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Conversational Marketing – Personalized

We’ve Partnered with Drift to Create Better Connections

Conversational marketing is the fastest way to move buyers through your marketing and sales funnels through the power of real-time conversations. Interacting with buyers in this way builds relationships and creates unique experiences with customers and buyers.

If “live chat” or “chat bot” come to mind, you’re on the right track. But conversational marketing as you may know it has been reimagined by Drift, a company Fishnet is now leveraging to better communicate with visitors to our website and our client’s.

This tool and approach is growing in popularity, and is an increasingly effective communication strategy that definitely shouldn’t be ignored.

Change the Way you Convert Prospects

In marketing and sales, we’re all too familiar with the process outlined below. We’ve been taught inbound marketing strategies that can take weeks or months to even get on the phone with a prospect.

old way to convert prospects

Instead of forcing people to go through lead capture forms and wait days for a response, conversational marketing uses targeted messaging and intelligent chatbots to engage with people when they’re on your website. Making it easier for people to engage with your business will help you convert more of the right leads faster.

drift conversational marketing conversion

Capture new website visitors as they come to your site.
Qualify them 24/7, 365 days a year and make sure they’re ready to have a conversation with your sales team.
Connect directly to your sales team’s calendar in real time.

This Still Sounds Like a Live Chat Tool. What Makes Drift Different from Existing Live Chat Products?

Drift isn’t just any live chat tool. Here are a few big differences (among many others):

  • Intelligent messaging. Bots work 24/7, in real-time. They can ask people on your website qualifying questions, link them to your knowledge-base, and route them to the right person on your team. And that means you can be making money and helping customers—even while you sleep.
  • Alerts when leads are on your website. Drift allows sales reps to follow leads and prospects, so they get push notifications on their phones when those leads are on your website—and then they can hop in and say hello in real-time.
  • Personal profiles for every sales rep. Each rep has a unique link that they can use to schedule meetings or chat live. Drift Bot will handle picking a time to meet, confirming the meeting, and sending calendar invites to both sides.
  • Account-Based Marketing…and firmographic targeting. With Drift, you have a finely-tuned dial giving you complete control over both the volume and quality of the leads you’re getting. Only want your named accounts to get the opportunity to interact with your sales reps? Just say the word. In fact, Drift has joined with Adobe to release Conversational ABMTM for Marketo Engage, which will empower B2B marketers to personalize the customer experience at every stage of the buyer journey.
  • Integrations with your tech stack. Connect with Salesforce, HubSpot, Slack, Google Analytics, Marketo and many more. Don’t change the way you work—just improve it with conversations.

Drift is the New Way Businesses Buy from Businesses.

With Drift, a conversation can be a conversion. Traditional marketing methods rely on forms and follow ups, but Drift connects your business with qualified leads in real time. We’d love to show you how Drift can help acquire more customers for your business.

Get the drift? We’d love to talk with you further about implementing Drift conversational marketing into your website and overall strategy. Contact us today!

Interactive Content Works–But Only if You Do it Right

Drive the Engagement You Want for Your Content

The concept of “getting interactive” with your content isn’t new; nor is it losing traction as an effective way to capture customer attention.

Compared to even a year ago, interactive content has taken on almost a whole new identity as next-gen tools and technology have made more diverse types of user engagement possible.

More traditional types of interactive content include calculators, quizzes, animated infographics or live chats–to name a few. But marketers are expanding their interactive content marketing playbook to include gamified video, augmented reality, 360-degree video experiences, audio content on smart speakers, and live streaming on different apps.

It’s an exciting time for interactive content to be sure, and brands are looking to add a whole repertoire of interactivity to their content strategies to help them stand out amongst their competition and capture the attention of prospective customers. But, as with any content, it’s not enough to just create it, put it out there, and call it a day.

Interactive Content and the Buyer Journey

Earlier this year, we wrote about how as tools and technology for content strategy have become more automated, our relationships with customers largely have, too. We need to be careful not to forget that our customers are people–not just idealized personas in a buyer funnel. Marketers run the risk falling into the trap of throwing the “next big thing” at prospects and expecting it to magically capture their attention and turn them into paying customers.

