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Taking the Next Step after Implementing Marketing Automation

Taking the Next Step after Implementing Marketing AutomationAs important as planning is to the success of marketing automation, it’s also important not to drop the ball after a marketing automation campaign is implemented. Unfortunately, marketers often tend to struggle with the next step after implementing marketing automation. Most often, these areas include starting small, sourcing quality content, and implementing steps for passing leads on to sales management as quickly as possible.

Begin with Micro-Campaigns

Many times, marketers are so excited at the prospect of launching a marketing automation campaign that they try to implement too much too soon. The key to success is to drive some valuable activity to your marketing automation system right away. Launching small campaigns by targeting great prospects, including existing customers, can generate high-value activity. Try offering valuable information and educational content to encourage leads and get them excited about what is to come.

Sourcing Good Content

Among the biggest bottlenecks many marketers face is trying to source good content while keeping it updated, fresh, and relevant. Planning ahead can help to eliminate many of the struggles associated with sourcing good content. It is vital to the success of an automated marketing campaign to always have a steady supply of quality content. Consider the different types of content available, and plan to include a mix of content genres to keep things interesting. For example, mix it up between articles and videos, blogs and infographics. Sources should be updated frequently. The ultimate goal is to deliver fresh content that will help target leads to move to the next stage of the sales funnel without delay.

Tips for creating good marketing content.

Pass It On

The results of an automated marketing campaign are only beneficial if they arrive in the hands of sales managers as quickly as possible. Establishing report subscriptions to deliver valuable data from the marketing automation system to the right people can ensure that leads are acted upon quickly, before they grow cold.

Following these easy steps can help in getting data flowing into an automated marketing campaign once it is implemented, and ensure the greatest degree of long-term success.

The Anatomy of the Perfect Blog Post

Twenty years ago, few people could have predicted the power and reach of the internet. Ten years ago, few would have dreamed that social media platforms would continue to evolve and develop. Ten years from now, who knows what the Internet and social media will look like. But the reality of today’s business connection with customers includes the Internet and social media, and in all likelihood that includes a blog of some kind. While who posts, what they post, and how often they post may vary from business to business, what doesn’t vary is what it takes to put together a successful blog post.

That content includes several key components that are crucial to helping deliver your business’s information and message. From element to element—headline, intro, subhead, copy, to name just a few—there are ways that users tend to interact and information that stands out or gets lost. Constraints include length and keywords as well as time that it will take a user to get through the information. Because you’re competing not only with other businesses but other types of information on the internet, following guidelines for text as well as visual elements is important. This useful information can help you fine tune your marketing efforts online to enable a strong, positive interaction with current and potential clients.

Matt Banner expounded on the idea of writing the perfect blog post in his article, How to Write a Blog Post with Perfection: The Only Step-by-Step Guide You Need.

The graphic below breaks down each section of a blog post and provides tips on how to optimize it. Creating a share-worthy post is easy with this guide.

Click To Enlarge

Anatomy of a Blog Post

Via Salesforce

Optimize your Marketing Automation Content with an Effective Call to Action

Optimize Your Marketing Automation Content With An Effective Call To ActionLooking for ways to optimize your marketing automation content with an effective call to action? A call to action is one of the oldest and most important elements of web design, because it is what ultimately seals the deal and engages the customer to make an online sale or enter deeper into conversation with your company. A call to action is most traditionally thought of as a button on a web page that gets a customer to do something – such as a buy or download button. However, these days a call to action can be embedded in many different types of content and can come in many different forms – a well written sales pitch in an email can be thought of as a call to action, if it engages the lead to interact further with marketing material.

When Is It Appropriate To Include A Call To Action?

While a call to action is a valuable tool for many different types of content, it is important to know when a call to action can be misleading. As we’ve discussed before, if your content is directed towards a low-end lead, and is designed to simply remind customers of your existence and ability to be helpful, then attempting to sell to them can drive them away. Your marketing team needs to use good judgement when they try to sell your products, and should always take advantage of the tools your marketing automation software has to test different strategies against one another.

None of that is to say that you shouldn’t be trying to sell – just that you need to know when. With that out of the way, here are some of the essential elements of an effective call to action.

