More Engagement, More Conversions

Did you know that your potential customer will put their trust in complete strangers’ opinions when deciding to buy your product or service? While your advertising will make customers aware of your business, social media recommendations and online reviews are often the deciding factor in whether or not your customer will convert. This is because today’s savvy consumer doesn’t always want to be advertised to, they want to be engaged. They want to have meaningful conversations with and about your brand to get as much information as possible before making a buying decision. We all know word of mouth is effective, but in today’s world of Yelp and YouTube, consumers are sharing and searching for product information with a lot more people than just immediate friends and family.

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Many small companies avoid social media because they are afraid to see what people will say about them. They fear that a bad review and negative feedback from customers will ruin their business. They think that turning off reviews means they can stop any negativity. The fact is, whether you use social media for your business or not, your customers are still talking about you online. Users are motivated to create content about brands and post it on their own channels.

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Social media users are forming online social circles made up of people with common interests, and they trust the other people in these peer groups regardless of whether or not they’ve actually met. Users in these peer groups are asking about and volunteering information about products, and their peers are more than willing to pay attention. Members of the groups can use the platform to ask or share about everything from where to get their car fixed, to what to feed their dog, to obtaining a local real estate agent. Many of these posts will get hundreds of comments with recommendations. If a typical Facebook user has had an experience they want to share, not only will their post on their personal page to reach their 200-500 friends, but they will also post on these peer group pages reaching thousands of members.

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So how can you fit social media and user engagement into your marketing strategy for 2018? Consumers want a relationship with the companies they frequent. Think of your brand as a person on social media rather than a business, and engage with your followers. In your Facebook posts, talk to your customers. Show them what goes on behind the scenes that they wouldn’t normally see. Ask them what they thought of your event, sale, or new product, and respond. Make them feel like your business is a part of their community, not just a company.  You can’t stop people from talking about you in their social circles, so become a part of one in your community.

– written by Pamela Fasolo. For help with a social media strategy and management, contact pamela@enradius.com.

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Keep Calm and Facebook On!

Facebook announced big changes to its news feed, but what does this mean for businesses?

In a move that took many by surprise, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is shifting away from news and marketing in favor of social interaction. The news feed has changed dramatically over the years, but this transition seems to be a return to its roots. After all, Facebook has always been a social network. It’s not surprising that they want to show users more personal stories from people they actually know.

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Businesses have relied on posting content to their Facebook pages for years, but the seemingly constant changes to the algorithms made it challenging to find a formula that worked consistently. Recently, there has been a noticeable shift in lower engagement with any post using promotional language. Facebook has been making it clear that if businesses are going to promote themselves on Facebook, they’re going to have to pay. Many are saying this change will increase the cost and amount of ads on Facebook. So why bother keeping up with a Facebook business page?

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On average 60% of all consumers research a business on Facebook. They’re more likely to make a decision about whether to patronize that business based on what they find there. Some of it is influenced by reviews, but it’s also based on how the business acts on social media. An active page with consistent posts is more appealing. It’s an indication to consumers that a business cares about the image they project online.

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Engaging, organic content is the key to beating Facebook at its own game. Gone are the days of highly staged photos and text heavy ads. People want to feel a connection to a business, like they know the story and culture of the company, before they choose to spend their money. This is your opportunity to shine! Showcase what makes your brand unique. Highlight the MVPs on your staff. Give people a behind-the-scenes peek at your workday. Let them know about any community work your business does. Sell them on what makes your company great without having to buy a single ad.

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At Enradius, this is the approach we use with our clients. We take the time to get to know each brand’s culture, so we can show the heart of the company on social media. We work to cultivate the relationships of a brand’s online community. We help build a base of loyal fans who actively engage with the brand. We keep an eye on trends to create genuine content that is timely and relevant. We help our clients weather the changes of the social media landscape whether big or small.

written by Taverlee Laskauskas, Editorial Maven and Social Media Strategist. Contact tav@enradius.com.

Four Tips for Your Small Business

We’re excited about Small Business Saturday and encourage you to #shopsmall this weekend. Here are a few tips from our experts on how to thrive in your community.

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Saturate your local community.

Don’t worry about drawing from 30 miles away if you have neighbors who still need to be introduced to your product. Go for the ‘low hanging fruit.’

 

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Team up.

There are likely other small businesses around you that would like to partner. Meet them and team up on an initiative that serves your community together.

 

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Build relationships.

Both in-person and online. Consider social media as an extension of your in-person handshake. Building an online community that cares is valuable.

 

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Ask for help.

You can’t do it all. If you know marketing is important, but it isn’t your strength or you simply don’t have time for it, let others play that role for you.

