Robotic Marketer Blog Posts from March 2020
5 Email Marketing Practices That Don’t Work
Source: Marketing Eye Atlanta
Everyone in the professional world has email. For many companies, it’s their primary avenue of communication. Marketers have been using email marketing campaigns for years, pushing products, events, and anything else they want their audience to engage with. If the majority of people are checking their email every day (most are checking multiple times a day), why aren’t your campaigns working? While it might seem that email marketing as a whole just doesn’t work, but it might just be that your processes are out of date. Engaging with your audience is like a game of chess: it requires a lot of strategy and planning, as well as the flexibility to adapt your approach when things don’t work. Below, we have 5 email marketing practices that don’t work anymore.
- Weak subject lines
As much as you hear the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” we all know that there are some books we just choose not to pick up based on the cover. The same happens with email subject lines. This is the first impression that your audience is going to have of what you’re trying to push, and if they don’t feel a connection to what your selling, they won’t even open the email. Your subject line should make the reader want to click and open the email! If they aren’t driven to engage with what you sent them, reevaluate the subject lines of your emails.
- Ignoring GDPR standards
The General Data Protection Regulations are in place to protect the data of consumers, letting them know that their data is being used by the brands they trust. This is great news for marketers because it means that your audience is in place to receive specific messaging from your brand. Your customers opt-in to your emails because they are interested in your brand, so you need email marketing software that is GDPR compliant.
- Not optimizing for mobile platforms
If you are sending emails that aren’t mobile-friendly, you are blatantly throwing away a huge percentage of your audience. Email templates need to be designed and optimized for mobile users because the majority of people checking their emails are doing so on their mobile devices. Mobile-friendly email templates are a huge part of the design of email marketing campaigns, and it will greatly hurt your efforts if you are ignoring this part of your audience.
- Weak email design
Aside from mobile optimization, poor email design, in general, is going to hurt your campaigns. Integrating design elements into your email campaigns can add a visual flourish that is specific to your branding. The days of emails with long paragraphs, the same white background, and an uninviting CTA are over. It’s time to throw in some splashes of color, bright pictures, and engaging copy that will leave the audience wanting more.
- Not learning from the metrics
Metrics are the key to future success in an email marketing campaign. Data is gathered from past email marketing performances, giving your team insight into what worked and what didn’t. If marketers aren’t learning from the available metrics, they will be repeating the same mistakes as before. Metrics are meant to teach, and marketers need to be willing to learn.
Source: Marketing Eye Atlanta
The Ultimate Guide to Branding
Building an authentic brand will set you apart from competitors. Your brand goes far beyond a unique name and logo; it is ultimately how you would like consumers to perceive your business. As Jeff Bezos said, “Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Therefore, it is up to you to develop and upkeep a brand image that positively distinguishes your business from another.
Benefits of Branding
There are various benefits of having a well-developed brand. Strong branding can be the primary determining factor for a customer to choose your product over a competitor’s. Ongoing efforts to maintain a positive brand image will assist your business in many ways including:
- Formation of a brand identity: Creates a personality for your brand. Consumers will be able to associate your product/service with something more than just a name or logo.
- Improve brand awareness: Consumers will become more familiar with your name, logo, product and service.
- Improve brand recognition: Consumers will be able to recognise your brand based on cues such as the logo, a jingle or the experience itself.
- Builds credibility: As well as building awareness, a consistent brand image over time will consolidate the brand’s place in the market, thereby building credibility among consumers and competitors.
- Generates new customers: A good brand image resonates with its target market. Those that relate with the brand will tend to gravitate towards it and trial its offerings.
As an individual, your personality, your appearance and how you communicate, are the aspects forming your unique identity. This can be likened to businesses, for which the integration of similar components forms a brand’s identity. It is the way in which these components are managed, which will either positively or negatively shape your organisation’s image.
Steps to Build a Strong Brand:
- Define your target market:
To build brand recognition and brand awareness, your product or service must resonate with the consumer. Your branding strategy should be targeted toward your business’ target market. To develop your target market, divide a market into segments and focus your marketing efforts on the segment whose needs most closely match your offerings.
