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9 little-known ways to grow your marketing organically

Are you looking to grow your marketing organically?

9 little-known ways to grow your marketing organically

1. Stoke your audience’s curiosity

I know you’ve heard the all-time famous quote Content is king so many times that it probably lost its meaning.

Do you know who the author of this quote is?

It is Bill Gates who, in a 1996 essay, describes the future of the Internet as a marketplace for content.

Back then, Content is king was referring to websites having quality content in order to attract and retain customers.

Today, the quote has been expanded to include all content produced by a brand and published on the website, social media platforms, emails etc.

And the quote is ever more true: content is the engine that powers your marketing efforts.

Do you want more followers?

Content will get them for you.

Do you want to increase your engagement rate?

Content will help you achieve this.

Do you want more leads?

Content will attract more leads for your brand.

But the quote is incomplete because not any content supports your marketing efforts, it should be updated as follows:

Relevant content to your audience is king.

What does relevant content mean?

Relevant content means content that meets these 3 criteria:

  • It helps your audience get better at their jobs;
  • It exceeds your audience’s expectations;
  • It stokes the curiosity of your followers.

How to write relevant content?

First of all, you need to have an in-depth knowledge of your customer’s profile or buyer persona.

What are their challenges, pain points, goals and aspirations? Write them down.

Then you need to know what your brand is about: products, services, mission, brand values and vision.

How can your brand help your buyer persona overcome their challenges, solve their pain points or support them achieve their goals? Through your products and services. Your website copy should communicate this clearly and concisely.

How about on social media?

What type of content helps your followers in their job or surprises and awes them?

The goal of all content on social media is to position your brand as the most valuable resource for your followers’ needs.

To help them get better at their jobs, curate lists of digital tools, apps or platforms.

To help them achieve their goals and aspirations, write how-to content, tips & tricks.

To make them go I didn’t know that, how interesting!, approach a specific topic from your brand’s point of view, a point of view which reflects your brand’s mission and values.

The keyword here is the point of view. There may be thousands of pieces of content on a specific topic, but your brand’s point of view on this topic is unique therefore fresh and interesting.

Here’s an example.

Let’s take three different brands (Dove, Xiaomi, H&M) looking to target women aged 25-35 going on vacation. Dove would produce content on skincare recommendations for travel, Xiaomi would produce content on how to use Xiaomi smartphones to take the best holiday pictures and H&M would produce content on travelling attire that is both comfortable, multifunctional and stylish. And there you have it: three different points of view on the same subject.

2. Boost your brand awareness by creating campaigns for International Days

There are 365 days in a year and every day has been recognized as an international dedication or international anniversary to observe issues of international interest, concern or awareness.

There are the famous and popular international days (International Labour Day or Mother’s Day), then there are international days created to drive awareness to public health concerns (World Multiple Sclerosis Day, World AIDS Vaccine Day) and then there are the weird and funny international days that are not as widely recognized as the rest (Bike-to-work Day, World Redhead Day).

Choose the days that are aligned with your brand’s values, mission and vision. Mark them on your yearly marketing calendar and prepare content to celebrate them from your brand’s point of view.

Here’s an example:

To celebrate World Earth Day, we produced a piece of video content that listed five brands taking steps to minimize their impact on the environment: Lego, BMW, Starbucks, Nike and Amazon.

3. Use the pull marketing strategy

Lead generation is the process of attracting prospects who show interest in your brand’s products and services.

The best way to generate leads is through inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy that is focused on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in your customer’s buying journey.

If your company is using leaflets, catalogues, outdoor billboards, media, print and digital advertising or cold calling, then your company uses outbound marketing to generate leads, also known as the push marketing strategy.

The company using inbound marketing draws in and influences its prospects. It wins them over with strategies that help the company build trust and position itself as the authority of its field. And it’s easier for the respective company to generate leads and turn them into customers: they already know its products or services. This company is using the pull marketing strategy.

Why should you use inbound marketing?

Here are the main benefits:

  • The cost/lead is 61% less than cost/lead generated through outbound marketing;
  • It takes between 4 to 6 months for an inbound marketing strategy to bring results;
  • It’s easier for your company to close the leads because they are warmer than the leads generated through outbound marketing.

