If you follow marketing trends, you know that content marketing is all the rage. But as with most marketing tactics, the key to successful content marketing requires a bit of sweat and strategy. You don’t simply write a blog post and click “Publish.” You need to target each piece of content at the poor, parched marketer who not only needs information, but who also needs it served in a refreshing way.
Creating Content that Connects to Your Sales Funnel
Develop a plan for creating content that is directed at all stages of your sales funnel.
TOFU: Your goal for Top-of-Funnel content is to generate traffic to your website. Try blog posts that address industry-wide problems and solutions. You can also, of course, use webinars and videos to deliver the same subject matter content. Be patient. When creating content, uou need to talk about the issues surrounding your product and to generate interest. Then you can link to your sales pages.
MOFU: Creating content for the Middle-of-the-Funnel should be designed to nurture this fledgling relationship and generate marketing-qualified leads. You do this by answering questions and providing buying information, valuable resources, and actionable tips. Once again, the form is incidental. It can be a blog, video, webinar, ebook, infographic, podcast, or slide deck.
BOFU: Bottom-Of-the-FUnnel content is aimed at converting marketing qualified leads into sales-qualified leads. To do this, you need to build trust, provide more specific buying information (e.g. price comparisons, special reports, etc.) and encourage action.
Creating Content that is Remarkable Content
Quality counts. Create the highest quality content possible. This is more difficult than you might realize. The constant regurgitation of the same content by multiple companies and vendors dilutes the quality significantly. After all, how many email checklists do you need to read that cover the same old steps?
More than words. Content should be more than just words. Include images as appropriate to make your point.
Design matters. A well-designed, attractive ebook, slide deck, or info graphic will generate more shares and likes than something that’s thrown together.
Density matters. It’s okay to provide the full body of information, but also include quotes, subheads, sidebars, and an executive summary. This gives readers multiple access points to your information without overwhelming them.
Include a call to action. Some companies put their own information and a call to action at the beginning of piece of content. But I think it is more appropriate at the end.
Optimize for search. You’ve already identified keywords your customers are searching for, right? So make sure these keywords are featured in titles as well as in the content itself.
Make it refreshing. Although you optimize for search you don’t want to overdo it and write for search. Instead, write for the people who need the information. Let your personality show through. It doesn’t have to be dry to be professional. In fact, the best content entertains as well as educates and enriches people’s lives.
Generate New Content Ideas
Read. Attend. Participate. This is key to generating new content ideas. You need to be on the look out for content-worthy topics. Are you attending a big event? That’s news all by itself, but you can leverage in-person events more effectively by taking along a video camera and interviewing a key presenter.
Are you following thought leaders? Sometimes, in the rush to build Twitter followers, business people follow too broad a group. Then, when they look for trends, they are inundated with irrelevant information. Instead, follow people who think and share information concerning the topics you want to include in your content.
Are you listening to customer questions? Your technical support or customer support departments are answering questions daily. Sit down with these people and get an inside view into your customer’s pain points. Then provide some answers.
Promote Your Content
Publishing your content is only half the battle; you need to let people know it’s available.
Share content via email. After your content goes live, share it with your email list. Most email services can be set up to automatically send an email after a blog post publishes. Include new content in your regular email newsletters. Or set up your email with alerts that are automatically sent after each time you publish a blog post.
Share content via social. Take time to share new content through social channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Similarly, make it easy for readers to share your content, using social sharing buttons. Icons embedded in your content will also help remind people to share.
If you follow this advice for creating content, you have a chance to establish your own brand, engage prospects, and achieve the greatest return from your content marketing efforts.
Performance Marketing Takes Many Forms
There isn’t a day that goes by when a new SaaS company invents a performance marketing tools with great potential. Tapstone did it a few years ago, and this interview with Jonathan David from Tapstone provides a more detailed look into the company and its offerings.
Tapstone is a brand new ad-tech company that enhances performance marketing by seamlessly blending together a demand side platform, a data management platform, and a media agency to provide a complete end-to-end solution that combines proprietary data, technology, and personalized expertise…
Everyone is talking about LinkedIn LeadGen these days. It is a social platform for business, a content publishing platform for marketers, a sales tool, a relationship tool.
All these ideas are correct and for B2B companies more true than ever before, as LinkedIn’s influence continues to broaden, now reaching a staggering number of companies in the United States and around the world.
