First off, a quick background about me (and our agency). iSynergy is a digital marketing agency. We do creative, ad placements and website design (among other things, like SEO…). In this blog, we are going to touch on a variety of industry essentials when it comes to crafting targeting messaging:
We think Pinterest is probably one of the best ways to diversify your digital marketing strategy, but knowing your audience is key to getting ahead with this visual social platform. Pinterest is home to over 150 million active accounts and over 10,000 pins. It’s one of the largest social networks, and the predominant base conducts tons of product research using images and links.
Most online stores have Pinterest as part of their social management strategy, but there are so many other possible ways to use this platform to bring in sales and traffic.
If you don’t think the lifestyle social network is worth it, Pinterest generated $300 million in revenue and continues to grow its position each year. Pinterest has also updated its ads platform so now ads now stream beside regular posts, making it difficult for users to tell what is sponsored and what is organic. This has given advertisers a bigger boost in clicks and CTR.
Can Pinterest Help Your Marketing Goals?
Did you know that 87 percent of Pinterest users have purchased a product they found on Pinterest? Most marketers set up social media ads to build awareness and acquire customers, but it takes a lot to set up product pages, landing pages, conversion tracking and so forth. Pinterest Ads work a bit differently.
You can use Pinterest advertising throughout your entire marketing funnel, whether you want to create awareness or make a sale. This is because Pinterest caters to people searching for lifestyle products, fashion, beauty, furniture, and just about every other product category.
People use Pinterest to shop and plan, so they are already looking for solutions and products that will help them. One case study on Living Royal, a socks company, showed how using promoted pins can building upon awareness. After one month of investing in promoted pins, which is Pinterest’s most basic ad format, Living Royal tracked six times the amount of referral traffic. The conversion rate for promoted pins was also 40 percent higher in comparison to other advertising channels.
Pinterest also created a visual search tool that allowed users to look for products just with photos snapped on their mobile phones. This meant that if your products matched a photo, Pinterest would suggest them to the user, and they could click on the photo and the link, as long as your business had set up a page with products and photos.
Whether you want to increase brand awareness, sell more products, launch a new line, or simply reach a new market, there are a ton of ways to use Pinterest and achieve these goals.
Who Can You Reach with Ads on Pinterest?
The main audience on Pinterest includes affluent young women of adult age who typically make more than $75,000 a year. In addition, 10 percent of the social platform’s users make more than $125,000 per year. Active pinners were also noted to have 9 percent high incomes than others.
Pinterest has been working on expanding to male interests, but the best way to see if your audience is available is by using the Pinterest for Business platform and setting up an ad to build an audience.
Most of the Pinners on the platform are under 40 years of age. About 33 percent of users are over 40 years old.
With all that said, you can still target just about any demographic or interest on Pinterest’s advertising platform. Their targeting is almost as sophisticated as Facebook – you have the capability of targeting based on location, gender, age, search terms and more. There’s a lot of flexibility when it comes to the Pinterest Ads platform.
You can also upload audience lists with phone numbers and emails. Marketers typically pull this information from your CRM and upload it to the Pinterest Ads manager as a CSV. Pinterest will match any profiles with the same email or phone number.
With the Pinterest tag, you can also track all those who clicked and abandoned a sale, which allows you to build remarketing and loyalty campaigns. The Pinterest tag allows you to track the following:
- Page visits
- Category views
- Searches on your website
- Add to cart
- Watched video
- Custom events
Pinterest supports custom conversion reporting, so you can see a breakdown of campaigns and how well they perform according to your conversion tracking. This is beneficial if you want to understand how different audiences respond to your campaigns, as well as what images and ad formats work best.
Why Pinterest Works Best for eCommerce
Want to boost your conversion rate? The experts say that images increase your conversion rates. That works well for Pinterest, where businesses and users pin, collect and share new products and ideas almost exclusively through images and links.
Pinterest released figures that showed their users spend 50 percent more on average in comparison to shopping through other social channels. They also spend 20 percent more than the users referred from non-social platforms, such as search engines. Other studies show that most Pinterest users go on the platform to research products that they plan to buy.
Based on this data, it’s safe to assume that Pinterest is a starting point for purchases online. In one case study from Ezra Firestone, the famous marketer generated almost $22,000 in revenue from just 520 sales and spending only $775.50 on Pinterest advertising.
