dotdigital and Tryzens launch new integration, empowering retailers to supercharge their ecommerce marketing

The new pre-built integration, or ‘cartridge’, has been built by Tryzens, a leading ecommerce specialist in partnership with dotdigital, an omnichannel marketing automation platform provider. Tryzens is the partner of choice for dotdigital and has helped enhance the cartridge, which has now become certified in Salesforce’s Commerce Cloud Partner Marketplace.

The new cartridge will enable ecommerce retailers on Salesforce Commerce Cloud and marketers to more effectively respond to e-store behaviours through smart win-back tactics.

dotdigital employs more than 350 people globally and integrates with leading ecommerce platforms, from Salesforce Commerce Cloud to Magento. dotdigital’s Engagement Cloud empowers marketers at some of the world’s most innovative brands, including Oliver Bonas, Paperchase, and City Lit to deliver smart, automated marketing programs that customers find engaging.

The dotdigital Engagement Cloud cartridge comes with a host of pre-configured options to enable retailers and marketers to better harness essential customer data to develop targeted and personalized omnichannel marketing campaigns. The level of technical pre-configuration applied to the cartridge means time to value can be reduced for retailers who want to connect their store with dotdigital Engagement Cloud.

The solution
encompasses abandoned cart functionality, allowing ecommerce merchants to send
customers a timely reminder that they left something behind, steering them back
onto the path to purchase. The solution can also be used to serve AI-powered
product recommendations based on orders, browsing history, and more.

Greg Straw, Partner Manager at Tryzens, said: “Email is one of the most important channels in every marketer’s toolkit, thanks not only to its unrivalled ubiquity, but also because it enables rich and personalized engagement with customers. The new functionality we’ve built into the dotdigital Engagement Cloud cartridge makes it easier than ever for ecommerce retailers to supercharge and optimize their marketing automation campaigns. In addition, we’ve made it easier to track and measure the ROI of these campaigns so that retailers can ensure that they are hitting the right notes with their target audiences and generating sales improvements.”

Steve Shaw, Group CTO at dotdigital, added: “The new dotdigital Engagement Cloud cartridge has been built with speed and convenience in mind; with highly configurable options and efficient data integration, it enables marketers the flexibility to tailor their store’s marketing and campaigns (whether that be email, mobile, or targeted ads). Omnichannel messaging through digital channels has become an effective strategy for engaging with shoppers and improving customer loyalty, so this speed and convenience will be a very welcome development for retailers in an increasingly competitive market.”


About Tryzens

Established in 2004, Tryzens is an
international digital commerce consultancy that take a holistic approach to
growing your business, no matter how or where your customers choose to buy. Our
team of trading specialists, strategists and technology experts are passionate
about growing your business by implementing solutions that optimise performance
across all channels.

With offices in offices in London, Melbourne, Sofia, and Trivandrum, we have partnered with some of the world’s most successful retailers and brand owners including Sweaty Betty, Cotton On Group, T.M.Lewin, Fisher & Paykel, and Liberty London to provide beginning to end services that help grow businesses and provide the best customer experiences.

To read more about the Tryzens partner programme click here.

Press contact:

Edward Dodge / Harry
Thompson

Spreckley

T: +44 (0)207 388 9988

E: tryzens@spreckley.co.uk

About Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Salesforce Commerce Cloud empowers retailers to unify customer experiences across all points of commerce, including web, social, mobile, and store. From shopping to fulfillment to customer service, the Commerce Cloud delivers 1-to-1 shopping experiences that consistently delight customers, driving increased engagement, loyalty, and conversion. With embedded predictive intelligence and a robust partner ecosystem, the Commerce Cloud helps retailers deliver superior customer experiences for retailers, from planning to launch and beyond.

Additional resources:

Salesforce, Commerce Cloud, and others are trademarks of salesforce.com, inc.

The post dotdigital and Tryzens launch new integration, empowering retailers to supercharge their ecommerce marketing appeared first on dotdigital blog.

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5 effective strategies to increase customer engagement for online retailers

The retail landscape has evolved massively: only a few years ago, retailers were producing a standardized product set for consumers who weren’t used to a large product range. But today’s retailer faces a consumer who is spoiled for choice, knows about the market’s transparency, and demands an excellent customer experience.

