Find out whether or not your practice is required to participate in CMS’s latest reporting program: Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).
When it comes to improving your small business, there are few tools in your tech stack as powerful and effective as call tracking. Whether you’re looking to boost revenue, improve your lead generation, or identify your top-performing marketing channels, call tracking can provide your SMB with the data you need to make your marketing strategy as impactful as possible.
Of course, we don’t expect you to just take our word for it! This is why we’ve take the time to do an extensive SMB case study with some of our top users, and then publish the results on our blog. There’s nothing we love more than shining a spotlight on the excellent work our small business users are accomplishing with CallRail.
Below, you’ll find summaries of testimonials from six of our small business users about how call tracking has helped them take their company to new heights. Each testimonial will include a link to the corresponding case study at the top, so feel free to click through for further reading.
The Humberview Group represents a chain of auto dealerships in Ontario, Canada, primarily in the Toronto and Great Lakes regions. Originally, Humberview hewed to the standard wisdom in their industry and brought in most of their leads through web form submissions, since web forms are cheap and easy to implement.
But after some extensive market research, Humberview found that phones were a consistently high-performing — yet underutilized — channel when it came to lead-generation. By adopting CallRail as part of their tech stack, Humberview was able to see that a large number of their leads were picking up the phone to call about purchasing a car, even in cases where an online form fill was their initial point of contact.
“If you’re focusing your analytics only on form submissions, you’re missing a lot of conversion data, you’re missing out on many many leads, and it’s much harder to make effective decisions about your marketing campaigns,” Humberview Digital Marketing Director Maxim Poliakov explains.
By using CallRail’s call tracking data to guide their marketing decisions, they were able to streamline and improve their marketing to the point where Humberview now generates more than three times as many leads month-to-month as they did before implementing call tracking.
The benefits of CallRail aren’t confined solely to boosting revenues (although that’s always nice) — call tracking is just as effective when it comes to helping small businesses save money. That was the case with Supply.com, an e-commerce home renovation supplier that was having trouble managing conversion and sale data across multiple touchpoints, particularly Google Ads.
By integrating CallRail into their tech stack and adding our Dynamic Number Insertion feature to their website, they were finally able to properly attribute each phone call to the web session that drove it. As a result, they could fine-tune their marketing to focus on the channels and products that delivered the best ROI.
This helped Supply.com slash their Google Ads budget by more than 50 percent, all while continuing to increase their lead-generation and overall sales. “Through that visibility, we can significantly boost the performance of every advertising dollar, while recapturing previously wasted spend to put back into our business,” Supply.com Marketing Director David Gallmeier says.
Tracking conversions is (relatively) easy for digital storefronts, but the picture becomes much more complicated when you’re dealing with physical locations and multiple marketing touchpoints. This is especially true for the home services industry, where calls are the backbone of any business strategy.
That’s why Mold Busters were eager early adopters of CallRail and call tracking — it helps them answer important questions like how a prospect found their business and where they’re calling from, along with their specific needs and budget considerations.
“With CallRail’s features, like the Google Analytics integration and Keyword Spotting, we can actually see what drove a call, and answer some of those critically important questions,” Mold Busters CEO and Co-founder Maxim Golubev says. “It’s not an exaggeration to say that without CallRail and call tracking, it’d be impossible for us to answer those questions.”
The success of this approach speaks for itself: Thanks to Mold Busters’ customer-first and data-driven business model, a new Mold Busters franchise location in the suburbs of Toronto more than doubled their month-to-month call volume (along with a comparable increase in lead-generation and revenue).
Specialty finance is a highly competitive field, and no one knows that better than AltLine Banking. As the commercial lending arm of a group of community banks that serves the northern Alabama region, AltLine understands that no business can afford to take a single lead for granted.
By leveraging CallRail’s powerful and flexible programming language, AltLine created a custom reporting dashboard that synchronized both their call tracking and Google Analytics data. This, in turn, helped them zero in on their top-performing marketing channels and maximize the impact of their limited ad budget.
