brand ambassadors

How to Turn Brand Advocates into Content Creators

It seems like brands everywhere can’t get enough high-value good quality content to fill their growing marketing needs. Content marketing isn’t exactly a new strategy but it has definitely taken off in the last 2 years. After spending the last few years focusing on building followers and social media ROI, marketers are now seeing the benefits of educating and entertaining their customers, fans and followers using quality content.

However, content marketing poses a few problems for marketers. Not only are fans and followers devouring content quicker than marketers can keep up, good quality content marketing also takes time and money. Many brands have taken to outsourcing content development and creating content, whether internally or externally, is expensive and brands are struggling to have their budgets meet demand.

With expert tips and tricks, you’ll learn how to leverage band advocates to get more content that is affordable, performs better and will solve your content problem.

Differences Between Brand Content & Advocate Created Content

Let’s be honest, not only is branded content expensive, with many companies spending up to 25% of their allotted budgets to create the content; most of that content is also pretty self-promotional. Consumers eventually get turned off by content that is too self-promotional. Advocate created content has an edge because it allows your brand story to be told through the eyes of others. Consumers find this type of content so trustworthy that advocate created content gets 10X more engagement than branded content. 84% of these consumers will trust honest reviews and recommendations from friends and family more than any form of advertising, according to the 2013 Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Survey.

So how do you find out who your brand advocates are? Your brand advocates can be bloggers who review your products, customers who have had positive experiences and even your own employees. You can find and develop relationships with your brand advocates by searching through fans and followers on social networks and filtering through customer and employee databases.

Once you’ve found them, you can start encouraging them to share the content they’ve created. Here are 5 tips on how to do that:

1) Make It Easy

Your brand advocates will be more willing to share your content if you make it easier for them. Provide advocates with great available content. Even though advocates love your brand, they might not necessarily go out and look for content to share. Providing them with great available content lowers the barriers and increases the likelihood that they will create and share great content for your brand.

Example: Chipotle created an animated short known as the Scarecrow to illustrate how important it is to cultivate healthy, non-processed food is and incorporated a mobile game with the campaign. Not only did the YouTube video get 6 million views and turn viral, the content was shared numerous times by brand advocates and fans all over the world.

2) Help Them Get Started

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One way to encourage advocates to create short-form content (such as an Instagram video) or long-form content (ie. a blog post) is to give them a prompt to get started. Advocates may want to share, but they could be having trouble finding something to say. Giving them a topic or theme can go a long way to getting advocates to share content quickly.

Example: The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has simply asked celebrities and festival goers to share their favorite moments from the festival using the hashtag #TIFF14. Any content with the hashtag gets shared and collated across all social media platforms and helps break the ice for advocates wondering how to get started.

3) Don’t be Too Rigid

Giving advocates prompts or directions to help them get started is great, but be aware of being too restrictive. Advocates know their audiences best, so allow them to the freedom to customize messages that fit their audiences best.

4) Provide variety

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Providing advocates with content in different formats is a great way to ensure that they always have a variety of content to choose from. Videos from events and infographics are great examples of shareable content.

5) Keep it Fresh

Update your content and prompts every couple of weeks to make sure advocates always have opportunities to share new content. Also, inform advocates when new prompts are available so they can contribute

Re-purposing Advocate Content

Re-purposing advocate content on your brand-owned channels is a great way to thank your advocates and also maximize the reach of their content. Here’s another reason to repurpose that content: advocate content performs 7X better on brand owned channels than the brand’s own content.

Where to Re-purpose Advocate Content

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Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube are great platforms to repurpose advocate content because of the high visibility the channels provide brands. All these channels are great places to re-purpose videos, photos and any blog posts or articles.

Website

Showcasing advocate content on your website homepage, blog or dedicated page is a great way to thank you brand advocates for their great content and create a content hub that other uses can go to, to see the best of your advocate created videos, blog posts and photos.

Print

Whether it’s inside a bricks-and-mortar store or in a catalogue, taking digital images offline can help extend the lifetime of the content and help to maximize its ability to reach different audiences.

Conclusion

By engaging with brand advocates to share their content to supplement what brands are already doing on their own online and social channels, brands will see higher social engagement. Powering advocates to share their story helps companies to grow their businesses.

Stay tuned here every week to find more expert tips and tricks to creating better marketing campaigns and become a PR pro!

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21 Awesome Online Tools to Make Your Business More Efficient

Technology is moving and changing at lightning speed in today’s day and age. If you don’t integrate at least some of the tools and cutting-edge platforms to help your marketing strategies and assist increasing your company’s productivity, you’re going to be left behind by the competition.

But, it’s not as simple as just pressing a button or learning HOW to use a tool or application. You need to have support for adopting new changes in your company from the senior management down to IT, marketing, sales and business development and an open environment to collaborate and share the knowledge on the new applications.

This blog post will cast the spotlight on the most popular cloud-based applications that your company should be using to improve creativity, productivity and efficiency.

The applications fall under the following categories:

• File sharing and collaboration tools that will help your business get projects done faster
• Social networking tools that make cross collaboration between teams easier
• Administrative tools that make managing manage projects, schedules and billing a breeze
• Tools that make sales, marketing and content management simple
• Misc. tools that will help you save time on managing your email and more time developing strategies

File Sharing and Collaboration Tools

1) Evernote

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Do you have Post-It notes scattered all over your desk and have a hard time keeping track of all the paper you take notes on during meetings? If this sounds like you, Evernote is the program for you.

With Evernote, you can capture, organize and write information that can be accessed using any device, even giving you the ability to read the text off of photos of notes you’ve taken. You can save and share information in your Evernote virtual notebook that can be shared with your team through Evernote Business.

You could create separate virtual notebooks for each client to keep track of business goals, campaign ideas and project notes. You can even create shareable notebooks for clients to look at, filled with informative web articles or ideas you’ve been ruminating on that you think they might like. When you’re researching on the web, Evernote’s Web Clipper can be your best friend because it allows you to capture and store screenshots of the web pages you’ve been looking at.

Cost: Individual Use: Free, Individual Premium Use: $5.00/month or $45.00/year and Evernote Business: $10/user/month

 

2) Dropbox

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By now, you’ve probably heard of Dropbox. It’s a cloud-based shareable hard drive that you can sync files, photos, videos and projects saved on your personal computer to your work computer or vice versa. When you make a change to a file, the updated version is automatically saved to Dropbox, so you’re working on the latest version no matter where you access it from. If you want to revert to working on an earlier version, you have the option to do that also.

Instead of attaching several files in an email, you can just send a link to the Dropbox folder. You can organize all your files into subfolders based on department, subject or client, so that every folder is shared with the right group of people.