Power has shifted from the retailer to the consumer. Brands have to find ways to catch the attention of their target consumers, especially online, where competitors are only a click away. Engagement is key to transform them into loyal customers without loosing them on the way. Achieving this, though, is becoming more difficult in the ever-changing ecommerce landscape.

In this blog, we’re going to reveal five effective strategies to increase engagement and conversion. We’ll expand fully on one of them; if you’d like a breakdown of all five, download our partner ebook here.

1. Creating quality content at scale

Merge content and commerce to connect with your audience and boost sales. Contribution by Styla.


Promotions and discounting are an important part of the customer buying cycle, but most retailers agree that it’s becoming a race to the bottom. However, the alternative, creating high quality content at scale which engages and drives higher AOV and repeat purchases, can be a huge challenge. But it doesn’t have to be – here’s how to overcome the bottleneck of creating great content that converts.

With dwindling conversion rates, increased media spend, and new competition every day, the customer experience has become one of the most important features for brands and retailers. They key element of an extraordinary digital shopping experience is engaging content that creates brand recognition, brings value to the customer, and inspires them to buy.

Why?

Because your audience’s main exposure to your company is through the content you share. So, it’s no surprise that in 2018 more than half of B2C marketers have used content marketing successfully to create brand awareness, build credibility, educate audiences, foster loyalty with existing customers, and more (Content Marketing Institute, 2019).

So, why are some brands not building loads of engaging content? The answer is simple yet significant: because most brands do not have the right content production process in place.

Simplify the content production process

Historically, ecommerce platforms have had very limited content creation capabilities. Plus, all the pages across the website would usually need to be built by a developer, which would’ve been prohibitive if you had a small team or didn’t have a lot of resources to spend with your agency.

Even brands with larger development teams and big budgets struggle to build enough content to keep up with the appetite for today’s consumers.

A study by Accenture shows that two-thirds of content executives feel burdened by content production. Two-thirds of content executives feel burdened by content production and even less prepared to manage enormous amounts of content than in previous years (Accenture, 2017).

So, to create high-quality content at scale, the production process needs to be as short and simple as possible. This means reducing manual work across departments and utilizing technology at scale.

Don’t have your creative team spend days with the production of pixel-perfect layouts for all devices, or your IT team building them. Use automation technology to make these processes quicker and easier.

With a no-code content management solution in place, digital content experiences can be built with a few clicks and automatically optimized for all different devices. All without any IT effort. So, implementing the right technology simplifies the content creation process and makes it scalable.

How Holland & Barrett overcame the content creation bottleneck

Health and beauty brand Holland & Barrett has over 1,300 stores where all staff have gone on extensive product training to make sure they can help customers find the best products for their specific needs. Holland & Barrett understood that to create this superb in-store experience, they needed to provide rich content on their site that educates the consumer about their products in a fun way.

The challenge they faced was their content creation bottleneck; even though they have a large team of developers they could not produce enough content efficiently due to limitations in their tech ecosystems. While they wanted to be able to produce landing pages weekly, they were only able to create one landing page every six weeks.

By implementing Styla’s Content Experience Engine within 10 days, Holland & Barrett has now managed to increase content production by 90%, while decreasing production costs by 85%. The team can now easily create custom landing pages that inform customers and inspire them to buy with confidence.

Checklist for converting content

Keep the shopping cart close

When building rich, editorial pages for your shop, make sure the shopping cart is integrated into the assets, so customers can buy directly from the experience and not get redirected.

Variety is the spice of life

Create a range of different content types for different stages of the customer journey:

  • Personalized content on the homepage
  • Bespoke campaign pages
  • Enhanced category pages with content
  • Enriched product detail pages

Use data to inform content strategy

Look at Google Analytics to see what customers are searching for on your site. You can also use it to identify popular search terms or questions that could inform what type of content will have the biggest impact.

The welcome party

Use social and email marketing to engage an audience in a more personal way and get them to your site. Make sure to drive the traffic to custom campaign pages rather than the homepage or generic category pages to ensure more conversions.

Final thoughts

Creating meaningful content is not an option anymore but every brand’s responsibility. Consumers have an insatiable appetite for relevant content and this is an area where the most competitive brands are innovating to fulfill consumers’ demands. Keeping up with them is vital and manageable if you have an optimized content production process and the right tools in place.

