Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is vital for any business. If you’re considering growth and expansion, as most organisations are, you need a marketing plan that helps you to grow your bottom line. So, it is imperative to create marketing strategies to attract potential customers. To attract new customers, it is helpful to reach out to them at multiple points during the sales cycle – to gauge their interest, to nurture their curiosity, to peak their desire, and to encourage them to convert. The AIDA model springs to mind (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action) when considering this process.

Connecting with them at various points and on multiple occasions in appropriate ways with the right messaging becomes an extremely important factor in the sales conversion process. This is the essence of marketing automation. Of course, marketing automation works better for some organisations than others. You will need to consider a variety of factors, such as quantity of customers, volume of transactions, potential for repurchase, cross-selling and up-selling, and so on, before making up your mind if it is necessary for your organisation to invest in a marketing automation solution.

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation is essentially a software tool that automatically communicates you’re your prospects and customers through a variety of different media, but mostly through email. It is often connected to a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, which helps companies to build up personalised communications with their customers in order to deliver relevant offers. This data also helps to build up customer personas that assist marketing departments with understanding how to target audiences in different ways to deliver the most effective results.

What are the advantages of marketing automation?

The key advantage of marketing automation is that you can programme the software to perform certain communication tasks at certain times, and then the hard work is done – although you will still need to manage it on an ongoing basis. Also, it helps companies to improve their marketing strategy and it is a great tool for tactical lead generation and sales nurturing. It can also reduce marketing costs and it provides measurable results and KPIs for both tactical and strategic campaigns.

What are the disadvantages of marketing automation?

Firstly, it requires a lot of effort and commitment to learn how to use it effectively in order to define the target audience and the appropriate messages to communicate to them along the sales pipeline journey. Also, it can be a significant investment, and it can’t fix everything. Despite the major benefits marketing automation offers, it is not a “cure all.” This is perhaps the number one issue we have seen in the marketplace, with some clients thinking that their marketing automation software is their marketing strategy, rather than a tool used to deliver their strategy. We think of this a little bit like the tail wagging the dog…

What is customer lifetime value (CLV)?

Customer lifetime value (CLV) is a prediction of the net profit of your entire future relationship with a customer. It informs you how to allocate your efforts towards the most profitable channels and audiences, thus resulting in a better ROI. Not all customers are equal, and gaining a thorough understanding of their differences allows you to gauge how much to invest in communicating with each one. After you have segmented your audience, the next task is determining how best to connect with target customers at a personal level. Having identified which high-value customers to address, defined their lifetime value and drawn a profile of their priorities, you can then make informed decisions on which media to use. Marketing automation, when executed correctly, allows companies to market to and nurture customers with personalised and useful content via a multitude of channels.

Some useful tips

Don’t confuse your audience with poorly defined communication channels. There is an abundance of communication channels available to marketers in this day and age. Communication between you and your audience should always be a welcome event (or at least not an unwelcome one). Don’t alienate or anger your audience by forcing correspondence to happen, or by reaching out too often. Always ask prospects to opt in. Not only is it the ethical thing to do, but you’ll also be able to steer clear of any legal issues and reinforce a positive image around your brand to new prospects and current customers alike.

Don’t initiate communication on a channel you cannot use for the entire correspondence. Communication is a two-way street. If you have implemented a well-devised marketing automation process – one that accounts for incoming and outgoing correspondence between your system and your customers with an ability to listen to the other party, you will have a clear picture of their needs and be one step closer to closing the deal. Not having the capability to listen to responses via channels used for customer engagement is a failure, but it is even more so if you lack the ability and the process in-house to follow up. Align sales with marketing. If you ask questions or want responses via the channels you use to engage with your audience, be sure to have the capabilities and process in place to receive them and lead them to the next step.

Don’s smother your audience with irrelevant and unwanted content. During the process of nurturing leads, great marketers uncover a host of intimate details that paint a picture of who they are doing business with. Marketing automation then kicks in and utilises this information to serve tailored and personal content that will push leads further down the sales funnel. Sending content to prospects, especially if you are initiating the action, is quite intrusive, so if this is a part of your workflow you must absolutely make sure that what you’re sending out aligns with their needs and interests. If you don’t know what these are, take a few steps back and review your process of collecting data.

