When you’re asked to launch an Alexa skill or build a chatbot, you want to have a plan already in place and network of resources. The right resources.
You know how important it is to connect with fellow early adopters and stay up-to-date on new innovations like AI, virtual reality, and Alexa.
If you’re serious about keeping your company ahead of the curve, Innovation Congress is for you.
At Innovation Congress, you’ll hear directly from thought leaders executing innovative programs at some of the biggest brands in the world, including Coca-Cola, Charity Water, Instagram, Casper, Patrón, Goldman Sachs, and more.
And because we want to share access to this critical business information, we’re launching the Innovation Congress Sweepstakes! We’ll be awarding 5 FREE tickets to Innovation Congress. Good luck and hope to see you there!
Enter to win the grand prize, a full access ticket for our workshop day (July 18) and mainstage day (July 19).
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Contest entries accepted until July 7rd, at 11:59 pm ET.
CONTEST CLOSED — Winners To Be Announced Shortly
Grand Prize: Full Access Ticket
The Grand Prize includes:
1 Free Full Access Ticket, including reserved front section seating, workshop ticket, general session ticket, and access to the Patrón Closing Reception ($ 1,190.00 value)
4 General Session Tickets, We are also awarding runner up prizes to 4 lucky participants! The runner up prize is one free General Session ticket to attend the July 19 mainstage presentations ($ 790.00 value).
If you don’t snag the Grand Prize this year, you can still win a General Session ticket to Innovation Congress 2017.
About Innovation Congress 2017 by Social Fresh
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Unbounce just hosted its 4th annual Call to Action Conference, with 1,200+ of the brightest marketers from brands like MEC, Adobe and Vimeo in attendance. On stage, our roster of marketing experts (Rand Fishkin, Mitch Joel, Mari Smith and Scott Stratten to name-drop a few) shared marketing predictions and loads of actionable advice.
During her presentation, Mari Smith went live on Facebook to say “hi” to her followers.
And then there were the workshops, after parties, after-after parties, pub crawls, food tours and a live band to top it all off.
If you’re feeling like you missed out (or you were there and wanna relive every moment), you can access all the slides, notes and recordings over here:
On my flight back to Montreal, in a bit of a post-conference daze, I reflected on the event and realized that many of the talks touched on a theme I think is more important than ever in marketing: empathy.
I thought this message was especially timely alongside discussions of marketers using tools like AI and Machine Learning to gain unprecedented access to data. That is – this tech may make us better at our jobs, but not without a cost.
Too much of a reliance on analytics and data can be dangerous if you lose sight of the people who interact with your marketing and drive your business. Blindly altering your strategy because of what the numbers say can strip your marketing of its voice, of what makes it unique.
This is why empathy must take a front seat in all the work you do as a marketer. I thought Mitch Joel put it beautifully in his talk:
Think about making an impression over impressions.
Andy Crestodina: Content optimized for social is filled with people
Andy Crestodina is the co-founder of digital agency Orbit Media and one of the most personable marketers you will ever meet. In many of his talks, he underlines the importance of cultivating genuine relationships in marketing: with your customers, prospects, peers and literally everyone you encounter online.
His talk at CTAConf, Super Advanced Content Marketing, was no exception. He rapid-fire shared eight pretty advanced content marketing tips pulled straight from his own arsenal.
Here’s one of them (spoiler: it relates to empathy):
Never publish an article without a quote from an influencer. Reach out to people, build relationships, and soon you’ll have a built-in network of influencers. When it comes time to publish, they’ll happily share with their audience.
Claire Suellentrop: Drop personas and think jobs to be done instead
Founder of Love Your Customers, Claire Suellentrop spends her days helping brands discover what’s really going on in people’s heads. And, based on her incredible talk, she’s an advocate for doing away with the classic persona.
As Claire shared, personas only uncover characteristics, but don’t reveal true motivations behind a purchase.
For example, why does Melanie, a marketer in her late 20s with five years’ experience in SaaS purchase a grey backpack from Everlane? A persona alone won’t ever really tell you. So the marketer at Everlane must empathize and gather research on the jobs Melanie’s hiring the backpack to help her do.
