10x your Lead Generation in 2021

Startup & E-commerce Marketing Challenges

Startups and early stage e-commerce companies typically have constrained resources (financial and human resources). Moreover, they often suffer from little awareness and a small number of consumers. They need to be extra vigilant to break through the startup stage and become a viable firm.

Limited resources in general, including the budget and human resources, the anonymity and the need to increase awareness, the need to educate the consumers, and the need to lead generation – these are just few challenges out of many others, faced by startups and early-stage e-commerce businesses. 

The marketing approach and the funnel adopted by startups has some special particularities certainly experienced by many companies in their early stage.

First, more than other funnels, marketing in startups requires innovation. The lack of resources puts marketing managers in a position where they have to find new solutions to overcome these challenges. 

It is often said that innovation is driven by desperation. For this reason, Sean Ellis introduced the concept of “growth hacking” which is focusing on innovation and data collection through creative strategies to generate growth. 

Growth hacking is very popular in the ecosystem of tech startups and e-commerce companies. It is not about inventing strategies, but more about the use of popular strategies and tactics in a unique way that is adapted to each startup.

Growth hacking is more a short term concept, which is natural for a startup. Obviously the company has no data yet, cannot define estimates yet, and, also, the goal is, to survive as long as possible. 

These challenges make creating a marketing strategy in a startup more about testing new strategies and tactics continuously, collecting data, and analyzing it, in order to find the best performing ones.

In this report, we will, first, cover how to create your action plan for a better marketing plan. Next, we will see the main 4-steps to create a killer marketing plan. To, finally, go over 50 marketing hacks for startups & early stage e-commerce companies.

Your Action Plan

OKR Framework

OKR is an acronym for Objectives and Key Results, a very known framework used for goal management that allows companies to well-implement and well-execute strategies. 

The OKR framework has many benefits, from which we can quote ensuring results-driven strategies, increasing the transparency of the results, and improving the strategic alignment. 

OKR reaches this by ensuring that the team organization and their tasks prioritization are targeting common Objectives.

It consists of an Objective, which clarifies the future path, and related Key Results, which are the targeted results you want to achieve in order to reach your Objective. 

The OKR framework requires a number of rules which help team members prioritize, align, and measure the performance of their efforts. It helps companies align strategy and execution allowing it to move to a results-driven approach to work.

Read more about the OKR framework in our article here. 

Create a Time-Efficient Management Plan

As mentioned above, marketing managers need to streamline marketing efforts from planning to execution, while providing full transparency for management and reducing costs across the board.

Managing all these activities manually is challenging for marketing managers. The best time-efficient solution to overcome this challenge is to choose the right tool that facilitates marketing management.

Hive is a solution that allows creative planning and execution in one platform. It provides marketing managers with features such as creating gantt charts, kanban boards, calendars and tables, to help plan the campaigns easily. It also allows marketing managers to execute repeatable tasks easily using action templates, to collaborate on work directly in Hive for fast and efficient execution, and to access an analytics portfolio of all work across all projects, providing actionable insights that are fully customizable.

Read our Review of Hive’s software in our article here.

Now that you are ready to kick-off your marketing plan creation. Let’s jump directly to present the 4-Steps to create a killer Marketing Plan.

4-Steps to create a killer Marketing Plan

Step 1: Research

Personas and Customer Journeys

To ensure the experience demanded by customers, an in-depth understanding of the buying process and what they want is necessary. 

 

Now, a shift of mindset is needed to take place in the company. It is not about how to generate leads through the sales funnel, but more about knowing the buying process of your customer, and next implementing this process in a cohesive way. 

 

In order to make this mindset shift, an in-depth research of the customer personas and each of their journeys. How do they perceive the value? What needs do they have at each stage of the customer journey? What contents and channels do they prefer?

 

Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of an ideal customer, based on real data and some educated speculation about demographics, behaviors, motivations, and goals. Personas are created through research, analysis, and taking a close look at who’s already buying from you. Mapping your personas will certainly help you get into the mindset of your potential buyers and create the right content for them.

 

As we mentioned before, Every interaction your persona has with your organization should be tailored to where they are in the customer journey.

 

The customer journey is the active research process someone goes through leading up to a purchase. 

 

Knowing the customer journeys for your personas will be key to creating the best content possible. 

 

Instead of moving someone through the funnel, the customer journey is tailored to your customer and his stages. 

 

The three stages are the awareness stage, the consideration stage, and the decision stage that portray the experiences your potential customers go through:

10x lead generation startups and ecommerce companies

Competitive Analysis

One of the most complex and broad conversations in startups is conducting a competitive analysis. 

By the date of writing this report, there are no tools providing data on the different product features offered or on the strengths and weaknesses of the products. The product level details remain largely described in the published digital content.

So, how could marketing managers conduct a competitive analysis?

  1. List the company’s product features
  2. Define the objectives of the analysis
  3. Prioritize sources of information
  4. Collect competitive data
  5. Analyze competitive data
  6. Reporting

Read more about how to conduct a competitive analysis in our article here.

Step 2: Development

Now that the personas and the customer journeys are mapped, and the competitive analysis is done, we move to the development phase. In this phase we create the automated funnel that handles automatically the conversion of your website visitors into qualified leads.

