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How to Become a Social Media Manager (Complete Guide for Beginners)

How to Become a Social Media Manager (Complete Guide for Beginners)

As brands around the world continue to rely on social media to reach their target audience, there is an increasing need for social media managers.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to become a social media manager with no experience. I will break down all the skills you need to develop, where to look for work, and how to best position yourself to land consistent clients.

What does a Social Media Manager do?

Social media managers have a variety of responsibilities when it comes to marketing and building a brand’s online presence. This includes:

Social Listening

Social listening involves monitoring the needs and perceptions of your audience around the web. It also requires social media managers to monitor their brand’s reputation online to be able to quickly solve any issues that affect the image of the company.

Social Influencing

Another important responsibility of social media managers, social influencing consists of establishing the authority of your brand across different social channels. This is usually done through creating, distributing, and sharing valuable and engaging content.

Social Networking

As a social media manager, you will need to find and connect with influential and authoritative figures and brands in your target market. This allows you to reach a larger audience while also strengthening the reputation of your own brand.

Social Selling

Social selling allows you to turn the interest you generate for your brand into a steady flow of leads and customers.

If you are managing an eCommerce business, you can even sell products directly on many social platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

Day to day tasks of a social media manager

Here are some of the common tasks involved in managing a brand’s social media presence.

Scheduling posts
Setting up profiles
Creating graphics
Responding to customer service inquiries
Finding relevant content to share
Optimizing profiles and posts for organic reach
Reporting reach, traffic, and other important metrics to important parties

Social media managers can specialize in their services and do not necessarily need to provide everything on this list but they should be competent enough to give clients a robust service worth the investment.

Clients want to keep things as efficient as possible and do not want to hire a handful of social media managers just to handle basic tasks.

What skills does a social media manager need?

To effectively fulfill all these responsibilities, social media managers need to develop a variety of different skills.

Here are some of the most important skills you will need to become a social media manager:

Copywriting

Social media managers need to do a lot of writing to communicate their brand’s message with their target audience. This makes it important to develop your copywriting skills to be able to write concise copy that grabs your audience’s attention and elicits an emotional response.

Graphic design

Visual content is essential for grabbing your audience’s attention and getting them to engage with your brand. As such, the ability to create stunning graphics is an important part of being a social media manager.

Customer service

Customer service skills are a big part of being a social media manager as they allow you to understand your customers’ concerns and communicate with them on a deeper level.

Customers often have questions, and many tend to turn to social media accounts either in the comments of posts or direct messaging to find answers.

Research skills

As a social media manager, you need to be up to date with all the news and trends related to social media and the digital world. This will allow you to ensure your strategy is best suited for success and that you are not missing out on any new opportunities.

Social Media Manager Salary

How much do Social Media Managers Make?

Social media managers across the world tend to earn a solid income. The amount you can make will depend on your location and level of experience.

Social Media Manager Salary

The average annual salary in the US for social media specialists in 2020 is $62,750

The average annual salary in the US or social media managers in 2020 is $75,750

Like salaried employees, the amount you can earn as a freelance social media manager will vary based on experience.

Less experienced freelancers can earn anywhere between $15 and $50 per hour while intermediate freelancers can make between $50 and $100 per hour.

Resources to Learn More

How much do digital marketers make? A study analyzing the salaries of popular digital marketing jobs, including social media specialists and social media managers.

How to Become a Social Media Manager

Learn Social Media Marketing
Build Your Social Media Presence
Create Business Accounts On Major Social Platforms
Get A Social Media Manager Specialist Job
Build Your Manager Skills
Define Your Services
Learn How To Use Social Media Marketing Tools
Build Your Client Portfolio
Apply For Social Media Manager Jobs
Start Your Own Social Media Marketing Agency
Become A Social Media Freelancer

1. Learn Social Media Marketing

Being successful as a social media manager requires constant learning.

Beyond developing the skills needed to perform the duties of a social media manager, you need to learn the ins and outs of the different social media platforms.

This means mastering the ability to manage both paid promotions and organic outreach on social media channels.

Paid advertising provides a huge opportunity for businesses to reach their target audience and grow their customer base while earning a high return on their investment.

SEO is also important for social media platforms as most function as a search engine of their own. Knowing how to perform keyword research and how to structure your social media content can help you reach a highly relevant audience.

The best way to learn social media marketing and gain the skills needed to run both PPC and organic campaigns effectively is to follow a social media marketing course.

A good course will teach you how to run PPC campaigns without wasting your budget and how to design a social media marketing strategy to take advantage of all available social media channels.

Each platform offers a unique user base and works best with different types of content.

Social Media Platforms Demographics.

The main platforms you will need to master as a social media manager include:

Facebook

Facebook is a wildly popular social media platform with over 2.5 billion active users. Naturally, it has become a prime marketing asset for all sorts of businesses.

Creating business pages, joining groups, and running paid advertisements are the most common ways to connect and engage with your target audience on the platform.

Instagram

Instagram allows users to post images and short videos accompanied by comments. Nearly half of all Instagram users are following at least one business and the platform is a popular outlet for learning about brands and products.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social network geared towards professionals. Users are focused on business, networking, and high-value and authoritative content like long-form blog posts and thought leadership articles.

The user base consists primarily of an older age group and there are more professionals in high-level positions than on any other platform.

Twitter

Twitter isn’t as big as Facebook or Instagram but it is still a great tool when it comes to marketing.

The platform is more popular among millennials and is another go-to choice for people looking to learn about brands and businesses.

Pinterest

Pinterest is another image-based platform that functions similar to a search engine.

People use the platform to learn more about their interests, hobbies, and the products they want to buy.

Pinterest’s largest demographic is women with higher incomes and that platform drives a much higher return on investment than other social channels.

