What’s Trending In Marketing For July 2018

This week in inbound marketing we look at the new AdWords tools Google introduced that will transform how YouTube advertisers use the platform. Read more on the changes and trends happening in marketing today.

Noteworthy Marketing News

Instagram’s New Shopping Bag Icon Adds E-Commerce Element To Advertisers’ Stories

With hundreds of millions of users watching Instagram Stories daily, it would be crazy for brands not to take advantage of this popular platform. Luckily, Instagram has made it easier for brands to do so by recently introducing its new shopping bag icon that will appear on select advertiser’s Instagram Stories according to a recent write up on Marketing Land. Tapping the icon will allows users to view more details like images and pricing information on products from their favorite brands, transforming the way customers engage with brands.

Learn more about advertising approaches on 4 social media platforms

Advertisers Will Soon Have AdWords Tools To Test & Measure Creative Elements Of YouTube Video Ads

Google recently introduced new AdWords tools for YouTube advertisers that measure and test creative elements in their video ads. The YouTube creative suite will feature four new tool sets—Video Creative Analytics, YouTube Director Mix, Video Experiments, and Video Ad Sequencing. A recent post on Marketing Land goes into detail about how these tools will allow advertisers to do a variety of things that will transform their experience using AdWords. Advertisers will also be able to analyze and keep track of how the creative elements they choose to implement influence campaign performance.

Instagram Moves On YouTube With IGTV Launch, Opening Platform To Hour-Long Videos

According to an article by Amy Gesenhues on Marketing Land, Instagram is now making way for long-form video by introducing its new IGTV platform and IGTV standalone app. Both platforms will allow users to upload hour-long videos. Instagram has reached a remarkable 1 billion users and with more of them watching videos compared to other types of content, CEO Kevin Systrom believed it was time to open up a platform where videos are the focus. As for advertisers, Systrom recognized that the new platform would be a great place to offer more affordable advertising options in light of Facebook’s rising ad costs.

Improving Your Marketing Program

What Are The Benefits Of Using HubSpot Marketing Automation Tools?

If you want your long-term inbound marketing strategy to be effective, you must be able to tackle various tactics that range from creating high-quality content for your site to engaging with followers on your social media—managing all these task often requires a balancing act. Our own Nicole Wagner published an article that explains how HubSpot marketing automation tools can simplify your workload.

Tips To Consider When Developing Strong Email Subject Lines

Having an attractive email subject line can make all the difference when it comes to increasing your open email rate and overall exposure with your target audience. Debbie Szwast offers insightful tips on how to develop strong email subject lines that you’ll want to keep in mind the next time you send an email.

Recent Marketing Reports, Updates, and Trends

Facebook’s Removing Third-Party Targeting Data: What Marketers Need To Know

In a recent post about Facebook published on Marketing Land, Ginny Marvin highlights the changes Facebook is making to combat the scrutiny and regulatory pressure its facing, and informs marketers on how to navigate these changes. Facebook announced that they are removing access to third-party data brokers within their advertising system, both pubic and private. Several factors such as the GDRP that aims to protect people by ensuring they have control over their personal data have sparked the drastic changes. The phasing out of third-party data brokers will start in the EU.

The Future Of TV Advertising In Today’s Digital World

Despite what some critics might say about advertising being ineffective on TV, in a blog post published in MarTech, Chuck Moran explains why TV is still an important part of the media ecosystem and how it has evolved to become advanced TV. Advanced TV combines old-style linear TV with streaming video provided through OTT platforms or connected TVs. This transformed version of TV changes the way marketers target their audience as they can now optimize their reach by creating campaigns that sync with local events, receive real-time analytics of viewing habits, and determine which ads to deliver based on first-party data.

Tokenized Loyalty Platform Sweet Offers Sugar Tokens To Energize Fans

Life is sweeter with… sugar tokens? According to a recent post on MarTech, a startup called Sweet has become the first tokenized loyalty platform of its kind to hit the market. The company gives brands the opportunity to promote themselves by rewarding the fans that engage with their brand online with reward tokens called ‘Sugar.’ Fans can redeem their sugar tokens for amazing experiences and rewards in the Sweet Marketplace.

Download Our White Paper Guide To Learn How To Perfect Buyer Personas For Your Business

What Are The Benefits Of Using HubSpot Marketing Automation Tools?

