Effective Drip Campaigns

In recent months I have taken to using our new e-mail platform, Pardot, quite frequently for eblasts.

On a side note, I went to a Salesforce1Tour event this week and upon sitting in on a Pardot lecture learned that the founders actually looked all through the dictionaries of various languages for a word that had something to do with selling, as all the english words that they liked wouldn’t allow for the easy use of a domain name as they were all taken.  So upon coming across the Latvian word for “to sell,” they had a winner!  Who in the world knew!?!  From that moment on, I was hooked to the presentation and was hard pressed to not throw my hand up and yell, “I’m from Latvia!”

But…I digress…

I am now in the throes of wanting to figure out how to effectively set up a drip campaign.  Having never done it I naturally turned to google and found the following:

Four Highly Effective Drip Marketing Campaigns
Drip Marketing – Eloqua Best Practices (This talks about lead nurturing vs. Drip Campaigns)
3 Principals for Successful Drip Marketing Campaigns

Not having had much experience in this realm I can’t really add my own two cents but cannot wait to try out this form of e-marketing.

Have you done drip campaigns?  Please share your experience with them, I’d love to learn from you!

Overlooked Brand Strategies

Today I want to share an article titled, 6 Brand Strategies that Most CMO’s Fail to Execute.  The thought behind sharing it is so that all of us don’t overlook these strategies, as well as work on expanding our skills and strategies for our marketing efforts. 

*P.S. If you click on the image above, you’ll be directed to another interesting and helpful article about branding and what it means.

The Forbes article focuses on the brand in terms of how it is viewed by the consumer as well as making the brand top of mind.  What strategies are you implementing currently that are a simple copy cat of what another company in your space might be doing?  Is doing that helping or hurting YOUR brand?  The success behind some of these larger corporations lies in their creativity, and the magnitude of their marketing budget.  Even if you are a team of two or three, what can you do differently to be top of mind?  Is social media always the answer?  What about creative advertising?  Is it worth it to go outside your core group of marketing partners to see what a publication might come up with for you to test the water?

Thinking out loud aside, here are the 6 tips you’ve been waiting for.

1.  See Consumer Engagement That Others Don’t

Stop doing what everyone else is doing and be creative about how your brand engages with consumers.

2.  Establish An Identity That is Easily Relatable

A brand identity is most powerful when it evolves and its value proposition strengthens in alignment with the changing lifestyle demands of its audience.    Make things simple.  People don’t have the time to figure out what your brand is trying to solve.   Consumers want brands to be deliberate with their identity – straightforward while at the same time forward-thinking.

3.  A Lifestyle Platform that Inspires People and Communicates Hope

Brands influence lifestyle and one’s state of mind.  If your brand is not a lifestyle platform that inspires people and communicates hope, the impact and influence of your brand message will quickly begin to wane. Today’s consumer expects more from your brand – not only the message it communicates – but how it is delivered.   That is why content marketing is so important and must be flawlessly executed to be effective.

4.  Continuous Innovation with Flawless Timing and Execution

It’s no longer just about introducing new products, line extensions and/or technological advances to strengthen your UVP.    Today’s marketplace demands perfect timing and flawless execution with each new strategy you implement.  Consumers want to know that you are ready when they are.   That means your timing must be in perfect sync with your audience demands.

5.  Promote the Genuine Spirit of Giving

Brands that “share the harvest” of their success – with their audience – are the ones that sustain the best momentum.  Whether you have a few thousands, millions, or billions of dollars in sales, make it a point to show your respect and gratitude to the people and communities your brand is serving.

6.  Serve Others to Leave a Legacy

Much like leaders must lead with a legacy-driven mindset, so should their brands. As you develop your brand, what is the legacy that you are mindfully attempting to leave behind?  What is your brand known for? What is the experience and/or product association you are attempting to leave behind for your brand and what will your audience remember most about how it impacted their business or lifestyle?

Creating Brand Embassadors & My Pinterest Page

On Thursday I listened in on a webinar titled The Social Employee: Transform Your Employees into Brand Advocates.

Here are the things I learned and wanted to pass on to you, my loyal readers.

* An every day employee is two times more trusted than a Chief Executive. (Edelman Trust Barometer 2013)
* 77% of consumers are more likely to buy a product when they hear about it from someone they trust. (Nielsen 2013)
* The first step in creating employee advicates is getting senior leadership engaged in social media so other employees feel like they can engage with customers as well.

Other interesting notes

* 78% of marketers say that their biggest challenge with content is “creating original content” and they don’t have enough time to do it

***Unfortunatelly the rest of the webinar was one big pitch for a platform called Social Chorus…

As I always say, it’s important to constantly refine and work on your skill set.  As I got more involved in other marketing activities I lost touch with social media, outside of creating a calendar for my work postings.  Hence why I knew I had to do something, and if nothing else at least check out a free webinar.

Wht did you do today to work on your special skill set?

P.S. Check out my new pinterest board dedicated to this nice little blog! :)

Follow Me Cards

While on a search for an industrial photographer in the San Fran area I came across Photo Works SF who creates the uniquest thing I’ve seen recently, Follow Me cards.

