Rules to Better Marketing
Marketing can be a very broad and complicated topic. Everyday technology is constantly changing the way we market businesses, with new vs. old advertising, automation tools, social media algorithms, how AI impacts social media networks, and much more. Marketing is an iterative process. After marketing became mainly digital, and the introduction of new terms like 'customer journey', 'ROI', and 'social media engagement', we understand that altogether, it can be hard to follow.
So much has changed over the last years; an online presence has become key to success; with a new focus on branding consistency and credibility. Due to this, the cost of marketing has increased a lot, on top of all of the knowledge you now need to have as a marketer.
With this set of rules, we aim to help you cut through the maze of marketing jargon and to help you reach your goals faster.
If you were going to build a house, you would hope that the architect and builders were working together using architectural plans and blueprints as their guide. So why would trying to build a solid customer base or market share be any different?
At SSW we realize the monumental importance of a marketing plan. Although we recognize that in many cases marketing plans get filed away in the closet until it's time to get a business loan, they're most effective when they act as a blueprint for all the marketing activities a company undertakes.
Here are some of the important points to consider in a marketing plan:
- Set out your marketing goals and objectives then align them with your overall business goals and strategy
- Set out a time frame for achieving those goals
- Identify a target market and segmentation strategy
- Define how you will position and differentiate your product
- Use competitor and industry analysis
- Identify current and proposed marketing methods
- Include marketing reports (historical and forecasts)
- Set the criteria against which the plan will be assessed for success or failure
The most important thing to remember about a marketing plan is that it is a work in progress. Always needing to be reassessed and changed to adapt to the dynamic business environment.
Once you have figured out your brand image we think that the most important thing is sticking to it and applying it to every little facet of your business. As you're surfing the SSW website you'll notice a very consistent approach to branding. Our fonts, tables and headings are in exactly the same format and we have applied this to our email signatures, product banners, newsletters and company brochures.
It is very important to have a consistent brand image across all media, whether earned, paid or owned media.
Know more on Rules To Better Branding.
In marketing, good timing is the key to a successful campaign. As a smart marketer you need to remember that some campaigns can take weeks or even months to start heating up, whilst others can take just a few days.
For example, SSW have found that when we plan to market our training events, the best time for an aggressive direct mail and telemarketing campaign is 4 weeks prior to the event. Any sooner than that and the prospects will often ask you to call again when it is closer to the date. If you start marketing your events too late, for example 5 days prior to the event, your chances of making a sale decrease significantly. Remember that people often need to gain management approval for leave and expenses. Only rarely will you find someone willing to book just a few days prior to an event.
A good rule of thumb:
Plan early, and aim to create campaigns that are advertised early.
Don't plan late.
It's important to identify the market which will gain you the maximum amount of benefit if captured. It should be the focal point of most of your marketing efforts. The target market needs to be clearly identified with a justification as to why they are your specified target market.
At SSW our target market comprises of IT Managers and Developers who look for Microsoft backed solutions. They're the ones we focus our marketing energies on because we've found that they're the key decision makers when it comes to adopting new technologies and often act as the gate keepers to information being relayed to upper management. If we gain their approval, it's often much easier to secure a deal. Part of our penetration strategy towards this target market is to hold Tech Breakfasts and User Group meetings.
When Disney releases a new blockbuster cartoon like the Lion King or Aladdin who do you think the target market is?
Many would say it's the young children that the movies are made for. But the truth is that Disney's target market often includes the decision makers - the parents who take the children to the movies and buy the merchandise.
Disney knows that it's one thing to make a great movie that kids are excited about but the efforts often fall short if parents don't approve of it.
In today’s overcrowded marketplace there are dozens of businesses offering the same goods and services with little to no variety, and for a consumer, this can result in it being hard to decide which one will provide the best value and service. Which is why Lead Magnets, if used correctly - can be a powerful addition to your overall Marketing Strategy.
One way to gain a consumer's trust is to offer them something related to your service for free prior to them making a purchase .
For example, you could use a marketing technique called a Lead Magnet.
A Lead Magnet refers to any content piece; webinar, eBook, infographic, or initial consultation, you offer to your potential customers.
Lead Magnets not only provide a starting place for consumers to solve their initial problem, but also build trust between the consumer and your brand, increasing the likelihood of a return customer, and increasing your potential revenue. **Figure: Lead Magnet on the SSW site **
Before you move onto this step, first have your target audience information right next to you. Understanding your prospects most pressing pain points should be huge priority.Start thinking - what do they want? What are their frustrations? What are their aspirations? And finally, what do they fear? Write down all the ideas you might come up with.
Use the template below to brainstorm with your team or your client:
You have a few some ways of doing this, you can:
- Brainstorm with your employees
- Research online
- Ask your clients directly in person, or to have an open conversation through social media (remember to reply and engage with them, though!)
There is a great quote by Wyatt Wood small which says:
“When you can articulate another person’s problem better than they can, they automatically and unconsciously credit you with knowing the solution.”
When you are promoting your services to a prospect, the worst thing you can do is to talk about your business or products and services promoting them and not listen to what they actually have to say. People don’t generally care about your business, they care about how you are able to solve their problems. If you can show your prospect how you can help make their lives a little easier, your services will thrive.
If you can show them that you understand their problem, they will automatically assume you have the solution, or that you make your best to help them.
