Thursday, 27 July 2017

Seven Network, McDonald’s & AFL Boost Data Acquisition Using Sweepstakes

To celebrate the real champions amongst Australia’s local football clubs and to boost data acquisition, Seven Network has teamed up with McDonalds and AFL to launch a simple sweepstakes to its 7AFL Facebook page.


MARKETING CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES


  • Capture valuable first party data in order to build its CRM database

  • Use campaign sponsorship with McDonald’s and AFL to increase campaign reach

  • Publicize and celebrate Australia’s local clubs and loyal club members

SWEEPSTAKES SOLUTION


Whilst we always celebrate the player who scores the winning goal, there’s often champions who go unnoticed. Whether it be those who constantly give up their time to help behind the scenes, or those who generally bring a real sense of passion to the game. To align with the AFL Champions, Seven Network has teamed up with AFL and its official partner, McDonald’s to engage Facebook followers in its ‘Macca’s Champion Of Play’ sweepstakes campaign, where Macca’s are on the hunt to find a local club AFL champion.


NL32_SevenNetwork_InText


From helping to set up every football training session, to washing the player’s kits, it doesn’t matter how big or small the task is, it’s the passion and willingness to contribute that makes someone a real champion. Seven is encouraging followers of its 7AFL Facebook page to name who the real champion is in their local club, in return for the chance for their club to be granted $1k. In 25 words or less, participants are required to describe who their local champion is and reasons for their choice.


In order for Seven Network, as well as its partners, AFL and Macca’s to capture valuable audience data, participants are asked to submit their entry by completing the embedded form. Participants must submit a few personal details, including their name, email address, contact number, postcode and local club name to complete their submission.


WATCH VIDEO HERE




Source: B2C

3 Ways to Make Your Website More Attractive

markusspiske / Pixabay


These days, having a unique and interactive website is not an easy task. There are so many websites out there and it seems almost impossible to have a website that doesn’t look like your competitor’s website. If you want that your website will look more appealing and attractive, you must use different elements or technics that will make it stand out.


Customize your website template


There are so many options when it comes to choosing a template for your website. My 1st suggestion is to find a website template that suits your business needs and your potential clients. The main problem is that there is a chance that your competitors will find the same template and apply it on their website. In order to tackle this issue, you’ll need to add creative elements, new fonts, colors, buttons etc. to the chosen template. These actions will help you get a unique and different website compared to your competitors.


Limit Your Calls to Action


The first impression is one of the most important factors when someone is visiting your website. Except the fact that you’ll need to have all the relevant info about your business, you’ll need to create Calls to Action. My suggestion is to think twice about the number of destinations you offer your visitors from each page. The most important rule is to not overwhelm your visitors when they entering your website. Of course, it depends on what you’re selling but, you should always think about the interaction between the visitors and your website. You’ll want to guide the visitors, not being aggressive.


Add a Video To Your Homepage


Studies have shown that websites with videos can get higher engagement. My suggestion is to create a high-quality video with an explanation about your company – what do you do, which products do you sell etc.

These kinds of videos can increase your engagement with your future potential clients and eventfully increase your revenues. If you don’t have enough money to invest in a video, don’t create one.


Add a Chat


Chat is another great way to engage with your customers. While there are many websites that are using chat on their websites, only some of them are actually doing it right. My suggestion is to create different rules regarding the chat, you should ask yourself important questions such as: When and where the chat will appear? Will the chat appear on all pages? How will the chat look like? Which question should I ask the visitors inside the chat etc.


So, what do you do in order to make your website more attractive?


Let us know in the comments!



Source: B2C

How to Create a Content Marketing Architecture, Framework and Plan [Podcast]

3093594 / Pixabay


Would you build a new house without a plan? Of course you wouldn’t, right? To build a house that will last a lifetime you need a framework and architecture. A framework and plan is what helps ensure the house is developed on time, meets standards to keep you safe and enjoy the home for decades to come.


Running your business, as well the marketing and content strategies that support your goals also require a framework and architecture.


How much time do you spend creating content to inspire and connect with your audience? Is the content you create built upon or supported by a solid framework and architecture for success? Or are you winging it with a little bit of social spaghetti thrown at the social network walls, hoping it sticks?


A solid content architecture and framework can make or break your results online. I know what you are thinking…. “Pam this is just mumbo jumbo marketing talk…. I don’t need a content architecture like you do, as you are a geek and you love these things.”


Well, that assumption couldn’t be more wrong. Regardless of the size of your business and budget, you need to build your content by starting with a solid framework and plan. I recently shared with you one of the first steps to creating your content marketing plan, which is conducting a content marketing audit using our content inventory worksheet.


Building your content marketing architecture, framework and plan requires both art and science. You must know your audience, your own goals and objectives, your unique value in the market and how you are going to uniquely position yourself. In addition you must be crystal clear on your message so that you can create creative visuals, audio, text, social media posts and even video to inspire and connect your audiences.


These things do not all happen like magic. You aren’t going to suddenly wake up one morning and the framework just falls from the sky with a perfect bow ready for you to take it to market.


The truth is frameworks and architectures take time. Just as building a new home or building takes time, building your business inclusive of a content marketing plan also takes time.


If you want results with your content marketing effort you must create a content management system inclusive of goals, objectives, editorial calendars, alignment to needs of audience and the list goes on.


In this episode of the Social Zoom Factor podcast I explain how to get started building a content marketing system, set goals, as well as strategies to help you get started and ensure you truly understand the needs of your audience and much more.


