Mastering Facebook

Mastering Facebook

In an increasingly digital world, where new communication platforms are developed daily, Facebook remains a powerful marketing tool. Why? Well, besides the total measure-ability, low cost and high ROI, Facebook reaches your target audience when they are most susceptible: down time. Facebook users are browsing things that genuinely interest them and building connections with people they care about. Vancouver-based social media management company Hootsuite calls it a relationship network, identifying this as the ideal foundation on which brands can make meaningful, personal connections with their target markets. After all, that’s what the relaxed, open-minded and engaged viewer on the other end is searching for. But Facebook has a multifaceted reputation: one of proven success and constant (frustrating) policy changes. Take the 20% text rule that restricts text appearing in image posts, for instance. The common opinion is that this policy is ridiculous, but these resented restrictions aren’t going anywhere any time soon, so you’d be better off learning how to work around them while your competition gets bent out of shape. For starters, study Facebook’s advertising guidelines regularly. They may not be riveting, but it will be incredibly helpful when it comes to understanding the grounds on which to build your Facebook campaign. And just like our favourite PGA pros grinding it out this week at Augusta, there is a lot more science and preparation than meets the eye when it comes to “Master”-ing the social media game. Staying a Step Ahead As the rules and regulations of Facebook change for advertisers, so do the options of how to share content. We have come a long way from the original status updates and it’s as important as ever to stay ahead of the curve. 1. Videos This one may not come as a surprise. We all know that video content is becoming increasingly valuable to viewers. But did you know that over 1 million videos are viewed on Facebook each day? Or that the average Facebook user watched 75% more videos this year than last year? (Source: Amy Porterfield). Short video clips fit perfectly into the browsing nature of the Facebook platform, offering a great avenue to viral content. And with the new autoplay function causing videos to begin without pressing play, they are more eye-catching than ever before. 2. Video Playlists Facebook has also given users the option of building a personalized video playlist – an individualized portfolio of videos that reflect each user’s own tastes and trends. This means being able to share more engaging videos in a streamlined format, and encouraging fans to spread them in a more user-friendly format. 3. Craft Multi-Product Ads You’ve likely started to see multi-product ads in your News Feed lately. The new interactive ad boxes scroll left and right, showing various companies or...

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4 Tips to Help Improve your Email Marketing

4 Tips to Help Improve your Email Marketing

Did you know that today is International Thank a Mailman Day — an interesting worldwide observance given how the use of traditional postal services continues to plummet, and costs soar accordingly. These days when we think of  mail, it is more often email that first comes to mind. So on this very special day, what better opportunity to delve into the wonderful world of eNewsletters. What, Why, How When it comes to building digital marketing plans, eNewsletters are almost always included in the marketing mix. In fact 83% of B2B marketers regularly use eNewsletters to communicate with prospects and customers, making them 2nd only to social media among most popular tactics. Effectiveness, however, is a whole other story. The average eNewsletter is only 58% effective, ranking significantly lower among communication platforms That doesn’t mean that eNewsletters should face the same extinction as their physical counterparts, but rather that marketers need to learn and follow best practices in developing, executing, monitoring and continually improving their campaigns. So, are you ready to rock your email marketing?  Then check out these 4 tips… #1: Develop your Database The first step towards delivering quality eNewsletters that boost your business, is developing a targeted database. With the relatively new CASL (Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation) regulations strictly monitoring the way businesses reach out to their email audience, it’s absolutely crucial you invest time into building a legal list of contacts. You might think that buying a list is the fastest way to prospect profitability, but it’s the exact opposite. Even if the contacts in the database meet your target audience profile and could really use what you offer, people hate getting emails from companies they don’t know.  Sure they may have opted-in to emails from some other company, but not yours.  And by the time you’ve emailed them, they’ve probably been spammed to death by other list buyers. So don’t spark the spam police and alienate prospects with quick and dirty email tactics.  Engage customers and prospects through their favorite channels and social media networks with content that educates, engages and entertains.  Wrap that up with contests, offers and giveaways (that require them to provide contact information to participate),  and you’ll have a high-value email database that will help fill your sales funnel. #2: Do the Prep Work Like any content marketing program, planning and preparation are paramount to success. Setting up an effective content and eNewsletter delivery calendar can take some time, but without one, your eMarketing efforts will not have the impact or results you desire. Ask yourself these questions and do the research to find out the answers if you don’t already know… What is your goal for your eNewsletter?  This should drive your “Call To Action” (CTA) in communications with your audience. What topics are more likely to attract your...