Think about the last visit you made to your doctor. Why did you trust the doctor in the beginning? Why did you do what he/she recommended? Because he/she asked you a series of questions and described your problem. The more the doctor described your symptoms, the greater your trust in his/her knowledge and you believed he/she had the answer.
The same is true for effective marketing. If your advertising describes your prospect’s pain points so well that they identify with your message, they will click the ad, join the webinar or buy your product – or do what your Call-To-Action (CTA) says. And that’s why they will be perfect for targeting your audience.
Spend some time to understand your target’s pain points and use them in your advertising to get their attention and try to convert them with your CTA’s.
Once you have documented your prospect’s pain points, choose the best ones . The greatest way to test if they are good enough is to run a social media ad campaign targeting your most engaged audience with your top 7 pain points. The pain point that gets the most engagement, is the one that people relate to the most. But keep in mind, this is just a indicator - sometimes customers have several pain-points that vary.
Facebook ads, for example, are a really cheap way to test quickly (you should run a quick campaign for 2 or 3 days) which headlines are the best performing within your target market.
The winning ad is your hottest pain point for your target market.
Take the winner and complete the marketing campaign and show this campaign to all your audiences. You can also use these headlines to create content for your target audience and get leads out of it when they download your content.
Management seem to have a huge focus on facts and figures and much like most other things in the business arena, and it si clear in marketing you need to be able to put numbers to your results.
You'll need to justify why you chose one option over another with a solid figure. Because there are a myriad of ways in which you can market your products/services there's a managerial expectation that you'll be able to reflect on its performance.
For example if you're coordinating some outbound calling, you need to make sure that all of the calls that are made are logged and you can query for closing rates.
See our outbound rules for more detail. In addition when you're measuring the effectiveness of your campaigns you need to know what marketing figures are considered a success for your different types of marketing campaigns. For example direct mail campaigns with a conversion rate of 2%-5% is considered a success due to the volume of people we contact.
One of the most effective ways of launching an effective marketing campaign is to follow a checklist that includes company tried and tested strategies. This checklist should be filled out with the campaign details and then followed to execute the campaign.
- Select a name for the campaign
- Define the goals of the marketing campaign
- Define who is your target audience
- Summarize buyer persona
Identify the 10 industry leaders (people) with large following we will target for promotion
- Create emails to send to each as per the rule of
- Create social media updates to send to each as per the rule do you contact industry influences to promote your campaigns?
Identify companies and website with large followings we will target for promotion (ie Microsoft divisions)
- Create emails to send to each
- Create social media updates to send to each
Content promotion strategy
- Define type of campaign
- Define Go live Date
- Define the Call to action
- Create the page to promote the campaign
- Add the campaign (if applicable) to the SharePoint list
- Optimize the page for SEO
- Add promotional banner to the homepage
- Add promotion to the monthly newsletter
- Add to the company blog
- Schedule the social media updates in Buffer
- Promote event in LinkedIn groups and Google+
Pay Per Click
- Facebook and Instagram post promotions
- Google AdWords
- LinkedIn ads
- Work with SSW developers and account managers to promote the webinar to 3 of their clients or network each via phone call and email.
- Have SSW employees promote event over social media twice leading up to the webinar
- Add relevant content to an auto-responder email campaign
You can find a template to follow at SSW-Marketing-Campaign-Checklist-TEMPLATE_v1.docx
Events are a fantastic marketing tool for increasing your brand recognition and awareness. However, running events takes a lot of time and organization to ensure the best outcome and smooth running on the day. If you use events to your advantage then:
See Rules to Better Event Managementfor the best standards on how to effectively and efficiently run your next event.
Sponsoring an event can be a good way to get your company’s name and expertise out there to the people who attend, but you can also get extra value by telling people about it who aren’t going, especially if it is an event valued by your industry.
Event Sponsorship should be treated as a shared value partnership.
You should let the world know through the following channels:
- Your website news page
- Company Facebook groups or pages
- Company LinkedIn pages
A golden rule of marketing is:
"People love gifts and surprises"
Taking this into consideration: a great and effective way to promote your company is to give people free stuff. A very simple yet effective method. Each month at the Sydney .NET User Group, attendees receive SSW show bags filled with free software and company brochures.
User group attendees are also encouraged to hand in their eval forms with a lucky dip prize.
People love anything that is free so always bring more than enough. Just remember that when you're giving things away make sure you have something genuine to offer them aside from your sales/company brochures.
Events are all about the experience, if you get the experience correct from an attendee and organiser point of view, door prizes and give-aways are the perfect way to symbolise their experience with your event and can lead to great things!
Every target market is different, and each one will respond to different stimuli that tickle their particular fancy. It is a good idea to customize your marketing approach to consider the particular interests and needs of that group, both in terms of the substance of your pitch, and its style.
For example, say you are trying to sell your car. It's a nice new Holden, with a V8 under the hood and shiny new mag's. If an elderly person comes to have a look at your car, how do you sell it to them? You need to emphasise the features that will appeal to them.
At SSW, when a business owner walks in as opposed to a developer, we have to modify our pitch. While a business owner would probably be more interested in the general goals and how our solution is going to affect his business, a developer is more likely to want to know the technical details of the job and how it will be implemented.
The same applies to the style in which you put your case forward. Everyone has different taste when it comes to the way that they respond to a marketing pitch. Some people like simplicity so it would be useful to use diagrams, examples, and to make it logically structured. Some people like detail so you should dot the i's and cross the t's. Some people want to make a decision immediately - be prepared to accommodate this. Finally, some people want to think about it - again, be prepared for this scenario.
