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Consumer Insights Direct-To-Consumer DTC Marketing Influencer Marketing Podcast

Bigeye’s forthcoming national study reveals that among those who follow infuencers, 9-in-10 purchase a product after seeing it used or recommended by an influencer. Paige Garrett, Assistant Vice President at RVD Communications in New York, explains how influencer marketing is reshaping retail and why it redefines the shopper’s path to purchase. Paige also shares which tactics yield the most positive ROI and predicts where influencer marketing is headed in the coming years. 

Episode Transcript

Adrian Tennant: Coming up in this episode of IN CLEAR FOCUS.

​​Paige Garrett: The fluff content is gone. Influencers are really doubling down on brands that give back or initiatives that, you know, they align with personally. They’re saying no to deals with brands that they don’t admire who aren’t doing well by society.

Adrian Tennant: You’re listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS, fresh perspectives on the business of advertising. Produced weekly by Bigeye. Hello. I’m your host, Adrian Tennant, VP of Insights at Bigeye. A full-service, audience-focused creative agency, we’re based in Orlando, Florida, serving clients across the United States and beyond. Thank you for joining us. Alongside the growth of social media over the past decade, influencer marketing has gained popularity with audiences and brands. Direct-to-consumer brands were among the first to use influencers to drive sales, particularly among new customers. A survey conducted by Inmar and Social Media Today recently found that four in every five respondents had made a purchase based on an influencer’s recommendation. And that over two-thirds of them had spent $150 or more. Influencers have loyal followings across several social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and most recently TikTok, creating new opportunities for brands to appear in paid and earned campaigns that leverage influencers’ connections with their followers. Today’s guest is an expert in influencer marketing. Paige Garrett is the assistant vice president of marketing at RVD communications, based in New York City. She has over seven years of marketing experience across various industries, including fashion, fitness, hospitality, and lifestyle. Having worked at companies like Shopbop, an Amazon subsidiary, Obé Fitness, and more. In her spare time, Paige is a fitness trainer and integrative health coach. To discuss all things influencer marketing, Paige is joining us today from Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York. Paige, welcome to IN CLEAR FOCUS!

Paige Garrett: Thank you so much. I’m so thrilled to be here.

Adrian Tennant: Could you tell us about RVD and the kinds of clients you serve?

Paige Garrett: Yes, absolutely. So RVD is a progressive PR, social media, and brand-building agency. We’re based in New York City and work across the hospitality and lifestyle industry. So we’re working primarily with bars and restaurants in the New York area, but also across the country, as well as some bigger national lifestyle brands. We also have a really strong women’s health vertical, so working with a lot of leaders in that space as well. And in terms of our, you know, core capabilities, I would say editorial PR is actually our bread and butter. So that’s where, as an agency, we got our start, that said, we understand, of course, that PR and sort of no marketing channel happens in a vacuum, so over the past few years, we’ve expanded our capabilities and services to include other marketing verticals as well. So social media management, email marketing, and then, of course, influencer marketing, which we’re here to chat about today.

Adrian Tennant: Paige, you’re the assistant vice president of marketing at RVD. What does your role entail?

Paige Garrett: I oversee our influencer marketing division, which is actually our fastest-growing division, which is really exciting. I also help oversee email marketing, I worked very closely with the social media management team and our publicists of course because for a lot of our clients, we’re working on the same projects, just on different channels. And I also help oversee new business with our founder, Rachel Van Dolson. So putting together proposals and strategies for potential clients based on their needs or what they’re looking for, which is also a lot of fun.

Adrian Tennant: RVD has clients in the lifestyle, health, and hospitality industries. Are these verticals especially well-suited to influencer marketing?

Paige Garrett: Yes, absolutely. So I would say, really any industry at this stage, is fitting for influencer marketing, but where we sit across lifestyle, health, and hospitality, there’s so much opportunity because there are so many influencers who are leaning into, more of just that like snapshot into their everyday life. So I think that those industries and categories, in particular, touch every one of us at some stage in our day. So it’s a lot of fun putting together strategies and, you know, specific campaigns for our clients within those industries, but, definitely a lot of room across any industry for influencer marketing.

Adrian Tennant: Is that true of business-to-business brands, as well as business-to-consumer brands?

Paige Garrett: I do think that there are still a lot of opportunities because from a B2B perspective, the people who you’re still operating with, a lot of them are also still on Instagram or on Facebook, or, you know, are using those channels to find potential partnerships. So I think, obviously from a consumer perspective, there’s a lot more opportunity in terms of just driving direct purchase and conversion  and bigger brand awareness campaigns as well. But I do think B2B, when you think about who is the consumer on social at this point, it’s really everybody.

Adrian Tennant: Are there any categories at all that you found don’t tend to be as good a fit for influencer marketing?

Paige Garrett: At this point in time, really every industry can win from some form of influencer marketing. That said, it’s obviously more challenging for certain industries than others. So you know, there’s a lot of red tape or regulations for certain industries. For instance, the liquor industry, even with our women’s health clients or supplements, there is a lot that you can and can’t do when it comes to having influencers endorse your brands or products. So, as long as you’re really reading the fine print and staying up to date with those regulations, and they do vary from platform to platform, I think that there is a way to go about influencer marketing. It really just comes down to finding the right strategy, finding the right partners, really getting clear upfront on the goals of your program and what you’re looking for. And then obviously matching that back to what you are, and aren’t allowed to do from an endorsement perspective.

Adrian Tennant: Could you explain the differences between paid and earned influencer management?

Paige Garrett: Yes, absolutely. So at RVD, we run three different types of influencer marketing programs. So the first you mentioned is earned influencer marketing and what that means it’s basically a fancy way of saying, trade influencer marketing. So trading a free product or experience or service to an influencer in exchange for set content. And that’s probably the type of campaign that we’re all most familiar with, in the sense that we’re driving trials with our influencers and getting their real-time feedback via content. So with those engagements, obviously there’s no agreement in place, there’s no flat fee compensation. So while we do our very best to confirm via email, we don’t have control over what that final piece of content might look like. So, it’s really making sure that, within those campaigns that you either have established relationships with those influencers, you’ve worked with them before and I think that’s where an agency comes into play in the sense that when we’re working with influencers on behalf of our clients in an earned capacity, we have that trust established. They trust us in the brands that we’re working with. We trust them that they’ll follow through with the content that they’re promising in exchange for that again, complimentary product or experience. And it’s a great way to also establish relationships early on with influencers and also just learn a lot because it’s not, from a budget perspective, you’re not spending a ton of money. You’re really just trading again, that experience or free product for content. But then from there, there’s bigger paid campaigns. So that’s when, in addition to those complimentary services or products, you are also giving an influencer a flat fee payment for their content creation. So this is where you might be working with a bigger macro influencer who requires compensation, or you have a very specific campaign brief that you want to make sure that you get exactly the type of content that you’re looking for. So with the bigger paid campaigns, there’s an agreement in place. You have more control over exactly when that content is going to go live. A lot of times we’ll include reviews within our agreements or that we’re getting to see the content before it goes live and providing our influencers with a round of content edits. So there’s just a little bit more control, compared to the earned engagement. That said, I don’t think smaller brands need to have these bigger paid budgets so early on as mentioned, I think an earned or trade relationship is a great way to learn and then carry those learnings into a bigger paid engagement. But we also do a lot of affiliate influencer marketing as well, which is more of an ambassador program, which also works nicely because you’re incentivizing influencers just based on the number of conversions they drive. So that typically looks like a set commission of sales that they drive, whether that’s tracked through a discount code or a unique link. So those are the three main campaigns that we run for our clients at RVD.

Adrian Tennant: How does RVD categorize influencers by the size of their following?

