How to Get Started with Social Media Marketing

If there is one thing that is hard about creating a presence on social media for your small business – it is getting started. This is particularly true nowadays, when social media is as diverse as never before. However, the good news is that the majority of your customers and potential customers have coalesced in the major social media channels, making it a missed opportunity not to be present on platforms (such as Facebook) where the party is currently going on without you (and with your competitors while at it).

This post will help you figure out where you should be present, and how to take the first steps to creating a community around your small business. First things first: Why bother?

There are a few reasons. First and foremost:

  1. The power of words of mouth. Your current customers are your biggest asset – you already know that. But how many of their friends and family know they’re your customers? Probably their very close social network, if at all. But if they talk about your business with their social media network, that’s hundreds of strangers now hearing about your business. By being present on social media you can create that impact simply by leveraging what you’re already doing anyway. People trust recommendations from peers more than any other form of advertising. If you’re already selling to people, why not make it easy for them to become your ambassadors?
  2. You’re losing some of your current customers by not being present. Nowadays customers expect any business to provide customer support on social media.
  3. Your competitors are there.

There are so many channels and such little time, how can you tell where to focus your efforts?

Learning where your customers and potential customers hang out is the first step towards building successful social media community. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat those are the most popular social media platforms out there. There are plenty of social media platforms to choose from, and without a mouth-watering budget and a team of dozens, it is virtually impossible to use them all. But there’s no need to panic – you don’t need to be everywhere. What you need to do is narrow your choices down, and you do that by analyzing your current and potential customers. Who are they, where do they hang out online? Ask your customers, maybe even give them a discount or a special offer if they would answer a short survey. If you want to opt for a default network, start by creating a  Facebook business page – with more than two billion active monthly users, Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform and as such, for most small business that aren’t super niche – it’s a safe choice (and one that most businesses shouldn’t overlook).

How to open a Facebook page

Opening a Facebook page for your small business shouldn’t take longer than 5 minutes. Here is a link to do so. You’ll need to think of a short description for your business and to upload a profile picture and a cover photo.

Facebook page setupImage credit: Facebook

How to get people to follow your brand or product

Of course, setting up the business blocks for your social presence isn’t enough. You’ll now need to gather a following.  There are a few quick hacks that’ll help you do just that:

  • Invite all your customers to follow you on social media
    • If you have a local store, add an invite to your printed receipts, wrapping papers, bags etc. Also, encourage people to “check-in” to your business and to share photos of their experience (offer them a loyalty reward in return).
    • If you send out emails, add invites through them. If you have a database of customer emails, send them all an email inviting them to join your new social media community.
    • When speaking with customers, mention your new social community.
  • Encourage your current customers to invite their friends to join your social community.
  • Advanced tip: buy an ad to target relevant audiences and invite them to join your social media community.

The type of content you should publish

Despite what you might think, there is a lot of content that’s already at your disposal simply by being there in your business. You social media community is the insider’s club for your customers and potential customers. Start publishing content that will appeal to your customers and potential customers. This could be:

  • Behind the scenes pictures of the day to day of your product or brand. You can also use your smartphone to shoot short videos and share them
  • Customer spotlights – choose a loyal customer and thank them publicly
  • Share social community members only benefits discounts and rewards

Don’t worry about making this pixel perfect. Social media is about being authentic and “rough” so you can upload what you may not feel comfortable publishing anywhere else.

Codes of conduct

  • When engaging with your social media followers let the following rules guide you:
    – If they asked you a question, make sure to provide a proper and timely answer.
  • try to solve customer problems as quickly and painlessly as possible. Depending on the media in use, throw a little sprinkle of comedy relief around your activities.
  • Always attempt to show the human side of our business – that is the best way to connect with your customers and create a long-lasting, meaningful relationship.

Adding paid advertising to the mix

All of the above mentioned things will help you reach your current and potential customers on the place they spend a lot of their time – social media. However, it’s worth noting that there’s a glass ceiling you might get curious about shattering with time. Nowadays there’s a limit to the amount of people you’ll be able to reach without having to pay for exposure. Don’t let this discourage you – being on social media is crucial with or without paid efforts and as you’ve hopefully learned by reading this post, there’s a lot you can do that can help your small business grow.

Summing things up

There is a lot of untapped potential on social media and it’s actually very easy to join the party. By leveraging your largest asset – your current customers, you can build a thriving community around your product or service and turn your customers to your ambassadors. Don’t be afraid to get started, experiment and be authentic. People will appreciate it and with time, you’ll reap the rewards of your efforts.

Coca Cola case study : course enrollment organizational process

No matter how many times one raves about the amazing performance capabilities of a new 4X4 vehicle, the only thing that may convince you is a test drive.

The bottom line is – Experience brings Wisdom, especially when trying out a new system.

Hence, this time we would like to present you with the case study of Coca Cola Co., which “test drove” Smoove’s automation system, and came back with hunger for more. This test drive actually taught us about an additional work option that is available with Smoove.

Coca Cola’s case study is an excellent example of how the Smoove automated system can turn an internal organizational process into a more efficient one. We are thrilled to share it with you:


Background

Mifgashim college is an internal institution where professional courses for Coca Cola’s employees take place. The college teaches such courses as management and technological literacy (MS Office and so forth).

 

The Challenge

Prior to working with Smoove the registration process was managed through interpersonal media (emails, registration forms, excel files) that was generated by the human resource managers and aimed at the employees that attended the various courses.  However, the management of many professional courses each year, with many subsidiaries, required vast administrative efforts and the use of manpower.

Thus, a need for an automatic solution that will encompass the entire registration process and automatically perform the repeated tasks for each course registration, arose.


The Solution

The creation of an automatic registration process through Smoove’s automation system.  

 

The Process

The process begins once the recruiters of each unit mail out an enrollment form to all relevant employees.

