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Shopify vs WooCommerce: Which eCommerce Platform Is Better?

Shopify and WooCommerce are two of the world’s most popular eCommerce platforms, between them boasting 5 million users who generate billions of dollars a year. But with key differences between the platforms, which is right for your eCommerce business?

Setup and UX

Shopify is geared much more toward the public, while WooCommerce has been created with designers and programmers in mind. WooCommerce entails a far steeper learning curve for business owners, whereas Shopify guides you automatically through a step-by-step setup process, at the end of which you’ll have a fully functioning eCommerce site.

Shopify’s dashboard is easy to navigate. It’s intuitive to add new products, not least because of the simple guide advising you on what details to add. WooCommerce’s dashboard is also easy to navigate and add products to, but since it’s not a subscription-based platform you’ll need to perform some integrations before you can get underway:

  • purchasing a domain name
  • finding a hosting account
  • installing WordPress
  • finding and installing a WordPress theme

These integrations are better performed by someone confident with the platform and who knows what plugins to use.

Design and themes

When you sign up for Shopify you get immediate access to over 70 free themes, as well as several paid themes, all of which are visually striking and easy to implement. There’s also a ton of design elements to explore. You might choose to purchase a theme from the Shopify store for a one-off fee.

Over at WooCommerce are hundreds of themes and designs, which can be automatically programmed to be mobile-responsive. However, with WooCommerce it takes longer to ensure your website’s design is clear and easily navigable, because every plugin has its own unique user experience to learn. On the other hand, WooCommerce is the best platform if you’re looking for a more custom layout for your eCommerce site—as long as you have the requisite time and money for its development.

Costs

Shopify has a 14-day free trial period, after which you’ll need to pay a monthly subscription fee. Its Basic package is $29 a month, its medium Shopify package is $79 a month, and its top-of-the-range Advanced package is $299 a month. All plan prices are paid annually, and include web hosting and SSL, the standard technology for keeping your internet connection secure and safeguarding any sensitive data. If you want your own domain name without your URL containing the brand name (such as Shopify), you’ll need to pay an additional $14 a year.

With Shopify, the entry-level package allows two users per account, along with unlimited product and storage space. However, it doesn’t include the use of in-platform third-party tools and add-ons. And remember, with Shopify there’s a sliding scale for transaction fees. With the Basic package you’re charged a flat fee of 2% for all transactions, while the range-topping Advanced package entails a flat fee of only 0.5% on transactions. Depending on the sales volume you’re processing, it might be worth upping your package to retain more of the overhead profit on your offerings.

Meanwhile, WooCommerce offers a free initial service, but you’ll need to pay for additional services like SSL certifications, domain names and one of the many WordPress hosting accounts. Costs for these services vary from $5 to $30. Purchasing a domain name costs an average $9 a year. Depending on how you mix and match your third-party apps for WooCommerce, you can create a website at a fairly low cost, although bear in mind you may find yourself needing to pay for several extensions in the future, like SEO plugins.

Support

While Shopify and WooCommerce both offer support, Shopify’s is much better. Shopify has a 24/7 customer service team, able to give you a fixed solution to your problem by virtue of the fact it operates on a closed platform. This results in better-documented user errors. On the other hand, as an open platform WooCommerce allows anyone to integrate add-ons, but this means the support team simply can’t have a predetermined solution for every lodged issue.

SEO

SEO is vital for making your eCommerce website discoverable on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). Shopify has a builtin SEO plugin and helps with basic practices, like web copy and metadata. It’s also important to note that Shopify sites load faster than WooCommerce sites, and site speed is an important SEO ranking signal. However, because it’s integrated with WordPress, which is designed specifically for blogging, WooCommerce is easier than Shopify when it comes to altering URLs, alt tags, body content, meta descriptions and lots of other on-page elements.

Dropshipping

When starting an eCommerce website you need to ensure your customers are actually receiving what they ordered. This means integrating delivery vendors into your site. Shopify has several popular options, the costs of which vary, as well as its own monthly membership fees or one-off costs for dropshipping—although then you’re limited to the platform’s own plugins. Whereas with WooCommerce you can browse hundreds of options and decide what you need. For example, if you’re a small business with only one or two deliveries a month, the best choice will be per-item delivery as opposed to a monthly subscription.

Shopify vs WooCommerce: which should you choose?

Shopify is incredibly easy to use from the beginning, and enables you to optimise your website for search within hours. It’s a more complete package than WooCommerce for business owners with neither the time nor inclination to learn more technical skills. However, Shopify is less customisable than WooCommerce because it’s a closed platform.

WooCommerce has become the behemoth of eCommerce platforms it is today because it’s basic but customisable, meaning you can build a more creative interface. Of course, creativity entails the cost of hiring a developer, which offsets the fact that WooCommerce is free in itself.  WooCommerce is suggested automatically when you register an account with WordPress, giving new users an easy route to getting started. However, WooCommerce is perhaps less intuitive than Shopify—or at least requires more development experience—so you may need to devote more time to building your online store than you would with Shopify.

Shopify is the eCommerce platform for you if you want:

  • a myriad of integration options
  • lots of easy-to-use apps and features
  • an all-in-one platform that gets everything running quickly
  • a helpful and enthusiastic support team ready to assist you with any problems

…Whereas WooCommerce will be right for you if you:

  • already have a WordPress website or plan to create one
  • are particularly focused on ranking well for SEO on Google’s SERPs
  • want to take more control of your eCommerce store or have the time to pore over its design details
  • are especially interested in finding a platform that’s highly adaptable and can be scaled up by magnitudes

Choosing between Shopify and WooCommerce depends on your budget, objectives, your target audience, the experience of who’s building your website, and who will be editing and managing it. Both platforms are fantastic at what they do, and as long as you understand the inherent limitations of whichever you opt for, you’ll have an aesthetic and intuitive eCommerce website going live in no time at all!

Webflow vs WordPress: Which Website Builder Is Better?

There are so many website builders to choose from, but most of our clients use either Webflow or WordPress. Despite having similar functionality, they’re markedly different products—which is why today we’re comparing the two so you can see which is right for your business.

Webflow… is easier to set up

As a cloud-based all-in-one SaaS product, Webflow has everything you need to get your website live.

It’s easy to get your account set up: simply follow the step-by-step tutorial. A short survey will assess your level of coding experience, asking you a few questions about your knowledge of CSS and HTML. Then the Webflow bot walks you through using the tool, highlighting the most important areas you’ll need to know about and what they do. You can click to read more, or start building your site when you’re ready to go.

WordPress entails a clunkier setup, not least because it won’t be hosting your website as part of a package and therefore you’ll need to find and pay separately for a host and domain—and identifying a suitable host can be tricky.

Once you have your host, you download WordPress as a one-size-fits-all version which comes with instructions for installation described as ‘basic’—although many non-developers might feel otherwise.

While many web hosts offer WordPress installer tools to simplify the process, it’s never going to be as easy or seamless as an all-in-one package like Webflow.

WordPress… is free (in its basic form)

WordPress is an open-source web platform, so it’s free to use—technically. But you still have to pay a third party to use WordPress—for hosting, domain name, and usually plugins and templates (which WordPress calls themes). This is assuming you don’t have a web developer to design and build your site from scratch—but of course, dev time is also far from free!

