[Source: This article was Published in searchengineland.com - Uploaded by the Association Member: Patrick Moore]

Social media provides an enormous pool of insights into your market and competitors. These social listening tools bring those insights right to the surface.

People have always talked about brands and products. They’ve praised and complained about companies in the dining rooms, by the water cooler, over the phone. With the rise of social media, this previously intangible word-of-mouth has finally become measurable — and thus amplifiable — for businesses. Social media listening, the process of using a tool to monitor online mentions of a brand (or anything else), gives companies access to that data.

For this post, we’ve put together a list of 7 most robust social media monitoring tools to bring you real-time insights on your customers, market, and competition.

1. Awario

Awario is a relative newcomer to the social media monitoring and analytics scene. Its ambition is to make social media insights affordable for any brand, be it a startup, an international company, or a digital agency. With pricing plans starting at $29/mo, Awario offers Enterprise capabilities (from Boolean search to Sentiment Analysis to Share of Voice) included in every plan.

You can use Awario to monitor mentions of your brand, competitors, industry, or set up queries for the less obvious use cases. For instance, the app lets you identify guest blogging opportunities, discover content ideas, and find industry influencers to partner with. That’s where the tool’s flexible Boolean search mode comes in handy: it lets you create complex queries that will satisfy even the nerdiest of marketers.

On top of social media, Awario covers news, blogs, and the entire web to give you a holistic picture of your brand’s online presence.

Supported platforms

Twitter,  Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, news, blogs, the web.

Customer rating

  4.5/5 (Capterra).

Reviewers mention Awario’s affordability, Boolean search, influencer marketing capabilities, and excellent customer support as the main pros.

Pricing

There’s a free trial that lets you test Awario out before settling on one of its paid plans.

awario pricing 2

2. Brandwatch

Brandwatch is a suite of 3 tools for marketing and PR teams. Its Audiences product lets you find groups of people based on your targeting rules, such as demographic criteria and interests. It lets you better understand your customers by analyzing their social media posts and pinpointing what sets them apart from the general public.

Vizia is a visualization tool that lets you build custom dashboards based on Brandwatch data. Vizia also works with third-party tools, such as BuzzSumo and Google Analytics, to give you a comprehensive way to measure your marketing efforts.

The company’s social media monitoring tool is called Analytics. It comes equipped with image recognition, API access, and analytical dashboards that can be downloaded as PowerPoint presentations in a click.

Supported platforms

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Sina Weibo, VK, QQ, blogs, news, the web.

Customer rating

   4/5 (Capterra).

The tool’s users love its media coverage and customizable dashboards. The biggest con is its cost.

Pricing

Brandwatch offers 3 plans to choose from. There’s no free trial, but you can contact the team for a demo of the product.

brandwatch pricing

3. Hootsuite

If you aren’t looking for an in-depth social media monitoring tool, but would rather opt for something that offers publishing, collaboration, and monitoring features, Hootsuite is an excellent choice.

While the app itself doesn’t monitor sources beyond social media, it offers many useful integrations with tools like Brandwatch and Reputology for your reputation management needs. Some of those are free, while some need to be purchased as add-ons.

Supported platforms

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube. More sources available via integrations.

Customer rating

  4.5/5 (Capterra).

Users love Hootsuite’s user-friendly layout and the fact that it supports all major social networks for scheduling.

Pricing

Hootsuite has a free trial that lets you play around with the tool before you jump on one of its three paid plans.

hootsuite pricing

4. Meltwater

Meltwater is an Enterprise media intelligence tool. While not a dedicated social listening solution (Meltwater also offers PR and social media management capabilities), it includes robust tools for monitoring mentions of your keywords across the Internet.

Meltwater’s strength is the analytics the software provides: it lets you create custom dashboards with metrics that matter to you, from audience demographics to the reach of the social media chatter around your brand.

Supported platforms

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, blogs, news, the web, broadcast.

Customer rating

 3.5/5 (Capterra).

