Marketers: Innovation Starts Out of Your Comfort Zone

spaghetti_on_the_wallWith mounting pressure on marketing teams to show immediate ROI for campaigns and programs, it’s easy to stick to what we know works: the tried and true website, blogging 3x a week, social outreach, simple landing pages with one form, and trade shows that have one lead gen entry.

After a while, you get into a rhythm – and frankly, marketing just becomes boring. Sure, some cool graphics can spice it up, but is this why you got into marketing in the first place? Probably not!

Marketing Inspires – and Marketers Think Outside the Box!

That’s why when Marketo asked me for my advice to other marketers, it was simple: try something new! My mentor told me just to add the word “pilot” to anything I wanted to test to create a safe place to try new ideas. Sure, some of the ideas will fail, but others won’t – and you won’t know until you try.

For example, I recently created a personality test to determine if the reader was a Content Marketing Zombie or Rainbow Unicorn Ninja zombie slayer. Off beat? You betcha. Interesting? Yup. Did it work? YES!

Magic Happens Outside of Your Comfort Zone

If marketers don’t try new things to engage and entice our audience, how will we ever know if they work? I recently saw Cindy Valladares speak at the MarketingProfs B2B Forum and she spoke about a direct mail campaign she did where she sent Battleship games to high level prospects. Cool idea? Check. Expensive? Check. Did it work? She doesn’t know yet, BUT does it matter? She’s trying something new and creating a splash.

Many of the marketers SnapApp works with are marketing daredevils. People who want to be brilliant, not boring and try new innovative ways to connect with their audience.


Poll: Thinking Outside the Box
What are you doing to connect with your audience in new ways?

Select All That Apply

Events

Blogs

Interactive Content

Physical Mailers

Video

Other


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SnapApp Of The Week: Oprah Winfrey Network’s ‘What Kind of Morning Person Are You’ Assessment

Here at SnapApp, we love seeing the amazing, creative content that our customers build using SnapApp. From photo contests and bracket competitions to giveaways and sweepstakes, the SnapApps our customers build everyday continue to amaze us. Each week, our account managers will introduce you to one of the SnapApps we can’t stop talking about around the office.

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So you understand interactive content, but how can you capitalize on it even further?  Taking advantage of SnapApp as a means of delivering sponsored content is a great way to generate an even greater return on your investment.own ikea snapapp of the week

Engage Users with a Personality Quiz

The Oprah Winfrey Network created a SnapApp asking “What Kind of Morning Person Are You?”  This assessment asks questions which categorize users into a certain personality assessment based on their morning behaviors.

Relate Your Content to the Sponsor

OWN has taken advantage of SnapApp by creating an engaging piece of content which serves to gather information about the audience while simultaneously incorporating IKEA as a means of increasing revenue for their own business.  The SnapApp is embedded within the ‘Create Your Space’ section of the site, which is fully decked out in IKEA branding.  The page is complete with a clickable IKEA skin and a banner ad to compliment it.  This opportunity successfully creates awareness around IKEA’s offerings while using the SnapApp as a means of providing an incentive to the audience.

In about one month, this SnapApp has generated a 70% click rate and a 78% app completion rate.  Now it’s your turn to find out what kind of morning person you are!

 Are you using interactive content marketing apps to engage your users like the Oprah Winfrey Network? Learn how you can get started now!

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How NOT To Be A Content Marketing Zombie

How NOT To Be A Content Marketing Zombie

From the MarketingProfs B2B Forum

During the MarketingProfs B2B Forum, one session stood out among the rest. Okay, maybe because our CEO Seth Lieberman was one of three amazing speakers bringing the fun into B2B. Seth, joined by Cindy Valladares—Sr. Manager Corporate Communications, Tripwire and Albert Jan (AJ) Huisman—Marketing Director, Kennedy Van der Laan taught a room of about 200 marketers how to be rainbow unicorn zombie ninja slayers. Here’s how you can also be a zombie slayer:

Align Your Why

To get to the “why,” you really need to know your buyer. Develop buyer personas and get to know them so that you can empathize at a deep level. Once you understand their pains, you can align your business to figure out what you can actually DO for them. Marketers really only have one goal: deliver value to your customers. Treat your customers like humans and build conversations with them. To do that, speak clearly and make sure you are delivering content, not “nontent” (content that has no value). Remember: quality will crush quantity.

Fail Fast & Never Stop Learning

Of course, how do you know if something is working? Test and learn: the panel encouraged the audience to draw inspiration from the world around us. Look to brands, your colleagues, read, and more to form hypotheses on what could work for your target customer. Then test! Perfection can kill innovation, so gather data while testing so you can learn and make baby steps towards figuring out what content works for the customer.

Don’t be afraid to be different- being different allows marketers to become rainbow ninja unicorns who slay content marketing zombies! In other words, have fun and humanize your company.

