Tag Archive : Digital Marketing

Split Testing On Facebook And How It Works

To advertise effectively, one has to take into account multiple factors. However, the problem is you still can’t be 100% sure about how your campaigns work. For such situations, digital marketers use A/B tests. In this article, we will talk about how to do split testing on Facebook.

What is split testing?

Split testing, or A/B testing, is a marketing research method based on comparing two or more versions of the same element in order to find the most efficient one. It is used to test any kind of variation (ad copies, banner placement, video thumbnails and so on) while all other elements of these objects remain the same. Internet traffic is split between the objects equally so that after a while, marketers could see which of these versions perform better.

For example, if I’m not sure which of two headings will bring me more sales, I can test both these options. After a week or two, the test will show that the A variation generates 10% more sales than the B. Now I know what to choose.

Sometimes you need to compare more than two variations. While it is possible to make an A/B test for three or even four options, it’ll take more time: you’ll need to direct enough traffic to each of the options, so the more variations you test the more traffic portions you need.

Another thing to remember is that split testing is used to compare objects that are totally identical to each other except for a single element. Otherwise, the results can be unreliable.

We have already mentioned the importance of testing your marketing materials, strategies or audiences. This time we will talk about how you can use split testing on Facebook.

There are several ways you can launch an A/B test on Facebook.

Split testing: Facebook campaigns

The first method allows users to compare Facebook advertising campaigns to each other. Keep in mind this: whether you want to test particular ads or ad sets, it’ll compare them on the campaign level. We’ll get to it a bit later.

To start, go to your Ads Manager and create a new campaign.

Creating a new advertising campaign in Facebook Ads Manager for split testing

After choosing a type of campaign, Facebook will ask you to customize the settings. One of the fields there is named “A/B Test”. This is what you need. Simply click on the “Get Started” button and continue customizing the campaign structure.

A/B test option in new Facebook campaign settings

This campaign will become your “original” campaign, or the first of the two variations you want to compare.

After you click on “Publish”, Facebook will show another box called “Create A/B Test”. Continuing will let you create another campaign for comparison, or the second variation.

Screenshot of Create A/B Test box in Facebook Ads Manager

In the “Variable” field, you can select what exactly you want to compare. Facebook will make a new campaign identical to the original one except for this particular detail. Your options are:

  • Image (it’ll create identical campaign with different images to experiment with Facebook ad designs)
  • Video (same but with videos)
  • Ad Text (a new campaign with an alternative ad text)
  • Age and Gender (self-explanatory)
  • Saved Audience (will compare identical campaigns targeted at different audiences)
  • Custom (will create an exact copy of the original campaign and let you customize anything you want in this copy; this option is useful for testing multiple differences)

Split testing: Facebook allows you to choose from a list of variable you want to test

After choosing the variable type, click on “Next”. It’ll take you to another page where you will see two versions of your original campaign which you are going to test.

Example of split testing on Facebook. The user has to choose a new ad picture for comparison.

In fact, Facebook will actually make three campaigns: the original one, a Version A (Control) which is an exact copy of the original one, and a Version B (Variant) which is going to contain an alternative variation.

Here you’ll have to pick this variation. In my example, it is an alternative ad image. After that customize the rest of the settings. Pay attention to the daily budget settings: this sum will be split by Facebook between the two versions equally.

Another important field here is “Key Metrics”. By choosing one from the list, you tell Facebook which ecommerce metric to use when deciding the winner such as the cost per conversion, cost per link click, etc. For example, “Cost per Purchase” will probably be the best option for conversion campaigns aimed at converting users into buyers.

As for the “Estimated Test Power” index, don’t take this information too seriously as Facebook’s estimations are pretty vague.

After that, click on “Create Test”. Facebook will create three campaigns that you can see in your Ads Manager, two of which will be scheduled for split testing.

Another way to launch an A/B test on Facebook is to tick a box near a desired ad, ad set or campaign and click on “A/B Test” on the panel.

An alternative method of creating a split testing campaign in Facebook Ads Manager

This method will also create a split test on a campaign level just like the method I have described above.

As I mentioned before, although you can choose variables for comparison, Facebook will actually test campaigns. If you want to compare standalone ad sets or ad variations within one Facebook ad campaign, you’ll have to use another method.

Split testing: Facebook ad sets and ads

In order to run A/B tests on Facebook for ads and ad sets, you need to have an existing campaign. Pick an ad or an ad set and click on “Duplicate” under its name.

Screenshot of duplicating a Facebook ad in Ads Manager

In a new box, click on the “Create a test…” button under “Original campaign”. Unlike the previous method, this one will create a copy of the existing ad or ad set within an existing campaign, so you will end up with just two test subjects. The original becomes the test A and the copy becomes the test B.

Click on “Duplicate” to continue.

When duplicating an ad or ad set, you can create an A/B test to compare it with the original one

In the new box, you can edit the copy, thus making different variables. Although you can make a completely different ad, marketers usually change only one parameter. Also, pay attention to the budget section.

The “Daily Budget” line shows how much money you wanted to spend on the initial ad or ad set. The “Original” and “Copy” lines indicate how this sum will be split between the newly created test subjects. Make sure it’s split equally.

After finishing with the settings, click on “Publish”. Now you can see these two ads or ad sets in your Ads Manager being scheduled for testing. This is how you can test Facebook ads and ad sets without creating a new campaign for each variation.

Facebook Experiments

There’s yet another way to launch a split test on Facebook from the Experiments section.

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However, this method lets you compare either ad sets, campaigns or campaign groups, which will be hardly useful for small businesses like dropshipping.

Split testing on Facebook lets you analyze your marketing materials, targeted audiences, ad placements and other nuances. By using this information, you can pick the best performing ads and substantially improve your dropshipping business.

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What Is Remarketing? 6 Tips On How To Retarget Customers On Facebook

What is remarketing and why is it important for your business? In this article, we are going to talk about when you should use it and what kind of ads work best for retargeting Facebook audiences.

What is remarketing?

Remarketing, or retargeting, is a digital marketing strategy that implies advertising products or services to the part of a target audience who have somehow interacted with a business’ website. In most cases, such ads are served to the people who watched your video ad, visited your website, or put products into the shopping cart.

Online businesses aim at raising their conversion rates (i.e. the number of actual buyers) as high as possible. However, the majority of the initial target audience never buys anything.

At this stage, we call such people a cold audience: they never heard of your brand and never interacted with your website, products or services. Most of them show no interest in the ads they see and will never convert into site visitors or buyers.

Those of them who somehow interact with your business become a warm audience: they show a certain degree of interest and are more likely to convert. Those who purchase products or services (and don’t complain after that) or those who get to the checkout but leave for whatever reason become a hot audience: they already trust you and often agree to spend more money after seeing another ad.

Why does your business need remarketing?

As you could guess, hotter audiences are smaller. As you move through your sales process, you lose potential customers, but they can be brought back. With remarketing ads targeted at your warm audience, you have another chance to convert them into buyers.

Targeting a warm audience is a huge benefit of remarketing. Those are people who are already familiar with the type of product you advertise and your online store. Moreover, since they interacted with your ads, posts or website, they are sincerely interested in your product, which is why they are much easier to convert.

Some of them simply need to be reminded of your offer, others need to know a benefit you didn’t mention in your initial ad. Some people just need time to think about your offer.

AliDropship team’s experience with our self-owned dropshipping stores shows that remarketing campaigns work much better than standard advertising campaigns on Facebook. Even when regular advertising campaigns only cover the expenses, remarketing can fix it and make advertising profitable.

Remarketing basics: Whom to target?

Our team starts advertising products on Facebook with Page Post Engagement campaigns designed to trigger engagements (likes, reposts, and comments). After that, we launch advertising campaigns targeted at Facebook interests or lookalike audiences. Clearly, both of them are cold audiences: they’re not familiar with our offer yet.

