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You’ve done your initial market research and you’ve rubber-stamped your company business plan. All that’s left is execution. Your superstar team turns your idea into a business, as you acquire new users, close your first few sales, and build great new features for your website. Revenue grows a bit, then stalls, then falls, but perhaps it’s just a typical hiccup for a young company trying to get things going. A large tech company then makes a product similar to yours, but you reassure your employees by stressing the features that make your version unique. A few customers drop off. User counts decrease. Your crack squad of talented developers launches three new features, but by now, you’re feeling desperate.

It might be time to pivot.

“Pivoting” happens all the time, in both large cases and small. Put simply, a company pivots when it changes some aspect of its business in a fundamental way. Sometimes, a company will simply pivot by stressing a new feature on the same product. Other companies will learn to focus on an entirely new customer base. Still others will change their entire business overnight.

First, let’s take a look at a few rules for when to pivot (and when not to). Next, we’ll review a few famous examples, and how each company used market research to make its difficult—but eventually, successful—decision.

When to Pivot

  • You have a talented team, but a product that can’t gain traction
  • You’re in a growing industry, but a bigger, better-funded competitor has beaten you at your specific product
  • Your customers love one small part of your business, but not the other parts
  • You have a line of products with one or two hits, and another ten duds
  • You have incredible technology, but people are using it in different ways than your business prescribes

When not to Pivot

  • You’ve only been executing for a few months (keep testing first)
  • Everything about your business is terrible, from the product to the customers to the team (just shut down and move on)
  • Customers were never interested in what you were doing in the first place (bad idea that’s hopeless)

Successful pivoting is about leveraging the good elements of your company and doing away with the bad. The best pivots reveal the great research and innovation behind a misdirected initial bet. Bad pivots try to justify doomed businesses that simply need to admit failure. As always, staying on top of market research, even as your company grows and develops, is the key to identify if and when you need to pivot.

Here are a few famous examples of successful pivots, and the market research that helped make the decision.

Twitter

Pivoted from: Odeo

In 2005, Evan Williams and Biz Stone designed a platform to create, browse, and share podcasts. They were making a bet that podcasting would become a mainstream medium for sharing news and broadcasting opinion. They would eventually be proven correct, but not before Apple launched podcast support for iTunes in June. Williams and Stone took a step back and researched the new market, exploring user adoption rates, technology, and customer acquisition costs. They concluded that they had no real chance of competing against Apple.

Crucially, however, they didn’t simply give up. They realized that the platform they had built had tremendous scalability and potential. Suppose they doubled-down on simplicity, and just made a portal where people could share what they were up to. They looked at existing social networks like Facebook, and researched customer dissatisfaction. Users loved Facebook for photo-sharing and friend-snooping, but often found the News Feed to be overwhelming and cluttered. Their new venture, Twitter, would provide a back-to-the-basics feed of information, with a focus on news and celebrity. It seemed crazy, but they pulled it off, accomplishing one of the most successful pivots of the 21st century.

Instagram

Pivoted from: Burbn

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger put a full year of work into a new location-based, check-in app called Burbn, even developing a full-fledged iPhone app. After releasing the app, the team wisely chose to reevaluate the market. “If felt cluttered, and overrun with features,” Systrom said. He and Krieger also faced reality: they were late to the game in a trendy space already dominated by Foursquare. They removed almost all of their features, leaving only photos, commenting, and liking. They rebranded their business as Instagram. By looking closely at the market, understanding their strengths, and researching competitors, they were able to make the right call.

The rest is history. Facebook bought Instagram in late 2012 for nearly three quarters of $1 billion in cash and stock.

YouTube

Pivoted from: Tune In Hook Up

YouTube began as a video dating site called “Tune In Hook Up.” Founders Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim were disappointed with limited traction, but then they had another idea. After the Janet Jackson Super Bowl fiasco, they realized that finding proper videos online was surprisingly difficult. In addition, even when you could find one, the sites were buggy and unreliable. Plus, sharing was a chore: video email attachments were unreliable, and most sites failed to provide dedicated video links.

The trio set out to solve these problems, instead of trying to compete in an already-crowded space. They researched the market, and determined that they had a great shot at solving online video better than anyone else. In 2006,Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion.

Before you decide to shut down your business for good—or worse, spend years trying to make a dying business work—remember to step back, take stock of the market, do more research, and determine whether a pivot can save your company. It just might be the smartest decision you’ll ever make.

*Article originally published on marketresearch.com

Categorized in Market Research

Marketing is constantly evolving. So if you want to create a marketing plan for the coming year, you need all the most updated tools and strategies. Members of our small business community shared some of their top tips in posts this week. Check out ten of the best ways to update your marketing strategy in the list below.

 

Use These 20 Essential Marketing Tools

 

If you want to take your marketing to the next level, you need the right tools. That means you likely need a lot of different marketing services that focus on different purposes. There are 20 different marketing tools that can be essential to your business listed in this zaneguide post by Zane J. Heil.

 

Factor the Effects of Decision Fatigue into Your Marketing

 

Decision fatigue is a theory that can potentially keep your customers from making purchases. But if you factor that theory into your marketing, as this Two Feet Marketing post by David Lowbridge suggests, you can give your business a better chance. You can also see what BizSugar members had to say about the post here.

 

Write Winning Content for Short Attention Span Readers

 

Today’s consumers aren’t likely to spend a lot of time reading your content if it doesn’t grab their attention right away. That means you need to know how to write for readers with short attention spans, as this post by Lisa Froelings on The Sociable details.

 

Get More Local Website Traffic

 

For local businesses, online marketing is still essential. Local search tips like the ones in this Search Engine Journal post by Mandy Wodnick can help you get more local website traffic and reach more customers who are looking for businesses in your area.

 

Achieve Marketing ROI With These Tips

 

If you want your marketing efforts to be successful, you need a real plan and the ability to actually measure results, as detailed in this post by Rachel Strella of Strella Social Media. You can also see discussion about the post by BizSugar members here.

 

Use A/B Testing to Build Buyer Personas

 

If you want to effectively market your business, you need to create accurate buyer personas to give you an idea about who you’re marketing to. And you can use A/B testing to achieve that thanks to the information in this Kissmetrics post by Aaron Agius.

 

Make Your Blog Visually Appealing

 

Blogs can be great marketing tools for businesses. But you need your blog to visually appeal to readers and potential customers if you want it to have any impact. These tips from Neil Patel offer some ways for you to make your blog more visually appealing.

 

Get Influencers to Read Your Blog Posts

 

In addition, influencers can have a big impact on the effectiveness of your blog posts. This post by Tony Paull of Tony Paull Consulting features some ways you can get influencers to read your blog posts. And members of the BizSugar community also comment on the post here.

 

Consider These Small Business Conferences for 2017

 

Conferences can be a great way to network and improve your business’s reach. And there are many different small business conferences throughout the year for you to consider. Here are some for 2017 shared by Nicholas Milewski on the Plousio blog.