2. Build Your Social Media Presence

The best way to develop your abilities as a social media manager is through your own profiles. Your own profiles also provide an effective way to find new clients.

By building a strong online presence you can use your own accounts to display your skills and social media prowess to potential clients.

Whether you plan to work as a freelancer or hold a position with a company, you should create profiles listing your social media services on all the major platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

You can also use your own accounts to experiment with new tactics before you try them with your clients’ profiles.

Resources to Learn More

How to get followers on Facebook – a comprehensive guide to learn how to increase your Facebook fans. Includes a case study.

3. Create Business Accounts on Major Social Platforms

As a social media manager, you will need an effective way to manage multiple client accounts.

All the popular social media platforms offer business accounts that will allow you to keep all your profiles organized.

Business accounts are also important for the safety of your clients as they give you the ability to access their profiles without them having to give you their login credentials or direct access to their accounts.

Creating business accounts for social media platforms is a straightforward process.

With Facebook, for instance, you will go to business.facebook.com to create your Facebook Business Manager account.

Facebook Business Manager

Once there, you will provide some basic information about your business and then link your business’ Facebook page. You will then link any existing Ads Manager accounts so you can manage your paid promotions directly from the Business Manager.

You can add team members to your Business Manager, assigning them different permissions to help you manage your accounts.

With your Business Manager account in place, clients can simply grant you access to their pages and you will be able to manage all your different accounts in a centralized place.

4. Get A Social Media Manager Specialist Job

Working as a social media specialist can help you get the experience needed to become a successful social media manager. With relevant social media experience under your belt, it will also be easier to find work as a freelancer or to find a job as a manager.

The role of a social media specialist is similar to that of a manager and requires many of the same skills.

You will be responsible for leveraging the different social platforms to drive growth for the companies you work for.

This involves researching the target market to decide which platforms present the best opportunities as well as finding and creating relevant content to share.

As you gain more experience you will understand how to handle accounts for different types of clients, putting you in a position to serve as an effective manager in the future.

5. Build Your Manager Skills

Beyond the industry-specific skills needed to support your social media marketing career, being a manager requires its own set of skills. Some of the important abilities you’ll need to master include:

Communication

As a social media manager, you need to be able to communicate efficiently with both clients and your own team.

This means being able to clearly articulate your social media strategy and the tactics you will use to reach your goals.

The ability to explain your work can help improve your relationships with clients, ensuring your projects go smoothly.

Time management

To manage a successful social media strategy, you need to be able to manage your time effectively.

As a social media manager, you need to plan and structure campaigns while leading and executing them from start to finish.

To do this for multiple projects simultaneously, you need to develop processes and utilize tools to keep all pieces moving in the right order.

Analytical skills

Being able to look over data and use it to make more informed decisions is essential to being a social media manager.

This allows you to optimize your marketing campaigns, both paid and organic, by focusing on what is working and making changes to what is not.

6. Define Your Services

Once you have developed your social media and management skills, you’ll need to decide what services to provide and how much to charge for your work.

It’s a good practice to focus on a few services to start. This will help you master certain areas quicker and it will be easier to win new clients as having a specialization can help improve your credibility.

Some of the services you can choose to specialize in include:

Paid advertising campaigns
Graphic design
Setting up and optimizing profiles
Customer service and community engagement
Creating and curating content

7. Learn How To Use Social Media Marketing Tools

Managing several social media accounts for multiple clients is a complicated process.

Fortunately, there are many tools available to help you stay organized and streamline the process.

Here are some of the more popular social media marketing tools you’ll want to learn how to use:

Buffer

Buffer App

Buffer is a popular solution that allows you to schedule posts for every social media platform in advance, all from a single dashboard.

This makes it easy to plan and manage all your content as you can see what you are posting on each social media channel in a single place.

Buffer also provides useful analytics you can use to track the performance of your social media accounts.

HootSuite

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a comprehensive social media management tool that streamlines the process of managing multiple campaigns. Instead of managing each social account in isolation, you can use Hootsuite to oversee them all from a single dashboard.

The platform allows you to schedule posts, collaborate with your team, and track messages and conversations.

Sendible

Sendible

Sendible is a powerful social media management tool for those needing to manage a variety of accounts for multiple clients.

It allows you to schedule posts across the different social media platforms and can be used to create an editorial calendar for your blog.

Sendible also makes it easy to track brand mentions so you can quickly respond to anyone engaging with your brand.

Canva

Canva

Canva is a graphic design tool that allows you to create high-quality visual assets for your social media channels.

It is a popular tool for marketers of all skill levels because it is easy to use even if you have less design experience.

Canva is free to use and comes with thousands of design elements you can add to your graphics along with hundreds of pre-made templates to help you get started.

8. Build Your Client Portfolio

Once you win a few clients, you want to build a portfolio highlighting your work so that you can then share with other prospective clients.

Gaining new clients as a social media manager relies heavily on being able to show what you are able to do and how your services can benefit a company.

Building your own online presence can help to a degree but being able to show potential clients the results you have driven for other companies is a powerful way to build your business quickly.

Build a website detailing the services that you provide. As you gain more clients you can include their logos and add a testimonial to your home page.

You can also write detailed case studies going into the success of your projects in more detail and add these to your blog.

If you’re wondering how to land your first client without having a portfolio to show there are a few ways to do this.

To start, you can provide voluntary work to a non-profit or a friend. You could also offer your services to clients at a very low price.

This can help you get your first set of clients to get the ball rolling for building your social media management business.

9. Apply For Social Media Manager Jobs
Social Media Manager Job Description

If you are more interested in working in a salaried position than working independently, you can get a job as a social media manager at a company or an agency.

