Category Archives for Marketing

2022 Social Media Prediction: The Year of the Creator

Twitter launched Communities, everyone launched a creator fund, and TikTok became the #1 website in 2021. All of these events and more have built a foundation for the creator economy to take off and shape the future of social media.

2022 Social Media Prediction The Year of the Creator

According to SignalFire, there are over 50 million content creators driving the creator economy, a “class of businesses built by independent content creators, curators, and community builders… plus the software and finance tools designed to help them with growth and monetization (SignalFire).”

The creator economy is the antithesis of the 9-5 cubical grind and overly polished online profiles. After months of lockdown and a global pandemic, consumers are pursuing purpose and looking to creators to provide an authentic escape.

This means several things for marketers:

  1. Niche, online communities are going to grow
  2. User-generated, creator, and authentic influencer content will become a necessity while brand content will continue to decline in reach and engagement
  3. Employee creators and employee brands will be differentiators

Social Listening

 

Niche, Online Communities Are Going to Grow

The rise of niche, online communities and groups is happening across the digital world. On Facebook alone, there are 1.8 billion users utilizing groups with the average user claiming membership to 5 or more groups.

Communities around gaming have skyrocketed with GWI reporting gaming amongst Gen Z has drastically overtaken TV in terms of interests. Google reports a 70% increase in searches containing “online games with friends” while Discord boasts millions of members in their gaming channels.

Oftentimes these communities are built around creators or moderators with immense influence.

Personally, I am part of 7+ communities on Facebook and a handful of groups across other channels. Each group meets a need or desire the others cannot. The groups are relatively small but have an immense influence on buying decisions and other choices I make.

  • #BookTok in TikTok? I have screenshots of 7 books I am going to buy when I get a chance.
  • The $100K Club Facebook group? I opened a Chime high-yield savings account the day Tori Dunlap suggested to
  • Twitter’s Marketing Twitter community? I’m just one of 800 members and growing
  • Reddit’s r/CatsAreAssholes? I have two cats that are jerks and these people just get me

For brands, this means looking at your audience in a new light and asking how you can build an online community, not just a following.

People in a community enjoying eachother's company

 

User-generated, Creator, and Authentic Influencer Content Will Be Essential

Younger generations shape our demand for fashion, products, celebrities, music, media, and more, which is why all brands, including brands with older audiences, should pay attention to Gen Z.

According to PR Daily, 13- to 17-year-olds  are spending 56% of their media consumption time with user-generated content, a huge jump compared to other generations.

Lays-Potato-Chips

This means brands posting too much brand content are going to continue to see decreases in reach and engagement while UGC, creator, and authentic influencer content will become essential for performance.

What do I mean by authentic influencer content? Well, there is a measurable backlash to the pre-pandemic influencers who carefully curated glamour and luxury in each photo.

“If [Gen Z] is a sign of where global consumer sentiment is headed, it’s likely the “polished” curated self we’ve come to know won’t have the same impact it once did; this would clear a path for more diversity and self-expression in the influencer sector (GWI).”

Girls busy on smartphones-mobiles

We are seeing the rise of nano- and micro-influencers and creators because they tend to have smaller, niche followings and a more authentic look and feel.

What does this mean for brands? It means adapting your strategies to include these content types or being okay with declining content performance.

 

Employee creators and employee brands will be differentiators

LinkedIn’s Editor in Chief, Daniel Roth, recently wrote about the rise of the creator employee, which describes the balance between employment and being a creator.

As a marketer in social media, I see friends and colleagues navigate being a creator and employee all the time with mutual benefits to both their employer and their own careers.

For many brands, the idea of employees building personal brands is foreign and concerning but I think the benefits outweigh the risks. Daniel Murray explains it best, “employers are either threatened they will lose that employee, think it’s taking time away from their work, or they are worried about their brand.

But on everything they post, especially on LinkedIn, it has the company they work for [displayed]. So they can see this as free impressions and also as a tool for attracting future talent.”

Here at Convince and Convert, many of our strategists are known in the industry in their own right thanks to their personal brands, which means we win business across industries thanks to those personal brands.

So, what does this mean for brands? I would start with identifying employees interested in creating and then providing them the tools and space to do so.

 

Is Your Brand Ready for the Year of the Creator?

Brands are going to need to look for community building opportunities, ways to significantly increase their external, authentic content, and empower their employees to represent the brand as employee creators.

Start with a simple audit of your social channels. What is your current mix of content types? How can you increase the amount of external, authentic content?

 

The post-2022 Social Media Prediction: The Year of the Creator appeared first on Content Marketing Consulting and Social Media Strategy.

Source: convinceandconvert.com

What We Can Expect from Core Web Vitals in 2022

2021 was a big year for SEO. We saw Google’s rollout of indented results, where sites can have multiple relevant pages shown on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP); its continuous scroll update to mobile search, which automatically loads the next batch of results when users scroll to the bottom of a search page; and its title tag rewrites, where it replaces a site’s title with its H1 tags or other elements.

Were all these changes met with thundering applause? Not quite, but it’s Google’s SERP world, and we’re living — and trying to rank — in it.

Another release that wasn’t an immediate hit was the Page Experience Update, based on Google’s Core Web Vitals metrics.

What We Can Expect from Core Web Vitals in 2022

These new metrics “prioritize” (more on this later) the user experience by analyzing a web page according to three signals:

  • Largest Contentful Paint
  • First Input Delay
  • Cumulative Layout Shift

URLs that pass each Core Web Vitals threshold are supposedly more likely to rank than URLs that don’t, and vice versa. However, Google has seemingly changed its mind over time on how big of impact sites will see and how many thresholds they ought to pass.

Google’s goal with this release? Get site owners to improve their website’s performance. Unfortunately for Google, though, they didn’t take the bait.

 

Core WebVitals Aren’t Going Anywhere

Although it received a lackluster response, don’t expect Core Web Vitals to go quietly into the night. Heading into 2022, we can expect Google to ramp up its importance for ranking.

In fact, I’d wager that there’ll be more of a ranking disadvantage for sites that fail one or two of the thresholds — as opposed to just those failing all across the board, as is currently the case.

MDES 1122 PMB Blog Announcement Blog 1180x400

This means that sites need to start optimizing pages collectively for each Core Web Vitals signal, so they’re not left behind if and when their competitors’ sites begin ranking higher.

Effective marketing requires visibility and reach, and there’s no better option than ranking high on SERPs. This means adhering to Core Web Vitals is a must. But when venturing to do so, it’s best to know ways to optimize sites and what shortcuts to avoid that could hinder a site’s usability.

 

Understanding Each Core Web Vitals Signal

Core Web Vitals essentially put user experience at the forefront by measuring a site’s performance in three parts: visual stability (Cumulative Layout Shift), interactivity (First Input Delay), and loading performance (Largest Contentful Paint).

Let’s briefly define each signal:

  • Cumulative Layout Shift: The maximum change to the layout of a page within a five-second session.
  • First Input Delay: How long it takes from a user’s first click on an interactive element (such as a link or button) to when processing happens on that click.
  • Largest Contentful Paint: How long it takes the largest element on a page to load. Note: the largest element varies, depending on the device used.

 

What Not to Do When Optimizing a Site for Core Web Vitals

Core Web Vitals are supposed to enhance a website for the user experience, but how SEOs go about it can do more harm for usability than good. The metrics for Core Web Vitals are fragile, allowing them to be passed easily even with terrible optimizations.

Mind Mapping

Let’s take these two scenarios:

One way the Largest Contentful Paint threshold can be passed is by making text larger on a page. This metric measures how long the largest element on a screen takes to load — the quicker it loads, the better the metric.

Since text loads faster than an image, making it bigger would allow a site to pass this threshold. But this tactic won’t improve the site’s user experience, and the larger text may be an eyesore to an otherwise visually-appealing site.

Because visuals are essential to marketing, it’s easy to see why this wouldn’t be a good idea.

Another bad optimization example that passes a Core Web Vitals threshold is removing valuable links. First Input Delay measures the time it takes to process a user’s click on an interactive element on a site.

For example, let’s take blog pages, which consist of an image, a title, a summary and a “read more” CTA for each post. Typically, SEOs make both the image and CTA linkable to the full blog post, and users have come to expect it.

