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7 Boring SEO Tasks You Can Automate to Save One Day Per Week

7 Boring SEO Tasks You Can Automate to Save One Day Per Week

An SEO expert’s day is filled with a plentitude of activities to rank well on Google, starting with taking care of basic content quality to backlinks, site structure, mobile user experience, and other technical features.

Not to mention having to squeeze the time spent on each task between meetings, conference calls, emails, and urgent projects, which take up a large portion of the week. Before you can even think about finishing less-important SEO tasks, you are already running out of time.

The truth is some tasks are too boring to complete at the end of a tiring day. But you can’t leave it on the table to handle some other day, as it will only overshadow other, more important tasks.

So, what’s the way out?

The good news is advanced online tools can handle your boring SEO tasks, helping you save at least one day per week for creative activities.

Here are some of the boring SEO tasks you can automate now and save yourself from performing these tedious activities.

1. Automate SEO analysis – 2 hours

The complexity of SEO analysis can lead you to paralysis – especially if you are a newbie. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools that will help you understand every nook and cranny of a site without wasting time.

For example, the Yoast SEO plugin identifies on-page SEO issues and offers actionable recommendations on how to solve them. It also evaluates how effectively your content is optimized to rank for particular key phrases. If you switch to Yoast SEO premium, then you can leverage its plugin to optimize for keyword synonyms, too.

Here’s the list of SEO analysis activities that you can automate using Yoast:

SEO Tasks Configure Yoast SEO Configuration Wizard

Image Source: Yoast

2. Automate keyword and backlink monitoring – 30 minutes

When it comes to SEO, monitoring keywords, and checking a website’s backlink profile are the most tedious, time-consuming tasks.

But with a tool like SE Ranking, you can shave off several hours from monitoring activities with the help of a dashboard that collects and organizes everything in one place. SE Ranking’s dashboard helps you monitor backlinks, keyword rankings, and social signals, as well.

SEO Tasks Monitor Backlink Using SE Ranking Backlink Checker

Image Source: SE Ranking

3. Automate YouTube SEO optimization – 1 hour

While your plate is full with managing websites and their content, taking care of YouTube SEO can be an extra burden. You can take that burden off your shoulders with a tool like TubeBuddy.

TubeBuddy is a chrome extension that you can download to optimize and promote every video on your YouTube Channel. To put it simply, TubeBuddy finds high-performing topics and helps you craft titles and tags that will gain higher rankings on search engines. Additionally, it also offers A/B testing, thereby allowing you to test, tweak, and increase your YouTube video clicks.

SEO Tasks Automate YouTube SEO Optimization

Image Source: TubeBuddy

4. Automate competitor analysis – 1 hour

Performing competitor analysis is a challenging task, as it includes looking into key sources of link-building and lead-generation. Not only does it eat away plenty of time, but it may also ultimately be worthless if you do not try every single strategy.

Fortunately, SEMrush’s “Competitor Analysis” reports allow you to easily obtain the most important traffic data from any industry in any country. It unearths the marketing efforts that your rivals concentrate on the most, discovers their traffic sources, shows you a picture of their targeted audience, and sheds light on their lead-generation sources.

SEO Tasks Automate Competitor Analysis

Image Source: SEMrush

5. Automate social sharing – 1 hour

If you are sharing each piece of content as soon as it goes live, then you are unconsciously wasting one hour each day. A much more efficient way to do the job is to automate social sharing with a social media scheduling tool, like Buffer.

Needless to say, Buffer is the most popular social media automation platform that you can use to schedule posts across various social media networks. One of the major features of Buffer is its “Posting Schedule,” which allows you to share content consistently when your audience is most active. That means you don’t have to wait all night and skip dinner for the sake of sharing a blog post on social media.

SEO Tasks Automate Social Sharing with PreParcel Tool

Image Source: Buffer

6. Automate “Relevant Term” search for your content – 30 minutes

“Write for the user, not the search engines,” is the mantra of SEO. But to really write engaging content, you have to use terms that are relevant to what your target audience wants to know, as well as how Google associates these terms.

For example, maybe you want to rank for “best gym shoes for women.” You follow your research process and select keywords that fit well. But what about other synonyms that users put into Google?

If you search “best gym shoes for women” on Google, then you will notice similar language but with detailed descriptions, like “color,” “lace-up,” “running,” “swift-run,” “training,” “synthetic leather,” etc.

SEO Tasks Automate Search Terms

It is these terms that make you stand out from the crowd. Relevant terms are necessary to include in the content. But finding them manually is like looking for a needle in a haystack, thereby resulting in sacrificing hours from your already busy schedule and getting confused with a big list of keywords in Google Sheets.

The solution is to let a tool handle the “relevant term” search, while you focus on including them in your content.

BrightEdge’s DataCube will help you find related terms and topics, as well. It has a program that allows you to enter a keyword and see a list of “related terms” without the need to dig into the depths of Google. You can sort the generated list with a high search volume, long-tail keywords, and keywords of higher value (i.e., scoring 80 or more based on the calculated cost-per-click value and search volume).

BrightEdge's DataCube Related Terms and Topics Search Tool

Image Source: BrightEdge

7. Automate searching backlink opportunities – 2 hours

Often, experts get so caught up in the site metrics that they can’t decide whether to pursue a particular backlink or not.

However, it is important to know the specific person who runs the site. After all, it’s the site owner who will decide whether or not to link back. So, instead of getting tangled up with site metrics, you have to research backlink prospects. But it’s a lengthy process, started by finding each person, then sending emails, and finally waiting for their response. You don’t even know whether they will respond or not.

That’s why you need the helping hand of BuzzSumo, a backlink prospect, and influencer-finding tool. All you have to do is put your keyword into the search bar, and the tool will display backlink prospects or influencers in your niche. BuzzSumo also shows the response rate of each person, so you can contact the ones with the highest odds of acceptance.

Buzzsumo Backlink Prospect and Influencer Finding Tool

Image Source: Buzzsumo

Conclusion

While none of these tips will single-handedly take your website to the first spot on Google, they will save you at least one day per week, plus give you additional resources to eliminate stress and free up more hours for other creative strategies. Try them out and find the difference in time consumed and time saved.

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How to Skyrocket Sales With AI-Powered Email Marketing Campaigns


Businesses these days, however small or big, run on data-driven digital marketing. This leads us directly to one of its most popular and effective forms known as ‘email marketing’. And it has seen huge growth over the years. 

Research shows a whopping 91% of email users as active users that interact regularly. And the number of these exchanges are expected to increase in the coming years. 

Number of Sent and Recieved Emails Per Day Worldwide From 2017 to 2023

So what’s the next big step? Marketers are now in fact starting to utilize the growth by optimizing this channel with artificial intelligence or AI. This begs the question, what exactly is AI-Powered email marketing and how does it aid in sales?

Through this blog, I will look further into the workings of artificial intelligence (AI). How it connects with email marketing and how AI campaigns bring about changes in customer interaction, deliverance, and sales.  

Here’s what to know about AI-powered email marketing 

The term Artificial Intelligence (AI) covers a lot of technologies that help machines perform specific cognitive tasks. These technologies now have serious influence and impact on marketing careers and performance.

AI technology is much more than just automation. It analyzes large datasets but it doesn’t just crunch numbers. Through advanced techniques and computational firepower, they take out insights from the data which are then used to predict, recommend, and decide.

This very technique is established in AI-powered email marketing as an extra boost for your email strategy. Hence, it yields more favorable results. For instance, take a look at this survey recently conducted by Statista.

4 Positive Effects of AI Use in Email Marketing

It reveals AI-powered campaigns have had a 41.29 percent improvement rate on revenue alone. Much of this success is met by the number of AI-powered tools made available by several brands to:

  • Write email subject lines
  • Optimize send times
  • Clean email lists
  • Create automatic email newsletters and more

This marketing automation aids in garnering a higher conversion rate including personalization and data analysis. This makes AI a much-needed element for upgrading email marketing tactics.

How AI email campaigns increase sales

Here are some of the ways AI is improving email marketing and skyrocketing sales:

1. Engaging subscribers 

A study conducted by the state of email engagement found that about 62% of retailers believe AI utilization to have a huge impact on subscriber engagement. Particularly, B2B companies can monitor subscriber interactions and engage closely with the use of AI.  

