Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Instagram vs. Snapchat – Which Is Better For Marketing Your Business?

Snapcat vs Instragram

Let’s start by saying that both are great photo-sharing applications in their own regard, and IF you want to market your product or service through the visual platform, both will perfectly serve your marketing desires.

And as Kurt Wagner notes that, Snapchat was Facebook’s first choice before Instagram.
Having said that, it must be noted that there are still feature-focused differences between the two apps.
Listed below are the most crucial differences in the features of the two popular photo-sharing software.

1. Taking a photo or a video

The capture button, along with the rest of the interface, is pretty much same in both the apps.
Instagram’s primary difference is that you can upload a photo or a video directly from your computer or phone. Thus making it a bit more flexible
In Snapchat, you have to use the app to capture the photo or the video you want to share. Making it slightly less flexible.
Because we are like flexible options, Instagram is the clear winner in round 1

Instagram Vs Snapchat Round 1

2. Editing filters

This is an Instagram-only feature only. After taking the photo or the video, you can edit the lighting or the coloring, or change the saturation or sharpness of the piece before sharing it.
This is a great way to enhance your product shots or add a style to your brand.
This is not possible in case of Snapchat, making Snapchat the round 2 winner

Instragram Vs Snapchat Round 2

3. Setting a timer

This is another Snapchat-only feature. You can set a particular time window for which the photo will be available for the selected viewer. You can set the timer from 1 second to 10 seconds.
Is this a useful feature?
If you are running an instant feedback survey before a product launch and you want an instant response (no thought) to what the person feels about a colour of product or product packaging etc this timer is an awesome feature!
If you want anyone to view the photo or video unlimited times, you can submit the same in the Snapchat Story.
Clearly Snapchat dominates round 3!

Instragram Vs Snapchat Round 3

4. Adding text

Yes, you can add text in both the apps.
In Instagram, you can add it below the image or video.
Whilst over in the red corner, on Snapchat, you can type the text directly on the picture if you want to.
So, the difference is in the positioning of the text. And with any marketing, being able to position text and graphics is must. Once again making Snapchat a round 4 winner!

Instragram Vs Snapchat Round 4

5. Sending an image or a video

Previously, it was only a Snapchat feature
But with the introduction of the Instagram Direct, you can now do the same in Instagram as well.
However, in Instagram, you can send only to 15 people at most, while there is no such limit in Snapchat.
Also, while the image or video still stays in Instagram, it gets deleted automatically in Snapchat once the receiver views it.
Deleting content? Hmmm, we like our marketing material to continue to exist and excit our audience, so this round definitely goes to Instagram!

Instragram Vs Snapchat Round 5

6. Liking or Commenting on a picture or a video

This is where Instagram scores a full point over Snapchat, and acts a bit like Facebook. Funny really, since Facebook own Instagram, hey!
You can like or comment on a picture or a video shared with you or appearing on your feeds stream on Instagram.
Unfortunately, you cannot create such conversation threads on Snapchat, and social media is all about interacting with your customers and soon-to-be customers. So Instagram is the clear round 6 winner!

Instragram Vs Snapchat Round 6

7. Content Streaming

This is pretty much the same in both the apps.
On Instagram, you will get a constant feed of images and videos.
While in Snapchat, you will get a New Story notification every time a new item is posted.
Both apps display a good visual marketing thread so this one’s a tie.

Instragram Vs Snapchat Round 7

8. Presence of advertisements

Well, Instagram, being a Facebook property, will follow the same path as Facebook does.
So, you will always get Sponsored content now and then in between the streamed feeds.
But this is not so in Snapchat.
Since we are evaluating these social platforms from a marketing perspective the sponsored content give sus the extra exposure we need and thus gives Instagram the edge and heads of into the lead as the winner of round 8.

Instragram Vs Snapchat Round 8

9. Saving or download photos or videos

On Snapchat, you have to download the picture or video, but in Instagram, it automatically gets saved to your gallery.
In addition to that, you can share the piece via email or URL on a website.
Having multiple sharing options is always a plus for any type of marketing and clearly has the edge when it comes to reaching out to your customers. Instagram races on and grabs another round.

Instragram Vs Snapchat Round 9

10. Audience

Instagram’s audience demographic is a bit “middle-of-the-road”, but Snapchat on the other hand, is very popular with the 18-24 bracket.
In fact, Snapchat is the dominant social media app for the 18-24 demographic. So, if you want to reach out to the younger side of your market, Snapchat is the way to go.
Nobody likes a middle-of-the-road marketing campaign – let’s see some opinion and dedicated and on-target messages. This specific niche targeting on Snapchat makes it the round 10 winner.

Instragram Vs Snapchat Round 10

There you go!
Instagram is the winner, but only by 1 point – it was a close battle!
To conclude, as Justin Diaz says, if you like to take pictures that are forever, Instagram is your best option. And if you want to share crazy instant snapshots for the moment and  don’t care for the future, Snapchat is the way to go.
Choose the one that best serves your business purpose…
I hope this was useful for you. If it was, share it with your friends because they’ll likely find it useful too!


