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5 Steps to Develop Your New Content Marketing Strategy

Posted by advantagemarketing on February 16, 2017

Time for new Content printed on an old typewriter.

How do you unify efforts when you have different team members, initiatives, and strategies for your blog, email and social media marketing? You need to come up with a content marketing strategy that accounts for each channel.

Following these five steps will help you create a cohesive marketing plan.

Step 1: Define your goals

Clearly lay out what you want your team to achieve and when you want them to achieve it.

Step 2: Set brand and editorial guidelines

Establish the guidelines and processes that will enable your team to produce consistent content.

Step 3: Tailor distribution for individual channels

The days of individual start-and- stop campaigns are long gone. An integrated, holistic approach requires that your campaigns work in harmony.

Step 4: Have the team sync regularly

When you’ve integrated the plans for all your marketing channels, you also need to make sure your team is just as unified. Make sure you and your team meet up frequently for progress updates. Doing so is vital if you want to avoid the silo effect — keeping your team stratified can only lead to limited communication and creativity.

Step 5: Measure

The final step: Have your marketing team look at specific metrics and KPIs, such as unique visitors, newsletter subscribers or leads.

These steps can help you create a cohesive plan and give your team a better understanding of how they can work together to contribute to the overall content marketing strategy.

Source: marketingprofs

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, content marketing, lead generation, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, small business, Social media marketing, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

4 Tips to Make Your Content Marketing Stand out

Posted by advantagemarketing on February 2, 2017

Woman hand holding a white spech bubble with a illustration on blue background. This illustration has a yellow crown and content word into window computer.

Every B2B company needs a solid content strategy, including a social media strategy. This is the age of what social media-marketing expert Mark Schaefer refers to as content shock — where there is so much content that it overwhelms readers.

How can you stand out in this veritable sea of content that has flooded the internet? Is it even possible? The content marketing gurus at Hubspot and BuzzSumo have joined forces to conduct research into what works and what doesn’t in B2B content.

1. Size Doesn’t Matter

For years in B2B blogging, it was thought that long-form posts performed better — and while that might be true in some aspects, social media isn’t one of them. Long form posts did not receive any more shares than short-form.

2. LinkedIn Has Proven Its B2B Social Value

B2B content dominates the LinkedIn playing field — with an average of 25.7 shares, compared to 9.8 shares for B2C content. With all the tools that LinkedIn provides that are geared towards business and thought leadership, it really does make a perfect home for your B2B company’s content.

3. Don’t Count Facebook Out Yet

Facebook currently has 1.71 billion active users every month. With such a huge audience potential, how can you pass up this social network?

4. People in B2B Companies Want Content That Will Help Them Succeed

Focus on posts that will help your reader succeed. Whether it’s a numbered list or a how-to article, make it engaging and geared toward reaching one of a reader’s goals such as gaining more customers, increasing office efficiency, or succeeding in a leadership role.

Don’t go it alone! Contact us for help with your content marketing.

Source: business2community

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, content marketing, Facebook, LinkedIn, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, small business | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

5 Steps to Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy

Posted by advantagemarketing on January 19, 2017

People Meeting Connection Social Networking Communication Concept

Brand awareness is essential for the success of small businesses and startups. Done right, successful content marketing will not only generate more revenue for your small business or startup, but it will also help your brand build credibility, authority and thought leadership in your industry, which benefits your entire company all around, everything from building sales to hiring top talent.

Here are 5 steps to help you develop an effective content marketing strategy that will keep your small business or startup top of mind:

1. Understand Your Customers

An effective content marketing strategy starts with knowing your customers inside and out. So before you create any content, take the time to really listen and understand who your target audience is and what content they want and need.

2. Define Your Brand

Your brand is the promise you make to your customers. It’s what ultimately differentiates your small business or startup from your competitors.

3. Develop Your Content Marketing Strategy

Those who have a documented content marketing strategy are significantly more likely to meet their content marketing goals and achieve success.