Paige Garrett: So this is a great question and I think the answer evolves every week, in the world of influencer marketing. But for now, we typically equate a nano influencer to anybody who has zero to 10,000 followers. So those are smaller influencers, but they usually have hyper-engaged communities. So in those earned engagements or the trade engagements, that’s where we’ll be working mostly with nano influencers. Micro influencers we typically categorize as having 10K to 100K followers. There’s a new branch of influencer, which is the mid-level, which is a hundred to 500K. Macro influencers would be 500K to a million followers. And then there would be the mega macros, which have over a million followers snd those are typically more of the celebrity status of influencers. So we, of course, are very mindful of these different tiers. And as mentioned a paid campaign versus an earned campaign will kind of stipulate who we’re working with from a tier perspective. but we do also keep a very close eye on engagement rate. No matter if we’re working with a nano influencer or a macro influencer, because at the end of the day, you want to make sure that your content is being seen. So there are a lot of platforms that can equate engagement rate for you but the way you would basically go about finding that engagement rate is likes and comments divided by the total number of followers. So again, making sure that in addition to a lot of followers, all of those followers are hyper-engaged with that specific influencer’s content.

Adrian Tennant: For those listening, who haven’t yet worked with influencers, what are some of the issues marketers need to consider when planning a sponsored campaign for the very first time?

Paige Garrett: A lot of the clients we’re working with are brands that are just launching or who have never done influencer marketing before. So what we like to lead with is lead time. So it does take a little bit of time to nail down your strategy, align on the goals of the program. Is it brand awareness? Are you looking just for content to repurpose across your owned channels? Are you looking, of course, to drive sales, sort of like, what are the main goals of this initial campaign that you’re putting together? And then from there, really working backwards to find the right partners. I think really making sure that you’re doing your due diligence and researching to find the right type of influencer. For instance, we would never recommend a cheese brand to an influencer who is obviously dairy-free. So while it takes a little bit of time to do that manual research, of course, there are resources and platforms that help, it is really important to take that extra time to do so. And then from there, it’s also vetting those partners. Obviously, in the world that we live in, everything on social and everything online, it lives there indefinitely, so make sure that you’re doing a deep dive before reaching out to a potential partner to make sure that they’re fully brand aligned with your brand or your client’s brand. I think influencer marketing works very similarly to public relations or PR in the sense that you still need to proactively pitch your brand or your product or service to the influencer and get them to be interested. So, you know, just like how journalists are inundated with pitches every day, so are influencers. So what can you do to really insert your brand or product or service into that influencer’s day-to-day life? How can you personalize your outreach and make them see the value of what it is you’re offering to them? So really taking the time to craft that messaging, in the right way. And then from there, it can take a little bit of time to get that interest. So again, I think the overarching theme of my replies is time and research. Typically, once we have that initial interest, we’ll provide a creative brief, but also leaving ample room for that creator to use their creative expertise, because that’s why, you know, you’re approaching them in the first place. So, just making sure you have all those various aspects buttoned up before you even begin your outreach so that once the interest is there, once you start the process of collaborating with an influencer, you know exactly what you’re looking for and the value that they can provide to you and your brand.

Adrian Tennant: Thinking specifically about direct-to-consumer brands or retailers selling online, what types of influencer marketing campaigns does RVD typically run?

Paige Garrett: A lot of the clients that we’re working with are either new brands that are just launching or brands that are smaller and may have never done influencer marketing before. So for a DTC client, specifically, we typically start with more of an earned or trade engagement. So providing that product, just getting the product into as many influencers’ hands as we possibly can. Of course, again, doing our due diligence to make sure that they’re the right type of partners, the right influencers, who would genuinely as consumers value from that client’s product or service. So, within that sort of initial earned or trade campaign, it’s a great way for us to learn a lot, candidly. So before our clients have to put, you know, larger budgets behind campaigns, we can use more of this earned engagement to find out what type of influencers are really resonating with the brand or product? What type of content is working really well? What content might not be working as well? Who do we love, who loves us? Just really establishing relationships and learning in this initial earned phase so that when it does come time to do a bigger paid initiative or campaign, or even just build a brand ambassador program, we have all of those learnings in place. The beauty of DTC, as well as that obviously via stories, or even just via link in bio, if you’re working with a smaller nano influencer, you can link directly to your client’s website or the specific products that the influencer is recommending. So from a conversion perspective, it’s really helpful specifically for those DTC clients.

Adrian Tennant: Let’s take a short break. We’ll be right back after these messages.

Lane Martin: I’m Lane Martin, graphic designer on Bigeye’s, creative team. Every week IN CLEAR FOCUS examines trending topics through the lens of consumer behavior. At Bigeye, for every engagement, we commit to really understanding our client’s target customers, using research to learn about their attitudes and motivations. As a graphic designer, I use these insights to guide my approach to crafting visually engaging solutions and inspiring effective campaigns. If you’d like to put Bigeye’s creative communications to work for your brand, please contact us. Email info@bigeyeagency.com. Bigeye. Reaching the right people, at the right place, at the right time.

Adrian Tennant: How do you identify?

Voices: Female, male, gender fluid, cis-gender, genderqueer, non-binary, trans-feminine.

Adrian Tennant: Society is constantly changing and evolving. To understand how Americans feel about gender identity and expression, Bigeye undertook a national study involving over 2,000 adult consumers. Over half of those aged 18 to 39 believe that traditional binary labels of male and female are outdated and instead see gender as a spectrum. Our exclusive report, GENDER: BEYOND THE BINARY, reveals how beliefs across different generations influences the purchase of toys, clothes, and consumer packaged goods. To download the full report, go to Bigeye.agency/gender.

Voices: Nonconforming, transgender, two-spirit, trans-masculine, gender fluid.

Adrian Tennant: GENDER: BEYOND THE BINARY.

Adrian Tennant: Welcome back. I’m talking with Paige Garrett, Assistant Vice President of Marketing at RVD communications. Paige, how do you calculate the return on investment for clients from an influencer marketing campaign?

Paige Garrett: I love this question. Of course, measuring success is extremely important and, you know, for our earned, our trade relationships, where we don’t have an agreement in place, we still typically like to use UTM links. So, essentially it’s first establishing, what is the goal of this program or campaign that we’re running? Is it capturing content? Is it driving sales? Which is usually the goal. Is it just driving bigger brand awareness for a specific initiative or partnerships? Sort of aligning on what the goal is upfront so that we can measure against that. But what we can use UTM links for is essentially, once our influencers are including that swipe up or the link in bio, we get to see what’s happening once a consumer leaves the world of Instagram or leaves the world of that influencer, and enters the world of our client or brand. So while again, these aren’t paid, we do have a lot of success with asking our influencer partners to use their UTM links, because the way we position it to them is that we, as a brand, want to create a longstanding relationship with you. And what this unique link will allow us to see is everything that you’re driving for us as a brand. And I think influencers are really active and receptive to that, which is wonderful because they also want to do right and do well by the brand. So basically what a UTM link does is codes all of that information into our clients’ Google analytics backend, so that we can see, obviously, who’s purchasing, if anybody’s purchasing or if they’re not purchasing, you know, when that customer is leaving the site, how long are they on the site for? It kind of helps from a UX perspective as well, especially for our brands that might have just launched. That’s typically how we will measure success in an earned capacity. From a paid capacity, there’s a lot more we can ask our partners for because we’re paying them and have that agreement in place. So we’ll always ask for their Instagram metrics. So there’s a lot that’s public in terms of likes and comments, but we also like to look at things like sends and saves. So, from an engagement perspective, how else are potential customers engaging with the content? I think saves is a great way to see that there’s obviously some sort of intent to come back to that content or learn more about it, read more about it, or purchase. The same goes with sends, in the sense that somebody is clearly sending that to a friend or to somebody else who they want to see that content. We also ask our paid partners: did anybody DM you about this brand? We look at the sentiment of their comments. So overall, just making sure that we’re capturing the full picture in the sense of what did this partnership drive from a website or conversion perspective, but also just from a bigger brand awareness and sentiment perspective as well.

Adrian Tennant: Paige, thinking about the types of clients you work with at RVD and obviously without giving away any trade secrets, what are some of the tactics or types of content that you find work consistently well?

