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When you think of coding, your next thought probably isn’t digital marketing. It’s more likely to be UX design or software development.
Coding skills can be instrumental in digital marketing, and coding bootcamps can help set you up for a successful career.
Coding bootcamps are designed to give students the programming skills employers look for. Generally, between 12 and 40 weeks long, these courses aim to get students into the tech field without spending years in undergraduate school.
With the internet and software playing such an essential part in our lives, more and more skilled programmers are needed to develop and maintain the tools we need to thrive.
For the past several years, many employers have said they’ve seen skills gaps in recent graduates—that is, students are often graduating with skills that are a bit out of date.
Coding bootcamps have moved to fill that gap, designing intensive courses designed to get people ready for the current workforce in a short amount of time. In true modern fashion, many of these courses are remote, but there are also options for in-person teaching.
Coding bootcamps are significantly cheaper than most undergraduate educations.
When you commit to a four-year university degree, you can expect to pay about $10,000 per year at a public school in your state—approximately $40,000 total. If you attend a private or out-of-state college, the cost rises exponentially.
Meanwhile, the average tuition for a coding boot camp is just under $14,000 for the entire program.
Bootcamps may also allow you to pay your tuition over time, and some, like Flockjay, waive your tuition if you don’t land a well-paying job after completing the program.
When it comes to digital marketing, you don’t have to have incredible coding skills—but they can make a big difference. The more knowledge you have about how the technology your brand runs on works, the better.
Think of it like the “required” and “preferred” skills sections on job postings. Chances are, most applicants will have nearly all of the “required” skills, but having some of the more unique “preferred” skills could help you stand out.
If you have coding as one of your skills, a potential employer knows you should be able to speak the same language as the UX and development teams. This could make things smoother for everyone, as it means at least one member of the marketing team understands what’s possible given budgets, deadlines, and other restrictions and can create marketing campaigns accordingly.
Additionally, if you’re working at a small business or start-up, it may need someone to wear multiple hats.
Regardless of your company’s size, your coding skills could help you as a marketer in various ways.
It’s become much easier to build and run websites in recent years. With platforms such as WordPress, Shopify, Wix, and SquareSpace, you don’t need coding skills to create a functional site.
But, if you’re reliant on the in-built tools of these platforms, you don’t have the same level of flexibility. When something doesn’t work, you need external support to fix it, and any downtime is money lost.
We talk a lot in marketing about owning the medium (one of the main reasons you should have a website). When you’ve got coding skills, it’s like you’ve got greater ownership of your assets.
Data is essential to digital marketing. We’re constantly learning about our audience and tweaking our strategies to improve performance, which isn’t possible without understanding how to use data.
Coding and data science go hand in hand, and bootcamps courses could teach you to detect patterns in large data sets using artificial intelligence and machine learning. This way of thinking is extremely useful in digital marketing, and we already see a shift towards these technologies in the industry.
Working with data is a vital part of digital marketing, and coding skills, particularly those offered in a data science course, can be valuable.
Digital marketing advances closely align with advances in technology. If you’re not keeping up with the latest trends in marketing, you risk falling behind. This is why businesses need innovators in their marketing departments.
When you have high-level coding skills, it not only makes you more adaptable but also means you could help shape the future of digital marketing by designing your own application and bringing new ideas to life.
Looking at the impact marketing software has on the industry, it’s clear we need people who can understand these applications on a deep level and get the most out of them.
If you find yourself managing an extensive digital marketing project, you need to bring lots of people together. Some of these folks will likely be developers.
A frequent challenge in these situations is that the marketing manager doesn’t know what the developers do, making both communication and hiring challenging. How do you know you’ve got the right person for the job if you don’t know what coding or web development entail?
A coding bootcamp can mean having informed, direct input on the project management and hiring processes, giving you greater control over what’s happening.
Online education has taken off in recent years, and there are lots of great programs that could help you find a job in digital marketing. With more than six million Americans studying online, online learning of all stripes is becoming more accepted by employers than ever before.
Here are some examples of coding bootcamps that could help you land a job or expand your skills in digital marketing.
Springboard offers a variety of online courses in analytics, design, coding, and cybersecurity. Its Software Engineering Bootcamp says you’ll be able to “become a software engineer, guaranteed.”
This is an 800-hour program, so with 20 hours of study a week, it should take you around nine months to complete. Springboard offers flexible ways of paying, starting at $8,500 if you pay upfront. There are also options to pay monthly, defer payments (paying monthly once you land a software engineering job; if you don’t get a job in six months, you don’t pay), or obtain a low-interest loan.
While Springboard focuses on software engineering, these skills are transferable to digital marketing. A big part of this program is the opportunity to work one on one with a mentor and a career coach to help guide you through your career path.
Springboard doesn’t offer success rates, but their similar Data Science Bootcamp resulted in 97% of their graduates finding jobs in their field within six months. They also gained an average salary increase of $25,800.
On average, graduates of the Alchemy Code Lab bootcamp found a related job in just 11 weeks, with a median salary of $80,000. Not bad for a 25-week program!
This full-time program is designed to get you ready for jobs in the real world. Teaching you skills in modern programming languages and development methods, Alchemy Code Lab takes six cohorts per year, with total program tuition costing $24,000.
Just as with Springboard, there are lots of different ways to pay. Choose from self-funding, Income Share Agreement (don’t pay until you get a job), and financing through partner lenders. There are also diversity-based tuition scholarships and GI Bill benefits available.
Alchemy Code Lab is based in Portland, but with a focus on the remote jobs of the future, it’s all accessible online. With solid results and 87 percent of graduates going on to work in tech, it’s been a good investment for many people.
In Career Karma’s 2020 awards, Flatiron School was named the best coding bootcamp and best online bootcamp. The school claims to launch your career, and the stats back this up: 82% of grads land a job with an average starting salary of $69,000 a year.
Flatiron offers both in-person classes in New York City and an online program. They offer programs specializing in software engineering, data science, cybersecurity analytics, and cybersecurity engineering, each of which teaches you skills that can help in digital marketing.
The online software engineering course offers three different ways to study: full-time, part-time, and self-paced, giving students great flexibility with how they learn. The program costs $16,900 with options to pay upfront, in installments, or through a loan.
Courses begin every month, meaning you can quickly get started.
Thinkful is a platform that prides itself on allowing you to pay only when you land a job in your career. It offers a range of tech-related subjects, including a specialist digital marketing bootcamp.
Each option has a slightly different timeframe (the full-time digital marketing course allows you to graduate in just six weeks), with the software engineering course offered as both full-time and part-time programs. The full-time option will require 50-60 hours a week and allow you to graduate in five months, with the part-time version requiring 25-30 hours a week over six months.
The courses vary in price, with the digital marketing one costing $7,500 while the software engineering bootcamp is $16,000. You also have lots of different payment options, some of which guarantee you don’t pay anything until you land a job.
Graduates have noted how Thinkful is focused on your career, which seems to translate into real-life results. Eighty-seven percent of software engineering students were offered a job within 180-days of graduating, with 27% reporting an annual base salary between $70,000 and $90,000 and 50% reporting a yearly base salary between $50,000 and $70,000.
Flockjay isn’t strictly a coding bootcamp, but it teaches similar ideas as a tech sale program. It’s more focused on the sales aspect of technology, which could be a helpful combination in digital marketing.
This ten-week program costs $6,000 for most US residents ($7,650 for California) and aims to give you “future proof” skills that are in demand now. Again, you have the option to pay zero tuition until you get a job paying at least $40,000, potentially making it an attractive investment for your career.
Flockjay provides instruction in the sales essentials and, importantly, has a strong emphasis on technology. While it’s not quite coding, it could satisfy many students interested in tech and equip them with important skills in digital marketing.
Coding bootcamps could be a great alternative to four-year college degrees for students interested in technology. With payment options that allow you to pay nothing until you secure a job and courses that can be completed in less than a year, they’re a great way to propel yourself into the tech workforce.
As digital marketing is closely aligned with technology, these courses can also be an excellent way to snag a job in digital marketing. These skills are in demand in so many industries, so the main point is that you’re opening all kinds of doors for yourself.
You may not go into a coding bootcamp to become a digital marketer, but you may find digital marketing is a career you’re perfectly suited for.
Have you tried a coding bootcamp?
Are you ready for X reality? It’s coming, too, along with a host of exciting business and marketing opportunities.
Here is what it is, why it matters, and how to use it to grow your business.
X reality is short for extended reality. Sometimes called cross reality, it’s a convergence of the real, physical world around us and a digital world or space.
One way to think about it is combining a digital or virtual experience with a physical one. There are many different ways this plays out, but as the technology develops, the opportunities explode.
To get a better picture of what we’re talking about, let’s take a moment to imagine. Have you ever taken a tour through a museum with a set of headphones that give an audible experience as you walk along? Suddenly, it sounds like you are walking through the Wild West or wherever this experience is taking place.
Now add visuals and other physically interactive elements. Maybe you can actually touch the doors of the saloon or watch the scenes change as you walk down the dusty road. You can draw your pistol for a duel.
Imagine having these experiences, even when you aren’t at the museum. Maybe it’s in your own backyard. Or your hometown main street. Your reality has merged with the virtual. Your reality is extended.
The technology that allows for these immersive reality experiences is constantly evolving, bringing our reality closer to the virtual experience.
To get the full X reality experience, certain hardware may be required. Again, think about enhancing the physical with the digital. You may need tools to provide that combined experience. Typical hardware may include a tablet, such as an iPad, a smartphone, a headset, earphones, or other body wear, including gloves, etc.
The specifics reflect the specific experience, and what you are trying to achieve for the user. Some extended reality experiences are simpler, while others are more involved and more immersive.
In so many ways, it is the future of marketing. Whatever marketing campaign you’re developing, the goal is to get your brand out there and help your target market see how they can’t live without your brand. Extended reality opens a world of opportunities to interact with products, services, and brands.
It’s not just in the sales funnel at an introductory level where X reality can support your brand growth. It can help you build brand awareness, customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, word of mouth, and referrals, and more.
Here are a few ways it can be used in your business:
As X reality continues to expand, the entire marketing ecosystem will evolve as well, calling us to respond. Everything from brick-and-mortar experiences to SEO will be impacted by X reality.
X reality is an overarching term that can refer to each of these: augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR). While these are sometimes used interchangeably, the specifics can vary, and they do have exact definitions. Let’s dive in.
Augmented reality is about overlaying the real world and the experiences of the physical world around us with virtual or digital enhancements. Augmenting means to make something bigger or better, so augmented reality is about making the things you see around you somehow better, depending on your definition of better.
It’s a way of interacting with the people and things around you and a digital space simultaneously, often using the camera of a smartphone or mobile device to interact.