Tuesday, 29 September 2015

How to Get Your Influencers to Share Your Content

Companies of all size—from small businesses to Fortune 100 corporations—are starting to take their content creation and marketing seriously. Whether that's because they know quality content is part of Google's algorithm for SEO or because they've heard that content marketing is "in" right now doesn't matter. The important thing is that businesses today are mindful of creating content as part of their marketing strategy. The only problem is that quality often times takes a backseat to quality, and in today's world of content overload, that's not a good thing.
Once your content starts to take a dip in quality, you'll likely see that reflected in the number of content shares you receive through social media as well as in the overall engagement and activity you receive from your readers. To get those shares back, you need to go back to the drawing board and revamp your content strategy. 
Use this post as a guide to create content that your influencers and audience actually wants to absorb and share with their friends, family, fans and followers.

Use Social Sharing IconsSocial sharing icons

If you want people to share your content, you need to make it easy for them to do so.
If you expect users to copy and paste a link to your blog, log into their social profiles, and create their own post just to share your content, then you're out of touch with the digital age that's upon us. We now live in a world where if you don't capture a user's attention within three seconds they're gone.
So with that being said, each piece of content you create—from blogs to infographics—should have social sharing buttons that automatically help your readers and influencers easily share your content on their social networks. Content Management Systems like WordPress and Drupal have plugins that make this process extremely easy for your business to deploy.

Tag Them In Your Post

Your influencers are busy, so they don't have time to consistently check your blog and social networks to see if you've released new content.
That's why you need to alert them when you do.
This is an especially popular tactic on Twitter because you don't necessarily need to be following someone to @mention them in a tweet. If you've got a piece of content that you think a particular influencer or customer would appreciate, simply tag them in your post and alert them of the content. (Example: .@InfluencerA thought you'd appreciate this post on content influencers: link).
It's as simple as that. 

Create Great, Original Content

It sounds obvious, but creating great content is really what drives influencers to share and engage with your content. Think about all of the content pieces you absorb each week—now think about how quickly you bounce from that content once you realize it's the third time you've read about that subject that week. 
Coming up with content topics isn't always the easiest part of the job, but if you want to really drive your content marketing, you need to take the time to research and craft original content that people actually want to read. Another great way to get people to interact with your content is to offer them something, like a discount code or free eBook download. All in all, it boils down to what type of value you're bringing through your content, and if your influencers feel that it will bring value to their network of fans and followers by sharing the content.
Additionally, it's important to remember that content doesn't always have to be 1,000 word blogs—it's video on YouTube or Vimeo, and it's photos, images and infographics.
Now, get out there and start creating content that people will want to share with their networks.

Monday, 28 September 2015

11 Unbreakable Laws Of Social Media Marketing

We all know how it is, you get your hands on a social media position, or you start to run some serious social media for your business, and pretty soon it’s all going very wrong. You don’t know what you’re doing, and you’re making mistakes all over the place.
You need direction. You need some rules.
In this post, we look at the eleven unbreakable laws of social media. They are unbreakable because if you break them, well, some bad things happen. At the very least you may be looking at a wasteland on social media. At worst, you could be looking at a brand that is disliked.


Law One: Think before you post
Sounds like common sense? Well, it is. But you’d be surprised how many companies send out content on social media without considering the impact first of all. Whether it’s making an unfortunate comment about a competitor or losing your rag and going full on rage in a tweet, you need to always consider the impact of what you post.
Take a second just before you press ‘send’ or post’ every time. Read it through. Is it conveying the right message about your brand? Is it truthful? Is it going to hurt anyone?
Those are three pretty good test questions, we think.
Law Two: Always remember that real people are involved
This is a crucial one because it pretty much defines everything you do on social media. Remember that it is called social media and this all makes sense.
Every time you do anything on social media, remember that there are people involved somewhere. We talked about the impact in the first law. This law is about ensuring that you work hard to build and maintain relationships.
This means your branding has to be front of mind. If you are directly interacting with or at least broadcasting to customers and prospects, everything you do is part of the relationship building process. How are you acknowledging this in the way you write, post and share?
We’re not just talking about companies insulting their audience, that’s too easy. We’re also talking about how you build up a base of loyal people who actively look for your latest update. When you’ve achieved that, you’re starting to build relationships.
The upshot here? Make every post and update count towards the relationship you are trying to build.


Law Three: Listen and then listen some more
No company gets anywhere on social media unless it listens to what is being said online. Listen to what people are saying about you and act accordingly, obviously, but take that listening one step further and focus on what is being said about your industry.
The more you listen to industry news and opinion the more informed you will be.
It makes you a more professional outfit. When you’re selling, you can confidently say you know what is happening in your industry. It’s pretty safe to say not all of your competitors do this
Law Four: Be in the right place
This is important. Find out which channels your audience is on and don’t veer off the path.
Don’t be on Pinterest if you don’t sell to women. And don’t even go near Snapchat unless your demographic is under 18 (and pretty cool with it).
Be on the right channel so your efforts are not wasted. By not being on the right channel, you’re not just breaking one of our laws, you’re leaving yourself open to saturation and dilution.


