@AskJamieTurner http://60secondmarketer.com/blog Wed, 29 Oct 2014 21:28:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Five Indispensable Ways to Connect with Key Influencers on Google+ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/29/five-indispensable-ways-connect-key-influencers-google/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/29/five-indispensable-ways-connect-key-influencers-google/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 21:19:51 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11962 Marketers often neglect Google+ and choose to focus their efforts elsewhere, In fact, when Google+ first launched it was largely derided by many marketers and businesspeople. At the time, an overcrowded social media market was certainly going to be tough to penetrate, but Google+ has made rapid progress. Twitter can feel like being lost on...

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Marketers often neglect Google+ and choose to focus their efforts elsewhere, In fact, when Google+ first launched it was largely derided by many marketers and businesspeople. At the time, an overcrowded social media market was certainly going to be tough to penetrate, but Google+ has made rapid progress.

Twitter can feel like being lost on the highway, while over on Facebook a fan or customer must initiate the first contact. Google+ is different — information isn’t hidden amongst a swamp of social noise, and it’s easier for marketers to make pro-active steps to engage customers.

What follows are some tips on how you can find key influencers on Google+ and how to use the platform to grow your business.

Build Relationships by Taking a Human Approach

Taking a human approach to your marketing efforts will pay dividends. Interacting with highly influential individuals within your niche is obviously preferable. Searching out these people can be laborious and time consuming, but fortunately there are a few handy tools at your disposal.

First, there could be people who mention you, but don’t necessarily plus mention you (similar to tagging). So how do you find these people? Google+ has a useful feature: Google Ripples. Simply click the drop down arrow and choose ‘View Ripples.’

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In the example image below – from a great Google+ resource Gplus Expertise – you can see that all the circles near ‘Will Humphries’ without names are people that haven’t plus mentioned the post. Without selecting ‘Ripples’ these accounts would have gone unnoticed.

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Another great tool is NOD3x, which is a fantastic piece of web-based software that allows you to find out who is posting about the phrases and terms that are relevant to you. A basic account is free, but there is a limit to the number of projects, and you can only search Google+ and YouTube. The software also allows you to search Twitter, Facebook, etc. if you invest in the paid version.

The first step is to do some hashtag research on Google+. Simply enter your desired hashtag in Google+ (#conversion for example) and it will return associated hashtags.

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You can then use these to set up projects in NOD3x, you can also define your demographic by selecting countries, languages, etc. You have to wait about 24hrs for a project to return some data, but once it’s up and running it will be really useful, and you will be able to identify the key influencers in your niche.

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Join Google+ Communities to Connect with Thought-Leaders

The community groups within Google+ allow you to participate using your business profile, a unique feature among the large social media platforms. The advantages of this should be immediately obvious, you can target relevant groups and showcase your brand alongside your expertise.

You might want to consider starting your own community, especially if you feel that your brand is strong enough to warrant a community based around it or one of its main products. This community will then be listed on your ‘About’ tab. Your business will also be listed at the top of the community page, which can be great for driving traffic towards your site. Fox Business is the first visible finance community on the listings home page. Obviously most communities are highly unlikely to ever achieve a placing this high, but it does shows the potential.

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If you’re posting links in a community that you haven’t started, be aware that they will not be posted until they’ve been moderated by the administrators, and will only be posted if they offer value to the community. So spend some time building the trust of the community and interacting, before simply trying to fill the community with links.

Careful and considered interaction with Google+ communities will grow your network. After a period of interaction, a relevant post with a link could drive traffic to your site

Use Hangouts on Air to Build Awareness

Hangouts were initially just solely a video chat/conferencing tool, but the addition of ‘on Air’ has allowed businesses to easily produce their own video shows or vlogs. For the uninitiated, ‘on Air’ is a recorded video that can also be easily published to YouTube. Barack Obama famously participated in his own hangout, so it’s certainly a trend that has caught on quickly.

So what is the benefit for your business? In simple terms it’s mainly brand awareness and an increase of YouTube and Google+ subscriptions. Which is great for growing your network and credibility. Another benefit is that if you involve an influential peer in your hangout, then those in their circle are also going to be exposed to your business. It’s a good idea to share some of their content as a follow-up, and hopefully they’ll reciprocate.

The Bottom Line

Many marketers are missing out on a great opportunity by ignoring Google+ and its communities. The methods outlined above will enable you target key influencers and interact with them. If you portray your brand in the right manner, then Google+ can be a great tool for conveying your brand’s ethos to a wider audience.