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What Marketers Can Learn from Winnie the Pooh

What Marketers Can Learn from Winnie the Pooh

You may not know the movie that made it famous (Field of Dreams), or know which actor said it (Kevin Costner), but chances are you have heard this classic line: “If you build it, [they] will come” So here’s the catch (excuse my baseball pun): what helped a movie garner Best Screenplay and Best Picture nods won’t help you succeed in business. January 18th is National Winnie-the-Pooh Day, and in honor of Winnipeg’s beloved bear, let’s consider his perspective instead: You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting 4 others 2 come 2 you; you have 2 go 2 them sometimes. #winnie Click To Tweet There’s an antiquated opinion entrenched in business that a quality product does its own marketing, and that excellence speaks for itself. But sadly for those in the product development world, the best products don’t always win; many inferior products have won product wars because they were marketed better. Last year Ad Age placed these competitor brands head-to-head to ask what really makes one better than the other: Google vs. Bing Energizer vs. Duracell Nike vs. Adidas Staples vs. Office Depot The result across the board was that No. 1 brands are top of mind: a result of better marketing campaigns that set one comparable, or arguably inferior, product ahead in terms of consumer recognition and recall. How to Leave the Forest These days, staying in the forest doesn’t just refer to a hands-off approach of letting the product (try to) speak for itself. It also refers to outdated marketing platforms that aren’t actively engaging the right audience. Take those infamous Golf Channel infomercials, for instance. While they may have convinced generations past to pick up the phone, no millennial today is going to buy from a flashing on-screen number. As the golfing population (and their consumption of information) evolves, industry marketing initiatives need to keep up. That doesn’t mean television advertising is dead. As we’ve seen, Golf Channel has captivated just the right affluent audience to make their commercial time valuable. With the right viewers exposed to the latest gadgets and gizmos, this outbound marketing stream establishes a strong first impression. The next step is to place the product in the right marketplace; a venue in which millennials have already placed their trust (definitely not a 1-800 number). Conversion is Crucial It’s time to retire the sales/marketing dichotomy alongside those terrible “Potty Putter” infomercials.  Great marketing doesn’t just “support sales”; it needs to drive them.  Jen Houston of the Content Marketing Institute says it best… “Content doesn’t end at creation, curation, or distribution. It ends after that lead has been identified, nurtured, and has finally taken a sales action.” Engagement isn’t just about spreading knowledge or awareness of your brand; it’s about acquiring quality leads and  converting them to sales....

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Golf’s Content Marketing Champion

Golf’s Content Marketing Champion

As we gathered around TV screens, mobile apps, or twitter feeds to watch Patrick Reed defeat Jimmy Walker in a playoff at Kapalua this weekend, it seemed especially fitting that NBC and the Golf Channel air the annual tournament of champions. After all, the biggest winner of 2014 was the NBC/Golf Channel partnership that hit content marketing out of the park. Wait a second… wrong sport. The Hyundai Tournament of Champions invites all PGA Tour winners from the previous year, to duke it out for an early season win. Well, not to take anything away from Reed, or Walker (or even Canadian Nick Taylor, who looked promising early on), but the closest anyone came to a Grand Slam in 2014 was golf’s primary television network itself. (With 4 Emmy nominations to prove it.) Scott over at Eat Sleep Golf explains all of the exciting statistics, but read on below to see how Golf Channel’s success is based on brilliant content marketing. Understand Your Audience 2014 named Golf Channel the most affluent ad-supported television network, for total day and primetime combined. Golf may have the advantage of a high average audience income (the highest, in fact, at more than $100,000) but—as we like to say when we get a good bounce—you’ve got to be good to be lucky. And when it comes to reading their audience… these guys are good. 😉 Be Creative with Content The Golf Channel proved just how well they understood television viewers back in 2003 when they combined a traditional sport and reality tv. 21 seasons later, The Big Break continues to prove that offering your audience the content they crave pays off. But their creative programming doesn’t end there. Those seeking a personal story (all 2 million of them) loved Arnie, the 3-night event depicting Arnold Palmer’s career—including his savvy establishment of the Golf Channel itself. Those looking for a little news (and maybe a little eye candy) tuned into The Morning Break in unprecedented numbers, nearly tripling the timeslot. Those wanting the inside scoop on their favourite tour players (and a laugh) swear by funny guy David Feherty’s studio show, Feherty. Time and time again Golf Channel has filled an audience void so that those high income viewers never need to channel surf. Understand your audience and create content they can’t resist. Click To Tweet Mobile Matters Arguably the best move Golf Channel made in 2013 was to offer live streaming for mobile devices with the Golf Live Extra app. (We aren’t all free on Major Sundays.) Since Golf Live Extra was launched, over 183 million minutes of golf programming have been streamed—proof that mobile access was a critical niche among Golf Channel viewers. Recognize Success One of...

