What’s Ahead for Social Media: Live Video, Influencers, and Content

social media marketing lessons

Author: Lisa Marcyes

Every year I look forward to the opportunity to travel to San Diego and attend Social Media Marketing World (SMMW) where I get to attend thought-provoking sessions, learn from top leaders in social media, and meet tons of brilliant marketers.

This year was no exception, I found myself furiously jotting down key takeaways I could implement in my everyday strategy. While every session was chock-full of knowledge, here are three takeaways that were echoed across sessions and throughout the conference:

1. Go Live or Get Left Behind

With a quarter of the breakout sessions addressing video this year, it’s clear that marketers need to keep video top-of-mind.

Let’s take a step back and look at the power of live streaming. According to We Are Social Media, Facebook generates 8 billion daily video views, up 700% from just 3 years ago. And people are watching live video three times more than pre-recorded videos on Facebook. Three times! With the advent of easy-to-use apps on mobile, the ability to go live has never been easier, and all of the major social media platforms are betting on a future embedded in live video. In fact, to encourage more video viewership, Facebook adjusted their algorithm so that live videos are more likely to appear higher in news feeds than those that are not.

Still not convinced to go live? Consider the fact that video posts on Facebook have a 135% greater organic reach than photos. In a world where your organic content is seen less and less, that’s a huge advantage you don’t want to miss out on!

We are on the forefront of video becoming the norm. It’s imperative we start incorporating video into our strategies moving forward. But how can marketers ensure they’re doing it right? Create content that educates.

If you create good content, people will engage. I know this can seem oversimplified, but take a step back to think about how YOU can help YOUR CUSTOMERS. Develop an editorial calendar based on what your target audience is most interested in, or challenged by. One of the biggest benefits of live streaming is the ability for your followers to engage with you directly. They can ask questions during the stream and get real-time answers from you. This is an invaluable platform to encourage two-way conversations, opening the door for you to create brand advocates.

When you’re ready to jump all in with live video, here are a few tips to consider:

  1. Test your connection. I’ve had multiple live streaming broadcasts drop due to bandwidth issues (lesson learned). I recommend using a dedicated hot spot, but if you can’t manage that, use a 4G connection at the very least. Facebook’s “Go Live” button will be grayed out if the signal is not strong enough to support it.
  2. Use customer-centric titles. People will join your live stream based on your headline. Be sure to address the “Why should I watch this?” question when creating a live stream title.
  3. Promote your live stream. Let your audience know when you’re going live to encourage participation. Best-selling author Kim Garst says that in order to ensure success, “Have a set time, schedule your event, shout it from the mountain, and use teasers to give a sneak peek.”
  4. Sound matters. It seems like a small thing, but believe me, it can make a BIG difference. Background noise can really make or break a live video. There are now several inexpensive microphones you can get that will provide targeted sound amplification.
  5. Plan for audience participation. To increase engagement, set aside time during your broadcast to ask questions and encourage audience participation. Also, have a strategy in place to capture questions from audience members. Questions can come in quickly, and if you’re mid-thought, you may not catch them. Ask a team member to monitor your stream to catch any questions you may miss.
  6. Repurpose. Extract more value from your live videos by repurposing them. Create short clips, GIFs, image quotes, and Stories. The options are endless.

2. It’s Time to Think About Engaging Influencers

In his session, Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Marketing, cited some pretty interesting statistics. According to his research, businesses that include influencers in their marketing campaigns have seen a 10x increase in conversion rates. Not only that but those customers who convert stick around–influencer campaigns tend to achieve a 37% increase in retention.

Follow these tips to define influencers in your space and start building relationships with them:

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  1. Invest in an influencer marketing program. According to Lee, the best way to approach influencer marketing is to “develop relationships with internal and industry experts with active networks to co-create content that helps drive mutual value and measurable business goals.” That seems easy, right? Well, not really. Developing a relationship takes time. Too often marketers approach influencers with propositions for one-offs, failing to see the value in developing a long-term engagement strategy. Ensure you have the dedicated resources in place to develop and implement a program around influencer engagement, rather than looking at it as a project that gets funding here and there when there’s extra budget.
  2. Obtain the right tools. According to the TopRank Blog, nearly 55% of consumer brands have an integrated influencer marketing program that they invest in annually, while only 15% of B2B marketers do. I think this can be attributed to the fact that it can often be easier to identify influencers in the B2C realm (think YouTube sensations, celebrities, athletes, etc.). If you’re a B2B marketer, it may require a little more research to figure out who the movers and shakers are in your industry, but know that they exist. I guarantee there are experts in every field that have credibility and sway. Obtaining an influencer marketing tool will help you to not only identify who you should be interacting with but also help you engage and measure your return on those relationship investments.
  3. Think outside the box. Think about the different ways that you can create and build a sustained relationship with each influencer. Develop microcontent like quotes, tips, and tricks you can incorporate throughout several pieces of content. Interview them and resource the answers into blogs, ebooks, and guides. Ask them to join a Tweet Chat. The more creative you can be, the better! We created a 31 Influencers to Follow in 2017 holiday campaign that revealed a new influencer to follow each day with animated bitmojis.

