What To Do When The Competition Flops

Your competitor had a slip,

It was nothing too harmful and no one was hurt but it is something that could be social media gold.

What would you do?

Send the tweet via your brand’s social media account or keep it to an internal Slack conversation?

Click Here To Learn More About Converge

What Should You Do

Any good digital marketer knows they need to be monitoring their competitors. Whether it’s through social or the press you want to be able to keep tabs on what your competition is and is not doing and nothing makes you feel (a little bit) better than when you see something and can say with relief I am glad that wasn’t me. However, after giving it more thought and seeing reactions roll in you start to wonder if you should leave the one liners and memes to the internet, press and public opinion or if maybe this is something worth getting into?

We have seen this a few times within the last year. Whether it was taking sides after a Mooch’s short tenure at the Whitehouse, when United had their months of unfortunate events or when Wendy’s decided to Tweet a reply to McDonald’s about their frozen beef announcement. 

McDonalds Vs Wendys Tweet
via Wendy’s Twitter feed at Twitter.com

What made these brands comfortable to press the send button?

Did the reward out weigh the risk?

What did they have to consider before making a move?

A lot of these decisions have to be made within a few minutes, as the moment could easily pass and the joke missed making for your own PR disaster. So what should you consider before you bring this up for approval?

Newsjacking

Are you prepared to take over the conversation?

You see a negative headline roll across your notifications about your competitor and you know your brand needs to respond in some way. Is this a chance moment that you truly think is worth hijacking with your brands own comment. If the answer is Yes! then you have to think about how you want to do this. No matter what, you have to use this moment to somehow bring light to your brand’s values and that can be done in one of two ways.

  1. You can go for the kill and point out how much better you are than your competitor.
  2. You can emphasize your differences by highlighting a policy change or making a public donation to an organization that might have been impacted by your competitor.

Either way, you can emphasize your differences. And whatever path you choose may depend on the voice you have on social media. Would people expect your brand to come up with zinger? And if not would it be a good surprise? Or would taking the high road and addressing issues by doing something good like volunteering, donating or updating policy be more impactful and meaningful? You have to really consider the issue at large and your audience. How will they react? And will they help amplify your response- in a positive way?

Click Here To Subscribe To Our Blog

Things To Fear

If you decide to do it, to go all in and become a part of the conversation then be prepared for the consequences!

1. You may alienate consumers who aren’t loyal

Or maybe even the people who are! You don’t know if everyone is going to get the joke and not everyone has to but your audience should! Everything you do for your brand as a marketer is to help your brand and audience connect easier and once they are connected then to build on that loyalty. I would hate to see that all lost over a 140 character Tweet! And even worse if it’s to get back at your competition. Before you do anything just remember your audience and try to understand how they might react.

2. You may come off as mean

It’s kind of strange that we can give brand personalities or personas, but social media has made that easier to do. Every brand who is active on social, especially Twitter and Instagram has started to build an image. One that people become used to, just like someone’s personality, you kind of know what to expect when you visit their page. So, is getting involved in the competitions crisis going to be expected or not? And if it’s not expected, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing at all! You just have to make sure you won’t come off as mean by doing so!

3. Be prepared for a comeback

So you press send on your zinger and you wait for all the re-tweets and replies to come. Maybe for other users or if you’re lucky a news outlet like Buzzfeed to pick up on what you have done and reward you with a little free press but all of a sudden you see your competitor has replied to your tweet,  meaning that zinger wasn’t one and done, you are now really getting involved in something. Were you prepared for this? Do you know how long you want to be involved? Is it worth the fight? This is a situation you need to prepare for and maybe even have guidelines in place so you don’t get too carried away.

Wrap It Up

PR and marketing are no longer only about your own brand! Whether you’re omitting or trolling your competition you have to know what’s going on and be prepared to respond if the timing is right! We hope no one has a new cycle like United but you never know when someone in your industry could have a bad run leaving your team trying to decide if they should join the conversation or not…

Click Here To Learn More About Converge

Click Here To Subscribe To Our Blog

Should You Care About Word Of Mouth Marketing

If you think about all the marketing channels could you identify one that is most valuable?

One that is has a powerful way to influence business results?

One that is most likely to drive sales for your company?

For many of us, maybe everyone, this is word of mouth marketing (WOMM).

Are you surprised? 

You shouldn’t be! According to Neilson, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising. So why is WOMM so important?

So why is WOMM so important?

