Engagement Marketing is Here, Take Advantage

The goals of just about every company can be summarized pretty quickly: to acquire customers efficiently, grow their lifetime value and convert them into loyal advocates who influence new customers.

The social and mobile world has made it very hard to drive that cycle.

Buyers are now more empowered. They have access to a seemingly endless amount of information and they are forming opinions and drawing conclusions way before they even choose to interact with a brand. A study conducted by Forrester’s found that 2/3rds to 90% of a buyer’s journey today is self-directed, happening before buyers interact directly with the brand.

On top of that, customers are hit with almost 3,000 messages per day! This makes it very difficult for a brand to stay top of mind and relevant. If it can’t do that, it can’t grow the lifetime value of its customers.

With banner ads and other messages being tuned out, buyers are now being influenced by other buyers. A study by McKinsey shows that up to 50% of purchasing decisions are influenced by advocates. Clearly, marketing is shifting from the traditional technique of mass marketing and transactional marketing to engagement marketing.

Shifting to Engagement Marketing

We know social and mobile technologies have changed the way marketing is interacting with people. Yet, brands are still using old marketing “schools of thought” with these new technologies simply because “this is how we’ve always done it.” It is time to change.

If today’s digital world has shown us anything it’s that the “click” is only the beginning of a customer relationship, not the end. Marketing has shifted from talking at people or focusing on transactions, to engaging with people – building meaningful, life-long, and personalized relationships.

Engagement Marketing is about connecting with people.

For individuals, engagement marketing means shifting from mass communication to targeted, personal communication. This means understanding a customer’s individual preference, history and relationship with your brand. Persona-based marketing may speak to “typical” buyers, but 1:1 engagement marketing speaks to customers as a single person with their own style, behaviors and set of preferences.

Engagement marketing moves away from demographic marketing to marketing based on behavior. Instead of assuming what a customer is interested in because they fit a certain profile, engagement marketing uses data to tell you precisely who to target, with what and when.

Take Down the Silos

Siloed communications does not take into account the reality of today’s customer moving from email, to Facebook, to blogs, to a brand’s website, back to other social media channels. Engagement marketing shifts this to an integrated marketing approach. It is now about “omni-channel,” not just multi-channel. In order to achieve this, marketers need to create consistent experiences across every single platform, continuing a conversation from one channel or device to the next.

Engagement marketing does not rely on disconnected, point-in-time campaign blasts. What it does rely on is a continuous process. Engagement marketing responds to customers at every stage of the purchasing process and keeps them engaged to the ultimate point of purchase. It constantly flows and every interaction asks for another interaction thus creating a longer chain of events. With this, a customer’s first purchase is just the beginning of their value.

We all have goals right? What engagement marketing does is it moves from unclear objectives to clear customer journeys. Every interaction moves customers further along their lifecycle. Your goal is to move those buyers into the next phase with call-to-actions that are targeted with laser focus.

As marketers we need a measurable impact. Engagement marketing is measurable with advanced analytics and reporting. You can track customer actions and tie them to a specific tactic. With this, you can then optimize going forward and show marketing as a revenue-driver.

Conclusion

With the technology available to consumers combined with the fact that these consumers are always on the go, it’s necessary to coordinate marketing campaigns faster and more efficiently. Tasks that were a “time suck” can now be done in minutes to manage volume and complexity. Campaigns across multiple channels become a coordinated effort and what’s more, engagement marketing allows for total scalability.

Engage & Influence Your Audience

Engagement and Influencer Marketing

It’s a tough world out there for marketers and advertisers – Their job is centered around reach and frequency. They want to get their message out to their target audience in the easiest manner available and for little as possible. Luckily for them, almost everyone has a smart phone and spends the majority of their day using it. It’s easier now than ever for marketers to get their message in front of eyeballs. However, this isn’t always the best route to take – they should be investing heavily with engagement and influencer marketing. 

Marketers can’t just blast their audience with ads anymore. Users have become so immune to advertisements – it’s easy for them to just flip a switch and easily tune out all ads. Not to mention the increasing amount of people using ad blockers. That means wasted dollars for little to no impressions. Marketing and advertising campaigns now have to get extra creative or think outside the box to find a new way to engage their audience.

