Seven best tools to find influencers on social media

seven best tools to find influencers on social media

seven best tools to find influencers on social media

Influencer marketing has been one of the hottest marketing tactics for a while. It only seems logical that we had influencer marketing long before the invention of social media.

The internet simply made influencer marketing much more targeted and available even for smaller brands.

Blogging and vlogging on social media allow influencers to find a loyal audience even in the most niche categories. Even if the product you market is not very exciting — say, power drills — you will always find a blog, a YouTube channel, or even a Pinterest profile dedicated to it.

Whether you work in a social media marketing agency or an inner marketing department of a specific brand, at some point you will need to find influencers for your campaign. You can turn to a talent agency, however, it would be much more cost-efficient to use an influencer marketing tool. The only challenge is to choose the right one. This list will help you to do exactly that.

Also read: Top social media trends for 2019

Awario is primarily a social listening tool. It allows you to monitor brands, competitors, carry out social selling and, of course, discover influencers in a chosen niche.

Also read: What is social media listening (and how it can help your SEO)

You can find influencers with Awario by monitoring keywords across social media and websites (it monitors Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, blogs, and news articles). All you need to do is choose the keywords related to your industry (for example, “gadgets”, “fitness tracker”, “headphones” if you’re looking to promote a new tech) and put them in Awario.

It gathers social mentions and articles with your keywords and analyzes their authors to find the most prominent voices in a chosen industry. It ranks influencers and platforms based on their reach and number of followers or daily visits, depending on the source.

Using a social listening tool for influencer search gives you a lot of flexibility. You can discover influencers in your industry, see who works with your competitors or the influencers who already mentioned your brand. Besides, you can use it for multiple purposes to enrich your business strategy at every stage, from marketing to product development.

Pricing

Influencer search is included in all plans as well as in the free trial. Plans start at $29/month.

Followerwonk interface

Followerwonk specifically focuses on Twitter and is essentially a Twitter analytics tool which can be used to discover influencers on the platform.

It also uses your keywords to find influential Twitter profiles, but this time it doesn’t monitor social mentions i.e. tweets, and searches based on Twitter bios, names, URLs and locations.

One of its most useful features for influencer marketing is the ability to compare Twitter accounts with each other. It can be used to find influencers who have the audience with similar interests and at the same time, doesn’t overlap with your own audience.

Besides, it analyzes your Twitter followers and segments them by their bio, location, and who they follow.

Pricing

The pricing depends on the number of followers of the accounts you want to analyze. With the accounts which have 25,000 followers and less, you can get the tool for free. If you need to analyze bigger influencers, you can buy the cheapest plan for $29 or invest in a more expensive one.

Klear is a tool specifically dedicated to influencer marketing, which uses a wide range of social data to find influencers. It even has some social listening features which allow you to monitor competitors and analyze the success of their influencer marketing campaigns.

Using sophisticated algorithms and machine learning, Klear divides influencers into over 60,000 topic categories and offers deep analytics about their audiences’ demographics and psychographics respectively.

The great thing about Klear is that the search won’t take much time, it has a huge number of profiles already indexed and associated with millions of data points in its database.

You can filter your findings by social channel, audience size, skills (chosen from the categories the AI organized them into), mentioned keywords, location, influencer gender, audience gender, and age.

Overall, you can be sure that you’ll discover influencers in the chosen field and will get a ton of useful insights about them.

Pricing

Klear offers a range of free tools to help you identify influencers on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and blogs. Of course, free tools are quite limited in their functionality and do not include sophisticated analytics.

The prices for the tool are not disclosed. However, according to customers, they start at about $250 per month.

BuzzSumo is a tool that can be very useful if you want to double-down on influencer marketing and content creation since it can help you in both cases. BuzzSumo uses social data to identify content trends as well as to find influencers.

Firstly, it can discover the most popular content to let you know who the top performing content creators in your niche are. BuzzSumo has a great range of features dedicated to content research, therefore you will be able to use it in your own content strategy or give the influencer guidelines on what type of content they could create during your collaboration.

Secondly, BuzzSumo has a powerful influencer search for Twitter. It monitors tweets and profile bios based on the keywords you provide. They also differentiate Twitter accounts by their type, i.e. blogger, influencer, journalist.

Pricing

The cheapest plan costs $79 per month.

Although the names are similar, BuzzSumo and BuzzStream are quite different. BuzzStream is primarily a link-building tool, but it still enables you to organize every stage of your influencer marketing journey, from discovering influencers to reaching out to them.

You can discover influencers based on your keywords and see a comprehensive overview of this influencer’s website and social media presence on one page.

After that, you can add discovered influencers to a prospect list. You can sort and filter the list to choose influencers for a specific campaign. For example, you can sort them by authority, or whether someone has promoted you in the past or not.

Then you can start contacting influencers from your prospect list. BuzzStream will help you keep track of your outreach successes and failures, and will even send out automated follow-ups.

Pricing

Prices for BuzzStream plans depend on the number of accounts you want to reach out to. In the cheapest plan ($24) you have 30 searches and can get 1000 contacts in total.

Traackr interface

Traackr is one of the pioneers of the influencer marketing industry. It stepped into social media influencer marketing analytics back in 2008, just a couple of years after major social media platforms were created.

Traackr has its own influencer database which you can search and filter by social channel, topic keyword, language, location, age, gender, and brand affinities. You can also use the same filters to analyze the followers of an influencer.

