SEMrush for Competitive Research: Best 3 Tools to Run Your Paid Ads

Competitive research is the first step to growing your business with paid ads. It allows you to learn new ways to serve your target audience and avoid your competitors’ mistakes. And it helps you identify the gaps in your marketing strategies.

SEMrush is one of the best options when it comes to competitor research for your paid advertising. It offers a wide variety of features and tools to guide you through each step of the process.

In this post, we’ll share with you the top three tools on SEMrush and how to use them to run your paid ads.

Let’s get started.

1 – Domain Overview

This tool is crucial for competitive research due to the importance of the data it provides. If you use it right, you’ll save yourself thousands of dollars in paid ads over the years.

Domain Overview

Domain Overview gives you detailed reports of your competitors’ sites and online presence. It allows you to check their organic and paid traffic, learn more about their paid ads strategies, and analyze their backlink profiles.

All you have to do is enter a competitor’s domain and let the tool do its magic.

Domain Overview Analysis

All metrics are split into smaller sections to ease the process for you. And each section offers reports that go into a lot more detail to help you gain valuable insights.

Domain Overview Dashboard and Reports

But here’s the best part:

The data is presented on a beginner-friendly dashboard. The user interface makes it easy for anyone to understand the metrics and run comparisons.

2 – Advertising Research

Running a successful ad campaign requires a lot of trial and error. And that can exhaust your budget quickly.

Fortunately:

SEMrush has developed great tools to help you overcome that, and save you time as well.

Advertising Research is a set of tools that allows you to run a full analysis of your biggest paid search competitors and generate complete reports.

Advertising Research Reports

Each report helps attain in-depth knowledge about your competitors and the techniques they use. You’ll gain access to their best keywords and bids, live ads, advertising strategy, and a lot more.

Other great features in this tool are “Positions” and “Position changes,” which allows you to monitor how your competition is behaving.

You can see position changes in your competitors’ ads in the SERPs. That way, you’ll know what changes they’re making on their PPC strategies.

SEMrush Positions

More importantly:

You’ll discover new competitors you never knew existed. And you’ll get access to data surrounding their highest performing ads. You can also monitor their landing pages and ad copies to see which versions are working best to model in your campaigns.

3 – Ad Builder

Writing an ad copy that works can be time-consuming and daunting for many advertisers. It takes a lot of experience and testing to get to the perfect version.

But…

What if we told you could use your competitors’ highest performing copies and model from them as your own?

Ad Builder was created just for that.

Ad Builder Tool

This tool lets you use your competitors’ ad templates in your campaigns. You can insert dynamic keywords from your list and not have to worry about negative or low-performing keywords.

Ad Builcer dashboard and Copies

You’ll also be able to track each template to see how it performs using a built-in feature.

Better still:

You can integrate the whole thing into your Adwords editor within a few clicks. All you have to do is export the work into a CSV file and upload it to your Adwords account.

Need Help Growing Your Business With PPC?

Paid ads can work wonders and help you scale your business fast. But the only way to do that is by approaching PPC with the right set of skills and experience.

Lucky for you, that’s precisely what we offer here at ChaosMap!

Check out our Pay Per Click services to learn more about our work or contact us so we can discuss your project in more detail.

ppc tools chaosmap

6 Must-Have Tools For a Successful Google Ads Campaign

Any craft in this world requires tools to make the job easy.

And PPC is no different!

With the right set of tools, you can automate most of the process. You’ll find the best keywords, create ads quickly, research your competitors, and drive your costs down.

We’ve gathered five tools to help you gain competitive advantage and run successful Google Ads campaigns.

Let’s dive in.

1- Google Keyword Planner

Keyword research is all about identifying high-volume low-cost keywords for your campaigns.

But…

You can’t randomly add keywords to your campaign and cross your fingers it will work.

That’s a blind campaign.

Instead, you need a keyword research tool through in-depth research, and that’s where Google Keyword Planner comes into play.

Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner allows you to generate hundreds of relevant keywords for your campaigns — for free.

On top of that:

It will generate forecasts to help you gain valuable insights about how your keywords are likely to perform.

2- Ads Audit Report

This one is the fruit of our long years of hard work and experience in PPC marketing. And it’s an excellent tool for auditing Google Ads accounts quickly and easily.

Ads Audit Report works for advertisers of all sizes, from consultants to big agencies. It allows access to client accounts so you can review key data points and detect any new trends.

