Clubhouse room

Is voice the new marketing medium?

Voice – the oldest marketing and sales medium in the world and said to be “the second oldest profession” has now become the newest most exciting social media.

This week I have been doing a telephone survey and the freshness of insight I gained from speaking to real people whose job depends on having a good working relationship with my client was pure gold. I found them a chance to win back a big lapsed client; we understood their ethical leadership position in the industry; I was able to differentiate two core customer groups and develop golden questions to identify these tendencies in others.

As a marketing campaign it has delivered huge ROI already – and that was just the pilot.

Clubhouse rolls out

The launch of a digital chat room where you can speak (but not write or emoji) to other people who are gathering because they want to discuss the same topic as you has become the latest “wow” of the online social media world.

I see this as the digital opposite of my phone survey.

The excitement from pundits is real. Somehow having an app which allows users to schedule events with catchy titles like

  • 10x List Building Secrets
  • Shark Tank winners: how to be a founder and keep your sanity!
  • Beauty industry DISRUPTION [yes, their capitalisation, not mine]
  • How to talk to racists

is making marketing and tech folk around the world go mad with enthusiasm. [See screenshots at the bottom of the page.]

Some of these topics are frankly of no interest to me at all. And others have been nice chats with smart, well-meaning people. There’s a good UK marketing room which does “breakfast” every morning – they theme each weekday and sustainability was Wednesday and Tuesday was packaging. Both were well moderated and the topics included examples and case studies as well as discussion about challenges (Hello Fresh’s high plastic use; How to enable kids to unpack their toys and reuse cardboard as a play resource).

And copycats are already coming along – Fireside is a rival service already being talked about.

Same old same old?

Is Clubhouse just a symptom of the pandemic or has a truly new marketing medium launched?

The nicest part of a voice only platform has been the civility. Attendees don’t seem ready to yell and abuse each other and there hasn’t yet been a “Jackie Weaver” incident made public. A kinder version of the internet would certainly be welcomed.

I was also introduced to Frames this week – a virtual reality version of Zoom which is in private Alpha. It looks like any VR room but allows you to speak to other avatars; to live stream; put “pictures” and video onto the walls of rooms and design the virtual environment. The best part is a little blue line across the floor where your conversation can only be heard by others inside the line.

Yet is this really worthwhile?

  • From a brand marketing point of view, not yet. Mass adoption hasn’t begun.
  • From a direct marketing point of view – not at all, there’s no way of finding and contacting people except by hoping they’ll show up to your next room event.
  • From a personal branding and ‘influencer’ content creation point of view – yes some people are punting their expertise – but are they finding the right followers? Who knows.

I do not like marketing that depends mainly on winning a personal popularity contest. It is not replicable or repeatable.

Marketing done well

The best marketing is done direct to people who have the possibility of becoming customers. Going niche not going broad involves finding the right audience not the largest audience, sharing resonant messages not undifferentiated spray-and-pray, where customers appreciate that helpful insights and advice gives a better return on investment.

For now, I’m not recommending you spend too much time on Clubhouse – but I do suggest getting on the blower – you never know what you’ll find out with some open questioning of your clients and prospects.

Clubhouse room

Get notified of the room going live & follow the moderators

 

As ever, marketers are early into the new gig and some set some pretty onerous conditions for joining. And the coders have set up some simple ‘gamification’ tools to enable the fame game of popularity to grow your group.

Clubhouse join a group screenshot Clubhouse room rules

The Clubhouse app is still in development – it’s not yet available for Android users (70% of all smartphones) and there are clear missing tools like the ability to search for a group or a user using key words or the ability to “produce” content, record or stream media into the group. It’s early days.

Ask me if you’d like an invitation… I’ve got six.

Digital marketing 2021

The Bigger Picture of Digital Marketing in 2021

I have a good website and products.  My social media marketing is not resulting in sales.  Do I need a media expert?

Analyse past sales patterns

My view is that whether your social media drives sales or not depends on your industry and your target audience.

For the vast majority of businesses, social media does not result in direct sales. This is because customers are not in “buying mode” when browsing social sites.

And so here’s a quick check which you can do – share it here as well if you want more feedback.

  1. List all the sales you made in the past month(s)
  2. Rank them by value highest $ down to lowest
  3. For the top 20% by value, write down against each one how the customer came to buy from you
  4. Is there a pattern?

So for example in (3) above – you might say they came from your mailing list, they might be a previous customer, word of mouth recommendation, or walked into your shop or know a staff member.

It may pay to do some follow up calls if you can – or to ask every January 2021 customer how they found out about you and see if the pattern develops in the same way.

Know your customers

From this, you will begin to learn more about your existing customer base. What their patterns of behaviour are and how your business gets its sales.

Now, if you think this type of customer ALSO uses social and might be persuaded to buy from you via that channel, this is the time to review your marketing strategy and see if social media could bring you sales.