The database is created by an algorithm and curated by humans. If there’s an influencer you want to work with who isn’t in the database, you can manually enter their username from one service, and Traackr goes out and finds all of their social channels, then indexes posts and statistics.

Since the tool focuses on building relationships with influencers, it doesn’t stop at the search stage. After you’ve found relevant influencers, you can create highly customizable lists depending on their social platforms, your plans of collaboration, the audiences you want to reach, and so on.

Another way to organize influencers is by relationships, have you interacted or worked together before? Traackr will take notice of that. This will simplify working in big teams and collaboration with other departments.

An in-built social listening feature allows you to follow the performance of your influencer campaigns and analyze which influencers are bringing you the most value.

Pricing

The tool prices are revealed upon request, but according to the users, prices start at around $500 per month.

Upfluence interface

Upfluence is a self-proclaimed ‘Google of influence’. It uses its own massive database of nearly 1 million influencers which is constantly revised and updated. Every piece of content their algorithms find is analyzed for reach and engagement. You can look for influencers on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and blogs.

While searching for influencers, you can put in several keywords and assign them different degrees of importance. Let’s say, you’re promoting organic and gluten-free products, and you’re especially interested in reaching people who are allergic to gluten. You can assign more weight to keywords related to gluten and thus the tool will look for influencers who cater to this audience the most.

Another cool feature is that during your search, Upfluence groups influencers depending on the size of their respective audience. You can also filter influencers by location, social platform, and the number of followers.

There is also an audience analytics feature, unfortunately, only available for Instagram. You can analyze influencers’ audiences by brand affinities, cultural interests, and more.

You can add influencers to lists upon discovery and customize them according to your needs.

Upfluence also has an outreach tool, which allows you to personalize your outreach emails. All email correspondence is archived for easy reference. It will also help you track what stage of influencer collaboration you’re on, who you’re negotiating with, who you’re waiting for to complete content, who are waiting on payment, and so on.

Pricing

The cheapest plan includes 500 contacts and costs $795 per month.

Should you try influencer marketing?

According to eMarketer, 81% of marketers that tried influencer marketing reported that it is an effective channel. There are two main reasons why influencer marketing is so popular:

  • It’s cost-effective: Influencers already have the audience so you don’t have to do in-depth research and spend lots of time and money to build your own.
  • It brings ROI: Influencers are able to have a deeper, more authentic connection with consumers. No matter how good your communication strategy is, your brand will never be seen as sincere and convincing as a blog you read every week.

The tools on this list vary from enterprise-level solutions best suited for social media agencies to more affordable options that cover a wide range of marketing needs.

If you’re planning to carry out multiple influencer marketing campaigns on a regular basis working in huge, possibly international teams, I’d recommend going with big guns like Traackr. However, if you need a solution for influencer search, I’d go with a social listening tool, for instance, the above mentioned Awario.

The tools can help you to discover influencers and organize your workflow with them, but how you will work with an influencer is on you. Personalize your influencer outreach, create engaging content together in the true spirit of collaboration, and maybe they will become a brand evangelist.

Aleh Barysevich is the Founder and CMO at SEO PowerSuite and Awario. He can be found on Twitter at @ab80.

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How to Create Marketing Lead Magnets

How to Create Marketing Lead Magnets

Ingredients: 125g butter, ¾ cup caster sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla essence, 1 egg, 2 bananas (ripe & mashed), 1 ½ cups self-raising flour, and a ¼ cup of milk.

That’s what you need to make a banana cake.

You’ve also got to follow the recipe. But without the ingredients, anything else is irrelevant: No matter what you do, it just won’t be a banana cake.

Similarly, you need the right ingredients to make a lead magnet tasty enough for your prospects to eat up and come back for more.


The Lowdown on the Lead Magnet

Before we go on, let’s spell out what a lead magnet is: A lead magnet is an offer, incentive, or product intended to give your visitor value in return for their personal information (usually an email address or phone number).

A lead magnet is your metaphorical apple pie on a metaphorical window sill, metaphorical scent wafting out into the world and inviting people to take a closer look.

And if that apple pie turns out to be a tasty treat, then…

  • More and more of your “ideal customers” find you
  • More of those prospects will sign up or start a relationship, meaning more leads, deeper engagement (and ultimately, more sales)
  • Better brand awareness for your business as more people get to know you
  • A bigger and better reputation in the industry
  • The potential to “go viral,” with your lead magnet drawing a flood of leads

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BlueMountain names slate for PG&E board

BlueMountain names slate for PG&E board

NEW YORK (Reuters) – PG&E Corp investor BlueMountain Capital Management LLC on Friday named 13 people it hopes to install as directors at the embattled power utility weeks after the company filed for bankruptcy in the wake of California’s catastrophic wildfires.

The hedge fund’s group of director nominees includes an expert in resolving victim claims, a former treasurer of the state of California, a prominent hedge fund manager, and people with banking and energy industry expertise.

BlueMountain, which owns roughly 8 million PG&E shares, in January announced plans for a proxy contest, criticizing the company for filing for Chapter 11 protection, a move it called unnecessary and harmful to investors.

The company and the hedge fund have been talking and last week agreed to extended the deadline to nominate directors to Friday.

PG&E said on Friday it has had a “constructive dialogue” with shareholders and stakeholders.

