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Webinar Transcript - Blue Sky Factory: Email & Social Media Community, Content & Killer Campaigns

Christine Major, Marketing Communications Manager at Awareness (CM): Welcome, everyone, to today’s Awareness webinar on Email and Social Media Community, Content and Killer Campaigns presented by Blue Sky Factory. My name is Christine Major and I will be your host today taking over from Mike Lewis who is actually traveling but he told me to say hi to everyone and he wishes that he was here to join everyone. So hello from Mike. I am very excited to have both Greg and DJ from Blue Sky talk to us today. They are actually great guys and I had the opportunity to meet with them in person while on the Social Fresh cruise back in November and little did we know, but it was actually a Rick Springfield cruise as well. So DJ was really excited about that. Few things before we get started if you are following us on Twitter you want to use hash tags #awarenessinc and also #bsfwebinar and if you have any technical issues you can contact WebEx customer support for help there.

Slide: Who is Awareness?

CM: So I am sure you are going to get a lot out of this session today but before we get started I want to briefly tell you who Awareness is. Simply put, Awareness is a social marketing software company. Our software platform powers online communities for brands who want to engage with their customers on a more personal level and we are fortunate to be working with some great brands across all industries and some of the logos that you see here you recognize but one thing that they have in common is that they are all looking for ways to transform their marketing and create deeper relationships with their customers.

Slide: The complete Awareness solution.

CM: We have made this easy with the creation of our best practice communities what we call our BPCs. These are turnkey online communities which are actually optimized for the top 8 social media marketing cases that we actually identified through our work that the companies that we worked with in their social marketing initiatives. The Awareness BPCs were actually configured and installed to a customer specific brand and they are actually deployed in a matter of days. Each BPC has a specific marketing success matrix associated with the company’s marketing goals and also includes analytic and reporting functionalities to measure the success of your community.

Slide: Best Practices Community Example

CM: For example one of our customers, Progressive, has just launched their Help Flo campaign using our user generated content BPC. If you want, you can check it out and upload your own video at helpflo.com for a chance to win a spot in a commercial as well. That is pretty cool and there are a lot of exciting things going on over here including a launch of a brand new product. We are going to be unveiling that at South by Southwest in a few weeks. If you want to find out more information, we will put that up on our website in a few weeks and if you are going to be at the South by Southwest please be sure to stop by our booth which is #910 and check out a demo of the new product, you can also sign up to be alerted. It actually is available to the public and just get the details there. So we just want to see you, stop by or just give me a ring. I am @cmajor on Twitter so you can just stop by there. So right now I am going to stop talking and I am going to pass the ball to DJ who is going to start the presentation. So DJ it is all yours. Are you there?

DJ Waldow, Director of Community at Blue Sky Factory (DJ) : I am here can you guys hear me?

CM: Yes

DJ: Okay awesome and Greg if you can hear me it looks like you are on mute. So just letting you know.

Greg Cangialosi, President and CEO of Blue Sky Factory (GC): Okay I am here.

DJ: Okay perfect. I am just going to go ahead and bear with me for a second guys and I am going to share my screen here.

GC: It is stuck.

Slide: Blue Sky Factory

DJ: Hopefully everybody can see that big screen title flag right now. I just want to start off by briefly introducing us and as Christine mentioned that I am a big Rick Springfield fan and I think that might be a little bit extreme. I may have listened to him in the past but I am not a huge Rick Springfield fan.

CM: DJ I saw you at that concert.

DJ: Whatever happens on the boat stays on the boat but I just wanted to introduce myself briefly. I am DJ Waldow the Director of Community at Blue Sky Factory. I am the guy on the right hand side there. I am actually sitting in my house in Salt Lake City and I am on iPhone. So things may break up at all we can blame AT&T and hopefully Greg will take over on the other line. So Greg why don’t you introduce yourself and we will get right into it.

GC: Hi everybody. I am Greg Cangialosi and I am the CEO and President of Blue Sky Factory. I am actually in the Blue Sky Factory headquarters right here in Baltimore. So looking forward to it and it should be fun.

Slide: About Blue Sky Factory

DJ: Alright let us roll into it. I would like to briefly introduce Blue Sky Factory for those of you don’t know we are what is known as an ESP or an email service provider. We do a combination of self service, full service, hybrid service, and little bit of everything. You are going to hear a lot about social media today hopefully and that is the part why you are here. We are going to talk about digital glue and sharing networks and all sorts of interesting things. Our application is called Publicaster and we are adding new features probably at this very moment.

GC: We are.

Slide: Free Email Marketing eBook

DJ: I just want to introduce you to a very small plug here for an eBook that we came out with. It is called the Ultimate Guide to Email. It is a collaborative project that we did with Mark and there is a link that will be up later as well but there is a link here that you want to go and download here with that eBook with blueskyfactory.com/awareness. It is really a good book that talks about beginning casual or somebody who can get something out of it.

Slide: The Next Block of Time

DJ: So over the next 45 minutes or so we are going to talk about these 4 topics hopefully these are not a surprise to you. When you signed up for this webinar, you may have seen these bullets or something like those so we are going to talk a lot about email as a digital glue, ways to integrate email and social, optimizing content, and the bulk of the presentation is hopefully going to be on some different strategies and things that you can do really use emails and social complimentary channels. Feel free to ask questions as Christine mentioned this in the beginning but you can ask questions on Twitter using the #awarenessinc or #BSFwebinar. We will try to get to them during the webinar if possible or certainly at the end as well.

