Author Archives: Roy Revill

The New Breed of Marketers | 5 Attributes That Distinguish New Marketers

Marketing has changed.  And so have the people doing it. The breed of new marketers is under 40, successful and experienced – they’ve worked for big corporations and small businesses, and now they’re running their own mini-agencies.

One thing connects them all: they believe marketing is not about selling. Instead, it’s about helping audiences. 

1. They talk like humans, not like businesses

The way marketers communicate with each other, other businesses and even their audiences often sound like unintelligible nonsense. It’s a sure-fire method of distancing themselves from everyone else, even if that’s not the idea. The new marketers use natural language, not business language. They’re easy to understand and they don’t use business-speak to dress up a dull concept. They use creative who share the same values, so the content they make is accessible.

2. They know that many agencies are slow, unimaginative, and expensive

Big agencies have big power. Some do great work. Some win awards. But many are more interested in numbers than results. They’re inefficient, tend to tell the client what they want to hear, and charge huge amounts. 

New marketers don’t work like this. They have small teams, in small offices – if they have an office at all – so the client isn’t paying for their fancy building with its accompanying rent. 

They work quickly and push boundaries – but they listen to the client. And if something isn’t going to work, they’ll say so. 

3. They don’t care about performance marketing

It’s not purely about the numbers. Being able to measure something (leads, open rates, click-throughs) doesn’t make it a success – it just means you can measure it. Instead, there’s a movement towards intuitive marketing, when you’re delivering content through the channels you know your audience responds to.

These are people who believe marketing is about more than generating leads for sales. In fact, they believe marketing is about anything other than generating leads for sales. Especially creating content and then using it. For them, marketing and content is about helping your audience

4. They put their efforts into podcasts, LinkedIn and social media

Podcasts are not exactly new. Neither’s LinkedIn. But does your company have a successful podcast? Do you get enviable engagement on LinkedIn? Or is it more like a couple of comments and a handful of likes? 

Given the time we’ve had to get to grips with these channels and formats, you’d think brands and companies would be doing a better job of using them as a marketing tool. But they’re not. Despite often having huge numbers of followers, many big corporates’ LinkedIn accounts get very low levels of engagement.  

New marketers know that podcasts are the new blogs, even though they’re not new and Seth Godin worked this out a couple of years ago. They have big followings on LinkedIn and they get enviable engagement. They know how to make this content and use it to market themselves and their clients.  

5. They know audiences don’t care about your company, awards, offices, and sometimes, even the product

There’s a new marketing truism: nobody cares about your company. Instead, people care about what you can do for them, whether that’s at a personal or corporate level. 

Like so much of how new marketing operates, this comes back to content. Content that solves problems, helps the audience and avoids any kind of sell is worth something to the audience. New marketers put this sort of content ahead of anything else – then, once they’ve won the trust and interest of the audience, they can start to talk product, benefits, and features. 

The post The New Breed of Marketers | 5 Attributes That Distinguish New Marketers appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

15 Small Website Mistakes That Cost You a Lot of Money

Online business is booming—nearly 30% more people are shopping online this year compared to last. As more consumers look to the computer instead of the shops to buy what they want, more organizations are shifting their focus to selling online. Unfortunately, while there are tons of great tools to create a professional small business website,…

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6 Predictions For Back-To-School Spending, And How Staples, Walmart And Others Act

Let’s Hope Retailers Have Ordered A Lot Of Erasers

Back to-school season is upon us, and parents are learning a lot about the science of prediction. The shifting sentiments that come with it should cause retailers to exercise new actions when it comes to building the right customer experiences.

For one thing, exactly where and when will school start? Nearly 70% of parents do not intend to begin school shopping until three weeks before classes are scheduled to start, because they don’t know what to expect, according to research by the National Retail Federation (NRF).

Not that they won’t spend when they feel ready. The NRF survey indicates parents of pre-K to high school students will spend more on back-to-school items this year – nearly $790 on average compared with $697 in 2019. That adds up to $33.9 billion, from $26.2 billion in 2019.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean all retailers will record a seasonal sales gain, though it could present a fresh opportunity for certain retail sectors. An exploration of some of the research results regarding school spending reveals why.

2+2 Adds Up Differently Across Households

Because states and communities are enforcing varying guidelines on schooling, a single retailer can find it is marketing to dozens of sharply different needs. These six findings speak to those anticipated needs, which some retailers are already acing.

  1. Uncertainty’s learning curve. As of mid-July, more than half of parents had not finished their back-to-school shopping because they don’t know what to expect. This is why 68% are waiting until three weeks before school starts to even start. Many retailers and brands are offering competitive promotions, but the ones that show they understand the turmoil behind the shopping trip will stand out. Backpack brand JanSport is proving it identifies with the stress factor through a campaign called “Lighten the Load,” which promotes mental health wellness among young people managing in the pandemic.
  2. The price of being a teacher. It’s likely a lot of spending on back-to-school supplies is shifting from teachers to parents as more kids learn from home. Indeed, parents expect to spend about $10.4 billion just online for back-to-school supplies, up 28.4% from last year’s $8.1 billion, according to the 2020 Deloitte back-to-school survey. The NRF survey indicates spending for basics such as pencils, paper and other supplies will climb to $131 from $117 (up 13%). Retailers could benefit by sharing with parents what they know about how teachers shop.Staples, Amazon AMZN +0.9% and Walmart WMT +0.2% are among retailers marketing pencils, Sharpies and notepads in bulk, for example. Or retailers can learn from Bags in Bulk, which sells a complete 45-piece school supply kit.
  3. Big-ticket items compute. Computers will be a big contributor to back-to-school spending this year – 63% of parents plan to buy laptops and other electronics, the NRF survey shows. (Of parents who expect their kids to learn at home, 72% plan to buy computers and home furnishings.) A computer purchase often requires research, and retailers that provide that service will probably click with shoppers. Best Buy BBY +0.6%’s online Student Hub helps customers shop “new tech for a new way to school,” with an online questionnaire – which includes “what’s your style?” questions – to determine needs and preferences before offering suggestions.
  4. The pandemic is adding to traditions. Untraditional purchases, such as safety supplies (masks, sanitizers and gloves), also are nabbing part of the traditional back-to-school budget. Nearly 90% of parents will purchase safety products, according to a PayPal -0.4%PYPL survey, and 59% will invest in remote learning technology. Ace Hardware, not a traditional destination for back-to-school shopping, is taking advantage with push emails that promote “health and safety essentials” (masks, gloves, disinfectants) and a $5 coupon. It also is sending tips on setting up, and cleaning, a home classroom.
  5. Home-schooling changes fashion. Apparel spending is predicted to decline – by 10% year-over-year based on Deloitte’s survey, though the NRF projects a more modest 2% decline. Parents may spend more, however, if they see clothing ideas that anticipate any environment. Macy’s M +3.1% is kicking off the shopping season with the upbeat campaign, “No matter how we school, let’s be ready,” which offers clothing and accessory suggestions so customers can “be ready” in ways that matter now – from “for any kind of classroom,” to “with max confidence” to “for every chill and study sesh.”
  6. Stores will be history. Not completely, but the accelerated shift toward e-commerce, launched in the spring, will continue. More than half of parents (55%) told the NRF they plan to shop online, compared with 49% in 2019. Just 36% of shoppers plan to visit discount stores, compared with 50% in 2019, and 37% expect to go to department stores, from 53% a year ago. Retailers that want to entice back-to-school shoppers into the stores must find ways to make the experience unique and helpful. There’s a reason Amazon Prime AMZN +0.9% in March counted 118 million members (compared with 109 million a year before). Its “ready for school” site covers all the categories, including snacks and cable modems, in one click.

New Schooling Means New Calculations

This school year will be a case study in perseverance – and creativity – for every party involved, from the brands that make the goods retailers sell to the students who use them. So far, many in the retail industry have proven they can adapt quickly.

Those that make history will likely be the ones that see the schooling challenge through the eyes of parents and students, to encompass all concerns from safety to job security to style, rather than through corporate performance measures.

It’s a pretty simple lesson, and it hasn’t changed in generations: If shoppers feel they are cared for, they will come.

Bryan Pearson is a Featured Contributor to The Wise Marketer and currently serves as a director and strategic advisor to a number of loyalty-related organizations. He is the former CEO of LoyaltyOne.

This article originally appeared in Forbes. Be sure to follow Bryan on Twitter for more on retail, loyalty, and the customer experience.

The post 6 Predictions For Back-To-School Spending, And How Staples, Walmart And Others Act appeared first on The Wise Marketer – Featured News on Customer Loyalty and Reward Programs.

The 11 Best Social Media Dashboard Tools & Apps

When implementing your social media strategy, it’s easy to realize that manually posting on multiple different websites, multiple times a day, isn’t optimal for your busy schedule. But it’s not easy to tell from a baseline or pricing page which tools are not only the best for efficiency but best for your business.

Instead of spending hours of extra research combing through all of your options and sitting through countless demos and free trials, we’ve compiled a list of the best social media dashboards that fit your budget and brand.

These social media dashboards are optimized for every type of SMB; whether you’re a social media team or a party of one, these apps will help you accomplish your goals in a streamlined, efficient way.

1. HubSpot

Price: Included in Professional version ($800/mo) or Enterprise version ($3,200/mo)

Why it’s great: All-in-one social media software

With HubSpot’s social media management tool, you get an all-inclusive package. Connect up to 300 accounts and schedule up to 10,000 posts a month. Plus, for super in-depth planners, you can schedule posts up to 3 years in advance.

HubSpot’s social media management features include monitoring mentions and engagement, and provides full analytic reports. You’re able to schedule posts all in one place without leaving the system.

2. Later

Price: $9, $19, $29, $49 per month, and enterprise pricing

Why it’s great: Instagram scheduling

While you can connect Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest profiles, Later is best for Instagram scheduling. This is because of its image-based content calendar scheduling, so you can see a bird’s eye view of your brand in a monthly, visual format.

later scheduling example

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Later is also an Instagram partner, which means it integrates with Instagram’s API. This partnership means your account information will stay completely safe, which is important for Instagram Business accounts that have Shopping set up.

3. Sendible

Price: $29 up to $299 per month

Why it’s great: Agency-based management

Are you a social media or marketing agency? Sendible may be the answer to unkempt management: it’s a tool fit for an agency with clients. It helps you streamline how you manage brands and offers a couple unique features that help you succeed.

sendible report example

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Sendible has a royalty-free image search tool and a Canva integration. Sendible also has social listening tools, a Reports function, scheduling, and post previews. To put it simply: this is a full dashboard and suite of tools to put your client accounts all in one place.

4. Tailwind

Price: $9.99 up to $799.99 per month, or enterprise pricing

Why it’s great: Pinterest and Instagram management

Tailwind is a very unique program, providing services for two apps normally not paired with each other: Pinterest and Instagram. It makes sense, however, considering both apps focus on visual multimedia. Offering a full media dashboard with scheduling, social listening, and analytics tools, Tailwind also has a few interesting program-specific services.

tailwind report example

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First, it gives suggestions about how to improve Instagram and Pinterest performance. It also comes with a way to promote Pinterest content and manage Instagram user-generated content. If your brand is heavily focused on visuals, Tailwind may be right for you.

5. Sprout Social

Price: $99 up to $249 per user per month

Why it’s great: Team-based management

Sprout Social is a dashboard platform that’s focused entirely on social media teams. What you get for your money is a full suite of tools, including options that allow you to create and schedule posts, social listening tools, and most of all: analytic data.

sprout social report example

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The analytic tools are the shining star of Sprout Social. Expansive, in-depth reporting is available. If that’s a focus for your brand, consider Sprout. They make the reports so professional and easy to read, there’s no editing required.

