Content marketing has flipped the traditional marketing models from the push paradigm to pull. It’s about the law of attraction. It’s also inbound marketing (that has been with us for over half a decade) by a different name.
It is an art and a science that rewards creative content creators. It’s images,text, videos and podcasts.
The craft of content marketing is also many moving parts. It includes the disciplines of search engine marketing, email marketing and social media. You need to understand that making it work is about earned and paid marketing tactics that need to run in parallel if you want to be visible online.
Is the social web the death of good writing?
The social web has been seen by some as the facilitator of the death of intelligent writing as cat videos and selfies seem to dominate popular opinion and media consciousness.
My journey around the web has me convinced me otherwise.
The evolving digital world as we know it is allowing writers we didn’t know existed to become visible and reveal their genius. It is providing a platform for writers to grow their skills and also receive feedback that makes them better artists. Attention on the web is more about learning and feedback than narcissism.
Content creation can involve bland blog posts and content that puts you to sleep. But there is much to be read that delights, surprises and entertains.
Content marketing facts in 2014
Here are some of the stats that is the moving feast of facts that is content marketing.
$135 billion will be spent on new digital marketing collateral (content) in 2014
78% of CMO’s think custom content is the future of marketing
Internet advertising will make up 25% of the entire ad spend by 2015
Social media marketing budgets will double over the next 5 years
Email with social sharing buttons increase click through rates by 158%
Nearly 50% of companies have content marketing strategies
33% of traffic from Google’s organic search engine results go to the first item listed
67% of B2B content marketers consider event marketing essential
73% of reporters think press releases should contain images
72% of “Pay per Click” marketers plan to increase their budget in 2014
52% of all marketers have found a customer via Facebook in 2013
B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads
43% of all marketers found a customer via LinkedIn
55% of marketers worldwide increased digital marketing budgets in 2013
Customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness for content marketers at 89%
Videos on landing pages increase conversions by 86%
65% of your audience are visual learners
Marketers will use dynamic content to deliver highly personalized experiences to the right audiences at the right time
Inbound marketing delivers 54% more leads than traditional outbound marketing
Visual data is processed 60,000 times faster by the brain than text.
If you are a social media marketer and have not taken advantage of display advertising on Facebook, you are missing an outstanding opportunity. Not only will this yield one of the highest return on investments for your clients, it will help with brand exposure, lead to better conversion rates and provide a flexible budget which will lead to a more effective strategy.
One of the advertising tactics that is not often discussed is a particular type of Facebook advertising. This tactic can be used to get more website traffic and convert them to paying customers.
What is Facebook remarketing?
You might be asking yourself, what exactly are Facebook display remarketing advertisements? Display ads let you place advertisements on a variety of news sites, blogs and other niche sites across the Internet to reach more potential customers.
Let’s say you visit a sports website that has a national presence and you see an advertisement strategically placed on the homepage, this is an example of a display ad.
The next step is to fully understand the remarketing side of display ads. Once you grasp this notion, you’ll be well on your way to being able to set-up a successful re-marketing campaign on Facebook.
Let’s say you are a leasing manager at an apartment complex looking to keep track of your leads at your community in Nashville. You visit Salesforce.com since a friend recommended using this platform. You visit the site but drop off after 10-seconds since you have to tend to an incoming phone call. This is what is considered ‘bouncing’ off a website.
According to Mashable, “An average bounce rate is about 50%, meaning that about half of people who land on your website pages leave and don’t come back.” So the question you have to consider is how to capitalize on this lost traffic? That’s where remarketing comes into play! The image below perfectly illustrates how remarketing advertisements work.
When the lasing manager visits Facebook, they notice the Salesforce advertisement. This reminds them of the void they need to fill in terms of tracking leads. They immediately click on the ad and sign-up for the free 30 Day Trial. This would classify as a conversion from a remarketing advertisement. Since a tracking cookie was placed on the Salesforce website, they were able to serve the ad on Facebook to the person who already visited the site.
Now you should fully understand display advertisements and remarketing. I’m now going to show you how to actually implement this on Facebook! Facebook gives great guidelines how to set this up, but I’ll provide more detail to help you through the process.
1. Go to your ads manager and click audiences on the left side of the screen
You’ll want to make sure that you are logged into your Facebook account and have properly set-up an advertiser account.