Virtual reality refers to interactive, immersive experiences that are computer-generated. Virtual reality experiences are about full digital worlds that are a sort of escape or separation from the real world, rather than an overlay. Virtual reality requires hardware to help the user jump into the virtual world. These tools may include a headset, viewers, glasses or goggles, as well as other items like gloves. With these, the user is able to simulate experiences in their virtual world, incorporating their own bodies and movement.
Mixed reality is exactly as it sounds. It’s a mix of the virtual world with the physical. According to Microsoft, when it comes to the spectrum of physical and virtual worlds, mixed reality sits in the middle. It’s also in the middle of virtual reality and augmented reality. It takes place with one foot, or one digital foot, in each space.
Mixed reality is where a lot of technology evolution is pushing right now. While it’s easy to come up with examples of AR or VR, mixed reality is more about pressing those concepts together, using all the tools and technologies we have to create even more exciting experiences.
While these three concepts differ slightly in their starting points, and the tools needed to make them work, they do have one thing in common: They are about extending a digital world into our everyday lives with greater ease and more seamless connections.
These three types of X reality are ripe with the ability to bring better user experiences to your customers throughout the sales process, to help you ultimately reach your own brand goals.
As much as there are fun and entertaining ways to use X reality, there are also powerful and exciting ways to integrate the technology into your business to support your sales goals. Using extended reality keeps you on the cutting edge, setting you apart from your competition who may be slow to adopt it.
It also equips your customers and your team with opportunities. Here are just a few ideas to get you thinking.
When it comes to staying organized with everything you are creating and selling, your product content management system is the heartbeat of it all. Whether it’s a spreadsheet or integrated software, it’s the place where you keep all the details, facts, and data behind each product.
Here’s where X reality can take your product management system to the next level. Imagine being able to react to your customers’ needs and product demands in virtual 3D space. This interactive design is growing in popularity, allowing teams to make tweaks or try new designs, simulating a real-world without the cost or ability to actually create items.
This is particularly useful for products at scale that are too large or expensive to create prototypes of. It also gives the whole team an opportunity to actually interact with a product, so you don’t have to slow down, collect questions, run the numbers, and make necessary edits. It’s a time-saver and brings proof of concept faster.
There is an added benefit of these digitally connected X reality systems. They can connect with your product content management system and share data. You can keep track of all the specs of your current products, as well as all the information about products in development, in real-time.
Remote teams benefit from a host of technologies that allow them to communicate and stay in touch, including video meetings and instant messaging.
Yet nothing beats speaking in person, interacting with the rest of the team and the actual products. PromoLeaf did a survey and found that 72 percent of respondents preferred an in-person conference in their industry, rather than one online. In the youngest crowd they surveyed, ages 16-24, 84 percent preferred to be in-person.
X reality can help merge those opposing options by making it seem like remote employees are in the same location working together on projects.
We’ve all experienced the itch to “try before you buy” when it comes to new products. It’s just not apparel, tools, or the latest smartphone. How about furniture, automobiles, homes, and more? Does that seem too far out of reach?
Not with X reality. Using up-and-coming technologies, brands can create apps that allow you to view and interact with a product for yourself. Now you can test our furniture in your own home before buying. You can drive your ideal car through the streets of your morning commute before it’s even created. You can walk through your dream home, while still on the other side of the country or the world. Just imagine all the possibilities.
From in-app devices to headset-enabled simulators, you can “be there” without being there and trying it, even before it exists.
X reality has so many fun benefits to get people talking. Sometimes those features alone can be the reason to adopt them.
Using X reality in your advertising can allow the public to interact in different ways and help you seem more authentic than other ads. It can also get people talking and give your ad extra exposure.
Brands have tried all kinds of things, including bringing a printed item to life through an app. Suddenly your magazine or brochure is interactive or other videos. Other brands have used augmented reality and large screens to welcome passersby and onlookers to interact with virtual characters. Others use social media filters and other features to showcase their brands.
Business is full of training. From safety and regulatory training to sales conversion and customer service training, arming your team with the most relevant information possible is critical.
With X reality, your team can do more than just talk about situations. They can walk through them together, interacting with people and products. You can even simulate potentially dangerous situations without putting one in harm’s way, and still gain the experience and confidence they need to be ready for real life.
Have you experienced reality for yourself yet? Here are a few examples of some of the most talked about.
Pokémon Go put augmented reality on the radar for all of us. Through the lens of a mobile device, the world could suddenly be full of Pokémon characters. This game showcased how entertainment and X reality can boost small local businesses, with real-world locations signing up as Pokéstops and Gyms.
IKEA Place allows customers to “place” IKEA furniture in their own space, and see how it will look and fit. It sets the bar for other furniture makers by offering a service that others may not have incorporated yet. Plus, it’s kind of fun to use, so even when people aren’t ready to buy, they may still play around on the app just to see what it’s all about.
Warby Parker has also cashed in on the opportunity to let customers try on before they buy. Using an app, customers can view themselves in any number of Warby Parker glasses.
It’s not just a snapshot with the frames overlaid, but an interactive, real-time experience where customers can move their head, look from all angles, and then throw on another pair.
X reality is a fun idea that seems primed for gaming and entertainment, but it’s tailor-made for business and online marketing. From product development to customer service, extended reality can change the way we interact with our brands, our customers, our team, and our world.
As the world of business continues to evolve, there are many reasons to believe extended reality will be part of that equation.
How will you incorporate X reality into your brand?
Marketing your business can feel like an uphill battle, but it all comes down to making your target audience care about what you’re selling.
What’s the best way to do that? Shifting their perspective so they understand not just what you do, but what problem you solve. Help them recognize they need what you offer to create a demand for your products or services.
This process is called demand generation.
If you do it well, demand generation can create awareness with your desired audiences, deliver more qualified leads to your sales team, and help link your marketing efforts to revenue.
Demand generation is creating interest in your products or services to build a healthy pipeline of qualified leads for your sales team.
It’s a broad term covering all your marketing and sales initiatives at every stage of the sales funnel. When you can provide valuable information to the right audience at the right time, you can develop awareness and demand for what you sell.
The best demand generation strategies consider every step in the buyer’s journey, from the first time someone interacts with your company, to the moment they become a customer. Demand generation initiatives should align your marketing and sales teams to help grow your business.
Demand generation is vital as it helps position you differently with potential customers. Rather than focusing on selling your solution, demand generation creates awareness of a need.
If you help audiences understand they have a need and how that need affects their businesses, they are more likely to be receptive to sales messaging that will come later.
If you want to grow your business, you’ll need to develop a robust pipeline of new customers. Demand generation places the focus on being attentive to their needs and creating awareness and interest before selling. If you can optimize every point of contact you have with your target audiences, you can increase the quality of the leads you’re bringing in through the funnel.
Demand generation also helps create interest and awareness so that you become a trusted source of information. It helps you create more thoughtful and cohesive marketing outreach to improve people’s experience when interacting with your company.
Demand generation and lead generation aren’t quite the same, so let’s look at each one to get an idea of where they overlap and where they differ.
They’re similar in that they share the ultimate goal of growing your business and increasing sales, and they both work to attract new customers to your business. However, the approach and immediate goals are quite different.
Lead generation, also known as lead gen, focuses on gaining a person’s information in exchange for content. The goal is to gain that contact information to facilitate contact and engagement for sales and marketing purposes.
Lead generation assumes your audience already knows they have a problem and are seeking a solution via products or services on the market. They’re in a place where they are ready to assess your business to see if you might be able to help them solve an existing problem.
Lead generation focuses on getting contact information from prospective customers, so it likely involves gated content or other ways to make this transaction happen.
Demand generation, occasionally referred to as demand gen, is more about awareness and interest and how you can position your company as an important source of information.
Letting you etting in front of your target audiences to create awareness for a need and generate interest in your business. The hopeful result is that as your target audience grows more interested in your company, the more receptive they’ll be once you interact with them.
Get people excited about what you do, and they’re more likely to look to you once they realize they have a need. Creating a demand for your product or service means educating people on the challenges they’re facing and helping them understand why it’s worthwhile to invest resources in a solution.
Demand generation casts a broader net with ungated content used to raise awareness of your brand and solutions. The goal is increased visibility and interest in what you do.
What are signs that demand generation might help your company move forward in growth plans? You may recognize a need for more and better leads or higher customer retention. You may realize better systems in your sales and marketing process could create a better experience for your customers.
Once you have created your B2B strategies recognize how valuable demand generation can be. How can you implement it? Here are 10 strategies you can use to make it work for you.
Creating buyer personas is an important start when targeting audiences with your marketing. These fictional profiles of your ideal customers can help you focus on who you need to reach and what they need to hear from you. A complete buyer persona should have details such as a fictitious name, job role, age, gender, and typical objections and concerns.
These can help you target your ads more effectively and ensure the content you create addresses what your audience wants to read.
Without this focus, it’s easy to get distracted by the message you want to put out, which may or may not resonate. Buyer personas also help your marketing teams work cohesively by creating clear targets for your ads and content.
For each profile, consider who this person is, what influences their purchasing decisions, what challenges they face, and what questions they tend to have before they reach a decision. Being able to reach prospects with ads and content that feel personalized to their experiences and challenges can go a long way towards winning over new customers.
People are busy, and there’s a lot of content out there competing for attention. As much as we’d like to believe people are interested in our content, few people wake up hoping to find a new article or whitepaper to read. However, the right content can significantly shift purchasing decisions.
How can you create pieces that resonate with your prospects and makes them want more? Invest in content of the highest quality. Inbound marketing can be an important part of demand generation, so don’t falter when putting resources into content marketing.
Is content creation an overnight strategy? Not at all. It’s a long-term investment that requires a lot of effort.
If you’re already creating content and don’t feel like you’re gaining much traction, consider what you’re publishing and how it differs from other content in your industry. If it’s similar to what others are publishing, it may not be enough to help you stand out. Consider the following ideas:
Should you save your best content for your lead generation efforts? Ask for contact information and other insights in exchange for it? Not at the demand generation stage. Remember that when we talk about demand generation, we’re talking about awareness and visibility. This means creating content for prospects at all stages of the buyer’s journey and consistently showing up as a trusted resource at each stage.
Don’t worry that you’re giving away your best content for free. Demonstrating your insight and authority on relevant topics is a valuable way to show customers that you understand their needs. Create resources they can’t resist reading and sharing, and you could be the first person they think of when they’re ready to move forward with a purchase.
Look for ways to extend your reach through established platform features you may already be using.
For example, Facebook advertising is a popular channel for companies to build visibility with relevant audiences. With in-depth targeting features allowing you to reach specific audiences and measure results via analytics, this can be an essential element in your marketing.
Facebook has a built-in feature allowing you to create lookalike audiences, which are custom audiences similar to people who are already interested in what you sell. You just need to create these audiences in the app, and you can benefit from the expanded reach they’ll give you.
Plus, these aren’t random users. They closely match people you’ve already connected with. You can also try larger audiences or smaller custom audiences based on interests and create your lookalikes from there.