The Bigger Picture of Digital Marketing in 2021

Three things for you to check first

The vast majority of social “sales” come from paid advertising or retail shop listings on social sites. So you need to review your margins and your advertising budget for 2021 in your marketing strategy before deciding to launch into social media marketing in a big way. Can you afford to both hire a social media marketing expert and buy advertising on social? Or would your money be better spent on the channels you already have which bring in customers from your analysis in the steps 1-4 above.

Content marketing is more than just “social media”. The things you are posting on your social channels could also be put to use in newsletters, website blogs and in-store. So don’t only talk about social media – go broader to review whether content marketing is right for your business.

Consult experts to get yourself quickly up the learning curve. BUT be cautious about hiring people who have worked in big enterprise firms – a client of mine got badly burned using an expert who just spent a lot of money with only $800 return for their multi-month investment in their services. Yes they did take up references – and you should too. Become an expert in how to brief a marketing agency first – this will clarify what they do and set expectations. Below are links to articles which you should read first.

https://creativeagencysecrets.com/tag/how-to-brief-a-freelancer/

Trollishly bad practice viral campaign

How much work does going viral take?

I like being flattered as much as the next social media expert. [I’m not a guru by the way].

And responding promptly to media enquiries is best practice.

Here’s an example of a social media agency running a project which wasn’t quite what I expected. Learn from my mistakes.

Anatomy of a viral social campaign

When Claire Divas approached me the request was nicely written.

I suspect English is not her first language –  copywriting for sales success is a course she could usefully complete. That apostrophe is a killer giveaway as is the word eager – which is commonly used in Indian English. And it turns out it is not “her” site, it’s an agency business.

I’m doing an Expert’s Roundup interview on my site and I believe social media enthusiasts 
and specialists would be eager to know your answer to this question:
What Are The Effective Tips For Online Business To Get Viral On Social Media?

It looked good. On topic and the right audience of enthusiasts. Going viral with a post about going viral seemed like a nice proposition.

Turns out I’m one in 130+ people quoted

Does it betray trust to find you are hard to pick out in a crowd? Who will actually read one hundred and thirty different so-called experts advice?

So how did the campaign plan look

  1. Write to a lot of people with a simple request
  2. Set up a form to collect their answers
  3. Curate images and biography information
  4. Send chasing emails.
  5. Write a summary article with a catchy title.
  6. Tell everyone what you’ve done

So far so good. You can copy this campaign structure.

Put the reader first

The scope of the campaign structure is good – best practice.

The selection of experts is diverse. And this is where the problems start.

Think about the reader – I think that she will find it hard to get value from what’s written here. It’s too diverse, too broad and you have to trawl through a lot of content to find that one snippet of “gold” that will answer your question.

Self-evidently Trollishly [hideous name btw] want a lot of people to promote and link to their content [that’s a no-follow link].

And that will give them a ton of good SEO and incoming links and publicity as people quoted amplify their message to their audiences.

What I got wrong

What irritates me is that I didn’t ask the right questions of Trollishly and of myself at the start of the project.

  1. How many experts will be quoted?
  2. How many people in your audience are B2B
  3. Will the links be do-follow back to my website and social profiles?
  4. Will this audience become businesses prospects for me?
  5. What is the ROI on my time?
Rebecca expertise on social media

Rebecca’s advice on the shared expert post

I fell for their pitch. I didn’t qualify the opportunity well enough.

And look at what they published – the pink circled website and social media details of my business are an image – not hyperlinked at all. So going viral is not what they actually delivered for me.

I feel exploited….

P.S. I could have found much of this out with a little research. The menu items on their website include “Buy Instagram likes”. Tells me everything I need to know about the quality of their business.

education electric tariff differences

Effective social media tips for B2B

Business to Business marketing is my specialism. The key to robust B2B social media marketing return on investment is persistence, diligence and flashes of genius!

Having said that, you need more that just posting regularly to enable social media ROI. Allow me to explain.

Your customer pipeline

Building authority and demonstrating empathy are the messaging goals that will start prospects moving up the sales pipeline.

LinkedIn updates need to have a balance of product/service information combined with industry discussions.

I set up Google Alerts for key words which are triggers for my client’s industry. One is “Tax” and so we can track that against mainstream news. Here in New Zealand we just had an election and so adding “Tax + election” we can either start discussion threads about this OR answer other people’s questions.

Another is “Health & Safety” and we can look at newsworthy situations where failures happened and start a discussion about lessons and learnings.

Following hashtags can also be beneficial for niche industries.

What B2B marketers get wrong on social

The key for businesses who sell advice is not to give advice on social media.

They should ONLY demonstrate expertise.

The key for businesses who sell products is not to push their products – only to demonstrate the key features of good products (which of course they supply).

The inference is that you are experts and prospective customers should seek you out if they see relevance in what you write and it aligns with their immediate area of interest.

