Zero Gravity Marketing https://zerogravitymarketing.com Fri, 29 May 2020 15:35:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Google Ads Tips and Tricks for 2020: Using Ad Rank to Optimize Campaigns https://zerogravitymarketing.com/2020-ppc-tips/ https://zerogravitymarketing.com/2020-ppc-tips/#respond Wed, 03 Jun 2020 13:00:11 +0000 https://zerogravitymarketing.com/?p=13363 In 2017, we offered up some of our top tips for developing an effective Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign on Google Ads. Since that time, there have been quite a few changes to the PPC landscape. Specifically, ad relevance has become more important than ever when it comes to running paid advertising. What is ad relevance? If you don’t...

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In 2017, we offered up some of our top tips for developing an effective Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign on Google Ads. Since that time, there have been quite a few changes to the PPC landscape. Specifically, ad relevance has become more important than ever when it comes to running paid advertising.

What is ad relevance? If you don’t already know, it’s essential to understand this term before you start diving into the more complicated aspects of paid advertising. Simply put, ad relevance measures how well your ad matches up to the keywords you are targeting. In Google’s eyes, this can be rated as above average, average, or below average. The more relevant your ad is to a particular search keyword, the higher it will rank on the search page for that term. Easy enough, right?

Now that we’ve covered relevance, we can talk about the best ways to make sure your ads are successful. Our team has put together this list discussing four of the most important updates that advertisers should be aware of to ensure their PPC ad campaigns are optimized in 2020. Let’s take a look!

1. Optimization Score

One recent update that can change the way you optimize your ad campaigns is the Optimization Score. To locate your score, log into your Google Ads account and click on “Recommendations” in the page menu on the left. Here, you will see a new section called “Your Optimization Score.” This feature gives your account a rating that essentially estimates how well it will perform. Your optimization score can actually affect your account quality score, which impacts how often your ads are shown as well as your overall cost per click for relevant keywords.

The Google Ads platform also provides advice for improving your optimization score. You can follow the recommendations that are relevant while dismissing those that may not be applicable (or that you may not have the time or money to implement). Keep in mind that not all of the recommendations offered by Google will help your account significantly. Therefore, it’s best to work with a Google Ads expert who can determine which recommendations make the most sense for your company. Businesses should always strive for 100 percent optimization, even if they are unable to follow all of the recommendations from Google.

2. Ad Extensions

Another important update to be aware of is the increased importance that Google places on ad extensions. Specifically, when it comes to ad extensions, more is not necessarily better. Instead, it’s essential to choose the most relevant extensions for each ad group. Then, be sure to monitor your ad extensions to ensure that they have favorable click-through rates and low bounce rates. If either of these metrics is off, your ad extension quality ranks will decrease, impacting your overall account quality score.

3. Expanded Text and Responsive Search Ads

When you’re creating your ad campaigns, you’ll want to make use of both expanded text ads and responsive search ads (RSAs). Expanded text ads give advertisers more room to convey their message to customers by including an option for a third headline and second description.

Meanwhile, responsive search ads allow you to create an ad that adapts to show more text and relevant messaging to users. Over time, Google Ads will test different combinations of headlines and descriptions to see which perform best and adapt your content based on its findings.

Google recommends using at least three expanded text ads and one responsive search ad per ad group. By diversifying your ad types through the use of expanded text ads and RSAs, you can work to achieve higher ad relevancy in your campaigns.

4. Automated Bidding Strategies

Google Ads is now putting more emphasis on automated bidding strategies and smart campaigns than ever before. However, using smart campaign features or an auto bid strategy does not necessarily mean that Google has full reign of your campaigns, ad groups, budgets, or keyword bidding. Using bidding strategies like Target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), Target Cost Per Acquisition (CPA), and Target Impression Share can help your business achieve higher key performance indicators (KPIs). Meanwhile, you can easily manage how much you spend on each click or impression. This ensures that you don’t overspend daily or monthly.

Utilizing an auto bid strategy is one way to improve your optimization score and produce better overall KPIs. Google’s machine learning is highly intelligent and will eventually discover what kinds of metrics you are looking for, helping pave a path to ad success.

5. Google Smart Campaigns

Smart Campaigns were created by Google to give business owners who don’t have a lot of free time the ability to run ad campaigns. They are designed to take the hassle out of running a campaign by fully automating everything from the bidding strategy to audience targeting and even keyword targeting.

Smart Campaigns are a good solution for busy local business owners who just want to get some ads up on the SERP. However, they typically don’t perform as well as standard search campaigns. The inability to make ongoing tweaks to targeting and keyword bidding makes these campaigns tough to optimize for peak performance. On top of that, Smart Campaigns aren’t easy to scale if you decide to increase your PPC efforts in the long run.

Although Smart Campaigns can be useful for a local business with a small budget, a well thought out and executed paid marketing strategy should always include a standard search campaign.

Contact Zero Gravity Marketing for All of Your PPC Needs

Ready to improve your ad rank and see real results from your PPC campaigns? Zero Gravity Marketing can help! Our expert PPC team has the knowledge and experience necessary to craft an effective Pay-Per-Click strategy. Contact us today to learn more!

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Marketing Automation: Comparing HubSpot, Pardot, and MailChimp https://zerogravitymarketing.com/comparing-digital-marketing-automation-solutions/ https://zerogravitymarketing.com/comparing-digital-marketing-automation-solutions/#respond Mon, 01 Jun 2020 13:00:51 +0000 https://zerogravitymarketing.com/?p=13366 Options abound for marketing automation, but three systems tend to receive the most attention: HubSpot, Pardot, and MailChimp. Each is accompanied by unique advantages and downsides, with no one solution proving ultimately ideal in every situation. Below, we’re highlighting key differences between these top marketing automation solutions to help you determine which approach is most capable...

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Options abound for marketing automation, but three systems tend to receive the most attention: HubSpot, Pardot, and MailChimp. Each is accompanied by unique advantages and downsides, with no one solution proving ultimately ideal in every situation.

Below, we’re highlighting key differences between these top marketing automation solutions to help you determine which approach is most capable of meeting your current and long-term digital marketing needs.

HubSpot

A notoriously robust marketing automation solution, HubSpot offers a wide range of features designed to manage everything from social media to website analytics. Users can create automated workflows via HubSpot templates that can be customized to meet your specific business requirements.

One of the key features is HubSpot workflows, which involves segmenting groups of lists which can be developed when contact customer/client information has been uploaded into HubSpot. The email workflow can be integrated with your customer relationship management (CRM) to enhance lead nurturing functions like ongoing subscriptions, follow-ups for form submissions, and re-engagement following lead inactivity. There is even the free HubSpot CRM, which makes CRM integration even easier.

The greatest disadvantage of HubSpot lies in the limitations of the workflow builder and lead scoring. HubSpot excels at giving businesses the ability to create simple workflows; however, for large scale operations, this can be cumbersome and not possible at times. While HubSpot is more advanced than MailChimp and cheaper than Pardot, your strategy may be limited if your business requires complex workflows for marketing automation.

HubSpot is an excellent middle-ground between the cost-effectiveness of MailChimp and the workhorse that is Salesforce Pardot. Businesses that have simple to moderately complex workflows (and are willing to make the investment) will benefit from the uniquely scalable HubSpot solution, which is capable of growing alongside rapidly evolving organizations.

Pardot

Designed to align the ambitious objectives of sales and digital marketing teams, Pardot provides strong customer service and plenty of instruction for those who might otherwise struggle with establishing workflows. Integrated with Salesforce CRM software, Pardot streamlines the process of creating and executing automated campaigns. Its Engagement Studio comes complete with a rule-trigger-action sequence, which leads prospects down defined paths based on key actions.