After these people see our ads, the warmest part of this audience can be divided into at least four categories:

  • Users who watched 95% of our video ads. Since our team mostly uses video ads, we can tell if a person is interested in our product when he or she watches the ad to the end.
  • People who go to our website. Each Facebook ad contains a call to action which leads users to a corresponding online store. Obviously, if someone clicks on it, he or she must be interested in the product.
  • Site visitors who put a product to the shopping cart but never bought it. Obviously, this category of potential customers is the warmest.
  • People who put products into the shopping cart and even visited the checkout page. Although they never bought these products, they tried to, which means this is a very hot audience.

In theory, one could also target people who made a purchase (the hottest audience), but in this case, you will have to pick a different product. Besides, if the purchase was made not long ago, offering another product (before the buyer has received the first one) could annoy rather than convince them to purchase again.

To attract this part of the audience, I would recommend offering them new deals, seasonal goods, special offers (discounts, coupons, etc.). And do it after they received their first orders.

For promoting dropshipping stores, AliDropship team recommends launching a remarketing campaign when your warm audience has at least 500 potential customers.

Audience exclusions in remarketing

If you create more than one remarketing audience, certain users will get into several lists.

For example, one and the same user has visited your website and put a product into the shopping cart but never bought it. Now you want to create two remarketing campaigns targeted at site visitors and those who added products to the cart. As a result, this person will get into both these lists.

You want to avoid it for at least three reasons.

  • First of all, seeing too many ads in the feed can annoy people.
  • Second, you may want to use different ads for different audiences so that you could appeal to different motivations.
  • Lastly, launching two ads that follow the same list of people will cost you twice more money with little effect on their efficiency.

That’s why you need to exclude potential doublings.

When creating a new audience for remarketing on Facebook, one has to exclude certain sections

On the screenshot below, we excluded those who visited our site from the audience who watched 95% of our video ad.

Here we have picked a section to exclude from our remarketing audience on Facebook

If you divide all users who could get into remarketing audiences into categories, you will see that all categories belonging to higher tiers also belong to lower tiers. Let me demonstrate.

Let’s suppose that one thousand Facebook users watched your video ad. This is a low tier category. Some of them visited your site. This is a high tier category. Not all people, who watched the ad, decided to visit the site. But all the people, who visited the site, had also watched the video ad.

Likewise, all the people, who put something into the shopping cart, had visited the site, but not vice versa. Keep that in mind when making exclusions.

Facebook remarketing tips

1. Make several ads for each ad set

Facebook’s algorithm can analyze how different ads perform and pick the best one. After that the platform will start spending more money on the winning ads. That’s why we recommend creating more than one. Set the budget to $2.5 a day and wait till you have a clear winner.

Screenshot of how Facebook breaks down your advertising budget

Since you can’t set a budget for each ad individually, you will have to make some calculations. For example, if an ad set has four ads and you want to spend at least $2.5 on each of them, set the ad set budget to $10, so that the algorithm could divide the money between the ads within this ad set. Same goes for campaign budgets.

2. Keep an eye on your campaign

Sometimes Facebook keeps spending budgets on ads that bring no results. Actually Facebook should stop doing it when it sees it’s ineffective, but sometimes it just wouldn’t. That’s why we recommend monitoring the campaign and turning off such ads on your own.

3. Keep an eye on the frequency

Frequency shows the average number of times a single user has seen your ad. We recommend keeping this parameter at 3-6. But sometimes even 2+ is enough to bring sales.

Screenshot of Facebook ads and their frequency metric

4. Number of views doesn’t equal number of conversions

As a rule, the more people see your ad the more of them convert. But sometimes an ad generates lots of views but too few sales. So, keep an eye on these two metrics and don’t hesitate to turn off the ads that don’t result in sales despite a high number of views.

5. Match ad copies to audience’s temperature

Don’t forget that a remarketing audience can be divided into sub-audiences, with each having different temperatures, i.e. levels of interest. Or you could say that different segments of the audience have different interests.

Therefore, we recommend creating ad copies with corresponding content. Motivate potential customers with different arguments, pictures, videos or calls to action to match their level of interest.

6. Retarget recent visitors

Even if a person has visited your website, he or she will get “colder” as time passes. A visitor from a week ago is much warmer than the one from half a year ago. Therefore, retarget only those who interacted with your business not longer than a month ago.

What is remarketing? For ecommerce entrepreneurs, it is the most effective marketing strategy that can push your business from stagnation to regular profits. A successful dropshipping store also requires sought-after goods, which is why I recommend checking AliDropship’s Premium Products that come with marketing and remarketing materials as well as target audience recommendations.

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Ecommerce Testing: This Is Why You Need To Test Things Before Investing Money Into Marketing

Ecommerce testing can be a useful method of improving a dropshipping business

Business requires thinking and being able to predict how the market will react. The problem is no analysis can be 100% accurate. In these cases, you need ecommerce testing! Keep reading to learn what to test and how.

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On the AliDropship blog, we keep telling our readers, who want to start a dropshipping business, about how important it is to test everything you do or use. Why?

Unfortunately, your education, talent or intuition cannot always be right. For instance, sometimes even after a thorough analysis, entrepreneurs target a wrong audience. After all, it’s almost impossible to take every single detail into consideration.

In other words, at each step of your sale process, there can be surprises awaiting you. They can be both beneficial and harmful. In order to minimize risks or maximize benefits, one needs ecommerce testing.

But before we begin, remember this:

  • First of all, you don’t test each and every part of your marketing strategy at once. Test them one by one. If something works well, leave it be! But if you’re not happy with something (for example, the number of site visitors from social media), that’s where you might want to start testing.
  • Testing costs money! Even if you set the minimum budget to your ad sets in Facebook, you will still have to spend a lot before you get reliable results. Our team usually runs tests for about a week.
  • Ecommerce testing for dropshipping is an advanced approach. It’s difficult, expensive and isn’t always reliable. But it can reveal opportunities you couldn’t see before. For example, you can discover a target audience which converts much better than the one you target right now. This allows you to invest in promotion more efficiently.

Now, let’s get started! Here’s what you can test.

Ecommerce testing: Ad creatives

Ads are the part which converts social media users into website visitors. First of all, one can test different ad types and formats to see which brings more traffic to their online store. Experience shows that video ads work better than other types, so you probably want to focus on these.

But you can also test a variety of ads. For example, even if you decide to follow our recommendation and use video ads, you should make at least two or three creatives and test them.

The safest way to do it is to start an advertising campaign and launch a number of ad sets (one ad creative per each) with a minimal budget. Then simply watch how they perform. Turn off the ones that obviously bring little to no results; keep waiting for at least a couple of days if there are several ads that perform well and pick the best one after that.

This is how it works in theory, but what exactly should you do to make ads different from each other? This is what you should think about.

1. Testing ad picture

If you choose to use pictures for your ads, obviously you can experiment with the images. It is actually crucial which one you pick because images are what social media users see in the first place.

An ideal picture shows what kind of item you’re advertising, what it does and how it works. This is how you inform potential clients of your product. If a Facebook user sees something weird and can’t tell how this thing works is a second, he or she will just keep scrolling the feed.

Testing ad pictures will show you which one won’t let that happen.

2. Video thumbnails

Same goes for thumbnails you want to use for video ads. To see its content, a user has to play the video. But if the thumbnail doesn’t look interesting, funny, intriguing or attractive, people won’t touch it. That’s why it’s a good idea to test a number of thumbnails for the same video.

For this part, use the same criteria as for ad images: ideally, you need to explain what your product is, what it does and how it works. Read this article for more tips on how to make the best-performing video thumbnails.