Website Design & Development

Plan the website funnel

The website funnel is a series of stages to guide prospects through the website’s experience. It contains 3 major stages:

Top of the funnel
– Awareness

This is where leads engage with the brand for the first time and become aware of it.

They might not have an idea about the offer yet, which makes this stage focusing on content and marketing assets to promote brand awareness.

This stage is used to attract leads and show them the offer.

 

Middle of the funnel
– Consideration 

Once leads have engaged with the brand in a meaningful way, they enter the middle of the funnel stage.

This stage is used to engage the leads and earn their trust.

 

Bottom of the funnel
– Conversion

This is the stage where leads are converting. When they reach this stage, the brand have gotten the attention, built trust, and started a relationship with them.

This stage is used to convert the leads and convince them to choose the brand over the competitors.

Choose the right no-code Website Builder

No-code website builders make implementing the funnel in a website faster, easier, and more hassle-free. Choosing the right platform is the first step to consider when building a website. There are many website builders, but we need the one that suits our funnel. Here we can split our choosing categories to 2 major ones:

  • Best for Startups:

For startups we recommend Webflow and Pagecloud, we can choose the one that we feel comfortable with and that suits our funnel:

 
Overall rating4,5 / 54,7 / 5
Ease of Use4,1 / 54,7 / 5
Customer Service4,2 / 54,8 / 5
Features4,5 / 54,4 / 5
Value for Money4,2 / 54,6 / 5
Price starting from$16 / month$19 / month
Free TrialYesYes
Free VersionYesNo
Best for1 – 1000+ users1 – 10 users
 Visite Website >Visite Website >
 Our Review >Our Review >
  • Best for E-commerce:

For e-commerce businesses, you can use Webflow and Pagecloud too but for creating and managing your store, we recommend Ecwid:

Website Copywriting

Website copywriting is the workflow of writing a copy, which is a sample of words designed to prompt action through the website funnel. 

Copywriting is basically an intentional type of writing that needs to be learned and practiced. It’s a rare skill set that doesn’t come easily. Let’s quickly cover the fundamentals of a killer website copywriting. 

  • Identifying the goal

First, you need to identify the main goal of each page or asset you will write. 

What is the action that you want the visitor to do? 

Without knowing the overall goal, your website will be less-effective, just like every page, asset, or segment of copy unless you identify the main goal first.

  • Lead with the main idea

Every page on the website will have a main idea. Always lead with this idea. 

Research shows that grabbing the visitor’s attention takes between 3-15 seconds. When the visitors land on a page on your website, they want to easily understand the idea of that page within a few seconds.

  • The objective of each line is to make the user read the next one

Every line and every word has to be intentional. The main purpose of a copyline is to get the visitor to read to the next one. If the visitor does not continue reading, then, the written message does not matter for them. The ideas should be attractive.

Website copywriting has to include more words than writing an article, especially if the written copy is for less than 10 years. Being intentional with words is not a natural process for most people. However it is not a particularly high level. It just means that when writing a paragraph, review it and ask if it does move the narrative forward and motivate the visitor to continue reading.

  • The only thing that matters is the personas’ needs and desires

Don’t make the mistake of focusing on the business, brand, or subject rather than the personas. By thinking about the business, the copy will most care about what probably makes no difference at all to your visitors. The income or lifestyle your business affords does not matter for them, neither does the unique technology that drives your business, or how you developed it. They only care about their own needs and desires, and your business is only of interest within the specific context of fulfilling those needs and desires. Your website copywriting should focus on that. Everything should lead to those needs and desires, and when a piece of the copy isn’t relevant to those needs and desires, it will always be skipped.

  • Be clear

You might like to focus on persuasion and how magical persuasive copy is, but the most important part of a high performing copywriting is being clear. 

You only can sell with the Product/market fit, by putting visitors in front of what they want or need. The main goal is simply to make it very clear that the business is fulfilling what they want or need. 

It is true that persuasive copywriting techniques can be helpful, but if you work with a good product or service that customers love, then, you don’t need the persuasion, you just need clarity. A clear, succinct copy that shows the visitor why the product is the best match for their needs and desires.

  • Always be closing

We should always be aiming to close at every opportunity rising, and on the website this means including calls-to-action at every part of your copywriting where a new idea is presented. 

We don’t want the visitor to be ready to act but then cannot find the button or action element. An important rule is to never let the visitor scroll past two screen’s worth of information without a call-to-action.

Lead Magnets

A lead magnet is a piece of content offering immediate added value to your website visitors in exchange for their contact information. 

It should be continuously updated and for repeated usage. Lead magnets start the interaction with your website visitor and build trust in the business. 

Research shows that lead magnets can increase the opt-in rate by almost 85%. Let’s quickly cover a few examples of lead magnets.

  • Interactive Calculators

Calculators are one of the high performing lead magnets. A calculator adds value immediately to your visitors in exchange for their contact information. It helps them to do calculations and evaluate their position in certain scenarios.

  • Assessments

An Assessment in the website is one of the best interactive content types in which visitors can calculate their scores based on how they answer questions. It is a very useful tactic to educate your visitors. 

A lot of information can be presented about the business through assessments without the need of reading long contents. Visitors have the fun of knowing their position, which directly increases social proof. 