The employee then fills out his / her employee number, which acts as the trigger for the entire process. The employee can then access the list of the course participants, while simultaneously receiving a text message with the course details, time and date.

A day before the course starts the employee receives a text message with a link to the syllabus of the course as well as a Waze button that will navigate to the location of the course.

The day following the conclusion of the course a feedback form is sent to each attendee via text.

The objective of the feedback is to first get the participant’s opinion, as well as to receive an indication whether the employee attended the course, or not. If the employee indicates that he / she did not attend – then the process stops there.

If the employee did attend the course, a message is sent to her manager, notifying him that that the employee took the course. Moreover, an email is sent to the employee, thanking him / her for their participation, along with additional literature that summarises the course.

 

The Results

User experience: throughout the process the employee feels that there is a trustworthy source behind the process to lead him / her and provide the required information at the right time, without any effort on his / her part.

Time and manpower savings: the process frees the professional managers and the recruiters from following up on the registration process and managing the mailings that are now provided by the automation system.

Close monitoring: all the data is located at one place and at any given moment one can access the system in order to get a clear picture of the current status, the number of enrolled employees, course dates etc.

 

The bottom line

Once again our smart automation system proves that it is highly diverse and that those who study its abilities, will know how to utilize it in order to automate inter organizational processes that are currently achieved manually.  The idea is to identify the repeated actions, where an interpersonal communication takes place, through emails and text messages, and ask yourself (and us) whether you really need to continue and do it manually, and what kind of solution can the automated?

 

So, which process would you like to switch to the automatic route?

 

We will be glad to help you out.

Smoove team.

How Azrieli Group smooved its customer club base with thousands of new customers

The digital distribution of discount coupons to Sia’s concert – the Azrieli Group Case Study

 

The Smoove automation system is up and running featuring many marketing activities that up until recently required time and resources from marketing managers. Quite a few campaigns are already active gaining more goals in less time, but just as in any honorable students class, there is always one that exceeds all.

Such is the case with The Azrieli Group that managed to renew and strengthen its relationship with 3000 customers in less than one month, thanks to Smoove.

 

Background:

The Azrieli Group has been active for the past 30 years developing, building, and running shopping centers and office buildings. Today, the Azrieli Group is the owner and manager of 15 shopping centers, and it is considered to be the largest most profitable real estate company in Israel.

Three weeks prior to the concert date of singer Sia, who performed on August 11th in Tel Aviv, the Azrieli Group offered its new and existing customers an 80 NIS discount to Sia’s concert via a text message with a singular coupon code. The main objective was to strengthen the relationship with its existing customers as well as grow the number of its customer club members, while receiving new information from the customer for segmentation and customization.

 

Description of the need:

The Azrieli Group faced two main challenges: marketing and technical.

 

The Marketing need:

The customer wanted its customers to enjoy the discount without having to go through a cumbersome process with customer care representatives, or kiosks at the shopping centers, and to shorten the time it takes to purchase a ticket once the coupon is received.

 

The technical need:

The submission of a singular coupon code without the need to manually enter it or to hire the services of a programmer (which requires time and resources).

 

The Solution

The creation of an automated process that includes triggers and actions through Smoove along with an integration with Google Sheets.

 

The Process

The process began with a landing page on Facebook, a google campaign, and banners in leading news websites that directed to the landing page.

Other than the basic registration details that were required, the Azrieli Group also included a customized field of “favorite Azrieli shopping mall”, in order to deliver more relevant promotions and sales in the future (segmentation and customization).

The customer was then directed to a Thank You page that informed the customer that a text message with the coupon code will be sent in a few seconds. The conclusion of the registration acted as a trigger to the progression of the process behind the scenes inside the system.

This is where the technical solution came to play:

We implemented a block called Zapier inside Smoove. Zapier enables the integration of more than 750 external apps and systems to any automated process within Smoove, such as Facebook, Google, V.I. Plus and many more. Similarly to Smoove, the integration between the system is configured through actions and triggers.

Back to the Azrieli Group, once the registration on the landing page was concluded a trigger was sent to Zapier, to extract the coupon code from Google Sheets, and embed it into a customized field within Smoove.

This simple process saved hours of work and the high cost of development required has it not been to Zapier, since the alternative to allocating coupon codes directly from Google Sheets, was the development of a dedicated system that allocates singular codes and disposes them once used.

Following this process a text message with the coupon code was sent to the customer.
The message featured a link to the ticketing office’s website where the customer could use the coupon without the need to speak to a customer service representative.

A customer that received the code but failed to use it received an automatic message several days later with the following message:

“Dear David,
You have yet to use your coupon code to the concert of the year – Sia in Israel! There is a limited  number of tickets. Keep on Rocking! Azrieli shopping centers.
To unsubscribe please click here. “

 

The full process within the system:

The full process within the system

 

The result:

3000 renewed or strengthen customer relationships (and Sia fans) in less than one month for the Azrieli Group.

Beyond this data, the Azrieli Group gained additional advantages:

  • Shorter purchase time (less than 5 minutes)
  • Customer loyalty and strengthening positive image.
  • Data – the customers provided details to be used in the future for personalized and relevant marketing efforts.
  • Manpower savings – The automated process did not require any manpower accept for the person who initially created the process.
  • Upgrading the quality of the digital distribution process.

According to Ran Rolinzky, the digital marketing manager of Azriely shopping centers: “the entire campaign was amazing, both in terms of ticket sales and marketing impact, as well as for the Sia brand. This can be labeled as success”.

6 organizational processes that can be transferred to the automatic route.

Some believe that Lead Nurturing is the only process that can be maximized by automatic marketing. While the automatic process affects the relationship with the customer and increases the chances of conversion by 10% according to a report by Forrester, this is definitely not its only advantages. Automatic processes can also improve customer service, collection efforts, internal organizational communication, lectures and so forth.

