Do bad guys always wear black? A popular theme in Hollywood is the classic battle between good and evil. More often than not, the good guys are in white and the bad guys are in black. Case in point is HBO’s smash hit, “Westworld”. In the TV show, visitors to a western theme park are asked to choose between a white hat and a black hat. If you choose a white hat, you’re the hero. If you choose a black hat – well, you guessed it – you’re the villain.

Does the analogy hold true for marketers? Are marketers who choose white hat SEO strategies the good guys? Conversely, are marketers who choose black hat SEO strategies the bad guys?

More importantly, should you use both strategies in your digital marketing campaign?

To have a better understanding of the two, let’s discuss White Hat and Black Hat SEO strategies in detail.

What Is White Hat SEO?

White Hat SEO strategies use techniques and tactics that strictly adhere to Google’s guidelines. The primary objective of marketers who use White Hat SEO strategies is to enhance the website’s visibility on the Internet.

Here are a few examples of popular White Hat SEO strategies:

1. Creation of Quality Content

Google is very particular on User Experience or UX. When someone lands on your website, Google expects that visitor will find only quality content. This means content that is useful, unique, informative, and relevant. Likewise, it should not have errors in spelling and grammar.

Quality content will compel action from the reader. He/she could share your content in social media or use it as a resource link to his/her own website. If your website consistently publishes quality content, Google will reward you with higher search rankings.

2. Integration of Keywords

Keywords are the words and phrases that people frequently use to launch a search query on the Internet. Search bots or web crawlers index content that contains these keywords. Thus, integrating keywords will make it easier for your content to get found on the Internet.

There are 2 things you need to keep in mind when using keywords.

First, use the right keywords. This means keywords and phrases that are relevant in your industry. You should perform keyword research before writing your content.

Among the most popular tools are Google Keyword Planner and SEMRush. You can read more about keyword research in our article “5 Best Keyword Research Tools For 2018”.

Second, keep track of keyword density. While there are no clear-cut rules on keyword density, many SEO experts advise a ratio of 1 keyword per 200 words.

Google will penalize you for keyword stuffing, a technique whereby a page is overloaded with keywords. The purpose of keyword stuffing is to trick Google into thinking the content is relevant.

3. The Use of Relevant Backlinks

You know your content marketing strategy is on the right track when other websites are linking back to you. It means these websites find great value in your content.

For Google, backlinks are a seal of approval. The search engine giant will reward you with higher search rankings.

However, you have to make sure the websites that are linking back to your page are relevant to your industry. Consequently, these websites must also be reputable and consistently publish high-quality content.

4. The Use of Meta Descriptions

There are some SEO practitioners who believe meta descriptions are no longer significant. We are here to tell you that having well-written meta descriptions can help drive traffic to your website.

Meta descriptions consist of a few sentences that describe your website. The purpose of the meta description is to entice people to visit your website. It tells Internet searchers what your website is all about.

Thus, a meta description is not written for search engines. It is written with the potential site visitor in mind. You should not use too many keywords in your meta description.

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What Is Black Hat SEO?

In contrast, Black Hat SEO strategies employ techniques and tactics that do not conform to the guidelines of Google. Marketers who use Black Hat SEO strategies are mavericks; they operate outside the confines of the “law” and are willing to bend the rules to get the job done.

Here are a few of the most popularly-used Black Hat SEO strategies:

1. The Use of Irrelevant Keywords

We discussed the important role keywords play in getting your content found on the Internet. However, the keywords should have relevance or value to the site visitor.

For example, you are writing a blog on how a robotic vacuum cleaner can keep your home clean without any fuss. Then, within your content, you write in the following sentence:

“LeBron James can surely use a robotic vacuum cleaner to sweep the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.”

The sentence includes the keywords “robotic vacuum cleaner” but it has absolutely no relevance to the article. Instead, it uses popular search items “LeBron James” and “Golden State Warriors” to trick search engines.

2. Bot-Generated Content

Black Hat SEO practitioners will often use automatically-generated or bot generated content to capitalize on keywords and give the search rankings a boost.

