IMC

Let’s face it: The success of your marketing campaign relies heavily on how effectively you can get people to do something. Whether it’s to download a guide, join a webinar, or buy a product. Making irresistible CTAs not only encourages user engagement, but it also generates leads, cultivates customer relationships, and increases your website’s conversion rate. And with how internet-savvy the netizens have become, simply creating a site or a landing page that “looks good” just won’t cut it anymore. If you want to influence them to take action on your offers, you need to have a compelling CTA. In this post, we’ll be taking a closer look at how you can create CTAs for your website that visitors can’t ignore. Ready? Let’s get to it.

If you haven’t noticed the rise of influencer marketing campaigns, you haven’t been paying attention. Influencer marketing is the cousin of celebrity endorsement — updated for today’s consumer. With traditional celebrity endorsements, you’d have a well-known person appear in your TV commercial or ad. With influencer marketing, you’re playing more to authenticity by getting well-known figures to integrate your product into their daily lives and share the result on social media, YouTube, and in blog posts. The end goal of both is the same — selling through social proof. But the difference is palpable — 92 percent of people trust an influencer over an ad or traditional celebrity endorsement. As a result, influencer campaigns are going to become more and more important in the coming years. Savvy marketers need to strategize a plan of action. If you’re not sure where to start, take a page out of the book of these three successful influencer campaigns and the lessons they teach us.

Glossier

Glossier is a beauty brand that’s seen exponential growth since its launch in 2014. Four years prior to its launch, the brand’s founder, Emily Weiss, began building a content site — Into the Gloss — which is a destination for reviews and profiles on all things beauty. The brand has used the power of their content platform to turn everyday people into influencers. Using the hashtag #ITGtopshelfie, Into the Gloss asks its audience to share a glimpse into their beauty cabinet or bag via a photo on Instagram. The best shares are turned into blog posts that highlight the person’s story and beauty picks. Regular people are elevated to celebrity status and each of their individual networks are tapped as a sphere of influence. Glossier also has influencer marketing campaigns with well-known individuals and these two approaches in tandem have been the main driver of their growth thus far. Takeaway: You don’t have to have a Kardashian on speed dial to create a successful influencer campaign. Certainly, the bigger following an influencer has the bigger the impact, but marketers know that targeted is better than broad. Sometimes putting your own audience members in the influencer seat can drive authentic connection that yields results.

Blue Apron

Blue Apron is a meal-in-a-box delivery service in an increasingly saturated market. Most of these services offer similar pricing and models, so Blue Apron needed a way to stand out. They started as most influencer campaigns do — with blogs and social media (nearly half of marketers using influencer campaigns use blogs and 87 percent create content on Facebook and Instagram). Posts of everyone from former contestants from The Bachelor to Olympians such as Michael Phelps cooking Blue Apron meals became so ubiquitous, that brand awareness couldn’t help but grow. And by providing each influencer with a unique promo code, Blue Apron created a low barrier to entry and the ability to track each influencer’s impact. Most recently, Blue Apron has started turning to podcasts to find their influencers. They not only sponsor the content, but get the hosts excited about the product and talking about it in their own unique way.   Takeaway: Influencer marketing campaigns aren’t one and done. Repetition is the key to memory so plan your campaign to build upon a customer journey. The more they see your product, the less they’ll be able to ignore it. Covering multiple channels at the right intervals will require the power of a marketing automation tool, so be sure to have the right one in place before embarking on your campaign.

I Am a Witness by Ad Council

I’m speaking at the PRSA International Conference in Boston today on a topic I’m really passionate about. Personas have been a great tool in marketing for decades. In the modern communications world, personas are incredibly helpful but not often used. One area where they can add the most to a communications campaign is during the actual pitch process. Using personas for pitching is something that can boost what I call the “pitch to placement ratio” enormously. In this post, I’ll explain how to develop the five main types of media personas. In addition, I’ll provide a list of questions to help create pitch plans based on that information. My presentation is embedded below as well. [caption id="attachment_13635" align="alignright" width="300"] Creating personas for pitching takes some lurking.[/caption]

Let’s examine the problem.

Public relations people have been in effect communications “salespeople” for years. Their job has been to develop relationships with key media personnel, introduce story ideas and pitch their clients’ products, people and/or services as part of the story. Before the internet, social media and content marketing public relations played a key role in the ideation and development of media stories.  But all that has changed. Factors like the explosion of blogs and other media outlets, reporters that are either changing jobs more frequently or freelancing among multiple outlets and content marketing have all made finding story ideas and experts much easier for the media. Taking it to a deeper level, as consumers we’ve come to expect a certain “experience” online when we’re shopping. This experience is driving expectations in our professional lives as well, where 75% of us want a truly “self-directed” shopping journey. Add to that a journalist's natural independent, or what I call the “reporter factor.” The media has probably been the fastest to leap onto this self-directed idea, and have bypassed public relations altogether.

