Here are The Marketing Automation Alert's best marketing automation-related articles curated today, Wednesday, 2/27/13. 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:
Featured Marketing Automation Article
Take a look at the latest data on the ROI of inbound marketing, and its impact on key marketing metrics...
ROI of Inbound Marketing for Traffic
1) 92.34% of companies using inbound marketing increase their traffic.
2) 85% of companies using inbound marketing increase traffic within 7 months.
3) Blogging champions as the #1 method for increasing traffic, with SEO in second place.
ROI of Inbound Marketing for Leads
4) 92.7% of companies using inbound marketing increase their lead generation.
5) 83.9% of companies using inbound marketing increase leads within 7 months.
6) "Other" inbound marketing techniques -- like landing pages and calls-to-action -- champion as the #1 method for increasing leads. Blogging comes in second place.
ROI of Inbound Marketing for Sales
7) 42.2% of companies using inbound marketing increase their lead-to-sale conversion rate.
8) 49.7% of companies using inbound marketing increase sales within 7 months.
9) "Other" inbound marketing techniques -- like landing pages and calls-to-action -- are the number one reason marketers attribute to their increase in sales, with better lead intelligence not far behind.
Great stats, and accompanying charts within the post. It draws on a new, full inbound marketing ROI report from HubSpot and MIT.
Tremendous market summary of CRM systems with breakdown. You'll want to click through to see the raw data.
5 infographics and free templates that will teach you how to easily create professional-looking infographics in PowerPoint.
We're not scooping all five infographics, but definitely want you to click through should you want to find an easy way to create infographics in PowerPoint. You'll want to bookmark this one!
People continue to browse your website, download documents, and complete forms for more information on topics that interest them. This is exactly what they have always done. The difference is that using behavioral marketing, interest and their real intent is identified. You only need to know what you’re looking for to discern between disinterested visitors and your next customer. By knowing how they got to your site, pages visited, forms completed, content downloaded, repeat visits to your site, you can start to discern their level of interest. But how do we know that people that visit your site are showing their true intent? The answer lies in their psychology.
...The internet provides a perceived feeling of anonymity that allows people to express themselves in ways that they might be unable to without feeling anonymous.
Now translate this to when a prospect is on your website. The pages they linger on, the links they find intriguing and click, and the documents they download are pretty accurate indicators of interest. Most likely they are not browsing your website with someone watching and therefore influencing their behavior on your site. The more they do these things on certain pages, the more interest they have. And therefore, the more likely their behaviors reflect actual interest. When you skillfully use behavioral data about the companies that visit your site, you are essentially benefiting from the positive effects of those people browsing in solitude and while feeling fairly anonymous.
Translating this into tangible action: your analytics should provide click paths and time spent per page. So then the question is: do high click paths and time spent equal high potential prospects?
It is possible to over-target your marketing message, which leaves an entire audience of potential conversions out in the cold. While you may see that customers are purchasing from very specific categories, it doesn't hurt to expand your reach a little to see if there is interest in complementary categories. Be systematic and decisive about how you target; don't make the audience too small, as you may be missing out on potential customers. However, you have to use caution when casting a wide net as well, or you may turn some subscribers off.
Targeting is a balancing act, and to find the right balance, you need to test, test, test. It's an interesting point made by the author: a recipient could be open to a variety of different offers that may not fit the target profile, so how do you take action not to ignore them?
One tactic that B2B marketers are increasingly turning to in order to alleviate many of these challenges is content curation. This strategy enables them to accomplish their goals while addressing the challenge of limited resources. While 57 percent of respondents are using content curation, it is still in its early stages, as 34 percent of marketers have been curating for less than six months. This is great news for marketers, as it means that there is enormous opportunity to select a topic that isn't yet being curated well, and really own it. With the right content curation tool, marketers can spend a small amount of time each day reviewing, organizing, and editorializing content that they then share through different channels to benefit their organization.
We have noted this before, and will continue to hammer it away: content curation must be a part of your content marketing strategy. Forget the simplicity: it offers a real value to your clients and prospects inasmuch as it is a central depository of topic specific content that makes life easier for your audience!
Our research shows a four-stage customer life cycle best sums up how customers interact with companies. First customers discover a product or service; then they explore it in greater detail; next they buy the product or service; and after purchase they engage with the company from which they bought, as well as with other customers. If companies create positive engagements they can drive new discovery -- either by introducing existing customers to additional products or by leveraging satisfied customers to pass the word along to others.
If you want to support this life cycle, you'll need to start looking at the world the way your customers do: As an ongoing sequence of reach channels, depth channels and relationship channels. That's just what savvy marketers are doing -- building their "Reach and Depth and Relationship" channels into "marketing RaDaRs" that leverage all three types.
Depth channels tell your product's story. Your website, your stores and your salespeople serve a common purpose: To give your customers and prospects the detail they're seeking when they explore your product and to guide them to a purchase.
Relationship channels serve your existing customers. Most of the people who sign up for your mailing lists or follow you in social media are satisfied customers. These channels aren't about attracting new audiences or directly driving sales; they're about staying in touch with your biggest fans.
Reach channels get you into the consideration set. Word of mouth and unbranded searches are the two channels your customers use most to discover products, followed by traditional channels like TV ads and in-store displays. Your purpose for using these tools is to encourage customers to explore your offering in greater depth.