 

Dial in Your Visual Ads

 

When it comes to visual advertising, there are many different online tools and platforms you can use to create your strategy. This Marketing Land post by Brad O’Brien includes some tips for using platforms like Pinterest and Snapchat to dial in your visual ads.

 

 

Source:  smallbiztrends.com

Mark Zuckerberg’s drive to “put video first” is also putting money in Facebook’s pockets. The more organic videos Facebook users watch, the more high-priced video ads Facebook can slip into the feed. Now Facebook’s strategy around auto-play video, paying Live content producers and offering more creative tools is helping to propel its massive revenue growth.

Facebook revealed yesterday during its strong quarterly earnings call that in the last year, Facebook’s average revenue per user grew 49.1 percent in the U.S. and Canada — Facebook’s home market where advertiser concentration, buying power and fast mobile networks make video and video ads popular. That’s compared to 35 percent growth worldwide. The U.S. and Canada’s ARPU grew 9.1 percent this quarter, faster than any other market.

In terms of viewership, Facebook has declined to share a stat since it announced 8 billion daily 3-second-plus views a year ago. But viewership has likely been growing dramatically, because as Mark Zuckerberg said on the earnings call:

“What is enabling video to become huge right now is that fundamentally the mobile networks are getting to a point where a large enough number of people around the world can have a good experience watching a video. If you go back a few years and you tried to load a video in News Feed it might have to buffer for 30 seconds before you watched it, which wasn’t a good enough experience for that to be the primary way that people shared. But now you can — it loads instantly. You can take a video and upload it without having to take five minutes to do that.”

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-1-46-57-pm

The rise in video viewership also comes thanks to sharper cameras, bigger screens to watch on, better video creation tools and professional and amateur creators getting the hang of the mobile format.

Facebook’s begun adding Live video filters and effects, augmented reality selfie masks, overlaid graphics and more, built off of its acquisition of AR lens startup MSQRD. These are closing the feature gap between Facebook and its competitor, Snapchat.

While many believed Snapchat would steal Facebook’s users, the percentage of Facebook’s monthly visitors who come back daily has actually increased slightly since the rise of Snapchat in 2014. Holding steady at two-thirds of its user base, this stickiness stat is impressive for a 12.5-year-old utility.

facebook-dau1

Continued user count growth, engagement and the ability to earn more per user via video ads has contributed to Facebook’s $7.01 billion in revenues this quarter, up 59 percent year-over-year, and its $2.35 billion in profit. Essentially, Facebook’s soft pivot to video worked.

Normalizing the video feed

Back in 2013, seeing video in the News Feed was rare. Uploading to Facebook was clumsy, and whether the clips were native or from YouTube, they took a click and some load time to start watching.

That’s why people were downright angry about the whole idea of Facebook planning auto-play video ads. The Wall Street Journal trumpeted “Facebook Moves Cautiously on Video Ads,” delaying their roll-out. And rightfully so. Without much organic video content, video ads would have stuck out like sore thumbs.


Woman holding domestic product emerging from television, portrait

Yet suddenly over the course of 2014, with the roll-out of auto-play and the rise of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video meme, organic videos became more and more prevalent in the feed. Meanwhile, advertisers started to get the hang of the format. They cut the intros and went straight to the action, adopting eye-catching visuals and subtitles to make up for the fact that they played silently unless tapped.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said yesterday that “P&G is creating mobile video ads designed to grab attention in the first few seconds. He shared the example of Tide. In a typical TV ad, they start with a clean dress or shirt, then show it getting stained, and then cleaned with Tide. On mobile, they need to communicate the product value quickly, so they start by showing Tide cleaning a stained garment.”

Masked by the surrounding organic content and designed for Facebook instead of TV, video ads became a normal part of the News Feed. That gave Facebook the freedom to show more of them, both in the feed and as suggested videos after you watched another, without people getting too pissed off.

FaceTV

Now Facebook is putting its connections with 4 million advertisers behind video. That includes big brands. As Sandberg said yesterday, “GM’s subsidiary Holden used Carousel Ads with video to maximize its sponsorship of Australia’s premier rugby tournament. Holden created a video series about their support of youth rugby. The ads generated an 8-point lift in brand favorability for the overall audience — and a 15-point lift amongst their target audience of women over 35.”

Facebook is also bringing small businesses to the video format. Sandberg explained that “For many small businesses, the shift to mobile means leveraging video for the very first time. Rather than needing a camera crew and production budget, anyone with a smartphone can shoot a video and share it on Facebook. In the past month alone over 3 million small businesses have posted a video on Facebook, including organic posts and ads.”

facebook-mtv

Compared to less vivid text and photo posts, Facebook can charge more for video ads without using up more space. CFO David Wehner said yesterday that “The average price per ad increased 6 percent in Q3.” Adtech firm AdRoll’s CMO Adam Berke agrees that video is pushing that increase. He tells TechCrunch, “Video ads garner a higher CPM than other ad formats, so that will certainly help drive revenue growth…We’re seeing interest in these types of video ad formats from our install base of over 25,000 businesses that never would’ve bought TV ads.”

Snapchat, Twitter and other services are also trying to cash in on video, where YouTube and Facebook have become dominant.

snapchat-video
 

Snapchat’s vertical layout allows for full-screen ads that can feel more impactful and convenient than Facebook’s typically landscape videos. People also typically watch Snapchat with the sound turned on so videos automatically play with audio, unlike on Facebook. People purposefully visit YouTube to watch a specific video, so they’re willing to sit through pre-roll ads. And Twitter is becoming a home for premium video streams like the NFL and presidential debates, which draw advertisers.

But Facebook has several advantages of its own. Its 1.79 billion user reach is appealing to TV advertisers seeking scale. Meanwhile, its success the last five years has financed a leading artificial intelligence research team that Facebook is applying to make sure videos and video ads reach the right people.

Zuckerberg noted yesterday that “There’s a whole thread of work that we’re doing on visual understanding. Right, so understanding photos, what’s in photos, what’s in videos, what people are doing. There’s some deeper AI research that we’re doing…that can apply to things like ranking for News Feed and Search and ads and all of our systems more broadly.”

Facebook gets paid when its video ads work, and AI will help them target the people they’re most likely to work on.

facebook-video-ads

When Facebook popularized the feed-based social network people browse to discover content, it became a home to colorful brand ads. As users first shifted to mobile, it attracted app install ads from developers desperate to rise out of the crowded app stores. Now as mobile data networks strengthen to support high-bandwidth content, Facebook has built a powerful distribution network that video advertisers want to join.

As Sandberg concluded yesterday, “When we think about video ads and what platform they run on, we really believe that over time the dollars will shift with eyeballs and our goal is to be the best dollar and the best minute people spend measured across channels.” The numbers say those dollars have arrived.

Source: techcrunch.com

Categorized in Market Research

The State of Facebook Advertising

Social media has become the pillar of the online experience. With over 1.55 billion monthly active users, hundreds of millions of people are interacting and engaging on Facebook. For Facebook advertisers, this represents a huge pool of potential customers. Read our report to understand current Facebook trends based on the Marin Global Online Advertising Index.
Get the report today.

