First came Google Adwords. Next, Facebook ads. Then Google made Product Listings Ads (Google Shopping) and Google Display Network. Now there are ads and promotions on Twitter, Pinterest,Instagram and Facebook Messenger. We can now even remarket to our customers if they were disturbed in their purchasing process.
So, the million dollar question, which one do you choose? Well, just like allocating your marketing budget, there is no one right way to spend. What’s most important is that you measure your return on investment.
To help you on your way to digital marketing success, here are our top tips:
Use your time wisely. The advertising platform that is easiest to manage (which is important if it is just you running your business and wearing lots of hats) is the Product Listing Ads on Google, which show up in Google Shopping. To create these, you download a spreadsheet, complete all the required fields and upload, sharing via Google Drive. Google then pulls from this spreadsheet as often as you cite it should, so keep your stock levels and NPD up to date in this spreadsheet.
Google Adwords. Easy to learn, difficult to master. There are loads of tricks to help you excel, and the best place to learn them is with the masters at Google themselves. They hold regular training sessions, and best of all they are free. (Rebecca has actually attended twice to brush up her Adwords skills!)
Have a clear understanding of what the purpose of your ads is? Google Adwords and PLAsare great for helping you get more sales, when used correctly. However, there are other purposes to advertising, particularly on social:
Brand awareness – look for low cost high volume search terms for this option.
Getting consumers to enter your sales funnel – such as email signup CTAs
Increase likes on social media
Increase engagement on social media
Social media advertising interfaces have greatly improved in recent years, and it’s very easy to see results of your campaigns and check against your own set targets and KPIs.
Experiment. It takes time but if you don’t try you will never know. We highly recommend split testing on your ads. Try different formats on the same platform and campaign to see what really works for your brand and your customer. Also, do not be afraid to work outside your comfort zone: try the new options on your preferred platform as well as experimenting with different platforms.
Have you experimented with digital? Need some help with your strategy? Email us email@example.com – we’d love to hear from you.
Personal service is nothing new. From the waiter at your favourite restaurant knowing your name to the tailor knowing your inside leg length and preferred colours and cloth, personalisation has always been a part of business.
Personalisation doesn’t end there however, and in the future brands are going to have to harness their data to create meaningful customer journeys. This will not always be easy. Consumers have so many different devices they plug in with, and across so many channels, that it is difficult for marketers to establish just who is on the other side of the screen.
But consumers expect this personal touch, particularly when it comes to customer service. Social media and digital media has become a way not just for brands to communicate with their customers, but for consumers to engage with brands, and they expect answers almost instantly. This has led to the development of automated communications systems, such as chat bots and “we’ve received your enquiry” automated messages.
Technology has made us lazy shoppers. Consumers want to be more or less spoon fed. Through the use of data insights, we can build a relationship with customers through reacting to their buying habits, making helpful suggestions be it “time to reorder” messages, a favourites/wish list feature with an alert for promotions on their desired items, or recommended products to go with already purchased or in basket products.
Birthday messages with a gift discount code can be another effective touch. Data insights from Experian suggest that personalised messages, such as birthdays and anniversaries, can result in 300% higher click-rate and a 250% higher revenue rate. Reason being is that 78% of customersequate brands who create personalised content for them with brands who value their business and want to build a relationship with them.
It’s important that you get it right though. When surveyed, 67% of people said they would immediately leave a web page which asked them to donate to a hated political party, 57% said they would do the same if they were married and shown adverts for a dating website, and 50% would quit on a site that recommended to them the wrong gender’s underwear.
Personalisation can be used to provide a seamless experience to your customer. Get it right, win over the customer and they will become your biggest brand advocate and keep on coming back. The time is coming when personalisation will need to have a strategy within every business in order to win over a loyal audience.
Hopefully, you read part 1 of this series and understand that we are all marketers. Next, we need to understand our consumer, their habits and how to create touchpoints.
Before the digital age, a marketers jobs was much simpler. There were less:
Technology has changed everything! We’re bombarded with information 24/7 (or as long as our waking hours) across so many channels.
We’re “always on” but our attention span as a race is shorter than ever: a study by Microsoft Corp shows that the average human loses attention after 8 seconds!
Many people starting out with a brand or company to promote think they will place an ad (yep, that’s one ad) and see instant results.
Or that one piece of PR will bring home the bacon.
The truth is, on the whole. consumers don’t buy after the first or second interaction with a brand or product, but more like the 7th time.
