But how do you know it will be effective?
While there’s no sure way to know if your campaign will turn heads, there is a way to gauge whether those new aspects of your strategy will be effective.
If you want to know if certain components of your campaign — like that sparkly new logo or the new employee takeover series — is worth the effort, consider conducting a marketing experiment.
Marketing experiments give you a projection of how well marketing methods will perform before you implement them. If you want to know the different types and how you can use them within your organization, keep reading.
What’s a Marketing Experiment?
A marketing experiment is a form of market research. It’s a test organizations run to discover possible marketing avenues that will improve a campaign.
For instance, a marketing team might create and send emails to a small segment of their overall readership to gauge engagement rates, before adding them into a campaign. Additionally, they might A/B test the design of these emails. In this example, the team is creating a hypothesis (that a certain email design will help promote their campaign) and testing the hypothesis in a marketing experiment.
It’s important to note that a marketing experiment isn’t synonymous with a marketing test. Marketing experiments are done for the purpose of discovery, while a test confirms theories.
Ultimately, a marketing experiment can help you ensure your campaign or strategy will be effective. Next, let’s dive into how to conduct a marketing experiment.
How to Conduct a Marketing Experiment
Performing a marketing experiment lets you try out different methods of running a campaign to see which one will perform the best. It involves doing background research, structuring the experiment, and analyzing the results.
Now, let’s go through the five steps necessary to conduct a marketing experiment.
1. Make a hypothesis.
Hypotheses aren’t just related to science projects. When conducting a marketing experiment, the first step is to make a hypothesis you’re curious to test.
Let’s say you want to make a marketing email that will improve engagement rates. A good hypothesis for this might be, “Making an email with emojis in both the subject line and copy will increase our engagement rates by at least 25%.” This is a good hypothesis because you can prove or disprove it, it isn’t subjective, and it has a clear measurement of achievement.
2. Collect research.
After creating your hypothesis, begin to gather research. Doing this will give you background knowledge about experiments that have already been conducted and get an idea of possible outcomes.
Researching your experiment can help you modify your hypothesis if needed. If your hypothesis is, “Making an email with an emojis in the subject line and copy will increase our engagement rates by at least 25%,” and research on trends in your audience on email subject lines show that to be true, you know you have a solid hypothesis. However, if other companies in your industry haven’t seen success from emojis in emails, you might want to reconsider.
3. Choose measurement metrics.
Once you’ve collected the research, you can choose which avenue you will take and what metrics to measure.
For instance, maybe you will run an A/B test. This method will allow you to measure the results of two different emails, and figure out which email performs better with your target audience..
For a marketing email test, consider measuring impressions, reach, conversion rate, or clickthrough rate (CTR). These email metrics can let you know how many people are receiving, opening, and reading your emails, and will help you analyze the results of your hypothesis.
4. Create and execute the experiment.
Now it’s time to create and perform the experiment. If you’re creating an A/B test to prove your hypothesis about emojis in emails, then you’ll want to create two emails — one with a plain text subject line, and an identical email with 1-2 emojis added to the subject line. Try to only make slight variations between emails A and B to ensure accuracy.
When you’re finished designing the experiment, come up with a timeline, and decide how you’ll monitor the results. That way, when conducting the A/B test, you’ll be prepared to swiftly figure out which email performed better.
Finally, choose your recipients and conduct the experiment. Next, you’ll analyze your results.
5. Analyze the results.
Once you’ve run the experiment, collect and analyze the results. Use the metrics you’ve decided upon in the second step and conclude if your hypothesis was correct or not.
The prime indicators for success will be the metrics you chose to focus on.
For instance, for the marketing email example, did engagement numbers appear higher? If the CTR, impressions, and click-to-open rates are at or higher than the 25% goal, the experiment would be considered one where the hypothesis was accepted.
Now that you know how to conduct a marketing experiment, let’s go over a few different ways to run them.
Types of Marketing Experiments
There are many types of marketing experiments you can conduct with your team. These tests will help you determine how aspects of your campaign will perform before you roll out the campaign as a whole.
1. A/B Testing
A/B testing is a popular marketing experiment in which two versions of a webpage, email, or social post are presented to an audience (randomly divided in half). This test determines which version performs better with your audience.