Ads Audit Report tool
Here are the most attractive features of our tool:

  • Trends over time identification (charts & numbers)
    • Clicks, impressions, spend, CTR, avg. CPC
  • Data breakdowns by ad platform
    • Spend, Impressions, Clicks, Conversions, CPA & avg. CPC
  • Top performing keywords analysis
    • Keyword cloud
    • Table breakdown (keyword, spend, impressions, clicks, conversions, CPA, CPC)
  • Top-performing ads inspection
    • Ad copy
    • Landing page
    • KPI’s
  • Period comparison reports with specific date ranges

Ads Audit Report dashboard

But here’s the impressive part:

While creating this tool, we made sure to incorporate our value-first philosophy into the process.

That’s why we developed distinct features to allow you to make recommendations for your clients on how they can improve.

You can efficiently identify wins and losses and focus on what’s working. And with that, you’ll help them see real changes in their business as early as possible.

Want to try Ads Audit Report for free today? Sign up for a free account and get up to 5 reports.

3- SEMrush

SEMrush is a campaign management software that helps advertisers boost their online visibility through advanced marketing analytics.

The platform is famous for its advanced SEO tools. Yet, it also has a powerful PPC side that can transform your results significantly.

SEMrush offers great competitor analysis options.

SEMrush PPC tool

You can use it to find out more about how your competitors run their ads. For instance, you’ll have the option to see their list of keywords and how they’re performing.

Another amazing feature is the Ad Builder, which allows you to use your competitors’ templates in your ads.

That’s a great option if you want to test different ads but you’re struggling to write a different ad copy for each one.

4- Adalysis

Adalysis is a PPC management software that helps you improve your ads through performance monitoring and testing.

Adalysis PPC management software

With this powerful tool:

You can oversee ad performance and be alerted whenever there’s an issue with your campaign.

You’ll also be able to run automatic A/B testing for thousands of ad groups to identify losing ads and remove them.

Another unique feature to help you gain great insight is Quality Score Analysis.

You’ll get access to a set of tools and algorithms to guide you towards boosting the quality score of different ads for all your campaigns.

5- Optmyzr

Optmyzr is another amazing PPC tool to help you optimize, monitor, and generate reports for your Google Ads campaigns.

There are lots of amazing features Optmyzr offers to its users.

Optmyzr ad management tool

Here are the ones we find most remarkable:

  • Identify low performing ads and pause them with a single click
  • Generate new keyword suggestions based on reports
  • Test different ad variants easily with tips on how to improve
  • Inspect and understand the changes happening in your various campaigns
  • Run audits to improve your overall campaigns after identifying the issues

Optmyzr is built for companies of all sizes. You can work on your own or add as many team members as you want – for no extra charge!

6- Shape.io

Shape.io is a budget management tool that grants you better control over your budgets with advanced tracking and optimization.

The software gives you access to many automated tools to help you save time and manage your ad spend wisely.

Shape.io budget management

For example:

You’ll avoid budget errors and minimize overspend in your PPC campaigns with integrated tools such as AutoPilot.

And:

With Budget Pacer and CruiseControl, you can adjust daily budgets automatically without having to pause your ads for too long.

Need Help Running Your Google Ads Campaign?

PPC is a great way to grow your business and reach more potential customers in no time.

But…

It takes long years of experience to be able to make all the right decisions and spend your budget wisely.

Need growing your business with paid advertising?

Check out our Pay Per Click services or contact us to get a quote for your project today.

7 Ways to Save Money on Google Ads

Google Ads is an excellent platform for lots of businesses to drive more sales and grow. But unfortunately, most advertisers don’t know how to use it to get results at lower costs.

If you find yourself spending a lot of money on Google Ads and getting little to no results, this is for you.

In this guide, you’ll learn seven easy ways to save money on Google Ads by driving higher conversions at a lower CPC.

Let’s get started!

1- Improve Your Ad Copy

Your ad copy is the first thing your target audience interacts with before working with you. It’s where all the selling happens. Creating a great offer and targeting the right audience are essential.

But…

None of that matters if you don’t have a persuasive copy to convert leads into customers.

You should always give users a reason to click on your ad. And keep your paragraphs short and on-point while including relevant keywords.

Also, be sure to use a clear call-to-action to boost click-through rates.

2- Increase Your Quality Score

Quality Score is a 1-10 rating that Google gives to each keyword in your ad groups. It reflects ad performance and how good a keyword is, based on the following three factors:

  • Expected CTR
  • Ad Relevance
  • Landing Page Experience

A higher Quality Score means lower CPC and better-positioned ads for your campaign, both of which are factors that help drive higher-quality leads to your offer.

To increase your Quality Score:

Make sure your keywords are super-specific to your different ad groups. And always delete any unwanted terms or keywords from your campaigns.

You must also match the content on your different landing pages to each ad group in your campaign.

More importantly:

Try to improve the user experience on each landing page by improving page speed, creating a clear hierarchy, and writing strong CTAs that convert.

3- Use Location Targeting

Do you own a small business where you only serve customers locally? Or perhaps you sell products that you only ship to specific locations?