Moreover, it allows you to provide visitors with different discount coupons based on the scores, which can be an interesting incentive for visitors to take the assessment in exchange of their contact information.

We’re sure there are a lot more but these are the few that we just had to recommend to you.

Marketing Automation

Every business has the same desire, which is to generate a high revenue and a fast growth at the lowest cost possible. But businesses encounter challenges to align their team members, processes, and technology to reach these goals. 

Marketing automation enables businesses to streamline, automate, and measure marketing efforts and workflows, which allows them to ensure efficient operations and fast revenue growth. 

Marketing Automation softwares are built to enable businesses to more effectively promote on different channels and automate repetitive workflows. 

Marketing automation makes most marketing practices easier, such as lead generation, segmentation, lead nurturing, lead scoring, relationship marketing, cross-sell/upsell, retention, reporting, and account-based marketing.

More with less

Marketers are challenged to do more with less. They have to increase the lead generation, grow the revenue, and close more deals faster. 

Marketing automation allows marketers to automate their tasks, so they can focus on strategic work.

Track and optimize user engagement

Tracking user engagement is very important, and marketing automation enables capturing, tracking, managing, and scoring leads entering in the funnel by creating, managing, and automating marketing workflows and conversations across different channels. 

It will allow you to optimize the strategies and the ROI of your marketing efforts. The use of retargeting will optimize engagement and connect with the leads. 

It provides the easiest way to provide the right content to the right person at the right moment.

High conversion rates

Handling the leads that do not convert or a bad sales funnel is frustrating, but can be easily fixed. Marketing automation allows nurturing leads with useful information across different channels, and makes them ready to buy. 

If done very well, it can increase sales leads by up to 50% and decrease the cost per lead by 33%.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) & Sales Enablement

Sales enablement is the process used to provide the sales team with the tools, training, and content that facilitates managing and converting generated leads. 

This process is involving different departments working together to provide sales teams with data that help them to reach qualified leads and convert them faster. 

The main goal of sales enablement is to facilitate the job for the sales team. Whether it’s prospecting, leading meetings, or closing deals. It boosts the process by eliminating unqualified leads by using targeted content. This includes preparing the best resources for salespeople to present the benefits and advantages of using the product sold.

Sales enablement is not about sales, but more about the buyer. By implementing sales enablement, companies improve sales quotas, the sales team members have to know their leads and the most efficient way to engage them. It is about giving the lead exactly what they want. However, if the lead is already in the decision phase but needs to be persuaded that the solution is the best fit, then the bottom-of-the-funnel, that we explained in the previous sections, will convert him.

Why is it important ?

+78% of consumers say they more likely consider an offer if it has been customized to their previous engagements with the business. Delivering one-size content will lead to problems with customer acquisition. Sales enablement allows to offer customized content at every stage of the funnel which enables the sales team to deliver the right message at the right moment, which improves customer engagement and conversion rates.

Step 3: Web Analytics

Web analytics is the collection, visualization, and analysis of website data.  The main goal is to identify KPIs based on your OKRs and using the website data to determine the performance of these OKRs and to drive strategy and improve the UX.

Data Collection

There are three major categories of web analytics data collection: 

  • log-file analysis 
  • page tagging
  • pixel tracking

Log-file analysis tools read the log files which report all clicks that take place on the website. All the clicks that take place are always stored in a log file, so the tool visualizes data in the log file.

Page tagging transfers data to a third-party server that stores data. The navigator executes JavaScript code that communicates with the tracking tool, creating page tags. 

Pixel tracking is useful to monitor advertising performance and email campaigns performance. It is a transparent pixel that is placed in the email or the website. When you load the images in the email or convert in the website coming from engaging with an advertisement in an ad channel, you will also load the tiny pixel that tracks the activity.

There are, also, three types of data points in web analytics:

  • Count: the raw figures captured that will be used for analysis. 
  • Ratio: an interpretation of the data that are counted. 
  • KPI (key performance indicator): figures that help to determine your success in reaching your goals.

Characterization

Visit

  • Entry page. The first page of a visit. 
  • Landing page. The page intended to identify the beginning of the user experience resulting from a defined marketing effort. 
  • Exit page. The last page of a visit. 
  • Visit duration. The length of time in a session. 
  • Referrer. The URL (uniform resource locator) that originally generated the request for the current page.
  • Click-through. The number of times a link was clicked by a visitor. 
  • Click-through rate. The number of times a link was clicked divided by the number of times it was seen (impressions). 
  • Page views per visit. The number of page views in a reporting period divided by the number of visits in that same period.

Content

  • Page exit ratio. Number of exits from a page divided by total number of page views of that page. 
  • Single-page visits. Visits that consist of one page, even if that page was viewed a number of times. 
  • Bounces (single page-view visits). Visits consisting of a single page view. 
  • Bounce rate. Single page-view visits divided by entry pages.

Conversion

  • Event. A recorded action that has a specific time assigned to it by the browser or the server. 
  • Conversion. A visitor completing a target action. 
  • Impression. Each time an advertisement or a page is served. 
  • Open. Each email that is deemed open. Usually if the images are loaded, an e-mail is considered open.

