10 Steps to Get Started with New Media Marketing

, ,

This is the time of year for lists – holiday shopping, family dinners – why not add on one more: Getting started with your 2010 new media marketing agenda!

During 2009, you likely learned about the potential role of social media in your marketing plan. You recognize how the explosive growth of social networking – with tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Viddler, BlogTalkRadio, and YouTube – is fundamentally changing the way your clients learn, evaluate and ultimately make their decisions. You recognize that these web 2.0 tools are an increasingly important influence in the buy-sell process. Buyers seek evidence online to validate decisions and get instant feedback from others by listening and participating in the online conversations.

We work with leading wealth managers and financial advisors who recognize that their clients are using social media and the web to help them evaluate an advisor. The content and professional credentials visible online are an increasingly important part of their decision process.  Successful advisors use their online presence to drive new business. They use blogs, Facebook Groups / Fan Pages and Twitter to engage in the online conversation increasing referrals and attracting new clients.

However, new media marketing is not a panacea. Your online presence and activity won’t replace your existing relationship building activities and the quality work you perform with clients. Your approach to new media marketing should be authentic – engaging in meaningful activities around the quality of your work and personal relationships.  Tackled the right way, a new media marketing approach will further accelerate your growth.

But where do you begin? Which networks should you join? How do you build an online presence? How do you avoid introducing risk with your current brand? What is involved in using social media and inbound marketing techniques day-to-day?  To help you get started, we developed the following checklist. This ten-step plan will guide you in taking positive steps forward in your new media marketing plan. With a thoughtful approach and a committed strategy, you will be rewarded with professional online presence and accelerated growth.

10 Steps to Get Started with New Media Marketing

  1. Define your purpose.  Determine in advance why you are engaging in new media.  Is it for educational purposes or to market your business?  If you don’t have clear intentions, how can you expect to have clear results?
  2. Find your target market. Join the social networking sites which are comprised of your target niche market.  Remember that the most popular social networking sites might not be the sites where your ideal clients visit.  Go to where your potential clients are and don’t just spend time with your peers.
  3. Craft your message. Your audience will only hear bits of pieces of your message at a time, so it is critical that you consistently and frequently broadcast a clear message about who you serve and what you offer. Don’t make your audience guess what you do, make it clear to them.
  4. Gather and create content. Content is king in new media marketing.  Demonstrate your expertise by educating your audience through blogs, articles, videos, or podcasts.  Gather or create useful content to aid you in your new media marketing efforts.
  5. Build your web presence & social media profiles. As you build out your profiles, you will be building a web presence that will give you a footprint beyond your website. This presence will increase your exposure to potential new clients. As you decide to participate in LinkedIn, Facebook, or other networking sites, it is important that you complete your profiles.  A person is likely to only visit your profile once, so make a lasting first impression.
  6. Build your network. The more people you connect with on social networking sites, the more people will see your message.  Make a conscious effort to continually build your connections on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and other networks you are targeting.
  7. Promote your profiles and cross connect. Let people know you are on the various social networking sites by promoting links on your website and email signature.  This will help you organically grow your network. The more sites where you connect with someone, the stronger your relationship will become.  Where it makes sense, find and connect with contacts across multiple social media sites.
  8. Build an inbound strategy. Craft a strategy for your own website and your email/newsletter marketing programs. It is important that when potential new relationships click back to your website that they experience your brand in the right way. Ensure your website is professional and visually branded for your target audience and includes interactive web features like RSS and social bookmarking. Search engine optimization (SEO), landing page lead capture, and lead nurturing should be part of your website strategy.
  9. Communicate Persuasively. Ensure your messages are sharp and clear. Are you delivering a persuasive message? Is your logic clear and concise? Are you listening and empathetic to client needs?
  10. Actively engage. Use social networking sites and your website as a way to promote your content to your targeted market.  This helps educate your audience and keeps your name top-of-mind.  Social media is the same as any networking or marketing strategy – the more consistent you are, the better the results.  Actively participate in the various social networking sites on a weekly basis to achieve the greatest results.