Following these simple rules will greatly enhance your chance of marketing success!
It is important to frame a product presentation with solid introduction and closing statements.
Intro: “Hi, I’m Steve here to show you what I just did” Closing: “Thanks for watching”
Figure: Bad example - This closing statement ends the video abruptly, and doesn’t leave the viewer satisfied
Intro: “Hi, I’m Steve from SSW and I’m going to show you how our latest feature – the project breakdown report – can give you an overview of where your employees are spending their time. Closing: “I’ve just demonstrated the usefulness of a project breakdown report to understand what it is your employees are working on”
Figure: Good example - The opening and closing statements back each other up, and give the demonstration a sense of purpose
We believe in reinforcing your company profile at every appropriate opportunity.
The appearance of your office is very important because it is often the first impression of your company to any new visitor or client. In this way, its appearance is as important to your company profile as your clothing is to your personal profile. Although it may appear odd to cover yourself with marketing paraphernalia as you walk down the street, it's good business sense to use your office as one of your marketing tools.
For example, you can direct all of your visiting clients into your waiting area for a brief period, which contains useful information about your business, such as signs on the walls and/or a TV that scrolls through your most important features, like your team, current projects, upcoming events, the way you work, awards, and testimonials from your satisfied customers.
![MicrosoftTeams-image (1).png](MicrosoftTeams-image (1).png)
Good Example - Figure: use your waiting area as an extension of your Marketing strategy
The way that marketing communications strategy is planned and measured is through the concepts of frequency and reach. Frequency being how often the message is broadcast, and reach being how many people receive it. We cover the frequency part of the equation by rotating our product advertising on a monthly basis and increasing our reach by applying this rotation to several different points of contact.
At the end of the month we would check the click throughs that these links have generated which will allow us to compare one marketing point of contact against another. Then in the following month we would simply rotate the ad. Here's a scenario that depicts how we envisage our strategy to work.
Joe is surfing on the Internet for an email management utility:
- He finds our website on the Internet (probably through Google) then sees on our homepage an ad about SSW Code Auditor
- If he downloads our software and receives it via email he's sees another SSW Code Auditor ad
- If he has any contact with our employees (mainly via email) he'll once again see an ad in the email footers
- Later on in the month Joe will receive the newsletter with SSW Code Auditor advertised.
This means that Joe has had a chance to see the same ad at least four times by the end of the month. All this at a total cost of zero dollars!
Note: If you've got scrolling links like we do on our home page it's a good idea to keep the information up to date. We say that these should be changed on a monthly basis.
'Selling the sizzle, not the steak" - the benefits, not the features - is a basic selling principle that's been around for thousands of years. We all know that people buy a 1/4-inch drill so that they can make a 1/4-inch hole. But I'm always amazed at how many businesses, large and small, keep on plugging the features of their product or service, and omit the benefits to the user.
- Engineers list the technical specs
- Lawyers list all of the services they offer
- Software houses plug the bells and whistles of version 6.3
- Airlines describe their full destination lists
- ...and so on. Look at any six adverts in a business magazine, and I'll bet that at least three fall into this trap
A good example of a benefit is shown in this Colgate toothpaste slogan; "Your teeth will be whiter so you can smile with confidence."
Of course, features do need to be described. That's one way of convincing prospects that you can deliver the benefits that prospective customers want. However, if you concentrate only on the features, the prospect may well yawn and say "So what?" Is your business guilty as charged? Here are 3 ways to check:
- Look closely at your sales literature - including sales letters that you write. How many times are features described without stating the benefits of that feature?
- Check your sales peoples' reports (verbal as well as written). How many times do they state what features the prospect wants rather than the real needs of the prospect, the benefits that s/he is looking for?
- When you are in a sales situation, just listen to yourself. Are you so carried away with the excellent features of your product or service that you are not taking the trouble to find out what the prospect really wants?
Did you know that all pilots around the world must speak English? Back then, the decision of what language to use was English, since the US invented the first plane. Like the sky, in the web world, it is better to use one version of English. Since the US invented the web, let's go with that.
If you are an Australian or British this rule is controversial, but it is worth it for the following reasons:
- Aim for the majority. Most web traffic is from American users and they expect American (most probably will assume anything different is an error)
- SEO - On the practical side, more web searches are going to be returned for US spelling of words.
Don't forget to check your pages for spelling errors after making edits.
From an Australian point of view, using U.S spelling may seem controversial, but there are various benefits for using it. At SSW, we regularly use web traffic analysis to monitor who is using our web site and we find that a significant amount of our users are American. With that in mind, we want our website to cater to the majority of our users so we use American spelling on our site – and, phonetically it makes more sense.
The user experience on your site is crucial to ensuring that you are effectively converting your leads into clients, but what if this isn’t happening?
How can you work out where your site is going wrong and why? One key way to track how users are viewing your site is Heatmapping, which track the behaviour of your users on your site through mouse tracking and eye tracking techniques.
At SSW we use HotJar to perform our heatmapping. This information then allows us to determine which areas of our site are performing efficiently, and areas we need to adjust for better performance. **Figure: Heatmap from the SSW Consulting page **
Did you know that all pilots around the world must speak English? Back then the decision of what language to use was made as English, since the US invented the first plane. Like the sky, in the web world, it is better to use one version of English. Since the US invented the web, let's go with that.