Paige Garrett: Yeah. So we have a fun phrase that we like to say at RVD, which has gone are the days of fluff content. I think that, when influencer marketing first started a few years ago, especially on Instagram, there was a lot of posing with specific products or very curated content. And I think that while there are a lot of content creators who do create beautiful content that is very editorial and stylized, I do think that more real, authentic content is what is performing really well. And it makes sense because at the end of the day, a follower or a community that an influencer has, they’re looking to that influencer just for day to day inspiration. And they have that established relationship with that influencer. They know what their typical day is like because the influencer shares it every day. So when an influencer is promoting something that is so far from what they typically would share, or that clearly goes against something that a follower already knows about them, I think it’s really obvious to the consumer and it’s very unlikely that they’ll take action when it comes to that content. So for instance, we have an influencer who we work with quite frequently, who we had a paid engagement with recently. And her content was already pre-shot, we’ve, you know, approved the content. We were ready to go. And she actually, unfortunately, got COVID and it was during this time that she really used her channel to open up about her mental health, about the way that it was affecting her, obviously, physically, but mentally as well. It was such a beautiful thing to see in such a real and honest depiction of who she is as an influencer and the way that she wants to try to help others who are likely going through similar situations. And the content we had prerecorded just felt so wrong in that instance, because of this phase that she was coming out of personally. So instead, we decided to collaborate on, you saw value in the product previously. How do you see value in the products now that you’re coming out of such a difficult two weeks, a difficult time where you obviously spoke to your mental health, and how this has all affected you? And we kind of worked with her as a creator to reshoot the content in a way that felt really real and honest with where she was in her life. And I think that is a great example of the type of content that is resonating most, because it’s very authentic in a way that, followers and consumers are picking up on now more than ever.

Adrian Tennant: E-marketer estimates that influencer marketing sponsorships totaled around $10 billion in 2020. Given its popularity, are you seeing clients using influencer marketing in addition to ad campaigns or does that $10 billion reflect a shift in spending away from traditional and digital advertising and toward influencer marketing?

Paige Garrett: Yeah. I would say that the two definitely go hand in hand. I think it was about two years ago that it took 8 touchpoints to convert a customer. So I could only imagine it’s more like 12 now. Whereas as a society we are very distracted, we’re doing too much at once. It takes a lot to get somebody to finally decide to purchase something or to go to a restaurant or whatever that action is. So I do think that there is a reason to have both traditional and digital advertising in addition to influencer marketing. So I would say that, you know, bigger brands, they have that bigger advertising budget, but they’re also setting up a separate budget for influencer marketing. That said, I also think that for smaller brands or newer brands who don’t have as big of budgets, I think that the value of influencer marketing, especially early on in a business is so important. And I do think that a lot of our clients and a lot of the clients that we’re working with, do tend to allocate their dollars there first, because I think working with influencers, it’s almost like you have a group of beta testers to collect feedback from. Using our UTM links, we can see, is there anything broken in terms of our UX website flow that we should consider before you’re putting larger dollars behind advertising? And I do think also with influencer marketing, there’s a lot of content you can capture that you can then leverage for your owned or paid channels eventually. So, I do think again, the two work hand in hand, there’s a reason to be doing both, but as a smaller brand, while you’re just starting out using an influencer marketing campaign and more of that trade or earned capacity to start, is a great way to find your core audience demo, find what’s working from a content perspective. Use your influencers like beta testers, just like use that influencer campaign to collect a lot of data and information that you can then carry over when you’re ready to do more of a traditional or digital advertising run.

Adrian Tennant: Well, we can’t talk about social media and not discuss TikTok, the breakout network of the pandemic. Paige, what kinds of brands do you see performing best in this channel?

Paige Garrett: We love to talk about TikTok. It’s definitely a labor and time-intensive platform in the sense that if you’re going to be on TikTok, you really need to double down, and to be on TikTok. So what we typically recommend for our clients is making sure that you’re really ready and that you have enough content to fill in that channel. So, it’s obviously very video-heavy. There’s a lot of cutting and it’s also what we like to say as well as whereas with Instagram, there’s a lot of curation. It’s a very editorialized vision of your brand or product or service, and the same goes for influencers. I think that there are a lot of influencers who still take a lot of pride, artistically in their Instagram feeds and the type of content they’re producing on Instagram. Whereas with TikTok, it’s kind of like what Snapchat was like when it first came out, only it lives forever. It doesn’t go away after 24 hours, but it is a little bit quicker, a little bit more real, authentic, kind of like a BTS or behind the scenes look at, a real, authentic version of that influencer or of your brand. So, I do think that, you know, when it comes to influencer marketing on TikTok, we typically recommend not going too heavy until you have a presence as a brand on TikTok. That said, I do think it’s also a great way to test via influencers, what type of content is resonating on TikTok. almost using your influencers like a beta test to see what they’re producing on behalf of your brand on TikTok. So that, that can kind of get your creative wheels turning from your owned content perspective. Also leveraging that influencer’s TikTok content on your TikTok eventually. But when it comes to, let’s say, an influencer campaign that we’re running on TikTok for a brand that doesn’t have a TikTok presence just yet, we’ll also make sure that our influencer partners are repurposing that content via Instagram Reel so that they’re able to tag our brand of course, and drive direct conversion that way as well.

Adrian Tennant: For any brand that’s considering engaging with an influencer marketing agency or a communications firm to manage a campaign, what are some good questions to evaluate whether that firm will be a good fit?

Paige Garrett: I think that it’s getting very clear upfront regarding what you’re looking for with that influencer campaign. So, obviously, I think every brand is interested in sales, but depending on where you are in your business, do you just need content? You know, maybe you don’t have a budget for a big photoshoot or, you’re just a founder and you don’t have access to a full team. Is there a campaign you’re looking to mount just so that you can capture content for your own channels? Are you looking to drive sales? Are you looking for, you know, bigger paid campaigns? Just making sure that your goals align with the agency and the agency services and capabilities. I also think definitely asking about previous projects that they’ve done, case studies, making sure again, that the types of brands that agency may have worked with fits with what you’re looking for, what your brand vision may be, that they’re brands that you know and respect and admire in the space. And I also think it’s just making sure that you’re also set up to have a successful influencer program. So for instance, if you’re looking for a bigger brand ambassador program, do you have some sort of DTC component, do you feel equipped and ready to have enough product to seed out to influencers? If you’re doing a trade or earned program if you want a bigger paid campaign, do you have healthy budgets, making sure that, you’re aligned on all of those key components, in addition to, the goals of your campaign, so that that agency can give their strategic recommendation on what is or isn’t doable.

Adrian Tennant: Paige, looking at the next two to three years, how do you see the influencer marketing landscape evolving?

Paige Garrett: The fluff content is gone. I think that when an influencer is choosing to share content, whether it be sponsored or not, I think that influencers are really looking to add value and to open up bigger conversations, and use their platforms for the greater good. Whereas, you know, I do think there was a lot of curated interest in stylized content previously. So I’m excited to continue to see this where influencers are really doubling down on brands that give back or initiatives that they align with personally, they’re saying no to deals with brands that they don’t admire who aren’t doing well by society. Really just leaning into authentic, real content that feels good to them as a consumer, but also that they know that their community will resonate with. So I, for instance, would always rather an influencer say no, and we have had some, some no’s, because if it’s a dietary restriction or, a personal decision that they want to lean into a different industry, I would always rather hear, “No”, that “this is not brand-aligned”, then an influencer produce content that they don’t feel good about and that they don’t think their community will resonate with. So continuing to move in that direction, I definitely think video will continue to be huge. And I do think that video allows for that more authentic and real connection. Whereas, you can’t just hide behind a stylized photo. A movement towards the real is really what I think we’re all experiencing and especially after such a challenging few years, with everything going on, I do think that influencers want to leverage their platforms to do more than just share brands or content, to share resources. You know, I think that educational content will continue to be huge and just moving towards using social media for the greater good, rather than perpetuating unrealistic norms of a perfect lifestyle, which we all now know does not exist.

Adrian Tennant: So Paige, if IN CLEAR FOCUS, listeners would like to learn more about influencer marketing with RVD, where can they find resources?

Paige Garrett: Yeah, so you can visit our website at www.rachelvandolson.com. You can email us at info@rachelvandolson.com or find us on Instagram: @RVDCommunications.

