ROI

The ROI of Scalable Video Campaigns: What You Need to Know

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Want to maximize the ROI on your video campaigns? You need to focus on video scalability.
Video marketing is easily one of the most effective ways to connect with your audience, no matter what stage of the digital sales funnel they fall into. It’s easily shared, and short messages that are even thirty seconds or less can pack a powerful punch that makes you memorable while best showcasing the USPs of your product and your brand.
Advanced marketers know that video can yield high ROI and that a well-structured campaign can be worth its cost many times over in profit (direct or otherwise).
Not all video, however, is guaranteed to have that ROI, and there are some common mistakes that businesses are making that are driving costs up so much that it’s causing a big hit on the return that you can expect to see while eating into your profit margin. A lack of scalability is perhaps the biggest one.
In this post, we’re going to go over how to unlock your maximum potential with scalable campaigns.
The Costs That Traditionally Affect Video’s ROI
To truly understand why video at scale is beneficial, let’s take a look at the cost model for a single ad video creative.
Costs often associated with video creation and marketing include:

Hourly or time costs of your in-house marketing department while they work on strategy, video scripts, and promotion (and time is always money).
The costs of creating the video.
Costs involved in promoting the video, including paying influencers to share it or promoting it on PPC platforms for maximum visibility.
A few flopped experimental campaigns that lead to a successful one.

The costs of creating video content are really the biggest variable and can be the biggest detriment. Video campaigns, after all, generally involve big financial investments. Video filming and creation teams charge high fees to create a single video that might be powerful, but it can’t really be repurposed in any other way.
This is fine if you were to just need a single video to welcome users to your site or explain a product, a la an explainer video (which can cost anywhere from $5,000-10,000 per sixty-second video, if not more).
But almost all brands don’t just need a single video; they need multiple videos on an ongoing basis that they can both test and use to keep users engaged while creating relevant content. And even lower-cost videos coming from a professional team can cost around $1,000 per minute.
These costs are high, and that means the stakes are high, too. But marketing is never a sure-fire thing, and in many cases, concepts need to be tested and new content will always be needed. Since third-party companies can’t always deliver and even the best-planned campaigns sometimes flop with little explanation, there’s a huge risk for loss of profit in a big way.
Scalable video campaigns, though, mitigate the risk of lost ROI and actually increase its potential significantly, and more businesses need to be taking notice.
Why Scalable Video Content Is Key to Higher ROI
Coming up with video creative to uphold conventional methods and best practices come with unprecedented production cost. The more videos you produce, the higher the cost. We’re talking about multiple aspect ratios so you reach your audience across different placement, frequent posting so you don’t go forgotten, A/B testing and funnel segmentation for optimize results and, let’s not forget, personalizing video to decrease ad fatigue— all these come with unprecedented production cost.
You pay $2000 for a video campaign, and you get a single video. It’s a great video, but there’s a lot riding on it, and there’s not much you can do with it moving forward. You want another video, you drop another $2000.
Take the case of e-commerce companies. They usually spend a huge sum of money on ads to promote products or a collection of products. Usually, these are fast-moving products. So, imagine creating multiple videos for each of these collections. Not to mention, targeted or personalized ads campaign.
To personalize a video ad campaign, it will take time, money, and a ton of effort. Personalization is not easy, nor cheap, especially if you do it the traditional way.

In theory, scalable, adaptable content should mitigate skyrocketing costs. Say you have a good performing creative and want to reuse this to retarget other demographics? Or to promote another set of products or services? What if there’s a way to do exactly that?
Such campaigns are agile and adaptable, so you’re not only able to test more strategies and different types of content, but you can branch out and change things up as often as you want. Scalable video content often involves using perfect-for-you video templates that allow you to drag and drop images or video clips or both into them, customizing the text, and then seeing how well they run.
Then, all you need to do is hire a video team to come in and film for a single day, giving you a large number of short clips that you can rework as needed. Whether that includes adding your own voice-over narration to feature different messages to appeal to your segmented audiences, or it means swapping different product images in targeted ads, this is essential.
Your marketing team can handle these changes themselves, and you’re only paying a flat fee for the software instead of rolling out thousands every time you want to change something up. You’re still getting high-quality video, you’ll just be mixing and matching the clips you’ve got and adding in the extra context as needed. This will keep your costs down, but the agility and ability to create mass amounts of video content very quickly will drive sales up, netting your best ROI on video campaigns to date.
Conclusion
Scalable video is efficient and allows you to adapt to everything that comes your way, which is essential because your business, industry, audience, or marketplace can evolve in the blink of an eye. Video templates allow you to mass produce video content in a way that doesn’t feel mass produced, giving you the best of both worlds. Both immediately and long term, this will make it easier to increase your ROI while better connecting with more of your audience, which should always be an important factor in all business decisions.

Why Timing is Everything in Digital Advertising

In the Mad Men age of television advertising, messaged mattered more than timing. There were so few networks and prime-time options that you knew exactly where consumer attention would be focused on any given day. Run an ad during a show like M*A*S*H in the 1980s and you were sure to get in front of your target audience.
But now, outside of Super Bowl Sunday, timing is everything in advertising. Especially in digital advertising, knowing where your target audience’s attention lies at specific times can be the difference between serious ROI and millions of dollars in wasted resources.
Unlike with traditional television advertising, “timing” your digital ads doesn’t necessarily refer to time of day. Rather, you need to ensure your digital ads appear in front of the right people at the right stage of the buyer’s journey.
Embracing Pay-to-Play Marketing
When content marketing emerged, it promised a means to generate leads and improve sales conversions while focusing on storytelling, engagement, and message quality. Rather than trying to game an advertising system that was increasingly fragmented, you could capture attention more effectively for the modern buyer.
But as more and more content has been published, you can’t just publish quality content and expect consumers to find you. Instead, the world of digital marketing has become pay-to-play and the effectiveness of your ad strategy can make all the difference when it comes to sales conversions.
From Facebook to Google, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and beyond, being able to run digital ads effectively is essential to getting in front of the right audience and driving content marketing ROI.
Part of this pay-to-play process is choosing the right days and times to run your digital ads. But in a cost-per-click model, you’re able to experiment with timing more media buyers could in traditional advertising.
What’s more important is ensuring that you’re getting the right people to click on your digital ads. Not just people who fall in your target demographics and buyer personas—but those who have exhibited purchase intent and have a higher chance of converting.
How Intent Data Shapes Timing for Digital Ads
Over the years, B2B marketers have become highly skilled in audience segmentation. You know that you should be targeting top-of-funnel prospects with things like educational blog posts and eBooks as opposed to sales demos and case studies. And you know that getting a powerful case study in the hands of a buyer who is considering investing in either your solution or a competitor’s could tip the scales in your favor.
But knowing which content belongs at which stage of the funnel is a lot different than getting the timing right in execution. All too often, marketers lack the data necessary to target digital ads on the granular level necessary to reach a buyer right at the point of highest purchase intent.
That’s where third-party intent data can come into play for digital advertisers. With insight into the behavior of actual buyers, you can accurately predict who’s in the market for your products/services and take advantage of advanced digital advertising tools to target those accounts specifically.
This isn’t just for bottom-funnel advertising, though. Knowing exactly where your target customers stand in the buyer’s journey will help you put together digital ads for all stages, optimizing costs per click and increasing the velocity of your sales funnel.
Knowing the right quarter, month, week, day, and time to run your digital ads is just the first step. Winning the pay-to-play game of marketing requires you to go a step further by leveraging intent data to properly target your ads. By accounting for those two aspects of timing in digital advertising, you’ll be able to drive ROI that delights executives and sales teams alike.
But the value of intent data for B2B marketers is still a fairly new concept. If you’re just getting started, it helps to know what you’re getting yourself into before trying to invest in third-party data.
Download our free report, Demystifying B2B Purchase Intent Data, to learn more about how intent data can improve your digital advertising and other marketing activities.

