LinkedIn Content Marketing – ways to get your message in front of your target audience

LinkedIn Content Marketing - ways to get your message in front of your target audience

LinkedIn Content Marketing – ways to get your message in front of your target audience

“People spend time on other social networks, but they invest time on LinkedIn.”  This quote by Jason Miller, LinkedIn’s Global Content Marketing Leader is an indication of the sophisticated level that LinkedIn has reached in terms of professional networking.

Today, LinkedIn is extensively used by knowledge intensive industries and for B2B products and services. The most effective content marketers reach their audience in multiple ways across LinkedIn:

  • Updates via Company Pages & Showcase Pages
  • Interactions in Groups & with Influencers
  • Conversations via Messaging and sponsored In-mail
  • Sponsored Updates, Direct Sponsored Content

Short-form content such as articles, images and stats helps you gain followers, while long-form content helps spread your ideas.

The humble Status Update may actually be one of LinkedIn’s most underutilized features – and provides invaluable ways to connect with and stay in front of your target audience consistently. You can engage with, like, comment and share other people’s content as well and the more you engage with others, the more they’ll return the engagement.

Another powerful way to distribute content on LinkedIn is through the LinkedIn article publishing platform. Content published here is attached to and becomes a part of your LinkedIn profile and positions you as a thought leader. It gives you immense exposure – showcasing your thought leadership and increasing your following.

Company pages are your brand identity on LinkedIn. A well-optimised company page can show up on page 1 of search engine results and ensures your company can easily be found in searches and that people interested in your brand can follow you. Showcase Pages allow you to serve content to distinct audiences based on their interest in a specific brand, business unit, or initiative.

LinkedIn Groups offer opportunities to share your expertise, build trust. If you join the right groups, contribute to discussions, and offer insightful content and opinion, you will find traction and generate valuable leads and also get ideas for relevant content. Similarly, following an exclusive group of Influencers on LinkedIn is one of the newer ways to increase engagement with industry thought leaders. Engage with Influencers either by liking a post or commenting on their post and eventually getting these influencers to react to you or your content.

Promoting your content

 “If you’re not paying to promote your good content, then I think you’re missing the boat in content marketing.” — Jason Miller

You must drive traffic to your content – for free – using social techniques – and also strategically by investing budget into paid promotions that push your content to those who the LinkedIn algorithm knows follow your topics

Sponsored Updates allows intricate targeting, using criteria such as location, company size, industry, job function, and seniority. Additionally, they appear alongside high-quality content, leading to a positive association with your brand. An added bonus is that you get access to impression and engagement metrics.

Direct Sponsored Content allows you to send content in the news feed without creating posts on a company page – allowing you to try content specific for their audiences, send them personalized messages or conduct A/B tests to optimize content.

Sponsored In-mail is a unique marketing solution allowing you to send direct messages to a person’s LinkedIn account without being connected to that individual. An invaluable tool to reach out to people not connected to you but with better results than cold emailing.

One of the other advantages of being a paying LinkedIn member is that two fabulous tools, The Content Marketing Score and Trending Content are available to you.

The Content Marketing Score is a metric that quantifies the influence of your company and brand on LinkedIn. It tells you which members within your target audience are engaging with your content. And it can show you how you stack up against your competitors.

What topics and keywords are most important to your readers? How do you know just which topics will catch – and keep – their attention? And how do you know which members will be most interested in your content? Trending Content will answer that. You’ll see which topics matter, and which members are sharing the most content on any given subject.

What’s Coming Up:

LinkedIn will soon be implementing Lead Generation Ads. Users will be able to submit their contact info directly on LinkedIn, providing an effective way for businesses to generate leads.

In addition, LinkedIn will add an email remarketing option, similar to Facebook’s offering, which means when you upload a list of contacts, those associated with a LinkedIn account will be available for targeting with ads.

It takes time and effort to begin building your content credibility on LinkedIn. High quality of content is irreplaceable and without it, the time you spend on content marketing will be entirely wasted.

Creating great content that demonstrates your expertise, and helps others solve a pressing problem or reach a specific goal, is the real key to success in marketing through LinkedIn.

If you need to partner with someone who’s got the talent to create content and help drive a successful LinkedIn engagement strategy, give us a shout at Xenia Consulting.

Hope you liked the post, Comments and feedback welcome

Regards,

Atul Dhakappa

@xeniaconsulting

Posted in Campaigns, Case Studies, Content Services, Demand Generation, Email Campaigns, Lead Generation, Leads, Marketing Content, Marketing Strategy | Leave a comment

Collaborate with the right digital marketing Partner, this 2017

Collaborate with the right digital marketing Partner, this 2017

Collaborate with the right digital marketing Partner, this 2017

As you get into 2017, it is a great time to introspect on what went right and what went wrong through the last year. As you resolve to chase your revenue goals this year, consider using some of the latest and advanced marketing mechanisms, small and medium businesses have been leveraging these days.