This episode is part of a series that will dig in deep to the power of content marketing inclusive of strategies, and tactics you can implement immediately to take your content marketing and online business results to the next level.



Source: B2C

Typography in Emails: Revamp your Campaigns with Attractive Text Styling [Infographic]

The evolution of email marketing has happened on a fast track and marketers are battling hard to keep their subscribers engaged in their emails. Boring and monotonous emails do not grab people’s attention anymore. With waves of emails flooding the customers’ inbox and their reduced attention span, it is necessary that you grab eyeballs with something attractive and appealing.


Moreover, most email clients block images by default from first-time senders and in such cases, the subscribers will only see the text content before anything else. Hence, it is necessary that the text and font styles you use in your emails are appealing enough. To amp up the look and feel of the emails, brands use attractive typography in emails.

Using typography and text styling not only gives a cleaner look to the email but also improves the engagement level. However, there are a few pitfalls related to typography.


All email clients do not support custom fonts, and hence while planning to use custom fonts, one must make sure it looks and renders the same in majority of email clients. Custom fonts are supported in AOL Mail, Native Android Mobile App, Apple Mail, iOS Mail, Outlook 2000, Outlook.com and Safari Browser and hence can be used lavishly to style your emails for these email clients.


The most widely used fonts in emails are:


  • Serif

  • Sans Serif

  • Monogram

  • Calligraphy

Of these, the Serif and Sans Serif have greater readability when used in paragraphs and are thus the most preferred ones for emails. A good practice to make sure the fonts render effectively across all major email clients is to set fallback fonts that match the primary custom font. Experiment with different combinations of font style, size, colors, and white space.


To know more about the various types of fonts and selecting the right fonts for your business emails, check out the infographic by EmailMonks: Typography in Emails, which takes you through the mystical world of typefaces and fonts in email.




Source: B2C

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Get Paid Faster by Negotiating Payment Terms Up Front

stevepb / Pixabay


Negotiate payment terms during the sales process, when your agency has the most leverage.


A client recently shared a success story from his agency—about how he negotiated a big prospect’s payment terms from Net 60 to Net 20. In effect, they’re paying more than a month earlier—a great deal for his agency, especially since he didn’t have to provide any discounts.


Let’s look at how he did it, since you can benefit, too.


Be confident… or fake it ’til you make it


At the beginning, he was nervous about working with the proposed terms, as he runs a relatively small agency and the prospect was a much larger organization. His usual terms are Net 15, but the client said their terms were Net 60.


A key is that his prospect—the CMO—like his agency’s work, and was willing to push back internally to get faster turnaround. The CMO was in a hurry, and the agency was able to use that to their advantage.


In the end, my client said he’s glad he negotiated payment terms instead of just accepting the prospect’s initial pushback. He was able to turn a risky commitment into a comfortable, mutually beneficial one.


State your payment terms early


The key to his success was negotiating payment terms during the sales process, instead of hoping the client would change after closing the deal. If your agency struggles with negotiating favorable payment terms, here’s my advice on handling the situation.


1) Set expectations and terms early. Remember that you have the most leverage to get favorable terms in the beginning; it’s hard to make changes later. After the contract’s signed, why would your new client change?


2) Remember the power of citing policy. “Our agency’s policy is that payments are due Net 15” is more persuasive than “I’d like you to pay Net 15.” You can always relax your policies if needed, as long as you call out the special deal.


3) Look for incentive alignment. Think about how you can create a win-win. It starts by understanding your client’s business goals (and personal goals, if you get them to share).


4) Focus on low-investment, high ROI items. Look for things that are important to you but not important to your prospect—those are easier to get than things that are big for them. For instance—if your business model doesn’t depend on media commissions—the prospect might be open to paying for media directly, saving you from the risk of “floating” the expense.


5) Consider the power of compromise. Your initial proposal shouldn’t be crazy, but be sure to give yourself room to meet in the middle. Perhaps you want Net 20 and they want Net 45. If you can settle on Net 30, each side feels like they “won” a little.


6) Know your limits. If you’re willing to walk away, you have a stronger negotiating position. When a prospect won’t budge and it would hurt your agency, consider whether it’s worth it.


Question: How to does your agency ensure favorable payment terms with your clients?



Source: B2C

Choosing a Technology Copywriter

Free-Photos / Pixabay


If you have a high tech business, you need to hire someone who understands what you do to tell your story, and that’s where an experienced technology copywriter comes into play.


The person you hire to write copy for your brand and for your business should not only understand what you do, but also have a keen understanding for how to convey that knowledge in a way that will be receptive to your audience. This is true whether you have a b2b or b2c business.


Below are some factors you should consider when you look into hiring a technology copywriter for your business.


What to Look for When You Need a Technology Copywriter


Can they translate? Not everyone knows as much about your industry as you do. You have passion. You spent a lot of time learning. So when you speak in 6-syllable industry lingo, and riddle your post with acronyms, it becomes a turn off for your audience.


A good technology copywriter understands this, and can translate your industry lingo into a language that your customers can understand and benefit from. He or she will help you produce content that carries your company’s voice, but speaks to your audience at the same time.


Do they understand the benefit? A good technology copywriter will understand how your industry, business and product can benefit the audience. They will be able to see what you do, how you help, and convey an emotional appeal. It’s important that the writer see and demonstrate this, so that they can turn around and convey that benefit to the audience in a meaningful way.


Can they conduct research? It may take some research for your technology copywriter to be able to accurately write about your product – and that’s ok. Just make sure they have conducted research before, and be able to point them in the right direction. Make sure they can conduct interviews, decipher important notes, and have a basic understanding of where to find industry literature.


