Archive for ‘General Marketing’

July 21st, 2014

Top 10 Ways to Use Mobile Marketing to Grow Your Business

Mobile Marketing Tip

The challenge many people have with mobile marketing is that they’re not really sure how to start using it. Oh, sure, they’ve looked into generating a QR code (which, as mentioned here, is an idea that will get you nowhere). Or they may have even done a mobile paid search campaign. But most businesses are still sitting on the sideline when it comes to running a full-fledged mobile marketing campaign.

Not long ago, we published a mobile marketing research report that we conducted with AWeber. One of the more popular sections of the study was a section called 43 ways you can use mobile to grow your business.

We thought we’d share the top 10 ideas from that section with you to help you get a jump start on your next mobile campaign. (If you’d like to download all 43 ideas, just click 2014 Mobile Marketing Research Report and Action Plan.)

Ready for the top 10 ideas? Great, here goes:

Send a Mobile Display Ad to People within a 5-Mile Radius of Your Store.  Mobile display ads are a lot of fun because you can use geo-locational technology to target people within a certain radius of your retail locations. It’s perfect for restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores and other retail locations that want to attract local customers who are near their store. Just ask your ad agency or your mobile ad network to do a geo-locational overlay on your next campaign. If they know what they’re doing, they’ll take care of it for you.

Use TwtPoll to Create a Mobile Survey. Here’s a great idea you can use when doing speeches at trade shows and conferences. Create an online survey using TwtPoll. During your speech, ask the audience to open their mobile web browsers to take the survey. Then, share the live results on the screen for the audience to see. I do this all the time at my speeches and have found that it’s a great way to keep the audience engaged.

Optimize Your Mobile Website with Mobile-Specific Keywords.  Don’t forget to add mobile-specific keywords to your mobile website or your mobile blog.  For example, if you own an Italian restaurant and have a blog, then you’ll want to add keywords that people will be searching for in your content.  In other words, don’t just use “Italian Restaurant,” also use “Italian Restaurant Locations,” “Italian Restaurants on Peachtree Street,” and “Italian Restaurants in 30342 Zip Code.”  By adding location-based keywords, you’re targeting the mobile visitor, which ultimately drives customers to your door.

Use a Mobile Website Grader to Find Out How Your Mobile Site Stacks Up.  Marketing Grader is HubSpot’s upgrade to their Website Grader tool.  Included in the tool is a mobile grader that can give you insights to how well your mobile website is performing.  Another useful tool is MobileGrader from our friends at BlueTrain Mobile.  Both tools are worth checking out.

Mobile Marketing Tips

Send Customers Special Discounts When They Enter Your Store. 4INFO has a geo-fencing solution that targets customers once they’ve entered your store. Once a shopper has downloaded your app, you can send the shopper rich, relevant messages when they’re nearby. Geofences can be set up by the retailer to offer consumers a discount or alert them to something happening right then in the store.

Connect Your SMS Campaign to Your TV Campaign. Commercials for one retailer in Minneapolis encouraged people to text “tent” to get a discount coupon for a weekend tent sale. That way, potential customers had a mobile coupon on their smartphones that they could keep handy until they visited the store. It’s a simple idea, but perfect for local furniture stores, auto dealerships or tire discounters.

Keep Prospects In-Store with Barcode Scan Promotions.  Tired of having prospective customers enter your store, look at the merchandise, then go home to order it on Amazon? It’s called the Showroom Effect, and one way to combat it is to provide customers who have downloaded your app a special discount when they scan a barcode on certain items. Remember — you don’t want to offer the discount on all items, just ones they can order online.

Leverage Deal-of-the-Day Services. Most people think of Groupon and Living Social as desktop platforms, but they’re perfectly suitable for mobile promotions. In fact, they’re probably better suited for mobile promotions, so don’t be shy – check ‘em out. They’re not for every business, but if you use them carefully, you can drive new customers to your retail locations.

Create a Sense of Urgency with Your Mobile Promotions. Research indicates that putting a time limit on coupons drives up redemption. So, if you’re going to run a promotion on foursquare, then you’ll want to use phraseology like “limited time offer” or “expires soon” as part of the promotion.

Create a Bounce-Back Coupon. It’s one thing to provide a mobile coupon to customers who are in your store, but it’s even better to provide one that encourages them to come back for another visit at a later time. These bounce-back coupons are a great way to generate repeat visits.

Those are just some of the ideas that are included in our 2014 Mobile Marketing Research Report and Action Plan. Remember, if you’re interested in seeing all of them, just download the report. It’s a great way to get started in mobile. And remember, if you don’t use these ideas — your competitors will be.

