So its that time of the year again. 2017 was full of uncertainty, instability, and separation. 2018 needs to be a more positive and productive year for everyone. It’s time to think about 3 things you want to do that’s going to make life better for you.
The key to New Year’s resolutions, or goals in general, is to make them achievable. Not too achievable though. Make them a challenge. Challenge is a great thing. You find out a lot about yourself through challenge.
Heres a a couple of ideas to get you going:
1. Set up a Goodreads account and set yourself a reading books challenge. 3-5 books should do it if you re not a big reader. Make sure the books you pick up are of interest to you and are going to add value to you.
2. Do a 12 week work out plan. Lots of people join the gym in January only to stop going in February. Doing a 12 week plan will give you a long term achievable goal (with a bit of hard work). It will also transform your life and physique. Bonus! Men’s Health have a great free 12 week fitness plan pdf. Google it.
3. Spend less time of your smartphone. Yes it’s a fact that social media and smartphones contribute to unhappiness. Leave your phone somewhere that’s out of sight in the evenings. Or what about no smartphone after 8pm? Now there’s a challenge.
4. Always wanted a hobby but could never dedicate the time to do it? Now is the time to take some time for you and get in to something. Interest groups and meet ups are great for your social life.
5. Maybe you want to improve your diet. Have one piece of junk food a day. One treat per day: chocolate, crisps, cakes, biscuits, sugary drink. Pick one and enjoy it. It might sound easy but it’s harder than you think.
I hope this blog post ignites some passion in you to take on some great challenges in 2018.
ps don’t forget to write your resolutions or goals down and put them So where safe and easy to access. Rory Mcilroy the top golfer does this on his last boarding pass of the year. He writes down his goals for the next year and puts the boarding card in his wallet so he can check his progress during the year.
Where to start? Well if you have taken your smartphone or digital SLR, recorded a short video and published it on Youtube or the web, then you are already 90% there. The remaining 10% is down to some neat tips and tricks that will help you produce great video content.
Here’s a few tips to get you started.
- Lighting – make sure you are facing the light and that the light isnt behind you. The light will blind the viewers of the video. If the light is facing you then it will illuminate your face (sounds great doesn’t it).
- Use a tripod or a mini tripod like this one from igadgetz. It will stop any hand vibrations and allow you to set up your frame.
- If you are using a DSLR correct the white balance. Refer to your manufacturers handbook or youtube channel for instructions (its easy).
- If you are using your smartphone then shoot in 1080p or 4k whatever is the highest.
- Use 30 to 60FPS if you want to use slow motion, particularly useful in demonstrating your product. Higher the frame rate the better the slow motion.
- Use an external microphone if you can, it will make dialogue sound 100 times better.
- Take notice of your background. Make sure its tidy, interesting and tells the viewer something about you.
- Use video editing software to correct lighting, add music, cut scenes or add graphics. Software like Adobe Premier Pro is the leader in the field but there are several other free/cheaper options out there.
- Give your video opening graphics and a closing slide. Check out Fivrr its a great place to get someone to create opening/closing graphics. I paid €20 for a great 8 second opening sequence with moving images of my logo.
- Be consistent. Lots of youtubers have great sayings and cool greetings just to make them become more memorable. It works!
Stat! A recent study carried out by Cisco shows that by 2021 82% of all web content viewed on the internet will be video. So keep shooting until you get it right.
Photo by Alexander Wang on Unsplash
We (marketers) are now copywriters, media people, publishers, advertisers, photographers etc all rolled into one. We have the power and skills to get our message out into the world. No longer are we subject to sky high advertising rates held by industry publishers. We now have a choice! We can live at the top of the funnel without anyone else putting us there.
The number #1 trend in B2B Marketing is self-publishing. We are totally responsible for creating, editing and publishing our own content; blogs, articles, videos, podcasts, newsletters, whitepapers, case studies, surveys etc. That’s brilliant! But hold on its not that easy. Firstly, we got to come up with the great content, which can be difficult considering all the other tasks we have to do. Great content is usually time consuming – it doesn’t have to be but that’s another blog post. Secondly, what is the point of having great content if nobody can find it and more importantly digest it.
Now that’s the challenge: come up with great content and make sure people can find it. Take this blog post for example. I publish this on my blog and its read by about 50 people. I publish it on Linkedin and its read by another 50 people…so I need to publish this on as many platforms as I can in order to get maybe 200 reads and a hand full of shares….that’s a lot of work.