 

Step 4: Growth Experiments

In order to grow your business, you have to find strategies to experiment and find what is working extremely well for your business. But, the challenge is finding time to do that correctly. 

By building a sustainable framework for organizing your ideas and testing them as experiments is important. Once set up, you will allow your team to effectively brainstorm ideas, prioritize tests, and execute them.

10x lead generation startups and ecommerce companies

Brainstorm ideas and construct hypotheses from them, test them, and analyze the results. When designing your experiments, building this process is not a one-and-done deal. But, according to Balfour, it has to be: 

  • Scalable 
  • Predictable 
  • Repeatable 

Once you have your design down, the next step is to set goals, which might sound simple, but the goals of any given experiment should have an actionable and testable outcome.

Building a culture of experimentation within the team requires the encouragement and motivation to always be brainstorming. That’s why building a process for tracking and storing ideation and brainstorming is important for any experiment.

Take the necessary time to think through the details of every experiment. You can find below a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Test one thing at a time.
  • Set up a way to measure your results before the experiment begins.
  • Set a time frame.
  • Learn from experience.

When an experiment is finished, it’s important that you analyze and record the results and use them in practice. The analysis needs to answer the following questions:

  • Was my hypothesis correct or incorrect? 
  • Are the results of my test statistically significant? 
  • What do my results mean? 
  • What could/should I have done differently in this experiment? 
  • How can I use these results going forward? 
  • What should my next experiment be to build on this finding?

+50 Startup & E-commerce Marketing Hacks to 10x your Lead Generation in 2021

Search Engine Optimization

Hack  #1

Create an FAQ Page Schema

FAQ schema is a set of structured data that you put on your website to let Google know that you have a Frequently Asked Questions page. It could increase your chance of being featured as a rich snippet in the SERPs.

Many businesses have an FAQ page on their site already to address the most popular asked questions, and even educate the customer. Adding an FAQ schema takes this strategy a step further, because it pulls part of your FAQ page off your site and highlights it in the SERPs.

 

  

Hack  #2

Improve Page Load Speed with CDNs

You’re probably familiar with the importance of having quick website loading speeds, as page speeds can impact SERP potential. And you likely already know that you can use Google’s PageSpeed to look for quick-fix suggestions about improving site loading speed, such as compressing images or addressing broken redirects.

There is, however, another way that you can significantly speed up site loading times, which can have a huge impact on your potential ranking: loading your HTML from Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). 

A CDN is a distributed network that uses servers all over the world. Your site and its files can be stored on global servers so that they’re geographically closer to users, which speeds up page load times because geography does matter when it comes to online efficiency.

  

Hack  #3

Voice Search Optimization

Over the years, the way users search for information online has transformed significantly. If you haven’t worked on voice search optimization yet, it’s time to fix it.

Voice search will affect search queries in 2021. According to dailogtech.com, in the United States of America, 55 percent of households will have their smart speaker by 2022. In that case, if you are planning to optimize for voice search, follow the below steps:

  • Consider choosing wise keywords 
  • Always remember to create persona-based content 
  • Create web pages that answer FAQs because when searchers ask a question, they begin their question with words like “When”, “What”, and “Who”

Google voice search shows websites on top that load quickly. In that case, you must always ensure that:

  • Your website has a responsive design 
  • Website images are optimized 
  • Always choose long-tail keywords 
  • Site loads in a minimum amount of time Your server’s response time is low
  

Hack  #4

Mobile Optimization

A good user experience on your website confirms that your audience can find it with ease. It is essential for marketers to know how important it is to make your site mobile friendly. A mobile-friendly website surely helps with ranking. 

SEMRush confirms that by “2025, approximately 73% of internet users will access the internet through mobile devices”. 

Mobile-friendly updates by Google resulted in a significant change in website rankings. 

Have a look at how effective your mobile website is by using Google’s free mobile-friendly test. Also, take a peek at the “mobile usability” report in the Google Search Console.

  

Hack  #5

Google’s EAT Principles

Google has confirmed that content quality is an essential factor for ranking on search engine result pages. 

But what does quality mean to Google? 

In simple terms, content that fulfills the Google EAT principle will rank higher, whereas EAT stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. These elements help determine if a web page has high-quality content. 

Google uses its algorithms to deliver the best results to the users. For example, Google Panda is one of the famous algorithms which ranks a website based on content quality. It eliminates web pages from the index that have low-quality and duplicate content. Another example is the RankBrain algorithm. RankBrain uses AI to interpret search queries that the audience searches on Google.

Google panda and RankBrain send spiders to crawl websites and, as a result, they show the most relevant and high-quality search results content on the top of the result page of search engines.

  

Hack  #6

Image Optimization

According to SEMRush, “image optimization will play a prominent role in the search.” This means if the images on your website aren’t optimized, make sure to optimize them. 

Remember to use high-quality images, relevant images, and a suitable label for your image file. 

Include images to your site map as it becomes easier for spiders to crawl. Also, using alt tags will help crawlers to classify images easily. 

When an image cannot load on a user screen, alt-text is displayed on the webpage. Google uses alt-text to understand the context from images. 

A well-optimized image enhances your web page rank and user engagement. Also, image optimization can help your webpage show up in the image carousels on search engines.