Pardot is uniquely suited for creating complex and connected workflows. The technology powering the engagement studio is truly turnkey and state of the art. Any business using Salesforce that needs robust marketing automation support should take a hard look at the Pardot platform. From simple to complex workflows and automations and a two-way integration into Salesforce CRM, Pardot is an incredibly robust tool.

While Pardot is the pinnacle of marketing automation, the tools provided by the platform come with one major setback: the price. As of March 2020, the base price of the Pardot Growth plan is $1,250 per month for up to 10,000 contacts.

Besides the price point, one other weak point for Pardot lies in its onboarding process and integration, which is time-consuming. Additionally, because it’s primarily designed for business to business (B2B) marketing, Pardot’s functionality could prove limited for many organizations, which may be better served by HubSpot or MailChimp.

MailChimp

Ideal for small businesses, MailChimp is affordable and easy to master. It provides a wide range of premade templates, as well as extensive options for customization. It is not the most robust solution available by far, but its accessibility is a major selling point for small businesses on the hunt for simplified automation solutions at a very reasonable price point.

As with Pardot, the onboarding process can prove frustrating for MailChimp users. Before sending tailored emails, targeted lists must be constructed from scratch. Not only is this process time-consuming, but it can also prompt considerable human error.

MailChimp is also not nearly as scalable as HubSpot, making it a potentially poor option for rapidly growing businesses. For those unwilling or unable to invest in Pardot or HubSpot, however, MailChimp proves to be a viable alternative.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, the difficult decision between HubSpot, Pardot, and MailChimp depends on how your business is classified and how robust of an automation system you need or can handle. Pardot might involve a steep learning curve, but the effort could prove worthwhile if you expect to scale up your marketing efforts to include advanced and complex workflows or automations in the near future. However, if you desire a simpler approach with more linear workflows, HubSpot is an excellent choice. For small businesses with limited financial resources, Mailchimp provides a quick and easy way to set up simple marketing automation processes at a reasonable price.

Feeling stuck in your efforts to select and establish a marketing automation solution? The team at Zero Gravity Marketing can help. Contact us today for more information about our services!

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The Different Types of Graphic Design Explained https://zerogravitymarketing.com/types-of-graphic-design/ https://zerogravitymarketing.com/types-of-graphic-design/#respond Sat, 30 May 2020 13:00:10 +0000 https://zerogravitymarketing.com/?p=13360 Graphic design is a specialized form of communication that relies on imagery, color, typography, and style to present ideas and tell a story. There are eight different kinds of graphic design, and it’s important to understand how they work and what makes each option a valuable asset for marketing. Let’s take a closer look! 1....

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Graphic design is a specialized form of communication that relies on imagery, color, typography, and style to present ideas and tell a story. There are eight different kinds of graphic design, and it’s important to understand how they work and what makes each option a valuable asset for marketing. Let’s take a closer look!

1. Visual Identity Graphic Design

Visual identity design refers to a brand message that is used to create a memorable image. For example, a company logo serves as a visual identifier for a specific brand. Through visual identity graphic design, businesses set the tone for their audience using shapes, colors, and more. A professional that specializes in this type of design will work with clients to develop unique typography, colors, and images for visual branding.

2. User Interface (UI) Graphic Design

As the name suggests, this type of design professional specializes in creating designs for devices or apps. Their goal is to develop a memorable and streamlined environment for the end-user. A UI graphic designer will create online elements like buttons that enhance the user experience.

3. Publication Graphic Design

Publication graphic design deals with more traditional layouts such as books, magazines, and catalogs. Someone in this field might also work on digital publishing options such as an eBook. Publication designers create products for publishing houses, authors, and digital media outlets. They may also work with corporations to design annual reports, stockholder media, and directories.

4. Marketing and Advertising Graphic Design

Someone with this specialization will focus on specific types of media, such as print or digital, to create marketing assets. These include postcards, banners, billboards, and vehicle wraps. In the digital space, this refers to social media graphics, online advertisements, web banners, and more.

5. Motion Graphic Design

Motion graphics involve anything that moves, such as a digital animation or video. The internet has led to an expansion in this very specialized field, which was once strictly applied to TV and film. Today, you can find motion graphic work on social media platforms, websites, and even billboards.

6. Packaging Graphic Design

This type of graphic designer creates packages that not only enclose and protect products but also communicate a unique, branded message. Packaging designers work with bags, bottles, boxes, cans, and more. They typically build mockups that help clients visualize the design concept, and their work often translates into other areas of graphic design, as well. For example, a designer might create imagery for a package that also works for other marketing assets, such as a print ad. Additionally, packaging designers often must work with the company’s current branding, maintaining the same color schemes, fonts, and imagery that are found on the brand’s social media accounts and website.

7. Art and Illustration for Graphic Design

Art and illustration are often part of the overall design process. Brands might use an illustrator or artist to create t-shirts, graphic novels, or video games, for example. These professionals might also create original art for books, brochures, and websites. Art and graphic design tend to go hand-in-hand, although they are considered to be different specialties.

8. Environmental Graphic Design

Environmental graphic design works with walls, signs, advertisements, and exhibits to make spaces more memorable and engaging. Often, this type of designer utilizes the entire area, creating visual cues that provide direction or information. This is a specialty that combines graphics with architectural, interior, and landscape design.

Create Memorable Designs with Help from Zero Gravity Marketing

At Zero Gravity Marketing, our talented design team has the skills and experience necessary to complete projects throughout all fields of graphic design. Contact us today to learn how we can help you create something beautiful for your brand!

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Go Viral: Using Spark AR Filters to Expand Your Reach on Instagram https://zerogravitymarketing.com/spark-ar-filters/ https://zerogravitymarketing.com/spark-ar-filters/#respond Fri, 29 May 2020 13:00:02 +0000 https://zerogravitymarketing.com/?p=13354 Instagram story filters are quickly becoming a reliable way to gain followers and build brand awareness. Filters have been especially popular since the start of the new year, being used by everyone from bloggers to athletes and TV personalities. When certain filters go viral, their creators see a massive spike in their follower count. Take...

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Instagram story filters are quickly becoming a reliable way to gain followers and build brand awareness. Filters have been especially popular since the start of the new year, being used by everyone from bloggers to athletes and TV personalities.

When certain filters go viral, their creators see a massive spike in their follower count. Take Filippo Soccini, for example. Before creating the popular “2020 Predictions” filter, he had a little over 7,000 followers. After the successful launch, that number skyrocketed to 93,000.

So, what makes these filters such a widespread hit? They’re both interactive and entertaining – two content qualities that dominate the Instagram landscape. Here’s how to implement them into your social media strategy:

Beginning with Basics

Instagram filters are made in Facebook’s Spark AR Studio. In August 2019, Facebook opened the studio to all Instagram users, so anyone could create their own effects. However, there is a degree of design expertise required, especially when a brand is looking to present themselves as polished and professional.

Choosing a Creation

When strategizing about the best approach for your filter development, it’s important to study the popular trends in the market. From face-tracking, selfies, and humor to moods, color, and light, there are options for every audience. Identify the designs that will resonate with your customer base and customize from there.

Filters for a Cause

If you’re a nonprofit organization, a filter can help you cast a wider net for potential donors. Through the “causes” category, nonprofits like Save the Elephants have engaged with donors and volunteers by adding filters to their video content. By showing the organization’s impact, they’re able to share their message on a wider scale, increase awareness of their cause, and simplify the donation process thanks to in-app features.

