Last Friday, we discussed our marketing strategy here at LeadSquared. The session covered everything from the kind of campaigns that we run, the metrics we use to measure success, how we hire new members for the team, and learnings from having tried different marketing channels, and formats over the course of past 3 years. In case, you missed the recording, here it is.

View the webinar recording

Here are the questions that came in during the session, along with Nilesh’s answers to them.

Marketing Strategy

1. How have you distributed your marketing budget to various channels? What percentage to each channel and how do you decide on it?

We always do the allocation based on our historical data, and cost averages. Let me explain.

The most important success metric that helps us do the allocation is revenue. Right from the beginning of the campaign, we try to tweak it to get the best quality leads. So, based on where the best leads are coming from (in terms of revenue), we allocate budgets. When we come across a new lead source, it’s less about allocation, but more about what are we willing to pay for a lead.

I know the average cost of a demo, cost of a customer, and the lead to customer ratio for different channels. So, if a new channel comes up, and the cost is comparable, I would go for it. Even if the cost is a little bit higher (say 2x), but the frequency of the leads is 2x as well, I would still go for this channel, when I have the money, and I am trying to speed up the acquisition.

2. Does each SAAS company figure out its right marketing strategy by experimentation over a period of time or is there a broad right approach that can be followed if they get the right resource or mentors to guide them?

I think everyone eventually learns from experimentation and experience, even if they have the right resources and mentors guiding them.

3. How can we use Social Media Platforms in a chain formation to acquire leads ?

Before you decide to invest on a particular social media platform, you should find out if your audience is there on not. All the social channels will tell you what kind of impressions can you get, if you specify your audience criteria. For instance, this is Facebook’s audience insights:

Audience-Insights---Travel-Example - Marketing Strategy

Then, once you figure out the correct channels, you should figure out the actual marketing strategy – the appeal, offer and creatives that would work on the channel. This would differ based on different channels. Eventually, you should invest only on channels, where you are able to get high quality leads, unless the aim of your campaign is visibility. Don’t invest on a channel just because others are doing it.

On that note, here’s a post about successful LinkedIn ads, and we have a new webinar coming up on social selling, which you might want to attend.

Conversion Rate Optimization

4. How often should a landing page be changed?

As soon as you start seeing a downwards trend, you should change the landing page. The frequency changes with the channel. In Facebook, you would generally start seeing lower impressions within a week or two. Then, you know that it’s time to change the creatives. Landing Page you shouldn’t change if the conversion rate is still good.

5. How can we generate leads from E-books and whitepapers?

You’ll have to gate your e-books behind a lead capture landing page.

6. What is a Good Website Visit / Leads Ratio and Leads to Customer Ratio?

It depends on a lot of things – channels (PPC’s conversion would differ from direct traffic etc.), what industry you are in, your products and the offers. A good number would be north of 5% (website to lead). Leads to customer would vary from product to product. A mid single digit percentage would be a good number for lead to customer.

7. Most people believe that A/B testing is something risky, what do you suggest?

It’s not risky. In fact it’s very important. It’s something that people should do. However, people should learn to do “A” first, before you move on to A/B.

Content Marketing

8. What is an ideal registration count for a webinar. The company in question is only local.

We see a lot of difference based on the topic selected. For instance, a complex or widely popular topic like Google Adwords can get us as many as 700-800 registrations, whereas a business-specific topic (ROI, revenue etc.) would get us 250 registrations. However, the quality of leads would be better in case of business-specific topics. After 3 years of conducting webinars, we have realized that while topics like SEO might generate a lot of interest, but actual customer conversions come from business-centric topics.

9. How does LeadSquared receive reviews on the review websites? Are you using any system for the review management? And how to receive reviews on multiple websites?

We aren’t using any system as such. Some happy customers review us on their own. However, from time to time we run campaigns requesting them to write reviews (we don’t try to get them to write good reviews – just their actual experience), in exchange for a reward. This works well. Ask the sales person with a good client relationship to do this.

It’s hard to get reviews on multiple websites because of the number of steps associated with the process. However, separate rewards for separate platforms can be one motivation.

10. If we talk about marketing through Blog, how do you define that a topic is simple or not since audience is too diverse?

We decide this based on historic data. As in what posts have worked well in the past – just analyzing past trends is a very good way.

Marketing Team

11. What is one thing you would like to change in your Marketing Team in the short run?

I would like all my people to become storytellers.

12. If given a chance, whom would you hire – An IIM-A guy or a guy with experience working with your competitor?

This is a very subjective question. We have a 5-step procedure of hiring people, including different kinds of tests and interviews. So, we would hire the person who outperforms the other, irrespective of their past experience. If there’s some talent out there with a competitor who would fit well with our marketing team, why not! But, they have to do well in our internal hiring process as well, because we try to test a lot of things, and have done a good job of hiring people in the past with this procedure.

Marketing Metrics

13. Whats is the amount of time a marketing team should spend in actual marketing vs marketing analytics?

Analysis is very important, but more important is executing the plan based on what you analyze. We do a weekly/monthly marketing analysis meeting, and planning based on that. But, execution is always more important.

14. Is Cost per Lead directly proportional to cost per Trial & Demo?

Let’s say you are spending X amount on paid channels. and 2 people in your marketing team take care of that. So, the total cost per lead would be ad cost + people cost. If you are doing outbound, then again cost would be divided among the salaries of the people (here you generally get a demo directly).

In case a lead comes through inbound, takes a trial and converts on its own – you don’t really have the cost of demo involved here. When you have to call them for a trial, or a demo, then cost of this call would be taken into account as well. Generally, cost per demo would be much higher than cost per lead. If all the teams are involved in the closure, then it would be directly proportional, but sometimes, it would be independent.

15. In outbound marketing – What are the metrics  we should focus on to  measure calling team’s performance in converting lead to prospects?

From an outbound standpoint, you have to set the expectations/outcome first. If you are selling different products – differing in ticket size, the cost of acquisition would be similar for low cost and high cost items. So, it makes sense to aim at high ticket items with outbound, because the return on investment is more. So, you should judge your outbound people on whether they are able to identify and convert these bigger ticket size leads.

Many managers judge their pre-sales teams based on the number of calls. Personally, I don’t care about that, as long as I am getting the outcome. If the outcome is not enough, then I probably would.

Google Adwords

16. In Adwords, when you say increasing quality of leads, do you remove the keywords ?

We mark negative keywords almost on daily basis, so that the quality of impressions is high.

17. You said you measure Lead Quality Score. So you go that deep with each keyword, and their lead score?

Lead Quality Score is a metric within LeadSquared that helps us assess the quality of the leads that come in. So, we look at that metric, and determine that a particular lead from a particular ad group is better than one from another ad group. It helps us assess the performance of ad groups based on lead quality.

If you are talking about Quality Score of the keyword, that has a lot of metrics to consider. These two are the most important ones.

a) search term + ad copy relevance (determined by CTR)

b) ad copy + landing page match (determined by the conversion rate)

Sales Techniques

18. What is your thought on Feet on street sales model for a product like yours in India, have you tried it and what has been your experience ?

If you are selling to shopkeepers/merchants, you don’t really have to take an appointment. You just need to gate-crash. This is classic feet-on-street. However, if you are selling to businesses with marketing and sales teams (like us), you cannot really do this. First you need to set an appointment and then go meet people.

19. On outbound campaigns that your sales development team carries out, what process do you follow? Is it through cold calls or email or both and how do you even build a list of leads to pursue them?

Buy, create – both options are there. Buying is something we are wary of (many junk leads would be there).

Our sales team does both – cold calls, and emails. The content you use to reach out is the key. The emails should not be generic, or impersonal. Always make the outbound email worth the person’s time.

LeadSquared Mobile App

20. When did LeadSquared decide to have a mobile application ? And why wasn’t e-mail added into it?

Mobile app was always a part of the plan, because we are trying to make sales persons’ life easy. We didn’t add email, because the app is primarily meant for the sales team. They are not people who would be running a lot of email campaigns when travelling for meetings – that’s why we have left it out. However, if a lot of clients see value in the feature, we might think about adding it to the app.

In our last webinar, we discussed all things content marketing with Scripbox. It was a Q&A session with Anjali Gupta, the Chief Marketing Officer of Scripbox, the 2nd most influential Financial Services brand on LinkedIn!

