Month: February 2017

The Goal of an Email is to Get a Click

As marketers, we tend to forget that we don’t sell anything in an email. An email’s objective is not to get a purchase; it is to get a click. We should be asking the question, “What would drive the most possible clicks to the page where the purchase can happen?”

In Quick Win Clinic episode (recorded live at MarketingSherpa Summit 2017), Flint McGlaughlin optimizes a fundraising  email for “Touchdowns Against Cancer” to help the nonprofit (and our viewers) increase the odds of getting a click on their emails.


MarketingExperiments

Whoever Said Digital Transformation Has To Be So Complex?

Corporate complexity operates in stealth mode. It is born as simplicity, something initiated with the purest of intent. Its goal is to solve a small, straightforward, departmental problem through the implementation of a solution with just a few basic steps. It achieves that modest goal and is deemed by its developers and internal customers to be a success. Its success triggers ideas for how it might evolve and grow from that base.

It gains confidence as people make requests for it to add more steps to accomplish more tasks. More people take notice of its developing scope and it is granted the right to expand and consume even more adjacent problems and challenges. It meets with more success but with some mediocre results too. The latter are dismissed by decision-makers as likely meaning the plan was slightly off-target, the requirements poorly assembled.

Eager To Solve Problems

Nothing to worry about. No need to throw unnecessary shade. So, most people hear only of the successes and begin to think of it as being the right way to do things. Various leaders meet to plan strategy and being eager to solve problems they attach their ideas to it and adopt the ways of it too. Its tentacles now reach across teams and its effects are felt across organizations. Like a centrifuge, people’s careers revolve now around how well they can work with it.

They need it and it needs them. Before long it becomes arrogant. It looks around, sees no serious challengers, and declares itself the modus operandi for the entire company. There is very little disagreement.

Sometime later, quite a way down the road of time, after the company has struggled through 19 consecutive quarters of disappointing results…

  • When buyers and customers no longer react to the efforts of marketing
  • When the sales cycle takes exceedingly long to get to a point of no decision or worse, loss
  • When product teams strangle themselves to create features and functionality for only the highest revenue customers
  • And when post-sales teams spend all their time focused only on fixing problems and zero time on enablement and driving product adoption…

In that environment no one in the company knows the answer when a newly-hired and eager employee asks a very simple question, “Why is it so complex?"

Dangerous Implications

Setting aside the dangerous implications buried within the mind of the questioner (How does it even work? Is there any empirical proof that it does? No wonder their Glassdoor reviews are spotty. I can’t believe I accepted this job offer), the question of why something is so complex is actually a good one.

It’s also one that has no answer because the truth is, companies grow, problems arise, problems get resolved, more problems arise, leaders come and go, employees get hired, they move around the organization, they leave, shareholders grow impatient, and Boards of Directors become more demanding.

Processes pile up and rarely ever get stripped back to a state of simplicity. Why? The Boston Consulting Group discussed this topic in this article titled, The Twelve Forces that will Radically Change how Organizations Work. Their research shows that 75% of executives believe complexity is making it harder for them to reach their business goals. Worse, only 17% of them believe that their company’s efforts to reduce complexity will resolve the issue.

Ouch.

Inhibitors To Success

We see it that way too. One of the inhibitors to success we discuss with our marketing clients, who are seeking guidance around digital transformation, is unnecessary, or obsolete, complexity in the way their processes operate.

Sclerotic processes gum up the machinery of modern corporations and make them vulnerable to more nimble competitors who suffer less from a history of process enlargement. McKinsey has touched on this subject a number of times and in this article there is one sentence that sums up the perfect prescription:

Successful digitization efforts start by designing the future state for each process without regard for current constraints…

I inserted those italics to emphasize the criticality of shedding a historical context when designing a process. It’s the end that’s important and if a corporation is to be truly and authentically customer-centric, then the process, all processes, will be designed to achieve an improvement for the customer with the results.

Back to our clients, it helps when we begin by asking a few questions to surface some critical information. Our intention is that the information will improve our understanding of the client’s maturity with respect to process, customers, organizational agility, and creativity.

  • Are you optimally sharing data across the marketing eco-system?
  • How well are you tracking the customer across their journey with your company?
  • Where does their journey start and end, from your POV?
  • Who owns the customer?
  • What does innovation mean to you?