It further engages through optimized subject lines. AI tools are used to implement NLG or natural language generation to write improved subject lines more efficiently than humans. This optimization is achieved by learning your brand voice and personality through the data you use. As a result, it directly affects your user experience for the better.

Engaging Subscribers for AI Email Marketing

About 47% of users will open an email according to the way the subject sounds. Thankfully, as AI is more efficient in curating customized subject lines, it has higher chances to grab the user’s attention. This then leads to improved click rates and customer conversion. 

2. Personalization

Personalizing your emails is a clever way of acknowledging the different behaviors and interests of your subscribers. A survey reveals that personalized email subject lines have 26% more chances to be opened while delivering 6x higher transaction rates.

This is why personalization is crucial in email marketing. AI enables you to send tailor-made content to your subscribers by determining the right time and frequency through historical data inspection. 

For example, marketers through the use of AI can suggest and recommend products specific to a customer’s likes and insert them into personal email communication.

How Email Personalization Boosts Sales and Revenue for AI Email Marketing

Personalized emails can have a massive impact on boosting sales. They even result in open and click rate improvement.

Let’s take, for instance, the brand Cosabella. They used this very tactic of AI-powered email personalization to boost their sales without advertising discounts for their products. Through the AI platform ‘Emarsys’, it enabled them to increase email open rates by 4% and overall email revenue by 60%.

Cosabella's Email Campaign Results for AI Email Marketing

The brand also recorded a sales increase of 40 to 60% in comparison to the previous year. Courtney Connell, the marketing director of Cosabella explains how the new system enabled them to leverage data with great merchandising capabilities.  

3. Increase in revenue and decrease in costs

As AI-powered tools help in the increase of open and click-through rates, it influences the revenue from email as well. Hence, better results are produced through email marketing campaigns. 

A case study into the travel company Virgin Holidays reveals a huge spike in revenue after adopting the AI tool ‘Phrasee’ to write automated email subject lines. Virgin Holidays knew AI could write more efficiently but doubted the deliverance of the brand’s fun and quirky tone.

Increase in Revenue and Decrease in Costs AI Email Marketing

The doubts were soon lifted after Virgin Holidays had an increase of 2% open rate. A bump that would be worth millions in new revenue. Saul Lopes, the CX, CRM, and Loyalty Lead of the company praised the tool for generating several million in revenue for the company. 

We can see how AI-powered email marketing strategies have a strong influence over revenue. But it doesn’t stop there. Since, AI-powered tools make email marketing campaigns faster, easier, and better, they cut down costs for your company by reducing time spent on marketing initiatives.

4. Remarketing

If you think a customer will purchase on the first visit, you are wrong! Research shows only about 2% of users engage in purchasing the first time around. This is where AI comes into the picture. AI is capable of pinpointing when and whom to pitch an email.

Since customers often leave items in a cart without purchasing, AI tools can notify you and pitch an email directed to the customer about the items. This encourages customers to revisit and finish off the deal. 

The advantage with AI is, you can identify unnoticed patterns or details and use it for improved performance. But you need to understand your audience and use the right tools. As such, here are some vendors that provide AI tool services for email marketing:

  • Seventh sense
  • Rasa.io
  • Drift email
  • Phrasee

Final remarks

AI is a useful technology and knowing its limits with the right usage will lead your marketing strategies in the right direction. Overall, AI-backed marketing carries a lot of potential to enhance not only email marketing but other online strategies as well. 

Ultimately, AI does set a promising path for future growth. But given its fast influence in a growing capitalist economy, do you think AI is used excessively by marketers? There are a lot of discussions going around on this. Let us know what your opinion is!

Guest author: Kristin Mortis is a Marketing Manager with 7+ years of experience at TDInsights based out of Plano, Texas. She helps businesses deliver the strongest marketing turnaround with cutting-edge digital strategies and tools. She writes about Marketing, big data, enterprise mobility, artificial intelligence, and other technological innovations.



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How to Update Your Old Blog Posts and Boost SEO


While most websites focus on publishing new content to lure their audience, the truth is, you can generate more results by updating content that is already present on your website.

If you have been posting blogs for a long time, chances are, you have a backlog of old posts that haven’t been updated in the last 2-3 years since you published them. But while you have completely forgotten about those old posts, your target audience is still discovering those pages through Google search or other referral sources.

When new readers land on your website and go through an old post with outdated, stale, or that has information that isn’t relevant anymore, it can increase your bounce rate, affect your rankings, and invariably sabotage your content marketing strategy.

In this article, I’ll discuss why you should update old posts and what is the best way to do it.

Why update old blog posts anyway?

The content on your website represents your brand. By improving and optimizing the existing content on your website, you can provide more valuable information to users and increase search engine discoverability. 

Moreover, updating some of your older, but high-performing posts can extend the life of the content and give your website traffic a big boost as well. If you have noticed some of your evergreen blog posts that were previously getting consistent organic traffic are now falling in search engine rankings, they might have been taken over by newer and updated posts.

The Google May 2020 Core Update is also favoring websites that readily update old content.

Finally, it is also quicker and easier to update an old post as compared to writing a whole new one from scratch. Though you should still be publishing new and original content, updating important old posts can help you save time while still maintaining a consistent publishing frequency.

How do you select which posts to update?

The first thing that you should do is shortlist all the posts that need to be immediately updated and create a content strategy for the same. While there are many ways to go about it, just ensure you design a content strategy that you will actually use.

The main pages that you should update on your website, include:

Pages with high-quality links

Look for posts that have solid, high-quality backlinks from other authority websites, but haven’t been able to rank well in search results. To update these posts, all you would need to do is add the important keywords in your post to see an increase in page views.

Pages which drive a lot of traffic

Updating and refreshing pages that already receive the most traffic on your website is the easiest way to see a spike in website traffic. To find out the most popular pages on your website, go to Google Analytics. On the left pane, select Behavior → Site Content → All Pages. You can choose the time duration as 12 months or more to see the list of pages that get the most views.

Google Analytics Website Behavior Data

Pages with maximum keyword impressions but low rankings

Updating old posts only gives you better rankings and traffic when you target the content in the right way. And for that to happen, you need to know the exact keywords you want to target.

Go to Google Search Console to look for keyword queries that have a lot of impressions but considerably low rankings and click-through rates (CTR). Focus on keywords where your website pages are ranking in the 6-20 position. Find exactly which pages are showing up for those keywords – those are the pages you should update

Pages With Maximum Keyword Impresions But Considerably Low Rankings

Pages that have seen a sudden loss in organic traffic

Analyze traffic for your most popular pages on the website for the last 12 months to identify posts that might have suddenly lost organic traffic. The reason behind sudden and sharp drops can be different for different posts.

You can use the Google Analytics dashboard to find posts that are losing traffic and then look into Search Console to find out if those pages have recently lost rankings for important keywords.

Best practices for updating and republishing old blog posts

1. Keep the same URL

Instead of publishing the updated post as a new article, which can result in search engines thinking your post has duplicate content in it, just modify the original post and keep the URL exactly the same. You can write the updated post in a separate document and copy/paste it over the original post to republish it.

2. Target new keywords

Your already published post might be ranking for some keywords that you never expected. Find those keywords and place them strategically in your content to get better keyword rankings. It’s best to pick keywords that have considerably low search volumes because they will be a lot easier to rank.

3. Update content for accuracy

You shouldn’t just update content for the sake of updating it. Instead, focus on blog posts that have become outdated or have stale information in them. When updating posts, evaluate all the content for accuracy in determining the sections that need to be removed, changed, or added.

A good practice is to see how other websites are tackling the same topic and how you can do it better. You can monitor content by keywords, topics, and sources by using a discovery tool like Content Studio. You can analyze the top pages which are receiving the most engagement.

Update Content For Accuracy

You should also make sure to check the popular keyword tags and average word count of the posts for the selected keyword or topic to update your old blog posts accordingly for maximum engagement.

Monitor Content by Beywords, Topics, and Sources Using Content Studio

Shortlist the top web pages and analyze them carefully to understand why they are so popular and make changes to your existing posts accordingly.