In case, you missed the recording, here it is:

View the webinar recording

Here’s the Q&A from the session:Most Inventive Marketing, Media, and Digital Campaign

1. What in your opinion is the best use for each platform (Facebook, Twitter)?
Ans. It depends on where your audience is. Ultimately for a business, where lead generation is important, that should be the objective, especially if you are paying (ads). And, don’t think you have to pay on each of the platforms, just because the option is available. Just be there on all of them (have pages) and share informative content – the aim here would be visibility, and engagement (if you are sharing interesting content). However, pay only on channels, where your audience is.

2. How to identify the correct content distribution channel?
Ans. There are standard channels today for content marketing. But it would really depend on your product or service.

  • If your product is slightly behavioral in nature where a certain niche audience likes you, then I think social is a better way to go. In social networks, you can do a lot of behavioral targeting.
  • If you want to distribute it widely to people who generally spend time on news and other display channels, then probably you could go with the content distribution networks like Outbrain, Taboola or Times.
  • If money is probably not a concern in distribution, then you should do both.

The way we do it at Scripbox is, we start from the customer’s needs. So we write the content and tailor the headline or the image for the network or the channel where we are going to distribute it. Then we start with a test budget for those channels and see the kind of ROI we are getting, how many people are reading, what is the bounce rate, how much time they are spending, etc. So I would say content marketing is extremely data-centric and all your decisions should be data driven. You need to be out there, collecting the data and learning from it.

3. How to increase engagement on social media organically for a B2B SaaS company?
Ans. To drive engagement for a B2B SaaS company, you could conduct polls or ask for feedback on something or share some data from a particular article. That’s how you invite comments.

But it’s important to remember that although the person may be engaged with your product, they may not show that kind of engagement on social media because when you share/like/comment on a post, all your friends can see the activity.

In the case of Scripbox, we don’t always get a lot of ‘shares’ or ‘likes’ there but people click through to our website, read other articles by us and sometimes, leave a comment on our website. For instance, some of our posts talk about salaries and managing finances, etc and not everyone would be comfortable expressing their interest in something like that, publicly. The case may be the same for a lot of other products or services. So there are some domains where social media engagement really works and there are cases where it doesn’t, due to other factors.

4. How do you write different content based on the lead stage funnel?
Ans. It depends on your business.

  • In our case (Scripbox), when someone is a beginner at money and financing or managing their money, we keep our content very simple.
  • When we target people under the age of 30 and have a salary in that bracket, ou content focuses on their concerns at that stage of life. For example, getting married, moving up in their career, negotiating a better salary with their boss and so on.
  • When we target people further down in our funnel or people who have already opened an account with us but haven’t started investing (and are probably concerned about the stock market crash or something like that), we write very specific content like ‘how would your SIP do if you had invested in Scripbox maybe 6-7 years ago’ or ‘why should they invest with us and make money’.

So you have to tailor it to the stage of the funnel the person is, to his understanding of your product and the benefits of your product, like how much he understands and where he is in the funnel.

5. How do you differentiate what content is supposed to be for whom?
Ans. It’s a matter of an intelligent estimation.

  • In the case of B2B, a blog post around ‘digital marketing’ might interest Marketing Professionals. ‘
  • ‘Sales advice’ would interest both Sales Professionals and Sales Managers.
  • However content around ROI, revenue etc. is something that would interest CEOs and proactive Marketing and Sales Managers etc.

Further, the content for people in different stages would be different as well. Here are a few resources you could look at:

content marketing tips 2016

However, this depends on context too. For instance, when we at LeadSquared have to share “LeadSquared overview documents,” or “Case Studies,” it should logically come further down the sales cycle when people are making their buying decision. However, that’s not how it works generally. As in, as soon as they come in the sales funnel, businesses start asking us for these kinds of documents.

6. How do you know if you are sending out too many emails, or worse, spamming leads or clients?
Ans.content marketing tips 2016

So, typically when your leads start unsubscribing from your mailing list or when they stop opening your emails (low open rates), you will know that you are spamming them. Before it gets to that, your first hint will be the low open rates – your leads stop reading your emails.

7. How can one reach out to an influencer?
Ans. It totally depends on your objective. If you want them to publish your article, then you have to give them something in return (something that is of value to him). Do your research and then send him an email.

If he is on LinkedIn, then an ‘inmail’ might work. For a more indirect approach, try frequenting his community – share your thoughts on his content and once you have built a relationship with him, then reach out.

If you have a product or service, you could also ask the influencer to review/evaluate your product or service. If you get a positive feedback, ask them if you could share that in a post or use it as a testimonial.

8. What tips will you give beginners, in the content marketing industry?
Ans. Learn by doing. Keep it simple, something that is understood by all. People don’t have the time to read complex sentences. Cognitive resources are limited. You don’t want people to overthink while reading your article or not understand certain words.

Think about the last 10 conversations you had with your customer. Pick out one conversation that you really liked or which was important and just write an article about it. Think content marketing is just about having conversations and documenting those conversations.

9. How can we optimize our marketing budget among various channels?
Ans. Are you looking to build awareness? Are you looking for conversion? Are you looking for a combination? The way to distribute your budget is to first understand what your high-level goals.

Social networks and content distribution networks like Outbrain and Taboola can help you build awareness. Running ads on social networks will help in generating leads for your business.

At Scripbox, we keep changing it as our business grows. In some quarters, we focus on awareness and in some quarters we focus on conversion.

You have to be data-driven in this. You have to have your channel metrics coming in from every channel every day and analyze them thoroughly. Sometimes, in smaller companies (like startups), you might have to take hourly decisions on where your money gets spent. That’s the advantage of digital. You have the data and if something goes wrong, you can fix it right away.

10. How to make content or writing more engaging for customers?
Ans. Give them value adding content in the format they are interested in – we have seen that not a lot of people want to read, so as much as we would love to write more and more blog posts, when we actually want people to take notice, and read them (like, in case of case studies etc.), we create easy to consume PDF docs, with less content and more visuals. This doesn’t mean you stop writing, because high-value content helps discoverability, and some people do read. But, try to create more videos, infographics, quizzes etc., because that’s what interests people. E-books are also something that people are willing to read. This once again would depend on who your target audience is.

11. What are the major key points to keep in mind while content production?
Ans. Context, value, and right content for right people. Don’t do something just for the heck of it. Rehash existing content as much as you can.

12. How do you get people to open your e-mails when you are trying to market your product?
Ans. Use good subject lines. Concentrate on what is there for them in the product. Test a lot of variations of subject lines, ‘Introducing’ or ‘Announcing’ sort of subject lines. Test feature vs benefit-centric subject lines, and test short vs long subject lines. Here are a few resources you could refer to:

content marketing tips 2016

13. What kind of content marketing should a software and web development company do, to attract more clients? What is the ideal image to content ratio?
Ans. Blog posts, infographics, videos, e-books, white papers, research reports, content partnership with news sites, and relevant Trade Magazines is the way to go. There’s nothing like an ideal image to content ratio. It should just be easy to read. Concentrate on content distribution as well, in addition to content creation. Republish content on Medium, LinkedIn Pulse etc.

14. How do we do trend analysis for content marketing and drive in clients from social networks?
Ans. You’ll be able to do a trend analysis after you have started some activities, and have started to get some traction. All the platforms have basic analytics tools (Google Analytics for the blog). Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn have their own reports that’ll tell you what kind of traction are you getting, and at what time of the day or day of the week, demographics of the people who are interested in your content etc. Make use of that, and eventually, tie everything back to ROI, like which platform is giving you leads and revenue. Invest more on that. Sometimes, plain visibility is also an aim, which is not easily quantifiable. (Link it to the Content Marketing ROI article)

If you want to know more about how to measure your content marketing ROI, read this post.

content marketing tips 2016

15. How effective are marketing automation tools?
Ans. People do use tools to make their life easy. After all, you are distributing content on multiple networks, you need to answer questions and comments. You need to make sure the post goes out with a certain frequency. You need tools to manage your newsletters. You really need a bunch of tools to do good content marketing at scale. Whatever automation works for you, you should take that. But there is no one out-of-the-box solution that works for every business because every business wants to tweak it or customize it in some way. That’s where you need your own in-house team to help you with that.