Steering clear of discussions of Lean Principles and Six Sigma, what we’re hoping to achieve through our conversations is self-realization by the client that:

  1. Their environment is needlessly complex 
  2. It’s mostly due to organizational barriers that inhibit communication, collaboration, and the development of coherent and consistent customer engagement strategies
  3. The environment, despite the purest of original intent, is not actually focused on creating customer value, and finally, d) hope grows from despair but only when it is first seeded by honesty.

Do you know which questions to ask in order to yield relevant customer data? Once you have that data, you need to know what to do with it. Download this guide to Maximize Your Marketing to learn how to get what you need and how to make it work for you. 

Maximize Your Marketing

Image credit: StockSnap


Oracle Blogs | Oracle Marketing Cloud

How to Hire the Perfect Social Media Intern

The process of finding the right person for the right job isn’t always the easiest task. But there’s a few ways to make this process much easier. Let’s jump into the exciting possibilities of social media advertising.

The ubiquity of the Internet also means that ads are now unavoidable. Chances are that most social media marketing interns are pretty young. As a result, you have a population of interns who are very savvy with technology and all its uses.

Again, if you’re a company looking to hire a social media intern, the time has never been better.

The Rise of Social Media

Technology advances. We see these advances everywhere, from the evolution of the cassette to the CD-ROM and finally to the USB drive.

Advertising efforts develop in the same way. Before, you had magazines and newspapers offering columns or pages to companies. Now, you have ads coming out of the woodwork every time your browse the Internet.

With the popularity of social media, it’s no surprise that ads have caught onto that platform as well.

The Social Media Intern

Accept it: ads are here to stay. But the prevalence of Internet ads has  created a new category of jobs. People who specialize in creating those ads!

Social media is so expansive and unique. Each platform demands unique strategies for success. For instance, Facebook uses a popular liking and commenting system to measure user engagement.

Reddit is community-oriented, meaning user created content dominates. Twitter is allows for users to fire pithy, entertaining replies at each other.

Less popular sites usually get the short end of the stick. Their strategies usually center around incredibly annoying and distracting popups. Clumsy conversion efforts to recruit users appear frequently as well.

So where does the social media intern fall into this grand scheme of Internet advertising? It’s pretty straightforward actually. They just help come up with trending ideas and strategies to take advantage of the banal browsing tendencies of the masses.

Identifying The Ideal Social Media Intern

If you want your social media campaigns to be successful, you better keep an eye out for talented social influencers.

Social influencers is a bit vague, but what it means is someone who knows their way around the group. Let’s take a look at a brief profile of the types of people best suited as influencers on social media platforms.

Facebook

Facebook revolves around likes, comments, and shares. You can characterize this as a site that allows the users to express and spread opinions. The unique aspect to this is the exclusivity that’s inherent in Facebook. Normally, you’ll have to be a friend or a member to access inner circles.

If you’re looking for someone to be the linchpin of your Facebook campaign, you’ll want to make sure they’re familiar with all of the basic features of the site. Their success relies on their ability to infiltrate certain groups and gradually influence the opinions of those group members. Another role these marketing interns might play could revolve around dealing with the reviews and online presence of a particular company on Facebook.

Twitter

Twitter less personal and more to the point in comparison to Facebook. Users usually have short, witty exchanges with each other and liberally express their viewpoints through tweets. The limit on words you can make in a tweet has created this culture.

Social media interns specializing in dealing with Twitter debacles should be quick-witted and observant of popular trends. Being able to have a sense of your company’s informal perception by the public is an important feature of Twitter and a reasonable skill for an intern to have.

Instagram

Even though Instagram is closely associated with Facebook, it’s social culture is entirely different. In this case, vanity essentially fuels Instagram’s popularity. It’s the premier platform to show yourself off: whether you’re an attractive girl, a rich guy, or simply some guy living it up.

 

If you’re looking for a well-rounded social media intern, they should be well-versed with Instagram. Instagram is a hotbed for under the table promotions and endorsements. Having the know-how and skill required to navigate through the site and connect with characters relevant to your businesses should be part of your potential intern’s skill set.

All in all, social media is a fast evolving platform that requires marketers that are familiar participants in order to ensure better chances at successful marketing campaigns.

The post How to Hire the Perfect Social Media Intern appeared first on Social Media Explorer.


