Marketing Automation ROI

15 Tips to MAXIMIZE Your Marketing Automation ROI

In order to realize your performance potential, and maximize your content marketing return on investment (ROI), you’re going to need the right marketing technology.

Marketing automation has the ability to expand the value and impact of your content, capture lead intelligence, improve lead-to-sale conversion rates, drive repeat purchasing, and enhance the overall customer experience.

Generally speaking, marketing automation takes traditionally manual tasks and, well, automates them. Activities such as contact management, list segmentation, lead scoring and nurturing, A/B testing of website pages and offers, email marketing, and performance measurement and reporting can all be done more efficiently through automation.

IDC predicts the overall market for automating marketing will grow from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $4.8 billion in 2015. Venture funding, mergers, and acquisitions in the space have fueled innovation and advances in technology, opening up significant opportunities for content marketers.

Some of the leading marketing automation players include Act-On, Eloqua, HubSpot, Infusionsoft, Marketo, and Pardot. There are others, but these solutions are a good starting point when evaluating potential partners that can help improve your content marketing ROI.

Automation at work: Creating a tech-savvy, performance-driven content campaign

Let’s say your organization’s primary goal is to infuse your sales pipeline with new leads, and you have a secondary goal of segmenting and prioritizing an existing lead database to identify opportunities.

Like any campaign, you’ll want to start with a well-defined content strategy, where you determine your target audiences, establish goal values, and create compelling content assets and offers. But for the purposes of this post, let’s focus on the more technical benefits of marketing automation.

Keep in mind, not all features/capabilities outlined below are available with every marketing automation solution. This is meant to give you perspective on what’s possible, and the areas where marketing automation can help support and streamline your essential content processes.

Building the foundational pieces for content marketing

1. Establish a scoring system: Use automation tools to define what a quality lead looks like, and how they behave. Apply an automated system to score leads as they enter and move through your funnel.

For B2B marketers, important scoring criteria may include the obvious factors of job title, industry, revenue, employee size, and budget. Now that you’re using advanced marketing technology, you can expand lead scoring to include actions taken, such as pages viewed, time spent visiting the site, webinars attended, content downloaded, social media interactions, email opens/clicks, and more.

Create a landing page: Every gated content asset needs a landing page on which to live. This is where you host the content and capture contact information through lead forms.

3. Use smart lead forms to gradually build contact profiles: Rather than having contact forms with 10+ fields, use what HubSpot calls progressive profiling to improve conversion rates and gather additional information about your contacts over time. Each form submission is a chance to learn more about your prospects.

4. Consider A/B testing the landing page: Not sure which image or headline to use on your landing page? Run an A/B test to show half the visitors one version, and half another. You can automate this process, and then monitor results to see which version has a higher conversion rate.

Promoting your content

5. Develop and send tailored emails promoting your content: Email marketing to your existing contact databases is an ideal way to drive action. While your primary goal may be to generate new leads, you can use the same contact assets to capture additional information about your established leads and customers that will help you customize your content.

6. Schedule social media shares across your networks: Some marketing automation systems have social sharing built in, while others may require a third-party solution. Either way, marketing automation can help you schedule a variety of social updates to promote your content.

Gaining intelligence and driving actions

7. Capture contact information: As downloads and registrations occur on the landing pages, automation tools can directly associate responses with contact records that exist in your CRM system.

8. Segment and prioritize contacts in lists: These tools will help you define rules to automatically build lists based on pre-defined criteria. You may have a “hot leads” list that includes contacts who meet a lead-scoring threshold, a “new leads” list for anyone who’s completed a form for the first time, and a “power user” list for anyone who’s filled out a form and visited more than 10 pages on the site.

9. Activate email workflows: Once you’ve moved contacts into lists, you can initiate automated email marketing. As with social media features, some marketing automation platforms include email-marketing capabilities, while others will require third-party integration.

Automated email workflows are a highly efficient and measurable way to deliver value to contacts, and nurture them through the marketing funnel. Be sure to include additional resources in your emails that relate to the content your contacts have downloaded. For example, if they download an eBook, configure your marketing automation system to follow up by sending them links to blog posts, webinars, and case studies on the same topic.

