Pencils of Promise Update

Hello #FreedomBuilders! One of the cornerstones of the Jungle Scout community is the infamous Million Dollar Case Study. For each case study on record, we have successfully launched our own product on Amazon while providing transparent and in-depth coverage throughout every single step of the process.  In 2016 when we launched our first product, we chose to funnel our revenue into philanthropic projects. Our goal has always been to empower people through entrepreneurship and to make a positive impact on the world. We have contributed our profits in the past to Doctors Without Borders and Pencils of Promise – two organizations that are advancing healthcare and education around the world. I’m excited to announce that Pencils of Promise will receive 100% of the profits from our 4th installment of the Million Dollar Case Study! We’ll be starting up again in August, so make sure you’re signed up for the updates coming your way. ✏ The Pencils of Promise Mission Pencils of Promise is a humanitarian organization that believes every child in the world should have access to quality education. When PoP Founder Adam Braun spent a college semester backpacking through developing countries, he would ask children, “if you could have … Read More

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Update Bids and Monitor Changes with AdWords Scripts

AdWords scripts are a great tool for managing bid adjustments. In previous articles, such as Automating Bidding with Google Sheets and AdWords Scripts, we’ve covered different ways to change bids and handle uploads. This article will take those ideas and combine them into your own bidding system!

We’ll still keep a high-level approach in this article to keep is accessible or wherever you want to take it. If you are less experienced with scripts this makes it easier to follow (which still being something you can apply on your own). If you are more experienced, you can easily make your own edits to enhance the tool.

Throughout this process, we will take advantage of free tools and add-ons to create a system that pulls the data, processes the data, and uploads a set of bid changes.  Instead of being a full script, we’ll utilize sheets and upload features to make editing more accessible to non-coders.

What We’ll Use

We’ll use the Google AdWords add-on to collect data, Google Sheets to manage bids, AdWords scripts to format and upload the changes, and finally we’ll use the Google Sheets app to copy the changes and save them for reference.

  • Google AdWords Add-on – Collect data
  • Google Sheets – Apply changes via formulas and return changes.
  • AdWords Scripts – Check changes, build upload file, push to AdWords, save change log to Google Drive.

Pulling the Data

First, we need to set up our data pull. You can either use a tool to pull the data in, use a script, or paste the data manually. Since this is about automation we’ll skip the last option. The first example will use the AdWords Add-on (if you want to limit your code exposure for now) and we’ll circle back on resources for scripting the data pull.

Once you’ve installed the AdWords Add-on, go to Sheets and create a new sheet. Open the add-on and start setting up your sheet. We’ll want to pull any performance metrics plus the max CPC column. If you are changing bids as a percentage of the last bid you’ll need the current bid. If you want to keep a record you’ll need the column as well.

If you prefer, you could also use a tool like SuperMetrics. Or you could use the reporting functionality in AdWords scripts to import changes. Both of these offer slightly more automated solutions.

If you’d like to know more about the reporting functionality, I highly recommend the the following articles,

Google Developers, Reporting – AdWords Scripts Reporting reference

Fred Vallaeys, Search Engine Land – This Script Automates adding any AdWords data to a Google Spreadsheet

Make Bid Adjustments

Once we have our performance data we can start calculating the new bids! In this example we’ll adjust based on CPA with a basic formula in a new column.

Next we’ll add a helper column to define which columns changed.

Now we’ll make a new sheet to hold our changes, something obvious like “Keyword Changes to Upload”. I recommend using query() to return all changed rows to their own sheet. This will make it easy to pull into AdWords and limit the code we have to write to select the correct range.

Formatting the Upload

This requires a few steps. We need to,

  1. Access the spreadsheet.
  2. Pull the data.
  3. Format it for bulkUpload and build a file
  4. Push the file to AdWords.

Accessing the spreadsheet is easy enough, we’ll use the URL and file name to access the sheet.