4 Tips for High Engagement on Digital Campaigns

posted by Kelly Jarvis
Vice President Digital Strategy – DC

We all want our advertising to be highly successful and send droves of people walking through the door, but we all know that doesn’t always happen. Millions of dollars are spent each year on advertisements that don’t work. Don’t be that guy. Use sound traditional marketing practices with solid knowledge of the digital world and create campaigns that work.

 

In a country where over 6 billion texts are sent each day, 68% of adult Americans are on Facebook, and there are 1.1 billion tablet users worldwide, it’s easy to argue that the place to find people these days is on their devices. You don’t need numbers to realize that. Just look around you in the grocery store line, the subway, or your own home.

 

Here are 4 tips for making your digital campaign worthwhile.

 

1. Know your goal.
What exactly are you trying to accomplish? What defines success? Is it getting viewers to click to the website? Walk through the door with a coupon? Make a direct purchase? Download an app? You have to work toward a specific goal in order to create an effective campaign.
If you’re playing in the digital world, make sure your goals are digital in nature. And make sure you have digital follow up. For example, the next action should be just as easy as the first click. Have a good website. Make a short and easy form. Don’t lose the conversion after you got them to click.

 

2. Create good ads.
This seems obvious, but there are a lot of bad ones out there. Remember: You have two seconds to catch their attention. The old adage ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’ is true! Find pictures that tell your story. Always use a call to action.
To do that well, use the old who, what, when, where, and why. Keep all of these things in mind when choosing profile targeting, creative messaging, and tactics.
WHO are you talking to?
WHAT do you want them to do?
WHEN are they going to see this?
WHERE are they going to see this?
WHY should they care?
If you didn’t consider all of this when creating your ad, then you might just be yelling, ‘ME, ME, ME’ at them instead of asking what THEY want to see/hear from you.

 

3.  Use all available ad sizes.
It’s a bidding war out there on the internet and you’re fighting for every piece of available inventory within the specific group you’re trying to reach. If a user is on a specific website that only uses the 300 x 600 size and you just didn’t include that in your creative, that’s a missed opportunity.  Mobile typically has higher engagement than desktop so that 320 x 50 size better be in the mix. 300 x 250 is very standard and while it doesn’t have as high engagement as some other sizes, you’ll still miss out on some key inventory if you simply don’t provide it. Make all the sizes your digital team recommends…and if they’re not recommending them, find another digital team.
With that said, if high engagement is your goal (see #1) and you have a very large geography and profile, then maybe go all mobile.

 

4. Rotate your creative from the get-go…and regularly throughout.
This is a good plan overall, but especially true if you’re targeting a very specific group. For example, a retail location targeting parents within a 10 mile radius should know that their intended target may see their ad a few times. As you’d imagine, each time they see it, the likelihood of engaging with it goes down. Either they’ve seen it enough and they’re annoyed or they’ve already clicked on it. Make sure you show them something different. Choose a few messages you want to get across and let them tell the story. Maybe you have a generic branding message, one special event, and one special offer that, together, make up the story you want to tell.

 

In a 3 month campaign, make sure you’re switching out (or at least adding in) new creative each month.  And please, make the creative timely. Don’t be talking about snow blowers in May!

 

Lastly, pick a good digital team that can guide you through all of this, bring great experience to the table, and will optimize your campaign over time to make sure you’re getting what you want out of it.

 

kelly head shot in front of church (2) About Kelly:
Kelly’s focus is to use her knowledge of traditional marketing and passion for digital to help businesses learn how to navigate the digital world. She built her career in the DC area in promotions and sales at major broadcast groups, including ABC Radio, CBS Radio, and Clear Channel, then served over 2,000 radio stations across the country to help them evolve to HD Radio Technology. She most recently served as Director of Digital for a Baltimore radio station helping to diversify their digital offerings and was an Enradius client before she joined the team. Kelly’s philosophy is to approach every task with genuine passion and excitement and she thrives on the creativity of finding the perfect audience and perfect message to craft a killer digital campaign.