PG&E previously promised to make board changes, saying that only five of its current directors would stand for re-election at the May 21 annual meeting.

By offering to refresh its own board, PG&E could be trying to curry favor with big investors who may not be ready to back the hedge fund’s slate, analysts said.

BlueMountain’s slate includes former California Treasurer Phil Angelides who chaired the U.S. Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to uncover the causes of the financial crisis and lawyer Kenneth Feinberg, known for administering compensation to victims including those of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Christopher Hart, a former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, Jeffrey Ubben, who founded $15 billion San Francisco-based hedge fund ValueAct Capital and is now focusing on sustainability, and clean energy expert David Crane, a former chief executive at NRG Energy, are also on the list.

California business and civic leaders Marjorie Bowen, a former Houlihan Lokey banker, and Alvaro Aguirre, a former banker and lawyer who has managed several corporate turnarounds, were also named.

The group also includes Fred Buckman, Donald Chappel, Tanuja Dehne, Dick Rosenblum, Mark Lerdal and Barbara Lloyd.

With a new board and fresh oversight, the hedge fund forecasted that the company’s share price could trade at $50 in the future. It closed at $17.03 on Thursday.

PG&E faces crushing liabilities related to deadly wildfires in 2017 and 2018 that killed dozens of people and destroyed thousands of homes.

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Phil Berlowitz

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Building the essential marketing technology stack to fuel your experimentation program

Building the essential marketing technology stack to fuel your experimentation program

An experimenter’s guide to marketing technology

Most business leaders today are familiar with Scott Brinker’s famous Marketing Technology Landscape supergraphic:

Widerfunnel marketing tech stack supergraphic
Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic (2018)

In 2018, the graphic included 6,829 marketing technology solutions—almost double the number of solutions depicted in 2016. There are literally thousands of technology platforms at your fingertips. And each promises to solve every one of your business pain points.

But technology without purpose and strategy quickly becomes shelfware. A strategic approach to both sourcing and leveraging your marketing tools is essential.

Today’s post details the technology roadmap recommended by Widerfunnel’s Senior Experimentation Strategists. This roadmap highlights the “why” behind implementing certain technologies at certain moments in your organization’s experimentation journey. As well as how to get the most out of these tools by taking a strategic approach.

Note: We will not cover every type of marketing technology, but will focus on the tech stack that should be leveraged by a team that is conducting online experiments.

Strengthening the Technology pillar in your Experimentation Operating System

But first, let’s zoom out.

Your experimentation technology stack is just one piece of your Experimentation Operating System™ (EOS). There are four other pillars, which include: Process, Accountability, Culture, and Expertise.

You must view your tools within the context of the entire system:

  • How do they support you in documenting, unifying, disseminating, and automating your experimentation processes?
  • How do they support you to hold your experimentation program accountable—to properly track and report on program success?
  • How do they support you in collaborating with the organization at-large? In promoting visibility and transparency around experimentation to create a culture of experimentation?
  • How do they support your team of experts in terms of usability, productivity, training, and customer support?
  • How do they integrate and work with your existing technology stack?

As your experimentation program matures, you will likely experience constraints across the different pillars. Technology will not always be your most important constraint. In fact, we speak to many organizations with extremely sophisticated marketing technology stacks that are floundering in areas like process and culture.

Widerfunnel experimentation maturity pillars
WiderFunnel’s pillars of experimentation maturity.

Your experimentation program will only reach its growth-driving potential if it is strong across all pillars.

But today—we are talking technology. If this is your organization’s primary focus or suspected weak spot, you are reading the right blog post.

Technology in the Initiating Phase: Analytics & an experimentation platform

Organizations in the Initiating Phase of experimentation maturity are just getting started. In this stage, an Experimentation Champion is likely working to implement the appropriate technologies and get initial wins to prove the value of an experimentation program.

If your organization is just getting started with experimentation, your primary focuses should be:

  1. Ensuring you have a solid analytics foundation, and
  2. Identifying and selecting the experimentation platform for your needs

Analytics and quantitative research

Clean data for quantitative research is an essential starting point for any experimentation program.

Analytics data will inform the initial story of your customer journey; it will enable you to prioritize test areas and gain insight into your customers’ goals and intentions. We group these into two buckets: Primary analytics and supplementary analytics providers.

Primary Analytics: There are really two key players that provide primary analytics reporting for most organizations: Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics. Together, these two have a lock on around 75% of the market. Google dominates for websites of all sizes, however Adobe can’t be discounted, particularly as a solution amongst high-traffic Enterprises.

Another company to keep on your radar is Heap Analytics. Heap has emerged as a powerful solution known for its ease of implementation and ability to auto-tag all site activity. For companies with limited IT resources, this single-line of javascript implementation is an attractive option.

Supplementary Analytics: While Google and Adobe dominate as primary analytics solutions, there are many emerging technologies you can use to supplement the data your primary tool is collecting. These tools provide advanced solutions for data visualization, marketer-friendly tagging, and prescriptive analytics.

These solutions may not be worth the expense for smaller organizations in early stages of experimentation maturity. But when you start asking very complex questions and dealing with larger data-sets, your primary data analytics tool can become restrictive.

Companies that are looking to take their analytics game to the next level should look into:

With a solid analytics set-up, your team can start to uncover the low-hanging fruit within your digital experience and identify opportunities for testing. You will quickly find, however, that you need to implement an experimentation tool to increase the confidence you have in the changes you are making.

