Over the past two days, I’ve been at ROI Revolution Retail Traffic Summit in Atlanta. For those of you unfamiliar with ROI Revolution, it is an agency concentrated in e-commerce, specializing in paid search, shopping feeds and a few other goodies. This MarketingExperiments Blog post features a few takeaways from the event to help inspire your e-commerce marketing efforts. But, before we dive into the takeaways, I want to give a special thanks (and full disclosure) to ROI Revolution for inviting MarketingExperiments to cover the event.
Big success starts with big thinking
After the first day, ROI Revolution invited attendees to the Georgia Aquarium for a networking event. Seeing the huge whale sharks reminded marketers to aspire to be the bigger fish online. As Brad Stone, author of The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, and featured speaker at the event, said, to be like Amazon, or in this case, the big fish, marketers need to think like the big fish.
Takeaway #1. Be where your customers are
Nicole Premo, Partner Education Manager, Shopping & Emerging Ads, Google, opened the event with her session, “Google Goes Shopping: Building a Search Experience for Today’s Shopper.”
According to a Neilson study, 67% of people in the U.S. own a smartphone. With this increased connection to e-commerce, while the methods in which people make purchasing decisions have evolved, there is one aspect Nicole said would arguably never change.
“Remember, people are fundamentally the same. Shoppers are driven by core economic considerations. They are looking for a product that has a value proposition that matches to what [they] care about,” Nicole said.
What has changed, however, is how they gather information and make the decision to buy. There are more moments to shop than ever before, as 82% of people use smartphones to browse product information while in store.
Retailers have had to adapt quickly and engage with consumers at that single moment of inspiration. With inspiration everywhere, and with rapidly evolving technology, shopping has “become incredibly casual.”
Nicole’s advice really boils down to this: Having an effective mobile strategy in place is key to being where your customers are at all times.
Takeaway #2. Leverage data for more personalized targeting
“Age, demographics, gender, where they are, how long they stay on the site, where did they come from, did they abandon – these are not insights for the sake of insights. These insights should inform your online strategy to build actionable customer segments,” said Bob Dillon, Director of Agency Sales, Google.
Bob also talked about the importance of converting qualified customers with display advertising. Locating those potential customers who placed a product into a cart and retargeting with them with display ads is a great place to start.
“Finding that person who left, you want to find them and re-engage with creative that is a product they looked at,” Bob explained.
Takeaway #3. Develop an offline tactic to drive online conversion
Although the main place of conversion in e-commerce is in an online shopping experience, some marketers have discovered offline methods that not only help to drive online traffic, but also achieve strong revenue. During a panel discussion, John Lynch, CEO, Show Me Cables, revealed how his company takes customer relationship management offline with its own unique ranking system.
Jeff’s team measures customers’ online body language and profiles it offline to reach them more effectively. For example, each customer receives a score based on their number of site visits, what pages they viewed on the site, and their email open and interaction metrics.
Starting with an online transaction, the team then researches the customer using a third-party platform to rank them according to their internal system. Finally, the customer receives a phone call.
“This is what we do to hit the right customer at the right time,” Jeff said.
Takeaway #4. Implement serial video content to go viral
Day two kicked off with a morning keynote featuring Austin Craig, Pitchman, Orabrush, who discussed the success serial video content can garner.
Austin and the team at OraBrush produced a video promoting the Orabrush tongue cleaner, and it went viral. However, when marketers think about how to make a viral video, Austin stressed that serial video content can set up a foundation to achieve viral status.
Austin discussed the 4 Cs of YouTube – or as he added, really any social media platform:
Content: Marketers should begin by creating quality content, something truly valuable for your audience. “Are you proud of this content? Would you share it? If you wouldn’t, that is a problem,” Austin said.
Collaboration: YouTube is a huge place where not only are people just watching videos, but also commenting and sharing content. Collaboration with other people or companies in a similar space to your organization is key. You can provide value to them, and they can share their audience with you.
Calls-to-action: At the end of your video, you need to tell people what you want them to do. Ask them directly and make the path to purchase, or whatever the conversion goal is, as short as possible. Austin suggested creating video annotations at the end of your videos linking to other content.
Consistency: This is the key to serial content – it needs to be consistent. Have a scheduled timeframe of when you will put your videos out, and convey this publicly to your audience.
Takeaway #5. Test your content to improve SEO
Mike Walker, SEO Specialist, Brooks Brothers, presented some tactics for marketers looking to gain buy-in for an effective SEO strategy. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through valuable content for your audience.
However, once that valuable content is on your website, the work doesn’t stop there. He advised marketers to not “not settle on a final piece of content.”
“Testing is huge. I learned a long time ago that even if you like what you put together, it’s best to have testing. Use A/B testing, or change up your content. … You should constantly test user behavior,” Mike explained.
Some ideas for testing in your content include titles, body copy, page placement and keywords. Ultimately, all of these elements are worth testing “because you will find what makes consumers click through and what keeps them from bouncing,” he said.
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