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Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

#marketing #SocialSkim: Facebook’s Big Weak Spot, LinkedIn Launches Video: 11 Stories This Week

In Marketing on 26 agosto, 2017 at 16:46

In this week’s ‘Skim: Young users may be set to abandon Facebook; LinkedIn officially launches video upload capabilities for all, and Reddit follows suit with a native video feature; why Snapchat might be on the way to transforming news, and Facebook’s big plan to do the same; Facebook tweaks algorithm to punish fake videos, makes Safety Check a permanent feature; seven ways to build meaningful relationships with your customers on social; 24 hot apps and tools for social media marketers; and much more…

Skim for your weekly social media roundup!

1. Facebook has a cool problem, and it’s Snapchat’s gain

Facebook is apparently facing a group of tweens and teens who want nothing to do with the social network. New findings from eMarketer suggest Facebook will record a decline in users in an age group seen as key to winning over: those 12-17 years old. Snapchat, however, is expected to increase the number of users in that demographic, with double-digit growth in the next year.

Facebook can find some solace in Instagram, which will also grow with the youngsters, but overall the report is great news for Snapchat, a struggling social network that needs to convince Wall Street of its monetization potential, and which already boasts more users age 12-24 than Instagram.

2. LinkedIn rolls out video upload ability to all

After its limited release of a native video upload feature resulted in content shared 20 times more than any other type, LinkedIn has decided to roll out its new video feature to all users on the platform, including the iOS or Android mobile app.

The move, although late compared with that of other players, such as Facebook and Twitter, makes total sense for the professional social network, since video, and particularly live video, could do wonders for the company’s education, brand pages, recruitment, and professional networking offerings.

LinkedIn is also supposedly working on company videos, event-style pages, and more. The goal? Video advertising dollars, of course.

3. NBC News Snapchat show hits homerun, could transform news for Millennials

CNN may have been first to launch a 24-hour news network, but NBC News and Snapchat might well be on their way to transforming, once again, the way we consume news. NBC News’ brand new Snapchat Discover show, dubbed Stay Tuned, is the first daily news program on the app, and it reached over 29 million unique viewers.

The twice-daily show, which premiered last month with episodes that last between two and three minutes, attracted a very young audience: over 60% under the age of 25. Since NBC News made the figures public last week, CNN has announced it’s ditching its Snapchat Discover magazine format and is instead opting for a daily news show as well. The battle for eyeballs rages on.

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4. Zuckerberg confirms subscriptions for Instant Articles

While Snapchat focuses on new news shows from the big networks to transform the news industry, Facebook is taking a more text-centric approach. Mark Zuckerberg confirmed last week that the social network will begin testing a subscription service for publishers that post content via the platform’s fast-loading Instant Articles feature.

Publishers will be able to have a paywall that blocks free reading for users after a certain number of articles each month, or use a freemium model that locks up articles. Users will be prompted to subscribe to read further, with payment processing occurring on the publisher’s own website. For now, Facebook doesn’t plan to take a cut of the revenue.

5. Reddit rolls out native video feature

Reddit continues to expand availability of its native video feature on desktop and mobile to more communities on the platform. Videos on Reddit can be up to 15 minutes long. Individual users and brands can trim their videos or convert MP4 videos into GIFs directly on the social network’s mobile app.

The move makes the social network less reliant on third-party services, such as YouTube and Vimeo, and gives users more creative freedom and ease of use. It also probably means more ads.

Reddit’s native video feature can transition into a preview window on the platform, meaning users can scroll comments and watch at the same time, providing a more engaging experience overall.

6. Facebook takes on video clickbait with algorithm tweak

Have you ever clicked on what you thought to be a video on Facebook, only to be redirected to a low-quality website? The company’s taking steps to avoid just that, with a new tweak on its algorithm rolling out in the coming weeks that will demote posts that use fake video icons, and videos that include static images.

The change will affect only publishers that rely on these “deceptive” practices, and Facebook reminds all publishers that they can find a list of best-practices for a refresh on how to keep their reach high on the platform.

