- 17 Aug
How to Create Compelling Brand Stories in a Noisy World
from Jeff Bullas’ Blog
Storytelling has long been considered an art form. But now, it has become a business imperative as well.
Emotions are the Sherpa in the Buyer Journey
Market studies tell us that brands with interesting, original and engaging stories can sell more than their blander competitors. And the reason? Well, stories touch upon emotions. And this is not simply conjecture. In fact, neuroscience shows that human beings make decisions based mostly on emotions. And not on logic. And surprisingly, that is the case even in the B2B space that has assumed only logic prevails.
The human brain is hardwired to be fascinated by good storytelling. And your business can benefit from that wiring. To learn how, read the full article on Jeff Bullas’s Blog.
- 10 Aug
Is Hybrid Content Strategy the Future of B2B Content?
by Tim Morral
A majority of B2B marketers plan to reshuffle their strategies and prioritize the development of short-form content in 2019. A move largely motivated by buyers’ changing content preferences. But aligning content with buyer preferences isn’t as simple as tweaking the marketing budget. Nor is it simply a matter of creating a few more social posts.
Today’s B2B marketers find themselves struggling to maximize business value. Now, they are challenged to use social, video, multimedia and gated content assets to engage audiences. And to do so on a meaningful level.
We know from the experience over the past few years that short-form content works. But as marketers, we have seen that long-form content has it’s place as well. The solution? Integration. By integrating short-form and long-form content in a hybrid content strategy, B2B marketers can increase the business impact of their content investments and engage buyers in more creative ways. To learn how, read the full article at TargetMarketing.com
- 09 Aug
3 Tips on How to Create Branded Video on a Shoestring Budget
by Keith Richey
There is growing evidence that all businesses need to develop online video as a core part of their strategy. Consider these two points. First, nearly 50 percent of web users look for videos related to a product before visiting a bricks-and-mortar store. And, add to that, 70 percent of B2B buyers watch videos along their path to purchase. Now, those are certainly compelling arguments to use video, aren’t they. And this goes for businesses no matter which industry or size.
No Need for a Hollywood Production Team Here
The opportunity is real. Even if you are a small-to-medium-sized business with limited experience with online video. With modern digital platforms, even SMBs can effectively use video to increase sales and create brand awareness.
- 05 Aug
How to Use Topic Clusters to Drive SEO Performance
Today, it’s no longer enough to do keyword research. While this has served as the basis of the vast majority of SEO strategies over the last decade-plus when creating content, it is beginning to drift into the fog of history. Now, we need to think more holistically about our content.
And That Means Using “Topic Clusters.” But, What are Topic Clusters?
Topic clusters are a relatively new way to think about how to write and organize content. From now on, no blog post, article, or other digital content should exist only to include the odd long-tail keyword phrase. When you write, you must think about where your content fits into the bigger picture – a picture that a topic cluster content model builds for you.
But, why are content marketers and strategists using them? And how can you start using them yourself? Let’s examine the topic and see if it’s a good fit for what you want to accomplish in this article by Eric Goldschein on Jeffbullas’s Blog.
- 03 Aug
6 Psychology-Backed Hacks for Making Engaging Videos
by Clifford Chi
It’s only natural that HubSpot would do a lot of digital marketing. After all, they are HubSpot, and central to that activity is video. So much so that they have compiled a lot of valuable insights into leveraging the natural power of video in their marketing.
Short-Form VS Long-Form
One thing that they noticed was that their one-minute Facebook videos usually receive more views than their longer videos. That would be expected. But, the seeming contradiction to this comes from the fact that their long-form videos are their third most viewed video. And when I say long-form, i mean that it is almost four minutes long.
Facebook will boost a video’s organic reach if it deeply engages viewers, so they knew their videos needed to grip their audience from start to finish. Especially since it’s four times longer than the majority of their videos. If it didn’t captivate them, Facebook could squash the video’s organic distribution.
