Consumer packaged goods… You mean content packaged goods

Consumer packaged goods are leading the charge in millennial marketing initiatives. Although as marketers, we wouldn’t be surprised to hear luxury or lifestyle brands, such as the LVMH collection or Mercedes-Benz were pioneering, experimenting with, and testing new marketing tactics; we were delighted to learn that CPGs were making bold strides in these same efforts. Consumer packaged goods are leading the way on some of the most innovative marketing trends of 2016. Here’s why:

They aren’t afraid of experiential marketing:

CPGs are often competing in mature or saturated markets, so they are more willing to take a big swing and learn quickly during times of fierce competition. Within the last decade, experiential marketing has become a new – somewhat experimental – marketing tactic to attract CPG consumers. Companies such as Redbull have used experiential marketing events to bolster their brand image, in this case, with adventure and energy. Event marketing transports potential customers into an alternate version of their lifestyle in which their products have transformed their day-to-day lives. Even when these events or guerrilla marketing experiences are an exaggerated version of their products’ value proposition, the emotions participants feel during these events last longer than any traditional advertisement ever could. This type of marketing is especially effective for new product launches or brand refreshing efforts.

They have nailed the art of storytelling:

No one tells a story better than Oreo. In their latest advertising campaigns, Oreo shows how sharing their time-honored cookie brings families and individuals closer together. Watching a little boy share an Oreo before bedtime with his father, who has video conferenced into his son’s bedroom before his morning meeting half way across the globe in Hong Kong, transforms the simple pleasure of eating a cookie into a family tradition. Brands such as Coca-Cola have taken a similar approach to elevate feelings of goodwill around the holidays, while the laundry detergent brand Tide captures the relief of simplifying everyday life amidst the chaos of children, pets, multiple schedules, and ubiquitous stains. Storytelling is a powerful tool when used in traditional advertising campaigns and shareable content on social media because it allows consumers to think about CPGs in a new way.

Celebrity sponsorship is not a dirty word:

CPGs have also benefitted tremendously with millennials by seeking celebrity endorsements. Although there is no illusion that these brand partnerships are organic, CPGs have learned (and leveraged) the power of our youngest generation’s fixation on celebrity lifestyles. Cindy Crawford may have started it with her Pepsi endorsement in the 80’s, but every time a celebrity stands next to a CPG, sales increase approximately 20%—yes, even with a B-list name. It may sound counterintuitive to today’s modern marketers who are used to bending over backwards to build brand trust, but we already told you that consumer packaged goods were daring to be different.

It may not always make sense, but we know these companies aren’t spending millions of dollars for a few seconds during the Super Bowl halftime for nothing. If you want to think outside the box (literally), CPGs are a great place to seek new ideas and marketing trends you may not have considered before. Our team of marketing enthusiasts have a few tricks up our sleeves that we learned from watching the best of the best CPG brands. Click here for a few more tips.

10 Social media content marketing masterminds you need to know

Let’s get social! If you’re looking for your next #FollowFriday, #MarketingCrushMonday, or #WisdomWednesday post, look no further. Here is a full line up of our favorite social media content marketing masterminds. They are experts in their own category, so it’s no surprise that their social accounts are packed with marketing tips and digital trends that your business can’t live without. In addition to boosting your social presence, connecting with these social media content marketing masterminds will give you an inside track into the best digital marketing techniques and trends to steal right now.

Neil Patel – @neilpatel:

Aside from his impressive resume starting @CrazyEgg and @Kissmetrics, Neil Patel’s social media following has a near cult-like allure thanks to his pithy and user-friendly social media content marketing guides. He regularly serves up marketing tips and tools for his followers that will have you liking and sharing time and time again (think: Is your content marketing strategy in line with your competition and Twitter advertising guides?).

Sandy Carter – @sandy_carter:

Being a popular social powerhouse, TEDtalk veteran, #socbiz champion, and General Manager of IBM’s Social Business Evangelism team earns Sandy Carter a top spot on our list of social media content marketing masterminds. Her content is always relevant, laced with humanity and humor, and about how we use social media to change the marketing landscape.

Michael Stelzner – @mike_stelzner

Social Media Examiner (@SMExaminer) is one of the most popular social media content marketing blogs on the market. Whether you’re beginning your career in social media and content marketing, or a seasoned veteran, Social Media Examiner provides clear insights into the latest social media trends. Founder and owner Michael Steizner serves as a very human voice and face behind the site. As a a father, man of faith, and inspirational speaker, it’s hard not to get on board with his personal (and professional) social brand.

Shama Hyder – @Shama:

You know you’re an OSMG (original social media gangster) when your Twitter handle is simply your first name. Shana Hyder was ranked by Forbes as one of their top 30 under 30 after founding Social Media Marketing Zen. She recently released a new book called #Momentum, which discusses the power of digital and social marketing for today’s brands, so we expect lots of great things – and Tweets – out of Shama in the months to come.

