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5 ways for marketers to win with Millennials (Infographic) 0

Posted on May 24, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

 

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by Richard Kao and COS, (BarnRaisers Community Builders)

1. Make Your Products & Services Useful & Affordable

Millennial consumers had to absorb the impact of the 2008 financial crisis characterized by massive student loan burdens and recession. The generation is hopeful, yet they remain cautious of their spending.

57% of the Millennials surveyed said their spending habits won’t change even with the $30 billion inheritance money that will come from Baby Boomers.

If you want to earn this generation’s support, making your products and services as useful as they can be while staying within reach of budgets is the way to go.

And for good measure, revamp your return policy as 55% of Millennials are always on the lookout for the most affordable return option when shopping.

Just take Zappos.com who built a business around shoes AND their easy, efficient return policy. If you’re not 100% satisfied with your purchase, just return the merchandise (within 1 year of purchase) and that’s it. There are no shipping fees to deal with, and there’s no need for receipts as you shopped online and orders are tracked.

Lesson learned: keep your products high-quality and affordable and your return policy easy and clutter-free like Zappos’ – your business could take off because of it.

win with millennials #2

2. Focus On An Integrated Customer Experience

An integrated customer experience is about providing products and services to customers in the smoothest way possible by adopting a multichannel approach. And when you live up to your business’ promises while delivering such a seamless service, it leads to conversions.

Let’s put the spotlight to Grainger, which has sold industrial supplies, equipment, and power tools for contractors and building professionals since 1927.

Their almost-century long presence and experience in the industry shows, especially in the way they use technology (their app especially) for providing an integrated customer experience.

Their app lets you find highly specific products by typing them or speaking to the search box. Products purchased can also be shipped to your chosen location or a nearby store – while even tracking your order’s progress real-time.

Consumers’ shopping cart data is also synced across their PCs and other devices, making it easy to access Grainger and their selection of industrial products while on the job site.

Also, Grainger features a “click-to-call” for help feature which lets you find the nearest Grainger location and share must-buy lists with co-workers. The company knows exactly what their consumers need and has built a smooth service framework from there.

The business and IT world are starting to explore the concept of omni-channel shopping – the next step from multi-channel retailing.

This provides consumers with an across-channel experience. It’s the inter-linking of multiple marketing and sales channels that makes this approach to customer experience truly seamless, benefiting both the consumer and retailer.

For example: a customer can check a product’s availabilityvia his desktop (using the merchant’s website); reserve the item and purchase it 2 days later using his smartphone; and pick up the item at his chosen location.

win with millennials #2 win with millennials #3

3. Build Brand Loyalty Through Rewards & Product Quality

In a world where many products and services are alike, Millennial consumers seek to be rewarded for their buying choices. After all, they could’ve bought from someone else instead of your company – and they’d still get what they want or need.

Research carried out by Thrive Analytics and Local Search Association in 2014 revealed that 71% of US smartphone users (aged 18 to 29) shared their location with businesses to get personalized offers and deals, while 67% said the prospect of gaining loyalty points convinced them to do so.

So set yourself apart from the competition by rewarding your customers for choosing you over other product / service providers.

Follow the example set by Starbucks. Their My Starbucks Reward program makes it easy for users to be rewarded.

They can earn points by paying with their registered cards,completing incentivized actions, participating in product promotions, engaging with Starbuck’s mobile app and social channels,buying in grocery stores and more.

The Stars earned are saved in the customer’s profile and can be used for redeeming drinks, food items, etc.But that’s not all: the program also has Green and Gold levels that members can move up to once they reach a certain number of points, giving the most loyal of customers and avid fans the opportunity to get more out of their membership.

win with millennials #4

4. Use Social Media To Engage & Get Millennials Involved

The phrases of note here are “engage” and “get them involved.”

Millennial consumers do “Like” and “Follow” retailers on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. They may find the brand cool but research has shown that their social media relationships with brands and retailers are mostly transactional.

In simpler words: to find good deals, coupons, and the latest promos.

One Millennial consumer noted:

“I would have to be pretty emotionally moved to just ‘Like’ a retailer for no reason.”

And that should be the plan! Businesses shouldn’t be on social media just to establish presence. The goal instead should be to generate positive buzz and to get talked about by Millennial consumers. Be the topic of social conversations for the right reasons and your brand and sales will enjoy a significant boost.

Consider this too: Millennials broke the record for volunteering hours, and the number of non-profit organizations and socially-focused businesses founded by the generation is just as astounding.

With that in mind, perhaps it’s a good idea to combine social media engagement with campaigns that address the social and economic issues this generation faces.