Social media is the Swiss Army Knife of businesses in the 21st century. We use social media to drive our branding efforts, connect with customers, generate new leads, gain insights into buying habits, manage reputation, and bolster our digital footprint.

But, while social media is an essential part of modern business, many companies still aren’t getting the full potential from their digital efforts. As Social Media Examiner’s 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report reveals:

  • 92% of marketers don’t know which social media management tactics are most effective.
  • 90% of marketers don’t know the best way to connect with customers.
  • 86% of marketers don’t know how to measure the ROI from their social media marketing.
  • 86% of marketers don’t know how to use social media to find their target audience.
  • 86% of marketers don’t know which tools will help them manage social media.

So what’s the problem? Simply put, most B2B and B2C businesses lack an effective strategy for social media management.

socail-media-marketing

In this post, I’m going to walk you through the most important social media “Dos” and “Don’ts.” At the end of this article, I’ve also included a table that recaps my main points. Feel free to print it out and use it as a reminder whenever you need to get your social media strategy back on track.

Do…

1) Have a Strategy

The single most important part of social media management happens long before you ever sign up for Facebook or publish your first Tweet. Each social media marketing campaign should start with clearly outlined goals and a battle plan that will help you achieve those goals.

Here’s the secret of a good strategy: for a strategy to be effective, it must be as specific as possible.

For example, Social Media Strategy breaks down tactics for dealing with seven of the most popular platforms, and each one is specific in its aims (e.g. increasing Facebook followers by 10% each month, increasing Twitter followers by 5% each month, etc). They refine their strategies further by listing tone/style guidelines, posting strategies, engagement strategies and strategies to find new followers.

Typical start-up social media management strategies will look a little different. These strategies revolve around assessing your strengths and weaknesses as a company, and finding opportunities to turn your early customers into brand evangelists.

Of course, your perfect strategy won’t be a carbon copy of some other company’s goals. When building your social media management strategy make sure you set realistic goals that will have a meaningful impact on your business.

2) Choose the Best Platforms

How’s your Facebook outreach going? What about Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+? Do you have a YouTube account? What about Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr? And lest we forget, Reddit.

With so many social media platforms to choose from, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you don’t stay organized. The worst part is that you overlooking one platform might mean missing out on a huge potential market.

According to Christina Baldassarre’s research, the best platforms for engagement currently are Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter, and YouTube—but you should also consider other platforms where your audience may live.

3) Use the Right Tools

Keeping up with social media is an impossible task for us mere mortals. Fortunately, there’s some handy software options to help you manage and monitor all of your social media accounts from one central hub. Here are some of the best options:

  • BuzzBundle: (disclaimer: my software) We developed BuzzBundle to be the ultimate social media management tool. Not only does it connect with all the biggest social media platforms, but it helps you monitor blogs, forums, and Q&A sites, too. Best of all, BuzzBundle analytics give you the insights you need to reach new customers, boost your SEO campaign, and find key influencers in your industry.
  • Hootsuite: Hootsuite connects you to over 35 social networks. Like BuzzBundle, Hootsuite lets you find out what your customers are saying about your brand and easily manage your outreach thanks to a central hub for all of your social media management.
  • Buffer: Social media is Buffer’s specialty. Buffer lets you post photos, videos, and posts to the most popular social media sites. It also lets you craft posts in advance and publishes them later for maximum exposure.
  • Sprout Social: Sprout Social’s platform lets you manage your social messages through a single-stream inbox. You can schedule, publish, and post content to your favorite social media sites and then get valuable insights on how audiences engage with your content.
  • Social Studio: Salesforce’s offering helps you engage with your customers by keeping you connected to over 650 million different sources. With this software, you can listen in on conversations surrounding your brand, engage with your audience, and post to all the important platforms.

4) Track the Metrics That Matter

If you don’t know whether or not your social media outreach is impacting your business, then what’s the point? When you’ve defined a goal for your social media campaign, the only way to tell if it succeeded is to gather corresponding metrics.

Here are some metrics that might indicate success:

  • If your goal was to get to expand your reach, measure engagement and new followers.
  • If your goal was to grow brand awareness, measure shares and influencers mentioning your brand.
  • If your goal was to get more sales, measure referrals, CTR, and conversions.
  • The tools listed above will give you a lot of insights into the metrics you need to measure the success of your campaign.

5) Engage and Post Regularly

Last but not least, the point of a social network is to socialize. Share great content regularly to give your followers something to share and get excited about. Don’t forget to engage with their content too—follow the industry leaders in your niche and try to give more than you receive.

To make sure you keep up with social media, consider setting a schedule for yourself. Even ten minutes spent sharing and engaging every day goes a long way toward boosting your web presence.

Don’t…

1) Try to Please Everyone

One of the most important parts of your strategy is to understand your audience. If you try to please everyone, you’ll wind up offering nothing unique, and nobody will be satisfied.

On the other hand, if you know your audience and understand their pain points, you can tailor your services to solve their specific problems. Do that better than any of your competitors and you’ll have a loyal following in no time.

2) Delete Negative Reviews

When you see every mention of your brand, it can be tempting to purge negative experiences from the web. Resist that urge. Instead, reach out to people who leave a negative review—ask how you can improve their experience and work hard to regain their trust. Doing this may not only salvage a sour situation, but it will also show other potential leads how far you’re willing to go for your customers.

3) Lose Your Personal Touch

Automation may be the only way to keep up with all bustling social spheres, but that’s no excuse to lose the human element in your brand. That means posting new content for every demographic, no matter where they fall in your sales funnel. Keep your messaging personal, targeted, and bursting with your brand’s unique personality.

On this note, make sure that your outreach always feels organic. Don’t make the mistake of befriending every follower and spamming inane posts. On the flip side, don’t be a recluse who only posts and promotes their own content. Instead, share content you truly love and connect with people whose insights you value.

4) Become Complacent

Finding your audience on all the bustling social media platforms and watching them respond with gusto every time you post new content isn’t enough. The best social media strategists plan ahead—and they’re always experimenting.

The truth is that social media management is never done. There’s always a better way to reach your target audience, a new platform waiting to be discovered, and more avenues for you to engage with your customers. Stay ahead of the curve and never let your current strategy be “good enough.”

5) Neglect Your Audience

Disengaging is one of the worst social media sins. Don’t neglect one network in favor of another or leave comments and questions from a genuinely engaged audience unanswered. If you do need to go on a hiatus for whatever reason use social media to inform your followers—they’ll value the communication.

Final Thoughts

The days of long customer support phone calls and endless waiting periods on hold are (mostly) done. These days, your customers rely on the internet to learn about your business and connect with you. So don’t let this opportunity go to waste—find out who your audience is what they’re saying about your brand.

To recap, here are the top “dos” and “don’ts” when it comes to social media management:

soacil-media-roles

Source : https://www.searchenginejournal.com/top-dos-donts-effective-social-media-management/169626/

At Fractl, a content marketing agency, I lead a team of researchers whose goal it is to conduct studies that will help us further refine our content production and promotions processes. Our research spans from data analysis of 2.6 billion social shares, to in-depth consumer surveys of thousands to people, to viral emotion heat mapping and beyond.