4. Empower your email subscribers

Email marketing done right outperforms social media in terms of reach, CTR, conversion rate and ROI.

And by outperforming ROI I mean 42:1 which means for every dollar spent, your company’s return is 42 dollars.

To get this high of an ROI, you need to focus on the words done right.

First, go back to your customer persona file and update it with the latest behaviour changes. Be very specific on what your customers need to meet their goals and outline how your brand will help them.

Of course, your email marketing strategy should include sales-focused emails, but maintain a balance between sales content and empowering content.

If you don’t know what that balance is, you can start with the 80-20 rule of thumb: 20% sales content and 80% empowering content.

Once you have identified what empowering content looks like for your customers, invest your resources into designing the ways in which to deliver that content: infographics, video, expert quotes, listicles, how-tos, links to in-depth articles etc.

Find a way in line with your brand goals to reward your most engaged subscribers.

Also, create the opportunity for your subscribers to get to know each other. The end objective of your email marketing strategy is to empower your subscribers individually and transform them into a community.

One of this year’s top acquisitions is HubSpot buying The Hustle, a media company whose newsletter reaches over 1.5 million subscribers each day with the latest tech and business news.

Why did HubSpot, a full platform of marketing, sales, customer service, and CRM software and one of the largest marketing and sales content producers buy a media company?

Here’s what they said:

Today, B2B brands can be a daily part of their customers’ lives before they even use their product. They can become a daily source of education and information for their customers. They can grow a large audience for that content by creating it for the people who buy their product and the many more who will use it. They can earn the attention of their audience by continually creating value for them.

5. Leverage the power of cultural events

Game of Thrones is one of HBO’s greatest hits with record-breaking viewership worldwide. The series spanned over a decade and quickly became a cultural phenomenon creating a host of memes, gifs, quotes and so on.

There are many blog articles highlighting valuable lessons on leadership and personal growth and development from the beloved TV series.

When the last episode of Game of Thrones aired in 2019, every social media platform was abuzz with millions of pieces of content focused on the series.

A successful marketer stays up to date on what’s happening on the global and local cultural landscape and if the said cultural event is aligned with the brand’s mission and values, produces valuable content for the brand’s customers from a unique perspective.

To date, the biggest cultural event of 2021 is Friends: The Reunion, a 99-min special where the cast of the 90s popular show Friends come together for the first time in 17 years.

HBO has revealed that the special has crossed 1 million views on the platform. Young and old fans of the show took to social media to show their love and appreciation.

On Instagram #friendstvshow alone has 1 million posts.

Are your customers fans of Friends? Can your brand create Friends-focused content for them?

6. Keep your followers engaged

Writing content on a specific topic in the form of a series provides many benefits for your audience and your brand.

The content series helps your brand stay top of mind with its audience and the audience learns what to expect from this type of content.

If the content is relevant and interesting, you have a winner because it helps the marketer achieve one of the most important goals in marketing: to influence behaviour.

7. Landing pages with downloadable content

Another way to grow your marketing organically is to deliver content in a downloadable format.

Rewrite, redesign and pack your best content as a PDF file.

Give the bundle pack in exchange for your customer’s email and voila!, you’ve set up shop on their PC or mobile.

Having your content saved is a great way to boost brand awareness, establish yourself as a valuable resource and remain top-of-mind.

8. Use the latest features from social media

The main goal of any social media platform is to keep its users engaged for longer periods of time.

To achieve this goal, all social media companies keep innovating and creating new features and tools.

Apart from the obvious benefit of using them as a brand (new ways to engage with your followers), these new features come with a second advantage: the company boosts them to increase usage rate and popularity.

Why not give them a run for their money?

9. Polls in groups

Groups are a great tool for every marketer looking to increase brand awareness organically.

I found conducting polls in Facebook and LinkedIn Groups especially useful.

All you have to do is select the questions carefully.

Find topics that are of interest to both your brand and your group members (questions about products and services), but also try to ask questions that help you understand more about their challenges, their pain points and what they expect from your brand.

Once you have enough relevant answers, you now know what content to post in groups.

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6 marketing goals you should set in 2021 to support your business vision

6 marketing goals you should set in 2021 to support your business vision

  1. Increase brand awareness

  2. Empower your email subscribers

  3. Build brand ambassadors

  4. Boost your sales through referral programs

  5. Identify customer behaviour change

  6. Increase website traffic with guest content

Let’s talk about each of them.