5. Create More Apps To Inform, Engage, & Educate

Tech manufacturers (especially those in the mobile industry) can look forward to sunny days ahead with 40% of Millennials gearing up to purchase a tablet in the next 5 years. Those ahead of the tech curve (38%), so to speak, are prepping to buy a wearable device like Apple’s new iWatch.

So what does that mean for business OUTSIDE the smartphone and tablet industry?

The statistics above means businesses should create better apps to inform, engage, and educate Millennial consumers…or risk losing brand exposure and even sales.

One fine example is CVS Pharmacy app which enjoys a 4.5 star rating and over 16,000 reviews on iTunes: it lets you easily find a store nearby,save money with digital coupons, and even collect points without leaving the app. The app also lets consumers scan prescription barcodes with their phone’s camera to refill their medications.

win with millennial #5

5. Create More Apps To Inform, Engage, & Educate

Tech manufacturers (especially those in the mobile industry) can look forward to sunny days ahead with 40% of Millennials gearing up to purchase a tablet in the next 5 years. Those ahead of the tech curve (38%), so to speak, are prepping to buy a wearable device like Apple’s new iWatch.

So what does that mean for business OUTSIDE the smartphone and tablet industry?

The statistics above means businesses should create better apps to inform, engage, and educate Millennial consumers…or risk losing brand exposure and even sales.

One fine example is CVS Pharmacy app which enjoys a 4.5 star rating and over 16,000 reviews on iTunes: it lets you easily find a store nearby,save money with digital coupons, and even collect points without leaving the app. The app also lets consumers scan prescription barcodes with their phone’s camera to refill their medications.

Below is the infographic. We appreciate this work from Richard and COS. Did it teach you something new about how to win with Millennials?

5 ways marketers win with Millenials

 

 

20 data-driven metrics every content marketer should know 0

Posted on April 26, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

 

 

data-driven metrics

Measure of success conceptual using measuring tape

  • 70% of consumers prefer to get to know a company or brand through original articles rather than through ads. (Entrepreneur)
  • Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional forms of marketing. (DemandMetric)
  • 61% of consumers report feeling better about a company or brand that offers custom content – and are more likely to buy from them. (Content Marketing Institute)

These facts suggest relevant content, after the product or service a company offers, is a brand’s most valuable asset.

Content marketing takes many forms from blogs, case studies, emails, guides, how-to’s, infographics, interviews, podcasts, product reviews, videos and even native ads. A brand should have a strategy for content marketing specific to the desired business results and then choose tactics.

Are there metrics to guide your company on effectiveness of the business strategy for content marketing? Ones that are most likely to give insights and serve as an actionable scorecard?

Here are 20 data-driven metrics every content marketer should know.

AWARENESS

  • VISITS AND UNIQUE VISITORS: The latter refers to the number of distinct individuals visiting your website during a given period; the former the number of times a site is visited, no matter how many visitors make up those visits. These are foundations for awareness. They let you know the size of your audience and if it is increasing or decreasing month to month.
  • TRAFFIC SOURCES: Tell you where your audience is coming from: Organic search, paid search, social media, other websites or coming direct, typing your website URL in their browser. This helps you learn if you’re attracting the type of people you want and if it is in line with how you are spending your time and/or money.
  • LINKS: Come from other websites, blogs or social network pages that mention your content with a link. It is not only a measure of your awareness; it is a measure of  your level of authority on a particular topic.
  • KEYWORD SERP RANK: 54% of people find a website through a search query. 34% click on the first website listed in organic search; 90% of clicks occur on the first page (source: Forrester). If your Search Engine Rank Page (SERP) is high for a particular keyword, consumers are likely to be aware of you on a particular topic.
  • KEY CONTENT: Is the best indicator of content on your website that visitors find unique and differentiating.
  • FAN AND FOLLOWER COUNT: 37% of consumers use social network sites for research to obtain information and feedback (source: Marketing Land). Social network followings are a source for awareness.