Experimentation Tool

The next piece of the puzzle is a platform to facilitate experimentation. These tools allow you to measure the statistically valid effects of any change you make by limiting the impact of time and audience variables.

When you rely on analytics alone, you are relying on a less than accurate “before and after” measurement system. Making key business decisions based on this type of system can often lead you down the wrong path.

An experimentation tool allows you to run experiences simultaneously to randomized samples of your audience, giving you data you can trust to make decisions.

Before choosing a tool, it is important to identify your program’s requirements and parameters. For instance:

  • What sort of targeting requirements does your website have?
  • Are you going to require server-side testing?
  • Does your development environment allow for third party Javascript?
  • Are you testing on the web or do you need to be able to test in a native application?
  • Do you need Single Page App (SPA) support?

The answers to these questions in combination with your budget should help you select the right tool for your needs.

In the North American market, there are four major players in the experimentation space and many niche options. Each has unique strengths and features to offer depending on the needs of your company.

Optimizely

Optimizely is the market leader by market-share and is considered a thought leader in the experimentation space. They lead the way with their Stats Engine, broad integrations, and expansive product suite; they are considered a one-stop solution for organizations in any phase of experimentation maturity.

Optimizely’s experimentation-first perspective means they are usually first to market with the most innovative feature developments and advancements in the industry, keeping their customer base ahead of the competition. If you are an Enterprise organization, this is the first tool to evaluate. These features do come with a higher price tag though, and Optimizely may be out of range for smaller organizations that are just getting started.

Adobe Target

Also servicing enterprise companies, Adobe Target provides a testing solution to those that are heavily leveraging the Adobe technology stack. Like Optimizely, Target offers solutions to most of the key requirements any company may have. Those with Adobe Analytics and other Adobe products may find additional value due to Adobe’s cross-product integration. However, Target isn’t the most user friendly tool. And if you aren’t a trained data analyst or statistician, its statistical model can leave room for error. If you don’t already leverage the Adobe suite, you will likely not get the full value of Adobe Target.

VWO

VWO is a great solution for smaller or mid-market companies. This tool has a much more friendly price-point and allows for all basic client-side testing functionality. They have a strong SmartStats Engine, and built-in variation heatmaps, which are a major bonus. VWO is a great option for organizations with a standard client-side website environment that are looking to prove the value of experimentation. However, companies with very specific technical needs may want to pass on VWO due to their lack of server-side or SPA technology.

Google Optimize

New to the game (sort-of), technology giant Google has also developed an experimentation tool. The obvious advantage of Google Optimize is its native Google Analytics (GA) integration, and its free entry-level price-point. That said, the free tool is rudimentary and lacking in most advanced features. It also limits users in the number of experiments and metrics that can be in the tool at once. Optimize can be a worthwhile solution for GA organizations that are just getting started with basic testing.

Google’s paid version, Optimize 360, unlocks additional experiments and audience criteria that allow for more advanced experimentation. But it is only as valuable as your GA integration. If you have a team of GA experts, then you can do some creative analysis. However, Optimize 360 is likely not worth it for more entry level programs.

Keep in mind, Google Optimize is a sleeping giant. If Google decides to pour resources into the development of this tool, it could quickly become the dominant player in the space.

Sentient AI

If your website is well-suited for multivariate testing (MVT)*, then Sentient AI offers a very interesting solution. Their tool uses Learning Evolutionary Artificial Intelligence (LEAF).

Loosely following the Theory of Evolution, Sentient lets you set thousands of variables and then watch as the tool “breeds” new combinations of variables and sends others to “extinction”. Eventually, it works its way towards the optimal combination. Due to its complexity, this solution is not for everyone. But in the right hands and on the right site you can cover a lot of ground quickly.

*Sites suited for MVT often have many fixed, modular components that are independent of one another.

Client-side versus server-side experimentation

One of the most important questions to consider at this stage is whether or not you need a client-side or server-side solution. Both have benefits.

Client-side execution means the code for your experiment variation will be injected through the browser. While this can be worse for performance, it enables the use of simple WYSIWYG interfaces that allow marketers to make changes without involving developers. One of the other major drawbacks is that you can only test on features that already exist in the DOM.

Client Side Experimentation Infographic
Here’s a diagram showing how client-side experimentation works.

Server-side execution means that the variation code will actually run on your server. The primary benefits of server-side are improved performance, security, and the ability to test features that do not exist in the control environment. Teams can leverage this to roll out new pages, entirely new functionality and prototypes, or make changes on pages with complex server calls.

WiderFunnel server-side experimentation
This diagram showcases server-side experimentation.

Server-side also greatly reduces the time needed to hardcode experiments because the code is already built in your native environment and follows all of your conventions. Server-side experimentation does require more initial investment to install the appropriate SDK but has efficiency and security benefits down the line.

If you are evaluating server and client-side technologies, consider the expertise of your engineers. Because server-side testing is done in your native environment, your team may find it more accessible. Client-side, on the other hand, relies heavily on Javascript and jQuery.

Technology in the Building Phase: A foundation for collaboration

Organizations in the Building Phase of experimentation maturity are bought in on the value of experimentation. In this stage, an Experimentation Champion or team is likely establishing process and building the infrastructure to scale the program.

