Wednesday, April 24, 2019

What Is a Marketing Consultant? A 1-Minute Rundown

Thanks to movies like Office Space and Up In The Air, if a company hires consultants, it doesn’t send the best message to their employees. A lot of times, their initial reaction is to think they’re not performing well enough or that the company is downsizing. In reality, though, most companies hire consultants to augment their employees’ efforts, not replace them.

Consultants might get a bad rap from time to time, but, in general, they’re more like a helpful advisor than an heir apparent. If you’re interested in becoming a marketing consultant, here’s a quick rundown of what marketing consultants are, their core responsibilities, and their average salary.

Marketing Consultant Salary

According to over 2,100 marketing consultant salaries submitted to Glassdoor, the average marketing consultant salary based on years of experience, and not on industry, company size, or city, in the United States is the following:

  • 0-1 Years: $39,145
  • 1-3 Years: $41,386
  • 4-6 Years: $47,234
  • 7-9 Years: $52,667
  • 10-14 Years: $53,372
  • 15+ Years: $60,974

Goals vs Objectives: The Simple Breakdown

Whether you're working on a team project or defining goals for an entire company, it's critical your employees are on the same page when it comes to terminology.

"Goals" and "Objectives" often seem like two interchangeable phrases. "We have ambitious goals for 2019," you might tell your marketing team, following up with, "Our objectives are aggressive, but entirely possible."

When used in a marketing context, it's easy to misconstrue goals and objectives. To ensure efficiency and unity, then, it's vital your employees are up-to-date on the two terms you likely use when outlining your quarterly and yearly strategy.

Here, we'll explain the difference between goals and objectives to make sure there is no ambiguity when it comes to your long-term and short-term marketing plans.
Download your free marketing goal-setting template here. 

Goals are undoubtedly critical to your business's success. Ultimately, your company's goals need to align with your vision and purpose, and propel each employee's individual actions and decisions.

For instance, let's say this year your leadership team has outlined three broad goals for your company:

1. Create a more inclusive workplace culture

2. Grow international brand awareness

3. Increase customer retention by 40%

Great ... now what?

Here's where objectives come into play -- objectives are essentially the measurable actions you can take to achieve your overall goals. Typically, you'd use the S.M.A.R.T. criteria to define and measure specific objectives.

"Create a more inclusive workplace culture" is an admirable and important goal to have, but it's vague and too broad to measure -- does "more inclusive" mean one diversity and inclusion panel discussion, or does it mean a 10% increase in women in leadership positions?

Ultimately, your objectives will help your employees understand exactly what you expect from them.

For instance, let's say you inform your marketing department that your overall goal is to "grow international brand awareness".

Now, when your social media marketing manager is crafting her quarterly video campaign, she'll think to herself -- Hmm. How can I increase international brand awareness?

She can cater her objectives to fit company goals, as well as her own personal vision. Perhaps she decides, "To demonstrate my success at increasing international brand awareness, my objectives for my video marketing campaign will be a) 10% of all form submissions come from outside the U.S., and b) an increase in engagement from Spanish-speaking Facebook fans by 5%."

Your social media marketing manager can then use her unique objectives to measure whether or not she's contributing to the larger company goal of increasing international brand awareness.

As you can see, objectives can be uniquely tailored to fit each departments' needs, and allow for a large amount of autonomy. By instilling clear and firm company goals, you can feel confident that your employees are all working in the same direction, but taking largely different steps (e.g. objectives) to end up at the same finish line.

There's one more term differentiation you need to know -- objectives versus strategy.

Referencing our example above, let's say your social media marketing manager decides one of her objectives will be "an increase in engagement from Spanish-speaking Facebook fans by 5%".

This is aligned with your company's goal to increase international brand awareness.

A strategy, then, tells your employee or team how she can accomplish her objectives. For instance, your social media marketing manager might decide to focus her paid efforts on Spanish-speaking countries, using Facebook's location targeting features. Alternatively, maybe she decides to cultivate partnerships with international companies, and posts videos in Spanish on Facebook specifically highlighting the work of those international organizations.

Both of these options are examples of strategies.

Her strategy might change over time. She might decide her paid efforts aren't working, and try something else. Ultimately, however, her objective (increase engagement from Spanish-speaking Facebook fans by 5%) should remain the same.

free marketing goal setting template

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

5 Tips to Improve the Performance of Your PPC Campaigns

Let's say you're tracking the performance of your pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns. After all that hard work and PPC strategizing you put toward improving your performance grade, how's the traffic looking? Is it a steep climb, or are you unimpressed with the result?

Some of us come off as natural all-star rock climbers, while others are left frigid, timid, and stuck to the crevices of the wall.

What's the secret? As with most things: proper training. And if you don't have any, don't worry -- there's still hope.

Fix these common ecommerce conversion mistakes to grow your business. 

We here at KlientBoost have partnered with HubSpot to bring you some rock solid tactics that you can use to get a grip on the whole PPC thing. Below, you'll learn how to run a PPC campaign on a few of the most common platforms, followed by five tips for how to maximize your campaign's performance.

1. Choose a platform for your PPC campaign.

Your first step in running a new PPC campaign is to decide on which platform to run it. Google Ads are perhaps the most popular PPC campaign among today's marketers, but did you know social networks like Facebook and Twitter also offer pay-per-click advertisements?