2. Revolutionize the customer journey

Understand customer intention; adapt and impress.

Contribution by FACT-Finder.

3. Create personal journeys that captivate the customer

Get tactics on how to use data to enhance the customer experience, plus see how a brand is getting this spot on.

Contribution by dotdigital.

4. Engaging the customer outside of the buying cycle

Capture the attention of online shoppers with VIP clubs and surprise and delight.

Contribution by Antavo.

5. An army of brand ambassadors

Find out how to drive business growth via satisfied customers. Contribution by Mention Me.


Get your hands on your free ebook here. Jam-packed with insight, learn how to successfully engage your customers at scale.

The post 5 effective strategies to increase customer engagement for online retailers appeared first on dotdigital blog.

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Evolving RFM analysis for retailers this holiday season

A natural extension of the Pareto principle which tells us that 80% of sales typically come from 20% of clients, RFM goes further to better understand the behavior of customers, and how best to convert them. Dedicated innovators, at dotdigital, we’ve gone that one step further again. For businesses interested in behavior-based targeting and reporting, Engagement Cloud makes these activities possible with its customer dashboard and contact segment builder.

When interviewing retailers about RFM, they challenged us to
go deeper and help them understand customer behaviour over time. Taking this
back to our teams working on data science, we could not have been happier. We
were already thinking and prototyping ideas in this area and were convinced of
its value.

Some examples of what retailers were interested in included:

  • Examining how the number of at-risk customers
    changes over time;
  • Tracking the effects of a two-month marketing
    campaign focused on increasing customer loyalty;
  • Targeting new customers who have become inactive
    in a specific time frame;
  • Seeing where loyal customers come from.

We knew, with Black Friday on the horizon and moving into Q4,
that these items were going to be more important than ever. What’s more, during
the holiday season, your customers don’t act in the same way they do the rest
of the year round. We needed a report that would be as diverse as your
customers’ behaviour.

To visualize this in a concise and attractive way, we chose to use a Sankey diagram.

The Sankey diagram’s origins date back to steam engines,
where the first one was used to show the movement of thermal energy through a
system. Today their use is incredibly widespread. From tracking energy production to
tracking voting habits – Sankeys are popping up everywhere.
Their use is not always appropriate, or enlightening of the data being
presented, but Sankeys are a great fit for our analysis of A-to-B movement.

Our persona movement report is designed to be interactive.
Hovering over a starting persona shows pipes representing destinations;
hovering over a destination persona shows pipes representing sources. Finally,
you can hover over a discrete pipe to see the contacts moving between a source
and a destination. The pipe is clickable, allowing you to dial in a contact
segment and target customers who made that specific movement in the specified
time frame.

In addition to the Sankey, our movement report also tracks the population size changes for each RFM persona between two time periods.

Another great thing to note here as we head into Halloween, Thanksgiving
and beyond is just how robust our RFM model is. It’s not just your customers
that change in the holiday season, it’s your definition of these RFM personas
themselves. Because they are defined by segmented pots with assigned values of
1-5, the goal posts are always shifting. A valuable purchase in August of £50
might be a drop in the ocean compared to the larger spends in November on Black
Friday, so the model must, and does, react and respond accordingly.

Being armed by persona movement reports on top of this means
you have a better idea of your customers (and therefore better plans of action)
across 12 months, instead of writing off valuable data because of seasonal
abnormalities. 

You already know that customers behave in different ways. The data is clear just by looking at your retail dashboard. But do you treat them differently even after knowing this? And how do you do that? Well, it’s true that persona movement reports won’t help you come up the amazing personalization that you, as a marketer, are so good at. But it will empower you to improve re-targeting, measure what’s working, and give you the kind of insight that inspires great campaigns; ones that are every bit as unique and diverse as your customers.

Start sending smarter messages now. Download out factsheet on Commerce Intelligence here.

The post Evolving RFM analysis for retailers this holiday season appeared first on dotdigital blog.

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5 ecommerce automation programs that make email an essential marketing channel for retailers

Customer relationships are like any relationship – you need to put in the effort to make them work.  After the initial excitement of meeting, it’s important to keep letting them know you care and are there for them.