Over the last few years, we've executed close to 30 research projects that are redefining how the marketing industry gains brand awareness, earns consumer engagement, and increases organic search rankings. Our studies have been published on the Harvard Business Review, Inc, Marketing Land, The Next Web, Fast Company, and dozens of other reputable sites.

In an effort to inform and refine your 2016 marketing strategies, I've summarized XXX key takeaways that will help you achieve your goals in the new year. Fastrack to our marketing research white papers here, or dive into the individual takeaways below:

I. The Emotions That Make Marketing Campaigns Go Viral

In order to understand the best emotional drivers to use in the content we create, we looked at 50 of the top 100 images of the year from Imgur, as voted on Reddit - a community of 9.4 million content voters. We then plotted the most common and strongest emotions using Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotion.

1. The strength of the emotional impact was a great indicator for the popularity of the content on Reddit. The top four most popular posts on Reddit also had the top four highest aggregate emotionality scores - the sum of the emotional strength scores.

2. The top 10 emotions were: amusement, interest, surprise, happiness, delight, pleasure, joy, hope, affection and excitement.

3. The bottom 10 emotions were: anger, politeness, frustration, doubt, embarrassment, despair, hurt, guilt, contempt, shame

4. 98% of the images spurred a positive emotion, while only 2% were negative.

5. Contrasting emotions increased the emotional impact. In the cases where negative emotions were present, they seemed to directly contrast positive emotions, enhancing the emotionality of the image through contrast.

6. Empathy acts as an emotional multiplier for content that elicits negative emotions.

7. Interest, surprise, and amusement act as emotional multipliers for positive emotions.

8. Admiration was very commonly found in highly shared content.

II. Consumer Survey on Effectiveness of Outbound vs Inbound Marketing

Fractl conducted an online survey of more than 1,000 people. Participants were asked 13 questions regarding their opinions on and recent engagement with various marketing media and tactics.

9. Close to 90% of people said they used online search to seek out more information about a company, and over 80% said they visit the company's website.

10. A whopping 93.2% used online search to find information about a company within the last week, and almost 90% had read an article about a company.

11. 54% said mobile app ads have a negative influence on their buying decisions.

12. Close to 60% of the people we surveyed used some form of ad blockers while browsing the web.

13. 54% of people reported they had not clicked on any ads within a week of being surveyed.

14. 77% are more likely to buy your product or service after learning about it through online search.

15. 57% are positively influenced by online articles--47.4% are slightly more likely to buy something they hear about via online articles.

16. Email marketing was most likely to negatively impact buying decisions, with 44% of respondents slightly less likely to buy something they hear about via email marketing.

17. 48% of people said "Appearing in search results when I'm looking for something I need or want," is one of the most effective ways for a company to attract the consumer's business.

18. Direct mail positively impacts buying decisions for just over 30%.

III. Reach, Engagement, and ROI of Content Marketing vs Native Advertising

We surveyed over 30 different content marketing agencies and analyzed native advertising cost data from close to 600 digital publishers.

19. 72% of clients have asked their content marketing agencies about native advertising.

20. The average cost of launching a native advertising program with a top-tier news publisher is $54,014.29. The highest cost was $200,000.

21. When we expanded our analysis to include all publishers who have a DA greater than 80, we found the average cost of launching a native advertising program was $35,482.50.

22. When we evaluate all publishers and blogs below a DA of 80, we see the less valuable publishers (lower reach) offer a significantly reduced cost. For sites with a DA less than 80, the highest cost was $20,000 and the lowest cost was $10.

23. 70% of content marketing agencies offer monthly retainers.

24. 48% of clients measure content marketing success by the number of leads, high-quality links, and total social shares generated by each campaign.

25. 39% use DA to evaluate the authority of a link.

26. Retainers tend to fall into four buckets: $1,000-$5,000, $5,000-$10,000, $10,000-$50,000, and $50,000-$100,000.

27. On average, 65% of agencies produce between 1 and 10 campaigns per month for each client.

28. Articles and infographics represent almost 60% of production, with case studies, interactive graphics, and videos accounting for close to 30% of production.

29. Excluding outliers, the average content marketing campaign earns 27 links.

30. The average for each agency's "most successful campaign" is 422 links and the median is 150 links.

IV. 500 Top-Tier Publishers Tell How To Get Press

We surveyed over 500 top-tier writers from sites like TIME, Huffington Post, and cNet to discover what they want from content creators and promoters.

31. Only 5% of writers wish they saw more press releases.

32. 64% of writers wish they saw more infographics, mixed-media, data visualizations, images, videos and interactive maps.

33. 39% of writers want campaigns that have exclusive research.

34. 27% of writers want a campaign that has breaking news.

35. 15% of writers want to publish a campaign that has high-arousal emotions.

36. 70% of writers would rather collaborate on an idea instead of getting pitched a finished asset.

37. On average, 45% of writers publish one story per day.

38. 40% of writers get pitched 20 times per day, while 8% of publishers in highly competitive verticals get pitched more than 100 times per day.

39. 10 verticals receive more than 300 pitches per day, with lifestyle receiving the bulk of the pitches at 26.1%.

40. Lifestyle, entertainment and technology verticals combined attract more than 50% of all high-volume pitches.

41. Editors receive more than 68% of all pitches, 7x more than bloggers or writers.

42. Only 5% of writers "never" write a story based on something that was sent through a pitch.

43. 64% of writers think it's important that you establish a personal connection before sending a pitch.

44. 66% of writers said they'd be more likely to open a pitch if you indicated a previous relationship in your subject line.

45. 81% of writers prefer that you send your pitch via email.

46. Less than 10% of writers said they prefer to be pitched on social media.

47. Only 5% of writers want you to call them with your pitch, and most of these writers were small blog owners.

48. 69% of writers prefer to be pitched in the morning hours.

49. 88% of writers want your pitch to be less than 200 words.

50. More than 85% of writers want the campaign's raw data to be included in your pitch.

51. 85% of writers said they would delete your pitch based on a spelling/grammar errors, regardless of your campaign's quality.

52. 85% of writers open an email based on its subject line.

53. More than 50% of writers want a subject line that is descriptive, specific, and tailored to their beat.

54. Almost 100% of respondents told us they were against sensationalist tones such as "This is incredible!" or "You won't believe what we found!".

55. 75% of writers want your subject line to be fewer than 10 words.

56. 42% of writers want your subject line to define the content format and title of what you're pitching, "The Selfie Phenomenon [Parallax]".

57. 29% of writers say a personalized subject line catches their attention the most, "You Have a Beer Chine, We Have Cowbell - RE: Exclusive Study".

58. 19% of writers say a statistic-based subject line catches their attention the most, "Kylie Jenner posted 451 selfies to Instagram [Celebrity Selfie Study]".

59. Only 10% of writers want you to mention their name in their subject line, "Hi [Name], I thought you might like this].