For more inputs, take a look at this post on marketing automation.

content marketing tips 2016

16. We tend to often put in our own interests while writing content. How do we focus and generalize it to give an all new perspective?
Ans. Yes, it is something that one has to watch out for. You don’t completely tailor it to your own understanding. The only way to do it is to talk to your customers and to think like your customer. If you are not your target customer and you cannot identify with your target customer, then you need to spend a lot of time talking to your target customers and hire people whose profiles are matching your target customers. If you are talking to people under the age of 35, make sure that people who write your content are also under the age of 35 or around the same age, because they will exactly understand what are the problems, what are their situations.

Also, you don’t have to write all the content yourself. You can hire freelance content writers. You can give them a lot of inputs, research material and blogs which other people have written. You have to give them an outline before getting them to write the content.

17. Do you think we need to pitch in with new content at every stage of product development or wait till it creates awareness and we start receiving responses? What should be spoken more about, what we have done or what we are planning to do?
Ans. You can keep making announcements of every new development that you make. That would create some buzz, and get you visibility before the launch itself. If something is PR-worthy, try to reach out to news publications.

Basically, it might help, but is not a necessity to do it at every stage. If you have the time and resources, then definitely go for it. Try creating personalized emails at least – reach out to people you already know/connected with on LinkedIn etc. It would help spread the word.

You should talk about the value that you are bringing to prospective clients. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about your product all the time. Speak about things that are related to what you offer, and are valuable to your audience.

18. What makes Scripbox content marketing stand out compared to other companies?
Ans. I think what makes it stand out is that we are very focused on the customer. All of the content marketing that we do is by thinking backwards – what the customer needs are. And in our space, the customer just wants to understand how he should manage his money. He doesn’t want to get confused with financial terms, growth rates and interest rates and all of that. Let me give you an example.

When we started this, we used to write articles like, ‘what will you discuss with your spouse when you are buying a new home’ or ‘what are the things you will think about when you get married, when it comes to money?’

We are still focused on being very simple. We don’t use any jargon in our content. We try to keep it very relevant to the customer and that’s the context where we come from. We just take very simple, everyday conversations that people might be having, where money happens to be an enabler, and we sort of build our content around that.

We apply all the fundamentals of marketing. We don’t try to sound very impressive. We try to keep it very relevant to the average guy and do simple ROI metrics on content. Just have a conversation with them and build an emotional connect so they start remembering you in some way.

19. What are top 3 guidelines for creating high CTR Facebook ads?
Ans. Keep the following in mind:

  • Targeting
  • Image (colors that stand out)
  • Ad copy (always include a CTA)

Here’s an example of a high CTR Facebook ad that worked really well for LeadSquared:

content marketing tips 2016

20. How effective would you say are customer testimonials as part of marketing?
Ans. They are relevant to a certain extent. It depends on how genuine they are. It depends on what format you have taken them in.

Try to make them authentic. Make sure you have the permission of your customer and ask them if they will be okay sharing LinkedIn profile or Twitter handle, in addition to their name. In Web 1.0, people used to just handwrite the testimonials. A lot of companies used to mix buzzwords into the testimonial. Now people figure all of that out so keep it authentic.

Video testimonials are very authentic – try to bring them in. Also,if people share their reviews on Facebook or Twitter or even on review sites, convert that into a testimonial or show a live feed.

21. How do you know when your content isn’t working? 
Ans. Don’t spend money distributing it straightaway. Do an in-house check first. Let’s say you have nothing to do with the business and this content suddenly popped up on your phone, would you like to read it? Just because you have put a lot of information into that piece, doesn’t mean a lot of people would like to read it if it’s not interesting.

One of the things we do internally is we get multiple people to read it. We get people outside of marketing to read it, who have no clue about the other stuff we are writing. Get people who are unbiased and get their comments. Share it with friends ask them for their opinion. Do a lot of this before you spend money.

You can also take a very small audience, a small budget, and test it on a social network. Look at analytics and see if people spent a lot of time reading it. Try 2-3 different headlines maybe.

22. How do you find the right content strategist for your project?
Ans. You are the right content strategist – as you understand the audience. If you want outside help, bring in people who have experience in your industry. You don’t need the best writers, you need the best marketers, planners, and executioners.

23. How do we measure ROI for content marketing? What metrics will you use to measure it?
Ans. ROI again is business specific. Whether B2B or B2C, the eventual ROI is converting a lead to a customer. Maybe content marketing is the first step of the funnel.

In your case, maybe the ROI is that he spends a lot of time on your website or starts trusting your brand. Another ROI could be he gives you his email address so in the future you could send him more updates. Different things can be an ROI. The ROI depends on how you are using content marketing, how much time is spent writing that piece of content, for production for distribution, etc., and so on.

In terms of how to measure it, it has to always be tied to the revenue. However, metrics like impressions, visits, leads etc. also need to be measured, so that you know when a sudden surge or drop appears, and can identify the reasons, and take appropriate action. You can continue reading this post to know how to measure you content marketing ROI.

But eventually, whatever doesn’t make you money, is not really investing into from a business standpoint. However, if you are in a knowledge sharing domain, where knowledge leadership is important, then your metrics might differ, and the ROI might be more long term. Anyway, the ROI on Inbound Marketing is long-term.

24. Does using influencer marketing with content marketing help drive better results? Can you share some experience if you have tried it earlier?
Ans. Influencer marketing is where you identify a set of customers or potential customers who are also influencers within their domain and get them to share your content or get them to write about you or get them to do a product review for you. It definitely works but I feel it is very heavily dependent on the credibility of the influencer itself. For example, I wouldn’t place my bets on somebody who people haven’t really heard about and who doesn’t have such an impact when it comes to writing.

The influencer could be doing things like he could be talking to people about your content. That itself is great. That’s referral marketing. If word-of-mouth happens around a piece of content that you have written, it’s great. But trying to get somebody else to tweet it or write about it, that’s a gray area and gets hard to do on a repeatable basis.

However, if you can share it as part of an example or a case story which is authentic, and the influencer gives you permission to do that, then it would work really well.

In B2B, you have some industry experts who people look up to. In B2C, it’s really hard. Brand Ambassadors and all of those – they are expensive.

At LeadSquared, in the past, we have asked influencers and experts to review our product and share their review about it, and it has been a success to a certain extent.

25. How to market content when it is prepared by the customer themselves? 
Ans. This is the best kind of content because it’s straight from the customer. You can create case studies, testimonials, and distribute it. You can create paid campaigns also with the case study/success stories in the ad copy/landing page. It has worked well for us. Video testimonials etc. can go on your website, YouTube etc. There are a lot of options.

26. We are a notes marketplace called ‘Notesgen.’ The platform helps students share their content (Notes, Assignments, Projects, PPT’s, etc.) on a marketplace model. The content received at Notesgen is delievered to the relevant audience through technology. How can I drive more purchases?
Ans. As this is a platform targeted at students – try to give a lot of freebies – notes, mock-papers etc. Students love to download them. But, hold something back, that’ll be available when they purchase. Content marketing + lead nurturing is very effective when students are a target audience. Create a lot of content that’ll help your discoverability as well. Have forum discussions if it makes sense.

27. What tools do you use for content sharing / management?
Ans. For content management, we use WordPress. For sharing, we use Hootsuite, Buffer etc. But don’t try to automate everything. You can use tools like Trello, or simple Google Sheets, or CoSchedule to have a content management project.

28. What are the new trends to watch out for, that will impact content creation?
Ans. There is so much content coming in from social networks, content shared by friends via email or social networks. There’s just so much happening out there that your ability to grab someone’s attention and make sure they read your piece of content, is difficult.

The other thing is that you see the same topics and same headlines being churned again and again by different brands. It gets repetitive. So what happens is, the moment someone sees that headline, he builds a story in his head saying, “this is what the article is about and since I have read it, I am not interested.

Original, fresh content is still something people should try to create. At least you’ll stand out in the whole sea of content. Videos are another thing to watch out for. People will also stop searching for things on Google and rely on their newsfeed.

29. As a part of a startup, how much content should I be creating?
Ans. A lot of people feel that more content is better and that you should be posting something new every day on every network or you should be having 10 posts a day.

But it really depends on your industry and brand. What are the brand values (and I’m talking in the B2C context again)? If your brand value is about giving very relevant, very well-researched information, you can’t be posting something every day because then it’s not really that well researched and that well written. It’s probably just short updates.