4. Add internal links to new content

If you are updating an old blog post that was initially published over two years ago, it might only have internal backlinks to content that was published way before the post itself. While freshening up your post, you can use this opportunity to add internal links to recently published content to boost the SEO performance of your website.

5. Search for any broken links

While adding new links, you should also check for any broken or incorrect links in the content. All the links in your article should be accurate and lead your readers to the right place. Broken links don’t just dampen the user experience, but they are also a red flag for search engines. You can use a broken link checker like Ahrefs to quickly find any incorrect links on your website.

Search For Any Broken Links

6. Add new videos or images

One of the best ways to freshen up an old article is by adding new media to it. You can add new screenshots or even videos that are related to the topic or the keyword of the blog.

In fact, by adding videos to blog posts, you can increase the amount of time users stay on your website, which will directly help boost the website’s SEO. You could create a video version of one of your high performing posts and upload it on the website for higher engagement.

7. Include an editor’s note for transparency

Whenever you edit an existing blog post, make sure to add a small editor’s note at the end just for the sake of transparency. This will especially be helpful for popular posts on your website that already get a lot of comments and views. Your readers might get confused about seeing the new information and an old date on the post. In the note, you can add the date and reason for the changes.

Final words

When updating old posts for SEO, you have to make sure that the post is optimized for the keywords you are trying to target. Otherwise, you might not be able to see any visible results.

That is why you must conduct a keyword audit to find the right keywords that should be included in every post and then create a blog republishing strategy accordingly.

Guest author: Vikas Agrawal is a start-up Investor & co-founder of the Infographic design agency Infobrandz that offers creative and premium visual content solutions to medium to large companies. Content created by Infobrandz are loved, shared & can be found all over the internet on high authority platforms like HuffingtonPost, Businessinsider, Forbes , Tech.co & EliteDaily. 



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How to Boost Email Open Rates by 32% [Etsy Case Study]


How to Boost Email Open Rates by 32% [Etsy Case Study]

Email marketing allows businesses to reach current and potential customers in the place they go every single day – their inbox.

But how do you make sure that your emails are opened when they reach your subscribers?

You can create brilliant and engaging content, but if people do not open your emails, then they will not become your customers.

Even if your business already has a quite strong open rate, once numbers start to slow down, you’re probably wondering what you can do to push them in the right direction.

Today, I will help you improve the open rate of your next email campaign.

What is the open rate in email marketing?

Email open rate is the percentage of subscribers who open a specific email. These rates usually vary depending on the email subject line and the relevancy. Let’s take a look a the best open rate strategies which will boost your business.

According to Sender, email marketing metrics, and KPIs in 2020, the average open rate is 24.04%. In the past two years, it has improved by 2%.

Graph About Average Open Rate Vs. Average Clickthrough Rate

How to boost email open rates by 32%

Today I will analyze a case study of an Etsy seller who produces cute, handmade stickers. Every month, this seller sends a newsletter with her stickers catalog, discounts, and journaling ideas/tips.

This Etsy seller improved her email open rate and sales when she tried these 6 strategies.

1. Create engaging subject lines

As mentioned before, your subject line is one of the essential parts of your email; this is the first thing your subscribers see when they open their inbox. Like an article headline or the tagline of an ad, your subject line is meant to draw attention and get someone interested in what you have to offer.

Invest some time in your subject line and analyze previous email campaign metrics before hitting send. Here are some ideas to help you get started:

  • Question: Using a question in your subject line is a great way to engage and make a more personal connection with the subscribers viewing your emails.

For example:

Engaging Subject Line - Question
  • Command: Sometimes, it pays off to be direct with your subscribers and tell them what you want them to do.

For example:

Engaging Subject Line - Command
  • Tease: Believe it or not, but people love to be teased sometimes. And if the teaser stimulates interest, then it will attract subscribers to read on.

For example:

Engaging Subject Line - Teas
  • Listing: It’s easier for people to consume the information if it is listed.

For example:

Engaging Subject Line - Listing
  • Announcement: If your email’s goal is to announce something new, then you don’t have to make things complicated.

For example:

Engaging Subject Line - Announcement

2. Check your sign-up process

People will open your emails only if they subscribed themselves for it, and your newsletters fulfill their expectations. It’s your responsibility to make sure that your subscribers understand what they are signing up for.

Make sure that your subscriber understands this:

  • What value they will get from your newsletters
  • How often they will receive your emails
  • What they can expect to get

Here’s a good example of a subscriber sign-up form:

Good Example Of Subscriber Sign-up Form

3. ‘From’ subject line

The from field lets subscribers know who the email sender is. If you’re not considering carefully the information you write in this field, you could be making it difficult for people to recognize your email.

People are usually skeptical of emails when they don’t know the sender, which creates a possibility to mark your email as spam.

Use a familiar from name and from email address that represents your company.

Also, use an email address with your business’s name rather than a personal email, Hotmail, Gmail, etc.

4. Know your audience

You may know and understand your consumers’ needs, but how much do you know about the subscribers on your email list?

Do you know why they joined your mailing list? Do you know what topics they’re interested in? Do you know how you could help them?

Understanding your email list is crucial for better results. You can start to target your contacts with more relevant information when you learn more about your mailing list. Here are some ideas to help you:

  • Poll: Ask readers to take a quick poll. One question should be enough.
  • Survey: Send an extra short 1-3 question survey to find out what topics your subscribers are interested in.
Know Your Audience Using Survey
  • Ask: If you have people who unsubscribed from your mailing list, ask them why they are leaving to understand the reason and how you could improve.
  • Metrics: Always analyze your email campaign results to understand why people are more interested in some topics.

5. Timing

There are specific times of days when your readers are more likely to open your emails.

The easiest way to find the best time to send your newsletters is to split your list into two or more equally sized groups and send the same email during different times of the day (morning, evening, etc.). After a while, you will have the data of what time works for your mailing list.

For example, the Etsy seller above was sending her emails every Monday at 10 am because she saw that her subscribers loved to journal and plan their week at that specific time.

Also, if you are using an email marketing tool like Sender then do not forget to schedule your email campaigns, because 10 am in the USA and Europe is different, and you have to act according to your subscribers.

6. Email automation

Email automation is a crucial element of email marketing.

What is email automation? The use of predefined commands to trigger email communications based on specific actions that consumers take.

For example, a welcome email that is sent when someone signs up for a mailing list or a reminder that a client placed a product in their cart but never finished checking out.

Email automation takes repetitive tasks off your list and improves the open rate. It improves open rates because it sends emails according to subscribers’ actions, and they expect to get an email from you.

The Etsy seller above saw a 32% improvement in open rates when she started using email automation. Let’s analyze what she changed:

  1. She automatically sent follow-up emails to subscribers who didn’t open her newsletters.
  2. She automatically sent sign up confirmation forms to new subscribers with a message of what they can expect from her emails.
  3. She automatically sent her new product’s catalog newsletter to subscribers who clicked on the link in the previous email campaign.

These three email automation examples not only improved her open rates but also increased her sales.

Wrapping up

If you see that your email open rate decreases, don’t give up on email marketing yet, you can still improve.

Firstly, try implementing these strategies: create engaging subject lines, check your sign-up process, review the ‘from’ section, get to know your audience, send emails at the best time, and automate your emails.

Also, don’t forget to follow your email marketing metrics, analyze them, and act accordingly.

Guest author: Skirmantas Venckus is a writer by day and reader by night. He hates talking about himself in the third person. He is also the growth hacker at Sender.net – the email marketing provider that is focused on user-friendliness, affordability, and utility.



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3 Coercive Sales Copywriting Techniques to Skyrocket Your Sales


3 Coercive Sales Copywriting Techniques to Skyrocket Your Sales

Quality sales copy is crucial to your sales.

It’s what gets readers to take action.

Whether it is buying a product, digging for more about your solution, jumping on your email list, downloading a free report, or simply following you on a social network – everything hinges on your sales copy.

Effective sales copy must be engaging, credible, clear, concise, and persuasive.

It’s one of the most powerful marketing skills out there.

And over the course of this piece, I will give you 3 hefty sales copywriting approaches.

Do them right, and you’ll be spinning gold in no time.