Here's how each of these common ad platforms work.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads allow you to place "sponsored" posts on the newsfeeds of users who identify with specific audience characteristics set by you, the advertiser. Using this platform, you can choose your ad's objective -- including brand awareness, website traffic, and store visits -- your target audience, budget, and ad format. Facebook will then place your ad on the newsfeeds of users who match your choices, and charge you every time this ad is clicked.

Twitter Ads

Twitter Ads work similarly to Facebook Ads. Using Twitter's PPC ad platform, advertisers can choose between eight different advertising objectives -- including app installs, new followers, tweet engagements, and website traffic -- as well as their target audience for the ads they run. Twitter will then "promote" your post on the newsfeeds of users who match your choices, and charge you every time this ad is clicked.

Google Ads

Google Ads allow you to pay for high-ranking real estate on Google's various web properties -- including search engine results pages (SERPs). Your campaign can take the form of a Display Ad, a Search Ad, an App Ad, or a Video Ad -- the latter of which places your video on YouTube. These PPC campaigns allow you to set your ad budget, customize your audience, and/or commit to groups of search terms on which you want your search result to appear. Google then charges you each time this search result is clicked.

For the purposes of explaining how to run a PPC campaign, we'll focus on Google Ads in the steps below.

2. Choose a type of ad to invest in.

Each platform described above will give you options for the type of ad you want to pay for clicks on. On Facebook, for example, you can choose between a single image, a single video, or a slideshow to be your ad's main asset. On Google, your ad options are:


Image credit: AdEspresso

Display Ads

These banner ads can appear anywhere in the Google ecosystem, such as Gmail, YouTube, and similar domains within Google's "Display Network."

Search Ads

This ad type is what you most likely associate with PPC. A method of search engine marketing, Google's Search Ads show your chosen landing page in the form of a hyperlinked search result when users enter specific search terms. You can choose these search terms when setting up your Google Ads campaign.

App Ads

These ads help to promote an app you've developed for sale on Google Play, the company's app marketplace. Using this ad type, Google automatically synthesizes each ad's artwork using the contents of your app's download page. Google then runs these ads in your chosen languages and locations. App Ads can appear across the Google ecosystem, including Google Search, Google Play, and YouTube.

Video Ads

Google's Video Ads appear across YouTube and certain Google partner platforms. Advertisers can run their video ads before, during, or at the end of various videos that share a similar audience with the advertiser.

3. Determine your ad budget and bidding strategy.

Your PPC campaign budget will dictate how much you're willing to pay for the clicks you get on your ad placements. On Google Ads, you'll set a daily budget, whereas platforms like Twitter and Facebook will have you select the increments you want your payments to be in.

So, for example, if your marketing team is allotted $1,000 for PPC, you'll first want to find out how many campaigns you're running. Let's say that number is eight, which would theoretically make each campaign worth $125. Having determined how much of that budget is available to each campaign, you'll then divide this number by the number of days you want this campaign to run. If you want it to run for 14 days, your daily budget would be roughly $8.93/day.

However, there is another element of budget-setting in the world of PPC: Not all topics and audiences are equal in value. This means certain interests, audience segments, and especially search terms will cost different amounts per click.

Most PPC platforms have "auction" systems that help you decide how much your audience criteria will cost you. In turn, you have several bidding strategies available to you to help you make the most cost-effective purchases for your campaign. On Google Ads, these bidding strategies include:

  • Cost-per-click (CPC) bidding: You pay Google each time someone clicks on your ad.
  • Cost-per-thousand viewable impressions (vCPM) bidding: You pay Google for every 1,000 times your ad appears to users.
  • Cost-per-acquisition (CPA) bidding: You pay Google each time someone clicks on your ad, but the amount you pay is automatically optimized against how much it costs you to "acquire" a customer -- or similar conversion behavior -- from your website.
  • Cost-per-view (CPV) bidding: You pay Google each time your video ad is viewed, clicked on, or otherwise engaged with on YouTube.

Learn more about Google Ads bidding here.

4. Customize your target audience, interests, location, and search terms.

In any PPC platform you choose, you have ability to choose who you want your ads to reach. The "who," in the context of Google Ads, includes your audience's location, interests, app they use, and of course the searches they perform. You can also create custom audiences each with their own "custom affinities" and "custom intents" to help you further tailor your PPC campaign to the right people.

Once you've established your target audience, you'll top it all off with specific search terms, whose SERPs you want your ads to appear on (this is assuming you're creating Google Search Ads). Be careful how many keywords you choose for each ad. Contrary to what Google Ads might suggest, the more keywords you choose to place an ad on, the higher the chance you'll wind up in front of the wrong audience.

Start with just one or two keywords that are high in search volume and match the intent of your target visitor (we'll talk more about intent in step 6, below).

5. Organize your campaign into "ad groups."

Assuming you're creating Google Search Ads, you'll take the keywords you selected in step 4, above, and put them into "ad groups." If you're creating PPC ads on Twitter, you'll use a similar campaign framework.

In each ad group, you can further customize the search terms associated with that ad to be sure your ads are appearing in front of the people who are most interested in your content. For example, instead of simply selecting two keywords that both sound alike and have high monthly search volume, you can parse the specific words within your search terms and set your ad to appear in any search engine query that contains those words. Here's an example of both scenarios:

A Bad Ad Group

If your PPC ad is promoting the sale of ice skates, you might start with the search term "ice skates." Then you discover the search term, "ice skating," and decide to add it to your PPC ad. The second search term, "ice skating," weakens the ad group. Why?

