5 Killer Traffic Campaigns to Swipe and Deploy in Your Business

It’s a scientific fact that marketers love traffic.

(I saw it on the Discovery Channel.)

The only bummer is the fact that creating a profitable traffic campaign takes time and patience to optimize.

But what if it didn’t have to be that way?

What if you could set up a campaign and KNOW it was going to perform like gangbusters right out of the gate?

That’s the idea behind this blog post—I’ve sourced five customer acquisition experts (AKA media buyers) to each share one of their best-performing campaigns.

All you have to do is swipe and deploy in your business, then tweak as needed…

Then sit back and watch as highly engaged traffic comes to your site in waves.

Ready to get started?

Tom BreezeTom Breeze, Founder and CEO, Viewability

I’ve always been blown away by the scale and return on investment (ROI) potential inherent in YouTube ads, and last year, I stumbled onto a YouTube campaign that increases leads by 33% and sales by 52%.

I call it the “Choose Your Own Adventure” campaign.

Here’s how it works:

This campaign involves creating an in-stream ad (a skippable video ad that runs before the video content on the page).

(RELATED: 11 YouTube In-Stream Ad Tips (#2 increased conversions by 85.68%)

I’m sure you’ve seen these ads. Here’s an example of one of our old in-stream ads:

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Anyone who clicked on the ad was taken to a landing page with a registration form:

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This campaign performed well, but we were looking for ways to improve.

And one day I got an idea after seeing this quote:

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn.”

—Benjamin Franklin

According to good old Ben (who knew he was such a great marketer?), there are three levels of teaching/involvement:

  1. Telling
  2. Teaching
  3. Involving

Thinking about it, I realized the same is true of video ads. KillerTraffic_Tom

You can, of course, simply tell the visitor about your product or service. And that works to a certain extent.

Better video ads actually teach the visitor a little something, right there in the ad. These ads tend to perform better than those ads that simply tell.

But how could we reach that third level—how could we involve our viewers in our content?

The answer came to me when I stumbled across one of these old books from my childhood:

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Those Choose Your Own Adventure books were highly engaging because they actually INVOLVED you in the action. You weren’t just passively absorbing the book…

You were actually deciding how it would unfold.

And I thought to myself: “Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could do the same thing with a YouTube ad?”

As it turns out, we can. And here’s how.

(RELATED: Episode 24: 4 Ps of YouTube Advertising [Part One])

The Choose Your Own Adventure YouTube Campaign

For this campaign, we knew that we tend to have two different kinds of consumers:

  • People who are new to guitar, and
  • People who are in a guitar rut—they’ve been playing for a while, but haven’t seen much improvement lately and want to take their skills to the next level.

We used this information to give the viewer a chance to “choose their own adventure” right in the ad.

Instead of putting one generic call-to-action (CTA) in the ad, we put two CTAs in there—giving the viewer the opportunity to identify which type of guitar player they are.

The result was two clickable CTAs in the ad, which looked like this:

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You can actually see the YouTube ad in its entirety here:

We ran this ad and generated over 1.5 million views, using the same targeting options as the original.

And here are the results (along with what we learned):

  • Increased View Rate by 39%. More people stuck around to watch the video.
  • Generated 33% more registrations per view. Of those people who did view the ad, more ended up becoming a lead.
  • Generated 52% more sales. And most importantly, this ad generated more sales. A lot more.

OK, so those results are pretty clear: The “choose your own adventure” style ad is significantly better than the original.

But…why?

What makes this ad so effective?

I’ve identified four things this ad does that explains why those numbers improved so much:

1. It Changes the Question in The Viewer’s Mind

Part of why this ad worked so well is because it creates what I call a “false dichotomy.”

During most ads, the viewer is asking themselves: Should I click or not?

But by giving two options like this, we are changing the question to: Should I click A or B?

It assumes the click and changes the question in the viewer’s mind in a subtle, but powerful way. Just making that little shift helped create a big improvement in our results.

2. It Gets Viewers Engaged with Our Sales Funnel

When the user clicks on one of the two CTA buttons in the ad, they aren’t taken directly to our landing page; instead, they are taken to another YouTube video providing useful content for their particular problem.

Then, the CTA on that second video takes them through to our landing page.

Because the Choose Your Own Adventure ad links keep the user on YouTube, it’s an easier click. There’s less friction than there would be from sending someone directly to a different website.

This is also a form of “microcommitment.”

A microcommitment is just a small step that the viewer takes that gets them more engaged with the ad, and makes them more likely to continue down the funnel.

It’s sort of like leaving a breadcrumb on the ground. By getting the person to stop and pick up that breadcrumb, we are subtly leading them in the direction we want them to go.

This means when the user arrives on the second video, they are a little more engaged than they were with the first video—which makes them more likely to click on that video’s CTA. And when they arrive on your landing page, they are even more engaged—and more likely to register and become a lead.

3. It Lets Us Create Two Custom Landing Pages

Another awesome thing about this ad is that it allows us to tailor our content to the user.

People who clicked on the “new to guitar” CTA landed on a page that focused on the specific challenges that guitar newbies are likely to face. The content is super relevant to them.

People who click on the “stuck in a rut” CTA, on the other hand, landed on a page that is written toward existing guitar players who need help getting out of a rut.

Tom_Quotebox1This segmentation improved the conversion rate on our landing pages while also helping us to learn more about customers and identify problems in the funnel.

For example, we learned that guitar players who clicked the “in a rut” CTA were 5x more valuable than the guitar newbies.

So, we used this information to run some tests on the newbie funnel that helped us to improve the results from those visitors, without sacrificing any of our results with the “in a rut” visitors.

We could never have learned this stuff from a standard ad with one CTA.

4. It Allows Us to Remarket More Effectively

Finally, this strategy helps us to get even more targeted and specific in our remarketing.

Instead of one general remarketing list for all guitar players, now we can segment our remarketing to focus one campaign on guitar players in a rut and another campaign to focus on guitar newbies.

(We do this by building a remarketing audience based on anybody who has viewed the “In A Rut” or “Fairly New” videos.)

We can also remarket more aggressively to players in a rut since they are more valuable to the business.

This allows us to spend our money more wisely using this method of advertising.

(RELATED: Aducational Video + Remarketing: A Winning Video Ad Formula)

How Can You Use This in Your Own Campaigns?

A Choose Your Own Adventure ad campaign works best when you can segment your users based on one of two things:

  1. The visitor’s identity (guitar noobs vs guitar players stuck in a rut)
  2. The visitor’s intent (do you want more leads or more sales?)

And in case you’re not sure HOW to set it up, it’s pretty simple: Just use YouTube’s new “End Screens” to create your different CTA links at the end of your video.

You can add up to four links, and you can specify when you want them to appear near the end of the video.

The best part about End Screens is that, unlike annotations, they work on mobile. (This is really important.)

(I’ll be talking about this on the DigitalMarketer Blog soon, so keep an eye out!)