This is tricky enough in a 1 to 1 relationship.  When you, a retailer, have hundreds, thousands or possibly even millions of relationships to maintain, it’s impossible to do so manually, so use the tools available to you to take out the heavy lifting without letting engagement suffer.

Luckily, using customer data – their actions or inaction – you can send messages to your base tailored to where they are in their relationship with you, not where you are in your marketing plan.

Event triggered marketing and automation is highly effective way of keeping the love alive, while saving you time and money that you can reinvest in moving your business forward.

Here are 5 simple programs that will help your relationship tick over…

Thank you for subscribing

The first email any retailer should send their customers is, very simply, a thank you.

We’ve all seen stories and statistics on inbox overcrowding, so, if a customer has given you their email address you should recognize this is a privilege and thank them at the point of sign up.

You can extend this ‘thank you’ and send a short, automated welcome series, and use this opportunity to get to know each other better.  Retailers can use this opportunity to educate your new subscriber on the full range of your products, and in turn, invite your customer to provide further data and preferences on your site.

Automated Thank you or Welcome programs, when used effectively, help build brand engagement, trust and set expectations for a positive buyer seller relationship from the start.

Abandon cart

The people over at the Baymard Institute have compiled a survey review of the various reports available on online shopping behavior, and have concluded the average number of people abandoning their shopping cart is just over 69%.  This is a huge amount of potential lost revenue.

Reasons for customers abandoning vary.  They need either more time, more money, or more option to compare so make sure to send a timely reminder that you’re still there when they’re ready to purchase.

Depending on your product, the consideration cycle will range from 30 minutes to 30 days.  Use the insight you have available to target customers with an automated reminder message before they’re enticed away by your competitors. Around 63% of baskets are recoverable – find out more here.

New Information

If, like most retailers, you want optimum brand engagement through having your customers to engage with you across several online avenues then, there should be channel specific benefits to them doing so.

The same is true with email, and retailers can effectively make their beloved customers feel they are getting value from subscribing by automating worthwhile information for them.

Providing that you can get the product feeds into your email platform, you can send customers notifications on new stock, price drops or reviews to keep them engaged during the sale cycle.  Keeping them up to date on what matters most to them is a great way to show you that you really care.

It’s your birthday

As with any good relationship you’re trying to nurture, anniversaries are important.

You can choose what anniversary you want to acknowledge based on what makes sense for your business – sign up date, purchase date (high ticket items),or a customer’s actual birthday.  Using the date provided you can send a short personalized message to commemorate the date and given them a voucher, upgrade or other incentive you see fit.

This personalized touch of surprise and delight creates a deeper relationship and is a quick win to keeping your customers happy.

We miss you

If it looks like your customer is losing interest, you don’t have to let them walk away.

Convincing them to stay is easier when they’re still with you than once they’ve unsubscribed.  If a loyal customer has stopped buying from you then treat this like anyone else you’re trying to win over.  Make the effort to get in touch, help them feel special, remind them why you’re good for them, and if needs be, maybe give them a little incentive to come back to you.

Done well, the act of recognizing the relationship isn’t what it was will reignite the feeling that were once there, and if not, then, you tried and you know it’s over.

 

The Golden rule is that if you’ve got the data, you can automate the message. Start simple and scale, it’ll make all the difference to your relationships.

The post 5 ecommerce automation programs that make email an essential marketing channel for retailers appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

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National retailers: Stop ignoring local SEO

National retailers’ digital divisions often think of their websites as e-commerce sites first and local store sites second. Columnist Andrew Shotland explains why this mindset may be hurting their ability to get the most out of organic search.

The post National retailers: Stop ignoring local SEO…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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Australian retailers double the number of emails sent on Click Frenzy day

In fact, we saw the same amount of emails sent on Click Frenzy day as we did during 2015’s Cyber Monday!

If you’re new to Click Frenzy, it’s a 24-hour online shopping mega-sale that captures national attention in Australia. The electricals and tech-themed shopping day is the equivalent of Cyber Monday and takes place on the third Tuesday of November every year.

The original event is hosted on the members-only Click Frenzy site, however many Australian vendors are now jumping on the trend and holding sales on their own sites.

Some of the deals featured in year’s frenzy included Beats By Dre Studio Wireless headphones for $299, down from $479. And BONDS, the Australian clothing and underwear store, offered 40% off everything on its site.