6. MeetEdgar

Price: $49/month

Why it’s great: 100% automated scheduling

MeetEdgar is an app with a different approach to social media management, is. All users do is upload categorically-based content into their account and create time slots for when they want their account to post said content.

meetedgar category example

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Then, according to the time slots and categories, the app will schedule and upload content. If you want your Twitter account to post a meme at 11 AM on a Thursday, MeetEdgar would search through the “Meme” category of content you’ve already uploaded, schedule, and post it.

Managers might like this option, if they don’t have enough time to constantly schedule and upload content. They can plug in their entire content calendar at the start of the month and remove the heavy lifting for the next few weeks.

Post-enhancing dashboards such as these three can take care of your social strategy without losing any of quality.

1. TweetDeck

Price: Free
Why it’s great: Twitter dash management

TweetDeck is amazing if you’re tired of flipping back and forth through the different tabs on Twitter. It’s a free extension of twitter (no download required) that automatically gives you your account’s Home, Notifications, Trending, and Messages in a dashboard view.

tweetdeck dsahboard example

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This app is especially handy for posting quickly. You can engage with your Twitter in-app, and it feels like a much faster method of running your account than the in-browser functionality . Plus, TweetDeck automatically updates with any new notifications.

2. TweetStats

Price: Free
Why it’s great: Free basic Twitter analytics

This little website is super handy if you don’t have the budget to pay for analytic tools. TweetStats can give you the analytics of any Twitter account in about two minutes. The website displays graphs of when you’ve tweeted, the volume of tweets, time you usually tweet, and your most used words and hashtags.

tweetstats analytics example

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Using TweetStats is especially helpful if you want to view the ecosystem of your Twitter. Are you staying on-brand? Are you meeting your tweet goals? What hashtags can you elevate the use of?

3. TubeBuddy

Price: Free plan, or $9 up to $49 per month
Why it’s great: YouTube management

If you have a large YouTube presence, consider TubeBuddy. TubeBuddy offers a hefty suite of perks to present a full dashboard. Categories include video dashboard, video SEO, bulk processing, promotion, data & research, and productivity.

tubebuddy card template

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The screenshot above features one of TubeBuddy’s card template features. Card templates streamline the process of uploading and finalizing YouTube videos, making it easier to sort videos into a playlist on your channel.

You can install the program for free on Chrome, working sort of like an extension. The free plan gives you access to analytics, productivity, and SEO tools to get started. TubeBuddy is also a YouTube Partner and integrates with Alexa.

4. MavSocial

Price: Free plan, or $19 up to $499 per month
Why it’s great: Visual-based streamlined management

This is a great post-enhancing tool. MavSocial has a focus on visual-based management, and as such, offers unique perks, like editing multimedia content and a stock photo digital library. With the editing tools, you can add filters to your photos, crop, and search for royalty-free images.

mavsocial dashboard example

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On top of all of this, MavSocial has a full dashboard suite, meaning you can schedule content and engage with followers. MavSocial supports YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The app is also an Instagram Partner.

5. Hootsuite

Price: Free plan, or $29 up to $599 per month
Why it’s great: All-in-one social media management

Hootsuite is a popular social media tool and boasts over 15 million users. The free plan lets you add three social accounts from different platforms on one screen and has a limit on how many posts are available to make.

hootsuite dashboard example

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While user-friendly, Hootsuite is an expansive app. You can create ads, running an ROI report on those ads, and also has options to schedule and create posts. Note that you can only post on your Instagram using the scheduler, if you have an Instagram Business account.

Every business is unique, and so is every social media dashboard. Because of that, finding the best fit can be daunting. Covering all your bases can be simplified with a social media dashboard, as well as building a community and social presence.

If you want to take a crack at building your own content calendar that’ll help you plan your social media posts, check out our article here.

What is a website taxomomy?

While scavenger hunts can be fun, users don’t want to frantically search through a website to find answers to their questions. They want them quickly, and they want them to be easy to find.

The structure users want is called taxonomy. Scientifically, a taxonomy is a classification scheme that dictates how things are organized and classified based on their characteristics.

A website’s taxonomy can dictate the user experience, and can also influence search engine rankings. This post will go over what a website taxonomy is, and give you the resources to create a successful organization system for their site.

Website taxonomy is also related to URL structure, which is how URLs are organized to reflect content within specific site pages. Every website domain stays the same for every URL address, but subdirectories and URL slugs change as page content gets more specific.

For example, say your website’s primary domain is www.samplewebsite.com.

Your taxonomic structure will include subdirectories within your domain that are relevant to the page’s content. So, if your samplewebsite has a ‘Contact’ or ‘Announcements’ page, the URLs would change to reflect the information displayed on each page. The URLs for these pages would be www.samplewebsite.com/contact and www.samplewebsite.com/announcements, respectively.

Why is a website taxonomy important?

A well-planned taxonomy can transform how users interact with your site, especially when your content is organized logically. If users can get to your site and find what they’re looking for, they’ll view you as a reputable source and they’ll stay longer.

Websites that don’t have a specific structure tend to be difficult for people to understand. In fact, an average of 38% of site visitors will leave a site if it’s poorly organized.

A carefully crafted taxonomy is also crucial for search engine optimization (SEO), as a taxonomic organization is easier for search engine bots to recognize as they analyze and index your site.

Let’s put all of this in context with a hypothetical website. Say you own www.recipes.com. Since you know that your visitors are coming to your site for specific recipes, you want to set up categories that help them find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible. If they’re looking for desserts, for example, they likely want to find those recipes through the corresponding category page, not by browsing through a list of unrelated meals.

The URL for this page would be www.recipes.com/desserts. A user knows what they’ll find within this subcategory of recipes. For search engine bots, the URL subdirectory helps them understand what the page is about and when they should show the page in search results.

 

Best Practices for Creating a Website Taxonomy

Ultimately, you want both users and search bots to understand your site. You don’t want them to be bombarded with content that isn’t going to fulfill their needs. While it may seem clear cut, various factors go into creating a successful website taxonomy.

Know your audience.

Just like all types of marketing, the key to creating your taxonomy is understanding your users.

You’ll want to know who they are, why they’re visiting your site, and what they want to find on your site. It’s essential to understand what their specific needs are so you can structure your content accordingly. To better understand your users, you can do things like create buyer personas.

Continuing with the recipes.com example, whoever runs the site knows that their visitors are coming because they want help with their cooking. It’s great to know this, but is there anything else they’ll want from your site? They may also want you to recommend kitchen supplies that will help them make these recipes, or recommend brands to buy ingredients from.

If you take the time to get to know your future users, you can design your site accordingly.

Conduct keyword research.

When you know who your users are and what they want, you want to make sure you have the necessary information to keep them on your site.

You can use your site’s primary purpose to rank in search results, but it’s essential to have multiple keywords for the additional categories you’ll create within your site. These keywords should be directly related to the content that users will find on those specific pages.

For instance, if you run a blog on travel tips, travel tips can be your main keyword. However, your research may show that users also associate travel tips with travel packing tips and travel insurance tips. You’ll want to use that information when creating your structure.

Be consistent.

Consistency with categories and the content within those categories makes it easier for users to understand your site. It also makes it easier for those executing your content strategy to create relevant content. For example, on the HubSpot Blog, we have four different properties: Service, Sales, Marketing, and Website.

Blog posts are categorized based on their relationship to each property, and this organizational consistency makes it easier for visitors to find relevant information. For example, a user would know to search within blog.hubspot.com/website rather than blog.hubspot.com/service for a tutorial on how to use WordPress.

Consistency is also important for SEO, as bots dislike poorly organized websites, and sites with jumbled and unrelated content is considered spammy. Bots also recognize contextual relationships between categories and content, and they’ll learn how to index your site for specific search queries.

Keep it simple.

While there are certainly hundreds of categories and subcategories you could come up with to sort content on your site, less is more. The ideal web taxonomy is focused and straightforward.

With recipes.com, there are so many different types of dishes that it would (and will) become overwhelming for users to sift through hundreds of different categories.

Keeping it simple means creating fewer high-level categories that can house lower-level categories. You can have a high-level category page dedicated entirely to baking recipes, and the content you post within that page will be specific to baking recipes.

The URL for this category would be recipies.com/baking rather than recipes.com/pie-recipies and recipes.com/scone-recipies. Then, if a user goes on your site to find a blueberry pie recipe, the page URL may be www.recipes.com/baking/blueberrypie.

Leave room for growth.

Taxonomy can, and should, change as your business scales.

If you create new forms of content, you may need to shuffle categories to ensure that they still relate to each other and have room for new content.

Say you’re running a blog about content marketing, but you cover the topic generally. It’s unlikely that you’ll have multiple page categories or subfolders within those pages. However, suppose you decide to hire new team members who are experts in specific types of content creation. In that case, you’ll want to create different taxonomic categories to distinguish between the different types of content.

You may also realize that certain categories and subcategories aren’t as intuitive as you’ve hoped, per user feedback. Taking the time to understand what is and isn’t working for those who interact with your site is essential.

 

Types of Website Taxonomy

Once you know your audience and have created your keyword-relevant categories, it’s essential to decide on the taxonomic structure that works best for your site. Since taxonomy is a classification system, it may seem like the logical structure is a hierarchical one, organized by importance. However, this isn’t always the case. Let’s review the different types of website taxonomies so you can select the one that works best for your site.

Flat Taxonomy

A flat taxonomy, sometimes called unlayered taxonomy, is a simple list of top-level categories. All categories on this site carry equal weight in comparison to each other. It’s a perfect structure for smaller websites that don’t have a large amount of content.

For example, a veterinarian’s office likely doesn’t have many needs to fulfill. Their homepage may only have three to four categories, like ‘About Us,’ ‘Book an Appointment,’ ‘Location,’ and ‘Services.’ Users visiting the site won’t need much more than that.

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Hierarchical Taxonomy

A hierarchical taxonomy is an arrangement of categories by order of importance. Larger websites typically use it, and top-level categories are broad.

hierarchical website taxonomy model

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Moving down a hierarchical structure means getting more specific. This allows users to quickly identify and navigate between different sections and categories. Search engines will recognize these relationships as well.

For example, hubspot.com displays three main categories at the top of the page: Software, Pricing, and Resources. Each of those categories is broad and overarching. If a user mouses over them, they’re then shown more specific categories.

In turn, our URLs for these categories look like this: hubspot.com, hubspot.com/products, hubspot.com/products/marketing, and hubspot.com/marketing/seo.

It’s important to note that there shouldn’t be too many high-level categories or subcategories, as excessive groups can become confusing for users and SEO crawlers.

Network Taxonomy

A network taxonomy involves organizing content into associative categories. The relationships and associations between categories can be basic or arbitrary, but they should be meaningful to users.

For example, a ‘Most Popular’ category within a website may contain lists of different articles covering a broad range of topics that are popular among that audience. Still, they’re all similar in the sense that they are highly rated, viewed, and visited by others.

network taxonomy website structure diagram

Facet Taxonomy

A facet taxonomy is used when topics can be assigned to multiple different categories. Sites that typically use this structure allow users to find content by sorting for specific attributes. It’s also great for users who will likely arrive at certain content by different means.

facet website taxonomy model

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For example, Nike sells a variety of different products. While there are specific categories for shoes and clothing, there are also subcategories for color, size, and price. A shoe that shows up on a search for ‘blue shoes’ may also show up on a list of cheap shoes because they’re currently on sale.

