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SaaStr Podcast 436: The State of the Cloud 2021 with Bessemer Venture Partners

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The Cloud is expanding and moving forward at a phenomenal rate, so we invited the team at Bessemer Venture Partners back to SaaStr to unveil their latest findings in the 2021 State of the Cloud. Here are the latest trends and predictions from the BVP team of Byron Deeter, Elliott Robinson, and Mary D’Onofrio.

Is Cloud growth sustainable for the long term?

A lot of elements within Cloud have accelerated in a way that will reflect across long-term tech trends. For example, telehealth has skyrocketed at a 300X increase given the cloud and COVID combination. At the same time, the construction industry is another example of this, in some ways, also the ultimate in-person physical industry, and yet these businesses as well are now moving to collaborate virtually on cloud technology stacks and be able to have efficient work product in the field and with global supply chains in this hybrid and heavily online collaborative world.

state of the cloud BVP

Then if we look at the top five public cloud companies. Shopify, since last year, has nearly tripled in market cap driven by the rise of e-commerce, but also the digital payments and the QR code system they provide for contactless payments. PayPal has continued to skyrocket, and then, of course, Zoom replacing ServiceNow in the top five from 2020, as Zoom meetings, Zoom backgrounds, and for all of us, even a little Zoom fatigue is becoming a necessary and important element of our every day.

Zoom’s market cap grew over 4X to reflect that. In aggregate, what you see now in total is $1 trillion of market cap across these top five companies, and they on average saw a 70% increase in their market cap over the last year since State of the Cloud 2020.


Now, combined with the COVID tailwinds and the ascendancy of the top five, that alone are now at a trillion, and with the addition of the other 56 companies, so 61 in total comprising the cloud index today, you have a shocking $2.2 trillion in market cap for the pure plays (not including proportional shares from the Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, or Alibaba businesses that are their cloud businesses.) Each of those, independently, are massive market cap drivers for their businesses as well. In some cases like Amazon, you can absolutely make the case that the cloud business is driving the majority of their market cap.

Hello Unicorns 

As of January 2021, there were over 527 private unicorns with a total cumulative value of over $1.9 trillion. In drilling down to the cloud companies on that list, we find the majority of them on the Cloud 100: the definitive ranking of the top 100 private cloud companies that Forbes and Bessemer put together every year. These companies are worth an impressive $267 billion, including Procore, Toast, HashiCorp, and Canva. They also address really wide-ranging industries from construction to restaurants, to designed infrastructure.

cloud unicorns 2021

The number of private unicorns has actually doubled in the past two years. We’re seeing more and more companies, particularly cloud companies with the ability to scale, and grow even more rapidly in the new normal. As we go forward, the real question is, what’s driving the growth in these unicorns?

  1. Cloud mutiples are going up
  2. Cloud companies are growing faster than ever
  3. There is more demand than supply for Cloud assets

First up is the incredible growth in cloud multiples. Interestingly, in 2020,  the top Cloud companies broke away from the path to trade for 30X, as a step function change in how the public cloud markets are valuing the strongest cloud companies, including Zoom, Twilio, and Shopify. In addition, with historic Cloud IPOs in 2020 and M&A success that cloud companies have had as of late, that has also accounted for much of why investors are willing to pay more than twice what they did five years ago for private cloud companies.

But we aren’t just seeing more unicorns because cloud companies are being given a higher multiple on the same ARR. Growth rates are increasing as well, which is noteworthy. The top quartile companies have increased their growth rates from 65% in 2017 to over 100% in 2019, and we’re able to maintain that growth rate in 2020, despite a lot of the headwinds that COVID presented.

Lastly, is the impact of having more demand than supply for Cloud assets. Over the past decade, there’s been a 10X increase in the number of dollars going into private cloud companies to over 180 billion in 2020, which reflects the growth of the companies, the performance that they’ve had, and the exits they’ve had, but the reality is that the massive influx of capital has driven cloud valuations higher. Demand has very much outpaced supply, making investors more willing to outbid one another to partner with the best-in-class companies.

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Nail it Before You Scale it 

If you want to succeed in the Cloud, don’t scale anything until you have measurable proof that it’s working, and follow this mantra: nail it before you scale it.

Over the past year, BVP looked at the companies performing extraordinarily well throughout COVID and into the new normal. They identified 3 go-to-market strategies that have really helped propel companies to defy gravity.

  1. Product-led Growth
  2. Usage-based pricing
  3. Cloud Marketplaces

First, on product-led growth strategies: we’ve seen companies like PagerDuty, Productboard, and Intercom do that really well. It’s really this idea of focusing your product right on your customer, getting in their shoes, and thinking about the user as your go-to-market motion. It’s not a new idea, but a renewed strategy in the new normal. Your success is not defined by going from 50 customers to 100— it’s about making sure that your interactions and product are focused on each individual customer to improve their ease of use and long-term retention.

Usage-based pricing models is a trend that we’ve seen more and more, but whereas five years ago, a lot of the traditional go-to-market motion focused on a SaaS license or annual enterprise sale, there’s a lot of new ways that Cloud companies are leveraging usage-based pricing to drive up net-dollar retention and gross retention. Companies that employ a usage-based pricing model have about a 10% higher public market valuation. What BVP also found is that usage-based company that achieve scale (100M+ ARR) can actually maintain their growth endurance much easier than those that have the traditional model.

Then lastly, something BVP has seen grow rapidly over the last year is the emergence surge and cloud marketplaces, which help B2B businesses find each other and transact in the cloud.