So, to maximize audience engagement, they implemented psychology-backed hacks throughout the entire video. Check it out and see the takeaways to learn how to fully capture an audience’s attention with these 6 Psychology-based Hacks for Making Engaging Videos
- 02 Aug
6 Great Tips to a Better B2B Video
Video has increasingly become an the choice medium for many businesses. And that is because so many have found it extremely effective to drive engagement with digital audiences. In fact, video snippets have become one of the top three content types used by B2B marketers in 2018.
Short . . . Medium . . . Long. It All Works
But short-form is not the only digital media tool they use. There is mounting evidence of the impact of long-form video content and social media video stories. The reason? Well, video content appeals to viewers at every stage of their buying journey. Whether they are just being introduced to your business, or are deeper in the sales funnel and looking for more information about your products or services. Video works for them.
With video marketing being one of the top digital marketing trends, now is the time for B2B marketers to focus on creating engaging and valuable videos for branding, lead generation and thought leadership. And if you are ready to start making your own marketing videos, consider these five great tips from Christa Tuttle on Business2Community.com
- 31 Jul
Research and Case Studies: B2B Audiences’ Most Valued and Trusted Content
from Marketing Charts
For content marketing to work, it must posses authority. That is the key to achieving the primary goals for content marketing of improving brand awareness, increasing customer conversions and increasing sales revenue. This is per a new report [download page] from Ascend2.
A Preponderance of Evidence Does Support This Notion
While this report may be a bit skewed due to the survey sample (which consists in part of research subscribers), there’s previous research to support the idea that data builds authority and trust.
- A survey from Clutch recently found that research and original data is considered the most effective form of content.
- And a Demand Gen Report found that over two-thirds of B2B buyers strongly agree. The use of more data and research would improve the quality of the content created and provided by vendors.
- Then add to that research from the Economist Group. They noted credible data and the quality of research analysis are extremely valuable. In fact, they are the factors most necessary to build executives’ trust in content.
To see more of the data and insights, read the full article at MarketingCharts.com.
- 27 Jul
10 Effective Tactics for Promoting Your Content
by Mario Medina
You want to make your content marketing program work. And to do that, you need to devote a huge amount of energy, time and resources. An add to that the fact that the creative process is not easy either. It simply takes a lot to create great content.
If a Whitepaper Falls in the Forest, . . .
But, even when you create great content, it might never be seen. That is, if it’s not promoted and shared. Content promotion is critical to the success of every piece of content. And that means that promotion is crucial to the success of your content strategy in general.
After all, the more views your content has, the more likely you are to engage a customer and ultimately make a sale. So, to make sure content gets seen and has a chance at generating leads, take a look at these 10 unpaid, organic content promotion tactics that Mario Medina brings us on MarketingProfs.
- 24 Jul
10 How-To Videos That Really Work And Why They Do
On the internet today, video is everywhere. And for marketing, it is at every stage of the buyer funnel.
Hearing is One Thing. Seeing is A Whole Different Level
As an example, have you ever learned how to do something with the help of an internet search? The answer is most likely a resounding “yes.” In fact, videos are an especially compelling way to learn how to do something online. That’s because, well, the video shows you exactly how to do it. I’m not alone here, either — most customers would prefer to watch a marketing video rather than seeing an ad.
So if you’re among the 45% of marketers who are adding video content to your strategy this year, there could be a lot of value in making videos specifically for those in your audience who are trying to learn how to do something, too. And in this post, you will see exactly how popular these searches are on YouTube and other platforms, and what you can learn from eight how-to videos about how to make great teaching videos of your own, all at HubSpot.com
- 22 Jul
Content Marketing is a Dialogue, Not a Monologue
What does the phrase “content marketing” mean to you? If you’re like most B2B marketers, when you hear it, you may think of some combination of email campaigns and educational content. And today, most brands use this tandem with gated content as a way to build their email list. And then they tend to deploy an email drip campaign to stay connected with the prospect until they are ready to buy. For most, that works well.
But one of the biggest challenges with content marketing is that all too often, we treat it like traditional marketing. We think of it as a monologue, as a one way conversation. We send out broadcast emails. We produce a blog and turn off the comments. We create an e-book. All effective but not for encouraging conversation. With our content, we have an opportunity to actually use our marketing to connect with a prospect or customer who is willing to actually engage with us. But that opportunity is lost because we dont engage in a real two-way conversation through out content.
