Category Archives: marketing

Marketing on Reddit- An Impossible Task?

There are many internet communities on the web, but none are as expansive and popular as Reddit, boasting an Alexa traffic rank of 21 in the US and 54 globally (as of 6/12/14). Furthermore, Reddit has a remarkably low bounce rate at 24.5% where the average bounce rate for content sites, (according to Google Analytics), lies somewhere between 30% – 50%. But what truly makes Reddit unique is the profile of the user it attracts: people who are surfing the net for nothing specific hoping to read something interesting and entertaining. If utilized properly, Reddit can be an invaluable tool for marketers looking to promote a product on the web.

Reddit.com hosts user submitted content on its many different boards, known as subreddits. Visitors to the site can create an account and choose to either contribute to an existing thread, create a new thread, or up/down-vote threads and posts submitted by other users. It is also possible for a visitor to simply browse the site without creating an account. With some time and effort, a user can create a new “subreddit”, a new community within the Reddit universe that focuses on specific content. The “subreddit” allows users who are looking to engage in a particular topic to access threads whose content they are seeking.

For example, /r/AskScience, is a board that allows a person to ask experts pertaining to various areas of science and math. The subreddit /r/funny gives users the opportunity to share anecdotes and entertaining material, while /r/IAmA features celebrities and other high profile individuals who interact with the Reddit community. Other subreddits host discussions relating to politics and news, self-improvement, technology, entertainment, heavy and light-heated discussions, and offer general advice. Because anyone who is a member of the site can create a subreddit, there exists almost 500,000 unique subreddits, each one geared toward a specific niche. The number rises daily. Users can also use their homepage to subscribe to specific subreddits thereby allowing them to better control the posts that appear on their page. Subscribers to the more popular subreddits number in the millions. Given the significant number of accountholders on Reddit, a marketer using Reddit to promote a product can easily corner a significant amount of people interested in his products or services.

But here is the rub. As the Reddit website has evolved, it has formed a unique culture replete with its own slang, inside jokes, and internet celebrities. Users on Reddit display little patience for self-promotion. In addition, the individual subreddits, moderated by their creators, are adverse to spam. As such, assaulting a subreddit with spam will quickly result in a ban as the moderators work to maintain the highest possible quality of the subreddit upon which they have expended so many hours to build and maintain.

Reddit does provide a paid service that allows you to advertise without the possibility of being banned, but even if you were to target the right audience, it is doubtful that it would result in more than limited success. Instead, I would suggest using Reddit in the way it is designed. Instead of forcing an ad for a natural cream for relief from muscle-soreness that will reach the 66,000 subscribers to /r/bodybuilding, I propose the creation of a new “subreddit” that will promote discussions surrounding the relief from muscle soreness. Because you moderate the subreddit, you can cleverly introduce, with impunity, the elixir you are looking to sell and a description of how it works.

Reddit posts that garner up votes are interesting and well-written, filled with rich content and a list of sources. One would not spam his own subreddit with a line stating, “Hey, visit this link to check out this natural alternative to pain pills.” Rather, one could be creative and lead the conversation by saying, “Maybe there is a natural, “side effect” free alternative to the pain medication being prescribed by doctors.” After some discussion, the marketer can gently introduce his link to his audience. In this way the marketer would not come off as obnoxious, screaming for people to visit his page. While it may be  obvious that you are promoting your product,  Reddit does not prohibit the self-promotion of your blog or your product provided others users do not complain that you are inundating them with spam.shutterstock_171401612

You Are The Company You Keep

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Working in a successful company is more than being good at what you do. Competition for work is high these days and to be the most successful you must aim at keeping your clients happy. It is a matter of both attracting and retaining clients.

In doing so, you must truly work at your networking skills. Remember to always be open and available to your clients. If they call you to ask a question, don’t just brush them off quickly but take the time to explain the answer. Your time is valuable, but so is keeping your client base happy. Do not charge them for your advice and if you do not know the answer to a question, find someone who does. Referrals are your best friend. They not only please your client, but it builds up your own credibility. By referring a client to someone else in your network it makes the client believe that you really know the industry.

On the other end of success you now just have to be good at what you do. Ask them plenty of questions and listen to the answers. Most people are not used to working with designers and often do not know what they want. Always provide updates for the client, even if they do not ask. The clients like to see what is going on, so show them examples and get their feedback.

My last tip of advice would simply be to be nice and remember to love their brand as much as they do. They need to see someone believe in what their doing and reassure them that they are making the right moves. People like to work with pleasant people; I believe that good energy is everything in the workplace and positive vibes go a long way with the projected ups and downs of a project. Therefore, if you aim to be energetic and polite in your work, you should always get the repeated business you deserve.

