5 Simple, Yet Powerful, Tips for Authentic Influencer Outreach

Marketing Cloud

Influencers are great. The right one can amplify your brand message in ways you could never do alone. Tapping into the audiences of prominent influencers is smart practice, and brands everywhere are enthusiastic about effective influencer-outreach programs. But finding and securing the right advocates to disseminate information about your brand involves far more than just acquiring the following of influential individuals.

Authentic influencer outreach requires solid relationship-building, maintenance, and collaboration skills. Once you’ve identified key individuals who are advocating for your brand, it’s time to build a rapport that will lead to genuine interaction. Here are five simple — yet powerful — tips for maximizing authentic influencer outreach.

Pursue Influential Advocates — Not Enormous Followings

Before outreach can occur, you must identify the right influencers. And remember that bigger doesn’t always mean better! The number of supporters in an influencer’s following doesn’t necessarily predict how beneficial or influential he will be. It’s far more important to find appropriate brand advocates — those who can effectively debate the most relevant issues and pose solid arguments. However, they should pass the “eye test.” If you’re looking at an influencer who has 75,000 followers, you should expect to see a certain degree of engagement with followers who like, comment, and retweet content. If that engagement isn’t there, he might be speaking to an empty room.

To find the right influencers, start with individuals who are already advocating for your brand. Search your user community, as well as industry communities, where fans are likely engaging in dialogues that support your products and services. Within social networks, look to those who are most active with you across channels or promote news that you share.

Build Relationships Offline and In-Person — Not Just Online

Relationships that develop online — whether through email or social media — are important but not always the most meaningful. Spend time supplementing nice online exchanges with personal interactions, and the relationships you build will be more likely to last. Think about it like this: when you meet people in person, you typically get to know who they are and what their personal and professional backgrounds are. In many ways, relationships built offline are elevated, and oftentimes, there’s more incentive to maintain them. If the goal of influencer outreach is to establish a fan base that advocates for you, it makes sense to ensure that the relationship you build has solid roots — in not only the digital world, but also the physical one.

Demonstrate Gratitude for Influencers’ Audiences — Not Just Influencers

It’s easy to throw all of your influencers into one giant bucket — but don’t because they’re all different. Focus on each influencer individually. They’re all different, and it’s important to understand each of their communities and nuances to ensure you’re playing to key differentiators.

When building rapport with influencers, focus on addressing their audiences’ needs first. Answer the question, “what’s in it for me” from their perspective, and you’ll find it much easier to foster authentic engagement. Sure, you probably have a few specific things you need them to do, but it helps to show genuine gratitude by meeting the needs of their audiences first — before searching for support.

Maintain the Relationship Long-Term — Not Just Until Your Needs Are Met

An influencer’s value doesn’t end simply because your event or promotion does. In fact, for authentic interaction to take place, it’s critical to leverage the relationship you’ve built, which enables them to help you long term. Be responsive to their questions and needs, and appreciate their contributions and feedback. Find ways to continue partnering with them long after the event concludes.

Engage With Content That Influencers Create — Not Just Your Own

Finally, if you truly value the insights and feedback you receive from influencers, express it by actively engaging with content they create — not just your brand content but everything they create. With influencer marketing, best practice is to interact with them well in advance, so you don’t come across as pushy or selfish when asking for help on behalf of your brand. Besides, when you develop relationships with people who are important to your brand before you ever make a request, they’re more likely to view those requests as authentic.

Authentic influencer outreach is a lot like being a good neighbor. After identifying influential people who can help spread the word about your brand, it’s important to get to know them for who they really are. Spend time building genuine relationships, put effort into maintaining them, and be attentive to their needs before requesting help. It’s simple really. You must give to get — and that’s good neighborly advice.

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If You Build It: How Developers Enable Agile Marketing Teams

Marketing Cloud

The evolution of digital-marketing tools has transformed the way marketers think. Our workflows have transformed from hand-writing lead cards to feeding a digital-experience management engine. When we sit down to compose content, we are already attempting to connect these assets to monitor performance and assess ROI. Modern marketing tools are integrated across all marketing functions.