Create additional triggers to monitor engagement: Using automated email workflows, you can continue to monitor contact interactions– which can indicate whether or not they are progressing through the customer journey. These indications may include clicking on links, returning to your website, or downloading other content assets you have available.

11. Consider using contextual content on your website: Think about the Amazon.com experience, in which the site recommends content and products based on your past interactions. Some marketing automation solutions are bringing this technology to corporate websites.

By connecting your contact database to your site, these advanced systems can recognize individual visitors and dynamically alter the content and calls to action based on their history on the site. The goal is to personalize the consumer experience, and drive increased engagement and conversion rates.

12. Support your sales team: Marketing automation tools help you set up automated workflows for your internal teams, so you can provide them with resources and recommendations to integrate content into their sales process. You can also set up automated alerts based on the behavior of leads.

For example, when a contact meets the sales-qualified-lead status defined in your lead-scoring system, you can set the system up to trigger an email to be sent to a specific sales rep. Or, you may set up alerts to notify your sales reps when specific contacts return to the website.

Think about the full marketing funnel, and what value your content can bring to existing customers. With the proper configurations of your system, you can apply the same methodologies of profiling, segmenting, and nurturing to your existing customers that you apply to your prospective customers.

14. Monitor campaign performance: Use your automation tool to set up automated reports to stay informed on how your content campaigns are performing.

15. Connect actions to outcomes: Use marketing automation technology to demonstrate the value of content. Connect content campaigns to marketing metrics that matter, and show how the campaigns directly contribute to achieving business goals.

Marketing automation gives organizations the ability to maximize the content marketing ROI of your campaigns. In order to reach your full performance potential, take actions to:

Build a strong foundation with lead scoring, landing pages, lead forms, and A/B testing.
Promote content through emails and social sharing.
Turn intelligence into action, and action into results, with lists, workflows, monitoring, contextual content, sales team integration, customer programs, and performance reports.

How is your organization using marketing automation to drive business results? Please reach out and share with us on our Facebook Page and/or share with us here!

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MArketing Automation Do's & Don'ts

Marketing Automation Do’s & Don’ts

Now that we’ve detailed out what marketing automation is, we want to give you a few tips as you think about implementing a new platform into your process. This will outline what you should and should not be doing with your marketing automation.

Social media goals

Top 3 Social Media Goals to Achieve in Your Business

Your brand or business is on social media– but have you figured out why or what you want to get out of it?

Setting goals is a great way to stay on track and give you direction when creating content and posting on your social channels. In this post I’ll show you 3 common and simple social media goals you can set for your business, and how you can keep track of your success with them.

New Social Media Trends Image

Social Media Explained with Ice Cream?

(A cool explanation of Social Media Marketing via local ice cream shops:))

I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz. Social Media may be the next big thing. What’s it all about? Let’s take a visit to Scoopville, a town that’s famous for ice cream. For over 20 years, Big Ice Cream Company has been making high quality ice cream with a big factory in town.

A few years back, the company did focus groups and found out that they could maximize profits by offering three flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry.

The residents of the town were content. They never thought it could be different. Then something happened in Scoopville – A new invention came to town. Suddenly, everyone could make their own ice cream for only a few dollars.

This changed everything. The Smiths decided to make pineapple ice cream. The Jones’ made ice cream with pecans. Soon, every kind of ice cream imaginable was being made by Scoopville’s residents at very little cost. Of course, some ice cream was more popular than others and that was okay.

Sylvia’s pickle ice cream had a very small but loyal following. That was fine. She only needed enough income to buy ingredients for her next batch. Jarret’s red velvet ice cream became so famous, he created his own store. Over time, people started to think differently about ice cream. It didn’t always come from a factory. It also came from friends and neighbors. It became something to share, something to bring people together, something to celebrate. Big Ice Cream company still made the best vanilla around, and to their surprise, demand even grew.

