In an effort to stay relevant, businesses spend countless dollars developing materials designed to grab and hold their customers’ attention. How can you reduce the amount of time and money spent on keeping content up to date? Evergreen (i.e., ageless) content is one solution to this pricey problem.
The most successful brands in the world—regardless of their offerings or their market—have one thing in common: great content marketing storytelling. If you’re not telling engaging stories about your product or service, your customers, or your company, you definitely should be.
You’re walking in a remote jungle and you encounter one of the locals. They begin to speak to you, but you don’t understand the language. It appears from their gesturing that what they’re saying should be very important to you, but since you don’t share their vocabulary, you believe your only option is to politely smile and walk away. Soon after, you step into some quicksand and... slowly... begin... to sink.
Growth-driven design (GDD) is, in my humble opinion, the best way to develop and maintain websites today. Traditional methods of website development and project management often produce lackluster results, or worse, failed projects. Traditional website-development projects are usually sad tales of missed deadlines and cost overruns, and they are likely to miss the mark when it comes to design or capabilities. Most often, these projects are reflective of a best-guess design when the project is initiated, and are not reflective of the actual end users' needs. By nature, they are unlikely to be oriented towards responding to users' real-life interactions with the design and subsequent variations. Even when changes are deemed necessary, a change order and additional cost are virtually guaranteed before implementation.
When it comes to growing sales and increasing market share, good results from a content marketing campaign are important and helpful. However, what the best marketing agencies are after today isn’t helping companies put one impressive dot on the graph. The path to sustainable success requires what you might call “continuous improvement marketing,” with a series of dots on a beautiful and profitable uphill slope!
In order to keep your marketing content interesting and your audience engaged, you must tap into many sources for your material. One that is sometimes overlooked but that can deliver excellent results is expert interviews. The insights provided by someone who has expertise in an area related to your offerings can be interesting and helpful to your customers and prospects, and can keep them coming back for more.
The holidays are here, and with them eggnog, fruitcake, ugly Christmas sweaters, and festive family gatherings. It’s also the time of year when pundits of all persuasions begin sharing their predictions about what’s in store for content marketing in 2019. So, I’ve poured a cup, cut a slice, donned my finest holiday fashion, and gathered my 30dps family around me as I share some thoughts on how I believe content marketing will evolve in the year ahead.
Counterintuitive Content Marketing: Switch Things up this Holiday Season
Big companies pull out all the stops when it comes to their marketing around the holiday season. Flashy TV ads, big sales promotions, aggressive email campaigns… the whole nine yards. As a result, small- to mid-sized companies tend to struggle to be heard. The content marketing strategies that have worked all year can be less effective in the calendar’s last few months.
It’s been said that the easiest way to gain a new customer is to keep an existing one. Put numerically, experts will tell you that it costs five to seven times more to land a new account than it does to retain one you already have. This isn’t to say that you should abandon your prospecting and focus exclusively on making your existing customers happy—you’ve got to keep bringing in new business to succeed.
The human attention span is shrinking rapidly. There are plenty of studies that support this conclusion—but you don’t need researchers to tell you so. You surely see it in yourself and in those around you.
For most people, that fact ranks somewhere between a little sad (as a general observation) and highly irritating (when your dinner date can’t resist the urge to check their phone every 30 seconds). For marketers, it’s downright disturbing. If you can’t keep someone’s attention for more than a few seconds, how are you going to get them to focus long enough to become interested in your offerings?
We are sometimes asked "What type of agency are you?" It's always a bit of an awkward moment, because often the person asking the question is not all that familiar with terms like "full-service marketing and advertising agency" or "digital marketing agency" or "inbound marketing agency." Sometimes all they "know" about marketing and advertising agencies is what was reflected in Mad Men. Still, there are others that have a real sense of the attributes that differentiate agencies, and may even have a strong preference for one over another. Because 30dps has been a boutique agency that has constantly evolved, the way we label ourselves has also changed through our 28 years. For example, multimedia & web design firm, new media marketing agency, full-service marketing and advertising agency, inbound customer experience agency, just to name a few.
As a certified HubSpot Agency Partner, we know the many benefits that implementing a marketing automation system can deliver because we’ve helped businesses of all sizes and in a variety of industries achieve them. From significant time savings and more effective marketing spend, to more productive sales/marketing collaboration and detailed campaign performance tracking, marketing automation tools like HubSpot give companies an immediate and tangible leg up in their market.
There are a number of factors that can impact the success of your content marketing efforts. For example, are you using a marketing automation platform like HubSpot? (If not, you should be!) Are you publishing interesting and helpful content on a regular basis? (You absolutely must be!) Are you collaborating with a content marketing agency on your strategy? (I would submit that that is never a bad idea!)
Content marketing is simple in theory: create compelling materials and use them to nurture relationships with people who, over time, make the gradual transition from prospects to customers. However, there is definitely an art to effective inbound marketing and some mistakes are all too common. But, knowing what the potential miscalculations are can help you steer clear of them.
Conversational marketing is a term that’s been around for some time. However, it’s coming back to the forefront for marketing pros these days. Conversational marketing is a segment of inbound marketing that involves participating in one-on-one conversations with customers and prospective customers whenever and wherever they want to interact. If they want to communicate via Slack at 7 a.m., make that possible. If they prefer to connect via text at 9 p.m., ensure that you can accommodate that request.
Building relationships and growing sales requires two things: 1) The desire to improve your results, and 2) the tools for doing so. One great new suite of interaction enablers is the Service Hub from HubSpot. It's a comprehensive set of tools that empowers your team to deliver an exceptional customer experience. I'll blog more about it soon, as it's proving to be a game-changer for our clients and can surely help any organization that wants to have more fruitful conversations with its customers. For now, just know that Service Hub has features like live chat, automatic email routing, support ticket generation, and much more.
First, to address the elephant in the room: yes, email still works! With all the new communication channels and platforms available, every year a handful of “gurus” declare email marketing dead. Soon thereafter, actual marketers who are “in the trenches” doing the work chime in to report that they are still seeing results ranging from good to excellent with their email campaigns. This year is no different, and our clients are using email quite effectively.
It goes without saying, but if your prospects/customers don’t have a positive interaction with your company, they won’t be interacting with you for long! And, that’s true even if you have outstanding product and service offerings. In today’s competitive business climate, there are likely many companies that do what you do. If a person isn’t happy with you, they can easily move on to the next option. Consequently, providing an excellent user experience (UX) on your website, mobile app, or any other audience/company interface is critical to your success in content marketing.
There are many powerful tools in a marketer’s toolkit—from content marketing to social media marketing to pay-per-click advertising, to name just a few. However, perhaps no marketing tactic is more effective than having a happy customer advocate on your behalf.
Two of the most important aspects of an effective content marketing program are consistency and creativity. The former is really just a matter of will—putting out high-quality material on a regular basis to keep your target audience informed and engaged. The latter, however, is a little more tricky.
According to Pew Research Center, millennials are now the largest generation in the American workforce. Needless to say, they are a very desirable demographic for many companies. Find the key to winning them over, and you will likely find tremendous sales success.