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Growth hacks, online marketing strategies, customer acquisition tactics, call them whatever you want. If you’re running a business that depends on digital channels for growth or will in 2015 – then this post is for you.

Our team has implemented, or is in the process of implenting these strategies with some of our clients to stay ahead of the game to send highly targeted traffic & leads into their funnels, grow their user bases, and ultimately drive conversions.

YouTube Ads

Instream (pre-roll) ads are quickly becoming a topic of conversation among many online marketers who have seen a lot of success over the past year or two with Facebook ads.

Now that Facebook ads are becoming more competitive in a number of niches, performance marketers are looking for new channels to expand on for lower cost, targeted traffic.


Traditionally, these ads are used as a top of the funnel unit to drive traffic to a landing page and some of the results in terms of Cost Per Lead can be outstanding depending on the target market (yes the traffic converts).

You can target viewers based on interests, keywords (extract tags from popular videos in your market using VidIQ), and remarket to website visitors using your Google remarketing lists.

Opportunity: There is a unique opportunity to use Preroll ads to move prospects through different stages of your sales funnel. For example, let’s say a prospective customer signed up for a free trial – perhaps you can get creative and target them with a personal video talking about how their trial is about to expire and why they should upgrade.

Think about customizing your videos based on the unique needs of each segment. You could implement a strategy like this using your remarketing lists so that each segment is reached with a video next time they open YouTube. Imagine reaching buyers on the cusp with rich, intereactive advertising units in addition to your other efforts to close the sale.

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

Jon Loomer recently did an extremely interesting case study where he used Facebook Ads to deliver customized content to Screenshot 2015-01-30 17.25.52different segments of website visitors. He used the Facebook Website Custom Audiences feature to tag visitors who clicked on his ad…if they clicked and visited a specific page, they would then receive the next piece of content, which would be advertised in the same fashion.

We’ve tested Website Custom Audiences vs. Facebook retargeting with 3rd party providers and when it comes to mobile install costs, ease of use, and speed of implementation, WCA vastly outperforms other options.

There’s also a nifty feature that allows you to create Lookalike audiences based on your WCA segments – you can create new audiences similar to visitors of your blog, thank you/confirmation page, etc.

Opportunity: Use WCA as highlighted above in the YouTube idea. Drive traffic to strategic content pieces and follow up with an ad that includes a short video – “Hey I saw that you visited this article recently, [insert call to action here].” Another tactic is to build trust in a niche market by promoting strategic blog posts to your audience, tagging the visitors with the pixel, then remarketing an optin/squeeze page/landing page to them in order to bring them into your funnel. Combine that with the video follow up and you have an interesting combination.

Doubling Down On Great Content

It’s more important than ever to focus on creating extremely valuable content for your prospective customers. With all of the remarketing and native ad opportunities, high quality content has the opportunity to get in front of not just more eyeballs, but the right ones, than ever before. Networks like Taboola will continue to grow in scale and targeting abilities so that businesses can use these platforms to skyrocket their remarketing & email lists.

taboola example

Focusing on building these remarketing lists is an interesting shift as the capabilities across networks to reach website visitors at different stages in a funnel continues to grow.

We’re seeing some 3rd party remarketing platforms allow some private clients into traffic exchanges with very large sites in their respective markets where you have the ability to reach pixeled visitors.

I don’t necessarily see this happening, but it would be interesting to have the ability to target these visitors based on a “visitor score” (number of times they’ve viewed certain types of content or if they’ve hit checkout pages).

Opportunity: Develop high quality content pieces that have great calls to action. Try promoting them across networks like Taboola and make sure you’re building your remarketing lists in the process.

Mobile Installs & Mobile Conversion

In Q4 Facebook showed insane mobile numbers to the tune of $2.5 billion. This is only going to continue to grow and the App Install Ad which has been a key driver of this growth will surely continue to evolve. Companies like YieldMo are allowing advertisers to reach potential users with install ads on publisher sites much like Taboola does on the web, and I’m sure we’ll see ad dollars shifting to other networks – however, there’s no match for the targeting ability of Facebook…yet. I’m looking to YouTube and the Google Display network as possible alternatives, and of course watching for these types of ad units on emerging networks (messaging apps).

Twitter is showing better conversion from install to paid user in our experience, even though the install cost is higher. So, if mobile downloadsyour product is targeting, for example, technology early adopters – Twitter may have higher quality users. Twitter targeting is also unique in the fact that you can often get much more granular in some cases than Facebook’s psychographic targeting. All Twitter handles match in their ad system, whereas in some cases you can’t target certain pages with Facebook.

With regards to conversion, if you have a large user base, you should be running tests with mobile engagement ads (Facebook & Twitter) to drive users back into your app to drive actions. The issue here for most is scale, you need a relatively large audience size of users who have, for example, installed in the last 30 days, but not converted on a purchase for these ads to drive impactful bottom line results.

Opportunity: Let’s start thinking of engagement ads and conversion like inbound marketers. Waze has used push notifications to drive me to strategic content pieces within the app. This tactic made it feel like I wasn’t being shouted at to use their product. I want to see more content in mobile commerce to increase user activity and have CTA’s placed throughout to nudge users into action. This will give marketers “permission” to use email and push more often and reduce user churn. Stay tuned on this front as we’re actively exploring opportunities to create productized solutions to help mobile marketers on this front.

Where do we go from here?

As marketers it’s our responsibility to make sure we’re testing all of the opportunities for growth. You should see the above as an expensive list of experiments that we’ve launched in house. If you’re a business growing your ecommerce, mobile, or lead generation channels pay close attention in 2015 as it’s going to be an interesting year. And of course, if you need help executing your online marketing email me at any time – james@crushcampaigns.comm


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Founder of CrushCampaigns

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Want to acquire more customers? Learn how our products and services can improve your lead generation, mobile, or e-commerce growth today.

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