The Digital Marketing Guide
Digital Marketing Guide
Transform your marketing
- Defining your Goals, Strategies and Tactics
- Omnichannel Activation Process
- Defining your Target Audience
- Evaluating your Digital Channels
- Creating a Journey
- Content Marketing
- Web Assessment
- Search Engine Optimization
- Search and Display Marketing
- Email Marketing
- A/B Testing
- Landing Pages
- Social Media Intro
- Social Media Strategy
- Video Marketing
- Social Listening
- Social Ads
- Digital Event Marketing
- Types of Events
- Marketing Timeline
- Event Resources
- Measuring & Optimization
- Apply the Right Metrics
- Partner Resources
- Marketing Velocity Learning
- Marketing Velocity Central
- What's Free?
- Agency Marketplace
Getting Started with Digital Strategy
- Defining your Goals, Strategies and Tactics
- Omnichannel Activation Process
- Defining Your Target Audience
- Evaluating your Digital Channels
- Creating a Journey
- Content Marketing
Omnichannel marketing requires that multiple marketing channels are working together to create and deliver an amazing, seamless user experience. Delivering the same customer experiences across all marketing channels whether traditional and/or digital without boundaries including .com, social, mobile, email, events and sales reps.
To put together a successful omnichannel marketing campaign, you need to understand the difference between goals, strategies and tactics.
Goal – An observable and measurable end result.
Strategy – Your overarching vision or plan to achieving your goal.
Tactic – One or more methods for implementing your strategy.
With any new initiative, you need to start with strategy and goal setting. Start by establishing a specific set of objectives like increasing sales by a certain amount or establishing greater brand awareness. Once you've established your goals, you can start strategizing and testing different tactics to achieve your goals.
Your strategy describes how you intend to reach your goal. It should be broad enough that it does not prescribe specific marketing tactics, but be specific enough that it describes who you are targeting to reach your goal and how you will target them.
When you start creating a digital marketing strategy, you’ll want to consider how each of your digital channels can work together toward your goal. For example, if your marketing goal is to increase traffic to your website, you might consider just a few of the ways that different digital marketing tactics can increase visitors to your website.
Understanding how digital marketing works goes beyond just getting to know each digital marketing tactic on its own. These digital marketing tactics can work together to support your overall campaign goals.
Omnichannel uses data to profile each customer and carry a consistent identity across all channels to create tailored marketing experiences.
Defining Your Target Audience
After you establish goals and strategies, the next step is to understand your audience and build profiles of those customers. Most companies develop personas based on demographics and behavior, along with an understanding of a customer’s motivations and challenges.
Why Create Personas?
The more you humanize customers, the more relevant your marketing efforts will be. You may even need to develop multiple buyer personas, such as chief technology officer, system engineer or network architect.
Next, you’ll want to start developing segments of your customer base that take into account behavioral data and scoring. You can define certain behaviors like their last website visit, attendance at your event or asset download. This precision tracking drives higher engagement, conversions, customer satisfaction, retention metrics, and revenue.
Aspects of a Persona
Background - company, job responsibilities, likes and dislikes about job, team structure
Goals - business challenges, pain points and how your products can help
Source of information - preferred channels for consuming content (i.e. podcasts, specific websites)
Preferred content topic - topics of interest
Marketing message - messaging that speaks directly to this persona
Objections - anticipated objections during the sales process
Specific product interest - interest in a particular solution or product
Role in purchase process - influence in the decision-making process
Quotes - actual quotes to bring your persona to life
Digital touch points are steadily increasing as customers have a variety of ways to engage with a brand. Paid, Earned and Owned media mix is a balancing act that when combined allows us to intercept, engage and convert in an efficient and effective way.
Content Marketing is the process of creating and distributing highly relevant content to attract, acquire, and engage target audiences and drive profitable action.
It's important to ensure that your traditional content is aligning with your digital content in terms of messaging. The approach to content strategy operates on the belief that buyers are loyal to businesses that deliver consistent, relevant, and interesting information. When your content is making customers smarter instead of merely pitching products, users will be more likely to engage and stay loyal to your business.
