Articles in the Digital Marketing 101 – The Basics Category

Once you get the hang of it, digital marketing can seem like old hat. Before then, it’s important to learn the basics. In our Digital Marketing 101 blog posts, we offer an education into the ins and outs of the digital marketing landscape. Read these blog posts to learn digital marketing basics, such as creating campaigns, writing effective ad copy, and more.

November 29 2010

How to Win the Frugal Holiday Shopper’s Online Dollar


How to Win the Frugal Holiday Shopper’s Online Dollar

The 2010 holiday shopping season is just around the corner and shoppers are cutting expenses and are savvier than ever with coupon code websites, Groupon specials and social media deal sharing. Here are a few ways to win the frugal holiday shopper’s online dollar.

Since online shoppers are hunting for deals, it is important to have strong and compelling promotions that stand out against your competition. According to Google, these are the most effective promotions that are most likely to drive a sale:

  • Price discounts or sales
  • Free shipping
  • Coupons
  • Customer loyalty programs
  • Flexible payment plans

And don’t forget that a good promotion is nothing without effective marketing. Make sure to include your competitive promotions in your marketing messages.  Update your banner and text ads to include a touch of the holidays. Also, it is important to mention the last day shipping and overnight shipping is available in order for deliveries to be guaranteed on time for Christmas.

Allocate extra advertising dollars to your CPC campaigns in order to accommodate for the surplus of online shoppers. If your daily budget is limited, your ads may stop showing early in the day and you may lose out on valuable traffic to your website.

Create campaigns that target holiday keywords in addition to your brand and product-related keywords.  Some examples are, “Black Friday”, “Cyber Monday”, “holiday deals”, “Hanukkah” or “Christmas”.

When visitors get to your site, make sure your holiday promotions are clear and your site is easy to navigate. You don’t want to lose the visitor if he/she has already come this far.

These are a few of the most simple, yet critical ways to increase your sales during the holiday shopping season. Good luck and happy holidays!

October 28 2010

5 Tips for Successful Holiday Campaigns


The holidays are quickly approaching.  Soon Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas will be knocking at our doors. Get prepared for holiday season now, so it doesn’t catch your business off guard. Here are 5 tips to help get your paid search campaigns ready for buyers.

Tip 1. Have a Game Plan
It sounds simple enough, but many businesses skip this step and it shows in their paid efforts. Decide which holidays your business will target with paid search advertising. If you’re only interested in reaching the Hanukkah and Christmas audiences, set a date range for when ads will begin and end. Hanukkah is from December 1st through 9th. It would make sense to run ads in November to reach this audience; whereas Christmas is December 25th and ads for this holiday could begin at the beginning of December. Determine what strategies your business will use to target searchers. Will you try banner ads? Will you offer incentives? If so, what type of incentives? This leads us to tip 2.

Tip 2. Offer Incentives
If you haven’t noticed, most people like to get a good deal during the holiday season. In fact, many of your competitors will probably be offering an incentive. What will your business offer? Will you try coupon codes? If so, when will they expire? Free shipping and discounts on products are good ways to get people to purchase. Also, make sure to plan out what discount your company can afford to offer. If your company decides to offer free shipping, but the shipping costs will eat into your profit too greatly, consider offering free shipping with a minimum a purchase amount. For example, free shipping on orders over $50. It’s good to offer incentives, but make sure the incentive will not hurt your profits. Next, start working on your ads

Tip 3. Make sure ads are Holiday Related
Ads are a crucial part of your holiday campaign strategy. They determine if people will click on them and get to your website. Include “holidays” in your ad copy. For example: “Big Thanksgiving Sale”, “25% Off Christmas Sale”, “Celebrate Hanukkah Sale”. This signals to the searcher that these sales are for a limited time. Why? The searcher knows that a Thanksgiving Sale will not be running until Christmas. It may cause the searcher to think, if they don’t act now, they might miss out on the holiday sale. If your business is doing banner ads, make sure they have the right holiday theme. Don’t run ads with pilgrims and turkeys in the background with ad copy that says, “Enjoy Our Christmas Sale.” By the same token, a generic background may not signal to the customer that this sale is related to an upcoming holiday.

Tip 4. Bid on Holiday Keywords
In keeping in sync with holiday related ads, your business should include holiday search terms. If your business sells jewelry and is targeting the Christmas holiday, consider bidding on keywords like “jewelry for Christmas”, “Christmas jewelry gift” “Christmas jewelry sale,”etc. Keywords that are holiday related can help drive potential buyers to your site.
Once the keywords are in place, think about your landing page.

Tip 5. Landing Pages that Reflect Holiday Incentives
Landing pages are one of the final steps in getting a customer to purchase your product or fill out a lead form. The page that a visitor lands on once they click on your ad is called a landing page. Make sure your landing page lines up with the messaging in your ads. If your company is offering 20% off in the ad copy, the landing page needs to mention 20% off. It can be frustrating to a customer to click on an ad that offers 20% off, but end up going to a page that doesn’t even mention the discount. How can they be sure they’ll receive the discount? Furthermore, is it worth their time to find something they like, hoping that when they get to the shopping cart page the 20% off offer will be there? Think about it. 

The holidays are a great time to reach many new customers. By following the five tips above, a business can rest assured that they are on the right path to having a successful holiday campaign.

October 27 2010

Bridging the Gap Between On and Offline Marketing


Sometimes online and offline marketing strategies can vary throughout different media channels; T.V., radio, local (billboard, print, banners, lamp post flags), pay-per-click (banner, keywords) and more. It is important to keep a consistent flow and messaging throughout all of the various marketing channels especially in your branding messages.

For example, if you are putting out lamp post banners in your downtown area and billboards on the local roads and expressways to promote a special event like a food and wine festival, the messaging would be more powerful layered with online advertising such as search or content with banner ads that deliver the same look and feel of the lamp post message.

For the simplicity of this example, the advertising period is 30 days. Billboards and Lamp post banners have one fixed cost and it is difficult to see a direct ROI from this form of advertising alone. Online advertising (assuming you have a conversion point on your website) is easier to measure and ROI can be determined by looking at the total amount spent divided by your signups online. In online advertising, it is important to notice that you can control many different factors and use these in conjunction with each other to get the “best bang for your buck” online. 

Some dynamic features to use in online advertising:
Search Campaigns

  • Geo-target your campaigns to a radius (how far do you think people would drive)
  • Target people who would have otherwise not known about the festival using keywords around food/wine, etc.
  • Use a special offer or discount code
  • Send them to a different landing page
  • Schedule your ads to only run certain times of the day or week.
  • Exclude keywords and phrases
  • Directly control your budget and bids (turn off at anytime)

Content Campaigns

  • Target certain Food/Wine websites
  • Use “keyword” targeting to place your text or banner ad on a website
  • Place banner ads with the same look and feel in a pre-determined radius around the event.
  • Use a special offer or discount code
  • Send them to a different landing page
  • Schedule your ads only to run certain times of the day or week.
  • Exclude certain, non-relevant websites
  • Directly control your budget and bids (turn off at anytime)

Implementing a multi-channel marketing plan will help complement all forms of advertising. Even though you might not see a direct impact from one or the other, statistics have shown that people might not convert the first time they are aware of the product. For example, a person might see the billboard when driving on the highway each morning, but not actually purchase a ticket to the event until they are surfing the web on their favorite cooking blog in the evening and see the special offer. So, be sure you are leveraging all special touch points with your potential audience or target customers.

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