The biggest pros mentioned by users are Meltwater’s coverage and powerful reports, with the main downside being its cost.

Pricing

Meltwater’s social media monitoring package is priced at $15,000/year. For more information, you’ll need to talk to the company’s sales team.

5. Talkwalker

Talkwalker is a perfect social media listening tool for big brands and agencies. Apart from providing you with the latest mentions of your brand and competitors, Talkwalker offers powerful analytics that let you spot trends in the buzz around your keywords. It goes beyond basic reporting by analyzing your audience’s demographics, occupation, and interests. It also builds powerful word clouds that let you identify hashtags that are most commonly used together with your keyword.

On top of tracking conversations across social media channels and the web, Talkwalker monitors print and TV mentions. Image recognition is also available in the Enterprise plan.

Supported platforms

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Flickr, blogs, news, the web, print, TV.

Customer rating

 4.5/5 (Capterra).

Customers mention Talkwalker’s ease of use, extensive coverage, and real-time alerts as the main pros.

Pricing

Talkwalker offers three subscription plans on their website.

talkwalker pricing

6. Tweetdeck

TweetDeck, owned by Twitter, is an all-in-one dashboard for your Twitter activity. It lets you schedule tweets, interact with your feed, manage your inbox, and track mentions of your company (or anything else) on the network.

While the tool’s social listening capabilities are limited to one social network, its search options are pretty impressive for a free app. You can add keywords in flexible formats, exclude certain terms, and filter results by country, language, or date. You can set up as many searches as you need and reply to tweets right from the dashboard by connecting your Twitter account to the app.

Supported platforms

Twitter.

Customer rating

 4.5/5 (Capterra).

Customers love TweetDeck’s column layout, multi-account support, and scheduling options.

Pricing

Tweetdeck is absolutely free.

7. Agorapulse

Agorapulse is another two-in-one social media tool: while the app primarily focuses on social media management, it also offers listening capabilities for selected social networks. Though Agorapulse doesn’t include web monitoring, it’s a great option if you’re looking for a scheduling app that will also notify you of social brand mentions.

On top of publishing and social media monitoring, Agorapulse lets you find influencers and streamline outreach and communication with the help of its inbuilt CRM.

Supported platforms

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube.

Customer rating

  4.5/5 (Capterra).

Users love the fact that Agorapulse combines social media management with social listening, the tool’s ease of use, and its excellent customer service.

Pricing

Agorapulse offers a free trial. After you try the tool, you can pick one of the four available subscription plans.

agorapulse pricing

Conclusion

Social media has become the place where consumers talk about everything — and that includes your brand. As more companies turn to social media monitoring for insights, social media monitoring tools are catching up and becoming more elaborate and affordable. However, don’t forget that the insights the tools provide aren’t everything — it’s the decisions you make and the actions you take based on those insights that will make your brand stand out.

 

Source: This article was Published bmmagazine.co.uk - Contributed by Member: Robert Hensonw

The advancement of technology has given us so many ways of finding out what we need to do to sustain businesses of different kinds.

Regardless of the differences that are unique to each business, one thing remains important – knowing what your customer base wants, and then work on fulfilling their needs in order to survive the competition.

With the era of monopolies now gone, it makes it very essential to on market research. That is why the major companies in the world employ the services of marketing teams and spend millions of dollars annually in recruiting research firms. Here are some reasons why you need to spend that money on research.

To have a better idea of what you are going to do

This may sound generic as ever, but the thing is – it shows you the importance of conducting research in the first place. The worst mistake you can make as an entrepreneur is shooting in the dark – you simply waste your time and resources without anything to show for it. You may make mistakes along the way even if you have sufficient information, but it is better to be prepared.

Whatever decision you make for the business, it is important to do your homework. From sourcing for suppliers, getting potential clients, and even developing the range of your products and services. It can also help in clearing up any queries that you have while still providing you with sufficient first-hand strategy that helps in progressing the business, also known as SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats).

