Email Marketing Life beyond ‘batch & blast’

Posted by frank harris on 17/01/18 10:57

batch and blast emails.pngWhatever happened to the days when email marketing consisted of a generic, single message sent to thousands of email recipients resulted in previously unheard-of response rates?

 

Well, we – as consumers – became harder to please because we were being increasingly bombarded with irrelevant offers overcrowding our inboxes. In turn this forced us – as marketers – to become smarter in the way we communicate with our subscribers to cut through the noise.

 

Don’t get us wrong. To some extent, ‘batch & blast’ can still have its place in your digital strategy. company newsletters, new product launches, rebrand announcements (and so on) can – and should – go out to your broader database. There is nothing wrong with that.

 

However, when it comes to communicating directly to our customers and prospects about their personal journey with us, we need to be holding 1 on 1 personalised conversations. And the only way these 1 on 1 conversations can happen on a large scale is with the help of marketing automation technology.

 

The whitepaper that you can freely obtain from the link at the end of this article will help you move beyond ‘batch & blast’ email marketing and into marketing automation to enjoy its many benefits:

  • Improve your marketing ROI
  • Streamline your sales and marketing effort
  • Spend less time creating campaigns and more time creating better response rates
  • Improve customer engagement
  • Increase conversion rates
  • More productive sales teams, less busy marketing teams
  • A whole new fully personalised and optimised marketing channel
  • Tools that are quick and easy to use

Making the switch to automation

Those marketers who have reacted to this change in consumer email behaviour by sending more relevant, intelligent, targeted – and automated – communications are already reaping the rewards.

 

Some brands have reported extraordinary results and improvements in campaign performance. From B2C retailers reporting click rate uplifts of 61% and conversion gains of 21% to B2B publishers seeing an average of 800% click uplift across multi-touch programmes, intelligent, automated marketing techniques have really started to make their mark.

 

So, by now, ‘batch and blast’ should – in the main – be a thing of the past, right? Not so. Less than a third of marketers are running multichannel triggers, less than a quarter employ advanced segmentation and less than a fifth run timed email content across a sales cycle. So why exactly are so many marketers not adopting this more advanced, proven approach?

 

For many brands, the transition from a standard email programme to a fully dynamic, automated one can be daunting. This is because optimisation and automation is much more involved than more traditional ‘batch and blast’ campaigns with many extra dimensions to consider. Lists, systems, processes, suppliers… it can get a little overwhelming.

 

So, the whitepaper will try to help you get onto the path towards automation by taking it step-by-step, bit by bit. For your copy follow the link below:

 

email marketing automation

Tags: email marketing, marketing automation, b2b marketing automation, email marketing automation

10 Tips for Driving Engagement using Email and Social

Posted by frank harris on 16/01/18 15:58

engagement.jpgRemember when the experts declared that social media was going to replace email? Never happened.

 

Instead, email and social found ways to work together. Today, social media is aboutcreating conversations with customers and personas for greater brand affinity and awareness. Email picks up on that and drives the conversion when marketers can integrate them successfully.

 

But while most marketers acknowledge the importance of each channel, leveraging the combined forces of the two remains challenging.

 

The 10 tips below will help you better use email and social together while delivering an improved cross-channel customer experience.

  1. Add an email opt-in form to your Facebook page.

Connect your Facebook fans email by adding a custom tab with an opt-in form they can fill out without leaving Facebook.

 

Another option is to use a “Sign Up” button that links out to a form on your website. This takes your visitors out of Facebook, which interrupts their Facebook experience but also moves them onto your website.

  1. Use Facebook or Twitter newsfeeds to promote opt-ins.

The email content you send can be a source of fresh, high-quality posts in your social media channels. Facebook’s algorithm takes this into account when determining your reach.

 

On Twitter and Facebook, newsletter articles often make great posts, that let your non-subscribers know what they’re missing.

 

On other social sites, add an opt-in link to your “About” or information pages.

  1. Promote your social campaigns in your emails.

Using email newsletters to communicate about social promotions add exposure for your follower and hashtag campaigns beyond your Facebook pages or Twitter feed.

 

Email can boost exposure, visits and, ultimately, new follower acquisitions. Adding your social campaigns to email messages can inject some creativity into your newsletter.

  1. Repost popular social content in email.

Use the reach of your emails to give your social content more exposure and reward your influencers for helping you spread the word.

 

Find the Facebook posts that your fans share and comment on the most, then repost them in emails, in your scheduled newsletters.

  1. Put your social icons where people will see them.

Are people really clicking on those social icons at the bottom of your email? Move them up to a place with better visibility.

 

It’s not just about location. Write a brief value proposition for each channel. Group your icons together to create an attention-getting icon field in your email.

  1. Promote your social connections in your email workflows.

A series of email messages often engages new subscribers better than a single welcome message.

 

Include a stand-alone email that invites them to connect with you your social channels. Take time to explain the value associated with each channel.