An analytics tool and an experimentation tool make up the technology stack of a basic Experimentation Operating System. A single team can leverage both to plan, run, and analyze experiments. However, as you work to scale your experimentation program, collaboration becomes crucial. How can you enable experimentation across many teams and business units?

While an individual can test with little documentation, your organization will need solid project management and record keeping to scale up an effective program. In our experience, you will need a specific experiment collaboration system in place to move upward on the experimentation maturity scale.

There are a few things to consider when selecting collaboration tools:

  • How will people throughout the organization submit test ideas?
  • Where will experiment wireframe and design files be hosted?
  • Where will people communicate about an experiment?
  • How will the current status of each experiment be displayed?
  • Where and how will the results be stored?

You may not need to source technologies that address all of these questions at the outset, but you should consider tool(s) that will be able to grow alongside your program. Here are a few popular solutions we have seen:

JIRA: JIRA can really do it all. Although its interface can be confusing at times, JIRA is extremely flexible, allowing you to build a custom process that works for most situations. JIRA is a strong solution if your experimentation program sits within Engineering or Product, since it is likely JIRA is already the tool of choice of your engineers. If your program sits within less technical teams, such as Marketing, you will likely want to turn to something a little bit more user friendly.

Asana: Asana is a strong task management solution, and is the tool of choice for project management at WiderFunnel. It allows users to build consistent templates, facilitates task assignment and communication, and has useful scheduling features. The accessible interface makes this a tool that everyone in the organization can use with ease.

Trello: Kanban boards! Certain organizations love working in a kanban view, and Trello is the leader in this space. For companies that want a visual representation of their experimentation projects, Trello can be a great solution. Plus, it integrates well with JIRA as both come from the same parent company—Atlassian.

Optimizely Program Management: One of the key value propositions offered by Optimizely is the integration with their Program Management solution. Optimizely Program Management allows users to store experiment ideas, vote on priority, track insights, report on program success, and more. Although pricey, Optimizely Program Management is a glimpse into the future of experimentation and insight management.

Traditional Spreadsheets: For teams in the early days of the Building Phase looking to get organized, spreadsheets are definitely a viable option. While spreadsheets often fall short on image storage and communication, they are a free, easy solution for smaller teams tracking a simple program. Keep in mind that scale will likely be a problem here.

As you add more tools to your marketing technology stack to enable experimentation, you’ll want to make sure they integrate nicely. If you’re an Adobe user, your analytics and testing tool will already be integrated—you should ensure that anything else you layer on plays nicely with this suite.

As an alternative to suite solutions, several leaders in the experimentation tech space have formed the Digital Experience Stack (DXS). If you use Optimizely or another tool within this stack, you will want to evaluate other DXS solutions.

WiderFunnel The Digital Experience Stack DXS
The best-in-class tools are partnering to create The Digital Experience Stack (DXS). Source: Optimizely.

Achieving experimentation maturity with qualitative research

Organizations in the Collaborating Phase of experimentation maturity are expanding the experimentation program and collaborating across teams. Finalizing a communications plan and overall protocol for the program is a priority here.

For organizations in the Scaling Phase of maturity, experimentation is a core strategy. Standards are in place and success metrics are aligned with overall business goals, enabling testing at scale.

Game-changing experiment ideas come from customer research. Quantitative input from analytics will help you identify potential pain points within your digital experience, but it only tells a portion of the story. Sophisticated experimentation programs also work to layer in qualitative research—an equally important counterpart that will help you fill in gaps in your understanding of your customers.

The goal with qualitative research is to uncover the “why” behind the “what” that you have observed with your quantitative tool.

Ideally, your experimentation team will have all of the following qualitative tools at their disposal:

  • Scrollmaps
  • Clickmaps
  • Movemaps
  • User polls
  • Surveys
  • User session recording
  • Interviews

User Engagement Tools

Many organizations start with user engagement tools. These tools—including scrollmap, clickmap, heatmap, and user session recording features—help you visualize the visitor experience. They are useful because they are passive (requiring no additional action from your visitor) and are often low cost and easy to use.

When analyzing data from these tools, you’ll want to consider:

  • What % of your visitors is seeing specific important content?
  • What % of your visitors is scrolling past the fold?
  • Is there a particularly steep drop off after seeing a specific piece of content?
  • When comparing multiple calls-to-action, which are more commonly clicked?
  • What valuable information might your visitors be missing?
  • Where should you run your next test? (You may not want to test an element that few users are seeing)

Polls & Surveys

Polls and surveys take user research a step further by actually addressing specific questions to your audience. They give you the opportunity to ask questions while your user is in the shopping mindset and is evaluating your product. These require some action from users, but can often uncover much deeper insights (such as pain points within the customer journey you may have overlooked).

Exercise discretion with polls and surveys. Although they can provide rich customer feedback, they can also distract from your primary conversion goal.

Recommended tools to evaluate include:

Advanced experimentation & personalization: Data and customer management technologies

We hear shouts of “hyper-personalization” constantly—a one-to-one customer experience is the pinnacle for many organizations today. Of course, this relies on the existence of underlying data to define what makes an experience “personal”. Most organizations do not have the proper technology in place to enable this.

If your business has been struggling to do effective personalization, you should 1) interrogate your overall personalization strategy, and 2) look closely at how you are managing your customer data.