It helps you to stay focused

Let us be honest here – marketing research and marketing, in general, is not an easy venture to get into, especially with all the multitasking that happens today. Even as a business owner, you might find yourself trying to focus on multiple projects, playing various roles within your organization, while still running the business and trying to help it succeed.

However, when you have done sufficient market research, it should inform you of what your consumers want. This helps you make a list of priorities you need to accomplish, which in turn helps you in managing your time as effectively as possible. It also gives you a guide on both the long and short term strategies you need to put in place, which helps you feel more organized, less frazzled and overwhelmed in the long-term.

Gives you better insight on your customers

Regardless of whether your business has been in the game for a long time or is starting out, target customers should always be a priority, as they are either potential or loyal customers. Good market research strategies will clear doubts you may have on the identification of these customers, including their gender, ages, locations, and so on.

The more analysis you do on their spending habits and products they frequently purchase, for instance, the better you can understand what makes them tick. This allows you to focus on manufacturing certain products or giving certain services in order to retain them as loyal customers.

Helps in understanding customer behavior

Aside from getting to know potentially loyal customers, you can use market research to find out some requirements of the customers. The improvement of technology has given us some useful advanced software tools such as Google Analytics, which assist you to understand the behavioral patterns of your customers. Oncetheir spending behavior is understood, you can then refine and customize various products for them.

These software tools can use the data in two forms. One is tracking the spending habits of the customer when they are online, which is a real-time analysis (it particularly works if you have an online shop), and the other is to check their past spending behavior to see if there are any patterns involved.

Helps in analyzing competitors

If you have ever read the book ‘The Art of War’ by Sun Tzu, it states that for you defeat your enemy in battle, it is important to know yourself and know them, and they will never defeat you. This statement is true; not just in war, but also in other aspects of life – especially when it comes to running a business.

Monopolies do not exist anymore in this day and age, so every business has fierce competition all around it. This should motivate you to do adequate research on the market as well as your competitors, and you may learn some strategies from them that can either push you ahead or reduce the growth of your competitors.

Even more important, it will help you to keep your growth consistent through the improvement of your services and products.

Gives you adequate information for selling and forecasting activities

The most important focus of sales forecasts is helping a business keep adequate inventory, an action which regulates the balance of demand and supply. The only way to find this out is through doing research. After doing a sales forecast you can then begin to plan for alternative goods you can sell, or find new methods of selling the goods. In addition, you may have consumer bases in other countries; market research allows you to find them and tailor make strategies for those areas.

Reduces losses and risk on a significant level

The best approach to use would be a contingency approach. At the back of your mind, you remember that the business may not do well due to factors that may be beyond your control, or others may be mistakes you will learn along the way.

Market research proves to be effective at reducing risks that you incur or the losses your business may suffer, as long as it has concrete findings to back it. It helps in avoiding mistakes such as poor pricing methods and poor marketing so that your business has a fighting chance of thriving.

Final thoughts

Making your business succeed in the face of increasing competition is not an easy thing, and that is why market research exists – to enable you to find weaknesses you should improve on. With these tips, investing in proper research is justified, and it will give your company great benefits.

Source: This article was thebalancesmb.com By LAURA LAKE - Contributed by Member: Corey Parker

Just contemplating the need to do market research for your business can feel overwhelming. However, you need to jump in because market research is key to the success of your business. First, you need to understand the difference between "market research" and "marketing research."

Market research is when you have narrowed down a specific "target, " and you are delving into the behavior of that target.

In other words, its research into a very narrow group of consumers.

Marketing research entails dealing with a broad range of consumers. Marketing research includes "market" research, but it also delves into more. The best way to differentiate the two is to understand that marketing research is essentially about researching the marketing "process" of a company—not just "who" they are targeting.