Law Five: Don’t follow people you shouldn’t
We’re not talking creepy stuff here. We’re just acknowledging that it is easy to connect with people who have absolutely nothing to do with your industry or niche because it means you simply get more followers, right?
But when you’re trying to market to the audience (and possibly spending money doing so) you’re potentially wasting time and resources. And when you get an embarrassing tweet in your stream from someone who has nothing to do with your true audience, it just looks bad.
Keep it relevant. Keep it targeted. You might get less followers but your followership will be of a higher quality and you will see the results in a higher engagement rate.
Law Six: Create great content
This is something that is incredibly hard to do unless you have a solid plan. Creating great content means ensuring that the post you put out there has some thought behind it and taps into what your audience wants to see.
Create exciting, visual content by all means, and share it too. But the moment you do anything mediocre, people will start to wonder why you are at the party.
If necessary, post less frequently. In our study on posting frequency we’ve seen that posting less frequently can give a boost to the organic reach of your posts.
Just ensure you have quality at the heart of everything you do.


Law Seven: Be active
The most successful companies in social media share a lot. They know that people want to see good content, but the also know that every time someone shares their content, it helps spread it even further. Getting the word out means that your marketing is working. The more you share the better.
Share the relevant and quality content that you find, because that is just good manners. But also, now and then, share a blog post you wrote or an infographic you have designed. It all works out for the better because people will share it much further than you could imagine.
Identify when your audience is online. Optimise your posting schedule and publish new content on times of the day when majority of your audience is online. Here’s more advice on improving the engagement rate of your content.
Law Eight: Take it easy. Please
Head on over to Twitter now and chances are that you’ll find at least one person who is spamming you and/or creating an undying steam of worthless content that just keeps flashing up in front of your eyes. These people are annoying and they don’t understand rule number eight.
Social media takes time. Take it easy and stop updating like a maniac. Build relationships, but only do so when it looks like the other person would like to talk to you. This will mark you out as someone special in the horde, and will allow you to build ethical relationships in future.
Take your time, observe everyone’s behaviour, and then introduce yourself.
Law Nine: Interact and respond
If someone reaches out to you, and they don’t appear to be anything like scary or weird, then respond. It’s important that there is that reciprocity.
Check them out, if they look like someone you need to know, start a real conversation with them. Businesses have been built using this law.
Most companies ignore the messages they get and that is a social media failure.
Law Ten: Listen to the influencers
ILook for people in your industry who are influencers, disruptive people who are changing the way people think about what you do. Then listen to what they’re saying on social media. Take note, and follow their conversations. They know what they are talking about.
When you finally really get to know their flow and style, and subject matter on social, reach out. You may be surprised at what happens when an influencer enjoys your product so much so he or she shares it with their large and loyal audience.
Law Eleven (bonus law): Be consistent
One of the biggest reasons why people stop following others or start ignoring them at least on social is the ‘burst’ effect. This is where a business comes up with hundreds of tweets and posts and spends a few days sending them out there. After that the company goes quiet and ignores their own social media profiles.
When a business loses sight of Law Eight (check back in this post if you have to) and disappears, it looks really, really bad. Remember the last time you found out that a business just didn’t do what it said it would? Not good, right? Are you still doing business with them? We didn’t think so.
So there are ten (plus one) unbreakable laws of social media. Integrate this new understanding into your working life and you’ll soon start to see a return on your social media investment
Above all, let common sense prevail. A lot of what is outlined above in this post is just good old intelligent thinking.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

5 Online Freemium Tools for Start-Ups and Agencies


Freemium tools are the basics needed to get things going for free – here are five to help start-ups on their way.

Do you want tools that will grow as your business does? If so, freemium is the way to go. Freemium tools allow start-ups to use the basics needed to get things going for free, while also offering paid plans. This way, as businesses evolve and needs change, the tools can grow and adapt too. In this post, we're going to look at five of the top freemium online marketing tools businesses can use at every stage.

Choosing the Right Tools

Before we get started, here are a few questions to ask when choosing freemium marketing tools for your start-up:
  • Will the tool save you time in your day-to-day marketing efforts?
  • Does the tool help you do tasks that have a direct result on your bottom line?
  • Does the free version of the tool offer all of the features you need to get started?
  • Will the free version's limitation lead you to paying for the premium version? If so, would you be better off going with a non-freemium tool?
These are good questions for any business to ask before choosing a tool. They are especially important for start-ups so you don't end up investing time into things you may not necessarily need.
Now, let's look at some of the top freemium tools that marketers use in businesses of all sizes. I have selected these tools based on popularity, freemium or free usage options, and their unique applications throughout your marketing campaign.

1. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a powerful social media management tool that allows you to manage various aspects of your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, and WordPress accounts. Through the app directory, Hootsuite offers even more solutions to connect with additional social networks and platforms beyond the defaults. This allows you to manage your accounts in easy-to-browse columns all in one place.
Hootsuite's freemium model allows you to start with three social media accounts and basic features for free, which is more than enough to get your start-up's social media presence moving on the top social networks. Paying for The Pro Level Plan increases your account to 50 social profiles and includes more advanced features, such as team members, advanced scheduling, unlimited RSS feeds, and additional security. Companies that need more can request a demonstration of the full-feature Enterprise Level Plan. 

2. SEMrush

SEMrush is a powerful search marketing tool that allows you to research your competition's paid search tactics, organic keyword visibility, and much more. You can use it for a variety of tasks, including backlink research, keyword research, search engine traffic volume, and previewing paid search ads.
While SEMrush does not have a freemium pricing model, I think it is an important tool because it still allows guests to perform a limited number of searches that increases once registered for a free account. A paid account gives businesses access to full reports and additional features. Larger businesses can consider a more substantial paid plan that includes access to unlimited projects, broader data, branded reports, and a larger number of users.

3. Fruition's Google Penalty Check

Whether you know you've been involved in shady search engine optimization practices in the past or not, it never hurts to keep an eye on your website's health, as far as Google is concerned. Fruition's Google Penalty Check lets you to see how various Google search and algorithm updates have affected your website.
Fruition's freemium model lets start-ups review the effects of Google search and algorithm updates over three months old and add up to two domains for free. Paid accounts have access to more recent data, or an option to analyze more websites.

4. Zapier

Want to connect the social networks, apps, and tools you use for marketing and general business tasks all together? Zapier offers a service that allows you to do just that. It has the ability to integrate over 400 platforms to create custom, automated workflows. These tasks, referred to as zaps, allow you to do things like save Twitter search mentions to an SQL server database - a relational database management system. Additionally, you can post a user's tweet to Yammer and other automations, as shown in the image below. 
Zapier's freemium model allows you to create five tasks, also known as "zaps," for free. From there, you may buy a plan based on the amount of additional zaps you may need. If your business needs more automated tasks, you can also request more information about large corporate level plans.

5. Cyfe

Cyfe is used to track analytics and data from a variety of sources. This all-in-one business dashboard solution enables you to bring your website analytics, social media analytics, SEO metrics, and more into one shared and easy-to-read dashboard. In the example below, you can see widgets pulling in data on year-to-date revenue from Salesforce, website visitor locations and funnel paths from Google Analytics, tweets from Twitter, keyword rankings from Google, and email marketing analytics from MailChimp.
Cyfe's freemium model allows limited usage of their platform, and you are allowed up to five widgets. To earn additional widgets, you can refer friends to Cyfe - one new widget per referral. Purchasing a premium package provides unlimited usage and complete functionality of all features, like exports and regular email reports. Enterprise level users can contact Cyfe for additional features like white labeling.
The key to finding great tools that will go the distance for your business is to ensure they cater to everyone, from small businesses to large enterprises and agencies. This means you never have to worry about outgrowing your favorite tool and start from scratch as your business scales in size. Begin by identifying areas in your marketing strategy where you think a tool might be beneficial for saving you time. From there, you can research the options to find the program that best compliments your professional needs.
*Homepage image via Shutterstock.


Saturday, 26 September 2015

3 Twitter Tips From The “Most Stalked” Brands

Want to learn from the best? These 20 brands are so good at content marketing, they are being stalked by their peers.
Here are 3 actionable Twitter tips from the best in the soft Twitter Tip: Use Hashtags To Boost Content Discovery
Microsoft knows how to work a hashtag to join the conversation surrounding trending topics on Twitter. For International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, for example, Microsoft joined the #IWD2015 conversation with an embedded Twitter video:

 With 3.2K interactions, the tweet earned Microsoft 6X more engagement than their average tweet, as measured by the TrackMaven platform:
Image via TrackMaven, the Competitive Intelligence Platform for Digital Marketers.
Microsoft found similar success with their #hourofcode challenge. The tweets below both reaped 11X the brand’s average engagement on Twitter:  
Image via TrackMaven, the Competitive Intelligence Platform for Digital Marketers.
Image via TrackMaven, the Competitive Intelligence Platform for Digital Marketers.

HP Twitter Tip: Use Text Over Twitter Images To Maximize Message Visibility.

The #FindRalph campaign was a success; each tweet from the interactive campaign averaged far above the average engagement level for HP’s twitter account.
This tweet, for example, reaped 6X more Twitter interactions than HP’s average tweet!
Image via TrackMaven, the Competitive Intelligence Platform for Digital Marketers.
Image via TrackMaven, the Competitive Intelligence Platform for Digital Marketers.

Marketo Twitter Tip: Engage Your Audience By Asking A Question

As a company that markets to marketers, Marketo knows how to create content that captures their audience’s attention. (Read here for more psychology-backed content marketing tips).
The most effective tactic from Marketo’s Twitter feed? Asking a question! Marketo has mastered the art of inquisition via their Twitter feed. In fact, 4 out of Marketo’s top 10 tweets from the past year posed questions!