 

Put time into your website’s taxonomy.

Creating and maintaining a successful website taxonomy that makes sense for users and search engines essential to your marketing strategy.

If other elements of your site are already optimized for other SEO ranking factors, the addition of a structured taxonomy will help your site rank highly in search query results, not to mention, it’ll keep users on your site.

If you want to learn more about website best practices, consider taking the HubSpot Academy Website Optimization course!

Lead Nurturing Campaigns | 6 Tips From a Small, But Mighty Marketing Team

Everyone is going to have their own story to tell when we reflect on the start of 2020. As marketers, we will talk about the enormous role of digital and how it impacted our jobs and our businesses. Some of us had to find the quickest way to move to a digital offering, and others had the challenging task of improving their business strategy.

As Global Marketing Manager at LiteracyPlanet, my small but agile team faced this situation. LiteracyPlanet is an online gamified learning resource designed to help school-aged children of all ages and levels.

When families faced life in lockdown and children began distance learning earlier this year, parents needed support, resources, and tools to help manage. According to UNESCO, 80% of children globally (1.37 billion students!) were studying at home due to school closures last March to control the spread of Covid19. And several surveys of parents showed they felt stressed, burnt out, and found supporting their children at home difficult. We saw how our product filled a needed gap in the market. There was a window opening up, and we had to jump through it. Literacy Planet was primed to help families in lockdown support their children’s learnings.

Tip 1: Increase your advertising when it’s advantageous

With the slashing of marketing budgets heard around the world, social media and online advertising costs dropped suddenly when the lockdowns began. The cost of impressions on Facebook went down due to fewer advertisers, yet more people were spending time online. People clicked on billions more Facebook ads in March than they did in September, according to data analyzed by Kepios. This meant we could take advantage of decreased ad costs to boost awareness of our offering, empowered with our Marketo Engage solution.

Tip 2: Respond to customer needs

Customer behaviors were changing as a result of events occurring globally, and we could help –  something marketers must do to support business continuity.

To do this well, we also needed to develop and execute the right programs to capture leads, place them in relevant lead nurturing campaigns, and ultimately pass them to Sales (at the right point in time). That’s a lot of work for a marketing team of three, but we managed it with speed and confidence with Marketo Engage. We acted quickly and efficiently to develop a Facebook campaign that would attract a broad audience: parents, teachers, and school leaders who wanted to keep students engaged and performing.

Tip 3: Always maintain sales alignment

We developed our plan in one day, set it up in Marketo Engage on day two, and spent the third-day executing tests. At the same time, we worked with our Sales team to align the process and make sure they were prepared for the influx of leads.

When leads clicked on ads and came to the site, they were scored based on their referral source and what content they consumed. They were then added to different nurture streams, depending on where they were in the buyer journey. When a lead signed up for LiteracyPlanet’s free trial subscription, the information collected identified if they were a parent, school leader, or teacher. Also, it signaled their readiness to move to Sales for account creation. All sales qualified leads are followed up by a phone call and set up with free access.

Tip 4: Use Net Promoter Scores when working in high volume

To make sure that the Sales team could use their time most effectively, Net Promoter Scores identified when a lead was ready to convert. When a lead hits a certain score threshold, their rep would be automatically alerted, thanks to our Marketo Engage integration with their Salesforce CRM. Through this integration, we can monitor customer engagement and use dedicated lead nurturing campaigns to feed them the right content as they onboard with LiteracyPlanet.

Tip 5: Adopt your lead nurturing campaigns to help customers before, during, and after the sale

A new stage of lead nurturing helps novel users make the most of LiteracyPlanet’s gamified activities, tools, and resources. Emails provide guidance and instructions for the platform, showcase how it can support English Literacy schools for children of different ages, language skills and learning levels. This reduces churn at the end of the free trial, giving teachers the confidence to use the program to its full functionality while providing parents with a sigh of relief and support for their children as lockdowns continued.

Tip 6: Keep monitoring and adapting

Our marketing maturity has given us an advantage over other online learning platforms: we operate as a small team, but we compete at a higher level through our ability to assess our customer needs and changing behaviors. As the pandemic continues, we understand these needs will change, so we monitor customer needs and changing market conditions: from what channels to target, what content will best help parents and schools, to how to adapt our lead nurturing campaigns.

The result of hard work and nimbleness

As a result of our efforts, we maximized costs reductions up to 96%  in advertising costs, to attract and convert a large number of leads and pivot our marketing efforts to the needs of customers focused on helping children around the world. In April this year, we more than tripled our leads against our target as a result. And in our home market of Australia, we achieved 150% of our revenue target. Much of this wouldn’t have been achievable if we didn’t have the right processes, trust between our teams, and the technology to help execute our strategy.

The post Lead Nurturing Campaigns | 6 Tips From a Small, But Mighty Marketing Team appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

The Beginner’s Guide to Easily Using the WordPress Dashboard

So you’ve created a WordPress website and you’ve come to find that the WordPress dashboard seems to be anything but user-friendly at first glance. You’re not wrong. While it’s not quite as daunting as it looks, it does take some time to get used to. We’ll show you how to navigate the WordPress dashboard so…

The post The Beginner’s Guide to Easily Using the WordPress Dashboard appeared first on Fit Small Business.

Introducing the First-Ever Loyalty Superhero: Comarch Loyalty Cloud

Loyalty is easy with Comarch Loyalty Cloud. Check out their short and entertaining comic to see how it can help your brand today.

In a world where competition is fierce, business cycles pass, budgets are limited, and resources are scarce, loyal customers are the lifeblood that keep businesses thriving through thick and thin. With loyalty technology at the forefront of cultivating loyal customers, businesses are backed in a corner having to invest heavy capital into a costly implementation and deployment of new technologies and solutions — until now. Drum roll please… Introducing Comarch Loyalty Cloud… the Comic!

Read this short and entertaining comic to see how Comarch Loyalty Cloud Superhero saves a small business with an easy to implement, highly effective, and most importantly, a cost effective solution to power personalized promotions, manage customer data, and ultimately build an emotional connection with your customer.

No longer do small businesses have to wave the white flag to big retailers or companies that can invest massive capital into a traditional loyalty cloud solution; now small businesses can get back in the playing field with a highly competitive and cost effective loyalty cloud solution that can be paid via a fixed term subscription or a pay-as-you-go model.

Some of the features include the following:

  • Seamless integration with internal systems
  • Easy-to-navigate dashboards
  • Pay-as-you-go or fixed-term subscription models
  • Tools for segmenting audiences and personalizing communication
  • Real-time reporting for informed decision making

Research shows that customers with strong emotional connections to retailers will visit their stores 32% more often and spend 46% more money than those without emotional bonds. In addition, 75% of customers will make an additional purchase after receiving an incentive/award.

Given the pandemic and the struggles of the common consumer, this research is only reinforced and should be paramount to a business’s loyalty marketing strategy during these uncertain times. Now is the time to build emotional connections.

Consumers — humans, really — are looking for a positive interaction; now is the time to deliver that positive interaction. Find out how Comarch Loyalty Cloud can bridge the emotional connection between your brand and customer, today.

The post Introducing the First-Ever Loyalty Superhero: Comarch Loyalty Cloud appeared first on The Wise Marketer – Featured News on Customer Loyalty and Reward Programs.

The Ultimate Guide to Integrations and Why Your Business Needs Them

Have you ever found yourself working on a project in which you had to toggle between different software and applications? Perhaps you had to plug data from one system into another or rewrite the same content over and over again to ensure it was in multiple locations.

Although few people have the time or patience for this type of tedious work, it’s common and often critical to your business’s success — these mundane tasks need to get done.

What if there was a way to connect your software to the applications you use in a way that successfully brings them together? This would mean all of your information and data would live in a central location with no manual entry required, even if those applications don’t actually come with the software itself … sound nice?

Well, good news! This type of solution exists … it’s called an integration.

Integrations are a complex topic to understand. So, let’s simplify the concept with the help of an analogy we can reference throughout this guide.

Let’s pretend you want to plug your MacBook laptop into your TV using a connector cable so you can watch reruns of Friends on Netflix on the big screen. And integration kind of works like this — I’ll explain more as we go.

Back to our analogy: If your software is your laptop, you’ll use a connector cable, or integration, to then watch Friends on the TV, or application.

example of an integration

Now, let’s run through some commonly asked questions about integrations to help you get a better grasp on what they are, how they work, and why your company needs them.

Why use integrations?

Integrations solve and simplify your need for new software as your business grows and evolves. They allow you to keep the system you’re currently using by simply adding connections to third-party applications to enhance system functionality and provide additional features you may need but aren’t able to build within your software. You can keep your current laptop and TV, and simply use the connector cable to watch Friends on the big screen.

By leveraging integration connections across your systems, you can power your business to achieve a much wider range of tasks on your software as you enhance its functionality. This is especially helpful as your business expands since your needs are bound to change.

Although your software may have the functionality you need when you start your business, you’re likely going to want additional applications to provide the features you end up needing later on, as you grow.

There are many types of integrations, each of which has specific functions to help meet different needs. The easiest way to think about the various types of integrations is by category. Some integrations have several functions, meaning they could technically fit into many categories because they serve more than one main purpose. Other integrations have one specific function.

Who needs integrations?

Integrations are helpful tools for virtually every business, no matter the size or industry. There are integrations suited for every type of company (startups, SMBs, and enterprise companies) with any purpose (advertising, analytics, or content).

If you sell software, as we do at HubSpot, you’ll find yourself not only using connections for your internal software but also for your customers to use along with your software. This is because your software may not have every feature and function your customers need to run their business. So, by adding an integration, they’ll get that added feature or function while continuing to use your software.

Referring back to our analogy, without the integration, or connector cable, your laptop wouldn’t be able to communicate with your TV to allow you to watch Friends on the big screen. You need that integration, or cable, to allow for added functionality and watch the show on TV — without it, this wouldn’t be possible.

How do you get integrations?

Integrations are almost always located in some type of marketplace, where customers can review and browse all of their options. The HubSpot App Marketplace is an example of this. Our marketplace allows visitors to search and learn more about the various integrations and their functions, and then connect HubSpot to their integration of choice.

(No, you can’t go to Best Buy to pick up your integration as you would with your connector cable to watch Friends on your TV… you’re right, the example doesn’t quite work here.)

How do integrations work with APIs?

API stands for application programming interface. An API is an interface that software uses to receive information (whether that’s data, servers, applications, etc.).

All of the integrations we’re going to discuss below are built on APIs. By building integrations on APIs, you can connect your integrations to your software and use them in tandem with one another. The integration allows for the flow of information to and from apps and devices in real-time — APIs allow them to talk to one another.

Think about this in terms of our analogy from above: The application is the TV, the programming allows your laptop to communicate with the TV, and the interface is how you (the user) are able to interact with the application (by watching Friends on your TV). In this example, the API is the port on the side of your laptop in which you actually insert your integration (the cable) to then connect your laptop to your TV.

Integration vs. iPaaS Solution

If you’ve heard of integrations before, chances are you’ve also heard about iPaaS, or Integration Platform as a Service. The difference between the two is an important distinction to make when determining which one you need for your business. While an integration is a one-to-one, direct connection solution, an iPaaS solution is not.

Instead, iPaaS is a cloud-based platform that connects your applications and systems — whether that’s in the cloud or on-premise — between an organization and third-party software without the use of middleware.

So, if you look for an integration solution on your software’s marketplace and don’t find the connection you’re looking for, then you’d turn to an iPaaS solution to solve your need for that connection. There are a few integrations available today (called “connector integrations”, which we’ll look at an example of below) that can help you build custom integrations..

