9 Proven Ways to Increase Webinar Response

Let’s face it: most business inboxes get flooded every day with Webinar invitations. If your Webinar campaign is getting lost in the crowd, take a look at these 9 proven tips and techniques for increasing registration and attendance at online events.

1. Sell the event, not the product.

A Webinar invitation should sell the value of the event, period. No-one cares about how wonderful your product is. Every ounce of copy should be dedicated to convincing the reader why he/she should invest a precious 30-40 minutes in your Webinar.

increase webinar response

2. Use bullet points to highlight key learning benefits.

Bullet points are easily scannable at a glance and a useful technique for highlighting key messages. Don’t just list topics – instead, provide specific, concrete things that the reader will learn, discover, gain or take away from the event.

3. Email invitations at least 2 weeks in advance.

Studies show that starting email promotions more than 7 days prior to an event increases the size of the audience by 36%. Following the initial invitation, send a second, reminder email a week later. Try sending last-minute reminders in the form of “forwarded” emails from the assigned sales representative, including the contact’s first name and a personal note (e.g. “Jane, wanted to make sure that you saw the invitation to this great event we’re hosting next week …”)

4. Make sure your registration page closes the deal.

A registration page should provide more than just a form and a tired repetition of email copy. An effective registration page, one that maximizes conversion rates, reinforces the value of the event – perhaps by providing additional, more detailed information like speaker bios or an agenda.

5. To maximize attendance, remind, remind, and remind again.

Even the most successful Webinars can suffer a 50 percent no-show rate. You can minimize that drop-off by sending a confirmation email immediately upon registration, a reminder email 1-2 days prior to the event, and a last reminder email the day of the event. (Yes, the day of the event.) Like registration pages, reminder emails are a great way to provide additional detail about the Webinar.

6. Always offer “add to calendar”.

Most business professionals live and die by their online calendars. (Translation: if it’s not on the calendar, it doesn’t exist.) Make sure that you include a prominent (and functioning) “add to calendar” link or button on the thank you/confirmation page, confirmation email, and all reminder emails.

7. Take full advantage of marketing automation.

Integrate your marketing automation system (e.g. Marketo, Pardot) with your Webinar platform (e.g. Citrix, Webex.) Doing so not only eliminates tiresome manual transfer of registration data, but also gives you greater flexibility in the design and branding of campaign assets like registration pages, leading to increased conversion rates and more registrations.

8. Use SEM to generate incremental leads outside of your target list.

Consider a 4-week paid search (SEM) campaign leading up to the date of the Webinar. Either create a separate campaign focused on specific keywords and search queries related to the Webinar topic, or temporarily replace (or rotate) your current SEM ads with copy that drives Webinar registration.

9. Leverage social media to extend the reach of your campaign.

Social media can be an easy and effective way to increase attendance by leveraging existing event creative and assets like registration pages. Start by publishing a blog post a couple of weeks before the event – perhaps a short, Q&A-style interview with the Webinar speaker, or an excerpt of the planned presentation – and include a call to action that links to the registration page. Use LinkedIn Sponsored Updates and LinkedIn Text Ads to target specific demographics in advance of the Webinar. Finally, schedule a series of tweets starting 2 weeks prior to the event. Vary the copy, and include images where possible, such as speaker photos.

 

This article was written by Howard J. Sewell from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Using Social Data to Uncover Your Most Valuable Customers

Not all customers are created equal. You’ve probably had your fair share of one-time customers, who engage on social media or make a purchase once, never to return. And while there are tactics you can use to encourage them to come back, why not focus your efforts on the customers that are most valuable to you instead?

Who are your most valuable customers?

The definition of a “valuable customer” may vary from industry to industry and from business to business. A valuable customer might be someone who:

  • Makes repeated purchases of your product
  • Shares your content frequently on social media
  • Advocates for your brand publicly
  • Recommends your product to their friends, family and colleagues
  • Contacts your customer service department with suggestions for improvement
  • Attends your events
  • Subscribes to your email newsletter and engages with the content
  • Visits your website regularly

Measuring the value of a customer can be difficult, but as you can see from the list above, it shouldn’t necessarily be measured only in dollars. If you are regularly tweeting back-and-forth with a handful of curious, engaged customers, they should be included in the “valuable” category alongside the big purchasers.

How can you identify your most valuable customers?

Now that you have some idea of who you’re looking for, it’s time to dig into data to pinpoint them.

Social data can provide an in-depth understanding of your audience as a whole, as well as individuals within it. And it’s these individuals that we want to identify.

For starters, you can use social data to determine which of your customers is in the right stage of the buyer’s journey. Those who are expressing buying intent might be more valuable, because they will be most receptive to your messages and ready to make a purchase.

You can also use social data to identify the customers that most frequently engage with your brand on social channels. These are the individuals who retweet, Like, share and comment on your content, and they have the potential to become brand advocates.

Social data is also useful when identifying the customers who are in the right demographic, psychographic and lifestyle group for your brand. These individuals will be more willing to purchase your product and recommend it to their peers.

Once identified, it’s a matter of creating the right content that will resonate with your audience, and rewarding your most valuable customers with deals, discounts, exclusive content and more.

