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Marketing Guru Covers: Social Posting and Targeting

Social Media TargetingIt’s time to think about social posting and targeting. There’s a common misconception that all social networks are the same. Companies think they need to target the same people, regardless of the network, but that isn’t the case. You need to adopt a unique strategy for each network. Some networks cater to B2B or B2C markets, and some focus on specific age groups. Understand the various demographics so you can get more out of social networking.

Facebook

Facebook is mainly geared toward B2C marketing, although some B2B marketing does take place on the site. In fact, this is the top social network for B2C marketing since consumers spend most of their online social time on the site. That makes Facebook an excellent place for businesses to connect with their consumers, especially since everyone uses the site. It’s popular with people of both genders and all ages.

Still, B2B companies use the site to show off their human sides. If you run a B2B business, don’t be afraid to use the network. You just don’t need to post every day, like B2C businesses do. Post once a week instead.

Twitter

Like Facebook, Twitter is available for both B2B and B2C marketers, but it is most appealing to B2C marketers. The site is popular with college-educated people under 50, so this is a good option for people who are trying to reach a specific target market. Use this social network to educate people and to provide interesting and compelling news. It’s also a great place to make connections with other folks in your industry.

Google+

Google+ is one of the most interesting social networks out there. While it hasn’t caught on as much as Google would like, most companies and people have Google+ pages. When companies sign up for Google Places and people sign up for Gmail accounts, they create Google+ pages. This has created a huge opportunity for marketers to reach their targets.

As of right now, 59 percent of Google+ users are men, and around a third of them are between the ages of 25 and 34. However, if businesses start to use the tool that is in front of them, there is no telling what will happen with this social network.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the B2B marketer’s haven. The network is full of professionals, and you can use it to target them and get immediate results. This is the only social network where the majority of the users are 30-64. Educational content works well on this network. Use your advertising space to teach others about your industry.

Social networks provide B2B and B2C marketers with countless opportunities. Don’t put all of your marketing efforts into a single network. Branch out so you can reap multiple rewards.

See how Lead Liaison’s software helps you manage and track your social media efforts here.

 

How to Run a Webinar: Define Your Invitation and Registration Process

How to Run a Webinar

This is the fourth installment in the series How to Run a Webinar.

You’ve picked your ideal webinar service provider. The next step is to define your invitation and registration process.

Define Your Webinar Invite Process

Once you’ve got your data ready and your target audience defined, it’s time to start putting together a process for inviting people. We propose the invitation process below. The process sends out three invitation emails to your database. The second and third emails are sent out to people that did not open or click previous invite emails.

Webinar Invitation Process

 

Make sure to vary your “preview text” for each invitation email. In your marketing automation software, you should have an option to enter in some preview text in the email builder. The preview text is usually at the upper left side of the email in small text. It’s what shows up in the preview pane of the recipient’s email inbox. They’ll usually see anywhere from 1 to 3 lines of text in their preview depending on their settings. With more than half of all emails getting opened and read on mobile devices, it’s critical to have a compelling preview text. Use different preview text verbiage for each of your three invite emails.

After the event is over, add recipients who opened the email into an “Active List” in your MA software. As an optional step, you could email everyone that opened any of your three invite emails but did not register for the event. We suggest sending this email the day before the event.

Define Your Webinar Registration Process

This is the process people will go through once they register for your event. As shown in yellow below, there are two ways to register participants. Through the event provider, such as GoToWebinar, or via your marketing automation system. If using the marketing automation system, create a web form and landing page in the platform. There are a number of advantages for creating the form and landing page in a marketing automation system. Some of those advantages include the ability to build a smart form with progressive profiling, deeply customize your landing page, style your web form to your liking, and control all of the branding. Data also gets injected directly into the marketing automation system, which can be used for future marketing purposes.

Registration Process

In the diagram above, the steps in green require your company to create email content for each step. With the invite process, there are nine (9) emails in total. All emails should use your standard template though, which will be recognizable to recipients and prevent them from marking your email as spam.