If an SEO removes the links from these interactive elements, users will still click them (because they’ll assume they link somewhere), but nothing will happen. The user will eventually find a functioning element, but later than they would otherwise.

Data Labelling

As a result, the clock for First Input Delay won’t start until the page is fully loaded, which will improve metrics for this signal but ruin the user experience in the process.

A crucial part of marketing is putting the consumer first. Configuring a site to adhere to Core Web Vitals while simultaneously slowing down the user experience achieves the opposite. Mindful optimizations are what every site needs to truly care about the user experience.

 

What To Do When Optimizing a Site for Core Web Vitals

There are ways to enhance a website for each signal, although Core Web Vitals haven’t been well received. Consider these options to improving a site for Core Web Vitals:

  • Cumulative Shift Layout: Use facades for late-loading content. Facades hold the place for content that will appear once a page finishes loading. Let’s say a site has product images it’s showcasing on its home page.  Facades will hold their place as they’re loading so that the page won’t get rearranged once they do, because they’re the focal point and probably larger than other elements on a page.
  • Largest Contentful Paint: Drop large elements beneath the fold. This allows more unstable elements, such as embedded content (images, ads, Tweets, etc.), to appear gradually as page loads. If an ad needs to be displayed on a page, leaving it beneath the fold will help improve this metric.
  • First Input Delay: Add interactive elements early on that serve a purpose. If a page has an element that needs to be clicked before users can view a site, it will cause a delay since the page is still loading in the background. One example of this type of interactive element is a cookie preferences overlay.

First Input Delay

 

Pass Every Threshold

Core Web Vitals are here to stay. As we head into 2022, any site that hopes to rank needs to make sure they’re passing every threshold. Not doing so will cause a free fall from the ranks, which no marketer wants.

Threshold

There’s a right way to go about optimizing pages for Core Web Vitals. Once we do, we’ll make the SEO world better for both ranking and user experience.

About the Author:

Tom Capper is the Senior Search Scientist at Moz. He’s a thought-leader with a penchant for challenging industry norms and developing unique SEO strategies and tactics. His focus is on designing new research to help Moz solve complex and technical issues for SEO professionals at every stage in their careers.

The post What We Can Expect from Core Web Vitals in 2022 appeared first on Content Marketing Consulting and Social Media Strategy.

Source: convinceandconvert.com

How to Identify and Win the Right Influencers to Promote Your B2B Product

Influencer marketing has been on the rise for several years now and it is not showing any signs of slowing down.

People trust people they follow, and it is true in both ecommerce and B2B sectors, although it is a bit different in the latter because marketers and salespeople have larger decision-making units to keep in mind when they sell to businesses.

There’s no impulse shopping in the B2B sector (or at least not as much as in retail), so influencer marketing has to rely on long-term relationships between influencers and their target customers.

How to Identify and Win the Right Influencers to Promote Your B2B Product

 

How to Identify and Win the Right Influencers to Promote Your B2B Product

How do you find the right influencers to help you sell your B2B product and how can you turn them into your brand ambassadors?

Step 1: Find the right pitch

Depending on the nature of your B2B product, you are likely to be after several types of influencers, including:

  • Your target company’s employees
  • Your (inactive and current) competitors’ promoters
  • People who post or write on related topics (and may be unaware of solutions yet)
  • Companies that sell matching products (possible partners), etc.

Obviously, you cannot use one generic pitch for all of them. “Hi there, I think you will find our product interesting” is not going to get anyone on board.

There are different ways to make your platform appealing for different types of influencers:

  • Affiliate marketing (i.e., paying a commission to your influencer for each successful sale)
  • Broken link fixing (offering your solution as an update to an article that lists broken or outdated solutions)
  • Free tool access (inviting influencers to use your tool for free), etc.

Finding the right tools to make your pitch more appealing will help you onboard more influencers. Try utilizing your sales demos to demonstrate the power of your product.

sales demo images blog header venngage

Walnut is a great tool to include in your pitch as it helps you create reusable and interactive demos which can be easily customized for each pitch type or even influencer:

Here’s a great guide on how to utilize Walnut to target different types of influencers and decision-makers.

 

Step 2: Focus on the right metrics

In B2B, marketers always know precisely what kind of an audience their product is made for: They know the narrow niche and even the size of the company that would need it.

In this type of laser targeting, finding the right influencers is not about the size of the following or even the amount of content they are producing. They need to find social media users who can influence those few people that can make a buying decision within their target company.

Those social media users may have 10 or 100 followers and even post as rarely as once a month but if their message reaches the right people, they are considered influencers.

Using the right tools to identify these micro-influencers is key.

Linkedin is a great platform to start. It shows you how you are connected to employees of your target company so you can reach out and get introduced to the right people:

LinkedIn Influencer Tool

Another great tool to use here is Buzzsumo which allows you to find people who tweet on a topic of your interest.

Depending on the nature of your B2B business, you can play with smart metrics inside Buzzsumo to find Twitter users who engage with their followers:

Buzzsumo Influencers

Finally, Twitter bio search tools like Followerwonk and (again, Buzzsumo) should be used here as well as they will find you to find people who mention your target company in their bios (as they likely work there):

Followerwonk Influencers

 

Step 3: Research your competitors’ promoters

Another great way to find the right influencers is to identify who is promoting your closest competitors (or, even better, your past competitors who closed their businesses).

This is where good old backlink research is useful. SEO SpyGlass is a great tool to use here as they allow you to clearly see how your competitors are acquiring their backlinks and quickly find backlink gap opportunities — websites that are linking to your competitors but not you.

Another useful tactic to use here is social media monitoring as it will let you stay on top of your active competitors’ influencer management tactics. Awario is a great tool here because it has a handy boolean search feature allowing you to laser target your monitoring based on sources and purposes of your monitoring:

 

Step 4: Develop an effective outreach strategy

Once you have defined your pitches, start collecting your data for your outreach. It is a good idea to start a spreadsheet with your defined influencers, their target pitch, contact details (including their social media accounts), and any notes.

There are all kinds of WordPress solutions to share this document with everyone inside your organization.

Hunter is a great way to find the email addresses of your target influencers and website owners. They also have a handy Email Verifier for you to verify any contact details you manage to find.

Domain Search

This will save you time and money enabling you to use valid email addresses:

Email verification is your first step to creating a high quality email marketing database.

 

Step 5: Value those connections

This is the most crucial step: Your influencer marketing is never actually complete. You need to keep in touch with those influencers who chose to reply whether they agreed to work with you or simply sent a generic reply.

Keep talking to them on social media. Send them updates on your product development. Share your achievements and milestones.

It is not about bombarding them with your emails and social media messages. Only send them important updates that they may really find interesting.

It is a good idea to create a separate brand to consolidate your (hopefully) ever-growing community of influencers. This may be as simple as setting up a private Facebook group or as advanced as creating a new community-driven website.

BeRush is a great example of the latter: SEMRush is using this site to keep in touch with the international community of its affiliates. It includes a Q&A inside, product updates, as well as all kinds of materials to help their affiliates better position the product to their audience.

brand name generator

Namify is a great tool to find a great name for your community-driven project. There’s also a huge database of great business names they are offering as ideas:

Unite your whole company (your marketing, customer support, sales, product development teams) around one common goal: Keeping in touch with your influencers. Tying SEO and sales are the only way to make your B2B outreach strategy work.

 

Find the Right Influencers and Soar!

Finding the right influencers to help you sell your B2B product is a great way to create a consistent stream of new sales that won’t depend on Google’s algorithm whims or your advertising budgets.

It is also very rewarding because you get a chance to turn those influencers into advocates who will remain loyal for years and help you build brand awareness and improve your product. Good luck!

Following

The post How to Identify and Win the Right Influencers to Promote Your B2B Product appeared first on Content Marketing Consulting and Social Media Strategy.

Source: convinceandconvert.com

5 Influencer Marketing Myths for 2022

Influencer marketing is not new but it is constantly changing and marketers have thoughts. Below are 5 common influencer marketing myths we’ve heard and want to debunk.

5 Influencer Marketing Myths for 2022

Myth #1: Influencer marketing is a fad.

Actually, this may be true, sort of. Hear me out.

Post-COVID data shows a 37% decrease in brands working with influencers and a 41% drop in the efficiency of influencer marketing.

