Posts Tagged ‘best practices’

Creating and delivering content can seem like a daunting task. Content can be overwhelming for not only smaller organizations, but larger companies with a full content team. But the good thing is that once you’ve created a few pieces, it’s easy to keep your audience engaged. This blog will discuss how to capture your audience through content.

For this particular case, let’s use Netflix as an example. One of the reasons that Netflix is so popular (binge watching is a national pastime) is that you don’t really have to do anything. Previously, when you wanted to watch a show, you had to be home in time for the 30-minute episode you wanted to see. As soon as the show finished you went on with your life. But, Netflix has changed that completely. Not only will the next episode begin playing as soon as you’ve finished, they make recommendations based on your taste, and going back to find an episode is easy.

So how is Netflix similar to Content Marketing? If your content marketing plan is strategic and built for your customers, they too will always consume more of your content because it’s easy to find and it’s tailored to them.

Here are a few tips we suggest to ensure your customers will “always be returning”:

  • Always Be…Personalizing
    • We can’t overstate the importance of personalization. When a user is reading your content, they’re already engaged. They’re interested in your company and what you have to offer them.
    • As someone is reading an article, a snap shot, a case study – whatever – make sure they can quickly and easily find another similar piece right away.
    • This can be accomplished by having your website offer up content as a user is reading or you could provide links to more content in your email campaigns. Just make sure the content is always there and always easy to find.
  • Always Be… Gating
    • When you provide content to a user, don’t give it all away at once.
    • This is similar to testing out a new car. You can let your user take content for a “test drive” and as they’re half way through an article, put up a gate. This gate can ask for more information and allows you to thoughtfully add users to your database.
    • The “Try before you buy” method helps you understand more about your potential customer but also makes sure that they’re the right audience. If they take time to give you their name, they’re interested in learning more.
  • Always Be…Monitoring
    • We can’t overstate how important monitoring your website and email analytics is. If you understand where your customers are and are not going, you’ll get a good idea of what you need to be providing them.
    • By reviewing your site and email analytics, you’ll know what to invest in next, based off of the type of content being consumed.
    • As an adult, you most likely wouldn’t want to watch cartoons, so Netflix wouldn’t suggest them to you (unless of course your child has control of Netflix) Analytics also helps you segment and make sure that your content gets to the right person at the right time.

We hope these tips were helpful and if you have any questions, let us know!

Q&A: How to Reduce Marketing Expenses with Social Media

September 3rd, 2015 by Somer Klepper


According to Social Examiner’s 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, more than half of its 3,720 respondents were able to reduce marketing expenses with social media marketing (SMM). That’s great news for all of us who already dedicate time to social marketing initiatives, but how exactly does it work? Read on as Launch’s social media specialist, Somer Klepper, expands on this finding.

Q: How is it that the marketers from this survey are cutting costs by spending 6 hours a week on social media?
Let me begin by saying that at least six hours a week is essential for success. People frequently put social media on the backburner, not realizing the impact that social media can have on a brand. This may be because social media is still a relatively new method of marketing, in comparison to methods like direct mail or email campaigns. Furthermore, there are no clear standards for social media metrics to measure against—there are no CTR (click thru rate) benchmarks for posts, for example. Each platform performs differently, so each platform should have its own set of standards, but we’re still in the middle of developing those standards—“we” being any marketer using social media outlets. Marketers need to take the time to learn what works and what doesn’t work for each of their social media platforms.

Now to answer the question: These marketers were able to reduce marketing expenses with social media by generating leads in a more cost-effective way. Popular social media platforms allow marketers to get in front of their desired users through targeting—demographic, behavioral, location-based, you name it. Depending on the platform, marketers can generate leads anywhere from $1-$20 at the cost-per-click. With leads in that range, you would most definitely see a decrease in marketing budgets, but you may have to work harder for them, depending on factors like content, landing page, and campaign goals.

Q: What types of businesses or organizations stand to benefit the most from social media marketing?
Really any type of business can reap the benefits of social media marketing. SMM can be used for branding, awareness, product launch, hiring, exposing company culture and building character, connecting with customers/clients/prospects—the list of possibilities is endless. The key is to do social media right. When I say that, I’m referring to sharing the right content, engaging your audience and not directly selling yourself on the platforms. The central focus here is to remember that you are trying to help your audience, not pitch them.

