Archive for June, 2013

Infographic: The Business of Gamification

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

A new infographic by Demand Metric has revealed some impressive numbers relating to how gamification is being used by brands. Scroll down to see the full infographic.

Gamification key statistics

  • $100m was spent on gamification in 2010
  • 70% of Forbes Global 2000 companies planned to use gamification for marketing and customer retention in 2011
  • 80% of gamified applications fail because of poorly designed business objectives
  • Cisco systems increased sales between 8 – 12% through gamification
  • DevHub increased the number of users who completed online tasks from 10% to 80% by using gamification

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20 great design tips for high impact calls-to-action by HubSpot

Friday, June 28th, 2013

If you want to convert website visitors in to leads you have to grab their attention. Ask yourself when was the last time you tested your conversion process? If you haven’t tested your calls-to-action, maybe now is the time to do so.

Calls-to-action are the high impact graphics that will deliver a message so compelling that your visitors cannot resist the temptation to click in order to learn more. That’s the theory. In practice, getting the design right requires an attention to detail to ensure all the variables are aligned: from the size and style to the tone of voice, there are many variables that can make or break the click-through rate of a CTA. (more…)

Three Tips on Effective Lead Nurturing from HubSpot’s Best Practices

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

If you’re involved in marketing, chances are that you’re constantly looking for ways to improve the effectiveness of your lead generation campaigns. While there are many methods of achieving this, nurturing the leads already in your pipeline can be a great way to turn more of your leads into customers.

Lead nurturing requires effective communication and building a relationship with customers. It takes practice. In their time creating tools for other marketers’ lead nurturing campaigns, HubSpot has built an impressive lead nurturing program of their own. HubSpot’s Product Marketing Manager, Jeffrey Russo, shared with us their in-house lead nurturing best practices.

1. Create content that customers will love and want to share.

Successful marketers are moving away from a self-centred strategy, and adopting a more customer-centric one. Why is this a key to success? Customers will actually want to see emails directing them to your carefully thought out, well-written content that is useful and benefits them in some way.

A great example of content that does exactly this is HubSpot’s The Marketer’s Field Guide to Salesforce. Upon realising that many of Salesforce’s customers were also suitable target customers for HubSpot, they created a document for marketers, covering just about every aspect of Salesforce they needed to know — including methodology and best practices.

HubSpot Field Guide to Salesforce

The Marketer’s Field Guide to Salesforce

This document was downloaded nearly 8,000 times, even though it barely even mentioned HubSpot. Why? Because the information was valuable to the customer, and it wasn’t overly promotional. If you want to keep your prospects moving along the funnel, it’s important to create content that is genuinely useful for your customer base. Doing this helps build trust with the prospect and shows that you’re interested in more than simply closing a sale.

2. Segment your leads to better serve them.

Segmentation is another crucial component to effective lead nurturing. To effectively nurture leads, it’s important that you send tailored messages that speak to your prospect. And segmenting your leads is one way to make sure that the right message reaches the right person.

While creating logical and effective segmentation can seem like a daunting task for many marketers, it’s important to do if you want to see better returns on your campaigns. HubSpot divides their lead nurturing campaigns into two groups: persona and lifecycle stage.

Personas fall into separate categories, as well, and each of these categories is responded to (by HubSpot) differently. Here are some examples of personas they often see:

Example of Buyer Personas

Meanwhile, a lifecycle stage is where the contact is at within the customer lifecycle. This requires really honing in on the customer’s needs and responding to them based on that. Here is an example of a HubSpot campaign aimed toward Marketing Mary, who they know is actively considering a purchase:

Workflow step-by-step

3. Utilize tools other than email.

Having a focused email marketing strategy can be a great asset to marketers. But it’s not the only option, and sometimes it’s hard to see past something that is working well. There are many other points of contact on your site that prospects can get to in many different ways. That’s why it’s important to create personalised Calls to Actions (CTAs) to your site visitors. HubSpot has created a SmartCTA tool that allows them to create and place CTAs based on their segments. This way, certain CTAs are only seen by the specific segment that HubSpot wants to have see it.

Effective lead nurturing takes time and practice, but the important thing for marketers to remember is that quality lead nurturing takes time to develop. And if you try to take on everything at once, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the size of the task at hand.

To keep from becoming overwhelmed, HubSpot recommends that you start with your biggest groups of leads first and then work from there. By starting with your biggest group of leads, you can quickly gather feedback on what works and what doesn’t. Then you can apply these lessons to future programs as you scale up your lead nurturing efforts. Once you figure out what works for you, then you can focus on the minutia and optimise your lead nurturing campaigns.