But if your brand is about sharing news and being the first one out there, then you need to be doing something every hour on your network.

Finally, you content communicates your brand values. If I post 10 articles in a week, and out of them only one is really worth reading, then your audience will soon start to unfollow your posts.

So I would say, don’t think about the frequency too much. Think more about the topics and the quality of that content. Quality over quantity.

30. Which platform has given you most ROI?
Ans. In the journey of Scripbox, the platforms have changed. At different times, at different stages of our growth, the platform has been different. Initially, we got a lot of ROI from Google Display. Now we get a lot of ROI through social networks. There’s no one answer there.

The best thing to do would be to start with a small test budget and use it across different platforms. Use it to build a small sizeable audience on each platform and then see whether they are moving down the funnel and see if they are converting. If they are, how much time are they taking? After testing, you’d be able to figure out which platform is giving you the right ROI.

LinkedIn has been very successful for us because people on LinkedIn are all working professionals. They all are interested in growing their careers. Salary is very important to them and investing their savings. That’s why Scripbox is a natural fit for LinkedIn.

31. Do you write content keeping SEO in mind, including high volume keywords? 
Ans. Always have value on the forefront. Instead of high volume keywords, long tailed keywords with lower volume, but more value and more specific solutions would help. Write very frequently. If there are 100 more blogs targeting the same high-volume keywords, then unless what you are writing is really differentiated or entertaining or engaging or value-adding, it won’t get traction anyway.

32. What type of content have the best results in terms of lead generation for B2B and B2C industry?
Ans. In the case of B2C, short posts and infographics work well. In B2B, something more detailed, maybe a case study or some use cases or a PPT would work well. It depends on the audience as well as the type of business.

Q&A format works really well for us (Scripbox). As we are in finance, content that has actual hard numbers like ‘how much money will you save and ‘how many years it will take’, or similar savings-related posts, have worked well for us.

33. What are the best tools for content marketing for a startup?
Ans. These two posts I came across should help you get started:

34. What is the significance of domain related buzz words while preparing the content?
Ans. I would say none. We don’t use any buzzwords. We actually focus completely on the customer and what the customer may be interested in. Think about what words would appeal to the customer. In content marketing, 90% of the thinking is in the headline.

If you are writing an article about retirement, like retirement funding, retirement saving, make it interesting. Say something like, ‘how do you quit your job in 10 years and make sure you have a decent income every month,’ to make it interesting.  That headline becomes way more catchy than putting the word ‘retirement’ in the headline.

So you can put in something related to the buzzword but don’t put in the buzzword exactly. Usually, questions or simple lists of things to remember, those kinds of headlines work well. Or something that is of immediate concern and if you address the concern in the headline itself, that also works really well.

35. Do you recommend any sites for good content?
Ans. I may not be the best person to answer this question because one of the things I do consciously at Scripbox is to try to avoid reading best practices. I realized that there’s a lot of gyan out there but what happens sometimes is you tend to defocus on the customer and start applying what somebody else is applying in his/her business. It’s better that you understand your business, you understand your customer, and think afresh.

We go with our intuition and we see how our content is doing on a particular channel. We do a lot of A/B testing with our headlines. Go with experimentation. Go with graphics, go with a short snippet of content. Answer one or two simple questions that customers have asked you – convert that into a small post. Start small and learn from your own customer and your own data.

36. While writing content for financial services, what are the behavioral points we have to keep in mind?
Ans. People don’t like to talk about how much money they make. People don’t like to talk about where they save their money. People generally forget to invest their money. It just lies idle in the bank accounts. These kinds of behavioral traits we know and understand and our content tries to bring these up in different ways.

37. What tools do you use for A/B testing in content marketing?
Ans. We don’t use a particular tool for A/B Testing. However, we do A/B test headlines and subject lines of emails and newsletters.

38. What were the best digital campaigns last year? 
Ans. Check out these 2 posts that talk about the most amazing digital marketing campaigns from last year:

39. What is the best way to collect customer reviews on multiple platforms?
Ans. Give them certain incentives, run contents, make it entertaining. It will also depend on the domain.

For travel / hospitality, it’s really easy. Ask them to post pics on Instagram / social media and give them something complementary. This post will help you get started.

In the case of education, give students simple incentives, like a discount on some course etc.

40. Do you think there should be different drafts of the same content? If yes, then how to create those different drafts?
Ans. Yes, if you can do it, it would be great. If you have enough writers, then you have so many fresh ideas and you have time to carry it out. Create different drafts by giving it to different writers.

The writer will always have a bias towards one article or one way of writing. And that’s a natural thing. So you’ll have to give it to different writers to get different drafts.

41. How to generate leads from content marketing in the training industry?
Ans. Give some of your material for free. Let’s say, you are in the training industry and your course has 5-6 modules. Give the first module free. Write some content around some of the questions that you are answering as part of these modules or release some parts of it to generate interest. If they want the whole content, they can sign up for the training.

You could also give more material and say, well if you come here, we will give you some tools, some other goodies which you won’t get if you just read our content. That’s what people who market their books, do. They give a chapter away. They give a video away. Give something so the person understands that you are worth it.

42. Can you elaborate on content for social media?
Ans. I wouldn’t say there is anything different about social media other than the fact that you have to do good targeting. For example, if you are writing for a younger audience or older audience, social media actually lets you slice and dice the audience.

The younger audience in India more socially active. They are more on social networks. The content itself I wouldn’t change other than the fact that you could probably go with 3-4 different headlines. Try it on one network, try it in one city. If that works well then you do it across India.

If you are referring to the length of the content, shorter content works better on social media. So if you have written a long blog post, make sure you can write a very short version of it. Convert it maybe into an infographic and try that or a small bullet list with a picture.

On social media, people are easily distracted. You may have the photograph of a family member next to a piece of content – so you need to make sure that you can grab the guy’s attention in spite of all the distractions. So shorter, more catchy, more image heavy.

43. How to promote our content in social media for learning and development industry
Ans. Nowadays, even if your page has a lot of likes, Facebook doesn’t automatically post to all the people who have liked your page. Less than 10% of people will see it. Even if you want to show your content to people who have already liked your page or who are already your followers, you need to run sponsored updates, sponsored content marketing on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.

So start with a small budget. You define a particular target audience, based on

  • Age group
  • Geography
  • Behaviour

and see where’s going and the kind of ROI you are getting.

44. Our company sells a content development tool. Which websites or places can we target content developers ?
Ans. You need to figure out where your audience is. Many of these social networks have good ways of targeting people. You need to figure out what else your audience is doing online and be in those places.

If you are planning to individually approach content developers, try

You could also promote it in Facebook groups like ‘Put Me In Touch’ (PMIT).

45. Please suggest some content generation organizations for promotional material, campaigns (print & digital)
Ans. You can check out the following:

46. What type of content marketing will work for B2B companies?
Ans. In the case of B2B, the sales cycle is really long. Personal relationships matter in B2B.

But in B2C, it’s very instantaneous. You have to work very hard to get somebody’s attention.

But the basics remain the same in both. You have to give something that your customer wants. You have to talk about something relevant.

In B2B, you can talk about the problems that the business has and how your product or service would solve those problems. You don’t necessarily need to focus on your product. You could talk about the costs associated with running the business and if your product could either help them ‘save’ or ‘make more’ money. Share customer case stories. Just remember that you are speaking to a person, not a business.

47. What video content works on LikedIn (for B2B company)?
Ans. Testimonials and product overviews in video format would work well. Slack has some cool product overview videos that you could refer to.

48. How to ensure that your mail doesn’t land up in the spam folder? 
Ans. content marketing tips 2016

This post will help you out. For more inputs, take a look at these posts on email marketing.

49. Any advice for people running a content marketing process with a small team and even smaller budget? 
Ans. Start small; try to analyze what can give you benefit in smaller time, with less effort. Not everyone needs an inbound marketing team to succeed. Sometimes, it’s just not practical. It would also depend on what industry they are in.

In the case of an education business, the marketing team can rehash content they sell to create discoverable blog posts, source content from customers if possible, like photographs/video testimonials etc.

In the case of a travel / hospitality business, drive engagement on social media platforms. This webinar on hospitality marketing can give you good inputs.

content marketing tips 2016

50. What are some good ways to get other people to link to your content? What are the various catchy subject lines which you feel are best to grab the attention of the target customer?
Ans. Write high-quality content. When you link to people, let them know. They might link to you too, or at least share what you write.

