Know your audience. Know your audience. Know your audience. How often does that mantra cross your mind? In the world of advertising, public relations, and marketing, I’m going to guess it plays on repeat every single time you work on a new strategy or tactic.
When it comes to trade show marketing, this phrase definitely holds true. From the booth design, collateral, key messaging, and engagement activities and contests to booth staff attire, all components to a trade show booth strategy must answer the question of: “Will this resonate with my audience?”
In 2015, Martino Flynn worked with a leading Fortune 500 telecom company, Windstream, to develop a booth strategy for SpiceWorld 2015. SpiceWorld is the annual trade show and conference hosted by Spiceworks where IT pros and Spiceworks community members (SpiceHeads) come together to learn, meet, and play as they share the latest tech tips and tricks. SpiceWorld is the “Comic-Con” of the IT industry with conference activities that include 8:00 a.m. zombie face painting and attendees dressing up in costumes as popular characters, as well as “SpiceRex” the Spiceworks T-Rex mascot greeting attendees around the expo floor.
The event team at Martino Flynn provided Windstream with pre-show strategy support planning for SpiceWorld, as well as on-site support for the company’s trade show marketing activities as Windstream looked to engage with the Spiceworks community and top SpiceHeads. As the team prepped for the trade show, all strategies led back to the marketing mantra of “know your audience.”
With a fun group of attendees and a trade show with a unique environment, Martino Flynn and Windstream turned to the popularity of Game of Thrones to spice up SpiceWorld. Martino Flynn provided counsel on Windstream’s Game of Thrones-inspired trade show marketing components that would bring life to the fantasy novels and popular TV show for SpiceHeads stopping by the Windstream booth. The Game of Thrones-inspired trade show activities included a “Windstream is Coming” booth t-shirt giveaway and the Windstream prize patrol passing out Game of Thrones memorabilia to SpiceHeads wearing the “Windstream is Coming” t-shirt during the three-day conference.
Martino Flynn also recommended and executed a range of social media tactics to drive promotion of Windstream at SpiceWorld, including a blog post, live tweeting, a social media booth contest with a custom hashtag (#SpiceHeadsWIN), and live Periscope broadcasts.
By knowing our audience, the Game of Thrones-inspired theme was a huge hit with SpiceHeads and allowed Windstream in its inaugural year at SpiceWorld to be wildly successful in reaching KPI goals and overall ROI.
We’re always looking to provide our clients with ideas that do more. To learn more about Martino Flynn’s trade show marketing capabilities, contact Chelsea Metzger at email@example.com or give us a call at 585.421.0100.
Over the past few weeks, Google has made some subtle, yet influential, changes to its Search Engine Results Page (SERP). These changes will likely go unnoticed by many users, but can significantly impact digital marketing campaigns. It’s widely known that Google is the largest search engine—and one of the largest digital marketing platforms—in the world. As a result, any changes that Google makes can impact the way we, as users, interact with the Internet.
Fewer Ads on the SERP
The most significant update to Google’s SERP was the removal of ads along the right side of the page. In the past, these ads served as relatively cheap real estate for advertisers not willing to pay the high cost of appearing at the top of the SERP. Google removed these right-side ads and added another ad spot at the top of the SERP. There are now four ad positions at the top of the SERP, where, traditionally, there where only three. The decrease in overall ad inventory means that we can expect to see an increase in competition for the remaining ad positions. This increase in competition could cause the average Cost-Per-Click (CPC) to climb for Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaigns.
Is Green Better Than Gold?
The other update Google made to its SERP was changing the “ad tag” color from gold to green. On the surface, this may seem like a very small change, but when comparing the two tags side by side, we can see that the green tag makes the link look much less obvious that it’s an ad. It seems like Google’s goal is to make paid listings appear less like ads, and more like organic results. Organic search results typically see higher Click-Through-Rates (CTRs) than search engine ads, so the color change is likely Google’s effort to improve ad clicks. This particular change does not seem like an outright attempt to deceive users, but with every new modification to its layout, Google continues to make its ads look more and more like organic results.
Changing the number of ads that appear above the organic results and making the search engine ads look more like organic results are tactics clearly aimed at improving CTRs and increasing engagement with search engine ads. While we as marketers remain agile and adapt to the changing digital marketing landscape, it is not yet clear what long-terms effects these changes will have on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) performance moving forward.
Contact us to learn more about Martino Flynn’s digital marketing capabilities.
When implemented successfully, a demand generation program can effectively help your company tap into new markets, drum up qualified sales leads and, of course, engage your existing customers for some good old-fashioned organic business growth. While a demand generation program can take many forms, today’s Business-to-Business (B2B) marketers are increasingly looking toward content marketing strategies and tactics as a better way to engage, educate, inform, and entertain their prospective buyers.
