The Vantage Buzz – March 2020

Hi,

What a whirlwind March. We’re hoping you and yours are keeping safe and healthy during the ongoing pandemic. The Vantage team continues to work away on campaigns, but from the comfort of our own homes.

If you have any concerns on how the outbreak is impacting your PPC accounts, you’re more than welcome to reach out to us.

Your monthly advantage reading below:


Business:

As many shift to remote working, it’s important to remember that sometimes technology doesn’t cooperate. Having a fallback plan is essential to smoothing out unforeseen issues. Your fallback can be as simple as a replacement platform or a shift to email when your chat fails, but make sure everyone knows what to do and you’ll reduce headaches!

E-commerce:

No matter what your business does, your customers likely have questions about how COVID-19 will affect products, operations, and services. Consider adding a dedicated page on your website to answer some of these questions and ease their minds. Especially if you’re in the restaurant industry.

And General Intrigue:

Used Netflix party yet? The chrome extension allows you to watch the same show or movie with your friends in a group chat. A simple tool that can help during self-isolation.

The Vantage Buzz – February

Hi,

Happy February. We’re working away on new initiatives for 2020, including spring promotions which are just around the corner.

Your monthly advantage reading below:


Business:

A look at the multiple steps customers take before choosing a vendor, revealing that, on average, they will go through 13 pieces of content before making a decision. The article further breaks down where they’ll look for this content, highlighting why it’s important to have information on your website as well as being promoted elsewhere.

E-commerce:

The art of the digital coupon examined: a look at how to implement coupons effectively in the current digital landscape. Read the article to find out how and when to use a coupon online.

And General Intrigue:

Learn how direct messages are being used by some of the biggest brands. You may be able to implement some of the good applications in your own business.

The Vantage Buzz – January 2020

Hi,

Happy 2020! We hope the new decade is off to a good start for you and your businesses. Make sure to let us know if you have any new initiatives or promotion ideas.

Your monthly advantage reading below:


Business:

The best business books of 2019, curated by award-winning magazine Strategy + Business, may supply you with some worthy additions if you need to add to your yearly reading list.

E-commerce:

A look at commonalities for high performance e-commerce websites in 2019, based on a larger e-commerce digital report. We highly recommend taking a look here. Notably, strong social audience purchases related to high performance:

“The three strongest conversion correlations across the 4,000 datapoints were related to social transactions. This tells us that the very top performing websites were significantly better than everybody else at generating traffic from social that purchases.”

And General Intrigue:

Maybe you want this new decade to be a bit simpler than the last one. Or at least you want your product or business to be simpler. Either way, the 10 laws of simplicity have you covered.

The Vantage Buzz – December 2019

Hi,

Happy holidays! Hope Black Friday / Cyber Monday went well. The sales season continues, though, and we continue to busily plan and execute promotions. Let us know if you need any help planning yours.

Additionally, we’ll be closed during the holidays, December 25th, 26th, and January 1st.

Your monthly advantage reading below:


Business:

Clarification on whether Hubspot and Saleforce are competitors and the announcement of the death of the funnel and the birth of the flywheel from the CEO of HubSpot.

Ecommerce:

The new year approaches and you might be considering adding new products to your lineup. If you’re looking for a product launch method, this one sounds intriguing and fast: The 7 Day Product Launch Blitz

And General Intrigue:

New year, new ideas for ensuring humanity’s survival in the face of climate change. This one is very sci-fi movie: A 1,000 Year Space Mission to Save Humanity

The Vantage Buzz – November 2019

Hi,

It’s coming, it’s almost here, it’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday! We’re busy putting together promotions so we’ll keep this newsletter short and sweet.

Be sure to let us know if you need a last minute campaign setup as the time-frame in which we might be able to do so is quickly disappearing.

Your monthly advantage reading below:


Business:

3 options for dealing with a rising customer churn rate. Highlights how ultimately it is unsustainable, but that there are options for you to find a new course.

Ecommerce:

Why losing money on a sale is not necessarily a bad thing. Counter-intuitive, right?

And General Intrigue:

How to check and improve page loading speeds on WordPress. Ecommerce focused, but applicable to any business running on a WordPress page. Includes plugin tips as well.

The-Digital-Marketing-Portfolio

The Digital Marketing Portfolio

To grow an online business you need to get people likely-to-convert on your site. Simple, and you already know as much.

But how do you create a plan for this? By developing a digital marketing portfolio. Like a financial portfolio made up of different assets, your marketing portfolio will be made up of different marketing assets.

This portfolio will consist of all of the online channels you use to guide people to your brand online like social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest as well as online advertising networks like Google Ads and Bing Ads.

