Four Ways to Evaluate Event Performance

Using only return on investment (ROI) can be a misleading metric for evaluating event performance. It's difficult to attribute a converted sale to merely an event. Converted sales require many touch points to contribute to a closed deal. In the article by Dax Callner, Chief Strategy Officer at GES Events, Four Key Metrics for Evaluating Event Marketing Performance, he explains how they have developed event metrics that are measurable and recognize most B2B events are way more than just selling opportunities.

According to GES, essential contributors to a business's success are events that build brand affinity and strengthen customer loyalty. Here are their metrics for an alternative way to measure:

1. Pipeline Contributor
Rather than evaluating an event by converted sales, you should determine the impact on a prospect's likelihood to purchase, and the potential revenue the event is driving. The result is an honest look at the role of events as pipeline contributors.

2. Positive Brand Impact
Marketing industry research demonstrates favorable brand perceptions influence purchasing decisions. This metric focuses on one-on-one exposure to the brand products and services and looks at changes in perception.

3. Current Customer Retention
Many events and exhibits attract current customers. These individuals may not always represent immediate sales or cross-selling opportunities, but treating existing customers well is still relevant to your brand and future sales. Losing customers can be costly; so events should have an impact on a customer's loyalty to the company. This metric evaluates the effects of the event on customer retention rates.

4. Perceived Quality Of The Experience
Though this metric is not directly correlated to business outcomes, providing a high-value experience for attendees is a worthwhile goal. This metric looks at essential attributes of an event, such as staff interactions, educational content, and determines whether attendees perceive them as being of high value. 

The combination of these metrics would provide an accurate and comprehensive framework for event measurement in addition to looking for an ROI. Our job is to search what is happening and seek emerging or robust opportunities and target markets, so your marketing produces a higher return on investment.

Five Tips For The Perfect Email

As a Certified Constant Contact Partner, I like to pass on essential tips furnished to me. You may already be implementing some ideas I have discussed in the past, such as avoiding the spam folder by always getting permission before you send an email and including a link to unsubscribe. (Remember- legally all email marketing must contain a simple mechanism for subscribers to unsubscribe.) The tips in this article focus on effective email design to improve the chances of your email marketing getting to the inbox.  So, here are five quick and easy tips to a perfect email.

1.     Be Careful With Images – Use a balance of text and images and avoid emails that are a single image with minimal supporting text. Spammers utilize this tactic, so use multiple photos or graphics and text to avoid getting flagged as spam.

2.      Watch The Subject Lines - Be creative with subject lines but be clear as well. 69% of email recipients who report messages as spam do so based solely on the subject line. So always think about using the most precise subject lines you can.

3.     Audit Your Body Copy – Avoid using words that might identify your email as spam. Here is the link to a list from HubSpot to check for spammy words - https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/30684/the-ultimate-list-of-email-spam-trigger-words.aspx  Also, excessive use of capital letters and punctuation marks can also trigger spam filters.

4.     Test Your Links – Make sure your readers get where they need to go. Before sending an email, check every link including photo links.

5.     Use A Real Person “reply to” Address – When someone replies to your email they should get a real person. Avoid using spammy reply emails such as “no reply” or words indicating the address does not belong to a real person.

Keep these best practices in mind for your next email campaign and feel free to reach out for our expertise if your company needs help. At k.douglas marketing as strategic marketers, we are continually scanning business and consumer environments for our clients. Our job is to search what is happening and seek emerging or robust opportunities and target markets, so your marketing produces a higher return on investment.

Improve Your Marketing With DIY Video

Everyone loves a good video. Thanks to the Internet and social media, the video is one of the top communication tools in marketing whether used to explain a product or humor us. According to Filmora’s infographic, How To Choose Video Content and Which Video To Use by including a video on a landing page you can increase conversion by 80%.  The research continues to note videos build trust and 98% of users say they have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service. As far as the Internet, Google loves videos, and you have a 53X higher likelihood of ranking on the first page of Google by using videos. Over on social media, videos encourage social shares.

So, the big question is - why doesn't your website have video? Oh, right, creating videos can be very expensive, and they get outdated quickly. Enter the latest trend – the Do-It-Yourself or DIY video. While most videos do require a professional’s touch, a quick DIY video can fill the gaps. In fact, some of the best videos were shot on the phone. In Entrepreneur’s article How to Create a Successful DIY Video on a Budget, it notes as an expert in your field you likely have experience and advice that's important to others. So before you invest time or money in creating a video for your needs, your customers' interests, and the requirements of social platforms, think about what is the best fit for the information you have to offer and the optimal video length.