Don’t send duplicate content or correspondence. Flawless marketing automation is difficult to achieve even for the best of brands. It requires a strong top-of-the-funnel base that produces a consistent flow of sales leads. It doesn’t matter if you have to spend a great deal of time carefully reviewing your programmed workflows to automatically send out correspondence. Always ensure you’re not sending out duplicates on any correspondence.

Marketing automation software companies

There are many reputable marketing automation software companies in the marketplace for you to consider, such as HubSpot, Campaign Monitor, Eloqua and InfusionSoft. We recommend you take time to consider which one best suits the needs of your business. Read reviews from other customers to see which ones best resonate with your business needs.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is vital for any business. If you’re considering growth and expansion, as most organisations are, you need a marketing plan that helps you to grow your bottom line. So, it is imperative to create marketing strategies to attract potential customers. To attract new customers, it is helpful to reach out to them at multiple points during the sales cycle – to gauge their interest, to nurture their curiosity, to peak their desire, and to encourage them to convert. The AIDA model springs to mind (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action) when considering this process. Connecting with them at various points and on multiple occasions in appropriate ways with the right messaging becomes an extremely important factor in the sales conversion process. This is the essence of marketing automation. Of course, marketing automation works better for some organisations than others. You will need to consider a variety of factors, such as quantity of customers, volume of transactions, potential for repurchase, cross-selling and up-selling, and so on, before making up your mind if it is necessary for your organisation to invest in a marketing automation solution.

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation is essentially a software tool that automatically communicates you’re your prospects and customers through a variety of different media, but mostly through email. It is often connected to a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, which helps companies to build up personalised communications with their customers in order to deliver relevant offers. This data also helps to build up customer personas that assist marketing departments with understanding how to target audiences in different ways to deliver the most effective results.

What are the advantages of marketing automation?

The key advantage of marketing automation is that you can programme the software to perform certain communication tasks at certain times, and then the hard work is done – although you will still need to manage it on an ongoing basis. Also, it helps companies to improve their marketing strategy and it is a great tool for tactical lead generation and sales nurturing. It can also reduce marketing costs and it provides measurable results and KPIs for both tactical and strategic campaigns.

What are the disadvantages of marketing automation?

Firstly, it requires a lot of effort and commitment to learn how to use it effectively in order to define the target audience and the appropriate messages to communicate to them along the sales pipeline journey. Also, it can be a significant investment, and it can’t fix everything. Despite the major benefits marketing automation offers, it is not a “cure all.” This is perhaps the number one issue we have seen in the marketplace, with some clients thinking that their marketing automation software is their marketing strategy, rather than a tool used to deliver their strategy. We think of this a little bit like the tail wagging the dog…

What is customer lifetime value (CLV)?

Customer lifetime value (CLV) is a prediction of the net profit of your entire future relationship with a customer. It informs you how to allocate your efforts towards the most profitable channels and audiences, thus resulting in a better ROI. Not all customers are equal, and gaining a thorough understanding of their differences allows you to gauge how much to invest in communicating with each one. After you have segmented your audience, the next task is determining how best to connect with target customers at a personal level. Having identified which high-value customers to address, defined their lifetime value and drawn a profile of their priorities, you can then make informed decisions on which media to use. Marketing automation, when executed correctly, allows companies to market to and nurture customers with personalised and useful content via a multitude of channels.

Some useful tips

Don’t confuse your audience with poorly defined communication channels. There is an abundance of communication channels available to marketers in this day and age. Communication between you and your audience should always be a welcome event (or at least not an unwelcome one). Don’t alienate or anger your audience by forcing correspondence to happen, or by reaching out too often. Always ask prospects to opt in. Not only is it the ethical thing to do, but you’ll also be able to steer clear of any legal issues and reinforce a positive image around your brand to new prospects and current customers alike.

Don’t initiate communication on a channel you cannot use for the entire correspondence. Communication is a two-way street. If you have implemented a well-devised marketing automation process – one that accounts for incoming and outgoing correspondence between your system and your customers with an ability to listen to the other party, you will have a clear picture of their needs and be one step closer to closing the deal. Not having the capability to listen to responses via channels used for customer engagement is a failure, but it is even more so if you lack the ability and the process in-house to follow up. Align sales with marketing. If you ask questions or want responses via the channels you use to engage with your audience, be sure to have the capabilities and process in place to receive them and lead them to the next step.