Stats to back it up:

  • Over 4 million blogs are posted…daily according to Worldometers
  • A Cision report said that 20% of journalists relied less on PR last year
  • Of those still working with communicators, the same study said that nearly 40% say we need to respect their pitching preferences more
With the proliferation of media, less perceived influence on story creation and development, and fewer relationships many have come to regard it as a numbers game. They’re taking the firehose approach, spraying that message as far and wide as they can. And following up endlessly with outlets that may or may not help drive really targeted reach. Even this little blog has countless emails per day – many of them not nearly related to what I write about.

Why use personas for pitching

From a hot new band, to a boring car company, to every GenZ's favorite social network, these unconventional marketing campaigns stood out from the crowd.  Life is too short to stay in your comfort zone. That’s especially true of marketing campaigns. Not every campaign can be an innovative stroke of genius. But neither can every campaign follow the traditional general format. A well-timed unconventional marketing campaign can make a lasting impression and generate a great deal of buzz around your brand. Here are some of the most interesting unconventional marketing campaigns we've seen recently.  Marketing Campaign #1 - Subaru, Share the Love  Try to find the car in this supposed car commercial. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78z-xnLImFE And it’s not because Subaru doesn’t want to show off their cars - they won five prestigious awards in 2017. The Japanese car manufacturer’s recent “Share the Love” marketing campaign is part of a large scale US marketing outreach that accounts for 60% of the brand’s sales budget. Surely, a 60 second spot for a car that doesn’t even give a viewer a look at the car they’re trying to sell won’t work very well, right? It’s actually precisely what separated Subaru marketing campaigns from their lackluster competitors. Demand for cars has slowed in recent years, but Subaru’s unconventional marketing has been a major factor in its sales boom spanning back nearly 70 months of consecutive growth. Why did it work? Subaru has been targeting a liberal, mostly coastal audience for decades now. Words like “love,” “inclusion,” and images of adorable subjects like children and dogs tug at the heartstrings. The car industry is filled with monotony and it’s difficult to distinguish any one automaker’s ads from another’s. There are lots of sounds of engines revving and hairpin turns through mountain highways. We get it. Everyone’s got sleek designs and a cool logo. But can you remember any car ad that made you feel an emotion besides boredom? Generating an emotional response makes viewers associate positive feelings with Subaru. It helps them think more positively of the brand when it comes time to purchase a vehicle. When would a similar campaign be appropriate? Any time an industry is cluttered it’s a good idea to take another angle. Subaru proved the radical idea of ditching the product entirely is an effective way to stand out. Are you’re struggling to figure out what makes your product unique? Turn your attention to what makes your target audience unique and create new messaging from there.  

Marketing Campaign #2 - Snapchat, Spectacles

Snapchat has made it a very exclusive privilege to use one of its new features. The photo-messaging social media app has made its first foray into technology of its own with camera-equipped sunglasses called Spectacles. Spectacles are only available through distribution carts which appear for a fleeting amount of time before disappearing—mirroring the app itself. Drumming up excitement through scarcity has worked, and it shows. Some Snapchatters are eager to pay a pretty penny for the glasses through resale sites like eBay, to the tune of about $250, roughly double the retail price. Why did it work?

The secret weapon in any major brand’s arsenal tends to be their influencers and that makes an influencer marketing campaign critical.  These key members of their community are the catalyst for marketing efforts and act as liaisons between a brand and the vast majority of their audience. Establishing a strong connection with your influencers is tricky, but ultimately worth the effort.  Influencer marketing is the secret sauce that can turn a campaign around. The first step in this process, is making connections with the right people and doing it the right way. To help you can leverage this connection to maximize your campaign’s ROI, here are six tips you can apply to your influencer marketing campaign.

1. Define clear goals for your influencer marketing campaign

Before you start reaching out and connecting with influencers, establish measurable goals of your campaign.  Your influencer outreach campaign can contribute to several goals including:
  • Increasing brand awareness on social media
  • Generating leads and raise conversion rates
  • Targeting a new audience and engage them
  • Renewed interest with your current audience
  • Forging long-term relationships with your influencers
Starting with these in mind, you can properly curate and approach influencers that would be ideal for meeting these goals.

2. Choose the right influencers for your campaign needs

Choosing the correct influencer is far easier said than done. It involves a deep understanding of your audience, clear goals and a keen eye for people who hold sway in your niche or industry. Monitoring the activity on your social media profiles is a great way to see which people your audience engages with regularly. Tools like Buzzsumo can also help identify influencers in your industry and narrow down the candidate pool. Once you’ve found some options, take a careful look at their profiles. Make sure you review the ways in which they engage with their audience. Evaluate whether they truly do influence others' behavior.

3. Treat influencers like a brand

It’s important to treat influencers like a fellow brand, because that’s exactly what they are. They set about creating a blog and forging a memorable brand the same way your business did. It's important that you keep this in mind when you engage them. Like any strong brand, top-level influencers have a voice that carries across their audience. They work to create high-quality content in the same way that you do, and their influence is exactly why you’re reaching out. When you approach them, keep this in mind and talk candidly about your campaign’s objectives, your ideal voice and messaging, and everything else a partnership with another brand should know

4. Build the relationship first, before you go for the "ask."

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="167"] Meerman Scott's bestseller should be on the list of any best marketing books.[/caption] Whether you are hoping to update your reading list to include the best 2017 marketing books or your marketing skills could use a little update. Here are our suggestions for...