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Tag: Jamie Wallace (Page 1 of 22)

Use Integration to Increase Response Rates

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of presenting a session at PodCamp NHwith my friend and Savvy Sister, Wendy Thomas. You can read my nutshell recap of Sanity-Saving Secrets for Seriously Prolific and Successful Blogging on the NH Writer’s Network Blog, but today I’d like to talk about something else: integration.

Integration gets a lot of lip service, but combining your online, offline, and Real World efforts can have a huge impact on offer response rates. Here’s a quick overview of the tactics Wendy and I used to promote and run our PodCamp session along with the results. It’s all on a very small scale, but it isn’t difficult to see how a larger campaign could find similar success using these same concepts.

The online components of our presentation included some pre-event connecting and promotion on twitter and an event-specific landing page full of resources related to our topic. The offline components were a little “old school.” Instead of a snappy PowerPoint presentation, we used an old-fashioned paper flip chart and a printed, tri-fold handout. The Real World component was, obviously, our presence in the room.

By combining these three touch points – online, offline, and Real World – we were able to reach our audience at several key points over the course of a few days. Before the event, we were talking about our session online – creating some awareness and interest. During the event, our presentation and dialog with the audience engaged people in-the-moment. Several members of our audience tweeted in real-time while listening to our talk. After the event, the handout served as a physical reminder of the material we’d covered as well as a call to action to visit the landing page where we’d assembled some relevant resources. We continued to share information online about the event and the landing page via tweets and blog posts. Our network of colleagues and audience members did the same – linking to the resource page repeatedly in their own tweets.

The landing page is where we were able to close the loop and get a sense of whether or not we’d been successful.

The results speak for themselves:

  • We had approximately 30 people in the live audience at the event.
  • As of yesterday afternoon, we’d had 49 visitors to the landing page, 40 of those unique.
  • Total page views were 195 with the average time spent on site clocking in at 3 minutes 47 seconds.
  • Average number of pages visited: 3.98.
  • Bounce rate: 10.20%

Based on these data points, it’s pretty safe to assume that not only did the majority of the nice folks who attended our session visit the landing page, but they shared it with their networks and bumped the total number of unique visitors up and over the total number of folks who were physically in the room on the day of the event.

The bottom line: If you can create an integrated experience that brings online, offline, and Real World elements into your interactions with an audience, you’ve got a potent combination that will increase your response rate and your chances of making a meaningful and profitable connection.

How do you use integration in your business?

Image Credit: klsa12

Who Are You, Really, on the Social Web?

Today’s post was originally posted on Savvy B2B Marketing, and is more personal than usual.  However, if you’re here for marketing advice, you may want to read on. There’s not as big a gap as you might think between personal and professional or even customer relations on the Web.

Yesterday, my friend Mark W. Schaefer published a very candid post on his blog {grow} (temporarily renamed {growl} … you’ll have to read the post’s comments to get the joke) that included excerpts from an email I’d sent him after reading his piece, Social Media and the Big Conversation Fail. The post has sparked chats – both on and offline – about how “real” our social personas and relationships are.

There are so many layers to this, it makes my head hurt. The human impact of the social Web is a seriously broad topic that has been dissected, analyzed, and mused upon ad nauseam, perhaps culminating – at least for the moment – in the movie, The Social Network. The debates get old, but that doesn’t make the cultural changes we’re going through any less real.

The net-net of my heart-on-sleeve rambling to Mark is that, for all the lip service we give connection, conversation, and community, the social Web remains a place where we put only our best foot forward. Like the wizard of the Emerald City, we create flawless and impressive versions of ourselves. We inhabit these carefully crafted avatars like a second, if not always natural, skin. Each time we cross from the real world to the virtual one, we shed the unappealing parts of our personalities, leaving only the glossy bits showing.

There are exceptions, of course – people who “let it all hang out.” But, in almost all cases, even these confessions are contrived. They are designed to make a point, elicit a specific response, build affinity, or simply entertain. They transform personality into platform. On the social Web, we too often become both product and marketer, always “on,” even when we’re being “authentic.”

But the news isn’t all tragic.

Real friendships do evolve out of these virtual spaces. We discover them when we speak not to the masses, but to an individual. In the same way you can’t have a real relationship with the student body, for instance, you can’t have a real relationship with your social network. You need to find not your Right People, but your right person. Each time you glimpse a spark of real connection, you have to stop, cup it in your hands, and tend it until it either bursts into flame or flickers out. A machine can build a list, but if you want to build a friendship, you have to step outside your avatar and be your whole, human self – flaws and all.