And by using call tracking data to optimize their marketing, they’ve seen some truly impressive results: A 108 percent increase to conversions, a 67 percent boost to their monthly customer count, and a 39 percent decrease of their customer acquisition cost.
Despite the popularity and ease-of-use of digital marketing channels like chat and form fills, there are some industries where calls will always be king. When it comes to discussing sensitive legal matters, customers rightly crave the peace of mind provided by a private phone call.
With phones always at the forefront of their mind, the legal referral service Lawyer Connection made sure to invest heavily in call tracking software in order to wrangle multiple touchpoints and determine which channels were best at driving their key marketing metric: Phone calls.
After several years of fine-tuning their marketing based on the insights gleaned from CallRail, Lawyer Connection has more than doubled their inbound call volume since implementing. That means more clients connected to more firms, and better case outcomes thanks to their data-driven approach.
Most of our case studies focus exclusively on figures, numbers, and hard data — in other words, the bottom line. But this story about how the senior-living community The Arbor Co. used CallRail to navigate a deadly hurricane season deserves to stand proudly alongside our top case studies.
As Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were bearing down on the US Gulf Coast in the summer of 2017 and power lines started to go down in affected communities, Arbor Co. VP of Communications Chris Harper sprung into action.
“Since the building’s phone system was underwater at this point, we got the idea that we needed to have a way for families to get in touch with us,” Harper explains. “Since we’ve been using CallRail for a while, I just thought to myself, why not set up a tracking number? Very quickly, like within five minutes, we created an offline tracking number and setup a recording on there.”
Thanks to CallRail’s automatic transcription service, incoming calls from concerned family members were transcribed and sent out as email notifications within minutes, serving as a lifeline between seniors and their family members who had evacuated.
This may not be a story of high-flying revenue gains or other kinds of marketing derring-do, but it’s a perfect example of how call tracking technology is helping to connect people and make the world a little bit of a better place.
The post Are calls the top conversion point for your SMB? They are for these 6 marketers appeared first on CallRail.
The 4 Types of Channel Marketing Partners
Navigating the world of channel marketing can be tricky, especially when common industry terms overlap.
You might find yourself discussing partnership strategy, believing you and your partner are both on the same page—only to find out later that you both were discussing entirely different ideas. Which benefits will you offer to your partners? Will they help support existing customers or focus only on bringing in new leads? Why should you choose one type of partnership over another?
To help unravel some of the confusion around the different types of channel-marketing partnerships (and to help you save face with your partners), here’s everything you need to know about the four main types of channel-marketing partners.
Channel Partnerships, Untangled
There are four different types of channel-marketing partnerships:
1. Affiliate Partnerships: Partners use their website and audience to drive traffic to your site, and in return you pay them a percentage commission on any sales that traffic produces
2. Referral Partnerships: Trusted partners refer qualified customers to your business, and in return you pay them a percentage commission on any sales that traffic produces
3. Alliance Partnerships: Partners in related businesses share customers with your business, spreading awareness and selling each partner’s products in exchange for a percentage of sales revenue
4. Reseller Partnerships: Partners purchase goods or services from your business with the intent to resell them, often adding value through additional services.
Each of these partnership types can help drive new customers and revenue growth for your business, each utilizes indirect advocates to make sales, and each provides an impressive return on your marketing investment.
If the benefits of each option are much the same, which partner types should you choose for your partner program?
The answer lies in the additional capabilities each partner brings to the table. Although the benefits might be similar, different partner types can provide a boost at varying stages of the business process. While some partners might focus on bringing in new leads, others might take a more hands-on approach to sales, customer operations, and more.
Understanding how each type of partnership fits into your overall business process will help you focus your efforts on working with the right kinds of organizations, providing the greatest return for your company.
