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  • 7 Last Minute Holiday Marketing Tips for Online Shop Owners

    Friday, November 17, 2017 by

    holiday marketing tips for ecommerceIt's Not Too Late! Prep Your E-Commerce Site for the Holidays With These 7 Marketing Tips

    For online shop owners, this is the most important time of year. People spend a lot during November and December – over $650 billion last year, and that number’s expected to go up this year. As people look for gifts for loved ones and products to help them celebrate with their families, you want your products to be top of mind. To make the most of the biggest buying season of the year, it’s important to step up your marketing efforts. Over a third of consumers start their shopping before Thanksgiving, which means if you haven’t already developed and started implementing a holiday marketing strategy, you’re already behind. However, you still have time! There’s a lot you can do to raise awareness of your brand and increase sales this holiday season though. Here are a few last minute marketing ideas to help you reach more people this year and increase your holiday profits. HostGator Dedicated Server Hosting

    1. Offer generous promotions to your list.

    The easiest place to start is by contacting the customers and followers you already have. The people that have already shown an interest in your brand are those most likely to buy from you during the holidays, as long as they remember to consider you as an option. Send out emails now promoting the products you sell that make the best gifts. You can sweeten the deal and make your subscribers feel special by rewarding them with an exclusive deal only available to your list. A reminder to think about your products when picking out their gifts combined with a generous incentive can encourage them to make the move to buy.  

    2. Create a holiday gift guide.

    For a lot of people, buying gifts is stressful. It’s not easy to guess what your 14-year old niece likes or what your 85-year old granddad might appreciate. Businesses can help by identifying the products in your inventory that would make good gifts for different types of people. Create a holiday gift guide (or a few for different personas) that highlight the products you sell that make good gifts and who is most likely to like them. You’ll be providing value to your customers at the same time that you highlight your products for them to buy. ecommerce holiday gift guide

    3. Restructure your site for easy navigation by gift categories.

    Temporarily redesign your website for gift givers. Think about the categories that would be useful for them – things like all gift items under $10, or options to browse by age categories. It’s reasonable to expect that a decent portion of your traffic in November and December will be from people looking for gifts, so make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for and make the decision to purchase items from you. organize website by gift category

    4. Make use of PPC to reach a broader audience.

    Ideally, you don’t just want to reach the people that already know about your business, you also want to find new customers interested in your products. Use pay-per-click advertising to promote your holiday offers and draw attention to the items you sell that people are most likely to consider for gifts. Many people looking for ideas will go straight to search engines, you can make sure your products are one of the first things they see. ecommerce ppc holiday ads

    5. Use retargeting to recapture researchers.

    Over two-thirds of consumers say they spend time researching products before they make the decision to buy – that’s even for products under $50. The percentage actually goes up to 85% of people for any products over $50. That means you may have people visiting your website, browsing your products, and then moving on without making a decision to buy right then – but not making an immediate decision doesn’t mean they’re not still interested. To help make sure those people don’t forget about the products they saw on your website, use retargeting technology to remind them about the products they viewed as they browse the web, and use personalization technology to provide a customized experience based on their past behavior when they do come back to your site.  

    6. Promote free, fast shipping.

    Shipping is one of the biggest pain points of online shopping and during the holiday season, concerns about gifts arriving on time makes it an even bigger one. While offering free shipping does cost you money, studies regularly show that the majority of people are more likely to spend money with a brand because of a free shipping offer (free returns are another big incentive). And a promise of free or affordable fast shipping will convince late shoppers who would otherwise worry they have to make their purchases in-store to get them in time to go ahead and buy from you. One way you can make the costs of free shipping more worth it for your customers is to offer it after they reach a certain spending threshold – so for instance, only those who spend over $30 get free shipping and it takes $50 to get the free 2-day shipping. That encourages bigger order sizes, which makes taking on the extra shipping costs less of a drain on your profits.  

    7. Extend your promotions past the end of the year.

    Most businesses put a lot of effort into their marketing leading up to the end of the year and then kind of drop it after that. But the days after the holidays are also prime shopping time as well. 65% of people say they’ll be doing holiday shopping into January.  When you think about it, it makes sense. People receive money and gift cards they’re ready to spend, or receive items they decide to exchange. Keep up your marketing and promotions into January so you can reach those people ready to keep spending, and do so at a time that’s less competitive than November and December. Your sales at the beginning of the new year may be able to make up for that late start you got.  