There are plenty of online job boards you can use to find open social media manager positions Some popular options include:

Indeed
Glassdoor
ZipRecruiter
Google for Jobs
American Marketing Association
com
WeWorkRemotely
AngelList

You can also leverage your personal network to see if any of your connections can help you secure an open position.

While a college degree is not necessarily required to get a job as a social media manager, it can increase your chances of securing a position significantly. The most popular degrees among social media managers are marketing, communications, or business.

There are also a number of social media marketing certifications you can get to help you stand out from the crowd. This includes courses from platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as well as popular tools like HootSuite.

Resources to Learn More

Entry-Level Digital Marketing Jobs – A list of the most popular entry-level marketing jobs (includes salary and job responsibilities).

10. Start Your Own Social Media Marketing Agency

If you want to expand your reach to be able to serve more clients at a time, you can start a social media or a digital marketing agency.

The first decision when setting up your own social media marketing agency is to choose your niche.

You can choose to specialize in a single industry or you can work with clients from a variety of different sectors.

The services to offer will depend on the niche you select and how you want to position yourself in the market.

For example, if you work exclusively with clothing companies, you may want to focus on visual channels like Instagram and Pinterest.

However, if your client base consists of B2B companies, you could focus on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Once you have a better understanding of the type of clients you will target and the services you will offer, you need to begin building your team.

The exact build of your team will depend on the services you choose to provide but generally, you will need to find team members versed in each of the different skills areas important to a social media manager working independently. This includes:

Copywriters
Graphic designers
Project managers
Customer service representatives
News commentator and curator

By hiring a team of people specializing in the different areas of managing social media accounts, you are able to serve more clients at scale.

A drawback to starting your own agency is that you will have more administrative work compared to operating independently as you will have to oversee all your staff and the business as a whole.

11. Become A Social Media Freelancer

If you don’t want to work with a single company or start your own agency, you can work as a social media freelancer.

As a freelancer, you can find your own clients and choose the services that best suit your interests and talents.

Working independently provides a lot of flexibility as you can set your own schedule and work from anywhere.

However, you’ll need to be able to find and win new clients to ensure a consistent flow of revenue.

Pitching plays a big part in this as knowing how to reach out to potential clients with the value of your services can help you find new work.

There are a variety of freelance platforms you can use to find new clients. Some popular networks include:

Upwork
Freelancer
PeoplePerHour

Key Learnings

Social media experts and managers have a variety of responsibilities including planning and posting content, connecting with influencers and customers, and monitoring what people are saying about the brand across the web.

To perform these duties, social media managers need to develop a number of skills including copywriting, graphic design, research, time management, and communication.

You must learn the ins and outs of each social media platform and the types of audiences that use them.

It is also essential to master different social media tools to plan and manage projects efficiently.

No matter how you choose to start your social media marketing career, you should first build your own profiles. This will help you refine skills and build your online presence.

You can then showcase your abilities to land new clients. As you can gain more clients over time, you can create a portfolio on your website to showcase the results you have driven.

If you want to develop your skills before becoming a manager, you can get a job as a social media consultant or specialist at a company.

As you learn how to run different marketing campaigns effectively, you will be prepared to work as a manager with a company or as a freelancer. You can even start your own agency if you want to serve more clients at scale.

Overall, social media marketing is only going to continue to grow, creating many opportunities for digital marketers to turn their social media skills into meaningful careers.

The post How to Become a Social Media Manager (Complete Guide for Beginners) appeared first on reliablesoft.net.

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Business as Unusual: How to Communicate Your New and Updated Services with Google My Business

Business as Unusual: How to Communicate Your New and Updated Services with Google My Business

Posted by ktaing

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, business owners have had to move quickly to make drastic changes in their services to meet searchers’ new needs in a continuously unpredictable landscape.

While “Near me” searches saw a slight drop in early 2020, since then, have maintained a steady increase, further solidifying the need for brands and businesses of all sizes to be present and discoverable online.

During the pandemic, almost a third of shoppers have purchased from a brand that’s new to them. In this article, we’ll explore tactics for surfacing your new or updated services digitally to guide and convert these new searchers during their decision-making process.

What types of questions are searchers asking?
How can I do business with you?

When thinking about your Google My Business profile and adjustments to your information, the most important element is informing searchers how they can do business with you.

You’ll want to ensure all of your core location data is updated. This includes marking whether or not you’re temporarily closed. If you’re open, you should have the most accurate operating hours published.

Furthermore, you should make it as easy as possible for searchers to get in contact with you if they have any questions. This includes making sure your phone number is accurate, monitoring your Q&A section on Google My Business, and enabling messaging if you have the staff to respond. These are all methods that make customers feel connected to you, which will encourage them to convert and purchase from you.

What type of safety precautions are you taking with your customers and staff?

The health and safety of customers and employees is top of mind for all searchers. As a business, this information should be front and center so potential customers can understand how important this is to your organization.

It should be incredibly clear to anyone looking to engage with your business what types of safety precautions and protocols you’re following, and how this could impact their trip to your business or the delivery of your services. These should include things like social distancing measures which may result in long lines, mask requirements, etc. Surfacing this information as early as possible makes the decision to do business with you that much easier.

What types of services are you offering, and are these different than normal?

Businesses and consumers have had to adjust to so many new normals. In order to capture new customers and grow the evangelism of existing ones, remove as much friction as possible by communicating changes up front.

If you’ve made changes to services or products that users have come to rely on you for, make it clear what has changed and how. This is especially true for essential businesses that are growing particularly busy and facing supply chain shortages.