Yes, indeed the world is talking about digital marketing and how to leverage it to drive your business revenue. How can you use it to reach your target market in the most effective way. How can you use it to persuade or influence your target market in the best manner possible?

It is truly time to fasten seat belts and take off to achieve desired results. With the advent of the Digital Revolution, you can really achieve the growth objectives that you have set for your business, and that too in budgets that you can afford.

Digital Marketing provides small and medium businesses the chance to compete and attract their share of targeted traffic. Small companies now have the resources to perform sales and marketing processes that were previously available only to large corporations. Digital marketing provides them with a better and much more cost-effective marketing channel that delivers results.

“At the end of the day, it’s about growth and business sustainability”

Most of the Businesses half-heartedly attempt marketing, give it a go, and fail because they don’t know what they’re doing and give up too easily, or they haven’t budgeted to hire someone to help them. Several others only end up investing in direct sales resources (incidentally the costliest option). Without the awareness and the reach being created in the marketplace, they end up being highly unsuccessful. They either move on to other companies or are eventually fired from their jobs for non-performance. They are not the ones to be blamed though.

The truth is that, to attract the right and relevant potential customers, it requires a strong marketing plan that is consistently executed with the help of a Right Digital Marketing Partner. Digital marketing helps to make use of proven strategies and techniques that attract not necessarily more traffic, but highly targeted traffic that delivers results. Targeting the right kind of people that delivers the right kind of results is what Digital Marketing all about.

At Xenia Consulting, we have been helping clients realize their dreams from a digital marketing strategy that works. Our consistent approach across social media, campaigns, content and several other channels has provided significant brand exposure to our clients as well as a steady stream of warm leads.

In case you are looking for help in driving growth for your business leveraging digital marketing, please feel free to reach out to me

Comments & Feedback welcome

Regards – Atul Dhakappa

@xeniaconsulting

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Analyze and Adapt – The key to reinventing your Marketing Programs

analyze-and-adapt-the-key-to-reinventing-your-marketing-programsOne of the most famous quotes in marketing history is certainly Peter Drucker’s: If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. That’s how important data analysis is to marketing success! So most marketing agencies now report numbers to their clients: 3000 Facebook fans, 15% increase in blog traffic, 22% increase in Twitter mentions. But how is this affecting the business? Does it have any impact on the bottom line?

Clients are really interested in finding out if their investments in marketing initiatives are producing results; which campaigns are working and which ones aren’t. For example, how confidently would you be able to forecast the impact of a 10% increase in your client’s marketing budget on their revenue generation on an annual basis and therefore over 3 or 5 years?
If these challenges sound familiar, then you MUST read on!

But firstly, don’t worry – you are not alone! According to a study by MMA/Forrester/ANA, as many as 87% of senior marketers do not feel confident of their ability to impact the sales forecast of their programs. This may be the reason why many marketers suffer from a lack of credibility with clients and CXOs.

Marketing is an investment – and it is critical to understand how much investment will be needed to generate business, the return that can be expected on that investment and the time it will take to get that return. Marketing technology and automation have now made such data gathering and number crunching more plausible than ever before.

Traditionally marketing agencies have focused on soft metrics like brand awareness, impressions, organic search rankings and reach. While these are important, in today’s times, agencies also need to be able to quantifiably connect their activities to hard metrics like pipeline, revenue, and profit margins. You need to follow-through the entire brand experience cycle: need-evaluate-buy-use-support and not just the fun part of branding!

How to collect relevant data to re-invent your marketing programs:

Define objectives of each marketing channel / program

  • Pick 5-6 key metrics to measure – DO NOT fall into the trap of trying to measure everything. Choose metrics that matter to the client and show impact on pipeline, opportunities, revenue.
  • Use the language of the business – Talk about metrics in terms that stakeholders can relate to.
  • Do not make the mistake of focusing on soft marketing KPIs instead of revenue growth. Bias your mindset toward hard financial metrics.
  • Forecast results, not spending: Clients should look at your services not as a cost center but as a revenue generation opportunity
  • Focus on data which shows how marketing impacts sales successes, to get a comprehensive view of true ROI.


Ear to the ground approach – listen, learn, re-invent. Repeat.

Data does not always corroborate your initial hypothesis. It is a bad idea to try to stick rigidly to your original plan if you find that initial results do not support it. Agility is crucial when you find that your marketing efforts are actually not fetching the results that your client wants to see. There may be some unexpected trends and some puzzling twists. It is crucial that you use advanced data analytics to diagnose weaknesses, derive actionable insights and modify the marketing plan. Analytics should guide changes to strategy and tactics, based on what may improve ROI.

