6 Metrics You Might Think are Important But Really Aren’t (And What to Track Instead)

You know all of those metrics you track?

They’re probably worthless.

I’m not saying they have absolutely no value, of course. I’m just saying they’re doing nothing for your bottom line most of the time.

These are the things that you think matter, but don’t.

In other words, you can track them, but don’t rely on them for real dollar value.

The trick is knowing which ones are valuable and which aren’t.

Here’s why some of those important metrics don’t really matter. Along with a few actionable ones you should worry about instead.

1. Clicks + Pageviews

We’ve heard it all before. The questions, the egos, the bragging.

How do I drive 100,000 visitors in a month? I need traffic fast!

Here’s how I drove 4,000 visitors a day, you can too with these simple tricks!

*sigh*

It sounds too good to be true, because it is.

Unless you’re getting paid for the pageview, and you want people to bounce instantly and never return, then go for it. Spam your link on Pinterest, forums and Reddit.

But, if you want to be realistic with yourself, clicks on your ads and page views on your content mean nothing if people aren’t either:

  1. Sticking around and reading more on your site
  2. Converting / buying a product or service / signing up for something
  3. Fulfilling the goal you have set on that page for visitors

So, if your clicks went through the roof yesterday like this:

But, your conversions were like this:

And your pageviews were like this:

But your goal completions were like this:

Then what.is.the.point?

Clicks and pageviews are worthless if they don’t lead to conversions.

2. CTR

CTR. The glorified metric that drives everyone from PPC to SERP growth hackers crazy.

Look at me, I’ve got a 66% CTR!

Oh cool, how many conversions did that get you? Two out of 4,000 clicks? Make it rain baby!

Ok, on a more serious note, here’s why CTR don’t mean $#!* in the real world:

Take a look at that AdWords table.

The highest converting, highest traffic keyword/ad group has the lowest CTR (by far).

YET also the highest conversions (by far).

Paying a low bid on the keyword and spending less money = lower positions = more competition = lower CTR.

But, conversions are still sky-high.

The whole account has an average total CTR of 3.49%. That’s not good.

Except, the average Cost per Conversion is 5x lower than the average sale revenue.

I’ll take that deal any day of the week.

CTR ain’t the gold standard. I don’t care what your CTR is if it doesn’t bring in conversions.

3. Impressions

Let’s say you own a brick and mortar store. You sell shoes.

It’s launch day and you get 40,000 people to walk in and out of your store that day.

Those ads must be working!

You’re checking ‘the books’ and you see the following sales numbers: $500. Total.

Now do you get it?

Impressions are cool and all.

Hey, (insertbossesname), our product was seen by 100,000 people today!

But at the end of the day, they don’t matter if (can you guess what’s next?) they don’t lead to sales, conversions, or goal completions.

4. Total Backlinks

Backlinks are good. They help with ranking metrics and credibility.

But total backlink quantity is over-emphasized.

Constantly we see people worrying about how many links they can get, however they can.

*Queue Oprah Gif: You get a link! You get a link! And you get a link!

If your backlink profile is spammy:

then those links don’t mean anything.

URL’s with low DA’s that are known for spamming or giving links like it’s candy on Halloween aren’t going to get you to the top of Google (anymore).

Ideally, you want a nice backlink profile from relevant, editorially-based sources that don’t just hand over easy links willy nilly.

kissmetrics backlinks

5. Rankings

Rankings can be awesome. Who doesn’t love being #1 on Google?

We’ve all seen this graph before:

traffic drop-off after first page on googleImage Source

Sounds peachy, doesn’t it?

We simply grind our content to the top ten positions and get the lion’s share of clicks.

But, it’s BS. Just ask Wil Reynolds.

Google is constantly changing. Personalizing their methods, learning about real people, and real human interaction with their service.

SEO rankings are more related to user search history now.

There’s more importance being placed on things like first impressions and brand loyalty in today’s world than there is on keywords and content.

So doing all those little SEO tricks to get you to the #1 spot isn’t going to be as helpful as you think.

AND, #1 on the SERPs doesn’t translate into conversions.

You need a funnel. Not a ranking.

6. A/B Test Results

Most A/B tests fail to provide meaningful insights.

Why?

Because you’re testing your own opinions and assumptions, allowing that pesky biases to ravage your results.

That’s not the only problem, though.

Peep Laja from CXL tested tons of data and experiments and found that A/B testing is worthless if you have less than 1000 conversions. Per month. Minimum.

Welp, that’s disheartening. Unless you’re getting over 1k (minimum) conversions per month, forget A/B testing and the results you got.

They don’t mean anything.

They might look nice at first. But most likely, they’ll regress back to the mean eventually.

Here’s what you should be tracking, instead

Don’t drown in all this negativity just yet. There’s good news, too.

Here are a few metrics to focus on to help make the cash register ring.

1. Funnel Report Data

We just talked about how A/B testing was a waste of time unless you have 1,000 minimum conversions per month.

BUT, you can figure out your conversion trouble spots much faster using funnel report data (courtesy of Kissmetrics).

Funnel reports show you how users actually move through your website.

You can see who performed certain actions, who didn’t perform a desired action, and who skipped certain steps in your funnel (for good or for ill).

You can also track certain steps in your funnel:

So if someone visited, then signed up for a newsletter, then viewed a video, you’d know.

You can then use this data to do things like:

  1. Identify conversion bottlenecks preventing people from joining, signing up, opting-in, or signing on the dotted line
  2. Segment your audience into cohorts to further analyze your funnel
  3. Zoom in on your acquisition funnel to see exactly where and when customers activate

Basically, you can determine how to increase conversions. Reliably. Consistently. Without running a single A/B test.

2. Backlink Quality

High quality backlinks can be hard to get.

You can’t fake ’em.

They’re a leading indicator, sure. But the best kind.

It’s a measure of performance, telling you (1) how efficient those promotional activities are and (2) if you can expect to see increased traffic in the near future as a result.

For example, here’s what a good backlink profile should look like:

moz open site explorer

#humblebrag

It’s diverse.

We aren’t getting hundreds of links from the same site over and over, as the link quality wouldn’t be as strong or meaningful.

And there are links from other high-quality sites in our industry. Relevance for the win!

But building high-quality backlinks takes an investment.

One survey by Moz found that roughly 37% of business owners spend between $10,000 and $50,000 per month on external link building.

That’s a lot.

We’re not saying you have to invest that much. There is a lot you can do to get better backlinks without dropping that kind of dough.

The point isn’t to just build links. That poor-house mindset is how you end up with the junk.

The point is to look at how you’re getting those links. The campaigns and activities and efforts bringing them in.

Change the strategy, change the end result.

3. ROI

Good old ROI. The gold standard metric.

That no one ever talks about online.

You see all the other stuff here. You might see revenue numbers and customer counts.

However, rarely do you see blog posts diving into the bottom-line numbers that actually count.

Let’s say you get four impressions and one click (and one pageview), with a 0.25%CTR and 0.25% conversion rate.

BUT, you only spend $5 and the buyer converts for 10x your cost per acquisition.

See what I mean? Who gives a crap about any other metric in the end besides ROI.

Now, I’m not saying you should completely ignore optimizing for conversions. Definitely not. Those are extremely important.

Just keep in mind that data lies. High conversion rates aren’t always as promising as they look.

Look at historical data, pinpoint trends, figure out what ROI means for you.

Ask: How does this specific measurement help our company’s growth?

And by growth, we don’t mean impressions, rankings, etc.

Knowing the number of leads each ad campaign is driving is fine. But it’s not good. You can’t stop until you see how much revenue each attributes.

Conclusion

Some metrics matter more than others.

Traffic, clicks, page views, CTR, and don’t matter as much in the long run. Vanity metrics like these sound amazing on press releases and blog posts and webinars and Growth Hackers and weekly stand-up meetings.

But they don’t help so much when it comes time to run the annual numbers.

You want to think big picture.

Look at your overall funnel. Where are people coming in? What are they doing? Where are they going?

Look at your backlinks to see which drive signups. Links, by themselves, are fine. But the important part is to first identify the ones driving real business actions. And then reverse-engineer which activities are driving the ‘winners’ vs. the ‘losers.’

And focus on the one metric that matters: Money. Moolah. The Big Bucks.

Track fewer, better metrics. The ones that count.

So you can learn faster, iterate faster, and eventually, profit faster.

About the Author: Brad Smith is the founder of Codeless, a B2B content creation company. Frequent contributor to Kissmetrics, Unbounce, WordStream, AdEspresso, Search Engine Journal, Autopilot, and more.

Advertisements

6 Metrics You Might Think are Important But Really Aren’t (And What to Track Instead)

You know all of those metrics you track?

They’re probably worthless.

I’m not saying they have absolutely no value, of course. I’m just saying they’re doing nothing for your bottom line most of the time.

These are the things that you think matter, but don’t.

In other words, you can track them, but don’t rely on them for real dollar value.

The trick is knowing which ones are valuable and which aren’t.

Here’s why some of those important metrics don’t really matter. Along with a few actionable ones you should worry about instead.

1. Clicks + Pageviews

We’ve heard it all before. The questions, the egos, the bragging.

How do I drive 100,000 visitors in a month? I need traffic fast!

Here’s how I drove 4,000 visitors a day, you can too with these simple tricks!

*sigh*

It sounds too good to be true, because it is.

Unless you’re getting paid for the pageview, and you want people to bounce instantly and never return, then go for it. Spam your link on Pinterest, forums and Reddit.

But, if you want to be realistic with yourself, clicks on your ads and page views on your content mean nothing if people aren’t either:

  1. Sticking around and reading more on your site
  2. Converting / buying a product or service / signing up for something
  3. Fulfilling the goal you have set on that page for visitors

So, if your clicks went through the roof yesterday like this:

But, your conversions were like this:

And your pageviews were like this:

But your goal completions were like this:

Then what.is.the.point?