Sheryl Sandberg – @sherylsandberg:

What list of social media influencers would be complete without Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg? Sheryl’s own story shows the power of content marketing and how it can transform our lives and our brands. In Sheryl’s New York Time’s bestselling novel, Lean In, she shares her personal evolution and what it takes to be a successful digital marketing and social media expert. Each day, her posts on social media remind followers how to define their own definitions of success.

Melonie Dodaro – @MelonieDodaro:

It’s easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamor of social media sites such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook; but LinkedIn remains one of the most engaged social user sites and boasts the strongest socioeconomic consumer base potential. Melonie Dadaro shares her perspective on how to harness the power of this professional platform in her book, The LinkedIn Code, as well as through her social media content marketing sites and blog.

Brian Halligan – @bhalligan:

Brian Halligan is, without question, THE king of inbound marketing. When he founded @HubSpot a few years ago, no one could have guessed the massive revolution he was starting. His posts give you an inside look into the vision behind his thought leadership and the wave we know as content marketing and inbound strategy. He is an expert social marketer and eager to share his knowledge.

Mari Smith – @MariSmith

Instagram ads, Facebook reach, and content engagement, oh my! Indeed, Mari Smith has a handle on it all. Her reputation hinges on a deep understanding of social media content marketing and Facebook content generation. She is a regular speaker and blogger, musing on everything from how to build social influence to how to write content.

 Leo Widrich – @LeoWid

Just because we’re talking social media content marketing, doesn’t mean you can do without analytics. COO and founder of @buffer, Leo Widrich is an analytics expert who will earn and keep your attention, we promise. His straightforward assessments of how social media and digital marketing tools drive key performance metrics make analytics accessible without getting bogged down with technical jargon.

Ann Smarty – @SEOSmarty

Ann’s primary focus is on SEO, but her debut blog, ViralContentBuzz.com, focuses on the power of viral content marketing and how social influence can revolutionize your conversion efforts. Her social media presence is, itself, a testament to the power of shareable content and how to increase your audience through inbound marketing and true viral buzz.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to connect with us via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to stay current with our company culture. Who knows, maybe you’ll be on our next social media masterminds list.

Grow your email marketing list like a boss with these 5 resources

We have what can only be described as a good news, bad news scenario to share with you. Let’s start with the bad news. According to HubSpot, one of our favorite inbound marketing partners, your email marketing list, loses approximately 22.5% of its subscribers every year. The good news is, email marketing is still one of the most lucrative and highly engaged consumer channels you have in your arsenal of marketing tools. Now just imagine what your ROI could be if you were growing your email marketing list at a 22.5% annual rate! To help you grow your email marketing list like a boss and turn those subscribers into qualified leads, we recommend these five tips and resources. 

1. Stop losing subscribers:

We’ve all heard the saying that retaining a customer is more valuable (and less expensive) than finding a new customer. The same holds true for your email marketing list. Before turning your focus toward inbound marketing tactics to grow your list, make sure your current content marketing strategy is relevant to your reader base and target audience. Great content keeps your current users engaged and makes the rest of these recommendations easier to implement and maintain. For ideas on how to energize your content marketing strategy and keep users engaged, we love Contently’s Content Strategist blog.

2. Make opting-in to your email marketing list easy:

If you have great content: share it. And make it easy for your readers to come back for more. Add subscribe buttons to your employees’ email signatures, share your content with an opt-in link via social media, include a newsletter or blog subscription button on every page and in your footer. Every inbound marketing and email lead may discover your content and website through different channels, so don’t assume that your visitors know where to look to subscribe to your email list or learn more about your brandYour opt-in buttons should be ubiquitous throughout your site along with inbound marketing efforts you have in market. Get crisp on how to unclutter your site, reduce competing CTA’s, and create a hierarchy of marketing information for your customers on Unbounce. This go-to conversion site will help you understand how to make opting-in to your email marketing list easier than ever.

3. You can’t go wrong with email marketing promotions:

One of the quickest and easiest ways to build a solid email marketing list is to offer promotions or contests. Think about the last time you logged onto a retail site and traded your email for a discount code or chance to win free merchandise. The exchange is a win-win situation. The customer gets a promotion, and the brand receives your email information. Provided your content strategy is strong, this customer will keep coming back and engaging with your products as you email new promotions or share interesting content. Use CoSchedule to help you plan a content and promotional calendar that will tee up critical offers throughout the year that will be relevant to your target audience.

4. Don’t forget about social sharing:

Help your current customers and advocates help you by adding social sharing to your current email campaigns (check out EmailDesignReview.com for great ideas on how to creatively place sharing buttons), and to all your inbound marketing content. As people share your content, more people will sign up for your email marketing list to get in on the action. Social sharing is one of the main reasons your content marketing needs to be strong. Good content means more shares and more email leads.