  

Hack  #7

Semantically Related Keywords

Semantically related keywords are the interpretation of a word. They have a higher impact on website ranking. We link them to the primary keywords and help in gaining relevant traffic on the Search Engine Results Page. Also, you can have a look at Google SERP for LSI keywords. Want to know how to select the right Semantic keywords? 

  • Do not target keywords alone; instead, optimize content using topic clusters
  • Opt for structured data and choose your semantic keywords.
  

Hack  #8

Building Quality Links

Suppose a marketer aims to focus on a successful long-term SEO strategy, building quality links cannot be neglected. Always opt for quality over quantity, as building quality links to your content can give your product and category pages a boost in SERPs.

  • Gain backlinks from relevant and authoritative web pages 
  • Promote your content regularly on social media 
  • Opt for guest blogging and influencer marketing 
  • Leverage social media platforms 
  • Reach out to your target audience through online forums 
  • Attract your target audience by offering them valuable content
  

Hack  #9

Improved User Experience

Simplifying navigation is another phrasing of improving the user experience. Site navigation is a key factor for your search engine ranking. 

For the past few years, UX has become an important ranking factor for Google. 

To understand the concept in an easier way, consider the partnership of Search Engine Optimization and User Experience this way: SEO emphasizes search engines, whereas UX focuses on website visitors. 

Therefore, both share a common goal of giving users the best result.

  • Simplify your site’s navigation 
  • Improve UX Design for SEO-friendly layouts (such as making content easy to digest, Infuse images and videos wherever possible, use CTA’s wisely) 
  • Optimize for Site Load Speed, opt for mobile-responsive design, as over 50% of all traffic is now driven by mobile search. In case your site isn’t mobile-responsive, you will notice poor user engagement.
  

Hack  #10

Embrace video

Even if you have a face for radio, find a way to include video that is personalized, engaging, helpful, relevant video in your online content and in your SEO efforts. 

Studies have shown that 6 out of 10 people would rather watch online videos than television. And by 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic

Whether your video is pure entertainment or wonderfully informational, today’s internet users increasingly prefer their content in this format.

Remember to optimize your video for search by using relevant keywords in the description and headline of your video that match user intent.

  

Content Marketing

Hack  #11

Ideate within a content bucket

First, you need to ideate content topics. Start with one content bucket and corresponding format at a time. For example, you can begin brainstorming ideas for blogs within your top priority for topical content authority. If SEO is a factor (blogs, YouTube videos, Pinterest content), it’s often easier to begin with key phrase research and then craft a headline rather than to fit a keyphrase to an idea.

  

Hack  #12

Create a brief and assign the content

The next step is to create a brief and assign it to the writer or content creator. 

If you’re using StoryChief for blogging, you can use the brief feature to include all the necessary details when assigning the story to a writer. 

For all of your main content formats, such as YouTube videos or LinkedIn slides, make a brief template that will save you time when assigning.

For some content formats, you’ll need multiple briefs. For example, with a YouTube video, you might need one brief for the video script sent to a writer and another brief for the video editor.

  

Hack  #13

Review and edit the content

When you receive the content back from the writer or content creator, review it thoroughly. Based on the content format, you might need to check the content for adherence to company messaging, grammar, brand style, brand voice, accuracy, or other factors and elements.

  

Hack  #14

Prepare the content for publication and promotion

Next, you’ll need to prepare the content for publication and promotion. That simply means gathering all of the related assets and putting them in one central task card or folder, and assigning promotions to the right person on your team. 

  

Hack  #15

Create distribution and promotion plan templates

Create plan templates for different formats and priorities of content. For example, your basic plan template might be to publish the content, post it on social media three times per channel, and email it to your newsletter subscribers. But a piece of priority content might involve publicity pitches, backlink outreach, and influencer marketing.

  

Hack  #16

Choose the Right Plan for the Incoming Content

For whatever piece of content you’re promoting next, choose the right plan. If needed, customize the plan. For example, maybe you don’t ordinarily pitch the press for each blog post, but if you release proprietary statistics or stories, you may want to pitch the story to industry publications as well. 

  

Hack  #17

Assign and/or Execute on Promotion and Distribution

Publish your content and assign any necessary tasks. During this stage, you might handle everything yourself, or you might need to give design or social media tasks to others on your team. That’s where having a plan template can help.

  

Social Media Management

Hack  #18

Take a less is more posting approach

If you want your brand to stand out on social media in 2021, you will need to adopt a less is more posting approach. Rather than posting simply because you need to, you should focus on sending out thoughtful posts that add value to your audience, even if this means posting less frequently. 

Ideally, you should aim for one post a day. According to a study by Hubspot, posting more than twice a day can lead to a reduction in engagement. 

However, the optimal posting frequency for you will depend on your followers, their age, their browsing habits, and so on. 

The aim here is to avoid overwhelming your audience. You don’t want to get to a point where your audience is tired of your posts.

  

Hack  #19

Put greater emphasis on video

Today, the demand for video is insatiable. In 2021, there will be an even greater demand for video. Estimates by the Cisco Visual Networking index predict that video content will make up about 80% of the world’s internet traffic in 2021

Other reports also show that video is the most preferred content type for social media users, with 81% of internet users saying they prefer video over other types of social media content.