This is where we start to see marketing campaigns rely heavily on influencer marketing and engagement marketing. Not only agencies but brands are starting to see the potential in these new types of marketing strategies. Tide recently executed a great campaign using both influencer marketing and engagement marketing. They partnered with a bunch of social media and YouTube celebrities to kick off their Tide Challenge campaign. These influencers have huge followings across social media and Tide was able to tap into their audience by working together to create unique content.

The campaign resulted in millions of views for the Tide YouTube channel and drove thousands of people to subscribe to the channel. By partnering with influencers and creating original content, users proactively engaged with the content in a more natural way, rather than being subjected to pre-roll advertising. Tide was still able to increase their brand exposure but without the risk of alienating a potential audience from too many ads.

At the same time, Tide used social media to connect and engage with their audience on a 1:1 ratio. That means every time Tide was mention on social media, a member of the social media team would respond. This level of engagement only helped to increase the awareness for the brand during their campaign.

Businesses and marketing agencies can learn a lot from the Tide Challenge campaign. People are more open and responsive to engaging with a brand if it comes on a recommendation of one of their favorite influencers. You see this happening all across the internet with bloggers, podcasters, and social media stars partnering with influencers to get their message to an audience. It helps if these brands have an active social media presence and work to build a community of their own. Keep an eye out and you’ll soon start to notice many more brands working with influencers to grow their awareness.

 

Intern Blog: A Newcomer’s Perspective on Digital Advertising

In school, you hear the word advertising and are immediately exposed to the big ads that made it. Emotional, insightful, out-of-the-box stuff is presented to you in lecture, and you sit there (as a wide-eyed 19 year old) and decide that print ads and commercials are what you were born to create. You want to make people cry over baked beans. You want to make America NEED the newest detergent brand. You want to be able to use your own wit and intelligence to cleverly make something small into something big and send a message that lasts. That’s exactly what I want to do, and the closer I’m getting to graduation, the more I’m reaching out to people in the business to get my name out there and learn more.

Shocking discovery: professionals I speak to keep telling me the entire ad world is going digital. Yes, we learn about it in class. “Social media is an important way to connect with your potential consumers and start a conversation.” “Everybody is constantly online…it’s the best way to reach a wide audience.” I get it. But I had no idea that college grads were going to digital agencies just as often as they were going to traditional ones. I didn’t know that large, well-known agencies are creating completely separate, digital branches that focus only on that aspect of advertising and marketing. Every successful professional I spoke to went on and on about the importance of digital and that it’s the new thing to do.

This idea was obscure and confusing to me before I started to work at Good Monster. No giant billboards with my funny words on them? No innovative, 60-second spots on TV for the whole world to watch? What’s so great about digital anyway?

Then one day at my internship, I was asked to find and reach out to legitimate businesses to network with. I found myself categorizing businesses as “legitimate” by two standards: 1) what their website looked like and 2) what they had to say on Facebook/Twitter. It was then that I realized the impact that digital marketing has for brands. Digital marketing is comparable to traditional advertising because although the two go about it in different ways, each entity can form the same result: the creation of a brand image and a deeper trust for that brand. Any person well-exposed to the internet knows, within a matter of seconds, if a business “looks legit” from what their website is like within a matter of seconds. Although it’s not that hard to create good looking websites today, a lot of people aren’t taking the time to do it—and that that tells you a lot about their business right then and there. The same goes for social media: before it, businesses would give anything to have a free platform that let them connect with literally everyone in the world. Now, a lot of people who are equipped with this luxury aren’t taking advantage of it in a way that connects them with the public. This too, is a huge sign of what the brand is like on the inside.

With this new exposure to digital, I’m left with a better understanding of the advertising industry in general and with a more open mind for what’s to come.

Everything You Need to Know About Instagram Advertising

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Instagram advertising is both a serious and easy way to get your message out to your target audience. Instagram recently opened up advertising to everyone so now anyone can do it, and you should to be using it. There are over 400 million users on Instagram – making it a legitimate social network to advertise on.

Captivate

Just like Instagram’s parent company Facebook, you are not allowed to have your image advertisement contain more than 20% text. This keeps advertisers from spamming their images with text. Instagram doesn’t want to compromise the integrity of their platform by allowing spammy advertisements to ruin a user’s timeline. So when you make an advertisement and place it on Instagram it’s imperative to have captivating images that capture the viewer’s attention to get them to stop scrolling and digest your ad.

