All posts in “emarketer”

Opt-in Email Offers Consumers Consent and Value

Leona Hobbs is Vice President & Partner at Social Media Group. Follow @flackadelic

Email remains a killer app. Despite working on the cutting edge of social media and integrated digital marketing we frequently find ourselves considering the role of email. Given the coming revolution in mobile advertising, permission figures prominently in our thinking about the best way forward for our clients as they seek to earn attention and engage (and re-engage) customers.

Yesterday’s feature release from eMarketer: Opt-In Email Offers a Lesson in Loyalty Creation highlights research conducted by eMarketer analysts.

eMarketer chart

From the article:

Internet users’ favorable feelings towards email advertising stem largely from marketers contacting only those recipients who have granted them permission to do so, as well as from the personalization and relevancy common to such messages. Those efforts leave consumers with a greater sense of control over their relationship with a brand and a perception of having gotten reciprocal value from the interaction. Savvy marketers are applying that lesson to their other principal digital touchpoints—brand websites, social media and mobile—in order to more effectively reach customers and further encourage loyalty across channels.

“Generally speaking, neither brands nor customers want to connect through a single channel,” said Hallerman. “Proliferation [of digital touchpoints] has created both opportunity and complexity for marketers, who face challenges figuring out how and when to communicate with customers … Consumer acceptance of opt-in email exemplifies what happens when brands offer [consumers] … control.”

Read more on eMarketer and check out the full report: The Lessons of Email: Using Digital Touchpoints for Customer Loyalty (subscription required).


Twitter is Just One Piece of the Influencer Puzzle

Karly Gaffney is a Manager on the Content and Community team at Social Media Group.

social media group

If you’re a regular SNL watcher you would have seen this past weekend’s ‘You Can Do Anything’ skit, poking fun at “the incredibly high self esteem of the YouTube Generation.” They featured bloggers, an independent filmmaker, a popular tweeter and a YouTube personality in the skit. You can watch the entire skit below. (Our Canadian readers may not be able to view the video, I’m sure they’re savvy enough to find a screener online though :))

This quote says it all:

Roger Knight (Independent Film-maker): Tell us about yourself
Taylor Dawn (Popular Twitter Personality): Well, I’m what you would call Twitter Famous
Roger Knight: Which means?
Taylor Dawn: Not famous.

Admittedly I did get a few chuckles out of it, but it made me think about how online influence is perceived not only to us in ‘the biz’ but to the general public, and how brands and agencies alike need to ensure they’re aligning with the right influencer partners when executing earned media campaigns.

Mark Schaefer wrote a post in March of last year about how important Twitter influence is (as it pertains to Klout score) and he basically told us there is little true influence on Twitter.

But wait, don’t freak out! That 2012 influencer campaign your client just approved isn’t about to fall apart. Twitter is just one (albeit integral) piece of the entire digital influence puzzle. Marketers should be looking at the whole picture when identifying influencers for campaign partnerships. What does that mean? It means Twitter, Facebook and most importantly – blogs.

A successful digital influencer campaign starts with top-notch high quality earned content—content that lives on the blog. Facebook and Twitter are both extremely important to amplifying that content and driving awareness, but it starts with the blog.

BlogHer’s April 2011 Social Media Matters report found that both blog readership and social media use are on the rise in the United States. BlogHer reported 40 percent of online Americans surveys said they read blogs (up from 37 percent in 2010).

BlogHer 2011 Social Media Matters


In May 2011, eMarketer estimated the number of blog readers in the US would reach 122.6 million in 2011, representing 53.5% of internet users. Furthermore, they expect that number to reach 150.4 million by 2014, representing a whopping 60% of internet users.

social media group


Okay, okay, blogs are important. We get it, right? So how do we identify the right bloggers/influencers who will provide high quality content and increased reach through their social properties? Do your research.

Facebook Likes, Twitter followers and a high Klout score does not guarantee quality content or awesome ROI. It merely provides a benchmark for potential impressions and if the content isn’t good, the impressions won’t help. Influencers need to be able to offer companies and brands something of value in return for what they’re getting. For starters, they need to have awesome social media marketing skills, and know the rules of professional blogging inside and out.

Here are a few other rules of thumb:

  1. What does their blog look like? Is it aesthetically pleasing to the eye? Does it look professional?
  2. How active is the person? Do they blog daily? Weekly? Monthly? (Hopefully not annually!)
  3. How engaged is their audience? Do you see the potential influencer engaging in conversation on their blog comments and/or Facebook and Twitter? Do they provide additional value to their readers through these conversations?
  4. How relevant to their market is their content? Is your tech blogger writing about the new oatmeal recipe he’s trying?
  5. Have they worked with competitors in the past? This is a big one. Be sure to inquire about potential conflict of interest, even if it was years ago – you need to be made aware.

You should have an evaluation system in place when it comes to identifying the perfect influencer(s) for your campaign. We use SMG Rank™ (SMG’s proprietary influencer identification and ranking methodology) when determining appropriate influencers for our client campaigns. It’s a pretty awesome secret sauce of metrics…not to toot our own horn 😉

So would Taylor Dawn, the SNL Twitter personality, make a good influencer? Not if his only claim to fame is a large Twitter following and his budding songwriting career.  Remember, when it comes to choosing influencers for your earned campaigns, look past the Klout score, Facebook Likes and follower count to see what they’re really made of before you pitch.

Social Media Round Up Oct 21st: Content marketing around the 'net

“Content is King”

Content marketing is one of the most discussed topics at SMG everyday, and this week we would like to share some of the conte-related items that caught our attention with you. For those of you not entirely familiar with content marketing, I think this short interview Social Examiner did with C.C.Chapman, co-author of Content Rules,  should provide the basics.

From the interview, Chapman explains his definition of content and why it is important for brands,

“Content has been around forever, since we were kids. We’ve been creating content whether we called it content or not. We email newsletters, print ads, radio ads, all that is content. So it’s nothing new, we’ve known content marketing forever. The problem is, now in the internet, anybody can create content, publish content, get it out there. And let’s face it, there are a lot of them coming out, there is a never ending stream of content coming out. So doing content marketing and doing it smartly and strategically is the thing that’s hard and gets people lost. You maybe doing it, but you maybe doing it the way you did 10 years ago, but your customers are not the same as they were 10 years ago.”

He makes good points. Now with social networks it takes a lot more consideration and planning for brands to create content, even for the entire marketing strategy.

What does Content Marketing mean for B2B companies?

Now let’s take a look at content marketing for business-to-business companies.  Research conducted by has presented insights on how Content Marketing helps B2B companies to boost their lead generation effort. eMarketer’s Lauren Fisher, author of this new report says:

“Informative, nonpromotional content in the form of webinars, white papers, videos, blogs and peer recommendations on social networks and forums can attract prospects,”

“It can also be used to build and maintain ongoing relationships with potential buyers—a must for remaining top of mind throughout the purchase process.”

The figure below shows the different effects generated by different types of contents for B2B and B2C  companies.

Based on the research, Fisher continued:

“Online content is the fuel for the new B2B marketing lead generation engine,”

“In creating informational, educational and actionable content in the form of white papers and webinars, marketers can effectively lure early-stage buyers into their sales pipeline.”

“By mixing this content with comparative, company-specific and interactive content—and regularly sharing it via email or e-newsletters—marketers can build relationships designed to nurture prospects throughout the sales funnel.”

Content Marketing and  SEO

Good content assets go far. This infograph from Brafton shows that a good content marketing strategy helps brands to deeply engage with their customers and helps the brand to boost SEO ranking on search engines.