However, brands are still investing in influencer marketing, specifically through nano and micro-influencers.

I see this shift as a more strategic approach to influencer marketing and a way to redefine a tactic fraught with issues. 

Instagram - Social Media

So, is influencer marketing a fad?

In terms of brands spending lots of money on influencers with large followings? Potentially.

However, in my opinion, influencer marketing in terms of nano and micro-influencers — specifically ones that resonate with niche audiences —  is here to stay & will become an important part of a strategic marketing mix.

So, what does this mean for marketers?

Keep influencer marketing on your radar and dive deep into your personas to see if nano and micro-influencers could connect you with your audience.

 

Myth #2: Influencer marketing is only successful for younger generations.

Marketers around the world are trying to woo the next generation of consumers with influencer marketing. In fact, there are over 15 million search results for “influencer marketing to Gen Z.”

Meanwhile, “influencer marketing to Gen X” and “influencer marketing to Boomers” have less than 10 million results combined.

What’s up with that?

I think it mostly comes down to the myth that influencer marketing is only for younger generations, which is simply not true.

In fact, older generations are spending more and more time on social media and shifting their shopping habits toward online retail, delivery services, and subscriptions which means brands have more opportunities than ever to engage across generations.

Businesswoman sitting in office drinking coffee

Gen X and Boomers also control the vast majority of disposable income in the US.

While some marketers are writing strategies around younger influencers, terms like “Grandfluencers” and “elderly influencers’ are becoming more popular.

Influencers like Joan MacDonald and Helen Winkle are over here living their best lives as 70-year-old-plus influencers with almost 5 million followers combined.

Gen X also has some fabulous influencers like Arlinda McIntosh and Ana Pejkanovic.

So, what does this mean for marketers?

If your audience includes Gen X and/or Boomers, influencer marketing may be worth a try.

 

Myth 3: Influencers have to have large followings to be effective.

We covered this a bit in myth #1, but let’s dive deeper.

Traditionally, influencer marketing means utilizing a social media user with a large following. Today, that definition is changing.

While mega influencers (social users with millions of followers) are the first thing many people think of when they think “influencer,” other groups are growing in popularity.

However, there are differing opinions on how many followers each group has, especially in the micro and nano categories where some marketers say nano influencers can have as little as 500 followers and still be effective.

  • Mega: 1M+ followers
  • Macro: 100K+ followers
  • Micro: 10K+ followers
  • Nano: 500 to 10K followers

While influencers generally have a conversion rate of around 3%, nano influencers are converting at upwards of 30% in some cases.

What does this mean for marketers?

Marketers should look for opportunities to work with influencers with niche communities and remember that large followings don’t equal better.

 

Myth 4: Influencer marketing doesn’t work for B2B companies.

This is simply not true.

What does this mean for B2B marketers?

B2B marketers should explore ways to bring influencers into their marketing, whether it’s through employees, customers, or social media influencers.

 

Myth #5: Influencer marketing has no rules.

In an October 2021 news release, the Federal Trade Commission said they’ve officially put hundreds of businesses on notice for “fake reviews and other misleading endorsements”. The penalty for misleading consumers is up to $43,792 per violation.

Social Media Presence - Blog Writing

What does this mean for marketers?

It means there are rules you need to follow, and you shouldn’t be a jerk and mislead and deceive people. Familiarize yourself with the FTC endorsement guidelines and comply to avoid headaches and hardships.

 

2022 Influencer Marketing Myths Debunked!

There you have it! Five myths we wanted to address so you can decide if a dip in the influencer pool is a worthy exploration by you and your team.

The post 5 Influencer Marketing Myths for 2022 appeared first on Content Marketing Consulting and Social Media Strategy.

Source: convinceandconvert.com

Prioritizing Team Connection During a Pandemic

According to the 2021 State of Marketing report, 75% percent of marketers say the pandemic has permanently shifted how they collaborate and communicate at work. Now whether this is good or bad is what I would like to share and discuss with you.

Prioritizing Team Connection During a Pandemic

In life, I naturally chose the positive side of things and live my life as a glass-half-full type. I temper my optimism with a healthy dose of realism too – nobody benefits from toxic positivity.

Even through the pandemic, I’ve primarily been choosing to see the small upsides of the situation, although some days that’s been tough (even for me). (Multiple rounds of home school quarantine, anyone?)

So, let’s take a look at the positive impact that the pandemic has had on team alignment.

Cover page of the Harvard Business Review report

 

Remote Work: Forging a Culture of Connection

C&C has been a virtual firm since Jay Baer founded it in 2008. We’ve had team members from NYC to LA, Portland to Orlando and many stops in between for the last 13 years.

We thrive in a work from home arrangement, across multiple time zones, while only seeing each other in person ONCE per year.

We’ve all entered the C&C family knowing this setup and while some folded right into the work-in-your-slippers mentality, others had a more steep learning curve on self-discipline ahead.

Self-improvement of Freelance Blogger

One commonality across the decade and more while we’ve been WFH is that we each still crave and seek out connection with our coworkers. We have slack-style chats, personal text threads, and monthly virtual happy hours.

Even across the miles, pandemic or not, we have established a culture of connection. It takes intention and effort to keep that connection, but each team member wouldn’t be here without it.

 

The Intersection of Professional and Personal

We recently conducted research with Ascend2 on team alignment and I was shocked in the best way possible. The stat that struck me the most was: 76% of our respondents are strongly integrated or totally integrated.

To me, the word “integrated” has importance here. Has the perception of “integrated” changed with the pandemic? In my past corporate experience, integration equated to one hour a week around a conference table where an agenda was followed and updates went in order.

Team motivation-Leaders Can Motivate Their Teams

It ended up sounding like Charlie Brown’s mom “waaaa, whaaaa, wa, waaaaaa, wa, wa.”

Now, through the broader application of work from home, for better or for worse, everyone is literally IN each other’s home via video conference.

What used to be possibly a passing “hi” in the hallway is now an introduction of a child who enters the frame or an apology for a pet barking as the doorbell rings.

We have all been forced to integrate into one another’s home settings.

75% percent of marketers say the pandemic has permanently shifted how they collaborate and communicate at work.Click To Tweet

We have seen a new side of coworkers. We have met more of their life outside of the office, and have all been impacted at the same time by a global change in how we work, shop, visit and view our health.

Work Distribution

This intersection of our personal and professional lives has never existed as collectively before, and I truly believe for many teams it increases their integration with each other for the better.

 

Empathy Brought On By The New Normal

The humanity of team members has become more tangible in this new world. With COVID involved, people are more empathetic towards each other. We all had to adjust our lives at home and at work.

Every organization has been forced to “figure it out” – figure out how to communicate, connect and keep working among office shutdowns. Each person has had to reconfigure their home into a workspace at some point in the last 18 months. And we did it.

Working from Home

What I appreciate very much is that working from home can often give a deeper understanding of each other’s ability to relate and integrate.

We witnessed how each of us managed our at-home work space and new outside interruptions during a history-making, life-altering pandemic.

I understand that our culture here at C&C is different and special. But I have heard from many clients that they are proud of their team, that working from home is going to continue because they are being successful and the alignment of the goals is better than before.

 

Prioritize Your Team’s Connection

We’ve evolved from a question of “how do you integrate two teams” to optimizing and using technology to increase integration with other teams in the organization.

In my pre-pandemic work life, we discussed things like “lunch and learns” and “ride alongs” as well as “mutual goal setting meetings” around team alignment.

Marketing Team

Now we are finding much more common ground among us and a more genuine “how are you?” and “is everyone healthy” has a new meaning to mankind – therefore bringing us together and teams together.

If this sounds like Utopia to you – a foreign space that is nowhere close to the reality of your professional experience – I’ll offer some advice.

What I am describing is not fictional or only associated with our wonderful C&C team. There are hundreds of open positions at organizations who are aligned in goals, believe in a people-first culture, and support connection. I urge you to seek them.

Work Allocation

If you lead an organization, you must be the model. You owe it to your staff to connect and align them as well. You owe it to them to be genuine and carve out time for 1:1 and team interaction.

The world is still hurting and keeping your best team members connected and not feeling alone, will increase your productivity and success by more than your bottom line.

If you are wanting this type of connection among your team but are unsure how to make it happen, our team would be happy to help.