The importance of thinking about all of these channels as a portfolio is the flexibility it will give you to shift budget and resources between what is and isn’t working. 

Like a Financial Portfolio

You wouldn’t keep your money invested in an asset that’s falling on the financial market. Nor would you avoid putting more money in an asset that’s yielding great returns.

Further, by dipping your toes in a variety of networks you’ll maximize exposure as well as the chance you’ll find a placement or network that you can consistently and competitively win profitable traffic from. To be competitive online, you need to be where your best customers are.

Like with a balanced financial portfolio, a balanced digital marketing portfolio helps reduce the riskiness of each investment, while also allowing you to get an idea whether an investment is profitable to continue contributing to.

What’s key is having an initial investment that you’re ready to devote to the portfolio and its initial exploratory phase, as well as a consistent contribution plan, to accommodate any growth opportunities within the portfolio. 

This is the key to building wealth in a financial portfolio, and it’s the key to sustaining growth in a marketing portfolio.

Both resources for original content and the upfront costs of direct advertising need to be factored into any growth plan formula, especially in the attention economy. 

Your marketing investment is the first part of this calculation, but your growth (in traffic as well as sales) and profitability are the second and third.

Measuring your Digital Marketing Portfolio at Both the Whole & Individual

Another benefit of a digital marketing portfolio mindset is the totality of it. You can measure what goes in and what comes out at the overall and granular level. With this kind of perspective you’ll be able to facilitate both growth and profitability as you measure the portfolio as a whole as well each individual component.

To begin building your portfolio we’d suggest you include the major networks Google & Facebook/Instagram as defaults. 

These two networks reach virtually all online traffic and are generally the most sophisticated, meaning you’ll be able to find insights on audiences and placements the fastest for your investment. 

Then, if you have any historical customer analysis, look at where your customers are coming from organically, apart from the major networks, and decide if you’d like to increase your presence on those channels.

What matters is that you keep track of how your overall investment is doing. You’ll also want to track how changes to each marketing asset affect the overall portfolio. 

You must maintain this fundamental mindset when reviewing the portfolio or else you might fall into the trap of becoming over reliant on a single channel. 

Single channel strategies can be extremely profitable in the short term, but are not a long term solution for a brand that hopes to be competitive on the internet and not just on a single network.

Finding and Using Key Performance Metrics

Holistic viewpoints exist when performance indicators can be shared across assets. 

To make analysis easy for you and your team, create shared KPIs across your marketing channels.

Whether its leads, leads to sales rates, new customers, your return on ad spend or another metric, make sure that you have this data flowing from each individual channel to a single report or dashboard where you can see everything.

This dashboard illuminates the final benefit of the marketing portfolio we’ll outline: the concentration of data it frames your mind around. 

A portfolio approach tends to reduce the mental fatigue of sifting through all of your assets, a task you should not have to do every time you want to know how your marketing investment is performing.

The Vantage Buzz – October 2019

Hi,

We hope you’re having a happy and perhaps spooky October. We’re currently busy with a plethora of fall and holiday season projects as well as Q4 and next-year analysis.

We do want to reiterate that now’s your last chance to effectively plan Black Friday and other holiday promotions. Let us know if you’d like to work on campaign strategy for these crucial ecommerce dates sooner rather than later!

Your monthly ad-vantage reading below:


Business:

Data-driven sales team decisions sound good to you? Sure does to us. Here’s a thorough write-up on spreading positive sales knowledge efficiently through your team. Further, it shows how non-analytical sales teams fall behind those that measure true drivers of success.

Ecommerce:

We gave you the Google holiday playbook last month. Maybe we should have started with this playbook on why Google Ads work for Ecommerce.

And General Intrigue:

You may get the gist of it, but what the heck is a tracking pixel anyway? May be a useful article to share with anyone you’ve tried to explain it to as well like a boss, friend, partner, precocious child, etc.

The Vantage Buzz – September 2019

Hi,

We’ve just released a mini-guide on social media comment etiquette for your brand. Brush up!

We’d also like to forewarn our clients and friends that Steve’s partner, Jordana, is away for work for two weeks this month, enjoying the jewel of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka. So, if he’s a bit slower than usual, it’s because he’s experiencing the substantial work that single parenthood involves!

Rest assured, the team is still fully operational, working away on new projects for the rest of the year, including the holiday season.

And here’s your monthly ad-vantage reading:


Business:

4 concise strategies for maintaining and keeping your relationships with your top customers. 

Ecommerce:

We’re getting closer and closer to the infamous holiday marketing season. Are you ready? This playbook from Google might just inspire you to plan some awesome campaigns and kick your storefront into gear.