10 Marketing Channels You Need to Try in 2019

Even though Google and Facebook’s share of the digital advertising market is expected to drop this year, data from research firm eMarketer shows that the so-called duopoly will still control roughly 60% of that market—or about $77 billion.

Within that other 40%, there are a surprising number of alternatives. Traffic may not be as high, but neither is competition for keywords and eyeballs—and, perhaps most appealingly, costs are usually lower, too. This makes it easier to test out new networks to strengthen your marketing plan with a cross-platform strategy.
We asked industry experts about their favorite marketing channels, and we narrowed it down to these top 10. Here are channels you need to test out if you’re looking to broaden your marketing strategy.
Why test new marketing channels?
It’s simple: ROI diminishes over time on well-worn networks because users grow accustomed to ads and learn to tune them out, said Ketan Pande, founder of entrepreneurial network Goodvitae.
In fact, according to Jake Mastrandrea, growth marketer at Adobe, marketers should tap into channels where the customer lifetime value is at least three times the cost of acquisition.

“So, if competitive bids have increased and prices are getting too high at your conversion rate, or if you’ve exhausted search and you start to experience fatigue in that channel, here are three things you can do: Work on optimization efforts to enhance conversions, expand the scope of your search terms, or try a new channel altogether,” he added.
For his part, Roger Maftean, content marketing specialist at career network Zety, noted brands and marketers should consider new or different channels based on forward-looking data and trends.
“So let’s say we are thinking about where digital marketing is headed come 2021,” he said. “How are we preparing for it and what steps are we taking precisely to make our digital marketing strategies ahead of the curve for 2021?”
What’s more, marketers who rely too heavily on a single channel risk losing traffic if, say, Google updates its algorithm or Facebook disables an account, said Nelson Jordan, head of marketing at the Ecommerce Profits, a digital marketing firm focused on ecommerce platform Shopify.
“Figuring out channel product fit is a balance of resources, monetization strategy, and customer interests,” Mastrandrea added. “When thinking about which new channel(s) to prioritize, reverse engineer who your customer is and pick a channel based on where their interests take them. Always test before you lean in and continue to keep an eye on your metrics as you measure efforts.”
But the key is balance between tried-and-true and up-and-coming channels.
“Once an opportunity has been identified, double down and spend 80% of your time working that channel,” said Jeremy Ong, owner the money-making blog Hustlr and other similar sites. “At the same time, 20% of your time should be spent experimenting on media channels that could possibly work for your business to find the next low hanging fruit.”
Ong said his sites generate 60,000 visitors, 3,000 email leads, and nearly 1,000 conversions per month, which results in $600,000 in annual revenue. And 67% of first-time traffic comes from search.
Ben Lund, founder of Rise Marketing Group, is a bit more cautious, recommending advertisers earmark 10% of their ad budgets for testing.
“The expectation of this investment is learning to understand what will and what won’t work,” he said. “The benefit is that through testing other platforms you can unlock other revenue channels.”
Testing is important to figure out which platforms will work for you and your business. Here are 10 channels to try out, recommended by these industry experts and more!
1. Quora
If you’re not familiar, Quora is a Q&A site that allows brands to reach users by answering relevant questions and promote select answers—for the platform’s 100 million users. According to Pande, many marketers have yet to tap into this impressive audience.

“A well-written answer, along with a link to your landing page at the bottom, can do wonders,” he said. “Once, I wrote an answer in the business section, which garnered more than 100,000 views and sent 5,000 users directly to the landing page. Also, I found out that the dwell time from Quora users on your platform is pretty much [always] higher, as Quora users have a habit of reading everything in detail.”
Mark Nardone, executive vice president of marketing at PR firm Pan Communications, noted Quora has recently become popular for B2B marketers in particular.
“Quora not only provides a forum for marketers to gain insights, but it allows experts on the topic to link to owned content in their responses,” he said. “Because of these backlinks, Quora has the ability to drive valuable traffic and SEO results for those who leverage all of the platform’s capabilities.”
Jason Thibault, owner of content marketing agency Massive Kontent, agreed Quora is “a great platform to build both subject matter expertise and brand trust,” noting it has added new features like keyword targeting, bulk-create ads, duplicate ad sets, and retargeting.
Mason Mitchell, content marketer with messaging platform Airy, said another bonus is that it’s not a labor-intensive channel: Airy hasn’t touched the site for a few months, but its answers are still driving traffic.
What’s more, Eric Hoppe, director of marketing at content writing service Crowd Content Media, said Quora Ads let marketers target specific questions, which is a great way to target top- and mid-funnel prospects.
Plus, it’s more affordable—Thibault said rates are often a fraction of the cost of Facebook and Google ads.
2. LinkedIn
Ong recommends professional network LinkedIn because in part it has a growing community of high-value users and is less competitive.
“This means that the content creator to active user ratio … is insanely low,” he said. “This translates to higher engagement and lower CPC costs for paid marketers.”
Lund said B2B marketers in particular should pay attention to LinkedIn and its lead gen and sponsored message ads, which “generally work very well.”

3. Reddit
Marketers looking for a new channel to push content should consider Reddit Ads, which can connect brands to top-of-funnel prospects, Hoppe said.

Reddit is one of the most visited websites in the world, yet eMarketer anticipates Reddit advertising spend representing less than 1% of total spend this year.
Marketers can target subscribers and viewers of specific sub-Reddits, which gets very precise. This level of audience targeting makes up for lower traffic potential—plus, advertising on Reddit is also much cheaper than more popular alternatives.
4. Voice Applications
Whether it’s Amazon, Google, Apple, or another platform delivering results, voice search is on the rise.

That means marketers need to recognize consumers using voice search will only hear one result, added Nikki Bisel, owner of marketing consulting agency Seafoam Media.
“Cater your long-tail keywords, optimize your meta descriptions and titles for speech and only use important keywords for top search spots,” Maftean said. “It’s a completely different marketing strategy, doesn’t necessarily utilize old-school SEO, but if you do this in advance, you’ll see a massive boost, not just now, but well into the future.”
5. Stories
Stories aren’t just for consumers anymore.
That’s according to Hamna Amjad, content marketing executive at media outlet Gigworker, who said brands can take advantage of the feature to connect with followers and humanize themselves with content like behind-the-scenes footage, tutorials, and polls.
Morgan Lathaen, marketing and brand coordinator at print and marketing logistics company Thumbprint, agreed Stories can help enhance your online presence and connect with your audience.

“They are increasingly popular among Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube because people are consuming digital video content faster,” Lathaen added. “Take advantage of this feature, because Stories are on track to overtake posts in feeds.”
6. Bing
While it has a smaller audience, don’t count out Bing. In fact, Hoppe said Bing Ads are very similar to Google Ads—and he has found cost per lead to be about 40% cheaper with Bing.
Lund agreed you should move top-performing Google campaigns to Bing.

“You should expect to receive similar performance and an incremental 20% more traffic,” he added.
7. Chatbots
Alexa Kurtz, marketing strategist and paid ad specialist at digital marketing agency WebTek, said she is prioritizing chat as a marketing channel for her clients, in part because consumers want instant gratification.
“Users have questions and want the answers as soon as possible,” she added. “With [chat messages] being sent directly to your desktop [or] email or via text message, you can reply to your customer in a matter of seconds.”
Robb Hecht, adjunct professor of marketing at Baruch College, agreed users want to simply ask their question and receive personalized responses rather than having to dig through “a huge, impersonal website.”
With some chat tools, there are even options to capture names and email addresses, Kurtz said.
In addition to customer service, Amjad recommends using chatbots to serve as personal assistants and to screen candidates for jobs.
According to figures from Mani Makkar, who handles content strategy for A/B testing and conversion optimization platform VWO, messaging is up to 75% cheaper than other communication channels—and it has an open rate of 80% on average.
8. Text Messaging
While it may seem intrusive at first blush, text messages are actually a great way to connect to consumers who have shared their phone numbers. That’s according to Charlie Worrall, digital marketing executive at web design firm Imaginaire Digital, who recommends texts like daily deals.
John Frigo, SEO lead at ecommerce site MySupplementStore.com, agreed push notifications are an underutilized tactic that are effective and cheap.
“You know they are a target buyer as they had to visit your site and opt in and there’s many push notification apps that have free tiers to get started and see if it’s an effective means of marketing,” he added.