Let’s pretend that you are a SaaS company. Instead of constantly offering free trials on your social media accounts, offer a case study that gives hard stats of growth and improvement that your software brought to another company (of course, get approval from the other party) or a whitepaper that offers strong industry insights and demonstrates that you’re a thought leader within the SaaS industry. Leads generated from SMM efforts within the tech industry are especially favored because people like to research and shop around. Take those leads, build a list, nurture it then close it.

Q: Do you have any tips on how marketers can use social media to make the most out of a small marketing budget?
Test everything. If you have a small budget and you’re not sure how to spend it, pick the social media platform that best aligns with your audience and desired clientele, then test your efforts.

Continuing the SaaS example, create two ads with the same copy to promote your whitepaper or case study. Build different landing pages for each ad. For each send you should vary form placement, call to actions, or buttons, and compare performance, making sure you test one variable per send. Which landing page has the higher CTR? Which landing page generated the most form submissions?

Testing saves you time and money by telling you what works for your audience and your business. It’s important to test periodically to account for changes in audience preference and other variables.


Have any questions of your own? Comment below! Otherwise, look through our blog to learn more about social media and its impact on the bottom line, or contact Launch for personalized advice.

Graphic source: Jason Howie

Brainstorming is a critical part of any creative process, whether you are writing copy or creating your next big product. Once defined as simply a collaboration of ideas, the term has since transformed into any sort of creative planning, no matter if it is done in a group or independently.

To come up with creatively written solutions to your marketing dilemmas you don’t need to be an expert copywriter or even consider yourself a writer at all. You just need to consider some basic techniques of brainstorming to get your juices flowing.

Prepare Rough Ideas
Even though the bulk majority of your brainstorming may happen in a group setting it is still important for you to come to the group with some thoughts and ideas ready to go. This applies to everyone involved in the group brainstorming session. The ideas generated during freethinking are your own and free from outside influence.

Jot down any idea that comes to mind. Key word here is any. The goal isn’t to come up with a fully developed idea right from the start but to build toward something with free flowing ideas. Take a look at your preliminary ideas and you will have a better understanding of what works and doesn’t work before you attempt the group brainstorm.

Get Others Involved
Brainstorming sessions focused on business writing do not have to be exclusive to copywriters. They should involve anyone who can provide valuable input. Graphic designers are a good example. Chances are that your copy will need graphical representation to tie it all together. Customer Support staff and the sales department are groups that interact with customers on a daily basis, so they can offer a different and unique perspective on what the customers are saying. Listening to different ideas and input can help bring out the best in your writing.

Use Word Association
This technique involves brainstorming lists of words and then finding similarities between the key words on each list. For example, imagine that you want to create a new slogan for a software product focused on online collaboration. You could start with the root word “collaboration” and use word association to come up with a list of ideas such as “ideation” or “improved productivity.” Then you could brainstorm another list beginning with “productivity.” In the end, you might have five or six lists of ideas based on word association. One way to build your slogan would be to choose one word from each of the lists and find a creative way to link them together.

Pose an Initial Question
Suppose you had created a product for small to medium-sized businesses and were looking for a new way to approach marketing the product. You can start a brainstorming session by posing a single question such as “What is it that small to medium-sized business owners are looking for?” Participants would throw out ideas such as “to increase sales” or “to save time and money.” Another option would be to select a specific feature of your new product and open with a question about it. “How does this specific feature help small to medium-sized business owners?” The idea is to get the conversation started so that you can outline ideas or common themes.

Use Your Senses
When you discuss a product or a service in your copy, you’re not just trying to highlight information, you’re trying to invoke an emotional response. One of the most effective ways to do this is to use sensory imagery in your copywriting. We all know that our Product X is the most powerful product of its kind but how does it feel? Can you hear it, and if so, what does it sound like?

Make a list of all the sensory aspects of your product or service and search for words or phrases that produce a particular emotional response. Utilizing a sensory technique with your copywriting will allow you to see your product or service in a completely new light.

Allow Wild Ideas
It is important to suspend criticism during brainstorming sessions. All ideas, no matter how crazy or ludicrous they may seem, should be encouraged and recorded without comment or criticism from the group. The general goal of brainstorming is to collect as many ideas as possible. Quantity is much more important quality during this stage of the process.

Utilize Mind-Mapping
Considered one of the most classic approaches of all, mind mapping involves putting a goal in the center of a piece of paper or board, then branching outward into subtopics. The goal is to create as many subcategories as possible as well as any associated ideas that spring out from them. This technique is one of the best ways to capture your thoughts and bring them to life in visual form.