60. 87% of writers agree you should send one or two follow-up emails at most.

V. What 2.6 Billion Shares Reveals the Platforms and Publishers Dominating Social

We partnered with BuzzSumo to analyze the 1 million most-shared articles within a six-month timeframe. Collectively, these articles generated more than 2.6 billion shares on five social platforms.

61. The top million articles showed that the most engaged platforms, in order, were: 1. Facebook 2. Twitter 3. Google+ 4. Pinterest 5. LinkedIn

62. Facebook dominated both network size and engagement, generating more than 2.18 billion shares of the articles in our study--81% of the total shares generated.

63. Using Alchemy API, we determined that Pinterest and LinkedIn's content had the most positive sentiment, Twitter and Google+ had the most even distribution of emotions, and Facebook was the most negative when you removed publisher outliers.

64. BuzzFeed represented more than 400 million total shares, earning nearly 150 million more shares than second-place publisher Huffington Post.

65. 88% of publishers earned less than 25 million shares for all their top articles in the first half of the year--less than 1/16th of BuzzFeed's share volume.

66. Mashable, Forbes, and The New York Times were among the five most-shared publishers on three different networks; BuzzFeed and CNN each earned top-five spots on two different networks. No other publishers earned enough shares to rank in the top five of more than one network.

67. Most publishers averaged less than 5,000 shares per article, but Upworthy and ViralNova garnered an average of more than 60,000 shares per article.

VI. How to Build a Content Strategy to Earn more Social Shares

We analyzed 220 high- and low-engagement websites from 11 major verticals that produce content.

68. Business publications see the most shares on Tuesday.

69. Food followers share the most on Mondays.

70. Health peaks on Friday for high-engagement publishers, but Tuesday for low-engagement publishers.

71. LinkedIn earned 21% of shares for high-engagement publications in the business vertical.

72. Twitter earned 11% of shares for high-engagement tech publications, and 20-34% of shares for low-engagement business, finance, tech, and entertainment publications.

73. Pinterest ranked second for a mix of high- and low-engagement publishers in health, lifestyle, food, and education.

VII. How Individual Identity Influences What We Share

To get an idea of how people view and construct their identity through sharing on social media, we surveyed more than 1,000 people about different aspects of their online sharing habits and motivations with regard to personal identity.

74. 68% of women expect 11 or more likes or comments on their Facebook posts, compared with 61% of men.

75. 84% of respondents said "relationships" and "being a good friend to those I care about" are important to them when considering what content they share online--more than 20% said these factors are "extremely important."

76. 63% of respondents ranked their personal values and moral standards as "very" or "extremely important" when they shared content online.

77. 68% of participants said they had posted on social media between 1-7 times in the past week.

78. 42% said 1-3 of their posts were articles or media from third-party online publishers.

79. Millennials ranked their dreams, imagination, and goals higher than their older counterparts.

80. 41% of men said social identity was at least somewhat important, compared with 37% of women.

81. Millennials and Generation X (ages 18-50) placed more importance on their physical appearance, while the oldest age groups (ages 51 and above) gave it very little importance.

82. Fewer than 35% said their possessions--the things they own--were important in their content sharing.

IX. The Inbound Marketing Economy

We analyzed 75,315 inbound marketing job listings posted on Indeed.com during June 2015.

83. The number of profiles containing "content marketing" has seen the largest growth, with a 168% increase since 2013.

84. "PPC" returned the smallest number of results, with only 3.8% of listings containing this term.

85. "Social media" appears on a significantly higher volume of profiles than the other keywords, with more than 2.2 million profiles containing some mention of social media.

86. Although "SEO" has not seen as much growth as the other keywords, it still has the second-highest volume with it appearing in 630,717 profiles.

87. Digital marketing job listings have seen substantial growth since 2009, when it accounted for less than 0.1% of Indeed.com search results. In January 2015, this number had climbed to nearly 0.3%.

88. Jobs containing "digital marketing" or "inbound marketing" had the highest average salary of $84,000.

89. Jobs containing "SEO" and "Google Analytics" are tied for second with $76,000 as the average salary.

90. Massachusetts led the U.S. with the most jobs per capita for digital marketing, content marketing, SEO, and Google Analytics.

Source : http://www.inc.com/kelsey-libert/90-research-backed-tips-to-fuel-your-2016-marketing-strategy.html

Categorized in Market Research

Business owners, retailers and marketers are all used to the traditional calendar of events that motivate consumers. It's accepted that parents shops for school items in the late summer, toys and gifts during December, and retailers usually schedule sales accordingly. But just as the internet has changed much about how, where and when people shop for goods, it has also changed when they look for specials.

A recent study of internet search queries reveals that more consumers are searching for deals on the internet throughout the year. According to Hitwise, a division of Connexity, online searches for deals increased 40 percent between 2014 and 2015.

The study found that one in every 300 online searches is focused on finding a coupon, sale, discount or deal. This may just be 0.3 percent of all searches, but when you consider Google performs 3 billion searches a day, it translates into a lot of people that are searching for deals.

The study is based on data from the Hitwise U.S. panel of 10 million online consumers, including 3.5 million mobile devices. A practical use for this data can be seen in what the researchers found out about people looking for sales on shoes or school items.

"Deal-oriented searches include those using keywords: sale, coupon, deal, rebate, bargain, discount or clearance," said John Fetto, senior analyst research and marketing at Connexity, according to media reports. "Interestingly, when it comes to searches for 'sales' specifically, footwear, including shoes and boots, are the most commonly sought-after products throughout the year."

The report also revealed that school shopping starts earlier than many retailers realize. Citing, Connexity's Bizrate Insights, the report found that back to school shopping is starting as early as April. Their recent survey found more than 10 percent of back to school shoppers will begin picking up items by June, and by August more than half will already be shopping.

Retailers who want to take advantage of this should run ads for school supplies, just without specifically mentioning, back-to-school. People know what they need and are looking for a good deal, they don't particularly need an event to justify the sale (20% off is a good bargain whatever the reason).

This research certainly shows the benefits of running specials throughout the year, but there is a need for balance. If customers become too dependent on sales, they may start to pass over items at regular price, knowing that the item will be on sale in a week or two.

This effect has also been seen by retailers in the shoe industry. According to data cited by Footwear News, "the past holiday season alone--which was rife was heavy promotions and saw many footwear and apparel companies garner dismal profits--is evidence of the negative impact that excessive discounting can have on companies."

A good way to maintain balance between sales and regular prices is to make sales specific to certain products or categories of products. By using more nuanced, instead of sitewide sales, customers can't assume the type of item they want to buy will be on sale soon. As an added bonus, rotating specials in this way gives consumers a reason to check the site or newsletter often.

The entire report from Hitwise has some interesting information, and can be downloaded for free from their website. For example, the report found that TV and Tire searches are highest in December and that Furniture and Mattress searches reach their peak in August/September.

Check it out for yourself for more research you can use to plan better campaigns throughout the year. And some more recent research on consumer behavior, read this article on what makes a brand authentic to consumers.