 

Setting It Up

To make Instagram advertising even easier, you can set up an ad campaign directly through Facebook’s Ad Manager or Power Editor. Instagram appears as a placement option when you’re building a campaign through Facebook. Remember to sync your Instagram account with Facebook’s Business Manager so you can advertise directly to your specific Instgram account. Otherwise the Instagram ad you set up will not link to a profile, meaning the viewer can’t click to the account to view more. That’s just a waste of money.

 

Choose Wisely

There are three basic ad formats you can choose from: Photo, Video, or Carousel. Each have a  different effect on your audience depending on the goal of your campaign. Choose wisely, because certain ad formats yield better results when matched correctly with campaign objectives.

 

Objectives

Similar to Facebook advertising, there are a variety of different campaign objectives to choose from. If the goal of your campaign is to send traffic to your website, it would make sense to set up a “Clicks to Website” campaign. If you have a mobile app and you want people to download it, you’re better off using a “Mobile App Install” campaign objective. Maybe you just want to drive more interaction on your post, “Per Post Engagement” is likely the best choice for you. When you are strategizing your campaign this is an important step to plan out. You can see the full list of campaign objectives on the Instagram website.

 

Things to Remember

Instagram has a user base of over 400 million people, but only around 80 million reside in the United States – target carefully.

Experimentation is key. Figure out which ad formats work best for your objective and scale from there.

Don’t forget to stand out. There are millions of posts a day, your content has to be original and stand out. Now that Instagram has switched to an algorithm based timeline, it will only show what it believes to be more relevant posts. Which means your posts may not gain as much exposure. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

Intern Blog: What it Means to be A Good Monster

People in society view all things digital as menaces; monsters if you will. I know this first hand—my grandmother was a first generation Croatian who grew up on a farm with no electricity, let alone a Facebook page. She saw the internet and all the changes coming from it as threatening to society. In her eyes, the more you put yourself out there the more unprotected you could be, and Olga wasn’t the only one that felt this way. Although it is clear that as the years go by there is less of a backlash towards the power of the internet, there is a great deal of protest against “the man” or the people filling our lives and minds with products, services, ads, videos, and other ideas we may not even realize we are being exposed to. In ad classes, we are being taught to bombard consumers with messages—constantly posting on social media, placing ads in unavoidable places, creating stories that draw people into believing they need the brand. These tactics are used to create the idea that a product or service is more than a business, that the brand is trustworthy, familiar, and stands for something bigger than itself. This can be seen as tricky, stealthy, unjust.

Although advertisers and companies are not in the business to be corrupt, the fact that this idea is floating around in society is very much real. The concept of a Good Monster represents the positive side of these technologies and how they can expand our world in a meaningful way. Technology gives us the opportunity to be monsters but it can also bring about a lot of good, necessary change. Promoting a worthy cause or better exposing a group of people to a product that could make their lives easier is important. Even just adding to the space that acts as a place for acceptance and connectedness to anyone and everyone, is good. As a soon-to-be SU graduate with a long advertising future ahead of me, I’m excited to learn from The Good Monster just how much value can come from the business.

There’s a Big Shift Happening in Marketing You Should Be Aware Of

Engagement Marketing is Here

The team at Good Monster recently had a call with a mid-size company who was looking to make a big push into engagement marketing. Their goal was to separate themselves from their competition. Now, typically we go into these types of meetings preparing for some push back against this engagement marketing concept.

Even though the term engagement marketing has been around for a while, companies are typically very apprehensive to dive head first into this marketing strategy. It’s usually more of a dip of the toe, maybe posting a few blog posts or pictures of the company holiday party, then waiting for people to comment on them. But this rarely has any impact. The reason? There is little-to-no incentive for the audience to comment, like or share it. Without engaging in conversation with your audience, and showing them your value, they won’t give a crap about your content.

The biggest reason brands are still a bit sluggish with engagement marketing is because they’re stuck with the idea that there needs to be a direct ROI attached with any and all marketing campaigns. They want to know, “If I spend $10,000 on this how much will I get back?”