 

Think beyond the usual social networks, too. Consider including your blogs and user communities. Also, test the order of your workflows to find which position in the series drives the greatest engagement.

 

However, if you can’t use workflows, ensure your welcome message includes the social media invitation, link to the “Home” or “About” page and a value proposition for each

channel.

  1. Spotlight videos and blog content in email and social posts.

Social media is more than posts. Promote your blog and video channels to boost traffic, brand awareness and sharing, and to generate content for your emails.

 

Give readers a reason to engage on your blog and videos. Post recent headlines, and link them to your blog. For videos, promote your newest productions with a screenshot, descriptive synopsis and link.

  1. Create fun emails that people will want to share via social.

Connecting directly with your customers and fans through social media shows you what content engages them.

 

Capitalise on this by creating fun emails your readers would likely share as forwards or on their own social channels.

 

This takes some finesse if your brand doesn’t have a clear personality. You can’t engineer an email to go viral if the message doesn’t grab your fans. However, knowing what engages them on social can help you experiment with email content that they would engage with and share.

  1. Reach out via social.

If you’re serious about building audience and reach, you’ll probably have to spend money. Facebook has been up front about wanting brand pages to pay for exposure, and Twitter has introduced several paid tools for advertisers.

 

The downside is that you must commit some time and budget to set up these services. On the positive side, it’s an opportunity to reconnect with and build your email audience without compromising permission.

  1. Invite email unsubscribes to follow you on social media.

Unsubscribes don’t always want to cut off all contact with your brand. Connecting with you via your social channels can keep the relationship going. So, put value-driven invitations that link to your social pages on your unsubscribe confirmation page or on a subscription-management page.

 

Track these movements to see where your subscribers are going after they leave your email programmes. Use this data to improve your emails and retain more subscribers.

 

For more information on email marketing follow my link:

 

B

Tags: social media marketing, email marketing, b2b email marketing, social media

Is your Marketing Blog set up for Reader Optimisation?

Posted by frank harris on 11/01/18 15:51

blog.jpgThere may a lot of talk about Search Engine Optimisation, but have you ever properly considered your blog’s readers?

 

You know your marketing blog is nothing without your readers, so don’t neglect them! They’re not the same as the spiders crawling around the web responding only to algorithms.

 

I once read this statement: “A blog without content is like a cheese sandwich”. And the same could be said for a blog without readers, though the cruelty afforded here could be lessened somewhat.

 

Getting readers is hard. We all know that.

 

In the past, the adage “Build it and they will come” is not true today. Not surprising, considering the number of blogs in the digital space. Today we have a series of figures, but by tomorrow these will be out of date.

Understand all readers are valuable

Are you writing for your readers, or more for yourself or your company?

 

If you’re blogging for business you shouldn’t be thinking you only are attracting your potential customers.

That’s a really tall order especially for a SME brand whether B2B or B2C.

 

Get on the right side of your readers, whatever their capacity, and you will have an army of advocates who will promote your business for you.

 

They may not be your ideal personas, but if you have convinced them enough of the benefits of your products or services, encourage them to talk about the content of your posts to their friends, neighbours, colleagues etc.

 

This can be both on- and offline, as who knows where your next customer will come from?

Are you giving them what they want?

A marketing blog that puts its readers first and foremost, writing about subjects that interest them, is more likely to succeed.

 

What are your readers interested in? Most likely themselves. Everybody considers “What’s in it for me?” whenever they read something on the net.

 

Therefore you need to find out what this is, and twist your story around to their point of view.

 

Start thinking like they do, find out what words they use so you can use them too, provide a beneficial ‘hook’ that will draw them in and keep them enthralled right to the end of your post.

 

For some it will be difficult to step into their readers’ shoes. But unless you undertake suitable market research, to identify your personas, really analysing what goes through your readers’ minds, you will find it more difficult to properly converse with them, both on and off the blog.

It’s all about communication

That’s what business blogs are for. To communicate with your readers.

 

Your blog has the power to reach lots of potential readers, you need to put in place Reader Optimisation to make your blog posts more approachable, readable, and understandable.

  • How often have you started to read a blog post and instantly become bored?
  • How often have you been met with a wall of text and been put off from reading it?
  • How often have you been enticed in by a headline, only to be bitterly disappointed with the content?
  • How often have you read a blog and immediately worked out what the keyword is because of the number of times it has appeared in the first paragraph?

Digital marketing gurus talk about the importance of SEO – but we all know how difficult this is to achieve good results, especially if used badly. So why don’t we start thinking more about our readers?

 

Even Google has woken up about the importance of good writing, good communication, good reader interaction. They may have severely downgraded Google Authorship, which was supposed to reward good writers, but upgrades of their algorithms take note of social interaction regarding writing on the web.

 

And social interaction can only come from creating a good relationship with your blog readers. Using Reader Optimisation will improve your posts, making them more likely to be shared and commented on. And this will happen if you successfully think, speak, and respond like your readers do.