4. Create and Amplify Your Content

To be effective, your content needs to be relevant and appropriate to the channel or platform where it will be published and consumed by your target audience.

5. Measure and Readjust Your Content Marketing Strategy

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. If you don’t know whether your content marketing efforts are working or not, how will you know if your marketing objectives are being met?

Don’t go it alone! Contact us if you need help building your content marketing strategy.

Source: marketinginsidergroup

Posted in B2B marketing, brand building, Business, content marketing, lead generation, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, small business | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why Should Your Small Business Conduct Market Research?

Posted by advantagemarketing on October 4, 2016

Why does your company need market research?

Insights gained from market research can help your company bring more value to its clients and stay ahead of the competition.

Recently, a CEO  of a mid-sized firm, for whom Advantage Marketing had proposed a much-needed market research project, asked how he should justify the project to his Board of Directors. Here’s what I told him: 

Are any of your board members pilots? Ask them if they would fly blind, without the indicators on the plane’s control panel. Market research is just like those indicators. It keeps you aloft as a business, and prevents you from crashing and burning. Right now your company is flying blind – how close are you to crashing and burning without valid market insights? If you’re not crashing and burning, you’re at least wasting fuel (money) by running inefficiently with things that won’t bring value to clients or get you new business.

With market research, the return on investment is almost always positive.What would be the value if this project netted you just one new client? Or, even better, if it enabled you to develop a new product line for a new market? It’s not certain that you’d get either, but you certainly aren’t getting either now.

Other benefits of market research include:

  1. Maintaining and improving the sales team’s focus.
  2. Pointing you in the direction of the most lucrative opportunities.
  3. Keeping your company relevant and future-oriented.
  4. Improving your decision-making and reducing your risk.
  5. Keeping you ahead of the competition.

It also avoids negative consequences such as:

  1. Plunging blindly ahead and investing money where it doesn’t provide value for customers.
  2. Staying the same as always and losing market share to others who innovate and come up with a better, faster, or cheaper way of doing what you’re doing now.
  3. Losing money because you’re caught sleeping while the market is changing.

Is your company considering market research? What do you see as the benefits of research for your company?

Posted in B2B marketing, Market research, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, sales and marketing, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Top 7 Best Marketing Reads For The Fall

Posted by advantagemarketing on September 8, 2016

Read any good marketing books lately? Here are 7 that you won’t want to miss.

  1. Duct Tape Marketing

    As a small business owner, you are really in the business of marketing.  The problem for most small business owners is that they suffer from “marketing idea of the week” syndrome instead of implementing a systematic approach to the problem of small business marketing. In Duct Tape Marketing, renowned Small Business Marketing guru John Jantsch shows you how to develop and execute a marketing plan that will give your business the life and longevity you knew you could have when you made that decision to go out on your own. Buy It Now

  2. Professional Services Marketing

    Written by  John E. Doerr, Mike Schultz, and Lee Frederiksen, Professional Services Marketing is a fully field-tested and research-based approach to marketing and client development. The book covers five key areas that are critical for firms that want to grow and become more profitable. It includes real-world case studies that illustrate major points, as well as quotes and stories from well-respected professionals in the industry. Buy It Now

  3. RESULTS!

    RESULTS! is based on years of experience and learned knowledge and is a powerful business tool. It contains the top tips and insights for getting results in your own business from 17 seasoned business experts, including marketing strategist Loraine Kasprzak. Their mission is to inspire more business owners, entrepreneurs, managers, and salespeople to achieve the results they want, so they can lead the life they desire. Buy It Now

  4. To Sell Is Human

    To Sell Is Human offers a fresh look at the art and science of selling. As he did in Drive and A Whole New Mind, Daniel H. Pink draws on a rich trove of social science for his counterintuitive insights. He reveals the new ABCs of moving others (it’s no longer “Always Be Closing”), explains why extraverts don’t make the best salespeople, and shows how giving people an “off-ramp” for their actions can matter more than actually changing their minds. Buy It Now