Analysis and optimization should be cyclical. Set weekly, monthly, and quarterly reviews – treating each review as an opportunity to improve. Build new initiatives as you see what works and what doesn’t. Then repeat the whole cycle.

It is a good idea to use concise visual dashboards to report goals versus actual results for each key metric for every campaign, every channel, etc. and also display trends for those metrics over time. This also helps you to keep track at any given moment of how key metrics stack up against targets, and what to do to improve their results.
Improving ROI means continuously evolving and adapting your campaigns as well as your measurement systems – refining and re-inventing your programs to get better with time.
Sounds challenging? Sure, achieving marketing ROI is never easy. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Fortunately, there’s always help at hand. Across its engagements, Xenia Consulting always focuses on metrics to make sure that we are improving all the time and we continue to deliver measurable results to our clients.

Regards – Atul Dhakappa

@xeniaconsulting

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Posted in Articles, Blogs, Business Development, Case Studies, Cold Calling, Content Services, Demand Generation, Email Marketing, Lead Generation, Lead Nurturing, Leads, Marketing Collateral, Marketing Content, Marketing Strategy, Messaging, Sales Enablement, Social media marketing, Thought Leadership Content, White Papers | Tagged | Leave a comment

Choosing a Digital Marketing Agency

choosing-a-digital-marketing-agencyThe purpose of this article is to help you make the right decision when choosing a digital marketing agency. So we will start with discussing digital marketing agency options available in Pune, various services offered by the agencies and points to consider while appointing one.

Since you are reading this article, we assume that you already know the benefits of digital marketing and the advantages it provides over traditional marketing.

Agencies in Pune and what do they offer

Pune city has emerged as the hub for digital marketing. The reason for this has been the overall enabling business environment that has resulted in business growth and expansion of the city. Pune being an education hub, availability of talent, in form of creative designers, developers, content writers and digital marketers is also not a problem for the agencies.

Xenia Consulting is a full service Creative Digital Marketing agency in Pune that is a one-stop solution for your every digital marketing need.

In Pune, many agencies have popped up over the years. Pune, today, offers plenty of agencies for you to choose from- be it the small or big firms offering specific services to complete 360 degree solution.

It becomes imperative that you choose an agency which will suit your needs, fulfill your expectations and fit your service and budget expectations.

Typically, Digital Marketing agencies offer following services:

  • Website design and Development
  • Content creation & Promotion
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Email Marketing campaigns
  • Paid Ads – Pay per click Management (PPC)
  • Social Media Marketing
  • LinkedIn Marketing
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Reputation Management
  • Affiliate Marketing

The assortment of choices can spin anyone’s head and that is why, it is essential to choose a digital marketing agency that will help you promote your business and get you the visibility and business leads that you are looking for.

So let us drill this bit by bit. Before appointing an agency, you need to consider.

1)     Email Marketing: Email marketing is the most neglected part of the digital marketing, though it is the most effective digital marketing strategy. (check source here ) Email marketing is a very effective and efficient way in getting your message in front of your target market. But the base of a successful email strategy is quality content.

Also, email lists that you use can make it or break it for you.

2)     Website & Marketing: A user friendly website with information that your customers seek, is a base for any digital marketing action plan.

  • How are you going to maintain the website? If it is going to be in house, will it be your present website developer or the newly appointed digital marketing agency?
  •  If you choose to keep it separate, ensure a proper communication plan and also make sure that responsibilities are clearly agreed between the website developer and the digital marketing agency.
  •  If you are creating a new website, please involve the digital marketing agency right from the development stage. This way, you will get vital inputs that will help you improve your web presence

3)     Social Media Marketing (SMM): Choose social channels carefully, It is important to find where your audience is and then maintain a consistent presence on social media, so that you have the highest chance of reaching your target audience. It is seen that SMM is most effective in B2C space. A good communication strategy can create a WOW factor for your product, nothing will do better then the word of mouth, customers telling customers about your product/service.

4)     LinkedIn: LinkedIn is one of the most effective platforms for the B2B Space. LinkedIn provides opportunity to connect with right audience, understand their needs and publish content that matters to them. The pulse blogging platform provides an opportunity to reach your connections consistently with thoughtfully crafted posts. Groups and shares help you keep your content alive in front of your connections and also helps your content go viral, as people share or like it.

5)     Content: Doing Search Engine Optimization requires updating the website content and constant development of new content. Quality of the content will have recursions on the image of your company. You will need to decide if you will provide the content or would want the agency to do it for you. If you are a company dealing in technology, engineering or Sciences check if the agency has people who can do research on your topics and develop the relevant content.

