Tags: social

Millennial Marketing 101: Integrating Email Campaigns Through Social Media

Millennial Marketing 101: Integrating Email Campaigns Through Social Media

Beyond • October 27, 2015

Millennials haven’t ditched email for social, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage of social media. Marketers can reverse direct traffic back to their marketing campaigns from social media. There are several ways to do that but the most effective and focused way is through your current email subscriber list. Here’s how you’re going to do that: Include Social Sharing Icons Include social media icons in your email marketing campaigns to get recipients to share the campaign on their social network. This helps you drive more attention for your campaign and increase subscribers. However, for this to happen, you need to have a visually stunning and/or highly creative email campaign with very clear calls to action to share. Once you’ve set the call to action, activate that bar, graphic or icon as a link or social share trigger. For Millennials, never say something as hideous as “click here to share this email campaign,” which is the best way to date yourself as incredibly uncool. In addition to social sharing on multiple platforms, try focusing on one. And if you’re unsure about which social channel to choose, run an A/B test prompting a share with your two top guesses. This brings us to our next point: focusing on one network. Focus on One Network The thing that Millennials and the super successful and wealthy have in common is that they’re incredibly busy people. The successful 40-year-old executive may be focusing on growing her empire and raising her family, but the Millennial is just as lightening fast. The Millennial may already have a start up empire or they may be couch surfing on Airbnb. The point is that the nature of the Millennial is multi-faceted and hyper attentive, meaning they can filter through multiple streams of communication while juggling a handful of priorities. It’s this ability that’s made them so attractive to a workforce. However, for you this means that you’ve got to make communication as dead simple as possible. Golden Formula: Clear Calls to Action and Efficient One-Step Actions When it comes to email marketing, you can use the same strategy to get users to share your email marketing campaign. However, in this case you’re going to be laser focused on one getting them to share on a specific social network. This works for two reasons: (1) you’ve taken away from a decision they need to make, however small, that frees up more time for action, (2) you’ve made it really simple to move forward with action. As a rule, these two step protocols that gauge the level of efficiency in communication is a must-have vetting process for any communication piece you design for a Millennial audience. But it doesn’t just start and stop with Millennials. That 40 year old Generation X executive who is fluent in a Millennial’s world – and a part of it as well – will want the same level of clarity. And of course, as a last measure, ensure that you’re featuring email opt-ins on your social media network: Facebook, Twitter, and even Pinterest are great places to start widening the net for your subscriber list.


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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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Using the Rules of Social to Increase Email Campaign Shares

Using the Rules of Social to Increase Email Campaign Shares

Beyond • May 27, 2015

Emails marketing tends to intimidate many business owners, but email marketing isn’t that far off from blogging and social media. Just like blogging, email campaigns require thoughtful content. And just like social media, you need to craft content that will quickly connect with your readers – and get shared. Getting your email campaign shared is the lesser known goal of a great email marketing. But it makes sense: you’ve spent the time building a campaign so why should it just stop at a click? If you employ the right strategies, you can extend the life of your next email. Recognition One way to get your email shared is to highlight a certain individual, company, or organization. You’ll see this done on Twitter, where people “favorite” or retweet a tweet they were mentioned in. The same rule can be applied to email. Perhaps you have a favorite vendor or local organization you’d like to draw attention to. Recognize that person with a spotlight feature in your email campaign, and you can be sure they’re going to want to share it. Make it Simple to Share Most novice email marketers, along with most readers, don’t know that you that each email marketing piece has a stand-alone link that extends the shelf life of your email. That link can be shared on social, but not so much if no one knows it exists. That said, have clear calls to action in each email that guides people to this action. You can say something like, “Use this link to share this on social,” or “Click here to view URL.” Again, how you phrase it will depend on your audience. Older subscribers, for example might not do too well with the “URL” call to action. Another option would be to include activate social sharing with your campaigns. You can include social media buttons that directly guide readers to sharing that content on select social sites. Give Engagement Options Some people just don’t like to engage on emails, but they love engaging on their preferred social channels. That said, make it possible for people to engage your brand on their preferred platform. Your email campaign can include a button, link or some similar call to action that directs people to where they want to be. Some will prefer Instagram, others YouTube, Tumblr or even a direct landing page. Determining who wants to be where is pretty easy too. You can send out a quick three question survey to readers. You can integrate the top 3 platforms you know your readers are on into each email, which can be time consuming but worth it and tailored in the future based on which options are getting used more than others. The idea is to make it easy for people and get help stimulate exposure of your campaign content to their network. You can also take the first step and ensure that each email campaign is shared on your own social networks. If you’ve included a spotlight mention, make sure you tag the appropriate people. Going a step further, you can also tag people who you feel might be interested in the content, which is a strategy that works remarkably well on Twitter.