While "ice skates" appeals to those who are looking for the ice skates themselves, "ice skating" stretches your audience to include those who might be looking for ice skates, ice rinks in their area, or even instructions on how to start ice skating -- searches that limit the chances you'll find interested customers among the people who click on your ad.

A Good Ad Group

If your PPC ad is promoting the sale of ice skates, you might start with this search term and decide to branch out into other search terms that include this term, but carry different or additional wording.

For example, using Google Ads features like Modified Broad Match, you can also pick up searches like "skates for ice rinks." Using Phrase Match, you can pick up searches like "ice skates for hockey." This way, you can diversify your ad with more search terms without sacrificing the interests of your audience.

6. Identify and design landing pages that match the intent of each search term.

It's not a good idea to make the destination of your PPC ad your website's homepage. This only serves to confuse your visitors and, ultimately, scare them off. Whether you choose from an existing webpage on your domain, or design a new one, make sure you're sending your visitors to a destination that helps them find what they're looking for. This is known as "intent match," and search engines like Google take it very seriously.

Let's go back to our "ice skates" example from step 5, above. If someone searches for "ice skates," clicks on your ad, and they're taken to a page on your website offering ice skating lessons, you haven't matched the intent of their search -- even if this page is set up to convert visitors using a signup form for paid skating lessons. These people are looking to purchase ice skates, not lessons. Therefore, a better destination page for this ad would be a product browsing page with all of your available ice skates listed and optimized for purchasing.

7. Track your PPC campaign's performance in context of your larger marketing initiatives.

The platform on which you're running your PPC campaign will have an analytics dashboard where you can track how your ads are performing. Take full advantage of it -- here, you get to see the fruits of your labor. This includes the traffic you're receiving to your ad's landing page, how much you're spending, and even how well this traffic is converting into leads or revenue.

With this data, you can find out if you're getting the bang for your buck. But don't be afraid to consider a more holistic view of your PPC ads' performance, as well. By integrating your Google, Twitter, Facebook, or even LinkedIn ad campaigns into your company's marketing software, you can associate these PPC campaigns with the rest of your marketing initiatives -- helping you determine how the business is performing as a result of your paid efforts.

PPC tips by KlientBoost and HubSpot

1. Include "negative keywords" in your PPC campaign.

Just as there keywords and search terms that dictate where each PPC ad you run will appear, there are keywords that you can specifically omit from your campaign. These are called "negative keywords," and they prompt your ad platform to avoid placing ads on results pages that are produced when a user enters these search terms.

Here's an example by Google:


Image credit: Google

In the example group of search terms, above, an advertiser on Google Ads has elected to place their ad on the SERPs of the search terms, "blue tennis shoes" and "running gear" -- but not "blue running shoes," "shoes running," and "running shoes." This allows the advertiser to avoid audiences who are searching for these products, since they're looking for something similar but that the advertiser doesn't actually sell.

Learn more about how to select negative keywords here.

2. Use the "Iceberg Effect" to gain more control over your PPC campaign.

The search terms that you end up paying for and the keywords that you're actually targeting don't always line up the way you want.

Too often we see the "Iceberg Effect" in action, where miscellaneous search terms below the surface are tacked onto keywords that we think are working properly in our ad campaigns. It gives us an unhealthy search-to-keyword ratio that might look something like this:

Iceberg Effect.png

Not being in control of all those search terms? Not ideal. With a search term to keyword discrepancy ratio of 132:1, it can be challenging to continually improve your clickthrough rates and lower your cost-per-click averages.

How do you gain control of this icy situation? We use something called Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs) to shoot for a 1:1 ratio of search terms to keywords, allowing for more control over the entire ad group.

Here's what a non-SKAGs search term report might look like:


It's not that any of these search terms are bad, it's that each search term has a different conversion and sales rate. And by keeping them as search terms and not turning them into keywords, you will never be able to control them to take your PPC campaigns to the next level.

So what does a search term report look like if we use this granular PPC tactic and use SKAGs?


Everything in the search term column matches the keyword column. With the SKAGs tactic, you can get super granular and isolate one variable at a time, which means you have more control over your entire PPC account.

And with the ability to lower your search term to keyword ratio to 1:1, you can take it one step further and do the same from keyword to ad. When this happens, you're able to increase your clickthrough rate, which in turn:

  • Increases your quality score
  • Decreases your cost-per-click
  • Increases your impression share
  • Improves your average position

3. Keep tabs on conversions vs. sales.

With your PPC tactics now upgraded, your PPC campaigns should be driving up conversion volumes and making you more money. But do you know which keywords, audiences, or placements are actually making you money?

If you don't track the components of your campaign and attribute them to your sales, you might be missing out on where to focus your efforts. By implementing Google's ValueTrack parameters you can automatically track data within URLs when your visitors convert.

When you tie your hidden field sales tracking back to your CRM, you can find out specific details about which leads are making you the revenue (doesn't apply to ecommerce). Hidden form fields can reveal to you things that happen during a conversion, like which landing page URL your conversion came from, where the visitor is located, or what keyword they typed in.

You can also do this with manual UTM parameters. Here's an example of how on the surface, you would think Keyword #1 is converting better:

Top Performing Keyword.png

Keyword #1 has a lower cost-per-conversion.