Cloud Predictions for 2022:

  1. Unbundling of the Office
  2. We’re bringing S-M-B back with SaaS
  3. Diversity, equity and inclusion software taking their rightful place
  4. Data and machine learning infrastructure accelerates to new heights
  5. The rise of the “citizen” developer and creator
  6. Fintech and crypto players are changing financial services forever
  7. The vertical SaaS wave becomes a tsunami

Published on March 19, 2021

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Source: https://www.saastr.com/saastr-podcast-436-the-state-of-the-cloud-2021-with-bessemer-venture-partners/

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What is Demand Generation?

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What is Demand Generation?

Marketing your business can feel like an uphill battle, but it all comes down to making your target audience care about what you’re selling.

What’s the best way to do that? Shifting their perspective so they understand not just what you do, but what problem you solve. Help them recognize they need what you offer to create a demand for your products or services.

This process is called demand generation.

If you do it well, demand generation can create awareness with your desired audiences, deliver more qualified leads to your sales team, and help link your marketing efforts to revenue.

Overview of Demand Generation

Demand generation is creating interest in your products or services to build a healthy pipeline of qualified leads for your sales team.

It’s a broad term covering all your marketing and sales initiatives at every stage of the sales funnel. When you can provide valuable information to the right audience at the right time, you can develop awareness and demand for what you sell.

The best demand generation strategies consider every step in the buyer’s journey, from the first time someone interacts with your company, to the moment they become a customer. Demand generation initiatives should align your marketing and sales teams to help grow your business.

Why is Demand Generation Important?

Demand generation is vital as it helps position you differently with potential customers. Rather than focusing on selling your solution, demand generation creates awareness of a need.

If you help audiences understand they have a need and how that need affects their businesses, they are more likely to be receptive to sales messaging that will come later.

If you want to grow your business, you’ll need to develop a robust pipeline of new customers. Demand generation places the focus on being attentive to their needs and creating awareness and interest before selling. If you can optimize every point of contact you have with your target audiences, you can increase the quality of the leads you’re bringing in through the funnel.

Demand generation also helps create interest and awareness so that you become a trusted source of information. It helps you create more thoughtful and cohesive marketing outreach to improve people’s experience when interacting with your company.

Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation

Demand generation and lead generation aren’t quite the same, so let’s look at each one to get an idea of where they overlap and where they differ.

They’re similar in that they share the ultimate goal of growing your business and increasing sales, and they both work to attract new customers to your business. However, the approach and immediate goals are quite different.

Lead Generation

Lead generation, also known as lead gen, focuses on gaining a person’s information in exchange for content. The goal is to gain that contact information to facilitate contact and engagement for sales and marketing purposes.

Lead generation assumes your audience already knows they have a problem and are seeking a solution via products or services on the market. They’re in a place where they are ready to assess your business to see if you might be able to help them solve an existing problem.

Lead generation focuses on getting contact information from prospective customers, so it likely involves gated content or other ways to make this transaction happen.

Demand Generation

Demand generation, occasionally referred to as demand gen, is more about awareness and interest and how you can position your company as an important source of information.

Letting you etting in front of your target audiences to create awareness for a need and generate interest in your business. The hopeful result is that as your target audience grows more interested in your company, the more receptive they’ll be once you interact with them.

Get people excited about what you do, and they’re more likely to look to you once they realize they have a need. Creating a demand for your product or service means educating people on the challenges they’re facing and helping them understand why it’s worthwhile to invest resources in a solution.

Demand generation casts a broader net with ungated content used to raise awareness of your brand and solutions. The goal is increased visibility and interest in what you do.

B2B Demand Generation Strategies

What are signs that demand generation might help your company move forward in growth plans? You may recognize a need for more and better leads or higher customer retention. You may realize better systems in your sales and marketing process could create a better experience for your customers.

Once you have created your B2B strategies recognize how valuable demand generation can be. How can you implement it? Here are 10 strategies you can use to make it work for you.

1. Target Your Ideal Customers With Buyer Personas

Creating buyer personas is an important start when targeting audiences with your marketing. These fictional profiles of your ideal customers can help you focus on who you need to reach and what they need to hear from you. A complete buyer persona should have details such as a fictitious name, job role, age, gender, and typical objections and concerns.

These can help you target your ads more effectively and ensure the content you create addresses what your audience wants to read.

Without this focus, it’s easy to get distracted by the message you want to put out, which may or may not resonate. Buyer personas also help your marketing teams work cohesively by creating clear targets for your ads and content.

For each profile, consider who this person is, what influences their purchasing decisions, what challenges they face, and what questions they tend to have before they reach a decision. Being able to reach prospects with ads and content that feel personalized to their experiences and challenges can go a long way towards winning over new customers.

2. Produce Valuable Content People Want to Read

People are busy, and there’s a lot of content out there competing for attention. As much as we’d like to believe people are interested in our content, few people wake up hoping to find a new article or whitepaper to read. However, the right content can significantly shift purchasing decisions.

How can you create pieces that resonate with your prospects and makes them want more? Invest in content of the highest quality. Inbound marketing can be an important part of demand generation, so don’t falter when putting resources into content marketing.

Is content creation an overnight strategy? Not at all. It’s a long-term investment that requires a lot of effort.

If you’re already creating content and don’t feel like you’re gaining much traction, consider what you’re publishing and how it differs from other content in your industry. If it’s similar to what others are publishing, it may not be enough to help you stand out. Consider the following ideas:

  • Look for new ways to tackle the same topics.
  • Offer a new angle on an old subject.
  • Curate insights from other experts.

3. Offer Valuable Content for Free

Should you save your best content for your lead generation efforts? Ask for contact information and other insights in exchange for it? Not at the demand generation stage. Remember that when we talk about demand generation, we’re talking about awareness and visibility. This means creating content for prospects at all stages of the buyer’s journey and consistently showing up as a trusted resource at each stage.