Spoiler: turns out Melanie needed a functional yet stylish looking backpack to take her from work to networking events after work. Just imagine how specific your marketing can get once you know the precise job your product has been hired to do.
He contrasted the above example with that of a competitor (below), who is doing a good job of actually understanding people’s motivations for getting knee surgery.
As Wil explained, people don’t get knee surgery because they like it or because of medical keywords peppered thorughout a landing page. They get knee surgery so they can get back to the activities they love (which were completely missing on landing page one). Image source.
Wil advocated for pushing past keyword research and actually talking to people to truly find out the motivations behind their purchasing decisions. In other words:
Many of the talks at Call to Action Conference 2017 indicated that being a good marketer really just comes down to caring about the people you’re speaking to — genuinely getting to know them, their anxieties and their frustrations.
The best part? When you really listen to your prospects, you’re uniquely equipped to deliver exactly what they need at exactly the right moment. And that’s good for business.
Last week saw the close of another Cannes Lions event, AKA the International Festival of Creativity. As the dust settles, I figured now's a good time to take a look back at some of what was said, seen and heard.
Let's start off with some sights and sounds.
First up is Sylvia Jensen, Head of Marketing, EMEA, Oracle Marketing Cloud. As part of her Instagram takeover she took viewers for a walk. Take a stroll with her from the Palais to the Cannes Oracle Deck, the heart of where marketing and advertising leaders converged to celebrate creative achievements and innovation during Cannes.
And no Sylvia doesn't really walk that fast. Or then again maybe she does.
Here's some quotable and notable quotes from Cannes Lion 2017:
"Life is about being authentic & not worrying about the outcome" – Halle Berry
"Transformation now is led by customers." – Jennifer Renaud, CMO, Oracle Marketing Cloud
"Digital transformation is about doing biz differently." – Senior Marketing Director, Global Tropicana Brand, PepsiCo
"It's very difficult to lead transformation from the center." – Una Fox, VP Digital Marketing Technology, The Walt Disney Company
"Success is not linear. Opportunity comes in many guises," Tina Brown, CEO & Founder at Tina Brown Live Media
"It is really imperative to have a diverse team driving the Marketing agenda" – Antonio Lucio, Global Chief Marketing & Communication Officer at HP Inc
"In a data driven world, small moments can drive bigger outcome." – Kristen O'Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, Time Warner Inc.
"We need to make a case that equality is good for men & for people in majority" – Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
Sheryl's quote is the perfect segue to talk about a major topic that came out of Cannes: gender equality. In her post on LinkedIn last week Alex Rynne referenced this very topic as being one of the trending topics to come out of Cannes.
"Marketing execs weren’t running away from the diversity issue at this year’s event… Several large companies announced plans to run continual research over the next decade on gender equality. As Unilever CMO Keith Weed put it, 'Why would you only use half the talent in the world if you can use the whole talent in the world? You could get a lot of middle aged men and teach them to try and think differently or take a diverse group of people and leverage the diversity among them.'”
Moreover the findings of research that was released at Cannes revealed that “85% of women said that when it comes to representing them, the advertising world needs to catch up with the real world.”
Additional findings of the research, which was from The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media at Mount Saint Mary’s University and J. Walter Thompson New York include:
There are twice as many male characters in ads than female characters.
25% of ads feature men only, while only 5% of ads feature women only.
18% of ads feature only male voices, while less than 3% of ads featuring female voices only.
To make real change, however it can't be just men talking to men or women talking to women. As Renaud points out "we need men in the room to have a dialogue in order to make real change."
Here's a few more pics from Cannes Lions 2017 and Oracle.
Kristen O’Hara, CMO, Global Media, of Time Warner Cable (L) and Jennifer Renaud CMO, Oracle Marketing Cloud discuss how they are empowering their teams to create heroic marketing moments for growth.
(From L-R) Cory Treffiletti, Vice President – Marketing & Partner Solutions, Oracle Data Cloud, Charlie Chappell, Head of Media and Advertising Hershey Company and Blake Cahill, Global Head of Digital and Social Marketing, Royal Philips talk balance they face every day between infusing emotion and logic into their creative strategy.
