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B2B Marketing - Drip Email Campaigns - Marketing Automation

The Real World Recruitment Marketing Automation in Action

Marekting Automation

Recruitment is not a one-way deal. As much as a candidate works to make his/her profile look great, so does a brand or recruitment firm. Attracting talent can be challenging if recruiters pose to look too clever or too easy with no interesting substance to grab a candidate’s attention.

Recruitment needs both the candidates and the company to be equally interested in each other. John Vlastelica, the Managing Director of Recruiting Toolbox, recommends leveraging the interest and passion of your respective candidate pool to trigger more attractive messaging.

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B2B Marketing - Content Marketing

Modern marketing ROI Scenes: Dynamic Audience Segmentation meets effective Content Strategy

dynamic-segmentation-cover

If you are a marketer, you must have spent hours figuring out the best practices that will trigger lead activation and create conversions for your brand. You have gone over all the said practices and traditional guidelines. It is likely that you are also focusing on creating educational content, planning out promotions for your content and also budgeting for paid ads. But what if creating a content strategy is not the only thing you should be worried about? You might roll your eyes at what I will say next, but what makes a content strategy successful is SEGMENTATION. And here I am talking about dynamic segmentation. Static segmentation is not out of the league, but it requires a lot of list building activities which can be a challenge given that your lead behavior is constantly changing.

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B2B Marketing - Social Media Marketing

Will Artificial Intelligence in Social Media Marketing Replace B2B Marketers?

data-driven marketing program

The rift between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, two of the most influential businessmen of our time, is proof that Artificial Intelligence is no longer just a futuristic concept. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, believes strongly in Artifical Intelligence. His company often releases research papers to showcase the integration of Facebook and AI. On the other hand, Elon Musk, CEO of Telsa and Space X, opined that Mark Zuckerberg’s knowledge of AI is limited. Well, Zuckerberg responded to Elon Musk’s statement leading to a highly-publicized clash of opinions. What we can draw from this rift, however, is that AI will continue to infiltrate our society in a variety of ways. Facebook’s eagerness to harness the power of deep learning is a pointer to the next leap in the social world. Social media marketing will collide with AI? Many marketers already believe that it has.

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Facebook Marketing

6 Lesser-known Facebook Marketing Hacks you Can Try Today

Facebook Marketing Hacks (1)

This blog post originally appeared on MarTechAdvisor.

Facebook has over 2.20 billion active users, which makes it the largest social media network in the world. A little over a decade back, Facebook was not much known. Today, it has billions of active users logging in multiple times on Facebook. Do you know any other success story as huge as Facebook? Moreover, with this momentum, can the active users go from billions to millions or thousands?

Probably no. Facebook’s craze is here to stay. Facebook is here to stay.

Think about it. Every single person you know is on Facebook, whether they understand the whole concept of it or not. People from every age group (13+ of course) is on this platform. Hence, it is only natural that marketers cannot ignore this social platform. Whatever be your target audience, you can bet they are on Facebook on a daily basis. The question is: How can you target these users with your marketing?

Marketing on Facebook: How do you do it?

Brands are using Facebook to create a brand identity and also a brand awareness among its target users. Facebook offers three specific tools to marketers: Pages, ads, and groups.

Pages

Almost all businesses, including many offline businesses, have a Facebook page. It is similar to a Facebook profile but is meant for businesses and public figures. Users can simply “Like” a page to receive regular updates about that page in their newsfeed. Infact, users can also “mark” a specific page to see its update immediately when they open their Facebook profile.

For instance, I love the updates from Dogspot, so I have opted to see the posts from this page first; all credits to the adorable images and short videos of dogs. I love to see these posts the moment I open my Facebook newsfeed.

dogspot-fb

Facebook pages are free and can be set up easily. The challenge, however, is to maintain a strong foothold and have a consistent fan base.

Ads

Facebook is great when it comes to making targeted ads. You can create ads based on various target specifications like age, location, education details, company domains, device types, and more. This lets you show your ads only to those users who match your specifications. In short, you can target better with your ads. Your users have the option to close the ads that they don’t like and ‘like’ your page from advertisement.