Don’s smother your audience with irrelevant and unwanted content. During the process of nurturing leads, great marketers uncover a host of intimate details that paint a picture of who they are doing business with. Marketing automation then kicks in and utilises this information to serve tailored and personal content that will push leads further down the sales funnel. Sending content to prospects, especially if you are initiating the action, is quite intrusive, so if this is a part of your workflow you must absolutely make sure that what you’re sending out aligns with their needs and interests. If you don’t know what these are, take a few steps back and review your process of collecting data.

Don’t send duplicate content or correspondence. Flawless marketing automation is difficult to achieve even for the best of brands. It requires a strong top-of-the-funnel base that produces a consistent flow of sales leads. It doesn’t matter if you have to spend a great deal of time carefully reviewing your programmed workflows to automatically send out correspondence. Always ensure you’re not sending out duplicates on any correspondence.

Marketing automation software companies

There are many reputable marketing automation software companies in the marketplace for you to consider, such as HubSpot, Campaign Monitor, Eloqua and InfusionSoft. We recommend you take time to consider which one best suits the needs of your business. Read reviews from other customers to see which ones best resonate with your business needs.

Conversation LAB wins Conosco account

Conversation LAB has welcomed client win Conosco to its London office to help boost its global digital credentials. This comes off the agency’s recent South African wins – Markham and Kinky World of Hair.

Conversation LAB has been contracted as Conosco’s digital agency of record and is responsible for search and content management, UX, data, and analytics. The agency also manages all bought media with a strong focus on Google demand generation.

Conosco provides technology support, service, and strategy to United Kingdom-based businesses. Conosco says that IT belongs in the boardroom, and all its services are delivered with business goals in mind.

Speaking from London, Conosco director Max Mlinaric says, “Conversation LAB was recommended to us through our South African network, and we were impressed by their offering – a broad skillset all under one roof – as well as their competitive pricing. The fact that they now have an office in London is very exciting, and we would like to congratulate them on the expansion of their business.”

Kevin Power, group managing director of Conversation LAB, adds, “It is great to work with Consoco, one of the leading outsourced IT companies in London. They have a superior offering and are single-minded in creating the best possible technology solutions for London based companies. Their focus and dedication to going ‘beyond IT’ really excited us about partnering with them on their next phase of growth.”

For more information, visit www.conversationlab.com. Alternatively, connect with them on Facebook or on Twitter.

 

Source: https://www.mediaupdate.co.za/marketing/142877/conversation-lab-wins-conosco-account

 

The post Conversation LAB wins Conosco account appeared first on Conversation LAB.