Employ the 4 Rs
To maximize the value of your team and effectively create the content you need, use the 4 Rs of content marketing:
Reorganize re-purpose sections of the same piece to create smaller breakout pieces
Retire - remove content that is no longer relevant, is under-performing or was created for a past event
Rewrite - extend your existing investments by using content that you already have
Redesign- create different versions to appeal to certain personas
47% of B2B customer consume 3-5 pieces of content before taking the first step towards making a purchase.
Free marketing content in Marketing Velocity Central: View and download a wide range of content including messaging guides, videos, third party white papers, infographics, call scripts, copy blocks, case studies and social media posts that you can customize and use in your marketing campaigns. Explore Marketing Velocity Central!
Having a website isn’t enough. It needs the right content and presentation to be effective. Your website is one of the most effective channels for attracting and retaining customers. But do you have the right tools to engage website visitors in personalized conversations?
Consider the following factors:
- Accessibility -A website should be universally accessible for people of all abilities and backgrounds. It should be easily view-able in different browsers and responsive, since approximately 50% of users are on a mobile device.
- Authority - Make sure that all white papers and documentation indicate clearly who the author is and what credentials he/she has.
- Objectivity - It should be clear why the site was created and for whom; advertising should be differentiated from informational content.
- Currency - The accuracy of any information source is often influenced by how recently it was created. Avoid outdated information by:
- Finding out when the page was created and how often it is updated
- Looking for the date of latest revision
- Checking links to find out if any pages or targets have expired or moved
- Coverage - The purpose of your website should be clear and specific; high-quality websites are interactive, offering services and information not found elsewhere, free of charge.
For a more in depth look at how to build an effective website, take a look at this Web Marketing Basics guide from Marketing Velocity Learning.
1. Trying using heatmaps for your website! Heatmaps are used to show user behavior on specific webpages. You can use heatmaps to determine what areas may need improvement or concentrate on what's already working.
2. Website personalization is important for optimizing conversions, accelerating nurture streams and deploying account-based marketing for target accounts. Consider incorporating personalization with a login system or with gated content. By measuring web page visits, you can determine which pages are generating more traffic and then determine where you can personalize content further.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is a marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. It encompasses the technical and creative elements required to improve ranking, drive traffic and increase awareness in search engines. There are many aspects to SEO, from the words on your page to the way other sites link to you. Sometimes it's a matter of making sure your site is structured in a way that search engines understand.
SEO Tips to Keep in Mind:
Most SEO optimization strategies come from Google rankings, which base optimization primarily on a calculation of incoming hyperlinks and brand visibility.
- Make sure your website is search-engine friendly and includes content optimized for search. Content quality and relevancy are major factors considered when ranking a site.
- Balance your SEO strategy by improving keyword-focused content and earning visibility from external sources.
- Pay attention to on-site performance: Top-influencing factors include time one site, bounce rate, pages per session, etc.
Keywords are a large part of a solid on-page SEO strategy: They make the content your audience already wants appear equally enticing to search algorithms. Nailing down a precise, targeted list of keywords is the first step to conquering SEO. You can manually pull keywords from your existing content, or you can buy a list of keywords or even generate a list from marketing automation software. Consider which keywords your competitors are using, and be sure to narrow down popular search terms.
Search and Display Marketing
With pay-per-click (PPC) search ads, your ad is placed as a “sponsored result” on the top or side of your search engine results and you pay for each received click. They are contextual, meaning ads will appear when a person is searching for a particular keyword or term.
Establish a PPC Strategy:
Developing a well thought-out PPC strategy prior to launching is crucial to the success of your campaign. Many times companies waste thousands of dollars while experimenting with PPC using an uneducated pray-and-spray approach. This results in little to no ROI and immense frustration that can tarnish their view of PPC as an effective form of digital advertising.
Start With Research: In order to accurately estimate your average cost-per-click and to determine what keywords and key phrases you can afford to be competitive with, it’s important to do preliminary research. Using the Google Keyword Planner tool, advertisers can research groups of keywords to see their average cost, search density (how often people are searching for a particular keyword) and level of competition (how many advertisers are bidding on a particular keyword). Using these metrics and some basic industry advertising statistics, we can estimate what the average cost per conversion would be for a particular keyword. This helps determine a recommended budget and also helps you to put together a comprehensive list of keywords and key phrases for your campaign.
