Monthly archives: June 2012

5 Strategies To Help You Dominate Social Media [Infographic]

Social media continues to play a large role in many B2B and B2C marketing strategies. As a marketer, if you have a strong presence for your brand on the top three social networks (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube), then you’re definitely heading the right direction. If you’re just starting out and trying to find a way to build awareness on social media then you may find Awareness, Inc.‘s new whitepaper useful. The whitepaper illustrates five strategies you can use to help dominate the big three social networks.

The five best practices for marketers are:

  • Improve your social reach
  • Increase your fan engagement
  • Identify and engage influencers
  • Increase lead generation
  • Apply analytics to know what works

The infographic defines these best practices in more detail and provides some great tips and examples we can learn from:

Big3AwarenessMedium 5 Strategies To Help You Dominate Social Media [Infographic]

All images and data courtesy of Awareness, Inc.

 5 Strategies To Help You Dominate Social Media [Infographic]
Posted in Online Marketing, Social Media | 2 Comments

4 Ways to Integrate Mobile Into The Marketing Mix

Mobile commerce has exploded this year, and the year is not even over yet! ComScore reported a 47% increase in smartphone users between March 2011 and March 2012. What does this mean for marketing? Mobile has created another channel that enables marketers to attract users instantaneously. Not only can mobile be used to promote special offers, it can also expand your customer base, promote brand awareness and introduce new products.  Here are some ways mobile can be integrated into your marketing mix:

SMS/Text Messaging

Text messaging is a great way to reach customers with special offers, with or without a phone number. Using other marketing channels, you can encourage customers to engage with your brand by texting a six digit number to a short code.  This is a great way to build a mobile marketing list that you can reach out to later for a more targeted message. Redbox has adopted this model with their Text Club program. Once customers opt-in, they receive a free movie rental promo code a month. They’ll also be able to hear about member only specials and other freebies.

redbox text club 4 Ways to Integrate Mobile Into The Marketing Mix

Key Best Practices: Always get permission before starting a SMS campaign and promote urgency to encourage instant reaction from customers.

QRCodes

QR codes allow marketers to engage with buyers through traditional forms of media.  Mediapost reported that mobile barcode scanning was up 157% during the first quarter of 2012.  Since the smartphone market has seen enormous growth, it is safe to assume that more consumers will engage with campaigns that use QR codes.

Heinz tested QR codes when they placed them on ketchup bottles in various US restaurants to promote their environmentally friendly packaging. The campaign allowed customers to win prizes by answering trivia questions on a mobile optimized site.

 4 Ways to Integrate Mobile Into The Marketing Mix

It was later reported that more than one million customers scanned the QR codes on the bottles. This QR code campaign encouraged engagement on a mass consumer product, and with success!

Key Best Practice: Make sure that all parts of the campaign are optimized for mobile. If a customer can’t easily view the content from their smartphone, they won’t be engaged and will drop off instantly – creating a poor customer experience.

Location Based Services

Imagine if you walk into your favorite retail store and you receive a coupon or discount code on your phone to use during your visit.  Does this seem like an invasion of privacy or are you willing to receive the offers once you’ve officially opted in? This is a form of location based marketing, known as Geofencing.

foursquare 4 Ways to Integrate Mobile Into The Marketing Mix

Foursquare and Gowalla offer check-in services through an initial app download, which is the most common use of location-based advertising. On the other hand, Geofencing reaches out to the customer and all they have to do is click on the opportunity. While there are concerns of being followed, as mobile technology continues to expand, location tracking may become synonymous with phone numbers.

Key Best Practices: Go where your customers are and give incentives for customer engagement using location based services. Monitor performance to measure success as well.

Mobile Search Display Ads

In 2011, mobile search display ad revenue reached $1.5 billion. As tablets and apps are reinventing the mobile space, companies big and small can take advantage of mobile search to reach potential customers on the go. Using Google’s mobile ad network, Starwood Hotels & Resorts invested in mobile paid search and saw great results:

  • 20x increase in mobile paid search ROI
  • Mobile booking growth of 20% month on month
  • 200% increase in mobile traffic

starwoodhotelsmobileads 4 Ways to Integrate Mobile Into The Marketing Mix

Mobile search is a new frontier with a different and more focused customer looking for instant information. Companies can utilize this medium to reach customers, whether they are B2B or B2C.

Key Best Practices: Utilize targeting, send to a mobile optimized landing page and monitor performance to track, test and learn.

These are some tips to help you think about ways to integrate mobile into the marketing mix. Do you have some tips to add? Share them below!

