Tags: media

Millennials Haven’t Ditched Email for Social Media

Millennials Haven’t Ditched Email for Social Media

Beyond • September 13, 2015

Millennial driven businesses may find themselves in a tricky situation when trying to target sales through email marketing. The common misconception is that Millennials are no longer on emails; instead, they’re using social media as a prime means of communication. This is true … and this is also not true. Socially, Millennials are driven to social media. However, marketing to them on social media is tougher than it looks. Millennials hop-scotch platforms based on popularity. It was Facebook, then Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat and Vine. Now it’s an amorphous mix of few – and even that is guaranteed to change as platforms and user trends shift. The one thing that remains constant is email marketing. Millennials are still on email – some more than others. Millennials with job and purchase power are definitely on email and they’re paying attention to the campaigns you’re sending. Those who were still lack email as a core means of communication aren’t the type of long-term clientele you need or want anyway. You want powerful Millennials who have influence, are looking to stand out, and can buy. You also want their attention in a one-on-one capacity, and you’re going to secure that through visually driven email marketing campaigns. There’s another strain of thought along this these lines and that’s that Millennials only use email for business – even the influential savvy type with money to invest. On that theory, here are 2 facts: Millennials tend to keep email for business, but they’re still interested in inviting businesses into their inboxes to take advantage of promotion. Email is for serious business, while social media is still for socializing. On that note, Millennials aren’t moving away from email so much as they’re utilizing more channels to communicate. They might use Pinterest for browsing; Instagram for keeping up with their friends; Facebook for banter; and Twitter for rapid fire information gathering. In fact, the average Millennial isn’t so average in how they engage social media. Usage tends to always vary based on the individual, the goals, and the access to free time and resources to really engage in these mediums. For example, Instagram is where aspiring stylists and creative are. They’ll browse through Instagram and see what everyone else is doing, and they’ll be on there to share their own creations. However, serious retail players should be present on Instagram in a ‘street’ capacity, but they still need to elevate their communication strategy by also sending out email campaigns. This is how it’s done. A good rule of thumb is to send your current email list a survey with a 20% off coupon at the end of the survey, and really see what digital traffic patterns are like for your consumer group. It’s also worthwhile to invest in some competitive analysis, starting with signing up for the email campaigns of your top five competitors and cross reference those marketing campaigns with their social media initiatives. In order to understand Millennials, you have to speak to them and you also have to see what’s been working for others in the same industry. But above all, stay ahead of the curve: know what’s coming around the bend. The best way to do that is to hire a team of Millennials.


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Make Your Events Social with Hashtags

Make Your Events Social with Hashtags

Beyond • May 21, 2015

For every company, the event piece of the marketing pie varies in size. For some, it’s a tiny sliver as if you were on an event marketing diet. For others the event marketing section may resemble Pac Man. No matter how big or small, it’s how you’re using all off the pieces together that makes the whole pie greater than the sum of its parts. Social media can boost your event marketing efforts in many ways. Let’s take a look at some of the ways using hashtags can expand the reach and effectiveness of your next event. Outsiders Let In By creating a hashtag for anyone discussing your event on social media to use, you’re not only give a singular place for everyone at the event to converse ... you open up the conversation to the whole world. Perhaps location or financial concerns keep some of your audience from attending your event. With an event hashtag, that can follow the buzz surrounding your event and even create some of their own with their reactions. Individual Speakers & Workshops Get Their Own Hashtags If you’re running a bigger event, sometimes there’s mini events that exist within it. That could be various speakers, workshops or anything else that may bring attention to your crowd. With all that going on, sometimes it may be a good idea to give each section its own hashtag. That way, people on social media can see just the talk about one speaker they were looking forward to and it won’t get lost in all the hype surrounding your whole event. Scavenger Hunt One thing to further engage your event attendees on social media could be to create a scavenger hunt. Have them visit specific booths, speakers, or other goings on at your event and tell them to use the scavenger hunt hashtag, as well as the event hashtag, to be eligible to win a prize. Not only does this incentivize your event attendees to talk about your event on social media, the outside world can get a look at what they’re missing. Don’t Overdo It I know I’ve advised promoting the use of more than one hashtag per social media post. However, it’s important not to do overdo it. If there’s too many hashtags per post, that post will likely get tuned out. Or you’ll become this…


