5 Important Facts About Engagement from Mobile Devices

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Mobile devices are owned by 2.3 billion people worldwide. The device that is constantly in everyone’s pocket is a fantastic channel for marketers to create engagements. Why are mobile channels such an exciting opportunity for marketers?

1. The average smartphone user picks up their device 85 times per day.

Those 85 views lead to a total of five hours of browsing the web and using apps. That is a lot of opportunities to create opportunities for mobile engagement with mobile ads, branded apps, text messaging and email newsletters.

20% of millennials (aged 18-34) don’t even use a desktop anymore, having fully committed to the “mobile-only” lifestyle. Having their device with them at all times allows people to be more connected, able to be reached with emails, messages, and advertisements at all times.

This connectivity allows marketers to make more timely, location-based offers to their audience, opening up a world of mobile possibilities.

2. Mobile purchases and payments will be worth $500 billion by 2020.

People are increasing the frequency in which they use smartphones to make payments and purchases. According to HubSpot, mobile commerce will command 24.4% of overall e-commerce profit by the end of 2017. It’s projected that in-store mobile payments will cross the $500 billion thresholds by 2020, with 150,000,000 users at that time.

Marketers can take advantage of technology by offering perks, extras or deals for people using mobile payments mixed with a healthy dose of location-based targeting to provide even more offers to the customer in-store to motivate sales.

3. Text messages have an open rate of 98%.

Text messages have an open rate of 98%, with up to 90% of text messages being opened less than a minute after receiving it. This open rate is far higher than the open rate in email marketing. 32 percent of people respond to SMS offers, with texted coupons redeemed ten times more often than traditional coupons.

Marketers can make targeted, timely and personalized offers to prospects through mobile channels. Giving people timely, relevant offers and notifications can improve their satisfaction and lead to more sales.

4. Mobile devices are the most common starting point for online activities.

Mobile devices are the most common starting point for online activities. 65% of users start with a mobile device when searching for information online. Those findings make sense because people are always connected with their mobile device. When a query crosses their mind, they can easily search for answers. As-a-result, Google ranks mobile-friendly websites more favorably than non-optimized sites.

To capitalize on the increasing share of mobile searches, marketers need to make sure their website has a responsive design. A responsive website will detect what device is being used, and automatically tailor the content of the site to the specific device, reducing clutter and make the web experience cleaner on mobile devices.  Every website we make with our product Digital Agent is created with responsive design. This article provides fantastic information on the importance of responsive design.

5. People consume an average of 86 minutes of mobile content per day.

There are many ways people can consume content on mobile devices. Apps, mobile-friendly websites, email, text messages and social media provide channels for consumers to access and share content. People consume an average of 86 minutes of content per day on mobile devices.

There are several things that need to be considered to ensure content is successful.

  1. It has to look good on a small screen
  2. The content should be “light,” not requiring a significant amount of time to consume
  3. It should be highly shareable, existing either in an app or on social media

Youtube videos, short blog posts, content within a mobile app perform better on mobile devices than they do on desktops. It’s an exciting opportunity for marketers to create content that can capture mobile users attention.

In conclusion, it’s important to be aware of mobile channels when creating content.

That’s it, five reasons that mobile channels are important for marketers. If you liked this blog post, and want to learn more about digital marketing, content marketing or technology solutions for marketers, follow us on Twitter @VeridayHQ or LinkedIn.

Money20/20: Las Vegas 2017

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Money20/20

Register today with code ONTAR250 to save $250 on registration for Money20/20: https://us.money2020.com/

From October 22nd to October 25th, Veriday will be attending Money 20/20 at The Venetian, in Las Vegas, Nevada. As an exhibitor, we will be located at Booth 647 for the four days of the event. We would love it if you stopped by to chat about anything to do with financial technology!

One of the largest events concerning Payments and Financial Services. Leaders from every sector of the industry, from wealth management to insurance, from business banking to mortgage brokers will be at this event. This is an event that financial institutions need to attend to stay up to date with the latest news and developments in the world of financial technology.