What can all businesses do to communicate updates about new and changing services on Google My Business?
1. Update your attributes

Google has rolled out dozens of highly visible attributes and will continue to introduce new ones. This includes details like whether you offer in-person or online service and appointments, delivery and pick up, and safety measures for in-person shopping. Keep an eye on these and make sure all relevant attributes are applied to your business.

2. Publish services and products

If you have these available for your category, they are a great way to introduce new services and products or highlight your most popular ones.

3. Add Google Posts

Now that Google has temporarily lifted the limit on API access for chains, businesses of all sizes should be leveraging posts. Posts allow you to share timely and relevant updates spanning temporary closures, product and service updates, promotions, and gift card options.

4. Update your images

If your product, service, or location looks different to returning customers, this can cause confusion or disappointment. Don’t underestimate the power of updated imagery on your Google My Business profile. Most smartphones have a high enough quality camera that even snapping a few pictures each week and uploading these will be enough.

5. Publish additional hours

Publishing additional hours sets helps to surface the supplemental offerings you have. These include senior hours, online operating hours, drive through hours, pickup hours, and more.

Industry-specific considerations
Healthcare

One of the most impacted industries, especially from a digital perspective, has been healthcare. Both sick and healthy patients have been forced to rethink how they can access their healthcare needs.

Healthcare organizations are making adjustments to serve existing and new patients. There’s been a large shift to offer telehealth appointments in lieu of in-person for a number of specialties from internal medicine to therapy. Governmental agencies also reported increases in telehealth visits, with a 154% increase in the last week of March 2020 alone.

Based on this data, in early April, Google rolled out a telehealth link for healthcare categories. This enabled healthcare organizations and providers to surface and convert patients with non-emergency needs who are cautious of visiting an office in-person.

Just as critical as launching telehealth support was the introduction of the coronavirus testing facility information on maps and search. Google My Business partnered with a number of third party health and governmental sources, as well as with Castlight to ingest data for new testing sites. The roll out of COVID-19 testing information was a phased approach and has evolved over the last few months. For healthcare organizations offering COVID-19 testing, this is the most relevant and critical service you can add to your Google My Business listing.

Retail

For retail businesses, one of the biggest challenges faced over the last few months has likely been inventory fluctuations and ordering methods. This is why businesses of all sizes have been integrating product shopping features and live inventory on their listings. Google even rolled out free product listings in the U.S. to support businesses.

Once retailers have made it easy to see what products are in stock, they’ve had to adjust to support different methods of ordering and pickup. This includes enabling “buy online, pick up in-store”, curbside pickup, and contactless delivery. Google has rolled out attributes to highlight each of these, so businesses should ensure each location’s offerings are reflected.

Financial services

Banks and businesses within the financial service industry have more limited options due to regulations and the nature of their business. In addition to the safety measures they’re taking at their local branches, banking customers have been relying on drive-up support and virtual banking services. By leveraging drive-through and online appointment attributes, as well as by highlighting unique drive-through hours, financial service providers can better help customers understand the ways they can complete their banking.

Restaurants

Restaurants have had to deal with continual and fluctuating mandates that dictate restrictions on how and when they can open. Depending on where the restaurants are located and the guidelines of the area, they have to communicate whether they offer delivery, takeout, and/or dine-in, and what that looks like. Some dine-in has been restricted to outdoor dining only, while others have been restricted to smaller capacities to allow for social distancing.

There are a number of Google My Business features that you can utilize in order to let customers know what dining features you have available. Restaurants should make sure to keep their dine-in, delivery, and take-out attributes updated. Utilizing posts to describe dining accommodations such as outdoor-only or limited indoor capacity can also be helpful for customers. If you’re offering delivery, online orders, or reservations, make sure you’ve reviewed the Online Ordering feature that activates the blue action buttons on your Knowledge Panel.

Conclusion

Businesses of all sizes and industries have made it easier for consumers to engage with them as this pandemic continues to drive changes in everyday life. Follow these tips to make sure your updates are discoverable on your Google My Business profile, where the majority of “near me” searches are happening.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

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Rudy Giuliani, Link Builder

Rudy Giuliani, Link Builder

Four Seasons Total Landscaping non-brand rankings courtesy of SEMRush:

# of referring domains courtesy of Ahrefs:

If you need a cutting edge content marketer to round out your team, I am pretty sure Rudes will be looking for work some time in January.

The post Rudy Giuliani, Link Builder appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

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How to Write PPC Ad Copy Using AI

How to Write PPC Ad Copy Using AI

It’s no secret: the world of PPC advertising is not for the faint-hearted. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could end up throwing money down the drain.

How can you increase the chances of the right people clicking on your ads? You need to learn how to write ad copy that converts.

Thankfully, technological advancements like artificial intelligence (AI) are here to save the day. AI tools can help you write ad copy that produces results.

How Can Artificial Intelligence Help Your PPC Campaigns?

Just so we’re on the same page, let’s quickly look at a simple definition of AI.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a multidisciplinary branch of science that includes machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), deep learning, and many other emerging technologies.

The main benefits of AI when it comes to creating compelling PPC ad copy include:

Unmatched data processing powerAbility to better “predict” click-through rates and quality scoresIdentify bids that will get the most trafficSaves you time managing campaigns

However, no matter how much data you have at your fingertips and how well you can identify lucrative bids, all that will be to no avail if your ad copy sucks.

AI can help you with that. I’ll show you how below.

6 Ways AI Can Help You Write Good PPC Ad Copy

Many tools can help you write ad copy. However, many AI-powered tools have one huge advantage: unlike their predecessors that relied on historical data, AI-powered tools give you real-time data. This process allows you to refine your copy to better suit the market situation when the content is created and published.

These are tips that will help optimize your ad copy, whether you’re advertising on Google, Bing, Facebook, or any other of the myriad platforms available.

