Tag Archives: Social Media

The Director’s Guide To Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation Inbound Leads

If you’re not taking marketing automation seriously and incorporating it into your overall strategy, the chances are that you’re selling your company short. Last year:

  • 51% of companies used some form of marketing automation, with 58% of B2B companies having implementation plans in place.
  • 63% of professionals planned to raise their marketing budgets for automation.
  • 4 out of 5 marketers saw automation as a critical part of their overall success.

With this said, the term automation invokes a lot of fear and anxiety in the uninitiated, from people not looking forward to learning new platforms to worrying about their job security. 

In reality, though, marketing automation is less about supplanting professionals, and more about removing tedium and busywork from their daily operations. Here’s a top-down look on how to understand and utilize marketing automation in your business.

What Is Marketing Automation?
In essence, marketing automation is an umbrella term for using different software platforms to automate aspects of marketing activities. The marketing team puts together an overall strategy, or workflow, for the software, which it then executes to provide automated communications across a variety of different channels.

On paper, it seems easy, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that marketing automation is a replacement for a well-planned strategy. Marketing automation lives or dies off of the nature of the workflows that you create. As a result, you need to know your audience, and what they respond to or your investment in the process won’t pay off. 

Along with this, you need a solid CRM with prospects in your database to increase ROI with marketing automation. If you have a small existing list of leads, you’re going to see diminishing returns. At the same time, if you buy a cheap list of potential leads and use marketing automation to spam them, you’re just going to hurt your brand’s reputation. So, before implementing marketing automation, have a plan in place to handle database/lead decay.

Replacing Common Platforms
One of the major benefits of using marketing automation is that it allows you to replace a multitude of software platforms. A change like this also means more capacity for your marketing team to dedicate on additional tactics. Here are a few examples worth looking at:

Lead Forms: These used to be the gold standard when it came to lead collection. They consisted of attaching a lead form to something like an e-book or another type of enticing content. The lead’s information would then go into an accompanying database, which compiled warm leads to mine. In the past, this process would be quite time-consuming, from setting up the form to filtering for people who may have filled things out incorrectly. Skipping these steps with automation means you spend less time combing through the database and more time figuring out how to grow it.

Landing Pages: Marketing automation generally serves as the middle of a marketing funnel, helping convert prospects from the lead lists you create to the moment of conversion. For many businesses, landing pages are that point of conversion. Where marketing automation helps is cutting out a lot of the work of data collection (using heatmaps, checking KPIs) to see how your landing pages are performing. Automatically forward people to your landing pages, and see if your marketing is creating an effective bridge from lead generation to conversion.

Email: Replacing email outright isn’t necessarily what marketing automation is about, but more about ending the back and forth process that comes with an email campaign. For example, if someone doesn’t respond to your marketing email at first, it’s generally good practice to send a followup. However, drafting the email and remembering to send it can be a vexing task. Marketing automation allows you to set this all up in advance. Not only does it mean less tasking work, but it also ensures you’re not sending extra emails to prospects that don’t need them.

As a final note, statistically speaking, custom/dynamic automated marketing performs the best out of all automated marketing. And it’s pretty easy to understand why: it helps differentiate you from conventional sales/marketing copy, while also allowing you to target individual customer needs. Marketing automation is also a major timesaver when it comes to dynamic content. For example, you can:

  • Set when your marketing emails/communications will be sent based on past prospect actions.
  • Set different fields in your communications to account for names, companies, and other information. 
  • Add unique imagery/product suggestions based on past behavior.

Marketing Automation And Your Sales Funnel
So let’s say that you’re confident about using marMarketing Funnel Growthketing automation, and are ready to start implementing it. How exactly do you integrate this workflow into your existing sales funnel? Remember, as we mentioned earlier, marketing automation does a lot of work in the middle of the sales funnel. But, you also need to integrate multiple touch points at the top and bottom of the funnel to see the full impact.

How many touch points do you need? It will vary based on the clients, but here are some of the most common examples.

Phone calls: Whether this is a cold call or a followup to an in-person meeting, these are generally the starting point for a lot of sales funnels, especially for big-ticket purchases or services.

Emails: Often, these are the most effective ways to regularly contact a prospect with followup for answering questions and reinforcing services to help convert a sale. You can also use this as a reminder or to let them know about other opportunities.