Increasing visibility often means looking for ways to expand or duplicate your efforts to reach more people. Lookalike audiences are a great way to try this in your advertising.
However, is Facebook for every business? Likely not. It’s often best-suited for B2C brands where customers can purchase right from the app or make quick decisions on something they can easily purchase from your site.
Using display ads effectively can be another way to get your brand in front of new audiences. Further, managed placements allow advertisers to specify where they want their ads to appear, allowing them to target relevant audiences.
If you can control where your ads appear, you can focus your efforts on individuals who are likely to be interested in what you offer.
Display advertising is less about conversions and more about getting your name and brand out in front of prospects. They can allow you to access prospects and raise awareness of your brand and message. Managed placements can also help you focus your investment with effective targeting and outreach.
Remarketing can be a powerful way to build awareness, help prospects remember you after your initial interactions, and boost conversion rates.
There are a lot of distractions that can pull a prospect away after they visit your website. If you notice that many users seem to visit once and not return, it would be valuable to understand why and explore ways to regain their attention.
This is where remarketing comes in, allowing you to increase repeat visitors and even extend the amount of time visitors spend on your website.
Effective marketing often means that a prospect needs to see your brand and encounter your messaging multiple times before you become memorable. Remarketing helps you build on new traffic you’ve managed to attract and bring these individuals back to your website to learn more.
Demand generation is all about delivering the right message. If your message doesn’t fit the audience you’ve targeted, they are unlikely to convert.
With this in mind, consider how it might affect your target audiences to see content that doesn’t suit where they are in their path to becoming your customer.
Someone who has never heard of your company isn’t quite ready to see in-depth content that answers questions customers typically have closer to purchase. Instead, they need introductory content to help them recognize a challenge in their organization and a first look at how you solve those types of problems.
For a prospect further along in the buying process will have identified their need, learned what you do, and explored what you offer. They’ll want more detail and have more specific questions that pertain to their unique situation.
You can use contact segmentation to manage this in your customer relationship management (CRM) system, which means organizing your customer contacts into groups based on what stage they’re in. Once your contacts are defined, you can target campaigns to each group to deliver content they are likely to find valuable.
When your outreach resonates with the recipient, they’ll be more likely to welcome further contact rather than remove themselves from your mailing lists or otherwise cut contact. Another benefit of contact segmentation is that you’ll be able to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns better and adjust as needed to best suit your audience.
Once you have someone’s email address, how quickly do you reach out with marketing emails? Are you sending emails to your entire mailing list? If so, you risk putting off whole groups of prospects by making them feel overwhelmed, or worse, like your company doesn’t understand them.
Instead, email marketing should carry out the idea that you need to deliver the correct information to the right people with impeccable timing. The shotgun approach of spamming people with multiple emails is likely to earn you a long list of “unsubscribe” responses.
Consider your email marketing to be a powerful way to communicate with customers at scale. However, to do so effectively, you need to make them feel unique and understood.
This means sending emails that directly address different groups, speaking to their concerns, and answering their questions. These groups may be broken out by stage in the buying process and even by industry.
Effective email campaigns require testing, so get ready to not only target groups of similar prospects but also to test your email marketing. Try A/B testing on your subject lines, copy, visual elements, and CTAs. Test different variations and optimize your campaigns using the best performing elements.
When you first raise awareness of your brand, you’ll need to win over people who can be brand ambassadors. One of the best ways you can win over new prospects is to offer a free tool, an app, or another resource your target audience can’t ignore.
Does giving away valuable resources go against your sales goals? Not when it comes to demand generation. Remember that in this process, you want to boost visibility and get your brand noticed. Expanding your reach may mean giving away something valuable in exchange for the impact it will have in your initial campaigns.
This is especially important for new brands trying to win attention in crowded markets. Allowing prospects to experience your brand and connect with your company in a personal way can pave a smooth road down the line to larger purchases.
Testing different strategies for demand generation can bring you some successes and some losses. In many cases, you’ll track leads coming into your company and consider each a win, but what if they never convert to a customer?
Increasing the number of leads coming into your company can’t be your only focus if they don’t go on to become happy customers. As you evaluate the quality of the leads you generate, you’ll begin to realize that some leads make it further through the customer journey, while others move through stages to become a customer.
What’s the difference? When you begin to analyze the different actions your leads take when engaging your company, you’ll start to notice patterns of behavior that are more likely to lead to conversion.
If you can find a way to track the interactions prospects have had with your company and compare them to outcomes, you can discover behaviors that increase the chance that a prospect will convert. Once you do this, you can repeat those interactions to win customers.
Lead scoring, or evaluating incoming leads, is a way of measuring the quality of your leads to ensure you can invest in initiatives that attract the best quality leads. Remember that demand generation is raising awareness and generating excitement for your company or brand. It’s not about attracting big audiences who don’t have a genuine interest in your business.
Lead scoring allows you to evaluate your customers’ behavior over time to determine their level of interest in your business. It can take into account various actions showing intent, such as which pages of your website they’ve viewed and if they’ve engaged in behavior indicating they want to see more of what you can do. They might show this by requesting more information or signing up for demonstrations of your products.
If you’re struggling to gain leads, don’t worry about the quality at first. Just keep implementing strategies to increase your reach and bring more people to your business. Once you have increased your leads to the point that you need to start identifying the most valuable ones to nurture, then you’re likely in a position to consider lead scoring.
Need more proof of how demand generation can increase interest in your brand and benefit your company? Check out the following two examples of companies who have benefited from demand generation:
There are a few tools that can be beneficial as you grow your demand generation efforts. Using these tools can help ensure you’re working effectively to reach your goals.
What kinds of tools can help? Look for those that feature marketing, chatbots, email bots, content, or marketing system integration.
Let’s look at what each of these types of tools can do for you and why they are important in demand generation.
When people get busy, repetitive tasks can fall by the wayside, A host of marketing automation tools can increase efficiency and ensure that time-consuming or repetitive tasks are completed without delay.
Companies like Drift offer tools like chatbots and email bots that act as support systems for your sales teams. Chatbots can send reminders to your salespeople when it’s time to follow up with a client or take the next step in outreach.
Your sales team can even receive emails before sales meetings that give them a quick reminder of the client’s company information, where the client is in the funnel, and what interactions have already taken place to ensure a seamless return to the conversation.
Email bots can help marketing teams send effective email outreach at scale, flag important customer issues as they arise, and direct replies to the correct sales contact.
Having the right content for a potential customer means you’ll need salespeople to quickly find resources. A company like BuyerDeck offers a content repository to help your sales team keep all the resources they need organized and accessible.
A critical element in B2B marketing is keeping your customer contact information updated and organized so anyone on your sales team can easily access it. Look for CRM software options like Nutshell, Zoho, or Hubspot to ensure you’re keeping track of your customers and where they are in your funnel.
Don’t forget that to make this all work optimally, you’ll want to integrate your whole marketing system to ensure activities happen seamlessly, and you aren’t repeating work or having to step in to update from one system to another manually. Connecting each component can ensure you can always access a high-level view of customer history and information.
Curious about demand generation and how to implement the strategies we’ve discussed here? You can learn how to position yourself as an authority and reach your customers effectively.
You’ll want to research methods, implement what’s a good fit for your business, and test to measure results. Repeat and scale what works until you’ve expanded your outreach.
There’s a wealth of information if you want to understand what demand generation is and how it might benefit your business. Check out the following resources to learn more:
As businesses shift online, more and more opportunities arise to connect with prospects in new ways. One of those new strategies is demand generation.
Out hope is that after you’re read this post, you have a much clearer idea of what demand generation is and some strategies you can use to improve it.
As companies use these methods, they quickly learn to automate their efforts to expand their reach and make their marketing investments pay off.
Demand generation depends on your company being able to show up when it matters with content that impacts your potential customers. As you do this, customers begin to connect their challenges to the solutions you offer, and you’ll be able to effectively move them along their buying journey.
Marketing to customers in a way that places their needs at the center of every initiative can be a new angle for companies used to more direct selling techniques. Demand generation focuses on your ability to offer value at every stage and interaction so a customer is already relying on you for information and resources by the time they are ready to buy.
If you’d like help separating lead gen from demand gen or implementing any of the strategies here, reach out for support. We can help you create powerful demand generation strategies and identify which strategies will work best for you.
What demand generation strategies are you currently using for your business? Which of these will you try next?
Technology has been advancing at warp speed in the past few years.
One area that has been enjoying some of the most rapid advancements is blockchain.
That doesn’t mean solely cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the slew of other cryptos being peddled on the crypto market.
Let’s look at non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and how brands can use NFTs in their marketing campaigns.
While they’ve been around for a couple of years, NFTs have recently become a hot topic (and even hotter investment).
What are they, and how do they work?
To understand non-fungible tokens (NFTs), we must first define the word “fungible.”
If something is fungible, it can be exchanged for something of equal or similar value. A typical example would be fiat currency (and even cryptocurrency). It’s fungible because you can trade it for goods of an equal value. You can also trade it for another currency if need be.
On the other hand, something that’s non-fungible is unique and therefore can’t be exchanged at equivalency. For example, a diamond is non-fungible as no two diamonds in the world are alike, and thus each has its unique value. You can’t trade one for another at equivalency.
A non-fungible token is a cryptographic asset created using blockchain technology.
What sets NFTs apart from cryptocurrencies (which are fungible tokens as they are identical to each other) is that they have unique identification codes and metadata to distinguish one NFT from another.
Because each NFT is unique, it cannot be traded or exchanged at equivalency with another NFT. The result is that each NFT is a digital collectible, a one-of-a-kind asset that can’t be replicated.
That’s where the craze for NFTs started. In 2017, CryptoKitties, a blend between Tamagotchi and trading cards, exploded onto the scene. Each kitten is unique and can be raised, reproduced, be traded— some for as much as $140,000.
NFT mania was born, and today, the interest in NFTs is only increasing.
One of the main reasons NFTs are important to brands is that they can be used to represent digital files, such as art, audio, and video. They are so versatile, they can be used to represent other forms of creative work like virtual real estate, virtual worlds, fashion, and much more.
What does this have to with your brand and marketing strategy?
Thanks to the global interest they’ve generated, NFTs have opened up new ways of brand storytelling and consumer interaction, which, as you know, are the two main pillars of an effective marketing strategy.
With NFTs, you can:
Ultimately, NFTs can help you increase conversions and drive revenue.
Here are ways brands are using NFTs to power their marketing.
The concept of NFTs in marketing may be a bit difficult to grasp. Like most things that are difficult to understand, the best way is to look at examples.
Here are some nifty ways brands are using NFTs. Hopefully, you’ll get some inspiration from them.
Research shows that 83 percent of millennials prefer to do business with brands that align with their values. That’s why brands need to support causes they believe in openly (and genuinely).