About the Author: This article was written by John Philips from SSLs.com. SLLs.com resells SSL certificates from the likes of Comodo, GeoTrust, and VeriSign.

 

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3 Dirty Little Secrets for Selecting the Best Visual Content http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/28/visual-content-marketing-secrets/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/28/visual-content-marketing-secrets/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 21:40:44 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11951 It’s no secret that visual content can boost the quality and success of marketing content on the web. However, all too often, content marketers make the mistake of relying too much on the same old, boring stock images, without giving much thought to content. In today’s competitive environment, it’s crucial that your images relate to...

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It’s no secret that visual content can boost the quality and success of marketing content on the web. However, all too often, content marketers make the mistake of relying too much on the same old, boring stock images, without giving much thought to content.

In today’s competitive environment, it’s crucial that your images relate to your brand, quickly grab the reader’s attention, and completely embody the main topic all at once.

In many ways, the images you pick are as important as the content itself.

Here are three ways to choose images that will truly click with your website visitors:

1. Skip the generic stock image

Stock images can actually give the impression of camouflage on a website. A few photos of business professionals posing in front of a white background, or a generic clip art graphic of a target to illustrate goals – this type of content will not help distinguish your brand from the competition.

If you want to use visual content to stand out, it’s important to generally stay away from generic stock images. Rather, illustrate your point with photos and visuals that are fresh and different. This doesn’t mean you have to imagine colors that have not been named to be unique, but it should prompt you to research deeper themes and illustrations that are relatable to your audience.

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Not sure if your visual is unique? Check out Google’s Search by Image to see what kind of similar visual content is out there.

2. Ask yourself, “Does it enhance the story?”

Storytelling can be a big point of emphasis in content marketing. Every piece of content can tell a story, big or small. The visual content you select can either distract from that story or enhance it.

Don’t simply use a visual because you’ve read data on how important visual content can be. Use a visual because it’s relatable, helpful or even inspiring. People respond to images they can relate to, so always keep your target demographic in mind, and use pictures that characterize their specific interests and lifestyle. If you ask yourself why you’re adding a visual, you will typically have a good gauge on whether it’s a story-enhancing image or not.

3. Get your hands dirty and be creative.

Want more authentic visual content? Take the bull by the horns – it’s the greatest dirty little secret for selecting visual content. While picking a visual from a stock website is easy, creating and capturing your own visual content can be even easier when done right.

Possibly the best tip for making your images feel original and authentic is to take your own photos. Depending on the subject, some of the best shots are candid photos of your team, a picture of the office or close-ups of your products. There’s no chance of anyone ever having the same images, and they are guaranteed to feel real and authentic along with the rest of your content.

Do you have a smartphone or digital camera? With a little research on basic photography and composition, you are already equipped with the skills you need to take a quality photo, and share it on social networks or on a blog.

Remember: When creating website content, you’re creating a more authentic brand experience. No stock site in the world can capture your brand like you can. So, go ahead … it’s time to start getting creative!

About the Author: Nate Holmes is the marketing coordinator for Widen Enterprises and its Smartimage brand extension. He has a strong interest in brand management, content marketing and marketing analytics.

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How to Use Triggered Emails to Generate a 70.5% Increase in Open Rates http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/26/marketing-automation-tips/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/26/marketing-automation-tips/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 00:35:37 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11945 Did you know triggered email messages average 70.5 percent higher open rates and 152 percent higher click-through rates than traditional bulk messages, according to Epsilon? Yup. You read that right. Automation is one of the easiest ways to take your marketing operations to the next level – and make your life easier. At Emma Email...

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Did you know triggered email messages average 70.5 percent higher open rates and 152 percent higher click-through rates than traditional bulk messages, according to Epsilon?

Yup. You read that right.

Automation is one of the easiest ways to take your marketing operations to the next level – and make your life easier.

At Emma Email Marketing, we created an e-book about this topic that’s designed to help modern marketers learn how to build an email automation program that gets great results right away. (Interested in downloading the e-book? Click here.)

Of course, every journey begins with a first step – and it just so happens the road to strategic email automation starts with a welcome series.

There are lots of good things about new subscribers. They’re more engaged, they haven’t seen most of your content before and they’re statistically more likely to click and open your emails.

But there’s a problem: The story you’re telling your long-time subscribers in your main marketing emails may not make sense to these new contacts. That’s why you need a welcome series – it puts you in control of how your subscribers are introduced to your brand. In addition, it creates trust and helps you establish a relationship with your customer. First impressions are crucial, and sometimes, a single welcome email isn’t enough to set the stage.