3. Ad copies

A good picture or thumbnail can catch a user’s attention. But it’s not enough to make them click on the ad. So, the next step of your ecommerce testing agenda should be the ad’s content.

In case of image-based ads, pay attention to the texts. It’s difficult to tell what can be beneficial and what could hurt your ads since it depends a lot on the type of product you promote. But consider these tips:

  • Make ad copies short and clear. Nobody wants to read small fonts or analyze long paragraphs. Go for simple and comprehensible phrases.
  • Don’t describe your product’s features. Describe the benefits buyers will enjoy after purchasing it.
  • Make sure to place a call to action in your ad such as “Shop now”, “Click here”, etc.
  • If applicable, try informing users of sales, promotions, discounts and any other bonuses you can offer. As a rule, these details trigger interest very well.

4. Opening part of video ads

Just like with ad copies, you can also experiment with the content of your video ads. However, I recommend paying more attention to the first three seconds of your videos as this is often the segment which determines whether people will or will not watch the video to the end.

So, if you don’t want to spend more time by testing the rest of the video (you probably don’t), focus on these three seconds and try different approaches.

5. Testing target audience

Lastly, when we talk about ecommerce testing, we should also mention target audiences.

Although a good entrepreneur always analyzes potential customers, there’s always a chance you made a mistake or missed a large portion of people who could be interested in your product.

At the very least, I recommend trying target audiences based on Facebook interests and lookalike audiences. Our own experience shows that sometimes one of them prevails, but you never know which. So make sure to try both before raising the budget.

Aside from that, you can try testing targeting options within these two audience types.

Audience based on Facebook interests

I’ve already described how our team searches and tests Facebook interests in one of our articles. Basically, this is exactly what you need to do. After finding a number of interests which seem to be related to your product, you want to create ad sets, with each targeting a particular interest, and see which one brings more sales.

Testing can be useful because the obvious interests don’t always prove to work well. For example, our team was once testing audiences for a product related to gardening. To our surprise, “garden design” and “landscape design” didn’t work at all. At the same time, the first three positions were taken by “backyard”, “Groupon” and “Ikea”.

Lookalike audiences

Facebook is capable of creating audiences by finding users similar to a prototypical audience – for example, people who watched your video ad to the end, or users who visited your dropshipping store, or those who put something into the shopping cart or even bought something. The algorithm finds similar users, thus expanding the initial audience from, say, two thousand users to a lookalike audience that can consist of as many as two million people!

However, this lookalike audience is not homogeneous. It consists of segments, with each being similar to the prototype in a certain way. When setting your audience, you can choose which segment of your lookalike audience you want to target.

Screenshot demonstrating how a Facebook lookalike audience can be divided into segments

Here you can choose between 1% to 10% (similarity degree). The point is that 1% won’t necessarily convert better than 4%. In this case, your job is to find out which segment is the best. Our team usually tests 1-5% like you can see on the screenshot.

But you can also compare percent ranges such as 1-2% vs. 3-4%.

Screenshot demonstrating how you can pick segment ranges from Facebook lookalike audiences for ecommerce testing

In both cases, you create one ad set corresponding to one segment and test the group for a few days.

Ecommerce testing:  Product page

The main purpose of social media ads is to lead users to your site, namely to the page of the product you advertise. However, it doesn’t guarantee visitors will actually put the product into the shopping cart and click on the “Purchase” button. In fact, some people don’t buy anything even after they add goods to their shopping cart.

There are plenty of possible reasons. Sometimes it’s the item’s price or the shipping cost that discourages them; sometimes they simply misunderstand your initial offer and expect a product of a different kind. In other cases, your product page fails to convince visitors that:

  • The product’s quality is high enough;
  • The item is capable of performing certain functions;
  • Your ecommerce website can be trusted.

Remember: the worst part of online shopping is the fact that you can’t see or touch the actual product. All you have are pictures, videos, GIFs, descriptions and other customers’ reviews. And this is where you can change the situation.

At this point, an online store owner can test different combinations of the above to create the best user experience possible and dispel any doubts.

Sometimes a detailed description works best. Sometimes potential customers don’t want to read long texts – all they need is a short list of specifications to make sure the product is what they think it is. Certain goods can be demonstrated well with just a few high-quality pictures, while other products require a detailed video or a GIF file.

If you’re using a number of AliDropship add-ons that let you create special offers, you might also want to do a little software testing to see which kind of offer works best by choosing between coupons, discounts, gifts, bulk offers, etc.

You should also keep an eye on your site’s download speed. Today even the most interested customers will leave a site if it takes more than 6-8 seconds to load. In this case, it doesn’t matter how good your product page is. So, consider sacrificing certain videos or the quality of photos if it makes the page too heavy.

Since you can’t be sure what will work best, think of two or three combinations, and create a corresponding number of pages. Then split all the traffic between the pages to see which one shows a better conversion rate (i.e. generates more sales). That’s called A/B testing.

To do it, create two identical ad sets that target identical audiences and show them identical ads, except these ads have two different links, with each leading to one of your product page variations.

Screenshot of a Facebook Ad Creative where you can test different designs of product pages

With identical budgets, the audience should split more or less equally. You can also create several advertising campaigns identical in every aspect except for the links, but it’s not a good idea to duplicate this much data.

Although this test can’t be as accurate as a normal split test, it’s an easy method to check which product page works better.

As you can see, ecommerce testing is a useful, but difficult way to improve your business, especially for those who built their dropshipping stores one their own. If you want to make things easier, consider purchasing one of our ready-made solutions – Established Stores and Premium Stores created by our team after thorough analyses and testing.

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7 Facebook Advertising Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Business

Do you keep promoting your dropshipping store on Facebook with no results? Perhaps, you’re doing it wrong! Here’s a list of Facebook advertising mistakes you should avoid.

Facebook is a great platform to advertise a product or service, especially for a small business. With over 2.7 million people using Facebook every month, one can reach any target audience for a reasonable fee.

However, things don’t always go as planned. Sometimes entrepreneurs keep spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars, but the sales just won’t rise. Some people even think they’re wasting money and switch to other promotion channels.

There can be many reasons for it – from a wrong niche choice to common advertising mistakes. Let’s see what they are.

Facebook advertising mistakes: #1 Testing each and every product idea

We at AliDropship often recommend testing everything before investing money. This includes selecting products to dropship, choosing Facebook creatives and ad types, customizing target audience and so on and so forth. The point is you can’t be absolutely sure what will work and what won’t, which is why testing comes first.

But too much of a good thing is good for nothing! Some dropshippers start testing each and every product from AliExpress they find interesting despite the fact that even a little testing requires investments. As a result, people spend small sums of money here and there, but after a month, the total amount spent equals hundreds of dollars.

Here’s what you need to remember: making Facebook ad mistakes is Ok. They’re inevitable. The question is how often you make them and how much they cost you.

Solution

Whenever you find a product or when a product idea just suddenly occurs to you, the desire to test it is understandable. But there are other methods of evaluating dropshipping goods before launching a real ad on Facebook.

In one of my previous articles, I described how our team tests product ideas. The best part of it that you only have to pay for an ad analyzing platform. In our case it was AdSpy which isn’t cheap, but you can use the cheaper BigSpy. Every other step won’t cost you a penny.

This way you will be able to sieve away the worst of your ideas without having to pay for test ads on Facebook.

Mistake #2: Not paying attention to product pages

One may think that this has little to do with Facebook mistakes: after all, this problem lies in your website rather than in advertising. But the truth is that in digital marketing, landing pages are as important as ads leading to them.

When someone clicks on your Facebook ad, it means he or she is interested. But it doesn’t mean this person has a serious intention to buy. When users get to your product page, they can still leave if they don’t like it.