6)     Creatives: Each piece of content that you put together whether it is a blog, social media post or a website update will require a creative design and graphic. It is essential that the graphic team works on innovative creatives as soon as content is ready so you publish and promote on time. If you have a design team who does in- house graphic design work, you may consider using them for some of the work but as you generate loads of content it will be better this activity is outsourced.

Tip: Consider using the past creatives that already exists within the company.

After you consider the above points and start meeting different agencies, observe the following while interacting with the agency and observe if the agency tries to understand the same while they are pitching.

A good digital marketing agency will try to understand your products & services, their relevance to your potential target customer and work with you to devise a plan to effectively reach your target market most effectively using various marketing channels and with optimum budgets.

Always consider signing a Non-Disclosure agreement with the agency. Clarify with the agency about the copyright over the work that is done for you.

Also, try to determine your compatibility with the agency. Try to know

  • The team you’ll be working with,
  • Past work done by the agency,
  • Their in-house ability and the work that is going to be outsourced
  • The reports you could be expecting from them and at what frequency
  • The number of times communication between you and the agency will typically occur in a month
  • Data the agency will require from your end
  • Typically the work you’ll be expecting each month from the agency- service level

Digital marketing is different from your traditional marketing in the sense that it is focused on results. Measuring the marketing effectiveness is the name of the game.

Regards – Atul Dhakappa

@xeniaconsulting

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Ways you can ensure that marketing is supporting the Sales Process

ways-you-can-ensure-that-marketing-is-supporting-the-sales-process

How to ensure that marketing is supporting the sales process

I hear Marketing and sales often used interchangeably, but it is important to know the difference between the two and their individual goals. While both functions are absolutely needed to achieve sales and to realize revenues for the organization, there are too many debates about which one is more important. I will refrain from providing an opinion in this regard, as most likely, I will provide a biased opinion.

Let us look at the usual sales process.

Awareness stage

You really start with the anonymous customer who knows nothing about you nor your business. At this stage, you really need to engage with a lot of people and make them aware about your product/service. Some of the traditional marketing mechanisms used are advertising, events, email campaigns, PPC ads etc. You can increasingly leverage digital marketing and intelligently target the right set of potential prospects during this stage.

Of course, even before you get into the awareness stage, it is necessary for the business owners to be clear what they are going to be offering, how it addresses a current business pain area and why they will succeed in winning this business. An output of this thought process will be detailed out in the form of digital and physical collateral including flyers, website etc.

Several organizations prefer to use sales teams at the awareness stage as well and start making cold calls and cold visits into their target market. This is not only expensive but does not yield the desired results as well. The amount of money spent on sales at this stage can be far better utilized in the right and relevant digital marketing mechanisms

Excitement Stage

The potential buyer has seen some of your content posts, advertising, has met you at events and is now curious to understand your business, but most of the times, he does not take any action. He is just checking you out. From a sales stand point, it is very interesting to engage with such folks, but the challenge is that you don’t know who is excited about your services, since they have not really raised their hand in a crowd.

At this stage, as well, intelligent digital marketing mechanisms like email marketing analytics, PPC analytics, landing pages, social media engagement tools help you identify the people that are showing continued interest in your products/services. It may be too early for sales, as there is no real commitment from them, but marketing needs to engage with them, a bit deeper to make sure that they can jump the fence.

Lead stage

Powerful CTA’s/ offers made to an interested prospect in the excitement stage can help him jump the fence and convert him to a qualified lead for your business. At this stage, the prospect is reaching out to you asking for a sales appointment rather than the other way round. Obviously sales engagement is a lot better and closure time is expected to be far lesser than is the case with a cold engagement

Based on industry research and discussions with your sales team, marketing can create content for common stages that answers frequent questions along the buying cycle. If you truly know what questions your prospects need answered to take the next steps in their buying process, your efforts can be minimized by creating the content that delivers the right information at the right time.

For example, thought-leadership pieces on industry trends are often successful for creating awareness and bringing users into the sales funnel, while case studies or solution-specific content are better for leads toward the middle/bottom of the funnel. With the right content, you can guide prospects from initial touchpoint to close by giving them the exact information they need at each stage of the process.

Content distribution can be handled by marketing, sales or a combination thereof, depending on what makes the most sense for your organization and what marketing/sales software you have access to. Just be sure that both parties are aware of their responsibilities, and the actions of the other department to ensure a seamless, consistent experience for your leads.

Opportunity stage

The lead converts to an opportunity as soon as you can assign a money value to the prospect. That is the value of the proposal that you have submitted to the prospect. An opportunity will go through negotiation on several aspects and most likely lead to a sales closure.

In Summary

The goal of most marketing activities is to drive leads, which will convert to new customers and grow the business. To do this effectively, however, a deep integration between marketing and sales is needed.