The four-day event has fantastic networking opportunities, with over 11,000 attendees, from all around the world, in one place. There is an incredible roster of speakers including Brett King, Steve Wozniak, and Ray Kurzweil, plus many, many more speakers from the world of finance and technology.

Artificial Intelligence, Globalization, and Regulation are just four of the many topics that will be discussed at the event. If you can find your way to Las Vegas and care about finance, you should attend this event. 

Are you planning on attending Money20/20? Let us know on Twitter @VeridayHQ!

Sibos 2017 Toronto

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Sibos 2017 Toronto

Billed as “the world’s premier financial services event” Sibos 2017 Toronto has made a bold claim. However, it’s a claim that the conference can back up. In 1978, Sibos was simply a seminar about banking operations. But much like the financial services industry itself, the conference has grown to become much, much more than that. Sibos is now an annual conference, exhibition, and networking event, with around 8,000 leaders from financial services in attendance.

The four-day conference takes place between the dates: Monday, October 16th, and Thursday, October 19th at the Metro Toronto Convention Center. There will be over 200 exhibitors, hundreds of speakers and conference sessions and plenty of opportunities to discuss business strategy and grow networks that will shape the future of finance.

Regardless of your specialty within financial services, Sibos Toronto 2017 will cater to your unique needs and interests. The programme is organized into four streams: banking, compliance, securities, and technology. Each stream has a different focus, but all follow the same theme.

The theme of this year’s conference is: “Building for the Future,” focusing on four emerging areas of concern for financial institutions:

  1. Cybersecurity
  2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  3. The impact of geopolitical and regulatory shifts
  4. Data and identity

A working knowledge of these topics can help any leader in financial services prepare their business for the future! Don’t miss this event, register today at https://www.sibos.com/plan-your-trip.  

Let us know if you will be attending #Sibos2017 on Twitter (@VeridayHQ).

Liferay Symposium North America 2017

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Are you ready for the next Liferay Symposium? As a Liferay Platinum Partner and Gold Sponsor, Veriday is already looking forward to attending. In just two weeks, industry leader and engineers from around the world will descend on Austin, Texas for Liferay Symposium North America 2017. Speak with Liferay’s key developers and experts. Learn how YOU can use Liferay with practical sessions and workshops. Discover best practices and innovative solutions for the business challenges you are focused on solving.

This premier event for Liferay’s customers, digital business leaders, partners and community developers in North America will include two days of expert sessions, hands-on workshops, networking opportunities, access to Liferay’s top executives and architects, and keynotes from digital experience thought leaders.

Attending the Liferay Symposium will give your technology leaders the knowledge they need to apply Liferay DXP, the most recent, most advanced platform from Liferay to their digital transformation project. You really don’t want to miss this.

Liferay Symposium North America 2017

October 16th-17th

Hilton Austin

Austin, Texas

#LSNA17

For more information:

On the event, please visit the event page.

About Liferay, visit www.liferay.com.

About how we use Liferay to facilitate digital transformation, check out our solutions page.

UBS Future of Finance Regional Finalist

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We are proud to announce that we have been selected as finalists in the UBS Future of Finance Challenge 2017! That means that Veriday will be taking part in the Americas final in New York on November 8th, 2017.

UBS Future of Finance Regional Finalist

The UBS Future of Finance Challenge 2017 is a competition open to Fintech companies around the world with disruptive technological solutions that will transform the banking industry. Back in June, we entered our product: Digital Agent into the competition. Digital Agent is a transformative marketing and compliance platform that helps enterprises in financial services create a more personal engagement channel for their network of independent agents.

We are looking forward to the finals, holding a high level of confidence in our platform. Our team has seen the results that Digital Agent can bring businesses, it’s about time that everybody else does too. We will update everyone on our progress in this competition on Twitter (@VeridayHQ) and LinkedIn.

Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit: Europe – Recap

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Last week, Veriday CEO, Marc Lamoureux (@mlamveriday), attended the Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit: Europe in London, England. In addition to having our CEO speak, Veriday was a Gold Sponsor of the event. The event took place at the Tower Hotel, located along the River Thames, next to the world famous World Heritage Site, The Tower of London from September 21st to September 22nd.

The setting was phenomenal. In the shadows of a medieval tower, financial marketers from across the world shared ideas about how the financial services industry can prepare for the future. In a location that for centuries has been used to isolate people and valuables from the rest of society, digital marketers discussed how the financial services industry can create more connections.

Our CEO, Marc Lamoureux, took the stage on Day 1 of the event to discuss how banks and other financial institutions can humanize digital channels, making them more inviting to consumers. His presentation at the Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit touched on several of the topics he discussed in one of our previous blog posts: Brand Personification: Why Should You Care?

The Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit: Europe featured many informative keynote presentations:

Thomas Barta (@ThomasBarta on Twitter), discussed how marketers need to become (and in many cases, are already becoming) leaders of change to open the conference. It was a motivational presentation that raised the energy in the room. After he left the stage, the energy in the room suggested that nearly everyone there was ready to become a more motivated agent of change.

Another excellent presentation, this one by Kirsten Burt of UBS, discussed how distributing content through client advisors benefits financial enterprises, customers and advisors alike. That keynote hit home for those in attendance from Veriday because we work every day to create better connections between financial agents and their customers.

At Veriday, we believe that “the human touch” is an important factor for financial brands. To help enable humanized digital experiences, we developed a platform, Digital Agent, that helps financial enterprises create compliant, on-brand digital experiences for their network of agents.

While those two presentations jumped out to us, there were so many excellent presentations about the use of data in financial services marketing, creating connections through digital channels and how financial services brands can prepare for the future.

If you missed the Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit: Europe, don’t stress. There is another Summit coming up in just a few months. The Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit: New York, is less than two months away, you do not want to miss it!
To stay up to date on all our upcoming events, follow us on Twitter @VeridayHQ. We hope to see you at our next events!

4 Steps That Will Minimize Your Website’s Bounce Rate

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The definition of bounce rate is:

“the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.”

Ideally, your website’s bounce rate should be somewhere between 20% and 35%. However, some businesses can reduce that number below 20% with great difficulty. If your website bounce rate approaches 50%, you are in serious trouble and need to update your site immediately to lower that number.

Does your website have a high bounce rate? You may be attracting plenty of traffic, but does your website convert those visitors into customers? Having high traffic doesn’t mean anything if it is not generating business. What can you do to minimize your bounce rate and win more business from your digital properties?

Step 1: Understand Your Visitors

Why are people visiting your website? To reduce your bounce rate, you will need a solid understanding of what is drawing visitors to your site. Not every visitor will be part of your ideal audience, but uncovering the patterns and details of their journey to your website will provide insights to minimize bounce rate.

So what do you need to understand about your visitors?

Organic Search

Which organic search terms are bringing visitors to your website? You can use Google Analytics to discover your most active keywords. Consider whether you actively try to leverage those keywords, what someone searching for that keyword would be looking for, and whether your website can solve those problems.

Once you understand how (and why) a web searcher might end up on your website, you can optimize your pages and content to increase conversions to minimize bounce rate.

Popular Content

What pages and content drive the most traffic to your website? Once you identify those pages, you can see what pages and topics are drawing people towards your site. Do those pages solve the problems that visitors may be experiencing? Are your most popular pages also your highest converting pages? These questions are important to ask so you can understand which pages of our website are most useful for their intended purpose.

Best Pages

Which pages on your website have the highest conversion rates? Do those pages have a low bounce rate? Are these pages your most popular? Often, your most popular pages will not necessarily be among the highest converting. What type of pages do your customers visit before making a purchase?