Clicks and pageviews are worthless if they don’t lead to conversions.

2. CTR

CTR. The glorified metric that drives everyone from PPC to SERP growth hackers crazy.

Look at me, I’ve got a 66% CTR!

Oh cool, how many conversions did that get you? Two out of 4,000 clicks? Make it rain baby!

Ok, on a more serious note, here’s why CTR don’t mean $#!* in the real world:

Take a look at that AdWords table.

The highest converting, highest traffic keyword/ad group has the lowest CTR (by far).

YET also the highest conversions (by far).

Paying a low bid on the keyword and spending less money = lower positions = more competition = lower CTR.

But, conversions are still sky-high.

The whole account has an average total CTR of 3.49%. That’s not good.

Except, the average Cost per Conversion is 5x lower than the average sale revenue.

I’ll take that deal any day of the week.

CTR ain’t the gold standard. I don’t care what your CTR is if it doesn’t bring in conversions.

3. Impressions

Let’s say you own a brick and mortar store. You sell shoes.

It’s launch day and you get 40,000 people to walk in and out of your store that day.

Those ads must be working!

You’re checking ‘the books’ and you see the following sales numbers: $500. Total.

Now do you get it?

Impressions are cool and all.

Hey, (insertbossesname), our product was seen by 100,000 people today!

But at the end of the day, they don’t matter if (can you guess what’s next?) they don’t lead to sales, conversions, or goal completions.

4. Total Backlinks

Backlinks are good. They help with ranking metrics and credibility.

But total backlink quantity is over-emphasized.

Constantly we see people worrying about how many links they can get, however they can.

*Queue Oprah Gif: You get a link! You get a link! And you get a link!

If your backlink profile is spammy:

then those links don’t mean anything.

URL’s with low DA’s that are known for spamming or giving links like it’s candy on Halloween aren’t going to get you to the top of Google (anymore).

Ideally, you want a nice backlink profile from relevant, editorially-based sources that don’t just hand over easy links willy nilly.

kissmetrics backlinks

5. Rankings

Rankings can be awesome. Who doesn’t love being #1 on Google?

We’ve all seen this graph before:

traffic drop-off after first page on googleImage Source

Sounds peachy, doesn’t it?

We simply grind our content to the top ten positions and get the lion’s share of clicks.

But, it’s BS. Just ask Wil Reynolds.

Google is constantly changing. Personalizing their methods, learning about real people, and real human interaction with their service.

SEO rankings are more related to user search history now.

There’s more importance being placed on things like first impressions and brand loyalty in today’s world than there is on keywords and content.

So doing all those little SEO tricks to get you to the #1 spot isn’t going to be as helpful as you think.

AND, #1 on the SERPs doesn’t translate into conversions.

You need a funnel. Not a ranking.

6. A/B Test Results

Most A/B tests fail to provide meaningful insights.

Why?

Because you’re testing your own opinions and assumptions, allowing that pesky biases to ravage your results.

That’s not the only problem, though.

Peep Laja from CXL tested tons of data and experiments and found that A/B testing is worthless if you have less than 1000 conversions. Per month. Minimum.

Welp, that’s disheartening. Unless you’re getting over 1k (minimum) conversions per month, forget A/B testing and the results you got.

They don’t mean anything.

They might look nice at first. But most likely, they’ll regress back to the mean eventually.

Here’s what you should be tracking, instead

Don’t drown in all this negativity just yet. There’s good news, too.

Here are a few metrics to focus on to help make the cash register ring.

1. Funnel Report Data

We just talked about how A/B testing was a waste of time unless you have 1,000 minimum conversions per month.

BUT, you can figure out your conversion trouble spots much faster using funnel report data (courtesy of Kissmetrics).

Funnel reports show you how users actually move through your website.

You can see who performed certain actions, who didn’t perform a desired action, and who skipped certain steps in your funnel (for good or for ill).

You can also track certain steps in your funnel:

So if someone visited, then signed up for a newsletter, then viewed a video, you’d know.

You can then use this data to do things like:

  1. Identify conversion bottlenecks preventing people from joining, signing up, opting-in, or signing on the dotted line
  2. Segment your audience into cohorts to further analyze your funnel
  3. Zoom in on your acquisition funnel to see exactly where and when customers activate

Basically, you can determine how to increase conversions. Reliably. Consistently. Without running a single A/B test.

2. Backlink Quality

High quality backlinks can be hard to get.

You can’t fake ’em.

They’re a leading indicator, sure. But the best kind.

It’s a measure of performance, telling you (1) how efficient those promotional activities are and (2) if you can expect to see increased traffic in the near future as a result.

For example, here’s what a good backlink profile should look like:

moz open site explorer

#humblebrag

It’s diverse.

We aren’t getting hundreds of links from the same site over and over, as the link quality wouldn’t be as strong or meaningful.

And there are links from other high-quality sites in our industry. Relevance for the win!

But building high-quality backlinks takes an investment.

One survey by Moz found that roughly 37% of business owners spend between $10,000 and $50,000 per month on external link building.

That’s a lot.

We’re not saying you have to invest that much. There is a lot you can do to get better backlinks without dropping that kind of dough.

The point isn’t to just build links. That poor-house mindset is how you end up with the junk.

The point is to look at how you’re getting those links. The campaigns and activities and efforts bringing them in.

Change the strategy, change the end result.

3. ROI

Good old ROI. The gold standard metric.

That no one ever talks about online.

You see all the other stuff here. You might see revenue numbers and customer counts.

However, rarely do you see blog posts diving into the bottom-line numbers that actually count.

Let’s say you get four impressions and one click (and one pageview), with a 0.25%CTR and 0.25% conversion rate.

BUT, you only spend $5 and the buyer converts for 10x your cost per acquisition.

See what I mean? Who gives a crap about any other metric in the end besides ROI.

Now, I’m not saying you should completely ignore optimizing for conversions. Definitely not. Those are extremely important.

Just keep in mind that data lies. High conversion rates aren’t always as promising as they look.

Look at historical data, pinpoint trends, figure out what ROI means for you.

Ask: How does this specific measurement help our company’s growth?

And by growth, we don’t mean impressions, rankings, etc.

Knowing the number of leads each ad campaign is driving is fine. But it’s not good. You can’t stop until you see how much revenue each attributes.

Conclusion

Some metrics matter more than others.

Traffic, clicks, page views, CTR, and don’t matter as much in the long run. Vanity metrics like these sound amazing on press releases and blog posts and webinars and Growth Hackers and weekly stand-up meetings.

But they don’t help so much when it comes time to run the annual numbers.

You want to think big picture.

Look at your overall funnel. Where are people coming in? What are they doing? Where are they going?

Look at your backlinks to see which drive signups. Links, by themselves, are fine. But the important part is to first identify the ones driving real business actions. And then reverse-engineer which activities are driving the ‘winners’ vs. the ‘losers.’

And focus on the one metric that matters: Money. Moolah. The Big Bucks.

Track fewer, better metrics. The ones that count.

So you can learn faster, iterate faster, and eventually, profit faster.

About the Author: Brad Smith is the founder of Codeless, a B2B content creation company. Frequent contributor to Kissmetrics, Unbounce, WordStream, AdEspresso, Search Engine Journal, Autopilot, and more.

How to Kick Your Email List Building out of a Plateau

Every business owner eventually experiences growth stagnation.

It can happen with sales. And it can happen with your email list.

I’ve been there.

You feel stumped.

Your email list isn’t growing.

What can you possibly do to kick yourself out of this rut?

Well, the exciting news is, you’ve got several options.

Some of them are a fresh take on conventional list-building strategies. Others require you to think outside the box.

In this article, I’ll lay out the most effective techniques for you. You’ll walk away with a step-by-step plan to ramp up your email list.

Before we get into these strategies, I’ve got some crucial advice.

It is imperative that you block and tackle.

What does that mean?

When you’re trying to overcome a period of stagnation in business, it’s important that you put all your energy towards getting out of that rut.

Block a 30-60 day window on your schedule, and tackle only list building during that period.

Nothing else.

Building an email list is fundamental to the success of your business.

The relationship you’ll nurture with your subscribers will determine the revenue-generating power of your business.

In fact, the average email marketer sees a 94% return on investment.

Email Marketing Keep It Clean The Importance of Email List Hygiene Infographic MarketingProfs Article

The strategies you’ll learn in this article will allow you to put your list building on autopilot. It means the time you take to focus on this one thing will be time well spent.

Let’s jump in.

1. Discover your lead magnet opportunities

It doesn’t matter what list-building strategy you’re using. It doesn’t matter which audience you’re targeting.

All list-building roads lead to your lead magnet.

Nobody will give you their email address without receiving an attractive offer in return.

Like this:

Smart Blogger

With that said, the first step is to pick out incentives your target audiencewould want.

Put these steps into action to determine what that is.

Step #1: What does your audience want?

Think about the ultimate result. If you double-down on their biggest pain point, this won’t be difficult to come up with.

Step #2: What is your overarching solution to helping them get what they want?

Think about the big picture.

For example, if you’re a business coach, your ultimate goal may be to get your clients to bring in more sales and greater profits.

Step #3: What are the small steps required to deliver that ultimate solution?

In keeping with the example above, the small steps can be:

  • build an email list
  • have a content marketing plan
  • launch a product
  • set up evergreen sales funnels
  • hire a virtual assistant

Your best free content lies in these small steps.

It will help you create an offer your audience wants. It will also ensure you give away something that will give them an immediate win.

This is super important for lead magnets.

