Social Selling is the use of social media to interact directly with prospects, to answer questions and offer thoughtful content until the prospect is ready to buy.
Social selling is not hard selling. In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s about discovering people who may eventually be interested in what you’re selling – then making yourself useful to them. For salespeople, especially in B2B industries, its purpose is to establish relevance to prospects rather than interrupt their daily lives with cold calls and sales pitches.
It’s not a buzzword. It’s a real way for generating revenue and results. Here are 27 facts about salespeople who are Social Selling.
IBM saw an Increase of 400% in sales in a Social Selling Pilot Program (source: IBM)
Native Advertising is a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it’s placed.
In 2011, it didn’t exist as a paid media channel.
In 2013, native advertising is a $3.7 billion media industry, 56% larger than social display ads (source: eMarketer),
But, for all the money being poured into native advertising, does it generates revenue for the businesses that use it? Does it “Show Me the Money” to advertisers and marketers?
Here are 4 native advertising case studies that prove ROI.
DIGITAL MARKETER: has an offering called Authority ROI. It is a course designed to teach bloggers how to make money for their blogs by treating them like media properties They use Twitter’s Promoted Tweets for this campaign. Because the ads are “native”, they look just like any other tweet. There’s no mention of a product. There’s no selling. They build three “native worthy” landing pages with informative articles. The ROI of Twitter Promoted Tweets is +198% based on the :
9.71K Engagements (this benefits us on Twitter well beyond this campaign)
$0.27 Cost Per Engagement
$7,937.85 in Revenue
GE: is showcasing young innovators on the Jimmy Fallon show in a native property called “GE Fallonvention.” As GE’s executive director of global brand marketing, Linda Boff, explained, GE is “leaning in” to native advertising more and more. The multinational conglomerate has been one of the early adopters of the “brand as content creator” trend, using social media platforms and online media partnerships to establish itself as more than a brand that makes big machines, but rather a brand that cultivates and supports a culture of innovation and invention. “Great content can come from a lot of different places, but funnily enough, it seems to be traditional media can get a little more attention when it comes to native,” she said. The first segment has gotten 333,106 views on YouTube so far, and, according to Boff, the video completion rate is 92 percent.
MINI USA: has a program with BuzzFeed since 2012. BuzzFeed COO Jon Steinberg explains the objective on SlideShare: “The primary goals of MINI’s collaboration with BuzzFeed were to continue broadening awareness for the brand slogan ‘Not Normal’, emotionally engage with its audience, and enhance perception of MINI as a fun brand.” On BuzzFeed alone, the first articles has more than 100,000 likes, is shared 35,000 times and were tweeted 7,000 times. As a result of the native ad campaign, the number of those who would consider buying a MINI as their next car has increased by 35.8%. The statement ‘MINI is a brand that stands for fun’ was supported by over 50% more test participants at the end of the campaign.
NEWS CRED: is a B2B SaaS company that use LinkedIn Sponsored Updates, other native advertising and Google Adwords. They are looking for these vehicles to drive: 1) Names: At the earliest stage of the sales cycle, they identify names and contact info of prospects, 2) Leads: Names converts to a lead when the person expresses real sales interest, 3) Opportunities: Leads convert to opportunities when the have successful meetings with leads who show intent to buy and 4) Closed Won Deals: Opportunities convert to closed won deals when contracts have been signed. In terms of ROI, for every $1 spent on LinkedIn Updates, News Cred earned $17.60 in revenue; for other native advertising, the ROI was $1 returned $14.60 and for Google Adwords the ROI was $1 returned $3.10.
If you’re interested in native advertising and ROI, the IAB is conducting a Native Advertising eCourse beginning August 5th. It consists of three online course of one hour each.
Do these case studies convince you of the ROI of native advertising? Do they tell you, for native advertising to “Show Me the Money,” marketers has to spend money or have a strategy for how that money makes money?
Content marketing is the marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant, and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action.