Adrian Tennant: And if people would like to know more about your coaching services for fitness and integrative health, where can they find you?

Paige Garrett: They can find me at www.PaigeGarrett.com or on Instagram @PaigeAConnelly.

Adrian Tennant: Paige, thank you very much for being our guest this week on, IN CLEAR FOCUS!

Paige Garrett: Thank you so much for having me. It was such a pleasure.

Adrian Tennant: Thanks to my guest this week, Paige Garrett, Assistant Vice President of Marketing at RVD Communications. You’ll find a transcript with links to the resources we discussed today on the IN CLEAR FOCUS page at Bigeyeagency.com. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider following us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Audible, YouTube, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Thank you for listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS produced by Bigeye. I’ve been your host, Adrian Tennant. Until next week, goodbye.

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Pinterest: A Visual Ad Platform for Sparking Inspiration

According to WordStream, Pinterest offers a fantastic gateway into the homes of affluent, millennial women, along with many other demographics. Even though they’ve mostly attracted women, almost 30 percent of signups come from men. Top categories on Pinterest include DIY, crafts, home decor, art, fashion, and beauty.

In short, people turn to Pinterest for visual inspiration and ideas. Since eCommerce relies so much on images, the image and video ad formats work well in all stages of the marketing funnel. Some of the best Pinterest marketing tips include supplying consumers with inspiration to encourage them to check out new products and traditional items used in new ways.

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TikTok: Engage on the Fastest Growing Social Site

While many people associate TikTok with a very young audience, Social Media Examiner found that 64 percent of users have at least passed their 20th birthday. Alright, TikTok mostly appeals to younger people. At the same time, the very engaged audience will age. Also, TikTok users spend an average of almost an hour a day logged in.

Besides the sillier content, many users see plenty of business, DIY, and parenting videos in their personalized feeds. Very effective ads usually emulate the appearance and tone of organic posts.

While the platform differs from Facebook, most experienced Facebook advertisers should find it familiar and easy to get started with. Even better, Social Media Examiner found that TikTok offered lower bids, particularly once ads have matured and show the right kind of content.

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Why Move Beyond Facebook and Google for B2C Marketing?

Facebook and Google still retain their spots as two of the biggest and most general advertising platforms for all kinds of businesses. In fact, even most recent lists of the top sites for marketers usually rank these two giants as first and second.

On the other hand, rising prices and increased privacy protection may have limited their usefulness as part of a cost-efficient and effective advertising strategy. Most advertisers admit that they struggle to find low-hanging fruit on the larger advertising sites these days. Successful marketers should always keep their eyes and ears open for new opportunities to engage, target, and sell to other audiences.

For a quick summary of these marketing tips:

  • Consider Nextdoor for hyper-local targeting and community engagement.
  • Find highly motivated, local buyers on Yelp in a variety of niches.
  • Image-oriented Pinterest ads can supply site users with inspiration and motivation to buy.
  • Creative video ads for somewhat younger audiences have a great chance to go viral on TikTok.

Nobody should declare Google or Facebook dead. Obviously, these two giants command massive audiences, and they’ve both shown an uncanny ability to survive and thrive in a rapidly evolving environment. At the same time, businesses with certain demographics may enjoy better targeting and lower costs elsewhere. Instead of interpreting this as a call to abandon traditional sites, think of it as a chance to keep exploring and testing for better returns.

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Audience Campaign Creation & Development Consumer Insights Insights Marketing/Business Media & Analytics Media Planning and Buying Over-The-Top(OTT) Video Production

This article is part of #TheBigeyeLens series exploring the future of consumer behavior, purchasing decisions, and marketing trends.

Americans first learned to love watching TV way back in the 1950s, and some folks still refer to that time as the Golden Age of TV. Even during today’s digital age, people still spend a lot of time watching dramas, comedies, documentaries, the news, and other kinds of TV shows. At least, Nielson recently reported that the average U.S. adult consumes over five hours of video content every day. OTT advertising offers brand the opportunity to reach niche, captive audiences.

How do People Consume TV Shows in 2021?

Of course, the way people consume TV programs has changed a lot in the past few decades. As an example, in the 1950s, some businesses closed and people stayed home to catch the latest episode of “I Love Lucy.” Today, TV watchers hardly ever need to restrict themselves to “appointment TV” because they can catch shows whenever it’s convenient for them.

In fact, the number of 18-to-34-year-olds who watched traditional TV dropped by over 23 percent in the third quarter of 2020 when compared to the previous year. Viewers, especially younger ones, tend to use over-the-top (OTT services) and connected TV (CTV) services to stream their favorite shows whenever they want to. And judging by the statistics, they still want to watch a lot of TV.

Before discussing how OTT advertising and CTV can benefit advertisers, it’s helpful to understand that they are both similar but not exactly the same. For some quick definitions:

OTT: This stands for over-the-top TV, and it refers to streaming services that serve content directly via the internet. Some well-known examples of OTT TV services include Netflix and Hulu. Viewers might access these apps on their laptops, smartphones, or even internet browsers on their smart TV sets.

CTV: CTV stands for connected TV. It refers to content viewed through internet-connected, streaming apps on smart TVs, plug-in devices like Roku or Chromecast, and even gaming consoles.

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How CTV and OTT Services Benefit Smart Advertisers

One might say it’s a new Golden Age of TV for TV fans and marketers. For some examples:

• In the early decades, TV advertisers could only cast a wide net and expect to engage a tiny fraction of the viewers of a popular program. People didn’t have that many shows to watch, so most popular shows attracted large but general audiences. Today, viewers have plenty of choices, so the shows that they watch may attract particular demographics.

• Since viewers often have to play the ads to keep watching their programs, advertisers can also enjoy very high engagement when compared to many other placements for video ads. For instance, internet users may simply mute or ignore the video ad on a website or social network; however, they’ll generally play through the ads included in TV-type programming to resume the show.

Today, more viewing choices and platforms capable of gathering data about viewers mean that a CTV or OTT advertising agency can send exactly the right message to the perfect audience. An experienced OTT and CTV media agency would advise its clients to take advantage of the information they have about their own customers and how it aligns with data provided by  OTT advertising and media buying services in a few important ways:

Gain an Understanding of the Intended Audience and the Media They Prefer

Start developing brand personas from market research, customer information, outsourced marketing data, and/or industry demographics. These snapshots of typical customers should help uncover the type of content they enjoy and how they prefer to have it delivered.

For some examples:

• Is the brand’s typical customer a Boomer who occasionally logs into Hulu, a cord-cutting Millennial with a high-end smart TV, or a Gen Z who mainly streams on a smartphone?

• Are they likely to prefer major league baseball, true crime documentaries, or made-for-cable dramas?

Answering these questions will help determine the best platforms to target and the slant to use when crafting advertising content.

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Exercise Creativity to Enjoy the Full Benefits of New Media Platforms

With so much power to understand viewers and the type of content that engages them, marketers should use their information and creativity to craft the sort of content that can also engage users.

As one example, Hulu is a popular OTT platform that displays advertising to members at some service levels. Hulu suggests answering a few questions to help develop the best ads:

Has the brand already generated awareness? New brands need to work harder to educate their audience. In contrast, a well-known brand may need to invest effort in changing the audience’s perceptions.

What’s the typical buying process? Some products may benefit from impulsive purchases, but other products generally need to coax customers through their journey. Either way, it’s important to develop content that will help move customers along in the intended step in the buying process.

Which advertisement lengths best serve goals? On platforms like Hulu, ads can range from 15 seconds to a few minutes. Short, punchy ads can be memorable and help develop brand recognition, but longer ads give marketers time to provide more information. As a tip, Hulu mentioned that their highest performing short ads focused on branding in almost every frame. In contrast, longer ads could focus on storytelling.

A Successful OTT Advertising Example

There’s not one right way to develop an OTT or CTV ad that would apply to every marketing campaign. Still, a CTV or OTT advertising agency will certainly want to gain inspiration from successful examples of high-performance ads.

For instance, like many companies, Bassett faced pandemic-related business issues that forced them to reduce and optimize their overall media budget. At first, some marketers might not think that a 120-year-old furniture company would make a good candidate for new media.