Image via TrackMaven, the Competitive Intelligence Platform for Digital Marketers.
Image via TrackMaven, the Competitive Intelligence Platform for Digital Marketers.
Image via TrackMaven, the Competitive Intelligence Platform for Digital Marketers.
Image via TrackMaven, the Competitive Intelligence Platform for Digital Marketers.

Want more content marketing tips for overhauling your content strategy? Get your copy of The Content Marketing Paradox Report!


Friday, 25 September 2015

6 Content Marketing Hacks: A Cheat Sheet for Marketing Managers


In the  past, the term “hack” had a very different meaning. Back then, a hack was someone who wasn’t very good at their job. They either phoned in their work every day or simply lacked the talent to do good work in the first place. No one wants to be known as that sort of “hack,” which the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines as “working for hire…with mediocre standards.”

These days, hacks are much cooler. Instead of putting out huge volumes of mediocre work, they make the complex seem simple and the impossible seem possible. Modern hacks are most definitely our friends. (Not including those who “hack” others computers! Totally different type of hack!)
Let’s explore six content marketing hacks that could dramatically improve your lead generation and conversion metrics.

1. Test Headlines and Above-the-Fold Content

Check out the latest studies on Web users’ attention spans. Depending on who you ask, the typical Internet surfer takes anywhere from one to seven seconds to make a final decision about whether to remain on a particular website or navigate away. Basically, your average prospect could decide to leave your website before the homepage is done loading.
How can you get more first-time and repeat visitors to stick around? For starters, craft short, catchy headlines that attract the attention of visitors and fully display in search results. Most engines display a maximum of about 60 characters – enough for about seven to nine words with spaces. Your headlines don’t have to be uniformly sensational, but they should be intriguing enough to convince people to keep reading.
You should also focus on engaging graphics, images, video, text formatting, and navigation features in each page’s “above the fold” area. Traditionally, the “above the fold” portion of a website is the area visible without scrolling once the page has completely loaded.

2. Go Deep!

Until recently, conventional wisdom has held that blog posts and most other forms of non-gated content perform best when they’re short, sweet, and to the point.
There’s certainly some truth to this notion. If you’re announcing a snippet of company news on your blog or touting a limited-time offer in a snappy press release, it’s probably best not to beat around the bush too much.
On the other hand, truly effective content marketing is often fearsomely comprehensive. Nothing conveys authority and subject-matter mastery like a 2,000-word whitepaper on a particular aspect of your business or trend affecting your industry, particularly if you’re the first thought leader to write at length on the subject.

3. Offer Something of Value

Although long-form content marketing shouldn’t be gated for profit by default, it’s important not to give away every single piece of content you produce.
Get in the habit of putting together a major piece of authoritative content – a comprehensive series of case studies, an exhaustive white paper, even a professionally produced video.. Then use secondary content, such as shorter blog posts and email marketing blasts, to promote the primary piece of content extensively.
Unless content creation is a key part of your business model, you don’t have to charge a fee for users to access the content. However, you shouldn’t make it freely accessible from an unrestricted site page. Instead, offer it up as a downloadable PDF and require users to provide their name and email address before viewing it. If your organization puts on admission-only events from time to time, consider offering the content to anyone who purchases a ticket to your next get-together.
Setting “tent pole” pieces of content apart from more routinely scheduled blog posts and emails is a great way to make them seem special – and to create the impression of value for your prospects. Remember, prospects who feel as if you provide them with actionable, valuable intelligence are more likely to become paying customers.

4. Make Sharing Seamless

In the age of 24/7 social media, nothing holds users’ attention like seamless sharing capabilities. Depending on the nature of your company, you’ll want to include sharing buttons for your strongest social platforms.
Whereas B2B companies typically feature LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google Plus buttons prominently, B2C firms may have more success with platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Instagram. Share your own content, plus relevant curated content from other sources. And don’t forget to ask your audience to share your content with their friends and followers as well.

5. Sharpen Your Calls-to-Action

Make sure you compose top-notch calls-to-action for each type – or even each individual piece – of content that you produce.
Some businesses find success with campaign-specific calls-to-action directing the website visitor to take a specific action on the website i.e. download a white paper, read a blog article, subscribe to an email newsletter, etc. All of these can be useful for segmenting different customer groups into parallel email marketing lists that you can nurture into leads through ongoing email marketing.

6. Don’t Discount Guest Blogging

While the subject of guest blogging has been debated whether or not it’s a valuable SEO tool, it’s still a critical component of content marketing. Instead of link-building, guest blogging is now primarily used to build authority among target audiences and indirectly drive traffic back to a particular website. As long as your guest posts use “nofollow” links, you’re likely to see a qualified traffic boost from a sustained campaign.