But knowing where to focus your budget creating these touchpoints is a mystery to many, and in almost every instance there is no right answer. However, with planning and forethought you can map out where you are going to reach your target consumers, and how much it is going to cost.
In a survey conducted by eMarketer, 84% of marketers said that they would activate at least one influencer campaign in the next twelve months, and with good reason it would appear: a poll by influencer marketplace Tomoson showed that businesses are generating $6.50 for every $1 spent. This poll also discovered that influencer marketing is the fastest-growing online marketing channel, surpassing affiliate marketing, paid search and display ads.
But is this the right direction for natural products businesses to take? In order to answer this question, we must first define what the influencer(s) we are going to work with look(s) like. By and large, the term “influencer” is used to describe an online persona with a large, engaged and active following. More often than not, this persona will have come to fame via social media and/or blogging, but most importantly they have the undivided attention of their audience and as a result, can influence their behaviour.
Think of influencer marketing as the modern day endorsement, only these days you don’t have to be a sports personality or movie star to be an influencer, thanks to the power of technology connecting us all.
Coming back to the question we posed: “is influencer marketing the right direction for natural products businesses to take?”. When seeking out your influencers, be thorough. Take a look at their blog, social media channels and vlogs and see:
if they have worked with any natural or organic brands previously.
how the influencer conveys the natural and organic message, after all, if this is one of your brand or product’s main messages delivery of it is key.
if and how their audience engaged with the content. By this we don’t just mean likes and retweets, but conversations. It’s important that we remember that although natural and organic is moving more towards mainstream and available in more mass market environments than ever before, there’s still a long way to go in educating mass consumers.
Even if the influencer ticks all of the above boxes, there is then the question of budget. Unless by some miracle the influencer is already your biggest fan, the activity is going to come at a price. Whilst this is swallowable for some of the bigger brands we work with, for newly launched and niche brands this kind of spend would swallow pretty much all their marketing budget for the year. And as with every spend, there is no guarantee of ROI. Something about eggs and one basket springs to mind.
One plan of action we recommend for smaller natural products brands we work with is to search out the influencers within our niche. The bloggers and vloggers who are passionate about natural and organic. The published slow foodie, clean eating sensations who became hits and launched their careers on Instagram. We still consider these people to be influencers, and for our industry they represent a more cost-effective option as well as being more targeted towards the type of consumers we are looking to engage with.
Have you experimented with influencer marketing? What does an influencer look like to you? For any advice please email firstname.lastname@example.org
I have spoken at unarguably the biggest and best natural products show of the year, Natural & Organic Products Europe, for several years now.
Previously, I have spoken about ingredients trends and beauty predictions, however this year we thought we’d give attendees something a little different.
So, I imparted some of my top marketing secrets and tips to help businesses big and small get more bank for their marketing buck.
The lovely Joanna from Mallow & White was gutted she couldn’t make the talk and asked if I might transcribe the talk into a blog. Which is why you are reading this today! This is part one of a ten part series based around my how to get more bang for your marketing buck talk given at Natural & Organic Products Europe.
It’s a funny phrase “bang for your buck”, and it fact it is derived from “more bounce to the ounce”, an advertising slogan used in 1950 to market the carbonated soft drink Pepsi.
The phrase “bigger bang for the buck” was notably used by U.S. President Eisenhower’s Secretary of Defense, Charles Erwin Wilson, in 1954. He used it to describe the New Look policy of depending on nuclear weapons, rather than a large regular army, to keep the Soviet Union in check. Today, the phrase is used to mean a greater worth for the money used. Many of you reading this will most likely be the marketers, along with many other roles, in your business.
But what does being a marketer really mean? What is the role of the marketer? Marketing, by and large, is communication. To be the best marketer you can possibly be, we recommend following these guiding points:
Be compelling – use empathy, be objective and never be afraid to be different. You have to tell consumers what your product is, how it is going to help them, but without being salesy from the outset.
Intention – fail to plan and you plan to fail. It’s one of my favourite sayings, and it’s so true. You need to make sure your strategy is joined up, across multiple channels to create meaningful touchpoints, something we’ll come to in the next post.
Creativity – create memorable campaigns, don’t be afraid to stand out. You need something catchy to reel your consumers in, and to stay in their minds.
Intensity – your campaign needs to be dense enough, across a variety of channels, to create an impact.
Measure – always measure the results of your campaign compared to performance in an off-campaign period. Look at uplift, sales volume and profitability to find the full effect of your campaign.