HubSpot’s email tool offers an A/B test feature for Professional and Enterprise users. Alternatively, check out 8 of the Best A/B Testing Tools for 2019 for options of other tools to help you perform A/B tests.
This method is useful because you can better understand the preferences of users who will be using your product.
2. Different CTAs
Experimenting with different CTAs can improve the number of people who engage with your content. For instance, instead of using “Buy now!” to pull customers in, why not try, “Learn more?”
You can also test different colors of CTAs as opposed to copy. Another CTA factor that I’ve been seeing around are ones that are animated.
To learn more about different types of CTAs, check out 8 Types of CTAs You Should Absolutely Try on Your Blog.
For a CTA-related marketing experiment, you’ll want to either use PPC ads or landing pages to insert your CTA . From there, measure relevant metrics based on your hypothesis and design of the button.
3. Animated Ads
As a big purveyor of GIFs in the workplace, animating ads are a great way to catch the attention of potential customers. Animating ads don’t necessarily mean using GIFs — you might also try small videos or ads with multiple cards, which can catch the attention of web browsers.
This Instagram ad from Buffer, above, uses multimedia to make their post pop. If you’re testing out PPC advertising, try diversifying those ads to capture the interest of more audiences. Additionally, you might run different types of copy with your ads to see which language compels your audience to click.
4. Social Media Platforms
Is there a social media site you’re not using? For instance, lifestyle brands might prioritize Twitter and Instagram, but implementing Pinterest opens the door for an untapped audience.
You might consider testing which hashtags or visuals you use on certain social media sites to see how well they perform. The more you use certain social platforms, the more you can iterate based on what your audience is engaging with the most.
5. Experiment Globally
If you post on an Eastern Time Zone (ET) schedule, run an experiment that involves Pacific or Central Time Zones.
You might even use your social media analytics to determine which countries or regions you should focus on — for instance, my Twitter Analytics, below, demonstrates where most of my audience resides. If, alternatively, I saw most of my audience came from India, I might need to alter my social strategy to ensure I catered to India’s Time Zone, as well.
When experimenting with different time zones, consider making content specific to the audience you’re trying to reach. If you’re trying to reach global audiences, why not post something in a few different languages? Alternatively, if you have international offices, you might spotlight different employees from your offices all over the globe.
Ultimately, marketing experiments are a cost-effective way to get a picture of how new content ideas will work in your next campaign, which is critical for ensuring you continue to delight your audience. For more new content ideas, check out our ultimate round-up here.
9 Ways to Crush the End of a Blog Post
When I graduated from college a few years ago, there were a couple of lessons that stuck with me.
First, as a journalism student, I was taught to never write a conclusion for an article.
While this became a habit, it’s something I’ve had to unlearn as a marketing writer because you need to write a conclusion in your blog posts.
Second, in my screenwriting class, I learned that every sentence you write should either move your story forward or reveal information.
As a blog writer, this second lesson is the standard I hold myself to. With conclusions, it’s no different.
Conclusions are a necessary element of your blog posts because they guide your reader on what to do next.
Below, let’s review the top ways to absolutely crush the ending of your blog post.
1. Write a summary.
Unlike a journalism article, when you’re ending a blog post, writing a summary is a great way to go.
That’s because your reader most likely forgot a lot of the points you made throughout the piece.
A summary conclusion should list the key takeaways from the article. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t just reiterate your points, but draw actionable conclusions that will educate your audience.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that your summary conclusion shouldn’t contain any fluff. That means all the information should be relevant and tie everything together.
2. Ask a question.
When I write a blog post, I try to remember that it shouldn’t feel dictatorial.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Blog posts should feel conversational. It should be informative, educational, and display empathy with your readers.
One way to do this is by asking your reader a question. You can ask them for their opinion and tell them to comment below. Note that you should only use this tactic if you have comments enabled on your blog posts.
Also, I think it’s important that your questions are specific. Readers are more likely to answer a specific question instead of, “Tell me your thoughts below!”
3. Include a call-to-action (CTA).
After reading a blog post, most users are thinking, “Okay, now what?”
This is why the end of a blog post is a great place to provide actionable solutions in the form of a CTA.
Your CTA could be a content offer, promote your product or service, or ask users to subscribe to your email newsletter.
Either way, every time a reader makes it to the end of a blog post, you should encourage them to continue consuming your content.
