Programmatic Advertising - The New Drip Campaigns

Programmatic Advertising – The New Drip Campaigns

Earlier this month, eMarketer covered research from Dun & Bradstreet about the growth of programmatic marketing and how it will influence account-based marketing. Interestingly, 63% of B2B marketers in the research were using programmatic buy in their efforts – and 48% were using personalization for their ad placements.

The example of how B2B marketers are using this type of ad placement showed they start generic. Then, as the person interacted with the brand, the ads became more focused on product details with the goal to close the deal.

Over the last decade, the evolution of this type of marketing has been fascinating to me. In the mid-2000s, I can remember working with clients to purchase and scrub email lists, then combining them with client lists and a list curated from tradeshows to blast emails about webinars or new product information. Today, we can use a multitude of tools to target our current prospects and even target prospects we are unaware of with lookalike profiles based on profitable clients.

While this evolution has been wonderful and tailormade to get the information into the hands of decision-makers or influencers at the exact right time, one comment in the eMarketer article really stuck out to me. Steve Weeks, director of media strategy and planning at Adobe, stated that you have to serve “relevant content” and that you can’t “overexpose people to one message.”

As I sat and thought about this comment, I felt that this is the ongoing battle mar-comm and sales have been having in B2B companies since the start of drip campaigns – do you hit the target over the head with your message and product or do you steadily make yourself a go-to resource that educates the target market about trends?

I personally see the value in the latter approach, where you become the go-to resource that not only looks at trends but also educates the industry about the impact it will have on their business. With a variety of resources ranging from webinars to white papers to online ROI calculators and more, if brands build themselves up as educators, prospects will trust them more in the long run and hopefully you will be the source they turn to when they need new technology.


6 Ways Trade Outlets Trump National Media for B2B Marketing and PR

6 Ways Trade Outlets Trump National Media for B2B Marketing and PR

Whenever we ask clients about their “dream placement,” national media (especially the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal) always top the list. These multi-platform outlets, after all, attract millions of eyeballs on a daily basis.

Although there is no denying the substantial publicity boost a mainstream media outlet can bring, trade pubs and niche outlets offer several advantages, especially for companies in business-to-business industries such as healthcare IT. Savvy PR pros recognize their importance and feature them prominently in PR/marketing plans.

How do healthcare trade outlets trump mainstream press for B2B PR? Let me count the ways:

Target audience. A mention in USA Today is impressive but offers little benefit to a company that markets a telehealth platform. While millions of people visit the site daily, it’s highly unlikely they are there to learn about telemedicine. An article in Becker’s Hospital Review, with 1.4 million monthly visitors, has a greater chance of reaching clinicians and medical directors. In addition, buyers in the later stages of the buying cycle prefer to get their information from trade outlets. That’s because B2B outlets dive deeper into technical details while major publications cover broad topics in general terms.

Legitimacy. Trade outlets are highly respected by industry insiders. Health IT professionals rely on industry associations such as HIMSS and CHIME to provide insight on laws and regulations that affect the industry. A consistent presence in their newsletters and websites can brand a new company as a legitimate player or help establish a company founder as a thought leader.

Digital presence. There is a definite trend away from print toward digital, which means fewer space restrictions and more room to expand on a topic. There is also a trend toward specialized sites and blogs (e.g. HIStalk, Healthcare Musings). Even LinkedIn has a healthcare channel run by a former editor of Modern Healthcare. Answers Media has created several sites — HITECH Answers, Health Data Answers, RCM Answers, to name a few. It also has an internet radio station, HealthcareNow Radio, with 15 shows attracting 1,400 listeners a day who listen an average of 30 minutes. An article on one of their sites could potentially be seen by 42,000 visitors, shared among 25,000 social media followers, and be featured in a weekly e-newsletter sent to 50,000 subscribers.

Greater use of press releases. Have press releases become obsolete? That may be true for pitching B2C publications, but B2B pubs welcome news releases relevant to their niche audience. Trade editors are also more willing to run press releases in both print and online, Tweet them out, and include links back to your website, enabling you to re-share the posts and expand reach.

Sending a new product press release along with a brief pitch about a new tablet device for seniors to a trade publication such as McKnight’s Long-Term Care News is a direct hit. It shows you know the publication and its audience.

Article placements. National publications prefer to report about large companies and breaking news. Getting quoted in a major publication may take weeks, even months, though it is not impossible as this example in Forbes shows. On the other hand, niche editors are happy to report on small companies in their sector. As long as the pitch is on-topic, they will respond to media requests faster and publish articles sooner. In addition, because trade outlets are often short on staff, they’re more open to accepting contributed articles as long as they are objective and vendor-neutral. Click here to see a sample placement in Health Data Management.