Use AI for Audience Research

The very first thing you need to do before writing ad copy is to understand your target audience. The key to successful ad copy is to know not only who your target audience is, but also to know:

What they’re looking forWhy they’re looking for it

In short, understanding your audience will help you understand the intent behind your prospect’s search. Knowing this could help you write personalized ad copy that will resonate with your audience, eliciting a click through to your offer.

It will also help you create ads that are so targeted that only the right people will click on them. Additionally, it will help you write ad copy that addresses any objections your audience may have.

When you know how to write ad copy that speaks directly to your audience, you’ll likely enjoy a reduction in wasted clicks and an increase in your return on ad spend (ROAS).

How do you get to know your audience? This process is where AI shines best.

AI-powered audience research tools like IBM’s Watson are great for helping you with predictive audiences. These consumers may not look anything alike but have some common threads that make them relevant targets for your PPC ads. By processing data from multiple sources, AI helps you understand the type of people you should target with your ads.

These insights help you significantly reduce the risk of ad waste, as your ad copy will be hyper-personalized, making it appealing to the right people. With ad spend steadily increasing across all industries, AI will help ensure that you get a good ROI from your campaigns.

Conduct Competitor Research Using AI

Before you put pen to paper, you must study the competitive environment.

You must conduct competitor research. This data will help you understand (among other things):

The type of ad copy that generates clicksAd formats that work best in your nicheOpportunities your competitors are missing that you can leverage

The data you get from your competitors’ ad campaigns is invaluable in helping you know how to write ad copy that will perform exceptionally well.

This process is where AI-powered competitor research tools like Adthena come to play.

By gaining insights into your competitors’ PPC activity and market shifts, you’ll be better armed to write compelling PPC ad copy.

The real-time data AI technologies provide may help you gain or keep a corner the market by ensuring you’re up-to-date with trends and news that affect your market audience. Real-time data is also essential when conducting competitor analysis, as any lag in time could result in the competition cornering the market.

Don’t delay to get on the AI bandwagon, especially when it comes to writing ad copy.

AI Can Help You Discover Keyword Opportunities

Everyone knows keywords are the foundation of every good PPC campaign. Unfortunately, with more businesses vying for the same target audience, relevant keyword opportunities are becoming harder to find.

AI can help.

With the competition for profitable keywords being uber-stiff, normal keyword research just doesn’t cut it anymore. You must leverage AI to help you uncover hidden keyword gems.  

This fact is especially true since keyword research for SEO and PPC is not the same. For PPC, your money rides or sinks on the keywords you use. That’s why you must find keywords that will give you a good return when you bid for them.

AI-powered tools like BrightEdge, for example, not only help you discover profitable keywords but are also able to give insight into the intent behind those keywords.

Because they offer real-time data, you are in a better position to write ad copy based on keyword opportunities as they arise. Of course, this will give you an edge over the competition, as your ads will have a better chance of being served to users while keeping your ad spend low.  

Headline Optimization Is Easy with AI

Saying that your headline is a critical part of your ad copy is an understatement. Its value can never be overstated because it’s your first chance to hook your customers.

If your headers are poorly crafted, users will just scroll past your ad. But if you write your headline well, it will stop them from scrolling so they look at the rest of your ad copy. AI can help you craft headlines that stop people in their tracks by helping you write headlines that result in much-coveted clicks.

A great example is Persado. The AI-powered copywriting tool helped Chase Bank increase the CTR on their ads by as much as 450%. How? By crafting headlines that resonate more with their target audience.

There are AI-powered tools that are designed to help you optimize your headers to elicit users to click on your ads.

The success of your ad campaigns rides on your headlines.

The next part users look at is the ad description.

Use AI to Nail Your Ad Description

Next to your headline, your ad description is the most crucial part of your ad copy. While the headline is the hook that grabs your prospect’s attention, your ad description is the sales pitch that gets them to click on your ad.

However, there’s a catch: you have a limited number of characters to use to convince your prospects to click-through to your offer. This means every character counts. It must help elicit a positive reaction from users. That’s why you must make sure you know how to write ad copy that drives clicks.

Fortunately, AI can help you write compelling ad copy.

With AI copywriting tools like Phrasee, you don’t have to guess what kind of copy works.

Using machine learning and gathering data from different platforms, AI copywriting tools have “mastered” the art of writing great ad copy.

Using machine learning (ML), natural language generation (NLG), deep learning, and other technologies, AI-powered copywriting tools can help you create compelling ad copy that stands out from the crowd. AI takes into consideration many facets, such as language, semantics, sentence structure, and a whole lot more to help you create optimized ad copy at scale.

Another great AI-powered ad creation tool you can consider is CopyAI.

Copy AI is designed to take the grunt work out of brainstorming unique ad ideas. It will help you increase your ROAS by helping you come up with relevant audience-based copy that your customers won’t be able to resist. The deep learning platform that powers CopyAI can personalize your ad copy to suit any holiday, occasion, or campaign.

AI-powered copywriting tools are a great way to save time and money as they work faster and more efficiently. And at the end of the day, they’ll help you boost your bottom line.

Calls-to-Action: AI Can Help With That Too

Calls-to-action (CTAs) are a tricky part of writing ad copy. That’s because your CTA is usually made up of 2-5 words to inspire people to take action.

While platforms like Google and Facebook give you some CTA options to choose from as you create your campaigns, it’s always better to create your own CTAs. After all, if you use the options generated by search engines and social media platforms, you won’t stand out from the competition.

Your CTA plays a crucial role in pushing your prospects across the finish line. As such, give it careful consideration. You may get every other element of your ad copy correct, but if your CTA is weak, your hard work will be in vain.

What makes for a strong clickable CTA? One word: personalization.