Creating a successful long-term inbound marketing strategy requires that you tackle several different tactics on different fronts, such as optimizing your site for SEO, creating high-quality content for your website, producing email newsletters, and engaging with followers on social media. Because these tactics all require constant attention to be effective, you should strongly consider the use of HubSpot marketing automation tools as a way to simplify your workload. The following are four reasons why you should be using HubSpot marketing automation tools:

1. Collect and Analyze Data to Improve Your Marketing Efforts

HubSpot’s analytics tools can help to collect data across all of your marketing platforms and provide you with metrics that you can use to the benefit of your marketing campaign. For example, you’ll be able to see what blog posts are outperforming other posts based on metrics such as visits, social engagement, click-throughs and captures. You can use this information to determine what kind of content is more effective or what elements of your blog posts need to be changed. For instance, if you have content that is receiving tons of views but no click-throughs, it may be because your calls-to-action are poor.

2. Personalize Communication With Your Customers

Marketing automation allows you to segment your email list, which makes it easier to personalize your emails and send more relevant content to your recipients. This is done by gathering data from your opt-in forms and using that data to segment your email list into different groups. For example, if you run an online clothing store, then segmenting your list into male and female will prevent you from sending content about women’s clothing to your male audience, which would hurt your ability to properly nurture leads through the sales funnel. The use of email segmentation will make your email marketing strategy more efficient and effective.

3. Schedule Out Your Work Ahead of Time

One of the important aspects of a good content marketing strategy is making sure that you continually publish new content on a regular basis. Your readers are going to expect new content at certain times and if you don’t publish it on the same days at the same times, you’ll lose readers. Of course, remembering to manually publish new content, whether it’s a posting an article to your blog or sending out a tweet, is time-consuming. Marketing automation allows you to create your content and posts well ahead of time and set them to be automatically published at specific times on specific dates.

Read our article: Content Marketing Misconceptions

4. Send More Qualified Leads to Your Sales Team

One of the challenges that a lot of businesses face is having their marketing team on the same page as their sales team. Sales personnel often don’t know what state of the buyer’s journey prospects are on, which makes their job more difficult — especially if they are sent leads that aren’t qualified. HubSpot marketing automation tools allow you to collect extremely useful visitor information, including their history of actions on your website, which in turn can allow you to send more highly qualified leads through to your sales team when they are ready.

The use of HubSpot marketing automation tools allows you make more efficient use of your resources and gives you the opportunity to see exactly what is and isn’t working in your marketing strategies. You’ll end up saving a lot of time on smaller, more time-consuming tasks, which you can then dedicate to more important aspects of your marketing campaign, such as engaging with and nurturing your leads.

 

What is Attraction Marketing And How Can It Set Your Business Apart

Attraction marketing is the culmination of your marketing efforts to draw customers to you and your brand. As with any marketing strategy, attraction marketing focuses on setting your brand apart from your competitors by making your company attractive to potential buyers. This is accomplished through developing your brand marketing strategy by evaluating your marketing goals, evaluating how your are performing, and adjusting your plan using metrics.

Attraction Marketing Strategy and Story

Attraction marketing is all about making your brand more attractive to your buyer personas as well as attracting them to you through inbound marketing. The two work hand-in-hand and should be a pillar of your marketing efforts, and it all begins with your attraction marketing strategy or strategies as the case may be — there is no one “right” way to market your brand but there are many tried and true ways to do it.

Strategy alone, however, doesn’t necessarily flow through to your customers but your story does and storybranding is how to give your brand an enduring and lasting impression on your clients. Be careful though, as storybranding and storytelling are two different animals.

Get Found and Be Seen

Your brand story sets up the foundation for who you are and what you do and, if done right, will be the thing that your buyers admire as they meander through your sales funnel. Of course, all of that magnificent storybranding will be for naught without a quality website and some killer SEO which is exactly why you need to shore up your website: to be seen.

We’re talking, of course, about your internet presence and how it affects your attraction marketing campaigns. The gateway to your brand story and to your attraction marketing as a whole goes through your website which may very well be your most valuable sales asset. Most importantly, it puts you on a level playing field with your competition through the necessary exposure of the internet.

