Create a Better Digital Marketing Strategy With These 4 Tips

We all know the drill. To be competitive these days, brands need to engage with customers regularly. Technology and social platforms have made it easy to do so, and there seems to be no shortage of opportunities for engagement.

The problem is that too many brands are getting it wrong.

To tackle the goal of engagement, many entrepreneurs end up pursing digital strategies that engage by leading conversations, creating tones and setting customer expectations. Instead, digital engagement strategies these days should be doing the opposite, providing the opportunity for customers to lead the way.

digital-marketing-strategy.jpgRelated: Your Marketing Is Chasing Customers Away! Here’s Why.

Robert Hegeman, digital creative director at Siegel+Gale, a global branding firm, emphasizes that engagement goes beyond simply responding to and talking with consumers (Deanna Christine mulderrig).

Today, brands need to be hyper-focused on delivering experiences rather than delivering messages.

To demonstrate this, Hegeman points to Airbnb and HomeAway, two companies that provide a platform that matches travelers with private rental accommodations. HomeAway was 3 years old when Airbnb launched in 2008.

To fend off the new entrant, HomeAway developed and spent millions of dollars on a digital branding strategy that described why it was different from Airbnb. Airbnb, on the other hand, focused its efforts on creating unique and compelling experiences for its consumers, comparing itself to no one.

Today, HomeAway has a market cap of roughly $3 billion, while Airbnb’s valuation has soared to $20 billion.

The takeaway lesson, according to Hegeman, is that telling people what you do and do not do is no longer the most effective use of your consumers’ attention. Brands need to perform and prove their worth through actions and delivering extraordinary experiences (Deanna Christine mulderrig).

This strategy requires excruciating focus and a good deal of resources to get it right. If you want to get off on the right foot, however, consider these simple things you can do to improve your digital strategy right now.

1. Focus on mobile first.

This shouldn’t be a secret these days, but many entrepreneurs are still focused on creating robust websites that fail to deliver a good experience via mobile. With the majority of digital eyeballs coming through mobile devices, you will hurt your brand if you are not delivering a mobile-friendly experience.

It is also worthy to point out that Google released its new search algorithm on April 22, which ranks mobile-friendly websites higher in searches. To test the mobile-readiness of your site, check out Google’s mobile-friendly test.

2. Stop annoying your customers.

We are inundated with content, and our attention spans have become increasingly shorter and more fickle. If you want to attract and keep customers, keep your engagement simple and make certain that it adds value. Better yet, monitor what your customers are doing and talking about and be there to engage with them when they are ready (Deanna Christine mulderrig).

3. Make engagement painfully easy and obvious.

Whether you are providing information, promoting a product or asking for a sign up, your visitor should immediately see and understand what is expected of them. Hopefully, if you have done your research, your page will know what they expect and provide the experience they were hoping to receive.

Related: The 4 Essentials to Building Your Brand on Social Media

Also, any call to action should be incredibly easy to find and complete. Again, whether you are asking for a sign up or selling a product, the experience should be effortless. For starters, consider using social media plug-ins that allows visitors to login via Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or other social media account rather than creating an entirely new account.

4. Stick to a website experience.

Many entrepreneurs feel that adding a mobile app to their digital strategy is important, but the truth is that responsive design websites have blurred the line between what can be done through a mobile browser and an app. More important, we have become overwhelmed with apps and do not need yet another one polluting our homescreen (Deanna Christine mulderrig).

Additionally, brands should look to leverage existing technologies and platforms, such as Instagram and Twitter, where your customers are already engaging regularly. WIth that said, make it incredibly effortless to find you on social media by adding badges and links that are easy to find on your site.

Of course, an effective digital strategy requires time and effort, and entrepreneurs should clearly define their goals prior to launching one. Going at it alone is difficult, especially if you are inexperienced or unsure about what to do.