Don’t worry that you’re giving away your best content for free. Demonstrating your insight and authority on relevant topics is a valuable way to show customers that you understand their needs. Create resources they can’t resist reading and sharing, and you could be the first person they think of when they’re ready to move forward with a purchase.

4. Use Platform Features to Extend Reach

Look for ways to extend your reach through established platform features you may already be using.

For example, Facebook advertising is a popular channel for companies to build visibility with relevant audiences. With in-depth targeting features allowing you to reach specific audiences and measure results via analytics, this can be an essential element in your marketing.

Facebook has a built-in feature allowing you to create lookalike audiences, which are custom audiences similar to people who are already interested in what you sell. You just need to create these audiences in the app, and you can benefit from the expanded reach they’ll give you.

Plus, these aren’t random users. They closely match people you’ve already connected with. You can also try larger audiences or smaller custom audiences based on interests and create your lookalikes from there.

Increasing visibility often means looking for ways to expand or duplicate your efforts to reach more people. Lookalike audiences are a great way to try this in your advertising.

However, is Facebook for every business? Likely not. It’s often best-suited for B2C brands where customers can purchase right from the app or make quick decisions on something they can easily purchase from your site.

5. Use Display Ads to Raise Brand Awareness

Using display ads effectively can be another way to get your brand in front of new audiences. Further, managed placements allow advertisers to specify where they want their ads to appear, allowing them to target relevant audiences.

If you can control where your ads appear, you can focus your efforts on individuals who are likely to be interested in what you offer.

Display advertising is less about conversions and more about getting your name and brand out in front of prospects. They can allow you to access prospects and raise awareness of your brand and message. Managed placements can also help you focus your investment with effective targeting and outreach.

6. Increase Conversion Rates With Display Remarketing

Remarketing can be a powerful way to build awareness, help prospects remember you after your initial interactions, and boost conversion rates.

There are a lot of distractions that can pull a prospect away after they visit your website. If you notice that many users seem to visit once and not return, it would be valuable to understand why and explore ways to regain their attention.

This is where remarketing comes in, allowing you to increase repeat visitors and even extend the amount of time visitors spend on your website.

Effective marketing often means that a prospect needs to see your brand and encounter your messaging multiple times before you become memorable. Remarketing helps you build on new traffic you’ve managed to attract and bring these individuals back to your website to learn more.

7. Optimize Your Campaigns With Contact Segmentation

Demand generation is all about delivering the right message. If your message doesn’t fit the audience you’ve targeted, they are unlikely to convert.

With this in mind, consider how it might affect your target audiences to see content that doesn’t suit where they are in their path to becoming your customer.

Someone who has never heard of your company isn’t quite ready to see in-depth content that answers questions customers typically have closer to purchase. Instead, they need introductory content to help them recognize a challenge in their organization and a first look at how you solve those types of problems.

For a prospect further along in the buying process will have identified their need, learned what you do, and explored what you offer. They’ll want more detail and have more specific questions that pertain to their unique situation.

You can use contact segmentation to manage this in your customer relationship management (CRM) system, which means organizing your customer contacts into groups based on what stage they’re in. Once your contacts are defined, you can target campaigns to each group to deliver content they are likely to find valuable.

When your outreach resonates with the recipient, they’ll be more likely to welcome further contact rather than remove themselves from your mailing lists or otherwise cut contact. Another benefit of contact segmentation is that you’ll be able to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns better and adjust as needed to best suit your audience.

8. Power Up Your Email Marketing

Once you have someone’s email address, how quickly do you reach out with marketing emails? Are you sending emails to your entire mailing list? If so, you risk putting off whole groups of prospects by making them feel overwhelmed, or worse, like your company doesn’t understand them.

Instead, email marketing should carry out the idea that you need to deliver the correct information to the right people with impeccable timing. The shotgun approach of spamming people with multiple emails is likely to earn you a long list of “unsubscribe” responses.

Consider your email marketing to be a powerful way to communicate with customers at scale. However, to do so effectively, you need to make them feel unique and understood.

This means sending emails that directly address different groups, speaking to their concerns, and answering their questions. These groups may be broken out by stage in the buying process and even by industry.

Effective email campaigns require testing, so get ready to not only target groups of similar prospects but also to test your email marketing. Try A/B testing on your subject lines, copy, visual elements, and CTAs. Test different variations and optimize your campaigns using the best performing elements.

9. Offer a Free Tool or App

When you first raise awareness of your brand, you’ll need to win over people who can be brand ambassadors. One of the best ways you can win over new prospects is to offer a free tool, an app, or another resource your target audience can’t ignore.

Does giving away valuable resources go against your sales goals? Not when it comes to demand generation. Remember that in this process, you want to boost visibility and get your brand noticed. Expanding your reach may mean giving away something valuable in exchange for the impact it will have in your initial campaigns.

This is especially important for new brands trying to win attention in crowded markets. Allowing prospects to experience your brand and connect with your company in a personal way can pave a smooth road down the line to larger purchases.

10. Explore Lead Scoring to Evaluate Success

Testing different strategies for demand generation can bring you some successes and some losses. In many cases, you’ll track leads coming into your company and consider each a win, but what if they never convert to a customer?

Increasing the number of leads coming into your company can’t be your only focus if they don’t go on to become happy customers. As you evaluate the quality of the leads you generate, you’ll begin to realize that some leads make it further through the customer journey, while others move through stages to become a customer.

What’s the difference? When you begin to analyze the different actions your leads take when engaging your company, you’ll start to notice patterns of behavior that are more likely to lead to conversion.