Choose Your Own Adventure YouTube ads are going to be a BIG focus for us in 2017, so definitely give this YouTube ad strategy a try in your business!

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Mike RhodesMike Rhodes, Founder and CEO, Web Savvy

I’m going to share some tips you can take to get a better return on your ecommerce Google ads (aka Google Shopping ads or PLAs).

Here’s the problem many ecommerce campaigns face:

Each search term has a very different value to your business… but because you can’t use keywords, it can be tricky to bid the right amount for each search.

For example, take these three keywords:

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Each of these keywords has a different value for your business.

Generally speaking, the first keyword has the lowest value because it indicates the visitor is still researching their options. They know they want to buy a TV, but they don’t know what kind yet.

The final keyword has the highest value because it indicates the greatest buying intent. This visitor knows exactly what they want, down to the exact model. This person is likely to make a purchase very soon.

Mike_Quotebox1And the second keyword is somewhere in the middle.

So, the question now becomes:

How do you make sure you’re bidding the right amount for each keyword?

And here’s the answer:

The “Generic”, “Brand”, and “Make & Models” Campaigns

First, start with 3 campaigns: “Generic,” “Brand,” and “Makes & Models.”

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And configure these campaigns like so:

Makes & Models Campaign

This campaign will be targeting your highest-value keywords containing specific product names, like “65KU7500.”

Because these are your highest-value keywords, you want the bid to be high to make sure that you’re showing up for these high-value searches.

You don’t need to set any negative keywords in this campaign.

However, you do want to set the priority to “low.” This is because if someone searches for a more generic keyword (like “buy TV” or “buy Samsung TV”), you want that bid to come from your Generic or Brand campaigns instead. (This way, you won’t be overpaying for lower-value keyword searches.)

Brand Campaign

This campaign will be targeting medium-value keywords that contain a brand name, such as “Buy Samsung TV.”

Set your bids and priority in this campaign to a medium value (something in between your Generic and Make/Model campaigns).

Finally, make sure to add your Make/Model keywords (such as “65KU7500”) as negative keywords in this campaign. This way, if someone’s search includes the keyword “65KU7500,” your bid will come from the Make/Model campaign instead.

Generic Campaign

This campaign contains all your generic keywords, such as “Buy TV.”

Because these keywords have your lowest buying intent, you should give this campaign your lowest bids.

But make sure this ad group this your highest priority, so that if someone searches for “Buy TV,” your bid will come from this campaign (with a lower bid) instead of your Brand or Make/Model campaigns.

Finally, add all your Brand and Makes/Models keywords as negative keywords. This will make sure that if someone performs a Brand or Make/Model search, those ads will be served by your Brand and Make/Model campaigns (with their higher bids) instead.

A Quick Example

Confused about how this works? Here are a few quick examples:

Someone searches for “Buy TV.”

Because your Generic campaign has the highest priority, this ad will be served from that campaign with a low bid.

Someone searches for “Buy Samsung TV.”

“Samsung” is a negative keyword in your Generic campaign—so this search won’t match to that campaign.

The two remaining campaigns are your Brand and Make/Model campaigns. And because your Brand campaign has a higher priority, the ad will be served from that campaign (with a medium bid).

Someone searches for “Buy Samsung 65KU7500.”

This one’s easy: “65KU7500” is a negative keyword in both your Generic and Brand campaigns, so your ad will be served from your Make/Model campaign with a high bid.

Now… Triple Those Campaigns

At this point, you have three campaigns.

If you’re looking for an easy way to improve performance even more, simply triple them.

Create three versions of each campaign, one for each device:

  • Desktop
  • Mobile
  • Tablet

This will give you the ability to tweak your bids based on how your ads are performing on each device.

The result? Greater control and a better ROI.

Improve Your Campaigns Even More

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve audited a campaign that puts all the products into one big ad group.

Please, guys: Don’t do this!

Each product can have its own ad group.

This gives you much better control and visibility and gives you more options when setting up features like remarketing and extensions.

You won’t always go this granular, but often it will yield the best results.

Layer Remarketing With RLSA

You know that remarketing works, right?

Of course, you do! :) KillerTraffic_Mike

But let’s get a little more granular with it.

Let’s adjust your Shopping bids with the help of RLSA (remarketing lists for search ads). This gives you the ability to combine remarketing with your shopping campaign.

How does it work?

The idea is pretty simple. You adjust the bid based on which part of your site the viewer has visited, like so:

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Let’s say we’re starting with a $1.00 bid…

  • If the person is on your email list, increase it 20%—now it’s a $1.20 bid.
  • If the person visited any part of your site, increase it 50%—now it’s a $1.50 bid.
  • If the person viewed your product, increase it 100%—now it’s a $2.00 bid.
  • If the person viewed the cart, increase it 250%—now it’s a $3.50 bid.
  • If the person is a previous buyer, increase it 400%—now it’s a $5.00 bid.

You don’t have to use those exact numbers, but you get the idea: You should be willing to pay more for a visitor who has shown greater interest in buying your product.

Use the Right Ad Extensions

There’s no other way to say it:

If you aren’t using ad extensions, you’re leaving money on the table.

The right extensions will give your ad more real estate on your prospect’s screen, generating more clicks, and, ultimately, more sales.

The two extensions you should absolutely be using are ratings and promotions.

Ratings

This extension will show visitors just how awesome other people think your product is.

Reviews are essential in ecommerce, so if you have reviews, absolutely set up this extension. If you don’t have reviews, then go get some!

Just look at how the two ads on right stand out because of their reviews:

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Promotions

This extension adds an extra line of copy to your ad that says “Special Offer”:

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When the person clicks, they’ll see a coupon code on the product page:

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I believe EVERYONE in ecommerce should be using this extension—even if it’s just 5% off—because it gives you that little extra line under your ad.

Now, I know that some people will disagree because they don’t want to eat into their profits by giving everyone a discount.

But you want to know the kicker?

More people will click on your ad if they see a coupon code available…

…but few people will actually USE the coupon.

We ran a test that generated a lot of data:

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Out of those 1,137 conversions, guess how many people actually redeemed the coupon code?

Only 62 (about 5%).

In other words, you can get all the benefits of using the coupon extension… including greater visibility and more clicks on your ad (notice our 43% click-through rate (CTR) above)…

Without having to give a discounted price most of the time.

(RELATED: 3 Advanced AdWords Tactics That Increase ROI)

Set Up Dynamic Remarketing

If you’ve been following along, you already have a powerhouse ecommerce campaign that’s firing on all cylinders.

Looking for one more way to kick it up another notch?

Start doing dynamic remarketing.

This allows you to show remarketing ads to visitors based on their previous browsing behavior.

(RELATED: [Parts 1 & 2] The Display Grid: How to Scale Your AdWords Display Campaigns Profitably with Laser-Focused Targeting and the Right Choice of Ad Type)

Shoppable TrueView

You’ve probably heard that YouTube is the world’s second biggest search engine. It’s also a great place to show your product ads.

You can combine the reach of YouTube with the power of Shopping ads by using Shoppable TrueView ads.

