The marketing landscape is more diverse than ever before, with marketing strategies spanning multiple channels. To stay relevant, you must conduct marketing audits from time to time. With so many tasks to execute, you might be walking a fine line and making a few (or several) blunders.
At Betaout, we’ve learned that these mistakes can cost you time and money you don’t have to waste. Avoid these missteps to help keep your marketing strategy in sync with your brand evolution.
1. Not taking the leap from personalization to individualization.
Everybody’s talking about personalization, but marketers still struggle to create meaningful customer experiences. The question isn’t whether you’re personalizing your messages — everyone is, to some extent. Answer these pressing questions instead:
- Are you still doing mass-level personalization by simply inserting your customers’ first names?
- Are you taking individualized insights into account?
Recent research reveals that only 6 percent of marketers worldwide report having a single customer view across online and offline channels. If you don’t fall in this narrow bracket (and the odds are slim, really), your marketing isn’t targeted enough.
2. Not following the cardinal 80/20 rule.
You’ve no doubt heard the 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle: 80 percent of the effect comes from 20 percent of the causes. But are you using it in your marketing?
Whether your focus is on content marketing, social-media marketing or email marketing, 80 percent of your effort should be spent providing value to your audience. That leaves 20 percent of your effort for promotional activity. This keeps your audience engaged and builds a long-term relationship.
Brand-oriented messages fizzle. Customer-oriented ones will help you sizzle.
3. Ignoring retention marketing.
Retention marketing should be the backbone of your marketing strategy. Why? Two reasons: It’s easier to sell to someone you’ve built a relationship with, and it’s more profitable to sell to your existing customers.
Need some convincing? Check out these stats:
- The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70 percent. The probability of selling to a new prospect is somewhere in the 5 to 20 percent range.
- Acquiring a new customer costs six to seven times what you’ll spend to retain an existing one.
Once someone becomes your customer, make sure you don’t stop marketing to him or her. Customer loyalty is hard to come by nowadays. It all boils down to creating value so they’ll remain customers for life.
4. Not documenting your content-marketing strategy.
Content marketing currently is your best bet to rise above the noise. No wonder it’s employed by 94 percent of small businesses, 93 percent of business-to-business (B2B) companies and 77 percent of business-to-consumer (B2C) organizations. Now, contrast that with the markedly smaller proportions of groups with a written content-marketing plan: 37 percent of B2B marketers and 40 percent of B2C marketers.
Document your content-marketing strategy before you start creating stories and other materials around your brand. It will make content creation and distribution not only easier but more effective, too.
5. Ignoring new channels and platforms.
The most successful companies do what they can to leverage every marketing channel. They don’t just stick with the same old channels and strategies. According to a Harvard Business School study, retailers that took advantage of multiple channels were more profitable than those employing only a single channel.
The digital world constantly is evolving. Adopting the relevant, emerging marketing channels is paramount to connect with your audiences.
6. Using email as a promotional tool.
There was an era in email marketing when emails were used solely for promotional purposes. Modern professionals know email marketing plays a critical role in building trust-based relationships to engage, convert and retain customers. Neglecting these responsibilities can have serious repercussions for any online business. If you want your email marketing to be a success, you need to accept a major mindset shift: Use email as an engagement tool, not a promotional one.
7. Not spending time crafting your message.
This is the single-biggest mistake marketers make. They simply don’t pay enough attention to crafting the message before they push it out to an audience.
Carefully think through what you want your customer or potential client to believe. Whether you’re writing a blog post, composing an email, writing a Facebook status update or creating popup copy, every word you write should convey your message clearly and convincingly.
When it comes to marketing, it’s not just channel that matters: it’s also the message.
The future of marketing will be highly complex, and it will reward only those who can provide meaningful experiences to customers. If you want to succeed in the digital age, you’ve got to get the customer experience right.
Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com by Reshu Rathi
The internet has recently been taken over by a very tall and overly pregnant lady.
You may have heard of her. Her name is April. April the Giraffe. This chick has taken over the internet, with pregnant human women going viral for impersonating her.
April is a powerful woman, as I assume most pregnant women are.
Almost 100,000 people are tuning in on YouTube at any given minute to see if she’s birthed her fourth calf yet. When someone or something can garner the accumulative attention of millions, it’s worth taking note.