- Create a mission statement:
Once you have defined your target segment, develop a mission statement explaining the purpose of your business with this group in mind. This will clarify the goals and vision underpinning the key values of your business, thereby giving structure and direction to your business’ brand.
- Identify your business’ unique value proposition
Your brand must have a set of values or offerings that set it apart from competitors. These differentiating factors must be identified, since they make your brand unique from others. By highlighting these factors, consumers are made aware of the benefits they will receive when purchasing your offerings. Consequently, you will be able to build trust and loyalty within your consumers.
- Develop distinctive visuals
Your brand’s logo will be the face of your business. Ensure your logo is reflective of your brand’s values by mindful use of colours, typography and iconography. This is especially important since consumers will tend to associate the logo with the brand’s overall identity. These visuals must be consistent through all channels of your brand, such as websites, advertising, packaging and social media, since it will construct a more memorable and well-developed brand image.
- Find your brand voice
Remember I said the way in which individuals communicate has an impact on their unique identity? The same goes for brands. How brands communicate their message to their consumers is a major aspect of brand image. The voice of the brand should connect with the target market in mind since they will not pay attention otherwise. Different voices will appeal to different groups. Build this voice through your social media, e-mail updates and website, so consumers feel as though you are directly communicating with them.
- Integrate your brand throughout your business:
Now that the foundation of your brand is built, it is finally time to apply it in your operations. Through all functions of business, you must ensure your brand image is consistently incorporated. This in turn will consolidate and reinforce your brand’s identity in the mind of the consumer. Again, ensure coherency between your website, social media, packaging and advertising to build a well-developed brand that consumers cannot ignore.
Building a brand goes far beyond a fancy name and logo. It also relates to the human characteristics that brands characterise in the mind of the consumer. To build a strong brand, extensive research of your target market must be completed before learning how to communicate to them. For more information, please contact us here.
The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing Strategy
We receive meaningless and irrelevant information from companies all the time; most of it landing in our spam folders.
The truth is, traditional advertising methods are becoming less effective by the day. Rather than interrupting customers to get noticed, content marketing attracts customers to the business. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are creating relevant content to your target audience. In doing so, you are building trust and customer conversions.
Benefits of Content Marketing
By creating content that is relevant and valuable for the reader, you will develop a clearly defined audience. With the acquisition of this target group, you will be able to drive profitable consumer action through directed marketing and advertising strategy (which we will speak about soon). But first, let’s go over the benefits of content marketing:
- Cost savings: Awareness is built through the development of relevant and informative content rather than the implementation of costly traditional advertising mediums. Creating content is not a costly process, since distributing your content online can be completely free.
- Acquire better customers: Distributing relevant content can help businesses connect with customers who are best suited to the brand’s offerings. High-quality education will build trust and loyalty over time, as it will reflect your company’s ability to satisfy the needs of the consumer.
- SEO Optimization: The use of relevant keywords in your content will allow it to rank higher in search engine results. SEO demands content and posting consistent, relevant content to your website will inevitably optimize your search engine rankings.
Traditional Marketing and Content Marketing
It is important that you continue your traditional advertising strategy as well. In considering the buying process, we know it is made up of 4 steps; awareness, research, consideration and buying. Content marketing is great when it comes to the first 2 steps:
- Awareness: A customer may have an unsatisfied need and are searching the web for a solution to fulfil it. Your content will provide them with the information they are seeking.
- Research: Your content may inform these customers of a solution that they otherwise would not have considered. By educating them about your offering, they may consider your service as a potential purchase.
Traditional advertising can have an impact on the first two steps; however, it excels in the final 2 stages of the buying process:
- Consideration: The customer will begin comparing different products from competitors. It is up to advertising to build value in the mind of the consumer.
- Buy: The customer buys the product and receives post-purchase services.
Steps to Construct a Content Marketing Strategy
- Know your purpose: Start with a vision and then work toward a plan on how content will help you achieve that vision. Why are you creating the content and how will it provide value for your business?
- Define your audience: By clearly defining your target audience, you can develop content that is designed to appeal to them. Research what sites they frequent and what platforms they mostly utilise to get a better understanding of where you should distribute your content.
