Cheryl Chiodi | Solution Marketing Manager, Financial Services, ABBYY

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Running her first marathon before fighting cancer, and a year later back on the marathon trail, it’s been a challenging time for superwoman Cheryl Chiodi, ABBYY’s Financial Services expert. She’s currently in training for the Boston Marathon race in honor of her niece, who tragically died of a drug overdose. Thanks to the generosity of friends and family, Cheryl has already surpassed her target of raising $10,000 USD for the Herren Project, a nonprofit addiction recovery program. Learn more about Cheryl, including her role at ABBYY and some top pieces of advice, below.

What attracted you to ABBYY, and what is your role?

The people. Right from the very beginning, all the people I have interacted with have been genuine and sincere. Every time I meet someone new, I am reaffirmed that ABBYY is an organization of really kind, compassionate, intelligent, and dedicated people. There is a spirit of pride, enthusiasm, and excitement—almost start-up-like.

My title is Solution Marketing Manager, Financial Services. I am responsible for articulating ABBYY’s value proposition as it applies specifically to the Financial Services Industry. I create content and messaging to market specifically to the financial services industry. Furthermore, I represent ABBYY at conferences, events, webinars, and industry publications that are targeted to financial services.

What was your previous experience before ABBYY?

Before joining ABBYY, I led Industry Marketing for Financial Services at Appian, and prior to that, I have held several positions across the business at large organizations such as Red Hat, Akamai, Pegasystems, BAE Systems-Applied Intelligence, and Monitor-Deloitte.

Your top advice to someone working in marketing?

Read. Follow marketing experts’ blogs, newsletters, and on social media. Know that “Marketing” is a broad term. There are content specialists, like me, marketing professionals that focus on branding, go-to-market, events, partner ecosystems, and so much more—explore all the various facets and find your happy place. Find a mentor, someone you are comfortable talking about uncomfortable things with. Listen. Don’t feel the need to fill the air with your voice. Practice active listening.

Do you have any hobbies or fun interests?

Running! I am currently training for the Boston Marathon, taking place on October 11th. Running has provided me with a great opportunity to stretch myself, to do those things that I once told myself I could never do. The running community reminds me of the ABBYY community, supportive people who want to see you do well.

And, there’s also motorcycle riding. I have a Ducati Scrambler and an old Harley-Davidson Sportster. I live in an area that was an old farming community, with lots of cranberry bogs and beautiful roads to explore on a motorcycle. It really gives me a great opportunity to be fully present in the moment, with no phones to distract you—just the road and the views!

What’s your party trick?

I can usually surprise you with how many 80s and 90s heavy metal and hard rock songs I know all the lyrics to.

What keeps you awake at night?

I sleep quite well. Admittedly, I can get the jitters the night before a presentation at a conference or on a webinar, but I’ve learned a trick. I keep a pen and paper by my bed, and if something pops into my mind that is keeping me awake, I jot it down and get it out of my head, trusting that I will take care of it in the morning.

If you had one wish come true, what would it be?

I’ve always wanted to open a community arts center—a place for kids to go after school and on the weekends and grow in their creativity with positive mentors and role models. I envision a space where youth can explore drawing, painting, sculpture, music or become more creative technology users—taking the average 4-6 hours per day that our youth are spending behind a screen and turning it into creative and challenging learning opportunities.

What’s your pet peeve?

People who don’t take responsibility for their actions and defend and deflect rather than own up to their mistakes. At our ABBYY Reimagine user conference this year, we had a keynote presentation from John “Gucci” Foley—he spoke about bringing an attitude of gratitude into the workplace and adopting a “Glad To Be Here” mindset. I think we’ve done a great job of bringing that into our team, my manager talks about it all the time.

For instance, I had an interaction with an industry analyst a few weeks ago where I just didn’t bring my “A” game. I stumbled and was not very concise in my responses. Afterward, I got constructive and supportive feedback from my manager. I admitted that my performance was lacking and made actionable suggestions for where I could do better the next time. I love that ABBYY provides a safe place to make mistakes and find collaborative solutions.

Interested in joining the ABBYY team? Please check the vacancies and apply! We look forward to hearing from you.

3 Marketing Lessons We Can Learn From Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’

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Whether you like to spend your weekends binge-watching TV shows on a streaming service or not, you’ve probably heard of Netflix’s Squid Game. It is one of the most viral topics of 2021, and, perhaps surprisingly, it offers some significant business-related insights. 

The South Korean survival drama can teach you many valuable marketing lessons that your brand or business can use to improve sales and organic publicity — but no spoilers here, I promise.

With the number of active social-media users at a historic peak, it is safe to say that the content presented to audiences is now more independent than ever before. With that comes the opportunity for small and medium brands to shine more easily — it’s now possible to achieve big impressions for a fraction of the price it used to take. 

Additionally, with streaming services being the new normal for how we view content, we might never experience another appointment television viewing like the one for Game of Thrones. Nevertheless, Squid Game redefined what is possible and broke past publicity records with a show that is both gruesome and highly disturbing.

The TV show is based on the events of desperately poor people being invited to compete in children’s themed games with deadly consequences if they lose. Ironically, Squid Game had virtually no press or marketing in the U.S. before its debut compared to all the other big Netflix shows, but it still managed to become the topic of the year. The script has been written since about 2009, with years of attempts by the writer to get it picked up, but no one wanted to produce such an unrealistic and violent story. But, just like any other marketing success, the show owes its popularity to a combination of luck and perfect timing.

Here are three important lessons that can be learned from its example. 

1. Word-of-mouth is more successful than the largest paid ad campaigns

Truth be told, word-of-mouth is what you usually read about when you’re opening a 100-year-old marketing book; it’s considered an all-time classic technique. I was always a believer that it works as a minimal factor in any marketing strategy, but Squid Game proves that it can be the major leading factor in advertising. Unfortunately, marketing firms can’t buy or secure word of mouth, so it’s usually done organically, but with social media being so accessible to brands, businesses can now attempt to trigger a wave of trends or buzz to get word-of-mouth going. 

I heard about Squid Game from friends of mine who could not stop talking about it, but that was still not enough to convince me to watch it. When I opened my phone to see countless memes flooding my news feeds on every social-media app including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and, of course, TikTok, I stopped for a second and had to give the TV show a try. A TV show accompanied by trends and memes results in one thing for certain: It almost forces you to want to watch the show so you can relate to the community around you and understand the jokes being told. 

The concept itself isn’t new; however, word-of-mouth hyping up a TV show at such an accelerated pace is something we have never seen before. I even noticed that Netflix is now investing in some marketing for the series with pop-up displays, which I found odd, then I found out it’s not really intended to bring more attention, but rather to complement the ongoing buzz happening worldwide. The moral of the story is that no paid ad campaign of any scale could accomplish the success that Squid Game achieved using just word-of-mouth, and there is a psychology that supports this.

We humans want to share something odd like this violent game of death with our circle of friends and family; it gives us pleasure of some sort and makes for a great conversation starter. In the case of Squid Game, the violence and gore that kept the script on a shelf for a decade actually contributed to its success.

