Marketing Masterstrokes


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Presentation on marketing private online communities given by Elizabeth Engel, Kristina Twigg, and Lauren Wolfe at the December 2012 Higher Logic users group meeting.

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  • [Lauren]A unique community brand and engaging marketing are essential to a successful Connected Community site launch and post-launch lifetime.You’ll see examples of innovative and fresh campaigns from Kristina and Elizabeth, who are leading the HUG community by example. Plus, score bonus ideas for the post-launch aftermath and new ways to add excitement toyour brand. But first, let me start by sharing the power of marketing your community pre and post launch. Keep in mind, marketing never ends, but for the purposes of today’s presentation (given our time constraints), let’s focus on driving innovation.
  • [Lauren]I’m going to go over a few of the most effective pre and post launch marketing masterstrokes.Pre-LaunchCreate your brand identity. Select a name for your community and develop a logo.Produce a Brand Book. Similar to a style guide, but include everything anyone would want to know graphically about your site. Write a Marketing Plan. Include strategy, goals and the tactics needed to reach the goals. Make sure to include your launch plans. Make a Getting Started Quick Guide ( a Slide Deck to your homepage. HUG has some stock images you can download right away, but I would encourage you to cross-market here. Perhaps even use one deck as a Member Spotlight.Create a brochure for your site. This can be an 8.5x11 one sided or double sided PDF. Keep it simple and the file size small, so you can easily post and share with members.Ask members to create short training videos for interacting with the various components of your community site. Instead of explaining microsites via the phone or email, ask a member to record a 2-3 minute video snapshot of how they use microsites.Post-LaunchCreate an engagement calendar. For the remaining months of the calendar year, decide what you can do each month to encourage engagement in your community site. Start with your events and publications calendar. You can tie in community activities with activities already on your calendar. It’s okay to do some cross-marketing, you never know where members will see your marketing. Meet with other departments. Find out ways you can include information about the community in what those departments have doing. For example, if the editorial department has extra ad space, make sure they have several sizes of community site ads to source.Invite your Most Engaged Members (MEM) for coffee. Rewards are still cool. Think of items you can reward members with for participation. They can be purchased items like gift cards or t-shirts, or not purchased items like discounts on registration, digital ribbons or an article in your next weekly e-newsletter. Members like to be recognized and with little to know effort you could do just that. Host an APPY HOUR. Why not host an APPY HOUR at your next meeting? Show off your new community site mobile app, share stories over apple-tinis and give participants apple shaped stress balls with your community site logo on it to take back to the office. The NJSCPA did this over the Summer at their show, and they even set up a booth with a Twitter Fountain just for the app. They have great website, do check that out ( Go gorilla…and really do something out of the box. For the 2012 HUG Super Forum we made giant Floyd Frog (our mascot) feet into carpet stickers and used as advertising near the Registration Desk. You could do the same for community site at your next conference. The Missouri Society of Realtors created a welcome greeting on their support line from their mascot, Rupert. When you call after hours, you leave a message with Rupert. Post a monthly engagement poll on your site. Did you all see the 2012 HUG Super Forum Engagement Poll on our HUG homepage? Every week leading up to the show from 2 months out, we asked you a question pertaining to the show. What did you want to eat? What prizes did you prefer to have a chance to win? And we used the data to crowdsource the event planning. We learned a lot from a simple weekly question. Use infographics. And I’m going to spend the next 5 minutes of my time, talking with you about the power of infographics.
  • [Lauren]We live in an age of data and there is more data than ever before. In one day we create 1.5 billion pieces of content, 140 million tweets and 2 million videos.It is our job as marketers to make consuming and using data easy for our audience...and in your case, for your members, team and board. I suggest you turn data into content. One way to turn data into content is to add some compelling images and graphics to the mix of numbers and thus create addictive content.
  • [Lauren]Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly. Infographics are not just a current trend, they’re a new way to present information and create addictive content. In fact, 90% of the information that comes to the brain is visual. There is a major difference in the way our brain processes images and text. Due to infographics attractiveness the capacity for them to be shared on social networks and become viral is much higher than ordinary text content. The research required to create an infographic will display your knowledge and position you as an expert on your category or topic.There are new tools and platforms emerging that make creating them easier such,, Piktochart and Venngage.Check them out!