Naturally, this time of the year is extremely busy for retailers and us here at dotmailer. Our sending volumes go through the roof, as you can imagine, so we’ve taken every step to ensure our customers’ emails make it to their own customers’ inboxes.

To put it into perspective, we’ve increased our bandwidth by a whopping 500% and doubled the number of mail servers we have, to cater for these kinds of sending peaks.

What’s more, our team have also been working hard to optimize the code that personalizes and sends our emails, which is improving performance by 40%.

That means we’re all set for this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday in just over a week’s time!

The post Australian retailers double the number of emails sent on Click Frenzy day appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

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Data-driven marketing strategies from the fastest-growing online retailers

 

Since our acquisition by Magento Commerce earlier this year, Magento Analytics (formerly RJMetrics) has been more focused than ever on our mission to inspire and empower data-driven merchants.

One of the most exciting benefits of the acquisition has been our unprecedented access to Magento Premier Partners like dotmailer. By combining our rich data analytics with their best practices in e-mail marketing, we can create a wealth of new offerings and insights for the merchants we serve.

Our most popular research report, The Ecommerce Growth Benchmark, demonstrates these benefits through the lens of e-mail marketing automation. Below, I recap the top three findings from our report and share their implications for your marketing strategy.

The best companies are winners on every dimension

Our benchmark report divided retailers into four quartiles based on their overall revenue growth rates in their first three years of operation. As it turns out, the top quartile merchants weren’t just the best performers on one key metric – they won on all of them!

Whether it was revenue, number of orders, repeat purchase rates, average order value, or customer lifetime value, the top quartile of companies outperformed their slower-growing counterparts across the board.

 

This has big implications when it comes to marketing strategy. As it turns out, there is no silver bullet or focus area that can make you a best-of-breed performer. The top merchants do it all, developing finely-tuned marketing strategies around customer acquisition, customer retention, and cart size.

Marketing automation systems like dotmailer are the key to managing these kinds of complex, multi-faceted strategies. The simultaneous use of platforms like Magento Analytics allow you to make sure your overall business is performing in a way that justifies your investments.

Fast loyalty drives fast growth

While the average retailer ends up driving about 50% of their monthly sales from repeat purchasers in the long run, our study found that the top-performing retailers are driving repeat sales faster and earlier in their lives than their industry peers.

Specifically, we found that top-performing merchants derive 22% of their revenue in their first month of operations from repeat purchasers. Think about that for a moment: since it’s the merchant’s first month of operation, there is no history of repeat purchasers to make these purchases; that 22% could only have come from buyers who came back to buy again in their first month as a customer!

rjmimage2

 

The lesson here is clear: marketing to your existing customers can never be an afterthought. These merchants were ready to drive repeat purchases from day one, and you should be too.

There has never been a better time to grow fast

A simple cohort analysis revealed that newer ecommerce companies are growing faster than their older counterparts in their first few years of business. This trend makes sense when you consider how rapidly the barriers to entry and scale are dropping for online retailers.

rjmimage3

 

This means that the opportunity for emerging merchants is large, but the competition is also tougher than ever. Faster growth means a more efficient market and more competitors; differentiation is the key to survival. Using the right tools for the job can transform your business into a distinctive, data-driven powerhouse of growth.

We look forward to collaborating with our friends at dotmailer to bring you more data-driven insights and advice in the months to come. Until then, we hope you’ll take Magento Analytics for a free test drive and stay tuned for more exciting news about our progress as part of the Magento team.

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Is Australia the land of opportunity for your retail brand?

Australia has a resident population of more than 24 million and, according to eMarketer, the country’s ecommerce sales are predicted to reach A$32.56 billion by 2017. The country’s remote location in the APAC region means that unlike European countries or the USA, traditionally there have been a lack of global brands sold locally.

Of course, we also know that many expatriates, particularly from inside the Commonwealth, have made Australia their home and are keen to buy products they know and love from their country of origin.

All of these factors present a huge and potentially lucrative opportunity for non-Australian brands wanting to open up their new and innovative products to a fresh market, or compete for market share.