Social media: Social media as a touch point may seem a bit odd but think of it as the touch point before the touch point. If you reach out to a prospect cold, they may not be interested in your service at that moment and turn you away. Doing things like providing them content on social media and engaging with them in a personal manner will warm them up to your offerings.

So, how does marketing automation come into play here? You can create a workflow based on a prospect liking a series of posts. Then, automatically, send a followup email right after the database triggers the actions of liking the posts. This approach hits multiple touch points for a fraction of the work, meaning it’s easier to personalize the marketing and connect with more prospects.

Marketing automation has gone from a novelty for many businesses to an essential tool. The ability to simplify a multitude of tasks not only helps streamline the workflow of your marketing team but also saves time. However, there are still two main touch points that you’ll need to overcome to transition into automation:

  • Finding a seamless way to transfer from legacy systems.
  • Implementing if you don’t have a marketing team or agency partner.

In both cases, working with a veteran marketing agency like Glint Advertising is your ideal solution. We can help provide consultation and resources for you to move your marketing strategy toward automation.

Snap Stock Is Out

Photo Credit: HowToStartABlogOnline.net 

Snapchat, Inc, just released their IPO and people are going crazy over Snap stock. If you haven’t heard of Snapchat by now, then there’s a good chance you’ve been living under a rock. Snapchat is today’s most popular social media application among millennial’s. The app focuses on disposal content that you can share with friends between 1-to-10 seconds, or upload content to your ‘story’ that will stay active for 24 hours. Snapchat was initially created with the sole purpose of exchanging nude photos of one another, and though the app is still infamously known for that, Snapchat offers a way to capture raw moments in life. Most of the moments individuals now share with each other are strange objects, unique scenery, and of course, food. A popular phrase has even been coined, “if you didn’t Snap it, did it really happen?”

But what makes Snapchat so popular? Snapchat encourages sharing personal moments with close friends, despite not physically being with them. Snapchat is widely popular with millennials and centennials due to their love of sharing moments and experiences. Now, combine that attribute with the ability to share 10-seconds worth of content, appealing to the short attention that humanity has developed, is a recipe for success. Snapchat has managed to take all the positive aspects of each big-name social media platform. Further, they’ve incorporated them all into one social media application – photos, videos, filters, emojis, artistic doodles, and text without it permanently being stuck on the web. However, there’s still the option of screenshotting a snap, so think twice before you send that risky photo. Researchers have also found that the way individuals interact accounts for Snapchats success among its users. Interactions are not ‘transactional’ like a text message, or as impersonal as a status update on Facebook and Twitter, but rather more ‘conversational,’ and it has the ability to place users in the exact moment an event occurred.

With all of these amazing features intertwined within Snapchat, some may wonder how does the social media app make money. Snapchat has found an interesting way to disguise ads between Snaps, and stories. Individuals are likely to see ads when they shuffle between stories. However, these ads are not your typical 30-to-60 seconds long. They are shorter, much shorter. They can range anywhere from 5-to-10 seconds long, and the best part is that they can be skipped by users. Contrary to many people’s belief, millennials are less likely to pay for an application than any other generation.

Another reason why Snapchat has become so popular over the years is due to its relevancy. Twitter has an endless stream of tweets, and users often move on to another application before they get a chance to read a tweet from someone they care about. Meanwhile, Facebook feeds are either filled with people that you don’t often consider close friends or click-bait. Click-bait is a coined phrase that describes an interesting title, but redirects to an uninteresting page when clicked. The unfortunate case of Twitter and Facebook is that users spend a lot of time trying to find that small sliver of content that is relevant and interesting to the user. Snapchat is much different. Yes, there is a lot of content on Snapchat that is waiting to be found, but Snapchat allows you to follow, view and receive content from the people you care about. Snapchat even has a section called Discover which is news-like content, and even that section can be editable. Users can select which publications, new stations and TV channels they want to view.

The last reason why Snapchat has become so popular, and probably the most important, the application is just downright fun to use. Users can attach goofy stickers, funky lenses that add a mask, manipulate the structure of your face or add geofilter sliders that indicate which city or location you are in while Snapping. Even the Discover aspect of Snapchat, which is probably the least interesting part, is still more engaging than Twitter Moments – a similar news like attribute.