Bring the Filter to the People

After creating your filter, you can upload it to Instagram for approval, which usually takes between one and five days. Once approved, it gets published to the platform and is available to users. There are two main ways users can discover your effect:

  1. When browsing filters within the Instagram stories feature, they can tap on your effect, try it out for themselves, and choose to upload it to their story’s filter tray for easy access.
  2. Users can follow your account directly, which gives them access to all of your filters, as they immediately get added to the user’s filter tray.

Best Practices

It’s not enough to simply publish a filter; your creation needs to be easy to discover to truly help your company or organization. You can do this by:

  • Using the effect on your company’s own Instagram stories – After this initial introduction to your audience, users will be motivated to try it!
  • Sharing user-generated content (UGC) – Whenever someone uses your filter on their Instagram story, it’s beneficial to share it on your brand’s account. This shows your followers that others are using the filter, which ultimately encourages them to try it out for themselves.
  • Housing the filter under an Instagram highlight on your profile – This makes it easy for users to find the filter when they come to your page.

Ready to Up Your Instagram Game? Zero Gravity Marketing Can Help

If you’re looking to grow your brand’s reach on Instagram and offer your followers unique content, consider creating your own Instagram filter. This powerful function allows you to communicate brand messages and drive engagement simultaneously.

Not a designer or social media guru? Look to Zero Gravity Marketing for assistance! With experience and expertise in motion graphics, our designers can create engaging, attention-grabbing designs. Meanwhile, our social media experts can take your filter to the next level by tying it into the core values of your brand and marketing it for maximum engagement. Contact us today to get started!

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Paid Search vs. Paid Social: Which Platform Is Right for You? https://zerogravitymarketing.com/paid-search-vs-paid-social/ https://zerogravitymarketing.com/paid-search-vs-paid-social/#respond Wed, 20 May 2020 13:00:26 +0000 https://zerogravitymarketing.com/?p=13302 You already know the importance of running Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns to help drive traffic to your website. Not only is this a great way to spearhead efforts to bring in new customers who are interested in your products or services, but it can also be an excellent method for getting your name out in the...

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You already know the importance of running Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns to help drive traffic to your website. Not only is this a great way to spearhead efforts to bring in new customers who are interested in your products or services, but it can also be an excellent method for getting your name out in the marketplace and building a positive reputation.

However, many brands that are new to PPC wonder whether to choose paid search or paid social media. The truth? The right choice depends on what you hope to accomplish and who you’re targeting.

When Is Paid Search the Ideal Choice?

In some instances, paid search is an ideal choice for driving traffic to your website and business. This is generally a lower-funnel conversion play, as your audience is directly looking on a search engine for what you’re offering.

Paid search can be especially useful if you want to engage with customers who are already using a smartphone or computer to find products or services that are related to your business. A great example of this would be a landscaping company. Most people looking for someone to mow their lawn or trim their shrubs use Google to find a contractor in their area. In this instance, paid search will probably get you farther than paid social.

When Is Paid Social a Better Idea?

While paid search is often instrumental to a successful digital marketing campaign, there are times when paid social media is more effective. This is considered a higher funnel awareness play, as the goal is to get your brand in front of customers who weren’t looking for you in the first place.

The benefit here is that you can reach a high number of targeted customers at a low cost. This is a great approach if you’re offering something new to the market, or your business is entirely online. For example, if you’re opening a new yoga studio, paid social would be an easy way to get the word out to a large audience that is both qualified and interested.

Questions to Ask When Deciding Between Paid Search and Paid Social

Deciding between paid search and paid social doesn’t have to be that difficult. Really, it comes down to asking yourself two key questions:

  • What Are Your Goals and Objectives? Knowing your goals and objectives is important when deciding what type of campaign to run. If you want to reach people who are ready to purchase now, use paid search. If you’d like to get your name out there and be on their minds the next time they need what you’re offering, consider paid social.
  • Who Is Your Target Audience? Knowing what platform to choose when running paid social is also key. For example, if you’re targeting stay-at-home parents, you wouldn’t want to run a large campaign on LinkedIn. Instead, you would likely look at paid ads on Facebook or Pinterest as an alternative.

Of course, there’s a lot more that goes into this decision, such as your budget and the necessary timeframe for results. Additionally, there may be times when running both paid search and paid social makes the most sense. At the end of the day, it’s best to work with an experienced Pay-Per-Click team to develop strategic, effective campaigns.

If you’re ready to take the leap into PPC advertising, Zero Gravity Marketing can help. Contact us today to learn more about our services!

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Top Five Ways to Drive Sales with Pay-Per-Click https://zerogravitymarketing.com/ways-to-drive-sales-with-ppc/ https://zerogravitymarketing.com/ways-to-drive-sales-with-ppc/#respond Fri, 15 May 2020 13:00:55 +0000 https://zerogravitymarketing.com/?p=13235 Are you looking for ways to increase revenue and make Pay-Per-Click (PPC) more effective for your brand? If you’re already using this type of online advertising, you might need to adjust your campaigns to make them more successful. Here are the top five ways to drive sales with PPC. 1.    Flexible Ad Budgets Ad spend...

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Are you looking for ways to increase revenue and make Pay-Per-Click (PPC) more effective for your brand? If you’re already using this type of online advertising, you might need to adjust your campaigns to make them more successful. Here are the top five ways to drive sales with PPC.

1.    Flexible Ad Budgets

Ad spend is important when it comes to improving sales with PPC. However, it’s best to keep your funds flexible. If you realize after a short period of time that your campaign isn’t doing as well as you had hoped, it might be time to shift your budget to one that is faring a bit better. This awareness will allow you to scale the more successful campaign without having to waste money on the one that isn’t working.

2.    Fill the Funnel with Brand Awareness

To drive sales, it’s essential to create brand awareness through display and YouTube ads. Potential customers should be able to see one of your campaigns and know right away who you are and what you do. While you might not always make a ton of sales from brand awareness campaigns, they’re a great way to introduce your audience to your company and make it easier for them to recognize you when they receive a targeted message later on in the funnel.

3.    Targeted Messaging

Everyone likes to feel special, and targeted messaging is a great way to make this happen. To do this, your ads should match the search intent of what your ideal customer is looking for. Use storytelling to highlight how your product or service solves a problem or fulfills a need in their lives.

4.    Smart Promos

In some cases, you might run Pay-Per-Click ads and have a promotion going simultaneously. Be smart about how you do this and try to align them as much as possible. For example, you should consider updating your current ad copy to include mentions of your promotion. This is a great way to drive sales while keeping your Pay-Per-Click campaigns flexible.

5.    Product Page Optimizations

Are you getting clicks but still not seeing enough sales? You can always update the product landing page to drive more people to buy. Connecting with potential customers is important and having a product page that shows them the value of purchasing from you can make a big difference. Again, ensure your message is tailored to the buyer and communicates the reasons why they need what you’re offering.

Bonus: Work with an Expert Pay-Per-Click Team

Not sure where to begin with PPC advertising? No problem! Zero Gravity Marketing is here to help you navigate the process from start to finish. Our team of Paid Media experts can craft compelling campaigns that increase conversions and boost your sales.

To learn more about our Pay-Per-Click services and how they can benefit your business, contact us today! We’re happy to answer all of your questions and discuss your unique needs and goals.