While engagement marketing definitely has a significant ROI, it’s often not immediately quantifiable. It takes time and effort. Think of it like sales. Most companies hire a sales team to facilitate and continue growth. Any good sales director will tell you that a sales cycle is not an overnight thing. It takes time–identifying leads, filling the funnel, reaching out, following up, answering questions, following up again–all before you get to the sale.

There are slight differences between sales and marketing, but they are both based on the principle of earning your audience’s trust before they even think about buying your product or service. Whether you are a salesperson, or a social media rockstar, you need to earn your audience’s trust.

Needless to say, after hundreds of client meetings, we prepare ourselves to explain what engagement marketing is and why it’s important.

I usually start prospect meetings by giving a background about our agency, what we do, what we stand for, who we are–you know, the typical introductory stuff to show them that we are people underneath our agency. After that, I like to spend a good amount of time learning about the company. I mean, sure, we can do our own research online and look at where their brand is succeeding and where they could improve, but we need to hear it from their mouths. We need to hear what their hopes, dreams and fears are. This is the best and only way to really dive in deep to craft a good solution for a marketing campaign, especially an engagement marketing campaign.

In this particular meeting, after the general introduction of both companies and descriptions of what we stand for, I began to outline the principles of our engagement marketing strategies, our approach, the different platforms that are valuable right now. We tossed around some ideas. Then we prepared for the question.

“Well, what’s the ROI? When can we see that return?”

After fifteen minutes into the conversation, we still didn’t hear this question. Twenty minutes, nothing. Thirty minutes, still hadn’t touched on it. After an hour conversation about how to best implement a engagement marketing campaign across digital and social media platforms, they never once asked, “What would our ROI be?”; I was shocked.

The only change in tone over the course of the conversation was increased excitement about this opportunity. We talked about the attention that they could get. We talked about the types of content that would be created; fun, exciting content that would really make an impact in their audience’s lives. We talked about short-term strategies, long-term strategies and even longer term strategies. We talked about how their brand and their products would be displayed, what their voice would sound like, look like, feel like. We talked about building a cross-platform, in-depth, detailed engagement marketing campaign that would build their brand into a dominant player in their market and gain an amazing amount of attention from their target audience. But nothing about the ROI of social media or engagement marketing.

It was in the very last five minutes that the prospect made a comment about how excited they were to see the long-term return on investment of a engagement marketing campaign. They were sure that this is the direction that they wanted to take their brand and are excited to build something great.

I can tell you that this is not the only time that a prospect or a client has been excited about engagement marketing. But I have to say, that they are one of the few that are “all-in” before we even explain the possibilities.

We are seeing a changing of the tides in marketing. For most marketers and brand, social media is nothing new. But their willingness to invest a significant amount of their time and money into it has been relatively scarce.

If there is one thing that you do as a marketer, understand that whether you’re a B2B, B2C or some mix of the two, engagement marketing is and will be the most effective way to build your brand over the course of the next one, two, five, 10, 20 years. As your potential audience consumes more content via whatever device is trending, it’s going to become more important for you to produce engaging content that they will want to consume and that will earn their trust. Because, in the end, this is really the only way that you’re going to get any sort of ROI from your marketing investment.

So I ask you, are your efforts helping your company build trust with the right audience?

Email Marketing Tips

I recently wrote a blog post about the importance of email marketing and why digital marketers, as well as business owners should be taking advantage of it. Whether you have been using email as part of your marketing strategy or not, I’m here to give you some quick and easy tips that have yielded us some great results.

Find the Sweet Spot

You have to understand that your audience is bombarded with texts, emails, and alerts all day long. Your email shouldn’t be another one to add to the white noise. Understand when, why, and how your audience is digesting your email. The only way to do this is to test. Send emails out at different times to see which one yields the higher open rate. Set up A/B testing to figure out what format gets a higher CTR. Test and trial as much as you can until you start to understand your audience and continue to feed their need.

Grow Your List

Establishing your email list is important, you want to continually grow your list over time. Most people aren’t just going to subscribe, you have to give them a reason to. Give them quality content that they find interesting. Offer them special discounts or coupons they can’t get anywhere else. Publish content in your emails that you don’t publish anywhere else so they have to subscribe in order to see it. Essentially, give people a reason to come back.

