How to make the most of your content offers

How to Make the Most of Your Ebook or Whitepaper – A Step By Step Guide

Creating downloadable Ebooks, whitepapers, templates, check lists, or other content offer with information so valuable that people would pay for it is a pillar of effective online marketing or “inbound” marketing. When you create remarkable and useful content, you’re able to build and segment your email lists for more effective marketing and lead follow-up.

But just how do you get from a content offer to a useful email list and lead nurturing process? And how do you get people to sign up for your offer?  This process can be overwhelming, but when you break it down step-by-step, nothing gets left out and your content can be a big success! So, let’s get started. You can also download a very detailed checklist here.

Promoting An Ebook or Whitepaper with Marketing Automation

You can promote your content with a combination of programs for landing pages, email and nuturing – and we’ll try to give you affordable options, but we prefer to use HubSpot. Not sure it’s worth the investment? Check out this …

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Are you marketing with empathy - or contempt?

Are You Marketing with Empathy or with Contempt?

Yesterday I got a new lead from my website. As is my habit, I checked out the “What’s your biggest marketing challenge?” field first. He’d answered, “leads.” Great! We love it when a company puts a high value on leads – generating and nurturing them is our strong suit. Then I looked at his website and read a couple of blog posts. It became immediately apparent why he was having a struggle with leads – and why I don’t think I can help.

Here’s To All the “Idiots” “Morons” and “Dumb Souls” Out There

Yes, the two blog posts I read on his site, before leaving in disgust, used those exact phrases to describe customers, potential customers, and readers of his blog. Wow, if that’s what you think of me, let me become a lead right now so you can help me stop being such a moron!! Sorry, a little sarcasm got out there. Gotta watch that.

True, he did not call out any customer by name, but he gave more than enough details so …

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Effectively managing your outsourced marketing team

How to Effectively Manage Your Outsourced Marketing Team

Whether you have decided to dismantle an in-house marketing department and assemble a team of freelancers, or you have decided to engage a marketing agency, the success of your marketing campaign relies on your ability to communicate.

In fact, the initial proposal and contract process is likely a good barometer of future success. Are you able to outline your goals and needs in such a way that your new agency or team completely understands your expectations?

If not, take a step back in the process before you sign on the dotted line. It may be as simple as making sure you outline specific goals. Ask your team or agency what information they need from you before they feel comfortable outlining a plan.

 Start with Goals and Measurement

As the marketing team works with you to develop  or refine your strategy, find out how success will be measured. Learn what data will be collected, how often and how it will be analyzed and reported back to you. Help  the team set realistic, specific goals and the outcomes that will be …

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Creating Buyer Personas PainlesslySQ

Create Buyer Personas Painlessly

With the rise of inbound and content marketing, you likely hear the term “buyer personas” more than ever. While clearly identifying your buyers in a way that enables you to reach them in a meaningful way and motivate them to action is extremely important, the term itself is almost guaranteed to make the eyes of all but the most dedicated marketer glaze over.

So, how can you create (or help your clients create) a detailed profile, outlining a specific set of traits, behaviors, goals, and motivators, without becoming overwhelmed by the technicalities? It can be as simple as thinking about an actual favorite customer (or two or three).  So, do that now – think about one happy customer you really enjoy working with. Then ask some specific questions about him or her, and you’ll have your personas in no time!

Don’t yet have a favorite customer? You can still try this exercise with a little imagination, but it will be a little tough. Do you have a personal friend or relative who would make a great customer? Try modeling your persona …

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Connecting with Customers - Virtually

Connecting with Customers – Virtually

In research prepared for The Hilton Family, Richard Avery, PhD, found that 77 percent of people see offsite meetings as a necessity and not a luxury, and that 85 percent of people see in-person meetings as essential to breakthrough thinking. When it’s not practical or affordable to meet clients face to face, virtualization technology can facilitate that in-person meeting.

Benefits of Making a Virtual Connection

During a face-to-face meeting, all parties can observe one another’s facial expressions, demeanor and tone, as AiccOnline.org explains. Sometimes when trying to convey complicated ideas in an email, your client perceive an angry tone that you didn’t intend and decide to seek another service provider. In a face to face meeting, he would have been able to see that you’re calculating risks as opposed to venting, and remain your satisfied client.

Additional benefits of meeting face-to-face include:

Ease in persuading some members of the team to adopt a different approach, Ability to ensure that all parties interact in real time, Faster facilitation of deadline-driven meetings.

Tools You Need for Running …

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How to find out what your prospects need.

