Category: Marketing

B2CRM News

Are the Golden Globes Golden Outside the Hollywood Bubble?

What’s in this article: 

  • A quick look at whether today’s most crucial societal issues were addressed during the 2021 Golden Globes 
  • Brands and organizations can learn from Hollywood’s mistakes 

On March 1, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey hosted the 78th Golden Globe Awards and thousands of viewers watched the ceremony from home. This year, though, just like everything else, things are different. 

Besides the fact that the ceremony was held virtually – the audience had expectations that might have been different than years before. Things that have been especially important in a social climate that is still very much sensitive. 

So, is Hollywood still glorifying the elite bubble? Is Hollywood white, straight and male as ever? Let’s find out. And where is the Hollywood Foreign Press Association when it comes to the current Zeitgeist? 

Race: Wrong 

HFPA’s lack of diverse representation is significant. The organization has been called out leftright, and center since the Golden Globes by numerous actors and organizations. 

In fact, HFPA’s lack of Black voting members became a wave of industry criticism and an entire controversy of the 2021 Golden Globes ceremony. 

At the beginning of the Globes weekend, the #TimesUp organization issued its statement, calling on the HFPA to go beyond a “cosmetic fix” with the following message on social media: 

“Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Not a single Black member out of the 87 members. A cosmetic fix isn’t enough #TimesUpGlobes.” 

Amy Schumer, Spike Lee, Jennifer Aniston, Mark Ruffalo, and so many more Hollywood stars have been supporting that. 

 

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In response, a 43-second telecast during the ceremony showed HFPA leaders pledge to diversify their ranks. 

“Tonight, while we celebrate the work of artists from around the globe, we recognize we have our own work to do,” said Helen Hoehne, the HFPA’s vice president. “Just like in film and television, representation is vital. We must have Black journalists in our organization.” 

While former president of the organization, Meher Tatna, added that the HFPA “must also ensure everyone from all underrepresented communities gets a seat at our table, and we are going to make that happen.” 

Therefore, it’s crucial that the HFPA addresses the systemic problems within their organization.  

And, if your brand hasn’t done so already, now’s the time to put in the rigorous effort and work to implement a plan, too. 

Gender Equality: Right 

Women breaking barriers in all aspects of life pave the way for future generationsThis year, the Golden Globes nominations inspired women from across the globe as well – right in time for Women’s History Month. 

Chloe Zhao became the first women director and the first Asian director to win Best Picture and Best Director at the Golden Globes. 

While Jane Fonda’s acceptance speech has generated buzz for her powerful and inspiring words. 

 

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A post shared by WWD (@wwd)

Golden Globe hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, had heart and star designs drawn on their hands which in the Netflix film, Moxie, is meant to signal support for the feminist revolution. 

Just one tiny thing here: Jason Sudeikis accepted his Best Television Actor in a Musical or Comedy Series Award for Ted Lasso in a brightly colored tie-dye sweatshirt. 

Some would call this double standard for how men and women should dress to one of the world’s most fashionable events that normally starts on the red carpet. 

But overall, it seems like at this aspect, at least, HFPA’s main event came across as “woke”. 

The post Are the Golden Globes Golden Outside the Hollywood Bubble? appeared first on Post Funnel.

advanced SEO

How Long Should Blog Posts Be in 2021?

“Does size matter?”

That’s one of the most common questions clients ask me about their blog posts. My short answer is, “yes, of course, blog post length is important, but it’s how you use your word count that matters most.”

Since Google’s algorithms don’t have a minimum word count for content and blogs, content quality outweighs quantity. Search engines try to find content that directly relates to the intent behind the user’s search query. If your content is optimized for relevant keywords and directly answers the user’s question, your chances of ranking increase.

Instead of fretting about blog length, your energy is better invested in developing the content structure, information, and resources your users need.

Ultimately, as the saying goes, your blog post should be as long as it needs to be. But I know you want a more definitive answer. And despite Google’s amorphous algorithms, I do have an answer for you about this question.

How Long Should a Blog Post Be for SEO?

Your average blog post length should range between 2,319 words and 2,620 words.
And now it’s time for a big ol’ disclaimer. My answer is conjecture. To calculate the average word count, I analyzed Portent’s top-performing blog posts to speculate the ideal word count range. I chose to use our blog rather than search results because we have more than 125 blog posts currently ranking on Google’s first page, many of which also have featured snippets.

I averaged the word count for the 50 most-visited posts by organic pageviews between February 2020 and February 2021. All of these articles earned at least 1,000 unique pageviews from organic search.

Here’s a breakdown of the data for the 50 posts I analyzed.

  • Smallest word count: 667 words — Google Apps Script Tip #1: Finding the last row
  • Largest word count: 5,065 words — 113 Google Tricks, Easter Eggs, April Fool’s Day Jokes and Pranks
  • Average blog post length: 2,520 words
  • Median blog post length: 2,264 words
  • Average grade reading level: 10

And here’s what I found for the top 10 performing articles within the 50 post data set.

  • Smallest word count: 1,482 words — How to Set Up & Use Atom as a Markdown Editor
  • Largest word count: 5,065 words — 113 Google Tricks, Easter Eggs, April Fool’s Day Jokes and Pranks
  • Average blog post length: 2,419
  • Median blog post length: 1,939
  • Average grade reading level: 9

As a rule of thumb, I always give a +/- 100-word buffer for word count ranges. This accommodates succinct and long-winded writers alike without steering too far away from the average.

But determining your word count based on performance is only part of the equation. As I mentioned earlier, search intent is the ultimate blog post length factor.

How Search Intent Affects Blog Post Length

What information fulfills the user’s search query and fully answers the intent of their question?

The answer to this question should be the North Star for every aspect of your blog post.

To determine how search engines interpret the searcher’s intent for a given keyword or topic, you must first learn about what content succeeds in the search results for the keyword or topic.

First, Google your primary keyword or the high-level topic you’re writing about. Next, analyze the first page of results, including the featured snippet if it’s present. Determine the types of content offered (educational, commercial, how-to, listicle, video, etc.), and then review the featured snippet and the top-three results.

In your page-by-page review, pay attention to:

  • Topics covered and the discussion order — the relevance of the topics discussed compared to the user’s search query
  • Target keywords — the keywords the competitor’s posts rank for and where they are used in the blog post
  • Experts referenced — the experts quoted or the sources the blog post author gives
  • Resources provided — the internal and external resources the blog post links to or includes
    Blog post word count

After you know what the top-three pages discuss, calculate the average word count among those pages. Now, determine if you can provide information and resources that rival your search competitors’ content. If so, aim for a blog post length within +/- 100 words of the calculated average.

Remember, your competitor’s average word count is simply a guideline. It shows what Google thinks is valuable, but that doesn’t always mean your users will agree. If you notice shorter posts have abnormally high bounce rates or longer posts don’t get the engagement you need, then switch things up. In the long run, you’ll be better off by focusing on your user’s needs and then worrying about Google later.

The post How Long Should Blog Posts Be in 2021? appeared first on Portent.

Editor's Pick

Tracking URLs in HubSpot: What You Need to Know…

Your HubSpot campaigns typically involve several different moving parts that may cross over departments like marketing, sales, and customer service. One of the most common elements in any HubSpot campaign? 

URLs.

With a tracking URL, you can see how and when visitors access your site through a URL in a specific campaign. It can help you better understand the effectiveness of your marketing campaign because if someone isn’t clicking ANY of your links, that may signify a problem. 

Here’s what you should know about tracking URLs in HubSpot campaigns. 

What Is a Tracking URL?

A tracking URL sounds exactly like it is! It’s a standard URL with parameters you select attached to it, so when visitors come to your site from it, HubSpot will save the information in these parameters. 

What Are UTM Parameters?

