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As marketing technology grows smarter every year, so must investments in MarTech if companies today are to keep up. If your technology is as little as two years old, it’s already outdated. I’ve followed the ongoing technology advances and trends, and here I tell you about the best marketing technologies for 2019 budgets, or to invest in right now.

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When we talk to users of various marketing automation platforms we find that the biggest inhibitor to successful deployment of B2B marketing automation platforms is lack of an effective strategy. The second biggest is failing to recognize their full range of available features and potential uses beyond the usual email campaigns.

If this sounds like you, keep reading. I’ll go over six pro-tested ways to get the most out of B2B marketing automation platforms, no matter which one you’re using.

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When most of us think about Influencer Marketing, a Kardashian or other celebrity comes to mind, and it’s generally in the consumer product marketing space. While some of the fundamental principles are the same, influencer marketing for B2B companies requires a deeper understanding of your customers, and a lot more planning and finesse. Here’s a primer for you on how to develop a killer influencer marketing campaign for your B2B company.

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The power of Facebook marketing is a force you can’t ignore. 93% of marketers have adopted the platform to target specific audiences in their advertising strategies. With an average of 1.18 billion daily active users on Facebook, the possibilities of target audiences are endless.

It’s no doubt that 2018 is a huge year for this strategy with all the buzz surrounding Facebook ads and the potential to reach your unique customers. However, executing an effective Facebook campaign isn’t something you can accomplish overnight. There are a variety of factors and variables to consider, which come with research and a well-defined understanding of your target audience.

Each step should be meticulously thought-out, so that you don’t lose your chance to reach the right people. This blog outlines the top 10 tips to execute an effective Facebook advertising strategy, so that you can come out of 2018 with a nice return on investment.

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What are the most important metrics for measuring the ROI of your content marketing programs? As the old saw goes, what gets measured, gets done. But content marketing is so much on the “humanistic” side of selling that its practitioners forget, overlook or fail to realize there are certain performance numbers that tell their own important story. To keep your work focused on the right goals, learn about these content marketing metrics and how to access them.

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We are way past the point now in 2018 where marketers can claim that B2B social media is unimportant to their company’s marketing strategy. Anyone still clinging to that notion has long since been left in the dust. But keeping up also matters.

As companies make bigger investments in social media brand domination, it’s vital to stay on top of how social is being used by their prospects and buyers— as well as competitors. Here are seven key insights for the state of B2B social media in 2018.

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Nowadays nearly everyone is on social media as it has evolved into a core communication and networking outlet for consumers and businesses alike. When people become curious about a business or brand, often the first thing they do is turn to social media. But with nine in ten business having a social presence, how do you set yourself apart?

 

For B2B companies, social media is utilized to build business credibility and attract prospects. So how can you make an impact with your prospects on social? You may think you’re doing social, but you need to think bigger to get the attention you want. We’ve compiled a list of 10 tips that will take your B2B social media strategy to the next level.

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Guest Blogger Contribution by Rob Howard, founder of the DailyStory.

When it comes to content marketing, what’s the difference between the good B2B content marketers and great B2B content marketers?

Is it the choice of channel? LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. Or is it the writing style or the colors of your call to action? You might have even found research on the length of the content or the keyword density.

It’s none of the above.

The real secret to great content marketing is simple: Good B2B marketers know that content is important. Great B2B marketers know that personalized content wins new business.

Below are several tips for how you can begin thinking adding personalization to your content marketing plans.

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Guest Blogger Contribution by Molly Clarke, a Senior Marketing Manager at ZoomInfo.

Modern marketers live and breathe data. We’re constantly trying to prove the value of our efforts, test and scale campaigns, and measure results—all in an attempt to generate more revenue for our respective companies. But, what if we told you your beloved marketing reports might be doing more harm than good?

Before you click away, hear us out. We’re by no means saying to trash your marketing reports and start from scratch. But, we’re all human, and it’s easy to make mistakes—especially when it comes to marketing metrics.

Ready to learn more? Today we cover 13 common marketing report mistakes and the strategies you need to improve your efforts. Keep reading!

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Quick — can you recall the best webinars you’ve ever attended? (Can you recall ANY?)

If one or two did come to mind, can you identify why they stuck with you? Was it a presenter with a pleasant voice and an entertaining personality? Striking visuals? The richness of the educational content itself? If only they were all that good!

Chances are, you spend so much time at your computer anyway that an hour of webinar time usually ends up on the slag heap of forgotten hours in your everyday work life. Worse, many of the forgettable ones ended up being mainly a sales pitch rather than the informative session you signed up for, full of hope and aspiration.

It takes some effort and insight to make the best webinars–the ones that are memorable, engaging, and leave participants hungry to know even more about your brand, services or products. Read on for tips on how to make the best webinars to stand out above the rest.

