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instagram-direct-ads
Posted by Adeola Alokolaro | 14 06 2017
New Direct Response Ad Options Within Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories is Facebook’s most successful Snapchat imitation – the other two less successful ones being WhatsApp Status and Facebook Stories. We’d seen stats around the end of April that showed Instagram stories hit 200 million daily active users surpassing Snapchat’s.

If you noticed, towards the end of last year, we had started seeing stories with the ability to swipe up for more information. Facebook had rolled out the ability for select profiles (verified profiles and profiles with more than 10k followers) to insert links in their Instagram Stories. These links came as a swipe up to  “See more” feature and according to Facebook reports, almost a month after the launch, they recorded that 15 to 25 percent of the people who saw the links were swiping on it.

With all this, it made total sense to see that Instagram Stories is starting a gradual roll-out on direct response ads worldwide.

This would allow brands and small businesses that haven’t quite gotten enough following or the blue tick have a go at reaching a wider audience with specific CTAs per campaign objectives.

These ads would appear between stories as a single vertical photo or a vertical video of up to 15 seconds in length and would look basically like the “See more” feature above except with different Call To Action prompts. The expected Call To Action prompts include:

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Donate Now
  • Download
  • Learn More
  • Send Message
  • Request Time
  • Start Order
  • Shop Now
  • Sign Up
  • Watch More

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ADVERTISERS?

  • An extra channel to test efficiency in running conversion campaigns for your brands
  • Small business who already use have been using stories organically and getting results have a chance to scale up significantly

HOW TO CREATE ADS ON INSTAGRAM STORIES

To create ads on Instagram stories; you can use Ads Manager or Power Editor. Please note that only 9:16 vertical images and video can be used for ads on stories, and will only be run on Instagram.

In Ads Manager:

  1. Go to Ads Manager
  2. Click Create an Ad
  3. Select the Reach, Video views, Conversions, App installs or Traffic objective
  4. In the Ad Set section, click Placements
  5. Select the Edit Placements, then select the Instagram placement
  6. Click Stories
  7. Follow the rest of the steps to continue building your ad campaign
  8. When you’re ready, click Review Changes to publish your changes

In Power Editor:

  1. Go to Power Editor
  2. Select the Reach, Video views, Conversions, or Traffic objective
  3. In the Ad Set section, click Placements
  4. Select the Edit Placements, then select the Instagram placement
  5. Click Stories
  6. Follow the rest of the steps to continue building your ad campaign
  7. When you’re ready, click Review Changes to publish your changes

Ads in Instagram Stories use the same targeting and measurement tools as ads that run in Feed on Facebook and Instagram. You can capture audiences who have seen ads in their stories and target them on Facebook or Instagram feed. You can also run stories ads targeted at audiences that have seen your ad on Facebook or Instagram feed.

Can’t wait to see the first set of brands and businesses that would be trying this out. What do you think?

 

 

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a complete guide to online payment gateways
Posted by Osaze Osoba | 15 05 2017
The complete guide to online payment gateway systems in Nigeria

Why this guide?

We already wrote about online payment gateways before now. And while it was a good post, it wasn’t complete. Never felt like it was either. I receive a lot of calls from entrepreneurs looking to set up online businesses, and a major concern is online payment. How do users pay with their debit cards? How much does it cost to set up the gateway? What technical requirements are needed?

The questions are endless and there’s no one resource that answers it all. That’s the purpose for this guide. We’d talk about the currently available payment gateways, how much they cost, ease of implementation and their unique features.

Who is this guide for?

If you’re looking to setup an ecommerce (online) store, this is for you.This guide also helps developers figure out what the best approach is for client websites.

How to use the guide

If you already have a specific online payment gateway system you’re trying to look up, check the table of content. If you’re not sure what Nigerian payment gateway system you need to use, I’d recommend taking a look at all of them. I’ve also posted a checklist of features you should check for while deciding on a payment gateway. You might not find one gateway that has it all, but you should get something pretty close. Remember, your customers are going to be using this to make card transactions online, which are the best types of orders, so pay extra attention to detail.