The proper use of a robust customer data platform (CDP) is a key component that differentiates mature experimentation programs from the immature. These platforms open up the world of audience management, boosting your ability to identify and target high value audience segments and plan test strategies around these groups.

Customer Data Platforms (CDP)

The CDP Institute defines a Customer Data Platform as “packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems.”

A major benefit of a CDP is the ability to deliver a more effective customer experience and more impactful marketing messaging. (Which is really the goal with personalization). Your customers want a consistent experience across all of the channels and devices they’re using. They don’t want to see an ad for something they have already purchased. A CDP allows you to gain a complete view of your customer and deploy a consistent experience across touchpoints.

It is important to note, however, that a CDP is only as useful as it is comprehensive and actionable. This means that the number of data sources available to your CDP, as well as the number of execution integrations are both critical.

If you aren’t collecting data from multiple sources—website, mobile app, customer service system, in-store behavior, beacons, etc.—you may not be ready for a CDP. As well, if you can’t activate this data across multiple touchpoints—website, in-store, customer service interactions, etc.—you will not unlock the full potential of a CDP to provide a truly unified customer experience.

A CDP is not a personalization tool. However, it provides the data that will allow you to get the most use out of your personalization and experimentation tool.

If yours is a mature program and you are looking to enhance your personalization efforts or improve your overall data management efforts, Tealium’s Universal Data Hub is a great choice. Evergage is also a strong solution, combining a CDP with real-time personalization capabilities. If you already have a data platform in place, Evergage also functions as a powerful standalone personalization platform.

If you are looking for other tactical personalization solutions, you should also evaluate Optimizely Personalization and Dynamic Yield.

The business world has come a long way from the Mad Men era of focus groups and hunches. Today, technology enables experimentation at scale. It allows organizations to test one experience against another, achieving a statistically confident result. Which greatly reduces risk in decision-making.

However, it is vital that you define your experimentation strategy and ultimate objectives before sourcing your technology stack. Choose tools that fit these objectives, as well as your organization’s culture and the skill levels on your teams.

A final note: Before sourcing more tools, make sure you have a clear idea of what your program constraints really are. You can install every tool on the market, but that doesn’t mean you will have an effective experimentation program. First, you need a map of how you plan to get your program from A to B; technology is simply what you will use to pave the roads along the way.

What tools make up your marketing stack for experimentation? How do these tools support your overall experimentation efforts? Are your favorite tools on this list or did we miss them? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Michael St Laurent

Director of Experimentation Strategy & Product Development Lead

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Natasha Wahid

Marketing Manager

Benchmark your experimentation maturity with our new 7-minute maturity assessment and get proven strategies to develop an insight-driving growth machine.

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4 simple ways small businesses can use data to build better customer relationships

4 simple ways small businesses can use data to build better customer relationships

In a world where customers are bombarded across every possible channel with brand messages, targeting is more important than ever before. Small businesses need to be able to make their campaigns feel relevant and personal in order to keep up, but the processes involved – collecting, organizing and interpreting customer data to make it actionable – are often intimidating to small businesses and solo entrepreneurs with limited time and resources.

Collecting, organizing and learning from your customer data is critical no matter how large your team is or what stage of growth you’re in. In fact, there’s no better time to consider your processes for data than when you’re just starting out. And getting started with basic strategies for building customer relationships doesn’t have to be difficult – there are some simple steps you can take to save yourself a lot of time as your business grows and scales.

From the moment you start your business and establish an online presence, you should be laying the groundwork for effective CRM strategies. This includes: establishing a single-source of truth for your customer data, being thoughtful and organized about how you collect information and setting up the right processes to interpret that data and put it to work for your marketing. Here are some actionable steps (with examples) to take now:

  • Collect: Make sure you’re set up to onboard people who want to be marketed to. Whether you’re interacting online or in person, you should be collecting as many insights as possible (for example, adding a pop-up form to your website to capture visitors, or asking people about their specific interests when they sign up for your email list in store) and consolidating them so you can use them to market.
  • Organize: Once you have this data, make sure you’re organizing it in a way that will give you a complete picture of your customer, and make it easy to access the insights that are most important for your business to know. Creating a system where you can easily sort your contacts based on shared traits – such as geography, purchase behaviors or engagement levels – will make it much easier to target the right people with the right message.
  • Find insights: Find patterns in data that can spark new ideas for your marketing. For example, the realization that your most actively engaged customers are in the Pacific Northwest could lead to a themed campaign targeting this audience, a plan for a pop-up shop in that location or even just help you plan your email sends based on that time zone.
  • Take action: Turn insights into action, and automate to save time. As you learn more about your audience and what works for engaging them, make sure you’re making these insights scalable by setting up automations to trigger personalized messages based on different demographic or behavioral data.

Doing this right won’t just result in more personalized marketing campaigns and stronger, more loyal customer relationships – it will also help you be smart about where you focus your budget and resources as you continue to grow.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

As VP of Marketing, Darcy Kurtz leads Mailchimp’s product marketing team. Her team aligns product strategy with marketing execution to make Mailchimp’s sophisticated marketing technology accessible for small businesses worldwide. Darcy joined Mailchimp with more than 25 years of experience leading global marketing at companies like Dell, Sage and Outsystems. She has a career-long passion for serving small businesses.

