September 29, 2020

The Most Recession Proof Guide to Marketing in 2020

How to Increase Revenue During the Most Uncertain Economic Times?
If you’ve worked with me before then you already know that my love for data compels me to be brutally honest at all times. My promise to clients is simple, analyze the data, identify the problems and the opportunities, and build the right solution.

Data-driven marketing couldn’t be more topical right now – there’s nothing like a financial crisis to shine a light on the benefits of AI and why it should be a foundational element of marketing during a recession. Don’t just take my word for it, Mckinsey and Company found that ‘44% of executives say AI has reduced costs.’

You might be reading this and feeling daunted by the notion, but the truth is, if you’re implementing any type of digital marketing, you’re already using it, or you should be. AI-marketing is all around us, what it often lacks is a savvy marketer who knows how to harness all of its data and turn it into a digital marketing strategy that meets business KPIs and exceeds business goals.

Do it better for less: targeted marketing gets in front of the right people, saves time and money
It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it; doing your job better than you were before whilst saving time and money?

I get that but hear me out.

AI-powered marketing uses machine learning to help you understand your company’s audience. It can analyze large data sets and present you with the results once you’ve set it up. From there, you – or your marketing team can pull out insights into our audience’s behavior and help you predict their next move.

For example, if you know from data provided by AI-marketing, that your audience is searching a specific keyword before they’ve converted on a landing page, you can tailor your strategy to meet them on the web.

AI-marketing tools work away in the background, they analyze data while you spend your time improving your strategy and client/customer services. Once you’ve got one campaign under your belt, you’ve got data tailored to you, your business, and your audience.

And that is why AI-marketing tools are crucial when it comes to marketing during a recession. It’s no wonder Forbes shared that ‘63% of executives whose companies have adopted AI report that it resulted in increased revenues in the business areas where it is used.’

Prove your value: turn business objectives into tangible marketing metrics
Outside of data-analysis and audience-insights, AI-marketing should be your go-to when it comes to proving your worth and showing that your marketing efforts are in fact, meeting (and exceeding) business KPIs.

I have over ten years of experience as a marketing executive – and that includes all the thrills that go with it – I’ve felt the pressure that comes with meeting a companies KPIs.

The pressures come from two main sources:
⦁ Not knowing how to meet business objectives with marketing
⦁ Not knowing how to monitor marketing efforts in line with business KPIs

It’s simple: if you’re not measuring anything, you’re not managing it and if you’re not managing anything, then it simply won’t work.

AI-marketing during a recession isn’t about letting the show run itself, AI-marketing absolutely needs a human to analyze data.

The first step is taking the all-important KPIs, whether it’s growth, leads, online conversions, brand awareness, or something else. ‘I want to grow my business’ doesn’t communicate well to marketing goals, and so you can’t build a strategy around that.

This is the reason why I am committed to working with business leaders. For over a decade I’ve helped many c-suite executives create and drive marketing strategies that achieved business goals. To do this, I help them connect the dots between data & business objectives.

Once a campaign is underway – the focus changes. We start to look at:

⦁ Data analysis and how marketing efforts are working towards pre-determined goals and business objectives
⦁ Refining campaigns based on marketing insights from AI-powered tools
⦁ Track campaign progress
⦁ Repeating successful campaigns and potentially moving into other markets (a different sector for example)

AI-marketing in action
Let’s look at this AI-marketing case study, Sotere Medical Solutions. They wanted a new website that would show up on page 1 of Google’s search results. And, like I said before, if you want a page 1 ranking you need to know what your customers are searching for. We achieve this by using AI-powered tools for the keyword research – we found keywords that their targets audiences were actually searching for.

For the ads we had to work with a limited advertising budget, so we needed to attract high-quality leads. I used SKAGs (Single Keyword Ad Groups) to focus on the most relevant keywords (as per research).

To improve the ad conversion rate, I matched the ad copy to website content and drove leads to the most relevant landing pages. This led to a 60% boost to goal conversion.

Do you need to convince someone that AI marketing is the way forward?
Let’s chat!

