I had the opportunity to visit San Francisco last week for the SES conference. I shared the top 5 sessions that I was looking forward to attending and they did not disappoint! I was able to attend all three days of the conference and all of the sessions were full of great tips, tools, and methodologies for search strategies.
The majority of the tracks weighed upon data – what to do with it, what tools to use, how to present it…I really enjoyed expanding my knowledge base in this area and learning how to translate the raw data into actionable items that transcend beyond basic metrics. Another resounding theme that I noticed throughout the majority of the sessions was the emphasis on mobile marketing. Many marketers have dubbed 2012 ‘the year of mobile’ and I like how several sessions incorporated mobile into PPC campaign strategies as a complement to search.
Listed below are some key takeaways and tips that I would like to share:
Mobile Marketing Tactics
Arun Krishnan, CMO at Pontiflex
Arun was filling in for Zephrin Lasker, the Co-founder and CEO of Pontiflex. The year of mobile is upon us and it has proven to be a medium that is growing at a rapid pace. Today there are more smartphones than computers (laptops, desktops, tablets) and by 2016, there will be more smartphones than humans. Arun discussed some mobile marketing tactics and listed below are his top 5 strategies:
- The advertising models that work on a computer, won’t work on mobile.
- Typically most mobile advertising models are based on clicks, like online ads; this should be avoided – almost half of US smartphone owners state that they click on mobile app ads by mistake; clicks disrupt the user experience
- Avoid accidental clicks by installing a double opt-in: Are you sure you want to call / click?
- People consume content differently on mobile devices
- Make App advertising a part of your mobile strategy
- Receptiveness increases 2 fold for interactive ads in comparison to static ads; use non-intrusive ads that don’t disrupt the user experience
- More users access social sites from their mobile devices
- 88% of users check their email from their mobile once a day (at least)
- Use an integrated strategy that goes beyond first contact
- Don’t use incentivized app installs
- 57% of top 100 grossing apps on iTunes store are free
- To drive revenue and in-app purchases you need an engaged user base
- Go local – Mobile is made for local
- Use local ad extensions in pull search campaigns
- Target ads by zip code in push search campaigns
- Measure mobile separately from desktop
Effective Paid Search Tactics
Creating a PPC account that yields a high ROI is more difficult than performing basic optimization tasks. One key aspect that is often overlooked is account structure. An account without a solid structure can lead to missed opportunities and lack of optimization. Danny discussed some important tips and methods that are key to setting up a well maintained and functioning account:
- Solid structure enables
- Relevant ads
- Granular quality score optimization
- Insight from hierarchial reporting
- Effectively leveraging publisher controls
- Ease in account navigation, filtering, making changes
- Business scale and evolution
- Rules of thumb
- Organize the way your website is structured
- Prioritize strategy based on performance
- Align campaigns with distinct budgets / targets
- Implement consistent naming conventions
- Start restructuring from the top-down
- Business Units
- Targeting and budgets
- Product lines
- Key attributes
One key piece of information from Danny that really stood out to me was that foundational structural improvements can have more impact than many optimization activities. It is never too late to address a flawed structure and there is no “right” answer. Learn from others and apply consistency across the account.
Generate More Pinterest
Jennifer Evans Cario, President of Sugar Spun Marketing
Say goodbye to your traditional bookmarking method and start using Pinterest! Pinterest is a excellent visual bookmarking tool with endless possibilities. Jennifer discussed several methods to leverage Pinterest, as well as some tips and reasoning on why you should give it a try.
- Five Great Ways to Leverage Pinterest
- Segment your content – this will allow users to follow ‘boards’ that are only relevant to them, as opposed to following the whole company
- Showcase your fans using your products
- A great example of this is Chobani’s Pinterest page. Recipe boards allow users to share their recipes and contents with other users that they have created using Chobani yogurt.
- Reinforce your brand messaging to the Pinterest Audience
- Crowd source your boards to build community
- Curate a board to expand on a content feature
- Research your Pinterest hits
- What is getting repined? How do products tie in?
- Target secondary categories when you pin
- Use a teaser image or infographic
- Instructographic: very popular – the graphic includes step by step instructions. Make sure to not giveaway all of the information away in the photo so that the view is still encouraged to visit your site. This is an example of an Instructographic.
- Five Reasons to Give it a try
- Low barrier to entry
- Impressive traffic potential
- Good retention rate
- Equal impact potential
- Wide open terms of service
Data That Persuades: How to Prove Your Point
Words of wisdom from Ian during his presentation? Just say no to pie charts! Ian provided some great tips on how to present data to your clients. Search engine marketers have access to an extremely large set of data. Presenting too much of it with complicated visuals can be very confusing. When creating reports for clients, it is critical that only relevant elements are presented and in a clean and simple fashion. Ian provided 9 ways to give great data that should be taken into consideration when building reports:
- Don’t make them read
- You cannot have a visceral response to something if you have to be reading
- Above all else, show the data
- Maximize the ratio of data to ink
- No 3D graphs, less distractions, easier to interpret
- Remove non-data ink
- Grid lines
- Remove data ink that is redundant
- Scale figures, data points
- Revise and edit
- This is an unending cycle
- Use small multiples
- Breaking out data into small multiples on one page
- Go 45 degrees with line charts; Show trends
- Use natural colors and contrasting natural colors
- Check out this awesome color art palette to use in your reports! http://portent.co/NHy5QD
- Say no to pie charts!
Big Data: What Marketers Need to Know
- Don’t get caught up in the hype and jargon
- Identify the questions and problems you need to solve, then you can start figuring out the data sources that you need
- Map valuable data inside and outside your organization
- Prepare your organization to see the new landscape – this is the most critical step
- Share case studies of others’ successful use
- Look for updates around automation
- Always remain open to experimentation
I had a great time at the conference and was able to meet some of my favorite industry experts at the networking events. I also had a chance to explore the lovely city of San Francisco and enjoy the gorgeous weather while I was there. I was able to take away some actionable ideas that I hope to implement on some of my accounts and hopefully you did too!