That’s the topic we’ve caught in the Made in Britain Twitter net: 10 June 2021
EVERY Thursday at 1pm Made in Britain hosts #MadeinBritainHour on Twitter. During that hour Made in Britain asks questions of its 21,000 followers and the results are fascinating. Previously this information was enjoyed by the audience at the time and then left to drift away in the Twittersphere, rarely read again. So, we have decided to capture some of the best comments and re-present them for a new audience and easy reference. Some of the responses have been edited but most have been left in their casual Twitter style.
This week we discuss digital marketing.
Question one: Are polls (social media) and surveys (e.g. survey monkey) effective tools in digital marketing? What are the benefits and challenges of these?
Response: With all polls and surveys and in an open forum like social media, we have to be aware of the bias of the question writer and those who complete the poll/ survey. Bad information is worse than no information. Qualitative are better than quantitative polls/surveys but reduce the number of engagements. They also take longer to analyse the results. Giving prescribed answers can sway outcome of poll/survey. Give responders an opportunity to put their own answer
Made in Britain: Do you think that some companies/sm people use polls as "easy" content or do you think they use them to find out what people think?
Response: They should be used for entertainment and engagement of customers. The data that they produce is unreliable. Pile on's from negative groups can cause chaos and invalidate any data.
Response: I would say a bit of both! They are certainly engaging and give you easy content. Also good to get a quick reaction.
Response: They should be used for entertainment and engagement of customers. The data that they produce is unreliable. Pile on's from negative groups can cause chaos and invalidate any data.
Made in Britain: are they as engaging as they used to be? @LukeEQRisk mentioned the word "overuse"
Response: As I said in the second half of my answer they are for entertainment and engagement. Just a bit of fun. Don't use them to make business decisions
Response: I think people are wary of them these days, due to over use. Most people use them as a 'phishing' tool and then commence to 'sell'
Response: Mostly polls are used to get information
Response: I have seen many pols that have biased questions, pile on's from groups creating biased outcomes. The information is unreliable and should not be used for critical business decisions. Surveying face to face with open questioning is much safer if it informs
Response: I can see how polls can work in terms of being fun and engaging, especially if they are relevant to a particular trending hashtag or celebration day.
Response: Both have a place in digital marketing plans, polls for content generation, community building, feedback which can possibly generate more traffic
Response: I've found them an effective way of engaging with an online community, especially on social media! You can have all sorts of fun and they're great for starting of conversation
Made in Britain: "Fun" - engagement rather than serious business information?
Response: Does all business interactions have to be serious and lack fun? I think fun is a key ingredient of creating engagement, you can still obtain meaningful business information in a fun manner
Response: Take @MarketAccents polls in the webinars! We're still learning useful, meaningful information from a marketing perspective and yet it's still fun to take part
Response: True but those aren't on social media :)
Response: Still a digital marketing tool however
Response: Yes and a good strong one too, but not if I am trying to get any decent insights to use for my product development :). they all have their uses and it is knowing when/where to use them
Response: I would say it depends on the audience you have created then, the community we have built have been amazing and learning what they prefer to see has helped us adapt our messaging accordingly, particularly in regards to showing our capabilities
Response: If you do have a community like that to tap into, then you are fortunate as you can test the waters with a poll.
Response: This is a great way of approaching it - I think fun is massively underrated in general when it comes to operating a business and informing decisions. You can still take something very seriously but go about it in a fun way.
Response: Good shout! It's good to make your own mark on things. We all have our own brand tone of voice.
Made in Britain: It is very much a sector specific thing. Some sectors just don't do fun as it undermines the nature of their business. Other sectors don't do fun because nobody else in the sector does. Fun is perfect and needed so long as it is in the right place.
Response: I agree up to a point, just because competitors don't do something, that shouldn't stop you from doing it We adopted TikTok and instagram reels into our strategy (just an example) yet others didn't. We've seen success and carved out our paths the art of differentiation
Response: Absolutely - competitors not doing something can be seen as a huge opportunity. Also, fun can mean many different things. I can see why a full-on "crazy" approach wouldn't fit in many places, but fun can also mean down-to-earth, accessible and approachable.
Response: I completely agree with you!! Too much seriousness can actually drive engagement down, You only have to look at the large brands and what they do to successfully drive engagement with fun, take BAE for example
Made in Britain: The other interesting aspect is that what is "fun" in one country may not be in another country and SM does cross borders.
Response: A good translation company can fit well here.
Response: Absolutely!!! There may be a valid reason competitors aren't using it then fine but don't assume it won't work because they aren't doing it!
Response: introducing fun elements is great for building relationships too! Brands that have character & personality seem to be the ones that build audiences quicker
Response: I completely agree Sian! We could sit here and talk about what metal spinning is all day but I'm sure, as evidence shows, people engage better watching the process instead of being told for example
Response: Absolutely and its a great way to cut through the noise. It's not just quirky brands that fare well using this approach. Typically very technical and heavy engineering cos (as an example) could benefit from personality too!
