Nearly everyone’s received a piece of junk mail, or even an email addressed to “Resident” or “Customer.” That type of greeting couldn’t be more impersonal. The sender is asking for my business but won’t even bother to learn my name? No thanks.
That’s how landing pages can feel if you use a broad message to cater to a wide audience. To give customers a truly tailored experience, use personalized landing pages. Each page should be customized to an individual person – through channel, device, segment, stage of the sales funnel, and the overall messaging.
Why Create Multiple Landing Pages?
Creating multiple landing pages isn’t necessarily doubling, tripling, or quadrupling your work every time, but it’s certainly additional effort. But it is an effort that will pay off in the end.
1) Reduced bounce rate.
People leave a page because they can’t find what they want. If the page is carefully tailored to a customer’s needs and intent, there’s no reason for them to go elsewhere.
2) Higher engagement and more conversions.
If you’re serving up exactly what people are looking for, they’re much more likely to buy.
3) Full control.
You can tailor a landing page down to the most specific detail you know about someone, including their name. And if your product or service appeals to a few very different audiences, you can create a page with specific elements to entice each group.
4) Relevant offers.
Instead of making them sit through your introductory sales pitch again, you can lead customers down a more precise funnel. Think about how Amazon creates a tailored landing page for you based on your purchase history. When it comes to what we want, Amazon sometimes seems to know us better than we know ourselves!
How To Determine The Pages To Create
In other words, how to segment your current and potential customer base. Because each page is tailored to an individual or the persona of individuals that share the same qualities, you have to figure out who these people are first. You probably have a ton of internal marketing data already, but here are a few other approaches to consider:
- Track individual users by having them sign in or create an account (see the Amazon example above). The more information you can tie to one person, the better you’ll be able to tailor a landing page to them.
- Consider the filters you used to set up a PPC campaign. Those custom audience filters can be applied directly to the landing page.
- Take a look at your existing email list. If you’ve already segmented it, you can create landing pages complementary to those groups.
The main goal is to identify the type, and how many, unique landing pages you’ll need. If your product or service appeals to both CFOs and small business owners, you need to be able to separate these two groups and market to them correctly. A small business owner won’t care about some of the features a CFO can’t do without.
As you’ll see in the examples below, you can use the technology you’ve already built to create custom pages – such as filters that account for interest, age, gender, etc.
Identify What You Can Personalize
You can personalize just about everything on a landing page, as long as you have access to that information.
Here’s a list of some of the elements you can consider:
- Visitor’s name. If junk mail companies with meager budgets can do it, so can you.
- Company name. We’ve previously covered using social in account-based marketing, and those tactics can apply here, too.
- Company size. If you have a robust profile of the company the customer works for, your landing page could lead with messaging like, “Mid-size agencies swear by our tools.”
- Visitor’s job title or position. What better way to flatter someone than by calling out their status? Speak directly to the decision-makers with messaging like, “See why marketing managers from Fortune 500 companies call us a ‘go-to.’”
- Device and browser
- Messaging based on ads they clicked on. If website builder Squarespace is sending people to its site through a partnership with a wedding blog, their tailored landing page could be the most used wedding templates with examples of what other wedding customers created.
- Gender. If your product or service equally serves men and women, but in different ways (a razor or a new shaving cream, for example), knowing the gender of the person (and therefore the intended use) is an easy win.
- Age. Gifts curation company UncommonGoods has a super simple approach to landing pages; they send certain ad clicks to e-comm results surfaced through a filter. A search for “gifts for teens” brings up an ad that leads to a page filtered for “gifts for teens 15 and up.”
- Geographic location – When housing finder Zillow knows a person’s location of interest, they can send them straight to a page listing houses in that area.
- Industry of visitor’s organization. Use this information to create a sense of urgency with a message like, “Our social media management software is taking B2B companies by storm.”
- Search method visitor used
- Onsite history of visitor. If you know what’s already caught someone’s attention, give them more of it. Whether it’s blog topics or a product they seem to be considering, serving up more of what they like will make website visits feel tailored just for them.
- Topics visitor has historically been interested in. If instructional website Masterclass knows you’ve taken screenwriting classes in the past, they can serve up a landing page that suggests other performance-related lessons.
Depending on your product or service, there are so many ways to tailor pages to match your audiences’ interest and intent.
Take It One Step Further With Testing
Hopefully, with multiple, personalized landing pages, you see an uptick in conversions immediately. Whether you do or don’t, keep testing. Companies like Sailthru, EasyPURL, HubSpot, ExactTarget (Salesforce), and Mindfireinc not only make it easy to get your landing pages up and running, they also provide a simple platform for making small test changes.