Marketing can arm its sales team is by providing lead intelligence gathered during the qualification stage. This includes everything from contact and demographic information, to areas of interest and level of engagement. Insight can be captured and tracked using marketing software and/or CRM systems.

Lead behaviors like form completions, content downloads, event attendance, viewed web pages and more can help the sales team get a clearer picture of each prospect’s individual interests and challenges. As a result, sales is better able to tailor their conversations and prioritize follow up, spending time on the most qualified leads for more closes.

That being said, it’s important to establish a process for sales to give marketing feedback as well. With insight into sales data—such as conversions, customer lifetime value, revenue generated and more—marketing can refine its strategies to continually deliver the most qualified leads

Regards – Atul Dhakappa

@xeniaconsulting

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Increase your ROI from event participation by over 300% !

Increase your ROI from event participation by over 300% !

Increase your ROI

Exhibitions, Conferences and events provide a great platform to showcase your products and services to newer audiences. They also give an opportunity to get introduced to new people and form new relationships. I am sure you must have formed a process to engage with ALL the visitors you meet at exhibitions and conferences, but are you able to reach out to all the visitors at the event.

What if you can reach your target audience before the conference and ensure you can pre-schedule meetings to meet with them? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you can reach out to people whom you have not met at the conference?

The fact is that when you attend these events and conferences, especially in the US, you do not get list of contacts with email addresses. So while you can try and meet people, while at the event, doing offline segmentation and planning campaign reach-outs both before and after the event becomes almost impossible.

By now you must be wondering “how can I do this?” Well, the answer lies in Xenia’s List Building and list appending services.

Once you have the list of contacts, we help you append these lists to generate valid email addresses, so that you can plan targeted campaigns. We provide 100% verified email addresses and the best part is you pay only for the valid email addresses that you receive.

This will help you to digitally engage with the audience before and after the conference. We can also manage your digital campaigns to this audience. Doing targeted campaigns can increase your Return on Investment (ROI) from your participation in events, exhibitions and conferences.

Please check this Case Study where I explain how we have helped clients with List Building. Also check our List Building Flyer here.

Would you be interested in this kind of engagement in near future? Shoot me back an email if you want to work with us or need to know more.

We also offer services, where we help you develop your targeted customer’s contact data list on an on-going basis.

Comments welcome

Regards – Atul Dhakappa | @xeniaconsulting

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How to get started and drive growth leveraging Digital Marketing

How to get started and drive growth leveraging Digital Marketing

How to get started and drive growth leveraging Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is a trending topic right now and so it is quite obvious that across all physical and digital conversations, the topic comes up quite often. If you are talking to business owners or CEO’s, they are gung-ho and are keen to use digital marketing to drive their business growth, but most of them are not sure what steps they need to take. They just end up engaging with some amateurs/firms in digital marketing, who burn their dollars and end up giving a very bad feeling. With this post, I intend to talk about the constituents of digital marketing, how you need to plan the mix for your business and what you need to put in place in terms of metrics, so that you know whether you are making progress in the right direction and at what velocity.

Before we get to digital marketing, let me briefly touch upon the topic marketing, as it has been around for several years. A simple definition – Marketing is everything that you do for your brand, products/services so that a sale can be facilitated and you can earn revenues. This typically includes the simplification of your products and services, brand communication about what you stand for and values that you deliver, awareness initiatives to make sure that your products/services are in front of your target audience at all times and specific lead generation/ promotion initiatives to ensure that you are able to engage meaningfully with people who want to do engage with you. The rest of the cycles are typically managed by sales like proposals, negotiations and closure.

If I were to take a gist of the above section, then marketing is about effectively reaching out to your target audience (at optimum budgets) and creating a positive influence enough to create an intent to buy/engage with you for your products/services. Now let us add digital to this mix to get to digital marketing. If we effectively reach out leveraging digital mechanisms, then we are using digital marketing. This could mean a mix of website, SEO, SEM, Social media, Email marketing campaigns etc. Sounds very simple, then where is the complexity?

Everything depends on what you are trying to sell and to whom? Depending on what you are trying to sell, your objective from digital marketing mechanisms will vary. So if you are selling capital equipment or large projects, then your objective from digital marketing mechanism might be just to create excitement and set up an appointment for your sales person. If you are selling hotel rooms, mobile phones, etc, you might want to go the entire distance and achieve the sale, right from your digital marketing efforts. Makes sense?

At Xenia, we have been pre-dominantly in the B2B space, so I will talk a bit more about our B2B experiences. Here are several things that you need to have in place and things that you need to consider before you put together a full-fledged digital marketing strategy for your business.