The marketing tools we use are only as useful as their designs. Marketers need their tools to be simple and fast to use, easy to understand, and able to function without knowing code. When a marketer wants to perform a function, the developer must create a tool that not only makes that desire a reality, but also allows the marketer to use it instinctively while maintaining intuitive customer experience as the end goal. An emerging group of program managers who helped build this experience can speak “marketese” and “code talk.” They facilitate sessions between developers and marketing experts so the developers can see how the end user is working. This coordination helps developers deliver better products. In turn, this allows marketers to provide a better-designed, more-strategic experiences for digital customers.

The best indicator of how well a marketing tool has been developed is how well it allows marketers to react to the market. They should be able to update content in a timely manner — without needing to involve Information Technology (IT). Extensive template use should make it easier to perform tasks such as updating forms or changing content on a mobile app. IT should not be required to own content; marketers possess the content through a system of owners and permissions so they don’t step on each other’s work. IT provides and maintains the tools that the marketers use to manage content. All of these factors show how well the developers have communicated and laid out the requirements for given tasks. A well-integrated platform supports developers, making it easier for them to create these marketing experiences. It also benefits IT to allow resources to be focused on mission-critical tasks rather than overall maintenance.

Another key indicator of a well-designed tool is that it uses open standards in its development. This ensures there is a community of contributors who support the standards and help the users of this technology. Adobe’s community consists of developers who are Adobe employees as well as developers who work for our customers and partners. We are committed to providing developers with the knowledge they need to do their jobs better — no matter where they work.

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IMMERSE, Adobe Experience Manager’s virtual developer’s conference, is our latest contribution to building and supporting this community of developers. It is a virtual conference, and thus, allows the greatest flexibility in participation and is intended for all developers and operations personnel responsible for designing, developing, deploying, and maintaining Adobe Experience Manager.

The name IMMERSE reflects the type of engaging developer experiences we want to deliver with this conference. With innovations in Internet of Things (IoT), connected cars, and virtual reality (VR), digital experiences are becoming even more immersive. Developers are an important part of the Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) ecosystem, and they become increasingly important as AEM becomes the bedrock of customer experiences with mobile apps and connections to other Adobe Marketing Cloud solutions, including Analytics, Target, Audience Manager, and Campaign.

Registration for IMMERSE is available now by using promo code TB8C33, which offers a special price of $75.00 USD, allows developers to attend any of the 70 sessions live, and provides access to all of the recordings through August 31, 2016.

The post If You Build It: How Developers Enable Agile Marketing Teams appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Content Marketing Debunked: What Are the Different Types of Content Marketing?

Marketing Cloud

Leading-edge companies are realizing that traditional marketing, sales, and customer-support practices are losing effectiveness in driving the bottom line. As content marketing has taken over, it has become much more important to engage your customers with relevant, helpful information rather than focus on pitching your product. A study Adobe conducted last fall found:

  • Consumers use an average of six devices and consume 12 sources of content; millennials use an average of seven devices and 14 sources.
  • Smartphones are the device most frequently used by millennials.
  • Nearly nine in 10 consumers (88 percent) say they multiscreen and use an average of 2.42 devices simultaneously.
  • Forty percent of consumers report feeling “distracted” when multiscreening; millennials report higher levels of distraction (48 percent) than other generations.
  • With time at a premium, consumers must prioritize. When limited to a 15-minute window to consume content, 66 percent would rather watch a video on breaking news than read an article.

Marketers everywhere are realizing that, if they don’t consider the whole customer journey and provide engaging content every step of the way — from lead generation through post-purchase customer support — they may be unwittingly gifting their customers to their competition. It pays to remember that your competitors are not a drive clear across town — they are but one click away!

Questions Every Marketer Asks When Crafting the Customer Journey
Consistently creating engaging content for targeted buyers at all stages of the buying process — from initial brand awareness to brand evangelism — is content marketing. With an information-saturated Internet, brands must compete for potential customers, devise ways to drive interaction, and battle to keep existing customers. Developing engaging content is the name of the game.