For our purposes, we’re interested in another fact about LinkedIn. It’s the number-one social network for driving traffic to corporate websites and generating leads.
How does LinkedIn accomplish this where many other social networks stumble? LinkedIn enables marketers to target messages and interactions to the specific audiences, publish content that connects with those audiences, and then extend engagement on and off the network.
LinkedIn LeadGen Company Page
While LinkedIn continues to expand its feature-set, you need to master the basics to succeed. Everyone knows how to set up a company page, but very marketers or sales people do a good job. At its most basic, your company page tells users who you are, what you do, and why they should follow you. But you need to go a few steps further to leverage this opportunity.
- Optimize your company page for keywords – people frequently run searches on LinkedIn, so make sure you show up in results. This is very similar to the keywords for organic search on your website.
- Build out your company page with tabs. For mid-size companies, these might be ‘Careers’, ‘Products’, and ‘Insights’. Your ‘Products’ tab should be optimized for search.
- Use the Company Update to market your business to potential customers. Start a conversation about your products/services, employees, and brand. This is a powerful way to reach and engage professionals with relevant content across multiple devices.
- Add videos and other media (if you have them) to your product/service pages to further resonate with engage users.
- Add educational offers to your corporate page using LinkedIn’s three panel slider bar with the goal of converting anonymous visitors into marketing qualified leads.
LinkedIn LeadGen: Personal page
Your prospects probably won’t stop their search with your corporate page. They will look you up and visit your personal LinkedIn profile as well. Make sure this profile page is complete, accurate, and consistent your company’s brand and message.
Optimizing LinkedIn Company Updates
Are your updates up to snuff? To dramatically increase engagement and overall reach:
- Optimize introductions and headlines, just as you would with email. Add your point of view, ask thought-provoking questions, and include a clear call to action.
- Use a compelling image to stand out from the crowd.
- Keep your audience’s attention as you would with a blog, with quality content, and timely information.
LinkedIn LeadGen Sponsored Updates
While standard company updates are a logical way to connect with your existing company followers, sometimes you want to reach beyond your network, especially when you’re just getting started and your network is small.
This is the job of Sponsored Updates, which are paid promotions of status updates that can be viewed by both followers and targeted users currently outside your network. These appear in context, alongside high-quality content from other sources.
Use Sponsored Updates to generate quality leads from your best articles, images, infographics, PDFs, presentations, and videos.
Sponsored Updates allow you to include or exclude targeted users based on a broad range of criteria. You can define your audience using criteria such as location, company size, industry, job function, gender, age, group associations, school names, and more. Engagement metrics are readily available — and in near real time.
LinkedIn Display Ads
Display ads on LinkedIn are another powerful tool to drive traffic to your website. Your ads can appear on profile pages, home pages, inbox, search results pages, and groups pages. Display Ad formats leverage the unique depth of LinkedIn’s member profile information, offering targeting designed to drive engagement, relevance and response.
CPC ads, similar to Adwords, get your message out quickly and easily. Of course, you only pay for clicks. The big difference between these ads and Google ads, is that you can target your audience in uniquely powerful ways. These is ideal for lead generation as it maps lead data to key demographics you are already tracking. the other difference is that can add images or use video ads — at a premium price — to enhance results.
Sponsored InMail: Deliver Directly to Members’ Inboxes
LinkedIn also offers Sponsored InMail, which you can use to reach your high-value, targeted prospects with persuasive messages. Again, you can target recipients using LinkedIn profile attributes.
Sponsored InMails have high visibility on LinkedIn, appearing prominently on the LinkedIn homepage and in members’ inboxes. What’s more, you can enhance the reach of your message by including social media widgets to enable your audience to quickly and easily share your message with likeminded professionals.
LinkedIn Activities that will Sweeten Results
There are a lot of other things you can do to take advantage of LinkedIn. I’ve only skimmed the surface of this unique social media platform. Here are a couple of boilerplate activities that you definitely shouldn’t ignore:
- Share educational information from your blog
- Join up to 50 groups where your prospects have joined
- Share educational information with your groups as allowed
- Keep an eye on who has viewed your profile
- Recommend to prospects and clients that they should follow your corporate page
If you have other ideas, please share them. Everyone will benefit.
