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The Best in Mobile Marketing APPS

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Mobile apps seem to always get into our marketing conversations these days. A recent report by the analytics firm, App Annie shows the total IOS and Google Play app downloads topped more than 260 billion in the year 2014. So what’s in these apps for us? The marketer’s role has evolved dramatically over the years and is still changing. You need to be constantly forming new strategies and campaigns that will attract your audience. The problem is that you have too much competition.

 

It is important that you make sure it’s your voice being heard, every time, no matter where you are. This is where mobile apps can give you a much-needed advantage and make your life much easier.

 

Whether you’re an Apple, Windows, or an Android fan, apps can assist you in every step of your marketing activity. With a few touches, you can have all the information you need — what’s trending, how people are responding to your messages, what are the latest best practices. The right apps are truly the marketer’s best friend.

 

But which apps to choose? Here’s a list of the top three apps for each of the four key marketing areas.

 

Content distribution

Making sure your content appears at the right place, at the right time can be a tedious process. These apps will simplify this part of your job.

1. Buffer

An app that helps you share content to social media channels by letting you schedule posts to be published at ideal times. You can even let Buffer decide what time is best.

2. PixxFly

This outbound marketing app automates the distribution and syndication of all your content to various channels across the web with one simple click. PixxFly also provides analytics for each post.

3. Pagemodo

Used primarily to set up Facebook business or organization pages, Pagemodo helps you create engaging visual elements and customized features that encourage fan interaction without professional help. It allows you to schedule posts and finds the most relevant content for your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

 

Social-media management

Managing social media can be a tall order. Most marketers either spend too much time on social or fail to give it the attention it deserves. To strike the right balance, you need the right tools.

4. Hootsuite

Hootsuite allows you to manage multiple social media accounts, analyze traffic, track brand mentions, schedule posts, messages and tweets–  all from one interface.

5. Sprout Social

Sprout Social allows you to schedule, publish and analyze posts across all your social platforms from a single window.

6. Tint

Though not strictly a social media management tool, Tint is an exciting app that can create social hubs to engage audiences. You can pull content from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest onto your dashboard then embed them as custom feeds into websites like WordPress, Wix, or Tumblr, or on mobile apps, social pages, digital displays and video walls.

 

Social listening

When it comes to marketing in today’s social-media environment, it’s important to listen to what people are saying. This helps you measure your reach and keeps you informed on what’s trending. Social listening also helps you know when you need to act promptly. For example, if not acted upon immediately, a negative comment by an unsatisfied customer can spread like wildfire and damage your brand’s reputation. Here are the three top social listening apps to keep you well informed.

7. Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo helps you take a deeper look at what’s popular or trending on social media and who’s sharing.

8. Mention

Mention helps you easily keep track in real time of what’s being said about your brand so you can react quickly. It will send you alerts showing your mentions each day.

9. Cyfe

Social listening can get overwhelming with so many different areas to track. Cyfe makes it easier by allowing you to customize your dashboard to monitor your data all from one place.

 

Employee advocacy

One of the most powerful marketing strategies is creating brand advocates inside your own company. These apps are designed to help employees share content across their own social-media profiles. We are seeing new players in this space such as social-media giant LinkedIn. There are also up and comers like TrapIt. However, based on experience and time in the market, here are three that you should be using right now.

10. Dynamic Signal

Dynamic Signal is a tool that lets you distribute either your own content or some you’ve curated from the web to employees who can then re-share it on their personal social-media profiles.

11. SoAmpli

SoAmpli encourages employees and co-workers to be brand advocates though social sharing.

12. EveryoneSocial

With its clean and simple interface, EverySocial is designed to amplify your brand presence by building a team of employee advocates to share your content on their social media accounts.

 

The following are  apps introduced in 2016 solve a variety of challenges, from data management, to message testing, to marketing automation.

 

Marketing Attribution by Bizible

B2B marketing attribution helps you make the best marketing decisions, and this app integrates with your online marketing channels from AdWords to Salesforce. Now you can optimize your campaigns and revenue with a quick app install.

 

Calendar for Campaigns by Bracket Labs

This interactive marketing calendar has inline editing, enhanced color-coding, filterable, drag-and-drop functionality to make working with campaigns easy and intuitive.