Are you writing for Reader Optimisation?

Those who understand SEO know that I have optimised this subhead.

 

You may have succumbed to the SEO by Yoast plugin used on WordPress sites. But it is only a guide, so, don’t rule your posts through it.

 

The real impact is how you communicate with you personas. The fact that you have read this far is proof.

 

If this was a boring, academic piece about the importance of SEO, you probably wouldn’t be here now.

 

But how much have you considered your readers when you write your marketing blog? Do they take priority? Do you give them something tangible they can take away and implement immediately, making their lives better?

 

That last point is most valid. A blog post that’s optimised for its readers will have a proper purpose, an aim to improve its readers’ wellbeing, a reason for it to be remembered and therefore acted upon.

 

And I have mentioned this now, because the two most memorable parts of a post are at the beginning and the end. That’s why call to actions and post-scripts are valuable marketing ploys!

 

So below is my call-to-action, click and enjoy:

 

How to use Blogging in Small Business Marketing

Tags: business blogging, blogging, small business blog, marketing blog, blog

The Future look of Technology and Marketing

Posted by frank harris on 05/01/18 08:14

technology 2020.jpgThe eBook that can be found from this link>>> or the button below, discusses the relationship between technology and marketing in the future. To me this is one of the most important subjects to contribute towards and something we should all be talking about.

 

How will technology and marketing be in the future?  Here we talk about some of the technology trends we are experiencing, how they will grow in the coming years and ultimately how well marketing could exploit them.

Heaven is a Place on Earth

Every marriage has a varied and interesting history, so let’s start by thinking about how marketing has benefited from technology over the years and, in particular, the power technology has given everyone, not just those in the marketing profession.

 

To understand the advances, we can expect in the future in terms of processing power, data storage etc., the eBook looks back to the super computers of the past.

A Predictive Future?

While marriages can be unpredictable to say the least, data itself can be the epitome of predictability. The use of data to predict behaviours is popular in some areas of analysis now, but it’s the ability to exploit this capability within marketing in the future that is exciting.

 

An example of this is marketing automation, both in execution and channel management. Twenty years ago, Direct Mail campaigns took 3 months to plan, execute and deliver due to how slowly the data was processed, extracted and deployed to the print house. Nowadays this time has shrunk dramatically because we can process data at incredible speeds and the connections between the different systems are slicker and faster.

 

In the very near future all these systems will be connected in real time, decisions will be automated and based on predictive models, meaning that those models are continually learning and optimising. This leaves the marketer more time to focus on content, creatives and style, all the things that will make them stand out.

Your Children have Higher Expectations

But stretching the marriage analogy a little, consider your customers as your children. It’s a useful way to think because so much of your customer base will not be your generation, but those that are all tech savvy and have grown up with the internet as something that’s always been around.

 

An area this will affect significantly is data collection. With GDPR, will people be as comfortable sharing data and information about themselves in the future?

The Personal Web Experience

It might sound like a soundbite, but I firmly believe the phrase ‘personal web experience’ is a reality of customer’s future expectations.

 

In the future web, one of key roles will be the customer experience team. Let’s stick with our marriage analogy and think of them as the brother in law that everyone gets on with. So, whether they sit within the technology team, marketing team, ecommerce team or stand alone, they will be critical in ensuring that the technology is used correctly. Remember the phrase “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”?

The Real Science Fiction

One of the more exciting elements of technology that marketing will need to work out how to exploit is ‘wearables’. These devices are now mass market with items like fitness trackers and smart watches.

 

This is an excellent topic to end this piece with: the future marriage of technology and marketing and how marketing can potentially exploit this exciting future.

 

This has been a snippet from the eBook, for the full story just follow the link below:

 

B2B & SMEs Mobile Marketing

Tags: b2b marketing, technology, sme marketing, technology and marketing

How to Build your Business Case for Content Marketing

Posted by frank harris on 04/01/18 15:48

content marketing 2018 1.jpgContent marketing has grown very competitive online. No longer a fluffy, creative nice-to-have; it’s now a hardcore, measurable, brand-differentiating, market share-grabbing, money-making asset.

 

Most companies simply want to know: how will content make or save us money? They want a proven return on investment (ROI). It’s a frequent misconception that content doesn’t cost much to produce. Start by being transparent and realistic about the cost of getting content created.

 

Calculating the ‘I’ of your ROI can be difficult with content marketing. If you’ve outsourced a blog, it’s easy to see what you’ve been charged. But are you capturing the cost of the time spent briefing, giving feedback and project managing?

 

This calculation gets trickier still with something like an internally sourced blog. The time spent on idea generation, research, writing, editing, publishing on the website and monitoring and responding to comments all needs to be assigned a £ value. But once done, it adds great credibility to your business case.

Finding Value to Content.