Your total expenditure for a WordPress website can creep up if you’re after something more than basic, because of the associated costs:

  • custom domain: $10–$30 a year
  • hosting provider: $2–$15 a month
  • preset theme: some are free, some cost up to $200 a month—or alternatively, you may wish to go all-out and hire a designer
  • plugins: many are free, but premium plugins cost $40–$200

To be clear, Webflow isn’t free either, but one upside to the platform is that you pay for everything you need to build and host your website in a handy monthly package. The price you pay depends on the tier of the package, but you’ll always know upfront what it’s going to cost:

  • Basic package: $14 a month, billed annually
  • Standard eCommerce package: $29 a month, billed annually
  • Business package: $39 a month, billed annually
  • Advanced eCommerce package: $212 a month, billed annually

Webflow billing is split into two categories: Your site and Workspace—but as the Workspace is where you build and manage websites, the latter billing category is mainly for consultants working on multiple website projects at once.

Webflow… is more accessible to non-developers

If you’ve never built a website before, Webflow will ease you in—especially if you’re a designer or content manager, as the platform is visually oriented and requires almost zero code.

If you’re not using a preset template, you’ll build using drag-and-drop building blocks called containers to construct the various sections of your website. Within these containers are elements, like headings, buttons and images, which you style using classes.

With Webflow, the code is still there, and you can access it if you want, but you can build and manage your website without ever having to look at it, too. But if you tried building a WordPress site without a preset theme and no coding experience, you’d probably never get the thing off the ground. However, as WordPress’s preset themes are fairly inflexible, you’ll get more out of them if you know at least a little HTML. You can integrate a visual drag-and-drop design builder plugin like Elementor on WordPress—making it work more like Webflow, incidentally—but you’d need to pay for the plugin package, which is where the endeavour might start getting pricey.

WordPress… is better for blog hosting

There’s a reason so many blogs are hosted on WordPress: that was the platform’s original raison d’être when it was launched back in 2003.

WordPress is incredibly easy to work with when it comes to blogging. With its Gutenberg editor you can build blogs using blocks, which contain text and other media. It’s a simple and intuitive system.

While Webflow does have a CMS package, it can’t hold a candle to WordPress. Its editor isn’t the easiest to use, and it lacks many of WordPress’s advanced features, such as the comments section, and the ability to categorise and add multiple tags to posts. Webflow just isn’t built with content-driven businesses in mind—which is totally fine if that’s not what you’re about, although even then it’s worth bearing in mind in case you want to build out your blog in the future.

Webflow… offers customer support

Because you’re paying a monthly fee for Webflow, you benefit from new features, continual product improvements and customer support, the latter being especially handy if you don’t have in-house developers to call on when something goes wrong.

WordPress, on the other hand, is an open-source platform, so there’s no customer support available. That being said, the platform’s been going so long that a raft of free resources has accumulated on easily accessible websites like WPBeginner, although naturally nothing compares to realtime assistance from a dedicated customer support team as you’ll enjoy with Webflow.

WordPress… caters better to marketers

If you have a team of marketers who will be working on your website daily, WordPress is the platform for you, not least because it can handle an unlimited number of users.

Webflow enables you to edit on-page, which is a nice touch, whereas on WordPress you always need to make changes to pages via the CMS dashboard. But generally, Webflow simply isn’t built to support the level of activity possible on WordPress. With its CMS package you can have up to three ‘guest editors’, but the free and Basic packages don’t allow any editors whatsoever, meaning you’ll also be working from a single login. With the most expensive package you can have up to 10 editors. (Technically you can have more if you opt for a custom plan, but that’s when things start getting seriously pricey.) Even the nomenclature of guest editors speaks to the fact that Webflow considers marketers from within the company using the CMS as ‘guests’ to the website.

The two platforms’ different approaches to SEO optimisation also reflect their target users. Much of the SEO performance on Webflow is generated automatically, negating most of the manual work. You simply define a pattern using things like title tags and meta descriptions, then all pages in that collection will use that pattern to generate SEO settings automatically. This setup suits designers who don’t want to be thinking about writing metatags and other SEO-related tasks.

Meanwhile, over on WordPress is the Yoast plugin, which is either free or $99 annually for the premium version. This caters far more for marketers, because rather than doing anything automatically Yoast highlights keywords and guides you to create higher-quality content that’s as SEO-friendly as possible.

Webflow… offers more design freedom

Webflow is aimed at those with little or even no coding experience, often visually oriented designers and marketers who don’t want to be limited by code. Webflow therefore gives you a lot of freedom to design your website. You have the same level of customisation on WordPress too, of course, but if you’re not confident with coding then you’ll need a developer’s help to realise your vision.

Because of this setup, Webflow has far fewer preset templates than WordPress—1,000 vs 10,000 respectively. WordPress’s templates are out-of-the-box, whereas with Webflow’s templates you need to want total control and freedom over designing your website yourself.

Making changes to your Webflow design is easier post-build than on WordPress. Webflow utilises classes to style elements, such as headings, buttons and images, and you name each class—Big heading, Medium heading, Small heading, for example. Then if you want the text to be bigger for all your Big headings, you simply search for the class in the righthand menu, where you can make changes to its size, spacing and layout. These alterations are then applied automatically across all elements using that class. You can do this with CSS in WordPress, but the platform doesn’t offer no-code design tweaks unless you integrate a visual drag-and-drop design plugin.

WordPress… integrates better with other tools

WordPress is specifically designed to be used with plugins, and at present there are 60,000 available. WordPress plugins make integrations native: you don’t need to leave the platform to add them—simply go to the plugin menu on the dashboard and browse the thousands of options. Installation is performed with a single click!

In contrast, the premise of Webflow is that you have everything you need ready to go in a single handy package—no need to integrate any add-ons. You can still pull other tools into your Webflow website using code snippets, whereby you embed code into the backend of your site—but since Webflow’s strength lies in the fact you barely need code to manage your site, these code snippets are a workaround at best. Moreover, you’ll need to work with the third-party software separately, as it won’t be fully integrated into Webflow.

Webflow vs WordPress: which should you choose?

Webflow is the website builder for you if:

  • whoever’s building your site has little to no coding experience
  • you want to get your website up and running fast and with minimal effort
  • you’re new to website building and would benefit from customer support
  • you want to be able to make custom design changes to your website without having to call on a developer

…Whereas WordPress will be right for you if:

  • you have coding experience or the budget to hire a web developer
  • you have an existing tech stack you want to integrate into your website
  • you have a team of editors or marketers who will be contributing regularly
  • you want to host a blog or plan to frequently add new content pages to your site

Choosing between Webflow and WordPress depends on your budget, objectives, the experience of who’s building your website, what you plan to use the website for, and who will be editing and managing it. Both platforms are fantastic at what they do, and as long as you understand the inherent limitations of whichever you opt for, you’ll have a fabulous and SEO-worthy website going live in no time at all!

Top 5 AI Tools to Enhance Your Marketing

You’d be hard-pressed to find any company, big or small, that’s not either using or at least considering AI tools to promote its brand and business—if only because that’s what the competition’s doing. But with so many tools to choose from, it can be tough knowing where to start. That’s why today I’ve collated the 5 best AI tools which have helped our clients reap immense rewards—and in rapid time.

An AI marketing tool is simply any platform or software that draws on AI to automate decisions based on your customer data, then analyses it and implements it according to your business goals and current market trends.

The goal of using such a tool is pretty much universal: anticipate the buyer’s next move—sometimes even before they know it themselves. This is all done in real time, and with no human supervision or intervention necessary. It’s this capacity to automate decisions at lightning speed that makes AI marketing tools formidable and game-changing. They crunch unimaginably large chunks of information from email, social media and the internet at large to bridge the gap between data and the actionable solutions you need to enhance your sales and marketing campaigns.

There are endless AI marketing tools to choose from, and it can feel overwhelming even trying to research them. So let me offer you a cheat sheet—the 5 finest AI marketing tools with which I’ve had firsthand experience of generating epic results for clients.

