5 Best Practices For a Successful Paid Search Campaign

Google reports that it processes an astonishing 70,000 search queries every single second, equating to over 2-trillion global searches each year.1 With volumes that enormous, who would want to pass up the opportunity to capitalize on all that traffic to get noticed and drive new business?

With a successfully executed Google pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, businesses generate an average of $2 in income for every $1 they spend,2 which makes it seems like a no-brainer – yet it takes a little extra effort to create a campaign that will generate a return. Here we’ve compiled some paid search best practices learned from developing more than 100 Microsoft Partner digital campaigns.

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The “3-30-3” Rule: Does your marketing content measure up?

So you’ve decided to incorporate a content strategy into your marketing plans—great! While numbers show that conversion rates trend at six times higher for companies leveraging content marketing than those that don’t,1 simply putting content out there doesn’t guarantee it’s going to resonate with your customers. In a previous blog, we discussed some of the key best practices for a content marketing strategy, including the value of quality over quantity and talking to your audience’s specific needs and concerns. But even if your content is highly relevant and well executed, in today’s fast-paced world it can be particularly challenging to catch – much less keep – a prospective buyer’s attention. Well, that’s where the “3-30-3” rule can help guide you in crafting content that draws reader in and makes an impact.

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THE IMPORTANCE OF VIDEO MARKETING

Among the many channels and strategies for marketing today, there is no denying that video has slowly taken over as a top, if not the top, form of engagement and an essential part of any marketing plan. With 66 percent of B2B buyers reporting they prefer to learn about a product or service through video versus reading text,1 it is no surprise that it has become the most commonly used format in content marketing, overtaking both blogs and infographics.2 Not only does well-crafted, useful video content better engage and inform today’s buyers, but it also helps dramatically improve the results of your related marketing efforts, from social media to SEO and email campaigns. Over 80 percent of marketers utilizing video content find it has directly contributed to increased sales.3

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Demand Generation Strategies That Drive Results

So you want to grow your business, sell a new product or service, or just drive additional revenue – but where do you start? In today’s competitive, saturated market it can be difficult to cut through the white noise and effectively engage your prospective customers while providing a measurable return on investment (ROI). There are a variety of demand generation strategies that can help companies to do just that, yet it is key to find the right approach for your particular audience that both supports your brand’s goals and is something that you can commit to maintaining. Demand gen takes time and effort, and there is no point in jumping headfirst into strategy that you can’t keep up with or dedicate the appropriate time and resources to.

It is also essential to first spend some time identifying your target buyer personas and segments, as well as understanding their unique pain points and needs, which will allow more tailored messaging and amplify the impact of your campaigns. With a little effort, implementing a successful, targeted demand gen strategy can not only increase your overall brand awareness, but help to drive better qualified leads that are more likely to be interested in what you’re selling.

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How and Why to Implement a Content Marketing Strategy

In today’s over-saturated market with an abundance of choices for nearly every type of product or service, finding new ways to stand apart from the competition is paramount in order to remain successful. One of the quickest and most effective ways to do that is by implementing a content marketing strategy. On average, conversion rates are six times higher for companies and brands using content marketing than those that aren’t.1 Content marketing not only serves as a way to educate and inform your customers about your brand or product, but also helps to set you apart and establish your brand as an authority on the subject. Read more

Delve into a lesser-known feature of Office 365

We’ve all been there. Those frustrating moments when you know you’ve seen some information but just can’t remember where, or when you can’t recall a recent contact’s name, or have forgotten where a colleague has placed a critical file for a joint project. As maddening as this can be, one of the lesser-known features of Microsoft Office 365 can help with situations like these – not only saving your sanity, but considerable time and effort as well. Delve provides intelligent discovery of the information, people, and files that are the most relevant and interesting to each user, and proves to be yet another value-add selling feature of Office 365.

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CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT: THE GROWING NEED FOR PERSONALIZATION

With over 90 percent of today’s customers reporting they are more likely to interact with brands that recognize them and provide relevant offers or recommendations1, it is vital for businesses to implement a personalization strategy in order to remain competitive.

Gone are the days when simply placing a customer’s name on an otherwise generic sales or marketing email suffices as a personalization strategy. The modern customer expects brands to provide highly relevant engagement and offers that account for who they are, what they need, and when they need it. In fact, more than 74 percent of customers are frustrated by receiving irrelevant, impersonal content.2  For companies that wish to survive in today’s aggressive economy, it’s all about engaging the right customer with the right message or offer, at the right time.

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Adobe + Microsoft: Helping simplify big data for more effective customer engagement

Unless you’ve been living off the grid for the past couple of decades, you’ve used Adobe projects, even if you’ve never paid for them. By 2011, Adobe Flash Player virtually owned streaming video with a 99% market penetration in fully developed markets such as the United States, Canada, Germany, and New Zealand. Opened a PDF? You probably did so in Adobe Acrobat Reader, especially back in the dark ages when PDFs were brand new.

Creative professionals—especially those in the marketing business—have invested thousands of dollars apiece in Adobe products like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and TypeKit, partly because they’re worth it, but mostly because they’re indispensable.

But let’s say your business has crafted a digital marketing experience for your customers that’s as incredible as the Adobe products you used to create it. Now what? Do you have any idea how effective your engagement efforts are with your customers? How about which devices they’re using? Or the level of communication they want from you, if any? Read more

Office Ink – Marketing another value-add feature of Office 365

Among the many hidden gems in Microsoft Office 365 is the ability to use basic touch movements or a stylus to free-hand draw diagrams, notes, and other annotations in Office documents with a feature called Ink. Just one of the cool capabilities of Office Ink is the ability to write math equations and have them automatically converted into text—no more hunting around in the equation or symbol libraries looking for what you need. It can also be used to highlight text or move content around within the document using finger gestures or a stylus. Referred to as ‘Inking’, it is just another great value-add to sell customers on the modern functionality of Office 365 leveraging mobile and touch-enables devices.

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Insights Inspired by “The Conversion Code” (Ch. 1)

At least for most of the clients we work with, it’s not just “need more leads?” (the title of this chapter). It goes well beyond that, because leads are life (at least the life of the business).

Smith claims that people buy because they trust you or your business, and that on the web, great design builds trust. He then gives three sources for his assertion. I think the jury is out on whether great design builds trust specifically, but I’ll agree that clean, effective design conveys a sense of quality, professionalism, and competence. Assuming potential customers want (or even demand) quality, professionalism, and competence from the companies they buy from (and it’s fair to say they do), sure, design can increase a prospect’s trust in your company’s ability to deliver quality products and services.

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