True Influence November Round-up: Charity of the Season
While November was an opportunity for us at True Influence to continue to bring you the latest advances in both classic and contemporary marketing techniques – some stalwarts remained popular for good reason – for us, it was also a chance to be thankful.
Because of the success True Influence has seen this year – our third quarter revenue growth far surpassed previous records, in part due to the expansion of our InsightBASE platform, which both monitors and analyses intent signals. November provided True Influence with an excellent opportunity to team up with the non-profit Young Life to match funds raised for young people struggling to get back on their feet after September’s devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico.
We’ve included a link for you to donate.
Along with the Puerto Rican blog post, the following are some of our best from November. Click any header to take you to the related article.
The internet is a tangled latticework of information, which we imagine explains the birth of the World Wide Web.
But, in order to get noticed, you have to either do something special or be special. You may not need to be the flashiest or the loudest in the room. Remember that ad years ago for the Coty cologne Nuance, which was made memorable with the slogan, “If you want to attract someone’s attention, whisper” (now 42 years old)? Whispering was the Coty ad team’s strategy for finding a way to stand out in a crowd.
In this blog post that kicked off November, Bill Giese looked at how to create campaigns that float like a balloon above the fray that is internet noise, capturing attention with, or without, a whisper.
- Make smart use of the information intent signals give you about your target persona. By analyzing the information those intent signals provide, you can truly understand the needs of your prospect.
- Using the information you’ve gathered, step into your prospect’s shoes, asking yourself what you would be looking for, what questions you would want answered, what you would need from a company to establish deep, lasting trust, if you were your own prospect.
- Design campaigns around your information, tweaking them for each individual target. The one-size-fits-all approach can work for some companies, but in a saturated marketplace, personal touches are what get you noticed. Campaigns that are personalized using your prospect’s language, that target their interests and focus on what attracts their attention when they do searches, can help you generate attention-grabbing campaigns that will be more likely to be a success.
Personalized campaigns will not only make your target feel better connected to your company, but they can also better influence buying decisions in your favor.
When your marketing has seemed to hit your sweet spot – blogs, e-books and white papers, landing pages, and email and all proving to be effective – it’s no time to sit back and reflect on your success. Instead, take advantage your proven success to improve your moves.
Try working SEO into your blog posts, use links to connect clients on one platform with another, encourage comments in order to get honest insights about your clients, and, to expand your audience base, consider syndication (LinkedIn, for example) or writing guest posts for like-minded sites.
Refining your content, landing pages and email can also help perfect your marketing efforts so that what’s working well now can remain successful even as technology transforms the future.
We’ve been talking a lot about content marketing recently, but that’s because content marketing is simply more effective than a great tagline, endorsements or print or online advertising, according to this Nov. 13 post.
“Content marketing hasn’t succeeded because ‘all the cool kids are doing it.’ It has succeeded because it works,” according to the post.
Content marketing is not only your company’s opportunity to showcase the knowledge that makes you an expert in your field; it also gives you a chance to tell your brand’s story in a way that makes a connection with potential clients.
Companies set themselves apart from their competition, when they provide potential prospects with information that’s of genuine value to them, thus making the company an asset to its prospect.
John Deere has published a magazine since 1986, and the content of that magazine, as much as the iconic green and gold color scheme, has catapulted the company far above its competition, giving it a strong reputation that has followed them from the B2C to B2B marketplace.
We wrote: “Instead of bombarding our audiences with a barrage of marketing messages, (along with hundreds of other brands), we can become influencers. Instead of telling them what to do, (‘buy my stuff’), we can become the trusted advisor that helps them decide for themselves. Influence can’t be obtained overnight, but it is achievable, and content marketing is a great place to start.”
Tips for success include:
- Answer targets’ questions by understanding “online body language” and using it smartly;
- Write in a voice that is as unique as your brand;
- Draw in experts – both internally and externally – to contribute to your content;
- Write to your audience, not at them; and,
- Continue to make changes to your approach by measuring what works and what doesn’t.
On November 16, True Influence CEO Brian Giese announced the company’s “Maria Recovery: Helping Kids and Teens” campaign, which called for donations that the company would match equally, up to $100,000.
In partnership with the nonprofit Young Life, the campaign is designed to reach the country’s most vulnerable youth, who lost schools, community centers, and other important resources.
“Like you, I watch the tragic reports from Puerto Rico with a heavy heart. I have a special fondness for this beautiful island and the beautiful people who live there, and I knew I had to do something to help,” Giese said.
Donations of any amount are welcome, said Giese, who outlined how funds could help the hurricane-ravaged island.