But it was the unique, original and authentic flavors made by the residents, that brought people to Scoopville. When they arrived, however, there seemed to be a problem. There were too many flavors. Visitors felt overwhelmed. They needed ways to find the new, the popular, the flavors that were interesting to them. Franklin had an idea for his ice cream. Outside his house, he erected a board and invited his customers to share their thoughts on his ice cream. They could use words to describe it, stars to rate it, and leave messages for others. People loved it. At a glance, visitors could tell what his ice cream was all about, and learn from people like them. Over time, each resident had their own board. Sylvia’s board showed that her pickle ice cream didn’t please everyone, but was very unique and interesting. Jarret’s board overflowed with positive reviews and ratings. Soon, a few things became clear.

First, their ice cream got better because they could learn directly from customers. Second, free customer reviews were more valuable than costly advertising. And third, the boards created a way for customers to find exactly what they wanted.

The combination of new technology and new ways to work with customers helped the residents feel like a unique community. So, this is social ice cream – by the people, for the people. It turns out that ice cream and social media have a lot in common.

Today, everyone has a chance to make their own flavors, thanks to free tools like blogs, podcasts, and video sharing. Plus, we now have new ways for real people to play a role in providing feedback, organization and promotion. Whether you’re a big established company, an individual with loyal fans, or simply someone with ideas and opinions, social media means new ways to create and communicate with people who care.

New tools are arriving in cities and towns around the world. When this change comes to your neighborhood, the choice is yours. What flavors will you make?.

As found on Youtube

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Content Calendar

How to Generate Your Content Calendar

The holiday season is officially behind us! Your holiday marketing is done for 2016, the holiday shopping discounts have passed, and you’re counting down the days until next year’s holiday fun fest.

Now that you know how to expertly pull together my favorite Google Analytics reports for the holidays, you could take your marketing one step further and perfect your holiday marketing calendar-planning skills. My marketing calendar (and free template!) gives you a handful of global and national honored holidays along with some other quirky holidays that might spark a little personality in your brand.

If you haven’t started planning for 2017 yet, now is the time to start, whether it’s the Facebook ads whisking your customers away to somewhere tropical during summertime, heading to Snapchat for an Oscar-winning filter for awards season, or just ramping up your evergreen content for daily brand happenings.

Content Calander

If used correctly, my marketing calendar can be amazingly entertaining– and drive ROI.

To help maximize your 2017 holiday marketing goals, I’ve also put together a list of every holiday in 2017 you’ll want to have on your radar. You already have the basics like evergreen content, so think about the stuff you “need” (want) that you might not have done in the past. From a Valentine’s Day Deal to an LBGTQ event, this article will give you the 2017 marketing calendar ho-ho-hook up.

4 Elements of an ROI-Driving Marketing Calendar
Of course, every marketer has their definition of what makes a marketing calendar great. That’s what makes every year so fun. For me, a great marketing calendar:

-Is a tool that drives sales
-Has a campaign you are proud to be a part of
-Champions its customers year-round
-Raises the bar for next year
-One business I admire that surpasses all marketing efforts year-after-year is Whole Foods. Not only do they listen to their customers (they launched their rewards program to help reduce prices), but they offer personalized products year round (like these holiday chocolate bars perfect for my binge-watching of holiday movies).

Binge-watching w/ chocolate bars to rewards programs, @WholeFoods is an example of marketing done right.
3 Questions Every Marketer Should Ask Themselves Before Building a Calendar
1. Is the holiday relevant to my brand?

Only choose holidays that will fulfill your end goal.

2. Can I focus on one holiday at a time?

You don’t want your customers to feel like you’re interrogating them. If you want quality engagement, you need to give consumers time.

3. Is there a theme relevant to my brand every month?

If you can choose a theme for every month, you can narrow down the holiday marketing you want your brand to participate in.

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Social Media Marketing, Web Video & The End of Cold Calls

Have you ever sauntered up to a complete stranger and had them look at you like, “Hey, don’t I know you from somewhere?” Or better yet, “Hey, I know you !” It happens to me all the time. Why? Because, I understand the influence of internet video.

I use web video for more than YouTube commerce. I use online video commerce as part of my website commerce strategy, email commerce expeditions, mobile commerce expeditions, internet branding and social media marketing tools as well.

It’s great stepping into meetings with business owners I’ve never met and having them smile and salute me like a acquaintance they’ve known for years.