Simplicity

Whether the call to action contained in your content is an image or an invitation in the copy, it should always be straightforward and impossible to misunderstand. You should never miss a sale due to an unclear image or cluttered language.

Clarity

Utilizing strong action words can make or break an effective call to action. Words such as register, click, download or buy will provide clear direction to your viewers. If these words are built into an image or a button then use sharp contrast to make those words really stand out.

Visibility

Don’t bury your call to action. A great strategy is to place your call to action in a highly visible area, such as the middle center or in the top right corner relative to where the bulk of your content is displayed. Try to avoid making the user scroll, make it impossible to miss.

Urgency

Creating a sense of urgency is another important factor in a call to action that yields higher conversion rates. If there are a limited amount of items left or a limited time to get them, communicate that. Getting a potential customer to act now rather than later is important. That said, however, never attempt to mislead someone – breaking trust with them will hurt your company much more in the long run.

These are some of the most important steps in designing an effective call to action for your marketing automation content, but you can learn about even more ways to engage your leads at Lead Liaison’s marketing automation resource blog online.

How to Maximize Marketing Automation ROI with High Quality Content

How to Maximize Marketing Automation ROI with High Quality ContentHigh quality content is an essential element of modern marketing and one of the strongest factors in maximizing marketing automation ROI. Content is one of the primary ways that marketers generate, engage, and nurture leads. It is used to build brands, establish authority, attract new social media followers, and retain existing customers. All of these benefits can contribute to your marketing automation return on investment when they are effectively executed.

Here are a few tips on how to maximize your marketing automation ROI with high quality content:

Create Valuable Content

Every piece of content should provide prospective leads with real value. High-quality content will educate the reader and give them a reason to turn to your business whenever they require additional information. Basically it should be a subtle pitch that demonstrates your expertise while offering beneficial guidance. To consistently provide readers with significant value, the content must always be focused first on the concerns and needs of your typical consumers. Selling a product or service should also be the secondary focus.

Create Personalized Content

Marketing automation software generates detailed lead profiles based on a prospect’s online behavior and demographic characteristics. Utilizing the information in your lead profiles to personalize content will maximize ROI by creating a more meaningful connection with the prospect. It shows that someone is paying attention to their concerns, which will inspire loyalty and ultimately produce greater marketing automation ROI.

Create Newsworthy Content

Each article and email that is sent using marketing automation software must provide some unique and newsworthy insight. People that trust you with access to their email inbox do not want to read the same information over and over again. High-quality content that will maximize marketing automation ROI will offer original and worthwhile information that the reader doesn’t already know about your industry, product, or services.

Create Diverse Campaigns

Content includes more than just text. Every image and video can help to establish and strengthen a brand. Visual representations are more eye-catching and usually have a higher success rate than written copy on its own. You can add images to your emails and articles to grab a lead’s attention or create infographics and videos that use imagery to inform potential prospects. For additional information on creating effective video campaigns, please read How to make video marketing work for you.

Create Registration Forms

The content with the highest value should be hidden behind registration forms to obtain additional demographic information from potential leads. This will make it easier to further develop lead profiles and create more customize content. Content that is guarded by a registration form should offer a few trade secrets or particularly useful information that can’t be accessed elsewhere on your site. Individuals that fill out a registration form to access certain information will have higher expectations from the content they receive.
High quality content is a simple and proven method for maximizing marketing automation ROI. Make sure all of your content is valuable, personalized, newsworthy, and diverse. If it is particularly beneficial content, place it behind a brief registration form. All of these tips will help increase the return on your investment.

Is Your Website Conversion Optimized?

Is Your Website Conversion Optimized?We all want a conversion optimized website. Solidifying your sales pathway allows clients to not only buy from you, but to become repeat customers. A good experience starts should start the first time a customer visits your website and continue throughout the life of your relationship with the customer. Many small business owners don’t truly realize how much they’re getting in their own way when it comes to a giving customers a conversion optimized experience. Scrimping money by designing a site yourself or using a designer who isn’t familiar with the conversion optimization process is a common problem. For some business owners, an outdated website creates navigation and sales problems. Let’s talk about how to make your website conversion optimized for better sales and overall client engagement.

