At PHOS, we believe a good leader knows that even their best efforts can always be made better. As part of our commitment to our core value of Leadership, we are always looking for opportunities to further develop our marketing skills and stay ahead of industry trends. In early September, one of our Inbound Marketing Executives, Jennifer, had the opportunity to attend Hubspot’s Inbound conference in Boston, Massachusetts. This 4-day conference attracts over 27,000 marketers from all over the world, offers over 400 educational sessions and features more than 250 speakers who are experts in the field of inbound marketing.
Here are her favorite takeaways from the event:
1) Use Customer Feedback to Build Rabid Fans
In an age where earning customer loyalty and trust is harder than ever, the road to lifetime value is paved with customer feedback. Businesses can leverage customer feedback in the following ways:
- To inform their biggest messaging and position
- To enrich customer data for their front lines
- To surprise and delight their customers
- To help create attention-getting, lead-generating content
- To inform pricing and packaging decisions
- To create a customer advisory council
- To put their customers in the spotlight
- To bring customers closer to employees
How can you find out what your customers are thinking and how they feel about you? Customer feedback can be obtained in a variety of ways including market research, focus groups, SEM ads and in-product messaging.
How likely are your customers to share their thoughts and feelings about doing business with you? Very!
85% of customers are likely to give feedback after having a good experience with a business.
48% of customers are likely to give feedback after a neutral experience with a company and 81% of customers are likely to give feedback after a bad experience.
People want to be heard and understood and your customers are no different! If you take the time to listen, understand, and act on what your customers are thinking and feeling, you’ll create loyal brand advocates and drive revenue growth. (1)
2) Strategically Leverage Instagram’s Features to Create Brand Interest and Convert Leads.
With the emergence of vertical video, marketers are flocking to Instagram Stories in hopes of their brand being able to cut through the sea of noise online. Why?
“The play button is the most compelling call to action on the web.”
Though not the largest social media platform, Instagram is the fastest-growing. Its user base has grown from 150 million users to 500 million users in just two years! In a recent poll, 48% of Instagram users stated they made a purchase because of a brand’s video on Instagram, so marketers are wise to learn how to post engaging content on this growing platform.
What types of content work best on Instagram?
- Behind the scenes
- Event recaps
- Product demos
- Thought leadership
- Hashtag series
And let’s go ahead and debunk the myth that Instagram’s primary value is in building awareness. Savvy marketers are now strategically leveraging Instagram’s features to not only create brand interest but also to convert leads. Customers are likely to hear the name of your company, look you up on Instagram and find themselves ready to purchase by the time they get to your website.
Rather than following the “spray and pray” approach, link the types of posts you create on Instagram to each stage of the customer journey so your customers are encouraged to keep moving through your sales funnel.
And while we all know humor and polished content are praised on Instagram, above all, keep your brand messages authentic. As Zig Ziglar once said, “If people like you they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you they’ll do business with you.” (2)
3) Drive Customer Engagement Through Smarter Email Campaigns
Whether you’re a marketer for a B2C or B2B company, email campaigns are a must to support sales and drive customer engagement. But how do you stand out with your campaigns and ensure you’re “checking all the boxes” while also ensuring that your email is being delivered to your customer’s inbox?
Marketers shouldn’t be overly concerned when a recipient of your email chooses to unsubscribe from future communications. 92% of people who unsubscribe haven’t opened or clicked an email in the last twelve months, so chances are good your brand wasn’t a good fit for that customer anyway.
It’s a fallacy that “most” people unsubscribe because they receive too many emails. Brands like the Gap and Amazon might send one or more emails daily and not lose subscribers. In fact, B2C open rates rise 17% for brands who send at least 5 emails to their list per month and rise 21% for B2B who do the same. This engagement is critical for brands because a big factor in getting to your customer’s inbox and not being caught in the spam folder is the amount of engagement your emails receive (opens and clicks). The more your emails are opened by your list as a whole, the less likely your future emails will be viewed as spam by a blocking program.
When crafting your emails, follow these best practices:
- Include words like “Free”, “Limited time” and “Exclusive” in your subject line to drive open rates. You should never try to create a false sense of urgency however, so don’t use “limited time” if the offer doesn’t expire.
- Use title casing to improve open rates by 14% over standard capitalization
Ex: Make Your Emails More Effective
works better than:
Make your emails more effective
- Advertise a single offer in an email. Advertising a single offer (an offer on one product) is 57% more effective than advertising multiple offers.
- Call out your target audience in the subject line (i.e. “For Non-profit Executives Only) as it may increase your open rate by up to 260%!
While email frequency, time of send and subject line content are all great things to test and measure, the most important thing to keep in mind when sending an email is relevancy for your audience. (3)
4) Dramatically Increase Your Webinar Attendance and Engagement
Have you ever planned a party and no one came? That’s what it can feel like when you plan a webinar with low attendance and engagement. How can you make your next webinar more successful?
- Know your audience
- Uncover their challenges
- Define a magnetic topic
- Deliver on their expectations
Ideally, the webinar should follow a format of:
- Tell them what you’re going to tell them
- Tell them
- Tell them what you told them and call them to action.
You should begin the webinar 3-5 minutes early with an ice-breaker and light banter. Later in the webinar, incorporate a hands-on activity with attendees such as a workbook exercise. Participants who engage in a group exercise or interact with a tool such as the chat feature are more likely to stay until the end of the webinar.
And even if you or your presenters are shy, make sure you turn on the camera! GoToWebinar recently polled a large number of webinar attendees and found that
83% of webinar audiences found webinars more engaging when the presenter was on camera.
It’s also beneficial to include a poll in your webinar such as, “Would you consider your skills in this area to be a beginner? Intermediate? Advanced? By polling your audience, you can get a better read on your attendees, segment your audience and generate research statistics.
When promoting your webinar, email is king! It is the most used tool for webinar promotion and accounts for 70% of all webinar sign-ups.
Don’t forget to follow up with attendees about a week after the webinar with a free gift such as an e-book so you can continue the conversation.
This is just a small portion of the insights Jennifer gained at Inbound!
Digital marketing is ever-changing and what worked for your business yesterday may not be working as well today. If you’ve noticed that engagement with your customers is down, PHOS can help you analyze where your tactics are falling short and assist you in setting up a well-crafted digital marketing strategy that will enhance every online touchpoint of the customer experience and close more of your leads into customers.
- “Lessons from SurveyMonkey: 7 Tips For Using Customer Feedback to Build Rabid Fans and Make More Money by Leela Srinivasan: Chief Marketing Officer, SurveyMonkey
- “Unlocking the Mysteries of Instagram: The Fastest Growing Platform on Social Media” by Jason Hsiao, Chief Video Officer and Co-founder of Animoto
- “Do This, Not That! 20 Best Practices for Email Marketing Campaigns That Drive Customer Engagement” by Jay Schwedelson, President and CEO, Worldata
- “10 Things I’ve Learned from Putting on 500+ Webinars” by Daniel Waas, Director of Marketing, GoToWebinar