No doubt you have seen examples of bot-generated content. They are usually located in the comments section of a blog. A bot-generated content is very easy to spot because they make no sense!

It reads like a random comment that has no relevance to the topic whatsoever. The only component of a bot comment that has value is the keyword.

3. Installing Doorway Pages

Let’s say you are planning to visit Italy and indulge in your passion for fine art. You want to prepare an itinerary which covers the best art galleries in Florence. You run a search query on the “best fine art galleries in Florence Italy”.

When you click on one of the URLs featured on the search results page, you don’t land on the website of an art gallery in Florence. Instead, you find yourself on a website selling herbal supplements.

This form of Black Hat SEO trickery is called installing doorway pages. Put succinctly, doorway pages are fake pages that are packed with keywords to help the website get found. You just won’t find what you are looking for.

4. Integrating Invisible Links or Text

Black Hat SEO practitioners know the value of going stealth mode. They will “plant” links on pages where you can’t see them right away.

Examples of these types of tactics include setting the font size to zero, using white text on white background, and integrating a link in a small character such as a comma or a period.

What Are The Penalties For Practicing Black Hat SEO Strategies?

If you break the law, you will get punished for it. On the Internet, Google is the law. Whenever the search engine giant announces changes on its search ranking algorithm, you should pay attention very carefully.

Google frowns upon Black Hat SEO strategies. In fact, Google institutes changes on its search algorithm to make sure these Black Hat SEO strategies get shut out. Here is an updated list of changes in Google’s search algorithms:

  • Penguin – Designed to stop inappropriate linking practices
  • Panda – Designed to slow down content farms. A content farm is usually an agency that employs a large group of writers to create high-ranking content. The purpose is to increase page views and attract more advertising revenue.
  • Florida – Designed to stop keyword stuffing tactics.

If you are caught using Black Hat SEO techniques, what penalties should you expect from Google?

1. A Drop in the Search Rankings

If you notice a sudden drop in the search rankings for your website, that is Google’s way of telling you to stop what you are doing and clean up your strategies.

You will have to comply with Google’s algorithm, implement the necessary changes on your SEO strategies, then file a reconsideration request which will ask the search engine to run another audit on your website.

2. Banned in the Search Rankings

Although it rarely happens, the possibility exists that Google can ban you from its search rankings. Google will not hesitate to pull the trigger on websites that continue to practice deceptive SEO strategies.

A ban from Google will sound the death knell for your business. No one will be able to find your website on the Internet thus, affecting lead generation, site traffic, and sales conversions.

In the event that you do get banned, you should try to appease Google by cleaning up your SEO strategies before applying for a reconsideration request.

Conclusion – Should You Use Both White Hat And Black Hat SEO Strategies?

Both White Hat and Black Hat SEO strategies serve the same purpose – to enhance website visibility so you can climb up Google’s search rankings.

However, with Google constantly reviewing and changing its algorithm, it would be best to stick to White Hat SEO tactics. You cannot pull the wool over Google. The search engine will eventually see what you’re up to.

Interactions on the Internet may be driven by digital technology but they are purely emotional by nature. Black Hat SEO tactics can be annoying. No one wants to be misled. It will reflect on your reputation and affect your brand identity.

Finally, keep in mind this beautiful quote from American author, Arnold Glasow:

“The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.”

White Hat SEO strategies will require more effort because you will have to build your followers and links organically. They will keep you on the straight and narrow path. Running a business is hard enough as it is. You should minimize the risks instead of adding to it.

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So, you decided to take your business to the next level and invest in a nice website?

Awesome!

But, what you should know is that despite the beautiful design and good overall usability, your sleek new website needs tweaking and fine-tuning if you want it to live up to your expectations in terms of conversions and bottom line.

Many people make a mistake by thinking that once the website is finished and live, their only task is to update content and fix potential bugs.

The truth is that the real work begins only after your audience gets a chance to visit your website thus allowing you to monitor its performance in the real world and optimize it for conversions.