Solution

Your tasks here are:

  • Not to scare away potential customers
  • Convince them that the product is good and buying here is safe

To do that, you need high-quality photos as well as videos and GIFs if available so that visitors could see all the details or how the product works.

Detailed description is another important part of a good product page as it can tell potential buyers about the product’s materials and dimensions, about the purchase condition, shipping options, etc.

Also, make sure to import customer reviews with real customer-made photos because they are the best testimonials you can ever have.

Here you can learn more about how to make a perfect dropshipping product page. Also, you’re welcome to watch this experience-based, FREE webinar on running a successful dropshipping store: everything from creating a powerful product page to launching a winning promo strategy is covered!

Facebook advertising mistake #3: Wrong ads

This category embraces a number of Facebook ad mistakes one can make.

First of all, beginner dropshippers often invest a lot of money in an ad campaign that uses low-quality creatives, i.e. ads. The problem may lie in the quality of pictures, your ad’s thumbnail, the calls to action you use, what ad copy you write, etc.

Ok, sometimes you just happen to create a bad ad. But the mistake here is to keep spending money on something that clearly isn’t working.

This leads us to the second common mistake – not to test different creatives. Often you can’t be certain what your potential customer will or will not like, what will or will not draw their attention. That’s why we recommend creating several ads, testing them and picking the best performing one.

The third Facebook mistake is not to use video ads. Using pictures is certainly easier than looking for a suitable video on AliExpress and then making an ad from it. But in practice, a single video ad can be much more effective than several banners.

Solution

To summarize the above, always create several ads and test them. If you see that one of them isn’t working, turn it off before it “eats up” all your budget. Finally, whenever possible, use video ads.

Read this article to learn how to make great ads for Facebook.

#4 Not optimizing Facebook advertising campaigns when they run

Even when you test ads before picking one and investing larger budgets in an ad campaign, there are still surprises awaiting you. How an ad performs can reveal new details about audience targeting. As the campaign keeps running, you can accumulate enough data to change the original settings.

However, some entrepreneurs simply ignore these new facts.

A similar mistake is when dropshippers make up targeting strategies based on their subjective feelings and keep running these campaigns despite the new information.

Solution

A good entrepreneur never stops analyzing his or her ad campaigns or targeting strategy. Whenever the statistics show that something can be changed for the better, they do so.

#5 Running Facebook advertising campaigns with no strategy in mind

One of the worst Facebook ad mistakes is to launch a campaign (or several) with no particular expectations or plans.

First of all, you shouldn’t expect them to work if they don’t have a clear goal, or a clear target audience, or your ad copy is just a random text written with no regard to the audience’s interests and needs.

The second problem is that such a campaign… can actually work. On the one hand, it’s good. On the other hand, this approach will hardly work again. But this time, you will have no idea why your ads aren’t working anymore because last time it worked all right and what should you do about it?!

Solution

Always do your homework. Analyze potential customers, write interesting ad copies, make relevant videos and banners, analyze your mistakes and improve your ads.

#6 Not trying new Facebook advertising audiences

Picking the right target audience is a very difficult task. Even after the initial analysis, you still have to test them on real ads or PPE campaigns before making the final decision. Most businesses on Facebook use the social media’s “interests” to define their target audiences. However, this method has its limits.

Not always can you define which “interests” will correlate with your product. AliDropship’s team had plenty of cases when they discovered new “interests” long after the initial campaign was launched.

Besides, these “interests” reflect people’s hobbies or concerns, but a target audience is a much more complicated concept. That’s why by sticking to your initial target audience, you may be missing other opportunities to make money.

Solution

Along with the target audience built mostly on the basis of Facebook interests, you should consider using a lookalike audience.

In simple terms, a lookalike audience is created by Facebook based on the behavior of users who visit your site, react to your ads, etc. The platform analyzes this data and looks for similar Facebook users to show them your ads. Read our Facebook lookalike manual to learn more.

#7 Making your Facebook audience too small

Most entrepreneurs realize that targeting every single user on Facebook is useless and too expensive. If you sell female clothing, there’s no point advertising these goods to men. That’s why we need a target audience.

However, by narrowing down the circle of potential customers, you risk making your Facebook audience too small. Although such targeting can (and most likely will) be effective, one can hardly expect a large profit since there are too few potential buyers.

Solution

Instead of sticking to small audiences, sometimes it is more efficient to target more users even if the conversion rate of such advertising campaigns drops. 2% may seem like less than 5%. But 2% of a thousand is much more than 5% of a hundred.

If you don’t want to make these or other Facebook advertising mistakes, you can subscribe to our Premium Products service. Every week, we will send you new dropshipping products which we tested in our self-owned shops. Moreover, along with product data, we also share marketing materials and target audience recommendations.

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7 Steps Your Sales Process Must Have

The sales process is actually more complicated than most people think. At the same time, understanding this process is crucial for a successful dropshipping business.

What is a sales process?

A sales process (a sales cycle) is all the actions required to turn a potential customer into an actual buyer. It usually starts with familiarizing people with a given product or service and ends with closing the sale.

In other words, all the steps one takes to successfully sell something are a part of their sales process.

Why should you know your sales process?

Sales cycles are repeated again and again, which lets businesses measure the results of their activities. Any changes in the results (both positive and negative) clearly indicate that you’re either doing something wrong or the current strategy works great.

Secondly, when you divide the process into individual steps, you can easily see its pain points and steps requiring more work. Thus, you can optimize the process more efficiently.

Sales process stages

1. Prospecting

Prospecting is the first step in a sales process

This is probably one of the most important steps in the sales process at which one has to identify their target audience. Even if your products are very good and affordable, you will hardly sell a lot by offering them to people who are not interested in them.

To identify your target audience, use Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and the marketing persona technique. Most dropshipping business owners look for potential customers on social media, namely Facebook and Instagram.

Also, check this guide on finding a Facebook target audience.

2. Research / preparation

Research and preparation should be the basis for other steps in a sales process.

This stage is usually not used in cases when the sales process works well enough but is required whenever a business switches to new products, services, markets, channels, etc.

Instead of playing by ear, you should try making a plan: where to contact customers, how to draw their attention, how to dispel doubts, etc. It is also important to analyze your competitors to come up with better ideas.

3. Initiating contact

A sale starts with contacting potential buyers

Now that you know who your potential customer is, it is time to make contact. But you don’t want to sell yet.

Marketers divide potential buyers into three audience types.

The cold audience are people who know nothing about your offer or even don’t realize they have a problem. The warm audience is familiar with the problem and your offer, but they’re not sure they want it. The hot audience knows the benefits of your offer and demonstrates high interest in it.

At this stage, you only deal with cold audiences, which is why trying to sell immediately will bring little results. Instead, you want to let them know about your online store, its niche, its social media group where you and other users discuss important issues or about your blog.

Other businesses also use phone calls and emails to introduce themselves to potential customers.

4. Presenting your offer

Presentation is the fourth step in a sales process

Now we’re getting closer to actual sales. At this point, you want to present your product to the audience by telling how it can solve their problem. Remember to present the benefits buyers can get rather than the features of the product.

In practice, however, this step isn’t so easy to distinguish from the previous one. Often dropshippers contact potential buyers with Facebook ads which already contain a certain presentation of a product – a video thumbnail, a picture or a post heading.

5. Handling objections

A good marketer must be prepared to handle any objections

Even experienced entrepreneurs often think that this is where buyers’ journey ends. However, most buyers feel uncertain even after a successful presentation – the audience is warm but not hot yet. So you need a little push to convince them that they’re making the right choice.

Depending on what kind of business you have, handling objections can take different forms from answering questions on a personal meeting to additional presentations for corporate clients. In dropshipping, this function is partially fulfilled by a corresponding product page.