1. Increase brand awareness

If a stranger approached you in the street offering to be your friend would you accept? I can’t speak for you but I’m sure my answer would be I can’t be friends with someone I don’t know.

It’s the same with your brand: why do expect your customers to buy your products if they are not aware of your brand? That’s why brand awareness is an essential part of brand building. Brand awareness is a process leading to sales. The first stage of an effective sales funnel is awareness followed by interest, decision and action.

Brand awareness is also an ongoing process. Coca-Cola is the leading global soft drinks company and has been on the market for 128 years. You would be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t drunk a bottle of Coke in their life or is unable to recognize the brand’s iconic logo. This happens thanks to the company investing billions of dollars in campaigns. More precisely, $4 billion each year since 2015 to market its drinks to consumers around the world. If the company didn’t commit to this goal of maintaining and increasing brand awareness year after year, it would quickly lose the top spot and market share.

So how do you increase your brand’s awareness? It certainly helps to have a big budget but that’s not everything.

Let’s explore ways that you can increase awareness for your brand!

Share of voice

Marketing effectiveness expert Les Binet recommends that brands should run both sales activation and brand building campaigns but tweak the balance to 75% brand building and 25% activation.

Binet’s research found that sales activation delivers short-term sales volume while brand-building campaigns lead to long-term growth and higher sales volumes. Learn about brand awareness and why SOV (share of voice) is important for your brand (with examples).

Partnerships

As a business owner, you are competing with other businesses in your market for the attention of your customer base. What if you took a different approach and choose to build brand partnerships instead of competing with each other?

Here are 9 benefits of brand partnerships:

  • Sharing customer bases;
  • Break into new markets;
  • Cross-selling;
  • Expanding your customer base;
  • Lead-generating opportunities;
  • Brand strengths are amplified through collaboration;
  • A great experience for the customers;
  • Enhanced brand awareness and exposure.

If you decide that partnering is a good strategy for your company, there are factors you need to consider for a successful brand partnership before you draft your first contract.

Standing up for your brand’s values

Brands are no longer setting the pace for its consumers. In fact, it’s the other way around – consumers have the upper hand over brands.

Over the past few years, consumer behaviour reports have highlighted this fact: it’s important for consumers to see their favourite brands act on their beliefs and values.

A 2018 study from Shelton Group found that 86% of consumers want brands to take a stand on social issues and said they’d purchase a product because a company advocated for an issue they cared about.

There are many examples of big brands taking a stand on social issues and receiving praise from the public (Nike’s Dream Crazy, UK supermarket chain Iceland and its Say Hello to Rang-tan ad, Barbie’s Close the dream gap) while other brands are facing backlash for failing to engage with their customers’ needs and expectations and their outdated marketing (Victoria’s Secret).

2. Empower your email subscribers

Email marketing done right outperforms social media in terms of reach, CTR, conversion rate and ROI.

And by outperforming ROI I mean 42:1 which means for every dollar spent, your company’s return is 42 dollars.

To get this high of an ROI, you need to focus on the words done right.

First, make sure you don’t make these 5 email marketing mistakes and second, update your buyer’s persona especially at the pain points and dreams categories.

What stands between them and their goals? What are they dreaming to achieve? What do they need to meet their objectives? Find out what they need and give it to them.

Of course, your email marketing strategy should include sales-focused emails, but maintain a balance between promotional content and non-promotional content. If you don’t know what that balance is, you can start with the 80-20 rule of thumb: 20% sales content and 80% empowering content.

Once you have identified what empowering content looks like for your customers, invest your resources into designing the ways in which to deliver that content. Infographics, video, expert quotes, listicles, how-tos, links to in-depth articles etc.

Find a way in line with your brand goals to reward your most engaged subscribers.

Also, create the opportunity for your subscribers to get to know each other. The end objective of your email marketing strategy is to empower your subscribers individually and transform them into a community.

3. Build brand ambassadors

In 2018, marketing software provider Hubspot said goodbye to the marketing funnel and hello to the customer flywheel.

The shift happened when the company noticed that customers were purchasing HubSpot products after they have been recommended by their friends, already HubSpot customers.