The actions that individuals take on social media, and the content they share, can be gathered, analysed and used to assess how valuable they are to your brand. Do you know who your most valuable customers are? Share your own ideas for identifying them in the comments below.

Read our e-book to find out how to use media intelligence to connect with customers and influencers.

This article was written by Pam McBride from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

77 Digital Marketing Terms and Stats for Business Professionals

Whether you are an executive, marketer or work in the financial department, chances are you’ve heard a coworker or peer use a digital marketing term you’re unfamiliar with. To help you in those times of need when you’re left saying, “Huh?”, here is a glossary of terms commonly use in digital marketing. In addition, a glossary can be pretty boring, so you’ll also find a fun and/or informative statistic related to each term.

Enjoy!

General Terms

  1. Closed-loop marketing: The use of analytics and data throughout a customer’s lifecycle to improve marketing and sales strategies. To “close the loop”, marketing and sales teams unify their reporting and strategies to generate higher ROI. Considering 69 percent of CEOs believe they are wasting money marketing initiatives, according to Forbes, the majority of marketers have adopted closed-loop marketing in one form or another.
  2. Content marketing: Similar to inbound marketing, content marketing is the use and distribution of content that provides valuable information to help a company grow and retain website visitors and customers. Altimater cites that 70 percent of marketers do not have a consistent or integrated content strategy.
  3. Contextual marketing: Contextual marketing refers to any advertising or tailored marketing messages that are based on the user’s demographic or behavioral data. When in-house marketers are able to quantify ROI and use a personalised website, they see a 19 percent increase in sales (Monetate/eConsultancy).
  4. Digital marketing: A comprehensive and loose term that refers to marketing that utilises various digital channels to build brand awareness and ultimately generate customers. Fifty percent of companies surveyed by Smart Insights and TFM&A say they use digital marketing, but lack a defined strategy.
  5. Email marketing: The use of email and email performance benchmarks to reach prospects, customers and evangelists. Email marketing leads are rated as high quality by 40 percent of B2B marketers (Software Advice Survey).
  6. Inbound marketing: A marketing strategy that builds interesting and valuable content to attract the attention of people to your company rather than seeking them out as is done with outbound marketing like purchasing lists, cold calling, trade shows and sending snail mail. According to Hubspot data, inbound practices produce 54 percent more leads than traditional outbound practices.
  7. Marketing automation: The use of software and technology to streamline various marketing channels and make them automated. Over 50 percent of top-performing companies have adopted marketing automation (Forrester).
  8. Marketing channel: A way of moving products or services from the producer to the consumer. Marketing channels can be direct, indirect or a combination of both. For example, a company may rely on distributors to sell their product but also use a company website to drive sales directly. According to a survey from 2014, 48 percent of marketers say search-optimised websites are the most effective channel for distributing their product or service (Statista).
  9. Native advertising: The placement of a brand, product, or service where the ad appears in the same context of the user interface. It’s almost like an ad in disguise because the marketing content blends with the content on the third-party application. A study published on Adweek found that 57 percent of millennials are OK with sponsored content, which is really another term for native advertising, but only if it is interesting.
  10. Search engine marketing: A marketing tactic that works to grow a website’s online presence through traffic from search engines. Nearly 100 percent (93 percent to be exact) of online experiences start with search engines (ImForza).
  11. Social media marketing: The use of social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube to grow traffic to a website or grow brand awareness. Social media has 100 percent higher lead-to-close rate compared to outbound leads (HubSpot).

Planning & Developing a Marketing Strategy Terms

  1. Buyer’s journey: The process and journey a prospective customer goes through to reach your company. It involves research and communication with your company, as well as within the buyer’s network of those involved in the buying process. According to Forrester Research, almost 75 percent of B2B buyers spend more than half of their buyer’s journey doing online and independent research before researching offline.
  2. Buyer/marketing persona: As defined by HubSpot, “A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.” Using a buyer/marketing persona makes 2 to 5 times more effective and easier to use by ideal users (HubSpot).
  3. Content and editorial calendar: Helps marketers to plan development, publish and distribute content of various types. A content and editorial calendar helps marketers to carry out their overall content marketing strategy. 84 percent of marketers who say they are ineffective at content marketing actually have no documented strategy (Content Marketing Institute).
  4. Content mapping: Allows marketers to be more personalised and timely in delivering content by mapping existing and required content needed to each buyer persona and buyer’s journey. As widely used as this tactic is, there isn’t much statistical evidence supporting or contradicting, but I couldn’t leave out a stat, so here it is . . . Americans spend 1 hour and 14 minutes everyday eating, which is less than any other country in this study by the OECD.
  5. SMART Goals: A common goal setting framework used in marketing. The acronym “SMART” stands for specific, measurable, achievable, results-oriented and timely. 59 percent of content marketers say their number one goal is lead generation (LinkedIn).