And while April is undeniably powerful, she is not nearly as powerful as the creative team behind her at Animal Adventure Park. Here are four lessons you can borrow from Animal Adventure Park to spark your own sensation.
1. Your ordinary is someone else’s extraordinary.
You frequently forget there are things you find common and ordinary that others simply find extraordinary. This is the main basis for why Animal Adventure Park’s livestream has captivated so many, hitting headlines daily for over a week. Giraffes give birth on a regular basis. Or, at least I assume so.
Since April has been livestreaming, two other baby giraffes have been born stateside. For zookeepers, a giraffe having a calf is ordinary. Yet, for the general population, a giraffe having a calf is extraordinary. What is your ordinary that others would find extraordinary?
2. Utilize the tools you have at your fingertips.
I imagine it went something like this: April’s caretakers were talking about the upcoming birth, and someone nonchalantly mentioned, “Perhaps we could livestream it for people to see.”
The tools were already there to livestream. They just decided to use them unlike any other zoo had. Well played, Animal Adventure Park. What tools are you not taking full advantage of?
3. Start before you’re “ready.”
What I don’t think many people understand is that Animal Adventure Park isn’t even open yet. It’s bloody brilliant! There is so much press and news coverage about this business, and it hasn’t even opened its doors for day one.
That’s solid proof there is business genius in starting before you feel ready. With a well-thought out plan, anything is possible. It’s not about waiting until it’s perfect. It’s about knowing how to execute effectively. Where can you begin executing while still perfecting?
4. Don’t forget a call to action.
An imperative part of doing business is making it extremely easy for people to buy or support you. I was so impressed to find in the description on Animal Adventure Park’s live stream video that they did not forget a call to action.
Even better, they gave two! Take your pick to support the organization: Download GiraffeMoji for $1.99 from the App Store, or simply donate to the organization’s GoFundMe page. (As of this writing, it’s just shy of the $50,000 goal.)
What a failure it would have been to have that many people at your fingertips without an easy way for people to engage with the business. Yet, it’s a common business mistake.
Animal Adventure Park, well, they hit it out of the park with April. I doubt they thought it would blow up quite like it has or that there would be April the Giraffe memes, pregnant women imitating April, or people actually angry because her labor is taking “too” long. Cut the poor lady a break!
Here’s what they do know. First, pregnancy is magical, and it can captivate any mammal. Second, from the seed of an idea through execution, do what you do well. You never know just how many people will be watching.
by Stephanie Melish originally posted on Entrepreneur
How do you turn a lead into a conversion through the power of email? Read on and we’ll show you our tips for using email marketing for lead generation.
1. Design emails that convert
Why are you even sending emails in the first place, hmm? Don’t you want that sweet, sweet conversion?
Successful emails entice the consumer to click, draw them in, and gives them next steps that bring them closer to converting. These emails are made of up of elements that work together to create one, complete message.
- Be sure to include:
- an effective subject line,
- imagery to reinforce your copy,
- short, easy-to-understand writing,
- social media sharing links,
- a call to action.
2. Focus on an opt-in strategy
Would you rather:
A) Wake up to an inbox of 3,457,882 promotional emails sent to you without asking permission first?
B) Wake up to a zombie apocalypse?
Yeah, we chose B, too.
To generate leads, you need to have people to email. Instead of adding people to your list automatically, get better leads by allowing customers to choose to opt in. It’s tempting to purchase recipients’ email addresses, but if you’re buying email lists and spamming your prospects, no one will want to share your email with others. They will only want to unsubscribe! The first step to email lead generation is to make sure you have happy subscribers that enjoy receiving emails from you.
Be sure to:
- Give the consumer multiple ways and chances to opt in by including an email opt-in link in website pop ups and side bars, on social media posts, etc.
- Include an unsubscribe option.
- Give the customer a reason to opt in by making the benefits of joining your email list clear.
- “Sign up for our newsletter and get digital marketing tips sent straight to your inbox every week!”
3. Send valuable content
If you send really interesting or valued offers – whether it’s downloads, discounts or educational content – people won’t want to unsubscribe from your emails. They will also be more likely share your emails with their friends or colleagues.
Make sure your offers stay valuable by:
- Conducting extensive market research to truly know your audience.
- Segmenting your audience and sending curated offers to segments who will find the offer most valuable.
- Focus on sending quality offers rather than a high quantity of offers.