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5 Ways to Merge Social Media with Email Marketing

5 Ways to Merge Social Media with Email Marketing

Beyond • May 4, 2015

When you’re marketing on multiple platforms, the question you should ask yourself is which platform are you looking to act as bait and which one is meant to act as the converter. Yet, the real question here is: are you even factoring in social media when launching an email marketing campaign? The answer to this question will mostly echo a resounding and confident yes. However, the reality is that most companies are only going as far as linking their email marketing campaign on social. There’s a whole lot more you can be doing to merge social media marketing with email marketing. Using Social to Trigger Conversations If, for example, you’re looking to attract more conversions, donations and sales, then you should using a custom graphic on social media to link to your email campaign. When writing copy for that post, consider your audience’s perspective. They’re not going to care as much if your email campaign is a brilliant essay on the changing trends in your industry. For most people, even those who are interested, this is yet another thing they need to process; this would be yet another call to action for their time. Instead, you should pull a pivotal issue from your copy and pose that as a trigger question that evokes a strong response or opinion. When all else fails, you can always ask a question that gets people curious. In order to satisfy that curiosity, they would need to click on your resourceful link. This way, you’re successfully utilizing social media as bait that’s driving people to your standalone email campaign URL. It also sets the social share apart from the other instance when you’re directly sharing the campaign URL. As any social media marketer knows, you want to post key shares multiple times. Typically, you would stagger the same share across a span of weeks or months. However, depending on the rate at which you’re posting content on social, you can get creative about how you’re sharing. In this case, rather than just recycling a post, you can change the graphic and post copy. Now, you have a brand new post and are likely drawing in clickers that may not have been otherwise interested in the original self-serving social share. Uploading Subscribers to Social Media Accounts One of the lesser known, out-of-the-box, ways to merge social with email is to actually link your email lists to various social accounts. Most social platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, all have a way to easily upload email contacts. This is particularly useful for running customized ads to an existing audience base that you might be trying to reconvert or reinforce brand recognition among. Jimmy Daly has a wonderful post on BufferSocial titled “6 Creative Way to Integrate Social Media and Email Marketing,” in which he gives picture guided, step-by-step directions on how to link email lists to various social accounts. Uploading Subscribers to Social Media Accounts Jimmy also directs readers to another great article that inspires with a creative way to send emails without actually every sending an email. The trick is to use LinkedIn groups as a way to get premier email marketing access without actually trying to secure top-tier priority in someone’s inbox. This revelation was unveiled by Scott Van, who writes “How I Caught Copyblogger Sneaking into My Inbox.” By creating a LinkedIn discussion group where the already pouring in flood of comments could be hosted (and made more widely visible while neatly being archived), Copyblogger ensured that each and every participant who opted in would get automated email updates from a trusted platform: LinkedIn. The real lesson here though is to always consider how social is evolving. The routes between social and email aren’t quite so traditional anymore; there are fewer and fewer opportunities for one-way conversations as we see with the Copyblogger example.


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Social Media Integrations with Zapier

Social Media Integrations with Zapier

Beyond • February 9, 2015

It surprises me every time I hear the question, “should I be doing email marketing or social media?” Sure, I’m close enough to the subject to be taken aback that a business wouldn’t already be doing one or both. The answer I always give, is that it is not a matter of either/or. The answer is all of the above. Benchmark has long offered awesome social media integrations. Our new super integration with Zapier allows for even more. Now you can use your email to boost your social media efforts and vice versa. Let’s take a closer look at some of the things you could do. LinkedIn With the LinkedIn integration, you can automatically invite your contacts to connect with you on LinkedIn. That means you can extend your reach past your email list and onto LinkedIn. Now your subscribers will see your latest updates on one of your social networking channels as well. Then they may like it, share it and it could reach into their connections on LinkedIn as well. Flex that power!


