All posts by Sana Ansari

The 2018 guide to B2B sales, Part 3: Using CRM data for lasting benefits

In Parts 1 and 2 of this B2B blog series, we discussed how to effectively use different channels for your B2B efforts as well as how to build your audiences, then segment and make use of the right content for mid-funnel remarketing and your overall nurture program.

In the last part of this series, we are going to discuss tying back-end results to front-end metrics so that you can ensure you are reaching qualified audiences with your paid media efforts.

With your paid media efforts, you can track and optimize toward on-site conversions. However, in B2B marketing, those onsite conversions are typically leads and more shallow conversions that do not indicate a sale.

At the end of the day, you want to understand what keywords, audiences, targeting methods, etc., are driving eventual sales – and reallocate focus and budget accordingly.

In order to do this, it is important to pass through parameters within your URLs to track at the most granular level possible; doing this allows your CRM system to identify what drives leads.

You’ll want to pass through campaign-, ad-, and keyword-level parameters in search or campaign-, ad set-, and ad-level parameters in social to identify how those areas are performing.

Back-end CRM data helps you do the following:

  • Campaign – understand what campaigns are performing to sales goals and invest more budget into the right campaigns and pull back on the underperformers.
  • Ad set (social) – understand what audiences are performing well (or not). You can then use this to test other similar audiences and push budgets accordingly.
  • Ad – identify what type of creative or messaging is pushing performance. This will help you in additional creative testing and message development.
  • Keyword – get down to the most granular level in search: understanding what keywords are driving the most qualified users

Now you will want to set up a frequency for matching up the back-end data with your front-end metrics. Think about how often sales volume comes in and the duration it will take to get significant data for optimization efforts.

You may want to set up a reporting cadence to be analyzing data anywhere from weekly, to biweekly, to monthly depending on the amount of sales you get.

As you continue to collect data, remember to take a step back and understand what is truly driving sales at a high level. Look at specific keyword themes, different types of messaging, and the audiences contributing the strongest value.

As you analyze this data, you not only want to optimize bids and budgeting accordingly; you also want to think about next strategic steps.

How can you continue to capitalize on these themes? Are there additional opportunities for keyword expansion? Can you test different variations of your top messaging theme? How can you expand on the audiences you see working – are there different ways to reach similar personas or types of people?

At the end of the day, you want to get out of the weeds when it comes to optimizations based on sales; you need to look at a higher level and refine your strategy to capitalize on what is working best.

This is Part 3 of our three-part series, The 2018 Guide to B2B Sales. If you missed Parts 1 and 2, recap them here:

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The 2018 guide to B2B sales, Part 2: Segmentation, content, and nurtures

In Part 1 of this series, I broke down how to effectively use different channels for B2B efforts –  from demand generation channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest to get in front of highly relevant audiences to paid search to capitalize on audiences with intent.

I also touched on optimizing the landing pages/content you should deliver to these audiences.

In this post, I’ll cover creating smart segmentation, and making use of the right content for mid-funnel remarketing and your overall nurture.

Let’s start by assuming you’ve brought relevant audiences onto your web property, and they haven’t yet converted – but you have cookied them with pixels placed on the site, and you’ve built an audience for remarketing purposes. The first thing you’ll want to do is…

Create smart segmentation

If you’ve followed best practices so far, the users in your remarketing pool have hit different content and landing pages on your site, depending on what you deemed most relevant to them. And their entry points can be very useful in segmenting your remarketing lists.

Rather than just having a catch-all remarketing list for all visitors, create segmented audiences that can accommodate more tailored content. Here are some examples of how you want to think about audience development/segmentation:

  • Industry-specific audiences (if you have landing pages or content relevant to certain industries)
  • Type of content consumed (demo, whitepaper, lead form, etc.) – this allows you to ensure you don’t serve the same content to these audiences as you leverage mid-funnel remarketing to push them down the funnel.
  • Intent level of keywords – are the users in the research phase? Ready to look for purchase options? The B2B purchase process can be a long one, so look for layers and ways to address users at different points of the funnel.

