Digital Trends 2019 – Data is key to creating greater customer experiences

This presentation from Sean Donnelly and Jamie Brighton will focus on the most significant digital trends 2019 that are driving marketing and customer experience strategy.

Digital Trends 2019: Data is key to creating greater customer experiences

Hi, my name is Sean Donnelly. I’m a consultant and senior analyst at e-consultancy, where independent providers of research train in best practice. I am here to introduce you to a topic that is on the minds of all marketers.

Presently, I am going to talk to you about technology and marketing trends.

We have been working very closely with Adobe to reach out to the marketing community, in order to:

  • ask them what kind of things they identify as opportunities,
  • what they see as challenges and so on.

This gives us a very unique perspective to identify the operational reality in terms of marketers’ findings.

So, we have done a survey of 12 500 marketers, techies and so on. It’s actually the largest global survey of its kind. We also accompany that with a series of qualitative interviews to draw additional insights.

Agenda:

  • State of customer experience strategy

  • Importance of customer data

  • Control of customer data: compliance and walled gardens

  • State of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

PRESENTATION N°1: Sean Donnelly

Just for clarification, we will define customer experience as being the sum of all the interactions a customer has with a brand, and their emotional reactions to those interactions.

1. The accelerated loyalty journey

Importantly, first-class personalised customer experience is really important for sustainability.

So, marketers might remember the 4 ‘P’s: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. But this old model changed. Somewhere along the lines, marketing became very much just about promotion. Promotion isn’t good enough. We need to think about the wider customer experience journey across Google, Social Media…

the accelerated loyalty journey

Clearly, this really expands the role of marketing beyond driving intention to purchase. If you can get a customer to advocate for your brand online, you may be able to deliver him to this loyalty loop for ongoing relations with you.

Now, customer service is increasingly focused and accompanied by technology and data.

Therefore, evaluate if your marketing technology infrastructure is fit for purpose. The technology platform is viewed as the engine room that drives customer experiences and marketing activities. Whereas, the data is the oil that lubricates and empowers this increasingly sophisticated machinery.

2. Data is the new everything

Likewise, a big part of the marketing is the ability to understand and utilise data. As such, data skills are becoming increasingly integral. Marketing continues to transition from being an analogue activity to a digital activity with real-time data analysis.

a) Data and measurement

We can see that data serves 3 primary functions:

  • Customer insight
  • Tactic evaluation
  • Demonstrate value of marketing activities.

We have asked marketers to draw out what they are interested in and what they see as important.

b) The most exciting opportunities in 2019

  • Data-driven marketing that focuses on the individual
  • Optimising the customer experience
  • Creating compelling content for digital experiences.

3. Customer journey management holds the key to personalisation

a) Top digital priorities in 2019

Digital Trends 2019 – Data is key to creating greater customer experiences

There are 4 top priorities which are as follow:

  • Customer Journey Management: key requirement for data informed customer experiences
  • Targeting and Personalisation: right message, right place, right time
  • Content Marketing: continuing importance of creativity and design
  • Customer Data Management (CMS): convert data into knowledge.

Now, to achieve all this requires a highly integrated technology stack. So, the key  is to have a more unified approach to marketing channels.

Example: Unilever increases investment in marketers as it shifts from ‘big ad campaigns’ to smaller real-time campaigns. This results in the:

  • creation of digital hubs in about 20 countries.
  • recruitment of marketers with data capabilities
  • investment in cloud-based tools, in order to be able to centralise and surface data from more than 150 different data points.

Unilever example

3. DATA COMPLIANCE AND WALLED GARDENS

data compilation and walled gardens

As you can imagine, data management and data control are becoming more and more intertwined. So, here are some factors to consider:

  • Security: marketers and developers need to be responsible for the users’ data security
  • Privacy: GDPR is the beginning of an era where marketers need to be very careful about how they use customer data
  • Integration: continued efforts to centralise online and offline touchpoints (by marrying transactional data, sentiment data, social media data)
  • Machine Learning: turning data into insights (google analytics) and personalising customer experience.

Please let me provide you with few examples:

Lloyds bank identified GDPR as an opportunity to educate its email subscribers about the parameters and requirements around GDPR. They did this through an email campaign and  helpful pages using laymen’s language under their website. Following this re-direct of emails (bank statements and so on), customers have been very appreciative of this action. This is a kind of boost of customer trust and loyalty.

L’Occitane did a research into the abandoning shopping cart on their site. Essentially, they fired up a layer onto the screen. This led to an increase by 2.65 % of the conversion rate per visitor. It had a major impact on the bottom line.

L'Occitane revenue uplift

4. Top marketing challenges

Yet, what are the top marketing challenges organisations face?

Top marketing challenges in 2019

Here are the main identified challenges:

  • Lack of internal resources
  • Inconsistent experiences throughout the customer lifecycle
  • Difficulty in tracking marketing effectiveness and media/ad spend
  • Difficulty getting a holistic view of customers across all interactions.

Ultimately, marketers need to think about the flow of information through the entire partner ecosystem.

Withal, interviewees for this report identified issues with walled gardens, principally Facebook and Google. Marketers must determine whether the long-term commercial objectives are best served by operating in these closed platforms. Inarguably, these platforms offer only a bridged insight in customer data. This theme brought an increased attention on data retention of sharing practices of Facebook and Google.

5. Increased uptake of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

We can review on a broad spectrum and split it into two classifications:

  • Human-styled artificial intelligence
  • Task-oriented artificial intelligence.

How is the Artificial Intelligence (AI) being applied?

It’s been mostly used to analyse data. That’s because humans can’t analyse large amounts of data. Inasmuch as AI can mine huge amount of structured and unstructured data generated by campaigns and user interactions. This freezes up time for marketers to deliver higher value tasks.