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What Are the Top 10 Skills Every Digital Marketer Should Have? https://zerogravitymarketing.com/top-10-skills-every-digital-marketer-should-have/ https://zerogravitymarketing.com/top-10-skills-every-digital-marketer-should-have/#respond Thu, 14 May 2020 12:00:16 +0000 https://zerogravitymarketing.com/?p=13206 If you’re new to the world of digital marketing, things can seem pretty overwhelming. From a variety of social media platforms and search engine algorithms, navigating the vast digital marketing industry can be difficult, especially for beginners. That’s why we’ve put together this article where we will discuss the top 10 skills a beginner should...

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If you’re new to the world of digital marketing, things can seem pretty overwhelming. From a variety of social media platforms and search engine algorithms, navigating the vast digital marketing industry can be difficult, especially for beginners. That’s why we’ve put together this article where we will discuss the top 10 skills a beginner should have to help them become a successful digital marketer.

SEO

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is one of the most essential tools a digital marketer should have in their toolbox. When done properly, SEO can increase both the quality and quantity of website visitors and help with brand awareness. For example, when you write a perfectly optimized blog or webpage that contains the keywords you’re targeting, it can continue to move up or down in search engine rankings over time while other forms of advertising require more funds to back efforts. SEO is the marketing practice that keeps on giving, so why pass up the opportunity?

PPC

While you may be focusing most of your efforts on organic search or SEO efforts, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t also be utilizing a paid media approach. PPC or Pay-Per-Click is an effective way to help your search engine results without having to spend a significant amount of time and money on new content. PPC is a great strategy because you pay if the ads are working. If people are clicking on the ads (or in some cases viewing them), then they are generating more traffic for your brand and thus worth the money spent on them.

Content Marketing

Whether you’re writing blogs, creating a video, social media posts, or other assets, it is important to have a well-rounded knowledge of all the different forms content could take. As the core of digital marketing, it’s important to understand that if you can generate traffic to your brand or website but have nothing worthwhile or educational to say, people won’t be coming back or utilizing your company. Content Marketing is a big undertaking for anyone due to the fact that you have to be able to find the brand’s voice, speak to your audience and answer their questions, and persuade and engage with them enough to make them want to use your services or buy your products. As one of the major key players in a successful digital marketing strategy, it’s important to brush up on your content marketing skills if you’re going to take on the digital marketing world.

Data/Analytics

Data and analytics are a critical part of any successful digital marketing strategy. It is easy to access the information that Google Analytics provides for your brand, but it is much more difficult to use this information effectively, to drive traffic to your website, and to get them to convert. This crucial information can help you learn more about your consumers and how they engage with your content. What posts do you have that are generating a lot of traffic? What blogs don’t seem to be doing as well? Data and analytics can tell you all of this, but it is up to you as the savvy digital marketer to be able to tell why and how this data came to be and how to capitalize on it.

 

Technology/Video

Technology and video are a huge part of digital marketing in this day and age and a successful digital marketer should be able to create and utilize them effectively. Research shows that a well-optimized video can increase your chances of being in a top Google ranking position by at least 50%. In addition, people are 80% more likely to purchase a product after seeing a video describing it. In today’s digital age, people are much more visual and have much shorter attention spans, so effective video and use of technology is extremely important to understand.

Social Media

Social media is arguably one of the most prominent forms of digital marketing in 2020. There are people who make their entire living off of social media advertising alone. This means that it is extremely important for any brand or product to have a social media presence. A good digital marketer doesn’t just post on Facebook but also knows how to use all the platforms and how to generate engagement from their followers. Being able to create unique posts that are relevant for each social media outlet is essential to having a solid digital marketing presence as well.

Paid Social Advertising

In addition to organic social media use, paid social advertising is also a very effective tool to have. Having your brand or product pop up on someone’s feed without them even searching for it is an invaluable marketing technique that can help drive traffic to your site and sell your products.

CRO

CRO or Conversion Rate Optimization is another essential skill to master. This is a similar method to utilizing data and analytics in order to see which blogs, CTA’s, and other marketing tactics actually drive traffic to your website. Having a good CRO means your content is generating buzz and getting clicks from people on the internet.

Brand Message

Having a brand message that people can relate to is extremely important, and utilizing Instagram pages and creating a cohesive website are good ways to help curate that messaging. Whether it’s posting to social media with a theme in mind on, or updating your website to match all of your social media and blog posts, cultivating a cohesive brand message is important so people can identify with your company, product, or service and better understand if what you’re offering is something they want.

Tech Savvy

The digital marketing industry is highly tech-driven, so it’s important to at least have a basic understanding of different software, tools, and photo and video editing applications. It can also be beneficial to have a general knowledge of coding basics so you can use Content Management systems (CMS) like WordPress to make edits and updates to websites.

Are you ready to dive into the world of digital marketing but don’t know where to start? Contact our digital marketing strategists to get started on your personalized marketing plan today!

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Spring Cleaning Your Social Media Profiles: How to Spruce Up Your Online Presence https://zerogravitymarketing.com/spring-clean-your-social-media-presence/ https://zerogravitymarketing.com/spring-clean-your-social-media-presence/#respond Tue, 12 May 2020 13:00:00 +0000 https://zerogravitymarketing.com/?p=13201 Since spring began, you may have started clearing out your closet, scrubbing down your home’s interior, and preparing your outdoor spaces for warmer weather. However, spring cleaning doesn’t just apply to your living spaces – it can be useful for your business too! Over the course of the year, your social media presence may start...

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Since spring began, you may have started clearing out your closet, scrubbing down your home’s interior, and preparing your outdoor spaces for warmer weather. However, spring cleaning doesn’t just apply to your living spaces – it can be useful for your business too!

Over the course of the year, your social media presence may start to feel stale or begin to stray from your branding or goals. Spring is the perfect time to check in on your social media profiles, tidying up any clutter and ensuring that they present your business in the best possible light.

Below, we’re sharing our tips and tricks for spring cleaning your social media accounts. Let’s take a look!

Why You Should Clean Up Your Social Media Presence

Social media acts as an extension of your brand that customers can interact with and use to find answers to their questions. It also allows you to show a more “human” side of your business and share creative content with your audience. Therefore, it’s important to make sure your social media profiles accurately reflect your brand and its core values. If they don’t, you risk losing your audience’s trust – something that you’ve likely spent years building.

By setting aside some time to review and clean up your social media profiles, you can ensure that your brand remains consistent and professional across all platforms. Plus, this dedicated check-in allows you to thoroughly evaluate your current strategies, assess what’s working, and identify areas for improvement.

How to Tidy Up Your Social Media Profiles

Your spring-cleaning checklist may differ depending on your business, how many accounts you run, and your existing social media plan. However, there are a few general tasks that every brand should follow. These include:

1.     Remove Old Logos and Poorly Sized Profile Pictures

Outdated logos and poorly sized profile pictures can make your account look less professional and take away from your credibility. So, be sure to switch these out with up-to-date, correctly sized images for all of your social media accounts.

2.     Check Your Branding

A key part of establishing trust, credibility, and brand awareness for your business is to maintain brand consistency across all channels. During your spring-cleaning session, review each of your social media profiles to ensure your branding is consistent. Make sure your profile photos, headers or cover images, bios, descriptions, and URL links are identical or use the same branding on each account.

3.     Reevaluate Your Goals

Your goals for your social media presence naturally change as your business grows; therefore, it’s best to reevaluate them every few months to determine where you stand. In some cases, you might have already reached certain objectives and need to develop new ones for continued growth. Other times, you may find that you’ve strayed from your original social media goals and need to adjust your strategy to get back on track.