Interactive content has been one of those “next big things”–and while it undoubtedly helps brands stand out and get users’ attention, simply making content interactive doesn’t automatically make it better. You can make a quiz, but if it doesn’t carry the right message or experience for your audience, the uniqueness of the experience will be lost.

When done right, interactive content has far-reaching benefits for your brand’s relationship with your customers–at every stage of their journey.

Marketing and Sales? Meet Your Customer.

Marketers want to deeply understand their target audience. Sales teams want to know as much about their prospects as possible so they can have an effective conversation. Interactive content allows both teams to gain better insight into their customers to support those conversations.

50% of marketers use interactive content to increase conversions, while 33% use it for sales and sales enablement.

(Content Marketing Institute)

Assessments and quizzes, for example, are a great way for marketing teams to collect valuable information about potential customers and pass quality leads on to sales. Simply asking prospects a short series of questions, and providing an enticing supplemental piece of interactive content as the hook (such as an E-book), uncovers data about their pain points, readiness to buy and barriers to purchase that can vastly improve their experience with your brand at the most critical touchpoints.

First, They Know You. Then, They Love You.

An ideal customer experience is one that results in evangelism for your brand. Interactive content has thrown the doors wide open for this type of brand-consumer relationship as it allows users to take some kind of real action–answering questions, experiencing scenarios, and choosing their own path through the information you have to offer. It’s the difference between reading a summary of an event or watching it unfold in real time.

77% of marketers agree that interactive content can have reusable value, resulting in repeat visitors and multiple exposures.

(Content Marketing Institute)

And when your customers take an active role in your brand rather than a passive one, they will come back for more and, ideally, share the experience with others.

So THAT’S What They Did!

What we love about interactive content–and especially content marketing platforms like Uberflip that make it easy to use–is how measurable it is. You might put out a piece of static content, like a white paper, but once the user downloads that content, you only know it’s been downloaded. You don’t know if they read it, what they found most interesting, how much they engaged with it, etc.

93% of marketers find interactive content is effective in educating their buyers.

(INC)

Interactive content allows you to fully track a user’s consumption of your content. What parts of the infographic did they click on? What topics in your white paper did they find most interesting? Did they make it through your entire quiz? Why did they stop? This type of data is invaluable for learning more about your prospects and how they consume your content.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Because interactive content is so measurable, it provides insight not just into your audience’s consumption behavior, but into the overall effectiveness of your content. If you consistently see users drop out of your quiz or assessment after 5-7 questions, it’s a good indication you need to make it shorter.

51% of marketers agree that interactive content was helpful when tackling business challenges.

(Demand Gen Report)

Content platforms like Uberflip make it simple to not only gain and manage these insights, but quickly and easily make the necessary adjustments to your content without having to create or re-upload new files. You can also A/B test headlines, or select different audiences to view your content. When you know what works best, your content strategy pretty much writes itself.

The ROI of Interactive Content Marketing

A recent Demand Gen Report found that 45% of buyers surveyed said interactive content is one of their top three preferred content types.

Creating interactive content doesn’t have to carry a sense of tedium, either. Uberflip and other content marketing platforms have made it easy to create and manage interactive content, and the deeper insights and actionable data you can gain from this type of content will streamline your entire content marketing effort.

If you’re looking to invest in interactive content in 2019, we suggest you experiment at a level of time and budget commitment that you can manage; once you’ve seen the data and insights, consider increasing the effort.

Interactive content falls far more in line with what consumers expect out of a content experience today. New tools and technology will continue pushing the envelope of content strategy, and if you use them to better connect with your audience, it will pay dividends in the form of high-quality lead gen and marketing ROI.

Want help integrating interactive content into your company’s content strategy? Contact us today!

