Tag Archives: content marketing

9 Reasons to Drink the Marketing Automation Kool-Aid

Marketing automation Kool-Aid

Would you like to reduce the cost of sales, attract more leads and boost revenues? Dumb question. Of course you would. That’s why it’s time to get over the “robots controlling the world” fears, and dive into marketing automation. Now for some motivation:

Cold, hard cash

  1. Companies that automate lead management see a 10% or greater increase in revenue in 6-9 months. (Gartner Research)
  2. 78% of high-performing marketers say that marketing automation software is responsible for improving revenue contribution. (Source: Position2)

More sales. Lower cost.

  1. Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. (Forrester Research via Pardot)
  2. Businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads. (via Captera)
  3. Lead nurturing reduces the percentage of marketing-generated leads ignored by sales (from as high as 80% to as low as 25%).
  4. The average sales cycle has increased 22% over the past 5 years due to more decision makers being involved in the buying process. (via Captera)

Blindside the competition

  1. Marketing automation software only has 3% adoption in non-tech companies. (via Captera)
  2. 63% of companies that are outgrowing their competitors use marketing automation software. (via Captera)

Ideopia can help

  1. 64% of CMOs have no process, or an informal process, to manage their marketing automation. (The Annuitas Group)
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More. Better. Faster: The New Age of Marketing.

The world is running faster, and marketers need to get ahead of it. By the time a conventional marketing plan is created, it’s quite possible that the ground beneath it has moved. Our brands still need strategic gyroscopes, but they need to be created on the fly. It’s time to shed the old rules and approaches, and get fast! Here’s how:

Write long-term, realistic business objectives. But keep the strategies to achieve them shorter term and fluid.

Knowing who you are, why people are excited to come to work, and why your customers do business with you: That’s the core of your marketing not the ad du jour.

Inhale information to feed your brain. Download a good RSS reader. Keep track of your reputation, the competition, consumer and technological trends. Follow your customers and the information they chase. How can you turn it into action today?

Build your content distribution network. It’s the key to achieving ROI with content marketing. Create engaging, informative, funny, shareable content and adapt it to every social media platform you have. If people in your group can’t create content, make it their job to share it.

Accept more risk. Deploy tactics quickly to take advantage of emerging opportunities. Learn what you can from failures and move on. Thinking is good. Acting is better.

Communicate more often across more channels. Content matters, but so does frequency. Tweet, Pin, blog, Friend, and Follow as often as it makes sense.

Be relevant. Concentrate on engaged fans, customers, and potential customers. Tailor content marketing to their needs and wants.

Recruit people within your company but outside the marketing group to join forces on social media.

Have more meetings to share information within your group, but make them shorter. Ten minutes is best.

Get good intel. Spend less time on conventional research, but more time with analytics and monitoring. They tell you what people are actually doing in real time, as opposed to what they might do in the future.

Use the Internet to speed up cycle time for research. Put online focus groups and surveys to work. For even faster response, recruit a panel that’s familiar with your industry.

Be tactical in the short term, but never stop searching for the big idea that could crystallize your brand and catapult you to the next level.

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Jumpstart Your Content Marketing with Ideopia.

It’s easy to understand why 86% of B2C and 91% of all B2B brands claim some involvement in content marketing: It’s a lot more fun than hammering prospects with 100s of (unreturned) voicemails. With content marketing you’ll just reel them in with tantalizing blog posts, videos, white papers and webinars.

Starting this month, Ideopia will allow you to do just that with our content marketing services. It’s an invaluable tool for lead generation and nurturing, and driving qualified traffic back to your website.

You may already use some aspects of content marketing, like a blog, social media, or a landing page. Ideopia will put some of these same elements together to drive qualified customers to your site.

The key ingredients are:

  • Strategy. Define goals, map out a content strategy, and a promotion plan.
  • Engaging content. Develop content that’s relevant to your brand and your customer. The possibilities are limited only by the imagination: white papers, videos, infographics, videos, promotions, and downloadable apps.
  • Promote. Use social media, email and web banners to push visitors to your valuable content.
  • Lead capture. Design landing pages and website forms to capture critical lead information, like name and email. If your white paper or video is good enough, they’ll be happy to give up the information. Sometimes this data will be exclusive to visitors who want access to specific content, e.g. a white paper.
  • Lead nurturing. Maintain contact with your prospects via email, educate them about your products, and give them attractive opportunities to become a customer!

Find out how Ideopia can orchestrate your content marketing program. Call Mike Bober at 513-947-1444, ext. 15.

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How to Create Engaging Content That Attracts Customers

Your customers are starving for fresh content. So feed them.

Content marketing has been around for decades. But with the rapid growth of social media, which keeps customers constantly engaged with your brand, it’s now crucial.

According to a study, 91 percent of business-to-business (B2B) marketers are already doing content marketing, and 33 percent spend a third of their budgets on it. Yet only 36 percent of those surveyed believe their content marketing is effective.

If you’re part of the 36 percent, we hope our guide to finding engaging content will erase your doubts about ineffective content marketing. But first, let’s review the basics.