Key takeaways:
⦁ Data-driven marketing, powered by AI works in the background analyzing large data sets, which frees up your time so you can focus on business strategy
⦁ Data from AI-powered tools is only useful for marketing during a recession if you have a savvy marketer who knows how to harness the data to meet business KPIs. Yes, my sales pitch is that simple, and that’s why we should chat! ????

September 28, 2020

The Creative Crisis: Why Marketers Are Turning to AI?

AI can change businesses from the inside out. With business owners enhancing sales through conversational AI and AI-assisted marketing teams, even small businesses are finding that AI can help them create better content, engage customers, and improve sales.

Artificial intelligence is most used to give customers individual attention, to understand their user data more accurately, and to predict the outcome of campaigns. On creative teams, it shows that AI is answering a call for personalization, insight, and prediction that is rock solid in terms of support by big data.

Can AI Solve Creative Challenges?
Small businesses and marketers are using AI insights to create personal, targeted campaigns because artificial intelligence tools are better equipped to analyze and advise than human teams. In minutes, they are able to discover patterns in mountains of data in ways humans might take months to uncover, and they act on these insights with predictions and performance-boosting solutions faster as well. Artificial intelligence cannot yet creatively make their own campaigns and copy to replace the digital marketer, but it does augment power and personalization in marketing through: 1. Increased understanding of user data, 2. Better customer conversion predictions 3. More personalized messages in creative ways.

Even the best marketers will find they are unable to compete with AI-enhanced teams that can process the data of hundreds of ad campaigns, millions of customers, and billions of ad dollars with a click. Instead, they remain bogged down in a growing set of user and ad data that houses encoded secrets that they can never uncover to better reach their customers.

To help such a struggling marketer, I offer examples of three artificial intelligence processes that small businesses and marketers use. Consider how they answer a growing demand for personalization, increase the ability to leverage big data, and lead to predictions that enhance sales.

Three Ways AI Enhances Creative
Consider that creative depends on a solid understanding of all your marketing campaigns and data. You must make yourself informed and effective using data from these campaigns matched with an understanding of your customer. Therefore, AI and can help you to optimize your marketing campaigns in at least the following ways:

1. Improve audience understanding.
AI tools can help you understand what motivates and repulses your customer by discovering patterns in data that never ceases to grow in complexity and size. Using AI to enhance your creative means that you use these discovered patterns to target your audience with insight both in copy and design.

True creativity often demands that you are able to meet the constraints of a particular audience and purpose. This is true with AI, and the results of matching consumer patterns with your own creative ideas. AI can actually help you come up with more fresh ideas than before by becoming inspired by real truths about your audience’s opinions and preferences.

2. Targeted customer personas.
The person who the message is for often determines what the message contains and how it is packaged. To help you craft a message that is appropriate, human, and helpful, AI can create targeted personas based on user behavior that tell you what is effective, and even predict when the best time to reach your customer with a custom message is.

By matching campaign data with user data through pattern discovery, AI is the tireless team that helps you understand your customer in ways that lead to more targeted campaigns. It can augment your current process for creating personalized experiences through prediction of what works for a specific consumer profile.

3. Optimize current campaigns
Another sales-ready and effective way to use AI and improve business results from marketing is optimizing your current campaign creative. AI can recommend and prescribe interventions on your current campaigns based on previous user and ad data so that you fight ad fatigue and boost engagement.

Retargeted ads for customers for example that make personalized recommendations for thousands of customers may be just what your creative needs to reach its potential.

Improving the Creative Process with AI

Elsewhere we have explored how AI leads to better personalization process and customer journey, another way that AI can augment marketing exists in the creative workflow.

The marketer has designed an ad for a future product launch. Artificial intelligence tells them that this ad will be effective for a certain segment of the customer population, and automation allows them to instantly deploy this creative for maximum effectiveness.

The user encounters the ad and chooses whether or not to engage it. Meanwhile, AI tells the marketer how this interaction fits into an understanding of customer preferences.

Then after the interaction, AI and automation retarget your customer with a personalized experience, giving the marketer another chance to come up with constraint-based creative that converts.