You want subscribers to consume the content, implement it, and achieve a positive result.

Now that you have an idea of what your audience will benefit from, it’s time to create something concrete.

2. Create your free incentives to attract your ideal audience

I’ll cut to the chase.

Four strategies work exceptionally well.

Strategy #1:Pick out your top performing posts and create content upgrades.

Content upgrades are quickly becoming the gold standard for list building.

Brian Dean boosted his conversions by 785%using content upgrades.

How To Boost Conversions by 785 in One Day The Content Upgrade

Here is how to do that:

  1. Go through your analytics.
  2. Select the blog posts that have gotten the most traffic and engagement.
  3. Create an incentive specific to that piece of content.

Let’s say you write a post How to Write Blog Posts That Rank on Google’s First Page.

You can create an SEO checklist as a content upgrade and place it within your blog post.

Here’s an example:

6 Step Sales funnel we used to make 220 750 from our online course

The chances of someone signing up to receive this upgrade? Sky high.

It adds to the value of your post as it gives readers a valuable resource to implement what you just discussed.

Strategy #2: Create a brand-specific lead magnet

This is an incentive that stands on its own.

It’s not tied to any piece of content, and it should have a mass appeal.

I don’t mean that it must be geared towards everyone on the Internet. But people in your target market should be attracted by your brand-specific free offer.

Here are some examples:

  • an email course
  • a challenge
  • a resource library
  • an ultimate guide
  • a Facebook group or other online community
  • a content series, e.g., a video series or a blog post series
  • a toolkit

Strategy #3: Create a lead magnet that prepares your customer for a purchase

Most people talk about the first two strategies. But many leave out the most important one.

You must have a lead magnet that is connected to your premium offers.

This applies to a physical product, a service, or an informational product.

This type of a lead magnet is often (not always) smaller and quick to consume. This way, you give subscribers an appetite for your paid product.

For physical products and software, it’s easy to come up with an incentive. You can give away a coupon code, a free trial, etc.

Like Curology does:

Curology Custom Acne Treatment

Here’s a good rule of thumb for info-products and services:

  • your free content can give away the Why and the What
  • your paid content can be geared towards the How

Let’s look at an example from Jeff Walker.

He offers a premium program that helps entrepreneurs launch a product.

It’s called Product Launch Formula.

Home Jeff Walker

His free incentive is a Launch workshop, which is directly tied to his paid product.

And that’s what I mean bypreparing your customer for a purchase.

This is a smart way to build a warm list of potential buyers.

Strategy #4: Create a promotional lead magnet

The last technique is to run a promotion.

This is where you use a giveaway to accelerate your list building.

When you implement this well, it works wonders. But I’ll admit: it isn’t my favorite strategy.

Why?

For one, it isn’t evergreen.

This isn’t something you can set and forget.

You run your promotion for a particular period. During that time, you have to market your giveaway aggressively and manage it closely.

After your promotion has run its course, that’s it. It has no use to you anymore.

Here’s my advice:

  • run giveaways sparingly;
  • make sure you can execute them well because promotions can easily flop;
  • give away something that closely aligns with your premium offers.

Which of these four strategies should you focus on?

All of them.

The days of one lead magnet are gone.

Of course, you don’t have to create all of them at once. That takes time.

But aim to have each of these types of incentives in your arsenal.

3. Design your website to convert

You’ve come up with your lead magnetideas, and you’ve created them.

Now what?

It’s time to ensure your website visitors have every opportunity to grab these free resources.

This is not about designing your site from scratch or spending big bucks on web design.

You simply want to ensure that your web traffic is directed to your incentives.

A few tweaks will do the trick.

Here are my recommendations.

1. Place your brand-specific lead magnet above the fold of your website

Above the fold is the upper half of a website page.

It’s that section that a web visitor sees without having to scroll down.

The premise is simple.

You have a few seconds to grab your visitors’ attention. If your primary goal is to collect leads, the first thing users should see is an opportunity to sign up to your email list.

Here’s an example from Blogging Wizard:

Blogging Wizard Discover Actionable Blogging Tips You Can Use

Here’s another example:

Done For You Funnel Service AutoGrow co

2. Create high-converting landing pages for your lead magnets

Every standalone lead magnet needs a landing page. (This ruledoesn’t apply to content upgrades.)

If you decide to runlist-building ads, you’ll need this asset. If you want to direct your social media traffic to your lead magnet, it will also come in handy.

Let’s talk about the anatomy of a solid landing page. It needs to have:

  • a primary headline
  • a secondary headline or subheading
  • a descriptive statement
  • benefits in bullet points
  • an image of your lead magnet
  • minimal form fields (two fields maximum)
  • a call to action
  • social proof (if you have it)
  • a snippet about you and an image (optional)

I know. Most landing pages don’t include all these elements.

That’s why they don’t work.

I recommend including everything listed above, but if you have to choose, the first seven will do the job.

3. Every time you run a promotion, feature it above the fold

When you decide to run list-building promos, you need to capitalize on that prime real estate.

As I referenced earlier, giveaways require lots of marketing. The more exposure you can get, the more successful you will be.

Just replace whatever is above your fold at the moment with something related to your promotion.

Like in this example:

Giveaway TechnoBuffalo

4. Include opt-in forms in three to seven different places on your site

Apart from landing pages and feature boxes above the fold, you need to have opt-in forms elsewhere on your site.

Why three to seven?

Well, two is not enough to get the job done.

In marketing, there’s this rule that says prospects need to hear your message seven times before it sticks.

Only then will they take action.

I’ve analyzed several of the top sites in various niches. They all have many opt-in forms in that range.

I don’t know what your results will be. You can test it.

In any event, one thing is for sure: the more opportunities you have for web visitors to opt in to your email list, the faster it will grow.

And that’s what you want.

Here are some ideas where you can place these additional opt-ins:

  • within your blog posts
  • in your sidebar
  • in popups
  • on your About page
  • in your main navigation
  • in your footer

4. Keep creating high-value content on a consistent basis

At this point, you’ll start seeing an improvement.

Why am I so sure?

If you create lead magnets your audience wants and optimize your site for conversions, you’re achieving two things.

First, you have a foundation to scale your list building efforts.

Second, you are capitalizing on the traffic you’re already receiving.

That combination alone will make a difference. But let’s see how you can ramp it up.

Content is crucial at this stage.

There are three types of content I recommend.

1. High-value blog posts with content upgrades

In the second step, we talked about the importance of blog posts with content upgrades.

However, you were working with existing content.

You have to keep publishing valuable posts on a weekly basis. If you can create a content upgrade for each article, definitely do that.

What’s the ideal publishing frequency?

That depends on your niche and your audience.

I’ll tell you one thing.

You don’t need to post daily. Consistency is what matters.

One post a week is enough to see results with your list building.

2. Webinars

You may have noticed webinars are in vogue these days.

And with good reason.

It’s a fresh way to deliver value to your audience.

It’s especially powerful for list building because it’s gated content. People have to sign up to your email list to attend.

Here’s the thing though.

Webinars are a strategy into itself. It takes preparation, the right tools, and robust marketing to make it a success.

But it’s worth it.

Webinars typically run about 60 minutes. It means you’ll need lots of content to work with.

The great news?

This content is typically evergreen and can be repurposed into blog posts or social media posts.

3. Social media content

There’s no better source of free traffic than your social media profiles.

I recommend focusing on one main platform where your audience hangs out.

Post consistently. Build an engaged community. And direct that social traffic to your main site.

Conclusion

There’s no dancing around this fact: email list building is central to the success of an online business.

Make it a priority.

Periods of slow growth are commonplace and shouldn’t be a problem. What matters is what you do to get yourself out of the lull.

When it comes to increasing the number of your subscribers, you aren’t short on options.

Follow the strategies I’ve laid out in this article.

If you implement them, you’ll start seeing an increase in your email list sign-ups almost immediately.

Which list-building strategies have worked the best for you?

Podcasts: Your Next Great Marketing Channel, Or Just a Fad?

When it comes to reaching engaged, relevant audiences, which marketing channels truly shine? Social media? Email? Webinars?

How about podcasts?

Podcasts? I can hear you thinking, You mean those radio shows that were popular in the early 2000s? Sure, podcasts may have hit critical mass thanks to Apple iTunes and the iPod back in 2004, but new research is showing that small businesses and brands alike are taking another look at the podcast as a formidable marketing tool.

Of course the question is – why podcasts? And why has this technology suddenly re-ignited? Let’s take a closer look:

Podcasts’ Surge in Popularity

According to a recent report from Infinite Dial, 40% of respondents reported listening to a podcast at least once, with 24% doing so monthly, and 15% doing so weekly. Year over year, online radio and podcasts in particular, have shown a growth that simply can’t be ignored. What’s more, according to a separate study from Triton Digital and Edison Research, Americans tuning in to podcasts on a weekly basis has almost doubled since 2013:

Image Source

Listeners Are More Receptive to Products and Services

People are tuning in – and so are advertisers. There’s a lot for advertisers to like about podcasts, since almost two-thirds of listeners are more willing to consider products and services they learned about on a podcast. Over half of them believed that the hosts of the podcasts they listen to regularly are users of the products and services they mention on their respective shows. And those respondents reacted much more positively to products and services mentioned on the shows from the host themselves rather than a pre-recorded ad from a company or sponsor.

Just look at what actions listeners took after hearing about a product or service in a podcast:

Image Source

In addition to high levels of receptiveness, relevancy and engagement, the kinds of people listening to podcasts are the very users many advertisers want to reach: relatively young, high income and high education levels, according to a survey from Nielsen:

Image Source

Now the question becomes – how can brands and companies leverage this audience attraction?

Which Brands are Seeing Success with Podcasts?