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The Top 10 Basics For Creating A Podcast Media Kit

Beyond • April 22, 2014

If you’ve ever looked into advertising in just about any medium, chances are you received a media kit. These packages usually fulfill the three -ensives: intensive, comprehensive, and expensive. The media kit is essentially the business card for the particular medium, so publishers of all kinds spare no cost in ensuring that their kit is impressive and portrays every possible benefit to the advertiser. As a podcaster you’re no different than the TV-station or the print magazine as an advertising medium, so if you don’t have a media kit yet you should drop everything that you’re doing and get to working on one right now! The ten basics of any effective podcast media kit include: The elevator pitch. Start off your media kit with a very short summary about what your podcast is all about. If you find yourself going over one sentence you’re getting too verbose. The stats. Most advertisers and sponsors are primarily interested in your traffic statistics. After all, the highest quality, incisive and intelligent podcast in the world isn’t worth a plugged nickel if its audience is limited to the podcaster’s cousins. The rates. Welcome to the world of CPM (cost per mille or per thousand)! Every advertising medium is judged on the cost per thousand individuals in its audience, and if you’re not falling into the $20 to $50 CPM range for an average “spot” you’re either selling your podcast too expensively or too cheaply. The options. Perhaps you have regular breaks in your podcast a la radio where you deliver your commercial spots, or maybe you are selling sponsorships for each podcast, series of podcasts, or even segments within a podcast. Be sure to explain thoroughly what advertising and sponsorship options your podcast is open to. The contacts. I once went through a magazine media kit which must have cost the publisher over $10,000 to produce and nowhere in it was any way to contact them, not even an address or a phone number! Don’t commit the same mistake and make sure that you include full contact info. And don’t just plunk in an email address you’re going to drop in a few months! The links. Podcasting is all about social media so you not only have to be literally everywhere on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, and just about every other major network, but you have to have all those links clearly specified in your media kit. The history. What brands have you covered, dealt with, or been sponsored by in the past? Where you’ve been is a clear indication to advertisers as to where you’re going and many can be significantly motivated by a podcast which has been supported by a competitor. The kudos. Are you a premier podcaster in reality or only in your own mind? Prove that you’re a real force in the podcasting industry by listing all the awards and honors you’ve received, excerpts from all the major press mentions of your podcast, and any testimonials especially from industry luminaries. The policies. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces regulations which apply to all podcasters and your potential advertiser is going to want to know how your content policies obey those laws. They certainly don’t want to get caught up in a legal action taken by the government against any podcaster who has violated FTC regulations. The printability. Many podcast media kits are designed to be viewed online but when it comes to anyone actually wanting to print one, it ends up looking like a dog’s breakfast. You can either have your entire media kit in PDF format only (yes, it can include live links) or set it up as a web/mobile page with a link to a printable PDF. You may consider your media kit as your podcast’s resume, summary, or informational package, but no matter how you look at it you can be assured that it is the one aspect which will differentiate your podcast from its competition in the eyes of the advertiser or sponsor. You can’t go wrong with a great kit! Please enable JavaScript Powered by Benchmark Email


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Bringing Sports Event Social Media Marketing To An Elevated Art