To help illustrate this, we’ve put together a simple color-coded chart that lists business areas that most companies share. Each of the seven columns represents one business area where partners typically provide help. The colors on each chart represent the level of responsibility your partners assume concerning that area of the business; green signifies the partner is undoubtedly responsible for that area, while orange means the partner may or may not be responsible, depending on how your partnership is structured.
Now that you have a background understanding of the different types of channel-marketing partners, let’s jump in and break down the four types of partnerships in more detail.
The Rise of Affiliate Partnerships
Affiliate partnerships—sometimes referred to as affiliate marketing—are a type of performance-based marketing in which you partner with a third-party website to drive traffic to your site. In return, you pay a commission to that site’s owner for any sales generated from the traffic they send your business.
Before the internet, this was merely called referral marketing—affiliate partnerships are most often linked to web-based businesses, although some do exist in the off-line world as well. While affiliates are a great way to increase awareness of your product with adjacent audiences, they won’t sell for you. It isn’t your affiliates’ job to convince visitors to buy—it’s their job to convince visitors to click through to your site, where you can nurture them further. Because of this, affiliate programs tend to be driven more by volume than by healthy relationships.
The advent of the web made it easy to build traffic on a massive scale, with affiliates reaching such a large number of leads—regardless of how qualified those leads are—that affiliate partnerships quickly became one of the fastest growing digital marketing channels. In fact, a Forrester report predicts that U.S. affiliate-marketing spend will top $6.8 billion by 2020.
The low risk of affiliate programs makes partnerships especially attractive for host companies. Setup costs aside, you pay for sales, not clicks, shifting the risk of reaching qualified leads to your partners and reducing wasted spend over PPC programs. You can also easily control the cost of your program and your growth rate by adjusting your commission percentage: Generous commissions spur faster growth; reducing commissions can ensure costs remain in check.
Referral Partnerships Hinge on Relationships
In affiliate partnerships, it’s likely your partners don’t know the customers personally; their primary motivation for referring customers is financial gain.
Referral partners, on the other hand, recommend your product and brand to customers, colleagues, friends, and family members. Their motivation is based more on a healthy, trust-driven relationship between themselves and the potential customer than on financial benefit. Referral programs focus more heavily on customer engagement, building a strong relationship with your customer and partner base to the point where they feel your brand is good enough to share with colleagues and friends.
Because of the existing trust-based relationship between the referrer and the potential customer, leads from referral partners tend to be of higher quality than those gained through affiliate partnerships. Often, your referral partners will understand who might make a good customer before making the referral, or you can provide partners with training and sample questions they can ask potential customers to help prequalify them for you. While building trust and engagement up front does take more effort, you’re rewarded with leads who are more inclined to engage with your brand and become customers and advocates themselves.
This doesn’t mean that you can avoid financial incentives entirely. Offering commissions to referral partners can help motivate them to continue passing along high-quality leads to your company, and since those leads are more likely to convert, referral commissions can be higher than those offered in an affiliate program.
Co-Selling Through Alliance Partnerships
An alliance partnership, also known as a sales alliance or a co-selling alliance, is an agreement where a business shares its customers with a partner brand. Alliance partners help create awareness within their existing customer base, working to sell their partners’ products in exchange for a percentage of sales revenue.
Established brands that have taken the time to build relationships with their existing customers have massive sales and marketing advantages over a new company trying to reach those same customers. By creating a sales alliance with established businesses, younger companies can leverage the goodwill that customers have toward the established brand to quickly grow their customer base more cost-effectively. Alliance partnerships, then, tend to be more strategic and longer term than other partnership types.
Alliance partnerships work as host-beneficiary relationships—the host partner offers access to their customers in exchange for a valuable offer from the beneficiary partner. If you’re looking to gain access to new customers, you want to be the beneficiary of the alliance. Look for companies who already have access to the customers you’re hoping to reach, and put together a promotional deal for the host company to present to their customers. You pay any marketing costs and split any revenues with the host company. While you’re not getting full revenue from any sales made, you benefit from gaining access to additional customers who otherwise might be time-consuming or expensive to reach.