No one likes to be talked to in general terms, especially when asked for personal information, like an email address, or money. Personalized landing pages allow marketers to better connect with current and potential customers with messaging that speaks directly to their interest and intent.
The PPC industry, later expanded to Paid Media, is less than two decades old; while one of the oldest digital mediums—the web banner ad—was launched just prior, in 1994. While the industry’s two largest networks, Google and Facebook, launched their advertising solutions in 2000 and 2004, respectively.
It’s the reason why you’ll be hard pressed to find an expert who has run ad campaigns, that imagined they would do so as part of their career. Most college curriculums are just now starting to cover digital marketing, let alone teaching budding marketers how to optimize ad campaigns across different channels and mediums. For many of us who started out years ago, there weren’t too many comprehensive guides or walkthroughs, often leaving learning to trial and error, and community outreach.
More than just information scarcity, there also seemed to exist a clear gap of the number of women in the industry opposed to men in the early days. While not perfect, and with clear gaps remaining in salary and leadership representation that need to improve, it has been compelling to see the industry and community become more gender diverse and inclusive over time.
I was inspired to pen a post highlighting some of the most talented professionals who had a noticeable impact on the way I approach my work. I’m very grateful to these bright marketers who’ve provided guiding light through the depths of digital marketing, by continually sharing their knowledge to others.
Chief Data Officer, Outspoken Media
- W: https://www.annielytics.com/blog/
- T: https://twitter.com/AnnieCushing
- L: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anniecushing/
Annie, who many endearingly refer to as “Annielytics” on account of her blog, possesses a unique gift of breaking down complex data analysis concepts into clear and actionable steps.
Never did I appreciate this more than when trying to follow Richard Branson of Virgin’s mantra for business, “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes—then learn how to do it later!” Finding myself burning the late night oil trying to make sense of projects that required regression analysis, cross-sheet pivot tables, VLookups, and many more seemingly alien tasks. Thanks to Annie I shaved countless hours off the learning curve and was able to understand the once foreign language of Excel commands.
Must-read articles to check out:
Search Supervisor, gyro
- T: https://twitter.com/Mel66
- L: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissamackey/
When it comes to PPC subject matter, articles geared towards B2C business types often dominate the conversation. This isn’t surprising, as many of the advertising solutions were built from the viewpoint of a sale happening all on a website and with a short expected sales cycle. This left many marketers, such as myself, scratching our heads on how to best approach B2B marketing using tools and solutions that aren’t often not meant for, or accommodating towards, our use cases.
Opposed to an online sale, B2B often focuses on generating leads that are then worked with a sales team to hopefully turn into a closed contract or sale. Their sales cycles are often months, not hours, and the tracking is often murky (needing to account for online and offline touches). While we report in terms of leads/contacts, companies/accounts, opportunities, and revenue, many advertising platforms reveal web conversions as their standard tracking and performance views.
Melissa stands out to me as someone who really understands B2B, first and foremost, and then has a unique gift of being able to apply her knowledge against the greater paid media landscape—recommending the best features and tactics on search, social, and display to drive more qualified leads and sales opportunities. From her posts on Search Engine Land, speeches at events, or consistent contributions to the #PPCChat community, I continually learn from her expertise and thankful for her strong B2B viewpoint in the content.
Must-read articles to check out:
- Ad Testing: Conversions per Impression
- Lead Generation on Steroids: Using Audience Targeting for Max Impact
Senior Creative Strategist, Aimclear
- W: http://www.aimclearblog.com/author/merry/
- T: https://twitter.com/MerryMorud
- L: https://www.linkedin.com/in/merry-morud-161b2121/
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to learn from some of the brightest Facebook advertisers on the planet, located at the headquarters of Aimclear—a marketing agency nestled within the small town of Duluth, Minnesota. Their CEO, Marty Weintraub, authored the celebrated book, “Killer Facebook Ads: Master Cutting-Edge Facebook Advertising Techniques”.
Here I was a corporate search guy in khakis (judge away), working at a Fortune 500, visiting what seemed to be an obscure little town in order to learn how to advertise on a social network—needless to say, I felt a bit out of place.
I stepped into what I’ll never forget as an incredible atmosphere of creativity and collaboration that has stuck with me through the years. Eggos were popping hot out of the toaster and launched across the room to other team members catching them on plates, like a foul ball cracked into the stands. Individual ad copy was blown up on a big screen and poured over by the entire team. Side projects were encouraged and financed. People were free to let their freak flags fly high and be their true selves, it was eye-opening and glorious.