One of the biggest points to keep in mind is that no one is going to tune in to a 20 minute commercial about your business. Take eBay, for example. Earlier this summer, Brooklyn-based audio company Gimlet Creative completed a branded podcast series for the auction company called Open for Business. It became the number one business podcast in iTunes when it released in June and talks to create a second season are already underway.

On the surface, it looks like Open for Business has very little in common with eBay itself. Topics include details on how to build a business from the ground up, including: how to hire, how an immigrant can start a business in the U.S., and so on.

Mentions of eBay itself are handled in a very light-touch manner. The podcast does, however, circle back by sharing the true story of a small business owner that found success on eBay. The last episode of the first series focused on the gig economy, which includes getting short term jobs and getting paid from gig-style platforms like Uber, Taskrabbit, Airbnband eBay.

The series was a hit – generating an average rating of 4.5 on iTunes and hitting 200% of its download goal.

And it’s not just how-to or curriculum-style podcasts that are getting noticed. GE leverages branded content by using its own sound technology in part of a sci-fi series known as The Message, where cryptographers attempt to decipher an alien message. GE itself isn’t mentioned anywhere in the podcast, but its technology is an integrated part of the storyline.

As part of their digital marketing, General Electric has started a podcast that works well with the audio format.

The Message currently has 5 million subscribers.

You can read more about General Electric’s foray into the digital marketing sphere in our post.

But before you get too excited about the potential of podcasts, it’s worth noting a few downsides.

Measuring Reach: Still In Its Infancy

Currently, the best way to measure how much reach a podcast has is the number of downloads and the number of subscribers to a given channel. Podcasts do not yet have the ability to tell you things like how long people listened or, for example, if someone played a podcast in their car with a group of friends.

What’s more, podcasts don’t correlate the number of downloads to the number of subscribers, so hosts don’t know what percentage of their listeners tune in on a weekly basis, or download an episode. How many people listen one time and then never listen again? No one knows.

Even Apple’s podcast app doesn’t provide statistics or analytics that show what kind of reach the podcast has. So, keep this in mind if you’re looking for measurable marketing gains with podcasts – the information you get is fairly shallow compared to the deep, insightful analytics you get with other marketing channels.

Podcasts Set a Higher Bar for Quality

If you’re looking at starting your own podcast, you can see from the examples above, as well as the top podcasts for your particular industry, that there’s a much higher bar set in terms of quality and consistency than with creating other types of content. Articles like this one may take just a few minutes to read, but with a podcast, you’re asking people to tune in for roughly 20 minutes or so per week the approximate length and schedule for podcasts in general.

That means you have to commit to a standard of quality and a publishing schedule that’s both dedicated and deeply involved. It’s quite the challenge, to be sure, and many companies – even large ones – simply cannot afford that kind of time investment with so many other digital irons in the fire.

Small and medium-sized businesses, however, can look at podcasts as an opportunity to map out a higher grade of content that not only enthralls and engages listeners, but also leaves them wanting more. And although the bar for quality is higher, the receptiveness of the audience and their eagerness to take the actions you want them to take after learning about your product or service is definitely worth it.

And although podcasts have risen and waned in popularity throughout the years, the proliferation of online radio, smartphones and home devices like Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa have made tuning into podcasts even more accessible than in a the past. If all indications are showing increasing growth and user adoption, it’s safe to say that podcasting isn’t just a fad – but like all marketing initiatives, the sooner you start, the sooner you can reap the benefits rather than falling behind and being looked at as an also-ran by your potential customers.

Do you use podcasts in your own marketing campaigns? What have your results been so far? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below and let us know what tips you have for fellow podcasters who are looking to get started! We can’t wait to hear from you!

About the Author: Sherice Jacob helps business owners improve website design and increase conversion rates through compelling copywriting, user-friendly design and smart analytics analysis. Learn more at iElectrify.com and download your free web copy tune-up and conversion checklist today!

What Facebook Watch Will Mean for Marketers

It was only a matter of time.

Just like Amazon, YouTube, and Netflix before it, Facebook has officially entered the video streaming game.

What is Facebook Watch, and what does it mean for you your marketing strategy?

What is Facebook Watch?

Launched in August 2017 to select users in the U.S. via mobile, desktop and TV apps, Facebook Watch is the company’s entre into episodic streaming video. Videos range from mini documentaries to live sporting events, courtesy of partnerships with Major League Baseball. There is a set group of publishers at launch, but the company plans to open it up to more creators soon.

How will Facebook Watch make money?

Facebook Watch is monetized through ad breaks. The producing partners earn 55% of ad break revenue while Facebook keeps 45%.

Facebook Watch is the company’s entre into episodic streaming video. (Image Source)

What makes Facebook Watch different from other streaming services?

The streaming video space is undeniably crowded, so Facebook had to find a way to make Facebook Watch stand out. There are three main ways Facebook Watch is different, all of which bode well for its staying power.

  1. Original video content, which can be viewed through a new tab called Watch, is exclusive to Facebook Watch and can’t be seen anywhere else (with the exception of the live content available through deals like the one with Major League Baseball).
  2. Because it’s monetized through ad breaks, Facebook Watch is totally free for the viewing audience. All they have to do is be logged in to their Facebook account.
  3. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Facebook Watch is hyper-personalized in a way no streaming platform has been before.

The New Social Viewing Trend

Facebook Watch’s personalization takes advantage of everything users already love about the platform it’s personal, and it’s social. People love getting recommendations for the things they love, and they love sharing those things with friends.

  • Facebook Watch provides personalized recommendations in its Discover tab, using fun, Facebook-esque categories like Most Talked About, What’s Making People Laugh, and Shows Your Friends Are Watching.
  • Subscribing to a show instantly connects Facebook users with fellow fans through show-linked Groups.
  • During a show, Facebook users get access to a live comment section where they can chat with other viewers and friends in real-time.

All these features indicate a strong focus on social viewing. While the social viewing trend is new, we have seen it before.

For example, in April of this year, Tumblr launched its video chat service Cabana. The app functions like a Tumblr/FaceTime hybrid, where users can watch their friends’ reactions in real time as they all watch a video together.

cabana video appTumblr’s Cabana app brings friends together to watch and react to videos in real time. (Image Source)

Social viewing veteran YouTube has been making some changes, too. Also in August, YouTube added in-app chat to its Android and iOS apps. Previously, users could only share videos out to other apps, such as Twitter or text message, but now conversations can also happen natively within YouTube. The interface is similar to Google Hangouts and appears to be YouTube’s answer to the messaging functionality offered by Instagram and Snapchat.

YouTube has recently launched in-app chat, keeping users chatting natively with their friends. (Image Source)

When multiple social media platforms follow suit, it’s a sure sign a new trend is here to stay. Social viewing is not going away, so how can marketers take advantage of it?

What Facebook Watch means for marketers

Facebook has 1.32 billion users who check in on a daily basis. For anyone who’s wondering, their monthly active users just hit 2 billion.

Either number means Watch is a major initiative at Facebook that marketers should not ignore. Facebook plans to integrate Watch episodes into the News Feed, and the company has a track record of using the News Feed to drive new features to success.

Here are four ways Facebook Watch will change the game for marketers.

1. Ad break ads will likely become more important for Facebook advertisers

In an increasingly internet-marketing-savvy world, people are getting better at tuning ads out. Just last year, Google gave up on its right sidebar ads and removed them.

Fortunately for advertisers, Facebook Watch promises great things. There’s a lot of noise in a Facebook user’s News Feed, so it’s not always easy for your ad to grab attention. But with video, you have a captive audience who is stuck watching your ad. They can’t simply scroll down their feed to get away from it.

Longer videos will only increase the effectiveness of ad break mid roll ads. And if Facebook adds social engagement functionality within the ads themselves, such as reactions and sharing, they’ll perform even better.

Traditional television has been on a downward trend for years. Facebook Watch will only accelerate the ongoing shift of ad dollars from TV to digital and mobile.

2. Facebook Watch gives influencers and social creators a powerful new channel

As promising as the ad breaks are, it’s notable that Facebook Watch publishers can opt out of them entirely. Instead, they can make money through product placement, as long as they tag the sponsor for transparency. One can imagine the implications this has for budding videographers, actors, singers, and documentarians who hope to fund their growth via influencer partnerships.

The rise of the influencer owes much of its success in large part to YouTube. But Facebook Watch could prove to be even more fruitful for influencers.

For instance, Facebook Watch will open up new viewing patterns that are less search-oriented than YouTube. Users who watch or subscribe to programs will see those appear in their News Feed along with the other daily updates from friends, rather than having to go to YouTube to check for the latest uploads. This gives influencers a huge opportunity to increase engagement through video, as fan affinity with influencers will become even more important.

3. Facebook Live may become even more important for brands.

Facebook Live, along with Instagram Live, has been gaining popularity with brands ever since it came out two years ago.

Facebook Live allows brands to humanize themselves and connect with fans in real-time. The live shows and events on Facebook Watch will do the same.

It’s inevitable that one day Facebook will let brands join in on the fun as Facebook opens up Facebook Watch to more publishers. (Those who are interested can apply via this page on Facebook help.) Brands can start practicing now by focusing on Facebook Live.

What resonates with your fans? Do they prefer a structured video format, or something more casual? How often do they want to watch? Daily shows in particular could be a goldmine for brands. The frequency keeps users coming back, ensuring a lucrative return for product placement or ad breaks. That consistent association with their favorite show could make consumers fall in love with your brand.

4. Ultimately, Facebook Watch changes the game for video content marketers

Facebook heavily emphasized the community aspect of Facebook Watch in their official announcement:

Watching video on Facebook has the incredible power to connect people, spark conversation and foster community, said Daniel Danker, Facebook’s product director. On Facebook, videos are discovered through friends and bring communities together.