That’s what each of us here did at Savvy. Eighteen months ago, we playfully named ourselves the “Savvy Sisters,” but today that moniker is much more than just branding. It’s a testament to the bonds that have developed over the course of forum conversations, building a blog, sharing resources, supporting each other’s professional endeavors, and – finally – pulling back the curtain to reveal the sometimes frail, sometimes faulty, always fabulous human beings that push and pull the levers. We’ve gone way beyond “appropriate” and “PC.” We share bad days, bad moods, bad decisions, and bad jokes. I know any one of my “sisters” would have my back – online or off. And, let me tell you, when we do have the chance to get together, the hugs are as real as any hugs I’ve ever given or received.

So enjoy the social Web for what it is – part frat house, part university, part cult, part networking event – and don’t feel too much like you’re looking for “love” in all the wrong places. The love is there, but you can only find it one person at a time.

What’s your experience with building real relationships on the Web? Is it something you’re even interested in? How do you think the situation differs for people who are here in a purely social capacity vs. those that are here both socially and professionally?

Beating Marketing Overwhelm

I’m having one of those days. You know – the kind where you walk in circles and still manage to get lost, where you stare at the same paragraph on the screen for minutes at a time without anything registering in your brain.

Marketing Overwhelm
It happens. Even to those of us who voluntarily swim in the sometimes murky, often shark-infested waters of marketing. And, if we can be reduced to babbling idiots, just imagine what can happen to the uninitiated. I work with a lot of solo entrepreneurs. They can’t delegate to a marketing department. As a result marketing overwhelm sets in pretty fast

Today, marketing moves at the speed of pixels. Everything is instantaneous. The demand for content and interaction is insatiable. We are made to feel like we need to produce more and more and more, faster and faster and faster. Because if we don’t get something out there – now, tomorrow, and the day after that – someone else will slide between us and our prospects and we might lose the sale.

Adding to the pressure of massive quantity and frenetic frequency are the continuous changes in the technology and third party platforms. As Mark W. Schaefer recently posted, social marketing is a practice that doesn’t stand still for long. (He posits that social is one of the few emerging technologies that won’t be absorbed into existing business structures because the ever-present learning curve makes it more cost effective to outsource to specialists.)

So, how do you stay sane?

Priorities, Planning, and Being Present
First things first. If you’re already on the loop-the-loop, it’s going to be hard to step back for a reality check. It’s going to be hard, but it has to be done. There are only so many hours in a day. If you’re spending all your time just running to keep up, you’ll never give yourself the chance to see if you’re actually heading in the right direction.

Priorities
Start by making time for your business. I don’t mean time for sales calls, customer service, maintenance, or any one of dozens of marketing initiatives. Those are all pieces of your machine, but they are not your business. Your business is the product or service that you provide. Don’t get caught up thinking that everything you do to market yourself is your business. It isn’t. So, step away from the roller coaster and schedule some time to do some Big Picture Thinking. Free yourself from the daily details & you might find that it’s easier to see the important things for what they are.

Planning
Once you’ve figured out what’s truly important to your business, it’s time to create a plan that helps you take care of those important things. Maybe you’ve decided that building your list is critical – then only tackle list building tasks. Maybe you realized that the key to your success lies in connecting more deeply with your existing customers – focus on creating customer retention programs. Or, maybe, your Big Picture is less about marketing right now, and more about improving your product. Fine. Do that.

Being Present
The trickiest part is staying focused on the planned priorities. With all the noise flying around – inside and outside of our heads and offices – it’s easy to get pulled right back onto that stomach-flipping roller coaster. There will always be some shiny new toy beckoning, promising unprecedented engagement and ROI. Don’t get distracted. Pay attention to the task at hand. Pay attention to the path you’re on. Pay attention to doing the best job you can at the work that’s right in front of you.

But …
There’s always a “but,” right? Of course there is.
But I need to keep up with my competition. But I need to stay up-to-date on the latest, greatest social widget. But I need to be everywhere at once. But I need to deliver more content than the guy next door.

No, you don’t.
You need to do what you do and you need to do it well.
And then you need to be smart and strategic about how you divide your energy between your work and marketing your work.
If the work is good and the marketing is focused, you’ll get there, and – when you do – the victory will be a long-lasting one.

Do you ever suffer from marketing overwhelm? Have you recovered? If so, how?

Photo Image: MeHere

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