As noted, UTM parameters are a vital component of your tracking URL. These tags help you “track” your website’s traffic from its origin or help identify which of your marketing campaigns are referring traffic to your webpage. For example, if you want to know if an Instagram ad is leading buyers to your product page, you should create a tracking URL with specific UTM parameters. You can select from

  • Source – Shows where your visitors are coming from. This could be anything from email marketing, Facebook, paid advertising, or something custom. 
  • Medium – The channels bringing visitors to your site. An example of medium would be social media. 
  • Campaign – The campaign your URL or promotion is associated with. This will be unique to you. 
  • Term – Shows any paid keywords that you’re targeting within your campaign. 
  • Content – Highlights the exact element of your ad or promotion that someone clicked on. 

It’s important to note that only campaign and source are mandatory for every tracking URL. The rest are optional. So, a combination that makes sense for your team and campaign works fine! 

Why Should You Use Tracking URLs

You’ll want to create a tracking URL whenever you want to see the traffic from a campaign. Generally, most HubSpot users utilize these URLs in their email blasts, PPC campaigns, social media, and virtually any type of paid advertising. You can also create a tracking URL for your meeting links so your sales team can see where prospects are coming from. 

How To Create a Tracking URL

Before creating a tracking URL, HubSpot recommends setting up your campaign and adding or building any related assets for it. If you make your URL before your campaign, you can’t associate the URL with it – which kind of defeats the purpose of a tracking URL, right? You should also double-check the spelling, grammar, and naming conventions in your UTM parameters to make sure everything is following your brand. 

Once you’re ready to create your URL, you’ll:

  • Log in to your HubSpot account
  • Click “Reports” then “Analytics Tools”
  • Under “Analytics Tools,” click “Tracking URL Builder”
  • Choose “Create Tracking URL” 
  • Add in your UTM campaign and source 
  • Hit “Create,” then navigate to the “Actions” dropdown
  • Click “Copy Tracking URL”
  • Include your URLs in your content! 

Reporting on Your Tracking URLs

The primary purpose of tracking URLs is to see which of your campaigns are working and which aren’t so you can optimize your efforts. Be sure to analyze your tracking URLs like you would your email open rates or blog views. 

To do this, navigate to:

  • “Reports”
  • Then click “Analytics Tools” 
  • Hit “UTM Parameters” 

From there, you’ll choose a date and frequency to get an overall report. To look at a specific campaign or source, head back to “UTM Parameters,” then select your parameter in the upper left corner. After, you can put your data into different reporting formats, like bar graphs and more, to see your campaigns’ results. 

Get Help

With tracking URLs, you can finally see what exact campaigns and elements of a campaign are working as expected and which are underperforming. With these guidelines, you should be able to create your tracking URLs in no time! However, if you’d like any help or a deeper dive, please reach out to the experts at Lynton.

conferences

Why You Should Use Early Bird Registration for Your…

A few years ago on Thanksgiving, my entire family flew to my sister’s house, except for me. I couldn’t afford the plane ticket, so I stayed home. When I looked at their pictures on Facebook, I was upset that I missed out on the trip.

That concept is called the fear of missing out (FOMO). FOMO, while upsetting when I missed my family trip, is actually a great marketing tool to use when you’re planning an event.

Usually, people don’t start registering for events until the last minute. As a marketer, you’re probably wondering, “How can I get them to register earlier?”

A great way to sell more tickets faster is to use FOMO as a way of motivating your audience to buy tickets through early bird registration.

Today, let’s learn how early bird registration can help you sell more tickets to your events.

The idea behind early bird registration is that people won’t want to miss out on a deal. Plus, this tactic taps into your audience’s sense of urgency. So if you have people on the fence about whether or not they want to go to your event, then an early bird registration might be all you need to nudge them in the right direction.

However, for an early bird discount to work, it needs to be of great value. The package shouldn’t just be slightly cheaper. In addition to the discount, maybe early bird registrants get access to more content, or perhaps the discount is really steep. Either way, it needs to be worth it, otherwise, people won’t feel like they’re missing out if they don’t partake.

Ultimately, this means you can sell more tickets and attract more people to your events.

Additionally, using early bird registration could help you project how much interest there is in your event and your marketing materials. If you have a hard time getting people to buy early bird tickets, then perhaps you need to switch up your marketing tactics before the event. It’s kind of like a test run for your promotional plan.

If all goes well, you’ll also get attendees excited about your event and give them time to talk about it on social to help you spread the word.

To get people excited about early bird tickets, you can promote your keynote speakers, and market the value of the event. What will people get by attending your event?

Now that we know more about what early registration is and why you should use this tactic, let’s dive into the logistics of running early bird registration.

How long should early bird registration last?

For early bird registrations, you can set a certain time period or you can limit the number of purchasers. For example, you can have the early bird discount available during the first week of sales or you can only offer a discount to the first fifty registrants.

Additionally, you might consider only offering early bird discounts to members or subscribers. This is a great benefit and encourages people to sign up for your service. Or you can reward repeat attendees. If you hold an event every year, perhaps repeat customers can get access to early bird discounts before anyone else.

When you’re strategizing about how long the early bird registration will last and what the package should include, it’s important to factor in how many tickets you can sell at a reduced price without hurting your profits. So before you decide on the time frame or the number of tickets, think about your projected attendance.

When your early bird registration ends, it’s time to take advantage of the momentum you’ve built. Use the marketing materials that were successful for a big push before the event.

Early bird registration is a great way to accelerate and improve your sales for your next event. By utilizing urgency, relying on scarcity, making early bird registrants feel like VIPs, and creating a fear of missing out, you’ll create buzz and excitement around your event.

Event Marketing

Marketing

15 Strategies To Get YouTube Subscribers

In the SaaS industry, the most successful companies prioritize the retention of their existing customers over the acquisition of new customers. Why? Because SaaS companies charge a monthly subscription, so in order to turn a profit, they need their customers paying them for many months in a row. If they can’t retain their customers for X amount of months, they’ll ultimately lose money by acquiring them.

In content marketing, the same principle applies. Retaining your audience’s attention positively impacts your brand a lot more than merely acquiring attention.

When an audience engages with your content for long periods of time on a consistent basis, they can easily turn into a loyal tribe that’s passionate about your work and recommends your brand to all their friends. In other words, staying laser-focused on retaining attention is actually the best strategy for acquiring new attention because your current customers are providing so much word-of-mouth marketing — it’s like a flywheel.

On YouTube, you retain attention by attracting subscribers to your channel. Subscribers are your most loyal fans and made a public commitment to your brand, content, and values. They’re also most likely to be fervent brand evangelists.

In regard to benefiting your YouTube channel, subscribers are crucial because YouTube will send them notifications about your new videos and feature your videos on their homepage. This means they’ll see your videos more frequently, which will help you generate more engagement.

Subscribers also watch twice as much video as non-subscribers, so the more subscribers you have, the more watch time your videos will accumulate, and the more likely YouTube will rank them higher on search and feature them in the related section.

Additionally, YouTube keeps track of the number of viewers who subscribe to your channel right after watching one of your videos. So if one of your videos generates a lot of new subscribers, they’ll reward it with higher rankings and more features in the related section.

To help you grow your YouTube subscription, we’ve fleshed out these strategies that will help you retain attention on the video platform — and not just acquire it.

1. Craft amazing content.

Today, we work in an industry where a lot of people prioritize gaming the system over crafting the best content possible. Fortunately, in regard to their algorithm, YouTube has caught on to this hollow tactic. Their algorithm rewards engagement instead of using only vanity metrics like views and clicks, so creators are incentivized to produce videos that their audience actually enjoys watching.

To craft the most engaging videos for your YouTube channel, consider measuring your videos’ performance against engagement metrics, like watch time, average watch percentage, average view duration, audience retention, and average session duration. Then, analyze this data to figure out which topics and videos generate the most engagement. Once you pinpoint these videos, you can solely focus on creating the content that viewers are most likely to engage with, helping you rake in more subscribers.