7. Seven tips to build meaningful relationships with your customers on social media

It’s easy to get so caught up in finding ways to promote your business that you forget about the “social” in “social media.” When done right, social media can help your brand build meaningful connections and trust with customers, but your marketing team might need a nudge to achieve that.

Creating a community, showing (instead of broadcasting) how your product makes things easier, supporting a cause, ensuring things aren’t always about business, and giving fans a behind-the-scenes look at your company are just some of the ways to do so, and Forbes has a list of advice and insights to help you along the way.

8. YouTube apparently doesn’t want to fall behind on the news

With Snapchat starting to play host to major news networks like NBC News and CNN, YouTube doesn’t want to go completely unnoticed. Sure, most news organizations already have YouTube channels, but now the Google-owned video network has launched a “Breaking News” section on users’ homepages on both desktop and mobile devices.

The feed, which now joins other well-known algorithm-driven lists like “Recommended” and “Recently Uploaded,” serves as a collection of news clips about worldwide events based on a user’s location.

No news just yet on whether the list will become a permanent addition to users’ feeds, but it’s clear that the landscape is changing amid shifting consumer habits.

9. Facebook’s Safety Check gets dedicated button, can now be accessed anytime

The safety-focused Facebook feature, often the target of criticism in crises, now has a permanent home on desktop and mobile.

Soon to be accessible for all users in the app’s navigation menu, the feature will now display a feed of disasters with updates from friends who have been marked safe, as well as offers to help. An “around the world” section will show where Safety Check has been recently activated, and a new sharing option will let users tell their story.

The update could help Facebook avoid further criticism, much of which came when the social network decided to activate (or not) the feature during certain crises or natural disasters.

10. Feast your eyes on these 24 hot apps and tools for social media marketers

Trying to dig up ways to make your posts on social media more vibrant and engaging? Wishing you had a mobile messaging app for Twitter like you do Facebook? Or just need good ‘ole inspiration for your copy?

From finding an app to help your brand use Instagram Stories, to the latest time-saving social media monitoring apps, your time is money. That’s why we’re sharing Social Media Examiner’s need-to-know list of 24 hot tools and apps for your social media marketing team. Check them all out!

11. We’ll wrap up with that time when nothing made the biggest impact on social media

But that might just work for one person: Taylor Swift. The music star took to social media last week by deleting every, single piece of content on her Instagram and Twitter accounts. With over 100 million Instagram followers and 85 million Twitter followers, it certainly caused a stir among the star’s fans, but it’s what came next that proved Swift’s point.

Swift and her genius marketing team began repopulating her feeds with cryptic clips of a what appears to be a slithering snake, without text or context. Eventually, new posts revealed the upcoming release of new music from the singer, but the sudden disappearance of Swift’s social media life and subsequent mystery of snake clips prompts the question of what content works best on social.

It turns out that sometimes, for some, the answer can be absolutely nothing at all.

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#marketing Why Sending Invoices on Time is Crucial for Your SME’s Success

In Marketing on 26 agosto, 2017 at 1:57

Managing invoices is a necessary evil. Most small business owners would rather focus on developing and growing their business than deal with the intricacies of billing. But alas you need their business and they need your services – an invoice is that nice little document that contains the services rendered and what is owed to you. Invoices get you paid.

Taking care of your invoicing although may sometimes be tedious, will cement a lasting relationship with your small business clientele and will help you stay up to date on your latest financial information.

Lets Your Client Be Prepared

Sending out invoices in a timely manner gives the client the opportunity to gather his or her finances in order to be able to pay you. Stick to the agreed invoice deadline so that your client is not caught off guard by a surprise like a forgotten invoice.

Remember, both you and your client have a possibility to encounter many issues down the road. We can avoid having invoices be one of those issues by presenting the invoice as early as possible.

One less thing to worry about for you and your customer. After you have delivered your invoice, you have cleared your plate and will be ready to focus on other tasks while waiting for your cash to come in.

Continued Influx of Money

Sending invoices on time means cashflow for your business. You don’t want to wait until the last minute, or the last cent to send out the invoice to your clients. Having a steady influx of cash into your business means you have the funds to continue to improve and expand.