  5. Content Inc.

    In Content Inc., one of today’s most sought-after content-marketing strategists reveals a new model for entrepreneurial success. Simply put, it’s about developing valuable content, building an audience around that content, and then creating a product for that audience. Notice a shift? Author Joe Pulizzi flips the traditional entrepreneurial approach of first creating a product and then trying to find customers. It’s a brilliant reverse-engineering of a model that rarely succeeds. Buy It Now
  6. Buyer Personas

    Buyer Personas is the marketer’s actionable guide to learning what your buyer wants and how they make decisions. Written by Adele Revella, this book provides comprehensive coverage of a compelling new way to conduct buyer studies, plus practical advice on adopting the buyer persona approach to measurably improve marketing outcomes. Readers will learn how to segment their customer base, investigate each customer type, and more. Buy It Now

  7. Content Chemistry

    The result of thousands of conversations about web marketing with hundreds of companies, this handbook is a compilation of the most important and effective lessons and advice about the power of search engine optimization, social media, and email marketing. The first and only comprehensive guide to content marketing, this book explains the social, analytical, and creative aspects of modern marketing that are necessary to succeed on the web. Buy It Now

 

What marketing books can you suggest as worthwhile reads?

Posted in Book marketing, Business, content marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Professional service firm marketing, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Better Marketing: 13 Quotes to Inspire Your Thinking

Posted by advantagemarketing on July 24, 2015

marketing quotes to inspire

Let these 13 quotes inspire you to update and improve your marketing program.

Summer’s slower days are a good time to get inspired to revise and refocus your company’s marketing. Here are a baker’s dozen of quotes to help get your creative marketing juices flowing – even as you’re sipping mai tai’s on the beach.

The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself. – Peter Drucker

Word of mouth is the most valuable form of marketing, but you can’t buy it. You can only deliver it. And you have to really deliver.  – G-Eazy

Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department. – David Packard

Money coming in says I’ve made the right marketing decisions.  – Adam Osborne

There was a period of time in America where the advertising world actually went to the housewives of America and had them write jingles that would appeal to them. It was actually brilliant marketing. – Julianne Moore

I notice increasing reluctance on the part of marketing executives to use judgment; they are coming to rely too much on research, and they use it as a drunkard uses a lamp post for support, rather than for illumination. – David Ogilvy

When I meet with the founders of a new company, my advice is almost always, ‘Do fewer things.’ It’s true of partnerships, marketing opportunities, anything that’s taking up your time. The vast majority of things are distractions, and very few really matter to your success. – Evan Williams

For a truly effective social campaign, a brand needs to embrace the first principles of marketing, which involves brand definition and consistent storytelling. – Simon Mainwaring

In marketing I’ve seen only one strategy that can’t miss – and that is to market to your best customers first, your best prospects second and the rest of the world last. – John Romero

Permission marketing turns strangers into friends and friends into loyal customers. It’s not just about entertainment – it’s about education. Permission marketing is curriculum marketing. – Seth Godin

In my first start-up, I had an initial advertising budget of $5 per day total. That would buy us 100 clicks per day. At $5 per day, marketing people scoffed and said that is too small to matter. But if you think about it, to an engineer, 100 real humans everyday giving your product a try means you can really start improving. – Eric Ries

We all have jobs in our lives that we must get done. We reach out and bring products into our lives to get these jobs done. Marketing is all about asking, ‘What job is the customer trying to accomplish?’ – Clayton Christensen

The dream for many millennial women is to make a difference as social or political entrepreneurs. They are using the social media and marketing tools they have mastered to empower less fortunate women and direct them onto career tracks that women have traditionally avoided, like science and technology. – Gail Sheehy

Share your favorite marketing quote.

Source: BrainyQuote.com

Posted in Business, Marketing, Marketing plans, Marketing Strategy, small business, Thought leadership, Traditional marketing, Word of mouth marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

New RESULTS! Book Delivers Solutions to Drive Business Success

Posted by advantagemarketing on May 22, 2015

#RESULTS!

Check out my new book, which was written to help business owners achieve lasting, high impact RESULTS! in their businesses.