While Taco Bell has been doing this for years through their foundation, they took it to a whole new level by selling taco-themed NFT GIFs to support the Live Más Scholarship.
Within 30 minutes of putting their 25 NFTs (dubbed NFTacoBells) up for sale on Rarible (an NFT marketplace), all the GIFs were gone. Each GIF started at a bidding price of $1. However, they all sold for thousands of dollars each, with one going for as much as $3,646.
Creating and selling NFTs was a clever move on Taco Bell’s part as it generated a lot of buzz on mainstream media and social media; that’s always good for business.
Like Taco Bell, you can use NFTs to kill two birds with one stone:
Both are potent factors that can help drum up business for your brand.
Looking for a way to disrupt the market and make a name for yourself?
NFTs can help you do that.
That’s what happened when a little-known Chinese virtual sneaker brand called RTFKT designed an NFT sneaker for the Chinese New Year and put it up for auction.
The sneaker sold for a whopping $28,000.
That’s quite impressive for a brand that’s barely two years old, especially considering they sold a sneaker that can’t be touched, let alone worn. Impressive as this was, it was still way behind the $3 million they generated from another NFT sneaker they designed in collaboration with the 18-year-old artist, FEWOCiOUS.
With NFTs still in their infancy, this is the right time for marketers to join the bandwagon. It’s a great way to grab attention and build a tribe of followers.
As a marketer thinking of ways to leverage NFT technology, you can take a cue from RTFKT. Create limited memorabilia to celebrate special milestones and holidays, and use them in your marketing campaigns around those holiday seasons. You can give them away to the first X number of customers or even auction them off as stand-alone products.
Six million dollars in 20 minutes.
That’s how much Grimes made from a collection of 10 NFTs auctioned on Nifty Gateway.
It’s clear that people are interested in NFTs, and brands can leverage that interest to market their products. For example, you can:
Marketing is all about riding current trends and using your creativity to harness the excitement around them to draw attention to your brand.
With so many musicians and bands around, the music industry has become very competitive. Building and keeping a loyal fanbase isn’t as easy as it used to be.
The Kings of Leon found a way to get around that.
They released their album, “When You See Yourself” in the form of an NFT.
The Kings of Leon are using three types of tokens for this first-of-its-kind album release. One type features a special album package, while the second offers live show perks. The third type of token features exclusive audiovisual art.
While the album is available on all music platforms, the NFT version was only available on YellowHeart, priced at $50.
The sale of the NFTs was only open for two weeks, after which no more album tokens were created. This move made the tokens a tradeable collectible.
Being the first band to release an NFT version of an album put the Kings of Leon in the history books.
More than that, it put them in the hearts of their fans by allowing them to own a digital collectible. Now that’s an excellent way of fostering brand loyalty.
Virtually unknown in mainstream art circles, Mike Winkelmann has become something of a legend.
He sold a JPG file for $69.3 million, making him the third-most-expensive living artist at the time of the auction.
The file is a piece of art sold as a non-fungible token and is the first digital-only NFT auctioned by Christie’s.
The two-week timed auction had to be extended by 90 seconds as a flurry of bids came in when the auction was about to close.
What lessons can brands learn from this?
Be quick to embrace new technologies and ideas. With the competition becoming more fierce with each passing day, you must be willing to take risks and be disruptive to outperform.
A decade ago, the Nyan Cat GIF burst onto the digital scene with a colorful bang. Creator Chris Torres made an NFT version of the GIF that sold for over $500,000 on the crypto auction site, Foundation.
That’s right. An animated GIF from the past sold for over half a million dollars.
Chris, however, didn’t stop there. He organized an auction where classic memes are being auctioned off as NFTs. One of the memes, Bad Luck Brian, sold for over $34,000 on Foundation.
What can brands take away from this?
The lesson here is that your customers are willing to pay for great experiences. Capitalize on this by turning some of your best ads into NFTs. Create an event where you auction them off and make sure to publicize the event well.
Not only will this boost your brand awareness, but it will also help you reach new audiences in the tech space.
Sure, NFTs are still relatively new, and their practical use is still limited. However, people love them and are willing to spend on them. These are sure indicators that they’re here to stay.
Like blockchain technology powering them, NFTs could play a significant role in the digital landscape of the future. That’s particularly true for marketers as non-fungible tokens have opened up new avenues for interacting with your audience and creating memorable experiences for them.
Remember, most common technologies we use today (like social media) seemed like fads when they started.
Yet today, we depend on them for so many things in life. NFTs may seem like a craze today, but they bring to the table a lot of beneficial features (like transparency coupled with security) that break the limitations of current technologies we’re using.
NFTs are fantastic in creating memorable experiences for your customers. They’re also an excellent way of engaging with and interacting with your target audience.
While the technology is still in its infancy, brands need to pay close attention to it. More specifically, you need to research ways you can leverage NFTs in your marketing strategies. For example, you can mint luxury designs of your product, create memorable ad campaigns, or collaborate with NFT creators.
The bottom line is that NFT technology is here to stay, and it’s undoubtedly set to be a part of digital marketing.
Are NFTs a fad? Or are they here to stay?
The advent of P2P file-sharing and streaming services changed music forever. If you only read the headlines, you might think the industry is on shaky ground. Google the phrase “Napster killed the music industry,” and you’ll see 242,000 results. Does that mean music marketing is dead?
Actually, the reality is very different. In fact, the music industry is growing at a healthy rate and has been every year since 2013. By the end of 2023, global revenue is projected to surpass $65 billion.
Not bad for an industry on its knees!
Despite this, music is a notoriously uneven playing field. Huge names like Paul McCartney, Jay-Z, and Madonna have become multi-millionaires, or even billionaires, off the back of their success. For every superstar, there are tens of thousands of unknowns.
Roughly 50 percent of artists tracked by online music analytics and insights provider Next Big Sound are considered “undiscovered.” These acts have small (and often shrinking) social followings, minimal views on Vevo and YouTube, and few (or no) radio plays.
Next Big Sound tracks hundreds of thousands of artists worldwide, but consider how many more artists it doesn’t know about. That proportion of “undiscovered” artists is likely much, much higher.
How do you make the leap from unknown to established?
For starters, you need to make amazing music. Beyond that, you need to get your music marketing spot on.
Confusingly, the phrase “music marketing” can refer to a couple of different things:
In this article, I’ll be talking about the second of those two categories.
I might not be a global music star (don’t worry; that’ll change when my mixtape drops), but I definitely know a lot about digital marketing. With that in mind, here are my top tips on how to improve your music marketing.
If you’re going to market yourself online, having a website is non-negotiable. It’s the one-stop-shop for everything about your act. If I want to check out your tour dates, book you for a show, read your backstory, or buy your merch, your website is going to be my first port of call.
There’s another big reason you should create your website: It’s a space you have total control over.
Sure, you’ll want to build a following on social media too, but third parties own those platforms. Those third parties can (and do) make frequent algorithmic changes that might dramatically reduce your reach overnight.
You don’t want your music marketing to be completely reliant on them.
OK, so you need a website, but what should it include? Given that it’s your website, it could be anything. However, as a minimum, it should have:
You might not need a record deal to make it as an artist (just ask Chance the Rapper), but you will need the media on your side to raise your brand profile.
That’s why you should have an electronic press kit (EPK). Creating an EPK and sending it out to publications, bloggers, radio stations, playlist curators, venues, record labels, festivals, and more can make it easier to secure bookings and generate buzz around your act.
A lot of artists incorporate an EPK on their website. That makes sense: It contains a lot of the same information anyway, plus if someone’s searching for your press kit, there’s a good chance they’ll start on your site.
What’s more, rather than emailing someone a PDF, you can just point them in the direction of your EPK landing page.
As I mentioned, there should be some crossover between your website and EPK. However, a good press kit is more than just an abridged version of your website. It should include:
Once upon a time, music fans liked their favorite artists to be mysterious and aloof, today we want constant access to the acts we love. We want to know where you are, what you’re doing, and what’s inspiring you right now. Social media is where we go to find out.
Having a strong (and growing) social media following on sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can make a big difference for an up-and-coming act. Today, it’s not uncommon for artists to generate a ton of social buzz before the media have even noticed them.
Use your social presence to speak directly to fans, promote your music, announce new tour dates, and generally build a community around your work.
Research shows consumers are more likely to think positively about your brand and buy your product (in this case, your music) when they interact with content that engages multiple senses.
What’s more, 43 percent of consumers say they prefer interactive video content over other types of video. Why? Because it lets them decide what information they want to see and when they want to see it.
In short, creating interactive content can be a big win for music acts. Here are a couple of examples of what it could look like:
Shep Bryan, the co-founder of music marketing service Beaumonde, created an interactive tribute to legendary rapper MF DOOM. It allows fans to click around DOOM’s diverse discography, which incorporates all his numerous aliases and side projects. It’s kind of like an interactive Wikipedia page, plus it includes links to each album on Spotify.
Augmented reality is another way to bring interactivity to your content, and this is a fantastic example of it in action. The idea here is that fans could create content featuring a dancing, AR version of DJ Khaled to promote the artist’s collaboration with Drake on the track POPSTAR. By creating and sharing videos, Khaled’s fans were doing a lot of the promo work for him.
Let’s take a look at people who like the band Weezer on Facebook.
We can see the average Weezer fan is a man, aged 25 to 34, but there are also many in the 35- to 44-year-old range, plus decent interest among 18- to 24-year-olds (particularly women).
Chances are, not all of those fans exclusively use one specific digital platform. We know they’re on Facebook, but they’re likely in a lot of other places too. Those at the younger end of the spectrum may prefer platforms like TikTok and YouTube, while those at the older end might favor Pinterest and Twitter.
The same is true of your audience, too. That’s why it’s important to promote your music across a broad range of platforms, including social media sites and streaming services.
Also, don’t overlook opportunities to cross-promote across multiple platforms, such as by uploading your latest video to YouTube, then sharing the link via Facebook.
Making the right connections can go a long way in your quest for recognition. However, you can’t just wait for those connections to come about organically. You need to put yourself out there and make it happen through networking.
Again, I’m not a world-famous musician, but I’ve done a lot of networking in my time. Here are some key tips on how to network effectively:
Think email marketing is a relic from a bygone age? That it has no part to play in your music marketing strategy?
Think again. Email marketing can be extremely effective for raising your profile, building a community, and making money from your music. Why else do you think so many acts urge fans to sign up for their newsletters?
Statistics back this up. The average open rate for emails sent across all industries stands at 21.33 percent, whereas the music industry sees fractionally higher rates of 21.88 percent. Click rates are also slightly above average in music, at 2.94 percent vs. 2.62 percent.
In other words, if you send emails to your fans, there’s an above-average chance they’ll open them and click through the links within.
Consider the following when working on your email marketing:
The ultimate goal of your music marketing is to get in front of new audiences, so it makes sense to reach out to people and publications who already have engaged audiences of their own.