Marketers are looking at the customer journey and asking themselves:

  1. How engaging is my customer journey?
  2. Is my content consistent, relevant, and authentic?
  3. Have I segmented my audience, and do I truly understand my customer’s journey with my brand?
  4. Am I choosing the right content based on the audience segment at each touchpoint of the customer journey?
  5. Am I targeting the audience segment in a way that matters to that segment?

The types of content marketing available are evolving every day; each of them can be used at any stage of the customer journey, but they need to be carefully customized to match the touchpoint, channel, and moment. Relevance and context are everything. It is vital to remember that your content — whatever form it takes — must be useful for your audience as well as engaging and honest. A basic, partial list of content-marketing forms includes:

  • Explainer and viral videos
  • How-to guides
  • Whitepapers
  • Blogs that help solve relevant issues
  • Audio files
  • Infographics
  • Quizzes
  • Webinars
  • Coupons and giveaways
  • Games
  • Interactive media (e.g., interacting with images to obtain more info)
  • Social-media engagement

Tools for Each Step in the Customer Journey
Each step in the customer journey is distinct and must be handled differently, including:

  • Building Brand Awareness: Written content should be as limited as possible for sales leads who know nothing about you. Landing pages, videos, and possibly even engaging games are premier choices. It is estimated that over 70 percent of the world’s 2,000 biggest companies deploy at least one simple, targeted game for unqualified leads.
  • Increasing Brand Interest: You have their attention, so what now? According to Visually, “45 percent more web users will click on a link if it features an infographic” or checklist, and “30 percent of those will forward it even if the information is pointless.” Of course, please don’t try to create pointless data. Data visualization — a potentially powerful tool — taps in to the brain’s informational, visual, and emotional centers. Quizzes are another way to build interest.
  • Boosting Prospect Engagement: When leads show interest, they become sales-qualified leads, and most companies then refer to them as prospects. Diverse classes of prospects exist, and each one requires different engaging content. At this point, you must build trust and customer faith in your expertise. Offering how-to guides and free, helpful advice via blog posts or videos can be good choices. But nowadays, your prospect also needs to see substantial social engagement, so you’d better have great reviews, an engaging Facebook page, an active Twitter feed, and some impressive Instagram pictures.
  • Understanding Consumer Intent: Once your prospect is convinced that you are knowledgeable and trustworthy, you must prove that you are, undoubtedly, the greatest choice in vendors. How? By banishing their fears, of course. You might offer longer-form content like webinars, whitepapers, or short e-books. Certainly, your choices depend on your demographic. A millennial might not gravitate toward a whitepaper, preferring a dynamic webinar or video instead. However, a millennial from the university demographic may believe a good whitepaper to be the right choice. Understand your audience, segment, and then target.
  • Conveying Brand Evaluation: Your prospects may be convinced that they want your product, but with access to abundant digital resources, they will continue shopping to find the best deal. You could display a comparison chart that shows how much you outshine your competition or steer consumers toward your fun YouTube channel — and awarding new consumers with a first-time purchase coupon couldn’t hurt either! Testimonials and case studies are helpful, but don’t rely on them too much, since most potential customers will be suspicious of their authenticity. Third-party review sites are also helpful, but never solicit reviews from customers or offer goods or services in exchange for positive reviews.
  • Maintaining Customer Dialog: Once prospects officially become customers, the hard work continues! Reassure them with customer reviews (you want them to be repeat customers). Ongoing social-media engagement, blog posts, and newsletters are important. Maintain a dialog with customers about innovative ways to use your product or service.
  • Retaining Brand Advocates: Your best, long-term customers are also great brand evangelists. Contribute ongoing, helpful information they can share with others as well as offers, contests, and freebies for loyalty. This phase of the customer journey must be considered as significant as any other.

Your customer’s journey with your brand and content may be different today from what it was just a few years ago with all the electronics, channels, and touchpoints now available; however, some things will never change. Offer great quality products; treat every person like he or she is not only your first, but also your best consumer; and take advantage of every opportunity you have to communicate with your customers, always providing honest, meaningful information that enriches everyone’s lives.