4. Inspire your audience.
When I read a blog post or am scrolling through social media, I want to feel inspired.
In fact, sometimes a simple blog post gives me an idea of how I could implement a new habit and inspires me to get started.
So, how can you inspire your audience?
At the end of your blog posts, you should challenge your readers to do something. For instance, if you’re writing a fitness blog, you can challenge readers to write a new grocery list.
Giving people a goal can inspire them to take action, download your content offer, or continue reading your blogs.
5. Direct your readers to do something.
You’ve probably noticed the pattern with the tactics I’ve listed above. All of them have to do with guiding your readers on what their next steps should be.
Whether you summarize your article or ask a question, the end of your blog post should direct readers on what to do next.
Sometimes it can be as simple as asking them to share the post or comment below. You’d be surprised how many people will do something just because they’ve been asked to do it.
6. Provide links to another blog post.
Have you ever been watching a video on YouTube, and then noticed a video in the recommendations on the side that you want to watch?
I don’t know about you, but the recommended videos are the reason I’m usually on YouTube for hours at a time.
When a reader finishes your blog post, we want to enact the same effect.
To do that, you can provide a link to another blog post of yours.
In a previous blog of mine on product knowledge, I ended the post by linking to one of our ultimate guides.
Here’s what that looked like: “Want to learn more about new hire training for salespeople? Check out our ultimate guide.”
7. Start a discussion.
Not to reiterate, but your blog posts should be engaging and start a conversation.
At the end of your blogs, you can encourage this by asking a discussion question.
Sometimes this comes down to the topics you’ve chosen to write about. Not all blog posts will warrant a discussion question, but if it does, it’s a great way to end a post.
8. Produce a teaser.
Teasing future content is a tactic that I see used on YouTube or podcasts a lot. However, I think it has its place in blogging as well.
If you’re on a writing schedule and you know what blog posts are coming up, you can end your blogs by promoting future content.
You can tell readers what’s coming next and what to look out for, so you can entice them to come back. Sometimes teasing future content can even inspire readers to subscribe to your blog.
9. Answer who, what, where, when, why, and how.
At the end of your blog post, you want to tie it up with a bow. That means that you should’ve answered all the questions a user might have.
To do this, think about the who, what, where, when, why, and how.
You can end a blog post by summarizing what the topic was, why it’ll impact the reader, what they should do with this information, and how they can implement it in their daily lives.
Keep in mind that this information should be personalized. It should be targeted to your buyer persona and answer why they should care.
Now, I know you’re probably wondering, “Well, how are you going to end this blog post?”
I’m going to cheat because I’m going to use several tactics I listed above — summary and CTA.
First, I want to remind you that it’s important to keep in mind how the end of a blog post will impact your reader’s journey on your site.
Ultimately, you want readers to continue on your site or engage with your brand, whether they read another blog post, share the post on social media, or download a content offer.
Now, I want to let you know about a great course from HubSpot Academy that’ll help you improve every element of your blogging strategy. You’ll learn how to craft a blogging strategy, and create quality blog content that your audience will love.
Top 5 West Hollywood News Websites To Follow in 2020 (City in California)
- West Hollywood News Websites
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West Hollywood News Websites
West Hollywood, California, United States About Website WEHOville.com, the only West Hollywood website operated by professional journalists, publishes stories about the news, politics, events and personalities that make WeHo such a great place to live. Frequency 10 posts / week Website wehoville.com/news-and-features
Facebook fans 8.4K ⋅ Twitter followers 5.9K ⋅ Social Engagement 6ⓘ ⋅ Domain Authority 59ⓘ ⋅ Alexa Rank 354.8Kⓘ View Latest Posts ⋅
West Hollywood, California, United States About Website WEHO TIMES is a award winning online news source covering the life, times, politics, news, people, places, culture, art, nightlife and everything connected to West Hollywood, CA. Frequency 1 post / day Website wehotimes.com/category/news
Facebook fans 3.9K ⋅ Twitter followers 1.8K ⋅ Social Engagement 107ⓘ ⋅ Domain Authority 42ⓘ ⋅ Alexa Rank 2.2Mⓘ View Latest Posts ⋅
Los Angeles, California, United States About Website Get West Hollywood News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of LA/OC from CBS Los Angeles. Frequency 1 post / day Website losangeles.cbslocal.com/tag/..