In terms of analysing data, AI and marketing can be used to:

  • create unique customer profiles (personalisation)
  • provide relevant experiences such as delivering dynamic website content, based on personal behavioural data
  • generate content well to increase engagement rates
  • optimise intelligent digital advertising, based on buying history and interactions.

In summary, I would like to leave few with the following recommendations:

  • Educate your organisation about the potential of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning
  • Strive for integrated customer experience, marketing technology and advertising technology
  • Activate customer data on prescriptive and predictive meaningful analytics insights. This requires the right tools to compile first, second and third-party data, in order to enable that timely and personalised interactions. This can also improve attribution capabilities as well as leading to a better optimisation of the media mix.
  • Cherish your data as a marketing asset to the wider business. Be wary of walled gardens. By combining data from various touchpoints, you can create that personalised experience and a ‘single customer view’. Data must be fully harnessed and companies need to be able to access it without restrictions.
  • Keep pushing the customer-first agenda within your organization. It might also mean educating your customer facing colleagues about their own value proposition. You need to help them understand their role in the customer experience strategy, by empowering them to make decisions.

And now, I’m handing back over to Jamie Brighton.

PRESENTATION N°2: JAMIE BRIGHTON

At this point, we’d like to think what you can take advantage of in the digital trends. Now, I highlighted at the start of the presentation that we’ve seen things like Social Media Management, Video Advertising coming up as focuses.

1. Platform for Personalisation

a) 3 areas of focus for 2019

Digital Trends 2019 – Data is the key to creating greater customer experiences

Needless to say, Personalisation has come out as a key area of digital focus for marketers over the last 9 years of consultancy research.

However, I think it’s probably no surprise to see that Personalisation is again part of 2019’s priorities.  ‘Digital Transformation’, ‘Personalisation’ and ‘Having the right platform in place’ are key areas I’d like to concentrate on.

Let me give you an example. Harvard Business Review shows us that people organisations focusing on Personalisation have successfully:

  • reduced costs by 50%
  • increased revenues by up to 15%
  • improved their marketing capabilities overall within the business.

Personalisation marketing strategy

Often, marketers don’t know where to start due to lack of knowledge. Unfortunately, this is holding organisations back.

However, Personalisation really needs to start with people and process and technology. I’m stating the obvious but it’s really important to remember.

We, at Adobe, believe that there are 3 fundamental pillars to getting ‘Personalisation’ right.

b) 3 Key building blocks to success

building blocks to success

  • Data and Audiences: you need a data platform to understand who your customers are. Then, you need to segment those audiences and communicate with them via your Personalisation strategy.
  • Content: Once you understand your audience, you obviously need to communicate with them and give them the right content. So, having content and data together in the same platform becomes critical.
  • Strategy: When you have those things together, you’ll need to know:
    • where to personalise
    • how to personalise
    • what’s the right time within the customer lifecycle to put a message in front of your customers or prospects.

So, I’d like to spend a bit of time thinking about these key requirements.

2. Key requirements

a) Content Foundation

Content Foundation

Any platforms that you invest in should enable you and your teams to offer content in an intuitive way. The interface/environment should make sense to them to use and re-use core components out of the box (your sites, your apps, your general interfaces).

This means you can get time to add value, instead of investing in re-building, or re-inventing the wheel. Also, content you produce in your team’s build must not be locked up in the Content Management System (CMS) or HTML system (that can only be rendered in a web page).

Intuitive authoring, Reusable content, Content anywhere

We need to be able to:

  • syndicate content, whether it’s to affiliates’ social sites
  • understand how that content is going to be displayed
  • make sure it complies with all the guidelines for your brand
  • get content out to whatever channel/device your customers use to engage with you.

b) Insights

Insights

Insight manifests itself in a number of ways. Fundamentally, we should be able to understand how that content is being consumed. This will allow people who are building that content, to have all the data they need. This will result in informed and intelligent decisions about the next iteration of that content or the next campaign that they want to set up.

Besides, this also means that they need to be able to visualise where customers/prospects are engaging with that content through things like Heatmaps, Clickactivity maps.

Moreover, if you have already the data in a platform like this, you should start leveraging Artificial Intelligence, in order to detect abnormalities in the data.

This means alerting you to how the customer behaviour is changing, in order to present with potential opportunities.

This might be:

  • spiking customers’ visits
  • dropping conversation rates.

Then, you can adjust in real-time the experience for your customers, to make sure you are not missing out.

c) Personalisation

Personalisation

So, it should be very straightforward for you to create a page and an element of content.

Yet, within a couple of clicks, test that content and work out whether it resonates better with different segments of your audience.

Or even, use AI through Adobe Sensei to target individual customers within your customer base with the most relevant experience within their customer journey.

3. Unlocking the value in data

a) Move faster and smarter with an integrated DMP and Analytics

Well, I’d like to get a little bit tactical here. Often, organisations want to marry together their analytics platform with their Data Management Platform (DMP).

Unlocking the value in data: move faster and smarter with an integrated DMP and Analytics

b) How it works

This effectively means bringing together:

  • the first-party data (your owned customers’ data)
  • analytics tool
  • with the second and third-party data (available from the Customer/Data Management System).

As a result, you can get a little grainier about the reports/segmentation you are running on your customers.

How it works

c) Quantify value of 2nd and 3rd-party data insights

Next, let me give you a few examples on how it’s going to help you. Having these two platforms/pieces technology together means you can have a much better understanding about who your customers are and how they are behaving.

Quantify value of 2nd and 3rd-party data insights

Increasingly, organisations invest in second-party data, where there is a trusted relationship between the two brands and an overlapping of their customer base. They share the customer profiles within their organisations. Thus, they can provide a better experience for the customer in the long run, through better targeting of content and advertising.

