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Content Marketing for Agencies and Marketing Service Providers

Making Content Marketing Work

Content marketing. Every marketer has an opinion on it. Some say it’s the future of marketing. Some say it doesn’t work. Others see it as the necessary but largely useless filler for any sales-oriented campaign. But what is the truth?

If a company doesn’t do its content right, any of the above could be true. The old formula of good content = good results is no longer applicable. In a marketing world where every company from your neighborhood lemonade stand to Microsoft has a company blog, simply writing an attractive and informative piece does not guarantee readership. In order to really stand out, marketers must combine good content pieces with cutting edge distribution, whether through well-timed drip campaigns, lead nurture campaigns, or social media. Thus, the new content marketing strategy is this: great content + smart distribution = great results.

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But before examining the future of content marketing, let’s look at content marketing right now. It is well known that agencies are the best option when it comes to content marketing due to their creative expertise, industry insights, and manpower, and in the past few years, content marketing has very rapidly become a key tool for these marketing agencies representing clients in any industry. Content marketing is a very effective branding tool, and it allows a company to interact with potential clients outside the realm of sales. The money behind content marketing is a testament to its success: companies spent $43.9 million on content marketing last year, and 61% of marketers use content weekly in their campaigns (Social Media Explorer). What these numbers really mean is simple: content marketing is everywhere, so agencies and businesses must stay ahead of the curve to stand out.

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Cutting Edge Content Marketing for Agencies and Marketing Service Providers

Traditionally, agencies and MSP’s have viewed content marketing as separate from more direct, sales-oriented marketing efforts. The Internet is full of sites and blogs dedicated to content marketing strategies, but the reality is that a “content marketing strategy” can never stand alone. Content marketing must instead be a piece of a broader marketing strategy, not a separate entity with its own niche strategy. By redefining content marketing as a tool rather than a strategy, marketers are able to distribute content in far more innovative ways. Content is excellent as a compliment to traditional marketing techniques in any sort of campaign.

The goal of any marketing agency or MSP is to represent and improve its clients’ chosen brand image while visibly increasing revenue from sales. Content marketing, as mentioned earlier, is an easy and inexpensive way to develop a consumer’s brand image, but with so much content already out there, it can be difficult for a business to see much tangible value in incorporating content into their marketing strategies. This is the reason why so many businesses turn to agencies to run marketing operations.   They know that agencies have the expertise, creative resources, and industry insights to find a good balance between effective branding and sales revenue. Screen Shot 2014 11 20 at 11.29.33 PM 300x144 Content Marketing for Agencies and Marketing Service ProvidersThus, the agencies that are best able to integrate content marketing with traditional marketing techniques see the best results and the largest revenue streams. This process of combining many marketing techniques across several marketing channels with the goal of touching the consumer in many places at the same time is known as media convergence. Media convergence is a great concept that offers an innovative way to distribute content, but its implementation can be difficult without the proper tactics.

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Content Marketing and Cross Channel Marketing Automation

The best solution to the media convergence implementation dilemma is marketing automation. Marketing automation is software that allows an agency or business to carefully plan and monitor marketing campaigns while simultaneously allowing that campaign to effectively run itself. The clever insertion of content into automated campaigns is excellent for maintaining contact with interested customers who are not yet ready to buy, as well as developing and strengthening brand image with previous customers. To better illustrate this type of campaign, consider the sample campaign below:

 

A Sample Campaign

The Prancing Pony Steakhouse, a small restaurant chain, has always produced its own content on a blog and distributed it via email, with goals of driving more “special occasion” loyalty for events like birthdays, anniversaries and holidays.   They also hope to develop deeper customer profiles to learn what types of events (cooking classes, wine tastings, etc) their clientele responds best to. After years of unimpressive results from these efforts, the chain’s marketing team decides to contract an agency with experience in building content strategies that use marketing automation to manage & distribute the content for help. The agency, seeing the high quantity content but lackluster results, decides to implement a cross channel, media convergence campaign using a mix of content and traditional marketing techniques. Using a list of past customers compiled by the chain over many years, the agency plans a scheduled drip campaign. Using their marketing automation software, they schedule a series of drips, as well as sets trigger campaigns to go off when a past customer clicks through an email or fills out a landing page form. The opening drip will be sent via mail – the least expensive channel. It will be a newsletter containing interesting and appealing content pieces about the food’s sustainability and healthiness. The email will include a personalized link to a microsite, allowing a given consumer the option to learn more if he so chooses. This content will be developed according to the content strategy and content map that the agency and brand marketers developed.  They will build it from some content internally generated by the brand’s marketers and leadership team, and thought leadership pieces developed by the agency.  Here the agency will use its combination of staff writers and outsourced freelancers who specialize in developing re-usable, web friendly content.  Since the agency has invested in a marketing automation platform designed to accommodate each of its clients, the automation strategy becomes an inherent component of the entire content development process, and the automated campaigns are planned out well in advance.