This means that you need a solid, easy-to-follow CRO plan, so let’s see how to craft it.

Why Do You Need a Plan?

That’s a good question.

The main reason for having a conversion optimization plan in place is to establish the right goals, methods, and tasks which will help you make the most of your website and turn it into a conversion machine. Without a plan, it’s easy to lose focus and waste your time on things that don’t particularly matter.

It’s about setting your priorities and identifying what the problem is and how to solve it in the most effective and efficient manner.

Although the approach “Let’s see if it’s possible to convert more people if I change this or that element” is a good starting point, it needs to evolve and cover different areas of your sales process, and your business in general.

1. Collect Data

You’ve probably heard that popular phrase “People don’t buy products; they buy better versions of themselves,” and it perfectly sums up why you need to have a deep understanding of your customers, their needs, interests, and issues, as well as how they perceive your business and website, if you want to optimize your conversions.

Having the right data is essential for gaining valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t, that is, what areas, pages, and elements of your website should be optimized.

This step is crucial for helping you see where you stand and what assets you have.

As this is a pretty comprehensive process, it’s a good idea to break it down into three main categories.

In other words, you need to gather data on the following areas:

  • The company itself. Dig deeper and identify the “why” of the company – why it exists and why customers like it. It’s not always about superb products and services. There’s that special X factor, which makes a particular company and its messaging appealing, and it’s up to you to pinpoint what it is and implement your findings into your CRO plan. Identifying the unique sales proposition is essential because it’s what distinguishes your company from competitors who sell similar products or services. The USP is integrated into your marketing messages and its role is to capture your customers’ attention and give them a reason to explore your website further. Finally, learn what your customers’ common objections and complaints are. Talk to your customer support reps and they will provide you with customers’ feedback. If we bear in mind that 67% of customers name bad experiences with a brand as their main reason for churn, but only 1 out of 26 will actually complain, it’s self-explanatory why this step is a must. So, knowing what your customers feel about your company is a make-it-break-it factor when it comes to improving your CRO.
  • The website. Your website analytics should be accurate and detailed. Be in the know about all the relevant metrics such as the amount of traffic, dwell time, bounce rates, conversion rates, as well as the demographic information. The data about the browsers and devices they use to access your website is extremely important, especially after Google officially rolled out mobile-first indexing in July 2018. The fact that most people visit your website from their computers might indicate that there’s something that they don’t like about the mobile version.
  • The customers. This is, perhaps, the most important area and you should use different methods and tools in order to feel the pulse of your audience. Use heatmaps to find out what pages they visit and engage with most and use surveys to hear their first-hand opinions and experiences.

2. Create a Hypothesis

After this lengthy and demanding first step, it’s time to put these findings to good use.

You’ve probably identified a couple of issues on your website that need to be solved. There are two options when it comes to testing a page that returned poor results – you can either build it from scratch and test that new version, or you can change a couple of elements and A/B split test them.

For example, if the data shows that your CTA button doesn’t generate clicks, you can introduce a number of changes, such as the copy, different colors, and fonts, and test them.

But before you start experimenting, you should be able to clearly state why you believe that a particular change will improve your conversion rates and what problem it solves.

Again, you need to know:

  • What you’re testing. Let’s say that you’ve found out that a lot of your customers abandon their shopping cart and that your customer support reps frequently answer questions about how secure the checkout process on your website is. This clearly shows that you need to introduce some trust signals which will convince your customers that it’s safe for them to trust you with their personal information. For example, using an SSL certificate and switching to the HTTPS protocol, offering multiple payment methods, and showing payment assurance certifications are some of them.
  • Who you’re testing. There are different ways to split your audience, not just based on demographic data. You can, for example, test your repeat customers, one-time customers, or those who abandoned their shopping cart. Segmenting customers based on the browser they use is also helpful because you won’t test Opera users if the element you want to test doesn’t load properly in this browser.

3. Test Your Hypothesis

It’s showtime.