1) Flick

Price

7-day free trial, then:

  • Solo: £11 a month
  • Pro: £24 a month
  • Agency: £55 a month

Standout features

  • Post scheduling
  • AI idea brainstorming
  • Autosuggested hashtags
  • On-brand AI caption writing
  • Hashtag Search and Manager

Flick AI Social Media Assistant is a powerful tool designed to help marketers streamline the brainstorming, writing, and planning of their social media content. And by virtue of its 7-day free trial, users can create engaging and entirely on-brand content more easily than ever.

With Flick you can ideate around distinct content concepts, arrange and schedule your posts with a single click, and turn lengthy pieces into bitesized nuggets ready for sharing. And with Flick’s autosuggested hashtags and Hashtag Search and Manager, you’ve got every base covered when it comes to effective content management and visibility enhancement.

Flick is simple to set up, and even offers 24/7 support. It’s trusted by over 100,000 brands, marketers and content creators worldwide, who love how the tool saves them time, boosts their results, and improves their social media presence.

2) Phrasee

Price: Custom quote

Standout features

  • Dynamic content
  • Predictive analytics
  • Engagement metrics
  • Content management

Phrasee’s focus is brand language optimisation—that is, enhancing the language companies use for their brands online. Phrasee utilises a natural language generation system and machine learning algorithm to produce copy not only for socials but also for email and even push notifications. The result? Human-sounding copy that’s both effective and on-brand.

Phrasee is already turning heads in major places, counting Virgin and Domino’s among its fast-expanding client base.

3) GrowthBar

Price

  • Standard: $29 a month
  • Pro: $79 a month
  • Agency: $129 a month

Standout features

  • SEO
  • Meta generator
  • AI blogging tools
  • Paragraph generator

GrowthBar automates content generation using GPT-3, the first AI technology to pass the Turing test—that is, a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour equivalent to or indistinguishable from that of a human. GrowthBar suggests links, images, keywords, word count—and that barely scratches the surface. It’s capable of providing extensive backlinks and creating outlines for blogs. There’s also a Chrome extension.

4) Optimove

Price: Custom quote

Standout features

  • A/B testing
  • Campaign insights
  • Hypersegmentation
  • Multichannel tracking

Optimove is a customer data platform packed with AI-based marketing functions. It helps collect data from a multitude of platforms to form a unified view in one handy dashboard, where you can analyse your information, share it with your team, and leverage it to execute more precise marketing strategies.

Optimove uses a proprietary AI tool called Optibot, which scours all your customer data to generate actionable insights. Optibot can suggest which of your campaigns aren’t worth continuing with based on loss, and inform you when customers are potentially being exposed to excessive company comms.

Optimove must be doing something right, counting among its clients John Hardy, Sweaty Betty and the New York Racing Association.

5) Jasper

Price

  • Starter (20k words): $40 a month
  • Boss Mode (50k words) $82 a month

Standout features

  • Machine learning
  • Plagiarism checker
  • Content generation
  • Tone of voice settings
  • Customisable templates

Previously called Conversion.ai, Jasper is an advanced AI marketing tool designed to create high-quality ad copy, emails, articles, landing pages and social media posts. Like GrowthBar it draws on GPT-3 to produce human-sounding text, and comes with built-in templates for PAS, AIDA, BAB and FtB. All you need to do is insert your brand or product name, and voilà!—on-brand copy, ready to go.

And as if that weren’t enough, if you’re an eCommerce brand you can even use Jasper to create product descriptions whether in meta or bullet point form, all at the click of a button.

What are the benefits of using an AI marketing tool?

Creating realtime personalisation

Today’s customers expect you to know what they want. This is an area where AI marketing tools come into their own, empowering you to adapt your sales and marketing strategy to generate a personalised experience for any given customer. Using predictive analysis, AI gains an exponentially better understanding of each individual shopper’s behaviours and buying habits. Imagine that power—being able to guide a customer to exactly the product that best suits their preferences, and at the precise time they want it most.

Automating tricky decisions

Data is everything in modern marketing, so being able to automate the gathering, analysis and implementation of your data is beyond powerful. For example, you can ascertain with great accuracy how your audience would react to a message before even having to launch it. Think of how many headaches that’s going to save you.

Increasing ROI

AI tools enable marketers to maximise the amount of information they produce while minimising the costs of other campaigns. At the same time they offer deep customer insights, and throw light on what your customers really want. What’s more, with AI tools you can group warm leads and guide them to move forward in the buying journey, ultimately boosting your odds of making a sale—and transforming ROI for your business.

Saving time and money

Every business owner is on the lookout to save money on their marketing campaigns. So while an AI marketing tool may be a sizeable investment to begin with, it pays dividends by cutting heaps of costs down the road. With an AI tool in your arsenal you can work faster and more efficiently, because you’re no longer having to pay staff to do the majority of the manual work. Instead of hiring a full team you can just recruit people for those tasks that absolutely can’t be performed without human supervision. And ultimately, AI massively reduces the chance of human error, too.

If you haven’t invested in AI marketing tools yet—the time is now

AI itself is nothing new—for years companies have been looking for ways to apply automation to accelerate their processes, streamline their systems, and draw ever more actionable insights to boost revenue. What is new is the power of these up-and-coming technologies—and the fact that investing in AI is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. So as a business, it’s vital to become conversant with AI marketing tools to stay ahead of the competition. In no time at all you’ll be honing a prosperous and futureproof brand.

How Do Google’s Performance Max Campaigns Work?

What sets Performance Max apart from other types of Google Ads campaign is automation, which Google uses to produce ads based on the creative assets you provide. But how does Performance Max optimally combine these assets to maximise campaign performance?

Unlike other types of Google Ads campaign, Performance Max automates target and delivery according to the data you feed into it. It’s also differentiated from other campaign types by its eligibility to run across all of Google’s inventory, able to serve in any placement filled by Search, Display, Gmail, YouTube and Discovery campaigns.

What controls do I have with Performance Max?

When you set up your Performance Max campaign, you choose your objective depending on your goals, and have the option to connect your product feeds and store locations.

Budget and bidding

To begin you set your budget and select your bidding strategy, whose options include maximum value and maximum conversions. You can also set a maximum CPA or target value or conversion, enabling you to leverage Target CPA and Target ROAS strategies.

Location, language and scheduling

Performance Max isn’t currently supported by Google Ads Editor, so setting up its targeting is a little more fiddly than with most campaigns. If you’re looking to include multiple locations, you can hit Enter another location, which expands to include a space, then hit Advanced search, which enables you to bulk-import locations. From there you can select your languages, ad schedule and campaign run dates.

Advanced URL options

Google defines its own final URLs by default unless you toggle that option off. It’s worth noting that if you permit Google to send traffic to whatever links it sees fit, you can exclude links as well. You can also add tracking templates.

Setting up asset groups

Next you’ll be directed to set up an asset group, which is effectively an ad, and so named because it acts like an asset to all platforms. It’s similar to a responsive display asset. You can create as many asset groups as you like.

Automated targeting

Each campaign has only one set of targeting—so no ad groups. You can select audiences to give Google insight into who to target, and it will automatically show your ads to those users most likely to convert for your goals. Then you can accelerate optimisation by providing audience signals. This means your campaigns may not be delivered only to those audiences—rather, Google uses the audiences you provide to generate signals, and uses that data to identify similar customers who are also likely to exhibit the same interests and behaviours.

Ad extensions

Finally you add your extensions. You can opt to use existing account-level sitelink extensions, or instead select and create specific sitelinks for your Performance Max campaigns, which suggest extension formats based on your goals. For example, if your primary goal is lead generation, the campaign suggests you create a lead form extension. You can also add callouts, snippets, call extensions, and price and promo extensions.