The post Content Marketing Debunked: What Are the Different Types of Content Marketing? appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Using Social Media to Promote Social Good

Marketing Cloud

While a charitable gift may provide an initial boost to people who need help, it’s the social connections that provide lasting benefit. That’s why Heifer International is using Adobe Social, Adobe Analytics, and Adobe Target in Adobe Marketing Cloud to achieve its mission of ending global hunger and poverty.

Founded in 1944 to give communities livestock as a sustainable way to help impoverished villages, Heifer International has grown to offer business and education assistance. But the organic idea of creating cycles of positive change remains at the heart of the organization. Accordingly, within the communities it serves, Heifer international wants to help cultivate conversations among beneficiaries, donors, and the rest of the world.

“Using the combination of Adobe Social and Adobe Analytics, we have a clear view of the path from social channels to the website, what information people clicked on and shared, and the outcome of the interaction,” says Chris Hill, Web Analytics and Reporting Specialist at Heifer. “Additionally, we can relate those findings directly to specific KPIs—reach, engagement, and giving—so we can adjust our strategies according to individual campaigns.”

Through enhanced interactions, Heifer social marketers are more responsive to social audiences, responding to more than 90% of comments within two hours. The organization is also using Adobe Marketing Cloud to help victims recover from natural disasters. Earthquakes and typhoons in Southeast Asia in April and May 2015 created a massive need for funds, goods, and relief service, so Heifer quickly launched a Marketing Cloud campaign that engaged audiences across social, email, and online channels. Dynamic tagging using specific keywords, such as ‘Nepal’ or ‘typhoon,’ and targeted messaging quickly accelerated awareness and response.

You can read the full success story here.

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Five Things to Know About Mobile-App Conversion-Rate Optimization

Marketing Cloud

Mobile apps are becoming quite ubiquitous. However, sometimes, they simply do not do anything. Many brands have released apps that are nothing more than store locators — not something that consumers will use regularly enough to justify the precious memory being usurped from their smartphones. If you want to develop or improve your app, it is important that your app actually serves a need. Otherwise, customers will simply delete it.

If you want to go one step further and start increasing conversions, you must first make sure that you have given a lot of thought to your mobile-app strategy and are willing to test new designs, functionality, and messaging. Brands that are at the top of the conversion game are always testing. They test before launching an app; they test as customers move through that app; and they test each offer and campaign.

So, how much do you know about mobile-app conversion-rate optimization (CRO)? Whether you are a mobile-app CRO expert, or you have just recently stumbled upon the term and are searching for more information, you have come to the right place! I have compiled the following list of five things all brands should know about mobile-app conversion-rate optimization!

1. Optimized Downloads Reinforce User Experiences — Beginning with the initial offer to download your app, every user experience with your app should be personalized. Optimizing your experience and messaging for downloads is the first step toward ensuring strong, positive customer experiences with your brand.
2. Optimized, Easy-to-Use, Purposeful Layouts Attract and Maintain Users — No one who is not already in your sales funnel is going to download your app. If you truly want customers to use and progress through the sales pipeline, it is crucial that your app actually has a function or solves a problem, and it simply must be easy to use. If your app solves a problem or fills a need, but your users cannot figure out how to navigate it, then you have not actually resolved an issue.
3. Positive Ratings Encourage Potential Users to Dive in — Once you have built a functional app that serves a purpose and is easy to download and use, it is extremely important to garner positive ratings. Apps that have only one or two ratings are far less likely to be downloaded by additional users. Using prompts and personalized messaging to encourage repeat users of your app to rate it positively in the app store can be tremendously beneficial for increasing overall conversions.
4. Increased Functionality Puts Your Brand at the Head of the Pack — Adding functionalities that users may expect or capabilities that will inherently improve customer experiences can increase the likelihood that users rely on your app to serve a need in their daily lives. In turn, this increases the likelihood that they will turn to your brand for other needs and act on the offers that you provide them. If there are basic functionalities that you are not offering, the time to add them is now. For example, if you own a bank that does not allow users to deposit checks through a mobile app, you are already behind your competition. If you can provide additional functionalities to solve problems in your customers’ everyday lives, it is well worth the effort to test them. Even the smallest added functionalities can place your brand far ahead of the competition.
5. Delivering Targeted Offers Can Greatly Amplify App Usefulness — Are there specific marketing offers that you can provide for your customers based on the data they enter in their preferences? In-app targeting and push notifications that are based on user preferences can both increase an app’s usefulness and its likelihood that a user will return to use it time and time again. Brands should not just make blanket offers to all customers; offers should be based on what you know about your customers. You only have a certain amount of time that customers will be in-app, so it is important to push the most appropriate offers so that they are more likely to convert in that short amount of time that you have their attention.