This example of a Bassett advertisement showed how they use a 30-second spot to tell their brand’s story in the words of actual furniture makers. The company replaced their entire traditional TV budget with only OTT ads. This campaign helped them sustain sales and even traffic to brick-and-mortar Bassett stores.

Optimize, Test, and Tune

As with almost any kind of marketing, great CTV and OTT campaigns are typically made and not born. That means that an experienced CTV and OTT media agency will expect optimal performance after periods of testing and tuning messaging and audiences.

On the positive side, sophisticated platforms can help track relevant metrics, even including visits to physical locations and eCommerce websites. Some examples of the metrics commonly provided on self-serve advertising platforms include impressions by network, day, and device, completion rates, click rate,

Work with an Experienced CTV and OTT Advertising Agency

Here at Bigeye, we appreciate TV’s power to inform, educate, and entertain. Of course, we also work hard to maximize TV’s potential to grow our client’s business with the right audience targeting, content format, and media placement. Contact us to tell us more about your brand, and we’ll let you know how we can help optimize your experience with OTT and connected TV buying services.

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Audience Branding Creative & Production Insights Marketing/Business Media & Analytics

Bigeye, an audience-focused, creative-driven, full-service advertising agency, has unveiled a newly redesigned website with an accompanying campaign, #TheBigeyeLens, to showcase its unparalleled expertise of consumer insights.

“After two decades of success, we’ve learned a lot about creating unforgettable brand experiences that drive connections,” said President Justin Ramb. “Our new website showcases how we’re uniquely positioned to completely understand the customer’s changing needs and produce the results our clients trust us to deliver.”

Bigeye launches, scales, and grows revolutionary brands that break the status quo.  Its award-winning teams have expertise in the full spectrum of marketing and advertising disciplines, including research, strategy, and campaign management and optimization. Its creative work includes everything from advanced digital campaign creation and video production to environmental design and outdoor media. 

“The future is driven by vision. We combine insight, hindsight, and foresight to inform all of our decisions,” said VP of Insights Adrian Tennant. “Research is at the heart of everything we do. Without audience personas, qualitative and quantitative research studies, and other forms of consumer research, we would miss opportunities to help our clients reach their target audiences.”

Bigeye’s four core service lines are Audience, Branding, Creative & Production, and Media & Analytics, with a focus on innovative Consumer brands. As an insights-driven agency, each project begins with detailed consumer research to architect strategies that yield tangible results.

“Our creative strategy enables the leading companies we work with to cut through the noise and make powerful, profitable connections with their target market,” said Seth Segura, VP of Creative. 

“This new chapter will allow us to continue creating customer experiences that help bring brands all over the world to new heights.”

In addition to the redesigned website, Bigeye will publish a series of new blog posts exploring the future of consumer behavior, as well as new episodes of their weekly podcast IN CLEAR FOCUS on the same topic. This Fall, Bigeye will also release a proprietary research report on the changing retail industry. 

Follow Bigeye on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and subscribe to the monthly newsletter to stay up-to-date on all agency news. 

About Bigeye

Bigeye is an audience-focused, creative-driven, full-service advertising agency that crafts deeply compelling brand experiences and the strategies that ensure they reach the right people, in the right place, at the right time. The Bigeye team of strategists, account managers, creative directors, copywriters, designers, programmers, and operations professionals works closely with clients to better understand the needs of their consumers and deliver measurable results.

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Branding Content Marketing Insights Paid Social

Podcasts have exploded in popularity. In turn, almost every content marketing agency has explored the power of this audio-only format to engage audiences. As a next step, imagine combining an audio podcast with the conversational ability of a traditional social site, like Twitter. Enter: Clubhouse, the social media wunderkind that everyone is either talking about or copying.

That’s how a Clubhouse marketing agency might describe this new and increasingly visible social app. Find out how Clubhouse works, some ways to use it for marketing, and what the future of interactive audio might offer.

How Does Clubhouse Work?

Clubhouse app users can choose from a selection of rooms to enter. Some examples of influencers who run Clubhouse rooms include philanthropists, entertainers, venture capitalists, and perhaps unsurprisingly, digital marketers. Entering the room automatically turns on audio, and visitors can “raise their hands” to ask for the moderator’s permission to speak.

Clubhouse’s exclusivity partly explains its mystique. While anybody can download the app, potential users must register a username and wait for an invitation to activate it. This controlled growth limits the app’s current user base; however, it also gives users a chance to gain access to even the most popular influencers.

According to Digiday, a few million people use Clubhouse at least once each week. That may pale when compared to the billions of logins to Facebook each day. At the same time, Clubhouse’s enjoys a very concentrated population of influencers, which offers businesses a fantastic way to make connections.

How to Benefit From Clubhouse Advertising and Marketing

Right now, Clubhouse does not offer any program for paid social advertising. It’s based upon networking and content marketing. On the other hand, businesses and individuals do have an opportunity to earn money from the app. Just a few examples include paid room memberships, sponsorships, and of course, marketing brands.

Of course, businesses could advertise their rooms on other platforms; however, since not everybody has a Clubhouse invitation, targeting can present a challenge. Instead, consider these examples of best practices for getting established on Clubhouse:

  • Organically develop an engaged community: Start by developing a profile that can motivate the right users to follow it. Engage in relevant conversations for visibility. Marketers new to Clubhouse may want to begin by networking with influencers who complement their own message. Compare this to getting established on any other social site by gaining the attention of influencers and their audiences.
  • Consider creating a room to solicit feedback: Whether it’s a new business idea or an established part of daily operations, try creating a room to ask for feedback. Very often, other entrepreneurs will stop by to offer opinions, and this provides a great networking opportunity for everybody involved. Also, don’t overlook the chance to provide feedback to others to gain attention.
  • Use Clubhouse to make company announcements: Connect an audience even more with a brand by using the site as a way to release your own audio press releases and bulletins. Clubhouse can work particularly well as a place to announce upcoming launches and even to ask for pre-launch feedback.

Instead of just using Clubhouse as a platform to network and promote new products or services, also consider it a potential source of finance connections. Since it’s grown quite popular with venture capitalist, Clubhouse can provide the perfect place to gain an investor’s notice. Even if all investors won’t offer to write checks, most will provide feedback that can help improve pitches and products.

Finally, is waiting for an invitation presenting an obstacle to getting started with Clubhouse? Putting out a call for one on LinkedIn or Twitter can yield positive results.

Forecasting the Future for Clubhouse

If nothing else, Clubhouse has already introduced a new digital media in the form of a social network based upon interactive audio. It combines some of the best features of social sites and podcasts. As an example, it’s interactive, and unlike with live video, nobody needs to fix their hair.

On the other hand, larger social networks have already begun to respond with their own versions. As an example, Twitter’s beta testing Audio Spaces. They want to give users a place to gather for live, spoken conversations. Also, Twitter already has some features that Clubhouse lacks, including transcriptions, reactions, and a report feature.

While Clubhouse’s premise appears promising, they may fade into obscurity or remain a niche platform if established social networks can deliver a similar environment with important upgrades.

Current Alternatives to Clubhouse

Since Clubhouse still has limited membership, not all brands will not find their target audience there. Others may feel the platform just doesn’t conform to their marketing style. Sadly, some entrepreneurs might even still be waiting for their invite.

In any case, it’s always prudent to explore some other alternative social networking platforms:

  • Discord: People probably mostly associate Discord with chat servers; however, it also offers video and audio chat capabilities. That means a business could turn a Discord audio channel into something very similar to a Clubhouse room.
  • Riffr: This platform lets users upload short podcast recordings, so that part isn’t live. However, Riffr also has social networking features, so both listeners and content producers can follow and interact with each other.
  • Traditional podcasts: At first, people might think of podcasts as more like one-way broadcasts. At the same time, it’s possible to receive voice, text, or video calls from the audience or guests, so in that way, they can be interactive.
  • Webinar: A webinar functions something like a podcast with the addition of video. Also similar, it first seems like a one-way medium. At the same time, it’s possible to accept chats and calls from participants, so a webinar can provide an interactive experience.