Pardot and Sales Cloud Highlights from the Spring ‘19 Release

When I last wrote about the Salesforce Winter ‘19 Release, I covered 8 new features across all cloud products. This time around I’m taking a slightly different approach. This post will review the Sales Cloud and Pardot highlights, but with a deeper analysis. With plenty of useful updates across both Salesforce products, I’m sure you’ll agree there’s a lot to get excited about for your 2019 marketing strategies.

This list of updates is not an exhaustive; if you want to read more about the entire release, you can reference the Spring ‘19 Release Notes or take the Spring ‘19 Release Highlights Module in Trailhead, which is broken into units specific to Salesforce products.

High Velocity Sales for Inside Sales Teams

Salesforce has capitalized on the Lightning Sales Console, integrating some awesome new functionality with proven existing tools like Lightning Dialer and Einstein Lead Scoring. Everything your inside reps need to effectively nurture their leads is provided in a clean, tab-based workspace.

Sales Cadences

Sales cadences help in situations where you anticipate a lot of demand, or to better streamline your sales methodology. Using a flow builder similar to Pardot’s Engagement Studio, you can build an automated campaign to work leads, which feeds directly into reps’ daily work queues. Reps will get a prioritized list based off various cadences, so they will know exactly how to spend their time. If I were a sales manager, this feature is where I’d look to collaborate with my marketing counterparts to develop successful cadences.

Work Queues

The prioritized list of outreach items including emails, calls and tasks, can be found in the new Work Queue window. These activities are defined by the Sales Cadences referenced in the previous paragraph. Additionally, reps can create their own list of activities in the “My List” tab.

Pardot

Late last year, Pardot announced a new Release Schedule, which will offer new updates and features six times annually. These bi-monthly updates will coincide with the three Salesforce seasonal releases (Spring, Summer and Winter), plus three additional Pardot releases. As a certified Pardot Nerd™ this new schedule got my glasses all fogged up.

That said, there are lots of useful Pardot updates coming in the pipeline. They focus on simplifying the Pardot implementation process and record syncing, expanded marketing campaign tracking in Salesforce with connected campaigns, and perhaps the most exciting update, Einstein Behavior Scoring.

Salesforce-Pardot Integration

I’ve completed a handful of implementations and consider myself well-versed in the process. With the new Pardot Setup Assistant though, implementers’ jobs got a whole lot easier. Now you can provision and complete the initial configuration tasks for Pardot accounts, like mapping fields, mapping users, and updating page layouts, right from Salesforce.

If you have Pardot Advanced edition, you can create multiple Pardot business units for a Salesforce account without contacting support. This feature is helpful if your enterprise has marketing goals based on geography or product lines, helping each division focus on their own custom marketing objectives. Additionally, business units give you added control over which prospects and assets your users have access to. This way, divisions can work independently, but still have a global view with B2B Marketing Analytics, which you can now set up more easily than ever.

Additionally, the Salesforce-Pardot connector page has been redesigned with you in mind, so you can now configure connected campaigns, Salesforce user sync and marketing data sharing.

Pardot: Einstein Behavior Scoring

I recently watched the Pardot Product Roadmap Webinar and Einstein Behavior Scoring was one of the most exciting new features reviewed. Using artificial intelligence, Einstein is able to take advantage of users’ engagement information, such as recent website visits, email opens, link clicks and completed forms, to provide a more accurate score of prospects’ buying intent. It also clearly identifies the reasons behind that score so your reps understand what makes prospects more likely to convert and eventually close.

I think Einstein is yet another advancement by Salesforce and Pardot that helps to close the gap between sales and marketing. I’m really excited for this feature, which says a lot coming from someone who understands the sales and marketing gap is a huge area for improvement in a lot of organizations.

Just to clarify, this feature is separate from Einstein Lead Scoring, which uses a predictive model that factors in prospect information like industry, interests, job, and engagement history. For Pardot users who are familiar with the difference between Grading and Scoring, this feature is like a supercharged combination of the two.