For example, he is spending $95 a month on a push notification service, which results in $300 to $1100 in sales per message.
9. Podcasting
In order to create an interesting podcast, brands and marketers should use their own networks to find topics and interviews.

“The bigger the names, the more likely they are to generate interest and a following and provide further leverage to secure future high profile guest,” said Kent Lewis, president of search marketing agency Anvil Media. “Industry influencers are also likely to have their own following and market the podcasts to their networks for added reach.”
Marketers should also consider appearing on existing podcasts in their industries.
According to Lewis, Anvil recently helped build a content and marketing strategy for the Craving the Future podcast, which netted a global hotel client with a few months.
10. Livestreaming
The rise of platforms like Twitch, Tik Tok, and Linkedin Live demonstrate livestreaming isn’t going away anytime soon—and the channel now has potential for B2C and B2B brands alike. That’s according to Kristen McCabe, senior community marketing specialist at software review platform G2.com.
Go find new marketing channels!
And there you have it: 10 expert-approved marketing channels to try out for yourself. Remember, set your goals for each platform, start testing slowly to figure out which works for you, and then keep testing often!

Proving the Value and ROI of a Customer Service System

Creating a solid business case for customer service initiatives has been difficult in the past. There’s still a mindset in the workplace that customer service is a “necessary cost” and that’s it. You need customers to have a business, and they require customer service to stick around. That’s the way the relationship has been viewed for decades.
But, over the last ten years, the dynamic has changed. Why? Because as technology has evolved, so has the way businesses maintain relationships with customers. One method, the customer service system, can provide the ideal foundation for great customer relationships. However, not all systems are created equal, and proving the ROI of the right system to company leadership is critical to getting the correct foundation in place.
With all of this said, let’s look at the two key factors in proving the value and ROI of a customer service system – how it saves time and how it saves money.
How a customer service system saves time
– Faster customer communication – Modern customer service is more than just phone and email. Live chat is powered by the right customer service system and saves time for both customers and employees. With so many channels, simple questions are often asked over chat instead of clogging up the ticket queue. This means agents focusing on tickets don’t need to sift through simple requests to locate the issues that require immediate attention.
– Efficient internal collaboration – The right customer service system makes it easy to work with colleagues on complex issues and solve them quickly. Private actions are a great benefit and can be made directly within tickets using the system. This lets internal conversations stay in the ticket area (but customers can’t see them). In addition, sophisticated reporting provides visibility into what agents work the fastest with specific customers while also keeping them happy.
– Tracks products and inventory – Improved collaboration is great, but sometimes agents have routine product info requests that slow down their day because they take hours instead of minutes to complete. Within an optimal customer service system, product and inventory information is stored in real-time so agents can get the information they need right away.
How a customer service system saves money
– Decrease in total ticket volume – A modern customer service system enables companies to provide 24/7 digital solutions including self-service and wikis so customers can answer their own questions. This tactic is ideal for improving ticket deflection rates (reducing the total number of tickets your team receives). This means fewer agents are needed to work tickets.
– Automatic ticket routing – Many customer service teams have a “gatekeeper”, or someone who reviews every ticket that comes in and manually assigns them to the right agent. With a customer service system, the primarily responsibilities of this role can be accomplished through ticket automation. This means the resource allocated to assigning tickets can be transitioned to another, more productive, role in the company.
– Improved customer understanding – With all of the capabilities and information stored in a customer service system, your business can learn more about customers to reduce churn. Built-in solutions monitor real-time customer distress and sentiment based on multiple factors (ticket tone, ticket close times, etc.) to let you know when that extra effort needs to be made with an at-risk customer to save the relationship.
In short, proving the value and ROI of a customer service system is easier than ever before. The system saves time and money in multiple ways, ensuring it will have an immediate impact on a business.

How to Prepare Your Small Business For the Impact of Automation

The use of AI-driven technologies, such as machine learning, predictive analytics, and natural language processing, is changing how work is done.
In particular, automation is widely adopted in many industries and disciplines. It’s changing the dynamics of the workforce and impacting businesses of all sizes. According to McKinsey, about half of the activities (not jobs) carried out by workers could be automated.
This means that most workers, regardless of industry or seniority, will be working alongside rapidly evolving machines, which will change the nature and functions of many jobs.
With its lowering cost, automation is no longer the domain of large corporations. As a small business, you’ll be impacted by automation and your ability to adapt will affect the success of your company in the long run.
How Small Businesses Can Prepare For Automation
Here’s how to get your business ready for automation so you can make the most of the latest technologies:
Focus On Your Customers
As automation technologies take over manual tasks and repetitive work involved in the day-to-day operation of your business, resources can be freed up to focus on delivering high value-add services to your customers so you can build trust and foster relationships.
In fact, 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience. The ability to deliver an outstanding customer experience will be the key to success for businesses of any size.
While automation can streamline customer care (e.g., chatbots,) it’s not going to replace human interactions in delivering a personal experience that will ultimately improve customer retention and increase customer lifetime value.
Shift To Strategic And Creative Work
With automation replacing many manual and repetitive tasks, the nature of work will become more strategic and creative in nature. This will, in turn, change the focus we put on training and hiring.
Also, we need to redefine “productivity” and the associated KPIs so we can measure outcomes that are less tangible and quantifiable in nature yet will have immense long-term impact on the success of a business.
In addition, many new occupations that don’t exist today will emerge and may account for as many as 10% of all the jobs created in the next decade. More organizations are hiring based on job functions and outcomes, rather than just going by job titles or filling blanks in an org chart.
Provide Employee Training
As the nature of work changes, you need to provide the appropriate training so employees can work alongside automation technologies effectively and adapt to new roles.
Some employees will be displaced by automation technologies. Instead of laying them off, you can retrain them to operate, monitor, maintain, and repair the automated systems.
You can also reallocate these employees to creative and strategic tasks within the organization so you can leverage their experience and institutional knowledge to enhance the effectiveness of the automation technologies.
Gather Accurate Data