Content Marketing Definition

Content marketing ranges from social media updates to Pinterest boards, e-newsletter stories, print articles, infographics and YouTube videos. Its purpose is to build brand credibility, legitimacy, and, most importantly, trust.

Quality content demonstrates expertise, improves search engine optimization (SEO), drives traffic to your website, paints a mental picture of your brand to customers, and has the capability to dramatically extend reach into target markets

Now that you know the fundamentals, try these tactics to find stories to lure new prospects, and to feed the hungry ones.

Leverage Case Studies and News from Major Customers

“Show, don’t tell.” You’ve heard it a thousand times. But it’s a lesson many brands and agencies don’t take to heart.

For example, industrial casters might seem boring to some, but not when they help build the Mars rover.

That was the approach we used for our client Hamilton Caster, a manufacturer of high-end, heavy industry equipment. NASA used Hamilton’s heavy-duty casters to build the Curiosity rover, the one exploring Mars right now.

One tiny nugget from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory turned into a priceless amount of publicity for our client. The story, “On Earth, the Mars Rover Rolls on Hamilton,” became an e-newsletter article, a press release and social-media fodder for everyone from distributors to competitors and consumers.

Put a Personal Spin on Your Brand

Let employees tell your brand’s story, like this example from our client Haag-Streit, a manufacturer of ophthalmic equipment.

For a trade show in Chicago, we interviewed a manager who lives there, and wrote a story on his favorite Windy City restaurants for the company’s monthly e-newsletter. Using his culinary wisdom, the blog post went viral on Twitter and Facebook, and put a name and friendly face on the organization.

Try these tactics to create your own personal brand stories:

  • Involve your whole company. From IT professionals, to product managers and engineers, everyone has different insight and unique views that cater to a specific audience.
  • Use trade shows, events and office happenings. Whether your company is attending a trade show, or you’re throwing a barbeque for a VP’s 20-year anniversary, use these opportunities for content. Don’t forget to take pictures to post on Facebook!
  • Interview employees for profiles. Show a softer side of your company. Profile your sales team and share their favorite sports teams, hobbies and personal stories to build trust and loyalty with customers.

With these tips in mind, don’t forget what determines the success of any piece of content marketing: quality of writing, and social sharing.

Don’t Skimp on Quality Writing

Engaging content starts with a solid writer. Don’t leave it in the hands of a summer intern, or outsource to a hut in Djibouti. Poorly written content will shut down your customers. But insightful, well-written content has the opposite effect, and will entertain your prospects and establish a bond with them.

Consider a writer within your marketing department, or hire a talented freelancer or an agency to rev up the content engine.

 Share Your Content on Social Media to Extend Reach

Distributing content on social media is as crucial as the content itself. Social sharing can dramatically increase your reach, and bring in new prospects. The more people reading your content, the more effective it is.

Once you have content to work with, encourage employees to share it on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Just make sure you define which platform to use:

  • Facebook is perfect for office happenings and pictures. Remember: lighthearted. Nothing too serious.
  • Twitter is best suited for consistent updates, like tweets about blog posts, news stories, press releases and more. Don’t forget to interact with your followers and share their content, too.
  • LinkedIn is where you target prospects with niche blog posts and white papers, and direct them to a website or landing page to capture the lead.
  • Pinterest is a photo-based social media platform. Use pictures to educate customers about your company – from product images to quirky shots from around the office.

For more information on social sharing, check out our infographic and see how the cycle can work for your brand.

Now that you have the basics down, and you can see that finding great content isn’t so hard, we think you’ll be able to feed your hungry customers a hefty dose of engaging content. But if this all seems like too much, you could always call Ideopia.

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Content Marketing to 20-Something Media Hogs

Young consumers are gobbling up media faster than ever and, as marketers, it’s our job to constantly feed the beast. According to a recent study in Advertising Age, millennials swap media devices roughly 27 times an hour, which means there’s never been a clearer call for fresh brand-driven content.

So what exactly is content? It’s a pretty broad term that encompasses social media updates, blog posts, newsletter stories, print articles, YouTube videos and any piece of communication for your target market. Content isn’t about hard selling. It’s about building and maintaining brand loyalty.

With that in mind, here’s what you need to know:

  • Content breeds consumer engagement. When you send out an email, update Facebook or make a new blog post, you build credibility. It shows you know what’s going on in your industry and you’re in touch with your audience. More importantly, it keeps your brand at the forefront of their daily lives.
  • Each platform demands a unique approach. Facebook content is more casual in nature. Twitter is quick and conversational. Blog posts are detailed, informative articles. And your visitors love to share tailored content, which is also more likely to go viral.
  • Good content sells without selling. Sometimes described as corporate journalism, it has the power to persuade consumers to buy without a hard pitch. If your company sells drills, try a newsletter story about how your tools helped build a fancy new skyscraper.
  • It makes your brand portable. When you consistently create new content, you’re ready to quickly adapt to the next big media trend. Whether it’s a new Facebook or super-sized Pinterest, you already have content ready to feed it.
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