Facebook fans 870K ⋅ Twitter followers 230.3K ⋅ Instagram Followers 105.3K ⋅ Social Engagement 1.8Kⓘ ⋅ Domain Authority 92ⓘ ⋅ Alexa Rank 2Kⓘ View Latest Posts ⋅
West Hollywood, California, United States About Website The best breaking news, stories, and events from the Patch network of local news sites. Local news and events from West Hollywood, CA brought to you by Patch. Frequency 4 posts / day Website patch.com/california/westhol..
Facebook fans 2K ⋅ Twitter followers 4.1K ⋅ Domain Authority 90ⓘ ⋅ Alexa Rank 232ⓘ View Latest Posts ⋅
Los Angeles, California, United States About Website L.A.’s Very Own, KTLA is Southern California’s source for Los Angeles-area breaking news, streaming live video, traffic and weather in L.A., Orange and Ventura counties, plus the Inland Empire and beyond. Frequency 4 posts / month Website ktla.com/tag/west-hollywood
Facebook fans 1.4M ⋅ Twitter followers 811K ⋅ Social Engagement 7.2Kⓘ ⋅ Domain Authority 82ⓘ ⋅ Alexa Rank 14.1Kⓘ View Latest Posts ⋅
The post Top 5 West Hollywood News Websites To Follow in 2020 (City in California) appeared first on Feedspot Blog.
B2B Companies Implement Chief Partnership Officers To Drive Growth
B2B marketing teams are under pressure to provide digital, personalized experiences to reach audiences across the entire customer journey. However, many still struggle with alignment among internal teams to develop buyer-centric strategies and campaigns.
Organizations such as Impact, a provider of partnership, influencer and affiliate marketing cloud solutions, have added the role of Chief Partnerships Officer, which incorporates aspects of growth marketing into a revenue growth strategy, to build partner programs that drive business growth.
Demand Gen Report sat down with Mike Head, Chief Partnerships Officer at Impact, to discuss his current role and the rise of partner programs for revenue generation.
Demand Gen Report: What are the functions of your title as Chief Partnerships Officer?
Mike Head: If you were to look at the growth of our business over the past years, we’ve had to make some very conscious and strategic decisions as to where we apply our focus and resources to get the desired level of growth. During our planning for 2020, we felt that now was the time to increase our investments and focus on our own partnership ecosystem. This led to the creation of the role of Chief Partnerships Officer so we could ensure the right investments into a broader vision for the partnerships segment of our ecosystem.
Our vision here is to ensure that we optimize the potential of our own partnership channel, by maximizing the relationships with other key players within the Impact ecosystem beyond our traditional focus on enterprises. That means creating new and stronger linkages between advertisers, agencies, different types of referral partners and strategic channel partners. We believe that our own partnership channel will eventually rival our sales and marketing channels in terms of revenue contribution.
My responsibilities include:
- Growing referral partners, advocating for their needs and helping them grow their revenue;
- Establishing new company partnerships with service partners as well as strategic channel partners, such as other complementary independent software vendors; and
- Increasing overall client satisfaction, retention and growth.
DGR: Can you share more about partnerships and how these programs relate to revenue growth?
Head: Last year, we commissioned a study with Forrester Consulting to find out how businesses all over the world were leveraging the power of partnerships to drive business growth. We found that the companies with the most mature programs were driving 28% of their overall company revenue through this channel. For those companies, that was, on average, $162 million more than their competitors who weren’t fully utilizing this channel. These companies also were up to 5x more likely to exceed a range of critical business KPIs, such as revenue growth, bottom-line profitability and market valuation.
DGR: What are the benefits of incorporating a partnership program into existing growth marketing strategies?
Head: Growth marketing is a healthy evolution of the marketing mentality that focuses on both acquisition and retention and looks at the effectiveness of their customer acquisition throughout the entire funnel, and not solely at the top-of-funnel. Its special emphasis on experimentation is also an important tenet.
Those principles are certainly relevant for successfully managing the partnership channel as well. Similar to growth marketing practices, the most successful partnership programs:
- Designs and diversify their partnership relationships such that it covers the full journey of a customer to acquisition and beyond;
- Look at the lifetime value of the customer, and seek to understand the partnerships that are good at introducing, influencing or closing a company’s most valuable customers; and
- Continuously collaborating with their partners, experimenting on the types of messaging and offers that produce the best yield.