Understanding the audience, their interests and how your website caters to those interests, you will know what prospective customers are looking for and how your business can meet their needs. The next step involves using that knowledge to build a relationship with visitors, eventually turning them into customers.

Step 2: Build Email Relationship

The second thing you should do to minimize your bounce rate is getting visitors to sign-up for email newsletters. Most visitors will only come to your website one time, never visiting again. In fact, it takes six to eight touchpoints to convert someone from a passive visitor to a lead. Email newsletters allow brands to remain in contact with visitors to their website, providing more touchpoints in which you can thrill those visitors.

So how can you build an email list to stay in touch with visitors to your site? By placing an eye-popping call-to-action that will motivate a sign-up.To learn more about creating killer CTA’s, check out our article: 6 Tips for Creating Better Calls-to-Action.

Once you have built your email list, you can re-engage with visitors through email, sharing content and information with them, nurturing the relationship until they are ready to convert. By nurturing the customer relationship, you can keep in contact with prospects until they are ready to make a purchase.

Step 3: Re-engage

If people don’t want to sign-up for your email list, and they do not provide any contact information, what can you do?  Well, at this point, you only have two options, both of which involve attempting to re-engage after their visit.

Use Social Media

One way to re-engage with your customers is through social media. Use targeted ads placed on social media to promote your list building efforts. Instead of sending people who click your ad to content, send them to a landing page where they can sign-up for your email. Remarketing using social media ads is an effective tactic because the platforms allow for extensive targeting, based on a number of factors. For more information on remarketing using social media, check out HootSuite’s Social Media Advertising Guide.

Website pop-ups

Website pop-ups can be used to discourage people from leaving your site. Onsite remarketing detects user behavior to determine if a visitor is about to “bounce.” If it seems they will bounce, a popup will appear, either directing them to content they might find interesting or asking if they want to sign-up for your email list. Exit-intent pop-ups have varying ranges of effectiveness, depending on their purpose, but they have proven to lead to an increase in conversions.

Step 4: Convert Subscribers into Customers

The final step is to convert your subscribers into leads, eventually leading to a purchase decision. Conversion is by far the most difficult step in the entire sales process, but there are several activities that can lead to an increased conversion rate.

Segment Leads

Segmentation of leads is an essential activity for any business, but there are many ways you can do it. One can segment their leads based on:

  • Stage of the buyer’s journey
  • Source of the lead
  • Demographics
  • Conversion events
  • Website behavior

All of these methods of segmenting an audience are valid. However, the method you choose should correlate to your business goals. For more information on segmenting leads, check out this Hubspot published informational guide on segmenting leads.

Test and Refine

To boost conversions, you need to keep an eye on your email reports. By measuring the engagement on your email newsletters, you can determine whether changes lead to better conversion rates.

Once you begin measuring your email engagement, A/B testing can begin. A/B is an effective method of determining which strategies yield the greatest results. However, the best part about A/B testing is that even a marketing newbie can use it to determine the efficacy and effectiveness of various strategies.  

Create Effective Copy

Writing copy that converts leads into customers is a difficult undertaking, a blend of art and science that can take years to master. Your copy should be a mix of value adding content that educates the reader and promotional copy. These 7 Simple Tips for Writing Effective Content for Your Website should help you write compelling copy.

There you have it, by following these four steps, you can minimize your bounce rate and increase your customer engagement. Do these steps work for you? Do you have any other strategies for increasing engagement on your website? How does your business turn visitors into customers? Let us know on Twitter @VeridayHQ.

How Financial Agents Can Thrive Using Social Media

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Social media has become one of the most popular tools at a marketers disposal. Nearly every business has at least one social media channel, usually one or two of the big 3: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and with good cause. 64% of Twitter users and 51% of Facebook users are more likely to buy the products of brands they follow online. 91% of retail brands, who are marketing to many of the same people as financial advisors, use more than two social media platforms. There are many benefits for brands who use social media.