Since Promoted Pins are shown right next to the organic content, many users click on the ads simply because of their appeal. In another study on Pinterest, it was found that 70 percent of sales from Promoted Pins were also new customers.
All of this boils down to the fact that online stores can get a lot of exposure and new business from simply promoting some of their pins. While you need to set up your pins to include high-quality images with links to the product pages, you can create endless boards and pins that connect to your site. As proven by Ezra Firestone, you also do not need that big of a budget to get a return.
Do Pinterest Ads Work?
Pinterest can be a very effective way to advertise certain products that would appeal to the social platform’s main userbase. Pinterest was built upon the idea that you can perform all kinds of research for products ranging from beauty and makeup to hairstyles to fashion to bohemian furniture and then some. In fact, Pinterest users are 47 percent more likely to be introduced to brand new products than users on any other social platform.
There are also a variety of formats and ways for users to interact with your pins, including:
- Promoted Pins: You can upload as many boards and pins as you like to your business’ Pinterest page. You can promote some of these with a small budget. That will increase your brand awareness and draw more traffic to your profile and links attached to your pins.
- Rich Pins: There are six types of “Rich Pins,” which ads dynamic information to the pin such as pricing, availability, and purchasing details for “Product Pins.” There are also recipe pins, article pins, place pins, movie pins, and app pins.
- Image or Video formats: Most advertisers should stick with images as promoted pins and organic pins look very similar when just a simple graphic is used. However, you can stand out with a video or GIF.
- Multiple Placements: Ads are placed in your profile, within search results, in relevant categories, and on a user’s home feed if they follow you or it’s relevant to their interests.
Most companies report that they see an increase in web traffic, conversions, transactions and revenue by using Pinterest to sell products that appeal to women.
Why not conduct a small advertising test? It may even help to simply set up your Pinterest for Business account and add your products as images. If you’d like additional help or set up a consultation to see if Pinterest Ads are right for your business, contact us.
Siri started off a voice search trend all the way back in 2011, which means if you have not updated your site for voice SEO, then you could be missing out on organic traffic related to queries through voice assistants.
Originally the technology was not as streamlined or effective, but in today’s world, phones and smart home speakers are used to search for all kinds of information. (There were over 3 billion voice assistants in use as of 2019.)
As a result of this shift, older keyword strategies and short phrases simply cannot compare to the effect of long-tail keywords and the question-and-answer content needed for today’s SEO strategy. People are using voice search more than ever before, and thanks to AI technology, voice recognition and search accuracy are improving daily.
Most businesses have some form of active digital marketing; we hear about blogs that link to social channels and backlink profiles from 2017 ALL THE TIME…but neither of those things are a “strategy.”
In 2017, a survey conducted by Smart Insights found that nearly half of all businesses had no strategic plan for digital marketing (and it’s likely that number hasn’t decreased much in the past two years). So, the question is – how do you build your 2020 digital marketing plan with a defined strategy?
Let’s start with a very important question. What specific marketing goals do you have for the next year?
Based on your answer, there are both simple and advanced digital marketing techniques that you can incorporate into your strategy. It’s important to understand where you’re currently at and where you want to be.
Here are the best ways to craft your digital marketing plan for 2020.
If you’re ready to call in the professionals for your search engine optimization, here are the top things to look for when hiring an SEO agency.
In 2018, just forty-four percent of companies invested money into SEO for their business. That’s an insanely low number – SEO is one of the most important pieces of marketing that you can do to help improve your business.
The term “SEO” can be an ominous phrase to those who aren’t as versed in digital marketing as those within an agency. While there are many moving bits and pieces to SEO, it can be best boiled down to this – it’s where your website is placed (organically) when someone searches a term that is relevant to your site.
Are you showing up on the first page of search results? Are you not there at all?
SEO matters because it helps your audience discover your business when they’re actively looking. Not only is SEO deeply impactful for your site’s organic search visibility, you can also attribute a true ROI to it.
But, how do you find an agency that fully understands SEO? Here’s our guide on what to look for when hiring an SEO agency. Read more
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools out there (if you’re using it correctly), and most of the platforms available are easy to manage, giving you complete control in establishing direct communication with your customers.