Without further ado, let’s get started:

1. Hypnotize readers with a compelling story

Everybody loves a good story.

In fact, telling stories is what sets us homo sapiens apart from other species. According to psychology today, stories are essential for human survival:

Psychology Today Story-telling is Necessary fro Human Survival

Stories help educate us. They shape our understanding of events.

They root us in an ongoing stream of history. Ultimately, helping us with our sense of belonging and establishing our identities.

Humans love sharing stories with one another. And stories are the best way to connect with a persona to build a relationship.

So storytelling must be a part of your marketing strategy too, right?

Given it’s such an effective way to relate with people 1-on-1, a good story is a crucial factor in terms of building relationships with your target audience.

Chances are, you’re not the only business offering your particular type of solution. You’ve got competition.

And even if you don’t work in an extremely competitive market, you still have to fight for the attention of your target audience.

Why the word ‘fight’?

Because every 60 seconds in 2017, people publish:

What Happens Online In 60 Seconds - Sales Copywriting

And all of that happens over and over again. Every minute. Every day.

As a marketer, your job is to cut through that huge noise and strike a human connection.

And again, one of the fastest ways to make a human connection is by sharing a compelling story.

In marketing, you’ll be doing a lot of storytelling with your content. So it’s essential to study the anatomy of a good story.

Marketing storytelling isn’t very different from literature storytelling.

You’ve got characters. You’ve got a perspective. You’ve got a conflict. And you’ve got a resolution.

Let’s go over these elements one by one, so you can understand them better.

Element #1: Characters

When crafting a story, first, you must consider the people involved.

Who is the story about? Who’s taking action? Who’s facing a problem that needs to be overcome.

In marketing stories, the main character of your story will often reflect your reader.

But for that to work, it’s important to know your reader. And how do you do that?

By creating detailed buyer personas. So what’s a buyer persona?

It’s basically a composite sketch of a certain segment of your audience. Based on a combination of raw data and education guesses about who your readers are.

It’s a way to visualize an individual person consuming your content and identify the best way to connect with them.

If you work in a big company that’s been doing marketing for a long time, you may already have some buyer personas to work with.

Here’s the creation process:

Each buyer persona will have a name. This is totally arbitrary but helps to picture them as real people.

The rest of the information will vary depending on what your business does. But here are some examples of data points you’d want to include:

Job title: What do they do? What’s their job description?

Salary: How much money do they make?

Age: How old are they?

Gender: Does your audience skew toward one gender or another?

Location: Are your prospects based in a single place or distributed?

Education: Are they college-educated? Do they have a common field of study?

Family: Are they single? Married? Do they have kids?

Hobbies: What do they like to do for fun?

Reading habits: Who do they turn to for information?

Goals: What are their ambitions? What do they want out of life?

Challenges: What problems are they facing? And how could you help solve them?

Values: What’s most important to them? And why?

Fears: What keeps them up at night? And what helps alleviate those fears?

While these are just examples, these are the kinds of things you’d want to know.

You must be wondering where all this information is coming from.

It’s a combination of raw data and educated guesses, and it can come from a variety of sources.

For example, you can look at your website analytics to see where your visitors are coming from, what keywords they use to find your site, how long they stayed, which links they clicked, and so on.

These can tell you a lot about the desires and motivations of your audience.

Element #2: Perspective

Next, you must consider your story’s perspective, which ties directly to your character.

It could be the first person, second person, or third person.

First-person: Here, your main character is the author. You use words like “me” and “I,” and your story generally comes from firsthand experiences.

This is ideal if you’re an expert on a topic, and you want to share tips, advice, and experiences – based on your unique background.

Second-person: This approach is more focused on your audience. You use words like “You” and “Your” – and your reader plays the lead role in your story.

It’s all about their circumstances, their challenges, and how they can solve their problems. The second person is rare in common literature. But in marketing, it’s very common. Because, again, your audience would often be the primary focus of your story.

And of course, we also have…

Third-person: This is where the main character of your story is a third party. Here, you mainly use pronouns like “He,” “She,” or “They.”

This is something you’re probably familiar with. Because most books are written in the third person.

However, it’s not quite as common in marketing. The reason? Because it’s generally not as personal.

However, one common use of the third person in marketing is a case study. Here, you tell the story of how a customer/client used your company to eradicate a problem, and highlight the results.

In this case, that particular customer is the main character.

Element #3: Conflict

Conflict is what makes a story – a story.

Any compelling story needs an element of conflict.

This can be a specific conflict between two or more characters, or even just a problem in the main character’s life that needs to be solved.

So when you’re creating a piece of content to help your reader do something, you want to frame it as a conflict – a problem that you can help them solve.

If there’s no conflict, there’s no story.

And finally…

Element #4: Resolution

All stories need a resolution.

If you just present a conflict and end it there, your story will seem anti-climactic, and your reader won’t benefit from your content.

The resolution is the main conclusion, based on how the main character solved the problem.

So, if you’re writing in the first person, you’d be writing how you solved the problem.

In the second person, it’d be how the reader solved the problem.

And in the third person, it’d be how some third party solved a problem. Think case studies.

So now you know why stories are important, and you’re familiar with the core elements of a story.

Keep these in mind when approaching your content creation process.

2. Cash in on their emotion

As a copywriter, words are your weapon.

The more powerful and triggering your words, the more you sell.

You can stir their emotions with words and persuade them to believe in your product/service. Belief increases sales.

Decisions and purchasing behaviors are mostly driven by emotion. According to Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman, 95% of people make purchasing decisions subconsciously:

Decision And Purchasing Behaviors Are Mostly Driven By Emotions

So, if you’re considering cramming your copy with facts, figures, and stats, discard the thought. You need to input sentences that click with your customers.

Something they can relate to instantly.

You need to write to the people and problems instead of writing for SEO. Of course, technical writing and keywords are important, but that shouldn’t outweigh the significance of the user experience.

Fuel customers’ emotions and sprinkle empathy. Figure out what problems they’re facing and what are their solution preferences.

When you write to their problems, show empathy. Let them feel you understand what they’re going through. Highlight their problems and show them how it could affect them after a while.

Once they’re on the hook, sell your product as a solution. Tell them how your product could solve their problem effectively.

There are 6 types of basic emotions. Happiness, sadness, disgust, fear, anger, and surprise:

Six Types Of Basic Emotions

Image Source: Verywell Mind

One of the most powerful among this is fear. Using fear to sell products might be an easier option. Copy that increases fear gets customers anxious to see your product/service as the solution to overcome the fear.

Whichever product you’re selling, understand how the customers are feeling with the problem and without any appropriate solution.

What emotion could they possibly have about the problem? Is it fear, desire, or frustration?

Let’s see some examples:

Fear

Let’s say you’re selling a pet microchip. “Are you afraid that your furball might get lost in a new area? We got you. Use our microchip to ensure maximum safety.”

Desire

“Do you want to steer clear from the wrinkle phase and stay ever-glowing? We know you do. Hold your youth with our rejuvenating skincare line.”

Frustration

“Are you frustrated about failed job interviews? We have just the deal for you. Try out our monthly course to establish your business. The first week is free for you.”

In every case, we picked up their insecurity and assured them of helping with our product or service.

To promote/sell your product, you must find out the underlying cause of the solution they’re looking for.

Explain your offer with honesty and clarity. No over-promising stuff. Your offer will let the readers decide if the rest of the article is worth reading.

Once they decide to continue reading, it’s time for more persuasion.

Since there are a lot of over-promising, not-so-true claims, your readers will often have their guard on while reading your copy. You need to slowly take the guard off by asking the right questions.

Questions that get answered yes – all of them. That will make them feel understood, and they’ll put their guard down and be ready to read more.

Ask as many questions as possible to reveal more details and features of your product. Don’t leave them unanswered. That’ll only resist them from taking your offer.

Instead of telling them about the features of your product, tell them the benefit they’ll get from the features.

Like, instead of saying:

“Do you want to buy our super-fast race shoes?”

Say:

“Want running shoes to win the race? We’ve got you covered.”

See the difference?

Here, you’re fishing the right emotion, feeling it, and selling the benefits.

Tapping the emotion is the key to a successful sale.

3. Do ground-breaking research

To unlock effective copywriting, research is the key.

