- Posted by Jimerson Adkins
- On December 26, 2017
- 0 Comments
Buckle Up! If you’re not familiar with the world of Online Marketing, you’re in for a 7 minute crash course!
Yes, in only 7 minutes, this page you are on right now will give you all the knowledge you need to become a digital marketer for your business. Successful marketing can make or break a business, so spit out your gum, stop passing notes, and pay attention! Did I mention this is 100% free?
It helps to familiarize yourself with the various elements that make up marketing so that you can understand how it all works together.
Throughout this page, we’re going to follow a hypothetical small local business here in Midland, TX, Melissa the Homemade Candle Maker. However, the same practice can apply to any type of business: oil field services, tree removal, hair stylists, or even restaurants.
Pay Per Click Advertising
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising is fairly straightforward- you’re paying a set amount (usually of your choosing) each time a potential customer clicks your ad.
It’s a great way to boost traffic to your website, product pages, opt-in forms, etc. Basically, paid traffic to a specific web page.
PPC campaigns can also be tricky, though. A good PPC campaign is based on a lot of research. You’ll want to know exactly what your customers are searching for, as well as who they are (age, location, language, interests, etc). The more research you’ve got, the more effective your ad dollars will be.
For example, if you’re trying to sell handcrafted pens, you’d probably be wasting your money targeting 20-something millennials.
Knowing who your customers are is half the battle, you also need to know what they are searching for. If you’re a plumber, your residential customers will likely be searching for “local plumber” or “plumbing services in Midland TX”. Add another layer of complexity on to this by understanding that every other plumber in town is also using these popular search terms (key words) to show their ads. That’s your competition.
With the right key word research, we can discover some popular key words that your customers are using to search that don’t have a whole lot of competition. The less competition on a key words or key phrases, the less you end up paying per click. It’s an art and a science!
So once you’ve got your target demographic and a handful of great key words selected, now it’s time to determine the best advertising platform. Google Adwords? Facebook Ads? Something else?
Google and Facebook are the popular choices, and you’ll likely be using one or the other, or both. These ad platforms have been growing more complex and harder to use in recent years, but with that have come a vast array of tools to really fine tune your PPC campaigns. In the hands of a seasoned marketer, you can create significant returns on investment capturing customers that never knew you existed.
Melissa Discovers PPC
Melissa, the homemade candle maker, has determined that her best customers are women ages 25-45 with middle class income and an interest in candles. She’s decided to use Facebook as her advertising platform. Melissa creates an ad on Facebook with a beautiful photo of one of her candles and a short description of her product. Melissa has also decided that she wants to pay $0.25 per click, because her competition is paying $0.20 and she wants her ads to be shown first. Her candle sales net her $12 profit each, so that means Melissa has to sell at least one candle to every 48 customers that click her ad to break even.
Looks like Melissa is going to make a good return on her investment, yeah?
Well, maybe. The page that the customer lands on after clicking her ad will determine that. If it’s well done, she might find herself selling multiple candles to a large portion of the paid traffic coming in. If not, she might find herself throwing away ad dollars.
Landing pages are generally used as sales or lead generation tools. They typically go hand in hand with a PPC campaign, but not always.
Let’s check in with Melissa:
Melissa has been driving A LOT of traffic to her landing page from her Facebook advertising. Her landing page has many gorgeous photos of her homemade candles, with vivid descriptions of the sweet scents they put off. There are also some Buy Now buttons scattered throughout the landing page. These buttons are her Call to Actions (CTAs), because clicking the button is the action she wants the visitor to perform.
CTAs can be any number of things, from joining a newsletter to filling out a form. Melissa’s goal is to sell candles, so her CTA reflects that.
Good content, captivating images (who wants to read a wall of text?), and effective CTAs are what make landing pages successful.
Also, guess what type of page you are on right now? You got it! It’s my landing page for people interested in learning how marketing works. Throughout the page I’m showing my value as a marketer and I’ve tossed in some relevant images to keep it interesting. Pretty soon there will be a Call to Action to purchase marketing services from me!
Pretty good call to action, yeah? But landing pages will have more than one Call to Action (CTA), and a lot of testing and tweaking needs to be done to determine what sort of CTAs will be most effective. How is this testing done?
A/B Testing and Conversion Rate Optimization
Ahh, these words never fail to make me smile. These are the topics that Marketers geek out on when they flock together at conventions.
Simply put, an example of A/B testing in its most basic form is this: On your landing page you have a purchase button. You decide to create an A/B test on the color of that button. Using A/B testing software on your website, you make two almost identical versions of a single landing page. You send 50% of the traffic going to that page to Version A, which has a blue Buy Now button, and Version B, which has an orange Buy Now button.
The testing software then counts how many times the visitors on Version A click the Buy Now button and how many times the visitors on Version B click the Buy Now button. Each time a button is clicked it’s called a Conversion. You are literally Converting a visitor into a sale. The conversion rate is the number of button clicks divided by the number of total visitors. If you have 100 visitors and 50 of them click a Buy Now button, your conversion rate is 50%.
My favorite software for creating landing pages and A/B testing them (along with many other great tools) is Ontraport. Ontraport is CRM software that integrates with your WordPress website and offers emailing, memberships, and so much more. I use it personally and for a handful of clients. I really can’t recommend it enough for business owners that are looking to expand their online presence.
Let’s see what Melissa is doing:
Melissa has been driving A LOT of traffic to her landing page from her Facebook advertising, but she isn’t making any sales! For every 100 customers that visit her landing page, only two are purchasing a candle! That’s a 2% conversion rate.
Melissa has decided to increase her conversion rate by doing some Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) using A/B Testing software.
Each week, Melissa tests something different on her landing page.
Week 1: Melissa tests the color of her Buy Now buttons. She determines that Orange converts better, and has increased her conversion rate to 2.5%, simply by changing the Buy Now button colors!
Week 2: Melissa knows that First Impressions are EVERYTHING, so she begins testing the headline and image at the top of her landing page (what the customer sees first). After a week, her conversion rate has increased to a whopping 5%!
Week 3: Melissa tests wording of her sales copy: Version A has a more serious tone, Version B is playful. Who knew candle enthusiasts had a good sense of humor? Melissa increases her conversions to 6% by using Version B.
Ok, so in three weeks of testing Melissa has increased her conversion from 2% to 6%. Great job Melissa! How does that look on the financial side? We’ll take a look, but first, we need a second Call to Action!
We know that Melissa makes $12 profit on each candle and she is spending $0.25 per customer with her Facebook ad campaign. So 100 visitors is costing Melissa $25. With a new conversion rate of 6%, she is getting 6 sales out of every 100 customers. At a minimum, if each of those customers only purchase a single candle, Melissa is making $72 in profit. $72 – $25 in ad spend nets Melissa $47. That’s $47 extra dollars that Melissa would have not gotten if she didn’t have an ad campaign, a landing page, and conversion rate optimization.
Melissa is getting busy!
Now that Melissa has a pretty nice conversion rate, she decides it’s time to increase her traffic numbers. That’s right, Melissa is going to do some A/B testing on the advertisements to increase the number of clicks she gets. She may even decide to start advertising on Google Adwords, too.
I think Melissa is going to need to hire some employees to help with her now booming business. And now that her candles are becoming popular and word of mouth is growing, I wonder if she can get away with increasing the price of the candles themselves. She should A/B test the price next!
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