What other lead nurturing tips do you have? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

This is a guest post written by softwareadvice.com

Six sources of inspiration for fresh blog content ideas

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Inspiration

Do you recognise this scene: It’s Monday morning and you don’t have any evergreen blog posts ready to be posted so you have to write something off the top of your head. No topic springs to mind so you stare at your screen thinking… for far too long. Your time is valuable so try using these tools to inspire your future blog posts and avoid the dreaded Monday morning writers block.

Analytics

Without doubt one of the best resources for finding inspiration for your blog posts will come from your analytics software. You aren’t likely to find much inspiration from your bounce rate or browser details but you will find it in your traffic sources by seeing which search queries brought people to your website.

To find this information in Google Analytics you need to head to traffic sources > sources > search > organic. Not only will you find the queries that are bringing people to your blog and website but you will also find out which search queries are keeping people on your page longer and which are helping with conversions.

Even with the rather annoying (not provided) data [Note: this now accounts for over 60% of the search traffic to the Katapult blog], you can still find some great search queries that will inspire a blog post or two. (more…)

Best examples of brands using Instagram video

Friday, June 21st, 2013

instagram-logo
***Apologies for the autoplay video cacophony. Instagram videos will autoplay so having multiple videos on one page results in a lot of noise***
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Long live the Ginger King – Katapult’s resident canine

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Brad the dog

Bradley, Resident Katapult Canine
? – June 15th 2013 (Exact Age Unknown, estimated between 98 – 122 dog years)

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Bradley, resident Katapult canine and part-time Floor Manager.

Brad leaves Dawn, Simon and a loving wider family, his colleagues at Katapult and a legion of fans in mourning following his last stroll into the sunset on Friday.

Plucked from Jerry Green Rescue Centre in December 2003, Brad got his big break at Katapult soon after and never looked back. Adept at head butting legs when hungry, emptying office bins, sleeping under desks and snoring in the middle of meetings, Brad did everything asked of him and more.

Brad in the bin  Brad the dog

His career defining moment at Katapult arrived via a campaign for Visit Lincolnshire in 2006 as the star of a scenic poster shot. Required to steal a pork pie from a picnic table and eat it, Brad was heard to mutter “I was built for this”. Other starring roles followed including the lead in a title sequence for BBC’s Animal Rescue and QUAD’s cinema idents but few, much to Brad’s disappointment, involved eating pork pies.

brad lincolnshire

Brad on Animal Rescue

Disillusioned at a succession of jobs that failed to match his taste for the pie life, Brad stepped back from the limelight and took on a managerial role within the business during the latter stages of his career. There’s no doubt that Brad fulfilled every role with distinction and was that very rare thing in this day and age: a one-company dog that started and finished his career in the same business. Following an offer from Saatchi & Saatchi, including a remuneration package which offered treats beyond his wildest dreams, Brad nonchalantly dismissed the offer out of hand: “The Ginger King’s loyalty knows no bounds. End of.”

Brad in QUAD idents

Brad will be hugely missed by the team, our families, clients, suppliers and everyone who met him. If you’ve got any memories or photos of Brad, Dawn would love to hear and see them – please email dawn@katapult.co.uk.

Some of the team share their fondest memories of the Ginger King:

“Bradley aka ‘The Ginger King’ but more importantly my friend, has been part of our lives for what seems like forever.  Since he arrived in our lives over a decade ago he has always been one of the family. We saw him regularly outside of work,  with regular sleepovers, long walks in the park and sludgy dips in Darley Park river. I’m proud to have had him as a friend and even more so to have had the chance for my children to meet and love him as I do.  There isn’t a day goes by without one of my children asking when they can see Brad next.  They even have a favourite cuddly toy named ‘Brad-Rab’ (he’s a rabbit with Bradley’s ginger coat).  He’ll be sadly missed but his memory will live on…what a legend”. Phil Higgins

“No matter how old he got, when it came to food, he was like a greedy teenage boy!” Dan Lewis

“Listening to him snoring away loudly every day brought a calming influence to the studio” Andy Gilmore

“I loved how every time a particular client came in, Brad would remember how he once brought in a treat for him in his suitcase so he’d swap his usual welcome bark for a friendly sniff and follow Chris around until it was revealed whether this time, there might be another treat in there for him.” Rhiannon Hulse

“The sneaky chap would wait until I’d left the room before he stuck his head in the bin or tipped it over looking for some grub that wasn’t part of his healthy eating diet!” Stuart Green

“He didn’t care what people thought about him; he’d let off in meetings and look round as if to blame someone else!” Martin Stewart

“He took his Floor Manager position seriously, making sure he sprawled in all the best places; at the top of the stairs, on your feet, on the sofa in the red room. I really respected him for that.” Martin Enright

“My back-up doorbell – he made sure I knew for sure that there was definitely someone there and wouldn’t let me leave them waiting for long.” Susan Larmour