It’s always fun to hear them remark, “Hey, you’re the guy on the videos .” If there is a better course to help build a tribe of online followers, acquaintances, fans and purchasers, then I’d like to see it.

I want to encourage that “you’ve got to” do the same. This can help make viral commerce possible. Your videos will be accessible 24 hours a day all over the world to everyone with a computer or mobile design and Internet access.

When you make good videos often, prospects will want to become your purchasers. When people feel like they already know you, they respect your knowledge, then cold calls can become a thing of the past.

Germinating your business can become much easier and happen much faster than ever before, thus eliminating cold calling when you really think about it.

Of course, if you find all this new media and social media material baffling and you need help finding out how everything strings together in order to allow MASSIVE scale to your business, without spending A TON of cash testing and retesting, then check out our proven training system here that will teach you everything that you need to know and construct in order to have your IDEAL customers coming to YOU!

As found on Youtube

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Pinterest for Business

Social Media Marketing: Pinterest for Business

 

On Pinterest, the social platform built on beautiful, shareable imagery, opportunities for shopping come cleverly disguised as outfit inspiration, smoothie recipes and DIY centrepieces.

For consumers, it’s a place to hunt and gather. For brands, it’s a goldmine. Consider this: we analyzed data from over 529, 000 Shopify store orders to find that Pinterest was the second largest social source for traffic, and resulting visits had the third highest average order value. Also, according to research done by Piqora, sales and traffic from Pins can occur long after the item is pinned.

In fact, 50 percent of visits happen after 3 and a half months, which respectively, is more bang for your buck than twitter or Facebook. The reasons for using Pinterest for your business are impossible to ignore. In this video, we’ll show you seven concrete methods, that you can use to drive sales and traffic with Pinterest. One, Use Rich Pins – Rich Pins are enhanced Pins that make your images even more shoppable because they contain additional information right inside the Pin.

There are five types of Rich Pins – Movie, Place, Recipe, Article and Product. And Online retailers can benefit from Product Pins because they include real-time pricing and stock availability. Rich Pins can also improve click through rate and discoverability of Pins, by making them eligible for Pinterest’s own curated feeds. Another advantage of Rich Pins is price notifications. If you reduce the price of your product, customers who repinned that product image will receive an email from Pinterest notifying them of the price drop and prompting them to buy. Also, if you’re using Shopify, we have partnered with Pinterest to automatically enable Rich Pins for our merchants.

That means any images Pinned from your product pages will now be published as Rich Pins. To enjoy the benefits of Rich Pins, be sure that you sign up for a Pinterest business account. Two, Pin Smarter – Knowing what types of images work best on Pinterest is extremely important. I’m sure you’ve all heard of the importance and impact of great product photography and Pinterest is yet another place where it can really pay off. Shopify store Sycamore Street Press, for example does product photo shoots and creates blog posts specifically to create highly pinnable images that will draw people to their sites from Pinterest.

Most months, Sycamore Street Press gets most of its referral traffic from Pinterest over any other source. Another great example is Designer Moorea Seal, who has built an audience of over 900,000 on her beautifully-curated Pinterest account, which is responsible for 50% of her store’s sales. Her approach is to provide “Clear, clean product images on a white or light grey background plus an editorial view of products either in a natural environment or on a person to give customers two styles of photography options for pinning to their boards.” When shooting and choosing photos for your product pages, strive to make them highly repinnable. So, What makes an image Pinterest-worthy? Well, let’s dig into the data: Keep it Anonymous – Images without faces receive 23% more repins than those with faces. Use Color Wisely – Pins with multiple dominant colors are repinned times more than those dominated by a single color, and red images fare better than blue. Image Size – Images on your product pages should ideally be at least 600 px wide with the optimal Pin width being 736 pixels wide, which is the maximum display size.

Taller images are more likely to be repinned. Listen – Pay attention to your analytics, either through your Pinterest business tools or via other apps like Piqora, Tailwind, or Curalate. While summer salad recipes and DIY treehouses may have high virality potential overall, be relevant – find out what resonates with your audience specifically. Timing is Everything – Pin and engage when your customers are doing the same. The time periods 2-4pm and 8-11pm are roughly the best times to Pin, but it can depend on where and who your customers are. We’ve also linked to some Pinterest research which suggests that certain categories perform better on specific days of the week. You Need a Blog – A blog is the perfect place to create beautiful content for your Pinterest boards.