If you can find a way to track the interactions prospects have had with your company and compare them to outcomes, you can discover behaviors that increase the chance that a prospect will convert. Once you do this, you can repeat those interactions to win customers.

Lead scoring, or evaluating incoming leads, is a way of measuring the quality of your leads to ensure you can invest in initiatives that attract the best quality leads. Remember that demand generation is raising awareness and generating excitement for your company or brand. It’s not about attracting big audiences who don’t have a genuine interest in your business.

Lead scoring allows you to evaluate your customers’ behavior over time to determine their level of interest in your business. It can take into account various actions showing intent, such as which pages of your website they’ve viewed and if they’ve engaged in behavior indicating they want to see more of what you can do. They might show this by requesting more information or signing up for demonstrations of your products.

If you’re struggling to gain leads, don’t worry about the quality at first. Just keep implementing strategies to increase your reach and bring more people to your business. Once you have increased your leads to the point that you need to start identifying the most valuable ones to nurture, then you’re likely in a position to consider lead scoring.

Demand Generation Case Studies

Need more proof of how demand generation can increase interest in your brand and benefit your company? Check out the following two examples of companies who have benefited from demand generation:

  • Premise, a data and analysis company, engaged demand generation, inbound marketing, and lead management. They used CRM implementation, lead scoring, and a content audit to improve their results across all marketing initiatives. Results included a streamlined CRM with all data organized, clear strategies identified and implemented, refined content strategy, and improved campaigns via social media, email, blog posts, and other programs. 
  • Okta, a company managing workforce and customer identity and authentication, worked to empower its sales and marketing teams. Using marketing automation, chatbots, and AI, Okta enhanced their customer experience at every point of contact. Since implementing Drift, Okta has benefited from a 30 percent increase in their pipeline and doubled their conversion rate from marketing qualified leads to sales qualified leads.

Tools to Grow Demand Generation

There are a few tools that can be beneficial as you grow your demand generation efforts. Using these tools can help ensure you’re working effectively to reach your goals.

What kinds of tools can help? Look for those that feature marketing, chatbots, email bots, content, or marketing system integration.

1. Marketing Automation

Let’s look at what each of these types of tools can do for you and why they are important in demand generation.

When people get busy, repetitive tasks can fall by the wayside, A host of marketing automation tools can increase efficiency and ensure that time-consuming or repetitive tasks are completed without delay.

2. Bots

Companies like Drift offer tools like chatbots and email bots that act as support systems for your sales teams. Chatbots can send reminders to your salespeople when it’s time to follow up with a client or take the next step in outreach.

Your sales team can even receive emails before sales meetings that give them a quick reminder of the client’s company information, where the client is in the funnel, and what interactions have already taken place to ensure a seamless return to the conversation.

What is Demand Generation - Drift Chatbot diagram

Email bots can help marketing teams send effective email outreach at scale, flag important customer issues as they arise, and direct replies to the correct sales contact.

Content Storage

Having the right content for a potential customer means you’ll need salespeople to quickly find resources. A company like BuyerDeck offers a content repository to help your sales team keep all the resources they need organized and accessible.

What is Demand Generation - BuyerDeck Content Repository example

Customer Relationship Management

A critical element in B2B marketing is keeping your customer contact information updated and organized so anyone on your sales team can easily access it. Look for CRM software options like Nutshell, Zoho, or Hubspot to ensure you’re keeping track of your customers and where they are in your funnel.

What is Demand Generation - Nutshell CRM software example

System Integration

Don’t forget that to make this all work optimally, you’ll want to integrate your whole marketing system to ensure activities happen seamlessly, and you aren’t repeating work or having to step in to update from one system to another manually. Connecting each component can ensure you can always access a high-level view of customer history and information.

Resources to Learn More About Demand Generation

Curious about demand generation and how to implement the strategies we’ve discussed here? You can learn how to position yourself as an authority and reach your customers effectively.

You’ll want to research methods, implement what’s a good fit for your business, and test to measure results. Repeat and scale what works until you’ve expanded your outreach.

There’s a wealth of information if you want to understand what demand generation is and how it might benefit your business. Check out the following resources to learn more:

Conclusion

As businesses shift online, more and more opportunities arise to connect with prospects in new ways. One of those new strategies is demand generation.

Out hope is that after you’re read this post, you have a much clearer idea of what demand generation is and some strategies you can use to improve it.

As companies use these methods, they quickly learn to automate their efforts to expand their reach and make their marketing investments pay off.

Demand generation depends on your company being able to show up when it matters with content that impacts your potential customers. As you do this, customers begin to connect their challenges to the solutions you offer, and you’ll be able to effectively move them along their buying journey.

Marketing to customers in a way that places their needs at the center of every initiative can be a new angle for companies used to more direct selling techniques. Demand generation focuses on your ability to offer value at every stage and interaction so a customer is already relying on you for information and resources by the time they are ready to buy.

If you’d like help separating lead gen from demand gen or implementing any of the strategies here, reach out for support. We can help you create powerful demand generation strategies and identify which strategies will work best for you.

What demand generation strategies are you currently using for your business? Which of these will you try next?

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Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/demand-generation/

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How to Run Sponsored App Ad Campaigns

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how to run sponsored app ad campaigns

You created an app. Now you just need to drive traffic to it. As a marketer or app creator, you might not know where to start to drive app downloads. 

It might not be as hard as you think. 

You can start gaining traffic through a sponsored app ad campaign. Wondering what a sponsored ad campaign is and how to run one effectively? Let’s cover what you need to do to get started and optimize your chances of success.

This includes how to use a sponsored ad campaign to get traffic directly to your app through major players like the Apple App Store and Google Play. We’ll also cover which metrics you’ll want to track and how to create compelling app ads to encourage engagement and installs.

