How Does Inbound Work for Membership Marketing?


Like many other marketing strategies, inbound marketing transcends B2B, B2C, and nonprofit marketing. Inbound marketing isn't just about closing sales. It's about identifying and building trust with people in your target market. Its principles and tactics apply whether you're a business trying to acquire customers or an organization trying to acquire new members and inspiring a more engaged membership.

The first main principle of inbound marketing is that your marketing has to be all about your member (and potential members). It's not about you. It's a little bit about you, but in the sense that your organization needs to publish content and engage with your prospects and members on their terms. Talking to them about the what matters to them, and through the communication channels they prefer, establishes your organization as a trusted authority. Building on that relationship as a trusted authority is how you gain the credibility to inspire them to act later on.

It's so easy for people to screen phone calls, throw out snail mail, and ignore emails that don't stand out in their inboxes. The old strategies of sending out expensive, high-gloss reports or paying for on-air ad buys don't return the same number of prospects as inbound marketing. And let's not even get started on the fallacies of buying lists.

If you want to bring in new members and keep them active and inspired, delighted members who donate, volunteer, and spread the good word – your organization needs to align its marketing strategies and tactics to HubSpot's custom inbound methodology.

Using your content and offers to gently push prospects through each phase of the inbound methodology is the second main principle: Every marketing action your team takes, every piece of content it publishes – you should know exactly which persona is targeted, which phase they're currently in, and where you want them to go. 

methodology_nonprofit.pngAs you can see, the inbound methodology has four distinct phases:

  • Attract: Gaining the attention of the right kind of people, people who fit your personas and align with your organization's mission.
  • Connect: Encouraging those people to identify themselves to your organization as people interested in hearing more from you.
  • Engage: Bringing people into the fold where they do more than consume your content, but become active members or donors.
  • Inspire: Continuing to motivate action from prospect and members who've already "raised their hand," showing interest in your organization.

Let's take a closer look into the goals and common tactics used in each phase. For a more complete deep dive into each of these, take a look at our free guide, Growing and Engaging Your Membership Base 

Attracting Potential Members

The whole premise of inbound marketing is doing away with the interruptive marketing tactics of the past in favor of attracting your target audience to you. In the digital world, this requires publishing online content that your prospect can't resist in to attract traffic to your website.

Your starting point is specifying what kinds of information, causes, and concerns interest your potential members. Then determine what resources your organization has to meet those concerns. Are potential members most interested in professional development or business development? Networking? The answers to these questions shape what topics your write about, as well the keywords you focus on in your SEO strategy.

Blogging, paired with a relevant, targeted SEO strategy, is key to getting found in search results and driving traffic to your website. Your social media strategy, such as which sites you're on and how you interact with your audience there, is also part of the attracting step. You use your social media channels to promote your blog content and participate in relevant (hashtag) conversations, also driving traffic back to your website. 

The attraction phase is all about driving those traffic numbers to your website, where you can then move these prospects into the next phase.

Forging Connections with Your People

Your attraction strategies are working. People are visiting your website and blog. Now you want to know who they are. You want them to identify themselves to you and subscribe to your email list. As you know, once you get their email address into your database, a whole new world of engagement opens up.

But first – you need to give them a good reason and opportunity to share their email with you.

In this inbound step, you want to offer some premium content that they can't resist. Your premium content could be a report providing in-depth analysis forecasting the future state of your industry, or access to expanded video content of a recent trip by members advocating for one of your group's policy positions.  Asking them to sign up for your newsletter is also an effective option. 

You pique their interest in your premium content through compelling calls-to-action (CTA) that you place on sign-up forms throughout your site or on landing pages exclusively dedicated to moving visitors to click that CTA and offer their email address to you.

Some of your website visitors will be ready to make a stronger commitment to your organization other than simply sharing an email. It may be their first visit to your website or their 100th. Either way, you want other CTAs providing them that opportunity. That's part of the next phase.

Engaging with Prospects so They Become Members

The engagement phase is where you start to grow your membership numbers, where you move people from email subscribers to active members. 