Can they think strategically? It’s great to have a writer that will put together a stellar piece, but there is more to it than that. Does your technology copywriter understand the purpose for the piece that he or she is working on? Do they understand business objectives, and where the piece falls in your business’s sales cycle? All these things are important.


What kind of audiences have they written for? If they have written technology copywriting jobs in the past, what audiences were they for? A piece written for an end, b2c consumer might sound different than a b2b piece, where the audience might have a firm understanding of the technical side of the product. Each job, and each company might be a little different.


It’s a good idea to ask the writer if they have clips they are ok sharing. It’s ok to ask if they have comparable work, or what their background is. The copywriter may not always have work that is equivocal.


For example, if I have not done a similar project, I stress my journalism background. For 10 years, it was my job to learn as much as I could about a specific subject and then write about it. I’ll also stress that sometimes it’s good to have a fresh perspective from someone who might not be thinking within the confines of your company, or industry.


A good technology copywriter doesn’t necessarily have to answer “yes” to all of the questions above, but the more, they can answer in the affirmative, the better. Use your best judgment to find the best person for the job.



Source: B2C

The Most Common Bottlenecks in the Buyer’s Journey & What to Do About Them

Hooray! You’ve recently launched several marketing campaigns that have done an excellent job generating leads. But, you can’t totally celebrate because these efforts haven’t turned into real business opportunities yet. Leads are coming through the door and you’re nurturing them with content, but they aren’t moving. You have a bottleneck. Something is stopping these leads from moving along in their journey to purchasing from you, but what is it? Before we explore the root of the problem, let’s do a quick review of the buyer’s journey.


The buyer’s journey is the hypothetical process a potential customer goes through to get to a point of sale. In the content marketing world, we use this hypothetical journey to build content and points of interaction that facilitate each stage of the journey, thus bringing the prospect closer and closer to buying. Below is a graph of the typical buyer’s journey:


buyers-journey.jpg


If you’ve done all the work of mapping content to the buyer’s journey, created campaigns to fill it, and aren’t seeing leads turn into real opportunities, you likely have a bottleneck in this journey. The first step in identifying the bottleneck is to ask yourself this question:


Where in the journey are leads getting stuck or disengaging?


By asking this question, you can get a sense of where in the buyer’s journey you have a bottleneck. Understanding where this is happening will often reveal the problem. For example, if leads are entering the funnel early in the buyer’s journey but don’t take any further action after their first conversion, you may not have the right follow-up in place. Even worse, you may have technical issues like a broken download link that cause them to lose trust in you. On the other hand, you may discover that leads come to a halt after several weeks of email nurturing that seems to have great performance until the last couple of emails that pitch a demo. In this case, you might not have copy that effectively communicates your value proposition, among other issues. The point of these examples is to illustrate that you have to understand where and why bottlenecks are happening to resolve them. Beyond that, here are some of the most common bottlenecks in moving leads through the buyer’s journey and what you can do about them:


You Don’t Understand Your Buyer’s Journey


If you skip critical steps in the process of developing a buyer’s journey such as persona interviews, it will be nearly impossible to remove the bottleneck. You may be using the wrong content to attract buyers, but you may also be using the wrong content to push leads to the next stage in the buyer’s journey. If you do your homework, you will usually ace the test. Just keep that in mind.


The Buyer’s Not Ready


One of the most common bottlenecks or reasons leads get stuck in their journey is simply that they aren’t ready to move further along. You may have done an excellent job in content creation to get them to get them download it, but a download doesn’t mean the lead is ready to sign on the dotted line. The buyer’s journey and the content you develop for it will help to move that lead along, but there are times when that lead might not be ready to buy today, tomorrow, or possibly ever. There will always be leads who enter the funnel who aren’t ready to buy, don’t have the decision-making power to buy, or might have more pressing issues. The possibilities for leads not being ready are numerous, but that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. You can do something about it.


First of all, you can simply ask a lead why they haven’t bought from you yet. Use a survey, a form, or just a quick email to determine why the lead isn’t ready. Doing this not only helps you to overcome objections, but it also reveals tools or content you can develop to remove bottlenecks.


Second, when leads aren’t ready to purchase because they don’t have a pressing need or project or the budget to purchase at the time they first interact with you, it’s okay. You should still stay on their radar until they are ready—focus less on pushing them to the decision stage of the buyer’s journey and more on engaging them until they want to or can buy from you. With the not-ready leads, you should be serving up insightful and interesting content that has nothing to do with your product. Follow the example of nurturing campaigns from companies like CoSchedule or Wordstream, which rarely send promotional email and focus mostly on informational reads, not like companies that send so much promotional email that the “engaging” content they do send is lost. If the lead isn’t ready to buy, keep their attention by providing value with the content you provide them so that they turn to you first when they are ready.


A Long Sales Cycle


Another common bottleneck in the buyer’s journey is a lengthy sales cycle. In most B2B sales, a long sales cycle can’t be avoided; however, a long sales cycle can be a problematic bottleneck if your content and nurturing campaigns have failed to account for it. As an example, let’s say your company has an average sales cycle of six months, but your email nurturing campaigns only last a month. It’s no doubt that leads will be stuck wherever you left them hanging. Your buyer’s journey, content, and nurturing campaigns to support it all should account for your sales cycle’s length. Even companies with extremely long sales cycles can successfully plan their buyer’s journey and nurturing to avoid bottlenecks. For example, the company Starshot found that 25 percent of their closed deals in a three-year period came from leads that had been nurtured for an average of 36 months, with most of those deals being among their biggest sources of revenue. When it comes to long sales cycles and nurturing those leads, you should take the advice of Dory and “just keep swimming.” To determine the best length of nurturing for your buying cycle, it takes ongoing testing, but as a good rule of thumb, nurturing campaigns should be at least as long as your average sales cycle. If you are new to digital or inbound marketing, your nurturing campaigns should be longer than your average sales cycle because an inbound sales cycle is likely longer because the leads are entering at the earlier stages of the buyer’s journey.