So, which integrations should you actually use? Let’s look at a list of some of the most popular integrations available.

Popular Integrations

The following integrations are categorized by business need to help you browse through your options. (Almost all of these integrations fit into multiple categories, as they have functions that allow them to do multiple things. Below, we placed them in the category they’re best suited for.)

It’s important to note these are just some of today’s popular integrations — there are hundreds of more integrations to learn about and choose from as your business grows.

The list we’ve compiled below is of integrations that connect with HubSpot. This isn’t to say these HubSpot integrations don’t also work with other software. In fact, most of these integrations are compatible with dozens of programs in addition to HubSpot.

Let’s take a look.

Advertising Integrations

Advertising integrations help you market to and reach your target audience. Data about the success of your ads and/ or the leads obtained from them is automatically added to your HubSpot CRM so you can learn more about the people who interact with your ads and nurture them into customers.

1. Facebook Ads

The Facebook Ads integration allows you to connect your Facebook Ads account to HubSpot. This integration gives you the ability to attribute your ads directly to the contacts who interact with them. It also allows you to review real data about which ads impact your bottom line. This simplifies the reporting process for all of your Facebook Ad efforts.

2. AdRoll

Different businesses and products have various buyer personas. The AdRoll integration gives you the opportunity to create personalized retargeting ads for different lead segments in your HubSpot contacts. You can personalize several parts of the ads, such as content and formatting, that will best relate to your prospect.

This allows you to focus on your audience’s attributes so you can effectively reach your prospects — you can gather intricate details about your prospects from your CRM via the integration so you’re able to successfully retarget them.

3. Instapage

If you’re not a developer, creating your website’s landing page might sound like an overwhelming task. The Instapage integration provides a straightforward option for anyone who wants to create and personalize their landing page and then send lead information straight to HubSpot. These details are automatically placed under the associated contact in HubSpot for you— meaning, there’s no need to perform this transfer manually.

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Integrations

ABM stands for account-based marketing. ABM integrations help you leverage your account and audience data so you can tailor your messaging, CTAs, and marketing strategies to close deals and attract customers.

1. OrgChartHub

The OrgChartHub integration allows you to efficiently build customer organization charts without ever leaving HubSpot. You can create customer organization charts while in HubSpot so you’re able to easily identify unknown contacts, visualize key stakeholders, and customize your sales personas without manually sending any of this information back and forth.

2. CaliberMind

With the CaliberMind integration, you’ll be able to look at your cross-channel account engagement and create alerts for your reps about which deals they should focus on closing to meet quota. The integration takes your contacts directly from HubSpot and automatically matches them to their associated accounts so you don’t have to.

3. Metadata

The Metadata integration provides account-based advertising services. You can automatically identify specific target accounts and contacts from HubSpot to create personalized advertisements at scale to help you close more deals and reach your target audience more effectively.

Analytics and Data Integrations

These integrations help you measure your success across a number of analytics platforms. You can look at your data in different ways and ensure all of this information is well-organized in HubSpot so your team can review it at any time. These integrations help you learn more about which of your efforts are working and which ones need to be modified.

1. Databox

With the increase of remote employees across businesses and the number of people who access their work while on-the-go, having the ability to review and manage your key performance indicators (KPIs) from anywhere can be quite helpful.

The Databox integration provides you with access to all of your analytics data in HubSpot from a wide variety of sources including Google Analytics, SEMRush, mobile, desktop, Facebook, and more.

2. Hotjar

In a world where many website visitors are uninterested in completing forms and providing their personal information, Hotjar is a great way to learn about who your visitors are and what they’re looking for on your site. The Hotjar integration gives you insight into who your website and mobile visitors are and what their needs consist of directly from HubSpot.

3. Klipfolio

The Klipfolio integration shows you your most important metrics in real-time and creates easy-to-read dashboards in HubSpot so you can track and analyze performance across all of your platforms from one location. This allows you to improve your data transparency and reach your targets faster.

Calling Integrations

Whether it’s a meeting with fellow employees or your prospective and current customers, calling integrations will make all phone and video call interactions simple. Your contact’s information and details about the call will be recorded in HubSpot for easy access. This also provides sales reps and support team members with the necessary background information to assist the prospect or customer appropriately.

1. UberConference

With UberConference, it takes just seconds to schedule your meetings with colleagues and prospective customers so you can focus on tasks that require more attention. The integration allows you to schedule meetings quickly and easily without ever having to leave your HubSpot portal.

2. Aircall

Phone calls remain one of the most effective ways to interact with your prospective and current customers. Whether it’s a sales or support call, the Aircall integration allows you to manage your call flows and attentively assist your leads and customers all within HubSpot so your contact’s information lives in one, central location.

3. CallRail

The CallRail integration is a call tracking and analytics system which allows you to customize segments and actions based on your specific calls with prospects and customers. All of your call and text data will automatically be added and organized in HubSpot under the associated contact so you don’t have to manually enter any data.

Connector Integrations

Connector integrations provide you with access to dozens of applications which sync to HubSpot to save you time and add functionality. Some connector integrations offer a wide range of applications and some have more specific types of applications. Additionally, some connector integrations can assist in creating a custom integration to suit your needs.

1. Automate.io

The Automate.io integration connects to HubSpot to give you access to over 80 applications. By syncing with these apps, you’ll be able to transfer data to them to create customized integrations so you can manage all of your data in a way that works for your business all within HubSpot.

2. Zapier

The Zapier integration allows you to automatically connect your software to over 1,000 applications. It links your apps to HubSpot for you in just a few clicks to save you time. There’s no coding required and your apps will be able to begin sharing data in an easy-to-read workflow format in your HubSpot portal.

3. PieSync

The PieSync integration provides real-time, two-way contact sync. This means every time you add a contact to HubSpot, it automatically syncs to an application (such as Google Contacts or Outlook), and vice versa — you don’t need to worry about any importing or exporting, expediting and simplifying your contact syncs.

Content Integrations

Content integrations help you create, design, and share custom content for your website. They also help you learn about who’s interacting with the content and how they’re interacting with it. That information is then synced to HubSpot so you can organize it and add it to specific contacts.

1. Beacon

If your website has a collection of blog posts, the Beacon integration might be a good option for you. The integration ensures your content looks professional and allows you to drive more leads by getting more value out of your existing content — it connects to HubSpot to automatically convert your blog posts into downloadable content such as eBooks.

2. briX

The briX integration connects to HubSpot so you can design and personalize web pages for your site. You don’t need a background in web design or coding to create beautiful pages — the drag-and-drop template and 100+ customizable features make it easy to organize your content in any way you choose. This integration is ideal for easily designing and personalizing web pages directly from HubSpot.

3. Belch.io

Customized landing pages, web pages, and emails provide a professional look and feel for your visitors, leads, and customers while interacting with your business online. The Belch.io integration connects to HubSpot so you can personalize and brand all of these things in just minutes.

It’s a great option for anyone without a background in coding or web development who wants to design and customize their site pages and emails to complement their brand all from HubSpot.

Customer Success Integrations

Customer success integrations connect to HubSpot to make your internal and external interactions with employees (cross-team) and customers straightforward. They simplify communication and help you share information and/or data when you need to.

1. Slack

The Slack integration is a digital workspace and communication tool that allows you to connect and talk with your team members. The integration is ideal for team collaboration and coordination from anywhere.

By connecting the integration to your software, you can use Slack’s and HubSpot’s features in either the application or the software so you don’t have to waste time toggling back and forth — the same information will be found in both locations in real-time.

2. Zendesk

Zendesk offers a ticketing system to keep track of customer inquiries and allows you to keep details about all of your customer interactions in one place. It helps you provide consistent customer experiences among your fellow employees and customers.

By connecting HubSpot to the Zendesk integration, you’ll be able to bring the work of your sales, marketing, and support teams together in a central location. It also allows these departments to communicate with each other while in HubSpot as well.

3. LiveChat

The LiveChat integration allows you to communicate with potential customers in real-time when they need assistance or guidance while on your website from HubSpot. Whether it’s a question about your product or the need for help in the checkout process, LiveChat allows you to walk them through the information they need to help you boost conversions and build strong relationships with prospects and customers.

Ecommerce Integrations

If you have an online store, ecommerce integrations are a great way to learn about what your customers and visitors are doing while they’re on your website. By connecting these integrations to HubSpot, you’ll know when your visitors are most frequently abandoning your site or their carts so you can create re-engagement content to regain their interest.

1. Shopify

The Shopify integration allows you to easily incorporate all of your ecommerce data and customer data within HubSpot. It automatically syncs customer, product, and deal information in HubSpot under the associated customer’s profile, so your entire team can view all of these details in one location. You can also create cart abandonment nurturing tactics, re-engagement ads for your website from HubSpot once you connect the integration to the software.

2. Typeform

The Typeform integration helps you create and design web and mobile forms for your leads. You can create contact forms, sign up forms, quizzes, and more, and all of your responses will automatically be sent directly to HubSpot so you can easily review your results and responses and compile them under the associated contact in HubSpot.

3. Magento

The Magento integration helps you create and send upsell, cross-sell, and reorder emails as well as develop abandoned cart nurturing tactics to boost your conversions. It automatically sends all of your customers’ ecommerce-related data, as well as emails between you and your customers, straight to their respective HubSpot contact record.

Email Integrations

Email integrations help you track a prospect’s interactions with sales reps, personalize your email automation with certain contacts, and measure the success of your email campaigns among your target audience — all from HubSpot.

1. MailChimp

The MailChimp integration allows you to sync HubSpot with your email service provider. You can build email campaigns and rest easy knowing the Intelligent Error Handling feature will continue engaging your contacts even if a syncing error occurs between the software and application.

By connecting MailChimp to HubSpot, you’ll have the ability to automatically add contacts from HubSpot into your application’s email lists and vice versa so you never have to do it manually.

2. Privy

Privy helps you make more sales and turn more prospects into delighted customers. The integration uses targeted pop-up ads, banners, bars, and more to help you boost conversions and decrease page abandonment. It also automatically syncs all of your new leads from your website to HubSpot so the software can help you nurture them and convert them into customers.

3. Front

The Front integration is a collaborative inbox, meaning all members of your team can see and access your contacts, review deals, and see all activity history while working in HubSpot. All of these details are automatically synced in Front and your CRM. This helps you improve your customer experience and ensure it remains consistent no matter which employees your customers work with.

Event and Webinar Integrations

Whether it’s an in-person event, a webinar, an online meeting, or a video conference, the following integrations simplify every aspect of hosting an event. They allow your contacts to book meetings with you and you can update all information related to your contacts post-event or meeting in HubSpot.

1. Eventbrite

Eventbrite helps you use inbound marketing tactics to attract more prospects and customers to your in-person events. Once connected to your software, the integration automatically takes data from your contact lists in HubSpot to help you uncover effective ways to connect with your target audience, face-to-face.

2. GoToWebinar

No matter the type of event you’re hosting, the GoToWebinar integration automatically syncs all of your registrant and participant information in HubSpot under the associated contact. You’ll never have to worry about manually importing data about your webinar contacts again — instead, you’ll have more time to focus on the event itself.

3. Setmore

The Setmore integration simplifies appointment scheduling for you. It automatically imports your booked appointments (and information about the customer who booked the appointment) to HubSpot under the correct contact’s profile so you don’t have to do it manually.