Part of it is including the right action CTAs on your website. You'll always want a "Join Now" and "Donate Now" type CTA in the right spots on your website, but you can get creative with them. Say a major members-only event is coming up, you can update your membership CTA copy to reflect that. Has there been something major happened in the news, or perhaps it's time for your annual donation drive?

Of course the purpose of getting prospects into your database in the first place was so you could push out more content that interests and entices them. Email campaigns personalized to subscribers based on how they engage with your website, social media, and other emails, deepen their trust in your organization and strengthen that relationship.

Assessing their online behavior and level of engagement with your earlier content, you can determine when to send an email series that ends with a request for real action, whether becoming a member, making a donation, or volunteering. 

Inspiring an Active Membership

The inbound process doesn't end when someone actively engages with your organization online. You want to keep them inspired, to continue donating and volunteering. To remain active members who will become some of your organization's best ambassadors as they share your content and work on and offline to their communities, attracting more people.

In order to inspire, you want to send them the content and CTAs that engage their hearts and souls, that evoke their emotions. As a tech-based methodology, inbound marketing provides a constant stream of digital intel you can gather about your members and prospects. What blog posts they read and share, which ones they ignore, and even what social media channels they engage with. This is all information you can use to personalize the content you send them, increasing the odds it will inspire them to stay engaged with you.

An integral part of being able to inspire your audience is staying on top of what's moving your prospects and members. So re-assessing your personas, conducting surveys, taking a meta-analysis of what kind of content performs well – these are all tactics that will help you continue to give your audience the content they seek and reinforce your organization's position as the trusted authority in your area.

A Guide to Growing and Engaging Your Member Base


Why You’re Thinking About Digital Marketing Analytics All Wrong


Measuring the effectiveness of digital marketing is one of the greatest challenges facing organizations. According to HubSpot’s 2016 State of Inbound report, 46% of marketers cited "proving the ROI of our marketing activities" as one of the biggest challenge they face within their company.

The trouble is, when most marketers hear 'digital marketing analytics,' they tend to think of the metrics you'd typically associate with a web analytics tool like Google Analytics -- traffic, bounce rate, unique visitors, etc.

While web analytics can provide you with a wealth of insight and data into the performance of your website, marketers really need much richer data to understand the impact of their marketing campaigns on conversion rates and a person’s journey through the marketing and sales funnel. Looking at top-level web analytics metrics like traffic is only part of the puzzle.

Enter digital marketing analytics, which offers a much more comprehensive view of what’s working, and what isn’t.

Why Digital Marketing Analytics Matter More Than Web Analytics

So why exactly do digital marketing analytics matter? Quite simply, because web analytics (like traffic and website performance) just isn't enough. The data web analytics provides just don't cut it for marketers who need to understand how their work makes an impact throughout the entire marketing and sales funnel.

Let's face it: Today’s marketing goes well beyond the bounds of your website. It’s the intersection of what happens between your marketing channels and the outcome on the other side that provides the most marketing insight, and your reporting needs to reflect this.

Web analytics measure things a webmaster or technical SEO specialist cares about, like page load speed, page views per visit, and time on site. Digital marketing analytics, on the other hand, measure business metrics like traffic, leads, and sales, and which online events influence whether leads become customers. Digital marketing analytics includes data not only from your website, but also from other sources like email, social media, and online PR.

With digital marketing analytics, marketers can understand the effectiveness of their marketing, not just the effectiveness of their website. Using marketing analytics allows marketers to identify how each of their marketing initiatives (e.g., social media vs. blogging vs. email marketing, etc.) stack up against one another, determine the true ROI of their activities, and understand how well they're achieving their business goals.

As a result of the information they can gather from full-stack digital marketing analytics, marketers can also diagnose deficiencies in specific channels in their marketing mix, and make adjustments to strategies and tactics to improve their overall marketing activity.

You can spend hours and hours slicing and dicing data in web analytics tools, comparing new vs. repeat visitors month over month, but when it comes down to it, you'll never have a comprehensive understanding of how your marketing is doing. Marketers have known this for a long time (check out the explosion of people searching for the term ‘digital marketing analytics’ taken from Google Trends below).