“I’ll always remember the time he ate my pork steak. The last pork steak from the BBQ. I’d been saving it and he just knocked it off my plate onto the floor and munched it. Crafty Brad.” Martin Broadhurst

“The memories are endless for me and its through these that Brad will live on. Everyone who met Brad knows how special he was. So just want to say RIP Brad. Love you so much, always will. You were one of a kind, a true ‘King’, my best friend & you went just when we thought we were lucky to have been given more time with you. Thank you for being the most amazing companion, all the memories and the unconditional love.  I just need to picture you splashing around in the water, imagine giving you a hug, kissing your head or think of you enjoying a snooze in the sunshine or in front of the fire…..every memory makes me smile. Miss you so much Xxx”  Dawn Foote

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Ticking the boxes?…get more from digital marketing

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Leads from website since using IM

“We’re on social media”

“We’ve set up a LinkedIn company page”

“We’re spending thousands every month on pay-per-click…we don’t know whether it’s working but we’re scared to turn it off”

“We pay an SEO consultant every month but we’re not quite sure what they do”

“We’ve started a blog”

“We put videos on YouTube”

These are typical of comments we hear every week and underline the difficulties presented to businesses by the myriad of available digital marketing tools and technologies…not to mention the liberal doses of accompanying hype served up by media commentators and service providers.

Facebook page? Check.

The result is that many businesses then engage in what is essentially a box-ticking exercise: Facebook page? Check. Twitter account? Check. Blog set up? Check. The list goes on. Unsurprisingly, the results aren’t great…that’s assuming the activities get as far as being measured. More often than not, they just stop as the initial enthusiasm wears off and the perception that prevails is that feeding the digital marketing monster without a coherent and targeted content plan is much more difficult than first thought.

Joining the dots

Ineffectual B2B digital marketing often stems from digital marketing tools being considered and implemented in isolation. What’s lacking is a clear methodology and an integrated approach that gets the best from each and gets them working together towards common objectives i.e. building brand profile, generating leads and driving sales. Take Facebook for example. Considered on its own merits, it might not be the most obvious tool for B2B digital marketing but the potential reach it can offer (Generally, 1 in 7 people on the planet!) means there’s opportunities to build some visibility with your target audience as part of an integrated strategy. It’s not a panacea but it certainly may have a part to play.

Another common frustration is managing multiple accounts and having to log in via different interfaces which can soon become tiresome. There are applications such as social media management dashboard Hootsuite though many lack the capability to integrate with CRM to create a demonstrable connection between your digital marketing activities and your sales funnel.

Getting more from digital marketing

An inbound marketing methodology can help with issues such as those outlined above. Firstly, a range of digital marketing tools are employed as part of an integrated approach, with each assigned a clear role in the process of getting your brand found, engaging your audience, converting leads and analysing performance. For example, SEO, blogging and social media feature heavily in the early stages to build your audience whereas email marketing has a key role in nurturing leads.

Secondly, inbound marketing employs software that makes it easier to manage, monitor and measure digital marketing. Multiple tools can be managed through a single interface and can be configured to work together as part of workflows designed to convert prospects’ interest into action. In addition, the outputs of this activity are easily accessible through clear reporting on metrics that matter including leads generated and converted.

So, an inbound approach can address many of the frustrations and much of the uncertainty associated with B2B digital marketing but what’s required in many businesses is a re-evaluation of the role of its constituent parts and a commitment to maximising their value beyond the aforementioned box-ticking exercise. With each working to their strengths as part of a cohesive plan, businesses stand to benefit from being able to target their audience more precisely, engage them with motivating content and achieve an improved marketing ROI.

 

 

By Neil Perrott

Facebook introduce hashtags #fb #hashtags #justsayin

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Finding relevant content on Facebook has historically been a difficult task. The search functionality was a pain and even the introduction of Facebook’s Graph Search hasn’t made finding relevant content much simpler.

This is all going to change though as Facebook has announced it is introducing clickable #hashtags. Yes, that’s right! The largest social network in the world is finally introducing one of the most useful methods of finding content that has been available on almost all the other social networks for what feels like an eternity.

Here’s the full announcement:

Every day, more than 4.75 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook.* In many cases, these conversations are about brands, products, public figures and local businesses. Today, we launched hashtags as a way for people and businesses to discover and engage in these conversations.

Hashtags are now available to a small percentage of people and Pages on Facebook, and we will roll them out more broadly in the coming weeks.

Here is what marketers need to know:
If you are already using hashtags in an advertising campaign through other channels, you can amplify these campaigns by including your hashtags in Facebook advertising. The same creative best practices on Facebook still apply – compelling copy and photography that is in the brand voice works best.

Any hashtags that you use on other platforms that are connected to your Facebook Page will be automatically clickable and searchable on Facebook.