After the first drip, the automated campaign will have two possible paths. One is the triggered lead nurture campaign, which automatically starts when a customer accesses the microsite from the email. This extra interest designates certain consumers as leads, and initiates a campaign that more directly tries to persuade consumers to stop by for a meal. The second option is a continuation of the drip campaign.   Consumers will continue to receive helpful and interesting content pieces through both email and direct mail, with an occasionally mixed in offer or explicit advertisement. As with the very first drip, when a prospective customer shows interest, she will trigger a personalized lead nurture campaign designed to get her into the restaurant. At the conclusion of the campaign, the chain will have successfully filled its tables through the more effective use of content marketing and marketing automation. To learn more about content marketing in the restaurant industry, click here.

Screen Shot 2014 11 20 at 11.45.27 PM 300x270 Content Marketing for Agencies and Marketing Service ProvidersThis campaign structure allows a business to maintain contact and develop its brand presence with a consumer whether or not the consumer is ready to buy. The slow stream of engaging content will quietly stay in touch with consumers until they reach a high enough interest level to trigger lead nurture campaigns. In turn, the lead nurture campaigns will use their more sales-oriented tone to finally convince consumers to buy. Using content in this way is the most effective means of continued customer engagement, and agencies and MSP’s utilizing marketing automation realize this. And the best part for the agencies is that once the content is written and the drips are scheduled, the network of interrelated campaigns very literally runs itself. Agencies and marketing service providers that can capitalize on this strategy, particularly within the burgeoning small business content marketing space, will see significant revenue increases in coming years.

 

Boingnet’s Role

And this is where Boingnet comes in. Boingnet is the leading lightweight marketing automation software provider to agencies, marketing service providers and small businesses. Our software combines drip marketing and lead nurturing with landing pages, microsites and direct mail integration into one easy to use platform – perfect for distributing content marketing pieces in cross channel content campaigns.   Boingnet gives agencies and small enterprises the ability to run highly effective, responsive, and personalized campaigns without any help from IT. And on top of all that, our product is extremely affordable. We designed this product for small to mid-sized businesses and their agencies, so we priced it for them too. We are confident that our product is the superior marketing platform for SMBs and their marketing agencies, and we invite you to try our free 60 day trial below.

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DMA 14 – Boingnet Wrap Up

DMA 14 – Lightweight Marketing Automation was a hit!

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On October 25th, the Boingnet Team headed to San Diego for the annual DMA 14 marketing conference. Our team was especially looking forward to the event and the opportunity to connect with businesses from around the world (and enjoy some nice San Diego weather!). The conference was very successful, as the DMA membership really connected with our lightweight marketing automation platform, and our booth was one of the most visited at the conference. Here are all the details about Boingnet at the 2014 DMA.

Why Lightweight Marketing Automation & A Fun Booth = Success

Each of the four days were very busy on the trade-show floor as our team took turns talking to prospects and showing demos of our product.  Many people were intrigued buy our tagline “lightweight marketing automation” and were eager to learn about what makes our platform different from other marketing automation companies. When we explained that “Lightweight” means easy to use, fast to set up and affordable for both small businesses and agencies, we got a record number of requests for demonstrations. The audience enjoyed our fun animated videos describing Boingnet and how it works for SMB’s and agencies with our unique white label solution. Everyone noticed that this years audience was more attuned to how marketing technology is critical part of the marketing landscape, which allowed us to better to connect with new leads.