Choose The Right Type of Video
DIY videos types can range from Explainer, Demonstration, Customer Testimonials, to a Facebook Live.

If your business uses difficult to understand industry terminology or has unique features, an Explainer video can help clarify. These videos focus on explaining business ideas in simple, engaging ways by using clear and concise language.

The Demonstration video introduces a product or service and showcases the benefits.  They explain how something works and urges users to buy products or services by showing how they solve a problem, make life more enjoyable, or simplify a process.

Customer Testimonials can show your customer's real feelings and build trust. They entice the audiences by offering a human story and a real person to connect to it through their voice, body language, emotion, and empathy.

Using an embedded video player, you can quickly add Facebook Live videos to your website. This recently added feature has taken over as the number one social network video. Since the broadcasting happens in real-time, it’s perfect for engaging users and raising brand awareness. Plus, Facebook Live offers total creative freedom and can include everything from question/answer sessions to sneak peeks of your next product.

Length Can Make or Break Your Video
But it’s not just the type of video that’s important - it’s the proper length. Customer’s attention spans are at an all-time low. The longer a video, the more likely your customers will not see it through. Your video should only be as long as necessary to get your point across. According to research done by SumoMe, videos up to 2 minutes long get tons of engagement and more than three minutes long can be a bust. 30-90 seconds is the sweet spot, except Demonstration videos that can be 1-3 minutes. However, according to research by WISAT, there is a significant drop-off between 2 and 3 minutes. After 2 minutes every second counts. While some content may warrant a longer video, you would be better off removing as much as you can from the last 30 seconds of a 2-minute 30-second video to keep viewers' attention.

As for the length of a Facebook Live, longer is better. These are live broadcasts, so every extra second is a chance to hook a new viewer. Don’t be cheap on time but be sure to have something interesting happening the length of the broadcast or you will lose your audience.

Promote Your Video
Lastly, be sure to promote your video. Just because you have one doesn’t mean everyone will know about or find it. Have a launch and a creative promotion to go with it.  Remember, today’s users are busy and have small attention spans, so short and sweet is a safe strategy unless you are doing Facebook Live.

At k.douglas marketing as strategic marketers, we are continually scanning business and consumer environments for our clients. Feel free to reach out for our expertise if your company needs help getting your marketing strategy and sales aligned with your business goals. Our job is to search what is happening and seek emerging or robust opportunities and target markets, so your marketing produces a higher return on investment.

Three Tips For Fresh Website Content

Having regular fresh content on your website is incredibly important because it’s more than just keeping your information current. It can also affect ranking signals. By the term “fresh content” I’m not referring to updating content on existing pages to try to appear “fresh” to the search engines. What I am referring to is new timely content added to your website.

According to Webfoundry Digital Marketing, the goal of a search engine is to provide users with information that best matches their search query. Search engine algorithms will determine the usefulness and accuracy of a given page and take into account some ranking signals, including the freshness of your content.

So what are the easiest ways to add fresh content?

Most websites don’t provide up-to-the-minute news and information or hot topics trending on the web; so, the majority of businesses need to create their own regular, fresh content. If your site offers services and products, you need to focus on providing relevant information to users on a regular basis. So here are a few quick tips to get your thoughts started with fresh content.

Tip 1 - Blogging
Writing a blog is the typical answer to new material. However, blogging is a commitment to creating frequent submissions. If the blogging ceases for an extended period, it can have a negative connotation. To keep up with the pace, try scheduling time in the week to prepare blog posts in advance. Create an internal calendar with dates, deadlines, and content ideas for several upcoming blogs and use downtime to work on them. If you are short on ideas, edit posts from past years to bring the information current. The updated version should have a new publish date, refreshed links to relevant sources, and different visual content to go along with the current information.

Tip 2 - Update A Static Homepage
The easiest way to get fresh information on a static home page is by adding plugins or sections that pull in content from recent news articles, blog postings, or even Instagram photos. Try housing a couple of these sections on your homepage, so fresh content is posting as often as possible. Again, making an internal calendar for these sections help you stay on top of what and when new material is posting.

Tip 3 - Get Users Involved
Lastly, encourage user-generated content through comments, forum posts, or questions to keep your site fresh. Once you’ve established the details your users desire to know or discuss, merely provide accurate, current, and well-written information to get the discussion going. Try posting new pages or articles and offer opportunities for users to make comments, ask questions, or post information.

