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How to Select the Best Influencer for Your Business – Smarter With Gartner

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Use reach, relevance, and resonance to align influencer marketing with business goals.

Annette Garaghty, VP of sales and marketing at knife company Wüsthof, wanted to drive deeper engagement and conversions on the sales floor while also telling the story of the 200 year old brand. She engaged brand experts to provide product content to 145 retail salespeople. Those salespeople spent an average of 34 minutes with Wüsthof content online and engaged in over 5,500 product conversations with store customers. The Wüsthof influencer marketing campaign increased sales 350% over stores that didn’t participate in the influencer campaign.

Influencer marketing is an increasingly popular component of social marketing, offering new sources of content and greater potential reach into desired audiences. “Choose influencers based on audience reach, brand relevance and their ability to resonate with followers for favorable outcomes,” says Jay Wilson, research director, Gartner for Marketers.

Influencers have been an advertising staple since New York Yankees baseball legend Lou Gehrig first appeared on a Wheaties cereal box in 1934.

The appeal of influencers lies in their perceived ability to drive positive word-of-mouth among their loyal follower bases and the promise of conveying brand messages in an authentic way through content created by a trusted individual on behalf of the brand.

However, there’s risk in influencer marketing. Brands need to make sure they’re following the FTC’s guidelines around disclosure. Influencers can engage in conduct and create content that not in line with brand values. As disclosure increases, consumer trust in influencers may wane.

Along with establishing disclosure processes and monitoring,  setting clear goals and metrics for defining success, successful influencer programs start with developing the right criteria for evaluating and choosing the right influencers for your brand and campaign.

Choose influencers based on their reach, relevance and resonance

Three key attributes contribute to influence — reach, relevance and resonance. Use and weight these attributes to identify and compare influencers for your particular program based on your goals, business model and industry.

  • Reach is the ability to amplify a message to a large audience or a desirable niche audience
  • Relevance is the strength of the connection between the influencer and the brand, industry or topic
  • Resonance is the ability of the influencer to drive desired audience behavior

Determine influencer type based on desired audience

Once you’ve determined and prioritized your attributes of influence, consider the type of influencers best aligned to your goals and the role they’ll play. Influencers could be media types such as journalists and bloggers, celebrities, industry influencers such as trade media or analysts, customers or employees. Choose the influencer type that best fits your needs based on your desired audience and campaign goals.

Determine influencer role based on program goals

Influencers build awareness and engage audiences around an issue, brand, campaign or offering by creating or sharing content, delivering audience access and insights or facilitating direct audience engagement. Determine the points along the buy/own/advocacy journey where influencers have the largest potential impact. Clarify your program objectives and goals along with which of your objectives influencers can most effectively support along the customer journey to determine influencer role(s).

“Consider what you expect from the influencer in return,” says Wilson. “Clearly specify your expectations, performance benchmarks and program timelines. Do so in a way that demonstrates mutual respect and understanding for your brand and theirs.”

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https://blogs.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/how-to-select-the-best-influencer-for-your-business/ Use reach, relevance, and resonance to align influencer marketing with business goals. Chris Pemberton

6 Sales and Marketing Tips & Ideas to Grow Your Business | Consulting for Swag

business44.com

6 Sales and Marketing Tips & Ideas to Grow Your Business | Consulting for Swag
Matt Goldman is a Content Marketer/Social Media Strategist for Tenfold. His writing has focused on social selling, marketing, as well as gamification.

The original article is available here:

https://www.tenfold.com/sales-and-marketing/6-sales-marketing-tips-ideas-grow-business

To grow a business these days, one needs to understand why traditional sales and marketing strategies are failing and how to develop a sales marketing strategy that works.

What is Sales Marketing?

A well-crafted combination of sales and marketing is necessary for successful business growth. Sales entail the direct one-on-one interactions, those interpersonal connections that directly add revenue to the bank accounts. Telephone calls, networking, and meetings are all part of the direct sales process.
Marketing, on the other hand, involves all those actions that a business takes to reach and recruit prospects. Examples include direct mail campaigns, advertising, public relations, and television or radio commercials.
Direct sales marketing embodies all of these strategies. The number of ‘touches’ a prospect requires to convert into a sale varies, though research suggests anywhere between three and twelve touch points. More important than quantity, then, is following and maximizing each contact so that the time, cost, and effort put into each sale decreases.

What Isn’t Working?


Some of the most tried-and-true methods of marketing still work. People still love video advertising, for instance. In fact, video accounts for 69 percent of all consumer Internet traffic, according to Cisco Visual Networking. However, many other marketing strategies are falling flat. To be sure, Sirius Decisions reports the average sales cycle has increased by 22 percent over the past five years since more decision-makers are being involved in the buying process.

  • According to the 2016 DMA Response Rate Report, direct mail is expected to experience a 19% decline over the next 12 months;
  • A mere 13% of people who read print publications report ever looking at the ads;
  • 44% of direct mail is never opened;
  • 70% to 80% of online users don’t look at online ads, preferring to focus only on organic search results;
  • 86% of people ignore television commercials.