What does a Performance Max campaign include?

Performance Max reporting is currently somewhat limited. Advertisers can report broadly on campaign performance as they can with any other campaign, but matters become more opaque when it comes to granular analytical breakdown.

At present there are three general types of performance you can report on:

  • top-level campaign performance
  • performance by hour of day, weekday, or hour and weekday combined
  • location performance—and if you’re advertising a chain, your store report is available based on location extensions

However, there are still several things you can’t report on. For example, while you can add multiple asset groups (ads), it’s not currently possible to report on performance by asset group. For instance, you can report on performance by responsive display ad, but you can’t break that performance down by individual asset in any meaningful way. And in fact, with Performance Max you can’t even take that initial step of breaking down performance by asset group.

Furthermore, at the moment there’s no information given on targeting. Remember, the targeting parameters provided are used as indicators to identify other potential customers in-market—so those audiences provided won’t necessarily be used as targets, but rather as a means of identifying qualifiers and indicators to find other likely prospects. That means ultimately there’s no way of knowing who actually sees your ads—no reporting on keyword, audience or demographic. It’s therefore not possible to add exclusions for these factors. You also can’t report on device performance or make exclusions accordingly.

Is Performance Max worth it?

As a marketer I have to say that some aspects of Performance Max still feel novel even now, like URL expansion and autogenerated video assets. That’s fun! Other elements feel more familiar, like responsive ads and conversion-only bidding.

In my experience Performance Max performs well, driving a lot of volume for our numerous eCommerce clients here at Pixated. On the flipside, if you’re a lead generation company then I don’t recommend Performance Max unless you’ve got sophisticated tracking in place (and have the capability in-house to use it and interpret its output).

Furthermore, Performance Max isn’t worth trying full stop unless you’re prepared to spend at least $50 a day for at least a month, although really you want to be looking more toward $100 a day. Otherwise you’re unlikely to generate enough data and learning for the format to work as it’s designed to.

For inspiration, check out a case study shared by Google outlining how online lender MoneyMe leveraged Performance Max to the max, boosting conversions by 22%, increasing revenue from newly funded loans by $800k, and reducing overall CPA by 20% across the account.

If you’re an eCommerce brand, don’t wait to find out whether Performance Max could be right for your business model—the time is now! Just be prepared to set aside an adequate budget to generate the data Google needs to learn and optimise your campaigns.

Top 6 AI Tools That Marketers Should Know About

Today, large and small businesses use cutting-edge AI marketing tools to promote their brands and grow their enterprises through artificial intelligence (AI). With AI marketing tools, automated decisions can be made based on analysed data and interpreted against current market trends. They can predict consumers’ next actions in real time without human involvement, making them incredibly powerful for businesses.

AI-based marketing tools are vital for bloggers, e-commerce entrepreneurs, and affiliate marketers alike. Therefore, you will be able to develop and implement a more effective marketing strategy, which will assist you in meeting your goals more effectively.

To maintain a competitive edge in this rapidly evolving marketplace, staying current on the top AI areas in marketing is essential. This article will explore some of the best tools available for these areas, providing you with valuable information to maximise the potential of AI marketing in your organisation.

AI-Powered Analytics

AI analytics tools are technology-driven solutions designed to collect, analyse, and interpret data related to marketing efforts. Businesses can use them to gain insights into marketing campaigns, customer behaviour, and overall performance. This enables businesses to make data-driven decisions and optimise their marketing strategies.

By leveraging these tools, businesses can gain a competitive edge and stay ahead of the curve in an increasingly data-driven world. A good example of such a tool is SEMrush, which is used for AI analytics.

SEMrush

SEMrush is a renowned name in the field of marketing. They offer a range of digital marketing tools that can help businesses optimise their marketing strategies, improve their online presence, and gain insights into their competitors’ strategies. Their platform includes tools for search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, content marketing, social media marketing, and competitive analysis.

Moreover, SEMrush provides various AI-powered tools such as the content outline builder, SEO Writing Assistant, and ImpactHero. These tools can assist in improving online presence by identifying gaps in content and providing insights for optimizations. By utilising their suite of tools, businesses can stay ahead of the competition in an ever-evolving digital landscape.

AI Email Marketing

AI email marketing refers to using artificial intelligence-powered tools and technologies to enhance various aspects of email marketing campaigns. AI-based email marketing can optimise email marketing campaigns’ construction, administration, and optimisation to make them more efficient and effective, resulting in stronger connections with audiences and higher conversion rates.

Overall, these tools enable marketers to create more targeted, personalised, and timely communications, resulting in stronger connections with their target audience and higher conversion rates.

Twilio SendGrid

Twilio SendGrid provides a suite of tools for developing effective email marketing campaigns. These include email automation, sign-up forms, email testing, email design, email templates, and email statistics. In addition, they provide an email API with SMYP service, email validation, deliverability insights, dynamic templates, and email integration.

It employs AI in three key areas:

  • Validation of email addresses: The real-time API examines your list to detect and prevent invalid email addresses, keeping your list clean and lowering bounce rates.
  • Neural protection: This improves your deliverability rates by identifying potentially dangerous transmission patterns. The AI examines outgoing messages to identify ways in which you harm your reputation with ISPs.
  • Deliverability insights: The AI analyses your real-time metrics and email performance to provide suggestions for enhancing email deliverability.

AI Graphic Designing

Effective visual representation of campaigns is crucial for lead generation and prospecting in marketing. AI-powered graphic design solutions assist in developing, editing, and optimising visual material. These tools leverage artificial intelligence to automate various aspects of graphic design, making the design process simpler and more efficient for experienced designers and non-experts.

By streamlining and improving the design process, these tools enable the creation of visually alluring and effective graphics that can facilitate better engagement with the target audience and help achieve marketing objectives. DALL is one such AI-powered graphic design tool that we will explore.

DALL-E

Among the most popular tools in creating graphics is DALL-E. The DALL-E AI from OpenAI can create unique pictures based on written descriptions. It is a creative tool that combines natural language processing and image generation, allowing it to generate original visualisations based on user input.

While DALL-E isn’t free ($15 for 115 credits), it’s a great way to quickly and easily create engaging photos for use in social media, email marketing, and advertising. In addition, you may load an existing picture to use as a template.

AI Copywriting

Next up, we have our AI-generated copywriting. Artificial intelligence copywriting solutions use Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning models to streamline the writing, editing, and publishing processes.

These resources make copywriting less time-consuming and more accessible, empowering writers of all skill levels to produce excellent content for use in marketing campaigns, blogs, social media posts, and other contexts. Two of the most popular tools for creating marketing copy are ChatGPT and Jasper. There is no denying that these tools have garnered headlines in the copywriting world. Now let’s dive into each tool in more detail:

ChatGPT

OpenAI created ChatGPT, an AI-powered text generation model that can understand and generate conversational-like text. Here are some of the ways that ChatGPT can help with marketing copywriting:

  • Write copy: ChatGPT can be used to write full pieces of marketing copy, including blog posts, website copy, and email marketing campaigns. This saves time and creates high-quality content.
  • Edit and refine copy: ChatGPT can also be used to edit and refine marketing copy. This can be helpful for copywriters who want to make sure that their copy is clear, concise, and persuasive.
  • Generate ideas: ChatGPT can be used to generate new ideas for marketing copy. Copywriters who are stuck or who are looking for new methods can benefit from this resource.approach a campaign.
  • Brainstorm headlines and taglines: ChatGPT can be used to brainstorm headlines and taglines for marketing campaigns. It can be a time-consuming task, but ChatGPT can help to speed up the process and generate more creative ideas.