If you’re targeting a global audience for such offers, it’s clear why your conversion rates are so low. And no matter how great your ad is or how big your budget is, you’ll always be losing money.

Location targeting

Before starting any ad campaign, you need to be smart about your geographic targeting preferences.

Identify where your target audience is located. Then, update your targeting preferences to those specific areas.

4- Add Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are the words and phrases you don’t want your ads to be displayed for. They exist to help you save money by not showing your offers to irrelevant audiences.

For example:

Add negative keywords

If you’re selling brand new laptops, you don’t want your ads to appear to someone searching for “used laptops.”

So, you need to include “used” in your list of negative keywords.

To give you some examples, here are some words you can add to your list:

  • Free
  • Cheap
  • Discount
  • Reddit
  • Youtube
  • Quora
  • Class
  • Book
  • Courses
  • Review
  • Picture
  • Price

Your list of negative keywords depends on your industry, company, products, and target audience.

So, you can only build one of your own by gaining more knowledge and experience from running ads.

5- Bid Smartly

What most advertisers do when trying to save money is keep their CPC on the lower end of the bidding range. But that gives them horrible ad placements, lower impressions, and even lower conversions.

Others might approach this by bidding much higher to dominate the results pages and target a better audience. However, they might be bidding against themselves and leaving a lot of money on the table.

The best way to go about this is to test, learn, and iterate.

Try out different CPC bids for various keywords, then identify which ones are bringing the best ROI.

Also:

Go for high-intent keywords first instead of high volume. That works even if it means adding keywords to your list with only a few dozen searches per month.

6- Leverage A/B Testing

Marketing isn’t an exact science for anyone of us to be able to tell what’s going to work for sure.

So, it’s always a good approach to test out different ads before settling on a final one for any of your offers.

A/B testing

Make small changes to your ads and let them run for a while to see which ones perform best. You should also optimize your landing pages and test out different layouts and language.

As you start to gather more data, you’ll learn a lot about your target audience and which language resonates the most with them.

7- Create an Ad Schedule

Once you’ve been running ads for a few months, you’ll have some data to focus on what’s already working.

Google will generate detailed reports for you to know during which days or hours your audience is converting best.

Now:

You can adjust your ad to only be visible during peak times and easily save money on Google Ads.

Wrapping it up

Looking to take your business to the next level with online / paid ads and marketing? We have a team of professionals ready to help you!

Check out our digital marketing services and get a quote for your project today.

retargeting-cookies-facebook-ads

How To Double Your Leads With Retargeting (Facebook)

The online eCommerce business is very competitive. Visitors will log off of your landing page within 10 seconds (1-3 seconds is the norm in 2018) if you can’t hook them.

Conversion rates tend to vary according to the type of device used. Desktop and laptop computers can have a conversion rate of 4% or higher. Tablets have a 3% conversion rate. Smart device conversion rates are just under 2%.

If you are having an issue with conversion rates, you may need to understand your site’s visitor online habits better.

Establishing your brand, marketing your online presence and retaining visitor traffic is the key to success in a crowded online business market. You must know your audience to expand your business potential.

That can be impossible if visitors don’t stay on your landing page long enough to make purchases. Or to allow you to record business-centric analytics. The bounce rate for many landing pages can be as high as 26% to 70%.

The number of online visitors that you need on a daily, monthly or annual basis to stay solvent varies for each online business. An average conversion rate for many online businesses is around 4%.

So, you want to double that conversion rate to about 8% or higher? You must know the intimate transaction habits of your consumer demographic as it pertains to your website.

A good way to do this is by using technology to subtly follow and market to the online visitors of your website. After they have left your website. It’s called retargeting.

Have you ever noticed an ad for a product from a website you just visited on another site? That is retargeting. It’s been practiced in eCommerce for years. It’s the future of online commerce.

Retargeting can also be the marketing strategy you need to double your conversion rates via Facebook interfacing.

What is Retargeting?

Retargeting is the strategic tracking and data-collecting practice of following your site’s visitors with tracking cookies. A retargeting supplier, or retargeting software, enables tracking cookies to follow your site’s visitors to another website.

On the new site, the online visitor who visited your site will be shown advertising or a banner of the product they perused on your site. Even if they visited your site for a few seconds.

It’s called “retargeting” because online users who visited your site are tracked and targeted again with marketing from your site.You are essentially being given a second chance, and sometimes multiple attempts, to make a first impression.

There should be a strategic marketing rationale behind a retargeting campaign. Like enticing visitors to come back and increase conversion rates. This is where Facebook comes into play.

Why Facebook(tm)?

Facebook has over 2.27 billion monthly users by most conservative estimates. It’s the default social media website people mention if you ask them to name a social media website.