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Apple holders vote down proposal to disclose ideology of director nominees

Apple holders vote down proposal to disclose ideology of director nominees

FILE PHOTO: An Apple logo is seen in a store in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 24, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

(Reuters) – Apple Inc shareholders on Friday defeated a shareholder proposal from a conservative group that would have required the company to disclose the “ideological perspective” of nominees for its board of directors.

The proposal, placed on the shareholder ballot by the National Center for Public Policy Research, received only 1.7 percent of votes at the iPhone maker’s annual meeting in Cupertino, Calif.

The organization describes itself as a communications and research foundation supporting strong national defense and free market solutions.

Arguments were made both in favor of the proposal and against it in the Steve Jobs Theater, where the meeting is being held. Shareholder advisory firms Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Services both recommended shareholders vote against it.

Reporting by Stephen Nellis; Editing by Bill Rigby

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Deliver a more relevant search experience

Deliver a more relevant search experience

Attend Our Conferences

April 2-3, 2019: SMX Munich

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June 3-5, 2019: SMX Advanced

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November 13-14, 2019: SMX East

Learn More About Our SMX Events

Gain new strategies and insights at the intersection of marketing, technology, and management. Our next conference will be held:

April 3-5, 2019: San Jose

September 16-18, 2019: Boston

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Marketing Technology Awards 2019 – Search Engine Watch Search Engine Watch

marketing technology awards 2019

marketing technology awards 2019

We’ve been working together with our sister site, ClickZ, to honor the best and brightest marketing technology companies today (which includes some SEO-related tools). 

These Marketing Technology Awards are voted on 50/50 by the community and by a panel of judges. The ceremony will be hosted by Scott Brinker, and will take place on the night of March 21 in Tribeca, New York.

We’ve been raising quite a bit more hubbub about it on ClickZ, which more directly covers all marketing technology.

But since our SEW name is on there too, we wanted to make sure everyone here was in the loop as well. (You’ve probably seen it in the newsletters!)

How do the Marketing Technology Awards work?

You can read full detail about the Awards on the official website here, and can see answers to common questions here.

Categories span across various types of marketing technology, including CDPs, ABMs, call analytics, conversational bots, and a dozen more.

And of course, a handful of more SEO type things such as search tools, location-based marketing, mobile marketing, etc.

Categories also include “Use of Technologies” (best campaigns, best tech stack), as well as “People” (martech CEO and CMO).

The awards were free to enter, and anyone who has used any of the platforms (excluding employees) could vote on them, rating the tools on things like ease of use, integration, innovation, value for money, customer service, etc.

Finalists were determined based 50% by community votes, and 50% by these judges.

marketing technology awards panel of judges

Announcing the finalists

So for 2019, we want to thank everyone who has entered, nominated, voted, scored, and otherwise provided your valuable insights and experience.

We’d like to announce the list of finalists for this year, and offer a huge congratulations to everyone on this list.

We can’t wait to celebrate you and your great work at this event.

Here’s the full list:

Technologies

Best Account Based Marketing Tool

  • Demandbase
  • Jabmo
  • Uberflip

Best Analytics Platform

  • AT INTERNET
  • Interana
  • Pathmatics
  • TapClicks

Best Attribution Platform

  • Fospha
  • Marketing Evolution

Best Call Analytics Platform

  • DialogTech
  • Infinity
  • Invoca
  • Marchex

Best Chat/Conversationsal Bot/Tool

Best Content Marketing Tool

Best Conversion Rate Optimization Tool/Technology

  • CoolTool
  • Lucky Orange
  • WEVO

Best Customer Data Platform (CDP)

  • Adlucent
  • Arm Treasure Data
  • Fospha
  • Tealium

Best Customer Relationship Management Platform (CRM)

Best Data Privacy/GDPR Tool/Technology

  • Isatis CyberSoft
  • Sourcepoint

Best Data Visualization Tool

Best Demand Side Platform (DSP)

  • Amobee
  • SmartyAds
  • The Trade Desk

Best Digital Asset Management Platform (DAM)

Best Email Service Provider (ESP)

  • Epsilon
  • GetResponse
  • MessageGears
  • Upland Adestra

Best Influencer Marketing Platform

  • CreatorIQ
  • HYPR
  • IZEA Worldwide Inc.

Best Location Based Marketing Platform

  • Brandify
  • Chatmeter
  • Rio SEO
  • Yext

Best Marketing Automation Platform (MAP)

  • Maropost
  • Omnisend
  • Salesforce
  • Swrve

Best Mobile Marketing Platform

Best Paid Media/Bid Management Tool

  • Adlucent
  • Kenshoo (Kenshoo Search)
  • SmartyAds

Best Personalization Platform

  • Certona
  • Monetate
  • RichRelevance
  • Sitecore
  • Yieldify

Best Predictive Analytics Platform

  • Keen Decision Systems
  • SmartyAds

Best Sales Enablement Technology

  • Clari
  • Highspot
  • List Partners LLC
  • Seismic

Best SEO Tool

Best Social Media Marketing & Monitoring Company

  • Kenshoo (Kenshoo Social)
  • Rascasse

Overall – Marketing Technology Company of the Year

  • To be announced from the list of finalist at the awards dinner

Use of technologies

Best Customer Experience Campaign

  • Nestlé (Nestlé China)
  • Ogilvy (H&M & Ogilvy)
  • Best Data Enablement Campaign
  • Adobe (Adobe)
  • Catalyst (Catalyst & Tauck)
  • Idomoo (Fairmont Hotels & Resorts)
  • Marketing Evolution (Marketing Evolution)