What the H-E-double hockey sticks is a Follow Me Card?  I wouldn’t have known what to tell you until now, it’s a card with a photo on the front and an @_____ on the back.  Essentially, it’s an artsy business card.  How frickin’ cool!?!

Follow Me Card - PhotoWorksSF

So, if you were to create your own Follow Me card, what would the front and back look like?  Where would you point people to? 

I think a Follow Me card would leave a very lasting impression, especially if you were trying to network for a job and had your LinkedIn url on the back.

The front wouldn’t even need to be an image, it could be your quick 15 second elevator pitch with your photo.  How unique!  The possibilities are truly endless!

Helping the Customer Find YOU – Small Business

I got an email from Small Business America a little while back talking about the 5 components of a marketing plan that will help more customers find you.

Their 5 key things to focus on are:

1. Establish Your Brand: Distinguish yourself from your competitors and build a strong brand that attracts prospects and promotes loyalty among customers.

2. Physical Location: Effectively utilize promotions to drive customers through your doors. Promotion can be used to create awareness of your location and increase visibility, which helps your business grow locally.

3. Advertising: Speaking to customers about product or service requires the right mix of traditional advertising, and also the ability to track the effectiveness of your campaign.

4. Online Presence: More than just offering a website, build a strong online presence includes optimizing your website for search engines and smart phones, as well as reaching your target customers through relevant paid search and online advertising.

5. Reputation and Community: Through social gatherings, blogs, sponsorships or memberships, you can manage your company’s reputation and interaction with your online and local communities.

They even offer a free assessment for you to take to see where your business ranks!  What are you waiting for?  Begin your analysis today!

What did you do today?

Hubspot’s Marketing Predictions for 2013

Hubspot has once again outdone itself and has put together a list of 20 marketing trends and overall predictions for 2013.  I won’t go over all of them but I do urge you to download the white paper.  Here are my 5 favorite predictions and tips:

1. Campaigns Fade Out…: “The notion of campaigns have been around since the golden age of advertising. Campaigns are a defined series of activities, tactics and channels that often revolve around a common theme. And yes, campaigns have been good to us. But here’s the problem; their structure is often times rigid and can’t keep up with changing customer behaviors and rapidly changing technology. Campaigns are generally short-lived and not triggered based upon real-time actions or data, which can put the marketer at a disadvantage.”

2. Marketing Becomes More Accountable for Revenue Generation: “A recent Fournaise Marketing Group study found that 73% of executives don’t believe that marketing drives demand and revenue. Ouch.  In 2013, that will start to change. Marketing will play a more critical role in contributing to revenue generation. Marketing activities will not only be measured on traffic and lead generation, but will further optimize processes that directly impact sales growth. And to do that, key performance indicators (KPIs) under the marketing department will change.”

3. Be Mobile or Fall Behind: “In 2013, marketers will finally list mobile as a major line item on their marketing strategy. Not only will there be continued investment in mobile optimized websites and email, but we’ll see mobile take a more important role when integrating with marketing campaigns. By the end of the year, mobile will become a more strategic and must-have channel for many businesses.”

4. Social and Content Impact SEO Even More: “Over the years, good search engine optimization (SEO) was all about knowing the tricks of the trade. The SEO of  tomorrow will be less about having the right H1 tag or the right keywords on the page and more about creating really good, original content that is socially consumed and shared.”

5. Inbound, Not Automation, Becomes Priority: “Just a few, short years ago, marketing automation was the ‘must-have’ on every marketers wish list. Unfortunately, the ‘set-it and forget-it’ mentality of automation, while nice sounding, resulted in an unhealthy process of churning a database of email through a set “nurturing” process until they were spammed to death. The promise of marketing automation starts to fail because it is not supported by a solid inbound marketing foundation. Essentially, not enough leads enter the funnel to keep the automated machine running…In 2013, CMOs and senior executives will allocate more resources to creating a strong inbound engine – generating interest, traffic, leads, and conversions – to support the demand generation engine.”

BONUS PREDICTIONS: Content Curation & the Importance of Context

“Content is king, whether you like it or not. Creating more and more content will be among the top priorities for marketing teams in 2013. In addition to the increase in allocating budget to content creation, we’ll find increasingly more curation services and “content marketplaces” that will help marketers deliver more in a content-heavy world.”

“To do marketing better in 2013, marketers will need to go beyond simply creating content to creating a personalized experience for their target customer that’s seamless across multiple interactions. These experiences will leverage context to make a company’s marketing jive with the searcher’s proclivities – the things you’ve learned about your leads over months and years of talking with them. The things they do, the things they say, the sites they like, the products they purchase, their happiness level with your company – all to have deeper and more meaningful relationships and better results.”

Thank you Hubspot for driving home the importance of Inbound Marketing!

What did you do today?  Did you read Hubspot’s white paper?

P.S. This post got mentioned in Hubspot’s list of mentions.

No Paper Resumes Please. The new social norm?