    Conclusion

    This is a stressful time of year for a lot of people. Scrambling to fit in various events, deal with holiday travel, and do all the holiday shopping on time can make people feel frazzled. Anything you can do to make things easier on them and help them find the gifts they need (and get them in time) can earn you both sales and loyalty.
  • 20 Holiday Content Ideas for Your Website

    Friday, November 17, 2017 by

    holiday content ideas20 Holiday Content Ideas for Web Marketers

    If you haven’t heard any holiday music yet, expect a Christmas song to come wafting your way any moment now. The holiday season is officially upon us. While the holiday season means presents, meals, and festive decorations for most, for marketers it also means getting into gear for the biggest buying season of the year. A lot of that work will fall to more direct advertising channels like PPC and traditional advertising, but content marketers can put their holiday spirit to use by creating content around topics people are interested in and thinking about this time of year. Here are twenty ways to bring the holidays into your content marketing efforts this year (and hopefully drive some new sales for your business). HostGator Dedicated Server Hosting

    1. Holiday Gift Guide

    One of the best places to start is with a content type that perfectly combines the content marketing goal of providing value to your audience while also highlighting your products at the same time. One of the biggest concerns many people have at this time of year is trying to figure out what gifts to buy for their loved ones. A gift guide supplies them with ideas. Consider creating several gift guides for different audiences. You could make one for grandma, another for dad, one of office friends, etc. You could even get cute with it like Modcloth does with categories like the Animal Lover and the Snuggle Bug. holiday content guide

    2. A Roundup of Good Causes

    In addition to spending money on gifts, people are often in a more giving spirit this time of year when it comes to good causes. You can help them by highlighting some good nonprofits to consider for their charitable donations this year. If possible, find a way to tie this back to your company or brand. If you run a local business, you could make a list of local causes and charities to include. If you run a pet store, you could focus on animal welfare charities. If there’s not a clear charitable cause related to your business, then think about the values you have as a business and start there. To make the post even more meaningful, consider offering to match donations your readers give to the charities highlighted or provide a portion of the profits for purchases they make to the charity of their choice. holiday content charitable causes

    3. Content About Your Own Company’s Giving

    People are in the spirit of giving this season, but in addition to their own contributions to worthy causes, they’re also more likely to appreciate knowing that a business they support is working to do good as well. This is a good opportunity to share the ways your company gives back to the community and those in need – which you already do, right? If not, this is a good time of year to get in the giving spirit yourself and look for ways to start doing so. holiday blog content about your company giving back

    4. Festive Photos

    Holidays often provide an excuse to decorate or dress up. You can add some character to your blog and show the humans behind your brand by sharing images of your staff and their pets in holiday garb and your office decked out for the holidays. You can share your festive photos on social media and even call for submissions from your customers to share their own cute or fun holiday-themed photos. holiday content photos

    5. Holiday Healthy Eating Tips

    One of the best things about the holidays is all that delicious food. One of the worst things about the holidays is all that (unhealthy) delicious food. In addition to gift buying and charitable giving, something many people will have on their minds this time of year is how to navigate being around loads of delicious foods while staying healthy. Content that addresses this tricky issue can be helpful for your readers. This is an especially good topic to explore if your business is in an industry related to health. new years content

    6. Holiday Party Tips

    Your readers will probably be going to (and hosting) more parties in November and December than any other time of year. This is another topic you can address that you know they’ll be thinking about. Your content can cover how to dress for holiday parties, office party etiquette, what’s appropriate to bring, or how to be a good host – pretty much anything that might help those holiday parties be more of a success. holiday fashion content

    7. Holiday Safety Tips

    The holidays can feel like all fun and games, but you also have to worry about staying safe during the busiest travel times of the year, dealing with huge (sometimes stampeding) crowds at stores, and extreme cold temperatures in some places. There are some real safety risks for people to be aware of and prepared for this time of year. Another topic that’s therefore likely to useful to your readers is ways to stay safe during the holiday season. Think about some of the challenges and safety risks the people in your audience will be dealing with and work up content with tips on how to stay safe. holiday safety content

    8. Holiday Travel Tips

    Safety is just one issue of many to be concerned with when traveling in November and December. There’s a whole host of travel-related issues people could use help with from how to pack (especially if you’re transporting lots of gifts across the country), how to find the best flight deals, or how to avoid routes with the worst traffic. Brainstorm issues that your audience is likely to face when traveling for the holidays and work up some content to help them proactively solve likely problems. holiday travel content ideas