SEO Is For Everyone
SEO these days involves having a strong, well thought out keyword strategy. While your choice of keywords plays an essential role in your rankings, it’s important not to overdo it.
More is not always better in the world of SEO. As a general rule, you should not use more than five keywords or keyword phrases in any given article. For maximum results, at HiveMind Studios, we follow a tight 5-step program:
- Initial Ranking Report – to establish a baseline
- On-Page Optimization – making changes to your website to increase ranking
- Directory Submissions – submitting information to search engines and directories
- Link Building and Link Management – creating high quality links back to your site
- Ongoing SEO – to compensate for algorithm changes by Google, Yahoo and Bing
Whether you’re promoting an idea, a product, or a service, it’s essential for your website to feature great SEO content that captivates your audience. Well-written, properly optimised articles and blog posts will not…
Does Twitter make you nervous? Follow our insights to be less confused and be empowered with knowledge.
For example, how do you make sense of so many simple social interactions, relevant to only one or two people? Or how do you move beyond shameless self-promotion tactics to generate authentic, engaging content, relevant to an industry rather than an individual? And how do you use Twitter to grab leads, convert sales and grow your business?
If you’ve asked yourself or your marketing team similar questions, we’ve got the answers lined up and ready to talk.
Twitter for Lead Generation
You can make Twitter one of the usual suspects in your campaigns to foster continuous, real-time engagement with your customers and prospects. You can spread the word about specific product offerings, and provide a forum for potential customers to learn more. Best of all, Twitter offers many opportunities for marketers to generate and collect leads.
Enter hashtags, the clickable tagging system that presents a fantastic opportunity for content marketers to identify social media conversations relevant to their business and get their content in front of the right people. Thanks to hashtags, Twitter is now a vibrant, interactive community where businesses can generate leads, and thought leaders can discuss relevant industry topics.
Promoted Tweets for Twitter LeadGen
To help with lead generation efforts, Twitter offers Promoted Tweets. These paid ads appear in a user’s feed, targeted to followers and users who fit specific criteria, such as:
- Keywords in timeline
- Similarity to existing followers
Use Promoted Tweets to provide timely and engaging offers. You can do something promotional like a contest, upcoming event, or demo or you can simply provide links to engaging thought leadership.
To track leads, you should connect Promoted Tweets to landing pages, where you can capture information.
Promoted Tweets in Twitter Searches
Much like Google Adwords or Bing paid search ads, you can also have Promoted Tweets appear in Twitter searches, based on particular keywords and hashtags. These are ideal for promoting fresh, relevant content offers, generating click-through rates between 8% and 17%.
You can also capitalize on key industry events, using Promoted Tweets in search results, to join relevant, timely conversations. By targeting event-specific hashtags and relevant keywords, you can tap into prime real-time lead-generating opportunities.
Promoted Accounts and Trends
Twitter also offers two additional promoted advertising options: Promoted Accounts and Promoted Trends.
Promoted Account ads enable businesses to make their Twitter accounts show up under the ‘Who to follow’ list. This is targeted based on who a user typically follows, (e.g. a similar advertiser or an industry thought leader) or on search results.
Although pricey (~$200K), Promoted Trends enable a business or an individual to promote a particular trend or hashtag. This appears on the left-hand side of a user’s screen, under ‘Trends’.
Twitter LeadGen Cards
As evidence that Twitter wants to provide value to businesses looking to generate leads, Twitter also offers Lead Generation Cards, which enable businesses to collect lead information directly from Twitter. When individuals expand a tweet, they see a a description of your compelling offer and a form with Twitter handles, names, and email addresses are already filled in.
Keep It Real
Self-promotion is good for business, but not always via social media networks. if you limit your tweets to information about you and your company, it’s not going to work. You need to follow the 80/20 rule: make 80% of your content helpful or entertaining, and make only 20% promotional.
Are you on too many Social Networks?
Social networks are proliferating. Just when you think you have the right group of channels, a new one comes along that fills a gap and gains immediate traction.
But you can’t handle them all, even with some nifty tools. There arenn’t enough hours in the day and the returns are good, but not good enough to devote large teams to the effort (unless you’re a very large company.
Engaging in Social Networks and even Blogging require a lot – creating awesome content , designing , moderating comments , commenting on other blogs, guest posting , … And social media is just a part of it. There are over 200 social sites (at least according to Wikipedia ), but does this…