Thorough research will lead you to the way of a successful sale. It’s the main element to produce engaging and motivating copy for consumers.

You can’t execute effective sales copy without deep research. You need to research your prospect, product, and a competitor to write a well versed, compelling, and detailed piece of copy. Proper research will give you knowledge about these three things.

To offer more than enough information for your customers, you need to know their expectations. When you do detailed research on your customer’s demands, you understand their needs completely.

You know what to offer them or what benefit will draw them in to make the call. This will even help you identify your potential customers.

Using the research, you’ll be able to carve out your offer according to your customer’s needs that resonate with them.

Instead of just sticking to the sale-sy mindset, put yourself in your customer’s shoes, and write persuasively.

Think about the benefits you’d want from the product and how you’d want it to be put in sales copy. That’ll give you an insight into what you need to put in your sales copy that will convey the right message and fetch you the sale that you’ve been dreaming of.

After gathering information about your customers, it’s time to study the product. You must find out every detail possible, no matter how trivial.

Every feature of the product will become a bridge to connect to the customer’s needs.

More and better research will give you more details to work with. You need to translate each feature into a benefit and each benefit into a story to draw your prospect’s attention from different angles.

Tell your customer in detail what the product does and how it could solve their problem.

Product research gathers specific information and characteristics of a particular product. This information allows companies to understand the customer’s demands better and improve or upgrade the product accordingly. Doing surveys will be a great initiative to play with new product ideas.

Now, you can’t just pick the description of the product and present it wrapped to your customer. You need to point out each potential benefit the product has to offer. Also, let them know how many extra ways they’ll benefit using your product besides just solving their problem.

Researching products is one of the inevitable steps.

Finally – research your competitors. You and your competitors are supposed to have a common objective – satisfying the customer’s needs.

Keep tabs on your competitor’s products. To help you with your research, answer questions like:

  • What new products have they launched?
  • What problems are they solving?
  • What are their shortcomings?
  • What’s their price range?
  • What are their benefits?
  • What are the features?

And so on.

Doing this will give you a few points to highlight in your copy in a competitive way.

It could be anything like longer shelf life, more savings, free servicing, or better customer care service. When you know their weaknesses, you’ll be able to lay your strengths against them.

That’ll help your customer see why your product is a better option. Ensure you point out the weakness and benefits clearly, and it should be able to shake your customer’s perception and encourage them to buy yours.

You just can’t make information up out of thin air. You need to put some solid material in it to work effectively.

So use Google and Google scholar as much as you can. Go join industry Facebook groups to understand the audience. Study the proven copy of the industry. Make a vault of quality sales copy, and you’re well on your way.

If you want to learn more about research, I will leave you with rockstar copywriter Joel Klettke.

Closing words

There you are.

Armed with the top three most powerful sales copywriting approaches.

If done properly, these methods can impact your marketing and sales big time. Even small tweaks can lead to huge rewards.

So make good use of them.

Guest author: Mehedi Hasan Shoab is a freelance content marketer helping businesses skyrocket. Want him to handle your work? See his website here.



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How Artificial Intelligence is Building The Future of eCommerce

How Artificial Intelligence is Building The Future of eCommerce

eCommerce won’t be the same after this year’s events.

While the whole planet was frozen by the coronavirus pandemic, offline stores found they couldn’t compete with even the smallest online stores when people’s lifestyles were limited by their homes or neighborhoods.

But those who have just started online sales this year will quickly find out what to do to sell efficiently on the internet. This is why the overall competition will rise.

Wondering how you can gain a foothold at this moment? Take a look at modern technologies – artificial intelligence (AI)machine learning (ML), and big data analysis.

There are numerous applications, services, and programs created on these technologies, but not all of them are equally applicable to online retailers. And they’re quite expensive to implement.

So before you go adopting some fancy new technology, let’s have a look at ways AI can improve eCommerce growth, increase conversion rates, and improve the customer experience.

What is AI?

AI technologies help computers complete tasks humans would otherwise accomplish by successfully training computers in various abilities and by helping them learn from experience.

The whole idea of AI began in 1956, so it’s already an old and reliable technology with a strong mathematical and software base. There are a lot of different AI technologies being developed:

  • Deep learning
  • Natural language processing
  • Machine learning
  • Fraud detection
  • Neural networks
  • Cognitive computing
  • Computer vision
  • IoT-based technologies
  • And so on
Machine Learning Tops AI Dollars

Image Source: Statista

It’s been a long time since modern business settled on the internet, so AI has a lot of work to do with all the bytes of behavioral, financial, and marketing data that businesses have stored. And even if two out of five AI startups aren’t AI-based at all, you can still find AI-based solutions to intensify your sales growth.

The biggest negative of AI technologies is that they’re totally dependent on the data you feed them. If there’s not enough data or it’s of poor quality, you won’t get much use out of it. And it takes time to integrate this technology into your data ecosystem.

Where and why should you use AI in an eCommerce business?

As I mentioned, AI can’t work without volumes of data. That’s why before implementing AI, your data quality matters. AI motivates businesses to bring together departments – sales, marketing, advertising, customer service, even logistics – into a single data structure where data quality is the number one priority.

When all business data is stored and collected correctly – no data loss, no looping, no format disorders, all connections logically bounded and AI technology used for processing this data – you’ll get high-quality analytics with enough power to solve hard business problems, improve processes, and strengthen the customer experience.

Here’s a brief list of benefits you can obtain by implementing AI in your business:

  • Smartly assist customers with their search thanks to conversational commerce. Using AI, you can improve the search logic on your website and create a chatbot assistant that helps your customers place orders anywhere and anytime.
  • Make only personalized offers. By tracking all touchpoints and saving all products your customers have seen and all prices they’ve reacted to, you can determine the specific blend of goods and offers each customer wants. 
  • Stop guessing your customer’s path and predict it instead. Make your customer journey as smooth as possible with AI-powered recommendations. When you can predict your customers’ behavior, you get a competitive advantage due to flexible margins and the possibility to estimate your future marketing plan performance.
  • Reduce human errors in supply chain planning and adjustment. Make your inventory and goods available at any time in the volume your customers need by means of AI. This optimization is possible both online and in-store and can give you real-time 100% transparent warehouse stock levels.
  • Detect problems before they hit you. Get notifications of anomalies or suspicious transactions, vendor activities, fraud, and shrinkage while you still have time to get involved in the situation and find out what’s happening. 
  • Pump up your offline points of sale. If your AI collects information from sensors like video cameras, you get the magical ability to track your customers inside your physical stores. You can find out where people go, where they stop, and if they’re new or returning customers. You can also attract customers by making the best online offers available in stores.

To solidify your knowledge, let’s review a few examples of AI implemented in eCommerce.

Examples of how AI helps in eCommerce

Improve personalized targeting with predictive AI-based analytics

AI-powered sales targeting is one of the most popular applications of predictive analytics. It’s used for automatically determining customers who want to buy now and sending them personalized offers.

From a technical point of view, it’s looking for customers among your target audience who have the same set of features as a typical “ready to buy” group of existing customers.

This task is impossible for a human but doable for an AI algorithm. 

You can create many to-do lists of automated reactions for defined types of customers:

  • Churning customers
  • Seasonal purchasers
  • Customers who have given feedback
  • Wholesale customers

AI experiments can result in a growth in sales, minimize deal closure times, and automate the whole sales process.

AI bots to deal with customer overflow

You need a bot to follow up with a massive number of leads after a successful advertising campaign. AI bots are most useful when they can react properly and in a timely manner to any message from your potential customers.

The most pleasant (and maybe unpleasant) thing is that you’re in total control of the way your bots talk with leads. For customers, chatting with a bot is like chatting with a company representative, which means it’s quite risky for the company’s credibility.

Your bot has to:

  • Make initial contact with customers
  • Answer FAQs based on simple scripts
  • Schedule a meeting or a day to get back in contact if a lead can’t reply immediately

Even the simplest AI bots work better than no answer at all, increasing conversions. Bots can reply by email with answers based on trigger words or respond via a chat window on your website or by Facebook Messenger.

AI visual search and image recognition and their creative applications in eCommerce

Visual search can provide exclusive customer experience and enable numerous experiments. If you’ve ever used the Pinterest Lens for visual search, you know what I’m talking about. The technology hidden inside is AI.