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Source: convinceandconvert.com

Struggling With Customer Acquisition?: Fix This One Alignment Issue

You are struggling to hit your acquisition targets—the marketing team is bringing in lots of hot leads but the sales team is struggling to convert them. Yet your marketing team is an award-winning one and your sales team is world cup worthy.

Where is the problem with your customer acquisition strategy? And what can be done about it?

Let’s dig a little deeper to understand what is making your team of A-players struggle to hit your acquisition goals?

Struggling With Customer Acquisition Fix This One Alignment Issue

 

Why Does Your Customer Acquisition Strategy Seem Broken?

There are many reasons why your customer acquisition strategy may not be working. But deep down, it’s due to one thing: the misalignment between your sales and marketing team.

Here’s how it translates into the organization.

 

Gap 1: Your sales and marketing teams are working on different funnels

In most companies, the marketing and sales teams work separately. Too often, marketers know too little about the customers and their dealings with the sales team.

SDRs work on cold emails and cold call random people, and marketers run campaigns to their target persona. As a result, each of these departments ends up creating an acquisition funnel based on the persona they have identified as their ideal customer profile.

ConvertKit email marketing strategy that works

This strategy is still used by many companies, even by some industry leaders, and it enables them to fuel their year-over-year growth.

Now, I bet you’re wondering what the problem is since this strategy seems to work.

Well, a study by the International Data Corporation revealed that B2B companies’ inability to align marketing and sales teams around the right workflows and technologies costs them about 10% or more of revenue per year.

In fact, when your sales and marketing departments function as standalone departments, efforts are put into tasks that are not very productive. For example, one study found that 50% of sales time is wasted on unproductive prospecting—either chasing unqualified leads or trying to convert leads that aren’t yet warmed up.

Another consequence of sales and marketing teams working with different funnels is a lack of understanding of the Ideal Customer Profile to target. For example, a lead that the marketing team deems qualified may be seen as unqualified by the sales team. A study by ReachForce showed that sales reps ignore 50% of marketing leads.

Other studies have shown that 60-70% of B2B content created is never used. In most instances, this is because the topic is irrelevant to the buyer’s audience.

As you take it a step ahead, you realize that if the marketing team and the sales team worked together, it would have been easier for them to determine what content the marketing team should produce for lead nurturing and how to use it to warm leads.

 

Gap 2: Your sales and marketing teams are chasing different results

How can you achieve a shared goal if each team measures its success in different ways?

For clarity purposes, let’s assume you have a SaaS, and your annual goal is to grow sign-ups by 45+ percent.

Now imagine that the sales teams measured their success based on new free trial accounts, closed deals, and upsells. Meanwhile, marketing teams measured their success on lead quantity, quality, and brand awareness.

In this particular case, saying that you will fall short of your annual goal is just an understatement.

If there was alignment between the two teams, they would have agreed on what a quality lead means for the company and what is the average number of leads marketing needs to bring in before sales convert X amount of users.

If, for example, the metric shows that the sales team needs 15 leads to close 5 deals and that each of these leads should be SaaS companies with teams of 50 to 300, the marketing team will know where to focus their efforts and what to do in order to reach the common goal.

Similarly, the sales team will know better how not to fall short of the 5 out of 15 deals closed.

 

Why Aligning Sales and Marketing Is The Only Way to Fix Your Customer Acquisition Strategy

So with the gaps identified, it has become increasingly clear that the solution to bridging the gap is to align your sales and marketing teams.

Here are some reasons why.

 

It helps keep business to customer communications consistent

It happens more often than you think—the sales team calls the product one thing, but the marketing team uses another term to describe the same product.

For example, the sales team calls it a “Chatbot,” while the marketing team calls it a “Conversational Marketing Platform.”

Here is another example. The marketing team talks about “Collaborative Growth Platform”, while the sales team talks about “CRM”.

Admittedly, this can be confusing for potential and even existing customers, and it’s a living example of mismatched messaging.

lifecycle marketing 3

Not surprisingly, it can cost you your first good impression and, as a result, a prospect may be less likely to trust you.

In fact, 21% of B2B marketers cite “giving the prospect a bad first impression of our company” as one of the most damaging factors resulting from misaligned marketing and sales.

That’s why one of the biggest benefits of aligning sales and marketing teams is consistent messaging.

The messaging used by your marketing team can now warm up prospects and set them up for the sales team to further reinforce those same messages. If the marketing message strikes a chord, the sales team can use it to close more business.

Failing this, you may end up with a siloed message, which can lead to a very confusing and inconsistent journey for your prospect.

21% of B2B marketers cite “giving the prospect a bad first impression of our company” as one of the most damaging factors resulting from misaligned marketing and sales.Click To Tweet

If your prospects think they’re getting one thing based on what marketing is saying when the sales team is selling them something completely different, it will definitely hurt your bottom line.

So it’s important to make sure your message is consistent and relevant to your entire customer journey.

 

It creates a single customer journey

We discussed earlier that the foundation of the sales-marketing relationship is the conversion funnel.

Pathfinder Model Infographic

So when it comes to getting everyone on the same page, the best place to start is to get them to agree on the structure of the entire customer journey.

By doing so, you save your prospects from having a single branded customer experience instead of separate siloed experiences.

Customer experience showing up

As a result, everything is tied together as an experience—from the awareness stage at the top of the customer journey funnel to the brand loyalty stage.

 

It fosters a “marketing first” approach

Each department plays its own tune when your sales and marketing teams are misaligned. In such scenarios, prospects are less likely to respond positively to a cold outreach if they’ve never heard of you, and that can harm your reputation and your chances of closing the deal later on.

If both teams are aligned, it encourages a “marketing first” approach—meaning that marketers find prospects who have a specific problem and create content to help them solve that problem.

It all starts with the marketing team warming up and nurturing new leads by creating informational content about the product and selling the features and benefits by creating transactional content to fuel conversion.

Then, when the potential customer prepares to make a decision, the sales team can take it from where the marketing left and close the deal.

 

It leads to a better way of assessing results

By aligning your sales and marketing teams with a common goal and the same KPIs, you have a great chance to see the synergy behind their work and analyze how your organization is stacking up in both sales and marketing.

In addition, you will be able to detect the shortcomings of your customer acquisition funnel and adjust not only certain parts but the whole funnel.

The post Struggling With Customer Acquisition?: Fix This One Alignment Issue appeared first on Content Marketing Consulting and Social Media Strategy.

Source: convinceandconvert.com

5 Best Landing Page Builders That Will Maximize Conversions

Good landing pages are the lifeblood of any digital marketing campaign.

Without them, visitors don’t know what to do next.

Where can they sign up? Where do they find the product from the ad they just clicked?

Simply driving traffic to your homepage from a search engine, paid ads, or lead magnets won’t work.

That makes landing pages critical for conversions.

However, they can also take hours to build, especially when creating multiple landing pages for a specific keyword or different campaigns.

Trust me. I’ve done it before.

What do you do? You need a landing page builder.

5 Best Landing Page Builders That Will Maximize Conversions

 

Why Should You Consider a Landing Page Builder?

You’re a busy entrepreneur or digital marketer. I know you don’t have the time or bandwidth to sit and fiddle with back-end code and figure out how to design a beautiful landing page.

What about hiring a web designer or a developer? Let’s face it. While designers and devs are excellent at their jobs, their services aren’t cheap.

This is where landing page builders come in.

You can have a fully responsive, mobile-optimized page designed to convert curious visitors into paying customers within a few hours.

What do you need to input? Your website text, fonts, images, and brand colors.

Everything else is drag-and-drop with dozens of integrations to make capturing leads and sales as straightforward as possible.

However, the best landing page builders don’t stop at page design. The creme-de-la-creme on the market (see below) offers robust analytics to help you figure out what’s working and what you need to send to the trash bin.

The result?

You save hours figuring out how to optimize and improve your conversion rates. Instead of reading blog after blog and getting frustrated, you can go back to focusing on what you do best.

 

5 Best Landing Page Builders That Will Maximize Conversions

Ready to say hello to efficiency? Here are the top landing page builders for your next digital marketing campaign.

#1 – Swipe Pages

Top Landing Page Builders - Swipe Pages

It doesn’t get better than Swipe Pages for an affordable landing page builder. With a few clicks of your mouse, you can create insanely fast, mobile-optimized AMP landing pages.