Cost: Individual use: Free up to 2 GB of storage, Team use: Starts @ $795/year for 5 users with unlimited storage

 

3) Google Drive

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Google Drive is the new home for Google Docs where you can upload files and create spreadsheets and presentations to share with others. Any editing you do to the documents is automatically saved and you’re always working on the most recent version. Everyone can see the same version of the document without dozens of email threads with new attachments. Editors can highlight text and suggest changes with the comment tool and writers can hit the ‘Resolve’ button on each comment after the feedback has been incorporated.

Google Drive also has the benefit of being able to open 30 different file types right in your browser, even if you don’t have the appropriate program installed. (ie. you can see .psd files even without Photoshop). Just like with Dropbox, you can organize files into different subfolders and access the documents both on and offline. Google Drive can also recognize objects and text within images like Evernote!

Cost: Individual use: Free w/ 5 GB storage, Google Apps for Business: $5/user/month or $50/user/year

 

4) Google +

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There’s a great way you can interact and collaborate with your clients on Google + by using Google Hangouts. You can have live video chats with your clients while editing a Google Doc to write down campaign ideas. You can also share videos and documents over Google Hangouts too!

Cost: Free (Needs Google Email Account)


5) Microsoft Office 365

You can use the cloud version of Microsoft Office, email inboxes, calendars, instant messaging and file sharing. You have access to web versions of Office, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote with some pricing plans giving you access to the online version of Microsoft Sharepoint for document sharing and collaboration.

You can use the online versions in conjunction with the desktop version which will allow you to move documents back and forth without losing formatting.

Cost: Small business with 50 users: $6/user/month, midsize business or enterprise with 50k users (view files online but no editing)$8/user/month, Enterprise with 50k users (view files online & editing) $14/user/month

Internal Social Networks

6) Salesforce Chatter

With an internal social network like Chatter, you can ask questions, send files back and forth and get responses in real-time without overloading the email server. You don’t have to worry about it getting out of the office because Chatter is for your company only. You can create groups for specific clients to ask questions and provide feedback. It’s a great way to keep telecommuting employees and those in out-of-town conferences in the loop.

Cost: Basic Chatter for your company: Free, Chatter Plus: collaboration, customization with Salesforce CRM features $15/user/month

 

7) Yammer

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The enterprise social network provider is now part of Microsoft Office and you can use it to organize meetings and events and create groups for specific clients to house all the campaign ideas and project details.

Used in conjunction with MS Office, you can create an organization chart for your business so that everyone knows who’s who in each department.

Cost: Basic: Free, Yammer Enterprise: $3/user/month, Yammer Enterprise w/ Office 365: $8/user/month

 

8) Basecamp

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Basecamp is a simple project management platform that allows you to centralize all presentations, documents and meeting notes in one place. You can track and assign project milestones and keep track of the progress on your computer and on your mobile devices.

Basecamp doesn’t price by number of users so everyone involved in a particular project can access the platform to work together. You can control who works on which project and organize them based on their departments (ie. event planning, accounting). You can use the Discussion feature to keep track of all the different conversations and use email to reply to them so you don’t even have to log in.

You can coordinate everyone’s schedules and project milestones using the calendar and keep track of clients’ editorial calendars so you know what’s published when

Cost: $20/month for 10 projects with unlimited users & 3 GB of storage, $150/month for unlimited projects and users with 100 GB of storage

 

9) ActiveCollab

ActiveCollab is another easy-to-use project management system that includes the ability to create invoices and manage time. You can access projects by filtering searches by clients, label, assignee and more and you can break better tasks into sub-tasks and drag and drop project milestones into certain due dates.

You can even create quotes for new projects and mark them as ‘won’ or ‘lost’. If won, you can import the client contact information and start a new project based on the quote.

You can filter tracked time by billable and non-billable and populate a new invoice

Cost: Small business w/ unlimited users: $249/month, Corporate use w/ unlimited users (including time tracking & invoicing0: $399/month

 

10) Intervals

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Intervals is a web-based project management software that combines time and task management with reporting that allows you to see where time is being spent and adjust priorities accordingly.

There’s a built-in timer that you can use to calculate time spent on projects. You can put in task instructions and attach any accompanying files to help with a project such as research notes or website copy. You can track the evolving changes in a document and revert back to the previous version(s) if you choose. The reports help you view which clients you’re spending the most time on, which clients you need to bill, whether you need to hire someone to help with the workload and if you should be adjusting the hourly rate.

Cost: 40 projects, unlimited users, 15 GB of storage: $50/month, unlimited projects, unlimited users, 75 GB of storage: $150/month

 

11) Workamajig

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Workamajig is a web based project management system that combines task management, shared calendars, contact management, expense management, project requests, billing and more.

You can created customized templates for creative briefs, tasks, estimates and more-and you have the option to host it internally on your servers or on the Workamajig servers.

Cost: $38/user/month w/ minimum of 10 users

 

12) Trello

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The premise of Trello, another web based project management systems, is that you write tasks on “cards” like digital Post-It Notes and attach them to different boards labeled “Need to Research”, “Delivered to Client” etc. You can create as many cards as you want to keep track of where projects are at, assign people to them and once the projects are done, you can move the cards from “To Do” to “Done”.

Create cards for different content marketing projects and even create cards for employees to store meeting notes and feedback that they can easily access rather than interrupting them via email or in person. You stay updated on all your different boards and how projects are doing using Trello’s mobile app for iPhone and Android.

Cost: Free

Content Sourcing, Creation & Management Tools

13) Kapost

You can create and manage your entire editorial calendar with Kapost Calendar and even export them to your everyday work calendar (iCal, Outlook, or Google). You can assign different user permissions to all involved in the content management process, from all access to view only AND you can add clients so that they can take a look and give feedback and their approval.

When you have a content idea, you can email the Kapost platform for editors to review, approve and then it goes into the editorial calendar. You can categorize all content according to campaigns, content types etc.

Cost: Standard: $1200/year for 8 users, Pro: $3000/year for 20 users, Enterprise: Quote

 

14) Zerys

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Zerys is a content marketing and project management system that connects your company with qualified writers looking for opportunities to create content for your clients.

Post writing jobs, sample writers based on their expertise, review their work, negotiate rates and publish their work.

You can create questionnaires to ask clients what they are looking for in a project and you can then use that to create a job description for writers. It will help generate a lot of content for client blogs in a short amount of time and you can add your own company’s writers to the system.

Cost: Pricing is based on the per word rate you charge between $0.01 to $0.20

 

15) Contently

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Contently offers an editorial project management program along with a marketplace that connects brands, agencies and other companies with the talent that can complete content projects.

Using Contently, brands gain access to qualified writers that have already been vetted and writers gain access to self-promotional tools and visibility into how their content is performing.

You can create and manage your entire editorial calendar, schedule publishing times and due dates, manage approvals, editing workflows and you can automate content to publish on WordPress, Hubspot, Typepad or Tumblr.