Retailers like Asos and Target also use AI technology for virtual fitting rooms. Choose a photo and category of goods you’re looking for and the algorithm will give you a best-fit match.

AI Visual Search And Image Recogniton

Image Source: Pinterest

You can build thousands of ad campaigns with visual search or image recognition or augmented reality. And doing so will make your brand outstanding and memorable.

What’s next?

Advertising will never get you more than 400% ROAS, goods won’t sell themselves without detailed descriptions, photos, and video content, and customer service will never only give refunds without needing to handle complaints. Avoiding new technologies that can help your business optimize expenses and multiply revenue leads nowhere.

Let AI technologies help you adapt your business to the new era of immersive digital consumption.

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How Artificial Intelligence is Building The Future of eCommerce

How Artificial Intelligence is Building The Future of eCommerce


How Artificial Intelligence is Building The Future of eCommerce

eCommerce won’t be the same after this year’s events.

While the whole planet was frozen by the coronavirus pandemic, offline stores found they couldn’t compete with even the smallest online stores when people’s lifestyles were limited by their homes or neighborhoods.

But those who have just started online sales this year will quickly find out what to do to sell efficiently on the internet. This is why the overall competition will rise.

Wondering how you can gain a foothold at this moment? Take a look at modern technologies – artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and big data analysis.

There are numerous applications, services, and programs created on these technologies, but not all of them are equally applicable to online retailers. And they’re quite expensive to implement.

So before you go adopting some fancy new technology, let’s have a look at ways AI can improve eCommerce growth, increase conversion rates, and improve the customer experience.

What is AI?

AI technologies help computers complete tasks humans would otherwise accomplish by successfully training computers in various abilities and by helping them learn from experience.

The whole idea of AI began in 1956, so it’s already an old and reliable technology with a strong mathematical and software base. There are a lot of different AI technologies being developed:

  • Deep learning
  • Natural language processing
  • Machine learning
  • Fraud detection
  • Neural networks
  • Cognitive computing
  • Computer vision
  • IoT-based technologies
  • And so on
Machine Learning Tops AI Dollars

Image Source: Statista

It’s been a long time since modern business settled on the internet, so AI has a lot of work to do with all the bytes of behavioral, financial, and marketing data that businesses have stored. And even if two out of five AI startups aren’t AI-based at all, you can still find AI-based solutions to intensify your sales growth.

The biggest negative of AI technologies is that they’re totally dependent on the data you feed them. If there’s not enough data or it’s of poor quality, you won’t get much use out of it. And it takes time to integrate this technology into your data ecosystem.

Where and why should you use AI in an eCommerce business?

As I mentioned, AI can’t work without volumes of data. That’s why before implementing AI, your data quality matters. AI motivates businesses to bring together departments – sales, marketing, advertising, customer service, even logistics – into a single data structure where data quality is the number one priority.

When all business data is stored and collected correctly – no data loss, no looping, no format disorders, all connections logically bounded and AI technology used for processing this data – you’ll get high-quality analytics with enough power to solve hard business problems, improve processes, and strengthen the customer experience.

Here’s a brief list of benefits you can obtain by implementing AI in your business:

  • Smartly assist customers with their search thanks to conversational commerce. Using AI, you can improve the search logic on your website and create a chatbot assistant that helps your customers place orders anywhere and anytime.
  • Make only personalized offers. By tracking all touchpoints and saving all products your customers have seen and all prices they’ve reacted to, you can determine the specific blend of goods and offers each customer wants. 
  • Stop guessing your customer’s path and predict it instead. Make your customer journey as smooth as possible with AI-powered recommendations. When you can predict your customers’ behavior, you get a competitive advantage due to flexible margins and the possibility to estimate your future marketing plan performance.
  • Reduce human errors in supply chain planning and adjustment. Make your inventory and goods available at any time in the volume your customers need by means of AI. This optimization is possible both online and in-store and can give you real-time 100% transparent warehouse stock levels.
  • Detect problems before they hit you. Get notifications of anomalies or suspicious transactions, vendor activities, fraud, and shrinkage while you still have time to get involved in the situation and find out what’s happening. 
  • Pump up your offline points of sale. If your AI collects information from sensors like video cameras, you get the magical ability to track your customers inside your physical stores. You can find out where people go, where they stop, and if they’re new or returning customers. You can also attract customers by making the best online offers available in stores.

To solidify your knowledge, let’s review a few examples of AI implemented in eCommerce.

Examples of how AI helps in eCommerce

Improve personalized targeting with predictive AI-based analytics

AI-powered sales targeting is one of the most popular applications of predictive analytics. It’s used for automatically determining customers who want to buy now and sending them personalized offers.

From a technical point of view, it’s looking for customers among your target audience who have the same set of features as a typical “ready to buy” group of existing customers.

This task is impossible for a human but doable for an AI algorithm. 

You can create many to-do lists of automated reactions for defined types of customers:

  • Churning customers
  • Seasonal purchasers
  • Customers who have given feedback
  • Wholesale customers

AI experiments can result in a growth in sales, minimize deal closure times, and automate the whole sales process.

AI bots to deal with customer overflow

You need a bot to follow up with a massive number of leads after a successful advertising campaign. AI bots are most useful when they can react properly and in a timely manner to any message from your potential customers.

The most pleasant (and maybe unpleasant) thing is that you’re in total control of the way your bots talk with leads. For customers, chatting with a bot is like chatting with a company representative, which means it’s quite risky for the company’s credibility.

Your bot has to:

  • Make initial contact with customers
  • Answer FAQs based on simple scripts
  • Schedule a meeting or a day to get back in contact if a lead can’t reply immediately

Even the simplest AI bots work better than no answer at all, increasing conversions. Bots can reply by email with answers based on trigger words or respond via a chat window on your website or by Facebook Messenger.

AI visual search and image recognition and their creative applications in eCommerce

Visual search can provide exclusive customer experience and enable numerous experiments. If you’ve ever used the Pinterest Lens for visual search, you know what I’m talking about. The technology hidden inside is AI.

Retailers like Asos and Target also use AI technology for virtual fitting rooms. Choose a photo and category of goods you’re looking for and the algorithm will give you a best-fit match.

AI Visual Search And Image Recogniton

Image Source: Pinterest

You can build thousands of ad campaigns with visual search or image recognition or augmented reality. And doing so will make your brand outstanding and memorable.

What’s next?

Advertising will never get you more than 400% ROAS, goods won’t sell themselves without detailed descriptions, photos, and video content, and customer service will never only give refunds without needing to handle complaints. Avoiding new technologies that can help your business optimize expenses and multiply revenue leads nowhere.

Let AI technologies help you adapt your business to the new era of immersive digital consumption.

Guest author: Margaret Kashuba is the Chief Marketing Officer of OWOX BI, a marketing analytics service that consolidates data from disparate systems, evaluates the performance of advertising campaigns, and quickly builds the reports you need. OWOX developed an easy to use a product that allows marketers to get any reports without SQL syntax with the help of a report builder.



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Why Your Marketing Department Needs a 360 Customer View


Why Your Marketing Department Needs a 360 Customer View

If you’re in the marketing world, chances are you’ve seen or heard of the term, ‘360 customer view,’ making a buzz. Suddenly, enterprise-level organizations are talking of customer personalization, aggregating data to build 360-degree views, and omnichannel interactions.

While all this sounds great, there is little information on how companies can actually achieve a 360 customer view. Also, how many marketers really understand what the term encompasses and what kind of work they would need to do to attain this goal.

With this piece, I hope to help marketers understand the term better, why it matters, and how you can make a 360 customer view a possibility.

Let’s dive in.

Understanding the challenges with customer data

A simple definition of a 360 customer view is, ‘aggregated data that can give you a complete picture of your customers.

As simple as this sounds in theory, it’s mostly an unattainable objective because of the very nature of data itself.