2. Use playlists to increase engagement.

Placing your videos in playlists is an extremely effective way to organize your videos in a digestible fashion. They help your viewers easily consume videos about their favorite topics and prompts them to keep watching your content.

One way to get your viewers to watch the majority of your playlists is by starting your playlists with the videos that have the highest audience retention rate and ending them with the videos that have the lowest audience retention rate.

Even better, you could create a binge-able series or show and place entire seasons of it in a playlist. And just like your favorite Netflix show, your playlists can entice your viewers to watch entire seasons of your series, subscribe to your channel, and get excited for your show’s next season.

3. Add a subscription CTA to the end of your videos.

It seems obvious, but adding a subscription CTA to the end of your videos is one of the best ways to generate more YouTube subscribers. After your viewers watch your entire video, they’ll determine if they want to keep watching more of your videos, so to maximize your subscriber growth using CTAs, consider keeping them at the end.

Additionally, if you want more subscribers, just ask. At the end of your video when you include a CTA, ask your viewers to subscribe. This reminds them that you have more exciting content they’ll want to watch.

4. Optimize your videos.

To attract subscribers to your YouTube channel, you first need to be able to get found on YouTube. To start ranking, consider optimizing your videos and channel for popular search queries by placing relevant keywords in your videos’ titles, tags, descriptions, SRT files (which are transcriptions), video files, and thumbnail files.

You should also check out the most popular queries guiding viewers to your videos, which you can find on YouTube’s Search Report. If these queries are slightly different than your video’s topic, consider updating your video to fill these content gaps and adding these keywords to your metadata. If there’s a stark difference between your topics and the queries guiding viewers to your videos, consider making brand new videos about these popular queries.

5. Create beautiful thumbnails.

Another factor that can affect your search ranking on YouTube, and in turn, your subscriber growth are your videos’ thumbnails. Since a video’s click-through rate is one of the most important ranking factors in YouTube’s search algorithm, especially during its first hour on the platform, an eye-catching thumbnail can make a huge difference in ranking number one for a query and not ranking at all.

If your video has an ordinary or sub-par thumbnail, though, it won’t persuade anyone to click through, prompting YouTube to deem the video irrelevant and decide not to rank it in their search results or distribute it through the “Recommended Videos” feed.

To create a striking thumbnail, consider including a talking head. People are naturally drawn to human faces because it’s an ingrained survival mechanism to help us quickly gauge someone’s emotions and determine if they’re a friend or foe. Also, consider contrasting the colors of your thumbnail’s foreground and background to really make it pop.

6. Interact with your audience.

One of the main best practices to retain and acquire new YouTube subscribers is to interact with your audience. You should reply to every comment if you can, even if it’s just liking it. When a viewer watches your videos and scrolls to see your content, they’ll be excited to see that you engage with your audience and have created a community. In fact, it might make them want to join your community and get them to subscribe.

Interacting with your audience will also generate word of mouth and engagement. The more that your audience engages with you, the higher you’ll rank, and the more people will find your content.

7. Promote your videos in your other content.

Whether you have a blog or other social media platforms, it’s important to promote your YouTube videos in your other content. When you post a video, you should also promote it on social media to get your audience to watch it.

Additionally, if you have a blog, you can embed your YouTube videos as complementary content. This will help you increase your views, and tap into the audience you’ve already created. If someone follows you on Instagram, or reads your blog, they’re probably interested in what you have to say. Don’t be afraid to cross-promote on other channels to get more subscribers.

8. Release videos consistently.

One important factor in getting YouTube subscribers that isn’t discussed as much in the influencer industry is trust. When you’re creating content, your audience needs to trust you. They have to trust that you’re going to release quality content, consistently. Otherwise, why would they subscribe?

To build this trust, it’s important that your audience can rely on you. You should release your videos on a consistent basis. This doesn’t mean you need to value quantity over quality. Whatever your publishing schedule is doesn’t matter as much as being consistent with it. Whether you post once a week or twice a month.

9. Be creative.

As we mentioned above, when you’re creating YouTube videos, it’s important to optimize your content and keep in mind what your audience is searching for. However, that doesn’t mean all your videos need to be tied to a keyword.

Sometimes it’s okay to stray and just produce creative content that’s not necessarily supported by keywords. This content can be trendy, or rely on thought leaders. Regardless, don’t be afraid to use content that strays from the organic search strategy. This will help create buzz and hopefully convert viewers into subscribers.

10. Partner with other channels.

When the influencer industry began, brands recognized that they could leverage other people’s audience to market or promote their products. The same principles apply in YouTube. If you partner with other YouTube creators, you can use each other’s audience to promote your channel.

If you do this, make sure you choose channels that align with your audience’s interests, wants, and needs. It might not make sense, for instance, for a B2B company to parter with a B2C company. Your audiences should be similar enough that someone who subscribes to their channel might also be interested in your channel.

11. Make an engaging channel trailer.

After watching an engaging or interesting YouTube video, a viewer might click on your profile to see what your channel is about. In this short time period, you need to close the sale. One of the first things viewers see when they click on a channel is the trailer video. That’s why it’s important to create an engaging, fun channel trailer.

With this trailer, you can get a viewer to go from a casual viewer to a subscriber. In your trailer video, make sure you give your elevator pitch. Why should someone subscribe to your channel? What kind of content will they see?

12. Run YouTube advertising campaigns.

An oldie but a goodie. To promote your YouTube channel, run paid advertising campaigns. You can run banner or display ads promoting your channel across platforms. This will help you get the word out about your channel, get more views, rank higher, and hopefully get a few subscribers as well.

13. Produce subscriber only content.

You know how marketers create lead magnets to entice readers or viewers to download a piece of content? To get more YouTube subscribers, apply the same principle here. You can create specific lead magnetics to get people to subscribe.

For instance, perhaps every subscriber gets a free ebook. Or maybe it’s a template. Whatever it is, think of what will be helpful to your audience and might get them to subscribe to get it.

14. Pick a niche.

As with all content you produce, your YouTube videos should be highly targeted toward your audience. Pick a niche and a theme, and stick with it. While you might have a broad theme, you can create smaller subtopics and create several videos for those topics. Think of it like the pillar/cluster model for blog writing. While your blog will focus on one niche, like marketing, there are several pillar topics that you cover and cluster topics as well.

Using this model will help you create valuable content consistently. It’ll be easier to come up with targeted, personalized video ideas for your audience if you know what they want to see.

15. Know your audience.

Again, this is a classic marketing tip. On any channel you’re creating content on, you need to know your audience. For YouTube, think about whether your audience wants to watch long or short videos. This might vary by industry, so do some research to see what type of YouTube videos and what format your audience is looking for.

How to See Your Subscribers on YouTube

To see your YouTube subscribers, all you need to do is log on to your account, click your profile photo in the top right, and click “Your Channel.” From there, you should be able to see how many subscribers you have underneath your channel name.

It’s important to continue tracking this number as you’re trying to grow your YouTube channel. Now, let’s get into the discussion about buying YouTube subscribers and why you should never do it.

Buying YouTube Subscribers

First and foremost, let’s start with the fact that you should never buy YouTube subscribers. To start, it’s against the Terms of Service with YouTube, so your account will likely be suspended or terminated if you’re caught.

Second, buying YouTube subscribers will ultimately end up hurting your channel regardless of if you’re caught or not. Bought subscribers aren’t going to engage with your content, and after maybe one video, they won’t watch it either. Having a million subscribers doesn’t matter if only 50 people are actually watching the videos and engaging with your content. Those types of numbers are major red flags both for YouTube, but also for your average viewer.

Similar to the best SaaS companies, the top YouTube channels focus on building a subscriber base that can’t get enough of their videos and watches them on a consistent basis. Retaining attention has always been imperative to successful content marketing. Now, it’s time we actually prioritize it over acquiring as many darting eyeballs as possible.