Is Clubhouse Marketing Worth Pursuing?

Clubhouse offers businesses a chance to interact with a relatively small but influential group. Some examples of Clubhouse participants include Oprah, Elon Musk, and Chris Rock. Less well known, but possibly just as important, venture capitalists hang out on Clubhouse to monitor trends and sometimes, find new ventures to fund.

If networking with powerful influencers, business funders, and other ambitious peers can offer benefits, good content marketers should find plenty of fertile ground to network and spread their message.

At the same time, Clubhouse has only existed for a couple of years and lacks the established brand, features, and membership of either the largest social sites or the most competitive alternatives. While investing effort into Clubhouse may offer opportunities, it’s also probably prudent to explore similar opportunities offered by other platforms.

Categories
Attribution Modeling Insights Media & Analytics

Basic marketing analytics shows visits and conversions at the point of sale. At the same time, only tracking sales conversions offers limited insight into the performance of overall ad spend. Clear marketing attribution can fill in the blanks.

For instance, knowing that a certain eCommerce page or store counter took sales does not account for earlier messaging that may have prompted the customer to visit the point of sale and pull out their wallet.

Obviously, businesses can benefit by learning exactly which of their efforts helped contribute to sales. In this era of multichannel marketing, the ability to give some credit for sales to various ads, platforms, and channels will add incredible value to marketing efforts. Marketers who lack these insights will inevitably drain profits from the most productive campaigns.

Learn how marketing attribution models track the contribution of important brand interactions and how that knowledge can increase both revenue and profits.

What Does Marketing Attribution Measure?

A marketing attribution agency will use analytics and marketing attribution models to assign credit to various touchpoints along sales funnels. That way, marketers understand how well each component of their ad spend performed in order to maximize their use of budget to increase revenue and profits. This also helps marketers understand which parts of their marketing plan to leave alone, tune and test, or remove.

To understand its importance, consider some questions that marketing attribution can help answer:

  • Which messages did the customer see? Attribution funnels can track the customer’s journey. For example, marketers can understand if a display ad, radio spot, email offer, or social post sparked interest in the brand or even immediately preceded a purchase.
  • Which touchpoint influenced the buying decision the most? Very often, a customer will see multiple marketing messages before making a purchase. Marketers will find it useful to gain such information as which touchpoint immediately proceeded the sale or engaged the consumer in the first place.
  • Did brand perception motivate the purchase? Marketers need to know how well their brand recognition campaigns helped engaged consumers with their brands and products.
  • How much did the message sequence and timing matter? Timing messages can greatly impact conversions. As a simple example, a free shipping offer might prompt a customer to return to an abandoned shopping cart but not help so much with initial brand awareness.
  • Did external factors spark sales? Marketing can’t operate in a vacuum. As an example, rising fuel prices will generally factor into a decision to buy a more efficient water heater or car. Natural disasters might spark home generator sales. Sophisticated marketers can even assign credit to events like these.

Types of Marketing Attribution Models

It’s not always easy to know exactly how much credit for sales to assign each brand interaction. Businesses need to determine a set of consistent rules to use for comparisons. Marketers call these various types of rules marketing attribution models.

According to Neil Patel, nobody can say one particular model works best for all companies or even for all kinds of marketing campaigns. This section describes various models and provides some benefits of each one.

Last Interaction

The traditional method of only crediting the point of sale is actually a kind of marketing attribution model. It’s called the last-click or last-interaction model. In the past, when a marketing analytics agency or tracking software offered to track conversions, that’s probably the model they provided.

This method’s easy to understand and tells marketers where transactions happen.Obviously, companies can use this information to know how well a point of sale converts; however, it doesn’t tell the whole story of the buyer’s journey.

First Interaction

In contrast to a last-interaction model, the first-interaction model measures the first exposure to a product. For instance:

  • A shopper might see a display advertisement for a new convection oven, click the ad and get offered an optin subscription that promises a discount and demo videos for popular recipes.
  • Only after watching some videos, the customer visits the sales page to place an order.
  • First interaction, sometimes called first click, will only credit the sale to the original display advertisement at the very top of the funnel.

This powerful model measures the performance of the top of the funnel. That way, marketers can increase their ad spend on the best-performing first-interaction channels to help engage new customers and prospects.

Linear

For many marketers, it won’t make sense to only attribute a sale to either the first or the last touchpoint. The linear model gives equal weight to each touchpoint the customer interacted with before making a purchase.

In the example above, the display advertisement, optin page, videos, discount offer, and the sales page each get to share credit with a linear attribution model. Marketers might use this type of model to compare various sales funnels.

U-shaped

The U-shaped model provides a sort of hybrid from the three models described above. It assigns the most credit to the first and last touchpoints; however, it spreads the rest of the credit between interactions in the middle.

As an example, the default for Google analytics gives the first and last touchpoint 40 percent of the share, and then it spreads the remaining 20 percent between the rest. Google refers to the U-shaped model as the position-based model.

For many campaigns, the point of engagement and point of conversion might matter the most; however, it’s often helpful to know something about other steps that the buyer took along the way.

Time Decay

This model assigns the most credit to interactions that occurred right before the sale and less to previous touchpoints. As an example, a consumer might click through a social post to a sales page. Then days later, they might see a retargeting advertisement, perform a Google search, click a search advertisement, and then buy.

This model gives some credit to the earliest interactions but reserves most for events that happened closer to the time of conversion. In turn, it helps marketers know which channels help with brand recognition and awareness and which ones directly contribute to conversions.

W-shaped

This model assigns the most credit for sales based upon changes to the consumer’s status along their buying journey. As an example, it may assign 30 percent of the credit to each of these engagements:

  • An initial engagement turned the consumer into an interested prospect.
  • A customer submits a form, picks up the phone, or takes another action that turned them from a prospect to a lead.
  • The customer engaged in the last touchpoint before making a sale.

All other touchpoints in between these share the remaining 10 percent of the credit. Similar to sales funnels, this model creates a representation of marketing attribution funnels to let businesses know which part of a multi-step process encouraged a customer to take action along their way.

Which Marketing Attribution Models Work Best?

Obviously, marketers may choose the best model based on the sorts of questions they need answered and sometimes, the complexity of their overall marketing scheme. In summary:

  • Last interaction: This model gives 100 percent of sales credit to the very last engagement, which helps marketers understand the effectiveness of their point of sale.
  • First interaction: With 100 percent of the credit allocated to a first engagement, this model can gauge the effectiveness of various channels used for increasing brand awareness.
  • Linear: The linear model assigns equal weight to each touchpoint along the buyer’s path.
  • U-shaped: The first and last touchpoint share 80 percent of the credit, and other engagements get the remaining 20 percent split between them.
  • Time decay: Engagements that occur closer to the sale get more credit than earlier touchpoints.
  • W-shaped: The W-shaped model has significant events, like turning prospects into qualified leads, share 90 percent of the credit and assigns the rest to intermediate events.

The best attribution model really depends upon marketing goals. For instance, the first interaction model can help measure the effectiveness of brand awareness promotions; however, the W-shaped model pinpoints all the important stops along a marketing funnel that contributed to engaging prospects, taking leads, and finally, earning sales.

All models can prove useful for split tests because it’s easy to swap out one component and compare both total credit and percentages of overall sales.

Marketing Attribution Modeling Tools to Consider

Marketers will need marketing attribution software to manage attribution models, reports, and analysis. Take a look at these seven top attribution software tools:

  • Ruler Analytics: This software provides access to revenue and attribution data in one location.
  • HubSpot Marketing Analytics Dashboard: HubSpot provides reports and dashboards for all marketing analytics.
  • Active Campaign: Active Campaign promotes itself as a customer experience marketing platform, and it includes attribution features.
  • Branch: This cross-channel platform offers insights into the performance of all marketing efforts, plus it has a predictive modeling feature.
  • Windsor.AI: Windsor.AI measures returns from multiple campaigns, channels, and even keywords.
  • C3 Metrics: With a focus on enterprise, cross-platform marketing attribution, C3Metrics works well for many kinds of industries and can source data from digital marketing, radio, TV, and mail.
  • Attribution: The tool includes automated data collection to combine information about online and offline touchpoints with ad spend.