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Using Digital Marketing to Grow Golf (Podcast)

Using Digital Marketing to Grow Golf (Podcast)

Earlier this year I wrote an article about the generation gap between golf courses and their future players.  It caught the attention of Jeff Harrison from the Golf Industry Training Association, who invited me to participate in one of their Fairway Executive Podcasts. Jeff asked some thought-provoking questions such as, “What one quote has inspired me the most in my career”. But my favorite of all was…”If I found a magic wand, with one spell left, what would I make happen to get people excited about the game again?” Check out the interview and then tell me what you would do with that magic wand? The 2015 golf season is just around the corner and I wonder what this year will bring to the industry.  Will it continue to focus all its marketing and sales efforts on its installed based of core golfers and fall prey to The Innovator’s Dilemma? If you have’t read the book, I highly recommend you grab a copy.  It talks about how difficult it is for some businesses to adapt to changing markets and how even the darlings of one decade can crumble the next because they cannot not get beyond sustaining to achieve the status quo, rather than innovating for the future. It’s not at all about golf; it’s about the high tech industry, but the parallels are the scarily similar. “Never give up; never surrender”, became a popular phrase in the late 90’s from Galaxy Quest.  And as silly as that movie was, that quote resonated with a lot of people like me. Never satisfied with status quo, I’ve been called tenacious by past employers and stubborn by a few of those near and dear to me. But I like to think I’m just someone who likes to  think outside the tee box. The rules of golf may forbid mulligans, but when it comes to pushing for innovation in how golf is marketed, I’ll just keep “hitting ’til I’m happy” fore the game....

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What Millennials Want in Golf

What Millennials Want in Golf

It’s been over 2 months since I posted a survey on this blog to try and learn why more millennials aren’t taking up golf and what could be done to entice them to give the sport a try. It was a bit of a slog trying to get kids to respond to the survey even with targeted ads on Facebook for the 17-25 age group and the support of my golfing friends and colleagues who shared it with the young people they know.  Even the potential to win one of two $50 Amazon Gift Cards wasn’t enticement enough for  many. I ended up with almost 100 responses and although one could certainly argue that the sample size isn’t  statistically relevant, I feel that the results do speak volumes on how the game of golf is viewed by our youth (and some of the older generation who decided to join in on the fun). Here’s a bit about the people who responded to the survey.  Only 20% were outside the “millennial” demographic with the largest portion coming from the US.  Funny, I actually had someone from Napal participate 😉 In terms of their golf experience, there were definitely more golfers in the mix than I was hoping for, but perhaps that’s because non-golfers weren’t interested in even participating in a 5 minute survey about golf.  Family and friends were the most influential in terms of introducing the game which didn’t really surprise me.  But I was hoping to see “school” show up in here.  Only 1 person said they were introduced to the sport through school.   For each different group I split the survey to dig in a bit further on their experience with the sport… Never Played (12%) In this part of the survey, respondents were asked why they never tried golf and check all answers that applied.  I was expecting to see “not competitive enough” or “not a team sport”, but no one said that.  Interesting… Tried but Quit (16%) For those who did try golf, the reasons for quitting map pretty well to those who never tried it in the first place. Play Occasionally (20%) Occasional golfers put cost at the top of their list, but time isn’t far behind.  In reading some of the commentary from these folks, it seems that cost and time are also why more of their friends aren’t playing as often.  It makes one wonder if golf were affordable and flexible in terms of how long it takes to play, maybe more of these golfers would play more often. Play Regularly Avid golfers seem to be driven by the love of the game and the social nature of it.  Under “Other” were mostly...

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