Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Programmatic advertising for beginners

programmatic ads


Learn about programmatic advertising.


What is programmatic advertising?

Programmatic advertising (also known as automated guaranteed or programmatic guaranteed advertising) is any online marketing strategy which uses software to purchase digital advertising space.

Why do I need to know this?

It is estimated that programmatic advertising will account for 80% of marketing spend by 2018.

Benefits of programmatic advertising

Programmatic advertising is more efficient than traditional ad purchasing processes. In the past, the process involved lengthy human negotiations and manual insertion orders, and the chain of transactions involved from an advert’s conception to its eventual publishing made it a hugely inefficient process.

Plus, programmatic advertising solutions such as Real Time Bidding (RTB) and Google AdWords have sped up the process. Businesses can have instant access to ad inventories, total pricing control, immediate delivery and results, as well as access to in-depth performance analytics.

Millisecond auctions

Programmatic advertising allows software to bid for ad space on a webpage as it loads. That means that the auction takes place in milliseconds. Advertisers can use DSPs (Demand Side Platforms), which is fully automated software to work out which ads are valuable to their business.

Perfect your campaign using data analytics

Programmatic buying provides in-depth analytics which advertisers can use to evaluate what’s working best (e.g. times of day, locations and audience). Advertisers can make alternations mid-campaign to get the results they want by narrowing their target in response to the data they’re receiving, and making sure that they only pay for highly effective advertising. This is a big change from traditional ad buying, where businesses were locked in to ineffective contracts.

Social media ads

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all make extensive use of programmatic advertising. These social media giants have huge amounts of data, and have the ability to connect to people across devices. Adverts can be targeted at individuals over various platforms to encourage click-throughs. If someone sees a Facebook ad, a Twitter ad, and then a mobile ad, the chances of them clicking through are much higher.

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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Key metrics of conversion rate optimisation

conversion rate optimization metrics

Learn more about the key metrics of conversion rate optimization.

When measuring the success of your conversion rate optimization (CRO) efforts, the most vital metric is also the easiest to track. You should know exactly how many of your visitors you are successfully converting into customers. As a general rule, it is beneficial for your business to have an increasing conversion rate. Meanwhile, a decreasing conversion means your business may be in trouble. However, there are other important metrics that you need to track if you want to understand the success of your conversion rate optimization strategy. Read more about the essentials of CRO here.


1. The cost of converting a visitor

Calculating how much it costs to convert a visitor to a customer is easy: simply divide the cost of your conversion rate optimisation strategy for a month by the number of visitors you converted in that time period. This information is vital because you can compare it with the other metrics to work out whether your conversion rate optimization strategy is cost-effective.


2. The approximate value of each visitor

You can calculate how much each visitor is worth to you by simply dividing your total profits for a given month by the number of customers who used your business in that month. Ideally, you should use the previous month, as this will give you the most up-to-date figure. The calculation will tell you the average amount of profit each customer generated for your business in the space of a month and therefore indicate how much each visitor to your site is potentially worth.

Once you know this figure, you can compare it to the amount it costs to convert a viewer into a customer and therefore work out if your conversion rate optimization strategy is delivering value for money in the short-term.


3. The life-time value of a customer

If you know the per-month value of a customer (as described in point one) and you know how long each customer tends to stay with your business, you can calculate how much profit that customer is likely to generate throughout the course of their relationship with your business. When you compare this figure to the amount it costs to convert a viewer into a customer, it will tell you whether your conversion rate optimization strategy is delivering value for money in the long-term. It will also allow you to decide how much money to invest in converting each viewer in future.

Do remember that not every customer stays with your business for the expected length of time! So there is always an element of risk in over-investing in each conversion.

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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

What is crowdfunding and how does it work?

crowdfundingCrowdfunding – read more about what this is and how it works

For many start-ups and aspiring businesses, it can be difficult to get the required capital to pursue customers and get the operation up and running.

Until recently, small companies and entrepreneurs were at the mercy of big investors or the few willing to take a risk and invest a lump sum.

However, the internet has allowed small companies to reach out to the thousands, nay, millions, of potential investors thanks to a concept known as crowdfunding.

Businesses can use crowdfunding to pitch about their idea or their product on a crowdfunding site and ask for money to turn the product or business into a reality. Once you have published your pitch, investors and users of the site can read about their idea and opt to invest or not.

The idea of the premise is simple. Rather than have one or two investors putting up the vast majority of the cash needed, crowdfunding looks to take a small amount of capital from thousands, or even millions of people, offering small investments in a company or idea. While people take less risk with what they wish to invest, the business can still get the cash it requires.

Simply put, businesses can get investment by attracting a crowd of investors.