Click Here To Subscribe To Our Blog

1. Compliments Social

As marketers, we spend a lot of time on social media. Creating content, scheduling it, posting, creating events and Pages, and targeting audiences for ads. We do this because we know this is where our audience is spending their time, and we want to be where they are. But with the ever changing algorithms for social platforms, these social sites are making it harder and harder for brands to show up organically on their audiences’ Feeds and it doesn’t seem like marketers have any other choice but to spend more money!

But what if we took a pause on creating our social identities and took the time to connect on social?

If you take a look at social app trends, whether it’s Snapchat, Messenger or even dating apps, social is becoming more one-to-one. Influencing through narrowcasting platforms may be the way of the future for marketing, and with it becoming harder to be seen (and heard) by the masses this might be a trend worth focusing on. 

Instead of worrying about how many followers and how much engagement your brand has on social start to look at the followers who are talking about you organically and who are regularly engaging with you. These are the people who are going to take part in WOMM by talking about your brand and product on their own. Whether it’s by mentioning you in a Tweet, sharing a picture or even liking all of your brand’s content. These individuals are worth noticing because they have the capability to influence their network- a network you may not have access to. WOMM doesn’t mean giving up digital marketing efforts, it means blending the two! Start looking for the people who are already participating in WOMM for your brand and reward them for doing it even it means commenting back, using one of their images or surprising them with a gift. A little bit goes a long way for both of you!

Click Here To Learn More About Converge

2. Credibility

I believe, more than ever that trust is fragile, and if brands want to prosper in this state, they are going to have to change the tools they use and the messages they put out through marketing. Instead of viewing ROI as the most important marketing metric brands are going to need to value their credibility, more importantly, understand how credible their consumers think they are.

If your audience doesn’t trust your brand, it won’t matter what or how you market to them. Once your trust is lost no marketing technique can get you out of that hole, so it’s a quality brand need to treasure, brag about and protect a little bit more. 

No matter what form of an ad a brand runs, it’s only going to say something good about their product. They aren’t going to mention the ifs, ands or buts when it comes to using it. However, your friends and family are going to give their honest opinion- the good, the bad and the ugly. So it’s no surprise that we trust our friends and family more than we trust an ad! But before you let this scare you away from WOMM- you don’t want a potential customer to know everything! We also know it’s because that audience knows they have gotten an honest review from a trusted source that they are more likely to trust their recommendations and believe in those results.

As marketers, you need to engage those passionate brand advocates to amplify your message and help build that trust. When you do that successfully, you are going to become a more transparent and honest brand. When you master WOMM you will have something more powerful than a positive ROI, you will have a credible reputation.

3. Targeting

Finding your audience is one of your toughest tasks as a marketer. And once you figure out who your audience is, targeting them doesn’t get that much easier when there are billions of people watching TV, logging into Facebook and running searches on Google. You may know who your potential audience is but how are you making sure they are the ones hearing your message? 

This is why you are wasting a big chunk of your marketing dollars- you are reaching too many of the wrong people! But this is also where WOMM can help you become more focused. Think about the last conversation you had with a friend. Most likely it revolved around shared interests, things that were relevant to both of you. If neither of you plays golf, you aren’t going to talk about the best golf clubs, courses, or tournaments to watch. Which can totally happen when marketing in just about every which way, we see a lot of ads that have nothing to do with our interests. However, if you both just had a baby, then you are going to talk about this great product and where you can buy it. People only tell you about things that somewhat relate to your life. This is why WOMM is so important! People who are already using and loving your product are going to tell other like minded people to buy it and use it too! This is the best-targeted ad you can ask for! It puts them a lot further down the sales funnel than if they had seen an AD or read a piece of content on your website.

Wrap It Up

Are you ready to sit back and hope conversations just happen organically about your brand?

Well, that’s not exactly how WOMM works! Next week we are going to explore three areas marketers need to focus on in order to run successful WOM campaigns. If you can master these three things, then you will have the capability to become the most talked about and maybe even the most beloved product in your industry!

Click Here To Learn More About Converge

Click Here To Subscribe To Our Blog

Down The Sales Funnel KPIs Go

KPIs are no joke! 

Key performance indicators play a significant role in the creation of your strategy and marketing budget. They ensure your marketing campaigns are reaching new heights by helping you understand its effectiveness through metrics and measurement. And when they aren’t, KPIs help you understand where to focus your attention. But with so much data to digest, it can be tough to figure out where it’s taking your strategy and how it’s telling you to spend your budget.

So, how can you use KPIs effectively to create your marketing budget and fine tune your strategy?

When there is this much data?

Where should you start?