Cost: You’ll have to ask Contently for pricing plans

 

Misc. Handy Tools

16) PassPack

PassPack

PassPack allows you to store all of your agency’s and clients’ passwords, grant access to team members on a need to know basis and it saves time by allowing you to log-in into the sites with the one-touch button to login that also works on mobile.

Cost: Up to 100 passwords for 1 user: Free, Pro: $1.50/month for up to 1,000 passwords and 3 users, Group: $4/month for up to 1,500 passwords and 15 users, Team: $12/month for up to 2,000 passwords and 80 users, $40/month for up to 10,000 passwords and 1,000 users

17) Rapportive

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Rapportive allows you to find out more about your email contacts by providing info about their social media activity right inside your Gmail inbox. You can see their interests and hobbies and connect with them on a variety of social media platforms.

It helps you put a face to the name of unknown contacts in email, use recent tweets and their LinkedIn profile to find common ground to help you tailor your conversations accordingly and follow them via social media without getting distracted and pulled away from your inbox.

Cost: Free!

 

18) Skitch

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It’s a screen capture, sketching and annotation tool that makes explaining a project to a client much easier. You can overlay text, draw simple arrows, shapes and lines and blur image sections to draw attention to certain areas. As Skitch is also an Evernote product, you can save all your Skitch notes and share them between all your devices.

You can use Skitch screenshots in blog posts, reports and in emails to your clients to help you illustrate your point.

Cost: Free!

 

19) Pixlr

Pixlr

It’s a web-based, desktop and mobile photo editing tool that allows account managers and social media strategists to create and edit images without having to resort to spending large amounts of money for a Photoshop license. You can add Pixlr to Google Drive, edit your photos and re-save them on the Drive and you can easily edit any online image by clicking and dragging it to Pixlr using the Firefox and Chrome extensions. You get the mobile app to edit photos on the go when you’re away from the computer.

Cost: Pixlr Web-Based Editor: Free, Pixlr Express: Free, Pixlr Express Plus for Android & iPhone: $0.99

 

20) Pocket

Pocket lets you save everything online that you want to read later and tag them with different tags so they’re easy to organize and find when you’re ready. Pocket syncs content automatically across all your devices, so you can read it with or without an internet connection.

You can even sync Pocket bookmarks on your mobile devices to Evernote and manage your articles along with notes and ideas.

Cost: Free!

 

21) DocuSign

DocuSign

With DocuSign, you can upload a document you need signed, indicate where a client needs to sign and the date and send it off with a customized note. Once they’ve signed off, you’ll get an email notification and you can start the project.

You can upload all kinds of contracts, NDAs and employee handbooks into DocuSign and save time and money on the printing process and turnaround time.

Cost: Free for 1 user w/ 5 signature/month, Professional: $15/user/month for 50 signatures/month, Workgroup: $20/user/month for 2-200 users and unlimited signatures, Enterprise: Get a quote

 

Check back here every week for more posts on how to become an expert on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, content development and management AND learn about new tools you can use to make marketing and running a business easier!

Attracting More Customers With Twitter and Vine

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So you’ve created an amazing Twitter profile for your company, complete with an eye-catching branded cover photo and profile image. You’ve started following key companies as well as industry influencers and bloggers in order to stay ahead of the competition and keep on top of what’s new and exciting.

You’ve started sharing cool tweets and updates of new products and tools you have, cool infographics and fun events and people are responding to them and sharing them with their networks. So, everything’s great on Twitter, right?

Well, you’re gaining followers and fans but you still feel like there’s more that you could be doing to help gain more of an audience and stay ahead of the competition via Twitter and other social media channels.

That’s where I come in. With this post, I’m going to give you a few secrets on to optimize your branded Twitter page for search and then bust a few myths about marketing on Twitter along the way.

Later, I’ll also give you some tips and tricks on how to attract customers by incorporating Vine into your marketing strategy.

6 Steps to Optimize Twitter for Search

1) Keep Your Handles Spam Free

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You can change your Twitter handle at any time, but make sure to keep it professional and unique. Don’t put too many numbers behind it because Google could mistake it for spam because there’s no way to differentiate between which ones are real and which ones aren’t.

2) Include Keywords in Your Bios

To improve SEO, include at least one keyword about your industry in your bio, but don’t overstuff it with keywords because it’ll look forced. A few keywords in an attention-catching bio deployed in the right way to help you increase your visibility on search results.

3) Build Your Reach

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Gaining an audience of high-quality followers in important for SEO purposes. Google checks the authority of every user who’s tweeting content, so make sure you share great quality content with legitimate Twitter accounts in order to raise your search ranking.

4) Create a Subset of Keywords

Your business should have a set of keywords it tries to rank for, but not all of them translate over to Twitter. Analyze the keywords through various tools and pick a smaller subset that are easier to tweet on a semi-regular basis to raise your ranking.

5) Keep Tweets in the Safe Zone

To make sure your SEO-optimized tweets aren’t deleted when someone re-tweets them, try to aim for status update lengths of between 120-130 characters. That way, re-tweets have some leg room and you’ll also improve click-through rates (CTRs) on your tweets.

6) Fuel Your Inbound Links

Posting updates that people love retweeting will boost your optimization efforts and Google analyzes the number of followers who retweet your content and ranking your retweeted link-the Twitter equivalent of an inbound link. So make sure whatever you share catches enough attention that people want to retweet it.

Busting Twitter Marketing Myths

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Myth #1: Having a Twitter Account for Longer Time Period is Better than a Shorter One

Your presence on Twitter isn’t measured by how long you’ve been a member, but the value that you provide which translates into followers and engagement. To increase your value, make sure you provide high-quality content and don’t spend all your time simply trying to sell your products and services.

Myth #2:Tweeting every second of the day is better than tweeting fewer times

Everyone knows that tweets have a short shelf life but that doesn’t mean you should be tweeting every single second. When you tweet every second, your older updates will move down your followers’ news feeds and having constant updates can irk your followers pretty quickly. So remember that tweeting too many times can irk your current fans and decrease the likelihood of getting more followers.

Myth #3: Following industry influencers is better than following customers

Many businesses will follow industry leaders to gain insights into what they think and follow competitors to keep on top of what they’re doing, but they ignore customers. Don’t ignore your customers, if they care enough to like and share your content, you should give them some of that love and respect back and reciprocate by following them to see what’s been going on.

Now that you have a better grasp of how to master Twitter, here are some tips on how to incorporate Vine into your marketing strategy

How to Incorporate Vine

By now, you’ve probably heard about Vine. It’s an app that allows you to capture and share short videos that are 6 seconds or shorter. It compliments the 140 character limit on Twitter nicely and gives you more of a chance to be creative in a shorter timeframe.