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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Archive for ‘General Marketing’

July 15th, 2014

Why You Might Be Missing 80% of Your Digital Audience

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When creating a digital campaign, the biggest struggle is always getting conversions. But the best way to convert users is simply to offer an exclusive deal that will incentivize their click. This infographic from Voucher Cloud walks us through just how valuable coupons are to your audience. Some of the most interesting points from the infographic include:

  • 66 million digital coupons were redeemed in 2013
  • 80% of consumers consider themselves to be “promotion sensitive,” indicating a high propensity for responding to a coupon offer (this means that, if you’re not including a special offer, 80% of your audience will be more likely to go with a competitor who is!)
  • Men actually use digital coupons more than women (which surprised us!)
  • While grocery coupons lead the digital charge, their advance on other categories (like dining, pet care, etc.) is smaller than you may think
  • Over 84% of consumers switched stores because of a deal or special (wow!)
  • 93% of consumers are very likely to take advantage of a coupon emailed to them

Check out the full set of data here:

The Value of Coupons in Digital Campaigns

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Archive for ‘General Marketing’

July 13th, 2014

7 New Tools from Digital Marketing Experts

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Once a month, I conduct a Google+ Hangout with marketing experts from around the globe. I’ve found these Hangouts to be a great way to learn new things and make new friends. If you’re not already doing something like this, I highly recommend you do — it’s a terrific way to build relationships and improve your skill set.

In any given Hangout, we’ll have people like Eric Qualman, Viveka von Rosen, Lon Safko, Emeric Ernoult, Phyllis Khare, Nathan Latka, Martin Shervington, and Ian Cleary join us. It’s a terrific group and it’s wonderful to be exposed to their tips and techniques.

At the end of every session, I ask each member to suggest a new tool that we should each explore. I thought I’d share the recommendations from my most recent Hangout since I’m sure you’ll find them as helpful as I did.

Ready? Here goes:

  • Viveka von Rosen suggested Oktopost, which allows you to schedule your content distribution in advance to multiple LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter social profiles from one single platform. Be sure to check it out.
  • Martin Shervington suggested Boomerang, which is an online email, social media and event management software platform. If memory serves me correctly, Martin was particularly impressed with the event management aspect of the platform.
  • Lon Safko suggested DaDaMail, which helps you manage your email mailing list, and offers complete support for safe, closed-loop opt-in subscriptions. It also lets you send out mass mailings, keep message archives and allows you to share your messages in lots of neat ways.
  • Ian Cleary suggested Keyword Tool and Seologies. Keyword Tool will help you discover thousands of the new longtail keywords related to the topic that you specify by automatically generating Google’s auto suggestions. And Seologies is a new platform that optimizes content creation for SEO, using statistical correlation. They’re both worth checking out.
  • Phyllis Khare suggested Streak, which is a way to put your GMail on steroids. With Streak, you can track exchanges, snooze email threads, schedule emails to send later and a whole slew of other things. It’s a great way to supercharge your use of GMail.
  • Nathan Latka suggested Signals, which is a platform created by HubSpot. Signals allows you to see who has opened your emails, who has clicked on links, who is viewing your website and several other interesting things. This one definitely looks like it’s worth checking out.

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How to Start Your Own Hangouts.

I’ve been doing Google+ Hangouts with industry experts for several years now and have found them indispensable. Sometimes, I’ll come away with a list of new tools like the ones above. But more often, I’ll come away with a new way to grow my business; a new perspective on solving a problem; or, best of all, a new friend.

I’d encourage you to try the same thing. With that in mind, here are three steps to get you started.

  1. Establish An Area of Focus: It’s a good idea have an area of focus for your Hangout. Having a loose definition of the topics you’ll discuss will help you recruit new members.
  2. Contact 2 People for Every 1 Participant: Put together a list of people you’d like to invite. Then, send them a one-to-one email inviting them to the Hangout (don’t send a mass email since it decreases the effectiveness). Once you have about 8 people who have agreed to join, send a single email to everyone on the list with the specific date.
  3. Do a Test Run: There’s no better way to kill a good Hangout than to have technical difficulties during your initial meeting, so be sure you’ve worked out any kinks on using the Google+ Hangout feature. The fewer difficulties, the more people will want to come back next time.
  4. Start with Introductions: At the first hangout, ask each person to introduce themselves in 60 seconds. This is a great way to break the ice.
  5. Have a Few Seed Questions: The odds are that you’ll have plenty to talk about, but if not, be sure to have a few seed questions to kick things off.
  6. Set a Precedent of Openness: I always make a point of being very transparent in my Hangouts. Why? Because when I’m honest and open about my challenges and hurdles, other people open up, too. And that’s where you’ll discover the gold.