They’re a bit more complicated to setup and honestly, results have been mixed for my agency, WebSavvy.

But, if you’re looking to try every last tactic to drive sales, test ‘em out!

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I also highly recommend combining your product feed with Gmail ads to show your products right inside someone’s Gmail account, like this:

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Gmail is a very under-utilized targeting option right now, so this can bring you great results without much competition.

(NOTE: Want to become a certified paid traffic master? Learn how to drive quality traffic from platforms like Facebook, Google, YouTube, and LinkedIn and build a guaranteed system for acquiring customers with our Paid Traffic Mastery Certification. Learn more now.)

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♦♦♦

Ralph BurnsRalph Burns, Agency CEO, Dominate Web Media

I want to walk you through the process we use to take an existing ad account that isn’t performing up to par, and turn it into an organized and well-oiled machine.

The first thing we do when optimizing an ad account is to look through the account for any “hidden nuggets”—things that are working well that we can leverage across the account for even bigger wins.

Ralph_Quotebox1In this example, we were working with an ecommerce company in the beauty industry. This company wanted new customers at a CPA (cost per acquisition) of fewer than $10 each.

But there were a few problems.

Two Common Facebook Ad Account Problems

Problem #1 was that this company was running all sorts of campaigns with a mishmash of objectives:

  • Ebook downloads
  • Likes
  • Post Boosting (Engagement)
  • Some Conversion Campaigns

The result of this hodgepodge of campaigns? The company had no overall strategy. And that lead to…

Problem #2: They were putting money in (about $5,000/day), but they didn’t know how much money they were making as a result.

They had an idea that they were more or less breaking even, but they didn’t know how to improve their ROI or scale their campaigns to generate even more leads, sales, and customers.

How We Optimized this Account and Generated a 7-to-1 ROI

So, what did we do to fix things?

Our first step was to set up conversion values inside their custom conversion events.

If you’re selling a product inside of Facebook, you need to set this up now!

KillerTraffic_RalphSetting your conversion values is what allows you to figure out how much you made on your ad spend. It’s an extremely important part of your campaign setup.

(Unfortunately, after looking through over 200 Facebook accounts, I’ve found that fewer than 10% actually do this.)

(RELATED: Facebook’s New Conversion Pixel: Pain-Free Migration & Set Up)

The next thing we did was to look through their campaigns for anything that was already working.

We found a few campaigns that were getting newsfeed conversions under $10:

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We looked closer at these ads and realized a few things:

  • They were simple link post ads going to a blog post.
  • The blog post gave high-quality content in the form of beauty tips.
  • The blog post had tons of product links where people could buy a product. (Unfortunately, this meant that they had no idea which products these people were buying once they arrived at the blog post.)

This was all great stuff that we could work with.

And when we analyzed the site even closer, we realized that the blog post contained really great videos of their spokesperson demonstrating how to use their products.

Each video was well done and provided a lot of value by showing the visitor how to solve a common beauty problem:

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We call these “Trojan Horse product placement videos” because they are primarily content… but by virtue of good product placement, they do a great job of building desire for the product being used in the ad.

These were great videos, five to six minutes each, which did a fantastic job of following our three-step process for video ads on Facebook:

  1. Get attention through motion
  2. Education, entertain, inform
  3. Close for the sale at the end

So, we decided to test them as newsfeed ads.

We started by reorganizing the account to bring some order to the chaos. We implemented the “Michigan Method,” creating one ad per ad set.

The account structure looked like this:

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We targeted twenty different beauty niches, using nine variations, three videos, and three different ad copy variations.

The ad formula we used is something I call the “Yankee Clipper” ads formula. This is one of the formulas we use to systematize our ad copy:

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Each and every ad we created was a different variation on this basic formula.

When it was all said and done, we had a campaign with nine ad sets.

When it launched, it looked like this:

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It may look intimidating, but by breaking everything out like this we were able to easily identify what was working and what wasn’t. This made it easy to PAUSE the losers and SCALE the winners.

The results of all this were pretty astounding:

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We spent £247, 572.87 and generated £1,454,230.83 (that’s an ROI of 7-to-1)…

All by analyzing the campaign for what was working, bringing order and strategy to their account, and systematizing our ad creation process with a winning formula.

♦♦♦

keith-kranceKeith Krance, Founder and CEO, Dominate Web Media

I want to give you guys a Facebook ad framework that has been successful for us over and over again.

Using this framework, we’ve been able to generate checkouts for $4 each, and leads at $2 each:

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Want to learn how we did it?

The secret comes from systematizing our ad process to include as many proven elements of persuasion as possible.

And we’ve identified seven core elements that we try to get into every single ad.

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Here’s a quick overview of the Seven Core Elements:

Facebook Ad Core Element #1: Credibility/Authority

This is where you demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about.

In this case, I mention the fact that I’ve tested over $10 million on Facebook ads over seven years.

Facebook Ad Core Element #2: #1 Challenge or Frustration

When you can name the visitor’s top challenge or frustration, it signals to them that you understand what they’re going through—and more importantly, that you have the solution they’ve been looking for.

It also creates some great rapport along the way by helping your prospect to feel understood.

Facebook Ad Core Element #3: CTA #1

Ultimately, we want the person to click through to our landing page… but in this video ad, we FIRST want them to watch the video.

That’s why our first CTA encourages the person to stick around and watch by teasing them with what they’re about to learn.

Facebook Ad Core Element #4: Give An “Aha Moment”

KillerTraffic_KeithThis is where you provide an insight that gives your viewer a moment of realization that provides some real value in helping them to overcome their problem.

In other words, show them you can help them by actually helping them.

In this ad, I share the first four targeting groups you should start every campaign with.

Facebook Ad Core Element #5: CTA #2

Now, with this CTA, tell them exactly what to do.

You want to be absolutely explicit when you do this, for example: Click this link to get your free book.

Facebook Ad Core Element #6: Link Headline

Because this is the biggest line of copy in your ad, you’ll want to put your main hook here.

In this example, it’s the “#1 Lesson Learned After $10 Million in Ad Spend.”

Facebook Ad Core Element #7: Link Description

Here is where I like to make a secondary…

  • Benefit
  • Curiosity or
  • Credibility

…statement to reinforce the ad above.

Again, I recommend trying to fit these seven elements into every Facebook ad you run.

They don’t necessarily have to be in this order, but they should be in there somewhere.

Next, I want to talk a little more about “aha moments.”

The Power of an “Aha Moment”

Keith_Quotebox1To create a really great ad, you need to give viewers a flash of insight. A moment when they say to themselves, “Oh! Great idea!”

In the video ad example above, I teach visitors the “#1 lesson learned after $10 million in FB ad spend.” And the “aha moment” of the video is where I reveal the four targeting groups they should start every campaign with.