Data is the key to successfully leveraging many AI-driven technologies, especially those that use analytics and pattern recognition. Without high-quality data as input, you won’t be able to gain accurate insights or generate meaningful outcomes.
Besides using information from your own database, you can leverage business intelligence and big data from other sources to inform data-driven decision-making.
To optimize many automation technologies, it’s important to gather accurate information in real-time, “cleaning” the data before it’s used, and deploying the right algorithms for your analytics.
Enhance Data Security
While the use of data is essential for many automation functions, it’s also important that you have the right cybersecurity measures in place to safeguard customer information since the cost of data breaches is skyrocketing.
A data breach will not only have immediate cost implication (e.g., recovering lost data, providing identity theft protection to affected customers, penalties for non-compliance) but also have long-term impacts such as eroded trust, damaged reputation, and loss of repeat customers.
Staying compliant with various industry standards can put a lot of pressure on small businesses. The use of cloud computing platforms, which offer many security features, is allowing small businesses to tap into the power of data at an affordable cost.
Redesign Workflows
Small and medium enterprises are expected to adopt business workflow automation on a large scale.
Automation eliminates bottlenecks to improve operational efficiency. To optimize the results, you should re-evaluate and redesign your workflows to enhance how employees work alongside these technologies.
To prioritize your efforts, identify workflows that are most inefficient. For example, processes that involve multiple parties, consist of many manual and repetitive tasks, have significant compliance risk, involve complicated steps, or are prone to human errors are good candidates for automation.
In addition, you need to provide the appropriate training to your employees so they can adopt the new workflows and leverage automation effectively to enhance their productivity in areas that matter most.
Identify KPIs
You’ll be investing time, money, and resources to implement automation so make sure that these technologies are yielding satisfactory ROI for your business.
Identify KPIs that indicate the successful use of automation technologies, especially in areas that are the most inefficient at the moment. Benchmark current metrics and set goals so you can measure success and fine-tune the processes.
Some KPIs for measuring the effectiveness of automation include cost savings from preventing human errors in repetitive processes or time saved by reps with the use of automation in customer support.
Attract And Retain Talent
As automation takes hold, the need for creative and strategic workers will increase. The ability to hire and retain high-quality talent will be more important than ever for the success of any organization.
The shift to strategic and creative work means employees are holding more institutional knowledge so the cost of employee turnover for these jobs is higher compared to those executing manual and repetitive tasks.
Build an employee-led organization that focuses on the individual and make sure that work is meaningful and satisfying to reduce churn. Design a seamless candidate experience, a comprehensive onboarding process, and an outstanding employee experience to attract talent and reduce the cost associated with employee turnover.
Explore New Opportunities
With the deployment and development of automation technologies, new opportunities are opening up for many businesses.
While automation is changing how work is done in many sectors, those that involve healthcare, infrastructure and buildings, renewable energy, energy efficiency, climate adaptation, and the “marketization” of previously unpaid domestic work are predicted to experience the most growth in the next decade.
Automation will allow small businesses to expand into and become competitive in these industries. Those that can leverage technologies creatively will gain market share and experience significant growth.
Final Thoughts
Automation will no doubt affect how businesses are run and how work is done in the next decade. As a small business, you have the advantage of being nimble and responsive to these changes so you can leverage the opportunities for growth and expansion.
To take advantage of these new technologies, switch your focus from the performance of manual or repetitive tasks to strategic and creative thinking.
This will require some fundamental changes in your company’s culture, processes, and priorities. You’ll need to analyze and redesign workflows and provide employees with the right training so they can adapt and thrive.
However, adopting automation technologies will allow you to become more innovative and cost-efficient. It’ll help you stay ahead of the curve and experience growth in today’s fast-paced business environment.

How to Create a Failproof Influencer Marketing Strategy [With Examples]

Brands which invested $1 in influencer marketing got revenue of $5.20. This compelling statistic shows how important influencer marketing can be for brands. It is due to this solid ROI of influencer marketing that its popularity has shot up in recent years. In fact, influencer marketing has become more popular than print marketing.

Image via Google Trends
However, to achieve a high ROI, you need to have a solid influencer marketing strategy in place. When you have a plan of action, you’ll be able to execute it better and make the most of influencer marketing.
Here’s how you can create a failproof influencer marketing strategy.
1. Set Your Goals (and Document Them)
Before you start your influencer marketing campaign, you need to figure out your final goals. Doing this will help you ascertain what you need to do to reach your goals. Setting your goals will also help you track your success by helping you determine the right metrics to measure it.
You may have a variety of goals for your influencer marketing campaign.
Some common goals are:

Increase reach and brand awareness
Gain the trust of your audience
Generate leads
Increase website traffic
Generate sales

Take enough time to figure out your goals and document them thoroughly. When you document your goals, they will help keep all of your teams on the same page.
Also make sure that your goals are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
2. Find Relevant Influencers
Once you have your goals documented, you need to start looking for reliable and relevant influencers for your brand.
There are numerous types of influencers; some are bloggers, journalists, and even social media influencers. Similarly, based on the audience size, influencers can be classified as nano-influencers (<1,000 followers), micro-influencers (<50,000 followers), macro-influencers (50,000-1 million followers), and mega-influencers (>1 million followers).
It is also essential that the influencers you partner with are from your niche. Their ideals and tone should match those of your brand too. This will ensure that they will be passionate about promoting your brand and their voices will match yours.
There are many fake influencers out there who buy followers and likes. Partnering with them can be harmful to your brand.
3. Reach Out
After finding your influencers, you need to establish contact with them. You can do this via email or social media. However, when you’re reaching out, keep in mind that your goal should be to first establish a relationship with them. Do not inquire about collaboration right away beginning.
While a one-off influencer marketing campaign may offer some benefits, it is better to have a long-term relationship with influencers. This way, they may become long-term brand advocates for you.
You can start the conversation with them by complimenting them about their achievements or offering feedback about one of their recent posts.
Once you’ve established a connection with them, you can present your idea for collaboration. This will help you make the most of your influencer marketing campaign.
4. Create a Contract
After getting the influencer on board, you should consider creating a contract. This will make the collaboration official. The agreement should include details about the type of influencer marketing campaign. This could be a social media takeover, a product review, a competition, or something else.
The contract should also include the deliverables that are expected from both parties. This will make the entire influencer marketing campaign more transparent for you and the influencer. It’ll also help you keep accountability.
This is especially important when you’re doing a social media takeover during which the influencer will have access to your social media account. In this case, the contract should include the duration of the takeover and the rights of the influencer over your account as well.
5. Track, Measure, and Optimize
Once your campaign goes live, you need to start tracking it. Ensure that there are no mistakes in the content of the posts.
The performance of your campaign should be monitored at all times to see if it’s performing as you want it to. Tracking will also help you figure out what’s working and what isn’t. Based on this, you’ll be able to make adjustments to it and improve your results.
You’ll also be able to figure out your ROI by tracking your campaign. Measure the metrics of your posts based on your final goals to see how well your campaign is performing. This will give you an idea of your ROI as well.
Influencer Marketing Tools to Help You Creating Your Strategy
1. Influence.co
To find authentic and reliable influencers, you can use platforms such as Influence.co. It also serves as a place where influencers can post their profiles by connecting their accounts with Instagram. They can also reach out to brands who have listed their campaigns and apply for collaborations. This can make the process of finding influencers easy.

2. BuzzSumo
BuzzSumo is yet another tool that can come in very handy for influencer marketing. You can not only find influencers but can filter them based on their reach, engagement, and authority.
Additionally, it shows you the content that influencers share and who they regularly write about. It even helps you do influencer outreach and connects you with key influencers for your brand.

3. HypeAuditor
HypeAuditor is an immensely helpful tool that can help you assess an influencer’s Instagram profile. All you need to do is enter an influencer’s Instagram handle and the tool will fetch their statistics for you. This includes their followers, engagement rate, and their audience demographics and interests. You can also see how quickly they are gaining followers.

4. Klear
Klear not only helps you find reliable influencers for your brand but even lets you manage your influencer marketing campaigns. You can search for influencers, and check their influence, reach, and even their engagement levels. The tool also allows you to reach out to them for partnerships. After that, you can manage and monitor your entire campaign from Klear.

Final Thoughts
Influencer marketing can help you market your brand to your target audience in a cost-effective manner. All you need to do is decide on your goals and find the right influencers to partner with. Continuously tracking your campaign and measuring your success can help you optimize it as well.

5 Steps to Convert Web Surfers Into Loyal Mobile App Customers

Mobile users spend about 85% of their time using different apps on their smartphones. Naturally, their demand for high-quality, relevant, and personalized experiences is only getting higher.
Every brand wants to have mobile apps which are downloaded and, even more so, used on the coveted smartphone devices. As unfortunate as it can be, however, the average app tends to lose around 77 percent of its daily active users within the short span of three days after it’s installed.
This brings up a rather important pressure point – how to convert regular web surfers into mobile app users who not only download your app but keep using it. It’s a challenging task but one that’s entirely possible nonetheless.
Below you’ll find five steps you can take to convert web surfers into loyal mobile app customers.
Step #1 Track Your Users
Did you know that 50% of marketers fail to measure the investment into mobile apps? Moreover, just about 18% of them are confident that they can measure the ROI of their mobile marketing strategies. In other words, tracking users and their spendings on mobile apps is a challenging task.