 5. YOU should be sharing too:

It should go without saying that you should be sharing your own content too. If you aren’t tempted to share your blog posts, emails, and promotions with friends and family or ask people to opt in your list at networking events, chances are your content marketing isn’t good enough yet. If you’re not ready to drink your own Kool-Aid, ask yourself why. And then fix it. Team up with other passionate people in your office and transform your email marketing strategy into something you are proud to promote.

You should know that we’re here to help. View our email marketing service page to see how we’ve helped other brands like you balance a flawless email marketing campaign. Together, we can do more.

5 inbound marketing strategies to attract quality leads

Many marketers believe that lead generation is an expensive, laborious task. And, sure, it can be… but it doesn’t have to be. Strong inbound marketing campaigns and robust content strategies can help you and your business generate highly qualified leads without blowing all your resources in one place.
Over the next quarter, pick one or two of our top five lead generation and inbound strategy tips to test with your customers. You’ll be surprised at how simple and effective these tools can be to engage new (and former) customers.

1. Personalized content and inbound marketing:

Using personalized content to spur inbound marketing activity is one of the most effective ways to generate qualified leads. Personalized content is three times more likely to generate clicks and leads than non-personalized content. Whether you send emails using your customers’ first names or grab their attention or leverage retargeted display ads reminding customers of items they previously browsed, highly personalized content is a great way to keep your product top of mind and nudge customers toward the lead or purchase funnel.

2. Social media incentives:

Social media is another lynchpin in a strong lead generation and inbound strategy. Turn your current customers into advocates and encourage them to share your content, invite friends to visit your homepage, and review your products online. This increases natural exposure to your site and encourages new customers to reach out and get to know your brand better. Reviews and recommendations are one of the most trusted referral sources for new customers, so don’t underestimate the power these simple social tools can have on your lead generation capabilities.

3. Clear features and benefits invite customers to your inbound marketing campaign:

Content marketing strategy starts with wrapping each and every one of your product features in customer benefits. Focus on the direct business benefits or lifestyle perks your product is associated with. As customers project themselves into your brand lifestyle while reading blogs or seeing clear product benefits in a well placed Instagram campaign, they will be encouraged to do more research and seek out additional information about your brand. As they self select into your target audience, onto your landing pages, and into your social campaigns the inbound leas will roll in.

4. Email campaigns:

Even though email marketing sometimes gets a bad wrap thanks to increased anti-spam laws and a deluge of, well, spammy email marketing, it can be a highly effective lead generation tool when used properly. To revitalize traditional email lead campaigns, we suggest going way outside the box. Host an event (you’ll be shocked at the number of qualified leads your ticket sales yield), partner with a local charity or institution to tag-team off their email lists, or offer crazy-shareable flash email sales that beg to be forwarded. This radical take on email campaigns will drive inbound marketing leads as customers are tempted to share, attending, and engage with your website. 

5. Affiliate partnerships

The saying that two heads are better than one is especially true for lead generation. Affiliate partnerships let you align your brand with another organization that shares your mission statement or vision. You can create exclusive content, deals, or experiences for your shared audience and enjoy a halo effect of positive vibes, qualified leads, and customer purchases. Affiliate partnerships are especially good for generating qualified leads and inbound marketing benefits because you can pool resources and creativity to do more with less.

These five tips and tricks are so easy, you might not even think you’re generating leads, which is why inbound marketing is such a powerful tool to find customers who are pre-qualified to love your brand.

 

Learn here how the team at BIGEYE aligns your inbound marketing strategy towards success.

4 tips to build a lead generating content marketing strategy

Chances are, the saying “content is king” has been drilled into your head by everyone from top inbound content marketing organizations such as Hubspot, to lead generation experts such as Marketo’s VP of Demand Generation Heidi Bullock, to your fresh-faced MBA intern with killer ideas to supercharge your company blog. It’s safe to say we all agree that good content results in better leads and more engaged users. The question is: how does content actually generate leads?
Once you have a storehouse of shareable, interesting, and educational material, what do you do to harness it’s qualified lead generation potential? Here are four tips to help you build a strong content marketing strategy tailored to your business needs.

1. Content marketing secures leads:

One of the most effective ways to secure qualified leads is through gated content. If you know your target audience will really want to read your blog post or latest tutorial, put it behind a digital gate. Before downloading or accessing the content, prospective customers will need to provide their email address or other contact information. The catch is making sure customers receive enough value from this content to outweigh their hesitation of being spammed after they provide their contact information. Ask yourself if you would give your email address away for the content before gating anything. If you have even a moment’s hesitation, it’s time to promote a new content king. Also, make sure your content marketing targets top of funnel prospects. While gating a product “how-to” PDF may get you lots of leads, chances are these leads have already signed up for a free trial and are ready to use your product. Stick with information that is tangentially related to your product, or of interest to your target audience but that doesn’t directly apply to current users.