In this post, Drew Mc takes a look at one of the three key takeaways from the content marketing trends report from Content Marketing Institute. He gives us his unique insights on this at the McLellan Marketing Group Blog.
- 18 Jul
Social Media Dominates Video Content Promotion Efforts
from Marketing Charts
Last year, Tubular Labs revealed that business videos experienced impressive growth on Facebook in the second quarter of 2018. No real surprise there. And now, in this most recent survey they found that the top channels for promotion were, once again, social media platforms.
This is a Really Huge Deal
Currently, over 89% of marketers use video as part of their content strategy. And that is not surprising considering marketers believe video converts better than other content. But how do marketers get their video content to their audiences? A new report [download page] from Wibbitz reveals that when marketers promote their videos, either organically or through paid ads, an overwhelming number turn to social media, even more so than their own websites or blogs.
Want to learn more? Then read the full article and access the source data at MarketingCharts.com.
- 17 Jul
New Report: Timing Matters for Email Marketing Success
by Dan L. Hoff
Email marketing is an ever-shifting landscape. What workd last year may not work now. And for that matter, what we used last month may no longer be generating the results we want and need from our campaigns.
Change is the Only Constant Here
It is a space that takes a constant flow of insights. And what better way to gain those insights than to simply look at how things are performing? And that is exactly what Campaign Monitor did.
They reviewed the performance of over 30 billion – yes, that is billion with a B – emails across 4.2 million campaigns sent last year. And the report [view original report] revealed some interesting new trends. Some of which seem to conflict with what we may have been using as current best practices.
So, What’s in it for Me?
The report looked at the full range of standard email marketing metrics, including best day to send, click-though performance and open rates. Then used those stats to actually establish a set of industry benchmarks. From there, they went on to actually explain exactly how we can use those benchmarks to improve our marketing programs.
They did observe some of the more obvious points. For example, they noted that emails need to have a clear call to action and that they be easy to read. After all, people are busy and may very likely be reading your message in a non-business setting. And we need to avoid big blocks of text that make it difficult to read. Plus, it is still important to keep the focus on the customer, not your product, to keep them engaged.
To see all of the data and to gain insights into applying the research to your individual email programs, read the Ultimate Email Marketing Benchmarks for 2019 report at CampaingMonitor.com
- 16 Jul
SEO is More Than Just Keywords and Links
The traditional ways of using keywords and links to build SEO rank is changing. As search has moved towards artificial intelligence, and now seeks to determine intent, the dynamics of what was good SEO have evolved. Now, instead of relying specifically on keywords we need to focus on new factors.
Ch, Ch, Ch, Changes . . .
Admittedly, the traditional SEO practices are not dead. But they are becoming more and more outdated. Today, there are a range of other factors that can affect your ranking results. Chief among them are your critical digital assests, your content and web pages.
And if you see that SEO and the performance of your digital assets is is important, then you need ot understand that SEO can be a full time job. And keeping up with the latest trends is difficult as the space becomes more complex. So to help, here are some general SEO tips to think about when writing content and building out your pages on the Heinz Marketing Blog.
- 29 Jun
The State of the Marketing Industry in 2019: 7 Trends to Watch Out For
by Clifford Chi
If you work in marketing, you know of content marketing. And if you work with content marketing, you probably know that it is a booming growth and ever-evolving ecosystem. And you know that it constantly forces us to be on the lookout for the next big thing.
The Never Ending Cycle
One day we’re creating pillar pages and topic clusters to please the Google gods. And then the next, we’re overhauling our entire social strategy because another Facebook algorithm update will flatten our organic reach even more than before.
That said, trends come and go every year. But we believe that there are seven core trends that seem to be here to stay. Read the full article to learn about the marketing trends that could move from hype to reality in 2019 at HubSpot.com
- 27 Jun
How to Make a Video: a Step-by-Step Guide
By now, creating a video to help market your product or service should be a no-brainer. It’s an easy, shareable way to communicate your company’s core message. It can also lead to a strong ROI. And we know that video has business impact. As example, product videos increase the chance of a purchase by 144%.