Can a Marketing Attribution Agency Help Improve Profits From Ad Spend?

Even marketing attribution models have some limits. Some customers may have seen news or even spoken with a friend about a brand, and no model can account for that. That’s why marketers also use surveys, focus groups, and general market knowledge to fill in gaps.

As noted by HubSpot, any attribution model works better than none at all. Mostly, marketers can benefit by understanding the model they’re using and grasping both its benefits and limitations. As an example, a sales page or shopping cart may convert well; however, ad spend still appears out of line with revenues. A better marketing attribution model can pinpoint which point in the funnel or specific channel has failed to perform up to expectations.

With today’s complex and multi-channel marketing strategies, marketers need a way to assign credit for sales to various engagement points. Marketing attribution models can open a window to help understand multiple steps in the buyer’s journey.

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Insights Media & Analytics

More than just web analytics, marketing analytics provides true insight into customer behavior across all sales and advertising channels.

HubSpot mentioned that measuring marketing advertising effectiveness still challenges marketers today. Even though anybody with a website can turn to such established dashboards as Google Analytics, web analytics tools like that only offer part of the information that marketers need to truly understand customer behavior.

It’s true that seeing metrics like page views, bounce rate, and load speeds provides important data about website performance. That data still doesn’t tell businesses enough about their customer’s overall behavior across multiple channels to make effective marketing decisions.

Digital marketing analytics vs. web analytics

To help businesses gain more insight, a good marketing analytics agency will ensure clients view web analytics as just one part of digital marketing analytics. Turning customer behavior into valuable business data requires a wider view than just the small slice of visitor actions displayed by a typical website tracker. Comprehensive marketing analytics will track customers through other parts of their journey, like social networks, emails, phone calls, TV ads, or even in-store events.

For example, a company could have developed a landing page that performs beyond expectations for on-page conversions. Still, without understanding the route customers took to get to that page, businesses could still lose money or at least, sacrifice profits. One marketing channel could deliver most of the conversions, while other expensive channels continue to underperform.

Only by understanding the customer journey better can businesses know exactly how each channel performs in order to make the adjustments they need to improve their ROI. A deep understanding of the customer journey — and its total cost to the business – can let that company know if they’re enjoying their maximum potential or even really making a profit at all.

What tools should businesses use for measuring marketing effectiveness?

According to the HubSpot article cited above, over eight out of 10 marketers say that their bosses expect them to measure each campaign. At the same time, less than a third believe they can provide adequate metrics to evaluate the ROI of every channel. It’s also not surprising to learn that web analytics emerged as the most popular analytics tool with surveyed marketers; however, just about half of the respondents said they did not even use that.

For a better view of commonly available analytics tools and the percentage of digital marketers who employed them, consider these statistics:

  • Web analytics: 48 percent
  • Email marketing analytics: 47 percent
  • Contact form lead analytics: 38 percent
  • Social media analytics: 30 percent
  • Phone analytics: 27 percent

Just a few years ago, marketers may have felt overwhelmed by collecting comprehensive analytics data simply because they would need distinct tools that lacked integration. For example, they might track conversions on a web page and responses to sales calls but had no way to see how these two channels worked together.

These days, common integrations and even all-in-one marketing analytics dashboards are available for marketing performance tracking across multiple channels. Businesses that lack true marketing analytics should dig deeper to explore new methods for measuring marketing performance. If needed, a marketing analytics agency can offer their expertise to suggest the right processes and tools. 

How a marketing analytics agency can deliver important benefits 

Today’s marketing plans usually include multiple, complex consumer channels. Working with a marketing analytics agency will save time in choosing the right tools and using them to their full potential. In turn, the investment can return such benefits as:

  • Integrate analytics with all marketing channels: Businesses might need to track consumers from paid ads, social media, blogs posts, loyalty programs, email subscriptions, and even in-store promotions. That way, they know which channels perform well and which ones need tuning or even discontinuing.
  • Focus on people and not just website stats: With a focus on people and not just page views, marketers will know if their high-converting web page delivers sales from a radio spot, email blast, phone campaign, or a coupon on a receipt.  Marketing analytics offers insights into how customers respond to various marketing activities through integration with all marketing channels, including a CRM, ad platform, or automated dialer.

For most of today’s businesses, sales may come from a website, a store counter, a call to customer service, an email offer, or a website landing page. And even knowing the point of the sale isn’t enough without understanding what other marketing activities prompted a person to make a purchase. That’s the kind of information that will improve marketing returns, plus it’s exactly what comprehensive marketing analytics can provide.

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Insights Media & Analytics Paid Search Paid Social Search Engine Optimization

Recently, more people have suffered from mental health issues; the right digital strategy can help mental health and telehealth marketing help more patients.

In the United States, past studies have suggested that almost 20 percent of adults coped with some form of mental illness. During the recent coronavirus pandemic, the CDC doubled that figure when they reported that 40 percent of American adults said they recently struggled with mental illness or substance abuse  — and sometimes, both.

This crisis only increased the need for mental health professionals to reach out to patients with their beneficial services. Some telepsychiatry and other mental health services had engaged in both online marketing and services in the past. Pandemic-related social distancing has increased the urgency for providers to use technology to connect with and serve more patients. 

Telehealth helps providers reach more patients by allowing people to login from their home or office computer. At the same time, the right telehealth marketing tactics will help mental health professionals find more people who need their help.

How a mental healthcare marketing agency can help practices reach out online

Pew Research found that four out of five Americans get online each day. Over 28 percent of these people say they’re almost always connected to the internet through their computers and mobile devices. Most of the rest say they login to the internet several times a day.

Thus, the web provides one of the best ways to strengthen all sorts of health and wellness marketing. Not only can the right mix of digital marketing find a large audience, it’s also possible to provide people with the information they need 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Of course, it’s likely that people who seek telehealth already feel comfortable with getting online.

Consider some examples of the kinds of in-person or telehealth marketing tactics that will introduce mental health professionals to more people that they can help:

  • Content: Good content can educate people about relevant topics, introduce them to a provider’s practice, and help build authority. Examples of kind of content might include blog articles, social media posts, or even uploads to video channels. For an example of a psychologist with engaging and topical mental health videos, see Dr. Grande on YouTube.
  • Social media pages: Not only will social media pages help distribute content, they can also give a mental health practice a way to connect with a wider audience and display that all-important social proof. Social proof refers to the idea that people tend to accept the ideas of those they can relate to or admire, which can prove important in engaging potential clients.
  • Email and text subscriptions: Health and wellness marketing can use email and/or text subscriptions to send out newsletters, alert subscribers to new content, and promote additional services. Subscriptions keep prospects connected and can serve as valuable leads.
  • Search engine optimization: Search engine optimization, usually called SEO, helps make websites and other online platforms easier for people to find when they search online. Even a decade ago, NBC reported that most adults began looking for mental health information online, and the number of internet searches has grown rapidly since them.
  • Paid ads: Search engines, social media sites, and other media platforms offer paid search engines. It takes time to gain a good position with social media, content, subscriptions, and SEO. Paid ads can produce faster results. Today’s advertising platforms allow a mental health marketing agency to target their ads to reach an audience with a likely interest in their services.

How online mental health and wellness marketing benefits patients and providers

Obviously, mental health providers offer services that help people cope with mental illness. In turn, digital marketing can ensure that these providers reach the people that need the help. At the same time, digital marketing gives mental health providers a chance to increase their own business. In particular these days, reaching as many people as possible only makes sense as good business and good medicine.

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Conversion Optimization Insights Media & Analytics

The perfect call to action should enhance the website’s marketing message, tell people exactly what they’ll get, and prompt them to take the desired action.

After spending a tremendous amount of time researching audiences, designing a user interface, and planning a content strategy, so many marketers and website developers slap in the call-to-action button at the last minute, almost as an afterthought.

