Tag Archives: content marketing

New SMART Goals to Help Generate Creativity

 

Use SMART goals to help with creativity

You’ve heard of the age-old SMART goals acronym — smart, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely — but sticking to such rigid guidelines can sometimes stifle creative thinking and idea development.

We’ve created a new set of SMART goals to help you improve your creative output.

S: Stretch

Stretch your mind. Don’t go back to your usual way of generating ideas. Instead, do something different or unique. Think outside the box — way outside the box! Even your craziest ideas could have some great, realistic components that you can use.

M: Meditate

Our minds are constantly muddled with hundreds of thoughts each day. Take some time to focus on the present moment and pause the other thoughts in your head. The inner peace that comes with meditation doesn’t just help your health, it can help you be more creative and generate better ideas.

A: Ask for Help

Feeling stuck? Reach out to a colleague, friend, family member or even a stranger, and ask for their opinion. The feedback you receive could trigger a whole new series of ideas you hadn’t previous considered.

R: Relax

Have you ever noticed that some of your best ideas seem to pop up in the middle of the night or while you’re taking a shower? The best ideas aren’t usually created when you’re under stress, so take a step back, relax, and let all the information sink in. You may be surprised with what other ideas may come up.

T: Transform

You’ve used the first four parts of our new SMART goals to help generate a list full of information and ideas — now it’s time to take that information and transform it into your final, creative product.

Need help developing creative marketing solutions? We can help! Contact the GREENCREST team with all of your marketing and advertising needs.

 

3 Tips for Mastering Content Marketing

Enhance your content marketing strategy.

Content marketing is an effective way to provide valuable, relevant content to your audience and should be top-of-mind when creating your marketing plan. When done correctly, it can help you retain an audience, generate leads and drive profitable customer action.

Use the tips below to help you master your content marketing strategy this year.

Tell a Story

Storytelling is the best way to help others connect with your brand. Empathize with your audience and make them part of the story. No matter what type of content you decide to use (blog, infographic, e-book, video — the list goes on!), use your content to incite emotion and engage your audience.

Promote Your Content

You’ve written a beautiful piece of content for your audience — now what? Now, you have to make sure your audience will see that content. Take the time to create a well thought out promotion strategy using a mix of organic (social media, email marketing, SEO) and paid (Google AdWords, Facebook and LinkedIn advertising) promotion.

Analyze and Adjust

You’ve invested a lot of time in the creation and promotion of your content, so make sure it’s working effectively. Analyze your content on a short-term basis and look for trends in the successful versus unsuccessful content you’ve created. Then, adjust your content marketing plan to optimize what’s working. It’s not enough to just analyze your content marketing efforts — make sure you actually DO something with the data you’ve collected.

Need help developing and executing your content marketing? Let us help you create the right plan and content for your business! Contact the GREENCREST experts today!

 

Use content to generate leads in the sales cycle

After understanding consumer behavior in different phases of the sales cycle, smart businesses hopped onto the content marketing bandwagon to create valuable information to connect consumers to the answers and solutions they need — when they need it.

Marketing teams around the world have realized that to make the best impact, different types of content should be used for different stages of the sales cycle.

An important stage of the sales cycle is lead generation. In this first stage, your primary goal is to attract the attention of prospects and get them interested in your product or service.

In this early phase, prospects are researching their problems and possible solutions for them. For this audience, your goal is to increase brand awareness, appeal to their main pain points and provide them with more information to bring them closer to finding a possible solution based on what you offer. Be a good Samaritan.

Here are some helpful tips to follow when creating content to increase lead generation:

Recognize the content’s importance

Great content creates excitement and awareness among prospects and will build a compelling business case to potential customers.

The type of content you create is one of the most important steps — it should be helpful, informative, relevant, and easy to consume. It should focus on what your target audience needs to solve its problems, not the detailed features of your specific product or service.

Target your content to the right people

Regardless of what your business sells, it is important to identify the right audience and then tailor your content to their wants and needs. Your content should be authentic and offer the same message in a variety of ways to appeal to every prospect.

Choose the right content

Create content that will help build awareness about what you’re selling. In the lead generation stage, you want people to learn about what your business can offer and why it might be a good choice for them.

Blogs and white papers can help address problems and solutions. Using ads from search engine platforms that lead prospects to download your content pieces allows you to leverage marketing automation tools to send informative and helpful emails about your business or product to your lead prospects.

While mastering all stages of the sales cycle is important, it all starts with the attraction stage. It’s simple — if you want to gain business, you first need to attract it! Therefore, create a content strategy.

People want to learn about a business or product to see if it’s beneficial to their needs before they commit to the (sometimes long) sales cycle that we commonly see in business to business sales. Make sure you’re using content marketing efforts to your advantage and enjoy the results.