Effective Sales Marketing Ideas

As buyers become increasingly over-saturated with advertising gimmicks, it becomes even more important for business owners and marketers to devise innovative ways to target potential customers. It is the role of a business owner, then, to ensure that information is delivered to prospective customers at the right time, in the right format, and on the right platforms. This is where an inbound marketing strategy becomes crucial.

Research

There’s no need to spend copious amounts of time drudging up case studies. Instead, ‘research’ refers to time spent understanding the company and its goals, understanding the industry, and understanding the customers. This is where business owners focus on attracting customers rather than seeking leads and customers.
  1. Clarify what the business is and ask:
  • What does it mean to ‘grow the business?’
  • How will someone know if they’re successful?
  • What are the long and short-term goals?
  • What is the sales process?
  1. Check out the industry
Whether a person has been in the industry for two, ten, or twenty years, chances are pretty high that the industry will keep on changing. As innovations come up or new expectations are established, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve. This is where industry research comes in.
  • How do other businesses fare against meeting (or exceeding) the goals?
  • What marketing strategies are other businesses in that industry doing to attract clients or customers?
  • What current events and news is impacting that industry?
  • Is there a business to business marketplace a business owner can access?
  • Are there any leaders that a business owner can speak to within the industry?
  1. Figure out your customer base
Speak to the people on the ground—those who directly communicate with customers—to better understand the customer base. These are the people who can provide the most insight into what customers want. When talking to them, here are some worthwhile questions to ask:
  • Which marketing tactics are most effective?
  • Are customers complaining about any current strategies, such as too many emails or obnoxious ads?
  • What are the customer demographics?
  • What questions are the sales teams answering most?
  • What pain point/s does the product or service help alleviate?

Create Effective Content

No longer is it sufficient to leave a website dormant while expecting customers to magically discover its presence. Instead, business owners should update its content consistently. Over 70 percent of marketers say relevant content is the most effective search engine optimization (SEO) tactic, while companies that blog 16 times or more per month enjoy four times more leads than those who publish blog content less than five times a month.
The most effective content is that which focuses on helping customers reach their goals and/or solve their problems. While content on the Internet often grows stale within weeks after publication, it’s best to make sure content is as evergreen as possible so that it can retain its value for years to come.
Recognizing the importance of having an efficient, skilled copywriter either on staff or freelance is imperative. Doing so can increase the company’s revenue substantially, double its customer retention rate, and create brand recognition.

Pay attention to SEO

In the world of marketing, SEO is the latest buzzphrase—and with good reason. SEO consists of all the factors that influence search engine ranking. It is like turning on a spotlight so that customers know where to find a business. After discovering what a company’s customers are looking for (see above), it’s important to weave those keywords onto every page of the website.
To optimize a website for SEO, Entrepreneur magazine suggests that business owners:
  • Create a priority list of targeted search terms that pertain to the customer base and market segment;
  • Review pertinent industry sources and competitive lists to determine what keywords should be used;
  • If users frequently misspell a word, include that in the webpages as well;
  • Track the site’s rankings every 30 to 45 days to ensure the keywords remain effective;
  • Determine goals ahead of time and make sure they are measurable so that it’s possible to note the return on investment regularly;
  • Create page titles;
  • Develop new sitemaps for Google and Bing;
  • Place strategic words and phrases throughout the content on every page;
  • Continually test and measure the business’s success using objective tools to do so.

Develop Podcasts

People love to receive something for nothing. In the world of marketing, the most valuable asset is knowledge. Offer this to customers through an effective use of Podcasts. Podcast listening increased by 23 percent between 2015 and 2016.

Become social media savvy

The effectiveness of social media marketing is contentious. While some people say it’s a complete waste of time, the numbers suggest otherwise. After all, the breadth of audience participation is unparalleled.
  • 72 percent of adult Internet users utilize Facebook;
  • During the past two years, content consumption on Facebook has increased by 57 percent;
  • Instagram has 500 million active monthly users;
  • LinkedIn has 450 million members, with a reported 25 percent active on a monthly basis;
  • Thirty percent of U.S. millennial internet users use Snapchat regularly.

Stay in contact

Depending on the product or service offered, it may be that the company is on the customer’s mind daily, such as the case with a food product, or only occasionally, as is the case with expensive beauty treatments. Regardless, it’s critical to be in the customer’s thoughts as soon as they are ready to buy. The way to do that is to maintain constant and consistent communication.
  1. Collect the customer’s information at every opportunity;
  2. Craft email or text campaigns to stay in contact with prospects and previous customers;
  3. Be sure the business is listed in local directories and search engines.
Effective marketing means more than relying on direct mail advertising or television commercials. It has evolved into a multi-dimensional, multi-sensory process. Keep up with industry trends, as well as the new technology available to assist marketing efforts using these suggestions.
https://nathanwilliamsmbablog.blogspot.com/2017/12/6-sales-and-marketing-tips-ideas-to.html Hey everyone.  Today's guest post is from Matt Goldman. Matt Goldman is a Content Marketer/Social Media Strategist for Tenfold. His Nathan Williams

How to build a compelling business case for inbound marketing

How to build a compelling business case for inbound marketing Image for How to build a compelling business case for inbound marketing

‘Inbound content marketing is the worst form of marketing,’ to misquote Churchill, ‘apart from all the others.’ Of course, we would say that because it’s what we do at Articulate. In this article, we explore how to build a strong business case for content marketing.