But how do you know if you’ve chosen the RIGHT email marketing platform to meet the needs of your business? If you haven’t done your research, you may be overpaying for a product with fewer features and terrible results, which in turn causes you to lose more money. Not good!
The right email marketing platform allows you to:
- Create engaging emails
- Manage your contacts
- Segment users into groups
- Track the performance of your emails and campaigns
- Integrate with your website and other platforms
- Ensure that your emails will not end up in a spam folder
Now that you know what an email marketing platform needs to accomplish, we’ve compiled a list of providers (featuring pros and cons) to help you understand whether or not you’ve chosen the right one for your business! Let’s get to it:
Constant Contact offers a 60 day free trial to ensure satisfaction. Their pricing is extremely fair because it’s based on list size. For example, the basic plan starts at $20/month for 0 – 500 contacts, $45/month for 501 – 2,500 contacts, and so on (find extensive info on their pricing here). There are no contracts, so if you’re not happy with their service, you can cancel at any time.
There are also some other features that we at iSynergy find important. They offer a drag and drop builder with mobile-optimized templates to choose from (or you can design your own), they feature reporting and A/B testing abilities, they offer a mobile app, they allow you to segment contacts to create more targeted lists, and they fully integrate with WordPress, Bluehost, WooCommerce, Gmail, etc.
One of the integrations involved with WordPress is a built-in form designer, which sounds AWESOME, however, the form builder only features text fields when building out your forms (no radio buttons, check boxes, drop-down selections, etc.). Definitely not good practice. Our suggestion would be to not use this feature and use a form plugin such as Gravity Forms on your websites.
Based on our own experience, MailChimp is extremely easy to use. They offer a free plan for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month, they have a very visual drag and drop editor/builder with plenty of email templates to choose from, they integrate with WordPress and WooCommerce, they offer detailed reporting for your campaigns, A/B testing, embeddable forms, landing pages, Facebook, Instagram and Google ads, API, and they have a mobile app.
A major pro we found is that MailChimp offers a “Growing Business” plan for $10/month with unlimited subscribers and emails — this is the most inexpensive option for email platforms we’ve found!
Free accounts do not have access to email and chat support. Also, when opting in through a form from MailChimp, they require a double opt-in. We see a couple of problems with this:
- After filling out the form, a subscriber then receives an email prompting them to confirm that they want to subscribe. Until the subscriber confirms, they are not added to your email list, meaning you could be missing out on a potential lead.
- If there are too many clicks involved to sign-up for your offer, a subscriber may not decide to sign-up after all, meaning you just lost that lead.
Drip fully integrates with WooCommerce and Gravity forms, they have a flexible API, a drag and drop builder and they offer reporting. They have a free plan for up to 100 subscribers, which is perfect for anyone who doesn’t have a large list. Drip also offers a payment option to pay annually, and in turn, you get 2 months free.
In comparison to Constant Contact, Drip seems a bit pricey; Constant Contact offers a plan that is $65/month for 2,501 – 5,000 contacts while Drip’s plan for the same amount of contacts is $83/month. Drip also is very specific to eCommerce companies, meaning that this platform may not be suitable to other types of businesses because you may be paying for features that aren’t necessary.
AWeber integrates with a lot of awesome platforms! Some of these include WordPress, WooCommerce, Google Calendar, Google Sheets, Facebook, Linkedin, Gmail, Google Analytics, Google Contacts and Slack. AWeber also uses a drag and drop builder with email templates, while offering a 30-day free trial, reporting and pricing comparable to Constant Contact (basic plan starts at $19/month for up to 500 subscribers and unlimited emails).
After checking out some reviews, many users state that the available email templates are a bit dated in appearance. Also, according to EmailToolTester, even though it seems that their pricing is fair and comparable to other email platforms, unsubscribed email addresses count towards your monthly quota, meaning if you lose emails, your monthly cost does not go down – bad.
Active Campaign integrates with WordPress website messaging that can be installed on your website, which is extremely beneficial if your company receives frequent inquiries. Some of the features of this tool include site messaging, SMS, engagement tracking and segmentation. Some other pros of Active Campaign are a drag and drop builder, reporting, form builder, a Gmail extension and a mobile app.