8 Social Media Tips for your Exhibit

a guest post from Adler Display

Social media is one of the most popular ways to engage audiences at trade shows and conferences. It’s a powerful tool to incorporate into your trade show marketing plan. If done successfully, your exhibit will be buzzing with lots of potential new clients! Here are social media tips for your next show:

  1. Start your social media campaign before the show
    Get your followers excited to see you at the show.  Give them a sneak peak of what products will be presented, along with contests and prizes.  Grabbing attendees’ attention before the show even begins will translate into a crowded booth as soon as the show opens!
  2. Use the show hashtag so attendees can find you
    Join the conversation.  Use the designated trade show hashtag to be part of the online dialogue. Attendees are encouraged to view and use the show hashtag, so it is a great way to be noticed.
  3. Attract attendees to your booth
    Do not say, “Come to booth 123” and expect a crowd.  Attendees are trolling the feed to see where the best booths are with the best gifts.  Invite them to the free book signing you are hosting, or for a free mango smoothie.  And remember to use the show hashtag, otherwise no one will find you!
  4. Share on-site photos & videos
    Statistics show that tweets with images get two times the engagement rate of those without.  We live in a visual world, attendees would rather see, than read.  Share images of your booth, prizes, the show, even your staff at the after-hours cocktail party!  Keep it fun and exciting.
  5. Create your own unique hashtag
    By doing so, you are creating a buzz around your company and booth.  However, if you don’t give attendees a reason to use the hashtag, it will be pretty useless.  For example, create a Twitter or Instagram contest.  Have a backdrop or company prop for attendees to take photos with and post on social media with your unique hashtag. Best photo wins a prize!
  6. Tweet directly to people
    Connnect with your attendees personally, and thank them for stopping by your booth.  Tweeting or direct messaging attendees is an easy method of following up post show.  Ask them to follow you back for company updates, industry tips, and blog posts.
  7. Join the Facebook and LinkedIn Groups
    Ask questions and create buzz within the trade shows groups.  Grab the attention of attendees and other exhibiting companies by sharing blog posts directed to your website or new products you will be promoting at the trade show.  Make yourself relevant and an industry expert.
  8. Have a designated social media team member
    It’s not effective to post here and there… consistency is key!  Have a team member at the show specifically designated to post, engage, and monitor the social media feeds.  When the show opens, the booth and staff members are going to be busy.  This person will be responsible to carry out the detailed social media marketing strategy.

Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, Adler Display brings over 78 years of experience to its clients in need of recognition displays, lobby and corporate interiors, custom exhibits, historical timelines, trade show displays, and signage and graphics. For more information about Adler Display, please visit our website at www.adlerdisplay.com or call us at: 855-552-3537.

Conference Marketing – on premise and off – 5 Winning Strategies That Drive Leads

Conference marketing – on premise and off – 5 winning strategies that drive leads

We know you invest a lot in your conference participation. From booth development and construction, collateral and giveaways, to the staff sent to man it, a conference is no light commitment. Yet so many times up and down the aisles of conferences big and small, there are the winners –  with people lined up to see what it’s all about, and the ones that miss the mark – booth managers sitting dejected behind a dish chock full of give-away pencils.

It’s not always about the product or service at hand. You wouldn’t be at the conference if the topic missed the mark, and people generally don’t go to conferences unless they have an interest in or work in the industry or subject being presented. Therefor we will factor that there is an inherent relevance. Attendees have some level of interest in your offering and you have some level of interest in speaking with them.

So why does it go downhill from there? There are 5 key, easy to identify challenges which many managers find hard to overcome. We’ve provided the strategies that will help you make your conference participation worth the effort.

  • Lack of planning and pre-marketing – Everyone is running a mile a minute leading up to the conference, how can you possibly do any “pre-event” marketing?

How to fix it: Get the list of attendees ahead of time, send a personal note (postcard, email or letter); PIXEL (cookie) the email or landing page of the promoted website where people will go to get more information, and add those individuals to a remarketing campaign counting down the weeks/days to the event. Reaching folks digitally is a great way to stay in front of them with your brand in a fun, consistent way so when they get to the conference, they have instant recognition of who you are and what you do, because of course, you will have read item #2 to reinforce this.

Include a special offer so if they stop by your booth and have the secret code – they get something unique or useful. One of my favorite uses of this tactic was a group who sent out actual invitations prior to the conference, including a branded coffee mug. In the letter, they asked prospects to come by their booth and meet with them to pick up the coffee to go with it (a $10 Starbucks card). Bribery? Maybe – but it worked, and people responded. Remember the theory of inherent relevance. Plus, you control who gets these special offers, tailor them to the industry, have fun with them or make it practical.

Is there a conference app? Most conferences are implementing conference apps like SummitSync to help conference goers network and communicate before the conference, during the conference and to stay connected after. Use it! SummitSync is a social app for conference goers.  You can quickly identify who you want to connect with, make appointments to meet and broaden your network, maximizing your time in attendance.

Use Lists. Have a check off list for everything you need to take, pull everything together a week prior and make sure you know the shipping dates and policies for the event;

Have a calendar – set dates to complete you pre-marketing efforts; your pre-booked appointments, travel times and post event follow up activities. Treat it all as if it was a very important meeting, and you can’t miss any of them.