The Medium


Along the buyer’s journey, your leads will need various kinds of content to help them further understand their problem (or opportunity), evaluate options, and make a final decision. This means you have to create content in the format best suited for moving a lead through the buyer’s journey. If you create e-book after e-book but really your leads need something simple and easy to use like a calculator to compare costs, you are using the wrong medium and causing a bottleneck. You can avoid this problem by completely understanding your buyer personas and the problems, solutions, and tools they need to make a final decision.


Other than the format of your content that fills your buyer’s journey, you also need to use more than one medium to distribute that content and reach your buyers throughout their journey. It’s not enough to send them a sequence of emails and hope they respond. You also have to engage with them through other means such as social media, digital remarketing, or display campaigns, or at a conference.


Not only is it important to use multiple forms of distribution and content formats because your leads may have tuned you out on one channel, but it is also important because psychologically they will become more engaged when interacting with your company through multiple mediums. For example, video content engages the visual and auditory senses, thus enhancing the chance that they remember you.


Your Buyer Isn’t in the Journey


As mentioned earlier, there are times when the lead entering your system doesn’t have purchasing power. They seem to be entering the journey, but they aren’t raising their hand because it isn’t up to them to make a purchase decision. Does this mean you should abandon them? Absolutely not—because these people may one day be your advocates when Mr. Decision Maker calls upon his team for suggestions. Or, he or she may become the decision maker at that company someday. Nurture these leads but understand that there will inevitably be a bottleneck there.


Your Product or Service Is the Bottleneck


Even some of the world’s greatest aspirations end up failing because they can’t be validated by the buyer. Google Glass seemed like a great concept, but even this product ended up flopping. The reality is that 90 percent of startups fail and even well established companies can end up failing after decades of success. Although I’ve painted a pretty daunting picture, my point is that your product or service may not meet the needs of your leads. It’s also possible that it does, but you haven’t effectively gotten that point across to them. You might be neglecting to share important information like social proof that your product really does solve their needs. You might also be sending the lead conflicting messages about your product. Even worse, however, is if your product actually is terrible and people talk about it. Although you can remove a bottleneck because of poor reputation, it takes a ton of effort and cleanup to convince leads to move through the buyer’s journey. This bottleneck is easy to spot, however, because the company will usually be struggling to close revenue with other sales channels besides inbound leads


Identifying bottlenecks all starts with that simple question, “Where in the journey are leads getting stuck or disengaging?” With this information, you can remove the obstacles and get leads moving to the next stage of the buyer’s journey.



Source: B2C

5 Ways to Improve Your Content Strategy

content strategy


A new report from BrightEdge reveals that although marketers at B2C and B2B Fortune 500 brands recognize the AI, voice and hyper-local revolution is here, most are not yet planning to adapt their marketing strategies to these new ideas.


The wheels do tend to grind slowly in large corporations. Like biting the tail of a dinosaur – it takes a while for the message to reach the brain.


This lack of forward thinking puts brands at risk of failing to meet the rising expectations of their consumers. “It’s a winner-takes-all in the post mobile world and marketing departments are adapting to changing consumer behavior.” Jim Yu, CEO of BrightEdge,


There is a positive side to the findings of this report – in house marketers and agencies are moving towards strategies that integrate SEO, SEM, social media and content marketing. It gets better results and improves customer experience.


This seems like a no-brainer to me, yet 70 percent of marketers lack a consistent or integrated content strategy. (Altimeter)


IMPROVE YOUR CONTENT STRATEGY


Almost half (47%) of B2B buyers consume three to five pieces of content prior to engaging with a salesperson. (DemandGen Report – 2016 Content Preferences Survey)


Your customers are reading this information online. They use search engines and social media to find it. Search has been the number one activity, along with email, for many years now.


It shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that every piece of content should be:


  1. Based on researched data of customer’s needs and intent

  2. Created to address these needs

  3. Developed to provide different information at the specific stages of the customer journey

  4. Optimized for search engine algorithms

  5. Distributed intelligently via social media

CONTENT STRATEGY AS A COMPETENCY


CMOs at the largest technology companies report that building out content marketing as an organizational competency is the second most important initiative, only behind measuring ROI. (IDC)


A content strategist needs to know many things – what the customer journey is for that brand or product, what information they look for along the journey, what they need to find at each stage of the journey, how to create and craft content that will get found in search and shared on social media and how to track results.


A search on Indeed.com and LinkedIn reveals that there are about 4x more jobs requiring content skills than PR. And many of the PR jobs ask for content creation and content strategy skills. Since the predictions are that content will only gain ground over the next five years, it would be a very smart career move to learn how to devise and implement an integrated content strategy that includes SEO and social media.


If you want to get ahead of the pack, learn how to use AI , machine learning and predictive analytics to drive your content strategy.



Source: B2C

8 Essential Tools for Online Reputation Management

padrinan / Pixabay


Your brand’s reputation affects the business directly. People won’t buy your products if they don’t feel they can trust you. Or worse, if they feel that others don’t trust you.


Let’s not let that happen.


There are practical steps you can take to improve your reputation online. Even better, there are tools that’ll help get you there faster. We’ll go through each of these in detail in a moment.


