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7 Secrets Of Remote Team Collaboration
The ultimate goal of every small marketing business or a large corporation is to build a team culture where productivity will thrive and where all people are tied to the belief that “none of us is as good as all of us.” If you are sharing an office with a couple of people, with your mind set on one thing only, you become a part of a flow and the culture naturally happens.
However, if you are miles away from your marketing team, building a culture and becoming a part of it doesn’t just magically happen. While there’s no doubt that remote working is a growing trend, the question still lingers:
How to build trust and leverage the way marketers work together no matter where they are or what time zone they belong to?
Here, we’ve rounded up a few ways how you can build a vibrant working culture even if your marketing team is hundreds of miles away from you.1. Use the right technology
The principal charm of working in an office environment is that it gives you the ability to feel how your marketing team reacts and feels about even the most trivial things that happen during the day. In other words, just by being surrounded by people helps you build their trust. Since working with virtual marketing teams lacks this essential feature, it’s imperative to create a virtual office that will help you avoid any traps of miscommunication.
Mark Mortensen at Harward Business Review suggests focusing on the criteria that shape your daily routines and choosing the tools that are simple, reliable and accessible. With a plethora of applications available on today’s market, this may be easier said than done. However, if you focus on the technology that allows you to communicate with your marketing team in real-time, you are on the right track.
When it comes to virtual chat, most successful remote marketing teams use Slack or Hipchat to report on the performance of the content or any special marketing project. As for virtual meetings, a video chat like Google Hangout will help your team have weekly content team meetings where they can review the editorial marketing calendar with product marketers or designers.2. Build relationships through initial in-house time
One of the common challenges of being a part of a marketing remote team is an inability to feel connected with your employees. According to Google’s Project Aristotle, the most successful teams are the ones that have a higher level of understanding how their fellow team members feel. While using a video chat and video call is the core of successful virtual team collaboration, there is no substitute for face-to-face communication.
Here, at our company, we introduced new content writers to the rest of the marketing team by letting them spend three months in-house before they started working remotely. This not only helped them feel the energy of the marketing team culture, but it also helped them create social sensitivity and get immediate and constructive feedback on their works.3. Hire culture-fit people
To be able to build a real marketing team culture you need to have the right people. Besides focusing on creating a highly collaborative marketing team, you need to include a few more principles in your criteria. The fact that your marketing team is geographically dispersed around the globe makes it more difficult to physically manage them and keep track of what they are doing. In such scenario, the only thing you have to rely on is their personality and attitude to work. In other words, you need to hire remote marketers who are organized, motivated, autonomous and who don’t care about social facets of a workplace.4. Demand feedback
Another thing you need to keep in mind is communication. Ann Macdonald, director of a content strategy at LovetoKnow, says that staying in touch and working through challenges is much easier if the people on the marketing team are communicative. Whether you’re discussing a minor problem or a serious issue that your team may come across in large marketing projects and campaigns, it’s important to constantly encourage your employees to give feedback both on their progress and barriers they run into.
To keep the communication flow at the highest level, combine communication mediums such as video conferencing, 3D environments and telephone calls. Instead of relying completely on virtual chats, organize a weekly video conferencing and allow your marketing team to measure the results of their marketing effort by sharing their ideas or pitfalls they have to tackle. Jake Goldman, a president and a founder of 10up Inc., points out that remote employees need to over-communicate to compensate for reduced face-to-face time.5. Make clear and transparent processes
When working with freelance writers, PR agencies and social media consultants, online chat is an effective medium of communication. However, the lack of physical contact and face-to-face communication may result in misunderstanding and create a serious bottleneck in your marketing team’s workflow. To avoid such a scenario, you need to keep your team regularly updated and keep your processes transparent at real time. Your marketing team needs to have a clear understanding on the why and the how and the when and they have to be aware of each other’s priorities.