Our just-released 2017 State of Social Marketing Report shares survey results from 2,738 social media marketing professionals from 111 countries. This report shares real-world insight and understanding of a dynamic industry where new networks emerge, old networks evolve, and the user base continues to rise at rapid rates. Here are the three biggest challenges social marketers are facing right now, according to social marketers themselves.
1. ROI, Once Again
Measuring ROI was listed, again, as the biggest challenge to 58.7 percent of marketers in 2017, compared to 61.1 percent in 2016. 33.6 percent of respondents claimed that tying social to business goals is also a major challenge.
This year, the social media industry placed higher emphasis on collecting and analyzing social data, so we included two new categories to gauge whether they presented challenges to marketers. In total, 12.2 percent of respondents said collecting social data was a major challenge, and an even higher 24.4 percent struggle to use social data to inform marketing strategies.
The challenges presented by both brands and agencies were very similar, but there were two noticeable differences. First, brands reported struggling more than agencies in developing a social strategy: 29 percent of brands versus 15.7 percent of agencies.
2. Tying Social to Business Goals
Marketers are spending record amounts of money on social advertising. By the end of 2017, social network ad spending could reach $ 35.98 billion, representing 16 percent of all digital ad spending globally, according to eMarketer.
However, there is a large disconnect between dollars spent and how those dollars are supporting strategic traffic and conversion goals. Only 31.6 percent of all marketers claim to have both web traffic and conversion goals for social. This means 68.4 percent of marketers are not establishing deliberate goals for both traffic and conversion, or are completely avoiding setting goals altogether.
26.9 percent of brands said they have both web traffic and conversion goals for social. 22.1 percent of brands reported having only web traffic goals, and 8.1 percent that said they only have conversion goals. A majority of brands do not have any goals set for either web traffic or conversion: 42.8 percent reported having neither.
Goal-setting seems to be a higher priority in agencies, taking into account client expectations that agencies consistently set and surpass stated goals. Only 27.4 percent of agencies, in comparison to 42.8 percent of brands, reported having neither web traffic nor conversion goals. This is 15.4 percent less than what brands reported.
41 percent of agencies are actively setting both traffic and conversion goals. A combined 31.6 perent have set goals for either traffic or conversion.
3. Securing Budget and Resources for Social
Analytics software was selected as the most-needed resource for marketers in 2017 to do their best work, by both brands and agencies. Brands reported almost evenly that analytics software (44.8 percent) and the need for more personnel specifically focused on social media (44.2 percent) are what marketers need most.
Nearly half of agencies (49.5 percent) reported the need for analytics software to optimize social strategies, and 34.1 percent identified human resources as their greatest need. 11.4 percent of brands and agencies said publishing software would help them do their best work.
Despite the great need for analytics software, marketers are having trouble finding the funds needed to acquire all of the software they need.
A majority of brands (42.8%) do not have any goals set for either web traffic or conversion. Click To Tweet
Download the full report (including the latest data from all major social networks) here.
Editor’s Note: This blog post is part of a paid partnership between Simply Measured and Convince & Convert.
Get a weekly dose of the trends and insights you need to keep you ON top, from Jay Baer at Convince & Convert. Sign up for the Convince & Convert ON email newsletter.
As 2016 winds down and we all look forward (hopefully) to some time off from work and spending time with family and friends, I thought it a good time to give some marketers some cross channel marketing stats to get to know up close and personal as we head into 2017.
Let's dive right in shall we?
1. Two-thirds of all shoppers regularly use more than one channel to make purchases.
A Wharton study found multi-channel shopping behavior—defined as a consumer’s usage of more than one channel all or most of the time somewhere in the shopping process—is the norm for a majority of consumers. Note the operative word "norm" in the previous sentence. The study also found that 1/3 of consumers regularly alternates between two channels to purchase, and another 1/3 regularly uses three or more channels when they buy. Only one out of three shoppers exhibits consistent “mono-channel” purchase behavior, using just a single channel to buy.