Retargeting campaigns via Facebook are an effective way to engage people as well, since they go to the site to be sociable anyway. You can create a Facebook Advertising account and use Facebook Pixel to launch a retargeting campaign.

*** Want done for you Facebook Ads?

The Facebook Pixel

The Facebook Pixel is like a cookie or an online tracking code. The Facebook pixel is synced to your website and then attached to any visitor to your site.

The aim is to use Facebook pixel as an analytics aggregator. Data about the Facebook users who visit your website is digitally routed to your Facebook Advertising account.

Then, you can use this information to develop a strategic targeting campaign. The bounce demographic from your website may be open to revisiting your website if you retarget them in non-creepy ways. After all, perception is everything.

Facebook Pixel Retargeting Strategies

Make “engagement” the key word in your retargeting strategy. Many people never notice retargeting ads. Some who do may be creeped out by it.

The trick is to not be so overt and direct in your retargeting marketing.Use the information that you have accrued via your Facebook pixel analytics in a way that personalizes your retargeting. Give your retargeting demographic reasons to revisit your website again.

Prioritize different retargeting campaigns for different demographics. Your retargeting efforts should be customized for online visitors who visited once, multiple times, visiting a page without purchase, length of visit and so on.

You can place newsfeed ads on Facebook promoting a sale. Or you can offer a discount to users who revisit your site and submit their email address. Blog posts about your website can be placed in the Facebook feed of retargeted consumers.

About 73% of people abandon their online shopping carts before checkout. Tempt such consumer back to your site with a discount code, advertised on Facebook.

Facebook also has conversion tracking tools that can help you assess the impact of your retargeting campaign. You can even place retargeting ads in Facebook newsfeeds that target your demographic.

Perfect Your Retargeting Strategy

Your success will vary according to your retargeting strategy. Use the information you collect wisely.

Connect with past site visitors in ways that feel less like online stalking and more like a social marketing engagement campaign on Facebook.

Set a realistic monthly visitor goal. Look at your current traffic (web analytics), get the baseline over a 30-60 day period, and pick a new goal number.

See if you can double it.

Reassess your retargeting strategy accordingly thereafter as necessary.

facebook-messenger-chatbots-advertising

FB Messenger Ads: Chat-bots, Customer Care And Your Brand

Several years ago we worked with an e-commerce client to scale up their web chat system for customer service and sales.

They provided online chat support for clients like MGM, Nokia, Microsoft and several other big brands.

The chat platform we helped build was a competitor to Liveperson, a messenger platform that also has come a long way since then. While our partner technology was innovative 7-8 years ago, times have changed – and as we fast forward to today, it’s pretty clear that web-chat is history.

However, the idea of direct to consumer chat, or direct to business customer messaging, in specific, is on the rise.

Companies like T-Mobile are embracing the instant messenger trend.

Here’s what T-Mobile Marketing said about embracing customer care and messaging together:

“We’ve taken the messaging approach to heart when interacting with our customers as well – we know it’s not just how they talk to each other, it’s how they want to talk to us. That’s why we were the first US wireless company to introduce asynchronous messaging for customer care. This isn’t some “rep chat” window you get on the web”. 

They continued, “…our T-Mobile app has a persistent chat experience with Care reps, so you can get help anywhere you want – on the platforms you already use today. And, we were the first wireless company in North America to launch commerce over Facebook Messaging, so customers can interact with reps and buy directly from the Facebook platform.”

Testing, learning & tracking

With the ability to easily track massive amounts of data points captured from testing and learning within marketing and advertising campaigns (e.g. Facebook Ads for Messenger), the output of data – when analyzed properly – provides intelligent statistics that can be used to improve performance.

That means smarter scaling strategies of campaigns that meet established KPI’s. Dissecting the demographics is part of the data intelligence gathering so you can get to the core of the audience that you then can serve in an improved manner.

Ongoing testing of audiences and creatives is an important exercise for campaign flights, while reviewing and analyzing data in 3, 7, 14 and 30 day increments.

Additionally, leveraging pixel technology and custom scripts from various platforms (e.g. Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo) and placing them on websites and pages you own, helps to build up “warm” custom audiences.

These valuable customer data sets can and should be further tested and segmented through retargeting (Facebook ads) and remarketing (Google ads, YouTube ads).

Cold traffic (brand new visitors) vs. warm (custom audiences that know you already) or hot (CRM lists, buyer data) will allow you to focus money and resources in the most essential areas.

What messages to use?

Creating messages (copy), ad creatives (images, videos) and a workflow blueprint (user engagement patterns) for the chatbot is a great starting point.

For example… is “welcome message 1” better than “welcome message 2, 3, 4”?

