As I write this, the action in PyeongChang is wrapping up. From my perspective, some of the best stories from the XXIII Olympic Winter Games are those in which an athlete who seemed to be out of medal contention snatched victory out of the jaws of defeat, as they say. I watched that happen on many occasions, and it occurred to me that the same can be true with your content marketing program.
Many a B2B marketer has spoken words to this effect: “Yes, emotion is helpful in B2C marketing, but it just doesn’t work in B2B.” And many a B2B marketer has been mistaken! It seems that we’ve convinced ourselves that business decision makers only focus on purchasing products and services that “drive business value” or that have the right technical specs and “differentiators.” In short, we think that behind the fleshy exterior lives a cold, heartless, analytical robot.
If your company is like most, your website is the cornerstone of your inbound marketing efforts. As the first “salesperson” that prospects encounter, it’s critical that your site is fine-tuned at all times. Nevertheless, it’s not uncommon to have a “set it (up) and forget it” mentality. As one of the top inbound marketing agencies, with teams in Colorado, Washington, and Missouri, we are also one of the most doggedly persistent in encouraging clients to take another look at their site because we know even small tweaks can have a big impact on engagement and conversion rates.
Infographics are a proven tool for communicating data quickly, clearly, and in a way that engages the viewer. And they can be a key component of a content marketing program. That said, all infographics are not created equal. As you would expect, some are better at grabbing and keeping the attention of a target market. But, what’s the right “recipe” for an infographic? You can certainly start to zero in on what works through trial and error. However, a better approach is to use data to drive your decision making.
There was a time when nonprofit entities tended to believe that content marketing was meant for businesses only. Today, however, nonprofits understand that they can leverage engaging materials to attract and inform their target audience, thereby increasing support for their cause. However, just like with any organization, it requires a solid strategy that incorporates some proven tips of the trade.
In a previous post, I talked about “content fatigue” as a condition we’re all experiencing as more companies come to understand the power of content marketing and begin creating bushels of content. But, I expressed my opinion (which is shared by some of the wisest marketing gurus out there) that the idea that inbound marketing has run its course is nonsense. No marketer worth their salt is going to turn back the clock and start bombarding their target audience with old school flyers full of nothing more than product features and benefits.
If you want confirmation that content marketing works, just do a search online for any product or service, no matter how obscure. I guarantee you’ll find content… lots and lots of content. Marketers have invested time and money in creating those materials because they know that their audience is hungry for them. That said, the sheer volume of content that has been created in recent years has led to what many are referring to as “content fatigue.”
Thanksgiving marks the unofficial start of the holiday season. And whether your product or service is one that gets gobbled up between now and the end of the year or not, there are some great content marketing lessons to be learned from that time-honored tradition, the family Thanksgiving dinner.
You’ll sometimes hear a discipline described as “simple, but not easy.” That label is perfect for inbound marketing. You create interesting and informative content, offer it to your prospects for free, and then nurture your relationship with them until they become customers. Simple. Unfortunately, as one of the top inbound marketing agencies in Colorado and Missouri, we know from experience that it’s not as easy as it sounds. Success in inbound marketing requires more than great material. There are a number of other key components you must have in place if you want your inbound program to thrive.
Right now or later this week… in a conference room across town or across the country… a team is or will be meeting not to focus on their product and service offerings, but on yours. In today’s increasingly competitive business climate, companies that have an understanding of what others in their industry are doing are much more successful than those that don’t. As part of your content marketing efforts, it’s critical that you commit some resources to competitive research.
Ignore the humorously ominous title of this post. Content intelligence isn’t something to fear. In fact, it’s something to embrace. “Content intelligence” is a term that’s been around for a decade or so, but it has been used much more frequently in the last few years. It refers to the knowledge gained from systems that use information on content consumers and content consumption to produce actionable insights for driving a content marketing strategy. Yes, that’s a mouthful!
Oh, how time flies! I can’t believe I’m saying that fall has officially arrived, but it has. And before you know it, we’ll be handing out candy, eating turkey, wrapping presents, and ringing in a new year! I suppose as marketers we're especially sensitive to the passage of time, as we’re constantly trying to stay ahead of the curve.
When it comes to distributing, promoting, tracking, and optimizing marketing content for an inbound marketing program, HubSpot is head and shoulders above other platforms, in my estimation. That’s why we are a HubSpot Certified Agency Partner, and one of the top HubSpot agencies in Colorado. But the company is about more than just managing content—they have some great strategies for creating it. Their Content Marketing Hacks guide includes insights from content experts within and outside the company. I share some of the ones that we have found most useful at 30dps below. If your team isn’t using these hacks, and others in the guide, you should be!
We frequently talk about how producing and promoting compelling marketing content can be a game-changer for companies looking to get the attention of the their target personas and gain more market share. But how, specifically, does content influence the purchasing process? A new report from the Content Marketing Institute and SmartBrief sheds a little light on the subject.
Consistent blogging has proven to help companies grow their audience and achieve better ranking on the SERPs (search engine results pages). If you want your content marketing efforts to be effective (and who doesn’t?), it just makes sense to blog on a regular basis. That said, you may at times be at a loss for what to write about next. Don’t let that stress you out! As one of the top boutique inbound marketing agencies in Missouri, Colorado, and Washington, we know that there are a number of data-driven ways to determine what interests your audience.
As you may have guessed from our many blog posts on the topic of content marketing, we’re huge proponents. Not only has it delivered tremendous results for our clients, it has done the same for us. That said, it would be wrong to portray content marketing as all “unicorns and rainbows.” As one of the top inbound marketing agencies in Colorado, Missouri, and Washington, we are always honest with our clients nationwide about the fact that there are things about inbound that may make you uncomfortable at first.
At first blush, inbound marketing seems to be as exceptionally simple as it is effective. You just create and promote great content on a regular basis and soon you’ll have a consistent flow of solid leads that turn into closed deals. However, as people new to the strategy soon learn, there are a number of potential problems you can encounter. Knowing what they are and how to avoid them can make the difference between budget well spent and wasted.
I don’t know if this is one of those business axioms that has already been stated, but if it’s not, it should be: The best customers you’ll ever acquire are the ones you already have. What do I mean by that? Well, simply that the cost of attracting, nurturing, and ultimately converting prospects to customers will always be higher than the cost of selling existing customers more of your products or services. There’s even a term for this concept: customer lifetime value. And while companies tend to associate content marketing with generating leads and closing new deals, it is equally powerful when it comes to retaining existing customers.
While they might take offense at the comparison, your prospects are a little like fish. We all are. We swim around the internet having a quick taste of some of the trillion pieces of marketing content out there to consume. In the vast majority of cases, we immediately let go and keep swimming. But every now and again there’s something we just can’t release. We’ve been hooked. This doesn’t happen by accident. The content marketing angler at the other end of that line knew exactly how to get your attention. And now, having engaged, you’re much, much more likely to become a customer.
Coming up with a continuous stream of high-quality material is critical to your content marketing success. But, the longer you are using inbound marketing, the more likely it is you’ll run into periods where your brainstorming sessions don’t produce a downpour of new ideas but a light drizzle at best. Fear not and grab your umbrella! We’ve got a number of time-tested tips for ensuring your sessions are productive.