Getting folks to that site comes down to search engine optimization which spans both organic and pay per click by optimizing your website for greater results. While SEO is an intrinsic tool to have, the quality of the content you provide on your site is what keeps buyers there and hooks them in to your sales process.

Want to learn more about how to create quality content? Read this article on how to create content for each sale funnel stage.

Thought Leadership

Possibly one of the most useful parts of attraction marketing for your business is that you become the thought leader in your industry. Buyers as well as industry leaders will turn to your brand to help solve their problems as you make them more aware of the issues they face.

Thought leadership though is more than simply having quality content and making that content relevant to your target audience. It deals with the entire suite of broadcasting your brand, who you are, and what you know about your industry and the solutions you have available across many different avenues. Social media, trade shows, marketing metrics, and lead nurturing all make up vital pieces of your thought leadership toolset.

More than that, the importance of thought leadership for your brand is to continue to set yourself up on a higher plane than the rest of your competition by delivering what you already know and conveying it in a way that attracts people to you.

Lead Nurturing Throughout the Buyer’s Journey

Once you’ve got a lead whether from a trade show, through your inbound marketing, or through social media, it’s time to nurture them through your sales process and guide them through their own buyer journey.

While there are many ways to nurture leads, keying in on how your specific buyer responds to different stimuli is necessary for landing sales. Tactics including drip emails, lead nurturing campaigns, and remarketing are all tools that should be part of your lead nurturing tool box. Additionally, towards the end of your buyer’s journey, your sales and marketing staffs should be on the same page for sales-ready leads.

Finally, you’ll need a way to evaluate your marketing efforts. Inbound marketing software, analytics, and metrics can certainly help, but having a strong OODA loop within your organization will aid in making decisions. Remember, it all starts with data.

The Nitty Gritty: Why Attraction Marketing?

The question you’re undoubtedly asking is why attraction marketing is useful to your business which is a very valid one. Think of attraction marketing as the magnet that draws customers to your brand at large. The deeper aspects of attraction marketing such as your content, thought leadership, and brand story make your brand something that sticks with them.

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What’s Trending in Marketing

Keeping up with what’s trending in marketing is an important way to ensure that your marketing efforts remain up to date. Not to mention that they can provide insight into how you can adjust your marketing strategies in order to improve your results. The only problem is that keeping up with what’s trending in marketing can be quite a challenge seeing as how the online marketing landscape seems to always be shifting.

The following are a collection of articles that we have curated from some of the most notable marketing blogs on the web highlighting recent marketing trends that we think you should be aware of:

1. Noteworthy Marketing News and Trends

The power of podcasting: How to boost your reputation and search engine rankings

Podcasts have exploded in popularity over the past five years, taking on the position that radio once had in our lives. As you can imagine, there’s a lot of opportunity for marketing using podcasts as a result. A recent article about podcasts published on Search Engine Land recommends establishing yourself as an authority within your field through the creation of webinars, video content, a social media presence and more. This helps build credibility so that you’ll have a better chance at being invited onto a podcast. Once you’ve built a name for yourself, you’ll want to pitch podcast ideas that can benefit your SEO efforts to podcast hosts that are relevant to your business.

YouTube’s new TrueView for Reach option makes bumper assets skippable

According to an article by Ginny Marvin on Marketing Land, YouTube recently introduced a skippable option for short-form ads that are called TrueView for Reach, which can be skipped after five seconds; however, advertisers only pay if the viewers watch 30 seconds, the viewer interacts with the ad or the video ends. YouTube has implemented this new option in response to requests for ways to optimize TruView buys based on the different campaign objectives that customers have. One of the beta testers of the TrueView for Reach option, Samsung, revealed that it reached over 50 percent more people at half the CPM (cost per thousand) using the new feature.

Google Switches to Infinite Scrolling Mobile Search Results

Google has switched from having to click from page to page on their mobile SERP (search engine results page) to being able to scroll down infinitely by clicking on a “more results” button. This could potentially change what it means to rank on the first page of SERP according to a recent write up on the new infinite scrolling feature on Search Engine Journal. However, it’s currently in a test phase, which Google will only make permanent based on user feedback.

What other trends are there? Check out these ten ways to use Google Trends to Increase SEO!

2. Growing Your Inbound Marketing

Do You Need to Redesign Your Website?