One thing to keep in mind when creating an aha moment is your audience’s level of awareness. And I like to track awareness using the acronym UPSYD:

  • Unaware: Your prospect has no knowledge of anything except, perhaps, his own identity or opinion.
  • Problem or Desire Aware: Your prospect senses she has a problem but doesn’t know there’s a solution.
  • Solution Aware: Your prospect knows the result he wants but not that your product provides it.
  • Your Solution Aware: Your prospect knows what you sell but isn’t sure your product is right for them .
  • Deal (The Most Aware): Your prospect knows your product and only needs to know “the deal.”

(You can learn more about the UPSYD process in Episode 86 of the Perpetual Traffic Podcast.)

You need to make sure that your aha moment is one that is appropriate for the awareness level of your audience.

To use the example in that podcast episode, let’s say you’re running traffic to a ketogenic diet offer.

If your traffic is solution aware—in other words, if they know about the ketogenic diet but not about your ketogenic diet product—then your aha moment needs to give the viewer insight into your specific ketogenic diet solution.

If your traffic is unaware, on the other hand, your aha moment has to be something that would make sense to a person who doesn’t know what the ketogenic diet is.

Something like this ad:

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And here’s the full ad broken down by the Seven Facebook Ad Core Elements…

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When you can align your aha moment to speak to the specific awareness level of your visitors, your traffic campaign will really start to take off.

Which takes us to our final traffic expert and her campaign…

Molly_HeadshotMolly Pittman, Vice President of Marketing and Director of Traffic, DigitalMarketer

I want to give an example of how I used our content-first strategy (we talk about this a lot on the Perpetual Traffic Podcast) to profitably break into a brand-new market with Facebook marketing.

At one point last year, we were trying to generate more leads from local businesses (think restaurants, hair salons, car dealers, and other brick-and-mortar businesses).

The problem was that when I targeted local businesses using our Lead Magnets, the CPL (cost per lead) was around $17. Generally, we prefer a CPL between $3-$6.

Molly_Quotebox1So, I put together a quick Animoto video that explained to local business owners why Facebook was a better way of getting new customers than the advertising methods they were already using (like billboards, Yellow Pages ads, and stuff like that).

I made sure to keep the ad really simple since I knew many of these people were unfamiliar with how Facebook ads worked.

My goal was just to get the DigitalMarketer brand in front of people, pixel them, and educate them about how they can use Facebook to grow their business.

Then I ran this as a video ad, targeting as many local business owners as I could find.

The video generated a ton of engagement, with over 500 shares, 1,000 likes, and 81 comments. The content really resonated with people.

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You can see the video ad here:

After a few days, we had spent $10k promoting this video and pixeled over 500k people.

So, I immediately retargeted these people with another ad that has performed well in other campaigns. If you follow us on Facebook, then you’ve probably seen this ad for our “Facebook Ad Template Library”:

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There was nothing special or custom about this ad—it was the exact same ad we have run to many other audiences successfully.

What were the results this time around?

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We spent about $43k on this ad, with a CPL of $3.64. When you add the cost we spent to initially pixel these people, the CPL came out to $4.49/lead…

Which is right in the middle of our ideal $3-$6 range, and MUCH better than the $17 CPL we were getting before. So that was definitely a win for us!

KillerTraffic_MollyEven more importantly, this strategy allowed us to reach an entirely new market that we were having trouble reaching.

And all it took was creating a quick little education video to warm up these prospects who needed a little more information before they converted.

(RELATED: Traffic Temperature: How To Build Real Relationships With Automated Campaigns)

This is a great example of the power of good content and providing solid value to your prospects.

Give your audience useful information, and they’ll start to know, like, and trust you… and if you follow up and remarket well, they’ll even start to BUY from you, too.

(NOTE: Want to become a certified paid traffic master? Learn how to drive quality traffic from platforms like Facebook, Google, YouTube, and LinkedIn and build a guaranteed system for acquiring customers with our Paid Traffic Mastery Certification. Learn more now.)

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The Facebook Algorithm Demystified: How to Optimize for News Feed Exposure

Are your posts reaching fewer people on Facebook? Wondering how to appear in more people’s news feeds? Facebook’s algorithm dictates who sees your content and who doesn’t. In this article, you’ll discover how the Facebook algorithm works, and how marketers can optimize their posts for maximum news feed visibility. #1: How Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm Ranks […]

This post The Facebook Algorithm Demystified: How to Optimize for News Feed Exposure first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Episode 99: Marketing & Traffic Advice from Facebook’s 30th Employee: Noah Kagan

Listen as special guest Noah Kagan, founder of Sumo and AppSumo, joins the experts to share how he grows his list and generates high volume traffic to his blog, podcast, and websites. From content distribution strategies to giveaways to the “Restaurant Strategy” that provides value, Noah and the hosts detail tactics you can use today.

IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:

  • What rap music and marketing have in common and how you can use this strategy to grow your audience size.
  • One of the biggest mistakes marketers who are running paid traffic make and how you can avoid it.
  • How all of your marketing and messaging can make a positive and lasting impact so your brand wins in the end (« Hint: This builds trust with your audience).
  • The one question you need to answer so you can outlast your competition and continue to scale your campaigns and business (« This is Noah’s #1 marketing tactic).

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Episode 38: The 4-Step Podcast Launch Strategy
Noah’s How to Launch a Podcast Blog Article
AppSumo: The Growth Hacker Giveaway
Arron Sorkin’s “Bulk-Up to Write” from his The Craft of Screenwriting MasterClass:

 

Thanks so much for joining us this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave us a review on iTunes!

The post Episode 99: Marketing & Traffic Advice from Facebook’s 30th Employee: Noah Kagan appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

Facebook Mobile Video: What Marketers Need to Know

Want more traction with your Facebook videos? Have you seen the new video-only feed on Facebook’s mobile app? Marketers and video creators who capitalize on this video-only tab now will have a strategic advantage over those who wait. In this article, you’ll discover what the new Facebook mobile video tab is and find 14 ways […]

This post Facebook Mobile Video: What Marketers Need to Know first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Local Social Media Marketing With Facebook and Instagram

How do you promote your business locally? Are you using Facebook and Instagram? To explore how to reach a local customer base on social media, I interview Bruce Irving. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy marketers and […]

This post Local Social Media Marketing With Facebook and Instagram first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Episode 98: What We Think of Home Chef, MuscleTech, and ClickFunnels’ Facebook Ads (and What This Means for You)

Learn from the experts as they critique eight Facebook ads, offering insight on what the marketers did right and what they could improve upon. Listen as they offer actionable strategies you can implement in your own Facebook campaigns and how to avoid eight common Facebook ad mistakes.

Find the images of each Facebook ad critiqued in the Resource section.

IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:

  • The approach almost any marketer can apply to effectively communicate your product/service is the best fit for your customer avatar (« and what it has to do with a rainy weekend).
  • The simple strategy you can use in your ads to quickly grab your audience’s attention (« Hint: This is a very effective tactic to use if you’re not a great ad copywriter).
  • How you can “sell the click” on your Facebook ad and what not to do so don’t intimidate the viewer from clicking.