In a nutshell, customer data is inherently messy. No matter what controls you put in place, your data will always be flawed. The three big troublesome Ds of data that plagues every business is:  

  • Duplicate Data. This is the biggest problem companies have to face. There are literally 101 ways duplicates can be created. A customer entering conflicting information. A data entry operator entering the same information multiple times. A system error that results in data duplication. A CRM migration gone wrong. There is very little you can do to prevent duplicate data from happening.
  • Disparate Data Sources. It’s not uncommon for businesses to use multiple tools and platforms to store and process customer data. Your marketing team may be using HubSpot, while your sales or customer support team may be using Salesforce. Come the time of reporting, you realize the data is messy, differs in structure and format, and is unable to provide the right information.  
  • Dirty Data. Rising data complexities lead to data quality issues. Dirty data refers to data that has format issues, typos, misspelled names, incomplete or duplicate data. Basically, dirty data is data you cannot use for its intended purpose – and that is never a good thing.

Annually, millions of dollars are wasted in return mails, lawsuits, expensive mistakes, inaccurate insights, and analytics – all because companies do not check the quality of their data and don’t bother about it until they have to fulfill a critical goal – like customer personalization.

Here’s a preview of bad data:

Bad Data 360 Customer View

What’s the link between data and customer personalization?

To personalize an experience, you have to find out the hidden relationships between people, products, their environment, their behaviors, their experiences, and their expectations. All this can only be found via data reconciliation.

You must incorporate a customer’s relationship with other entities such as the products they buy, the organizations they are associated with, the brands they follow, their household data, their favorite stores, locations etc. You must get the customer’s complete journey in their day-to-day life to be able to personalize a service for them. This is the crux of a 360-customer view.

Why do you need to do this?

To stay ahead of the curve. And honestly, this is the best time to get started.

By 2020, Gartner predicts that more than 40% of all data analytics projects will relate to an aspect of customer experience. (Gartner)

Companies that invest in customer analytics do way better than their competitors. The reasoning is quite simple – if you know what your audience wants, and can deliver on their expectations, you win them for life. But to make this possible, you will need to get your data in order.

An example of 360 customer view

Let me explain 360 customer view with a real-world example.

A renowned insurance company has dozens of services that are offered in liaison with third-party vendors and partners. In an attempt to create a more personalized experience for their customers, the company decided to sort their data and understand the customer’s journey through various touchpoints and the services they acquired.

The company discovered that vendors and partners used their respective CRM tools and platforms. The format and structure of data differed significantly. To top it off, the company used its ERP system that had a different data collection format and structure than what the vendors used. For example, the company recorded dates as Month/Day/Year. Some vendors recorded the date as Day/Month/Year.

It took them six months just to collect the necessary data from its vendors and partners. But that was not the end of the ordeal. Next up, they had to clean that data, standardize it to meet the required format, and run matches to weed out duplicates. This process took another two months. Finally, after eight months of data cleaning, data matching, and data merging, the company was able to get a consolidated record of its customers and began initiating their customer personalization plans.

Keep in mind, the company opted to refine only one segment of their customer data – that of loyal customers who were associated with more than two services for the past five years. With this information, they intended to create personalized campaigns and services such as loyalty cards, exclusive memberships, and other services to make their customers feel cherished.

See how simple the idea of 360 customer view sounds but how difficult it is to get done? Yet companies are willing to go the extra mile because, in the age of digital, customers expect personalized services from their favorite brands.

So how do you get started?

Obviously, this is a big undertaking. Companies fail because they underestimate the problems of data quality. This is why, if you’re planning to experiment with a 360 customer view, I highly recommend the following:

  1. Start Small. Create a goal, an outcome, and a process that you can manage. For example, testing out loyalty cards to the top 200 active purchasers is a good place to start. Once this is a success, you can then move on to a larger audience segment.
  2. Don’t Aim for Perfection. You can never get a complete view of all your customers. This is why it makes sense to create small goals and aim for what is doable.
  3. Invest in the Right Tools. Nope. You cannot do this using Excel or Google Spreadsheets. If you’re pulling in data from multiple sources (CRMs, transaction data, behavioral data), you’ll need to invest in a tool that allows you to consolidate, dedupe data and clean up dirty data. Lucky for you, there are best-in-class data quality management solutions out there that are great for business users. You don’t need to know data science to solve data issues.
  4. Don’t Wait for ROI to Happen. Insights and clean data are only the start of the journey. You have to turn these insights into activities that drive ROI. Most organizations get insights, but they don’t have a plan for how to use those insights to achieve their goals.
  5. Fix Your Data. I can’t help but reiterate this. Bad data will be a huge bottleneck in EVERY aspect. Regardless of whether you want a 360 customer view or not, you must make data quality a priority. A countless number of businesses have failed (with millions of dollars down the drain) because of bad data. So whether it’s for something as normal as a promotional campaign or for something as critical as annual reporting, you need data you can work with.

The most important question to ask before you begin is, ‘Do I have data I can trust to create a good experience for my audience?’

To conclude

I’ll keep it short. Want your customers to choose you over your competitors? Give them the experience they need. But before you attempt to woo them, fix your data, give meaning to vague terms like ‘data-driven’ or, ‘data-centric,’ and be ahead of the curve.

Guest author: Farah Kim is an ambitious content specialist, known for her human-centric content approach that bridges the gap between businesses and their audience. At Data Ladder, she works as the Product Marketing Specialist, creating high-quality, high-impact content for a niche target audience of technical experts and business executives.



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The Top 10 Remote Tools For Working From Home


The Top 10 Remote Tools For Working From Home During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Switching to a new work environment is not easy, especially if, all of a sudden, you find yourself working from home.

You can no longer have in-person conversations or collaborate with your colleagues without facing obstacles.

Don’t worry; we have some good news for you…

There are plenty of software solutions specifically designed to facilitate remote work. However, not all of them are created equal, and you can easily end up using an unreliable, clunky solution that holds you back.

We can help you cut through the clutter. Here are the top 10 remote tools for working from home, ranging from employee training software to email management tools.

Continual professional development

The COVID-19 pandemic has the power to keep us locked in, but it has no control over your motivation to continue professional development. Continuous training can boost employee engagement and retention rates.

Here are some of the best tools from the employee training software category to keep you occupied and productive.

1. ProProfs

ProProofs Employee Training Software Working From Home Tool

ProProfs delivers one of the best employee training software solutions on the market. It is effortless to use. The drag-and-drop interface ensures easy course creation. On top of that, you have the option to automate course invitations and track employee response and progress in real-time.

The software comes with employee training templates that reflect different verticals so that you can launch courses even more efficiently.

Analytics and reports are there to help bridge knowledge gaps and improve the courses. Meanwhile, you can learn a great deal from the free “How to work remotely during COVID-19” course. 

2. Litmosa

Litmosa Virtual Classroom Software Learning From Home Tool

Any discussion on virtual classroom software is incomplete without mentioning Litmos. This platform provides a variety of tools to enable you to stay on top of learning materials and their distribution across different channels.

If you’ve already digitized your learning materials, there is no need to recreate them. With Litmos, you can import your content and put it to immediate use.

3. TalentCards

TalentCards Professional Development Tool

TalentCards is excellent if you don’t have enough time to spare on professional development. This tool is built to facilitate online training through bite-sized learning materials. User onboarding is easy. You can manually add them or send out invitations via SMS or email.

There are a few gamification features built to make online learning engaging and fun. Creating cards and courses is easy, even if you have no previous experience of conducting online employee training.

Streamline project management

Project management is one of the most vital processes in a company. Working from home can potentially affect you and your colleagues’ workflow, extend project deadlines, and potentially costing you clients. Project management tools can help you improve your management practices by 33%.

Here are a few tools to stay on track with project management, even while at home. 

4. TeamGantt

TeamGantt is a straightforward project management tool. During the pandemic, your primary goal should be to stick to simple tools because they come with little to no learning curve. This tool, in particular, is an out-of-the-box solution for team and project management.

Notification system, real-time communication, task dependencies, and delegation are all included in its functionalities. Basically, you have everything you need to keep your entire team going.

5. ProofHub

ProofHub Projest Management Working From Home Tool

ProofHub is a project management tool developed to cater to the needs of startups and small businesses. While it is an entry-level tool, it still comes with surprisingly many features. You can use it to plan and execute projects, collaborate on projects, organize tasks, track deliverables, and communicate with team members.

The interface is simple and well-designed.