Paid Channel Terms

  1. Bid: The total amount that you will pay for a keyword on paid search. Insurance industry keywords have been found to be the most expensive keywords (WordStream).
  2. Call extensions/ click-to-call: A feature of paid search ads that includes the business phone number on the add. With click-to-call, the user can click the phone number to make the call.
  3. Clicks: The total number of users who actually click the ad or paid search result. In the 2012 WordStream study, it was also found that 193.2 million clicks were generated per day on Google AdWords.
  4. Cost-per-click (CPC): The amount of money paid for each click-through to the company’s website that an advertisement generates on search engines or other publication websites. The average cost-per-click on the AdWords search network is between $1.38 and $2.76 (WordStream).
  5. Cost-per-conversions (CPA): This term, in relation to paid Facebook and Twitter ads, is the amount of money paid per converted event. The term, as it relates to Adwords, is the total cost of generating clicks or impressions divided by total amount of conversions. Since statistics vary widely on cost-per-conversion, I’m going to share a completely random statistic. There are 293 ways to make changes with a dollar.
  6. Cost-per-impression (CPI): The amount of money paid for each view of an advertisement rather than paying per click. This method of tracking ROI is most relevant to paid social promotions since Google AdWords calculates based on cost-per-thousand. The average cost-per-impression on Facebook is lowest at $2.12, while Twitter is $16.76 and LinkedIn is $38.46 (The Connected Business).
  7. Cost-per-thousand (CPM): A tracking metric only relevant to the Google AdWords display network, cost-per-thousand is the amount of money paid per thousand impressions with the maximum being a set bid. According to MontetizePros, the average cost-per-impression for technology companies is $7.24 in 2015.
  8. Display ads: A digital advertising method that uses rich media and banner images instead of text-only ads. 98 percent of advertisers are wasting their money on display ads (Unbounce).
  9. Display network: The display network is a channel on Google Ads that uses a collection of partner websites to present text and banner ads based on filtering partner sites relevant to the company, the user’s keywords and searches or past engagement with the company. There are over 1 million sites on the Google site network (Wishpond).
  10. Impressions: The total number of internet users who see your ad. In 2012, WordStream conducted a study that found that Google AdWords serves nearly 30 billion impressions per day.
  11. Paid Search: Paid search is the use of search engines or partner sites to pay for clicks or impressions of an ad on the search network. Google’s share of US paid search clicks is 79 percent (Search Engine Land), but the growth rate has recently slowed for Google as a result of more clicks going to Bing when Yahoo struck a deal with Firefox.
  12. Paid media: This is an umbrella term for any media attention that is paid for and includes marketing tactics such as social media ads, paid content promotion, pay per click, television ads, radio ads and direct mail. In 2014, $247.84 billion was spent on paid media in the US with digital accounting for 28.2% of ad investments (eMarketer).
  13. Remarketing: This is used to present targeted ads to website visitors or existing customers around the internet when they aren’t actively looking for your company. According to PPC Hero, a remarketing campaign has 22 percent lower average cost-per-click compared to search campaigns.
  14. View-through conversion: The number of visitors who saw a Google Adwords ad and did not click, but later visited the ad’s website. While there are no statistics on optimal view-through conversions, an article from Glew emphasis the importance of this metric. Reason being, only 0.1 percent of banner ads actually get clicked because humans just don’t click ads anymore; however, they may search the website on Google or type the URL directly into their browser. Thus, view-through conversion rate provides a more accurate measure of ad effectiveness.

Content Marketing Terms

  1. Blog: As a noun, a blog is a web page that is written to inform and educate readers. For many companies, it has become a source of business from digital channels. Marketers who make blogging a priority are 13X more likely to have positive ROI (HubSpot).
  2. Call-to-action (CTA): A message in the form of text-only or as a banner image that instructs the reader to take a next step. A personalised CTA converts 42 percent better than a general CTA (HubSpot).
  3. Conversion path: The path a user takes to convert into a lead or customer from the time they are referred to your website to the actual conversion on a landing page. Once again, there isn’t much data around this topic, so I thought I’d share that it’s estimated that at any given time 7 percent of the world’s population is drunk (are you a part of that 7 percent as you read this?).
  4. E-book: It is a book in the digital world. While the term originally only referred to book-length content in a digital format, it’s evolved to be a loose term for even short-form content that is packed as a book. Sixty percent of business decision makers say company content helps them make a better product decision (Content Marketing Institute).
  5. Evergreen content: Content that will remain relevant today and in the future to your readers. One case study published on MoZ showed that an evergreen piece of content helped was able to grow social shares of that article from 127 in the first year to 631 social shares a year later (MoZ).
  6. GIF: An image file that is animated. Seventy-one percent of GIF searches are from males (Heavy).
  7. Infographic: A visual representation of data or insights. Ninety percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual (Unbounce), which means that infographics are great at capturing the attention of users who already have a limited capacity for the amount of information they are presented with.
  8. Landing page:  A web page that is designed to help convert a website visitor into a lead or customer. Companies with over 40 landing pages got 7X more leads than those with 1 to 5 landing pages (HubSpot).
  9. Podcast: A series or single recording of an audio file that can be downloaded online. The percentage of Americans who have listened to a podcast in the last month increased from 9 percent in 2008 to 17 percent in 2015 (Journalism.org)
  10. Webinar: A meeting that takes place online. In a webinar, participants are able to share visuals or presentations. The average number of registrants who actually attend the webinar is between 40-50 percent (ReadyTalk).