Lead Generation Integrations

Lead generation integrations help you transition early-stage leads into delighted customers. All of your leads’ information will automatically be synced to HubSpot so you can view it at any point during the buyer’s journey. This is helpful to learn more about your target audience and to manage customer information so your sales and support teams can refer to it if needed, all from one location.

1. WordPress

The WordPress integration helps you optimize and align your WordPress website with the data about your contacts and business goals you have in HubSpot. Your HubSpot account and all of your growth tools will automatically be connected to your WordPress site so you can work to attract, engage, and delight site visitors and customers on your site from either WordPress or HubSpot.

2. Unbounce

The Unbounce integration helps you with the lead capturing and nurturing processes. You can create lead generation forms and send all data collected about your leads directly to HubSpot. At any point in time, you can take this data about your leads and use it to create campaigns. You’ll also have the ability to export any data in just seconds from your Unbounce account and share it anywhere.

3. SurveyMonkey

With the SurveyMonkey integration, you can create and distribute custom surveys to your prospects and customers, collect all data obtained, and view your responses within HubSpot. This is ideal because you can then segment and organize all your contacts based on their survey responses to easily manage the type of content and/or follow up they receive.

Live Chat Integrations

By adding live chat integrations to your website, you’ll be able to communicate with prospects in real-time and nurture them into customers. You can answer their questions, respond to their concerns, and assist them in their purchase decisions. Then, this data is compiled into HubSpot under the specific contact it belongs to so you can follow up appropriately.

1. Intercom

The Intercom integration allows you to capture new leads and prospective customers with the help of live chat on your website. Intercom allows you to convert more leads by actively engaging with them at any time while they’re on your website once connected to HubSpot. You can then qualify your leads with custom bots, talk with them directly, and track them — then, all of this information is automatically organized under their contact in HubSpot.

2. ManyChat

Once connected to HubSpot, the ManyChat integration allows you to automate your messenger marketing so you can easily organize, nurture, and track your leads from the software. You can also take any HubSpot form and submit information obtained from it by sending custom field data to HubSpot Form Submissions.

3. Drift

The Drift integration provides live chat for your website so you can assist your leads in real-time form HubSpot. The integration allows you to watch and save all of the lead’s activity on your site in HubSpot under the correct contact. Additionally, your sales reps can use Drift to customize their outreach and follow-ups based on that activity to improve the chances of conversion.

Sales Integrations

Sales integrations help you bring your sales tools, tactics, and prospects’ information together using HubSpot. You’ll be able to keep your marketing, support, and sales details in a central location for all teams to access, analyze, and refer to as needed.

1. HelloSign

Once connected to HubSpot, you’ll automatically be notified of any action a prospect takes on any document you send them with the HelloSign integration. Examples of the actions you’ll be notified about include when a prospect or customer receives, opens, or signs the document.

Then, this activity data is sent to the contact it belongs to in HubSpot so reps know where the prospect or customer is in the buyer’s journey and how they should go about following up with them.

2. Salesforce

If you’re a Salesforce user, you can automatically sync all of your contacts’ information from the database into HubSpot once connected to the Salesforce integration. This allows you to work with reps to get strong lead intelligence and revenue reporting. You can mesh your marketing and sales work, content, and information so you and your team can access any information from either system at any point in time.

3. PandaDoc

When it comes to sales work, there are many tasks involved that don’t necessarily include the process of actually closing a deal. The PandaDoc integration automatically organizes and reviews information from HubSpot about your prospect to help you with non-selling tasks like creating and sending quotes, proposals, and contracts.

Social Media Integrations

Understanding your social media following is a huge part of successful marketing. Social media integrations help you learn about your followers, understand the type of content they interact with and share, and automate specific parts of your social media strategy.

1. Facebook

With the Facebook integration, you can automatically connect your business’s Facebook account to HubSpot. Schedule Facebook posts ahead of time analyze and measure post’s performance. This integration is ideal if you want to manage your Facebook marketing strategy alongside your other social media marketing strategies directly from HubSpot.

2. LinkedIn

By connecting your LinkedIn account to HubSpot through the LinkedIn integration, you can easily engage with your network and communicate with all of your contacts from HubSpot. You can also auto-publish your blogs and share specific content with your followers to nurture them into leads and customers. This integration is also great for tracking engagement along with all of your other social media channels and marketing efforts all from HubSpot’s social media tool.

3. Twitter

Schedule Tweets ahead of time, monitor Twitter streams, view Tweets and Twitter interactions of your competitors, and monitor accounts that are important to your brand from HubSpot with the Twitter integration. All information about your current and new followers will be added to your contact lists in HubSpot so everything is organized appropriately.

Video Integrations

With the rise of video and video marketing in business today, integrations that help you incorporate this media on your website have become quite useful. They allow you to create and implement videos on your site pages and forms as well as measure the success of your video marketing efforts.

1. Wistia

The Wistia integration provides you with the ability to integrate videos on your website, and then incorporate HubSpot forms with those videos to improve video engagement (and hopefully, conversion) rates. If any lead converts on a video, their information is automatically sent to HubSpot so you’ll have their video-viewing data paired with their contact details.

2. YouTube

The YouTube integration connects your YouTube channel to HubSpot. This way, you can easily report on your video and channel success and compare this data to that of your other social platforms using HubSpot’s analytics and social media tools and dashboards.

3. Promo

With the Promo integration, you can choose from over three million clips, templates, and music options to use to create a video for your site directly from HubSpot. You can easily throw in custom messaging, branding, or logos to personalize the video for your business based on a specific prospect’s needs and interests, found under their specific contact in HubSpot.

Get Integrated to Grow Better

Integrations have the power to enhance all aspects of your business. No matter the software you use to run your company, you can find integrations that can help simplify your processes, optimize your efforts, and empower your fellow employees. So, find the right integration marketplace for your software and begin connecting to the applications suited for your business needs.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in July 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

20 Stats About Australian Instagram Users & Trends

In July, nearly 41% of Australia’s population was on Instagram.

And, with Australia being one of the biggest internet and social media growth regions, its Instagram audiences are likely to keep getting bigger.

Yes. No matter what country you’re marketing in, Instagram’s platform is primed for brand awareness. You might think with growth stats like this, Australian brands are rushing to Instagram.But that’s not the case — many Australian businesses are actually missing out on the opportunities Instagram offers. In fact, recent research reveals that only 32% of Australian SMBs use it in their social media strategy.

Although Instagram sounds promising, SMBs with limited time, budget, or bandwidth might be hesitant to add any new social platform.

Why? Even though an Instagram account can majorly boost local and global brand awareness, building a scalable strategy for it can seem intimidating and time-consuming for smaller brands.

Luckily, Australian businesses don’t just have to launch an Instagram account and hope it works. In 2020, there’s plenty of data that can help these brands determine if the platform is appropriate for their goals, and how to engage Australian audiences once they’ve made a Business page.

If you’re an Australian social media marketer looking to improve your Instagram strategy or are working to boost a brand’s Australian presence from afar, here are 20 stats to know about Australian Instagram usage, marketing, and peak engagement times.

Australian Instagram Usage Stats to Know

Australian Instagram Users

  • There were 10.45 million Instagram users in Australia in July 2020: roughly 40.8% of its entire population. (NapoleonCat, 2020)
  • Australian Instagram users grew from just over 9 million to 10.45 million between May 2019 and July 2020. (NapoleonCat, 2020)
  • 46% of Australian social media users say they regularly use Instagram, making it the second most popular channel in the region. (Yellow Sensis Social Media Report, 2018)

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  • Most Australian Instagram users are women, with the highest ratio of women to men being in the 45-to-54 age group. (NapoleonCat, 2020)
  • More than 3.2 million Australian Instagram users are 25 to 34, making them the largest user group. (NapoleonCat, 2020)
  • Roughly 9.1 million Instagram users are listed as over 18. (Laurel Papworth, 2020)
  • 48% of Australian Instagram users follow a brand on the platform. (Yellow Sensis Social Media Report, 2020)
  • Instagram is the third-most-used non-gaming mobile app in Australia. (We Are Social, 2019)

Instagram User Behavior in Australia

  • More than 51% of Australian Instagram users log on to the app at least three to five times a week. (Statista, 2018)

Most Australian Instagram users log on to the app at least once daily.

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  • Three regularly-trending Instagram hashtags in Australia are #photography, #Australia, and #Sydney, which have 450 million, 55 million, and 28 million posts associated with them, respectively. (Talkwalker, 2019)
  • 45% of Australian social media users have taken a selfie for platforms such as Instagram. Selfies posts are more common among men and 18 to 29-year-olds. (Yellow Sensis Social Media Report, 2018)
  • Roughly 40% of Australian social media users have posted a picture of food on channels such as Instagram. (Yellow Sensis Social Media Report, 2018)

Australian Business on Instagram

  • 22% of Australian SMBs have advertised on Instagram (Yellow Sensis Social Media Report, 2020)
  • 32% of Australian SMBs have an Instagram account, compared to 90% and 33% respectively on Facebook and LinkedIn. (Yellow Sensis Social Media Report, 2020)
  • Instagram influencers whose accounts were about yoga experienced 127% growth in overall Australian engagement in March 2020. (Statista, 2020)
  • Also in March 2020, hotel-related Instagram accounts experienced a 100% decrease in Australian engagement. (Statista, 2020)

Peak Engagement Times in Australian

  • When using Instagram in any global region, the best time to post to get local post engagements is 2 PM and 3 PM in your brand’s timezone. (HubSpot, 2020)
  • The best day to post on Instagram in Australia is Thursday in the AEDT timezone. (ShareMyInsights, 2020)
  • Weekday posts on Instagram get more impressions from Australians than weekend posts. (ShareMyInsights, 2020)
  • When aiming for global post engagement, the best times to post on Instagram from Australia are 12 AM to 2 AM, 6 AM to 8 AM, and 9 PM to 10 PM AEDT. (ShareMyInsights, 2020)

Growing Australian Brand Awareness with Instagram

From looking at the data above, it’s clear that Australian businesses can benefit from Instagram, which has a huge pool of users that will follow, engage with, and potentially purchase products from all sorts of brands on the platform.

But, simply creating an Instagram account and forgetting about it won’t boost your brand awareness. To truly gain audience engagement, you’ll want to create an active account with content that entertains users, grabs their attention, and educates them about your brand and your products.

If this list has inspired you to get ahead of the one-third of Australian SMBs missing out on Instagram, check out this guide or the free resource below for proven tips on building an effective Instagram strategy.

Pants Are Not Optional | Keeping Productivity & Company Culture Alive

ABC news reporter Will Reeve appeared on Good Morning America sans pants – not realizing the audience had a full view. Non-profit department head Lizet Ocampo shared that her boss “turned herself into a potato on our Microsoft teams meeting and can’t figure out how to turn the setting off.”  The UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted the Zoom code to his cabinet meeting to the general public.

It’s safe to say that we’re all adjusting to the full-staff remote work set-up that COVID-19 has forced on us. Remote and freelance workers that were previously able to focus in a quiet house or co-working space are dealing with a full house of young e-learners. Team members who thrived on in-person feedback and spontaneous brainstorming are finding the isolation of remote work paralyzing. And obviously, we’re all a bit thrown by having to conduct our meetings online.

With no concrete end to COVID-19 in sight, leaders need to be proactive about making remote teams as effective, or more effective, than they were in-house. A big part of this is ensuring that your team productivity and company culture remain intact.

Keep Productivity Alive

Remote work isn’t a new concept. Forbes shares that “70% of full-time employees work remotely at least one day per week, according to a 2018 research study from Switzerland-based serviced office provider IWG”. However, evacuating the entire office into a remote work situation is an abrupt transition. Teams accustomed to tightly scheduled workdays may find the move especially frustrating. 