You absolutely cannot fall behind on invoices. As you continue accumulating a larger client base the invoices will quickly pile up. The key is to stay on top of your invoicing and not leave it to the last minute.

Waiting too long to invoice your clients can be detrimental to your small business success. If you let this build up too much, you are out there waiting for payments spending time on chasing down clients and not actually getting any work done. It becomes a time sink that can always be avoided.

Assess the Health of Your Enterprise

Properly timed invoices let you keep track of your cash outflows and inflows. This gives you a clear understanding on your business’ financial situation. It is necessary information if you desire to invest money in new emerging technologies, expand research and development, etc.

Build a Relationship

Properly timed invoices can create a reliable and a transparent relationship between your small business and your client.

Think about invoices from the customer’s point of view for a moment. Would you want to be informed of what needs to be paid promptly? If I were a customer, I know I would like to receive the invoice as early as I could.

I Forgot

Timely invoices can keep everyone honest. Getting used to sending invoices as soon as possible is great both for you and your customer. All the details are still fresh in your head; you know exactly what services were needed and what it ended up costing.

There is less chance of forgetting small details or terms and agreements between the two parties that can sometimes cause issues to arise later down the road.

Now Buckle Down

Let’s not procrastinate with our invoices. Stay dedicated and send your invoices out as soon as possible. You will form a good habit of dedicating important time on a task that gets you and your employees paid and your business running smoothly.

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#marketing How to Prepare for a Customer Success Interview

In Marketing on 26 agosto, 2017 at 0:07

How to Prepare for a Customer Success Interview

Congrats! You applied for a Customer Success position and are now preparing for your first interview. Whether this is your first time interviewing for Customer Success, or you’re an old pro, there are a few things that you should do to prep yourself for success.

Ultimately, what you are trying to solve for in an interview is whether there is a mutual fit for you and for the company. In order to have the best possible experience, be sure to do your due diligence in advance. There are aspects of the job that you should be assessed during the interview, such as company culture, working relationships with potential co-workers and manager, and overall core values. But this article is going to focus on what you should do before you even walk through the door.

Step 1: Research the Product and the Company

One of the most important steps is researching the product and the company. Technically, you should do some of this before applying for the position and then in greater detail once you make it to the next phase.

Customer Success Managers have many responsibilities and the majority of them are heavily focused on driving adoption of a product. You’ll want to demonstrate your abilities to the hiring manager. Give them a small snapshot into what the customer experience would be like with you at the helm.

A few things to think through are:

  1. Is this product something that you can see yourself supporting, advocating for, and working with on a day to day basis? You should know this before you go in.
  2. Most SaaS tools have a free trial. If you are interviewing for a company that has a free trial but have not used it, it sends a bad message. As a hiring manager, I am always impressed when a candidate comes in and tells me all of the amazing things they were able to do with my product. If a free trial is not available, research as much as you can about the product. Most companies have help centers, demo videos, and marketing collateral floating around on their website. Acquaint yourself with this content.
  3. You will be representing this company, what they stand for, and what value they bring on a daily basis. Do you believe in what they are solving for as an organization? Look at review sites such as Glassdoor and G2Crowd. What are employees and customers saying? This is more telling than taking a guess.
  4. Most companies will ask you “why us”. Do not just give a generic answer. Instead, hone in on the use case that stands out the most to you and get specific. If you are struggling to answer the “why us” in a passionate way, this may not be the right fit for you.

Step 2: Do Research On Who You Are Interviewing With

Do a quick search on everyone that you are interviewing with. Check out LinkedIn, Google and all of the regular spots. Always know who the customer is and during the interview, the individuals you are interviewing with are technically your customers (as you are theirs as well). Doing your due diligence on who they are and what functions they own will help you tailor your questions to be relevant. This is your opportunity to do a thorough assessment of who you will be working with and how you can mutually benefit each other in the organization. Not sure who you are interviewing with? Ask your recruiting contact for a list of individuals and what functions they own.