At the beginning of every automatic process we should ask ourselves what is our destination and where are we going to meet our customer for the first time. Once we identify the starting point and the destination we will create a route with milestones that will direct back to the destination even if the customer turns right or left along the way. Each action performed by the customer will act as a trigger that will initiate an automatic action.

The following article will expose additional standard processes that exist within the business and how automation can improve them. For each process we identified the common trigger, simply put, the common action that is currently performed within your business sans the automation process, with an example of an action that will initiate an automatic process.

  1. Customer Retention:

The trigger: a “sleepy” customer that has not taken any action on your website for the past months.

The initial action: the submission of a newsletter to test the level of satisfaction.

The newsletter may include a feedback form that will find out why you haven’t heard from your customer. Once the customer submits the form, we can send her an additional letter that addresses the options that she marked. If she did not send the form, we can send her an additional email with a coupon or benefit that will motivate her to make another purchase. The process does not have to stop here, of course. The options are vast and the guiding principal is the creation of an appropriate response for any type of answer received from the customer.

  1. Collection

The trigger: The customer has not paid his monthly subscription.

The initial action: the submission of a reminder to make the payment along with a the option to move to the website or to a payment landing page.

If the customer has not opened the newsletter, it can act as a trigger that will signal the system to send a text message about the due payment. A customer that opened the text message and wishes to continue the process will be transferred to a landing page or to the website for payment. A customer that opened the text messages but did not continue further, will have his information transferred to the collection department in order to initiate a telephone call.

 

  1. Customer Service

The trigger: service arrival date (magazine, newspaper, package, technician and so forth).

The initial action: the submission of a text message asking about the arrival of the service/product.

If the customer confirms receipt of the product/service she will receive a positive automatic response. However, if the customer mentions that she did not receive the product/service (condition) she will receive an automatic message along this lines:

“We apologize for the delay. Your request has been forwarded to the customer service department. The service/product will be resend to you (as applicable to the type of business and its policy).”

At the same time the automation process initiates a “manager alert” action that informs the service manager that the customer has not received the product/service and sends her information to him.

Naturally this is simply an example for demonstration purposes, but still, each business can develop its own route according to the scenarios applicable to it during the business routine, via its customer representatives.

  1. The submission of lectures/courses

The trigger: the submission of a text message to a virtual number.

The initial action: after watching the presentation / lecture one can personally receive the slides to his smartphone after sending a text message request to a virtual number.

Anyone that sends a text message requesting the slides will be automatically entered into a dedicated list with a pre-defined timeline for continued submission of material and presentations as applicable. This is most suitable for communication between students and professors.

Submitting courses can also be a great automatic process for businesses with a product that requires operating instructions. Once the customer confirms via text that the product had arrived, an instructional video or tips for proper use will be automatically sent . The customer experience will improve and the support representatives will have more time to solve more complex issues faced by the customers.

  1. Satisfaction surveys, feedbacks and questionnaires.

The trigger: conclusion of sale or service.

The initial action: the submission of a feedback form to the customer’s email or phone.

An excellent way to improve the customer’s experience is to enable her to voice her opinion regarding the service she had received (or not) via the submission of feedback forms and questionnaires immediately upon receipt or during any other predetermined time. The continued process can be planned according the replies provided by the customer, and through that to enhance the customer’s experience as well as the personal tone.

For example, an automation process that sends questionnaires to participants of a personal growth course will send personalized content automatically, based on the participant’s replies.

  1. Appointment system management.

Trigger: an appointment was scheduled through the appointment system.

The first action: integration with the mailing system that will send an email or text message to confirm the appointment.

One day prior to the appointment a reminder text message along with a Waze map and a call button and even a short feedback that can be leveraged to an up-sale at the end of the process, will be sent to the customer.

The Bottom Line

Automation is not only for marketing and sales but it can also improve many other organizational processes that the business faces via human manpower. The system does not replace people but it can support and assist the overall management of the business, and to free some time to think ahead, while daily activities go through the automatic process route and crucially impact the entire business.

 

Lead the customer YOUR way OR How to UPSCALE your business the right way

Every basic marketing plan begins with the identification of the the target audience, its needs, behavior, and where you cross paths. The goal is to tailor the message as well as the media that deliver it to such audience.

Another goal that stems from the marketing strategy is to close the gap between the current customer experience and the optimized one.

Most of the times the solution will be specific by attempting to identify the problematic crossroads that disturb the customer’s journey in order to direct him to the right route.

Why businesses choose to add marketing automation:

Unlike traditional digital marketing methods, the automation process provides data that accurately reflects who your customer is, what his /her needs are (personalization) as well as allow you to fix the problematic crossroads as you go.

This is a significant difference and the reason why more and more companies no longer treat the automation system as the second fiddle to the marketing plan, but as the main tool that will improve the marketing strategy and allow its implementation.

Building an automatic process redefines the term “Mapping the Customer Journey”. One should not confuse the term with the term Marketing Funnel, nor does it replaces it, but works alongside it.

 

automation

So far these are just the headers, so let’s step in and understand how this actually works.

What is a Customer Journey Map?

The creation of an automatic process through an automation system like Smoove will allow you to pre-define the journey and the different crossroads your customer crosses according to the objective of the process (customer nurturing, maintenance, collection, reminders, sales etc’), and to define a relevant scenario for each crossroad. The goal is to guide the customer through the journey that leads to the final destination, as previously defined.

The Customer Journey is like a storyboard that tells the story of the customer’s experience from the very first stage of the journey up to “and he lived happily ever after”.

The map can focus on a very specific section of the customer’s experience or describe it as a whole. It doesn’t matter. What matters is the identification of our interactions with the customer throughout the journey.

The Customer Journey Map will describe the customer’s feelings, second thoughts, and motivation in each such interaction. At times it will illustrate the customer’s greatest motivation: what he wishes to get out of the company/business or what his expectations are .