 

Lead Enrichment by Clearbit

Ensure fresh, accurate information to quickly target the leads that will convert into the highest value deals. This app searches dozens of sources in real-time to push fresh data into Salesforce automatically. Then you can prioritize top leads and guide sales to more wins.

 

Next-Generation Data Management by Krux

Zero in and connect with your customers more efficiently, no matter the channel or device. Interconnect your own data, enabling you to activate and control your marketing activities across any consumer touch point.

 

Real Time Email Response by Liveclicker

Bring email relevance to a higher order by enabling marketers to respond to each recipient’s needs and interests, in real time. Bring messages to life, amp recipient engagement, and increase clicks and conversions with a real-time email system.

 

Mobile Marketing by Localytics

25% of apps used used once are then uninstalled (source). Engagement is the key to bringing that percentage down. This app brings together user insights, smart targeting, and marketing automation to power personalized mobile engagement, such as push engagement, increased app usage, acquisition targeting, and more.

 

Message Testing by Persado

Use this app to experiment with message variations in order to determine the most impactful message. This will help drive the highest rates of engagement for your campaign. You can also randomly split your audience to test message variation performance.

 

Tactile Marketing Automation by PFL

This app works within your campaigns, and automates direct mail in conjunction with your digital efforts. Create personalized and triggered multi-channel campaigns that increase operational efficiency and drive results.

 

PopUp Alerts by Riptide

Make sure your team members are alerted to important information with popup alerts. This app gives you the ability to easily display that crucial popup alert message in Salesforce.

 

Data Quality Dashboards by Salesforce Labs

Leverage custom formula fields on many of the standard objects to record data quality and record completeness, the formulas are then depicted through dashboards to identify deficiencies in record data.

 

Mobile Engagement by Swrve

Design, deliver and measure mobile campaigns of all types, including push notification campaigns, in-app messages and conversation. Collectively, these campaign types help build brand-consumer relationships on mobile, and drive engagement, retention and revenue.

 

Apps can help marketers be more efficient, higher-performing, and goal-achieving.  Whatever may be lacking in your marketing strategy, you will certainly find an app to help fill that gap.

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Spring Cleaning Your Online Marketing

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We are now in the month of April which means spring flowers, spring clothes and spring cleaning.  Not only does spring cleaning apply to your closets, but it also applies toward your business.  You will always want to clean up, clean out and refresh.  How often do you look at your website, google yourself and really look at your marketing strategy?  Has your once well-organized marketing strategy, come to resemble the jumble of stuff in your closet (not to mention the garage and the attic)? If you are like most people, each time you come across a new marketing strategy you try to adopt it and add it to your existing approach.

Strategies and tactics tend to accumulate and linger even when they may not be working as well as you’d like. Like the ill-fitting clothes that accumulate in your closet or the broken tools still in the garage, they are hard to get rid of, whether because of habit, emotional attachment or just plain not getting around to cleaning them out.

To improve your marketing, you’ll need to clean out some old ways of working. While I don’t want to get anywhere near your closet, and in fact I could use some help with mine, I can show you how to clean up your marketing so you’re ready to take advantage of the New Year to grow your business.

You may not want to review your marketing five times a week, but it is a good idea to do it at least once a year. So take out your pencil or fire up your computer and access your marketing:

Your Marketing Strategy

  1. Is your plan working to generate leads and increase sales?
  2. Do you have a well-defined marketing strategy that helps you achieve the three phases of marketing; Getting Attention, Positioning, and Selling?
  3. Do you need to write or rewrite your business plan?
  4. Do you need additional information or coaching to complete your small business marketing plans?
  5. What are you going to do to improve your marketing?

Getting Attention

  1. Does your marketing message prompt prospects to contact you?
  2. Do your ads, letters, and web site motivate prospects to contact you?
  3. What are your conversion rates?
  4. What steps can you take to improve them?

Once you have considered each of these questions, consider revisiting your website.  Are there older photos, reviews, or coupons lingering on your site?  Freshen it up with new content.  The hardest part about cleaning out your closet, attic garage or your marketing is getting started.  It may be time to straighten up or throw out some of your old marketing strategies and tactics and replace them with new and improved ones.  New leads will spring up and your sales will blossom.