There’s no doubt that marketers are aware there’s a deficiency in how they’re able to measure the effectiveness of what they do; here's how full-stack digital marketing analytics makes up for that deficiency.

Why Digital Marketing Analytics Gives You the ‘Full Picture’

There are lots of things that digital marketing analytics achieves where basic website analytics falls short. Let's highlight three of the main differentiators:

1. Integration across different marketing channels.

With digital marketing analytics, you have a good, solid look into the direct relationships between your marketing channels. It's great to be able to see how each of your individual channels (e.g., social media, blogging, email marketing, SEO, etc.) are performing, but the true power of analytics comes into play when you can easily tie the effect of multiple channels' performances together.

For instance, let's say you did an email send to a segment of your database. Digital marketing analytics not only tells you how many people clicked through from your email to your website, but also how many of those people actually converted into leads for your business when they got there. Furthermore, you can compare the impact of that individual email send with other marketing initiatives. Did that email generate more leads than the blog post you published yesterday? Or was the content you shared via Twitter more effective?

2. People-centric data on the buyer’s journey.

As we mentioned earlier, a key differentiator between web analytics and digital marketing analytics is that the latter uses the person -- not the page view -- as the focal point.

This enables you to track how your individual prospects and leads are interacting with your various marketing initiatives and channels over time. How did an individual lead first come to find your website? From Google? Via Facebook? From direct traffic? Is that lead an active part of your email subscriber base, often clicking and converting on marketing offers presented via email? Do they read your blog?

Full-stack digital marketing analytics can tell you all of this and more, providing you with extremely valuable lead intelligence that can help inform the direction of your future campaigns.


Looking at all of this information in aggregate can help you understand trends among your prospects and leads and which marketing activities are valuable at different stages in the buyer’s journey.

Perhaps you find that many customers' last point of conversion was on a certain ebook or whitepaper. Having this data makes it possible to implement an effective lead management process, enabling you to score and prioritize your leads and identify which activities contribute to a marketing qualified lead for your business.

3. Closed-loop data.

One of the most useful functions of marketing analytics is its ability to tie marketing activities to sales. Sure, your blog may be effective in generating leads, but are those leads actually turning into customers and making your business money? Closed-loop marketing analytics can tell you.

The only dependency here is that your digital marketing analytics system is hooked up with your customer relationship management (CRM) platform like the free HubSpot CRM, for example.


Having this closed-loop data can help you determine whether your individual marketing initiatives are actually contributing to your business’ bottom line. Through it, you can determine which channels are most critical for driving sales. Perhaps you find that your blog is your most effective channel for generating customers, or conversely, you find that social media is really only powerful as an engagement mechanism, not a source of sales.

The Digital Marketer's Measurement Challenge

Most marketers know they need to be looking at more than just traffic and website performance to get the insights we’ve talked about so far, but why do so many of us still struggle to measure the impact and prove the ROI of our online marketing activities?

Probably because:

  • A) We don’t have solid goals in place for our campaigns.
  • B) We don’t have the means to successfully measure our success.

Quite often, you’ll find it’s a combination of the two.

The fact is, most marketers need to have a number of different digital marketing analytics platforms in place in order to get all the insights they need to understand their marketing performance and make sound decisions. They gather data about their email marketing through the analytics provided by their email service provider, information about their social media performance through their social media monitoring tool, blog analytics from their blogging platform, and the list goes on.

This fragmented approach to reporting makes it really difficult to connect the dots and make informed decisions about the future of your strategy. The ideal solution is to implement an all-in-one marketing and reporting platform that offers end-to-end visibility on your marketing activities, allowing you to measure everything in one place.

How Digital Marketing Analytics Impacts Your Business

All of the insights, information, and data you can gather from your digital marketing analytics tool(s) is really only useful if you do something with it. The true value of analytics isn't just to prove the value of marketing to your boss; it's also to help you improve and optimize your marketing performance -- on both an individual channel-by-channel basis as well as an overall, cross-channel machine.