I hope those suggestions help you get started with your new Hangout. At a minimum, check out the new tools outlined above. At a maximum, start your own group — and keep us posted on your progress!

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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Archive for ‘General Marketing’

July 1st, 2014

Tips and Tools for Trimming Your Marketing Budget

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The rise of social media has put extraordinary power into the hands of business owners. With the right tools and methods, you can do what used to require huge teams of people. If you can’t afford an agency, it’s no longer the end of the world. Get a consultancy project in place and then do it yourself — it’s a lot less overwhelming than you might think.

Follow this guide to cutting corners on your online marketing budget.

Get The Right (Free) Software

As outlined in “How Budgeting Software Can Help You Get on Track,” strict, consistent budgeting must be the foundation of your online marketing strategy. Although basic budgeting should go without saying, throwing unclassified, undocumented capital at a sales campaign willy-nilly is an all-too-common mistake.

Budgeting software can be expensive and complicated, but it can also be free, easy and web-based – meaning you don’t need to download any software or worry about keeping sensitive information stored locally on your hard drive. Software like this walks you through the process of seeing what you have to spend and what you’ll need to do to get to your goals.

Look into these options:

  • Mint: Remotely hosted and free, Mint is super easy to start, links to your existing accounts, automatically updates and helps with planning and budgeting.
  • Outright: Now owned by GoDaddy, Outright has a clean, crisp, readable interface with comprehensive charts and graphs that make tracking a snap.
  • Budget Simple: Although only the paid version comes with a mobile app, the free version contains most of what you’ll need to build and maintain a budget.

Be Smart with What You Have: Put Money Up Front

As a general rule, put as much as you can afford into marketing in the beginning. Generally – depending on your industry, size, location, etc. – during the first three years of your business’s life, marketing should get the lion’s share of your budget. Some businesses spend up to 20 percent of their budget on marketing efforts as they’re building a customer base and establishing their brand. After that, virtually all businesses taper off to single digit percentages, with most staying under five percent.

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The logic behind this strategy is that dumping what you have into marketing in the beginning will help you do the expensive work of establishing brand identity and a customer base quickly. The sooner you can accomplish these two crucial achievements, the quicker you can reinvest that capital elsewhere, saving you money in the long run.

Get Help, Then Do it Yourself

Agencies are great tools for success — if you can afford them. But the truth is that most people who are just starting out in a business don’t have the extra money for an agency. They’re a great investment, but maybe down the road when you have a little more cash flow.

So what should you do for now? Instead of hiring an agency on a retainer basis, how about calling them up to create a plan that you can implement yourself? Most agencies will be happy to do this, especially those that specialize in working with SMBs (like 60 Second Communications).

Use Third-Party Apps to Boost Twitter

HootSuite
If more than one employee posts updates your business’s Twitter profile, consider using HootSuite to streamline the process and make online marketing more efficient by allowing multiple people to access and tweet via your business’s Twitter profile. You can track their activities; schedule updates, messages and tweets; analyze social media traffic; and track mentions that your business receives.

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Localtweeps
Localtweeps brings Twitter marketing down to the local, zip-code level. Identify and be found by potential customers in your business’s key area or areas. You can search by city, keyword or zip code, as well as find local activities, deals and specials to target directly.

Twiends
Twiends uses a unique “seed” system that allows businesses to gain followers simply by following others. Use the free program to identify potential customers through the Twiends categorization system and, once those potential buyers are identified, follow them and establish contact. With every Twitter user you follow, you’ll acquire a certain number of seeds. Others seeking seeds will take those seeds off your hands by following you.

Leverage Internal Facebook Tools

Ads Manager
Facebook allows businesses to micro-target customers down to the minutia of their demographic, including age or job title. For just a few bucks a day, targeted ads are simple to set up and extremely cost effective. Try one on a shoestring budget and see if it immediately sends traffic to your site.

Facebook Insights
A great way to track your progress, Facebook Insights provides a thorough look into your data to examine your marketing efforts. You can clearly see which campaigns have resulted in increased traffic or “likes” and weed out the dead wood of your online marketing campaign.

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Facebook Questions
Dramatically underutilized by business owners, the Questions feature on Facebook allows entrepreneurs to solicit feedback from buyers and potential customers alike. Not only will you garnish real-time, real-world feedback regarding your business’s performance, but you’ll immediately increase your exposure.