Employ mid-funnel remarketing

I’ll say it again: one of the most unique things about B2B products and services is the fact that the buying process is so long – often because of the high product price point and the level of impact of your service or offering.

B2B decisions aren’t made lightly, which is why I emphasize the educational process, the need to continuously convince the user why you are right for them, and the effectiveness of keeping your product/service top of mind as users move toward a decision.

With the your newly created segmented audiences, you can craft a more precise strategy to serve content and messaging that will push users down the funnel to help them become more qualified leads and, eventually, customers. Think about relevant whitepapers, testimonials, and case studies that show the impact of your offering/service/product to prove your credibility and value.

A final note about remarketing: always take a multichannel approach by leveraging both GDN and paid social so you can meet the audiences where they choose to go.

The 2018 guide to B2B sales, Part 2: Segmentation, content, and nurtures

Always-on nurture

Your users won’t stop browsing the web, so your nurture efforts shouldn’t stop either. Segment your audiences by recency of their last visit to your site, and keep showing them different ads, content, and creative that educates them about your product or service.

Don’t just switch up the messaging; test different ads formats (Facebook video, YouTube, banner ads, text ads, etc.) to keep the creative fresh and engaging. And keep rotating in testimonials that speak to different value propositions that align with your audience’s needs – and lend you credibility at the same time.

 

In our next post, I’ll cover how to ensure you’re driving qualified leads, how to track events that lead most reliably to sales, and how to back into optimized bidding strategies based on your CRM data. Stay tuned!

The 2018 guide to B2B Sales, Part 1: Demand gen and demand capture

If you’ve ever made the switch from B2C or ecommerce to B2B marketing, you know there’s a world of difference.

B2B offerings are generally much more expensive, with a very long lead-to-close time, and marketing needs to be addressed in a different and strategic manner.

In B2B marketing, you must reach users at every point of the funnel – and keep educating them in stages along the way.

Through a series of blogs, I will discuss strategies for how to generate demand, drive qualified leads, master content delivery, and essentially close the sales loop via paid media. In part 1 of this series, we’ll talk about how to generate new demand and capitalize on the intent that already exists.

Let’s jump in.

Use both search and social to get in front of the right audiences

You’ve got more than a few powerful levers to pull to get in front of qualified buyers. I recommend you start with your two biggest: paid social and paid search.

Paid social allows you to get in front of relevant audiences and let them know you and your product/service exist. This is a demand generation play – reach highly targeted audiences who would likely purchase your product/service, educate them on your brand/product/service, and ideally drive them to your site to push them into the funnel.

Paid search capitalizes on the intent that already exists. People are searching for what you have to offer, so leverage paid search to ensure you are capturing that interest.

Paid social strategy

For paid social, I would recommend the following channels and strategies:

Facebook

  • Make use of lookalike targeting! Take your customer list and, rather than uploading the entire list, segment your top (highest-LTV) customers and create lookalikes based on that group.
  • Use Facebook’s native targeting capabilities to segment and address audiences based on different titles, companies they are employed with, etc.
  • Use 3rd-party data companies (e.g. Axciom and Datalogix), which allow you to target businesses of different sizes, specific roles, decision makers, etc.

LinkedIn

With LinkedIn, you are able to truly hone in on your target audience by leveraging a mix of the right industries, functions within those industries, seniority type, and company size. LinkedIn’s CPCs are considerably higher than those of other channels, so you must be willing to pay a premium price for the first click to bring the user onto your site – this way you can introduce them to your brand and educate them on your offerings.

After the leads are in your funnel, you can market to them through other channels, significantly cheaper channels to push them through the funnel (which we’ll address in another post).

Twitter

Twitter is another great social platform to find relevant audiences. Although volume is not as large as that of the other platforms, you can still leverage some of their targeting capabilities to get in front of the right eyes.

  • Lookalikes: very similar to the strategy used on Facebook
  • Targeting by followers:
    • Build out conquesting campaigns to target users following your competitors
    • Target followers of industry thought leaders and publications

Paid search strategy

Paid search is expensive – but extremely effective. Users looking for your brand, product, or service are already exhibiting intent that positions them closer to sale, so these are users you must target.