In the case of LeadSquared, we noticed that words like, ‘Master Class’ and ‘You’re Invited’ in the subject line, have really worked well for our webinars. Just keep it fresh. Don’t use the same words over and over again. Try to use the person’s name in the subject line. That makes it more personal. Tools like LeadSquared can help you do that.

51. Do you create all the content internally or outsource? What is your recommendation?
Ans. We (Scripbox) create it internally. We actually have a very tight control on our production. We take extreme care about what we write, how we write it, what headline goes with it, how do we generate a topic for it. It depends on how important content marketing is to your business. If you have other channels where your sales are coming from, then maybe you can get away with writing less or maybe you can hire a part-time writer.

You have to understand the customer before you write good content. And if you outsource it, then you have to explain that to the firm or the freelance writer. You need to explain, ‘what your customer will like’, ‘why would he think in a certain way’, and maybe ‘what ROI you are expecting from that content.’ The most important thing in content marketing is guidance. You need someone senior, who understands the customer, who can guide them on a day to day basis about what to focus on.

Sometimes, writing the outline of the article can take multiple weeks. Start with the topic / headline. Then build an outline / story around it. Make it interesting. Make it worth somebody’s time. I’d recommend in-house content creation.

52. What form of content works well, blog post, e-books or something else?
Ans. It depends on the business. I wouldn’t say that there’s one form that works for everyone but my general suggestion is that shorter content works better. A blog would work better than an ebook. Even within a blog, a 500-word blog would work better than a 1000-word blog.

If you are working on an article about how you would travel to a particular destination, you need to give all the possible things to do. In that case, obviously, your content is going to be long. But if it’s very relevant and very interesting, it will work. But if you are generally giving people ideas or writing ‘top 10’ sort of articles, keep those points short.

Images work better but only if they are very relevant, very emotive, and focus on a single theme. Images, where there’s a lot going on and are not very relevant, can backfire on your content.

You need to map out the whole journey in the sales funnel and see which form of content fits better at that stage of the funnel. Ebooks work better as freebies. A free ebook for a form signup would work.

53. Any content marketing ideas for Redlily, an online retail store?
Ans. I think you’ll definitely find some value in this post.

54. How did content networks like Taboola, Outbrain work for you?
Ans. It depends on the goal that we (Scripbox) are trying to reach in that particular month. Taboola and Outbrain do better with awareness than with conversion. It changes, though. These channels themselves are evolving. It depends on the content that we are putting out there also. Experimenting every day, analyzing results and taking date-driven decisions is the way to go.


Visit our blog for more tips on PPC marketing, past webinar recordings and other marketing blog posts.

lead nurturing process

Beep!

Was that an email notification?

Through semi-opened eyes, you recognize the subject line :

“It’s a new lead!”

You jump out of your bed and leave your wife uncovered.

A month later, you wonder why she is asking for divorce.

But hey, it’s a new lead!

You’ve done something awesome, and that has drawn someone to your company.  Now, the task at hand is converting the lead into a customer. How do you go about that? What should you do after getting that first beep?

Discard the lead and don’t give a damn about it.

Hold on before you pounce, Rajnikant!

I needed to start with a false positive to ensure you are awake :)

Here’s what your lead nurturing process should really look like :-

Firstly, check the product-lead fit.

Your hands might be itching to shoot across an introduction email to your new lead, but don’t do that. First, take a look at their website. Look up their profile on LinkedIn. Examine whether what you want to sell could possibly fit in with their business. Avoid pursuing leads that have ‘junk’ written all over them – shady website, no information about the business on the web, etc. I mean, do you really want that divorce to happen for no reason?!

Chuck the traditional advice about reaching out to or engaging with each lead that lands in your system. Learn to prioritize and chase the hottest leads first!

Note : You can eliminate this step by opting for a marketing automation platform like LeadSquared. LeadSquared calculates ‘quality’ and ‘engagement’ scores for each lead in the system, according to the criteria defined by you. 

Try LeadSquared for free, and prioritize your leads automatically!

Now comes the tough part : lead nurturing.

You’ve finished your background check on the lead, and the results have been positive. What next? You could call up or email the lead right away with your sales pitch. Or, you can begin to ‘warm’ them up by sending a free e-book, a discount coupon, or any other value-packed item, and build a relationship. You can even invite them for your upcoming barbecue! But here’s what I’d suggest you do :-

Request your lead to complete a pre-call feedback form

This is a great practice if you have a high lead volume. When a lead fills up such a feedback form, it :-

1) Confirms their interest in your product, helping you identify them as a high-priority lead,

2) Helps you call them at a time that suits them, saving you the frustration of dozens of calls missed or cut abruptly.

3) Informs you about their exact requirements (the kind of details you couldn’t have gleaned from their website), helping you make your pitch smarter and more customized.

Connect with your lead on every social network possible

This is potentially the quickest, most effective way to build relationships with your leads. It is also the reason the best salespeople think of social media as a boon, and not a distraction.  The options are plenty – you could send  welcoming shout out to your lead on Twitter, or share high-relevance content with them on LinkedIn, or simply, engage with their posts on Facebook. Although, if  you have to choose one, LinkedIn is your best bet, since it’s a social network where people come with the sole purpose of making professional contacts.

Note : Speaking of LinkedIn, always send a quick note to people who view your LinkedIn profile. Mine goes nothing longer than – “Hey, thanks for stopping by my profile. If there is any way I can be of help, I’m one quick note away from you!”. And it works!

Delve deeper into their profile

You’ve done a basic check up to determine if the lead is worth being pitched to, in Step 1. Now, you have to make sure your pitch is worth their time!

This is why you need to don your research hats and use all of the information you gather, to send them an email that is tailored to their company and addresses the use-case specific to their business.

The Rand Fishkin advice

When that guy tweets, I listen. Here is the latest gem of an insight he tweeted :

Best way to sell something – don’t sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect, & trust of those who might buy.

There cannot be a better way to approach sales. Good selling is not selling. It’s helping out. Building value. It is going an extra mile to show your prospect how your product can add value to their business, instead of simply focusing on the product’s features. It is saying ‘no’ when you know that your product cannot add value to their business. Not only will such honesty win your prospect’s appreciation, but also, you won’t waste time with a short-term customer. Some of my past ‘no’s’ are very good friends today, and they’ve brought me some outstanding opportunities later.

Automate and engage

You can’t do the above for each lead landing up in your system. For that, you’ve got to find a marketing automation software, and use it to send nurturing emails, SMSes, and other drip campaigns.

Just remember to not rely on automation entirely. I do not recall any million dollar deal being closed over automated emails or SMSes alone. Sometimes, sending a birthday cake or attending a golf party can do what no software can!

What process do you follow after the beep happens? I’d love to learn from you as well :)

Facebook Instant Articles
I must say, Facebook has a knack for making everything look good. Like many others, I was quite excited about Facebook Instant Articles and how they have been opened up for all websites and publishers, but it is only recently that I realized the real purpose they serve.

What are Instant Articles?

Instant articles are a way of allowing publishers to host articles on Facebook itself, so that users don’t have to visit the publisher’s website to read them.  So here’s what they truly are : a means to keep users on the platform of Facebook. This way, Facebook will get to show ads within its own platforms, effectively replacing the ads that could have been otherwise served on the website of the publisher (independently or through Google Adwords).

Let us see this in action.

Here’s an article by Hindustan Times as seen on the Facebook Mobile App. The ‘Power’ sign indicates if an article is an Instant Article.

Facebook Mobile Instant Article 1

 

On clicking the article, a Facebook Sponsored Post can be seen inserted in it.

Facebook Mobile Instant Article 3

 

While Facebook is said to have started sharing revenues with publishers (and even optimised ads to increase it), it can’t practically come close to what a Publisher earns otherwise.

Let us look at the same article as seen on a desktop to illustrate the same.

Web Facebook Instant Articles 1

Facebook Web Instant Articles 2

Facebook Web Instant Articles 3

As can be seen, by showcasing the article as an Instant Article, Facebook has conveniently blocked all other forms of advertising on the article and replaced them with its own ads. Each publisher stands to effectively lose a lot of revenue as Instant articles roll out for every publisher. This is presently not a big concern for most, and will not much of a problem to businesses which blog to simply reach out. But those websites that rely heavily on ads on their own platform for their revenue are certainly going to take a hit!