1. Maintain Structure With Clear Expectations

The Marketo blog Remote Working 101/Survival Kit Remote Employees Need To Succeed says, “While you don’t want to seem overbearing and draconian, setting boundaries is essential for ensuring you get the results you want. Your team should have set deliverables, and they should be manageable and in line with what you’d expect from on-site employees.” Uphold some of the traditional structure of your onsite workday while allowing your team the flexibility they need to make their unique work from home situation successful. 

2. Reinforce Good Work

Acknowledging employees who are staying on track and rewarding those who surpass expectations is more important than ever when you have a remote team. The approving nods or mentions made in a team meeting – all these things are lost when we work remotely. Taking the time to send an email or highlight an accomplishment during a video chat will reinforce productivity in a positive way.

3. Keep Creativity Alive

Nothing kills a creative brainstorming session faster than a scheduled meeting with an agenda. Creative thinkers need spontaneous interaction in a safe space in order to bounce ideas back and forth before formal discussion. Utilizing Slack, and apps like it, give your team a way to connect immediately when inspiration strikes.

When larger brainstorming sessions are needed, online whiteboards like Miro recreate the conference room session your team might be accustomed to. It’s a close experience to the in-person experience of riffing on an idea.

Keep Your Company Culture Alive

Chances are you’ve invested a lot of time and thought into your organization’s culture. It will take a deliberate and conscious effort to keep your organization’s culture alive when everyone is working within their own personal home-based culture.

1. Leave space for personal connection

While it’s important to keep online meetings and emails focused and on-task, allow some time for casual conversation. People are lonely and your team is no exception. Taking a minute to ask everyone how they are raises the energy level of meetings and emails by reminding employees that they are part of something larger than the tasks before them.

2. Maintain a sense of humor

Interruptions will happen during online meetings. Hopefully, no one gets a pantsless eyeful – but expect pets to bark, spouses to walk by and kids to interject. Your facial expressions will convey a great deal, and set the tone of the conversation. By reacting without disapproval, and then quickly redirecting your team back to the agenda you’ll foster a healthy remote culture.

3. Ensure your team has the tools and connectivity they need

Laptops, internet connections, and courier service might not seem like they are part of your company culture but they are. Remember your first day on the job and how exciting it was to set up your work space? Got used to that pretty fast. But when it’s gone you realize how much having everything at hand contributed to your outlook. Employees that are unable to complete their work because they don’t have the same resources at home will become frustrated and angry. Especially, if the burden for funding remote supplies lies 

How has your organization been fostering productivity, collaboration, and keeping your culture alive in 2020?

The post Pants Are Not Optional | Keeping Productivity & Company Culture Alive appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

How to Change Your WordPress Login URL in 4 Easy Steps

WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS—for both users and hackers alike. About 90% of all sites that get hacked are WordPress sites, and according to Security Magazine, there is an attack every 39 seconds on the web. Naturally, non-secure usernames and passwords increase the odds of success for these attackers. One way to help…

The post How to Change Your WordPress Login URL in 4 Easy Steps appeared first on Fit Small Business.

The Best Top Local SEO Blog Near You 2020!

I did not expect to open my inbox this morning to find that LSG has been voted the Top Local SEO Blog of 2020 on BrightLocal but 2020 has been throwing curve balls all year so why should today be any different?

I’d like to thank the Academy, my family, and SEOTwitter, but most of all, I’d like to thank the amazing team we have here at LSG. Dan, Tess, Nick, Nik, Amber, Steven, Zoe, Heckler, Sam, Aimee, Wesley, Celia, Jill, and especially our awesome intern, Tim . We have been on quite a journey over the past few years and it feels like we are only getting started. I think we’re going to have a lot of great stuff to blog about soon.

And of course I’d be remiss if I did not thank our fellow nominees who do a fantastic job of providing the industry with some of the best insights and advice, not to mention everyone else who contributes to the space, particularly some voices that don’t often show up in these polls. I highly recommend you check out:

Allie Margeson

Amanda Jordan

Jessie Low

Krystal Taing

Niki Mosier

Rachel Anderson

I like to think there is no “best Local SEO blog”. The whole industry is really just one giant Local SEO blog and we’re glad to be a part of it.

Thanks again to everyone who voted for us. Maybe this will get my teenage girls to pay attention to music recommendations now. Then again, probably not…

 

The post The Best Top Local SEO Blog Near You 2020! appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

Rise of the staycation: Holiday minus the quarantine

With more aeroplanes being grounded, an increasing and rapidly changing list of countries requiring isolation upon return, and many insurers no longer covering for pandemic related cancellations; unsurprisingly brits have been looking closer to home for their holidays.

In June alone, staycations had risen by 127% and following the confirmation that we have entered the second wave of the pandemic, we expect to see this figure increase even further. And really as 2020 marks 250 years since Ross-on-Wye launched tourism in Britain, it’d be rude not to bundle our suitcases and wellies in the car, and head for a UK-getaway. 

Moreover, last year 40.9 million overseas visitors came to the UK and spent and estimated £28.4 billion and the leisure, tourism and hospitality industries are responsible for employing over 1.72 million workers. So, especially for businesses who may be feeling the impact of this, we have pulled together some tips on how to attract staycationers. 

Market the experience

Most people going away want to treat themselves for working hard, or spend quality time with friends and loved ones. Staycationers are less likely to want to go sightseeing, so you need to give these potential customers a compelling reason as to why they should visit your establishment and area of the country. One of the most effective ways of doing this, is to market the product or service as an experience. By making it less transactional, and talking about the experience holiday makers can expect from your city or town as a whole, you are more likely to attract them. 

For example, if you run a B&B in Dorset, it makes sense to not only market your B&B, but the relaxing weekend with fantastic views, that potential customers can expect from a weekend in Dorset. In some instances, it may even make sense to partner with various activity businesses or nearby tourism operators to create holiday ‘packages’ for customers. 

Introduce local discounts

One of the best ways to grow any business is through word-of-mouth. By introducing a discount for locals you can hope to attract the very people who may be interested in your businesses products and services all year round, and may also bring friends and family members from near and far. 

Give people a reason to return

Especially when marketing to a domestic audience, it’s possible they’ve already visited your leisure centre or escape rooms, so think about what you can offer, to keep customers coming back. This may be a potential discount, or simply a campaign to market a new escape room, spa treatment, or even menu. By continually switching it up, you can ensure even returning customers thoroughly enjoy their experience with your business. 

Harness the power of SMS

There are so many use cases for the humble SMS when it comes to businesses in the leisure and tourism, and hospitality sectors, but if we had to name just three…

1. Marketing campaigns 

Not only do text messages boast an open rate of 98%, compared to email’s rather piddly 20.9%, but with SMS, businesses also benefit from a click through rate between 8-32%. So it’s also a great way to encourage those all important customer conversions.

2. Loyalty schemes 

For businesses hoping to reward local customers and encourage repeat business, it’s worth noting that 90% of mobile users who participated in an SMS loyalty program felt they gained value from it. What’s more, SMS marketing campaigns opt out, is less than 5%

3. Booking reminders 

Plain and simple, booking reminders reduce no-shows. But for businesses willing to get a little creative, they can also help manage customer expectations for instance if you require them to scan the track and trace app upon arrival, or begin to enhance and get customers excited about their booking prior to arriving at your establishment. 

By prioritising marketing efforts to domestic travellers, businesses are able to not only enhance revenue during this uncertain time, but better position themselves for the future. Afterall, attracting a domestic audience reduces reliance on seasonality and is particularly useful for SMEs, who may be positioned in more remote locations and therefore overlooked by overseas visitors. 

If you’d like to discuss how SMS could help your marketing efforts, please get in touch with one of our friendly team at info@textmarketer.co.uk.

The post Rise of the staycation: Holiday minus the quarantine appeared first on Textmarketer.

How Facebook’s New Hacker Plus Program Incentivizes Software Debugging

Bugged Out On Rewards

Loyalty has the power to spur purchase behavior, fuel brand affinity, and create a continuous cycle of emotional engagement between customers and organizations. But the concepts that make loyalty so successful can be used for a variety of applications outside the traditional sales environment of the customer-facing business model. That’s exactly what Facebook is banking on with its brand new innovative loyalty program called “Hacker Plus”, designed to incentivize the traditional bug-discovery phase of software development with relevant rewards.

The new bug bounty rewards program, announced last week, is an industry first by Facebook’s own assertion. The idea is simple: aimed at a technical audience including researchers and software enthusiasts, Hacker Plus encourages users to engage with Facebook software including new and existing technology by placing participants into tiers through analysis of key performance metrics such as score, signal and number of submitted bug reports, ultimately determining the amount of reward they will receive.

Hacker Plus Program Aims to Build Community

“Hacker Plus is designed to help build community among the researchers who participate in our bug-bounty program, in addition to incentivizing quality reporting,” Dan Gurfinkel, security engineering manager with Facebook, said in a recent statement.

This community aspect is vital for instilling deep feelings of valued participation, especially in a time where remote work environments are becoming the norm. To build in a greater sense of affiliation and gamify elements of the overarching experience, Hacker Plus will have five “leagues” — from an entry-level Bronze, through to Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. Researchers are placed into their respective leagues based on the cumulative quantity of their submissions and scores over the last 24 months.

Each league will have access to a unique suite of rewards, specifically tailored to the specialized nature of the software development industry and the intimate tastes, preferences, and values of a very tight-knit community of participants and researchers. And a strategic implementation of value-add bonuses on top of the accumulated “bounty” (a reward format which was introduced in 2011 and focuses on compensating participants with cash; Bug Bounty has paid out more than $7.5 million since its inception). For instance, Bronze tier members will receive a 5 percent bonus on top of each bounty they receive while Diamond tier members will earn a 20 percent bonus. Diamond-level researchers also gain access to various events, including live hacking events, Facebook’s F8 conference and DEFCON.

Access to the new program is determined in part by past success and validated participation in the initial generations of Bug Bounty; it is open to researchers who submitted at least one valid vulnerability report and received a payout according to Facebook’s terms and conditions. Upon entry, it is possible to engage with current status level on the participant’s tier profile page, and to move up in levels through proven performance and dedicated participation: “…we’ll regularly evaluate researchers’ league placement by analyzing their score, signal and number of submitted bug reports within the last 12 months,” said Gurfinkel. “This means researchers can move up a league if they submit more high-quality bug submissions. Once a researcher meets a higher league’s criteria, they will immediately be placed into that league.”

The post How Facebook’s New Hacker Plus Program Incentivizes Software Debugging appeared first on The Wise Marketer – Featured News on Customer Loyalty and Reward Programs.

6 Reasons You Really Need to Write A Business Plan

Starting a business can be a daunting task, especially if you’re starting from square one.

It’s easy to feel stuck in the whirlwind of things you’ll need to do, like registering your company, building a team, advertising, the list goes on. Not to mention, a business idea with no foundation can make the process seem incredibly intimidating.

Thankfully, business plans are an antidote for the new business woes that many entrepreneurs feel. Some may shy away from the idea, as they are lengthy documents that require a significant amount of attention and care.

However, there’s a reason why those who take the time to write out a business plan are 16% more likely to be successful than those who don’t. In other words, business plans work.

What is a business plan, and why does it matter?

In brief, a business plan is a roadmap to success. It’s a blueprint for entrepreneurs to follow that helps them outline, understand, and cohesively achieve their goals.

Writing a business plan involves defining critical aspects of your business, like brand messaging, conducting market research, and creating pricing strategies — all before starting the company.