Let’s get started by explaining precisely what a sponsored app ad campaign is. 

What is a Sponsored App Ad Campaign?

Sponsored ads allow you to display adverts for your app the same way you would for any other product. As an advertiser/creator, you pay for these ads, and they’re usually marked as “Sponsored” or “Ad,” so users can differentiate them from regular apps in the search results.  

To explain this further, let’s use Apple as an example. When you advertise on the platform, your app ads show at the top of the search page on its online app store. Sponsored ads also appear in other apps.

Depending on the network you’re using, there may be some variations in how ads are displayed, and your ads may also appear on more than one platform.

Why You Should Run Sponsored App Ad Campaigns?

There’s no doubt about it; developing and launching an app is tough. It takes a lot of time and financing, and that’s before you even start to think about the marketing side.

However, regardless of the niche you’re in, you’ll want to drive installs and interest. That’s why you should consider running a sponsored app campaign. 

Is it worth your while? Potentially.

No one can say just how well your paid advertising will go and whether it will pay off long term. That said, there are some methods you can use to tip the scales in your favor.

Begin by ensuring your messaging is consistent throughout every stage, from the initial ads right down to the installation.

Also, make sure you understand your audience and the best methods to reach them. You may find it helpful to see which apps are performing best so you know if yours would be a good fit.

Finally, look for opportunities to re-engage and retarget your customers and continuously track your metrics along the way. I’ll talk more about the app metrics you should be monitoring later.

Before I move on to the next section, something else you’ll want to think about is your company’s budget and how far it’s likely to take you.

In the United States, it costs an advertiser $2.07 for each iOS app install and $1.72 for each Google Play Android installation, so be sure a paid campaign makes financial sense for your business.

Mobile Vs. Desktop App Ads

Now let’s talk about mobile and desktop ads, as these are the two main ways to display your app ads.

With 260 million smartphone users in the United States alone, it makes sense to focus on mobile app ads. You’re going to want to catch mobile users while they’re on the move, and these are the users who are most likely to install your app.

When you’re running mobile ads, these will show in tablets, wearables, mobile and smart devices, and in other apps as promotional adverts. You can also link your Google Ads account to Google Play Developer Account to display ads to app users without the need for retargeting.

Mobile apps are good for personalization and reaching your target audience, while research indicates tablets have a higher conversion rate than desktops.

With desktops, your ads will appear on static devices, like a laptop. This method may not seem like the most obvious way to advertise your app, but you shouldn’t ignore them completely.

Some argue to create the most effective sponsored app campaign, you need to run both types to improve your chances of success.

How to Run App Ads in App Stores

The process for running app ads will vary depending on the app stores you’re using. You can run these campaigns yourself or ask an agency to run them on your behalf.

Here are some of the most high-profile options and how get started.

Apple App Store

sponsored app ad campaign - apple search ad image

With stores in 175 countries and regions and half a billion users every week, Apple’s App Store is the place to be.

To get started advertising your app, you’ll have to set up an Apple ads account if you haven’t already. You’ll need to fill out details like personal information, accept Apple’s terms, and provide a payment method.

If you haven’t set up an ad before, Apple makes the whole process user-friendly.

  1. Go to the Search ads “Promote an App” page.
  2. Go to your account dashboard. Select the app you’re promoting from the list. Apple lets you choose up to 50. 
  3. Select your target country and regions.
  4. Decide on your budget. Apple sometimes offers a free $100 to get you started.
  5. Detail your cost per install. Apple states it will set a “max CPI based on what we know about your app and what other developers are willing to pay to reach the same users.” However, you can change this.
  6. You’re ready to go!

Android App Store (Google Play)

sponsored app add campaign - google adstore

If you want a sponsored ad on Google Play, you can do this by creating an app campaign in Google Ads. Google’s app adverts allow you to advertise both Android and iOS apps.

Google will help you out by optimizing your adverts so your target audience sees them, and you won’t need to design your ads. Google does this for you by using the material you have in your App store listing. 

When you’re using Google, your app ads can appear on Play, YouTube, Discovery, and other channels.

Unlike some other sites, Google has quite a lengthy process, so I’ll break it down as simply as I can.

  1. Sign up or log in to Google Ads. If you don’t already have an account, you can set one up online.
  2. Look out for the page menu. You’ll find it on the left. Choose “Campaigns.” You’ll see a blue button with a white plus sign in the middle. Click on that and then select “New Campaign.”
  3. You’ll then need to set your campaign goals. In this case, it’s going to be “App promotion.”
  4. Next, Google will ask you for a campaign subtype. You can choose between “app installs” and “App engagement.”
  5. Choose your platform (iOS or Android.)
  6. You’ll then see a search field. Here, you add your app’s name, package name, and publisher. Your app should then show in a list.
  7. Select your app and press “continue.” Google suggests, “You may want to indicate in the name that this is an App campaign.” Doing this will make your app campaign easier to find if you need to refer to it later.
  8. Update location or language setting. Be careful when selecting target languages because Google won’t translate your adverts for you.
  9. Choose your average daily budget.
  10. Go to “campaign optimization.” Here, you can optimize the campaign depending on the user actions most important to you.
  11. Fill out your target bids. You don’t need to do this for app install campaigns.
  12. Set your campaign dates.
  13. Choose an ad group name.
  14. Go to “Ad Assets.” Include two headline ideas (minimum) and a description idea. You can add up to five.

Tips to Create Effective App Ads

How do you write effective app ads? It helps if you think of them in the same way you would for your other marketing content. 