What is your take on Facebook’s Instant Articles? Do share with us in the comments below!

This article has been republished here as part of LeadSquared’s Partnership with Digital Defynd.

Phew! That was long. I’m talking about the number of questions that came up at the ‘Google AdWords for Beginners’ webinar session and all the answers we had to write! But I’m glad they did and I hope all those of you who attended it, found value in doing so :)

It was the webinar that broke all records and created history in terms of webinar registrations in LeadSquared! Presenter and AdNabu CEO, Salil Panikkaveettil was rather nervous at the start but eased his way into it like a pro.

So enough of the meandering. Let me get straight to it.

If you missed the ‘Google Adwords for Beginners’ webinar, you can watch it here.

If you want to access the Q&A, you can find that below:

Google Adwords for Beginners (FAQ)

1. Does your bid increase if you exclude search partners?
Ans. No. Your scope decreases, as the reach decreases. So, to generate an equal number of clicks, you would need to spend more.

2. Can you elaborate on the Interest Category called In Market?
Ans. In market segment are people aggressively looking for a product or service as identified by Google.

3. Is it possible to get a list of sites that are a part of the Double Click Ad Network?
Ans. Check out this linkIt includes the list of sites that are a part of the Double Click Ad network.

4. Does the price for recharging accounts matter or it impacts the ad quality score or importance of a particular campaign, if we recharge the Adwords accounts by low cost/amount?
Ans. No, it doesn’t matter.

5. Is there any difference between running AdWords by our own individual account or by vendor MCC account?
Ans. MCC helps you to access multiple AdWords accounts at a time. But in terms of performance, it makes absolutely no difference.

6. Under PPC ad extensions, can you explain ‘structured snippet extension’?
Ans. Structured snippet extensions are similar to call-out extensions, as in they allow you to list extra features/benefits in your ad copy. However, unlike call-outs, in the case of structured snippets, you have a “Header,” where you need to define what you are listing. It can be either Brands/Courses/Destinations etc. so you just have to make sure you know what you want to list there. For instance, an Education company would list out its courses, and would choose “Courses” as the header.

Google AdWords for Beginners

7. What are your thoughts on premium products and services? With Google Search, one gets several junk leads, i.e., users who cannot afford your product. Facebook gives better results. Any views on that?
Ans. It varies from industry to industry. But it depends on a lot of other things as well like, what are the keywords you are targeting? When you see that a particular keyword is constantly getting you junk leads, then you stop bidding on that keyword, and instead invest more on another better keyword. Every source will give you junk leads if you aren’t monitoring it properly. So, you need to analyze and change constantly.

8. What is the minimum time we should continue running the ads to really conclude whether they are working for us?
Ans. You should continue until you get at least 10-20 conversions. If your conversion ratio is really bad and you are not getting any conversions, maybe you should work on the landing page or on your website.

9. How to we upload our products on Google Merchant Center? Any specific do/don’ts to take care of?
Ans. You can do it manually or by using some tools like Shopify. I would recommend tools as it will help stay updated.

10. How do topic targeting options work? Is it really worth it?
Ans. It is good for brand building. You can get more inputs about how it works, here.

11. How is the goal of lead capturing and transaction based, different?
Ans. Essentially, it is the same. For transactions, one can optimize on the transaction value. Generally, if you are generating leads for nurturing and converting them later, you would use lead gen goal, and if monetary transactions happen through your ads, then you would use transaction. Even if you are generating leads, and you have calculated how much money each lead means to you, you can define a transaction value.

12. Can we define topics?
Ans. For topic-based targeting, you can’t use your own topics. You would need to select from those suggested by Adwords.

13. Some examples of interests?
Ans. Interest targeting consists of three different targeting categories (as shown below)

Google AdWords for Beginners

And I’d suggest you take a look at this insightful presentation by AdWordsGreaterChina (below) to understand what they are:

14. Can we have different landing pages for different ad groups?
Ans. Yes, you can.

15. Can I put video ads in Display Network?
Ans. Yes, you can.

16. How far are AdWords better compared to other advertising campaigns like Facebook?
Ans. Getting started with Facebook ads is easier than with Google Adwords. If you are talking about Display, people have seen good results for Facebook Display because you get a lot of information about the user. You can target your ads pretty well also. However, when it comes to Search and Facebook, Search works consistently better than Facebook. Don’t just look at it from the lead generation stage. Always look at the final conversion.

It also depends on the industry.  You have to see it this way – Adwords allows you to be in front of people who are actively looking for what you have to offer (in case of search), while Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter allow you to be in front of people who are interested or not interested right now, but have expressed an interest in what you offer, or fall into your target demography. Facebook is the cheapest, Google Adwords second. LinkedIn and Twitter are highest in terms of lead gen cost.

17. What should be the optimum CPL for cloud telephony in B2B sector?
Ans. It depends on what keywords you are targeting. Check the approximate CPC for your keyword. Take into account the conversion percentage – 12% to 15% should be good. So, if you get 100 clicks, there would be 15 conversions (15% conversion rate). If the CPC of the keyword is Rs 100, then your cost per lead should be (CPC*Number of clicks) / No. of leads = Rs 667. Because the CPC is overestimated, your cost per lead would be lesser than this.

18. We have moved some of the campaigns to a new account, hence, we would be adding a new conversion code on landing pages. Can we have 2 Tag Manager snippets on the same page or should the old snippet be removed first?
Ans. Even if the old snippet is there, it wouldn’t matter because the conversion number would increase in the old Adwords account. But ideally, remove those conversion pixels if you can. It’s not compulsory but it’s a good practice.

19. I am just wondering why it is not good to target the first position. Although you may be in the second or third position, isn’t the probability of getting a click higher when in the first position?
Ans. It depends on what you are optimizing for. If the objective is more clicks, bid high for the first or second position. But if it is conversions, bid only if you can afford them by looking at historical conversion ratio.

20. Is it a good practice to have multiple AdWords accounts? This happens mainly when you are in a process of finalizing the agency to run campaigns.
Ans. Well, it’s not recommended. What happens is that Google allows only one ad from a domain to the auction. So if you have multiple ad campaigns running across multiple accounts, there will be a lot of competition between them.

Maybe if you could separate these campaigns into different categories; let’s say you give Agency A a different category and a different category to Agency B, and not make them compete with each other, then it’s okay. Otherwise, try to keep everything in a single account. But if you are a big company, then multiple accounts is also fine, but be very clear about not duplicating a campaign between these accounts.

21. I want to know a bit about project-based real estate lead generation methods. 
Ans. This post will give you insights on real estate lead gen methods.

For further reading, take a look at this ebook on Decoding the Home Buyer’s Journey.

Google AdWords for Beginners

22. Does the design of landing page affect conversion ratio as well?
Ans. It really does matter. In a landing page, if you are able to convey what you are selling to the users, as fast as possible, you have a very high chance of converting them. Have landing pages that are mobile responsive. Have landing pages that clearly highlight the offering. Have a clear form and call to action, like ‘Get a Free Call’ or ‘Get a Free Consultation’.

Also, your landing page should match the ad copy that you put up. If somebody comes looking for ‘expertise on Google Adwords’ and they end up in a completely different website or landing page, then obviously they are not going to end up converting. Additionally, if you offer an extra freebie like ‘free consultation’ or ‘free ebook’, then the conversion increases. For more tips on landing page conversions, check out this post.

23. If you are a lead generation site, how do you track conversions once they land on the website?
Ans. For a lead generation website, the best way is to redirect the lead to a thank you page after the lead is generated. So the user comes to the website, fills up the form, then goes to the thank you page and an Adwords conversion pixel is triggered there. You can easily keep track of the conversions happening in Adwords also.

There is another complicated way of doing it if it’s a single page. It involves using analytics and creating a goal out of the form signup and then importing it into Adwords. However, I wouldn’t recommend this.

24. What are Product Listing Ads?
Ans. Product listing ads refer to Google’s paid shopping ads program. They are image ads that show up when you search for products on Google.

Google AdWords for Beginners

They are very useful for e-commerce businesses.