If, on the other hand, other companies are looking to gain access to your customers, there are incentives for you to create alliances as the host. Offering special promotions from beneficiary partners helps build trust and loyalty with your customers, and the splitting of revenue from any sales unlocks a new revenue stream for very little work.
In the best sales alliances, both sides benefit equally, trading access to your customer base for a share of profits. In some situations, though, you might consider adjusting the profit split so that it’s not 50–50. For example, if you expect many repeat sales, the beneficiary might give up a more significant share of the initial revenue, or even all of it, in exchange for those residual sales. Likewise, if a beneficiary is looking to grow quickly, they might give up a higher percentage of sales revenue to motivate the host company to help them grow more rapidly. These are negotiations you’ll have to make for your specific situation, with no hard and fast rules.
Reseller Partnerships – the Traditional Channel
Most of the time, when a company says they sell through “the channel,” they are referring to a reseller- or distributor-partnership agreement. A reseller will, at minimum, qualify leads, market and sell your product, and own the ongoing customer relationship. In return, resellers pay a royalty or licensing fee back to you.
Channel partners vary significantly in their reach and capabilities, covering the entire spectrum from solo consultants and consultancies to value-added resellers (or VARs), retailers, and systems integrators. Depending on the skills of each partner, they may generate leads themselves, or sometimes you might be expected to send them qualified leads as part of your partnership agreement. Each partner is then responsible for turning those opportunities into sales, as well as managing the ongoing customer life cycle.
Value-added resellers go one step further, creating additional value for customers by bundling additional features or services with the original product and then reselling the bundled version to their customers for an additional fee. They also shoulder the responsibility of deploying the solution for the end customer as well as managing ongoing customer support.
Reseller partnerships represent a more quantitative opportunity than referrals—outcomes are measured in volume and discounts rather than in benefits and opportunities. This makes reseller partnerships more suited to established companies that have already found product-market fit, have an established customer base, and are looking to optimize their supply chain to grow their sales.
So Which Channel-Partner Type Should I Choose?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. Choosing the right partnership strategy is a dynamic and often complicated process. But there are a few rules of thumb you can take advantage of when building your partnership strategy.
If you’re looking to scale quickly, consider an affiliate or alliance program. Affiliate and alliance partners both have preexisting audiences and customer bases full of potential customers; often, they need only a little nudge to drop into your sales funnel.
If you’re looking to optimize your sales processes for volume, try a reseller program. Once you’ve figured out your marketing message and have robust procedures in place for direct sales, a channel-partnership program can help optimize the return on your sales investment without endlessly scaling your sales team.
If you’re still developing and improving your product, look for referral partners. Referral customers tend to be early adopters and can provide valuable feedback to help refine your product and positioning before you’re ready to scale. The trusted recommendation of a friend or colleague is frequently the piece that’s needed to push them to become a customer.
Allbound’s simple, powerful partner relationship management software works just as well for affiliate programs as it does for alliance partnerships. So whichever route you choose to take with your partner program, you can be sure Allbound is there to help guide you along the way.
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Changing Privacy Requirements
Five Questions Channel Program Leaders Should Be Asking
2018 has marked a major shift in the way governments, companies, and consumers view data privacy. The landmark 2016 EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect on May 25, 2018. It was quickly followed by the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) that was signed into law on June 28, 2018 and becomes effective on January 1, 2020.
GDPR-like laws are being adopted across the world from Japan to Canada, Argentina, and India. In addition to California, privacy legislation is under consideration in five other states and at the federal level.
This wave of new laws, recent high-profile privacy incidents, and increasing regulatory scrutiny are driving companies to make significant changes to their privacy policies to comply with these requirements, protect their brands, better serve and meet the expectations of their customers, and avoid the potential of significant fines. No longer can we view this as a European problem, strong privacy protections are fast becoming a global and national requirement.