As mentioned above, you’ll also be able to implement closed-loop reporting, making it easier to prove how your marketing efforts are positively impacting your sales team, who are being fed much higher quality leads.

The important thing to realize here is, if you're relying solely on top-level web analytics, you're missing out on a lot of powerful data that can help inform your marketing strategy. So when evaluating digital marketing analytics tools for your business, be sure you're looking for evidence of digital marketing analytics, not just website analytics.

How are you faring in terms of digital marketing measurement? Are your analytics sophisticated enough to effectively measure your marketing performance?

free marketing reporting templates

Why The Future of Your Agency Depends on Recruiting Analytics Talent

Society has sensationalized the idea that our children need to be gifted athletes with superstar careers in order to be truly successful. As a marketer with an affinity for analytics, I have a different hope. I hope my kid becomes an analytics superstar. And thanks to recent social trends, that’s actually a cool thing to be now.

Pursuing a career in analytics has never been more accessible. Traditional data tools are becoming easier to use, which allows non-programmer types to perform even complex analyses quickly. This allows agencies to build analytics departments with varying levels of technical expertise. With today’s tools, you don’t have to be in the analytics department to analyze data.

Within agencies, the move to fully staffed analytics departments is gaining momentum. According to the 4A’s “Survey on Analytics in Agencies” in May 2015, 93% of agencies reported having staff members who perform analytics functions. And half of agencies with more than 50 employees reported having a separate analytics department. As agencies look to increase their capabilities, the competition for talent to lead these new departments will grow.

The need for data analytics talent has been a big discussion in recent years. A 2015 survey by MIT Sloan Management Review found that 43% of companies struggle with finding the analytics talent they need. And with all the competition out there for a limited pool, agencies may discover that the talent is not only hard to find, but also hard to retain.

Marketers need some analytics background to succeed 

Universities are responding to this new staffing demand. As a sitting board member of the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management, Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) program, I’ve noticed that more and more universities are offering graduate programs designed to produce skilled analytics professionals with business acumen.

Undergraduate programs for analytics are also starting to take shape. These programs will likely range from concentration clusters to complete minors that can be easily added to a student’s business, marketing, or advertising curriculum. Students are starting to realize that even basic analytics skills will make them more employable.

This year, I was not only impressed by the number applications we received for our marketing analytics internship program, but also with why the students applied. They fully recognized that analytics would be an important part of their marketing career — even if they didn’t want analytics to be their full-time job.

Agencies need to seek candidates with a base of analytics knowledge -- especially in the account management department

Analytics courses and graduate programs are providing agencies with a unique opportunity: What if your account department was filled with talented people who were predisposed to testing, optimizing, and using predictive behavioral algorithms?

Candidates with a background in analytics are perfect for account management roles, since they can easily translate a client’s business needs into behavioral data questions.

Such talent brings another benefit: Many clients have been strengthening their own analytics capabilities. An agency that has a solid analytics department — one that can support or augment a client’s analytics staff — will be a true business partner. In the future, agencies with strong analytics cultures will be a client requirement, not a request.

Senior staff needs to adapt to support this new wave of analytics talent

The rise in young analytics-minded talent will be the disruption that pushes senior staff to seek out resources to upgrade their own knowledge base.

Progressive and successful agencies need to offer internal programs that demystify analytics for agency leaders as part of formal training programs. This will help senior staff better understand what analytics can and can’t do. Basic knowledge makes — and will continue to make — a big difference when it comes time to sponsoring analytics initiatives and designing an appropriate organizational structure to support analytics activities.

It also helps executives ask the right questions when dealing with prospective analytics vendors. One way to provide this basic knowledge is through partnerships with local universities and industry organizations. Such collaboration will aid this process by allowing on-site classes, which should maximize attendance.

Analytic thinking will improve creative executions

With more agency staff thinking about how to test, learn, and optimize based on customer behavior, the integration of analytics with the creative staff will be a major factor in agency success.

The reality is that integration is simple. The new analytics mindset will improve creative evolution over time because it’s rooted in customer behavior. This ability to evolve a campaign quickly will help ensure an unfair advantage for any client. To do this quickly and effectively, the analytics team has to be well integrated into the creative culture of the agency.