Although implementing new design and testing it might seem like a complicated task, there are useful tools that can significantly simplify the process.

Some of them include Optimizely and Visual Web Optimizer.

There are a couple of things to bear in mind:

  • Make sure that your new design displays properly across different browsers before it goes live.
  • Choose how much traffic you will direct to your test pages. If you have a lot of visitors, then this step can help you control possible risks in case that your design fails and your conversions on the test pages drop.
  • Don’t neglect the average order value, because although your conversion rates might be low for the pages you test, the average order value might go up.

So, set all these things up before you launch your tests if you want to get accurate readings. If you want to run your tests efficiently and effectively, it’s a good idea to enlist the help of experts from respectable web design agencies who will offer you their take on your ideas and implement everything properly.

4. Review Your Results

In this stage, you’ll review your results and see whether your hypothesis has been correct.

However, before you get down to work, it’s important to establish whether statistical significance has been reached. This is a complex concept, so check out this article which will tell you more about it.

Luckily, even if you’re not familiar with statistical significance, most optimization tools will give you this information.

If your hypothesis is correct, then implement these design changes properly and send all your traffic there. However, it’s important to keep track of your metrics closely to see whether everything works as expected.

If your hypothesis isn’t correct, make sure to save all your data from these unsuccessful tests, and go back to square one – create another hypothesis and do it all over again.

It’s crucial not to give up because failed tests are gold mines of data that you can use later.

These 4 steps can help you get to the bottom of a CRO plan that everybody can understand and implement.

Harris Norman is a 35-year-old web developer, born and raised in San Francisco Bay Area. Harris is also very passionate about spending time in nature, which is why he spends all of his free time hiking, sailing and mountain climbing. His design skills are admirable, which is why he’s got a special place among the writers of designrush.com. When he’s not running around chasing adventure, he likes to play the trombone, though not very well.

At Mountaintop Web Design, we pride ourselves in our commitment to delivering quality solutions for businesses all over the world, regardless of size and industry. We work hard to make sure our clients see the results they expect from our team, and it’s with great excitement that we reveal our hard work has caught the eye of one of the world’s leading resources for verified online reviews: Clutch.co.

Clutch is a ratings and reviews platform for service providers in the IT, web and app development, and digital design industries. Their segment devoted to web designers is one of the most competitive and fastest-growing directories on their platform, making us proud to stand out as a leading agency so soon after creating a profile.

To be featured on Clutch as a leading provider in any industry is no easy task – Companies must prove they have the qualities of a leading agency through demonstrating their industry expertise and ability to deliver results for clients. From the services we offer, to the list of clients we have, to the projects we’ve delivered so far, our evaluation on Clutch has already helped us to improve our online reputation and boost our ranking on their site.

Our score on Clutch is also attributed to the reviews our clients have provided for Mountaintop Web Design. Clutch does things a bit differently than other reviews platforms by calling and speaking with our clients firsthand to gather their opinions on what it’s like working with our team. So far, so good:

  • “I receive lots of positive feedback from site visitors and advertisers…”Owner, Halloween Events Colorado LLC
  • “I appreciate their ability to answer questions in a single day and how they watch out for our organization…”Executive Director, Severe Weather Shelter Network

It’s an exciting opportunity for us to be included in Clutch’s research because it’s not only allowed us to see where we rank compared to other firms similar to ours, but also because we’ve been able to hear directly from our clients about their opinions working with us from a verified, unbiased source. In fact, our position on Clutch has qualified us to be featured on their sister-website, The Manifest, as one of the best SEO agencies in Denver in 2018!

We’ll get to the very top of Clutch’s ranking of SEO service providers in 2018 – all we have to do is continue doing what we’re doing and stay true to our commitment to delivering solutions that make our partners proud.

A sales channel is the medium you use to sell your products or services. For example, a physical retailer of coffee beans would use a brick- and- mortar coffee shop to sell his products which would include raw materials and beverages. The coffee shop is his sales channel. On the other hand, the wholesaler of coffee beans would have the company’s distributors as the sales channels for its products.