Under these laws, companies that process and hold personal data—both customer and employee—are subject to an extensive set of new requirements. What makes these laws really tricky? Third parties such as partners and resellers have to abide by the same data protection rules as the parent company.
These laws are causing a major impact on the way companies collect and process personal data and driving major changes to companies’ privacy policies and practices.
Implementing a program to establish and maintain compliance with this new wave of demanding privacy laws is not a small order. Some leading companies with a large European presence embraced GDPR early and have established robust programs with input from European regulators. Many companies started later and are still working to implement a program that manages their data privacy risks and could withstand regulatory scrutiny. Despite the magnitude and high importance of channel sales to many companies, many still have work to do to address data privacy risks and requirements in their sales channels.
Preparing to address privacy requirements as robust as GDPR and the new California law can be daunting. If you’ve fallen behind, it can be challenging to know where to start. While the requirements of these laws are extensive, here are five questions to help steer your efforts.
1. Have you reviewed and updated your consent processes?
GDPR sets a high standard for consent, noting that “consent should be given by a clear affirmative act establishing a freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous indication of the data subject’s agreement to the processing of personal data relating to him or her.” The intent is to offer individuals true choice and control over their personal information.
Key elements of proper consent include:
-Being clear, concise, and specific regarding the purposes for which personal data is collected
-Requiring a very clear and specific statement of consent for explicit consent
-Requiring a positive opt-in, not using pre-checked boxes
-Unbundling consent requests from other terms and conditions
-Naming your organization and any third parties who will rely on the consent
-Making it easy to subsequently withdraw consent; and
-Maintaining clear records of consent.
When your company is referring a lead to a partner, when a partner is referring a lead to your company, or when a partner is referring a lead to another partner, we want to make sure that we have made the proper notification to the customer and obtained proper consent to share and use their information. We want to make sure we have a valid legal basis for having and using their personal information.
2. Have you inventoried the personal data you have collected, where it resides, and how it is protected?
GDPR and the California law illustrate the importance of establishing a strong data governance function. Companies need to have a very clear picture of the data they are capturing, how to categorize and classify that data, how that data flows within the organization and with third parties, where that data resides, and how that data is protected.
Strong data governance is important as companies prepare to provide greater transparency to consumers, specific disclosures of the categories of personal information collected, and increased consumer information access and deletion requests. Requirements that now apply to European consumers will increasingly apply to U.S. consumers.
We typically gather a lot of personal data on customers to enable us to be more targeted in our messaging, help us to develop our relationships, and increase our chances of closing deals. That personal data is often distributed across a variety of systems such as a CRM, PRM, portal, business intelligence systems, spreadsheets, and databases. To protect our data, we need to know what we have, where it flows, and where it resides. We should also consider incorporating relevant security requirements into our partner agreements.
3. Have you established accountability for the protection of personal data?
If a significant amount of EU consumer data is processed, a Data Protection Officer (DPO) role is required under GDPR. The DPO has specific responsibilities under the law including monitoring the company’s privacy compliance efforts and coordinating with regulators.
In any case, a DPO or equivalent role can be helpful in driving action and accountability. The DPO brings together business and technology stakeholders and helps “set the tone” around data protection and its importance to the business. The role is as much about instilling a new culture as it is about enacting and upholding new processes.
As we rapidly enter this new world of global and national privacy laws, we should take a hard look at how we manage our privacy program. A legal-driven approach with limited involvement from IT and the business will no longer work. To succeed, your business needs strong collaboration across legal, security, engineering, product management, and marketing to determine a vision for your data practices. As a team you’ll need to choose the best plan of approach for what personal data you’ll need to keep or collect, should delete, and whether you want to take a global or regional approach to privacy.