Besides organizing periodic virtual meetings, consider investing in a simple and efficient project management tool. It will clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each team member and create a culture of open communication. Joel Sposky, the CEO of Stack Overflow, uses a technique of emailing updates on weekly basis. He explains that every Monday, everyone at Stack Exchange emails their manager a status update of what has been done the previous week and what kind of challenges they had to struggle.6. Create a culture of productivity
There’s no doubt that collaboration and productivity are tightly connected and heavily dependent on each other. The healthier the working environment is the more productive you are, and the other way around. Collaboration fosters creativity. Studies show that the most powerful research papers are often the result of “not so bad” ideas made ingenious by group work. In other words, being an integral part of any discussion like weekly content planning and contributing to the brainstorming process in your weekly content team meetings is the key to efficient team collaboration.7. Develop an efficient work schedule
When working remotely, time differences have a huge impact on the general workflow and the dynamics of the team. Besides being geographically dispersed around the globe, the members of the remote team share different time zones and don’t necessarily have to be at the computer at the same time.
Finally, praise your colleagues. By singling out colleagues for their achievements and sending thank-you emails publicly will boost your remote marketing team’s morale. Stimulate them to feel a common goal and work towards achieving it.
Long are the days when business was viewed as a purely chronological system where face-to-face communication was the foundation of successful team management. With the technological craze that has been taking the world over the last decade, more and more companies are shifting from traditional office environment to remote work. Studies show that remote business model grew by almost 80% between 2005 and 2012, and we are still experiencing its massive impact on business culture in general. Even some of the cutting-edge marketing companies who exclusively operate with geographically dispersed teams have proven that working remotely will be the future modus operandi.
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To ensure success in Data Science projects, the need is to fill it with a Talented Team!
Managing data science projects is not a piece of cake! It involves brainstorming, discussing and fine-tuning strategies that arise from stakeholders to better understand the manpower requirements that correspond to an organizations’ complexity as the amounts of data use increases. Here is how an enterprise can formulate successful analytics teams the backbone of data science projects in 5 scalable steps- • Recognize Complementary Skills- BUILD a team from different academic backgrounds. • Foster Team Collaboration- HIRE specialists whose strengths complement one another. • De-Crystalize Hierarchy- TRUST in no one-size-fits-all approach. • Formulate a Reporting Structure- ACKNOWLEDGE the change of reporting structure. • Device Success Parameters- ENSURE availability of targeted success metrics.BUILD a team from different backgrounds
Data scientists and Analytics professionals areHIRE specialists whose strengths complement with each other
It is important to hire professionals whose skills and strengths complement each other, rather than building isolated teams who expertise in a particular domain. A big picture brings a banquet of professionals with a different set of expertise. Someone who canTRUST in no one-size-fits-all approach
Different enterprises have unique data science project requirements. While hiring, this factor must be kept into account. The focus on decentralized teams assure that different data science projects are meet with equitable resources excelling inACKNOWLEDGE the change of reporting structure
The reporting structure ofENSURE availability of targeted success metrics
Managing data science projects is not a piece of cake! It involves brainstorming, discussing and fine-tuning strategies that arise from stakeholders to better understand the manpower requirements that correspond to an organizations’ complexity as the amounts of data use increases. Here is how an enterprise can formulate successful analytics teams the backbone of data science projects in 5 scalable steps- • Recognize Complementary Skills-a team from different academic backgrounds. • Foster Team Collaboration-specialists whose strengths complement one another. • De-Crystalize Hierarchy-in no one-size-fits-all approach. • Formulate a Reporting Structure-the change of reporting structure. • Device Success Parameters-availability of targeted success chúng tôi scientists and Analytics professionals are hired from a variety of academic background s including physics, statistics, mathematics and so on. With the availability of drag and drop data science tools, citizen data scientists from these diverse backgrounds are working alongside technical data scientists. What matters is a quest to adapt to the dynamic changes in technologies , with a logical mind and first-rate critical thinking skills. You never know marine biologist expertise may prove extremely valuable, who can translate domain knowledge about how dolphin pods behave in the wild can be surprisingly useful for modelling chúng tôi is important to hire professionals whose skills and strengths complement each other, rather than building isolated teams who expertise in a particular domain. A big picture brings a banquet of professionals with a different set of expertise. Someone who can articulate stories with data , a visualization wizard working on interactive dashboards, and a business analyst who can communicate effectively with the stakeholders.Different enterprises have unique data science project requirements. While hiring, this factor must be kept into account. The focus on decentralized teams assure that different data science projects are meet with equitable resources excelling in subject-matter understanding and process expertise as required. The result will be a winning combination where decentralized teams bring agility, business-specific expertise, flexibility, and customization to the chúng tôi reporting structure of data science professionals has changed , consider the past when analytics programs were spin-offs of existing analytics capabilities and consequently reported directly to departments like IT, business intelligence or finance. However, as data and analytics become more vital to how the organization executes work and makes decisions, this reporting structure has changedLike any other program or team, organizations need to ensure they have targeted measures to monitor the success of their analytics and data programs . This not only helps the organizations identify improvement opportunities and manage performance, it additionally ensures that the long-term goals of a data-driven, decision-making culture are met.