With regular marketing content, you’d:

  • Craft a compelling headline.
  • Provide a clear, concise summary detailing your product (app) and its features.
  • Target your content toward your ideal user.
  • Use easy-to-understand, everyday language.
  • Include keywords and a call to action.

You should also consider that ad space is limited, so you want your messaging to be precise and targeted, with the most important information first. 

Here are a few more tips for creating an effective app campaign. 

Remember, Image is Everything

Images are every bit as important as text if you want to capture mobile users’ attention. Choose an image that is in line with your brand and appropriate to your audience. Include branding in the image if you can.

Also, make sure your images are consistent with your overall style and tone, so both blend seamlessly.

One last tip: Always use the recommended image sizes for each platform you’re selling on for the best results.

Test and Tweak Your App Ads 

To see what works, you’ll need to test different ads to compare results when you start advertising. Consider testing: 

  • image
  • app description 
  • targeting options 

Running A/B campaigns can help you better understand which adverts are resonating best with your audience. Test over time and keep tweaking until you’re getting the results you’re aiming for.

Keep Your App Ad Objectives in Mind

Most importantly, know what your objectives are. Be clear on what you want your ads to achieve, what you want users to do, and ensure your sponsored app ads convey it clearly. For example, if your goal is to drive free downloads and push paid add-ons later, focus on the features in your free version. 

Tracking App Ad Metrics

To understand if your sponsored ad apps campaign delivers the results you want, you’ll need to track your ad metrics. If you’d like a refresher, I’ve covered this subject before. However, you may find there are others you want to focus on, like:

  • App store conversion rate: This will vary depending on the platform, your category, traffic type, and ad quality.
  • CPC: Your CPC rate will differ depending on several factors, like your chosen platform and ad placement.
  • Daily and monthly users: Also known as DAU and MAU, these metrics help you understand how often your customers are revisiting your app. 
  • Return on investment: Are sponsored app campaigns worth the cost? Make sure you include the efforts of testing your ads, the cost per click of your ads, and the cost of developing and marketing your app.
  • User growth rates: This will help you see if your audience is growing.
  • App store rank: This metric is essential for seeing if your app ranks for a keyword and its visibility.

Conclusion

It’s one thing to build an app, but you may find getting traffic to be a challenge. An effective sponsored app ad campaign can drive traffic and increase installs. 

Even if you’re new to it, the entire process is user-friendly. With just a few steps, you’ll be ready to get going.

To maximize your results, carefully craft your app ads and track your metrics so you can make adjustments. This will allow you to optimize your campaigns and drive results. 

Once you’ve started getting downloads, make sure to encourage your users to leave app reviews and implement app store optimization efforts to keep your audience growing. 

Do you run sponsored app campaigns? What strategies helped you the most?

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See How My Agency Can Drive Massive Amounts of Traffic to Your Website

  • SEO – unlock massive amounts of SEO traffic. See real results.
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  • Paid Media – effective paid strategies with clear ROI.

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Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/app-ads/

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How to Create Evergreen Content Right From the Start

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how to create evergreen content

Evergreen content engages and educates readers for longer without a huge amount of effort. Once you master the art of writing “timeless” content, you can ensure your articles, e-books, and tutorials stay relevant for years to come. 

Below, I’m going to show you exactly why evergreen content should be part of every marketer’s content strategy, and I’ll explain how to craft your own timeless pieces. 

What is Evergreen Content?

Evergreen content is content that is optimized to stay relevant and drive traffic for months or even years at a time. 

It doesn’t have an expiration date. It’s centered around a topic that people will be interested in for years to come. 

Examples of topics that might be considered evergreen include:

  • how to write a will
  • how to lose weight 
  • ways to cook chicken
  • ways to generate passive income 
  • how to optimize your site for SEO 
  • how to build a blog 

It doesn’t matter what season we’re in, or what year it is: There’s always a healthy number of people searching for content on these topics. 

Marketers tend to write about evergreen topics because it’s a relatively easy way to bring organic traffic to their website. There’s always going to be some interest in the topic, so you won’t struggle to find an audience base.  

For example, if you Google “choosing the right SEO,” you’ll find one of my articles on the first page:

evergreen content - SEO agency post example

It’s evergreen because SEO isn’t fading out of style anytime soon. Businesses will be searching for SEO advice for years to come. 

A little later, I’ll show you ways to improve your chances of holding a first-page ranking for a long time, but for now, just remember one thing: If it’s evergreen content, it persistently matters to people, and you should be writing about it.  

Here are some examples of time-sensitive content that aren’t evergreen:

  • seasonal articles e.g., Christmas gift ideas
  • announcements and news posts 
  • posts about current but temporary issues e.g., Covid-19 or a sports season

If it’s a niche topic you expect people to lose interest in overtime then it’s not evergreen, because people naturally stop thinking about it (and searching for it online). 

Here’s an easy way to remember it: 

Evergreen content is ever-relevant.

Why Is Evergreen Content Important?

OK, so that’s what evergreen content is, but why does it matter? Well, a few reasons, but here are the three most important. 

1. Evergreen Content Boosts Search Rankings

Did you know that 75 percent of people never scroll beyond the first page of search results? If you’re not on the first page, it’s unlikely people will ever find your content. 

Evergreen content helps boost your Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (“E-A-T”) score on Google. The higher your E-A-T score, the more likely it is you’ll secure a first-page ranking on Google. 

How can long-lasting boost your E-A-T score? By helping position you as an authority in your industry. 

To be clear, the level of “expertise” you’ll need to secure a good score varies depending on the subject matter. 

For example, you’re more likely to rank on the first page if you’re a highly qualified doctor writing an evergreen post about weight loss than if you’re a general member of the public talking about weight loss tips. 