4. Are you prepared to handle customers’ data subject access and deletion requests?
Under GDPR and the California law, individuals have the right to access the personal data that has been collected on them in a portable format. Individuals also have the right to request the deletion of their personal information, though there are various scenarios where the business is entitled to retain such information. There has already been a sharp rise in data subject access requests since the GDPR went into effect. As consumers take an increasing interest in their privacy rights, companies may need to accommodate a substantial number of these requests. Regulatory authorities have also seen a significant rise in the number of consumer complaints received post-GDPR, with much of that due to incomplete responses to data subject access requests.
Gathering all of a consumer’s personal information in response to a request can be a challenging process depending on the nature of the business and its supporting systems. Manual processes will not be sustainable in most cases. Considerable engineering effort may be required to build a substantially automated solution in many cases. Businesses will also need to ensure they have a solid process for verifying (authenticating) consumer requests.
Data deletion is usually a very complex matter for a company as an individual consumer’s data is often spread across multiple systems, perhaps multiple vendors, multiple databases, system logs, backup systems, and backup media with differing retention periods. Determining which data must be deleted and which data must be retained requires careful planning and strong data governance. Companies must think through their operational procedures for handling requests.
5. Have you considered the 72 hour breach notification requirement and refined your incident handling procedures?
A personal data breach is defined broadly under GDPR as “a breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorized disclosure of, or access to, personal data transmitted, stored or otherwise processed.” Companies must report a personal data breach to their supervisory authority within 72 hours. Where that is not feasible, the delay must be explained and required information must be provided “without undue delay.” Impacted individuals must also be notified “without undue delay.”
Companies must have clear incident handling processes to effectively identify, contain and respond to potential breaches. If a breach occurs, you need to have a defined process that you can immediately follow including clear procedures, escalation protocols, communication protocols, and involvement of legal counsel and other stakeholders. The combined pressures of rapid incident resolution and regulatory reporting leave little room for error.
Of course, we want to be very precise when interacting with our regulators in an incident/breach situation. Poor handling of an incident can have disastrous financial and legal consequences. In situations like this, you will need to involve legal counsel and communications in preparing such communications. That leaves almost no time to think through an incident response process on the fly, let alone identify and contain the actual issue.
It should also be noted that GDPR and the California law both emphasize the proper use of encryption and de-identification as strong mechanisms to mitigate the impact of a breach. Personal data should be deleted if there is no business need for it, and encrypted or anonymized when retained.
It’s time to act.
GDPR has now been in effect since May. Countries across the world from Japan to India are adopting GDPR-like laws. California has passed a strict new privacy law and other states are soon to follow suit. Regulators are increasingly scrutinizing companies’ privacy practices and consumers are becoming more aware of their rights. Many companies are still digesting and operationalizing the requirements of GDPR and have not yet started planning for the impact of these new laws in a meaningful way, though European regulators are actively conducting investigations. Many have not yet applied these new requirements to their channel systems and processes.
These laws raise the bar for how companies and their partners handle personal data. They represent a challenging adjustment for companies that sell and market through the channel, as every additional partner adds risk. Now is the time to take a fresh look at your privacy policies and practices to address the growing wave of regulatory requirements, rising consumer and business expectations for data protection, and how we apply the relevant requirements to our channel ecosystems.
Recognizing the challenges that companies with channel programs are experiencing, Allbound is developing a Channel Compliance Framework. The framework is a combination of technology, services, and good operational and legal practices addressing topics including partner management, customer data management, integrated consent management, data protection, audit and compliance, and legal practices. Stay tuned for more information on our framework.