Speak the Language of Business

Marketers need to start with goals in mind before launching campaigns and programs. Ask yourself: What do we want to achieve? Does the goal align with our core values and provide value to the customer? Once you have the goal in mind, have both “soft” and “hard” metrics that reflect both the stories you’re creating and numbers you’re producing. Notably the more difficult part of marketing, marketers are tasked more than ever to produce ROI from their programs. Don’t be afraid to translate your metrics to your business goals.

The panel left the group with a few parting thoughts:

  • Get Out of Your Comfort Zone– if you aren’t failing, you aren’t trying hard enough.
  • Shake It Up– B2B doesn’t stand for boring-to-boring; try something new and go beyond the white paper!
  • Just Take Action: Don’t let fear or perfection stop you from trying. Just do and build a team that supports your vision.


Want to know whether you are a ninja or a content marketing zombie?  Take our quiz to find out.


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SnapApp Of The Week: Innovation Enterprise’s ‘Big Data Assessment’

http://theinnovationenterprise.com/media/W1siZiIsImRpdmlzaW9ucy8yMDEzMDQxMFQxNTUzMzQtMzM2NS9ibGtfYmlnZGF0YS5wbmciXV0/blk_bigdata.png

Big Data. It’s a big deal, right? Innovation Enterprise certainly thinks so, having dedicated its Big Data division to form a collaborative network of shared technologies to make businesses successful.

Creating a two-way dialogue with your content

So how do you know if your organization is gaining actionable insights from its data? In the traditional sense, one could read up on content like research studies and white papers. However, IE created a dialogue with their experience, “What type of Big Data user are you?”, providing users with a specific persona based on their responses to questions about big data optimization.

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Engage users with a value exchange

What’s compelling about this assessment is the value exchange. Users have an incentive to participate knowing they will receive a result assessing their Big Data aptitude. This gives them a place to begin when it comes to furthering their research depending on where they lack. The added bonus is the opportunity to attend one of the Big Data Summits – IE’s prided resource for shared ideas and expert insights.

And what does IE get in return? Well, they receive valuable pieces of information on each lead that you simply cannot get from a traditional lead generation form. By appending response data to each lead, IE is able to create a profile around the participants in their database. Such Q&A data could be valuable for placing users into tailored marketing campaigns or even help aid in continuing the dialogue.

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Marketing For What Comes Next… Today

It’s an exciting time to be a B2B marketer. As we all come to the realization that B2B marketing is really H2H marketing– human-to-human– it opens the door to exciting possibilities to really engage and start a dialogue with your audience.

MarketingProfs understands the power of this connection and with their B2B Forum in Boston this week, they are exploring where marketing will go next!

We’re adding the to conversation as our CEO Seth Lieberman is speaking on “How NOT to be a Content Marketing Zombie and Survive the Coming Demand Gen Apocalypse” on Friday, October 10th at 11:30am. With a title like that, how can you miss the session?

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Will you be attending the forum as well?

Say hello to our team at booth #405 and enter to win a GoPro to capture amazing experiences. In the meantime, we’ll show you how adding interactive content to your marketing mix can boost marketing campaign and program ROI.

Interactive content is the next big thing for B2B marketing since it allow marketers to engage with their audience and layer on top of existing campaigns. Don’t wait until tomorrow, get started today!

Request A Demo

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SnapApp of the Week: Diabetes Self-Management Knowledge Test

Here at SnapApp, we love seeing the amazing, creative content that our customers build using SnapApp. From photo contests and bracket competitions to giveaways and sweepstakes, the SnapApps our customers build everyday continue to amaze us. Each week, our account managers will introduce you to one of the SnapApps we can’t stop talking about around the office.

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1Diabetes Self-Management Challenges Their Audience To Test Their Knowledge on Functional Foods

We like to think we know what foods are best for us, right?  Well, there are many types of food out there that are not only nutritious but they can also supply health benefits such as lowering bloodglucose levels in people with Type 2 diabetes.  Diabetes Self-Management makes it easy for their audience to test their knowledge of and truly understand these benefits.

Users Learn While Engaging With The Quiz

Diabetes Self-Management, a publication of Madavor Media, provides the growing number of people with diabetes the information they need to control and manage their diabetes.  Integrating interactive content such as assessments into this mix makes for a more engaging experience but also enables Diabetes Self-Management to serve up targeted information based on the users’ responses.

Opportunities on Results Page Allow Audience To Continue Engaging

Utilizing the functionality built into the SnapApp platform, Diabetes Self-Management was able to provide a quiz-like experience for their users to be able to answer questions, receive the correct answers as they progress, and ultimately be presented with a result category (such as Up-and-Comer) based on their level of knowledge along with additional information to continue educating themselves.  While making a unique experience for their users, Diabetes Self-Management was able to capitalize on the momentum and simultaneously capture emails and e-newsletter signups.