Every entrepreneur wants their business to succeed. Entrepreneurs want to see their business grow from its startup phase to become a profitable, well-oiled operation that has a positive effect on the wider economy. Research shows that startups play a major role in job creation and economic growth. They are the lifeblood of the US economic system. Startup businesses are essential for the country’s economic stability. (1) There is no magic formula to success in business, but there are some things you can do that will help you achieve your goals. These are five tips to help you build a successful startup.1. Make A Business Plan
A business plan is a document that outlines the company’s goals, strategies, and potential weaknesses. This document is a guide that will help you navigate the initial stages of your business venture.
Also, your startup plan must be constantly updated. Your business plan should be updated as your company grows. To ensure it is relevant to your current situation, it’s a good idea to regularly review and update it.2. Use The Latest Technology to Adapt
Jobber has created software that can help you improve your business management systems, especially if your business is in the field of plumbing. The software acts as an assistant for administrative tasks such as job scheduling and estimates, payments, tracking progress, and much more. It will allow you to spend your time on more important tasks such as sales and marketing.
3. Create A Great Team
Your company’s greatest asset is its team. Your startup’s success is dependent on the contributions of your team. Your team members will help you achieve your goals and execute your vision. It’s important to carefully hire the right people.
Hire people who share your values, work ethic, and entrepreneurial mindset. To narrow down your choices, you can conduct interviews and administer personality tests. This allows you to find the right person for your company.
Also, ensure that your employees receive adequate training. Your business should be all theirs, from the products and services that you offer to your culture. You can trust that your team will represent your company well and produce excellent results if you properly educate them. A great team will boost morale, increase productivity, and contribute greatly to the overall success of your business.4. Leverage Digital Marketing Strategies
You want to be well-known within your industry so you need to develop a marketing strategy to increase brand awareness and reach a wider audience. Digital marketing platforms and tools are one of the best ways to achieve this. This is how you retain and attract customers.
Digital Marketing includes many activities. These are some of the most well-known:
Content Marketing: This involves sharing valuable and informative content in order to build trust and credibility with your target audience.
Search engine optimization: This marketing technique improves your website’s rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). Your website will be more visible the higher your rank.
Social media marketing: This marketing strategy involves the use of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to connect with your audience, and build a community around your brand.
5. Find A Cofounder
Co-founders are someone you can trust during good and bad times. You can count on them to help you scale and build your startup. They will also provide valuable insight, suggestions, and feedback. They can be your sounding board and partner in managing your team members.
It takes dedication and time to start a successful startup. You can achieve your business goals if you have the right idea, the right team, and a solid marketing strategy.
Keep your eyes on the prize and work hard. Never lose sight of your goals. These five steps will help you build a startup that has lasting success.
Choose the tier you want to build a team in. Tiers are determined in general by Smogon and can be viewed on their site. More information about the tiers and the tier system can also be found under policy review on their forums.
Based on the above, pick roles for your team. Depending on what you have decided so far, you should have a general idea of what your team is trying to achieve and a rough outline of what kinds of Pokémon to have on your team. This is where you finalize this. A standard balanced team will have a special sweeper, a physical sweeper, a special wall, a physical wall, a lead, and a support Pokémon. However, your team may be different. If you are running weather, replace the generic lead with a weather inducer. If you are running Offense, you might want to replace the wall(s) and/or supporter with (a) sweeper(s). If you want to run a Stall team, you might want to increase the number of walls or supporters on your team. If you are running a weather team, you want to make sure that many of your Pokémon benefit from the weather you are creating.