First, let's look at how to implement marketing research, which includes the following steps and the questions you should be asking yourself along the way:

  1. Problem definition. The problem is the focus of your research. For example, "why are sales soaring in your Midwest territory, but dismal in other parts of the country?
  2. Data collection method and needs. This is where you ask, "how will I collect the data I need to solve the problem? Do I use surveys, telephone calls or focus groups?
  3. Determine sample method. Sampling represents those you will be collecting information from. You need to ask yourself, "what sampling method will I use? Will it be a random sampling, a sampling that contains a similar element, or a natural sampling?
  4. Data analysis. You need to figure out how you will you analyze the data. Will you use software or do it by hand? Also, how accurately do the results need to be?
  5. Determine budget and timeframe. You must determine how much you're willing to spend on the research and how soon it needs to be completed.
  6. Analysis of the data. At this point, you conduct the analysis of the data that has been collected in the previous Steps.
  7. Error check. Be sure to check for errors in the data you've collected and analyzed. Errors can occur in the sampling method and data collections.
  8. Create your report. The final step of marketing research is to draft a report on your findings. Your report should contain tables, charts, and/or diagrams. It's important that your report clearly communicates the results that you found. Your findings should lead to a solution to the problem you identified in Step One.

3 Key Benefits of Market Research

Market research also provides many benefits. It takes the guesswork out of marketing and gives you data that you can use to drive your marketing strategy—and accomplish your objectives and goals. It's a systematic approach that can make your marketing not only easier but more effective. 

Market research includes the following benefits:

  • Communication driver. It drives your communication not only with your current customer base but your target prospects as well. 
  • Identifies opportunity. Market research shows you where the opportunities are and helps you identify not just high-level opportunities but assists in showing you the more immediate "low hanging fruit" opportunities. 
  • Lowers risk. Detailed data keeps you focused on the real opportunities and helps you avoid unproductive areas. 

Categorized in Market Research

Competitive analysis can be helpful, but columnist Dianna Huff explains why it's important not to get too focused on your competitors' performance.

Website traffic is one of those metrics small business owners use to determine if their website is “working” — along with the number of inquiries, leads or sales they get from it. Traffic is also a metric that gets a lot of hype; you can find millions of articles explaining how to increase website traffic.

In addition to looking at your own traffic, you can use tools that tell you how much traffic your competitors are getting. When small business owners see this information, they get concerned because generally, the traffic numbers are sometimes very high — or at least higher than what they’re getting.

As one business owner said, when an agency presented competitor traffic data to him, “All I could think, when I saw the data, was, ‘They’re eating our lunch’ in terms of sales.”

As I explained to him, however, these tools don’t tell you the full story. They don’t tell you, for example, whether the traffic is the right kind of traffic or if the traffic is resulting in inquiries. And, they certainly don’t tell you if the business is meeting its sales and marketing KPIs.

Not all traffic is created equal

Back around 2003 or 2004, Nickelodeon, the TV network, created this ingenious marketing campaign for the animated show, “Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius” (which my then 6-year old son watched faithfully).

The marketing campaign, which reached kids through the TV show, told them to look for special game codes on product packaging. These codes could then be used in the games featured on the show’s website. Then each week, players’ activities would be featured on the TV show.

I found this campaign, and my son’s active participation with it, so remarkable, I wrote an article about it for my newsletter and then posted the article to my website.

Although this was back in the day before social media, blogs and so on, traffic to my website skyrocketed within a couple of weeks. Why? That article was showing up in searches for “Jimmy Neutron game codes.” For a couple of months, I watched this traffic pour in — but ultimately, I made the decision to take the article down.

Why? This was back in the day before Google’s “Not Set / Not Provided,” so I could see exactly which search queries were driving traffic to my site. The search phrase “Jimmy Neutron game codes” didn’t exactly align with the keywords used by people looking for a B2B marketing consultant.

I can list lots of other examples like this, but I think you get the picture. High traffic doesn’t necessarily mean the right kind of traffic.