Learn How Content Marketing Works from the Pros

If you can keep these content marketing hacks straight as you architect your online marketing campaigns, you’ll be well on your way to success. That said, the world of content marketing is confusing – even when you’ve got the hacks to help you out – and can change in the blink of the eye. Don’t be shy about asking for marketing manager tips along the way. We’re here for you!


Thursday, 24 September 2015

Get to Know Remarketing, TOFU, and More: 10 Buzzworthy Marketing Strategies Worth Explaining

Surfing through my daily content curation or checking out the latest, popular marketing stories, I’ll sometimes find strategies that sound completely fascinating—and entirely foreign.
What do some of the biggest buzz words—remarketing, onboarding, CRO, etc.—even mean?
And is it really possible for you to get these strategies happening for yourself?
I’ve been really happy to dig in to all these intriguing new topics, and I’d love to explain 10 of these buzzworthy strategies—as well as some simple ways to test the waters with your online marketing efforts.
marketing strategies

10 New Marketing Strategies to Know

I’ve found a lot of inspiration and ideas for marketing tips to try by visiting sites like Growth Hackers and Inbound. These places collect some really fabulous articles that contain some completely brilliant strategies. Here are 10 I’d love to talk more about:
  1. Remarketing
  2. Amplification and Applause
  3. Programmatic Buying
  4. CRO
  5. Responsive Design
  7. Customer Behavior
  8. Rented vs. Owned
  9. User Onboarding
  10. JTBD
Any from the list here ring a bell? It’d be fantastic to learn from any experiences you have with the strategies here!

1. What is remarketing?

Remarketing lets you display targeted ads to people who have previously visited your website – as they browse elsewhere around the internet.
For example, if someone visits your site, browses a product in your store, and leaves without buying, you’d be able to show that person an ad for that product anywhere that remarketing ads are served—other websites, Google search, even Facebook!
Marketers who do paid ads and promotion love remarketing (also called retargeting) for a number of reasons:
  • Reduced cost per impression
  • Better conversion rates
  • Improved ROI
  • Precise targeting
  • Cost effective branding
The ROI in some cases can be as high as $10 earned for every $1 spent!

How to get started with remarketing

There is a great number of tools that can help with the setup for remarketing and make it easy to get an experiment off the ground:
For Facebook retargeting in particular, many of the tools listed here have built-in features that let you create remarketing ads in the News Feed. Another simple route here is to use Facebook’s Custom Audiences feature as your remarketing test.
Step one: Export a list of customer/visitor data from your site. This could be shopping cart abandonment, recent orders, email subscribers, etc.
Step two: Upload the list as a custom audience to Facebook.
  1. Log in at the Facebook Ads Manager
  2. Go to Tools > Audiences
  3. Go to Create Audience > Custom Audience
  4. Upload your customer/visitor list
(Another option in creating a custom audience is to base it off of website traffic and visits, using a Facebook custom audience pixel that’s added to your pages.)
Step three: Build an ad that would be valuable and useful for this custom group.

2. What are amplification and applause?

Amplification is shares and retweets. Applause is likes and favorites.
We’ve taken a lot of inspiration from the different ways to evaluate and measure a social media campaign, and this method of amplification and applause is a favorite.
Google’s Avinash Kaushik came up with the idea for these social media metrics, which include a total of four major categories:
  • Conversation rate – The number of conversations per post. On Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn, it’s comments. On Twitter, it’s replies.
  • Amplification rate – The number of reshares or retweets per post.
  • Applause rate – Retweets, Likes, +1s, etc.
  • Economic value – The sum of short-term revenue, long-term revenue, and cost savings
His four metrics, first explained in a 2011 blogpost, continue to be influential in the way that we evaluate our social media performance here at Buffer. Moz uses Kaushik’s methods in their social media marketing; we’ve done the same at the Buffer blog. There’s even an analytics tool, True Social Metrics, based on these metrics.

How to get started with amplification and applause

At Buffer, we are able to track amplification and applause quite easily through the Buffer dashboard’s analytics section. For each of our connected profiles, we can see the amplification (shares and retweets) of each post as well as the applause (likes and favorites).
To calculate the amplification and applause rate, I’ll often export the data into a spreadsheet, then get the average of each column to see how much of each stat we typically get per post.
Then to compare, for instance, Facebook to Twitter, I can go one step further and divide the average engagement by the number of followers to see engagement rate per follower—a stat that can be quite useful to compare social network to social network.
For example, if on Twitter we get 300 favorites and have 300,000 followers, we’d expect 1 favorite for every 1,000 followers. If on Facebook we get 50 likes and have 5,000 followers, we’d expect 1 like for every 100 followers (quite a great ratio, and quite a bit higher than on Twitter!).