Here are three easy steps to mobilize a welcome series using email automation:

Step 1. Create custom messages perfect for your new subscribers.

It’s tempting to build a welcome series based on the number of emails you think you should send. Instead, start with what you need to say, and then determine how many emails it’ll take to say it.

First, consider the basics. If someone is new to your email list, what do they need to know about your brand?

If you sell a product or service, your series might look like this:

  • How our product or service works
  • How we’re different from our competitors
  • People rave about us (testimonials)
  • A special offer

For nonprofit organizations, a series might include pieces such as:

  • Our history and mission
  • Stories of impact we’ve made
  • A calendar of the year’s events
  • Exclusive perks for donors/members

Step 2. Build a framework for those messages.

Once you know what you want to say, decide when you should say it. Create a schedule of emails, and plan a regular – or random — messaging plan. For example, you might send 4-6 messages every few days, so it feels random. Or if you think more structure is a better fit for your program, consider offering new subscribers a daily tip or weekly “Top Five Tips” countdown.

Don’t forget to keep in mind the length of your sales cycle, too. If your typical subscriber is most likely to buy in the first 48 hours, it might be more effective to front-load your series. If your sales cycle is longer, plan meaningful, periodic touch points over the course of a few weeks.

Finally, identify and schedule the appropriate trigger for each email in the series. If you have planned a weekly series, schedule the first email to trigger immediately after someone new joins your list. The second email should trigger one week from the date the new subscriber opted in, the third email two weeks from the date they joined and so on, until all messages have been doled out.

Step 3. Consider removing new subscribers from your primary contact list until they’ve worked their way through the welcome series.

Have you ever walked into a theater after the movie has already started? That’s often what it’s like for new subscribers. The next email on your calendar might mention campaigns or promotions your newest subscribers aren’t ready for yet, creating confusion or worse, frustration.

To make sure your new subscribers are primed for your primary messages, take them out of rotation until they’ve cycled through the full welcome series. There are several ways to do this depending on your email service provider and list structure.

If it sounds easy – it is. And a welcome series is just one impact device you can deploy to nurture leads through email automation.

(To learn more about how automation can elevate your marketing efforts, download Automation Demystified: A modern marketer’s guide to email automation for free here.)

About the Author: Cynthia Price is director of partner development at Emma, an email-marketing company. With an extensive background in sales and marketing, Cynthia represents Emma at conferences across the country, where she can be found geeking out about everything from subject lines to audience segmentation.

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Are You Making These Fundamental Mistakes with Your Email Marketing? http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/24/making-fundamental-mistakes-email-marketing/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/24/making-fundamental-mistakes-email-marketing/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:54:14 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11932 There are some things an email marketer can do that while they won’t kill you, they will make you dead to your subscribers. They’re innocent enough mistakes and some not totally egregious errors. However, when not taken into consideration … they can mean the difference between email marketing success and failure. Here are five deadly...

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There are some things an email marketer can do that while they won’t kill you, they will make you dead to your subscribers. They’re innocent enough mistakes and some not totally egregious errors. However, when not taken into consideration … they can mean the difference between email marketing success and failure. Here are five deadly mistakes made in email marketing.

Unbalanced content

Big blocks of text make everybody’s eyes glaze over. They’ll scan for anything in bold and headlines and probably ignore all the copy you worked hard on crafting. All the same, emails with too many photos will probably land you in the spam folder … or at the very least go unseen thanks to inbox clients with images automatically disabled.

Neglecting list hygiene

It’s easy to see the logic that the more people you have in your email list, the more chances you’ll have to make a sale. Bigger isn’t always better, though. Actually, if you keep subscribers in your list that aren’t opening your emails, it can start to hurt your deliverability. Say you send a monthly newsletter. If a subscriber hasn’t opened your last six emails, they probably don’t want to receive them any more. They’re just too lazy to unsubscribe. Clean them out of your list, or at the very least move them to a new list. Try to reengage them with a separate campaign. If that fails, delete them for good.

Stay the same

Say you wear a black suit and white shirt to work everyday. Then one day you come in wearing a grey suit and a pink shirt. Everyone is going to take notice. Switching up your design once in a while will keep your subscribers from getting bored and tuning you out.