Different audiences respond differently to CTAs. That’s why you must pay special attention to the language your audience uses and try as much as possible to implement it in your CTAs. This is one area where audience research pays off because it helps you craft personalized CTAs. Studies show that personalized CTAs perform up to 202% better than generic ones.

Note: make sure to create a different CTA for each campaign. Don’t just regurgitate past CTAs, even if they worked well in previous campaigns.

Yes, it may be a lot of work if you do it manually. That’s why you shouldn’t do it manually; use AI instead.

Again, tools like Persado make creating impactful CTAs easier.

Leveraging data such as sentiment analysis (or emotion AI), AI-powered tools help you create CTAs that tug at your prospects’ heartstrings. Of course, every marketer knows that it is easier to loosen your prospects’ purse strings if you can do that.

By leveraging AI in crafting your CTAs, you increase your ad copy’s chances of achieving its goal of boosting your bottom line.

Conclusion

It’s impossible to ignore AI as a digital marketer. It’s everywhere around us. From AI SEO to AI in website design, every facet of digital marketing is becoming more efficient thanks to artificial intelligence.

As a marketer, if you’re looking to know how to write ad copy that converts, you must lean heavily on AI-powered tools to help you. From the planning stage to deployment, AI can help you optimize every part of your PPC ad campaigns.

Though remember: without good ad copy, your ad spend will be wasted. How do you write good ad copy? By using AI.

Sure, AI may not be able to handle the creative side of writing ad copy completely alone. However, it does go a long way in helping you create ad copy that sells.

Are you ready to embrace the power of AI in your ad copy creation?

The post How to Write PPC Ad Copy Using AI appeared first on Neil Patel.

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Concrete steps marketers should take now to get ready for CA’s CPRA in 2023

Last week California voters passed Proposition 24, the California Privacy Rights and Enforcement Act (CPRA). It builds upon the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which only went into effect this year. CPRA is slated to replace it in 2023.

Among other things, CPRA expands the types of data covered (any data “shared” with third parties); it also spells out specific categories of sensitive personal information that require special attention. It enables consumers (and employees) to opt-out of “automated decision making technology” (machine learning). And it creates a dedicated enforcement agency to ensure compliance.

We asked a number of digital marketers and technology companies to offer concrete advice for brands, publishers and advertisers about what they could or should do now to prepare for CPRA. Our experts included Cillian Kieran, Ethyca CEO; Simon Poulton, VP of Digital Intelligence at Wpromote; Kristina Podnar, Digital Policy Consultant; Gowthaman Ragothaman, CEO of Aqilliz; and Heidi Bullock, CMO at Tealium.

Kristina Podnar, Digital Policy Consultant & Author

Introduce/Increase transparency. CPRA introduces a slew of new requirements around data uses aimed at increased transparency. This will be a bit of a GDPR throwback for marketers who went through adaptation for that regulation. But for any marketer not yet subject to GDPR, this will be a tough hill to climb. Businesses should start paying attention to data privacy by design and governance practices. Specifically, pay attention to data minimization. In other words, only collect the information you need to do the things you say you will do for the user, tell the user how long you will keep their data, don’t extend beyond that timeframe for your own marketing needs, and only do with the data what you told the user you will do with it. Marketers will need to start paying attention to what data they collect, why they collect it, and how they manage that data throughout its lifecycle.

Show what you do and don’t control. Most digital marketers are oblivious to the AI and ML advances in the marketing stack, focusing only on the front-end functionality and desired customer experience outcome. That will need to change as a result of CPRA, which now recognizes the need for increased regulation around this machine-driven capability. Marketers will now need to tell users if they are profiling them and serving up advertisements and promotions using these capabilities. Businesses need to adjust for the cross-device, cross-channel, cross-business tracking and selling that is in place today. Why? Because under CPRA users can now say “don’t track me in that way.” This should remove the “creepy” noise from the marketing system from a user perspective. However it will certainly make it tougher for marketers and cause more business to move to a zero and first party data model.

Stop controlling users. Related to the above, CPRA specifically limits businesses from engaging users in any cross-context behavior advertising. In other words, marketers need to be transparent and can no longer push users towards services or products in a passive way (e.g., marketers can’t use dark patterns for collecting agreement/consent). The task here is for marketers to rethink consent structures, including CMPs, to avoid dark patterns and implied consents that are ubiquitous today.

Simon Poulton, VP of Digital Intelligence at Wpromote

Be CCPA compliant. Since CPRA will not take effect until 2023, focus on being CCPA compliant in the immediate future (if you’re not already). In many cases, CPRA expands on what is covered by CCPA, so compliance here will still be a step in the right direction. It should be noted that all regulations covered within CPRA will be applied to all data collected from January 1st, 2022 onwards. 

Sharing = Selling. Under CCPA, some brands (e.g., Starbucks) explicitly stated that they did not view the sharing of data as selling. This is now clearly defined, and brands should be mindful of all data-sharing points. 

Inventory your cookies. If you haven’t already, now is a great time to review all of the cookies and data-sharing functions that exist on your website and catalog what they do. It’s likely your legal teams will need to review these sooner rather than later. 

Cillian Kieran, Founder and CEO of Ethyca

Review your ability to categorize data you collect, process or store. There’s lots more nuance in CPRA about how user data is categorized, and processors — including marketers — need to be able to treat different categories of personal information discreetly. An obvious example is the introduction of sensitive personal information (SPI). CPRA allows users to designate that their SPI be used only for the essential delivery of a good or service. This requires finer-grained control for data flows in backend systems. 