That also means a better understanding of how your campaigns are performing.

d) Calculate media campaign effectiveness

It also enables to think about how we can use information from on-site behaviour to be more targeted off-site. These first, second and third-party data enable the use of online customer data and information, to drive more advanced targeting of off-site advertising. By using that information and surfacing it in the DMP, we can make more informed decisions about what advertising to serve to customers or prospects, based on that site’s behaviour.

Calculate media campaign effectiveness

Another idea is to consolidate online and offline data.

e) Consolidate reporting across online and offline assets

Through analytics platforms, there is the ability to import purchase history and behaviour in physical points of retail, for example. By tying these together, we can understand the impact of digital behaviour, digital experience on the in-store or offline experience, and vice-versa.

I’ll just call out an example here. A travel company is able to:

  • overlay destination preferences with purchase behaviour
  • see which audiences have a high propensity to book with this particular travel organisation.

That can be used to re-target individuals off-site. It could be somebody who has abandoned half-way through the booking process. That information can be used to do a much more targeted serve. This will get them to come back later and complete that transaction on the site.

Consolidate reporting across online and offline assets

f) Audience Analytics: Real World Success

Consequently, organisations are starting to take advantage of this type of capability.

Audience Analytics: Real World Success

4. How we can win a digital transformation?

McKenzie’s research shows they are some challenges to getting digital transformation right.

What is blocking your digital transformation?

The organisation fails when it is not making sure that organisational culture is actually on-board for the change they are trying to bring about.

a)The Adobe digital marketing capability maturity model

First and foremost, we, Adobe, believe that one of the best way to understand this, are to:

  • benchmark your own organisation and its competition
  • understand where you fit within a maturity scale.

The Adobe digital marketing capability maturity model

The Adobe digital marketing capability maturity model (continues)

b) Prioritise areas of improvement with your stakeholders

Indeed, Adobe can help you focus on recommended actions for each pillar and dimension via a workshop with an Adobe representative.

Any output of the process is a very detailed report, which shows you:

  • your current score for each of those 7 dimensions
  • any gaps between where you are and where you would like to be.
  • a set of recommendations on how to bridge that gap
  • where you can have the biggest impact with the most effective spend.

Prioritise areas of improvement with your stakeholders

c) Re-evaluate priorities based on resources, complexity and reward size

Furthemore, you can also apply a standard cost/benefit analysis to understand where are the gaps compared with how the spend is going to be. This wil make a difference to your particular business.

Re-evaluate priorities based on resources, complexity and reward size

Additionally, that helps with building a case within your organisation.

d) Build the case beyond Return On Investment (ROI) and cost-saving

Build the case beyond Return On Investment (ROI) and cost-saving

So, to wrap up, a maturity assessment will give you an understanding of where your strengths and weaknesses are. They identify as well the key opportunities you can embrace when it comes to people processing technology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is a content upgrade and how can it impact your conversion rates?

What is a content upgrade and why does it help you increase your conversion rates more than a lead magnet? Kevin McGrath from Beacon will explain you this and how you can create it with Beacon tips and tricks.

But before delving into the topic, let me start introducing you, Kevin McGrath.

About Kevin McGrath

Content Upgrade

Kevin is from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of Beacon, a plugin that can be used with WordPress to help you generate more leads.

He has a background in Design and initially ran a web design agency called Starfish for about 6 years. But he is now more focused on Marketing and Growth.

Through his webinar, he talks about:

Lead Generation

  • Every marketer looks for more leads to gain more clients. However, most people don’t buy on their first interaction.

Indeed, people like to do research before they make a purchase (web price comparisons, shipping rates..). If people spend a big budget, they will want to make sure they get it right. When you do your research, you want to find out things like: How does this company work like another business like mine? Can this company offer a solution to the problem that I’m facing?

  • As marketers, we want to help you with your research and also available and stay in touch with you through the course of that research.

We want leads and email addresses from people who are likely to buy from us in the future.

  • Better Leads.

Avoid having an email list of poor leads not interested in your products. This will be a waste of your time to target these people.

So, in order to get email addresses, marketers have been doing this for decades. If you give somebody something of value in exchange for their email address, they are more likely to give it to you. We can give something like an eBook in exchange for an email address.

Generally, when people offer eBooks, they do so on a dedicated landing page to offer the prospect a lead magnet. A lead magnet is essentially a downloadable piece of content like an eBook, or a whitepaper or something that is basically information-based that you are giving your prospects to help nurture to become your customer.

Now, there are two points in this strategy:

1. Landing Page

2. Lead Magnet.

content upgrade

The Problem with lead magnet strategy

The strategy is flawed. Basically, if you are putting a lead magnet up on a landing page, you are going to have to spend a lot of time preparing the content for that lead magnet.

  • Large lead magnet.

The lead magnet will have to be impressive and well package (100 pages long).

  • Another page to drive traffic to.

That’s a new page in your website. You are not having the benefit of, say, a blog post, that is already gaining lots of organic traffic. You are going to have to come up with a new traffic acquisition strategy, in order to drive customers to the page.

  • Visitors need to be ‘warmed up’.

Once your visitors get to the page, you are going to have to warm them up to get them to download an eBook and see its benefits. You are essentially starting from scratch.

  • Trying to appeal to everyone is another issue with this lead magnet strategy.

I’m sure, guys, to have familiar with various customers’ personas, various stages in the buying cycle. Say, you have 2 or 3 personas with their individual needs and problems that they want to resolve, each may be at a different stage of the buying cycle. Some may not know you at all and others may know you well and just need a gentle reminder note.

  • eBooks aren’t anymore the new kids on the block.

They have been around for a while and as marketers tend to overdo these strategies with this as soon as we see some success with that. People have become jaded with the overall eBook strategy and do not take the time reading a lengthy book.