  

Hack  #20

Automate your social media activity

Social media automation allows you to schedule your social media posts, which are then automatically posted on your social profiles at the scheduled time.

If you’re marketing on Facebook, SocialPilot allows you to create Facebook posts in advance and then schedule them to be published at specific times on specific days.

Automating your social media activity will free up your time and allow you to focus on other equally important aspects of your business.

  

Hack  #21

Take advantage of humanized chatbots

The beauty of having chatbots installed on your social platforms is that they work tirelessly around the clock, responding to customer inquiries and getting their details until you’re ready to take over in person.

Some of the benefits of using humanized chatbots to respond to your social media leads include:

  • Immediacy: Chatbots allow your business to respond to customer inquiries promptly at all times. Whether it is the middle of the night or a public holiday, you don’t have to lose customers because you didn’t have someone manning your social media at that moment.

     

  • Personalization: Another great benefit of chatbots is its ability to give personalized responses. This, coupled with the immediacy of chatbot responses, makes your customers feel that they’re highly valued.

  • Neutrality: Chatbots do not have emotions, and therefore, they can maintain a professional and unbiased demeanor with your customers regardless of the situation.

Hack  #22

Take advantage of the reach of stories

Stories is a feature that allows users to content – either images or videos – that appear at the top of the app and disappear after 24 hours. Instagram’s internal reports show that Instagram stories are viewed by over 500 million users every single day. Facebook also reports a similar number of daily stories users across the main app and Messenger.

  

Media Buying

Social Media Advertising

Hack  #23

Know your objectives

Setting achievable goals is the first step to creating winning ad campaigns. That means ensuring your campaign objectives are correct and in line with your business goals. 

We would suggest you focus on one goal at a time. Your priorities will change over time depending on the needs of your business. Make sure you tweak your strategy from time to time to witness noticeable conversions and sales. 

While it’s not easy to create a comprehensive list of goals one might need to achieve while running their campaigns, there are some common goals almost every business wants to attain in the long-run. 

Some of those goals include: 

  • Get more traffic 
  • Get more messages 
  • Get more sales 
  • Get more leads 

So the first thing you may want to do is create a list of objectives you want to achieve through your Facebook ad campaign.

  

Hack  #24

Install Pixels

It is a short code snippet you can embed into your website to gain valuable insights into how people interact with your site. You can also include pixels in your popup campaigns to optimize your ad campaigns further.

  

Hack  #25

Optimize Likes And Shares

The likes and shares you get on your posts and ads serve as social proof. If you’re getting likes and shares on your posts, that means people are admiring your offers. 

There are two ways you can create ads for your business. Either create ads from scratch or leverage the ‘Use Existing Post’ option.

Have you ever wondered how some ads manage to get hundreds of thousands of likes and shares under their ads? 

That’s because most of them use the ‘Use Existing Post’ option to optimize their shares and likes. The ‘Use Existing Post’ feature provides businesses with an opportunity to optimize their ads’ likes and shares by gathering all the campaign’s post engagements under one ad.

  

Hack  #26

Optimize Content And Images

Attractive images and videos add more value to your Facebook ads. They also improve engagement and minimize ads cost. 

Your goal is to include high-quality and relevant images that make the entire look of your post appealing. 

Businesses that sell clothing and other fashion articles should practice this strategy as it will help them better portray their collections. 

Similar to images, it is also critical to optimize your content for the right keywords. Write to-the-point meaningful content and add relevant headings to improve the overall readability score of your content.

  

Hack  #27

Optimize Your Ad Placement

Did you know your ad placement can have a massive impact on your conversions? 

Also, it significantly impacts your overall ad costs. According to data collected by AdEspresso’s data, your CPC can improve up to 550% depending upon your ad placement strategies. 

First and most importantly, you should determine the placement of your top-performing ads. 

Check into your Ads Manager and leverage the Breakdown menu to classify your ad placement in terms of performance.

  

Hack  #28

A/B Test Your Ideas

It is critical to know what works best for your campaign and what isn’t. The best way you can test the efficacy of your campaigns is by running a quick A/B test.

A few things you can split test for your ad campaigns include your ad copy, bidding, ad placement, ad design, and images.

  

Search Engine Advertising (PPC)

Hack  #29

Choose your budget wisely

Finalizing your budget is a key task during your PPC campaign planning. The budget should reflect not only the money associated, but also the quality of your campaign content and your objectives from it. 

Hence, thorough research is necessary before zeroing in on anything. Some important considerations include whether your campaign is long-term or short-term, what’s its type and target audience, what kind of content you’re pushing, and so on. 

These strategies need constant evaluation and improvement, depending on the PPC’s performance. You have to learn from your mistakes and tweak your approach accordingly. This will need significant budget planning and targeted execution.

  

Hack  #30

Insert long-tail and negative keywords

A significant number of consumers are not comfortable with the way their data is shared. They want more transparency, choice and control over how their data is used. As the emphasis on user privacy is growing, third-party cookies are becoming a major threat to targeted advertising and marketing. Safari and Mozilla don’t support third-party cookies any longer and these cookies will be even blocked by Google Chrome in 2022.

While choosing keywords and monitoring their effectiveness, always ensure that you let your high performers get the space to establish themselves. Don’t change keywords frequently, but don’t keep your campaign stagnant for a long time, either. 

