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Posts tagged with ‘marketing’
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Introducing Audience Data: the newest feature of Bitly Brand Tools that unlocks the value of social data

This was written for the Bitly blog by Vivin Williams, our VP of Product.

Our mission at Bitly is to empower marketers to make better decisions by providing insight into the connected world. We wake up everyday thinking of ways to help our users amplify their brand and drive deeper engagement with their audiences.

We are excited to launch Audience Data, the newest Bitly Brand Tools feature that provides marketers with a better understanding of the value of their social efforts.

Bitly Audience Data

In addition to the standard social engagement metrics that marketers already track, we now provide a view of the audiences brands are building as a result of social activity, across a brand’s owned and earned efforts.

A brand’s Bitly audience is composed of users who have clicked on the brand’s Bitlinks. This includes links:

  • Shared by the brand, whether it is on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, any social platform, the brand’s website, or any other owned and paid media efforts, regardless of whether or not it points to content the brand owns.

  • Shared by other Bitly users anywhere across the internet that point to the brand’s owned content.

Brands can now use their audience to optimize marketing ROI and help tailor the right messages to a brand’s audience at the right time, as that audience moves from prospects to customers to advocates.

So, how can marketers take advantage of Audience Data?

Start encoding with Bitly today. By encoding with Bitly today, marketers are building the robust audience profiles that they can activate through the next set of Bitly tools.

What’s next for Bitly

Smart marketers know that the best marketing requires a deep, well-rounded understanding of a user, and the importance of using social media to reach and grow an audience.

Over the coming weeks, we will be rolling out additional tools for brands and publishers that will enable the ownership of audiences and the delivery of targeted messaging across all channels (Owned, Earned or Paid) and platforms (Social Media, Web or Mobile). By encoding Bitlinks now, marketers ensure they will have a robust audience to target in the future.

If you’re interested in learning more about Bitly Audience Data or how Bitly can help your brand unleash the power of the link, visit bitly.is/BuildingAudience. If you’re an existing Bitly Brand Tools customer, contact your Customer Success manager to learn more.

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5 Dos and Don’ts of Email Marketing

In an age where inboxes are constantly flooded with new messages, it can be a challenge to make sure yours rises to the top. That’s why we asked our Senior Director of Digital Marketing, Laura Maiurano, for 5 dos and don’ts to help you become an email marketing superstar. Laura has been working with marketing automation for the last six years and has helped develop email marketing, lead scoring, lead nurturing programs for both small and large organizations. Here are her guidelines to perfecting your email marketing strategy:

Bitly Audience Data

1) DO: Start with a personalized message
DON’T: Use a generic greeting

Great emails start with a personalized message like “Dear Laura.” If you don’t have a name in your marketing automation database, set a default greeting that’s relevant to your audience. You can even take your personalization a step further and add the customer’s name into the subject line.

Personalization doesn’t just include how you greet your customers - it also pertains to how you sign your emails. Whenever possible, include a real email address that customers can reach out to and a personalized signature with contact information.

2) DO: Include a CTA in each email
DON’T: Include multiple CTAs

Emails should always have a prominent call-to-action that’s relevant to the content the CTA is directing to. If you’re sharing a webinar with your customers, then your CTA should be along the lines of “Watch Webinar.” You can include more than one CTA in the email - Laura’s a fan of using one above and below the fold in an email - as long as they direct to the same content. Don’t include different CTAs that a customer can take through an email campaign - it only ends up confusing the recipient and decreasing the likelihood that the will click through.

3) DO: Track what drives conversions
DON’T: Assume open rate is a good measure of success

Be sure to track what in your emails drives conversions. Always track the open rate, click-through rate and conversion rate, as well as who is converting from prospects to customers and why they converted. While open rate is a good way to measure the effectiveness of a subject line, it’s not necessarily an accurate metric to use when measuring conversions. Click-through rates are a stronger indication of interest.