Understanding the conjunction points between you and the customer will help you focus your efforts with the aim to reach a desirable outcome, but most importantly – will allow you to focus your work on the automation system.

map

This is how Smoove helped out DNA, an international conference company:

DNA, a company that organizes conferences for expecting mothers, identified a problem in the customer’s experience on the day of the event. Customers are supposed to register in order to receive a ticket, which at times created long lines at the ticketing booth, something that was very unpleasant especially to pregnant women.  

The identification of the problem led to the creation of a solution via Smoove, our automatic system. On the day of the conference, registered customers received a text message that instructed them to send the word “Conference” to a virtual number in order to automatically get a ticket through the smartphone.  Those who have yet to register were notified by a large sign at the entrance to fill out a short form afterwhich the virtual ticket was sent to them.

As promised, the process did not stop here. The system’s reports showed the number of registered customers and the number of those who attended the conference.

A large gap between these two numbers would be a crossroad that the marketing managers would have to face. Understanding what causes such gap will help minimize it next time. If, for example, we identify that the gap was due to the lack of reminders or any other form of communication from the moment of registration to the day of the conference, an automatic solution would be the submission of a letter at another time between these two dates.

Understanding the cause came from thinking about the customer’s behavior, and once again we are back at the main goal of mapping the Customer Journey.

The successful process led to DNA switching its digital marketing strategies into automation marketing strategies in 2017.

 

What are marketing  trends saying about marketing automation:

In general, a 2016 survey that was conducted amongst marketing managers revealed that they intend to invest 40% more in automated processes in 2017.

In the digital field, the first point of interaction between you and your customer is the device, through which the client meets you for the first time. Today most of the digital activity is done through mobile phones, as well as computers and traditional media like TV.

Each of these media has its own challenges.

Each customer journey map may look different from one another but they all share the same goal: to teach the company/business about its customer.

Mapping the customer journey will show you his intentions, what is blocking him from taking the next step, and how he feels during every interaction with your service or product. Refining these tiny steps, such as what influences a customer’s safety to use the internet for purchases, or when does he/she files a complaint, will turn the mapping process into a highly effective one.

If we zoom in even more, then even a Facebook “like” is a mini-interaction that should be taken under account, and understand its meaning within the journey we’ll create.

Working on the micro will improve your current customer’s experience, while working on the macro will open the door for new ones.

trends

The difference between the Customer Journey and the Marketing Funnel

The marketing funnel is a tool that explains when and how a conversion begins, and how a lead turns into a customer. Customer Journey, on the other hand, helps you understand how the customer behaves at a specific point in time during the purchase process, from the moment of your first interaction.

The marketing funnel is used to track the number of customers during any stage of the customer journey, while the customer journey helps improving the customer/product experience.

The first one is for measuring while the later is for decision making.

They both describe the purchase process but from reverse perspectives.

The Marketing Funnel is internal, closer to the business/organization, focused and purposeful, while the Customer Journey is a reflection of the purchase process from the customer’s point of view.

funnel

The Bottom Line

The marketing and sales teams have to examine the customers journeys that they promote, and always refocus and improve. Your company’s interactions (email, documents, media, events, meeting and so forth) together create the customer journey.

The implementation of an automation system as part of the marketing strategy, will allow fixing the campaigns as you go, provide data that helps improve customization, help focus on the customer’s needs, and assist in building a more loyal relationship.

The points of interaction throughout the journey will map the marketing funnel stages, and help understand the problems of each point, which will significantly maximize your conversion rate.

The statistic tools and reports will help you illustrate a more focused profile picture, segment your target audience into lists with shared denominator, but mainly map the journey and improve your interaction points, and implement it all through the automation system – Smoove.

countdown

 

How to utilize video in your marketing strategy?

After the video “killed” the radio stars this medium continued to slay and be the number one marketing tool, especially when it comes to Marketing Automation.

Yet like the old saying goes, ‘lets talk numbers” shall we?

  • Video mailing gets 2-3 times more clicks than regular mailing.
  • Landing pages with videos convert 80% more than others.
  • The cost of lead that converted after watching a video was 20% lower than regular ones.
  • According to Cisco by 2018 80% of the web traffic will be video.

Video landing page example – Sia

http://lp.vp4.me/d9tm

 

So far so good, yet despite this amazing data many marketers are still apprehensive about using video as a leading content. The cost of producing a video is perceived to be high and the required technological threshold deters many from using it.

Moreover, when using video with marketing automation, which comes first?

How does one support the other?

In what way do we define the two of them together?

You are probably familiar with these questions.

 

As you may already know,  Marketing Automation is the next big thing in the world of digital marketing and should you choose to take it one step further, the following guide will do the trick. The right combination of video with an automatic tool like Smoove will take you one step closer to fulfilling the ultimate goal of any automatic system: sending the right video to the right person at the right time.

Six reasons to  ❤ video marketing:

  1. It’s intriguing and enticing: when it comes to video vs. text – the video wins big. In general, it takes an average of 8 seconds to impress a visitor before she decides whether to stick around or move elsewhere. Video, as content, usually gets visitors to stick around longer than 8 seconds. 65% of viewers will watch 3/4 of a video. The highest rate in comparison to any other type of content. Try adding a video to your subject line and see the difference.
  2. Higher conversion rate: in comparison to any other content, video increases conversion by 85%.
  3. Video promotes your Google SEO efforts: including a video on your homepage may increase your chances to appear on Google’s first results page by 53%.
  4. Video promotes higher customer involvement: Video is ten times more likely to be shared through social networks.
  5. Better consumer behavior evidence: watching videos can attest better than any other type of content about the customer’s purchase intentions. As opposed to a Pdf guide, for example, that can only indicate whether it was downloaded or not, video makes it easier to monitor the customer’s behavior.
  6. Cost benefit: video production is not as expensive as it once was. Today, thanks to technological advancements, there are many available tools that enable the production and creation of videos of the highest quality.