2. Plan ahead, create a content calendar:

Sharing the right content at the right time is a key ingredient when generating leads for your content marketing strategy. Freakonomics author, Steven Levitt, shares a story about a hardware company that tried to measure the ROI of their newspaper ads against their digital spend. Because the digital advertisements only ran the day before major consumer holidays (think: Black Friday and Father’s Day), whereas the newspaper ads ran every Sunday, the ROI of the digital ads looked substantially higher than the newspaper placements. It’s not that the content in the digital ads was more effective than the newspaper ads, but rather, that the content was being served at the right time for the customer. Understand your target audience’s sales cycle, when they shop, where they shop, and when promotions will most likely appeal to them. Craft content that hooks them in around these key sales triggers so you always have a few pieces of highly effective lead generation material locked and loaded throughout the year.

3. Search landing pages:

Congratulations! If you – like almost every other company out there – spend any money on paid search advertisements, you are probably wasting plenty of that money when your current customers click your search ads to log into your site or access their account information. The good news is, we have a solution. We recommend a two-pronged approach to solve this problem and ensure your customers and prospects are finding the right information in the right places. First, tailor your search ads toward non-branded terms that are related to your product and spend less on your brand name itself. This way, customers who are searching for products like yours will find your landing page, but current customers who already know you, will be more likely to click an organic search page rather than a paid ad. Next, splurge on an amazing copywriter or agency to tackle your landing page. Your landing page should introduce your product, give customers enough information to tease them into wanting to learn more, and then direct them to a trial sign up, gated content, or sales funnel.

4. Blog posts and viral leads:

Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget about the power of your blog posts. If you are consistently writing relevant, interesting content, people will want to keep visiting your blog. As they sign up for your newsletter or opt in to your email list, you’ll receive an influx of exceptional leads. Nurture them with email offers and right-for-me content that keeps them coming back again and again. As an added bonus, each time these followers share your content, you have the chance to gain new leads through their viral exposure. Even if you can only dedicate an hour a week to your blog, or partner with an agency to craft content on your behalf, you’ll be priming your business for a self-renewing pipeline of business leads.

These four tips are simple, straightforward, and highly effective in transforming content into customers. And chances are, if you already have a content marketing strategy, these lead generation tips will easily fit into your existing plan.

 

Here’s how the team at BIGEYE builds a solid Content Marketing Strategy.

How to build a kick ass B2B content marketing strategy

A flawless B2B content marketing strategy starts with clearly understanding that B2C customers don’t act like B2B customers. For the most part, yes, the customer is always right, and yes, your purchasers are still customers; but there are a few fundamental differences between B2B and B2C sales cycles that you need to understand in order to successfully build B2B content. Before you build your content marketing strategy, it’s important to understand these distinctions.

B2B vs. B2C customers:

Before we go any farther, let’s frame the key differences between B2B and B2C customers.

  • B2B sales are usually larger, enterprise purchases
  • Security, technical or installation requirements, and ROI are (usually) very important to B2B customers
  • B2C purchases are often driven by emotion, whereas B2B purchases tend to be more pragmatic
  • Legacy B2B purchase rely on longer sales cycles and deep, trusted relationships between buyers and consumers
  • Large corporations buy differently than small or medium sized businesses

While these are all generalities, remembering these five facts will help you effectively frame a content marketing strategy worthy of the most seasoned business badass — no matter how big or small your company, or your target audience’s companies are.

The two no’s: no fluff and k(NO)w your audience

If you take nothing else from this post, remember the two no’s.

First, no fluff. Business content should clearly communicate your product’s unique value proposition or provide information that your target audience needs to do business. Business jargon and marketing fluff that boost your SEO ranking or fill up your website pages won’t be enough to close a sale for price sensitive startups or heavy hitting CEOs.

… Which is why you need to k(NO)w your audience. Realize that B2B transactions are solving for a customer pain point, so it’s important to understand those needs and communicate what your product does to solve them up front. In that vein, it’s important to realize that the person who is trying or testing your product or researching possible solutions in market, may not be the ultimate decision maker or purchasing power. Provide information that will satisfy both personas so your researcher can sway the ultimate decision maker effectively. To do this, we usually recommend a balance of clear, data-driven information about your product and content marketing moments that let your brand personality shine.

A kickass B2B content marketing strategy starts with thinking with the customer in mind first. And while that isn’t any different from crafting a stellar B2C content marketing strategy at all, it may inform your tone, information architecture, and help frame your features and benefits more clearly for your business user.

Now, click here to see how the professionals build a kick ass content marketing strategy.