Our paid search strategy at 3Q has two main components. The first is to implement the Alpha Beta campaign structure, based on single-keyword ad groups and a mixture of negative, exact, and broad match that allows you to capture and control your top keywords while testing new keywords. If you need a refresher on how the Alpha Beta campaign structure works, a quick Google search should help fill you in.

The second is to develop competitor conquesting campaigns that capitalize on the intent that our competitors have built. Note: if your competitors are bidding effectively on their own brand terms, you’ll likely pay a pretty penny to compete, but it can be a very effective shortcut.

Use landing pages strategically

For both paid search and paid social, it is crucial to segment the audiences and keywords appropriately to be able to send these different audiences and appropriate keywords to the most relevant landing page/piece of content.

For prospecting campaigns, you need to get a sense of what each audience is looking for and serve them content that not only gives them an overview of what your business is at a high level, but also offers them value and true insight into your business – this may be a whitepaper, a demo, etc.

Think about the keyword or the type of audience you are targeting. For example, if you’re targeting audiences from specific industries (e.g. finance, retail, food and restaurant, etc.), send them to landing pages specific to that industry if available.

If you’re targeting more senior-level executives, think about the right content to deliver to them, something more high-level discussing key impacts to the business, value props, etc., that your service or offering would bring. If you’re targeting those whose job this would directly impact, highlight the more technical specifics.

The goal is to truly cater content towards the individuals you are targeting; this will make the clicks you’re driving much more effective.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this series, in which I’ll discuss building audiences, smart segmentation, and leveraging the right content for mid-funnel remarketing and your overall nurture.

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Killer demand gen strategy, Part 3: Facebook advertising

If you’ve been keeping up with this series, you’ve got your audience defined and designed creative to match. You’ve constructed smart Google Display Network campaigns to get those users pouring into your funnel.

Now let’s talk some of the most powerful targeting capabilities of all.

In addition to advertising on the GDN, Facebook is a platform you must use to reach your target personas. Facebook’s audience targeting capabilities are among the most effective you can access.

You can target interests, behaviors and a variety of demographic information to get in front of your ideal audience.

Explore Facebook’s targeting options

Think about the personas you have created and begin choosing the audience targeting available within Facebook that will help engage those users. For example, let’s say you’re selling luxury home décor. One of your personas is female, between the ages of 30-40, likes home décor, and is affluent. You would then pick targeting as relevant as possible to get in front of these users.

One example would be:

Additionally, you can layer further information onto your personas – for example, some of them might like celebrity gossip. Leverage Facebook’s audience narrowing and layer it on to test how it impacts performance. See below:

Killer demand gen strategy, Part 3: Facebook advertising

In addition to leveraging Facebook’s native audience targeting capabilities, consider leveraging 3rd-party data audiences from companies like Axciom or Datalogix.

These companies can provide you with rich data that can be highly relevant to your personas – and help you develop new ones.

Take advantage of Lookalikes

Lookalike targeting is another great way to identify the right types of audiences and leverage Facebook’s thousands of data points to get in front of them.

First, look at your customer list and identify different ways you can segment those customers into groups of identifiable characteristics. For example, you can segment out your highest-LTV audiences, different categories (e.g. furniture categories, high-AOV purchasers, etc.).

Then upload these customer lists into Facebook, which will leverage its algorithm to serve your ads to audiences that mimic your seed lists in characteristics, behaviors, and traits.

A reminder: use tailored creative to these audiences. If you’re serving ads to lookalike audiences of your high-AOV purchasers, show creative with more high-end products to match their purchase behavior.

Another great way to get in front of relevant users is to leverage lookalikes as a base audience and then add in persona layers. For example, you may think about having an LAL of 5% and layering on celebrity gossip as a narrowing layer.

This makes your base audience similar in characteristics and traits to your customers, and it allows you to refine the audience to more closely match some of the personas you have built out.

Additionally, when creating your audiences, keep an eye on size. You will almost always want to leverage Facebook’s oCPM (Optimized CPM) tool, which requires an audience size of at least 400K to reach people, collect conversion data, and optimize towards users who are likely to convert.

