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October 31, 2016

Team Member Renee Spurling

Renee Spurlin


Executive Vice President

As part of Alloy’s professional development program, I was recently given the opportunity to choose a conference of my choice to go learn and share ideas with other marketing and PR pro’s. As one of our team’s certified inbound marketing gurus, I immediately researched digital marketing conferences focused on inbound and lead generation. While conferences sponsored by folks like HubSpot and DMA were on my radar, I decided to take my first trip out to the Midwest and attend Converted- a user conference for LeadPages, a landing page builder. While I am not a current LeadPages client, this event piqued my interest because of the tactical session topics in the agenda. Yes, the venue looked cool, the photos from previous years’ events looked fun, but the program descriptions assured me that I would walk away with useful strategies.

Luckily, #Converted16 didn’t disappoint. Attended by small business leaders, entrepreneurs, bloggers, marketers and consultants, I rubbed elbows and had conversations with SMBs across industries from tech to education to professional services who were all there to learn how to enhance their own online marketing programs. For those who couldn’t attend, I’m sharing my top 7 takeaways below, all of which are sure to give your digital marketing program a boost:

1. Customers leave for 5 reasons- and it’s not always your fault.

No one likes to lose a customer; but sometimes there are factors outside of your control as a marketer. It’s important to look at failures as lessons learned, especially in marketing. So, to keep things in perspective rather than dwelling on them too much or not enough, consider these five core reasons that customers leave:

  • You messed up – okay, that one is your fault.

  • You solved their problem – and they no longer get value from you.

  • They died – literally, or figuratively. This also includes personal issues that require a halt in business operations all together.

  • They fall out of habit with you – evolutions in growth, processes and teams can cause needs to change.

  • They have no connection with you – at the end of the day, relationships and likability matter.

2. Be authentic, always.

 Does it bring you joy to know your product or service changes someone’s life? Or, do you work for a company whose founder shares this sentiment? The most successful startups and early stage companies offer real value to customers; but, these companies also are run by leaders who have a passion for doing something new, and who thrive off of their ability to do so. As a marketer, it is your job to share this sentiment by delivering value to others through all of your messaging – content marketing, visual collateral, advertisement and even your swag. Consider TOMS, a shoe brand with the tagline, “one for one” depicting its passion for helping those in need by donating and delivering a pair of shoes for each pair purchased. But you already knew that. Because their marketing team does such a great job. ;)

3. Be especially authentic in video and audio content.

Video and audio recordings - from marketing content and webinars to radio interviews and podcasts – should also be authentic and relatable. Everyone wants to look and sound polished when being recorded, but buyers can all relate to a few “umm’s” here and there. It makes you come across as a real person, as opposed to a robotic script-reader. While you don’t want to throw all on-air and on-camera best practices out the window, the point is – don’t stress over a few verbal slips and quirks – you’ll likely hold onto their attention much longer by being personable.

4. Podcasts are BAE right now.

BAE, which stands for “Before Anything Else” is definitely a good description for podcasts at Converted. Multiple conference speakers praised podcasts as the best medium for reaching target audiences, showcasing authenticity and illustrating thought leadership. A tool used by entrepreneurs, media and even professionals who just want to amplify their voice are all jumping on the podcast bandwagon - and for good reason – podcast listenership has increased 75% since 2013.

5. Even automated emails should be conversational.

The key to email success is being as personal as possible - but many companies are forgetting this aspect when drafting copy for their automated nurture sequence emails. Welcome emails should start with a "Hello" and include a "Thank you" - not robotic talk like, "you've been added to our subscriber list, blah blah." And if they don’t respond, try something like this - "Are you still looking to train your marketing team? Talk soon, Ryan." Keep it personal with your leads and customers, always.

6. Email engagement series are a must. But, don’t overload them.

As a jumping off point for almost any one-week engagement series campaign, keep in mind how interesting you’re being instead of overloading them with sales content you hope will resonate. If you’re setting up a seven-day email engagement campaign, for example, give your audience two “days off” from receiving notifications from you. Also, throw in a “wildcard” email or two, with a funny GIF or interesting article on a relevant subject – just make sure the goal is for interest and entertainment in these.

7. There are easy ways to enhance webinar promotions outside of ads.

A few additional webinar marketing tips I picked up include adding short videos to a webinar registration page and creating a short nurture series campaign to encourage sign-ups. These are quick, but effective ways to let people “get to know you” before attending your session. For those registrants who signed up but did not attend, be sure to send them a webinar replay or recap email – and include “social proof” of how engaging the event was with a screenshot of tweets or posts from attendees.

Idea-sharing is Golden

I’ll be the first to admit that I am a data nerd, and fresh marketing ideas and new processes really excite me. Learning never ceases – that’s a motto we live by at Alloy, and I was eager to learn tips and tricks that we’d be able to implement in ARPR’s marketing efforts as well as our clients’ lead gen strategies. The great thing about attending a user-conference for a MarTech company, is that the marketer is the focus. My two days at Converted were filled with real strategies, personal storytelling and great tactics to implement - and if you were following @alloy_crew on Snapchat, then you got a glimpse of all of this.

As an integrated communications agency that provides lead generation and marketing automation services, Alloy is here to help turn web traffic into customers. Contact us to see how we can help you implement some of these tips into your inbound marketing efforts!