Why? Because Google recognizes how important it is for someone to be qualified before they offer medical advice. 

If you have expertise in your industry, you can increase your chances of a first-page ranking by producing quality evergreen content in your field.

2. Evergreen Content Draws in Organic Traffic 

Organic traffic is simply how many people visit your website after finding you on a search results page, rather than clicking through a paid ad. 

How does evergreen content help you draw traffic? Here are a few ways: 

  • It answers a question, which there’s always a healthy level of interest in, so you can assume people are regularly searching for an article just like yours. 
  • Readers are more likely to find your content, since (you guessed it) there’s a sustained level of interest. 

The result is more organic traffic landing on your website. 

3. Evergreen Content Keeps Your Business Relevant 

It’s not just about generating traffic. It’s about ensuring you create valuable, relevant content for readers—and evergreen content helps you do just that.

Here’s why: Valuable content means lower bounce rates, since people stay on your page for longer.

Since evergreen content stays relevant, you can use it to show search engine’s that readers find your articles useful, which in turn helps boost your overall search rankings.  

The best part? The more valuable content you create, the more you impress readers—and keep your brand relevant in an increasingly competitive digital space. 

7 Tips for Creating Evergreen Content Right From the Start

To be clear, not all your content needs to be evergreen. Your audience wants to know you’ve got your finger on the pulse of your industry and understands current trends that impact them. Also, sometimes, people just want their fill of short, relevant, and entertaining news articles.  

However, it’s definitely worth crafting a solid hub of timeless, enduring content to impress your audience and set yourself apart from the competition. 

With all this in mind, here are seven relatively simple ways to write your own evergreen pieces.  

1. Choose the Right Topics

First, choose topics with persistent traffic potential. 

An analytics tool like Google Analytics can help here. Briefly, here’s how to distinguish between trending and evergreen topics. 

  • Trending posts: Typically have a high initial search volume which drops fairly quickly
  • Evergreen topic posts: Attract a high volume of traffic initially, but there’s still a sustained level of traffic over time

To get started, take a look at your own site and see what topics retain a high level of traffic over time. Are there related topics you can cover? 

Then, check out leading blogs in your niche. Identify potentially evergreen topics, run them through a competitive analysis tool to see which ones get long-term traffic, and decide how you can put your own spin on the topic to add value for your own readers. 

2. Use Appropriate Keywords

Now you’ve chosen a few topics you’d like to write about, you need to use the right keywords to ensure your posts appear in the search results. 

  • Use a keyword discovery tool like Ubersuggest
  • Type a search query into Google. Take some ideas for related keywords from the “people also ask” section. 

Let’s check out an example. 

Say you want to write about weight loss. When you Google “how to lose weight,” one of the top search results is a post from Diet Doctor

Here are the two main things we can take from this sample. 

  • The first paragraph contains multiple related key phrases including “trouble losing weight” and “weight loss without hunger.” 
  • Subheadings are also optimized around popular related keywords like “weight-loss pills.” 

Return to the search results and you’ll find people also ask:

  • How do I lose weight naturally?
  • How can I lose weight fast?

This is a quick and easy process, so give it a go! 

3. Avoid Specific Events and Dates

One of the quickest ways to “date” your content, and shorten its lifespan, is by using current dates and events. Here’s why: 

  • If the date’s relevant to the context or the wider understanding of an article i.e., anything about working from home during Covid-19, it’s not evergreen.
  • People stop searching for trending or date-related topics after a certain amount of time, so they won’t find your content. 
  • If someone finds your article even just one year later, they might assume it’s outdated and they won’t click on it. 

If you must use dates, be smart about it. For example, you could turn a “2021 Guide to Digital Marketing” into the “2022 Guide to Digital Marketing”, and so on. Or, make a plan to update content with a date annually. 

In general, you’ll want to avoid using dates or referring to current news events, where possible. 

4. Create Case Studies

Case studies won’t work for everyone. It all depends on your audience and the type of business you’re running. 

However, if your audience values in-depth, analytical content, consider writing evergreen case studies. Here are a few benefits of case studies: 

  • Case studies help boost your credibility within your sector. 
  • Readers can derive true value from in-depth case studies. 
  • You can make case studies evergreen by focusing on the core issues rather than dates or anything time-specific. 

Finally, by sharing real case studies with your audience, you can boost your company’s authenticity. Since 90 percent of customers value authenticity when choosing which companies to support, I’m thinking this is a win!

5. Write In-Depth Guides and Tutorials 

When people want advice, they very often turn to guides and tutorials. Why? Because they’re comprehensive enough to answer all the questions they have about a specific topic. (Or, at least they should be!) 

In other words, guides and tutorials make for excellent evergreen content ideas.

For example, if you type “keyword research” into Google, one of the top results is my own guide to keyword research:

Evergreen content - how to optimize content

It’s a guide, and it’s part of a comprehensive, three-part series on effective keyword research. I cover a huge amount of ground, and the goal is to ensure the guide is a “one-stop-shop” for your keyword research needs.  

What’s more, tutorials and guides are a chance for you to showcase your authoritativeness and build trust in your brand. (Which, as we know, can improve your search rankings.)

6. Update Your Content Regularly 

No matter how hard you work to create evergreen content, you’ll still have to update it occasionally. Strategies change, new research and tools come out, and content becomes less fresh over time. If you want to keep your content ranking well, you’ll need to update it.  

How does this work? By updating content, you’re creating a new publication date, which gives your post an instant boost: most first-page results are published within the last few years.

Here’s a few tips for updating content:  

  • Add a little more information, or change a few stats. 
  • Freshen up the images.
  • Change any outdated details. 
  • Double-check spelling and phrasing. Could you phrase something better?   