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Episode 67: The Proven 3-Step Formula to Transform Your Business with Video Ads [Part 1]
Episode 68: 3 Elements of High-Converting Video Ads [Part 2]
Episode 84: Ryan Deiss: 7 Questions I Ask Myself Before I Finish Writing Ad Copy
Episode 97: 7 Facebook Tests: Optimize Your Facebook Campaigns with Our Results

Molly’s Ads:
Home-Chef-Facebook-ad
Ministry-of-Supply-Facebook-ad
Blazer-Tag-Facebook-ad

Keith’s Ads:
INFINITUS-Facebook-ad
MuscleTech-Facebook-ad
ClickFunnels-Facebook-ad

Ralph’s Ads:
SharpSpring-Facebook-ad
Ted-McGrath-Facebook-ad

Thanks so much for joining us this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave us a review on iTunes!

The post Episode 98: What We Think of Home Chef, MuscleTech, and ClickFunnels’ Facebook Ads (and What This Means for You) appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

7 Legitimate Benefits of Using Facebook Live for Business

From text to images and video to live streaming, content has had a particular lifespan around engagement. Brands continue to look to engage audiences faster and more effectively. And now plenty of brands are starting to use Facebook Live for business.

But is this type of content truly for your business? The age of instant content makes Snapchat, Instagram Stories and Facebook Live big players for reaching core audiences. If you’re hesitant–that’s fine. But there are perks you should know about using instant content for your brand.

Don’t write off live streaming just yet until you see our seven legitimate benefits when brands use Facebook Live for business.

1. Provides Absolutely Unique Content

Easily one of the biggest nuances to social media content is live video streaming. In late 2011, Snapchat emerged as something completely new by providing live video sharing. From there, services like Periscope and Meerkat developed live-streaming content, taking mobile video to a whole new level.

For brands using these tools, they were able to provide completely new and unique content to their viewers. And now that Facebook Live is commonly used across the world, businesses have to take advantage of its freshness before it’s too late.

Research from Livestream discovered 81% of internet users said they watched more live streaming content in 2016 than a year prior. Your audience is already there, but brands have to use social media to push new content.

By implementing Facebook Live into your content strategy, you provide an instant, real-time source of content for viewers that’s like nothing else. Brands are still trying to figure out how to use Snapchat correctly, but with Facebook Live, you can produce unique content the second you start a stream.

The biggest problem is coming up with content your audience actually wants to watch. It’s smart to plan out your live content just like you would anything else. Live streaming has the benefit of providing unedited and unfiltered content. However, this doesn’t mean brands should start a live video with no plan of action.

If you’re looking for more help on creating a social media video strategy, check out our in-depth guide here.

Related Article


How to Create Your Own Social Media Video Marketing Strategy

Whether you’re a video producer fielding numerous calls from your social media management team or the social manager making the

Read More …

2. It’s a Cost-Effective Video Strategy

It doesn’t matter who you are, brands always look to cost-effective strategies when it comes to social media marketing. And with the influx of video, it’s hard to stay on budget and provide beautiful, attention-grabbing content to your followers.

However, Facebook Live relieves a bit of that stress. Most users enjoy the live-action and unedited approach to live videos. This means you don’t need a fancy camera, set design or editing skills. Facebook Live is all about living in the moment.

Simply use a smartphone to post content to your Facebook Live feed. On the other hand, don’t let the low-budget appeal weaken the quality of your content. That means while recording might be cost-effective, you still need to provide content viewers will actually want to watch.

Facebook Live shouldn’t be used for every type of visual content on your business Page as well. The last thing you want to do is reveal a major product update, service or company news with Facebook Live. Instead, try to use the live video to highlight small wins, company outings, your employees or other on-the-spot content.

3. Creates More Excitement Around Product Releases

To continue the previous tip, Facebook Live can be used for many special events, but not all of them. One event in particular where we see success from Facebook Live for business is with hyping product releases.

Live videos are raw and often unedited, which means you as a viewer don’t know what to expect. Brands can use that same emotion to evoke excitement around a new product or service release.

If you correctly hype your Live videos, customers will come back to see updates or get more news on the release. For example, Target uses Facebook Live to promote its newest line of affordable home decor themes that are aimed at a younger demographic.

In this example, Target highlights college dorm decor for the move-in season. You can tell Target clearly prepared the video to be talk-show esque, but going live still leaves room for error or fun unscripted conversations.

The consistent and ritual experience of the new live videos excites and encourages users to come back for more. We all know it can be tricky to build your Facebook organic reach, but anything you can do to create a consistent audience is extremely helpful.

4. Better Connect With Your Audience Directly

Easily one of the best benefits to using Facebook Live for business is its personal approach to content. Many brands use Facebook Live just as a quick Q&A session without all the big production behind the content.

For example, The Weather Channel will sometimes go Live on Facebook with videos answering real-time questions about a specific storm. The meteorologist will answer questions, as well as give advice and updates about the situation in real time for viewers.

This not only makes their Facebook a great source for news, but a place anyone can get their questions answered when participating. The Sprout Social Q2 2017 Index discovered only 1 in 10 social messages gets a response.

consumer sentiment q2 2017 index graph

What’s even more telling is 90% of millennials and 79% of baby boomers say answering social media questions is cool instead of annoying. This means you have to put in the effort to respond and engage with your audience.

5. Increases Awareness Around Community Events

We’ve mentioned this before, but Facebook is a great network to promote community events and other discussions. If you’re looking to use Facebook Live, a great introduction could start with promoting a community event.

Some brands even like to offer online-style classes and promote them in Live videos. Social Media Examiner does just that on Facebook Live by offering discount codes to join their online community, the Social Media Marketing Society.

Promoting events, gatherings or groups can be difficult for brands because of the constant updates. This means users can go numb to ads and other visuals that continue to ask users to join. However, Facebook Live presents opportunities to discuss the upcoming events with others to get them on board.

Real-time videos create a deeper connection between brands and users, which means you can directly address upcoming events more effectively. Try using Facebook Live to increase awareness around special events, especially if your ads are running a bit dry.

6. Drives More Traffic to Your Facebook Pages

Another benefit to Facebook Live is it can be a true source of traffic for your Page. Live videos simply drive more engagement and if you promote your content well, it could keep users coming back.

In fact, Facebook Live videos drive more engagement than standard video content. Facebook recently said Live videos can drive 10 times more comments because of the real time connection between users.

reuters facebook live screenshot

One of the best ways to drive traffic to specific site is to continually publish fresh and updated content. For example, Reuters uses Facebook Live to push breaking news on the channel. Without anything new, your Page quickly becomes stale and out of date for customers seeking information.

That’s how Facebook Live can come into play. Try creating a steady stream of content on Facebook with Live videos. The more you’re able to draw in users, the more likely you will create a source of traffic to your Facebook Pages.

7. You See Real-Time Engagement & Keep It

Last but not least, Facebook Live gives you the benefit of seeing real-time engagement. If you’re worried about whether or not a specific piece of content will perform, Facebook Live could be a great testing spot.