Direct Sales Channels Vs. Indirect Sales Channels: What Is The Difference?

In our first example, the coffee shop owner is selling his products directly to his customers. In the second example, the wholesaler has enlisted the help of middlemen; the distributors and perhaps other resellers, to sell the company’s coffee beans.

The coffee shop owner is utilizing a direct sales channel to sell his products. There are no middlemen involved and he gets to keep all of the profits. Of course, the coffee shop owner employs cashiers who also function as front- line salespeople.

Not only will cashiers process the transaction, they will also upsell other products such as muffins, sandwiches, or perhaps entice you to upsize your coffee from a “short” to a “large”.

Employing the cashiers will entail additional costs in the form of salaries and benefits. Some retailers will give cashiers sales quotas. This will give the company an idea of the ROI per cashier.

Other companies may employ different direct sales channels for their products and services. For example, a telecommunications company may set up a telemarketing team to call leads generated by the marketing team.

Another option for the telecommunications company would be to outsource telemarketing services to a third party. With this option, the company would not cover the overhead costs of the telemarketing agents but would have to pay the management fees of the third party service provider.

Other types of direct sales channels include resellers and personal sellers who purchase the products and sell them to targeted buyers.

In contrast, the wholesaler is using indirect sales channels to sell the company’s products.

The company does not keep all of the profits as it has to pay commissions and incentives to the middlemen. However, the company’s overhead costs are low because it does not pay additional overhead costs to hire personnel to sell the products directly. By using indirect sales channels, the company does not have to pay salaries, benefits, and incur other incremental costs.

What if you are running an e-commerce business? What kind of sales channel will you be using?

The answer may seem obvious. As an online business, you are using the Internet to sell your products and services. You may have an e-commerce website where interested customers can browse through your selection and complete a transaction at the Checkout Counter.

However, the website is not your only option. You might decide to sell your products in a “marketplace” such as Amazon or eBay. By selling through Amazon, you will be capitalizing on the website’s gigantic community of users. As a tradeoff, Amazon will take its share of your sales and you will have to abide by the website’s rules and regulations.

Another option would be to sell your products through affiliate marketers. They function like the distributors and resellers of the coffee bean company. Instead of paying overhead costs for hiring sales agents, you pay affiliate marketers a percentage of your profits.

Thus, with an e-commerce business, you could sell directly to your customers from your website or sell indirectly through community marketplaces or affiliate marketers.

The question is: How would people know about your e-commerce website; it’s products and services?

It is important to know what sales channels you will be using to sell your products and services so that you can identify the marketing channels needed to promote them to your intended audience.

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Aligning Your Sales Channels With Your Marketing Channels

Sales and Marketing are related functions but independent of one another. The marketing team’s objective is to generate interest for the company’s products and services by utilizing a variety of techniques, processes, and tactics that market and promote their value to the prospective customer.

The sales team’s objective is to close the deal. It is focused on converting interest into revenues. Salespeople work to turn prospects into paying customers. This is the general idea behind the sales funnel. Marketing brings prospects to the funnel. The sales team guides them through the funnel until the prospects come out of it as paying customers.

The greater the number of prospects marketing brings in, the larger becomes the entry point of the funnel. Thus, marketing may have to utilize different marketing channels to generate a higher volume of prospects or leads.

Marketers make decisions based on ROI or Return on Investment. Therefore, if you use a new marketing channel that shifts interest away from an existing marketing channel without improving your conversion rate, the investment in the new marketing channel is not worth it. You will be incurring greater costs without improving sales conversions.

There are a good number of marketing channels to choose from; each one has its own strengths and weaknesses. Your choice of marketing channels should align with the sales channels in order to support your business goals and objectives.  

Direct Marketing Channels Vs. Indirect Marketing Channels: Which Ones Should You Choose To Support Your Sales Channels?

Just like sales channels, there are direct and indirect marketing channels. What is the difference between the two types of marketing channels?