But don’t worry, there is a solution to that.

the SOLUTION WITH content upgrade system strategy

content upgrade

A content upgrade is a targeted resource for individual blog posts.

So, instead of having a dedicated landing page for a big eBook type of resource, it’s just a bonus offered as part of a blog post. You will place this free bonus just after the introduction of the blog post in a centred embedded box for better results. If you click on the box, you will get a pop-up asking for your details. It will bring you to a checklist or short 1-3 pages long content.

  • So, a content upgrade is a short actionable download like a checklist or resource guide.
  • It will build on the subject of the blog post.

So, the blog post is the theory and the free bonus is the practical application of that theory. So, you are educating people with the blog post. They are already interested in and read it and you are helping them to implement the advice in the blog post with your download.

  • It’s just a simple strategy and that’s why it’s so effective. You basically capitalise on that existing blog traffic.
  • It is also very targeted as related to a blog post for a specific persona at a specific stage in the buying cycle.

After anyone downloaded that targeted content, you can segment them as, for example, ‘a copyrighter who is interested in SEO’ if that’s the blog topic.

  • When you have that extra information, you are more likely to sell and market to them more appropriately in the future.

So, they are more likely to purchase his premium products from him.

  • But most importantly, this content upgrade system strategy results in high conversion rates.

Your conversion rate is essentially the percentage of people that come to your blog post and give you their email address. For eg, if you have 100 people visiting your page and 10 people downloading your content, you have a conversion rate of 10 %, The higher conversion rate is, the more efficiently you are using your traffic. It means the fewer resources, i.e time and money, you will have to spend driving traffic to your blog posts. So optimising for conversion rates is important. You can generate between 5 and 16 times more leads for your business. It’s a life-long evergreen strategy.

So, why is it working? You are offering something is short.

  • It’s a short article. Most people are more likely to download something short as they have a short attention span.
  • It’s useful. It is directly related to the blog post to help implement tactical and practical advice. It helps reader getting closer to the goals they want to achieve.
  • Because this is part of a blog post, readers are already engaged. The next part is to convince them that you can help them further by doing the content upgrade. People are more likely to opt-in when they are already engaged.

People tend to ignore pop-ups when they scroll down the page. So, if you can include your call-to-action within the main flow of the blog post, you will see better results. I would say to use the in-line forms.

Actually, LeadPages did some research into the number of clicks required to opt-in. They said that the two-staged call-to-action is more effective/ than the single stage one and perform better in terms of conversions. So, if you show an email box with an input form straightaway, people will try to avoid it.

So, before we move on, I’d like to recap.

What is the difference between a content upgrade and a lead magnet?

Content Upgrade Lead Magnet
 

  • Embedded within a blog post
  • Builds on the content of a blog post
  • Is short
  • Is actionable
  • Uses existing traffic
  • Prospect is nurtured by the blog post (more qualified traffic)
  • Has high conversion rates
 

  • Has a dedicated landing page
  • Lies on a standalone content
  • Is long
  • Is educational
  • Has new traffic required
  • Prospect needs to be convinced by the landing page
  • Has lower conversion rates

 

Content upgrades should be part of your blogging routine and go along with it.

So, your blogging strategy probably looks like this:

Content Upgrade

What I’m proposing is that you add an extra step to that process:

Content Upgrade

I want to show you how you can create these content upgrades.

Beacon can help to speed up the content upgrade strategy for you. I want to show you time-saving tips to implement these content upgrades into your blog posts quickly.

Beacon Time-Saving Tips and Tricks

  • Set up brand colours. This is quickest overly most overlooked feature within Beacon.
  • Create a re-usable content library, so that you can drop in any pieces of content into any content upgrades you create in the future.
  • Create a re-usable template so that you can create your branding and keep re-using it, instead of having to work from scratch every time.

So, in Beacon’s normal interface, I create a workbook with one of our standard templates. The template contains a cover page, a short introduction, a worksheet with some questions to answer. This kind of school-like exercise helps people think about strategic things by working through the process on their own. The content upgrade finishes with a call-to-action.

  • If you choose that template, go through each page to see what you can customise for your business. First thing, you are going to have to change that logo. You will need to pick your brand colour on all pages to get the colour scheme in line with my brand. I would advise a more sullen kind of colour but there is no colour to avoid.

Obviously, that’s not ideal. So I want to show you this trick. It is buried a little bit under the document settings (4th icon down the left-hand side). Once you click on it, it will open this ‘default styles’ panel. You will notice that the colour template is set up for you. This means that if you set up your template colours, this will be updated throughout the document.

  • What you are going to find in content upgrades is that you may be re-using certain types of content in every single content upgrade that you make.

One example of that would be an ‘about the author’ page to give readers context about who prepared the content upgrade. Why should they trust you? The purpose is to nurture prospects into qualified leads.

Let’s create an ‘about the author page’. Underneath the first ‘pages’ tab, I’m going to click on the ‘Add New Page’ button. I’ll look for a text focused page template. I’ll filter that. I’m going to choose the two columns layout. I’ll include an image. It’s always good to add an image of the author. I’ll also add some information from social media in a headline box/card at the bottom.

Every time I make a content upgrade, I don’t want to go through all those steps each time. Instead, I’m going to go to ‘Pages’ tab, then click on the 3rd button down ‘Page settings’. Then I’ll click on the ‘Convert’ button under ‘Convert this page into a template’. I’ll save that template and refresh the page. So, next time you click on ‘Add New Page’, you will have your template saved if you scroll down the templates.

  • How to convert an entire publication into a reusable template. I want to show you how to convert a document into a template.

Let’s create a re-usable template as a starting point. We are not going to have a worksheet in each template, so let’s delete that. You can your logo/image. You will be able in a week time to save image library as well.

