Last week Henriette wrote a blog post about the importance of connecting with your fans on a personal level when brands communicate on socia (RT @voziq: How Customer Service on Social Media Helps Your Brand [Infographic] | Mindjumpers
We’re starting to see Saleforce subsume Pardot, as you would expect post-acquisition. Branding transition has started, cross selling has started (will it lead to a merging of sales teams?), and its content marketing strategy is changing (from advanced to MA 101). At what point will we see the term “marketing automation” fade away and transition to the Marketing Cloud. And given the marketing genius of Marc Benioff (remember when SaaS became the Cloud?), should we expect the CRM to subsume marketing automation functionality?
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Content - The popularity of whitepapers as a B2B content marketing format is declining in relation to more interactive, easily digestible formats such as video, according to a recent survey.
The popularity of whitepapers as a B2B content marketing format is declining in relation to more interactive, easily digestible formats such as video, according to a recent survey of the B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn.
Overall, B2B content marketing is seen as an increasingly effective strategy: More than 82% of survey respondents are planning to increase their content production over the next 12 months.
Other key findings from the annual report:
YouTube is gaining popularity as a social media platform to reach and engage B2B audiences. Facebook is losing ground. 61% of marketers use marketing automation platforms, up from 43% last year. The vast majority (93%) of B2B marketers are creating content from scratch.Only 34% are syndicating/curating content, and just 30% are encouraging user-generated content.
Source: the B2B Content Marketing Report, which was authored by Holger Schulze, the manager of the B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn.
Great stats in this report, covering a wide range of topics. And what's intriguing about the data is that it comes from the B2B Technology Marketing Community, ostensibly leaders in the use of marketing technology. You'll want to follow their lead, except their use of SlideShare, which is around 50% (should be as high as LinkedIn).
Four industry leaders offer insight and advice to enable any brand to attempt curation mastery with greater confidence and skill.
Content Curation Benefits
1. Thought leadership.
2. Market education.
3. Supplement content creation.
Content Curation Best Practices
Pick the right topic.Add your own perspective.Adhere to ethical standards and practices. Think in terms of the fair use doctrine and properly attribute content to its source. Detweiler suggests not copying and pasting too many words from the original piece of content.Create a content hub.
I'm a bit partial towards content curation. Having understated that, these rules of the road summarize exactly how I approach The Marketing Automation Alert. With regards to Content Hub: think BLOG!
Curious how other B2B companies are approaching their lead generation strategy? What about their technology usage, or their approach to lead nurturing?
Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads. (DemandGen Report)
Companies with mature lead generation and management practices have a 9.3% higher sales quota achievement rate. (CSO Insights)
Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. (Forrester Research)
Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (The Annuitas Group)
Companies that automate lead management see a 10% or greater increase in revenue in 6-9 months. (Gartner Research)
90% of business buyers say when they’re ready to buy, they’ll find you. (DemandGen Report)
Research shows that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. (InsideSales.com)
70% of the buying process is now complete by the time a prospect is ready to engage with sales. (SiriusDecisions)
61% of B2B marketers send all leads directly to sales; however, only 27% of those leads will be qualified. (MarketingSherpa)
The adoption of marketing automation technology is expected to increase 50% by 2015. (SiriusDecisions)
The marketing automation market is predicted to grow from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $4.8 billion in 2015. (International Data Corporation)
A quarter of all B2B Fortune 500 companies are already using marketing automation, along with 76% of the world’s largest SaaS companies. (Pardot)
84% of top performing companies are using or plan to start using marketing automation between 2012 to 2015. (Gleanster)
Marketing automation platform users have a 53% higher conversion rate from marketing response to marketing-qualified lead than non-users. (Aberdeen Group)
63% of survey respondents indicate that the ability to set measurable objectives for each of their campaigns is the biggest value driver of marketing automation. (Gleanster)
77% of CMOs at top performing companies indicate that their most compelling reason for implementing marketing automation is to increase revenue. (Gleanster)
Many changes going on over at Pardot as they are quickly engulfed by Salesforce. Besides the Pardot sales effort being brought in by the SFDC account team, their marketing has changed: from branding to content. Specifically, the topical content recently has been dramatically simplified to meet the needs of the MA 101 crowd.
The only problem with Google Suggest is that it limits how many keywords it shows you. Luckily, there is a tool called Suggester, which gives you all of the other keywords Google Suggest didn’t show you.
Step #2: Create a strategy
You have two main options to choose from… the first is to create landing pages on your site that focus around each of the long tail keywords. The second is to get other people to create landing pages on their own sites about your product that focuses on the keywords above.
Step #3: Optimize for conversions
The content on your landing pages needs to be optimized for conversions. Having call-to-action buttons that tell people to buy from you isn’t enough. Your content needs to be written in a way that helps encourage people to buy from you.
Straightforward guidance and nothing that should be a surprise.
I've distilled six bad habits that stymie managers and companies from taking full advantage of their data.
You prefer intuition over the data.
You rig the system.
You second-guess others. The true spirit of second-guessing involves withholding potentially useful information, then pouncing the minute a decision goes wrong. We've all made mistakes and practically all of us have been second-guessed. Just because the trait is common, does not mean it is not destructive. Withholding information breeds mistrust and pouncing leads many to make more conservative and easily-defended, but sub-optimal, decisions. One observes this trait all the time in overly-political individuals and companies.