2. The average shopper makes on average 9.5 visits to a retailer’s site before deciding to buy.
Just let that one sink for a minute. Nine and a half visits to a website before deciding to buy. And rest assured said visits are being made across multiple channels i.e. mobile, desktop, etc.
3. Customers who shop on more than one channel have a 30% higher Lifetime Value than those who shop on only one.
This, perhaps more than any other stat, speaks to the clear and present need for a solid, robust cross channel marketing strategy. Marketers simply must be where there consumers are to fully reap the benefits. I know that sounds overly simplistic but it is the cold, hard truth.
4. A mere 5% of marketers say they are “very much set up to effectively orchestrate cross-channel marketing activities.”
This last stat comes courtesy of Econsultancy via their annual cross channel marketing report. Another key finding from the report showed that while over two-thirds of responding companies agree their 'priority is for all key marketing activities to be integrated across channels’, only 39% say they ‘understand customer journeys and adapt the channel mix accordingly'.
Here's another cold, hard truth: Marketers must keep pace with the modern customer – who is fast, digital and unstructured – to outpace the competition.
Today’s customers frequently interact with brands across multiple channels and devices leaving a trail of identifiers (like email addresses, loyalty accounts, browser cookies, and mobile device IDs) littered amongst the various technologies that power those customer interactions
In order to keep pace with customers in real time and effectively personalize each customer’s experience, it’s up to marketers to bring all of a customer’s interactions, preferences, and behaviors across channels together in a way that allows them to get a complete profile of each customer that’s up-to-date.
Does Twitter still work for small businesses? How can you get your Tweets seen? Should you invest time into it? These are some of the most common questions we’ve seen about Twitter for small business in 2016. The common theme is businesses are struggling to make Twitter work as effectively as it used to.
As Twitter grew and more brands jumped on board, competition became more fierce. The upside is it gives you a larger audience to reach. The downside is Twitter feeds fill up faster than the gym in January, so it’s harder to get your Tweets seen. But don’t worry, Twitter is far from dead.
Unfortunately a lot of the old advice you’ve read before like “Tweet great content” or “fill out your Twitter profile” isn’t enough anymore. If you want to be successful with Twitter for small business in 2017 and beyond, you can’t treat it like it’s still 2012.
Follow these tips to get more from Twitter:
Scale the Unscalable
The reason people don’t engage with your content isn’t always because they don’t like what you’re Tweeting. It could just be they didn’t see it. Luckily this is an easy fix.
One of the original draws of Twitter was the ability to reach the masses with a single Tweet. Now that a majority of your followers no longer see your Tweets, you don’t have that same luxury. Even top brands and celebrities with millions of followers aren’t seeing the level of engagement they did five years ago. Here’s how to combat it.
Instead of looking at Twitter as a bullhorn, think of it more like a phone. While you have the ability to communicate with all your contacts at once, you can also have individual conversations as well.
Use Twitter to reach out to people directly, rather than only as a platform to broadcast your message to everyone.
The reason most brands don’t take this approach is because they think it’s difficult to scale. On the surface, it seems that way. But the reality is for many brands it’s a lot more effective than sending a regular Tweet that gets completely overlooked.
At its core, Twitter has always been a network for conversation. But over time, marketers lost that connection and began using it as a mass messaging channel. Take it back to the essence and focus on creating personalized experiences and engage in conversations with your followers.
Use tools like Sprout to manage and facilitate these conversations. Sprout even allows you to track your conversation history to create context around your relationships with any followers you’ve communicated with in the past.
Work With Twitter’s Algorithm
When Twitter switched the way it displays the feed from reverse chronological order to showing users the Tweets they’re more likely to care about, some marketers were upset. However, the shift was actually a gift in disguise.
Twitter’s algorithm essentially rewards brands that share content their audience actually want to see and get engagement. If followers are consistently engaging with your Tweets, you’re more likely to show up in their feed when they first open the app.
And guess what? When you focus on creating the one-to-one conversations we mentioned in the first tip, you’ll have a much easier time getting Twitter engagement.