How (and why) to Find Out What Your Prospects Need

Your blog readers are probably not raising their hands to tell you what you can do to help, so what’s the one sure way to find out what your readers need? Ask!

When someone downloads an ebook from my site, I often include this question in the form, “What’s your biggest marketing challenge?” The answers are incredibly interesting and revealing. Recently, I exported about 350 answers and had a look.

They run the gamut from the classic “Time” to the the almost pleading, “Everything…”  Some a little snarky, “filling out forms” or “getting spammed after I download something” (remarkably this person keeps coming back for more, so I think she was just being funny).

What to Ask

Our question, “What’s your biggest marketing challenge?” makes sense for us because, well, we’re a marketing agency. But what if, say, you’re a nutritional counselor? You might ask, “What’s your biggest health concern?” or “What health topics interest you the most?” If you are a corporate trainer, you might ask, “What’s workforce issue keeps you up at night?”

You can give a list …

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2014 Marketing Strategy - Bah, Humbug!

2014 Marketing Strategy? Bah, Humbug!

If I see one more “Your 2014 Marketing Strategy” post, I may scream.  This morning, someone suggested I write my own and I said, “Never!”

Let me be clear. This is not because I don’t believe in a strong marketing strategy, that I don’t think there’s some good information in these posts, or that I don’t think the first of the year is a good time to make needed changes. It’s because:

Everyone is doing it and, No one is really going to DO it.

What will happen in 2014 is that the companies who are committed to change and progress will continue to evolve and grow, regardless of the time of year. Those that are not will continue to procrastinate and get further and further behind, moving their 2014 “to dos” to 2015 and on and on.

I’m not leaving myself out of it. Oh no! Last year I decided that 2013 would be the year of the video for me. If you follow this blog, you’ll know it was full of content, but no video – or at least, …

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Tracking Phone Sales Sources - Sometimes a phone sale is not really a phone sale! #roi via @scalablesocial

How to Track Telephone Sales from Social Media and Online Sources

Feeling like social media and your website are not giving you the results you need? It could be. It could also be that you just aren’t tracking it well. Google Analytics Goals can help to some extent and software like HubSpot can pinpoint leads and customers by online platform. But what about when someone picks up the phone to place an order or hire you to perform a service? Should you assume they saw your television ad or found you in the Yellow Pages? Probably not.

The Effective, Low-Tech Way to Find Out Where Telephone Sales Come From

Ask.

That’s right. It’s low-tech, and costs no more than 15 seconds of time.

BUT, if they tell you they found you in a phone book (really?), ask if they have seen your blog, website, Facebook or other social channels. Oftentimes, a relationship online leads to trust, which leads to real-world contact and honest-to-goodness sales.

Afraid you or your sales team will forget? Add the field to your order program’s form and do not allow the …

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Content Hacks eBook

Content Marketing Hacks – 34 Time-Saving Tips and Tools

No time for content? Let’s hack it!

We understand. Creating high-quality content on a consistent basis is incredibly time-consuming. But if we want to keep the traffic and leads coming in, we have to keep creating more and more!

Sometimes it isn’t about the time. It mighbe be that your company currently lacks the as the resources and people-power to get it done. This doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker for you!

To help make your marketing life a little easier, we present a collaborative eBook from us, HubSpot, and a bunch of smart marketers. We all shared our favorite “secret content weapon” tips. Those tips that help us out when:

We can’t think of what to write We can’t come up with a killer title We need to come up with great content fast Our design mojo left the office at noon.

From planning and writing to designing and more, you’ll learn what the pros use to make the most of their time with topics such as:

“Turn client questions into content topics.” (#2) “Beat writer’s block with …

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Building Customer Relationships - Old School Style

Building Customer Relationships – Old School Style

When I was a teenager, my best friend Carolyn and I would spend countless hours doing I don’t even remember what. It was that kind of easy companionship that doesn’t happen with just anyone, and it started when we were about four. I remember going through each other’s school books and sneaking random notes in between the pages for later discovery. It might be about a boy, “Ooooh, RB really DOES look like Johnny Depp!” (am I dating myself here?). Or the even more random, “I hope your teacher doesn’t see this and make you read it in front of the class!”

What we were doing – consciously or not, was in fact incredibly powerful. Each was making sure the other knew they were thought of – often at unexpected times, in an unexpected place – and in a way that would make us smile. Using an inside joke or a shared secret served as an extra reminder that we have a special bond that the teacher, or anyone else finding the notes just wouldn’t understand.

Building Customer Relationships

What …

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