While ads have great targeting parameters, it can get costly at one point of time (especially if you are running your marketing on a tight budget).

Groups

These groups are much similar to the online discussion forums. You can create groups related to your domain or your product offerings. These groups can drive high engagement, but at the end of the day, Facebook groups consume a lot of time.

Whatever group you target, I can assure you that you will always have enough users to target on Facebook. Facebook is not just a powerhouse for marketers; it is immensely flexible – no matter what kind of business you run, Facebook marketing will work for you.

Looking at the rapid pace at which Facebook is growing, it is needless to say that this social media platform is an indispensable part of any marketing strategy you build. While you gear up to strike the iron while it’s hot, I have compiled 6 Facebook marketing hacks that have given me immense results in terms of traffic, engagement rates, and conversions.

Six Tried-and-Tested Facebook Marketing Hacks

PS: Some hacks are self-discovered, while some I chanced upon while trying to learn the multiple facets of the social media giant’s ad platform. Let’s get started then.

#1. The Inverted Unicorn Strategy

This is one of my favorite strategies, not only because it gives great results but also because it is really fun to implement it. I learned it from Larry Kim, founder, and CTO of WordStream.

Larry Kim invented a new ad targeting strategy, which he calls the inverted unicorn method. His idea is not just to target correlated interests (like marketers with management job titles) but to target two completely different interests and overlap them. Larry Kim used this method for one of his case studies highlighting how Fake News being spread through Facebook ads can be a danger to society. He used two broad categories of an audience: Liberals and Star Trek fans. These two targets are no way similar or related to each other. Yet it helped him get gazillions of views and high engagement metrics. He used an image showcasing a famous Start Trek character which helped him in getting the attention of his star trek audience. And his news was meant for liberals who’d understand his case study. Now many were both. Either way, his strategy gave him a win-win result, given that Larry Kim had set a budget of just $400 to promote this story.

His method is a crazy one but honestly, this is worth all the effort. While Facebook lets you narrow down your audience segments as much as possible, sometimes such a strategy can help you increase your outreach.

 #2. Search up specific wording and insights of your previous posts

Most social media marketers go over the standard post performance data available in the Insights tab. It gives detailed performance insights of previous posts along with the statistics and engagement metrics like shares, comments, page likes, etc. many marketers seldom look into another great tool available under your Facebook page’s ‘publishing tools’ tab. This is the place where you search your published posts. You can search previous posts based on certain topics, and see what words or images or combination of both have worked for you in the past.

facebook-business-hacks

 

You can opt to re-post a content, but make sure you repurpose the content so that it catches the attention of brand new set of eyes.

#3. Know ‘Audience Insights’ feature better

Audience Insights is a hidden gem for marketers, especially when you are working on paid ads. Facebook’s Audience Insights gives you comprehensive details on your target audience based on which you can create tailored contents. The more relevant is your content, the better will your investment in paid ads fare.

facebook-audience

 

Many brands use this data to create fun infographics as SproutSocial did with their social media audience data. When you dig into the data or see other brands showcasing it on their platforms, you know – the opportunities with Facebook marketing are endless.

facebook-usage

#4. Facebook Pixel is the bread-butter for your ads

Want to measure your social media ROI? Then, Facebook Pixel is the way to it. Facebook Pixel offers a detailed guide to set it up for the first time. For this, you don’t need to be technically sound. Here are the steps:

  • Go to your Facebook Ads Manager
  • Click on Actions > View Pixel Code
  • Copy this code > Paste it between the header tags of your website

Incase you are working on WordPress, you can use the Google Tag Manager plugin to host all your website tracking codes.

facebook-pixel

What does this do?

Setting up Facebook Pixel can benefit you in ways such as:

  1. You can build a custom audience for re-marketing activities
  2. The tracking data can be used to optimize your ads and trigger more conversions
  3. You can track the conversions and link them back to your ads

Spending money on Facebook ads is one part of the story. But without tracking your results, you are spending money blindly. And that’s never a good news for any marketer!

#5. Invite people who’ve liked your posts to like your page now

Like every other social media marketer, I’d always look to make the most out of each Facebook post that goes live on my brand’s page. One such feature (that many marketers miss) is to invite people who’ve already engaged with your post in the past but have not yet liked your page. You can directly send invites from a hidden option in your Facebook post.

