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Snapchat, Periscope, Imgur and Yummly: 4 New Ways Brands Can Market to Their Customers

Posted by Liz Papagni in Content Marketing, Marketing Strategy | 0 comments

Using Social Media to Reach Your Customers It’s getting harder and harder to reach your audience on cluttered apps and social media sites like Facebook, especially without big advertising budgets. So what’s a marketer to do? The first step is to know your target customers well. Where are they online? What type of content engages them? Where do your current traffic and conversions come from? Answer these questions to develop the best strategy for investing in a new way to communicate with your customers. We’re sharing the latest (and most promising) channels and tools to consider and offering insight on what brands should jump in on the ground floor.

SnapChat

Snapchat is a messaging application for sharing moments between friends or groups. Users can take a photo or a video, add a caption or graphic, and send it to their contacts. Unless users take a screenshot, snaps can only be viewed for a few seconds before they disappear. If your target audience is 13-34 year olds (especially 18-24), we recommend downloading Snapchat to explore. The app has more than 100 million daily active users, and SnapChat claims that 60% of America’s 13-34 year old smartphone users are also Snapchatters. The app also recently launched a “Discover” feature to showcase content from traditional news and media and brand advertisers. Brands winning on Snapchat include Nissan, GrubHub and Taco Bell. Popular tactics are product launches and previews, exclusive offers and discounts, contests and promotions and branded Snaps users can share with friends.

Periscope

Periscope is a new video streaming, live broadcast platform owned by Twitter. And they’ve racked up 10 million users in just four months.  Live posts are shared via a link on Twitter and also featured in users’ feeds. Because Periscope is so new, they’ve yet to release user demographics, but it’s safe to say that if your brand has success on Twitter and/or You Tube, Periscope could be a valuable addition to your social media strategy. Brands currently active on Periscope include Red Bull, Spotify and even General Electric. Celebrities like Jimmy Fallon and Ellen DeGeneres are also early adopters. Brand tactics that resonate with Periscope users include expert Q&As, product reviews, how-tos, live streamed events and behind the scenes footage.

Imgur

Imgur is an image-sharing platform that originates many of the photos and memes shared everyday on Reddit, Digg and social media. The site averaged 31 million users a month in early 2015, and is now testing a new native ad product for brands. Despite the huge user base, the site isn’t as well known as Reddit and not in most marketing plans yet. If your target customer is a male teen or millennial and your brand is comfortable with content that is irreverent, humorous and not always family-friendly, you may want to consider getting in on the ground floor. Tactically, Imgur is a great place to inspire user generated content for your brand and visually share your brand story.

Yummly

Yummly is a web site and free smartphone app that provides recipe recommendations and search, storage and sharing for users. They boast more than 10 million monthly unique visitors, with more than 60% coming from mobile. This site is our top recommendation for food, entertaining and kitchen product brands with a prime target of women aged 25-45. Yummly offers great value for brands and advertisers, from custom brand profiles and landing pages to an organized blogger ambassador program. Brands currently publishing on Yummly include Velveeta, Country Crock, Yoplait, Miracle-Gro, Silk Soymilk, Breyers and more. Tactics that resonate on Yummly include programs to inspire user recipes and reviews, influencer content, coupons and promotions. If you have questions on what new digital and social platforms are perfect for your brand content, We'd love to steer you in the right direction. And if you’ve found early success on one of these channels, please share in the comments below.

Taking Marketing Back to Its Roots

Posted by Liz Papagni in Content Marketing, Marketing Strategy | 0 comments

The world of marketing is a fast-moving, ever-changing one. It’s exciting, but it can also be perplexing at times. “Why are advertising, sales, and marketing different things?” you might ask. “Why can’t I just create an outstanding ad that will surely appeal to the masses?” If modern marketing options leave you scratching your head, you are not alone. But fear not! I’m here to reassure you that while the way we market has changed, the reason why we market has not.