Social Media Terms

  1. Facebook: Social networking site that allows users to connect and stay in touch with friends and family. There are over 1.23 billion active monthly users on Facebook (NextWeb).
  2. Followers: On social media sites, someone who opts in to receive your updates. With over 76 million followers to date, Katy Perry is the most followed person on Twitter (Twitter Counter).
  3. Google Plus: A social networking platform created by Google thats features overlap with many other social networks. It cost Google $806,379,362 to build Google Plus (Statistic Brain).
  4. Hashtags: A keyword or phrase on social media that begins with a hash (#) or pound sign. While a statistic on hashtags was hard to come by, one of the most popular and longest running hash tags of all time is #followfriday. This hashtag was used to give a shout out to those worthy of following. Anyone else remember the days of the #followfriday hashtag?
  5. Instagram: A social networking platform geared around sharing images and short videos. Instagram has 300 million active monthly users (eConsultancy).
  6. Likes: Basically, it is a thumbs up on Facebook. With over 100 million likes, Shakira is the most liked person on Facebook (Guinness World Records).
  7. LinkedIn: A social networking site designed for business professionals to connect, collaborate and share information. In February 2015, there were 3 million active job listings posted on LinkedIn (LinkedIn Report).
  8. Pinterest: A social networking site that allows users to pin and share images and other rich media to a board. Seventy-five percent of Pinterest usage happens on a mobile device (Sprout Social).
  9. Twitter: A network for information that is limited to 140 character messages. An average of 6,000 tweets are sent every second (Internet Live Stats).
  10. YouTube: A social networking and search engine site for videos. Every minute over 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube (CNBC).
  11. Reach: The exposure a brand gets across social media platforms. This is the total number of people actively following a brand through the various platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. From October 2013 to February 2014, organic reach on Facebook declined 49 percent as a result of changing algorithms in the platform (Social@Ogilvy).
  12. Retweet: A forwarded or reposted tweet. According to Buffersocial, tweets with hashtags get 2X more engagement.

Analytics & Reporting

  1. Click-through rate (CTR): The percentage of people who click an element or link in an email, ad or web page. It is also used interchangeably with view-to-click rate. The average click-through rate for emails sent by companies with over 50 employees is 2.98 percent (MailChimp).
  2. Bounce rate: A term found in Google Analytics, which is defined by Google as, “Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).” A good bounce rate for a website falls between 26 and 40 percent (RocketFuel).
  3. Direct traffic: Traffic that comes directly to your website, which means the user types your website URL directly into their browser. A word of caution is needed when defining this term, however, because experiments by Groupon showed that up to 60 percent of direct traffic was actually organic search traffic or an unclassified source of traffic.
  4. Entrances: A tracking metric on Google Analytics for the total number of website visitors who entered on a specific page. While I wasn’t able to source any statistics on entrances, a fact on entrances is that this metric was introduced in 2012 to Google Analytics (MarketingLand).
  5. Exit percentage: A tracking metric on Google Analytics for the percentage of people who exit your website through a particular page. It is different from bounce rate because exit rate calculates those who may have entered on any website page but excited on that particular page. There is no statistic to share here, but instead a tip. Exit percentage can be a good indicator of where website visitors drop off your site, so track and analyse your pages with the highest exit rates to optimise.
  6. Lead-to-customer rate: The percentage of leads that convert into a customer. Outbound leads have a close rate of 1.7 percent, while inbound leads convert at a much better rate of 14.6 percent (HubSpot).
  7. Marketing analytics: The measurement and analysis of marketing activities to help improve performance. Eight percent of marketing budgets are spent on marketing analytics (HubSpot).
  8. Open rate: The number of people that open an email campaign compared to the total number of recipients. The average open rate for companies with over 50 employees is 23.45 percent (MailChimp).
  9. Organic search traffic: Traffic that comes from a search engine, which means that the user typed in a search query and clicked on your website in the search results. According to a 2014 study by Search Engine Watch, organic search traffic accounts for 51 percent of overall website traffic.
  10. Referral traffic: Traffic that comes from a referring website outside of the company’s website domain and subdomains. If the New York Times writes an article about your company and links to your website, this is considered referral traffic. Referral traffic can help to improve your website’s overall search engine rankings when referral links are quality links. While some marketing analytic tools will differentiate social media and search engine traffic from referral sources, not all tools will. If you consider social and search traffic as referral, you may want to take into consideration the fact that social media referral traffic has actually surpassed search engine traffic for some major publishers in recent years (Marketing Land), so this may account for any spikes you see in referral traffic.
  11. Sources: The various avenues that bring website visitors, leads and customers to a company. A source can be online and from sources such as organic search or email marketing, but it can also come from an offline event such as a trade show or cold call. The term “sources” can be found in analytic tools such as HubSpot and Google Analytics. Today, mobile traffic accounts for almost 50 percent of total traffic for U.S. retailers (Marketing Land).
  12. Submission rate: The percentage of people who fill out a form on a landing page relative to the total people who view the page. The average submission rate for HubSpot customers is 20 percent (Nick Sal’s Inbound Blog).
  13. Visitor-to-lead rate: The percentage of website visitors that complete a target action. Typically, a web form is completed to turn a visitor into a lead. The top 10 percent of HubSpot customers achieve a 2.20 percent visit-to-lead conversion rate (HubSpot).