We have also included links to download free & paid plugins that let you integrate these payment gateways into the most popular ecommerce CMS platforms. Most of these plugins are plug and play and don’t require any coding experience. You can check out the full list here

Quick links to key areas

Quickteller / Interswitch payment gateway
Paystack
Voguepay
Simplepay
Amplify pay
GTPay
Table of comparison
Plugins for integration with CMS platforms
Conclusion – Which gateway is right for you?

 

Quickteller / Interswitch payment gateway

This is one of the oldest payment gateways around, only other payment system that has been around that long is etranzact. And this is Quickteller’s biggest selling point, it’s age, which comes with a lot of trust from users. It’s important to note that a lot of other payment gateways still connect to them and act as middle men.

I’ve personally had to integrate Quickteller in the past. Even after installing the plugins and testing things on my end, took me almost a month of emails back and forth to go live. I do hope their services are much better now

Pros    Well known brand
   Trusted by most users
   Largest payment gateway
Cons    Difficult to integrate without plugin
   Redirects out of your website
Cost    N150,000 license fee
   1.5% per transaction up to N2,000

 

Paystack Payment Gateway

Paystack is one of the newest entrants into the Nigerian payment gateway ecosystem. But it has fast become one of the preferred gateways, especially for developers. It’s simple UI and ease of implementation are two of the most common factors. Paystack offers a few new features including allowing users save their card details while making payments. Which means repeat users have a faster checkout process. Although it’s active user base is still small (only about 100,000 transactions last month), paystack looks like it’s the next big thing. It also doesn’t require an upfront fee

Pros    Liked by developers
   Easy to integrate and open an account
   Clean and modern UI
   No redirect. Transaction happens on your website
Cons    Higher per transaction fees
   Still lacking in public recognition/trust
Cost    No upfront license fee
   1.5% + N100 per transaction

 

Simplepay Payment Gateway

Simplepay has been around for a while now. It was one of the first few gateways that acted as middlemen between clients and Interswitch to reduce the effect of the upfront cost  charged by Interswitch. The platform recently rebranded with a cleaner UI and simpler payment process. I cannot say at the moment if it still runs on Interswitch’s Webpay. The simplepay payment gateway is quite good and customer service for developers and clients isn’t bad too.

Pros    Easy to integrate and open an account
   Clean and modern UI
   No redirect. Transaction happens on your website
Cons    Higher per transaction fees
   Not enough recognition/trust
Cost    No upfront license fee
   1.9% + N10 per transaction

 

VoguePay Payment Gateway

Voguepay is very similar to Simplepay and has been around for some time too. And while they have similar features, Voguepay tries to diversify a little. You can send and receive money from local/international accounts through the platform. The homepage does mention an option of offline transactions but I haven’t used that before and I’m not sure how it works. Compared to Simplepay though, I’d say Simplepay looks to be a better option to go with.

Pros    Easy to integrate and open an account
   A few more features for businesses
 Cons    Higher per transaction fees
   Not enough recognition/trust
 Cost    No upfront license fee
   0.99% + N99 withdrawal fee
   1.5% + N30 per transaction
   N1,500 merchant verification fee

 

GTPay

While a lot of the banks (almost all of them) have payment gateway systems that feed off Quickteller, GTPay is the most noteworthy. It is easily accessible to all of its business customers. And yes, you do need to have a GT account opened with the bank to use this gateway. It is largely supported by the trust from the GT brand and so is seen as a preferred gateway. And although the platform still connects to Quickteller to function, the upfront fee is reduced by half to about N75,000.