But, like many companies, you might not have the in-house resources to create a clip. Or you simply don’t have that much time to waste on learning video editing software yourself. And if you don’t have a ton of experience in video, it may seem like your only options are to pay for someone else to do it, or hack together a bad video on your own.
There is Some Good News Though
However, there’s a third option. Even with limited resources, companies launch with great video campaigns all the time. And to help you build solid, but affordable, content, here are six tips to create a great video at HubSpot.com
- 12 Jun
Why Podcasts? How to Leverage the Power of Podcasts for Your Brand
by Brian Byer
For businesses large and small, podcasts are potentially a huge opportunity. Currently, it constitutes a largely underserved podcast market. And it’s a market that is hungry for fresh content, especially in niche areas of interest.
Overlooked, Ignored and Grossly Underserved?
According to studies, nearly 30% of Americans now listen to at least one podcast on a regular basis. And more than 70 million people actively look for engaging podcast content. So, now is the perfect time for marketers to leverage this large listener demand. But, you may still be wary of the time and resources podcast production requires.
The podcast market is primed for growth. And the popularity of podcasts among consumers should not be ignored. But is podcasting right for you and your business? And how can you start to build a good podcast? To find out, read the full article at MarketingProfs.com
- 07 Jun
Is Your Content Following The Trend?
Most businesses have accepted or even embraced the idea that without creating content, your website can’t hope to compete. In fact, without it, you have no chance for search engine rankings, high visitor counts, or much engagement.
When the Competition Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going
There are just too many sites out there fighting for the same eyeballs that you want. And that means that if you don’t put something appealing and fresh in front of them, you’re going to be out of luck.
So, what’s to be done? To start, BuzzSumo did a study of over 100 million posts and came up with some very revealing data. To take a look at a couple of the more interesting insights and diagnose what they might mean for how we should shape our content strategy, read the full article at the McLellan Marketing Group.
- 04 Jun
Testimonials Are B2B Companies’ Most Important Marketing Tool
In today’s hyper-competitive world customers don’t want marketing spiel. Your B2B customers can smell a sales pitch a mile away. And they are skeptical.
But, What is it That Customers Want . . . ?
Studies show us that what customers want is balanced and unbiased information. And they want it from people they can relate to. Plus, they want concrete figures and results not buzz words and slogans. And well executed customer testimonials can do exactly that.
Testimonials build trust between the company and its users. And they help customers overcome any skepticism they might have. So, how can you start developing a solid customer testimonial program? You can start by reading the full article at MarketingProfs.com.
- 03 Jun
An Analysis of 912 Million Blog Posts: Length, Link, and Share Trends
by Ayaz Nanji
Ever since the advent of content marketing and blogging, the debate has raged. Short- or long-form posts, which should be used? And do longer blog posts tend to garner more backlinks and social shares compared with shorter blog posts? Does a headline length correlate with the popularity of posts? And most importantly, what share of posts generate the bulk of engagement?
Questions, Questions, Questions, So Many Questions.
To find out, Backlinko teamed up with BuzzSumo to analyze [see the original report] more than 912 million blog posts. The researchers examined metrics such as social media shares and backlinks to determine how certain content-related factors correlate with performance.
- 01 Jun
Empathy Mapping for Marketing Content: What It Is and How to Do It Well
by Linda Emma
Have you noticed that the best books and movies are so totally immersive you feel as if you’ve actually entered the world they depict? Which is why I’d argue that the people most skilled in content aren’t necessarily the best writers. Rather, they’re the ones who are able to empathize with characters so well that their creations seem real.
And when writing for marketing, you need to do the same thing. You need to connect with your audience. But first you have to understand who they are and what they care about. That’s where empathy mapping comes in.
So, What Is an Empathy Map?
An empathy map is a systematic tool that brings to light to your most likely customers. As you work through it, it teaches you how to connect with the people who will consume your content, products, or services. So, if you’re wondering how to understand what will motivate your potential customers, read the full article at MarketingProfs.com to find out.