Yet, Michael Aagaard of Unbounce referred to the call to action, or CTA, as the vital tipping point between a website bounce and a conversion. During a time when conversion rate optimization can make the difference between profits and losses, it’s important to make certain that the CTA tips in the company’s favor.

10 great CTA button alternatives to “Learn More”

Move beyond the old standbys like “Learn More,” “Continue Reading,” or even worse, “Click Here” to propel website visitors to the next stage of the buyer’s journey. The biggest problem with these kinds of CTAs is that they’re overdone, vague, and not very engaging. Look at some better alternatives for CTA button texts.

1. “Sign Up”

It’s annoying to click a “Learn More” button only to get presented with a signup form. If marketers want to encourage people to enroll, they should transparently urge their website visitors to do just that. Even better, make sure to emphasize what benefits the visitor will enjoywhen they do enroll.

2. “Try It for Free”

“Free” always makes the list of motivating marketing terms. Prospects might not feel ready to buy something. It’s much less risky to try something for free. “Try it for Free” makes a good introduction for a free trial or demo or of course, a completely free service. It’s fine to replace “it” with the actual name of whatever the visitor is signing up for.

3. “Subscribe”

Like the previous suggestion, subscriptions don’t make visitors commit to a purchase. At the same time, an email subscription provides businesses a chance to nurture leads with more content. If space permits, make it clear what the subscription offers.

4. “Get Started Now”

After promoting a product or service as fast and simple, a phrase like “Get Started Now” provides the right mix of encouragement and urgency.

5. “Give Us a Try”

Instead of using “us,” the button might use the brand name. Either way, this phrase works well after promoting the sort of good experience that the business provides. By asking visitors to just try, it won’t sound like asking for too much of a commmitment.

6. “See Our Work”

Sometimes, the CTA really does need to encourage the viewer to learn more by viewing a gallery of pictures, a list of case studies, or demo videos. If that’s true, a phrase like “See Our Work” provides a more accurate description. Otherwise, it’s fine to make the text more specific by describing exactly what the viewer will see.

7. “Join”

It’s possible to get a little more more precise or even clever with a “Join” button. As an example, Panthera promotes the conservation of big cats, and they label their subscription form with “Join the Pride.” As an alternative, “Join Us” offers instant relationship building.

8. “Send Me Deals Now”

If the page promotes a subscription that includes notifications about deals or specials, cement the message with a CTA button that reinforce its value. Obviously, if the page offers price quotes, the button could say “Send My Free Quote Now.” If the CTA promotes something of value, let people know about it.

9. “Save Now”

As an alternative to a “Buy” button, why not use the CTA to promote the reason that the website visitor would want to buy? If the promotion doesn’t include a discount, use the CTA to empahsize quality, uniqueness, or whatever special qualities customers will find most important.

10. The personalized CTA

Amazon, Netflix, and many other popular websites perform so well because they personalize a lot of their content. Similarly, HubSpot found that personalized CTA buttons perform over 200 percent better than static ones. They tested against single CTAs and different CTA buttons for more than one offer.

For their example:

  • For visitors who had not interacted with the site before, they offered memberships to HubSpot Academy.  This provides online classes where people can learn about marketing.
  • For visitors who had already taken the courses, they offered access to a marketing tool.

This takes a bit more coding. Still, the investment in CRO marketing may prove worth the investment. As an example, if somebody’s already logged into a website, it hardly makes sense to offer them a chance to “Join for Free.” In that case, it’s time to coax them into making a purchase.

How to craft the perfect CTA button text

Emphasize the benefits while letting people know exactly what they’ll get by taking action. This tactic will prompt action and never risk disappointing website viewers. In order to tune results, conduct some testing to see which ideas perform the best.

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Conversion Optimization Insights Media & Analytics Uncategorized

In an age of complex, multi-channel marketing, conversion rate optimization can offer quick ROI improvements without a large investment.

Online sellers generally think of their shopping cart as the bottom of their sales funnel. The problem is, according to information gathered by BigCommerce, is that the funnel’s not only expensive — it’s also leaky. In the U.S. alone, marketers spend over $20 billion to drive visitors to their shopping carts and enjoy, on average, just a 2.68 percent conversion rate.

One of the biggest leaks commonly occurs right there at the bottom of the funnel. That’s when potential customers abandon their shopping carts. For instance, BigCommerce found that average businesses suffer an abandonment rate of close to 70 percent. On the positive side, at least a high abandonment rate can narrow down the problem to one point in the marketing funnel. In other words, the position of the problem can also offer some clues to finding actionable insights.

With that in mind, consider some conversion rate optimization tips to reduce cart abandonment and recoup more of that marketing investment.

Use a CRO marketing perspective to reduce abandoned shopping carts

CRO simply refers to conversion rate optimization. To find a shopping cart’s own abandonment rate, simply compare the number of purchase to the number of filled shopping carts. As an example, one purchase for every three filled shopping carts equals an abandonment rate of 67 percent, which is just about average. Businesses should start out by calculating their own rates, so they can have a handy metric to gauge improvement.

Six tested tactics to reduce cart abandonment rates

Few companies can completely eliminate shopping cart abandonment. At the same time, even moving the needle just a few percentage points can dramatically improve revenues and profits. Better yet, better conversion rate optimization generally doesn’t require a large investment and may even employ tools and information that businesses already have.

1. Make total costs more transparent

Online shoppers may arrive at an eCommerce site because they saw promotion that advertised a great deal. Very often, they can only see shipping, taxes, handling, and extra costs after they’ve already added items to their cart for viewing. Businesses should not assume that customers will hit the buy button just because they’ve already gone to the effort to fill up their shopping cart.

Even worse, consumers may feel tricked and less likely to revisit the seller again. Some businesses have thrived by offering free or discounted shipping with minimum orders. Not only does this promote transparency, it even encourages customers to make larger orders.

2. Offer more payment options

Not every customer wants to use a credit card for online purchases. Some may prefer a digital wallet, debit card, or even a draft from a checking account. Many businesses have also optimized conversions by offering financing plans for big-ticket items, like TV sets and bicycles. Some customers may even prefer to split a payment between methods, and most local stores allow this.

In any case, offering flexible options for payments generally leads to quick conversion rate optimization. In contrast, retailers that only accept one payment method will probably lose business to more flexible competitors. 

3. Exit popups

At the least, an exit popup might gather information about the reason a customer decided not to commit to their purchase. At best, they might offer a promotional discount on the price or shipping. The popup might also display an offer to enroll in a loyalty program which will provide customers with future incentives. This will also benefit the business by adding more people to their subscriber list. 

4. Followup emails

Less intrusive than popups but somewhat less likely to get viewed, emails can also help recover abandoned shopping carts. As with exit popups, businesses can use this form of communication to offer discounts, especially in return for information about the reason the customer abandoned the shopping cart in the first place.

5. Employ social proof

Testimonials from satisfied customers, links to third-party reviews, and ratings from such business sites as the BBB can also prompt customers to complete their purchase. Social proof can help build customer confidence because it gives customers and other independent parties the chance to tell their own stories about a business.

6. Earn customer trust

Search Engine Land called Amazon’s ability to earn customer trust its true competitive advantage. Not only do consumers rely upon Amazon’s transparency, refund policy, and customer service, a majority of them trust this large retailer to protect their privacy and personal data.

Some steps that any eCommerce step should take to build a trusting relationship with customers include:

  • Clear refund and return policies
  • Responsive customer service, perhaps including chat boxes customers can use during their purchase
  • Transparent prices and other costs
  • Communication of privacy protection and data use policies
  • Other trust symbols, like security and compliance logos

Why start optimizing conversions by reducing shopping cart abandonment rates?

The list above addresses common reasons why customers abandon shopping carts. Still, some other causes might include an unintentionally difficult or complex checkout process or consumers arriving at an early stage of their buying process. That’s why businesses may also want to conduct some A/B testing with various processes and collect customer feedback.

Still, on the positive side, most companies have complex, multi-channel marketing plans. At least, isolating conversion optimization problems at the shopping cart stage means the customers have traveled pretty far along the funnel. This stage offers a narrow focus and a good place to earn some quick gains in sales.