You can see that AI can actually help the marketer be more effective in the creative life cycle. At every step, data and optimization converge to give the marketer actionable insight into what will make the customer want to buy. The more that you are able to use AI to understand and reach your customer, the more effectively creative you can be with your campaigns.

Can AI Help Marketers?
The world of the marketer is one of increasing pressure to produce, perfect, and perform. At any given moment there are hundreds of key performance indicators which measure the success of the marketer. And, the customer as well as the client demand more success campaign after campaign with more specific creative that personalizes the journey. Likewise, I recommend that marketers use AI to personalize their creative in order to answer this growing pressure.

Personalize with AI.
In every action they take online, your customer is trying to teach you what makes an ad or piece of content effective for them. If you are facing pressure to create more compelling ads and content, use an AI-enhanced tool for creating custom experiences for your customer through creative backed by big data. Then, you can offer the customer and the client something that they both demand (personalization) while decreasing the pressure to be a data scientist as well as creative professional.

How I Used AI-Based Tools To Boost Client Website Traffic by 10,000%
One of my financial services clients in a highly competitive marketplace aimed to increase website traffic by sharing top-quality content and manually tracking and analyzing keywords. They were averaging around 3,500 users to their site every month. But as new competitors entered the marketspace this company needed a way to plan and produce more targeted content at scale. I used MarketMuse, an AI-powered content intelligence platform to identify high-quality topics the company needed to be talking about. Next I used a complete application to see where competitors ranked for each of these topics and combined this information with a SEMrush based competitive analysis. This helped me identify the gaps and opportunities in the current content plan, leading my client to create highly targeted content to quickly establish itself as an industry leader and increased website traffic by 10,000%.

Final Thoughts
Artificial intelligence is changing the way marketers and businesses create and engage with their customers. We can meet the growing need to understand huge data sets with limited resources and personalize for thousands of customers through artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence is the magic wand that can make a marketer’s desperate wish for improved insight and higher engagement come true. So, are you interested in enhancing your creative process and ability to connect with customers in a unique way through AI? Learn to create a data-backed, AI-enhanced creative process through a free consultation, or subscribe to my blog for more information about the impact of AI and automation on small businesses and marketers.

September 28, 2020

How to Drive Relevant Traffic to Your Website in 2021?

Voice search is the future of web browsing. Without users typing, half of all web sessions are hands-free interactions through assistants like Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and Google Assistant.

Increasingly, search engines themselves promote voice search for its ease and enhanced user experience. By 2020, a third of all web sessions do not require a screen.

What Voice Search Means For Gaining Traffic?
Brands and sites need to start optimizing for this “Great Voice Shift” because voice search optimization and traditional site search engine optimization are vastly different. Voice search is almost effortless with a relentless need for specific, immediate response.

Though voice searches do not result (strictly speaking) into visits to your website, they do:

increase brand awareness by offering citations,
result in more relevant traffic for users to learn more, and
impact sales and engagement with content.
By not optimizing for voice search, you may be missing relevant traffic from the over one billion voice searches launched every month since January 2018. And, your efforts to optimize for typed queries will not necessarily transfer over to more natural, spoken queries.

To help, I offer six search engine optimization tips for preparing your site to translate well into the mobile, hands-free search experiences of the future.

6 Tips to Optimize for Voice Search
Remember that voice search is about easy-breezy browsing. It should be fast, natural, focused, local, and just-right for the user. So, voice search optimization forces us to tighten up our strategy.

1. Speed up load times.
Voice search results favor quick-loading, mobile sites that don’t keep the user waiting. Make sure to optimize images, compress files, use caching, and reduce server response time.

2. Express yourself naturally.
Voice searches do not take the same, choppy form as quickly typed queries. Instead of searching for [top marketing colleges], users are likely to express themselves more casually: [what are the top marketing colleges in California?].

Include contextual, long-tail keywords in your voice optimization strategy. And, express things in the easiest way possible, so that all users understand after the assistant’s first response.

3. Clearly feature your content.
A voice search result is usually under 30 words. To make sure Google will read your answer to users, add in helpful, featured snippets directly into your content.