Technical Terms

  1. API: An application programming interface (API) is a set of rules or protocols developers must use when working with a service or application. Since there aren’t many juicy stats floating around on APIs, did you know there are about half a million pieces of space junk orbiting the earth?
  2. CMS: A content management system (CMS) is an application that allows marketers to edit, manage and publish content. WordPress CMS is used for 24.7 percent of all websites (W3Techs).
  3. CSS: Cascading style sheets (CSS) describes a code language that describes how HTML should be visually displayed. Here’s a fun statistic: 0.3 percent of all accidents in Canada involve a moose.
  4. Domain name: An identification that helps an entity or organisation be found on the Internet. It’s somewhat like a physical address on the Internet. There are 294 million domains and counting in 2015 (Enterprise Networking Planet).
  5. ISP: An ISP stands for Internet Service Provider. It is a company that provides access to the internet. There are around 2,000 ISP businesses (IBISWorld).
  6. Javascript: According to Mozilla, javascript is “a cross-platform, object-oriented scripting language.” Javascript is used by over 90 percent of websites (W3Techs).
  7. Registrar: In the Internet world, a registrar refers to the domain name registrar that manages Internet domains. An example would be GoDaddy. Another domain name registrar, Namecheap, cites they have over 3.000,000 domains.
  8. Site map: A list of crawlable website pages that helps search engines organise site content. An interesting statistic completely unrelated is that over 50 percent of jackpot lottery winners return to work.
  9. SSL: Secure sockets layer (SSL) is a security technology that encrypts links between the server and browser to keep data passed between the two private. Websites that are secure will have the HTTPs instead of HTTP. 36.4 percent of websites monitored by W3Techs do not use SSL.
  10. UX: The user experience (UX) is a combination of interactions with a product, website or app a user goes through, which may lead to positive or negative emotions and attitudes. If content is not optimised in the UX, 79 percent of users will search for another site (Experience Dynamics).
  11. Wireframe: A set of lines and images used to plan website structure and functionality. Although there isn’t a statistic readily available on a quantifiable benefit of using wireframes, they do help to save time and minimise revisions in the website design process.

 

This article was written by Amber Kemmis from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Research Reveals Secrets of Social Sharing

How can you get more people to share more of your blog posts, Tweets and Facebook posts? Ironically, the answer lies in a 50-year-old psychological study.

Fifty years before the iPhone and social media took over our lives, an Austrian-born psychologist and market researcher cracked the code on a marketing challenge every business faces today: How to encourage people to tell others about their products and services. Whether it’s called word-of-mouth or social sharing, getting consumers to share with others is the Holy Grail for any marketer.

In 1966, Ernest Dichter, who was trained by one of Sigmund Freud’s pupils, conducted research on what makes shoppers tick. His findings transformed the way the world looks at relationships between products and consumers. It was the first international and interdisciplinary study to reveal the hidden world of motivation research and insights into the way consumers think, feel and act. Since then, others (including The New York Times) have built on his findings.

What Dichter Discovered About Social Selling

Dichter discovered there are four motivations for consumer sharing, but they boil down to two primary reasons people share: You’ve blown them away with your product experience, or you’ve made them feel good in some way.

Dichter’s four motivations for social sharing include product involvement, self-involvement, other involvement and message involvement.

  1. Product Involvement. About 33 percent of sharing is based on a good product experience. The customer found the experience to be so delightful or fulfilling they had to tell their friends. This is why some companies’ Facebook pages are filled with happy consumers. Take Starbucks, for instance, where people share pictures of their daily cups of coffee.
  1. Self-Involvement. This comprises about 24 percent of shares. People share content that expresses their knowledge and opinions, and makes them feel smart—like breaking news and political issues.
  1. Other Involvement. About 20 percent of sharing fits here. People want to help a friend by sharing, for example, coupons or product reviews.
  1. Message Involvement. This makes up about 20 percent of shares. It’s triggered when someone finds a message so humorous or informative they want to share it. Cat videos and memes fall into this category.

Fast Forward to 2004

In 2004, results from a study conducted by four researchers, published in the Journal of Interactive Marketing, referenced Dichter’s research and others, and added an electronic component to the analysis. While the researchers found eight factors that contribute to word-of-mouth sharing, they all strongly correlate to Dichter’s original findings, with three new incentives for sharing—venting negative emotions, receiving a positive platform assistance and gaining economic incentives.

But what is most insightful about this study is the discovery of four primary segments of people who share online. This insight could be viewed as a precursor to today’s buyer persona creation.

  • Segment 1—Self-Interested Helpers. These content sharers appear to be strongly driven by both concern for others and economic incentives. This segment is the largest group, representing 34 percent of all sharers.
  • Segment 2—True Altruists. These consumers appear to be both strongly motivated by helping other consumers as well as helping companies, because all other motives are less important. This is the second largest segment, representing 27 percent of the sharers.
  • Segment 3—Multiple-Motive Consumers. They are motivated by all factors, except economic incentives. This segment includes 21 percent of all sharers.
  • Segment 4—Consumer Advocates. They seem to be motivated primarily by a concern for other consumers. It is the smallest segment at 17 percent of all sharers.

New York Times’ 2011 Study Findings

One of the most frequently shared recent studies on the topic of why people share content online is a report compiled by The New York Times. The Psychology of Sharing revealed people’s motivations for sharing, six sharing personas and best practices for encouraging consumers to share content.