Slide: Very Few Words

DJ: With this slide here I just want people to be aware that when Greg and I present we try not to have a lot of words on the slides. We try to use a lot of pictures and I just take these three because there are actually these three pictures that I took. One is a guy here in Salt Lake City that I saw and in the middle is my cat sitting on my laptop and the third one is what I would consider the best way to finish off the day - skiing, beer and bacon. So there is a lot of stuff to say to get to the digital glue. So Greg I think you are up.

Slide: Digital glue.

GC: Yes. So thanks DJ great way to frame everything up. Something on the content side of it and you know one of the things that you might have heard myself speak or any of the messaging around Blue Sky Factory we talk a lot about how email is the digital glue of sort of all the social web. What I mean by that is our VP of Innovation and strategy would tell you that it is a currency of web 2.0 world. It is really the common denominator. So when you think about it, you know email as a medium and you look at how it is used within the social web, you really see that you cannot sign up for any other service on the social web without using your email address as a primary key.

Slide: Graph

GC: When you think about how emails rolled so much into driving so much activity within the social web. Every single one of those mediums has an email component to that that keeps you looped in the social web so that there is a very clear straight tie in between email and social media. When you look at the recent stats especially from the Center of Media Research and that was a very recent study that was done takes survey to find out what the market is going to be doing this year. I think it says a lot when you look at the top three mediums that marketers are interested to invest in 2010 and have already begun to. The email no surprise is at the top and social media and social networks in the no.2 slot. When you think about it email has always been the trusted, tried, true online workforce for online marketing so when we think about it, it makes more sense that marketers are pouring more dollars into that and just starting to see as we go through this presentation the blending between email and social media.

Slide: Stats.

GC: Couple of other stats that I just want to point out that I thought would be really interesting just to little back this up. You know the frequency of with which the users are checking their email that if they are “social media users” is up considerably over people who are not actively engaged in social media. So this is what the consumer base is doing or the user of social media is doing. He is actively more on email than not. The other thing that we found very interesting and we are doing a lot around at Blue Sky Factory around this particular matrix and stat is that we are finding a lot of users are using the same email address for their social networking/social web accounts as well as the permission based email. So that is the pretty recent stat and I think that right there opens up a lot of potential for marketers to start to cross pollinate their email marketing efforts right into their social media efforts. So as we go through this we will start talking very tactically on that. DJ all you.

Slide: Email + Social: Working Together

DJ: Oh back to me….thank you. So just so people know that I am controlling the slides and you might hear Greg out there give me a little kick to say move forward. Okay so the next step here is as Greg just mentioned about the digital glue and the currency and we think about email and social is really working together and just to give you a couple of examples. We did a webinar recently with Jason Falls that focused on Sharing with Your Networks and you are going to see some slides cross over here and there but this one to me is where Greg talks about how you cannot sign up for anything on the social side without having email address. So just a couple of examples when you look at YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn I mean you are still getting messages in your inbox either when you sign up or when you look at the LinkedIn you are getting reminders, or you get notices from Twitter or YouTube. You can even create subscription centers or email subscription centers on Facebook. So there is a lot of cross over there as Greg mentioned and there is and you will hear Greg talk a lot about cross pollination of email where you are sharing stuff through email and you are sharing and you are really going back and forth between all of these different tools and services.

Slide: How to integrate email & social (tactical, low hanging fruit)

GC: Yeah and if I could just say something there, I mean especially as it relates to social sharing with emails and one of the things that is really incredible about this and not just spend a lot of time talking about sharing network but the ability for marketers to understand that they have communities to build upon. You know networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook and hopefully they are engaging and actively working those channels you know getting that email address is one of most the valuable assets that you can get. The email list is one of the most valuable assets any business has. So to whatever extent you can take the opportunity to cross your community tabs, your Twitter or your LinkedIn or your Facebook whatever you are involved in getting those folks to convert over to your email database that is one strategy. The other strategy is using your email database to propel the growth of your community. We are going to show you some examples about that. With sharing technologies that are out there much like the add this or share this which is what you see on blogs you know many of the ESPs out there have similar functionality like ourselves at Blue Sky Factory. With matrix around that are doing for marketers so they are able to increase and reach of their messaging. So all of a sudden you can frame it up like you know take an email campaign or free campaign or top degree campaign because you are really leveraging your client’s network. You are leveraging your subscriber’s network if you will. So you will be able to the see the reaching, you will be able to see who your top influencers are, and who is actually sharing your content and happens to have a big follower that is generating more views and more clicks. The other opportunity that really creates for you with social sharing is the ability to also to track what we call the social subscribe. So as your messages are getting more exposed to more eyeballs on the social web kind of once again was originally designed for the inbox now is out on the social web. It is very easy to obtain those messages so that people who maybe are new to your friends or new to your company see those messages you can prompt them to subscribe to your list right there through sharing your email in the social web. So there is a lot of interesting things when we look at sharing, email confidences on social web that will help and not only get your eyeballs on your campaign but also build your lists and also more importantly increase to reach your messaging and target your influencers.