Practice Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a strategy of using metadata, keywords, links and content to improve your ranking in search engines. Study after study show that people who search for something on Google most often click the first link, then the second, and then rarely or not at all anything below that.

Marketing is the practice of paying for visibility. Search engines give you visibility for free — if your site is optimized to have the search engines working with you. A minimal payment for an SEO revamp does just that.

Search your business’s name in Google, but don’t stop there. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and search presuming they don’t know the business they’re looking for. If you sell vinyl siding in Minneapolis, search “vinyl siding Minneapolis,” “vinyl siding Minnesota,” “housing exteriors,” etc. If you’re ranked low or not ranked at all, it’s time to redirect some money into an SEO strategy for your website.

Modern marketing leaves business owners countless opportunities to cut corners on their budgets and redirect precious money elsewhere. By using apps to boost your social media strategy, being aware of your search engine rankings and not overspending after the crucial first three years, entrepreneurs can run incredibly sophisticated online marketing campaigns with little investment.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. He writes about small-business management and online marketing.

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Archive for ‘General Marketing’

June 26th, 2014

The Single Most Important Thing Every B2B Marketer Should Know About Content Marketing.

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The chances are, you’ve read a lot about content marketing on the 60 Second Marketer and other blogs. You’ve heard that it’s an effective way to build awareness for your business and/or position yourself as a thought-leader in your industry.

The model has a lot of appeal – if you provide tools, tips and techniques to your prospects, they’ll build a relationship with you that results in sales later down the pike.

You’ve also heard about marketing automation, which allows you to target prospects with email campaigns that drive them back to your website. That process – re-marketing to prospects who have expressed an interest in your company – should result in plenty of inbound leads, right?

What you may not have heard is that neither of these systems work as well as many content marketers would have you believe.

There’s a problem with the model outlined above. It’s a problem that has a lot of people scratching their heads wondering what went wrong with their content marketing program. The problem is that most content marketing programs don’t incorporate something called The Final Mile.

But before we talk about The Final Mile, let’s do a quick recap of how we use content marketing to drive prospects to 60 Second Communications, the marketing agency behind the 60 Second Marketer.

Many years ago, I was in charge of business development for BKV Digital and Direct Response, an agency that is still a major sponsor for the 60 Second Marketer. One day, driving home, the phrase 60 Second Marketer popped into my head. The phrase had a familiar ring to it and had a hook that I thought would appeal to fellow marketers around the globe.

A short time later, I approached Brent Kuhn (the K in BKV) about doing a website called the 60 Second Marketer that would generate leads for BKV. He really liked the idea and encouraged me to build out the site and use it as a lead generation tool for the company.

Remember, this was before HubSpot, before the Content Marketing Institute and before Social Media Examiner, so the concept was way ahead of its time.

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Over the course of several years, the work I did on the 60 Second Marketer turned into my first book (How to Make Money with Social Media, the second edition of which will be released soon) and then another book (Go Mobile, which was the #1 best selling mobile marketing book on Amazon when it first came out). The blog and the books ultimately lead to a career as an internationally-recognized speaker, which is a great gig if you can get it.

After just about every speech I’d make, whether overseas or domestically, someone would say, “I really like everything you mentioned regarding social media and mobile marketing. Can I talk to you about doing a social or mobile campaign for my company?”

When people would ask me that question, I would give them a tongue-in-cheek answer that would always generate a nice chuckle – “I don’t actually do stuff. I just talk about doing stuff.” (Fortunately, people took the comment in the light-hearted way I wanted them to.)

All that said, the questions from people brought up a larger issue, which was why don’t I do this stuff? I know a great deal about it and would probably generate better results that most other companies. And, besides, what better way to write about digital marketing than to actually do it and report on the results!

So, we launched an agency called 60 Second Communications, which specializes in the science of marketing. It wasn’t long before we had clients on our roster that included The Coca-Cola Company, Holiday Inn, TransUnion and Samsung.

Putting Content Marketing to Work for Your Business.

By now, you may be asking yourself how the story of 60 Second Communications relates to you and your role as a B2B marketing professional. Remember how I said that one of the benefits to launching 60 Second Communications was that we’d be able to report back on the results of our campaigns? Well, we’re ready to report on some of our findings.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal reported that more than $5 billion a year is spent by U.S. organizations on content marketing and social media. But if content marketing and social media don’t work, then why are companies spending so much money on them?

There’s a simple answer to that question — many companies don’t know how to measure the results of their campaigns, so they don’t actually know if their efforts are generating revenue. It’s true. According to a survey by Mzinga and Babson Executive Education, only 16 percent of those polled said they currently measured the return on investment (ROI) for their content marketing and social media programs.