To convert this into a reusable template, I’m going to click on ‘Document Settings’ tab on the left-hand side and click on the ‘Convert’ button. I’ll give this template a name and save it. Then I’ll leave the editor, go back to the ‘Dashboard’. When you go and click on the ‘Create New’ button, then ‘New Editor’. This will lead you to the ‘Pick your Magnet’ screen to choose a template. Let’s say we create a ‘Checklist’, select ‘No’ to import content. Then, on the next screen for ‘Choose a theme’, scroll down to the bottom and you’ll find your re-usable template. Then, you’ll click on ‘Add New Page’, filter for the checklist and add what you saved.

Note: Some of the features that I did show you are Premium Features. The part where I showed you the convert templates (page and document), you need a paid account to use that feature. However, the brands and colours are available for free. To justify going for a paid account, you will get exclusive bonuses.

EXCLUSIVE BONUSES

These will be available to you if you upgrade to a paid account after this webinar (Kevin will be notified once you do so). For that, just shoot an email to Kevin so that he can send them to you.

  1. Lead Magnet Learning Pack is a swipe file of 13 content upgrades used on our blog to help Beacon grow to 25000 users. This is a good source of inspiration for a content upgrade to make. They are all different in design.
  2. Expert Audio Interview with Laura Roader, founder of MeetEdgar. Laura has grown to 7 figures business. She developed a software product that uses content marketing, content upgrades and lead magnets to grow her business. I’ll be sharing with you some of the strategies she uses.
  3. Free Beacon Template Design that I will personally design for to your business worth $1000. I’ll have a consultation with you to understand your needs (2-3 days work).

If you have any questions, drop an email to Kevin@beacon.by and he will be more than happy to follow-up with you individually.

To finish off with this talk, you want to watch its demo and presentation:

Finally, if you are interested in, you may explore these 30 Content Upgrade Ideas to Grow Your Email List (Updated).

Tips on how to build the perfect Social Media Strategy

I recently attended a really interesting webinar about how to build the perfect Social Media Strategy.

Although some of the information in this post may not surprise you, you will definitely learn a thing or two!

So, let’s start with the Social Media Strategy agenda points. You can then decide to deep dive into what you feel you lack information about.

 

The first presentation was delivered by Tilo Kmieckowiack from @quintly who talked about:

Social Media Strategy

  • What excellent social posts have in common in terms of length, content type and hashtags
  • How to write the perfect Social Media post.

The second presentation was delivered by Patrick Whatman from @Mention who dived into Social Media Strategy:

  • How to and Why focus on engagement
  • Learn from your competitors
  • Monitor your campaigns.

1. Let me share with you a bit about Tilo’s background

Tilo is the Brand/Product and Communications Manager of Quintly for the German-speaking markets, i.e Germany, Austria and Switzerland. He works from Cologne, Germany.

His daily job is to create a Social Media Campaign analysis and case studies to optimise the company’s social media strategy. One of the perks of being part of this company is access to a big database. Indeed, the Quintly Marketing team analyses over 10 million posts from Facebook and Instagram per month. In this presentation, he shares his findings of how the perfect social media post looks like.

Social Media Strategy

2. So, let’s start with the Facebook Analysis

a) Data Range analysed

  • January 2018
  • 239,327 pages
  • 11,472,559 posts

b) Analysed Dimensions

  • Message length
  • Message type
  • Date
  • Tag Social Media Strategy
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Interactions
  • Reactions
  • Emojis Social Media Strategy
  • Hashtags #⃣

c) Means of Success: Average Interaction per Post

Results:

  • Users most commonly post links, however, videos and also photos receive much more interactions on average
  • The Post volume is highest during the week but posts on weekends get more interactions
  • Most posts contain either 0 or 30-150 characters. According to the findings, a text of 1-50 characters receives the most interactions
  • A large number of posts does not contain emojis. Nonetheless, moderate emoji usage of 1-8 shows higher interactions
  • Hashtags are seldom used on Facebook, besides posts without hashtags receive more interactions.

Consequently, what does the ‘perfect’ Facebook post looks like? It looks like this:

  • Limits to 50 characters in length
  • Uses emojis moderately
  • Doesn’t use hashtags
  • Is posted at weekends
  • Uses videos and images wisely

⚠ Bear in mind that content quality is important, too! This analysis only covers objective technical factors. Analyse your own performance and compare it to the presented results, in order to optimise your own strategy.

3. Now let’s move on to Instagram Analysis

a) Data Range analysed

  • January 2018
  • 41,389 Instagram profiles
  • 1,019,978 posts.

b) Analysed Dimensions

  • Message length
  • Message type
  • Date
  • Tag
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Interactions
  • Emojis
  • Hashtags

c) Means of Success: Average Interaction per Post

Results:

  • Users post images most often, yet videos get the most interactions
  • Most posts are published during weekdays. However, posts on weekends receive more interactions
  • Most posts contain between 0 and 150 characters, but posts with up to 50 characters get the most interactions
  • Many profiles don’t use emojis, yet posts with 1-3 emojis show most interactions
  • Most posts contain no or few hashtags. Posts with 1-3 hashtags receive most interactions. Note that with Instagram, you can up to 10 hashtags but you need to ensure that they are relevant to the post.

So, what does the ‘perfect’ post on Instagram looks like? It looks like this:

  • Limits to 50 characters in length
  • Uses emojis moderately
  • Reduces hashtags to max 10
  • Is posted mostly at weekends
  • Uses videos and carousel wisely

Additionally, you can also check his presentation with graphs on Quintly’s Website.

All in all, Social Media Analytics can help you benchmark your content performance against our analysis.

The second presentation was delivered by Patrick Whatman from @Mention.