As you get started, track your Facebook Live videos engagement metrics by noting Likes, reactions, shares, mentions and comments. Facebook Insights provides this after you’ve completed your stream, but having the data show in real time can help your content strategy.

For example, you could ask questions like:

  • Were there enough comments to garner a true Q&A?
  • Did users like an section of your video more so than another?
  • Did anyone comment after the video ended?
  • How did Live compare to other Facebook content?
  • How many new followers have you gained since using Live?
New Facebook Page Report Video Performance

While all these questions are important, it’s a time-consuming effort to track and monitor these statistics on native platforms. Luckily with Sprout Social, our Facebook management tools allow users to track multiple Pages and all your content to ensure you’re on top of what works and what needs improvement.

facebook-integrations monitor engage

Whether it’s scheduling content, reviewing Facebook analytics or tracking comments, your business can do it all with Sprout. Ensure your Facebook Live strategy is effective and benchmark your efforts today!

This post 7 Legitimate Benefits of Using Facebook Live for Business originally appeared on Sprout Social.

6 Facebook Remarketing Tactics That Work

Looking for a way to re-engage past customers and prospects on Facebook? Wondering how to use remarketing to deliver behavior-based messaging to specific audiences? If you’re looking to build successful remarketing funnels on Facebook, you’ll need to deliver unique ads to custom audiences segmented according to their browsing history and interests. In this article, you’ll […]

This post 6 Facebook Remarketing Tactics That Work first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Surveys Suck! How to Know What Your Customer Wants Without Asking

(Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on the TruConversion Blog. Read the original post here.)

If you couldn’t tell from the title, I’m not a huge fan of surveys.

Do they serve a purpose in marketing?

Absolutely!

Are they the be-all-end-all of customer research?

Absolutely not!

Marketers and business owners have been relying on surveys to do the heavy lifting for too long…

  • Don’t know whether your customer is going to like your offer? Ask!
  • Don’t know why your customer is leaving your page? Ask!
  • Don’t know where your customer is coming from? Ask!

Whenever a gap in user behavior appears, it becomes the knee-jerk reaction to simply just ask the user “Why?”

SurveysSuck_Quotebox1Well, this can lead to huge problems and completely ruin your product development, offer construction, and your marketing campaigns.

In short – relying on surveys can literally ruin your business.

Why? I’m glad you asked. :)

Surveys can hurt your business because there is a HUGE difference between how a person reports they will behave and how they actually behave.

Even worse, a complex survey is HARD to make, and if it isn’t made by a professional, you could be leaving yourself open to a litany of biases that skew results and provide even worse data!

Think about it: Over reliance on surveys provides potentially biased data from a source that is already WEAK in the accuracy department.

Today, I want to cover…

  • Exactly where surveys fall short
  • The situations where they’re still appropriate
  • And customer behavior data sources you can use instead of surveys

Let’s get right to it!

Why Surveys Can Suck

Before I can talk about why surveys suck, I need to get a little nerdy about an important data distinction.

active user dataSurveys are a type of user data I refer to as “active user data.” Active user data is any type of data that is gathered when the visitor is aware they are in a testing (or observed) environment.

While its antithesis is “passive user data,” which is any type of data where the subject is unaware they are in an observed environment.

The distinction between active user data and passive user data is very important because behavior changes between a visitor who knows they are being observed versus a visitor who does not.

Passive1

Next time you look at your data, ask yourself whether it is active or passive.

Passive data is more accurate on the surface, i.e., the data is useful as soon as you gather it, whereas active data will require validation and other data sources to verify it’s accuracy.

Okay, we’ve gotten the theoretical distinctions out of the way.

Now, let’s talk about the real stuff: Why surveys are bad for business.

People Don’t Know What They Want

I’m kind of beating a dead horse, but don’t just take my word for it! This research has already been done.

Ever hear of Howard Moskowitz? If not, he’s a market researcher and psychophysicist.

Howard Moskowitz

He’s helped develop new products for companies like Pepsi and Prego using traditional user research methods.

When Dr. Moskowitz was working with Pepsi to develop the perfect diet Pepsi, he would regularly get user preference data back that was all over the map. It didn’t make sense. One person liked diet Pepsi at a high sweetness whereas others preferred it less sweet.

In this field, having messy data isn’t anything new.

However, when Dr. Moskowitz pondered over the weird data set he realized something:

It’s not about creating the perfect Pepsi, it’s about creating the perfect Pepsis.

This concept wasn’t taken seriously, and eventually, he had to find work elsewhere. SurveysSuck_Quotebox2

Before I tell you where, have you ever walked down the pickle aisle in a grocery store? Have you seen just how many product variants they have? This is because they know there is no “Perfect Pickle,” only “Perfect Pickles.”

Dr. Moskowitz started working for Vlasic and they embraced this philosophy.

Rather than just improving a single line item, companies should focus on “horizontal segmentation,” which is a fancy way of saying they should have a variety of options to meet the needs of an audience who:

  1. Don’t know what they want and
  2. Have such varied preferences there is no overall “best” option

Now, let’s get away from Dr. Moskowitz’s resume and talk briefly about his research.

I want to share one of his research questions and that will definitely drive home the most important part of his work (in regards to surveys).

When asked what type of coffee consumers prefer, they respond with:

A rich dark roast.

Though, after consuming coffee and asked which they prefer, 25-27% of these people actually prefer:

Milky, weak coffee.

Dr. Moskowitz discovered that there is a massive difference between what people report to want and what they actually want.

There are all kinds of reasons for why this phenomenon occurs, and survey biases are the first place to look.

1. So. Many. Survey. Biases.

Crafting a survey is hard.

Like really hard.

There are people who dedicate their professional career to designing, launching, and analyzing surveys. Likely you are not one of those people, so if you’re using surveys you might have a few of these biases to deal with!

Hawthorne Effect

Also referred to as the Observer Effect, this occurs when a respondent alters their behavior in response to their awareness of being observed. Observed

This effect is one of the reasons why I differentiate between active and passive user data. The moment a person realizes they are a part of a study or that their responses will be recorded is the moment you lose TRUE transparency.

During Traffic and Conversion Summit 2017, I asked the audience two questions:

  1. Raise your hand and keep it up if you know what a heat map is?
  2. Put your hand down if you haven’t used a heat map.

From the stage, I could see people putting their hand down and up again as they surveyed the room to see which behavior was acceptable. After two seconds or so, most of the room still had their hand raised.

Clearly, some of the audience hadn’t used a heat map, but because they were among their peers and because the surveyor (me) could see them, they altered their response.

Sampling Bias

A sampling bias occurs when your surveyed audience isn’t a true representation of the entire population.

SampleBiasIf you were to craft new messaging, new products, or new offerings off of a data set with a sampling bias, then, you’d be designing something that only works for some of your audience and not all of it.

Say your audience is represented by a bag of M&Ms. You’d want to get input from all the different M&Ms in order to get useful data.

However, say there is an error in targeting and you only get data from the green M&Ms (and I hear they have very different opinions than Red and Yellow M&Ms).