Here's an example of what hidden field sales tracking can reveal to you on a deeper level:

PPC Keyword Insights .png

Now Keyword #2 looks better, right?

Although Keyword #1 has a lower cost-per-conversion, Keyword #2 has a much higher sales rate, which is making you more money. See the benefits of tracking the sale vs. the conversion?

Knowing these types of details can help you understand where you should be crediting your sales success, so you can be more aggressive in bidding on those keywords, audiences, or placements. With this PPC tactic, you can ease up your budget on the areas that aren't contributing to sales, and allocate to the areas that are.

4. Gauge your visitors' intent on the CTA temperature scale.

Not all PPC visitors come through to your landing pages with the same conversion intent.

Typically, those that come through from display tend to be colder, while visitors that come in from search tend to be warmer. Here's a visual we've learned works well across the multitude of client verticals we service:

Screen Shot 2016-12-19 at 11.17.23 AM.png

There's a temperature scale that varies depending on visitor origin. Knowing where your visitors come from can help you immensely when it comes to matching your call-to-action with their temperature in the conversion funnel.

We recommend testing out various CTAs to match the intent temperature of your visitors -- after all, a small CTA tweak could've made all the difference.

Here are some ideas to make your offer more relevant to your visitors:

Screen Shot 2016-12-19 at 11.19.35 AM.pngIn short: the warmer your visitor's intent the warmer the CTA can be. Traffic that comes in from the display network will likely respond to colder CTAs, since those visitors are in the awareness stage.

5. Use micro PPC conversions to break down the larger conversion into smaller pieces.

As you know, the more granular and detail-oriented you can get with you PPC campaigns, the more control you can have over the success of them.

When it comes to conversions, you can break down your larger macro conversion into micro conversions to figure out where your issues are.

An effective way to figure out which part of your PPC campaign is causing the conversion bottleneck is to analyze the micro conversions. Let's say that you're running some new Facebook campaigns but for some reason, no one is converting. If you knew, however, that visitors spend an average of four seconds on your site/landing page, then you know that your Facebook ad targeting may be off. Instead of thinking it's the ad or landing page that needs some tweaking, it could be your targeting instead.

Here are some common types of micro conversions we use to analyze the path towards a conversion:

micro conversions.png

What can each of these common micro conversions tell you about your landing page? Let's break it down:

  • Time On Site. How long are your visitors spending on your site? If the time is brief, the conversion issue doesn't have to do with your landing page design. The issue is happening in an earlier stage, like in your ad campaign or your targeting options.
  • Scroll Depth. How far are your visitors scrolling down your landing page? If they aren't scrolling down very far, maybe you need to have a shorter landing page where your CTA is above the fold. If they're scrolling pretty deep, it might be a good opportunity to include additional (super legible) offer details toward the bottom of the page.
  • Form Field Completion. Are visitors abandoning your forms? If so, try testing out different formats and include a multi-step landing page with more form fields.
  • Button Click. Testing out different CTA button colors and copy may be the key to your larger conversion success.

By isolating micro conversions you can zero in on where exactly the conversion friction is located, which can help you alleviate the issues quickly and reach your larger conversion goal.

Whether it's addressing the Iceberg Effect, tracking your sales vs. conversions, testing CTA temperatures, or analyzing your micro PPC conversions, each of these PPC tactics can have a significantly positive impact on the performance of your campaigns.

And the best part, there's a good chance your competitors don't even know about them.

Now it's your turn to up your PPC performance game. With these useful PPC tactics, you'll be climbing your performance incline to the top with utmost ease.

free guide to using Google AdWords


The $6 Billion US B2B Digital Advertising Market: 4 Reasons Why it Will Continue to Grow

The business-to-business (B2B) digital advertising market in the US grew by roughly $1 billion in 2018 and will surpass $6 billion in 2019, even though the market “still lacks maturity” - according to a new eMarketer report titled ‘US B2B Digital Advertising Trends’.

The report claims that the digital marketing market will grow 18.7% in 2019 to reach $6.1 billion, up from $2.91 billion in 2015.

One Simple Hack That’ll Boost Your Ecommerce Sales

amazon hack

There’s a little growth hack that every ecommerce site should be using.

It’s the easiest hack… it doesn’t require money, you don’t need a following, and it works instantly.

But you know what? No one is using it.

Can you guess what it is?

Well, I’ll give you hint… just look at the image above.

It’s not related to SEO, paid ads, or anything else you are used to reading about here on the blog.

The beautiful part about it is no one is leveraging it, which means it works roughly 100% of the time. 🙂

A simple way to get more ecommerce sales

Alright, do you want to know what it is? Well, I’ll give you one more hint before spilling the beans.

If you watched a video like this on YouTube about the best makeup products, what do you think would happen?

There’s a good chance you’ll buy one of the products recommended. And if you don’t, someone else will.

The issue is, it only works if you generate enough video views.

And I have a lot of articles breaking down how to get more YouTube traffic like:

There is one big problem… there is no guarantee that your video will rank on YouTube or get enough views.

But what if I told you that there is a channel that is highly relevant to ecommerce and you can easily get 20,000 plus views per video?

Best of all, there is no competition and you can do it every single time, without even having a following!

How to get 29,090 video views on Amazon

You already know about YouTube Live, Facebook Live, Instagram Live… and you may even know about LinkedIn Live.