Choose possible Pokémon. Up until now, we have carefully avoided the topic of choosing Pokémon to eliminate all bias. The first place to start choosing Pokémon is a list of all the Pokémon in the tier that you are attempting to build a team in. Read analyses of these Pokémon (even just the overview section) on Smogon. This will give you an idea of what each Pokémon does on a team. For each role that you aim to have on your final team, choose three (or more) Pokémon from that tier that might fit in that role. Rank them from 1-3 (or higher) based on how well you think they will do.
Look for team synergy. You now have plenty of options for Pokémon. What you now want to do is actually choose which of those three Pokémon you are going to use for your first draft of the team. Look to make sure the Pokémon on your team resist each others’ weaknesses and no more than two or three Pokémon on your team share a common weakness. If three Pokémon share a weakness, make sure you have an immunity to that type in your party or a couple of good counters to the common attackers using that type in your tier.
Look for checks and counters to common Pokémon. First, let us define a check and a counter. A counter can switch into a Pokémon with little or no risk, and ensure the opposing Pokémon’s defeat. A check can sometimes switch into a Pokémon safely, and sometimes ensure it’s defeat. In many battles, you will see the same Pokémon over and over again. Make sure none of these Pokémon will be able to set up and run rampant on your team. In fact, if there are still some party slots in which multiple Pokémon could still be chosen, you might want to consider one that counters or checks the most commonly used Pokémon rather than simply provides a little extra team support.
Choose movesets. Now that you have finalized what you believe to be the Pokémon you are going to use on your team, look at the Smogon analyses, and choose the moveset that you think will carry out that Pokémon’s role most efficiently. Often you can tell which this will be from the name of the set (for example, for a Dragonite Rain Mixed Attacker in OU, choose the Mixed Attacker (Rain) set). If you are new to competitive battling, make sure you don’t disregard stat-boosting moves — they do come in handy.
Battle with your team. This guide recommends battling on Smogon’s server, as you will encounter the best trainers there who will easily show you through the course of battle where your weaknesses lie. Battle at least 10 separate opponents until the end of the battle (or until it is obvious who will be the victor and the losing side forfeits). Ensure these battles are saved to a folder so you can go back over the logs.
Repeat steps 10 and 11. Continue to let your team change and make sure you seem to be winning more and more often. If not, perhaps the changes you are making are actually detrimental. Once you seem to be unable to boost your wins higher (this will take a while and many team drafts), you have a couple options available to you. Continue to the next step.
Fine-tune your Pokémon. Now you can stray from the Smogon analyses. Is it frustrating that many Conkeldurr just outspeed your Gastrodon? Consider taking some EV’s from Attack or Special Attack and moving them to Speed. Would it be more helpful to your team for Starmie to know Psychic instead of Scald? Replace them and see if your winnings are boosted. Besides customizing your Pokémon to be better on your team, you also add a bit of unpredictability to your Pokémon. Some Conkeldurr users will expect to outspeed Gastrodon and you will surprise them. Perhaps some unwitting trainer will switch in Gengar to your Starmie and you will OHKO with Psychic from sheer surprise. Eventually, you will get stuck here too. When you do, move to the next step.
Start over! Choose a different tier, a different strategy, or different roles. You can still use your old team in tournaments, but it is likely that you have got a bunch of great ideas from the multitude of teams you faced while fighting and want to try them out too. If you are especially pleased with your team, consider creating it (albeit imperfectly) in your game cartridge of Pokémon Black or White.
Targeted email marketing can be a hugely effective way to get in touch with your customers. As with any marketing channel, though, there are things you can do to ensure your efforts have the greatest shot at success.
Let’s walk through the elements of a successful email marketing campaign so you can be sure that you’re on the right track.Start with Goals
When you go to answer that question, it’s important to get specific. Generalities won’t help you identify what you really need to achieve your goals, and they’ll leave you scratching your head about the email campaign’s success when all is said and done.