CRM

3 Ways CRM Helps Marketers Who Are Working from…

What’s in this article:

  • CRM platforms optimize marketer workflows and help reach customers in these challenging times
  • Automated processes, team coordination, and realtime reporting are a few ways that CRM can help remote workers in the advertising industry
  • From any location, CRM can help marketers maintain their workflows and even increase their efficiency in the process

COVID-19 brought about many changes to the advertising industry in 2020, one of the most significant being that marketers had to start working from home. Thankfully, tools such as CRM platforms make this transition feasible by restoring marketer workflows and helping us reach customers in these challenging times. Here are a few ways that CRM can help remote workers in the advertising industry.

Automated processes

One of the most crucial CRM features is its ability to automate repetitive tasks so that marketers can focus on high-level processes. When a customer engages with a customer service touchpoint, such as a chatbot or email, the platform will automatically log the interaction. CRM can also generate entire email campaigns and lead generation sequences that contain personalized details. And that’s not even getting into the immense time-saving capabilities of CRM-based data entry.

Whether at home or the office, marketing automation makes it easier to interact with all customers at once while continuing to address individual needs. As a marketer adjusting to new circumstances, this can free you to focus on designing a scalable process without getting bogged down in unnecessary details.

Become the best CRMer you can:
CRM Hack: Monitoring the User’s Heartbeat
What Does It Mean to Treat a Customer’s Email With Respect?
To Lock or Not to Lock Customers (into CRM Journeys)
What the Efforts to Promote Responsible Gaming Look Like Form the Inside

Team coordination

In a traditional workplace, it can be challenging to communicate with other departments and work towards shared goals. When working from home, this problem amplifies — suddenly, it’s more difficult to coordinate efforts with your own team! While video conferencing tools help with meetings, additional solutions are needed to coordinate tasks concerning specific customers, which is where CRM comes into play.

To begin, CRM unifies customer information in a consistent way and makes it accessible to anyone within an organization. What’s more, team members can share specific information by tagging the relevant parties. This capability makes it far easier for marketing, sales, and customer service teams to move leads along the funnel — and to continue using these workflows while working remotely.

Customer marketing challenges and opportunities

Realtime reporting

If marketers must work from home instead of the office, they need access to up-to-date reports and audience data. Thankfully, CRM platforms can generate reports in real time and make the results available to remote team members. If you need to track campaign performance, customer buying patterns, or sales pipeline effectiveness, these tools ensure you’ll have everything you need.

This detail is crucial not just for remote team members but any marketer working in 2021. In a digital ecosystem where circumstances can change overnight, marketers must be able to find the pulse of customer engagement at any given moment. CRM makes that possible while also ensuring that they can do so safely from home.

Working from home is now the reality for marketing pros, but that doesn’t mean we have to rely on inadequate tools. CRM can help marketers maintain their workflows from any location and even increase their efficiency in the process. And if your workplace does purchase a CRM for this purpose, don’t be surprised if you can’t be without it even after returning to the office.

The post 3 Ways CRM Helps Marketers Who Are Working from Home appeared first on Post Funnel.

Marketing

How is MLOps Used in Business and Marketing?

Chances are, your brand has data scientists and operations professionals on the team, and while they do their best to collaborate, they each have their own areas of expertise.

This could lead to miscommunications and misunderstandings. The data scientists can interpret the data, but they likely don’t have the background to manage business operations. Likewise, the business team can make their side of things work, but they don’t fully know how to interpret and implement data.

Here is where machine learning operations (MLOps) come in.

In this article, we’ll discuss how MLOps can help with collaboration between your data and business teams, as well as additional immediate and future benefits of implementing it.

What is MLOps?

MLOps, in simple terms, is a set of best practices for improving communication and collaboration between your employees on the data science and operations sides of your brand.

In less simple terms, it’s a combination of machine learning, data engineering, and development operations. The goal is to provide a more streamlined process for developing and creating machine learning systems, allowing business administrators, data scientists, marketers, and IT engineers to cooperate on the same level.

It is an extension of what we know as DevOps. DevOps is the process of organizing cooperation between everyone involved in the design and building of big data. This process has been around for a while, but MLOps is still in its youth.

MLOps creates a lifecycle and a set of practices that apply to the development of machine learning systems. This includes research, development, operations, and implementation.

What Is MLOps

The process of brainstorming, developing, and implementing machine learning is extensive. Having a set of duplicatable processes to guide each project helps in many ways.

5 Benefits of MLOps

Now that we have a general understanding of MLOps, let’s look at how it can impact our businesses. All new technology has either a positive or negative effect on the digital marketing industry, so it’s crucial we understand what we’re getting.

1. MLOps Can Increase Efficiency and Automation

Making the most of our time is something most of us strive to do.

Ironically, we spend a lot of time figuring out how to do this.

We may look into all different kinds of apps and books. We could spend days reading articles or even attending seminars on efficiency and time management.

But, perhaps automating would be simpler for many people.

Automation, by definition, should increase efficiency. Once minute tasks are out of people’s hands, they can focus on big picture issues.

An essential but draining task many folks on data science teams spend time doing is data entry. That’s time they could spend focusing on the science rather than passively improving their typing skills (and, we all know, a typo in data entry can bring disaster!).

MLOps gives options for automating tasks like data entry. It takes some work upfront, but once things are going, the data scientists can get back to what they do best.

2. MLOps Eliminates Waste

MLOps helps businesses improve communication and avoid bottlenecks and costly errors.

How much time have you wasted answering the same questions, reiterating a previous point, or working extra hours to clean up an error because someone simply didn’t know what to do—or what someone else was supposed to be doing?

If you had a set of operations for each employee or contractor to follow, there would be no need to answer the same question continually. You could send them an operations checklist, and they work through it until completion.

The best thing about this is it’s highly duplicatable. I’ll use the example of a content marketing company creating content for its clients.

Let’s say you run a site reviewing camping products. Every page should follow the same basic format so your readers can easily compare products or skim to the parts they care about most.

Suppose you give your reviewers and editors a template to follow, step-by-step instructions, and information about what the others are doing. In that case, confusion can be lessened, and you can focus on which hiking boots are best in winter weather.

MLOps does this, not for content, but for communication. It allows leaders to share “templates” of what should be done on a given day and, after any frontloading, questions should lessen and related waste eliminated.

3. MLOps Focuses on Collaboration

As mentioned, a lack of communication can kill a business quickly. Collaboration between departments is so crucial. Otherwise, work gets lost, notes aren’t passed on, things get missed—and tempers may flare.

MLOps creates procedures for passing one task on to another department. The word “lifecycle” is often used to describe this process.

As a project moves through the lifecycle, workers should be able to see what has happened, what should be happening now, and what will happen next.

This is where we put on our marketer hat and look towards tools like ClickUp and Trello. These are useful for managing large numbers of tasks at the same time.

People involved in the project can access things like checklists and previous conversations at all points in the pipeline, eliminating the wait for responses on work chats or dealing with the dreaded group email.

Communications come in order, everyone who needs to be in on the conversation can be, and they’re unlikely to get lost in dozens of messages.

This process also allows for documentation. Not only does this create a paper trail of who did what so the right people can be given feedback, but it also eliminates miscommunication because it’s all outlined already.

4. MLOps Supports Machine Learning Models

MLOps Supports Machine Learning Models

Reducing the amount of variation from one project to another is an important key to scaling any business. MLOps help do this by creating reproducible models you can use as a benchmark at the beginning of each new project.

These data set registries help track resources, project data, logs, and metrics. These factors combined eliminate bottlenecks, reduce wasted time, and help move projects through the pipeline faster.

Essentially what you’re doing is creating a template that can be used over and over. These machine learning “templates” or “models” help reduce production time and produce a better product by having a benchmark to follow each time a new machine learning model comes out.