ENGAGEMENT

  • BOUNCE RATE: Is the percentage of visitors who enter your site and then leave (“bounce”) rather than continuing. It is a key measure of the relevance of your website, content and ability to engage your audience.
  • SHARES: Measure content that consumers find most interesting. They also are a means of showing the value of your “earned” media.
  • COMMENTS: Are important for lead generation, building relationship and finding your advocates and influencers.
  • SUBSCRIPTIONS AND REGISTRATIONS: From email newsletters, ebooks, webinars, subscriptions and registrations are a key lead generation vehicle in a content marketing program.
  • KEY INFLUENCERS: Are valuable in promoting your content. They are the people who share, comments, like, and re-tweet your content as well as people you might seek out through tools like BuzzSumo, PeerIndex or Klout who others turn to on topics important to your brand

CONVERSION

  • EMAIL OPEN RATES AND CLICKS: Represent the percentage of your audience that usually opens what you send or clicks on actions you want them to take. These metrics also come with their email addresses.
  • DOWNLOADS: Usually occur for more content rich pieces like ebook, product information or a podcast. They measure the most interested segment of your audience as well as people who might share your content with others.
  • RETURN RATE: If you send a survey out, hold an event or conduct a webinar, the return rate is a valuable measurement for seeing the percentage of people who express interest and respond.
  • UNSUBSCRIBES AND OPT-OUTS: It’s as important to know the percent of your audience you may be annoying as interesting with your content and to keep at a minimal level.
  • SALES: Are the most important conversion. But, so is understanding buying behavior and the buying cycle which all of the above help to do. For many content marketing programs, there are often “micro” conversion as well as macro conversions. That is, smaller actions that are often predictive of major events.

BUSINESS VALUE

  • QUALITY LEADS: Is a metric relative to the segment of your audience most likely to take desired conversion activities
  • PIPELINE GENERATED: As is it likely other sales and marketing activities are used to generate quality leads and sales, the pipeline from content marking should also be evaluated relative to its value.
  • PRODUCTION COST (TIME AND MONEY): Whether it’s time or money (or both) that are being invested, the human and dollar value should be calculated.
  • RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI): Just like any other investment, from the metrics above, the return on investment of content marketing can be calculated.

No business should take any major initiatives without an actionable scorecard. Do these data-driven metrics convince you of the measurement value of content marketing? Are there others metric you would include? Do you need help measuring content marketing?

21 surprising facts on companies with Social CEOs 0

Posted on April 12, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

 

Social CEOs

  • 79% of Inc CEOs have an active social media presence
  • 30% of Fortune CEOs have an active social media presence
  • 50% of these CEOs are most active on Twitter, 47% on LinkedIn and 45% on Facebook (source: CEO.com)

The 10 most active Social CEOs are:

  1. Richard Branson: Founder, Virgin Group
  2. Jeff Weiner, CEO, LinkedIn
  3. Msrissa Meyer, CEO, Yahoo
  4. Adriana Huffington, Group President, AOL
  5. Elon Musk, Chairman/CEO, Tesla Motors
  6. Anand Mahindra, Chairman and MD, Mahindra & Mahindra
  7. Kaifu Lee, Chairman/CEO, Innovation Works
  8. Jeff Immelt, CEO GE
  9. Jack Welch, CEO, Welch Management Institute
  10. Angela Ahrendts, CEO, Burberry Group (source: BBC)

Key attributes of Social CEOs are:

  • Insatiable curiosity
  • DIY mindset
  • Bias for action
  • Relentless givers
  • Connect instead of promote
  • Company’s #1 Brand Ambassador
  • Lead with an open mindset (source: Harvard Business Review)

These stats, examples and character traits indicate Social CEOs are different than CEOs in general. Not only are Social CEOs different, but, as a result of their social media participation, so are public perceptions of their companies.

How do Social CEOs change a company culture, perceptions and workplace? Here are 21 surprising facts on companies with Social CEOs.