Consider the funnel

Email is just one step in a company’s overall marketing plan. It is a touchpoint with customers or leads that is part of a bigger goal. Always keep the ultimate goal in mind. Your email could do the job it’s supposed to, but it won’t matter if the rest of the funnel isn’t in order. If the goal of an email campaign is to bring traffic to your website, make sure your website is doing its job as well.

Doing it all yourself

No, I don’t mean you need a team of employees and interns at your beck and call to do great email marketing. I mean, you should automate as much of it as you can. Autoresponders are a great tool in your arsenal. They’re the Ronco ShHowtime Rotisserie of email marketing. You can just “set it, and forget it!” Things like birthday emails, or triggered email campaigns can do all the work for you after you set them up once.

About the Author: Andy Shore is the Content and Social Networking Manager at Benchmark Email.

 

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Mobile Advertising: How to Lay the Right Foundation for Stronger Marketing Results http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/22/mobile-advertising-techniques/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/22/mobile-advertising-techniques/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:38:29 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11935 Research shows that most consumers (91 percent) keep their mobile device within three feet of them 24X7 – and nearly one-third use mobile as their primary means of going online. Companies today that aren’t immersing themselves in mobile marketing are not only missing out on a huge opportunity to drive more awareness and revenue, they...

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Research shows that most consumers (91 percent) keep their mobile device within three feet of them 24X7 – and nearly one-third use mobile as their primary means of going online.

Companies today that aren’t immersing themselves in mobile marketing are not only missing out on a huge opportunity to drive more awareness and revenue, they are also decreasing the potential of their current marketing efforts.

It’s important to remember that consumers are engaging with a variety of media – smartphones, tablets, PCs, TV – and your marketing plan should mirror that. According to Mobify, no one screen/device has more than 20 percent of market share, therefore it is imperative that you have a complementary multi-screen presence.

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Medical Management Services Group, a physician practice management company that was integral in introducing Lasik Eye Surgery to the market, had been aggressively marketing its new capabilities and using social media to drive more engagement.

All that said, Founder Katie Carlisle says it was their mobile advertising program that has really given them the extra boost they needed to see the ROI of all of their efforts. “It’s about the surround sound effect of all these vehicles combined, and our mobile advertising has allowed us to get real-time insight about our audience and has taught us what we need to refine in other areas to reach people the right way.”

But for many businesses, particularly, SMBs, developing a mobile marketing strategy can be an extremely daunting task.

The reality is that a few key steps can make all the difference in laying the right foundation.

  1. No Business is Too Small: There is an enormous opportunity for SMBs in this space. Research from the UpSnap community shows that local businesses are seeing some of the highest ROI – from dentists to attorneys and even local heating & air conditioning businesses. Now more than ever, consumers are turning to Main Street to promote their own local economies, so small businesses that expand their mobile presence can really cash in right now
  1. Measurement 101: Mobile marketing is no longer just about the click through rate (CTR). Why? CTR is easily inflated by accidental clicks and doesn’t take into account secondary actions and overall engagement. Secondary action is when the consumer takes an extra step to engage with your business – for example clicking for directions or to contact your business. Keep in mind the industry average for secondary click through rate is five percent. Savvy marketers also understand that downstream activities, such as store visits, can make a huge impact on your ROI as well. (For more on this, read Four Essential Metrics You Need for Your Next Mobile Ad Campaign on the 60 Second Marketer blog.)
  1. Timing is Everything: Develop a dynamic marketing plan based on seasonal trends to ensure you speak to your target market. Get your marketing caps on and think outside of the box! Not only are holidays a good time to personalize marketing campaigns, annual events such as school graduations or New Year’s resolutions can also produce solid results. This fall, Medical Management Services Group saw great success in their campaign by capitalizing on the back to school market. Timeliness is key to drive the right awareness and engagement.
  1. Make the Right Impressions: Mobile impressions are very powerful. A heavy dose of mobile impressions can lead to clicks, secondary actions and offline activity like in-store visits. The ad does not have to be clicked or called to be considered successful — impressions matter!  When the desired result is an offline sale, impressions are a strong vehicle for driving foot traffic.

With the right mobile advertising program, businesses of all sizes have an opportunity to drive better awareness, more visitors and most importantly, ongoing sales.

By Greg Garrick, VP of Mobile Marketing at UpSnap, provider of highly targeted, data-driven mobile advertising to attract the ideal audience for brands big and small. A seasoned marketing leader, Garrick has dedicated his career to driving B2B/B2C revenue through aggressive digital and mobile experimentation.