Bringing Sports Event Social Media Marketing To An Elevated Art

Beyond • April 14, 2014

Promoting an event in the social media age is an extremely complex and creative endeavor largely relevant to the specific category of event being produced, but there are some common elements to any successful event marketing strategy which apply nearly universally. The effective and powerful marketing departments of major brands engaged in sports events have been among the leaders in forging new paradigms in event promotions and the strategies they have applied can, with a little tweaking, be applied to whatever type of event you’re producing. Baylor University Rewards Program. Baylor University encourages students and other sports fans to engage with the program through social media by providing a sequence of motivations to share Baylor Athletics content. Valuable points can be gathered by fans through specific retweets and hashtag usage, video and image sharing, and various check-ins. When Baylor says “valuable” they really mean it, as accumulated points can be redeemed for merchandise such as Baylor Athletics tickets and gear, as well as lunch with a coach and the opportunity to lead the Baylor Bears football team out of the tunnel at the home opener. Are you still offering the same old boring incentives for your attendees or are you thinking outside the box like the smart marketers at Baylor? Michigan Wolverines Pre-Sale Strategy. One of the primary keys to engaging your event’s social media following is to provide exclusive advantages which they could receive in no other way. The University of Michigan sports department marketers understood this aspect very well when it came to setting up a 24 hour period prior to the opening up of ticket sales to the public which was exclusively restricted to the team’s social media followers. Not only did they sell thousands of tickets during that day but many were from new fans which had never attended a Wolverine game before. Are you providing a variety of completely exclusive ways that your prospects can interact with your event and derive that very special VIP feeling? Arizona State Fan Content. ASU was dedicated to improving the experiences of fans at the stadium during Sun Devil games, so they solicited content directly from them and aggregated it from across various social networks in order to select the best to feature on the stadium videoboard. Are you encouraging and rewarding your attendees to provide content to your event? New Jersey Devils Mission Control. The New Jersey NHL team is a leader in sports social media efficacy and they have excelled at least in part due to the overwhelming zeal of their fans who staff their “Mission Control” to monitor any discussions dealing with the team on various social media platforms for up to twelve hours every game day, rotate in efficient shifts, and do so on a completely volunteer basis. Now that’s fandom! By allowing their fans to “act like sportscasters” the NJ Devils team management has rewarded their enthusiastic followers and empowered them to become brand celebs. Are you treating your prospective attendees as nothing more than a seat number or are you providing them with personal input and the opportunity to become a visible aspect of your event’s branding? Vancouver Canucks In-Game Voting. Another NHL team, this one on the opposite side of the continent, has also implemented highly effective social media strategies. The Canucks implemented a three-star voting facility which their fans can access not only from the team app but also from their website and Facebook page. As the fans are watching the game they can vote for a variety of recognitions, including the favorite player of the match. Are you designing your apps and social media presences only as thinly disguised ways to sell tickets to your event and missing out on the benefits to be gained by offering your attendees a way to actually shape or award your event? The successful strategies being utilized by sports marketers everywhere are well worth analyzing by any event promoter. Although these examples are drawn from NCAA and NHL teams, phenomenal techniques worth duplicating are being implemented by sports marketers around the country and the world!


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Basing Your Event’s Social Media Marketing On Carny Barker Tactics