But first…


What is online reputation management?


We previously wrote a 5-step action plan to improve your online reputation. In truth, those five steps actually fall under two broad themes:


  1. Understand what people think and say about you

  2. Actively improve your online reputation

So that’s how this post has been divided. The first four tools let you know what your reputation looks like right now. That’s essential – if you don’t know what’s working and what’s not, it’s awfully hard to improve anything.


The next four let you actually reach out and impact people, to start building a more robust brand reputation online.


So let’s dig in!


Understand what people think about you


1. The Brand Grader


Brand Grader Big Blog


Everybody loves a free tool! The Brand Grader gives you a quick overview of a brand’s online presence in seconds. Simply choose the company or product you’re interested in, and you’ll see:


  • Their biggest web influencers: major blogs and news sites talking about them online.

  • Their top sources: see whether most of their mentions come from forums, images, or news sites.

  • Brand sentiment: whether people speak about them positively or negatively.

  • Location of mentions: where in the world people talk them:

Screenshot 5@2x


And those are just a few of the very interesting and often enlightening data points provided.


It’s not designed to be comprehensive – that’s what the other tools on this list are for. Instead, the aim is to quickly understand some of the things a brand does best, and what’s not working so well.


For a free tool that takes a few seconds to use, the results are powerful!


2. Reputology



As the name suggests, Reputology is just what many brands need to protect their reputation. This tool specializes in review tracking – to let you easily find and monitor brand reviews all over the web.


If Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Facebook reviews have a major impact on your business, this is the tool for you. And let’s face it, reviews play an increasing role in sales for most businesses these days. More and more people turn to reviews before making a decision.


One benefit of Reputology over the other tools on this list is that it’s location-specific. For brick-and-mortar stores, this is important.


Let’s say you own five fruit and vege shops – we’ll call them “Melonor Rigby.” (This name is free to a good home). With Reputology, you can monitor each shop location separately, to compare reviews for each. If the Main Street location consistently receives 5-star ratings, while the High Street location only gets 3-stars, you’ll need to drill down on these reviews to see what’s causing such a difference.


Reputology delivers all these reviews in one place, and even lets you respond to them from within the platform. Couldn’t be simpler!


3. SimilarWeb


Many of us already know SimilarWeb as a website ranking site. I use it almost daily to see how much traffic a particular site or blog receives. Even as a free tool, it gives a very good idea of how your website – the face for your brand – performs online.


But SimilarWeb is also an enterprise monitoring tool that’ll tell you a lot more about your website. Its biggest value is that it lets you benchmark your site against competitors for factors such as time on site, bounce rate, and page views per visit. This helps you understand how you stack up against the other players in your industry, and make improvements to your site.


SimilarWeb also offers a range of digital insights – market research about your industry. This includes brand visibility reports to show you how well-known and well-respected your brand is within your field.


All of this is to help you maintain the best website you can, relative to your competitors. When the industry is crowded and there’s not much breathing room to go around, small upgrades go a long way.


4. Mention



If you’ve used Google Alerts, you’ll know how nice is it to receive a daily update of your mentions online. Now, imagine these are alerts are in real time, when you need them, and including social media, forums, blogs, news sites, reviews, and even television.


At its heart, that’s what Mention is – a more robust, comprehensive Google Alerts. But the tool also includes some very interesting and powerful analytics. For instance, you’re able to compare your brand with competitors for factors like share of voice, sentiment, reach, and influence:


online reputation tools mention


So you not only know what people say about you, and when, but you can also identify trends and start making smarter marketing choices. When it comes time to reach out and build a stronger reputation, these kinds of insights are invaluable.


As we’ve discussed, the first step to a stronger reputation is knowing how people feel about your brand. And if this is your goal, it’s hard to go past Mention.


A few bonus tools


  • The Website Grader from HubSpot lets you quickly evaluate your website to make sure you put your best face forward.

  • The Mozbar is a Chrome extension that lets you assess website authority and traffic, like SimilarWeb.

  • Go Fish Digital made a fun complaint search tool that shows you negative reviews for any brand online.

2. Actively improve your reputation


5. Get Five Stars


In order to receive 5-star reviews, you need to get reviews in the first place. And reviews don’t always happen just by chance. Get Five Stars provides a few solutions to help you encourage responses from your audience.


The first is called Net Promoter Score (NPS). Next time you visit a new website or download an app, keep an eye out for small survey like this:


nps online reputation management


These responses are averaged, and this makes up your NPS. By asking for responses, you actively improve your brand reputation and become more appealing to future buyers.


But Get Five Stars goes even further. When a user completes this short survey, they’re given the option to share their happy on the major review sites. This tiny survey becomes a 5-star review on Google or another high-value site.


That’s hands-on reputation management right there!


6. Buffer



This will come as no surprise, but social media and brand reputation go hand in hand. Aside from your website, your social profiles are likely the most visible access points for your business. For this reason, you need to communicate clearly and often on social.


Buffer lets you schedule and send posts to all of your social media platforms from one place. If you don’t have the time or budget to manage social full-time, this is the next best thing.


How does this improve your reputation? For one, the more quality, engaging content you share with your audience, the better. But it also lets you speak to your followers at inopportune times. For instance, on July 4th (or your nation’s equivalent) when the whole staff is off, you can still post a few holiday-themed messages to build rapport with your customers.




A professional, engaging social presence lets you stay front-of-mind for consumers, and builds trust in your brand. And as word spreads and followers join your flock, your reputation improves.


7. SendInBlue


How often have you heard this?