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Since being published the second week of September, this content has a 76% Click Rate, 71% Question Completion Rate, and a 50% Lead Submission Rate.  Interactive content enables Diabetes Self-Management to establish a dialog with their audience, creating significant value for both sides!

Take a look at the assessment here!

Are you using interactive content marketing apps to engage your users like Diabetes Self-Management? Learn how you can get started now!

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Fall Into More Leads with Interactive Content

Fall is finally here and the leaves are changing–are your lead generation strategies keeping up?

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78% of B2B marketers say that generating more leads is the biggest challenge they are currently facing, and that is where interactive content comes in! By re-
purposing your content to be more interactive, you are able to deliver amazing content experiences to build real dialogues with your audience. Creating these engagements with your audience allows you to not only generate new leads, but to also build better prospect profiles, guide leads through the buyer’s journey, and scale your content marketing.

This fall, you can clean up the leaves with a rake, but clean up your leads by using the interactive content built on the SnapApp platform! You can create easy engagements to start a dialogue with your audience, like the example we created below.

Fall is finally here!
There are so many things to love about this season, but which do you enjoy the most?

Apple Picking

Pumpkin Carving

Halloween

Fall Foliage

Pumpkin-Flavored Everything

Cornmazes

Football

Other?

Did you know that compared to static content, interactive content on average generates a 50% click thru rate, an 80% content completion rate, and a 40% lead conversion rate?

 Are you ready to see what interactive content can do for you?

Request A Demo

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When Did B2B Morph Into “Boring-To-Boring”?

what_is_interactive_content_whitepaper__1__pdf__page_18_of_26_How many times in the past six months have you been asked to read “The Ultimate White Paper On…” or “The Complete Guide To…”, and reacted to it with, “Not another one…”? Plenty, I’m sure.

It is not that those content pieces do not provide valuable information – they typically do. It is more likely that there is simply not enough time in your hectic day to read a 30-45 page white paper or guide that is not that engaging.  Why then as marketers do we keep asking our audiences to do the same thing?

To achieve content success throughout the buyer’s journey, marketers can no longer afford to have non-engaging, static content. We believe that in order for marketers to move beyond “Boring-To-Boring”, they need to create user engagements that are fun, educational, engaging, and deliver more value to their audiences. Think of it this way:

Providing your prospects with just static content throughout the buyer’s journey is like sitting three wide in a minivan on a long, scenic drive with no cell signal and a busted radio that only gets a few channels – while you try to make the most of it at first, it gets old after a while.

However, adding interactive content to your current marketing mix throughout the buyer’s journey is like having your own seat in an Escalade on a direct route to your destination (no traffic!) with Wi-Fi, satellite radio, and a TV – this makes for a much more relaxed, fun, and engaging journey.

Making Content Fun, Engaging, And Educational

what_is_interactive_content_whitepaper_v2_pdf__page_20_of_26_Ultimately, the power of interactive content lies in its ability to engage a prospect throughout the buyer’s journey. Engagement allows you to drive significant value through generating new leads, building richer, actionable prospect profiles, scaling your content marketing efforts, and using that content to guide those prospects successfully through their journey.

Traditional ways of providing information to your buyer – webinar, slideshares, and videos – are great tools, but none of them provide the opportunity to have a conversation with your buyer, which can be a missed opportunity. You need to build dialogues through interactive experiences that encourage prospects to answer questions and share information that helps them better define and clarify their particular pains, challenges, and priorities.

For example, polls and surveys will allow your prospects to articulate and clarify challenges and goals, while knowledge tests and quizzes give your buyers the opportunity to categorize themselves as they answer a series of questions on a particular topic. In that same context, interactive white papers and interactive infographics are a great source of information that allows buyers to educate themselves and explore their options, while actively engaging with the content.

By simply repurposing existing longer form pieces of content to create shorter, more engaging pieces, you can transform your content from “Boring-To-Boring” to “Brilliant-To-Brilliant”.

what_is_interactive_content_whitepaper_v2_pdf__page_8_of_26_Where Marketers Derive Value From “Brilliant-To-Brilliant”

Focus on the customer first – the real value to your audience is the immediate tailored results they receive. Actively answering questions or participating in interactive engagements provides prospects with specific results in real time to address their issues or ideas.

As you educate your audience, you simultaneously educate yourself about them. You receive valuable, detailed profile information about your prospects pains, challenges, goals, and thinking.

That data can directly help you lead score, qualify a prospect, and guide your audience through a specific path in their buyer’s journey with additional pieces of highly-relevant content that addresses (and ideally helps solve) their issues or problem.

By adding interactive content to your marketing mix, you can provide experiences that are engaging and informative, and bring the brilliance back into B2B.

