Vidyard recently spent hundreds of hours analyzing video data from more than 250,000 videos and 600 million video streams to put together the first-of-its-kind Video in Business Benchmark Report. What they learned is very helpful for marketers. This infographic shows 16 of their greatest findings you can use to see how your video stacks up.
In the 2017 State of Inbound report, more marketers reported they planned to add social channels like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to their marketing efforts than in the previous year’s survey. The reason we’re seeing this spike is because the use of social media by prospects is so pervasive. But, finding the right platform and right approach on social media to reach prospects can be tricky. The key is to make sure you’re always testing new strategies to see what works and what doesn’t. But, beyond this, we as marketers need to evolve our views on social media. And, not just how we use it but also why we are using it.
For awhile now the goal of social media strategy has been laser focused on generating leads and then trickled down to brand and content promotion. This isn’t a bad plan. It’s a great one – if you are coming at it from the right perspective. The focus isn’t on your company. It has to be on your prospects – what are their interests and goals and challenges? We have to consider our social media an opportunity to be social with our prospects and not promotional. There’s a big difference between these two. Here are some ideas to help you retool your social media approach.
- Do Your Homework
There’s a lot of information out there on your prospects if you take the time to go looking for it. And, to make it easier, you can start by looking at the analytics you already have for your current social media campaigns. Which ones got your prospects to engage? What information did they find relevant? Once you know this, design your social media around what you already know is of interest to your prospects.
Make sure if you’re going to share a blog or e-book on your social media that you first make sure the information is relevant to your prospects and then that you present it in a manner that is preferred by your prospects – think infographics, videos, etc.
- Think Like Your Prospects
When you start evaluating how to generate more likes, comments, and shares from your social media audiences, think about how you personally use each platform. It’s a good idea to create a detailed marketing persona for your prospects so everyone on your team has a good understanding of whom your messages are talking to. Consider how they spend their time on the different platforms and what it is they want to see on each.
- Apply Your Marketing Knowledge to Your Social Media
Most likely, social media is “new” to you, but marketing isn’t. And, social media is just another tool to market to your prospects. So, use your marketing knowledge to make your social media the most impactful. Use tried and true marketing approaches like making sure you have a call to action, you test approaches, and you use professional quality graphics with titles and subtitles when necessary.
And when it comes to creating content, think about how you optimize blog posts with on-page SEO elements, creating titles, headers, meta descriptions, and URL structures to help your blog posts and webpages rank in search engines. Apply this thinking to your other social platforms.
If you follow these tips, your social media engagement rate should increase because you’re creating prospect-centered content on platforms that resonate with your prospects. You’ll see that more of your prospects will begin to like, comment, and share your posts.
According to a June 22, 2017, article in Entrepreneur, the first marketing e-mail was sent nearly 40 years ago by a marketer named Gary Thuerk from Digital Equipment Corporation. Wanting to promote his company, Thuerk decided to send an e-mail to approximately 400 people. It worked! His company saw a huge spike in sales. And, the rest is history.
While there’s no denying the effectiveness of e-mail, one of the inherent problems for marketers is the reality that prospects have short attention spans. But, there is good news on that front. After analyzing data from billions of e-mail opens from 2011 to 2016, Litmus just released a report that states the average time spent reading an e-mail has increased by nearly 7% since 2011.
That’s great news, but the reality is that attention spans are still pretty short. So, for our e-mails to be the most effective, we need to keep these guidelines in mind:
- All of your e-mails MUST be mobile friendly. If they aren’t, you will lose subscribers.
- Make sure your subject line speaks to what is in the content of your e-mail. If it doesn’t, your readers feel tricked.
- Take advantage of headlines, subheads, and bullets to quickly communicate information.
- If you are going to use an image, make sure it’s a good one that grabs attention and connects relevantly to your content.
- E-mails that take a long time to load because there are too many large images won’t get read. Period.
- Sometimes you need to write a long e-mail, and that’s okay. Just make sure you don’t go over 102kb because if you do, it will likely get clipped by the e-mail provider.
