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Engaging Certificants Beyond Certification by Pecanne Eby

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Engaging Certificants Beyond Certification by Pecanne Eby

  2. 2. MEET PECANNE Mission: Solve complex marketing problems and bring back the joy of marketing.
  3. 3. ONE PEARL
  4. 4. TOPICS 1. Engaging certificants 2. Developing a plan 3. Implementing practical branding tips
  5. 5. First, tell me about you…
  6. 6. WHEN IS IT HARDEST TO ENGAGE YOUR KEY AUDIENCES? Check one: __Pre-certification, while they are researching certification __Pre-certification, while they are preparing for certification __Post-certification, just after they’ve become certified __Post-post-certification, long after they’ve become certified __Other __Don’t know
  7. 7. What’s the best way to engage online?
  8. 8. CONTENT MARKETING 76% nonprofit marketers 62% less than traditional marketing 88% B2B marketers 76% B2C marketers
  9. 9. Infographics Videos Webinars Articles & Success Stories Special Reports MarketingContent Assets + • Email • E-newsletters • Social media • Website sliders • Advertising Includes: • Call-to-action • Landing page
  10. 10. DEFINING PRINCIPLES It is Acting like a publisher Useful, relevant content Persona-driven Call-to-action oriented Published & promoted But it’s not Acting like an advertiser Fluffy content One-size-fits-all Hard selling Just published
  11. 11. HOW CAN WE USE IT? Pre- Certification Continuing Education Industry Ambassadors Empower others Share content Pique interest Download study guides Add to knowledge Register for events
  12. 12. But can we do this? Just start small. Ab-so-lute-ly.
  13. 13. TIP 1: ONE AUDIENCE
  14. 14. START WITH ONE AUDIENCE Audience Persona • Fictitious person • Based on a member data • Keeps you focused • Keeps your content relevant
  15. 15. START WITH ONE AUDIENCE • Madison, The New Marketer • Demographics: Age 25 | Gen Y • Position: Social Media Coordinator at a mid-sized company • State of Mind: Marketing is fun but overwhelming— there is so much to do and learn. • Content topics of interest:  Time management tips  Emerging social media platforms  Real-world social media examples • Media preferences:  Facebook  Webinars  Infographics
  17. 17. A-O-A PLANNING METHOD 2. Observe 3. Ask 1. Audit
  18. 18. Q1 Q2 Audience Persona Content Type Team Lead Jan Feb Mar Apr May June Harvey the IT Hiring Manager Article (the basics) 500 words SM Why Scrum Attracts Top Developer Talent How Scrum Creates Real Teamwork Three Financial Benefits of Practicing Scrum Harvey the IT Hiring Manager Success Story 2000 words SM Salem Hospital Highline College Mayden Company
  19. 19. TIP 3: VISUALLY BRAND Include your… 1. Logo 2. Link to your website 3. Brand color palette 4. Typefaces 5. Design elements 6. Boilerplate (about us)
  20. 20. EXAMPLE
  22. 22. WHY TRACKING MATTERS 1. Raises visibility of the work 2. Makes finding assets easier 3. Reminds us to: -Update or remove certain content -Follow-through on measuring and reporting
  23. 23. Asset # Document Name Content Format Type Key Audience Marketing Goal Distribution Platform Date Created or Updated Project Lead URL Location Status 1. 2015 State of Scrum Online Survey Announced Press Release Industry Bloggers Build Awareness PR Newswire 3/3/2015 HL https://www.scr scrum-state-of- scrum-2015- pressrelease Current 2. 2015 State of Scrum Report Special Report Current Members Engage Website 7/1/2015 PE https://www.scr scrum-state-of- scrum-2015- report.pdf Current 3. 2015 State of Scrum Key Findings Webinar PPT PPT Current Members Engage Website 7/15/2015 SM https://www.scr scrum-state-of- scrum-2015- webinar.pdf Current
  25. 25. TEAM ROLES Analyzing Distributing Creating Creators • Content Architect • Subject Matter Experts • Managing Editor  Writers  Designers  Producers Syndicators • Social Media Mgr. • Webmaster • Email Mgr. Digital Analyst
  26. 26. TIP 6: START SMALL
  27. 27. TIP 6: START SMALL Do Learn Pivot
  28. 28. RECAP 1. Start with ONE 2. Plan topics 3. Brand 4. Catalog assets 5. It’s about teamwork 6. Start small
  29. 29. What will happen if your marketing/engagement efforts stay status quo?
  30. 30. FREE GUIDE TO SHARE Contact e: p: 303-482-2753 Let’s connect:

Editor's Notes

  • Introduction from Lenora here… Pecanne thanks Lenora.
  • As I was preparing this presentation, I found this page on your website…maybe this looks familiar to you. And as I read these member stories, I was struck by a) how accomplished you all are and b) your collective love of learning.
  • So with that in mind… I have one wish for you today. I want you to take away ONE pearl to either share with someone else or beginning working on yourself.
  • I want you to keep which ever answer you selected in mind as we move through this presentation.
  • There are lots of ways to engage your audiences but let’s focus today on the online world. There’s one marketing strategy that has gained tremendous moment. I’ll give you a hint… it’s two words… any guesses here? Feel free to use your chat box to guess what it is. Some of you may know this. Drum roooooolllll please….
  • Content. Marketing. This may be a new term to you but it’s one you need to know and begin to understand because… 76% of nonprofit marketers are doing content marketing, 88% of business-to-business marketers and 76% of business-to-consumer (B2C) are doing content marketing. You may be asking yourself, what is content marketing (I’ll get to that in a moment) AND WHY are so many marketers doing this? And the answer it this… studies are showing that content marketing can cost 62% LESS than traditional marketing. By traditional marketing, I mean paid advertising, traditional marketing communications, direct mail, printed materials, events…all the common things you think of when you think of marketing.
  • In the simpliest terms, content marketing is more than just publishing content (b/c we know that to publish something and hope someone will see it is unrealistic)…content marketing has a definite marketing aspect to it, usually involves channels you already use, like member emails, social media, sliders on the homepage of your website, in some cases paid advertising that leads
  • Some people confuse content marketing with just publishing content…tomato, toMAto. But there are some defining principles…CM is “acting like a publisher”, you have an editorial mission and audience to serve… it’s not acting like an advertising where you are overtly pitching a product. CM is quality content, it’s not fluffy content. CM is audience-specific, which means the content has a focus, it’s not attempting to be one-size-fits all. Content marketing is call to action oriented, meaning it will ask the reader to do something next….download, share, learn more, register, buy… but it’s not hard selling, the content LEADS UP to an ask of some kind. Finally, CM is marketed, which means the content is promoted, it’s not just published.

    So let’s take a look at how can credentialing org use this marketing strategy.
  • CM can really be used anywhere along the life cycle of a certificant. Recently I was talking with one of my clients who has a flagship certification that has grown largely through a combo of strong word of mouth and some paid online advertising. Her boss was asking her if she could dial up the marketing effort to see if they could gain some incremental certificants. She was hesitant to increase her advertising spend b/c she’s not seen a correlation between increased advertising and increased certificants. So we’re discussing moving the ad dollars over to a test content marketing team to experiment with CM as a way to generate more test takers. This is an example of a pre-certification CM effort. POST-certification, you can use CM to drive interest in your CE programs (webinars, events). And from an ONGOING perspective, you can use CM to enable your members to be industry ambassadors by giving them useful things to share or site… like special reports that look at industry benchmarks and infographics to share with their peers- enabling them to be industry ambassadors.
  • Often I hear clients say things like, “but we’re small. Or our marketing budget is small. Or, we don’t have an army of writers or graphic designers… can we do content marketing? My response is ab-so-lutely… it’s really just about the SCALE on which you’ll do content marketing. And you have to start SMALL. Let’s look at 6 practical tips- ways to get started in CM. You don’t need to take lots of notes, at the end you’ll have an opportunity to download “Getting started in CM” guide off my website.
  • First, it’s important to recognize that you have many audiences you could pursue with CM. But let’s pretend that you work for a marketing association and you have lots of different kinds of marketers who are members and they are at various stages in their careers. With CM you would not attempt to target all of them b/c that would mean appealing to the lowest common denominator. So instead you would PICK ONE AUDIENCE to begin with. And you would develop an AUDIENCE PERSONA to guide your efforts. An audience persona is a fictitious person based on composite of different members. Typically you would have 3-4 personas in total, each one would have a different story.

  • But you want to START with ONE audience persona. An audience persona is really a story, it’s essentially a composite of members. Often you have a member in mind as you build a persona. And it’s based on trends you see in your member data. In CM, you develop content for a particular persona, not for every member, in order to keep that content highly relevant. If you’ve been through a website development, this may look a lot like user personas, they are similar to audience personas. Let’s take a look at one.
  • Normally you would name your persona, have a picture of this person and some basic demographics. I also like to include a description of their work role and employer type.