Regarding sharing motivations, the study concluded that the primary reasons for sharing were linked to relationships—improving others’ lives, defining themselves to others, enriching relationships and gaining fulfillment. This aspect of the survey correlated strongly to Dichter’s original findings.

The study also cited several statistics on what inspires and motivates people to share links, videos, images and offers online, including:

  • 85 percent say reading other people’s responses helps them understand and process information and events
  • 84 percent share because it is a way to support causes or issues they care about
  • 78 percent share information online because it lets them stay connected to people they may not otherwise stay in touch with
  • 73 percent share information because it helps them connect with others who share their interests
  • 73 percent say they process information more deeply, thoroughly and thoughtfully when they share it
  • 69 percent share information because it allows them to feel more involved in the world
  • 68 percent share to give people a better sense of who they are and what they care about
  • 49 percent say sharing allows them to inform others of products they care about and potentially change opinions or encourage action

NYT Survey Breaks New Ground on Sharers

A groundbreaking aspect of the New York Times study was that researchers could determine which areas of the brain were triggered during the sharing process. From this insight, they formulated six online sharer personas defined by emotional motivations, desired presentation of self, and role of sharing in life. Along with two more sharer types than the 2004 study, this study also revealed more sharer insights.

  • Altruists. These sharers are helpful and reliable. They are motivated to share by being seen as thoughtful and connected. Their primary sharing vehicle is email.
  • Careerists. These sharers are valuable and networked. They are motivated to share by being seen as intelligent. Their primary sharing vehicle is LinkedIn.
  • Hipsters. These sharers are young and popular. They are motivated to share by being seen as cutting-edge and creative. You will find them using multiple social sharing vehicles, but not email.
  • Collectors. These sharers are relaxed, thoughtful and always making plans. They are motivated to share by being seen as creative. Their primary sharing vehicles are email and Facebook.
  • Selectors. These sharers are resourceful and careful. They are motivated to share by being seen as thoughtful and informative. Their preferred sharing vehicle is email.
  • Boomerangs. These sharers respond to reaction, validation and empowerment. Their primary sharing vehicles are Twitter and Facebook.

The New York Times study also detailed seven best practices that contribute to encouraging more customers to share more content.

  1. Sharing is how consumers connect with one another. Appeal to consumers’ motivation to connect with others, not just with your brand.
  1. Trust is the cost of entry for getting shared. If consumers don’t see you as an authority they can trust, they won’t share your content.
  1. Keep it simple. Publish content on a highly focused topic. This boosts your brand and helps you stand out in a crowded marketplace.
  1. Appeal to their sense of humor. A little personality and humor can make a big difference.
  1. Embrace a sense of urgency. If there’s an element of urgency in your content, it appears valuable. As a result, people are more likely to share it.
  1. Getting content shared is just the beginning. One share is not the endgame. You need to continue to support sharing, and even reach out and say thank you now and then.
  1. Email is still No. 1. In a world dominated by social media, don’t forget about email. It’s still the primary way people communicate. So consider making it easy for your readers to share your content via email with a click (unless they are hipsters, of course).

Don’t Forget About Quality Content

And finally, a study conducted by Ogilvy & Mather in 2014 condensed global insight on sharing into one primary takeaway—to encourage content sharing you must produce high-quality content.

The study also identified companies leading the way in producing shareable, quality content by country. In the United States, for example, companies taking the lead include: Huffington Post, Upworthy, Apple, NPR, Buzzfeed, The New York Times, Mother Jones, Humane Society, Amazon, Drudge Report, NPR, PBS, Kraft, ESPN and PETA.

While the world we live in today is very different than it was 50 years ago, a review of the research conducted since Dichter’s groundbreaking study shows that our motivations for sharing have stayed relatively the same. The biggest difference between the world then and now is how much content is created every day, how much content is shared and how frequently it’s shared.

To stand out in this crowded social world requires a strategy that takes into consideration the insight shared by leading voices on the subject. Understanding the motivational forces behind the act of sharing—and working with them in mind—is the best way to help your company get more of your content shared more often by more people.

 

This article was written by Karen Taylor from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


6 Tips on How to Craft a Killer Party Invitation

Your invitation should get your guests excited as soon as it lands in their inbox. There are definitely some things to keep in mind before sending out your first blast of invites, so here are a few of our very best tips:

Case of the Mondays. Yes, it’s a thing.
Everyone knows that Monday is the worst day of the week. So, it only makes sense that Tuesday is considered the golden day of the week. At Splash, we found that emails on this day have an overall open rate of about 18% – higher than any other day.

Looks do matter.
When designing your party invitation, make sure the design is consistent with your event site. Invitees are 15 times more likely to register for the event if the overall look of both the invite and event site are homogeneous.

Timing is everything.
On average, we spend a total of 9 minutes on email via mobile device every day. Of the said 282 minutes on our phone, that’s only a whopping 3.19% in email. Reality check: that’s not a lot. So, sending your invite at just the right time actually matters. We have found that the optimal times to send invitations are 6AM, 10:30AM, and 4:30PM.