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The SEED SPOT team is thankful for SO many things this holiday season! We narrowed it down to our top seven for you to peruse before turning on your out-of-office message this Thanksgiving:
1. “I am thankful that so many entrepreneurs have trusted us to help them start dreaming bigger. Over 550 impact-driven people (and counting) have chosen SEED SPOT as the place to start creating their business to improve lives around with the world.” – Duane Rollins, National Director of Product and Impact
2. “I am thankful to work for an organization that prioritizes empowering female problem-solvers to positively impact their communities. SEED SPOT’s dedication to elevating the voices of women entrepreneurs has led to a 24% increase in applications from traditionally underrepresented entrepreneurs over the past year alone!” – Bianca Buliga, Digital Marketing Manager
3. “I am so thankful for the dozens of Community Organizers who have served their local communities with SEED SPOT programs this year. They’ve supported new ventures in cities like Santa Barbara, Philadelphia, Chiang Mai… and many other innovation hubs in between!” – Lauren McDanell, Director of Community Training and Support
4. “I am so thankful for the 24 dedicated educators who are inspiring the next generation of innovative problems solvers from New Jersey to California. Your impact is amazing!” – Tristan Gandolfi, School Partnerships Manager
5. “Feeling incredible grateful for our network of committed individual donors who give selflessly to provide opportunities for early stage entrepreneurs and students. The SEED SPOT 500 is growing by the day and I’m thrilled to see their contributions in action!” – Corinn Perry, Director of Administration
6. “Everyday I am humbled by our gracious mentors that have taken time out of their busy schedules to guide our entrepreneurs. With our National Mentor Network expanding to over 150 mentors, we have supported more entrepreneurs than ever.” – Vid Micevic, Entrepreneur Support and Impact Analyst
7. “We are thankful for you – all of you who follow our work, attend our events, come out to cheer on the entrepreneurs, invest in our mission and support our alumni… thank you for being part of the SEED SPOT community. It truly would not be possible without you.” – Courtney Klein, Co-Founder and CEO
Donate today to join the SEED SPOT 500!
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Marketing is all about building brand awareness and customer engagement in order to turn leads into customers, and channel marketing is all about achieving cost efficiency while reaching end users through your channel partners. However, it’s not enough to just create powerful, compelling content—it’s also critical to manage the distribution of that content and to understand how your channel partners are distributing it. Knowledge and data are power, and the more you know about your channel partners’ content marketing activities, the better positioned you are to facilitate success for everyone involved. Measuring content marketing success usually starts with putting a dollar value on the ROI (return on investment) for specific types of content. Then, you can start to look at the successes of your channel partners and where they’re missing the mark—as well as how you can help them secure more deals with the right content.
Measure Return on Engagement
It’s important to look at average session durations, heat maps, and bounce rates on your website in order to assess how customers are engaging with your content. Additionally, understanding how a user got to your site, whether that’s organically, through paid efforts, or through a partner relationship, will help you understand what types of content result in the best and most valuable engagement. In the long term, you can begin to determine the ROE, or return on engagement/experience, which is highly qualitative—unlike ROI, which is extremely quantitative. Engagement considers how the consumer is interacting with a brand over a period of time through:
- Visiting a website
- Clicking on an ad
- Posting a review
- Reading an email
- Referring friends/family
- Downloading an app
Over time, all of these actions will provide a measure of ROE as a consumer builds a relationship with a brand and its offerings.
Understand Social Engagement
Looking at how end users are engaging with your website is important, but social engagement metrics are likely even more important. According to SproutSocial, 74 percent of consumers make shopping decisions based on social media. In many cases, a vendor will syndicate social media content to multiple channels (e.g., Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook) across multiple channel partners. Although social media metrics are often difficult to truly decipher to evaluate ROI or even ROE, you can see what types of content are performing best on social media and which are driving the most traffic and resulting in the best leads. In fact, it takes, on average, 10 touches to move someone through the Buyer’s Journey and turn them into a customer, so every engagement on a social media channel counts.