Three of the four bullet points in the release mentioned connection and bringing people together. Even the few seed shows Facebook funded are touted as community-oriented video series.

It makes sense: The sense of community is what led people to fall in love with the platform in the first place.

Because of this, Facebook Watch will likely see much higher sharing and social engagement than other platforms.

The current list of Facebook Watch programming focuses on reality shows, mini-documentaries, and sports coverage aligning it more with YouTube than the heavy dramas and comedies of other streaming networks. But while YouTube optimized for how-to and short-form content, Facebook Watch will likely expand opportunities to longer-form videos as well as pure entertainment and more passively consumed content.

Video content marketers should start planning now for how they can create content that fits into those categories and fosters real-time community discussion. Perhaps for the first time, content should be created with the platform in mind first and foremost. Successful videos on Facebook Watch will encourage and facilitate real-time conversations.

Facebook Watch: An Exciting Moment for Marketers

So far, everything about Facebook Watch looks good for marketers. The people on the paid team will enjoy seeing more eyeballs on their ads, and the organic folks will get more authentic opportunities to align themselves with influencers. More and more, brands are trying to be seen as friends, not corporations. Facebook Watch will let them do just that.

About the Author: Michael Quoc is the founder and CEO of Dealspotr, an open social platform connecting emerging brands, lifestyle influencers, and trend-seeking shoppers in exciting new ways. He was previously the Director of Product Management for Yahoo’s media lab, where he spearheaded the launch of several innovative services in the live video and mobile social networking areas. Michael has been awarded nine patents relating to mobile and social network applications and technology. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelquoc.

Podcasts: Your Next Great Marketing Channel, Or Just a Fad?

When it comes to reaching engaged, relevant audiences, which marketing channels truly shine? Social media? Email? Webinars?

How about podcasts?

Podcasts? I can hear you thinking, You mean those radio shows that were popular in the early 2000s? Sure, podcasts may have hit critical mass thanks to Apple iTunes and the iPod back in 2004, but new research is showing that small businesses and brands alike are taking another look at the podcast as a formidable marketing tool.

Of course the question is – why podcasts? And why has this technology suddenly re-ignited? Let’s take a closer look:

Podcasts’ Surge in Popularity

According to a recent report from Infinite Dial, 40% of respondents reported listening to a podcast at least once, with 24% doing so monthly, and 15% doing so weekly. Year over year, online radio and podcasts in particular, have shown a growth that simply can’t be ignored. What’s more, according to a separate study from Triton Digital and Edison Research, Americans tuning in to podcasts on a weekly basis has almost doubled since 2013:

Image Source

Listeners Are More Receptive to Products and Services

People are tuning in – and so are advertisers. There’s a lot for advertisers to like about podcasts, since almost two-thirds of listeners are more willing to consider products and services they learned about on a podcast. Over half of them believed that the hosts of the podcasts they listen to regularly are users of the products and services they mention on their respective shows. And those respondents reacted much more positively to products and services mentioned on the shows from the host themselves rather than a pre-recorded ad from a company or sponsor.

Just look at what actions listeners took after hearing about a product or service in a podcast:

Image Source

In addition to high levels of receptiveness, relevancy and engagement, the kinds of people listening to podcasts are the very users many advertisers want to reach: relatively young, high income and high education levels, according to a survey from Nielsen:

Image Source

Now the question becomes – how can brands and companies leverage this audience attraction?

Which Brands are Seeing Success with Podcasts?

One of the biggest points to keep in mind is that no one is going to tune in to a 20 minute commercial about your business. Take eBay, for example. Earlier this summer, Brooklyn-based audio company Gimlet Creative completed a branded podcast series for the auction company called Open for Business. It became the number one business podcast in iTunes when it released in June and talks to create a second season are already underway.

On the surface, it looks like Open for Business has very little in common with eBay itself. Topics include details on how to build a business from the ground up, including: how to hire, how an immigrant can start a business in the U.S., and so on.

Mentions of eBay itself are handled in a very light-touch manner. The podcast does, however, circle back by sharing the true story of a small business owner that found success on eBay. The last episode of the first series focused on the gig economy, which includes getting short term jobs and getting paid from gig-style platforms like Uber, Taskrabbit, Airbnband eBay.

The series was a hit – generating an average rating of 4.5 on iTunes and hitting 200% of its download goal.

And it’s not just how-to or curriculum-style podcasts that are getting noticed. GE leverages branded content by using its own sound technology in part of a sci-fi series known as The Message, where cryptographers attempt to decipher an alien message. GE itself isn’t mentioned anywhere in the podcast, but its technology is an integrated part of the storyline.

As part of their digital marketing, General Electric has started a podcast that works well with the audio format.

The Message currently has 5 million subscribers.

You can read more about General Electric’s foray into the digital marketing sphere in our post.

But before you get too excited about the potential of podcasts, it’s worth noting a few downsides.

Measuring Reach: Still In Its Infancy

Currently, the best way to measure how much reach a podcast has is the number of downloads and the number of subscribers to a given channel. Podcasts do not yet have the ability to tell you things like how long people listened or, for example, if someone played a podcast in their car with a group of friends.

What’s more, podcasts don’t correlate the number of downloads to the number of subscribers, so hosts don’t know what percentage of their listeners tune in on a weekly basis, or download an episode. How many people listen one time and then never listen again? No one knows.

Even Apple’s podcast app doesn’t provide statistics or analytics that show what kind of reach the podcast has. So, keep this in mind if you’re looking for measurable marketing gains with podcasts – the information you get is fairly shallow compared to the deep, insightful analytics you get with other marketing channels.

Podcasts Set a Higher Bar for Quality

If you’re looking at starting your own podcast, you can see from the examples above, as well as the top podcasts for your particular industry, that there’s a much higher bar set in terms of quality and consistency than with creating other types of content. Articles like this one may take just a few minutes to read, but with a podcast, you’re asking people to tune in for roughly 20 minutes or so per week the approximate length and schedule for podcasts in general.

That means you have to commit to a standard of quality and a publishing schedule that’s both dedicated and deeply involved. It’s quite the challenge, to be sure, and many companies – even large ones – simply cannot afford that kind of time investment with so many other digital irons in the fire.

Small and medium-sized businesses, however, can look at podcasts as an opportunity to map out a higher grade of content that not only enthralls and engages listeners, but also leaves them wanting more. And although the bar for quality is higher, the receptiveness of the audience and their eagerness to take the actions you want them to take after learning about your product or service is definitely worth it.

And although podcasts have risen and waned in popularity throughout the years, the proliferation of online radio, smartphones and home devices like Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa have made tuning into podcasts even more accessible than in a the past. If all indications are showing increasing growth and user adoption, it’s safe to say that podcasting isn’t just a fad – but like all marketing initiatives, the sooner you start, the sooner you can reap the benefits rather than falling behind and being looked at as an also-ran by your potential customers.

Do you use podcasts in your own marketing campaigns? What have your results been so far? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below and let us know what tips you have for fellow podcasters who are looking to get started! We can’t wait to hear from you!

About the Author: Sherice Jacob helps business owners improve website design and increase conversion rates through compelling copywriting, user-friendly design and smart analytics analysis. Learn more at iElectrify.com and download your free web copy tune-up and conversion checklist today!

Podcasts: Your Next Great Marketing Channel, Or Just a Fad?

When it comes to reaching engaged, relevant audiences, which marketing channels truly shine? Social media? Email? Webinars?

How about podcasts?

Podcasts? I can hear you thinking, You mean those radio shows that were popular in the early 2000s? Sure, podcasts may have hit critical mass thanks to Apple iTunes and the iPod back in 2004, but new research is showing that small businesses and brands alike are taking another look at the podcast as a formidable marketing tool.

Of course the question is – why podcasts? And why has this technology suddenly re-ignited? Let’s take a closer look:

Podcasts’ Surge in Popularity

According to a recent report from Infinite Dial, 40% of respondents reported listening to a podcast at least once, with 24% doing so monthly, and 15% doing so weekly. Year over year, online radio and podcasts in particular, have shown a growth that simply can’t be ignored. What’s more, according to a separate study from Triton Digital and Edison Research, Americans tuning in to podcasts on a weekly basis has almost doubled since 2013:

Image Source

Listeners Are More Receptive to Products and Services

People are tuning in – and so are advertisers. There’s a lot for advertisers to like about podcasts, since almost two-thirds of listeners are more willing to consider products and services they learned about on a podcast. Over half of them believed that the hosts of the podcasts they listen to regularly are users of the products and services they mention on their respective shows. And those respondents reacted much more positively to products and services mentioned on the shows from the host themselves rather than a pre-recorded ad from a company or sponsor.

Just look at what actions listeners took after hearing about a product or service in a podcast:

Image Source

In addition to high levels of receptiveness, relevancy and engagement, the kinds of people listening to podcasts are the very users many advertisers want to reach: relatively young, high income and high education levels, according to a survey from Nielsen:

Image Source

Now the question becomes – how can brands and companies leverage this audience attraction?

Which Brands are Seeing Success with Podcasts?

One of the biggest points to keep in mind is that no one is going to tune in to a 20 minute commercial about your business. Take eBay, for example. Earlier this summer, Brooklyn-based audio company Gimlet Creative completed a branded podcast series for the auction company called Open for Business. It became the number one business podcast in iTunes when it released in June and talks to create a second season are already underway.

On the surface, it looks like Open for Business has very little in common with eBay itself. Topics include details on how to build a business from the ground up, including: how to hire, how an immigrant can start a business in the U.S., and so on.