PPC Tips: What Do You Do On A Weekly Basis?

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When we are called here for PPC consultation or to take over someone’s campaign, we often find that a decent campaign is created, however it is left stagnant and on “autopilot”. The thing with PPC is that is cannot be left to run on its own! Things change in Adwords (Bing too!) in minutes, even seconds at a time, leaving your well performing keyword potentially in the dust in no time. We have developed some “best practices” at Web-Op to optimize our marketing campaigns. These have to monitored daily, and even hourly in some instances.  So how should you keep a close eye on your Adwords/Bing campaign? Follow some of these tips from the experts here at Web-Op.

  • Identify the poor performers: These are the “low hanging fruit”. Poor performers can include ads/keywords with low CTR, low clicks, or low conversions, depending on the age of the campaign. We also leverage data from Google Analytics which can tell us things like bounce rate and average visit duration. Poor performers are a gigantic waste of money. Without keeping a close eye on these, you are just throwing money away for nothing.
  • Negative keywords: Let’s say you are advertising keywords like “computer repair services”. You may not want your ads to come up in search terms like “do it yourself computer repair”. Constant addition of negative keywords to your campaign can be very beneficial, and can keep your overall performance metrics toward the high-side.
  • Average position: Keywords are given position, and this is something very important to watch for. Usually the top 3 positions have the best performance. We have found that position 2 (out of the 3) has the worst performance. We like to aim for position 1 to 3. Every keyword bid is different, so getting the optimal position can be quite tricky.
  • Fix match types: Depending on the client, campaign, and budget, we will choose to mix keyword match types. With broad match terms, we have found that is it important to scale these back and use these as a good way to find what the best search terms are. Through scaling back broad match and adding search terms as a phrase match, we have seen the following statistics after just a week of managing PPC for a health supplement:
    • Spend reduced 11.5%
    • Conversions Increased 7%
    • Cost Per Conversion Decreased 14.5%
    • Conversion Rate increased 19%
    • ROI increased 160%
  • Budgets: In the end, you are spending the client’s money when managing their PPC campaign. Be wary of their daily budgets and if anything is getting maxed out, you can scale back on the poor performers or lower the position. More clicks for less money? Yup, it’s worth it.

PPC can be quite tricky, and it is for good reason. It takes a well optimized campaign, as well as the proper capital, to really get some good, solid, consistent performance. Don’t turn on autopilot, keep a close eye on your campaigns. You will be happy you did.

Why didn’t anyone like my post?

Common lore teaches that Facebook allows the user to connect with people he once knew while Twitter provides access to people the user wishes to know. While this is a gross over simplification of what these two different, but very similar, virtual communities are used for, it is true to countless individuals cruising on the information superhighway.

The click-through rate (CTR) of a site is a way of determining the success of an online advertising campaign. The CTR is defined as the ratio of the number of clicks on a link to the number of times the ad is displayed.  Facebook generally has a much lower CTR than most major websites, at an abysmal 0.04%. In layman’s terms, this equates to four clicks for every 100,000 pageviews. This may be attributed to the reality that Facebook friends utilize the site primarily for social interaction rather than to view the content on a page. In contrast, Google, boasts a CTR of 8%, 8,000 clicks per 100,000 views.

This phenomenon is not unique to Facebook.  A similar statistic can be observed on Twitter. If an advertiser’s window CTR on Twitter is above a mere 0.5%, he is among the most successful advertisers on the site.

Does this mean that companies looking to market through the internet should ignore social media and focus elsewhere? Not necessarily.

With the exception of throwing colossal amounts of money behind an online advertising campaign during the Superbowl, there is no quick and easy way to gain huge amounts of followers. However, it is important to realize that an advertiser is far better off with a small audience who listens than a large one who does not.  In the latter case, the amount of followers is just a number without understanding. While it is vital to build a large audience when marketing through social media, it is absolutely essential to have an audience that is paying attention to what you are attempting to relate to them.

A seemingly infinite number of pages are competing for the attention of one consumer, and it is important to ensure that your company rises to the top. How? Facebook and many other social media outlets employ algorithms to determine what content is shown to a page’s followers. In general, when something is posted on a Facebook page it is only shown to a small percentage of the page’s followers. In order for the rest of the page’s followers to see the post, this small percentage of users must interact with it first through likes, comments, and shares. Only then will the exposure of the post be maximized. By having followers who interact with your page, your ad will reach an audience that understands, that desires, and that needs what you are offering. It is clear that the ‘quality’ of the followers that you attract is much more important than the quantity.