25. Can you please show an example of Structured Snippet Extension? How is it different from Sitelink Extensions?
Ans. i. Sitelink extensions are links (they can be directed to other important pages of your website, other than the landing page), like pricing page, packages page etc.

ii. Structured Snippets is a relatively newer extension, where you can list the type of products/features/courses etc., that you have. They are not clickable. CPC is charged for sitelink extensions.

26. Can you explain in detail about Google Sponsored Promotion (GSP)?
Ans. GSP is a unique ad type that shows up only in personal Gmail boxes (it does not show in Google business apps email boxes) in the promotions tab. Like other impression-based advertising media, such as Facebook ads or Google Display Network targeting, you narrow down who sees your ad to those you deem most likely to be interested in your offerings. Here’s an example:

Google AdWords for Beginners

27. What do you mean by multiple targeting groups in the same ad?
Ans. It means multiple targeting criteria in the same ad group. This is for display, where you show ads only for people satisfying the multiple criteria.

28. How can we know the price that we need to bid on a particular keyword or an ad group as total?
Ans. So, it always makes sense to know the industry also, not only the competition. Let’s say, your conversion ratio is around 10% and you want leads at Rs 500. You automatically have a bid in your mind. Let’s say Rs 50 is the bid. Out of 10, one converts and you get a lead cost of Rs 500. Run it for a few days. See what the average position is. If the average position is really low, it’s less than 4-5 and you are not getting enough scale, then increase the bids. But usually, what the keyword planner says (especially for a market like India), is very very off. The CPCs can be artificially higher in keyword planner but you might be able to get off at a lower cost.

29. As we are into B2B product, we are trying to get more conversions. We are trying to promote through social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. What would be the best strategy for getting good conversions for B2B company?
Ans. Targeting the right keywords is an absolute must. For a B2B company, the challenge is higher compared to a B2C company because not too many searches might be happening for that product.

Identifying the right keyword is a start. Since you are a B2B company, you can afford to bid a little higher. Don’t bid too low, like Rs. 5, then you’ll never be in the competition. Bid a little high. Think about what the lead is worth. If the lead is worth Rs 1000 and the conversion ratio is 5%, go for the bid of 50 or 60. It will help you in the long run.

Remember that for conversions to happen, your ad copy and your landing page both have to deliver what the user is looking for. Typically, when the lead clicks on your ad and doesn’t convert, it means that your ad copy and your keywords are doing well. However once he reaches the landing page and does not find what he is looking for, he will not convert.

So tweak all these elements to ensure that your click converts.

  • Adwords – Ensuring the quality of impressions and clicks is high. This is by keywords, and constant monitoring to weed out negative keywords.
  • Facebook / LinkedIn / Twitter would depend on your targeting, the clarity of your ad / attractiveness of your offer. Linkedin is the best to find professionals because the details of the people are complete there.

30. Are AdWords geographically segregated or AdWords’ bids are global or region specific?
Ans. Bids are highly regional.

31. I work for a gym (http://www.contours.in/) and I only see generic keywords. How do I stand out against the competition?
Ans. Figure out what are the longtail keywords people search for. Let’s say people are searching for “Best Gym In Indiranagar” and you are a gym located in Indiranagar. People are not bidding too aggressively on these longtail keywords. If you can find these longtail keywords and they are highly converting for you, you can actually get these clicks at a lower price, and have great conversions from them.

32. I’m from Acron Developers (https://www.acronindia.com/). We are having SEM campaigns running for our real estate properties in Goa and now our company is launching a new project in Mumbai. What are the things we need to consider while launching our new SEM campaigns for this new project?
Ans. First and foremost, you need to define a good landing page. Since you are in the real estate industry, you might have a very specific web page in place. (It’s an absolute must – to have a landing page specific to that project). You can learn a lot from your SEM campaigns, which are/were currently running in Goa. Do not target really broad keywords. If it’s a good brand, if people know about the brand, maybe you could target the brand search queries because the other keywords are very high. Usually, aggregators have a better chance of converting those people. Stay away from more generic keywords. Focus on those brand keywords.

33. “Starting on 25 March 2016, any ads, keywords, or sitelinks still using Destination URLs will stop showing and be removed. Upgrade your URLs today to keep your ads running.” What does that mean?
Ans. The URL structure in Google AdWords changed last year, so there will be no destination URL anymore. They will have upgraded final URLs. I think the upgrade would happen automatically, but you might lose data if you don’t upgrade from your end. You can find more details here.

34. Which ad is more beneficial, display or search?
Ans. Search usually.

35. I am using Google PPC ads for my e-commerce site (www.sahelyy.in). I am not getting too many conversions from the ads. How should I choose my keywords? My domain/products are cosmetics for women. Also, I use Google shopping ads, but most of the time my site doesn’t show up. Is it because other sites have higher bidding or my product descriptions do not meet the matched search?
Ans. You need to have a really good description. Be very descriptive about the product. The other reason might be because of bidding. Increase the bids if you are not getting clicks. Limit the budget but increase the bids and see what’s happening. Typically, for e-commerce websites, the product listing ads convert at a much higher ratio than normal text ads. Continue doing product listing ads, increase the bids. But if you think that it will eat away your budget, then reduce the budget.

36. Which is better? PPC or CPA?
Ans. I’m assuming you are talking about bidding strategies. If you have the time and can really put in an effort, go for manual CPC. But if you cannot, then go for target CPA.

37. Should we automate the bid?
Ans. It really depends on the campaign performance. This post will give you more insights.

38. What’s the difference between new keywords using a phrase, website search and search for volume data and trend in a keyword planner?
Ans. There is no major difference. They are used in different ways to find keywords for your business. Read this to know more.

39. How reliable is the search results shown in keyword planner?
Ans. It is not very reliable.

40. How do the ads perform in shopping sector?
Ans. I found some good insights for the shopping sector in this post. You might want to take a look at this Google Adwords Benchmark Report to know the performance of ads in the shopping sector.

41. I am trying to run ads but the sector I am dealing with is tech support and Google does not allow ads running on tech support. How do I overcome this? Also, if you can tell me an alternative?
Ans. Legitimate tech support ads are not being stopped by Google. Take a look at this write-up. You might also want to go through Google Adwords policy guidelines just to be sure that you are adhering to their policies.

42. How does Gmail targeting work in Display network? What is the process?
Ans. Gmail Ads would show up on the ‘Promotions’ tab (shown below) in your Gmail inbox. These ads can be targeted using keywords, topics, interests, customer match and demographics.

Google AdWords for Beginners

When you advertise on the Google Display Network, select ‘All Features’ to show your ads in Gmail. While setting up the campaign, when you create the ad, select ‘Ad Gallery’ from the dropdown and choose ‘Gmail Ads’ to start advertising there.

43. What do you mean by ‘in market’ audience in Gmail ads?
Ans. One cannot target them.

44. I have been running a campaign for a fertility site, for a year. The campaign was performing well with good clicks, impressions, and conversions. However, in the last two months, I have seen a sudden  drop in conversions. It was hardly 3-4 for the entire month compared to an average of 30 per month in the previous months.
Ans. There could be a couple of reasons.

Have your clicks and impressions also dropped? Look at your AdWords reports to check this. If the impressions and clicks have dropped as well, it might mean that the ads are not being shown to enough people. Maybe there has been an increase in competition which is affecting the visibility of your ads. In that case, you might have to increase the bids.

However, if the number of impressions and clicks are constant, then the problem might be with your website or landing page. Have you changed the structure of the landing page, is it now harder to find the products on the website? If that’s the case, you’ll need to improve the landing page or the website flow.

To find what’s affecting your conversion rates, you actually have to figure out which metric has dropped, in addition to conversions. Once you have identified that, you need to take an action

  • Drop in impressions and clicks – increase the bid/make sure that the keywords are proper
  • Drop in clicks, but no drop in impressions – Improve your ad copy/increase the bid
  • No drop in clicks or impressions, but only in conversions – improve your landing page

45. Could you explain keyword vs search terms?
Ans. Keyword is what you choose to bid for on Google Adwords. Search terms are what users type in Google network.

46. Can you explain “Ads with sizes” section?
Ans. “Some placement only allows a specific size of ads”. Placement refers to locations on the Display Network where ads appear. You can find all the acceptable image size format, especially for desktop & mobile, here.