  1. 87% of US employees and 79% of UK employees agree that having a social media policy in place allows a company’s leadership team to be proactive rather than reactive in response to company challenges (source: Brandfog)
  2. 85% of US employees and 75% of UK agree social media is a valuable public relations channel for managing brand reputation (source: Brandfog)
  3. 84% of US employees and 76% of UK believe that social media is an effective way to monitor conversations about a brand online and to help brands prevent potential reputation crises (source: Brandfog)
  4. 83% of US employees and 73% of UK believe that CEO participation in social media builds better connections with customers, employees, and investors (source: Brandfog)
  5. 82% of US employees and 71% of UK believe that CEO engagement on social media helps to communicate company values and shapes a company’s brand reputation (source: Brandfog)
  6. 82% of US employees and 71% of UK overwhelmingly believe that executive use of social media raises brand awareness (source: Brandfog)
  7. 82% of customers are more likely to trust a company whose CEO and leadership team are active on social media (source: Adweek)
  8. 81% believe CEOs who engage on social media are better equipped to lead companies in the modern world (source: Brandfog)
  9. 79% of US employees and 68% of UK believe that having a socially active C- Suite leadership team can mitigate risk before a brand reputation crisis occurs (source: Brandfog)
  10. 77% of US employees and 69% of UK agree that executive use of social media fosters brand transparency. (source: Adweek)
  11. 75% of US employees  believe a company’s C-Suite executives and leadership team use social media to communicate about core mission, brand values and purpose is more trustworthy (source: Brandfog)
  12. 67% of UK employees believe a company’s C-Suite executives and leadership team use social media to communicate about core mission, brand values and purpose is more trustworthy (source: Brandfog)
  13. 67% of US and UK employees agree social media has become an essential aspect of PR and communications strategy for C-Suite executives (source: Brandfog)
  14. 61% of US employees and 50% of UK are more likely to purchase from a company whose values and leadership are clearly communicated through executive leadership participation on social media (source: Brandfog)
  15. 55% of employees believe a Social CEO is a good communicator; this compare to 38% in companies with CEOs does not use social media (source: Weber Shandwick)
  16. 52% of employees feel inspired by CEO participation in social media (Weber Shandwick)
  17. 51% of employees with Social CEOs believe their social media participation is not risky (source: Weber Shandwick)
  18. Between 2012 and 2013, the perception that C-Suite and executive participation in social media leads to better leadership increased from 45% to 75% (source: Brandfog)
  19. 48% of employees believe a Social CEO is open and accessible; this compares to 37% in companies with CEOs does not use social media (source: Weber Shandwick)
  20. 42% of CEOs participate in social media today; 63% are estimated to be participating in social media in 5 years; that’s a 50% increase (source: Weber Shandwick)
  21. 37% of employees believe a Social CEO is a good listener; this compares to 29% in companies with CEOs does not use social media (source: Weber Shandwick)

Below is an infographic that shows some of the facts about Social CEOs.

Do these facts about companies with Social CEOs surprise you? Do they change your perceptions? Does your C-Suite and CEO need help learning how to participate in social media to realize these Social CEO benefits?

Social CEOs

What does Ricky Bobby know about SEO? 31 stats 0

Posted on April 04, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

 

Ricky Bobby SEO wisdom

“If you ain’t first you’re last” said Ricky Bobby.

What’s true for race car drivers with NASCAR is true for businesses online with search engines.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the ongoing process of uncovering and discovering non-branded keywords that are driving organic search traffic and conversions, then publishing content optimized for those keywords.

What makes SEO worth the effort? Why should businesses think about SEO like Ricky Bobby?

Here are 31 stats on SEO that show what Ricky Bobby knows.

  1. #1 driver of traffic to a web site is organic search (source: Search Engine Journal)
  2. Companies that blog have 434% more indexed pages than companies that don’t. And companies with more indexed pages get far more leads (source: Search Engine Journal)
  3. 98% of all business to business relationships are traced back to a search on Google (Source: MarketingSherpa).
  4. 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine (source: Search Engine Journal)
  5. 91% of US internet user search every month (source: HubSpot)
  6. 88% of mobile search is for a local business or establishment (source: Digital Marketing Philippines)
  7. 88% of search engine optimization marketers believe optimizing for mobile will be more important this year (source: BrightEdge)
  8. 86% of internet traffic is generated through search engines (source: Google)
  9. 81% of search engine optimization marketing believe integrating marketing data and measuring cross-channel return on investment will be more important this year (source: BrightEdge)
  10. Mobile search traffic is growing at a rate of 125% while desktop search traffic is growing at a 12% rate (source: Visual Solutions)
  11. 80% of smartphone searches are spontaneous; 44% are goal-oriented (source: Visual Solutions)
  12. 70-80% of users click on organic search results rather than paid search (source: Search Engine Journal)
  13. 75% of clicks on a search engine page are on the Top 5 results (source: HubSpot)
  14. Over 70% of users find a website via a search engine (source: Optimus)
  15. 75% of users never scroll based the first page of search results (source: Search Engine Journal)
  16. 70% of the links search users click on are organic (source: Search Engine Journal)
  17. 68% of search engine optimization marketers believe optimizing for video will be more important this year (source: BrightEdge)
  18. 63% of search engine optimization marketers believe search engine ranking will be more important this year (source: BrightEdge)
  19. Just having the word ‘video’ in a search result title or meta description improves click through rates by an estimated 55% (source: eMarketer)
  20. Over 50% of online buyers purchase products from websites found via search engines (source: Optimus)
  21. 50% of search users begin their search on a mobile device (source: Digital Marketing Philippines)
  22. 50% of mobile search users who search for a local business visit that business within the same day (source: Digital Marketing Philippines)
  23. 50% of consumers who visit Amazon conduct an online search first (source: Compete)
  24. 45% of US marketers spend more than 2 days per month researching and learning about the latest trends in SEO (source: Moz)
  25. 40% of users click the first ranking site on search engines (source: Optimus)
  26. 40% of users change their keyword search if they cannot find what they are looking for on the first page of search engines (source: Optimus)
  27. 25% of Google search are for local businesses or establishments (source: Chikta)
  28. 4.9 billion internet searches every month (source: comScore)
  29. $2.2 billion will be spent on search engine optimization in 2016 (source: BrightEdge)
  30. 133 million unique searches each month (source: comScore)
  31. Video is 50 times more likely to get organic page ranks in Google than plain text results (source: Forrester)

SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes research, effort, tracking and, most important, identifying goals at the beginning. But being first while it’s never easy, it’s usually worth the achievement and definitely has its rewards.

Do these stats show you what drives SEO? Do you need to be shown how to drive SEO for your business?

 

6 insights into the social media paradox 0

Posted on March 15, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

 

 

  • 50% of business owners have increased their time on social media
  • 55% state they use Facebook, Twitter and the other major platforms for customer acquisition and sales leads
  • 60% say they see no results (source: Forbes)

Why do so many companies put so much time into activities that don’t produce results?

A paradox is an absurd or seemingly self-contradictory statement that, when investigated, is well-founded and true. These facts say there is a paradox (or paradoxes) about the way businesses use social media. Because spending so much time and seeing no results makes no sense.

Some social media paradoxes to explain these paradoxes are:

  • Social media is perceived to be an end when it is a means to an end
  • Social media is so attractive because it is the least social form of communication
  • There is no such thing as a strategy for social media; there is only a business strategy in which social media fits

The Socio-media-logy chart above illustrates a social media paradox. Although to “run” is the fastest way to get someplace, the paradox is companies would see better results with social media if they took the time to “crawl” and “walk” first.

Here are 6 insights into the social media paradox.

  • BUILD IT AND THEY DON’T COME: On average, there are 1,500 stories that can appear in a person’s Facebook News Feed each time they log onto Facebook. Even Facebook says their organic reach is declining. Over 2,000,000 blog posts are written and 864,000 hours of YouTube videos are uploaded every day. Your business may expect if you build, your audience will come, but the numbers say they don’t.
  • TARGETING INVOLVES KNOWING WHERE TO AIM: It doesn’t matter how many social networks your business uses if you don’t where your target customers are most likely to be So, before you began, a little research goes a long way. Look at the social presence and growth of your competitors on their social networks. See what thy post; what is commented on and shared. Listen using keywords about your industry or brand using a social search engine like Topsy or HootSuite. Profile what social networks are used most often on Social Searcher; what days of the week, what time of day and when content is most shared on BuzzSumo.
  • INFLUENCE COMES FROM KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT IS PERSUASIVE: 15,100,000 consumers go to social media before making purchase decisions. 81% said friends social media posts influenced their decisions; 79% like a company Facebook page because it offers discounts and incentives; 44% of women trust their favorite blogger. Do you know what’s likely to influence purchase decisions for your brand? Are you doing it?
  • PERSUASIVE CONTENT TEACHES SOMETHING NEW: Social media is the least social channel if it is used to broadcast information that is put out on non-social channels. That’s why it’s most effective use is usually for a purpose not meet by other marketing channels. One that is socially oriented. Customer service, product in use demonstrates, new usages, crowd sourcing new ideas and customer feedback are just a few of the ways social media can be used to teach something new and amplify your selling proposition.
  • TRUST IS BUILD WITH CONSISTENCY: Research shows that 42% of consumers who complain on social media expect a response within 60 minutes. 57% expect the same response time at night and on weekend, even if it’s not during normal business hours.Being reliable, honest, timely and showing integrity and qualities that build trust. They happen not in a single occurrence but by showing up authentically day after day, week after week and month after month. They pay dividends in good times and in bad.
  • IF YOU CAN’T MEASURE IT, YOU CAN’T MANAGE IT: You can’t determine what is successful until success is defined. Success doesn’t have to involve a whole new nomenclature either. For example, it can be done with: 1) Reach = a measurement of the size of audience you are communicating with; 2) Engagement = the total number of likes, shares, and comments on a post; 3) Conversions = he number of people who achieved a desired result and 4) Sales = did your business make any money? It can also be done with just a couple of analytic tools like Google Analytics and Buffer.

Does this explain the social media paradox? Did it teach you something new? Does your business need help with the social media paradox?

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    BarnRaisers builds brands with proven relationship principles and ROI. We are a full service digital marketing agency. Our expertise is strategy, analytics and data-driven results.



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