The situation was that word of mouth was selling HubSpot products instead of the company’s marketing efforts.

The customer flywheel is not a funnel but a process where customers feed growth. The Customer Flywheel leverages the enthusiasm of existing customers and turns it into a driving force for attracting new customers.

What makes the flywheel spin faster and faster? Increased force and reduced friction. The more force with less friction applies to the flywheel, the faster it spins.

Once the flywheel gains momentum, it can spin forever with little effort from the company. Momentum comes from retaining customers and transforming them into brand ambassadors leading to increased customer retention and brand loyalty.

Learn more about improving customer retention and loyalty.

4. Boost your sales through referral programs

A referral program is a word-of-mouth marketing tactic that encourages customers to advocate on behalf of your brand.

The purpose of a referral program is to attract new leads. Compared to other lead generation tactics, the leads that referral programs generate are better because their profile is more likely to match that of your customers.

This means more qualified leads and less time and resources used by your company to nurture and engage them.

Referral programs have higher chances to succeed because they leverage the power of peer-to-peer marketing and one of Cialdini’s Principles of Influence: social proof. The social proof principle states that people will look to the actions of others to determine their own. Man is by nature a social animal: we are influenced by our environment and our friends.

Statistics support this: 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations and only 33% trust ads (Nielsen).

Here’s how to build a customer referral program.

5. Identify customer behaviour change

Thomas Cook was the world’s first travel agency, one of the leading companies in the leisure travel industry present in 17 countries, owned an airline and operated thousands of hotels around the world.

In 2019, Thomas Cook ceased its operations leaving around 600,000 tourists overseas including 150,000 British citizens. It was the UK’s biggest peacetime repatriation.

One of the reasons that led to Thomas Cook’s failure was this: the company missed the opportunity to include Millennials among its customers.

When Millennials entered the market, it was obvious that the market had to change. The Millennials would rather take more short trips i.e. city breaks throughout the year rather than one big vacation package. Also, Millennials behaved differently than their parents or grandparents in that they planned their own itineraries, used digital tools (like Airbnb or Booking.com), focused on transformational experiences and were influenced by social media or user-generated content (source).

The company failed to acknowledge this change in behaviour and adapt its offer to cater to the needs of this new type of customer. This and other factors contributed to the failure of Thomas Cook.

6. Increase website traffic with guest content

Does your company use social media as a marketing channel? I’m pretty sure the answer is yes.

According to the latest statistics, 77.6% of small businesses report using social media to promote their businesses.

What would your company do if Facebook, Instagram or YouTube suddenly disappeared?

That’s right, all your efforts would have been in vain. It’s not to say that you shouldn’t use any social media channels for your company. Only that you shouldn’t invest all your resources in them.

What you should do is invest a large portion of your resources into driving traffic to your website. Remember that social media platforms are rented space whereas your website is owned, you control what happens in your house.

To increase your website traffic consider featuring guest content on your company blog.

Guest content is a great way to expand your reach and increase brand awareness.

In order to achieve this goal, it’s essential that you choose the right contributing authors for your brand.

Whoever you choose, note that your brand will be associated with that particular contributor.

Make sure that your brand’s values are aligned with your contributor’s values.

And most importantly: the best guest content contributor is the one that your audience follows organically.

Join the Conversation

We’d love to hear what you have to say.

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Acquire More Email Subscribers: 11 Optimization Tips For Exit-Intent Popups

email_subscribers-min

Do you want to acquire more email subscribers?

This article will show you how to optimize your exit-intent popups to increase your email subscribers.

Daniel Doan is a growth marketing consultant and digital strategist who helps eCommerce and tech companies scale with growth strategy. For the past eight years he has been working with B2C and B2B companies doing digital marketing and growth hacking. As all growth hacking marketers know, A/B testing is the secret for discovering what works and what doesn’t. His record is 260 A/B tests in a single year! It takes a lot of patience, creativity and perseverance to get to this whooping number.

As a result of his extended testing, he crystallised the following optimization tips that helped him acquire over 90.000 email subscribers with an average conversion rate of 20-25% in B2C and 3-5% in B2B.

Here are Daniel Doan’s 11 exit-intent popup optimization tips to help you boost your email subscribers:

1. Pair it with a 10-second timer

Exit-intent logic is a bit fuzzy on mobile so pairing it with a guaranteed timer works wonders.