The evidence confirms that inbound content marketing is cost effective.  HubSpot reckons that it costs 61 percent less per lead than traditional techniques.

Filling the funnel: a top CEO priority

This is more important than ever. CEOs are focusing on their reaching customers and converting them, according to new research. Of course, they always have. What’s new is their use of words like ‘audience’, ‘content’ and ‘proving ROI’.

CEO Marketing Goals - finding the right audience is the biggest bar in the chart

Yet, the most attractive audiences are the hardest to reach. They are blind to conventional advertising and self-promotion. But content marketing cuts through the noise. This means you have to:

  • Go to where people are – social media, search engines etc.
  • Talk about things that matter to them.
  • Use their language, not yours.
  • Become a trusted advisor.
  • Introduce your products and solutions in this favourable context.

Get your 10-minute guide to inbound content marketing now

Traditional marketing strategies don’t deliver

Think about your own experience. Would you prefer a noisy intrusion into your day or useful, relevant information when you wanted it? What would you think of the companies that used these different strategies?

Again, the evidence supports the argument. Intrusion fails spectacularly. The majority of TV viewers (86 percent) skip adverts if they can. Nearly half of all direct mail (44 percent) is never opened.

Social media is on the up but it’s hard to measure. If you don’t have something to bring to the conversation, you’re just breaking eggs without making an omelette.

If you use online advertising, you already know the pain of keyword competition, rising costs and falling conversion rates. Worse, you need a PhD in Google Adwords to run a campaign. And you pay-per-click not per advert. It’s the gift that doesn’t keep giving.

There’s light at the end of the funnel

The traditional view of the sales funnel is too narrow. Half of leads are qualified but not yet ready to buy. Inbound marketing helps you engage them much earlier in the sales cycle. Thought leadership content can help raise your profile and shape the marketplace. Think of it as winning the air war.

Similarly, content marketing helps you extend the sales cycle beyond the actual purchase decision. If you can delight customers as well as close leads, you can turn them into advocates. Word of mouth endorsement is a very powerful sales tool. The right content can empower your customers to get more from your products. It also encourages repeat business.

With content marketing, the traditional AIDA model of the sales funnel gives way to the Attract-Convert-Close-Delight model.

Attract Convert Close Delight flowchart

Content marketing does the business

Research shows that inbound content marketing helps at every stage of the sales cycle:

  • Attract. Inbound marketing delivers 54 percent more leads into the funnel. Content such as ebooks are very effective. Call to actions promoting ebooks get almost twice the click-through rate as emails promoting webinars. Blogs are also an essential element. B2B companies that blog generate 67 percent more leads and B2C companies generate 88 percent more leads
  • Convert. Landing pages with persona-targeted copy are a smart way to convert leads into customers. The more, the better. Businesses with 31 to 40 landing pages got seven times more leads than those with only one to five landing pages.
  • Close. Lead-nurturing emails and a drip feed of relevant content helps to convince leads to buy. In fact, nurtured leads make 47 percent larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. Relevant emails drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails.
  • Delight. Social media monitoring and how-to guides can turn customers from ‘users’ into ‘champions’.

social media marketing guide

Measuring the return on investment

To build a business case for content-driven inbound marketing, you need to show that it will generate a better return on investment than traditional methods. ‘Half my advertising is effective, but I don’t know which half’, goes the old Madison Avenue joke. But a staggering 34 percent of businesses do not calculate ROI at all.

This is another area where content marketing shines. It focuses on things that you can control and measure, such as landing pages, calls to action, your social media pages, your website and your content. This means that you can measure the effort required to do it and the results it creates.

With tools like HubSpot, you can link your lead nurturing activity directly to your CRM system. Qualified leads just drop into the CRM system ready for a sales call. This allows you to calculate the cost of each qualified lead precisely.

No wonder that 41 percent of marketers confirm that inbound produces measurable ROI and 82 percent of marketers who blog see positive ROI for inbound, content-driven marketing.

Sometimes these results can be remarkable: Marketers who have implemented inbound marketing strategies see even greater website conversion rates than the industry average, and they reach almost double the conversion rate of non-inbound marketers, from 6 percent to 12 percent. Imagine what doubling your conversion rate would do for your business.

Make your site work harder with our complete guide to website marketing.

https://www.articulatemarketing.com/blog/business-case-for-inbound-marketing The business case for content marketing is powerful: it costs less, sells more and makes it easier to measure the ROI and results. Matthew Stibbe
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