3. Content and Social Are in This Together

Content and social media are intersecting more and more frequently. This is no surprise to those on the front lines because we’re increasingly seeing the need for closer collaboration.

Quality content is the key to any successful social media strategy. Users who find content interesting, unique, and informative will freely share it on their social channels, leading to higher engagement. In turn, analyzing that engagement can inform marketers how their content is resonating with their target audience. It’s a cyclical relationship—informing and depending on each other. This relationship is even more critical as we jump into the realm of live streaming and video.

For example, in her session, Kim Garst revealed how she scales live videos into a plethora of content to post. Here are a few of her suggestions:

  • Turn a live video into a blog post on the same topic.
  • Create 1-minute video clips of your main talking points.
  • Highlight a few quotes from your live stream and in graphics.
  • Strip the audio from your video and convert it into a podcast.

Whether you’re new to the world of social media marketing or a seasoned professional, the one thing you can depend on is change. The good news is that you’re not alone in your endeavors. There are leaders in the field who are willing to share what they’re learning, providing us with fresh ideas and new ways to look at things. I’m so excited to see what’s next!

Do you have any social media marketing best practices you’d like to share? If so, I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

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What’s Ahead for Social Media: Live Video, Influencers, and Content was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. | http://blog.marketo.com

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4 Big Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Marketing Personas

creating buyer personas

Author: Hally Pinaud

Creating and maintaining buyer personas has been an important task in every role I’ve held as a marketer. Why is that? Personas–when built and used correctly–are a very effective way to channel real empathy for your buyers. That empathy makes it easier to drive winning strategies across the customer lifecycle through campaigns, content, nurture paths, account plans, and sales collateral.

They also happen to be one of the things I speak with our customers about most frequently–hence this blog post! So, whether you’re looking to create your first persona or double-check your approach, here are four things that can limit the impact of your personas:

Mistake #1: Your Personas Were Made in a Vacuum

Have you spoken with your personas lately? No, I’m not talking about some kind of weird, talking-to-a-PDF kind of activity. I mean, have you interviewed the people who would correspond to each persona’s defining factors, specifically to validate that persona? From what I’ve observed, this is one of the most common mistakes when it comes to creating personas.

These “lab grown” personas stem from assuming you know your personas well enough without external validation. Maybe because your organization is pretty open and you have good proximity to prospects and customers. Or maybe you’ve lived in the persona’s shoes yourself (this is a big one–it’s something I struggle with here at Marketo). Lived experiences are valuable, but me, myself and I is a limited and biased sample. Customer and prospect pools are inherently exclusionary.

Luckily, it’s easier to fix than you think: send out some emails and set up some 30-minute interviews. Start with a handful of people–a mix of customers, prospects, and total strangers who look like your persona–and ask them about the details your persona documents. Pro tip: It can be tough to find willing strangers to interview, but a combo of colleagues’ networks, LinkedIn InMails, and $50 Amazon gift cards will get you anywhere.

Mistake #2: You Aren’t Sharing

Hey there, persona hoarder. I see you. You made that great persona and you’re using it to drive your messaging and marketing programs, aren’t you? But have you walked your demand generation team through the persona they’re creating nurture programs for? What about sales or customer success? Have you printed it out so they can tape it to the inside their decks like a Leonardo DiCaprio poster circa 1997? (Always an option.)

 

Your customer-facing colleagues need to exercise those empathy muscles to do their jobs well. If you aren’t sharing your fresh, validated persona knowledge, they’re going to make it up as they go. So, train and retrain on buyer personas often. Ensure they’re easy to find among your internal content resources and welcome questions, contributions, and ideas from folks who deal with these people each and every day. Personas should make us all better at what we do.

Mistake #3: You’re Fixating on Cute–Not Helpful–Details

A lot of marketers characterize their personas with photos or names. To be clear, those details can be a good thing. It helps humanize a generalized portrait of your buyer and makes it easier for folks on your team to use a persona as a reference point. For example, “Would Emily the Email Specialist want to read this blog post? What tone would she respond to?” The problem I have is when those details run amok.

Emily has a French Bulldog. She drives a Jeep Liberty. She only reads People Magazine when she gets her hair done.

Really? Do those details help your team make better decisions about how to reach Emily? Maybe, if you sell dog sweaters or hair products. Otherwise, elevate your persona details to focus on what will drive business outcomes and catch yourself before you get carried away on the nitty gritty when it doesn’t.

Mistake #4: Your Persona Is Frozen in Time

This is an easy one: update your personas! Revisit them every quarter or two, especially if they’re critical personas like a budget holder or key decision-maker. Yes, we’re busy as marketers, but if your personas haven’t been touched since they were researched during the last Winter Olympics, your hopelessly out-of-date Rip Van Persona might not be helpful anymore. In fact, it may be causing more harm than good–buyers’ challenges, goals, and trusted resources can evolve rapidly in the digital age.

Want to learn more about creating and maintaining personas? I share these tips and a few other persona perspectives in a recent Marketo Live interview with the delightful Ellen Gomes.

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4 Big Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Marketing Personas was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. | http://blog.marketo.com

The post 4 Big Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Marketing Personas appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.