Leading up to the event, most of the messages are reminders. Don’t forgot to include a shortcut for the user to add the event to their calendar of choice (Outlook, Google, etc.) in your thank you for registering and reminder emails. We like using AddToCalendar for this. Once the event is over wait a few days for data to be collected and send a follow up to people that registered and showed up, with a separate follow up for people that didn’t show up.

Your marketing automation system will help you capture this data and configure the process from start to finish – ahead of time. This can be a relief to most companies. The stress of running a webinar increases around the time of the event. If your processes are setup and scheduled ahead of time you’ll have more peace of mind, more time to get things done, and more time to focus on your webinar content and execution. All administrative and marketing tasks will be handled by the system!

In the next installment of How to Run a Webinar, we’ll talk about the importance of having a powerful Marketing Automation tool in place.

Can’t wait to get your hands on the rest of this intuitive guide? Download the full white paper here.

Interested in a demonstration of our robust marketing automation tool?

 

Reach More Customers with Postcard Marketing

Postcard Marketing

Did you know that 52.5 percent of postcards are read by recipients?

With that kind of read rate, it’s no wonder why postcard marketing is catching fire in the business world. In fact, businesses in all niches are using postcards these days. Business-to-business (B2B) companies as well as business-to-consumer (B2C) companies realize the power of sending a tangible piece of marketing material that delivers a message to the consumer without them having to open or do anything.

What is really exciting, though, is that postcard marketing is also available for startups and small businesses due to its low cost. If you have access to the right tools, you can enjoy a great deal of success from postcard marketing, even if you don’t have a big marketing budget.

Postcard Marketing 101 – How It Works

Most people are surprised by how simple postcard marketing is. Lead Liaison is making it even easier by becoming one of the only marketing automation companies to offer a seamless integration with postcard builder Lob.

Here’s how it works: after you cultivate a strong list of leads through our lead management platform, you can then personalize your postcards by greeting your customer by name. That personal touch will go a long way in a world full of one-size-fits-all marketing.

With Lead Liaison’s postcard builder, you have full control over the design to create a design that generates results. Consider graphics on both sides of the postcard, along with your branding and a call to action.

Also consider your target market when creating postcards. If possible, divide your leads into groups and create postcards for the specific groups of leads. This will help you create highly targeted postcards that are certain to generate desired results. What’s even more revolutionary about this integration is that you don’t have to send to an entire list. You can add a single postcard into an automation, or simply send one to a client on their birthday. The cost is the same – whether it’s one postcard or 1,000.

Track the Results

Finally, once you’ve sent your postcard you need to track the results. In your marketing automation software, it’s tracked in the person’s profile. You will see an “activity” indicating you sent a postcard.

Offline marketing (handwritten letters, postcards, etc) is notoriously harder to track. You need to have a bridge to connect offline marketing with online marketing. Marketing automation software will help you accomplish that with in-depth visitor tracking and campaign-specific landing pages.

Postcard marketing is an excellent way to add an offline component to your marketing campaigns. Add an additional touchpoint and give your customers another way to find you through postcard marketing.

Do you want to stay informed on the launch of this powerful marketing tool? Visit our Postcard page and enter your information to get real-time updates.

 

LobMore About Lob

Lob is building a suite of APIs for the enterprise. Built with developers in mind, Lob provides tools that allow businesses to build scalable and powerful applications. The most popular API is a print and mail API that enables companies to send postcards, letters, checks, and more as effortlessly as sending emails. Lob is based in San Francisco, CA and is venture backed with over 6000 customers including Amazon, Square, and Counsyl.

 

How to Run a Webinar: How to Pick a Webinar Service

This is the third installment in the series How to Run a Webinar.

How to Run a Webinar

You’ve gotten your data ready. The next step is to subscribe to a webinar service. But, which one?

Choosing a Webinar Service

There are a few key things to look for when choosing your webinar service. Obviously, it needs to be web-based. But also think about how you want the registration to look. Think about your budget. How many people do you estimate will attend? Is it important to you that the recording can concert to MP4 (we think so!)?

This webinar comparison is a great little tool that guides you through a series of questions to help you find your match.