Interestingly – though users may feel that a non-human chat-bot is not optimal, the technology is powered by humans and creative work behind it, and your messaging ought to reflect that. Tell them in your messaging what to expect, and that “Paul or Susan, the chat-bot” is there to help them, faster, better, smarter.

This will make the chat-bot seem more human. Tonality definitely matters. Use “A/B” testing practices through the use of smart experiments to help you understand better how to move forward and when.

“Because messaging is so new, keeping an open mind and letting data accrue and then making non-emotional decisions on messaging strategies is key”, says Jon Rognerud, Founder of Chaosmap.com

Big results and changes

For a recent 8-figure client, we tested different messages in a chat-bot sequence and found that “yes/no” questions provided much better engagement than an “open-ended” type of question. We found this out through testing and learning.

The end result? Over the first 2 weeks, we raised conversion rates for big ticket event sales by over 52% from this simple change!

When reviewing your analytics, gaps in data and variances comparison will help you navigate and optimize campaigns as you build a performance-driven, scalable solutions for yourself and clients, as we do.

Gartner Research indicated that 25% of customer service and support operations will integrate virtual customer assistant (VCA) or chatbot technology across engagement channels by 2020, up from less than two percent in 2017. This is a fast rise on a technology an advertising platform that is in many ways under-used today.

Meeting people where they are (online) is essential in today’s environment.

And, with email open rates declining and messaging engagement easily beating email, it is prudent and useful for any business, big or small – to test and learn from Facebook Messenger ad solutions.

Email open rates dropping

According to the E-mail Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study, the world average open rate of emails was 21.8%. This means that almost 78% of users are not interested in opening emails sent by brands. The reasons may be different, but one of the main reasons is related the high number of unwanted messages that users receive daily to their email accounts.

Intent-based branding marketing combined with technologies like FB messenger, chat-bots to leverage better customer service and more sales can yield solid improvements in your company’s bottom line sales.

Testing messenger platforms on Facebook can allow an easier way to penetrate a market without making substantial changes to website UX designs, which is an added benefit.

missing-google-web-traffic

3 Reasons Your Website Isn’t Getting More Google Traffic

Generating quality website traffic is a perennial problem for businesses.

Only 5.7 percent of web pages rank within the top 10 on Google results within a year of being published, Ahrefs research has found. Nearly one in 10 pages get fewer than 10 visits per month. Over nine in 10 get no traffic at all.

If your site isn’t getting enough traffic, there are a few common reasons why you may not be attracting more visitors. Here are three reasons why your site may look like a ghost town, along with some tips on what you can do about it.

1 – Lack of Blog Content

If you’re not getting enough traffic, you’re probably not posting enough blog content. Blogging is the most effective way to generate traffic, HubSpot research has shown.

Companies that post four or more blog posts a month start to see significantly higher traffic than companies that post three or fewer blogs per month. Companies that post 16 or more blog posts a month enjoy traffic 3.5 times higher than those that post four or fewer times a month.

For B2B companies, posting 11 or more blogs a month generates three times more leads than posting once, while for B2C companies, posting 11 times a month generates four times more leads than posting four to five times.

As these numbers indicate, publishing more quality blog content should be a primary strategy for increasing your traffic. Use keyword research to identify which topics are drawing traffic from search engines, and incorporate these topics and keywords into your blog titles and posts.

Create a blog publication schedule to help ensure that you’re posting enough content on a regular basis. Use content management platforms to automate the process of sharing your blog content on social media when it gets published.

Using a tool such as FlashMarks, create a digital-friendly logo to distribute along with content on your site, on search engines, and on social media, so that your brand maintains a consistent look across all platforms. Choose a unique company logo design so readers can recognize your brand immediately.

2 – High Bounce Rates

Another reason you may not be getting enough traffic is that visitors who arrive at your page are leaving right away.

The average website has a bounce rate of 58.18 percent, meaning that over half of visitors leave immediately after viewing only one page, Google Analytics data reviewed by Brafton shows. The average visitor only sticks around for 2 minutes and 17 seconds. For blogs, nearly eight out of 10 visitors leave after viewing only one page.

High bounce rates can be caused by a number of factors, including mis-targeted marketing, technical difficulties loading your page, irrelevant content, and navigational issues. Make sure that your blog content is targeted toward your intended audience so that you’re not attracting traffic from visitors who aren’t likely customers.

Check your site to make sure it loads in three seconds or less on mobile devices so that potential visitors aren’t getting frustrated by slow loading time.

Use a navigational structure that makes it easy for visitors to find other relevant content once they land on a page, and include visible internal links to related and suggested content to encourage visitors to stick around.

3 – Not Enough Backlinks

Another major reason most sites don’t get enough traffic is that they haven’t built enough backlinks to drive traffic and boost their search engine rankings. Backlinks are one of the biggest factors that determine your content’s search engine ranking, but most sites don’t pursue an effective backlinking strategy. Over half of pages have no links pointing toward them, Ahrefs has found.