If you are an Australian or British this rule is controversial, but it is worth it for the following reasons:
- Cater for the majority. Most web traffic is from American users and they expect American (most probably will assume it is an error)
- On the practical side, more web searches are going to be returned for US spelling of words.
At SSW we have a Google Ads account that allows us to reach a targeted audience based on the keywords they use to search the Internet. While testing the effectiveness of the keywords in our Ads account, we realised that if we use Australian spelling a lot of our US customers won't find us, and vice versa.
Thus if you are using Ads or a similar system, it's a good idea to include all variations on the spelling of a word to ensure you don't miss out on any potential customers. The beauty of the system is that if nobody searches on a word it doesn't cost you a cent, so it makes sense to include as many as possible!
It is hard to keep track of your PPC spending in your head when you are constantly adjusting spends for multiple campaigns. At SSW we have multiple campaigns running on a weekly basis. Sometimes we adjust the spend on a campaign for a week to test out a new lead generation tactic to see if we can get a lower cost per conversion.
SSW has a daily budget to spend on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Ads and Bing. At times we swap the budget from one platform to another to increase our conversions if the campaign is doing exceptionally well.
The best way to keep track of the monthly spend and make sure we don't go over our budget for the month is to hold a weekly meeting every Monday. The following spreadsheet !(icxlsx.png)Campaign PPC Spend.xlsx should be prepared before the meeting for stakeholders to review.
During the meeting we cover the following:
- The spend for the last week
- The spend for the upcoming week
At the end of the meeting, the spreadsheet is emailed to the stakeholders. The email should contain:
- The amount to be spent on each campaign on each platform
- A link to the spreadsheet on your internal intranet - hopefully, SharePoint :-)
Google Ads are one of the leading online Pay Per Click (PPC) platforms, with Google searches in the billions daily, allowing for a wide potential reach and results.
However with this potential reach, it’s important to ensure that your campaigns are set up correctly to allow you to reach your ideal audience, and you’re not wasting money.
There are 3 main components of every Google Ad Campaign, they are:
- Campaign – At this stage you can select targeting demographics, including geographic location, time of day shown, and budget.
- Ad Set - During this stage is when you select your keywords, these can be optimised later and should be monitored regularly for negative keywords, check the rule on Google Ads optimisation at “Do you know how to optimise Google AdWords Campaigns”
- Ads – Ads are created at this stage and can be A/B tested, determining the most effective ad is shown the most frequently.
Google Ads can be a useful and successful marketing platform when actively monitored and optimized. This should be done daily, where possible, to ensure that ads are not running and spending money ineffectively, here are three important steps to achieve this:
Setting Maximum Cost per Click
Ad s can be a costly method of advertising when used incorrectly. To prevent unknown and exorbitant costs you are able to set the Maximum Cost per Click (Max. CPC) for each of your ads.
This means that you won't pay more than the amount you have set for your ad, although this helps prevent surprise bill shock it does, however, mean that you may be missing out on clicks and as a result leads due to a low Max CPC.
If your Max CPC is too low compared to competitor ads you may be missing out on reaching the first page of the google search. Ads should be adjusted to ensure that they are able to be seen by the market, this can be accomplished by setting your Max CPC at a level that will ensure it is on the first page.
When searching using Google there are often phrases and keywords that appear that are not related to what you are after. These keywords can cause your costs to rise if people are clicking on them and your ad does not provide the information they intended.
Google Ads has a solution to prevent this in the form of 'Negative Keywords'.
Negative Keywords are able to be added to your campaign or ad group and tell Google Ads that you don't want your ad to be shown in any search containing these terms. This will help to minimize both cost and bounce rate for your ads.
Want to learn more about this? Check out this rule:[SSW Rules] Do you know how to create a negative keyword list?
Split Testing Ads
As with any advertisement, it is important to test multiple ads to determine which performs best. Once ads have been running for a period of time they should be assessed and those which are underperforming should be switched off, whilst the highest performers should be copied and then tweaked and continued to run. This can be continued over the lifetime of an ad, as each ad has a certain period of effectiveness.
Although ideally this should be done and adjusted daily, this is not always possible. In this case, when there are multiple campaigns the main priority is to be focused, try not to spread yourself thin working on optimizing and adjusting multiple campaigns, rather select one or two campaigns and focus your attention on these. This will provide the best use of your time, and after this campaign has been adjusted you can focus your attention on the remaining.
After learning about the Google Settles Fraud Case For $90M , which resulted in a $90M settlement by Google, we put in place redirect files to keep track of the amount of clicks obtained from our Ads. Up until April 2006, we were led to believe that the amount of clicks Google were specifying was the number of clicks we were receiving. How wrong we were! After implementing the redirect files, we quickly learnt that the number of clicks of one of our campaigns was incorrect and we were being overcharged.
By implementing redirect files, you can keep track of exactly how many clicks are being generated by your Ads. Hence, you can see which campaigns are more effective and just as importantly, keeping track of exactly how much you should be charged for this.
Did you know that you can import your Google Ad campaigns directly into Microsoft Advertising?
If you already are using Google Ads to advertise on Google, you can import these campaigns into Microsoft Advertising so that you can run the same ads on Bing. This is an easy way to expand your online advertising reach. Microsoft Bing is the second most popular search engine in the world, and you could be missing out on valuable traffic by not utilising their ad platform.
Why use Microsoft Audience Ads?