How to Drive Audience Acquition Beyond Your Owned-Media Channels

How to reach new audiences and capture attention beyond your owned media channels.
<p><strong>What happens when you fish the same waters over and over again?
</strong>
</p>
<p>Eventually, you start to run out of fish. You can cast a wider net, and that may work for a time, but at some point, you’ve just got to find a new spot. You have to fish new waters.
</p>
<p>The same is true for your audience. It’s great to market within your brand channels and to nurture your built-in audience, but to exponentially grow your brand fan-base (or increase your yield in fish-speak), you’ve got to start embracing strategies designed to drive audience acquisition beyond the brand channel.
</p>
<h3>3 Must Use Tools For Building An Audience Beyond the Brand Channel<br>
</h3>
<p>Getting your brand, event, or message in front of new eyes via new channels is definitely what we mean by fishing new waters! This ability to <a href=”https://contentadvisory.net/audiences-marketing-asset/”>target a new audience</a> via paid media that feels organic and authentic is the acquisition strategy you’ve been wishing for. And it works!
</p>
<p>Specifically in regards to event strategy, and driving audience acquisition beyond the brand channel, we’ve found the combination of the following tools to work wonders.
</p>
<ol>
<li>Use Digilant Pre-Event</li>
<li>Use Amp.Live During Your Event</li>
<li>Use Social Ladder After Your Event</li>
</ol>
<h3>Digilant</h3><figure><a href=”http://cramer.com/webhook-uploads/1508876647199/Screen%20Shot%202017-10-24%20at%204.23.23%20PM.png”><img src=”http://madrogator.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/1FCXOEx7nJCBi-pQVIQSF2OKhunHRpxQrt4eysqJM5VrayyPz2f_aCbead0GA-6aqoZnbEOKQORHan4o5v_dEVBn4fDlTgs1200″></a></figure>
<p>Digilant is a <a href=”https://digiday.com/media/what-is-programmatic-advertising/” target=”_blank”>programmatic advertising</a> provider, offering ad buying solutions and services to agencies and brands. There are a few companies out there doing this, like Outbrain, and Taboola, but we’ve found Digilant to be the most precise thanks to their <a href=”https://www.digilant.com/solutions/data-science/” target=”_blank”>data science</a> team.
</p>
<p>Programmatic advertising refers to using software to purchase and place digital ads, as opposed to the traditional approach where humans negotiate for ad space and manually manage orders. And programmatic ad buying is rapidly becoming the industry standard as publishers and media outlets embrace this more efficient form of monetizing their audience reach.
</p>
<p>Aside from the obvious benefits of <a href=”http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2017/08/calculating-value-per-subscriber/”>more quantifiable ROI</a> and reliable efficiency, programmatic advertising offers the ability to go beyond the brand channel—beyond your owned media—to capture the attention of the right audience, with the right message, at the right time. A powerful way to drive brand awareness, event registrations, re-enforce your message, or bring in new prospects at the top of the funnel.
</p>
<p>Looking to drive new registrations for your event? Spin up a content-rich, engaging event landing page, define your audience targets and goals, and then try Digilant.
</p>
<h3>AmpLive</h3>
<h3><a href=”/webhook-uploads/1508876663756/Screen%20Shot%202017-10-24%20at%204.23.08%20PM.png”><img data-resize-src=”http://madrogator.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/C321uYkTLoXwHLYohEbBdfBvtUup7BlqxLi9DxTxDvycEcoNyhcLkEmQnUR1VxftHdyhKXSurrYu-vnstTj-P_Pww1o” src=”http://madrogator.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/C321uYkTLoXwHLYohEbBdfBvtUup7BlqxLi9DxTxDvycEcoNyhcLkEmQnUR1VxftHdyhKXSurrYu-vnstTj-P_Pww1o=s1200″></a></h3><figure data-type=”image”></figure>
<p>Event marketers are embracing the programmatic revolution, finding that programmatic strategies not only enhance audience acquisition efforts PRE-event, but they also can be utilized DURING your event.
</p>
<p>It’s no secret that <a href=”http://cramer.com/story/live-social-video/” target=”_blank”>live social video</a> is one of the hottest and most effective new forms of marketing media, and now, <a href=”https://amp.live/” target=”_blank”>AmpLive</a> offers the ability to embed live video beyond the social-sphere.
</p>
<p>This is especially powerful for event marketers as you can now place the livestream of your event within native ad space on the publisher and media channels your ideal audience is most likely to hang out. <br>
</p>
<p>One of Amp.Live’s coolest features? <a href=”https://amp.live/attention-retargeting-white-paper-download/” target=”_blank”>Attention retargeting</a>.
</p>
<h3>SocialLadder</h3><figure data-type=”image”><a href=”/webhook-uploads/1508876689437/Screen%20Shot%202017-10-24%20at%204.22.41%20PM.png”><img data-resize-src=”http://madrogator.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/yo7KhUYCCGurbCieDVndB-0bnpZ_6fFCeaVMqXzOMacnz2Gsa9i3aiUVSzHdLPKYDoolR7u6xHBoHQUKSuQf40xS_O_Z” src=”http://madrogator.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/yo7KhUYCCGurbCieDVndB-0bnpZ_6fFCeaVMqXzOMacnz2Gsa9i3aiUVSzHdLPKYDoolR7u6xHBoHQUKSuQf40xS_O_Z=s1200″></a></figure>
<p><a href=”http://rkiapps.com/” target=”_blank”>SocialLadder</a> is a simple way to enable your existing community to build your potential community. Basically, it allows you to turn your <g>audience</g> into your ambassadors.<br>
</p><figure data-type=”quote”>
<blockquote>”Consumers are immune to traditional advertising and increasingly prefer to discover new brands and events via people they trust, so SocialLadder makes word-of-mouth recommendations scalable for event organizers and brands of all sizes. Pretty much all events struggle with engaging their audience after an event is over. SocialLadder rewards fans for creating content that captures the ‘after glow’ of the event and this user-generated content ultimately helps attract a new audience for the following next year.”<cite><span style=”font-family: Bitter, serif; font-style: italic; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);”>Alana Bly, Co-Founder, SocialLadder</span><br></cite>
</blockquote></figure>
<p>If you introduce a SocialLadder campaign to your event audience during the show, you will have created an after-event street team to drive buzz and brand awareness far beyond the event end date. Your built-in audience can be incentivized to help sell tickets for the next event, drive likes and followers across social, and simply promote you to an audience you otherwise might not reach.
</p>
<h3>Want to learn more on how to use strategies like programmatic advertising and geo-messaging to reach new audiences and capture attention beyond your owned media channels? <a href=”http://cramer.com/downloads/programmatic-marketing-for-events/”>Download our white paper, “Programmatic Marketing for Events” today</a>!</h3>