The Smoove Video had already been watched more than 160,00 times

Mobile also contributed a great deal to the promotion of video usage. Almost any mobile device enables the shooting of a high quality video. Video platforms such as Youtube and Vimeo, as well as Facebook, allow for easy video sharing, and provide an easy to use set of tools to those who wish to promote their videos.

Another example of a facebook page that utilizes videos in order to promote its messages.

https://www.facebook.com/StandWithUs/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED&fref=nf

 

Why do Video and Marketing Automation constitute a winning duo?

The greatest advantage of Marketing Automation is the ability to send the right message to the right person at the right time. When a customer downloads a guide, reads a blog post, or opens a mailing he actually illustrates his interest level and what content appeals to him the most.

An automatic & sophisticated tool like Smoove will allow you to create an entire route, from beginning to end, through which the customer will encounter content that matches his current position as a consumer as per the content he choses to consume. The nature of the content will derive from the initial process objectives (customer nurturing, lead generation or even collection process).

Automation process in smoove

Of all the indicators that we mentioned above, the video as an indicator gives the best reflection concerning the customer’s position within the marketing funnel.

If customer X watched the entire video, unlike customer Y who only watched half of it, customer X will be in a better position to receive a new mailing that features another video with a new viewpoint, or an offer to take an online course, for example.

 

Possible Triggers:

Watching the video for the first time: in order to watch the video the customer must enter her email address. That is an excellent trigger that can launch the customer journey down the funnel.

Watching the entire video: this is an excellent opportunity to tell the automatic system to automatically send an email once the customer finished watching the video, with an invite to watch another one, or even with a post entry about the video. Any mailing that is relevant to the viewed content will facilitate the customer’s journey down the funnel towards the sought after purchase/action.

Viewing times: once the customer viewed a certain number of videos his contact information will be submitted to the sales team.

Segmentation: The type of content and the way it was used can assist in creating a percise segmentation of your customers.

For those of you who want to work like a pro here are two tools that you should probably know:

Wistia: Unlike youtube, which is a video platform for any content maker, Wistia only serves companies via marketing, support and sales videos. Using the platform allows companies to drive more traffic to their website, increase conversions or increase digital engagement.

wistia

The viewership data that the system provides is more detailed than Youtube, and can output information such as the way audience viewed the videos, display a video’s accumulative  performance with an engagement and commitment index, as well as provide specific individual data concerning each viewer.

 

Another advantage is the system’s integration with other mailing systems’ providers that allows leads to be submitted straight to the mailing list.

Powtoon:

This startup developed a cool user friendly tool that enables the creation of animated instructional and promotional videos about your product without any prior animation knowledge. Such animation includes text, music, and presentations at a high level. While this tool is not free, it does offer a free 48 hours trial period.

pow

Another more familiar method to measure how much content was consumed by your customer is the embedding of a pixel code from Facebook or Google on your website. Thanks to this code you can follow the actions of a visitor on your website in order to customize the content to her.

How to include Video in your marketing strategy?

Every marketing strategy begins with the setting of the objectives of the marketing efforts. The following three objectives are the most common when it comes to automation, specifically when video is being used in order to maximize the strategy.

  1. Lead Generation: Just like any other content that was designed to gather leads (landing page, popup, registration and so forth), a video is a great opportunity to add a call-for-action button before, during and after.

○     Before: in order to be able to watch the video the visitor must enter his email address.

○     During: you probably came across a video where a call to watch similar videos or visit a website appeared in its middle. As long as such message does not hinder the viewing experience this is an excellent opportunity.

○     After: if your customer watched the whole video and did not encounter a call-for-action – that is a missed lead opportunity. Some videos end with a call to “like us on facebook” and while they may not have missed the opportunity, a call for action should be more targeted. For example: “for more fun videos enter your email address”. Such message has better chances at maintaining your communication with your customer.

  1. Lead Nurturing: your customers are not always at the same place when it comes to your marketing funnel, and each of them requires a different content in order to move them one step closer. For example a customer, who watched a series of instructional videos is more ready to make a purchase than a customer, who only watched one. Another good example: a customer, who only now downloaded a manual, is not necessarily ready to try the demo version of your product.

Thus, in order to make a more efficient marketing automation a customer’s position within your marketing funnel needs to be mapped. In general, the funnel can be divided into three different positions:

  1. Problem awareness: The customer understands that he has an existing problem that he wishes to solve, and he is looking for professional information on the web. What video to send? The suggested content for this position is an instructional videos.
  2. The contemplating stage: the customer examines the various solutions available to him. What video to send? A video, which identifies the brand and its product with an emphasis on its advantages, fits best at this stage.
  3. The decision stage: The customer made a short list of his preferred solutions (usually three) and is looking for a trial product in order to reach his final decision (such as a demo, trial period or case study).

What video to send? A recommendation video that features satisfied customers can be an excellent incentive at this stage.

 

  1. Lead Scoring: lead scoring is designed to provide the right message to the right person at the right time via scoring the customer’s readiness according to previously set parameters through the scoring of each action that was taken by the customer. Each video receives an individual score according to its marketing value to the advertising company.

 

Characteristics that indicate a higher readiness level, hence greater chances for conversion, receive higher scores than others.

Therefore, a customer that watched only two videos but they were of a higher stage (the decision stage) will receive a more advanced message than a customer, who watched four videos, but of a lower stage (the problem stage awareness).

There are three video components that can indicate the customer’s behavior hence her score:

  1. The video subject matter: what interests your customers? For example, a college that sells different courses will automatically send the appropriate videos to a potential student, who showed interest in Mass Media.
  2. Video consumption percentage: out of all available videos, how many did the customer watch? A customer that watches the entire video is very different than a customer, who only watched the beginning of such video.
  3. The total sum of videos: mapping your videos according to such categories as: instructional, product, interviews etc. with a total sum of all components.