Like other Facebook marketing tools, hashtags allow you to join and drive the conversations happening about your business. We recommend you search for and view real-time public conversations and test strategies to drive those conversations using hashtags.

Hashtags do not impact your distribution or engagement in News Feed on either desktop or mobile. We recommend you continue to focus on your existing campaigns to drive your most important business objectives.
Hashtags are a first step in surfacing relevant and important public conversations. Over time our goal is to build our additional functionality for marketers including trending hashtags and new insights so that you can better understand how hashtags fit into your overall Facebook advertising strategies and drive your business objectives.

*Facebook internal data, May 2013.

Introducing Hashtags on Facebook, Facebook Studio

Is PPC part of the inbound marketing methodology?

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Pay-Per-Click isn’t inbound marketing, is it? In recent weeks there has been much discussion around what is and what is not inbound marketing. This discussion really took off when SEOmoz rebranded as Moz and Rand Fishkin laid out the difference between inbound marketing and interruption (outbound) marketing as he sees it. In this blog I would like to tackle a few of the talking points that came up as I watched the discussion unfold online.

How does Rand see it?

In this infographic Rand has laid out what he sees as being inbound vs interruption marketing. In the red corner we have interruption marketing which seeks to interrupt people and grab their attention as they go about their daily activities. We see outbound sales calls, TV & radio advertising, print ads, purchased email lists, banner ads, display ads, trade shows etc. In the blue corner we have inbound marketing which seeks to earn people’s attention “organically without interrupting anyone’s path.” This includes opt-in email lists, press & PR, blogging, content creation, public speaking, influencer outreach, pay-per-click advertising…

That’s right. PPC is inbound marketing.

Much of the discussion in recent weeks has centred on PPC and whether or not it is truly inbound marketing. After all, is inbound marketing not about producing high quality content that gets found in search and via social and speaks directly to your audience, convincing them to exchange details for premium content and then nurturing your newly found leads to a sales-ready point? Well, yes, it is. This doesn’t mean it is exclusively through owned media channels though.

You see, inbound marketing is a process and a methodology that hinges on getting your content in front of people to produce leads at the lowest possible cost. This doesn’t mean channels that have to be paid for should be ignored. Quite the opposite. If using PPC proves to be the cheapest way of getting your content in front of people who are searching for the keywords you are chasing, it makes perfect sense to do that.

It’s how you use it that counts

The argument about PPC not being a valid form of inbound marketing appears to depend on how the pay per click campaigns are delivered. If I target keywords such as “Britain’s Got Talent Live Tour” to send people to my Introduction to Inbound Marketing eBook, then we could rightly argue that I’m not earning people’s attention “organically without interrupting anyone’s path.” Quite the opposite, in fact, as they want pictures of Simon Cowell being egged rather than an eBook focused on generating new leads.

On the flip side, if someone searches for “inbound marketing for beginners” and I get their attention with my free eBook advert, I am merely paying to jump the queue within the search results; the user’s end goal of finding content they are looking for is still achieved and we still hit our goal of generating a new lead. So, as I see it, and as Martin MacdonaldLarry Kim and Rand Fishkin see it, PPC is a perfectly valid part of the inbound marketing mix. It just helps move things along a little quicker.

Paid media, owned media, earned media… it doesn’t matter media!

If we want to demonstrate that inbound marketing is an effective method for getting found, engaging visitors, converting leads and analysing results we have to ensure the method works for all businesses. SEO is a big part of the process but it often takes time to get the desired outcome; this is where PPC comes in. PPC needs to be used for some businesses because they don’t have the right infrastructure to be able to succeed through organic search results alone. Over time you would look to reduce this by developing an SEO strategy but in the short term, paying for those clicks will suffice.

Outcomes matter. Methods less.

What inbound marketers are actually looking for is leads and sales. In the world of converged media where users seek information online and don’t mind whether they find it through advertising, editorial or your own website so long as the content is relevant, PPC is just another way of getting your content in front of people. Once they’re in your database, it’s time to segment, target, personalise and automate… as is the inbound way. With all that said, I think there is a bigger question to ask around the phrase inbound marketing; I think inbound marketing will be ditched in the near future in place of the much simpler term of “marketing”.

Radical, it ain’t.

By Martin Broadhurst









2013 mobile adoption statistics for B2B marketers

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Lists. There are plenty of them on the internet and I wanted to jump on that bandwagon. This one is specifically intended to show you just how important mobile is going to be (and is already) for marketing purposes. Business to consumer brands are well down the path of adopting mobile technology already and now it is time for B2B companies to make the change too.

  • Mobile internet use accounts for 15% of all internet traffic (Readwriteweb)
  • This is predicted to rise to 30% within 18 months (Readwriteweb)
  • Globally, 21% of mobile phones are smartphones, which presents huge growth for future mobile internet use. (Readwriteweb)