The new report is Mix Art And Science For Marketing Success. The impact this fresh approach has on the B2B marketer is the way the marketer forms its communications around the different stages, and corresponding content marketing efforts that are required. This is a new concept that is worthy upon which to stay aware.
The steps below outline what needs to be done to create a landing page that will satisfy both the marketing scientists and the marketing artists of the world, while also improving conversion rates and the time spent on your site:
1. Start with your value proposition.
Try to indicate that your landing page is offering something of real value by using strong calls to action and benefit-focused language.
2. Create points of engagement.
Jeff Demers, Director of Search Engine Marketing at Wakefly, suggests that engagement on a landing page is a function of sightlines (where users look on the page), copy, and “things to do.” While it’s tempting to hide your offer behind a form, some value needs to be included up front. Aim for two points of engagement per page, one being a non-password protected piece of content like an infographic, video, or calculator, and the other being the offer that’s gated behind a form. Having this second piece of content that’s a freebie allows consumers to see the caliber of the content that you create without having to give up any of their personal information first.
3. Test all elements to improve conversions.
The best way to measure landing page performance is by studying data compiled through A/B and multivariate testing.
4. Fine-tune your Thank You page.
Make your Thank You page experience rich and compelling, and include additional points of engagement like videos, case studies, and links to deeper content on your site.
Point #2 is one that is new to us, and makes tremendous sense not only for the reasons delineated, but also for the trust that it builds between you and the visitor. Demonstrating value upfront establishes a quid pro quo that will be pursued by the visitor.
Here are ways to sift through the raw numbers and find meaningful information about how well your online content is doing.
Top seven metrics to watch:
1. Bounce rate
3. Traffic sources
5. Social reports
6. Percentage of new visits
7. Landing and exit pages
Another excellent primer on Google Analytics. If you're an SMB, please follow the infographic above to properly setup your GA account.
CMOs say that social media currently accounts for 8.4% of their marketing budgets, but that social’s share of the pie will jump to 11.5% over the next 12 months, and climb all the way to 21.6% share in the next 5 years, according to findings from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, which just released its latest CMO Survey. The forecast may be over-aggressive, though: last year, CMOs predicted that social would grab 10.8% share of budgets by this point, with the reported share this year (8.4%) about 20% below that mark. Nevertheless, budgets are definitely on the increase: the 8.4% share noted in this survey is up more than 10% from 7.6% in August 2012, and is also up from 7.4% in February of last year.
The latest survey shows that current spending (as a share of total marketing budgets) is highest among B2C-services companies (9.9%), with B2C-product (9.6%) and B2B-services (9.6%) companies close behind. B2B-product companies drag down the average, spending only 7.5% share of their budgets on social.
We highlighted the last sentence of the excerpt: given the need for B2B product companies to establish themselves as thought leaders and educate their audience on their products, we would've thought that this percentage would be higher.
What the Google Panda Means for Your Site
1: Higher quality content is a must
The Panda update zeroes in on low quality content and destroys that website within the search rankings of Google.
2: Managing a site's link profile is essential
A site will also be heavily judged on the company that it keeps. All those links that you traded for are now a burden on your website rather than a help. Two way links with low quality sites are the worst; however, even inbound links from spam sites are troublesome. Google thinks that you may have made the site yourself as a link farm and it will penalize you.
3: Unrelated content that cannot be indexed will be ignored or dropped
If you have not updated your meta tags or your anchor text contains a bunch of dead links, your site is paying for it now. If your content does not match your tags, then your site is paying for that as well.
Content marketing's role in SEO is undeniable, but throwing content up to the site without taking into account the aforementioned will work against you. Click through to read the details, and how you can re-index your site to Google.
- [The author has] focused on how to organize a team to design and manage a buyer-centric L2RM process. And I discuss the many new job titles, roles, and responsibilities that are now appearing in marketing organizations as more and more enterprises adopt an L2R strategy.
- The greatest challenge that B2B companies face in their adoption of L2RM is moving to the ideal organization while keeping the planes flying at the same time.
- As these marketing silos focus on their business unit’s products, their output tends to become extremely inside-out and product-focused over time. This makes the ultimate adoption of an L2RM process, which must be closely aligned to buyer journeys, much more difficult.
- The transitions can be best summarized as:
- From campaign management to inbound marketing
- From lead qualification to prospect engagement
- From collateral planning to content strategy
- From user groups to advocacy orchestration
The larger report can be found here (for Forrester subscribers): “The Skills And Structures For L2R Success.” We'v extracted important components to the article, but if you're a part of a larger B2B organization, you'll want to click through for the details behind the transition from silo to lead-to-revenue success.
Whether you’re a new or seasoned user, there are some best practices you can put in place to maximize your marketing automation’s ROI.
Before you even think about using marketing automation, however, you should have already done the following things:
- Developed a strong value proposition
- Clearly defined what does and does not count as a qualified lead
- Developed buyer personas
- Created content for each buyer persona mapped to his or her position in the decision-making process
Worthwhile to re-emphasize the importance of these prelim steps to the implementation of your marketing automation platform, especially bullet number 2. If you're not collaborating with sales, you're in for a world of hurt.