You can use Vine to expand your video library and incorporate more videos into your marketing strategy. You can also share them via your Twitter updates quickly and easily. Unlike longer videos, Vine’s ability for quick uploads and easy-to-use interface gives you the freedom to experiment with different topics and images without having to worry about video production quality.

6 Ideas to Inspire Vine Videos
1) Sneak peeks to promote an upcoming event or webinar. (ie. speaker clips)
2) Product demos featuring a particular feature or tool
3) Clips showing new gear and products in action
4) Behind the scenes look at the office culture
5) Short case studies of customers using your products
6) Clips highlighting your company participating in community events

A great way to encourage engagement with your followers with Vine is to pose a question to all of them and post the answers in the form of short and snappy Vine videos, as a video Q&A or shortened version of a Google Hangout.

Once the questions come in, a moderator will tell your followers which questions are being answered and when to expect the video. Once a video is produced, you can automatically share it via Twitter. In an hour-long Twitter chat, you can produce anywhere from 15-20 short video responses.

If you’re going to do a Vine Twitter chat, make sure you have one person monitoring responses via Twitter, one person in charge of the filming and one expert on camera answering the questions. Make sure you always have a backlog of good questions collected from Twitter on hand so you can produce the videos faster AND when you post the video make sure you use the chat’s hashtag AND include the expert’s Twitter handle.

How to Measure Twitter and Vine ROI

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Twitter has two purposes that you need to be measuring: Business Generated through Leads and Twitter Database/Follower Growth.

To measure business growth from Twitter, you need to look at two elements: how many visits you’ve had to your website through links you’ve placed on Twitter and how many new contacts (ie. sign up for an e-book, enter their email addresses, contacted you) those visits have generated.

You can measure your Twitter database growth using 3 different metrics: Measure how many followers you gain from month and month (which allows you to see which campaign tactics have been working and which ones haven’t), daily follower growth and how many link clicks you’re getting from these followers. You can use a tool like TwitterCounter to help measure your follower growth over time.

Tracking Vine is a little trickier, but there are a couple of ways. You can add hashtags to status updates with links to Vine videos and hashtags are trackable using tools like TweetReach. You can then search for the custom hashtag you used for the Vine video and see how many tweets the hashtag received, how many impressions and how many people it reached. You can also see the month-to-month growth of followers on your Vine account.

Stay tuned for more posts on how to better utilize Vine and Twitter in your marketing strategies!

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The Top 12 Calls-To-Action You Need for Your Marketing Campaigns

So you’ve created an amazing new website for your company or a cool e-newsletter that you want to share with your loyal customers and maybe get some new ones; but there’s a problem.

You’ve noticed that you’re not getting as many people clicking through to your e-book, your web form or your videos as you would like. But the links are clearly on the front page of your website and on your e-newsletter, so what’s going on?

Well, it could be that your audience has a tough time seeing your calls-to-action. A call-to-action can be a link and/or phrase that connects two very critical pieces in lead generation: incoming traffic and the opportunities to convert these visitors into new leads. In order to drive more traffic to your website and the offers you want them to opt-in to, you need to make call-to-action improvements.

So what kind of improvements should you be making? Here’s a list of the TOP 12 Calls-to-Action that you need to drive more traffic & get more leads.

1) Calls-To-Action Using Contrasting Colors

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The fastest way to grab someone’s attention is by making your CTA stand out from the rest of the page by making it dominant. You can do that by choosing a color for the button or link that contrasts the background.

There’s no rule of thumb or guideline to follow about choosing colors to make your CTA stand out on the page, except THIS ONE: make sure you choose a color that works with your overall website design AND avoid patterns.

If you’re using a background on your website that has a lot of different colors and shapes, consider putting a dark semi-transparent box behind your CTA to make it readable and give it a chance to stand out. Or, use white text for your CTA on top of warm colored (such as red, yellow or orange) boxes to make it stand out.

2) Calls-To-Action Presenting An Incentive

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If you place a CTA asking someone to download your whitepaper for instance, you might want to mention a bonus that goes along with it. Maybe it’s free, or there’s a discount available or even a bonus offer of a cool template or e-book to go along with it. Sometimes offering a compelling incentive with your CTA can go a long way in having visitors take the next step.

By offering exclusive discounts with your CTA, you’re allowing visitors access to a special club that allows them to experience everything you have to offer and more, easily and efficiently. What also works well is telling them that clicking on the CTA to get started will only take a minute. People respond well to taking action as long as they aren’t a long process.

3) Calls-To-Action Showing Product

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By showing your product or service with a CTA, you make the offer seem more tangible to visitors; they know exactly what they’re getting. It captures what you’re trying to say and show the value of what visitors will be getting. If it’s compelling enough, they’d click through your CTA

Having a screenshot or video of the product with the CTA gives visitors a visual connection between the two and makes the action more attainable. Placing an animation of a product allows visitors to get a feel for the product and its features themselves and take the next step.

4) Calls-To-Action Using Great Text

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Before you place a CTA, make sure that you have a great description in place on what sets your product/service apart from similar products. You can reinforce the message about your product in your CTA as well.

A great message can also include incentives, add clarity AND set visitors’ expectations on exactly what they’ll be getting. Adding in a teaser to entice visitors to take the next step can also be an integral part of a great message.

5) Calls-To-Action Using Spacial Effect

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Don’t overcrowd your CTA with other surrounding text or images, you want to give it some space to stand out.

Separating the CTA from the rest of the content on the page means that it’s a separate item. So the rule of thumb is that if you have a tight connection between the CTA and another element on the web page, such as a great message about your product/service, then there should be less white space between them. Only keep the CTA separate from web page elements that have nothing to do with the CTA.

Make sure you have enough breathing room around a CTA to make it stand out and help the reader focus on all the important information on the page.

6) Calls-To-Action Creating a Sense of Direction

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Some of the most successful CTAs have arrows pointing at them that creates a sense of direction and guides visitors to important elements on the page. This prioritizes information and creates a traffic flow on the website.

Having a CTA with an arrow that points to the right follows the natural step in terms of reading left to right, so putting that on the front page draws visitors’ eyes to the next step.

Other visual effects can also give a sense of direction such as circling the CTA with a handwritten font.

7) Calls-To-Action For Email Generation

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You can also use a CTA to capture emails to build your own list of loyal customers that you’ll follow up with, notify them of discounts, promotions or special events and create your own captive audience that can become advocates for your brand and generate some amazing UGC for your marketing campaigns.

An element that can help entice visitors to enter their email addresses can be a great teaser for an event, telling them to sign up for updates on a conference. It would also help to notify visitors exactly what they’ll be receiving when they enter their email addresses, so that your company has complete transparency.

Reiterating what was said earlier about providing a great message with your CTA, don’t be afraid to add that the sign up process will be free and quick and that signing up will be hassle free and offer benefits. Also, by putting the entire sign-up process on one page, you are transparent with visitors and it makes the sign up process easier.