  • Misalignment of message – whether you’re using up old collateral, brought the wrong banner (see #1) or have untrained people manning the booth – by not having a clearly identified Value Prop, visible everywhere and repeated often – you’re missing out on one of the key reasons for being there – branding and awareness of who you are and what you do.

How to fix it: ALWAYS put your best foot forward. Anything less and people will judge you for it. Invest in the best booth you can, make sure your collateral is up to date or don’t use it – offer an online version instead, organize what you need days ahead – do a mock set up to see how it all looks, and train your people! Give them talking points, arm them with samples, role play and ask challenging questions. Make sure your message and brand are familiar to attendees by following the tactics in #1 and repeat that message throughout the conference.

Reinforce that message by geotargeting the conference center and all the hotels within a logical 1-10 mile radius, and follow up your branding message with digital marketing to targets in the comfort of their hotel room or over dinner in a nearby restaurant.  Put out a NEW special offer to get them to stop by – maybe a conference survival pack with chocolate, water, extra coffee, and some cozy socks for weary feet at the end of a long day. Put your spin on it but make it meaningful. Have people register online for the goody pack and come by the booth to pick it up – that way you have prospect information being collected even while you are hitting the gym off hours.

  • Lack of engagement mechanism – why should people talk to you? Forget the stickers and bingo dots – unless you’re giving away an iPad or a Hover Board what’s going to get people to come talk to you?

How to Fix it: If you’ve done your homework from items #1 & 2 and planted a few seeds, even set up some pre-determined meetings, you’ll have people lining up to see what all the fuss is about. Promote designated times for demonstrations; don’t fall for gimmicks – I once had my photo taken with Cinderella at a health conference – I had absolutely no interaction with the booth who sponsored her – just stood there taking up their booth space saying “Cheese” – Gimmicks might get people to your booth – but not the right people. Instead offer live demos, compelling video on a big screen of people using your product or service and making their lives better because of it, or a Q&A session with the founder or inventor, developer, family, CEO or best client. Better yet – brand yourself ahead of time with special invites to have a personal demonstration or meeting.

  • No follow up plan – If I had a dollar for every business card I’ve seen collected in a fishbowl….

How to Fix it: For every business card collected have a next step identified – is it a call to discuss? – set a day and time as you collect the card, or is it a referral to someone in your organization – send an email intro in the moment. Identify the specific follow up activity for each lead or prospect and assign a deadline. Prioritize. Follow up with the most pressing and most relevant leads first. Delegate. If you have the support, delegate unqualified leads to someone else. In addition, do broad follow up to the list of attendees, reach back out digitally and retarget prospects who ended up opening an email or going to your website, use the conference app to check back in with connections and make the most of your time and budget by not missing a moment to do business with the people you deemed worthy to spend your time with.

  • Tracking for ROI  That’s immediate ROI as in closed deals, potential ROI as in feeding your pipeline, and lifetime ROI as in the long-term value of a newly acquired client or the nurturing and development of a current one. Many organizations fall-down here. It’s all lumped together with every other business development effort.

How to fix it: There’s no reason for this. Today’s technology allows for easier tracking than ever.  Most CRMs provide features to identify leads with source codes. Digital campaigns can be tracked and funneled into your pipeline with campaign codes and even if you are working with simple excel spreadsheets – add a column identifying your lead source. Follow the dollars. Use the data to justify your expense in both materials and time.

Simple improvements in each of these areas will help you shine at your next conference, have a deeper understanding of the impact you are having on your bottom line and make it easier and less stressful as you drive more qualified leads. For more information about geotargeting and retargeting, give us a call today. Enradius 800-838-1184.

*Photo Credit: Adler Display

Top 5 Programmatic Myths-to-Bust

Myth-Busting Programmatic ’s Top 5 Biggest Misperceptions:
Targeting is now easier than ever. With the growing utilization of digital advertising and the plethora of companies offering it, the ability to leverage programmatic geo and demo targeting is at everyone’s fingertips. Despite the increase of use and availability, there are still some major misperceptions in the market: over what programmatic can and cannot do, best practices, and plain-out incorrect information. We’re taking on the top 5 biggest offenders and hoping to set the record straight.

#1. “Hyper Targeting is always the way to go”:
When we have the ability to geotarget a specific address or demographically target as granularly as ‘soccer moms’ in a specific neighborhood, the temptation is to say “heck yeah!” and go all gusto with the targeting strategy. However, there are times that broader is better.

Depending on the product or service, and the specific goals of a campaign, we often encourage our clients not to drill down too deep. The more data layers you add, the higher your CPM (cost per thousand) and the fewer the available impressions. It becomes a balancing act of cost to market penetration. Each data layer eliminates a pool of marketable individuals.