* More volume * Boost impressions and traffic through brand-safe, native content placements. * More clicks * Increase conversions * Your ads can reach a much larger audience, increasing your chances for conversions. * Massive reach you can trust with premium, brand-safe placements * Reach millions of people on MSN, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Edge and our syndicated partner sites, with more to come. * Boosted performance, powered by artificial intelligence * AI and machine learning help guide ad selection and relevancy matching, along with pricing, click and conversion prediction to help deliver the best marketing ROI. * Performance tracking is easy * Use the same Microsoft Advertising tools, reports and analytics to monitor your campaign performance.
Importing from Google Ads
Follow these steps to import:
- In Microsoft Advertising, click Import Campaigns, and then click Import from Google Ads.
- If you have imported from Google Ads in the past 90 days, you will see a table that shows you the Date/Time and Google Ads account that was imported along with.
- Click Sign in to Google.
- Enter your Google Ads sign-in information, click Sign in .
- Select the Google Ads campaigns you want to import, then click Continue .
- Under Choose Import Options , do the following: * Choose the appropriate options for What to import, Bids and budgets, Landing page URLs, Tracking templates, Ad extensions, and Microsoft Merchant Centre. * Choose if you want to delete ad groups and campaigns from Microsoft Advertising that you have already deleted from Google Ads under Clean-up, once you remove these campaigns or ad groups, any associated ads or keywords will also be deleted.
- Optional: Under Schedule Imports , click When and then set the schedule you want, which can be Once, Daily, Weekly, or Monthly.
- Click Import or if you want to set a schedule, click Schedule .
- Review the ** Import summary ** to see what entities were newly added or updated, or couldn't be imported (skipped).
- If you want to review the details of the campaigns and make changes, click View imported campaigns.
- If you want to sync multiple Google Ads accounts into the same Microsoft Advertising, treat each Ad Words account as a separate import. It is recommended that you wait at least a 2-hour time difference between each import to insure their completion.
Most items from Google Ads import seamlessly into Microsoft Advertising. However, there are items that we recommend you review after your import to make sure your campaigns are set up the way you want.
* Bids and budgets * Targeting options * Negative keywords
Endomarketing (also known as Internal Marketing) is one of the most effective strategies to reduce your employee turnover rate and attract new highly qualified professionals to your company.
This strategy is mainly directed at creating an image of a great workplace and making people feel like their current position is a dream job. The prefix ‘endo’ comes from the Greek meaning "inside," therefore Endomarketing in a business environment is targeted at your employees.
You can also call this Internal Marketing, as it seeks to improve the image of the company among its employees, culminating in a motivated team and reduced turnover.
Many companies invest a lot of time, resources and money to attract and retain customers, but sometimes they completely forget about their own workers . After implementing a new successful strategy for your internal marketing, you should see a lift in your team’s perception of the company and they will begin to see the company in a more human and charismatic way; often developing a feeling of "adoration" for the business.
Richard Branson once said: " If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients," and this is another reason why you should start taking care of your team in a more hands-on way.
The main benefits of this strategy are:
It generates greater motivation for your employees and at the same time make your team to feel more connected with the business brand
Your company will attract more qualified professionals.
Your clients will be well assisted by your happy team.
Rotation of workers will decrease as you increase their satisfaction and commitment to the organization will increase at the same rate
It also improves workers’ mental health and quality of life which, in the long term, will reduce the number of casualties in the company
Good Example – Figure: Celebrate special dates with your team!
Webinars involve a lot of preparation from all parties. In order for a webinar to be run as successfully as possible, there are some deadlines which should be met.
After confirming with a presenter, an 'As per our conversation' email should be sent requesting the title and description of the webinar. These details should be provided no later than three weeks prior to the event so that landing pages can be created. This also allows for two weeks of promotion to be carried out, ensuring the best attendance rate is achieved.
If you are part of an automated webinar using software like Easy Webinar the video files should be sent to the marketing team two weeks prior to the event. This allows for any editing that needs to be done and prevents stress before the webinar for the team.
One of the best ways to attract and convert leads into clients is using webinars. This rule will show you how to setup a webinar using GoToWebinar.
Using automated webinars allows users in different time zones to view the webinar at a time that is convenient for them.
At SSW we run webinars in multiple time zones around the world. Our webinars are attended by people from Europe, US, Australia and Asia. Because we want people to see the webinar at time that is suitable for them, we have been running our webinars in three different time zones.
This means that we have create three different pages on Eventbrite for signups. We also have to have a technical person wake up early in the morning on the day to run the first webinar for the US audience. They then run the webinar at 11:00am for the Australian and Asia attendees, and finally they stay back at work until 10pm that night to run the webinar for the European audience.
Because of the different time zones and because we want to keep the quality of the video high so we can put the webinar recording on our website SSW TV we prerecord the webinars and then play them at the relevant times. You can see an example of a recorded webinar at http://tv.ssw.com/5682/how-to-make-web-applications-with-angularjs-and-asp-net-mvc-dev-superpowers-episode-7
Creating the multiple Eventbrite pages for multiple time zones are prone to error and is very labour intensive to keep updated along with the landing pages. Also having a staff member come in early and work late is not sustainable.
To overcome these issues started to automate our webinars. This means that the webinars will run without anyone from our company having to do anything. We record the webinar on a video, upload it to the software and then at the appropriate times the webinars automatically are played.