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The Importance of Data

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The Importance of Data: Before,
During and After an Ad Campaign

With so many advertising choices available to small-business owners, it’s important to test and track a variety of options to see which work best for you. Using a mix of print, radio, TV, website, billboard, direct mail and other media options can be too expensive for local companies, and relying on one or two methods for more than a year can lead to diminishing returns. Tracking your response through your staff, coupons and sales data will help you make more effective advertising choices.

Follow these five easy steps:

Step 1

Compare your sales before, during and after the campaign begins if your advertising campaign has a specific start date. Take into consideration that your sales won’t spike the day the campaign begins or drop the day it ends when you analyze sales reports. Test an ad campaign in a particular location to see if your sales rise in that area during the campaign, letting you know if it will likely work if you roll it out regionally or nationally.

Step 2

Use unique contact methods. Track the response to one ad or an entire campaign using a special toll-free number, website address or coupon code you use only with that ad or campaign. This is one of the easiest methods for tracking results directly to an advertisement, promotion, direct mailing or other marketing effort.

Step 3

Make personal queries of customers to determine if a particular advertising method is working. Ask your customers how they heard of you and make it a requirement that your sales staff gather this information from customers. Have them submit a weekly report to the marketing manager. Include this question on any website forms you have that customers and potential customers submit. Compare the traffic to your website and in your store before, during and after the ad campaign to determine if you see a rise in customer activity during the campaign. These visits, especially to your website, might not result in immediate purchases but can increase brand awareness and lead to future sales.

Step 4

Use coupons, discounts and rebates to track how a specific promotion performed. Include a coupon in a print publication, ask broadcast viewer or listeners to mention a particular promotion for a percentage discount or offer a rebate on a purchase when the consumer redeems a form. Don’t assume these methods represent your total response to the campaign. Many consumers might respond to your advertising but forget to use the coupon, think the amount of the coupon is not worth the trouble to clip and save it or not remember where they saw your ad.

Step 5

Use website traffic statistic tools, which come free or at a low cost with many websites or hosting packages. Track how much traffic you generate during specific times, which sites referred users, which pages were most viewed, how many unique visitors you had and how many pages they viewed while at your site. Free social media programs such as Facebook business pages also provide helpful visitor and traffic stats.

Tip

  • Don’t assume that just because your sales rose in response to an advertising campaign it means the campaign was profitable. Calculate the net profits you made from the campaign if you’re able to track the sales you generated from an advertising effort. Subtract that from the cost it took to run the campaign, which includes media buys, ad creation, discounts and staff time. Determine if increase in sales justified the expenditure, and what else you might have done with your money and staff time instead of using that advertising method.

References

 

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5 New Year’s Resolutions for Marketers in 2016

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It is always refreshing to start every new year with an optimistic outlook for the future.  Of course, many begin each new year with new resolutions.  Rather than focusing on the failures of the past year, it’s always better to set new goals for the new year.  Those new goals may involve regular exercise and a healthier diet.  For marketers, it is important to establish a set of professional resolutions.  Here are five New Year’s Resolutions for Marketers that will set your professional path toward a very successful 2016.

  1. Coordinate and collaborate with your sales staff on a regular basis.

This should include scheduling regular meetings with all aspects of your sales department.

  • Create a survey asking sales reps to measure the effectiveness of the content of their sales pitch.
  • Plan out a comprehensive content audit to figure out what you have, how it’s used and where it can be found.
  • Create and update the content that is driving the best results and eliminate what is not needed.

2. Create More Data-Driven Content

  • Look at your internal Act-On dashboard to see the status of current campaigns.
  • Keep a list of the top-performing content on your white board and update it weekly.
  • Make a habit to check out industry trends to find out what is working best for today’s marketers.

3. Focus on the Entire Customer Lifecycle

  • Gain more insight into your buyers’ personas as well as what a genuine, qualified lead looks like.
  • Get a better understanding of the kinds of content that moves prospects through the middle and bottom of the funnel.
  • Track the conversion rate at each stage of the funnel.
  • Throughout this process, watch trends and determine how to improve the overall performance. You will also be aware of how individual actions contribute to results.

4. Become More Social

Creating content on social pages only gets you so far.  To succeed, you need to promote it, and social media is a great way to do just that.