Crowdfunding, perhaps naturally, is exceptionally popular with those working in digital marketing and online, especially for start-ups. With companies such as Kickstarter helping people get access to the concept, it is certainly a growing trend that many companies are embracing.

How does crowdfunding work?

While the concept of crowdfunding sounds relatively simple, the practice can be somewhat confusing. There are three types of crowdfunding, all offering different options. Crowdfunding can come in the form of donations, with people offering money with no return. However, as there is often no financial reward for the investor, such a funding type can be difficult.

Debt funding or peer-to-peer funding is the second type of crowdfunding and often results in those who have donated getting their money back with interest, effectively bypassing what a bank would do.

The final type of investment is equity crowdfunding. Under such a deal capital is exchanged for a stake in a business, project or idea. If the business is successful, those who invested get more; conversely, if not, the value goes down.


Who provides crowdfunding?

Many companies are USA based, others are UK based. People on both sides of the Atlantic generate results, based on their presentations.

Crowdfunder – UK based, claims to be the biggest in the UK

Growth Deck – UK based equity crowdfunding

GoFundMe – US based

Kickstarter – US based, well established

Indiegogo – US based

Regardless of which type of crowdfunding you opt to use, it is worth noting that as well as posting your pitch on a crowdfunding site, it is worth putting together a digital strategy to promote your pitch. This will maximise the audience reach to increase the likelihood of achieving your target.


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Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Conversion rate optimisation essentials

Conversion rate optimisation


Discover 3 methods of Conversion rate optimisation.

Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is a key aspect of digital marketing strategy. It is a system which aims to increase the number of visitors to a webpage who take the action desired by that site. It is particularly useful for sites that get lot of traffic but which aren’t getting the desired effects. For example, if you visit a shopping site but do not buy anything, you have not ‘converted’. CRO seeks to maximise the amount of visitors who do convert. This can be for whatever purpose the website exists for; attracting sales, the completion of a survey, e-mail sign up, or anything else. CRO optimises the site so that visitors ‘convert’ in whatever form the page intends.

There are many different CRO methods in use; the following are examples of some methods of conversion rate optimisation and how they work.

A/B or multivariate testing

In A/B or multivariate testing, two different versions of the page are presented, with 50% of traffic seeing one version and 50% another. It can then be seen which version produces the highest conversion rate. This has recently been the most popular CRO method.

Customer journey analysis

Customer journey analysis (CJA) is the study of how people become a ‘converted’ visitor. Did most come directly to your site from a Facebook ad? Or did they research your brand first; did they contact your customer service or call into a store? CJA collects and analyses this data from online and offline sources to reveal what kind of journey most commonly produces a ‘converted’ visitor.

NPS scale

Customer feedback

CRO also makes use of direct feedback from customers. A popular version of this is the Net Promoter Score(R) (NPS), which asks the customer how likely they would be to recommend the website in question.


The number of detractors subtracted from the promoters gives the NPS. Many successful companies have an NPS of 50 to 80%. Sites falling below this percentage can ask further questions to identify how to raise their score.

These are some examples of CRO tactics, which used alone or in combination can increase conversion rates and achieve better customer visitor experience.


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Tuesday, 5 April 2016

The future of wearables

Track activity, show caller ID and lower insurance?

If you’ve been for a run, but you haven’t posted to social media that you’ve been for a run… did you really go for a run at all?
We joke, of course. But nowadays it does seem like more and more people are interested in knowing the statistics of their exercise regime. It’s perhaps why wearable technology has become so popular over the past couple of years, as it allows us to record and review our activity.
Wearables in 2016 are impressive bits of small technology. Not only can they track how many steps you’re taking, how many calories you’re burning, and what your heart rate was up to during that strenuous hill, but they can also let you know how well you’re sleeping, show caller ID when linked to your phone, and send text messages. It really is like having a tiny (yet complete) computer on your wrist – something we could barely even imagine 15 years ago.
With so many features available via your wearable tech, what’s next? Here’s what we think is in store for the future of wearable technology.

Digital marketing

Advertisers haven’t quite worked out how to use wearables in order to advertise to us yet, but we think it’s only a matter of time before the market booms. As more and more people get in on the wearable tech trend, advertisers are going to want a bigger piece of the pie. Considering so many people use these pieces of kit for health reasons, we reckon that it won’t be long before sportswear and protein powder companies start to take advantage of that demographic.

Wearables are getting Smaller

And prettier. We think that wearable tech is going to undergo a makeover in the coming years, with a focus on making pieces that look more aesthetically pleasing. One of the downsides of the current products available is that they look a little out of place when you wear them to work – new tech will be designed to look like jewellery. Some luxury brands like Hermes have started to make straps for the Apple watch.