Even Small Changes Can Create BIG Rewards

Conversion-rate optimization is a near-constant iterative process. However, as mobile apps become increasingly more personalized, you will be able to use the data collected via mobile to test new targeting options and functionalities. This cycle allows you to consistently improve your CRO through your mobile app.

Even a small change in conversion rates often equates to a huge change in actual dollars. You should not be scared to explore and embrace mobile apps as a new channel through which you can optimize conversion rates. Brands that are at the forefront of this trend will be ready to optimize their mobile apps to become something that their customers rely on to manage some part of their everyday lives. Once that occurs, it will be difficult for competitors to prove that they are better options. Ultimately, this means that you must begin optimizing mobile-conversion rates immediately, or your brand may be left behind!

The post Five Things to Know About Mobile-App Conversion-Rate Optimization appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Adobe, CloudCraze, and Deloitte Digital Join Forces to Help B2B Enterprises Power Up Their CX

Marketing Cloud

It is clear that consumers, influenced by increasingly positive B2C experiences, have begun to demand more from their B2B buying experiences as well. Though B2B companies have often struggled to justify investments in customer experience (CX), it is stated by Forrester that 77% of CX professionals say their executives want their companies to become CX leaders in their industries (Source: “How B2B Companies Make The Case For Customer Experience”, Forrester – June 2015). This is a clear sign that B2B companies are developing strategies for customer experience.

At the same time, the complexity of B2B processes – combined with the large variety of personas with which B2B companies typically interact – creates new challenges to delivering a personalized experience. Companies must first break down processes into distinct buyer journeys before they can begin to tailor the experiences for each of the key personas. For a bit more on journeys and understanding your B2B customers at a more granular level, you may find this Blog for Customer Experience Professionals post from Forrester a helpful source of insight.

In order to help B2B companies execute their CX strategy, Deloitte Digital is leading development of an integration between CloudCraze, market-leading SaaS B2B commerce platform, and Experience Manager, Adobe’s platform for creating, managing, and deploying the most consistent, engaging digital experiences..

Why Integrate Commerce and WCM?

Integration between a B2B Commerce platform and a WCM platform will empower marketing and line-of-business (LOB) staff of B2B companies to author website content related to, e.g. product information or elements of the buying process such as offers. This enables businesses to promote new content quickly or edit existing content that is shown by web analytics to be underperforming, in order to be more agile and achieve impact on business results more quickly.

The technology partnership between Adobe and CloudCraze puts the capabilities of each platform to drive customer experience into the hands of the business user. The coupling of these platforms, combined with the expertise of Deloitte Digital in solution development and deployment of commerce and experience technologies is the value this trio brings to B2B companies.

How About Cross-Device and Personalization?

Many customers will ask about cross-device interactions and data- and profile-driven personalization. These are common efforts among retailers and brands in the B2C space, but how will efforts evolve for B2B? Well, time will tell as B2B companies experiment and optimize, but Adobe is already prepared to address these topics for B2B as well.

Whether it be desktop or mobile optimized websites, smart device application content, or offline touch points such as e-mail or contact centers, which can all be relevant in B2B, Adobe Marketing Cloud can help drive the experiences. Content authoring by business users is what Adobe does best. And now, thanks to Marketing Cloud’s native ability to manage and share profiles, a B2B company’s valuable real-time and CRM data can be used to personalize content or power product or content recommendations for personas like buyers or users of customer support, which clearly have different needs.

Time for B2B to Take On the CX Challenge

Adobe, CloudCraze, and Deloitte Digital are further engaging in the challenge to help answer the growing demand for better B2B customer experiences. Through the latest technology and experience in practice, our B2B customers can be better equipped to take on the task. B2B companies will face a learning curve as they identify the processes that drive real value for their business, but without a doubt, this partnership will prove to offer a balanced approach to help maximize the return on those efforts. For further information regarding this partnership and the perspective of CloudCraze and Deloitte Digital, please refer to the CloudCraze press release here.

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The Cable Cord: Are Consumers Loving It, Leaving It, or Cheating on It?

Marketing Cloud

Do you recognize the following four types of pay-TV consumers? There’s:

1. Pay-TV subscribers who currently pay from a cable or satellite provider, or from a telco such as Verizon.
2. Cord cutters who have stopped paying for cable TV.
3. Cord nevers who have never paid for cable TV.
4. Cord cobblers who divide their attention between cable TV and its alternatives.

The pay-TV industry is well-versed on what’s happening with the first three groups. So, it’s what’s happening in the fourth group that’s the most interesting. Cord cobblers are spending an increasing amount of time with the large and growing number of direct-to-consumer OTT video services. Despite this competition, cable companies are hanging onto these subscribers through unique content, discounted subscriptions, and package deals. However, cable companies don’t have the cord cobblers’ undivided attention. This is bad for ratings and can be bad for TV advertising revenue.

It’s time to get to know cord cobblers

Cord cobblers are a big group. PwC’s Videoquake report estimates that over 65 percent of U.S. TV-watchers subscribe to Netflix, 34 percent use Amazon Prime Video, and almost 15 percent watch HBO Go. So, pay TV has to compete with these streaming video services, and others like them, for viewing time.

Cable companies may have a steep hill to climb to become the preferred entertainment source for cord cobblers. As just one example, consider the relationship that Rachel from Windsor, CA has with her cable company. When Rachel moved to a new apartment, her cable company made sure she didn’t become a cord cutter by offering her a better deal on cable Internet provided she also subscribe to cable TV. This was a “bundle offer” which is also otherwise known as “triple and quad play” offers. Now, her cable TV box gathers dust while she watches her favorite shows and movies on Hulu, Netflix, and SundanceNow Doc Club. How is Rachel’s cable company going to persuade her to watch shows on the cable box? It’s a real marketing challenge.

Driving consumers to action with data

The key action to drive with cord cobblers is viewing time. However, cable companies also need to inspire loyalty among cable TV subscribers who haven’t yet gone OTT, win back cord cutters, and win over cord nevers. All of these efforts require data and the technology to leverage it to drive consumers to action. And that’s where Adobe is uniquely positioned to help because it’s a trusted advisor with the tools for media and entertainment companies to capture audience intelligence and act on it. For more information about how Adobe Marketing Cloud can help your business succeed, click here.

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The Changing Role of the Social Content Marketer

Marketing Cloud

With many of us finally starting to get a handle on social media and how to maximize its use, marketing has once again been turned on its head. The role of the social-media marketer is changing to focus less on day-to-day channel management and more on content strategy, creation, and promotion. What does this mean for brands, and more importantly, what does it look like?

The Changing Nature of Social Media — Touching All Phases of the Customer Journey

Not too long ago, social media was a bright shiny object that no one knew what to do with. As brands began experimenting, they realized it was here to stay. Formalized departments were created, and brands began to manage engagement and plan and schedule social content. Today, social is still on the move, and its role within the organization continues to evolve.

As social matures, we are starting to see organizations more readily accept and embrace it. Brands that originally pushed it under the umbrella of digital marketing are now realizing a social strategy done well can have a positive impact on their customer base. Originally, social media was at the top of the marketing funnel; it worked well as a means to get people interested. Today, social is not just driving awareness, but it is actually pulling people deeper into the brand. Sure, customers will continue to engage across their journeys with brands, but engagement is no longer limited to a single stage in the process. Instead, it is taking place at many different phases throughout the customer journey.

Building the Customer Experience vs. Managing Channels

What impact does the changing nature of social have on brands? For one thing, an increase in digital channels has made everything real-time. Advancements in technology are taking place at the same time consumers and their expectations are shifting dramatically. Today’s consumers, no longer satisfied with just learning about brands, want a personalized experience. They expect brands to know who they are, what they want, and in some cases, help them understand why they want it. The bottom line? The expectation for a seamless, personalized experience is starting to drive how organizations set themselves up to manage these new realities.

Unfortunately, most organizations are not designed to effectively manage a seamless, personalized customer experience. Departments often function in silos — the email team creates and sends out emails; a website team handles analytics, conversions, and page views; and even the social-media team is focused on driving top-of-funnel engagement. However, if none of these teams are talking, you do not have a personalized experience.

The good news is that brands are realizing the channel-up approach is no longer working. It is a better strategy to place campaigns and content with the right message first. This way, channels are identified based on customers — where they are in the journey and how they are engaging with the brand. A planned shift needs to take place where brands move toward building the customer experience versus simply managing channels.

Content Marketing or Social Media?

Is there a difference between content marketing and social media? Are the roles blending together? While no one knows for sure, we are starting to see some changes. Where siloed channels were once creating their own content, content is now being pulled to the center and pushed out as needed across channels for a more unified message. The result has been reduced redundancy, reduced cost, and more brand consistency across channels. Smart brands are realizing that none of this can be achieved if content marketing is sitting by itself, operating separately.

While there are still customizations that need to take place, for the most part, content marketing is starting to build more into overall workflow. Teams that create content for a campaign make it available to both social and email, who then use images and assets that reinforce and support campaign messaging.

Looking to the Future — Driving Customized Content

What does the future look like for social-media marketing? We are likely to see social data and measurement used and considered across marketing more so than in the past. When we talk about measurement, we are talking about the ability to tie social activity to the rest of marketing while understanding its unique impact. This means pulling data from different sources and viewing it side by side to understand events and how to optimize strategy using those insights.

Tools in the social space will make the process easier, giving brands more actionable insight to help drive content out to their customer bases. Understanding the user, while identifying triggers for success for each piece of content and mapping those two together, will build a better experience for the customer. Easier said than done. However, having a content team and strategy that is centralized across marketing — and helping each team within the department communicate — is key. Viewing the customer holistically and matching data to strategy will help brands optimize customer experience more effectively.

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4 Keys to Effectively Measuring Your Content Marketing Efforts

Marketing Cloud

Gone are the days when customers were led to your brick-and-mortar storefront from just a few channels such as the telephone book, a billboard, a print ad, or a webpage. Today, the number of channels and devices available for your customers has skyrocketed.

A study released last fall by Adobe reported that, on average, US consumers are using six devices and viewing 12 different sources of content regularly. The fundamental nature of attracting customers has changed, and the quality of your digital content is now the driver for nearly every aspect of successful customer engagement.

Content marketing — most recently, using videos, blogs, and websites — is a powerful and engaging way to get your message out. However, effectively measuring your content-marketing efforts can be challenging — but not impossible. Here are four keys:

1. Know Your Goals: Effective measurement isn’t possible if you aren’t clear about your goals. Are you addressing an existing audience or trying to attract a new one? Is your offering seasonal or ongoing? Your goals may vary depending upon the channel and type of content; they span all your business divisions:

  • Brand awareness and reinforcement
  • Lead conversion and cultivation
  • Customer loyalty and retention
  • Customer upsell and opportunity

Departments must integrate talent, processes, and goals. Of course, your goals will be affected by your particular customer’s lifecycle, your specific business objectives, and your campaign’s objectives. However, once established, your goals should be consistent over the long term and continually reinforced across the organization.

2. Evaluate Your Metrics: Measuring the effectiveness of your content-marketing efforts requires access to a lot of data, but most businesses suffer from having too much data from too many different sources.

Each channel has different metrics to measure that must all be assessed and analyzed. For example, with webpage content, page views and click-throughs matter. For social-network postings, views, shares, responses, and comments are important. For your videos, the length of time a customer watched and where they stopped the video are critical metrics.

Once you have some experience with the data you have selected, determine whether you are collecting the right information. Are the metrics useful? Should your data-collection strategy evolve? Once you have decided which metrics to measure, the timeframe for data collection will vary. For example, some measurements come in quickly, such as number of page views; but others, such as qualified lead generation or order conversion, will take more time, especially if they require that you look for trends.

In addition, testing is vitally important. Test headlines, blog-post variations, lead-in images — anything and everything. Be nimble and change midstream if trends suggest a different version would be more engaging with a particular audience.

3. Integrate Your Tools: Tool integration is important so that you can pull data while you’re creating content and change directions if you need to, based on the results of your tests.

The more you use an integrated platform for digital-asset management and data collection and analysis, the easier it will be to monitor and measure metrics in your campaign. Create a simple dashboard that can be shared throughout the organization for regular updates on how the content you are creating supports the key business objectives you identified. Without such integration of content and analytics, the acquisition and analysis of these metrics becomes much more difficult, and you are unable to respond easily to needed changes or adjustments in your campaigns.

4. Build Your Content Velocity: We have become a society based on impatience! Adobe found four main reasons why people stop engaging with content:

a. 85 percent leave because images won’t load quickly enough,
b. 83 percent leave because the content takes too long to load,
c. 68 percent leave because the content is too long, and
d. 73 percent leave because they think the content is “unattractive.”

Can you scale your content production to meet the growing content needs of every audience and channel? Marketers need to streamline processes to create, manage, deliver, and optimize high volumes of dynamic assets, so content does not become a bottleneck to marketing strategies. Use the dynamic tools available today to be sure your digital assets are properly placed throughout your channels and are optimized for every possible device.

To be successful today, content-marketing strategies must keep up with the changing trends in how customers use digital assets, they must be nimble and ready to change, and they must be responsive to customers’ desires for experiences that seamlessly span channels and devices.

Creating successful content is a multifaceted process. You need to understand every aspect of your customers’ interactions with your brand. You must understand their interests and needs and what platforms and channels they are using to get to your digital assets. And you must be able to effectively measure how the content you produce is supporting your organizational goals.

The post 4 Keys to Effectively Measuring Your Content Marketing Efforts appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

How Customer Data Helps Fairfax Media Offer Better Content

Marketing Cloud

One of New Zealand’s largest media companies is getting to know its customers better to deliver more relevant content and connect them with meaningful advertising. Fairfax Media New Zealand is making better editorial decisions with help from Adobe Campaign, Adobe Analytics, Adobe Experience Manager, and Adobe Audience Manager in Adobe Marketing Cloud.

Fairfax Media operates dozens of newspapers, magazines, and digital properties that reach millions of Kiwis every day. In fact, the company’s flagship news and entertainment website, Stuff.co.nz, is the largest website in New Zealand after Facebook and Google. But Fairfax Media couldn’t take advantage of customer data that was fragmented across the organization.

“Our existing customer data was siloed into four separate marketing automation solutions,” says Grant Torrie, Audience Growth Manager. “We needed a cross-channel solution that could take our marketing to the next level. Adobe Marketing Cloud delivers integrated tools that support our end-to-end marketing efforts, helping us manage data, analyze it for insights, and produce effective marketing.”

Fairfax Media consolidated on Adobe Marketing Cloud with help from Adobe business partner DT Digital. From a single platform, marketers can share information and perspectives more easily, allowing Fairfax Media to gain deeper knowledge of how marketing campaigns and advertisements engage readers.

You can read the full success story here.

The post How Customer Data Helps Fairfax Media Offer Better Content appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.