DJ: Perfect so let’s move on and talk a little bit about Amy Garland’s favorite phrase of low hanging fruit and some of the tactical ways in which you can actually use and integrate email and social.

Slide: Email Marketing

DJ: So as I mentioned some of these are going to be crossover from the sharing network stuff but I want to give everybody an idea of different ways that you can do it. I would try to hold on the commentary for now on whether this is the best way to do it or there are better ways but I will give you a little slice into that. Here is an example on the top left is the ways that you can include these shared links within any now. As Greg mentioned Blue Sky Factory does this and other email service providers also have this capability to make sure that you are asking them if they have to share with your network feature. So there is also another example on the right with PETCO the ability to share your quotes so you can share through Facebook forward to a friend down there or tweet the quote but one from Home Depot here on the bottom has the different share widgets in there as well.

Slide: Photo the month

DJ: Another way to do it is the way the National Geographic does it and I will mention here briefly that the Facebook icon and the Twitter icon in the bottom right and I will say here that it is well recognizable you know tell me why I should share that or what does that mean. This is an example of getting over a little more context behind it but we will get into some of that in a bit here too.

Slide: Buster Tees

DJ: Another example…this one is from buster tees so on the left hand side you can see that they are sharing same different networks as well. This is the bottom of the same buster tees you know which I actually like. They start to tell you why you should follow them. It is not just the sharing but this is how they are growing their Facebook page and getting people to subscribe to their blog and looking at pictures that they have on Flicker. So they are giving them some insight to do that as well.

GC: Hey I just want to mention something for a sec DJ. It is really a key point. I mean a lot of times we see a lot of marketers just simply including follow us or sign us up or whatever the comment maybe but in this example you know this is really kind of telling you that what is happening and why to follow? So whatever extent just like any other good marketing campaign incentive to cross pollinate your email subscribers into your social connections. You know give them a reason to do that and tell them what they can receive.

Slide: Twitter

DJ: Yeah that is excellent point. We are going to show later on this presentation a couple of examples of companies that are doing right and how to provide them incentives. For those who aren’t as familiar with the share it with your network stuff what basically happens is and I will give you an example of Twitter but it is similar for Facebook and LinkedIn. When you click on that button, it generates kind of URL and in this case it is basically for Blue Sky Factory we have our own BSF URL you can use all the varieties of different services but it creates that tiny URL in there and it allows you to take that and share it. At that point you can see who is actually…and you can look back in your email and search back and see the number of who is sharing, the number of people that they are sharing it with and how many people actually click on that tiny URL which is as Greg mentioned before this is more eyeball on that email that you sent out.

Slide: How People Share

DJ: Just some stats that recently came out and this is from October that we share this. Just for those who are thinking that email is dead and hopefully throughout this presentation you are not hopefully it is not dead for lets say Blue Sky Factory if you are right Greg.

GC: Far from dead.

DJ: People this is how they share this and this is how people are still sharing quite a bit. In fact 46% in this case through emails. So when we talk about social media and Twitter, Facebook and all these things email is still that preferred medium to share and another stat here from SocialTwist from end of last year same idea just confirming that 59% of people are sharing through email. Christine are we doing okay? Are there any questions coming in yet?

CM: At this time no but if anybody does have any questions please send it through Twitter and tag them with #awarenessinc and we will be sure to collect them and ask them throughout the webinar and hopefully at the end.

DJ: I know people cannot respond to this question but hope everyone is having a fun time right now because this is fun stuff.

CM: party time!!!

Slide: How to optimize content to encourage sharing

DJ: Thanks Christine appreciate that. How to optimize content to encourage sharing? So I want to give you a couple of examples here briefly of people I think are doing it right and ways that you should encourage the sharing.

Slide: Example

DJ: So here is one of our partners. Jason Falls does a newsletter for exploring social media and his blog is Social Media Explorer and so the first and foremost thing that you share with your network include the ability to allow people to take that content and share it within their network. To me that is a no brainer. If your ESP has that ability to do this you should be including these links at a minimum so that is kind of step 1.

Slide: Provide incentive.

DJ: Step 2 is to provide some incentive and what I like about….this is an actual newsletter that Jason Falls sent out I think in October and what he does in there and I have highlighted this section in red is that he basically said that people are actually going to share this the most are going to get a free copy of his book. So he is giving them some kind of incentive to share. So what is in it for them? Why should you bother sharing this content other than the fact that you like it…he is providing them incentive. So there is one example of it.

Slide: Ask

DJ: The third and this is an email that I got from DirecTV and for those…I really encourage to subscribe to DirecTV email even if you are not DirecTV customer. They just do a really good job in all of their emails and all of their aspects. This is one message that I got last week and the subject line says ‘Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and more”. They actually dedicated an entire email campaign to ask people to connect.

GC: So anyway…I am sorry to cut you off.

DJ: Go for it Greg.