    Next, it’s helpful to have some psychographic insight, such as a “state of mind” statements… Notice that this persona feels overwhelmed by how much they need to learn and do.

    Your persona can also have some topics you know they are already interested in.

    And finally, having some media preferences you know to be true is helpful…Madison likes Facebook, webinars and infographics.

    Developing the persona is the set-up for the next step, which is editorial planning.
  • Planning topics for your content efforts is important.

    It’s kind of like packing for a trip… you try to get all your stuff into one suite case and realize you need to streamline down to the essentials.

    For those of you who publish a journal or magazine, editorial planning for your audience persona will feel very natural.

    Let’s take a look at a planning framework…
  • When working with clients, I recommend starting the planning process by FIRST auditing what content you have already. Maybe you have videos, member stories, and magazine articles that can be built upon. Since we tend to forget all the content we have, I like to actually print it out and hang it on the wall so it’s VISIBLE throughout the planning process.

    Next, there’s value in OBERVING which content types and topics your members engage with the most… you determine this through your web analytics, there are likely certain pages they visit more often. Or maybe there are certain topics at conferences attendees tend to rate highest.

    Last but not least, it’s important to ASK your members/certificants what topics do they want more insight about or explained in more depth?
    You can ask through an official survey (like one built in SurveyMonkey) and supply some topic options to select from or simply pose an open-ended question via your social media.

    Once you have a sense of your existing content, and which formats and topics solicit higher interest…it’s time to commit to an editorial calendar…let’s take a look at one now.
  • Here’s an example of what an editorial calendar can end up looking like. This example is from one of my clients, Scrum Alliance, a credentialing and membership org for software developers.

    We developed an audience persona around IT hiring managers responsible for finding software developers…which is a difficult person to recruit right now because there are more jobs in software than software developers.

    Next we developed our editorial topics aimed at our audience persona.

    I want you to notice two things in this example:
    We alternated between shorter-form content (500 word-articles) and longer-form content (real-world success stories featuring different organization types who successfully use SCRUM); that was a practical decision b/c of the size of the content team, they simply could not produce any faster.

    b) We purposefully kept the calendar SIMPLE and in EXCEL so that the team could focus on producing great content and not get bogged down in learning content marketing software (which you can always graduate to later on).

  • Ok, so now we’ve identified our audience, done some editorial planning.

    Now let’s fast forward to branding your content masterpieces.

    This may sound obvious but when you are doing CM, you want the world to recognize that YOUR ORG is the source of all this great content.
    In other words, you should BRAND every content piece. In some cases, like content that lives on your website, it will be obvious it’s your content. But in other cases, for example an infographic you share on Social Media and is then shared by others, it’s easy for the source to be lost.

    Here are some tactical brand elements to include.

  • This is a sneak peak at some of the brand standards for one of my clients, Scrum Alliance… they’ve got a very clean logo, probably the first thing you notice are the vibrant blue and orange… which come from their brand color palette. And they use a distinctive typeface called Museuo. Let’s look at how these brand elements are applied to their content assets…
  • This is a special report, 30 pages that we publish every other year. Notice how this is branded with their color palette, design elements, typefaces. And when you look inside, even in the charts the color palette is carried through (orange and scrum blue). These elements really help visually identify this content as something published by the Scrum Alliance. And that’s what we aim for in every content asset.
  • This next tip has to do with keeping track of all the amazing content pieces you’ll create. Some people call this “asset management”, I liken this to finding a book in a library. Maybe you remember in the pre-internet days using one of these card catalogs to locate a book in the library.

    As your content library grows, you’ll want at least a directory of what content exists and where. And here’s why…

  • There are 3 benefits for tracking your content assets. And I recommend you start tracking as soon as your first content marketing piece is ready.

    1st having a place where all your content marketing is “cataloged” raises the visibility of the work being done. It’s amazing how we tend to forget what we’ve created and published, even though it’s visible on the world wide web.

    2nd it helps you find “stuff” more easily because it’s all in one place (like the old card catalogs).

    3rd it reminds us of some important operational tasks, like updating or removing certain content and it can also remind us to go look at analytics to see how certain content is performing (this can be very useful when you are putting together that Board Report).