Mentions of eBay itself are handled in a very light-touch manner. The podcast does, however, circle back by sharing the true story of a small business owner that found success on eBay. The last episode of the first series focused on the gig economy, which includes getting short term jobs and getting paid from gig-style platforms like Uber, Taskrabbit, Airbnband eBay.

The series was a hit – generating an average rating of 4.5 on iTunes and hitting 200% of its download goal.

And it’s not just how-to or curriculum-style podcasts that are getting noticed. GE leverages branded content by using its own sound technology in part of a sci-fi series known as The Message, where cryptographers attempt to decipher an alien message. GE itself isn’t mentioned anywhere in the podcast, but its technology is an integrated part of the storyline.

As part of their digital marketing, General Electric has started a podcast that works well with the audio format.

The Message currently has 5 million subscribers.

You can read more about General Electric’s foray into the digital marketing sphere in our post.

But before you get too excited about the potential of podcasts, it’s worth noting a few downsides.

Measuring Reach: Still In Its Infancy

Currently, the best way to measure how much reach a podcast has is the number of downloads and the number of subscribers to a given channel. Podcasts do not yet have the ability to tell you things like how long people listened or, for example, if someone played a podcast in their car with a group of friends.

What’s more, podcasts don’t correlate the number of downloads to the number of subscribers, so hosts don’t know what percentage of their listeners tune in on a weekly basis, or download an episode. How many people listen one time and then never listen again? No one knows.

Even Apple’s podcast app doesn’t provide statistics or analytics that show what kind of reach the podcast has. So, keep this in mind if you’re looking for measurable marketing gains with podcasts – the information you get is fairly shallow compared to the deep, insightful analytics you get with other marketing channels.

Podcasts Set a Higher Bar for Quality

If you’re looking at starting your own podcast, you can see from the examples above, as well as the top podcasts for your particular industry, that there’s a much higher bar set in terms of quality and consistency than with creating other types of content. Articles like this one may take just a few minutes to read, but with a podcast, you’re asking people to tune in for roughly 20 minutes or so per week the approximate length and schedule for podcasts in general.

That means you have to commit to a standard of quality and a publishing schedule that’s both dedicated and deeply involved. It’s quite the challenge, to be sure, and many companies – even large ones – simply cannot afford that kind of time investment with so many other digital irons in the fire.

Small and medium-sized businesses, however, can look at podcasts as an opportunity to map out a higher grade of content that not only enthralls and engages listeners, but also leaves them wanting more. And although the bar for quality is higher, the receptiveness of the audience and their eagerness to take the actions you want them to take after learning about your product or service is definitely worth it.

And although podcasts have risen and waned in popularity throughout the years, the proliferation of online radio, smartphones and home devices like Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa have made tuning into podcasts even more accessible than in a the past. If all indications are showing increasing growth and user adoption, it’s safe to say that podcasting isn’t just a fad – but like all marketing initiatives, the sooner you start, the sooner you can reap the benefits rather than falling behind and being looked at as an also-ran by your potential customers.

Do you use podcasts in your own marketing campaigns? What have your results been so far? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below and let us know what tips you have for fellow podcasters who are looking to get started! We can’t wait to hear from you!

About the Author: Sherice Jacob helps business owners improve website design and increase conversion rates through compelling copywriting, user-friendly design and smart analytics analysis. Learn more at iElectrify.com and download your free web copy tune-up and conversion checklist today!

What Facebook Watch Will Mean for Marketers

It was only a matter of time.

Just like Amazon, YouTube, and Netflix before it, Facebook has officially entered the video streaming game.

What is Facebook Watch, and what does it mean for you your marketing strategy?

What is Facebook Watch?

Launched in August 2017 to select users in the U.S. via mobile, desktop and TV apps, Facebook Watch is the company’s entre into episodic streaming video. Videos range from mini documentaries to live sporting events, courtesy of partnerships with Major League Baseball. There is a set group of publishers at launch, but the company plans to open it up to more creators soon.

How will Facebook Watch make money?

Facebook Watch is monetized through ad breaks. The producing partners earn 55% of ad break revenue while Facebook keeps 45%.

Facebook Watch is the company’s entre into episodic streaming video. (Image Source)

What makes Facebook Watch different from other streaming services?

The streaming video space is undeniably crowded, so Facebook had to find a way to make Facebook Watch stand out. There are three main ways Facebook Watch is different, all of which bode well for its staying power.

  1. Original video content, which can be viewed through a new tab called Watch, is exclusive to Facebook Watch and can’t be seen anywhere else (with the exception of the live content available through deals like the one with Major League Baseball).
  2. Because it’s monetized through ad breaks, Facebook Watch is totally free for the viewing audience. All they have to do is be logged in to their Facebook account.
  3. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Facebook Watch is hyper-personalized in a way no streaming platform has been before.

The New Social Viewing Trend

Facebook Watch’s personalization takes advantage of everything users already love about the platform it’s personal, and it’s social. People love getting recommendations for the things they love, and they love sharing those things with friends.

  • Facebook Watch provides personalized recommendations in its Discover tab, using fun, Facebook-esque categories like Most Talked About, What’s Making People Laugh, and Shows Your Friends Are Watching.
  • Subscribing to a show instantly connects Facebook users with fellow fans through show-linked Groups.
  • During a show, Facebook users get access to a live comment section where they can chat with other viewers and friends in real-time.

All these features indicate a strong focus on social viewing. While the social viewing trend is new, we have seen it before.

For example, in April of this year, Tumblr launched its video chat service Cabana. The app functions like a Tumblr/FaceTime hybrid, where users can watch their friends’ reactions in real time as they all watch a video together.

cabana video appTumblr’s Cabana app brings friends together to watch and react to videos in real time. (Image Source)

Social viewing veteran YouTube has been making some changes, too. Also in August, YouTube added in-app chat to its Android and iOS apps. Previously, users could only share videos out to other apps, such as Twitter or text message, but now conversations can also happen natively within YouTube. The interface is similar to Google Hangouts and appears to be YouTube’s answer to the messaging functionality offered by Instagram and Snapchat.

YouTube has recently launched in-app chat, keeping users chatting natively with their friends. (Image Source)

When multiple social media platforms follow suit, it’s a sure sign a new trend is here to stay. Social viewing is not going away, so how can marketers take advantage of it?

What Facebook Watch means for marketers

Facebook has 1.32 billion users who check in on a daily basis. For anyone who’s wondering, their monthly active users just hit 2 billion.

Either number means Watch is a major initiative at Facebook that marketers should not ignore. Facebook plans to integrate Watch episodes into the News Feed, and the company has a track record of using the News Feed to drive new features to success.

Here are four ways Facebook Watch will change the game for marketers.

1. Ad break ads will likely become more important for Facebook advertisers

In an increasingly internet-marketing-savvy world, people are getting better at tuning ads out. Just last year, Google gave up on its right sidebar ads and removed them.

Fortunately for advertisers, Facebook Watch promises great things. There’s a lot of noise in a Facebook user’s News Feed, so it’s not always easy for your ad to grab attention. But with video, you have a captive audience who is stuck watching your ad. They can’t simply scroll down their feed to get away from it.

Longer videos will only increase the effectiveness of ad break mid roll ads. And if Facebook adds social engagement functionality within the ads themselves, such as reactions and sharing, they’ll perform even better.

Traditional television has been on a downward trend for years. Facebook Watch will only accelerate the ongoing shift of ad dollars from TV to digital and mobile.

2. Facebook Watch gives influencers and social creators a powerful new channel

As promising as the ad breaks are, it’s notable that Facebook Watch publishers can opt out of them entirely. Instead, they can make money through product placement, as long as they tag the sponsor for transparency. One can imagine the implications this has for budding videographers, actors, singers, and documentarians who hope to fund their growth via influencer partnerships.

The rise of the influencer owes much of its success in large part to YouTube. But Facebook Watch could prove to be even more fruitful for influencers.

For instance, Facebook Watch will open up new viewing patterns that are less search-oriented than YouTube. Users who watch or subscribe to programs will see those appear in their News Feed along with the other daily updates from friends, rather than having to go to YouTube to check for the latest uploads. This gives influencers a huge opportunity to increase engagement through video, as fan affinity with influencers will become even more important.

3. Facebook Live may become even more important for brands.

Facebook Live, along with Instagram Live, has been gaining popularity with brands ever since it came out two years ago.

Facebook Live allows brands to humanize themselves and connect with fans in real-time. The live shows and events on Facebook Watch will do the same.

It’s inevitable that one day Facebook will let brands join in on the fun as Facebook opens up Facebook Watch to more publishers. (Those who are interested can apply via this page on Facebook help.) Brands can start practicing now by focusing on Facebook Live.

What resonates with your fans? Do they prefer a structured video format, or something more casual? How often do they want to watch? Daily shows in particular could be a goldmine for brands. The frequency keeps users coming back, ensuring a lucrative return for product placement or ad breaks. That consistent association with their favorite show could make consumers fall in love with your brand.

4. Ultimately, Facebook Watch changes the game for video content marketers

Facebook heavily emphasized the community aspect of Facebook Watch in their official announcement:

Watching video on Facebook has the incredible power to connect people, spark conversation and foster community, said Daniel Danker, Facebook’s product director. On Facebook, videos are discovered through friends and bring communities together.

Three of the four bullet points in the release mentioned connection and bringing people together. Even the few seed shows Facebook funded are touted as community-oriented video series.

It makes sense: The sense of community is what led people to fall in love with the platform in the first place.

Because of this, Facebook Watch will likely see much higher sharing and social engagement than other platforms.

The current list of Facebook Watch programming focuses on reality shows, mini-documentaries, and sports coverage aligning it more with YouTube than the heavy dramas and comedies of other streaming networks. But while YouTube optimized for how-to and short-form content, Facebook Watch will likely expand opportunities to longer-form videos as well as pure entertainment and more passively consumed content.