Save Rejected Ideas
Yes! You’ve gone through the brainstorming process and have picked the one idea to develop further and solve your specific business need. Problem is, you still have many more great ideas and concepts that end up going unused. Make sure to save these unused ideas. You never know when they might be put to good use at a later date or when they might serve as a basis for inspiration involving another great idea. At the beginning of a new brainstorming session, consider pulling out the list of rejected ideas and choosing a couple of them to get the ball rolling.  This could be especially helpful if you are having a difficult time getting started with ideas.

These are just a small sample of the hundreds, if not thousands, of different brainstorming techniques that can be applied to help generate creative business writing ideas. The end goal is to help you create inventive copy that attracts customers to your business. How you get there is completely up to you so try them out and find what works best for you and your team. For additional marketing tips from our team look here.

If you have any techniques that you have applied and found extremely useful, let us know in the comments section below.

Graphic Source: www.highstakesliving.com

Social Media for Tradeshows

Due to ever evolving advancements in technology and techniques, businesses, large and small alike, can now market to literally thousands of consumers without ever meeting face-to-face. However, marketing practices like trade shows, conferences and seminars have withstood the test of time.

In-person events highlight the physical aspects of marketing – like the much needed personal interaction with clients and potential customers. Aisle upon aisle of relevant vendors and eager attendees can provide you with an arsenal of new leads and connections. While trade shows are more physical in nature, implementing a social media strategy in coordination with your trade show activities will allow you to maximize your presence before, during and after the event.

Pre-show Activities

1. Utilize the official hashtag for the event. Start following the hashtag several weeks prior to the event to discover trends and connect with key players. When tweeting about the event, be sure to use the assigned hashtag.

2. Go ahead and create a hashtag specific to your company or trade show campaign. Attaching your hashtag to the official event hashtag will increase the exposure your company will receive when posting on Twitter.

3. Use social media to announce a promotion, contest, special hospitality event or giveaway for the event. You can create a teaser video or announce a secret code word that attendees will need for a prize or entry into a drawing. A simple tie in to your social media accounts can create significant buzz and increase traffic to your booth during the event.

4. Reach out to LinkedIn connections and personally invite them. Invite them to stop by your booth or to lunch, dinner, or an after-hours event while there.

5. Connect with trade specific media contacts and ask them to set up a meeting, stop by your booth to discuss a new product or attend a session you are hosting. Responding to tweets, retweeting posts and commenting on blogs are simple ways to engage media contacts.

During the Show Activities

6. Tradeshows and conferences are busy, so take advantage of scheduling some tweets and Facebook posts in advance. This could be particularly helpful if you are presenting on a topic at a specific time. You can schedule tweets about key talking points both before and during the presentation.

7. Use Facebook and Twitter as real-time news feeds for delivering up-to-the-minute content, photos and videos. Constant updates can provide valuable information to those people who cannot physically be there.

8. Include social media icons, web addresses, QR codes, and calls-to-action to your social networks in your booth display.

9. Offer attendees additional contest entries if they like your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter and LinkedIn.

10. Announce contest winners through your social media platforms. Advertise that the winner will be published on your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages and then have the winners come back to your booth to get their prize. Snap a photo of them with their prize and post it as well.

Post-show Activities

11. Create a quick event wrap-up and post it socially. Make sure to thank everyone for stopping by your booth or seminar session at the event.

12. Continue the conversation by writing a blog post about your participation in the show. You can focus on seminar discussions, common themes at the event or your overall experiences. Promote your post via social channels.

13. Connect with new prospects using LinkedIn’s premium feature called InMail. In the days following an event, valuable prospects often end up dealing with an email inbox that is flooded with messages from sales reps and marketers from the show. Stand out from the crowd by using LinkedIn InMail.

You can connect with any LinkedIn user with InMail, regardless of your previous history with them. Users will be notified of the new message with a LinkedIn alert email and more likely to read and respond to your InMail than they would a standard email.

14. Ensure that any email follow-up with your leads and connections includes links to all of your social media accounts.

These are just a handful of ideas to make your next event more social. Coordinate social media and trade shows or other events to stretch marketing efforts and drive increased exposure, more leads, and extensive networking opportunities.

Need help with your event or social media strategies? Contact Launch Marketing today! Be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up with the latest B2B marketing tips and trends.

Graphic Source: http://www.skylinetradeshowtips.com/