According to Spiceworks’ B2B Content Marketing Spotlight report, lead generation is by far the number one goal of content marketing, followed closely by thought leadership and market education. B2B marketers are using everything from white papers to videos, and are effectively using content to build “buzz” for their brands, products, and services. In fact, the number one content marketing tactic used by brands is corporate blogging, followed by social media and customer case studies.
Let’s not forget that developing great content is only the first step for marketers. Step two is determining the right time to distribute that high-value content. If done right, great content—content that is both relevant and compelling to the targeted audience—can help a prospective buyer better connect with your brand and, in turn, move that potential buyer further along on his or her customer journey.
Take a look at Martino Flynn’s recent infographic, Content Marketing for B2B Demand Generation, and you’ll see an illustration that shows the impact of distributing the right content at the right time during the customer journey. Let’s now dive into the key takeaways:
- In Phase 1 of the customer journey and, ultimately, the buying process, prospects are simply defining their business needs. While a “hard sell” isn’t appropriate during this phase, brands can focus on creating and distributing content that generates greater brand awareness.
In this earlier stage, marketers often use social media channels to publish branded videos, articles and infographics. If prospect information is available, company newsletters and eBlasts are also common practices. Numerous brands also dip their toes into traditional public relations and look to secure bylined articles and interview opportunities to garner media attention.
- In Phase 2, prospective buyers have already identified their needs and are now proactively evaluating both potential solutions and new suppliers. In this stage, marketers should be leveraging their websites, landing pages, and online presence to attract prospects and provide them with a deeper understanding of its products and service offerings.
Tactics such as webinars, case studies, eBooks, and white papers are perfect tools to educate buyers and provide product information in a “soft sell” kind of way. They can be easily passed along to the decision-makers when the prospects near their purchasing decision. Press releases and aggressive media pitching efforts can also help brands earn impactful media coverage to keep their solutions top of mind.
- In Phase 3, it’s all about closing the deal. Prospective buyers have clearly identified their needs, have researched solutions, and are ready to finalize their purchasing and supplier decisions. Direct content is generally the most effective tactic in this phase because prospects are often in search of long-term partnerships, not just one-time vendors.
During this last phase, marketers should focus heavily on interactions, including trade show appointments and in-person sales meetings. A little face time can go a long way at this stage of the decision-making process. In addition, product demonstrations can be influential in helping prospects realize the value of choosing a particular solution, while customer testimonials can help them understand the value you bring as a partner. Return On Investment (ROI) and pricing data are also major factors in the purchasing decision, so ensure that any content developed during this phase focuses on the financial advantages of choosing your company.
It’s clear that branded content can be pivotal in moving a prospect further into the new business pipeline. Yet the most common content marketing challenge is finding enough time and resources to create and distribute that high-value content. That’s where we come in.
Contact Jenny LePore at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about Martino Flynn’s full-service agency capabilities. We’ll help you strategize the most effective content marketing plan to fuel your new business efforts.
Brands have been flocking to social media in an attempt to engage with their fans, by pushing out branded content and fielding customer service inquiries. While social media is a great option for many brands, simply having a social media presence is no longer enough. As social media channels continue to become more saturated with branded content, influencer marketing can be an effective solution.
After reading or revisiting my previous blog post that defines influencer marketing, check out my top 4 reasons for brands to invest in social media influencers:
- They Promote Word of Mouth
Word of mouth has always been one of the most powerful marketing tactics, but it can be difficult for brands to generate. Social media continues to amplify the voice of consumers, as 70% of them place peer recommendations ahead of branded content in their purchasing decisions. Influencer marketing allows brands to leverage word of mouth, exponentially, through individuals who consumers already follow and respect.
- They’re Cost Efficient
On average, businesses generate $6.50 in revenue for every $1.00 spent on influencer marketing. As more and more companies adopt influencer marketing as a tactic, partnership costs continue to rise, but with that being said, it’s still a bargain in terms of ROI. Plus, the influencers themselves help generate valuable content!
- They Produce Authentic, Native Advertising
Consumers are exposed to thousands of ads each and every day, making it essential to stand out. Not only are consumers tuning ads out, but ad blocking products exist to do it automatically. Influencer marketing offers a less disruptive advertising option that places brands within organic content—appearing less forced since it comes from individuals who consumers already admire and respect.
- They’re Effective
A recent study by TapInfluence found that social media influencer marketing is 11 times more effective than banner ads. Trends suggest that consumers are basing their purchasing decisions on what they see in their social media feeds, which is causing a shift in companies’ marketing spend from traditional marketing tactics to social media-based campaigns. Consumers no longer expect brands to sell to them; rather, they expect to be entertained with easily digestible content. Since consumers trust influencers more than branded messages, influencer marketing provides a unique opportunity.
Interested in leveraging social media influencers for your brand? Contact us to learn more about our influencer marketing and social media capabilities.