Develop a Budget: Setting a budget for your campaign is a critical step in your PPC strategy. Determine how much you’re comfortable allocating daily or monthly to your search marketing campaigns. Using the information from your research, this will allow you to estimate how many conversions you can expect based on amount of total spend and what keywords and key phrases are worth going after based on cost, frequency of searches and conversion rates.
Search and Display Marketing:
Why Planning Matters - An Industry Example
Background: Company A and Company B both have a $3,000 monthly ad spend budget and are competing for search results in the conference calling space.
Company A didn’t do their homework and chooses to target the broad, high-frequency keyword “conference call“. The average CPC bid to appear at the top of page one in Google for this keyword is $45. Based on their budget, they can expect to get 66 ad clicks. Assuming the industry average 2.7% conversion rate, Company A can expect to see 1-2 conversions before depleting their monthly budget.
Company B determines that there are a number of more specific keywords available at a lower cost-per-click, that can also help identify customers further into their buying journey. They choose to target the key phrase “best conference calling software” which has a high search density, but a lower competition level than others. The average CPC bid to appear at the top of page one in Google for this key phrase is $7.50. Based on their budget, they can expect to get 400 ad clicks. Assuming the industry average 2.7% conversion rate, Company B can expect to see 10-11 conversions before depleting their monthly budget.
Optimize your Search Marketing
Once your campaign strategy is planned out, it’s time to create your ads. Consider the following optimization tips and best practices when creating your search and display ads.
Research Your Competitors – Use tools or manual search to see what your competitors ads look like and how they rank in the results.
Broad/Phrase/Exact Match – Google’s PPC platform provides three options for matching your keywords to search results. A good keyword strategy will utilize a blend of all three options.
- Broad match allows Google to show your ads to a much larger audience based on algorithmic matching, even if they didn’t search for your keywords. While it does increase traffic, many times this option results in clicks from visitors who aren’t in your target audience.
- Phrase match shows your ad to searchers who included your keyword in their search string (i.e. what is the best conference call software). This is effective because it allows your ad to be shown to a larger audience that is not subject to pitfalls of algorithmic matching.
- Exact match keywords are typically the most accurate from a targeting perspective since they only show your ad to searchers who type in exactly what your keywords consist of. This option allows the most control over your audience, however due to the variety of ways that individuals search, it may result in lower traffic.
Use Negative Keywords – Negative keywords allow you to employ greater control over where your ads display. Add these keywords as needed to prevent your ads from showing in situations where you might not want them to.
Call-to-action (CTA) strategy – Since visitors may not be familiar with your company, the CTA should not be a sales pitch. Instead, offer a piece of content that is applicable to their search query.
Ad extensions – Add relevant and useful information to your PPC ads with extensions for sitelinks, location, calls, apps, reviews and callouts. In addition to being helpful, these extensions also increase the physical presence of your ad making it stand out to searchers.
Headlines – PPC headlines have to stand out and convey authority. Don’t be afraid to use strong language to create a sense of urgency.
Google Quality Score – Google’s quality score is the estimate of how relevant your ads, keywords and landing pages are to the person seeing your ad. A high score means your ad and landing page are relevant, so you can rank higher for the same bid amount. It’s based on:
- Expected click-through rate (CTR) for the keyword, based on past rates and how the keyword has historically performed, as well as your overall CTR on all ads and keywords
- Display of URL’s past CTR or how often your display URL receives clicks
- Landing page quality (relevancy and how easy it is to view and navigate
Email marketing is one of the best ways to connect with customers and reach out to prospects with information that will catch their interest. It allows you to build and increase awareness around your brand and product, conduct lead generation and begin or continue conversations with people who might be interested in your product.
Some commons types of email marketing campaigns include:
1. Drip emails -These emails are sent out, typically as part of a larger marketing campaign and often include content such as white papers, ebooks and case studies. If part of an evolving message campaign, the emails are generally sent out at two- to three-week intervals over a quarter.
2. Emails for online and offline events - These include save-the-dates, invitations, registration reminders and follow-ups for in-person events and things like webinars, webcasts, etc.