Are you ready to see RESULTS! in your business?

If you believe, as I do, that our thoughts create our reality, then you want to read my latest book. I’ve partnered with 16 other smart-cookie business professionals to participate in an anthology book project called RESULTS! Impactful Solutions to Drive Business.

The book is designed to help entrepreneurs and small business owners gain the information they need to have a successful business and see RESULTS! All of the expert authors have been through the same struggles as you but have come out on top with thriving, successful businesses and now we want to share that information with you!

In my section, Build a Better Marketing Plan, I zero in on the five simple rules for building a marketing plan and the seven marketing plan must-haves.

As my friend and client Don McDermott told me, “If I have a marketing plan in place, I don’t have to think, I just have to DO.”

Other chapters in the book will help you focus on
• Seven steps to living as a confident entrepreneur
• How to transform your leadership to grow your business
• Power dressing techniques so that you can look as smart as you are
• How a virtual assistant can benefit your business
• And much more!

RESULTS! is available in both Kindle and paperback versions on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1512138010.

You can also follow my RESULTS! book journey on Facebook.

Follow the whole RESULTS! gang on Twitter – track us with the hashtag #RESULTS!

Leave a comment and let me know how you are getting RESULTS!

Posted in Book marketing, brand building, Business, content marketing, Email marketing, Entrepreneur, Facebook, lead generation, Marketing, Marketing plans, Marketing Strategy, small business, Traditional marketing, Using books to market your firm, Word of mouth marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Busted! 7 Inbound Marketing Myths

Posted by advantagemarketing on May 1, 2015

inbound-marketingInbound marketing can be a powerful tactic for growing your business, so it’s surprising that more business owners don’t use it. But, according to HubSpot, there are some common misconceptions folks have about the how inbound works. Here are the top 7 of these myths – BUSTED!

Myth #1: Inbound marketing, content marketing, and SEO are competing ideologies

This one is the most common misconceptions. Content marketing is all about producing quality material for a specific target audience, which makes it a part of every stage of the inbound marketing strategy (attracting, converting, closing, and delighting), because you can use it to complete all of these actions. SEO is also a necessary component of inbound marketing, because making it easier for people to find your website will help with the “attract” phase. Content marketing and SEO are part of the broader idea of inbound marketing.

Myth #2: Inbound marketing and traditional marketing can’t play nice together

For years “experts” have been speaking about how outdated traditional marketing is, and that it’s not an effective long-term strategy. With inbound, you are gaining an organic audience that will keep feeding you with leads for years. With traditional, you are paying for a temporary audience. However, traditional marketing – such as advertising – can be helpful in the early stages of the inbound process, as a supplement to your inbound strategy, or to help meet monthly and quarterly goals.

Myth #3: No one is going to consume the content that I create

Creating and publishing content can seem intimidating and pointless in the long run, as most writers assume that no one will view their content. Not true! If you can create valuable content that is meant for a specific audience, you will gain readers, and create an active following. You don’t want just anybody viewing your content, you want the right people to view it, so that you can convert those leads into customers.

Myth #4: Creating unique landing pages is a waste of time

Producing unique landing pages is an essential part of the inbound marketing process, because without landing pages, it will be harder for you to convert visitors into leads. On average, companies with 30+ landing pages produced 7 times more leads than companies with 1 to 5 landing pages. The more landing pages you have showing up on search engines and on social media sites, the more opportunities you will have to convert leads.

Myth #5: Email is dead, or is dying

Headlines about common marketing strategies being “dead” usually come around every once in awhile, and they usually do not end up holding up, which is definitely the case with email. Email is still widely used by marketers, and most importantly, it is not obsolete, because it still brings in business.

Myth #6: It’s impossible to know when leads are ready to become customers

Knowing which leads are ready to buy and become customers can be difficult, but it can be done with precise attention to detail. If you can see a recognizable pattern of a customer checking through your emails and webpages, you can make an argument that a purchase could be in the near future. The point is, you have to be looking at your data consistently to see patterns.