Having a duplicatable model is vital in marketing because it allows you to input any variable and experience the same result. SEO is an exceptional example of this.

Once you have a proven strategy to create content, upload it, optimize it, drive links to it, and re-optimize, you’ll never have to worry about variables because the steps are the same.

It wouldn’t matter if you were ranking an article about ergonomic keyboards or funeral home carpeting because the bones are the same.

It starts with providing those in need with the resources they want on their own time. We live in a 24-7 connected world where people work all different kinds of hours.

Gone are the days of working 9-5 and leaving all your work behind. Every employee or contractor you have should be able to receive an answer to any question when they need it.

If they have to sit around and wait for you to come back into the office in the morning, it’s creating a bottleneck, slowing down your process, and ultimately costing you money.

5. MLOps Makes Deployment and Implementation Easier

MLOps’ ability to improve communication, create processes, and automate things can make deployment and implementation easier because of the inherently reduced chances of errors.

With MLOps at their fingertips, developers can pack models much faster while still maintaining quality control with profiling and model validation.

It provides a way for data scientists and administrators to perform at a higher level with confidence in knowing each step was followed and validated for consistency.

What is the Future of MLOps in Business and Marketing?

MLOps is a new but colossal industry expected to hit $4 billion by 2025. The most significant impact it may have relates to how we manage data.

Data is meaningless if you don’t have an understandable way to translate it.

Machine learning operations allow you to take that data and turn it into something tangible. For example, if you made some changes to a specific business model and you notice worsening results after six months, you may want to circle back to the original model.

Plus, MLOps provides consistency. Producing a consistent product is a tall order because each scenario is different, and you’ll likely run into unique issues each time. Businesses all over the world struggle to put out a consistent product/service time and time again.

MLOps helps data scientists and operations managers work together to produce consistent results across a considerable time frame. As the project moves from one end of the pipeline to another, all the people involved need to have a way to ensure quality is maintained. MLOps can even automate the process of quality assurance with routine scans.

Conclusion

MLOps helps create lines of communication between everyone involved in the process of developing machine learning technology. As marketers, we can learn something from this and implement the same principles in our businesses.

Every business can benefit from clear guidelines and processes to follow. If you’re experiencing bottlenecks, slow production times, and a large number of errors, you might want to pull back the curtain and take a look at your procedures as a whole.

If that sounds like a lot of work, we can help!

How do you think MLOps will impact business and marketing?

The post How is MLOps Used in Business and Marketing? appeared first on Neil Patel.

Blogging Mistakes

What Is Content Writing? Plus 12 Tips to Take…

When you search for “content writers” on LinkedIn, you’re bound to come across an incredibly diverse range of professionals.

For instance, you’ll see some content writers create social media copy for small businesses, while others write press materials for insurance brands.

You’ll also find that some content writers write long-form editorial content for glamorous magazines, while the more entrepreneurial-type write scripts for their own branded content, like podcast or video.

So, what’s going on here … Are some of them lying?

In fact, they’re all telling the truth. Content writing can take various forms, but in essence, it comes down to creating content for digital formats — and (at least in our case) for marketing purposes.

Here, we’ll explore what content writing is (hint, hint … I’m currently doing it), as well as tips to take your own content to the next level. Plus, we’ll explore examples of incredible, high-quality content writing.

But, to start — What is content writing, anyway?

What is content writing?

Content writing is the process of writing, editing, and publishing content in a digital format.

That content can include blog posts, video or podcast scripts, ebooks or whitepapers, press releases, product category descriptions, landing page or social media copy … and more.

Simply put, content writers are the storytellers for their brand. They convey meaningful, helpful, and insightful messages to inspire and move an audience to take action — that action being a final sale.

Nowadays, content creation is a critical component of most businesses marketing strategies — in fact, as of 2020, 70% of marketers now actively invest in content marketing.

This means the role of content writer is more in-demand than ever before. However, the role varies depending on both industry and business needs.

For instance, some businesses might invest heavily in a social media strategy, while other companies prefer creating content in the format of blog posts or e-books.

Regardless of format, a content writer is critical for creating high-quality content that represents and strengthens a brand’s voice, while attracting, engaging, and delighting the right audience.

When done right, content writing has the power to convert readers into prospects, and prospects into paying customers. So it’s undeniably important for your business’ bottom-line that you’re able to consistently create helpful, engaging content.

But that’s easier said than done. To help take your content to the next level, let’s dive into some of my favorite content writing tips (these have personally helped me, as well).

12 Content Writing Tips

1. Write unique and original content, and go above-and-beyond what you find online.

Whenever I start a new blog post, like this one, I start with plenty of online research — but that’s not where it ends.

After Googling relevant topics, including “content writing tips”, I begin creating an outline using some of the information I find online.

However, your piece will never rank if you just copy-and-paste the same information that already exists online — and, even if it does, when your readers catch on (and they will), they’ll lose trust in your brand as an authority within the industry.

Once I finish my rough outline (which will include about 60% of the information I found through online research), I fill in the remaining 40% with unique, original insights. If I know about a topic personally (as is the case with “content writing”, since I’m a content writer myself), I’ll fill in the outline with original anecdotes, tips, or personal examples.

However, if I don’t know much about the topic at-hand, that doesn’t mean I simply use what’s already online. Instead, I’ll reach out to internal HubSpotters who are experts on the topic or use other original internal-company resources, or I’ll conduct external outreach via my social networks to find a reputable source willing to provide tips, quotes, or original examples to beef up my piece.

Additionally, I’ll look for content regarding the topic across a wide range of sources — including YouTube, LinkedIn, Reddit, Quora, as well as podcasts — to ensure when readers’ come across my content, it’s both comprehensive and unique.

If they can find the same information elsewhere on Google, why should they stay on your page? As a good content writer, it’s your job to take your content to the next level, always.

2. Write a good hook to grab your reader’s attention.

Sometimes, it’s easy to write a good hook — particularly if the topic is intriguing or exciting to you, as the writer.

But what about more boring, mundane topics, like Rel=nofollow?

In certain cases, writing a good hook requires pulling back and looking at the bigger picture. For instance, while rel=nofollow isn’t the most fascinating topic (in my opinion), what is interesting to me is SEO, and how SEO can directly impact a company’s ability to reach new audiences — plus, how Google has needed to change regulations in recent years due to an increase in illegitimate sites.

Which means, when I started writing 3 Reasons Why SEO’s Are Upset About Google’s Rel=nofollow Announcement, I used that angle to inspire my hook, and painted a picture: Myself as a Wikipedia editor, writing about zebras, and getting paid $500 to link to a fake news website.

(Now you’re interested, aren’t you?)

My Creative Writing background helps in this case, and I’m willing to bet your own passion for writing will help you create exciting hooks, as well.

Oftentimes, the introduction and hook is your best opportunity to use your writing skills to truly inspire, move, surprise, and delight your readers from the get-go. Take advantage of that space by thinking: What would make me and my friends want to keep reading?

3. SEO-optimize your content for search engines.

Your writing can be absolutely stunning, but if it’s not SEO-optimized, no one will ever read it.

As a content writer, it’s critical you become familiar with SEO when it comes to writing.

Being an SEO-savvy writer can help you ensure your content ranks on whichever platforms you’re publishing, including YouTube, Google, or even social sites like Instagram.

Plus, you can use SEO to ensure you’re writing about the most popular topics related to your products or services, and covering the right sub-topics when you’re writing about a given topic.

For instance, “content writing tips” is a keyword phrase I found when conducting keyword research on the topic of “content writing” as a whole — it’s not necessarily a sub-topic I would’ve considered covering in this blog post had I not done the research to recognize HubSpot readers are seeking out that information.

Ultimately, learning key SEO tactics will help you become a writer whose more attuned with your readers’ challenges, and ensure you create content that more accurately answers those challenges.