In general, ChatGPT can improve the marketing copywriting process. By using ChatGPT, copywriters can save time, generate new ideas, and create more effective marketing campaigns.

Jasper AI

Jasper AI and ChatGPT are both AI-powered language models, but separate entities develop them and have unique use cases. Conversion.ai has developed Jasper AI, formerly known as Jarvis. It is a copywriting tool designed to assist businesses and individuals in producing high-quality content for a variety of purposes.

Jasper helps in creating marketing copy by using a combination of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning algorithms to analyse and understand the brand’s voice, target audience, and marketing objectives. Jasper AI provides users with content templates and prompts, speeding up the process of content creation and sparing them time. Here’s how Jasper can assist in creating different types of marketing copy:

  • Social media posts
  • Email marketing campaigns
  • Landing pages
  • Blog posts
  • Case studies
  • Press releases

Overall, Jasper helps in creating marketing copy by leveraging its AI-powered capabilities to understand your brand’s voice, audience, and goals.

AI Video & Audio Editing

To assist in the production of audio and video marketing materials, an essential category is the use of AI-powered video and audio editing applications. This collection of applications simplifies the production, modification, and optimization of audio and video content. Through the use of these applications, editing and producing video and audio content becomes more accessible and efficient. This allows professionals and non-experts alike to craft high-quality videos and audio files for various purposes, including marketing materials, podcasts, and social media postings. Finally, these tools prove to be of great use for enhancing the effectiveness and reach of audio and video marketing materials.

Synthesia

Synthesia is an AI-powered video creation platform that can help you save time and money when creating videos in multiple languages. Over 50 video templates and 70 AI avatars are available in Synthesia, so you never have to repeat the same templates.

You can use Synthesia for your business in the following ways:

  • Train your employees with educational content.
  • Produce synthetic media in large quantities.
  • Replace voiceover actors with it.
  • Use it for HR onboarding.
  • Enhance your video marketing.

However, using these tools raises security concerns, particularly when dealing with sensitive marketing data. Using a VPN can solve this problem. By using a VPN, marketers can ensure the security and privacy of their data and prevent unauthorised access to it. A VPN encrypts all data being transmitted and creates a secure connection. This means that even if a third party intercepts the data, it will be unreadable. To ensure maximum security, choosing a reputable VPN service suitable for marketers who want to use AI tools securely is important.

Conclusion

Artificial intelligence has vastly transformed the marketing industry, providing businesses of all sizes access to advanced AI marketing tools to enhance their brand and expand their operations. These AI marketing tools leverage AI technology to make automated decisions based on analysed data and current market trends. By utilising AI-powered analytics, email marketing, graphic design, and copywriting tools, businesses can gain actionable insights into their marketing campaigns, strengthen their marketing strategies, and create visually appealing graphics that improve marketing outcomes.

The evolving landscape requires businesses to incorporate AI-powered marketing tools into their strategy to stay ahead of the curve in a data-driven world, make data-driven decisions, and execute a successful marketing strategy. AI-powered marketing tools enable businesses to gain a competitive advantage, enhance their online presence, and improve their conversion rates, leading to a better return on investment.

How Do Facebook’s Advantage+ Campaigns Work?

If you’ve set up a Facebook ads campaign recently, you might have noticed a campaign option called Advantage+. This streamlines Facebook’s proven processes by following recommended settings. But if you haven’t seen this option yet, today we explore Advantage+: how it works, and both its benefits and drawbacks.

Advantage+ campaigns, Facebook’s new model for conversion campaigns, have made it easier than ever to get the results you need. By allowing Facebook to automatically select tailored campaign settings on your behalf, like bidding strategy and optimisation methods, they’ve massively reduced the amount of manual input required.

Unlike traditional conversion campaigns on Facebook ads, an Advantage+ campaign merges the campaign, ad set and ad creation stages into a single stage, and encourages advertisers to utilise Dynamic Ads.

While Advantage+ Campaigns aren’t currently available to all advertisers, Facebook is rolling them out to more and more worldwide. They look set to eventually replace the existing manual creation process entirely.

How do I set up an Advantage+ campaign?

You can set up an Advantage+ campaign in Facebook’s Ads Managers. Hit Create a campaign, and choose Conversions as your campaign objective. If you’re a selected advertiser with access to this relatively new feature, you’ll be presented with the option of an Advantage+ campaign. Then Facebook will prompt you to complete the usual setup stages: campaign name, ad copy, ad set targeting. Of course, this is far fewer steps than normal, as Advantage+ is geared toward Facebook ads novices.

What are the benefits of an Advantage+ campaign?

There are three primary ways in which using an Advantage+ campaign could benefit your business, especially if you’re a newbie when it comes to Facebook marketing:

  • It’s recommended by Facebook, with preset parameters depending on the nature of your business
  • It’s streamlined, with a simplified setup enabling advertisers to create a campaign in far fewer steps than normal
  • It’s tried and tested, the result of Facebook having helped countless businesses produce high-performing conversion campaigns through Advantage+’s optimised settings

If you’re inexperienced with Facebook ads or lacking in confidence, Advantage+ is a godsend, with its easy campaign creation process and minimal manual work required to get your ads up and running.

What are the drawbacks of an Advantage+ campaign?

While an Advantage+ campaign simplifies the conversion campaign creation process, they’ll be of little interest to those advertisers seeking to have a lot more input. For example, many won’t be keen on Facebook automatically choosing the optimisation method for them, as this loss of freedom could ultimately prove detrimental to their marketing goals. What’s more, the one-window setup isn’t ideal for those who want to create their campaigns in stages, rather than in one big chunk.

Is an Advantage+ campaign right for me?

Advantage+ campaigns are aimed at those who are beginners when it comes to Facebook ads, enabling these users to skip the more fiddly stages. The flipside of this accessibility is that they’re of little use to anyone looking to refine their settings manually based on their goals or experience. Nevertheless, it’s brilliant to finally see them as an option on Facebook’s Ads Manager, where a simplified all-in-one campaign creation process has been long sought after by less experienced advertisers.

How does data-driven marketing inform marketers’ approach to their campaigns?

You can’t know what’s working in your business if you can’t put some black-and-white figures on it. Only with defined metrics can you define success.

Some companies used to take the ‘spray and pray’ approach to marketing. But as customers demand ever more personalised experiences, data-driven marketing has come to the fore and revealed the enormity of its potential.

As long ago as 2013, a study by Janrain demonstrated that 74% of online customers felt frustrated when content appeared that didn’t align with their interests. And in 2016 OneSpot showed that almost half of customers wouldn’t read or even engage with content if it was irrelevant to them. So we can only imagine how much more pronounced these effects must be today, after a decade’s worth of data-driven marketing has exponentially increased customers’ expectations of bespoke online experiences. If businesses are to have any shot at competing in this incredibly competitive marketplace, they must therefore focus more on generating, analysing and applying data to their marketing campaigns.

What is data-driven marketing?

Marketing campaigns generate data in more ways than most people can imagine, so it makes sense to then draw on those insights and leverage them next time around. That’s data-driven marketing: using data to inform all marketing decisions. It prioritises customers’ data above all other kinds to ensure marketing efforts are relevant to their interests and behaviours.

Data-driven marketing makes it so much easier to get everything in place: your budget, your products, your creative team. Without customer data, your marketing campaigns will always be at least something of a shot in the dark. But with the right data-driven marketing strategies, you can start developing and releasing campaigns that speak directly to your target audience, resonate with their wants and aspirations, and build precious trust and loyalty among your customer base.

What are data-driven marketing best practices?

No matter your business, product or campaign, there are certain tried and tested ways to get the most out of your customer data when incorporating it into your marketing efforts.