How important is content marketing to profitably running a business?
The marketing decisions any company on the internet has to make is how to invest between “owned,” (a website, video, CRM system), “earned,” (communications that commented, liked and/or shared) and “paid” (ads – search, display, banner, native) properties. Anything a company can do is going to fit in one of these areas.
What sort of return should your company expect from content marketing investments in these areas? Here are 30 hard facts about the content marketing to drive ROI.
A brand voice is how a brand speaks to its audiences.
It connects a vision, mission and values to a personality; done well, it’s is relevant, timely and builds relationships that last. It’s the human face for a business or company. It’s an expression of the people behind the brand. It sets your company apart and builds trust.
Particularly in the digital channel, with the depth of information on a website and publishing opportunities available through social media, it is an essential consideration to your brand platform
Here are 11 ways to find your brand voice.
GET IN THE PRACTICE OF STORYTELLING: In marketing a product, you search for a “unique selling proposition.” For your brand voice, you tell your “unique story.” Every brand has one. They just have to find it. Tell it is small, manageable chapters to learn what resonates with your audience. Don’t be afraid to re-tell it.. If it means something to your audience, they’ll want to hear it again.
LOOK FOR YOUR ARCHETYPE: To help tell your story, the term “archetypes”, as it is used in marketing, has its origins in Carl Gustav Jung’s theories. He believed that universal, mythic characters— archetypes—reside within the collective subconscious of people the world over. Archetypal images represent fundamental human desires and evoke deep emotions. There are 12 archetypes which symbolizes a basic human need, aspiration or motivation. For example, Disney is the Innocent; Jeep is the Explorer and Nike is the Hero. There is an archetype that is a fit with your brand to guide in telling your unique story.
DEVELOP YOUR LANGUAGE: To address the needs of our audience, develop the language that stands for the problems your brand solves. Your expertise. What your business does, or makes or provides better than anyone else. It’s not only your differentiation but the keywords help be found on the internet.
CREATE BUYER PERSONAS: A representation of your ideal buyers based on market research and real data about your existing customers are buyer personas. They provide tremendous structure and insight for your company. Buyer Personas help you to have better conversations that attract the most valuable visitors, leads, and customers to your business
SHOW YOUR AUDIENCE YOU SHARE THEIR VALUES: How you relate to your audience is not just what you offer but the values you have in common. They are established through conversation, dialogue and action. They form bonds that can carry you through a crisis.
DEFINE YOUR COMMUNICATION CHANNELS: 54% of people find a website through natural search; 32% through social networks and 28% from links from other websites according to Forrester. While it’s important to broadcast, it is more more to know the different benefits of each channel. For example, Twitter may be the best channel for spreading your content, Facebook for sharing, LinkedIn for comments and email marketing for speaking to key customers. This help to manage your time and expectations.
PRACTICE THE 80/20 RULE: There is an 80/20 rule the Content Marketing Institute finds to me true about content for brands. 80% of content should be about your customers and trying to solve customer challenges. 20% can be sales-related and talk about products and services. This is a good guideline to observe.
BE AUTHENTIC, CONSISTENT AND HUMAN: Regardless of what product or service you offer, customers are drawn to brands that deliver on honesty and authenticity. Whether it’s through tweets, blogposts, webinars, or any other type of communication, make sure you’re a true problem-solver. Since it plays a crucial role in ensuring brands come through on that act of integrity, brands need to engage in conversations to build long-term relationships.
LISTEN TO YOUR AUDIENCE: If you ask someone what they need, they might not know. But if you listen carefully to what problems they are having, then you just might figure out what they’d really like to see from you.
BE WILLING TO CHANGE: There’s something to be said for staying consistent, but, if you learn something new by listening, be willing to change. An enduring brand voice is one that stays relevant because is able to adapt to changing needs and tastes..