2. Click create audience on the top right side of the screen
There will also be an option for “Lookalike Audience” but since we’re focusing on remarketing, we’re going to stay away from that.
3. Select custom audience from your website
In the image below you’ll want to click on the last option, although you’ll start to see that there are other neat options when it comes to custom audiences!
4. Copy the code that appears and follow the on screen instructions to paste it in your website code
If you don’t have development skills, you can simply copy and paste this code and feed it to your developer. This shouldn’t take your developer more than 15-20 minutes to implement onto your website.
After you properly implement this pixel onto the pages of your site that you want to remarket to, you’ll need to follow the following steps listed below.
Make sure that the imagery and messaging of the advertisement you create for this remarketing campaign entices people to visit your website
Properly set-up conversion tracking in Google Analytics so you can monitor all of the conversions, average time on site from this campaign, bounce rate, etc.
Bid in a strategic manner so this form of advertising will yield a return on investment.
The most important aspect of display remarketing is being able to fully grasp the concept. Once you nail this down, just follow the steps listed above and you are well on your way to setting up the perfect display remarketing campaign!
Your knowledge with this more complex form of advertisement on Facebook will not only impress your clients and peers, it’ll yield great results and serve as an integral aspect of your Facebook marketing campaign. You’ll be proud of the report that you send off which shows a lot more conversions from Facebook remarketing!
This is part II in the Email Marketing Mastery series. Missed Part I? Read it here.
In the last post, we saw 15 different ways you can instantly boost your email open and read rates today.
We looked at how you can be play ethical, use hypnotic words, create a stellar autoresponder list and a personalized welcome message, among other things.
Here are 16 more ways to make sure your emails are opened and to boost your click-through rates.
1. Stick to the same time
Sending emails when your readers are getting ready for work or going to bed? Chances are your emails won’t get opened.
Given that 24% of emails are opened in the first hour, reach out to your audience when they are not too busy.
2. Woo your audience in footer
Never underestimate the footer. Always give your readers one large-sized, clear and concise call-to-action in the footer.
It could be a new product promo, a discount or an invite to register to an upcoming webinar.
3. Be regular
The GetResponse blog created an infographic based upon research which analyzed 300 million messages. It showed that auto-responder emails that were sent on a regular basis had a 24% higher open rate and 47% higher “click through rate”.
4. Send more emails for a lower unsubscribe rate
Sounds ironic, doesn’t it?
After all, we’re so cautious with our lists and fear we’ll “piss off” the reader and end up sending way fewer emails a month.
But pro data analyst Dan Zarella says that if you want to reduce the number of unsubscribes, send emails more often.
We’re creatures of habit. For most of us out of sight is out of mind. If you’re sending an email only once per month, it’s time to up your frequency because people will simply forget who you are, unsubscribe and flag you as spam.
5. Go visual
Beautiful visual emails work better.
83% of learning happens visually. In short, a majority of us are visual learners. Contrast this with people remembering only 20% of what they read every time.
88% of senior marketing execs say integrating video with email has a positive impact on email campaign performance and 76% say that videos in emails generate higher click-through rates.
According to website builder IM Creator, visuals make your text more easy-to-digest, because let’s face it, they aren’t going to read but scan it. Make sure you also do A/B tests and include visuals in your emails.
6. Juxtapose content with promo
For every three massive-value content emails, send a promo email nudging them to buy a related product. According to Convinceandconvert.com, in 2012, 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email.
Pat Flynn does this well. This is how his auto-responder series look:
Source: Pat Flynn.
7. Subscribe to your competitor’s list
A sneaky yet great technique to stay on the top of what others are doing. Evaluating just their blog or website won’t cut it.
You want to become an insider and keep a tab on their content, frequency, style, design, subject lines to name a few.
8. Use a power phrase
Power phrases are “evergreen” subject lines that you can use over and over again irrespective of the subject. Create a swipe file of power phrases that you’ve tested for yourself and that generate higher open/click-through rates for your emails.
For my meetup groups, I’ve tested the phrase “Did you get this?” as a follow up subject line to an invitation. It piques people’s curiosity and they want to know whether they missed something.
9. Take time to respond
Do you respond to every email that you get? Do you claim to do so?