Step 3: Build Rapport Quickly

One of the more important things in Customer Success is one’s ability to win people over. Build relationships, understand what motivates people, and offer your help accordingly. Don’t be fake by any means, but definitely build rapport quickly. You generally have 30-60 minutes with each person, which is not a lot of time in the grand scheme of things, so make sure you are focused on the value you both may obtain through this mutual relationship.

Step 4: Customer Success, Customer Support, and Account Management

There is still confusion everywhere on the differences between Customer Support, Customer Success, and Account Management. Understand the industry standard outcomes that each of these roles drive, and how the company that you are interviewing for has aligned them. How the company views these roles will have a direct impact on your day to day responsibilities.

Step 5: Examples of Success

The company is looking for a new member of the Customer Success team. Are you the one? This assessment is made much easier if you bring examples of your success in Customer Success.

A few things that I like to see are:

  • Proven churn reduction techniques – Did you reduce churn by 5% on your previous portfolio? Great. Show them how.
  • Process you built to improve onboarding experiences – How have you improved your customer onboarding experience? How did you increase adoption and renewal rates? Come with stories and examples.
  • Examples of bad fit customers and how those relationships were turned around and/or separated – Yep, it happens to all of us. No matter how hard you try, some customers will never be a good fit. How did you approach that? What did you do with those learnings to help avoid similar situations going forward?
  • Upsell and renewal strategy – Did you own upsells and/or renewals? What strategy did you incorporate to help usher your customer base across the finish line?

Step 6: Come with Questions

Last, but certainly not least, come with questions. Lots of smart questions. I touched upon this a little bit above, but this is worth reiterating. Tailor your questions to who you are meeting with, asking irrelevant questions is just as bad as asking no questions. Even if you interview with 6 different people, make sure you have at least two questions for each interviewer. It’s okay to repeat questions if you are looking for different perspectives on the same topic.

As always, this is not all encompassing but should give you a great starting point on preparing for your upcoming interview. The key is to do your homework, come as prepared to your interviews as you would for a customer meeting.

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#marketing 4 Project Management Tactics That Stand The Test of Time

In Marketing on 25 agosto, 2017 at 22:32

The very concept of project management in business has seen a renaissance in recent years. New technology is making it easier for companies to identify the most optimal methods of conducting their internal operations.

However, technology—no matter how advanced—can only do so much. Ultimately, success will always depend on the people at the front lines and the tactics they employ.

PMI’s 2017 Pulse of the Profession report found that for every $1 billion invested in the U.S., $97 million is wasted due to lacking project management performance.

While this number sounds high, it’s actually a 25% decrease from last year.

Regain control with proven project management tactics

Even though the landscape of business is in a constant state of change (both inside and out), there are several tactics that have been helping brands and organizations achieve success for decades. Let’s talk about four of the big ones.

1. Transparent planning

Transparency in the workplace is by no means a new idea. But it seems like its value has been increasingly emphasized in recent years. While many project managers already realize the benefits, the trick is finding the perfect balance. Exactly how in-depth should you go?

Renowned U.S. Army General George S. Patton suggested that good managers don’t constantly try to tell everyone how to do their jobs.

“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity,” he is quoted as saying.

Another great Patton Project Management quote: “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”

Transparency in your organization should mean keeping everyone on the same page from start to finish, not micromanaging.

In my own experiences, I’ve found excessive micromanagement leads to an uncanny amount of hesitation before every single move. In turn, levels of disconnect happen all too often and result in wasted time and resources.

While many businesses strive for transparency, it’s easier said than done. Nowadays, running a company with remote workers is becoming a lot more common. In fact, a recent survey found that 68% of U.S. workers expect to work remotely in the future. This could make complete transparency much more difficult.

As more and more businesses shift toward mobility, your internal communication needs to do the same. At the drawing board, video conference and webinar tools such as ClickMeeting, Livestorm, and MeetingBurner can keep everyone in sync. With features such as whiteboards, presentation decks, screen sharing, and real-time chat translation, you can collaborate on project planning with complete transparency.