Without the input from the other sources, you could be making decisions based on a skewed data set which would hurt your business!

Here’s a less cartoony example:

Say you run a survey on a campaign where 80% of your traffic comes from Google pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.

People coming from Google are generally looking for a solution to a problem and have a different reason for visiting your page than someone coming from an organic or referral source. If you polled people hitting this page, your responses would be heavily influenced by your PPC audience, which could have a negative effect for your other visitors!

Researcher’s Bias

This is more of a bias category than an individual bias.

Yes, there are sets of biases you’ll have to deal with. ResearcherBias

These types of biases could include the following:

1. Confirmation Bias:

When a researcher uses new information to confirm an existing belief, theory, or hypothesis.

2. Question Order Bias:

The order of your questions can (and will) impact future responses.

This is somewhat unavoidable, but, generally, you want to use general questions before you ask specific questions and positive questions before negative questions to minimize the effect.

3. Leading Question or Wording Bias:

The more you elaborate on a question, the more likely you are to put words in your respondent’s mouth.

This can lead to a respondent thinking there is a “right or wrong” answer and makes the question susceptible to the Hawthorne Effect.

Non-Response Bias

NoResponseThis bias occurs when individuals chosen in the sample are unwilling or unable to take the survey.

This is only a problem if the non-respondents would have meaningfully different responses than the respondents and can cause a sampling bias.

2. Over-Reliance During Offer or Product Development Can Squash Innovation

Let’s go back to Dr. Moskowitz for a second.

When he started working at Vlasic, they were trying to create the “Perfect Pickle.” That would lead to a single pickle jar on a shelf that gets less retail exposure and is only desired by a mere fraction of the population.

Any zesty pickle fans here?

surveys-suck-how-to-know-what-your-customer-wants-without-asking-img2

Well, your precious zesty pickles wouldn’t exist if Vlasic continued to use user data to create the single perfect product versus creating MULTIPLE appealing products and letting the people choose.

Honestly, if you aren’t willing to launch a product or a new offering without consulting your user base you might as well just give up right now.

You need to be the innovator.

SurveysSuck_Quotebox3You need to be proactive!

Relying on user survey data is reactive and won’t lead to that breakthrough you were looking for.

Remember, even if you are completely bias free (which I doubt you are), you are still using a data source where the primary data, e.g., the respondents, aren’t considered reliable.

This is why you need to use complimentary data to verify the findings of properly designed surveys.

(NOTE: It’s time you find out exactly what your customers are doing on your website! With your free TruConversion heatmap, you can dig into why visitors don’t convert, come up with a better user experience, and identify small changes that yield big results. Learn more and get to know your customer’s actions now.)

Types of Surveys

So, I’ve trashed surveys pretty hard up to this point.

I want to make it clear that they are useful WHEN USED APPROPRIATELY.

There are two types of online surveys I want to cover:

  • The microsurvey
  • The standard “Macro” Survey

Spoiler alert: The microsurvey is WAY more appropriate and will help avoid a lot of the biases I covered earlier.

Microsurvey

Micro-surveys are small surveys collecting information from users with the help of one or two questions.

Microsurvey

You can choose where, when, and how they appear on your page.

I wrote at length about microsurveys here, I’d suggest giving it a read if you plan to start using them.

The power behind these types of surveys is they have the two following characteristics:

  • They’re short: Visitors don’t like long surveys and will respond to a single question. Take that non-response bias!
  • They’re targeted: You can go after a broad or specific segment. This gives you the ability to ask the right people the right question.

When constructing these types of surveys, you want to ensure that you’re using “Factual” questions instead of questions that can be lead to interpretation.

Say I want to find out how much traffic my paid subscribers get to their websites as a way to qualify them for a new product. This should be easy, right?

Let’s try!

Version A
Question:
How much traffic do you get monthly?

Possible Responses:
a) A lot of traffic
b) Moderate traffic
c) Low traffic

Version B
Question:
How much traffic do you get monthly?

Possible Responses:
a) 100,000+ visits
b) Between 10,001 and 99,999 visits
c) Fewer than 10,000 visits

Please pick B, please pick B, please pick B.

The answer is B! Why?

There isn’t any interpretation required by the respondent.

High traffic for someone who works at Amazon is likely very different than high traffic for your local plumber.

For your next survey, try a microsurvey!

Keep it…

  • Short
  • Targeted
  • Interpretation free

…and you’ll have a useful data set!

Macro Survey

These are the types of surveys we’re most familiar with. The ones that come with the possibility of winning an Amazon gift card if you take the entire survey…

Macro Survey

I don’t have a lot to say about these types of surveys.

It is more difficult to get your visitors to take a long survey, which is why people generally offer incentives.

So, with these types of surveys, you’ll have a lower response rate and if you do incentivize you could run into “professional” survey takers, which can skew data.

What’s worse is these are the types of surveys that can be hit with all kinds of survey biases.

Generally, I advise people to use survey templates and questions that have been developed by professional survey constructors. SurveysSuck_Quotebox4

If you’re using a survey building tool, look at their templates and ask them how the questions were developed.

Despite all the risks, some of you still need to use these types of surveys. Here are tips to reduce the risk of macro surveys and increase the number of respondents:

  1. Use advanced targeting to get the right survey in front of the right people and avoid statistical noise.
  2. Be upfront with the time commitment and use liberal estimates. Let people know how many questions or how long the survey will take!
  3. Start with demographic and factual data then move to interpretive.
  4. Avoid leading questions – if you have to further clarify a question your question is bad.

When it’s Appropriate to Use Surveys

I generally only use surveys and other active user data sources, when I can’t get the questions I need answered by passive data sources, e.g:

  • Web analytics
  • Funnel analysis
  • Heat maps
  • Session recordings

I haven’t used a long-form survey in roughly three years. That’s a LONG time considering I’m a digital experience optimizer.

When I did use long surveys they were targeted to a niche email list and the data was used for a benchmark report.

This data was highly factual and focused on user demographics; there were very few interpretative questions.

I prefer to use short, target microsurveys to fill in my knowledge gaps and I do so with this very important understanding:

Surveys are supposed to be used as complimentary data.

I’m not trying to find out a respondent’s desire, but am trying to get more information about the respondent to gauge whether what I’m doing is effective!

For example: DigitalMarketer was trying to figure out whether our community, a closed Facebook group called Engage, impacted how much the average customer would spend with the company.

To test this theory, DigitalMartketer used a microsurvey tool to poll the audience.

To cut down on the number of questions, the team targeted visitors who logged into the subscription product DM Lab.

Targeting

Then, two questions were asked:

  1. Are you a member of the DM Engage Facebook group?
  2. To confirm, what’s the email address you use to log in to DM Lab?

Based on the response to Question 1, a different tag was applied to the respondent’s record in Infusionsoft. From there, the DM team could export the data and look at the user’s spending habits to see if and how community impacted the buyer’s behavior.

In fact, we could slice this data even more if we wanted!