Pros    Highly trusted brand
   Reduced upfront fee for Interswitch integration
   Get paid directly into your GTBank account
 Cons    Still more expensive than some payment gateways
   Must own GTBank business account
   Tougher account opening processes
  Cost    N75,000 license fee
   1.5% + N30 per transaction

 

AmplifyPay Recurring Payment System

The last mention on my list is a gateway I haven’t seen take off just yet but is worth mentioning. AmplifyPay was one of the first gateways to really focus on recurring payments for proper subscription models. Which is something else that isn’t really big in Nigeria today but has a lot of potential. The gateway focuses on business models that require users to pay periodically, like a monthly payment for magazine subscriptions. And while I have not had a chance to work with this personally, the API documentation seems pretty clear.

Pros    Easy to integrate and open an account
   Clean and modern UI
   No redirect. Transaction happens on your website
   Focus on recurring payment models
Cons    Not enough recognition/trust
Cost    No upfront license fee
   1.5% + N20 per transaction

 

Comparing online payment gateway fees and features

This table gives you a breakdown of the current fees charged by the payment gateways and features they have. It should give a bird’s eye view of what you’d get if you go with any of them. Keep your customers in mind, if you don’t offer subscriptions, don’t make recurring payments a key factor.

*Withdrawal fee is the fee charged by the gateway when you request funds paid on your website to be sent to your bank account

  •  
  • Setup Fee
  • Per Transaction Fee
  • Withdrawal Fee
  • Recurring Payment
  • Save Card Feature
  • Website

 

Free / Paid Integration plugins for your ecommerce store

A payment gateway is only of use to you when you can integrate it with your website right? And because most entrepreneurs start out using popular CMS platforms, most gateways have ready to use integration plugins. This means all you have to do is download a file, upload it to your website and voila! Gateway installed and ready to be used once you fill out a few credentials.

It’ll be very hard for each payment gateway to provide resources for every CMS. So a lot of times, individuals take the time out to build these integration modules and give them out to the public. In some cases, they offer them as paid plugins. Still, not all CMS platforms are covered. We’ve taken the top 8

  •  
  • WordPress
  • Woocommerce
  • Shopify
  • Magento
  • Prestashop
  • Drupal
  • Joomla
  • Opencart

 

Conclusion – Which payment gateway is best for you?

There’s never really a straight answer for this. But it all comes down to what features you need and how much loose cash you have on you. If you have a good developer and money to spare, you can consider Interswitch, the trust factor stands strong. And if you’re lean on cash, go with Paystack. If you don’t like the extra N100 fee, charge that to customers as a convenience fee or put it in the product cost.

There’s a lot to consider when deciding on a payment gateway, because it could make or break your customer experience. I’d say go with what best suits you. And consult with your developer before you do (if you have one). Personally, I use Paystack for everything.

If you found this post useful, be kind enough to share it, someone out there needs it.

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beginners guide to Facebook advertising
Posted by Osaze Osoba | 15 05 2017
New Facebook feature lets you share ad previews with clients seamlessly

We recently spotted a Facebook ad preview feature on the ads manager dashboard. Along with other new changes, but this seemed most useful at the time.

One of the most common requests clients have when running ads is to know how it looks. In some cases, clients actually want to see the ads on their timeline the way a user sees it, but we’d not address that today. This new feature provides a sharable link. Clients can follow that link to see what the ad looks like on Facebook, Instagram and the audience network. Pretty cool.

How to get sharable ad preview link on Facebook

Open up the ads manager and navigate to the specific ad you’d like to share. Select the ad with the checkbox to the side, then click preview like shown below

fb preview step 1

 

On the popup that you get, click on the top right link button and select share a link as shown below

fb preview step 2

The next popup shows you a sharable link you can give to your client. Here’s the link generated for this post – http://fb.me/1XEh54rjZYi74Ji. This link can also be passed on from the client to his management tea, for example. Here’s what the client sees on their end.

fb preview step 3

You’d notice Facebook also gives them the opportunity to opt-in to see the ad in their newsfeed. I think some of us here will relate to the joy of knowing your clients can see their own ads.

I hope this makes your job a little easier now. So next time you get that call saying, “I can’t see my ad! How do I even know what it looks like?” Well, here’s your response.