Most customers come either from social media ads or from search engines, so the product page can and should contain as many answers to their potential questions as possible.

For example, this is the reason why AliDropship recommends placing customer reviews with customer-made photos of the product on the page. This way visitors can check the quality of the goods and services right away. If available, use gifs as such short videos better demonstrate how a product works.

Here you can learn more about how to create a perfect ecommerce product page in 12 steps.

Of course, at this stage of your sales process, you can (and should) also communicate with potential customers through social media and emails answering their questions.

6. Closing deals

An actual sale is often the last step in a sales process

Now you’ve reached the final stage of the sales process. At this point, potential customers are “hot”, i.e. ready to buy. But even here one may face problems.

First of all, something always can go wrong. For example, a customer may find the shipping cost too high in case it was hidden until the checkout. Or a client can’t find a variation he or she wanted.

Even if the person still buys your product, it’s important to make a good impression hoping he or she will buy again.

At this stage, businesses use a number of incentives such as upsells and downsells, gift marketing, creating a sense of urgency, etc.

7. Follow-ups

After a successful sale, marketers can use follow-ups to turn clients into regular buyers

Surprised? After buyers get their orders, your business with them isn’t finished. Today the sales process also includes post-sale techniques. In ecommerce, marketers mostly use follow-up emails and post-purchase offers.

The idea is to turn previous customers (or leads, i.e. people who visited the site but have never bought anything) into regular buyers.

Sales process has more chances to succeed if you can offer products that enjoy high demand among potential buyers. Try out AliDropship’s Premium Products service in order to get a new product idea and marketing materials every week.

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Benefit From Gift Marketing With The Gift Box Add-On For Dropshipping

Giving discounts and free products to customers is an easy way to earn their trust and increase the amount of money they spend. Benefit from gift marketing by using AliDropship’s new add-on – Gift Box!

What is gift marketing?

Gift marketing is an array of strategies and techniques used for marketing purposes that include drawing the attention of potential customers to a product or service, increasing the number of sales or the average purchase size, etc. Although a marketer can use a variety of methods to achieve this purpose, they are all based on offering something free in return.

Companies use these techniques whenever they offer gift cards, free products or when they organize giveaways.

Why does gift marketing work?

Gift-giving has always been a part of human nature. After all, we are social creatures who need attention, warmth and love – and we can both take and give. So, it’s no wonder marketers started to present gifts to their existing and potential customers.

Using gift marketing to attract clients or stimulate them to buy more works for two reasons:

  1. First of all, everyone likes free stuff. Whenever a business offers a product or service for free, customers can’t but appreciate the benefits of this generous offer. As a result, the business gains an advantage over competitors.
  2. In addition, gift-giving helps you establish an emotional connection with customers. After all, gifts are more than just free stuff. It’s a token of attention and care that makes people remember your brand and at least in some cases prefer your business over similar stores.

How to use gift marketing with the Gift Box add-on?

Offering gifts as incentives seems like a good idea, but how does one make such offers? Should you just write something on your site? Or should you notify customers on social media?

We’ve got a simple yet effective solution! The Gift Box add-on lets dropshipping store owners create gift offers of various types which will pop up on your site depending on the conditions you set. Let’s take a closer look at how it works.

Gift Box Settings

After installing and activating the add-on, you can customize its general settings by clicking on the corresponding option:

Gift Box add-on general settings

First of all, here you can customize the Gift Box widget position by placing it on the left or right side of the screen and adjusting its X and Y axes:

Gift Box widget position customization

After that, one can customize the widget colors to fit your site’s color palette. Note that you can choose different colors for notifications telling buyers that a certain condition is or is not met.

Customizing colors for the Gift Box add-on

The next box can be used to customize the title and subtitle in the widget that customers will see on the site. Here I’ve changed the title but didn’t customize the second line. In this case, the add-on will display its default line.

You can customize all texts for the Gift Bo add-on

And that’s what the pop-up window looks like now:

Gift Box widget with customized texts

In the last section, you can customize when and how often the pop-up window should auto-open, as well as how many gift offers customers can get.

Gift Box auto-open settings

All these settings will help you adjust the add-on to your unique dropshipping store and use gift marketing to your fullest benefit.

Creating gift offers

Now let’s get to the most interesting part and create a few gift offers. To do that, click on “Dashboard”. At the top of the page, you will see the Performance Summary section that will display Gift Box’s statistics.

Performance summary at the top of the dashboard

Below it, you will find the Gift Offers box with all the offers you’ve created. Click on the “Create Gift” button to make a new offer.

How to create gift marketing offers in Gift Box

The Gift Box add-on lets you create four gift types. Let’s have a look at each of them.

Discount

The first option lets you offer a discount as a gift.

Creating a discount offer in the Gift Box add-on

The box on the left contains the gift’s settings. On the right, you can see the preview of the widget, i.e. what buyers will see when visiting the store. Note that the window will display different notifications depending on whether the shopping cart of a client is empty or not and whether the threshold is met.

In the “Title” field, you can rename the gift. This option is purely for internal use, so nobody except you will see the title.

One can also customize the icons displayed on the pop-up window.

Title and icon customization in Gift Box

The next field allows store owners to customize the discount. You can either offer a fixed discount in dollars or a percentage cut:

Choosing a discount type in the Gift Box add-on

Note that you can’t change the currency of the discount (should you use the US Dollar option). However, the Gift Box add-on will automatically convert the discount into any currency supported by your store.

Now it’s time to choose the condition under which the gift will be offered to clients. Here you’ve got four options.

Threshold is a simple condition: the gift is offered when the overall cost of the products added to the cart reaches a minimum level. Here it is set to $100.

The Gift Box add-on conditions: threshold

Here’s what the widget looks like now. After I added a few products to the cart, the pop-up window told me I could spend a bit more to get a 20% discount. Note that the store automatically converted the threshold into pounds.

Gift Box widget: threshold condition not met

After I added one more product and reached the threshold, the widget told me I got the discount:

Gift Box widget: Threshold condition met

The total price in the cart and on the checkout page are now different.

Product: the gift (the discount in this case) will be offered if a customer adds a given product to the cart. Here you can pick only one item from the store’s inventory.

Buying a product as a condition for a gift

Now the widget tells me I can get the discount if I buy this product:

Gift Box Widget: Product condition

Please note: If a customer adds a product for which you offer a discount to the cart along with a number of other goods, this discount will be applied to the whole order. So, make sure you create an offer that is still profitable for your business.

Product of the list works the same way except you can choose more than one product for which buyers will be rewarded.

Gift Box condition: Product of the list

In this case, whenever a customer puts any of these products to the cart, he or she will be offered the discount.

Gift Box widget: Product of the list condition

Don’t forget that the discount is applied to the whole order.

Product of category lets you offer the discount in exchange for any product from a given category or categories.

Gift Box conditions: Product of category

And this is what the widget looks like in this case:

Gift Box widget: Product of category condition

The last section of the box allows you to customize the texts in the widget if you prefer something unique instead of the default options:

Customizing texts for the Gift Box widget

Don’t forget to save and activate the offer.

Free Product

The next offer type you can use for gift marketing allows you to give a product for free.

Creating a free product offer in the Gift Box add-on

The settings here are mostly the same. However, instead of a discount, you can choose a product from the inventory that will be offered as a reward. The condition options are the same as in the Discount Offer.

In this example, I decided to offer the fitness tracker whenever customers buy the black quartz watch.

Choosing a free product for your gift marketing campaign

The widget on the site now looks different:

Free product offer in the Gift Box widget

As soon as I add the watch to the cart, the widget tells me I can have the tracker for free. But the system will not work until I pick a variation from the list.

Accepting the free product offer in the Gift Box widget

After I pick one, the product appears in my shopping cart, and the price is zero. Nice!