About Kristen Luke

Kristen Luke is the Principal of Wealth Management Marketing, a firm dedicated to providing marketing strategies and support for financial advisors. Kristen works with independent advisors to develop effective marketing plans and provides the back office support required to implement the strategies. For more information, visit www.wealthmanagementmarketing.net. 

 

About John Stone III

John leads Revenue Architects and provides consulting, general management, education and solution services focused on profitable revenue models and integrating sales, marketing and technology systems. Clients include Putnam Investments, Natixis Global Asset Management, Charles Schwab, and HighMark Funds.  For more information visit revenuearchitects.com.

How To Use LinkedIn When Your Compliance Department Says No

,

This Post by Kristen Luke was published on her blog on November 22, 2009. 

Recently I have been conducting one-on-one LinkedIn training sessions for advisors on how they can better utilize the professional social networking site. Each advisor has different restrictions on how they can engage with the site depending on the rules set forth by their compliance department. I have found that most compliance departments will allow advisors to have LinkedIn profiles, but will not necessarily allow them to actively participate in groups, install applications, update their status or mass email their connections. For those advisors who are allowed to have a LinkedIn profile but have been restricted in their use of the site, there are still strategies that can be utilized to make LinkedIn a valuable sales and marketing tool. Below are four strategies to implement even if you can’t use LinkedIn to its fullest potential.

Strategy 1: Build Your Network

LinkedIn becomes more powerful as the size of your network increases. This is because you are only able to see profiles of people within your netwLinkedInork (i.e. 1st, 2nd or 3rd Connections and Group Members). To make effective use of LinkedIn, you will need to continuously build your network. This will allow you to discover more potential clients and centers of influence. Start expanding your network by importing contacts. You can do this by selecting “Add Connections” in the Contacts menu and uploading a spreadsheet of your contacts’ email addresses. The resulting list will show you who is on LinkedIn and will allow you to send a mass invitation to connect.

Once you have started with your initial network, you’ll want to continue adding all new contacts to your network. Make inviting all new contacts to join your LinkedIn network a part of your weekly routine. This includes people you meet professionally and socially. You never know where the next client or referral will come from, so don’t exclude people from your network.

Another way to build your network is to install an Outlook toolbar which will notify you when an email contact is on LinkedIn. You can download and install either the LinkedIn or Xobni toolbar which will show you LinkedIn profile information about each of your email contacts and provide you with a link to send an “invitation to connect” request. These tool bars eliminate the need to manually look up a contact to see if they are on the site and then send an invitation request. Plus, they constantly remind you to build your network.

Strategy 2: Join Groups

You may have been told by your compliance department that you can’t post a discussion question, answer a discussion question, post a news article, or comment on a news article. That doesn’t mean that joining groups is a waste of time. Even if you never actively participate in a group, joining allows you to expand your network. By joining a group, you are able to view the profiles of everyone in the group. This helps when you are researching prospects since their profiles might not be available to you otherwise. In addition, you are able to send an email directly to fellow group members without being linked in with them through the “send a message” function. Joining groups provides you with direct access to hundreds if not thousands of individuals who would otherwise be outside of your LinkedIn reach. Just be cautious when emailing through LinkedIn since some compliance departments require a screenshot of the message you are sending including the name of the person to whom who you are sending it.

Strategy 3: Research Prospects

LinkedIn provides a wealth of information about a prospective client. By reviewing a prospect’s profile prior to your first meeting, you can discover past employment history, educational background, professional associations and personal interests. This will give you a better understanding of the prospect and may assist in directing the conversation during a first appointment. The only limitation with this strategy is that you are only able to view profiles of people within your network. Having a larger network, as described in strategies one and two, will increase the likelihood of being able to see a prospect’s profile.

Strategy 4: Research your Network for Introductions & Referrals

Do you know which of your clients have relationships with the types of people you would like to meet? If they have a LinkedIn profile you can easily find out. When you connect with your clients, centers of influence or networking contacts on LinkedIn, you can look through their connections to see who they know. By researching your LinkedIn contacts’ network, you can make informed decisions about who has the ability to make quality referrals and introductions and create a marketing strategy around that information. For example, you can ask for referrals and introductions to specific people within your contact’s network when you have a referral conversation. Or, you can plan a private client event and make extra effort to ensure that clients with strong networks attend. Researching your network will allow you to focus your referral efforts.