Your website is a 24/7 selling employee. This employee needs to be speaking new and relevant information, to your potential and current customers, on a regular basis. At k.douglas marketing as strategic marketers, we are continually scanning business and consumer environments for our clients. Feel free to reach out for our expertise if your company needs help getting your marketing strategy and sales aligned with your business goals. Our job is to search what is happening and seek emerging or robust opportunities and target markets, so your marketing produces a higher return on investment.

Realigning the Marketing and Sales Team

For some businesses, marketing and sales teams seem to have a natural alignment. However, as companies grow, marketing and sales goals often don’t stay synced up. The addition or replacement of employees during growth is not always the reason for misalignment.  Communications and processes require adjustments so the teams can better understand each other’s focus and goals. Here are a few tips to help bring alignment back:

Lack of Communication
According to the infographic by InsideView, The Top Three Reasons Sales and Marketing Alignment Is Off, nearly half of all sales and marketing professionals agree lack of communication is the primary issue preventing each team from getting what they need from the other. Such as:

The sales team needs marketing to not only deliver quality leads but a large quantity of them. The team anticipates marketing to provide brand awareness through message personalization campaigns during lead nurturing. The idea is for the prospect to be educated before the sales team follow-up.

The marketing team needs the sales team to provide results of lead follow-up so the methods used for lead procurement can be thinned down to a higher success ratio. To successfully track results, they require consistent use of the marketing systems since feedback on campaigns is critical to moving the marketing forward in the right direction. Lastly, one of the most significant conflicts is “rogue marketing messaging.” The sales team needs to use the messaging and tools provided by marketing, so there is consistency in the overall strategy.

Discover The Disconnection
It's hard to find a meeting of the minds about where to begin the focus, especially when the disconnect is typically a result of different goals. Marketing’s emphasis is on creating brand awareness in specific segments, utilizing the right metrics while acquiring new ones, and obtaining top of funnel leads. While the sales teams goals are attaining their quota through focusing on gaining new accounts while maintaining current ones and speeding up the sales cycle to close deals. Since the focuses differ so significantly, it should be a priority for marketing and sales to have an understanding of the roles and goals. 

Begin with an initial meeting to discuss these roles so both teams can be exposed to the differences in goals but how the result is precisely the same. It can be challenging to find ways to push the required information back and forth but well worth spending the time to find the answers.

Keep A Strong Connection
After the initial meeting, something as simple as setting up regular follow-up meetings using a well thought out agenda can keep things moving in the right direction. The sessions should be short and centered on keeping the teams on task, but discussion points should include showing how they have been successful together.

Feel free to reach out for our expertise if your company needs help getting your marketing strategy and sales aligned with your business goals. As strategic marketers at k.douglas marketing, we are continually scanning business and consumer environments for our clients. Our job is to search and seek emerging or robust opportunities and target markets, so your marketing produces a higher return on investment.

Six Quick Tips To Increase Marketing Engagement

The goal of your marketing should be to convert the audience into customers. However, it’s not possible to achieve any results unless your content manages to capture your target audience. Try the following quick tips to create more engaging content.

1. Draw The Audience In From The Start

It’s the beginning that sets the tone. Both headlines and introductions should do more than explain the topic but make readers want to read further.

2. Use Video, Infographics & Images

Using visual aids with written content will automatically engage more people. Buzzsumo conducted a study of more than one million articles and found: images will get double the shares, infographics or maps get even more shares, and videos get twice as many shares as images.

3. Be Credible - Show Your Data

People like trustworthy information. Back up content with evidence from other sources or do your own research or data analysis. Keep tabs on the latest research and developments in your industry to incorporate into your marketing.

4. Tell Stories

It’s proven stories put the brain to work and increase engagement. Incorporate into your marketing stories about your business and your customers.

5. Showcase Problem Solving

"How to" posts get 55% more views than any other type of marketing content. The easiest way to get someone's attention is to provide the solution to a problem. To create problem-solving content, use information from the minds of your target audience and your business’ solutions to those problems.

6. Smile Through Your Words

Always maintain a positive, upbeat tone and show you care. Marketing content should reflect a genuine interest in the target readers.

At k.douglas marketing as strategic marketers, we are continually scanning business and consumer environments for our clients. Feel free to reach out for our expertise if your company needs help getting your marketing strategy and sales aligned with your business goals for 2018. Our job is to search what is happening and seek emerging or robust opportunities and target markets so your marketing produces a higher return on investment.