Nurture and Enable Lead Generation
Generating leads is only half the battle. If your channel partners’ content marketing is resulting in tons of leads but those leads aren’t qualified, then it’s important to determine what isn’t working. It’s possible that the type of content you’re distributing to your partners is missing the mark—or it could be that it’s the right content but it isn’t being shared in the right channels. Aligning your content to where buyers are in the marketing funnel and to give your partners the ability to find the right content at the right time so they can seal the deal. Once your content is organized and partners are able to easily find and distribute the right content, you’ll quickly be able to understand how your partners are succeeding or missing the mark with content marketing. This will also allow you to improve your content for every stage of the Buyer’s Journey for better lead generation.
Ultimately, when partners share their content marketing metrics with the vendor, everyone wins with better training and stronger, more effective marketing content.
Talk to Your Partners About Metrics
Content marketing can include newsletters, e-books, blog articles, infographics, social media posts, and more—all of which are focused on improving search rankings, increasing traffic, and boosting consumer engagement with your product or service with the end goal of gaining customers. Although the majority of vendors don’t have access to their partners’ customer retention management (CRM) software, it’s worth having a conversation with your partners to gain access to certain metrics. Understanding how your marketing content is being distributed and which types of content are driving the most traffic and resulting in the most leads is invaluable. These metrics allow partners to leverage the best-performing content and vendors to pivot away from or update underperforming content. Ultimately, when partners share their content marketing metrics with the vendor, everyone wins with better training and stronger, more effective marketing content.
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The post How to Measure Content Marketing Success for Your Channel Partners appeared first on Partner Relationship Management Software (PRM).
6 Years of Impact Driven Entrepreneurship: SEED SPOT’s Annual Impact Report
Download the Impact Report here
In 2012, a series of notes, scribbles and thoughts were jotted down in the back of a notebook in response to one single question: where do people go if they have an early stage idea to solve a problem in the world?
The answer was simple if you had a network of supporters, went to the right schools and had the right connections… then the world was your oyster. Then and still now, there are lots of options for entrepreneurs with the right networks, in the right location, and with the right pedigree. But how do you actually get started?
We have seen countless napkins, post-its, notebooks, early prototypes, and heartfelt pitches from passionate individuals looking for a place to land and a community of peers. We’ve created that safe space for people to connect, and advance their idea. We serve the doers and dreamers of the world.
Six years later, we have served 557 entrepreneurs and counting.
50% of alumni are women founders & 46% are minority founders.
The heroes are the entrepreneurs. They have gone on to create impact locally and globally. Not only do their products, services, and technologies improve lives and impact communities in meaningful ways, but they drive real economic growth.
These outcomes are particularly poignant since a majority of program participants come into SEED SPOT without any revenue or capital. Our structured curriculum, mentorship models, and access to capital opportunities combined with the sheer grit and passion of the entrepreneurs we serve lead to exceptional impact and economic results.
As we celebrate the hundreds of entrepreneurs who have gone on to launch innovative solutions to social problems…we also know that the world needs more problem solvers – now more than ever.
Our high school program, serving the next generation of innovators has reached over 1,700 students in 4 states.
The impact of SEED SPOT entrepreneurs is being tracked in partnership with the Global Accelerator Learning Initiative (GALI) to refine the questions we ask our entrepreneurs. SEED SPOT alumni are solving problems across a number of global challenges mapped to the Sustainable Development Goals.
Want to read more? We thought so! Download our 6-Year Impact Report here. [link or button]
We are not alone on this journey of impact. To the people who first believed that answering the question in that notebook was important to, the first cohort of entrepreneurs who trusted us with their ideas, to the network of donors, mentors, team members and supporters who have come around this body of work for the past 6 years…thank you.
Year 7 is already underway and we hope you will join us in our pursuit to bring our programs to schools and communities across the country. Donate to support our work and the future doers and dreamers the world needs. [link or button]
The world needs problem solvers. We are here to ensure that those who choose to take action to solve a problem have the support to see their mission through.
Ready for more?
Read about SEED SPOT Schools Alum Josh Kaplan speaking at the UN!
See how Stephanie Schull was driven to action with her women’s health startup.
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