But did you know about Amazon Live?

amazon live

Just like all of the other live platforms, it works similarly, but the whole purpose is to show off and promote your products so you can drive more brand awareness and sales.

live video

The video above is by Skincare by Alana. Alana presented tips in the video about how to reduce puffiness around your eyes and how to make them brighter.

Can you guess how many views that video received in the first week it aired?

Well, based on the headline above you are probably going to guess 29,090. That is correct. 😉

live views

And all Alana spent was $200 to boost the video.

It’s not just Alana who is seeing massive success… I know 2 other people that are getting similar results, but they won’t let me share their stats as they are white labeling other people’s products and don’t want more competition. 🙁

So how do you get thousands of views from Amazon Live?

Well, there is a simple process… let’s break down how you can do it step by step.

Now before we get into that, I need to be transparent: You are going to find it a bit awkward at first. But after you do it a few times, you’ll find that it is easy and fast.

Step #1: Download the Amazon Live app

You probably have an iPhone or an Andriod device. Log into your app store and download the Amazon Live app.

Although you can view Amazon Live on your desktop computer, you can’t post a video unless you do it from your phone.

amazon live app

When you install the app, make sure you allow Amazon to access everything on your phone. This will come in handy later when you try to upload your slate image. I will get into what a slate image is later on…

Step #2: Open the app

open app

Now open up the app. Once it’s opened it will look something like this other than the fact that you won’t have any videos.

amazon app

On the bottom left you will see a “Streams” navigational option and that will show you all of the videos you have aired.

On the bottom right you will see a “More” navigational option that shows you all the preferences and options you have.

And to get started, you would click the “+” button at the bottom.

Step #3: Getting started

When you click the “+” button at the bottom, you’ll see a screen that looks like this:

getting started

Amazon Live has a cool practice mode feature. I highly recommend you start off with a practice run or two.

Once you get the hang of it, create a real live video. But before you do you’ll want to add products that you want to promote. You can select one or multiple.


As for video source, your phone camera will be the easiest. There are other options as well such as an encoder and other things for video ninjas, but I would just use your phone camera (also known as phone cam) as it’s simple and works well.

You’ll also have to name your live stream. This is where you enter the title of the video.

This is very important because if your title sucks, you won’t get as many views. If you don’t know how to write amazing headlines, check out these posts:

Step #4: Boost your video

It doesn’t take much money to get thousands of views. Technically, you will get thousands of views without spending a dollar. But if you want to spend a few hundred dollars it will go a very long way.


Again, this tactic works without spending any money, but a few dollars can help you get a lot more traction.

Step #5: Schedule or post your video

You’ll have 2 options when it comes to posting your video. You can go live and post right away, or you can schedule your video to go out.


If you haven’t filmed your video during peak hours, I recommend that you schedule it. The last thing you want to do is publish a video in the middle of the night or too early in the morning.

Step #6: Add a slate image

A slate image is a cover image. This is what people see when browsing Amazon Live. Here’s an example of a slate image:

amazon hack

Remember how I said you’ll want to allow the app access to files on your phone? You’ll want to do that so you can upload a slate image.

Step #7: Show a banner

You need to show a banner. It will change the number of sales you generate.


You have 2 options when it comes to showing a banner. The first is to share a promotion with the views, and the second is to share a custom message.

When you select the “share a promotion” option, your promotion will be displayed as a banner at the bottom of your video. Customers can click on the banner to apply the promotion to their account.

And when you select the “share a custom message” option, your custom message will be displayed as a banner at the bottom of your video. People can hide the message at any point.

You can test both options, but I recommend that you at least “share a promotion” so it makes it easier for people to get a discount with just a click.

Step #8: Watch the sales roll in

Alana only generated one sale on her first video, but that’s because she didn’t push too hard. She already knows how to drastically improve that number and, in a bit, I will go over how to generate hundreds of sales through Amazon Live.

live stats

The other accounts I have access to have generated hundreds of sales through Live. One has generated 391 sales so far from 2 videos and the other has generated 328 sales from 3 videos. And I will share below why they were able to generate sales and why Alana wasn’t.

How to maximize your sales from Amazon Live

Here’s how to get more sales:

  • Buy equipment – if using your phone, get an awesome ring light and a vertical phone holder. It will NOT record horizontally. This will help improve the quality of your video.
  • Sell, sell, sell – Amazon wants this feature to sell, sell, and then sell some more. This is the big mistake Alana made and she knows it and will fix this during her next live video. If you don’t sell, don’t expect sales.
  • Offer a discount – Pick an awesome product, and a deep discount. If you don’t offer a discount you won’t generate over 100 dollars in sales from your live video. If you generate more sales, you’ll typically get more video views because when you sell Amazon makes more money. I know I have talked in the past about how giving discounts is a bad long-term strategy for your brand. I still stand by that. However, live videos are a much different way to sell in the short term and offering discounts will drive many sales and more awareness quickly. Because the offer is only accessible during the Live and nowhere else, this is one of the situations where not only do I think discounts are acceptable but necessary.
  • Be careful – if you are sending tons of traffic to a product and you don’t generate any sales, you will hurt your Amazon organic rankings. For that reason, you really have to sell. If you aren’t willing to sell hard, Amazon Live may not be for you. If you perform well, it can help with your organic rankings.
  • Create a sign – hold a sign at the beginning of the video that says “UNMUTE ME” or something like that. Amazon appears to track how many people actually listen to your video, and how long they listen. This should help you get more views and sales.
  • Hook viewers – making bold statements that are true or telling people what you are going to cover later in the video is a great way to keep people engaged longer. Poor engagement will lead to very little video views.
  • Build authority – although I told you to sell hard, you need to provide amazing information and tips at the same time. This will help you become an authority and it should boost your sales in the long run. Selling without providing value will make you look bad.