Tell Them What to Do

Your customer should be able to know exactly what you want them to do within 10 seconds of visiting your website. Identify the first step in your funnel and don’t mince words. If you’d like your potential customer to fill out a lead form, make sure that form is front and center on your website. If you’re selling products, make sure the path to those products is clear. In the case of a web cart, customers should be able to easily sign in, view the items in their cart and check out. A 10-step checkout process that over collects your customers’ personal information does nothing to keep the trust you’ve already built with your customer. Take a look at your sales process – can you simplify it in any way to make buying time shorter and more convenient?  Focusing on making everything simple is part of having a conversion optimized website.

Conversion Optimized Site Tracking

Navigation exists to help your clients figure out where to go on your site if they want more information. If you’re not getting an idea of how clients are using navigation to get what they need – and at what points they’re exiting your site – you could be missing valuable data that would lead to results-generating modifications on your pages. If you don’t have tracking on your site, now is a good time to think about looking closely at what your users are doing on your site.  Having a conversion optimized site isn’t going to do too much for you if you have no way of interpreting the data that’s coming in. Are you getting more sales after a conversion optimization? If so, why is this happening – or if it’s not happening, what can be changed to ensure there’s a difference in the future? If you’re looking for an information dashboard that’s easy to use and tracks data at a granular level, Lead Liaison is for you. Talk to use about tracking for your conversion optimized website today – or let us help you find out how to start your optimization.

How to Continuously Create Compelling Content

How to Continuously Create Compelling ContentI came across this clever infographic on 22 ways to create content when you don’t have a clue and I started contemplating the most successful ways to continuously write high-quality marketing content. Lead Liaison’s marketing automation services are based on constantly generating new content for a variety of businesses and industries, but occasionally even I get stuck when I am trying to come up with new ideas.

The never ending demand for content makes it hard for anyone to keep up. Most digital marketing and SEO strategies revolve around the need to constantly create fresh and relevant content that informs and connects with potential consumers. Content is a business’ best chance to demonstrate their industry knowledge and educate consumers about what there business has to offer.

Every article, newsletter, and webpage must be original, informative, and interesting to your target audience. This can be incredibly challenging for businesses that don’t have the time to constantly create compelling new content.

Here are a few helpful hints on how to continuously create compelling content:

1.      Research Your Competitors

Every online business is regularly posting new content, including your competitors. You can’t copy their articles word-for-word, but you can use the content they post to generate new ideas for your own company’s content. Try to focus on any vital information that is missing from your competitor’s articles or things that your company does differently.

2.      Research Offline Articles

Your daily newspaper, local magazines, and television can all be great sources of new ideas. Every time you come across something relevant to your target audience, brainstorm ways to convert the concept into new content for your blog or social media networks.

3.      Hire Professional Content Writers

Content marketing specialists and marketing automation gurus have built their careers on continuously creating compelling content for a variety of difference businesses. They know how to tap into your target market, create the right reaction, and maintain a reader’s interest. If it is too difficult to constantly create new articles, hire a freelancer or a professional marketing automation business to handle the content creation on behalf of your business.

4.      Ask Your Followers

Not everything you post on your blog or social media site has to be an article. It is important to request feedback from your followers to see what questions or concerns they have about your industry, products, or services. Every time you get stuck, send a tweet or update your company’s Facebook status asking your followers what they really want to know.

5.      Rewrite Past Articles

There are some industries where it will be impossible to constantly come up with new ideas for content, especially if your business or industry hasn’t changed much over the years. You may need to repeat previous topics that haven’t recently been addressed. Make sure to come up with some new information that will enhance the existing information and to change it enough that it will pass as original copy.

Continuously creating new content is not easy, but it is possible. If you are struggling to keep up with the massive demand for new content, try hiring a professional content writer. It may be more cost-effective when you consider the time you spend brainstorming and writing new content, plus you will know the content is worthy of your online audience.

How to Use Content to Enhance Your Digital Marketing Strategy

How to Use Content to Enhance Your Digital Marketing StrategyContent is the backbone of every digital marketing strategy. It is used to attract new followers, prove your expertise, and build relationships with potential consumers. Content can come in many different forms and needs to be regularly promoted to increase brand awareness and improve your search engine ranking.