A business plan can also increase your confidence. You’ll get a holistic view of your idea and understand whether it’s worth pursuing.

So, why not take the time to create a blueprint that will make your job easier? Let’s take a look at six reasons why you should write a business plan before doing anything else.

1. Legitimize your business idea.

Pursuing business ideas that stem from passions you’ve had for years can be exciting, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a sound venture.

One of the first things a business plan requires you to do is research your target market. You’ll gain a nuanced understanding of industry trends and what your competitors have done, or not, to succeed. You may find that the idea you have when you start is not likely to be successful.

That may feel disheartening, but you can always modify your original idea to better fit market needs. The more you understand about the industry, your future competitors, and your prospective customers, the greater the likelihood of success. If you identify issues early on, you can develop strategies to deal with them rather than troubleshooting as they happen.

It’s better to know sooner rather than later if your business will be successful before investing time and money.

2. Give your business a foundation for success.

Let’s say you’re looking to start a clean beauty company. There are thousands of directions you can go in, so just saying, “I’m starting a clean beauty company!” isn’t enough.

You need to know what specific products you want to make, and why you’re deciding to create them. The Pricing and Product Line style=”color: #33475b;”> section of a business plan requires you to identify these elements, making it easier to plan for other components of your business strategy.

You’ll also use your initial market research to outline financial projections, goals, objectives, and operational needs. Identifying these factors ahead of time creates a strong foundation, as you’ll be making critical business decisions early on.

You can refer back to the goals you’ve set within your business plan to track your progress over time and prioritize areas that need extra attention.

All in all, every section of your business plan requires you to go in-depth into your future business strategy before even acting on any of those plans. Having a plan at the ready gives your business a solid foundation for growth.

When you start your company, and your product reaches the market, you’ll spend less time troubleshooting and more time focusing on your target audiences and generating revenue.

3. Obtain funding and investments.

Every new business needs capital to get off the ground. Although it would be nice, banks won’t finance loans just because you request one. They want to know what the money is for, where it’s going, and if you’ll eventually be able to pay it back.

If you want investors to be part of your financing plan, they’ll have questions about your business’ pricing strategies and revenue models. Investors can also back out if they feel like their money isn’t put to fair use. They’ll want something to refer back to track your progress over time and understand if you’re meeting the goals you told them you’d meet. They want to know if their investment was worthwhile.

The Financial Considerations section of a business plan will prompt you to estimate costs ahead of time and establish revenue objectives before applying for loans or speaking to investors.

You’ll secure and finalize your strategy in advance to avoid showing up unprepared for meetings with potential investors.

4. Hire the right people.

After you’ve completed your business plan and you have a clear view of your strategies, goals, and financial needs, there may be milestones you need to meet that require skills you don’t yet have. You may need to hire new people to fill in the gaps.

Having a strategic plan to share with prospective partners and employees can prove that they aren’t signing on to a sinking ship.

If your plans are summarized and feasible, they’ll understand why you want them on your team, and why they should agree to work with you.

5. Communicate your needs.

If you don’t understand how your business will run, it’ll be hard to communicate your business’s legitimacy to all involved parties.

Your plan will give you a well-rounded view of how your business will work, and make it easier for you to communicate this to others.

You may have already secured financing from banks and made deals with investors, but a business’ needs are always changing. While your business grows, you’ll likely need more financial support, more partners, or just expand your services and product offers. Using your business plan as a measure of how you’ve met your goals can make it easier to bring people onto your team at all stages of the process.

6. It makes it easier to sell your business.

A buyer won’t want to purchase a business that will run into the ground after signing the papers. They want a successful, established company.

A business plan that details milestones you can prove you’ve already met can be used to show prospective buyers how you’ve generated success within your market. You can use your accomplishments to negotiate higher price points aligned with your business’ value.

A Business Plan Is Essential

Ultimately, having a business plan can increase your confidence in your new venture. You’ll understand what your business needs to succeed, and outline the tactics you’ll use to achieve those goals.

Some people have a lifetime goal of turning their passions into successful business ventures, and a well-crafted business plan can make those dreams come true.

Marketing in quarantine: How can Tech companies stay relevant in a world in lockdown with marketing automation

Most companies in the technology sector evolve in a very competitive environment, and leads generated by Marketing represent more than 50% of the opportunities signed by sales representatives. This represents a considerable financial windfall that is important to maximise by implementing automatic and sophisticated processes to achieve the objectives set for the company. In these conditions, implementing a marketing automation platform is a no brainer. 

But once this choice has been made, what are the priorities in the execution of this strategy, what are the key points not to be missed? To answer this question, we need to understand why it has become so important to take the digital turn. 

1. Relevant and personalised content everywhere and all the time :

Interactions with prospects have become 100% virtual and the need for engagement has never been more relevant. Companies and decision-makers are taking more time to analyse and compare different vendors, so technology companies need to expose as much content as possible that will allow buyers to make their choice. The more personalised and relevant the experience, the higher the conversion rate will be. 

A marketing automation platform that includes web personalisation features can help you discover content and choose among all the available assets, which are the most relevant according to each of your audiences. 

Your prospects and customers expect you to understand them, to anticipate their expectations by offering fresh and adapted content. 

2. Webinars are a must and this is not going to change any time soon:

In today’s lockdown environment, most of your customers probably work from home and all marketing events have become entirely virtual. 

Whether it is to demonstrate your solution (demo are key CTA), share feedback or a point of view on a specific area of your market, there are many reasons to have a more “real” interaction with your prospects through these famous webinars. All technology companies use this means to recruit new prospects or simply to stay engaged with their installed base. 

With marketing automation, you can deploy a campaign fully integrated with your webinar hosting platform that manages invitations, reminders, participation and follow-up in the space of a few clicks. 

3. A long-term relationship that allows you to build trust:

In a B2B environment, the act of buying itself does not usually take long, but the process that leads to it can take months or even years depending on your offer and the complexity of your buying cycle. It is therefore essential to align your content strategy with your sales cycle and to ensure that your prospects, like your customers, maintain a long-term relationship with your company. 

A first strategy consists of analysing your content production. What content do you have at your disposal (white paper, thought leadership, demo videos, etc)? How often do you publish new content? What channels do your people use to consume this content? Once you have defined all these variables, marketing automation helps you build multi-channel nurturing programs that correspond to your sales channel and show the most relevant content to each of your prospects. With just a few clicks you can execute your web personalisation strategy and build a strong and personalised relationship with your audience. 

Don’t forget to consider how you want to react to each interaction and how to score your prospects. 

4. Account-Based Marketing or how to focus your marketing and sales efforts on your target audience:

Implementing an ABM strategy often requires a certain level of maturity (number of years on the market) and volume of data (number of contacts in the database), but it is one of the main areas of development for many technology companies. By identifying a “typical” customer, you will be able to identify the most relevant segments for your offer and implement cross-channel campaigns to help your sales teams. 

A marketing automation platform like Marketo Engage can enable you to execute your strategy quicker thanks to its segmentation, artificial intelligence and reporting functionalities while remaining fully aligned with your sales teams. 

5. Measuring the success of your actions

It is a never-ending question, what is the real impact of your marketing actions on your pipeline? To answer this, it is important to be able to correctly attribute the first contact with your prospect to the right campaign. Marketo Engage, and especially Bizible, offer solutions to trace the origin of a prospect thanks to its multi-touch attribution model.  

In most cases, companies in the technology sector choose to implement a personalised attribution model that corresponds to their sales cycle. From the first contact to the closing of the deal, they can track the allocation and weight of their actions. 

Finally, most companies in the technology sector generally have a more complex IT stack so our integrations help to scale the investment, get the most qualified leads to sales, track and measure the impact of marketing on sales… 

The post Marketing in quarantine: How can Tech companies stay relevant in a world in lockdown with marketing automation appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

What Makes a Good Website: 21 Must-haves You May Be Missing

What makes a good website for promoting your brand in the digital world? You may think it’s a revolutionary new layout or a certain color CTA button that psychologists say triggers impulse purchases, but there are a number of website basics that businesses overlook. From something as simple as displaying your contact information or including…

The post What Makes a Good Website: 21 Must-haves You May Be Missing appeared first on Fit Small Business.

Reuters Events Launches Strategic Marketing USA – Setting the Future of Marketing

We are always on the lookout for innovative approaches to bring the marketing community together. Over the last 6 months we have witnessed unprecedented changes in customer behavior, marketing effectiveness, and loyalty programs — aided by all manners of marketing technology. A new virtual get together called the Strategic Marketing USA has been announced by Reuters Events to learn from and reflect on these things and more. The Wise Marketer is pleased to be a Media Sponsor for this year’s event!

Strategic Marketing USA (Nov 5-6, Online & On-Demand) is another edition to Reuters Events strategic series of board level meetings. Rather than discussing the how to’s of marketing, this is the meeting place of the world’s most influential CMOs where news will break, benchmarks will be set, and marketing leaders attending will pioneer the way forward. With a huge focus on interactivity, this meeting is set to be a 2020 must-attend. 

This event brings together 5000+ CMOs and marketers to set benchmarks, showcase innovation, and map the future of marketing — a future where brands are purpose-driven, campaigns are intelligently data-backed, and innovation drives growth. 

Sign up now!

Four essential themes for 2020:

  • CMO Strategy & Trends: CMOs share their plans for keeping brand relevancy in an ever-changing world, honing brand purpose, reinventing a legacy, and creating a culture of innovation.
  • Customer Insights & Understanding New Consumer Behavior: Customer needs, wants and expectations have changed. It’s time to fully understand your customer and their journey to unlock data-driven personalized experiences.
  • Agile Content & Creative: Cut through the noise with impactful interactions that inspire and create a lasting connection. Use this shared global experience to connect on an emotional level, telling stories that are hyper relevant, but grounded in brand.
  • Digital, Social & Influencers: As we follow social-distancing guidelines, the channel of choice for many is social where influencers are at their most impactful. It will cover video, influencers, and the formula for social success.

Reuters Events: Strategic Marketing USA will be live November 5-6th and available on-demand for a limited time after. Primarily made up of CMO case studies and panel discussions, the agenda will feature discussion streams and Q&A from the audience consistently throughout the two days. Additional workshops and roundtables will also be run sporadically throughout and following the summit. Attended by 5000+ marketing leaders, this is the must-attend meeting of 2020.

Check out the detailed Strategic Marketing USA agenda here!

View the full speaker line-up for Strategic Marketing USA!

Register now for a free taster pass and check out the website here.

We hope you will join us for this outstanding event!

The post Reuters Events Launches Strategic Marketing USA – Setting the Future of Marketing appeared first on The Wise Marketer – Featured News on Customer Loyalty and Reward Programs.

How to Increase Your Instagram Engagement Rate

Instagram turns 10 in 2020. It was launched in October of 2010, where its app store
debut prompted 25,000 downloads in just one day. Two years later, Facebook purchased the app for $1 billion.

In 2020, the app has grown larger than expected, with 500 million daily users. Its popularity has led it to become a source of income for content creators and brands worldwide, many using the app as their sole source of income.

Since the potential to make money, connect with your audience, and build a reputable brand on Instagram is so high, understanding how to use it is essential. While there are various ways to market yourself or your business on Instagram, it’s impossible to do so without first understanding your Instagram engagement rate.

Why does Instagram engagement rate matter?

Instagram engagement rates are significant because they measure an audience’s interest, brand relevance, and social authority.