  • Simplification of your offer

As a business owner/CEO, you are the organization’s best salesperson, but can you be in front of all your customers to convince them to buy your product? Probably not and as you scale, you will employ a dedicated sales team to do this job for you. In that case, it is essential that key elements of your product/service are really simplified and are available in multiple digital and physical forms, which can be used by the sales people during the sales process. These can include digital assets like presentations, videos, flyers, brochures, e-books etc. which can be also deployed across digital marketing mechanisms

  • Defining your relevant target audience sharply

Focus is the name of the game. If you keep your target market definition very sketchy, then your efforts are going to be all over the place and efforts will take place in multiple directions, leading to frustrations. If you have a clear definition of your target market, then a variety of initiatives can be planned to start reaching them across social/emails other digital marketing mechanisms regularly.

  • Defining your digital marketing channels

It is a misnomer that digital marketing does not cost you money. It does, for sure, but the quantum is substantially lesser than traditional marketing mechanisms like media/TV ads and trade show sponsorships. Once you have defined your target audience to a level of detail, the next level of analysis that you need to focus on is how can you reach them. What mediums will be the best. Would that be across social media mechanisms like Twitter, LinkedIn or third party posts or should that be facilitated through a regional AdWordss campaign run on Google or a specific reach out campaign leveraging FB, LinkedIn & Twitter ads. There is no ‘one’ strategy that fits all. This strategy needs to be customized based on what you are selling and to whom you are trying to sell to. At Xenia, this is usually the first part of our engagement with clients, where we help them define these elements upfront.

  • Get your metrics in place

Any reach-out needs to be consistent, whether you are doing social promotions, email marketing campaigns or anything else. You will never get success out of just one reach-out. The entire strategy needs to be put in place. Also the performance metrics should be defined ahead of the campaign, so that you can track to it and gauge how successful your initiatives have been. If you cannot point to hard metrics like a qualified lead handover to sales, then focus on softer metrics, but be sure to have these metrics in place

  • Listen, Adapt, Improvise

You seldom get things right the first time. Your strategies are based on what you think will sell to your target audience. If you are not getting the desired results, spend time and effort and improvise. More you can get closer to your target audience and factor in both primary and secondary research, you will be able to pin-point themes that you can use across your content and campaigns that will appeal to your target audience.

Twist n Turn is the name of the game and I am not talking about your steps in a disco. The more you are able to listen, adapt and improvise, the better will be your results. Go ahead and put your best foot forward, track your metrics and see your digital marketing strategy drive results for you.

Of course, we are just a call away, in case you would like us to help you with crafting and managing your digital marketing strategy.

Comments welcome

Regards – Atul Dhakappa | @xeniaconsulting

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8 Tips that you can implement to start leveraging LinkedIn for your business

As you network with people, it is common for you to hear about how LinkedIn is fast replacing the business cards holders that people used to maintain. LinkedIn is used extensively by businesses to effectively reach their target audiences and start creating a positive impression about their products and services. It is used both as a thought leadership medium as well as a channel to reach people directly, soliciting for business. How exactly do you put together a strategy for your business for LinkedIn? That may be one thing, that’s been on your mind for long, but have not been able to answer. Here are some tips, based on some of the engagements that we are currently doing, managing LinkedIn profiles for our clients and really propelling awareness metrics for their products/services.

Tips to start leveraging LinkedIn for your business

Tips to start leveraging LinkedIn for your business

1) Complete your profile

Make sure that you have a completed profile. Your profile should talk to your potential customers and help build confidence. Make sure that you use the right keywords and highlight the right experience through your profile. A professional headshot goes a long way in making your prospects comfortable about who you are. Have a good headline, which talks about your unique skills and capabilities.  Your profile should also have a clear CTA (Call to Action) letting visitors what to expect and why they should contact you.

2) Expand network, but don’t spam

Expand your network by connecting with people who you know or have references into. If you have too many requests that go unaccepted, then it is quite likely that LinkedIn may block you from sending any further requests. Moving to a paid account does not solve this problem. Remember social networking is like a cocktail reception party. It provides great networking opportunity, but you still need a warm connect. If you accost people, they may not appreciate it

3) Join LinkedIn groups and contribute

Join relevant LinkedIn group, which have a congregation of your intended target audience. Contribute in these groups. With just a few responses, you can quickly become a trending contributor on the group and can build good friends. Once you are able to establish this credibility, you can slowly start sneaking in your content as well and people will not object. As a member of a group, you can send upto 15 free messages to members within the group.