With no coding required, it’s one of the top options for marketers and entrepreneurs.

The best part? Swipe Page’s landing page templates give your site visitors an app-like experience. You won’t need to worry about elements squishing together or losing sales because your mobile site sucks.

Top Landing Page Builders - Swipe Pages gives an app-like experience

At $29 per month, you’ll struggle to find another builder offering lightning-fast AMP pages at that price point.

Remember, a one-second delay in page loading times can result in a seven percent reduction in conversions.

With Swipe Pages on your payroll, your conversions will go up. Use the A/B split testing feature (more than two variants are possible) to nip what isn’t working in the bud. You can also leverage dynamic text replacement to personalize the site experience for customers.

This is only the tip of the iceberg for Swipe Pages features. Some of the other tools you’ll have at your fingertips include:

  • multi-step forms
  • Google Analytics & Facebook Pixel integrations
  • variant performance analytics
  • responsive breakpoints
  • performance optimization
  • blend modes
  • parallax scrolling

Essentially, everything you need to create a landing page that drives visitors to take action and boost your bottom line.

Swipe Pages Pros:

  • 40+ high-converting templates
  • 80+ pre-built blocks
  • AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
  • no coding skills required
  • fully responsive multi-screen editing
  • connect to 1000s of third-party apps like Zapier and Mailchimp1-click Stripe checkouts
  • built-in analytics
  • offers hosting and a custom domain

Swipe Pages Cons:

  • no funnel offering yet (upsells, order bumps, etc.)
  • no heatmaps
  • server-side A/B split testing is only available on the highest-tier plan
  • dynamic text replacement feature is not available on all plans

Swipe Pages Price: Plans start at $29 per month.

 

#2 – Unbounce

Top Landing Page Builders - Unbounce

Unbounce is the “OG” landing page builder tool. It comes with excellent drag-and-drop features and a strong focus on conversions with the help of its AI-powered Smart Builder.

You’ll find popups, sticky navbars, and plenty of other options to help a visitor take action. Whatever your landing page goal, Unbounce can help you achieve it.

One of my favorite Unbounce features is Smart Traffic. Once you hit 50 page views, the tool automatically sends visitors to the landing page most likely to convert.

Top Landing Page Builders - Unbounce Smart Traffic feature

The only downside? It’s not a beginner-friendly tool.

The learning curve is steep with dozens of tools and integrations, but you’ll reap the rewards if you have the time and want an advanced landing page builder.

At $90 per month for the basic plan, Unbounce is one of the most expensive landing page builders on the market and targets enterprises over small businesses.

If you’re not making money from your leads yet, start with one of the cheaper alternatives like Swipe Pages before making a big investment.

Unbounce Pros:

  • 100+ AI-powered landing page templates
  • integrates with WordPress, Google Ads, Salesforce, Marketo, and other popular emails, CRM, and analytics tools.A/B split testing
  • dynamic text replacement for SEM campaigns
  • AMP-ready mobile pages
  • fast page load speed times
  • add sticky headers, pop-ups, maps, scripts, and pixels to pages
  • quickly duplicate pages

Unbounce Cons:

  • expensive
  • high learning curve
  • not beginner-friendly
  • features like redirects and integrations are only available on the higher tier plans
  • built-in forms feature has limited options
  • coding skills are required for certain features

Unbounce Price: The Launch plan starts at $90 per month.

 

#3 – Leadpages

Top Landing Page Builders - Leadpages

Do you need a landing page for your one-product online store or a simple way to build your email list? Leadpages is the solution for you.

It’s perfect for digital products like ebooks, presets, or courses.

With integrations like OpenTable, restaurants can use Leadpages for reservations, and online coaches have access to Calendly to process payments for strategy calls.

It is versatile enough to create a wide range of web pages (with templates to boot) and the attractive price point makes Leadpages stand out from less intuitive options, like Mailchimp.

To get your page up and running, select a template and start customizing the look and feel of your landing page. You can add videos, images, and forms. Select pre-styled content blocks from the Sections menu for items like a pricing plan or a standout call-to-action.

Top Landing Page Builders - Leadpages templates

With built-in conversion guidance, Leadpages almost guarantees you’ll create a landing page that will convert visitors into paying customers.

Leadpages Pros:

  • 2.4 seconds page load speed
  • unlimited page publishing
  • 200+ professionally designed templates
  • mobile responsive pages
  • code-free drag and drop functionality
  • built-in lead optimization toolA/B split tests40+ integration
  • slow starting price

Leadpages Cons:

  • A/B testing, online payments, email triggers, and advanced integrations are only available on higher-tier plans
  • low tier support
  • not all templates are free
  • templates can make all sites look the same, which isn’t great for branding

Leadpages Price: $37 per month for a standard plan and $74 for a Pro account.

 

#4 – HubSpot

Top Landing Page Builders - HubSpot

HubSpot is one of the leading tools for digital marketers and salespeople. The platform is an all-in-one solution with CRM management, email marketing, blogging, forms, and a landing page builder.

If you’re searching for comprehensive marketing software on a budget, it doesn’t get better than HubSpot’s Marketing Hub package.

Inside the software, you’ll find HubSpot’s landing page builder. It will help you create beautiful pages that generate leads and look great on any device.

The best part? You don’t need to rely on designers or an IT team to knock it out of the park.

What I love about HubSpot’s landing page builder is the personalization feature. It lets you display different content, CTAs, and forms to improve your conversion rates.

Top Landing Page Builders - HubSpot personalization feature

You can showcase personalized content based on visitors’:

  • location
  • source
  • device
  • lifecycle stage

Why should you care about adding dynamic pages to your repertoire?

Well, when you increase the number of landing pages, you’re likely to see a 55 percent increase in leads.

However, that only happens if visitors get the right information at the right time. HubSpot’s personalization features give you the power to deliver custom content at just the right moment.

HubSpot Pros:

  • built-in library of mobile-optimized templatesA/B split testing
  • personalize content based on CRM data
  • easy-to-use drag and drop landing page builder
  • customized SEO suggestions to improve search performance
  • high-quality customer support

HubSpot Cons:

  • only available as part of the Marketing Hub platform.
  • limited features on lower-tier plans.
  • HubSpot branding on the free plan.

Hubspot Price: Free with paid plans starting at $45 per month.

 

#5 – Wix

Looking for a landing page builder that’s simple, affordable, and converts visitors into email subscribers?

Wix is one of the best options on the market.

Start with a conversion-optimized template (choose from over 30 options). Use the drag-and-drop editor to add or edit any element on your site. With no coding skills required, it’s an easy process that will have your page up and running in no time.

Once your site is live, Wix has a robust analytics tool to optimize your performance. Connect your Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Facebook Pixel, Crazy Egg, or Hotjar to dive deeper into your data, run A/B steps, heatmaps, and gain actionable insights to boost conversions.

The only downside? Wix isn’t the best solution for everyone. The landing page builder targets limited use cases like coming soon pages, webinars, product or app landing pages, and events.

Wix Pros:

  • easy to use
  • beginner-friendly
  • affordable
  • free 30+ templates
  • connects with third-party apps and sites

Wix Cons:

  • limited bandwidth and storage on cheaper plans
  • functionality isn’t as robust as other builders
  • website builder more than a dedicated landing page builder

Wix Price: Plans start at $4.50 per month

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Landing Page Builders

Why should I use a landing page builder?

A landing page builder simplifies your business, and the learning curve is low. In a matter of hours, you can design and publish a high-converting landing page without hiring a development team. The drag-and-drop features and integrations make landing page builders easy to use and accessible to everyone.

Is it easy to use a landing page builder?

Yes! The whole point of landing page builders is to make the process quick and easy, no matter your skill level. Most use drag-and-drop functionality and offer pre-made templates to help you create a high-converting page in less than a day.

Can you create a landing page without a website?

Yes, you can create a landing page without a website. Instead of directing traffic to a website, you can use the page to drive sales, email subscriptions, or any other conversion goal.

How much does it cost to create a landing page?

If you hire a digital agency to create your landing page, it can cost $1000+. However, landing page builders make building a landing page more accessible, with prices ranging from free to as little as $29 per month. It’s one of the most affordable ways to start building an email list and generating sales for small or enterprise businesses.