GREEN & BLACK’S 1ST TV SPOT

Dark, but different is Green & Black’s first ever TV campaign. It’s our debut ad for the chocolate brand and the brainchild of mcgarrybowen creative directors Simon Conner and Stephen Cross.,

The ad was directed by Dorian & Daniel and sees a modern day Red Riding Hood chased by a pack of wolves through a forest. The reveal comes when she starts counting to 10 and you realise that the chase was just a game of hide and seek.

 

Facebook News Feed Experiments: Threat or Opportunity?

As Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed at Facebook noted in a post on Monday “There have been a number of reports about a test we’re running in Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala, and Cambodia.” The test he is referring to is that of moving all content posted by brand pages (not content shared by friends) from the main user News Feed into a separate tab named “Explore”.

What’s changed?

One of the first sources to write about the test was Filip Struhárik with the starkly titled “Biggest drop in Facebook organic reach we have ever seen”. The story has since been picked up by The Guardian (Facebook moving non-promoted posts out of News Feed in trial) and the BBC (Facebook explores, publishers panic). As you can tell from the titles, tensions are running high, which is understandable because the very people writing them could stand to be the hardest hit by another step of removal from their core audience. As you may also have gleaned, this trial is applying to organic content only, not promoted posts. It is a matter of time before someone comes up with an “-ageddon” nickname for the event, (Explorageddon sounds like a tourist board advert) but as many have pointed out the potential ramifications could be serious.

Purely from a publisher relations standpoint, this could perhaps have been handled better. As Mosseri mentions in his post “It’s also important to know this test in these six countries is different than the version of Explore that has rolled out to most people”. While it’s understandable that Facebook wouldn’t want to panic publishers by warning them of this planned test in advance, rolling out something so controversial in a limited geography and making it easily confused with something else far more widespread wasn’t a fantastic exercise in concern management. It’s akin to starting annual review day by firing the first few employees you meet and leaving everyone else to stew. It’s also understandable that any new release will come with its bugs, but Struhárik has reported page posts being removed from the main News Feed for users that don’t yet have the Explore section, meaning for those users all page posts are hidden in the Pages Feed section which I certainly hadn’t visited before today.

Change isn’t always a bad thing

It’s true that some changes that Facebook implement can make us better writers, marketers, and entertainers. The much-maligned algorithm update which reduced pages’ ability to reach their followers felt like it makes life harder, but it allowed good publishers to get far more for their money by engaging with their communities and learning from what they like, rather than just pumping out 50 posts a day to rack up those juicy clicks. Much like AMP, Instant Articles made us consider what we can pare back and peel away to give visitors only what actually matters with as little wait time as possible, and I’m actually quite interested in some of their plans on monetising chat bots discussed in this podcast, for instance sales messages being blocked if a user hasn’t actually engaged with your messages in the last 24 hours.

A step backwards

However, it’s not always the case that these changes improve the content quality. Facebook has also announced in the past that users don’t like reaching the end of their timeline, in response they allowed individual publishers to appear multiple times in a users’ News Feed, whether this improved satisfaction is debatable. In the same announcement, Facebook described users not wanting to see notifications of friends’ likes in their feed – after Facebook removed these notifications low-quality pages just pivoted to “tag a friend who” memes some of which exemplified the worst side of us on social media. More recently Facebook has gathered that users want to see more from friends and family, that is one of the reasons they have given for this latest test.