  • [Lauren]This is an example from the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Users’ Group community called Collaborate. Here is an infographic they used to launch our community about a month ago.
  • [Lauren]This is the infographic from Microsoft Dynamics CRM Users’ Group community on how their launch has gone in a presentation to their board. Their “Executive Director” said “This is the single most successfulthing they have done this year”. Pretty bold statement considering membership and event registration have grown a ton this year and those two are their main source of revenue.
  • [Lauren]Remember, when using any images, creating graphics or selecting artwork – focus on quality. Provide real images and screen shots when you can; stock photos are great and work in many instances, but the most related images are the real-ones. Also, focus on where your members will be viewing this content. Is it online, on their mobile or perhaps an iPad? Create content based on usability and give your members options. For example, for provide a link as an option to view on a mobile device. Lastly, choose relevant images and use search-optimized captions and metadata. Articles containing relevant images have 94% more total views than articles without images, on average. (source: MDG Advertising)
  • [Lauren]Okay, well before I transition over to Kristina’s User Story, I wanted to give a quick shout out to some additional follow up items. 1. HUG is your #1 go-to-resource. Do check out the Go-to-Market (GTM) Resources Library, the Learning Series Library with over 90 archived recorded webinar session and of course, the Higher Logic Conference Success Kit – This is the essential 12 volume, online toolkit created exclusively for Higher Logic clients to prepare the launch of your Connected Community™ at your organization’s conference or event. 2. And lastly, if you have 5 minutes – take this 10 question online quiz to find out “How Modern is Your Marketing?” from The Modern Marketer (Quiz:
  • [Lauren]Thank you! And here is my contact information, I would love to stay connected with you online…
  • Defining our needs: WEF wanted to give our committees an online workspace and an outlet for information sharing. We also wanted to provide networking opportunities for our members outside of annual conferences and other in-person events since travel budgets are slim. How do we translate the in-person experience, and how do we get members to realize this is what they have been asking for?
  • Different committees have a variety of different needs and use WEFCOM in different ways. The staff liaison works with the committees on a regular basis and understands their needs. The staff liaison is responsible for moderating content and driving traffic to the site by posting minutes, resources, events, discussion items, etc. The staff liaison also funnels help requests to the appropriate person. We needed to get staff liaisons on board to stop using listservs, Yahoo groups, Dropbox, and other competing products. Our members want to hear that something is successful from other members, rather than from staff. Our president was very active in promoting WEFCOM. Beta testing groups and other early adopters have helped us to build supporters among our members. *WEFTEC conference example*We also asked staff to provide names and suggestions for a mascot. We wanted a water-related critter and ended up with a crocodile.
  • WEFTEC is WEF’s annual conferenceWe did several promotions for WEFCOM at our annual conference. These were all ideas generated by our interdepartmental WEFCOM team. Users could vote on the WEFCOM mascots name at the conference. We created a profile for Niles, so people could add him as a contact, and are thinking of doing a blog about water issues/trends in the future. We are also planning to send out gator-themed give aways for high engagement scores.
  • We had up signs all over the convention centerWe included ads in our onsite program about WEFCOM and the learning loungeWe created WEFCOM “business cards” with future conference dates on the back. In our speaker ready room, we had a luggage tag maker, so attendees could laminate our cards along with their business card to create a tag.
  • One of our marketing folks dressed as the WEFCOM mascot. We had a naming poll for him on the WEFCOM homepage. We announced the name on our final day of the conference. He is now known as Niles.
  • In the Learning Lounge, we gave training presentations on how to get involved on WEFCOM and WEF’s many social media outlets throughout the day. I also gave a presentation on Blogging 101 for WEFCOM. Attendees could access WEFCOM on e-services kiosks in the corner or via conference wifi on their mobile devices.
  • We had 2 photo booths on the exhibit floor where attendees could get a professional photo taken and uploaded to WEFCOM or other social media sites.
  • We gave out bookmarks with all of our books sold at the WEFTEC bookstore. These will also go out with mailed book orders.