But it’s not just non-Australian retailers who are at an advantage here: Australia was late to the ecommerce party because native, established brands were trading well without it. Subsequently, Australian retailers’ ecommerce technology stacks are much more recent and not burdened by legacy systems. This makes it much easier to extend, or get started with, best-of-breed technologies and cash in on a market that’s booming. To put some of this into perspective, Magento’s innovative ecommerce platform currently takes 42% of Australia’s market share and the world’s first adopter of Magento 2.0 was an Australian brand.

The GST loophole

At the moment, local retailers are campaigning against a rule that exempts foreign websites from being charged a 10% general sales tax (GST) on purchases under A$1,000. And in 2013, Australian consumers made $3.11 billion worth of purchases under A$1,000.[1]

While the current GST break appears to put non-Australian retailers at an advantage, Australian-based brands such as Harvey Norman are using it to their advantage by setting up ecommerce operations in Asia to enjoy the GST benefit.

Australian consumers have also countered the argument by saying that price isn’t always the motivator when it comes to making purchasing decisions.

It’s not a place where no man has gone before

Often, concerns around meeting local compliance and lack of overseas business knowledge prevent outsiders from taking the leap into cross-border trade. However, this ecommerce passport, created by Ecommerce Worldwide and NORA, is designed to support those considering selling in Australia. The guide provides a comprehensive look into everything from the country’s economy and trade status, to logistics and dealing with international payments.

Global expansion success stories are also invaluable sources of information. For instance, it’s not just lower-end retailers that are fitting the bill, with brands like online luxury fashion retailer Net-a-Porter naming Australia as one of its biggest markets.

How tech-savvy are the Aussies?

One of the concerns you might have as a new entrant into the market is how you’ll reach and sell to your new audience, particularly without having a physical presence. The good news is that more than 80% of the country is digitally enabled and 60% of mobile phone users own a smartphone – so online is deeply rooted into the majority of Australians’ lives. [2]

Marketing your brand

Heard the saying “Fire bullets then fire cannonballs”? In any case, you’ll want to test the waters and gauge people’s reactions to your product or service.

It all starts with the website because, without it, you’re not discoverable or searchable, and you’ve nowhere to drive people to when running campaigns. SEO and SEM should definitely be a priority, and an online store that can handle multiple regions and storefronts, like Magento, will make your life easier. A mobile-first mentality and well thought-out UX will also place you in a good position.

Once your new web store is set up, you should be making every effort to collect visitors’ email addresses, perhaps via a popover. Why? Firstly, email is one of the top three priority areas for Australian retailers, because it’s a cost-effective, scalable marketing channel that enables true personalization.

Secondly, email marketing automation empowers you to deliver the customer experience today’s consumer expects, as well as enabling you to communicate with them throughout the lifecycle. Check out our ‘Do customer experience masters really exist?’ whitepaper for some real-life success stories.

Like the Magento platform, dotmailer is set up to handle multiple languages, regions and accounts, and is designed to grow with you.

In summary, there’s great scope for ecommerce success in Australia, whether you’re a native bricks-and-mortar retailer, a start-up or a non-Australian merchant. The barriers to cross-border trade are falling and Australia is one of APAC’s most developed regions in terms of purchasing power and tech savviness.

We recently worked with ecommerce expert Chloe Thomas to produce a whitepaper on cross-border trade, which goes into much more detail on how to market and sell successfully in new territories. You can download a free copy here.

[1] Australian Passport 2015: Cross-Border Trading Report

[2] Australian Passport 2015: Cross-Border Trading Report

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8 Ways Content Marketers Can Hack Facebook Multi-Product Ads

Posted by Alan_Coleman

The trick most content marketers are missing

Creating great content is the first half of success in content marketing. Getting quality content read by, and amplified to, a relevant audience is the oft overlooked second half of success. Facebook can be a content marketer’s best friend for this challenge. For reach, relevance and amplification potential, Facebook is unrivaled.

  1. Reach: 1 in 6 mobile minutes on planet earth is somebody reading something on Facebook.
  2. Relevance: Facebook is a lean mean interest and demo targeting machine. There is no online or offline media that owns as much juicy interest and demographic information on its audience and certainly no media has allowed advertisers to utilise this information as effectively as Facebook has.
  3. Amplification: Facebook is literally built to encourage sharing. Here’s the first 10 words from their mission statement: “Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share…”, Enough said!

Because of these three digital marketing truths, if a content marketer gets their paid promotion* right on Facebook, the battle for eyeballs and amplification is already won.