2. When your brand has a viral TikTok trend, it’s bound for success

TikTok did not only reinvent the way brands reach their audiences, but it also set a new standard for how companies should approach their consumers. Today, it’s acceptable for a large brand to comment on a post without having to be professional; in fact, serious brands that take an informal approach on the platform get a lot more praise and attention, resulting in higher free impressions. The dating app Tinder, for example, gets a ton of impressions by simply commenting funny phrases on any content related to relationships. 

I can tell you from experience that marketing is constantly evolving.  I run a marketing firm called X Network, and we have been managing our client’s social-media accounts for many years as we run their paid ad campaigns. In the past, they would always ask us to be very professional in the way we speak on their behalf and always maintain some sort of serious tone. Thankfully, we don’t need to do that anymore because consumers evolved; they now want a brand they can relate to and feel a deeper connection with than just a traditional transactional relationship. 

If you’re able to get lucky by having a trend related to your brand go viral on TikTok, you’re most likely going to have financial success. Squid Game picked up a fascinating amount of traction on the platform, almost forming an army of viewers that advocate and share the inside jokes. The great advantage for Squid Game is that the only way to understand the jokes going viral is to watch the show because of how specific they are. This can work great for a marketing strategy. Make your campaign so unique and specific that you turn your audiences into advocates for the story. 

3. We don’t know what consumers really want until they show us

This South Korean survival drama going viral will make sense once you actually watch it. It’s a great TV show that will keep you on the edge of your seat, and it’s rated highly by critics. Additionally, it’s the perfect time to release such a show because audiences are bored of the copy-paste-styled shows now available on all these streaming services. There is a gap in the market, almost a need for something odd and fresh like Squid Game. The third and most important lesson the show can teach us is that we really can’t predict what consumers want next until they show us. 

It sounds a little philosophical, but the reality is that we sometimes don’t really know what we want until we are given something that we then figure out we want. Let me explain better: When you go to any McDonald’s drive thru, for example, you’re welcomed with big flashing photos of food items meant to sell you something you didn’t really know you wanted or were craving when you arrived.

This goes to show that we can’t always follow the conventional norm and depend on historic data to tell us what’s next; innovative businesses should always consider taking calculated risks with their marketing strategies. Squid Game redefined the boundaries of a TV show, revolutionizing the way we view and interact with content. Regular content can get your business mediocre attention, but a really strong concept that is intriguing and fresh can make you go viral, resulting in a lot of free marketing.  

How To Measure Content Marketing To Reach Your Goals – Marketing Insider Group

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Getting your content marketing analysis right isn’t just about finding out how successful your strategy is and validating it to stakeholders. It’s the only way you’ll be able to make your content marketing strategy better and use it for achieving business goals.

Without the right metrics, you are making decisions in the dark, possibly without even realizing it. Only by knowing clearly where your content marketing is furthering your organization’s business goals, and where it is falling short or is misaligned, will you ever be able to turn your content into the powerhouse that drives business growth. Something you know it is capable of.

Your metrics are what will tell the story of your content, illustrating where it works, how well, and why or why not. It is content marketing metrics that define the impact your strategy is making on business growth.

Only by using the right metrics, however, can you distinguish between the potential of your content and what it is currently doing to move your organization closer to its goals.

Which means, there is a big problem if you are using the wrong metrics, whether you’re putting too much value on vanity metrics or are simply off on your key performance indicators. If this is the case, your content marketing reporting could be misleading your strategy, taking it in the wrong direction, spreading it too thin, or preventing it from reaching its potential as a tool for growth because you’re missing opportunities.

How Do Most Content Marketers Measure Up?

If you’re having trouble measuring the worth of your content marketing, you’re not alone. Only 39 percent of marketers believe they are at least somewhat successful at tracking ROI. Just 8 percent say they are very successful.

And, 65 percent of B2B marketers are struggling to define what content is effective and what isn’t.

This leaves a lot of room for improvement. It also indicates that gaining a huge competitive edge may lie in your ability to track and measure your content. The bottom line is, most content marketers aren’t getting their marketing metrics right, despite all the marketing technology available today.

Less than half of B2B marketers – about 46 percent – are satisfied that their marketing metrics are aligned with their content marketing goals. More often than not, marketers are simply not tracking the right metrics.

How can you make your analytics align with your goals and support a goal-focused content marketing strategy?

First, it goes back to establishing your KPIs – and really digging deep to determine which ones matter, right now, for your organization. A lot of marketers just use general marketing metrics but fail to interpret the most essential for your business.

“It makes no difference whatsoever what MY most important content marketing metric is – the real question is: what metric, what key performance indicator is most important to your business? No two marketers’ objectives are exactly alike. What matters is aligning against business goals, not all the abstract things you can measure.”

-Rebecca Lieb, strategic advisor and former digital advertising and media analyst for Altimeter Group

And second, it’s about using the right marketing analytics solutions and making your platforms work for you. This means you’ll need to develop a marketing technology stack that allows you to clearly track the entire buyer journey, starting from the first touch point to closing a sale.

Targeting Your Content Marketing Metrics for Business Goals

What are the top goals of your content marketing strategy?

Most marketing teams have multiple objectives but identifying which matter the most – right now – is critical to creating a results-driven content marketing strategy.

Of course, every business wants to generate leads, build brand awareness and increase revenue. However, there has to be a focused priority to form the backbone of your content marketing. This is what you base your KPIs on.

With a clear idea of your current content marketing goals, you’ll know which metrics matter the most right now. For example, consumption and lead metrics will take a front row seat on your analytics platforms when your primary goal is to attract new customers.

You’ll still use KPIs from different categories as you’ll need to understand how effective your content is at each stage of the buyer journey, but it is the priority metrics that show you if you are reaching your main goals.

This distinction is also important for communicating with management or other stakeholders the impact of your content. If your designated objective is brand awareness and your metrics show your content strategy has created a vibrant brand following, but sales metrics have modestly inched forward, you can still demonstrate that your content marketing is working. It achieved its goals.

And, of course, with that vibrant brand advocate army your content strategy helped to form, watch out sales numbers, you’re next! It’s easier to reassure stakeholders when the primary objectives are laid out and the related metrics take center stage. Then, you can move onto your next content marketing priorities with the confidence of C-suite.

Choosing Your Content KPIs

Content marketing metrics can be broken down into several categories:

Consumption Marketing Metrics

Consumption metrics have to do with the number of people consuming your content, as well as the frequency and depth of their consumption and what channels they are using to reach your content. These metrics are going to take a front row seat in your content marketing reporting if your priority goals are building brand awareness, lead generation and lead nurturing.

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Retention Marketing Metrics

As the cost of acquiring a new customer is seven times that of retaining an old one, and your current customers will spend 31 percent more on average than new ones, this is one area of content marketing analytics you don’t want to overlook. Even when you’re goal-focused on lead generation, sales or other common priorities, don’t take your eye off of your current customers or you could be losing ground where it matters most, even when you are generating a lot of interest and action from new prospects.

Customer retention KPIs will give you an idea of how successful your content is at keeping your current audience engaged and motivated.

Sharing and Engagement Marketing Metrics

This is where you can get a good idea of how useful and relevant your content is. People will share because your content has value to them and they believe it will offer value to someone else. Social media metrics, like shares and likes, are your main sharing metrics, as well as email forwards.