Need help with your marketing efforts? GREENCREST is your team! Contact us to learn more about content marketing and how GREENCREST can help with your lead generation.

Top Marketing Trends to Look for – and Master – in 2017

Business People Working with Technology

In 2016, the trends in content and digital marketing made great advancements. Changes in technology, social media platforms and content promotion styles were just a few of the things at the top of marketers’ minds. Moving into 2017, those trends will continue to grow and gain importance, but the new year will bring its own important trends. As millennials infiltrate the workforce and technology is ever changing, so are the marketing trends that are meant to keep up with it.

Here are some notable trends coming to the forefront in 2017 and why you’ll want to master them:

1.      Digital Content

Today, digital is everything. People go to the Internet to seek information they need on products, brands, companies and more. As marketers, we can put this information in the palm of our audience’s hands with exciting and informational content such as white papers, technical bulletins, newsletters, e-books, videos, case studies, infographics and so much more. In 2017, mastering the use of highly engaging and relevant online content is bound to increase your website visits, ROI and more. Continuing to develop these skills will pay off in the coming year.

2.      Cross-Device Marketing

The average consumer is connected through up to five devices – smartphones, tablets and desktop computers to name a few. Marketing across several devices is necessary, but it can be challenging. You need to enable data alignment and tracking capabilities, such as Google AdWords and Analytics, to make sure you’re recognizing your repeat consumers, tracking their actions across different devices, and developing personalized ways to reach them.

3.      Native Advertising

Users don’t want their sessions interrupted online, so native advertising gives marketers the chance to offer information in a format similar to the content on the site the consumer is using. Users are more likely to engage with this type of advertisement than they would with a banner ad that may come across as overbearing or out of place. These ads will help brands connect with their audience in an authentic manner, while continuing to boost their ad revenue.

4.      Live Video Streaming

It is essential for companies to present authentic, engaging content online 24-7. Marketers need to find new ways to engage their audience and keep their attention. Video marketing has taken many successful forms in the past – testimonials, webinars and Instagram videos. Now live streaming is starting to take over. Platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Periscope are making live videos the standard in their offerings, and brands need to take advantage of it. According to a survey from the Web Video Marketing Council, 73 percent of marketing professionals said video has positively influenced their marketing results, and we can only imagine this increasing with developments in live streaming. People are becoming increasingly attracted to live stream videos because they give them the chance to get an inside, unedited look into a brand or company that they may not have gotten on traditional platforms elsewhere.

Times and trends are always changing, but we all need to keep up with the changes to keep moving forward. Follow these helpful tips and you’ll be on your way to a successful marketing year in 2017.

Need help planning for the 2017 year? Contact the team at GREENCREST for all of your marketing, public relations, web design and social media needs.

 

Nurture: The Fourth Step in Turning Prospects into Lifetime Customers

(This BrandPro article is the fifth in a series of five articles that discuss the process of “Turning Prospects into Lifetime Customers.”)

Congratulations! You have successfully completed the first three steps of turning prospects into lifetime customers: Attract, Engage, and Convert. Now, you are ready for the Nurture phase. And, yes, you’re almost to the point of sale! However, not all leads will become customers. Depending on where they are in the sales cycle, some leads may quickly convert into a customer soon after they discover your product or service. Others may take some nurturing before committing to a purchase. Once a relationship is developed, you are more likely to realize your end goal: business loyalty.

Marketing Funnel

 

Content marketing

Content marketing is at the core of nurturing consumer relationships online. It’s the process of consistently creating and curating valuable and relevant content for your customers or leads—without selling to them. It can include engaging photos, videos, articles, podcasts, ebooks, reports and white papers. It’s anything that can help, inform or entertain your target audience. Consider it as another service you provide. Without helpful or entertaining content, it may be difficult to create effective and engaging emails. And no one would respond to or share your posts on social media. Online conversation is created around content.

Email Marketing

Email is the easiest, most intimate way to communicate with your leads online—a targeted message with interesting or helpful content is sent straight to their inbox. You know who they are, and you have their contact information. Give your email list special treatment by sending exclusive reports, limited-time offers, prizes and other value-added content. Create a two-way conversation by periodically emailing special surveys. And then later share the survey results with your list!

Social media

Social media is another great medium to nurture relationships and converse with your leads online. However, a “like” or a friendly response to a comment is not enough. Instead, offer helpful advice, tips or assistance in your response as an added service.

For example, let’s say you own a restaurant and a customer tweets, “Can’t wait for my birthday dinner tonight at @ABCRestaurant!” you may be tempted to respond with, “Happy birthday @CustomerName! Looking forward to celebrating with you soon!”