A $24 donation will provide a case of water; a $50 donation will provide a family health kit (including water, diapers, formula, baby wipes, soap, batteries, and toilet paper); a $75 donation will provide portable fans and batteries for mothers with young children to get relief from the heat, while living without electricity; $100 will provide gas for volunteers; $200 will provide meals for a support meeting: $500 will provide 10 health kits ($1,000 will provide 20 kits); and $2,500 will sponsor a support meeting, which includes meals, health kits, donations, a rental location, and gas for volunteers.
To donate, click here.
According to SiriusDecisions, businesses offering account-based marketing solutions have grown by 350 percent in the last year, making ABM a buzzed-about solution that most businesses are considering as a way to maximize their marketing dollars.
ABM based in third-party information – intel gathered and analyzed — gives companies a better understanding of their customer base, which is almost imperative to business success, but with the glut of solutions available, making the right choice can be difficult, according to True Influence CRO Ken Stout.
For your ABM strategy to be highly effective, however, Stout has some advice. It should:
- Identify your target accounts, then prioritize them based on the intent signals which bring them most in alignment with your product or service. (“I tend to favor this approach – your sales team will be immediately engaged in the process and will likely add a lot of additional intelligence about these wish-list accounts through their personal research,” Stout says.)
- Get to know your current accounts better, including monitoring activities to determine whether or not they may be looking outside your business, so you can take the right steps to keep them in your fold.
- Adjust your spending, to focus the bulk on the accounts that will provide the most revenue, without neglecting those that are smaller income generators.
- Get your message out to the right people. If you’ve found a company which aligns with your product or service, that is not part of your portfolio, content marketing is an excellent way to establish a relationship. It enables you to prove your expertise, and rise above your competition, by making a personal connection.
“For now, cutting through all the noise in the market is a learning curve for even highly successful companies, but it’s a process that will definitely will pay off in the long run,” Stout says.
Like iPhones and other hot tech, marketing technology is changing so fast, that what was fresh and new a few months ago, may already be outdated.
But what does that mean for B2B marketers, who are not only struggling to keep up with technology, but also to meet their quotas, and attract new business?
Metrics are now a necessity, even for smaller businesses that want to not just stand out from the rest, but also survive in a competitive marketplace that has lost elbow room.
Metrics allow your company to monitor and evaluate where it is successful, and where it is a failure because you can see in real-time what is working and what is failing, and gain a broader understanding of where a lack of cohesion could be contributing to that failure.
Using internet data, including intent signals, allows marketers to be proactive rather than reactive, based on the knowledge those signals provide. You’ll understand trends, and will be ready for them, thus ensuring you aren’t the one ordering golden milk (an antioxidant-rich turmeric drink that Gwyneth Paltrow may have helped influence into popularity) long after it has gone out of favor.
Marketing teams that take advantage of metrics are armed with invaluable information, so they are able to work more in sync with their sales teams, and are better able to survive the latest technological advancements successfully.
Webinars are an effective way to convert new prospects, because they offer an opportunity for an up-close-and-personal look at your product and service, as well as how it can benefit them.
According to our Chief Marketing Officer Janet Rubio, True Influence has been extremely successful at conversion using webinars, in part, because those who are attend are already interested in our product.
Once they’re willing to invest so much time learning about your project or service, they will be much easier to hook.
“Otherwise, they wouldn’t commit the 30 minutes to attend an online event – and, the interactive platform enables you to provide the specific learning about your product or service thereby driving purchasing decisions,” Rubio says.
Webinars grew as a marketing technique by one third in 2016, and they are now easier than ever to produce, so most marketing teams have the capabilities to put one together.
The keys to webinar success, according to Rubio, include:
- Make sure the topic is relevant to those making purchasing decisions, so it has a better chance of swaying them in your direction;
- Make sure the content you’re provide offers the same enticement as a trade show breakout session, and gives your prospects information that helps them excel;
- When sending invitations, personalize them to the right contact in the account, then find a clever way to capture attention in a subject line;
- Be brief with your invitation and save the meat of the webinar for the event itself, but still make sure recipients understand the value offered, either through the topics to be discussed, or the expert guests who are participating. (“Let the landing page do the heavy lifting,” Rubio says);
- Pick the right time. According to Rubio, 1 p.m. Eastern on Tuesdays, Wednesday or Thursdays are the ideal time slots for your webinar;
- Send invitations in advance, but leave room for last-minute registrations;
- Take advantage of social media to boost attendance, although digital advertising has not lost its appeal; and finally,
- Forget fancy tricks, raffles, etc., to lure people to attend. If your webinar is strong and you advertise is properly, the right people will migrate your way without the added enticements.