3. Newsletters - These emails typically recur on a monthly or a bi-monthly basis. They usually contain news, product updates or other features of interest to customers and prospects.
Regardless of the type of email you send, certain principles and best practices always apply:
• Know your audience: Understanding your audience behavior allows you to effectively personalize your email messages with language, tone and the right content.
• Create Compelling Content: Send valuable content with messaging that aligns with your recipients stage in the buyer's journey.
• Include a Call to Action: All emails should contain a CTA — a next step your reader can take to follow up or engage with you.
• Test, Measure and Optimize: Measuring the results of email marketing actions gives insight into what you did well and where you can improve.
Marketing Velocity Central includes pre-loaded emails and email templates that can help you create targeted messages and measure performance.
Optimize your Emails with A/B Testing
If you have a large enough list of contacts that you are sending to, try testing different elements to see what performs better. It is recommended that you only test one element at a time so you can determine the difference in results is because of that particular variable.
You can test:
Different subject lines - find free subject line testers online
Headlines and Copy
Call to Actions
Content/Offers within the email
Timing and Frequency
Click on the image to see an example of Cisco testing emails with different messaging and CTAs.
The goal of a landing page is to drive conversion by click-through, form submission or lead generation. Most landing pages have a form because they are designed for customers to reveal themselves. Once they are revealed, they can be added to an appropriate customer journey or distribution list.
You can also use A/B testing to try variations of layout, content and other elements to optimize conversions. Landing pages are important for two reasons. First, search engines care about relevancy, so a high-quality landing page gets a better ranking (and more clicks) for less money. Second, a relevant and optimized landing page has higher conversion rates, meaning you get more leads for your money.
Landing Page Best Practices
Use simple HTML templates and readable URLS
Use bullet points
Focus on a single Call to Action
Include a logo and a hero image
Make graphics clickable
Keep content compelling and clear
Provide a bio
Use a form to collect as little info as needed
Include a page that confirms the form submitted
Thank the customer after they submit a form!
Optimize Landing Pages
Your landing page should provide the most direct path to the conversion goal you want, whether that is page views, click-throughs, or form submissions. One common optimization tactic is the use of video, which has proven to increase conversion rates by 100% in some cases. Here are some of the basic components:
Headline – Because the headline is the first thing users see, it’s important to create relevant “main” headings—often called header tags or H1 headings. These headings are typically the largest text on the page (next to other subheading tags in HTML like H2, H3, etc.). The H1 headings should be related to the link from the email, ad, or search term.
Image – Often referred to as the hero image, this should depict what is being marketed. Make sure the hero image is relevant and sound.
Body text – This is your opportunity to convince prospects, in a clear and concise way, the reasons why they should engage.
Call to action – This is what you want the user to do, whether it’s “Download the brief,” “Submit,” “Join today,” or “Call now” (to name a few). These should be concise and no more than three words. This is frequently on a button graphic to encourage click-throughs, but you can also use hyperlinks.
Social Media Marketing
Social Media Best Practice: 80/20 Rule
Only about 20% of your content should be self-promotional. The other 80% should be posts that are intended to provide information or foster engagement with your audience.
Social media marketing is one of the most powerful ways to reach and engage with buyers. Because it’s almost universally used—by consumers and brands—it’s one of the most effective (and perhaps cost-effective) channels to connect with your audience.
Social media marketing goes far beyond the traditional platforms—Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter—giving you a range of ways to reach your target audiences, engage them with relevant messages and build lasting relationships. Because certain demographics interact with social media differently, metrics are crucial to measuring success.
Social media is also a way to increase demand because it gives you a compelling, personalized way to connect with buyers and humanize your brand. Incoming links from social shares can impact your bounce rate and time-on-site engagement and communicate value to search engines.
Facebook is one of the most widely adopted platforms. It can make your business more discoverable in search, allow you to connect one-on-one with customers and give you deeper insights into your audience. It’s now integrated with Instagram, so you can combine a mix of fun, ungated content with more educational, gated content.
A few useful tips are:
Use the cover photo to promote large assets, announcements or events, and use tabs to promote assets, a landing page or other important items.