Gift marketing: free product in the shopping cart

Note that if you offer a free product to a customer, you will have to pay not only for that product but for its shipping as well unless you use a free shipping option for the given product in your store.

Free product choice

This gift type lets customers pick one free product from a list of several goods.

Creating a free product choice offer in the Gift Box add-on

The settings are almost identical to that of the previous offer type, except here you pick as many gift options as you want. I’ve chosen three.

Choosing multiple free products for your gift marketing campaign

Now, after I put the corresponding product to the cart, the widget offers me to pick my reward.

Choosing your gift in the Gift Box widget

Custom free gift

Creating a custom free gift in the Gift Box add-on

Businesses can benefit from gift marketing not only by offering discounts or free products. Customers can be interested in free packages, or products that are not presented in the inventory of your store, or something else that you can’t pick from the inventory.

For such purposes, we created the Custom Free Gift option.

Unlike other gift types, here you don’t pick a product or a discount type. Instead, you write down your offer. In my example, I offer a free package.

Specifying the free gift offer in the Gift Box settings

After I put the corresponding product to the cart, the widget tells me that the package is now free. Note that the price converted to pound in the pop-up window.

Your custom free offer in the Gift Box widget

This option was created for making more complex, non-standard offers.

Dragging gift offers

And one last thing! You can activate more than one offer at a time, and all of them will be displayed in the widget. If you don’t want to place them randomly, simply drag the offers in the dashboard by clicking on these symbols.

Lining up Gift Box offers

The gifts will automatically line up the same way in the widget.

Gift offers layout in the Gift Box widget

With the Gift Box add-on, one can benefit from gift marketing techniques, thus improving the dropshipping store’s performance and earning customers’ loyalty.

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Bulk Discounts Add-On: Increase Sales With Volume Discounts

In competitive markets, one has to beat other entrepreneurs to get their market share and maintain it. Quite often, businesses offer various incentives to customers including discounts. Volume discounts are probably the most common type.

What are volume discounts?

Volume discounts are price reductions offered to customers on the condition that they purchase products in larger quantities. Simply speaking, the more you buy the less you pay.

Wholesalers often sell goods to retailers at a volume discount to encourage them to buy even more at once. Retailers, in turn, sometimes offer similar discounts to regular customers as well.

Such financial incentives along with various pricing strategies can improve the performance of an online store by attracting more visitors or increasing the average order value.

The benefits of volume discounts

It may seem like a bad idea to sell something at lower prices, but there are several reasons why someone can offer volume discounts.

To increase sales

As an entrepreneur, you want to make a profit above all. Whenever somebody asks for a discount in exchange for placing a larger order, you’ve got two options. You either get less revenue from each product but sell more products or refuse to give a discount… and risk being unable to sell the leftovers.

In commerce, being able to sell is often more important than how much you earn from each sale as long as you gain a profit.

To beat competitors

Buyers like discounts. If they compare prices at different stores, they will choose the one with the better offer.

To compensate the diminishing utility

Have you ever heard of the law of the diminishing utility? In simple terms, it says that customer satisfaction drops each time he or she consumes an additional unit of a product.

For example, when you are very hungry and eat a pizza, you’ll feel extremely satisfied after having the first two pieces. But with each next piece, the level of satisfaction will drop until you can’t eat any more.

So, as the utility drops, so should the price. That’s why you may want to decrease the price for more units sold.

Types of volume discounts

There are actually several types of volume discounts.

1. All units

In this model, when you offer a discount, it’s applied to the total cost regardless of the number of units you sell.

For example, a retailer offers a 15% discount if I buy 10 and more products, with each costing $10. So, once I purchase 10, I’ll have to pay $100 minus the 15% discount, which equals $85.

In other words, the discount is applied to each product.

2. Tiered pricing

In this case, the total product volume is divided into thresholds. For example, 1-49 items (no discount), 50-99 items (10% discount) and 100+ items (20% discount). If I decide to buy 66 items, I will have to pay full price for the first 49 products and will get a 10% discount on the remaining 17 items.

Often cinemas use this model when they sell beverages: the larger your cup of cola the less you have to pay. It clearly corresponds to the law of the diminishing utility.

3. Package pricing

It’s a similar model, except discounts are applied not to volume ranges but to product packages, or specific numbers. For example, you can purchase 1 product at $10, 3 products at $24 ($8 each) and 5 products at $30 ($6 each).

So, if I need 7 items, I can split the order into packages of 5 ($30), 1 ($10) and 1 ($10).

With AliDropship’s Bulk Discounts add-on, you can set volume discounts on any products in your store.

Bulk Discounts add-on: how it works

After installing the add-on on your dropshipping store, you can find it in the admin panel.

Bulk Discounts Add-On: Increase Sales With Volume Discounts

There you will see all discounts already created on the website as well as their statistics – how many customers viewed the page, how many products they bought and how much they paid. To make a new discount, click on the Create button and press the Edit icon.

Bulk Discounts Add-On: Increase Sales With Volume Discounts

1. Title

Here you can name your discount however you want. This title can be seen only in the admin panel and is designed purely for the convenience of the store owner.

2. Apply to

Here you can choose whether to apply the discount to stand-alone products or the whole categories.

If you pick Categories, you’ll be offered to tick as many categories and subcategories as you wish.

If you choose Products, click on the Add button and pick as many items as you want.

3. Discount settings

Now it’s time to set the discount.

The Quantity field sets the number of goods at which the discount is applied. The Discount type lets you choose between a percentage discount and a fixed amount of money customers can save. Put the discount rate in the next field (no $ or % symbols required).

The last field allows you to compose a text that tells customers about the volume discount. The tags below will be replaced with the corresponding data – quantity and price reduction (how much customer will save on this purchase).

To make the discount work, you need to click on the Plus button. The add-on will remember the discount and create one more inactive field. To activate the discount, click on Save and activate button.

To give customers more choice, let’s create a few more fields.

Now I have 5 tiers with the discount getting more attractive the more you buy. Let’s see what the product page looks like now.

These are the texts I created to attract customers, and that’s the total price of the package. Now, when a customer visits the product page, he or she will see the offer.

The add-on also allows customers to choose between product variations within a bundle. Clients can edit the order by pressing on the “Edit variations” button.

After that, in a pop-up window, they can choose the variations they prefer.

If you sell products that people usually buy in quantities, the Bulk Discounts add-on is right what you need! Introducing volume discounts with its help, you’ll make your offers even more tempting and increase your average purchase size.

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Banner Blindness: Why Most People Don’t See Your Ads And What You Can Do About It

Digital marketing uses a rich variety of methods to advertise products and services to potential customers. However, the efficiency of these methods is strongly affected by banner blindness. Keep reading to learn what it is and how to overcome it.

If you promote your business online, you probably use a lot of digital ads including banners and pop-ups. But what if I tell you that the majority of people to whom these ads were shown up until now never saw them? They’re simply not noticing such elements, and this situation is widely known as banner blindness.

What is banner blindness?

Banner blindness is a term meaning that internet users ignore banner ads and banner-like information on webpages. It’s also called ad blindness. According to a study conducted back in 2013, 86% of website visitors experience the effects of banner ad blindness.

It can happen consciously or unconsciously and affects not only banner advertising but anything that looks like banners as well.

Why do people develop banner blindness?

It may seem strange that people ignore banners and other ad types, because such elements are made so that anyone could notice them in a moment. Bright colors, large fonts, eye-catching images – designers do their best to create the best banner ads possible.

But despite these efforts, many people stay inattentive to online advertising, and the average click through rate (CTR) of all ads equals 0.05%. It’s because this kind of behavior is learned through experience.

Try visiting any website (with all ad blocking tools turned off) and calculating how many irrelevant blocks there are. According to the market research firm Yankelovich, we used to see about 5,000 messages including ads every day in 2007. As for now, some say the figures have doubled but no official statistics is available.