However, it’s perhaps one of the most important things to consider if you want to increase your loyal customer base. Why? Because it provides invaluable information which is then used to analyze the customer’s behavior, to pinpoint their needs, demands, likes, and wants. Using this information allows you to seriously improve your mobile app in order to cater to the user’s demand.
To measure where your users come from, for instance, you can consider using marketing links. They are available as part of Adobe’s mobile marketing solutions. These links can be positioned in earned, paid, or owned media, in order to track the app, installs immediately. They should give you a good overview of your user acquisition, allowing you to identify the most relevant sources of potential customers.
Step #2 Create Value
While obvious, this one deserves a noteworthy mention. Your value proposition should state why the customer should want to use your mobile app and what sets you apart from the competition. A perfectly polished and effective value proposition should guide all your business decisions.
One way to understand what is it that your customers want is to listen to their feedback. Let’s take Apple, for instance. They are well-known for creating innovative products that do splendidly well once they hit the market. How do they do it, though? They listen.
Feedback is absolutely invaluable for creating massive value propositions. Get as much of it as possible and make sure to address it all.
Step #3 Engage Users on a More Personal Level
If you want your mobile app to succeed in retaining your customers and turning them into the loyal audience that every brand wants, you should forget about generalized communication. Mass emails, bi-weekly engagement, all of this needs to go away.

Customer engagement needs to begin with personalized communication. There are a few very basic, yet effective steps to do so.

Discover exactly who your customers are
Segment them by different qualities such as behavior and needs.
Determine the message you want to send to each group.

Properly engaged customers tend to generate 1.7 times more revenue compared to regular ones. Therefore, personalization is something you can’t overlook.
Step #4 Optimize Your Magnetism
In case you haven’t realized it yet, there’s a LOT of competition out there. With millions of mobile apps available across Apple’s App Store and Android’s Google Play Store, you’ve got a lot to handle.
That’s why you have to make your mobile app as magnetic as you can. Positive reviews, promotions, press releases, and everything else in this regard, are considered to be extremely effective ways of boosting your overall installs
Moreover, in order to make sure your users actually use your mobile app once they install it, it’s highly recommended that you follow some of the best app development practices. Prepare yourself for regular maintenance, updates, optimizations, and whatnot.
Step #5 Customer Community
The first thing you need to understand is that building a strong community takes resources. The fact that most of your users use social media doesn’t mean that you have a customer community.
You can think of it as a place where your business and your users can interact with each other and bond over the things they have in common. You can follow in the footsteps of Starbucks and its “Starbucks Experience” at My Starbucks Idea. It encourages users to become a lot more passionate, but it also provides the company with an invaluable communication channel.
You can use your customer’s community to:

Provide an additional channel for customer support.
Communicate new offers to the users you find more valuable.
Learn more about what your customers want and need.

Wrapping It Up
Converting a web surfer into a loyal customer is challenging. However, it’s also invaluable. Once you’ve managed to gain their trust, you’ll quickly start seeing the rewards. While all of the above are not the only things you can do, they surely are a great starting point.
If there’s one thing to understand it’s that there’s no one-off approach to earning the loyalty of someone. It’s a constant uphill battle that you must be ready to go through.

70 Web Design and Development Terms We Wish You Knew, Part One

We’ve been designing and developing websites for 16+ years. So, naturally, we use a good bit of jargon. Sometimes it’s shorthand but the majority of the time we use these terms because they are the best way to describe a thing we do, need, etc.
So, I asked our creative and development directors to send me the terms they wish our clients knew. Our intentions are honorable here, I promise. We simply want to make sure you understand us when we “speak geek.” Or at least our brand of Geek.
We’re always happy to explain what a term means. But, maybe this list will help us all be even more productive.
And, if there are any terms we’ve missed, please let me know. We’re breaking this into two part because let’s face it, 70 definitions is a lot for one sitting.
Here’s a quick view of our vernacular and their definitions (sources at the end of the post) followed by a Wood Street clarification or further explanation as needed…
301 redirect
Definition: “A permanent redirect from one URL to another, usually from your old website to the new website. (e.g.“website.com/about-us” now redirects visitors to “website.com/our-company” on the new website.”1
Wood Street: Basically, when you redesign a website, some links will change. So, make sure Google can still find the content. 301 redirect rules give Google instructions for finding your new pages.
404
Definition: “An error page that a user sees when they try to reach a non-existent page on your website. Usually, this is due to a visitor mistyping the URL or attempting to access a page that has been deleted from the site. An effective 404 error page should communicate why the page doesn’t exist and what users can do next.”1
Wood Street: Users will see this page if the link they’re using no longer exists. Create a 404 page that acts as a directory to redirect the user so they stay on your website. Here’s our 404 page…