    9. Holiday Saving Tips

    For all the fun of the presents, parties, and food that come with the holidays – they’re not easy on the pocketbook. Between gifts for everyone you know, big meals, and expensive travel, a lot of people in your audience are probably struggling to figure out how to have a fun, fulfilling holiday season without ending up broke at the end of it all. That makes holiday spending and saving best practices another useful area for your content to cover. holiday spending content ideas

    10. Recipe Posts

    Whether they’re hosting parties, attending potlucks, or simply cooking with the family, chances are your customers will be making some food and drinks over the next couple of months. Help them try out something new by providing creative, festive recipes. If you sell something consumable that people can use in a recipe, all the better. holiday recipe content ideas

    11. Review Posts

    People will be considering a lot of purchases over the next couple of months and will struggle with knowing which items are good buys worth the money. You can help by writing review posts of products that people in your industry are likely to be interested in. An honest review that provides information someone interested in the product would need to know can help them make a more informed decision before buying and earn you trust (and traffic). holiday review content ideas

    12. Holiday Promotion Emails

    A lot of the ideas up until now have been focused on providing value to the reader, which is obviously a big part of content marketing. But of course, at some point you should be a little more direct in pushing for a sale. Emails to your list are a good place to do that. Let them know about the promotions and deals you’re offering to try to drive them back to the site to buy. holiday promotional email ideas

    13. Customer Thanks Emails

    Your customers are the people who keep your business running year by year. This is a good time of year to show your gratitude (especially if you do it right around Thanksgiving). Email your customers to let them know how much they mean to you, and consider throwing a special promotion into the email just for them. holiday email ideas

    14. Holiday Advent Calendar

    Advent calendars are a fun holiday tradition because they dangle the promise of a new surprise every day. You can adapt the fun of advent calendars to marketing by creating a digital advent calendar that provides your users with a new promotion or message each day leading up to Christmas. There are even templates and Wordpress plug-ins to help you with the technical side of creating an advent calendar. advent calendar for websites

    15. End-of-Year Trends Posts

    Yes, they’re a familiar content staple. But they’re popular for a reason. As the end of the year approaches, consider the main trends in your space from the past year and what you expect to be a big deal in the coming year, and work up a post letting your readers know what to expect. holiday trends content ideas

    16. End-of-Year Bests Posts

    If you’ve been doing content marketing at least since the beginning of last year, then you’ve built up a lot of good content this year. Go back and identify your best pieces and put them into roundup posts that help your visitors revisit the best you have to offer. If you’ve been following other great content in your industry closely this year, then go ahead and work up posts highlighting the best of that content, too. Spreading a little love to other relevant blogs and companies may earn you some shares and links from them, and provide your audience with useful information at the same time. end of year blog post ideas

    17. Get Creative with Rewards

    The holidays are about giving, so think about ways you can give back to your customers that are creative and enticing. That could mean offering a special physical holiday gift for referrals instead of your usual $20 off, or adding on a mystery item to orders over a certain amount. Cards Against Humanity rewards their holiday customers with 12 days of surprise gifts that have included such bizarre rewards as a lump of coal or part of a private island. You don’t have to go that far into the unexpected, but getting creative can inspire similar interest and delight in your customers and keep them talking about your brand. holiday rewards content ideas

    18. Create a Holiday Quiz

    Quizzes are great because they’re interactive and fun, and they help both you and the person taking them learn something new. Think about something relevant to the holiday you can focus your quiz on, like “What Type of Gift Giver Are You?” or a roundup of interesting holiday trivia. If you can find a way to tie it back into your brand, then do, but it can also be worth doing just as something fun to offer your audience that gets them interacting with your brand. holiday quiz ideas

    19. Create a Game

    Games are another fun way to get your audience to engage with your brand.  Creating a holiday game will involve some real work, but if it attracts new customers to your website or gets people talking about your brand, it can pay off. The shoe company Bobbies created a branded game for Christmas that was played over 400,000 times by users that happily shared their information with the company. If you make brand interaction fun, people will have no reason not to partake. holiday game ideas for websites

    20. New Year’s Resolutions Posts

    The last of the big holidays of the season is the one that heralds in the beginning of the New Year, and we all know what that means: resolutions. People tend toward a few main themes when making New Year’s resolutions – getting healthier and getting finances in order are big ones. Think about ways your products can make your customers happier, healthier or more responsible and use those ideas to help inspire you in writing up a post about making and keeping New Year’s Resolutions. new years post ideas