ProofHub also supports integration with other apps, including Google Calendar, Google Drive, and Dropbox.

File sharing and collaboration on project-related documents with this tool are also easy.

Collaboration made easy

Collaboration while working from home can appear impossible. In reality, it is quite the opposite, especially if you use one of these tools. 

6. Zoom

Zoom Video Conferencing Working From Home Tool

Zoom is a video conferencing app that facilitates team collaboration. Although used as a temporary virtual classroom software by many institutions, this app is so much more.

Zoom is an all-in-one video conferencing platform. You can use it to organize meetings, video webinars, enable conference rooms, or chat in real-time with your team members.

During the COVID-19 crisis, Zoom proved to be a reliable video conferencing software. It is built to support HD video and audio. More importantly, it is very easy to use and comes with affordable subscription plans.

7. Trello

Trello is a collaboration app designed around two ideas – streamlined collaboration and increased productivity. It is a user-friendly app that you can use to the full extent in under a few minutes.

You will have access to cards, lists, and boards where you can organize tasks, collaborate with colleagues, and exchange information in real-time.

Trello is fully mobile-ready, meaning you can install it on all your devices, and it will look the same and always stay in sync with the latest updates from your team.

8. Asana

Asana is one of the oldest collaboration solutions on the market. You’ll get stunned by how easy it is to use.

While it is a great tool to facilitate internal communication and collaboration, Asana can help you do a few more things, too.

For instance, you can track your employees’ work, create and organize to-do lists, and set up reminders to ensure that nothing gets past your team members. 

Keep communication channels open

Communication goes hand in hand with collaboration. After all, almost 75% of employers find it to be one of the most important things worth investing in.

The following two solutions will help you keep communication channels open at all times.

9. Mailbird

Mailbird Email Clients Communication Working From Home Tool

Mailbird is one of the best email clients out there. If your team relies on email communication, it is definitely your go-to solution. You can set it up to sync all your email accounts.

The user interface is entirely customizable. Don’t be afraid to rearrange different elements to speed up your workflow. 

Mailbird can also help you collaborate and communicate with your team by bringing all of them to one email client. Once you do it, you will see how easy it is to track all things related to your email efforts, including internal and external emailing. 

10. Slack

Slack is another easy-to-use communication solution. It focuses on bringing remote workers together under one roof.

Remote workers can easily lose sight of their role in a team and contribution to project deliverables. Slack will help you stay organized and keep your team members on top of the latest developments. 

Everyone onboard can track progress and identify their role in making things happen in your organization.

Slack also comes with support for creating channels to use with your clients and business partners as well. 

Wrap up

Every organization is unique, let alone a team and an individual employee. But all people who are working from home face the same challenges. The tools I’ve shared with you are designed to help you overcome these challenges and facilitate effective work from home.

Guest author: Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He is an expert in learning management systems and eLearning authoring tools – currently associated with ProProfs.



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5 Creative Ways to Repurpose Your Old Content


5 Creative Ways to Repurpose Your Old Content

Having your old masterpieces sit there in the archives gathering dust can be such a shame. After re-reading it you may find that you still agree with your opinions just as much now as the day you wrote them.

However, times may have changed and certain ways you went about proving your point may not be relevant today, so do you just let that content go to waste? No! You repurpose it.

Below we have a comprehensive guide on how to help you make use of old winners.

What is repurposing?

The easiest way to put this is – Repurposing content is recycling old content and creating something new from it.

There are also a slew of benefits that may follow repurposed content including:

  • Making the most of your initial efforts – Nothing goes to waste and you can reuse your creative ideas a few more times.
  • Great content won’t be forgotten – Sometimes you just forget what a great job you did and you want to remind yourself (and the world) of your innovative views.
  • Get more views/reads/clicks – You may reach a wider audience, or a completely new audience altogether, and reformatting your content can do just that.
  • Become a greater authority – Once you tweak, enhance, or even further reinforce your views, you’re solidifying yourself as a greater authority on the subject.
  • Boost your SEO – Of course, you can get higher rankings on Google and get more clicks than ever before by taking another stab at the right keywords and maybe even some backlink action.

How to repurpose content

Once you have found an ingenious piece that you feel like sharing with the Internet one more time, it’s time to rearrange, reshape, and repurpose it. Even companies such as Preply, an online language learning hub, repurpose content.

Preply.com Repurpose Content Sample My Journey Learning Dutch

It’s not so much their own content as it is the feedback and testimonials from their students/customers that are repurposed into blog posts.

If you want to make the most out of your repurposed ideas, you need to reinvent content that increases (or keeps) its value and relevancy over time.

Making the most out of your content isn’t just about customer loyalty, but it’s about your views and what you put forth as well. One rule of thumb to keep in mind is to always add, enhance, and enrich the old content.

Examples of repurposing content

1. Create something new from the old

Popular blog posts are popular because they contain social triggers. Have you heard of a TV spinoff show? Such as the hit teen vampire show The Vampire Diaries and its spinoff The Originals and the recent Legacies.

If you haven’t heard of these shows that’s alright because we’ll bet money there are other spinoffs you have heard of. One really easy way to repurpose ideas and written content is to look for creative ways to present new information and elaborate on that.

One great example of this is to convert listicles into more detailed and thorough articles expanding on the point. That way you add something new (more detail) into the already existing content.

You can also go in the opposite direction and transform long-winded (but well written) articles into shorter listicles. Research shows readers don’t tend to like reading long articles and scaling down the content to a few main points could garner more attention.

2. Pictures, Infographics, or Instructographics

When applicable to your content, using more pictures, infographics (step by step outline of your entire post), instructographics (similar to the former except geared more towards “how to” articles), can really step up your old piece of writing.

Pinterest is a great platform to create the above in what we call Pinterest repurposing. Instead of having your readers scan through all the titles, have the outline and what is included in the content front and center for their convenience.

You can easily convert your old blog articles into comprehensive guides by using infographics and instructographics.

3. Change the platform

Who says a blog post needs to stay a blog post? Repurposing blog posts into podcasts, posts, and content for social media repurposing books into blog posts, and anything into webinars or YouTube videos could gain more viewers and readers.

Some people prefer listening and watching over reading, and podcasts are a great way to do that. People often play podcasts in the background when they’re doing chores, work, or just relaxing. The best part is they can be played on their own time.

Listeners are quite loyal to podcasters they like, and if done well, you’ll keep them coming back for more. In order to venture down the podcast route, try condensing your top posts into smaller topics and elaborate on them.

4. Use advice, feedback, reviews and testimonials

View the above as constructive criticism and turn these valued pieces of information into a “how-to” guide, or an advice eBook on what people need, like, want, etc.

Using Q & A’s as well as FAQ’s to gather information can help you clearly see what it is people value and want through their answers.

It’s easy to capitalize on those ideas and turn them into great advice books or posts of any kind. This is especially useful in stirring up conversation on forums and threads.

Or instead of compiling all of the answers into a whole entire eBook, give yourself room down the line to come up with multiple opportunities for posts by addressing one FAQ at a time in greater detail.

5. It’s as simple as adding and subtracting

It really is as easy as that. Sometimes all you need to do to repurpose your blog is to take out irrelevant information and update it with new ideas.

Your content isn’t fixed it is fluid. Feel free to add and take away as much or as little as you need to create another compelling piece of writing.

You’re recycling ideas but adding relevancy and bringing old and perhaps forgotten ideas to the forefront again.

Try tackling the same ideas with different views or arguments. Times change, you change, I change, we all change, and so should our ideas.

This is how you grow as a content creator, and how your content grows with you.

Conclusion

Take solace in knowing that piece you wrote X amount of years ago that you put so much time and effort into can still be used to this day. That is if it’s evergreen of course.

After you have determined your evergreen content, there are 101 ways to create new spinoffs that benefit you and your audience even more than before.

It’s also a chance to dabble in different forms of content creation, and who knows, you may even discover a new niche market, a long term hobby or hidden talent you didn’t know about.

Guest author: Connie is a chief content writer at WhenIPost, guest contributor, and enthusiastic blogger who helps B2B companies reach their audiences more effectively. With an emphasis on organic traffic and conversion, she takes big ideas and turns them into highly practical content that keeps readers hooked.



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