Salesforce Engage

Even though I’ve only worked with a couple of clients who use Salesforce Engage, they all asked for a folder hierarchy to help organize their assets. Before this release, all we could recommend is strategically naming each email template to structure them in a specific order or grouping. Now, while composing an email, users can browse the Pardot folder hierarchy and search for a template by folder, as long as they have permission and the email is marked for 1:1.

Salesforce Essentials

Earlier this year Salesforce Essentials was released. At $25/month and ready to use out of the box, it’s release provided a whole lot more access to the world’s #1 CRM. There were a ton of updates that are apart of this update as well.

Sales and Service Essentials are now combined under one product, providing an even better value than before. Updates were made to the user management system, so administrators will be able to make adjustments to licenses on the fly and manage team information and permissions on the redesigned users page in Setup.

Customize Sales Stages

The most useful feature release in Essentials is the ability to customize sales stages. Now you can tailor lead statuses and opportunity stages based on your unique business needs. For the users with Professional, Enterprise or Unlimited, this functionality isn’t breaking news; but for those businesses just starting out, it’s a game changer.

Out of the box, you’ll see a setup wizard. It will suggest pre-configured sales processes for different types of organizations, taking some of the guesswork out for users. In the next window, you’ll be able to add/edit pre-populated lead statuses and opportunity stages. Pretty easy, right?

Expanded Integration with Gmail

I get requests all the time from clients about the ability to log emails on lead and contact records, access Salesforce data, create new records and much more–all from within Gmail. These requests are far easier to fulfill today with the recent investments Salesforce has made into integrating one of the world’s top email clients.

Lightning for Gmail and Salesforce Inbox Chrome Extension

Using the updated Chrome extension, sales professionals can now leverage customer contact and account information and Einstein AI in real time. If users want to stay in the same interface, they can use the Salesforce panel to access whatever record or object they need. Additionally, you can use productivity tools to add an email template, availability calendar, tracking and scheduling.

Einstein Activity Capture

Einstein Activity Capture connects any email to related Salesforce records, which includes accounts, opportunities, and custom objects. Einstein can even create new records if you want.

What was your favorite Spring ‘19 Release update?

Why Every Content Strategy Needs to Start With an Audit

Know What You Have So You Can Know What You Need With a Content Analysis

I’m not a fan of disorder–I could have coined the phrase “a place for everything and everything in its place.” While it bugs my husband whenever he can’t find something in the same place he left it, my almost obsessive need to organize really comes in handy in my job as a content strategist.

I’m talking about the strategy before the content strategy. The content audit.

If your business is anything like most, you have a disorganized vault of content that likely includes blog posts, videos, whitepapers, how-to guides, one-pagers, service briefs, advertising, data sheets and more.

When you have a lot of disparate content, there are a few things that are probably true:

  • Some of it is outdated and is no longer serving a helpful purpose to your audience
  • Much of your content falls into one stage of the buyer’s journey, leaving gaps at other stages where your audience isn’t being properly served
  • The different types of content aren’t being properly leveraged for the right stage of the buyer’s journey
  • You have minimal knowledge, if any, of how your audience is interacting with your content, and what type of content is working better than others
  • Your content is difficult to find and isn’t readily available when your audience could benefit most from it

If any of those statements ring true for you, you need a content audit to kick off an effective, productive content strategy and help you get on the right track.

Don’t Start a Content Strategy in the Middle

Ever since digital marketing began turning everyone’s attention to the importance of search engine optimization and lead nurturing through the buyer’s journey, businesses everywhere have been told to focus on content, content, content.

While focusing on content production is great, it can be problematic if one (or all) of these scenarios occur:

  1. You fail to assess your audience personas
  2. You fail to audit the content you have already produced
  3. You create content without a strategy behind it

In each of these scenarios, the biggest issue is that your content strategy isn’t starting at the beginning; rather, somewhere in the middle. Each step should flow logically into the next, leading you to an informed content strategy.

For the sake of this post, we’re going to assume you have a clear understanding of your audience personas–who they are, where they are, their pain points, and where they get their information (to name a few criteria)–and focus on step 2: auditing content you have already produced. (This is also where a love of organization is an asset).