Incorporate live video into your posts to engage your audience and use Facebook Groups to grow your network.
Embed links using Facebook’s link format, which can receive twice as many clicks.
Consider using “dark posts.” These are ads that are NOT published to your timeline or directly to your fan’s timeline, but rather only to a specific set of users you’re targeting.
Take advantage of Facebook’s Carousel, Slideshow and Canvas features to turn photos or videos of new products or events into an interactive experience.
Optimize for mobile - this is the preferred source for the majority of users.
Marketing Velocity Learning
Activate Social Media Syndication
Social Media 101
Twitter is a strong platform for thought leadership and for events. It has become a space where both corporate and personal brands can develop relationships with followers. It’s fast paced, so it’s important to create engaging tweets with relevant links on a regular basis. It’s a good idea to create a Twitter list for your employees, competitors, influencers and top followers.
Here's a few things to keep in mind:
Create hashtags for events to encourage real-time tweets.
Create hashtags for product announcements and other campaigns.
Regularly engage with influencers by interacting with and sharing their posts.
Retweet or quote tweet to highlight a theme or event.
Use Twitter lists to segment a group of accounts that regularly feature interesting content.
Utilize Twitter for customer support/troubleshooting - it's a great way to build trust and rapport with your followers.
Using hashtags to monitor conversations around a product or technology can help uncover leads/sales opportunities by identifying the individuals talking about/searching for solutions. PRO TIP: Employ social listening tactics to automate and maximize the effectiveness of these efforts.
LinkedIn is one of the world’s largest professional networks. It is most useful for sales teams as it puts a face with a name. LinkedIn now offers company pages, a highly targeted advertising solution and a publishing platform.
Encourage employees to participate on LinkedIn Pulse and LinkedIn Groups.
Create a group for customers, brand advocates and industry professionals.
Optimize your LinkedIn page for SEO.
After updating your pages with your company logo and images, it’s time to craft a business description. “Companies with logo images get 6x more traffic to their pages.” – LinkedIn Marketing Solutions
Interested in learning how to leverage more of LinkedIn?
Take a listen to our recorded sessions from Coffee Talks - a webinar series dedicated to helping Cisco Partners transform their marketing efforts.
Here's a few tips and things to know before you hit record:
Find your niche. Even large companies team up with industry gurus and thought leaders to create content that resonates with their audience.
Use YouTube analytics. As one of Google's subsidiaries, these are analytics you can trust!
Stay consistent with your company branding. Update your page's channel art and channel icon.
Create an effective channel trailer. This is the first thing people will see/watch when they visit your channel.
Use YouTube's Video Editor tools. You don't have to be a pro. YouTube has tools to help add audio, create mashups and a free library of music.
Create titles that are short, sweet and creative. Choose a thumbnail that tells an interesting story.
Optimize - See YouTube's Best Practices for Metadata.
Content doesn't have to be perfect! Half the battle is getting out there and consistently creating. Find a balance between quality of content (not production quality) and quantity of videos uploaded.
Video marketing helps build trust with your customers: It lets you create a human connection with stories and conversation, whether it’s a customer testimonial or brand narrative. You can use videos on your website or landing pages, in emails, on social media and more.
Generate and Track Leads
You can use unique, relevant video content to generate, score and convert leads. Depending on your goals, video types may vary from interviews, webinars, courses or workshops. For informational videos, you can use tracking platforms like Wistia, Vidyard or Brightcove. For videos that are more social, you can use YouTube, Facebook or Vimeo. Another recommended platform is OneMob, where you can tell your story with a custom landing page of videos, documents and more - all with the ability to track your audience's every move and interest. Check out their offers on Marketing Velocity Central.
Use these video tips to increase your click-through rate:
Include a video thumbnail in email campaigns, and check the time it was opened. It’s likely that you can send a follow-up video at the same time the previous video was sent.
Keep it short and visually appealing: In less than 30 seconds, a customer can get the information he needs about any business.
Set up a video delivery schedule and space the videos out evenly.
Create short-form videos for sharing on Twitter and Instagram: Micro video apps help shorten the video content to less than 10 seconds.
FUN TIP -Customers can help!
Social listening gives us an opportunity to understand our target audience via keywords across Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Forums, news outlets and more.