What is even better is that each person can see the times we nominate in their time zone so the times are always during business hours. For example someone from the US will see the times at 11:00am in their time zone. Someone in Europe will see the time at 11:00am in their time zone and someone from Australia will see it at 11:00am in their time zone.
When they get on the webinar at their time, the video starts playing for them.
The has cut down time for us in creating multiple landing pages and the time to actually run the webinar.
One of the best ways to generate new opportunities for your business is to hold a webinar. It is very important that you follow up with each attendee after each webinar otherwise you will waste the opportunities you have created. After each webinar you should complete the following:
1. For all new prospects
After each webinar someone must call each person who registers (based in your region), offer them the video and ask them the following questions:
- Did you attend the webinar?
- Why did you attend the webinar?
- What did you get out of the webinar?
- What is your biggest challenge you are currently facing?
- Is there any way SSW can help you with that challenge?
- What does your business do?
- What is your role in the business? (Responsibilities)
Send an email to new prospects including the following:
- Video of the webinar
- Any related resource that they might need
- Introduce them to an Account Manager
If they are taking the course from outside your region (and you cannot provide your service to them) then send them an email including the following:
- Ask them if your business can help them in any way 2. For Existing clients
After each webinar you should organize an account manager to call the client; the account manager will ask the following questions:
- Did you attend the webinar?
- Why did you attend the webinar?
- What did you get out of the webinar?
- What is your biggest challenge you are currently facing?
- Is there any way our business can help you with that challenge?
The account manager will send an email including the following (marketing should provide the account manager with the template for this email:
- Video of the webinar
- Any related resource that they might need
- Action step for the next contact 3. Add all people who register to the monthly newsletter list
You can use this template to track the calls and as an agenda got your phone call.
Content marketing is a great way to increase interest in your business and helps to improve lead generation.
The best way to achieve this is to use gated content, which requires potential leads to provide their details in order to access the content offered. There are a number of platforms which allow you to create these forms and embed them onto your site.
At SSW we did some research, and after initially using LeadPages, we decided to swap to OptinMonster. This choice was made for a few reasons, OptinMonster is significantly cheaper than LeadPages, and provides all the features we required including; form builders, pop-up forms, mobile friendly, A/B testing and tracking. **Figure: Example of OptinMonster pop-up form on SSWTV **
When creating an image (banner, logo, etc) for a campaign, it's important to have consistent sizing and branding. This also allows for images to be created quicker and easier, and in the context of the larger campaign.
Use the Photoshop Artboard to provide a visual guideline and allow for quick and consistent campaign creation.This way, you can see your new banner in the context of the other banners in the campaign, and check that your sizing and art style is consistent. Figure: Photoshop artboard
Every point of contact that you have with your customers is a potential to sell them something, whether that be other products or services or even to sell the company as a whole by saying how great we are.
Here are some examples of how we take advantage of every point of contact with our target market:
- At SSW we send a tech breakfast flyer with the invoices that we send via snail mail
- We give out SSW bags and flyers at our User Group
- Have advertisements at the bottom of our email footers
- All SSW staff wear SSW shirts when meeting with prospects/clients
- When we present at other events our slides are branded with the SSW logo
We think that it's the little things like this that may make the difference!
It is important for us to contact the media from time to time as they are the people who can get our products and services out to the world easily. It is a good way to advertise products.
When you find a media contact you think is appropriate to contact, add them to CRM then tag them as MEDIAJ - Media - Journalist.
Then send an email like this:
My name is Adam Cogan and I just checked out your site www.theirsite.com
I saw your column XXX and thought it wouldn't hurt to tell you more about SSW XXX product that does XXX.
More than happy to give you a free copy and more information. Please reply to this email if you want one.
Thanks, Adam Cogan http://www.ssw.com.au
An evaluation form can be a great method of collecting information both about your own performance and the needs and wants of your market. You should always have questions in your evaluation forms that will allow you to add elements to your database which can be queried against in the future.
In the SSW Speakers and Presentation Evaluation Form we give people the chance to provide some feedback as well as ask some questions which will allow us to identify new prospects and their interests. This information is invaluable and your company database should be Configure to hold and query this information. But remember the golden rule of collecting information is to give people the chance to "opt out" of being contacted in the future. Failing to do this is in breach of privacy laws.
Whether your business is big or small Advertising is an essential way of exposing customers to your brands. With the increasing competitiveness of business these days it is essential that your advertising has the greatest impact.
As such, we feel it necessary to identify the different forms of advertising mediums.
- Outdoor (from billboards to pole posters)
- Internet (from banner ads to websites)
- Direct Mail
Now details of SSW previous experience with those advertising mediums we feel are more applicably to the I.T. industry:
- BPR: very strong response
- Smart Access: good
- Advisor: good
- SQL Server Magazine
- Communique: absolutely hopeless - we have had 0 response from full page ads.
Banner ads - We have had the best responses with the following websites:
- SQL Server
A lot of companies will struggle with one of the main strategies trending at the moment: Content Marketing! One way of delivering good content is through a blog. To convince you that a corporate blog is a must for your business, here are some reasons why you should do it:
- Drive traffic to your website
Your blog gives you the opportunity to create and share relevant content for your customers. You should use this as part of your marketing tactic to drive traffic to your website. You can make the blog on your website the main source for all of your social media platforms, as a way of sharing longer content. Your business might be on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram or anywhere else. Post links from your blog with consistent visuals on your social media. Give your social followers a reason to access your website by sharing interesting content. Additionally, post inbound links directly in your blog articles, to drive traffic to specific landing pages of your website. It’ll also increase your traffic as you increase the number of backlinks. Backlinks or Inbound links (hyperlinks that go back to your site) are the lifeblood of any website. They’re the currency of the internet because high-quality backlinks, from a variety of sites, give your website a higher rank in search engine results. The more you blog great content, the higher the chances of you getting those inbound links around the web.