Why Conduct an Audit as Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy?

We know a content audit helps drive your content strategy–but how? Here are two reasons why a content audit so important:

  1. It Helps You Understand What Content You Have to Work WithThink of your existing content like a thrift store. Even if some of it is dated, it can be given a fresh coat of paint, so to speak, to satisfy the information your current audience is looking for at different stages of the buyer’s journey. That white paper from a few years ago may still discuss a highly relevant topic, but simply needs to be updated with recent information or a fresh look and feel to make it timely again.
  2. It Helps Ensure Continuity in the Buyer’s JourneyPlain and simple, and as the title of this post suggests, knowing what you have is the only way to know what you need. You can assess which stages of the buyer’s journey you have covered, and where there are gaps. In an ideal scenario, you should have be offering your audience different types of content from their awareness stage through their decision stage–and beyond. Conducting a content audit is the only way to know if you have, for example, a majority of awareness-stage content, leaving everyone at the consideration stage with nothing to keep them interested.

How to Conduct a Successful Audit for Your Content Strategy That Won’t Traumatize You

Combing through what could be years worth of content is daunting. The enormity of this task is why content begins gathering dust in the first place. That’s why I’m offering up some simple tips to help make the process less traumatizing and tedious, and more impactful in the end.

  • Pre-Determine Some Filtering CriteriaDepending on the size of your organization, you may have content dating back many years that you know isn’t relevant and cannot be revitalized. Set a year at which you will start auditing content; i.e. 2015 to present.
  • Know What Content Your Audience Needs MostSince we’re assuming you have developed your audience personas, you know what their pain points are. Focus on auditing the content that speaks to these pain points. You may think you have too much content about a specific topic, but if it’s something you know your audience wants, you need to fully cover the subject.
  • Remain Open-Minded About Your Content MarketingNew content can be born from old content–like the thrift store comparison. You will come across content that is off-brand or poor quality, but keep track of any relevant subject matter that can be born from this old content. Additionally, if you come across a lengthy presentation or white paper that just doesn’t fit into your current content dissemination needs, think about whether you can take parts of that content and create shorter, more impactful assets. For instance, can that presentation become an interactive eBook? Can that white paper become a snazzy infographic?
  • Keep Track of Key InformationAs you go through your audit, the most important thing is to keep detailed information about what you’re finding. The best format for doing so is an Excel or Google spreadsheet, and I recommend keeping track of the following details:
    • Content title
    • A brief description of the subject matter
    • Content type (white paper, PowerPoint presentation, etc.)
    • Date created
    • Location of content and a link to the content if applicable
    • Stage of the buyer’s journey (Awareness, Consideration, Decision, Evangelist)
    • Recommendation for repurposing (can this content be turned into a different type of asset? If so, what? Can this content be refreshed to discuss this topic in a more current way? If so, how?)
    • Other notes (this is where you would make any comments about the content that don’t fit into one of the other categories, even something as simple as “link doesn’t work”)

So I’ve Done My Audit. What’s Next for My Content Strategy?

Once you’ve completed your content audit, you now have a comprehensive record of every piece of content.

Knowing what you have allows you to easily execute several key steps toward building a successful content strategy:

  • You can now pinpoint specific pieces of content from the audit that can simply be taken and reused immediately. Think about email drip campaigns or social media content–all relevant content from your audit can be used toward these impactful lead-generation efforts.
  • You can now turn to your audited content to spark inspiration for new content topics or types. This is where the recommendations for repurposing really come in handy.
  • You can now identify any gaps in stages of the buyer’s journey and begin focusing on creating content that can fill those gaps, improve overall lead generation, and elevate your brand as a thought leader.

The goal of an audit is to organize your content and help your content strategy be as successful as possible. When you can see what you have, it’s much easier to see what you need. And your audience will notice when their needs are being met by content that is more targeted to their pain points and finds them at the right stage of their journey toward becoming a customer.

Want help conducting an audit to jump-start your 2019 content strategy? Contact us.