- Brainstorm ideas and create content: Provide content that resonates with your customers. Rather than promoting your brand, the purpose is to write content that benefits the reader. If you are struggling to develop ideas to create content about, research the topics that get the most engagement on other websites (especially likes and shares). While most content will stay relevant for lengthy periods, you should not disregard viral or timely topics. You can present your content in a variety of ways including:
- Publish content and monitor performance: With the aim of exposing your content to as much as your target audience as possible, it is imperative that you distribute it through as many suitable mediums as possible. Also, with a content calendar in place, you will ensure frequent and consistent content is posted to your website.
The Importance of Social Media with Content Marketing
Social media is pivotal in amplifying your brand’s reach. As you are attempting to distribute your content to the largest audience possible, you must consider posting your content through additional mediums. Research the primary platforms that your target market is most active on and begin delivering content through these mediums where you know a potential customer may be exposed to it. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest are the main platforms that should be considered. However, your content may require repurposing to appeal to the audience of the platform in which it is shared.
Content marketing provides various benefits that traditional advertising strategies cannot obtain. It supports digital marketing channels through improving SEO and link generation, whilst attracting and retaining a clearly defined audience. The development of suitable and well-constructed content can drive profitable customer action and therefore should not be ignored.
8 of the Most Influential Women in AI
Women in AI are changing the way we use technology today. However, there is still a decent gender gap between men and women in the industry. Therefore, it is important to recognize some of the women that have heavily impacted the industry to drive change.
Here are the top 8 influential women transforming the AI industry:
- Caitlin Smallwood
Smallwood is the Vice President of Science and Analytics at Netflix – the brain behind the algorithm developments that allow users to have an easy-to-use platform when going to find and watch their favourite TV shows and movies. She heads a team that create new models and algorithms focused on constantly improving the efficiency of the Netflix platform. With a glowing resume – having also previously worked at Yahoo as the Director of Data Solutions, there is no surprise that Caitlin is one of the most highly influential women in the AI industry. #GOALS
- Layla El Asri
Layla is the Research Team Leader at Borealis AI located in Montreal. Additionally, as a Research Manager at Microsoft, the main focus of her work is based on research around NLP, GANs, deep learning and unsupervised learning. Now that’s what we like to call smarticle particle!
- Dalith Steiger
Steiger is an incredibly experienced and successful entrepreneur in the AI industry. She is the co-founder of SwissCognitive, which is a trusted network of industries that discuss the impacts and development of AI, and has connected more than 150 companies whilst in this role. Additionally, Dalith has over 2 million employees working under her belt at Swiss Cognitive and is also an AI speaker. Pretty impressive!
- Melanie Perkins
Melanie is the co-founder of CANVA – a popular and well-known graphic design tool which assists companies in designing campaigns and advertisements without have the need to know the ins and outs of platforms such as Photoshop. As the direct result of Melanie leadership, the company has raised $166 million in funds with 10 million users world-wide. As of October 17, 2019, Canva was valued at $4.7 billion. What a boss!
- Robyn Foyster
Foyster is an AI leader and figure for Sweep, a company that allows users to find the best retail deals around them both online and instore. She has been able to develop a powerful AI geolocation technology to change the game in the industry. Additionally, Robyn is the owner and publisher of Women Love Tch, The Carousel and Game Changers. What can’t she do?
- Tess Lau
Tess was named one of the most creative people in business by Fast Company in 2015 and was labelled as a “Rising Star” in OZY Magazine in the same year. Being the owner of Dusty Robotics, her passion for robotics and AI has seen her deploy over 75 bots to improve the hospitality industry forever, which also explains why she has been labelled the “Chief Robot Whisperer” at Savioke. A tech wizard!
- Rana El Kaliouby
Rana is the co-founder of an AI technology company called Affectiva – it uses AI to detect emotions through face and voice recognition. In terms of her achievements, she has been named as 2018’s Young Global Leader in the World Economic Forum and was part of Fortune Magazine’s 2018 40 Under 40 list. Additionally, Rana was in Forbes’ 2018 list of America’s Top 50 Women in Tech. Rana is a great example for teaching us that no dream is too high to achieve.