I signed up for XYC because it looked cool, but all they did was fill my inbox with spam!


Not a good look. Email marketing is key to a strong brand. Whether it’s for customer onboarding or plain old marketing, a well-crafted email campaign leads to happier customers, better reviews, and a healthier reputation.


SendInBlue lets you make email campaigns without a lot of technical knowledge. Start with one of their templates, then drag-and-drop your way to a clean and effective outreach program.


online reputation tools sendinblue


Your emails help maintain your reputation on a daily basis, but also come in handy when a crisis breaks out. Suppose something goes wrong – a product recall or poor choice of words from the CEO. You need to issue a statement, and monitor responses to ensure that this has been handled correctly.


SendInBlue lets you create a unique campaign for just this purpose, then track the results.


The tool is also perfect for agencies, as it can be white-labeled and onsold to clients. The agency can build and present a beautiful campaign to a client, teach them how to do it the next time, and sell the tool on to the client for a little icing on the cake.


8. Buzzsumo


On the one hand, Buzzsumo could’ve belonged in the first half of this post. It shows you what content is trending across social media, blogs, and news. Use this to compare your own content with competitors, and try to understand why their work might be more popular online.


But it’s also a powerful communication tool. For starters, knowing what works well online helps you produce better content. But Buzzsumo is perhaps best used to identify influencers, and these can have a spectacular effect on your brand.


Influencers are the cool kids at school. Hanging with them makes you look cool by extension. So building a solid influencer marketing strategy is a wonderful way to improve your reputation.


Think about it: if you want to become better-known and respected, having Bill Gates vouch for your brand is like stepping on the fast track. And because it’s probably not going to be Bill Gates, Buzzsumo lets you find influencers in your industry that you actually may be able to approach.


It’s simple. Just search for a topic of interest, and Buzzsumo shows you the top influencers in that niche:


online reputation tools buzzsumo


It includes their social media profile and website, so you can reach out with ease.


A few bonus tools


  • SmarterQueue lets you recycle evergreen social media content at specified times, so you don’t even have to fill your queue.

  • Mailjet is a fast-growing and sturdy email automation tool.

  • Hunter is a free tool that lets you find email addresses on sites like LinkedIn and blogs. Since email is the best way to reach out to influencers, this is highly valuable.

Take charge of your reputation today


Your online reputation doesn’t need to be left up to chance. With close monitoring to start, followed by well-planned communication, your brand will be seen in a better light, by more people.


To learn how to build and protect your reputation online, watch our exclusive webinar with Reputology’s Jack Yu. He does this for a living!


Let me know what I forgot. What are your favorite online reputation management tools?



Source: B2C

How Predictive Marketing Analytics Changes B2B Sales & Marketing

JuralMin / Pixabay


Predictive Marketing Analytics (PMA) enable B2B sales and marketers to harness unique customer and prospect insights for competitive advantage. Marketers utilizing PMA will be more successful at finding, reaching, attracting, engaging and converting prospects and in-market buyers.


Below are the things best-in-class B2B marketers are doing to deliver unprecedented program efficiencies and generate significant returns on the marketing investments their organizations both need and demand.


Move Beyond Lead Scoring


The best-in-class scoring products should be based on account and contact scoring, evaluating customers and prospects on fit, gauging engagement, and determining intent.


B2B marketers who are truly aligned with sales do not use lead scoring to “prove” to sales that marketing generated an MQL. Because sales and marketing must agree upfront on the target companies and contacts (keywords and titles), there should never be a need for B2B marketers to prove they generated a lead worthy of a sales person’s time (based on right company and right contact.)


Scoring products should also be used for opportunities in the sales pipeline and also to find those customers that sales can upsell or cross-sell. Scoring is also a must for B2B sales and marketers to help identify customers at risk, which should decrease customer churn.


Many predictive marketing analytics solutions now incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) into scoring. These technologies analyze internal and external data to create insights for gauging interest and intention to purchase.


Improve Conversion Rates in the Marketing & Sales Funnel


Improving conversion rates is quantifiable, measurable and directly correlated to revenue. That’s why it is key for B2B marketers to communicate these metrics to the management team as it “justifies” marketing spend.


Specific outcomes attributed to PMA include improvements in lead quality, better conversion rates at all stages of the sales funnel, shorter sales cycles, and larger average deal sizes.


While some B2B marketers focus on generating more leads and driving down the cost of leads, seasoned marketing practitioners focus primarily on lead quality, while quantity is driven by capacity and financial targets. Here, B2B marketers filter out the junk or leads outside the sweet spot. This helps ensure that scarce and limited marketing and sales resources can focus on the best leads and opportunities.


Marketing Becomes Part of the Sales Process


In order for predictive marketing analytics solutions to be successful, sales and marketing must sit down and develop a mutually agreed upon Go-to-Market plan (objectives, strategies, tactic, systems, processes and terminology). With this as a backdrop, sales can then delegate the top of the marketing and sales funnel to marketing — and be confident that by assigning accountability and providing support and resources, true alignment will result.


PMA clearly provides one common goal for marketing and sales – revenue – a derivative of the number and activity of customers. To become a customer the sales team needs to efficiently and effectively move qualified sales opportunities through the sales process. With this is mind, the marketing mind-set shifts from generating leads to creating opportunities with a high propensity to purchase.


CMOs are Now Being Held Accountable for Sales Pipeline & Revenue


In traditional demand generation, approximately 10% of marketing leads result in net customer acquisition or existing customer expansion. However, marketers have struggled to identify the 10% that are productive and the 90% that are unproductive — without investing a great deal of time, money and cycles.