The target audience does not need to directly mention your organization but rather must leverage keywords in order to be pulled into the conversation queue.
Facebook offers a wide variety of ad placement options based on the intended goal of your campaign. Ads can be paid for and bid based on cost per click (CPC) or cost per thousand impressions (CPM). The Facebook ads platform is one of the most flexible when it comes to campaign media, allowing advertisers to create ads utilizing single images, image libraries, product carousels, videos and even collect lead form information natively within the platform. In general, Facebook ads are used to drive website conversions, offers, page post engagement and likes, event registrations or video views.
One of the most popular Facebook ad placement options is directly within the “feed.” This puts your ads directly in the viewer’s timeline amongst organic posts from their existing friends and liked pages. Feed ads appear and act as organic posts, allowing commenting, reactions and significantly more real estate for images, video and text. These features allow your ad to blend in, greatly increasing the chance of engagement, unlike other traditional ad locations.
Feed ads are also part of a select group of ad placements that are shown on mobile in addition to desktop. In 2017, 95.1% of active Facebook users accessed the network via mobile device. Why does this matter? Simply put, if you’re serving ads using the traditional “right column” placement, chances are your intended audience will never see the ad. Taking advantage of mobile-friendly ad placements is critical to ensuring visibility for your ads.
Twitter offers a number of advertising options within its platform. Ads can be designed to increase awareness, promote engagement and interaction, grow your following and send additional traffic to your website or landing page. Similar to Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads are served in an auction style format to a user-defined audience and placement is based on your desired cost-per-engagement. There is no minimum budget required, however it is recommended that you dedicate at least $30 per day in order to consistently reach your targeted audience.
Promoted tweets are at the core of Twitter’s advertising platform. Depending on your objective, different display formats are available. A few of the more commonly used options are as follows:
Plain Text Tweet: Basic tweet limited to 280 characters with no imagery. Best used for thought leadership.
Image Website Card: Similar rules as a basic tweet, but allows you to add an image and a link to your website.
Promoted Videos: Supports videos up to 2:20 in length as well as the standard 280 character text limit. Also allows you to place a video title and description under the video.
Direct Message Card: This unique card is intended to promote direct messaging right from your tweet. Use up to 256 characters, add a custom messaging CTA and embed an image or video.
LinkedIn’s advertising platform is an excellent way to reach business professionals and decision makers of all types. It is unique from the other social platforms in that most active users are in a business-minded state, rather than simply browsing for pleasure. This allows advertisers to approach their messaging differently than they might on Facebook or Twitter. In addition, audience targeting on LinkedIn is refined for the business professional allowing advertisers to select their audience based on employer, role/title, role type and more.
Like Twitter and Facebook, the majority of advertising on LinkedIn is paid for in an auction style format, with advertisers determining what they are willing to pay based on CPC or CPM. One exception is with the cost of LinkedIn’s InMail where you only pay when a message is delivered.
LinkedIn Sponsored Updates let you expand the reach and impact of a post by showing it to all of your followers or to a customized group of targeted users outside of your network. Updates can contain text, video, links, and images and allow comments and sharing.
LinkedIn’s InMail feature allows you to send a direct message to a targeted group of users, even if you aren’t connected. This option enables you to deliver personalized messages that can drive more conversions than email.
YouTube serves both in-stream ads and discovery ads. Video ads can be served to a targeted audience based on interests, demographics and more. In most cases you’re only charged when someone views your ad for at least 30 seconds or engages with your ad - like clicking on a call-to-action overlay, a card or a companion banner.
In-stream ads play before or during another video from a YouTube partner and are offered in two formats: TrueView and non-skippable
With TrueView ads, viewers see five seconds of your video and then have the choice to keep watching or skip it. You pay when a viewer watches for at least 30 seconds or to the end of the video (whichever is shorter) or clicks on a card or other elements of your in-stream creative.
Non-skippable ads may appear pre-, mid- or post-roll while viewing partner content. These videos can be up to 15-20 seconds. Viewers must watch the ad before they're able to watch the selected video. Non-skippable ads typically have a higher CPM than TrueView ads.