Instead, aim for actionable goals. If you’re planning a campaign targeted at prospects offering them access to a free trial of your service, set a goal for the number of sign-ups you’d like to generate.
As you plan your campaign, make sure you keep email best practices in mind.Segment Your List
Once you’ve got your email campaign goals in mind, it’s time to start segmenting. Segmenting ensures that each and every person on your list is only getting messaging that’s relevant to them.
The way you segment your list will vary based on what makes the most sense for your business. You can choose to segment by demographics (things like age, gender, location, or annual income) or by past behaviors (prospect, return customer, lapsed customer).
For example, if you run a brick-and-mortar business with locations in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus, you might want to segment by geography. This ensures that your Cleveland-based customers aren’t receiving messaging about the upcoming sale at your Columbus location.Embrace Personalization
People want to feel recognized by the brands they interact with. They don’t want to receive an email that makes them feel like they’re just some other customer to you; they want to feel seen and understood as an individual.
That’s where personalization comes in. A part of that sense of personalization comes from segmenting your list. But successful email campaigns take it a step further. They include things like personalization tags, which allow you to use your customer’s name in the email, rather than relying on a generic greeting.
These may seem like small touches in the big picture of creating an entire email marketing campaign, but they can make a world of difference. Surveys suggest that consumers are 26% more likely to open an email if their name is included in the subject line.Include an Attention-Grabbing Subject Line & Killer Email Copy
Once you’ve captured your recipient’s attention with a great subject line, you’ll want the copy to entice them to take the next step, whatever that is. Make sure your email copy is short and to-the-point with a clear call to action. Think about the best emails you’ve received and what’s really persuaded you to act.Plan for Mobile
In our on-the-go society, people are checking email on their mobile devices more than ever before. In fact, between 2010 and 2023, there was a 30% increase in email opens on mobile devices. If your email isn’t designed to be mobile-friendly, with the text and images spilling outside the bounds of readers’ phone screens, you’re likely going to lose their interest quickly.
This may require some testing on your end as many emails have to be built separately for desktop or mobile. Or, if you’re working with a marketing partner for your targeted email marketing , they can take care of this for you to ensure it’s seamless no matter where consumers are looking.Measure Results
Once your email campaign is up and running, it’s important to keep track of results. Remember those goals you set in the beginning? Use them as a yardstick for understanding how your campaign is doing.Strive for Constant Improvement
After you’ve crunched the numbers and seen how your campaign performed, it’s time to head back to the drawing board with this new information in mind. What worked? What didn’t? And what other tactics can you employ to generate a better response next time?
When you know where you stand currently, you can aim to move forward with your next campaign. And you continue to repeat that process over and over, getting smarter and garnering better results each and every time.
Want to learn what we can do to support you in your targeted email marketing efforts? Contact us today!Stephanie Heitman
Stephanie is the Associate Director of Content for LocaliQ and WordStream. She has over 10 years of experience in content and social media marketing and loves writing about all things digital marketing. When she’s not researching the latest and greatest marketing news and updates, she’s probably watching reality TV with her husband, reading, or playing with her two pups.
Other posts by Stephanie Heitman
It’s no secret that marketing means something different nowadays. Commercials have turned into 60-second Instagram spots, direct mail flyers have been replaced with personalized email campaigns, and brands have traded celebrity endorsements for mom sponsored blog posts to rep their products.
With this surge of consumer-centric marketing efforts, strategists must consider which platform is most effective for driving not only positive trending business results for their brands but personalized experiences for the consumer.
Enter: Influencer marketing.What is Influencer Marketing?
Raise your hand if you work in marketing.✋
Now, give me two high-fives if work for a small business or even a big brand. 🙌
Real quick, let’s do a pop quiz!
Can you guess the celebrity associated with each catch phrase? (Answers are at the bottom of the article).
Jello Pudding, You Can’t Be A Kid Without It
You Want To Know What Comes Between Me And My Calvins?
The Joy of Pepsi (Hint: 2002 Super Bowl)
There was a time when our favorite celebrity would endorse a magical, miracle face cream, the shake weight, or even Total Gym and we’d buy it. Why? In the past, consumers connected with celebrities and trusted the brands they endorsed.