CMOs that are revenue-centric tend to key in on:


  • Fewer, higher quality leads

  • The use of marketing automation to increase the speed at which sales follows up

  • Providing sales insights that help salespeople engage in more relevant dialogue with prospects and customers

  • Focusing on the sales pipeline and key metrics

Eliminating “bad leads” reduces expenses, increases productivity for marketing and sales and results in more revenue, faster. This is because scarce sales and marketing resources are able to react quicker and allocate more time on the right leads.


PMA brings a managed, repeatable, objective process to marketing attribution issues by helping B2B marketers attribute marketing program spend to revenue, resulting in tremendous impact on marketing budget determination.


Predictive Marketing Analytics Helps B2B Marketers Become Relevant to Sales


Predictive analytic solutions also assists marketing and sales to better understand the real size and scope of their total addressable market (TAM), served market and target market. In addition, PMA solutions embrace third party data to drill down into the companies and contacts that make up each of the above mentioned markets.


Sales Intelligence (SI) enables marketers (and especially sales people) to be better prepared before they pick up the phone to engage a prospect in a relevant and meaningful conversation. SI does this by possessing a full overview of the market, technology, competitors, the company and specific contacts involved in the buying process. It’s important for B2B marketers to automate the access, updating and usage of firmographic, technographic, transactional, behavioral and intent data into integrated sales and marketing campaigns.


Summary


Prioritizing leads is now a table stake, and best-in-class B2B marketers need to step their game up to support sales at the next level. Ideally, PMA solutions will evolve to recommend what accounts to approach, how sales should engage with an account, which individuals to approach, what topics to discuss and when to do so. These are some of the promises of AI and machine-learning analysis of how ideal customers buy.


Predictive marketing analytics is an essential solution for creating sales and marketing alignment and for directly and significantly impacting the bottom line. PMA helps BtoB marketers identify net new prospects that are ready, willing and able to buy via enhanced segmentation, better prioritization of sales-ready leads, and proactive upselling, cross selling and customer retention. These are the key promises of PMA that will ultimately drive its widespread adoption.



<< INSTANTLY Download the PMA Buyer’s Checklist >>



Source: B2C

Should Brands on Social Media Get Clever? Survey Says…Probably Not

When it comes to social media for businesses, there’s an undeniable pressure to be funny and edgy. It’s become commonplace for brands on social media to join in on the current conversations sweeping the nation, armed with a stockpile of GIFs, memes, and topical references.


But perhaps it’s time to ask — just how important is it to be clever on social media?


There’s a notable uptick in these efforts when a company darts into the national spotlight, like when Wendy’s first adopted its sassy approach to community management. When Wendy’s got involved in #NuggsForCarter and what would eventually become the most retweeted tweet of all time at 3.6 million retweets, other brands jumped on the opportunity. Microsoft, United, and Amazon all retweeted the message on their corporate accounts.


It’s easy to feel inspired when these daring risks pay off big-time. But more often than not, this approach backfires in small ways. Many companies end up trying a little too hard, enduring ridicule from those who were supposed to be potential new leads and loyal customers.


In fact, the Q2 2017 Sprout Social Index reveals some interesting facts about audience attitudes surrounding these common brand behaviors.


To break down a few of the findings and discuss how they translate into a brand’s social media engagement strategy, let’s explore some real-life approaches to each tactic.


Discussing politics and taking a stance


71 percent of respondents find it annoying when a brand talks politics on social media.


This is a tough one, because it works against what we know about people’s buying behavior being influenced by a company’s beliefs and values. A recent study by Edelman found that 57 percent of consumers said they are “more likely to buy from or boycott a brand because of its stance on a social or political issue.”


So what accounts for the conflict between these two findings? Consider the way a brand approaches political speech. There’s a clear difference between brands that take up a cause and reflect their efforts through action, and those that jump on a political bandwagon in the moment.


Take REI. The brand directly calls on its customers to take action for a political cause. But if you delve into the comments section, you don’t see those survey results materialized. Rather, the reaction from their audience is almost entirely positive.


REI social example


This cause speaks directly to REI’s brand, which is rooted heavily in a mantra of values like “purpose over profits” and “advocate for the outdoors.” This specific example of political discourse likely saw less pushback because it’s not overly opportunistic.


Slang


69 percent of respondents find it annoying when brands use slang on social media.


The survey may label audience attitude as “annoyed,” but businesses that use slang evoke a special kind of exasperation from social media users.


For example, the sheer number of businesses that tweeted variations of brand “bae” posts inspired a Twitter account dedicated solely to spotlighting unfortunate use of the word by brands.


McDonalds Social Example


It’s tough to explain exactly why social media users resent this behavior, beyond its evident cringe factor. Regardless, adopting slang will not automatically make your brand’s social media presence edgier, nor will it guarantee engagement from a younger audience.


Using GIFs in posts and replies


More than four in ten respondents (42%) say they find it annoying when brands use GIFs.


Safe to say, over half of social media consumers love a solid animated GIF. But really, the success of the GIF when used to engage customers through social media depends on the context.


Yoplait recently put GIFs to good use when engaging with its community after the debut of its latest #MomOn campaign.


yoplait example


Generally, Yoplait’s GIF replies perform quite well in terms of engagement and sentiment.


But joining in on conversations on social media, especially when your brand isn’t outright mentioned or tagged, requires some subtlety and understanding of your audience. If a GIF response seems forced or inappropriate when compared to your brand’s usual voice and tone, things can quickly become uncomfortable.