Your audience will engage because the content is interesting, provocative, or enjoyable. Engagement is a good litmus test for your brand’s likability. Both sharing and engagement metrics are critical when establishing your organization as a thought-leader is on your goal short list. Page depth, blog and social comments and session duration are good engagement metrics.

Sharing and engagement analysis is where your content’s KPIs are going to vary widely depending on the unique characteristics of your brand and the specific marketing channels you use.

“The one metric I really look at is comments per post. It tells me how engaged my audience is. No matter how much traffic you have, if you can’t cultivate an engaged audience, you won’t be able to convert those visitors into customers.”

-Neil Patel, founder of Quick Sprout and co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics

For brands that focus on in-person marketing events, engagement may gear more towards event metrics like registration numbers and participation metrics during and after the event.

For blog heavy content marketing, you may want to include reader feedback, such as fanmail, social reach outs, and positive chatter.

Lead Marketing Metrics

Lead generation is traditionally one of the top goals for B2B content marketers. This is the meat and potatoes of the buying process. Along with lead nurturing, it’s the middle-of-the-funnel where people go from just-a-consumer to your consumer.

Lead metrics include the number of new leads generated and the number who interact with a specific piece of content. Your funnel conversion rate will show which pieces of your content are the most effective. If you are honing in on lead generation, it’s also useful to include time to conversion and per channel conversion rates.

“Leads are the metric that, as marketers, we have to rely on. Because leads mean money.”

–Kipp Bodhar, inbound marketing strategist for HubSpot

Sales Marketing Metrics

And the grand finale of all your marketing efforts – sales. These metrics look at how content impacts the bottom of your sales funnel. When your number one content marketing goal is to drive sales, these are the numbers that will be the most important.

Setting Up Your Marketing Technology Stack

And how to harness the insights from your chosen metrics? Organize your marketing technology tools so you are getting all the analytics you need to gauge the performance of your content marketing strategy, without getting lost in a sea of numbers.

How you set up your marketing technology stack will depend on the needs of your organization, what types of content you are using and, of course, which marketing metrics are most aligned with organizational goals.

For your martech stack structure, you may be using different platforms for different pieces of content.

How many marketing tools are enough for solid content marketing analysis? Business size, how dynamic your content marketing is and your budget will factor into how many platforms you use.

Many of today’s digital marketing solutions overlap, for example, MailChimp may have built its reputation as an email marketing service, but it is also one of the best marketing automation platforms for small to medium-sized businesses.

On the other hand, with a multi-layered marketing technology stack, it’s easier to focus on a certain type of metric or touch point. Your team may be able to gain more insight and be able to compartmentalize the data surrounding critical stages.

What are other marketing teams using? As of 2015, 51 percent of organizations were using at least 21 digital marketing solutions.

The key to making your marketing technology stack work efficiently is communication. Data should be shared with sales, customer service and other departments, as well as internally within your marketing team. This is where regular, short meetings can be helpful for sharing data and making sure everyone is on the same page with what the numbers are saying.

A Smarter Approach to Measuring Content

A smart approach to your content marketing metrics will help you stay focused on desired outcomes. For pulling off a successful strategy, this focus is paramount.

It’s easy to get caught up in the pressure to pull-off the latest content trends, especially when they are as flashy and talked about as augmented reality, VR, 360-degree video, and virtual assistants. All of which may or may not help you achieve your objectives.

Likewise, it is just as tempting to get caught in the trap of habit. A lot of marketers stick with a particular content schedule because it has worked for years. This safe approach can stifle your campaigns, stopping your content from growing and evolving with the world around it – both in terms of shirting consumer expectations and changing content marketing best practices.

By taking an analytics-driven approach, you can seek opportunities, experiment, and refine your strategy based on how your pieces of content are impacting your designated marketing metrics.

This allows you to always tailor your content marketing strategy around organizational goals. Which will make your content more useful to your organization.

Isn’t that the whole objective?

To make sure you are spending your analytics efforts tracking the ‘right’ numbers, one of the best things you can do if you’re having trouble is to scale back. Trying to make sense out of 29 or 30 content marketing metrics, with different KPIs being tied to various touch points and objectives, is going to leave you with a lot of attractive marketing reporting that doesn’t offer the clear answers you need.

Start with fewer metrics, such as the core metrics for your marketing team as well as a small number that laser focus on your one or two top content goals. This allows you to use your metrics to better improve your content. Then, expand from there once you master a small number of metrics.

When you can see right away the impact a piece of content is having or how a certain type of content is directly affecting your bottom line, you can then go back and continually refine your content strategy. Smarter metrics means smarter content marketing decisions – and better outcomes.

2021 Effective Mobile Marketing Awards shortlist revealed | Mobile Marketing Magazine

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The shortlist for the 2021 Effective Mobile Marketing Awards has been revealed. It features campaigns from brands including Volkswagen, PrettyLittleThing, the NHS, Facebook, Jack Daniel’s, Disnet and many more. The winners will be announced at a Virtual Awards Ceremony on 19 November. Congratulations to all the shortlisted entries. Here’s the shortlist in full…

Most Effective Advertising Campaign
Moose Toys and AdColony – Moose Toys and AdColony Spin the Wheel of Success for Collins Key
OmniGOV, The Cabinet Office and Mobsta – UK Government: Funding for Local Tourism
Public Health England, OmniGOV@MG OMD and Venatus – Public Health England: Better Health – Every Mind Matters
Shopkick and Moburst – Moburst/Shopkick TikTok Triumph
The Biden/Harris 2020 Presidential Campaign, Bully Pulpit Interactive, & Tapjoy – Ridin’ With Biden Video and Interactive End Card
Volkswagen and S4M – Converting 44% of Impressions to Volkswagen Dealership Visits

Most Effective Anti-fraud Solution
App Samurai – Interceptd: Real-time Fraud Prevention Tool
TrafficGuard – TrafficGuard: Clarity Beyond Measure

Most Effective App Install Campaign
Hard Rock International & Yellowhead – Hard Rock International & yellowHEAD Hit the Right Chords with Snapchat Audiences
inDriver and Bidease – Programmatic User Acquisition for a Ride-hailing Service
PLT (PrettyLittleThing) and Redbox Mobile – Apple Search Ads Paid Advertising Using the Redbox Platform
Shopkick and Moburst – Moburst/Shopkick TikTok Triumph

Most Effective Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality Campaign
BMB and Facebook UK – Connecting Kylie Minogue To Fans With Augmented Reality
NHSBT and MG OMD – Snapchat Lens for NHSBT Organs Campaign
The Transport Accident Commission Australia, Unbnd and Taboo – Left Unfinished
Torrens University Australia, Billy Blue College of Design, Unbnd and SomeOne – Start Your Adventure AR