Consider phone vs. desktop.
45 percent of all emails are viewed on mobile phones, so the way your invite looks on a phone screen is crucial. If you have to pinch and zoom, or scroll to the right to view the entire invite, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board. It’s also important to keep in mind that on smartphones, only the first 38 characters of your subject line can be seen before opening the actual email. Make your first line a good one!

Creativity stands out.
Do you remember the You’re Invited! invitations from 1995? Yeah, we don’t either. Emails with “you” in the subject line are opened 5% less than without. Try to get a little more creative than just simply stating the obvious in the subject line of your invitation. For example: “Time to get down” is a great opener for your 90s dance party. And “Grab a cup, pet a pup” is the perfect way to invite guests to your puppy-themed breakfast event.

Be fun or go home.
Let’s face it: no one wants to go to a boring party. And they certainly don’t want to receive a boring party invitation. GIFs are the perfect remedy. Just search for “dance” or “party” or “celebrate” on GIPHY.com, and you’ve got a goldmine of party-related GIFs. (This one is my favorite.) Pro-tip: If you’re using Splash to design your event page or invites, adding a GIF is super simple to do.

Ben Hindman is the co-founder and CEO of Splash, an event marketing platform that allows event hosts to create beautiful event sites, collect RSVPs, sell tickets, design and send emails, manage guest lists, integrate with CRM, and more.

Online Reputation Management: The Basics

Reputation management was once only the concern of big corporations and household names who had a need to protect their public image. Fast forward to today’s world, where businesses are considered behind the times if they are not on social media, and reputation management is an industry in itself.

Some people think it’s just social media monitoring, while others believe it has something to do with public relations, but in reality, reputation management spans across your whole online strategy. Here’s a brief definition that attempts to sum up the practice:

“Online reputation management (or monitoring) is the practice of monitoring the Internet reputation of a person, brand or business, with the goal of suppressing negative mentions entirely, or pushing them lower on search engine results pages to decrease their visibility.

Wikipedia’s definition does cover the primary goal of reputation management—which is to suppress any negativity directed towards your company—however, with corporate transparency and user-generated content becoming an integral part of any business’ marketing efforts, it is no longer sufficient to just block spammy and hateful comments.

Long gone is the age of direct advertising where companies sell their products or services to a passive audience—now it is all about engaging with your customers, listening to what they have to say, and learning/growing as a result. Therefore, it’s important to manage what is being said about your business online.

Marketing Team by Infusionsoft, on Flickr

So what does reputation management actually involve?

  • Addressing criticism publicly
  • Publicly asking for feedback
  • Allowing employees to engage with your audience
  • Speaking with your audience directly

Opening up your business to be transparent may seem risky, but realistically, in the long run, not being transparent is riskier. That being said, an important part of reputation management is contingency planning. As a business, you must be ready to face criticism and be prepared for the worst case scenarios.

Here are just a few questions you will want to consider:

  • What if your product or service causes too much criticism?
  • What if you receive an extremely negative comment that is unfounded?
  • What is someone with power or influence online publishes a negative review of your product or service?
  • What if your employees act unreasonably or in a way that could harm your business?
  • What if your competitors take advantage of this?

Snitching Nestle Chocolate Morsels by Dave Dugdale, on Flickr

Thanks to companies who were unprepared, we have some prime examples of how not to deal with such instances.

A few years ago, Nestlé began to receive negative comments about their environmental practices. Unfortunately, they decided to ignore the comments and the public became aggressive—even posting altered versions of the Nestlé logo online. As a result, Nestlé were forced to take down their public page.

Main takeaway: Address public criticism as soon as possible in order to neutralise the situation and prevent it from growing into a major problem.

In an alternative approach, Amy’s Baking Company decided to respond to a one-star review of their company in what can only be described as a ferocious meltdown. Their insults were eventually picked up by the local media, and consequently their public image suffered a blow.

Main takeaway: Always look at problems as opportunities. One negative review is a chance to show how eager you are to please your customers and resolve any issues they may have experienced.

Online reputation management is not just about reacting well to what people say about your company, but knowing whether to react at all, and if so, when.

Learn how media intelligence tools can help you see a problem coming and take steps to get in front of it by reading our e-book Media Intelligence for Crisis Communications.

crisis-comm-ebook.png

 

This article was written by Gyles Seward from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


How Big Data Is Revolutionizing Sports

As we dive into social media analytics and how it impacts March Madness in Meltwater’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter brackets, we thought we’d explore how sports data helps light up the scoreboard.

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There’s a reason you seldom see a sports player sporting a number 13 jersey; sports are superstitious. Whether it’s spitting on a baseball glove or being the last to shoot a hoop in a basketball warm-up, there are endless superstitions associated with sports. So how are cold, hard facts changing the playing field?

Sport is big business, for teams and individuals, for advertisers and sponsors, for merchandising and licensing, for media, and for games developers. Big data is a major emerging global trend in government and businesses of all levels. Access to large volumes of data can lead to greater efficiency, more accurate forecasts, the identification of new “micro markets” and better customer experience.

Sports data

Michael Lewis’s best-selling book Moneyball (2003) sparked the data revolution in sports. His book proposed that player performance should be measured using a data-centric approach rather than a subjective, intuitive system.

