Webinar recap – Best Friend Brands

We’ve all been there – you register in advance for a terrific webinar, but then life happens, and you miss it. You plan on listening to the recording, but just can’t squeeze in that hour of time. Don’t worry – we’re attending webinars left and right to summarize the key points for you. Let’s learn from industry rock stars together.

Yesterday, we attended Best Friend Brands: Tips for Getting into Your Customers’ Inner Circle, presented by Silverpop’s Dave Walters. (Full disclosure – we are a Silverpop partner. We love Silverpop and super smart and talented Dave Walters.)

Silverpop's Dave Walters
Companies are striving to differentiate themselves within extremely crowded and competitive markets. One way industry leaders get ahead is tapping into their brand’s inner circle – the few diehard, repeat customers, who always open their messages.

Top 5 Inner Circle

7billionAccording to Dave and in theme with the e-card (right), consumers build lasting relationships with only about 5 brands at a time. These select few are considered “best friend brands” that consumers are happy to engage with on a regular basis.

Throughout the webinar, Dave showed off his own 5 best friend brands (Delta Airlines, Creative Market, eBags, Gilt, and Spotify) and the awesome tactics and messages that won them entry into Dave’s inner circle. (Get the full presentation here.)

Growing your inner circle

Email is smarter and more effective today – it’s ultimately a channel of conversion and a powerful relationship-building tool. How can you leverage email to nurture your super fans, so they accept you into their inner circle?

1)  Be relevant – send messages based on individual customer’s interests and behavior.
2)  Be trustworthy – respect your email list. Your actions need to be consistent with your messaging. Don’t over-send, spam, or share email addresses with third parties.

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Web tip – 5 content marketing tips for e-commerce sites

Running an e-commerce site is a full-time job. You devote resources to selling your products, keeping your site updated, and gaining and maintaining your customer base. Content often falls to the bottom of the priority list, but we recommend you move it up the list.

Content marketing involves attracting and retaining customers without directly selling to them. Instead, you offer contextual, relevant, and intriguing information that customers find valuable. The goal is for those customers to reward your awesome content with a purchase – and eventually, they will. The Custom Content Council reported “61% of people feel better about a company that delivers custom content; they are also more likely to buy from that company.”

Engaging customers with relevant content enhances your brand interactions and builds loyalty to your company. In addition to keeping your customers coming back, content marketing attracts new customers. According to the HubSpot Marketing Benchmarks report “companies who increase blogging from 3-5x/month to 6-8x/month almost double their leads.” Content marketing should serve as the foundation for your marketing strategy, because it positively impacts social media, search engine optimization, public relations, pay-per-click, and outbound marketing. Get our 5 content marketing tips for e-commerce companies.

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Webinar recap – How to Succeed in the World of Paid Content

Webinars help us stay on top of industry topics, trends, and best practices without traveling to workshops or conferences.  (Another bonus – they’re frequently free!)

One pitfall of webinars is it’s difficult to fit them into our hectic schedules. To help out all you busy people, each month we’ll attend a webinar and summarize the key learning points for you, so we can learn from industry rock stars together.

Yesterday, we sat in on New Age Advertising: How to Succeed In The World of Paid Content. Speakers included:

New Age Advertising: How to Succeed In The World of Paid Content.

Content is the new face of digital advertising. With this realization, brands jumped on board – creating, curating, and sharing content to capture consumer attention and drive brand interaction. There are limitless content opportunities – blogs, articles, infographics, webinars, print publishing, and today’s guest of honor – paid or sponsored content.

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Get the 2014 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management

Gartner, one of the world’s leading information technology research and advisory companies, uses the magic quadrant to uniformly evaluate different technologies. It helps readers “quickly digest how well a technology provider is executing against their stated vision.”

Learn more about the Gartner Magic Quadrant .

The 2014 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management (WCM) offers an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses for each vendor in the WCM sphere.

The report includes:
•   An overview of the web content management market.
•   Assessments of strengths and weaknesses for each vendor in the Magic Quadrant.
•   The position of each vendor in the quadrant based on ability to execute and completeness of vision.

Our partner EPiServer, leading provider of digital marketing and ecommerce solutions, was positioned as Visionary in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management (WCM) 2014 report. They are offering access to the entire report for FREE. Get it here.

We love EPiSever, because they allow us to dynamically target content and imagery relevant to individual visitors. In fact, Whereoware’s website (the one you’re on right now) is built using the EPiServer platform. We’ve designed and developed a number of EPiServer-based websites for our customers. (See how our client Nutricia leveraged EPiServer for huge results – here.)

Behind the glasses – Lauryn

Whereoware Content Specialist Lauryn GoodtreeEach month, we’ll be interviewing one of our fab employees here at Whereoware. For October, we get to know Lauryn Goodtree, our Content Specialist, a little better.

WHO:

What’s your name?  Lauryn Shelly Goodtree.
Job title:  Content Specialist.

BACKGROUND:

Favorite food:  Turkey Burgers with Cado & Slaw.
Hidden Talent:  I can learn up to 500 new words a day.
If there were a movie of my life, I’d be played by:  Johnny Depp.
One item you’d bring with you to a desert island and why:  My yo-yo. With that much time alone, I’ll be a yo-yo master!
My earliest memory: Falling on an ice rink, landing face first on a square peanut butter cracker, and getting stitches in my gums.
In a zombie apocalypse, my weapon of choice would be:  Persuasion.