If you’re not answering your subscriber emails, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to build stronger relationships with your audience. Contrary to conventional thinking, this applies especially if you have a bigger list. (If you have thousands of people and replying to emails takes too much time, consider investing in a VA).
Granted, not everyone is in the “build relationships” stage yet. You may not have enough subscribers and don’t have to worry about in-depth connections with readers (yet) because there are too few of them. If that’s the case, don’t claim you read and reply to every email, because it will cost you your reader’s trust. Say what you do and do what you say.
10. Make use of the pre-header
I use MailChimp for me and my clients. Each campaign provides a snippet of content or a pre-header which is the first thing your mobile readers will see.
I once attended an info-sharing evening where the host wanted to share her experience with a business model. In the email copy, they told a great story and I was intrigued to sign up. On the evening, everyone turned up expecting the host to share her real, raw story with us.
Sadly, it turned out to be a sales pitch even though it wasn’t promoted as one. She had a great copywriter, but there was no alignment between the picture that was painted and what we really got at the event. There was no story, no connection built. It was all sales figures and hard-to-understand data on Powerpoint slides.
The result? Several pissed off attendees who didn’t care to buy.
Almost all of my emails start with a story and lure the reader in, before I’ve even made a “point” or mentioned a product.
Why? Simply because everyone loves a good story. Stories are how we grew up. We relate with them.
12. Employ the WINFM principle
Before your subscribers even consider opening an email, they have to answer “What’s in it for me?”
Make it easier for them to answer the question by learning what your customers truly want. People are buying a desired resulting feeling. For example, someone who buys an Armani suit is really buying the feeling of luxury.
13. Hook them
Once you execute #11 and #12 well, you’ve had them hooked!
Don’t be afraid to talk about feelings. Feelings are energetic and magnetic.
Talk to one person at a time, not the masses. Make them matter. Get a conversation started. Forget the grammar “rules” once in a while. It’s OK.
Here is another style that CopyBlogger uses at the end of their blog post: (http://www.copyblogger.com/smart-people-personas/)
15. Condition them
In his course Serious Bloggers Only, Jon Morrow teaches how to condition your reader using a simple tactic: Write short emails, no longer than 100 words with a link pointing to full content. Publish the rest of the content goodness on your website.
This will condition your readers to click on a link every time in order to receive something good. In their minds, click = good stuff.
Social proof marketing is not new but often forgotten.
One of the earliest influences on human development is something we have all experienced…”peer pressure”. When one person within your group of peers pressures you into doing something, you’re not so likely to do it.
When many people within your peer group are pressuring you to do something, you’re much more likely to do it. This will escalate as more people join in.
The world of social media is, as you’d guess, much like the real world. In a social media context, social proof comes into play when web users see that a large number of people already follow, like, shared, or commented on a piece of content. The increased activity is seen as something desirable to join in on.
What video are you more likely to watch?
Another view of social proof is the idea that people will refer to the past actions of other when they’re unsure as to what they should do. When on YouTube, if someone isn’t sure they should comment on a video or not, a large number of comments will say to them “Yes, you definitely should.” No, or few, comments will say “No, not worth your time.”
The search below was for “social media advice,” who are you more likely to watch when you look to viewer numbers?
Let’s take a look at a more practical setting that we’re all familiar with… television. TV shows have been using social proof for decades.
Watch a sitcom with canned laughter, or laugh tracks, in the background. When you hear those people laughing you’re more prone to laugh as well, increasing your enjoyment of the show and the chance that you’ll watch it more often.
Examples of social proof
There are a number of excellent examples of social proof over on this blog. I’ll summarize them in point form so you can quickly expand your knowledge here before clicking over:
Facebook Sponsored stories rapidly increase exposure which leads to more likes, and even crossovers with other social platforms due to their recognition – even algorithms recognize social proof.
A key guest blog on a relevant website can increase sales better than an article in the New York Times, or a spot on CNN.
Klout is a successful social media tool that actually only measures your social proof.
Yelp’s entire designs is centered around social proof – higher star ratings and better comments are a result of customer reviews. You’re more likely to go when more people have given it a high rating – just like peer pressure.
Bloggers have been promoting their number of subscribers for years. More subscribers = more trustworthy.