 

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email-marketing
Posted by Osaze Osoba | 13 05 2017
Poor email link strategy – A case study with Quickteller

Every once in awhile, a big brand comes around and does something weird. Like a financial brand sending out a mail that looked just like a phishing mail. Or selling human beings online… 😀

But there are times when they remind us of the basics of marketing. And the mail I got from Quickteller this week just gave me that same feeling. Here’s the email (which was not so bad by the way)

The timer was a GIF that counted down to zero. I thought it was interesting at first glance. The subject line “your call credit has been exhausted” isn’t bad. Makes you want to click on it. And the copy was simple and straight to the point. Would have liked to see the CTA as a button instead of a text link, but it still works well.

The issue came in when I clicked on the “Click here to topup” link. Here’s the page I get

Quickteller airtime topup

Ignore the unnecessarily busy background and the color blocking happening on this page. I don’t know any of these guys. And I certainly don’t use them. So why was I taken here.

For a moment, I wondered if I had actually bought International Airtime at any point, but nope, never. It would have made sense if I had done that before. I clicked to the second page and still more unknown brands.

My only question is, why international airtime? Imagine all the hundreds of thousands of people who might have seen this, clicked and got to this page…. Really looking for MTN and Glo and the rest. I think that like me, most users will simply close this page.

One of the basic rules of marketing as a whole, don’t make me think. Be sure that whatever link your users click on, they find exactly what they’re looking for.

I hope you learned from this simple mistake 🙂

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useful-google-tools
Posted by Osaze Osoba | 11 05 2017
Is Google AdWords about to start accepting Nigerian Naira Payments?

Every freelance marketer or small business knows this pain. Since the crash of the Naira, $100 limits on debit cards, and high FX, advertising has been hard. Paying for ads is now punishment, because you either make payments small small every month, or get a dollar card. If you go with the dollar card, the next pain point becomes actually getting the dollar at reasonable rates.

That’s why we were excited when Facebook brought in the PayU option for Naira payments. And it has been a lifesaver.

And now it looks like Google will be following suit. A few days back, a reader hinted at a possible NGN payment option on AdWords. We checked it out and noticed that indeed the Naira denomination was now included in the signup page, which wasn’t available before now.

But as of this moment, there are no available payment options under this currency setting. Sources say this is in the works and we should be patient for a possible rollout.

It’s hard to stress how much of a relief this would be to advertisers in Nigeria, I think it’s long overdue. What we’re likely to see is a dedicated payment option for Nigerian cards, just like in Facebook. Payments are also likely to be on a prepaid basis.

We would keep an eye on this space and let you know if anything changes.

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Google-data-studio
Posted by Osaze Osoba | 09 05 2017
Google Data Studio – Free reporting dashboard for freelancers, agencies

In my 5+ years in digital marketing, I’ve always hated one task, reporting. And not because the reports weren’t rosy, no. Mostly because the amount of time it takes to generate these reports drives me mad. And the thought that I have to do this every week…? God help me.

But project reporting is a necessary evil. It helps guide decision making, marketing optimization and tracks progress. So the next question was always “how do we automate this?”. A simple Google search turns up hundreds of paid solutions, but who needs to spend more money on yet another platform. It’s at this point that the Google Data Studio comes in.

What is Google Data Studio

In a nutshell, Google Data Studio helps you visualize reports and provides free unlimited usage as of the time of this writing. You can also connect with most Google products including Firebase, Google AdWords and Analytics to automate data reporting.

What this means is that when running AdWords campaigns for clients for example, you can share a unique dashboard URL. The client simply needs to access this URL and see real time reports on their ongoing ads. Here’s an example

This gives you an idea of how much detail can go into this real time dashboard. And the good news is, because there are so many data connection platforms, you can create reports like this for almost anything. Here’s one from Google on a TV campaign performance

 

So what does this mean for the average marketing professional?