Video discovery ads appear alongside other YouTube videos, in YouTube search pages or on websites on the Google Display Network that match your target audience. You pay only when a viewer chooses to watch your video by clicking on the ad.
Now, let's put it all together!
- Digital Events Marketing
- Marketing Timeline
- Event Resources
Digital Events Marketing
Online events connect presenters and participants through a Web-based interface and can be less costly than live events while letting you easily reach a geographically dispersed audience.
Business Impact of Events
Hosting or sponsoring an event can help:
Reinforce brand or create awareness
Identify new opportunities or pipeline acceleration
Engage with prospects and customers
Webinars typically feature a specific topic and last anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. These can be delivered in real time or on-demand and are often interactive.
Virtual events are real time events where individuals can participate in a virtual environment that has the look and feel of an offline event, like a trade show.
Live streaming events are events you can stream to viewers by using a simple webcam or employing a full production crew for higher quality broadcasting, like a webinar.
Traditional events are the live, in-person events you've traditionally led or sponsored. These can take the form of a dinner, training, workshop or learning opportunity. Traditional events can carry a higher price tag and require several months of planning to be successful. There's plenty of opportunity for digital marketing before, during, and after the event!
Use a mix of communication methods to generate registrations. Invitations and registration should be finalized at least three full weeks before the event takes place.
Email promotion should begin as soon as the event date is confirmed. Consider a "Save the Date" to allow customers and prospects to mark their calendars.
Social media - leverage your company's social media profile similarly to give customers and prospects the heads up about the event.
Segmentation is vital to getting the right attendees with a focus on demographics like persona, job title, industry and location to target your best prospects and ensure your current customer base attends.
During an event, social networks offer an opportunity for audience interaction. Create a hashtag to follow - for those who are attending and those who can't attend.
If you're on a low budget event, capture some photos or short videos using your smartphone or digital camera. Use these for social media, post event emails, blogs etc.
If budget allows, hire a videographer! Events can be a great time to capture testimonials from customers or get all the execs in one room for a company video.
Also consider the use of software like digital check-in, wireless badge printing and a mobile application for an interactive experience.
Proper follow-up will set you apart from the competition and keep you fresh in the minds of prospects. Before the event begins, relevant email follow-ups should be finalized and ready to deploy within hours after the event takes place.
If the event featured technical content, consider sharing it with attendees by hosting it on your website or on a social channel so they can access it for future use.
After someone attends an event, make sure they are guided down your funnel. Lead nurturing and lead scoring processes are critical to a comprehensive lead management strategy. And ROI should be measured before and after the event, with strategy adjustment as needed.
How to Guides for Webinars & In-Person Events
Marketing Velocity Central has several resources to help you create promotional emails for events and landing pages and even manage your leads.
Please ensure that you are logged into Marketing Velocity Central using your CCO credentials before visiting these links:
Measuring & Optimization
Measuring and Optimization
When establishing any marketing strategy, you need to be able to quantify the information at your disposal to make better decisions. Yet there are two reasons it’s difficult to measure campaign ROI:
1. You may not think about measurement up front. Accordingly, you fail to create the right framework to measure results.
2. There is no alignment on what metrics matter. When you start to identify your metrics, you want to consider the audience and define what KPIs you’ll be measuring at what point in time.
Measuring the Right Data
With the right framework and timing in place, measuring results can help you demonstrate success. There are two sets of metrics that you want to consider: engagement metrics (tactical) and revenue metrics (strategic).
Engagement metrics are the tactical metrics tied to your campaigns. You may want to track these relative to goals set at the beginning of a campaign and over time. Some of these metrics include:
- Campaign successes (downloads or attendance)
- Click-through rate (CTR), click-to-open (CTO) rate, open rate (OR), or unsubscribe rate
- Unique CTR/OR tracks by person, while “normal” CTR/OR tracks all
- "Act now”s (an action demonstrating high buying intent and requiring immediate sales follow-up)
- “Call now”s (an action demonstrating engagement in a mid- to late-stage campaign, which may indicate buying intent)
Revenue metrics or late-stage metrics are the strategic component because they are critical to your sales team, CMO and CEO. These can’t be measured immediately since it takes time to create opportunities, generate pipeline and close deals. Revenue metrics will show how your campaigns contribute to ROI and demonstrate marketing’s contribution and credibility, as well as drive budget decisions.
