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Attribution for the Assist

By | April 16, 2014

If you have read any of my past blog posts, you might notice that I can’t help but use a sports reference every once in a while.  My previous posts Google for the Assist and Turning Your Paid Search Campaigns into a Slam Dunk both look at the world of online marketing through the eyes of a sports fanatic. So, last week when I watched NBA Player Steve Nash take the spot for the third most assists in NBA history, I couldn’t help but relate it to this post about attribution I had planned.

Steve Nash is currently 40 years old, and in the NBA you won’t find many players that age still holding their own on the court. Although Nash’s points per season have been on the decline since the 2006-07 basketball season, his contracts keep getting renewed, and he’s still seen as a competitive threat on the court. The number one reason for this is his ability to assist.

The importance of the word “assist” is often overlooked in the world of digital marketing. Many people think that if a tactic is not how the user converted then it’s alright to give 100% of the value to the source with the last interaction, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Starting the attribution conversation is the first step in accurately measuring your ROI [Tweet this] and getting better insights into which channels actually work for you. Getting some initial insights into the value of attribution is as easy as looking at your Google Analytics data and comparing how the pre-set attribution models stack up for your site.

Find the Best Attribution Model

In the following chart we compare the Last Interaction, First Interaction, and Position Based attribution models. While many companies still use Last Interaction and Last Click conversion models, it’s extremely important to set up models that best fit your needs.  As you can see, Paid Search has nearly 10,000 less conversions in the Last Interaction model compared to the First Interaction model, while Direct is the opposite.

analytics_attribution

So what insights can we gain by looking at this data?  Paid Search is capturing a significant amount of “upper funnel” traffic that comes back later and converts through another channel. And even though Paid Search was a major part of capturing that traffic, the last click models give Paid Search no credit for thousands of users.

Set Goals Carefully

The type of model you use could significantly change the way you set your goals and/or look at performance. If a client’s cost-per-lead goal was $30, then in the example below, we are not hitting that goal using a last interaction or 40-20-40 Position-based model. Based on the results you see using whichever model you are using, it is important that you truly analyze and understand the data so you can make the most informed budget allocation and planning decisions.

analytics_attribution_2

In addition to the three models compared today there are several more preset models in Google Analytics and customizations that fit your needs and goals the best.  However, before you rush and choose an attribution model, take time to talk your team, department, and other departments to create a model that best fits everyone’s goals – for now and the future.

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LinkedIn Eliminates Products/Services Tabs in Lieu of Showcase Pages

By | March 27, 2014

LinkedIn recently announced that it will discontinue the Products & Services tabs on April 14th in favor of the Showcase pages it released back in November 2013.

Don’t worry, it’s a good thing!

Showcase pages act as an extension of your company, particularly useful if your company has multiple product/service lines, brands or business initiatives. This will enable your company to gear specific messages to followers of your brand to heighten engagement. You can share dedicated content on your Showcase pages, just as you do now with your main Company page. And since followers of your Showcase pages will be interested in that product line or service, you can serve them more targeted content that could help lead to conversions.

In other words, it’s better for LinkedIn members because they can follow the parts of your business they’re truly interested in. It’s better for your business because those who’re following you are really interested.

Things to note:

- You are initially limited to 10 Showcase pages, and only 3 will be highlighted from your main Company page
- Showcase page updates work exactly like Company page updates, so take advantage of the ability to post blog updates, newsletters about your products, etc.
- LinkedIn members can find your Showcase pages through the search tool, as well as from your Company page
- You can optimize the text throughout your Showcase pages for SEO

Visit LinkedIn’s Help Center for additional information on setting up your company’s Showcase pages. http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/44865/kw/showcase%20pages

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10 (+1) Tips to Maximizing Your Trade Show ROI, Part II

By | March 12, 2014

In my previous post about making the most of your tradeshow dollars, I discussed proper components of press releases, using paid search to attract online searchers, writing multiple blog posts, and hosting pre-show breakfasts to showcase industry knowledge. Today you’ll find 10 additional tips – plus a bonus tip – to help you maximize your tradeshow ROI.

#1: Find out who’s attending – If a list of attendees is available prior to the tradeshow, check to see if any members of the press will be in attendance. If a list isn’t available, a quick Google search may show you which media outlets are attending or writing about the show. Distribute your press release to that media list, as well as through PRNewswire, Businesswire, or PRWeb. (See my previous tradeshow post for what to include in your press release.)

#2: Mind the media – Create a press kit for journalists, editors or bloggers attending the tradeshow. Buck the traditional trend of a paper press kit and place everything on a convenient and easy-to-carry USB drive. Be sure to include your (brief) company overview, latest press releases, product data sheets, and company spokesperson contact information.