GC: I was just going to say that the tactic that DirecTV is using is you know for anybody out there who is trying to jump start some of the community effort this is exactly what I was talking about earlier. This is talking to your most valuable asset - your subscriber database and in this case just a one off stand alone campaign and saying “hey you are our customer or you are on our list we just want to let you know that we want to chat with you on twitter, Facebook, and YouTube” and push that stuff out there and I bet you their conversion rates on this particular one was really high because you can see it is exclusive just to taking your subscribers and turning them into your community.

DJ: To play a little on the other side of that I mean certainly they could have held a little bit more of what is there in for me. I mean why should I follow on Twitter or join you in Facebook. You have done a nice job of actually promoting those in a couple of different unique ways <21:42> as well. I think that is a pretty good example of making sure that you have to ask. Don’t be afraid to ask people to join and don’t just assume that they are going to join.

Slide: What’s in it for me?

DJ: Okay so what is in it for me part, I really like this from Banana Republic. They stay current and they tell you how they don’t do uniquely for each different channels here but they do say and receive updates on promotion, info, events, or watch our exclusive videos. So they give you a reason reason to follow them.

Slide: Social Media Reach

DJ: The slide here this is just an idea of when you actually do share your networks. This is a screenshot within our application publicaster but this is one of the campaigns Jason Falls did. You can see that his reach increased by 58% so what that means is let’s say that he sent that email out to thousands of people, you got an extra 580 views on that particular newsletter just by giving people a reason to share and that is just one of the benefits of sharing with your network.

GC: So basically all the people whom you see there are all listed open times. So you then have your inbox, stats, your open click rate it is not the common matrix that you would commonly track on that would result to your email campaign but once you hit that share button or recipient on your listed share button and depending on the network that is there is totally a separate piece that is created that is now being tracked within the social web. So how many views are there within the web browser which is commonly what a tiny will click open to a web browser. You can see the email content. Now who and by which medium and in this case you know Jason has a very heavy Twitter following and he is very active on that particular channel so it is not surprised that most of the share rate is on Twitter. When you could see all the numbers on the left hand side with the stats 44 views or 41 views or 37 views just keep in mind that in this case this is not the list that we are talking about with thousands and thousands of people on it. It is a relatively smaller list and that is why there is such an increased reach but still I mean the bottom line here is you know Jason was trying to promote a method and was trying to get more subscribers and incentivized his subscribers with free books and a conference ticket and they did all the work for him really. So they really got his message and his brand in front of a lot more eyeballs than normally would be just by sending out email campaign. So this is one test and of course this is and I think this is the only stat that we are going to show with recording but another stat I think would be relevant here when you think about reach increase and increasing the message and exposing. We did a quick study here at the end of the last year as well in Blue Sky where we looked at 10 unique clients across 10 different verticals and both the BtoB and BtoC side of things. We looked at the overall reach increase over the three campaigns but it was these last three campaigns that each one of these clients had done and over all reach increase was 12% in September and it had gone up to 17% by the end of 2009. You know more evidence that more and more people are incorporating these into their campaigns and more evidence that more and more people are starting to actually use the sharing features. So it is all good news and it is still in its infancy.

DJ: And just to add in this too for those who are more interested try not to focus too much on share with your networks stuff because in January did a webinar with Jason Falls which focused on that. We have that stuff up on our site if you are interested in seeing more details about the share with your network.

CM: Hey DJ I think it's also on Slideshare and this presentation is going to be available after as well.

DJ: Yup. It is always like the number one question that gets back in all webinars. It will be available. So yeah I know that you guys will put them on your site. We will have them on Blue Sky Factory site, Greg will have them on his personal Blue Sky Factory’s and so if you cannot find these slides somewhere you are not looking hard enough.

CM: And the whole webinar will be available on demand after as well on our website so we are going to tweet about that sorry to interrupt DJ but we did have a question from Twitter. The question is what is your view on exclusive email content when combining with social?

Greg: I will jump in. I think I can answer that. This brings up a good point because not every message you send out on email really needs to be activated with social sharing capabilities. I mean obviously it doesn’t make sense for certain types of messaging you know conformational email, transactional emails, or that kind of stuff. To one extent email should be written for email but when you are thinking of your promotions or webinar invites like this kind of thing or physical web invites or email invites for physical events etc., you know it is those types of messages that tend to get shared. When you are trying to promote something and take advantage of the social acceleration of the recipient audience but to one extent each channel really should have its own content. So email should have its own content and should be focused on the inbox but again that doesn’t necessarily mean that these days it is going to end up there which we like because we want our clients to get more eyeballs on their brand, we want people to build their list so crafting content that is relevant to the recipient or the subscriber is email one on one is the best practices. I am sticking with that and making your content enticing and shareable is the key and it is a lot easier said than done absolutely.

DJ: I would add to that too and Greg answered that question correctly and I know that Jason Fallsdoes a newsletter that is different from the content that he puts on his site. Chris Brogan is the same way. He has a newsletter that he sends out or he tries to send out weekly or every two weeks that is content that is very specific to the email news. The content that you get off his blog or you get from Twitter or any other social channel that he puts in.

GC: I think that email marketing is just taking in some of the rehash blog posts and sticking them in an email newsletter template and sending them out. Repurposing content for email that maybe written on the blog, etc., is a great idea. Several of our clients highlight a blog post or two but to make each one your medium whatever channel you are working on. Craft specific content for that. The other thing which is just a trail off on that is you know one of the beautiful things about email as most people on the call know is that you can track in real time your success or your failure of what is happening, what is working, and what is not. So as long as you are paying attention to the analytics and the data, you can see what is engaging your client base and what is not.