Here are a five effective ways to use content to enhance your digital marketing strategy:

1.       Make it Newsworthy

Create content that keeps your followers updated on the latest developments in your industry or recent changes to your business. Newsworthy content is more likely to be read and shared by people who are actively interested in your products or services.

2.      Make it Visually Appealing

Most people think of content as only the words on the page. Content is everything you use to make your webpages, blogs, and social media profiles more valuable and interesting to your visitors. Content creation also refers to videos, infographics, and slideshows that inform readers using pictures instead of text. Visually appealing images and videos will attract more attention and enhance your digital marketing strategy. If you are focusing strictly on written content, you can add an eye-catching image or two to the text to make it stand out. Just make sure the image is relevant to the content.

3.      Make Sure it is Relevant

Consistency is critical to your digital marketing strategy. Every piece of content should be relevant to your industry and pertinent to your target consumer. Trying to cover too many topics or posting content that doesn’t suit your brand will drastic from your core message. Always keep in mind what truly matters to your potential consumers every time you create new content.

4.      Make it Socially Acceptable

Content should be regularly promoted on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to attract new followers. Although businesses use these sites for marketing, it is still a social platform. Social media followers expect the content on these sites to be easy to read and simple to understand. Don’t try to impress them with fancy words and complex concepts. Create content that sounds more like a conversation than a boring business brief.

5.      Make Sure it is Unbiased

Content that is filled with obvious sales pitches and boastful statements will not enhance your digital marketing strategy. Today’s savvy consumers will recognize the insincerity behind it and lose trust in your brand. Focus on the buyer’s need and cover all possible remedies, not just your own. You can make your product or service sound like the best solution, as long as it is not the only solution you offer.

If your content is still not effectively enhancing your company’s digital marketing strategy, you can always hire a professional content creation team. Lead liaison’s marketing automation services include high-quality content creation. Our experts specialize in creating original, relevant, and appealing content designed specifically to enhance your digital marketing strategy.

How Important is SEO Blogging?

SEO Blogging for B2B MarketersIf you’re not serious about SEO blogging, you could be losing a prime opportunity to compete in your vertical. Google made two significant changes to their algorithm just within the past six months, so it’s definitely time for businesses to check into their own SEO strategy and see how it’s stacking up against those changes. If it’s not stacking up at all, it might be time to rethink things and start developing a strategy.

Taking the Right Steps

SEO blogging is an important way to build keyword leverage, but that won’t do your company any good if you don’t know what keywords you’d like to market with. To find out what keywords are best for your business, consider first putting emphasis on what customers type in to find you. If you don’t know this information, Lead Liaison offers a suite of products that can help you identify those search queries. If you know customers are typing in a certain keyword to get to you, it makes sense to try to best your competitors on those keywords until you have top positioning.

You could also use tools like Google Trends (trends.google.com) and the Google Keyword Planner (attached to your Adwords account, if you have one). These tools will give you an idea of how you’re being found and can serve as a basis for your SEO blogging content.

Once you’ve determined the proper keywords for your business, make sure to put them into your social media profiles as well as any content you’re writing. It’s important to make sure you get as much visibility on those keywords as possible.

SEO Blogging for Your Business

The number one problem many business owners have with content creation is lack of time. If you’re busy running a business, managing a sales team and looking for ways to improve your business, sitting down to write a blog of any length is going to be difficult. This is why it’s beneficial to have an SEO blogging team that can help you.

You should be blogging 1-2 times a week minimum, with relevant blog topics that revolve around your chosen keywords. Keyword frequency without overstuffing, keyword placement and compelling content are important. Many business owners find this placement strategy and even the ability to create content are something they’re not good at. If you’re in this boat, why not get help from a qualified pro?

Lead Liaison is happy to announce the inclusion of content writers who can help with SEO blogging of any length or topic. Our SEO blogging staff members are seasoned pros who can provide quick and easy content of your topical choice right in your Lead Liaison dashboard. Sound too good to be true? Take the Lead Liaison team’s content portal for a spin and save a ton of time and money hiring expensive copywriters or doing your SEO blogging yourself.