#3: Coordinate with your marketing team – Most booths will have some sort of tchotchke, from bubble gum and stress balls to branded ink pens and flash drives. Take heed, however: Don’t spend a lot of money on trinkets; your ideal prospects are looking for solutions rather than tchotchkes. If you’re giving away free products, be sure to let everyone know in the Advance Show Guides distributed to attendees to help drive more traffic to your booth. Also, work with your marketing team to determine appropriate presentations, slideshows and/or videos for display at your booth.

#4: Got moving equipment? – If you have a remote-controlled truck zooming around your booth, hopefully you’re at an auto or construction show. Otherwise, make sure that any moving gear at your booth enhances your products or services, not distracts. Moving equipment can be a definite draw to your booth; just make sure it makes sense.

#5: On the subject of video… – Any product demonstrations, customer testimonials, interviews, or visuals about new services offered that you can play on video loop at your tradeshow booth will help enhance your prospect’s experience. It is also likely to draw additional people to your booth.

#6: Have list, must send – If you’ve been collecting email addresses through a lead nurturing campaign, now is the time to share with your customer list that you’re attending the tradeshow or conference. Consider offering a discount to attend the show as an incentive for visiting your booth. Invite current and prospective customers to your booth for a demonstration of your products and services.

#7: To tweet or not to tweet, that is the question – Whether at a tradeshow or conference, many attendees are likely using Twitter to communicate with others and to share with their followers anything of importance. Whether you’re tweeting live from the exhibitor’s floor or inside a session, be sure to use the show’s designated #hashtag so other attendees can keep up with your posts. Twitter can be a great note-keeping tool to help jog your memory when it’s time for a blog post recap of the event. Best of all? If you keep up with chatter from the hashtag, you may find that a prospect is seeking information via Twitter. If you have the answer to that question, you may have found a new customer.

#8: More blogging – In my last blog post, I talked about how vital blogging is. Well, here’s another blog post idea for you: interview other tradeshow attendees, speakers, influencers, etc. This is a great way to show thought leadership on your website to prospective customers and others in your industry.

#9: Snap, snap, snap photos – Break up content on your blog with pictures from the event. Showcase your team greeting people at your booth and photos from within the sessions on your blog and all social feeds. On each of your social media channels, be sure to use the tradeshow or conference hashtag so that those searching will find your photos and other content.

#10: Goals = Great – Keep your staff engaged and focus on specific goals throughout the tradeshow: number of qualified leads, prospects, appointments with existing customers, etc. Send any potential leads to your sales team for follow-up, post-show, along with insightful notes as to why you deemed those worthwhile leads.

#11: Say “thank you” – After all leads are entered into your CRM, be sure to follow with a “thank you” email for stopping by your booth, and to reiterate any information on products/services that are of interest to them.

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How and Why You Should Give Buyers What They Want

By | February 25, 2014

Attention, service providers! To some of you, this is preaching to the choir, but I think a new Hinge study (via MarketingProfs) can teach those of you in accounting, marketing, legal, consulting, or tech firms how you should be “selling” yourselves.

 1,000 buyers stated the most commonly used resources for evaluations of professional services were:

  1. Service providers’ websites (81%)
    Translation: Make sure your website is in tip-top shape, from user experience to conversion potential to resourcefulness.
  2. Online search (63%)
    Translation: SEO and content marketing are going to help you get found, whether from organic or paid search results.
  3. Asking friends/colleagues whether they’ve heard of the person/firm (62%)
    Translation: Making a (good) name for yourself is essential.
  4. Using social media (60%)
    Translation: Obviously an extension of #3, you need to be aware of what questions people are asking about the services you provide … and what they’re saying/asking about your company.
  5.  Talking to references provided by the seller (55%)
    Translation: Keep customers happy ecstatic, and they will want to share that enthusiasm with others.

In light of these areas I would like to add that the original root words for sell mean “to serve,” as noted by renowned sales author Jill Konrath—who recently conducted a workshop at Fathom.

The notion of customer service being important may seem cliche or obvious, but extending its reach to the sales realm has serious ramifications. I would argue that the underlying question behind everything your business does to create new customers or retain existing customers should be:

Are you truly serving? 

In other words, are you meeting unmet needs and providing answers to questions even unasked? From every interaction a customer has with your business, from first point of contact to ongoing communication as a longtime loyal advocate, are you making them feel great about what you do?

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10 Tips to Maximize ROI at Manufacturing Trade Shows

By | February 25, 2014

Tradeshows are a popular sales, marketing and branding effort in the Manufacturing world. While many industries have moved away from spending money on setting up booths, many manufacturers continue to tout tradeshows as an effective way to get out their brand name, showcase new products, nurture relationships with existing customers, and build relations with new prospects.