You have analysis-paralysis.
You employ group think. Group think involves packing a decision-making group with people who think in the same way and ignoring those with divergent views or data that points in a different direction. To illustrate the impact, imagine a situation in which there are one hundred options, several of which are "good" and one that is "best. Group think is akin to limiting yourself to only ten options. You greatly reduce your chances of arriving at a good one.
You have misconceptions of or arrogance about data quality.
Break the group think habit. This may be difficult, especially if you've hand-picked your management team and their careers depend on you. It helps to have a colleague who will provide direct, independent perspective. Give him or her a fair chance to "tell you you're full of it" before finalizing any important decision. And seek far more diverging opinions when they tell you this!
As we move further and further into data driven B2B marketing, these qualitative roadsigns are an important part of managing the human psyche. Always a challenge to merge data with humanity to arrive at the best decision.
You must integrate social media into the marketing RaDaR model and understand how it supports each part of the customer journey — not just offering engagement but also enabling discovery and supporting exploration and purchase. In fact, social marketing tools and tactics can offer value at every stage of the customer life cycle and can support reach and depth and relationship:
Social reach tactics help people discover your brands, products, and promotions. People can't discover what you're selling if they're never exposed to it — and that requires you to use tactics that help your messages reach your target audience. Social media can help: Both word-of-mouth marketing and paid social advertising can deliver reach for your marketing programs.Social depth tactics help prospects explore and buy your products. Your audience is looking for depth when they explore your offerings. And the place to which people most commonly turn for such detailed information is a brand's own website. Weaving social tools into your own site — including blogs and communities as well as ratings and reviews — can offer detail about what your brand stands for and expose prospects to real customer experiences.Social relationship tactics build stronger engagement with your best customers. After people buy from a company, there are many ways they stay in touch. Social has a valuable role to play here: Branded profiles on public social sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter can foster stronger relationships with the customers you've already acquired.
The point: social media is not just a channel for content distribution, but a strategic part of the communications process with prospects and clients, depending on where they are with your attempted relationship building. So how does social play a role in your customer life cycle?
Mobile is forcing creators—clients and designers alike—to really focus in on saying one thing at a time.
Mobile…has forced creators—clients and designers alike—to really focus in on saying one thing at a time. Not only did things like the right rail die because the screen space just wasn’t there, but distracting and unusable designs quickly fell out of favor among mobile web users.
So it comes down to this: If your site is about the content, let it shine. Don’t crud it up with extra cruft. Don’t distract your user with the unnecessary.
The approach that brought us to the uni-columnar, mobile-friendly design ended up being so good for the end user that it even started trickling back up to the larger screens. We’ve seen sites like The Verge and Quartz make the most of these constraints.
Tweets, AdWords ads, Snapchat, Pins...
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo da Vinci
To bring some focus to key transition areas of your marketing practice, follow these three steps to help raise the overall excellence of your programs and performance.
To bring some focus to key transition areas of our marketing practice, I recommend these three steps to help raise the overall excellence of our programs and performance.
Map out all key intersections in the buyer's journey. To start, it's a worthwhile exercise to whiteboard all the different ways a customer could enter and move through our buying funnel. In today's digitally connected world, customers can flow through the funnel in many different ways. The goal here is to understand how messaging and follow-up can differ based on a particular buyer's journey.Create service-level agreements. Once the stages of the buying process are outlined, we can now better identify where key transitions may happen with a customer. Service-level agreements (SLAs) are a great way to outline what should happen during transition times, including to whom the customer should be passed (i.e., handing off a lead from marketing to field sales, outbound sales to field sales, field sales to marketing, etc.).Use technology to enforce accountability. SLAs are great in theory but can be even greater in practice when technology is used to help enforce accountability. By tying transition stages to rules in our marketing automation and CRM tools, we can create alerts letting marketing or sales know when a lead has moved from one stage to the next. And we can create reporting on how we're performing against expectations.
People are usually the weak link in process, and it's no different when it comes to marketing automation. For this reason I really like the notion of internal SLA's tied to KPIs and/or compensation plans: puts teeth into process adherence.
In the first stage of the buying cycle, Awareness, people aren't aware of you or the need for what you offer. Emotional content is indispensable at this stage. Triggering emotion gets you noticed because in the human psyche emotion is the signal that says, Pay attention, this is important! Our brains are wired to pay attention to emotion and new or unusual things.
Besides getting attention, emotions are how we connect. We don't care about something—whether a person or problem—unless we make that emotional connection.
Triggering emotion also increases memory. People don't buy in the Awareness stage. The challenge of marketing is to get people to remember your company when they finally get to the point when they are ready to buy. Emotion is key to that. Content that triggers emotion is remembered better than the same content that doesn't. Therefore, in the awareness stage, you want high emotional content and not much focus on logical content.
This is part 1 of a multipart series, but even if you miss the latter parts, the table above is significant. Particularly fascinating is the reverse bell curve shape to emotions over the buying stages. This table SHOULD impact your content marketing strategy.
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.