What Should Retail Marketers Do Now?

shopping-holiday

People may not be in holiday mode yet, but retail marketers should be.

Why? Because successful holiday marketing starts with preparation in August and September.

[source: Facebook for Business] As you begin thinking about holiday advertising, keep in mind that this year people are expected to do more holiday shopping on mobile than ever. In fact, sixty-eight percent of UK shoppers use their mobile phone in store.1 People are also spending more time on Facebook and Instagram than any other digital media, and more than half of people in the US say Facebook is somewhat or very influential on their holiday shopping.2

So, as you get started planning mobile holiday campaigns, here’s how to maximize your advertising efforts on Facebook this holiday season.

Refresh your audience profile
Before you can build ads that resonate, you have to know who your current and potential customers are. Use Audience Insights to review your audience’s demographics, location, psychographics (such as interests, attitudes and lifestyle) and purchase behavior. Then put together a profile of your target audience (or audiences). For example, your audience profile could be women who like high-end retail brands and live in the suburbs of certain geographic locations.

Identify your key audience segments
Once you know the characteristics of your target audience, think about segments within that group that you want to connect with leading up to the holidays. Will you focus on connecting with loyal customers, new customers or both? Divide your target audience into segments, so you can plan distinct campaigns that will resonate with each group and accomplish your business goals.

Add the Facebook pixel and SDK to your website and app
The Facebook pixel and SDK are snippets of code that, when added to websites and mobile apps, respectively, empower advertisers to reach their website and app visitors with targeted ads on Facebook. So if someone browsed for watches in your mobile app but didn’t purchase, you can automatically retarget them with an ad for that watch next time they visit Facebook. Have your website engineering team make sure that your pixel and SDK are setup correctly ahead of the season.

Find your customer conversion path
The pixel and SDK code also help advertisers understand their customers’ paths to conversion, so advertisers can tailor ad campaigns to their customers. Once you have them set up, review the conversion device data in Ads Manager or Power Editor to find out which devices your customers use when they see your ads versus when they buy. You may find that your customers tend to see your ads on iPhone and then purchase later on desktop. Use this report to plan which devices to run ads on this holiday season and in what sequence.

Optimize your mobile experience
Last year nearly half of online shopping traffic came from mobile and 56% of in-store sales were influenced by mobile activity. But people tend to purchase on desktop and tablet, not on phones. Marketers can shorten the path to purchase by making it easy for people to shop on mobile. Make sure your ad creative translates well on smaller screens. Then click through your ads into your mobile website or app to see where you can improve the shopping experience. The better mobile experience you can offer, the more likely you are to increase purchases there.

Divide your budget strategically
During holiday shopping season, you’ll want some ad campaigns that run continuously and some that promote key events, like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and any limited-time promotions you run, like free shipping or discount codes. Allocate your budget accordingly.

Test creative and ad types
Use the time before the holidays to test different creative and ad formats with your audience segments. Are your customers most responsive to images or video? Test different images, copy and call to actions, so you know what resonates best with your audience before holiday shopping starts.

Prepare your product catalog
Retailers with large product sets who want to use dynamic product ads during the holidays need to prepare and upload their product catalog to Facebook. Product catalogs contain a list of products you want to advertise, their availability, product URL, image URL and other product attributes.

 

Public Relations

North 6th Agency

“Embrace the Pace”

5W Public Relations

Who is 5WPR?

Modus Publicity

Our friendly, creative and personal approach is fused with airtight strategic planning ability and a solid infrastructure.

Ogilvy Public Relations

Kimberly Ryan shows off the clean open concept space where Ogilvy Public Relations staffers do their relating with the public under the guidance of late founder David Ogilvy.

Edelman

A global PR firm known for representing big-time companies like Wal-Mart, Microsoft, and Starbucks.

Lippe Taylor

Located just off Manhattan’s Union Square, Lippe Taylor is an award-winning PR agency that specializes in marketing to women.

Morris+King

 

PR is the New SEO

Quality content is the focal point of inbound campaigns again.

If you focused on quality content before then, good for you – you were definitely ahead of the curve, and are probably reaping the rewards of your efforts.

[source: HubSpot] Promoting that content however, is where Public Relations has a more important role than it used to. PR professionals are well poised to capitalize on SEO budgets, and SEO professionals have some things to learn from the world of the PR pros.