    Now you may be thinking, but we publish everything on our website, isn’t that a good enough way to keep track???

    In my experience, most organizations store content assets in more places than their content management systems (they may use DropBox, GitHub, Vimeo)…so I strongly recommend you start keeping track of CM assets from the beginning. And I would not worry too much about cataloging all the old stuff that you probably consider content…unless that stuff is being used in a CM effort, I would not bother cataloging it.
  • This is a snapshot of part of an excel spreadsheet that lives in DropBox for the content team to update. It’s a living document. Your version of this should have some key things…some kind of asset number, maybe you have a publication numbering system or maybe you’ll just start from 1 and number chronologically. A document name, which should be pretty descriptive. Type of format, again descriptive. Persona name…

    I recommend you track everything from the smallest thing, like a landing page, to the routine things like an e-newsletter, to the biggest things, like a video or special report. They all should be cataloged in a tracking system. And using EXCEL is a fine solution, you can always graduate to a more sophisticated asset management system later on.
  • The last two tips are more around culture and expectations.

    By now you’re probably realizing that CM marketing is never accomplished by just one person. After all, you’re behaving like a publisher and that requires some different skill sets. So let’s talk about the various roles needed in order to be effective in CM.
  • Essentially there are 3 stages that align with the roles: those that are creating content, those that are promoting content and those that are analyzing content.

    The heaviest lifting is in the creating of content, it can take a variety of skills but these are the typical roles…Content Architects are like the CEO of a content team b/c they provide the vision and direction. Subject Matter Experts are often members or someone from the education dept. Managing Editor serves both as an editor and project manager, coordinating writers, designers and producers. Producers are usually folks who focus on video and podcast production.

    Equally important is distribution of content, and this group is a collection of syndicator roles, often there is a social media role, someone who works on the website, like a webmaster, and many times there’s an email mgr.

    Finally, the last role area involves measuring how the content is performing…this tends to be someone who is routinely looking at web analytics and is often doing some kind of routine reporting…this could be a digital analyst.

    This is just a sample team. And I know…. there are A LOT of roles up here… but keep in mind two things
    Most of these roles can be outsourced, which can help you learn and routinize CM and
    It’s not uncommon for people to play more than one role.

    In a CM start-up situation, you have an association doing traditional marketing while simultaneously experimenting with content marketing, as a practical matter, outsourcing some of these roles can get you off the blocks quicker. Remember earlier I said 76% of nonprofit marketers are doing CM…I gaurantee they are doing with some outside assistance. It’s a buy or build decision.
  • The last tip I have for you is around setting expectations…don’t expect a content marketing effort to be an event…it’s really more of a process. And you will want to start small.
  • While working with one of my software association clients, I learned an expression that goes, “do, learn, pivot”…and I think it fits perfectly here.

    With CM, it’s important to not get too wrapped up in planning every detail…. Start by DOING something small (like a short-form content piece). Then learn from what you are doing by observing how your audience is reacting to that content. And based on that learning, be willing to PIVOT (which means adjusting as needed). By pivoting, you’ll discover new and better ways to do CM. That’s why I think of CM as a process and not an event.

    So let’s recap what we’ve talked about today…
  • So if you’re in the early-stages of CM, start with ONE audience…master that audience before diversifying into other audiences.

    Plan your topics in the form of an editorial calendar around that ONE audience.

    Brand the content with your logo, web address, colors.

    Catalog those assets, at least in an excel spreadsheet.

    Remember that CM is like a contact sport…it will require various roles handing things off to one another.

    And finally, start small…don’t make your first CM effort too complex, start with something more basic like an article or infographic.
  • Before we move on to the rest of our day, I want to ask you an important question…

    Think about this honestly.

    And if the answer is “I’m not sure” or it’s a negative answer, I encourage you to experiment with content marketing…it is the future of marketing and given the inherent thought leadership, built-in membership following and nonprofit status you enjoy, I think CM can be a great strategy for you.

  • You might be interested in my free download called, “Getting started with content marketing”, it’s something you can share with others in your organization. It can be found on my website at this address. It’s absolutely free, you don’t even have to provide your email to get it!

    I hope you’ll share that download with your leadership team and marketing folks as a way to stimulate the content marketing conversation within your organization. If you want to connect on LI, please feel free to invite me into your network. OR if you have something you want to discuss in a little more detail…please send me an email and I’ll be happy to call you. Thanks for participating today. I wish you all optimal outcomes with your organizations.