We want to hear from you – take our survey to find out how you stack up against other marketers that are taking their content from “boring” to “brilliant”. 

 


 
 

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Interactive Content & The Buyer’s Journey [INFOGRAPHIC]

compas (2)The last time you booked a trip, did you use a travel agent? Probably not! Most of us don’t use agents anymore. We prefer to research, plan, and book travel ourselves using the tools available to explore ideas, review other’s opinions, identify options and compare prices. This phenomenon – of doing our own research and evaluation without the help of an agent – is not unique to travel.

According to Forrester Research, buyers are 90% of the way through their buying journey before they ever talk to sales. That has huge implications for marketers. As part of helping buyers navigate that 90%, marketers are also moving further down the funnel, taking on more of a sales function. No longer responsible solely for lead generation and high level nurturing, modern marketers are educating prospects, sharing specific solution information and cultivating relationships.

So how can marketers effectively generate leads and push them toward sales? Is it possible to really understand each prospect’s unique requirements, share relevant information in a timely manner, and build credibility and trust as a marketer without ever even talking to prospects? And what about all of the noise as more and more companies produce content? These are the marketers’ challenges. Interactive content can help.

To answer these questions and more, we partnered up with Oracle Marketing Cloud to create the ‘Interactive Content & The Buyer’s Journey’ infographic below.

 

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Content Marketing World 2014 Wrap-Up: The Importance of Storytelling and the Future of Content

We all know that with all of the available content out there, it’s hard to differentiate your message from the next. Consumers nowadays have shorter time spans and with content clutter, it makes it difficult to create compelling content that people notice. More often, you get lost in the crowd of content overload, and your hard work isn’t rewarded with the attention it deserves.

At the Content Marketing World event last week in Ohio, lots of tips and tricks (and chocolate covered espresso beans!) were shared on how to make your company more relatable and how to make your content more digestible. But where do you start?

swag

Session Themes

Aside from his love of the color orange, content marketing guru Joe Pulizzi advised that it all begins with a strategy. Effective content marketers write their strategy down to provide direction, and they are able to execute more efficiently with clear goals and plan in front of them.

While writing down strategy is definitely effective, you also have to make sure that your strategy is centered around relevant content for the relevant audience.  One of my favorite speakers at the event, best-selling author Andrew Davis, told us about the four key elements to producing powerful content:

  1. Building suspense

  2. Fostering aspiration

  3. Driving empathy

  4. Harnessing emotion

The content you create must produce a moment of inspiration for the consumer; it must entice them to do something, say something, create something, think something, etc. He showed a powerful example of empowering an audience through content with a video about Cain’s arcade. Check out the video clip below and see for yourself!

What struck me the most throughout the conference is that the purpose of creating content is so much more than developing brand recognition or driving lead conversion; it is about sharing your story and creating a movement much bigger than yourself. Great content is equivalent to storytelling. When marketers tell stories, they have the opportunity to make people listen and care. When people listen and care, they are more likely to act. One of the most memorable quotes from the conference came from Shane Snow in his session on storytelling. He reminded us all that “those who tell stories don’t just rule the world, but they can change it.” A central theme at CMW was the emphasis on just how much power content marketers actually have- and just how little we have actually tapped into this power!

Keynote speaker and actor Kevin Spacey wrapped up the event by re-emphasizing the importance of storytelling. He noted that people want to hear our stories, and all we have to do is give it to them. If we know our audience, we can create relevant and compelling content that will motivate and inspire them. Kevin noted that people are attracted to honest and relatable stories, and can often sense when a company is producing content for the sake of producing content. The three elements that he recommended we all begin with are creating conflict in our stories, being honest, and learning more about our audience. Easy enough, right? But how do we learn more about our audience?

Letting Content Guide Your Buyer’s Journey

SnapApp’s CEO Seth Lieberman and SilkRoad’s Director of Digital Marketing John Westby spoke on the concept of creating dialogues with your audience, and the importance of creating two-way communication in the marketing world. Their talk, “Make Your Buyers Journey Smooth as Silk By Building Interactive Customer Dialogues and Experiences”, gave a closer look as to how SilkRoad is successfully using interactive content to deliver more value to their customers at each stage of the buyer’s journey.board

 

They emphasized how the number one job of a marketer is to deliver value to your audience, and interactivity allows your audience to easily digest and find value in the content you create. By breaking down your lengthy content into bite size pieces, like assessments, personality quizzes, surveys, or interactive whitepapers, you are able to provide valuable information to your audience- and at the same time get some value back! Give your audience the chance to provide information about themselves, and you will be able to provide content that is more relevant and compelling for them.

 

 

Moral of the conference: The future of content marketing is mastering the art of storytelling!

The SnapApp platform can help you begin your journey as a storyteller by creating a dialogue with your audience. Want to learn more about how interactive content can help learn more about your audience?

Request A Demo

 

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