And General Intrigue:

A how to on giving feedback that encourages change. Looks like it starts off with knowing how someone likes to receive feedback, a preference that could be discovered via a survey given post-employment, or even on a regular basis. But if that’s not feasible or too late for whatever case, there’s a lot more on how to get your feedback across effectively within the article.

10 Tips for Responding to Comments on Your Brand’s Social Media

We’ve separated the 10 tips for responding to comments on your brand’s social media into 5 simple do’s and 5 don’ts so that you know both what to do and what not to do.

You may have the best post/ad in the history of Facebook, but if you forget to monitor and reply to comments left on it you risk turning a great post/ad into a ticking social media crisis bomb.

Interacting with your audience through social comments is an effective way to make a connection with your target market.

By providing great customer service through social comments, you not only retain existing customers but also win new ones.

The 5 Do’s of Responding to Comments on Your Brand’s Social Media

1. Do respond in a timely manner

By responding relatively soon you are showing your followers (your potential, past, and current customers) that you care about them and value what they have to say.

Keeping conversations going means keeping the community you’re trying to foster around your brand going.

Even just a like on a comment from your company’s social profile can be enough to show that you’re there and you’re listening and engaging!

2. Do monitor ALL of your comments (the good, the bad, and the ugly)

People can be quite kind, but they can also be unbearably cruel; it’s the internet after all!

The trick is to react calmly and coolly to the cruel and to acknowledge and celebrate the kind.

Using the like method above can be a great way to show kind users you appreciate their thoughts (just don’t mix this up and like negative comments–that can get confusing!)

3. Do respond to ALL of your negative comments. Yes. ALL of them.

Responding to negative comments is important.

Deleting or ignoring negative feedback reflects poorly on your brand.

If you don’t address negative comments on your social media, your followers will start to assume your business is not able to handle criticism, that it’s willing to ignore its customers, and that it might not even be active on the network!

4. Do encourage negative commentators to continue the conversation in private

When you respond to a negative comment, try to encourage the user to transition the conversation to a more private place, like in the direct messages of the social network the negative comment came from or via a support email address.

While you want to show onlookers that you do care about negative opinions, you’ll want to move negative conversations out of the limelight.

5. Do present a professional front

Stay calm and collected.

Monitoring and engaging with your comments will earn your brand a reputation with your followers.

If you consistently respond professionally, you’ll foster a solid reputation.

The 5 Don’ts of Responding to Comments

1. Don’t ignore “small” problems

Unanswered comments will give your business a reputation for bad customer service, and potentially lose you business.

Research from Twitter found that 81% of consumers won’t recommend a company to a friend if they don’t get a reply from them on social media.

2. Don’t lose your cool

The saying “the customer is always right” should always apply in your response to negative social media comments.

If you or whoever’s assigned to currently respond to social comments get frustrated easily, you should introduce another intermediary employee who can better represent your business and your brand voice online.

3. Don’t delete comments.

Deleting comments make it look like your brand doesn’t care, is wrong in the situation, or it has something to hide.

And, more often than not, people notice when their comments get removed and they come back with a vengeance, escalating their comment(s) further.

4. Don’t make the same generic response to every comment

People will catch on if you respond with the same line to EVERY single comment.

Once people start noticing that unhappy comments receive the same message in reply, it will only make your company seem insincere and inauthentic.

5. Don’t be afraid to make comments personal

Have a few standard lines to initiate with, but don’t be afraid to personalize your responses to the unique comment’s content and user. While some companies may want to keep a strict brand tone, social media requires socialization, which requires human interaction. If you keep everything passive and technical, you’ll never make any connections on the platforms.

Mentioning their name and including what they said in your response is a great way to show you’re both paying attention and you care.

Finally, adding a signature from a real person on your team is a great way to add some human personality into your brand persona.

The Vantage Buzz – August 2019

Hi,

We’ll jump right into an update from Google: you’re going to need to enable 2-step authentication on the account you use to sign in to Google Ads, so, if you don’t have it set up, you might as well set it up now, before you’re locked out. Here’s a link to do so.

And here’s your monthly ad-vantage reading:


Business:

What’s your business’s key growth metric? This article advocates for using “Lead Velocity Rate” or LVR as your key growth metric as it can make accommodating immediate fluctuations more manageable when you want to focus on the long-term and future sales. Oriented toward SaaS businesses, but could be modified for any business that depends on a consistent flow of leads.

Ecommerce:

An article from Shopify on how to use Shopify to set up a wholesale portal, the benefits of wholesale, and some tips of wholesale pricing.

And General Intrigue:

The so-called savior of the open office floor plan, the office pod, gets a compelling case in this article. Privacy seems to be the major component of their attractiveness as interviewees in the article talk about their ability to both focus more and have more engaged private meetings with clients and leads when using the pods.