Now the slightly tricky part. If you aren’t familiar with the process. We need to create a csv file for upload. We already have the rows we want to upload. We will essentially create a blank file then fill it with the rows from the “Keyword Changes to Upload” sheet.

Once we have the upload built, we are one line away from the upload.

Creating the Backup Log

Often times users worry about  the ability to revert changes or the system running amok. It’s unlikely but in order to be extra careful, we can make a copy and save it to our Google Drive.

I recommend creating a folder ahead of time. Copying the folder ID from the URL and inserting it into the script. This keeps your top-level drive from filling up with copies and helps keep the drive nice and tidy!

Send an Email with Changes

Email updates help you and your team keep up with changes and keep an eye on the magnitude of changes. We can use the emailApp to send an email to team members , along with a brief message with links to the change sheets we created in the last step. We can also pull a quick count of the rows in the upload file to count the number of bid changes.

In order to include the links we’ll format the body of the message as HTML, add a few breaks and make it look slightly nicer.

Wrapping Up

If you are automatically updating your keyword data, go ahead and schedule your script to automatically push changes.

If you are loading keyword data manually, you can still schedule the upload, but it would make more sense to run the script manually once you update the data.

Improving the Process

There are two main avenues for improvement. You could fully script the entire process and remove the spreadsheet portion. This streamlines the steps and can make things easier to manage if you don’t need the sheet.

The second option to update your bidding sheet with more complex rules and decisions. Adding more variables to your bid rule, implementing multiple conversion types, or including third party data can help you build a more effective bidding model.

Full Script

function main() {

//email for bidding updates
var email = [“”];

//ID of folder you’ve set aside to hold bid sheet copies
//pull from the end of your Drive folder URL
var bidFolderId = ”;

//URL of your bid change book
var biddingWorkBookUrl = ”;

//Open workbook
var biddingWorkBook = SpreadsheetApp.openByUrl(biddingWorkBookUrl);

//Sheet with bid changes
//string can be updated to name of your own file
var keywordBidUpload = brandBook.getSheetByName(‘Keyword Changes to Upload’);

//Get the sheet you want to copy
var keywordBids = brandBook.getSheetByName(‘Keyword Bids’);

//Get last row to calculate number of bid changes.
var bidChangeCount = keywordBids.getLastRow()-1;

function createCopy(sheetObject) {
var destinationFolder = DriveApp.getFolderById(bidFolderId);
var file = DriveApp.getFileById(sheetObject.getId()).makeCopy( ” Bid Copy – ” + createDateString(), destinationFolder);
return file.getUrl();

var brandCopy = createCopy(keywordBids);

function uploadBids(sheet) {
//create column names for upload
var columns = [“Campaign”, “Ad group”, “Keyword”,”Match type”, “Max. CPC”];
//create csv upload
var upload = AdWordsApp.bulkUploads().newCsvUpload(columns);
//get all values from sheet
var values = sheet.getDataRange().getValues();
//convert sheet rows and append to upload file
for(i=1; i < values.length; i++){
var campaign = values[i][0];
var ad_group = values[i][1];
var keyword = values[i][2];
var match_type = values[i][3];
var max_cpc = values[i][4];

‘Campaign’: campaign,
‘Ad group’: ad_group,
‘Keyword’: keyword,
‘Match type’: match_type,
‘Max. CPC’: max_cpc});



//Create date text to append to file name
function createDateString(){
var newDate = new Date();
var month = String(newDate.getMonth());
var day = String(newDate.getDate());
var year = String(newDate.getFullYear());
return month + “-” + day + “-” + year;


var dateString = createDateString();

var subject = “Account Bid Changes ” + dateString;

var options = {
htmlBody : “Hello, <br /><br /> The bid changes have been implemented. <br /> <br /> There were ” +
bidChangeCount + ” keyword bid changes.<br /> <br />” +
“Changes and previous settings can be found in, <br /><br />” +
‘<a href=\”‘ + brandCopy +
‘”>Brand Changes</a>’;


MailApp.sendEmail(email, subject, ”, options)