Review all contracts , whether you’re the contractor or contractee. CPRA requires a much greater level of specificity regarding your data relationships with partners. Any subcontractor used by a CPRA-bound business must also be able to offer CPRA-level privacy protections. Per IAPP, “Third parties, service providers or contractors [must] enter into an agreement binding the recipient to the same level of privacy protection as provided by the act, granting the business rights to take reasonable and appropriate steps to remediate unauthorized use, and requiring the recipient to notify the business if can no longer comply.”

We’ll leave you with one that’s, on the surface, a bit simpler (although you’ll need to spend plenty of time re-examining data “sales” vs data “sharing”). That “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” link you placed on the homepage, tweak it to read: “Do Not Sell Or Share My Personal Information.”

Gowthaman Ragothaman, CEO at Aqilliz

Leaving third-party data — for good. A significant revision in the CPRA pertains to the amendment to the CCPA’s “Do Not Sell” clause which now covers the practice of data sharing, often leveraged as part of cross-site behavioral advertising and audience targeting. 

For marketers and big tech firms alike, who are already beginning to grapple with the impending obsolescence of third-party cookies, this should come as no surprise. At this stage, marketers should already be exploring alternatives to limit the use of third-party data for audience targeting. Investing in strategic partnerships with publisher networks that have gone on to develop first-party data pools of their own or joining data federations will be essential. Marketers must also adequately vet publisher partners to ensure that data is being obtained in a conspicuous, ethical manner.

Keeping count. Similar to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, CPRA demands far more stringent reporting requirements, mirroring the GDPR’s clause on the Record of Processing Activities. Firms will be responsible to disclose all the information collected about a given consumer, directly or indirectly, irrespective of where data sharing took place.

In light of this, marketers should be prepared to bolster existing tech investments to incorporate record-keeping tools. Now, more than ever, due diligence will be key. Having a historical record of the data throughout its entire lifecycle, will be crucial in ensuring that marketers are sufficiently prepared for the more rigorous reporting and disclosure required under CPRA.

Focusing on what’s necessary, rather than what’s nice to have. The CPRA has also widened the scope of what it defines as “sensitive personal information.” Beyond financial account information such as credit card numbers and government-issued identifiers, this now also expands to include racial or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and perhaps most significantly, “precise geolocation,” which is key for audience targeting. Under the CPRA, consumers will now have the ability to limit both the use and disclosure of sensitive personal information. 

As marketers look to the future of audience segmentation and targeting efforts, significant changes will need to be made. Though the industry has historically reveled in a mindset of data abundance, marketers will need to make a crucial shift in thinking by taking data minimization to heart. In order to ensure adequate data minimization practices, businesses should not only reexamine their data retention practices for appropriate retention times, but also consider integrating data, storage, and purpose minimization into their data management strategies. Opt-out options for the collection and use of sensitive personal information should also be included. Audience engagement strategies will need to be re-defined and to go a step further. Tech vendors and infrastructures should also now be selected on the basis of better enabling a culture of data minimization. 

Heidi Bullock, CMO at Tealium

Understand your data alongside consent. Brands need to know the exact content and source of their data, especially as we face a future filled with myriad new regulations. This includes pinpointing the types of data being collected — from call center to email and website data — and how that data flows across the company. Other factors to consider include, where the data originates, how it’s stored and how it’s being used by the brand. All of this needs to be done in the context of the individual consent that’s collected with it, which lays out the rules for how each person’s data can be used.

Update brand policies. It’s good to revisit CCPA policies and ensure all processes are updated to adhere to the newest regulations, including the CPRA’s new right to correction. Ensuring that policies still align with and are clear for employees and consumers helps maintain an overarching understanding of privacy across the brand. 

Maintain consumer trust. This is pivotal, especially since these regulations are in the best interest of consumers. A recent Tealium study found that, pre-COVID, 91% of consumers wanted the state or federal government to adopt strict regulations to protect their data.

Acknowledge new governance concepts. CPRA now limits the time brands can hold onto personal information in a new storage limitation requirement, so it’s important to consider this timeline when collecting, utilizing or sharing consumer data to ensure it remains within a reasonable window. The ability to govern data at an individual level in an automated, real-time manner will be critical for companies to comply with these new concepts.

Designate a privacy expert. As more and more regulations surface, it becomes crucial for brands to assign tasks internally to remain both accountable and organized. Internal processes are just as important as consumer-facing communications. Privacy experts with deep understanding for Martech are now more needed than ever, as the complexity of Martech alone kept companies busy beforehand.

The post Concrete steps marketers should take now to get ready for CA’s CPRA in 2023 appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Marketing Funnel Stages Explained with SEO Strategies

Marketing Funnel Stages Explained with SEO Strategies

We actually believe you should start by building a high-ROI SEO sales funnel. If you’re new to marketing funnels, we’ll show you how. 

Many of you are probably already familiar with the basic benefit of SEO. Your content ranks higher for your targeted keywords, and you end up with more organic traffic on your website. 

However, many marketers just focus their optimization efforts there. Thing is, the benefit can go so much deeper if you build and optimize a conversion funnel. 

Martin Zwilling, Founder and CEO of Startup Professionals, recently said something that will completely change how you view marketing. Writing for Inc.com, he says; “If you’re still focusing on selling rather than how your customers are buying, you’re missing out on great business potential.”

And, finally, we’re vindicated!

Zwilling is simply saying the same thing we’ve repeated a thousand times by now – that buying is a process. It’s not just about prices. You need a plan for the entire journey – a robust conversion funnel.

Specifically, you can use SEO to engage your target customers as they travel through the conversion funnel. Just imagine if you can rank for all the search terms and queries that correspond to each stage of the conversion funnel, you can engage customers through the entire buying process. 

To do this, you need to integrate keyword optimization, strategic content marketing, and clear site architecture to make sure your leads are engaging with you throughout their entire buyer journey. 