With direct marketing channels, you are targeting a specific or segmented group in your audience. A good example of a direct marketing channel is email marketing whereby you have built up a mailing list consisting of newsletter subscribers, existing customers, and social media followers.

One of the biggest advantages of email marketing is that you can segment your mailing list into categories. This way, you can create content that is tailor-fit to meet the needs, interests, and concerns of your subscribers.

For example, if you are an online retailer of supplements, you can segment your content according to interest.

You can categorize your subscribers according to those who want to lose weight, gain muscle, fight aging, and improve sports performance. Then, create content that offers products catered to meet the goals of each specific interest.

You can read more about the benefits of email marketing in our articles, “7 Best Practices For Email Marketing” and “Why Email Marketing Is Very Much Alive”.

Another good example of a direct marketing channel is Pay- Per- Click or PPC ads. The people who click on your PPC ad are those who have interest or need of your product or service. They will land on your website home page and hopefully, stay long enough to find what they are looking for.

Other examples of direct marketing channels are:

  • Display banner Ads
  • Direct Mail
  • Radio Ads
  • TV Ads
  • Newspaper Ads

Direct marketing channels are ideal if you are selling your products in a brick- and- mortar store or if you have a website.

Indirect marketing channels are primarily used to promote or create greater awareness about your business; its products and services. If you are engaged in e-commerce, you can use indirect marketing channels such as social media marketing and blogging to drive inbound traffic to your website.

For example, you can blog about your business; how it began, why you chose this specific industry, and your expertise. You can also publish content that showcases the value of your products and services. These types of informative, value-added content include “How To” and List-Type articles.

Once you’ve uploaded your blogs on your website, you can distribute them to your various social media networks. The purpose is to entice readers to visit your website so they can learn more about your business.

Staying active on social media and other online platforms are great ways to remain visible on the Internet. The more people read about you, the greater the probability of generating interest in your business.

Brick- and- mortar businesses likewise benefit from indirect marketing channels such as social media and content marketing. Fashion retailers use image- heavy social media networks like Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube to showcase their products.

Video marketing has become a powerful tool for driving traffic and increasing sales conversions. Companies have links to their YouTube channel embedded in their websites. Interested parties can go through “Explainer Videos” then visit the YouTube channel to explore more video-based content.

If you are utilizing indirect sales channels such as an online community marketplace like Amazon, you can write product reviews and include a link to the page offering your products and services. You may also want to contribute to industry-related websites and direct readers to your website or product page.

Conclusion

Are there limits or constraints to the type of sales channel you want to use for your business? You will have to answer these three questions:

  1. What is your budget? Do you have enough resources to support and sustain sales and marketing teams?
  2. Are you open to the idea of outsourcing sales and marketing activities to third- party service providers?
  3. How reliable are your suppliers? Can you effectively manage the level of inventory needed to comply with demand?

Large companies like Apple and Amazon have incorporated different types of sales channels into their business development strategy with great success. Both companies have brick- and- mortar locations as well as e-commerce websites that directly sell their respective products to customers.

They have integrated outsourced telemarketing services with in-house sales agents to spread out the costs and cover more ground. Of course, these companies have maintained an active online presence through social media and other Internet- based platforms.

The bottom-line is you should use sales channels to help grow your business. The types of sales channels you choose will depend on your goals, objectives, and budget.

By knowing the proper sales channels, you will have a better idea on which processes to use to effectively market and promote your business.  When these channels are aligned, your marketing efforts will be able to generate more leads for the sales funnel. Then, it will be easier for your salespeople to do their job and convert prospects into paying customers.

If this article has got you seriously thinking about using certain sales channels for your business, give us a call or drop us an email. You can consult with us free of charge!

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Facebook is the largest social media network on the Internet. It has more than 2 Billion members with more than 1 Billion active users every day. Facebook’s sheer size makes it an attractive platform for marketers to run campaigns. However, when it comes to ad distribution, size hardly matters. Unless it can be seen by prospective end users, your ad will be overlooked like a typewriter in an office. Facebook Ads work because they place your ads where your potential customer can see them right away.