WALK YOUR TALK: Substantiate your voice with your actions. Respond to detractors when they come out. Get back to people in a timely manner. Offer proof points that you deliver on what you say. Do unto your audience as you would like them to do unto you.
Does you brand have a voice? What is it that sets it apart? How does your business tell its unique story?
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are quantifiable measurements, agreed to beforehand, that reflect the critical success factors of an organization. They will differ depending on the organization.
Erica Olsen of OnStrategy explains in this brief video what KPIs are, why you choose the metrics that matter most and how to set up a KPI dashboard as an actionable scorecard to keep your strategy on track.
But it takes work to align a company around common goals, establish key metrics and create regular reporting. Is it worth the effort? Here are 21 reasons every business should have KPIs.
CLARIFIES EXPECTATIONS: What is expected can be communicated in a clear and unambiguous manner
DIRECTS BEHAVIORS: Unless you explain how to measure progress and success, people create their own assumptions and follow them
FOCUSES ATTENTION: When people are faced with so many competing demands on their time and resources, what is measured tends to get their attention – particularly when it is linked to reward systems
IMPROVES EXECUTION: If you don’t measure, it’s a lot harder to know what to execute
INCREASES OBJECTIVITY: Management is by facts instead of feelings and instincts
MAKES PERFORMANCE VISIBLE: It puts what is most important out in the open
FACILITATES FEEDBACK: Feedback in the form of timely, relevant measures is the basic navigational device of any individual or organisation
IMPROVES DECISION MAKING. One of the major causes of failure in decision-making is poor or non-existent use of data
REDUCES UNNECESSARY OPINIONS: Instincts and gut feelings may have a place in business analysis but they are mostly relevant to the person who has them. But one clear visualization of key data can clarify a thousand opinions
QUANTIFIES ACHIEVEMENT: Progress is measured by impact on goals and measured against a standard or target
PROVIDES FOCUS WHEN THERE IS CHAOS: When an unexpected competitive development or operational snafu occurs, there is a clear picture of the direction what really matters
IDENTIFIES ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS: Because key metrics are chosen, insights are clearer and easier to identify
ACHIEVES TARGETS SET BY STRATEGY: If analysis is based on a strategic goal and cause and effect analysis, it’s easier to identify steps that enable your organization to hit key business targets
MEASURES VITAL ACTIVITIES: In addition to enabling company to hit key targets, KPIs identify the vital activities that enable companies to hit them again.
IDENTIFIES NEED FOR RESOURCES: No one likes having their budget cut. When your key measurements are established, the need for funding or staff is easier to justify, harder to refute and better for negotiation
CREATES ACTION: If a group of people meet regularly to look at key metrics chosen around a common goal, “what do we do based on these results” occurs much more naturally and effectively
CREATES CONSISTENCY IN ACTION: Not only does action occur but it occurs more consistently. Big results usually happen when small steps are taken, continuously.
FOSTERS COLLABORATION: The people involved with the business work better together because they share the common bond of establishing the strategy, choosing the key metrics, creating the reports and taking the action that come from regular review of the KPIs
ESTABLISHES ACCOUNTABILITY: When people collaborate around a common goal and key measurements, they more likely to recognize their accountability and it’s more effectively enforced
MEASURES CUSTOMER SATISFACTION AND EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION FOR REAL: A key metric many company choose as a KPI is customer satisfaction or employee satisfaction or both. The KPI process makes this possible. When look at relative to other key metrics, it provides real evidence for satisfaction and dissatisfaction as well as a course of action if improvements need to occur
ARE THE ACTIONABLE SCORECARD TO KEEP STRATEGY ON TRACK: The educator and creator of the Peter Principle, Laurence Peter, said: “If you don’t know where you, you’ll probably end up someplace else.” KPIs are the best means a company to stick to strategy and not end up someplace else.
Does your business have KPIs? Do these reflect key benefits to you? Are there others you would add? Does you company need help establishing KPIs to keep your strategy on track?