Weekly Roundup #126 – Mailing Lists, Content Marketing & Affinity Audiences

Scroll down for the week’s best developments in digital marketing – but before doing so, are you all caught up on last week’s round up? We took a look at how to make ‘how-to’ videos, a mobile-first workplace and improving one’s transactional email strategy

Why Content Marketing Shouldn’t be Ignored

Content marketing

Clutch, a B2B research, ratings and review firm, has found that 82% of respondents have made a purchase as a direct result of consuming content – which goes to prove that content marketing shouldn’t be treated as an afterthought.

If the best case scenario sees content marketing creating sales, the worst case scenario is that it improves the visibility of the brand through SEO.

A third, but equally  impactful result of content marketing is its potential to move customers along the sales funnel; 53% of people who were surveyed by Clutch said that they are more likely to return to a brand’s website after consuming their content, and 50% are likely to proceed to researching that brand’s products or services.

Although consumers are increasingly savvy when it comes to the commercial aspect of content marketing, it does not turn them off. 67% finding high-quality, thoughtful brand content to be ‘useful and valuable’.

Louisa McGrath, content manager for Rebrandly, a link management platform noted that,

“Readers are aware that [online business content] is created for marketing purposes, but appreciate brands that provide honest, reliable, high-quality content.”


How to Grow your Mailing List

Grow Mailing List
Source: blog.mailchimp

MailChimp offers two tools that can be used in combination to quickly build a mailing list from nothing. MailChimp’s pop-up forms and Facebook ads are powerful tools in creating an email list – which is a vital part of any marketing strategy…

Step 1

A pop-up form is a quick and easy way for visitors to the website to share their contact details, and to subscribe to the mailing list. Pop-up forms are easy to make and add to any site, and MailChimp users that have used them have seen their mailing list grow by 50.8% on average.

Remember to design the form so that it is user-friendly, and set the display timing so that it is in sync with the average amount of time that web-visitors spend on the site.

Step 2

Facebook ads grow brands by finding new audiences and customers that are similar to the existing ones – and they can also be used to drive people to a website in order to sign up for the mailing list. Facebook can analyse the contacts on a MailChimp list and find a similar audience based on shared demographics, behaviours and interests.

Find a great image and write snappy copy for the ad, and make sure to set a budget for running the ad.

Step 3

After putting a pop-up form and Facebook ad in place, make sure to monitor the reports and data to understand how many people have joined the mailing list as a result.

Once a reasonable target has been reached, consider making adjustments or changes to the message, timing and other variables to see how that affects the success of the campaign.

Step 4

Finally, it is a good idea to create and send a welcome email to those who have signed up to your list. This will send automatically to new subscribers, and could include a discount code, an offer or some exclusive content as a thank you for joining.


Do you need a Local Page?

In order to determine if your business could profit from having local pages take a look at the four points below:

Step 1

The first step is to know your transactional terms. This is important in order to avoid developing location pages for too many keyword types – as this bloats a site – instead, select one or two key transactional terms to make local variants of.

Step 2

After finding your keywords, it is important to categorise them into those that are implicit, explicit and ‘near me’.

As an example, take the search query ‘SEO jobs’ – searching for this keyword, the search results will tend to be locally oriented because the search itself is implicitly ‘local’ in its meaning. The explicit version would be something like ‘SEO jobs in London’ – and although the ‘near me’ version is not applicable in this circumstance, for other businesses, such as food delivery, it would be very important.

Once the three search types are defined, work out what percentage of searches are performed for each type.

Step 3

With the categorised keywords, the next step is to work out which results perform well for which type of keyword – because if local pages are ranking well, then it seems sensible to make one’s own local page for that search.

Step 4

With the data on which type of site (national page, local page, local business) works best for implicit, explicit and ‘near me’ searches, it is useful to draw up a graph.

Fill out a chart with the rankings, and it should become clear where a local page could add value. For example, if a high percentage of explicit searches come back with a local page…


How To: Custom Affinity Audiences

Affinity Audiences

We take a look at how Custom Affinity Audiences could help to make Google Display Network (GDN) campaigns much more efficient.