DGR: Are there different goals and metrics for success for partnership programs compared to a growth marketing function?
Head: We do believe there are important divergence points between partnerships and growth marketing. Partnerships are not a subset of marketing – and to look at it from purely a marketing lens is too constraining.
Partnership leaders orchestrate a range of activities that go well beyond traditional marketing activities. They need to develop and hone skill sets that span across sales, enablement, finance, legal, business development and operations. Furthermore, most marketers still retain a mentality of pushing brand messages to a consumer. But there’s a body of research that shows that this just isn’t effective anymore. Pushing brand messaging shouldn’t be the way the partnership channel is run because it simply won’t work with today’s savvy consumer who prefers to pull information by doing their own research.
To foster successful partnerships that bring significant growth to your business, you need to view them as long-term collaborators and orchestrate that relationship through the full partnership life cycle. That not only means discovering and recruiting the right set of partners across different partnership types but also negotiating mutually beneficial contracting and payout terms, tracking their contributions and ROI, continuously engaging and educating them on new campaigns, products and promotions and more.
In growth marketing, when things aren’t going well, you may focus your diagnosis on metrics like activation rates, abandonment rates, time-to-activation rates, retargeting conversion rates, and so forth, which are very aligned with traditional digital marketing investments. In the partnership channel, you may look at completely different diagnostic metrics in order to optimize the health of your program — anything from partner engagement rate, partner lifetime value, incremental value each partner and partnership type delivers, etc.
DGR: While your title is not growth marketing, what does the creation of your role mean for B2B organizations looking to expand? Does the greater trend of shifting executive titles (from CMO to CGO, etc.) indicate shifting priorities for companies? And if so, how do partnerships play a role in these new priorities?
Head: In a number of organizations, as the CMO role expanded well beyond “managing the brand” to “driving growth through customer obsession, empowered by digital investments,” CMOs have either evolved into CGOs (Chief Growth Officers) or enlisted the help of a CGO. According to research by Singular, CGO-led companies have twice as large marketing teams and spend more on advertising. CGOs’ origins are tied to performance marketing, and though they are closely aligned to the marketing department, they also spearhead cross-functional collaboration with the sales and product departments.
Though the CPO title does not have the word “growth” in it, like a CGO, a growth mindset is a prerequisite to being a successful CPO. A history in performance marketing certainly helps as well.
DGR: How do partnership programs align with marketing? Is it a marketing team’s responsibility?
Head: I think the key here is that we are collaborating with departments across the organization. Partnerships can require product work, marketing messaging, analytics and more.
Collaboration with the marketing team is still essential to a partnership team’s success, partnership professionals should recognize that effective partnership management must transcend marketing to include every facet of a business that a partner touches, including sales management, learning and enablement, business development, operations, finance and legal.
Partnerships are essentially an indirect marketing channel and have the potential to reach a larger audience with more targeted content at every part of the customer journey versus your marketing team. The marketing department’s role actually shifts in this universe:
- Being in full control of the message to guideline settings. While traditional marketing involves marketing to consumers directly, partnerships are marketing through partners to the consumer. Exercising too much control over branding, messaging won’t work. It basically limits the creative potential of your partners and creates a level of inauthenticity that erodes the trust these partners have with their customers.
- From broadcaster to enabler. Instead of simply pushing out messaging and treating partnerships like a broadcasting channel — partnerships require marketers to think more like an enablement organization. Whether it’s education on the trends, the latest products and promotions, building out creative, running partner communities — marketers now need to understand that they are feeding the enabling assets to help drive a flourishing partnership ecosystem. That requires a major mindset shift for marketers.
- Full funnel strategy. Marketers should not have much trouble grasping this one — since they already recognize the need to consider the full customer journey when they look at individual marketing channels such as display. They’re probably not used to thinking of the partnership channel in a similar way — but they absolutely should! Partners can introduce a new consumer to a brand, they may play a role in influencing the consumers’ purchase consideration, or they may be really good at pushing the consumer over that final hump before making a purchase. Marketers can be quite instrumental in helping partnership professionals think through their partnership channel’s full-funnel strategy.
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