It really isn’t that complicated. As long as you follow the tips above, it shouldn’t be hard for you to generate dozens of sales from each Amazon Live video.


Just like every other video platform, the reach will eventually be limited, and it will be harder to get results. And sadly, there is nothing you can do about it.

For the time being, though, you need to jump on the Amazon Live bandwagon and create as many videos as you can. Once you get the process down right and you are seeing sales, I would create 1 video each and every day.

I can’t create videos on Amazon Live as I don’t sell ecommerce products myself, but you can. That’s a requirement that I can’t get around.

So, what do you think about Amazon Live? If you aren’t jumping to create a video after reading this, you are missing out.

The post One Simple Hack That’ll Boost Your Ecommerce Sales appeared first on Neil Patel.

Build a Better Instagram: HubSpot's Social Media Manager's Hot Tips on Building Brand Awareness on Instagram

Instagram officially has one billion monthly active users -- and 80% of those users follow a business. Your business isn't on Instagram? Well, chances are good that your customer is. So it might be time to start 'doing it for the 'gram'.

But, first and foremost, what do most businesses get wrong about marketing on Instagram?

They forget how they use Instagram in their own lives!

For instance, consider this scenario -- you're scrolling through your Instagram feed. You see your friend's puppy (♡), your friend's engagement photos (♡), a video of Ellen Degeneres dancing (♡) ... and then you see an ad for garden hoses. I'm willing to bet you keep scrolling.

But what if, instead of a generic ad for garden hoses, you saw a beautiful shot of a gardener nurturing her garden by watering it? You'd be more willing to like it, wouldn't you?

Social media is an innately emotional and human space. You follow friends, you like friends' posts, you follow causes you care about, and you share content with which you identify. Ultimately, it's about a sense of community.

Unfortunately, when a brand is "me me me" all the time, they remove themselves from that social community, and accidentally exclude the exact people they want. They make it all about themselves, and steal their audience's attention, rather than earning it.

But what if a brand embraced a tone of "us", where they shared content that both you and the brand valued? Well, I'd say that's a whole different experience.

So are you looking to start using Instagram as a brand awareness tool? We're #pumped if you are. Here are three hot tips to remember as you get going.

New Data: Instagram Engagement in 2019

1. Make your mission your message.

64% of consumers choose or avoid a brand based on its stand on a societal issue. Since social media is rooted in emotion and identity, people want to rally around something they believe in.

Consider how your brand can inspire your audience and encourage them to rally around a cause. Play your cards right, and they will become brand advocates, telling their friends who also share that mission.

2. People like content that looks like it's from real people.

It is imperative that every brand remember what they post on social is invading someone's space that is typically reserved for friends and family. So how can you make sure that your brand is welcome in that space? By taking nods from friends and family. People prefer content that feels like it was made by a person with a heart and soul, versus a corporation.

So how are people making content on social these days? How this takes form will be unique to each business. Here are a few tips:

1. Have an engaging brand voice: Some brands play with how they communicate. Netflix is a particularly good example of a brand embracing a uniquely human tone of voice. From their commentary on pop culture to clap backs, it feels like one of your friend's engaging. And you remember them for that exact reason.
2. Don't overthink production: You've heard us say it before -- content is king. Social is proving this in a big way, as audiences don't seem to mind if something is shot on an iPhone as long as the content is valuable. In fact, we're finding more often than not, audiences actually prefer a lower production value. Why? Because it feels like something a friend of family member could have made. It doesn't have as much of that "big corporation stink" on it.

HubSpot has played around with lower production -- like the example below, which was made in Instagram stories.

Screen Shot 2019-04-22 at 12.25.04 PM

3. Value on social is a different kind of value.

One size does not fit all. When you are seeking brand awareness on Instagram, the value you want to provide is different than the value you would provide at a different stage of the buyer's journey. You want to focus on how someone feels when they see content or engage with your brand.

Have you ever heard the phrase, "People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel" by Maya Angelou? You should apply this philosophy to your Instagram strategy.

For instance, chances are good a free e-book offer on Instagram while someone is on the train coming home won't make them feel too much -- but what if the content was a bit more human?

Here are some questions to ask when you are thinking about providing value to your audience for brand awareness:

  • Identity: Does our audience feel seen? Do they feel like we understand them as a person first, customer second? Does it make them scream, "This is so me!"?
  • Informative: Is this something our audience didn't know already, and would care about while browsing on Instagram? Is this helpful to them in a snack-able social way? Will our audience be thankful we shared this content with them?
  • Emotional: Does our audience feel something? Do they care with their heart when they see our content?

Lastly, don't forget about Stories!

There are 500 million stories every day, and one-third of them are from businesses. Best news of all? The principles we've described above in regards to brand awareness also apply to Stories.

To read more on Stories, check out our post Instagram Stories: What they are and how to make them like a pro.

Follow HubSpot’s Instagram page for tips on marketing, sales, and customer service.

instagram data

The Social Strategy Brands Like Marvel Are Using to Generate a 68% Conversion Rate

2% and 18 minutes.

