Originally published by Stephanie Tiley on LinkedIn. View here.
Is your business ‘change ready’ in this fast paced digital world? Are online, mobile and tablet strategies changing how you communicate? How you market your brands? Or even how you sell to and support customers? If not – they should be! Here are some great tips on how to maximise engagement both internally, with your employees, and stay fully connected externally, with your customers and stakeholders.
Here are hints on empowering your internal and external communications, sales literature and marketing content… Check out the first three to reach leads and customers, the next three to engage employees and a final one which combines them all.
1 – Drive your lead generation – an unqualified success
Do your whitepapers, websites and content marketing strategies establish thought-leadership and generate sales leads in the best way possible? Surely you would want to maximise data capture opportunities in order to identify qualified contacts and collect all important information, rather than give everything away for free or with no tracking, which clearly there are no benefits in doing.
Digital saves time and improves accuracy by automating and standardising your process. This allows data capture to be quick, accurate, reliable and very targeted, so your sales teams have more relevant conversations, more often. A real win-win situation.
2 – Giving Sales Teams the Tools they Need to Succeed
In today’s competitive market, you’ll want your sales teams to have the most informative and consistent presentations and proposals. Couple this with your commercial teams’ focus on sealing deals as quickly as possible, and you’ll find huge variations in each individuals pitch and use of collateral… plus a limited understanding of the material’s success.
Enterprise Apps and digital hubs deliver centralised material, making your whole sales process more efficient and secure. Improving accuracy reduces the chances of over- or under-selling, so the true value of your products and services are perfectly showcased. Combined with analytics and authentication, companies can get a stronger understanding on what is working and for whom. At last we know how to collect all this data and what to do with it in a concise and effective way.
3 – Put some thought into your direct marketing pieces
Digital platforms empower companies to entertain and engage potential customers with interactive marketing, combining the best features unavailable in print – such as video, audio, animations and optimised design. Digital direct marketing can save money traditionally spent on print and distribution too, delivering a stronger ROI.
If the information needs to be updated, pages can be quickly added or changed without having to wait for a reprint or redistribution. This means that your literature is always current and bang up to date!
4 – Warm-up that Welcome-pack – someone might actually read it?!
Once a dusty tomb, rarely seen and seldom referenced, the company handbook is enjoying a much needed ‘come back’ and improved visibility thanks to digital media.
Video messages, interactive quizzes and regular content – all designed-for-device – deliver an engaging experience that will help new starters understand what it means to be part of your company.
Also, in an era of environmental awareness, a digital handbook can help lower print wastage and better demonstrate your green CSR credentials.
5 – Curate Content across emails, blogs and newsletters
So much content is created by marketers, but often only used in one campaign or across one channel and sadly never used again. Bringing together your blog, email, online and offline material into a cohesive strategy will increase your reach and engagement time and, in turn, drive your brand and positioning as thought-leaders.
This can be as simple as repurposing printed pieces into online versions or stepped up by streaming blog and online stories into personalised digital magazines. For the real digital maximisers, why not then take your re-flowed content and push to leads or stakeholders as part of outbound emails or distributed through iOS and Android App’s.
6 – Engaging internal marketing – Start measuring your reach
Events, meetings, presentations and a whole host of other internal marketing requirements are often repetitive and inflexible. Printed brochures, take-home bags crammed with literature, and that array of branded paraphernalia are increasingly outdated (apart from those stress balls – can’t resist those and my kids love them too!).
People want to read on their mobile and tablets and take-home material isn’t going home – but might be read if it was on a desktop. Optimised design with great UX and UI will deliver measurable engagement and, with such a mobile workforce, where portability is an important consideration, it can’t get much easier than a URL or an App. And let’s face it, simple is good and it works!
7 – Breathing life into annual and corporate reports
Has the time come to throw away the paper (or at least, recycle it)? Company reports have the reputation of being somewhat dull; try to think of the last time that you sat down and ploughed through one?
Yet to most mid to large-sized enterprises they are so important and by maximising digital, mobile and tablet design, they will be given a whole new lease of life! Charts, tables and graphs become interesting infographics, leadership comments can be combined with video… and in terms of cost-effectiveness and accessibility, digital wins hands down.
Perhaps you don’t want to go ‘all out’ digital but, by starting to convert some of your physical promotions and company literature into digital, you are achieving two very important goals – growing your business and increasing opportunities through digital technology as well as helping the environment in the process by lowering your company’s carbon footprint!
A last word from me – Be sure to compliment your physical presence with a digital one and think twice before hitting that print button!!
About the author: Steph Tiley is a Mum to four children and used her entrepreneurial skills to set up one of the UK’s first on-line baby shower web sites twelve years ago. She has some great tips for that all important life/work balance that we all strive for!!
Steph is now using her skills at Nxtbook Media where she partners with B2B, B2C & Association Publishing Companies as well as Professional Services offering cross platform publishing services as well as providing a totally responsive digital solution.