4. Nurture your leads
Think of your leads as your tiny little potato seeds. You can’t grow savory spuds without a little TLC, the same way you can’t grow conversions without a little lead nurturing.
Email marketing is a great tool for targeting highly specific segments of your audience. You can nurture leads by sending different content offers to segments of consumers in various stages of the buying process.
Nurture your leads by:
- Using customized emails to target audience members in different stages of the buying process.
- Sending brand awareness-focused content to top of the funnel consumers in the awareness stage of the buying process.
- Sending conversion-focused content to consumers at the bottom of the funnel in the consideration and decision stages.
5. Place a call to action in your email
Calls to action can be inserted when you have an extra-valuable, downloadable content offer. Instead of blog or social media content, these offers are valuable enough to be offered in exchange for information from the consumer, like company name, phone number, and industry – all of which are valuable to knowing your leads’ interests and pain points to help you better sell.
- A good call to action:
- Uses actionable language with verbs encouraging readers to do something.
- Stands out, design wise, from the content in the email.
- Includes a clear value proposition.
6. Give people the tools to share
Why reach ten people when you can reach 100? The better the content in your email, the more likely your subscribers are to share it with their networks.
- Make sharing easy by:
- Adding a “Forward to a Friend” link in the email.
- Adding social media sharing buttons in the email and in each content piece.
Elissa Tennant on heynowmedia.com
What online tools should you use to market your local business? Mobile devices and local searches go together like peanut butter and jelly. If you’re a local business, guess what method people use to find you? They’re looking for your business on their mobile devices. If you’re not aware of this or optimizing for it, you’re leaving money on the table.
Smartphones and tablets have made it easier than ever before for prospective customers to search for businesses in their areas and to find any pertinent information to influence their purchasing decisions. In fact, “60 percent of American adults use smartphones and tablets to search for local product and service information.” Furthermore, “50 percent of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day, and 34 percent who searched on a computer/tablet did the same.” Within seconds, potential customers can see what product/service a business offers, get directions, and find contact information. I do this myself all the time. I live in a big city. There are always great new places to discover, and I know I can find these places, check what they offer, and discover their ratings with just a few taps on my phone. Because of the simplicity and convenience of the local search, one thing is true for smart local businesses who capitalize on it: increased sales. In theory, one out of every two individuals who find your business through their smartphones will actually visit your business that very day.Studies have even found that “18 percent of mobile searches lead to a sale within one day.” That’s pretty impressive! But we need to ask a question: how do you capitalize on this sales-ready segment of the population? How can you make sure your business is placed front and center before their eyes? It doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, if you use these four tools, you’re virtually guaranteed a position at the top. I’ve seen businesses rise from having zero online presence to dominating their local markets simply by using these tools. You can do it too.Here are the tools you should be using.
1. Google My Business
Did you know that 46% of all searches on Google are local searches? That’s right. Nearly half of the people checking out your business online will be located within your immediate geographical area.To ensure that prospects are finding your business, you’ll need to be active on Google My Business.
I personally can’t even count the number of times a week I use my smartphone to search for business info via Google.I also find myself using the “Okay, Google” voice search feature more and more. It’s quick. It’s easy. It’s hands-free. By and large, it’s quite accurate in matching my voice commands.Getting set up on Google My Business is simple. First, visit the site: https://www.google.com/business/.Next, register and fill out all pertinent business information.
I also recommend including plenty of pictures (at least five) so that prospective leads can get a better sense of what your business is all about.Once you’re set up, you can painlessly manage everything from your dashboard.
More specifically, you can:
- Stay updated on customer reviews
- Get insights on the way people are interacting (e.g., the number of views and clicks you receive)
- Check the number of requests for driving directions to your business
- See the number of people ultimately visiting your website
For me, the more data, the better.The more information I can accumulate, the easier it is for me to spot patterns and trends so that I can make necessary adjustments.That’s why I really like this tool. It gives me comprehensive data so that I can make highly informed decisions.Like most platforms from Google, Google My Business is intuitive and user friendly, so there shouldn’t be much of a learning curve.You can also update your profile when necessary to ensure your information is always current.