Your website plays a huge role in your ability to market effectively. If it’s been a while since you updated your website, it may be in need of a redesign. Our own Nicole Wagner did a write up recently sharing some of the signs that a website needs to be redesigned. These signs include poor web rankings, a change in branding, a lackluster conversion rate, an outdated look and a subpar user experience.

Your Company’s Core Values Play a Role in Developing Your Brand Story

Storytelling is one of the most important aspects of marketing. Without it, you’ll have trouble engaging with your audience and connecting with them. We recently published a blog post on developing your brand story detailing how important it is to employ storytelling in order to share what your company’s core values and beliefs are and how that will evoke stronger emotions and build stronger bonds with your audience.

3. Recent Marketing Reports, Updates, and Trends

Pinterest reports 50% gain YoY in SMB advertisers

The Pinterest Propel ad program has been around for a whole year now and it recently reported a 50 percent jump in small and medium-sized business advertisers since it first went live. Pinterest has made a concerted effort to position their platform as an effective tool for advertisers and also revealed that businesses who are using Pinterest Propel are earning three times as many clicks than those who are not — and are even experiencing an average of 15 percent lower cost-per-clicks within the first 90 days.

Snapchat looks to offer new e-commerce options for Discover Publishers

According to a recent post on Marketing Land, Snapchat is currently testing a new e-commerce option on some of its Discover publisher channels. The new feature will allow users to swipe on products within the Discover platform in order to buy them from the Snap Store. Although they are just testing the waters, the company seems to have great ambition for its store’s future potential. Several publishers have revealed that they have tested the new feature and that currently, Snapchat is not taking a revenue share from any of the products being sold so far during the testing stage.

Facebook & Cambridge Analytica: What we know, what they knew & where that leaves us

Facebook has been all over the news as of late due to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Considering the fact that many businesses leverage the use of Facebook for their marketing efforts, you’ll want to know where the future of Facebook lies. A recent article on Marketing Land goes into detail about the scandal as well as Mark Zuckerberg’s recent testimony in front of Congress addressing the issue of Facebook’s privacy settings and user consent.

The future of retail is Generation Z-dependent — and martech is the way to reach them

A new generation (Generation Z) is coming of age, and like every generation before them, their buying habits are different. Rohit Gupta explains how important it is for businesses to begin adjusting their marketing efforts to better target this upcoming generation by providing numerous tips. These tips include customizing the purchase journey, connecting through social media, preparing for the use of voice recognition technology, and focusing on convenient shipping options.

mobile marketing techniques

case study questions

The Benefits of Using Case Studies

Consumers are a lot less susceptible to fancy sales pitches in this day and age, which is why the use of case studies can be very effective in building brand trust. Many consumers will ask friends and family for recommendations or look up online reviews before doing business with a particular brand. They do this because they simply trust other consumers more than they are willing to trust a brand. It’s due to these reasons that you should consider using case studies. We’ve gone over the case study questions you should ask, but the following is some information on what they actually are and how they can benefit your marketing efforts:

What are Case Studies?

Case studies are similar to testimonials in that they provide audiences with an account of previous customer experiences with the brand. However, testimonials are typically basic interviews that function as little more than positive reviews. Case studies are more in-depth and concern the entire process that the customer went through. Basically, it’s a depiction of their buyer journey and how your business helped to fulfill their needs from beginning to end. This allows for an element of storytelling that’s much more engaging

What are the Benefits of Using Case Studies?

Although case studies require a lot more effort to put together than the typical testimonial, it’s well worth the time and resources required. Many businesses will even produce their case studies as video content that their audiences can watch. The following are just a few of the benefits of creating case studies:

Build brand trust

Case studies are extremely effective in building trust because of the very fact that they represent the viewpoint of your previous customers. Instead of you telling your audience how great your brand is and how effective your products or services are, you’re having your customers do it for you. Not only do audiences trust other consumers more than they trust companies, but by allowing your previous customers to tell their stories, they are basically endorsing your brand, which gives your business more credibility.

Engage through storytelling

Simply having customers tell the audience that your product is great is just a basic customer testimonial. It’s not that interesting, nor is it very engaging. Case studies are more concerned with telling the story of the customer. The customer is the hero, their problem is the conflict and your brand’s solution is the resolution. The use of storytelling helps to make a brand much more relatable and will allow your audience to see how you fulfilled that customer’s need at every stage of the buyer journey.