Let’s be honest, if Oprah said swimming with blue whales would make you lose weight, then half the women in the U.S. would be exercising with blue whales in the South Pacific.
The market has evolved as the world has changed. With the rise of the internet and social media, consumers were given a voice. Consumers search for authentic opinions online from their peers. Before the internet, consumers didn’t have access to ordinary people the way we do today.
When consumers begin to go through the buying cycle, they start to seek out genuine feedback from other consumers that have similar budgets and lifestyles versus searching for the often unattainable bling-bling that comes with the life of being a celebrity.
A 2011 survey by BlogHer stated that 20 percent of women active on social media are motivated to consider products promoted by bloggers they know, yet only 13 percent are motivated by celebrity endorsements. In a recent study by Buzzstream, they discovered that celebrity endorsers did not result in actionable purchase intent by the consumer when compared to vloggers.
Also to show the transition, even more, SheKnows Media estimated that women control 85% of all purchasing decisions in the U.S. Within that report, 86% of the 1,470 women stated they put trust in real peoples’ product and service recommendations. Consumers turn to “everyday experts” as the report calls them because they are seen as having an authentic and honest voice.
As times are changing, brands are personalizing their approach with one individual versus targeting the market in mass.Why Influencer Marketing Works for Brands
While any girl loves shopping for her new make-up buys, there’s just something about stalking, researching, and watching tutorials on other beauties. Seriously, if you’re going to master the #wokeuplikethis face, then you’ve got to choose your products wisely. Beauty bloggers have the market cornered, not only on beautiful skin and all-around gorgeousness but on influencer marketing.
These “real” influencers act as the model, writer, and promoter of the product.
Here are a few examples of beauty influencer and brand collaborations:Maybelline and MakeupbyAmarie Smashbox Cosmetics and Raye Boyce Birchbox and Cupcakes & Cashmere Nars and Bekka Plamer
These beauty bloggers and social media powerhouses are just one example of how brands are utilizing the personalization of content and the footprint of influencers to drive authentic brand engagement. Brands get the most bang for their buck when they can mesh the influencers with their brand lifestyle and values.It Works Because It’s Authentic and Personalized
In a survey from digital agency Burst Media, Burst Media discovered that influencer campaigns earn “$6.85 in earned media value for every $1.00 of paid media.” Pretty impressive, huh?
Real people are approachable, authentic, and deliver personalized content. Brands enlisting the help of influencers can see an increase in revenue, consumer loyalty, user-generated content, boost in social media, organic growth, and so much more.
The personalized content your influencers deliver have the opportunity to change consumer behaviors. That’s insane!
Personalized content is the new king of content. Take a peek at how brands are personalizing their content:
Warby Parker sends a customer a thank you note through a YouTube video.
Warby Parker sends a personal customer service email after a dog ate their glasses.
Birchbox sends custom email newsletters based on your previous subscription preferences.
Sittercity targets the homepage you’ll see based on location.
As you can see from the examples above, brands are already doing a good job at turning data into amazing user experiences. Brands can leverage personalization and influencer marketing to guide their potential buyers down the funnel from the awareness stage to the purchase decision stage.Insights Into My Influencer Marketing Strategy
Real people equal approachable, authentic, and personalized content. Brands enlisting the help of influencers can see an increase in revenue, consumer loyalty, user-generated content, boost in social media, organic growth, and so much more.Step One: Define Your Goals
Before I get into the nitty-gritty details, let’s discuss your goals and expectations of influencer marketing. Do you want people to try a new product? Or, increase sales?
Here are a few examples:
Drive traffic to your website
Increase social following
Promoting a new product
Boosting SEO through earned media
When writing goals, try to be as specific as possible. For instance, instead of saying “drive traffic to my website,” make a goal of “increase organic traffic by 20% in 3 months.” As a marketer, I use brand influencers to help me achieve my goals. I collaborate with influencers to help win genuine interest for a brand product. They spread the word in an unbiased way while supporting my goals.
Google sponsored this vlog below for the launch of Nexus.
