The best salesperson your company has doesn’t even work for your company. That’s because your average human is a little cynical when it comes to salespeople, and is significantly more open to input from other consumers. While we’ve blogged in the past about the challenges associated with customer testimonials (most involving questions of authenticity), freely given, honestly reported comments can still be very powerful.
If you think Instagram is only for people who want to share photos of their vacation to Mexico or their pet’s latest antics, you need to take a second look. Companies are having tremendous success connecting with their target personas through this powerfully-visual medium. Yes, the Instagram demographic does skew toward the 18–34 year old crowd, but: (1) if that’s your target, bingo! and (2) technology tends to find favor with younger age groups first, but middle-aged and older folks inevitably follow.
By definition, a prospect who downloads and reads a white paper, case study, or other piece of content has “engaged” with it. And that engagement, even in its simplest form, is definitely a good thing. But what marketers are becoming increasingly focused on is taking engagement to new levels, because the more engaged a prospect is, the more likely he or she is to become a customer.
OK, if you’re like most people, you scoff at the idea of New Year’s Resolutions. In late December, we make ‘em, by February, we break ‘em, and the concept of “resolving” to do something doesn’t cross our minds again until the end of the year. That’s the pattern for the vast majority of people who make resolutions, and a much larger percentage of the population doesn’t even bother to make them.
While “editor” may not be a part of your job title, everyone is asked to review another person’s work at some point. It might be your employee, your peer, or (eeck!) your boss, but somebody is going to request that you, “give this a quick read.”
I hate to break it to you, but that white paper you just completed after months of painstaking research, multiple drafts, and an approval process that took f-o-r-e-v-e-r isn’t all that important. The same is true of that new case study, your recent blog post, and the product overview video you just paid a pretty penny for. Not one of those items really has much value at all.
When properly researched, written, and designed, ebooks can be a great way to engage prospects and provide them with valuable information. And by delivering helpful insights with no strings attached, you become a trusted source for best practices, product reviews, industry assessments, or whatever it is you choose to present. This thought leadership that you establish can be a powerful brand-building force.
Ah, the holidays! Parties, potlucks, charitable events… There’s no better time of year to give your customers and prospects a look inside your organization. But, of course, not everything that takes place now—or throughout the year—is appropriate for posting. That video of your VP of Sales singing karaoke after he’s had one too many glasses of wine at the holiday dinner may seem like great social media material in the moment. However, the next day you might realize that it has cast that person, and your organization, in a negative light.
Awhile back, I blogged about some tips for ensuring that your infographics are great. The folks at the Wall Street Journal surely followed my advice and used all eight of them when they won Gold for Data Visualization in the annual Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards 2015. (OK, they may have known about these tips even before I blogged about them.)
The drawbridge is up. The walls are lined with archers. There are kettles of boiling oil at intervals between them. This is not going to be pleasant.
Founded in 2006 and joined with LinkedIn in 2012, SlideShare is one of the 100 most-visited websites in the world. More than 70 million professionals browse the over 18 million uploads (from slide decks to infographics to video) looking for informative content. Wouldn’t it be great if they found yours?
For all the advances in the way we share information digitally, people still love talking with people. It’s in our nature. Webinars are a great way to meet that need for human connection and form a bond with your prospects or customers.
Infographics are a great way to communicate a significant amount of information in a highly-digestible format. They are also easy to create. However, it’s not as simple as slapping some pictures, stylized arrows, and catchy text on a page and calling it good. To produce effective infographics, you have to be aware of certain key considerations.
If you've ever been to a nude beach (not that I have or anything, just sayin'), you probably noticed a few things... okay, maybe MORE than a FEW things. But it occurs to me that the world of content is a lot like (what I imagine it would be like) visiting a nude beach. There may be too much to take in all at once, but let's face it, you really can't help but look.
The concept of looking to a crowd to help you achieve a specific goal is a relatively new one, but it works extremely well in many cases. Take crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, for example. They are so popular that they’ve spawned dozens of copycats that are now trying to replicate their success.
Developing creative, engaging, and effective marketing content is challenging, but it’s also fun. In fact, as you start producing better and better material, it can almost become addicting. That’s the point where you run the risk of forgetting one very important thing: your content is the means to an end. You’ve got to get it in front of the right people in the right ways for the “marketing” part to happen!
The costs and benefits of requiring prospects to provide their contact information before receiving your content—also known as “gating” your content—have been debated for as long as there has been the technology to do so. You produce content for the express purpose of getting your prospects to engage with your brand. But if they are never required to provide any information about who they are and why they are consuming your content, are they really engaging or just… well… taking?
Do you remember “old school” marketing? Complex campaigns using marketing pieces that took teams of subject matter–experts, designers, and reviewers months to design, create, and fine tune? Maybe you’re still living old school marketing. If so, you should consider a new approach.
You are budget-conscious. We all are. You have to be to keep your business competitive. If you’re thinking about investing in some quality content to serve as rocket fuel for your marketing strategy, and the price tag is giving you a little heartburn, here’s something to keep in mind—if you create and use that content in the right way, the cost can amount to what you might call “pennies per persuasion.”
In 1969, Coca-Cola came up with the slogan, “It’s the real thing.” Of the 18 or so major slogan changes since then, “real” has been used in more than 22% of them. When a company with a marketing budget bigger than the GNP of many small countries goes back to a theme that often, you know there’s a reason.