In your battle to show how content affects the bottom line, start by beefing up your content scoring and assessment activities.

 

Then pop the right question. Today's marketing is obsessed with engagement. And most buzzwords eventually make their way to companies big then small. So, ensure you educate your company personnel into their meaning.

 

Even a comment can be superficial (or negative). Prospects who kneejerk-share stuff they’ve barely read, without adding commentary, are not necessarily your prospects. But posting something thoughtful on your site or curating other relevant information and adding/explaining those links to potential readers are time-consuming. And when your content is so good your personas are prepared to give time and proper attention in return, that’s a good sign.

 

Good, shareable content can really get you seen. And for SMEs, that might mean being able to stand among industry peers and enjoy their evident jealousy. Take a tip from one of my - clients and circulate a weekly ‘boast post’ to keep everyone up to speed on your latest content successes

Format Efficiency

Efficient editorial processes save companies money. My number 1 tip for getting quality content out of contributors faster is to provide strict editorial formats. It’s how all newspapers hit their deadlines. You can build in usability, SEO, ideal word counts etc.

Testimonials

Testimonials make great ammunition. Ask your favourite customers to go on the record explaining how your content helped them. If you can capture them on video, all the better.

Embrace Inventory

Use your content inventory to build up insights into your existing content that might shock people into change by showing them where it’s not serving business needs. Then circulate these to the most influential people internally.

 

For example, who are your company’s most valuable customers? Or most desirable personas? And what percentage of your current content is mapped to their specific needs?

 

Often, we inadvertently end up creating content either for ourselves or for political purposes, leaving our audiences short-changed. Cross referencing your content inventory with user personas can show where you have gaps to fill.

Competitors

A formal report showing how a key competitor has the edge in, say, social or email, can have a startling effect. Keep circulating examples of competitive content marketing to show the height of the bar in your market sector.

 

Many content strategists add competitor benchmarking into annual content audits. Data-backed observations such as: ‘the dominant brand in our market published 34 original pieces of content last month’, may galvanise reluctant content investors into action.

What’s the Cost of Doing Nothing?

Here’s a metric that’s often overlooked: doing nothing won’t always cost you nothing.

 

Can you demonstrate how a lack of intelligent content on the web, in social media or in mobile-friendly formats, will increasingly benefit your competitors? It takes time to build up a strong set of content assets that can be picked up by search engines, grow your social profile and recruit followers. It’s a long game.

 

Explain how much harder it is to catch up if you’re a late entrant to content marketing.

Go evergreen

A significant content cost that often gets overlooked is maintenance. How much is it costing you to keep your content current, correct, compliant and not embarrassingly out-of-date?

 

Clever editors know how to structure and create content for minimum maintenance. Keeping 80% or more of your content evergreen will impact the bottom line.

 

Useful evergreen content also generates significant link equity – the gift that keeps on giving.

 

Show how you’ll keep your golden oldies alive with a smart linking strategy designed to deepen users’ experiences.

 

Content is wasted when it’s only used once. Explain how, by banning the creation of concepts for single-use, and embracing content reuse, reskinning and adaptive formats, you’ll be getting the most from every £ of content investment.

 

For 100 great ideas on content marketing for B2B SMEs just follow the link below:

 

100 B2B Small Business  Marketing Content Ideas 

Tags: content marketing, b2b content marketing, b2b content

25 Tips on Increasing your Website Traffic

Posted by frank harris on 03/01/18 11:48

website traffic.jpgUnless you get website traffic, the fact is that nobody is going to find your website if you don’t promote it. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to accomplish this task and generate traffic to your site.  Just try using these tactics:

  1. Ensure your domain name is memorable. If people can remember the name its the chances of them passing it on to others is greater.
  2. Ensure the site easy to load.
  3. Buy alternate domain names and point them to your home page. These will increase the chances of your domains showing in search engines.
  4. Optimise your content with relevant keywords.
  5. Add meta tags using key word phrases for your content.
  6. Use Alt Tags for Images.
  7. Think about your page titles, and make them relevant and easy to remember as you possibly can.
  8. Change your web contentregularly. Adding a little something here and there, text and/or images will keep your site looking fresh and generate additional interest.
  9. Watch your spelling and grammar.
  10. Submit the site to search engine directories.
  11. Set up a blog. Include a link or two in your blog text, making it easy for readers to link to your site and blog regularly say at least once a month.
  12. Use article directories to promote your website. Readers will see the links you insert and possibly follow them to your site.
  13. Involve others in your site content via a questions and comments section.
  14. Put a link to your home page in your email signature. Another subtle way of keeping your web site in front of everyone you correspond with.
  15. Use a reliable hosting company and ensure your host provides ample bandwidth. When a customer experiences a time out when trying to load your page, there is very little chance of them coming back for a second try.
  16. Print business cards with your web address included.
  17. Include your web address in any advertising.
  18. A short interview in a local newspaper can generate interest that can turn into sales.
  19. Issue press releases. If they get picked up and mentioned in blogs or publications, the publicity can lead to wider recognition of your web site.
  20. Create a video and publish it online. Even a simple two-minute video and post it on YouTube.
  21. Write and publish a free eBook. Ensure the content includes links back to your relevant web pages.
  22. Sign up for Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Linkedin. You can follow and be followed, and posting an entry is easy using Hootsuite. You should also include links.
  23. Add an RSS feed to your home page. When you add more copy, people who subscribe to the feed will know immediately.
  24. Consider an old fashioned direct snail mail campaign. These are still effective and can generate interest. Include specific instructions on how to get to your web site.
  25. Add an "About Us" page to your site. Search engines love these and index them quickly.