Social Media Explorer

29 About Us Pages for Design Inspiration

About pages are the perfect place to set the tone for your website. What kind of company are you? Are you serious and responsible, quirky and avant-garde, or somewhere in the middle? Check out these about pages for design inspiration below!

Moz

about us page design inspiration

Mike Kus

about us page design inspiration

Hubspot

about us page design inspiration

Shape

DDB

about us page design inspiration

LivSo

about us page design inspiration

Food Studio

about us page design inspiration

6tematik

about us page design inspiration

Degordian

about us page design inspiration

Bukwild

about us page design inspiration

Letters, Inc.

about us page design inspiration

Heads Of State

about us page design inspiration

Harbr

about us page design inspiration

TBWA

about us page design inspiration

TOWA

about us page design inspiration

McCann

about us page design inspiration

MailChimp

about us page design inspiration

Amy Porterfield

about us page design inspiration

Fender

about us page design inspiration

 

Photoshelter

about us page design inspiration

 

GIPHY

about us page design inspiration

KickStarter

about us page design inspiration

500px

about us page design inspiration

Wix

about us page design inspiration

99designs

about us page design inspiration

Eva Black

about us page design inspiration

Hello Lovely

about us page design inspiration

Whoa Nelly Catering

about us page design inspiration

Squarespace

about us page design inspiration

You might also like:

Get Inspired by 31 Beautiful Web Developer Portfolios
Magento Website Designs To Inspire You
Best Resources To Find UI/UX Design Inspiration

The post 29 About Us Pages for Design Inspiration appeared first on SpyreStudios.


SpyreStudios

How to Combine PR with SEO for the Biggest Success

It used to be that PR and SEO were two very different marketing tactics with virtually zero overlap.

With roots going all the way back to the founding of the colonies in the New World in the 16th century, PR is like a grizzled old vet,

while SEO is more of a young whippersnapper with a history that reaches back a mere 25 years at best.

Traditional PR is based on old-school, offline techniques, while SEO has been completely digital from the start.

But in the late twenty-teens, it’s apparent there’s now a high degree of overlap between the two.

Just think about it on the most basic level.

One of the top ranking factors of SEO is links from high-quality, relevant websites.

A sound PR strategy can be the catalyst for gaining these links and thus improving search rankings.

When you think of it like this, it’s clear that PR and SEO are two marketing strategies you should focus on simultaneously.

When you’re able to get them working in tandem, you can accomplish several important things.

You can:

  • improve your reputation
  • build trust and authority
  • increase your brand equity
  • expand your reach to a larger percentage of your target market
  • improve search rankings
  • drive a higher volume of organic traffic to your website
  • crank up sales

In this post, I’m going to highlight some strategies that will allow you to effectively combine PR with SEO for maximum success.

I will also mention some specific outlets I’ve had success with.

Let’s get right down to it.

Create an overarching persona

I’m sure you’ve heard me talking about personas before.

You know the vibe.

Personas are a fundamental element of customer segmentation and key for getting the right marketing materials in front of the right leads.

SEO is big on using audience research to unearth information about your customer base and segmenting them accordingly.

PR involves doing media research to determine which outlets are best for reaching your target audience.

For instance, a tech startup might be interested in media outlets such as Wired and TechCrunch.

A vital first step of the process involves combining SEO audience research and PR media research to create an overarching persona.

This will encompass your audience as a whole and will help guide you throughout the rest of the steps.

Develop a list of keywords

I think we can all agree keywords play a significant role in SEO.

Back in the day, simply using the right keyword density could often propel your content to the first page of the SERPs (or even the number one spot).

Although they may not have the same level of impact they did several years ago, recent research from Backlinko explains that keywords are still important.

Among Google’s 200 ranking factors, the following factors involve keywords:

  • keyword appears in top level domain
  • keyword as first word in domain
  • latent semantic indexing keywords in content (LSI)
  • LSI keywords in title and description tags
  • Quantity of other keywords page ranks for

Here’s a pie chart from Moz that shows the different ways keywords impact SEO:

So, yeah, they’re still a big deal.

Although you may use a wide variety of keywords, depending on the topics you’re covering in your content, I suggest condensing them into a handful of keywords for PR purposes.

You can think of it as a master list.

Why is this important?

To combine PR with SEO effectively, you need to have a finite number of keywords to target.