Source:  http://www.inc.com/peter-roesler/study-shows-consumers-searching-for-online-deals-all-year-round.html

How to use online market research tools, including search techniques, tips, and tools for using the Internet for researching your competition and market.

Your may already be conducting online market research for your business—but you may not know it. Some of the easiest to use and most common tools are located right at your fingertips. Web searches, online questionnaires, customer feedback forms—they all help you gather information about your market, your customers, and your future business prospects.

The advent of the Internet has presented small businesses with a wealth of additional resources to use in conducting free or low-cost market research. The following pages will describe the different types of tools to conduct online market research, go over the general categories of market research, and advise you how to create the best online questionnaires.

Online Market Research Tools

The following techniques can be used to gather market information with the help of a few mouse clicks and keystrokes:

Keyword Search. You know how to do a simple Web search using search engines such as Google and Yahoo. Take that a step farther by searching for "keywords" that people would use to find your type of products or services on the Internet. See how much interest there is in these keywords -- and how many competitors you have in this market. Keyword searches can also help remind you of product niches that you might not have considered.

There are other reasons to conduct keyword searches. 'First, you're going to be reminded of product niches that you might not of thought of.' says Jennifer Laycock, editor-in-chief of Search Engine Guide, an online guide to search engines, portals and directories. 'Second, these services will also give you a guesstimate of how many existing sites already use that phrase,' Laycock continues. 'How many existing sites already offer that product.' WordTracker and Trellian's Keyword Discovery are popular keyword search engines.

Competitor Links. A traditional search engine can also help you check out your competitors, their prices, and their offerings. Try typing 'link:www.[competitor's name].com' into Google to find out how many other sites link to your competitor's website. 'It is a great way to see a competitor's link development and PR campaigns,' says Shari Thurow, Web expert and author of the upcoming book Search Engine Visibility. 'Is the competitor promoting a product or service similar to your own? Maybe you can get publicity because you have a new or better product.'

Read Blogs. Blogs are updated much more regularly than traditional websites and, therefore, they can be another gauge of public opinion. Search blogs by using blog-specific search engines, such as Technorati or Nielsen BuzzMetrics' Blogpulse. 'Blogs tend to move at a faster pace and be more informal in tone, so you're more likely to pick up conversation about a new product type or need on a blog than on a standard web site,' Laycock says.

Conduct Online Surveys. Another way to gauge public opinion is through online surveys. While not as scientific as in-person or phone surveys that use a random sampling of the population, online surveys are a low-cost way to do market research about whether an idea or a product will be appealing to consumers. Now many companies offer to conduct online research for you or give your company the tools to carry out your own surveying. Some online survey companies include EZquestionnaire, KeySurvey, and WebSurveyor.

Research Tools and Techniques

There are a variety of types of market research tools -- both offline and online -- that are used by many large businesses and can be available to small and mid-sized businesses. When these techniques involve people, researchers use questionnaires administered in written form or person-to-person, either by personal or telephone interview, or increasingly online. Questionnaires may be closed-end or open-ended. The first type provides users choices to a question ("excellent," "good," "fair") whereas open-ended surveys solicit spontaneous reactions and capture these as given. Focus groups are a kind of opinion-solicitation but without a questionnaire; people interact with products, messages, or images and discuss them. Observers evaluate what they hear.

Major categories are as follows:

Audience Research. Audience research is aimed at discovering who is listening, watching, or reading radio, TV, and print media respectively. Such studies in part profile the audience and in part determine the popularity of the medium or portions of it.

Product Research. Product tests, of course, directly relate to use of the product. Good examples are tasting tests used to pick the most popular flavors—and consumer tests of vehicle or device prototypes to uncover problematical features or designs.

Brand Analysis. Brand research has similar profiling features ("Who uses this brand?") and also aims at identifying the reasons for brand loyalty or fickleness.

Psychological Profiling. Psychological profiling aims at construction profiles of customers by temperament, lifestyle, income, and other factors and tying such types to consumption patterns and media patronage.

Scanner Research. Scanner research uses checkout counter scans of transactions to develop patterns for all manner of end uses, including stocking, of course. From a marketing point of view, scans can also help users track the success of coupons and to establish linkages between products.

Database Research 

Also known as database "mining," this form of research attempts to exploit all kinds of data on hand on customers—which frequently have other revealing aspects. Purchase records, for example, can reveal the buying habits of different income groups—the income classification of accounts taking place by census tract matching. Data on average income by census tract can be obtained from the Bureau of the Census.

Post-sale or Consumer Satisfaction Research. Post-consumer surveys are familiar to many consumers from telephone calls that follow having a car serviced or calling help-lines for computer- or Internet-related problems. In part such surveys are intended to determine if the customer was satisfied. In part this additional attention is intended also to build good will and word-of-mouth advertising for the service provider.

Writing Online Questionnaires

When it comes to using Web-based surveys, small businesses should stick to a few simple but important rules:

The Shorter the Better. Don't alienate survey takers with long questionnaires. Limit yourself to 25 questions, which should take people five to seven minutes to finish, says Mary Malaszek, owner of Market Directions, a Boston market-research firm that works with businesses of all sizes. If surveys are much longer, people will abandon them 'and then you can't use them, and the next time you send them a survey they won't even open it,' she says. Other methods for keeping surveys short, according to a SensorPro white paper on online survey guidelines: make the first page simple, present answer options in multiple columns or a drop-down box, and put a status bar at the top of each question page so respondents know how close they are to being finished.

Avoid Open-Ended Questions. Since people want to zip through a survey, don't include a lot of open-ended questions where they have to type out the answers. Close-ended questions they can click on a button to answer—Yes, No, Maybe, Never, Often—work much better, Malaszek says. Companies can use close-ended questions to get the same kind of in-depth analysis open-ended questions provide by using rankings scales, which ask a respondent to rate something on some type of scale, 1 to 5, or 1 to 10, she says.

Be Persistent. If you're asking customers or vendors to take a survey, it's okay to send more than one invitation, especially to people who've previously indicated they would be willing to participate. Just make sure you've got people's permission, so they don't think you're spamming them, the survey experts say.
Be Patient. Businesses decide they want to do a survey then get impatient when they can't get the results right away, Malaszek says. Even though online surveys reduce some of the work, they take time to design and administer, and when the results are in, more time to interpret. It's a good idea to pick one person to shepherd the process, she says.

Source:  http://www.inc.com/guides/biz_online/online-market-research.html

Categorized in Market Research

In this episode of Marketing Nerds, Danielle Antosz and Kelsey Jones of Search Engine Journal discuss different ways to find clients through referrals, platforms like Upwork, and prospecting through job boards. They discuss their own experiences through those channels and share what successful for them, including their favorite websites and tools for finding freelance clients and jobs.

Here are a few transcribed excerpts from their discussion, but make sure to listen to the podcast to hear everything:

Three Methods of Client Aquisition

One, obviously is the dream, is just all referrals, which makes life easy. Then the other two ways are through platforms, Upwork. The other way is prospecting. Looking on job boards, stuff like that.

