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.
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.
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.
In the final analysis, content marketing isn’t really about content—it’s about trust. OK, it’s about content too, but in order for your inbound marketing program to be effective, you’ve got to earn the confidence and respect of your target personas. They have to believe you are who you say you are and that you can deliver what you say you can deliver. So, while we talk a lot at 30dps about creating content that is “engaging” and “informative,” it’s also critical that your content “generates trust.”
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.
As a leading content marketing agency in Colorado, we’ve observed that there is a common “trajectory” for content marketing that can leave a marketer perplexed and a little disappointed. New to the strategy and utilizing only in-house resources, you come out of the chute hot with some great content. Your target audience, hungry for actionable insights, grows rapidly as prospects gobble up all the materials you produce. Then, out of nowhere it seems, interest in your content and your overall reader/viewership plateaus or even starts to drop. Why? Read on.
The rallying cry of Jason Nesmith (played by Tim Allen) in the movie Galaxy Quest was "Never give up! Never surrender!"—which are excellent words of advice for many content marketers. One of the biggest challenges facing content marketers is that too often their executive management is looking for instant results and therefore struggles to buy into the basic tenets of content marketing, i.e. it is a long-term strategy of producing quality content customers crave, not a short-term campaign. Another huge challenge is often that the content marketer is completely overwhelmed and cannot keep up with the demand. The "never give up" advice is equally important in that case as well.
Every day, more companies become aware of the benefits of content marketing and more marketing material gets created, published, and promoted. Consequently, marketers are having to be ever more aware of best practices for getting their content noticed. One area that is often overlooked is something very fundamental: the naming of a piece. Smart companies are starting to give this critical detail a second look.
Let me start this post by being very clear: It’s the quality, not the quantity, of your inbound marketing content that will get you noticed, establish you as a thought leader, and help you attract prospects and make sales. That said, if you can create a high volume of high-quality content, you are that much better off.
Neuromarketing… the term has a hint of futuristic menace to it. And if that appeals, I hate to break it to you, but there’s nothing menacing or evil about it. It’s really just referring to the practice of seeking to understand how the human brain functions in potential buying situations and taking steps to appeal to it in order to increase the odds of a sale.
Kelly is a marketing manager, and as such, she often finds herself under intense pressure to deliver results. Lately, as sales have dipped a bit, she’s feeling the heat even more. She needs to get new campaigns underway, pick up the pace on content production for existing inbound marketing initiatives, and in general start generating more leads. But her already-overworked marketing team will be hard-pressed to up their output, and there’s no time to recruit, hire, and onboard additional staff.
In order to be effective in content marketing, you need to be able to produce great content efficiently. To do that, you need a digital marketing team that works like a well-oiled machine. The business skills (writing, designing, project management, etc.) of your team members are important, of course, but so are their personality types. The best teams are made up of people whose perspectives and areas of focus vary and complement one another.
If you’re passionate about college basketball like I am—or if you’ve watched any sports on TV at all in the last few weeks—you know that March Madness is upon us once again! And, of course, you know that another passion of mine is content marketing, and how, with sustained effort and focus, it can elevate a company from a pretender to a contender. I was thinking of March Madness and content marketing the other day, and it occurred to me that the two have a lot in common.
Whether you’re preparing to dive into content marketing for the first time or are a content marketing veteran, it stands to reason that you can’t be effective if you don’t know what content you have. And I’m not talking categories here (“We have some white papers. And we have some case studies.”). I’m referring to an itemized accounting of every single piece of content — in any form — that you possess.
What’s old is new again, as they say. Or said differently, it seems that any consumer preference you can think of is like a pendulum—no matter how far it swings in one direction, it’s always coming back. That’s why I suppose it’s no surprise that I’m beginning to hear people talking about print again as an element of an inbound marketing strategy. If you’re thinking, “No way!” read on.
Well, we’re smack dab in the middle of the entertainment industry’s awards season. The Golden Globes have been handed out, the Screen Actors Guild Awards have been presented, and the Academy Awards are just ahead. And while winners of the annual Content Marketing Awards (CMAs) won’t be named until September, the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) has just announced its “call for entries.”
While I wasn't watching, something wonderful happened at 30dps—we went from being a local marketing and advertising agency/web design firm here in Colorado Springs, to being a national boutique marketing agency that specializes in inbound and content marketing, growth-driven website design, and HubSpot integration. While we still serve an occasional client here in Colorado Springs (and count ourselves fortunate to do so), increasingly our clients are in the Denver/Boulder area and cities all across the country.
I love people, so I'm still a sucker for face-to-face meetings. But the truth of the matter is that with tools like GoToMeeting and Webex, you can still have a lot of the personal touch you enjoy about meeting in person with your long-distance customers. With the convenience and reduction in cost associated with virtual meetings, they have become a very compelling way to conduct daily business. I have worried in the past that we might lose the human connection that comes from the face-to-face. But with an occasional use of video conferencing, we seem to maintain the personal, high-touch relationships that we so much believe in, and seem to lose very little in the process.
Having written on the merits of inbound and content marketing many times, and the importance of truly committing to it, there is one clear risk that we are seeing evidence of that needs to be pointed out. With success, which can be clear and significant—especially if you're in a market niche in which your competitors are not competing for content attention—comes a temptation to say "This has been great! Our search engine placement is high. Our leads are coming in. Sales are making steady progress. We've got a lot of great content out there now, so... I think we can back off on the production and promotion of content now."