 

The Bottom Line:

If you reached this part then you already know the importance of automation in Marketing, why video is so significant in automatic processes, the way your marketing objectives should affect the type of video sent to your customers, and how the video can be integrated with each of them.

When used correctly, video is a tool that gives you, the marketer, the highest chances to promote your website, convert, and increase the engagement of customers.

The history of views, video performance, and device used to watch the video (mobile, laptop, desktop etc), will provide a useful data and maximize future campaign. This will allow for a more personalized and relevant content to the customer. But most importantly, a higher cost-benefit.

Our marketing system, V.I.Plus has recently launched the tool Smoove, for the automatic planning, management, and administration of marketing processes. Creating a process that encompasses video, will upgrade your campaign’s performance, and allow you to get a more precise indication and knowledge about your potential customer

How the Renanim Mall upgraded its customers club using smoove

One of the most exciting moments during the development of a technological product is reaching the moment where all those days and nights of forming a vision translate into one finished product, [with a certain name and personality]. At that moment, all the difficulties, failures, and stormy arguments that may have taken place are dwarfed in comparison to the new “baby”.

Since we launched Smoove we realized that there is an even more exciting moment. That moment is when our customers turn our vision into reality. That’s when we find ourselves acting like typical parents, who wish to hear all about their kids tearing up the sky.

This week we summoned Yaniv Dabash to a special “parents meeting”. Dabash is the owner of “Share-alot”, a digital marketing consulting firm that consults to such prominent clients as Ra’anana’s Renanim Mall, among many others.

Renanim Mall is a business and entertainment center located in Ra’anana’s industrial zone, that caters to over 500,000 people. The compound spreads over ten acres and houses more than 200 of the world’s leading businesses and brands.

“The Renanim Mall objective was to create a high level of engagement among its target clientele and to motivated them to frequent the mall,” explained Dabash.

“Before Smoove, it was difficult for us to manage the Customer’s Club. The main difficulty was the management of the contacts and the ability to segment the customers. Engaging them was another obstacle as we did not have a system that could track down their activities.”

“From a marketing standpoint the challenge was the creation of a coupon set that won’t only look good but will also be available and reliable at the same time. For us, the technological innovation was the ability to automatically send a new customer a text message with a singular coupon number. This allowed for tracking its redemption and preventing falsifications.”

 

So how did it actually work?

“We advertised the coupons and other benefits on social media (Facebook, Homepage) as well as around the mall. A customer that wished to receive the benefit was asked to send a text message to a virtual number, that acted as the Trigger to the automatic process within the system”.

“After sending the text, the customer was prompted to fill out a registration form with such details as her name, phone number, gender, date of birth, and address. One time we produced an event with goodie bags for newborns to all the new moms, who joined the club through the registration form.”

The Coupons and benefits that Dabash and Renanim Mall gave customers

 

How did you hear about Smoove?

“Smoove came to my attention thanks to the CEO of Getyou. His sales pitch couldn’t have come at a better time. Following our meeting and after I understood the system’s abilities, I compared it to other systems and reached the conclusion that at that point in time, Smoove had the ability to answer all our needs”.

 

How long did it take to execute your strategy through the system?

“From the moment I got the strategy approved to its execution it took approximately one month, mainly in order to collect coupons from the mall’s stores”.

 

Can you summarize the solutions given to Renanim Mall by Smoove?

“The system gave us several solutions:

  1. Advanced automatic processes that gave our campaign leverages.
  2. Precise tracking of our customers behavior and process though the system.
  3. An easy to use builder that allowed for beautifully designed landing pages.
  4. Coupons management including the redemption of a coupon and the updating of the data in a reliable manner.
  5. The ability to map leads through several media channels simultaneously.
  6. Easy tracking of registration and redemption. “

 

What types of feedback did you get from the customers or the management of the Mall?

“The mall management was very pleased with the process thus in 2017 it was set as one of the main marketing goals.

The results were excellent with a large quantity of new customers from the very first campaign, which led to many more campaigns afterwards.

We increased the number of customers in the club and their engagement. The abandonment percentage was low since we were able to track and follow up with those who did not complete their registration. Finally, the new data will be used by the mall for mailing and benefits with a higher level of relevancy in the future.”

We chose to finish on this high note and we have a feeling that this is just the beginning for the Renanim Mall and Dabash’s work with Smoove. The system’s management possibilities are nearly endless, from collection processes to customer service, and it can cater to large and small businesses alike.

We are left with the feeling that the “baby” is living up to its potential yet are still eager to hear from more happy customers. So, if you and your business had a good experience with our system we would love to hear from you.

After all, your success is also ours.

 

Smoove Team

How to start working with Marketing Automation (and what the heck is it?)

I have a feeling that whoever said “less is more” was not familiar with the term “Marketing Automation.” The need to manage various marketing processes at the same time, brought about the development of new systems and tools that enable smarter marketing management strategies that is automated. This means that every business, big as small, can now reach large audiences through different channels simultaneously, with the option to go into details, send personal, automated, and timed messages and do so whenever or wherever they may choose to initiate a marketing campaign

 

It is called Marketing Automation

Up until two years ago, Marketing Automation was merely the automatic submission of an email to a new client or an occasional birthday greeting. Today, marketers understand that they have wider options, and the prediction is that more and more traditional activities that were thus far done manually, will become automated in the near future and this is the tip of the iceberg.

Smoove, the “automatic pilot” powered by the V.I.Plus system, was launched recently, and already, many of the business activities that previously required manpower, time and resources, are now automated.

Hence, If you don’t want to stay behind and wish to join the new wave of the digital marketing world, the following article will explain what automation is, and what are the basic steps for creating an automatic process.

 

5 Processes that Automation Does Better

The basic idea behind the automation process is to manage the daily marketing and operational activities in a more efficient, accurate and profitable manner.