In addition to the usual link sharing, try one new way to promote your blog posts every week.

Spend more time reading, sharing, liking and tweeting other posts to built community.

Start commenting on more blog posts.

5.  Make Time for Self-Improvement

It is obvious that all of these resolutions will demand more time, energy and resources for you and your staff.  Take the opportunity to educate yourself on the latest and most effective marketing trends.  It takes time and effort, but there is a big payoff.  Here’s to a bright new year of marketing success for all.

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Is Facebook Doomed?

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For the past few months there has been an increased rise in the number of “niche” social media platforms due perhaps to the heavy criticism networks leveled toward some of the popular social media platforms.

For example, Facebook has received some scrutiny recently regarding their lack of privacy and the priority that is given to advertisers.  What many couldn’t have predicted last year was the emergence of a new social platform intended to go head-to-head with social media giant, Facebook. The platform, which is still in public beta (meaning invite-only), has caused quite a stir; dubbed by some as the ‘hipster social network’, Ello offers a forever ad-free experience and promises to never sell its users’ information to third parties. Their website states: “Collecting and selling your personal data, reading your posts to your friends, and mapping your social connections for profit is both creepy and unethical. Under the guise of offering a “free” service, users pay a high price in intrusive advertising and lack of privacy.”

It’s unclear at this point whether the extreme buzz around the platform is simply because of its positioning as the ‘anti-Facebook’, or whether it has the substance, design and functionality to actually become a serious competitor for Facebook. Engagement on the platform doesn’t seem to be high at this point, and some are pointing out the current weaknesses of the platform, including the lack of video-integration and meaningful conversation and engagement.

ello-logoRegardless, Ello is likely to grow in 2015, both in terms of numbers and engagement, and many will be watching closely.

Speaking of Facebook, Facebook’s ad pricing and demand will significantly increase.  It’s no secret that Facebook post reach is significantly decreasing, and has become a serious problem for business owners who are using the platform for marketing purposes. This steady decline in reach is what has been coined the Filtered Feed Problem.  As Facebook continues to limit the number of posts page fans actually see, the demand for promoted posts and ads will continue to increase. And with this increased demand will come increased pricing.

Twitter’s new business advertising model will skyrocket in popularity. With Twitter’s move to offering businesses more choice and flexibility in how and what they pay for in terms of advertising, more small and medium-sized businesses will jump on the Twitter ad bandwagon.  The new fee structure allows businesses to pay for certain performance-based actions rather than just retweets or clicks.

These objective-based campaigns, which are still currently in beta, will offer more flexibility including tweet engagements (retweets, replies, etc.), website clicks or conversions, app installs, new followers and leads. These campaigns will be particularly appealing to small business owners who want to pay for results, not just for brand visibility.

Instagram will also continue to grow in the micro-video space. With both Vine and Instagram vying for billing as the top video networking site, the platforms have continued to differentiate themselves from the other offering different features, video lengths and editing capabilities. However, I believe we’ll see Instagram begin to outpace Vine as we enter 2015.

And with the recent emergence of Instagram’s in-feed video advertising, marketers will now have the option of paying to target their 15-second videos to users based on age, gender and country. While some have called the new video ads incongruous, the new feature is a welcome addition for marketers looking to promote their wares to Instagram’s young, affluent user base.

LinkedIn has been the top network of choice for the B2B crowd for years already, and I believe we’ll see the gap between LinkedIn and other networks continue to widen in 2015.

While B2C marketers report LinkedIn as being significantly less important than Facebook or Twitter for their marketing efforts, the numbers are quite different for the B2B crowd: according to the 2014 Social Media Examiner survey, 88% of B2B marketers are using LinkedIn, compared to 89% for Facebook and 86% for Twitter.

In 2015, marketers will finally realize that there are two core pillars of a content marketing strategy: publication and distribution. Marketers will learn that social media is the most effective method of expanding the reach and visibility of their content, and because of this, will come to view social media as more of an “amplifier” for their published content rather than as the content itself.

So, while the content marketing buzz continues to pick up steam, marketers needs to remember that a distribution strategy for that content is just as important, if not more important, than the content itself.

Some things to look for in 2016:  an increase in the use of podcasting, video social commerce and mobile marketing.

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