4.     Adjust Your Social Strategy

If, after completing step three, you find that you need to tweak your social media strategy, now is the time to do it. Take some time to assess your results from the past few months, identifying what has and hasn’t been working well. Then, adjust your strategy to ensure your social media presence is as rewarding as possible.

5.     Set Up a Content Calendar

If you don’t already have one, now is a great time to create a comprehensive content calendar for all of your channels. A solid social media calendar should include every aspect of your strategy, from individual campaigns to daily posts, quarterly themes, upcoming holidays, and more. That way, you can feel confident knowing that you and your team have a clear direction for the rest of the year.

The Importance of Ongoing Efforts

While spring is a great time to clean up your social media presence, it’s not the only time to do so. It’s important to take a step back and review your social media profiles, strategy, and goals every so often and make any necessary adjustments.

Need help keeping your social media strategy on track? At Zero Gravity Marketing, our expert team will work with you to identify your goals and craft an effective plan to boost your brand’s online presence.

For more information about our social media services, contact us today!

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Four Ways to Change Up Your Marketing Strategy https://zerogravitymarketing.com/four-ways-to-change-up-your-marketing-strategy/ https://zerogravitymarketing.com/four-ways-to-change-up-your-marketing-strategy/#respond Mon, 11 May 2020 12:00:59 +0000 https://zerogravitymarketing.com/?p=13191 The COVID-19 pandemic has abruptly changed just about every aspect of our lives and has presented every business with the challenge of uncertainty. While this is temporary, our marketing strategies have to change just as quick to adapt to the “new normal.”  The difference in how businesses come out of this crisis is in how...

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The COVID-19 pandemic has abruptly changed just about every aspect of our lives and has presented every business with the challenge of uncertainty. While this is temporary, our marketing strategies have to change just as quick to adapt to the “new normal.”  The difference in how businesses come out of this crisis is in how they weather the storm.

In order to see long-term results, it’s necessary to be proactive about making adjustments to adapt to the current landscape.

Bringing your marketing efforts to a halt to save money isn’t necessarily recommended and in the long run, may result in loss. Rather than ceasing efforts altogether, we recommend changing up your strategy and identifying areas to reallocate your marketing budget. While other businesses are pumping the brakes, you can increase your competitive edge by shifting tactics. Be proactive about making adjustments for the short term while thinking about the long term.

In order to navigate these times of crisis effectively, it’s important to remember that it’s better to position yourself for success now than to start over when business bounces back.

Here are four ways to change up your strategy to keep your momentum going:

Adjust Your Messaging

In these times of uncertainty, your customers need to know how you’re adapting to the crisis, and your messaging should demonstrate awareness and sensitivity. Without quickly re-evaluating your marketing messaging to reflect the circumstances you may risk coming across as insensitive and inadequate.

Consider making adjustments to the following:

  • Scheduled content: Postpone or revise email blasts and social media posts promoting in-person events or anything that is no longer relevant.
  • CTAs: Update anything that implies an in-person interaction.
  • Ad copy: Remove any words that come across as insensitive and ensure your tone is supportive and respectful.
  • Images: Rethink any visual assets that show human interaction such as events like concerts, warehouses with people working closely together, and people shaking hands in a conference room.

Host Virtual Events

With tradeshows and in-person events canceled for the foreseeable future, this doesn’t mean missed opportunities, it means the opportunity to exist elsewhere. Even though nothing can truly take the place of an in-person experience, the people who planned to attend the event still value the information that was supposed to be presented. Consider taking the event and moving it online as a virtual conference or webinar.

Determine if you can maintain the same level of value and quality that you had planned for the in-person event to properly represent your brand. Shift the budget allocated for the event to put it where your customers are now, which is online. If a virtual event won’t have the same impact, put those funds behind promoting any content or product launches that were planned for the event. Just because the platform you planned to use to promote your services or products didn’t work out doesn’t mean there aren’t alternatives.

Focus on SEO

Compared to January and February, online traffic across 20 different industries has increased by over 25% as of April 19th.  Whether organic traffic is trending up or down for your industry as a whole, you still want to direct clicks to your site. This is a good time to focus on brand awareness and feed the top of the funnel—this downturn is temporary and current and potential customers won’t disappear. Use the budget you had set aside for in-person events and instead put it towards Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts. Putting energy into an SEO strategy can not only help to build your brand, but it will help you stay top-of-mind long after the pandemic is over.

It’s also a good time to reevaluate what keywords your tracking and using in your content. Some of the keywords that were a priority before COVID-19 may be less important in the current landscape, and vice versa. If other businesses are pausing or reducing ad spend, that means there’s a better chance that you can rank for higher volume keywords.

Create Content

More people at home equals more people consuming content. In addition to being a big player in building SEO, Content Marketing done right during COVID-19 provides added value for customers by being educational. Everyone is trying to learn how to navigate their lives with the same level of instability.

Creating content that aligns with what’s going on in the world is a way to demonstrate your awareness and sensitivity while establishing your brand as a trustworthy source of information. Find a way to tactfully incorporate COVID-19 into content that’s relevant to your industry without trying too hard to create a connection between your products or services and the virus if there isn’t one. This allows your content to be relevant without becoming too promotional.

You can’t change the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, but you can change how your business handles it. Our team at ZGM is here to help you find the right mix to switch up your marketing strategy to come out of this crisis strong. Reach out to us today to get started.

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Google Launches a New Free Version of Google Shopping https://zerogravitymarketing.com/google-launches-free-version-of-google-shopping/ https://zerogravitymarketing.com/google-launches-free-version-of-google-shopping/#respond Fri, 08 May 2020 14:48:38 +0000 https://zerogravitymarketing.com/?p=13196 Yes, you read that right! It’s now FREE to sell on Google, and with physical storefronts having to shift gears and think of other ways to advertise and sell their products, this couldn’t have come at a better time. But why did Google make this change and how is it beneficial for your business? Let’s...

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Yes, you read that right! It’s now FREE to sell on Google, and with physical storefronts having to shift gears and think of other ways to advertise and sell their products, this couldn’t have come at a better time.

But why did Google make this change and how is it beneficial for your business? Let’s find out!

Why Google Made the Shift

With COVID-19 causing brick-and-mortar retailers to close their doors, business owners and marketers across the world have had to think of new and creative ways to advertise and keep business going. Because the combination of digital marketing backed by an eCommerce website has become the go-to marketing strategy amid this pandemic, Google decided to roll out one of its most significant changes in over eight years: opening its Shopping search results to organic listings.

Why Is This Important for Businesses?

Back in 2012, Google shifted to a strictly pay-to-play product model. But this recent change didn’t just come out of nowhere. There were two big factors that played a part in this evolution: data quality and Amazon. Before Google went entirely paid, there were quality problems with out of stock listings, and shoppers were often led to entirely different products altogether. However, Google was able to adjust and fix these errors since then.

Then, as Amazon continued to grow, Google faced the issue of having to compete with this eCommerce giant. As they gained share in product search and advertising, it put Google at a disadvantage and limited shopping results to only those that were willing to pay for them.

By opening up Google Shopping to all merchants, Google will not only be more attractive to both shoppers and sellers, but they will also gain a pretty significant competitive edge over Amazon. Plus, businesses and their owners will see some pretty great advantages too. For example, merchants will get FREE exposure to the millions of people that shop on Google while shoppers will see a wider variety of products from stores that may not have been available online in the first place. In addition, this latest change provides an added layer of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) opportunity for your brand and it allows advertisers to adjust their paid campaigns to include free listings.