For this reason it’s crucial that content marketers keep a close eye on Facebook advertising innovations and seek out ways to use them in new and creative ways.

In this post I will share with you eight ways we’ve hacked a new Facebook ad format to deliver content marketing success.

Multi-Product Ads (MPAs)

In 2014, Facebook unveiled multi-product ads (MPAs) for US advertisers, we got them in Europe earlier this year. They allow retailers to show multiple products in a carousel-type ad unit.

They look like this:

If the user clicks on the featured product, they are guided directly to the landing page for that specific product, from where they can make a purchase.

You could say MPAs are Facebook’s answer to Google Shopping.

Facebook’s mistake is a content marketer’s gain

I believe Facebook has misunderstood how people want to use their social network and the transaction-focused format is OK at best for selling products. People aren’t really on Facebook to hit the “buy now” button. I’m a daily Facebook user and I can’t recall a time this year where I have gone directly from Facebook to an e-commerce website and transacted. Can you remember a recent time when you did?

So, this isn’t an innovation that removes a layer of friction from something that we are all doing online already (as the most effective innovations do). Instead, it’s a bit of a “hit and hope” that, by providing this functionality, Facebook would encourage people to try to buy online in a way they never have before.

The Wolfgang crew felt the MPA format would be much more useful to marketers and users if they were leveraging Facebook for the behaviour we all demonstrate on the platform every day, guiding users to relevant content. We attempted to see if Facebook Ads Manager would accept MPAs promoting content rather than products. We plugged in the images, copy and landing pages, hit “place order”, and lo and behold the ads became active. We’re happy to say that the engagement rates, and more importantly the amplification rates, are fantastic!

Multi-Content Ads

We’ve re-invented the MPA format for multi-advertisers in multi-ways, eight ways to be exact! Here’s eight MPA Hacks that have worked well for us. All eight hacks use the MPA format to promote content rather than promote products.

Hack #1: Multi-Package Ads

Our first variation wasn’t a million miles away from multi-product ads; we were promoting the various packages offered by a travel operator.

By looking at the number of likes, comments, and shares (in blue below the ads) you can see the ads were a hit with Facebook users and they earned lots of free engagement and amplification.

NB: If you have selected “clicks to website” as your advertising objective, all those likes, comments and shares are free!

Independent Travel Multi Product Ad

The ad sparked plenty of conversation amongst Facebook friends in the comments section.

Comments on a Facebook MPA

Hack #2: Multi-Offer Ads

Everybody knows the Internet loves a bargain. So we decided to try another variation moving away from specific packages, focusing instead on deals for a different travel operator.

Here’s how the ads looked:

These ads got valuable amplification beyond the share. In the comments section, you can see people tagging specific friends. This led to the MPAs receiving further amplification, and a very targeted and personalised form of amplification to boot.

Abbey Travel Facebook Ad Comments

Word of mouth referrals have been a trader’s best friend since the stone age. These “personalised” word of mouth referrals en masse are a powerful marketing proposition. It’s worth mentioning again that those engagements are free!

Hack #3: Multi-Locations Ads

Putting the Lo in SOLOMO.

This multi-product feed ad was hacked to promote numerous locations of a waterpark. “Where to go?” is among the first questions somebody asks when researching a holiday. In creating this top of funnel content, we can communicate with our target audience at the very beginning of their research process. A simple truth of digital marketing is: the more interactions you have with your target market on their journey to purchase, the more likely they are to seal the deal with you when it comes time to hit the “buy now” button. Starting your relationship early gives you an advantage over those competitors who are hanging around the bottom of the purchase funnel hoping to make a quick and easy conversion.

Abbey Travel SplashWorld Facebook MPA

What was surprising here, was that because we expected to reach people at the very beginning of their research journey, we expected the booking enquiries to be some time away. What actually happened was these ads sparked an enquiry frenzy as Facebook users could see other people enquiring and the holidays selling out in real time.

Abbey Travel comments and replies

In fact nearly all of the 35 comments on this ad were booking enquiries. This means what we were measuring as an “engagement” was actually a cold hard “conversion”! You don’t need me to tell you a booking enquiry is far closer to the money than a Facebook like.