The types of brands you pitch to will likely vary depending on the type of music you make. If your local radio station exclusively plays hip hop, but you’re the next big thing in the oom-pah scene, it’s probably not going to work out.
However, as a general rule, you should try reaching:
On that final point, start by targeting unofficial Spotify curators. It’s unlikely you’ll break into one of Spotify’s in-house lists straightaway because they’re heavily influenced by user analytics. Popular unofficial playlist curators include:
You should definitely consider designing and selling your merchandise as part of your music marketing strategy.
For one thing, merch is big business, with global sales reaching almost $3.5 billion in 2018.
However, merch isn’t just a direct way to make money; it can be a marketing tool in its own right.
People love wearing band hoodies and tees to bars and gigs. If someone sees a hoodie they like the look of, maybe they’ll ask that person about the artist in question, Google them, or find them on Spotify. It’s like having a bunch of walking billboards!
The saying “It takes money to make money” might be a cliche, but it’s often true.
Facebook is a great example of this in action. Pages with fewer than 10,000 fans see engagement rates of just 0.52 percent for organic (that is, unpaid) activity, so if you have 9,999 fans, just over 50 will engage with your posts. That hardly seems worth the effort.
It must be better for larger, better-known pages, right? Wrong! In fact, pages with more than 100,000 fans see only 0.1 percent engagement.
Increasingly, social media is a pay-to-play environment. Ads can broaden your reach and engagement significantly, so it’s worth investing a little money to grow your brand.
Of course, it’s not all about social media. You might also consider hiring a PR agent to generate media buzz or team up with a creative agency to strengthen your branding.
Clearly, there are a lot of music marketing tactics in this article. Following all of these strategies will eat up a big chunk of your time, and you’re a musician, not a marketer.
I’m not suggesting you do them all immediately. Start by building your website, growing your social following, and networking with people in your local scene.
Once you’ve got the basics down, take things to the next level by launching ad campaigns and investing in eye-catching content.
What tactics have you used to attract more fans to your music?
Have you ever been stuck doing a repetitive task and wish you could automate your process?
Are you tired of spending time searching for an appropriate extension, only to be met with an empty search result page?
Luckily, if you’re a Chrome user, you can create a Chrome extension in just eight simple steps.
How do we know? We created our own Ubersuggest Google Chrome Extension to streamline our keyword research systems.
In this post, we’ll show you how to make a Chrome extension to help you innovate your tasks and get back to productive work.
Google Chrome extensions are programs you can install in your Chrome browser to change its functionality.
Chrome extensions can help you automate certain functions in your browser, modify existing behaviors, and improve your software’s convenience. There are even Chrome extensions that can improve your SEO.
The only difference between a Chrome extension and a regular website is that Chrome extensions contain a manifest file, which gives them a specific function to execute.
Another way to think about Chrome extensions is that they are a piece of code that changes your browser experience.
Here are 13 of our favorite Google Chrome extensions for you to consider.
A custom-built extension can perform a single task. This task needs to be narrowly defined and easy to understand for it to work properly.
You can include more than one component or functionality, as long as everything directs the extension towards a singular goal.
Chrome extensions work by using either page actions or browser actions.
A page action is an action that is specific to certain pages.
A browser action is relevant no matter where you are in the browser.
As well, your user interfaces need to be user-friendly and straightforward. These can range from a single icon, think of the Gmail icon, or you can override an entire page for your interface.
Your final deliverable will be a zipped .crx package that users will download and install.
Google Chrome is the most widely used browsing software in the world. According to W3Counter, Chrome has 65.3 percent of the total market share.
You should also create a Chrome extension if you are looking to add a simple action to your browser experience.
The benefit of Chrome extensions versus regular applications is they are often easier to build and maintain. Because Chrome extensions are built around a singular function, they take less time and skills to create.
Building a Chrome extension often takes far less time than building an entirely new webpage.
If you want a simple and effective way to modify your browser, then building a Chrome extension is the way to go.
Chrome extensions can also improve your web traffic, see more in the video below.
A successful Google Chrome extension will simplify a task or functionality and improve your productivity.
Let’s imagine you are an e-commerce web builder and you’re researching competitor shops. If you install the Koala Inspector extension, you’ll be able to see if Shopify built any website you land on. You can also see what theme was used, if any new updates have been made, and view product statistics.
Another Chrome extension, the News Feed Eradicator for Facebook, can help improve your productivity by blocking your news feed so you can focus on your tasks. It is a simple but effective function that can help you improve your daily workflow.
Both of these extensions execute a simple functionality that improves user experience. When building a Chrome extension, keep simplicity in mind. That’s the secret to a successful extension.
Now it’s time to build your Chrome extension.
It’s important to note that you need to do this on Google Chrome. This might seem obvious, but not everyone uses Chrome as their default browser.
If you aren’t a regular Chrome user, be sure to install it before you begin these steps.
Also, be sure to check your work frequently as you move through this process. It’s much easier to fix coding errors in the moment than after you finish.
The first step in building your Chrome extension is to decide on a functionality.
What will it do? What will it look like?
If you want to create an extension for your Google AdWords campaigns, this is the time to decide on how it will work.
An icon is required for all Chrome extensions to be uploaded to the Google Chrome store. Be sure to create or outsource an icon before you begin.
Once you know what your Chrome extension will do, and what you want it to look like, you can start building it out.
Below, we’re going to show you how to build an extension that will let you change the background color of your current page.
To begin building your Chrome extension, you’ll need to create a new directory to house all of your extension’s files.
This is important because, for Chrome to load your plugin, it needs to be pointed towards a folder containing your extension files.
You can add all of the files you will need for your extension into this directory.
The next step is to create your extension’s manifest file.
This file will tell Chrome how to load the extension properly.
Create a file called manifest.json and add it to your directory.
Then, add any code you might need to your manifest file.
For our purposes, the code will look like this:
Now it’s time to test your extension to make sure Chrome will run it.
Follow these steps:
If your extension is valid, it should load immediately.
If it is invalid, you will see an error message at the top of your page. If this is the case, look for errors, correct them, and try loading your extension again.
The most common errors people make here are syntax errors. Double-check all of your commas and brackets and make sure they are formatted correctly.
Also, make sure the Enabled box next to your extension is checked so you can see it performing live.
Next, you’ll need to add some background script to tell your extension what to do.
First, create a file named background.js inside your extensions directory.
Then, add your script.
For our color-changing extension, we’ll be using this script:
This file will alert Chrome that it needs to scan for additional instructions.
The extension we are building will also require a listening event for runtime.onInstalled within the background script.
Within the onInstall listener, the extension will set a value with the storage API. This allows multiple extension components to run and edit that value.
Most API’s will need to be registered in the “permissions” field of your manifest. Like this:
Next, go back to your extension management page and click Reload.
You should see a new field for Inspect views come up. There will also be an accompanying blue link that reads the background page.
Click the link and you will see the background script’s console log, which reads “Default background color set to green”.
Content scripts can also be added to run page-by-page scripts.
Content scripts should be added directly into your manifest file.
Your extension can have a range of user-interfaces, from pop-ups to tooltips, and more.
To begin designing your interface, you need to register a browser action in your manifest.
For our example, we’ll use a pop-up. The code looks like this:
You’ll need to declare this code within your manifest in order for it to work.
To do this, add an action to your manifest and set popup.html as the action’s default_popup.
Your script should look like this:
This specific pop-up references a CSS script, so you’ll need to add another file to your directory. Name it appropriately, and add this:
For our example, you’ll also want to add color to your popup buttons. Later on, this color will be used for the background of your page as well.
Create and add a file named popup.js with the following code to the directory.
This will grab the button from popup.html and request the color value. Include a script tag to popup.js in popup.html like this:
From there, you can add badges to show the state of your extension. For example, a badge can tell a user if the extension is activated or not, on or off.
Toolbar icons fall under action in the default_icons field.
Place any desired images within your directory and then tell the extension how to use the images.
For images, 16×16 and 32×32 sizes are recommended. All icons should be square, or else they may end up distorted.
If you don’t supply an icon, Chrome will add a default one for you.
When designing your Chrome extension user interface, keep it simple and user-friendly.
Google says all extension interfaces should add to a browsing experience, not distract from it.
Before moving on, reload your extension and make sure everything looks right.
Logic furthers your user interface interaction.
Add logic scripts to whatever user-interface options you included.
Logic can tell your extension to perform certain actions, such as what to do when a button is clicked.
For example, if you used the popup.js script, you’ll want to include your logic at the end of it.
For our example, you can use this script:
This code triggers a programmatically injected content script. This turns the background color of the page to the same color as your previously added button.
From here, your extension should be fully functional. Any new additions will be bells and whistles.
Just like A/B testing in marketing, it’s important to continuously test your extension to ensure everything works.
Test it out yourself, or have someone else test it.
If you have another person test it, do it without giving them instructions to make sure it’s intuitive to use.
Make changes as needed, then test your extension again.
Even after you launch your extension, you can continuously optimize and improve it. That’s how we got the Ubersuggest Chrome extension 2.0.
Once you’re happy, it’s ready to use.
Once you upload your extension to the Chrome store it’s live and usable.
If you don’t want your Chrome extension to be publicly accessible, you can always make a GitHub repo that people can clone from.
This requires giving people access to your source code, so be sure to consider this before uploading anything onto GitHub.
You can also experiment with open source samples before diving into your extension.
Samples for Chrome Extensions are available on Google’s GitHub.
Creating a custom Google Chrome extension is a great way to improve your browser functionality and create optimal user experiences.
What’s more, your tool can drive traffic to your website, so modifying that experience can result in new leads for your business.
Remember, some of the most powerful Chrome extensions were built by people just like you!
It may be a learning curve to get your extension where you want it to be, but it’s worth it when you have an exciting new feature to show off to your friends—and prospective clients.
What kind of Chrome extensions have you built?
The biggest brands in the world understand one simple truth: Not all leads are created equal.
Having the ability to find and convert high-quality leads is what keeps these brands successful. The best and brightest aren’t just focused on volume; they want to sell to the best possible prospects.
Today, we’re taking a page out of their book and focusing on the quality of leads. Whether you’re running a corporate startup marketing campaign or moving your local business into the digital age, you can’t afford to waste time and money on weak leads.
That’s why I’m going to introduce you to the world of lead scoring and help you understand what it takes to build an effective lead scoring model for your business.
Before we dive deep into the metrics and methods you’ll use, let’s establish a baseline definition of lead scoring.
At its core, lead scoring functions is a tool for marketers looking to qualify their leads accurately. Lead scores are used to determine how likely a particular prospect is to convert based on specific characteristics.
Why do lead scores matter? As I mentioned earlier, not all leads are the same. Forty-seven percent of B2B marketers found lead scoring to be effective, with 54 percent pointing to predictive lead scoring effectiveness.