Marketing at its Core

Not so long ago, marketing was a pretty straightforward thing. You figured out your target audience; did your research; created an advertising plan that probably consisted of print, radio, and maybe television; and measured your results. These days, things seem a lot more complicated than that, but they’re really not so different. I will agree that planning and executing a marketing initiative can be pretty confusing. There are so many options today, and the more you research, the deeper you go, the more involved things become. But it all boils down to one thing - It always has been and always will be about getting to know your client, not selling yourself outright.

It’s All About the Client

At its roots, marketing’s purpose is still the same. The American Marketing Association defines it as “the process for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for clients, partners, and society at large.” Notice that you don’t see words like advertise, promote, or sell in this definition. It suggests that the winner here is not the marketer, but the client. That, my friends, is what marketing is all about, building and nurturing a relationship. Giving the client tools and ideas for their success. When you scratch their back, they’ll eventually scratch yours.

Knowledge at Your Literal Fingertips

We live in a world where we have instant access to endless knowledge. Type a keyword into Google, ask Siri a question, and you get a response in mere seconds. It’s pretty amazing. Websites, social media, email, blogs, metrics…it can be enough to make your head spin! The Internet has changed how we market and how people receive and interact with brand information. I’ve even seen suggestions that marketing is dead. Really? What’s dying are the old, inflexible marketing systems and channels that are too rigid, take too long to measure, and are simply not cost effective. “Permission marketing” is the modern way. It’s the idea that consumers are more open to messages when they invite the marketer to interact with them, rather than being attacked from all sides with things like pop-up ads, disruptive commercials, and cold calls.

That Whole Relationship Thing

We’ve talked about this before, but I can’t say it enough. Marketing is all about courting your clients. Making a sale is like signing a marriage contract. You wouldn’t marry someone without dating them first, right? It’s the same with marketing. You have to establish a trusting relationship with potential clients and make them aware of the value you bring to your partnership. How can a company survive without continually building relationships and feeding the pipeline? I guess if the company doesn’t rely on revenue streams it could…but is there such a company? I think not. Marketing is a vital function of any company, and it always will be. It is a matter of maximizing your budget, targeting your right-fit client, and utilizing those channels where your potential clients reside. Build your unique strategy, plan it, execute well, measure, refine and repeat. Marketing may have many faces that change regularly and swiftly, but its soul is always the same. Get to know your client. Inspire trust. Establish a lasting relationship. Nurture that relationship, and that client will remain loyal. If you need help sorting through the options available to you, let’s chat. I’d love to help you simplify your marketing and get results!

Marketing: The Spark That Ignites Your Sales

Posted by Liz Papagni in Content Marketing, Marketing Strategy | 0 comments

Marketing Increases SalesImage Source

Sales and marketing might sound like two similar things, and while they’re certainly related, they each have their own approaches and goals when it comes to garnering leads and closing deals. Sure, they’ve worked fine as separate teams for as long as they’ve been around, but when sales and marketing put their heads together, the results can be phenomenal.

Sales + Marketing = Smarketing

According to HubSpot, smarketing is the “alignment between your sales and marketing teams created through frequent and direct communication between the two.” Goals can be reached in a much quicker, more efficient manner through smarketing. Traditionally, the world of sales without marketing has been somewhat disruptive. Approaches like cold-calling and unsolicited ads are basically shots in the dark. You can fire all you want to, but you’re never guaranteed to hit your target audience. This is where marketing proves its value. Whereas sales are focused on numbers and end goals, marketing concentrates on the journey toward that end goal.

A Common Language

In order to align sales and marketing properly, you’ll need to create a common language between the two. For example, the sales funnel has been used for decades to measure stages of buyer readiness (leads, prospects, and customers). The marketing equivalent to the sales funnel is known as the buyer’s journey (awareness, consideration, decision). Even though these two tools use different metrics, they actually align pretty well. Basically, leads are in the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey. Marketing helps turn them into prospects by identifying their point of pain and providing valuable content. Prospects move into the consideration stage, where you can market to them by offering free resources and showing them what your brand does. Once they’ve decided how to solve their problem, prospects move into the decision stage and become customers.