To do this, include a quick summary of your main content that:

stays under 30 words,
sits near the top of the page,
answers in sufficient detail, and
uses H-tags and bullets
4. Make your site local.
One in four voice searches seek local information. So, invest in local content and use phrases like “near me” and “in my area.”

5. Optimize for intents (not just keywords).
Voice searches often seek specific, highly relevant information, but they can also result in purchases and downloads.

Spend time thinking about what a user is after when they say [best SEO professionals near me]. Do they want a list, a phone number, or a description of a featured entity? Then, tailor your content to fit these intents perfectly.

6. Use “structured data.”
Search engines will better understand your content with descriptive code added to its HTML markup. Help search engines crawl and process your content with your markup.

This is proven to:

be friendly to featured snippets,
increase click-through rates, and
drive relevant traffic.
How to Leverage Your Optimized Content?
Now that you have optimized for voice search, the next step toward relevant, engaged traffic is to consider the experience your users will have once they land. This is how to drive traffic to your website that results in activity, engagement, and sales.

The user has spoken a query. Google generated a block specifically for them. The user listens and decides whether their needs are satisfied. Then, the user either leaves in search of better answers or stays and buys, connects, or learns more.

Every optimization you perform should serve this final moment in the user’s experience. Optimization basics tells us that pages slow, complicated, dense, or unnatural will be abandoned in the shuffle for quick answers that are on target. So, shift your mindset from “solving the puzzle” of voice search to “satisfying the needs” of voiced queries.

To help with this, I offer two sweeping, UX suggestions for your optimized content that will drive relevant traffic to your site by delighting potential customers.

2 Insights for Supercharging a Well-Optimized Site
Voice search is about getting it right the first time. It may be fast, natural, focused, local, and just-right for the user, but does it delight them? Voice and Google search optimization encourages you to push the value envelope.

1. Engage users.
On the hunt for the right answer or product, users want speed, stimulating design, and clear information. If you are losing users to high bounce rates, use a heat map to see why users are following a certain path to ultimately jump ship. If they are sticking around, find out why through behavior flows.

Make sure your design and layout create a pleasing, appropriate atmosphere for the consumption of your content that feels just right for your target audience. Try:

making calls-to-action clear (and unintrusive),
designing to control your user’s focus, and
pushing load times to the absolute minimum.
Focusing on your user’s journey during their browsing will prepare you to increase overall traffic. It will help you establish a pleasant online face, and give you a better chance at earning loyal, return visits.

2. Make room for context
Focused and optimized content is only half of the equation. Without an understanding of the search intent context, content will flounder, and users will abandon your pages.

Make a connection with the problems, beliefs, and passions that the search intent suggests. Don’t just stick to the facts, but engage your customer’s emotional side through copy that puts them in the driver’s seat. Let them know that you are there to support them on their journey to solve their problem (and buy your product).

Anyone can answer a factual question in 30 words or less. But, you will gain competitive advantage if you are able to appreciate your user through understanding of their larger goals and needs. This will increase the quality and relevance of your content, making all your SEO efforts pay off.

Final Thoughts
The world of optimization is ablaze as voice-enabled assistants deploy their game-changing artificial intelligence. And, the clock is ticking as we approach the “Great Voice Shift” of 2020.

If you leave this post with a single idea about how to increase relevant traffic to your site this year, let it be:

In 2019, voice search and user experience optimization will drive leads to your website.

As artificial intelligence and assistants change the way we search online, businesses need to get smart to new optimization standards and best-practices in user experience.

To secure more relevant traffic in this changing landscape, brands are asking themselves:

Am I giving users what they need and want?
Do I have a voice search strategy?
Do I need search engine optimization services?
Can I improve my ranking through user experience?, and
Do I have powerful, long-form content users love?
If you are asking yourself these same questions. Ask one more. Are you ready to take your SEO strategy to the next level in 2020? To stay ahead of the competition and prepare for 2021, let’s conduct an SEO audit for your site. In 2021, we can raise a toast to all the traffic the New Year rings in.

Please don’t forget to subscribe to my blog where I offer free digital marketing tips and share some of my most successful hacks!

Created with passion by ZB 2020 ©