In this post, we will go through each marketing funnel stages and the work you need to do to build an SEO conversion funnel. So let’s start broad. 

What is a Conversion Funnel?

There are tons of conversion funnel models out there.

But generally, a conversion funnel is similar to the traditional sales marketing funnel and is works as a visualization to help marketers plan for the different phases of digital marketing.

With a conversion funnel, you know;

What to sayWhen to say itWhere to say itHow to say it

More formally, it’s defined as “a way of representing the buyer journey through which prospects go until they make a conversion.”

An SEO conversion funnel is named so because it focuses on organic traffic generated through search engines.

What Makes SEO Conversion Funnel Important?

Many companies still market their products based solely on price. To them, selling begins and ends with your lower prices.

How wrong they are!

Although the price is still an important consideration for people who buy, everything about your product can no longer revolve around price. Why? Because the consumer has changed. Digital commerce changed everything.

Today, at the initial stages, web searchers aren’t even thinking about the price yet. In fact, maybe they’re still researching if buying a certain solution would be a great idea. In that case, you’d need to begin by convincing them on the benefits of making the purchase. 

An SEO sales funnel is designed to organize your SEO campaign to quietly rope in potential customers and gently “push” them through to conversion.

Marketing Funnel Stages Explained

The SEO conversion funnel has three main parts – the top of the funnel, the middle of the funnel, and the bottom of the funnel. Here’s what you need about each stage.

Top of the Funnel (TOFU)

Also known as the awareness stage, the top of the funnel, this is the stage where you try to capture potential customers. Here, the consumer is just browsing around. Perhaps they don’t even realize they have a problem.

You need to do three things.

First, make them aware of their problem (if they don’t know yet that they have one) or remind them if they’re already aware.

Secondly, make them know the full cost of that problem. How much money are they losing or leaving on the table?

Lastly, let them know there’s a solution to the problem.

It might seem that to engage your leads at this stage, you should target broad key terms and create content that addresses those broad interests. 

But that’s not entirely true. Even your broad keywords can stem from your buyer keywords. For example, if you are an SEO company, you can create content on the difference between hiring an SEO and doing it yourself. 

Content in this stage should focus on agitating the pain, which in this case should emphasize more on the benefits of hiring an SEO rather than doing it yourself.  

Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)

The middle of the funnel is also known as the consideration phase. Here, the consumer now understands that they have a problem.

They also know that there’s a solution out there. But, they’re not actively thinking about fixing it yet. It’s not yet a priority.

So, what’s your job? To make it a priority; to convince them to get the solution now.

You want to make them know that they stand to save a lot of money if they fix the problem. Telling them exactly how they would benefit can be invaluable here.

Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU)

The bottom of the funnel, also known as the decision stage, is where the consumer is convinced about acquiring the solution. Now, all they need to do is choose a product and vendor.

As such, your job is to get them to choose your brand and product. They’re likely to come across endless ads and check out lots of websites. You need to convince them to choose you!

SEO Tactics and Strategies for Each Stage of the Funnel

You’ll need to focus on specific content types and keywords for each stage of the SEO funnel. Here are a few tips;

Awareness Stage

In the awareness stage, focus on content that makes the consumer aware of their situation and potential solutions. Some of the best performing content options for this stage include;

Educational blog postsIndustry researchAnalyst reports

With regards to keywords, “prevent,” “improve,” and “troubleshoot” work excellently as they encourage the consumer to rethink their position.

Consideration Stage

In the consideration stage, you need content that encourages the consumer to start thinking about getting the solution. Some content options that work extremely well here, therefore, include;

Expert guidesLive interactionsCase studies

As for keywords, popular options include “provider,” “service,” and “tool.” Essentially, you want to use words that tell consumers that a solution exists for their problem and that they should acquire that solution.

Decision Stage

Finally, in the decision stage, you want to focus on content that helps the consumer choose the right solution and vendor (ideally your products). So, consider;

Vendor reviewsProduct comparisonsProduct guidesWhitepapers

Some of the best keywords for this stage include “pros and cons,” “compare,” and “review.” “Free Trial” and “Test” are other words/phrases you should consider.

Map your Customer Journey with Interlinking

Beyond content and keywords, you also need to develop a flawless Information Architecture (IA) for easy and fast discovery of and access to your resources.

The Search Engine Journal has created a detailed guide on how to approach IA. In a nutshell, you need to focus on;

NavigationSitemapPage structureWireframesContent organizationStory outline

The goal is to provide the right content and use the right keywords for each stage of the funnel. Links play a central role in mapping the journey. Using links, you can direct the consumer through the different stages of the funnel until they finally convert.

Ways to Optimize SEO Conversion Funnel

There are several steps you can take to optimize your SEO conversion funnel for search engines. Consider the following;

Use your domain name frequently: Domain names are simple and easy to remember. They also boost credibility, brand recall, and direct searches.Combine SEO with PPC data: Incorporate the same keywords you use in Google AdWords and other PPC campaigns into your SEO funnel.Embrace the long-tail theory: Leveraging both head and long-tail keywords will help you cast your net wide for maximum conversions.Build a keyword funnel: An SEO marketing funnel is incomplete without an accompanying keyword funnel. You need to identify the perfect keywords for each stage of the funnel.Build a content map: A content map is a plan that outlines your content strategy. It answers the what, who, where, and when of content marketing.Do split tests to improve your campaign: Split tests will help you discover new opportunities for growth. Elements to consider for split-testing include keywords, CTAs, and headlines.

Conclusion

Every digital marketer needs a plan to generate the right traffic, drive leads, and convert sales. An SEO conversion funnel is an answer to this need. A well-designed SEO funnel attracts the right readers (in their numbers) and keeps them in the loop, right to conversion.

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