Social Media Strategy

1. Now let’s move on to Patrick’s background

Patrick is from New Zealand and works in Paris, France. He is the Digital Content Marketer of Mention. His presentation focuses on Social Media Strategy around the following topics:

  • Engagement
  • Social Listening 
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Data Tracking.

Patrick started off his talk with a fun quiz to make a point about engagement.

2. Do you know the answer to this quiz question?

Q: Who is the most re-tweeted musical artist of all time?

A: BT K-Pop Group with:

  • 252 000+ re-tweets
  • Winner Billboard for ‘Best Social Artist’ in 2017-2018
  • More than 10 million followers
  • Performed at 2017 American Music Awards.

3. EVEN SO, why should you care?

This data proves that social media success is closely linked to engagement.

Mention’s Twitter Report 2018 -Top 5 hashtags (for engagement):

  1. #Love_Yourself
  2. #Jimin
  3. #BTS
  4. #DNA
  5. #THELASTJEDI

Amongst these hashtags, the top 4 are coming from this K-Pop band.

4. YET, how do they do this?

It’s all about engagement. They engage with their fans by:

  • Holding contests. They ask their fans to draw, respond, and tell stories about their faves
  • Rewarding fans for their re-tweets. They send personal ‘Thank you’ messages
  • Creating their own emojis.

Their success lies in the creation of online communities, mainly on Twitter, but also a bit on Instagram and a lot of forums, where fans do all the stuff for them.

5. then, why engagement matters?

It is important to emphasise engagement in your social media campaign because of:

a) The Snowball effect

Indeed, Social Media is all about connections: your followers, their followers…Your message reaches much further if shared with all these connections

b) Platforms reward engagement

Organic Reach is about winning in ‘the feed’. The more likes, shares and comments, the more likely Facebook, Twitter, etc will promote your post for you.

c) Respond early and often to foster a community. This is valid for viral campaigns or simple customer support

  • When a social media user gets in touch, you need to be there to help
  • Build momentum for key posts and campaigns
  • Catch issues before they get out of hand.

d) Social Listening comes in handy

Social Media Strategy

Here are the reasons:

  • You can’t respond to messages you don’t know to exist
  • You may not be able to stay glued to all your social media account at all times
  • Social Listening tools tell you when you (or your keywords) have been mentioned and let you respond directly.

A good Social Listening tool such as Mention saves you time and efforts. It also lets you focus on creating winning campaigns.

6. SINCE SOCIAL MEDIA IS CONSTAnTLY EVOLVING, WOULD YOU CONSIDER a Bot AS PART OF A SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY?

In short, the answer is ‘No’ for Social Media and here is why. On Social Media, bots aren’t necessary or advisable. Unless you are a very big brand, you are not going to miss too many things. However, Social Listening will help you not miss all these little things and details.

Still, if you build or use a bot for your website, make sure you set it up with narrow parameters, it can be a good thing. Though, don’t show too obvious automated responses.

7. CONSECUTIVELY, The next step of YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY success is to work with influencers

Social-power users help build the brand by:

  • Expanding your reach (because their customer/fan base is engaged)
  • Increasing buying decisions for your products/services through their audiences thanks to their advice
  • Making you look good! When you hang out with the cool guys, it makes you look cool, too!

8. NOW, How to get started?

  • Find influential users relevant to your business (similar brands/topics within your network). They can be macro-influencers or micro-influencers. This article will help you find cost-free micro-influencers
  • Figure out what you can offer: free product, exposure, money
  • Reach out to influencers and kindly suggest to work together. Many will say ‘no’ but not everyone.

9. AFTER ALL, Why should you care about what your competitors do?

Social Media Strategy

Because a competitive analysis helps you solve your problems, understand and learn from your prospects and customers.

It will allow you to easily find out:

  • What your customers are interested in
  • What content or marketing strategies might be effective
  • Possibly even find new customers this way by interacting with them.

10. BESIDES, How can you track campaigns? And why would you bother?

Simply because you need to evaluate with tracking tools for the success of your campaign.

Indeed, the best campaigns are data-driven:

  • Learn from your last campaign to optimise the next
  • Influential people and outlets talk about you (eg on public holidays when your business may be closed)
  • Find out key events in the campaign that affected your performance
  • Assess the overall response to the campaign based on factual evidence to build engagement (eg top 10 content pieces per month or year).

11. Last but not least, Patrick shares his top tips

  • Use unique and branded hashtags for brand awareness and engagement. Why? Because non-popular branded hashtags are easier to track
  • Watch for sudden changes (spikes and dips) and understand why
  • Identify your most and least effective content
  • Measure key metrics such as volume, reach, countries, languages…

Finally, SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY presentations were wrapped up with Questions and Answers.

Social Media Strategy

Q: Can 15-30 hashtags work?

A: No. You need to concentrate on using relevant hashtags. Bear in mind as well that some hashtags are banned, temporarily or permanently. Let me give you one piece of advice: relevant hashtags in Instagram captions (descriptions). You may add some other hashtags after the description following blank spaces but they may not be as relevant.

Q: Do you think it’s good practice to post the same content on multiple platforms?

A: No. Every platform is different. Cross-posting isn’t recommended. Besides, consider that Twitter has recently changed its rules. They do not allow anymore the same content posted on different Twitter accounts or similar channels. Furthermore, hashtags aren’t been used on Facebook. As for the message length, Twitter restricts messages to 240 characters, which is lower than most other Social Media Networks.

Q: How to better utilise Instagram for stories?