Throwing an unsolicited ad in front of millions of bought followers leads to the following truth: it is unlikely that followers who are genuinely interested in seeing the content of a page are ever going to see it on their newsfeed. Yet the argument for a social media platform to support a filtered newsfeed is also strong. Twitter does not screen any of the content that shows up in a user’s newsfeed. The pattern of users following many pages can be attributed to what is today called FOMO- a dreaded “Fear Of Missing Out” on the newest trend. Because most of these users follow many pages simultaneously, the likelihood of them seeing something posted a few hours before is unlikely.

Therefore, it would seem that separate approaches to marketing through Facebook and Twitter are needed. In the case of Twitter, a social media platform that does not filter its newsfeed for its users, the volume of posts is most important. The advertiser must hope that a follower happens to be online when the ad is posted or it will be buried in the other pages the consumer is following. When advertising on Facebook or other platforms that filter newsfeeds, it is imperative to have quality posts that users will feel motivated to like, comment on, and share so that the content of your page may be read by as many people as possible.shutterstock_164596421

Internet Marketing News 2/10

I sift through the day’s internet marketing news so you don’t have to

Writing better headlines:

Facebook Marketing:

Facebook fraud? Its a problem, it has been ever since the launch of fb ads

UX

  • First Time UX – a collection of first time users’ experience on a site, app, with a product etc. I’d wager first timer UX is more closely correlated to overall success than overall UX.

Internet Marketing News 2/5

I sift through the days internet marketing news so you don’t have to.

  • The Complete Guide to Building Your Blog Audience – this is from Neil Patel who I used to be friends with on Digg. He’s pretty sharp. I am considering using this as a guide to build my readership here. Nothing ground breaking but provides a good starting point to get off the ground. Check out chapter 10. It’s what I’m doing here to some degree – just repurposing other people’s content.
  • Google Targeting Rich Snippet Spam – Schema markup has been decreasingly visible in SERPs in my experience anyway.
  • Making The Most of Custom Audiences on Facebook – I don’t know about you – but I much prefer the interface and feature set of Adwords. That being said, custom audiences ARE a killer feature – and I see more advertising dollars going to facebook until adwords copies their lead. A couple of tips worth checking out in the linked blog post. I would add – if you’re sending out a newsletter with an offer – you might as well be targeting the same audience via facebook. There’s great value in repetition and its a good way to get started with custom audiences.
  • The 3 Types of Search Queries Everyone that works in an agency has probably had to explain to clients why bidding on the keywords they suggest won’t work. I could have written this article 30 times by now but hadn’t thought of it. Now I’ll just point people here.

Internet Marketing News 2/4

I read all the day’s internet marketing news and post the best here – so you don’t have to waste your time sifting through garbage.

Today’s Interesting Internet Marketing News

I read a ton of internet marketing news and post the best here – so you don’t have to waste your time reading crap. Enjoy.

Got a Big Idea?

Our marketing department receives inquiries every day from clients who have the next big idea.  Our clients believe in their vision and are ready to take the leap toward creating an actionable marketing plan. We LOVE thinking big, and feel that most ideas can be successful when they are strategically marketed.

During the beginning stages of formulating a marketing plan, Web-Op suggests a few guidelines to ensure your marketing plan is a success.

  • Do Your Research – We start off every potential project by performing a keyword search to identify Google search volume.  Big Search = Big Potential.  Spending time researching your keywords can expose opportunities with high volume search and low competition.

  • Be Flexible –  Most big ideas have merit, but may need to be refined.   Our successful clients are those who are open to viewing their ideas through a new set of marketing eyes.  If you already have a  current website, it may need a fresh coat of paint to help customers identify the product or service simply and easily.

  • Collaboration is Key  –  “It Takes A Village” to formulate a marketing plan.  Input from experts in Design, Development, Advertising, PR and Client expertise is essential.  Make sure you are surrounded by smart people that will bring their unique point of view to the common goal.

Understanding the importance of these guidelines at the beginning stages of your online marketing plan can jump start your campaign towards a successful future.

Split Testing and Why We Do It

Split Testing

With your newly designed and developed website, you’re going to want results. After all what’s the point of spending money for a new website if it does nothing? Something we do at Web-Op to get you the most out of your new website is split testing.

Split testing, also known as A/B testing, involves taking different variations of your website, including home page and landing pages, pushing them live, and doing analysis to see which variation performs best. Traffic is diverted between the different variations of the pages and one will usually outperform the other.

The differences between pages can be extreme, or very slight. We can take two completely different designs and see which one converts better, or make very slight changes, such as changing the color of a button or using a different image. Just about every aspect of a website can undergo split testing.

Split testing at Web-Op can be very beneficial to you and your website. The optimum variation of your website with the highest conversion can be found, making you more money.