The chances of converting a cold call lead are drastically lower than those of a referral lead. Using lead scoring, you’re able to arm yourself with a system that tracks and calculates lead scores.
Now that you understand what lead scoring is, let’s talk about why it’s beneficial to your bottom line.
A business that uses lead scoring learns how to allocate its resources efficiently. Spending thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours on a marketing campaign that delivers average returns and unclear data is not something most businesses can afford.
Lead scoring is especially useful for businesses selling high-value products and services. The more complex the decision, the longer your average conversion time from prospect to customer. By evaluating their behavior throughout the buyer’s journey, you’re able to identify the prospects most likely to convert.
Using that information, you can update your buyer personas and start crafting marketing campaigns focusing on prospects typically converted.
The deeper your understanding of a buyer’s journey, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to point them toward a conversion.
Imagine for a second that Business XYZ already has a fantastic click-through-rate using paid ads. Ten percent of impressions lead to a click. That’s great news!
There’s just one problem: Its conversion rate is terrible. For whatever reason, it can’t consistently attract buyers.
By using lead scoring, Business XYZ can determine what pages and experiences scare away potential customers. More importantly, it’s able to change and improve those experiences, strengthening its marketing funnel’s weaker elements.
This behavior doesn’t just earn more conversions. It also helps prospects feel more secure about their purchase and develops the business’ reputation as a customer support specialist. It becomes known as a business that takes care of its customers at every stage.
By developing a deeper understanding of your customers using lead scoring, you’re able to create unparalleled user experiences.
Manually, the ability to optimize your marketing and sales efforts with lead scoring identifies and converts the right prospects much easier.
Of course, if you’re looking at automated solutions, you’ll be able to qualify leads using predetermined guidelines quickly.
The actual process of scoring your leads can be a bit intimidating, even if you’re an experienced marketer. To keep this guide accessible, I’ll focus on four key metric classifications to rely on.
One of the most basic marketing concepts is the buyer persona, a representation of your ideal customer. To build this buyer persona and begin determining the appropriate metrics for your lead scoring efforts, you need to begin with their demographic.
Personal information like age is a common starting point, but you’ll likely want to focus on professional information and capacity too.
Ask these questions:
If you’re selling a high-value B2B product or service, it’s unlikely that students are your ideal target audience. However, if your lead identifies as an industry professional, they’re much more likely to convert.
Lead scoring helps you organize this information, test your theories and assumptions, and identify the factors contributing to a conversion.
Break down the buyer’s journey and start with their first point of contact. If you have a sales background, this process should feel familiar. When determining which metrics to use, identify the lead’s point of origin.
Look to see where your leads are generated. Are they on your site because of organic search, or did they click on an ad? Did they visit your site on mobile or desktop?
As you track the sources of these leads, you’ll find that certain lead channels produce leads that are more likely to convert than others. You’ll also notice certain combinations have unique conversion rates.
For example, a lead that reached your landing page through a post on social media should have a lower score than an organic search lead that’s visited the pricing section three times.
Different points of origin are given different scores, making it easy to determine both the marketing channel’s overall value and the lead’s individual quality.
Focusing on the source also keeps your sales team informed. By preparing your sales team with contextual information on the prospect, they can accurately determine the prospect’s knowledge of the business and product or service.
A prospect’s point of origin is an important building block when determining their conversion potential, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Analyzing prospect behavior and actions can help you identify the paths that lead to a genuine sale.
Most lead scoring systems use a points system, attributing specific values to particular behaviors. The beauty of this approach is that you’re able to stress-test your assumptions about your business and determine how impactful a particular behavior is.
For reference, an action is a decision a particular lead makes once they’ve started interacting with your business. These can include:
If email signup is a massive predictor of conversion, give that a high score and you’re able to focus all of your attention and marketing efforts on prospects that sign up for your newsletter.
If you’re right, your conversion rate rises, and you can continue to optimize. If you’re wrong, your conversion rate doesn’t rise to meet your goals, you take a closer look at your data and restructure your score allocation.
Either way, your business walks away with a win.
Engagement and actions are two separate categories. Actions track the individual decisions prospects make, like reading a blog post or signing up for a newsletter. Engagement tracks the timing of those decisions, identifying how much time they spend on a blog post or email.
A general rule of thumb is that the longer a prospect spends consuming your content and interacting with your business, the more likely they are to make a purchase.
Of course, you’ll likely want to set a maximum achievable range to avoid ruining your data. For example, if a prospect leaves their computer on overnight, that could harm your lead scoring efforts.
The methodology for scoring your leads can be broken down into two sections: lead scoring strategy and common practices.
Establishing a clear, baseline process for lead scoring can help your business from a mechanical perspective.
Let’s start with the baseline process. You’ll begin by determining the metrics and variables you want to score. While it’s easy to focus on highly converting metrics, you also need to determine which metrics convert poorly. This can help you better understand your market and customers.
Next, calculate both the value of the metrics and the value of your leads. There are two common approaches to calculating the value of a metric:
To be clear, there’s no right answer. The method you use depends entirely on your overall business goals and pricing structure.
Making calculations based on conversion rate might be a great idea for B2B SaaS businesses with long lifetime-value customers. B2C businesses and companies that offer fixed-price products are more likely to find lead yield useful. After all, the higher the value of an individual sale, the more valuable that lead was.
Now you can compare the value of a particular group of conversions to the average value of all your conversions. This lets you qualify the performance of a particular metric and determine its importance.
Based on the performance of a particular metric in relation to the average customer, you can assign that metric a score.
Most organizations use a scale from 1-10, but that’s a personal preference. You could use a 1-100 scale for increased precision; it’s entirely up to you. However, be sure to create a rubric or key to keep your scoring system consistent.
You’ve established some metrics and some scores at this point, so let’s start evaluating individual leads.
Here’s an example: Imagine you’ve ranked the accounting industry as a 10-point attribute, a C-level executive as a 5-point job title, and corporate enterprises as a 10-point company size. A lead matching each of those metrics has a total score of 25.
You can now compare that score against your average customer and other leads to determine your leads’ priority. Simple enough, right?
Incorporating useful tips and tricks can help you elevate the quality of your lead scoring efforts. Consider a couple of key concepts:
As your lead scoring efforts develop, you’ll notice an increase in both the sheer volume of leads and the complexity of your lead scoring system. As you interpret your results and look to improve, you’ll encounter two hurdles: optimizing for scale and optimizing for effectiveness.
Optimizing for scale has some simple solutions. If you’re on a budget, lead scoring manually with spreadsheets and formulas is perfectly reasonable. However, if you’re willing to pay for the best, some fantastic tools are available to automate this entire process for you.
The right tool can identify patterns in your data that you may have missed. This is where predictive lead scoring comes into play. These algorithms can predict which prospects are qualified and worth engaging with. They may not be cheap, but if your business is serious about elevating your lead quality, automated tools can be a powerful addition to your toolkit.
To optimize for effectiveness, the most important thing you can do is to make the ongoing evaluation of your lead scoring model a vital, regular occurrence. Continue to improve on the defined mechanisms and make meaningful changes to your scoring model when needed. Like any marketing campaign, this technique can always be improved upon.
Every business on the planet wants qualified leads. With less wasted time and more conversions, what’s not to like?
The problem is that with so many different lead generators and traffic sources, identifying the key components of a strong prospect can be challenging.
Lead scoring exists as a tool to clarify and optimize the lead generation process in a logical way, so any small business owner can start implementing it today.
With the right lead scoring model in place, your business can increase both the quality of your leads and your users’ experiences.
Which metrics do you think matter the most in lead scoring? Let me know in the comments below!
The post How to Properly Leverage Lead Scoring to Make More Money appeared first on Neil Patel.
Imagine you’re walking in a mall and receive a Starbucks coupon on your smartphone. You look up to see a Starbucks shop.
This scenario may encourage you to visit the outlet, learn about the promo, and use the coupon.
With geofencing marketing, or location-based marketing, this convenient strategy turns into a reality.
How can you leverage it?
Let’s start by discussing the basics.
Geofencing lets businesses advertise to consumers within a specified geographic area.
With technologies like GPS and radio frequency identifiers, marketers can specify a perimeter or boundary based on a real-world location. Then, they can create a virtual barrier or “geofence” in the area.
As consumers enter the geofence, they’re sent location-based ads on their devices.
Consider this geotargeted Uber ad for arriving tourists:
Geotargeted ads may be useful when you want to:
Geofencing marketing has many potential benefits for brands and marketers, whether they have an in-store or online presence. If you’re thinking about diving in, here are some possible perks to consider.
People express more interest in getting out of their homes, especially on foot, than ever before. This means targeting people as they make their way past shops is increasingly important.
This isn’t a small uptick: A Billups study found 71 percent of consumers are more interested in simply walking around their neighborhoods or towns than they used to be. Many would also enjoy visiting outdoor pop-up shops as they wander.
Since more people want to visit shops and travel within their communities on foot, location-based marketing has a lot of potential—you don’t have to worry about people driving by too fast to get or use the notification.
We also have evidence this method works even if people are driving past instead of walking. According to QSR magazine, a company conducted an experiment to determine location-based ads’ effectiveness in increasing breakfast sales.
Upon setting up a geofence, the participating outlet experienced a 20 percent increase in in-store visits and a 26 percent increase in visits during breakfast hours.
Unlike online marketing, geotargeted ads let businesses collect data about consumers with high-purchase intent in real-time.
After a while, you can use this information to improve your targeting and advertising methods to improve your results.
Geotargeting can also uncover interesting consumer insights. Anonymous location-based data can reveal the other outlets customers visit, billboards they may notice, and roads or areas they frequent.
This means marketers can identify ideal billboard or signage placements to boost outdoor advertising results or determine which other physical stores are genuine competitors.
Geotargeted advertising can also raise brand awareness and promote your online channels.
Remember earlier when we mentioned the hypothetical situation about noticing a Starbucks after receiving a targeted ad on your phone? That Starbucks could be any store you may have otherwise passed without noticing it was there were it not for the notification.
These ads provide the opportunity to remind customers you exist and let them know you’re right there, ready to serve them. They’re more aware of your brand and your location as a result.
Location-based ads may be ideal for businesses hoping to drive traffic to their online or in-person stores.
However, while it has many benefits, geofencing can be a bit more expensive than digital ads.
That said, if you’re still ready to try it, here are some tips for successfully implementing this strategy.
A larger geofence is more expensive than a small one, but in this case, bigger may not be better.
If your geofence comprises a 25-mile radius from your store, for instance, you may find yourself spending money on faraway customers who don’t have the time to pop by.
Rather than a large geofence, I recommend creating several small perimeters. Ideally, the perimeters should max out at around a five-minute walking distance from your store.