Most Effective FMCG/CPG Campaign
Chicago Town, Mobsta, IRI and Wavemaker North – Chicago Town Leveraging Location Data
Jack Daniel’s, Spark Foundry and Hawk – Jack Daniel’s: Tennessee Whiskey Original and Tennessee Apple
Frito-Lay, OMD and Tapjoy – Frito-Lay Drives Holiday Brand Lift with 2.6m Gamified Engagements
GSK Narhinel Italy, Digitas UK – Narhinel Method Campaign
Russian Standard Vodka, The Village Communications and TabMo – Raise Your Standards in Vodka
McCormick, Spark Foundry and Hawk – Schwartz Herbs and Spices Campaign

Most Effective Influencer Campaign
Deutsche Telekom and Mindshare – What We Do Next
Disney and Titan Digital Media – Disney+ Launch Campaign
Ocean Spray and Captiv8 – Ocean Spray Craisins 2020 Holiday Campaign
Vichy and Billion Dollar Boy – Vichy Ambassador x E-retailer Partnership

Most Effective Launch Campaign
Fertility Circle and Redbox Mobile – Fertility Circle Launch Campaign
Genesis and PadSquad – Genesis Young Luxury Campaign
Moose Toys and AdColony – Moose Toys and AdColony Spin the Wheel of Success for Collins Key
NHS and MG OMD – NHS COVID-19 Test & Trace App

Most Effective Location Campaign
Kraft Heinz, Blis and Publicis Groupe – Karvan Cevitam Signature Blends and Jumbo Campaign
OmniGOV, The Cabinet Office and Mobsta – UK Government: Funding for Local Tourism
Rent a Car and Uberall – Driving Online Consumers to a Location “Near Me” – National Grocery Store Chain Increases Store Visits with’s Location-based Targeting
Vets4Pets and Blis – Brand Awareness Campaign

Most Effective Messaging Campaign
Coca-Cola, Mobsta and Mediacom – Coca Cola Lightswitch
GambleAware, Goodstuff and Picnic – Tap Out, Take a Moment
Iterable – Brand Affinity
Orange and Airship – Retaining App Users and Cross-promoting Apps
Shopkick and Moburst – Moburst/Shopkick TikTok Triumph

Most Effective Paid Social Campaign
Deutsche Telekom and Mindshare – What We Do Next
Mobile Legends and Titan Digital Media – Mobile Legends 515 eParty
Shopkick and Moburst – Moburst/Shopkick TikTok Triumph
Vodafone Turkey – BJK Woman Team Sponsorship: #IExist Campaign

Most Effective Pandemic Campaign
HP and PadSquad – HP Colorizer: Print, Play and Learn
Kwalitaria and Fingerspitz – Delighting During COVID-19
OmniGOV, The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Mobsta – UK Government COVID-19 Business Support for BAME SMEs
Palmers and S4M – Driving Over 27,000 Visits for Palmer’s During the Pandemic
Public Health England, OmniGOV@MG OMD and Venatus – Public Health England: Better Health – Every Mind Matters
Textlocal – Streamlining the Delivery of COVID-19 Test Results with SMS

Most Effective Performance Marketing Campaign
Docks Bruxsel, Mobsta, Halo and BWP – Docks Bruxsel Footfall Attribution
GS Shop and Moloco – GS SHOP Achieves 4,000% ROAS Through Dynamic Creative Optimization with Moloco
Just Eat and Liftoff – Just Eat Acquires New Users and Re-engages Inactive Customers
Shopkick and Moburst – Moburst/Shopkick TikTok Triumph – Luxury Retail Brand Increases Online Sales and ROAS with
The Royal Navy, MG OMD and Adludio – Navy Submariners

Most Effective Retail Campaign
Shopkick and Moburst – Moburst/Shopkick TikTok Triumph – National Grocery Store Chain Increases Store Visits with’s Location-based Targeting

Most Effective Search Campaign
PLT (PrettyLittleThing) and Redbox Mobile – Apple Search Ads Paid Advertising Using the Redbox Platform
Vodafone Turkey – Competition Management Strategy for Search Engine Advertising During the Pandemic

Most Effective TikTok Campaign
Huawei and Connector by Granite – Huawei X Fleming
Shopkick and Moburst – Moburst/Shopkick TikTok Triumph
Torrens University Australia, Billy Blue College of Design, Unbnd and SomeOne – Start Your Adventure AR

Most Effective Use of Data
Empiricus and MoEngage – Insight-led Mobile Engagement
Gold Fish Casino Slots by Sciplay and Yellowhead – The Jade Monkey Campaign
Iterable – Brand Affinity
Manchester United and Airship – Growing Engagement with Personalised Manchester United Predictions
T-Mobile and Velti – Daedalus Clustering
Vodafone Turkey – Personalization with Vodafone Data Modeling

Most Innovative Campaign
My Online Therapy and Yodel Mobile – Transforming How We View Therapy: My Online Therapy Disrupts the Health and Wellness Sector
The Biden/Harris 2020 Presidential Campaign, Bully Pulpit Interactive, & Tapjoy – Ridin’ With Biden

8 Exciting Video Marketing Trends for 2022 – Marketing Insider Group

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If you’re not already convinced that video has officially arrived as the top form of online content, it’s time to get on board.

Video marketing trends are becoming increasingly important to overall marketing strategies. In 2021, 86% of businesses indicated that they were using video as a marketing tool. To boot, 93% of them say it’s a critical part of their strategy.

Businesses aren’t just guessing, either. They’re responding to clear consumer demand for more video content.

Research has found that 84% of consumers have been convinced to buy a product after watching a video, and they’re twice as likely to share videos than other types of online content. Cisco reported that by 2022, video will account for 82% of all online traffic.

Ready to give your video strategy a boost? Here are 8 emerging video marketing trends for 2022 you should know and try.

Quick Takeaways

8 Video Marketing Trends for 2022

Live Video

Live video skyrocketed in importance in 2020 as the pandemic put a halt on in-person events and experiences. It emerged as an essential way for brands to continue connecting with consumers, and today our outlook on what kind of content is “streamable” has been totally transformed.

Live video is being used by everyone from influencers promoting products to music artists holding virtual concerts to Broadway companies streaming full-length productions.

For content marketers, live video should be at the top of the list of video marketing priorities. Even as life is getting back to normal, consumer demand for live video content isn’t going away — it’s growing.

And while consumers prefer video content in general, they engage at a much higher rate when the content is live. On Facebook, for example, users watch live videos for 3x longer than pre-recorded videos, and live content generates 6x more interactions.

Surprisingly, though, only 28% of video marketers intend to use Facebook Live as part of their strategy (and this stat is similar across social media platforms). More B2B Marketers are reporting the use of video email marketing as an effective tool.

The takeaway? Brands have an opportunity to build engagement and gain a competitive advantage by embracing live video right now.

Smartphone Production

Gone are the days when video marketing required expensive equipment and a big production budget. In fact, even brands that can afford those things are turning to smartphones to create more relatable, authentic content.

Apple gave the concept a platform in their wildly successful #ShotOniPhone campaign. They asked users to submit their best iPhone shots for a chance to have them featured on an Apple commercial or billboard.

Over the years the campaign has generated more than 15 million submissions and proven that video content created on a smartphone can be indistinguishable from what we see in traditional media.

In an interesting turn of events, social media influencers have surpassed even seasoned video marketing professionals when it comes to perfecting the art of smartphone video content.