I hope you find these tips of use in generating traffic. However, to really increase your traffic that you can then convert into leads and then into customers, just click on the link below:

 

How to get Traffic,   Leads and Sales  to your Business

Tags: get more traffic, get more leads, more traffic, website traffic

How to create a B2B Content Editorial Calendar

Posted by frank harris on 19/12/17 16:23

b2b content calendar.pngGreat B2B Content doesn’t happen by Accident.

Even the most viral, campaigns involve a long-term strategy for monitoring brand activity and have the right tools in place to create compelling B2B content when an opportunity presents itself.

 

Inbound marketers are challenged with producing enough content to address customer concerns, building a brand, and staying current with trending information - all the while positioning content for consumption across social media, email, websites and landing pages.

 

Planning and executing your content strategy is a daunting task. To tackle this challenge, you should have an editorial calendar – a tool to manage the process of creating, publishing, and planning a comprehensive content strategy.

 

An organised editorial calendar helps form a successful B2B content marketing strategy. Without one, your brand loses an opportunity to deliver consistent messaging and align campaigns.

The Beginning

Before you begin to plan, create and publish content, it’s critical to develop an understanding of your personas. Data aside, your buyers are individuals like you.

 

It’s worrying that only 40% of marketers believe their existing mix of promotional strategies meet the needs of their sales goals. Mapping content to the buying cycle efficiently drives inbound leads. To align your editorial calendar with the sales process, gets a better understanding of prospect pain points and learn at which stages content can help influence purchase decisions.

Buying Cycle and Content Types

  • Early Stage - blog posts, curated lists, best practice guides, influencer webinars, infographics, social posts
  • Middle Stage - customer case studies, webinars, advanced best practice guides, interactive content (ROI calculator), newsletters
  • Late Stage - product demos, trials, product comparisons, pricing guides, customer case studies, analyst reports
  • Customer Stage - personalised recommendations, customer case studies, product news, tutorials

Selecting Your Editorial Calendar

What are the elements of an editorial calendar? There are several standard fields – e.g. content type, title, author, due date and publish date, and CTA, which are consistent for all editorial calendars. However, the fields in your calendar should be customised to fit your brand, resources, and goals.

 

Here are three popular content calendar types:

  1. Blog Editorial Calendar
  2. Premium Content Editorial Calendar
  3. Social Editorial Calendar
  1. Blog Editorial Calendar

For a high traffic blog, you’ll want to publish frequently. Focus your posts around your bestselling products, relevant areas for thought leadership, brand culture, and key customer concerns. Your blog should be the first information resource for your audience.

  1. Premium Content Editorial Calendar

Promoting “premium” content, which involves a contact information form, requires thorough planning for an eBook, whitepaper, or webinar. Consider assigning specific tasks to your colleagues as you’ll want to track various KPIs.

  1. Social Editorial Calendar

Your social editorial calendar should cover more than just what to post on any given day. Track publishing schedules for multiple social channels, as well as any social advertising spend and KPIs. Before posting, consider what parts of the post could compel someone to share. Is it visually interesting? Is the copy clever? Does it have a theme?

 

Your key elements should include:

  • publication timing
  • channel copy
  • links
  • CTA
  • personas
  •  budget and performance metrics

Maintaining your Calendar

B2B content audit

What is your ideal ratio of licensed and original content? One-third should be original, one-third user-generated or crowdsourced, and one- third should be licensed from other sources.

 

However, there’s no magic in determining the perfect content ratio for your personas. To grow traffic and generate leads, track how your content types perform to adjust to your audience’s response.

Make room for SEO

SEO is a marketing function. To create a sustainable content strategy, you must track SEO keywords and phrases on your calendar, by listing them on the calendar to keep you focused on usage.

Plan ahead, but prepare to be reactive

Milestones, holidays, and company events provide seasonal content opportunities. Map content to events that are relevant to your brand and its audience.

 

Having weekly themes can work well for some brands, e.g., running promotions consistently on Mondays will train your audience to look for your content, whereas “Fun Friday” could create an opportunity to engage with your audience on a casual, personal level.

 

While some events can be planned, marketers need to be agile and reactive to breaking stories. Just as in journalism, being the first to break a story will result in more views and improved credibility.