Below are five examples of routine processes that can be switched to the automatic route:

  1. Customer Retention:

The system can be directed to send an email to a customer who hasn’t made a purchase or performed a specific activity, during a set period of time. This type of mailing needs to offer a special benefit that will perform as an incentive and encourage him to return. Nevertheless, even if the desirable outcome did not materialize, this process can continue automatically and provide an answer to any scenario (opened the mail but did not click, abandoned the registration process and so forth).

  1. Payment

Instead of going over the list of delinquent members every month, and to contact them by phone, the system automatically sends an email with a link to a payment page. Should the client fail to pay within a desired period of time, the system can then send him additional notices via mail or text message.

At the end of the process, and after several notices, the system can be directed to automatically submit his name to the appropriate representative, in order to contact him via phone.

  1. Up Sales / Cross Sales

The first product purchase does not have to be the last. We can set a period of time, after which, the customer will receive offers to purchase accompanying or complementing products.

  1. Lead Nurturing

A customer is not always ready to purchase upon his first encounter with the business. Perhaps he would first like to download a manual offered by the company, gather more information, or simply try out the service.

In such cases, approaching the customer and selling him the service, may discourage him. Instead, we can send him a series of messages that will advance his readiness, while each message will test the client’s readiness level. For example, adding a “Special Offer” button that will automatically notify a sales representative, when clicked, in order to make a personal contact.

  1. Customer Service

Forming an automatic process, where a client, who just received your service, is being asked to provide feedback via text or email. Such automated process can save manpower while at the same time enhance your image as a service oriented company.

The system can automatically send feedback to the client according to his rating. For example if he was pleased with your service and gave a good rating he will receive a positive reply via text or email. However, if the client was dissatisfied and provided a lower rating, the system will automatically notify the customer service representative, in order to initiate a personal call with the client.

 

A backstage look at the automated process

An automated process enables the definition of the Customer Journey: the route and cross roads that lead to the desired outcome (client retention, collection, reminder, sales etc.). Such a process enables the marketer to customize a relevant scenario for each cross road, in order to direct the client to the route that leads to the final outcome, as defined at the beginning of the journey.

 

The automation process consists of three building blocks:

Trigger: The activity that will launch the process (registration, signup etc).

◽  Actions: The action that we would like to take following the trigger (submission of email, text message etc. )

🔷 Conditions: During the process we may pause to ask “What if?” For example, if the customer filled out a form on the landing page we will send him content X, otherwise he will recieve content Y.

 

Building a Customer Journey

Each automated process is a journey where the client passes the predefined milestones that lead to the Objective as set during the process planning stage. Is the objective Customer care? Client retention? Conversion? Or perhaps money collection? There are plenty objectives and goals that can be pre-defined and performed using an automated process:

The following is an example of a classic automated process with the objective of following up on a lead and converting it into a paying customer of company that sells tours and vacations.

 

The Challenge:

Each month, thousands of visitors visit the company’s website, yet only a small percentage of them fill out their contact information, let alone – make a purchase. The vast majority abandon the site and never return. The value of each such visitor ranges between several dollars to tens of dollars, hence thousands of dollars are being lost due to the abandonment of the site, and tens of thousands of dollars are lost as a result of not converting them into paying customers.

 

The Objective:

The encouragement of as many visitors as possible to give out their contact information in order to later convert them into paying customers.

 

The Step by step application:

 

Stage One:

Once the visitor enters the relevant section of the website, for example “European vacation for families”, a popup will automatically appear. Such popup can be timed to appear after the user has spent a set number of seconds on the page, in order to allow her to read the content and to “adjust” to the page.

The popup may offer a free download of “5 things to check before going to Europe”, where the customer will be required to enter his/her details in order to receive a customized booklet directly to his/her mailbox.

If we emphasize to the customer that the content is customized, he/she will be more likely to share further details with us such as marital status (single, couple without children, couple with children etc.), the ages of their children, etc., in order to receive the most relevant content for him/her.

 

Stage Two:

The visitor enters his/her information in the lead form of the popup and immediately upon registration receives a newsletter with the content he/she requested. It is recommended that the content will be customized to the customer’s profile, through the fields he/she entered beforehand. A vacation for a single individual Vs. a couple with children is quite different and we may want to customize our recommendations and even the images of the newsletter to the relevant customer.

The content can be customized via the “focus” button that appears in all sections of the system.

At this stage the customer is not yet ready to make a purchase. He/she was merely interested in the content, thus an approach by a salesperson may yield an opposite effect.

 

Stage Three:

After several days we will send the customer another newsletter with a sale offer at the bottom.

This stage should be repeated.

Your content should be planned ahead in order to accompany the customer during the time period required for making a decision concerning the product we sell.

In the case of a vacation, the review process and decision making may take several weeks or even months. Selling to businesses (B2B) may also require a long decision making process, however, other products may require a shorter process, and in these cases we will want to send messages at a higher frequency level with a more aggressive approach.

 

Stage Four

In the event that the customer clicks on the Offer, we know that he/she is ready to make a purchase. Your sales team will be notified, in order to finalize the sale process (this person is much more involved than a customer who has yet to download the booklet, thus the chances of conversion are higher).

In sum, just as one won’t schedule a meeting with the parents of a woman he just met, or will not give her phone number to someone who simply asked for the time, a company will not send a sales offer to a customer who just started to look into the product or service.

 

Why does a business need Automation to Begin with?

The short answer – higher cost benefit.

First of all we must clarify that the low use of automated tools by small businesses does not include automated mailing, as this specific marketing tool is over a decade old (auto reply, automated greetings etc) hence its usage percentage is significantly higher.

Automation is a process that operates within several communication channels efficiently and simultaneously (such as social networks, blogs, email, text messages, landing pages etc), in a customized manner, based on the customer’s behavior and personal profile.

Smoove and Cardcom expand their partnership!