Affinity audiences are a group of people that are generalised in a non-specific category – in a similar way to how newspapers or television channels imagine their audience looks in a very broad sense.

Affinity audiences might be grouped as ‘sports fans’ or being interested in topics as broad as ‘food and dining’ or ‘travel’.

Custom affinity audiences (CAA) are the result of the internet’s specificity – where people are categorised by a minimum of five different areas or topics, such as interests, URLs, places or apps. In general, interests and URLs are far more interesting and useful than segmenting a target audience by either places or apps.

Setting up Custom Affinity Audiences

In the ad group, click the ‘What their interests and habits are’ section, and look towards the bottom of the page to find the Custom Affinity Audience option.

Fill in the the URLs and interests for this particular target group. The specificity of this process means that companies can create much more cost-effective advertising, particularly for business that sell only one thing.

Custom Affinity Audiences: The Strategies

If you have good amounts of display activity then take the time to do a ‘where ads showed’ report. From this data, sort it into measurement metrics, such as conversion rate or average session duration, for example, and then analyse which performed the best.

Simply place the top ranking placements into a Custom Affinity Audience, and keep watching the numbers to be sure that these ads are performing as they should according to the previous data.

CAA can be easily used to target your competition’s audience by simply entering their site – or specific pages on their site – into the URL targets, and by entering their brand keywords in the interests section.

The attendees of trade shows, conferences and conventions are already the perfect target audience, as they are willing to pay and travel in order to see and buy specific products. Adding the URLs for these events, as well as relevant keywords will create a CAA that is likely to be highly interested and keen to purchase.

To get deeper than the predefined – and incredibly vague – affinity audiences, consider using keywords such as ‘improve xzy’ ‘tips on xyz’ or ‘xyz practice’, as people who use these search terms are much more likely to be actively involved and interested in the area, rather than having a passive or general interest in the topic.


Facebook Ads for Small Businesses

Facebook ads are an affordable and effective way to grow a business, however, research by Weebly showed that 62% of small business owners did not feel that their ads on the platform were reaching their target audience.

We take a closer look at Facebook ads to try to make it a more effective tool for everyone…

Ad Type

There are many types of ads on Facebook, including video, image, collection, carousel, slideshow, canvas, lead generation, offers, post engagement, event responses and page likes. Choose the ad type according to the business type and the marketing strategy/goal.

Facebook Ad Cost

The cost of a Facebook ad is similar to the bidding process for Google ads – where there is a bid that decides where the ad appears and how much it will cost per click.

The date, hour and time of your ad campaign can affect the cost, as can the specific audience, ad placement, bidding method and relevance score – so inevitably, ad costs do vary by a large amount.

Target Audiences

Accurately defining a specific target audience is a task that is well worth the investment of time, as a well-defined audience will affect the ROI and effectiveness of a campaign.

Facebook has extensive targeting options that include age, gender, location, language, interests, behaviours, life events, income, political affiliation, job title and education – and many more.

Get Creative

Facebook ads – like all ads – rely on the quality and relevance of the copy and the creative. A short, clear and memorable headline, great imagery, a value proposition and a call to action are all essential elements to most successful campaigns.

Look at your competition’s Facebook ads for inspiration, and as motivation to out-do them with your own advert.

Monitor and Report

Once an ad is live, begin monitoring the data and reports in order to work out if any changes, adjustments or tweaks could be made. There is little point in finding these insights once a campaign has come to an end.

Facebook Ads Manager gives real-time insights for ad performance – and remember to look at the metrics that make a difference to sales, ROI and return on ad spend, rather than engagement – which is often referred to as a vanity metric…

For a more detailed break-down of how to effectively use Facebook ads, click here

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Sebastian Paszek

Marketing manager

Controlling the chaos of the digital landscape, Sebastian is a multiplatform executive, project manager and photographer.