The fact is that analytics isn’t just about dashboards, crazy math, or predictive algorithms. It’s about using data to understand human behavior.

The creative product is then commissioned to alter these human behaviors. An agency that has demystified and embraced analytics for its staff will have a natural flow of conceptual evolution on core creative ideas -- one based on a feedback loop of customer behavior to the creative.

Agencies need to start planning today

Integrated analytics thinking will soon be the expectation in business, not the exception. Attracting and retaining the top talent will require an environment that fosters the skills of newly minted talent entering the workplace.

This analytics talent will thrive in agencies that have an interdepartmental group of analytics-minded individuals — especially in the account department — who can help communicate complex analytics in simple ways.

Start planning today how to improve your agency’s analytics practice, as well as your own personal knowledge. You’ll be glad you did.

How is your agency taking part in the analytics revolution?


Issue with Facebook spam filter shuts down social sharing for hours

Some Facebook users encountered a major glitch Monday.

Early in the morning, a technical problem prevented people from posting articles via the share buttons on a number of websites, including The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and Reuters.

A Facebook spokesperson blamed the technical difficulties on an issue with a spam filter, ZDNet reported. That filter is designed to prevent the spread of malware on the social network, but it produced "Message Failed" dialog boxes for some people sharing legit content on Monday.

Sharing links directly on Facebook — as opposed to from an outside website — still worked.  Read more...

More about Spam, World, Security Flaw, Security, and Conversations

Celebrities release powerful video to support #WithRefugees campaign

Celebrities are taking a public stance to support the #WithRefugees campaign.

On Monday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) released a video featuring several actors including Cate Blanchett, Keira Knightley, Kit Harington and Jesse Eisenberg, performing a powerful spoken word poem entitled, "What They Took With Them."

The video, posted on Facebook, aims to call attention to the more than 65 million refugees across the world who were forced to leave their lives behind due to violence.

More about Viral Video, Facebook, Videos, Petition, and Social Good

Google’s new iOS app Cardboard Camera lets you snap VR photos to share with friends

cardboard Google today launched a new application for iOS users called “Cardboard Camera,” which allows you to create 3D, 360-degree photos using your mobile device’s camera. The app was previously available only on Android, following its launch in December 2015, but didn’t yet include a social sharing feature. Using the new version of Cardboard Camera, you can take VR photos… Read More

Facebook automatically turns man’s near-fatal car crash into a happy slideshow

You try, Facebook. You really do.

The social media network unleashed a new feature to its mobile app in June which automatically turns your photos into a slideshow video, complete with music and silly graphics. But like other Facebook bots, the feature lacks sensitivity, such as its Year in Review feature that stirred up some bad memories for some of its users previously. 

Recently, Josh Gibson learned that the slideshow video lacks the same empathy when Facebook turned a video of his car accident into a quirky video. 

In the Reddit comments where Gibson originally posted the video, he explains that the video Facebook made was only available for him to view at first, but "it was too funny not to share."  Read more...

More about Fail, Facebook, Watercooler, and Videos

No one has ever been as happy as this pug getting belly scratches

This is what bliss looks like.

BarkBox hosted a Facebook Live featuring a very lucky pug named Noodles, who received belly scratches from not one, but three, wooden back scratchers.

Everyone should feel the pure happiness that Noodles feels.

Noodles and his owner are also well-known across the Internet for their Instagram account, @showmenoodz and very romantic Valentine's Day photo shoot from last February.

BarkBox's live belly scratch feed was to promote the book Dogs and Their People, which is available for pre-order. Read more...

More about Facebook, Watercooler, Viral Videos, Videos, and Funny

The State of Inbound 2016 Is Here [New Report]


Over the past few years, we've observed innovations in technology that have drastically changed the digital experience for people all over the world. More people are using mobile to access the internet than ever before, newsfeeds are packed with content, and bots are redefining what it looks like to complete the most common of online tasks.

And as technology changes, the inbound marketing methodology must evolve with it.