The good news is that there are companies at the other end of the spectrum that do measure the results of their campaigns and are showing positive results. But they have a secret to their efforts that most other companies aren’t using.

What’s their secret? What makes their campaigns work where others haven’t been able to figure out the secret? The answer is that they understand something called The Final Mile.

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In order to understand The Final Mile, you have to understand the journey your customer has made to your company. If you’re like most business-to-business companies, buying your product or service requires an investment on the part of the prospect. In some cases, the investment might only be a few hundred bucks, but in other cases, the investment might be several thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.

If the investment your prospect needs to make is in the thousands of dollars, what are the odds that someone will make the purchase without a person-to-person contact? In other words, what is the likelihood that someone will receive a white paper, read a blog post, then plunk down a grand or more on your product or service?

Which leads us to The Final Mile, which is the need for a well-spoken member of your company to generate a person-to-person contact with your prospect in order to lead them down the path towards customer-hood. No amount of white papers, e-books, blog posts or emails is going to convert the typical B2B prospect into a customer without some form of person-to-person contact.

Isn’t Communicating via Email Enough? The Answer is No.

Now you may be saying, “But we have a salesforce and they use email to connect with prospects. Isn’t email enough?” The answer is no, especially if your customer lifetime value is greater than $1,000. (For more on customer lifetime value, read this post on the 60 Second Marketer blog.) When was the last time you spent more than $1,000 on any product or service without conducting an in-depth interview with a salesperson?

That’s right, never.

So The Final Mile – and this is the key point I’m making – is the connection between you and your prospect that can only be made via a live, person-to-person conversation. No amount of emails, white papers, e-books or blog posts will do the trick. In the end, you’re going to have to pick up the damn phone and make a sales call.

I know that freaks most of you out, but it’s the truth. There’s no way to close a deal with a B2B client prospect with a customer lifetime value greater than $1,000 if you’re not going to smile and dial. The good news is that picking up the phone and making a sales call gets easier with every call you make, so there’s really nothing to be afraid of.

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Results from Our Program. And Exceptions to the Rule.

Of course, for every rule there are exceptions, but generally-speaking, no matter how good your content marketing is, you’ll need to put in the time and effort for outbound sales calls in order to close a B2B sales effort.

What have been our results using this methodology? (Remember, 60 Second Communications is a marketing communications firm, which means we live in the B2B world and have a vigorous new business system in place.)

Here’s your answer. Using the old methodology – which was to let our content marketing build awareness for us and generate inbound leads – we would generate 1 new lead per month, which was totally lame, especially considering that lead was usually a small business with little or no budget.

But whenever we’ve embraced The Final Mile concept – in other words, whenever we’ve gotten off of our butts and picked up the darn phone to make outbound sales calls – the results have been 300% to 400% better than just using the inbound approach. That’s right, we would generate 3 to 4 times the number of viable leads using The Final Mile concept than we would using the traditional content marketing approach. And the leads we generated were 10 times better than the leads generated from pure inbound marketing programs.

One Last Secret You Need to Know.

There’s one last secret you need to know about before you put this technique into action – outbound sales calls usually result in leaving voice mails (which will be a relief to many people). That’s right – nobody answers their phone anymore. The result is that you’re generally leaving a mini-commercial for your company every time you leave a voice mail.

The trick to leaving a voice mail – and this is important – is to instantly send a follow-up email after the voice mail. This one-two punch results in a 20% response rate for our company. That means for every 10 voice mails and emails I send, I start a dialogue with 2 new companies, which is terrific considering the results of the old method were so much worse.

Action Steps for You.

Does this B2B content marketing system appeal to you? Here are a few action steps for you to get started with this method:

  1. Don’t Abandon Content Marketing: Yes, content marketing is over-hyped, but it’s still a vital component of the overall system, so don’t abandon it.
  2. Keep Using Marketing Automation: Marketing Automation is another important component of your overall campaign, so don’t ignore this either.
  3. Pick Up the Damn Phone: It’s an old technique, but it still works. Pick up the phone and leave a voice mail message for your prospect. (Side note: Don’t be caught off-guard if they actually answer their phone – we’ve found that 1 out of 10 prospects do.)
  4. Follow-Up with an Email: This is the last piece of the puzzle, and it’s an important one. In most cases, people will delete your voice mail. But 2 out of 10 times, if the voice mail is followed-up by an email, they’ll respond to your email. And that, my friends, is pure gold.

I hope these tips are of some help to you. We’d love to hear about your experiences with B2B lead generation. Leave us a comment below if you have insights or observations of your own.
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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