 

Conclusion: Landing Page Builders

When it comes to an effective digital marketing campaign, landing pages are not the place to scrimp.

They’re the best way to drive tons of targeted, specific conversions.

Without one, your visitors are left to fend for themselves on your site. If you’re bidding on specific keywords, don’t waste your ad spend on directing people to a generic home page and hoping for the best.

A landing page builder makes it easy to create and publish a high-converting landing page.

The best part? It will only take a couple of hours to design and hit publish.

Choose one of the landing page builders above and you’ll be driving more leads in no time.

What’s your favorite landing page builder?

Source: neilpatel.com

Fuel Marketing Transformation with Team Alignment

The Pain Points of Misaligned Teams

Anyone who’s worked on a team knows what it feels like to be part of a team that isn’t aligned, and this can have a real impact on your ability to make strategic improvements. Does this sound familiar?

  • Your organization has invested in and developed strategy after strategy, but none of them are sticking; execution is a real challenge.
  • Teams aren’t working well together and the silos between teams are cementing into territories that are heavily guarded – resource and information sharing is forced, rather than the norm.
  • Leaders keep getting feedback from their teams that they need more headcount to do the work.
  • Team members aren’t bringing their best –  no breakthrough creative ideas, less innovative problem solving, fewer examples of working “above and beyond.”
  • It seems like team members don’t enjoy coming to work – there are complaints that the day-to-day work is frustrating, a total grind, or unmotivating.
  • Teams are experiencing high turnover from people that seemed at least moderately satisfied at work.

I imagine you’re nodding your head and also feeling a growing apprehension about the big plans you have for the coming year.

Fuel Marketing Transformation with Team Alignment

For many of you, a new strategy, campaign, or initiative is on the horizon and success is the only acceptable outcome. You’ve likely tried implementing change in the past with less-than-ideal results.

The issue is likely a mix of individual motivations, team culture, tools, and resource gaps that internal leaders are having difficulty parsing out and addressing.

But there is a better way: when team members actually trust their team, know-how to point out flaws, and learn from each other to co-create the strategy, inevitably objections and silos dissolve, enthusiasm skyrockets and entrepreneurial thinking abounds.

 

Team Alignment is a Predictor of Success

This just in: Leading business researchers have discovered a revolutionary new approach that makes any business more profitable. It reduces costs and increases productivity and profitability. It increases lead quality, pipeline velocity, leads to happier customers, and more repeat business.

Companies using this approach also have more satisfied employees, are willing to work harder (often for less money!), and have higher overall employee retention. It has no hard costs and you can do it internally, with resources you already have. Are you interested?

Any business leader would be negligent not to at least open that link and try to figure out if it was too good to be true.

When they come to realize the research was conducted by Google, Harvard Business School, and dozens of reputable sources consistently since the mid-1990’s you’d expect that they’d be adding this new approach to the very top of their to-do lists and retraining managers to incorporate the findings.

You have the power to control how your story ends

Team alignment, and its the underlying foundation of psychological safety, is not something that should be relegated to HR or written off as “soft skills.”

In almost two decades of writing and overseeing strategic marketing transformations, I can say with confidence that team alignment is the number one indicator of whether a new initiative will succeed or fail.

Unfortunately, it’s also a topic many leaders would rather gloss over when they get ready for a big strategic change – they want action plans, not “warm and fuzzy” team alignment plans. I’ve had pushback more than once from clients who would prefer we “stay in our lane” and just focus on research, metrics, and action plans.

 

Research Shows Aligned Teams Are Critical

Team work

When you ask most business leaders about team alignment and psychological safety, they often point to the HR department, mumble something about the culture, and shrug their shoulders. This is too bad because the research is clear:

  • Companies that successfully align sales and marketing retain 36% more customers, generate 32% higher revenue and achieve 38% higher win rates. (Source: Ascend Ebook)
  • A study of 1,000 professionals across a range of industries found teams with cross-functional collaboration and an openwork style are 60% more likely to achieve more, faster. Plus, they’re 80% more likely to report high emotional well-being. (Source: Ascend2)
  • More than half (54%) of employees say they’re willing to stay at a company longer than what’s in their best interest due to a strong sense of community. (Source: Ascend2)
  • Google’s “Project Aristotle,” explored over 250 team-level variables, found that psychological safety is the most critical factor and a prerequisite to enabling successful teams. (Google, 2015). Team psychological safety is a shared belief that people feel safe about the interpersonal risks that arise concerning their behaviors in a team context (Edmondson, 2018).
  • Despite the importance of psychological safety, only 47% of employees across the world described their workplaces as psychologically safe (Ipsos, 2012).

 

What’s Team Alignment and Psychological Safety?

Team alignment can feel hard to pin down if you’re new to the topic but here’s a simple definition: team alignment is the team’s ability to work together and learn from each other.

Marketing Team

As researchers have tried to study and measure this trait, they have settled on the term “psychological safety” and defined it as having four key domains or areas that can be assessed:

  1. Attitude to risk & failure: does the team see failure as a necessary byproduct of growth and innovation? Or is it punished and avoided at all costs?
  2. Open conversation: do team members feel comfortable expressing concerns and reservations as they work together? Can they learn from one another and hear constructive feedback in the spirit it is intended for?
  3. Willingness to help: Does the team have a spirit of being “in this together” and do they easily pick up slack for the benefit of the whole? Does this shake out fairly or do some team members take advantage of others?
  4. Inclusivity: Does the teamwork hard to ensure all perspectives are represented, even from those who are not always first to speak?

 

Roadmap for Successful Change

Let me give you the shortcut formula to planning your success. Every single business transformation comes down to two simple questions:

  1. What exactly do we need to do differently?
  2. Who is going to do it?

The first item is your strategy, and companies are always paying for more and better strategies. Unfortunately, all too often they completely ignore the second item, assuming that once the WHAT and HOW are clear, the WHO will fall into place.

Team Leader

A plan can be strategically sound, backed by data, and make perfect sense on paper but that doesn’t mean the team will get on board. Considerations like who gets credit, who will benefit from less work or more resources, job security and perception of rank, and how success is measured all inherently affect the buy-in for any new plan.

STEP 1: Strategic Alignment – What exactly do we need to do differently?

  • Define what you’re trying to achieve, clearly, concretely, with metrics.
    • Link the change to a larger organizational vision
    • Specifically define the change: current state, target state, the gap, and what is NOT changing.
    • Identify past lessons learned. What has been tried before and how did it go?

It’s worth noting that most teams are pretty good at step one, but they stop there.

STEP 2: Stakeholder Analysis & Team Alignment – Who is going to do it?

  • Ensure the team agrees on the problem and its urgency
  • Confirm the team believes change is possible in this setting.
  • Ask whether the team has the time, energy, and willingness to change. (Change fatigue is real!)
  • Uncover whether each individual believes they can personally succeed with this change

 

Team Alignment In The Wild

For the last couple of years, Convince & Convert has worked with a large national association ($1.7B in revenue, 38 million members) on a wide variety of marketing initiatives. One change, in particular, was in process when we started working together, and the outcome was anything but certain.

A new project management system was intended to be a centralized place for updates and tracking, intended to increase collaboration, reduce meetings, and allow workloads to be distributed more evenly across the team.

Team Communication

Unfortunately, team adoption of the new tool was low and falling farther – the grumbling was increasing over time. Leaders in charge of its success were struggling to come up with a way forward. Confidential interviews with individual team members uncovered some real and specific challenges, both with the actual tool and how the change was communicated.

Owners of the tool went back to developers to overhaul the tool and improve functionality, and are in the middle of a much more successful rollout with an enthusiastic reception from previously reluctant team members.

 

Setting Up New Norms

In another example, a nationally-recognized, top-50 university we worked with was struggling after some changes to the marketing team organizational chart and reporting structure. Two teams that had previously been independent were combined, but the merger was not a smooth one.

Assessments of the team showed that each smaller team felt psychologically safe to communicate openly. However, when the teams combined to collaborate, that index score went way down. The norms of each smaller team were different.

Team meeting

They needed to be revisited to openly agree on what type of feedback was preferred, how to run meetings, and a number of other patterns that develop almost without noticing but need to be identified, agreed upon and communicated to new team members.

Once new norms were established, the teams were able to work together fluidly and begin finding the synergy that was intended with the original combining of teams.