This data-led approach to decision making can be used in professional sports in a number of ways including when and where to scout, how to select the best team, how to mitigate the risk of injury, how to improve fitness, how to manage injuries and even how to approach contract negotiations.

Wearable technologies could take it to the next level, allowing coaches and managers to monitor players’ bodies. This could help to identify dehydration or even rises in heart rates that could put players at risk.

It’s not just managers and coaches who are making better decisions with data, players are doing it too. Former NBA player Shane Battier admitted many of his fellow players were utilizing advanced metrics to monitor their own performance.

More than this, in some instances data analysis has changed the way that performance is measured, from a simple system measuring how many points they scored to a more sophisticated system measuring player efficiency, productivity per touch and more.

Immersive user experience & increased ad inventory

Comcast recently acquired a startup called OneTwoSee, a sports data and technology company. The fast-growing Philadelphia-based company combines statistics, game data, advanced analytics and social media to provide a more engaging fan experience and to allow publishers and broadcasters to monetize their audiences with additional sponsorship and advertising opportunities.

The first collaboration between Comcast and OneTwoSee was the X1 Sports app, which provides users additional context around a sports game by pulling and aggregating game data from several sources. This provides win probabilities for teams and individuals and tracks performance in real time.

It comes hand-in-hand with a broader trend in media consumption: interactivity. New services allow viewers to be in control of how they view sports, whether it’s being able to select different camera views or view real time data.

Fantasy sports

Sports fans have always been big on stats. Goals, points, runs, possession, saves, assists; they are all used to measure the performance of individuals and teams, but a new breed of sports fan is interested in advanced metrics for another reason – their own team’s performance.

Fantasy sports have experienced significant growth in recent years, as demonstrated in the graph below showing numbers of fantasy sports players in the US and Canada.

2

Source: Fantasy Sports Trade Association

The industry’s growth is so rampant that efforts are being made to get fantasy gaming regulated before it is outlawed as illegal gambling. Virginia has become the first state to regulate fantasy sports, lending the industry important legitimacy. The industry’s challenge is proving that the games involve skill rather than luck, making them exempt from state gambling laws.

In the same way that sports data can empower sports teams to make better decisions, it too can help fantasy sports players make informed decisions rather than using their gut.

Data for graph:

Year Estimated Number of Players
1988 500,000
1991 1,000,000
1994 3,000,000
2003 15,200,000
2004 13,500,000
2005 12,600,000
2006 18,000,000
2007 19,400,000
2008 29,900,000
2009 28,400,000
2010 32,000,000
2011 35,900,000
2014 41,500,000
2015 56,800,000

 

This article was written by Sarah Willis from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Debunking the 10 Common Social Media Myths

Social media has grown up over many years and it’s now a firm part of everybody’s life. For individuals, it’s a way to discover. For businesses, it’s a chance to sell to your target audience. But there are still a number of myths floating around.

This article is going to attempt to debunk 10 of the most common social media myths.

You Get More Clicks in the Morning

The truth is that you get the most clicks based on your target audience, where they are in the world, and any other number of factors not under your control. What you have to understand is that social media is a 24-hour entity. People on platforms like Periscope watch 40 hours of live video every day collectively, and that means they are watching video in the morning, in the evening, on their lunch breaks, and in the middle of the night.

This is something you should track, but it’s not something you should fret over anywhere near as much as people do.

You Don’t Need a Strategy

The days where you can spam updates and it will hit people’s newsfeeds are gone. Organic reach has been crippled. Only creating a real relationship with customers is going to get them coming back for more. You should have a firm strategy for what you want to achieve with social media marketing.

You Can Never Promote

Self-promotion has always been cautioned against on social media. But this doesn’t always have to be true. You can promote your brand. Use the 80/20 rule. 80% of your content should be helpful and 20% promotional.

The only way you are going to increase your sales leads this year is to promote yourself. People are not going to work out what you’re all about by themselves.

You Need to Be on Every Social Media Platform

Incorrect. Your target audience isn’t on every social media platform, so it makes little sense to target them all. It’s better to provide a concerted effort on multiple platforms than it is to spread yourself thin across many platforms.

You Should Only Be on One Platform

This is the exact opposite problem. You are not fulfilling your goals because you are not maximizing your reach. You have to be on at least Facebook, Twitter, and one specialist platform of your choice. As your business grows, you will continue to expand.

Social Media is Only About Finding New Clients

Social media is about both creating and maintaining relationships with new clients. The reason why human animal friendships are often so strong is because it’s a two-way continuous process. Both parties reward each other for that.

Use that principle to dictate your social media strategy. It may take multiple interactions before a new lead becomes a client, so don’t give up after only a few attempts.

No Engagement Means Nobody Cares

Engagement is good, but in the grand scheme of things it means nothing. People are still reading and clicking on your links. Check your stats on your landing page to get a true reflection of the figures. You should still work on increasing the amount of engagement you are receiving, though.

Social Media Content Equals Theft

It’s well-known that people are afraid of corporate and financial scams these days, but social media content doesn’t allow people to steal your strategy. And even if it did think about this. If you stopped posting social media content to keep your social media strategy safe, then you would have a social media strategy that you’re not actually using.

What’s the point?

B2B Social Media is Radically Different from B2C

Do you think that B2B social med