Basing Your Event’s Social Media Marketing On Carny Barker Tactics

Beyond • March 5, 2014

The carny barker is a nostalgic image from nearly a century ago when the art form was perfected by a great number of consummate practitioners who effectively acted in a manner comparable to today’s one on one audience interactions in order to drive ticket sales to any event. If you learn from the carny barker’s art you can apply the universal and timeless lessons to your event’s social network presence and get those followers to “step right up!” Great carny barkers include Jackie Gleason, Ed McMahon & Penn Jillette Before you think that all carny barkers are low life poverty ridden nomads who are not worth emulating, keep in mind that memorable comedian Jackie Gleason, Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show sidekick Ed McMahon, and the man who convinced Elvis to part with 50% of his lifetime earnings in exchange for his expert management, Col. Tom Parker, all had their start as carny barkers. The only talking half of one of the world’s most popular magic acts, Penn Jillette, fancies himself as a carny barker and his performances are essentially loud “in your face” continuous invocations to the audience to “buy in” to the next trick he and his perennially silent partner Teller are about to perform. Engage individual passersby & get them to buy a ticket Each nation has its own specific tradition of carny barkers but they all essentially perform exactly the same task. They have to engage individual carnival passersby and encourage them to buy a ticket to enter the carnival itself or a specific paid attraction within the carnival. These attractions could have been the invulnerable man or the amazing lizard lady, but the bottom line was always the bottom line: event ticket sales. The fact that most of these attractions were either freak shows or completely faked does not in any way diminish the extent of the carny barker’s extremely effective and specifically targeted processes. Their task was to pick a person from the crowd, address them directly, and get them to commit to attending the event. If it was a burly longshoreman he might want to compare his build to the Incredible Strongman or if it was a demure elegant lady she might want to witness the Bearded Woman. The carny barker & the social media event marketer share identical tasks In essence the task of both the carny barker and today’s social media event marketer are identical in virtually every aspect. Simply replace the carnival atmosphere with electrons speeding along fiberoptics and you have today’s social media event marketing. Carny barkers are not broadcasters of predetermined advertising messages to the masses, as they identify within the crowd specific individuals with a particular characteristic which they can play on. What awaits inside the tent is always portrayed as something which will astonish and amaze the attendee and provide an emotion, sensation, or experience which they will remember forever and which they cannot attain anywhere else at any price. Similarly, the social media event marketer has to provide the type of content and deep engagement on an individual basis through the analysis of their potential attendees’ characteristics and previous behaviors to demonstrate to them that the event offers that “emotion, sensation or experience” which cannot be duplicated by any other competing event. The way the best of the carny barkers perform is to scan the crowd for the individuals which are most likely to be susceptible to the pitch based on their own experience and then look at them straight in the eye in order to convince them to part with their hard-earned money. It’s not so much hucksterism as it is pure psychology. They are able to size up a prospect at a glance and then promise them that what lies beyond the flapping canvas will provide them with the experiential event they either consciously or even subconsciously desire. Consider the carnival crowd your band of followers and the barker’s pitch your integrated cross-channel sequence of posts and tweets. If you can apply the barker’s principles to your event’s social media presences you will find that everything that’s old is new again!


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Ask Andy: How to Create Consistent Marketing across Social Media

Ask Andy: How to Create Consistent Marketing across Social Media

Beyond • January 30, 2013

I hope that everyone has been enjoying the Marketing in Focus series so far! We’ve had some great guest bloggers contribute to this point and there’s several more to come. Don’t forget that you can win a GoPro Hero 3 White Edition video camera, just by adding Benchmark to your Circles on Google+. One of the parts of Marketing in Focus that I have most been looking forward to is a brand new edition of Ask Andy. That’s right, my cartoon counterpart is back! I hope that all of you are as excited as I am. This time, Ask Andy teaches you how to build consistent branding throughout your social networks. Photographers can also maintain their brand image across their platforms. I know many photographers that share a few of their favorite images from recent shoots on their Facebook or Google+ pages. When they do that, they add a signature or watermark to their photos. That way their own brand is attached to each image, no matter the subject. If your company wants to post photos on social media, one way to keep it grounded is to add a header or footer to the images. A simple bar that contains your logo, added above or below a photo, will tie your brand to the image. That way you don’t alter the image at all, and your brand will always be associated with it.


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Netflix Partners with Facebook around the World. Except the U.S.