And while we still have great benchmark data on how marketers and salespeople do their job today, we also have included new datapoints on how technology is changing consumer habits and where marketing and sales is headed in the future.

How many companies are investing in video content, social selling, and preparing for new disruptors that enter the market? Check out our biggest and most data-packed edition of the State of Inbound to find out. To learn more about the challenges marketers face today, download the free  2016 State of Inbound report here.

In addition to our new report, we're excited to host five online events every day this week that break down the key themes in this year's report. Tune in to hear predictions and insights from industry leaders like:

They'll join HubSpot's Brian Halligan (CEO), Kipp Bodnar (CMO), Meghan Keaney Anderson (VP Marketing), and Kieran Flanagan (VP Marketing) throughout the week to talk about the current and future state of marketing, sales, and business. Join us to learn:

  • Expert predictions on the next year’s biggest disruptors
  • How to improve collaboration between Marketing and Sales to increase ROI
  • What types of content consumers want to see more of in the future
  • How new technologies will affect how businesses get found
  • How to advertise in a way that aligns with inbound marketing
  • What skills marketers and salespeople should prioritize for the future of inbound

  • Monday, September 12 | State of Marketing | Facebook Live at 1 p.m. EDT
  • Tuesday, September 13 | Future of Marketing | YouTube Live at 11 a.m. EDT
  • Wednesday, September 14 | State of Sales | Tune in live for #InboundSalesDay
  • Thursday, September 15 | Future of Sales | YouTube Live at 11 a.m. EDT
  • Friday, September 16 | Future of Business | Facebook Live at 1 p.m. EDT

get the free 2016 state of inbound report

11 Creative Ways to Use Live Streaming on Snapchat, Facebook Live & More


Video has been on the rise for a while, offering marketers a proven way to grab strangers' attention and keep their target audience engaged.

Live video streaming in particular has become increasingly popular as a tool for companies and groups to connect directly with their users, to gain greater product awareness, and to brand themselves creatively. In fact, just recently, the Content Marketing Institute predicted video -- specifically real-time platforms -- will be critical to brand growth in 2016. Download our free guide to learn how to use Facebook Live for your business.

To learn more about how to take advantage of the live streaming boom, here are 11 creative ways to use products like Snapchat, Google Hangouts, Facebook Live, and Periscope to successfully market your business or group.

11 Creative Ways to Use Live Streaming on Snapchat, Facebook Live & More


1) Raise awareness for a cause.

The World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) paired with Snapchat to create the #LastSelfie campaign with the goal of raising awareness about endangered species. Using the slogan "Don't let this be my #LastSelfie," the non-profit suggested that just as images on Snapchat disappear within a short 10 seconds, these animals are vanishing from our Earth all too quickly.

Users were then asked to share the snap, "adopt" an animal, and donate to the WWF through SMS. Within one week, the #LastSelfie campaign received 40,000 tweets, and was seen by roughly 50% of all active Twitter users.

2) Recruit interns and new hires.


GrubHub saw potential in Snapchat early on as a way to get more interactive with a younger demographic. Rather than post an intern application on a standard career search site, or on less targeted channels like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, GrubHub asked its Snapchat followers to apply using the app itself.

The doodle request was an easy way for the company to assess creativity and confidence, while also tapping into their ideal intern pool.

3) Coordinate with a popular event.

Taco Bell managed to become one of the most followed brands on Snapchat by uploading a six-minute Snap Story "movie" in increments of 10 seconds. The short film focused on the launch of their product, the Doritos Locos Taco, but the company also took things a step further. Taco Bell coordinated their campaign to align with the MTV Movie Awards, making it relevant to the event and, therefore, gaining greater reach and brand awareness.

Google Hangouts On Air

Note: As of today (September 12th) Hangouts On Air will move from Google+ to YouTube Live. You can learn more about how to set up Hangout On Air with YouTube Live here.

4) Show off the job.

NASA is big on Google Hangouts, hosting live videos as a way for space-interested audience members to learn more about the organization and its recent discoveries -- they've even held Hangouts from outer space. Recently, they teamed up with Verge Magazine to show off some perks and pitfalls of the astronaut job.