The problem with social media is that you can’t just jump in and start going. You need a plan. The plan, just like any other business plan, should be related to your organizational goals. The results will take a decent amount of time to come to fruition, so don’t be concerned if the results aren’t immediate. Having a solid, written plan that guides your decisions will make starting out on social media much more straightforward.

There are many, many, many different social media platforms, all with different use cases and demographics. Crafting a strategy for each platform you choose to use is essential. Planning the strategy will follow the same steps, regardless of the platform. Only the details will be different, to cater to the strengths and weaknesses of a particular platform and their demographics.

Today, we will examine the steps needed to implement a fantastic social media plan. Remember, the steps will be the same regardless of the platform. 

1. Establish Goals

Without clear goals and objectives, you cannot create a plan. Setting goals gives you a path to follow. Even if the program changes down the line, having goals is crucial. Goals let you monitor the plan’s success. 

You know what your business goals are better than I do. I’m not going to tell you how to gain clients; you know how to do that. Just let me give you a few general pieces of advice for marketing on social media:

  1. Your social media goals and benchmarks need to be correlated to your overall business goals.
  2. You should use a variety of metrics, both platform specific (likes, shares, comments engagement rate, followers, etc.) and general (ROI, conversion rate, unique visitors to your website, etc.) to measure social media success
  3. Be patient, results from social media take time, but when they do there is a snowball effect.

Use the various metrics holistically, don’t put too much weight on any one metric. Stats such as likes, comments, shares and follows don’t bring revenue, but they are handy to know. Likes, shares and follows are a good way to see your reach, and comments can be used to see how engaging your posts are.

How and where you set your goals are up to you. Depending on your target demographics, the platform you use, and the platform-specific metrics, your goals can be established in many ways. Regardless of what your goals are, they should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound). Goals of this type force a more focused social media plan, something that will make it much easier to isolate, tweak and test various tactics.

2. Social Media Audit

Step 2 of your social media plan should be to do a social media audit. A social media audit involves combing through all your profiles, analyzing the performance of those pages, and researching which platforms your target audience frequently uses. A thorough inspection will give you an excellent idea of exactly how potential customers can connect with your business. This stage is an excellent opportunity to implement consistent messaging, finding areas where your branding is not uniform and fixing those problems. Your goal should be to understand what aspects of your social presence needs to be improved.

3. Check Out the Competition

Step 3 is just an extension of step 2, but it is important enough that I believe it deserves its own section. To be successful marketing on social media, you need to have an understanding of what your competitors are doing in the digital space. You can learn from their mistakes, successes, and ideas to improve your profile. Even if your social media plan focuses on LinkedIn, you should study competitors Twitter, Facebook and other social accounts. As Sun Tzu once wrote:

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.”

You need to have an excellent understanding of exactly what your competition is doing, and why they are doing it. People only need one advisor, you need to win the war for their business. Look at how the competition promotes themselves, their services, and how they interact with people. Then you can learn from, adapt, and tweak these practices, so they fit who you want to be as an advisor. You want to be unique, but you have similar goals to the competition. It does not hurt to see what they are doing and how you can position yourself against it.

Another benefit of a competitive social audit is that you can use competitors as a benchmark for setting your own goals. Take a brief look at the number of followers, engagement, and other metrics you can get publicly and chart your success against them.

4. Create a Content Plan

The next step in the process is to create a content plan. A content plan should include the type of content you want to post, when you should post that content, and how you will promote that content. Posting the content on both your blog and social media platforms can be an excellent way to drive traffic to your website.

LinkedIn, with its professional demographics, is interested in educational materials. Its members are looking to become more productive, help them by providing high-quality information. If people realize you’re an excellent source of information, they may ask to join your network because they see you as a valuable member of their network. Becoming a trusted, accessible source of information can allow you to become a thought leader.