 

 

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Four Essential Metrics You Need for Your Next Mobile Ad Campaign (#4 is a Must) http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/20/mobile-advertising-benchmarks/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/20/mobile-advertising-benchmarks/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 01:34:15 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11921 Do you want to learn as much as you possibly can about mobile marketing and mobile advertising? If so, you’ve come to the right place. I wrote extensively about mobile in my Amazon best-selling book, Go Mobile. In addition, 60 Second Communications (the agency behind the 60 Second Marketer) runs mobile campaigns for several global...

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Do you want to learn as much as you possibly can about mobile marketing and mobile advertising?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. I wrote extensively about mobile in my Amazon best-selling book, Go Mobile. In addition, 60 Second Communications (the agency behind the 60 Second Marketer) runs mobile campaigns for several global corporations as well as several small- to mid-sized businesses.

Long story short, we know mobile.

Which is why we were so excited to dive into an excellent new mobile advertising study released by xAd, a mobile location ad platform that focuses on driving in-store traffic and sales.

What follows are some insights from the study that I wanted to pass along to you.

Understanding Click-Through Rates, Secondary Action Rates, Store Visitation Lift and Same Store Sales Increases.

60 Second Communications is in the early stages of launching a mobile advertising campaign for a retailer based in a major metropolitan area on the East Coast. We’re excited about the prospects because we’re using rich media to enhance the user experience, which should drive some excellent foot traffic to their retail locations.

Here’s an example of what a rich media experience might be like for someone who clicks on a rich media mobile display ad:

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If you were running the mobile display ad campaign above, there would be three important metrics you’d want to measure. Here’s what they are:

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): This is one of the easiest metrics to measure in mobile, but it can also be misleading. The CTR for a desktop ad campaign is usually around 0.05% to 0.1%, which means that 1 out of every 1,000 to 1 out of every 2,000 people who see your desktop display ad will actually click on it. (Yes, the number is that low.) With mobile, the results are typically much better, ranging from 0.5% to 0.8% — almost 10 times better than desktop. But wait! A study by GoldSpot Media reported that nearly 50% of the clicks on mobile banner ads may be accidental clicks. So even though the CTR on mobile banner ads is much higher, the accidental click-through rate reduces the reliability of using CTR as a key metric. Which brings us to Secondary Action Rate.
  • Secondary Action Rate (SAR): The SAR is a better indicator of purchase intent. As an example, if 10 people click on a mobile ad, and 5 of them take a secondary action such as scrolling through the product images (as in the example above) or clicking a map for directions, then those 5 people can be considered much more likely candidates for a final sale. If you only have two metrics — CTR and SAR — then we’d recommend focusing most of your attention on SAR, since that’s a much better indicator of intent to purchase. Of course, there are two other important indicators we’d encourage you to analyze the next time you’re running a mobile ad campaign. (Speaking of which, if you need help with your mobile ad campaign, send me an email — we’re all over this stuff.)
  • Store Visitation Lift (SVL): Store Visitation Lift is one of the best indicators of purchase intent since it measures a real intent to purchase. Of course, in order to get a good read on your data, you’ll need to compare store visits this year to same-store visits from the exact same period the year before. And don’t forget — even if you see an increase in SLV, there can be other factors that drive same-store visits (such as better weather and an improving economy). Also, don’t forget that SVL doesn’t track e-commerce sales. But overall, SVL is an important metric when it comes to measuring the success of your mobile ad campaign. Which leads us to the most important metric, which is same store sales increases.
  • Same Store Sales Increases (SSSI): In the end, the success of any campaign comes down to same store sales increases. You can measure this by taking the store sales from each of your locations during your mobile ad campaign and comparing them to the same store sales from the year before. If the only change in your marketing was the mobile campaign and you see a lift in sales, you’re golden, assuming the lift in sales more than paid for the mobile ad campaign.

Action Steps for You:

Here are some steps you can take to make sure you’re measuring all the right things in your next mobile display ad campaign.

  1. Use Your Best Offer: When we run mobile tests for our clients, we always like to use the client’s very best offer. Is that a 25% off coupon? A free car wash? Or a Starbucks gift card? You want to give your campaign every opportunity for success, so use the best offer available to you.
  2. Establish Your Key Peformance Indicators: As mentioned in the post above, CTR is okay for directional information about your campaign, but it shouldn’t be used as a definitive metric. Use SAR, SVL and, most importantly, SSSI for those metrics.
  3. Track Results Past the End of Your Campaign: If we’re running a 4 week mobile display promotion for one of our clients, we want to track results for the 4 weeks of the campaign plus a few weeks after the campaign. After all, there’s residual value to a mobile campaign that hangs around after the campaign ends, so don’t cut off your metrics right away — keep tracking them for a few weeks after the campaign finishes. That should give you a more accurate read on the success of the campaign.