High traffic doesn’t always translate into inquiries

Last year, my company conducted a website and marketing audit for a small business owner concerned about the lack of inquiries. Traffic to the website was healthy — over 9,800 sessions a month — because the company was very diligent about creating content.

One of the problems, however, was that 65 percent of the traffic was due to blog posts, and of the hundreds of posts created over the years, four were responsible for 36 percent of overall traffic. While these posts were related to the service offerings of the business, they were also the type of “how to” post where a person could use the information without taking any further action with the company.

Hence, the content wasn’t helping with real inquiries — except the occasional newsletter subscription.

I’ve seen this happen over and over again with small business websites — and even with the Huff Industrial Marketing (my company) website, too. One year, for example, I wrote a blog post listing over 50 ways to drive traffic to a website. That post was picked up by numerous SEO practitioners and marketers, and over time, it became the number one traffic generator to the website — accounting for over 50 percent of traffic.

The problem, however, was it didn’t result in one inquiry, and all that non-targeted traffic was skewing the data in Analytics. We finally deleted it in early 2016, and at the same time, began creating content more in line with our client base. Yep, we took a huge hit initially, but it was the right decision. Traffic is up again — as are inquiries.

You have no idea what your competitors’ marketing strategy and business goals are

Because we provide marketing strategy for our small industrial manufacturing clients, we’re often privy to their business plans. These plans typically have a main objective: to grow the business to X number of dollars in five or seven years. To reach this objective, the plan will list various things the company will do: improve quality, enter a new market, introduce new products, replace antiquated equipment with automation and so on.

Thus, we base recommended marketing strategies on our clients’ business goals.

When you run reports using the tools available and then see your competitors and their (higher than yours) traffic numbers, what you’re viewing is data that is absolutely meaningless. Unless you have the company’s business and marketing strategy in front of you, you have no idea what the company’s KPIs or targets are, or if the traffic is meeting them or not.

And, since this data lacks context, basing your marketing strategy on it is a sure recipe for marketing disaster.

In conclusion…

Viewing metrics about your competitors’ website traffic shouldn’t be used as an indicator for deciding how to proceed with your marketing strategy. One, you have no idea if this traffic is “working” or not; two, you don’t know the reasons why the traffic might be higher than yours; and three, the traffic number itself is meaningless because it’s taken out of context.

Instead of focusing on your competitors and their traffic numbers, focus instead on your marketing. Rigorously track and measure your marketing tactics to determine what works — that is, which tactics result in inquiries that become sales — and then let go of the stuff that doesn’t work (even if everyone else is doing it). You’ll be much happier, and you’ll look really smart, too.

Author: Dianna Huff
Source: http://searchengineland.com/3-reasons-can-safely-ignore-competitors-traffic-metrics-267241

It’s time you know that an Effective Marketing Campaign doesn’t need to be too difficult or expensive. All successful online marketing campaigns should be within the grasp of any business whatever your budget is. An organized, planned online marketing campaign circling through different targeted sites is not too difficult to coordinate, does not have to be too costly and can generate sales and traffic faster than any other online marketing efforts.

Committing to these steps below and following them through can create a cost effective campaign and guaranteed investment returns within a short period.

It’s time you know that an Effective Marketing Campaign doesn’t need to be too difficult or expensive. All successful online marketing campaigns should be within the grasp of any business whatever your budget is. An organized, planned online marketing campaign circling through different targeted sites is not too difficult to coordinate, does not have to be too costly and can generate sales and traffic faster than any other online marketing efforts.

Committing to these steps below and following them through can create a cost effective campaign and guaranteed investment returns within a short period.

1. Make sure to define your customer

Just as important as naming your business or defining your product, it is even more important to define your customer. If you are yet to do your marketing plan within your business plan, you are missing the most important thing. Taking up this exercise now is the best thing to do. Creating your marketing plan should be focused on your unique Selling Proposition via promotions and advertising planning.