My concern is that moving this content to a separate (currently quite hidden) section and only allowing paid content into the News Feed won’t make publishers better, it’ll quarantine the terrible content but lump it in with the good. It stands to make Facebook success more like the deep-pockets-or-black-hat game that exists elsewhere and hampers the success of small but genuinely talented content producers. It’ll also mean that publishers have even more inaccurate figures about the value of a follow, making it harder still for community managers to argue the for investing in a community.

What’s more, I still don’t see it reducing the torrent of “Tag a mate who is s**t at golf” posts coming up in my feed because the real low-quality publishers already know how to get their content past Facebook’s net – get my friends to deliver it to me. There is even a host of “Tag a friend to make them open their phone and look at this cucumber for no reason” content – that’s content that is basing its success on mocking Facebook’s aim of showing you only what you want to see.

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Of course, Facebook has to make money but I am far happier with the current system which stands to make companies pay through the nose to distribute uninteresting and unoriginal content. While it’s far from perfect, the current method of checking content popularity leaves more of a gap for the intelligent, well-targeted, human content to run rings around generic uninspired posts, and even gives smaller publishers a better chance. It could be argued that users going to Explore will be primed to read and engage, but the number of times I open the “promotions” tab in Gmail speaks to the contrary, and that’s ignoring the fact that the Explore section currently won’t be limited to pages I subscribed to, but will include any content that Facebook deems appropriate.

The outcome

As Ziad Ramley, former social lead for Al Jazeera, suggests, this could all just be flash-in-the-pan. After the testing period, Facebook could well kill this experiment dead, or it might even roll out and have nothing like the negative impact we’re envisioning. Even though Facebook explicitly prioritises users over publishers, a stance that Techcrunch describes as the reason Facebook has survived so much change, there are certainly reasons why they might want to reverse this course of action. As Struhárikm observed to The Guardian: when we finally get a News Feed that’s just friends we may just find out just how boring our friends are. Maybe we’ll jump into the Explore section when we get sick of hearing about Clea’s “nightmare” mole operation, or maybe we’ll just stop logging in.

One thing’s for sure, moving publishers out of the News Feed, even if it is accompanied by a reduction in the quality of experience, is bound to be far more frictionless than attempts to move organic page posts back in. If Facebook makes this change and usage goes down I could imagine the smartest marketers playing News Feed exposure like the stock market, waiting for the drop in interest and investing heavily while Facebook tries to gain back its lost momentum.

Why you should work with micro influencers

Influencer marketing is the newest trend for marketing, taking over from programmatic. There’s been a huge shift towards making full use of this form of marketing, developing it into a fully-fledged channel over the past few years.

It’s not hard to see why. On average, businesses are said to generate 6.5x ROI on an influencer marketing campaign. Studies have also shown that marketers also believe that the quality of customers obtained through influencer marketing is better than traditional channels.

No wonder more and more brands are investing in influencer marketing. But are they doing it correctly? Too many brands are aiming to work with Zoella, or Deliciously Ella, when actually they should be aiming a bit lower – for good reason.

So, why is it that micro influencers are better than bigger names?

Authenticity 🕵

In a lot of cases, micro influencers will be a lot more relatable than bigger name influencers. Celebrity influencers can seem very detached from the average, everyday consumer. Their problems aren’t the same problems that most people will face in their day-to-day lives.

However, micro-influencers seem more attainable and more relatable. Their followings tend to be based on their direct approachability and everyday personism. Many consumers trust these micro-influencers much more than they would trust larger, celebrity endorsements.

Priced out 💸

In the previous era of influencer marketing, when we were restricted to Zoella and Alfie Deyes, you either stumped up the huge amount of money required to work with them, or you didn’t do influencer marketing.

However, now you can work directly with micro influencers, you’re not priced out of influencer marketing as a channel.

This means that your marketing budget not only stretches further but also that you can engage with multiple influencers during a campaign, instead of hinging all your focus on one influencer in particular.