Conclusion

In my personal experience, the strategies listed above are acceptable by most compliance departments who allow advisors to use LinkedIn. However, you will want to consult with your compliance department before implementing any of these ideas to make sure you are in observance of your firm’s policies.

Kristen Luke is the Principal of Wealth Management Marketing, an affiliate of Revenue Architects. Kristen works with independent advisors to develop effective marketing plans and provides the back office support required to implement the strategies.

Razorfish Digital Brand Experience Report

, ,

Digital Experience Captures Customer Value

 

Razorfish recently published this presentation with a range of statistics that reinforce the key propositions we promote with our clients. They surveyed connected users and the presentation outlines why brands need to effectively navigate digital to be relevant. Check it out…

“How do consumers engage with brands in an increasingly digital world? That’s the fundamental question we set out to answer with this year’s FEED report”

Thanks, Razorfish. Good work.

 

 

Five Tips for Capturing Online Viewers with Video

,

Video on the web is white hot.

As the network TV market continues to fragment, and marketers seek to engage consumers across multiple platforms, budgets are being directed to broadband video, as a new way to deliver compelling creative.  Consumers are already there, and they are open and responsive to watching advertising online.  A couple of years ago, the Online Publishers Association released a study showing that video is the most powerful online creative format.  The study found that more than 40% of respondents watched online videos on at least a weekly basis and over 70% watch at least monthly. Of course, these viewer rates have increased and will continue to increase. As marketers, our new challenge is to capture the consumer’s attention and hold it with video that works on the web.  We can, and do, gain value from running the same (or shortened) spots that are produced for TV.  But, there is an opportunity to take broadband video to a higher level of performance.

Read more

Who Reads Anymore?

, , ,

Creative digital video should be in your media plan

Recently, Jim Schwantner and Amy Hunt joined the Revenue Architects team. Amy and Jim are highly experienced creative marketers – their specialty is creating creative digital video to drive communication and brand velocity. This blog post blends our collective thinking and suggests the mandate for building creative video into your digital marketing and PR strategies.

You can drive market velocity with creative video content. As humans, we are wired to consume moving visual images. Now that we are inundated with content, we value video communications as a preferred medium to learn and engage. On TV, 90% of us who can fast-forward through commercials will do it, but we voluntarily watch a staggering number of videos online. Computers and handsets win a bigger “share of screen time” every day. Online is the new primetime, with 19.5 billion videos viewed… per month and over the next two years, it is estimated that companies will grow online video spend 300%. Video needs to be core to your PR and marketing content plan.

Creative digital video makes relationships and real accountability possible. TV advertising delivers your message to the mass audience and is about impressions: millions are watching “Good Morning America” or “Ugly Betty,” and you can buy the right to interrupt them. Online video is about relationships… with your idea, your cause your brand.

However, static corporate talking points and blah-blah-blah words don’t cut it now. You need creative video content to capture audience interest and intent. With digital video, viewers initiate the interaction, and you can measure time spent with you, and you can guide them to take action. Two of the video models we create are Explainer Videos and Documentary Branding.

Explainer Videos

The Explainer Video is powerful tool in the translation of otherwise complex ideas into a clear and memorable engagement for the viewer.

Explainer videos are ideal treatments for new products and key moments in the evolution of an organization. The Explainer Video speaks to the reality of how we all have come to rely on visual presentation across all phases of professional and personal communications. The B2B customer requires both the specificity of traditional longer form business communications and the impact of content delivered across all the media they encounter in home, in office and in between.

Documentary Branding

Documentary Branding is defined as the space where credible ideas about corporations and their brands are likely to emerge in the future. Consumers are increasingly mistrustful of the images, motives and representatives of large corporate entities. The idea of Documentary Branding is to offer a perspective on the brand that emanates from a broader population of employees and spokespeople and customers that are presented in real situations speaking candidly about the companies they work for.

The subjects of Documentary Branding in the hands of a skillful director can deliver a deliver a disproportionately significant influence on the way people perceive brands and situations.

 

 

So, how do you take full advantage of creative digital video? You will need true creative leadership to get this right… blended with the business approach to connect outcomes with clear business metrics. See more at this link.