4) DO: Offer the option to unsubscribe
DON’T: Use a global unsubscribe button

It’s mandatory to include an unsubscribe button in all of your emails but instead of using a global unsubscribe button, which unsubscribes your audience from every email you send, give your audience the option to decide what content they want to receive. This way, you give your prospects the option to opt-out of webinar invites but they can still receive product updates. Subscription management allows you to save a relationship that you might have burned using a global unsubscribe button.  

5) DO: Design all emails to be responsive
DON’T: Have inconsistent design between emails and landing pages

Emails should always be branded and match the look and feel of your overall marketing materials. Responsive design ensures that your well-thought out, branded email design renders well across all devices. Be sure to match your email design to the landing page the CTAs within the email direct to - email designs that match landing pages increase conversion rate.

 

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5 Ways to Create Quick and Easy Content

Content marketing has grown rapidly in the past year - and it’s not going anywhere. In the age where content reigns king, it can be challenging for marketers to keep up with the demand for fresh content. We spoke with Heather MacLean, CMO of marketing and consulting company TaylorMade Solutions, about five quick and easy ways to create great content.

1) Repurpose your larger pieces of content: Ebooks, case studies and white papers are great sources to repurpose content. Take a look at your existing materials and see if they can be used to create a series of blog posts, top 10 lists, or pull quotes to use on social media channels. To make it even easier, start to think about how you want to repurpose these larger projects in their planning stages. An ebook can easily be split up into a series of blog posts, highlighting some of the main takeaways while also serving as early promotion for your larger content projects.

2) Revisit your evergreen pieces: Your evergreen content is a great source for a quick and easy content win. Evergreen content is always relevant and beneficial to your community and can benefit your customers who signed up last year or your prospects currently in the sales funnel. Evergreen content attracts continuous attention on its own but as your community grows, there’s a greater chance they might not have seen it. By revisiting and repurposing your content, you continue to support your customers with a valuable resource without having to start from the research and planning stages.

3) Look for opportunities to “newsjack”: Pay attention to breaking news within your industry. There are always opportunities to “newsjack,” or capitalize on recent events in your space. Use breaking news to create posts for your blog or social media campaigns. Newsjacking can be as easy as curating this news for your community or recapping the news and offering an analysis on it. Not only is this an easy content win, but it also can help build your credibility in the industry and your reputation as a thought leader.

4) Use your personal experiences: We can learn from our past mistakes and chances are, your customers or community can learn from them too. Take your own experiences and identify what worked or didn’t work while trying to solve a problem. Offering advice from your experience can position you as a resource while helping your audience improve upon what they’re doing.

5) Reach out to your community: Identify and reach out to your brand advocates for possible contribution opportunities. Brand advocates are one of the strongest resources a marketer can have because they see and communicate the value of your product or service on their own. Although marketing is evolving, the importance of the customer is only continuing to grow. The relationship between the customer and the brand set quality brands apart from mediocre ones. Acknowledging your brand advocates for their support and offering them opportunities to contribute not only builds your relationships with the community, but adds another perspective to your content pieces.

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Four things marketers should know about the future of web design

Identifying trends in web design is like shooting at a moving target. Technology and audience behavior on the web continue to evolve, forcing the best practices in design to change as well. As we continue to improve the Bitly experience for all of our users, we started thinking about the importance of design in product development and in marketing.

We sat down with John Ashenden, founder of H1 Studios, to discuss trends in web design. Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • Minimalist design and longform sites will continue to be popular - As screens have become sharper and consumers have a better understanding of interfaces, designers have the freedom to simplify and experiment with design. One result of this is flat or minimalist design, where designers strip out everything unnecessary and focus on key facets that will elevate the message and the content. As technology evolves and devices have sharper screens, users have a greater appreciation for higher resolution assets. Minimalist design incorporates simple vector assets, which scale and shrink nicely, compared to clunky bitmap images or heavy gradients, shadows and other complex styling. Since users are more educated, designers have more freedom in their design. As mobile web usage continues to grow, longform sites grew in popularity because of how easy it is to navigate using a thumb rather than a mouse (but more on that later).