Easier to work with 💘

Working with huge, borderline-celebrity influencers can be tough. It can be a real challenge. Influencers who have followers in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, tend to think of themselves as celebrities, with all the negative connotations that are attached to that.

Demands can be made, egos can be inflated and handling can be difficult. All of this can lead to a less than ideal working situation, as well as friction on projects.

Micro-influencers tend to be free from these sort of behaviours. They’re still at the point where they rely heavily on word-of-mouth and their reputations, so they’ll ensure that they’re pleasant to work with in order to get more work (obviously this isn’t true for everyone, but the majority are).

Better metrics 📊

One of the biggest reasons to work with micro influencers is that the metrics tend to be better than macro influencers.

Whilst micro influencers do have a smaller amount of followers, many studies (here and here) have found that influencers with smaller amounts of followers actually have higher engagement rates.

This means that you’re getting more actual engagement with the posts that you’re spending your money on, and a bigger bang for your buck.

Tap into a niche 🍰

Most micro-influencers have smaller followings for a reason because they appeal to a specific niche. Identifying the correct micro influencer for your target market and for your niche is key.

When you engage with the followers of specific niches, you can be guaranteed that they all like the particular topic, such as interior design. Even if the influencer isn’t a household name, you can be assured that their followers will all really care about interior design and therefore be more engaged with your design brand, for example.

By tapping into these extremely targeted follower bases, you’re more likely to drive better engagement and overall better results.

Brand safety 🔐

There are some arguments that say micro influencers also have an element of greater brand safety than macro influencers do.

Larger influencers have subsets of followers within their followers. All their followers may not follow them for the exact same reason.

However, micro influencers have smaller but, as previously said, more targeted audiences. Their expertise on a particular topic means that they will partner well with the brand, and typically they already produce safe, contextual content.

Overall, working with micro influencers is ideal for any brand, of any size. You’re not priced out, the content is more authentic and you get higher engagement. What’s not to love?

Related posts:

The post Why you should work with micro influencers appeared first on Harvest Digital ™.

Room to Improve Shareholder Communications as Sustainability is Now Considered Smarter Business

The following post was written by Jane Madden, Managing Director, U.S. Corporate Responsibility, and Elizabeth Woodworth, Manager, U.S. Healthcare Practice.

In 2016, Burson-Marsteller’s Corporate Responsibility Practice, together with our sister firm PSB, published the research report, “Is Your ESG Report Getting Noticed by Investors?” which found that institutional investors say a company with strong ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance, the three main factors that measure the sustainability and ethical impact of a business) initiatives is a more attractive investment.

At last week’s Bloomberg Sustainable Business Summit in New York City, we found that investors were the topic of discussion. We heard from leaders that more institutional investors are now thinking of ESG less as a separate investment evaluation input and more as data that provides additional insights into to how businesses operate and their growth trajectory. In fact, ESG is being viewed more closely in line with traditional financial data than ever before.

The theme of the summit was “Sustainability is Good Business,” a sentiment held by many in the business community. In fact, Burson-Marsteller and PSB’s research found that 77 percent of surveyed investors say building ESG initiatives into a company’s business model – the associated costs, risks and benefits of these issues – is a smart business decision. But surprisingly, leaders across various sectors noted there are gaps that hamper investors’ understanding of the value ESG initiatives bring to the business. As Morgan Stanley’s Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer Audrey Choi noted, “There’s an epidemic of silent interest in ESG among investors.” So, why is the interest silent?

Three themes we identified throughout the two-day summit are, in our view, important in understanding how investors are thinking about sustainability and where the communications opportunities are to improve the dialogue between businesses and their shareholders.

1) Speaking the Same Language: While consumers now demand more “sustainability” efforts from companies, investors as a broader group do not yet speak the language of sustainability. There is a lot of room to improve communications around how ESG is related to financial performance. A more open and proactive dialogue with investors is critical to clarifying that many of the issues they are already thinking about –the cost of carbon, to board diversity. human rights issues – are also sustainability issues, they just aren’t using the same terminology as the Chief Sustainability Officer. In addition, using the right financial vocabulary helps investors understand material ESG data, risks and opportunities.