As you know, a lead gen marketer’s work is only beginning when the leads are captured; there’s a long and winding road from lead to conversion, which will require a whole new series to address. But the above strategies should ensure that you’re working from a healthy foundation of leads.

Killer demand gen strategy, Part 3: Facebook advertising

If you’ve been keeping up with this series, you’ve got your audience defined and designed creative to match. You’ve constructed smart Google Display Network campaigns to get those users pouring into your funnel.

Now let’s talk some of the most powerful targeting capabilities of all.

In addition to advertising on the GDN, Facebook is a platform you must use to reach your target personas. Facebook’s audience targeting capabilities are among the most effective you can access.

You can target interests, behaviors and a variety of demographic information to get in front of your ideal audience.

Explore Facebook’s targeting options

Think about the personas you have created and begin choosing the audience targeting available within Facebook that will help engage those users. For example, let’s say you’re selling luxury home décor. One of your personas is female, between the ages of 30-40, likes home décor, and is affluent. You would then pick targeting as relevant as possible to get in front of these users.

One example would be:

Additionally, you can layer further information onto your personas – for example, some of them might like celebrity gossip. Leverage Facebook’s audience narrowing and layer it on to test how it impacts performance. See below:

Killer demand gen strategy, Part 3: Facebook advertising

In addition to leveraging Facebook’s native audience targeting capabilities, consider leveraging 3rd-party data audiences from companies like Axciom or Datalogix.

These companies can provide you with rich data that can be highly relevant to your personas – and help you develop new ones.

Take advantage of Lookalikes

Lookalike targeting is another great way to identify the right types of audiences and leverage Facebook’s thousands of data points to get in front of them.

First, look at your customer list and identify different ways you can segment those customers into groups of identifiable characteristics. For example, you can segment out your highest-LTV audiences, different categories (e.g. furniture categories, high-AOV purchasers, etc.).

Then upload these customer lists into Facebook, which will leverage its algorithm to serve your ads to audiences that mimic your seed lists in characteristics, behaviors, and traits.

A reminder: use tailored creative to these audiences. If you’re serving ads to lookalike audiences of your high-AOV purchasers, show creative with more high-end products to match their purchase behavior.

Another great way to get in front of relevant users is to leverage lookalikes as a base audience and then add in persona layers. For example, you may think about having an LAL of 5% and layering on celebrity gossip as a narrowing layer.

This makes your base audience similar in characteristics and traits to your customers, and it allows you to refine the audience to more closely match some of the personas you have built out.

Additionally, when creating your audiences, keep an eye on size. You will almost always want to leverage Facebook’s oCPM (Optimized CPM) tool, which requires an audience size of at least 400K to reach people, collect conversion data, and optimize towards users who are likely to convert.

As you know, a lead gen marketer’s work is only beginning when the leads are captured; there’s a long and winding road from lead to conversion, which will require a whole new series to address. But the above strategies should ensure that you’re working from a healthy foundation of leads.

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Killer demand gen strategy, Part 2: Google Display Network targeting

This is Part 2 of my blog series on crafting and executing killer demand gen strategies.

In Part 1, I discussed building out various personas to target, as well as how to craft the right creative. Now let’s chat through how to actually target these personas!

Both Google Display Network and Facebook have great audience targeting capabilities that allow you to get in front of your target audiences and the personas you have built out. Full disclosure: I was planning to wrap the GDN and Facebook together for this post, but both have so many features that they warrant their own edition.

So let’s dive into how to target your personas and audiences on the GDN, and save Facebook for Part 3.

Keyword contextual targeting (KCT)

Keyword contextual targeting is where you bid on keywords and Google will match you to pages relevant to your terms. You’ll notice two options when it comes to KCT:

  1. Content – shows ads on relevant webpages, etc.
  2. Audience – with this option, the ad will show on relevant pages and to people who might be interested in these keywords (so basically you are giving Google more control to do its thing).

My recommendation is to start off with Content, because you know exactly what you are getting into; don’t give Google control right away and make it hard to understand true performance. Content will have a lot less reach, but you have full visibility into things. As you begin seeing results, you can always adjust accordingly.