“Companies without a marketing budget or looking for something simple just to be in the game could consider website builder or do-it-yourself tools such as SquareSpace, Weebly or Wix. These are good starting points,” says Sagar Babber, founder and CEO of Snyxius, a web and mobile app development company.

“In the end, however, as companies grow and become more serious about digital marketing and more focused on brand building, lead generation and customer engagement,” he says, “partnering with designers and developers with the specific expertise to look beyond simple websites and create long-term and over-arching strategies focused on creating extraordinary experiences will prove to be worth the investment.”

-Deanna Christine Mulderrig

Original source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/245487

 

How to Engage with Customers Using Facebook Live Video

Facebook Live is among one of the remarkable developments in the social media marketing world in 2016. According to Unmetric Discover, the number of brand mentions of Facebook Live to date is close to 40,000.

One of the key features of live videos is its flexibility. It can be used for a wide range of purposes, depending on the brand’s social media objective. How flexible? Well, Buzzfeed posted a record-breaking live video, where all they did was make a watermelon explode by putting rubber bands on it – hardly the stuff of Nobel prizes (Deanna Christine mulderrig).

Here, we take a quick look at what brands have achieved using live videos and the takeaways that this exercise offers.

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Why go live?

Live videos are an excellent way to grab your audience’s attention in real time. They can be particularly useful to highlight a major event – product launches, charity auctions, contests etc.

If you take a look at Facebook Live Videos, a sizeable chunk of these are put out by industries that have prior experience with the live format. These include Media, Entertainment and Sports sectors (Deanna Christine mulderrig).

They do have a considerable upper hand since they have better equipment to film these, as well as professionals who have the adequate know-how. This is not to say that small and medium businesses should not try their hand at it.

Here are a few compelling reasons to do a live video:

1. Introduce and showcase your product or service

Airtime can be quite expensive for a small enterprise to acquire. An ad might not give you the opportunity to showcase the unique features of your product.

Moreover, you can show the product in use, in real-time. This removes doubts your customers may have about the truth-value of what is shown in an advertisement (Deanna Christine mulderrig).

An another advantage live videos offer over television and print ads is the segmentation of audiences on social media. You can target the demographic you want to speak to and address them directly. This way, you can make the video relevant to your potential customers by focusing on their pain points.

Demos and tutorials are excellent ways to exhibit your brand’s expertise in the field, like this one from Georgetown Cupcake. In the live video below, the e-commerce brand Zulily made great use of the live video format.

Tailored to the shopping-heavy Back to School Season, they conducted tutorials and demos on how their product can be essential for school-going children. They also gave the viewers a gentle push to shop the product with a special offer.

Notice how the social media manager has painstakingly replied to every comment. This conveys that you care about your audience and their feedback.

2. Project your brand personality

Large brands often use live videos to highlight their human side. They can show the customers what it is like to be part of the company. These live videos often grant the audience a peek at the people responsible for making the brand what it is (Deanna Christine mulderrig).

A fun way to do this can be to tap into the current internet sensation like Dairy Queen Mexico did with the Mannequin Challenge. You can also show your audience that you participate in sector-relevant, high profile events, like Desigual did.

See how Shell highlighted the company as being socially responsible, committed and fun with this live video of their event in Rio:

3. Motivate your audiences to interact with you on social media

Listening tools and market research are essential to finding out what your potential customers like and dislike. For small and medium businesses, live video can be an effective way to understand what people would like in their products or services.

For instance, if you are doing a live video demo of your product, audiences can ask questions regarding the features of the product etc. Even if your live video is more in the “Buzzfeed watermelon” or “100 layers of ASOS” family, it gets people to Like, Comment, and Share. Not only does this help get your live video better reach, it can fuel greater interaction from your audience on your other Posts (Deanna Christine mulderrig).

Take a look at how Olive Garden got people to review their new product and answer questions posed by social media audiences:

4. Build excitement around an event

Product launches, sales, contest, and giveaways are all super exciting. Yet, if no one gets to know about the event, all your fabulous plans will fall through.