What hasn’t changed in 20 years is the need to prove that money spent on tradeshows turns into revenue for your company. I’ll be writing plenty more about this topic in the coming weeks, but today I offer you 10 ways to maximize ROI at your upcoming tradeshow.

#1: Press Release – Creating a press release to be distributed online is essential. It should include the basics like keywords that are relevant to your products or services, along with a link back to your website. But it also should address:

  1. If you’re exhibiting at the tradeshow, give the booth number and tell attendees what they can expect to see from you.
  2. If you will demonstrate new products. Are experts at your booth showcasing your widgets? Give prospective customers a reason to stop by.
  3. If you’re available to meet with the media. Trade publications and local reporters assigned to cover the show may look for exhibitors with whom they can connect. Make it easy for Reporter X to set up a time to chat.
  4. If you’re unveiling a new product at the tradeshow. A great way to generate buzz for your company and to pique the interest of current and prospective customers.
  5. If someone from your company is speaking at the show. Many shows have a conference component, so if a salesperson or the VP of product development will be discussing industry topics, be sure to let your audience know.
  6. I caution you to limit tchotchkes, but they’re pretty much a guarantee at most tradeshows. If your company is giving anything away for a promo or holding a drawing, make sure the giveaway is something of value and relevant to your company. Too many items end up in trash cans. Tchotchkes can guarantee you booth visitors who come by to grab your wind-up toys, but you’re there to get qualified leads.
  7. Offer a discount code – unique to your company – for anyone in your industry who might want to attend the tradeshow.

My journalism professor used to say it like this: Tell ’em what you’re gonna tell ’em, tell ’em, tell ’em what you told ’em, then shut up. To say it a little nicer: write the press release telling readers that you’re attending the tradeshow, tell them what to expect from your company, then… stop.

#2: Home Page CTA – Create a noticeable call-to-action on the home page of your website that tells visitors – current customers and prospects – to visit your tradeshow booth. You can include the discount code from the press release here, too, to incentivize attendees to check out your products in action or be wowed by your latest product in person.

#3: Use Paid Search – Begin bidding on tradeshow keywords with your PPC budget. While the focus of this PPC campaign is to merely connect your company’s name with that of the tradeshow, you’ll want those who do click through to put their email address into a form on the landing page. So offer something of value to get their email: a whitepaper, guide to the tradeshow, your industry newsletter, etc. Make sure all copy is tailored to tradeshow attendees with clear calls-to-action.

#4: Blog! – Write a blog post about your attendance at the tradeshow before you go, and write another post once you return wrapping-up the event. This gives you fresh content on your website, chances to plug in relevant keywords, and showcases your industry expertise.

#5: Spread the Love – Circulate those blog posts on your company’s social media channels. B2B marketers should focus on LinkedIn, as this is a great place to show industry connections what’s going on with your company. Have your employees – especially salespeople – post the blog to their personal LinkedIn pages, too.

#6: Get It All on Video – Is your company spokesperson speaking to an audience or conducting interviews with media at the tradeshow? Record it on video and post everything to your company’s YouTube channel. If you don’t have a YouTube channel, create one today. This valuable tool isn’t just for teenagers who want to watch skateboarding dogs. 

#7: Save the Trees – At every tradeshow and conference I’ve attended, I inevitably walk away from some booths with loose papers that end up in the hotel trash can at the end of the day. Stop giving literature out to every passerby. If someone is a qualified prospect, get their email address and offer to send them all the information they’ll need after the show … so they don’t have to carry it. And so it doesn’t end up in the trash can. Best of all: you’re building your email list.

#8: Relationship Building – Are company partners or vendors attending the tradeshow? Stop by their booths and introduce yourself. Putting a face to the name gives you the opportunity to strengthen your company’s relationships.

#9: Don’t Forget Those Who Got You Here – Schedule time to meet with existing customers at your tradeshow booth. A bonus tip: schedule time to meet with prospective customers at the same time. Many times your happy existing customers can be a natural selling tool for prospects.

#10: It’s Time to Break Bread – If you have an email list of qualified prospects, host a breakfast before the tradeshow kicks off to discuss a topic of interest in your industry. If you advertise in an industry trade publication, consider asking the publisher to co-sponsor the breakfast for additional publicity. This is a great way to establish your company as an industry thought leader.

Next week, I’ll discuss more tips for maximizing manufacturing tradeshow ROI in the digital world, focusing on email and social media.

I’d love to read in the Comments section any tips you have on maximizing tradeshow dollars or any questions you have about tradeshow promotion in the digital world.

 
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Learn why the Internet is manufacturing’s best friend, including reliable ways to generate cost-effective leads:

Digital Marketing 101 for Manufacturers

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