Accessibility / 508 Compliance
Definition: “Website accessibility concerns making a website accessible by people with disabilities. All websites built should follow guidelines outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.”1
Wood Street: Also known as 508 Compliance, there is a list of rules on a website run by the GSA. Basically, make sure that people with disabilities can access and use your website. So, fonts need to be clear and legible, images must be labeled for people who are visually impaired so the name of the image can be read to them. 508 compliance is still only “required” for government websites. That said, it’s always a good idea to make sure your website is as compliant as possible. There are lots of tools to check for this. Your webmaster should be able to run a quick report to let you know what issues need to be resolved to get your site in compliance.
Agile
Definition: “A is for agile, a major buzzword across the entire tech industry right now. Agile web development essentially refers to a particular way of working, and you’ll often hear this term in the startup world. In an agile team, web developers will work according to weekly or biweekly sprints. A sprint usually consists of five phases: design, develop, test, deploy and review.”2
Wood Street: Agile means you are developing and deploying features as they are completed. So, you’d launch with something much sooner and make adjustments and improvements to a live website or app. This initial launch is known as the minimal viable product/website/app. Agile is growing in popularity and is the preferred method of most developers. That said, it’s not always preferred by clients who want a fixed price and fixed deliverables.
Algorithm
Definition: “An algorithm is basically a set of steps for carrying out certain tasks. In computer programming, algorithms are a key part of problem-solving. When creating an algorithm, developers will document all the necessary steps it took to arrive at a solution to a problem, and what each step involved.”2
Wood Street: An algorithm is a programmatic solution to a problem. It’s the code equivalent to an instruction manual.
ALT tag
Definition: “Alternate descriptive text that is displayed inside the image placeholder while the page is loading. ALT text plays a role in optimizing a website for ADA compliance [see above], helps with SEO ranking, and overall web accessibility.”1
Wood Street: It’s the text associated with an image that displays when an image isn’t loaded or able to be seen. You may have seen something similar in an email before you download or show the images.
API
Definition: API stands for Application Programming Interface. An API enables two different programs to communicate with each other by making some parts of the website code available to developers. Developers can use this code, i.e. the API, to build tools and widgets that can be connected to that particular website.”2
Wood Street: Let’s say you have a WordPress or Drupal website and you need your contact form to connect to your email marketing solution, say MailChimp or ConstantContact. An API would facilitate that connection. Whenever a developer mentions an API, they are looking for a way to connect two pieces of software for a singular purpose.
Application
Definition: “Software that is used for business or entertainment. The terms “application,” “application program,” “software application” and simply “app” may refer to virtually any type of program from spreadsheets such as Excel to media players such as iTunes to virtual reality games such as Second Life. However, the term specifically excludes essential control software such as the operating system .”3
Wood Street: An app is a standalone piece of software. Google Chrome is an example of software that can function as a web app, desktop app, and mobile app.
Back-end
Definition: “Back-end development essentially refers to everything that goes on behind the scenes. What happens at the back-end — or server-side — powers what happens at the front-end, i.e. what the user sees and interacts with. Back-end development can be broken down into four main components of a software stack: the server, the database, the operating system, and the software.”2
Wood Street: Basically, if you cannot see it happen, it is likely a back-end function. For example, the interface where you type in a search in Google is the front-end. The back-end is what happens after you hit enter.
Breakpoints
Definition: “The points at which a website’s content will adjust to accommodate various screen sizes to provide the user with the best possible layout to view content. In responsive design (see term below), breakpoints are often defined by common device widths, such as smartphone, tablet, and desktops above 1024px.”1
Wood Street: These are the sizes where a design layout will change, ie a desktop view, tablet view, mobile view, etc.
Bootstrap
Definition: “Bootstrap is a free, open-source front-end framework for designing websites and web apps. It was developed by Mark Otto and Jacob Thornton at Twitter in order to encourage consistency across internal tools. Bootstrap includes HTML and CSS-based design templates for typography, forms, buttons, tables, navigation, modals and more, plus JavaScript plugins.”2
Wood Street: Bootstrap is a bunch of pre-written code that front-end developers use to turn a design into a functional website. At Wood Street, we have a similar framework we created to streamline our front-end development.
Browser
Definition: “A web browser is the software used to access the internet and display web pages. When you type a web address or URL into the browser, you are effectively sending out a series of requests. The browser will gather all the different elements that make up that particular webpage, such as images, ads, and content, from wherever they are stored (i.e. different directories or servers) in order to display the page that you see. The most common browsers include Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari for Apple, and Opera.”2
Wood Street: Every device uses a browser to access the internet. When we ask what browser you are using, it is usually one of the ones listed above in the definition. We need to know this because all browsers are different and can display a website differently than the others. We need specific browser information so we can replicate the bug (see below) you are seeing and fix it.
Bug
Definition: “A bug is an error that prevents a website or app from running as it should.”2
Wood Street: When we are debugging code, we are literally looking for errors in the code. Sometimes a bug could be missed during initial testing. This occurs because some bugs don’t reveal themselves until someone performs a unique action. That’s why when you encounter an error, it’s important that you recount the steps it took to get to that point and relay those back to us in detail. This way we can recreate the issue and fix the bug. Otherwise, it could be a matter of reviewing thousands of lines of code to find the bug.
Caching
Definition: “A cache is a temporary data storage mechanism that aids in site speed by storing relevant information on your computer the first time you visit a website so that your computer does not have to reload that information each time you access the site again.”2
Wood Street: We will often ask you to clear your cache when we’ve posted a change for you to review. The reason for this is, as you see in the definition above, your browser has stored elements of a website so they load faster the next time you go there. If you go to see a change and it isn’t there, you’ll need to clear your cache. You can do this by pressing CTRL/CMMD + F5 while in your browser.
Call to Action (CTA)
Definition: “Specific text, image, banner or button that uses action-oriented language that urges a visitor on a website to act. CTAs are designed to move a visitor from one page to the next and persuade them to take an expected, predetermined action. (e.g. Download a Whitepaper, Register for a Webinar, Contact Us, Learn More, etc.).”1
Wood Street: A CTA should be clear and obvious. You want your most important CTAs to appear “above the fold.” You can see two examples in this desktop view of a website we designed for JoJo’s Restaurant and Tap House in Frederick, MD…

Code
Definition: “Code is essentially what web developers write using programming languages. To see exactly what code looks like, right-click on your internet browser window and click ‘view page source.’ You’ll then be able to see the code that’s behind this particular website.”2
Wood Street: We develop in a few different types of code (definitions in this list): HTML/CSS, PHP, JavaScript, and jQuery.
CSS
Definition: “CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. It is a markup language responsible for the visual elements of a website. HTML (another markup language) is used to determine the structure and content of the webpage. Web developers will then use CSS to style this content; in other words, CSS tells the browser how the HTML elements should be displayed. CSS is used to apply colors and to determine font, text size and alignment, to name just a few.”2
Wood Street: You may have gone to a website and it looks like it went through a “Way Back Machine.” All the images are gone, the text is very plain, and the links are all underlined and blue. This usually means the CSS is not loading properly as CSS is what controls how the information is displayed. Without CSS, the browser will simply show the basics. Not all CSS is created equal. Some can be poorly written or bloated causing a website to load slowly and not display properly. Wood Street’s CSS is, of course, good stuff!
Content Management System (CMS)
Definition: “A software system that is used to edit the content on your website. This allows you to login into the “back-end” of your website to edit the text and images. Some examples include WordPress and Drupal. A CMS is designed to simplify the publication of website content, without requiring technical knowledge of code.”1
Wood Street: Universal access to open source content management systems like WordPress and Drupal have revolutionized digital marketing. A CMS allows an organization to make all website edits themselves. It’s a time and money saver but, more importantly, it means you can manage your own content. This removes any bottleneck so you can be agile with your marketing efforts. If you have a CMS but do not know how to use it, get training. If you don’t have a CMS, we highly recommend upgrading to one. We have yet to find an organization that can’t benefit from a CMS.
Conversion
Definition: “When a user takes a specific desired action related to online marketing and lead generation. This includes completing a web form, submitting a request for information, subscribing to a newsletter or making an e-commerce purchase.”1
Wood Street: You would use a CTA (see above) to drive conversion. The success of your website will be, more than likely, dependant on how many conversions occur within a given period. This is the most effective way for you to measure ROI. If your conversion rate is low, you may want to consider implementing some CRO or conversion rate optimization.
Cookies
Definition: “A small text file (up to 4KB) created by a website that is stored in the user’s computer either temporarily for that session only or permanently on the hard disk (persistent cookie). Cookies provide a way for the website to recognize you and keep track of your preferences.”3
Wood Street: Cookies have gotten a bad rap over the years. Yes, cookies can be used for nefarious purposes, but for the most part, they are used to improve the user’s experience. Cookies can be used to reduce load times or to keep users from having to enter data multiple times. Trust us when we tell you that cookies are your friend. Don’t believe me? Delete all the cookies stored in your browser and then talk to me after you’ve had to fill out a bunch of forms, etc again on sites you use all the time.
Domain Name
Definition: “An Internet domain name is a unique name of an organization or person on the Internet. The name is combined with a generic top-level domain (gTLD), such as .com or .org. For example, computerlanguage.com is the domain name for the publisher of this encyclopedia. By 2019, there were more than 300 million registered domain names.”3
Wood Street: A website can have multiple domain names but only one is the primary. The other domains can be set to point to the primary.
DNS
Definition: “Domain Name Servers (DNS) are like the Internet’s version of a phone book, controlling your domain name’s website and email settings. When a user visits your website address, the DNS settings control which server to point them to.”1
Wood Street: Please, please, make sure you know where your domain is hosted. And please be certain that you’ve set the account to “auto-renew.” We’ve seen too many companies either lose track of their login, or the account was setup with an ex-employee’s Yahoo email. This is how you lose your domain. Take this seriously as it is the #1 way that people find your company. Here’s a useful article on DNS.
Dots per inch (DPI)
Definition: “DPI is used to measure the resolution of an image both on screen and in print. As the name suggests, the DPI measures how many dots fit into a linear inch. Therefore, the higher the DPI, the more detail can be shown in an image. It should be noted that DPI is not dots per square inch. Since a 600 dpi printer can print 600 dots both horizontally and vertically per inch, it actually prints 360,000 (600 x 600) dots per square inch.”4
Wood Street: Oftentimes we will ask you for “high-resolution images.” This is what we’re referring to. So, even though the web only requires 72 DPI images, we prefer to start with 300 DPI images so we have enough space/resolution to crop or manipulate the image to work with your new website.
Encapsulated PostScript (EPS)
Definition: “EPS is a PostScript image file format that is compatible with PostScript printers and is often used for transferring files between various graphics applications. EPS files will print identically on all PostScript-compatible printers and will appear the same in all applications that can read the PostScript format. PostScript code is used for storing font and vector image information. Vector images are usually drawings created by programs such as Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW. EPS files may also include a rasterized version of the image used for previewing the contents of the file.”4
Wood Street: As you can see, an EPS is so much more than just a graphics file. When we design your website or create collateral materials for you, we need your logo in an EPS format. We can ensure the logo will display properly if we start with an EPS. The graphic designer who designed your logo should have provided you with an EPS format of that logo design. If not, ask if you can get one and then store it somewhere safe that can be easily accessed by those who might need it.
Favicon
Definition: “A small icon image, often a company logo, that displays on the title bar or tab of a browser.”1
Wood Street: This is a small but very meaningful little piece of design. If you’re anything like me, you keep a lot of tabs open on your desktop. So, it helps to have a favicon in your tab so users can easily go back your website when they’re in another tab. Here’s our favicon…