A good example is when given the option to layer in a gender demographic, unless your product or service is only used by or benefiting one gender, don’t do it – adding a gender layer effectively reduces your available reach by 50%. So, if the bigger driver is location, as within a 10-mile radius of your address, adding a layer like females in a specific age bracket, can be detrimental to a campaign.  This specific focus is only effective within a large enough geo reach: highly populated urban centers, entire states, geographic regions like the mid-Atlantic, the South East, or Pacific Coast, and alignment to the product/service needs to be strong. Sometimes we might use a data layer to shrink a market to increase share of voice, but more times than not we are looking for the most available impressions for a campaign. It’s a dance of effectiveness vs targeting, and comes with understanding of the data segmentations, which demos are drivers for a company, and which can be eliminated.

#2.“I can run targeted geo campaigns myself through Google Adwords and Facebook”:
“In general, Adwords is not difficult to use but if you don’t know how to use it correctly, you may end up losing a lot of money.” Digitalmarketingpro.net

This is why we do what we do at Enradius. Researching and negotiating, monitoring and realigning campaigns is just part of the service we offer clients. And it’s a full-time job. Here are the pluses to working with a firm over do-it-yourself:

  • Time – A professional service provider makes life that much easier, more professional, and let’s face it – more effective. And that’s one less thing on your plate.
  • Cost savings – just like filing your taxes, you can do it yourself but at what cost? What are you leaving on the table or letting leak through the cracks? A well executed plan not only drives better results but  puts the most impact behind the dollars you are spending.
  • Optimized campaigns that deliver the best results. This also falls into the time category – monitoring and re-allocating budgets, evaluating A/B campaigns and CTR, generating campaign reports, and fine tuning strategy throughout not only deliver better results but create efficiencies in defining a company best practice. Let us help you understand what works instead of taking shots in the dark.

 “…staff still need to know where to buy, what they’re buying and who they want to target for campaigns. Getting an untrained staffer to start clicking and buying is likely to result in wildly misguided advertising campaigns.” Tech Digest.  The digital landscape is constantly evolving and reinventing itself. Staying on top of and anticipating this change is what makes us an expert.

#3. “One ad fits all”:
Advertising on laptops, tablets and mobile phones have differences which may be subtle to someone not in the know, but if not set up with differences in mind, can tank an otherwise beautiful digital campaign. What we need to plan out is device optimization and cookies. Mobile ads need to be scaled, and cookies are largely ineffective on phone-based browsers. With mobile viewing on the rise, it is a factor that needs to be considered when designing ads and for overall targeting and retargeting strategies.

#4. “It’s all the same”:
Nope – some firms offering digital have access to premium channels, proprietary sites, and unique local inventory not available through anyone else. It’s pretty straight-forward stuff – think of it as a stock market – real time bidding, but instead of stocks, we’re bidding on open ad inventory on behalf of our clients. Available inventory in the ad network, pushed there by participating web publishers, with data on who is visiting their page in real time. We set a bid amount for a certain demographic and geographic target and when that lines up, our ad is pulled down from the network and is visible to the intended target. The myth here that it’s all one ad network is the challenge.  There are networks and then there are networks – we work to ensure that our clients ads are running on solid inventory, not junk inventory.

#5. “It doesn’t work for us”:
So maybe you’ve dipped your toe into digital, tried out a few Adsense campaigns or spent some budget with the local paper who said they can offer you a digital package with your ad buy. All to no avail, there was no capacity to understand the impact it had. We hear this all the time. Unsatisfied advertisers who want to step up their game, who have heard about mind-blowing digital campaigns but haven’t been able to realize it’s potential. Digital campaigns fall down when the legwork doesn’t happen up front. The targeting isn’t vetted or as in myth #1, isn’t necessary; no one is monitoring the campaign-it’s just running on auto-pilot; alignment between goals, targeting strategies and creative is out of whack; or the people selling it don’t really understand what they are selling. We have seen it all.

Given strong alignment between campaign goals, ad creative and landing-page call-to-action with conversion tracking,  with transparency and reporting  to redirect and optimize a campaign, advertisers can expect successful results.

Click Here to learn more about Enradius Targeting Capabilities and Services.

Extend your share of voice with programmatic display using behavioral targeting based on interests like:
Home and Garden – Health – Real Estate – Fashion -Jewelry – Gifts – Sporting Goods – Charitable Giving – Education – Foodies – Events –  Business and so much more.

Premium Facebook and Video marketing will add to the traffic driving to your e-commerce or brick and mortar stores helping you to reach sales goals.