A: Keep an eye on trends and news and be aware of the new features and tools. As discussed previously, stay engaged with informative or funny content. Another important news recently surfaced on Later, the exclusively Instagram scheduling app. They said that the algorithm prioritises people’s different content. Indeed, Instagram can tell and promote brands and people who use all of its features and have varied content (not only the same format or type of content over and over). Thus, they will bring further up your content into the feed. An interesting feature that has been rolled out is Instagram ‘highlights’ on your profile page. You can highlight a particular story to be viewed over and over again without any time limitations.

Q:  What channels do you advise to focus on?

A: That depends on the market(s) you are working for. You need to adjust your strategy to the country/market specifics. For eg, in Germany, there are very few people using Twitter, while there are 30 million users on Facebook.  Twitter is quasi-exclusively used by journalists and politicians. However, journalists can pick up topics to write about, which will be brought to the mass media. So, Twitter shouldn’t be completely written off.

Learn how to crowdfund to fundraise and validate your ideas

I recently attended in Dublin a DubWeb Festival founded by Mikael Thiery and co-directed by Erol Mustafov geared mostly towards filmmakers, theatre producers and music makers. There were several talks and the one about ‘how to crowdfund for web series‘ caught my attention.

It was a discussion with industry experts and award-winning series makers (see picture below) .Their pieces of advice were valuable for any start-ups looking to fund their businesses or their products and services’ launch.

crowdfund

Crowdfunding is mainly used to fundraise for specific activities, campaigns or launches, and the talks were talking about this aspect. Consequently, this post will discuss the different platforms and ways to get your audience engaged and willing to support you financially. Nonetheless, please note that you can crowdfund to validate your ideas.

But first thing first, if you want to crowdfund and make a success out of the campaign, you will need to make sure your audience is online and your product or service is suitable for that target market (language, culture).

Then you will have to work hard to create a buzz around it.

To do this, please follow these steps:

  1. Create convincing and creative video and content pitches.
  2. Select the most appropriate crowdfunding platform for your audience. If you want to target niche audiences for film production, consider one of these: VRV for Fantasy films, Shutter, Patreon. Otherwise, the main platforms are Indigogo and Kickstarter.
  3. Understand how the chosen crowdfunding platform works. For eg, Indigogo is available worldwide. With it, you can either get the money only if you reach your fundraising goal or get whatever money you crowdfunded even if you haven’t hit your goal. If you use Kickstarter, remember it’s available in only 34 countries and you can only cash in the fundraised monies if you have reached your goal.
  4. Keep in mind the charged fees by the crowdfunding platform as well as the taxes you will have to claim as income (tax). Generally speaking, there is a 3-5 % processing fee + a 5 % fee once the fundraising campaign ends.
  5. Set a fundraising goal that will cover all your costs.
  6. Entice your audience to donate and become your fans by offering rewards. Some rewards may be posted (merchandising such as DVDs, T-shirts…), so keep in mind that these incur extra costs. If you want to keep these costs down, you may offer your donors free release of some of your web series’ episodes, for instance.
  7. Leverage your superfans by offering them VIP rewards to post out.
  8. Create a sense of emergency by offering special rewards released as the crowdfunding campaign goes.
  9. Get in touch with your existing network.
  10. Feed information on social media by sharing snippets of your story.
  11. Build awareness of your campaign by organising your own offline or online events. You could start by creating a big live event: live show, music video, tours/trip, podcast, free food/drinks night, special invites to parties. Any possible hooks to gather more fans will be valuable.
  12. Get in touch with PR companies for press releases.
  13. Think about sponsorship for further brand exposure. However, remember that these will not provide you with financial support (instead, you will receive gifts-in-kind and discounts) and may not care too deeply about your brand, while your fans from crowdfunding will.
  14. Network to find potential angel investors at conferences and conventions related to your type of business. For eg, for filmmakers, they could attend Comecon.
  15. Get your friends and fans to share your campaign.

 

SEO Masterclass by Filip Silobod from Aro Digital Strategy

SEO Masterclass

First of all, thanks so much for all those who came to attend this SEO Masterclass by Filip Silobod from Aro Digital Strategy on Tuesday 21st November 2017. Much appreciated!

I’m sharing with you few pictures of the speaker and the audience taken at the venue.

SEO Master Class speaker Filip Silobod from Aro Digital StrategySEO Master class audience at Bank of Ireland Gran Canal SquareSEO Masterclass audience at Bank of Ireland Gran Canal Square

If you would like to know more about Filip Silobod and the company he is working for, check this Eventbrite page.

SEO STRATEGY TOPICS

Secondly, Filip gave us a comprehensive masterclass on Search Engine Optimisation Strategy (SEO) to ensure that:

  • Your website is getting a high amount of traffic
  • It is ranking well on Google
  • Your website is user-friendly and user experience-optimised
  • The business is getting a good visibility online
  • Your website is getting good Click-Through-Rate (CTR) conversions whether through organic or paid search and advertising.

Let me share with you his presentation before delving into a bit more details on some of the topics. You will find Filip’s contact details in it. Please note that the slideshow of his presentation can be downloaded, saved or shared through Social Media.

When you build your website, you need to ensure that it is SEO-friendly and follows a long-term strategy.