 4 Ways to Integrate Mobile Into The Marketing Mix
Posted in Mobile Marketing | Leave a comment

Preferred Methods of Customer Service [Research]

91% of respondents aware of Facebook as a customer service tool

Have you ever left a comment, complaint or suggestion on a company’s Facebook page or Twitter feed? Customers are doing this more than ever before. Social media has opened another avenue of customer service that never existed before. Beyond social media, there are of course other options, such as email, calling or writing a letter (yes, people still do this). As types of communication evolve, so will customer expectations. Emarketer reported findings of a recent survey which showed the different types of methods customers prefer or have used to provide feedback to companies:

Social Media Customer Support User Preference April 2012 Preferred Methods of Customer Service [Research]

In total, social media made up 51%, which isn’t surprising to me. But I was surprised by the high number of customers who prefer writing letters. It was reported that 27% of those who used social media said they were happy to get a response from a company.

When breaking down this data, there’s a correlation between communication type and age group. The data showed that younger customers had a higher preference for feedback on social networks, while older customers preferred direct contact with companies.

Preferred method of contacting or providing feedback to companies by age group Preferred Methods of Customer Service [Research]

Taking all this information into consideration, it’s important that companies embrace customer service on all social networks (but not forget other channels of course). Companies need to be more proactive in how they respond so customer satisfaction rises. The ultimate goal is to increase customer loyalty and word of mouth about your brand…isn’t it?

 Preferred Methods of Customer Service [Research]
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6 Social Media Personas [Infographic]

Content marketing plays a large role in the lives of social media marketers today. One of the ways to keep content relevant, reliable and authentic is to define personas of the different types of customers or readers you’re trying to reach. As we know, finding personas are not easy within the social media space. To help with this problem, Aimia, a global loyalty management company, has conducted a study to understand where and why consumers engage with social media. The detailed study can be found here (I definitely recommend it).

Aimia’s research identified six distinct social media personas, that were defined by behavioral variables. They are:

  • No Shows: 41% – low engagement and trust.
  • New Comers: 15% – passive users in limited social networks.
  • On Lookers: 16% – lurkers but post infrequently.
  • Cliquers: 6% – active, yet single social network users.
  • Mix and Minglers: 19% – active on multiple social networks, like to follow brands.
  • Sparks: 3% – very active and deeply engaged users on social networks.

The infographic below defines the study and personas in more detail (click to view larger):

Aimia six social media personas 6 Social Media Personas [Infographic]

 All images and data courtesy of Aimia.

 6 Social Media Personas [Infographic]
Posted in Online Marketing, Social Media | Leave a comment

Millennials: Key Marketing Insights

Millennials, the generation born between 1980 and 2001 have emerged as a distinct and interesting generation in comparison to their boomer parents (I fall into all categories as well!). It is projected that by 2017, millennials will have more spending power than any other generation. Coined as a very connected generation, they embrace technology and shop a whole new way.  This generation is curious and often rely on social channels for information.

The trends described below are based on recent research from The Center for Generational Kinetics, Bazaarvoice and Kelton Research, titled, Talking to Strangers: Millennials Trust People over Brands. These trends are critical for marketers and companies who are trying to find ways to understand and reach millennials.

Prefer User Generated Content

While this may not come as a surprise, most people go online to research products before they purchase. Many of these potential customers search for user generated to help during the decision process. Of these customers, millennials largely depend on this information:

Millennials UGC Millennials: Key Marketing Insights

The study found that 84% of millennials reported that user generated content has an influence on their buying decisions.  Key Takeaway: Encourage your customers to share and start the conversation about your brand or products via different marketing channels.

Trust Anonymous Consumers

51% of Millennials say that consumer opinions on a company’s website have a greater impact on their purchase decisions than opinions from friends and family. Many may not even buy if there is no input on items they’re interested in purchasing. They’re also three times more likely to turn to social to get input on the selected product. Key Takeaway: Firstly, you should always track what others are saying about your brand and products across the web, secondly you should encourage your customers to leave comments and share reviews.

Millennials Feedback From Strangers Millennials: Key Marketing Insights

Embrace Sharing

As brands in an age of tech savvy customers, companies need to understand that the new generation wants to engage with brands, even if they don’t have good experiences with the products. 71% of Millennials continue to share their opinions because they feel other consumers value those opinions.

Millennials sharing Millennials: Key Marketing Insights

Key Takeaway: Listen! Many consumers believe companies don’t really take feedback seriously, so as a listener, you should break that assumption and really care about what your customers are saying about you. Also, never delete negative comments – customers want raw and real comments from other consumers.

Do you have any suggestions on marketing to millennials?

All images courtesy of: Talking to Strangers: Millennials Trust People over Brands.

Posted in Creative Marketing, Online Marketing | Leave a comment

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