Risky comebacks on social media


67 percent of respondents find it annoying when brands make fun of their competitors. What’s more, 81 percent of respondents feel that way when brands make fun of their customers.


This stat is particularly interesting when we think about Wendy’s and how it achieved its reputation for social engagement savvy. Wendy’s fame was built around tweeting savage (albeit, joking) replies to its customers.


But here’s the moral of the story: Wendy’s approach, and its customers’ response, are both atypical.


It’s true that some people reach out to brands solely for a fun and memorable interaction. But above all, they are looking for quick customer service and answers to their questions.


Simply put, humor and wit won’t always win over your customers. Always prioritize what your audience wants over trends and a desire to be cool.


If you have examples of brand blunders or successes when it comes to these common practices, we’d love to hear them — so please share in the comments below!



Source: B2C

Evie Clair Gives Emotional Cover Of ‘I Try’ On America’s Got Talent For Father Battling Cancer


Evie Clair delivered an emotional cover of Macy Gray’s hit “I Try” on America’s Got Talent for her father battling cancer. As she explained to the judges during her June debut, Clair’s dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer last year and given a 5 percent chance to live, and “Arms” is the song she sings to him when he’s having a rough day.


“It’s just so amazing. I can always just remember this moment with him, and I’m so grateful for that,” she said. Upon taking the stage, the tears returned as she told the judges, “A lot of things are happening right now and we don’t really know what’s gonna happen next.” Simon Cowell asked if she wanted to take some time, but the teen wanted to sing.


“You are amazing. You’re beautiful,” said guest judge DJ Khaled. “You touch everyone’s soul and spirit. Your family is going to be very proud of you.” Heidi Klum noted the performance wasn’t “perfect,” but said, “I still remember you and your voice at the end of the day because it is special.” Simon Cowell also pointed out some vocal flaws, though he said he understood why she was emotional throughout the performance.


What did you think of the performance? Let us know in the comments section.



America’s Got Talent Social Media Reactions














On the heels of the most viewed season in five years, the 12th season of “America’s Got Talent” is back with creator and judge Simon Cowell, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel.

Supermodel, entrepreneur and CEO, Tyra Banks, joins the team as host and the series returns to Los Angeles this summer with live shows from the famed Dolby Theatre.


With the search open to acts of all ages and talents, “America’s Got Talent” has brought the variety format back to the forefront of American culture by showcasing unique performers from across the country. The series is a true celebration of creativity and talent, featuring a colorful array of singers, dancers, comedians, contortionists, impressionists, jugglers, magicians, ventriloquists and hopeful stars, all vying to win America’s hearts and the $1 million prize.


The “Got Talent” format, created by Simon Cowell and co-owned by Syco Entertainment and FremantleMedia globally, holds the Guinness World Record as the most successful reality TV format of all time, airing in 186 countries and having been commissioned in 68 territories worldwide. Around the world more than 500 million people watch “Got Talent” every year. “Britain’s Got Talent” has remained the U.K.’s #1 entertainment show since it first launched in 2007 and discovered global singing sensational Susan Boyle, who has sold 23 million records to date.


Photo Credit: NBC



Source: B2C

Colin Cloud Blows Away Mel B And Howie Mandel On America’s Got Talent With Mind Reading Skills


Colin Cloud, the real life Sherlock Holmes, is back and continues to blow the judges minds on America’s Got Talent. According to his site, his outrageous stunts on TV and stage have left celebrities and audiences the world over, shaken to their very core – this year in his Edinburgh Festival show, Colin Cloud promises to continue in this trend.


Following completely sold-out seasons in Edinburgh 2014, 2015 and 2016, the Adelaide Fringe 2016 and The Illusionists Live from Broadway and London’s West End, Colin Cloud returns to the Edinburgh Festival Comedy Fringe stage with his brand new solo show. In Dare, you’ll be involved in a life-enhancing experience of epic proportion.


The master of the unconscious, Cloud will calculate the future and deduce your intimate thoughts. And that’s the truth. In true Sherlockian style, he’ll explore subjects likes persona, identity, group-bonding, tribalism and cults. Will his audience succumb to his outrageous suggestion? We’ll find out as they are asked to put their life in his hands. Quite literally. Of course this show has been designed to push Colin Cloud’s skills to the limit, but it also gives you the opportunity to see how he uses these near super human abilities in the real world.


What did you think of the performance? Let us know in the comments section.



America’s Got Talent Social Media Reactions










On the heels of the most viewed season in five years, the 12th season of “America’s Got Talent” is back with creator and judge Simon Cowell, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel.

Supermodel, entrepreneur and CEO, Tyra Banks, joins the team as host and the series returns to Los Angeles this summer with live shows from the famed Dolby Theatre.


With the search open to acts of all ages and talents, “America’s Got Talent” has brought the variety format back to the forefront of American culture by showcasing unique performers from across the country. The series is a true celebration of creativity and talent, featuring a colorful array of singers, dancers, comedians, contortionists, impressionists, jugglers, magicians, ventriloquists and hopeful stars, all vying to win America’s hearts and the $1 million prize.


The “Got Talent” format, created by Simon Cowell and co-owned by Syco Entertainment and FremantleMedia globally, holds the Guinness World Record as the most successful reality TV format of all time, airing in 186 countries and having been commissioned in 68 territories worldwide. Around the world more than 500 million people watch “Got Talent” every year. “Britain’s Got Talent” has remained the U.K.’s #1 entertainment show since it first launched in 2007 and discovered global singing sensational Susan Boyle, who has sold 23 million records to date.


Photo Credit: NBC



Source: B2C