Manage your data

Data-driven marketing is an iterative process. That means it’s always evolving, its scope always expanding. You therefore need not only excellent data collection, but also high-quality data management. This is critical to the success of your data-driven marketing efforts because it provides crucial customer insights, highlights new marketing and acquisition opportunities, and saves you both time and money.

Know your audience

The success of your data-driven marketing campaigns depends on the accuracy of your customer data. You could have the most advanced data collection in place, but it would count for nothing if the data didn’t actually reflect your target audience. So before you start applying data-driven marketing strategies to your business, make sure you’re exceptionally familiar with your customers. Research your ideal customers, build your buyer personas, and educate your teams on these profiles. Moreover, reach out to current customers to better understand who’s actually buying your products. You could even hold focus groups to question a live audience and receive raw and unedited feedback.

Stay compliant

Your data is worthless if it doesn’t comply with the law by respecting your customers’ privacy. In recent times organisations and entire countries have cracked down on how businesses can use their customer data, reflected in laws like GDPR and the CCPA. These protect customer data and therefore customers, and hold companies accountable. Complying with these laws therefore makes your marketing more transparent, trustworthy and effective.

What strategies does data-driven marketing involve?

Today, personalised marketing goes quite a bit further than just greeting a customer by name via email. Now it’s all about delivering the right message at the right time—and on the right channel. This is where data-driven marketing is simply unbeatable in its efficacy.

But it can be a little overwhelming trying to work out how to start, and visualise where data-driven marketing actually fits in with your broader marketing efforts. So let’s check out some surefire ways to effectively leverage your customer data—and without compromising on audience engagement. It should be noted, of course, that these methods complement one another, and when implemented in tandem can produce results greater than the sum of their parts. So consider combining a few as part of your bid to personalise your marketing efforts.

Retarget your advertising

Retargeting, sometimes called remarketing, is an imperative for all marketers, but especially those operating across multiple channels. It enables you to keep your brand front-of-mind among individuals who have expressed interest or in some way engaged with your products or services. If someone browses a specific product on your site, their customer data means you can then resurface that product to that individual through such strategies as social media advertising and abandoned cart email marketing.

Segment your audience

Different customer groups exist within your wider target audience, so it’s up to you to delineate those boundaries. Targeted and personalised messaging goes a lot further than a general broadcast, and segmentation helps you reach the right people at the right time with the right message. If your store sells both men’s and women’s clothes, you’d need two respective sets of messages. And if your store has multiple geographies, you’d then need men’s and women’s messaging for each location.

There’s really no end to how granular you make your segmentation, because of course your target audience differs not only by their demographics but also by their preferences and pain points, not to mention where they are in the buyer journey. Data-driven marketing empowers you to precisely segment your audience, as well as automate your segmentation efforts. You’ll find this especially useful for email and social media marketing.

Align your teams

Customer data has so many more uses than just those of your marketing team—it can be leveraged by your sales and support teams, too. Moreover, its versatility can actually help you bridge the gaps between these teams, aligning their efforts and solidifying an overarching company-wide strategy. For example, you might invest in a customer data platform (CDP), which aggregates customer data to create individual customer profiles to use across the business, which negate the risks of disparate teams working with siloed customer information. By centring your marketing, sales and support teams around a CDP, you ensure your entire organisation is working with the same data, and thereby presenting a logical, consistent and cohesive customer experience.

Optimise your content

Without customer data, your content creation processes remain largely guesswork. Data-driven marketing provides that all-important context for your content, helping you understand and serve your audience through your advertising and the content you publish. Whether your data is demographic or psychographic, it provides valuable insights into how to best craft your content such that it addresses customers’ questions, pain points and goals.

Delight your customers!

Shoppers are browsing on multiple platforms, multiple devices—but they don’t want to be treated as multiple customers based on these behaviours. They yearn for a seamless experience no matter the channel. Data-driven marketing means you can accurately identify these customers no matter which device they’re browsing on, and provide them with a superlative omnichannel experience. This doesn’t just save you time and resources, but also refines the customer experience beyond anything many shoppers will have known before, and demonstrates to your audience that you’re paying attention to their needs and recognising their behaviours.

What are some great data-driven marketing tools to get started?

If you’re not sure where to begin with your data-driven marketing, the following tools are renowned for being easy to use as you learn how to track, manage and apply your customer data.

Google Analytics

Analytics is a leading tool for tracking and reporting on website user behaviour, empowering you with a greater understanding of your traffic, visitor sessions, bounce rates and customer demographics. Run reports on your conversions, acquisitions and user behaviour flows, and connect it to your Google Ads account to track and report on your ad performance. Best of all? It’s free!

Hubspot Marketing Hub

Whether you want to start out with the free version or go all the way with the premium, Marketing Hub is a brilliant tool for businesses looking to take a deep dive into the world of data-driven marketing. It connects to Hubspot CRM so you can track, analyse and deploy your customer data all from one place. Create optimised content, monitor social media activity, run retargeting ad campaigns, and launch segmented email campaigns.

Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is a paid-for tool that enables you to track your digital brand performance, optimise your web content, and better understand the competition. Leveraging your customer data, Buzzsumo researches leading keywords, content types and published content to throw light on trends that could inform your content strategy. You can even track key metrics around your competitors’ content to see how it compares to yours.

Are you ready to put your data in the driving seat?

Your customer data has the power to transform generic broadcast-based marketing into poignant and personalised messaging that truly resonates with your audience. As cofounder of Pixated, a performance marketing and web design agency, I know that understanding your customers not only allows you to grab their attention and provide myriad solutions for their needs, but also boosts your revenue and unites your teams like never before. In that way you give ambitious brands the tools they need to build sustainable and scalable growth, enhance their visibility, and revolutionise their sales and lead gen. It’s a seriously rewarding endeavour!

6 best ways to use stock photos in your ads

Images add an attractive element to a display ad. And with 65% of the world’s population termed as ‘visual learners,’ pictures play an important role in conveying the information to the audience.

However, not many of us have the time or the resources to curate professional, customised images for each display ad that we run. In fact, many reading this blog are busy business owners and marketers who are looking for ways to run their ads without spending most of the day at a photo studio. This is where stock photographs come to the rescue.

Yes, most marketers might cringe at the name of stock photographs, but in reality, these assets are valuable in bringing your ads to life. Besides being readily available, they are cost-effective and available in a variety of categories to fill in the visual gap of your ads. However, you should know how to use them correctly, and this is where we come in!

In this guide, let’s review some practical ways to use stock photos in your display ads that will make them stand out.

Avoid Getting Sued

The first and foremost rule of using stock photos is to avoid getting a lawsuit. Yes, you may hear it rarely, but this does happen in the stock industry world when businesses get sued for using images that weren’t licensed for commercial use.

To avoid getting caught in a law infringement, it is essential that you educate yourself about the different licenses before you start searching for a stock photo to use in your ad. Generally, the stock photo licenses are divided into three categories:

  • Public Domain: As the name suggests, the public domain is the property of the public – that’s you! The stock photographs that fall under this category are free game, and the users can use them without any license or permission. You also don’t need to attribute the author and can utilise the Public Domain images without giving credit.
  • Royalty-Free: Another standard license that you will see in the stock photography sector is the royalty-free license. This type of license requires the users to pay a one-time payment that will allow them to use the photograph across several platforms without needing to purchase the license. However, want to make sure that you read the terms and conditions carefully to understand the legal requirements, especially for attribution.
  • Rights Managed: The Rights Managed license gives the marketers one-time permission to use the stock image. This means that you will have to purchase a license each time you utilise the same image on a different platform. Because of this, Rights Managed images are not preferred for use in ads as you will have to repurchase the license each time you decide to run the same in a second ad or on a different platform. However, Rights Managed images are unique, and you will rarely encounter the problem of seeing the same picture on a competitor’s ad with the use of this type of license.

