Erik Solan on Crafting A Digital Conversation for Content Amplification

Vertical Measures - Content AmplificationTo successfully amplify content you need to start with the end in mind! What’s your goal for the content? Do you want someone to complete a form? Download an eBook? What about schedule a demo?

Today we share the highlights from Erik Solan of Vertical Measures in his presentation on content amplification.

Note: We highly recommend you download the workbook for this presentation at https://bit.ly/rocksdigitaldallas to go along with this live blog.

Content Amplification – Begin with the End in Mind

This concept is very relevant to this strategy. Ask what are you looking to amplify. If you don’t know, determine that.

Question from the floor: Isn’t awareness and traffic a byproduct of conversion?

What is most commonly done – in search for example – is that there are people who ask for your products. When you go higher up the funnel, then there are fewer indicators. People may only be just looking, but could still be a very good match for you. Awareness is putting your product in front of the audience for the first time. After that, your mission is to help them want to get your product.

Here’s an example. Let’s say someone walks up to you, and you tell them “We have 0% APR.” That’s great, but if that person is not looking for a car, then that may not mean anything at all to them.

It’s like having a billboard. For every 1,000 people who buy after seeing your general billboard you pay $20, versus having a specially designed billboard that can read what people are in the car, the number of kids, etc., and then you decide whether or not you want to show your billboard! That would be much more cost-effective.

How to Budget Time and $$$

How much you choose to spend on a marketing campaign is a balance-of-budget issue. Erik pays a premium because there are 45 audiences they can choose from when they run their marketing campaigns, which is useful to the type of marketing campaigns that he runs. Otherwise you don’t have to get that specific, which means you can spend less money on your marketing campaign.

Here’s some info from the presentation worksheet:

AMP Strategy – What is success? Write down your objective and how you can measure it.

Example: I want to increase brand awareness. I will measure social following, brand mentions and social channel referral traffic.

Review the Website Analytics and Answer These Questions

  1. Where is my traffic coming from?
  2. Are these audiences engaging?
  3. Which audiences are converting?

You need to understand how that information looks on those channels to figure out your amplification strategy.

What’s a direct organic referral? The consumer came to the site, and a referral site convinced him or her to come back and convert.

Looking at Content by Channel

When looking at traffic by channel you are looking at behavior by channel. Some clients only look at the end results, but you want to look at how you got that conversion (via email, ad, and so on). It’s important to know where conversions are coming from!

Identify Promotion Gaps

You can see that traffic is coming in, but the conversions are low.

Question from the floor: How long should you go with a strategy before you decide it is not working for you?

Erik usually goes with 90 days. Also, different times of year must be taken into account.

Question from the floor: If your bounce rate is high, what causes that?

Look at how long it takes the page to load. Also, look if your page is relevant. Sometimes the page will have great content and information but will be too cluttered. In that case the person gets frustrated and leaves. The audience looking at your page may be used to a more focused design where getting the information they need is simple and easy.

Question from the floor: Is there a reliable online tool to test your website speed?

Absolutely – Google Developer tools.

And let’s clearly define a “bounce” – that’s when someone comes to a webpage, and they leave without engaging with the page AT ALL, regardless of the amount of time.

Content Types: What’s in the Digital Toolbox?

Infographics. People like them, and they are really great to put out on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Other tools include:

  • Interviews
  • How-to’s
  • Lists
  • Podcasts
  • Step-by-steps
  • Newsletters
  • Case studies

What Do You Have to Work With?

Let’s say you want to promote your best video content, but it’s all at least two years old and a minimum of 5 minutes long. Well, then it’s definitely time for a re-shoot and heavy edits.

What if you need more content to play with? This is a great time to re-purpose your content.

For instance, we just made a huge pitch to Brand X. Here we could re-purpose multiple slides explaining our current capabilities.

If we are participating in a Memorial Day volunteer event, let’s re-purpose our traditional media material into social or email content.