Perfectly edited TikToks, vlogs, sponsored ads, you name it — it’s the amateurs who are doing it best right now when it comes to smartphone video.

Brands are getting on board, though, as they quickly realize that this type of real-life content is resonating with consumers more than salesy ads.

So if you’ve been thinking about creating more video content but worrying you might not have the equipment, here’s your sign: all you need is a little inspiration and the device in your hand.

Search-Optimized Videos

SEO is nothing new, but what about videos optimized for search? Forrester recently found that videos are 53 times more likely to generate first-page rankings than other traditional SEO techniques. Brightedge reports that Google is now putting video snippets next to 26% of search results, and users are more likely to click them when they do.

So how can you use videos to optimize your search engine results? Focus on three areas: relevance, consistency, and backend optimization.

First, be sure your videos all have a clear goal in mind. Make them relevant to consumers by answering their questions, educating them on important topics related to your brand, and creating video content that’s interesting to watch.

Next, be consistent. Just like with traditional SEO content, consistency is key to boosting your rankings. Create video content frequently and always publish it to your website where it will help boost traffic.

Finally, don’t forget important technical optimization steps like title tags, keywords in descriptions, choosing appropriate thumbnail images, and responding to comments to drive engagement.

We know that brand storytelling is one of the most effective ways to connect with consumers, develop your brand personality, and get your audiences engaged. Vlogs (or video blogs) are a great vehicle for telling those stories.

They position the creator or brand as the main character, telling the story of topics, events, and experiences from their perspective and helping consumers get a better understanding of who they are.

Vlogs are another tactic that influencers have already perfected — you can find vlogs on just about any topic from parenting to sports to pet care to travel (you name it). They’ve upped the ante for traditional bloggers in a world where even great text-only narratives aren’t enough to keep audiences coming back for more.

And it’s not just text that vlogs are outperforming. According to Think with Google, travel vlogs get 4x more social engagement than any other type of travel content on YouTube.

But research also shows that the overwhelming majority of vlog content is published by individual creators, meaning it’s time for brands to get on board with this video marketing trend. Vlogs are a great opportunity to create a human connection between your team members and your audience, showcase your brand personality, and keep consumers coming back for more of your content.

Social Media Stories

Like vlogs, social media stories show a brand’s personality and create a more personal connection than other video content. But social media stories aren’t exactly the same.

Mainly, they’re meant to be more casual. If vlogs are an edited version of your brand’s overarching tale, social media stories are the day to day outtakes that don’t belong in the final version (but that everyone still wants to see).

Social media stories also offer tons of ways to get interactive with your consumers. Use the questions feature on Instagram to do Q&A with your audience. Post polls to get their input on products and ideas.

Ask customers to tag you in their own stories so you can share the ways they’re wearing or using your products. These are just a few examples!

Check out these brands who are already doing social media stories really well.

AR/VR Videos

AR and VR content has been around for awhile, but it’s finally finding its way into mainstream video marketing as technology becomes more accessible and consumers demand increasingly interactive content. Looking to the future, brands need to be ready to incorporate it into their video marketing strategies as traditional video may not always be enough.

The pandemic has accelerated the growth of AR and VR as brands across industries used it to create virtual experiences. Retail stores offered virtual “try before you buy,” healthcare providers used AR and VR for self-guided diagnostics, and educators kept students engaged with AR- and VR-powered games and activities.

Just like with live video, our view on what kinds of experiences can be virtual has transformed over the past year and a half, and consumers will be unlikely to want to give up the convenience and accessibility these virtual options provide. AR and VR may never totally replace the in-person experience, but they’re definitely here to stay as a key tactic for video marketers.

Silent Videos

Marketers today are creating videos specifically to be watched silently. Sounds crazy, right? Isn’t the whole point of a video to have image and sound? Not anymore.

A whopping 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound. In fact, 80% of consumers report that they have a negative reaction when an ad plays a loud sound unexpectedly. People are watching videos on their smartphones everywhere they go — in crowded waiting rooms, on public transportation, in classrooms, and even in meetings (let’s be honest).

This means that if you want people to stick around and watch your content, you need to optimize it for silent viewing. The good news is that most of the time, all it takes is the addition of closed captions to keep people engaged. People watch captioned ads for 12% longer on average than videos without captions. A quick fix!

User-Generated Content

Consumers overwhelmingly trust user-generated content more than branded content. In fact, 85% think UGC is more trustworthy and nearly 70% find it more authentic and appealing.

Rather than fight against the trend, you can partner with satisfied customers to have them act as brand advocates. Customers can generate video content on their own social channels and you can reshare it to give it more visibility.

Over time, this user-generated content builds consumer trust and influences purchase decisions. And finding brand advocates can be easy with the right approach! Offering incentives, working with influencers, creating referral programs, and simply asking are all ways to get satisfied customers on board with sharing stories and videos about their positive experiences with your brand.

Create Compelling Content to Support Your Video Strategy

Videos are one of the most important pieces of a strong marketing strategy for 2022 and well into the future — but video can’t do it alone. Brands need a strong comprehensive marketing strategy and compelling content to drive results.

Our team has writers and experienced marketing professionals who can help you build a strategy and deliver optimized, ready-to-publish content every single week.

Ready to get started? Check out our Content Builder Services or schedule a free consultation today.

Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month with Sandra Obregon, Marketing and Media Strategist at KENS5 – TEGNA

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At TEGNA, we are proud of our diverse and inclusive culture, where all employees are encouraged to be their authentic selves. For Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re honoring the culture and contributions of #TeamTEGNA’s Hispanic and Latino Americans. Today, we’re celebrating Sandra Obregon, Marketing and Media Strategist at KENS5 in San Antonio.  

Then: Talk about your career path, how you got to where you are today at TEGNA. 

My career path came to be by chance or fate, however, you’d like to see it. It was 1995 and I was a Freshman at San Antonio College, majoring in Bilingual Education. One day, a job posting for “Bilingual Administrative Assistant” came through our department, and I thought “I am perfectly bilingual, and I know how to type, I am a Bilingual Administrative Assistant!” That move would change my life. I was 20 years old and hired on the spot at Sosa, Bromley, Aguilar & Associates (SBA&A), the first and top Multi-Cultural Marketing firm in the country.  

My job at SBA&A lasted until I was laid off during the 2008 recession. As icing on the cake, advertising budgets are the first to go, and multi-cultural budgets even faster!  

 I soon realized it was a blessing in disguise. I’ve made millions for others, it’s time to make them for me! I joined forces with other senior execs that were laid off and created Emprendedora – a virtual multi-cultural marketing collaborative. Emprendedora grew from $0 to $2 million in less than six months and continued the growth over 10 years. Attributing our success to the collaborative partnerships and recognizing the value of this approach to the international economy, Texas Governor Greg Abbott named Emprendedora “Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year” during the Texas Wide Open for Business Inaugural Governor’s Business Forum in 2016. 

Now: What is your current role at TEGNA?   

After owning my business for 10 years, in 2018 a unique position presented itself at KENS 5 here in San Antonio that I could not resist. Why was unique? My role did not exist at any other competitor, and in addition to TEGNA’s television, radio, and digital assets, in San Antonio, we also represent Spanish-language TV partner, Estrella TV. As Marketing & Media Strategist for the sales department, I am responsible for helping our teams not just sell, but sell smarter. 