So if you have something to sell. You need to to publish where people’s attention is at. If you are selling home baking supplies then you need to be where people are talking about baking. Facebook, yes. Instagram, yes. Youtube, yes and so on. Not only do you have to be where the attention is you also have to hack into it so you can get their attention. The hour after The Great British Bake off has aired on TV. Peoples attention is on social media discussing the show and sharing recipes. Especially on smartphones and tablets.
What is the next step? You guessed it: sponsored posts, adverts, video ads etc etc. Hack that attention. People are no longer offended by brands hacking their attention. They are now desensitized by the whole experience (especially millennials). Its like Google Ads 5 years ago….hardly any people clicked on them out of fear of the unknown. Now approximately 30% of people rely on them for a quick fix to their search.
With that said, go forth and publish.
In marketing, We all like to blog about broad and varied topics. This shows our audience that we are not only fixated on selling what we have to offer but we like to show you that we have knowledge about our industry, your industry, your challenges and your successes. I like to think of this as 360 marketing; grabbing your audiences attention by talking about topics related to them. Forming an attractive marketing content guide is essential for any business looking for more customers. It will also give you an insight to what blog titles are working for you.
“If you write for everyone, then you’re writing for no one”.
But have you ever asked yourself what topics are working for your blog?
Here is a simple guide to getting this data on Google Analytics:
- Set the date at the top of your account. I did this for the last year so I have enough data to analyse.
- Go to your Google Analytics Account. Go to Behaviour on the left hand side. Then click on Site Content. Then to Content Drilldown. I think this is a new-ish feature…but correct me if I am wrong.
- Select Blog/ (if you are using this url hierarchy which most people do).
- This will load you most popular blog posts.
- I took the top 20 for my analysis.
Eureka! There you have it, all of your best performing blog posts over the last year. From here you can segment them (paper and pen guys if that works) into subject categories, high interest and low interest, exit %, Bounce %). Healthcare is a big topic for my business so I wasn’t surprised to see this as the number one topic with 43%. But some of the other topics I was surprised about. You can also add a second dimension in to the report. I added in Traffic Source so I could see what blog posts were ranking on Google with popular search terms and what traffic I was getting from Social Media and in particular Linkedin.
Here are my stats:
20% of visitors from Google
68% others /mostly direct visits.
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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Do not use Google’s Optimize for Conversions or Automatic Bid unless you want to rip through your budget like there is no tomorrow
If you do it will cost you money.
- Ok so you have set your PPC campaign’s virtual budget. Its what you think will get your ad on the top of Google’s SERP. This is the first mistake. Google informed me that you should set your budget for what you actually want to spend not what you think Google want you to spend. If your budget is too high any change in the ad management could spiral your spend out of control and end up wasting money. It happened to me recently (Unhappy face).
- Setting the right target location. Even though you have selected the geographic areas you want to target you still have to go in to the advanced targeting settings and select the option to not use your ad outside of these target locations. If not Google will use your ads in areas that are not relevant to you.
- The big one. Setting the correct “Bid Strategy”. Do not use Google’s Optimize for Conversions or Automatic Bid unless you want to rip through your budget like there is no tomorrow. Set set a manual bid strategy and keep your bids to what you think will get you on the first page of the SERP. Google’s prediction of these bids are actually fairly actuate from my experience.
- Selecting the right keywords. Turn off “Broad Match” modifier in your campaigns and select the exact longtail keywords that are relevant for your business. Using a broad match will bring in any search that contains one or more of the keywords. For example, if you sell “industrial weighing scales” and if someone is searching for “weighing scales” then your ad is going to come up. The latter search query is probably 10 times more volume than your normal volume for the industrial keyword.
- Lastly, this is a no brainer but just in case, optimize your landing pages for conversions (and track these conversion in Google Analytics). If your pages do not contain sign-up forms, inquiry boxes, “buy now” buttons etc you will not know the value of your campaigns. It is a good idea to monitor your competitors and see what they are doing that is different to you.
Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash
The other morning I was checking my Linkedin feed for no specific reason at all, other than its a great B2B platform and I stumbled across a great little video which got me thinking, when was the last time I did any ground level SEO work on our work website? Probably months ago. So like the gym, I love doing cardio, strength and conditioning work but I’m not loving leg day so much. That’s a lie. I like doing leg day but I just don’t love it.
The other morning I was checking my Linkedin feed for no specific reason at all, other than its a great B2B platform and I stumbled across a great little video on image optimization for SEO. This got me thinking, when was the last time I did any ground level SEO leg work on our work website? Probably months ago. So like the gym, I love doing cardio, strength and conditioning work but I’m not loving leg day ever. That’s a lie. I like doing leg day but I just don’t love doing it.