For example, at E2M, we have five employees working in San Diego in addition to our headquartered team in India. There is a 12-hour time difference between us, so we extensively use online meetings and real-time collaboration to keep our disparate teams on the same page.

Regardless of where your workers are, virtual meeting tools make it simple to be looped in on the finer details of all tasks at hand, at all times.

2. Closely measuring and tracking internal progress

When it comes to successful task completion, you should always be looking for bottlenecks and ways to improve the operation. The effectiveness of this concept goes back centuries.

For example, let’s rewind 100 years and look at Henry Ford’s revolutionary assembly line:

An early form of project management technology

Every action throughout the factories was (and still is) examined under a microscope to pinpoint inefficiencies in the system. Each day is viewed as an opportunity to increase production across the board. This very idea has set the tone and template for many modern businesses we know today.

The key is gauging your team’s output to find the weak spots. In 2017, having full visibility into task development will likely require some 21st century-era tools. Luckily, there are plenty of resources available to make this aspect of your operation much easier.

Project management tools such as Workzone, TeamWork, and MavenLink, for example, provide platforms where projects can be easily created, and progress can be monitored by everyone involved.

Workzone, an example of project management software

The best project management tools for small businesses offer a balance between overly complex enterprise tools and simplistic apps that are essentially just to-do lists.

In order to truly see improvement within the internal workflow, you need to get granular with your observations. Look for patterns. Where are the slowdowns occurring?

Your team’s effectiveness is a constant work in progress. The more accurately you track day-to-day responsibilities, the faster your company will grow.

3. Factoring risk into timelines

Simply put, risks are a part of life—both personally and professionally. But poorly managed risks can send negative ripples throughout an organization.

For example, one of the biggest reasons for missed deadlines is ineffective risk management. Case in point, IBM in Australia ran into a disaster starting in 2007 when developing a new payroll application for Queensland Health Department. They originally planned to have the $6 million project completed within a year. Due to a ton of unexpected issues, IBM did not complete the program for several years, and it ended up costing taxpayers approximately $1.2 billion. This debacle has been dubbed the “worst public administration failure in Australia.”

Why did this occur? The original timelines did not have risks factored in!

At the start of a project, it’s incredibly difficult—and sometimes downright impossible—to foresee all the little hiccups and snags that could potentially occur. Therefore, the best thing managers can do is expect the unexpected and plan timelines accordingly.

The first step is to hold a mandatory meeting for everyone involved. In this meeting, you must map out the entire project from start to finish:

  • What are the details of each step?
  • Who are the external parties involved?
  • What is the budget?
  • What is the estimated timeframe to completion?

Sean Casto, Founder and CEO of app marketing platform PreApps, knows a thing or two about IT project management in an age when apps are replacing desktop and even web-based software. He has this to say:

“In our field, we depend heavily on third parties. Proper risk management has been a saving grace for us countless times. At the end of the day, the classic saying ‘Plan for the worst, hope for the best’ is one of the most powerful pieces of advice for project managers.”

In a nutshell, preparation is the basis for your risk management system, and the right tools can take the hard work out of the process. Solutions such as LogicGate, Onspring, and RiskGap are can help you automate risk management to improve overall workflow and productivity.

An example of a risk workflow in LogicGate

The need for appropriately planning for disasters has been, and always will be, vital for success in any venture. The best project managers always seem to have a trick up their sleeve for when operations take a wrong turn, but they don’t just pull these answers out of nowhere; their success is the result of careful planning.

4. Ditching top-down management

The nature of the top-down management style runs on the mindset that the boss always knows best. Essentially, it puts 100% of the power with the people holding rank, and demands compliance without question. While this can be a necessary approach in some situations, it can often do more harm than good.

Psychologist Douglas McGregor, who studied leadership styles throughout his career, had two theories he used to explain the concept of management.

The first one, Theory X, represents the belief that subordinates are natural slackers and require a high level of supervision at all times. Top-down bosses do not give their employees the opportunity to provide unique input. In turn, people don’t feel trusted or valued. When this is the case, intrinsic motivation is killed and workers are less inclined to self-start.