8) Calls-To-Action With Primary and Secondary Options

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Sometimes you may have two or three competing actions you’d like visitors to do, such as sign up using their email AND download your white paper.

You can certainly have more than one CTA on a page, but you have to decide which one is most important. Make that one stand out with a more prominent placement, different color and a bigger size so that visitors can differentiate between the two.

You can turn the primary CTA into a button and just make the secondary one a hyperlink to make the primary CTA stand out.

9) Calls-To-Action Facilitating Segmentation

Royal Mail CTA audience-segmentation

When you’re creating CTAs you should be thinking about the people you want clicking on them. Who are your buyer personas and what can you do to make each CTA more targeted to these audiences?

Easy! Let your community identify their own sub-personas by offering them CTAs that facilitate segmentation such as placing two CTAs on the same page but for two different groups (ie. For Students/For Teachers).

You can use bullet points to distinguish between the CTAs as well as images that convey distinct messages on what each segment identifies as.

10) Calls-To-Action That Make Good Use of Video

Capital One Venture landing page

Videos are a great format for educating visitors on certain concepts, a new product or what your company is all about and they also have the power to convey strong emotions that can prompt visitors to take action. They can be a great addition to a CTA or the video itself can BE a CTA.

You can add text encouraging people to watch the video and invite visitors to simply press ‘Play’ as a CTA.

11) Calls-To-Action With Unorthodox Shapes

dollar-shave-club-landing-page

Trying out fun shapes such as stars or ovals to outline your CTA with might increase the likelihood of a visitor clicking on it because it looks so different from anything else on the page. Don’t be afraid to experiment with shapes that are asymmetrical or rare.
Using unconventional shapes lets you stand out from the competition that are all using traditional shapes for their CTAs. Ribbons can also catch peoples’ attention because they convey exclusivity. Placing your CTA on the image of a Post-It Note also creates a sense of productivity and puts you in a mindset to take tasks off your list.

12) Calls-To-Action That Reduce Visitors’ Anxiety

Revenizer CTA

Sometimes even though your community may be motivated enough to download your resources, you need to do some extra work to assure them that their time and energy is well-spent with you. By guaranteeing that their information and privacy is safe, you can build a much more effective and loyal relationship with visitors.

Place a note near the CTA notifying them that they don’t need to give you their credit card and put a disclaimer that states you won’t give their email addresses to anyone without prior permission. Putting in extra time and effort to calm visitors’ anxiety could bring you more leads in the long run.

Stay tuned for more marketing tips!

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15 Cool Tips to Help Your Business Master Pinterest

By now, you’ve probably seen numerous Pinterest boards floating around online. Whether it’s a friend of yours sharing her board full of wedding inspiration and desires or sharing recipes, it’s a fair bet you’ve been shown several Pinterest boards full of fun and interesting hobbies.

But is it just a fun way to create galleries of all the things you love and share them with friends or is there more to it? Can you actually capitalize on Pinterest’s popularity for your business? The short answer is yes.

With this post, I’m not only going to show you some compelling reasons on why you should be using Pinterest for your business, but I’m also going to give you some cool tips on how to master the platform.

Why You Should Be Using Pinterest for Your Business

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Pinterest is a network that gives consumers the ultimate freedom: they can create boards and search for others based on their own interests and hobbies. By having a presence on the platform, you’re increasing the chance of your business being top-of-mind for consumers looking for certain interests, products or services AND the opportunity for them to pin images of your products and services to their boards.

According to comScore, Pinterest users spend more money on more products, more often than any other user on the other top 5 social media sites. Not only that, but Pinterest also receives an estimated 85,500,00 unique visitors in one month alone, according to eBiz.

Pinterest can drive web traffic back to your company website too. Placing the ‘Pin It’ button on any image on your company page will help drive traffic back to your website because every single one of your pins will include a link to the original source.

Convinced yet? Ready to create a Pinterest business account? Here’s how you do it:

How to Create a Business Pinterest Account

pinterest-business-1

Go to http://business.pinterest.com to set up your business account and click the red button that says “Join As a Business”. Select a business type, add all the contact details, including a password. Then fill out your profile including a company logo, a description of the company, your username and your website URL.

Here’s a tip for the business type you choose: The business type you choose with help your account rank on more relevant searches and provide relevant fields on your page

Three easy steps to create a business Pinterest account. So now that you have a business Pinterest account, how do you go about using it to elevate your business?

Here’s the list of 15 cool tips to help your business master Pinterest:

top15 pinterest tips

1) Promote Your Pinterest Account Across Other Platforms-Add the Pinterest button to your website and promote your account through your other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Consider launching a Pinterest contest and writing a fun blog post about it on your website

2) Create a Board on a Specific Topic (Ie. Weddings, Brunch Recipes, Classic Cars)-Taking this approach allows you to attract users passionate about a specific topic. Create resourceful boards using a few core keywords that you already use in your SEO strategy. Having such a board means being ready to add other users’ pins to enhance your collection.

3) Engage W/ Others’ Pins-Follow users that you want to follow you back. Like and comment on their pins; when they see you interacting with their pins, they might be more likely to follow you

4) Avoid Human Faces in Photos-Data shows that photos without human faces are shared 23% more than images with faces in them

5) Be Selective W/ Your Color Choices-Data shows that images with dominant colors of red, dark green and pink are shared 3X as much as images that don’t have them. Red or orange images are also re-pinned twice as often

6) Try creating a User Generated Board-Similar to the ideas I floated in my post about getting more sales through UGC campaigns; by allowing prolific users to contribute their own pins, you open up your marketing to an entirely new world of valuable content by involving fans.

7) Highlight Happy Customers-Encourage customers to send you photos or take photos of them at your next event-using your product or service!

8) Promote Your Blog Content-Use photos that could be successful on Pinterest for your blog posts. By pinning those images on Pinterest, you will drive traffic directly back to your posts!

9) Host a Contest-Another idea plucked from my previous post, asking dedicated users to take the time to create their own boards demonstrating what they love about your brand, products & services gives your fans agency and tells them you valued their input in your marketing. They’ll love you even more when you tell them that the best pinboard will win a prize!

10) Add the Pin It button to your website-Make it easy for people to share images from your website

11) Add Links to the Pin Descriptions-Adding links to the descriptions of your images on Pinterest will drive traffic back to your main website, which allows you to measure how useful the platform is compared to your other social media presences

12) Build a Video Gallery-YouTube and Vine aren’t the only places where you can share videos! Build a library of videos about your products and services along with relevant images to catch fans’ attentions

13) Use Hashtags-Hashtags make content more search-friendly and it can help you leverage a marketing campaign on multi-channels such as Facebook and Twitter

14) Feature Offline Events-Create a pinboard with the best photos and videos from your events to help promote buzz for the next one.