2. Know your targets

Defining your customer is one thing and knowing where to get your customer is another. Where you post your ads matters – how much customers do you generate from there? The most effective marketing campaign is the coordinated efforts across several venues and sites where your customers always visit. Having your ads on several places retains the strength of your message and your visibility in these sites.

Cross-promoting complementary sites to your visitors will show your visibility in these sites too and this will provide reinforcement to your message. Areas to consider in this regard should be Holiday Specific sites which are often well promoted. You might have a different view too.

Considering websites, newsletter or social media for your ads, your focus should be on the search engine placement, the traffic, external linking to this site, the types of messages in the current ads and the quality of the messages. Having a knowledge of these will reveal to you if;

  • You already have competitors on this site.
  • The advertising is complementing your business.
  • If the ads are completely related or unrelated to your business or calculated traffic of the site. With this, you will know if your message is fit to be on this site.

3. Set and examine your budget

It shouldn’t be surprising when some people think setting your budget should be the first move. But in reality, you can only create a better budget for your online business when you already know what is involved and you have a good idea about what it will cost. You really can’t do this when you have not figured out your targets so you can see why the idea of placing budget first may not work well if you need real online marketing campaign success. The mistake most people make is, they need the best for their budget without any knowledge what the best will cost. If you already have a budget made, going back to your marketing campaign sheet and totaling all your intended ad posts cost will reveal what your chances are, either below your budget or exceeds your budget. Until you have a clear understanding of your overall online marketing campaign cost, don’t be too sure about your budget.

Once you have a clear list of what ads you intend to post, you would be able to prioritize them going with your budget as to where you will get the most exposure if your budget is below the estimated ad posts cost. Also, if you are involved in Pay-Per-Click advertising, it’s advisable to always ‘log in’ daily for the first seven days (1 week) to monitor the results of your ads. This is just to ensure you are paying for results.

Make sure to ask if your payments cover ad swaps and bartering and consider this as part of your budget.

4. Organizing your Ad content

It’s true that online marketing works but best when the focus is on one or two things at a time. You may have different kinds of products but choose one of these or two that are attractive enough to your target market and this will do a lot of campaign magic than collecting all items and writing contents all about them. Most of your target customers just want to read something short and interesting with a beautiful image to behold.

Now the question you should ask yourself is “what actually am I selling”? a product or a service. Make sure what you are selling is beneficial and attractive enough to capture the target’s emotional interest. For instance, if you are selling cosmetics, you are selling beauty and using ads that relate to the customer will have the most success.

Next ask yourself again, “What am I selling”? It’s rarely the product or service. You are selling a benefit, something that registers at the emotional level. If you are selling fishing rods, for example, you’re selling the excitement of successfully landing that monster in the lake. If you are selling cosmetics, you’re selling beauty. Create many emotional words relating to the product- stimulating enough, addictive, relaxing, comforting and fun. You must be able to attract your target or customer.

5. Tracking and Monitoring Your Ads

In maintaining an effective marketing campaign, it’s essential to track and react to your campaign successes. Right from your Website Stats to the PPC Stats, there are diverse ways to check and determine what is really working out for you as planned and which isn’t working. With absolute concentration, you should be able to learn much about your ads and how to sharpen them for best results ever.

The most effective way to track your campaign ads is using tracking services that help track your activities. There are special advertising management services which help you track your ad performances, free or less costly services that are relatively very easy to implement which give powerful ad tracking management and support. Note that some venues such as Facebook ads provide their own ads reports.

The KEY

Ensure that on daily basis for the first 14 days, you keep reviews of your different ads. Make an inventory of this in a tracking sheet and search out for any patterns. Which of the ads are performing, where they are performing and why are they performing there? From here you can easily detect which ads are not working and remove or replace them.

Just as important as naming your business or defining your product, it is even more important to define your customer. If you are yet to do your marketing plan within your business plan, you are missing the most important thing. Taking up this exercise now is the best thing to do. Creating your marketing plan should be focused on your unique Selling Proposition via promotions and advertising planning.