//End script


Google Speed Update – What It Means & The PPC Impact

Google is all about the need, the need for speed.

tom cruise maverick GIF by Top 100 Movie Quotes of All Time

Specifically, your site speed with the latest Google Indexing update launched on July 9th. Called the “Speed Update”, Google has introduced site speed as a ranking factor for mobile web pages on the SERP. Gasp

Really, I don’t expect this to come as a big surprise to too many of you PPCitizens, as Google already ranks site speed on desktop. Plus, study after study has come out proving that site speed is super important to the average user. Especially on mobile where 53% of visitors leave a page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

The PPC Impact

From what we are reporting thus far on our PPCHero and Hanapin websites, our organic rankings have not taken a hit, but then we have a pretty optimized mobile site (#humblebrag). For those of you who are working with slower mobile sites, you might report an uptick in mobile traffic to your paid search results as your organic listings take a hit and users go through an ad instead. I would keep an eye in Analytics on your mobile traffic to see if you have taken a hit from the new rankings.

If you are seeing a dip in mobile traffic, or even if you aren’t, we recommend optimizing your site for mobile as best as possible. Google has a couple of tools available to evaluate a page’s performance. Lighthouse is a Chrome DevTools resource that audits web page quality by looking at performance and accessibility and PageSpeed Insights reports on how well a page performs on Chrome and recommends performance optimizations.

If updating your mobile site is not currently in the cards, a strong desktop site and search campaign are still crucial. You want your customers to have a solid user experience so they can become a lead or make a purchase. Depending on how slow your mobile site is, it might make sense to bid down on mobile in your search campaigns until improvements can be made to not pay for clicks and have them abandon before the site loads.


The site speed update is important, as it shows Google is continuing to focus on website performance. Overall, though, the impact on your PPC campaigns should be minimal. If you have an extremely slow site, it would be smart to lower mobile bid adjustments until improvements can be made. Otherwise, keep an eye on traffic and watch for a dip in mobile over the coming month.

Has the update had an impact on your site? Let me know on Twitter!


Who’s in Your Sphere of Influence and Why Does it Matter?

The fearless marketer is one that:

  1. Has a revenue attribution mindset
  2. Has a digital sales motion skillset
  3. Has a sales and marketing aligned toolkit

He has extended his hands to partner with sales leaders as a driving force for modern, digital selling. This marketer will Create, Organize, Distribute, and Evaluate Engagement (C.O.D.E.) alongside their sales team. Every asset and campaign is designed with increasing sales quota attainment, per sales professional, in mind. But how can the fearless marketer ensure that their sales team is set up for success?

In this blog, I’ll personally help you understand how the fearless marketer can help set her team up for success. 

Current Challenge

The challenge that sales and marketing have when they begin developing account target lists (by geography, vertical, or strategic accounts) is that someone always does a quick Google search: “What are the largest ABC companies in XYZ industry.” This is called “wallet-share” account selection. While acquiring the biggest, baddest companies in any vertical is important, you aren’t the only company trying to sell to them—by a long shot.

Who Influences Your Customer?

The “sphere of influence” flips this model on its head. To utilize your sphere of influence is to leverage your EXISTING customers as a centerpiece and reverse-engineer the companies and contacts that are within one degree of “social proximity” from your customers. Think about it… sell into accounts where we have the greatest advocates.

Marketing works with sales to war-room a list of new target accounts that have a higher probability/convertibility. Marketing then develops storyboards for these accounts, specifically telling stories about your customer success. You’re telling these stories ONLY to those people that have the highest propensity to understand/care about those stories.

One example of this is job changes from existing customers to new logos. Tools like LinkedIn allow you to map and create a trigger-alert anytime a champion, influencer, or decision-maker leaves your existing customer to join a logo you don’t already have. Your sales team can then engage the advocate at the new logo with well-timed (just as they start their new role), and well positions insights (a reminder of the successes their previous employer had with your solutions).