 

“What’s in it for me?”

It’s important to dig in here and get curious to understand team strengths, weaknesses, passions, and drains. This often means closed-door confidential sessions where team members have a safe space to talk about their ambitions and concerns, what skills they do or don’t possess, and where they might like to grow.

Team motivation-Leaders Can Motivate Their Teams

The effort is not the same for everyone; work to understand perceived effort with perspective taking, empathy, mentoring, coaching.

Smart leaders understand that all change in responsibilities comes with a power shift across a team. When changes are on the horizon, the first question everyone wants to be answered is, “how will this impact me and my job?”

  • Who on the team will have to learn new skills?
  • Whose job might be in jeopardy after the change?
  • What new resources will various team members get? How do I get my share of the pie?
  • Will the extra responsibilities be rewarded fairly?
  • If the new work sounds fun, can I get rid of some old tasks I hate?
    …and dozens more

Answering these questions in advance, equitably, and with your individual skills and goals in mind is the core job of a great manager. Allowing the team to negotiate among themselves, speaking honestly about their strengths and weaknesses, skills they have or want to develop, and how they’d like to see the change unfold is the gold standard.

 

How Does Your Team Rank?

These areas are so critical to navigating change, and more and more of our clients are interested in getting better, not just at the “what should we do to innovate?” question but also understanding the people and motivations that will make or break the strategic plans they’ve laid out.

HomePage (new)

A seven-question assessment that takes under 3 minutes can help teams understand their ability to bring new ideas and challenge each other, essential qualities of a successful organizational change process.

Benchmarking the team’s score and growth over time can provide tangible, actionable goals for managers and teams to work towards. The Convince & Convert team has strategists trained to conduct these assessments and facilitate improved team alignment, and we’d love to help your team on the next stage of your journey.

The post Fuel Marketing Transformation with Team Alignment appeared first on Content Marketing Consulting and Social Media Strategy.

Source: convinceandconvert.com

Why You Should Still Be Using Personalized Marketing to Boost Your Brand

It’s getting harder than ever to connect with buyers and prospects on a personal level.

The good news? It is easier to build real, human connections with your audience if you know what data and strategies to use.

One of the most effective strategies to build a personal connection is personalized marketing.

Why You Should Still Be Using Personalized Marketing to Boost Your Brand

What exactly is personalized marketing, and what are the benefits? (Hint: It’s more than adding “$FNAME” to your email marketing!)

Here is what marketers need to know about personalized marketing.

 

What Is Personalized Marketing?

Personalized marketing is a strategy that uses demographic and behavioral data to create individualized messages for current or prospective customers.

It’s incredibly popular, with research from Statista showing that 78 percent of marketers use personalized marketing in their email marketing alone. Most marketers use the strategy on multiple channels.

analyzing-channel-effectiveness-versus-difficulty

The point of personalized marketing is to understand your customers more and how they like to communicate so you can better engage them in the busy online world.

There are three main categories of personalization: behavioral, contextual, and demographic.

  • Behavioral personalization analyzes customer interactions with your company, such as past purchases or website behavior.
  • Contextual personalization considers where customers are in their journey.
  • Demographic personalization examines demographics like age, gender, race/ethnicity, and household income level.

Companies have used personalized marketing for years to improve engagement rates, but factors like the growth of AI and data analytics are making it easier than ever for even smaller companies to get on board.

Personalized marketing is also one of the best ways to engage customers between channels and send more relevant marketing messages.

 

Different Types of Personalized Marketing

Before we dig into all the benefits of personalized marketing, it’s worth looking at the different types of personalization. Keep in mind that different approaches might be more effective based on your audience, industry, and business model.

There are four main types of personalized marketing. Let’s look at them one by one.

Segmentation

This is a technique marketers use to divide their list into smaller groups or segments.

Segmentation helps brands to understand their customers better and target their products accordingly.

You can implement email segmentation by analyzing the customer data and behavior over various channels to deliver the content and style most valuable to your buyers/prospects.

You can also use segmentation to identify where the customer is in their journey or to encourage sales.

An example of email segmentation in action is Sephora.

Different Types of Personalized Marketing - Segmentation

The beauty brand sends out segmented emails to remind customers to restock on items they’re likely running low on. Sephora’s approach nudges buyers into heading over to its site and getting the product.

Further, Sephora makes it almost effortless for customers to repurchase; they’ve just got to click on the message and it takes them right to the item.

Segmentation can also be used to deliver personalized content, lead magnets, paid ads, etc. Essentially, the goal is to separate your audience into segments and deliver more relevant messages.

Personalized Emails

A personalized marketing email is an email that aims to address the personal needs of a recipient the company has had some kind of previous interaction with.

Companies send personalized emails to buyers or to prospects who have shown an interest in certain products. Typically, these emails go further than addressing the customer by name. For example:

  • they personalize subject lines
  • companies send them to welcome new customers and acknowledge orders
  • they target consumers who’ve abandoned carts

For further personalization, businesses can use their data and track consumers’ behavior to tailor the emails and increase the chances of a purchase.

A popular use for such messaging is product recommendations, like this one from Groupon, which focuses on pampering experiences a customer may appreciate.

Different Types of Personalized Marketing - Personalized Emails

Dynamic Websites

Dynamic websites are a form of web design that relies on real-time data to provide a personalized experience.

Most often, businesses use them to create engaging customer experiences in a way that is more meaningful and personal to the individual.

An example is dynamically adjusting a webpage to display specific categories or products first.

Travel companies might also use dynamic websites to adjust their homepage to focus on the city a visitor has researched:

Different Types of Personalized Marketing - Dynamic Websites

The homepage to the left is the site’s standard homepage, while the right side shows to a visitor who has researched flights to Dubai.

 

One-to-One Personalized Marketing

One-to-one personalized marketing is all about reaching out to a customer. It’s more than just sending emails to the same group of people: It’s about creating tailored content for each individual.

This approach takes personalized marketing to a new level and puts the focus on data, like:

  • demographics
  • geographical locations
  • devices they’re using (Smartphone, laptop, etc.)
  • past purchases

Businesses then use all this info to make specialized discounts like the one below or offer other incentives to get a prospect over the sales line.

Different Types of Personalized Marketing - One-One Personalized Marketing

Product Recommendations

We’ve all seen the emails or ads you get after you’ve purchased a product or used a service from a company.

For instance, when you buy or search for something on Amazon, you get messages like “more top picks for you,” “your browsing history,” or “keep shopping for.”

Like one-to-one personalized marketing, product recommendations use behavioral data, such as purchase and search history, to deliver personalized recommendations.

behavioral marketing

For example, a razor company might see you purchased a razor a few weeks ago and recommend a shaving cream.

 

What Are the Benefits of Personalized Marketing?

One of the main benefits of personalized marketing is that it is more affordable. Messages are more direct, which means you spend far less time (and money) targeting users that aren’t likely to convert.

However, that’s not the only benefit.

Customers Prefer Personalized Messages

According to a report by Smarter HQ, 90 percent of consumers are willing to share personal data for an easier or cheaper brand experience.

An Epsilon survey found 80 percent of consumers are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences—and 90 percent say they find personalization appealing.

Buyers like brands to treat them as individuals and respond to their pain points. Personalized marketing does that, and tailored campaigns and follow-up emails make your customers feel valued and appreciated.

Most Effective Tactics

 

Better Understand Your Customers

You already know how to gather information like demographic data, search and purchase history, and social media activity.

However, AI and marketing automation technologies enable marketers to gain an even better understanding of who their customers are and what they need. For example, you might find that high-revenue customers prefer a specific channel, like email.

Digging into the data for personalization gives you more insights into who your customers are, what they want, and what will drive them to make a purchase.

That data can be used to improve other marketing strategies, inform rebranding, and much more.

 

Improve ROI of Marketing Efforts

Personalized marketing is a simple way to improve your overall marketing ROI by providing what the user wants.

In fact, personalized marketing can reduce acquisition costs by as much as 50 percent.

Here’s more proof: HubSpot found personalized CTAs perform 202 percent better than basic CTAs.

Additionally, it’s a way to build customer loyalty and brand recognition while reducing your acquisition costs.

Improving your ROI starts with your data to produce accurate customer profiles to create relevant content and offers for them.