My general recommendation is to start off with your top 10-15 performing search terms – and then, of course, layer on demographic age and gender information so you are getting in front of the most relevant eyes.

Additionally, think about the personas you developed. In Part 1, I gave the example of a persona that loved celebrity fashion and gossip; building terms around those interests to get onto those pages is another way to get in front of the right eyes.

Custom Affinity Audiences

With Custom Affinity Audiences, you can input domains and Google will look at the types of users visiting those domains – makeup, demographics, topics of sites they visit, etc. Then Google crafts an audience similar to those users, which you can target.

Killer demand gen strategy, Part 2: Google Display Network targeting

With Custom Affinity Audiences, I recommend creating different audiences to target based off of:

  1. Competitor domains
  2. Industry-relevant websites
  3. Persona-relevant websites (think of the personas you have created and the types of websites they would visit)

In-Market Audiences

With In-Market Audiences, Google identifies people who are actively shopping for certain products and services. This is pretty clear-cut – choose In-Market Audiences relevant to your business.

Don’t forget to leverage the audience insights that Google gave you when developing your personas; those typically showcase other products/services that your core audience is typically in market for!

Killer demand gen strategy, Part 2: Google Display Network targeting

Refine your targeting to get closer to your target personas

For both KCT and In-Market Audiences, I recommend that you further refine your targeting by applying demographic layering onto those campaigns to get closer to your target personas. (With Custom Affinity Audiences, Google already incorporates demographic information from the data they pull as they analyze the audiences visiting the sites you enter.)

The above strategies are well worth testing out as you look to get in front of the right eyes and scale your business.

In part 3, we’ll dive into Facebook and how to best leverage its advanced targeting capabilities to get in front of your personas and target market!

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Killer demand gen strategy, Part 1: Personas and creative development

When embarking on demand generation channels such as Facebook and Google Display Network, it is important to first ensure that you understand your core audiences and how to best speak to them.

The first two initiatives that you should prioritize during the set-up phase is determining the types of audiences and personas you want to target – as well as crafting the right creative and messaging strategy.

Personas

Let’s begin with persona development. This is a must when it comes to being smart about your demand generation efforts.

First off, who are your core customers? What types of audiences would be interested in your product or services? What is their makeup (interests, demographics, behaviors, etc.)?

For a starting point, make use of any and all internal customer data to develop these personas.

As an example of what a persona may look like, let’s say you manage the digital marketing for a luxury home décor site. A persona for that site might be something like:

Female

Age: 30-40

Interests: home décor, fashion, fine dining

Lifestyle: affluent

Now based on your full set of internal data, build out your personas. You can then gain audience insights from both Facebook and AdWords; both offer the option to upload your customer list and learn additional information about the makeup of these lists such as HHI, affinities, the types of different website topics they visit, their overall likes, education level, etc.

Here’s what that looks like in the platforms:

Facebook Audience Insights Tool

Google Audience Insights (Google AdWords UI > Shared Library > Audiences > Converters)

Killer demand gen strategy, Part 1: Personas and creative development

To take things one step further, rather than uploading your entire customer list, think about segmenting that customer list into groups of identifiable characteristics. For example: high LTV, mid LTV, low LTV, high AOV, various category purchases, etc.

This information will help you in understanding what differentiating characteristics these audience segments have – as well as the potential personas that may pertain to each audience type.

Overall, these digital insights can not only help you refine your personas, but also develop additional ones.

Ad creative and messaging

Now that you have your personas built out, you need to craft the right creative and messaging to elicit direct response, especially for ecommerce and B2C businesses.

Creative for ecommerce

The most fundamental truth of good ecommerce creative is that it truly showcases the product. A couple of recommendations here:

  1. Showcase your top-selling product
  2. If you have multiple products, showcase the variety of your products
  3. Determine the products on your site that are most viewed/clicked on as they have garnered interest from being eye-catching (something we want in our ads to pull people into our site)
  4. Include any deal-related or incentive messaging. People aren’t necessarily searching for you, so the goal is to intro your product and ‘sell it’ at the same time.