4. Consider how you can attract an audience across a wide variety of platforms.

While SEO is critical for ensuring your content ranks on search engines like Google, it’s not the only opportunity for distribution.

To reach a wider audience, it’s helpful to learn how to write content that performs well on various platforms such as Instagram, LinkedIn, or email.

Plus, you might be a content writer whose sole job is to write newsletter content or social media copy, depending on your business’ needs.

To ensure your content reaches and inspires audiences regardless of the platform they prefer, it’s vital you consistently consume content via email and social to pick up writing tips specific for those sources.

5. Incorporate multimedia components to break up the text.

Whenever possible, try to incorporate videos, images, graphs, or other multimedia content to break up the text and make it easier for your readers’ to consume — particularly if it’s long-form content, like pillar pages or whitepapers.

Consider, for instance, the blog post I wrote: “How to Develop a Content Strategy: A Start-to-Finish Guide“.

That blog post is long, with over 3,000 words. To break it up, I embedded videos and other multimedia elements (like blockquotes), to keep the reader engaged throughout.

This is also a good opportunity to increase traffic to your company’s various marketing materials. For instance, if you have a new company podcast, try embedding episodes in relevant blog posts to drive listeners to the podcast while providing additional value for your readers — a win, win.

6. Segue into appropriate and relevant calls-to-action.

As a content writer, your job isn’t just to create good content (that’s what novelists are for). It’s also to ultimately convert those readers, listeners, or viewers into prospects and customers.

As such, it’s vital you learn how to appropriately include relevant CTAs throughout your content, particularly if those CTAs can help your readers learn more about the topic at-hand.

Consider, for instance, the relevant CTAs embedded in the body text of HubSpot’s YouTube video, “How to Understand Facebook Video Insights (Guide)“:

These in-text CTAs direct YouTube viewers to explore other HubSpot offerings, including HubSpot Academy social media courses. The CTAs aren’t jarring or off-putting — instead, the content writer did a good job ensuring the CTAs were relevant and truly valuable for the viewer.

When you’re creating your own content, it’s important you ensure you’re consistently directing your audience to various business offerings to convert those viewers into prospects and, ultimately, consumers.

7. Edit, edit, edit.

Whenever I finish a first draft of a blog post, I take a few hours off and then return to it at the end of the day. With a fresh perspective, I’m able to edit for small grammatical errors or fix structural issues.

Good content writing is impossible without good content editing.

We’re all human and will continue to make mistakes in our writing: That’s okay, as long as you remember to go back and edit for those errors, later.

Additionally, small grammatical errors can ultimately make-or-break a readers’ trust in your brand as a whole. If they notice you’ve forgotten periods or misspelled words, they might make the judgment that your content isn’t as authoritative and clean as other content on the web, and look for future information elsewhere.

8. Jam-pack value into every sentence.

When I worked with an editor a few years ago, she consistently told me: “If your sentence isn’t telling the reader anything new, delete it.”

This was a tough pill to swallow. That meant some of my most beautiful, moving sentences needed to be deleted. But it’s a fair point: In content creation, you need to move quickly onto your next point, or you’ll lose your reader entirely.

Most of your readers are busy people with plenty of distractions, including other businesses’ social posts, blog articles, or YouTube videos. Make it easy for them by making your point — and then moving on.

9. Play around with interesting angles.

Good content writers consistently test out new, surprising angles to keep readers engaged and coming back for more.

Consider, for instance, how often “consumer product” has been written about. I’m willing to bet if you’ve ever researched the topic, you’ve already seen a wide variety of angles as different content writers try to make an old topic feel new again.

But … have you ever seen consumer product compared to water, before?

Articles like “Be Like Water — A Guiding Principle for Consumer Product” do an excellent job at finding new angles to pull readers’ in, even if those readers have seen plenty of consumer product-related content before.

The more unique and surprising your angles are, the more likely you are to capture new audiences.

10. Incorporate original quotes from thought leaders or colleagues to paint a well-rounded argument.

No matter how good my writing is, my readers still don’t necessarily want to hear my advice on protecting your mental health while working from home.

Which is why I didn’t try to tackle the topic myself — instead, I found a psychologist to provide well-researched, helpful tips to take my piece to the next level.

Even if you’re an expert on a topic, consider how you might provide alternative opinions to create a more well-rounded argument. If you’re writing a blog post like, “Video vs. Podcast: Which Is Better For Your Business?”, see if you can get quotes from both podcasters and video producers (or your own internal colleagues who feel passionate about the subject).

Expert quotes or original insights will impress readers and show them that what they’re finding on your website, they won’t find elsewhere on the web. And that’s powerful.

11. Tell the reader why what you’re writing about matters to them and their daily lives.

Let’s say you’re creating an ebook: “A Comprehensive Guide to Excel”.

Not exactly what excited you most when you majored in English, is it?

Imagine how your readers feel: Sure, they might download your ebook if they need the information to excel (ha, ha) in their jobs, but they won’t necessarily be excited about it.

Consider, however, how critical Excel is for certain functions. Excel can help a company’s financial department analyze year-over-year performance to determine how much budgeting a marketing team will receive in the upcoming year.

That budget contributes to critical growth, and the business’ ability to reach and convert new customers. Without it, the marketing team won’t be able to increase brand awareness as effectively as they’d like — and the business will suffer, as a result.

When you recognize that Excel can actually be tied to a person’s job security, it suddenly becomes much more fascinating, doesn’t it?

Content writing isn’t just about creating pretty sentences. It’s also about telling a reader why a topic should matter to them, and how your content can help them become better in certain areas of their lives — be it work, family, health, or travel. Now that’s purposeful.

12. Ground your advice with examples.

As I’ve covered these content writing tips, I’ve tried to include a few relevant examples (i.e. my Rel=nofollow blog post).

Examples can help ground your advice and drive a message home — and they can also help demonstrate how readers can apply your advice to their lives.

Particularly when you’re writing about loftier, less tangible topics, it’s critical you show your readers what you mean, rather than just telling them.

But what better way to demonstrate the importance of examples than to … Show you some examples? (Great segue, huh?)

Let’s dive into some examples of powerful content writing, next.

Examples of Content Writing

Along with the examples I’ve included above, let’s take a look at some impressive examples of content writing.

1. Harris and Harris Wealth Management’s Blog Post, “What Keeps Me Calm For Clients As Markets Gyrate”:

The hook in Harris and Harris Wealth Management Blog post on market downturns.

Why It Works

If you have the chance to read the whole article, do — the entire piece is informative and engaging. But what this introduction does particularly well is hook the reader with an opening that’s surprising and intriguing. 

“You never see it until it happens … We were due … I just didn’t expect it …” are all phrases that work to create suspense and encourage the viewer to keep reading. Zaneilia Harris, the author of the post, uses emotion to engage with her readers and make “market downturns” as a topic both personal — and universal. A great example of using a powerful hook to attract, surprise, and delight readers. 

2. The Rachel Hollis Podcas‪t‬, “No Motivation? Here’s How to Create Your Own!”

The description on a Rachel Hollis podcast episode.

Why It Works

The podcast script is exciting, relevant, and powerful. I found myself nodding along as I listened: something most content writers hope will happen in reaction to their content. 

In particular, take a look at the description for the podcast (if you don’t have the time to listen to the whole episode): “This week … Rachel is delivering her best secrets for creating a firestorm of motivation inside a season where even a spark feels hard to find.” 

The language is compelling and unique — and who doesn’t want a firestorm of motivation? This is an excellent example of content writing that encourages a reader to complete a task: In this case, downloading the episode. 

3. Trello’s Business Plan Template post via LinkedIn.

A Trello advertisement on LinkedIn.

Why It Works

Simply put, sometimes, timing is everything. 

Trello’s content writers published the right message at the right time —in this case, the very beginning of 2021. Entrepreneurs were likely attracted to the hook, “Are you thinking about turning your passion project into a real-life business in 2021?”