So How Does It Work?

  • Ad Distribution & Free Listings: It’s important to know that the main Google Search page is not changing, and the carousels will continue to contain ads only. But you’ll now see that paid ads are appearing both at the top and bottom of the Google Shopping tab page, just like they do on the main search results tab. This change will also affect the search results pages on Google Shopping hub in the U.S.
  • Free Listings Are Powered by Data Feeds: When you upload a free listing to Google Merchant Center, it will be powered by product data feeds. According to Google, in order to do this, you will need to open a Google Merchant Center account, upload a product feed, and then sellers will need to opt-in to “surfaces across Google” to be qualified for organic visibility.
  • New PayPal Integration Option: Google also announced that they have a new partnership with PayPal which will allow retailers to link those accounts to Google Merchant Center. This is a great added benefit because Google can now verify trusted merchants and pull in seller details quicker.

You Don’t Have to Tackle eCommerce Alone

Times are tough, and we don’t want you to have to go about creating an eCommerce store alone. If you’re interested in creating a virtual storefront and need a little help, contact our Zero Gravity Marketing team today. Whether you have a business big or small, we have digital marketing packages that can fit your budget, even in unique situations like this one.

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Three Top of Funnel Strategies to Fill Your Marketing Funnel https://zerogravitymarketing.com/top-of-funnel-strategies/ https://zerogravitymarketing.com/top-of-funnel-strategies/#respond Wed, 06 May 2020 16:38:40 +0000 https://zerogravitymarketing.com/?p=13188 Acquiring and converting new leads is an important aspect of any full-funnel marketing strategy. However, it can be both difficult and costly if you don’t take the right approach. This stage of the marketing funnel, also known as “top of funnel,” refers to efforts that focus on building awareness for a new product or in...

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Acquiring and converting new leads is an important aspect of any full-funnel marketing strategy. However, it can be both difficult and costly if you don’t take the right approach. This stage of the marketing funnel, also known as “top of funnel,” refers to efforts that focus on building awareness for a new product or in a new market. It is unique from the rest of the funnel because it includes potential customers that don’t already know about your brand or haven’t yet engaged with your business. This means that you’ll need to take a tactical approach, creating comprehensive brand awareness campaigns that include in-depth audience analysis, data collection, and strategic paid advertisements.

Below, we’ll discuss three effective Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising strategies that will help you bring in new leads that you can then nurture into loyal customers.

1.    Display Ads

Display advertising involves text-based, image, or video advertisements that are run across a variety of networks, including the Google Display Network (GDN). These ads encourage users to click through to a specific landing page or take an action like making a purchase. They are often used for retargeting campaigns, where they are served to users who have already visited a brand’s website; however, display ads are excellent options for top of funnel efforts, too, due to their low cost and high visibility. In fact, Google’s display network reaches 90 percent of all internet users, making it a powerful tool for expanding your reach. Plus, these advertisements offer more flexibility than traditional search ads (which have shorter character limits), allowing you to fully describe and capture your brand.

2.    Paid Social

Social media is one of the most effective ways to build brand engagement, as it allows you to connect with customers and foster genuine relationships. Specifically, your social media profiles enable you to show the “human” side of your brand, and when used properly, can generate a significant amount of brand loyalty.

One great way to use paid social media in your top of funnel campaigns is to boost your organic social posts. Not only is this cost-effective and efficient (because you won’t need to create new content), but it’s also great for building engagement. Consumers love opportunities to interact with brands, so be sure to spend some time responding to comments on your boosted posts.

When it comes to executing successful top of funnel campaigns on social media, the key is to choose the right platform for your ideal audience. For example, 78 percent of adults age 30 to 49 are active on Facebook, while only 40 percent use Instagram. So, if your business primarily caters to this age group, Facebook would be the better choice. Spending money on a platform that your target audience doesn’t typically use would be a huge waste of your advertising dollars.

3.    Video Ads

Like display advertising, video ads are useful for boosting your brand’s reach. They allow you to communicate information about your brand in an engaging, easy-to-digest format. Video advertising can take many forms, from YouTube ads to television ads, streaming video ads, in-banner video ads, and more. Television and streaming video ads are great for blanket awareness campaigns, but they tend to come at a higher cost, with some networks charging hundreds of thousands of dollars for just 30 seconds of national airtime.

Luckily, there’s a more budget-friendly solution: YouTube ads, which cost pennies per view. YouTube also offers three different ad categories (TruView ads, non-skippable video ads, and bumper ads), so you can choose the format that best fits your campaign.

Create Successful Top of Funnel Campaigns with Help from a Dedicated Paid Media Team

Top of funnel advertising isn’t as simple as running an ad and hoping that anyone and everyone will see it. Rather, it takes careful consideration, enticing ad copy and creative assets, and strategic placement to ensure you are attracting high-quality leads that are likely to convert.

Ready to start building brand awareness with top of funnel PPC campaigns? Zero Gravity Marketing is here to help. Our paid media team can employ a variety of top of funnel tactics to develop strategic campaigns that yield real results.

For more information about our PPC services, or to speak to one of our paid media specialists, contact us today!

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Blogging Best Practices: What Makes a Good Blog Post? https://zerogravitymarketing.com/best-practices-guide-to-writing-blogs/ https://zerogravitymarketing.com/best-practices-guide-to-writing-blogs/#respond Tue, 05 May 2020 20:09:50 +0000 https://zerogravitymarketing.com/?p=13185 Writing a blog is easy, right? Not necessarily! In the current digital age, blog writing has taken many forms and there are various “best practices” and guidelines for blog writing that can change frequently. With so many options out there, it can be difficult to know what format, length, and style will generate the most...

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Writing a blog is easy, right? Not necessarily! In the current digital age, blog writing has taken many forms and there are various “best practices” and guidelines for blog writing that can change frequently. With so many options out there, it can be difficult to know what format, length, and style will generate the most engagement on your post for your company or product. That’s why our content strategists have put together our recommended best practices for writing a blog that you can follow when you go to write your next piece of content. It will highlight a number of important factors that should be considered when creating a blog including how to provide value, proper Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques, and when it’s best to write a shorter or more long-form blog post.

Step 1: Be Clear with the Reader

The first step in the blog-writing process is to establish the question your readers want answered. If your blog is not immediately clear in what it is providing, readers will search elsewhere. In addition to providing value to your reader and customer, Search Engine Optimization is a critical step in ensuring your content is reaching those people. Be sure to use keywords that not only grab the attention of a reader that may be skimming through but also ones that will help your blog show up on the search engines. SEO is a huge part of digital marketing, and while the algorithm that Google and other search engines use to rank results is not entirely clear, using keywords and following SEO best practices are some of the easiest ways to ensure your posts show up higher than others on the results page.

Step 2: Choose the Optimal Blog Length

Another aspect of blog writing that people sometimes get wrong is blog length. The optimal blog length is usually dependent on your topic and what type of audience you are trying to reach, however, there are some basic guidelines that any post can follow. Longer blog posts are actually better when trying to engage readers. The more information you can provide in your post, the less likely your reader will have to search around the internet for additional answers to their questions. According to various sources, the ideal blog length is 1,000-1,500 words and the average blog is around 500 words. This length will yield prime reader engagement and higher search engine rankings. However, this does not mean that short blogs don’t also have value. To stay active and visible on search engines and with readers, your company should be writing two to three blog posts per week, ranging anywhere from 500 to 1,500 words in length depending on the topic.