You’ll use variations of these keywords in a variety of settings:

  • in press releases
  • during interviews
  • in guest posts on industry publications
  • in executive bios
  • in social media bios
  • for brand mentions

As a result, those keywords will become synonymous with your brand.

Reporters will use them when mentioning your company; your demographic will associate them with your brand; and so on.

When it’s all said and done, when people enter these keywords in their searches, your brand should appear in the SERPs.

The bottom line is you want to choose your keywords carefully and make sure they fully describe your brand.

Align your message

Just like you’ll want to achieve consistency with your keywords, you’ll want consistency with your overall brand message.

You want to make sure whoever is representing your company understands your brand’s core message and relays it to the outlet they’re using.

Whether it’s an executive having an interview with a news outlet or your content team writing a guest post for an industry publication, there needs to be a sense of cohesion.

I recommend creating a formal document that outlines your target keywords and brand message you’re looking to get out there.

Providing this to your team should minimize any confusion and ensure everyone is on the same page.

Identify optimal channels

Let me recap what I’ve discussed so far.

You’ve created an overarching persona, established a list of keywords to target and developed a unified message for your PR and SEO teams to use.

At this point, you’ll want to research potential channels (online and offline) you can use for your combined PR/SEO campaign.

Ideally, you’ll target a variety of different channels so you can achieve a nice balance and reach the largest possible portion of your demographic.

Here’s an illustration to give you some ideas:

This shows the multitude of ways you can go about it.

But for maximum effectiveness, I recommend narrowing it down to a manageable list of just a few channels initially.

You don’t want to spread yourself too thin or risk diluting your brand message by trying to be featured on a million outlets.

Keep in mind you can always expand later, once you’ve got things popping.

With that being said, there are five specific outlets I suggest focusing on right off the bat.

I’ve had tremendous success with all of these, and I know you can benefit from them as well.

Leading publications

If you can land some real estate in a major publication in your industry, the world instantly becomes your oyster.

Like I mentioned before, getting featured in Wired would be huge for a tech startup’s PR.

And the link could take its SEO to the next level.

Not to mention the surge in referral traffic it could generate.

I suggest identifying a handful of leading publications and pitching them your ideas.

Social media influencers

Did you know that “71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference?”

Getting key influencers to endorse your brand can send your brand equity soaring through the roof.

Check out this post I wrote to learn the fundamentals of getting promoted by social media influencers.

Major bloggers

It’s amazing the influence today’s top bloggers have and how much money is generated from their blogs.

For instance, Brian Clark’s CopyBlogger earns around $ 1 million each month!

I’ve always been a sucker for guest-posting and recommend reaching out to major bloggers as an initial first step in your PR/SEO conquest.

Besides the valuable links and instant exposure you’ll get, this can have an impact on your branded search volume as well.

People will naturally be curious about your brand, and many will search for you.

Interviews

Interviews are a huge reason why I’ve gotten to where I’m today.

For instance, this interview on Groove HQ was a tremendous help.

It’s well worth the time to seek out interview opportunities.

If you’re not sure how to go about this, check out HARO.

Speaking events

Believe it or not, I’ve spoken at hundreds of conferences.

I’ve spoken at Tech Cocktail Celebrate, Conversion Conference and Affiliate World Bangkok Asia, just to name a few.

And you know what?

It’s had a profound impact on my brand.

While not every conference will be worth your time, the PR boost can be dramatic.

Check out this resource from Famous in Your Field for information on finding speaking opportunities.

Conclusion

It’s interesting how PR and SEO have evolved over the years.

Though they were once disparate marketing tactics, they now overlap in a big way.

When you get right down to it, PR often impacts SEO.

As your link profile grows and expands, your rankings climb and improve.

But this doesn’t just happen on its own.

In order to combine PR with SEO, you need to have a solid strategy and know which direction you want to take.

You need to know which underlying persona you’re looking to reach, which keywords you need to target and which outlets enable you to gain the publicity you’re looking for.

But once you break it down, the formula is fairly straightforward.

This infographic from Moz sums up the process of integrating PR and SEO quite nicely:

With proper planning and execution, you can rev up your PR while stepping up your SEO.

Which areas of PR do you think have the biggest impact on SEO?