And here it is with a bunch of other favicons…

Fluid Layout
Definition: “A fluid layout is a type of webpage design in which layout of the page resizes as the window size is changed. This is accomplished by defining areas of the page using percentages instead of fixed pixel widths.”4
Wood Street: We present our designs to clients as a flat JPG file at first. Sometimes, clients are confused and wonder why the design looks different in various browsers or on different computers. Our explanation is usually something about this being a flat JPG and that the functional website will be fluid and fill the screen appropriately. This is what we’re referring to.
Fonts (True type / Postscript / OpenType /Sans Serif / Serif)
Definition: There are a few here to define…

TrueType Fonts: TrueType is an outline font standard developed by Apple and Microsoft in the late 1980s as a competitor to Adobe’s Type 1 fonts used in PostScript. It has become the most common format for fonts on the classic Mac OS, macOS, and Microsoft Windows operating systems.5
PostScript Fonts: PostScript fonts are font files encoded in outline font specifications developed by Adobe Systems for professional digital typesetting. This system uses the PostScript file format to encode font information. “PostScript fonts” may also separately be used to refer to a basic set of fonts included as standards in the PostScript system, such as Times, Helvetica and Avant-Garde.5
OpenType Fonts: OpenType is a file format for scalable (outline) font files that extends the existing TrueType font file format used by Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh operating systems. OpenType was developed jointly by Microsoft and Adobe and allows an Adobe postscript file to be part of a TrueType font file.5
Serif and San Serif: In typography, a serif is a small line or stroke regularly attached to the end of a larger stroke in a letter or symbol within a particular font or family of fonts. Times New Roman is a serif font. Arial is a sans serif font.6

Wood Street: We included all of these different definitions so you understand how complex typography can be. This is just scratching the surface. For most of our websites, we use Google Fonts unless the client has a specific request. Some clients will have purchased the rights to use a specific group of fonts so that their website can stay on brand.
(The) Fold (or Above the Fold)
Definition: Above the fold is also used in website design (along with “above the scroll”) to refer to the portion of the webpage that is visible without scrolling. As screen sizes vary drastically there is no set definition for the number of pixels that define the fold.5
Wood Street: The fold is literally a moving target. A “fold” on a person’s computer screen may be completely different on someone else’s. Remember, users will scroll. If you focus too much on getting things “above the fold” you may miss some users who scroll automatically and zoom right past your targeted content. Instead, focus on the user experience and use design and technology to drive conversion instead of thinking of your website as a newspaper… because that’s where the term “the fold” comes from. Get with the times, man.
After I wrote this I came across a post on Facebook that is just perfect.

When you are scrolling through a website, this is how it goes. Think about things in terms of weight and visibility and less about ordering.
Frameworks
Definition: “Frameworks were invented to make the process of building a website faster and easier. You can think of a framework as a collection of solutions, tools, and components that you can access in one central location — rather than seeking them all out separately each time. Some common frameworks include Ruby on Rails, Bootstrap, and AngularJS.”2
Wood Street: We use Laravel for a lot of our larger builds. For the front-end (see below), we actually have our own internal framework which helps to speed up development. That said, we can develop in Bootstrap if desired. Bootstrap is a front-end framework. It helps to know your project framework in the event that you need to move from one developer to another. For example, your developer quit, or joined the circus, or went on a Magic The Gathering Quest and is no longer servicing your custom application. A new developer may ask what framework the application was built in. Knowing this answer will help speed up your search for a new team. And you’ll be able to make a selection based on their level of experience with that framework.
Front-end
Definition: “Remember how the back-end is everything that goes on behind the scenes, and powers what goes on at the front-end? The front-end of a website, also known as client-side, is what the end user sees and interacts with. Front-end languages include HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which all have a hand in determining the visual output of a website.”2
Wood Street: Front-end code is what makes a website a website. Without this code, a website would be nothing but a useless image or text with no functionality. Front-end code and frameworks continue to improve which is why it’s important to overhaul your design and UX every 3 years, give or take.
Graphical User Interface (GUI)
Definition: “It is a user interface that includes graphical elements, such as windows, icons, and buttons. The term was created in the 1970s to distinguish graphical interfaces from text-based ones, such as command line interfaces. However, today nearly all digital interfaces are GUIs.”4
Wood Street: GUI made computers accessible to everyone. Without GUI, only coders would be able to use computers in any meaningful way. So, thanks to Jobs and Woz for putting that Xerox GUI to good use!
Hosting
Definition: “The web servers where your website files are housed, served, and maintained. A web server is a computer running web server software connected to the internet that allows visitors to access a website through an Internet-connected web browser or mobile device.”1
Wood Street: Where you host your website is very important. We recommend you host on a business class server with excellent ratings and super fast speed. If you host on a cheap hosting platform, just remember, you get what you pay for.

Harness Data to Help You Define a Partner Channel Upsell Strategy

TeroVesalainen / Pixabay
It’s crystal clear that your partner channel is an asset to your company’s overall business revenue number. What’s murkier is the operational process to actually put those dollars in your pocket.
Probably the first word that comes to mind when you talk strategy in growing revenue through the channel is upsell. But not all of your partners are ready to tackle an upsell strategy. By partnering with Gainsight, we’ll walk you through the upsell lifecycle for your partner channel in just two steps:

Identify your strongest partners.
Help them distinguish optimal customers to upsell.

1. How to identify strong partners
All of your partners and resellers play an integral role in your company’s overall revenue. However, identifying which partners are consistently driving success for your business could lead you to prime candidates for upselling opportunities.
Which metrics should you consider for choosing strong partners?
Goal Setting: Your first step should be setting goals for your program. Each partner will bring a different skillset to your channel program, but what matters is which partners are most aligned to helping you achieve your primary business goal. Understand your company’s vision for the year and create goals in your channel program that will make you look like a rockstar to the rest of your organization. Once your goals are set, it will be easier to identify which partners help your channel drive business.
Content Engagement: A simple way to measure partner engagement is through content. If your marketing team provides product collateral or sales techniques in your partner portal you can easily see which partners are most engaged. You can also see which partners take advantage of co-branding. Some engagement metrics to consider: clicks and average time on pages.
Sales Certification: Providing training courses or certifications to your partner teams is a good way to get your channel up-to-speed on your product. If the sales reps become familiar with your brand and understand key value props, they’re in a better position to sell on your behalf. Create certification programs in your partner portal and then view which partners are certified and how many reps achieved certification.
Consistently Producing ROI: All partners will bring a different strength to your overall partner program, but a strong indicator of a likely successful upsell strategy is a partner who consistently generates ROI for your business. Use the revenue goals you set earlier in Step 1 to distinguish which partners help you accelerate ROI.
Once you set goals for your partner channel, analyze content engagement from your partners, identify which partner sales teams are staying up-to-date with certifications, and understand which partners consistently produce ROI, you’re ready to pinpoint who’s most equipped to upsell your products.
2. How to identify upsell opportunities
Now that you’ve identified your strongest partners that are most likely to succeed in an upsell strategy, work with them to create a playbook on identifying which customers are strong indicators to buy. Having a defined strategy based on customer usage data will help you succeed and keep you from guessing.
Capitalize on Expansion Opportunities: Work with your strongest partners from Step 1 and analyze metrics like utilization, stage, product adoption or survey responses. These metrics indicate that your partner’s customers find value in the tool and therefore tells you they could be a good candidate for upsell opportunities.
Create a Success Plan: Collaborate to develop a success plan and playbook that will help upsell. Tip: Meet with your organization’s sales team to understand their upselling techniques. This will provide a consistent experience for your partner channel.
Show Value: Create a compelling case as to why customers should buy from you. Show value with user adoption and engagement metrics. If your partner’s customers set goals during the beginning of the relationship, work to identify if they’ve achieved those goals with the help of your product.
Sometimes you need more than an excel spreadsheet with “green = good” and “red = bad.” Understanding your partner engagement data will help you identify which partners are more likely to upsell. Then, analyzing metrics like product usage and user engagement will equip your partners with the right data for an efficient upsell strategy. These techniques will take the guesswork and heavy lifting out of your day and will ultimately help your channel program look like an asset and revenue driver for your overall business.