2. Know your targets

Defining your customer is one thing and knowing where to get your customer is another. Where you post your ads matters – how much customers do you generate from there? The most effective marketing campaign is the coordinated efforts across several venues and sites where your customers always visit. Having your ads on several places retains the strength of your message and your visibility in these sites.

Cross-promoting complementary sites to your visitors will show your visibility in these sites too and this will provide reinforcement to your message. Areas to consider in this regard should be Holiday Specific sites which are often well promoted. You might have a different view too.

Considering websites, newsletter or social media for your ads, your focus should be on the search engine placement, the traffic, external linking to this site, the types of messages in the current ads and the quality of the messages. Having a knowledge of these will reveal to you if;

  • You already have competitors on this site.
  • The advertising is complementing your business.
  • If the ads are completely related or unrelated to your business or calculated traffic of the site. With this, you will know if your message is fit to be on this site.

3. Set and examine your budget

It shouldn’t be surprising when some people think setting your budget should be the first move. But in reality, you can only create a better budget for your online business when you already know what is involved and you have a good idea about what it will cost. You really can’t do this when you have not figured out your targets so you can see why the idea of placing budget first may not work well if you need real online marketing campaign success. The mistake most people make is, they need the best for their budget without any knowledge what the best will cost. If you already have a budget made, going back to your marketing campaign sheet and totaling all your intended ad posts cost will reveal what your chances are, either below your budget or exceeds your budget. Until you have a clear understanding of your overall online marketing campaign cost, don’t be too sure about your budget.

Once you have a clear list of what ads you intend to post, you would be able to prioritize them going with your budget as to where you will get the most exposure if your budget is below the estimated ad posts cost. Also, if you are involved in Pay-Per-Click advertising, it’s advisable to always ‘log in’ daily for the first seven days (1 week) to monitor the results of your ads. This is just to ensure you are paying for results.

Make sure to ask if your payments cover ad swaps and bartering and consider this as part of your budget.

4. Organizing your Ad content

It’s true that online marketing works but best when the focus is on one or two things at a time. You may have different kinds of products but choose one of these or two that are attractive enough to your target market and this will do a lot of campaign magic than collecting all items and writing contents all about them. Most of your target customers just want to read something short and interesting with a beautiful image to behold.

Now the question you should ask yourself is “what actually am I selling”? a product or a service. Make sure what you are selling is beneficial and attractive enough to capture the target’s emotional interest. For instance, if you are selling cosmetics, you are selling beauty and using ads that relate to the customer will have the most success.

Next ask yourself again, “What am I selling”? It’s rarely the product or service. You are selling a benefit, something that registers at the emotional level. If you are selling fishing rods, for example, you’re selling the excitement of successfully landing that monster in the lake. If you are selling cosmetics, you’re selling beauty. Create many emotional words relating to the product- stimulating enough, addictive, relaxing, comforting and fun. You must be able to attract your target or customer.

5. Tracking and Monitoring Your Ads

In maintaining an effective marketing campaign, it’s essential to track and react to your campaign successes. Right from your Website Stats to the PPC Stats, there are diverse ways to check and determine what is really working out for you as planned and which isn’t working. With absolute concentration, you should be able to learn much about your ads and how to sharpen them for best results ever.

The most effective way to track your campaign ads is using tracking services that help track your activities. There are special advertising management services which help you track your ad performances, free or less costly services that are relatively very easy to implement which give powerful ad tracking management and support. Note that some venues such as Facebook ads provide their own ads reports.

The KEY

Ensure that on daily basis for the first 14 days, you keep reviews of your different ads. Make an inventory of this in a tracking sheet and search out for any patterns. Which of the ads are performing, where they are performing and why are they performing there? From here you can easily detect which ads are not working and remove or replace them.