Reason 1: PR pros know how to pitch content

Link building has always been about an exchange: you give me content, I give you a link. The gate holders of this exchange are now more firmly planted in the sphere of earned media. Enters the power of media pitch.

I’m not suggesting that press releases are going to be all the rage again; PR professionals simply understand the dynamic of pitching a content piece to a specific audience. The content/audience relationship in Inbound Marketing isn’t going away anytime soon. The more PR folks who figure that out are going to start winning more digital marketing budget.

Reason 2: PR pros are already in the business of outreach

The Penguin algorithm update elevated a whole new brand of SEO tools that which are geared to influencer identification and outreach. GroupHigh, Buzzstream, and Moz are now known for their capabilities that have leaned SEO away from its traditional infrastructure focus and more into content promotion.

HubSpot’s Social Inbox has brought influencer outreach into the heart of its inbound marketing toolset. PR pros already know how to work in this field. They know the process; they know what media outlets want. Getting a more specific kind of link or brand mention only tweaks the questions they ask of their publishing partners.

In creating and pitching a story to influencers, PR has a core skillset which is insanely valuable to your SEO efforts. There is however, one glaring issue that the PR mainstream needs to overcome.

The disconnect is metrics

How will your influencer outreach strategy measure success? If the metrics stop at the relationship stage (i.e. how many active contacts in your rolodex), or aren’t segmented away from your current digital metrics, you’re begging for uncomfortable questions from your boss that sound a lot like “What did we get out of this?”

The key to solving this problem takes another sensible cue from the public relations mainstream: organize your efforts in campaigns. With a little structure and up-front planning, the expectation-setting game will be squarely in your court, with the metrics to explain how your new SEO/PR hybrid performs within the rest of your digital mix. If you’re unsure about metrics, take some simple steps to better KPIs:

  • Create your Content Campaign (If you’re on HubSpot, use HubSpot’s new Campaigns tool. If you aren’t on Hubspot, define an Advanced Segment in Google Analytics which includes the content you want to measure)
  • Measure Referral Traffic to your Campaign/Segment
  • Use HubSpot’s URL Builder or the Google URL Builder to segment referral traffic in from your guest posts and press releases, just like you would with any other external campaigns
  • Check in with your Campaign’s Unique Visitors weekly or monthly to gauge the success of your efforts.

Obviously, the trick is in defining which pieces of content you want to measure (Step 1). If you’re too wide in your definition, you won’t get a picture of how your outreach efforts are moving the needle. If you’re too narrow, you won’t have enough data by which to make a decision.

Connecting the dots – what to do now

The recent trends in SEO toward quality content should influence your hiring decisions about who’s going to be effective in fuelling the fire of your inbound strategy. Hiring for an SEO position anytime soon? You might want to consider the candidate with some PR background to help move the needle.

If you’re working with an agency to further your success in Search Marketing, you might beg questions that sounds like:

  • What can we do to be more strategic about promoting content?
  • Who can we partner with?
  • How are we measuring digital earned media and PR?

The resulting conversation will give you the opportunities (and the links and brand mentions that go with them) that widen the gap between you and your online competition.

 

Writing a News Release That Sells

Reel In Clients and Customers

A well-written online news release is a great asset. Let’s look at writing great body copy to keep your readers engaged and maximize your sales.

Here are three tips for writing great body copy to create a positive, lasting impression for your brand.

Tell a Story

Think like a journalist to write your news release. Answer the five key W’s within your first paragraph: who, what, where, when and why. This gives readers a quick snapshot of the news. The following two to three paragraphs of the release should include additional details about your story, as well as a quote from the senior person at your company explaining what your news means for the company, your customers and the market overall.

Optimize

Repeat the keyword you optimized your headline with in the body of the release. This helps your ranking with search engines, and it helps potential customers to find you. Including hyperlinks within the body of the news release will also help build traction for your news. Link to your own website first, but also consider linking to informative websites that are relevant to your news or your brand.

Proofread

Typos live forever online. Triple-check your news for typos and grammar mishaps by having at least one other person proof the release. This includes fact-checking contact information, such as emails and phone numbers, to ensure they’re correct. Some old industry tricks: read your release out loud, or start at the bottom and read it backwards. Both will help find grammatical errors and typos that might not otherwise be caught.

A news release doesn’t have to be long to have impact, but it does need to be clear and to the point. Meanwhile, using the right keywords will keep you at the top of SEO searches.