My Halo Moment: What was the most rewarding project you’ve worked on at TEGNA?   

I am not responsible for specific projects. I am involved at different levels in pre-sale, prospecting, post-sale, sales strategy, and training. EVERY TIME someone sells, I know I have made an impact.  

Good Company: What does being in good company mean to you?   

Coming back to corporate America was a big leap in my career. When my family asked me why I chose KENS 5, I would always say “por que son buena gente.” That means “good people” in Spanish. I was ecstatic when we launched the Be in Good Company branding campaign! 

Note to Self: What advice would you give yourself looking back on earlier days in your career?   

I would change nothing. Everything I have experienced in the last 25+ years has been a lesson.  

Tangible & Emotional Intelligence: What advice would you give to someone looking to work in media/sales/marketing?   

PRIDE: Why is Hispanic Heritage Month important to you?   

It makes me proud to share my culture with you! 

Digital Marketing for you advertising campaign

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Digital marketing is advertising and promotion on digital media. This means digital communications, both online and offline.

Digital advertising excludes ads in the print media, on television or on billboards. But if a billboard displays a QR code, allowing you to go to a company’s website, then this can be considered digital marketing. The essence of such marketing is the use of digital channels. Of course, SMS constitute digital marketing.

Digital marketing is ubiquitous. It has long overshadowed traditional advertising. And with the growth and development of technology, its influence will only increase.

Therefore, the more digital channels you use in order to attract potential buyers, the stronger the effect can be.

The most commonly used areas of digital marketing are:

Not all companies are able to use all of these tools, due to resource constraints. However, this is not necessary. The choice of the right tools depends on business objectives and the preferences of your target audience.

Most companies already appreciate the benefits of digital marketing. Let’s go through the most obvious ones.

Measurability. One of the advantages is that efficiency is very easy to track. All clicks, conversions, and other data are collected automatically. At any time you can view all the data that interests you.

Of course, doubts may arise about how to assess the efficiency of an SMS campaign, because SMS lacks the clear analytical systems available for the likes of contextual advertising. However, here you can also follow the statistics. For example, in an Intis Telecom personal account, you can view all the necessary statistics about your SMS mail-outs. You can read about other methods of analysing mass messages in our article.

Speed. Digital tools make it possible to instantly reach several thousand potential clients with just one ad. In addition, you can quickly collect and analyse a huge amount of data regarding their reactions.

Versatility. Digital marketing has very flexible settings that allow you to customise your campaign to make it work effectively with the target audience. By paying for fewer, better targeted ads,you can reduce costs.

For example, in your account on the Intis Telecom platform, you can create several templates for SMS campaigns with unique settings for specific audiences and launch them whenever you need.

Wide coverage. Today, millions of people are addicted to digital technology. For example, we get most of our information with the help of gadgets. Not only do we receive news from them, but we also relax, socialise and do many other different things. More and more companies receive most of their orders through digital devices.

Choose the areas of digital marketing you will use wisely. Determine what will be best for your business. Then advertising will be effective and bring success.

Be Spam Compliant: Best Practices for Australian SMS Marketing | Burst SMS Blog

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Unsolicited spam is a guaranteed way to get on your customer’s off-side. When it comes to SMS marketing – don’t be that business.

Australian spam laws and data regulations outline how you can send SMS within these guidelines. Keep your customers happy and create a mutually beneficial and respectful relationship.

If you send marketing SMS messages or someone else does on your behalf – it’s sensible to school yourself on spam laws. We’ve done the hard work for you, so here’s a get-me-up-to-speed-on-spam summary.

If you want to go straight to the source, you can read the Spam Act 2003 and Spam Regulations instead.

Permission parameters

When your business uses SMS marketing in Australia, you need to have permission from the recipient. If someone is sending out messages for you, you still need permission from every individual you intend to text.

Permission comes in two forms: Express and Inferred.

When someone gives express permission, they agree to you sending them SMS marketing. This overt kind of permission is granted by filling in a form, ticking a box online, or giving consent to communication over the phone or in person.

Don’t make the mistake of sending an SMS to ask for permission: this in itself is a marketing message. Have records of when, who and how a customer gives express permission because under the Act – it’s on you to produce proof of permission.

Inferred permission to send bulk SMS marketing is less direct. When the recipient deliberately and directly supplies their address, it’s rational to conclude they’re prepared to receive text marketing. This indirect permission is also assumed when a customer has a continuing relationship with your business and marketing. This could be if they have a subscription to your service or a customer account with you. Note – this doesn’t include transactional messages post-purchase.

Always Identify Yourself

Always make yourself known as the sender. You must always ID your name or business name in your message. If anyone is sending SMS marketing messages on your behalf, they must still ID you as the authorising business with the correct legal name of your business, or your name and Australian Business Number (ABN).

COVID-19 Contact-tracing info and ID

If your business is collecting customer records, like phone numbers or email addresses for COVID-19 contact tracing – you can’t use these details in SMS marketing. Significant fines apply for the misuse of this data.

Always allow unsubscribe

Make your unsubscribe function easy, obvious and accessible. You don’t want people to feel forced into staying on your SMS list, and besides – it’s illegal. Under the Spam Act, every marketing message your business sends must include an ‘unsubscribe’ option.

So what makes your ‘unsubscribe’ legit? It must have clear instructions and honour any unsubscribe request within five working days, without any payment fees. It can’t cost more than a standard text, and the number needs to be serviceable for at least 30 days after sending your SMS. Lastly – no soliciting personal info or asking customers to create or log in to an account to unsubscribe.

The no-harvest clause

Using a supply list generated by address-harvesting software is also a no-no. As is using or supplying address-harvesting software itself. Don’t assist others in breaking the rules, either. If you do make a mistake and break a spam rule, own up to it. That way, you can try to remedy it, and when your case is reviewed, it may be resolved with no recourse.

SPAM Exemptions

Certain organisations are exempt from SPAM law in Australia. These include:

We support responsible sending

Our SMS service has features geared towards compliance, automated to lessen your load. The Burst platform is built to ensure your marketing messages are spam compliant.

Our online platform will auto-add ‘Opt-out reply STOP’ to your messages when you create a campaign. If the sender ID you’re messaging from contains a word (alpha-numeric), Burst adds an automatically-generated unique unsubscribe link.

Save more time with automatic management of all opt-out requests. Streamline your next campaign; Burst SMS will automatically exclude opt-outs, so you can take that off your manual to-do list.

We are also ISO 27001 certified and have 100% Australian data sovereignty; rest assured– when you gather information from your customers and prospects – their data is safe with us. We confirm the safety and whereabouts of your data and simplify data compliance requirements.

Spam regulations are serious. Burst SMS makes it easy to send responsibly.

Start with a free 14 day trial. No credit card, no obligations
Start with a free 14 day trial. No credit card, no obligations

Multi-Level Marketing Companies And The Disinformation They Sell | On Point

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I was nannying here and there, but other than that, it was really hard for me to work outside of the house with his schedule. So I thought, if this is my friend and I know her personally and she’s making money with it, then I might as well give it a shot because I can’t work outside of the house really anyway.  I was like, all right, let’s do this. I’m going to do whatever it takes. I did research on how to be successful.