Here I met Merry, a razor-sharp creative who understands both audience segmentation and performance analytics cold. She pushed me away from keyword stuffing ad copy, and thinking in terms of intent—common habits praised in the search space. Instead, I was challenged to think about audience targeting in the form of Psychographics, understanding the power of an image when it comes to behavior, and how to write headlines that demand attention. Merry also has an exceptional command over Facebook’s Power Editor—if there’s a new shortcut, hot key, or bug, she’s likely one of the first to spot it (and usually screenshots it on Twitter).
If you’re lucky enough to hear any of the Aimclear crew speak at events or attend one of their webinars, be sure to leave your email. You’ll be included in their email nurture,“Super-Secret Psychographic Targeting Tip Sheet”, often penned by Merry, with actionable insights into new Facebook features, comprehensive targeting, and optimization wins. It’s punchy and consistently worth the read.
Must-read articles to check out:
- Facebook Buyer Persona Targeting Exploration & Combinations
- Amplify Facebook Ad Targeting with Social Synonyms
VP of Marketing, Box
- W: http://gxacademy.com/people/lauren-vaccarello/
- T: https://twitter.com/laurenv
- L: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurenvaccarello/
Moving from being part of a digital agency to an in-house role at a startup was both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. If you’re curious about the experience, our Head of Customer Acquisition recently wrote about this exact transition.
B2B is a tricky space for running acquisition campaigns. Forrester revealed in a study that less than 1% of marketing leads, on average, turn into closed-won revenue for the Sales team. Now couple that with marketing a SaaS (software-as-a-service) product, where most of the buying process happens online, and it can make many marketers feel a bit lost at sea.
Thankfully, I came across the book, “Complete B2B Online Marketing”, co-authored by Lauren. Within those pages, she revealed the core pillars to her online acquisition strategy while at the helm at Salesforce. I thoroughly enjoyed her holistic approach to running multi-channel campaigns in order to reach and nurture your ideal customer audience—pushing me to invest in thinking more about the customer journey, strategy, and tracking from a bird’s eye view. It’s been inspiring to follow her transition from a more traditional demand generation mindset, to running Account-Based Marketing campaigns targeting existing sales prospects at Box, in order to aid in shortening sales cycles.
Must-read articles to check out:
- 10 Bits of Advance from the Online Marketing Summit
- Sales Pipeline Radio: Q&A with Lauren Vaccerello
Chief Marketing Officer, ClassPass
- T: https://twitter.com/JoannaLord
- L: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joannalord
Before Google’s Panda update, and Facebook turning down the dial for organic reach, SEO was the digital marketing industry’s golden child—while PPC was often the forgotten lackey. Search engine and digital marketing conferences were dominated by SEO tracks and thought leaders. That’s why it was so compelling to hear a strong voice for the PPC community coming the VP of Marketing at one of the most adored SEO product companies, Moz (then SEOMoz).
Joanna was speaking at events about segmenting your web page traffic and remarketing with relevant messaging while many marketers were just laying their first retargeting/remarketing pixel, and blanketing the same banner ad everywhere. She also possessed a firm grasp of how paid and organic strategies could be combined together to drive more customers.
Since, Joanna has expanded her marketing arsenal by mastering the art of branding. Fueling the growth of companies like BigDoor, Porch, and now ClassPass. I follow her personal blog for honest and thought provoking views into startups and marketing strategy.
Must-read articles to check out:
What’s Your Story?
Are there thought leaders or mentors who have inspired you? We’d love to hear your story!
Don’t Overlook Bing Ads
It’s been seven years since Windows unveiled Bing, and since then, the search engine and the teams behind it, have made strides to catch up with the behemoth, otherwise known as Google.
Just in the past few months, new features have included a ‘Popular Content’ section showing you the most visited content sections from a website or web page, completely redesigning the Android version of its search app and including augmented reality, and even adding Game of Thrones content in preparation for the season 7 premiere. Perhaps even Windows 10 could have had a big effect since Bing is now integrated throughout the entire desktop OS.
Little by little, those efforts are bumping Bing’s numbers up. In comScore’s latest rankings for search on desktop, Google slipped .3 points while Microsoft (Bing) rose by .2%. In an amended deal struck in mid-2015, 51% of Yahoo’s desktop search traffic has to carry Bing ads, giving the search engine even more clout.
Of course, there’s still a huge difference between Bing and Google’s overall share of search, but Bing’s influence is larger than most people think.
While the majority of people are hanging out on Google for their searches, being among the crowd isn’t always the best bet for marketers. In fact, Bing offers many advantages over Google.