On the other hand, Theory Y states that work is a natural part of life, in which workers generally want to succeed. They perform better when they are encouraged to share their ideas and be involved in the process.

Richard Branson has been a strong advocate of the more bottom-up management style for years throughout his ventures in the Virgin Group. He is well known for his ideology that a happy team makes for a successful business.

Branson being Branson

He had this to say at the 2012 World Business Forum:

“Being a good listener is absolutely critical to being a good leader. You have to listen to the people who are on the front line. By putting the employee first, the customer effectively comes first by default, and in the end, the shareholder comes first by default as well.”

As Millennials flood the professional world, one common observations is that they are not shy when it comes to job hopping. If they’re not feeling valued, they have no problem finding the door to their next opportunity. In terms of project management, promoting an open-minded approach can do a lot to keep employees around for the long haul. You never know, maybe their ideas are better than yours!

Your tactics?

A company is only as good as its internal system. While the landscape of conducting business will always be evolving, there are plenty of tried-and-true practices of which will never go out of style. If you don’t already, use these fundamental principles in your next project to keep it chugging along smoothly.

Let us know in the comments about your tips!

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#marketing What Is a Maturity Assessment? And How to Make One in 5 Steps

In Marketing on 25 agosto, 2017 at 21:37

geralt / Pixabay

Maybe you’ve heard the term ‘maturity assessment’ floating around in the sales and marketing departments…but you’re not quite sure what exactly it is.

Let’s clear that up.

For the user, a maturity assessment is essentially a resource that helps indicate whether or not a certain solution or strategy is right for you based on the answers provided within the assessment.

For the business, it’s a discovery tool that helps better qualify leads based on responses within the assessment – to see if they’re “ready.

Let’s look at these in a bit more detail, explore the advantages of using them, and examine some real-life examples, too.

The Value of the Maturity Assessment

As we touched on earlier, the maturity assessment is a resource that provides value both to the participant and for the business distributing the assessment.

Prospects that complete an assessment enter their unique input and are able to learn about their needs, pain points, and gaps in service through their own self-discovery process. Overall, this makes the lead education process feel more organic and more personalized, as it’s not a formal sales pitch – and it’s a highly personalized experience, too.

For example: A business owner interested in learning about VoIP options might complete an assessment to find out if they currently have the right phone solution in place, to see if they have enough bandwidth to take on an upgrade, or to see how they stack up against other businesses already using this technology.

For marketers, these assessments are helpful because they allow sales teams to spot super MQLs who are ready to be sent to the sales team as ideal customers.

Maturity assessments can be big contributors for middle-funnel content – a vital lead scoring opportunity that can help the sales department better prioritize leads to follow up with.

For example: Based on the responses to one of these assessments, sales teams can categorize respondents who fit the super MQL criteria and quickly follow up with them to continue the lead nurturing process.

In some instances, this might mean entering these leads into a specific email segment so that automated email campaigns can continue the lead nurturing process via a drip campaign.

Now that we understand the value behind maturity assessments, let’s look at some examples from companies who are leveraging these resources to understand what they look like in action.

Examples of Maturity Assessments

IT Assessment

In the example below from Service Now, we can see how a person completing this assessment is actively learning about their unique IT needs, while also sharing important customer data at the same time.

The beautiful thing about this is that both parties are getting value out of the engaging, interactive experience. There’s no pushy sales pitch being made, and the customer is being honest about their needs and service gaps. Win-win.

ServiceNowMaturity.png

Image source

Credit Management Assessment

In this maturity assessment from Euler Hermes, participants are learning whether or not strategic credit management could be helpful for their business. As the user works through the questions, they’re actually scoring themselves as prospective leads – but they’re also learning about their pain points and gathering helpful information along the way. The information is flowing two ways, not just one.

EulerHermers.png

Image source

Website Assessment

Hubspot conducts a free website analysis for those who are interested in learning two things: 1) How well their website currently performs, and, 2) Where improvements can be made.