Consistently creating quality blog content will help you build backlinks.

To support this strategy, SEO authority Moz recommends creating pieces that incorporate useful information, newsworthy facts, or humor in order to encourage your social followers and email subscribers to share your content. Post links to your blog content on social media in order to promote sharing and backlinking. In addition, you can offer your best customers and business associates partnership badges, which are graphic icons that link back to your site.

For example, Google’s AdWords certification program gets AdWords-certified partners to link back to Google.

Lack of blog content, high bounce rates, and insufficient backlinks are three major reasons sites don’t get enough traffic. By taking steps to avoid these mistakes, you can increase your site’s traffic, improving your ability to attract customers and generate business.

BONUS TRAFFIC STRATEGY:

Consider testing content strategies with paid advertising (Facebook Ads, Google Ads) and collect important metrics and stats to determine (in advance) how well a content piece works. This strategy often proves worthwhile, and it will save you time and money when done right!

customer-analytics-performance

3 Keys To Optimizing Customer Performance Analytics

If you’re not leveraging customer analytics, you may be selling your business short.

In fact, companies that subscribe to the practice of collecting and leveraging customer analytics significantly outperform their competitors, according to McKinsey.

Moreover, firms that make extensive use of customer analytics are more than twice as likely as their competitors to generate above-average profit, sales and ROI — and they’re nearly three times as likely to generate superior revenue growth.

Achieving these types of results requires employing a smart customer analytics strategy.

In other words, merely having your IT department gather data without a solid strategy in place won’t automatically translate into financial improvements.

With that in mind, here are three keys to effectively leverage your customer analytics data for optimal business performance.

1. Draw Data from All Channels

In order to leverage customer analytics successfully, you need to base your analysis on a comprehensive view of data throughout your organization.

Sure, companies that work with data in silos may collect plenty of pertinent information, but they’re capturing just a snapshot of the buyers’ cycle, thereby only seeing a distorted view of their customers.

These days, customers expect the brands with which they do business to offer a comprehensive and efficient omni-channel experience.

In particular, implementing an omni-channel data-collection strategy should span all customer-facing departments of your company.

This includes marketing, sales and customer service.

Additionally, data collection should encompass all channels your customers use to interact with these departments.

For instance, your marketing data may include information collected from social media, mobile text messaging, email and other channels.

2. Integrate Your Analysis

Collecting data across all channels is only a preliminary step.

In order to put data to practical use, customer information assembled from various support channels should be collected into a central database for coordinated analysis.

This poses the challenge of how to synthesize data from multiple channels into a coherent whole. Ultimately, your company’s ability to integrate data effectively is heavily impacted by your software selection.

Software platforms that are designed to combine and analyze data from multiple sources greatly increase the efficiency of data integration.

For example, using an automation platform that tracks your online marketing practices across multiple channels makes it easier to obtain a holistic view of your various internet marketing campaigns, rather than having to log into each channel separately to perform an individual analysis.

Moreover, using a cloud-based call contact center allows you to pool your customer service data from all support channels, including chatbots, social media, mobile apps and interactive voice response.

3. Use KPIs and Benchmarks to Track Performance

In order to translate your data analysis into actionable outcomes, it’s vital to prioritize which key performance indicators to track and to set benchmarks that measure performance.

One of the most important KPIs to track is customer satisfaction scores.

In particular, soliciting feedback through post-sales surveys is one popular way to measure satisfaction.

Additionally, providing a means and encouraging your customers to interact with your brand on Facebook and Twitter is another cost-efficient way to gather data on satisfaction levels.

Other important customer-centric KPIs to track include customer lifetime value, customer acquisition costs, customer engagement and customer churn rates.

Additionally, it’s important to segment the performance of individual marketing channels and sales campaigns, allowing you to see how well your marketing and sales efforts are working.

However, you can improve the performance of your marketing and sales efforts by doing segmented tracking of the different customer demographics you serve so that you can see how well customers are responding to different promotions and offers.

You can then do split-testing for different demographic groups to adjust and improve your marketing and sales performance.

Smart use of customer analytics strategies can give your business a big boost.

Firstly, taking an omni-channel approach to data collection provides you with a complete picture of your customer interactions.

Then, through the use of integrated software tools, you’re able to better analyze your data and improve the ease and efficiency of your analysis.

Finally, employing KPIs and various other benchmarks enable you to translate your analytic-collecting efforts into practical, profitable results.

Understanding data is essential, and everything starts with a performance audit.

mobility-in-the-workplace

3 Ways Your Company Can Expand Workplace Mobility

Here are 3 different ways your company can leverage remote workers.