Instead, help the customer with your response, even if she didn’t ask for it. A beneficial response to the example could possibly be, “Happy birthday @CustomerName! Check out our specials on party appetizers and sangria pitchers! www.linktocontent.com/specials” or “Happy birthday @CustomerName! Here’s a sneak peek at what may happen tonight: www.linktocontent.com/birthday-song-video>”

Display Remarketing

It’s important to further develop a relationship with website visitors after they leave your website. This is possible through display remarketing. Display remarketing is an online advertising campaign that allows you to reconnect with past website visitors by showing them relevant online ads as they use other websites or mobile apps. It also helps reach leads and customers who are more likely to purchase your products or services.

Blog

Maintaining an ongoing, relevant blog that your target audience finds interesting will keep them coming back for more, and it will help develop your relationship with blog readers. Similar to social media, it’s most effective to respond to comments with more helpful information and insight to keep the conversation going. Including an RSS feed so that blog posts can be delivered straight to subscribers’ inboxes makes it convenient for your target audience to stay informed. If you develop a regular blog audience, you will be top of mind when they’re ready to purchase.

Customer Service

It’s hard to talk about nurturing relationships with customers and leads without talking about customer service. Consider every consumer touchpoint as an opportunity to provide an exceptional experience. Whether it’s helping people through social media, email, instant messaging, text messaging, over the phone or in person, every interaction with your business has the ability to enhance or deteriorate your relationship. Diligently create a consistent brand experience that’s worth talking about.

If a customer leaves a negative comment or complaint online, kindly thank them for their feedback and say that you will work with them offline to resolve the issue. Stay true to your word and follow up with the customer. If they have a positive experience, they may choose to remove or update their previous comment or review. No matter the outcome, always remain positive and helpful.

Now that we’ve walked you through each phase of the Marketing Funnel, we hope you leave with key takeaways that will help you optimize your website and inbound marketing efforts. If you keep each phase and the respective strategies in mind while developing a marketing plan, you can more effectively guide your target audience through the Funnel and ultimately turn your prospects into lifetime customers.

This is the last article of our “Turning Prospects into Lifetime Customers” series. If you have questions about any phase, goal or tactic discussed, please contact GREENCREST, and a marketing expert can assist you.

 

Turning Prospects into Lifetime Customers: Attract, Engage, Convert and Nurture

(This BrandPro article is the first in a series of five articles that discuss the process of “Turning Prospects into Lifetime Customers.”)

If you’re in marketing or business, you might have heard of the popular AIDA Formula. AIDA is an acronym for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. It’s the process that we marketers often use to create a customer and build customer relationships. Now it’s more common to see what we call the Marketing Funnel, or Sales Funnel. The Marketing Funnel takes a new twist on the old AIDA Formula. It presents a visual diagram that helps us understand how to turn a prospect into a lead, a lead into a customer, and a customer into a lifetime, repeat customer. When using the Marketing Funnel, our main goal is to develop lifetime customers—because it’s much easier to sell to existing customers than constantly trying to attract and sell to new ones.

The Marketing Funnel

The Marketing Funnel isn’t “one size fits all.” There are many versions of it out there because it needs to be adopted and customized to best fit your business’s needs and sales process. For the next few weeks, this BrandPro Blog series will focus on each part of the following Marketing Funnel, as it pertains to digital marketing.

Marketing Funnel

A Quick Overview

Each phase of the Marketing Funnel has its own unique goal and includes various tactics that can be used to achieve its goal. Here’s a brief introduction to each phase, in which we will go into more depth in the weeks to come.

Attract

During the Attract phase, your main goal is to draw attention to your business, products and/or services. If done well, you will reach the broadest set of targeted, potential customers. In this phase, you will most likely increase brand awareness.

Engage

Once you have attracted the attention of your target customers, you want to begin to engage with them as a brand. In this phase, target customers become prospects. They are not only aware of you, but they’re interested in you. Your goal is to engage with them and instill a desire to do business with you—a desire to buy your products or services.

Convert

As you filter out your prospects, your next step is to convert them into leads. During this phase, prospects act on their need, want or desire for your product or services and ask for more information. At this point, depending on where the lead is in the sales cycle, he or she may quickly decide to purchase and become a customer, or it may take a little nurturing before the lead decides to do business with you.

Nurture

There are two parts to the Nurture phase. On one end, you are nurturing your leads and continuing to build your relationship with them in order to turn them into customers. On the other hand, you need to nurture your current customers and instill a loyalty so that they will become lifetime, repeat customers. Remember, the main goal of utilizing the Marketing Funnel is to get targeted prospects to this end of the Funnel and become lifetime customers. The Nurture phase is critical because it’s much more efficient to sell to current customers who will potentially spend more with you on an annual basis than it is to constantly acquire new customers.

In the next article of our “Turning Prospects into Lifetime Customers” series, we will dive deep into the Attract phase of the Marketing Funnel and give you actionable tactics that will help attract attention to your business, product or service.

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