Click here to learn about the differences between storytelling and storybranding.

Identify brand evangelists

To find the subjects of your case studies, you’ll need to speak to several clients or customers and request that they participate. Those that are willing are your brand evangelists. They are offering to tell their story because they believe in your brand. Knowing who your brand evangelists are is helpful because they can help improve your brand reputation through word-of-mouth marketing.

Assist your sales team

Having an assortment of case studies available on your site can be hugely beneficial to your sales team. This is because they can recommend prospects to watch specific case studies of previous customers who may have had similar problems. This, in turn, can help them close deals.

As you can see, case studies can be very beneficial to your marketing efforts. Don’t forget to read up on the important case study questions you should ask, and be sure to take a look at some of the marketing tools that we offer for download at Stevens & Tate.

business story

senior living conference

Stevens & Tate Speaking at LeadingAge Illinois Symposium in September

Stevens & Tate’s Internet Director, Nicole Wagner, has been selected to speak at the 5thLeadingAge Illinois Private Duty Symposium in September. Nicole will be presenting “Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight Your Prospects With Inbound Marketing” to the attendees. During this session, Nicole will explain how Inbound utilizes pull marketing – content, blogs, events, SEO, social media, and more – to create brand awareness and attract new business.

When: September 12th

Where: Tinley Park, IL

Learn More.

The 5 W’s Of A Thank You Page

Thank you pages are an important part of the inbound methodology. To better understand a thank you page, it is best to look at the 5 W’s: Who, what, when, where, and why.

Who sees a thank you page:

Anyone who chooses to follow a link on your website to obtain an eBook or a white paper of some sort, is going to see a thank you page. These people can be prospects, leads or customers.

What the page should look like:

A thank you page should look similar to your companies website. The thank you page should include the main headers which can be seen on your website as well as the name of the company. Most importantly, the message that states “thank you for ___”. You fill in the blank with signing up or downloading the eBook, etc. Additionally, the time frame in which the person will receive the information they have requested. To the right side of the thank you page, it is good to include information related to the topic. Additionally, including a CTA is a good addition as well. When designing your thank you page, it is important to remember that it should NOT be a blank white screen that says thank you.

When a thank you is important:

Thank you’s are always important. Especially because in today’s time, people are always looking for information. By providing a thank you page, there is a good chance the person could return to the website. These pages are something very positive.

Read more on how a thank you page is not the end but a continuation.

Where to go after this step:

Once someone has seen the thank you page, they will be waiting for the information requested to be sent to them. It is important to get back to that person within 2-3 business days. Something else that can be done is to start sending emails to that person with information similar to what they requested. This way, by keeping your company as a part of their attention, they won’t forget about you.

Why these pages are important:

These pages are important because it shows people that you care. It also shows that you will get back to them with the information they are looking for. Thank you pages are important when converting people in the inbound methodology.

Overall, thank you pages are a great addition to have as a part of your website. Don’t forget that these pages appear after someone has requested information. That means that your website will need to include call to actions.

thank you page

Use Personal Selling During the Decision Making Stage

In our final article on in this series, we’ll focus on the final stage of the buyer’s journey: the decision making stage. Here, we’ll shift our view of inbound marketing from a marketing heavy stance to sales and how to use personal selling during the decision making stage. Your prospective buyers have finally made it to the bottom of the funnel. All of your hard work with content, landing pages, social media and marketing has paid off and your leads are now ready for sales.

At the decision making stage, your buyer is already 60% of the way towards their decision and you can attribute that virtually all to marketing. You’ve heard the adage, “You can bring a horse to the water, but you can’t make it drink,” and this couldn’t be any more true in inbound marketing. And in all likelihood, despite some cleverly crafted and personalized lead nurturing campaigns, the personal aspect of your buyer’s journey with your company’s sales team is just beginning.

Deliverable Content

A more traditional approach to getting buyers to make a decision was to draft bottom of the funnel content and use a “Speak to Sales” or “Request a Consultation” button to get sales involved in the buying process. Many buyers roll their eyes at the prospect of speaking to a sales person, so the new approach deals more with deliverable, downloadable content.