 

Finally, it’s not just a B2B content calendar. When used correctly, it can transform your content marketing strategy. You can delight and inform your audience while

also generating leads.

 

For more on developing the best powerful content check out the eBook from this link:

 

small business content marketing

Tags: content marketing, b2b content marketing, b2b content, content calendar

How to Create B2B Marketing Content on a Budget

Posted by frank harris on 14/12/17 09:57

content-marketing-strategy-in-small-business-marketing.jpgContent is king. It’s the fuel for your B2B marketing lead generation and nurturing programmes, driving leads through your funnel to become customers.

 

But getting your content machine up and running is tough, and the idea of regularly creating

quality content can make marketers break into a cold sweat.

 

Why? Because often small B2B companies lack the budget, resources, and time to implement a content strategy that can truly drive leads through all stages of the funnel.

 

Luckily, by learning to leverage the resources you already have and doing more with less,

Even SME B2B marketing can start to create the content needed to fuel demand.

 

In the interest of saving time, we’ll spare you the long and drawn out explanation of why content is so important. But, for the sake of being thorough, here’s a quick breakdown.

 

Today’s buyer is different. The sales team is no longer the first contact a buyer has with your company. Instead, due to the abundance of information on the internet, your buyers will do their own research first. In fact, 66–90% of the buyer’s journey is complete before they reach out to a sales person.

 

So, your job as a marketer is to help your customers self-educate through their buying journey. High quality, educational content marketing helps you become a trusted resource for your buyer. It helps your brand stand out from the noise, and it also reduces risk for the buyer because you’re creating a lasting relationship.

 

But many marketers worry that creating great content is an uphill battle. Where

do you start?

Content Planning in B2B Marketing

First you need to plan. What are you going to create? What are your themes? When will you launch each asset?

 

And so on. By creating a baseline plan, you can more easily allocate your resources to the best projects, instead of engaging in “random acts of content.”

Buyer Personas and their Journey

The first step to planning out your B2B marketing content is creating buyer personas and buyer journeys.

 

A buyer persona is a fictional profile of your customer. Most companies will have more than one persona. A buyer journey consists of the steps that your persona takes before he or she makes a purchase decision. This usually maps to your sales funnel.

 

The best way to create your buyer personas and journeys is to set up informational interviews with the following people:

  • Current customers (both happy and unhappy)
  • Prospects
  • Former customers
  • Your sales teams
  • Your customer service teams

Generating Ideas

Generating ideas consistently is one of the biggest challenges. Understanding your persona and walking in their shoes throughout the buying journey helps you determine what topics to write about.

 

To get you brainstorming about your next content piece, here are some suggestions:

  • Research the latest hot topics and trends in your industry
  • Listen on social channels to see what your network is talking about
  • Interview customers to find out what they want to hear from you
  • Send out a survey to your database to determine what is top-of-mind
  • Create content that maps to your SEO priorities and keywords
  • Create content that maps to business priorities

Content Themes

A good way to organise your content is to create quarterly or bi-yearly themes. Each theme

has its own messaging and is assigned a set of assets over a period of time.

Lean Content Creation

Once you have created your personas and journeys, and determined your company content themes, it’s time to get creating! And you’re on a budget, you’ll need to have lean content creation tactics in your back pocket if you want to get more out of less.

 

The idea is that is you have one large eBook or report, that you can leverage to create additional content. Simply break your large asset up into smaller chunks.

Repurposing

This is the technique of turning one type of content into another. It’s another way to stretch the value of your already-created content.

 

Say you’re looking for an eBook to do a programme around lead nurturing. You look at your resource centre and realise you don’t have any eBooks or reports about the topic. But, you do have an old blog post. Simply repurpose that blog post into an eBook. You’ll quickly have a downloadable piece of content to send out.

 

You can use the concept of repurposing for so many content types. Here is a quick list of ways to repurpose:

  • Blog to eBook
  • Blog to slide deck
  • Blog to infographic
  • Webinar to eBook
  • Webinar to podcast
  • Podcast to eBook
  • Infographic to slide deck
  • eBook to slide deck
  • eBook to infographic
  • eBook to blog post
  • eBook to video
  • eBook to checklist

Content marketing is tough for any marketer, and it is even tougher when you have a small budget or constrained resources. But that doesn’t mean that marketers without huge teams or budgets shouldn’t bother with B2B content marketing - it just means you need to do more with less.

 

By mapping content to buyer personas and buying journeys, and becoming experts at repurposing your existing assets, you can master lean content marketing. You might be surprised by the difference a bit of strategy (along with creativity) can make.

 

Have a look on my take on today’s content marketing from the link below >>>

 

small business content marketing

Tags: buyer personas, b2b content marketing, marketing content, repurposing content

How to Use Mobile Marketing Successfully

Posted by frank harris on 13/12/17 10:02

mobile marketing.jpgWhether you choose to invest in mobile marketing via an app or focus on mobile optimisation, you can use the best practices below to be sure you’re set up for success.