Step 3: Recycle Your Content

You don’t have to create new and original blog content every day. Repurposing old content can be a valuable tool when crafting content as well. By updating older blog posts with additional research and statistics or new information that came out about that topic, you can expand the post and add value to it. Enhancing your old posts with new information will keep your company visible on search engine results pages (SERPs) and keep your readers engaged with up-to-date information and answers to their questions.

Step 4: Make Your Blog Easily Accessible to Readers

Making your content more easily accessible to your readers is another important part of blog writing. Utilizing aesthetic techniques such as lengthy headers, sectioning your blog into parts, and including an FAQ can help your readers and your blog end up higher on search engine results pages. Using lengthier headers on blog posts is a great place to start. This will help readers when skimming your blog to know which sections pertain to them and what they are about to read. The more information you make readily available, the higher your engagement with customers will be. Along with having interesting and informational headers, breaking your blogs into sections also helps the readers. Similar to the headers, breaking up your content helps to make it easier for the visitor to read the sections that are relevant to them. Having an FAQ section at the end of the blog can also help readers with any other questions they may have, in addition to assisting with your post landing higher on search engine results pages.

By following this guide, you could be writing blogs in no time. Still need help getting started with blog writing? Contact our team at Zero Gravity Marketing today! Our Content Marketing Strategists are ready to provide the services your business deserves.

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Why Google Ads Express May Not Be the Right Choice for Every Small Business https://zerogravitymarketing.com/when-to-use-google-ads-express/ https://zerogravitymarketing.com/when-to-use-google-ads-express/#respond Fri, 01 May 2020 16:41:00 +0000 https://zerogravitymarketing.com/?p=13179 Google Ads can be a difficult tool to learn how to use. And even once you know how to use it, it takes time to learn the intricacies that allow you to get the most value for your advertising spend. This is why Google offers Ads Express (formerly Google AdWords Express), a solution that was...

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Google Ads can be a difficult tool to learn how to use. And even once you know how to use it, it takes time to learn the intricacies that allow you to get the most value for your advertising spend. This is why Google offers Ads Express (formerly Google AdWords Express), a solution that was designed to help small business owners launch successful Google Ads campaigns easily – without having to be Google Ads experts. Sounds great, right?

However, Ads Express may not be right for every small business. Below, we’re diving deeper into what Google Ads Express is, how it differs from Google Ads (formerly known as Google Ads), and whether it’s the best choice for your company.

What Is Google Ads Express?

Ads Express is a low maintenance ad solution designed to make it easy for small businesses and other advertisers to create Ads campaigns that help them reach more potential customers online. Ads Express is basically a simplified version of Google Ads that’s quick to set up and easy to use. Google wanted to provide a streamlined, automated ad solution that could be utilized by those with little or no experience (or by advertisers with limited time and resources).

While Google Ads Express used to be a standalone solution, it is now available in Google Ads as “smart campaigns.” With this function, advertisers can set up an ad in just 15 minutes. However, Google’s promise of easy, low maintenance online advertising may be a bit misleading. You can’t just set and forget your Ads Express campaigns – you still need to monitor and manage your ads over time to ensure you’re getting the best return on investment (ROI).

What’s the Difference Between Regular Google Ads and Ads Express?

At first glance, the difference between Google Ads and Ads Express may seem small or even insignificant. However, the differences are important. One major distinction between the tools is the way in which campaigns are managed. With Google Ads, you are able to continuously update your campaign while it’s active. This allows you to make adjustments to optimize your clicks or change keywords.

Meanwhile, with Ads Express, you have less control over your campaigns, as ad management is automated. Google takes control of this optimization instead of allowing you to make adjustments. While this may seem less overwhelming to those who are new to the ad platform, it can also have some significant disadvantages when it comes to making sure your business is getting the most out of its ad budget.

Another key difference is the available ad formats. Both Google Ads and Ads Express use the Google advertising network, but they don’t offer the same ad formats. With Google Ads, you can use animated banners, static banners, video ads, and expanded text ads placed on Google or partner sites. With all of these options, it’s easy to A/B test different formats to see which perform best with your target market.

Ads Express, on the other hand, only allows you to use text ads on Google. Not only does this limit your ability to test out different formats, but it can also reduce your ads’ reach. This also means that you can’t use video ads on YouTube, which can be a valuable option for brands that want to capture the attention of their busy audience and drive more traffic back to their site.

Why Google Ads Express Might Not Be Right for Your Business

Right now, you may be thinking that Google Ads Express sounds like a great way for small companies with limited budgets and experience to run Google ad campaigns. However, Ads Express may not be the right choice for your business, given its limitations.

Here are just a few reasons why you may want to reconsider using Ads Express:

1. Ads Express Uses Broad Match Keywords

One of the biggest disadvantages of Ads Express is that it uses broad match keywords. This function makes your ads appear for keywords that are similar to those that you select, including related searches or synonyms. Though this may sometimes work in your favor, it also means that your ads may appear for searches that are completely unrelated to what your brand offers. Thus, you are spending money serving ads to an audience that is not likely to purchase your products.

2. It Doesn’t Allow You to Specify Keywords or Bid Amount

Instead of selecting your own keywords, Ads Express requires you to choose from categories that apply to your brand. This means that Google has full control over which keywords your account is bidding on. And if the keyword you want to bid on is not in the category list, you cannot add it manually.

You also can’t specify how much money you want to bid on certain keywords in Ads Express. Allowing Google to automate this part of the ad campaign process means that you could be experiencing higher cost-per-click (CPC) rates and spending a significant amount of money on keywords that just aren’t converting.

3. You Can’t Add Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are keywords that you do not want your ads to appear for. For example, many high-end brands may use “cheap,” “inexpensive,” or “low cost” as negative keywords to ensure that their ads are not shown to people who are looking for budget products. Negative keywords help you narrow down your ad audience to those who are most likely to buy, allowing your business to get the most value for its Google ad spend.

Unfortunately, Ads Express does not allow you to use negative keywords. While you can turn off terms that you don’t want to bid on, this doesn’t actually keep your ads from being shown for those keywords. Your ad may still appear for unwanted terms through a broad match keywords search. This means that you could be paying to show your ads to users who are not likely to buy from your brand, decreasing your return on investment.

4. It Doesn’t Allow You to Use Ad Extensions

Ad extensions are extra features that you can use to enhance your Google ads, such as call outs, snippets, and site links. These extensions add additional information to your ad, which makes it more enticing for viewers to click on. Ads Express does not allow the use of ad extensions, which means you could be missing out on an important opportunity to attract potential buyers.

The Bottom Line: Seek Expert PPC Help

Though Google Ads Express may seem like a great option for small businesses, it can actually end up wasting significant money and resources. Ads Express just doesn’t offer the same control regarding keywords and budget, which means you aren’t likely to get a positive return on investment. A better option? Hiring a skilled digital marketing agency that can set up and manage your Google Ads campaigns for you.

The pay-per-click experts at Zero Gravity Marketing can help you create a strategic, effective ad campaign, no matter the size of your business. For more information about our services and how we can help you achieve real results, contact us today!

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Top Tips for Marketing Your Small Business During COVID-19 https://zerogravitymarketing.com/marketing-tips-for-small-businesses-during-covid-19/ https://zerogravitymarketing.com/marketing-tips-for-small-businesses-during-covid-19/#respond Tue, 28 Apr 2020 13:00:12 +0000 https://zerogravitymarketing.com/?p=13163 The COVID-19 pandemic has affected virtually every industry, resulting in stay-at-home orders, social distancing policies, and nonessential business closures across the globe. These changes have caused problems for companies of all sizes, but small businesses, in particular, have seen a significant impact. At Zero Gravity Marketing, we understand the challenges that many small business owners...