Team members of Glint regularly use Snapchat, so we decided to conduct an internal survey:

What is it about Snapchat that you like the most?
“I love Snapchat because it allows me to capture raw moments of life. Anyone can record an event and add effects to make it look more appealing, but with Snapchat, the moment itself is appealing; not the effects added to it. It’s authentic and unfiltered. I love using Instagram, but every photo and video I come across looks like a glossy imitation of reality.”

What don’t you like about Snapchat?
“I do not like how you can screenshot users content. I have had friends screenshot embarrassing photos I have sent before, and it would be great if Snapchat could remove that feature. Hint, hint, Snapchat.”

What do you use Snapchat for?
“Initially, I used Snap to send photos and videos, but as Snapchat evolved, so has the way I use it. I now use Snapchat as my preferred method of communication. I use it to for text messages and phone calls. The best part is that the app allows me to add a personal touch to my message specifically tailored for whomever I’m sending a message to.”

Would you ever stop using Snapchat?
“The first step to recovery is acceptance, and I accept that I’m addicted to Snapchat, but I can only see myself stop on the off chance that my friends stop using it. There would be no reason for me use an application if my only form of interaction was viewing other people’s stories. I like sending and receiving content from friends.”

There’s no doubt that Snapchat will become a household name like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It’s interesting to note that Facebook saw the potential of Snapchat just after a year of its creation. Facebook offered Snapchat $3 billion dollars to buy it out, but to many people’s surprise, Snapchat declined the offer. Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion dollars in 2012, and Facebook has made Instagram the number one photo sharing application in the world. Facebook may have had a different plan for Snapchat, but no one is complaining about the potential fate of Snapchat under Facebook control. If you haven’t used Snapchat yet, we encourage you to experiment with your friends, and if we have one recommendation it would be this: if you’re not willing to risk that Snap being screenshotted then don’t send it.

 

 

Glint Advertising Helps Prestige Credit Union Celebrate 80 Years

Farmers Branch, TX: Prestige Community Credit Union is celebrating 80 years of serving its members with a big celebration on June 17, 2016. Prestige has proudly served the Dallas area since 1936, and will celebrate their anniversary with members and the general public by serving cake and handing out prizes during the daylong celebration. Ron Knight, Vice President of Marketing, said, “We’re very excited to celebrate this milestone event with both our members and the community at large. It’s been a great 80 years, and we look forward to serving the greater Dallas area for 80 more.”

In support of the 80th celebration, Prestige’s agency of record Glint Advertising has created a social media content strategy and campaign to raise awareness and generate excitement, including a fun game of hide and seek for Preston the Pig, Prestige’s mascot, on the company’s website. Said Todd Miller, Business Director at Glint, “Glint is thrilled to provide marketing and branding support to a strong, tenured and successful business such as Prestige. 80 years serving the greater Dallas area is a powerful testament to the passion and care Prestige puts into its members every day.”

In addition to the prizes being given away at the celebration event on June 17, anyone who can find Preston the Pig on the Prestige website between June 9 and June 25, 2016, can enter for a chance to win one of three $80 prizes and their own stuffed Preston. Ron Knight added, “Our members love Preston, and he’s become such an iconic piece of Prestige. We are very excited the way Glint has incorporated Preston into our campaigns, especially our 80th celebration. And, I can tell you, Preston is thrilled for his part in giving away over $240 in prizes.”

About Prestige Credit Union: Prestige Community Credit Union was founded in 1936 in Dallas, Texas as Sun Employees Credit Union. Today, Prestige provides credit, lending and banking services to over 7,000 members nationwide. Prestige Community Credit Union is located at 15203 Knoll Trail Suite 101, Dallas, TX 75248, and has assets of $82 million. For more information visit: prestigecu.org/.

About Glint Advertising: Glint Advertising was founded in 2000 and provides branding, advertising and marketing services to a diverse client base throughout North Texas and beyond from its two DFW locations. Glint is a full-service advertising agency specializing in branding and integrated marketing campaigns, with a focus on strategy and collaboration. Glint has received numerous awards for its creative work. For more information visit: glintadv.com.