4) Be genuine

When you are participating in a discussion or responding to a post, be genuine. Just posting for posting sake will mean that you are not generating enough value for your prospects. Knowledge and experience are on your side and what you have is unique. By participating in posts or responding to posts, you are not essentially giving any of your knowledge, but only helping to generate more curiosity and demand for your business

5) Be consistent on LinkedIn

Decide how much time per day/per week you can spend on LinkedIn and be consistent with your decision. Being on and off on LinkedIn may not help you create a consistent presence that you are trying to build. If you are generating content on a regular basis, make sure that you are able to promote that content with text or image posts multiple times, so that you can engage with your potential prospects effectively. Here is where Xenia can help as well.

6) Accept connection requests

As you send connection requests, so will others send requests to you. Make sure that you accept these requests. If there are several connection requests that you have made, which have not been accepted over a period of time, withdraw these requests so that you have opportunity to send more requests over time. This is called as ongoing account maintenance and must be done.

7) Effectively leverage LinkedIn Pulse

Pulse is LinkedIn’s own blogging platform. Leverage it to post content. While posting, make sure that you complete the keyword tags and also post an interesting image for the header. You can promote the blog via social share buttons on LinkedIn. If you are a premium account user, you will also come to know how visitors are interacting with your post and can potentially provide you meaningful leads. Every pulse post can be promoted across groups to spark off discussions or posted on your Share across LinkedIn, Twitter to keep the interest alive. Your posted content can also be converted to white paper like documents on your company template to keep the engagement active and generate more business leads.

8 ) Move from online to offline

As you nurture some of your relationships using LinkedIn, make sure that you start moving these relationships offline as well. Move into emails/calls so that you are able to build that relationships and potential business with your prospects.

We hope this checklist will be useful for you as you plan your LinkedIn strategy. If you need help we are just a call away. Do take a look at what we offer in terms of Social media marketing and some examples of how we have delivered results to customers.

Comments welcome

Regards – Atul Dhakappa

@xeniaconsulting

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Posted in Articles, Blogs, Demand Generation, Email Marketing, Graphic design, Marketing Budget, Marketing Infrastructure, Marketing Operations, Marketing Outsourcing, Marketing Strategy, Social media marketing, Thought Leadership Content | Leave a comment

A 10-point marketing campaign checklist to ensure success.

Way too often, marketers, under pressure from their seniors, CEOs launch into campaigns even when they do not have all elements of the campaign figured out. The result most often is sub optimal results. It is always helpful to start with a written plan, that communicates the various pieces of the campaign and clearly sets expectations.

A 10-point marketing campaign

10-point marketing campaign checklist to ensure success

Here is a checklist that will help you put this campaign plan together.

1) What is the premise/hypothesis for the campaign?

Why do you think the campaign will succeed? Is it because of a market situation or a because of a seasonal phenomenon that you are aware of. When you have your ears to the ground in terms of content research, you will know the trending topics in the industry, which you can capitalize on to create campaign ideas (& also content ideas). Your content research can span across media, competitors, events as well as editorial calendars of leading publications. The more trending the topic (the more real the pain), the more likely will be your campaign success.

2) Set campaign goals

What are you expecting the campaign to accomplish, can you talk of measurable results from your campaign that you foresee. It is best to be as specific as possible. Your end goals may be business leads and revenues, but also think in terms of measurable intermediate goals like clicks, calls, contacts, registrations, referrals, etc.

3) Define your TG (Target Group), including segment definition

Who are your targeting your campaign to. Is it a specific market segment, is it to specific job titles, is it to specific regions? Be clear about these definitions and create a dashboard of what these segments mean in terms of numbers. You might need to create different offers/promotions to different segments and may need to tweak your messaging.

4) Define the offer

Come up with a compelling offer, that will WOW your target audience. This could be a free evaluation, free test orders, special initial pricing, price lock, discount offers, or any number of things. The greater the appeal it has for potential customers, the greater the response will be.

5) What are the components of the campaign?

What channels will you use for the campaign and what will be its components. Will you need an email campaign tool, integration of data with some systems, a landing page? Will you be planning some content pieces as a part of the campaign? Where will you be hosting these content pieces, on a blog, on LinkedIn or as assets on your website. Having created content, how will you promote your content and what will be the destination landing page across these assets and what will be the objective of this landing page.

6) Define the stakeholders involved and what you need them to know

As you launch into specific offers, you might need support from your finance team for pricing offers. Your operations team may need to ramp up to support additional volumes coming in as a part of the promotion. Your technology will need to be robust to support the additional volumes expected. Your customer service may need to be equipped with the FAQ related to the promotion etc.. Think through several of these pieces

7) Determine your budget

Define your budgets for the campaign. Are you providing mementos, gifts, lucky dips as a part of the campaign? Are you planning advertising, advertorials? Define the high level cost items and include them in your campaign budget for approval, right up front.

8 ) Craft your key messages

It is necessary to focus on the benefits of your product or service, when you write about it. Features are what makes benefits possible. Customer never buy features, they buy benefits. As you craft your message, focus on the benefits that you are able to drive or your target audience. Also make sure that your messages have emotional appeal, as that is what drives most of the purchasing decisions.