Why This Works

Here’s one example for you: I met Jill Rowley, Chief Growth Officer at Marketo, through Bob Perkins, CEO of AA-ISP when we were both asked to speak at the AA-ISP Social Selling Summit in 2013. What I didn’t know yet is that Jill had been tasked with training 23k sales professionals on the Why, What, and How-to-Do Social Selling. At the time, she knew very little about sales training. Through this, Jill and I became in each other’s sphere of influence. She was vital to bringing in my company, Sales for Life, to train her team on social selling. Now, five years later, Jill’s hiring Sales for Life again to train the global sales organization on digital selling. Building that relationship was empowering for both of us.

Taking it a Step Further

Once you’ve utilized the sphere of influence model, it’s time to further engage your potential customers. As your sales team is ready to engage accounts, marketing can help the sales team organize a library of rich insights to leverage. These insights are meant to really push a buyer to think differently and question the status quo. The modern, digital seller will reach far beyond just slinging a blog article over to a customer. The modern, digital seller will humanize and synthesize the insights with video. This will really engage the customer and highlight the authenticity of the seller.

The return on video is immense. With my company, we see 10x to 30x read-to-response rates. And, customers all over the world are increasing their opportunity creation percentage because their marketing and sales team are aligning to deliver insights that truly help the buyer. This marketing and sales partnership is the way to fully utilize your sphere of influence. Think of the example I cited with Jill and how now, even five years later, our spheres still intersect to create opportunities.

Have you utilized your sphere of influence to create sales opportunities before? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments.

The post Who’s in Your Sphere of Influence and Why Does it Matter? appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.


Brand Archetypes: The Science Of Strategic Brand Personality

You may have heard of brand archetypes before, but have you ever really stopped to consider how they apply to your brand? Or how they might influence your positioning strategy and communication? From my research on the topic, I get a sense that archetypes are still widely undiscovered and those who have briefly encountered the subject are somewhat dismissive of them as a strategic tool.

Primarily, I feel, this is because of a lack of understanding of their application. When used correctly, however, brand archetypes have the power to place your brand front and center, not just in your customer’s mind, but in their hearts.

The Secret of the Most Loved Brands

We all have an emotional connection with at least one brand. Think of the brands you love. If you’re not a brand fanatic (like many Apple users), then ask yourself a question: What one brand do I use, where the alternative just won’t cut it?

If you think about it, I’m confident there’s at least one. Maybe it’s your iPhone, your Converse trainers, or your Diesel Jeans, or something that’s even more specific to who you are.

Whatever the brand, your connection with it goes beyond simply features and benefits. Your favorite brand has created an emotional bond with you, through strategic positioning and communication.

Why We “Love” Our Favorite Brands

Whether you go so far as to say that you “love” your favorite brands or not, you do feel a connection with them that is “human” and is based on “feelings.” But how can we feel human connections for inanimate objects or corporations that manufacture those objects?

The answer lies in how they make us feel. The most beloved brands are the ones that understand their audience better than others. They tailor their communication (through personality) to evoke the exact desire within them, which their brand satisfies.

The Key Is in The Heart, Not the Mind

We all think that we’re logical people and that our buying decisions are calculated, that we consider all the options on the table and make an informed decision.

The reality, however, is that 95% of our purchasing decisions are made in our subconscious, according to Gerald Zaltman, Harvard Business School professor.

He goes on to say that even those who report that they actively compare competing brands, never actually consider the alternative. In other words, our decisions have been made long before the point of purchase.

Desire Gave Birth to the Archetype

We all have basic human desires (beyond the obvious ones). We don’t learn to want certain things, it’s instinctive. Because we as individuals are all different, we all have different levels of desire for different needs. Psychologist (and once a good friend of Sigmund Freud) Carl Jung, who coined the term “archetypes” said we all have a “collective unconscious” that channel experiences and emotions resulting in typical patterns of behavior.

In other words, there are specific personalities that we instinctively understand, that evoke specific desires within us.