2) Combine Short and Long-Term Outlooks: Aligning the short and long-term views of standard financial and ESG reporting by coordinating Investor Relations and Sustainability departments is another key theme. While investors and IR teams usually think quarter to quarter and by fiscal year, sustainability and ESG operate on longer timelines. If you are lucky, as Jay Gould, President & CEO of Interface said, you have a board of directors who thinks on a 20-30-year timeline. But both short-term financial performance and longer-term sustainability should be communicated to investors in parallel to illustrate healthy performance, identify opportunities that lead to innovation and note risks that can be mitigated. Sustainability leaders ranging from Dave Stangis, VP-Corporate Responsibly and Chief Sustainability Office of the Campbell Soup Company to JetBlue’s President and CEO Robin Hayes spoke about a greater need to coordinate Investor Relations and Sustainability teams to align the short and long-term nature of these analyses, which can then improve value reporting to shareholders and other stakeholders.

3) Engage to Control Your Message: As Ingrid Dyott, Managing Director at Neuberger Berman noted, ESG are business issues, which are issues investors should care about. But ESG is still a subtle concept for many, so you need to get ahead of your communications before someone else does it for you. From an institutional perspective, look closely at who is behind the investment. Dyott noted, for example, that pension funds are a bourgeoning area for ESG investing because teachers, firefighters and police officers inherently care about sustainability issues and the impact of their investments. And now with a growing Millennial population making investments (by 2025 they will make up 75 percent of the workforce and are two times as likely to back an investment product that aligns with their values, says Morgan Stanley’s Audrey Choi), asset managers should be thinking of these investments not only according to financial risk and reward – but also impact, and what the nature of that impact is. These investor groups have certain expectations and asset managers and IR teams should insert their POV into the narrative before investors do it for you.

There is a rapidly growing consensus that sustainability is good business and drives innovation. Now the opportunity is to further integrate investor relations, sustainability planning and ESG into standard financial reporting and cohesive investor communications. Doing so can help clarify the material and non-material value of these initiatives in the language your investors speak and illustrate the trend that purpose and performance are increasingly one in the same.

Effective Content Marketing: Hub content

In this series, we’re going to look more closely at the Hero, Hub and Hygiene model that can be used as a strategic framework to create content to. We’ll look at each type of content in more depth, as well as some examples, where you should place it and how to make it work for your business.

Hub content is typically aligned with targeted marketing campaigns that are staggered throughout the year.

Hub content is defined by Google as a ‘push’ activity, and we agree. Hub content is designed to be actively pushed out to your audience. This can be done with social media or email, in order to activate your audience. It’s also worth considering having this hub content appear at regular intervals in your customer journey.

Hub content is exactly what it says on the tin, and should contain a ‘hub’ of knowledge about a topic. A series of blog posts can be a hub, as can a series of videos about one topic.

Hub content should be looking to educate your audience where possible. Expert opinions really come into their own in Hub content, so if you have experts, you should be making the most of them.

When should you produce Hub content?

Think about the content that you’ve been producing lately. Have you been producing a lot around a similar theme? Or is it in a series?

If the answer is yes, then you’ve got the good foundations for Hub content. Typically, you’ll just need to pull this all together into a centralised place – a hub.

Example of Hub Content

A great example of Hub content that many digital marketers know (or should know) of is Moz’s Whiteboard Fridays.

moz whiteboard friday

Whiteboard Friday (WBF) is a good example of Hub content as it hits all of Google’s Hub content best practices.

  • WBF, and Rand (Fishkin, the host), have a strong editorial voice and a strong, distinct style. Even if Rand is not hosting, which he sometimes isn’t, the clear style of drawing on a whiteboard makes it very obviously a WBF video.
  • Rand is a good example of a single, identifiable personality that appears in pretty much all of the WBF videos.
  • There is a consistent visual language across all the videos. The format is simple, yet easily identifiable.
  • Moz communicates with their audience about the release of the videos, and there is a clear release schedule (hint: the clue is in the name). Their promotion strategy is evident across channels.

All of this shows that Moz listens to Google’s best practices. This, combined with Rand’s love of 10x content, means that Moz has become the expert name for SEO.

If your hubs are getting a good amount of traffic, it’s time to step it up a notch and start to think about creating some Hero content.

Want to take your content to the next level? Find out how we can help create a content hub for you. Just drop us a line below.

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