Optimising Your Mobile Marketing App

Before launching a new app, you need a strategy to attract new users. And since you’re competing with over 3 million apps, it needs to be solid. Here are key elements of a successful app user acquisition plan:

 

Soft Launch/Beta: Rolling out your app to some trusted people allows you to work out any glitches before it goes live. These "friends" can provide you with feedback about problems so when you launch, your app is in the best shape possible.

 

App Store optimisation (ASO): As you must optimise your website and content for discoverability via search, the same goes for your app. There are many things you can do to boost ASO, from adding relevant keywords and screenshots, to having positive user ratings.

 

PR/Events: Create media buzz around your app, especially since lots of downloads in a small-time period can boost ASO. Tap any local or national media outlets to spread the word. Consider holding a launch event within your local community to add to the buzz.

 

Paid social: Social promotion is an effective way to attract new users, e.g. Facebook Ads allow you to get granular with audience segmentation. Consider running some highly targeted paid promotions within your budget.

 

Onboarding: Onboarding is a user’s first introduction to your app. It’s your chance to not only show users the ropes, but also your app’s value. Onboarding can increase user retention by 50%.

 

Key elements of successful app onboarding:

  • Emphasise the value proposition. Why is your app useful for the user?
  • Highlight core features
  • Ask for permissions and explain how granting you access benefits the user
  • Get to the point. Use clear, concise copy in your messaging and CTAs

Push Notifications: Push notifications are messages sent to a user’s smartphone while they’re outside of your app. They’re a great way to boost engagement by keeping users in-the-know about pertinent information.

 

Key elements of successful push notifications:

  • personalisation
  • segmentation
  • timing
  • deep linking

 In-App Messaging: In-app messages are notifications sent to users in an app. They're used to relay important information to the app user based on app updates or actions performed.

 

Key elements of a successful in-app message:

  • Matches look and feel of app
  • Provides valuable information
  • Relevant to end user and/or based on in-app behaviour
  • Enhances user experience

App Inbox: Nurture users with content sent to a private inbox inside the app. Since there are no character limits or time restraints, send relevant messages that can be consumed at user's leisure.

 

Key elements of successful inbox messaging:

  • Updates that aren’t worth interrupting users with a push or in-app message
  • Longer form content: blog posts, tip of the day, discounts, etc.
  • Personalised content

Re-engagement: Re-engagement is exactly how it sounds - advertising to lapsed app users outside the app. This can be through owned media (push notifications, email) or paid (search, social). You could re-engage by remarketing. That’s advertising to users based on previous actions taken within the app, like viewing a product or pricing page.

 

Key elements of successful re-engagement:

  • Encountered outside of the app
  • Personalised to user’s previous actions
  • Value from user restarting to use the app

User Interface (UI) + User Experience (UX): Creating a solid UI and UX is best practice for mobile app marketing. Without an experience users can easily navigate, you won't succeed.

 

Key elements of successful UX/UI:

  • Seamless flow throughout the app
  • Rich branding, colour schemes, etc.
  • Easy to understand navigation

Optimising Your Mobile Marketing Website

Two terms you’re going to run into frequently when it comes to mobile site design are optimisation vs responsive design. While often confused, they are quite different.

 

Responsive design refers to your website’s ability to scale to different screen sizes. This means that all content is on a grid that will adjust proportionally according to the screen size.

 

Mobile optimisation means a mobile-first site for the mobile platform, separate from your desktop site. Why? Because mobile users behave differently and have different needs depending on their device.

 

Key considerations for your mobile site:

 

Simplified site-design. When users browse your content via their phone, they’re looking for the information they need, in a simpler format that ensure users they can digest content based on what they need.  Ensure your content is clear, concise, and accessible through a mobile device.

  • Content: Serve up a more simplified version of your site for mobile that’s focused only on essential information. Make sure you organise content to surface what users want first. Ensure all content is discoverable, even if it’s a few clicks deeper in the experience.
  • Page speed: Since users are connecting on the go, a quick connection is a must. Simplify your website to increase page speed, and minimise any code or design features that will increase load time.
  • Remove pop-ups/flash: Removing them is a guaranteed way to lose users trying to access information about your brand on-the-go.

 

Schema: Consider using schema or microdata in your HTML. This is a way of structuring your site appearance on SERPS. Talk to your web designer about schema structured data, and if it makes sense for you.

 

Usability: Ensure that its usability is designed with mobile-first in mind. This means scaling up text and buttons, and scaling down titles, descriptions, and even form fields:

 

Rule of “thumb”: The thumb should be the focal point of your mobile site’s design. This includes all spacing, button widths, and navigation considerations. Users should be able to navigate your site using their thumb.