Killer demand gen strategy, Part 1: Personas and creative development

Killer demand gen strategy, Part 1: Personas and creative development

Creative for B2C

One of the most important things when it comes to GDN ads in general is making sure you are as transparent as possible; this becomes even more important in B2C and B2B when your business might not be as obvious as ecommerce.

Make sure your ads are clear and concise – when someone sees your ad/messaging, they should know exactly what you do and understand your business offer.

The last thing you want is to have an ambiguous ad, entice people to click on it, and bring them to a site that turns out to be totally irrelevant. By being upfront with our messaging, we are “prequalifying” them.

Additionally, consider testing out incorporating people on your ads as this makes your business seem more personable.

And of course, with any creative, don’t forget to include a call to action!

Killer demand gen strategy, Part 1: Personas and creative development

In the second part of this two-part series, now that we know the personas we want to get in front of and have our ads ready to go, I’ll be covering how to actually use both Facebook and the GDN’s targeting capabilities to get in front of these audiences.

Stay tuned!

How to use demand generation channels to effectively expand your reach

As Q4 approaches, it’s crucial that you plan to capitalize on all the traffic that comes with it.

We all know how effective search is, but it’s also limited to those already in the hunt for what you’re offering.

To continue to scale, you need to effectively get in front of audiences that aren’t yet interested – but could be! – in your service/product. That’s where demand generation comes in, and marketers have more (and better) options for demand generation than ever.

As we head full-steam into Q4, here’s a list of demand generation channels, considerations of when to make use of them to expand your reach, and best practices we’ve honed across clients of all budgets.

Google Display Network

Once rather maligned, the GDN provides a number of targeting options that allow you to leverage the thousands of data points they collect on users across the web. Among the most effective targeting options when it comes to both demand generation and direct response are:

Keyword contextual targeting

Choose your top 10-15 keywords and let Google place ads accordingly.

My strong recommendation is to start off with content-based keyword targeting first; this gives you more control over what is being targeted (websites relevant to your keywords). When you select “audience”-based keyword contextual targeting, you end up targeting a significantly larger group of users where the targeting is not only websites relevant to your keywords but also audiences who may be interested.

This gives Google a lot of power to find users – but it also opens you up to more risk. By starting out with content, you are taking a low-risk approach to GDN. As you see success and build up conversion history, feel free to experiment with audience targeting.

In-market audiences

Based on audience behavior, Google determines users who are currently shopping for different products/categories. The feature combines search intent with display’s reach, and it’s definitely worth testing.

Custom affinity audiences

If you provide Google with competitor websites or industry-relevant domains, CAA will analyze the types of audiences visiting those sites (demographics, interests, website topics) and target audiences similar to them. I recommend that you test by starting off with your top 5 competitors.

As you build conversions – about 40+ conversions is a good benchmark – I would strongly recommend switching your bidding style to CPA optimizer and allowing Google to leverage its thousands of data points and optimize towards your target CPA. We’ve had a lot of success with this option.

Facebook/Instagram

The Facebook/Instagram duo offers powerful audience targeting capabilities. We’ve seen two strategies work consistently:

Make use of lookalike targeting and base your seed lists off your customers

Rather than taking your full customer list, however, segment by identifiable characteristics. I typically recommend high LTV or high AOV, or segmenting by category/type depending on the product or business. If you have a big enough seed list, start by testing a 1% audience, as those users will be most similar to your existing customers.

Use interest/behavior targeting and insights from the platform’s Audience Insights tool

Upload your top customers to Audience Insights and analyze the valuable demographic, interest-based data. Now begin building various personas of audiences you want to target (each ad set should represent a different persona).

When selecting your targeting options within Facebook, layer in demographic data from the Insights tool to make these audiences more relevant.

Pinterest

I recommend this fast-growing channel more for ecommerce than B2B. Remember that Pinterest is somewhat intent-driven, as users are typing in keywords to look for relevant pins. Start off with your top keyword list and test from there, and focus on strong creative that can stand out among the many other pins.