Avoid Cliches

ModCloth ad example

One of the things that make marketers so wary of stock photographs is that some of them are too generic and cliche. If you look closely at the database of stock images, you will see hundreds upon thousands of photos that look over-posed or unrealistic.

A woman dancing with a bowl of salad, men striking a pose in business suits, and a businessperson hugging a briefcase are just some examples of cliche stock photographs that you should altogether avoid in your display ads. Not only that, but these kinds of stock photographs are often overused in display ads and will make you look lazy in front of the audience.

When choosing stock photographs for your ads, your goal is to find images that resonate with the core message of your ad. Consider how well a photo will compel the viewer to click and move down the sales funnel. Instead of going with the first photograph you see, search thoroughly to find the one unique visual that portrays your brand’s message in the most efficient manner.

Be Relevant

While this should go without saying, we are going to say it anyway: Aim for relevance! When scrolling through your newsfeed, you may have seen countless examples of display ads that don’t seem related to the content of the ad. These types of ads misleads the viewers who often become confused as to what the ad is really about.

Ultimately, this will reduce their trust in your brand and negatively impact their purchasing decision.

Food chains do a great job at avoiding advertising pitfalls. In their Facebook ads, they use their primary product in the ads in order to display relevancy to their content. Just take a look at the example by Domino’s Pizza. They use a clear picture of their offering – a pizza to advertise their newest deal. A clear image to portray what you will be receiving at their stores.

AirBnB ad

Be Candid

As we mentioned above, the biggest problem with stock photographs is the unrealistic appearance of people as the main subject. Not only do posed images of people look unauthentic but cheesy as well – completely turning off the viewers.

However, humans relate to humans, and adding pictures of them having fun or enjoying your brand is one way to get the attention of the audience. When possible, use original photos of people using your products/services. You can also use behind-the-scenes footage of your employees working in the background.

But if it’s not possible to get customised shoots of people, look for stock photographs that appear candid and not over staged.

Edible Blooms Facebook ad example
‘Unstock’ the Stock

Adding your own touch to the stock photograph is another way to make them personalised for your specific marketing campaign. Something as small as cropping the photo or adding a small amount of text can help make the photograph more contextually relevant to your ad.

However, remember to check the licensing details of the stock photo provider you choose to ensure they are allowed for modification. While most stock photo agencies allow editing of their photos, it won’t hurt to recheck the fine print to make sure you are not breaking the law.

Here is an excellent example from an ad by Little Spoon. They combined a generic stock photo with their own ad copy and call to action. They even added their own logo to the ad copy to make it look more personalised.

Edible Blooms Facebook ad example

Test Your Ads

There are millions of stock photographs on the internet, and most marketers become greedy when they see the plethora of images available. Well, when it comes to ads, it is ok to be a little greedy. This is because you don’t have to limit yourself to one image per ad. You can create various versions of the same ad and test to see which one works best.

Yes, through A/B testing, you can run two ads simultaneously to the same audience to see which one resonates with your audience the most. However, I would recommend that you only use a different stock image and use the same ad copy in all your ads. This way, you will be able to see the difference in reaction to each image.

Final Words

These were just some tips to get you started with stock photographs in display ads. As you can see, stock photographs are a great way to add a visual element to your ads. With these tips, you can now turn your ads into engaging and effective tools. Good luck!

Top tips for scaling your app acquisition campaigns using Facebook ads

In this era of apps, we see an ever more significant need to utilise the tools and processes aligned to digital marketing in a way that ensures the market you’re focusing on is targeted correctly and the ROI is maximised through Facebook ads.

  • Here are some tips for your next app acquisition campaign through Facebook ads
  • Facebook ads have great potential to maximise your app acquisitions, so make sure your social media ad strategy is working for you, not burning through the ad budget
  • With practical tips on how to create Facebook app acquisition campaigns, you’ll learn the key aspects of creating successful Facebook ads

Facebook ads are the number one source of paid traffic to generate app downloads. But due to its success, Facebook can also be a highly competitive place to run campaigns and you must do so with knowledge of how to get your app noticed with the correct targeting, messaging and budgets.

In this guide, you’ll be given a full introduction to ensuring your Facebook ad campaigns are optimised to ensure your app acquisition can scale quickly and profitably. We want you to spend time focusing on ensuring maximum visibility by understanding the foundations.

Let’s get straight into it. You have an app. You have spent time designing and developing it. You’re proud of its functionality and design, but let’s be realistic – you haven’t spent all that time and money as a hobby. Here’s the step by step guide to fulfilling your app acquisitions potential.

How to Build Your App Acquisition Campaign

1. Make sure your goal is clear.

  • Are you looking to raise more awareness for your brand?
  • Are you trying to retarget and therefore remarket to expired users?
  • Are you seeking to attract new users?
  • Is there a need for you to increase engagement in your app?
  • Have you got a special offer that needs to be promoted?
  • Are you needing to market your app’s website URL?

ModCloth ad example

When you create your campaign in Facebook Ads Manager, make sure you select ‘App Installs’ as the primary objective, as this will give you the functionality and tools you need to create the right type of campaign and allow you to add your app as your final URL, taking potential users directly to the download page.

2. Know your audience. This is by far the most important part of your ad campaign set up. Knowing your audience ensures that you can target the right people out of the over 1.5 billion users, which means that you will need to be as precise as possible in this part of the campaign setup. As you would expect, finding the correct audience reach is intricate at every level from age, location, interests, job titles etc. Spend plenty of time on this step.

AirBnB ad

A tip here would be to look at Facebook’s Audience Insights tool as this will help you narrow your targeting down.

3. You are spending good money on your ad, so it’s only right that you make it count! Your ad needs to be really good… Obvious? Not at all. It is essential. Your success is absolutely dependent on this to be successful with your campaign. Do not underestimate or race through your ad creation. The ad is your brand and your brand is the ad. They are not separate and therefore the design and content must be consistent and aligned. You have only a few seconds, not even as many as 10 seconds to grab a user’s attention, so the key is to draw the eye and the focus as quickly as possible.

A creative asset is a key aspect. Worth a thousand words, to use the old adage, so your ad needs to use the best possible storytelling picture possible for your app. Depending on the type of app you are advertising, it might be a better idea to consider a carefully thought through video to show people how your app works and what they’re going to get from downloading it. Don’t try to save money here, employ someone to make it who really knows what they are doing.

Edible Blooms Facebook ad example

Like every single piece of literature we see on the newsstand or internet, a headline is an opportunity to convince your audience to read the whole ad. Words need to be well chosen to strike the right note. It’s a good idea to include a call to action in your headline. Tell the reader what you want them to do. Use Facebook’s preview tool, which will appear on the right hand side as you develop your advert, to make sure your headline is short enough to be seen across all devices. Don’t use the word count up for the sake of it, make it short and snappy.

Your ad copy needs to inform your audience quickly of the value your app brings or what your offer is. You don’t have a lot of room to get the key message across, so – as above – keep it short and sweet. Think impact, think what’s the point of using our app, think how can I write this and present it in a clever and creative way.

And then there’s the essential component – your Call-to-Action (CTA). If it’s not automatically set to encourage users to install or download your app, make sure you change it. The power of this tool is the key to unlocking the full potential a download of your app.

Scaling Your App Acquisitions Requires Constant Testing and Optimising

In summing up, it is essential that you test as much as you can as part of the ad creation process. Different audiences may actually yield different results, so it’s best to test these separately. Visual assets are the essential draw. If your creative assets aren’t eye catching enough, then you must be willing to change them for better alternatives. Remember, the whole purpose is to get as many people as possible to take your desired campaign action, and your Facebook ad campaign cost has one function – a higher return on the investment you’ve made.