DJ: Anything else Christine or should we just keep going through?

CM: yeah keep on going.

DJ: Think we actually might be out of the game here a little bit.

Greg: Making good time. It is good.

DJ: Wow for two talkers that is pretty impressive.

Greg: Man I am telling you.

Slide: Strategies for using email & social media as complementary channels

DJ: Let’s slow down and talk about something else for a few minutes. Okay this next session is kind of…I think is kind of the bulk of the presentation really. Greg will go through a bunch of different strategies of how do you email and social as these complimentary channels and there are 9 different steps and some of them have 2 parts but we want to basically apply two for each and I am going to give you an example of how this image portrays and how we are using these complimentary channels for these communities. I am going to stop talking because I am going over myself.

Slide: 1. Find your internal champions

GC: Okay so one of the things is that you know just by taking a step back from the emails and social media, I mean one of the things that I really think has to work in order to be motion, one of the things that has to work in any organization and I know that there are tons and tons of businesses that are struggling with this right now. There is resistance to social media, there is lack of control, and all the reasons that are out there what happens when a negative comment comes up so I know some of you who are on the call are struggling with getting social going at your organization but what are the things that we found that works well is you know identifying your internal champion. Then of course this slide is…this is our organization here at Blue Sky Factory. We have been successful in building a culture where it starts literally with me. I did all the social media and community building efforts for Blue Sky Factory for two years, so the incredible value of the brand, the branding, the awareness, the royalty, the retention and as Chris Brogan says you know being there before the sale it is all about building the relationship. I saw a really good connection and thought that this is going to have a lot of legs moving forward. So we have expanded. You know we have Amy Garland who was our first person who joined marketing and then helped me kind of streamline the Twitter process, got our blog going and obviously we hired DJ and we recently just hired Chris Penn as our VP of Strategy and Innovation and then from there we have all these other people in the organization who were contributing content and what I would like to say who are amplifying the signal of what you are doing. So any organization be it BtoB or or BtoC you know try to find and identify the internal champions within your group whether it is your team or whatever whether your department. If your are marketing communications obviously you can really start to spearhead the stuff. I would like to say we are kind of firing down all cylinders and some people are happy to get blog going but not the community going. When you have that sort of army of internal champions going for you and you have got lines from the top down that is when you get the most bang for all of your efforts. Again the commitment here is time. We are all in a social media you know very low barrier entry you know there is not a big budget issue there but its time. It is creating content and it is having people engaging with your community. It is having conversations, it is connecting, and it is thought leadership. So to whatever extent if you can get that top down in any organization whether you are a small organization or a large organization that is really when the magic starts to happen.

DJ: I wanted to add to the next slide is that somewhere what we are trying to show in this slide is that you got three people on the left who are very much out there in conferences speaking and hopefully recognizable faces if we are doing things right but we got the rest of the engine working with the team of other people who are internal champions and are really excited about email and social too. So you don’t only need to have one voice that stands out or one or three as long as you have people within the organization who are excited about what they are doing and are spreading the message in the low.

Slide: 2. Monitor & Listen to the conversation

GC: Yeah it is the blocks who give us all our leverage. So the second thing that I think is really important to point out and the practice that we started a long time ago and now we have been able to optimize through the use of specific tools like <33:25> is monitoring and listening to the conversation. As you are engaging and if your company that is fully engaged is social media and you are putting content out there and you are engaging with your base, the byproduct of that is that there is going be talk about you and in some cases there is probably a lot of talk about you anyway…your product, your service, your industry whatever it may be used specifically. So to whatever extent you can monitor and listen to the conversation that is one of the key things that will allow you where to engage. I think DJ has a slide up here. Why don’t you go to that example that you pointed just in the webinar.

DJ: Yeah just literally hold this and you can see that two days ago randomly and I think it is fascinating to see and I think I put in the red stuff in there is me with the hair and blog. You know on the top there is somebody talking about the ultimate guy that we just put out. The second one I am not sure I think if Lin is on the call right now but you know they are somebody who registered for the webinar as you go down there is somebody who retweets that and is registered or talking about the webinar and I think the one that has been really the most exciting to me and interesting to me is this is Amy Garland who is our marketing manager here at Blue Sky Factory and she is responding here to a guy who was having an issue in downloading the guide and so what I think is very neat about this and going back to the connection between email and social is that she is using Twitter to listen to what this person has said. You know if you see his tweet before he was having trouble downloading this and she gave out her email address and said “hey email to me” and we will make that connection there. so I just think that and this literally just happened 2 days ago just <35:07> the timing of it but I think what is really important is that you are monitoring and listening but also responding and bringing people back to email which is sometimes a more comfortable way to interact with somebody.