Align Marketing With Sales

It’s time to embrace the sales process! I know, probably not what you wanted to hear as a marketer but both, sales and marketing need to put their heads together to create the best sales and marketing results possible.

The truth is you can’t do one without the other.

I mean look at how quickly you blame one another you when goals are missed? You both know how much you rely on each other.

You can’t do one without the other especially if your end goal is to generate more revenue- which it should be, your boss would want it to be. So you have to start looking at sales and marketing like the best combo ever and not sworn frenemies. Once you come to terms with sales being your new BFF, it’s time to break down the consumer buying process and use it to figure out what data is most relevant for understanding the KPIs your marketing team is using. 

Click Here To Learn More About Converge

Three Stages

When it comes to the consumer buying process, you have to talk about the funnel. And when it comes to the sales funnel you can actually use it to break down marketing KPIs by stages,

  1. Awareness: something seems wrong
  2. Consideration: what are my options to fix it
  3. Decision: X will fix my problem

Use the sales funnel to examine your KPIs, to figure out what data is needed and to help marketing understand how it relates to each stage of the sales process.

With each step of the funnel, we are going to figure out what data sources you should be looking at, what it can help you find out and how you can use it.

1. Awareness

This is the top of your funnel. Which means you have a lot of data to look through! There is so much your marketing team is doing to bring awareness to your product and or service so which sources are most impactful? 

Website Traffic

  • Where are the hot spots on your site?
  • Where are people spending their time? And for how long?
  • Are these the pages you are driving them to through ads?
  • And what do they do if they are on one of those pages?

It’s important to know what parts of your website people are drawn to so you can do more of that! You don’t just want to celebrate the fact that 40,000 people are coming to your site, but you aren’t making any sales from them. Make sure you are attracting the right visitor to your website, one that has a problem you can fix!

Content Creation

  • How many people are coming to your blog?
  • What posts have the most visitors?
  • How long are people spending on your blog post?

Content is a great way to build trust with your audience, but you have to make sure it is information your audience wants and needs. While it’s great to have a blog with lots of content to look at it won’t mean much unless your audience is reading it and finds it relatable to their needs.

Social Media

  • How many people see your posts?
  • How many people engage?
  • What social platforms are meeting your current goals?

Social media is a great tool to use for promoting content which helps you build relationships with your audience. It helps with brand recognition and can be a place people come with questions you can answer. It opens the door to communication and relationship building between the consumer and brand. 

Click Here To Subscribe To Our Blog

2. Consideration

People enter this part of the funnel when they want to learn more about you! You did something right with your awareness marketing efforts- maybe it was a blog post or something on your website that made them keep looking into your brand to figure out if your service and or product is the right fit. Now in the consideration stage, you are taking metrics that show how what and who you are converting.

CTA Performance

  • How many people converted?

This is probably the most important metric to track! It measures the effectiveness of your call to action, and if people make it this far they are letting you know that you did a lot of things right with your marketing efforts and have the possibility to win them over

Visits & Conversion By Source

  • How are people getting to your website or landing page?
  • Where are people converting?
  • Who, what, when are people converting?

While yes, it’s great that people have found your website and are reading your blog but in the consideration stage you want them to commit a little bit more to your brand and when someone does you want to know how they got there. Did they have to read 5 blog posts and on the fifth one they signed up for your weekly newsletter? Did they find your blog post by clicking on a Facebook Ad or just a Tweet- did their visit cost you money or was it “free”. It’s important to look into all of this so you can do more of that so more of the right people find you!

3. Decision

This is at the bottom of the funnel, your potential customer turns into a client. And you may think once your MQL turns into a customer the sales team takes over from here. No! You worked hard to get them this far so marketing doesn’t stop here. Now you have to ensure your current customer stays a customer as it’s much cheaper to keep your customers than to go out and look for new ones.

Referrals

  • Are current or past customer referring your company?
  • How many referrals do you receive during any given amount of time?

Referrals are basically like “free” customers. You didn’t have to drag them all the way through the sales funnel. They jumped a few steps and made an easy decision because a friend/co-worker/ family member told them they needed you! There are few marketings tactics that work as well as a good recommendation! So give your current customer incentive to refer you to their friends and family.

Reviews

  • Are customers reviewing you online?
  • Are the reviews good?
  • Are you responding to problems when addressed here?

Don’t be afraid to ask your customer to review you, especially if they won’t stop talking about how much they love you. Maybe you see them tweet something at you? Or they send you a message on Facebook? Or tag you in an Instagram post? Now is marketing time to shine. Make sure you comment back and thank them and most importantly make it a priority to address any issues mentioned. You don’t want to ignore complaints just because it’s not “marketings job” (but yes it is, this is your brand image after all).