Payment plans are required to be paid yearly, and plans are based on the number of contacts you have or plan to have, so this can be a large chunk of money to start off with. And (this might only be considered a con if you’re after a quick and easy to use email solution), Active Campaign’s numerous features can be overwhelming.
ConvertKit offers a landing page editor in case you don’t have your own website, which can be extremely convenient for social media campaigns. They also integrate with WordPress, feature embeddable forms and they offer reporting.
Unfortunately, we found more cons with ConvertKit than pros. First, they only offer a 14-day free trial, but you have to register a credit card in order to get the trial, which we don’t like.
They’re also pretty pricey (there are more advanced tools — like Active Campaign — that are cheaper). They have no email builder, which ends up being a huge setback. They do have email templates, however, they only offer 3 templates to choose from and users have stated that they look outdated.
As great as it is that ConvertKit has a form option, unfortunately adding form fields requires HTML knowledge, which is not beginner-friendly, and it ends up being very unproductive.
GetResponse offers an extremely flexible drag and drop email and landing page builder, and their landing page editor is easy to use while allowing for A/B design testing. They also offer a form builder and detailed reporting for landing pages and email campaigns.
Based on our own experience, the platform itself can (at times) be difficult to navigate. Also, the form builder only features text input fields and no radio buttons, checkboxes, drop-down selections, etc. Their email and landing page templates are also a bit dated in appearance even though they have quite a few options to choose from.
Zoho Campaigns integrates with quite a few platforms such as G Suite, WordPress, Zoho, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. They also have a mobile app, a drag and drop builder, a form builder, and offer A/B testing.
Zoho Campaigns is also valuable in that it combines an email builder and CRM in one bundle. It features modern and visually appealing email templates and offers a free plan for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month, which is exactly the same as MailChimp
*Our suggestion would be to compare features between these email platforms as their pricing is extremely similar.
The main con for Zoho Campaigns is that it’s a bit on the pricier side; their pricing plans seem to be based on the number of contacts you have (which is normal) but doesn’t explain in detail the features you receive with each plan. Their form builder also only features text input fields and no radio buttons, checkboxes, drop-down selections, etc.
Integrates with WordPress, Salesforce, WooCommerce, Facebook and Google Analytics. Based on user reviews, the platform is easy to use and beginner-friendly.
The pricing is on the higher side. The HTML and SQL are not easily accessible, if at all, which could be a problem if you needed to customize anything.
Campaigner offers a 30 day free trial and social media integration. They also offer a drag and drop builder with professional templates to choose from.
Unfortunately, Campaigner is extremely pricey starting at $149.95 per month, and you have to pay the plan yearly which is a large expense at one time. Based on user reviews, the platform itself is on the slower side when processing any submitted action or when editing campaigns. To sign-up for the free trial, you are also required to register a credit card.
Omnisend offers a 14-day free trial of any of its paid plans, and their standard plan starts off at just $16 per month. What’s cool is that there are different modules you can add with extra features so you can really customize the standard plan to be perfect for your needs.
Omnisend offers some really interesting features for e-commerce marketers. Most of the tools in this list handle email marketing automation, but Omnisend takes it further. With this tool, you can actually add several different channels into the same automation workflow, which lets you centralize your customer data and marketing campaigns, and shave hours off your workload.
Also, Omnisend is really easy to use: each kind of campaign uses a drag-and-drop builder with a ton of customizable templates so you can create your messages easily. They offer email capture, smart segmentation for precise targeting, and a ton of channel and e-commerce platform integrations too.
Where Omnisend has room to improve is via mobile. They don’t have a mobile app as of yet, so creating campaigns on the go is a bit tricky. Also, while their automation workflows are quite sophisticated, they don’t have the most visual platform. Their automation workflows, in terms of being clear and visual, fall somewhere between Mailchimp and Drip.
In conclusion, our advice would be to cross-reference features with prices to fit the needs of your business. Every company is different, and only you can know what email platform will suit you best.
Do you need help choosing the right email marketing platform OR even writing the email itself? Take a look at our services and see how we get you the best open rates possible!
We are recognized as a top Digital Marketing Company on DesignRush.
As a digital advertising agency, it only made sense that we would think outside the box when planning a way to give back to the community. In a room full of creative minds an idea was born: what better way to give back than by offering up our services in the form of a complete digital marketing makeover to a deserving nonprofit? Read more