Video content marketers should start planning now for how they can create content that fits into those categories and fosters real-time community discussion. Perhaps for the first time, content should be created with the platform in mind first and foremost. Successful videos on Facebook Watch will encourage and facilitate real-time conversations.

Facebook Watch: An Exciting Moment for Marketers

So far, everything about Facebook Watch looks good for marketers. The people on the paid team will enjoy seeing more eyeballs on their ads, and the organic folks will get more authentic opportunities to align themselves with influencers. More and more, brands are trying to be seen as friends, not corporations. Facebook Watch will let them do just that.

About the Author: Michael Quoc is the founder and CEO of Dealspotr, an open social platform connecting emerging brands, lifestyle influencers, and trend-seeking shoppers in exciting new ways. He was previously the Director of Product Management for Yahoo’s media lab, where he spearheaded the launch of several innovative services in the live video and mobile social networking areas. Michael has been awarded nine patents relating to mobile and social network applications and technology. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelquoc.

What Facebook Watch Will Mean for Marketers

It was only a matter of time.

Just like Amazon, YouTube, and Netflix before it, Facebook has officially entered the video streaming game.

What is Facebook Watch, and what does it mean for you your marketing strategy?

What is Facebook Watch?

Launched in August 2017 to select users in the U.S. via mobile, desktop and TV apps, Facebook Watch is the company’s entre into episodic streaming video. Videos range from mini documentaries to live sporting events, courtesy of partnerships with Major League Baseball. There is a set group of publishers at launch, but the company plans to open it up to more creators soon.

How will Facebook Watch make money?

Facebook Watch is monetized through ad breaks. The producing partners earn 55% of ad break revenue while Facebook keeps 45%.

Facebook Watch is the company’s entre into episodic streaming video. (Image Source)

What makes Facebook Watch different from other streaming services?

The streaming video space is undeniably crowded, so Facebook had to find a way to make Facebook Watch stand out. There are three main ways Facebook Watch is different, all of which bode well for its staying power.

  1. Original video content, which can be viewed through a new tab called Watch, is exclusive to Facebook Watch and can’t be seen anywhere else (with the exception of the live content available through deals like the one with Major League Baseball).
  2. Because it’s monetized through ad breaks, Facebook Watch is totally free for the viewing audience. All they have to do is be logged in to their Facebook account.
  3. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Facebook Watch is hyper-personalized in a way no streaming platform has been before.

The New Social Viewing Trend

Facebook Watch’s personalization takes advantage of everything users already love about the platform it’s personal, and it’s social. People love getting recommendations for the things they love, and they love sharing those things with friends.

  • Facebook Watch provides personalized recommendations in its Discover tab, using fun, Facebook-esque categories like Most Talked About, What’s Making People Laugh, and Shows Your Friends Are Watching.
  • Subscribing to a show instantly connects Facebook users with fellow fans through show-linked Groups.
  • During a show, Facebook users get access to a live comment section where they can chat with other viewers and friends in real-time.

All these features indicate a strong focus on social viewing. While the social viewing trend is new, we have seen it before.

For example, in April of this year, Tumblr launched its video chat service Cabana. The app functions like a Tumblr/FaceTime hybrid, where users can watch their friends’ reactions in real time as they all watch a video together.

cabana video appTumblr’s Cabana app brings friends together to watch and react to videos in real time. (Image Source)

Social viewing veteran YouTube has been making some changes, too. Also in August, YouTube added in-app chat to its Android and iOS apps. Previously, users could only share videos out to other apps, such as Twitter or text message, but now conversations can also happen natively within YouTube. The interface is similar to Google Hangouts and appears to be YouTube’s answer to the messaging functionality offered by Instagram and Snapchat.

YouTube has recently launched in-app chat, keeping users chatting natively with their friends. (Image Source)

When multiple social media platforms follow suit, it’s a sure sign a new trend is here to stay. Social viewing is not going away, so how can marketers take advantage of it?

What Facebook Watch means for marketers

Facebook has 1.32 billion users who check in on a daily basis. For anyone who’s wondering, their monthly active users just hit 2 billion.

Either number means Watch is a major initiative at Facebook that marketers should not ignore. Facebook plans to integrate Watch episodes into the News Feed, and the company has a track record of using the News Feed to drive new features to success.

Here are four ways Facebook Watch will change the game for marketers.

1. Ad break ads will likely become more important for Facebook advertisers

In an increasingly internet-marketing-savvy world, people are getting better at tuning ads out. Just last year, Google gave up on its right sidebar ads and removed them.

Fortunately for advertisers, Facebook Watch promises great things. There’s a lot of noise in a Facebook user’s News Feed, so it’s not always easy for your ad to grab attention. But with video, you have a captive audience who is stuck watching your ad. They can’t simply scroll down their feed to get away from it.

Longer videos will only increase the effectiveness of ad break mid roll ads. And if Facebook adds social engagement functionality within the ads themselves, such as reactions and sharing, they’ll perform even better.

Traditional television has been on a downward trend for years. Facebook Watch will only accelerate the ongoing shift of ad dollars from TV to digital and mobile.

2. Facebook Watch gives influencers and social creators a powerful new channel

As promising as the ad breaks are, it’s notable that Facebook Watch publishers can opt out of them entirely. Instead, they can make money through product placement, as long as they tag the sponsor for transparency. One can imagine the implications this has for budding videographers, actors, singers, and documentarians who hope to fund their growth via influencer partnerships.

The rise of the influencer owes much of its success in large part to YouTube. But Facebook Watch could prove to be even more fruitful for influencers.

For instance, Facebook Watch will open up new viewing patterns that are less search-oriented than YouTube. Users who watch or subscribe to programs will see those appear in their News Feed along with the other daily updates from friends, rather than having to go to YouTube to check for the latest uploads. This gives influencers a huge opportunity to increase engagement through video, as fan affinity with influencers will become even more important.

3. Facebook Live may become even more important for brands.

Facebook Live, along with Instagram Live, has been gaining popularity with brands ever since it came out two years ago.

Facebook Live allows brands to humanize themselves and connect with fans in real-time. The live shows and events on Facebook Watch will do the same.

It’s inevitable that one day Facebook will let brands join in on the fun as Facebook opens up Facebook Watch to more publishers. (Those who are interested can apply via this page on Facebook help.) Brands can start practicing now by focusing on Facebook Live.

What resonates with your fans? Do they prefer a structured video format, or something more casual? How often do they want to watch? Daily shows in particular could be a goldmine for brands. The frequency keeps users coming back, ensuring a lucrative return for product placement or ad breaks. That consistent association with their favorite show could make consumers fall in love with your brand.

4. Ultimately, Facebook Watch changes the game for video content marketers

Facebook heavily emphasized the community aspect of Facebook Watch in their official announcement:

Watching video on Facebook has the incredible power to connect people, spark conversation and foster community, said Daniel Danker, Facebook’s product director. On Facebook, videos are discovered through friends and bring communities together.

Three of the four bullet points in the release mentioned connection and bringing people together. Even the few seed shows Facebook funded are touted as community-oriented video series.

It makes sense: The sense of community is what led people to fall in love with the platform in the first place.

Because of this, Facebook Watch will likely see much higher sharing and social engagement than other platforms.

The current list of Facebook Watch programming focuses on reality shows, mini-documentaries, and sports coverage aligning it more with YouTube than the heavy dramas and comedies of other streaming networks. But while YouTube optimized for how-to and short-form content, Facebook Watch will likely expand opportunities to longer-form videos as well as pure entertainment and more passively consumed content.

Video content marketers should start planning now for how they can create content that fits into those categories and fosters real-time community discussion. Perhaps for the first time, content should be created with the platform in mind first and foremost. Successful videos on Facebook Watch will encourage and facilitate real-time conversations.

Facebook Watch: An Exciting Moment for Marketers

So far, everything about Facebook Watch looks good for marketers. The people on the paid team will enjoy seeing more eyeballs on their ads, and the organic folks will get more authentic opportunities to align themselves with influencers. More and more, brands are trying to be seen as friends, not corporations. Facebook Watch will let them do just that.

About the Author: Michael Quoc is the founder and CEO of Dealspotr, an open social platform connecting emerging brands, lifestyle influencers, and trend-seeking shoppers in exciting new ways. He was previously the Director of Product Management for Yahoo’s media lab, where he spearheaded the launch of several innovative services in the live video and mobile social networking areas. Michael has been awarded nine patents relating to mobile and social network applications and technology. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelquoc.

How to Vet a New Marketing Channel in 3 Days or Less

I get this question a lot.

What marketing channel should I focus on?

There are many make or break decisions in business. This is one of them.

The thing is, I can’t give you a cut and dry answer.

The nature of your business matters. So does the audience that you wish to target.

What I will do instead is give you a method for figuring this out for yourself.

If you’re starting a new business, this decision is critical. Focusing on the wrong marketing channel can set you back months and maybe even years.

If you’re expanding into a new market, selecting the wrong channel can also have massive ramifications.

You’d be putting your existing operations at risk for a new channel that may not pan out.

Just take a look at all the challenges that marketers have to overcome.

top marketing challenges jpg 1 320 783 pixels

You can imagine that each channel comes with a unique set of difficulties.

This speaks to the importance of vetting your marketing plan before you set it in motion.

There’s just too much at stake.

In this article, I’ll show you how you can evaluate your options and narrow down on the best choice quickly.

You don’t need more than three days to get this done.

But first, I have a bit of wisdom to share.

Resist the urge to diversify

You know that voice in your head that says you need to be everywhere at once?

That fear of missing out if you don’t at least try everything?

It’s a diversion. Resist it.