The Power of Bing Over Google
Bing has less competition and cheaper PPCs
Using an example from digital marketing agency ymarketing, keywords “mens boardshorts” gave them a CPC of $0.48 on Bing compared to $1.35 on Google, for a cost savings of 64%. Fewer people to go up against means lower costs for marketers. You’re also more likely to get better placement since not many marketers are including Bing on their media mix currently.
Bing gives you more control and flexibility at the ad group level
When setting up an AdWords campaign, Google locks you into network, location, ad scheduling, language, and rotation settings at a campaign level, and ad groups are held to those restrictions. The only way to get around that is to set up a new campaign with different parameters so that you can extend the filters to ad groups. Bing allows you to adjust all those same options at any level, as well as assign different campaigns time zones, which could be a crucial factor for global clients.
Bing allows transparent access to search partner targeting
Bing’s got nothing to hide when it comes to search partner targeting. Not only can you target just Bing & Yahoo, just search partners, or both, but you can also see who the search partners are and drop any partner who’s not giving you the numbers you want. Google, on the other hand, lets you target just Google, or Google and search partners, and refuses to pull back the curtain to let you see who the partners are, let alone adjust bids or exclude anyone.
Bing gives context with social extensions
In the first quarter of 2016, Bing announced Social Extensions, which are “placed under your ad copy that direct potential customers into social conversations on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or Tumblr. Searchers click on the extension and are directed to the associated social account or social post.” Bing also shows participating advertisers’ Twitter followers in ads to give additional validity to a business with which a customer might not be familiar.
Bing lets you use demographics in search
In AdWords, you can set demographic targeting on the Google Display Network, but that control doesn’t extend to search. With Bing Ads, you can set the gender and age of who you want to see your search ads.
Now that you’ve seen the ways advertising on Bing can be beneficial over going the traditional Google route, hopefully, any skepticism about the underdog search engine has dissipated. Now let’s take a look at Bing’s targeting capabilities and how you can use them to your benefit.
Bing Ads Targeting Capabilities
According to Microsoft, Bing Ads and the Bing Network reaches 167 million unique users who spend 26% more online than the average internet searcher. Those are some pretty enticing numbers considering you can get much lower PPCs, too. Bing’s targeting capabilities aren’t drastically different from what Google offers, but they’re still worth taking a look at to fully understand them and determine how to use them to shape your campaigns.
Bing provides a Keyword Planner (you’ll need to have a Bing Ads account and be signed in) that suggests keywords based on insights from historical trends and marketplace competition. You’ll need to start with your own seed list of keywords that you’ll input into the planner, as well as the URL of your website or a page on your website, and a category relevant to your product or service, then you’ll get a list of suggested keywords from Bing. From there, you’ll also see a bid landscape for each keyword where you can make decisions on what to go after.
With Bing, not only can you show a store address in your search ad, but you can also specify a radius within a city or U.S. ZIP code in which to target your ad. This capability lets you focus your ads on search users who live close to your store. Bing gives another example of location-based targeting using the keywords “Seahawks jerseys.” As you can see in the graph below, it’s no surprise the most search traffic comes from Seattle, followed by California and Oregon. With this data, you can make sure you’re targeting these areas exclusively, or bid appropriately to ensure you’ve always got ads up in your strongest regions.
Once you have enough historical data through your campaigns, Bing will show you location based bid adjustments which are suggestions on how to tweak your account to get more from the locations that are responding best.
Bing will do all the translating for you. When setting up a campaign, all you have to do is select the most common language in the region you’re targeting, and Bing will make sure your ads correlate to the language of the end-user’s web browser settings.
With Bing’s scheduling tool, you can parse ads out in 15-minute increments. If your campaign is focused on getting customers into a brick & mortar door, you can also set ads to run only when your store is open. Bing averaged its user data to come up with helpful trend charts showing volume by hour and days per device.
You can limit where you want your ad to be seen – mobile, tablet, or PC. Bing has another helpful interactive graph that shows click-through rate, cost per click, and volume by device type and industry. It’s a great way to get a glimpse at what competitors are doing, and also set your own bar.
In addition to the default HHI, education, and marital status, you can also target demographics like age and gender, which can offer some tailored opportunities when it comes to your ad creative.
Don’t miss out on interested customers. Bing lets you remarket to customers who have visited your site but may not have converted.
We’ve preached before (and we’ll do it again) about the importance of varying your media mix. Bing, with its large, engaged audience and low PPCs offers a great opportunity to experiment with a search engine you may have previously overlooked.
How Do Marketers Know If A Campaign Was Effective?
That question seems to be one of the most hot-button topics in digital marketing today. Most likely because finding the answer is so challenging thanks to numerous channels, media mixes, and multiple devices.