How do you get to this feature?

Check out the hyperlink just below each post where it shows how many people have liked your post and the number of comments you’ve received.

aritic pinpoint status
When you click on this link, it will open the entire list of people who’ve engaged with your post. On the right-hand side, a new menu will pop-up which highlights those people who’ve not yet liked your page. You can quickly invite them from here.

Why do I think this feature will work?

People engage more with brands that they are familiar with. If a person has liked your post, there is a high chance that he/she will recognize your brand name and hit the ‘like’ button. This is called brand recall, where your target audience recalls your brand and starts engaging more.

#6. Make your Facebook page reflect your business

Facebook pages are not just great for capturing audience attention and increasing engagement. You can customize your Facebook business page according to your business type. Recently, Facebook has rolled out this feature to allow businesses to customize their pages. This gives you the option to rearrange your page and put the most important information first.

How to do this?

Go to the ‘edit’ option on your Facebook page. You will see a new option as “Templates” that you can edit.

facebook-customize

Your page will be on the Standard template by default. Go ahead and edit it choosing from various layout options like

  • Non-profits
  • Venues
  • Services
  • Restaurants
  • Politicians; and more.

facebook-page

This is one great tool for businesses to reshuffle how they want their page to look. While we still have the standard version so that the reviews and recent posts are shown at the top, you can make your own choice.

Over to you now.

Are there any other secret hacks that you’ve tried? We’d love to know what made you stand out from the crowd.

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Best Practices - Guide

How to Get More Paying Customers From Your Free Trials

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For SaaS companies, the free trial is perhaps the most important acquisition tool of all time.

The offer is easy to understand and transparent: try the software and see if you like it. If you do, sign up for a paid version. If you don’t, no problem.

Of course, as marketers, we want to make sure people convert from free trial users to paying customers as often as possible. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Data shows that free trial conversion rates have a wide degree of variance.

free-paid-conversions

The table above features both strong conversion numbers and pretty terrible results. What’s the difference between the good and the bad? It’s almost certainly how the onboarding sequence is structured for free trial users.

As the SaaS industry gets older, (some) marketers get wiser. Enough research has been gathered to explain why some users leave and others stay.

The secret is getting people to have an “aha” moment with your product.

What is an aha moment, and why does it matter?

An aha moment is the exact moment when the value of your product becomes crystal clear, like a lightbulb being turned on in their head. They think, “Ohhh, now I see how valuable this is to me.” When Facebook was first starting to take over the world, they realized if users connected with at least 7 friends in the first 10 days, they would stick around. That was when they felt connected and started getting real value from Facebook.

At Slack, the product team noticed that joining multiple channels was the path to aha. In the beginning, this was difficult for users, so Slack’s engineers quickly made it easier to create and manage channels. And then growth started to take off.

SLACK-EXAMPLE

You can see how central channels are to Slack’s user experience today. They’ve even built in notifications on a channel level.

These are famous examples, but the principle is the same for any SaaS product. 

For people to start paying for your software, they must develop a clear understanding of its value. Click To Tweet

To improve the conversion rate of your free trials, you need to do two things. First, identify your audience’s aha moment(s). Then use behaviour-based automation to guide people toward their moment of value discovery.

Here’s how it’s done.

Identifying your customers’ aha moment

People typically only realize the value of products after a certain series of behaviours. Aha moments are the culmination of experiencing the core features of the product. So how do you pinpoint yours? You have to study the data.

Quick note: you’re going to need some kind of analytics platform, like Optimizely or Mixpanel.

Once you have your analytics set up, create a cohort of free trial users who became customers. Then look for patterns in how they behaved with your product. For example, did they:

  • Invite other users to your product?
  • Interact with more than one core feature?
  • Return to the application a certain number of times during the first week?

Obviously, these are broad examples of behaviour, but they give you an idea of what leads up to an aha moment. Here’s a visualization of what that might look like.

completion-rules

Using the funnel functionality in Mixpanel, you can create a view during their free trial. The example above shows a sequence of actions in Appcues onboarding sequence. After completing the welcome steps, users are directed to create a workflow and publish it. It seems that hitting publish and seeing the results is the aha moment Appcues is working towards.