Some placements have specific space for advertising. Let’s say you have created an image with size 336*280, but the placement you are targeting has a specific size of 120*600. In that case, your ad will not show up on that particular placement and you would lose that opportunity.

To avoid this, create campaigns in all sizes and then run them. Thereafter, figure out which image size is giving  more results

47. If I have a database of phone numbers, can I target this particular set of people with Google Adwords?
Ans. No, you can’t.

48. What would be ideal RULE set for analyzing day to day campaigns, if my goal is form signup?
Ans. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Check your search terms for each and every ad group.
  • Mark irrelevant search terms, which triggered in your ad, as negative keywords.
  • Find new opportunities from search and create a new ad group for that and test it.
  • Pause the keywords which are not giving results and increase the bid for high performing keywords.
  • Check the bidding for your keywords every day. It should not go below “estimated first page bid,” otherwise your ad won’t show up on the first page.
  • Check the impressions, CTR and conversion rate.
  • For impressions – keywords are the main key and also the average position of your ad. CTR – Search term, Average position and quality of ad copy, Conversion rate – again search term, average position and landing page quality.
  • Check the quality score of the keywords. Improving quality helps in increasing the average position of the ad by triggering more clicks.
  • Add ‘Ad Extensions’ to your ad and analyze metric of the same.
  • Always check the ‘Opportunities’ tab in the Adwords notification.

In Google AdWords, all the metrics are interconnected so we have to check all the metrics individually.

49. Does age of domain and CTR matter for AdWords ranking?
Ans. If you have a campaign running for a long time, it really helps. If you have a really high CTR for the quality score that you are targeting, your quality score will definitely climb for the keyword. But most important is the CTR rather than the age of the domain. Domain does not have that much of an impact but a good ad can really do wonders.

50. I have paused my AdWords campaign for the last two months. Is it possible that the ‘quality score’ would have dropped by now?  
Ans. There is no correlation between the ads being paused and the quality score going down. Ensure that when you start, you have the proper ad setup and so on. But this should be absolutely fine.

51. How to increase conversions in spite of having quality ads, keywords and first position bid setup?
Ans. By having well-optimized landing pages. This post will help you get started.

Google AdWords for Beginners

52. Can you increase your daily budget on the go? For example, if it’s going to exhaust today, can you give a boost of couple hundred more just for today?
Ans. Yes, you can. Let’s say you exhausted your budget of Rs 5000 at 4pm today, and you want to run it for some more time, you can just increase the budget and it will run until the new budget is exhausted.

53. Our (education) season is starting up in April. Do you think, it’s possible to run a campaign on AdWords successfully or should I aim May 2016?
Ans. I think you should go ahead with the campaign right away. You can create top-of-the-mind awareness with your prospects and reach out to more students.

54. Any ideas on the education industry conversion ratio?
Ans. This awesome Google Adwords Benchmark Report by WordStream will give you an idea of the conversion ratio in the education industry.

55. What is an ideal conversion rate for software industry?
Ans. It definitely varies a lot. If it’s a lead generation type of a thing, the conversion ratio is usually high. A lead generation website should ideally strive for at least 10% conversion ratio, provided you are targeting the right keywords.

It’s the same for a software industry. If it’s a free trial page, ideally you should get a conversion rate of 10%.

56. I want to know if I can show my ads (text or display ads) to geo locations restricted to a city?
Ans. You can. There is an option to target cities. There is also an option to target an area around a point. Let’s say you have a store in a particular location and you only want to show ads to people who are in a 10-mile radius of your store. You will be able to just target them.

There is pin code level targeting also. But I wouldn’t suggest pin code targeting because it’s not really perfect. If you are really concerned about not being able to service people, go for radius location targeting or city-wise location targeting.

57. What’s the ideal budget for a lead generation campaign for mobile app company?
Ans. It would depend on the number of leads you are aiming to get every day.

We recently had a webinar on app marketing. You might find some useful tips there.

Google AdWords for Beginners

58. How to select keywords from keyword planner and how to select bidding?
Ans. For keyword selection,

  • Compile a list of words and phrases that you think your target demographic would use to describe your content, products, and services.
  • Upload your own keyword list or enter one by one; Keyword Planner will return suggested keyword phrases that are similar to your original phrase request.
  • Based on the relevance and average monthly searches, select keywords for your campaign.

Bidding is based on goals like getting clicks, impressions, or conversions. Figure out which strategy is best for your business. Ideally, if you are running a campaign for branding purposes, you can select CPM bidding. If you want to generate traffic to your website, go for CPC. For lead generation, opt for CPA.

(For LeadSquared however, using CPC to generate leads is working better. So try both, CPC & CPA and figure out which is working better for your business.)

59. Please explain Broad Match Modifier (BMM).
Ans. Broad Match Modifier is a keyword match type. You would have to add ‘+’ symbol in front of the keywords.
You can read about it here.

60. Why has Google stopped right side ads?
Ans. Read this post to find out why has Google decided to drop ads on the right-hand side of the search results page.

61. Should we put in more keywords in headline or description? Which is better?
Ans. It would be the ‘headline’ because it would be highlighted when the person searches for it.

62. What factors should I keep in mind while deciding maximum CPA?
Ans. If you currently have a good CPA number, start with that and gradually reduce it. I’d assume you’d want to reduce the CPA going further. If your CPA is currently running 200, do not put the CPA target as 100.

63. What does this mean: The web page doesn’t show ads in the format of your ads on the selected device?
Ans. Some placements will only show ads in a particular size or a format. Some sites will only show text ads. Now if you try to target that particular placement with an image or video ad, your ad will never run there. Try to add all the types of ads that are possible and your ad should start triggering.

64. How to do keyword research? Should we use any tool for that or should we depend on Keyword Planner?
Ans. Well, you can try AdNabu :) If not, start with Keyword Planner. Nobody has the kind of depth that Google data has. A lot of good insights can come from Google Keyword Planner itself. If you have the budget, you can also try other tools like SpyFu; they would tell you what keywords are your competitors bidding on.

65. How do you place product listing ads?
Ans. By using Google Merchant Account. Here’s a tutorial:

66. A week back, my organic bounce rate was 40% against 85% of inorganic. I changed the ad and even changed the landing page. Now the bounce rate for inorganic is 70%. How long will it take to stabilize?
Ans. Bounce rate is the function of your website. It’s not really a function of the visitors or AdWords. If you are going to make changes to the webpage, that might help in reducing the bounce rate but the behavior of users is not going to change. If you don’t make changes to the webpage/website, you’ll continue to see the same bounce rate.

However, since your bounce rate has dropped to 70% after you made the changes, I’d suggest you give it some time. A couple of weeks perhaps? As it’s already dropping, it means that something improved, so it should drop further.

67. What’s the average bounce rate for paid AdWords campaigns in health care industry?
Ans. Bounce rate is very subjective to a particular website. If people find what they are looking for in the first page itself (maybe information), then they will leave the website thereafter as they have found what they were looking for. You have 100% bounce rate in that scenario.

But is that a function of how good or bad your website is? Absolutely not.

68. I am a distributor for construction chemicals (http://www.snhomes.in/) of various brands. How can I go for AdWords for a specific area and specific target group?
Ans. You can target specific locations, and then target keywords relevant to you. In the case of Display, you can target various categories, like interest, websites etc.

69. Can we track conversions for readymade sites like from KartRocket (https://www.kartrocket.com/), etc?
Ans. Yes, you just need to place the conversion pixel.

70. Should I have any integrations in place to put the conversion code?
Ans. No, you’ll get it from Adwords, and you can place it on your website in the body tag.

71. What should I do if one of my very relevant keywords shows, ‘rarely shown due to low quality score’
Ans. Low-quality score happens because of two reasons.

  • Your landing page is not optimized for that particular keyword. If any work needs to be done on the landing page, I’d suggest you do that.
  • Is your ad clearly reflecting what the user is searching for? Try to be as close to the keyword as possible when writing ads.

These suggestions should help you get out of the ‘low-quality score’ bracket. Once this is taken care of, you’ll start getting clicks. Increase ad relevance, change landing page. If all fails increase bids.

72. Do we need separate user accounts for search and display?
Ans. No, you don’t.

73. Which is better, broad match or phrase match?
Ans. It depends on the objective. Phrase will give more targeted users, broad will help you get more reach.

74. How do I capture search words?
Ans. You can check out search terms in Google Adwords itself.


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