Goal Oriented

Just like all your social networks, set up specific goals for your email campaigns. Is your goal to drive people to your site? Do you want them to buy a product or service? Do you want them to digest your content and share it with others? Establishing the goals for your email campaign is crucial. Once you have goals set up it will be easy to test against them like I talked about above. Set up goals and make changes in order to achieve those goals.

Aim to Please

As I mentioned above, your audience is busy, so give them exactly what they want. Most audiences are going to prefer to get straight to the point, some may enjoy a longer email because that is what they’ve come to expect. Whatever your audience has come to expect from you, that is what you need to deliver. Don’t write fancy click-bait headlines just for the purpose of increasing the open rate, write headlines that tell your audience exactly what they are getting into.

 

Emails are a great way to stay connect with your audience. Instead of worrying about what social networks your audience may or may not be using, chances are they have email and use it daily. Give them exactly what they want in an email and your audience will likely be more receptive to it.

Social Media Update

It can be hard to keep track of the changes that all your favorite social networks are rolling out. We’re here to update you on everything you need to know about the recent social media updates. Be sure to follow us on all our social media channels so you can stay in the loop. Here are some of the recent changes that have been rolled out by the big social networks.

 

Facebook Instant Articles

https://instantarticles.fb.com/

Facebook announced that it is making their Instant Articles feature available to everyone starting April 12th at the F8 summit. Facebook Instant Articles allow publishers to instantly post an article directly to the Facebook news feed.

 

Facebook Live Streaming

http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/01/expanding-live-video/

In another move to make it the Do-It-All app, Facebook is slowly rolling out the live streaming feature to all users. Facebook began testing back in December 2015, and the feature was only available to certain celebrities. Now it looks as if this feature will be available to the general public within the next few weeks.

 

YouTube Live Streaming

https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2474026?hl=en

A few months before Facebook rolled out live streaming, YouTube came out with a live streaming feature of their own. This feature was only available to a select number of creators, but with this update, YouTube has made it easier for anyone to live stream. Like Facebook, YouTube likely made this move to compete with Periscope and Twitch.

Snapchat On-Demand Geofilters

https://www.snapchat.com/on-demand

Snapchat made its first major advertising update in the months allowing anyone to create and upload their own Geofilter. It’s a simple process and Snapchat says it will approve or disapprove the filter in less than one business day. Expect to see every business and brand jumping at this opportunity to reach the Snapchat audience.  

Instagram Algorithm Update

http://blog.instagram.com/post/141107034797/160315-news

Just like its parent company did back in 2009, Instagram is switching over from a natural timeline feed over to an algorithm feed. The company says the rollout will be coming in the upcoming weeks but expect to see a different type of feed very soon. The social app says the feed will show users what it believes to be the most interesting or relevant to that specific individual.

Twitter Algorithm Update

https://blog.twitter.com/2016/never-miss-important-tweets-from-people-you-follow

This change has been in the talks for some time now. Twitter is switching over to an algorithm feed as well – which seems to be a trend for most social networks now. The micro-blogging platforms claims that it doesn’t want its users to miss out on important Tweets. Many people have already complained about this change but you can expect to see it any day now.

 

To stay up to date on all the social media happenings. Make sure you are following us on social media.

Influencer Marketing

Using Influencer Marketing to Spread the Message of Your Brand

 

Influencer marketing, or using those with established online communities to spread the message of your brand to your target market is skyrocketing. Influencer marketing delivers high ROI for your brand, helps you refine your strategy by really understanding your audience and expands the potential reach for your message.

In its simplest form, it helps you connect with your consumer by using the voice and presence of someone those in a specific community respects.

So how do you do it? Social media marketing and content marketing go hand-in-hand with influencer marketing. Think about this. What is a great way for community influencers to connect with those they influence? Social media. What do they share? Articles, graphics, videos, you name it. It’s all content. If your brand can create and send content that complements what the influencers community is already interested in on their social media outlets, you’re able to expand your reach to an interested and engaged community. Even better, the community influencer could create content around your brand and then share it.

In a survey of 125 marketers conducted by Tomson about their community influencer marketing, they found:

  • Blogs are the most effective influencer marketing channel
  • Influencer marketing is the fastest growing customer acquisition channel (22%)

A successful community influencer marketing campaign requires a genuine relationship between the brand and influencer. If this doesn’t exist, you risk losing credibility. Influencer marketing has some consequences if not done correctly, however, there are some great opportunities for real results. In the same Tomson survey, it was reported that businesses made $6.50 for every $1 spend on influencer marketing. THAT’S ROI.