8 Reasons Why Facebook Ad Works:

  1. Largest online community with more than 2 billion members;
  2. Largest number of daily active users with 1 billion members;
  3. Highest Return on Investment (ROI) among all social media networks;
  4. Offers 10 campaign objectives that support a variety of marketing goals;
  5. Multiple ad formats to run your campaign;
  6. Targets your audience by allowing you to create a buyer’s profile;
  7. Allows you to set your advertising budget;
  8. Uses 4 platforms to run your ads: Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and Audience Network.

What Are Facebook Ads?

Facebook ads are paid advertising content that appear on your News Feed and on the right hand column of your home page if you are on a PC desktop. Placement of Facebook ads are based on the following criteria:

  • User activity;
  • Demographic information;
  • Device use information;
  • Information provided by advertising and marketing-partners;
  • Off- Facebook activity.

The keyword is “paid” advertising content. Unlike organic search marketing where you post content for the purpose of attracting the interest of potential customers, with Facebook ads you pay to have your ad featured.

The advantage of paid advertising is that your ad will be placed where potential customers can see it right away. Anyone who clicks on your ad will end up on your website.

Thus paid advertising can give your website an immediate boost up the search rankings. Because these are people who have shown interest in your advertised products or services, paid ads may also increase your sales conversion rates.

Many believe that Facebook began its transition from social media network to media company back in 2012 after its poorly received Initial Public Offering (IPO). However, Facebook Ads origins can be traced back to 2004 when the company offered paid advertising under its Facebook Flyers feature.

Facebook Flyers were simple ads that cost between $10 and $40. They functioned like the notice boards you would typically find in a college campus. Students used Facebook Flyers to promote social events while small businesses ran ads that targeted specific campuses.

As it turned out, Facebook Flyers became the blueprint for Facebook Ads. It carried over its features to customize audiences, create campaigns according to budget and to make the process as simple and easy as possible.

Why You Should Include Facebook Ads In Your Marketing Campaign

Facebook is not the only social media network that offers paid advertising. Instagram, YouTube and Twitter also have paid ad options. Search engines such as Google through its Google AdWords similarly offer paid advertising for its users. However, it may be wise to prioritize Facebook Ads above everyone else.

Here are 5 reasons why you should include Facebook Ads in your marketing campaign:

1. Facebook Is Growing

There is no stopping Facebook’s growth. Whether it is the United States, Japan, Germany, Russia or Australia, the number of Facebook users will continue to grow exponentially over the next few years.

To capitalize on its growth, expect the company to introduce more options for advertising. Businesses will have more tools to reach their target market. For the year 2017 alone, Facebook launched the following advertising platforms:

  • Messenger Day
  • Instagram Stories
  • Facebook Live Video

In addition, Facebook improved its advertising report capabilities. It will be easier to track down the performance of your campaigns.

This means if you haven’t started on your Facebook Ads campaign, don’t worry! There’s no better time to include Facebook Ads in your digital marketing strategy than now.

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2. Social Media Marketers Love Facebook

A 2016 survey by Social Fresh, Firebrand Group and Simply Measured revealed that 95.8% of 551 social media marketers identified Facebook as having the best ROI among social media networks.

Social media marketers are professionals and highly trained in what they do. They have run paid ad campaigns through various platforms and are convinced Facebook Ads generate the best results for B2C and B2B campaigns.

Many businesses report surpassing their marketing goals five-fold after running campaigns through Facebook Ads.

It doesn’t look like the trend will stop anytime now as advertising budgets have been increasing the last few years. Case in point, advertising budgets for social media marketing in the United States almost doubled from $16 Billion in 2014 to $32 Billion in 2016.

As the Facebook global community continues to grow, expect more businesses to include Facebook ads in their Digital Marketing program.