Best Marketing Technology Stack

Best Personalization Campaign

  • Conversant (Swanson Health)
  • Location3 (Mountain Mike’s Pizza)
  • Selligent Marketing Cloud (OPEL NETHERLANDS)
  • Sitecore (Herschend Family Entertainment (Dollywood.com))
  • Velocity Worldwide (The Belfast Classic/Sport Changes Life)

Best Technology Combination

  • Akamai
  • Glisser
  • Merkle (Globe Life and Accident Insurance)
  • TVTY

Best Use of Marketing Technology

  • Adobe (Adobe & Adobe Advertising Cloud)
  • Ogilvy (H&M & Ogilvy)
  • SAP (SAP & MSIGHTS, Inc.)

People

Marketing Technology CEO Award

  • Conductor (Seth Besmertnik, CEO, Conductor)
  • Marketing Evolution (Rex Briggs, CEO, Marketing Evolution)
  • Sourcepoint (Ben Barokas, CEO, Sourcepoint)
  • Tapad (Sigvart Voss Eriksen, CEO, Tapad)
  • Trustpilot (Peter Holten Mühlmann, CEO, Trustpilot)

Marketing Technology CMO Award

  • Hootsuite (Penny Wilson, CMO, Hootsuite)
  • The Trade Desk (Susan Vobejda, CMO, The Trade Desk)
  • Yieldify (Hannah Nakano Stewart, CMO, Yeildify)

Again, a huge congratulations to all of these fantastic companies and people! For inquiries about the ceremony, please see more information and contact info here.

Related reading

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U.S. personal income falls; spending weakest since 2009

U.S. personal income falls; spending weakest since 2009

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. personal income fell for the first time in more than three years in January as dividends and interest payments dropped, pointing to moderate growth in consumer spending after it fell by the most since 2009 in December.

FILE PHOTO: A customer pays her lunch bill at the Other Side Cafe in Boston, Massachusetts in this file photo taken on October 1, 2009. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi/Files

The report from the Commerce Department on Friday also showed inflation pressures remaining tame, which together with slowing domestic and global economic growth gave more credence to the Federal Reserve’s “patient” stance towards raising interest rates further this year.

Personal income slipped 0.1 percent in January, the first decline since November 2015, after jumping 1.0 percent in December. Income was weighed down by decreases in dividend, farm proprietors’ and interest income. Wages increased by a moderate 0.3 percent in January after rising 0.5 percent in December.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast incomes rising 0.3 percent in January.

The Commerce Department did not publish the January consumer spending portion of the report as the collection and processing of retail sales data was delayed by a 35-day partial shutdown of the government that ended on Jan. 25.

It reported that consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, dropped 0.5 percent in December. That was the biggest decline since September 2009 and followed a 0.6 percent increase in November.

Households cut back on purchases of motor vehicles and recreational goods in December, leading to a 1.9 percent plunge in spending on goods. Spending on goods increased 1.0 percent in November. Outlays on services edged up 0.1 percent, held back by a decline in spending on household electricity and gas. Spending on services advanced 0.4 percent in November.

When adjusted for inflation, consumer spending fell 0.6 percent in December, also the largest drop since September 2009, after rising 0.5 percent in November.

The December data was included in the fourth-quarter gross domestic product report published on Thursday, which showed consumer spending growing at a 2.8 percent annualized rate during that period, slower than the third quarter’s robust 3.5 percent pace. The economy grew at a 2.6 percent rate in the October-December quarter after notching a 3.4 percent pace in the third quarter.

U.S. financial markets were little moved by the data.

SAVINGS SURGE

The sharp deceleration in consumer spending in December puts consumption on a lower growth trajectory in the first quarter and bolsters analysts’ expectations that the economy will slow down further in the first three months of the year.

Still, consumer spending likely remains supported by an accumulation of savings. In December, savings increased to $1.2 trillion, the highest level since December 2012, from $961.3 billion in November. The saving rate jumped to a three-year high of 7.6 percent.

The economy is losing momentum as the boost from a $1.5 trillion tax cut package and increased government spending fades.

FILE PHOTO: United States one dollar bills on a light table at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington Nov. 14, 2014. REUTERS Gary Cameron/File Photo/File Photo

A trade war between the United States and China, higher interest rates, softening global growth as well as uncertainty over Britain’s exit from the European Union are also negatively affecting the economy.

Inflation was benign in December. The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index excluding the volatile food and energy components rose 0.2 percent after a similar gain in November. That left the year-on-year increase in the so-called core PCE price index at 1.9 percent.

The core PCE index is the Fed’s preferred inflation measure. It hit the U.S. central bank’s 2 percent inflation target in March for the first time since April 2012.

Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci

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Benefits of Interactive Content for Marketing

Benefits of Interactive Content for Marketing

Passive content, including video, is out for 2019, claims this infographic by Kaon Interactive, a provider of interactive 3D product marketing and sales applications.

So what’s in? Immersive storytelling and interactive content, of course.

Most people have become expert at skimming and scrolling, Kaon argues, so you need to give them a reason to slow down and engage.

Compelling them to interact with your content is the best way to grab and hold their attention, according to the infographic.


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