In my opinion, Yelp is the second most important tool after Google.Some marketers have even gone so far as to say that having your business listed on Yelp is more important than having a website.While I wouldn’t go that far, I do think being featured on Yelp is pretty much a necessity these days.As of March 2016, Yelp received 145 million unique visitors per month and is one of the go-to sites for finding information on local businesses.People use it to find contact info, business hours, pictures, reviews, and more.If you’re able to get a solid list of reviews and a strong rating, you can bet that your sales are going to increase and your brand equity will grow.To get set up, you’ll need to first claim your business and visit the mobile download site to use the mobile app for business owners.From that page, Yelp will send you a link so that you can manage your page from your mobile device.
Using this app is awesome because you can:
- Seamlessly manage your page
- Engage with customers
- Track visitor engagement
- Monitor leads
- Respond to reviews and overall feedback
Just remember you’ll want to fill out your profile completely and include enough info to answer any common questions customers may have.Again, I recommend including plenty of pictures.
The fact that I mentioned Facebook probably doesn’t come as any surprise.Facebook is a huge deal, so it only makes sense that you’ll want to use Facebook Pages Manager. Visit this page to download the app.Simply download the app for your iOS or Android device, and you can manage your business’s presence on Facebook with the utmost level of control and efficiency.Use it to do the following:
- Post updates, photos, and videos
- Respond to comments on your page
- View and reply to messages
- Get push notifications for page activity, tips, and reminders
- View your Page Insights
- Manage your settings and page roles
This app serves as a streamlined way to manage your Facebook account from your mobile device and stay in close contact with your customers.I like it because I can stay on top of things no matter where I’m at—even if I’m out of the country.Having a presence on Facebook and advertising on Facebook matters.For better or worse, people trust Facebook. Facebook serves as a tool for people to discover new friends, keep up with the news, stay in touch with family, and, yes, discover new places to eat, drink, shop, and play.Not being on Facebook is the 1980s equivalent of not being in the phone book. I’m not going overboard when I say your business needs to be on Facebook.
Okay, so Bing isn’t nearly as big as Google or Facebook. That’s true.But that doesn’t mean that it can’t still be a viable resource for marketing your business locally. Bing relies on the same basic premise as Google My Business does, only it does so on the Bing search engine.It’s easy to hate Bing or totally neglect it. I get that. But listen to this: Bing controls 33% of search!In my opinion, a third of all search engine users is no small chunk.Getting set up is pretty straightforward. Visit Bing Places for Business.You must first claim your listing. Next, fill out your profile, and verify your listing.Think of it like this. Many of your competitors are likely to be so fixated on Google that they completely overlook Bing. Maybe you were even tempted to neglect Bing.Getting on Bing takes just a few minutes, giving you an advantage over your competition. By taking the time to get your profile up and running, you can pull in a larger chunk of your target market and win their business.
Remember back in the day when people manually thumbed through the Yellow Pages directory to find information on businesses in their area?Well those days are gone.But like most companies with any type of longevity, the Yellow Pages has been smart enough to reinvent itself so that it’s still practical in our modern era.Now you can get your business listed free on the YP for Business app.According to its website, “60 million consumers search YP every month for local businesses,” which is nothing to sneeze at.Here are some other interesting stats:
- Over 15 million consumers have downloaded the YP app.
- The YP app and mobile web drive more than three calls to a local business every second.
If you’re looking to round out your local marketing efforts and get exposure to the largest percentage of your demographic, I definitely recommend listing your business there.It only takes a few minutes, and your reach can grow considerably.Some added benefits of using Yellow Pages include having the ability to check out the number of impressions, clicks, and leads you generate.You can also maintain a comprehensive vantage point of your online presence, online reviews, and social activity.I would also imagine that the YP for Business app would be an effective way to reach a lot of the older demographic of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, who have fond memories of the original Yellow Pages.
To get your business in front of potential customers, you must have a presence on some key sites.Because people are using these sites so frequently, taking the time to register your business and fill out your profile in its entirety can pay good dividends in the long run.Don’t forget the key statistics, correlating searches, and sales.Remember: 78% of local mobile searches result in offline purchases.That’s huge! If you’re a traditional brick-and-mortar establishment, you can most definitely cash in by featuring your business in the right online places.The bottom line is that there’s a growing trend of people using their mobile devices to search for local businesses.Being active on these five online spots not only allows you to be more competitive and claim your piece of the pie but can also be the catalyst for your business thriving in the long term.
by NOVEMBER 4, 2016