- Always test your e-mail across platforms to make sure it can be opened and read and that all of the links work.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably noticed that you’re seeing more and more digital signs – everywhere. They are used to share information and advertise a multitude of services and products. But while they are prolific, they aren’t obtrusive. That’s because digital signs and their messages feel so natural and organic that you don’t even realize you’re receiving a marketing message. But, you are…and it’s very effective. You absorb the digital message without considering the platform delivering it to you. (In a study by Arbitron, 47% of people remembered the content of an ad they saw on a digital sign 30 days later.)
If you haven’t noticed digital signs yet, I bet you will now that they are on your radar screen. I think you’ll realize you’ve been seeing and benefiting from digital signs almost every day and may not have noticed it until now.
The infographic below was created by Digital Signage. I wanted to share it with you today because it shows how a typical consumer (like you and me…and our prospects!) can encounter over a dozen digital signs in a typical day. If you’re not using digital signage, you should explore this highly effective platform.
While there are many marketing channels, not all of these platforms or strategies will be right or work for your business. You need to know which channels to choose and how to strategically use each outlet. There is no reason that your business should struggle with coming up with ideas for your marketing plans. The list of marketing channels you can use for your business is deep and varied. You just need to know your options and how to use them.
In our hyperconnected, media-filled world, there are dozens of ways to connect with and engage audiences. Here is a list I found that Spectrio compiled of 41 ways to use in-person and online marketing channels to get noticed by new and old customers and clients.
Go Where Your Audience Is
This long list of marketing channels may be a little intimidating. So drill down into the list by first eliminating the platforms you know won’t connect with your target audience. For example, if you know your ideal customers aren’t social media savvy, don’t spend time on Instagram and Pinterest.
Repurpose Content When You Can
This list may also seem intimidating because it includes such a long list of content needs. But, don’t feel as though you need to create content from scratch for each of these marketing channels.
Look for ways to reuse and repost content (such as using a video you made for TV ad also as a Facebook ad and YouTube Video). Repurposing content stretches your resources and alleviates some of the stress of content creation.
Create a Content Library and Editorial Calendar
To get the best use of your content, organize your plans and past work. Create a content library that lists all of the copy, video, multimedia, graphics, and long-form content you have created. Use the library to identify opportunities for repurposing and to prevent your team from creating duplicate or redundant content.
Also, use an editorial calendar to plan for the future. Add your ideas to a year-long calendar that coordinates your marketing efforts and keeps your team on track.
There are multiple, effective marketing channels your business can tap into. You just need to know what they are and have a plan for utilizing them.
For quite awhile we’ve thought of digital marketing as just what we do on the Internet, mobile phones, and smart devices. But, the ante has been upped. In-store digital display advertising is becoming an increasingly more important player. And, more and more of your customers are expecting you to provide comprehensive in-store digital solutions. So, businesses would be wise to embrace the full spectrum of digital solutions because they dramatically improve the customer experience. Here’s how:
- Enhance Execution of Customer-Centric Strategies
By combining digital technologies and operating capabilities in an integrated, well-sequenced way, you’re able to reshape your customers’ experience. And, happy customers spend more and have greater brand loyal. Focus on simple, immediate, and individualized digital solutions to build a dynamic digital ecosystem that addresses your customers’ needs. Functionality is key, with customers preferring function over form. The right combination of digital strategies will help build revenue, deepen customer experience, and reduce cost.
2.Design a Customer-Centric Path to Purchase
Rethink your approach. By using the feedback from your customers that your digital (and other) strategies deliver, you are primed to design a path to purchase that speaks to the needs of your customers from beginning to end.
- Establish Cross-Functional Collaboration
Businesses tend to focus on optimizing internal capabilities, but the real attention should be paid to meeting your customers’ needs. The advantage of incorporating digital marketing into your strategy is that it enables you to gather instantaneous information from your customers. This enables you to continuously test and change approaches relatively easily.
- Be Open to Real-Time Insights
Digitization provides an abundance of “real time” insights. Use this information to its fullest to design the best customer journey.
- Keep Trying to Achieve Customer Participation
It will take a while for customers to adopt your digital channels. Be patient. And, use the data you collect to make changes to your approach. Make sure you inform your customers about your digital options, keep the path to purchase relevant, and guide customers to engagement.
As digital disruptors continue to reshape and dictate in the business landscape and in-store digital marketing becomes even more prevelant, customer demand for these options will continue to rise. Businesses will be smart to respond to demand, putting their customers’ needs and wants at the center of their digital transformation strategy.