When comparing this 11,000,000 views to Google’s 15,000 or so views, it’s easy to see how this vlog helped Google introduce a product plus supported their goals.
To start, pull data from your other paid marketing channels to determine how you’re performing. You can gain insights by aligning your influencer marketing goals and your other paid campaigns.
Yep, I said it influencer marketing is a paid marketing channel. And, just like any other paid marketing channel, you need a few months of data before you can perfect the strategy. However, the length of your campaign should be directly tied to your goals. For your first campaign, I recommend gaining data for three to six months to gauge what your influencers want and need from you in this specific channel. From there, you can go with 1,3,6,9, or 12-month influencer programs. Whatever works best for you and your brand.
In the past, the longer I’ve had my influencer campaigns running, the more trust I was able to gain for my brand. Meaning, it wasn’t a “one and done” blog post or social promotion with a blogger. The blogger became part of our brand culture, became part of the team, and they had time to truly embrace all the awesomeness our brand has to offer.Step Two: Determine the Budget
“Wait, what?! You mean people want me to PAY them to write about my product?” said every client I’ve ever worked with on influencer marketing. I recently worked with a client that wanted to target the top of the top influencers.
Here’s the outreach email template they wanted me to pitch to Lauren Conrad:
We’re big fans of your May collection with Kohl’s! Summer never looked so chic.
We would love to partner with you on a blog post and cross-promote on social media for an upcoming campaign we’re launching in July. Does this sound like something you’d be interested in?
Of course, we’ll send over some free swag (t-shirts, sweatshirts, the whole sh-bang!).
Please email me back to let me know if you’re interested.
Well, if you’ve read any of my past articles on SEJ, I’m sure by now you can guess that I didn’t send this email outreach template to anyone, much less Lauren Conrad.
The idea that blog goddesses like Lauren Conrad or others from sites like Oh Joy! or A Beautiful Mess will just naturally mention your product is most likely not going to happen. Like or not, these top bloggers (or influencers) are getting paid one way or another to mention, feature, or post with a product. With bloggers and social media influencers, you have to pay them for the years they’ve spent cultivating, nurturing, and growing their audience. Think about this way: How much would you pay to rank position one on Google? Or, for a billboard in Time Square? Or, a 30-second spot on during Super Bowl?
There are ways to collaborate with influencers are a small budget. You don’t need to pay $4,000 for 50 photos. But, you do need to have a budget.
Here’s an example of my budget template for working with influencers:
This is how I break down my budget:
Graphics and content: This is the man hours that go into creating these myself.
Project management: The time you spend emailing, calling, and managing the influencers.
Products (and shipping): Depending on your product, set a budget for the influencer to have products.
For Influencers: This is what you pay the influencers. You can split this budget up however you like.
This is a budget for targeting influencers with a smaller reach. In my experience, you can expect smaller influencers to charge around $50 per hour whereas the bigger names can get up to $500 to $1,000 per hour.Step Three: Develop a List of Relevant Influencers Within Your Niche
When searching for influencers, don’t be blinded by the social following. As you can see this massive spike in 2012, your social following doesn’t really represent how much influence you have.
Sites like Fiverr give bloggers and social media maven wannabes engagement metrics only big brands like McDonalds can dream of. This causes marketers to make bad decisions when choosing influencers to collaborate with.
Here are the questions I ask myself when vetting influencers:
Where are they located? Do they speak a specific language?
Are there keywords within the post?
Do they have any brand affinity?
Do they mention any products?
Is there a price range for the products they are mentioning?
How many shares are their posts getting that would be similar to mine?
What type of social following do they have?
What level of social engagement do they receive on their posts?
What types of hashtags or mentions do they use in social posts?
Does the influencer have repeat business from other brands?
The last question tells a lot about how well brands work with an influencer. For example, Studio DIY did a workshop with SkinnyGirl cocktails in August and another workshop in October. This tells me that Studio DIY and SkinnyGirl cocktails were a good match for both the brand and influencer.
Think about the lifestyle of your audience and your influencer. Can you imagine your brand naturally fitting? Get creative.