You aren’t stuck with only your store’s perimeter, though. In some cases, it may be a good idea to set up geofences at events. For instance, if your small business has a booth at a farmer’s market or even a music festival, you could send out messages letting people know you’re there.
Just like all marketing campaigns, understanding your target audience is key to driving results.
Identify their ages, genders, interests, and shopping behaviors to improve your ad targeting strategies’ accuracy. What do they like about your business? Why were they drawn to your brand?
Beyond answering these questions, understanding your target audience can help you create compelling copy and advertisements people will respond to.
Don’t just talk about what you sell. Highlight in-store promotions or give out rewards in exchange for responding to the ad. If they’re your target audience, they may already know who you are—give them a reason to come in.
For example, this is a personalized notification Starbucks sent to its nearby customers. Not only do they mention the customer’s name but include a promo about their favorite drink.
Top it off with a compelling CTA to sweeten the deal.
A Reveal Mobile report found the top-performing CTAs for geotargeted advertisements include:
Marketers were also able to experience success with other CTA variations like “order now,” “click to save,” “call now,” and “shop online.”
Geotargeted ads come with multiple targeting techniques you can use to communicate with your target audience effectively.
Let’s take a look at the following variations:
You need to track relevant KPIs and metrics to determine if your geotargeted marketing campaigns are effective. The good news is current marketing technologies enable users to collect data for their campaigns.
Here are some metrics to consider:
You can change your ads based on your results. If passersby aren’t responding to your push notifications, modify your copy or promos.
When it comes to location-based ads, the primary ethical consideration is privacy.
More than 80 countries have implemented digital privacy regulations, and more bills are being considered in the upcoming years.
While most location-based ad technologies generate anonymized data, location data is still personal information. Additionally, an individual’s search history and browsing data must also remain private.
Businesses can protect themselves and their consumers while also implementing geofencing by abiding by the GDPR’s and CCPA’s consumer rights policies.
This includes the following:
Chances are, you’ve already seen companies abiding by these expectations. For example, the Sephora app gives shoppers a choice to opt-in or opt-out of location services and store notifications:
Geofencing marketing can be an effective way to boost traffic to your store, website, or even social media channels.
Remember, potential customers’ locations aren’t enough: You also need to figure out who your target audience is and create ads to send directly to them.
As long as you know the right steps, you can build your own geo-targeted marketing campaigns. We highly recommend monitoring your results, creating compelling CTAs, and understanding your target audience for maximum effectiveness.
How will you use geotargeted ads for your business?
Beacon technology has completely revolutionized both business and marketing.
As one Business.com article put it, with “Retail going digital and digital media coming to retail,” this technology is completely changing the marketing game.
The key to the versatility of this location-based mobile technology lies in its size and function.
It relies on small devices, often the size of a postage stamp, using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals to transmit information to mobile devices via mobile apps.
What does this mean for marketers?
It means this technology can make your job easier and make your marketing efforts much more effective.
These tiny devices are full of robust insights and data. They’re virtually a one-stop-shop.
Plus, they remove many hurdles associated with traditional marketing efforts.
All a customer has to do is download one little app and — BOOM!
You have the ability to deliver timely, relevant, highly specific information to them at opportune moments.
It takes personalized, dynamic marketing to an entirely new level.
I’m here to get you up to speed on the technology, its growth, and its potential impact on your business. Ready to get started?
Here’s a five-step guide to getting started with beacon technology.
Beacon technology first gained popularity back in 2013 when Apple unveiled the iBeacon.
Since this release, Google has created its own version specific to its user base, which is called Eddystone — to keep up with the Joneses, of course.
Retail is the most popular example of an industry that is rapidly adopting beacon technology.
It doesn’t end there.
It is showing up in practically every vertical due to its versatility.
While the technology was slower to catch on, studies predict the industry will grow by more than 75 percent by 2026.
When commenting on beacon technology, the Harvard Business Review coined it as “the missing piece in the whole mobile-shopping puzzle.”
According to one recent report by Markets and Markets, the location-based services (LBS) market is projected to grow to as much as $77.844 billion by 2021.
Proximity.Directory’s Q1 2017 Report also noted that beacons are the most popular proximity technology in the industry.
So, now that you know beacons aren’t going away anytime soon, let’s move on.
To appreciate the marketing potential of beacons, it’s important to understand what beacons are and how they work.
Location-based mobile customer communication enables businesses to communicate information in a timely manner via mobile apps to consumers within range of a beacon.
Beacons communicate with these mobile apps via BLE signals, which as I mentioned above, stands for “Bluetooth Low Energy.”
While it may sound like the same thing, BLE is a variation of the Bluetooth standard and differs from the traditional Bluetooth you and I both know in a few ways:
Check out this in-depth chart for clarity on the differences:
In order for a beacon to communicate via BLE with an individual, four things must happen:
While there is a variety of benefits that beacons deliver, there are five in particular that are worth mentioning here.
First-generation beacons were about the size of an apple.
Now, beacons come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Some are even UV and water-resistant, so they can withstand the outdoor elements.
One beacon manufacturer, BlueCats, creates cat-shaped beacons.
Others let businesses customize their orders by size, as well as adding their name and/or logos.
Some come in the form of a USB, and others are as small as a postage stamp.
Beacons can be made to fit the needs of almost any business.
Think about it: a beacon the size of a stamp can be placed practically anywhere — like a retail store wall, inside a car on an auto lot, or in the entryway of your local coffee shop — and used for virtually anything.
One thing that differentiates beacons from similar technologies such as Wi-Fi, RFIDs, GPS, or NFC is the level of security they have.
Beacons primarily broadcast outbound signals, so they are far less of a security risk.
They also send a unique code that can be read only by certain mobile apps.
This code must be authenticated with user permission (AKA with your knowledge and consent), which means you have to manually accept it.
Technically, beacons with weaker security could have a higher potential for hacking.
The good news is most manufacturers have put measures in place to prevent this from happening.
In fact, the risk lies less in beacons and more in the apps that are transmitting these signals.
So as long as you are using secure apps, you should be in the clear, and generally speaking, much better off in terms of security than a public Wi-Fi network.
Perhaps the best selling point of beacons is their ability to reliably target mobile devices inside buildings.
While GPS is great for location tracking in general, and Wi-Fi comes with all the benefits of cell towers, they aren’t quite as precise as beacon technology when it comes to targeting consumers in-store, in specific areas, and in front of specific products.
GPS needs to be used with other location-based services (LBS) due to its line-of-sight issues when it comes to indoor use. It’s much better suited for the outdoors.
Wi-Fi only has a range of about 46 meters when used indoors, and NFC (near field communication) can only operate well within a range of about four centimeters.
Beacons, on the other hand, come in a variety of ranges and have been specifically designed to work well both indoors and outdoors.
They can transmit from 1 to 70 meters and up to 450 meters in some cases.
Generally speaking, the smaller they are, the lower the range.
Beacons are known for their efficiency.
Proximity.Directory noted in a recent report that manufacturers who use the technology can cut costs and improve efficiency by tracking material flow as well as queue and cycle times.
The report also noted that hospitals can save hundreds of thousands of dollars every year by using beacon technology.
Beacons are equally as effective whether the partner app is active or not, because it’s always on and constantly transmitting a signal.
Other advantages to this technology include:
Among other things, beacons can monitor temperature, humidity, weight, traffic, and interactions.
They are literally information sponges.
With the right analytics in place, you can gather solid user-generated data and insight.
For example, you can measure the number of beacon hits over a certain period of time.
You can also create heat maps to measure foot traffic and the length of time spent in a specific area.
Beacons data can also be used to power paid search and social campaigns.
These are just basic examples of how you as a marketer can use beacons to gather targeted and very specific information about foot traffic.
The possibilities, however, are endless.
It really all just boils down to creativity and application.
Now that you understand the foundational benefits, it’s time to dive into a few of the more advanced benefits.
Once the mobile app is downloaded, you can push messages to your audience without having to jump through hurdles.
This translates into less work for you and less work for the consumer.
Many people have voiced concerns about the downside of a mandatory app download.
It is a legitimate concern since it could very well be argued that the average consumer places a higher value on their mobile device than they do on the benefits they receive from a retail mobile app.
To combat this, you’ll need to have a well-planned content strategy that includes engaging multimedia to create an invaluable experience that people will want to be a part of.
Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) decided to use a SnipSnap coupon app to promote offers and messages to customers in-store.
At first, it may seem a bit odd to use a third-party app.
In reality, it’s quite genius.
So, as you’re evaluating your options, keep in mind that it may be better to use an established third-party app as opposed to creating one on your own.
By doing this, you’ll side-step unnecessary hurdles and improve your conversion rates.
When you can track where a customer is, you can promote specific products and information at just the right time, which can boost engagement significantly.
This increases the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and takes “personalized” to a whole new level.
For example, let’s say you have a customer approaching a jewelry counter at a local department store.
With beacon technology, relevant content about certain items for sale can instantly be sent to their smartphone via the mobile device app, which can help to generate more leads and drive sales.
Perhaps one of the most difficult hurdles many marketers face is figuring out the “mobile shop-and-compare strategy.”
With endless information available at their fingertips, consumers are savvier than ever with their purchasing decisions.
I’m not saying that this is a bad thing, however.
Quite the contrary — it’s great for a number of reasons.
Not only does it protect consumers by keeping them well-informed, but it also facilitates healthy competition.
In doing so, it simultaneously drives quality while shaping savvier marketers who bring more dynamic strategies and tactics to the table.
So to help you brainstorm ways in which you can use beacons, I’ve listed a handful of examples of how other businesses are using them successfully to drive engagement and sales.
Organizations ranging from Major League Baseball to Hillshire Farms are all taking advantage of the amazing power of beacons.
Promotions in the form of offers, deals, and giveaways are the most readily available examples of use that come to mind when thinking of beacon technology.
But it doesn’t end there.
One company that yielded pretty amazing results using a different strategy was NOMI.
They measured new customers acquired through a music festival sponsorship by tracking check-ins via beacons.
With the help of beacon insights, they were able to track 1,300 new customers based on the data provided.
Prism is another great example of how beacons can be used.
They were able to track which areas of a store customers gravitated toward by using heat maps generated by beacons.
As a result, they reassessed merchandising strategies and placed slower moving products in higher traffic areas to generate more sales.
When Hillshire Brands decided to use beacon technology for the release of American Craft link sausages, the response was over-the-top.
Their agency did an analysis of the event and found that purchase intent increased twenty-fold, and the number of in-store engagements hit 6,000 in the first 48 hours alone.
The travel and hospitality industries are embracing the power of beacons as well.
Virgin Atlantic used them to remind passengers to have their boarding passes ready when approaching security checkpoints and to notify them of entertainment specials before boarding.
They even use data to monitor cabin temperatures and alert staff to pass out blankets when it gets too cold.
Concierges at Starwood Hotels & Resorts use beacons so that they can greet guests by name upon arrival.