5. Re-evaluate

As with any plan, you should be regularly evaluating your social media and content plans. Regular evaluations will make it easier to monitor your goals to see if your desired results are being achieved. If you monitor the various metrics discussed above, you can identify aspects of your plan that may need adjustments. Always be experimenting with different tactics to achieve your goals, and let the plan evolve as new tactics work or fail. Remember, social media takes time to achieve success, some things will fail. Continue to test and constantly improve.

Conclusion

Once you have your social media plan in place, it’s time to get loud. By “get loud” I mean begin interacting, commenting, and otherwise engaging with members your network. On LinkedIn for example, you can join groups dedicated to specific subjects and interact with people who are interested in the subject.“Getting loud’ and using the platform’s unique features will help you grow your network and get better results from social media. You should also begin to branch out. Try out other platforms, see how they work for you.  

Having a strong social media presence is an excellent way rank higher in search results, will make you more approachable online, and improve your contact list. A social media plan will not guarantee positive results, but if you work hard at creating and executing the plan, you can experience excellent returns.

Social media is an essential aspect of a well-rounded content marketing plan. Your marketing efforts won’t go far without it. If “Content Is King,” then social media is the king’s messenger.

Do you use social media for your business? Do you have a social media plan in place? Let us know how you use LinkedIn over on Twitter @VeridayHQ or follow us on LinkedIn here. Which of the social media websites generates the biggest ROI? Find out by reading our article: LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter Ads.

The 4 Building Blocks of Content Marketing Strategy

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The 4 Building Blocks of Content Marketing Strategy

30% of B2B and 38% of B2C marketers say they’re effective at content marketing. Those numbers jump 14% and 20% respectively among marketers with a documented content strategy.

To succeed at content marketing, you need to define a strategy. You’ll need to understand what your goals are, what resources you will need to achieve those goals and how you will measure success. Writing down your strategy has proven to increase the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts.

Companies with documented content strategies spend more (on average) on content marketing than those without. Marketers in these enterprises also feel less concerned by the day-to-day challenges associated with content marketing.

Your content marketing strategy will dictate how you will create content to meet the needs of your audience. From the size of the budget to media type, to frequency of content, your strategy will impact how content marketing adds value to your organization.

So what are the four building blocks of content marketing strategy?

  1. Create Your Business Case

What motivated your company to begin content marketing? What do you need your content to accomplish? How do you plan to meet those requirements and your broader business goals using content?  How much will it cost and how much time will it take to achieve those goals? What will you do if your plan is not as successful as you hoped?

These are questions you need to ask yourself and develop an answer. If you cannot respond to these questions, you are not prepared to begin creating content. Having these answers is important because, without them, your efforts will seem disjointed and lack direction. Just like any other activity in your business, content marketing needs to be strategically planned to achieve best results.

There is another question that marketers need to answer before they begin creating content: Who is this for? Marketing personas ensure that content creators have an understanding of their ideal audience.

  1. Define Your Personas

Marketing personas are representations of your ideal customers. These personas should be crafted using data, not stereotypes. That means research is needed to be completed to truly define your personas. You will need to research your audience’s interests and needs, buying habits and how they consume content. Once you have this information, you can build your personas. It’s likely that your audience includes more than one type of individual, so you will need to prepare multiple personas.

Why are marketing personas so important?

They are important because, without them, it becomes difficult to create content that speaks to the unique needs and interests of your audience. The most successful content is targeted at a specific type of person at a specific stage of the buying cycle. Your buyer personas help you ensure your message is on point and you create content that engages your audience and enhances your brand.

  1. Develop Your Brand Story

Every brand has a story. Every brand story should explain why the business exists, but every story has unique details. The main challenge for marketers lies in figuring out how to tell that story in an authentic, engaging way.

Another major challenge in developing your brand story is finding the right tone and voice for your brand. It is easy to come off as flippant or disinterested based solely on the tone of your writing. You need to manage your brand’s voice to project warmth and good intentions to your audience.