Key Takeaways

  • Use the ‘App installs’ campaign objective during the Facebook Ads Manager campaign set up phase
  • Knowing your audience ensures that you can target the right people out of the over 1.5 billion users
  • A creative asset is a key ingredient to a good app acquisition campaign
  • A headline is an opportunity to convince your audience to read the whole ad – make it count
  • Your ad copy needs to inform the audience quickly of the value your app brings
  • Don’t forget your Call-to-Action

5 Facebook advertising campaign examples to steal

With all of the different social media platforms available now, there’s plenty of choice when it comes to ad placements. Discover some of the most memorable and effective Facebook ads to inspire your next campaign.

  • Get inspiration for your next campaign from five leading brands delivering innovative ads.
  • Facebook ads are the perfect location to launch your next product, so make sure your social media ad strategy is ticking every box.
  • With practical tips on executing your social advertising strategy, you’ll learn how to create measurable ads that stand out.

According to the latest research, 78% of internet users in the UK are still active on Facebook so it’s important to take advantage of the platform’s enterprise ad tools to broaden your audience reach. In this post, we take a look at some of the ways leading brands are delivering innovative ads and generating great results.

Smart Visuals: ModCloth

ModCloth ad example

Credit: Shortstack

Facebook has put a lot of effort into making different types of ads that you can publish to your target market. One of them is the slick image carousel format, as used by ModCloth here. You can add up to ten images to a carousel for the user to tap or swipe through in their feed, although a lower number would probably be more effective.

You can show off different products with ease, as ModCloth has done here. With the same model showing off different looks, ModCloth are showcasing their best products and giving a sense of the fun retail experience. It also increases the chances of a user seeing something that they might like. The more products, the better the odds.

Know Your Value: Adobe

AirBnB ad

Credit: Falcon.io 

You should use your Facebook ads to the best of your brand’s advantage. Think about what you already have at your disposal that can really make your ads pop. For Adobe, they have access to hundreds and thousands of stunning premium images. Not only does their ad look good, but it gives a sense of the kinds of images that their users can access too.

With their trademark logo stamped across the front, this image says a lot with very few words. The more you can do with imagery, the better, as social media users scroll fast and are unlikely to read long passages of text.

Play With Humour: Edible Blooms

Edible Blooms Facebook ad example

Credit: Shortstack

At the end of the day, Facebook is a social media platform. Most of its users are there on an informal basis, so don’t get too serious with them. Edible Blooms got the idea perfectly with this witty and relevant ad. Tapping into a relatable problem of needing to make up with your partner fits with their target market and might bring a smile to someone’s face.

Instant Call To Action: LEGO

Converse IG Stories

Credit: Hootsuite

Making the most of Facebook’s other features in your ads is a great idea, like this one from LEGO that promotes an event. The more touchpoints you can create with your audience, the better. In this case, once someone has clicked ‘Interested’ on an event, you can reach their notifications by posting in the event, inviting them to Like your Page and so on.

Using ads like these to build a closer connection with your audience is ideal. There is so much content on Facebook feeds that it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. Heading to areas like Groups or Events lets you populate those spaces with relevant people and reach them more directly.

Simple Bonuses: Snapfish

Converse IG Stories

Credit: Shortstack

People browsing on social media are used to being shown opportunities to buy or sign-up for different products all the time. Using a freebie to grab their attention is a great way to stop them scrolling and get them to focus on your brand.

Here, Snapfish leads with everything that you can get for free if you download their app, as well as showcasing their branding as much as possible. This helps encourage users to both download their app and start shopping, as well as increasing brand awareness even for people who don’t click on the freebie itself.

The main thing to remember when creating a Facebook ad is to get creative. Every one of these successful ads took a unique quality of their brand and made it stand out from the other, generic posts on Facebook. Use their layouts and fresh ideas to show off your brand’s best features and you’re sure to see your Facebook stats soaring in no time.

Top tips for killer performance marketing campaigns

Here are our top four tips to ensure your next performance marketing campaign is your best one yet.

  • Learn from four winning examples of big-brand performance marketing campaigns.
  • Take their best strategies on board to ensure your next PPC or paid social media ads guarantees great results.
  • Discover examples from a variety of platforms and find innovative ways to supercharge your ad strategy.

Executing a strong performance marketing campaign is a true skill. It takes accurate data and fresh ideas to hit the right targets, whether that’s for conversions, brand recognition or any other metrics. Since performance marketing focuses so closely on ROI, it’s more important than ever to do all you can to meet those sales targets. Some of the most leading brands provide great examples of well-executed campaigns that have garnered huge success.

Keep Everything Native

When employing social media ads for your brand, you’re engaging with an audience on someone else’s platform. Your instinct might be to encourage them to leave that platform and head to your own, through a link to your website or app. However, keeping everything within the original social platform can actually work to your advantage.

TVideo, a video streaming service, increased their app downloads by almost 50% by making their app download and account creation possible all within Facebook. Users didn’t need to open a new browser or get held up at loading screens, making everything fluid and as easy as possible. Sticking with Facebook’s navigation served TVideo well.

TVideo

Credit: SMBP

Connect With What People Care About

Whether you’re looking for better engagement, more conversions or improved brand outreach, you need your audience to care about your campaign if you’re going to have any level of success. Airbnb took action in 2017, at the heart of the refugee crisis, to contradict some bad PR from allegations of racism towards their hosts.

AirBnB ad

Credit: Lindsay Gamble, Medium

They launched a paid ad campaign across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #WeAccept to showcase their efforts to house refugees across Europe. They also donated $4M to refugee charities, while regularly sharing stories of hosts from various backgrounds. Their engagements skyrocketed, with 85% positive responses to the campaign, underlining how people engage with causes close to their hearts.

Quality Can Make The Difference

Social media is often populated with pretty standard quality posts. You can make your ads stand out by upping the quality going into your content, especially if you sell a more premium product. Wayfair is a great example of this.

 

Wayfair Instagram

To make the most of Instagram’s in-app retail features, Wayfair promoted a series of their most popular products with exceptionally high-quality photos in realistic looking homes. They tapped into the aesthetic nature of Instagram, knowing that Instagram users are used to seeing luxurious and filtered versions of reality. People want to recreate this perceived perfection for themselves in their own homes, and these ads promised to do just that with one click.

Instagram users could buy the products showcased beautifully in the ad with just a few clicks within the app. This way, Wayfair made the most of the aesthetic-focused characteristics of Instagram users, coupled with the easy-to-use retail features. It was the perfect storm for a successful social ad campaign.

Tap Into New Trends

Social media platforms create new features all the time. Any modern brand needs to stay up-to-date on these trends and make the most of them to advertise their products. If a brand shows its audience that it stays in line with the modern changes of an app, it helps the brand’s image stay young and fresh.

Converse IG Stories

Credit: The Blueprint

Converse demonstrates this perfectly in their Stories campaign. They used clean, fresh photography in Instagram Stories to pop up alongside organic content, combined with well-chosen influencer posts. Their diverse campaigns fit their target market perfectly, launching a new range of products successfully. They were one of the first brands to use paid ads in Stories, as audiences weren’t used to seeing branded content there. Being the first through the door gave them the edge over the competition and helped the ad campaign to make waves with ease.

Performance marketing campaigns can be tricky to get right at first, but once you have a winning formula, they’re a cost-effective way of achieving your brand’s marketing goals within a budget. Keep testing different ad and paid campaign formats to see what works best for your business. Remember that you can never stop learning and experimentation can often be your path to success.

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