In theory, it’s the sudden feeling of insight people get from Appcues software that triggers the aha moment.

As you analyze your historical data, be sure to look for actions that correlate to paying customers. If someone abandoned the free trial or was active until it expired but didn’t pay, their data sets should be disqualified.

Adding qualitative data

Your initial research should rely heavily on quantitative data. But you need to add qualitative data to the mix as well. Otherwise, you’re not getting the whole story.

Qualitative data paints a richer picture of what’s going on in the mind of your users as they interact with your product. It helps you understand why some people eventually paid for your software and others lost faith. To get these data points, you should need to schedule interviews with two groups: current customers and people churned after the free trial.

Each group will give you a different perspective on what’s important to them about your software and why they did (or didn’t) sign up for a paid version. This information is gold for improving your onboarding process.

Segment by Persona

Personas are another consideration for your research. If your product serves different audiences, it’s very likely they’ll have different aha moments. If you already have your data segmented by persona, good job. You’re doing it right. If you don’t, then that’s alright. There are a couple of easy ways to get this data.

1. Have users self-identify during your onboarding

There isn’t a way to do this retroactively, but you can redesign your user experience to have users self-segment during onboarding. Here’s a simple example we designed at DePalma for a mobile e-commerce app:

ecommerce mobile app

The app connects buyers and sellers, so to personalize the onboarding experience we ask about each user’s goals. This gives us a clear set of data to analyze to improve the onboarding process.

(The example is a wireframe version, not the finished design.)

If you don’t want to hire a professional UX design firm, then you can also accomplish a similar result by asking for someone’s job title when they sign up for a free trial.

2. Use data enrichment

If you already have a horde of paying customers but don’t have a good data point for segmentation, there is an answer. Just use a data enrichment tool like LeadGenius, Clearbit, or RocketReach to enhance your data.

Boom.
Now you’ve got demographic and firmographic data to segment your personas.

3. Optimizing your onboarding for conversions

Alright, so you’ve done all the hard work to identify aha moments for each of your personas. Nice work. That’s the most important part. The next step is to optimize your onboarding sequence to guide people to aha moments and ultimately increase your conversions. Again, you have a couple of options here. You could redesign your onboarding workflow around aha moments. This is a good move because the ROI of UX is huge.

However, if you’re looking for a quicker result, you can focus on using marketing automation to set up behavioural emails. This medium works best because it pulls free trial users back into your product. Push notifications rely on people to already be using the software.

To do this, map out the actions that lead up to an aha moment. Then create an email automation that directs people to each of those moments. For example, HotJar calls their onboarding sequence an “action plan.” The emails make clear what action they want you to take next, and why you’ll benefit from it.

hotjar example

This example provides a lot of good best practices to follow. The first paragraph explains that HotJar will be sending me a 10 step action plan to get the most out of the software.

I’m as sure each of these steps is related to aha moments or are indeed aha moments themselves. HotJar also notes they’ll only be sending me emails about tools I haven’t used in my account yet.

This is a critical piece of your automation campaign. You need to make sure your onboarding campaign is smart enough to skip steps that your users have already taken. That way, you’re always nudging them to find new value in your software.

Asana is another good example. As soon as I sign up, they have three easy steps for me to take.

asana-welcome

A few days later, Asana’s email campaign noticed I hadn’t been using the calendar feature. So they sent me an email about it.

They didn’t send me anything about setting up tasks in a list view, because I’d been using that feature like a madman. Instead, their goal is to get me to engage with as many features of the software as possible.

By the way, Asana’s aha moment is when you invite teammates. Their strategy is to get you to engage with their excellent project management software, and then invite your team.

asana-example

People have always been attracted to try-before-you-by offers. Free trials are perhaps the best example of this concept available today.

But no free trial is a magic potion.

To consistently convert more paid customers from your free trial sign-ups, you must understand the value your software provides to people. And then you must set up an onboarding campaign that makes that value crystal clear.

The best part is any marketer with a quality (or even just decent) SaaS product can. The key is to accurately identify aha moments and use smart automation to help your audience experience them.

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