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The COVID-19 pandemic has affected virtually every industry, resulting in stay-at-home orders, social distancing policies, and nonessential business closures across the globe. These changes have caused problems for companies of all sizes, but small businesses, in particular, have seen a significant impact.

At Zero Gravity Marketing, we understand the challenges that many small business owners face, from navigating changing policies and restrictions to altering operations to provide the safest service possible. To make this difficult time a little easier, we’ve compiled several marketing tips for small businesses impacted by COVID-19, as well as some easy ways you can support local companies while social distancing.

Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

1. Run Your Business Remotely

While many brick-and-mortar stores have been ordered to close their doors, there are still plenty of ways to conduct business online. If you run a retail store, consider adapting your services to offer virtual shopping, where customers can view and purchase products over Zoom or Facetime. Non-retail locations, such as fitness centers, might provide virtual training sessions and classes for clients. This is a great way to continue offering your services while complying with current social distancing regulations. 

You should also provide your employees with tools to do their jobs remotely. Slack, Zoom, Asana, and Google Drive are all effective programs for online collaboration.

2. Update Your Google My Business Listing

As you adjust your operations, it’s essential to keep your customers informed. A simple way to do this is by updating your  Google My Business listing. Here, you can post your current hours, mark your business as “temporarily closed,” post COVID-19 updates, and more. You should also share all of this information on your website and social media channels.

3. Provide Home Delivery or Curbside Pickup

Restaurants and retails stores that are unable to offer in-store shopping should also consider providing home deliveries or curbside pickup. That way, customers can still get the products they need safely.

4. Offer Payment Solutions

From layoffs to business closures, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused financial distress for many. With all of this economic uncertainty, consumers may be hesitant to spend money. To encourage your customers to purchase (and help them manage their budgets), try implementing a payment solution like Afterpay or Klarna. These services allow consumers to break up their payments into four interest-free installments.

5. Keep Your Audience Informed

Whether you are adjusting your hours or only offering online ordering, it’s crucial to communicate these changes with your customers. One of the best ways to do this is by posting updates on your website and social media profiles. You should also send informational emails to all customers on your email list. If all of this seems overwhelming or you don’t currently have the means to handle these efforts, Zero Gravity Marketing offers a simple solution. With our COVID-19 Business Package, our team will manage all of your updates, building out an informational webpage, sending weekly emails, posting on social media, and updating your Google My Business listing. That way, you can focus on other important aspects of your business while feeling confident that your customers have everything they need to stay informed.

How to Support Local Businesses

As a consumer, it’s important to support small businesses in your area whenever possible. Here are just a few ways to help local stores and companies during COVID-19:

1. Buy Gift Cards

Unable to shop now, but plan to make a purchase in the future? Gift cards are an excellent option. By purchasing a gift certificate, you can help local businesses maintain their revenue without having to shop in-store.

2. Book Appointments Ahead of Time

Hairstylists, nail technicians, and other appointment-based services will likely experience an influx of reservations as soon as social distancing policies are lifted. Secure your appointment ahead of time by offering to put a deposit down on your service of choice. 

3. Order Takeout or Delivery

While restaurants across the country have been ordered to suspend in-person dining, many are still offering takeout and delivery services. Not only do these options help you support local dining establishments during COVID-19, but they also give you a much-needed break from cooking at home.

4. Engage on Social Media

Show your support for your favorite brands by  engaging with them on social media. Liking and sharing posts (and encouraging others to do the same) are great ways to drive brand awareness and loyalty that will remain long after the COVID-19 pandemic has ended.

5. Leave Reviews

Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most powerful tools for promoting businesses. So, take this time to leave positive reviews for your favorite local stores and restaurants.

The ZGM Team Is Here to Help You Market Your Small Business

At Zero Gravity Marketing, we know that this has been a difficult time for small business owners. That’s why our team is here to help you overcome COVID-19-related challenges through creative marketing strategies.

Contact us today for more information about our marketing services for small businesses.

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Five Ways to Get More People to Engage with Your Emails https://zerogravitymarketing.com/how-to-get-more-people-to-engage-with-your-emails/ https://zerogravitymarketing.com/how-to-get-more-people-to-engage-with-your-emails/#respond Mon, 27 Apr 2020 15:51:03 +0000 https://zerogravitymarketing.com/?p=13176 Email is one of the best ways to send traffic to your website, drive conversions, and keep engaged with your audience. Brand emails and automations have been around for years, but they can also be easily overlooked in a cluttered mailbox. Email marketing campaigns are only effective if they are actually being opened and the...

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Email is one of the best ways to send traffic to your website, drive conversions, and keep engaged with your audience. Brand emails and automations have been around for years, but they can also be easily overlooked in a cluttered mailbox. Email marketing campaigns are only effective if they are actually being opened and the links are being clicked on. Here are a few simple steps you can take to make sure your email campaigns are successful in converting traffic to your website.

1.    Evaluate Your Email List and Who You’re Sending To

The first thing you need to look at is the list of people you are sending your emails to. Is this list up to date? Be sure to remove inactive subscribers from your list to make sure you are still reaching all the people that you want to. Being inactive for around six months is a good indicator that they are no longer interested in your services but could potentially be brought back into the fold with a re-engagement campaign. In addition to this, segmenting your email list is also an effective tool. Some emails are only relevant to some subscribers and the less “junk” people are seeing in their inbox from you, the better. If you are only sending people emails that pertain to them, they are more likely to engage with the content you’re providing. You can do this by adding tags to subscribers based on their information you have, such as past purchases, or if they are a new user. Segmenting by demographics such as location or interests is also a good way to clean up your email list and make sure people are getting emails that will generate traffic to your website.

2.  Make Sure You Aren’t Going to Their Spam

Another good practice to follow for email campaigns is to make sure your emails aren’t ending up in the junk folder. Spam filters are very sophisticated and there are a few steps you can take to make sure your emails aren’t being flagged as such. First, you should check that the people on your email list have actually subscribed to your emails and make sure you are sending them through verified domains and with clean code. Be sure to include instructions on how to whitelist your emails and add you to their address book, in addition to adding an easy way to unsubscribe if necessary.

3. Timing Is Key

Perhaps the most important part of any successful email campaign has to do with the timing of the emails themselves. Which day of the week, time of the day, and how often to send these emails is essential for an email campaign to register with recipients. Depending on the content you are providing, it might make sense to send emails at a certain time of day such as before, during, or after work. The same is also true for which day of the week to send emails. Based on research, no one day is the clear frontrunner, but weekdays tend to do better than weekends.

4. Have an Eye-Catching Subject Line

The subject line is another important aspect of email campaigns. You want the subject line to be captivating and entice the reader to open the email in the first place. Using jokes, fun and clever language, as well as a friendly writing style will help make your subject line more inviting for people to open and read. This is also a good place to use keywords that people might be searching for on your website to help draw them in, run split tests to determine what your audience prefers, test emojis, and add personalization such as first names in a subject line.

5. Upgrade Your Website to Mobile-Friendly

Making sure your emails are mobile-friendly is also a good practice for digital marketers in 2020. About 41.9% of email opens come from mobile users, so making sure they are formatted to work properly on them is an absolute requirement. If people can’t access your emails until they can get to a computer, you will be missing out on customers you could have otherwise converted.

Need help getting started on an email campaign? Contact our team at Zero Gravity Marketing today! Our email strategists are ready to provide the audit your business deserves.

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