3. What is programmatic buying?

Programmatic buying is the automation of online ad purchasing such that the advertiser need only to set a small number of variables like bid price and reach and the automation does the rest.
Say you’ve got an ad campaign in mind but not quite the time and resources for figuring out all the different possibilities for advertising online.
This is where programmatic buying really shines.
Marketers love it because it’s
  1. Fast
  2. Targeted
You can get a campaign up and running quickly, and you (er, rather, the automated machines) can hone the campaign as time goes on so that your ad is reaching its greatest potential.
AdAge has a wonderful breakdown of programmatic buying. Here’s a powerful quote:
Ad buyers can use programmatic buying to fan ads across the web and then, mid-campaign, evaluate what’s working best — which geographies, times of day, audience segments, publishers — to narrow their target accordingly, so they’re paying only for highly effective ads. This is a radical change from traditional ad buying, where a buyer agrees to run a certain number of ads with a publisher and is locked in to the contract.

How to get started with programmatic buying

Tools like Rocket Fuel and Sparc Media allow you to get started with the programmatic buying process. There aren’t a whole lot of lean ways to dip your toes in, so to speak, other than just taking a test run.
Facebook Ads and Google Adwords do a lot of heavy lifting in terms of automating and suggesting, which is a small taste of what programmatic buying might look like.

4. What is CRO?

CRO stands for Conversion Rate Optimization. It’s using data insights and user feedback to improve the performance and results of a website.
CRO involves things like calls-to-action (CTAs), A/B testing, and conversion funnels. One popular place you might do CRO is with a landing page, where you can optimize all sorts of different parts—buttons, headings, CTAs, images, forms—in order to boost conversion.

How to get started with CRO

One of the big ideas within CRO is testing different elements of a webpage to see what works best. This type of A/B testing can be done using great tools like Optimizely. You can even test out some really lean methods.
For instance, one form of CRO could involve the social media headlines you share in your tweets and updates. Testing multiple headlines there is a version of A/B testing and CRO for your social stats.
What this has looked like in the past for us is that we’ll share new blog posts to social media multiple times using a handful of different headlines (I often try to write 10 to 15 headlines per post).
We can then check and see the performance of each headline in our Buffer stats dashboard:
First tweet:
Twitter headline test
Second tweet:
Twitter headline test

5. What is responsive design?

Responsive design is an approach to website design where the site will look great no matter the device—desktops, tablets, or phones.
Most all major sites have moved to responsive design, knowing how important it is to be useable for the large readership on mobile.
In most cases of responsive design, the sites adjust and evolve based on the device (there’s certain code that recognizes device size and tells the site how it should look). For instance a three-column website design on desktop might shrink to two columns on a tablet and one column on a phone.

How to get started with responsive design

One quick win for responsive design is to think about how the calls-to-action appear as your website scales between desktop and mobile. For example:
How do your social share buttons look for your mobile visitors?
We recently found that the social share buttons on the Buffer blog didn’t show at all when viewed from a mobile device, so we installed the SumoMe plugin to get a quick win and display share buttons to mobile readers.
Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 7.29.48 PM
Now we get 500 social shares per week and nearly 7,000 total since the change—all of which we would have never had were it not for the consideration of responsive design and mobile visitors.
Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 7.29.56 PM


TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU reference different parts of a conversion funnel. TOFU is the top of the funnel. MOFU is the middle, BOFU is the bottom.
Given these distinctions between different parts of the funnel, you can begin to organize your content and strategy toward each. Here’s one way of looking at it, courtesy of the Denamico blog:
HubSpot has some amazing thoughts here as well. This is the way they view each stage of the funnel according to where the buyer is in their journey:
  • At the top of the funnel, a buyer is typically trying to solve a problem or meet a need.
  • Prospects in the middle of the funnel know that they have a problem or a need that must be solved and have moved on to determining the best solution.
  • By the time a lead reaches the bottom of the funnel, they are ready to buy and the only question is who they will buy from.

How to get started with TOFU, MOFU, BOFU

One way to quickly incorporate this concept into your content strategy is to identify articles or content you can offer that fit with each stage of the funnel.
TOFU can be articles and social media updates that focus on common pain points or questions for the user.
MOFU can be articles and pages that speak more specifically about your brand or product, introducing it into the conversation.
BOFU can be demos, calls, lead nurturing where you explain how your product fits the specific need of a potential user.
We’ve started focusing a bit on this at Buffer where we’re thinking about blog content in terms of TOFU (those posts intended to spread far and bring in a great number of new readers) and MOFU (posts geared toward helping people share to social media and introducing Buffer as a possible tool to help).
The post you’re reading now is a bit more MOFU, as it has some specific Buffer examples sprinkled throughout. :)

7. Customer Behavior

Customer behavior refers to the actions you notice a customer/user taking as they journey to and through your site.
Customer behavior covers a quite broad series of actions, and at its heart, the strategy gets at the idea of data—knowing as much about a person’s interactions with you as possible.
This can look a number of different ways, be it a website visitor, a blog reader, a social media follower, etc.