I think the difference in my story and other people’s stories when they were in MLMs is that the majority of people we know lose money. But the difference with me was that I was bringing in more money than I could have ever imagined bringing in with a regular job. And so that was a large part of me … sticking it out. Because I thought if I’m making this amount of money, other people can, too.

I saw red flags along the way. But when you’re surrounded by everyone who believes the same thing, you’re taught to turn off that voice inside your head that it’s telling you these are red flags, you need to run away.

We didn’t actually have to, like, carry an inventory, which is one of their big selling points. However, with that being said, we were highly encouraged to keep product on hand in case someone wanted to buy it off hand or to show that you were using the products. And a lot of leaders wouldn’t even speak to someone beneath them if they weren’t running their monthly auto shipment.

The compensation plan was structured in such a way that if you weren’t maintaining ranks, you weren’t getting bonuses and you weren’t making a significant income. So a lot of people had a huge incentive at the end of the month to buy a bulk order of products in order to maintain that rank so that their paycheck wasn’t cut in half the next month.

The biggest thing with the products is that they’re all made out to be a quick fix. I have a before and after photo that is floating around, it works because I did have good results with the products. But the problem with it is that they are leaving out huge details about my weight loss. So in the before photo, I had just had my daughter. And I had two babies in two years.

And I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I had an eating disorder in the photos that are circulating of me right now. But I would say that there were times that I went a little more hungry than I should have or I worked out far too much, you know, just to have those before and after photos to show people that my products are working.

My husband was deploying. And at the time I had, I think, a two and three year old. And so the months leading up to his deployment, I just wanted to spend with my family. I didn’t get on any of our team calls, which we had one weekly. And so my husband ended up leaving.

I was talking to my upline shortly after. She had called to do like a check in on me and just say, how are things going? And at that point it was very fresh and new, him leaving. So I was a wreck. I was just crying. I was like, I don’t know how I’m going to do this.

And then at the end of the call, she just said, OK, well, I just wanted to let you know that I have removed you as a leader in our team page because we need someone who’s going to lead by example. And you’re not doing that right now.

Everything that someone above me said was taken as fact.

[ARCHIVAL TAPE] It Works promo video: “It always works. Everything about our company works. The compensation plan works. The people work, we work, the products, all of the above. I love this company.”

So even if I truly in my heart believed that it wasn’t true, I had to portray it in a way that it was true for my team. And then once you do that so much, you start to believe it yourself.

[ARCHIVAL TAPE] It Works promo video: “The biggest obstacle everybody needs to overcome is your belief in yourself.”

MLMs would not exist if they weren’t able to tell any lies at all.

Interview Highlights

What are MLMs?

Amanda Montell: “MLMs, which stands for multi-level marketing, also known as relationship marketing, direct sales, I often refer to them as the legally loopholed fraternal twin of the pyramid scheme. They are these pay-and-recruit organizations powered not by salaried employees, but by coaches, affiliates, distributors, international business owners, whatever sort of euphemistic label the organization chooses for its recruits who are lured in with the promise of this amazing opportunity to become a ‘mompreneur.’

“As often non-working wives and mothers are the target for most of these MLMs, they can earn a full-time living with part-time work. All they have to do is pay a buy-in fee and then meet certain monthly quotas. … They need to unload product. It doesn’t matter on who, they could buy it up themselves. And they also need to recruit their friends and family to become sellers themselves.

“The problem is that when you have so many people constantly recruiting, recruiting and recruiting, the market floods exponentially with the dearth of too many sellers. And you find a very small group at the top of this pyramid shape that are making money at the expense of a screwed over mass at the base.”

How are MLMs today different from MLMs of the past, such as Amway or Mary Kay?

Amanda Montell: “MLMs are expert rebranders. And so while groups like Amway and Mary Kay and Tupperware, their sellers were the sort of Suzy Homemaker type that you might picture in the ’40s and ’50s when MLMs were promised to be the best thing that happened to women since they got the vote.

“Now, MLMs exploit the sort of Pinterest feminism and natural, holistic, organic proclivities of a younger audience. MLMs will have chicer, updated packaging. They will use language like Girl Boss, Boss Babe, Fempire, SheEO. They’ll capitalize on whatever trendy pseudo-feminist buzzwords are resonating with people at the time.”

On the ‘cultish’ behavior behind MLMs like LuLaRoe

Amanda Montell: “There was a lot of language at play here that made the company so much more than a company and so much more than a scam. So MLMs are not just your average financial scam. They are these complex and life consuming organizations with a language and a culture of their own. They have these strong and pervasive ideologies that are missionary in character. And they have these founding leaders that that recruits come to worship on the level of a spiritual guru.

“These leaders are thought to be all-knowing, charismatic, enlightened. And there are measures in place to make sure that you do not question them. Everyone in the company is uplifted with labels to make them feel like they’re superior to everyone else in the economy. And there are labels there to lambast everyone who’s not involved with the business.

“In fact, recruits are encouraged to either get people they know involved or sniff them out of their life. So incredibly co-dependent relationships form within these groups, especially because financially you’re depending on the selling and recruiting of everybody above and below you. So under that type of pressure, things can get quite cultish.”

On how MLMs can spread conspiracy theories

Amanda Montell:“Think of a Venn diagram with MLMs in one circle. Anti-vaxers, wellness warriors, new agers in another circle. And classic conspiracy theorists, say QAnoners, flat-Earthers, Holocaust deniers and the like in the third circle. The convergence there is a deep mistrust of mainstream institutions. Whether that’s bureaucratic business, the mainstream media, the government, the health care system. During times of social crisis and turbulence — and I think we’re in one of those times right now — alternative affiliations tend to spike.

“We saw that in the late ’60s and ’70s with the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement, the Kennedy assassinations. And now with so much ideological separation and political turbulence, the pandemic and certainly the internet, there is now a cult for everyone. And if you’ve lost trust in these mainstream institutions, if you’ve internalized a message of sovereignty — the idea that you should take your own health, your own life, your own career into your own hands — you’re going to be able to find others who believe the same.”

On solutions to stop the spread of disinformation from MLMs

Amanda Montell: “MLMs are legally loopholed because of a precedent-setting case involving Amway from a few decades ago. The government is incentivized to keep their ties with the direct selling association because they have very strong political ties and donate handsomely to mostly Republican presidential candidates coffers. So there is this sort of toxic symbiosis between the direct selling association and the government there.

“The government is not really motivated to completely shut down the direct selling association or MLMs in general because they benefit from the industry. I also want to comment on the commenter from before that not every MLM will employ equally cultish tactics. However, the direct selling association in general is its own sort of pyramid scheme.

“Because let’s say you get involved with one MLM and it doesn’t work for you. Odds are the pattern shows that you’re going to get involved with another one. That’s what a lot of people do. And just because one given MLM may not have negatively affected you, it doesn’t mean it didn’t negatively affect lots of other people. I often like to make an analogy to toxic one-on-one relationships, abusive relationships. You can have a very good relationship with someone who used to abuse other people. So it’s all about perspective.”