  • It’s all about the message - Marketers should always focus on content and the message, allowing the design to compliment rather than compete. It’s important to understand that the message and the design are as much unrelated as they are intertwined in their objectives. With the minimalist design approach, the focus of the site isn’t the animation or the imagery - it’s the message. In the creative community, the priority is always how to highlight the message in the best way possible. In the future, we’ll continue to see an emphasis on content and a continued simplification of design so it will feel clean, sharp and out of the way. Good design gets out of the way and elevates the dialogue.

  • Marketers must measure - If your business is dependent on your product, make sure you have great metrics in place when introducing a new design or message. People are naturally wary of change and rolling a change out overnight can cause serious backlash, but more importantly, it opens a dialogue for discussion. If you can track how people are interacting with your website and that those measurements have improved over time, you can justify the new design and help your team understand and appreciate the changes.

  • Mobile has permanently changed design - The surge in popularity of longform website design is partially due to mobile. Mobile web users found it challenging to deal with traditional web navigation on their devices. It feels more natural to the mobile web user to scroll rather that jump tabs to navigate through a website. If you can design a site that doesn’t require a horizontal navigation, you can allow the viewer to see everything by using their thumb. Longform websites translate nicely into the responsive structure.

As audiences become more tech-savvy, designers will have more freedom and room to experiment with their work. Understanding these different design trends and elements can help marketers work hand-in-hand with their design teams to create strong, memorable, design and messaging.

John Ashenden (@ashenden) is the founder of H1 Studios, a web and mobile design, branding and development studio in Brooklyn, New York. Since 2012, H1 Studios has worked with a number of leading companies and growing startups to create unique and engaging digital experiences. Learn more about H1 Studios by visiting their website.

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Five ideas for marketers to grow their business

Everyone has a passion in life. For our CEO, Mark Josephson, that passion is building teams and companies. Mark has spent the last 20 years as an entrepreneur or working with entrepreneurs at technology companies throughout NYC, but he began his career in marketing. He saw firsthand the growth opportunities startup companies offered and was immediately captivated by these fast-paced companies emerging to solve a problem.

In an interview with Eric Siu, CEO at Single Grain and creator of Growth Everywhere, Mark discussed the future of marketing, how his background in marketing has helped his career and what marketers need to pay attention to in order to grow their businesses.

Mark stands behind five key ideas for marketers to grow their business:

1) Know your value

In order to succeed, you must understand your value proposition. When you understand the needs of your customers and what problems you solve for them, it’s easy to communicate why your product is great. By understanding product value, you drive vision, product and momentum. In order to scale and grow, you need to know and communicate your value.

2) Consistency is key

Speak with one voice, understand what you do well and say it consistently. As marketers, we understand how important it is to make every word count. Understanding the value of clear, consistent messaging helps build and protect the integrity of your brand as well as the integrity of your vision, values and company goals.

3) Align yourself with the right people

Align yourself with the goals of the business, the investors and the management teams. Use those goals to build your strategy and prioritize what initiatives your company should focus on. In order to be a strong business, you need to position yourself to do well as your customers do well. The same idea applies for when you’re working with third parties - find people who do better as you do better. The best businesses are aligned with the success of their customers.

4) Master ROI

It is a strategic and moral imperative for every marketer to understand ROI. Understanding page views, impressions, engagement is all irrelevant if you can’t connect it to a metric. In order to scale your business, you need to understand and measure your successes so each success can be repeated. It’s not enough to understand reach and engagement if you don’t understand what it does for your business. The companies and brands that will win in the future are the ones that spend the resources on impacting your business.

5) Prioritize your day-to-day

You can’t accomplish 20 things in one day, but you can definitely accomplish at least three. Continue to track your ongoing projects and each project’s status. Celebrate your accomplishments, but also track your productivity.


Want to hear all of Mark’s advice for marketers? Watch the entire interview here.