Balance is the key; customize your PPC by keeping the performing keywords as a base and building on them.

  

Hack  #31

Plan a running schedule

The primary instinct of a digital marketer may be to ensure maximum visibility of their PPC campaign, leading them to run the campaign around the clock. However, this creates more problems than solutions. The ideal strategy would be to plan an optimal schedule to run the ads. This will ensure sustainable resource deployment, as well as a smart approach towards your audience. Find the perfect time to start the PPC, depending on your target audience’s browsing patterns and geographical location. Once you figure out the ideal time, your PPC campaign is bound to see more success in a short time. While doing this, you should also make sure your offerings are optimized for a mobile viewing experience. Cracking this market will lead to better and easier reach, more brand-building, and higher accessibility with your viewers.

  

Hack  #32

Monitor clicks and forecast data

Nowadays, search engines can easily determine whether the traffic is organic or generated by a bot. And you do not want to get a bad reputation in this regard. 

Thus, you should monitor your clicks for click-rate quality and ensure you attract more organic traffic. There are several tools that help filter invalid clicks. You can use them for branding your website as a fair player, which will give you higher precedence on Google in the long run. 

Another pro tip for your PPC is to forecast data. This refers to the way you analyze data and use it to make future predictions. If you collect enough data to make a well-informed decision, it will reduce the risks of your campaign and take you on avenues that ensure success. 

Through this, you can guide users towards better decisions and present them with an idea of your performance in the long term. Additionally, try to keep your campaign flexible to incorporate user feedback and optimize effective strategies.

  

Hack  #33

Apply smart bidding practices

Your bidding strategies are crucial to your campaign’s success. To find a suitable strategy, you should analyze your goals, budget, and audience while keeping in mind that each strategy works differently. Your aim must be to target the best clicks for your business, not buying clicks in bulk. 

Bid multipliers can help achieve this by putting more value in clicks coming at specific times of the day. If you’re selling a professional service, it’s always a good idea to attribute greater value to clicks during office hours as your buyers will be more active at that time. Similarly, there are several other PPC trends aimed towards effective targeting and automated bidding in 2021. 

You can set bids based on timing, location, the device used, and so on. Tailoring your offerings for these specific niches will help your business reach the right people at the right time, who will be more eager to make a purchase. Hence, use bid modifiers smartly and efficiently.

  

Hack  #34

Optimize quality score

Quality score is a metric used by major search engines like Google and Bing. It influences ad ranks and the cost of the PPC. Each ad is given a position on the search engine based on its bid and its quality score. So, you should pay extra attention to it. 

Quality score affects your search ranks, cost-effectiveness, and overall campaign performance. If you have a high score, it means your brand is legit and has a good record. Thus, Google will reward you with higher ad positions at lower prices. 

It also determines how often your ads appear on users’ screens, and for which keywords or search behavior. It also impacts your Impression Share, resulting in better brand value and lower costs.

To optimize quality score, make sure your content is creative and clean, devoid of redundant keywords and irrelevant ads. Use branded keywords and eliminate strategies that have failed to fetch results.

  

Hack  #35

Use remarketing & in-market segments

Mastering the art of remarketing leads to major success in PPC campaigns. Mostly, users visit a certain website but leave without taking the desired action. This leads to low conversion rates and lackluster results. 

To remedy that, you have to focus on remarketing. These efforts should be targeted towards these wandering visitors, depending on their last action on the website. If someone opened the registration page but left without registering, remarketing reminds them of the benefits of signing up. Basically, you urge the customer to complete their action and lead to a conversion. 

Remarketing, however, has certain challenges. If you run a small business that doesn’t have enough visitors, you can use in-market segments to target people who are looking for similar services. For instance, if you search for a pair of shoes but are unable to find your size, often you’ll find other websites showing shoe options popping up in your internet feed. 

You might end up finding your fit and size from another website, and go ahead with the purchase. This is how in-market segments work with PPC.

  

Public Relations

Hack  #36

Nail your one sentence value proposition

A great story sticks in someone’s memory much longer than generic explanations of what you do. The longer you can stay sloshing around in a journalist’s brain, the better the chance they will remember you when they plan to write a story about a related topic. Master storytelling and doing PR for startups will come naturally to you.

When you are working on your one sentence pitch think about how a journalist is going to imagine themselves in the scenario you present with your pitch.

  

Hack  #37

Create a contact list of relevant journalists

In this step, you have to find reporters whose main beats include what your product/app/service does. Think about the main action your service/product facilitates or performs. Now, type in the space your company is in into Google and toggle to the News tab.

At this point, you should have a list of articles written about your keyword, your space, your industry, your competitors. Add the links to these articles into a Google Spreadsheet.

When going through each article, click through to the journalist’s social media profile. Only if they cover your field on a regular basis (you see multiple articles written by them on this topic in the last month or two), then add them to your spreadsheet.

You only have to connect and network with journalists to boost your PR.

  

Outreach & Cold Emailing

Hack  #38

Nail your subject lines

Your subject line is probably the first time that your prospect hears about you and your company. 

It’s like you’re meeting new people, and it’s only logical that you’ll remember those who make a great and memorable impression on you and not those who stand aside and barely speak a word. 