We suggest using GoToWebinar from Citrix for running webinars, simply because the user experience is very similar to Citrix’ GoToMeeting platform. As of July 2016, a little over 1 out of every 4 companies using webinar solutions in some capacity use GoToWebinar. This means the majority of your audience will be familiar with GoToWebinar, making it easier for them to join and participate in your event. And you want things to be easy for people. Adding roadblocks only gives people a reason to no-show. Adapt to the needs of your intended audience.

Check back next week when we cover how to define you invitation and registration process!

Can’t wait to get your hands on the rest of this intuitive guide? Download the full white paper here.

Interested in a demonstration of our robust marketing automation tool?

 

How to Run a Webinar: Get Your Data Ready

This is the second installment in the series How to Run a Webinar.How to Run a Webinar

You’ve determined that you are definitely ready to run a webinar. The next step is to get your data ready. Albeit tedious, this is an important step to keeping things running smoothly.

Make sure you have a good database to start

It’s important to know the topic of your webinar and who it relates to. Don’t invite people to a webinar when you know the topic would not be of interest to them. To maximize registrations, use your existing database of contacts with a focus on opt-in contacts. This could be customers, partners, or leads you’ve had any type of engagement with over the past year.

Determine criteria for who you’ll invite

Once you’ve got your database ready, gather criteria for who you’ll invite. If you’re sending out invitations to thousands of people you’ll want a good marketing automation or email marketing solution to help you. Marketing automation platforms will help you easily segment out people using lists, demographics, behaviors, and other types of criteria. These systems also support dynamic segmentation. Dynamic segmentation helps you create rules for your lists that never have to be updated again. The same audience will be ready for you to send invites to for future webinars.

We suggest staying away from purchased lists if you’re using a marketing automation or email marketing system. Most email service providers do not allow purchased lists as part of their email sending policy. There are services available to help you target certain industries and send out communication. Outsourced lists and invites should not be your core invite strategy, but could be used to complement your invite process.

Your data is ready. The next step is subscribing to a webinar service. Check back next week for the next installment of the series How to Run a Webinar: Subscribe to a Webinar Service!

Can’t wait to get your hands on the rest of this intuitive guide? Download the full white paper here.

Interested in a demonstration of our robust marketing automation tool?

 

Buzzwords in Marketing Automation: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): its meaning and how it relates to marketing automation. A part of the series Buzzwords in Marketing Automation.

 

 

Discover the other half of SEO

Search Engine Optimization and Marketing Automation

You can’t spend any time studying online marketing without reading the term “search engine optimization.” Still, you might be a little fuzzy about what this term means, and you might be even more confused regarding how it relates to marketing automation. Let’s take a look at what search engine optimization (SEO) is and how marketing automation can help your SEO efforts.

What Is SEO?

SEO is a set of techniques that marketers use to grow visibility in the online world in order to improve organic search engine rankings. There are various components involved in a successful SEO campaign, including keyword research, link building, content marketing, on-page optimization, and social networking. A solid marketing strategy utilizes all of these components in order to create a powerful campaign that helps a website move up in the search engine rankings.

Most website owners use Google Analytics or other similar tools to track their results. These tools provide them with instant results. They see immediate cause and effect results for their SEO campaigns, but they don’t get long-term results with these analytics. That makes it impossible for them to understand their return on investment for their SEO campaigns.

That is where marketing automation saves the day.

Marketing Automation and SEO

Marketing automation tools provide tracking options that you can’t get with traditional analytics software. Instead of just giving you the cause and effect relationship between your SEO efforts and your traffic, marketing automation provides you with the value of the traffic.

For instance, if someone visits your site because of your SEO efforts, marketing automation software immediately starts tracking that person. The software can continue to track that visitor every time he or she comes to your site. It will record what they are interested in when they get to your website, what content they download, which videos they watch, and more. Not only does this allow you to hyper-target your marketing or nurture efforts based on the person’s actions, it also makes it much easier for you to determine if you’re making a profit with your SEO efforts

ROI is possibly your most important marketing statistic available. If you cannot track your ROI, you don’t know if you’re making or losing money. That is why marketing automation is so important in regards to your SEO campaign. Add marketing automation to your SEO efforts to see the other half of search engine marketing.