Without having to ask the respondent, we were able to gather country of origin, city, operating system information, browser information, and more.

Geo

Using this type of technology allows you to not only ask targeted questions that talk with your CRM, but it eliminates many qualifying questions you need to ask to segment data by user demographics.

Passive Data Sources for Customer Behavior Analysis

Customer behavior analytics can be broken down into two camps:

  1. Active user data: A type of user data where the subject knows they are in an observed environment.
  2. Passive user data: A type of user data where the subject is unaware they are in an observed environment.

We’ve discussed active user data at length and where it tends to fall short.

Now, I want to show you some examples of passive user data and how it can be used as a substitute for the problematic active user data sources.

Heat Maps

This is a type of passive user data that will show you where people interact on your website.

Heatmap

You’ll see…

  • Where they click
  • Where they scroll
  • How their mouse moves
  • How long it takes to click a particular element

…and more.

Why is this better than a survey?

Well, you are seeing your customer act as they normally would. You’re observing them in the wild!

Furthermore, you aren’t asking a particular preference or for them to report on what they think they might do – this is exactly what they would do and how they behave will show you preference.

If you notice that people aren’t scrolling through your content, then you know you haven’t created a page that is compelling enough to get people to explore further.

If people aren’t clicking your main call-to-action, you’ll quickly see what is causing the distraction.

There isn’t any guessing: either a visitor makes the converting action or they don’t. It’s this type of data that will show you WHY they aren’t taking that action and what they’re doing instead.

If you’re using heat maps or are planning to use a heat map, I highly recommend giving this a read so you know what to do with the data once you have it.

Recordings

Recordings are an insanely powerful way to understand your user’s journey.

Recording example

However, they are extremely time consuming and should only be used if your heat maps don’t answer your underlying questions on the page.

Say you create a heat map for a checkout page and notice that people are only clicking the first field and don’t click again until they get to the Credit Card. You might start to think that they aren’t filling in the other sections or your workflow isn’t ideal.

Cart-heatmap

This is the perfect time to explore using a recording.

In this case, you’ll likely see that a user is using the “tab” button to move from field to field. “Tab” users on desktop and “next” keyboard tappers on mobile have different user needs than standard field clickers.

For example, if you rely on your field text to show the field title then your user won’t know what to type! When a user doesn’t know what to type, they’re not going to convert.

Heat maps are extremely powerful for getting an average view of how a user interacts with your page. Even with more advanced filters you still only get over-arching data!

Recordings will show you everything your user goes through on the page (and if you want on subsequent pages).

So, if you use a heat map and still have questions, don’t jump directly to a survey! Try out a session recording to get the answers you need from your user’s behavior.

Form Analytics

The form analytics report is hands down one of my favorite types of data. When working on lead generation pages or checkout pages you have to optimize two crucial areas:

  1. The page itself
  2. The form experience

You could have the most fantastic page in the world, but if your form doesn’t make sense, you’re going to lose people.

A bad form is a deal breaker and being able to dig into the form data itself will provide more insights than survey feedback that says “Your form sucked!”

Form-analytics

Forms can show you:

  • The fields your users spend the most time on
  • What had to be refilled
  • What was left blank
  • The overall conversion rate of the form

SurveysSuck2When you know this information, you can make better decisions about what goes on the form and how to improve the usability.

The bad conversion rate will tell you the form sucks (so you don’t need a survey for that). Then, all of the subsequent form data points will tell you WHY it sucks.

I actually ran form analytics on one of DigitalMarkter’s lead gen landing pages, and what I found was eye-opening. Check that out here!

Funnel Analytics

This is more on the quantitative data side, but it is quantitative customer behavior data!

This report will tell you where you’re losing people in your funnel.

Funnel-Analytics

If you don’t know where your drop off points are, then you can’t possibly hope to improve your business.

Sequencing is everything and if your offers are out of sequence your funnel analytics will show you that right away. There is no amount of survey taking that will tell you as accurately (or quickly) whether your sequencing is off than your funnel analytics.

What’s better is you can get a better understanding about your user’s journey by using advanced filters to slice up your data via the user’s demographic.

You can collect useful demographic and device data to filter and inspect user segment behavior.

You can collect useful demographic and device data to filter and inspect user segment behavior.

All of this data is readily available and doesn’t require you to ask ‘What country are you located in?’ it just gathers that data upon the visit.

2 Passive Data Sets You Already Have

Everything I’ve shared so far requires a new marketing technology to use. Whether it’s an advanced niche survey tool like

Whether it’s an advanced niche survey tool like Formstack, WuFoo, or SurveyMonkey or a customer behavior suite like TruConversion.

New tools are intimidating, have a learning curve, and have a cost.

So, as my gift to you for getting this far, here are two game-changing passive data sources you already have!

1. Customer Service Questions

Customer service departments see the good, the bad, and the ugly and all of that data is useful!

When a customer is complaining or praising you at this level they are not worried about being observed, so the Hawthorne Effect goes out the window.

Pretty much, you’re getting detailed insights around what your customer truly thinks!

You are getting people when they are most critical, and this can help fuel future updates or campaigns.

I recommend talking to your customer service department weekly and asking the following:

  1. What are the top five questions you get from customers?
  2. What are your answers to these questions?
  3. Are there any particular aspects of X that people don’t understand?
  4. What aspects of X do people like the most/least?
  5. Have we missed anything important? Anything to add?

Knowing these issues will tell you where to start focusing your optimization/improvement efforts with several new ideas to try.

2. Sales Questions

This dataset will tell you the reasons customers buy or don’t buy from your company.

During the sales phase, you’re going to uncover things that worked surprisingly well and other things that absolutely tanked.

This type of user data will shed light on the messaging you should improve and the stuff you need to highlight more. This can be used for on-page optimization as well as for new ad collateral and media campaigns.

Ask your sales team these five questions regularly to get the most out of your sales inquiries:

  1. What are the top five questions you get from prospects?
  2. What are your answers to these questions?
  3. What is the biggest barrier keeping people from buying the product?
  4. Are there any selling points that work particularly well (or not so well)? If so, which one(s)?
  5. 
Have we missed anything important? Anything to add?

If you have a short sales cycle, I recommend asking these questions weekly. If you have a longer sales cycle you might want to ask monthly. SurveysSuck1

tl;dr

Relying on surveys to provide user data, product insights, and offer analysis is a shortsighted and inaccurate approach.

Get your user data from how your customers actually behave, not from how they report behaving. Your business will thank you for it!

(NOTE: It’s time you find out exactly what your customers are doing on your website! With your free TruConversion heatmap, you can dig into why visitors don’t convert, come up with a better user experience, and identify small changes that yield big results. Learn more and get to know your customer’s actions now.)

The post Surveys Suck! How to Know What Your Customer Wants Without Asking appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

Facebook Ads Strategy: How Marketers Can Win With Facebook

Do you use Facebook ads? Want to make them more effective? To explore how to create a successful Facebook ads strategy, I interview Nicholas Kusmich. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what […]

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