Your Pinterest creative should be eye-catching, high quality, and include compelling images of the product. Write detailed descriptions highlighting the most compelling aspects of the product and inviting users to click on ad, and leverage text overlays on your pins to help any core message stand out.

Twitter

Twitter tends to perform well for B2B or more technical businesses. I recommend that you leverage lookalike targeting on your top-performing customer segments; you can also try targeting followers of certain influencers who may be core to your brand or followers of competitors in the industry.

Last general recommendation: begin leveraging these options ASAP so you can build up a retargeting audience to engage when purchase motivation is higher. Cast a wide net now, and you’ll have more fish to land in the holiday season.

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5 remarketing strategies to prep for Q4

Remarketing is always one of the most powerful tools in an ecommerce marketer’s belt, but it takes on added importance in Q4.

With the holidays fast approaching, you can do a good amount of prep work now to put yourself in a great position to capitalize on the holiday rush. I’ve outlined my five favorite remarketing strategies below.

1. Dynamic product ads (Facebook & Google)

If you’re an ecommerce company with a significant number of products and you aren’t remarketing with dynamic product ads, you are making a big mistake.

Over and over in our accounts, DPAs have proven to be among the more successful ecommerce remarketing ad types. These ads basically show and remind users of products they have seen on your site, along with similar products they may be interested in.

If you haven’t set these up yet, make sure to prioritize this initiative, as feeds can get technical and should be addressed before you’re crunched for time.

2. Audience creation by depth

An amateur mistake of those launching remarketing campaigns is that they typically blanket all audiences and remarket to anyone who has visited the site but not converted.

They may have taken things a step further by also creating an audience for users who have added products to cart but not converted, but that’s still leaving plenty of room for refinement.

Remarketing to one or two audiences just doesn’t take advantage of the varying intent of audiences that have visited your site. Segmenting your audiences by depth of interaction even further (product category pages, about page, initiate checkout page, audience time on site, etc.) will allow you to understand the performance of each type of audience; from there, you can bid more aggressively to reach those with a higher likelihood of purchasing (vs. those perhaps in the research phase).

Additionally, you can start working with your creative team to develop specific visuals for these different audience segments (e.g. for audiences that viewed female clothing, creative can show gender-specific products, etc.).

3. Sequential remarketing

In addition to developing audiences by how far they’ve gotten to your site or how they’ve interacted with your site, you’ll also want to develop audiences by time they last visited the site (e.g. a day ago, a week ago, two weeks ago, three weeks ago, etc.).

After you create these segments, you can implement sequential remarketing and show these audiences different creative and messaging.

Instead of showing the same audience the same creative and messaging over and over, you can test different creative and messaging as time goes on (try further incentivizing users as time goes on to push them to convert).

4. Remarketing lists for specific dates

One tactic we’ve used with success is creating audiences for specific holidays – for example, develop an audience that came to your site during Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

These audiences will include visitors who may not be your typical customers (and might be purchasing gifts). You can then leverage these audiences in Q4 to remind them to purchase gifts for their loved ones.

5 remarketing strategies to prep for Q4

5. Broad RLSA strategy

Given that you have so many audiences developed (right?), you’ll definitely want to layer these segments onto your existing search campaigns.

This will allow you to bid more aggressively for higher-intent audiences who have visited your site but not converted and are still searching for they types of products or services you have to offer. Since they are already familiar with your site, your goal should be to bring them back and get them to complete the conversion.

Additionally, you can create a separate campaign with broad or highly competitive/expensive terms you typically wouldn’t bid on, and layer those campaigns on your remarketing lists. Because you are going after an audience that is already aware of your site/service/product, you’ll see higher CVRs and should be able to bring CPAs for those terms within reach.

The sooner you put all of these into play, the more data you’ll have at your fingertips for quick and efficient optimization when traffic gets hot (and more expensive). Good luck!

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The 2-step guide to driving sales with Pinterest

There are millions of people on Pinterest, searching, pinning, and sharing – so it’s important to recognize its potential for building awareness and filling the top of the funnel, particularly for ecommerce companies.

This blog will discuss a couple of recommended targeting types within Pinterest to help fill the top of the funnel and essentially build up your audience. From there, once your audience is built out, we’ll run through how to actually capitalize on these new users to drive sales.