Developing a brand story is important because it gives the audience the required information to empathize with you. If your story is engaging, told in a warm, inviting tone and accurately describes why the business exists it can engender a stronger connection between you and your customers.

For more information on the power of storytelling in business check out our article: The Power of Storytelling in the Business World.

  1. Create Your Channel Plan

The final thing you need to know before creating content is where to place your content. There are many options for hosting content. Your website’s blog is an excellent property to host content. If you have a mobile app, perhaps your content would be most at home there. Depending on your target audience and overall business goals, you may want to use a mixture of channels to host your content.

Other factors that need to be considered when creating a channel plan include:

  • How will you share the content with relevant members of the audience?
  • Will you use social media to share your content? If so, which platforms will you use?
  • How can you earn more impressions?
    • Can your content be used in industry publications?
    • Can you earn any media impressions?
  • What channel will our content perform best on?

These are just some of the questions you need to consider when creating your channel plan. Every plan is unique and is dependent on your overall business goals, your target audience and how you want to tell your story. Once you have these four building blocks of content marketing strategy in place, you can dive right in.

Are you ready to start your content marketing journey? Are there any other “building blocks” that we missed? Let us know on Twitter @VeridayHQ or follow us on LinkedIn.

A Beginners Guide to Digital Advertising

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Outbound Digital Marketing Tactics

$83 billion dollars is projected to be spent on digital advertisements in 2017. There are many different types of digital ads, different pricing models, and different media types. Some ad formats can only be had on one platform; others are universal. These nuances and differences are important to every marketer who uses digital channels to connect with their audience.

For the first time, digital advertising expenditures surpassed TV expenditures, showing that consumers are turning to digital channels more and more.

So, what are the different types of outbound digital marketing tactics? Well, the most well-known are digital advertisements, which we will be discussing today.

Online Display Advertising

Likely the most well-known type of digital advertising, on-page advertising has been around since the early days of the internet. They were once categorized by where they appeared on a web page, but have since been revived in a more modern format. As Marketingsherpa put it:

“Abandoned just a few years ago, banner ads are back with a vengeance, although they’re now known as online display ads. Advertising networks and enhanced targeting are drawing marketers back to this lower-cost format.”

For our purposes, online display ads are considered any ad that can appear on a web page and does not utilize any online only capabilities. They exist in a variety of forms, which I will briefly outline below:

Static Ads

Static display ads offer no movement or opportunities for user interaction. They are images that link to the advertiser’s site. Static ads try to combine engaging imagery with a compelling call-to-action using only still images and text.

Animated Ads

Animated ads are similar to static ads in the fact that they do not provide opportunities for user interaction. The only difference is the fact that animated ads contain movement, usually in the form of a GIF. Publishers typically impose limits on this type of ad to minimize the processing power required to show them.

Interactive Ads

Interactive ads are more complex than animated or expanding ads. The ad offers some functionality, for example, you can enter personal information in some, others track the movement of the cursor. Another difference between interactive ads and animated ads is that interactive ads are more customizable, where advertisers can set the number of clicks before bringing the audience to your website.

Expanding Ads

Expanding ads are ads that increase in size when the cursor moves over the ad. They can grow to a variety of sizes, depending on the publisher’s preferences. These ads can be any type (static, video, interactive, etc.), and can change format when it expands. Expanding ads give advertisers more information without taking the user to another page.

Video Display Ads

Video display ads can begin at any time, depending on the publisher’s preferences. This type of advertisement offers a large variety of functionality. Some video ads allow pausing, rewinding and other standard video features. Others cannot even be muted. If a user clicks the ad, it will take them to the advertiser’s website. Video display ads are different from pre-roll ads in many ways.

Video Advertising

Have you ever watched a video on Youtube? If you have and don’t use an ad blocker, you likely recognize the opportunities for running advertisements next to video content. Most video hosting websites offer multiple types of online display ads in addition to the following types of video-specific advertising.