Reversioned content. PR can repurpose a byline article placed in a niche publication into owned media, webinars, case studies, and pitches to larger outlets. We call this the “turkey carve out” approach to content. It works only if you start out with a 25-pound turkey, not a Cornish game hen. We advise or remind our clients to amplify the article using corporate social media channels. We also recommend creating a marketing e-blast to customers and prospects with a link to the article.

Journalists and editors for major newspapers and consumer magazines often use trade journals to research article assignments. The trade pub article may become your ticket to being part of a bigger story in a major consumer pub, eventually getting your CEO the mainstream hit s/he desires.

5 Things Social Media Managers Never Do

Grab your Instagram-worthy coffee and make sure you are not guilty of these social media crimes.

Social media marketing is fast paced. Not only does your well thought-out and carefully sliced up 140-character tweet have a short shelf life, but each platform changes almost daily.  However, there are some nuances that remain the same. These are my top 5 mistakes to avoid in the ever-evolving social media game.

1. Use old, wrong or low-quality logos

Twitter’s logo is a bird, not a plane and not a weird version of tumblers “t”. The official logo became the bird with no text in 2012. No, I’m not paid by Twitter’s branding manager, but I am fired up about getting everyone on the same page about the logo misuse!

Whenever you need a social media platform’s logo, it is best to visit their branding guidelines or resources. Usually, you can download a free kit that has the logo in many colors and every type of file format.

Another important logo faux pas to watch out for is the dreaded, low-quality profile picture or thumbnail. Nothing screams “We don’t care about this” more than a bad photo as your profile picture. It’s the first impression your potential customers see and you want it to be a good one! Don’t forget to look at your entire digital presence to make sure you have at least one high-quality photo listed with your brand. Google search is a commonly missed opportunity. Don’t worry, it’s an easy fix! Google uses their very own social network information first to populate the search results side bar. Make sure you gave a great photo or high-quality logo and accurate information listed on your Google+ account.


2. Spam following attacks

Managers that do this are like the sign spinners of social media marketing.

I understand how this strategy developed as you can get short-term results from using this tactic. But these followers are hardly worth your efforts and are most likely either spam-bots or accounts that are not linked to your decision makers.

You should still keep your ratios clean (follow fewer accounts than you have followers) and follow industry leaders and influencers. The key is to focus your efforts when it makes sense for your strategy, not sporadically and aggressively. Twitter will actually step in when it becomes too much of a problem, but please, never get to that point.

3. Miss an engagement or sales opportunity

Uh, hello? It’s called SOCIAL media. Be social! Especially if you are a B2B organization, this type of engagement just isn’t as common as the B2C counterparts on social media. Capitalize on the opportunity as it arises! There is no shortage of free software available to help manage your engagement. Find brand champions that aren’t tagging your account, yet still praising your name, fix customer problems or complaints and develop new sales leads.

Make sure your engagement is timely and relevant. Search all hashtags used or links shared before posting or replying. Also, make sure the account you are engaging with is a real person not just a bot or an irrelevant twitter user.

4. Forget to sign out of the company account

Yikes! This is an ugly one. People get fired over this and it is not a great situation to be in. Personally, as a practicing social media manager, I steer clear of posting politics on my personal social accounts and I keep it PG. This choice decreases my risk of posting something truly terrible on a company account. Newton’s law of gravity doesn’t apply to the internet. What goes up, stays up on the internet.

There are too many examples like the twitter accident that happened to Chrysler.

Social media managers need to be sure they're not posting personal thoughts on company accounts

5. Assume you have learned everything

The beauty and challenge of social media marketing is that it’s always changing. It’s hard to be the ultimate expert in something that is always changing and moving! Stay in touch with reality and assume there is always something new to learn and observe. I find it to be the best way to approach social media.

Hashtag conversations and meanings can change hourly, platforms have repositioned based on users habits and algorithms change all the time! The Internet is a place where traditional marketing practices and new forms of communication can be used in collaboration to create meaningful engagements with your audience.

Here are a few methods I use to stay up-to-date on my social media marketing skills:
• Use social media platforms for personal use
• Read and subscribe to social media marketing blogs and news outlets
• Listen to podcasts on the digital strategy
• Attend webinars on social media marketing
• Look at competitors or other industries and figure out what is working for them

Make sure not to commit any of these social media mistakes and comment below with other social media rules that stand the test of time.