With so much information around us, we have no choice but to learn how to skip unnecessary and irrelevant elements. Besides, people usually browse the internet in search of specific data and hate to be distracted with commercial information (especially when it’s irrelevant).

Another factor is our own experience with thousands of websites we have visited. Most of them have similar structures and layouts. For example, most people look for a web page’s logo in the top left corner of the screen. But this similarity has taught us where ads are usually placed.

How do you overcome banner blindness?

1. Keep content away from ads

Human mind perceives objects located close to each other as a single group with similar or the same functions. As a result, if a piece of content is placed near ads, this content is seen as another ad and is therefore ignored.

On this web page, there’s a high chance users will look at the top right corner, see the ad and decide that the whole section contains only ads. However, there’s a number of internal links, which site visitors will ignore because they saw the ad first.

So, to avoid this effect, don’t group internal links near ad banners.

2. Reconsider where you put ads

After years of browsing the internet, most people know exactly where typical site elements are located. Often banners are placed at the top of the page or on the right side of the screen.

So, in order to attract site visitors’ attention, you can experiment with non-standard ad placement. For example, it’s a good idea to try placing banners between blog posts.

3. Use native advertisements

Although I did recommend keeping content away from ads, placing an ad inside your content is another story. This method is called native advertising.

Users usually explore content by the F pattern. They read horizontally, then descend and repeat. And that’s where an ad can achieve the highest results – as long as it’s relevant to the content.

Native advertisements are materials that are placed among the content of a site and look like another piece of content. Promoted posts you often see on social media are a good example. The only thing indicating that it’s an ad is the ‘promoted’ tag.

That’s why promoting dropshipping products on social media is so efficient, especially when you use video ads.

4. Make ads less prominent

Another reason why native ads cause banner blindness less often than typical banners is because such ads often look similar or identical to other content pieces on the site.

When marketers started using the internet for advertising, they believed that an ad should look bright and eye-catching. Well, technically they were right. This is the first ever banner ad:

It’s click-through rate was 44% which is absolutely unbelievable nowadays. Back then, the idea was new and people were curious. But as more and more sites began to show unrelated banner ads, visitors learned to distinguish them from actual content.

As a result, if an ad has a prominent design which makes it very different from the rest of the site, there’s a high chance visitors won’t even look at it. That’s why it’s a good idea to conceal an ad as a part of the content by using similar style, the same colors, fonts, etc.

5. Experiment with sizes, colors and formats

The first banner was a success because of its novelty, which means ads won’t provoke banner blindness if you can make them non-standard. To do it, experiment with different ad formats, or use nontypical sizes, or use unexpected images, etc.

It’s really hard to give any advice here since the whole point is to create something truly unique.

6. Indicate benefits

Even if users do notice your banner, there’s no guarantee they’ll click on it. There could be many reasons why including the fact that a given banner is unrelated to the content of the page. But there’s something all bad banners have in common – they don’t tell people about the benefits of clicking.

Marketers differentiate features of a product and the benefits of using it. In short, features are what a product can do. Benefits are what buyers get from it.

The difference is huge as customers only think of benefits. And if you want them to click on an ad, make sure to promise them certain benefits rather than proudly describe how cool your product is.

7. Test options

Finally, make sure to use A/B tests on all options you have, be it banners’ location, formats, colors or anything else. You never know what will work better because it depends on your target audience and their expectations, your content and many other factors.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution for dropshipping business that helps you overcome the effects of banner blindness, AliDropship plugin is just what you need. Creating a store on its basis, you can enjoy a whole range of dropshipping themes specifically developed to make your store visitors excited with their on-site experience, and plenty of supporting solutions.

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Traditional Marketing VS Digital Marketing: The Differences You Must Know

Lots of seasoned entrepreneurs know a thing or two about how to promote products to people and turn them into customers. But if you’re going online, you’ll have to use digital marketing which is sometimes quite different from the traditional approach. In this article, we will compare traditional marketing vs digital marketing.

Are you moving your business to the internet? Or have you decided to launch an online store? In any case, in order to reach potential customers, you will have to implement various digital marketing methods.

If this isn’t your first business experience, you may know how traditional marketing works. However, the rules are somewhat different on the web. But before moving on to these differences, let’s define what we mean by traditional and digital marketing.

What is traditional marketing?

Traditional marketing involves conventional promotion channels and methods such as TV and radio commercials as well as various physical forms of advertising – billboards, flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers, etc. In simple terms, one can define traditional marketing as offline promotion.

These methods are still widely used by all businesses. We see such ads when walking the street, when watching TV, seeing a print ad or when reading magazines.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing uses the internet as its only communication channel. Digital ads are mostly placed on websites and on social media. This form of marketing involves banners, pop-ups, emails, sponsored posts, etc. You could call it online marketing.

Although digital marketing and traditional methods use different channels, their basics are mostly the same. Moreover, offline businesses often combine these approaches in their marketing campaigns.

Still, digital marketing has a number of important differences compared to traditional marketing.

Traditional marketing vs digital marketing: things you should know about

1. Digital marketing is less personal

Not all but some methods of traditional marketing include personal interaction. Consulting a potential customer in a store, or cold calls, even distributing flyers allows people to communicate with customers directly.

In digital marketing, it’s impossible – unless you convince a person to give you his or her phone number and then call. But in this case, it’ll be a traditional marketing method.

The only ways to communicate with potential clients in digital market is through emails, messages and chats. Although it’s still a form of communication which can and does work most of the time, the lack of personal experience is a disadvantage.

On the other hand, newsletters can reach a far larger audience than cold calls, for example. Furthermore, marketers develop and use various personalization methods as well.

2. It’s more intrusive

Whatever channel you use to reach your potential customers, they might view these messages as excessive or invasive. But if you compare traditional marketing vs digital marketing, you’ll see that the latter can be much more frustrating.

When you watch TV, you sort of expect to see a number of commercials. When you get a phone call from a bank, you already know what they want. It can be annoying, but in most cases, people are prepared for it.

But when you scroll a website reading an interesting article and a pop-up covers the whole screen, you don’t always anticipate this marketing move. Or when a targeted ad follows you the whole day and offers you something you’ve already purchased, you might start feeling it’s a bit too much. This is why online marketers need to be so careful about their promo decisions.

3. Digital ads can be skipped

You can’t skip TV or radio commercials as well as miss a billboard when driving a highway. Of course, you don’t have to look at the billboard, but it’s still there.

On the other hand, certain digital ads can be skipped or shut down – pop-ups, video ads, banners. Yes, there are technologies that don’t let you do it: for example, ads on YouTube can be skipped only 5 seconds after they start and there are ads which you can’t skip at all.

However, such tricks made a lot of people use various ad blockers which remove all or most ads from websites completely. According to Statista, more than 25% of internet users in the United States used ad blockers in 2019.

In other words, in digital marketing, one must be more cautious about how to make an offer so irresistible that potential buyers don’t want to skip it.

4. Some digital ads are easy to overlook

Another popular problem for any digital marketer is banner blindness. Even if people don’t use ad blocking tools, 86% of internet users simply don’t see banners, don’t notice them at all.

You could say that we don’t really stare at billboards either, but there’s an important difference. On the streets, you just walk somewhere and your mind is usually not busy with anything except thoughts on what you’re going to have for dinner.

So, when you see a billboard, you might as well take a look.

But people usually visit websites in order to find information, instructions, guides, statistics, etc. They have a clear goal and don’t want any distractions. With time, we all got used to banners and ads, so now our minds simply ignore these elements like a background noise.

Therefore, if you compare traditional marketing vs digital marketing, catching users’ attention is much more difficult in digital. On the other hand, thanks to much larger audiences, even low click-through rates can result in lots of sales.