A friend forwarded me and a number of her girlfriends an interesting job opportunity in New Hampshire.  Now, I’m not looking for a job but I couldn’t resist writing this blog post about it.  As the company website for Enterasys states, they were named as one of the best places to work as well as one of the top ten coolest companies to work for. 

Jump on this opportunity my pretties, but remember, they will not accept a paper resume, all applications must come in via Twitter!

Here are some guidelines to follow:

1. Recruitment for this job is between February 18th and March 18th.

2. All interested candidates should apply via Twitter to @ValaAfshar and use the hashtag #socialCV.  You can also DM and provide your LinkedIn url.

3. A minimum klout score above 60 is required.

4. A minimum Kred influence score of 725 and outreach of 8 or more is also required.

5. Applicants must have more than 1,000 active Twitter followers.

6. Enterasys will use Google and/or other available public profiles to search for publicly available data.

7. Marketing experience must be demonstrated via web content – i.e. blogs, community involvement, news articles and other searchable publications.

8. IT and enterprise technology background preferred but not required.

9. This is a Boston based position, working out of our headquarters location in Salem, NH.

10. The salary range for this position is $70,000 to $100,000+ depending on the skills and experience of the candidate.

So I ask you, is this going to become the new norm for Social Media job postings?

What did you do today?

Read more about the job and then go to Enterasys’ careers page to find out even more.  Hiring a Social Marketer – Enterasys

Build It and They Will Come, the Importance of Marketers

There are a lot of companies and business owners out there who think that if they build the next coolest thing, then people will come out of the woodwork to buy it.  Well, let me throw this out to you.  Even Mark Zuckerberg marketed his Facebook site to his classmates. It may not have been traditional marketing but marketing none the less.

In this day and age, marketing is everything, it kind of always has been.  But, with brands being on social networks and interacting with their customers 24/7 it’s growing much harder to poach a brands customers simply by building a new widget.  If you don’t have some marketing dollars behind you then you have no strategy to build out this thing that you have built.  You have no way of figuring out what the best way is to toot your own horn and not come off as conceited.  And most importantly, you don’t develop the network of loyal customers that other brands have.

So, with that, I encourage every business owner and customer to really think hard before they cut any marketing budget.  You may think that you are just cutting pay roll, but what you are really doing is cutting your life line to the consumer.

What did you do today?

Social Media Plan

This is a MUST share for everyone who is looking for a better way to manage a social media calendar. We all have our own way but if we don’t at least explore other options then we will never learn.

So in my attempt to learn I sampled upon a great article about the 9 social media tips to help small business and I plan on implementing tip number four in my future social media post planning. I truly think that having an idea of what your general plan will be will make creating a post for each day of the week much easier.

Now, are you ready for the best part? At the end of the article you may notice three links, don’t overlook them. It’s true that the best is left for last because the last link leads you to an Excel spreadsheet that will help you with your social media plan!  Now let’s all thank the Inbound Marketing Company.

What did you do today?

SEO to the Next Level

This week one of our webinars was led by our moderator, Bob Tripathi.  He was going to lead a webinar titled SEO for Social Media Professionals.  I had an idea of where this might go but was very surprised and really learned quite a bit.

For those of you that may be LinkedIn to me may have seen that I linked to an article titled, For Social Media Marketers SEO is Must More Popular than PPC.  I linked to it because I agree with its title.  I am much further into the SEO camp and always try to think about how things are optimized for search.  The reason behind my not being behind PPC, Pay Per Click, marketing is because in my personal life I never ever click on the paid google links along the right hand side.  Maybe it’s a pre conceived notion from years past when those links would always be spammy.  Whatever the reason, I like SEO, Search Engine Optimization.

The basics of it for a website are that you want to make sure that your title tag and meta description are optimized for your key words.  What that means is if you are a bread company in the title tag, the tag at the top of the browser window, might say something like “Artisan bread company – fresh bread M-F – also gluten free”  You would then also want to make sure that your meta description, the description that shows up in searches below your title.  You might write something like “Artisan bread company is your source for the freshest bread in the Providence area.  Choose from a variety of 15 different types of bread.”  Lastly, you want to make sure that the photos on your website are also optimized.  Instead of just uploading a photo and leaving the name of it as dsc1506.jpg, why not name it “Artisan bakery-rye bread?”  This way, if anyone is looking for images of rye bread on google you actually have a chance of popping up in the search!

This way, someone knows what they are clicking on and why.  There is no ambiguity.  Now, you want to do this on every page of your website and alter the title and meta tags as they relate to each page. There is much more information and many more steps that you can take this and I encourage you to peruse SEO Moz’s Free Beginners Guide to SEO.

Now the last thing that Bob covered was LinkedIn.  For those that rea this blog, you are probably tired of me drumming into you the importance of it and making sure that you have your keywords in the top five spots (the headline, current and past job titles, summary, skills). However, I had never once thought about naming my photo.  What a silly oversight!  I immediately made sure to go on and give my profile picture a name, my name to be exact.  This is your personal brand page, you need to do everything right in order to get found! 

Now go out there and optimize your company pages!

What did you do today?
P.S. Happy Easter!