That’s the average reach of a Facebook post and life of a tweet, respectively.

Crazy insignificant, right?

These are networks that millions of people spend time on every single day -- and they seem to offer such slim, fleeting opportunities for brands.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. There's a method to turn a paltry social media conversion rate into something that can offer real benefits to your brand.

A method that’s helped brands both large and small achieve up to a 68% conversion rate on social.

Free Download: Social Media Marketing Strategy Kit

I'm talking about social commerce -- the current best way to make more sales and increase reach through social media channels. Let's take a deeper look about what exactly social commerce is, and the big problems it can solve for you brand.

What is Social Commerce?

This is not an overstatement: social commerce changes the way brands use social media.

Rather than generating interest and directing traffic to your site, social commerce allows brands to sell directly from their social feeds.

It effectively reduces the purchase journey down to two simple, frictionless steps. The first is when the user sees the product they want, the second is buying it.

It’s important because -- as any commerce pro will tell you -- most purchase journeys suffer from huge leaks. Just take a look at the chart below. It accurately represents how few of your leads turn into customers.

By reducing the steps a user has to go through, you can effectively streamline the purchase journey and reduce the possibility of funnel leaks.

Social commerce:

  • Provides simpler purchase journeys and thus a lower abandonment rate
  • Removes confusing multi-part conversion paths
  • Doesn’t disrupt the user by redirecting them to a completely different site

Just a simple checkout available directly from the user’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social feed.

Here’s how social commerce looks in real life. The video below shows a social commerce campaign Marvel ran

 When users commented with #AntManandtheWasp, an automated chatbot messaged them to discover their theatre and time preference before processing payment.

Over the last few years, the most successful digital marketing has primarily focused on making the user experience more logical and seamless.

Shorter forms have a higher completion rate.

Auto-fill is becoming commonplace because it generates more conversions.

And one-click purchasing is held up as the ideal ecommerce model.

Social commerce is yet another example of a solution that plays to the more streamlined needs of modern users.

But it’s not only providing a conversion benefit.

Secondary Benefits of Social Commerce Solutions

So the primary benefits of social commerce are the more streamlined purchase journey leading to higher conversions (more on that later).

But there’s also an impressive list of secondary benefits.

If you’ve been keeping an eye on social media developments over the last year, you’ll know it’s becoming increasingly difficult for brands to stand out. Ad costs are on the rise and algorithm updates are de-prioritizing brand content.

If you watch the Marvel gif above again, you’ll notice that users are required to comment on the post to kick off the automated checkout.

That comment is key to the secondary benefits.

As soon as a person comments to start the checkout, the post is then redistributed to their network, increasing its reach.

With each subsequent engagement, reach is yet again increased.

Before long, your posts and ads are achieving much high impressions than they would if users weren’t prompted to engage.

Social commerce is a great solution for any brand looking to increase social media sales and engagement.

It all sounds great, right?

But how does it actually work in real life?

Well, I've broken down a couple of social commerce campaigns that drove real results to help highlight its use.

How Brands are Using it To Massively Increase Conversions

I’ve tried to pick three examples that not only shows the potential power of social commerce, but also highlight different approaches to implementation.

So here’s a quick overview of what I’m going to cover.

- The completely digital strategy Marvel used to achieve a 68% cinema ticket conversion rate.

- How Ben & Jerry’s moved consumers from online to offline forgetter engagement.

- How Nike’s social commerce strategy started in the real world before seeing completion on social media.

Marvel’s 68% Conversion Rate

Marvel, despite being one of the biggest entertainment brands in the world, never rest on their laurels.

They’re forever looking for ways to better engage with their customers.

And when they took a look at their current channels, they realized their social campaigns were due for an upgrade.

The problem with traditional social media marketing is that purchase journeys become incredibly complex and long-winded.

Prior to Marvel's investment in social commerce, users would have to go through various steps to make a purchase after viewing a social post that interested them.

I actually walked myself through that very process in writing this piece, and counted nine steps between viewing an Instagram post and landing on a page that confirmed my final purchase of movie tickets. Here's what that long journey looked like pre-social commerce:

  1. Viewing the Instagram post
  2. Following it to the page bio
  3. Clicking through to Fandango
  4. Confirming the movie (and ignoring ads for commuting and upcoming movies)
  5. Confirming my location
  6. Choosing time and cinema
  7. Confirming the number of people
  8. Confirming seat location
  9. Payment information

I had to navigate through nine steps after seeing a cool post on Instagram.

Average purchase journeys have enough of a drop-off rate. On social media platforms like Instagram, that drop-off rate can easily become even more exaggerated.

Instagram is designed to keep users within the app, so any process that requires users to take multiple steps to exit the app and navigate somewhere else is going to leak leads like no one's business.

This step drop-off rate is exactly what Marvel wanted to combat.

They wanted to reduce the friction and maintain the experience Instagram users were expecting.

The below is one of the real ads they ran to promote Infinity War.

You’ll notice users are asked to swipe up, and then comment with an appropriate hashtag.

Once they do, an automated checkout bot takes over and asks a few questions that lead them through those nine stages of the purchase funnel in less than a minute -- without leaving the app.

Here’s how the chat sequence looked for those engaging with the Ant-Man and the Wasp campaign.

This conversational method of driving sales is not only more aligned with the user’s expectations on social, but it also streamlines the purchase journey.