Sponsored Social – Influencer Marketing Lead Nurture

Why amplify on social channels? Exactly because of stats like these:

  • There are 500M tweets per day
  • Every minute there are 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube, believe it!
  • On Facebook, there’s a 2% chance of followers seeing your organic post

In short, there’s a very slim chance of people seeing your content if you don’t choose to get your content in front of your audience.

Sponsored Social – Platforms

These include Facebook, Google, Pinterest, and so on. If you are looking to send your process across numerous channels, objectives will be Awareness, Traffic, and Conversion. Decide which you want to focus on!

With Awareness, you want people to know your post is there.

Traffic aims to get as many people to your post as possible.

And for those who check out your post, with Conversion as a focus you want them to convert.

Audience

1st Party – can re-target the consumer and can look at expanding your audience. Use what you know about existing profiles to understand what to do with that information later.

  • Behavioral
  • Interests

Too little volume will give false positives. But go too big, and you won’t get usable data.

The Importance of Content

You must grab your audience’s attention; be eye-catching! Also be aware that most people are going to see your content on a mobile phone. Be sure to test your video! Many Calls To Action are often eye catching, but they are not always entirely clear on what the ad wants the viewer to do. Be very clear on what you want your audience to do.

Optimize – Engagement, Segment, Test

Are there different concepts or sections that work better? You may have to see what is working for you, and understand what is not working.

Question from the floor: How long do you usually run your paid ads?

It depends on the budget. For the top budgets, we can leave them on for awhile, but if the budget is smaller, we must be more specific with what we want to get the ad-viewer to do. When working with a client we have to figure out things including how long it takes for a client to make a decision. That will influence whether or not they want to run a paid ad. You have to figure out when it makes sense to start, and also when to shut things off.

Know Your Audience

You have to test your content. While 15 seconds may test well with one segment, the 5-minute video might test better with a different segment. Remember this: Be aware and try not to use your own preferences when working to figure out the right audience for your ad.

Sponsored Social – Testing

Multi-Variable Creative

  • Graphics
  • Video length
  • Post headlines & copy
  • CTA buttons
  • Layout

To make it easier to know what is making the difference, only change one variable at a time. Plus, make a very clear call to action.

Landing and Placement

  • Landing Page
  • Custom URL tagging
  • Channel placement
  • Desktop vs Mobile vs Tablet

Driving Audience to Your Content

Grab tasty snippets from blog posts and experiment with promotion on Twitter. Build summary cards to improve CTR.

Twittercards / overview

Turn existing instructional content into how-to’s, guides or video tutorials. Promote on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn.

Consider Nationwide Insurance – they have content on their website, but they also have a YouTube channel, and the videos there are shared on various websites.

Sharing Strategies to Drive an Audience to Your Content

  1. Re-target email lists to inform current visitors of new offerings.
  2. Re-target specific landing page contacts to amplify next-step content appropriate for their stage in the funnel.
  3. Target Look-a-Like audiences created from your best performing audience groups to increase impression volume and reach.
  4. Create custom audiences based on browsing habits.

Sponsored Social – Influencer Marketing

Why influencers? With a $6.85 ROI for every $1 invested, influencers are a must. 71% of consumers are more likely to purchase based on social media references, leading to a 37% higher retention rate.

Let’s define an influencer. This is someone who already has a channel, and people are paying attention to them. Influencers are usually not biased, and not paid.

Comment from the floor: Focus on getting influencers that cost less. Don’t go for the influencer that has 10,000 followers, but the ones with 5,000 followers – and see if they will post your content. If you have the budget for it, you could fly those people to events.

To find influencers, utilize content indexing tools to research them, the audience they have, and the content they like to share.

Example sites: BuzzSumo, EpicBeat, SocialAnimal.io, Twitter Search Tool, Pinterest Search Tool.

Become a fan, and start following the influencer(s). It makes contacting them later much easier, and much more personal as well. Look for influencers with a good following that you yourself could follow.

Here’s an example. Let’s look at Jacksfilms (the project of John Patrick “Jack” Douglass). Lynda.com did a collaboration at lynda.com/jack. That landing page says “Welcome, fans of Jack’s Films!”