Is this a selling opportunity? Case Study

I posed a question on LinkedIn and garnered a lot of views and comments.

electric car electric tariff

Electricity tariffs for electric cars in NZ

Is this a selling opportunity? Yes for sure.

I got responses in public from Mercury, Meridian Energy and Our Energy Limited and in private I messaged Electric Kiwi, Power Compare and ChargeNet. So about one sixth of the local retail electricity supply industry brands.

The discussion was really interesting and a mix of industry insiders and consumer remarks, including this gem from the CEO of Our Energy Ltd – a disruptor startup in the energy supply industry.

education electric tariff differences

Comparing tariffs is only one part of the EV power story

So electricity companies are all watching, tracking and listening to customer conversations.

And you should be too.

Social selling is not a silver bullet

Many advisers will counsel using “social selling” an irritating phrase meaning sell your services on social media. This is such a problematic term for B2B because when on social, most people do not want to be sold to. They aren’t in “buying” mode on social.

Creating negative brand perceptions is to be avoided.

Having a robust, well-rounded tactical marketing and brand building programme will give you ample opportunity to sell. But only after you have built brand credibility and trust. Therefore multi-touch and multi-channel campaigns are the best route forward for B2B brands. Use with care, is my advise. Oh, yes and do ask an expert what they think about “social selling” BEFORE you hire them.

Slideshare got sold

Today’s discovery. Slideshare got sold.

scribd and slideshare

Slideshare header about Scribd

I was a very early Scribd user…. now I find they’ve bought Slideshare from LinkedIn.

This will change things for many of us who love Slideshare.

  • What happens to my slide decks shared into LinkedIn? [they stay]
  • Who still uses Slideshare [me and my clients]
  • Why is Scribd such a great platform? [sharing document images – especially long ones.]

Why I loved Slideshare

It was the first and most easy way to share decks – create embeddable and downloadable links and also do lead generation from a single place. For folks in professional services this was great if you were using education as a B2B marketing tool. I frequently recommended this strategy for my clients and it remains very effective.

What changes now?

Well, tools come and go all the time. I spend a lot of time cataloguing new marketing software and services which could be useful for me or my clients,  That’s one of the reasons why I’m often such an early adopter of these services [checkout when I joined Twitter for example].

Slides featured on my LinkedIn Profile

The functionality for slide embeds will continue to rest with Slideshare for the time being. But its utility is now altered.

Where and how expertise is shared is not the same and will continue to evolve.  And so, for now, I’m going to be looking closely at Scribd and its functionality.

And don’t forget LinkedIn – what will happen to future slide decks? Will there be alternative software for uploading them? What are the Slideshare alternatives and do they work on the LinkedIn platform?

What does Scribd do for me?

Scribd now also has functionality for reading magazines and books and audiobooks as well as slide decks.  It’s a competitor to Audible, Google Books, Kindle, Flip, Isuue and news or magazine aggregators.

All Slideshare users are automatically given a Scribd login.  Sadly they are only offering 2 months free use to Slideshare customers.

This makes me suspect that the acquisition was just to buy a user base. Sharing your slides isn’t exactly the same use case as using Scribd.

What do you think about this acquisition? Useful? Waste of Time? Who does slides today anyway?

facebook groups, facebook marketing,

FB Group tips – invite a friend

facebook groups, facebook marketing,

Invited by option for group memberships

I am a Facebook for Business group administrator and I’m delighted that they just added back an old feature.

When FB introduced the new interface for Group Admins about 9 months ago, the “Invited by….” feature was missing.

I sent my feedback that this is really useful and I wanted it…. Today it reappeared.

Why is this helpful? We have screening questions for the group and if you don’t answer them, we don’t let you in. BUT if introduced by an existing group member, that allows the applicant to bypass this step and still get accepted. Without knowing if they’d been invited or not, I couldn’t work out who to refuse or accept.

Now I wish they’d allow me to filter group applicants by “have they been invited”.

Messaging frequency in Covid19

How frequently should you message your customers during the Covid-19 lockdown?

Google my Business has a new tab with Covid19 status for your business – useful to update folks if you are open or not.

Corona virus Google businessupdate Google business covid 19 update

And the new Facebook layout seems to have relaxed flood control for messenger.

 

facebook brands tracking me

Which brands are tracking YOU?

The new “Off-Facebook Activity” tracker launched this week spits out a list of the apps and sites that share your activity with Camp Zuckerberg. The platform can see when you visit a website or open an app, or add an item to your shopping cart, just to name a few examples.

I just did a check on Facebook of all the brands who have set a tracking pixel for my website visits.

526.

Wow.  I mean, really – that’s a lot.

facebook brands tracking me

These are the most recent brands tracking me with a FB pixel

If you want to check your own, here’s how.

Navigate to your Facebook activity list  by clicking background information about “Off Facebook Activity” and on right side “What you Can Do”.  There are also informational help tabs.

Facebook activity check

Where to click to find your off Facebook brand tracking