  • If you’re working on the brand side, you can create unique dashboards like these for management. You’d never get asked to create impromptu reports again (hopefully) 😀
  • If you’re working for an agency, you can have each account manager tasked with creating dashboards like these for every client they manage. Now if the client needs to know what’s happening around 12AM (like some of them do), they don’t need to call you anymore. They have a real time dashboard to take care of all their needs
  • If you’re a freelancer managing multiple client ad campaigns… you figured right? Create a dashboard for each client
Bye bye to manually generated reports! Create real time dashboards with Data Studio 🙂Click To Tweet

I’ve tried this out myself and I must confess, it helped me too. I immediately got some insight being able to see all the data all at once. And if you’re wondering if this works for Facebook too, yes it can, with some tinkering and (unfortunately) human intervention.

Already using the Data Studio? Let me know what you think, drop a comment below.

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beginners guide to Facebook advertising
Posted by Osaze Osoba | 22 04 2017
How I reduced Facebook cost per result by 30% with a Facebook split test

Every once in awhile, Facebook releases a new feature. Most times, these roll out for the social network, but the ad manager is never left out for too long. A while back I started noticing the “split test” check box on the ad creation screen, and so I tried it out.

What is an AB Split Test?

An A/B split test is simply comparing two variations of the same thing. On your website, it might be changing the register button from green to yellow. On your AdWords campaign, it might be varying the title and keeping the body text the same. But the common theme in most AB tests, is that a single element changes.

It’s also possible to test multiple elements, which we refer to as multivariate testing. Multivariate tests are more complex, so we wouldn’t be covering them today.

If you're not AB testing, you're leaving money on the tableClick To Tweet

Why is the new feature important?

Seasoned marketers have always run split tests on Facebook for years. So what makes this feature so different? In the past, when you ran a split test, there was no real guarantee of an overlapping audience. Simply put, if I run a test for Advert A and Advert B, there was no guarantee that user A wouldn’t see both. And this possibility ruined the entire scientific approach towards AB tests. With the new Facebook Split Test feature, Facebook will ensure a proper audience split, meaning that user A only got to see Advert A.

How I got a 30% lower cost per result

The goal of my test was to determine which of two age groups responded better to my adverts. So I create my Facebook campaign testing audiences. One audience targeted an age bracket of 21 – 30, and the second targeted 31 – 45. The adverts for both audiences remained the same.

Split test results

After running the ads for 2 weeks, I came up with a cost for audience 21 – 30 that was 30% lower than the second group. What this means is that at the same ad spend, if I was to get 1,000 users, I was now getting 1,300.

What can you split test on Facebook?

You can test any of the following Facebook goals

  • Traffic
  • App Installs
  • Lead generation
  • Conversions

And any of the following elements can be test variables

  • Target audience
  • Delivery optimization
  • Placements

The thing to keep in mind is that AB tests cost you nothing, but can save you a lot. If you do not AB test, you’re certainly missing out on better results and lower costs. So checkout the Facebook Split Test details page and start testing away.

Marketers should keep in mind is that AB tests cost you nothing, but can save you a lotClick To Tweet

If you’ve already run a few tests in the past, be sure to share your insights with us in the comments below.

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local SEO
Posted by Localized Digital | 04 03 2017
4 Ways To Get More Customers With Local Search SEO

One of the easiest ways to attract highly targeted traffic and get more customers to your startup is by optimizing it for local SEO. Local SEO is an aspect of search engine optimization that enables you to “inform” Google that you want your website to be displayed when users from a specific location are looking for information.

To understand this concept, let’s take a quick lesson on how Google works.

Google 101: How Google works.

This infographic about how Google works show that Google has a complex, powerful algorithm that decides the result that will be displayed each time someone makes a search.  However, in order for the result to be relevant, Google sometimes considers the location of the person doing the search. For example, of a user in Nigeria searches Google for “hotels around me”, her result will be different from someone doing the same search in Dublin, Ireland. Each of them will find a result relevant to them. The big lesson here is that Google results are designed to vary according to location of the user,

The good news for your startup is that if you have identified where the majority of your users are based, you can “tell” Google to display your website to visitors searching from that region only. This way, you can be sure that your website visitors are likely to turn to your customers. Unfortunately, if your website does not specify your target audience, you are giving Google a hard time to classify it and you will end up losing valuable traffic and business leads.

4 Simple Ways to Improve Your local SEO.

Here are the top 4 simple tricks I have uncovered that you can use to make your website become more “visible” in local results, especially when someone is searching for information about your business.

 

1. Use Google Search console.

One of the free Google tools I mentioned in this post (number 15) is Google Search Console. It is a powerful SEO machine and one of its functions is that you can use it to notify Google what you want your site to rank for. The “country targeting” feature enables you to specify a primary location in Google search result that shows your pages.
You can achieve this in 3 easy steps.

Step 1: Go to Google Console. Firstly, you should add your website to Google Search console if you have not done so. You can easily set it up using this guideline.

Step 2: By default, your site is configured for international exposure, you should change it to Nigeria or your preferred country of choice. Visit the “search traffic” console and click on “international targeting” to modify it to your country of choice.

Step 3: Save your setting and Google will position your website to be more relevant to searches from your country of choice.

2. List your business on Google My Business.

Another local SEO strategy is to configure your site for Google My Business. According to Google, “listing your business with Google My Business makes it optimized for local searches”. You can find more information about this and how to set it up on their official support forum.

3. Publish content that your local community will find useful.

If you have a blog as part of your traffic generation strategies, you should write posts that your expected local audience will find useful. These guides on LocalizedDigital and SEOMechanic share insights how to use this strategy to drive traffic to you your startup.

While writing blog posts might seem difficult at first, its impact on your business is high. Take for example, our team at ProbityBooks; a local invoicing and accounting startup experimented with this concept by publishing a post that is locally relevant to our community of users. The post ended up ranking on the first page of Google ahead of 50 million results, within 10 hours of posting. The post also drove a sizable traffic to the site.

The major key to this strategy is that your content must be have information that is relevant to the local community. You can use tools like Google Trends or Google keyword tools to track keywords or searches that your local audience are interested in. You can also search online forums like NairaLand to understand some of the pain points of your local market and publish a content that meet that needs.

4. Use Structured data and Open Graph markup

According to Google, “When you use structured data to markup content, you help Google better understand its context for display in Search, and you achieve better distribution of your content to users from Search”. This rich snippets provides more information that enables Google to display it for locally relevant searches and enables the content eligible to appear better in Google Search.

If you use WordPress, you can easily download a plugin to fix this or you might need to go ask your developer for assistance.

Conclusion (Will local SEO bring real ROI?)

If you take action on the 4 recommendations above, you will see improvement in your website ranking for local search on Google. I am sure Implementing these tips has the potential to yield a big impact to your business. Try any of the steps and let me know how it helps your traffic by leaving a comment.

 

Author’s Bio:

Wole Ogunlade is a growth strategist for early-stage startups. His growth strategy helped VoguePay 2.5X user growth in 3 months. He is available as growth advisor for well-funded and early stage startups. His latest project is #HackGrowth; a meetups for startup founders and growth marketers and he is serving as mentor for Tony Elumelu Foundation programme for entrepreneurs (TEEP)

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smw event
Posted by Osaze Osoba | 28 02 2017
Join Osaze at SMW’s 2017 Masterclass event

I’d be facilitating a masterclass event at the SMW 2017. Check out details of the event here – https://socialmediaweek.org/lagos/events/masterclass-tools-engagement-facebook-google-twitter/

Hoping to have a swell time with you there. And if you have any questions you’d like me to address there in person, you can tweet @ososoba to ask them. If you attended the event (or didn’t) and would like to download the slides, here’s a link, download the Masterclass PDF here.

Have any more questions for me? Send a tweet with the hashtag #AskOsaze and I’d be sure to post a response in one of my videos.

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