Whether you have a desire for power, freedom, intimacy, safety, or understanding, a particular collection of behaviors (or a certain personality) will evoke those desires within you, more than others. There are 12 distinct personalities (12 Jungian archetypes), which evoke 12 core human desires. These that act as the primary colors for all personalities and desires and can be used to make strategic emotional connections.

Loved Brands Are Tangible

Brands with no emotional connections with their audience are traded like commodities and as such, are immediately replaced when better or novelty options become available. Brands that make emotional connections foster brand loyalty as well as the holy grail of branding, brand advocacy.

Making these connections is not just a case of plucking a handful of traits you believe your audience admires. To make a real connection, your brand needs to become human. A brand that knows who it is, what it stands for, voices opinions, promotes beliefs, champions a cause or brings a certain life to the party is a brand with personality.

These are the brands that make connections, so their audience “feels something” for them. They are alive, they inspire us, they guide us, we trust them and, in some cases, we love them.

How Can I Use This in My Brand Strategy?

Using brand archetypes is not an afterthought in the strategic branding process. It should be a core part of your brand and positioning strategy.

As such, you need to start with your audience, though this is where a lot of confusion lies. It’s not simply about asking which archetype your audience is, like a multiple-choice question.

When you know your audience intimately, their aspirations, fears, desires, and expectations, you can begin to shine some light on the personality (or archetype) that will best appeal to them. Your industry and competitors will also have an influence on your position and how you want to differentiate in your space.

Once you have a clear picture of your competitive landscape, you will have insight into the position you want to take, the emotion and desire you want to evoke, and which fully formed archetypal personality will help bring your brand to life.

Have you used brand archetypes in your strategy? Tell me about your best practices in the comments.

The post Brand Archetypes: The Science Of Strategic Brand Personality appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.


Dynamic Search Ads for Advanced Users

In a previous article Dynamic Search Ads for Beginners, Shannon discussed different reasons you might want to use Dynamic search ads (DSA) and how to set them up in your account. In this post, I am going to discuss some advanced ways to use Dynamic Search Ads in your account.

Why Use Dynamic Search Ads (DSA)

As previously mentioned, DSA are great for catching additional keywords you may not have thought of targeting. They are also great for websites that have too many products to build out individual campaigns or adgroup to target all possibly variations. Another reason might be if you are unsure if you are reaching all the searches available or your products or services. Additionally, you might want to focus on top selling products or products with the greatest ROI.

DSA Targeting Options

Google recommends setting up DSA adgroups by category. These categories were automatically built based on the content of your website. However, there are times when this option does not provide enough granularity to target or exclude the right products. These preset categories are what Google has decided are recommended for your website. In most cases, this option may work best for your account.

However, one of my clients has less than twenty products, and all of these products were bucketed into the same category. This particular group was contributing to orders and revenue, but I had no way to optimize in a granular way to improve performance. In this case, it would be worth testing out targeting by specific webpages.

Targeting by Specific Webpages

If the category is not available, another way to create specific targets is to target by specific webpages. Lets say your website sells shoes and you want to target all products relating to sandals in the same group. If all your URLs for sandals contain /sandals/ in the URL, you could target every page that includes “sandals”.

Additionally, you could create specific rules to target these by groups or individually. You can also customize this to target URLs that contain “sandals” and also contain a particular brand in the page content. This type of targeting can help you isolate particular products and bid differently based on performance.

Targeting by a Custom Feed

You can also create a custom page feed data template with all the URLs you would like to target and organize them by labels. This will allow you to create Adgroups that target specific URLs by labels. For example, you could organize this page feed by rating, category, top sellers, locations, or even product URLs you would like to exclude.

For example, in the client I mentioned above that had all their products bucketed under the same category. This custom feed allowed me to create a custom URL list based on their top products and then organize my adgroups by labels. I could have also created these groups one-by-one using the target specific URLs option. Using the custom page feed is just another way to organize your lists.

Uploading a Custom Feed

Once you have created this custom list, you will upload it under Tools > Setup > Business Data > and upload as a page feed.