Slide: 2b. Power Listening – using data

GC: Yeah it is really…you know you are doing the emails socially, you are taking a lot of it and you are doing the community stuff. You are actively doing the community development and actively engaging you are taking a lot of conversation as probably many of you are you know offline and off the grid so to speak and interacting with them one to one. What is also really interesting is that you start to look at the opportunity between email and social and you look at the sort of social web as you know big huge universe. There is so much data being generated every day by the conversations that we are all having, by the things that we are saying, by the status updates, by the emails, by the you know sharing in Facebook, by putting things through LinkedIn groups or whatever that maybe. One of the interesting things that Chris Penn our VP of Strategy and Innovation had done with his previous employer <36:09> was you know take a tactic that I have not seen any people really use and that is one of the reasons why we love to have him on our team. One of the things that he did was…going back to that conversational data and monitoring the conversation and listening, he would basically look at key words that were related to his industry which was financial aid for students and look at in this term the key words <36:37> and he was looking at when that acronym or when that word was being used in Twitter as one particular medium and how many times was it mentioned and what days and what time of the day? Then what he would do is he would optimize sending times in his email campaigns based on when people were discussing the very topic of he was sending the promotion out for or targeted to. So we started thinking about leveraging the data that is on the social web to optimize our email marketing campaigns. There are a lot of connections there and there are a lot of things to test down and optimize and that is one thing you know hopefully all of you are doing with your email marketing initiative. At least testing because that provides us with the greatest opportunity to optimize our campaign. So in this case you know Chris went through several different testing and you can see it here that in fact where he said sending the email promo on Wednesday that was his peak time. I mean that is actually the time when he actually got higher open rates compared to let’s just send on Tuesdays at 10 o’clock for example. So it is really in this case really following the conversation and really listening to what people are saying and saying you know this is what the hearts and minds of the people out there that I am trying to reach presumably let’s give a test and let’s try here with a list or something at that time. So this is an interesting tactic. It is pretty easy to set up here and this is Google Reader Dashboard. Chris created a bunch of RSS feeds from Twitter to look for this particular key word and really Google Reader would do the rest for you. You know your little chart and graph and trend for you. So start incorporating little tools like that and this is what we call power listening. This is really the actual social data that people are generating to optimize other campaigns on the email front.

DJ: And I realize that now if everybody was not on you would be saying things like wow or holy cow or this is unbelievable and we think <38:30> using that listening ability to actually…using that data to drive your informed decisions.

GC: I mean the easiest way that you can go is you can go through search.twitter.com and I am going to focus on that medium again and just type in the key word and just see who is talking about your industry, your product, your brand or whatever it maybe or whatever your campaign maybe related to and just look because there might be a conversation taking place on it.

Slide: 3a. Send Targeted, timely, valuable emails.

DJ: This next one I will go through the next two slides quicker are something that we preach a lot and hopefully you know <39:05> is timely targeted. I used to say relevant but now it has changed to valuable emails. Some people send something which is valuable to them and if you look at this example from REI this was actually sent 2 days before the new year and this is well they still think I live in Durham but I don’t anymore I have got to change that but they sent out an email that basically said here is what is going on in your area and this area was very relevant. What I like about this email is that this is the top half and the next slide here is the bottom half and two things that they do here which is think is really cool one there is that sharing component again and I think sharing in this case is just following them on Facebook or following on Twitter but also if you look above they are aware that I might not live in Durham anymore. Now I don’t know if they are using data to inform that decision or what but they gave me the ability to update my preferences to change my store to in this case to Salt Lake City. So I think there is…you know this is where emails and social circle kind of blend in again letting them update their preferences to provide the right content which is most valuable for them.

Slide: 4. Start & maintain an active blog.

GC: I see a lot…when we look at the email preference center; I think you are going to see a lot of innovation around that because as lot of these channels become more and more integrated and streamlined with the social and the email back to the core database for marketers. Users would want to get more control as to where they get the messaging from the companies that they have relationships with. So I think we are going to see a lot of preference center innovation moving forward. The next point which I want to focus for just a couple of seconds now is just the importance for a variety of reasons on really starting in maintaining an active blog for your organization. You cannot speak to you know how important that is not only for search engine and optimization reason but you know I would like to call the blog especially when we are talking about the email and social, and this is like the foundation. This is like the base where we create all of our content and the best organization is using their blog to as their home base. If the launching 0.4 all their shareable content whether it is video, whether it is audio, whether it is text in HTML this is what you have to…this is something that it takes a lot more work easier said than done and one of those tactics for sure but if you get yourself on a schedule and we can talk about that in a minute. You have a team of people who can generate content good valuable contents to your base you will start to generate community around your blog but more importantly you know SEO, search engine optimization, and you are getting that stuff out there and ranked by keywords in Google and other search engines. All the contents that you are putting in your blog are hopefully and presumably being shared through Twitter and through Facebook and you know as related to the particular groups LinkedIn that are becoming very active now. You know your contents going all over but all the downlinks that you are creating you are going back to your blog/your website. So this is something that we focused a lot on here and we have some more clients who are doing an incredible job and are doing very similar things you know keeping that blog active which doesn’t mean like a post a week. It means several posts a week. Some people are really you know gun hold in creating content and post several posts a day and that is like a publisher full time but it does kind of strike to you know upgrade your trend that we are all kind of middle of and all of us are marketers now and what we are seeing is like a big shift from our marketing departments to really kind of shifting into publishing organizations in a lot of ways and the evidence of how effective blogs can be from knowing lead generation, branding awareness, and thought leadership. It really is the key step in getting this whole thing working. It is a publishing function so to that end DJ if you can go to the next slide.