Accuracy and sharing your data

As technology gets better, the accuracy of our wearable tech will also improve. Calorie burns and heart rate monitors aren’t 100% accurate at the moment, but we predict that they’ll get much closer to being so in the future. Your insurers will offer a discount if you share your data with them. The issue here will be authenticating that it was really you who went for that 5 mile run…
We’ll be keeping our eyes on wearable tech as time goes on and we’re certain that it’s going to start playing a bigger role in the digital strategies that we work on. To find out more about the marketing solutions we offer, get in touch.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Mobile marketing with ads

Mobile marketingRead how to get started with mobile marketing with ads.

There are 7.4 billion mobiles worldwide in a population of 7.2 billion! And it’s obvious that we’re living in an increasingly mobile world. From your grandmother to your best friend’s dog – almost everyone has a social media presence these days.
It makes sense, then, that businesses have a digital marketing strategy that utilises mobile phones and social media. If you’re new to both, or you’ve set up accounts and feel a little in the dark, then follow our quick guide to getting started and you’ll soon be well on your way to increased brand recognition, social media guru status, and (most importantly) more sales. Do also read our earlier post on mobile marketing.

Mobile ads

There are many forms of mobile ads, so the first thing you need to work out is which ones you think are going to be most effective for your audience and best suited for your brand.
  • Banner ads, where a banner is placed at the top or bottom of a mobile web page, are particularly effective if your brand is already well recognised and you don’t need to take up too much text or image space.
  • Native mobile ads don’t look like ads – instead they attempt to blend in with the app or web page that your mobile user is viewing, in the hope they’ll click through.
  • Video ads are more complex and often require a bigger budget than the previously mentioned adverts, with videos needing production teams to be completed to a good standard.
Ultimately, your choice of advert depends on your budget, as well as your current brand recognition status. If you’re trying to introduce your product to a new audience, then a video might tell the story of your business better than a banner is able to. You’ll need to weigh up cost versus reward to make an informed decision.

Platforms and tools for mobile ads

Your next decision is what platform you should use to advertise on mobile. There are mobile advertising networks available, such as AdMob by Google, which offers app developers the ability to analyse, monetise and promote apps. The Google network is powered with Google Analytics, allowing you to garner vital statistics about how your ads are doing and who they’re reaching. There are many companies who put adverts on to apps.
However, you can also use platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to advertise via mobile.  For example:
  • Instagram offers photo ads, video ads, and carousel ads.
  • Twitter offers promoted tweets and Twitter cards. See our post on Twitter ads and another on Twitter cards.
  • Facebook offers Facebook ads which enable very focused targeting down to age, gender, location, interests and more.

If you’re looking to go a little more old school, then you can even send out text messages to those who are subscribed to a mailing list.
With so many options available, there’s really no excuse not to be connecting to your customers through mobile marketing. Get started with your digital strategy today and you’ll soon be reaching a wider audience than you ever thought possible.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Digital marketing audit part 2

digital marketing audit

How will a digital audit improve your overall digital strategy?

As more companies develop their online brand, more emphasis is being put on online marketing, content marketing and social media marketing. With so many channels to utilise and so much to review, it can be difficult to know that your business is on the right track. However, a digital marketing audit can be the perfect way to review your site.

Our previous post about digital marketing audit basics analysed how to carry out such an audit, this post looks how an audit can improve the overall performance of your site and benefit your business.

A digital audit will allow you to obtain an overview of your digital presence and online reach as well as giving you insights into your overall performance.

Measure digital marketing touchpoints

A digital audit will allow you to view your digital assets and monitor the initial points of contact that clients have with your company. How your site works and how your brand is presented to customers is vital to the survival of a company, and a digital audit will allow you to see what content is working for you and which landing pages are letting you down or require more time and effort.

Content marketing

A digital audit will allow you to review all content and filter relevant pieces. By carrying out an audit, you will see the gaps in your content and what pages need to be refreshed and reworked. Using tools such as HubSpot Keyword Grader Tool or the Moz toolbar can give you insight into content and areas of strong performance.

Improve conversions

Carrying out a digital audit will allow you to view conversion rates for your site and see what call to actions need to be improved. Getting a customer to get in touch can be difficult, thus by carrying out such an audit you will improve your overall digital marketing strategy.

Measure your return on investment

Often companies splurge a substantial amount of capital reshaping their site and rejigging their content. By using tools such as Screaming Frog or even WooRank you can measure your return on investment (ROI), which gives you a clear overview of your digital performance.

For more information on carrying out a digital audit, take a look at our previous blog post on how to carry out a digital audit.

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