Author:  MICHAEL LILY

Source:  http://www.lifehack.org/489608/5-steps-to-guarantee-online-marketing-campaign-success

Categorized in Market Research

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bing Network. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’ve always been fascinated by the constant evolution of search. It scares me to accept that I’ve never been able to get the full grasp of these changes. I couldn’t sit still.

My career was built on writing and consulting about SEM. I should be prepared for the future. I should know what’s coming next. But, I don’t.

The future of search has me in a constant spin cycle.

Do you feel this way? Bing has 133 million monthly searches. Google hit over 100 billion. That’s a lot to take in. The good news is this hasn’t stopped me (or others!) from digging into these changes.

This past year working at SEJ has allowed me to explore new strategies to help explain the future of SEM. I discovered that I’ve been looking at the future of search all wrong. And, I think a lot of us have.

What is the Future of Search?

I’ve worked on over 100+ SEM clients. The majority of them focused only on increasing their rankings on Google.

This is where I went wrong.

I shouldn’t be focused on increasing rankings in Google, creating more content, or building more links. I should be focused on the user.

In 2016, we’re seeing marketers approach this in different ways:

Understanding searcher intent – Making it easy for searchers to get better search results by personalizing our content to answer queries and voice search.

Exploring multiple search channels – Building a search strategy outside of Google that reaches your target audience on the platforms they live.

Rand Fishkin has an amazing Slideshare on this:

The 7 Biggest Trends in SEO: 2016 from Rand Fishkin
For example, Confluent Forms worked with Michlin Metals to optimize for intent-based search. Confluent Forms altered the meta data and saw an upward spike in impressions, clicks and click-through rate, and position. And, they were even featured in a Google Answer Box. Optimizely increased conversions by 32% for Secret Escapes by matching user intent with expectation between landing page copy and PPC ads.

And, let’s not forget about the other search channels. Marin Software grew Sykes Cottage conversion volume on Bing by 259%. Hello Society increased referral traffic from 3,952 to 16,592 in one month on Pinterest.

All of this is how I now understand search will work in the future. Yep, I was missing the whole point all along.

In 2000, my main channels were paid search and organic search. Fast forward to 2016, to compete you must be on paid, organic, local, image, video, map, social, news, mobile, and voice search.

Whew! That’s a lot!

Does this New Way of Search Marketing Work for Big or Small Brands?

The short answer: Both.

Businesses spend thousands of dollars on PPC and SEO campaigns each year looking for the right audience. Utilizing tools like Bing’s Remarketing campaigns allows both big and small brands to benefit from targeting consumer buying behaviors for better ad conversions with minimal spend. AdWords also offers remarketing ads, so I’d analyzing both avenues before allocating your budget.

For me, smaller brands with a limited budget see greater success on Bing because the cost-per-click has been lower. WordStream also saw an average of 33.5% cheaper CPC on Bing.

In addition to advertising, businesses will also need to adapt to the new way users are searching. According to comScore, 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020. Voice search uses a more natural tone, which changes the search results.

Tech Goliaths like Microsoft, Apple, and Google, are focusing on new digital assistants, like Cortana. Cortana (iOS, Android, Windows), has already seen 2.5 billion questions asked globally. Pretty crazy, huh? Digital assistants are transforming how searchers use mobile. Searchers are bypassing Google search and using apps or voice search for their queries.

This means more opportunities for marketers to influence consumers and measure the impact of search on other channels.

Takeaways

It seems to me that the next generation of search will rely on helping businesses personalize their brand to reach a very niche audience. There is a whole new side for SEM marketers to explore — and potentially some awesome benefits, too!

Brands can expand their reach by utilizing multiple search engines.
The content based on user intent and conversational language will have a greater impact.
Investing in personalized ad campaigns can bring in higher conversions.

For all the work we do with perfecting our strategies, perhaps these coming years bring us the opportunity to engage on a deeper level more meaningful level, not only with our audience but with our brands too.

I’d love your thoughts on this! Feel free to discuss in the comments or on Twitter.

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/search-marketing-is-the-future-right/169326/

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