Since our famous Boingnet Ping-Pong balls were a hit at last year’s DMA conference in Chicago, this year we upped the creativity with our take on a beer pong game. And everyone loved it. People that played the game were entered into our GoPro giveaway and sparked a conversation about our marketing platform. Not only was our booth busy the entire day (we didn’t even have time to eat!) but also our team had a blast connecting with prospects. On the last day of the conference, we announced Joseph D’Amato from Gartner as our winner of our GoPro Giveaway. Since he said that if he won he would be his kid’s hero, we were a little extra excited that he won our random drawing. There’s no doubt that marketers like to have fun. Combine a fun booth with a great tagline & product, and you get DMA 14 success.

 Boingnet Product Launch – A Bounce in A New Direction

The most important part of our DMA 14 efforts was the groundbreaking launch of our new marketing automation platform. Our new features are built for SMB’s and Agencies to easily capture, nurture and convert leads across multiple channels. The new Boingnet Drip Nurture Campaigns combine drip marketing with lead nurturing capabilities to ensure more and better qualified leads throughout the sales process. What makes our platform unique is that it is lightweight, meaning it is easy, fast and affordable. At the DMA 14, prospective customers were excited to see a lightweight marketing solution that actually works for SMBs and Agencies, unlike other larger and expensive marketing automation platforms. We understand that marketers today want to simplify the marketing/sales process, and that’s exactly what our updated platform does. Our team successfully launched Boingnet’s new features at the conference and it was exciting to see SMBs and Agencies intrigued by our updated platform.

Thoughts about DMA 14 – From The Team

Here’s what the Boingnet Team had to say about their experience at the DMA 14.

“Attending My First DMA Conference in San Diego this year was a great experience – even though I felt a bit guilty hanging on every word of Magic Johnson’s Keynote speech! Our team met a lot of promising business partners that will help strengthen and grow our network.” Chas Rubino 

 

“The highlight for me was meeting so many people that expressed interest in learning more about our story. When we’d spend a minute talking about what Lightweight Marketing Automation means, I found that the universal response was an enthusiastic “Right On.” It seems as though there’s a real hunger out there for the power of marketing automation to be delivered in a package that is easy, fast and affordable to implement.”   Dennis Kelly 

 

“This year’s DMA was especially exciting with the release of our Drip Nurture Campaigns. It was great to connect with SMBs and Agencies that were searching for a marketing platform that can successfully target and nurture leads. Our cross channel platform uses revolutionary drip technology with nurture capabilities to convert those leads into happy, loyal customers.”  Alec Graziano 

 

Looking Ahead – What To Expect From Boingnet 

As we look forward to the upcoming months, Boingnet is entering an exciting new growth phase. We’ve been working really hard at building out our vision of Lightweight Marketing Automation, and much of the core componentry is in place. The DMA 14 conference reaffirmed that businesses are looking for a platform that is cost effective, easy to use and drives sales. As we roll into 2015, expect to see amazing new ways for marketers and agencies to generate leads, nurture them and turn them into loyal customers using all different channels and means.

 

 

Drip Marketing With Lead Nurturing- The Dynamic Duo

Drip Marketing with Lead Nurturing – Solving the Marketing/Sales Divide    

 Does this sound familiar:

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“What happened to all those leads we generated for sales?”

How about this:

“Why does marketing keep sending us these junk leads?”

These are complaints plaguing any company struggling to capitalize on its marketing strategies.   Marketing is bound to blame sales and sales is bound to blame marketing, but the reality is that neither is necessarily to blame. The real culprit is the sincere belief that uncultivated, un-nurtured leads are actually prepared to buy anything. Of course, by definition, a lead has shown interest, but in this early stage of the process, the correlation between interest and willingness to buy is very low. In fact, according to Gleanster Research, over 50% of qualified leads are not yet ready to buy. A well-planned, well-timed marketing conversation is necessary to convert that lead into a sale. This process of creating higher quality leads in the hope of increasing sales is called lead nurturing. The best lead nurturing campaigns are usually linked to drip marketing campaigns: automated campaigns (via email, SMS/text, direct mail, or any cross channel combination) that maintain contact with possible consumers according to an organized, pre-scheduled timeframe. The continued contact that drip campaigns offer is great for branding and elevating a product’s visibility. To transition to sales, as soon as a contact becomes a lead (shows interest by opening, clicking, or responding to an ad or marketing piece), the potential customer immediately transitions into a unique lead nurturing campaign. And capitalizing quickly on leads matters: between 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds to a lead first (InsideSales). In this way, lead nurturing campaigns use roughly the same technological premise as drip marketing campaigns, although lead nurturing content is focused only on enhancing lead quality and drip content is geared toward establishing contact.