Endorsements on your website from major news outlets is a HUGE social proof. If you’re blog says “appeared on CNN, ABC, PBS, The Washington Post” along the bottom, expect your social proof to increase dramatically.
Customer testimonials have been used in commercials for years. Some real, some fake – both are examples of social proof.
These are all more advanced forms of social proof. That most immediate one, and the one that people will see the most often and make the highest number of judgements on, is quite simply your follower numbers.
A low number of Twitter followers leads to few people taking you seriously. Few subscribers on YouTube leads to people thinking that your videos aren’t any good.
What aspects of social proof should you focus on for success?
We just spoke about your follower numbers as a key aspect of social proof, but what else do you need to think about?
Here are 5 points to consider:
1. Positive social proof is better than negative
Negative social proof is the type of bullying behavior that we all resent. To look at the most basic examples in the Twitter images below, which are you more likely to click on? You’ll never truly win people’s trust with negative social proof, just like those schoolyard bullies.
2. Money is less persuasive than social proof
A study in the Wall Street Journal showed that consumers were more likely to make decisions based on social proof than the potential of saving money.
In the study, “Your neighbors are already doing it,” was more persuasive than “you’ll save $54/month” when it came to influencing consumer behavior!
3. Use pictures to make your social proof real
Social media is the perfect platform for building social proof as it gives you a nearly limitless number of ways to attached pictures to your social proof. You can post photos with calls to action that breed comments that lead to social trust. You can take comments, with the author’s permission, and post them to your website along with their photo. You blog posts can be filled with images of success enjoyed by your products or services.
Check out this excellent tweet that shows a brand with a story to tell, and with a picture added for visual impact:
4. Your best social proof may be the stories you tell
Statistics are great for bored, sorry, board meetings, but they are hardly ever going to truly interest people on social media. A compelling story, from a customer with a positive experience, could be a positive social proof that increases engagement more than any other thing you do. People understand stories, people relate to stories, people are entertained by stories – statistics are work and are often ignored.
For bonus points, get one of your customers to shoot a video:
5. Influencers: The friendly online bullies
As discussed in the point form notes above, nothing quite equals the positivity of having a respected leader say something positive about your products or services. Their behavior is able to “bully” their users with their positive influence. They’re much more likely to trust your product when someone they trust speaks of it positively.
Social media is an absolute dream for this type of social proof – no more paying celebrities for an expensive commercial, just cut right to the key influencers in your industry!
Social proof is more than an ego
Social proof is something as old as the human race itself, but social signals and social media have made it something tangible for modern marketers to use. Remember the next time you make a push to increase your followers that you’re not stroking your own ego, you’re trying to show the next person that finds your account that you are worth their time and trust.
Guest Author: Matthew Yeoman is the social media writer over on the Devumi Social Media Blog. You can find him there every Friday, and at least one other time during the week, writing about YouTube, Twitter, Google, SoundCloud, and Pinterest in an online marketing context.
Listen to this post as a Podcast
Double your prospect email list for free with Facebook!
If you’re looking to double your email list for free using social media marketing, you won’t want to miss this free webinar on July 22nd with Heyo CEO, Nathan Latka. Click here to register for FREE.”
Social media has provided marketers with some powerful new tools. They are global, potentially viral and free.
Businesses will often have entire teams dedicated to communicating with followers, and will spend a significant chunk of their budget acquiring new leads from the Internet.
From blogging to pay-per-click advertising, there are plenty of ways to establish a web presence. Most businesses will use multiple techniques in order to maximize results; however, as the years go by a new form of marketing has emerged; viral marketing.
We’ve all heard the term, “it went viral” when referring to heavily viewed YouTube videos, comedic memes and social media games. Businesses are now using this free technique to promote their products and services.
We have compiled 5 examples of social media marketing campaigns that went viral to prove just how powerful it can be.
1. Cadbury’s giant chocolate Facebook thumb
When Cadbury’s wanted to boost their Facebook likes they decided to construct a giant Facebook thumb out of their own signature Dairy Milk bars. The idea started as a thank you gesture to fans for helping them reach one million likes, but quickly went viral and led to another 40,000 followers within a short space of time. They even decided to stream a live real-time video to document the making of the thumb, which was watched by over 350,000 fans throughout the world.