While marketing does close to 60% of the work in getting your leads sales ready, content’s job isn’t quite done. Your buyers are looking for the final piece of your content puzzle to help them know that going with your brand is the best thing for them. Offering deliverable content coupled with personal selling during the decision making stage is an excellent way to optimize your brand’s efforts at the bottom of the funnel.

Content at this stage of the buyer’s journey is generally geared towards giving the buyer added value. Offers can include case studies, free assessments, service comparison, or product literature. Of course, the content you tailor to your buyer all goes back to your buyer personas.

Personal Selling

Once marketing has done their job, qualified their leads for sales, and your leads have shown the behaviors associated with sales readiness it’s time to bring in the sales team.

For your sales team, personal selling will deal largely with getting inside your buyer’s head and asking the questions they’re asking themselves. Some of the fundamental questions a buyer will likely be asking as they vet potential sellers are:

  1. What specifics of your product or service do the buyers typically evaluate?
  2. How do buyers evaluate those products or services?
  3. What sets your brand apart for buyers?
  4. Who is involved int he decision and how to their perspectives differ when making the decision?

By answering those basic questions for your buyer before a sales call is even made will make a huge difference for how well prepared your sales team is. Also, it’s critical for marketing to communicate with sales and pinpoint exactly what your buyer’s journey look like. This way, sales and marketing are on the same page and your buyer isn’t left with redundancy during their personal interactions.

How do you  drive website conversions throughout the buyer’s journey? Find out by clicking here. 

Tailoring Sales to the Buyer

Finally, let’s focus on tailoring a sales presentation to your buyer. Inbound salespeople are tasked with advising a prospective buyer on how your brand’s unique position fits the context of the buyer’s need, but that is the bottom of the four step inbound sales process which includes identifying the buyers problem, connecting with prospective buyers, and exploring solutions. Smarketing helps align those stages of the buyer’s journey to the inbound sales processes.

The presentation your sales team give to a sales-ready lead should be 100% tailored to your buyer. Hopefully, you’re already leveraging every possible avenue to identify your buyer on a personal level and create a sales presentation that hits home. Those types of presentations may include consultations, demos, or a guided case study where sales takes a buyer through the information.

Just the Beginning of Smarketing

The decision making stage is only the beginning of your sales and marketing efforts for your brand and personal selling is the cornerstone to your sales-marketing marriage. Hopefully through this series of articles, you’ve been able to see with your own eyes the value of smarketing. Just know that inbound is only the beginning of how your sales and marketing come together, but the fruits they produce will be immeasurable over time.

Download Our White Paper Guide To Learn How To Perfect Buyer Personas For Your Business

 

 

lead nurturing

Using Lead Nurturing During the Consideration Stage Of The Buyer’s Journey

The consideration stage of your buyer’s journey begins a pivotal series of events for your buyer and your brand. Once your buyer has been made aware of their problem, searched through your content, and become a lead, their true “shopping” experience begins. This is where delivering solutions in an authoritative way will start to differentiate your brand from competitors offering similar products and services.

That differentiation starts with a shift in your marketing towards your potential buyers in the form of lead nurturing: granular, tailored messages focused on the information you’ve gathered through them during the awareness stage. Email marketing and marketing automation are the primary avenues for marketing to your buyers at this point.

Drip Emails

Drip emails, much like a drip coffee maker, deliver content to your prospective buyers over time with time being virtually the only factor affecting how and when messages are sent. Drip emails, while customizable in the sense of what content is delivered, offers very little in the control you have of the content against the information you’ve gathered about you lead over their buying journey.

Drip emails, though, certainly have a place early in the consideration stage for offering further education, keeping your brand present and in front of your potential buyers. Drip emails can also be very broad campaigns announcing new products, brand updates, and showcasing the highlights of your company. Drip email marketing and lead generation, however, have a mutual independency on one another for a successful marketing campaign.

Lead Nurturing Campaigns

The goal of lead nurturing as part of your buyer’s consideration process is to deliver the right information at critical points in their journey through your content. The beauty of marketing automation is that you can build the campaigns tailored to your buyer personas and design those automation steps to deliver perfectly timed content.

Through marketing automation, lead generation collects data about your buyer’s behavior and helps guide them through the buying process. The actions your buyers take on your website will trigger certain actions on behalf of your lead nurturing campaign. Attending a webinar, downloading a certain piece of content, or visiting a page a certain number of times can trigger an email.