Need more reason to give community influencer marketing a look?

According to research firm Yankelovich, the average American is shown 5,000 advertisements per day. This figure certainly gets the point across, we’re exposed to a ton of ads. In fact, we see so many that we’re starting to tune them out. With all the ads interrupting consumers these days, it’s no surprise that people love products like Adblock, Netflix and Spotify Premium.

It’s also worth mentioning that community influencer marketing is actually native advertising since it places brands and products within organic content. This organic content makes for a better experience for consumers and a more powerful marketing solution for brands. A recent study by MDG Advertising found that 70% of internet users want to learn about a product through content rather than through traditional advertising.

Not only does community influencer marketing build your brand and improve your sales numbers, but it is also a great search engine optimization strategy.

Are you still trying to build the right kind of strategy and relationship to have success with influencer marketing? As a tip, take some cues from who is responding to your influencer and incorporate those into your overall presence. You might even see ROI grow in other places!

Marketing Doesn’t Change

Marketing tactics have changed so much over the past few years. That change continues to accelerate with new platforms and ever changing consumer habits. The way people consume information is constantly evolving which opens new doors for getting to your customer, while closing others. Marketers and brands have to be very aware of what their customers problems are, and where their attention is.

Even though all of these tactical changes are taking place in a fraction of the time that they were in the past, the core principles of marketing haven’t changed that much. If we rewind all the way back to the early 1900’s when brands started to invest in advertising, many of the same strategies worked then as they do today.

In the early days they would put up signage for a product at the local markets or storefronts, and pass out flyers. The signs would read the businesses name. They would have a tagline that tried to get attention before people even stepped through your door. Then, the store clerk would tell you some story about his product or service. They’d tell you how others, like your neighbors or other locals, were using their product or service and found it useful. Sometimes, with the right ingredients, marketing campaigns would attempt to gain your trust before you even thought about stepping into a store. Once trust was established, a sale would eventually take place. If they were continually useful and engaging, they could sell to you over and over again.

new-york-city-67529_1280

Let’s recap how marketing used to work:

  • They got your attention
  • They told you a story
  • They used social proof like testimonials, and eventually celebrities to endorse different products and services
  • Trust was established because if it works for those people, it should work for me.
  • Trust led to a sale
  • Continued engagement led to more sales
  • Repeat

Over the years the platforms have changed, but the principles are the same. In the 1930’s it was radio. During the 1960’s it was television. In the 1990’s it was the Internet. Now it’s social media.

Today, all we hear about is social media, digital marketing, big data, and all the other tactical information that marketers use to try to gain a leg up on their competition. There is definitely value in these tactics, but we tend to forget about the principles that have worked in the past, and will continue to work forever.

man-791049_1280

Get their attention, earn their trust, build a community, sell, sell, sell!

Whether you’re using Facebook, email marketing, video, Twitter, Snapchat, or any of the other tactical platforms that you can use, the process is the same. First, you need to gain your audience’s attention. Then, you need to tell a story about your product or your service, and show the value that it offers. Next, you need to prove that it will have value by displaying instances of social proof, like testimonials. Just as in the case with all marketing, consistency is key. By repeating this cycle in front of the same validated audience, eventually, you will earn their trust. Trust, which is the most lucrative thing that you can earn from your customer, will eventually lead to the sale, but only when your customer is ready to buy. This is why consistency is key.

It’s very hard to get a transactional sale, without first earning trust. This can usually only be done with commodity products or services in which price is the deciding factor.

The best way to market your brand is to be consistent with your message, consistently show value, and consistently earn their trust. That way whenever they are ready to buy, whenever they have a problem that you can solve, they will pick you as their solution. Don’t get bogged down with the transactional data and tactics that are possible–there are many ways and many platforms to market your brand–but remember the tried and true principles of marketing and you will be successful.

First gain their attention. Next, tell them a story about why your product or service is valuable. Show them social proof of others that are engaging with your brand. Do that consistently until you gain their trust. Then continue to engage them for repeat results and growth.