15) Embed Posts on Your Website-You can easily embed a Pinterest post on your website and increase the visibility of your Pinterest account on other websites

Hope these tips will help your business jumpstart new marketing campaigns on Pinterest and stay tuned for Part 2 of How to Master Pinterest for Your Business.

Mark wearewinter

Turn Dedicated Fan Content Into Sales for Your Company in 4 Easy Steps

With the rise of cool techniques on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Vine, consumers are consistently finding new ways to create, share and consume more content on a daily basis.

Consumer-created content isn’t just popular, it also has the power to influence other consumers.
How many times have you watched a how-to video posted to YouTube by a fellow user to learn how to create a certain design in Photoshop? Or read a restaurant review on Urban Spoon from another patron that ultimately led you to decide to NOT eat there? Or, even just seen a friend’s beautiful travel photos on Facebook and wanted to travel to the destination yourself?

We’ve all made decisions about products we want to purchase, restaurants we want to experience and destinations we want to travel to, based on user-generated content (UGC).

But how influential is it really? Millennials report that user-generated content (UGC) is 20% more influential on their purchases than any other type of media.

And yet, many retailers still aren’t capitalizing on the popularity and influence of social content.

In 4 steps, I’m going to show you how to convert influential and authentic consumer content into sales for your company.

Step #1: How to Build a Library of User-Generated Content

#GEInspiredMe Pinterest UGC campaign

#GEInspiredMe Pinterest UGC campaign

You can capitalize on getting value from consumer content by using one of the most powerful tactics: building your own UGC marketing campaign.

Building your own UGC marketing campaign allows you to use this word-of-mouth strategy to automate the content collection process. You don’t have to reach out to individual consumers to request permission to reuse their content and it collates all of the valuable consumer feedback in one place.

So what are some easy ways to create a UGC campaign?

Start with a hashtag campaign. Make it easy for consumers to enter the campaign with a designated hashtag. The beauty of hashtags is that they’re a common feature across many platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Vine, which allows your fans to choose how and where they want to participate; allowing you to pull off a cross-platform campaign easily.

Branded hashtag campaigns can be powerful calls-to-action across all platforms, including TV, social and print.

Take, for example, the Canadian Olympic Committee’s marketing campaign for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. They wanted to ‘own’ winter and establish it as Canada’s identity and they did this by creating the #WeAreWinter campaign, the largest ad campaign ever for the COC.

With social media as the prominent platform, #WeAreWinter featured well-known Canadian Olympians (and their social profiles) talking about how winter is at the core of who Canadians are. Documentary-style videos on the re-designed Olympic.ca helped tell the stories of the lesser-known athletes and showcased the drive and determination of the medal hopefuls.

The end result? The hashtag #WeAreWinter was used over 500,000 times on Twitter in Canada, over a million times worldwide, and was trending worldwide on the final days of the Olympics.

Country_Living_Magazine

Country Living Magazine’s Pinterest Page

If Pinterest is one of your major platforms, consider running a contest on it. Take the Pinterest contest run by Country Living Magazine. They asked pinners to follow the Country Living Pinterest page, launch a new Pinterest board entitled “My Country Living Dream Bedroom,” and pin at least 10 items that represent their dream bedroom (5 of which needed to be pinned from CountryLiving.com), all tagged with #countryliving and #dreambedroom. To submit their entry, pinners were required to comment on the contest’s pin with a link to their pinboard.

Whether you’re holding a Pinterest contest or having fans enter into a cross-platform hashtag campaign, here are some tips to get a UGC marketing campaign on the go:

• Offer an incentive for fans to share & tag their content, whether it’s a prize or a chance to be featured on your home page.
• Promote the contest/campaign inside stores if you have a bricks & mortar presence.
• Put a CTA for the campaign on or inside product packaging
• Include a CTA in your e-newsletters
• Promote the campaign through all of your social channels & share the best fan entries

Step #2: Capturing Data from Campaign Participants

Suave_sweepstakes_t_and_c

Suave #RadiantWishes Sweepstakes

When you’re running a UGC campaign, it’s important that you remember to comply with legal guidelines by having your consumers agree to the terms and conditions.

After having fans send out a hashtag tweet to enter a contest, you can send them a custom response form thanking them for their entry and asking them to accept terms and conditions in order to claim the prize.

Sign up forms are also a great way to have fans grant permission to allow your company to use their content across multiple platforms. You can also use them to capture any consumer info you choose, from demographics to contact info and hobbies. Leverage the data you receive from sign up forms to better understand your consumer base, learn their preferences and to tailor future marketing campaigns accordingly.

Also, by enabling opt-ins for your email campaigns and allowing your consumers to receive updates about future promotions, you can now build an owned audience and create deeper connections with fans on your social platforms and through your website.

Step #3: Turn Your Website into a Social Hub

Burberry's UGC campaign for their famous trench coats

Burberry’s UGC campaign for their famous trench coats

When you create a cross-platform UGC marketing campaign, don’t forget to include your website. Save the best entries, photos & hashtagged images from your UGC campaigns and display them on a dedicated landing page on your site.

Displaying rich, engaging user-generated content on your website not only drives up web traffic but increases opportunities for users to share their own content, as well as content from other users that they enjoy.

Here are some tips on how to showcase UGC across multiple platforms:

• Create online displays via your website and social media platforms that promote holidays and seasonal offerings such as winter recipes or a summer product line
• If you have a bricks & mortar store, put up a prominent display in store with the site URL
• Ensure that you place reviews and comments on specific products on those product pages
• Pull quotes from your website and use them across the social platforms
• Run a Pinterest board with your favorite user submitted how-tos/styles/photos
• Run an email campaign with users wearing/using your products & drive traffic from the campaign to a branded landed page on your website full of UGC.

Step #4: Drive Sales & Measure the Results

mod_cloth_pinterest_contest

Don’t just display user-generated content, employ tactics to actively drive sales. Associate UGC with product-related content as much as possible across your website, email campaigns and social media platforms, providing a clear path to conversion.

Easy ways to do this include placing a link to the product page behind each photo, making it easier for users to click through and buy or link to pages that display products in seasonal collections or for certain occasions.
By including trackable links with each piece of content, you easily track visits, shares, views and ultimately sales. By measuring the results of each piece of content, you can make informed decisions about what content works and how you can include it in your overall strategy.

Stay tuned for more on content marketing, including a post on how to turn brand advocates into content creators for your company!

Top Social Media Engagement Lessons From JetBlue, Fab.com, Kirkland’s & Zappos

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After hearing a lot about crisis communications case studies via social media for companies such as HMV and Burger King, I started thinking that there must be other cases out there of how companies got into some social media pitfalls and then used these lessons to improve their companies.

These examples, I thought, could help the rest of us small businesses learn how to prevent, deal with and learn from PR disasters & crisis communications situations and come out the other side as better business people.