Response: There is quite a challenge to get the right personality too, many have tried and failed, others have got it spot on. Know your market
Response: You can potentially get instant feedback from your customers. If the post doesn't engage though it may not be very a very effective indicator
Made in Britain: Do you think most polls are posted to get information or to get engagement?
Response: In my experience, it is to get engagement. Isn't that the aim of ALL sm?
Response: I personally would agree. I wouldn't make any business decisions on the back of a social media poll.
Response: Agreed. its a good way to generate content though about various topics
Response: Absolutely, generates interest. Also SM polls can be quite restrictive given the number of options available per poll
Response: Polls and surveys are good for doing market research as well as engaging followers.
Response: I'd agree with that and would just add that they need to be based on a representative sample. Same with many things, you often get feedback from the extremes and not the majority
Response: Polls are a great way to engage and get insights, quan data and also test the waters on features. They are easy to do and you can see the results very quickly. Surveys give you more space to ask more indepth questions.. they both have a place in your #digitalmarketing strategy
Made in Britain: How valid do you think the data is from social media "polls" - a representative sample or a biased one?
Response: A poll is not really representative - you don't really know who is answering and what their intention is. When sending out a survey, you have at least looked at a survey audience and their demographics/usage of products.
Made in Britain: That assumes everyone fills in the survey? How far would you go with using the results of either a poll or an email based survey?
Response: With a properly controlled survey I would declare my level of confidence in my results, especially if it is quantitative survey. If I am just collecting comments from an email, I am merely getting reactions and cannot really use that as confirmed findings.
Response: YES! They're a great way to give your audience a voice & to keep up with their wants/needs/opinions. When you ask the right questions, you gain a better understanding of your market and it allows you to serve them better.
Made in Britain: Good point about asking the right question. Design is key and often something that is overlooked or people actually aren't trained to do it
Response: The creation of the questions are reliant on no bias when writing them. In the poll/survey you should be prepared for answers that you do not want to see. If you give a choice of answers then you are restricting the data.
Response: Both are effective but need to be handled with care. Polls, for example, benefit from being quick and easy to answer. This means you get a more "instinctive" answer but also less thought. You need to have your eyes wide open when interpreting the data.
Made in Britain: How far would you go with using the data/making decisions from a poll? they seem more a way of driving engagement?
Response: Yes, I see them used for both engagement and information - depends on the type of question asked. I would only ever use it as a small piece of confirmation data to help validate other sources and theories, and even then with only a little weight attached.
Made in Britain: Maybe you could use them for hypothesis generation type purposes and then do it properly in a better controlled environment?
Response: Yes, there is definitely a place for it - especially if you can get a decent volume of votes because then you can identify some trends to go into in a more rigorous process for validation. It's the same as business measures in general. There is a place for the "quick and dirty" measures which can serve to point you towards something for further investigation. The key is to not act on it alone, but to use it wisely.
Made in Britain: There is also a conversation to be had about designing the poll/survey properly in the first place?
Response: Yes, I think this more than anything is key to defining whether it will be an engagement poll or an information poll. Both the content and the tone need to be right.
Question two: how effective are email newsletters? How can the effectiveness of these be improved and what software tools are best?
Response: The open and click through data is available from many sources. This is one from Campaign Monitor. I notice that there is not a section for Manufacturing? Is it #MFG do not use the medium?
Response: There are A LOT of great software being developed to address challenges of prospecting and email distribution which I'm still getting my head around & looking to use in what I do. Watch this space!!!
Response: I would moot that this is best used for creating awareness rather than conversations. Generally its a "one fit" approach so if you wanted to get a response then personalise first
Response: I had a client who was speaking to three distinct groups. The same information was sent to everyone except the order of the information was changes to put the relevant content at the top for each group. A little extra work, but better engagement
Response: Email marketing can still be really effective despite the rise of SEO, social media etc. but the content has to be not only good but relevant to your audience and an incentive i.e. download a guide is always a good hook
Response: This is where you need to analyse your customer personas and see if they would engage and what content they would want to see. If you do not understand your customers you will not know what to write.
Response: Read a book recently, Do Open: How a Simple Email Newsletter Can Transform Your Business by @davidhieatt. Lots of great tips, ideas and considered essential by @hiutdenim. Something we will be giving a go, but you need to be consistent and persistent
Response: I found 'Growth Hacker Marketing' by Ryan Holiday to be a useful one.
Response: This is a great question, just as a counter-question to this, Does anyone differentiate Newsletter from Eshot? What does everybody consider a newsletter to be?
Response: Yes, I think a newsletter has to be loaded with information, whereas an eshot (as we call it) can be a short message.
Response: That raises another question - where is the source of the news. Should the email newsletter be a series of intros/teasers that a user clicks on to read more on your website. OR should the newsletter be read as a standalone message?