Dealing with a mobile workforce (remote workers) is becoming a necessity for today’s enterprise.

Three in four U.S. workers will be mobile by 2020, International Data Corporation estimates. This shift to a mobile workforce reflects a more seismic shift in enterprise mobility spending, which will help propel the global mobility solutions market to $1.6 trillion this year and $1.7 trillion by 2021, IDC projects.

Markets seeing the demand:

  • Professional services
  • Banking
  • Discrete manufacturing and
  • Retail

The above are seeing some of the biggest requests for mobility solutions, as technologies such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality and 5G are making mobile technology increasingly critical to business success.

Enterprises that have a mobile infrastructure capable of leveraging these vital technology trends have a distinct advantage over competitors who don’t. If you’re looking to increase your company’s mobile capability, here are three strategies you can pursue.

1. Use a Unified Communications Platform

Shifting to a mobile corporate communications paradigm means moving away from seeing mobile as one more communications tool and embracing mobile as part of an integrated approach.

A typical problem plaguing most companies’ communications is a vast plurality of tools and providers.

For instance, today’s average contact center manages no less than 18 different communications vendors due to the wide range of tools employed.

To name a few:

  • smartphones
  • tablets
  • PCs
  • texting
  • live chat
  • video chat
  • social media and
  • email

When your workers are not only using multiple tools, but are managing them from multiple remote locations, this can compound the complexity. Workers can get overwhelmed, and information can get isolated and lost, leading to inefficient communication.

For instance, customers who are already irritated about an issue they just got done talking about for an hour over live text may face mounting frustration when they have to repeat the same information over the phone.

A unified communications platform solves this problem by replacing your physical communications center with a digital cloud contact center that integrates all your communications channels.

Regardless of where your team members are located or what devices and channels they are using, they can all access the same data.

This makes it easy to manage conversations even if they move from one communications channel to another, and even if the conversation partners are located in widely distributed locations.

2. Employ Cloud-Based Collaboration Tools

A unified communications platform lays a foundation for cloud-based collaboration, another vital component of a mobile work strategy. Traditional collaboration uses email for functions such as task scheduling, file sharing and project tracking.

But email wasn’t designed to be a collaboration tool, and it suffers major limitations when used as one. For instance, tracking long conversations may require scrolling through archived threads.

This problem becomes compounded if someone joins a multi-party conversation late.

File versions can also get out of sync when files are being shared between multiple partners.

Cloud-based collaboration tools are designed to overcome these limitations by replacing the email paradigm with an interface similar to social media.

Social media is designed to allow multiple partners to see entire conversations at a glance, while keeping files in sync for all conversation participants.

This allows for real-time collaboration between workers even when they’re in widely separated locations and time zones.

3. Make Mobile Security a Priority

A mobile workforce opens your enterprise up to new security challenges.

Having worker mobile devices connected to your network, each potentially with its own operating systems and apps, creates more potential vulnerabilities and vectors of attack. Additionally, there is the challenge of ensuring that remotely-dispersed workers comply with your corporate security policy.

These considerations mandate making mobile security a priority.

Today’s cybersecurity best practices focus on prevention through strategies such as firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, endpoint protection suites and content filters.

Prevention can be supplemented by detection strategies, such as use of security information event and management solutions that use artificial intelligence (AI) to pinpoint suspicious activity. Some of today’s latest mobile devices have on-device AI security tools built in to their hardware.

These strategies must be supported by strong bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, such as protecting devices with passcodes and biometric authentication, encrypting data, keeping operating systems and apps updated, and maintaining remote wipe capability.

Adopting a unified communications platform provides a basis for an effective company mobility policy. Using cloud-based collaboration tools leverages your mobile communications network for efficiency.

Mobile security ensures that data shared over your company’s mobile network stays secure. Pursuing these mobility strategies can make your company more agile, more productive, and ultimately more profitable.

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3 Reasons For Education-Based Marketing As A Sales Tactic

Only 3 percent of your ideal customers are actively searching for your product, or are in an active buying mode, according to the author of the Ultimate Sales Machine, Chet Holmes. (Note: you should get this book on audible and listen to it now)

For both large and small business, this means that you need to constantly come up with new and creative ways to sell your company’s offerings and try to weed out the other 97%.

Naturally, this can get quite expensive, because “everybody” wants them, and so SEO, PPC prices go up, and hungry marketers will do anything (even use stupid, shady tactics) to get attention and grab marketshare.

Education-based marketing is a growing solution that is seeing brands provide more information and knowledge surrounding their products and services. The aim is to sell the solution without explicitly selling it. It will more naturally repel the people not interested, and draw your warmer audience in.

Not convinced?

Here are three reasons why education-based marketing is becoming more effective as a sales strategy.