Upwork and Elance are the kind of platforms where people post jobs. They can come hire you. You can create your profile. It’s really good when you’re starting out, especially if you looking for some of those lower paying jobs just to start. We’ve talked about this before, we don’t recommend doing that long-term.

To get the first couple of gigs, it’s an easy way to get started. Once you kind of build up your background, and whatnot, it doesn’t make sense to go for those low paying jobs that tend to be on those platforms. Keep in mind, when you set a ridiculously low rate, you’re affecting everyone else in the industry.

If you’re just starting out and you don’t even know where to start, or where to get clients, or what to even price yourselves, then platforms are a good way to get an idea of what you want to offer and how you want to charge. A lot of times you can look at what other people are charging for the same work you want to do.

Could a Freelancer Make 6 Figures on Freelancing Platforms?

Supposedly yes, it’s possible. Compare it to, say someone who runs an Etsy shop, versus someone who takes that and builds their own website, and sells that way. At some point, you’ve got to grow past platforms.

With freelancing, you’re always hustling, and getting that growth, because you don’t want to be stagnant. Platforms make that a lot easier, because there’s already people who are looking for jobs, and all you have to do is throw your name into the hat. It just makes it a lot easier until you get the hang of selling yourself.

There’s also the trust factor from both ends. You enter in your bank account information. The buyer enters in their credit card, you’re going to get to paid. You have somewhere to go if they try to screw you over. Again, when you’re starting out, that’s really important because those mistakes that you make with billing and choosing the wrong clients, those are really expensive mistakes. When you work on a platform, you don’t have to worry about that nearly as much.

Prospecting Clients

That’s like being more proactive. So instead of logging onto a dashboard and viewing available jobs and requests for quotes, it’s more like you either are cold calling people, or you’re finding positions and then sending an email proposal with an attached PDF and what your rates are.

It’s more independent and self-managed, and it takes a lot more work to find leads.

We had mentioned talking about some of the tricks for finding stuff on Craigslist. The best tip is to look at how it’s written. If it seems to good to be true, then it might be shady, or there might be something they haven’t told you.

Don’ t forget social media.

There’s a Facebook group called Social Media Jobs, and all kinds of people are posting jobs. Mostly social media, there’s been some copy writing. Look in your industry, like maybe programming jobs, and look for groups on Facebook. LinkedIn probably has some. That might be a hidden way to find leads.

Utilize hashtags on Twitter—especially if you do like #contentmarketing, #hiring. Sometimes those are the tags that they’ll use. Also, just make sure you’re following a bunch of different companies, because a lot of times they’ll post on places like that.

Getting Clients Through Referrals

For any freelancer, referrals are just the best thing ever. They’re pretty much gold. Generally, you don’t have to sell yourself and there’s already a little bit of built-in trust, both ways hopefully.

I think when people trust you, they are more willing to throw your name out there. Instead of becoming friends with someone just because you think they might refer you, really work on building up that relationship. Don’t come across as desperate, because people think that you’re trying to get something from them, and that’s not a good feeling.

Why You Shouldn’t Burn Bridges

If you’ve parted ways from your last employer, or even your employers before them, and you need work, it might worth, not just keeping that relationship open, but reaching out and being like “Hey, if you guys have any back work that needs to be filled, I’m available.”

Even if you guys want to go out completely on your own, if there’s ever a time where your old employer might need something, that is usually worth pursuing.

Source:  https://www.searchenginejournal.com/find-clients-freelancers-forum-8/166023/

Categorized in Market Research

When it comes to getting major influencers to help with your marketing efforts, you can be embarking down a treacherous path. While it’s crucial to on-board folks who have a lot of sway with your market, you have to be careful not to rub them the wrong way.

In some cases, it can be just as easy to either get ignored by the influencers altogether, or goad them into giving you the wrong kind of marketing. With that in mind, here are four do’s and four don’t’s to pay attention to when you are trying to get influencers to help market your product.

1. Do choose your influencers wisely.

First, and probably most importantly, is to choose the right influencers to reach out to. You want to make sure their following is actually part of your market. That way, your message gets conveyed to people who will actually have an interest in what you’re promoting.

For example, in 2010 when author Shel Horowitz published his 10th book, "Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green," he quickly identified that the appropriate influencers for his market would be newsletter publishers, bloggers, best-selling authors and the like. He reached out to these influencers, and saw tremendous results from the campaign.

Based on a Google search showing 1,070,000 responses for an exact-match search for the book title, I estimate that at least 5,000,000 people were exposed to the campaign (that would be a very low average of five people seeing each page).

Also, remember that bigger isn’t always better. Victor Ricci of Trend Pie says that “targeting the big name social celebrities is nice but doesn’t always have the best results. When looking to get the lowest CPI, engagement is much more important than follower count.”

2. Do amplify influencer messages.

Influencers are often under tremendous pressure to drive traffic to their message, so anything you can do to help them do that will be noticed and greatly appreciated. You should find an influencer you greatly admire, and start amplifying their content by sharing it on your own social media networks. Be sure to tag the influencer so he or she knows what you’re doing.

Digital marketing entrepreneur Spencer X. Smith found out just how powerful this courtship could be when he began sharing articles by Cheryl Conner of Forbes. He would share her stories on LinkedIn and Twitter, always providing his own thoughts about the piece and how his audience might use it. As a result of his efforts, Conner actually contacted Smith to be the subject of a feature article at Forbes.

3. Do offer influencers something to entice them.

Sometimes, just building the relationship might not be enough. Many influencers need something a bit more tangible than just you sharing their message, so you need to entice them. This could take the form of a charitable donation in the influencer’s name or something more along the lines of helping the influencer get even more exposure.

For example, Cloudways struggled at first to get influencers to promote its new cloud hosting management platform. They pitched a list of influencers one at a time, and were either ignored or told they were being too pushy. While part of this might be a lack of relationship-building first, what finally worked for Cloudways tells “the rest of the story.”

Cloudways reached out to influencers again, this time inviting them to be interviewed for the company’s blog. This got the attention of several influencers, especially mid-level ones and the response was strong enough that Cloudways has published more than 120 interviews and has created a community that loves the company’s product and talks about it often.

4. Do use an evangelical approach.

Remember who you’re approaching. Top influencers respond to a different kind of value propositions than regular users. While regular users respond to quantitative value propositions like “cheaper,” “smaller,” or “faster,” top influencers are more interested in qualitative value propositions. This is where you’ll use words like “revolutionary,” “breakthrough,” and “game-changing.” Influencers want to be involved in exciting ventures, so you need to attract their attention with engaging text.

Rick Carlile, the founder of Aegora.com, the Professional Marketplace, used a very evangelical approach in trying to attract influencers to come on board. As a result of his influencer marketing campaign, Aegora.com was able to attract around 500 high-quality signups to the site, a tremendous number in a highly competitive niche.