A great example of this is McDonald’s.

The fast-food giant took things a step further than most by acquiring AI firm Dynamic Yield to personalize digital menus. Later, Mastercard purchased Dynamic Yield from McDonald’s to further improve their customer experience.

As Raj Seshadri, President of Data & Services, Mastercard, puts it:

The notion of going into a store or opening a webpage to find an experience perfectly tailored to you is no longer farfetched. It’s a reality that more brands are deploying and more consumers expect.

While most of us don’t have McDonald’s or Mastercard’s budget, you can still use personalized marketing to get results by relying on data from first-party tools that track users on your site or tools like HubSpot.

Increase Customer Engagement

Every company strives for more customer engagement, and personalized marketing helps you get there. It all begins with understanding your customer base in terms of demographic, psychographic, and behavioral data and tailoring efforts for each individual.

In practice, that means:

  • knowing your customers’ expectations
  • taking an omnichannel approach
  • analyzing your data

That data can be used to speak directly to users on their preferred platforms about the topics important to them.

When you succeed at customer engagement, the rewards are priceless: Loyalty improves, revenues increase, and your business grows along with consumer trust.

Improve Customer Retention

Personalization makes it easier to identify your customers’ needs and provide them with solutions that will solve them—and that increases retention.

As a McKinsey report explains, when brands use customization correctly, they do more than just survive; they thrive.

60% of shoppers would be repeat buyers after a personalized experience

Plus, 60 percent of customers say they’re likely to repeat if a brand offers personalized interactions.

With numerous personal touchpoints at each stage of the customer journey, sales increase, and customers stay loyal.

That’s a win for your customer and your brand.

Enhance Email Open Rates

Email open rates are the metric most email marketers focus on, and with good reason: if your list isn’t opening your emails, you’re not making any money.

There are many ways to improve your email open rates, such as:

  • personalize your email content through segmentation adjust your content so it’s relevant to the readers
  • send emails at the right time of the day
  • adjust your CTAs to be more appealing

By using personalized marketing methods, you can increase your email open rates dramatically.

However, it’s more than ensuring you have your customer’s name in the subject line. It’s also about providing personalized discounts while creating headlines, snippets, and content that connects with them personally.

When you do this, customers feel like you understand them and what they want.

 

Personalized Marketing Frequently Asked Questions

What are examples of personalized marketing?

Personalized marketing examples include a dynamic website that adjusts content based on user behavior or product recommendations that are generated based on past purchases.

How do I get data to use for personalized marketing?

The most common way to get information for personalized marketing is through your existing customer data from social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Alternatively, you can use third-party tools like Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, or Marketo to aggregate customer data from different sources.

What tools can I use to personalize my marketing?

Tools to help with marketing personalization include HubSpot, OptinMonster, and Evergage. Here’s a full list of tools to consider.

Why is personalized marketing important?

Personalized marketing is imperative because it improves customer engagement and generates higher conversion rates. It also provides a better customer experience and develops deeper relationships with your audience.

Conclusions: Personalized Marketing

Personalized marketing is a powerful tool for marketers and business owners. It has an increased ROI and leads to higher conversion rates.

A personalized marketing campaign also increases customer loyalty by creating that personal connection with them, which makes them feel valued and appreciated.

toms-shoes-homepage

By focusing on what is most relevant to the individual, there is a higher chance of them making a purchase than by only sending an email packed with generic information that doesn’t apply.

Although personalized marketing may be time-consuming, it’s well worth the effort to grow your business.

Do you use personalized marketing? How has it transformed your business?

Source: neilpatel.com

How to Align Your SEO and Sales Teams

Have you figured out your marketing strategy for 2022 yet?

Here’s a great idea for you: Embrace collaborative marketing. Aligning your different teams is likely to open up many new opportunities for your business.

According to the recent research by Convince and Convert and Ascend2, 50% of marketers claim that integrating marketing and sales teams has proved to be very successful at achieving strategic goals.

How to Align Your SEO and Sales Teams

This is huge.

Here’s how to align two of your most isolated teams: Sales and SEO.

 

Foster Content Marketing Collaboration

All marketing is driven by content and that includes SEO and sales. For both teams, content is fundamental. Without content, there are no rankings or sales:

  • Google relies on content to identify if a page is relevant to a search query and if it satisfies a searcher’s intent. Relevancy and search intent are two key ranking signals.
  • In sales, content is the most important driving force behind buyers’ journey. Content can directly impact purchasing decisions, as many studies confirm.

According to Forbes, more than 60% of B2B buyers say they are able to make their purchase decision exclusively based on digital content, without talking to sales reps or going through demos.

So why is there such a huge disconnect between SEO and sales content? Why do these two content strategies often exist separately without informing or helping each other?

“Content is King” has long been a marketing buzz phrase, especially in the B2B industry. However content is only King if it enables sales.

Too often there’s a discrepancy between those producing content and organizational teams who are trying to leverage it.

The resulting problem is two-fold:

  • Sales reps lack the right content they can use to effectively engage with prospects
  • SEO content creators lack sales reps’ insight which would enable them to create content that addresses the real struggles of their target audience.

 

Ways to Integrate SEO and Sales

Content can be the driving source for removing your organizational silos and encouraging cross-team collaboration.

psychologist blot experiment

How can SEO and content marketing teams collaborate on creating an integrated content strategy?

  • Encourage the two teams to brainstorm on content ideas together
  • Let the customer support and sales teams keep a shareable record of questions your actual customers are asking them. Any of those can and should be content ideas for the SEO team to research in terms of demand (search volume) and difficulty.
  • Foster creativity from both of the teams: What are their thoughts on content promotion opportunities.
  • Do they have any viral content ideas?
  • Let both the teams explore further opportunities. For example, let your SEO team figure out ways to reuse sales enablement content for ESP purposes. Many of those sales demos can be used as public content that can target all kinds of long-tail ranking opportunities.

 

Help Them Understand Your Customers Better

When you work on traffic numbers all day, it is too easy to forget that there are real people behind those numbers.

Both SEO and sales team have unique access to valuable insights on who is your business’s target customer and how to serve them better:

  • Sales teams talk to your current and future customers on a daily basis. They know their struggles and what they are looking to solve. Sharing this information with the SEO team will empower your SEO strategy with more data your competitors have no access to.
  • Your SEO team knows exactly what your customers are searching for and which questions they are asking. They know the demand behind each search term and they can report on how your competitors are targeting each search query.

Text Optimizer allows you to better understand concepts behind any search query and help you find the ways to meet your customers’ needs easier:

Text Optimizer query

 

Share Your Web Analytics Insights

Let the SEO team share their web analytics insights: What are the effective paths that bring those leads through the site down the conversion funnel? What works best in terms of engaging your site visitors and turning them into leads?

All of that information will help your sales team focus on what works best and nail their lead generation and onboarding strategy.

Encourage your SEO team to create custom analytics dashboards and hold regular meetings to give. This will give your sales team access to web analytics data they can understand.

Google Analytics is the first option that comes to mind. But there are also web traffic statistics solutions offered by your hosting provider, as well as many Google Analytics alternatives.

Whatagraph is an easy way to create custom reports that are delivered weekly and are very easy to understand even for a non-technical person:

Whatagraph

You can also integrate your web analytics into your website dashboard using these templates to let your whole company access it at any time.

 

Open up More Business Opportunities

The cross-team collaboration will likely discover more unexpected opportunities for you and your business. For example, letting your sales team access your SEO data may help them identify industry gaps and define your product’s unique value proposition.

You can also discover new product or service opportunities. For example, this SEO lead generation tool can help you expand your services pretty easily.

Widgets like this help integrate SEO into the sales process in the most efficient way.

webceo

 

Conclusion

The power of cross-team collaboration is almost limitless. SEO and Sales collaboration can give you that competitive advantage your business needs. By combining numbers with actual sales experience, you can empower both teams.

Learning which keywords a website ranks for using Google Search Console

The concept of unified communications has become even more important for business survival after COVID hit and many teams moved to work from home.

Unified Communications

Finding more ways to let your (remote) teams keep in touch and collaborate is more important than ever.

Hopefully, the above ideas would come useful!

The post How to Align Your SEO and Sales Teams appeared first on Content Marketing Consulting and Social Media Strategy.

Source: convinceandconvert.com