For marketers, this is a time for reflection. Many consumers are away on holiday, so it’s no time for launching new campaigns or initiatives. But it is a great time to take stock of what’s been working so far this year, and start using that insight to plan for September, when the kids are back to school, and everyone else is back in the office.
Of course, once you have that insight, you have to figure out where and how to apply it -- i.e. which channels to focus on and invest in. And to help you do that, we’ve compiled a list of 5 free marketing downloads that should be part of your essential summer reading. Each covers a different marketing channel, and has been chosen to help you better plan your campaigns and hit-the-ground-running come September.
1. Agendize: Create New Revenue by Providing a Complete Marketing & Sales Business App for SMB Clients
Simple business and marketing tools are allowing small businesses to create efficient sales funnels and closer relationships with their customers. And these tools are actually opening up new revenue streams for agencies who are able to help businesses deploy and use them to their full potential. Indeed, marketing agencies can now offer a variety of tools to show their customers improved search rankings, better visibility on social media, increased brand awareness, and even purchase intent.
Of course, this also means that agencies have to be ready to tie the value of their work to clear outcomes for their clients. After all, many of these tools don’t address the fundamental interactions business owners understand and appreciate most -- namely appointment bookings, calls, chats, and other forms of direct interaction with consumers.
In this download, Agendize takes your agency through the process of leveraging a conversational CRM to help your clients better engage consumers, increase conversions, and drive more foot-traffic through the door. More importantly, it can help your agency grow existing relationships, and develop new revenue streams as a result.
2. Acquisio's Guide to Facebook Advertising Success
Being able to convert users through conversational CRM tools is one thing, but getting users to a landing page in the first place is quite another. And as the biggest social network (by far), Facebook cannot be overlooked as a potential source of targeted traffic.
But how do you sift through all the noise and static on Facebook? How do you target the right consumers? And how do you make sure you stand out when you do?
In this download, the folks over at Acquisio take you through:
- How to make the best use of audience targeting variables and even how many people to include in each target audience group.
- What images work on Facebook and more importantly WHY they work.
- And how to test your way to targeting the most qualified customers.
3. Wordstream: 9 Lessons from 612 Great Ads
While Facebook might be the biggest social network, it’s not the biggest ad network. Indeed, Google earned nearly 3 times what Facebook did in Q3 of 2016, and nearly 80% of that came from ad revenue.
Suffice it to say, Adwords is a channel that your business or clients simply cannot overlook.
Well, Wordstream took the time to analyze 612 high-performing ads, and were able to extrapolate 9 takeaways that include:
- What are the actual WORDS that go into super-high CTR ads?
- Which are the most effective CTAs?
- Are numbers and punctuation marks important?
4. Unbounce: Don’t Ever Launch an Overlay Without This Checklist
Of course, once you’ve targeted users with ads (through Facebook, Google, or some other network), the goal is often to refer them to your site, and then convert them. And an effective way of converting those users is by ushering them one step further down the conversion using overlays.
But the line between an effective overlay and an intrusive one is a fine one. So how do you know where to draw it?
Well, the folks over at Unbounce got you covered. They’ve put together an overlay checklist to help you make sure that your overlays actually increase conversions rather than bounce rate.
5. Hubspot: State of Inbound 2017
Finally, there’s a lot more to online marketing than just running paid ad campaigns. Indeed, there’s the entire gamut of inbound marketing channels. Simply put, inbound marketing involves attracting customers through content and interactions that are relevant and helpful, instead of interruptive. So inbound marketing channels would includes blogs, search engines, and social media.
But what are the best practices for these channels? And which of these channels is right for your business?
Fortunately, the folks over at Hubspot have you covered. They’ve been tracking trends and shifts in inbound marketing for the past 8 years, and their annual report should be mandatory for any serious digital marketer.
Summertime and the Readin’ is Easy
Seasonal downturns occur in almost every industry, and marketing is no exception. Fewer consumers are available to be targeted, and fewer clients are in the office to approve new projects and campaigns. And while it’s nice to have some break from the hustle and the rat-race, it’s even nicer to be able to use that break to reflect on what’s been working, and what to do next.
As much as you can learn from your own experience in the trenches, though, you can also use the time to learn some new tricks. So while you’re kicking back by the pool (or in your air conditioned office), use some of the time to read up on what other marketers have learned, and see what you can take from their experience and apply to your own campaigns moving forward.