  • Marketing Masterstrokes

    1. 1. Drive Innovation:Marketing Masterstrokes Kristina TwiggAssistant Manager, Water Environment Federation Elizabeth Weaver Engel, M.A. CAE Chief Strategist, Spark Consulting LLC Lauren WolfeInteractive Marketing & New Media, Higher Logic
    2. 2. Agenda Welcome! The Power of Marketing How Niles Got His Name The One Opportunity You Should NEVER Miss “Stroke of Genius” Crowdsourcing Exercise Discussion
    3. 3. Drive Innovation
    4. 4. Marketing MasterstrokesPre-Launch Post-Launch• Create your brand identity. • Create an engagement• Produce a Brand Book. calendar.• Write a Marketing Plan. • Meet with other departments.• Make a Getting Started • Invite MEM for coffee. Quick Guide. • Rewards are still cool!• Add a Slide Deck to your • Host an APPY HOUR. homepage. • Go gorilla.• Create a brochure. • Post a monthly engagement• Ask members to record poll on your site. short training videos. • Use infographics.
    5. 5. SOURCE: 9 Awesome Reasons to Use Infographicsin your Content Marketing,
    6. 6. Addictive Content• Meet infographics!• 90% of the info that comes to the brain is visual.• Infographic production increases 1% everyday.• The research required to create an infographic will display your knowledge and position you as an expert on your category or topic.• The challenge with infographics is creating them.• Check out:,, Piktochart & Venngage.
    7. 7. Example: CRMUG
    8. 8. Example: CRMUG
    9. 9. Remember…
    10. 10. More!• Higher Logic Users Group – Go-to-Market (GTM) Resources Library – Learning Series Library – Higher Logic Conference Success Kit []
    11. 11. Thank you! Lauren A. Wolfe Interactive Marketing & New Media Higher Logic e p 202.360.4468 t @laurenawolfe
    13. 13. • Tip #1 Internal Marketing Comes First• Tip #2 Training Goes Hand-in-Hand with Marketing Efforts
    14. 14. Involve Staff in Decision Making• Defining our needs• Put together a inter- departmental team to analyze different vendors based on those needs• Involved staff early on
    15. 15. Work Within Your Staff Culture• WEF has about 40 • This strategy builds on the committees, each with a relationship that staff staff liaison. liaisons have with their• Staff liaison training and committee. launch materials • We launched WEFCOM in • In groups and one-on-one 4 waves:• Staff liaisons were – Beta Testing groups responsible for launching – Technical committees their committee – Nontechnical committees – All members
    16. 16. Launch Kit for Staff Liaisons• Live Q&A training webcasts and recorded site tour webcasts• WEFCOM flier• 1-2 minute screen- capture training videos• Instruction manual• Customizable draft welcome message• Instruction flier for new committee members
    17. 17. Training Video Example
    18. 18. Interdepartmental Ideas: Promotions at WEFTEC• Signage• Ads in onsite program and WEFTEC Daily• Training in the Learning Lounge• Save the date cards / luggage tag maker• Photo Booth• Mascot costume• Scavenger hunt• Social media- primarily Facebook and Twitter
    19. 19. Niles’ Costume
    20. 20. Learning Lounge
    21. 21. WEF Book Club
    22. 22. For more information…LINK LOVE:• WEFCOM:• Training Site:• Scavenger hunt instructions: – WEF Highlights newsletter article – Article in WEFTEC Daily (on page 8) – Water Log article (shown at right) Kristina Twigg,
    23. 23. The ONE Opportunity You Should NEVER Miss
    24. 24. An introduction alone is not enough
    25. 25. Snack, don’t stuff
    26. 26. Let them drive
    27. 27. What comes next?Community Management
    28. 28. Tip 1: NEVER Waste F2FTip 2: DO NOT Underestimate the Importanceof Community Management
    29. 29. Stay ConnectedElizabeth Weaver Engel, M.A., CAE Natalie WebsterCEO & Chief Strategist Director, Internet Strategy Communicationsspark consulting, llc Children’s Hospital Associatione e natalie.webster@childrenshospitals.orgw getmespark.comp 202.468.3478t @ewengelli
    30. 30. “Stroke of Genius”Crowdsourcing Exercise
    31. 31. Discussion
    32. 32. Keep in touch!Elizabeth Weaver Engel, M.A., CAE Lauren A. WolfeCEO & Chief Strategist Interactive Marketing & New Mediaspark consulting, llc Higher Logic e lauren@higherlogic.come p 202.360.4468w t @laurenawolfep 202.468.3478t @ewengelli Kristina Twigg Interactive Marketing & New Media Higher Logic e p 202.360.4468 t @laurenawolfe