Since Hubspot is a website platform, this is a fantastic way for them to provide valuable information to potential leads in exchange for customer data. From here, they can follow up with personalized marketing messages based on the results of the assessment and nurture leads until they’re ready to convert.

Hubspot2.png

Image source

How to Make Your Own Maturity Assessment in 5 Steps

Maybe at this point, you’re thinking, “This all sounds great! I’d love to build my own maturity assessment…but where do I begin?”

Step 1: Identifying Top Sales Qualifying Criteria

There are a few key sales qualifying criteria you’ll want to include in your assessment to help gather the right information you need for the sales and marketing teams.

Often times, the best way to find out what you should include is to conduct your own assessment of sorts:

Talk to your sales team. Ask them about what information is essential to them to properly qualify leads. Find out which questions are asked right at the beginning of demo calls as well as whom the ideal buyer is/ what their situation looks like.

Reach out to current customers. Gather feedback from your current customers and look for patterns in what made them choose your solution. There may be common pain points you solve for them or benefits you offer that many of your ideal clients need to hear about.

Step 2: Create a Value Exchange

The strength of any piece of interactive content, maturity assessments included, is to deliver an immediate and valuable result for participants. That result could be a quiz score, a calculated metric, or, in this case, an evaluation.

Let’s look three at different B2B examples of the value proposition along with the follow through:

HotSchedules, a project management and e-learning solution

HotSchedules-Results.png

Campaign Creators, a digital marketing agency

CampignCreator-results.png

ServiceNow, an IT solutions company

Service-Now-Results.png

The results page is unique to the participant based on their answers, and shouldn’t be a one-size-fits all. If the result is the same no matter what, repeat users will realize this, and you’ll lose credibility.

Even better is to sync the participant’s result to a specific piece of follow-up content or CTA. If they are an advanced prospect, maybe a demo request. If they fall in in the middle, suggest longer-form content on a subject that would be helpful.

Essential tip: Lead forms should be placed directly before the results page. This allows you to collect answer data before asking for contact information, but also builds momentum for the participant to complete the form and see their result.

Step 3: Make the Design Simple and Brief

Because a maturity assessment is a representation of your product and how it can help your audience, it needs to be on brand. Keeping the color scheme and imagery simple and in service to the experience will help your conversion numbers.

That doesn’t mean there can’t be added graphics or animations to make the experience more engaging, but it needs to be secondary to the questions and answers that are being presented.

The key to maturity assessment copy is keeping it brief and conversational. This includes both number of questions and the word count on questions and answers.

Best practice for assessments is to keep question count between four and eight. Anything more than that will test the participants’ patience and lead to drop off rates.

For copy tone, let’s look at HotSchedules one more time.

Hot-Schedules-answer-copy.png

While the question is direct and on the formal side, the answers are colloquial and match what a person might actually answer if they were talking to another human instead of, well, a piece of content. This helps create a more interesting experience for participants and drives them to the results page.

Notice, also, how HotSchedules uses a progress bar at the bottom of the content to indicate how many more questions are coming. This is also a high-converting tactic as participants are not left to wonder if this assessment goes on for another 75 questions or just one more.

Step 4: Marketing Automation/ Lead Scoring Tool

Before launching your maturity assessment, make sure it is hooked into to your marketing automation, CRM, or lead scoring platform.

While this process varies between different interactive content platforms, it is an essential step in content marketing scalability. For some platforms, it’s as simple as filling in a few fields.

Other platforms don’t always have this functionality, which can prove time-consuming or even wasteful if the data is going into a vacuum, or relying on complex and time-consuming data merges.

Here’s an example of how that might look with SnapApp’s marketing edition of Which Game of Thrones House Are You?

Got-answers_0.png

While not a full-on maturity assessment, we do include some qualifying questions in a more fun and seasonal experience.

Got-Lead-1.png

Which syncs with our marketing automation platform for lead scoring and follow-up content.

Step 5: Promotion and Display

The last step: promote!

Just because this is a more middle-funnel content asset as opposed to top-funnel, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t see the light of day. Promoting assessments is actually easier than traditional blogs or static content because they invite user-participation.