The three examples outlined so far are for travel companies. Travel is a great fit for Facebook as it sits naturally in the Facebook feed, my Facebook feed is full of envy-inducing friends’ holiday pictures right now. Another interesting reason why travel is a great fit for Facebook ads is because typically there are multiple parties to a travel purchase. What happened here is the comments section actually became a very visible and measurable forum for discussion between friends and family before becoming a stampede inducing medium of enquiry.

So, stepping outside of the travel industry, how do other industries fare with hacked MPAs?

Hack #3a: Multi-Location Ads (combined with location targeting)

Location, location, location. For a property listings website, we applied location targeting and repeated our Multi-Location Ad format to advertise properties for sale to people in and around that location.

Hack #4: Multi-Big Content Ad

“The future of big content is multi platform”

– Cyrus Shepard

The same property website had produced a report and an accompanying infographic to provide their audience with unique and up-to-the-minute market information via their blog. We used the MPA format to promote the report, the infographic and the search rentals page of the website. This brought their big content piece to a larger audience via a new platform.

Rental Report Multi Product Ad

Hack #5: Multi-Episode Ad

This MPA hack was for an online TV player. As you can see we advertised the most recent episodes of a TV show set in a fictional Dublin police station, Red Rock.

Engagement was high, opinion was divided.

TV3s Red Rock viewer feedback

LOL.

Hack #6: Multi-People Ads

In the cosmetic surgery world, past patients’ stories are valuable marketing material. Particularly when the past patients are celebrities. We recycled some previously published stories from celebrity patients using multi-people ads and targeted them to a very specific audience.

Avoca Clinic Multi People Ads

Hack #7: Multi-UGC Ads

Have you witnessed the power of user generated content (UGC) in your marketing yet? We’ve found interaction rates with authentic UGC images can be up to 10 fold of those of the usual stylised images. In order to encourage further UGC, we posted a number of customer’s images in our Multi-UGC Ads.

The CTR on the above ads was 6% (2% is the average CTR for Facebook News feed ads according to our study). Strong CTRs earn you more traffic for your budget. Facebook’s relevancy score lowers your CPC as your CTR increases.

When it comes to the conversion, UGC is a power player, we’ve learned that “customers attracting new customers” is a powerful acquisition tool.

Hack #8: Target past customers for amplification

“Who will support and amplify this content and why?”

– Rand Fishkin

Your happy customers Rand, that’s the who and the why! Check out these Multi-Package Ads targeted to past customers via custom audiences. The Camino walkers have already told all their friends about their great trip, now allow them to share their great experiences on Facebook and connect the tour operator with their Facebook friends via a valuable word of mouth referral. Just look at the ratio of share:likes and shares:comments. Astonishingly sharable ads!

Camino Ways Mulit Product Ads

Targeting past converters in an intelligent manner is a super smart way to find an audience ready to share your content.

How will hacking Multi-Product Ads work for you?

People don’t share ads, but they do share great content. So why not hack MPAs to promote your content and reap the rewards of the world’s greatest content sharing machine: Facebook.

MPAs allow you to tell a richer story by allowing you to promote multiple pieces of content simultaneously. So consider which pieces of content you have that will work well as “content bundles” and who the relevant audience for each “content bundle” is.

As Hack #8 above illustrates, the big wins come when you match a smart use of the format with the clever and relevant targeting Facebook allows. We’re massive fans of custom audiences so if you aren’t sure where to start, I’d suggest starting there.

So ponder your upcoming content pieces, consider your older content you’d like to breathe some new life into and perhaps you could become a Facebook Ads Hacker.

I’d love to hear about your ideas for turning Multi-Product Ads into Multi-Content Ads in the comments section below.

We could even take the conversation offline at Mozcon!

Happy hacking.


*Yes I did say paid promotion, it’s no secret that Facebook’s organic reach continues to dwindle. The cold commercial reality is you need to pay to play on FB. The good news is that if you select ‘website clicks’ as your objective you only pay for website traffic and engagement while amplification by likes, comments, and shares are free! Those website clicks you pay for are typically substantially cheaper than Adwords, Taboola, Outbrain, Twitter or LinkedIn. How does it compare to display? It doesn’t. Paying for clicks is always preferable to paying for impressions. If you are spending money on display advertising I’d urge you to fling a few spondoolas towards Facebook ads and compare results. You will be pleasantly surprised.

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