Slide: 5. Work from and editorial calendar.

Greg: That one of the ways to work tactically to get this kind of on realms for your organization and somebody maybe doing this or may not be doing this is to work off an editorial calendar and getting your whole company online. I know this function might live and exclusively in the marketing some of them might lead into PR kind of depending on the size of your organization but getting everybody on the same page is the key obviously the key tab and you know just the way we will be doing with the email marketing and you can do the same thing with your blog post. You know scheduling them out and having an editorial process and on this case sure you are seeing all the drops to the internal calendar for us and when we are going to send a particular communications on which day and then we go down to particular segments because not everybody is getting all these emails but this is the key for keeping the things on rail and getting content out in a timely relevant manner. So DJ do you want to add to that?

DJ: Yeah just one thing to this just so that we know we created this in…actually Amy Garland created this in Google Docs. We have got another calendar which separate for our blogs that we use and who is posting and when. So it is very easy doing and just one click aside and I think we are actually starting to get behind the time now. One click aside and for those who cannot start a blog or I don’t have the time to do it. I got a call from my 8-year-old nephew last week that he is now officially a blogger. So if my 8-year-old nephew can do it anybody can. Okay there is a last one here. Greg I want to talk about…

GC: Go ahead. Go for it.

Slide: 6. Use social networks to engage & connect.

DJ: Okay I will just…one another thing that you can do this is from our Twitter account and our favorite’s page. I go in and tag different things as favorite and what I want to share with you is just a couple of these things about the very top one that is a client of ours <45:02> who is just sharing that they are excited about the newsletter. The second one down is Mark <45:09> who is based in Austria talking about how he is bringing email and social and how he is excited about Chris Penn joining our team. I wouldn’t go through all of these but the point is we have now built personal connections with a bunch of these folks here where we are now having conversations back and forth and this does lead to sometimes new business, sometimes referrals, and all sorts of interesting things. There is just one more example of this. These are bunch of guys that Greg and I met at a conference, social <45:43> conference in Tampa and they weren’t even a client yet and they were already saying good things and exciting things about their interactions with Blue Sky Factory. So they were becoming in an essence our marketing channel and they were doing this for free and they weren’t even a client yet. I am sharing this with you just to give you an idea that if you build all this and if you build this process up where people are excited and talking about you and having good conversations about you, you have other people doing your marketing for you.

Greg: That is really great. Go ahead DJ you can take this one too.

Slide: 7. Use as distribution and conversation channel.

DJ: Okay I will keep rolling here. So the seventh thing is here and I just entered a tool here, would you look at all the conversation I mean there are thousands and thousands of different tools you can use but make sure that you are using those tools as for distribution channel so that is letting people know about contents that you have and whether it is pulling them back to subscribe to your newsletter or it sharing a couple of blog post. Use that distribution as Greg mentioned as publishing channel but also leverage it the way to have conversation with people and make sure that you are doing that cross pollination and talking as we saw with that tweet from Amy Garland that “hey you are having trouble email me.” So use those different channels to have those conversations.

Slide: 8. Leverage new media as often as possible.

GC: Another really…go ahead DJ.

DJ: No you are on.

Greg: I was just saying another really…you know as related to this slide here mean a lot of time a lot of people are unaware with the fact that now you can start using like I said the ability to convert community over to your email subscriber because when you have that subscriber’s email address again I always say it is one of the greatest compliment somebody can give you to be opted into your permission based email marketing campaign but there are so many different ways that you can also provide links via Twitter to your subscriber or to your fan page for list building and before you send out your campaign we do a lot of that. A lot of our clients would send a tweet out saying “hey we are getting ready to launch our next email newsletter just sign up here if you are not on our list already.” The other way is like you see here on the screen on the Facebook are easily allowed to embed almost any email service providers code on to your fan pages and literally we have not only a free email tip section on the top here but also on the left hand side of fan page we have built a template of Facebook. So we are trying to collect and let people opt into our world at several points throughout the social media networks that we are on. So you know you are leveraging these different mediums where the eyeballs are and obviously you <48:23> one word is you know hundreds and millions of eyeballs there so there is a whole big community amongst self attached in to finding the people that you want to get them on to your fan page, to get them to opt in, using that network is very powerful but I would say if you are so focused on the big 3: Facebook, Twitter, and the LinkedIn because it is depending on what nature of your business A to B, B to C. there is something there for everybody.

Slide: 9. Experiment, evaluate, and adapt

DJ: I was just going to add that the scene of the final one here no.9 is making sure that you are always trying new things and Greg you should try and talk about this.

GC: Yeah this is our Blue Sky Factory TV. We were at one point doing live every week, every Thursday at 4 o’clock, and now we have moved to a sort of prerecorded model because it was really like you know running a television show fulltime but this is something that was a big experiment for us. Not only did it meted us an economic exposure, you know the Governor of Maryland coming here and having a press conference on being on the show himself and it got us articles in Baltimore business journals. It got us a lot of PR and marketing exposure and all we did was you know sign up for USTREAM account and broadcasted live anywhere between 20 and 30 minutes for period of 6 months and we generated a lot of content. You can see it on the right hand side there and these are all videos that we literally started with the <49:52> on Mac and migrated up to HD camera but we built more opt in subscribers so people who were…they had to view this on our websites so that was the framework here. Down below we had Amy and DJ has moderating into the conversation following people on Twitter and fielding questions just like we are doing here today. So this is one of the things you know the landscape that we are in now is all about experimenting, evaluating, and adapting. What works and doesn’t and the tools and the barriers of entry are just so low now. So we keep cruising and we will wrap this up and see if there is any Q&A.

Slide: It’s a very interesting time to be a marketer.

GC: So I firmly believe and I have said it million times that you know it was interesting time and exciting time and I have been saying that this year is an interesting time and exciting time and it is probably be the most exciting time to be in marketing communication and I just want you to leave you with some thoughts that you know think about all the things just like in the last slide that I spoke about that you can experiment with, test and see what is working. There is more channels opening up for us to be able to engage in our audiences and to build our pipelines for sale, to engage with our current communities and our current customers as well as you know the media and getting our word out there. Couple of quick trends that I want to talk about as we wrap this up. I really truly feel that this is the year of social acceleration. This is really the year where social you know there is a lot of buying. Everybody knows that it is here to stay. Fundamentally it has changed the way we had communicated and connected with people. People among themselves are not only important not only businesses with their base, businesses with their customers, and businesses with their prospects. So trust and influence I think this year will drive more purchasing decisions than ever before. You know people are buying on other people’s recommendations. People are being exposed to new things on people’s recommendations IE share with network is an example. So this is the era I think marketers need to you know get serious about how they integrate their social media efforts with some of the more tried, approved, and trusted IE marketing strategies now moving forwards.

Slide: Engagement is the UBER Metric.

GC: So this is it and you are going to see a lot of things happening with more and more integration between email and social in the technology front as well. You know everybody is really trying to identify or engage with me through them but really at the end of the day we love that metric. We measure it in a lot of different ways. So there is no master dashboard if you go for engagement. There are a lot of different tools that we are using right now that piece things together and <52:28> helps a lot, Google Analytics etc. we Are finding out is working…IE also around email marketing platform but also email social and a little bit of far off in the future and just around the corner mobile. I am going to offer the most interactive ways for people to engage brands. So when you think about serving the landscape moving forward and if you go back to the earlier presentation and the stats that we showed about email and social being at the top, we all know mobile is right around the corner in fact some of us having great results with mobile already both on the SMS side of the things and also on the apps side of things. So if extending the brand to the handset of the mobile device will also create more engagement that once again is tractable and measureable like every other one.

Slide: It’s all about people.

GC: Finally when you think about social, I just want to emphasis this point that technology is just really an enabler when you think about it. It is really truly is all about people. So you can underline this point. You have to make investments and make sure that you have people engaging with people and that is how you build your social media presence and that is how you integrate social media into your marketing communication campaign. You cannot just set things up and forget about it and hope that people will follow you and hope that people connect with you and hope that people comment on your blogs etc. If it was that easy you know there will be a lot more happening right now and there will be a lot more success stories. So it is really not all the people and I go back to that internal champions slide that we talked about earlier. So there is community, building, and the relationships that you have with each other and the engagement with that community that is really equal to me social meeting integration into an organization. So really focus on the people and it is all about the people. I think DJ…

DJ: One final plug that we mention the eBook again but I hope I am saying this right that if you page also we are going to have a recording of this webinar on this page as well blueskyfactory.com/awareness so look for that as well. This is how you can connect with either me or Greg or Blue Sky Factory and I think we are left about 10 seconds for questions Christine.

CM: We really don’t have any time for questions DJ and Greg. If anyone does have questions afterwards DJ I am sure you will be…if people got questions they can send it through twitter#awarenessinc and also what is your hashtag again?

GC: #BSFwebinar.

DJ: Yeah #BSFwebinar.

CM: So you can use that to ask your questions online on Twitter. Just really quick we are going to have our next Awareness Inc webinar taking place on March 18th on Social Media Implementation with Lon Safko. He is the author of the social media bible. The registration page is now on our website now on the homepage and that is also where we are going to be placing this webinar on demand once we have that up. So take a look at that and you can sign up now if you want to participate in that webinar and also upcoming events. I told you about South by South West interactive. We will be visiting there and are you guys going to be there?

DJ: WE are up in the air. We are not having any particular event but there will probably be one or two there.

CM: Great.

DJ: I personally wouldn’t be there because I have got two weeks after that hopefully my baby is going to be born.

GC: But I will probably be there.

CM: Congrats and also wanted you to wish belated birthday DJ. Happy Birthday.

GC: For those of you who don’t know, you to waldow’s file look for the hashtag #waldow and get your image up there.

DJ: If people still have questions you know email us and our email address is on the screen, djwaldow@blueskyfactory.com and Greg you just…

GC: I am Greg@blueskyfactory.com

CM: This is how you can contact me and Awareness as well. So I think that is it guys and thank you so much and thank you everyone for joining us.

GC: Thank you everybody. Appreciating you having us here.

CM: Hope you had good fun.

GC: Yeah thank you very much.

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