DIGITAL SEO STRATEGY STEPS

Indeed, you may get more visits to your website and build a loyal customer base by considering these digital marketing and SEO methods:

  1. Understand and optimise the use of machine learning
  2. Optimise the User Experience on your site: easy access, page loading time, navigation ease, mobile-friendly website… Make sure you regularly check your Google Page Speed Insight as well as see how your website looks on mobile phones
  3. Use Paid advertising and search: Pay-Per-Click (PPC) with good visuals perform best. Paid Advertising will allow you to rank high in the Google Searches with Google Adwords. You can use Paid Social Media when you launch your website, new products or services
  4. Analyse and Compare your site with your competitors
  5. Take into account search trends for branded and non-branded keywords by using Google Keyword Planner and having a varied content with plenty of synonyms
  6. Have clear Call-To-Actions (CTA) in your website’s main and secondary pages to allow higher conversions
  7. Have a good landing page
  8. Use long-tail keywords (min 4 words): This advice is especially valid if you are a small business with a recent website. It will improve the discovery of your keywords in searches
  9. Create unique content that Google likes
  10. Have few good backlinks (off-page optimisation) throughout your blog posts linking to high authority websites. You may consider as well getting Public Relations (PR) releases
  11. Review your website’s authority score with Moz. Your authority score indicates trust in your business
  12. Increase your business local visibility by registering with Google My Business. Ensure you add quality images and request your customers to leave you reviews.
  13. Optimise, track and analyse your traffic with Google Webmaster Tool.  You will need to review the queries (keywords) made by consumers to find your website or blog. These include meta title, URL and meta description. This analysis will give you insights as to understand when and why people left your website.

Remember that, although Social Media doesn’t have much value in terms of SEO (‘no-follow links’), it still allows people to interact with your brand. Social Media helps consumers discover your brand online. It also adds extra traffic to your website thanks to re-tweets, sharing of your posts’ links.

Although Google is the biggest and most used search engine used worldwide, there are other valid search engines that you may use such as:

  • Baidoo for the Indian market
  • Bing for North American market (USA)
  • Ecosia.org that is based on Bing
  • Yandex for the Russian market.

Finally, keep in mind what matters the most isn’t so much how much your website/blog is searched for but how many conversions you get. Conversions can be downloads, newsletter sign-ups, purchases, shares… This can be measured with the CTR by using Google Analytics.

 

 

 

Content Marketing Tips by Emma Boylan from Outside the Box

First of all, thanks to all attendees for coming to this event advertised on Eventbrite website. Most importantly special thanks to Emma Boylan from ‘Outside the Box’ for coming to talk to us at Bank of Ireland Grand Canal Square venue in Dublin (Ireland) about Content Marketing.

Content Marketing Networking Event with Outside the BoxContent Marketing Networking Event with Outside the Box

Content Marketing Networking Event with Outside the Box

Secondly, let me talk to you a bit about Emma’s journey and story before going down to the content marketing piece.

Emma went a trip to Australia, where she did all kind of jobs. Then, she got back to work in Ireland. She left her 9 to 5 job four years ago to fulfill her dream of starting her own business.

She set up her ‘Outside the Box’ company when she saw that most marketing was all the same. She realised that businesses were really struggling to attract the right clients and have a message that made them different. At the beginning, she learnt a lot by doing. However, she started implementing a business plan about 2 years ago. She highly recommended you to have a plan when you get started so that you stay focused and motivated to reach your goals.

Using her passion for creative content and background in psychology, Emma has helped 100’s of businesses get crystal clear on their message to get them noticed and fill their businesses with clients in record time! So, I hope this will help you, too!

Please find below the talk topics and her visual presentation with her contact details. Please note that this slideshow can be downloaded and saved in your SlideShare account as well as shared through Social Media.

https://events.bankofireland.com/event/digital-marketing-tips-and-strategies-for-smbs/

Thirdly, I will detail a little more the explanations she gave beyond the slides themselves (transcript) so that you can understand them in the right context.

Step 1: To find the right client with the right message, focus on actually taking actions and avoiding procrastination.

Step 2: when you go about looking for clients, ask yourselves these questions:

In all means, always make sure you are being your unique self. Don’t copy others as clients will notice this and it will appear unauthentic.

Step 3: Once you have done your research, start meeting people like you. Tell your unique story, that should answer the ‘Why’ and the ‘What’ about your business. Keep in mind that your story matters more than offering discounts. Emma suggested not to offer too many discounts to attract customers. Instead, give something people need and that they will buy. Indeed, your company must resonate with their needs and offer solutions to their problems.

Step 4: Create your branding message. For that purpose, keep in mind that people, in general, have the attention span of a goldfish, so you need to be brief in your message to grab their attention. When creating your message, you need to focus on your business benefits in 10 seconds. Yes, you read it correctly, your benefits and not so much your features!

Step 5: Think about the results you want to get. A good way to deliver an outstanding message is to reflect on the top 10 problems and solutions you can offer to a client. Again, it’s all about the client, so your content should revolve around him/her!

Step 5: Write a first marketing plan. This doesn’t need to be lengthy but instead highly focused on your goals. For example, ask yourself: ‘how many clients do you need to make X Euros? How many clients per week do I need to get?’ In other terms, focus on your Return on Investment (ROI). Do not worry if it’s not 100 % perfect, you can always revise it as the time goes on and your business evolves.

Step 6: Be social and engaging. It’s not all about how many followers you have but rather how engaged they are. You need to increase the quality of organic followers by measuring your engagement rate on your social posts.

Step 7: Be clear in your message about what you want your clients to do. In other terms, lead people by the hand by providing a clear call-to-action. Do not ask questions that may bring a ‘no’ answer.

Step 8: Represent your own self in your brand. People buy from people. So, be out there in picture or video. People want to get to know you, see who you are and feel connected to you. For example, a photography frame business taking pictures of themselves with their framed photography will see better results than just publishing the framed photography on its own. Your imagination costs nothing, so don’t be afraid to be different and unique!

Step 9: To be remembered, you must focus on creating habits and showcasing what people know you for and people will follow. So, be consistent in your posting schedule and allocate regular time to stick to it. If your followers are used to see your video every Tuesday, make sure you post your video each Tuesday.

Finally, if you would like to deepen your knowledge on how to stand out for success and market yourself to get more clients and make more money, Emma is providing a 6-month online programme. Check her Facebook video teaser for more information and contact her by email if you are interested in emmaboylanpr@gmail.com.