Tips for Working with Influencers

  • Do your Research – is the influencer a good fit for your brand?
  • Be a Fan – follow, comment, share, engage
  • Build Relationships – use a personal customized approach
  • Set Expectations – compensation, ROI, goals
  • Content Collaboration – let them speak
  • Cultivate – send thank you’s, follow-up metrics, and build future opportunities

Keep in good contact with your influencers so if you need something pushed out quickly, you can easily contact them back.

Why does this work? The reason influencers work is because you’re using the authentic qualities of the influencer. If you try to put the content in your own voice, it is going to show. YouTube celeb Casey Neistat is a good example of this. Samsung will give him money to make videos with a Samsung phone, plus he is given complete creative control.

Lead Nurture

Let’s look at some stats:

  • 23% shorter sales cycle than traditional email blasts
  • 47% larger AOV than non-nurtured leads
  • 50% more leads 33% lower cost per lead (CPL)

While email marketing pushes out information to everyone in a contact list, Lead Nurture personalizes a sequence of emails that are specific to that person, depending upon what they’ve been looking at on your site. There are multiple steps to this, and there are tactics to increase the open rate, and the interaction rate.

Lead Nurture – Process

  • First, know your audience, then segment by interests, segment by activities, and segment by audience details.
  • Content should be specific to the segment, based off the demographics of the audience. It should also be specific to the stage in the funnel; it depends on how often they open an email, or visit the site.
  • Plan to optimize the following: Workflow content, landing page forms, and audience segments.
  • To obtain more information surveys can be done after an event. That way, people who buy the products can become advocates of the product.

Lead Nurture – Segments

What is the status of the customer? Did they open the email, etc. These are examples of things that need to be thought about when working on lead nurture.

Look at Autopilot to engage customers at the right time. It’s a cool tool to use.

Lead Nurture Tip

  • Forms – Be sure to create necessary forms and fields
  • Scores – score your leads and integrate marketing and sales
  • Personalize – segmenting lists allows you to speak directly to audience
  • Expectations – 7: that’s the average number of contacts to get a response

And of course, testing is involved! Test workflow touch points, email content, CTA, and amplified content.

Did you know that leads contacted within 5 minutes of submissions are 21 times more likely to convert? (Source: HubSpot, 2016.)

Channel Selection

In selecting channels, determine what channels present the best opportunities for success.

The User Journey – Awareness

Use awareness to spark interest in your products or services with your highest-engaging audience. Tools to spark awareness include sponsored social programmatic, press releases, and so on.

Again, use influencer marketing on the user journey while measuring impressions and traffic, click through rate (CTR), and engagement metrics.

Content Rate

Use top-of-funnel content. You want to answer common questions, plus emphasize key benefits and comparisons. Build confidence in your audience, create urgency and validation, and deliver promotional benefits.

Your goal is to educate your audience and become a reliable resource that is easy to find.

Use tools such as sponsored social, paid search, lead nurture, and programmatic. Measure click through rate (CTR), engagement metrics and micro conversions.

.sk for share .sk for share

The Decision

Help your audience make a buying decision they are comfortable with. Tools to use include social re-targeting, paid search, programmatic, and lead nurture. To measure this, look at conversion rate, transactions, revenue and of course ROI.

Advocacy

Advocacy assists with marketing efforts and further establishes the brand as a trusted source. All businesses and brands should enlist the customer to advocate for the brand. Advocacy tools include lead nurture, social media measurement – open rate, satisfaction rate, social shares and reviews.

You will want to solicit feedback, so ask for input and yes, ask for shares.

Don’t forget to download the workbook at the link shared above!

Edgar Griggs

Edgar Griggs loves to learn about new technologies and high tech gadgets! You’ll find him at local events around the DFW Metroplex and sometimes blogging for websites like The Interestingly Cool Stuff Blog and his TrendHunter page at TrendHunter.com/CoolTrends!

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