How to get started with customer behavior

One simple method to begin with is tracking a couple of key stats for your website in Google Analytics.
For your desktop site, check:
  • Bounce rate
  • Visitor loyalty
For your mobile site, check:
  • Bounce rate
  • Time on site
Bounce rate is the percent of people who land on your website and leave right away.
Visitor loyalty (% returning visitors) measures how often a person comes back to your site.
Time on site speaks to the mobile-friendliness of your site. Is it a good enough experience that people are excited to spend time hanging out there?
All of these stats can be found from the main dashboard when you log into Google Analytics:

8. Rented vs. Owned

Rented vs. Owned refers to the types of sites, networks, and platforms you use for your content. Rented channels refer to social media and sites you can customize but not control. Owned channels refer to your website and places you fully control.
Rented vs. owned is a really cool way of explaining the difference between your website and your social media profiles—two distinct places where you might expect to be trying out distinct strategies.

How to get started with rented vs. owned channels

One key to this framework of rent vs. own is to understand that there may be different approaches and strategies to each type of channel.
You might have different goals for each.
You might track different metrics.
We’re thinking about this very question at Buffer. It’s great to see how a differentiation like rent vs. owned might even fit with a concept like TOFU. In some ways, our goals with rented channels differ from our goals with owned channels. With rented channels, we’re keen to grow our following and gain clicks back to Buffer. On owned channels (like the blog), we’re excited about time on page, email signups, and conversions to Buffer users.

9. User Onboarding

User onboarding is the purposeful way of welcoming new users to your product or page so that they have the best chance to succeed with you.
Samuel Hulick’s walkthroughs and analysis (see above) of popular web apps is perhaps the best introduction to user onboarding. It shows all the many different factors one must think about for helping a user get from point A to point B.

How to get started with user onboarding

One really neat way to get in the user onboarding mindset is to welcome others to look at your work. This can help you gain a new perspective on how people approach your site, product, or app.
There are a couple of neat places that can help with this:
  • Peek – See and hear a 5-minute video of a person using your site (free)
  • Five Second Test – Upload a design and get your questions answered by real users (free)
  • Hotjar – Visitor recordings of how folks are browsing your site (free)
And for more inspiration, Zapier has a great list of spots to see great user onboarding in action.

10. JTBD

JTBD is a framework that helps you understand the Job To Be Done by your product—not necessarily what you set out for your product to achieve but rather what the user has hired your product to do for him/her.
Jobs To Be Done really comes down to this one question:
What is the customer hiring your product to do for them?
Harvard Business School marketing professor Theodore Levitt once pointed out, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!”
Another example is a fast food chain that discovered their milkshakes were super popular in the early mornings. Customers were hiring the milkshakes as a quick, convenient, one-hand meal while driving to work.
Carmen Nobel’s article for the Harvard business blog makes a couple good points here:
> “The JTBD point of view causes you to crawl into the skin of your customer and go with her as she goes about her day, always asking the question as she does something: Why did she do it that way?”
The key to marketing is knowing what job the customer is trying to get done, and envisioning the one solution that gets it done perfectly.

How to get started with JTBD

There’s a really neat interview process that you can step through with a user (you can totally start with some VIP users or good friends who’ve gone through the product journey). This’ll get you on the right path toward discovering the JTBD by your product.
The full explanation of the interview is available on Medium, and just to give you a taste of the kinds of questions included here, this is a snippet of the introductory section on getting to know the point of purchase:
  1. When did you purchase the product?
  2. Where were you?
  3. What time of day was it? (daytime/ nighttime?)
  4. What was the weather like?
  5. Was anyone else with you at the time?
  6. How did you purchase the product?
  7. Did you buy anything at the same time?
(I personally thought the weather question was so interesting to ask!)

More: A couple different ways to dive deep into these new strategies

If you’d love for any of these strategies to be fully explored in its own Buffer blog post, drop a note in the comments. I’d love the chance to dig deep into these for you!
Another way to get to know these strategies better is with Google’s free Primer app, a fun collection of 16 bite-sized lessons in online marketing.
(We are grateful to have worked with the Google team on one of the lessons here!)
Here’s all that the Google Primer app contains:


  • Create a High Quality, High Ranking Search Ad
  • Evolve Your Ad Campaigns with Programmatic Buying
  • How Remarketing Keeps Customers Coming Back


  • Get Customers Interested by Telling a Great Story
  • Create Content Themes That Match Your Values
  • Test Your Content Before You Invest
  • Appeal to Searchers and Search Engines with SEO


  • How Strong A/B Tests Can Read Customers’ Minds
  • Track Your Acquisitions with Digital Marketing
  • Track Customer Behavior with Digital Metrics
  • Track Marketing Outcomes with Digital Metrics


  • Keep Customers Interested with Email Automation
  • Design Your Mobile Site to Be Customer-Friendly
  • Make Email Marketing Your Inbox Secret Weapon
  • Keep Mobile Users Engaged In and Out of Your App
  • Make Every Post Count with a Content Strategy

Over to you

What new strategies are you keen to learn more about?
Have you had a chance to experiment or discover any of the ones mentioned here?
I’d love the chance to learn from you! Feel free to share any thoughts or ideas here in the comments!
Image sources: JTBDLander App, Pablo, IconFinder, Unsplash.