Daniel Doan

This tip is an illustration of urgency. Together with scarcity, urgency is one of the human behaviours that eCommerce sites leverage to perfection to influence their visitors into taking particular actions: subscribe to newsletter, make purchases etc. And it works because we don’t like to lose, and a time-bound offer makes us push the Yes button.

To prevent your countdown from restarting as your viewer refreshes the page, you can add a code that stores the timer value in a cookie, so it never restarts on a page refresh.

exit-intent-popup-timer-min

source: Maxtraffic.com

2. Experiment with adding humour

A little goes a long way, especially if it’s an in-joke amongst your target audience.

Daniel Doan

Make them laugh or at least smile. Humour is a powerful tool and a differentiation amongst your competition. It means you are showing respect to your subscribers by steering away from being boring.

funnyCTA-min

You will receive additional points if you make the effort of inserting a joke targeted at your specific audience. It shows you have taken the time to get to know your audience, jokes and all which make you one of the guys (or gals :).

exit-intent-popup-funny-min

3. Add reassurance that their email is safe and won’t get spammed or sold

This tip is about earning trust with your subscribers. By letting them know you are aware of their fears and showing empathy, you influence them to let their guard down and trust you with their email address. Considering the scandals around personal data that sent the internet into turmoil in 2018, it’s understandable.

lock-icon-min

source: flaticon.com

Also add a small lock icon near the email field. It works pretty well to subconsciously increase trust, making the user feel more secure about making the decision to drop in their email.

Daniel Doan

4. Experiment with Sans Serif fonts

Removing the serif leads to better digital readability and higher conversions if it matches the aesthetic of the brand.

Daniel Doan

Sans Serif fonts are simple and convey modernity and simplicity. According to this source, web designers have turned to sans serif fonts like Roboto, Mina, Opens Sans, Lato etc because they are more suitable to display content on PC screens.

5. Change text on submit buttons to be in all lowercase

I was surprised at this one, but it might be because it’s a pattern interrupt.

Daniel Doan

When they receive the same kind of information, whether is the same colour, the same shape, music or taste, people get accustomed to it and soon they won’t pay attention to it. It’s just something in the background noise.

Exit-intent popups rely on visual impact so when your visitors have seen 20 pop ups with text in uppercase in the last four weeks, if your popup uses text in lowercase, it will get their attention because it’s different.

6. Framing the value of the header as a question

Leading with a question-based header seems to convert a lot better.

Daniel Doan

CTA7-min

The secret behind a successful question-based header in your CTA is personalization.

You need to do your homework and know your customer like the back of your hand: pain points, problems they need to solve, subjects they need help with, areas they want to develop, skills they want to grow etc.

Now formulate your subscriber’s need or pain point as a question which has only one answer: Yes.

CTA8-min

source: crazyegg.com

In order to achieve that, focus on the benefit, gain or any other value that your subscriber will receive by opting-in to your newsletter.

Want to become a better salesman?

Or

Do you want to sell more?

Here is a great source to learn more about asking the right questions.

7. Adding a no option that makes them feel a bit guilty if they click it

This may fall under a dark pattern, so I’d tread lightly with this one…but it does work!

Daniel Doan

Examples:

No, I’d rather miss out on 10% off.

No, thanks, I’d rather stay a mediocre marketer.

No, thanks, I don’t want to delight my customers.

No, thanks, I don’t want to help my customers sell more.

8. Lead with pure value and nothing less

Always have the button speak clearly to the value that it’s providing. NEVER have a generic “submit” button.

Daniel Doan

If your website visitor doesn’t believe they will receive value in exchange for their email address, they will not subscribe.

9. Add a bit of blue trim

For some reason blue seems to work really well in terms of boosting conversions ..it might be that blue is a trust colour.

Daniel Doan

10. Have a human-element in the popups

I have my face on my popups, but if you can creatively and legally use a notable celebrity of some kind, this works wonders for conversions.

Daniel Doan

CTA-min (1)

source: convinceandconvert.com

11. Green is amazing for conversions

Similar to blue, experiment with splashes of green in a creative way to add excitement – green is great for the CTA button, or the trim immediately around it.

Daniel Doan

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