Posts

Marketer as Producer: Using Storytelling to Engage Customers Effectively

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Cut through the noise.

“If you can’t tell, you can’t sell,” says Storytelling authority Robert McKee.

What’s your definition of a story?  McKee defines it this way: “Sequence of causally connected, dynamic events that changes a person’s life.” Change focuses the mind.

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Let’s Talk About Email – Why and How to Use Email Marketing

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email marketing

email marketingWith the rise of social media, many “traditional” online marketing tools have fallen out of the spotlight in the glamorous new world of Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Marketers scramble to discuss the latest marketing campaigns which can be implemented with social media.

However, email marketing is one of the marketing tools that should be discussed in earnest. Email marketing is still useful and has its place in the modern B2B marketer’s repertoire.

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Lead Scoring in Act-On

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By John Nielsen

Lead scoring is the process of evaluating and assigning points to prospects and leads using marketing automation tools. Points are distributed based on the attributes associated with a qualified lead.  It is important to understand whom you are marketing to when managing a campaign, sending irrelevant content to your followers is a quick way to lose.  To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, below are a few tips one can easily follow to update your contact lists and help identify priority focus using lead scoring.

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Content is Still King

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An old friend recently introduced a new service that allows the Twitterati to monetize their tweets “MyLinkMyAds”. It’s a brilliant and simple idea that allows people to get paid for the content and knowledge they are sharing.

Like most of what happens on the Internet today, the idea came to fruition quickly and since my friend is a talented developer with a strong social network already, he was able to get his idea online and introduced to the Twittersphere easily.

Then a funny thing happened. He saw a Tweet come through, that basically said, “Great tool for adding ads to your tweets; but I can’t find much detail on it.”

My friend had forgotten a critical element of doing business on-line. Even in a world of 141 characters, you can’t get very far without content and information to validate your brand. He quickly rectified the issue, and added an FAQ page to the site.

It’s a basic principle, but one that is often forgotten in the lightening fast business world today. You may get attention and eyeshare on Twitter, but in order to truly use social media effectively you need to deliver expertise, in-depth knowledge and valuable information as well. As you embrace social media remember you still need to provide access to videos, podcasts, blogs, even old-school data sheets and Web content to share details and legitimize your brand.

Your Blog: Quality over Quantity

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There are likely different schools of thought on this and there are SEO metrics that can prove or disprove the visibility impact of more posts vs. fewer posts, but in my opinion less can be more and quality beats quantity. As the cobbler’s children, we are still enhancing our blog post capacity and shortly, our core team will be more consistently writing posts. But our objective is not to game the SEO system with inbound leads. Our goal is to share articles and perspectives that we think might add some value to our readers and continue the conversations we have every day.

With the increasing spamming of the social web, we are in danger of losing site of the true value of content. I get very concerned when clients consider mass article writing strategies – particularly those clients that market and sell a complex product or service to a sophisticated buyer. These readers know when they are being trapped with content proliferation. Now the buzz is content curation – we need to be careful here too. We don’t need someone to simply compile articles, but we do value an editorial perspective and a careful selection of relevant posts. If I trust you, I will trust the links and content you collect and share.

So, rather than stuff your website with trash blog posts and articles every day, if you are trying to reach a more discerning audience, think quality over quantity.

Is Content Marketing Over-hyped?

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This week, I was invited to speak at a Content Marketing Webinar with BrightTalk (https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/21775 ) – Other than learning to turn off the mute button when speaking (gulp!) it was a good discussion.  In preparing for the meeting, I was asked to consider best practices and thought I would offer a few from my perspective here.

Is Content Marketing over-hyped? 

My answer is yes- but I think it is still critical to an effective online presence. By embracing some solid practices, content marketing is an effective and a critical component of a marketing strategy, sales strategy and revenue architecture.

Today businesses need to attract and engage audiences with content – the trick is to make sure you focus on relevance!  There is a proliferation of content as businesses are scrambling for search visibility and placement and it is easy to get caught in the noise.  This article may be hard to find through search unless I pack it with the right key words that are relevant to the searching audience. For broad topics like this, I recognize that the article may get a little lost among the noise – but at least I am engaged in the conversation and offering a perspective, perhaps maintaining a level of credibility.  If a potential client is considering Revenue Architects, they will at least see that we are engaged in these important revenue architecture topics.

I advise my clients to really think long-tail and relevance if the content goal is visibility and awareness through search marketing. With so much content on the web, what can you add to the conversation?  For Revenue Architects, we will start to write more about how integrated sales and marketing is applied in different industries we work with – these articles will increase relevance for our target segments.

What were these best practices we were talking about? Here are a few from our perspective:

1) Relevance – as just discussed, try to ADD to the conversation by bringing in new relevant content to your audience. Repeating and repurposing what is already out there is not “digital native” and also not helping differentiate.

2) Integrated Programs: Think about the mix. More digital video combined with blog posts, white papers and briefs. Webinars and video together? Connected into a trackable program with tools like Marketo or Eloqua and applying personalization.

3) Audience Aligned – obvious but we often forget. Are we writing for the CIO? CTO? CEO? VP of Sales?

4) Pipeline Aligned: What content works to generate interest? Educate? Facilitate decisions? Modular content will help your audience get just what they need and not be forced to navigate through your entire story.

5) Top-down:  Use persuasive communications to drive your message forward.

6) Peanut Butter:  Make your content sticky and spreadable: These are Amy Hunt’s words. Make your content sticky “I want to check this out” and spreadable “I want to share this with Jim”

7) More Free:  We all think we have premium content and that we deserve your personal information in order to share our great insight. Increasingly your content will need to be more distinctive and value-add before you should expect to get people to register for it – or hand over extensive demographic information. Permission marketing suggests a value exchange – make sure you have one. Premium content should be valuable enough to collect profiling information from your audience – and the more relevant the questions are to the content, the better.

These are a few thoughts on content marketing, there are many more. What do you think?  Good luck and good selling…