From The Reading List

Bustle: “LuLaRoe Isn’t Just A Scam — It’s A Cult” — “I first learned of the ‘leggings cult’ in the small hours of a 2017 winter morning. I was approaching the event horizon of a Facebook black hole when I came across a post that sent shivers down my spine: my former high school English teacher was trying to shill a scam to her hundreds of digital ‘friends.'”

BuzzFeed News: “Gen Z Moms Are Building Their Brands Around QAnon” — “Last June, Alexis, a 23-year-old mother of two from Tennessee, created an Instagram account aimed at sharing the bogus narratives tied to QAnon, which she had recently discovered.”

How to Secure Longer Marketing Clients by Using Retainers – DigitalMarketer

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Freelancers and agencies fall into the one-time project trap all the time. They work with clients on smaller projects for a few weeks or a month, and then move on to the next client. This puts them in a perpetual sales cycle without a dollar of predictable income.

The outcome leads to a stressed founder and management team, who are all unsure of where their next paycheck will come from.

If this is where your freelance business or agency is right now—there is a solution. It’s called retainer contracts and they’re about to become your new best friend.

What is a Retainer?

A retainer contract is an agreement between client and company that you’ll perform specific services for a set rate each month. For example, your content marketing agency could provide 8 articles per month, distribution, and splintered content for $13,500 a month. 

These contracts can either be on a month-to-month basis or go for an agreed-upon amount of time. For example, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, or even more.

With retainer contracts, you’ll know how much revenue you’re making from clients each month and (if you’re smart enough to make multi-month contracts) how much you’re making in the near future. For freelancers and agency owners, the predictability you’re seeking comes from these retainer contracts.

But, how can you secure these retainers so you can shift out of perpetual sales mode?

Securing Retainers 101

Retainers are intimidating. If you’ve never asked clients to sign on to a retainer, it’s easy to think they’re going to say no. Of course, they’d rather have their services a la carte—right? Well, that’s actually not the case at all. Clients are happy to sign on to retainers they feel confident in. It helps them solve the problem they’re currently facing (like a struggle with content marketing).

Here are a few tips for securing retainer contracts so you can go into your next contract discussion with confidence.

Only Offer Your Services in Varying Retainer Packages

To get out of the perpetual sales cycle of one-time projects, you can package your services into retainer contracts. Take out all of your one-time project packages and only allow your current and future clients to work with you in retainers. This can feel scary at first and like you’re going to lose out on business, but a few months into only working with retainer clients and you’ll never look back.

Your retainer packages could look like:

Freelance Facebook Marketer: 6 months of Facebook Ads (included: strategy, ad creative, data and analytics, benchmark goals, consulting).

SEO Marketing Agency: 1 year of SEO services (included: 8x SEO articles per month, 4x SEO pillar posts per month, 50x backlinks per month).

Freelance Email Marketer: 6 months of email marketing (included: 2x weekly newsletters, campaign and offer creation, 2x campaigns per month, data and analytics, benchmark goals, consulting).

It feels like a big ask to get clients to sign up for a 6+ month contract, but the reality is you’re helping them. One month of email strategy isn’t going to get the results they’re hoping for. You need at least 6 months to retrain their list to be interested in their emails and to get the conversions they’re hoping for. 

Offering your services in retainer packages gets your clients better results than if you’re just offering one-time services.

Create a 6+ Month Retainer Package

If you’re not ready to just offer retainers, then set up one retainer package to sell to your current and new clients. In this case, they can either choose from your one-time services or sign on to your retainer package that lasts for a minimum of 6 months.

For example, your one-time service could be 4x consulting calls regarding Facebook advertising. Your retainer contract could be 6 months of Facebook Ads. From the example above, you could include: strategy, ad creative, data and analytics, benchmark goals, consulting).

Or your content marketing agency could write 8 articles for clients as a one-time service. The retainer option would be 4x articles per month for 6 months, including distribution, data and analytics, and benchmark goals for traffic and conversions.

Clients who are just looking for writing help, and have the bandwidth to handle the distribution on their own, will happily sign on for those 8 articles. But, clients who aren’t seeing the traffic and conversions from their in-house content marketing strategy will see your retainer contract as the light at the end of the tunnel.

Create at least one 6+ month retainer package as an option for your clients to choose from.

Explain How Your Strategy Works Best Within a Set Time Frame

Time to put your marketing skills to work. Your clients need to know why working with you for a longer period of time, and giving you more money, is worth it. Luckily, you’re a marketer and you know how to present this information to them.

For example, you can let them know that you can write 8 articles for them but if they’re not strategically distributing those articles—it’ll be tough to get the traffic and conversions they’re looking for. Working with your agency will get them more traffic and conversions through your distribution strategy…which leads to more money in their pocket.

Here’s what you’ll need as your selling points:

The reality is that your clients are better off in retainer contracts than in one-time projects. It’s your job as a marketer to show them this in a way they can understand. Especially if you’re working with companies who don’t have experience outsourcing part, or all, of their marketing strategy. 

Explaining how your strategy works within the set time frame of your package will show your clients why the retainer is the best option.

Offer a One-Month Test Period Clause in Your Retainer Agreements

If you find that clients are consistently hesitant to sign retainers, you can offer them a one-month test period. They’ll still sign the retainer agreement, but you’ll have a clause that allows them to end the agreement, at no cost, within 4 weeks of working together if they’re not happy with their results or experience.

This can help clients feel more comfortable outsourcing their marketing to your freelancing business or agency since it gives them a safe out if they don’t get what was promised. Make sure to be clear about what they can expect in that one-month test period in deliverables and results for the lowest churn rate.

For example, a Facebook marketer or agency can let them know that you’ll create 10 ad sets for them, explain the goals of each ad set is, and estimate what conversions to expect. This keeps you accountable to handing in those deliverables (or in this case publishing them to Facebook) and getting preliminary results that can help the client see why continuing to work with you is a good idea.

Remember, this one-month test period is an option. You don’t *have* to put this into your retainer contracts. But, if it makes you feel more confident in offering your initial retainers or you find that clients are easier to convert with this clause, then feel free to use it at your own discretion.

One-month test periods help clients feel at ease about signing a long-term, expensive retainer contract.

Secure Longer Marketing Contracts with Retainers

Retainer contracts will become your best friend. Once you’ve had a few clients sign those beautiful pieces of paper, you’ll realize why all agencies move towards retainer agreements.

Use these tips to secure your first retainer contracts, so you can stop worrying about where your next paycheck is coming from and, for the first time, be able to know how much money your freelancing business or agency is on track to make.

#1: Only offer your services in varying retainer packages

#2: Create a 6+ month retainer package

#3: Explain how your strategy works best within a set time frame

#4: Offer a one-month test period clause in your retainer agreements

Use retainer contracts to take your freelancing business or marketing agency towards six figures and tap into the knowledge bank inside DigitalMarketer Lab to keep growing your business. DigitalMarketer Lab houses Insider Trainings, Workshops, Playbooks, and Certifications used by Uber, Shopify, and Harper Collins.