- Increase your SEO
New content is still a key to beat your competitors in the search engine results page, especially if they have relevant keywords. List out the keywords, topics, and categories you want your business to be found with. Use these words, and related expressions when writing your posts – don’t forget to add them to your SEO strategy. Of course, whether you are actively searching for these out or not, blogging regularly about your business, industry, service or product will naturally increase your search ranking for the keywords you are targeting. Being aware of your strategy and keywords will only increase results.
- Blogging is an essential part of a successful social strategy
Blogging and social media were once two totally different things. Blogging was where you had to post only well structured, serious content. Social media was where you were less serious. Two different types of content. Now your blog informs your social media posts, and vice-versa, enriching your followers experience with articles, e-books, videos, and other great content. Without a blog to promote excellent content on your social, you're missing a big opportunity to drive high-quality engagement with your audience.
- Position your brand as an industry leader and increase brand awareness in the industry
Interesting and relevant articles demonstrate your company as an industry leader. When choosing topics, try to think what resonates with your market and show your knowledge, you are marketing your skills for your business, service or product too. If you are a retailer, for example, write blog posts with reviews of your products, or with tips that correlate with them. Your customers will recognize you as a problem solver to their issues. If you are in B2B, you can write about a solution you have developed for a specific client or how your managers have overcome a challenge with their team. Become an expert in your industry by sharing your experience. The more you show the market what great stories you have to share, the more your client will trust you to supply them with what they need. Besides that, they will thank you for the learning experience.
- Develop better customer relationships
Blogs provide an extra source to deepen the conversation (and connection) with your customer. By connecting directly on your website, your clients are able to get to know your business, service or product whenever and wherever they are. Build trust by being a reliable source of information. Clients like to be informed and appreciate that you are the one teaching them. Additionally, just as on your other social websites, engage with your audience by responding to comments and interacting with your consumer. If they have questions about a product you are writing about, respond to them directly on your website – don’t leave them waiting. Unlike many social sites, a blog is generally searchable on your site for some time. Your website comments last longer than on a Twitter response or Facebook post. Other customers will see your interactions too, that’s why is important to show that you’re always replying and connecting with your clients as soon as possible.
Try googling content marketing. You’ll find lots of articles about it, and maybe some reports saying how this has been one of the main marketing strategies in the last 3 years. Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, of course, to drive profitable customer action. That’s why this is so important to be a part of your strategy. In other words: in order to sell the big piece of the pie, you have to show your audience small samples first.
We are in a new era of content. Not just any content, but a well-crafted and relevant content for your target audience. To be able to find the right content for your followers, you have to plan, not just create randomly without a focus and without documenting your research.
When you follow a documented and organized content marketing strategy, you will:
- Feel more effective in the use of all content marketing tactics and social media channels
- Easily justify a higher budget to be spent on your content marketing (e.g. for recording a video or doing a partnership with an influencer )
- Will be able to track results as soon as they have a clear goal and metric to follow, according to your strategy
It should definitely include:
- Your audience personas
- A content planner that matches these personas, channels, deadline and budget
- Metrics that will be followed
Memes are one of the greatest symbols of social media – fun fact: some people use social networks mainly for that reason. They’re funny and they usually carry personality, either to a person or a brand. They’re easy to engage with, but sometimes besides bringing some popularity to your account, they can also be risky for your business depending on its content. They can bring great results to your business’ social media, but you must plan it accordingly to fit your audience’s interest.
Why do memes work?
Memes are successful because they can tell something about your company culture. Memes can work to show our ideas, emotions, and actions in a simple communication manner that makes it easy to engage with, especially nowadays that people are usually running short on time.
Here are some points that make memes great for brands & businesses:
- They are an easy way to increase brand awareness and your engagement rate – people will like it, tag someone and share
- They are great for giving your brand its own voice and sharing it on social media as a representation of your values and your company culture
- According to research, they lead to higher engagement from your audience
- They increase the chance that people will remember your brand when they see the meme elsewhere, and there’s an opportunity to impacting your audience
While some companies have managed to successfully use memes to express their brands in a different way, not all businesses that have tried to implement the same strategy had positive results.
What can go wrong and how to avoid it?
A New York-based drugstore chain Duane Read got involved in a legal battle over licensing rights with Katherine Heigl when they decided to share a photo of her shopping at their store across their social media to promote their business.
Although there’s no 100% right formula on how to use them, here are some tips to avoid problems for your business:
- Check the rights on an image before using it: It’s important to be aware of the risks you’re taking, and how that could affect your brand image. Make sure you have the rights to use it.
- Never, ever involve your business in problematic topics: don’t make jokes about race, gender or sexual orientation. Basically, don’t be discriminatory. Politics and religion are risky too.
- Use an appropriate tone: It should be simple enough that most people can understand it without further explanation. Also keep in mind that if the meme is about your brand, it’s not quite a meme, it’s an ad.
- Consider the alternatives: If you want to use a specific image but are afraid there might be implications, explore alternative options. For example, you can try licensing an image from a stock photo website that you want to feature as a major part of a marketing campaign if they are suitable for it.