Let’s jump in.

Use Pinterest to fill the funnel

Pinterest has some specific features that are highly effective for building your audience. These include:

Keyword targeting

You can leverage user intent by targeting specific keywords that users are searching within Pinterest.

For example, if you are a trendy clothing brand that sells sweaters, you may want to target “trendy sweaters” and have your ad (in Pinterest lingo, your promoted pin) show up in the search results and related pins.

Interest targeting

Pinterest will determine a user’s interest based on the pins they have engaged with and saved. Your ad (promoted pin) will show up in the user’s home feed or relevant topics feed.

A Promoted Pin on Pinterest

“Actalike” targeting

This is similar to Facebook’s lookalike targeting; you can upload a customer list and Pinterest will target audiences similar in behaviors, traits, and characteristics as that customer list. Our recommendation is to start off with your top customers – for example, your highest-LTV or AOV audiences.

I would initially recommend prioritizing the Actalike and keyword targeting as they tend to be more effective at getting in front of highly relevant audiences. But by leveraging any or all of the targeting options, you’re discovering and engaging with new, relevant audiences and driving them to your site.

That said, make sure your expectations are aligned. You should not expect to see Pinterest as a lever for immediate purchases, but more as a longer-term play where you’re developing an awareness and building your audience to hit later via a few different methods below to actually drive the sale.

That said, let’s talk about how to…

Convert Pinterest engagement into sales

Now that you’ve engaged with your audiences via Pinterest, you should be capturing those audiences for remarketing purposes.

First, to be smart with your remarketing efforts and truly understand the value of Pinterest, you should make sure every link on your Pinterest ads include a tag that labels it as Pinterest. You can use UTM parameters or anything else, but essentially you want to make sure that you can identify these audiences that have come through from Pinterest and segment them out.

You can then create specific audiences within both Google and Facebook (for example) that have come in through Pinterest. (E.g. url contains ‘utm_source=pinterest). Now you can separate out these audiences, and as you use them in your retargeting strategies, you can understand if the Pinterest audiences you have built are actually converting into sales.

Speaking of converting, I’d recommend the following methods:

RLSA (remarketing for search ads)

Layer your Pinterest audiences onto existing search campaigns and add a higher bid modifier. These audiences have already visited your site and developed a familiarity with your brand. If they end up searching for your product, you want to make sure your ad appears high in the search results to remind them of your brand, pull them to your site, and entice them to convert.

One RLSA strategy I’d recommend is to create a separate “broad” RLSA campaign where you can bid on head terms, and broader but still relevant terms that you normally wouldn’t be able to afford.

For example, you typically may not bid on a term like “womens clothing” because it is so generic and has heavy competition, but given the user has already visited your site, you can create an RLSA campaign, layer your Pinterest audiences, and bid on the term.

The 2-step guide to driving sales with Pinterest

The thought behind this is that by serving your ad on this more generic keyword, you are reminding them that you sell women’s clothing. Since the users have been to your site, they’ll have a sense of if it’s worth visiting. Essentially, this is way of getting in front of relevant eyes without doing significant harm to overall efficiency.

Dynamic remarketing

You can do this on both Facebook and GDN where ads include the product the user has visited on the site (as well as other relevant products). The usual segmentation caveats apply; you want to make sure you’re segmenting by time lapsed since the visit and depth of site pages reached and bid accordingly.

Remarketing for shopping

Make use of your audience list by layering it onto your shopping campaigns. Again, the goal here is to bid more aggressively so you can ensure your ad shows up for the audiences who have engaged with your Pinterest ad, visited the site, and developed familiarity with the brand. You’ll typically see higher CVRs for these types of audiences.

The main takeaway here: if you’re not investing in Pinterest, you’re missing out on engaging a robust, potentially high-ROI audience. The platform itself has come a long way in adding marketing-friendly features and reporting capabilities to position itself as a long-term player. Get on board now; the traffic’s not getting any cheaper.

Good luck!

 

For more on how to integrate Pinterest into your sales strategy, check out our visual guide to Pinterest advertising.