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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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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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Social Media & Law Enforcement: 21st Century Cops & Robbers

Beyond • October 20, 2011

The two young people found hung under a bridge in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico bore a message: \"This is going to happen to all of those posting silly things on the internet.\" It seems that one of the drug cartels had not taken lightly to citizens Tweeting about criminal activities along the border with the United States and decided to eradicate that source of information. As social media is becoming the hub of the lives of countless millions of people around the world, it is inevitable that it becomes embroiled in criminal activities and that law enforcement agencies would be swiftly adapting to the new realities. From Flash Mobs to the Overthrow of Governments The recent riots in London, Vancouver, Rome and elsewhere have been largely directed via social media. The Occupy Rome protesters harnessed virtually every major social network to act as a command and control center in their recent rampage through the Eternal City. UK Prime Minister Cameron has stated that he wants to “give the police the technology to trace people on Twitter or BBM or close it down… when people are using social media for violence.” Every government assailed during the Arab Spring attempted to quash social networking to some degree as Tweets were being utilized to mobilize the citizenry and direct them to protest locations where reinforcements were required. The ability for any social networker to instantly communicate with thousands or even millions of like-minded people is proving to be a powerful tool to direct activities ranging from flash mobs to the overthrow of governments. SoLoMo & Hyperlocal along with Miranda The enforcement agencies whose job it is to maintain law and order have had to take crash courses in social networking applications so that SoLoMo (Social, Local and Mobile media) and hyperlocal have become as much a part of policing fundamentals as reciting Miranda. As police departments all over the world have begun to leverage social media to assist them in their duties, some are proceeding in controversial ways. Wired recently ran an article covering the use of social media by police departments and reported on a Toronto police officer who has the club district beat and checks into Foursquare every time he enters a venue. The reason? Not only to inform the attendees that there’s a cop in the room and they’d better be on their best behavior, but also to save a screenshot of everyone else who’s checked in so if anything does happen he has a witness list on hand. How Long until Bank Robbers Tweet? While some would state that capturing check-in data is no different than looking around a location to identify individuals, it’s a far cry from “an early 20s caucasian man with bangs wearing a black Caviar Dremes tattoo shirt” to a social media link, which usually includes full contact information. Then again, if a Foursquare user is so cocky as to check-in to a night club where they’re intending to deal drugs, it can be argued that they’ve got it coming. Social networking has become so ingrained into the lifestyles of dedicated users that it’s only a matter of time before some misguided social media-addled criminal Tweets the play by play of robbing a bank or hijacking a truck. Police Tweet, Twalk & Data- Snack In contemplating the impact of social media on their nations and cities, governments all over the world are taking steps that vary from training police officers how to Tweet, twalk and data-snack, all the way to shutting down entire networks in order to quell violent uprisings. Although one of the primary appeals of social media is that it costs nothing to use, law enforcements departments are quickly learning that if they wish to capture and scrutinize the vast amount of information generated on social networks, they will need to command vast and potentially unconstitutional powers of interception as well as data analysis budgets that would dwarf the CIA’s.


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