Video Ads

Video ads run alongside creative video content. They can be inserted before, during, or after the main video. There are different formats for these ads. They can either be skippable or non-skippable (which are more expensive). Video ads (on Youtube, and most video hosting platforms) can range from five to thirty seconds. Video ads are more costly to produce than online display ads, but if the ad is placed in a favorable environment, it produces a better ROI. It’s important to consider that long video ads may frustrate the audience and damage the reputation of your brand. People will almost always skip ads if given a choice.

Bumper Ads

Bumper ads are similar to skippable videos, but can only be up to six seconds long and always play before the video. The ad must be played before the user can watch the video. This ad format is all about brevity and takes advantage of the fact that the user will most likely skip a video as soon as they are allowed. Bumper ads and longer video ads can be used together for a well-rounded video marketing strategy.

Overlay Ads

Overlay advertisements are semi-transparent ads over the bottom portion of a video. These ads are essentially static display ads that become translucent after a certain number of seconds. If the user touches the ad (or moves the cursor over it), it will reappear. Clicking these ads will take you to the advertiser’s website, just like a static display ad. The major benefit to overlay ads compared to static ads is that the overlay ad is more likely to be viewed because of its location on the video player.

Social Media Advertising

Major social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are prime locations for brands to advertise. These websites get a significant amount of traffic, and the platforms have a great deal of data on their users, allowing advertisers to share their messages with a very specific subset of users.

Most ads on social media websites appear as sponsored posts and can contain text, images, or video. Every platform is optimized for different sized pictures and videos, so social advertisements should be created with a particular platform in mind.

We examine the differences between advertising on the three top social media platforms in our article: LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter Ads: What’s the Best ROI?

Every social network is different. Every social network has different demographics, different user needs, and different advertising formats. Depending on the goals of your marketing campaign, your niche and what your call-to-action is, some social networks will be better than others.

To maximize the effectiveness of social media, a mixture of organic activity (unpaid), and advertising on social media will increase your reach, engagement on sponsored posts, and drive a return on investment back to your firm.

Search Advertising

Google is the world’s foremost search engine. Over 3.5 billion searches are conducted each day on Google alone. As a result, brands have (for years) been finding ways to make their products and services more discoverable in searches. Search engines have realized this desire, and make it possible to pay to appear in a particular spot of a SERP (search engine results page).

These advertisements do not appear in organic searches but get prominent placement on the results page.

On mobile searches, ads appear above the organic results. They are marked with the word “Ad,” but otherwise are identical to a search result. Desktop search ads appear at the bottom of the SERP, in a “product listing ad block” on the right-hand side of the page or at the top of a SERP for “highly commercial queries.”  

Search advertising is paid for on a per-click basis, meaning advertisers are only charged when somebody clicks the ad. Keywords are bid on to determine which brands get to show their advertisements next to particular queries. Search advertising has quite a lot in common with organic search engine marketing. Many activities are the same including keyword research and the efforts to optimize click through rates. The only major difference is that an ad can guarantee a first-page result, where organic searches need to work for it.

Google (and other search engines) are constantly tweaking their algorithms, and with it, changing the way they display search ads. To effectively advertise on social media, stay up to date on the minutiae of search engines. Search Engine Land is an excellent resource for staying informed on topics such as SEO, search marketing, and advertising.

Takeaways for Financial Services Marketers

Despite a period of backlash against certain publishers in early 2017, digital ads continue to grow and proliferate. A mixture of outbound and inbound marketing tactics are considered best practice for a well-rounded marketing strategy. Advertisements are among the most common outbound marketing methods. Therefore, it’s important to have a solid understanding of them. 

To learn more about core tenants of digital marketing, we have a few articles that may help:

16 Digital Marketing Acronyms You Need to Know
Outbound Vs. Inbound Marketing for Financial Advisors
Omnichannel is the Key to Optimizing Customer Experiences

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