On social, you can challenge your audience to benchmark themselves. Here’s example from ServiceNow:

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On your website, you can help present the assessment early, right on the homepage, to identify hot leads.

Check out how Paycor uses a qualifying assessment on their website:

Paycor-web.png

In the blue bar, they ask visitors a question immediately that both helps them identify the best solution, but also pulls in data about their company size.

Using maturity assessment on landing pages instead of a lead form can accomplish the goal of lead capturing, but also boost the data you receive. At the end of the experience, users get the ebook, or webinar, that the landing page was serving.

Leverage the Maturity Assessment

We know that lead scoring is already being used by 86% of marketers, but the question is: How can those efforts be fine-tuned for better, more efficient results? It seems that content like interactive assessments is certainly part of the answer to that question, thanks to their ability to gather customer data in a passive, engaging format.

Now is the time to start thinking about how you can build your own assessment to bolster your sales in the year ahead. By gathering the right customer data up front, you can vastly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of this department and generate impressive ROI (which are both always good things.)

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#marketing Why You Need CRM for Small Business

In Marketing on 25 agosto, 2017 at 21:07

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Customer relationship management (CRM) software is no longer just for large companies. In today’s highly competitive world, small and mid-sized businesses everywhere should be looking for a leg up on their competition. Leveraging the best CRM for small business can help you gain that edge over your competitors.

CRM software was originally designed to help businesses build and maintain relationships with new and existing customers. However, these days a CRM solution can do a lot more. It can drive higher productivity and efficiency by streamlining your sales cycle, organize your data, and allow you to view company performance at the click of a button.

If you’re still on the fence about whether a CRM solution is the best option for your small to mid-sized business, here are a few benefits that you should consider.

For starters, a CRM can help you centralize your contacts and interactions, which decreases the time you spend searching for information. With a CRM solution, you have access to information like email, phone number, notes from your last conversation with a prospect, website, LinkedIn profile, and so much more in one centralized location allowing staff to do more in less time.

Tired of tracking your sales cycle in a spreadsheet? With a CRM for small business you can create views and dashboards to better manage your prospects. For example, with Salesforce CRM you can create a view that allows you to view all of your prospects who are in a specific stage of your sales cycle. A CRM solution will also allow you to have better visibility into where your prospects are in your sales cycle, and ensure you’re focusing your time on the prospects that matter most.

Another great reason to leverage a CRM solution is its ability to sync with your systems. Today, CRMs are robust tools that can communicate with just about any system you’re already using. Integrating tools like HubSpot with your CRM can streamline your inbound marketing process. For example, when a lead fills out a form on your company’s landing page made through HubSpot, it will communicate with your CRM, automatically create a lead in your CRM, and prompt a team member to follow up. This type of configuration drastically increases efficiency and reduces the risk of recording incorrect data.

Leveraging a CRM to serve as a single source of truth will help keep your team on the same page, which fosters better internal communication and better customer relations. There is nothing more frustrating than calling into a customer service line, explaining your situation, then getting transferred to another representative only to have to explain yourself again! Storing information in one place saves everyone time (internally and externally), and improves overall experiences.

Most CRMs have features that allow you to build customized templates and send mass emails, allowing you to track both open and response rates so that your marketing efforts become super quick and easy evaluate.

If you choose to use a CRM solution, make sure it’s a cloud based CRM. Also, make sure to research its mobile platform. Cloud based CRMs allow you to access information from anywhere so you can update your records while on the go, waiting at the gate for your next flight, or working remotely. CRMs with good mobile platforms make managing your contacts even more accessible and easier.

Reports generated from CRMs are only as good as the data you put into them. However, a CRM can help small businesses tap into insights on a more granular level such as customer information and correspondence, individual sales performance, trends and more to enable you to make effective decisions to grow your business.

CONCLUSION

Running a successful business is not easy, but leveraging a CRM will help drive your business forward by empowering you and your team to be more productive, efficient, keep your data organized, and give you a more precise view of your business’s overall performance.

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