Sometimes a product purchase page acts as a landing page, where the product is available to buy via a credit card payment system such as Cardcom, with which we partnered.

We are thrilled to announce a new integration between Smoove and Cardcom.

From this day forward every Smoove and Cardcom customer can:

  • Crosscheck with ease Cardcom’s fields with Smoove’s (purchase date, product, contact info and so forth).
  • Transfer a customer’s mailing address to a dedicated contact database within Smoove.
  • Track abandoned carts through the Cardcom payment page.

Any such client will be transferred to the Smoove’s contact list (As long as the customer entered his/her contact info).

HOW EXACTLY DOES THIS BENEFIT YOU?

First and foremost this integration improves the accuracy of your segmentation and contact lists management.

Other than saving you precious time, this new integration will also significantly improve the conversion rate as well as assist you with providing a more targeted message in future campaigns.

In addition, whether your customer encounters your Cardcom page through the homepage or a Whatsapp group, any purchase will automatically transfer the data to Smoove’s automation system.

If you’ve already heard about Smoove you probably know that this is where the fun begins.

“Pushing” the data into the automation system will act as a trigger that will launch an entire automatic process: a customer that abandoned his cart will receive a follow up email to encourage him to complete the purchase: a new deal, form filling assistance, or perhaps a notification to the sales team to contact him personally.

A customer that made a purchase can be an excellent trigger for automatically launching an “Up Sales” with suggestions for complementing products.

THE BOTTOM LINE

As  a rule, 20 percent of your customers are responsible for 80 percent of your business’ revenu, thus nurturing existing customer and customer loyalty is as important as developing new leads. The new integration between the Cardcom credit card payment system and the Smoove mailing and automation system will increase such loyalty.

The automatic timing of emails to customers, who purchased through Cardcom, will ensure relevancy and a continued relationship with any buyer, who made a purchase or even just begun to make one. The systems fields crosscheck will improve data collection, and most importantly, will save you precious time.

Boost up your digital marketing by easily integrating over 750 systems

The digital marketing world provides us with quite a few applications, systems and tools that make our job easier. For every objective there is a system: A facebook page to gain new leads; an automatic mailing system to easily create emails and landing pages; a gmail account along with its applications (Drive, Docs and Sheets) to store your data; a CRM system for the management of client relations (such as Salesforce, Pipedirive, Dynamics and others); Buffer to publish your content throughout the various social networks; and Somume in order to increase your website’s traffic.

Once again, our job is not easy…

But not for long. We would like you to meet – Zapier.

Zapier is a tool that enables the integration of over 750 external systems easily and without any development. Up until now, the integration of as many as two different systems could take development teams days if not weeks.

This unique system allows the creation of a flow chart that synchronizes the systems, improves work efficiency and most importantly – saves time.

Similarly to the creation of a process in Smoove, our newest automation system, creating a workflow chart is also based on a Trigger-Action principle.

You may be familiar with the following situation:

A new client registers on a landing page that you have created through your Smoove account. His/her details are automatically stored in a dedicated list on the system, but not in your CRM.

In this case the basic solution would be to manually type the details into the system, and in more complicated cases to ask the development team to create a dedicated code for that.

Digital Marketing you want to be a part of:

We implemented a block named Zapier inside Smoove, that allows the integration of any of your other systems and apps into any automatic process that you may create.

The practical solution to the scenario presented above is to add a new action named “Zapier” through the automation process created via Smoove, in order to add the new lead to your CRM system, to pull out a record from Google Sheets or any other action that you may need.

Select smoove trigger in Zapier

In most cases the “Zap” will consist of two steps, but lately, Zapier’s developers launched a multistep process. The Trigger and Action options of each system are vast and customized per its functionality. Zap’s advantage is that it allows app developers to sign up to the system, in order to allow our development team to build a customized integration. Thus, with over 750 registered applications today, you are given an unprecedented freedom of action.

Check out a Case Study:

A Ticket discount campaign to Sia’s music concert:

Azrieli Group, a group of companies that is comprised of Israel’s leading nationwide chain of income-producing properties (shopping malls and offices), gave a coupon code for a highly desired music concert of the renowned performer, “Sia”, via text messages to all members of its Customers Club.

The Trigger was pulling out the code from Google Sheets and the Action was its implementation in a customized field within Smoove, and from there to the text message along with the required code.

This is how the process appeared in smoove

The Trigger to the initiation of the process was filling out of a form on a landing page within Smoove. Soon after, the customer received a text message thanking him/her for joining the Azrieli Club, while simultaneously submitting her contact information to Zapier.

This is how the process appeared in smoove

At this stage, Zapier pulled a line based on a unique serial number from a Google Sheet that included a list of unique coupon codes and updated the number in a dedicated field within the Smoove contact info. FInally, Zapier updated the relevant line of the Google Sheet with the contact information of the customer who got that code.

Set up smoove automation trigger in Zapier

Thanks to Zapier’s integration, this simple action saved many workdays as well as the need to delicately develop new functions. The alternative to pulling out code numbers from Google Sheets was the development of a dedicated system that would allocate unique code numbers, followed by their discardation.

Another good example of using this great application is in the case of shopping cart abandonment. In this case we will create a new “Zap” with a trigger of a non complete purchase, and the automatic action will be a transfer to a sales rep through Salesforce (or any other CRM system).

This is how the process appeared in smoove

Instead of trying to locate the customers who didn’t complete his purchase and transfer his information to the sales department (a period of time that might “cool” the customer), the sales representative will approach the customer approximately to the abandonment of the shopping cart.

How Smoove integrated with Zapier can boost your marketing campaign?

While our lives became easier and more profitable with a tool like Smoove, the assimilation of a new Zapier block takes it to the next level. The integration with over 750 systems allows us to create automatic processes that we could only dream of before. Time saving never sounded better!

To learn more about Smoove, our automation system, as well as the Zapier integration – please click here.

Check out other zaps you can create with smoove