Beyond • October 11, 2011

It was at the 2011 F8 developers conference in San Francisco when Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced a new partnership with social giant Facebook. In the announcement, Hastings revealed plans for a tight integration that would enable users to share information about the videos they are watching with friends via the social network, or directly through Netflix itself. The integration is set to roll out in 44 of the 45 countries it currently has a presence in. Believe it or not, the United States is the one country that got the shaft - it was not on the list! What’s the Big Idea? So what is standing in the way of the new Netflix-Facebook partnership taking off in the U.S.? An old video privacy law that originally went into effect back in the 80s. That’s right. According to the Video Privacy Protection Act of 1988, information regarding video rentals cannot be disclosed unless the renter provides their consent on a basis of rental by rental. This law, adopted nearly a quarter of a century ago by Congress, instantly stopped Netflix’s plans of integrating with Facebook USA in its tracks. And therein lies the rub. Like almost all botched moves in the marketing world, this one is starting to look like a bad business move on the part of the video rental player. Although the service is expanding its global presence slowly but surely, the United States is its biggest market by far. Netflix itself claims that it currently has more than 25 million members in the United States. This is in comparison to what has been estimated at around one million users in all other countries combined. Not being able to reach its legions of users in the U.S. is a lost opportunity and one that takes a lot of air out of what should be an enormous deal with Facebook. A Helping Hand The Video Privacy Protection Act became official after a video store in the Washington, DC area gave a local reporter the video rental records of Robert Bork, the U.S. District Judge whose nomination into the Supreme Court was rejected by the Senate for unrelated matters. Evolution may be the factor Netflix can leverage to turn the tide in its favor, seeing that there was no web or Facebook back in 1988. Michael Drobac, the company’s director of government affairs, said the law is in need of an update. He also encouraged users to write letters supporting an amendment that would change the law and allow Netflix to share video rental information in the U.S. Luckily for Netflix, it has been able to rally up support from its users, and a few members of Congress, who Drobac called “forward-thinking,” recently introduced a new law that would remove the roadblock and allow the Facebook integration to move forward in the United States. The bill, officially known as H.R. 2471, would essentially call for an opt-in program that gives the user the freedom to decide whether or not they want to share what they are watching with others. Netflix’s history with Facebook raises the question of whether it is really cut out for social media integration. Back in 2004, the service introduced a social feature called “Friends” that allowed members to see what their friends were watching, make suggestions and compare ratings. It pulled the plug on Friends in 2010 after learning that only 2% of members were using it. Earlier this year, Netflix discontinued another feature that allowed users to share movie ratings with friends on Facebook due to lack of usage. The latest integration effort may eventually reach the U.S., but by then, will it be too late?


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Beyond Benchmark: Check Us out on Nonprofit Spark Radio!

Beyond • October 7, 2011

Happy October, readers! It\'s time to get in that time machine and travel back to see what Benchmark\'s team did last month outside of this blog. Non-profit radio show interviews! Re-purposing email content for greater search engine results! Fund raising tips for grassroots organizations! It\'s all here for the reading...and listening. Hal Licino on Search Engine Journal When resident guru Hal Licino writes, he digs down deep. What you won\'t see: an article about creating good subject lines. What you will see: an article about using multivariate testing for extra-precise campaign results. Last month, Hal wrote a cerebral article for Search Engine Journal titled The SERP Value of Repurposing & Sub-Domaining Email Newsletter Content. If you\'re confused, don\'t worry. In a nutshell, it explains how to recycle that awesome newsletter content for a better rank in search engines. Check it out – you won\'t be disappointed. Denise Keller on WebTalkRadio.net After kicking off Benchmark\'s We Care About Kids program, where we give free email marketing accounts to non-profits that focus on teens and children, Denise Keller sat down with Renee McGivern in a short interview for the Nonprofit Spark radio show. The topic? Ultra-specialized email marketing needs for nonprofits. Denise also does a stellar job explaining what We Care About Kids does for charities, so if you\'d like to know more about the program, have a listen at Nonprofit Spark: Planned Gifts and Endowment Primer. Aidan Hiljeh on Nonprofit Technology Network In another bit of non-profit goodness, Benchmark\'s Non-profit Partner Liaison Aidan Hijleh wrote some great tips on fund raising for grassroots organizations for the NTEN blog. Unlike businesses, non-profit email and social media campaigns need a specific strategy that balances building “word of mouth” and creating incentives that drive members to open their wallets. Conducting surveys, segmenting member lists and other strategies take nonprofit fund raising to the next level, so read about Five Fundraising Tips for Grassroots Organizations to get great info from Aidan\'s substantial experience in that sphere.


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