Apply the Right Metrics
With a marketing automation platform in place, you can use web analytics to discover why prospects visit your site, which pages they visit and how often they come back - even if they aren't in your database. Get daily alerts sent to sales reps, and view a history of customers' web activity as part of their record and lead score. You can also monitor and track relevant keywords on major search engines and compare your overall performance to competitors.
Integration with your customer relationship management (CRM) system makes it easier to track ROI. You can gain insights from pre-built reports or custom reports and dashboards that measure leads by source/campaign/month, email performance, landing page performance, web activity and so on.
Email - Unsubscribe rate, bounce rate, open rate, click-through rate
Webinar - Attendee rate, drop-off rate, engagement rate
Event - Registration, attendee satisfaction
Social media - Gross views, connections, mentions, activity engagement, conversions, sentiment
Website - Views/visitors, unique views, backlinks, conversions
Blog - Posts, subscribers, views/visitors, unique visitors, social shares
Online Ads - Impressions, cost per click (CPC), cost per thousand views (CPM), cost per conversion (CPCon), cost per action (CPA)
What's working well and paying off?
Marketing Velocity Learning
Digital Marketing Analytics Guide
Marketing Velocity Central
Shared Analytics records a prospect’s Cisco.com pre-sales traffic, action on your website and engagement with marketing tactics and campaigns activated in Marketing Velocity Central.
With this simple embed code, you can identify and capture information such as the prospect’s name, topics of interest and timeline of engagement after the prospect clicks an email sent from Marketing Velocity Central or completes a form tied to a Marketing Velocity Central tactic. This service is available at no cost to Cisco partners.
Learn more about Shared Analytics, Contact Segmentation and overall analysis features of Marketing Velocity Central with these training infographics and videos.
Cisco has the tools, resources and services you need to a be a digital marketing powerhouse.
Marketing Velocity Learning combined with Marketing Velocity Central will help you deliver content and insights to drive revenue. These digital marketing services will engage your customers like never before.
Partners that use both Marketing Velocity Learning & Marketing Velocity Central see 25% more marketing sourced bookings.
Looking to strengthen your digital marketing skill sets? Marketing Velocity Learning is your always-on educational gateway to help make your marketing practices future-proof.
Access on-demand training courses here.
Check out the latest look and feel for Marketing Velocity Central.
Marketing Velocity Central is your full-service marketing portal, formerly known as Partner Marketing Central. This is your go-to spot for free, customizable campaigns and marketing content. The platform also offers advanced analytic capabilities, including campaign tracking and customer engagement scoring.
What's Free in Marketing Velocity Central?
What if we told you there's a place you can go that has free pre-built assets like email workflows and web banners that align with Cisco campaigns? Assets that you can customize to your brand standards and execute with the click of a button. Hopefully, you'd ask where to find these gold mines of free content! Marketing Velocity Central is your one-stop-shop for marketing assets, campaigns, web plugins, social media copy and so much more. Download the shareable content from the platform and choose your marketing journey!
New to campaigns in Marketing Velocity Central? Let this Campaign Guide be your guiding light. It breaks down each campaign, and gives you a general idea of what's available with direct links. This guide is updated frequently to alert you of current and upcoming campaigns.
Need help getting started? We've created step by step guides so you can learn about every aspect of Marketing Velocity Central.
Make the Most of your Virtual Wallet
Cisco Approved Vendors, Full Service Activities and Request a Quote
Need to create awareness or generate leads? Your Cisco Virtual Wallet dollars are available to use in Marketing Velocity Central, making it easy to order marketing services from Cisco approved vendors. Cisco has vetted the very best of agencies that we use and prefer for our own marketing activities and are proud to share with our Partners. Whether you're looking for help with event marketing, social media or IP Listening, there is a vendor for just about everything.
Full Service Activities allow you to choose from packages that have been pre-built to suit your needs. Don't see what you're looking for? Take advantage of the Request a Quote option on each vendor's page in Marketing Velocity Central. Work directly with the vendors to create a package that meets your needs.