And there doesn’t seem to be one right answer when it comes to measuring effectiveness, though campaign results are crucial in determining future advertising strategy, where to put more money, and how to expand on successful messaging. To truly understand the impact of a campaign, marketers need to be able to dig into results at an individual level through first-party data.
Research Now, an online market research company, and Econsultancy, a subscription-based service that gives marketers access to research, market data, best practice guides, case studies and e-learning, teamed up to survey 2,715 global marketers to examine their approach to measuring the effectiveness of campaigns. The sample consists of client-side/in-house marketers, agencies, independent marketing consultants, and technology vendors.
Some key findings in the report include:
- More than three-quarters (77%) of company respondents agree that the success of advertising should drive the level of budget allocated to it. The ease of digital measurement, alongside this attitude, is reflected in the results; brands allocate 25% of their budget, on average, to digital, compared to 13% to TV, which tends to be a more difficult channel to measure.
- Those who are effective at advertising measurement are more likely to be using key measurement tools. Over two-thirds (69%) of marketers who are ‘extremely effective’ at digital advertising use customer surveys, and 74% measure brand awareness, compared to 21% of those who are ineffective at measuring each of those.
- More than 60% of client-side marketers agree that ‘surveys to test advertising effectiveness provide a strong indication of the success of an advertising campaign,’ and 54% agree that these surveys are essential to advertising validation. An even higher proportion (72%) see market research as playing an important part in measuring the effectiveness of advertising.
Measuring An Effective Advertising Campaign
The outcome of a campaign isn’t going to mean anything if it wasn’t set up correctly in the first place. Avoid any arguments and discussion after the fact by getting all key players to understand and agree on the campaign’s objectives and subsequent results tied to those goals from the very beginning.
The report cites Kevin Standen, Head of Digital Marketing at Vauxhall, who advises, “Given the possibilities in terms of journey sources, platforms, timeframes, channels and devices – to set KPIs to measure effectiveness that fit all of these is extremely difficult.” He suggests dividing every activity into a separate role as it relates to the customer journey, with each assigned a KPI.
Other respondents in the survey took the same approach, which results in prioritized objectives that stack up like this:
When asked how they measure the above, respondents said proof of increased sales was the top indicator (66%), traffic second (62%), and social media engagement and increased brand awareness third (45% each).
So how do you apply this information to your marketing strategy? Before you even push “go” on a campaign ensure you know:
- your individual campaign objectives and associated KPIs
- which channel would be most effective for each objective
- your media mix based on customer journey
Use A Broad Media Mix To Get The Results You Want
The report cites an eMarketer prediction that American adults this year “will spend almost six hours per day using digital media, including mobiles, desktop/laptops, and other connected devices.” All those channels (and time) provide a lot of opportunity for marketers to get their messages to audiences, but with all those choices, where do you even start?
As we talked about above, define your campaign objectives, and you’ll have a better idea of the media mix to include in your strategy. And don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Diversifying will yield differentiated data that can provide better direction on how to proceed. When asked about spend on digital advertising, respondents reported a healthy mix of different channels:
More marketers are shifting budget to digital thanks to viral potential, low costs, and relatively easy measurement, but TV and video shouldn’t be ignored, especially if you’re focused on long-term effects like brand awareness.
The IPA, a UK organization for professionals in advertising and marketing communications, found in a study that adding TV to a media mix (in addition to channels like Facebook), can increase campaign effectiveness by 40%.
Applying the above findings to your strategy, diversify budget across a media mix that makes sense for your campaign objectives. You’ll get the most data and bang for your buck from multi-channel campaigns.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the number of marketing channels available. Instead, test quickly to determine which are right for your brand and strategy. Media mix choices will only continue to grow. The faster you can understand and implement, or ignore new channels, the more ahead of the game you’ll be. The most effective marketers see the wide range of marketing channels as an opportunity, not a burden.
Attribution Remains A Challenge For Many
Correctly attributing a purchasing decision often requires tons of clean data, which takes a lot of time and skill to establish and maintain – luxuries many businesses don’t have in-house.
Of respondents in the survey, only 15% of in-house staff say they use attribution modeling to determine a campaign’s success, with that number rising to just 22% for agencies.
Marketers are using a mix of results to determine campaign effectiveness, but the most successful respondents in the survey reported giving more weight to four specific categories:
- measuring brand awareness
- customer surveys
- attribution modeling
- and NPS
So if you’re looking for quick and solid feedback on your campaign, consider these avenues first. You’ll also want to prioritize the measurement techniques that are easiest for you to set up and manage. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by trying to create a complicated attribution model that might not be correct from the beginning.