PPC Advertising for B2B Organizations: Foundational Considerations

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising for B2B can be a highly effective marketing tactic when done correctly. Adopting a PPC strategy has numerous benefits, but they can only be realized with the right strategic framework and careful execution. Getting started with PPC advertising doesn’t have to be an all-hands-on-deck project, but it does require planning and close monitoring to enable success.
Follow these fundamental PPC advertising considerations when getting your B2B organization started or to help audit your existing efforts.
Identify WHY you’re choosing PPC advertising
How do you envision PPC will support your overall marketing strategy? It’s important to articulate how PPC supports your marketing strategy before you ever begin the planning process. Thankfully, PPC can be leveraged to achieve a rather wide range of marketing and business objectives. For example, PPC advertising can bolster your lead generation efforts, raise brand awareness and boost revenue by supporting e-commerce. Let’s look deeper at applying PPC to support such objectives:
Lead generation – PPC is a good way to expose potential leads to information and content offerings that drive them through the sales funnel. Include compelling assets in your ads, and ensure that clicking on your ad brings leads to an engaging and relevant landing page with a streamlined web form.
Brand Awareness – If a goal for your PPC advertising is to increase brand awareness, consider creating display ads with visuals that will grab your audience’s attention and showcase your brand features. Using bright backgrounds and contrasting colors can help your ad stand out amidst busy webpages.
E-commerce Support – PPC advertising and successful e-commerce go hand-in-hand. According to Retail Dive, 87% of shoppers are starting their product searches on digital channels, while just 46% of shoppers still prefer to buy at an in-store location instead of online. Ultimately, PPC ads done right will increase visitors to your site and deliver desired engagement and purchases.
What buyer persona(s) are you targeting? Your company’s buyer personas will play a big role in how you set up your PPC advertising. Perform keyword research using Google’s free Keyword Planner tool to create a list of keywords your buyers might use when searching for products or services like yours. Identify high-priority keywords and phrases that you wish to display for when these keywords are searched. This list will also help guide you in the development of your ad copy and PPC landing pages.
A refined keyword list will also help you identify “negative keywords.” Negative keywords are used to keep your ads from showing to individuals that do not match your personas or that have a searcher “intent” that doesn’t align with what you’re trying to achieve. For example, if you want to weed out those that are investigating employment at your company because they’re not likely going to be a customer, consider adding “jobs” and “careers” as negative keywords.
Start slow and test along the way
There’s nothing wrong with easing your way in as you launch your PPC campaigns, especially as you begin testing your ads and gathering keyword intelligence. If you jump into PPC without careful planning, you can spend much more money than you intended and get little return on your efforts. You need to continuously optimize and engage with your campaigns to improve your ROI, including testing your ads and landing pages to identify which are performing best with your target audience.
Here are two important metrics to track and strive to make improvements on:
Quality Score
Keep an eye on your keywords’ Quality Scores as it plays a critical role in ad performance and spend. The higher the Quality Score, the better your ads will perform at a lower cost per click. Quality Score is comprised of an expected click through rate, ad relevance and landing page experience. Your quality score may seem like a throw-away metric at first, but it can have a big impact on your ad performance and cost per click.
Ad Rank
When you bid on a keyword in Google AdWords, you are competing against other companies and ads that have money placed on the same keyword. The Quality Score of your ad will be applied as a multiplier to determine your Ad Rank against other keyword competitors. The higher your Ad Rank, the greater exposure your products/services will get from having a higher clickthrough rate opportunity.
For example:

As you can see, even if one company bids much lower than anyone else, if they have a higher Quality Score they can still win the top position for that particular keyword.
Measure results with conversion tracking
Earlier, we mentioned “conversions,” which are counted when a visitor completes a call-to-action that you’ve established. A conversion could be a purchase on your site, filling out a form in exchange for a white paper or demo request, or something simpler like viewing a key page on your site or watching a video. Conversions are a key metric to aim for as they should be considered the GOAL behind your PPC efforts. Your ads can be receiving hundreds of clicks per month, but if they are not leading to conversions you may want to test changes to your landing page to foster more conversions.
A common mistake that organizations make is not properly understanding and defining what conversions mean generally and what they mean for their organization in particular. They may represent any or all of the goals we described above, but in all cases the proper tracking mechanisms must be in place to give you key insights into your ROI and general PPC performance. See this AdWords Help page for more conversion tracking assistance and insights.
The devil is in the details
Be careful with settling for “default” settings in your campaign as they may not be the best option for what you’re trying to achieve. Remember, you want to make your PPC campaigns worth the time and money by generating high quality leads and conversions. One campaign setting to pay close attention to are automated bidding strategies. They may sound enticingly easy at first but could skimp you on reach and bid dollars.
Another crucial consideration is ensuring that you choose the right keyword match types for the keywords and phrases that you want your ads to show for. Let’s look at each match type in more depth:
Broad Match: Broad match is the default match type in Google AdWords and gives you the opportunity to reach the largest audience. This match type will show your ads on any searches that include your keyword, including misspellings of your keyword, synonyms for your keyword and other relevant searches. For example:
Keywords: B2B marketing strategy
Applicable searches: B2V marketing strategy, B2B markting (& yes, misspellings too), how to create a B2B marketing strategy
Broad Match Modifier: Broad match modifier can be thought of as a better “catch-all” option. Here, each of your keywords will have a plus sign in front of them (+keyword). Then, searches that include your +keywords, in any order, will show your ads. For example:
Keywords: +B2B, +marketing, +strategy
Applicable searches: B2B marketing strategy, marketing strategy for B2B organizations, how to do strategy for B2B marketing
Phrase Match: Phrase match will display your ads on any searches that match or contain your key phrase. However, the phrase must appear as is, in the order you dictate, and cannot have any words in between the keyword phrase. If you target a very specific audience and want to serve ads when they’re searching with a very specific intent, phrase match is a great approach. For example:
Keywords: “B2B marketing”
Applicable searches: B2B marketing best practices, strategies in B2B marketing, B2B marketing trends
NOT Applicable searches: B2B content marketing, B2B lead generation and marketing, marketing B2B
Performance will also vary depending on device type, times of the day, demographics, days of the week and other settings. When choosing these settings, keep your buyer personas that you are targeting at the top of your mind. These are details you will want to continuously test and re-calibrate for optimal PPC performance.
While these are not the only PPC advertising strategies you’ll need to consider for your B2B organization, think of them as a solid starting point. PPC advertising for B2B is a highly effective marketing tactic but realizing sustainable success from it requires a great deal of upfront planning, ongoing analysis and careful execution.