- Devi Parikh
Devi is passionate about helping those in need, with much of her work being dedicated to improving the lives of the visually impaired through AI. Her background in computing and AI related research led her to become a research scientist at Facebook AI Research, and she currently works as an Assistant Professor at Georgia’s Tech School of Interactive Computing. Devi has received four Google Faculty Research Awards and an Amazon Academic Research Award – making her one of the leading female masterminds in AI research and computing. Bravo Devi!
The Viral Power of Storytelling in Content Marketing
Source: Jeff Bullas
In the dark-dark city, on the dark-dark street, in the dark-dark office, there was one dark-dark company, but no one knew about it because the company couldn’t tell people about itself…
Modern information consumers want more than just data. People of this generation are used to getting accessible news, ideas, information, and knowledge; they know the tricks and cannot stand importunate marketing. The more promotional lines they see in a text, the faster they stop reading it. That is why storytelling is a great idea for any marketing campaign.
People love stories. They are thrilled to read about something similar to what they’ve experienced, to delve into one’s dirty laundry, to see love stories, etc. Storytelling can be a very powerful tool for content creators. They can influence people’s emotions and get those precious likes and shares.
Source: Jeff Bullas
5 Ways To Stalk Your Competitors
The environment is constantly changing and as the ones responsible for our respective brands, keeping up the pace is of utmost importance. It is critical for us to learn (quickly) from our successes and failures and apply those lessons in real-time.
So, instead of always looking to reinvent ourselves, why don’t we just emulate what someone else is doing well and improve on it. The best place to start is by looking at your competitors.
Here are our pro tips to stalk your competitors to improve your marketing performance:
- Start With Ads
This step is probably the easiest to find and the best way to gauge what you’re up against. Knowing your target audience’s preference is crucial to your success and referring to your competitors’ ads is a good place to start getting ideas and tricks to the trade.
Some questions to ask yourself – how are they capturing attention? what keywords are they using for optimization? What kind of language and imagery do they appear to be using?
One sure fire, budget-friendly way to get a glimpse at how your competition do marketing is by turning your ad blocker off, visiting your competitors’ website, and see how they retarget you. Genius!
- Next – Landing Pages
Another way to master the stalk is by looking at your competitor’s landing pages. The purpose here to measure every element on their site for your own benefit.
See how their landing pages are laid out, what its purpose is, content type and structure and messaging, to name a few.
Pro tip: Make a list of key competitors you want to beat, determine their ranking and regularly stalk their sites to be updated on their offers, content and a general style of doing things.
- Take Notes On Offers
It is always a good idea to make note of how your competitor caters to the different stages of the buyer journey on their websites. The type of content a competitor spends time creating, directly reflects on how they would like to position themselves to prospects.
It is also a great indicator for potential opportunities to capitalize or even possible pain points that consumers go through during their buyer journey that you might have missed.
Look for what downloadable content your competition offers, the stages at which they offer content, the mediums through which they deliver content, how does it compare to what you are currently offering, to name a few.
- Stalk Their Social Media
Social media is probably the best place to stalk and learn from your competition. Not to long ago, social media was a tool that businesses adopted as a maybe, with only 20% claiming to participate. Today, that percentage has risen to an astounding 90%. So, now is probably the best time to know how to use and use it well.
Analyze each platform your competitors are on, determine their following and the type and cadence of their content. By doing this, you’ll know where you stand and how far you need to go. You also get creative inspiration for your own social media strategy.
Revisit the metrics gathered during your analysis and compare it to your own down the line. Use it as inspiration to improve every month and savour the feeling of beating your competitors at their own game. Ah, sweet victory!
- Take A Trip Down Their Lead Nurturing Process
Finally, it is good to also understand your competition’s lead nurturing process i.e. how they follow up on their leads. So how exactly can you do this?
Pro tip: visit your competitor’s website using incognito or private browsing and download their content and keep your eyes peeled. This is great way to see how your competition caters to the needs of their target segments.