Here is a great example of how HP targeted fashion bloggers:
Are you asking yourself why HP didn’t target the tech influencers? HP recognized the industry was over-saturated with tech products. They altered their approach to target a niche sector of their overarching target audience.Step Four: Send Outreach Emails
If you’re a fan of copy and paste, then this will be your least favorite step. Personalization is key. You need to craft personalized emails to each and every influencer you want to collaborate with. This step is extremely time-consuming, but it might be the most important. Why? It’s your first impression.
This starts with the subject line. Grab their attention by making a connection to another touchpoint and calling attention to something they can personally connect with.
Subject Line: Your article X on Twitter!
Heya [influencer first name],
It was great connecting with you on Twitter earlier this week!🙌 I’m excited to learn more about how your PRIMAL movements class goes this Sunday. Keep me updated!
I’d love to find out more about how you collaborate with brands on [website name]. Your overall vibe, tone, and presence represent the direction our brand, [link to brand website], is heading. I feel we’d make an awesome fit!
Would you be interested in working together with us?
P.S. I’ve also attached our media kit for you 🙂
These influencers are real people who want real relationships. Start the collaboration off positively by addressing them by their first name. And, acknowledging how their blog or social presence connects with your brand can give them better insight into how you want this relationship to move forward. You can go one step further and actually read a blog post (insert gasp sound effect). I spend about 20-45 minutes vetting each influencer on my list. I read multiple blog posts, social postings, and learn their likes and dislikes.
Once I get a response from a potential match, I try to set-up a Skype chat or Google+ Hangout. On the call, I’ll ask the following:
Have you worked with other brands before? For how long?
What are your business goals?
Are you looking for other brands to collaborate with?
What do you like about our brand?
What do you typically charge for working together with brands?
Before you chat, be sure to do your research. Think about creative ways you can personalize your brand content with the influencers audience.
Here are some examples:
Hither & Thither, a lifestyle and travel blog, partner with Activia in this post.
Poppytalk for Target Pinterest board.Step Five: Get Your Logistics Together
Whoo hoo! You received a “yes” to your email pitch. Now what? Time to craft your follow-up email response to give the influencer as much information as possible.
Below is what I include in the follow-up email:
Here’s a sample of what the email might look like:
Hi, [First Name]!
Welcome to [my brand name]! My name is Anna, and I will be here to answer any questions you may have.
Thank you for joining us — [brand name] and I are thrilled to be working with you! Now that you’ve decided to partner with [brand name], I’m writing to follow-up about the next steps.
Please review, agree, and digitally sign the Influencer Agreement.
Please complete this 1099 form.
I’ve attached a calendar screenshot of rough timelines for us to work together.
I am delighted you’re a part of the [brand name] community and look forward to working with you! Please let me know if you have any questions regarding the above.
Thank you, [First Name]!
All my best,
So, the influencer agreement is something that is pretty in-depth with all the FTC regulations popping up and what Google deems “ethical.”
Here’s an example of an influencer agreement I did on Typeform.
Essentially, your influencer agreement should answer the following questions:
Who gets creative control?
What are the image specs?
How will copy be generated?
How will tracking be implemented?
Will a preview be made available before the post is live?
Will content be promoted on other channels?
What is the length of the campaign?
How much will the influencer get paid?
What are the standard contract details?
Who gets third-party clearance?
You want to give the influencer everything they need to succeed.Step Six: Optimize and Analyze
Plus, you’ve made a new best friend in your influencer. Try creating a private Facebook Group for your influencers to share feedback. This Facebook Group gives the influencers a creative space for open communication with their peers and you.Wrapping Up
Brands tend to meet the influencer marketing world with a “meh.” But, it offers so much more to the brand than one would think. As I mentioned above, influencer marketing is so much more than…influencing.
Influencer marketing is nothing new. Influencer marketing that performs best is all about personalizing your email outreach for the influencer, then personalizing the content for the influencer’s audience. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or what your market landscape looks like. Whether you’re a food brand talking to a style guru like Emily Henderson or dog lovers looking to giveaway goodies to a fitness fanatic, there are opportunities for your brand to build personalized influencer campaigns.
Answers to pop quiz above:
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