While drip emails can be effective at points during the consideration stage and certainly keep your brand at the front of your audiences, lead nurturing campaigns are a “smarter” way to go. Lead nurturing is smart in the sense that it leverages the information your inbound marketing software collects about your leads and uses it to tailor the right content to your leads.

Goal: Drive Website Conversions Throughout the Buyer’s Journey. Task: Read more about it by clicking the link. 

Remarketing

As you probably know, marketing doesn’t necessarily always go according to plan. Sometimes a marketing qualified lead (MQL) who has already dug deep into your content, fallen into a workflow, and even triggered actions based on your lead nurturing campaigns goes cold. This is where some clever remarketing coupled with lead nurturing can rejuvenate those once-promising leads.

Remarketing is a multifaceted and very versatile way to bring leads back into your lead nurturing campaigns. We say multifaceted, because various avenues can be used to reinvigorate your buyer’s interest including paid social media promotions, smart CTAs, and smart lists as part of your lead nurturing. While remarketing may seem like a last resort in your buyer’s journey it’s actually an integral part of how you keep your brand relevant to prospective buyers especially those who may have slipped through the cracks.

The Marriage of Sales and Marketing

No matter what degree of marketing your brand engages in, marketing without sales will not meet the results your company is seeking: ROI. In the inbound world, we call this “smarketing”, and it’s that partnership between your sales force and marketing department that ultimately tips a buyer in your direction. As we have moved down the funnel, hopefully you’ve seen how vital integrating sales with your marketing practices truly is.

Both the consideration stage and decision making stage of your buyer’s journey rely on that smarketing relationship and the symbiosis therein helps make that transition from a simple lead to a sales qualified lead more fluid. In our next article, we’ll discuss how the personal touch from your sales team can help your sales qualified leads turn into actual sales.

crazy marketing ideas

 

 

how to tell your brand story

How To Tell Your Brand Story Using Personas

When considering how to tell your brand story, you must think of the role of the audience as well as that of the storyteller. Stories create wonder, excitement, and engagement in the world they create. Through storytelling, your business can engage with its audience on a much more emotional level. Connecting with your key audience is vital, and can be achieved through the creation of buyer personas.

What Is a Buyer Persona?

A buyer persona is a fictional character that represents the behaviors, goals, and needs of your current and potential customers. Once you know who they are, the problems they are facing, and what they want from life, you can begin to see how to tell your brand story in a way that reaches them and provides the answers they are looking for. The more thoroughly the buyer persona is fleshed out, the more focused your brand storytelling can be, and, consequently, the more effective.

Where to Start with Your Buyer Persona

As with any storytelling element, you start with what you know. Who are your current customers? What age group do they fall into? What gender are they? This information can be gleaned from login details, email lists, and customer feedback. If you make use of social media platforms, the data your customers share publicly provides a wealth of knowledge. You will find that specific characteristics are more common than others, providing you with the basis for your persona. It is essential, however, to create more than one persona, or you could have too narrow a view of your potential audience.

Check out this article called How to Build a Brand Story

Putting the Flesh on the Bones

how to tell your brand story

Once you have these details, you can begin to ask further questions that allow you to fill in the gaps and create fleshed out individuals. Give your buyer persona a name, age, and gender. Determine their marital status and flesh out the details of their immediate family. Don’t forget to consider their level and type of education, as well as how long they have been out of school. All of this is important because how you approach a single millennial will differ significantly from how you tell your story to a married member of generation X with a mortgage and a family.

Give your personas a career, responsibilities, and challenges. How do you think they approach these elements in their life? How do these aspects affect their levels of trust, loyalty, and their approach to taking risks? These are again all crucial elements in how you tell your brand story and what image of your company you create.

Don’t forget to consider their social life as well. Your buyer personas need to be as human as possible. As well as helping you to create a connection between the audience and the story, this helps you understand where they spend their disposable income, and what you can do to redirect more of that spending towards your brand.

If you are ever unsure of the next step to take with how to tell your brand story through a buyer persona, just imagine a conversation between them and your brand persona. If it is a long pleasant conversation that finds solutions and answers questions, then you are on the right track. If it ends in an argument or, even worse, still silence, you probably have to revisit your brand storytelling strategy from the top.

Download Our White Paper Guide To Learn How To Perfect Buyer Personas For Your Business