As your followers start to engage with your Tweets more often, Twitter will pick up on the pattern and be more likely to prioritize your Tweets for those users.
Use Twitter Video
Vine might be gone, but Twitter’s native video system is alive and well. Social media video marketing has been a highlight of 2016 and you can expect it to continue to explode in 2017. In addition to Snapchat, Instagram Video and YouTube, don’t underestimate the power of Twitter Video.
What’s even more interesting is unlike YouTube where people use it more as a search engine, Twitter users rely on Twitter for video discovery. So even if you don’t have a ton of followers or notoriety, your videos still have a chance of being seen on Twitter.
Best of all, native videos on Twitter receive more engagement than third-party video players.
So what type of videos work best?
Twitter Videos have a maximum length of 140 seconds, which is more than enough time to capture the attention of your viewers. One of the best uses of Twitter Video we’ve seen involves one-to-one conversations again. Noticing a trend? Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk uses Twitter Video to record short responses to follower that Mention him or ask questions.
Video can be one of the most effective ways to be successful with Twitter for small businesses. If you’ve never given it a try, hopefully this will give you the push you need to take action.
Stop This Habit
A common bad habit small businesses on Twitter have is to Tweet a link to their latest blog post once and never again. As we mentioned, Tweets don’t have the same organic reach as they used to. So it pays to Tweet your content multiple times throughout the week or month to get more eyes on it.
Make sure you test different headlines and copy for your Tweets. It stops your feed from looking stale and repetitive, plus gives you the ability to see what works best with your audience.
Tweet More Frequently
How many Tweets per day is too much? There really isn’t a clear cut answer to this. It’s more about what you’re Tweeting than how often.
Sending a Tweet every 10 minutes telling people to check out your website is probably too much. Your followers are going to get annoyed and bored very quick.
However, look at someone like Guy Kawasaki. He Tweets almost every 5-10 minutes, yet his followers aren’t rushing to unfollow him. The difference is Guy’s followers like the content he shares. Almost every Tweet gets at least a handful of Likes and Retweets.
Back in the day when Twitter wasn’t as active as it is today, it was a lot easier to overwhelm your followers. But now that most people are following at least a few hundred if not thousands of accounts, it’s barely even noticeable if you Tweet every 30 minutes.
That doesn’t mean you should just start spamming your followers to get seen. Always put quality ahead of quantity. If you have the ability to Tweet something awesome every hour, go for it. Your audience will tell you if it’s working or not. Just monitor your Twitter analytics to see if your strategy is helping or hurting your profile.
We can’t stress the importance of checking your analytics enough. When you’re making changes to your Tweet frequency or schedule, you need to know what impact it’s having. The last thing you want to do is put more time and effort into something that’s not working.
Try Something New
This brings us to our next point—don’t be afraid to try new tactics. Make 2017 the year of experimentation for your Twitter marketing strategy.
There are so many ways to use Twitter for small business, yet companies default to the same tactics they’ve been using for years. It’s time to try something new. Here are some quick ideas to get those creative juices flowing:
Work with influencers: Partner up with influencers in your industry for creative campaigns like a social media takeover or an “ask me anything” Tweet session.
Twitter “feud”: We’re not saying to get into a heated argument with another brand. But a little friendly back and forth like we’ve seen with Burger King and McDonalds or KitKat and Oreo can be great for branding and exposure.
Try Twitter Ads: Have a few extra dollars in your budget? Give Twitter Ads a try. Even though it’s been around for a while now, many small businesses have yet to experiment with it because they think it’s only for larger brands. While it’s not quite as cheap as Facebook Ads, there are plenty of small businesses seeing success with it.
Go Find Your Customers
One of the biggest challenges of Twitter for small businesses is trying to figure out how to use it to get customers. Just Tweeting links to your articles and hoping the right person sees it will only get you so far. If you really want to use Twitter to get leads, you have to be more proactive. Start by putting yourself in the shoes of your customers.
Think about the challenges or frustrations your customers would have, then do a search on Twitter using the phrases and keywords they’d use to describe them.
For example, a subscription food service like Blue Apron or Plated could search for things like “I hate cooking” or “grocery shopping” with negative sentiment.