Hangout participants used the hashtag #askAstro on their Twitter or Google+ to ask the NASA crew about life -- both personal and professional -- while aboard the craft, which were then answered in real time. The Hangout provided fascinating content, but also provided valuable information to those interested in that career path.

5) Get a bigger audience.


In an effort to reach a larger audience, Manchester United used Google Hangouts to get a few more people on the "front row" during a match against Liverpool. Fans were asked to use the hashtag #MUFrontRow on their Google+ Page with a photo that showed off their team spirit.

Of the entries, the best 22 were selected, and those fans were then projected onto the stadium's digital advertising board alongside the field. The campaign created more interest in the event, and seriously delighted some die-hard fans.

6) Interview industry experts.

Every month, IMPACT Branding & Design hosts a "Website Throwdown" featuring top marketing and design professionals. Participants are invited to submit their own website URLs to be broadcast during the Hangout and constructively critiqued by that month's guest speaker.

People can also tune in to watch, or help out by asking questions and posting comments on Twitter using the hashtag #WebsiteThrowdown during the live stream. The Website Throwdown is an awesome way to create brand awareness and authority by offering participants a chance to learn and improve.

Facebook Live

7) Show off some skills.


Tastemade does pretty much everything food, from recipe ideas to vlog tutorials -- they even hosts its own food show series. Part of what sets Tastemade apart from other food-focused publications, though, is the brand's really great content targeted to the everyday foodie. And, recently, Tastemade started exploring Facebook Live as a raw way to gain social traffic while also engaging with fans.

During a live latte art video, Tastemade asked viewers to submit requests as part of their #FoodArtFridays series. The interactive video received over 90,000 comments and nearly 5,000 shares.

8) Get fans and followers to laugh.


Who doesn't love a good laugh? BuzzFeed decided to try out Facebook Live with a video purely for fans' entertainment. Two BuzzFeeders explored how many rubber bands it takes to explode a watermelon, which lasted about 45 minutes. According to Facebook, at the time, more people tuned in to watch the stream than any other live video on Facebook -- reaching over 800,000 viewers at its peak. Now, the video has over 10 million views, creating a ton of social and site traffic, just for doing something fun.

9) Announce new products.

Chevrolet Product Promo

CES is an annual event hosted by the Consumer Technology Association to showcase innovation technologies and products from across the world. During the 2016 event, Chevrolet debuted its newest car model, the 2017 Bolt EV.

But rather than limit its audience to only those able to attend CES 2016, Chevrolet live streamed the announcement from its Facebook Page, giving all of the company's fans a chance to tune in and learn more about the product. Chevrolet also responded to Facebook comments in real time to keep its audience engaged with the video and answer any relevant questions.


10) Bring the audience along.

Periscope Drumstick Promo

Last summer, Nestle partnered with online influencers to host live Periscope sessions of ways they were celebrating the first day of summer -- while eating Drumstick ice cream cones, of course. The company then promoted each activity on Drumstick's Twitter using the hashtag #FirstDayOfSummer for followers to tune in.

Activities ranged from jumping on a ferris wheel, to biking on the beach, to eating ice cream by a fire pit. Nestle's campaign provided an opportunity for user engagement, helped associated Drumsticks with enjoying summer, and branded the company as lively and fun.

11) Go behind the scenes.

General Electric used Periscope to launch a five-day live streaming campaign called #DRONEWEEK. GE enabled Periscope on a group of drones to give their audience a real-time, bird's eye view of their facilities, featuring not only some of their industrial machinery, but also interviews with GE scientists and tech experts. Fast Company called it the "Shark Week for science and social video nerds."

GE managed to showcase five different facilities across the country, and even created a Twitter @GEDronePilot to provide extra commentary and interact with viewers.

Ready to Try It?

These are not the only live streaming platforms out there. Tons of applications and websites exist, and are used by millions of people every day. There's so much potential for brands and groups to use these outlets creatively to gain recognition, authority, and interest.

How do you plan to use live streaming in your marketing? Share your ideas in the comments below.

free guide: how to use facebook live

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