5. Don’t spam influencers with follow ups.

Yes, you should follow up with your influencer, but don’t be obnoxious about it. This means having a bit of patience, since most influencers are very busy people and may not have an opportunity to reply to your email in just a day or two. If you don’t hear back from the influencer within a week, then it’s probably safe to send a follow up email.

Adarsh Thampy, CEO of LeadFerry, points out that you have to walk a fine line between persistence and pushiness. Thampy suggests you should send no more than two follow ups, with at least a week’s gap in between, to maximize your chances of success. Remember, though, not to be pushy:

It goes without saying. But influencers are humans too. Do you feel like doing something if someone you barely know acts pushy? No. When you face resistance, let it go.

6. Don’t forget to build influencer relationships.

Remember our suggestion in the do’s section about courting your influencer? This is crucial, because it builds a relationship with them before you even think about asking them for help. Failing to build that relationship first will mean you come across as being spammy and pushy.

Chris Boulas, the founder and president of digital marketing firm Formulytic, has built businesses from $5 million to more than $30 million in revenue, largely on the back of influencer marketing. Boulas points out how you can go about developing a relationship first:

Business is about give and take, so don’t approach influencers with a take-only mindset. Be ready to provide value in return. Do you have a skill, idea or feedback on an influencer’s business? Apply your skill or share your ideas for free and provide value upfront first. 

7. Don’t forget to set influencer guidelines.

How does your influencer reach out to his or her following? Through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or some other medium? Make sure you have specific guidelines in place for how you should be promoted and especially tagged, to generate the maximum exposure possible.

For example, Lindsay White of Lot801 Marketing points out that Instagram has recently made it possible to tag images. As a result of that, many influencers are only tagging people in the images when they are working with brands. This is a major problem, White points out:

"No one taps on the photo anymore to see who they tagged. But, they will read the captions. If your influencers aren’t tagging you in the caption, you’re missing out on some serious sales and social media followers. Since we’ve made this a requirement when working with any influencers, our sales are about 30 percent higher than if they didn’t tag us in both the caption and photo… along with an increase of about 50 percent in sales."

8. Don’t rely solely on the influencer for buzz.

Marketing almost has to take a multi pronged approach, so make sure you don’t get tunnel vision. You cannot rely just on the influencer to generate the buzz that will make your campaign successful. Consider the influencer just a piece of the puzzle, albeit a possibly big piece.

Marc Nashaat, of Powered by Search, stresses the importance of this multifaceted approach. He points out that at the same time you are building your influencer network, you should also be identifying the people or publications that cover your campaign topic or the engagements of your influencer. Do outreach to them to help “seed” your influencer-based marketing campaign.

Run a great influencer marketing campaign.

With these tips under your belt, you should be able to successfully attract the right influencers to help you with your marketing efforts. Just remember to be yourself, and follow the advice of folks who have been doing influencer marketing with great success for many years. 

Source:   https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/275923

 

Increased use of social media and online marketing techniques gives companies a chance to engage with their customers, and brands are quickly catching on to the practice of reputation marketing. The potential downside is that this kind of interaction means customers are also free to publish reviews, complaints and comments that may negatively affect your brand.

 

This is where reputation marketing comes into play. Last year at Pubcon search conference, I ran into Shai Aharony from Reboot Online that summed it up well when he said "reputation marketing tools allow you to analyze, track, monitor and engage online activity, giving you the power to directly respond to customer complaints and turn potentially damaging feedback into a positive experience."

In order to best manage your brand’s online reputation and make customer engagement a part of your marketing strategy, your team needs to have the very best tools at your disposal.

I’ve identified the top 10 tools for reputation marketing that I've used in the past so you can see a real impact as you invest more in your brand’s reputation:

1. ConsumerAffairs

With over 5,000 listed brands and more than a million consumer reviews, ConsumerAffairs offers brands some of the most diverse and advanced features to build a strong online reputation and generate increased revenue. The consumer advocacy group’s website offers free and unpaid business plans and their third-party accreditation program coupled with a powerful software as a service (SaaS) platform offers brands a variety of resources to convert customer engagement into additional revenue.

2. BazaarVoice

Best for larger companies with deeper budgets, BazaarVoice was created to extend the online marketing potential of customers’ voices to shopping portals, offline channels and natural search. Customers are able to leave reviews, ratings, questions, answers and other customer-generated content on client websites, which BazaarVoice then shares on social media and across the internet.

3. Better Business Bureau

Founded in 1912, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is the elder statesman of consumer reviews. The non-profit group serves as an intermediary to help resolve disputes between customers and brands, and with reviews for over 4 million companies, the BBB website is one of the most popular and trusted consumer resources available. Ideal for entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to personally interact with their customers, the BBB offers a variety of networking opportunities at a convenient price.

4. Yotpo

Yotpo is a powerful plug-and-play solution for ecommerce with a sleek, mobile-first design. Customers who make purchases on sites using Yotpo receive an email after their purchase asking them to review the product(s) they received. This Mail After Purchase (MAP) technique leads to more reviews, and since the requests go directly to the consumer, all of the reviews are automatically verified.

5. Cision

Unlike the previous tools that focus primarily on consumer reviews and feedback, Cision is a powerful public relations resource that gives brands the tools they need to get their message out. With more than 1.6 million contacts and outlets, Cision provides the perfect opportunity to connect your brand with crucial journalists, bloggers and social influencers who might otherwise be inaccessible.

6. Percolate

Managing all of your brand’s marketing efforts in one place is easy with software from Percolate, whether it’s planning campaigns, storing files, collaborating or content creation. The planner takes into account all your details, such as your target audience, brand identity guidelines and business objectives. Percolate provides a cross channel marketing calendar that helps you plan accordingly and is designed to make it easy to share content with consumers across social media, the Web and other traditional methods.

7. Reputation Loop

Designed to empower small business owners and allow them to expand their businesses, Reputation Loop is similar to Yotpo in that it works primarily by automatically contacting recent customers for reviews. But additional features like real-time reporting and review monitoring on sites like Yelp and Google+ provide valuable tools for brand managers.

8. TinyTorch

A social platform that helps brands build their online profile through social influencers and user-generated content (UGC), TinyTorch allows brands identify, monitor and manage their online presence. This platform helps find your best, most influential customers and cultivates their stories and photos to redistribute across multiple marketing channels.

9. HootSuite

HootSuite is a social media management platform that allows brands to monitor and sync all of their social media accounts in one simple interface. With support for popular networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more, HootSuite makes it easy to share content across multiple accounts and schedule posts in advance for blanketed marketing. From a reputation management standpoint, brands can use HootSuite to monitor customer feedback posted to their social media accounts and share positive reviews and comments across multiple social media networks simultaneously.

10. TrustPilot

Like other third-party review websites, TrustPilot allows users to leave reviews for businesses on its website, while offering both free and paid listings for brands. More than 100,000 companies are listed and more than 13 million reviews are currently available -- with more than 500,000 added each month. With its simple, easily navigated site and a basic assortment of analytics and engagement tools, TrustPilot is a good pick for businesses seeking simpler options.

Source:  https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/277197

 

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