Sales Without Marketing is Like Proposing Marriage on the First Date

Any good relationship requires a courting period. Think of marketing as dating and sales as marriage. The best way to develop a relationship with a lead is to offer relevant content like educational blogs and how-to guides. This allows you to take a cold lead’s hand and guide them through the sales process in a gentle way, reading their level of engagement to determine where they are in the buying process and responding in kind by presenting the right information. Sticking with the lead throughout the journey means you will be top of mind when they’re ready to become a customer. In keeping with the courting analogy, dating is even important after marriage. “Date” your customer by continuing to provide educational content and offers. This will help you nurture that relationship past the point of sale, letting the buyer know that you’re there for them and ready to help with whatever post-sale needs they might have. Marketing builds brand awareness by identifying a lead’s point of pain and educating them through valuable content that helps them solve a problem. As thought leader and bestselling author Seth Godin says, “Selling to people who actually want to hear from you is more effective than interrupting strangers who don’t.” After all, who doesn’t want to hear from someone who’s offering to help?  

How to Market to Each Stage of the Buyer’s Journey

Posted by Liz Papagni in Content Marketing, Marketing Strategy | 0 comments

marketing buyer's journey

In the digital age, remarkable, relevant content is the key to attracting customers. You know this. But do you know how to tailor that content to fit into each stage of the buyer's journey?

The fact that content is king has no doubt been pounded into your head and left a lasting impression. It’s true, though. Buyers actually experience the majority of the sales cycle through web content. That means they’re more than halfway through a decision to buy before they even speak to a salesperson. This means you need to intercept them early on to influence that decision. Creating that content can sometimes be trickier than it sounds. How do you know what kind of content your prospective buyer is looking for? This is where the buyer’s journey comes in. “Too many companies’ landing pages are still collecting too much information at the early stages of a relationship,” says Lori Wizdo. Buyers at each stage have different needs. Too much bragging about your product early on can chase them away.

The Buyer's Journey

Think of the buyer’s journey as a bridge that connects a prospect's initial search to you and your brand. Now split that bridge up into three parts:
  • The awareness stage
  • The consideration stage
  • The decision stage
To guide the buyer across, you have to tailor your content to each stage. But how do you know what content to supply at each point? Let’s take a look at what buyers expect to find while crossing that bridge.

The Awareness Stage

It all starts with a simple search. In the first stage of the buyer's journey, the buyer is experiencing some sort of problem, but they can’t quite put a name on it. They don’t want to talk to a salesperson; they just want to do a little research on their own. In the awareness stage, the buyer couldn’t care less about your brand. It sounds harsh, but that’s the reality of marketing. Take a bit of advice from the movie Field of Dreams. “If you build it, they will come.” This doesn’t mean you can just slap any ol’ content up on your site and wait for the buyers to flock to you. You have to be objective in their eyes. Don’t approach buyers with your brand in mind, but with their needs in mind. The goal here is to educate buyers about a problem they’re looking to understand. To do this, you can provide free materials like expert guides, tip sheets, eBooks, and checklists. Sources like these grab buyers’ attention and makes them aware of your brand. It shows them that you understand their problem and know exactly how to help.

The Consideration Stage

Thanks to your educational content, the buyer is now able to define their problem. They know exactly what solution or opportunity they need. They’ve crossed over into the consideration stage. Now that the buyer is aware of your brand, they’re more willing to hear about what you can do for them. It’s time to show them that you really know your stuff. The question is this: How do you address that buyer’s needs without selling yourself too hard? Through things like free samples, webinars, and case studies. Have the buyer enter their email address to access that information. Then you can turn them from a prospect into a lead. Include them in email marketing and newsletters to further familiarize them with your brand. If the content you provide is helpful and relevant, those leads will keep you in mind as they enter the next stage of their journey.

The Decision Stage

This is the final stage of the buyer's journey. In the decision stage, buyers are ready to, well, buy! This is where it all pays off. By this point, the buyer has a taste of how your products or services can solve their problem. What they need now are reasons why your solutions are their best bet. Show them why with content like comparison guides and product literature. Free trials, demos, estimates, and coupons for your product are also great ways to earn buyers’ trust and show them exactly what you can do for them. Have you tried to align your content with the buyer’s journey? If you still aren’t sure how to traverse that bridge, give us a call! We’d love to help.