Without further ado, here are some examples from the likes of Jet Blue, Fab.com, Kirklands & Zappos that I found, that I hope will help you become more PR & crisis communications savvy on social media.

Leader in Managing Public Image: JetBlue

jetblue

In February 2007, JetBlue made the grave errors of not providing over 1000 customers with adequate information as they sat on the runway for over 8 hours at JFK due to a severe ice storm, frozen wheels & the inability to return to the gates due to a lack of availability. What made the situation even more frustrating from passengers was JetBlue’s inability to book alternate flights for many of the passengers due to the storm.

What JetBlue Did Next: Using Social Media to Mend Customer Relations

 JetBlue shocked everyone by issuing a heartfelt apology. Using both traditional channels and YouTube, JetBlue’s founder and then- CEO David Neeleman issued the apology, taking full responsibility for the mishap and expressing genu­ine regret. He then created the JetBlue Customer Bill of Rights with the promise to handle future issues exponentially better.

Turning another PR crisis into an opportunity

When JetBlue pilot Captain Osbon experienced a mental breakdown in April of 2012, JetBlue tweeted updates and created a live-blog, keeping customers in the loop and creating the sense that JetBlue and their custom­ers were in it together. As a result, JetBlue won first place in the consumer-decided Simpliflying Heroes, demonstrating the power of social media in turning potential disasters into PR wins.

The lesson: Use social media to respond quickly and accept responsibility for your failures

For JetBlue, by re­sponding quickly and providing customers with real-time, honest information, even major crises like Captain Osbon’s in-flight medical emergency provide the potential for positive customer relations.

To sum up: use social media to respond quickly and honestly, while also keeping track of how your customers respond. You can simultaneously retain existing customers, cause those customers to spend more, and gain new customers who see your brand effectively engaging in customer service.

Leader in Generating Revenue: Zappos

zappos

Using Social Evangelism to Drive Revenue

Zappos allows buyers to easily share their purchases across Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, with im­pressive results across social networks. For each ‘Share’, Zappos earns $33.66 on Twitter, $2.08 on Facebook, and $0.75 on Pinterest in incremental revenue. Facilitating the social endorsement doesn’t rely on Zappos’s social media presence but rather on the social media presence of their customers.

To top their social-friendly website, Zappos also leverages social media with custom sites like Pin­pointing, which utilizes Pinterest users’ posts to make shopping recommendations for them. This initiative, combined with encouraging and facilitat­ing social sharing, allows Zappos to generate both quantifiable ROI and more comprehensive ROF (Re­turn on Fan).

The lesson: Use customer endorsement to drive sales through social

While a strong social presence is essen­tial for overall success, what sets Zappos apart from other companies successful in social engagement is their ability to leverage consumers to sell products for them.

Leader in Leveraging Facebook to Increase Website Traffic: Fab.com

fab_instagram

Creating a website with social built-in

Fab.com has done everything from facilitating and incentivizing social endorsement to actually creating a live “newsfeed” on the site using Facebook Open Graph. This Newsfeed populates in real-time with user activity on Facebook, creating a constant influx of new user generated content and allowing users to browse and buy this socially shared content directly from Facebook or their website. Using these tactics, in just four months Fab was able to double its referral traffic from Facebook and ex­pand its membership from 1.8 to 3.2 million users.

The lesson: Incorporate social media into your website

Fab. com created a website entirely integrated with the social world and doubled its user base with a large percentage of high lifetime value customers. The more social value Fab creates – such as adding recommendations based on friend’s purchases in the live stream – the more users will purchase their products and share with their social graphs.

Leader in Generating Leads: Kirkland’s

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Kirkland’s spent 2011 growing their social media following with a focus on Facebook: they now have over 580k Facebook ‘Likes’. Upon reaching their de­sired audience size and seeing higher traffic to and increased social spending on their site, the company shifted their attention to cultivating their following by creating valuable content.

Embracing social commerce: Kirkland’s Dream Room Giveaway sweepstakes

Kirkland’s used the sweepstake entry-for-email transactional method to create great value for both fans and the company. Fans entered their basic in­formation without ever leaving their Facebook page, combining Discovery (newsfeed), Interaction (pro­motion), and Transaction (entry-for-email). Using this value-creation tactic, Kirkland’s was able to gather 16,400 fan emails, 2,269 of which were new to their database.

$0.66/new qualified email address and other quantifiable benefits

The Kirkland’s Dream Room Giveaway led to over 2,000 qualified (qualifying a lead was based on the average spending for each email obtained through Facebook) new emails obtained at an average price of $0.66. More than just lead generation, the Dream Home Giveaway campaign offered returns not directly linked to monetary gains, with an increase of 40% in new Facebook ‘Likes’ and 47% more people ‘Talk­ing about’ Kirkland’s for the month of August.

The lesson: “Free” offers in social can drive ROI with the right exchange of information

The value of social media amounts to far more than driving direct sales and managing customer re­lations. By creating a free offer in exchange for an email address, Kirkland’s was able to cheaply drive qualified leads, filling the sales pipeline and driving revenue further down the line.

With every single one of these case studies, you can learn not only how and what to do regarding PR & crisis communications scenarios, but also how to better leverage social media to increase web traffic, generate leads and revenue without having to resort to using promotions such as contests just to drive engagement and conversation. You can use them as a means of nurturing leads as well.

What’s your favourite case study that’s taught you something new about utilizing social media?

For more on social media tools and the importance of leveraging platforms to create effective campaigns, check out my post on Tips on How to Leverage Social Media to Effectively Promote Events.

-Lilian

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Common Mistakes Made in Inbound Marketing

Inbound-Marketing-VS-Outbound-Marketing

After doing some research, I came across a great e-book on the ins and outs of inbound and outbound marketing. As a marketing student, years ago, we’d been taught that any internal communications meant creating newsletters and memos within the company and external was any type of communication/marketing that we would send out via direct mail, email, magazine ads, radio ads, etc. to the consumer.

But, the terminology and the strategies have changed. So what exactly is inbound marketing? Here’s the definition I found:

Inbound Marketing:

The process of helping potential customers find your company – often before they are even looking to make a purchase – and then turning that early awareness into brand preference and, ultimately, into leads and revenue.”

So what fits into the definition of inbound marketing? Content is the crucial key inside inbound marketing. Utilizing everything from blog posts and videos to white papers, case studies and free trials, you can create content that educates, inspires and compels your audience to share it with their networks. This content can take the form of articles, webinars, white papers, eBooks, slide presentations, videos and more, and can be shared via blogs, third-party sites, and social media where your prospects “find” you.

By placing SEO-optimized keywords in your content as well as using social media such as Facebook, Twitter & Google+, blog syndication sites like Business 2 Community and even social media clout sites such as Empire Avenue to promote your content; prospects will be able to find you online. Doing this can help you maximize your reach and increase traffic to your blog.