I hope all this is of some value to you. We’re doing some amazing things on the mobile advertising front and we’ll continue to share our findings as we track the results of our campaigns.
Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, a marketing communications agency that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

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21 Important Things You Should Know About Millennials and Media http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/19/millennials-and-the-media/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/19/millennials-and-the-media/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 00:46:13 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11916 Are you interested in learning how millennials receive and digest marketing information? If so, you’re not alone. Which is why the folks at Koeppel Direct have put together a fascinating infographic that highlights some key facts and figures about millennials and their media consumption. Ready to take a peek? Great, check out the 21 interesting...

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Are you interested in learning how millennials receive and digest marketing information? If so, you’re not alone. Which is why the folks at Koeppel Direct have put together a fascinating infographic that highlights some key facts and figures about millennials and their media consumption.

Ready to take a peek? Great, check out the 21 interesting pieces of information in the infographic below:

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An In-Depth Guide on How to Use Social Media for B2B Lead Generation http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/16/5-reasons-social-media-awesome-b2b/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/16/5-reasons-social-media-awesome-b2b/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 00:51:31 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11905 A common complaint children have is that, while there’s a Mother’s Day and a Father’s Day, there’s no “Kid’s Day.” What’s worse, parents will always answer the same thing – “Every day is Kid’s Day!” Why shouldn’t there be a “Kids Day”? There should be a day, week, or month to reflect on, or celebrate,...

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A common complaint children have is that, while there’s a Mother’s Day and a Father’s Day, there’s no “Kid’s Day.” What’s worse, parents will always answer the same thing – “Every day is Kid’s Day!”

Why shouldn’t there be a “Kids Day”? There should be a day, week, or month to reflect on, or celebrate, any aspect of our lives that brings us great joy.

Do kids not bring us joy?

With this thought in mind, Oktopost (the company I work for) decided to take one month of the year and use it to reflect on the awesome benefits that social media provides us B2B marketers.

And thus was born Oktober.

So why would B2B social media marketing warrant an entire month? Think about how far we’ve come since the “old” days of B2B marketing. Think about the things we do today that could have never been done before. Think about the speed at which we can send out content to thousands of people, the doors that can be opened with the simple click of a button, the pinpointed audience targeting that we are able to achieve. None of these things would be possible without social media.

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So what really makes social media so great for B2B marketers?

Let’s me count the ways:

1. Networking

In business it is often more about who you know, rather than what you know. As such, networking was, is, and will most likely continue to be, the backbone of business. Historically, building a network required world travel, industry events, and requesting intros from friends. With the advent of social media, B2B marketers can grow their networks of connections from the comfort of their own homes.

They are called social networks for a reason; they are meant to be a place for people to connect with other like-minded people. It is certain that Mark Zuckerberg did not predict Facebook would one day become a channel for B2B marketers to distribute content and network with potential customers, but that’s exactly what happened.

People use the word “Rolodex” figuratively now, as in “He cultivated a huge Rolodex of connections.” The modern day Rolodex, at least for the individual, is his or her contacts on social networks (for a company, this would be its CRM).

For example, even with a network of 500+ connections, LinkedIn makes it extremely easy to sort through relevant contacts and reach out to them. Also, direct messaging your contacts through social networks can help you bypass the “gate-keeper” at the office.

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2. Engagement

It could be said that social media is the great equalizer. Just a few years ago, if you wanted to schedule a meeting with a CEO at a Fortune 500 company, or a top tier venture capitalist, unless you were “somebody,” this was highly unlikely to happen. You could stalk said person, or even try to approach them on the street, but that probably wouldn’t have gotten you very far (though you might have ended up in jail!).

With social networks such as Twitter, you can engage with, and get the attention of, anyone on earth. With Twitter, a simple “@” before a person’s handle could score you an interaction with someone you would never have been able to engage with previously.

If you sit back and think about it, it is truly amazing. The doors broken down for us by social media defy anything we could have imagined only a few years ago. For B2B, this means that connecting and engaging with a major thought leader in your industry is easier than ever.

For this, we must be grateful.

3. Content Distribution

It’s hard to fathom what marketers used to do with their content to get it in front of the right people. Before email, before social media, before the Internet – how did they do it? Branded magazines, even soap operas, were a few of the tactics used.