We’ve linked to a great article in the description of this video that will help get you started creating a blog that Pinterest users will love. Three – Sell the Lifestyle. Create boards around lifestyle themes that include your products, rather than just product boards. Great brands understand their customers and the kind of content that they crave. Inspire your audience, don’t just sell to them. “A Great Outdoors” board for example will be much more compelling than a board that simply highlights the outerwear your brand carries. Holly Castro for example, of Charm & Gumption fills her “For the Home” Board with curated pins that complement her own products, which are peppered throughout.

Nordstrom takes a similar approach with their “Pick Pink” Board, which is entirely dedicated to the rosy hue. It’s filled with hyper-feminine picks from around the web – with subtle inclusions from Nordstrom’s own offerings. After all, 92% of all pins are made by women. Four – Piggyback on Popular Content. While you should use caution when pinning content simply based on viral potential, you shouldn’t ignore opportunities to tap into the most popular pin types and search terms if they’re actually relevant to your audience. Here’s a great example. Sony Electronics, has a product category that doesn’t rank high on the list of popular categories. So, they’ve cleverly jumped on the virality of cute animals and humor to create their board “I Can Haz Gadgets”.

Consider your audience. Are your customers predominantly men? Well, your slice of the Pinterest pie is smaller, so maximize your efforts. Create boards and pin content in the categories of photography, art, design, and home decor. Do you sell food or beverages? Develop easy recipes containing your products. Are your products related to fitness, health, or beauty? Pin aspirational and inspirational content with quotes.

Is your eCommerce store a source for tools, craft supplies, or fabric? Use them to create DIYs and tutorials. Remember, a pin can contain your products and a link to a step-by-step tutorial on your blog. Five – Run Pinterest Contests. Contests are a great way to increase engagement on Pinterest. When done well, and within the platform’s parameters, Pinterest contests can drive sales and traffic for your eCommerce site. Travel website, Jetsetter for example, used contests to effectively increase site traffic by 150%. We’ve linked to that case study in the description of this video. Brands, however, should pay attention to Pinterest’s contest guidelines.

Certain types of contests are not permitted, nor is spammy behavior. Contest these tips: Make it Worth it – Forever 21 asks followers to create an entire board, but puts a $1000 gift card on the table as incentive. Get Inspired – Look to other brands for contest ideas that might work for you. Use an App – Apps like Gleam.io, Wishpond or Woobox can help organize your contest and host it on your site or Facebook.

We’ve linked to a few of these in the description of this video. Six – Leverage the Power of Influencers. Partner up with Pinterest influencers and bloggers to give your product some clout on the social network. Many brands get access to new audiences by inviting Guest Pinners to create boards on their accounts. Often, influencers will charge a fee for this service, but social media love in exchange for your product may be possible, too.

Choose to work with Pinterest users whose audiences resemble your desired customers. Martha Stewart Living for example strategically partnered with the mommy bloggers behind Cool Mom Picks. Seven – Engage Your Community. Involve your community to help increase engagement. Group Boards can be comprised of many contributors – customers, staff, a select group of influencers – or can even be open to anyone to join. The contributors to your group boards become brand ambassadors, creating content on your behalf. You can also encourage your customers to share images of themselves with your product. This is an especially useful tactic for fashion brands to gather alternate, accessible images of products worn by real people. Fashion brand – The Whitepepper collects customer photos via email and features them on their “Who’s Wearing The Whitepepper” board. All pins link back to the brand’s eCommerce store where Pinners can shop the looks. There you have it – 7 methods that you can put into practice with your business. Be sure to keep us posted on your progress and if we missed any tips or techniques that you’re using to reach your customers on Pinterest, please share them with us in the comment section.

If you’re looking for more tips and tutorials on starting or running your business, be sure to subscribe to our youtube channel. Thanks for reading…

As found on Youtube

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