Connecting a Custom Feed

Next, you will need to go into the campaign settings and under Dynamic Search Ads, you will want to select Use URLs from my page feed only or Use URLs from both Google’s index of my website, and connect the custom page feed you uploaded. Also, it can take a few days for Google to crawl the page feed and for the ads to begin serving.

Organizing by Custom Labels

By using a page feed, you can see how quickly you could organize all your products by type or brand and create custom adgroups for each group you wanted to target. So, you could organize your shoes by product type, brand, price range, or top sellers. For example, you could organize them by gender and create labels for “womens sandals” and “mens sandals”. This would allow you to bid differently based on performance.

It is a good idea to make sure your labels are clearly defined so you can easily apply them to products in the future. So, if you added an entire new line of sandals, you could easily apply the correct label so those products could begin serving in the Adgroup you created for that particular label.

Excluding by Labels

In fact, you could create a custom label for any products you would want to exclude. Lets say you do want to target any of your hardware or accessories because the ROAS is too low. You could create a label for all these URLs and quickly exclude them all from your targeted list.

Optimizing your DSA

Although you are running a campaign that doesn’t include keywords, do not forget to consistently check your search term reports to exclude any irrelevant keywords. You may also want to exclude any under-performing high cost broad terms.

Closing Thoughts

Using custom page feeds can give you additional ways to structure your DSA campaigns if categories are not structured in a way that works for your goals. Hopefully this option will give you additional ways to organize your campaign for better ROAS.


6 Ways to Include Customers in Your Content

Customers are the heart of your businesses. After all, they provide the revenue to keep your establishment running strong—the fuel to your engine, the peanut butter to your jelly, the milk to your mustache—too much? Jokes aside, have you given much thought to how your customers can actually contribute to helping you grow your customer base?

Peer-to-peer marketing is not only a viable channel you should be exploring, but it’s also one that has seen great success in both B2B and B2C marketing. It’s all about fully partnering with your network of happy customers to assist with social selling, referrals, and thought leadership. In fact, 91% of B2B purchasers say past buying decisions had been influenced by word of mouth from industry peers. The best way to capitalize on this is by including your customer in your content marketing strategy.

In this blog, I will share with you 6 ways you can begin to include customers in your content.

1) Customer Case Studies

If you visit any business website, you are likely to come across a collection of customer case studies either displayed on the homepage or collected under a dedicated tab. Case studies provide the most compelling way to share with your audience how their industry peers have overcome similar challenges with your solution in a relatable structure—a story. In fact, it’s been proven that storytelling can have a profound impact on the decisions we make. However, just like bad stories exist, bad case studies exist.

From my experience through the case studies I’ve been involved with at Marketo and the feedback I’ve gathered from sales (because they are on the frontline of feedback—and we’re all about that marketing and sales partnership!) I can share a few things I have gathered that every good case study has:

  • Real Results—Improved tactical metrics are good and all, but certainly not a compelling enough for your reader to base her executive buy-in pitch on. Take it a level deeper and dig for real, strategic business impact such as ROI, cost savings, or revenue growth. A great way of doing this is to continue the conversation and ask, “Why is this metric important?” or “Where has it gotten you?”
  • A Relatable Challenge—Your audience can take many different angles, but one thing that these stories should have in common is a relatable challenge for your potential buyers. If your audience is the banking industry share how your solution has helped Bank X boost home loan cross-sells, or how Non-profit Y had converted 4x more donors into members over the past year, or how Company Z has enjoyed greater functionality and therefore improved output and ROI after migration from a competing solution.
  • Visual Use Case—Sharing specific use cases (making sure to not get too in the weeds) helps to paint the full picture of how your customer got from A to B—and how your reader can too! It builds credibility and helps your reader visualize how they can similarly use your solution—it even may spark new use cases they can adopt with your solution.