Audience Interest

If your content appeals to your target audience, your engagement rate will be higher. If you take the time to review your best performing content, i.e., posts with the most likes, shares, saves, and comments, you’ll get a feel for what your users want to see. It’s important to note high impressions may indicate that your content has been viewed a lot, but engagement is typically defined as concrete interactions with your posts.

Relevance

If you have a high engagement rate, it’s likely your audience sees you as a relevant source of information. They may favor your content over competitors because your content sets you apart. However, if you have a high engagement rate now, will it stay the same in three months? Is it higher than it was last year? If you aren’t monitoring your engagement rate and using it as a benchmark for relevance, your score can decline.

Social Authority

While you’ve probably already identified your target instagram audience, it’s never bad to add new followers and fans to the list. These new users will take notice of your engagement — your followers, likes, comments, etc. — to decide whether or not to follow you. They’re likely to move on to your competitors if they notice your brand’s engagement, a.k.a. social authority is not strong.

What is the average Instagram engagement rate?

There is no one-size-fits-all definition of a “good” engagement rate. They vary by industry and depending on your strategic goals.

However, Instagram does have higher engagement rates than other social media networks. According to the HubSpot Instagram Engagement Report, posts on the platform generate 23% more engagement than Facebook, even though Facebook has 2x more monthly users.

If you want a numerical value to compare your score to, Rival IQ found that the average engagement rate across all industries is 1.22%. Specific sectors have higher rates, like higher education with 3.57%, sports teams with 2.33%, and influencers with 1.67%.

Because of this, it’s safe to assume that an engagement rate of around 1% is a good engagement rate.

If you’ve already run the numbers and found that your engagement rate is significantly lower than average, don’t fret. There’s room for improvement — but maintain a healthy perspective. Assess how your engagement rate has changed over time and begin devising strategies to raise your score. Start this process by calculating your engagement rate.

How To Calculate Your Engagement Rate On Instagram

There is debate among marketers on the best way to calculate your Instagram engagement rate, as different industries define success in different ways. Your preferred method depends on your goals as a brand or influencer.

Calculating Instagram engagement rate for brands

This formula is best for brands on Instagram because it considers the number of people who have seen a piece of content (impressions) rather than the total number of followers.
 
 
Brands typically convert more leads via exposure first, rather than follower count. When branded advertisements get viewed, engagement rates go up, especially if they follow the advertisements to Instagram profiles and become followers. Note that Instagram accounts need to be public
Business Profiles to see impressions.

Calculating Instagram engagement rate for influencers

Since sponsors often recruit influencers on Instagram based on their likes and follower count, their engagement rates incorporate these two factors. Since this metric doesn’t require any personal data, it’s possible to compare your engagement rates to competitors.

formula to calculate influencer instagram engagement rate

No matter your engagement rate, there are always steps to be taken to raise your score.

1. Maintain consistent branding.

Maintaining consistency with your content is extremely important, and there are a variety of actions you can take to do so.

Firstly, your username should be similar or the same to your other social media usernames. For example, if your twitter handle is @greenbookworm, your Instagram handle should be the same if it’s available (or something very similar).

You should also make sure that your content is visually consistent as well, and you should have a format that you use for all of your posts. Take a look at Nike’s Instagram, for example. nike instagram profile

Source

Whenever they post content that includes typography, they use the same backgrounds and font. When they post photos, they’re high quality and use the same filter.

nike instagram text post brand consistency

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When your content has a similar look, your profile becomes aesthetically pleasing, and users can recognize your photos as a consistent brand. If they come across your content on another social media site and can realize that it’s yours, they may follow you there as well.

There’s data to back this up — WebDam found that 60% of the best-performing brands on Instagram used the same filter every time they post.

2. Understand your audience.

You can’t begin creating content without knowing your intended audience. Developing Instagram personas is a helpful tool for increasing your engagement rate. If you know who your followers are, creating content that they want makes them more likely to engage with you. Take the time to monitor your audience statistics, and update your personas accordingly.

You can use Instagram insights to get a demographic understanding of your followers. If you have an Instagram business account, navigate to the audience tab from the Insights menu. 

instagram audience insights to increase instagram engagement scoreFrom here, you can see the top locations your users are in, your users’ age ranges, and their gender. All this information will give you an understanding of your users.
instagram insights for followers gender, age range, and top locations If you’re a HubSpot user, you can utilize the Social Reports data to find these same insights.

Regardless of your target audience, your content needs to be accessible. Utilizing Instagram’s accessibility tools is crucial, and you can use it to add image alt text, subtitles, and captions to your content.

3. Post regularly.

Once you know your target audience, post content they’ll enjoy and do it regularly. In 2018, 60% of Instagram users reported visiting the site daily, and 38% of those users visited multiple times a day.

The number of times you post depends on your marketing strategy, but the average brand posts 1.5 times per day. Again, this metric is an average, and it may not work for everyone. Posting too much content can overwhelm your users, and they won’t hesitate to unfollow if their feed is clogged.

It’s also important to know the best times to post for your followers. Instagram insights will also tell you the best days and hours to post.

instagram insights for best time and day to post on instagram to increase engagement rate

Do keep in mind that quantity doesn’t equal quality, which brings us to the next engagement raising strategy.

4. Create better captions.

Unless you’re @world_record_egg, who posted a photo of an egg with no caption that has generated over 12 million likes, you need to focus on your captions. Use the brand voice you’ve developed to sound consistent and keep your intended audience in mind. You can create short captions that are serious or light-hearted.

You can also create longer captions that tell stories and take your users on a journey. Take the instagram account @humansofny as an example. They regularly feature the personal stories of people around the world.

humansofny long instagram caption

Since engagement metrics factor in the length of time users spend on your posts, consider alternating shorter and longer captions.

Hand-in-hand with writing better captions is using quality hashtags — Instagram was built on them, after all. It’s still the algorithm’s primary method of filtering through content. If you’re unfamiliar with hashtags, here’s a summary.

Captions can hold up to 30 hashtags per post, but there must be a balance. Hashtag dumping, which is similar to keyword stuffing, may make the algorithm think you’re spamming for engagement, and you can be shadowbanned. The goal is to figure out what works for you and stick to it.

Your hashtags should be a mix of popular and specific, long-tailed keywords. For example, if you’re running an Instagram for your hotel, you’ll want to use common hashtags like #hotel and #travel. However, those are also very broad, as a search for the #hotel tag has 31 million posts. Be more specific and targeted towards your needs, and maybe say #hotel, #travel, and #hotel + your hotel name + the name of the city you’re in. So, for example, #hotellisamiami.

You can discover the best hashtags to use by doing keyword research and categorizing those that work best for you and your brand. You may also want to consider coming up with a brand-specific hashtag that users can recognize as yours.

5. Engage with your followers.

After you post, engage with your followers. While Instagram has the ‘Turn off comments’ feature, opt to keep them on.

Reply to comments that your followers make. Maybe they’re asking questions or proclaiming their excitement for your product. Paula’s Choice, a beauty brand, is an excellent example of this.

paula's choice replying to follower instagram comment

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They regularly host Instagram Q&A’s, where users ask questions and they answer them on their Instagram stories.

They’re taking actions that they know will entice their audience into interacting with their Instagram content, which factors into engagement rates.

Engaging with your followers also entails sharing their content on your site, known as user-generated content (UGC). Surfing through your brand-specific hashtags can help you find users that are posting about you. You can screenshot their content to share on your story, and even post on your feed.

Your followers will be excited that you interact with them, as engagement may signify a personal relationship with your brand. Here’s an example of Paula’s Choice posting UGC.

paula's choice instgram user generated content post to increase instagram engagement rate

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6. Engage with similar accounts.

There wouldn’t be a point to using Instagram if you’re not following and interacting with other accounts.

Using the platform to engage with accounts similar to yours is extremely important. If you’re a brand, this can mean partnering with influencers in the same industry. If you share products with them, they’ll post content wearing your brands. If they tag you, their followers will see your account, and many may follow you—all of these metrics factor into your engagement rate.

Emma Chamberlain is a popular YouTuber, holding almost 10.4 million Instagram followers at only 19-years-old. She regularly posts sponsored content, and her sponsors post her. She entices her followers to interact with those brands, and vice versa.

emma chamberlain sponsored content instagram postSource

This establishes trust between brands, influencers, and their followers, which paints a picture of ‘high engagement’ to those browsing Instagram, and they’ll follow you in return.
 
In addition to influencers, simply engaging with brands within your industry is essential as well. Commenting on industry-standard accounts can give you exposure to users in that same comment section, and they may click your profile and become new followers.

7. Create mixed content.

When the app was first launched, all you could do was post photos. Now, there are five types of content posts supported on Instagram: photos, videos, Instagram TV (IGTV), Instagram Reels, and Instagram Stories.

It’s no longer enough to just post photos; you need to do all of it.

Videos

Zenith Media estimated that the average person would spend 84 minutes a day watching videos in 2020. That’s a significant amount of time spent watching videos, so use it to your advantage.

There are five video options within Instagram: Reels, IGTV, Story videos, Instagram Live, and video posts. You’ll need to decide which method is best for you, but a well-rounded Instagram strategy will include all. If people are watching content on your page, they’re spending more time on your site, factoring into your impressions rate.

If you’re a sports brand, post enticing videos of recognized athletes using your equipment to practice their sport.

Stories

Instagram Stories are essentially the same as Snapchat stories. HubSpot’s Instagram engagement report found 22% of users watched branded content Stories from a company, business, or brand more than once a week, and 36% liked, commented, or shared branded Stores.

You can take advantage of these numbers and use this feature to draw attention to your new posts by sharing them on your Story or simply posting Story exclusive content.

This feature can also be used to engage with your audience. Post quizzes and questions and make them shareable for other users. Stories can also be used to get feedback from customers, asking them to submit experiences with your products and services.

Circling back to influencer sponsorships, having them go live on your account via Instagram Live is a great strategy. Instagram Live’s can also be saved to your account, so new users can watch them even if they occurred three months before.

8. Use calls-to-action (CTAs).

A CTA is an image, line of text, hashtag, or swipe-up-link that is meant to entice your audience to take action — hence the call-to-action.

The specific action you’re asking users to take should be decided based on your brand, service, or influencers’ needs. This may mean notifying them of a sale by including a swipe up link in your Instagram story, asking them to tag a friend in the comment section, or sharing links to partner-posted content.

While links to other sites don’t directly impact your Instagram engagement rate, they still require users to spend more time on your profile, and you can convert them into leads on other platforms. Here’s an example of National Geographic advertising a new product on their story using a swipe-up CTA.

national geographic instagram story swipe up call to action

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9. Track your statistics.

Why would you bother taking action to improve your engagement rate if you’re not taking the time to understand if it’s working? Tracking your progress is extremely important, and it should be something you focus on.

Trial and error is expected, and it should be used to inform your current and future strategies. Use your preferred CRM to find your most effective posts or pieces of content, and use the strategy employed in those for your next content posts.

After you’ve calculated your engagement rate for the first time, you should devise a timeline in which you’ll recalculate it again. Maybe you’ll set a goal of raising your score by .10% in a year, so you may plan to re-calculate the numbers every three months. This can also help you understand what isn’t working — if your numbers haven’t budged, something needs to change.

All in all, Instagram engagement rate is a measure of how your audience interacts with your content. Your rate is an indication of your Instagram profiles’ social authority, relevancy, and audience interest.

If your content is good and your followers are engaging, your engagement rate will demonstrate that. When you spend time working on your engagement rate, you collect valuable data to inform your entire Instagram marketing strategy.

You should see your engagement rate as a benchmark for customer loyalty and satisfaction.

If your users like you, it’ll show.