9) Defining automation and nurture workflows

If you are using marketing automation tools, make sure that you have defined your campaign workflow and scenarios well. Based on transactions that your TG is doing on the reach-outs, you can trigger automated workflows, which could include specific nurture oriented messages.

10) Analytics and reporting metrics

Decide on the analytics and reporting metrics for the campaign. Make sure that you can capture these metrics easily and can report frequently. Reporting these will ensure that you can track early signals from the campaign and can factor in corrective steps, as needed to ensure campaign success.

We hope this checklist will be useful for you as you plan your integrated campaigns. If you need help we are just a call away. Do take a look at what we offer in terms of campaigns and some examples of how we have delivered results to customers.

Comments welcome

Regards – Atul Dhakappa

@xeniaconsulting

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Posted in Blogs, Campaigns, Case Studies, CTA, Demand Generation, Email Campaigns, Email Marketing, Lead Generation, Lead Nurturing, Leads, Marketing Content, Marketing Operations, Marketing Outsourcing, Marketing Strategy, Messaging | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

6 Steps to planning the perfect Email Campaign

People will tell you that email campaigns will give you a 10-15% open rate and a 2-5% click rate. This is considered to be good by most standards. While this looks closer to the industry standard, did you ever realise that 85-90% of people that you are trying to reach are not even opening your email? That is pretty bad, considering all the effort marketing is putting in to plan promotions, offers and putting together the email marketing program.

Email marketing

6 Steps to planning the perfect Email Campaign

What if I were to tell you, that with some simple and practical corrective steps, you can achieve upwards of 75-80% opens and as a significant rise in your number of clicks and responses? You would not believe if, of course. But this is what we have been achieving for some of our recent campaigns. What then is the secret sauce?

Is it the offer, is it the timing, is it the subject lines or is it the message itself? Well it is a combination of all of that & more

1) Get your subjectline right

The subject line is the only thing that a reader sees apart from the name of the sender. The moment the sender is unknown to the reader; the chances of the email being read reduce significantly. If the subject creates value for the reader, then you might still have a chance of the email being read. Create intrigue with your subject line, but don’t spam with words like FREE, offer, promotion etc. Keep it very topical and talk about the value to the customer upfront. Relate to the challenges the customer is facing right now. If you would like to know how this works for you, feel free to get in touch and we will guide you how this can apply to your business. Download our marketing campaigns capabilities.

2) The message – Establish a reference

The first 2 lines in your message – It is important to establish reference and some credibility. If you do not have a reference point and this is a cold email, relate to challenges that the reader can relate to. Try smartly to see if you can include an event related reference (Most of the people do not remember all the people they met at an event). This section plays an important part in the email. It opens up the reader to a listening mode.

3) The messaging core – Bring in proof points

You may be delivering great value as a product/solution, but bring in elements of how the reader’s industry peers are benefiting from the product/solution. Bring in a bit of competitive fear. Relating to the industry and to some names will bring in the ‘inner circle’ feeling among your readers. You will start getting accepted as a player who knows what is happening in the industry and therefore able to help the reader better.

4) Define a clear expected action

If you are talking about the offer, be sure to take him to your landing page. If you want him to send you an email/phone, make sure that you bring those elements into the email. Keep the section short, yet crisp. You may want to tell a lot more details about the offer, but keep that agenda for the landing page. In the email keep an objective of getting the reader to the landing page.

5) Have a clear and documented follow-up plan

A single email seldom gets you result. Get into a conversational mode in your emails. Talk about the email that you send earlier and follow-up with the reader at a reasonable frequency. Based on the transactions people have done in the previous mail, plan follow-up emails that take into factor that intelligence. Finally, this is a conversation and if you take up topics where you left before, the conversation is bound to be a fruitful one.

6) The timing for the emails

What are best times to send emails – not Monday morning and Friday evening for sure. Mid-mornings are usually good, so you are sure that bulk of the overnight email volumes have been cleared. Sometimes if may be a good strategy to engage on weekends as well. Your email does not get lost in volumes of emails. Using EDM tools, you can also schedule your emails for different regions at different times. Analyse your results to find out when you have got some of the best response rates. What works for everyone may not work for you. It is for you to try this out yourself. Of course, if you need help, we are just a call away.

I hope you found this useful.

Comments welcome

Regards – Atul Dhakappa

@xeniaconsulting

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Posted in Articles, Blogs, Business Development, Campaigns, Email Campaigns, Lead Generation, Lead Nurturing, Leads, Marketing Collateral, Marketing Content, Marketing Operations, Marketing Strategy, Messaging | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment