Four ways to turn your social media and email marketing into a well-oiled machine

Four lessons in turning your social media and email marketing into a well-oiled machine

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Social media marketing and email marketing may seem a little redundant in the brave new world of AI and emerging technologies. However, they are still a powerful part of any marketing arsenal.  Think of social media and email marketing as the Neil and Tim Finn of the online marketing world. They just play really well together! 

Social media and email marketing are the Neil and Tim Finn of the online marketing world

Here are some key ways to seamlessly integrate your social media and email marketing efforts, then watch as new customers come within your reach.

Lesson 1. Email marketing Is not the daggy jumper you should throw away

Email marketing has somehow earned the reputation in online marketing circles as being akin to a  hand-knitted jumper with a dog motif.  But ask yourself, how many times have you checked email today or this week? According to email marketing research by UK based think tank Econsultancy, in 2017, 74% of client-side marketers rated email marketing as being either excellent or good for return on investment. 

Lesson 1. Email Marketing Is Not the Daggy Jumper You Should Throw Away
Lesson 1. Email Marketing Is Not the Daggy Jumper You Should Throw Away

That’s a pretty good reason to continue with email marketing. Although the landscape has shifted quickly in recent years, with AI and personalisation becoming the driving force behind email marketing campaigns.

Lesson 2: Create clickable content but not Click Bait

Lesson 2: Create clickable content but not Click Bait
Lesson 2: Create clickable content but not Click Bait

If you create a compelling and informative email newsletter, that tells people something that they didn’t already know – they may be compelled to share it. 

Always Connect

Any integrated social media and email marketing campaign should be united by genuine attempts at connecting with your audience. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a monetary incentive or discount offer. The invitation to connect could be far more personal and authentic than that. It could include:

Interesting, relevant content

Interesting and constantly refreshed content that is made to be compelling, informative and enjoyable to your audience and touches on what matters to them.

Training, support and the opportunity to build genuine connections

While monetary and discount rewards are relevant for generating quick sales. This doesn’t engender long-term customer loyalty. Instead, loyalty is built by having genuine and personalised conversations with your audience. This could be through offering support, training or knowledge-based rewards to your audience that build trust. Email and social media are perfect distribution channels for this.

Lesson 3: Optimise and test your email marketing

 Lesson 3: Optimise and test your email marketing
Lesson 3: Optimise and test your email marketing

Any primate with an opposable thumb can slap an opt-in button onto an email. However, a true email marketing artisan will test as well. It’s always a good idea to run some A/B testing on your eDM and your website for various opt-ins. Test various colour combinations and combinations of text and positioning on the page to find the most effective formula. Optimise and test your eDM itself to see what resonates best with your audience. Where it’s possible, you should personalise your email marketing through CRM personalisation tools (like those available in HubSpot and MailChimp).

Lesson 4: Offer loyalty incentives

 Lesson 4: Offer loyalty incentives
Lesson 4: Offer loyalty incentives

According to the Data and Marketing Association’s latest report, many brands are missing out on the benefits of customer loyalty initiatives. Only 49% of marketers in the survey said their company offered such a scheme.

Interestingly, it wasn’t only monetary incentives that interested the consumers in the study. Consumers also wanted rewards based on location, personalised emails, and game-like challenges.

Leverage these four lessons for integrating both social media and email marketing, and you will have mastered a valuable skill for cross-promoting your products or services. Good Luck!

Do you want to integrate your social media and email marketing into one well-oiled machine? Get in touch with me below.

Six creative ways to get more customer testimonials

Six creative ways to get more customer testimonials

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The most effective way to grow your audience is through the power of testimonials. Testimonials are the old-fashioned way to build reputation and legitimacy for your brand. Sometimes the old-fashioned methods of marketing are the best ways!

Although without the right tools at your disposal, getting testimonials can be like pulling teeth. The most effective ways to get testimonials is to leverage the power of the internet.

​ 1. YouTube Unboxing Vlogs

Probably the most powerful customer review or testimonial at the moment is an unboxing video review on YouTube. This kind of review entails a vlogger literally receiving a package from a brand and then unboxing, assembling, using and assessing the product for the first time, while filming for YouTube.

This form of review is ideal for consumer tech, FMCG or retail brands. Building a vlogger outreach component into your marketing strategy will pay dividends, with increased sales. This is because having a prominent and popular vlogger endorse your products in the video is a bit like the holy grail for marketing right now.  It is possible to sponsor an unboxing segment on vlogs, but that makes it less genuine.

B2B brands can still get in on the action with vloggers and user-generated storytelling too, it just requires a little more creativity in the approach. 

You could ask permission from the Vlogger to use their vlogs on their own social channels and to quote the most praiseworthy parts as text-based testimonials on their website. This could lead to relationship-building with the prominent blogger, and them being aware of your brand. This is how genuine collaborations and vlog reviews happen. Become a fan of theirs first and share their content. Then, after a few months of doing this, you have some leverage to ask for a review.

Six creative ways to get more customer testimonials

​ 2. LinkedIn Recommendations

Linked In recommendations are great. However you can’t leave a recommendation for a company page, only for individual people. Nonetheless, this is a fantastic opportunity if you happen to be an owner/operator or sole trader.

For larger organisations, it’s still possible to leverage Linked In for company reviews. Encourage individual employees to ask for testimonials from clients regarding specific projects they worked on. Then obtain permission from these individuals to use these testimonials on the testimonials page of the organisation’s website. 

3. Facebook Reviews

If you have a Facebook page and you’re setup using the business template, then your page automatically comes with a tab for testimonials.

You can rearrange the order of these tabs and how they appear on your Facebook page by going to settings and then selecting templates and tabs. From there you can move around your tabs so that reviews/testimonials appear at the top. Then you can ask your followers to leave you a review. 

4. Incentivise customer reviews online and offline

When a customer purchases from you online or in-person, use that opportunity to encourage them to provide feedback. This could be printed on the back of a receipt. Or the prompt could be in the form of an automated email that triggers after a customer completes the website’s check-out or receives their goods in the post. Incentivise this process by offering the chance to win a prize.

Six creative ways to get more customer testimonials

5. ​ Scrape the internet for reviews

Lots of reviews and feedback will remain hidden from your business without digging on the internet to find them. These reviews could be on message boards such as Reddit, industry forums, blog posts, comments under news articles or in social media.

The best way of getting to these reviews and testimonials is by using Google Alerts and Social Mention. You can set up email notifications for specific keywords related to your organisation, such as product or service names, the names of senior leaders in the organisation or any other term you like. 

6. ​ Online directory websites

Common search directories such as Yahoo LocalYelp and Google My Business allow customers to easily provide feedback and testimonials. In the case of Google, the more reviews people give your business, the more your organic search ranking is boosted. So this is one reason to encourage Google reviews.

It is possible to triage and respond to negative feedback or reviews from this platform and get notifications when a new review comes in.  It’s always a good idea to have an updated listing on these websites, as it’s just another way for the customer to reach you online.  In your print and email marketing you can guide customers to leave a review on Google to gain more reviews over time.  

Six creative ways to get more customer testimonials

A word of warning about negative online reviews

Despite all of the praise-worthy and heartening feedback left by clients, opening up multiple platforms for online reviews comes with its own risks. You can mitigate against these risks by subscribing to email notifications from these platforms. This will inform you when a new review comes through. When a negative review comes in, ensure that you provide prompt, helpful and positive response to the individual.

Instead of avoiding the issue, address it honestly and humbly and always turn the negative feedback into a positive for the business. The only way that a brand can succeed is by understanding when a part of the process, product or service is broken and then taking the necessary steps to fix this internally. View it as a positive if it ultimately makes your organisation better.

So are online reviews and testimonials worth the effort? Absolutely! Not only are they great for building brand reputation, negative reviews can be used as a powerful learning curve for the business, with the potential for positive outcomes.


Do you want help to find customer feedback and use it to the fullest in your business? I offer a free content audit, which can show you how you can leverage all of your existing content. What’s great and what should be improved. 

Register now for a free content audit…

Four important ways to build trust and rapport in remote teams

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Nowadays, teams are stretched all over the globe and this is only set to continue. Anyone who works remotely can tell you, it’s challenging to manage a decentralised and dispersed team. In terms of team building, there’s one core element that’s the glue between dispersed team members – trust! Here are five core ways to build trust.

Where possible, meet in person

Although in some cases this isn’t possible, meeting with your co-workers at least once builds a high degree of personal trust, teamwork and shared purpose. This occurs far more rapidly than remote working with no interaction. The physical meeting of minds is a self-sustaining way of maintaining rapport over long distances. Have lunch, a few drinks and get to know each other’s personalities and communication styles. This will prove to be invaluable later on for the project, especially when you face and overcome challenges together.

Sometimes meeting in person simply isn’t possible. You may be separated by large bodies of water or tracts of land. In this case have weekly chats on the phone or Skype and build rapport that way.

Share the same strategy, goals and expectations

Make sure that you’re all striving for the same end goal. This means that you’re all on the same page for implementing the team strategy and individual input. Avoid all possibilities of confusion about goals and expectations early on in your relationship. Make sure that individual roles and deliverables are absolutely clear. This transparency in turn promotes trust.

As a manager, you can keep the project on track, with regular email and telephone conversations. Obviously, it’s even better to have face-to-face meetings where practicable. Track the project against performance metrics.

Foster honesty and transparency

Another important way to build trust as a part of team, is by having clear and transparent processes and ways of working together. Use collaborative software like Slack or Basecamp. This easily promotes collaboration and shows progress of projects. Showing everybody how they are tracking is one easy way to boost productivity.

People thrive on keeping up with the other members of the team. This transparency and accountability fosters productivity and trust. When the project is visible in this way, any obstacles or issues along with way can be resolved in a collective manner.

Showcase everyone’s diverse capabilities

Make sure that in addition to the team members understanding their individual roles, they also have enough support to diversify their capabilities, and learn as they go. This will benefit them as individuals, and the team as a whole. Rarely do people understand everything about a task all at once. So it’s important to nurture knowledge and support professional growth.

References

“Trust Makes the Team Go ‘Round”; Harvard Management Update; Judith A. Ross, February 27th, 2008. 

By following these key steps, you can build a cohesive, strong and formidable team with a high level of trust and camaraderie between individuals. If you would like some advice about content marketing then claim your free content audit and race ahead of the competition!


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Arthritis New Zealand

Content Strategy, Graphic design, Web design

In Brief

I undertook a contract role to develop a digital transformation strategy for Arthritis New Zealand.  I was the interim manager of the website, social media and digital engagement.  In charge of improving the website appearance and navigability and reviving and re-introducing old content. 

  • Digital strategy for marketing and operational needs.
  • Digital Content Manager for website.
  • Creation and management of an online community about arthritis.
  • Social media and online marketing best practice training and management.
  • Marketing and comms planning and budgeting.
  • Training staff on using digital tools, content marketing and social media best practice and using a CMS.

Background

Arthritis New Zealand are one of the leading health NFPs in New Zealand, with a strong 20 year history of helping the community.

Although an organisational restructure and a rolling back of the organisation’s visibility in the regional parts of New Zealand led to some disquiet among staff and within the community about the organisation’s future.

The task at hand was to create a digital transformation strategy which encompassed the operational structure, objectives and goals of their changing organisation, so that they could reach a much broader audience through digital tools rather than through face-to-face seminars in the community.

The project needed to encompass fundraising, advocacy and awareness, volunteering, community education, administration departments of the organisation located at three offices – Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland offices.

Recommendations

  • Remove snail mail for fundraising in favour of eDMs and targeted newsletters, augmented with snail mail post where no email address was available.
  • Streamline email marketing and automate and personalise email newsletters using both Hootsuite CRM and MailChimp.
  •  A website revamp based around data-led insights into strategic marketing and future direction.
  • A complete content audit of all content assets: video, audio, presentations, books, web content, user-generated content. Then revamp this content with consistently branded graphic design assets.
  • A feasibility assessment on a mobile app which provides accessible audience-appropriate content for young people and teens with arthritis.
  • The creation of a series of educational webinars which can be viewed live and then archived for ongoing viewing on the website and YouTube.
  • The creation of an online community called ‘Your Community, Your Voice’ where bloggers affiliated with Arthritis New Zealand can talk about their experiences with having the condition or treating others with the condition.
  • Comprehensive training on the importance of using digital tools such as mobile apps, webinars, social media and the website for harnessing change and creating community engagement.

Results

Some of the recommendations in the digital strategy were incredibly successful however for institutional and fiscal reasons, not all of the recommendations were implemented.

On a positive note, I managed to instigate a new way of working in an inter-team collaborative manner. I implemented scrum style meetings within the marketing team as well as between teams over a conference call in order to facilitate collaboration and a more open communication style. This opened up the channels of collaboration and ensured creative, novel ways of working were established.

I created an online community and sourced 20 local bloggers. Then I set up a content and social media plan for the following 12 months which was designed to support and leverage key fundraising dates and events throughout the year. This was a strategy-led content calendar that harnessed user-generated content created by active members of the Arthritis New Zealand community.

A fully functioning online community meant significantly less work for the fundraising, marketing and community engagement teams to find and produce stories.
The ‘Your Community, Your Voice’ online community was so successful that it resulted in a 30% uptick in organic traffic to the website in its first 3 months. The high quality, fresh content on the website put the Arthritis New Zealand website in first place on Google in organic search.
The conversion rate of specific event-based content on the website was measured using Google Analytics. A 30% increase in organic traffic to the online community and effective calls to action meant a boost in conversion by 40% around specific event sign-ups and webinars.
I trained teams across the country on best practice usage of social media, content management and branding. I also trained teams on better ways of collaborating together in groups and aligning together on shared goals. Team feedback suggested that this was highly useful.
I significantly reduced cost for the organisation on the production of webinars by costing and implementing Zoom as an alternative to a London-based branding consultancy charging thousands of dollars for the same thing. Then I trained the teams on using Zoom.
Removing snail mail on several fundraising campaigns and replacing this with 90% email marketing reduced printing cost by approximately $9,000 per year.

Web design and graphic design revamp showreel

Along with the partial redesign of the Arthritis New Zealand website, I also designed marketing assets like social media posts (see below), email marketing templates, slides, conference posts and infographics using Adobe InDesign and sourced royalty free stock images to aid in the brand storytelling.

Arthritis New Zealand poster design

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‘Your Community, Your Voice’: Community set up and management