 

To go more deeply into mobile marketing follow this link:

 

B2B & SMEs Mobile Marketing

Tags: b2b online marketing, mobile marketing, mobile devices, mobile

A GDPR ROADMAP: 5 STEPS TO WEBSITE COMPLIANCE

Posted by frank harris on 03/12/17 16:22

Data Protection-1.jpgHere are the key steps to achieving compliance with the GDPR transparency and consent requirements by May 2018:

  1. Map your Digital Supply Chain

Even a closely-managed site may have an increasing number of tags from third-par­ty vendors embedded on its pages, enabling their various digital marketing tools to function.

 

Often, these tags may give data access to outside companies that the website operator isn’t aware of. By permitting those tags on its site, a company is implicitly giving those vendors the right to collect visitor data.

Under the GDPR, you are responsible for providing notice and obtaining consent for each one of these technologies, even those you have not knowingly authorised. That means:

  • You need to conduct a thorough audit of your website to get a view of your “digital marketing supply chain” of third party vendors.
  • You will need to get greater visibility into your digital marketing apparatus. That transparency is among the many mandates it imposes.
  • You must map where tags are coming from, and control how and when they arrive based on user consent.

You can provide an audit of all of the third party vendors FREE on your site with Evidon Trackermap. With it, you can conduct live scans of your website and reveal the entire digital ecosystem, including the full redirect chains of third-party vendors, and identify non-secure tags.

  1. Conduct a site-wide profiling analysis

  • Analyse visitor tracking on your sites. What data are you, your vendors, and their partners collecting, and why?
  • Evaluate data sensitivity involved in each of these activities, and rank the associated risks.
  • Analyse what submissions are saved to your site database.
  1. Determine the legal basis for data collection activities

Under the GDPR, personal data - including IP addresses, device identifiers and anything else that can be used to identify an individual—can only be collected if you have a “legal basis” to do so.

 

Examples include:

  • it’s necessary to fulfil a contract
  • protect the rights or safety of another
  • is a valid court order
  • you have a legitimate interest to collect someone’s personal data, e.g., so you supply a purchase to an address.

Once you’ve assessed each data collection activity happening on your website, you need to begin to create a process for obtaining permission from anyone that falls into the “Consent” bucket. Consent must be specific to the data being collected, affirmative and unambiguous.

  1. Set up a privacy rights infrastructure

Also note, consumers enjoy a variety of new privacy rights regarding their personal data, and companies are obliged to establish internal processes to accommodate these rights. Your company needs to create a channel for visitors or customers to submit any rights requests, and a process for

fulfilling them.

 

Some of the new personal data rights:

  • Right to Data Portability: Your visitor or customer can receive any personal data they have provided to the you which that individual can then pass along to another company without “interference” from you.
  • Right to Erasure/Right to be Forgotten: The above can request you erase any personal data about them, “without undue delay.”
  • Right to Object: The visitor/consumer can object to you processing their personal data, unless you can demonstrate good reasons for doing so that override the person’s interests.
  • Right of Access: Individuals have the right to get confirmation from you as to whether you’re using their personal data, in which case, they are grant­ed the right to access it. 
  • Right to Rectification: A person can ask you to rectify/correct any inaccurate personal data you’re holding about them.
  • Right to Object to Profiling (by automated processes)- this is similar to tracking, and a consumer has the right to object to this activity.

5. Design sites around “consent”

The new regulations specify that a website needs to honour “data protection by design and by default.” To ensure you’re meeting the high threshold for valid consent, any user’s on-site experience should allow them to clearly agree by “a statement or a clear affirmative action.”

 

What are the “design and default” measures to take to ensure that your website is compliant with GDPR mandates?

  • A banner must be displayed on the site, requesting users to consent where appropriate. However, they must still be able to access the site even if they haven’t yet given their consent.
  • The banner and all supporting information must be in easy-to-understand language, not legalese, and should clearly explain how and why you want to collect their data.
  • Silence, pre-ticked boxes or inactivity does not constitute valid consent, nor can consent be inferred through a website visitor’s actions such as going to another page on the site.
  • Consent is not considered freely given if there’s a “clear imbalance” between the visitor and the website. One example? You can’t make a service conditional upon consent, unless the user’s data is necessary for the service.
  • A user should be able to view a clean and comprehensible list of all vendors and the data being collected, and allow for consent to be specifically given for each.
  • The user should be told that they’re able to easily revoke their consent at any time, and request that their personal data be erased.

 For complete details on GDPR and what it means for you please download the FREE eBook from the link below:

 

lead generation

Tags: gdpr, eu regulations, website compliance

Subscribe to Email Updates

Now you've read this article why not subscribe by filling in the form above and keep up to date with all that's happening in the world of Inbound Marketing

 

FREE eBook Effective Inbound Marketing Campaigns

 

  FREE eBook "Social Media Marketing"

  10 Things to cut from yourMarketing in 2014

Most Popular Posts

Follow Me