Users are kept on the platform they’re engaged with and are able to complete their purchase in a fraction of the time.

Marvel results speak to the effectiveness of the campaign.

On the initial Infinity War campaign they achieved:

  • A 58% conversion rate
  • 18X more comments than any other in-season content

But they also took it a step further.

They built a custom audience of those who engaged with the Infinity War campaign and retargeted them with a secondary campaign that promoted Ant-Man and the Wasp.

By retargeting an already engaged audience who were comfortable buying through social commerce solutions, they increased their overall conversion rate to 68%.

Not too shabby.

The moral of this story is that your customers are looking for more streamlined purchase experiences.

Bouncing them around from one site to another so they can complete numerous steps is too much of a chore, and leads to the terrible social media conversion rates.

Marvel’s conversion rates were so high because they did three key things:

  • Made the purchase journey as simple as possible
  • Used (at the time unreleased) brand assets within the chat to keep users engaged
  • Retargeted their best audience with Facebook Ads for easier sales

5000 Free Samples Moved in 72 Hours

Whether you’re just starting a new business, launching a new product line, or just need to inject a few new leads into your pipeline, there’s one method that’s more successful than most.

Giving stuff away for free.

But here’s the thing. Free products will generate a lot of buzz for your products and brand, but they generate zero revenue.

You’ve got to have a follow-up sale in the pipeline.

Which is exactly what Ben & Jerry’s did when launching a new product -- pint slices.

To drive interest and awareness of the new product, they ran Facebook and Instagram ads that were linked to a social commerce checkout.

Users who engaged with the ads would receive a chat sequence similar to the Marvel one above.

It would ask for their preferred pickup location and flavor.

Using that information it would then generate a free QR code which, when taken to the nearest vending machine, would secure a free pint slice.

Ben & Jerry’s received huge engagement with this campaign.

In addition to moving 5000 samples within 72 hours, they gained 2.2X the customer insights they usually would through a similar campaign.

But it’s the insights that were the most valuable.

Ben & Jerry’s now had the details of 5000 people who both expressed an interest in the product and had tried it. People who would be the perfect target for the launch of a sales campaign.

All they now had to do was run a sales campaign targeting those 5000 people to see a healthy boost in sales.

Nike Flips Social Commerce On Its Head

This is one of my favorite examples of social commerce for a couple of reasons:

  1. It’s a great example of bridging the offline and online sales worlds
  2. It’s the opposite way around to many social commerce campaigns
  3. It bucks the general trend of social commerce and focuses on higher priced products for better AoV

The campaign I’m talking about is Nike’s promotion of Jordan’s through Snapchat.

Nike started by targeting an audience they knew would be interested. Basketball fans.

Instead of targeting these people with Facebook Ads or another digital channel, they launched a campaign that started at an in person event - the after party for the NBA Allstar’s game.

At the afterparty, Nike hid snap codes in different areas of the event space.

When scanned with Snapchat, the code would kick off a social commerce checkout within Snapchat.

The prize was an (at the time) unreleased pair of Jordan’s.

Despite being a higher priced product, Nike sold out of this limited run within 23 minutes.

I like this example more because it bridges the offline and online world of sales.

Nike leveraged the device we all carry every day. But they did it at a time when interest in the product would be at it’s highest.

The fact that this was a campaign type not used commonly also added something of a gasified element to the whole process.

It’s a great example of understanding your audience’s desires and how you can best serve them.

But Don’t Rely Entirely on Social Commerce

Social commerce is one of the best ways to simplify the purchase journey.

It’s an incredible method to improve sales and connect with a wider audience.

But it’s not foolproof. In fact, despite all the benefits and case studies that highlight great gains there’s one thing that social commerce isn’t great at:

Selling high-priced items.

People aren’t on social media to do serious research of the products they’re thinking of buying.

They’re there to procrastinate, have fun, and connect with friends. The most successful campaigns are those which focus on impulse purchases of products or services that fall in the <$100 range.

If you sell $1,000 electronics, this might not be the best method to drive sales.

But fear not, there’s still a way to use social commerce in your strategy.

In short, you use social commerce to qualify prospects and bring people into the top end of a longer upset funnel. For example, let’s say you deal in $10,000 audio systems. Your audience is made up of audiophiles and music aficionados. Hawking a $10k system off the bat isn’t going to work. But selling a $50 pair of headphones with superior sound quality would appeal to the market and fits within the all-important impulse purchase price point.

Making that sale is much easier and fills your upsell funnel. Which is incredibly important because:

For those selling high-priced items, social commerce isn’t going to transform your business by driving direct revenue, but it’s going to fill your upsell funnel.

It allows you to more easily attract leads who, in time, will spend more with you.

Think of social commerce not just as a way to drive sales, but as a method to attract new customers and generate more qualified leads.

Social Commerce Is Going to Be Huge Across All Industries

Social commerce seems to finally be coming into its own.

It’s finally providing real, tangible benefits to business beyond the vanity metrics of likes, shares, and comments.

But it’s still in its infancy.

Over the next five years, it’s a safe bet to assume that social commerce will become a more permanent fixture in the marketing strategy of brands both big and small.

If you’ve not yet managed to get your social commerce strategy off the ground, do so.

It's already driving great gains for others, but so few are leveraging the strategy that there’s a lack of competition. Now is the perfect time to begin.

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