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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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