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Data-driven insights into what’s driving more Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), Sales Qualified Leads (SQL), and how best to optimize marketing campaigns are just some of the many areas where machine learning is revolutionizing marketing.

Machine learning, also known as Artificial Intelligence or AI, is disrupting a lot of our old familiar digital marketing strategies. Here are some trends to watch in marketing tech for 2018.

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An internal search engine on a company website can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool when used correctly. Easy navigation is one thing, but search capability brings your U/X performance to a whole new level.

If you think your B2B website is fine without one–after all, you’re not selling consumer products –you may want to think again.

Here’s the full lowdown on how and why an internal search engine on your website can place the buyer’s journey on a direct path to making a purchase.

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While inbound content marketing continues to dominate the field for digital-based companies today, one essential outbound strategy that should remain in every marketer’s toolkit is email marketing. Its continuing ROI value is reflected in the proliferation of email marketing platforms in recent years, with growing features and functionalities not seen in earlier versions.

If you’re ready to try a new email platform but aren’t sure which product best suits your business model, here’s a guide to help you evaluate the best email marketing software for 2018.

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Facebook announced this month that the company is making a huge change to its News Feed algorithm. Personal news feeds will now prioritize friends and posts that spark comments between them — at the expense of public content, news outlets and, importantly, the total number of ads you see on the social network.

What does this mean if you’ve already placed a big bet on Facebook advertising (like so many others have done in recent years)?

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The fine art and science of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is being refined every year, as digital marketers strive to keep pace with shifting technologies and changes in personal and spending habits. Like so many other digital marketing strategies, keeping up with SEO trends demands a regular review of what’s shifting, what’s out, and what’s new.

Read on to see what’s trending in SEO for 2018.

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In Facebook Marketing Part 1, I discussed all of the reasons why you should be using Facebook advertising in your overall B2B marketing strategy, how to set up the conceptual framework for your company’s Facebook presence, and how to measure results of Facebook marketing campaigns.

 

In this article, we’ll drill down and share some specific Facebook marketing tips that smart B2B marketers are using successfully right now.

 

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The World’s Largest Audience, Served Up on a Platter

Facebook has over 2 billion users worldwide, and 1.37 of these users visit the website on a daily basis. Consensus data also shows that people are spending more time on Facebook per session compared to any other popular social platform.

For marketers, especially B2C but also increasingly for B2B, Facebook is the place to be.

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Applications of Artificial Intelligence and automated Bots are insinuating their way into our daily lives—from Siri and Alexa, to cars that analyze and coach your driving, and refrigerators that can generate a shopping list by analyzing their own contents. Facebook’s ability to recognize the faces of your friends from their pictures is powered by AI technology, as are the exceptionally effective targeted ads on Amazon.

As a consumer, you’ve doubtless already encountered plenty of AI applications, and interacted with lots of bots. But as a general marketer, have you thought about all the different ways you can put them to work for your own purposes? Here is a look at how AI and Bots for marketing are being put to effective use by many of today’s savvy marketing pros.

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Influencer marketing is a fairly simple concept to grasp – a new spin on the time-honored strategy of celebrity endorsements. Its successful execution, however, is much more nuanced. Here, we explain how to use influencer marketing in the world of social and other online media, and how to execute an influencer marketing strategy that won’t break your bank or force you to work red carpet rope lines to get attention for your product.

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Great landing pages are ones that compel a visitor to take action – fill out a contact form, place an order, subscribe…that is the page’s entire purpose. Every word, image and graphic element on the page should be created to serve that one, single purpose: to share their info and then click on the Call to Action button. The CTA button is that ultimate graphic to which all messages on the page should naturally draw the eye.

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The old, catch-all CRM system is becoming ancient history. The 2017 marketing technology landscape relies on so many new channels and different types of touch points with customers, that an all-in-one system is usually not enough. But what mix of automation platforms will best serve your organization’s unique needs? Here’s a brief survey of what’s out there to choose from, and some trends to watch.

 

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What is Search Engine Marketing vs Search Engine Optimization?

This is a question that often gets a confusing answer. To the extent there really is a difference, you can distinguish them in this way:

SEO is the technical process of increasing a given web page’s ranking in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results.

Most SEO best practices focus on Google’s search engine and its algorithms, because Google dominates more than 90% of the total organic search traffic in the world. SEO strategies can target different kinds of searches besides words and text, using keyword-rich alt tags assigned to images, videos, podcasts, and social media channels.

You might say that SEM, on the other hand, is SEO but with a sales mentality.

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Email offers are still the favorite and most reliable way to reach and convert B2B buyers – if you can manage to flag, grab and then hold their attention long enough. That’s a big IF, though.

With the average attention time spent on marketing emails being 15-20 seconds, the marketer’s biggest challenge is to focus a reader’s attention on your core offer by using the shortest possible route for the eye and brain to follow.