Quick Sprout

Whoa! Facebook camera now has built-in GIF creator


No matter if you pronounce it Gif or Jif, I think we call all get behind the addition of a new GIF mode in the Facebook camera. Next time you swipe left to access the Facebook camera, you’ll be presented with the option to record your own GIF. GIFs created through this feature are short, and only last a few seconds. As expected, you can use the full range of effects and frames from the Facebook camera. You can also add the GIF to your Facebook story, post it to your profile, or save it to your device. The feature…

This story continues at The Next Web

Or just read more coverage about: Facebook
Social Media – The Next Web

6 Articles CMOs Should Read This Weekend

Since this past Tuesday was a holiday here in the states, we did not run our normal Tuesday CMO Corner post. Allow me to try and make up for that absence. 

Here's 6 articles I think CMOs should read this weekend:

How The CMO Can Leverage AI Internally And Externally

There’s no doubt that technology is changing faster than ever before. At the heart of that in the business setting is marketing, which is becoming a driving force behind putting that new technology into action to reach out to customers and make sure a company is communicating in the right way. One of the biggest changes in the tech and marketing world is artificial intelligence, which will play a major role in the coming years.

Read the full article on Forbes

Five must-knows if you want to become a chief marketing officer

Far from being the "coloring in department," responsible for making people want to buy products, marketing now has a broader remit than ever. And as industries are ever more disrupted by start-ups that think differently, brands and their guardians – the chief marketing officers (CMOs) – have an ever-harder task of keeping up with trends and working out what consumers want from them. Here are five things to know about what the job involves now for aspiring CMOs.

Read the full article on CNBC.

The CMO Was Never Really Dead

Over the past several years, you’d be hard pressed to find an article about the role of the CMO without the mention of its demise in the modern marketing world. While it’s true there’s been plenty of concern around the value and impact of the CMO on business, largely because marketing impact has been woefully hard to measure to date, surely that’s not a basis for the brash assumption that the role was entirely on its way out the door?

Read the full article on Huffington Post.

Former Microsoft CMO On The Biggest Challenges Facing CMOs And Marketers Today

This just in… the state of marketing has changed. I know you're shocked, right? I figured I'd let you in on that little secret in case you were away or asleep for the past… 3-5 years or so. Let's face it, marketing hasn’t just changed. It’s seen a radical, seismic shift. Technologies from AI and machine learning to mobile messaging and live content have reshaped how we connect, share, shop and make decisions as consumers.

Read the full story on Forbes.

Google goes after mobile native advertising with new AdSense formats

Google is plugging the hole that has remained a key weakness in mobile advertising: native ads. On Wednesday, the company announced the launch of native ads for all AdSense publishers. AdSense native ad formats include in-feed, in-article and matched content. All can be customized to match the look and feel of the publisher’s mobile sites. Publishers can use any or all of these ad categories on their sites.

Read the full story on Marketing Land

Marketers Still Have Room to Grow Personalization Efforts

Personalization has been a big part of marketing discourse since the advent of digital marketing (and even a bit before). Now, with access to more customer data and more marketing technology than ever, brands are able to achieve truly unnerving levels of personalization. The question remains though, are marketers actually reaching their full personalization potential, or are they wasting resources on ineffective tactics? 

Read the full story on DM News

**Bonus Read**

Customer Experience (CX) is at or near the top of every CMO and marketer the world over. But as important as delivering the best CX possible is it doesn't need to be complicated. 

Download the aptly-titled Customer Experience Simplified to discover how to provide customer experiences that are managed as carefully as the product, the price, and the promotion of the marketing mix.

Image: Pexels


Oracle Blogs | Oracle Marketing Cloud

Facebook’s new “Explore Feed” makes its way to the app’s main navigation

 Earlier this year, Facebook was spotted testing a new type of News Feed – one that designed to help you discover content across the social network, beyond posts from friends and Pages you already follow. During tests, the feed was available through the Facebook app underneath a “rocket ship” icon – something that seemed to confuse users, who didn’t understand… Read More
Social – TechCrunch

How to Use Facebook Messenger for Social Customer Service

Want to provide better customer service on Facebook? Wondering how Facebook Messenger can help? In this article, you’ll discover how to use Facebook Messenger as a valuable social customer care tool. Why Messenger for the Front Lines of Customer Care? According to USA Today, Facebook views Messenger for Business as a venue for “conversational commerce.” […]

This post How to Use Facebook Messenger for Social Customer Service first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle