Want to take advantage of niche market online? Create an industry blog. Start a LinkedIn group. Engage with others in the industry on Facebook and Twitter. (Want to take advantage of niche market online?
What is the process that the buyer goes through to purchase a product? What is their journey that they transverse to select your product? Have you defined this journey?
And how many different journeys are there? Now if you have a single buyer’s journey defined, you’re only fooling yourself.
Just as it is with buyer personas, there are multiple paths taken by buyers to reach a decision to purchase your product. And just as it is with personas, you need to group the various journeys into 3 or 4 different buckets, provide each bucket with a moniker, and build out your content accordingly, i.e., what content is provided to which persona at what path during a particular buyer’s journey.
WHOA! Suppose you have 3 personas, 3 buyer’s journeys, and each journey has on average 4 stages. So does this mean that each piece of content needs to be modified 36 times? Let’s not get crazy.
Let’s try to simplify matters. Take a persona, and understand that persona’s journey, i.e., tie one journey to each persona. Simplify. And with your hypothesis on the journeys taken by each persona, the next step is to test your hypotheses through research.
Don’t stop with personas. Take the next step and understand that persona’s buyer’s journey.
Have a comment? Email it to email@example.com or comment below. I’ll publish it here.
Today’s curated articles collected for your quick review:
Making your social channel a lively and vibrant community, isn't such an easy task. It’s great you read best practices from other brands, but just copying these is not enough to stand out from your competition.
Excerpted from article intro: "WordPress is not as SEO friendly as you'd think. This guide will show you the necessary steps to optimize a WordPress website, focusing on modifications that apply to SEO. Here are some quick links to jump to each step:
Step 1: Privacy settings during development; Step 2: Permalink Settings - Search engine friendly URLs; Step 3: Rename the Uncategorized category; Step 4: Customized page titles & meta tags with the All in One SEO Pack plugin; Step 5: Reduce 404 errors with the Category Pagination Fix plugin; Step 6: Remove unnecessary links to images with the Remove Link URL plugin; Step 7: Autogenerated HTML & XML Sitemaps; Step 8: Google Analytics for WordPress; Step 9: Responsive theme; Step 10: Review & optimize your theme code; Step 11: Optimizing your .htaccess file; Step 12: Optimizing your robots.txt file."
An easy-to-follow LinkedIn Infographic that isn't necessarily for those creating their profile for the first time... Maintenance and the occasional "Spring cleaning" of your profile is key to keep it doing exactly what it's there to do. You know; the reasons you jumped on the wagon in the first place; i.e. to show case how awesome you are, let people know what you have to offer and who you're best suited to partner with, and the obvious - maximize your reach to employers, candidates, clients, industry colleagues, the world!
"Google+ isn’t only a social network. It’s the very backbone (and future) of Google itself.
If you’re a writer, this is either going to be very good for your career, or you’ll risk becoming relatively invisible online.
If you’d like to land solidly in the former camp of writers, the question becomes one of how to use Google+ to further your own goals.
With that in mind, I’ve put together an infographic for you that outlines 64 strategies that every writer and content producer can put into action, and start reaping the rewards of intelligently engaging with Google+..."
Never has social media marketing been more critical to the success of your business than in 2013. Check out these statistics that paint the picture. (20% of Facebook users have purchased something because of ads or comments they saw there.
For content marketing, the problem isn’t necessarily with content itself; it’s the lack of quality content.
Ashlyn Maguire's insight:
Content creation IS writing. So this message is right-on. I'll also agree that - yes, writing is hard. The people who enjoy writing are already making a living from it. They are called authors. For the rest of us we have to try a bit harder. But that doesn't mean we be successful at writing. It just means that as it relates to content optimization, it will take us a bit more time to get there. I encourage you to have patience because as the saying goes; anything worth doing is worth doing well. And the only way to get there is through diligent practice. Happy writing fellow curators!
This is guide will help you maximize your impact on social media networks The goal is simple: maximize impact, clicks, and traffic to your blog.
You need to make sure that your messages look as good as possible on each network. By following the best practices associated with each social network you:
You become more likely to “catch the eye” of your intended audience.Become more likely to gain click-throughs, retweets, and shares.You know that you did everything you could to maximize your reach.You give yourself an edge over your competition.You increase your reach and SEO value.If you are sharing blog content, you finally do it justice.
We have collected the latest statistics about WordPress in 2013. Without a doubt, WordPress is the fastest-growing and most popular content management system in the world! Share these amazing facts about WordPress with your friends!
Through the process of curating marketing technology articles, I have the opportunity to see trends rise and fall, sometimes quickly and sometimes strung out over many quarters. Of all the positive, upward trends in the B2B space, Social Selling tops all, and I’m continually surprised how it is largely ignored by all players (client, vendors, service providers, media, etc.). But the trend is too strong right now, and I think you’ll see Social Selling cross the chasm in 2014.
We can thank Jill Rowley from Oracle (Eloqua) for her seminal “The ABCs of Social Selling,” and if you haven’t read this, please do so now. And in today’s Alert, I’ve included three scoops that should provide you with the direction you need to formulate a social selling plan. Catch the wave.
Receive a daily summary of The Marketing Automation Alert directly to your inbox. Subscribe here (your privacy is protected). If you find this valuable, please share by using the links below:
In May, Forrester teamed up with the IT Services Marketing Association (ITSMA) and VisionEdge Marketing (VEM) to survey marketing leaders about how they demonstrate marketing's impact on the business. About a week ago I (finally) published Forrester's take on this important survey (subscription required).
Key among the findings: marketing leadership continues to use metrics to report on performance and justify budgets. But far fewer use data and analytics to analyze purchase patterns, fine tune the mix, and understand customer lifetime value - actions that can have a bigger impact on overall performance. The bottomline here is that marketing's impact doesn't matter if CMOs fail to link what they do to business goals.
To help CMOs shift their measurement perspective from outputs to outcomes and to put a sharper focus on business agility, I recommend four key actions to take:
1) Clarify which outcomes the business wants.
2) Go beyond ROMI to expose the full scope of marketing's influence.
3) Model and monitor customer lifetime value.
4) Measure existing customer value as well.
Sometimes I get self-conscious that I'm making sophomoric statements regarding the CMO and the usage of data and technology to drive the function, i.e., am I stating the obvious here? Then I come across articles such as Laura Ramos' above post, and I don't know whether to be shocked that this is still occurring, or pleased that I'm making the right call.
Digital marketing offers greater opportunities for businesses over the next year than more traditional channels, according to a new report.
When asked to identify which three marketing channels offer the greatest opportunities, half of brands (50%) mentioned social media followed by email (43%) and websites (35%).
In fact the top 10 most cited channels are all online, with the most popular offline channel being direct mail at 8%.
The findings come from the new Econsultancy and Responsys Cross-Channel Marketing Report 2013, which contains a comprehensive analysis of the use of online and offline marketing channels, integration of display advertising and use of mobile for marketing.
Only 20% of the respondents are retailers, so don't completely disregard the data, although I think 50% is too high/optimistic, and is setting social up for failure. For the B2B entity, social is a channel and a sales tool.
Email marketing is a blood sport. In the last 20 years, the only thing that’s changed with email is that great email senders continue to get punished more and more by email service providers.
Utilization of these list hygiene services can improve the percentage of emails that make it to the inbox, reduce your risk of being blocked by the Internet Service Providers, and reduce the risk of getting fired by your Email Service Provider… they’re worth the investment if you’ve got an old list or collaborating on one.
BriteVerify – tools you need to remove invalid emails from your customer databases, email marketing campaigns, or online newsletters and keep them out for good. You can easily drag and drop a file, share the file via the cloud, and get detailed reporting on your list without ever contacting the company. They also have an API if you’d like to integrate your email verfication with them!DataValidation – offers you an easy-to-use, customizable solution for maintaining a clean and accurate email database.eHygienics is a professional email verification company. They remove bounces, threats, protestors, litigators and all other perceivable hazards from subscriber databases. eHygienics offers real time API platforms which are used daily by subscribers worldwide.FreshAddress helps companies that depend on email to drive revenue by building, updating, segmenting, and cleaning their email lists.Impressionwise‘s data intelligence platform is based on policy-driven rule sets and real-time scanning algorithms that use a multi-layered approach to identify, validate and protect against a wide range of e-mail-based threats.LeadSpend – Remove harmful email addresses before you mail! Whether you have a single list to validate, or many, we provide several secure and easy-to-use list upload options.StrikeIron – Quickly and effortlessly verify and validate email addresses and domains to ensure their accuracy before you spend unnecessary time, energy and money, increasing your message deliverability by 90%.
This is an excellent reference tool. How many contacts have you collected over the years? Rather than use a mailer to clean your list, and ruin your rating, these tools should help!
Search Engine Marketing - Paid search visits have a 35% higher conversion rate for e-commerce websites compared with visits from organic search, according to a recent report by MarketLive.
Paid search visits have a 35% higher conversion rate for e-commerce websites compared with visits from organic search, according to a recent report by MarketLive.
The report, which was based on data from more than 200 e-commerce websites with over $1.5 billion in combined annual sales, found that visitors arriving from paid search links had a 2.6% average conversion rate in the first six months of 2013, compared with a 1.9% conversion rate for organic search visits.
Yeah I know: this is B2C e-commerce oriented. However, it should prompt the thought as to the efficacy of your inbound programs based on conversions, not visits, especially with regards to the inclusion of PPC as a part of your mix. Don't ignore PPC without the proper analysis.
Like it or not, you need to build a significant following on Twitter in order to take full advantage of the platform. These 17 tactics, including two brand-new Followerwonk features, will boost your efforts.
You might ask, why do I want more followers anyway? Twitter does little for SEO (at least not directly). Well, I don't want to get into a whole sales pitch for social media generally, but a few points stand out:
Twitter is a lightweight, frictionless, and serendipitous way to engage customers. It doesn't require an email blast or the customer actively visiting your site. Once they follow you, they'll encounter you on their timeline during the normal course of their social experience. The little pings and pops you'll have with them accrue tremendous value.Your follower count is a good measure of your influence, and other people see it as such. The more followers you have, the more you'll attract, and the more you can use your influence to drive customers, conversations, and engagement.The more you are followed, the more likely you will appear in the "Who to follow" Twitter promotion on the left hand side of Twitter.com.
Followers vs. the RIGHT kind of Followers. Big difference. Anyway, the author co-founded Followerwonk, so he should know the right way to boost your followers. Go for it.
Having your personal social selling command center will help you put all of the important social media tools at your fingertips!
I use HootSuite, after a few years of trial and error testing, as MY social selling command center. There are other tools, so you will need to pick one that is comfortable for you. You will need to build out these five screens to help you navigate and respond to the many sales opportunities flooding in via Twitter, LinkedIn, blogging and other social media channels.
Listen For Key Selling Triggers. Set up a stream to listen for key sales triggers. This action will give you real-time data on what’s being said about your discrete and multiple streams of relevant information, like Big Data and Cloud Computing.Observe Social Media Activity Of Key Contacts, Media Publications and Relevant Social Media Channels. Devise a stream for your command center that shows you all the social media messaging of your customers, completion, thought leaders and media publications. You can have all of your key contacts in one stream, or add streams to cover separate customer, competition, thought leaders and media publications.Message And Respond To Your Contacts. From your command center screen use a stream of your contacts or listed people to direct message (i.e., like an email for Twitter) your customers to start or respond in a private conversation, to reach out to non-followers with a Twitter mention to engage in a public or semi-private conversation, or to reply to any message that is directed to you.Schedule Your Content. Regular content creation, curation, and deployment are the dilithium (that’s the Enterprise’s fuel) to your personal branding engine! A command center, like HootSuite, will let you schedule messaging so you can ration your “content fuel” over time for better performance.Measure The Performance Of Your Messaging. If your content and social selling messaging activity is working, then you want to do more of it. When it’s not working you need to change it. However, if you are not able to measure your work, then you cannot make these changes. Your social selling command center can help you easily make that decision since that measurement data is just a click away!
You have three social selling blueprints in front of you: this one and the two adjacent scoops. With these three scoops, you can plan out your social selling strategy. You're welcome.
Here are 10 tips to get you rethinking what you know about social selling, and on the right track:
To build your company’s page following, start running campaigns geared toward people already engaged your company to drive awareness and call to action to follow your LinkedIn page.Make your Twitter profile as professional as your LinkedIn profile. Use the same photo across your social networks so you’re easily identifiable, and make sure to link up to your LinkedIn profile in your Twitter bio.Don’t be afraid to get personal on Twitter. It’s a channel to share professional insight, as well as things that interest you outside your every day that support your personal brand.Get your employees in on the discussion. Stop thinking of LinkedIn InMail as a general email channel. Leverage the insights you can gather form profiles and other social networks to indicate that you’ve done research on the person you’re connecting with.“Who’s viewed your profile” is a goldmine for helping you make connections with people who already demonstrate an interest in your personal brand. Monitor these visits and send personalized emails from sales reps who manage that particular account with a link to their individual sales rep profile.Cross-reference your profile viewer’s names with your nurture functionality in marketing automation and establish parameters for when it’s appropriate to shift from nurture communication to a one-on-one dialogue.Be insights driven and gather intelligence and social information that helps you prepare for sales conversations.Leverage LinkedIn to create personas based on activity, groups they participate in and, topics of interest. Look for correlating behaviors and defining attributes that align with your target buyers to establish propensity to engage, and even buy.Demonstrate real value in groups by participating in discussions and sharing relevant content. Sexton suggests a “4 to 1 approach”, to share four update items about news in your industry, customer and partner networks, and one promotional item that supports your company news.
OK, now add this to the adjacent scoop where I said you need to seriously examine eGrabber Account-Researcher. One more social selling scoop coming up...
Social Media Tools: Discover the tools social media pros are using today and get more out of your social media marketing.
The list of 14...
Mention was developed as a user-friendly replacement for Google Alerts.My favorite new social media tool is Addvocate.The best new tool I’ve seen in many months is called Swayy.eGrabber Account-Researcher is so incredibly powerful for researching prospects that it’s absolutely worth the $80 a month fee.Enter Compfight.Tagboard is my new cool social media tool.A cool social media tool that has helped me get a better handle on effectively managing my Twitter account is ManageFlitter.Socialbakers has an effective tool called Analytics Pro, which provides an understanding of how your brand stacks up against your competitors.Post Planner is a content management tool that runs as an application within Facebook.That’s why it was refreshing to discover a new free Facebook page analytics tool from Komfo.An interesting tool I recently discovered is Rignite, which helps monitor several social media platforms.One of the coolest social media marketing tools that I’ve discovered and used is SocialOomph.Zapier has changed the social media marketing game for me in the most dramatic of ways.She recommended two tools: FixYourFunnel (an Infusionsoft-specific tool) and Mobivity.
Your Action Item: click through on each (and article for additional feedback), and incorporate those that are appealing. For those involved with Social Selling, don't ignore eGrabber Account-Researcher.
With recent posts mentioning the rise of contextual and implicit queries, we are now seeing a deep personalization of search. This takes many forms, and has very real implications for our work as marketers.
Amit Singhal [of Google] is right when he says that "Answer," "Converse," and "Anticipate"—deep personalization of search, I called it—is going to change search as we know it.
Is this maybe the reason why the Search Team at Google is now called the Knowledge Team? Is this maybe the main reason for "Not Provided" keywords?
What I know is that personalization is already so heavily present in search that avoiding it in the name of a fading neutral search is not doing good SEO.
Moreover, personalized search is clearly telling us how SEO alone is not enough, but that content, social, and email marketing by themselves are also not enough to obtain a real and complete success in Internet marketing.
Personalized search is pushing us to hasten the destruction of silos between Internet marketing disciplines, and hopefully it will oblige marketers to change and embrace a more holistic way of promoting a business online.
The author builds the case that personalization has come to Search, and it’s a compelling case. Google's influence across its many offerings makes it a formidable tool, but the question remains as to specifically how the marketer can take advantage of Google's reach.
Excerpted from article: "If you don’t have a good landing page, it’s like going fishing without a net: you might land a big one on your hook, but you won’t be able to drag it into the boat.
You don’t want people to just visit your page. You want them to take action once they are there. So make it as easy and compelling as possible for them by including these elements found in a landing page that CONVERTS:
C = Clear Call to Action O = Offer N = Narrow Focus V = VIA: Very Important Attributes E = Effective Headline R = Resolution-Savvy Layout T = Tidy Visuals S = Social Proof
CLEAR CALL TO ACTION: Whatever it is you’ve decided will move people further along your conversion funnel. That’s what you should be asking them, clearly and temptingly, to do. Don’t distract them with lots of other requests. The best pages accentuate only one CTA.
OFFER: An offer is anything you give your visitors in exchange for getting them to do what you want. This can mean offers in the traditional sense of coupons or discounts, but it also can mean a free trial, a free version of the product, a whitepaper, or a matching gift.
NARROW FOCUS: Research has shown that the more choices you offer people, the longer they take to make a decision. So the clearer and simpler you make your page, the more likely you are to get someone to take the action you want. - Do you really need that navigation bar? - Do you really need to talk about your company philosophy? - Do you really need to collect all that information?
VIA: VERY IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES: We’ve all heard stories of companies that reserved a catchy URL, put up zero information about what the site was for, and harvested 1 million email addresses before they even launched. You should assume that’s not going to happen to your company. Instead, you’re going to have to give visitors some good reasons they should do what you want. Those reasons are the VIA: Very Important Attributes.
EFFECTIVE HEADLINE: People coming to your site are going to decide in a split second if they want to go back to their game of “Words with Friends” or stay and see what you are all about. A key way to keep them is to tell them in plain language what your site is all about.
RESOLUTION-SAVVY LAYOUT: Do you know that there are people out there still surfing the web on 800 x 600 monitors? Keep the most essential parts of your message – logo, headline, call to action, a supporting visual – in the center top of the screen, with supporting messaging lower down on the page.
TIDY VISUALS: As with the headline, distracting elements can work when you’re trying to get attention. But when people are on your site, you don’t want to sidetrack them with a bunch of visual junk.
SOCIAL PROOF: As social creatures, humans tend to place greater value on things that other people have already approved. That is why most sites will tend to display evidence of such social validation."
In the original article there are more information about: "Considerations for strategy", "Considerations for design", "The cautionary tale", "Doing it right" and some examples. Check out full interesting article here: http://blog.kissmetrics.com/c-o-n-v-e-r-t-s/
"The need to create high-quality content, however, has put many marketers in a difficult situation: high-quality content takes a long time to create, and many just don't have the time to do it.
While it'd be nice to say, "tough noogies, find the time," that's neither realistic nor helpful. So instead, I've opted to brainstorm a list of very quick things that don't add on much time to your content creation process, but will instantly elevate the quality of the content you create.
1) Fact Check: While being accurate may not actively add anything to the quality of your content, inaccuracy in your content deals a mighty blow to content quality. Set yourself apart as the industry standard for unbiased, factually correct content -- the stuff your readers can always rely on. That kind of reputation is how thought leaders are born, and it elevates you next to your competitors.
2) Include Data That Backs Up Your Points: When you're trying to convince your readers of something, data is a quick way to build instant credibility and convince your reader that -- to put it bluntly -- you know what the heck you're talking about.
3) Find Examples That Illustrate Your Points: Just like supporting data points can help you strengthen your case, using examples -- whether you're coming up with hypothetical situations or, even better, using real ones -- can lend a lot of clarity to confusing concepts for your readers.
4) Use Visuals to Illustrate Points: A picture's worth a thousand words.
5) Get Quotes From Thought Leaders and Subject Matter Experts: No one is an expert in everything. But the content creator's dilemma is that they're often asked to create content around subjects they only know only a little bit about. That poses a problem for content quality, to be sure. But the best way to get around this -- and this will make your life so much easier when writing about things you don't fully understand -- is to reach out to a subject matter expert or thought leader in the space.
6) Remove Any Jargon: High-quality content is easy to understand. Jargon, however, is decidedly not easy to understand. Remove any gobbledygook from your content before publishing it to ensure any of your readers can easily understand what you're talking about.
7) Do Some Formatting, and Incorporate High-Quality Visuals: Add some bullet points, some numbers, some bold headers, and some images to make your content look much more palatable, and much more high-quality. Not only does formatting and images make your content higher in quality, but it also makes it more engaging and shareable, too.
8) Have Someone Edit and Proof: A proofreader will look through your content and correct minor errors, like misspellings, misplaced commas, that sort of thing. This is important, sure, but it's no replacement for a good edit. An editor will actually work with you on the storyline, the phrasing, the order of your points, and help identify what's missing. If you want to instantly increase the quality of your content, hire a freelance editor..."
This is an awesome overview that I will be referring back to many, many times going forward to drum up fresh ideas and remind myself of the tools that are out there. Why reinvent the wheel or struggle through a project to eventually end up with a less than impressive result?
Furthermore, these all have GREAT visually pleasing designs and templates. Now this is coming from someone who hasn't yet dove in to become the 'user', but if something changes worth noting after I do, you can bet I'll be posting it - the good, the bad, and especially the SUPER, INCREDIBLY OUTSTANDING!