 

Drip Marketing with Lead Nurturing Work Together

This marketing match made in heaven started out in the B2B world, where combining drip marketing with lead nurturing has quickly taken off. Since much of large B2B marketing revolves around connecting good salespeople with highly qualified leads, this fully automated system of lead enhancement has been a big hit. Screen Shot 2014 10 24 at 4.02.40 PM 234x300 Drip Marketing With Lead Nurturing  The Dynamic DuoWhile large businesses have jumped on the trend of integrated drip marketing with lead nurturing platforms, until recently, the high costs have kept these marketing capabilities out of SMB’s hands. However, with the recent emergence of lightweight marketing automation, SMBs and the agencies that support them now have access to drip marketing with lead nurturing platforms that are affordable and easy to use. The most effective campaigns have proven to be those that use two or three channels: 73% of SMBs using cross channel marketing have seen increased customer engagement (eMarketer “Small Businesses, Non-Profits Stretch Dollars with Multichannel Marketing”). And additional complexity is often not wanted. Agencies catering to SMBs as well as the SMBs handling marketing themselves want above all cost effective, uncomplicated campaigns that show results. Lightweight marketing automation provides just that, as well as the ability to personalize content to the individual consumer. 70% of businesses reported increased response rates and 67% reported increased sales thanks to personalization, (eMarketer, “Content Personalization Roundup” July 2014). Agencies and SMBs using cost effective, user-friendly drip marketing and lead nurturing software have the opportunity to revolutionize the sales process for SMBs.

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A Sample Campaign with Drip Marketing with Lead Nurturing

The Baggins Compact Cars dealership is looking to increase revenue, and notifies its agency that it would like to attract new customers with a new campaign. Screen Shot 2014 08 20 at 10.03.44 AM 300x191 Drip Marketing With Lead Nurturing  The Dynamic DuoThe agency decides to run a cross channel campaign using a combination of drip marketing and lead nurturing. To best engage potential buyers in an unobtrusive way, Baggins’ agency decides to open the campaign with a content marketing piece. The creative team puts together an attractive direct mail piece with a short but fascinating article about why compact cars are the most fuel-efficient cars on the road. The article hints at some interesting data, but leaves the consumer wanting more. For that reason, the agency places a pURL containing the consumer’s full name at the bottom of every direct mail piece alongside a “Keep Reading” header. This will drive many consumers to log into their pURL without any pressure to buy, where they will find a microsite continuing the article and then introducing Baggins Compact Cars. The next step is completely automated, as individuals who view their pURL will automatically receive a carefully planned, triggered lead nurturing email campaign. This campaign will consist of a string of emails over time based each lead’s unique behavior, culminating in a more sales-oriented pitch. For non-openers, the agency will run for Baggins a drip email campaign in the hope of drawing out more leads over time. As soon as a potential customer shows interest in a drip email, his or her response will immediately trigger the aforementioned lead nurturing campaign. As these campaigns continue to run, Baggins Compact Cars will have many new leads ready for a salesperson to contact, and its showrooms will start to fill up once again with customers looking to purchase the newest compact car. To learn more about how marketing agencies can transform the automotive marketing world, click here.

 

Boingnet’s Role The Boingnet Solution: Drip Nurture Campaigns

And this is where Boingnet comes in. Boingnet is the leading lightweight marketing automation software Lead Nurturing 380.380 72 dpi 300x300 Drip Marketing With Lead Nurturing  The Dynamic Duodrip marketing thumbnail 380.380 72 dpi 300x300 Drip Marketing With Lead Nurturing  The Dynamic Duoprovider to both agencies and SMBs. Our software combines drip marketing with lead nurturing into one easy to use platform.   Boingnet gives agencies and SMBs the ability to run highly effective, responsive, and personalized campaigns without any help from IT. To learn more about Boingnet’s drip campaigns click here, and lead nurturing click here. Scheduled drips, triggered lead nurturing campaigns, and much more are all part of the extremely affordable package, and we are confident that our product is the superior marketing platform for SMBs and their marketing agencies. We invite you to try our free 60 day trial below.