5. Users can respond

A person who didn’t like a TV commercial usually has to bear with it. When you see an annoying ad in a magazine, you usually keep it so yourself. But on the internet, there are many ways to express your opinion.

For example, in social media marketing and content marketing, potential buyers can and do write comments right away after “consuming” the materials.

The internet provides marketers with a 2-way communication channel, but it’s also a double-edged sword. I’m not saying customers never complain offline. It’s just that the internet provides easier tools to complain. And everyone including other users can see the complaints unless you learn how to deal with angry customers.

Despite all these challenges, digital marketing has a number of important advantages over traditional advertising methods which makes even offline companies implement it in their promotion strategies.

What are the benefits of digital marketing?

  • Perfect for online businesses

Digital marketing is a reasonable and logical way to target customers of ecommerce businesses. Even though you don’t have to limit yourself to these methods only (check this awesome dropshipping success story as a reference), you’d obviously use internet to drive users to an online store 🙂

  • More time-saving in comparison to traditional marketing

To arrange your ad placement in a posh beauty magazine or on a popular TV channel, you need to start planning months prior to your campaign, and spend weeks on the promo materials production. At the same time, a high-quality digital banner can be made in 2-3 working days while a catchy video ad for Facebook and Instagram can be created within just 5-10 working days. The difference is obvious, and the best part is, you don’t even have to buy ad space in advance!

  • Larger audience

Traditional marketing efforts can be aimed at a local audience only. For instance, only locals can see a billboard. Of course certain types of marketing methods can affect much more people at once – for example, TV commercials during international sports events.

Digital ads, however, are available to all people on the planet as long as they understand the language. That’s why, for example, launching and promoting an international dropshipping business is perfectly manageable – and even quite easy.

  • Lower costs

Another advantage of digital marketing is its relatively low costs and your flexibility in planning them. Check out this in-depth article on planning your marketing budget to see our point!

  • Trackable results

Finally, it is easier to measure the results of your efforts compared to traditional marketing methods. In SMM and email marketing, PPC and other digital methods, one can see results almost immediately while in traditional marketing, it takes days and weeks.

When comparing traditional marketing vs digital marketing, you must remember that you don’t have to choose between the two. Many companies combine these approaches to achieve maximum results. And even if you are a newcomer to digital marketing and have little experience, you can always count on our professional assistance

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This Is How You Can Profit From A PPE Facebook Campaign

AliDropship team uses page post engagement ads in promoting our self-owned dropshipping stores. It could seem strange since such campaigns usually don’t lead to purchases. In this article, I’ll explain the purpose of using PPE Facebook campaigns.

In one of our previous articles, we described how to search and test Facebook interests. You might have noticed that our first step was creating and running a PPE campaign. However, such campaigns usually result in no sales, so you may wonder why create something that brings no profit.

Actually there’s a number of reasons why AliDropship team uses PPE ads on Facebook in their strategy. But before that, let’s find out what this is all about.

What is a PPE Facebook campaign?

PPE stands for Page Post Engagement. It’s a type of Facebook advertising campaigns aimed at stimulating the engagement rate of a given post as opposed to other typical objectives such as funneling traffic to a website or increasing the conversion rate, etc. The purpose of Page Post Engagement campaigns is to stimulate interactions with a given post such as likes, views, comments, shares and clicks.

By launching a PPE Facebook campaign, a business account owner makes a post popular in social media terms, so to speak. It’s not just about showing the post to more users but also about stimulating activity around it.

How we create PPE Facebook campaigns

Before going to Facebook business account, our team creates materials for future posts. As practice shows, video ads work best, but picture and photo posts can do well too. The team creates not just one but many videos (about 30 seconds long) with different content.

After that, we publish the videos on the Facebook page of a given dropshipping store. Such posts differ from each other: they have different content, or different video thumbnails, or different call to action buttons, or ad texts. The point is we’re not going to use all of them, but I’ll get to it later.

Now, the team launches a Page Post Engagement campaign by choosing to promote existing posts (the videos we published before). This part is important: you don’t want to boost new posts each time you launch a campaign.

We create one ad set per one video post and set the daily budget to $5-15. As a rule, the more you spend the faster you get the results. Depending on how the ad sets perform, the budget can be raised or lowered or you can completely shut down an ad set if it brings no results.

As the campaign keeps running, it generates engagement actions (likes, shares, view, etc.). But as a rule, it doesn’t convert users into buyers (with rare exception). Now it’s time to talk about why we always use Page Post Engagement campaigns.

Why you should use PPE campaigns

1. To test products and creatives

Launching a PPE Facebook campaign which boosts several posts at once allows you to test them. That’s why you want to make more than one creatives with different elements. After a while, you will see how they perform or even will be able to tell what exactly is wrong with them.

For example, this ad set on the screenshot was shut off because its CPC was much higher than that of the other sets and its average play time was only seven seconds. This ad cost us too much and wasn’t really interesting to users, so the team decided it wasn’t worth keeping it active.

After the first few days of testing, you can pick the most efficient ads which you will use in other campaigns aimed at converting users into buyers.

Moreover, based on how a PPE ad on Facebook performs, one can tell whether there’s demand for a given product.

The thing is, Facebook tries to show PPE ads to its most active users, people who statistically like, comment and share more often than others. So, if even such people show no interest in a post, it means you shouldn’t expect much interest from potential buyers.

But if a PPE campaign generates a couple of sales (which is extremely rare), you can be pretty sure the product has potential.

Of course, one can test a product by trying to sell it from the very beginning. But the cost of conversion of campaigns aimed at broad and untested audiences can be really high. So, if the experiment fails, it’ll cost you much more than a failed Page Post Engagement campaign.

2. To collect data for other campaigns

Beside testing products and promotion materials, PPE campaigns are also used to find the most interested Facebook target audiences by using the demographic data collected during the tests.

Moreover, after we launch a conversion campaign, we do not stop the PPE campaign – at least the most successful ad sets. We simply lower the daily budgets to $5 but never turn it off. Instead, the campaign keeps running and collecting even more data which we can use to adjust our targeting settings.

There are two more reasons to keep PPE campaigns running.

3. To increase users’ trust

As I already mentioned, PPE ads on Facebook generate engagement. As a result, the posts get hundreds and thousands of views, comments, shares and likes.

Later, when we use the same posts in conversion campaigns, potential customers see video ads with a high level of engagement. The more likes a post has the more the chances that people will take a look.

Compare these two posts. Which one would you click on?

4. To make conversion campaigns cheaper

Have you ever thought why certain ads on Facebook cost less than others to advertisers? Facebook’s algorithms don’t just show ads to people for money. The system handles them as pieces of content. If people don’t like them (don’t interact with them), Facebook shows them to less people. And when it does, it asks for more money, so to speak.

But if the audience enjoys the content, Facebook tends to show it to more users, the ad posts tend to win bids more often and the cost of promotion goes down.

Moreover, the more people interact with a post the more data Facebook collects, which allows it to target better. As a result, it promotes a post with a high level of engagement more efficiently than a completely new ad with zero interactions.

The benefits of PPE Facebook campaigns: conclusion

PPE campaigns are great for getting started with a new product. It may seem like a waste of money, but it’s not. By spending a couple of bucks, you can test the product and promotion materials. Without this phase, you risk wasting much more money on campaigns that failed.

Besides, by keeping PPE ads running, you make conversion campaigns more efficient and even cheaper.

All this testing allows AliDropship’s team to select the best possible products, marketing materials and audiences. The products then go to the catalogs of our Premium Stores – exact copies of our most successful self-owned websites. As for video ads and banners, you can have them too by purchasing marketing packages along with one of the Premium Stores.

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