My how the times have changed.

The definition of “content,” in relation to B2B marketing, has changed significantly in the last two decades. If you had asked Don Draper from Mad Men what a blog was, he’d look at you like you had two heads. Nowadays, you would be hard pressed to find a marketer on earth who isn’t using a blog in one form or another.

We put the vast majority of our marketing resources towards content. Content creation is a cost-effective strategy that can boost lead generation and awareness far more than any other strategy. Writing one blog post a week doesn’t cut it thought. You have to put time and effort into all the various types of content that exist today. By doing this, you are casting a wider net to attract potential customers who consume different types of content.

It’s not only blogs; many other forms of content have been born as a result of “the digital age.” While white papers existed previously, in their digital form they’ve taken on a new dimension. Printing and binding costs for white papers have disappeared, and distribution can be done at a fraction of the price. What’s even better is that white papers can act as gated content, meaning potential readers have to fill out a form and submit their contact information to download and read it.

Did you know that 87% of B2B marketers use social media as a distribution channel for their content?

87%!!

Think about it, “social media” as we know it has only been around for 12 years, and B2B marketers have only utilized it for half that time. In less than a decade, nearly every single B2B marketer has embraced social media for content distribution.

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All of these users are potential consumers of content that is distributed through social media. A mind boggling one fourth of the world’s population is on one social media network or another. Even if you can get your content in front of .01% of that, you’ll get 1,780,000 people to see your content. That is un-freakin-believable.

LinkedIn is not the only social channel for B2B social media marketing. Believe it or not, Facebook is emerging as another great tool for B2B marketers to utilize.

In recent months, there have been reports of a monumental demographic shift happening on Facebook – teenagers are leaving in droves and are being replaced by an older, more business oriented crowd. This benefits B2B marketers because the audience we distribute content to is now more relevant than ever, even on Facebook.

4. Lead Generation

When it comes to B2B marketing, there’s really only one indicator of success – leads. That’s the underlying reason behind why B2B marketers have been skeptical of social media, and the value it offers, for such a long.

When asked the question, many people will tell you “there is no way to measure the ROI of social media.” In years past, this was what was taught to marketers, especially B2B.

Given that Oktopost is designed is to allow B2B marketers to manage their social media activities and measure ROI, this isn’t an answer we accept.

Social media is a lead generation tool, there is no denying it. Of all the social networks, LinkedIn reigns supreme for this purpose. We did some research earlier this year, and found that 80% of all leads generated from social media by B2B marketers came from LinkedIn.

5. Curation

Similar to other aspects of B2B content marketing, thought leadership is an extremely important goal to strive after. All too often, marketers will only share promotional content about their product or service. Not only will fail to benefit their marketing activities, it’s also counter-productive. Thought leadership is about providing value, and pushing blatant promotional content doesn’t accomplish that.

In addition to creating original content, content curation is now another powerful tool for marketers to use in their social media activities.

Content curation, in the context of social media, refers to the distribution of external content through your social networks. This is done in conjunction with the distribution of original content, in order to form a holistic content distribution strategy.

If you want to establish yourself as a thought leader on social media, curating valuable content is one of the best things you can do. If people see your social channels as a place where they can learn about important aspects of your industry, they will continue to come back for more. Given the longer sales cycle, this practice will keep your company at the top of their minds until it comes time to make a purchasing decision.

Social media makes it incredibly easy to carry out a successful content curation strategy. Twitter, in particular, is essentially the perfect outlet for content curation. It’s an “open” platform, meaning anyone can see your tweets – not just your followers. You can research valuable content on a regular basis and then, utilizing a third party platform, schedule tweets distributing that content over a period of time. This will increase your social presence and make you seem more active on social media than you already are.

We have come so far in such a short period of time; imagine where we’ll be in the next decade! Just as no one could have foreseen the current impact of social media on B2B, we are likely to encounter new tools for marketing in the next few years that none of us could have anticipated.

Regardless of what changes occur in the next few years, social media for B2B is here to stay, and will doubtlessly provide more and more value to B2B marketers as times goes on.

Have something to add? Comment below!

About the Author: Mark Lerner is the Director of Marketing & Head of Marketing Agency Partner Program at Oktopost, a social media management tool that allows you to bridge the gap between your social media programs and your ROI.