1. You don’t come across as sales-aggressive

It’s a common trait to get frustrated with salesmen they can come off as pestering, money-hungry people with dishonest motives.

And once that reputation is established, it can be hard to shake.

However, with education-based selling, the sales strategy is so well disguised under the wealth of knowledge you’re providing, customers often come to a purchasing decision on their own, without feeling bothered by sales tactics.

Apple Rubber, for example, provides consumers with information on o-rings, including content about their function and what makes them so useful.

Without any aggressive advertising or promotions, the o-rings ultimately sell themselves by showing the consumer why they need them (and they do it in a fun, interesting and useful way!)

2. You establish yourself as an authority figure

Rather than providing your customer base with blanket statements about how great your product is and then asking them to trust you, you should establish yourself as an expert first.

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By educating your potential and loyal consumers, you are communicating that you have a lot of knowledge about the industry and know what you’re talking about.

From there, when you tell them that your product is worthwhile, it holds more weight in the consumers’ eyes and selling becomes that much easier.

Not only will audiences begin to trust your word, but they’ll learn to rely on your expert opinion, creating a much deeper relationship with your customers and making the sales process long-term and efficient.

3. You’ll build your brand personality and provide extra value

These days, with social media marketing becoming such a major facet of any business strategy, consumers are looking for something more from brands over and above what they sell they’re looking for a personality they can relate to.

How about Jon’s podcast? (it’s FREE to listen)

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Jon Rognerud Podcast iTunes, Google Play, Spotify

Education-based marketing is another addition to the strategy of displaying a brand personality, as it gives your company a voice, an opinion and an excuse to communicate with your customers.

Whether it’s:

  • blogs
  • seminars
  • videos
  • podcasts
  • online webinars
  • or events

…the education you provide to your audience is a value-add that can set you apart from your competitors.

Ultimately, in your consumers’ eyes, you’re not only the brand that sells that one product, you’re a unique and engaging entity that contributes to the conversation.

Education-based marketing is an effective method that draws customers in for the long-term.

By eliminating the negative connotations around selling, education-based marketing provides your audience with something extra and allows your products to sell themselves.

Click to learn more.

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3 Automated CRM Tools For Your Company Website

Improving the customer experience is simple with automated customer relationship management tools.

When applied correctly, these automated tools can single handedly improve the customer experience, all while boosting your business’ bottom line.

Here’s how.

Why Automated CRM Matters

How do you manage your customer relationships? Gone are the days when business owners turn to unmanageable spreadsheets.

Modern business leaders are increasingly implementing automated customer relationship management tools to better manage their contacts.

Automated customer relationship management comes in many forms, from personalized emails to targeted customer recommendations on a website based-on past purchases or interests.

Today’s CRM tools offer scalable personalization, no longer leaving personalization for a few “best” customers, but to all customers. CRM also leads to higher customer retention rates, which is key.

Returning customers will spend 31 percent more than a new customer, and retained customers are 60 to 70 percent more likely to buy from a business that they already have a relationship with than a customer who’s never done business with you.

CRM can also give you freedom, freeing up time from tedious tasks like data entry and customer information recording.

Essential Webmaster Tools

Customer relationships are the driving force of your company.

An automated and cloud-based customer relationship management tool, such as Infor CRM, can help you maximize the impact of every single customer interaction through industry specific capabilities, flexibility and scale and deep integration.

Infor CRM gives business leaders and their teams a seamless, easy-to-use platform that can be accessed across all teams, helping your company to work smarter, not harder, with a functional user experience.

Make use of Infor consulting services, articles and video tutorials on Infor CRM to ensure that your team is up to speed.

Helpful Automated Messaging

Customers come to your website to learn more about your goods or services. Your website is essentially an online version of a storefront for your business.

Here customers can get a glimpse of what you stand for, learn about your company and browse a selection of your offerings.

But who can they turn to when they have a question?

Think about the last time that you were in a department store.

You were probably looking around, getting to know the company, and then you had a question. You likely found a store clerk to talk to.

Like a store clerk, automated messaging services such as LiveChat can give your customers the chance to get answers to their questions without sending an email or dialing up your company by phone.

Real-time answers can inspire purchases and keep your existing customers returning, and impress your first time clients.

In fact, according to LiveChat data, visitors invited to chat are 6.3 times more likely to convert into customers than those who don’t chat.

Modern Customer Self-Service

Today’s customers are more connected than ever before and these digitally savvy customers often act on their own timeframe and terms. Make sure that you offer what these connected customers need with a self-service portal on your company’s website.

The Salesforce Self-Service portal allows you to design and build mobile-friendly, and branded, portals that can enhance the customer experience. Best of all, the low-code option is easy to use and deploy.

Your customer relationships and your bottom line are related.

Give them both a boost with automated CRM.

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