B2B Content Marketing Trends in 2013

B2B Content Marketing Trends in 2013LinkedIn released the results from a 2013 content marketing trends survey of its B2B Technology Marketing Community. The overall impression from the survey? The popularity of content marketing is increasing; however, the tactics are changing. We’ll look at B2B content marketing trends in 2013.

Here are some key findings from the survey:

  1. 61% of marketers use marketing automation platforms, up from 43% last year
  2. 93% of B2B marketers are creating their own content while 34% are syndicating or curating content and 30% are encouraging user-generated content
  3. YouTube popularity as a channel to engage B2B audiences is rising while Facebook is losing ground; videos are the fifth most effective content format to reach B2B audiences and 73% indicated that YouTube is an effective platform, up from 53% in 2012
  4. The least popular content formats are printed books, online games, and podcasts
  5. Whitepapers dropped significantly in perceived effectiveness, moving from second place in 2012 to sixth place in 2013
  6. Customer testimonials and case studies are considered the most effective B2B content tactics
  7. The top three marketing goals for content marketing are lead generation (71%), thought leadership/market education (50%), and customer acquisition (45%)
  8. LinkedIn is considered an effective social media network for reaching and engaging B2B audiences by 85% of respondents
  9. 65% indicated that Twitter is an effective channel; this was down from 70% last year
  10.  39% indicated Facebook remains an effective platform, down from 54% in 2012
  11. 37% of marketers use marketing automation to generate leads while 36% use an MA platform to nurture leads
  12. 39% don’t use marketing automation in any capacity, down from 57% last year
  13. 55% say the top challenge for their enterprise is to find enough time and bandwidth to create content; the next biggest challenges are producing engaging content (49%) and producing enough content variety to fulfill the needs of marketing programs (39%)

The survey was conducted in June 2013 and included 815 LinkedIn community members from a wide range of industries, locations, and employers.

How to use Lead Nurturing Content to Convert More B2B Customers

How to use Lead Nurturing Content to Convert More B2B Customers While researching the latest lead nurturing techniques, I came across an informative article on B2B Content Marketing for Lead Nurturing and Retention by Caroline Watts. It discusses the impressive ways content can be used to convert more B2B customers, which inspired my own take on the subject matter.

I have always stressed how important quality content is to the marketing automation process. Any content you post must be relevant and informative if you expect it to sway an undecided consumer. It should be catered to their specific needs and provide them with answers that will help them make an informed purchasing decision. Learn nurturing content is critical for converting B2B customers.

Content is King

Content is probably the most critical aspect of a marketing automation program, since it is a company’s chance to communicate directly with potential leads. It can be used to build interest in a particular product or service while guiding them towards final conversion.

Great content is not only essential for marketing automation; it is also incredibly beneficial to your SEO efforts. Well-written content will improve your search engine ranking, which will inevitably drive more traffic to your website.

Lead Nurturing Techniques

The success of the content will depend on how the content is developed and promoted. You will successfully convert more B2B customers by ensuring that the right message is being sent to the right people at the right time. This will require lead profiling, lead segmenting, and a strong social media presence.

Lead Profiling Software

Understanding a lead’s needs and interests will make it easier to create relevant and useful content. Marketing automation software programs will track website visitors, monitor their behavior, and extract demographic details about each specific lead. Using this information to customize content is an essential lead nurturing technique.

Segmenting Leads into Groups

Instead of developing unique content for each lead, B2B buyers should be segmented in groups based on similar needs and profiles. Marketers will be able to convert more B2B customers by creating lead nurturing content that addresses groups of buyers. They will appreciate that the content has still be personalized to their needs.

Strong Social Media Presence

Another lead nurturing technique is to promote the new content using various social media sites. The leads that are captured by marketing automation software may not be same leads that are your followers on Facebook and Twitter. Cross promotion between mediums will increase awareness of the content and inspire more potential leads to click on the articles. This will also help your SEO efforts and increase traffic to your site.

Quality content is essential for marketing your business online. It is the most influential part of your website for both leads and search engine crawlers. It can also convert more B2B customers when it is used with a comprehensive marketing automation strategy.