Additionally, the copy uses a wide-variety of examples to attract as many viewers as possible. For instance, the copy mentions the template can help you organize product descriptions, finances, or industry analyses.

Whenever possible, it’s helpful to ensure your copy can attract audiences with different challenges or needs — which this post does well. 

4. Brian Dean’s YouTube video, “How to Start (And Grow) a YouTube Channel in 2020”:

Brian Dean's video on growing a YouTube channel.

Why It Works

When the video starts, one of the first sentences Brian says is this one: “These are the exact same steps I used to take my channel from zero subscribers to over 5,000,000 views.”

That’s powerful script writing, and goes a long way towards convincing viewers to keep watching. Why? Because it tells you the content that follows actually helped someone succeed, and creates a level of authenticity that could be missing if Brian simply said, “I’ve heard from others that these tips work.” 

5. Ally Bank’s “Save for what matters in 2021” newsletter email:

Ally Bank's newsletter at the beginning of 2021.

Why It Works

I was immediately drawn to the punny slogan at the top of this email when I opened it in my inbox, which reads: “On your mark. Get set. Goals.” The rest of this newsletters packs a punch, too — each sentence is jam-packed with valuable information, and best of all, the content is directed right at me, the reader. 

And who doesn’t want to make 2021 the “year you save for what matters”?

Content

Marketing Lessons: What Every Smart Marketer Needs to Know

Are you a budding marketer? Then you are probably already familiar with the basics of marketing. However, as a digital marketer, you need to constantly learn and build upon your existing knowledge base to generate great results.

While some marketing lessons are best learned from trial and error, we can learn a few of them from others’ experiences.

Learn from the experiences of seasoned marketers and leading brands, which are known for their flawless marketing campaigns. Keeping these lessons in mind can help you shine.

Following the promotion of our helpful guide to learning marketing skills, I have six marketing lessons to show you that I’ve learned over time. I wish I had learned them earlier.

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Download Your 11-Step Guide to Learning Any Marketing Skill

CoSchedule’s Marketing Lead, Nathan Ellering, has created the perfect guide to showing you the way to mastering marketing skills in just 11 steps! Download your own copy of this guide here, and get learning.

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Lesson #1: People Don’t Buy Products; They Buy Stories and Benefits

People don’t care about how great your product or its features are; they only care about themselves.

Therefore, the best product marketing strategy is to not focus on the product but on how it will benefit the target consumers.

You should focus on showcasing how your product will:

  • Make their life easier
  • Make them a better person
  • Help them grow
  • Make them happier

The marketing lesson to learn here is simple: You should write your marketing copy for the ideal buyers, not for product promotions. If needed, hire talented copywriters who can create copy that your target consumers can engage and resonate with.

A Good Example:

When Apple launched the iPod, people were already using MP3 players.

What helped Apple reach and occupy the target market?

While a lot of features were different, a key aspect was how Apple marketed the iPod.

Ad example from Apple

Telling your ideal buyers what they can do with your product works well for most businesses across industries.

Other than benefits, what entices consumers are emotional stories. You should tell a story to your ideal buyers. You could promise to make them happy, healthy, wealthy, or beautiful if they buy your product.

The famous shoe company, TOMS, says: “We’re in business to improve lives.”

This message is loud and clear and is not limited to their tagline. They also associate similar messaging in their marketing copy.

With their “One for One” slogan, they pledge to help one person in need for every purchase a customer makes, and they also share annual impact reports to showcase how your purchases are helping the world.

Ad from TOMS
TOMS’ Impact Report Highlights

What story does this tell consumers?

It tells them that buying a pair of shoes from TOMS makes you generous and kind.

Lesson #2: Understanding the Purpose

Often, marketers only focus on the campaign at hand, the new product to launch, or the month’s sales target to meet. Have you ever thought about where each of your campaigns is taking your brand?

We can all benefit from understanding the bigger picture, especially the marketing teams.

Questions to ask about your brand

By communicating the big picture, you can ensure that everyone’s on the same page and working towards the main goal. Doing so often helps teams work better together to meet marketing objectives.

The marketing lesson here is quite clear — you can plan and run high-converting campaigns when everyone on your team understands the purpose behind it.

Every marketing step should be aligned with your long-term business goals.

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Lesson #3: Freebies Are Always in Trend

Giving away freebies scares many marketers because the main goal is to sell products and make profits — not to offer freebies.

Ironically, offering freebies can do more good than harm.

People love free products and services. If you offer them something free, they are more likely to share your product with their friends, family members, and social circles. Hosting a giveaway is a perfect method to raise awareness about your brand or a new product line. It can significantly improve sales and positively impact your brand building activities.

The marketing lesson here is that you should plan to offer freebies once in a while and let consumers do all the marketing for you.

However, it’s important to:

  • Fix a budget for annual giveaways.
  • Price your products accordingly to ensure you can always make greater profits than your investments.
  • Limit giveaway campaigns for 24 hours, so you can keep a tab on the number of free products you’ll be offering.
  • Associate a set of rules with your giveaway campaigns to maximize returns in terms of branding and recognition.
  • Encourage people to use a branded hashtag to enjoy more benefits in the long run.

Lesson #4: Listen to Data and Pivot When Necessary

This is one lesson that I’ve learned the hard way: to track, analyze, and optimize campaigns on the go, using data.

As digital marketers, we often plan, analyze, and make assumptions about how our campaigns should turn out to be. While setting up a direction for your campaigns with milestones is important, you can’t be a stubborn marketer.

One marketing lesson that I’ve learned over time is that you can’t predict how consumers will respond to your campaign or what will convince them to take action.

You can only find out how people respond after you launch your campaign.

If things go against your initial assumptions, it’s okay to:

  • Change the path midway.
  • Optimize your campaigns based on real-time data.
  • Stop putting more money into strategies that don’t give enough results.

To be a successful marketer, you need to track results, understand data, and leverage valuable insights to plan your next move.

Thanks to AI technology, various analytics tools, and A/B testing, everything in today’s digital world is trackable. You just need to use it the right way.

Lesson #5: Brand Value Matters

Regardless of the industry and business you’re in, brand value matters.

There’s no denying that the product or service you’re offering should be good and provide actual value. At the same time, the value of your brand plays an important role in driving sales.

If consumers have never heard of your brand, they don’t have any reason to trust you, and they will not buy from you — no matter how good your product is.

Every marketer will agree that investing in brand building activities is an absolute necessity.

How brand building helps

Similarly, you should also build a personal brand for yourself that highlights your skills, achievements, and capabilities. You can either build a portfolio website or an impressive Instagram account to showcase how you can help brands. Doing so can add credibility to your profile and help you attract high-value work opportunities.

Lesson #6: Creating Compelling Content

Big businesses create a lot of content, but it’s always the quality over quantity when it comes to content marketing.

If you want to make it big as a digital marketer, you will have to learn how to create compelling content. Whether you’re writing a promotional email or Facebook ad copy, the words you choose will play a crucial part in your campaign success.

Take notes from a brand, like Zomato. They never fail to make people stop scrolling and engage with their fun, yet relatable, posts. You can see a few examples below.

Zomato Instagram ad
Instagram

What should you do to solidify your content creation skills as a marketer?

  • Understand who you are writing for.
  • Take up copywriting courses.
  • Learn persuasion techniques.
  • Identify and use power words.
  • Follow brands and people who are experts in creating engaging content.
  • Hire a copywriter to empower your marketing campaigns with better copy.

You can also become a renowned marketer, such as Gary Vaynerchuk, by publishing great content that can help people and brands grow.

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A Few More Marketing Life Lessons

Some lessons that I learned as a marketer have also helped me grow into a better person.