Don’t be that aloof and vague person because you won’t catch your recipients’ eye. 

Your subject lines have to channel your authentic and genuine intent to add value to your recipients and to offer them something that can make their lives easier.

  

Hack  #39

Add Videos to Your Outreach

Email is a great medium for outreach. Unfortunately, 93% of the way we communicate is nonverbal. 

This is a serious stumbling block with email. 

Video is a natural counterpoint to this. 

As you’re no doubt aware from watching the TV, you get a lot of nonverbal cues through video. 

There’s the tone of the presenters’ voice, their body language, gestures, and a lot more besides. 

All of these things can help make you more engaged in a topic and the person presenting the information.

  

Hack  #40

Don’t Ask for Anything in Return!

You know those annoying people who contact you on LinkedIn, and after the first Hello starts pitching and asking you to buy something from them, or try out their service? 

Well, again, don’t be like those people because your recipients will do the same thing you do – roll their eyes and ignore you.

Your email copy has to be aligned with the message you communicated in your subject line. 

Otherwise, you’ll come off as deceptive.

Stick to the topic and your promise. Provide value and offer your recipients some useful tips and tricks that you know will work.

  

Hack  #41

Play the Numbers Game

When you first reach out to somebody, it’s a good idea to corroborate your statements and promises with relevant data provided by authoritative sources. 

According to 65% of prospects, this is what adds value to your message, especially if you’re reaching out to C-level execs. 

However, don’t stuff your email with different stats and figures because this isn’t a report, and you don’t want to overwhelm your recipients. 

Instead of that, focus on the message you’re trying to communicate, and use the data to support it. 

Another good idea is to use your internal data about your own customers and provide social proof.

  

Hack  #42

Send Emails at the Right Time

Sending emails at the right time may be the difference between high and low response rates to your cold pitches.

Take a look at this study. Tuesdays and Thursdays are the highest volume days for email engagement.

What about the best time to send emails? Omnicore did a study, and this is the result they came up with:

 

At these times, people are usually available and checking their emails. However, as more users are opening emails on their mobile phones, evenings are also an excellent time to send mails.

While there are various suggestions on the best time to send emails, you would be better off finding out what works for you. 

That’s why you should have a data analytics dashboard where you can monitor the open rates and response rates to get a fair idea of what works best. 

Run test emails on various clients based on psychographics and demographics until you find out what works best for your clients.

  

Conversion Rate Optimization

Hack  #43

Collect data

 

Assuming you’ve already set conversion goals and know what you want your page to accomplish, you need to figure out what’s keeping your page from accomplishing it. 

 

To do that, look at analytics, heat maps, user recordings—even try conducting surveys. Gather as much data as you reasonably can.

  

Hack  #44

Analyze and develop a hypothesis

 

In the data, look for deficiencies that may be warning signs of a larger problem. 

 

For example, a high bounce rate may indicate a disconnect between the ad and the landing page. Or, a scroll map may show that visitors aren’t scrolling past the fold to examine the rest of your page. 

These red flags might mean you need to rewrite your copy or rearrange your page. From your analysis, create a hypothesis for testing.

  

Hack  #45

Determine metrics for success

To be confident your experiment will yield a worthwhile result, you need to ensure it’s reliable. 

Statistically speaking, there’s an exact number of visitors you need to drive to your pages before you can be confident your test results were not due to chance. 

To determine this number, you need to know things like your baseline conversion rate and the minimum detectable effect.

  

Hack  #46

Eliminate confounding variables

Your test isn’t taking place in a vacuum, and that makes it susceptible to outside variables that threaten to poison its validity. Controlling them as much as possible is necessary to produce an outcome that you can use on your pages.

  

Hack  #47

Set up your test and QA

The most efficient way to create variation pages and test them is with software. But software isn’t perfect, nor are those of us who use it. 

So create your variation pages, but don’t run your test until you’ve controlled for user error and instrumentation problems. 

Test traffic sources, page elements, different browsers, software, etc.

  

Hack  #48

Let your test run

Once you’ve QA’d and set your test live, it’s vital to let it run. How long? At least until you reach statistical significance, but the longer the better. 

Regression to the mean can happen even after you’ve reached the industry-standard 95% statistical significance. 

The more visitors your page accumulates, the more confident you can be in your result. 

Opinions are mixed, but experts say that the test should be live for at least 2-3 weeks, even if it reaches statistical significance earlier, to control for time’s effects on consumer behavior.

  

Hack  #49

Analyze your results

With your test concluded, what does it show? 

Even if your test page hasn’t beaten the original, you’ve learned something. And it may be a lesson that will come in handy in future tests. 

If your variation page has bested the original, and your test has met the conditions above, you can be relatively confident that your alterations will result in more conversions. 

Make your optimization and monitor the new page.

  

Hack  #50

Continue testing

Testing isn’t a one-and-done process. If you have the resources, and you’re confident that landing page optimization will move the needle more than any other tactic, you should be testing as continuously as possible—because the best conversion rate is one that’s better than the one you have now. 

Take what you’ve learned from your previous tests and try to apply it to future ones. 

Patterns may emerge that allow you to recognize problems and remedy them faster, making your optimization system even more effective.