Response: If it is a newsletter....there should be updates or news in it...otherwise it is a marketing email then it will be more sales oriented. Both will have a call to action, but the newsletter is more of an engagement tool.
Response: Hard to say. People get too many emails as it is, and they are really easy just to delete. But, as part of a comprehensive marketing plan they have their place.
Response: Email newsletters are great to stay in touch with customers & pipeline, share news & updates & launch new products within your audience group. They are a very useful tool in your #digitalmarketing arsenal. You should also be getting good analytics to know what is working or not
Response: Yes. The analytics are great way of knowing whether it’s working or emails are being ignored
Response: We use Mailchimp too. It's pretty handy for being able to segment lists and keep track of stats. We could be using it more though - we generally send emails out once a month unless there is something specific extra that we need to announce.
Response: Also part of the Mailchimp club for email marketing. To be fair, we could be using it more too.
Made in Britain: Quality vs quantity?
Response: I do have to agree that I don't send anything if it is not valuable and good info for our customers. They only deserve the best
Response: We use mailchimp to send out emails to our subscriber base, when we communicate corporate and product news. It tracks open rates and is easily plugged into CRM
Made in Britain: How effective do you think Mailchimp is at getting the email into the inbox of the audience?
Response: Subscribers seems to be the best way
Response: They’re an invaluable way of maintaining contact and awareness with customers and prospective customers - providing them with useful and relevant information about the industry and company. We use MailChimp which works well.
Made in Britain: Mailchimp seems to be the go-to email sender. How difficult is it to come up with regular content for newsletters?
Response: That can be a challenge - particularly given recent times with Covid halting any usual events to host and report on. However, we have a wealth of spring knowledge and company/industry stories to share, so we will be OK for some time yet in terms of content!
Response: We've found having an automated onboarding email program has really helped with people who are new to our services and membership. It's important to think about the whole customer journey and where you can communicate with subscribers effectively.
Question three: is it acceptable to purchase and use mailing lists to help increase your marketing reach?
Response: Qualified mailing lists are the best. You need to go through any data you purchase for mailing lists and its time consuming + the return is very minimal.
Response: I remember the days when you could buy a piece of software, scrape the internet gathering email addresses of target companies. Use an email marketing platforms and send thousands of messages in less than a few hours of work. GDPR has changed everything
Response: This has become a hot potato following GDPR. You can buy in lists but they need to be checked and also you will still need to follow GDPR processes
Response: We don't buy them directly, but we do get lists from paid events we participate in like @voltimumuk Live, where everyone on the list has specifically opted in to be contacted by us and clearly agreed to be added to our mailing list
Response: That sounds like the best practice to grow your mailing list.
Response: Yes but ONLY on the understanding that you interrogate the data first rather than use blindly to fill your pipeline. I've worked from lists previously and they almost always require additional work before reaching out to prospects
Response: The best list you can have is one you have built yourself. Getting current contacts to spread the word. Purchased lists can be problematic depending on the source.
Response: We've not had experience with buying lists. The great caveat is making sure the list is obtained correctly (GDPR friendly).
Response: How do you determine if a list is GDPR compliant?
Response: Nothing beats organic
Response: Build your own list
Response: We buy a particular database every year for a particular audience, the provider is a reputable company, the data is consistent and up-to-date and it saves us an inordinate amount of time in gathering the research and data ourselves.
Question four: is there any benefit in physical mailings or are these now completely outdated and too costly?
Response: The ROI of physical “generic” mailings is a lot less the the “digital” kind. But targeted small personalised mailings seem to be the thing now
Response: I think generally, it's wasteful and costly to send printed materials unless the customer/potential customer requested them. Eg. When we have a product enquiry we would then send a flyer with the free samples.
Response: Direct mail has a median ROI of 29% compared to paid search with an ROI of 23% as part of a multi-channel strategy it can be really effective, utilising QR codes, hashtags etc. which would then drive traffic back to your website
Response: Yes, targeted mail shots seem to be the most effective
Response: Research suggests that marketing campaigns deliver significantly increased ROI where a number of different channels are used. And print is not that costly
Response: It all depends on the mix and how you utilise your content and engagement across channels
Response: Funnily enough speaking to several businesses physical mailings ARE the new disruptor because so few cos use it. HOWEVER - is it sustainable given current environmental sensitivities?
Response: I agree. It is a good tactic to use for a specific campaign such as a launch or memorable news .
Response: Problem being these days is that it becomes very expensive compared to the established email approach? But if it is effective then it may be worth it?
Response: Like everything it depends on your audience, your budget, does your margin cover it? Payback will be better in some sectors than others - if margins are tight then I would suggest using emails instead.
Response: exactly and will be highly effective.
Response: Can be costly and depends on the markets you are targeting e.g 100 B2B or 50,000 B2C
Response: As a receiver of things a lot of companies have an all or nothing approach, seemingly just sending out loads of paper every month just because they always have or they're now "eco" so print nothing ever. I like a middle ground, printed catalogues/magazines, digital updates/news.
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