- Test it before posting: If you’re in charge of social media, ask a work colleague to check it before it goes live. Try to think of guidelines that everyone on your team understands and follows.
Know your audience
Start by making sure who your audience is and if they would engage with the memes. Learn who your brand followers are and what they care about, constantly check the insights of your social media. What are they telling you about your audience? Are they the type of people who would enjoy seeing a meme, or would they find it hard to understand it?
Your brand values and personality hold great insights into the type of people who follow you on social media and the expectations they have over your posts. For example, if you are considered a popular brand for a younger audience, memes are probably a good strategy. However, if you’re trying to project a serious tone, a meme is probably not your way to go.
Be aware that some businesses and industries are too serious to create and post that type of content. We also have to mention that some social media don’t quite have the right audience for a meme, for example: LinkedIn. We suggest a bit of research: check what your competitors are posting and if they use memes too, how do they approach it? It’s a great exercise to do market research if you want to add some personality to your socials.
Correlating it to DevOps Culture, as a marketer, you should have a growth mindset on this. After testing a meme and posting it, you’ll learn from your experiments and gather insights on what’s the best way to implement this to your social media strategy.
Great working relationships are not built in a day. Do you use every opportunity to build relationship with your clients and their staff? Gifts are a great way of saying that you really appreciated a client’s business, or that he/she is valuable to your company.
Don't wait only for a special occasion like Christmas to reward a great client. You could send a gift at the end of a project, or an important deployment, or if you know they have had a special occasion.
For a gift to make an impact it needs to be personal. Don't waste an opportunity to get them something that they really want and therefore show that you care about them as a person. A bottle of alcohol is very cold and impersonal, unless it is something you know they love, like their favourite wine or whiskey.
Things to consider:
- If you know the customer well, customize the present (a tea gift package, a book they would like to read, a restaurant experience or even a plant) and they will feel important to you
- Give it to the main contact of the company, as it’s more personal
- If you don’t know a customer very well, you can give them something more generic like a foodie hamper, a wine or champagne, but try to make it something they can share around the office
Figure - Bad example: A Bad Client Gift – Alcohol is easy, but very impersonal
Figure - Good Example: Give your clients a personalised Hot Ballooning experience that you know they’ve wanted to do for years!
Using Google Photos - The awesome way to find any image.
Please watch the video to know more:
Related Suggestion to Google
SEO means working with a large amount of data. A single website can have even up to thousands of subpages, keywords, internal links. If it’s operating in a competitive industry, it needs external links from thousands of domains. what if you’re optimizing several websites? The result? Big Data.
What can (and should) be monitored in SEO:
- The organic traffic on the website
- Availability (uptime)
- Loading speed
- Correct functioning
- Domain and SSL certificate expiration
- Being present on blacklists
- Robot blockers
At SSW, SEO workflow is:
- The Marketing Manager checks the SEO weekly and analyses trends in keywords
- The Marketing team gets it checked
- The Marketing Team checks with the SSW SEO consultant should analyze the SEO progress each month or two when the team catches up
You spend a lot of time and money creating great video content, so you need to make sure that you get the most out of your time and money.
Content creation wizard Gary V (Vaynerchuk) has shared a great model for this on his blog called the 'reverse pyramid' where you start with a video, that you are able to repurpose into dozens of smaller pieces of content, contextual to the platforms that you distribute them to.
This could take many different forms — for example, if you’re not comfortable on video, you could record a podcast. You might even film yourself recording the podcast so you could have a video out of it as well. And from that video or audio clip, you can create content for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more.
You can find an explanation of the Gary V Content Model at:
STEP 1: CREATE PILLAR CONTENT
This is the content that will be used to create all other types of content. They include:
- Educational Video
- Daily Vlog
Video: An example of a smaller video you can be used to drive traffic to your YouTube Channel
- Create a Quotable Card with a great background image:
create a version of the video for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram
Figure: Good example, create a version of the video for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram
Create a Giphy with one of the main points and a moving background video from the pillar content
- write the copy for the update 4. Create a blog post from the audio
- use Trint.com.to transcribe the video file and re-write the transcript as a blog post
- Post the blog post to Medium.com, LinkedIn Articles, and your blog
STEP 4: DISTRIBUTE CONTENT
At 12:00pm you should post your pillar content on all platforms. At 12:01 pm you should post all your micro-content.
Remember the micro-content should promote your pillar content.
You should also publish the blog post. You will republish the blog post on other websites in 2 weeks in Step 6
STEP 5: MONITOR COMMENTS AND REPLY TO ALL
You must reply to all comments and use these comments to find out what content should be created next.
STEP 6: EMAIL THE BEST VIDEO TO LIST
At the end of the week, you will email the best video out to your list with a listing of the other videos.
STEP 7: PUBLISH BLOG POST
You need to wait 2 weeks before republishing the blog post to other platforms so Google knows that your website is the source of the blog post.
The sites you will republish to are:
- Medium - Using the WordPress publishing tool
- LinkedIn Articles
When you do a major (or minor) upgrade to an application, you should let people know and identify the reason for the upgrade.
Whether your upgrade is to take advantage of a new feature, to fix a bug, or even just to keep yourself on the latest and greatest version, your followers might want to know why you upgraded. You should put a short announcement on Twitter, Facebook, and/or LinkedIn. Your followers may not know about the changes and the ones who are grateful are likely to retweet or like your post.