Check out Boingnet’s Drip Nurturing Automation –  Register for a 60 Day Free Trial!

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Meet The Boingnet Team: Get to Know Liz

Final Graphic 2  Meet The Boingnet Team: Get to Know Liz Liz Townsend, a Client Success Manager, has been working for Boingnet now for just over 1 year. When Liz isn’t in the office, we can find her riding her bike around the South Shore, cheering at her children’s crew regattas, or spending time with friends and family.

Liz Image 373 X 406 Meet The Boingnet Team: Get to Know Liz

Read more to get to know Liz

Where were you before you started working for Boingnet?

I actually didn’t work for 17 years because I had 3 kids at home. But long before Boingnet, I worked at Epsilon, a marketing services company, as an account manager.

What do you do at Boingnet?

I am a Client Success Manager, so I make sure that our clients learn how to use Boingnet to create and manage their marketing campaigns – whether it be email, or pURL landing pages, or QR codes for direct mail. Most clients have questions when they first get going because there are a lot of big pieces to fit together to create an effective marketing campaign.  There’s a technical aspect to my work but also a marketing aspect. The main part of my job is to help customers learn how to make the most of Boingnet’s functionality – and this includes writing help articles, and creating videos and demos for clients.

How has your position evolved as the company is growing?

Since we have more clients now using our marketing platform and doing more sophisticated things with it, I spend more of my day helping clients and answering their questions. While I still make time to produce help articles and videos, my main focus is to assist clients with Boingnet in order to create their campaigns.

What does an average day for you look like at the office?

The first thing I do is check my email – my day is really defined by how many questions I have from our clients. But I always have a list of things to work on as well as my daily task of assisting clients. Right now I am updating the help articles and videos on creating landing pages and email templates with the new features we just released. But it really varies each day.

Where are we most likely to find you on the weekends?

I like to relax at home with my family.  I also like ride my bike around the South Shore and take my dog Lucky for walks. While I usually travel more in the summer- we’ve been going to Martha’s Vineyard every year for the past 10 or so years- now we travel on the weekends visiting my kids at school and going to their crew regattas.

Other than Martha’s Vineyard, where’s your favorite place you’ve ever traveled to?

I would have to say London. My family had a great vacation there when my kids were going into high school. Not only is the city awesome but my kids were at the perfect age to travel and to really appreciate the sites and the culture of the city. We did so many different things, which was great. We had an amazing bike tour of London, we did the London Eye (which was not my personal favorite), went to museums and saw three different shows. Overall it was a great vacation!

What’s your favorite thing to do in the fall on the South Shore?

My favorite thing is definitely bike riding in Wompatuck State Park in Hingham. It’s beautiful there and it’s nice to take advantage of the great bike paths, especially in the fall.

If you can pick 3 words to describe yourself what would they be?

Dependable- if I tell someone I’m going to do something I won’t forget and never go back on my word. I am also detailed oriented- I make tons of lists and I am always very organized. And lastly, I would have to say I also have a fun side. I love to relax, listen to music and I love to laugh!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received in the working world that you would pass on to someone else?

I would definitely give advice to someone starting our in the working world and encourage them to begin their career at a small company. When I started out, I worked for a small company and I learned so much because I was able to see all aspects of the business within a safe environment. While I had friends that started off at bigger companies, in the end they were only trained for one specific job, while I came out of my first job with more tangible skills.

What’s your favorite thing about working for Boingnet?

I have two favorite things. My first favorite thing is the people. The fact that I can bring my dog Lucky to work when I need to and that everyone just loves him is amazing. My background out of college was as a programmer analyst, then I went back to school and got my MBA in marketing. So working for Boingnet really ties my two interests together.  So, my second favorite thing is that I just love the work that I do- both the technical side and the marketing side. I like that my work is different every day and that I’m always learning.

 

Lucky Meet The Boingnet Team: Get to Know Liz