 

 

How to Run a Webinar: Are you Ready for a Webinar?

This is the first installment in the series How to Run a Webinar.

How to Run a Webinar

You’re probably reading this with the mindset that you are going to do a webinar. You’ve thought about the topic, decided your company is going to do it, and thought about the material to use; but – are you really ready for a webinar? Executing a successful webinar can be expensive, and requires a lot of preparation. Here are some things to consider before moving forward:

Expect Higher Attendance with:

  1. Strong audience connection. If the audience already knows, likes and trusts you or they know, like and trust whoever is promoting the webinar then attendance will be much higher.
  2. Your opt-in database or cold audience. Participation will be much higher when marketing to your own opt-in list vs. a “cold audience”.
  3. Low industry/topic saturation. If your industry or even the topic has been saturated with webinars expect a lower turnout.
  4. Hot topics. If your subject matter is a hot topic right now that’s pushed the audience’s emotional hot buttons of pain, desire or curiosity, then you can expect a higher attendance rate.
  5. Big name involvement. If you’re going solo on the webinar, and don’t have a lot of people to invite, it’s a lot harder to drive attendance than having a co-presenter, as well as invite-support, from a big name company. For example, suppose you were a technology company with Google as your partner. Could you get a Google employee to co-present with you? Could Google help broadcast the event through their marketing channels thereby sending more people to your landing page? Your webinar will benefit from a big brand name, making it more attractive to your audience, with a larger pool of people to invite.
  6. A larger invitation list. The quality of your invitation list is certainly a factor, but the size of your invite list matters as well. Inviting 50 people to a webinar is a lot different than inviting 50,000.

Let’s be honest though. If you’re a young company (startup) without much brand recognition, a database that’s not quite “there” yet, and no partners to help with the event…you might still be able to pull off a good webinar with a few tricks. Try offering some incentive to get people to attend. Here are some ideas:

  • Offer up a free white paper (worth $X)
  • Provide a discount on your product/service if they attend
  • Offer a giveaway for the first X number of registrants (think iPod, Chromebook, etc.)

Attendance depends on the factors that will be described throughout this series. About 40-60% of registrants will show up for live viewings, but you can expect more registrants to trickle in and watch on demand over the next few days following your webinar.

Now, you’ve thought through things and you’ve decided you are ready. The next step is to get your data ready. Check back next week for the next installment of the series How to Run a Webinar: Getting your Data Ready!

Interested in a demonstration of our robust marketing automation tool?

 

Marketing Guru Covers: What to Post on Social Media

social media

It seems like some people have it all figured out when it comes to social media and others are sitting on the sidelines, wishing they could get some “likes” and “shares”. There is a good chance you’re one of the people on the sidelines, but that can change. You just need to know what to post on social media, and you can move up the ranks and become a power user.

Use Images

Visual content is all the rage right now. In fact, social media posts with images have an engagement rate that is 650 percent higher than posts without images. Any kind of image is great, but infographics are the best. Users share infographics three times as much as they share other visuals. There are tons of online resources for creating infographics. Use a resource like Piktochart to build your infographic and then post it on your social media accounts.

Use Videos

Videos are another great way to boost your engagement across the board. Video resonates in a way that the written word doesn’t, so you need to add some video to your social media campaign to make it memorable. There are many ways to do this. Tie your YouTube channel into your social media profiles and use Facebook video. Also, consider adding a Vine account to your Twitter profile. Twitter owns Vine, so it is easy to integrate the two. Then, you can create some short video loops that resonate with users.

Now that you know what to post, let’s look at what you should avoid.

What to Avoid

Constant promotion is the number one mistake that brands make on social media. People want some kind of value from your page. If you can’t provide it, they will go elsewhere and perhaps even unfollow you. You can plug your brand every once in awhile, but only after you provide a lot of value.

You also need to avoid providing the same type of content over and over again. As you know, images and videos are great for your social media strategy. However, don’t post 10 infographics in a row. You have to mix it up.

Your social media presence is very important for your brand. Keep these tips in mind when posting to your accounts. It doesn’t matter if you’re on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or one of the other networks. You need a solid strategy if you’re going to move ahead.