Nothing draws the eye more than a mouth watering image; however, giant chocolate bars are certainly nothing new. Chocolate and Facebook are universally loved and by incorporating the thumb, Cadbury’s have cleverly managed to create an image that’s contemporary, unique and instantly recognizable.
2. WATERisLIFE’s first world complaints YouTube video
Non-profit organization WATERisLIFE created a controversial social media campaign that was inspired by humorous memes. The company – who are dedicated to bringing clean water to the third world – produced a documentary complied of clips of the underprivileged alongside captions of common complaints from the privileged. Such examples include:
“I hate it when my phone charge won’t reach my bed.”
“When I go to the bathroom and I forget my phone.”
“I hate when my leather seats aren’t heated.”
“When my mint gum makes my ice waster taste cold.”
The video was a huge success and managed to amass over one million views within the first day. The ending caption, “First world problems… aren’t problems” significantly boosted interest in their Twitter feed as followers made their own captions and posted them on social networks along with the hashtag, ‘#firstworldproblems.’
3. Wilkinson Sword’s santa claus hostage video
During the build-up to Christmas 2013, Wilkinson Sword released a hostage video featuring three elves who are arguing about whether or not they should shave off Santa’s beard.
The video was promoted via the brand’s YouTube, Facebook and Twitter pages and received widespread attention throughout the UK. What’s genius about this social media campaign is that it was designed to get followers involved. The video was left on a cliff-hanger with the phrase, “CLICK TO #SAVESANTA” at the end.
Voters are now eagerly anticipating the follow-up video this year which will determine the fate of our truly beloved Saint Nicolas.
Aside from establishing a marketing campaign that gets the fans involved, Wilkinson Sword have created an on-going series which will bring voters back each year and remind them of their famous razors – which just so happen to be the perfect stocking filler.
4. Heinz’s “Which bean are you?” quiz
When Heinz launched their new Five Beanz product, they created a quiz on their Facebook page named, “Which bean are you?” Fans used this quiz to determine which bean they were based on questions about their personality.
In addition, Heinz gave participants who shared the quiz ten times on their Facebook page a goodie bag.
The facts and the results:
The campaign lasted for two weeks
Acquired 22,000 likes
Overall reach of 11 million
Everyone likes a personality quiz. They’re a great way to get fans actively involved with a marketing campaign without using too much obvious promotion. Television shows and film production companies have been using this promotional method for years; but until Heinz, the food industry hadn’t utilized it. Since the success of the Heinz’s quiz many other food companies have gone on to use the same marketing method with huge success.
5. Urban Hilton Weiner’s selfie coupon codes
Urban Hilton Weiner weren’t a particularly big name before their ‘pay with a selfie’ campaign, but now they’re one of the most talked about brands in fashion.
Their marketing campaign awarded those who posted a selfie wearing their clothes, along with the hashtag #urbanselfie, a $10 coupon.
This ingenious marketing technique accomplishes everything that any retailer would want from a social media campaign – it exposes people to specific items of clothing, encourages social sharing, and most importantly, gets people in stores and buying clothes they wouldn’t have otherwise purchased.
While the $10 coupon may seem excessive and put many companies off taking such a bold move, it’s a small price to pay for such widespread and effective exposure.
Wrapping it up
The power of social media marketing cannot be denied. Real-time marketing has become the “it” thing in advertising and nowadays all one has to do is login to a social network and within seconds they will be exposed to some form of advert; no matter how discreet it may look.
Internet marketers are now placing an increasing amount of emphasis on building communities via social networks and are integrating each platform to deliver a constant stream of exposure. In fact, acquiring a ‘Like’ on Facebook or new follower on Twitter is held in higher regard than unique website traffic. However, what’s most appealing about social media is that unlike other forms of online marketing – such as PPC and SEO – it’s completely free.
Guest Author: James is a self-employed blogger and wannabe entrepreneur and works with Distinctly Digital. His passion is in SAAS tech and innovation. You will find James at many of the leading technology conferences across the UK and Europe.
Listen to this as a Podcast
Double your prospect email list for free with Facebook!
If you’re looking to double your email list for free using social media marketing, you won’t want to miss this free webinar on July 22nd with Heyo CEO, Nathan Latka. Click here to register for FREE.”