2) Open Your Blog to Customers

Your customer base is a rich pool of knowledge just waiting to be shared, and customer blogging is an excellent way to do that. With a variety of different industries and personas who all have something in common, your blog provides a great platform to share new ideas, perspectives, and grow a community.

If you have a robust guest blogging program already in place, think about your editorial calendar and what customers may have a great piece of thought leadership to add to your blog. Remember that link-stuffing and blogs that are focused on selling your products can turn off potential buyers—even if the links that are stuffed in there are not for your own products.

Consider what you learned about your buyers during the sales cycle and reach out to them to write a blog about a particular pain point that they have. You can also use this as an opportunity to reach a new audience if you ask your customer to cross-promote or republish on their own channels with an attribution link to your blog. As blogging can be a relatively low budget channel, this is an excellent opportunity to maximize your content team’s time by giving them a reprieve from having to write every blog themselves! This is also a unique opportunity to give your customers an opportunity to tell their story and build their own brand up as one that focuses on thought leadership.

3) Feature Customers on Webinars

Similar to customer blogging, you can launch a customer webinar series. This is a neat way to feature customers as guests or even invite them to speak on topics they are well versed in. If you market to a variety of different industries, or if you have a built-out product suite, it’s a great way for your customers to share with their industry peers tricks of the trade, how they find success using your platform, or their point of view on common challenges.

The great thing about webinars, differing from the previous content channels mentioned, is that your guest speaker has the time to go more in depth, show live visuals, and interact with your audience through live chat. Giving a voice to the content adds a dimension of credibility—something not easily portrayed in written content mediums.

4) Go Live on Social Media

If you haven’t noticed yet, live streaming is not-so-quietly beginning to take over social media. It offers a fresh, exciting, and cost-effective way to engage with your target audience like never before. While live streaming is still a fairly new market given that many companies are still trying to fine-tune their approach, it’s certainly a craze to be a part of. In fact, so much so that spectators predict this industry to be worth over $70 billion, by 2021.

But why the craze? Numbers show that 80% of customers would rather watch a live stream video than read a post from a brand—But why you ask? Just like the trill that comes along with seeing your favorite celebrity hop on Instagram live or an influencer respond to your tweet, live streaming provides a new level of trust, transparency, and authenticity.

If this is something you haven’t yet explored—I encourage you to do so. And guess what? Featuring customer is a great way to get started. Think of how you can incorporate live streaming through live events, Q&As, interviews, announcements, or even behind the scene opportunities.

Marketo Live Customer Content Example

5) Promote Self-Recorded Video Content

Similar to live streaming, self-recorded video content is another cutting edge way to enrich your customer community online. Video submissions are a new and fun approach our team has recently begun to embrace, and it’s exciting to see how our customers have responded—Check out the team below!

Camille Crandall, account executive at Marketo takes advantage of the Marketing Nation Summit to launch a three-day mini-interview series of impromptu videos featuring customers and their daily takeaways. This was a really fantastic way to document the event!

Camille Crandall Customer Content Example

Also leading up to Summit, our customer marketing team launched the Fearless 50 nomination challenge. Our customers eagerly took to this challenge through their very own video submissions.

Fearless 50 Customer Content Example 1Fearless 50 Customer Content Example 2Fearless 50 Customer Content Example 3

6) Never Stop Gathering Quotes

And of course, we can’t forget the golden nuggets that enrich every piece of content our marketing team comes out with: customer quotes. The amazing thing about these pieces of treasure is that we can (and we do) include them everywhere—sales slide decks, battle cards, ebooks, white papers, social media. It’s probably the easiest and most impactful way we involve our customers in the content we produce.

One of the greatest marketing challenges is deciding on what message will truly resonate with your audience—and what better way to do this than through peer-to-peer marketing.

There are countless ways to include customers in your content marketing strategy, beyond the traditional case study or press release.  Furthermore, with the continued adoption and development of technology we have the freedom to do what we do best and get creative, try something new: be fearless. Sound familiar?

What are the most exciting ways your team involves customers in your content? Share with us in the comments below.

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