3. Runs Your Ads Through Multiple Platforms

When you sign up for Facebook Ads, your paid ad material will not run through its News Feed. Facebook will likewise run it through multiple platforms for maximum targeted visibility. Presently Facebook has five distribution channels for paid ads:

  • Facebook News Feed
  • Facebook Right Column (Home Page)
  • Messenger
  • Instagram
  • Audience Network

Facebook Messenger is the social network’s chat/ personal messaging system. It is popularly used via mobile phone although many PC desktop users find it a convenient way to communicate with their network.

Instagram is one of the biggest and most popular image-based social media network on the Internet. And Facebook bought it in 2012 for US $1 Billion! Instagram is a wonderful platform to use if your products and services are highly visual in nature. It is one of Facebook’s biggest generators of revenue.

Audience Network is a great tool for paid ad distribution. This is a feature in Facebook Ads which searches the Internet for apps and websites that match the demographics and online behaviour of your target audience.

Having these five platforms will make it easier to reach your target audience among Facebook’s 2 Billion strong community.

4. Positions Your Ad In Front Of Potential Customers

If you can target your ads to potential buyers, then market size will become a factor. In 2017, more than 1.6 billion people saw paid ads that were posted through Facebook’s Audience Network feature.

Now factor in the number of people who will see your paid ad in their Facebook News Feed, Homepage, Messenger and Instagram page. Again these are not just randomly selected people from the community. These are targeted users of Facebook who fit your buyer’s profile.

How does Facebook do this?

Facebook Ads has a Detailed Targeting feature. You have the option of publishing your ad to a new audience simply by choosing the “Exclude people who like my page” option.

However if you are launching a new product or service, it would be better to choose the “People who like my page” option as these people are already familiar with your business.

You also have the option of customizing the search parameters of your target audience. Facebook has a step-by-step guide which will take you through the entire process of creating an audience profile. Facebook will use the information to find the best, most ideal sites to place your paid ad.

5. Allows You To Stay Within Budget

Most businesses, especially small enterprises and startups are hindered by tight budgets from starting an advertising campaign.

As we discussed in our articles, “How to Set Up a Low Budget Digital Marketing Campaign” and “How to Launch a $100 Digital Marketing Campaign”, it is possible to succeed even with a restricted budget.

However the articles discussed organic search marketing strategies. Paid advertising as the term implies, carries a cost. However, with paid ads you only pay whenever someone clicks on your ad.

Therefore, if your ad gets seen by 1,000 people but only 10 click on it, you will only pay for the 10 clicks. With Facebook Ads, you don’t need a million dollar budget to get started.

Depending on the location of the ad, you can start driving people to your website for as little as $0.10 to $0.30 per click.

Here’s the breakdown of the Cost Per Click (CPC) by placement in Facebook Ads:

CPC chart based off ad placement

Chart courtesy of AdEspresso

As you can see, Instagram has the highest CPC. Still there are 5 million business profiles in Instagram. The volume alone should give you the confidence to have your paid ad campaign go through Facebook Ads.

Conclusion

Facebook Ads is a great platform to run your paid ad campaign. Because it has features that allow you to target your intended audience, you will be able to capitalize on Facebook’s massive 2 Billion community of users.

Your paid ad will also be posted in multiple sites that will enable more people to see it. Facebook’s 2012 acquisition of Instagram was a big winner for the company. Instagram has 800 million active monthly users and 300 million daily active users.

When embarking on a Digital Marketing campaign, it is a good idea to mix organic search marketing with paid advertising.

Organic search marketing will build your business reputation and visibility over the long term. Paid advertising will drive inbound traffic to your website immediately and help your business gain traction right away.

This way while you are developing markets and an audience for your business, paid advertising through Facebook Ads can help you find potential end users who may have immediate need for your products and services.

If we got you interested in starting out a Facebook Ads campaign, please do not hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We will get back to you right away.

Remember, now is the best time to start your Facebook Ads campaign as the social media network is still growing!

want to know more about web design

 

We are pleased to announce we just unveiled our new website! We figured it was time for us to update our site to showcase the quality of work we can do! We will be unveiling even more products and services in the coming weeks.

 

Stay tuned for more information.

 

-Your Mountaintop Web Design Team