 

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10 Key Statistics You Should Know About Social Media [Infographic] http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/14/social-media-statistics-2/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/14/social-media-statistics-2/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 00:08:53 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11896 Did you know that 50% of the brands surveyed had members in the C-Suite who weren’t convinced of the value of social media? That may come as a surprise, but not when you hear this — 85% of the companies surveyed don’t connect social media with business outcomes. In other words, they don’t tie their...

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Did you know that 50% of the brands surveyed had members in the C-Suite who weren’t convinced of the value of social media?

That may come as a surprise, but not when you hear this — 85% of the companies surveyed don’t connect social media with business outcomes. In other words, they don’t tie their social media efforts to revenue.

I cover that topic in-depth in the new edition of my book How to Make Money with Social Media, but if you’re interested in a quick review of those fact (and others), check out the infographic below, brought to us by Outmarket.com (formerly Vocus Marketing Suite).

There are some great facts in the infographic that will both surprise and delight you.

Enjoy!

SocialMedia

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Four Essential Techniques You Can Use to Improve Your e-Commerce Conversions http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/12/e-commerce-conversion-tips/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/12/e-commerce-conversion-tips/#comments Sun, 12 Oct 2014 20:45:25 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11887 Online stores depend on digital traffic the same way brick and mortar stores depend on foot traffic. The problem is no matter how much you spend on Google Ads, Facebook Ads, promoted Tweets, SEO, social media, content or other marketing options, if you aren’t converting the traffic once they get to your landing page, then...

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Online stores depend on digital traffic the same way brick and mortar stores depend on foot traffic.

The problem is no matter how much you spend on Google Ads, Facebook Ads, promoted Tweets, SEO, social media, content or other marketing options, if you aren’t converting the traffic once they get to your landing page, then you’re simply throwing good money after bad.

The aim of any marketing spend should be increased traffic, increased conversions and increased order value per-conversion. Ad spending can get you more traffic, but if there’s holes in your e-commerce bucket then that traffic will pour right through.

Here are some methods you can apply to ensure those holes are plugged, thus giving you the kind of conversion rates you need to improve the bottom line – especially with the holiday season fast approaching.

Make sure your fundamentals are working

Some basic errors, like poor product descriptions, carelessly shot product images, confusing user experiences, bad customer service or high shipping prices all result in flood of traffic pouring out of your bucket — none of which will come back.

Make those kinds of mistakes, which are more careless than anything, and you need to go back to e-commerce 101. So let’s consider holes which you may not spot straight away.

Increase revenues 10% to 30% by leveraging the upsell

Take DODOcase for example, a San Francisco based e-commerce store which sells custom made iPhone and iPad cases. They invested in making their store, images and descriptions as beautiful as their cases.

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Once you select your items and get to the check-out page, they add an upsell to the equation. You might think that would put shoppers off, but instead Forrester Research found that complementary products are responsible for 10-30% of e-commerce revenues.

 

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When someone is at your checkout with credit card in hand, they’re already in “buy” mode, so why not take advantage of that and offer them an upsell?

Offer a 10% discount to people who sign up for your e-newsletter

What if your customer isn’t ready to make a purchase? DODOcase puts in a secondary call to action — a newsletter sign up with an offer of 10% discount. Many people find popups annoying, but the numbers suggest they can have conversion rates 100% higher than standard sign up options which are embedded into a website.

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Despite the fact that pop-ups are often viewed as background noise, they can actually help with conversions. Especially given the very high ROI from email marketing.

Use marketing automation, re-targeting and other techniques to target people who abandon your shopping cart

A high percentage of people abandon their carts. Based on the average of 28 detailed studies between 2006 – 2014 the abandonment rate is 68.08%. Don’t give up on these customers. Marketing automation, follow on emails, online ad re-targeting and social media ads can all be used to entice the customer back, especially when you use offers.

One study found that those hit with retargeted email / internet and social media offers were 70% more likely to convert than those who weren’t.

Keep these tools top-of-mind

Here’s a quick recap of the tools we’ve just covered so that you can keep them top-of-mind:

  • Upsell
  • Popup for newsletter sign up, with offers
  • Abandoned cart emails
  • Google Adwords retargeting
  • Facebook retargeting ads

Just because a customer isn’t ready to buy at the point of sale doesn’t mean they will never be ready. It can be worth putting in the extra effort if it results in a conversion – which once you have tried and tested a method which works for you on a few hundred customers then roll it out for everyone. You may end up with a bucket full of money instead of holes.

About the author: Benjamin Kerry is Head of Marketing for Jigoshop. Empower your e-commerce with Jigoshop, a powerful WordPress plugin trusted by 370,000 stores worldwide.
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