It is imperative that you focus on one marketing channel.

At least in the beginning.

It’s going to shortchange your success if you spread yourself thin.

Here’s why.

  • You’ll have less impact. If you’re focusing on several channels, it means you’re not doing everything you can to excel in any one of them.
  • It will cost you more. Testing and thriving with a multichannel approach costs way more than you may be willing to spend. If you want an organic and cost-effective approach, stick to one channel.
  • You’ll never actually know where your strength lies. Jumping from channel to channel means you won’t truly know the impact of one particular strategy on your business.
  • You’ll remain at the heels of your competitors. That’s not where you want to be, is it? You want to be ahead, and the way to do that is to establish dominance in your market.

Now, don’t misunderstand me.

I’m not saying that you should go all in on one channel and forget the rest.

But multichannel marketing is complex. Only 30% of marketersare confident that they can deliver on such a strategy.

The Importance of Multichannel Marketing Infographic

That’s not a lot.

So what I’m advocating for is starting from a position of dominance.

Put your energy into one strategy until it succeeds. Then, piggyback on that success to achieve wins in other areas.

Does that make sense?

The steps in this article will be geared towards helping you place a bullseye on the ONE channel that will serve you best.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s begin.

Step #1: Know your options

The first thing you want to do is brainstorm all your possible options.

This isn’t something that you have to materialize out of thin air.

There are dozens of ways that you can connect with your target audience and spread your message.

Better yet, each channel has several subsets that you can zone in on.

Here’s a good representation:

How Does Digital Marketing Work Common SEO Questions

Many of these overlap. Some have even morphed into each other.

It can get confusing, quickly.

For example, some people consider SEO to be one marketing channel.

But I can’t imagine a world where SEO and content marketing aren’t intertwined. You can’t do one without the other.

The same thing goes for social media and paid advertising.

They’re different channels. But there’s a convergence.

Let’s imagine you decide to focus on Facebook as your primary social media platform. It would be unwise to not experiment with Facebook Ads.

Considering that Facebook has developed one of the greatest Ad products out there, you’d be underutilizing the full power of the platform.

Marketers agree. Almost 57%plan to increase their social media ad spend.

Industry Statistics Social Media Ad Spending Set to Exceed US 35 Billion Best Digital Marketing Agency Malaysia

I say all this to make a simple point.

While you may zone in on one channel, you’ll see lots of overlap that you shouldn’t ignore.

Go where your audience takes you.

Let’s look at some of your options.

Content marketing

This is about creating and promoting material that is relevant to your target audience.

Content marketing is central.

90% of businessesmarket using this channel.

Content Marketing Strategy Top 12 Proven Ways You Must Follow

It means that no matter what strategy you use, content will be a part of it.

You can narrow your content down to blogging, guest blogging, podcasts, webinars, email, etc.

Social media marketing

You can use social media as your platform to get noticed, build authority, and grow a community.

You can also use it to drive traffic to your main site.

Or you can do both. It’s effective either way.

Paid advertising

Much of marketing is organic and will take time to generate results.

Paid advertising is one way to accelerate that.

The downside is, you have to pay to play.

Facebook ads, other social media ads, print ads, PPC, and direct response fall into this category.

Public relations

PR is about building relationships and capitalizing on the optics of your business.

It can be both online and offline. Press releases, conferences, events, interviews, and sponsorships are a few examples.

As you can see, you have no shortage of options when it comes to marketing.

I’ve given an overview of the main ones, but know that you are not limited to these alone.

Step #2: Choose the channels that are aligned with your business goals

You now have an idea of what’s available to you.

It’s time to make a list of all the channels that will serve your business.

Start with your business goals.

Some marketing channels are better suited to achieve a particular goal than others.

Goal setting is a flexible thing. You can make changes as your business evolves.

This means that the marketing channel you use right now may not be viable when your business progresses.

Consider what stage your business is in and what your goal is for the next 90 days.

According to Jay Abraham, there are only three ways to grow a business:

  • Increase your number of customers
  • Increase the amount that a customer spends on a purchase
  • Increase the frequency that a customer buys from you

infographic idology 3 waysto grow your business small jpg 468 523 pixels

Your business goals should serve one of these three phases of business.

If you’re still at the first stage, your goals might be brand awareness, lead generation, and customer acquisition.

If you already have a list of buyers, your goal might be to increase sales.

What if you already have a reliable stream of sales?

There’s no such thing as too many sales, but your goal at this point might be to maximize profits and retain customers.

Here’s what most businesses are prioritizing:

20 Lead Nurturing Statistics Charts for 2017

These may or may not apply to you. Just focus on what your business needs at the moment.

This way, you don’t make goals that aren’t yet attainable.

By extension, it ensures that you don’t waste time and resources on a marketing channel that won’t serve your business well.

How do you select a channel that’s right for your business goals?

Before you even start testing, do some elimination.

I’ll give you a few examples, and you’ll have to use your judgment.

Let’s say that your goal is brand awareness.

PR, social media, content marketing, and even paid advertising can be used for this purpose.

The easy solution?

Eliminate the channels that would be less efficient.

For instance, paid advertising won’t be the most useful for brand awareness.

But for sales or lead generation? It can crush it! (If you know what you’re doing, that is).

Take a look at some of the business goals that apply to the content marketing channel. It will give you an idea of what to aim for.

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It’s also important to take into consideration what feels the most organic for your business.

If you’re selling something like hoverboards or bicycles, would blog posts serve you the best?

Likely not.

These products are lifestyle-based. You’d be better off using a visual channel that will allow you to provide an experience to potential customers.

Immediately, social media comes to mind.

Then you begin to narrow it down to Instagram or Youtube.

This is a logical process that won’t take you more than an hour to figure out.

You don’t have to find that one channel yet. Just eliminate what won’t work and rank your remaining options.

Step #3: Narrow down the list by going where your audience is

You’ve got a few options.

It’s time to prioritize.

This one is easy. Find your potential customers.

A marketing channel can serve your goal, but there are many platforms you can focus on.

If your customers are not hanging out there, you’ll be wasting your time.

Note:

The point of this article is not to find you a slam dunk marketing channel right away.

That would take testing and experimentation.

The goal here is to help you validate your chosen channel. This way, you know it’s viable before you start testing it.

Here’s my best advice for finding out where the attention is.

  • SEO is a great place to start.
  • Competitive research is a must.
  • You can’t go wrong with social media.

Let’s look at each of these.

SEO

Online is where most of the magic happens.

And a majority of online interactions begin with a search engine (mostly Google).

So the first step is to evaluate the SEO landscape by searching for keywords in your industry.

You’ll find out what your audience is searching for and how often.

This is not just essential for finding out what’s happening online. Let’s say that there aren’t that many monthly searches for your keywords.

You may want to focus on an offline channel.

Or you may decide that this is a gap that you can take advantage of.

You won’t know until you do some basic keyword research.

A simple tool like the Google Keyword Plannerwill work.

Type in your keyword and get search volume data.

Keyword Planner Google AdWords

Competitive research

If you want to know where your customers hang out, find your competitors.

First, identify who those competitors are.

A simple google search will do the trick. The biggest players are those who rank on the first page of search.

Once you’ve got a solid list, use a tool like SimilarWebfor your research.

Enter your competitor’s website and press enter.

Quicksprout com Analytics Market Share Stats Traffic Ranking

You’ll find a range of data. Pay attention to Traffic sources.

Quicksprout com Analytics Market Share Stats Traffic Ranking 3

For Quick Sprout, the highest traffic source is search.

Naturally, my primary marketing channel would be SEO and blogging.

Direct is a close second, but it’s a bit trickier to figure out.

It represents the people who type in your URL directly into their search bar. It doesn’t tell you where these people first came into contact with your business.

The next step is to check out the individual breakdown of each traffic source.

You can see where referrals are coming from.

Quicksprout com Analytics Market Share Stats Traffic Ranking 4

Since SEO is my dominant traffic source, I’ll pay particular attention to my top organic keywords.

Quicksprout com Analytics Market Share Stats Traffic Ranking 2

You can also see which social media platform is the most popular. Mine is Facebook.

Quicksprout com Analytics Market Share Stats Traffic Ranking 1

Social media

I like to take social media research a bit further.

The tool to use is BuzzSumo.

Type in your competitor’s domain. You can also search for a keyword.

BuzzSumo Find the Most Shared Content and Key Influencers

You’ll see all the top performing content on the site and which social platform generated the most shares.

Using SimilarWeb, we saw that Facebook was Quick Sprout’s top platform.

BuzzSumo tells the same story.

quicksprout com Most Shared Content

If you want to take this a bit further, you can go to these individual platforms and do some sleuthing.

Check out the groups with the most members, listen in on the conversations, and a get a feel for where your audience is focusing their attention.

When you go through this process, you may find that you have 2 or 3 reliable options.

Which do you select?

I have three criteria.

Cheap. Fast. Easy.

You want to pick a channel that won’t cost you too much, if anything, to get started.

You also want a channel that doesn’t have a steep learning curve. Otherwise, you may spend too much time and money trying to figure it out.

Lastly, pick the channel that will allow you to make the most headway, quickly.

You must pick one, so use these criteria as the final litmus test.

Conclusion

Selecting a new marketing channel is a tall order.

It’s important that you take some time to validate a potential channel before you focus on it.

Marketing requires time that can easily be wasted on ineffective strategies.

It also requires cash.

It means that you’d want to see a solid return on both your time and money investment.

The surest way to secure an attractive ROI is to vet potential marketing channels first.

You can then test and double down on what’s working.

Most people don’t go through this process of validation and testing.

So as long as you keep experimenting and tweaking your strategy based on your results, you’ll have a significant advantage over competitors.

What is your most effective marketing channel?