So I thought I would share how I go about doing some leg work on SEO for images. According to the video, images sizes on your website should be <50kB. This will help you speed up your website’s load time and Google is really looking favourably on this at the moment. Secondly, all images should have Image Alternative Text Tags which should describe the image in plain english e.g. A Photo of The Copper Coastline. This is so search engines can crawl your info/keywords better and in turn help you get up the rankings.
Here is how I do the leg work for image sizes:
- Download Screamingfrog app.
- Run the SEO Site audit for your website.
- Export the results.
- Open the CSV file in MS excel
- Apply a filter to the topline.
- Sort by largest to smallest image size. The cut off is 50kB. Anything over this could do with replacing.
- Use an image compressor for PNG files. I used this one. And Google Picasa for compressing Jpegs.
- Replace and delete the larger files.
I was horrified to find one logo PNG image that was 400kB! So after I compressed it became 5kB. So thats an awesome result. Imagine over a website how much load time you can save…probably not that much but it all helps thats what I like to tell myself.
Screamingfrog will also give you the statistics and results for the Alt Tags again making this easy but you have to put in the leg work.
Final tip. JPEG is okay for your website but PNG is better as it compresses a lot small in size without losing too much quality.
And don’t skip SEO day!
I just received a great targeted email from Canon (the camera people).
What I liked:
- It landed in my inbox (not promotional box in Gmail). So I must have signed up and have interaction with them before. Confirmed email address email?
- Time of day was good at 4.26pm (people are usually clearing emails at this time of day…also nearly going home time so people’s moods are usually good).
- It used my first name in the subject but not in a spammy way. I was interested to learn more.
- The Subject pulled me in “Darragh, we are starting your summer early”.
- Email was from Canon Europe so they were upfront that the email came from a mail provider.
- They used a count down time to build interest in the content.
- The main content looks great…I love story telling and photography..so I’m looking forward to see what Canon has next.
I hope this will inspire you to wow your customers.
Think about it. In theory, people searching for your competitors’ products/services should also be interested in your products. This should be extremely high quality traffic.
People are rarely loyal these days. Price, value and quality are the 3 perceptional pillars in which we think about before people buy. If these factors are satisfied by your company then adding in an alternative option is fair game.
Is it legal? Google state in their Adworks Behaviour Guidelines that this is legal. Once you don’t mention your competitors brand names directly you are well in your right to target them.
So to start, create a new campaign called Competitors or what ever you like. Add in Adword groups for each individual competitor. Then use broad phrase match to target the company name, brand name, product name etc. Create maybe 2-3 ads for each adgroup. If they are similar products then the same adverts can be used across the campaign.
You don’t want to rank first on the page. Leave this to your competitor. Ranking 2-3rd position is optimum as you want to remind the person that they have another option. Therefore keep the bid as low as possible. Brand names tend to be lower cost than generic keywords so this is a great cost effective way to win some business from your competition.
Final tip: Make sure you have a valid offering or point of difference to the competition in the ad and don’t forget a good call to action (watch, listen, download, buy, access….)
Google Analytics can be daunting to those that are not that familiar with it. There are tonnes of good online/offline/ self learning tutorials out there. I would urge you to do one structured course so you can ask questions pertaining to your own website’s needs.
The overview reports are fine for most people but when you dive deeper in Anaytics that was were it all used to go pear shaped for me. Conversion goals used to be an area I didn’t really understand.
From a Digital Marketing course that I completed (I would highly recommend) I learned 3 simple user engagement goals:
It makes sense to schedule your Adworks campaigns to pause on days of the week and hours of the day that are not relevant to your business.
It makes sense to schedule your Adworks campaigns to pause on days of the week and/or hours of the day that are not relevant to your business. For example, your company is B2B and your target audience tend to work office hours (8am-6pm) Monday through to Friday. By pausing your ads so they do not show out side of these times you can save up to approximately 20% of your total ad cost. Clicks outside these hours tend to be irrelevant and close phrase-matching variants of keyword searches.
This next bit is important.
First of all you need to switch your Adwords campaign from “Standard” to “All Features” as shown below. The Ad Scheduling feature doesn’t show up when the campaign is set to standard. Google loves to hide features like this (fair but not fair :-/)
After that go to Settings and you will now see a tab called “Ad Scheduling”. Click on this and then create a new ad schedule.
I hope this helps.