This is the exact type of issue both Plated and Blue Apron could solve. All they’d have to do is reply with an article to their site about how to save time on grocery shopping by using their services. Or if they wanted to be a bit more aggressive and straightforward, they could offer a special promo to entice them to get started now.
Finding these Tweets is very simple. You could use Twitter’s advance search to quickly see the latest Tweets for your search phrases. Here’s the exact search we used to find the Tweet above.
Another cool option that’s a lot more convenient is to use Sprout’s Smart Search and save the phrases people tend to use the most.
Try a few different phrases and find the ones that provide the most relevant results. Then you can save the search and check it regularly to see all the latest Tweets including your phrase.
This approach is particularly ideal for small businesses that don’t have a huge following. Brands like Nike or Samsung are so established they can afford to be more reactive with their strategy. However, when you’re a small business that’s still growing or in a competitive industry, it’s extremely helpful to get out and make those individual connections.
Success With Twitter for Small Business in 2017
Twitter definitely isn’t as simple as it once was, but it’s still a platform small businesses need to focus on. It drives the third most referral traffic of any social network. That means if your goal is to get eyes on your site, Twitter is the place to be.
Use all the tips above to put your small business in a position for success in 2017.
Here’s wishing a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my U.S. friends.
On Facebook, have you seen the newest layout on your Page with sections in the middle column?
I recommend you double check the new layout on desktop and ensure the sections are all in the order that you prefer. For instance, the default might have put your videos, then reviews, then photos, then events all above your posts. Personally, I rather prefer my wall posts at the top.
I made this special video tutorial to help my peeps better understand the new layout and the options for adjusting.
Next, let’s look at this week’s top 3 articles we’ve selected for you:
What is the current state of content marketing, what challenges do marketers face and where are things heading in 2017? These are just a few of the topics discussed in this in-depth interview with Michael Brenner. It’s definitely one to read as you prepare your plans for next year.
In this visual world we live in, stock photos or those available for free are a quick and easy solution. But chances are that the image won’t be in tune with your brand and it’s also likely you will see it used elsewhere. There are a few ways to avoid using stock photos and to create good social media images… read on to find out how!
TOMS’ mission is about giving and they have built a passionate community of supporters who want to contribute to their efforts. Live video on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat is an important part of how they get new and existing fans excited about what they do.
Free Facebook Webinar – December 1st
Your Facebook 2017 Content Masterplan: How To Craft Compelling Content for Maximum Reach. I’m teaming up with my friends at BuzzSumo again to bring you the very latest research-based recommendations for winning on Facebook! Join BuzzSumo and me on this free webinar, as we share the posts that performed best during 2016 + specific strategies for your optimal Facebook content in 2017.
Meet me in San Diego?
Discover social media insights from over 180 subject-matter experts at the largest in-person social media marketing conference. Meet me and my team in glorious sunny San Diego, California on March 22nd to 24th, 2017 and learn about the best ways to build your business using Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and much more! Click here for details.
That’s all for this week’s issue of The Social Scoop.Have an awesome weekend and week ahead.
I hope that you’re able to enjoy a very special time with loved ones… and maybe score a good deal or two on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, (show your love, shop small!), or Cyber Monday! And, let’s not forget #GivingTuesday!!
Like clockwork, every December, experts voice their predictions and advice to guide us in the coming year. Sometimes I offer my thoughts. Mostly, I spend my time curating emerging and disruptive technology trends. This year however, my dear friend Giselle Abramovich with CMO.com, reached out with an exceptional question and I couldn’t resist…especially since the answer was limited to 25 words.
Digital transformation and becoming a “customer experience business” is clearly the future for marketing. What is the one thing CMOs must get right in 2017 to make that happen?
I wanted to share the answer with you here :
“Customer experience is just that—what customers actually experience. CMOs must act less like executives or marketers to design meaningful, shareable, and unforgettable experiences that matter to real people, not just shareholders, in every moment of truth.” – Brian Solis, Principal Analyst, Altimeter, a Prophet company; Author, X: The Experience When Business Meets Design