But, mistakes in inbound marketing can happen.

How Inbound Marketing Goes Wrong

  • Your aim is too wide: You spend too much time running “carpet-bombing” style campaigns, under the belief that they will reach the most people and then wonder why you don’t produce better results. To connect with prospective buyers –you need to switch to delivering high-quality content to the right people in an engaging way – and doing so across multiple channels.
  • Some prospects find you, others don’t know you exist:  There are two things happening here. First, some people don’t realize they should or could seek you out. Think about it: If you don’t know about something, you can’t search for it. You may not be sharing the right type of content or sharing it in the right place for your prospect to find it. For example, you might create white papers about your product, but if prospects are searching on terms related to their problems and you only talk about your solution, potential buyers probably won’t find your content.
  • Others may know you exist, but don’t understand what you do: Think about all the companies whose blog posts you read or Twitter accounts you follow. Do you really know what each of them does? You must share your content where your prospects spend time, taking into consideration industry- and location-focused sites and other venues, and even less popular social media sites. The key is to understand where your prospects spend time and then to establish a presence there
  • You aren’t reaching the decision makers: Why? It’s unlikely that CXOs are going to spend time trolling the web for blogs or other content. It’s far more likely that they assign this exercise to someone working for them.
  • Sometimes you can’t break through the noise: Many times companies pour lots of effort into their inbound marketing around big events such as trade shows. Unfortunately, that is the hardest time to get noticed.

In a future blog post, I’ll be focusing more on how to balance out some of these mistakes in inbound marketing with a hybrid strategy that includes outbound marketing.  For more content strategies & tips, check out my post on 22 Ideas to Beat Writers’ Block.

-Lilian

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Insights From the Top Marketers in Social Media

social-media

For this post, I decided I’d do something a little different. Since I’m always looking for new insights, tips and guides for new tools in marketing, in a continual bid to educate myself on what’s new in marketing and social media; why not look for actual advice?

After doing some research, I came across a great e-book, filled with insights from some of the industry’s top marketing experts. From ideas on how to effectively engage your audience to advice on how to properly measure how successful a campaign was, this e-book has it all.

Without further ado, here are some of the best marketing insights that resonated with me.

 

The Rules of Engagement

“More is not necessarily better. Post things that are relevant, useful and thoughtful, rather than just lots of posts”- Paul Odnoletkov @Geosoft Global Marketing Associate, Geosoft, Inc.

“When someone posts on a social channel, you need to try and immediately respond. Don’t fall victim to poor “listening.”- David George @SystemSensor Director, Marketing Communications, Honeywell

“Try not to post too much company centric news–you will almost always be bragging too much. We learned to post more relevant industry and analyst news to balance out our promotions.”-Lauren Twele @Symplified Online Marketing Manager, Symplified

 

Measure and Iterate

“Integrate your social media tactics into a tool that tracks your outreach, so you can see what works and what doesn’t”-Marchell Gillis @MarchellGillis

“Always test to see what works in paid advertising. And then constantly re-assess based on your findings.-Jill Petre @jillpetre Marketing Coordinator, SendGrid

 

Ideas to Generate Social Lift

“For everyone who follows us on Twitter, we give them access to a piece of content.”- Katherine Fawcett @buildingengines Marketing Associate, Building Engine

“Friday freebies! We do a small giveaway every week. We get product feedback, use cases, and product development information. We also get a “soft” lead for sales to follow up on.”- Brandi Brown @brandiheinz Social Media and eCommerce Manager, ETA Hand2Mind

“While running contests and collecting email addresses, make sure to send periodic lead nurture updates throughout the contest so the entrants stay familiar with your brand.”-Nicole Aguilar @COOPTHINK

 

Social Marketing Words of Wisdom

 “If you don’t do it, you don’t make mistakes!”-Emily Hossellman @ehossellman Marketing Goddess, Centercode

“Don’t commit and then stop. You need to maintain and build.”- Steve Susina @ssusina, Director or Demand Generation, Crain Business Insurance

“Don’t abandon traditional tools–bake social into every existing app!”- Craig Probus @RevCultCraig Practice manager, RevCult

 

Content Is King

“Make sure you are always on top of content generation and thinking about the next post/engagement.”- Simon Poulton @SPoulton Marketing Analyst, LaserFiche

“People love video! Visual content is key on social channels. And remember not to censor comments.”-Nimmy Reichenberg @AlgoSec VP of Marketing, Algosec Interactive Marketing Manager, Co-op Financial

 

Social Is a Group Effort

“We have learned that in social media marketing we have to both guide our customers and teach them how to share our content.”-Sarah Sullivan @Sarah_Sull Social Media Intern, Healthcaresource

“Our social strategy relies on influencers and industry leaders. We provide content that is full of data and analytics. This works as a preview to our larger reports.”- Eugene Ko @PhoCusWright Manager, Digital Marketing, PhocusWright

 

What are some of the best pieces of advice related to marketing and social media that you’ve received?

For more marketing tips & social media tools, check out my post on the Top 4 Tips for Blogger Outreach

 

-Lilian

 

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The Science of Neuro-Marketing

child heads with symbols

The same primitive impulses that helped early man survive against the evolutionary odds also draws shoppers to pairs of tan suede shoes. At least that’s the theory behind neuromarketing, an emerging field that uses the tools of neuroscience to understand the secrets of the consumer brain.

By having a subject wear an electroencephalogram (EEG) cap with electrodes placed all over his/her head, it records the electrical impulses on the surface of the brain. Eye tracking goggles also reveal exactly what he’s looking at when the computer records a flash of emotion. And one agency is at the forefront of this technology in Canada.

Diana Lucaci is the founder of True Impact Marketing, which is currently the first and only neuromarketing research company in Canada that uses both EEG and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to try to read consumers’ minds. Her company owns the EEG cap and eye tracking goggles, but must buy time with hospitals and universities to use the fMRI machine. Using both these technologies, the company measures three key metrics: engagement, attention, and memory. The company also measures levels of positive and negative emotion as well because businesses want to know if its brand elicits a particular emotional response, if it’s positive or negative at a particular point in time.

As a marketer, Diana always wanted better tools before going to market with a campaign. “When you know that a campaign requires millions of dollars and putting it together takes months and months, and the only data you have is a survey, and often you don’t even have that, so you just cross your fingers and hope that people pay attention,” she said.

All of this is just the beginning of neuromarketing in Canada. But the industry is growing. The first Neuromarketing World Forum was held last April in Amsterdam. And the Neuromarketing Science and Business Association say there are now more than 75 companies doing neuromarketing research all over the world.

What do you think about neuromarketing? Can science really help marketing? For more on marketing theories and their impacts on marketing campaigns check out my post on Maslow’s Hierarchy.

 

-Lilian

 

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