For a more detailed guide, check out this complete guide to giving your content a facelift. 

7. Repurpose Your Content

Finally, once you’ve got a great piece of content it’s time to make it work for you. One of the best ways to make the most out of great content—and reach as wide of an audience as possible—is to repurpose content into different formats. 

Here’s a few ideas: 

  • Build an infographic to share elsewhere.
  • Repost the content and remarket it across social media. 
  • Around 85 percent of web users enjoy video content, so repurpose an evergreen article into a shareable video. 
  • Got a positive review or customer testimonial? Use it to link back to your content.

These are just a few suggestions, don’t limit yourself!

How to Maintain Your Evergreen Content Ranking

You’ve compiled your evergreen content and you’re ranking well. Great! 

Now comes the tricky part: how do you keep your first-page ranking for the months (and years) to come? Here are two suggestions. 

  1. Promote your content to ensure people can always find it on your website. Share it on social media, and consider adding fresh hashtags to increase exposure. 
  2. Link to evergreen posts on other pages across your site. Not only will this help you draw more traffic, but internal links are another simple yet highly effective way to boost SEO.

I recommend using these techniques alongside other strategies like content repurposing and refreshing to maximize your chances of maintaining a first-page ranking. 

Conclusion

Evergreen content is timeless. It never goes out of fashion. If you want to draw organic traffic, educate your audience, and position yourself as an industry authority, it needs to be part of your content marketing plan. 

Don’t just dive in, though. Identify the topics that matter to your audience, do your own research, and put a fresh spin on them. Use the right keywords to improve your chances of ranking on Google, and don’t forget to update your content whenever you feel it’s a little stale. 

What does evergreen content mean to you? 

Consulting with Neil Patel

See How My Agency Can Drive Massive Amounts of Traffic to Your Website

  • SEO – unlock massive amounts of SEO traffic. See real results.
  • Content Marketing – our team creates epic content that will get shared, get links, and attract traffic.
  • Paid Media – effective paid strategies with clear ROI.

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Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/evergreen-content/

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The Identity Crisis Facing Open Source Companies in the Cloud

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Open source software marries the decentralized community of the Internet with the ambition to build great things. Databases, application servers, streaming technologies, application deployment, and container management – many modern tools were born open source. But the clouds are rolling in for open source companies (pun intended). Today, open source software faces an identity crisis: what does it mean to be an open source company in the cloud?

Imagine you’ve co-authored a massively successful open source project and you’re on the cusp of commercializing it. You face a critical decision. This decision will impact the business for the next 24 months and beyond. It will determine your price point, your roadmap, your hiring plan, your revenue, and consequently your fundraising prospects. The decision reversible, but not without pain and difficulty, and likely 3 to 4 quarters of work. What is that decision?

Do you support on-premises deployments or launch a managed service (aaS)?

This is a challenging, hand-wringing, sleepless-nights decision for many open source companies.

On one hand, the previous generation of open source companies did start out supporting on-premises. With that strategy, they’ve built huge businesses. And for good reason. The open source user base already uses, deploys, and contributes to the project.

This great allure of open-source software, that customer base is already using the product, is the leverage in the model. Sales teams and marketing teams’ task is self-evident. Convert the faithful to the contracted faithful. Those sales cycles are fast and the contract sizes are large, which means cash in the bank.

The name-brand contracted logos become the lighthouse accounts who respond to reference calls, proselytize the gospel on stage, and bolster the social proof of both the open source and commercial efforts. It’s enterprise-first selling.

On the other hand, the future is in cloud.

Most customers prefer a managed service. So should the company commercializing open source software should. Managed services are homogeneous rows of boxes in a well-run factory. On-premises deployments are messy factory floors littered with half-opened boxes skewed helter-skelter and crocodiles lurking in dark places. Services offer one platform to everyone. On prem means managing 100 on-premises deployments with varying configurations, hardware, and network topologies; not to mention security postures.

Second, a managed service provides defensibility with the proper open source license. If an open source project is successful, the startup commercializing it will want to defend it from the monoclouds, who will inevitably compete at some point.

Third, expansion is exceedingly easy. Customers effortlessly expend more after they’ve exhausted their entitlement.

But what does it mean to be open source in the cloud? Open source isn’t a differentiator in a managed service – or least much less of one. So, how will the company differentiate in the future vs potential closed source competition?

And this GTM strategy means tacking the mid-market first, because not many large enterprises will trust their infrastructure to a fledgling service.

Building an on-prem company means hiring field sales teams, solutions architects, field marketers. aaS companies demand a different set of acronyms: SRE (site reliability engineers) and PLG (product-led growth) marketers. The Venn diagram intersection of those skill sets is a null set. Picking one means hiring a specialized team that will have limited to no ability to cross-over.

So open source companies have two paths in front of them:

  1. Start on-premises and evolve to managed service. Capture more revenue sooner but face the transition from on-prem to cloud, and that entails later.
  2. Forgo the on-premises and provide the managed service immediately. Wait a longer to generate meaningful revenue, but be cloud-ready first, and tackle the competitive differentiation sooner.

There’s no universal answer. But there are factors to consider when deciding:

  • where is the the traction today, in the mid-market or the enterprise?
  • how competitive is the space today and in the next 3 years?
  • what differentiators does the product offer beyond open-source? and does the buyer care?
  • how important is it to the business to generate revenue sooner rather than later?

Every open source company will face this decision of when to become a cloud company. It will define the next two years of the business and nearly every aspect of the business and especially call into question: what does it mean to be open source?

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Source: https://www.tomtunguz.com/open-source-cloud-identity-crisis/

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