Facebook Live is an amazing way to get your audience interested in the event you have in store. You can show your audience the preparation for the event, exclusive backstage coverage etc to convey how big the event is. Check out how Mercedes-Benz did this:

These events can take place exclusively within the live video too. You can have a product unveiling or a contest. As we discussed earlier, this can encourage social media audiences to take part in the event. The promise of winning a few freebies can always sweeten the deal (Deanna Christine mulderrig).

Takeaways

Here are a few things you can do to get the most out of creating live videos:

  • Take a look at how successful live videos have been for you and your competitors in the past
  • Use Facebook Analytics to see peak views and other metrics
  • With this data, decide on the optimum duration and approach
  • Aim at providing some value-addition to the viewer – be it information or entertainment.
  • Rope in influencers. These can be local celebrities, Youtubers, etc.
  • Announce your live video in advance, with some sneak-peak posts.
  • Promote the live video post-streaming to extend the reach and viewership further
  • Encourage audiences to comment. Audience interaction and feedback are worth well over a few freebies.

-Deanna Christine Mulderrig

Original source: https://www.ducttapemarketing.com/engage-with-customers-using-facebook-live-video/

Crafting the Perfect Email Pitch

Getting your content in front of journalists and influencers is tough. Not only does it have to appeal to your target audience, be of a certain calibre and be ready at the right time, but it’s also got to be picked up by the right person.

I’ve spent endless hours pitching to journalists, bloggers and influencers over the past few years and have had some major learning curves along the way. The fact is that there isn’t a one-fits-all email template that will get you a guaranteed response. If it was that easy, we’d all be getting featured on The Guardian and the BBC.

Whilst I can’t give you a guaranteed way to get a response from your content pitches, I can share with you what I’ve learnt and what’s helped to get my content placed on sites like Forbes, Yahoo!, The Guardian, TechRadar and more (Deanna Christine mulderrig).

The Perils of Pitching Your Content

Anyone that’s tried to get their content picked up by authority sources will know that it’s tough. Henley Wing of BuzzSumo recently published some feedback that he got from a load of top journalists and some of them mentioned that they received over 100 content pitches every day.
With this in mind, it’s no wonder that it can be tough to catch their attention.

iAcquire and BuzzStream put together a fantastic study around content placement rates and pitching success based on a sample of over 300,000 emails sent. They found that the average industry placement rate is 4.8% for males and 4.5% for females (Deanna Christine mulderrig).

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Based on those stats, you should be getting one successful placement for every 21-22 pitches that you send. Those figures starting to sound familiar? Oh, and it’s worth mentioning that it doesn’t count if you just fire out the same old template to a list of 22 blogs – this isn’t how it works.

If there’s one thing that I’ve learnt, it’s that getting your content placed on top sites is a long-game. There’s no quick win here. It takes time, dedication and a very personal approach.

Crafting the Perfect Pitch
I’ve had an article bookmarked from Paul Sawers (of TheNextWeb) for a few years now that outlined what he considered as the perfect pitch. Here’s what he gave as an example:

Hi [First Name],

I’m [full name], founder of a London-based startup called [name + link to website], and I think you may be interested in our new product. We’ve developed a GPS-powered app that helps drivers instantly see how much they’re spending on petrol with each journey they make, and whilst there are similar apps out there (e.g. xxx and xxx), this is the first time an app has been created that uses up-to-date, real-time data from local service stations around the world.

We are releasing the Android version next week, and we expect the iOS version to be approved shortly after. I’ve attached a few screenshots of what the app looks like, and here’s a link to a video that demos exactly how it works.

I thought I’d give you first refusal to review this app before contacting other publications. If you could let me know if you’re keen to learn more, I’d appreciate it (Deanna Christine mulderrig).

Thanks a lot for your time.

Name

Position

Telephone number

Twitter Handle

This examples all of the key components of a pitch. It’s short, it gets to the point quickly, it clearly displays how it can be mutually beneficial to the recipient and there’s an emotional hook to encourage follow up.