NERD QUIZ:

Facebook or Twitter:  Snapchat
iOS or Android:  iOS
‘Nerd’ or ‘Geek’:  Undoubtedly both
Star Wars or Star Trek?  I’ve never seen either!

What’s the best part about working at Whereoware?
Our Halloween costume contests – I’ve seen some very professional coworkers in absurd, but genius outfits.

Google analytics tip – Benchmark reports

The number one question we are asked over and over again is “how do I compare to other companies?” Back in the day, you could have gone to Google Analytics and benchmarked your numbers against similar industries, but alas they cruelly ripped those reports away from us. Good news though! They’ve brought them back!

What are Google Benchmark reports?

Google Benchmark reports are a tool you can use to compare your website against industry-wide data. The three dimensions you can compare are channel, location, and device. Channel refers to the origin of the website visitor, location refers to the country/state from where the visitor is accessing your site, and device refers to what the visitor is using to view your website.

Why use Benchmarks?

Use benchmarks to track your progress, set goals, and get insight into your success rate. The Google Analytics Blog identified vacation rental company Twiddy as a prime example of how information from benchmarks can be utilized for profitability. In the case of Twiddy, they used benchmarks to identify their successful marketing efforts and weak spots, and increased email open rates by 500%.

Benchmarks provide a wider-lens perspective on which parts of your marketing program are performing well, and which could use some work. The data can help you decide the optimal allocation of resources and how to cut back on wasted time, money, and effort. The data also shows how you stack up in comparison to industry peers, which is vital information to succeed in a competitive market.
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Whereoware’s twist on the ice bucket challenge

On Monday, September 8th, Whereoware put our twist on the ALS challenge. We challenged employees to donate to a charity of their choice. Whereoware matched all donations, and we raised a total of $2,100.  Of course, employees were PSYCHED to soak their bosses in icy cold water – one bucket per donation.

SO – consider yourself CHALLENGED! We know the ice bucket challenge is winding down, but we’re confident companies can keep the momentum going and impact a huge number of charitable organizations. Share our video and make it rain for a great cause!

Analytics tip – do engagement metrics lie?

Originally titled “Measuring Customer Engagement,” this post intended to offer a neat and firm list of metrics to measure customer engagement. Sounds easy, right?

In our quest for dependable metrics, Avinash Kaushik’s views on engagement caused us to pause and rewrite the blog title. Avinash states measuring engagement is fatally flawed. He argues that we rely too heavily on black and white numbers to infer how customers feel about us. Yet, there are a variety of personal factors we cannot measure influencing our customers’ feelings.

For example, we launch a PPC ad on a new content piece and see a spike in website traffic. We pat ourselves on the back – that content piece was awesome! We write five more pieces on the exact same topic, and are bummed as our “engagement levels” decrease with each piece. Did the traffic spike tell us with certainty that the topic of our content piece was awesome? Or was it merely a quantitative metric supporting that running a PPC ad – on any topic – increased website traffic?

Don’t get us wrong – we love analyzing data, but we must be careful to measure and compare a variety of metrics to ensure we pick the correct next step. We’ve listed a few ways to add context to our favorite metrics, helping you interpret visitors’ online activity. (Need a refresher on basic Google Analytics terms? Get it here.)

Traffic with page content and session duration

Measuring unique and overall traffic is a clear indicator that something is working, but doesn’t narrow down “what” is working. We recommend pairing traffic metrics with page content and session duration – the length of time a visitor spends on your site during one session (visit to your site).

The page content or topic helps contextualize both traffic and session duration data. To measure whether a page is successful, compare these metrics on other pages with related or similar topics.

Google Analytics Session Duration

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Web tip – Optimizing your web forms

Web forms are an integral vehicle for converting traffic to revenue. Collecting explicit website data (information visitors give when filling out your web form) is often the first step in effectively marketing to your leads. Optimizing your web forms helps you gather more qualified leads.

Get your math on

According to MECLABS, a conversion index is the best way to boost conversions. They use the following equation: C = 4m +3v + 2(i-f) – 2a, wherein:
C = Probability of conversion
m = Motivation of user
v = Clarity of the value proposition
i = Incentive to take action
f = Friction elements of process
a = Anxiety about entering information

Applying the formula to web forms helps you assess how effectively they’ll convert traffic. The theory is conversions are highest when the visitor is both comfortable providing their information and motivated to fill out the web form.

Today, we’ll use a Whereoware web form (above) and evaluate value proposition, incentive, friction, and anxiety to demonstrate how the theory boosts form conversion.

Value Proposition

The value proposition is the reason your customers should take action. Here, the value prop is a newsletter full of website and marketing tips. Some common value props include: newness, price, or quality. The most important thing to remember is your value prop needs to have appeal and exclusivity, as well as being clear and concise.
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Email automation tip – Email best practices


There is a lot to remember when sending an email – from design best practices, to coding considerations, to supporting your value proposition. It is too easy to forget email marketing fundamentals, so we developed an email effectiveness checklist to help you out.

To find out just how effective our “effectiveness checklist” is, we decided to A/B test many of the basic principles in our newest case study - Email Best Practices. The case study provides some handy “before and after” email examples, so you can visualize how using the checklist can improve your emails. Get the case study to see the email effectiveness checklist in action.