    Conclusion

    As with any other time of year, the key to creating great content during the holiday season is to think about your customer first. If you can tap into what they’re concerned about, excited about, or just generally thinking about, then you can create content that speaks to what they care about. Where possible, tie it back into your brand and products and include relevant CTAs, but don’t try to force it. Sometimes an opportunity to interact and build on your relationship with them is enough.
  • 5 Tips to Make Your Website More Mobile Friendly

    Thursday, November 16, 2017 by

    tips to make your website mobile friendlyHow to Make Your Website More Mobile Friendly (And Why You Should)

    Are you seeing a decline in organic website traffic? Are you still using the same old website design that you used when first starting your website? It may be hard to believe, but your bad website design may be the main reason why you’re losing website traffic. As you may know, Google recently changed its search algorithm to give a ranking boost for mobile-friendly websites and also punish other desktop-only websites. If your website is not properly optimized to meet Google’s mobile-friendly standards, you're putting your entire business at risk. It’s time you make some changes to improve your website. You can start by optimizing your website for mobile devices. Here’s why. HostGator Website Builder

    Mobile Is The Future

    You’re probably getting a decent amount of traffic for your website. You’re generating good sales. And everything seems to be working fine. So you might wonder: Why change your website design when nothing seems to be wrong? Well, maybe you haven’t noticed yet is that mobile devices are slowly taking over the world. In fact, mobile devices are already in the lead for most internet usage after surpassing desktop devices. why make website mobile friendly In a few more years, everyone will be using smartphones and tablets to browse the web. It will probably be too late to save your business by then. So, take action now to make your website future-proof.  

    Beat Your Competition

    Reports show that 62% of companies with a mobile-first website design see an increase in sales over companies with desktop-only websites. It’s not surprising, then, that 52% of users claim they are less likely to engage with a website with a bad mobile user experience. By making your website mobile-friendly, you're better equipped to beat your competition and rank higher on Google Search. Show the world why your business is more innovative than the competition and also increase your sales in the process.  

    Rank Higher On Google

    As we’ve mentioned earlier, Google now gives a ranking boost for mobile-friendly websites. That means whenever a user searches for something on Google, the search engine will show mobile-friendly websites above other websites. Google rolled out this update to its search algorithm in May 2016. So, if you’ve noticed a drop in organic website traffic since then, this could be the reason why. Optimize your website with a responsive design and you’ll be able to recover the traffic that you’ve lost and even gain better ranking on Google.  

    Tips for Making Your Website More Mobile-Friendly

    Before we get started on optimizing the website, you need to figure out how much your website needs to be improved. Use the Google Mobile Friendly Test tool to test your website and see which parts of your website needs to be fixed. The tool will also offer suggestions on how to improve your site for mobile devices as well. You can also use your Google Analytics data to learn what type of mobile devices your website visitors mostly use. Then you can better optimize your website for certain device screens based on that data. check google analytics for traffic decrease

    1. Optimize For Touch Screens

    One of the biggest differences between mobile and desktop devices is their interaction methods. On mobile devices, people are used to zooming in with fingertips and swiping across to view more. Making your website design responsive is not enough to offer a great user experience to mobile users. You have to optimize your website for touch screens as well. This includes adding touchscreen navigation to the website. For example, you can make sure the slideshows on your website can be swiped across with fingertips. Make forms, such as your email opt-in forms, easier to fill by reducing the number of fields in a form.

    2. Compress HTML, CSS, and Images

    Making your website load faster is another important part of optimizing a website for mobile devices. You must make sure that your website loads fast enough to keep visitors from getting frustrated, especially on mobile devices. Compress your high-resolution images to ensure your blog posts don’t consume too much data on mobile devices. Also, compress and minify your website’s HTML and CSS to give a speed boost. Installing a good caching plugin will help you with that.

    3. Choose The Right Font Sizes

    Even some of the most popular blogs are still using tiny font sizes that makes our eyes hurt when reading. Your visitors shouldn’t have to zoom in on your blog posts just to read its content. This completely ruins the user experience. increase font size for mobile users You can actually fix this problem by configuring a viewport to make sure your fonts are rendered to correct sizes on different device screens. It’s a simple process, but you’ll need some CSS skills to get it done.

    4. Switch To A Better Theme

    Of course, since you’re using WordPress, the easiest method to make your website mobile friendly is to upgrade to a better theme. Simply buy a modern WordPress theme that comes with a mobile-friendly design and replace your old theme with the new one. It’s as simple as that. Or, you could use a plugin to optimize your website for mobile devices. However, this method is not recommended and it will make your website load slightly slower. Only use it as a temporary fix until you find a permanent solution.

    5. Implement AMP

    AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is an open-source project developed to offer a smooth web browsing experience to mobile users. When implemented, AMP creates optimized versions of your blog posts that can be viewed on mobile devices in split seconds. It makes your website load so fast that browsing an AMP-powered website feels like using a native app on your phone. Google also ranks AMP-powered websites higher on its mobile search results. You can easily implement AMP on your website using a free WordPress plugin. amp for wordpress mobile website

    Over To You

    Keep testing your website until you perfect the design for mobile devices. Use a tool like BrowserStack to get that job done. What advice do you have for making a website more mobile-friendly? Please share in the comments!
  • 5 Anti Spam WordPress Plugins to Clean Up Your Comments Section

    Wednesday, November 15, 2017 by

    best wordpress antispam plugins

    Best WordPress Plugins for Anti Spam

    You’ve finally done it, your site is gaining traction, and you’re getting more traffic than ever before. However, once your site starts to pick up your traffic, you might also notice the rise of something else, too: spam comments. If you run a WordPress blog or website and have comments enabled, then you’re probably well aware of the spam comments that fill your inbox. These can be a nuisance to sort through and delete yourself, but you don’t want to stop moderating comments and have spam comments fill up your site. Luckily, if you’re using WordPress, then there’s a way around this. There are dozens of anti-spam plugins you can use to help ward off those pesky spam comments. Below we profile 5 of the top anti-spam plugins you can use on your WordPress site. Recommended WordPress Hosting

    1. Akismet

    Akismet Akismet is one of the most popular and longest running WordPress anti spam plugins. Automattic, the team behind WordPress, developed this plugin. If you’ve done a default installation of WordPress, then this plugin comes atomically installed. However, to use this plugin you’ll need an API key, which is free and easy to setup. However, if you run a large commercial website, and need to moderate over 50,0000 comments per month, you'll want to upgrade to a paid plan. Whenever a new comment is submitted to your site, Akismet runs through their cloud-based algorithm, and filters out any spam comments.  

    2. Antispam Bee

    Antispam Bee Antispam Bee is a simple and free spam protection plugin. It doesn’t require you to register or setup an account, just install the plugin and you’ll be set. To filter out spam this plugin compares spam requests to an existing spam database, uses IP address checks, and Gravatar validating. Plus, this plugin will show the statistical data of spam requests blocked and filtered. There’s also a feature that will delete any stored spam every couple of days, so it won’t slow down your site. If you’re looking for a simple spam solution, then this plugin is worth trying out.  

    3. WP-SpamShield

    WP-SpamShield WP-SpamShield is a very effective way to automate spam protection. It offers two levels of protection to help protect your site from spam. The first layer of protection works to block most automated spam tools, while the second layer uses an algorithm to filter out any spam requests that have made it past the first layer of protection. You’ll also be able to protect your site against spam via comments and contact form spam. The plugin even integrates with other commonly used plugins like Gravity Forms, WooCommerce, and Contact Form 7. If you’ve been struggling with a ton of bot-created spam, this this is a great tool to use.  

    4. AntiSpam by Cleantalk

    AntiSpam by Cleantalk AntiSpam by Cleantalk operates in a similar manner to Akismet, using a cloud-based system to evaluate spam comments. However, you can also create blacklists that will block requests from certain locations, IP addresses, emails and more. With this plugin, you’ll be able to monitor spam comments and registrations across your comments, contact forms, registration pages, checkout pages, and much more. Basically, you’ll be protected across any area a spam comment might occur. This plugin is currently offering a free trial, along with an $8 per year commitment.  

    5. WordPress Zero Spam

    WordPress Zero Spam WordPress Zero Spam is an anti spam plugin that’s very easy to setup. There’s no need for any APIs or a complex setup process. It’s not quite as feature heavy as the other anti spam plugins on this list, but it’s free, quick to setup, and will get the job done. This plugin helps block spam comments and spam account registration. Plus, it also integrates with Contact Form 7, BuddyPress, Gravity Forms, and Ninja Forms, so your site will be spam free regardless of which contact form plugin you’re using. If you’re having issues with spam comments on your existing WordPress site, or you want to protect yourself before it becomes an issue, then consider using one of the plugins above.   Any plugins you’ve been using that we didn’t include in the list above? Share your favorites in the comments below.
  • Getting Started with Snapchat Advertising: A Guide for Businesses

    Wednesday, November 15, 2017 by
    snapchat advertising

    Snapchat Advertising Guide

    For some of you reading, the mass appeal of Snapchat might still be baffling. Who knew one of the things social media users were missing was the ability to make the social experience even more temporary and fleeting? Well, the founders of Snapchat knew and they’re banking on just how right they were in that realization. With a growing list of social media channels that advertisers feel pressured to be on, Snapchat may not top the list for you, but it’s well worth considering as an addition to your advertising efforts. Create Your Blog

    Why Businesses Should Be Advertising on Snapchat

    To start, the most obvious reason to consider advertising on Snapchat is that its user base is sizeable. The app has 173 million daily users. While that’s considerably less than Facebook’s 1.32 billion daily users, it’s more than Twitter’s estimated 157 million. That makes it a bigger player than it often gets credit for being in conversations about social media marketing. As you could probably guess, most of those users are young. 71% of Snapchat users are under 34. If you’re selling hearing aids, you may be better served in other channels. But if you’re selling anything that teens or millennials are likely to buy, Snapchat is worth paying attention to. Notably, a lot of those Snapchat users show real engagement. While a lot of advertising on the web is easy for people to scroll past or overlook, brands on Snapchat have shared getting impressive results in engagement. Taco Bell has said that 80% of their Snapchat followers open the snaps they share, and 90% of the people who open them watch them in their entirety. And viewers are much more likely to be listening as well as watching on Snapchat: 70% of the video ads on the platform play with the sound on, in comparison to the 85% on Facebook that play muted. That said, possibly in part because of the use of sound, many users don’t bother watching ads in their entirety on Snapchat, so that seeming benefit may come with a serious tradeoff. Advertising on Snapchat isn’t right for every business, but if the people using the app every day are in your target audience, then it’s probably worth it for you.  

    Your Snapchat Ad Options

    If you’re ready to consider paid advertising on Snapchat, your first step is figuring out the types of ads to use.

    1. Snap Ad Videos

    snap ad videosThe ad option Snapchat provides that comes closest to traditional ad formats you’re already familiar with is Snap Ad videos. These are videos you create that last up to 10 seconds and play in between other pieces of content users consume while using the Snapchat Stories part of the app. They include the option for users to swipe up to access additional content you provide, whether that’s a longer video, written content, your website or an app install. Snapchat claims the swipe-up rate on these ads is five times the click-through rate of ads on other social media platforms, so there’s a decent chance you can guide users to seek out more information on your brand. Typical Cost: While the cost for Snap Ads varies for different companies based on the particulars of their ads and campaigns, Snap Ad campaigns start at around $3,000 a month.  

    2. Sponsored Lenses

    snapchat ads sponsored lensesSponsored lenses are a fun and engaging way that brands can tailor their advertising to the platform’s strengths. Brands create lenses relevant to a product or event that people can apply to their own pictures in the app. Movie studios have used sponsored lenses to let people change their pictures so they look like characters in upcoming movies, Taco Bell once let people change their faces into tacos... it's easy to understand why people find them fun. You can see a number of successful examples of how brands have used this advertising option here. The very nature of sponsored lenses is interactive. Because they give people a fun way to center themselves in the ad campaign, they’re great for brand awareness. Snapchat’s data shows that they drive three times as much brand awareness as other types of mobile marketing campaigns and often have a positive influence on purchase intent. This is a big ad campaign though – it’s not something you can take on lightly. It’s expensive (see below) involves some serious design chops and creativity, and requires working directly with one of Snapchat’s API partners to pull it off. But, if you can afford Snapchat Lenses and they’re a good fit for your business and products, then they can get impressive results. Typical Cost: A lot. Although costs vary based on the particulars of your sponsored lenses campaign and the timing of when you launch them, expect them to cost a minimum of $450,000 per day.

    3. Geofilters

    HostGator Snapchat GeofilterGeofilters are like a much simpler and scaled down version of sponsored lenses. They’re a photo or video filter people can put on top of (or around) their own images in the app. Geofilter campaigns often have a local focus – instead of reaching the whole nation with them, you can focus just on a specific city or area. These are often useful for short-term events where it makes sense to target a specific place during a specific time frame. They still center the user in the experience (it’s their picture the filter gets added to), but they aren’t as interactive as sponsored lenses. For that reason, they’re easier to design and a much simpler ad product for companies to pursue. Typical Cost: Much cheaper than the other offerings. While the total cost of a campaign will depend on the length of time you launch it for and the size of the area you target, these can cost as little as $5. For smaller businesses and those with limited budgets, they’re the most realistic option for Snapchat advertising.

    4. Snapchat Discover Ads

    Snapchat’s Discover feature collects trending stories and event coverage into one tab on the app for users to browse. Brands can have their own snaps and stories included in the Discover section of the app for a fee. Usually, these ads go to media companies or especially big brands. This is another costly option that’s out of reach for many, but for those who use it, it provides an extensive reach and a lot of brand awareness. Typical cost: $50,000 a day  

    Other Ways to Reach Your Audience on Snapchat

    If your business has a limited marketing budget (as almost all do), getting to the pricing section on most of these types of Snapchat ads probably had you shaking your head in hopelessness. A lot of the Snapchat advertising options simply aren’t going to be within reach for many of the businesses hoping to reach people on the platform. Fortunately, advertising isn’t the only option for interacting with users on Snapchat.

    Use your own Snapchat profile.

    As with other social media channels, paid advertising isn’t the only way to play on Snapchat. You can set up a profile and start sharing snaps and stories with your followers. For a lot of brands, this will be the best way to get bang for your buck (your buck meaning mostly time, in this case) from Snapchat. You’ll need to promote your Snap profile and start getting followers for this to be worth your time. And you’ll need to be creative and fun – it’s not really a platform for serious how-to videos or in depth educational content. But the right approach can provide you with opportunities to interact directly with some members of your target audience and build up awareness of your brand.

    Use Snapchat for influencer marketing.

    A lot of people follow influencers on Snapchat, which makes it fruitful ground for practicing influencer marketing. Influencers with a strong following on the platform can help bump awareness of your brand and help you reach a new audience. Research influencers on the app that are relevant to your brand or product and reach out to them to propose a partnership. If they’ve worked with other brands before, they may already have good ideas about how to proceed with bringing awareness of your brand or products to their audience. If not, be prepared with some potential ideas (and a budget – they’ll expect payment).  

    Snapchat Targeting

    Snapchat offers over 300 “Predefined Audiences” that advertisers can use to better target their ads. While their targeting options aren’t as extensive as those of other social media platforms, you can still narrow the focus of your ads based on categories that include:
    •      Age
    •      Location
    •      Device type
    •      Household income
    •      Parental status
    •      What users typically care about
    •      What they buy
    •      What they watch
    •      Where they go
    You can also upload lead or customer lists to create custom audiences for your ads. If you do that, Snapchat also offers Lookalike targeting where they use the data they have on users in your upload to find other Snapchatters like them for you to target.  

    Snapchat Analytics

    One complaint some advertisers have had with Snapchat is that their analytics reporting is subpar in comparison to other ad platforms, but they’ve recently made changes to improve the reporting they provide. Advertisers now have access to data that shows them:
    •      Number of ad impressions
    •      Number of video views (that last over 2 seconds)
    •      How long people watch snaps/videos
    •      Average time spent watching your ads
    •      Your cost per thousand impressions
    •      Your cost per video view
    •      The number of conversions (swipe up or app installs)
    •      The conversion rate (ratio of conversions to impressions)
    •      The cost per conversion
    •      Demographics of the people that viewed and interacted with your ad
    They also work with third-party firms to provide information on harder-to-capture measurement categories like brand awareness, brand favorability, and intent, along with tracking which Snap interactions lead to sales outside of the app.  

    How to Get Started Advertising on Snapchat

    If this guide has convinced you that some form of Snapchat advertising is for you, you can get started here.  Start with the (relatively) easy ad options like Snap Ads and geofilters, and decide once you have a feel for the platform if moving up to some of the costlier options may be right for you. Snapchat may have seemed like a fad at first, but it’s taken its place among the most popular social media channels that are here to stay. If you want to reach young consumers in a way that makes engaging with your brand fun and interactive, it’s a platform you can’t miss.