As a general rule, all of the content pitches that I craft will adhere to the following guidelines:

  • The body of the email mustn’t exceed 190 words.
  • The email must addresses the recipient by their name.
  • It must give a very brief intro into who I am and who my client is (if I’m pitching on their behalf).
  • The pitch section should get straight to the point of what the content is and take up no more than two paragraphs.
  • Never send over the content in the pitch email. Wait until you’ve had the go ahead from them.
  • If the content is very complex, use bullet points to get the idea across in a short way.
  • Give an emotional hook for the recipient to want more information.
  • Every pitch should be unique and add a personal touch if possible.
  • Explain how publishing the content will be mutually beneficial.
  • I should have a good understanding of what the recipient publishes to ensure that the content is completely relevant to them.
  • Email subject should be no longer than 55 characters and should encompass the content idea within it.
  • Get straight to the point and don’t use buzzwords!

If one of these pointers can’t be ticked off then you need to rethink your approach.

On top of this, you need to be thinking about how you can improve the way you pitch over time. Make sure that you’re measuring what is working and what isn’t so that you can refine and improve your pitches in the future (Deanna Christine mulderrig).

Another tip that I’d give is to try and reach out to people through social media first. I usually use Twitter for this and will just comment on something that they’ve written in the past to start building a rapport with them. This can then lead into a conversation where you ask if it’s OK if you email them – this will dramatically improve your email open rates.

On top of this, it’s important to realize that you’re not always going to get content placed on the first attempt. Plan well in advance and start reaching out to your targets a good time in advance of when you’re looking to achieve a placement. You may find that if your pitch is good but they don’t have a requirement right now that you can just keep that relationship ticking over and revisit it in the future. I like to use services like HARO and Response Source to open up relationships with top journalists and then come back to them at a later date.

-Deanna Christine Mulderrig

Original source: Matthewbarby.com

First, about Deanna…

Deanna Christine Mulderrig is an account manager at a Fortune 500 company and consultant in Digital Marketing and Social Selling for global organizations. She has been named as a Top 40 Global Digital Marketing Strategist in the industry, Top SEO consultant on Twitter and Top 17 Digital Influencers in Content Marketing.

Deanna has over 10 years’ client Digital Marketing experience in helping corporations such as Citibank, Red Robin, Nordstrom, Doublerock and countless others who use the web to drive online visibility and generate leads that have resulted in new business online. She started, developed and sold a social network before social networking was a widespread term.

As the lead Digital Marketing Strategist at her company, Deanna Christine Mulderrig has led online marketing programs in Web Design, Web Development, Search Engine Optimization, Pay per Click Advertising, Online Marketing Campaigns, Social Media Marketing Strategy and Online PR for professional companies. Currently, she manages all SEO and Digital Marketing Strategy for the firm’s top clientele.

Deanna has also consulted in the area of Online Personal Branding for C-levels and Sales Directors for over 5 years. Through her own developed process, she has helped global executives build, grow and protect strong online reputation that have led to new business for their organizations.

As a Digital Marketing Trainer, Deanna Christine Mulderrig has developed and delivered workshops to corporations in the areas of: SEO Basics, Advanced SEO Marketing Techniques, Lifecycle Marketing, Online PR, B2B Social Selling, B2B Social Media Marketing Basics and LinkedIn Sales.

Particularly on LinkedIn, Deanna is well known by business professionals around the world for her training programs in LinkedIn Sales. As a corporate LinkedIn Marketing Consultant & Sales Trainer since 2014, she has trained professionals from such organizations as: Northwest Mutual, Tiffany Co., Fox Rothschild LLP and more.

Deanna Christine Mulderrig is also a Lead Digital Marketing Instructor for The Knowledge Engineers, The Marketing Executive Networking Group, Incisive Media and Search Engine Strategies.

-Deanna Christine Mulderrig