I’ve been collecting research studies on email design for best user experience, and examining how that intersects with content optimization techniques. I’ll show you how melding both strategies can lead to higher conversion rates. Read more »

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The marketer’s job today is to attract and engage using multiple media channels, from billboards to SMS geo-texting and every kind of digital or mobile strategy in between. Here’s how you can use the latest version of the industry-leading model, Sirius Demand Generation, to reach those discerning B2B buyers most likely to want to hear from you.

 

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Nearly everyone is generating digital content these days as part of their inbound marketing strategies. Some are becoming content machines – cranking out blogs, infographics, and newsletters at a whirlwind pace.

What often gets overlooked, though, is the type and the timing of the content that will most effectively guide your buyer’s journey from the awareness stage to becoming a long-term, repeat customer.

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If you’re marketing for B2B today, you know that one tactic alone won’t be the silver bullet. It’s the collection of all campaigns and tactics working together.

Successful integrated marketing strategy starts with a committed brand focus, including a differentiated position, a compelling messaging platform with unique messages to critical audiences, and a savvy integrated marketing plan that connects all touch points that could influence and persuade buyers.

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If you’re in marketing, you probably share a common impression that new marketing tools are being introduced at a rate akin to the U.S. birth rate – about one every eight seconds.

Even if you love what you’re already using, the fact that so many new features and products are being introduced so often can leave you wondering if there isn’t something new and improved that might be serving you better. (Yes, FOMO strikes marketers too.)

To help sort out the answer, I set out to review what I consider the top marketing tools for 2017, by category.

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A lot of marketers pay close attention to marketing metrics that measure the results of specific campaigns: clicks, opens, likes, follows, comments, and similar kinds of engagement actions.

However, these don’t always measure the bottom-line results that you expect – hope –  will show up in company profits. When you report to your CMO, it’s essential that you provide numbers which help them justify the dollar value of marketing to the CEO and board of directors.

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In the old frontier days of marketing automation software – say, around 2007-2010 – it was an exciting time as marketers learned they didn’t have to keep spreadsheet notes, calendar reminders, or manually push “send” each time they wanted to communicate with target prospects.

More than 70 different vendors eventually rose to fill this new demand, with wildly varied approaches to workflow processing, site architecture, CRM integration and user interfaces. There was not even a standard definition of what “marketing automation” meant. But as the technology evolved and smaller companies merged or got acquired by larger ones, a substantial amount of industry consolidation has taken place in the last several years.

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You may have heard of ad retargeting and have some idea what it’s about. If you’re wondering whether it could be a good solution for your business, here is an overview of when and how retargeting works best, and the different kinds of retargeting strategies that digital marketers are using today.

 

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There is nothing worse for a marketing professional than when random acts of marketing are committed that don’t relate to the larger strategy of the business. It’s a waste of money, time and resources. To have the best impact for your business, marketing should be connected to your business growth plans and thought about holistically, rather than consisting of a series of trials and errors.

In this article, I’ll show you how to identify the most typical Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs), and help you avoid the trap of a CEO’s sudden whim to try something different – and maybe expensive – to improve short-term results.

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Generating traffic and generating leads are two distinct strategies.  It’s relatively easy to lure prospective customers to your website or platform with an eye-catching piece of content that you tease out through social media or digital ad campaigns. One good hook can pique enough curiosity to get them to cruise over and check it out – for about 10 seconds.

But generating inbound leads willing to surrender their contact information on a capture form takes a little more creative effort. They need to be moved by your content and motivated to get more of it before they’ll take that ultimate opt-in bargain that marketers make with prospective customers.

Below are 11 creative content ideas for generating leads by keeping their curiosity levels high enough that they’ll be happy to opt in to your marketing list.

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It’s not just millennials- all buyers today want quick but meaningful information that’s delivered in a personal way.  Today I go over the eight essential planning steps to video marketing that sells by educating, entertaining and converting the viewer.

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Digital marketing – the use of online communications tools to reach desired target audiences – is no longer a new industry still finding its way. In fact, it’s advanced pretty far, especially with all the proliferating innovations in the marketing automation industry.

 

So many tools available – but what’s your digital marketing strategy? Read more »

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Often times, a PPC campaign runs like clockwork. They are so fully automated that we tend to just check the standard metrics for our periodic reports, but don’t look too deeply into what’s really going on in the user experience. Many marketers aren’t paying attention to the small details that can actually have a big impact on campaign performance.

PPC campaign strategies that fall into the “set and forget” category need a forensic review on a regular basis. As marketers, we need to make sure they don’t keep chugging mindlessly down tracks that are falling out of favor with the target audience.

Here, I offer some self-checklist questions and professional marketing tips using commonly available analytics tools that will help you improve PPC campaign performance.

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