Let’s take a look at these life-changing marketing lessons:

  • You can’t do it all on your own and trying will only break you down. You should learn to delegate tasks and do it often. You’ll have to realize the importance of delegating at some point, so why not learn from others’ mistakes?
  • Don’t compromise ethics, even if it hurts. Sometimes, short-term benefits can compel you to go the wrong way but, trust me, there is no shortcut to success. Being ethical and honest will help you go farther and climb the endless ladder of success.
  • The key to success lies in following your passion. You need to be passionate about what you are doing to make a living. If you’re not driven by true passion, you will not be able to do it effectively or long-term.
  • Never put all your eggs in one basket. While this advice is commonly given to amateur investors, it is applicable to different folks of life — including marketing.

As a marketer, you can’t rely on a single marketing strategy, an individual influencer, or a specific type of content. If you want to succeed, you should strategize, experiment, measure results, and invest more in the strategies that drive the best results.

  • The foundation of growth is excellence. Marketing can help you get an initial boost, but your brand will grow only if you offer premium-quality products and services. You should focus on offering value to your customers.

Key Takeaways From These Marketing Lessons

There are a plethora of lessons to learn as a marketer, and it’s always better to learn from the mistakes and experiences of others instead of making costly mistakes on your own.

I hope that the marketing lessons I’ve covered in this post will help you rethink and analyze what to do and what not to do. Keeping these marketing lessons in mind can help increase your chances of conversions and, thereby, help you grow businesses.

What marketing lessons have you learned that you’ve spent working on in the business world?

The post Marketing Lessons: What Every Smart Marketer Needs to Know appeared first on CoSchedule Blog.

branding

A Letter to Alyssa Raine: An Update On Walgreen’s…

If you are not Alyssa Raine, then here’s a summary of what’s in this article:

  • A follow up on PostFunnel’s CRM analysis taken on Walgreens back in July 2020
  • Though they got a better score on the Relevancy commandment, Walgreens still isn’t exhibiting realtime personalization tactics
  • There’s also some room for improvement on how they use social media to support CRM

If you ARE Alyssa Raine, then, hi!

Dear Ms. Raine, Group Vice President, Customer Marketing Platforms at Walgreens.

I’m writing you because back in July 2020, we at PostFunnel – a publication dedicated to everything relationship marketing (O&O by Optimove) – analyzed Walgreens’ relationship marketing tactics, according to our “7 commandments” for basic CRM practices for the kind of world we live in today. In other words, through the lens of how brands should behave in a post-COVID-19 world in order to improve their chances of building meaningful customer relationships.

You can read more about the method at the bottom of this page.

Point is, we ran this analysis for your brand back in the summer of 2020. You can see the full analysis here.

And now, we wanted to revisit it, see what has changed – what has improved, stagnated, or gotten worse. After all, we all know these things are dynamic. And make sure you see this update.

So, let’s cut to the chase. Back then, yours was only the 8th brand we analyzed, and you scored 70%. Which, at the time, was enough for 6th place. Now, 39 brands in, it’s good for 26th.

You did great at offering relevant and useful promotions to customers, and at being transparent and helpful as a company. You scored lower on the realtime personalization and social media commandments.

Now, seven months later – we came back to look at these customer relationship marketing practices and would like to bring the following to your attention.

What’s Gone Better

Relevancy

Last time, we wrote about the banner below, “The only message regarding shipping and pickup options was this one, for canvas prints. A bit tone-deaf.”

We were happy to see that, since then, you added a lot more info about your pickup and delivery services – which are very basic requirements customers have in today’s reality. For instance, on the Walgreens HP, it says:

New! Get your Pickup order in as little as 30 minutes. Shop now ›

You also added the HP banner below to provide customers with all the info they need on the various shopping methods – and it seems as if Walgreens added new ways to ease the shopping experience for customers, too:

Therefore, on the “Be Relevant” commandment, it’s safe to say your score on this commandment should now go from 8 to a perfect 10.

What’s Not Better 

Realtime Personalization  

Last time, we explained that the 0 points on realtime personalization really hurt your rankings.

Unfortunately, this hasn’t changed as far as our visits to your site showed.

We checked to see whether Walgreens will personalize our experience to suit our products of interest. So, this time we added shampoos and hair care products to our shopping cart.

When scrolling down to the bottom of the page after adding shampoo to our cart, we did notice similar item suggestions, as shown in the image below:

However, when going back to the homepage – nothing changed to provide us with a more personalized shopping experience.

Realtime personalization goes well beyond showcasing the simple “people also bought” component to different customers on the same product page. It has a lot to do with delivering a personalized experience that can anticipate what the customer would most likely want to shop at any given moment, according to their behavior. We did not see evidence for this.

Furthermore, we weren’t retargeted (once again) in realtime with Walgreens ads when logging off the site and hopping onto our social media accounts. So, maybe not a 0/10, but certainly nothing significantly higher.

Leverage Social Media

We wrote back in July, “Could the second-largest pharmaceutical chain in the United States be doing more on social media, though? Running contests, giveaways, hosting shows, and so much more would be appreciated, especially since many of us are still social distancing at home.”

On Instagram, we did notice you using the Insta story feature as opposed to its neglection at the time of July’s analysis. Kudos to that!

However, on Instagram, you still post on a weekly basis, with your last post being on Valentine’s Day:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Walgreens (@walgreens)

The same goes for Twitter and Facebook. Though Walgreens posts every few days here, we still think that the second-largest pharmaceutical chain in the United States could be doing more – at least one post a day to keep customers engaged. And it’s not just the frequency, it’s also the content. Too bad!

Scoring Walgreens again would not yield a significantly higher score than the original one. And it was important for us to point this all out to you.

Thing is, as you probably know, and as established by extensive Optimove research – brands can drive business growth through existing customers to a point where their CRM’s contribution to the company’s revenue can get to even 30%. Sometimes, even higher. The technology and knowledge of how to achieve it exists. With customer acquisition costs being always on the rise, investing in existing customers is only getting more important.

Thanks,
PostFunnel Team

**

About the 7 Commandments for Basic CRM Tactics for the post-coronavirus-outbreak world:

We have a saying here at PostFunnel: All marketing is relationship marketing. Why? Because every touchpoint with a potential customer impacts the kind of relationship, they will have with a brand, if and when they become customers. Even branding has. It’s like what people hear about their upcoming blind-date can determine the actual meeting’s success.

In recent years, it meant that the ways brands support global, social, environmental, and even political causes have become increasingly critical to their relationships with customers.

Then, 2020 happened. With its global pandemic’s tragedy, economic downturn, and historical social and political turmoils – people turned their eyes to brands, almost as much as they have to governments. Expecting and judging brands by how they conduct themselves throughout such events was never more crucial to a company’s CRM success.

One after the other, the internet got flooded with articles advising marketing and CRM leaders on how to make sure their brand is suited for this new reality. So, we combed dozens of them – and came up with a list of 7 staples that appeared in most of those articles.

The 7 most essential commandments a brand must follow these days to make sure they put themselves in the best position possible to develop long, meaningful relationships with their customers.

The 7 commandments are:

1) Transparency. Show the human side of your brand

2) Give incentives and perks (that make sense)

3) Be relevant (with your language, offering)

4) Be helpful (improve your communities’ lives)

5) Personalize in realtime (cause, duh)

6) Master UX (slow, clunky websites are no longer an option)

7) Leverage social media (don’t just treat it as a sales channel)

Yup, that’s all. Without being at least decent at all of these, your CRM efforts will struggle to achieve their full potential.

And, let’s be honest, it’s not too much to ask of a brand, right?

Yet, you’ll be surprised how many well-known brands fall short too often when analyzed through these lenses.

Still, it makes some sense – these changes are happening fast, and not all brands can react and adapt quickly enough and on all fronts.

And we’re here to follow these reactions and adjustments as they happen.

 

 

The post A Letter to Alyssa Raine: An Update On Walgreen’s Basic CRM Tactics appeared first on Post Funnel.

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