They are also used to notify housekeeping when guests are in their rooms.
Starwood even lets guests skip the check-in process and gain keyless entry via smartphone to their rooms, which is possible because of beacons.
All a guest has to do is download an app, then open the door by “tapping or gesturing with their device once they arrive at the door.”
Another creative use example is the dating app Mingleton. The company uses the technology to share dating profiles with other users when within a certain radius via a “See Who’s Nearby” feature.
The possibilities truly are endless and extend far beyond traditional push marketing strategies.
These innovative and functional usages of beacons can help with branding and better engage a specific customer base.
There’s no better time than now to start strategizing how you can use beacons to market your business.
Now, more than ever, people have a strong preference for dynamic and highly personalized content.
In fact, a study by Epsilon found that 80 percent of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that offer a personalized experience.
So be proactive, stay on top of trends, and take advantage of the many ways in which you can make it work for you.
To start, develop a well-thought-out strategy.
Much like marketing in general, you can tackle this task in one of two ways.
You can wing it.
For many, winging it seems exponentially easier and a much more effective use of time.
After all, time is money, right?
The reality is that when you simply “wing it,” you’ll end up disorganized and scattered.
The end result?
You’ll waste valuable time and energy trying to tie everything together.
Or you can be prepared.
Savvy digital marketers are much like savvy writers.
They understand that planning is the key to a fruitful and effective strategy.
While planning takes time and energy that could initially be spent on action, the end result is measurable, calculated, and completely within your control.
If you take the time to plan out your steps to a T, you’ll wind up with effective results that deliver serious ROI.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to implementing beacon marketing strategies:
Beacons can be invaluable tools for gathering information, analytics, and outreach.
Don’t just jump toward your end goal. Take time to strategize and plan for both short-term and long-term gain.
Placement is perhaps the single most important factor when it comes to beacon technology.
Strategic placement and well-planned messaging mean an increase in relevancy, timeliness, and effectiveness.
So be sure to get all of your ducks in a row and think in terms of context when it comes to your marketing strategy.
Put yourself in their shoes. What content would you want to receive? What messaging would you find useful and effective?
Stay away from aggressive and overzealous tactics.
Otherwise, you’ll come across as spammy.
Give people useful and engaging information instead.
Check out this video where I discuss some quick and effective strategies that will help any marketer generate a solid marketing plan.
There’s no doubt that beacon technology can revolutionize your marketing strategy.
Based on the positive returns businesses like Hillshire Farms and Starwood Hotels & Resorts are already seeing, I think it’s safe to say that they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
I’ve given you a step-by-step guide to get you caught up on the beacon technology trend.
Step 1: You understand how the tech has grown.
Step 2: You know the basics.
Step 3: You understand the benefits.
Step 4: You understand the more advanced benefits.
Step 5: You’re up-to-speed with creative ways other businesses are them.
Step 6: You know how to create a beacon marketing strategy.
So, the question then remains — are you going to take action?
The ability to diversify and adapt to an ever-evolving climate is essential to your success as a digital marketer in the business world.
By learning how you can harness this trend to fit the needs of your unique situation, you can remain one step ahead of the game — which means you’ll stay one step ahead of your competition.
Are you currently using beacons in your marketing efforts? If so, what’s working for you? What’s not?
Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.
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Beginner-friendly: Bluehost is ideal for anyone venturing into creating and maintaining a website for the first time. This is because there isn’t a need for advanced web management knowledge or coding when you set up your site through it. To sweeten the deal, they’ve partnered with WordPress and ensured that installing WordPress is a seamless part of the process.
Charges for site migrations: Admittedly, when it comes to migration perks, Bluehost isn’t necessarily your best bet. If you want help migrating your site, Bluehost charges at least $149 to migrate your site to or from another platform.
Not the best fit for high traffic sites: If you’re wanting to scale an already high traffic site and need hosting to meet those specific needs, an entry-level Bluehost plan isn’t going to cut it. You can always upgrade to their more expensive managed WordPress tiers, which we’ll get into below.
Bluehost offers several pricing tiers that are pretty clear cut. But after going through them here, you’re still unsure which one can work best for you, reach out to them for a free consultation.
It’s worth noting the price points for each shared hosting tier I review here are only if you purchase a 36-month hosting plan upfront. If you decide to go with a 12 or 24-month plan, the monthly amounts change accordingly.
Going with a month to month plan will also mean your monthly hosting fee will be a tad more expensive. Regardless, Bluehost still stands as the most affordable and value-filled plan you can choose, especially as a beginner.
Now, here’s how each shared hosting tier breaks down along with its value.
A shared hosting Bluehost plan is hands down one of the easiest ways to get started building your site. You can start with the Basic plan for $2.95, which is good to create one site with 50 GBs of space. That’s generous when you consider they also include free CDN and a free SSL certificate.
It doesn’t stop there. Are you running a few websites? Then you’ll want to try the Plus tier at $5.45 per month. It includes everything in the basic plan tier, plus the ability to host and manage an unlimited number of sites, and you’ll get access to Office 365 for 30 days. Not bad. It’s the most convenient tier if you want to reliably start more than one site from scratch without too much overhead cost.
Their most recommended tier, and the one that gets you the most bang for your buck under the shared hosting plan, is the Choice Plus tier at $5.45 per month with added security features.
You get everything in the first and second tier, plus free domain privacy and free automated backup for a whole year. Since internet security is a growing concern in the online world and the price for this tier is the same as the Plus option, this is the clear winner in my book as far as affordable shared hosting plans are concerned. Added security features can only ever be a plus.
Finally, if you’re looking for a bit more than that, consider the Pro tier, sitting at $13.95 a month. With this plan, you’ll get additional CPU resources as well as a free dedicated IP.
As you can see, Bluehost goes out of their way to personalize each tier, so they’re useful in covering what you need. I recommend you take some time to comprehensively look through each tier and its offerings to get the best deal according to your goals.
VPS, or virtual private server hosting, is when hosting is within a shared server but acts as a dedicated virtual space for your site. VPS hosting has become very popular, as it is less expensive than dedicated hosting but gives you better security and potentially better performance than shared hosting.
Guaranteed resources are the name of the game when it comes to Bluehost’s VPS Hosting options. They stack up against competitors well, as they charge you only $18.99 for the standard VPN feature. This includes 2 GB of RAM and an additional 1 TB of bandwidth.
Guaranteed resources are the name of the game when it comes to Bluehost’s VPS Hosting options. They stack up against competitors well, as they charge you only $18.99 for the standard VPN feature. This includes 2 GB of RAM and an additional 1 TB of bandwidth.
Looking through each Bluehost offering, it’s clear they’ve positioned themselves as a beginner-friendly web host, but they also burn the candle at both ends by offering affordable dedicated and VPS hosting. That’s a double win as far as hosting you can rely on if you ask me.
The standout benefits of dedicated hosting are security, privacy, and even more control all around. If you know you’ll want the best of the best to host your site for scale and reliability, then a Bluehost dedicated hosting plan is the way to go.
Is your site growing rapidly? Do you see more traffic coming in day after day? Here’s where you’ll want to look into dedicated hosting, yet another reliable Bluehost plan.
To illustrate the power of a dedicated hosting plan, they start you off at a whopping 500 GB of storage space, 4 GB of RAM, and 5 TB of bandwidth for only $79.99 a month. This puts Bluehost as a premium contender in the market, even for their pricier hosting tiers.
This is an all-in-one managed platform that scales to any demand your website has. All pricing plans for managed WordPress hosting through Bluehost include incredibly fast speeds, marketing tools, and multi-tiered security features.
The most dynamic hosting tier Bluehost offers is it’s managed WordPress option. You can either go with the Build, Grow, or Scale option. Each one offers a different hosting package to fit what you’re looking for. To make the best choice if you decide to go with a managed WordPress option, you’ll want to base your decision on the amount of traffic they’re each appropriate for.
Each plan comes equipped with plenty of helpful features built to help your site grow. This means storage space starting at 20 GBs, access to over 200 global servers, scheduled backups, staging environments, and free SSL certification, just to name a few.
What differentiates each managed tier is ultimately their traffic capacity. Here’s a quick overview:
Breaking it down by traffic makes it easy to choose a managed WordPress hosting plan that’ll give you peace of mind and plenty of site uptime.
At this point, you’ve learned about Bluehost’s hosting pricing. But the fun doesn’t stop there. In addition to the hosting plans, Bluehost has other services.
Unsurprisingly, shared hosting is Bluehost’s most popular hosting deal because it lets you get your foot in the door as far as getting your site up and running goes.
I’d say the number one reason Bluehost’s shared hosting stacks up high when you’re comparing it to other hosting providers is their free SSL certification and their free domain name deal. But as far as hosting your site on a server where you’ll share space with other sites like yours, it does its job.
Now, while shared hosting might be the best affordable hosting option for beginners, it won’t be what you want to stick with as your site grows.
That’s why there’s dedicated hosting and VPS hosting. Dedicated hosting is a more robust and reliable hosting option for powerful site performance, and VPS hosting offers increased power, flexibility, and control.
If you’ve already decided you’re going to start your online store with WordPress and WooCommerce, it can be as easy as choosing from the Standard or the Premium store hosting tiers to get started.
For a store with a robust payment processing system that comes equipped with plenty of analytics and the ability to create basic store backups, then go with the Standard deal at $15.95 a month.
Your store might be a bit more complex than a simple storefront with your product listings. If you’re going to capture subscriptions or online booking and appointment scheduling, you’re better off with the Premium tier as a very reliable ecommerce option.
I’d say this is my top pick for a multifaceted online store with a lot of moving parts. I’d rather pay a bit more for all the Premium features than need them and not have them for the sake of saving a few extra bucks.
Bluehost offers Blue Sky, a service to teach users how to build, grow, and maintain any WordPress website through individual training and guidance. Live WordPress Support starts at $29 per month for on-demand ticket support and backup assistance and goes as high as $149 per month for SEO tools, help with content optimization and mobile optimization, and access to Constant Contact.
In addition to hosting services, Bluehost has an offering to assist your business with design and marketing strategies to give you more time to focus on revenue-generating activities and running your business.
The four primary services offered by Bluehost in this realm are:
The cost for these services is not listed on the Bluehost website. You’ll need to contact them to discuss pricing and support options.
It’s never a good idea to make your decision based on only one piece of information. I recommend you check out my list of the top cheap web hosting providers to make sure you’re making the best choice for your specific needs. Here’s a quick overview of all my recommendations:
All in all, Bluehost is a reliable web hosting service that gives you the best value for your money. It offers a great entry-level shared hosting plan for as little as $2.75 a month, one free domain name for a year, as well as free SSL certification, and plenty of customer support you can tap into at a moment’s notice.
Any comments on Bluehost as a great hosting service for beginner websites? Let me know in the comments.
Otherwise, get started with Bluehost here.