See how Lead Liaison’s software helps you manage and track your social media efforts here.

The Marketing Guru Covers: What are the benefits of social media marketing?

social media marketing

Social media is everywhere. Many companies are leveraging their social media presence to build a more personal relationship with their audience. But, how effective is it – really? What are the benefits of social media marketing?

Become Recognizable & Relatable

Social media marketing allows you to increase your online presence. By increasing your brand recognition, you also gain more loyal customers. If they see your name over and over again, you become a part of their lives. You become more familiar to them. You also become more humanized.

What’s even more valuable, is that each customer interaction is an opportunity to show your level of customer service. It’s a public, 1:1 interaction that other people can see, and “like” (or dislike, so beware!). In an article posted by B2C about social media marketing, they reference a statistic originally reported by Forbes: 71% of consumers who receive a quick response on social media say they are more likely to recommend that brand to other people. And we all know that the most solid form of referrals is word-of-mouth.

Convert more leads/prospects by increasing inbound traffic

Inbound marketing is the best way to build up your list of prospects and convert leads. Every time you post something, you open yourself up to opportunities for prospects to click your link, interact with your website, and perhaps even fill out a form or put in their email address. Every post is a new opportunity for someone to be guided back to your website. With tools like Lead Liaison’s Marketing Automation platform, you can post to multiple social media accounts with the push of one button.

Save money

Compared to other marketing channels, social media posting is relatively inexpensive and time efficient. It’s trackable and measurable content, which adds to it’s value. It can be free, or you also have the option of using paid social media to give your content a significant boost. MCG Consulting Group lays it out like this, “boosting or sponsoring posts on a page with, let’s say, 20.000 likes, the average paid reach can be close to 40% (about 8,000 people) vs. the 2% organic reach, with an investment of $5 per post.  Even if you decide to boost every single post, posting on a frequency of 16 to 20 times per month with an average of likes of 500 to 800 per post, the reach could go up to 5,000,000 people who could have seen your posts during that specific period, with an investment equal or below $150.”

 

Buzzwords in Marketing Automation: Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing: its meaning and how it relates to marketing automation. A part of the series Buzzwords in Marketing Automation.

Inbound Marketing

At one time, outbound marketing was all the craze. Then, marketers finally woke up and realized that inbound marketing is the way to get qualified leads. They realized something else, too, though. Inbound marketing is a time-consuming process. Fortunately, folks quickly discovered that combining inbound marketing tactics with marketing automation strategies allowed them to harness the power of inbound marketing without the burden of finding extra time to do so.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Before you dive into inbound marketing with marketing automation tools, you need to be certain you are clear on what this type of marketing is. To put it simply, inbound marketing is the process of using quality content to bring people to your website, and then turning those people into paying customers.

There are three main components of inbound marketing. First, you attract potential customers. You do this with blog posts, white papers, eBooks, and other forms of content. Each piece of content is targeted in order to attract the right people.

Then, you convert visitors into leads. You do this with calls-to-action and lead generation forms on your website.

Next, you go for the close with lead nurturing. During this process, people go inside of your sales funnel.

This is a simplified look at inbound marketing. If you had to go through the process all by yourself, you would have to roll up your sleeves and go through a series of tiresome steps over and over again. Fortunately, things can be simplified with marketing automation.

Marketing Automation to the Rescue

Marketing automation software has the power to track leads as they engage with different types of content. For instance, if they download a piece of content, the software can track that person from here on out. The software also has the power to score leads based on their actions once they arrive at the site. This will help you understand what strategies are working and which ones need to be replaced.

Normally, you would have to submerge yourself in hundreds of pages of data to understand user behavior, but marketing automation software is able to assign scores and provide data in seconds. This information makes it easy to run a powerful inbound marketing campaign.

If you try to manage an inbound marketing campaign on your own, it is incredibly complicated. You have people coming in from multiple traffic sources and once they arrive on your site, they engage with different pieces of information. Utilize marketing automation software to quiet the noise so you can see the real picture – what’s working and what’s not.