Wrap It Up

Your KPIs can make or break your marketing efforts. If you understand your KPIs, the data behind them, where to get that data, and what questions to ask about that data then this could change everything about your marketing efforts.

KPIs don’t need to be feared! They can be a tool used to put all your marketing efforts in the right place. So the next time you become overwhelmed by all that data needed, break it down and look at through the lens of the sales funnel.

The truth is, when you understand your KPIs you will become a better marketer!

Click Here To Learn More About Converge

Click Here To Subscribe To Our Blog

How To identify Influencers With Converge

As brands are learning more and more about their audience, they are learning that their consumers may not trust them, which makes getting information and marketing out about their products and services tricky!

If your audience doesn’t trust your message how are you going to convince them to make a purchase?

This is when you have to go outside the board room and the brand and find people who your consumer relates to, that’s when influencers come into the picture, and this is why they have become so popular. Continue reading “How To identify Influencers With Converge”

The 3 Best Facebook Ad Features Right Now

When you think about all the ways you use Facebook, what is the one tool the makes a difference on Facebook right now?

Tough question right? And this could change depending on your role and your strengths when it comes to the platform. 

To stay the number one social media platform, Facebook doesn’t have to keep up they have to continue to create. That means continuous updates and added features coming your way and it can become pretty easy to miss something, especially if you are not sure what new features you should be focusing on

We wanted to answer the above question to ensure you knew what to spend your summer focusing on and where you should spend money testing before the big shopping seasons come into play.  

Below we picked three Facebook features marketers, especially ones overseeing CPC Ads on Facebook, should be using! Continue reading “The 3 Best Facebook Ad Features Right Now”

3 Ways You Are Not Challenging Your Marketing Team

We are about to embark on the summer months, and before you know it we will be in Q4. Yikes! Those goals your marketing team set at the end of last year for 2017 have an expiration date, and it’s time to start getting real with where they are in the process and how they are going to accomplish them.

So how do you find out how things are going? You have to ask some questions but asking pressing questions can often lead to uncomfortable answers. You don’t want your team to think you are looking for something; you want them to know you are checking in, pushing them to ensure these goals happen, and that they are making efforts to achieve them.

So how can that be done? Continue reading “3 Ways You Are Not Challenging Your Marketing Team”

CMOs Make The Best CEOs

Has there always been a secret (or maybe not so secret) assumption that CMOs aren’t suited for the CEO role? Think about, I can name COOs, CTOs, and CFOs who have all gone on to become CEO but not too many CMOs in recent years.

Maybe that’s because there wasn’t much proof as to what marketers did? And then came the assumption that people who could make great products could also become great CEOs. Think about Facebook, Square, Paypal, Apple, and Twitter. The creators of these products and technology often rewarded themselves with the CEO title and that is kind of what we got used to. But a transition is once again underway. Where businesses are realizing the importance of marketing, how essential is to sales and that maybe in order to have a great product you have to know the people who are going to buy it. Continue reading “CMOs Make The Best CEOs”

Give Dark Social Some Light

How many times have you found the perfect BuzzFeed quiz, Which Bachelor Contestant Would You Most Likely End Up With? but decided that not all your Facebook friends needed to know your results so you messaged the quiz to your co-worker through G-chat?

If that is something you have done then you have participated in dark social. Dark social is a private conversation, a lot of times happening through email, text and social apps and involves sharing a link to a piece of content from a social channel through one of these platforms. What makes it dark is that the referral can’t be tracked. It looks like people are heading straight to your website and reading content there but that is not actually the case, they are getting there in a way most analytics platforms can’t track.  Continue reading “Give Dark Social Some Light”

Is Search Still Relevant In 2017?

Maybe instead of asking if search is relevant, you should be wondering if your SEO strategy is! Search engines have changed so much in the past couple of years because the way people search is changing- has your marketing team, agency, brand kept up? Continue reading “Is Search Still Relevant In 2017?”

The Key {words} To PPC

If you have decided to take SEO seriously and invest in PPC ads then you are going to need to understand how to use Google’s Keyword Planner. Keyword Planner is a free tool that is a part of Google Adwords advertising platform and it an extremely useful tool. 

Keyword Planner allows you to do a ton of research by providing you with data about keywords used for searches and how that affects your pay-per-clicks campaigns.

We want to make sure you know about everything you can about Keyword Planner so we outlined their features and functions below and guide you through the process of using the data that comes with it. Continue reading “The Key {words} To PPC”