Myth #7: Hosting events won’t help my business

Entertaining your customers is not about wasting money; it is about investing in the best promoters of your business. Hosting events will bring all of your customers together to discuss your product, service and expertise. Most people that attend these events are there to learn, so it’s a win-win situation for your company and for your customers.

What other inbound marketing myths have you heard? What makes them a myth, in your opinion? Tell us about them in the Comments section.

Posted in Business, content marketing, Email marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

7 Twitter Tips You Need To Know Now

Posted by advantagemarketing on April 9, 2015

Put these tips to work today to build your company’s Twitter presence and increase awareness of your brand.

Put these tips to work today to build your company’s Twitter presence and increase awareness of your brand.

Is Twitter in your marketing tool kit? It should be. Twitter allows your company to gain more traffic, gather more leads, and generate more customers. Here are some tips from HubSpot to help you make full use of what Twitter has to offer:

1. Create a keyword searchable bio

In the bio section of your profile, include commonly searched terms and hashtags to increase the number of times that your page will show up in search results. This generates more traffic and makes your profile easier to access.

2. Use eye-catching images

Including images in your tweets will make them stand out and catch the attention of more users, generating more leads for your business. Most users scroll quickly through their timeline, and only stop to read the tweets that look interesting, so including a picture will drive more engagement from Twitter users. The ideal size for an image is 1024 x 512 pixels.

3. Include GIFs

For the same reasons as tip #2, including GIFs in your tweets will tremendously upgrade your Twitter arsenal. GIFs that are embedded into tweets are converted into MP4s and play automatically. This is another great way to catch the attention of potential leads.

4. Include hashtags related to your content

Having commonly searched hashtags will help your tweet to be seen in more search results, but it’s important to not be obnoxious about it. One or two simple hashtags included on each tweet is the perfect way to generate more traffic and reach a wider audience.

5. Keep tweets short

Keep it short and to the point. Tweets with 100-120 characters generate a lot more clicks and engagement than tweets with 140 characters. Most users only skim these tweets, so keep them as succinct as possible without sacrificing content.

6. Curate Twitter lists to segment users

Twitter Lists helps you to organize users into groups. This can best be used to build strategic connections by allowing you to sort users that you are most interested in engaging with. Twitter lists can be also used to follow a separate group of users from those you follow. This is a valuable resource for targeting the users that you want to reach out to.

7. Engage with your audience consistently

Keeping your tweets interesting is only half the battle. Keeping your tweets consistent is the key to gaining new leads. We recommend that you send around five tweets a day, to stay relevant and reach the widest audience possible.

Put these tips to work today to build your company’s Twitter presence and increase awareness of your brand.

Posted in brand building, content marketing, Marketing Strategy, Social media marketing, Twitter | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Valuable Tools for Better Content Marketing

Posted by advantagemarketing on February 12, 2015

Check out these tools to help you make the most of your content marketing efforts.

Check out these tools to help you make the most of your content marketing efforts.

Make the most of your content marketing efforts and strategies by using time-saving tools.  These three will help you effectively manage your time and help you gain valuable insights into your competitor’s strategies:

SEMRush – Analyze how you and your competitors are ranking with SEO

This is a useful tool for monitoring how you and your competitors are placing on Google and the traffic that you’re receiving. By entering a web address, you can get an overview of the traffic you are getting, plus valuable information about keywords, link building and paid vs. organic searches. You can also see your competitors’ best keywords, discover new competitors and analyze their performance.

Use this data to evaluate your marketing strategies, keep the traffic that you do have and use the most successful competitors’ keywords to improve your domain rank.

Free and paid versions available.  Plans starting at $69.95 per month.

BuzzsumoDiscover and analyze which content is most popular

In the rapidly changing field of content marketing, Buzzsumo helps you keep up with what’s trending. This nifty tool collects data and helps you discover what content is being shared most frequently across the various social media networks. Buzzsumo will help you with content creation by analyzing competitors’ content marketing strategies, showing you what’s working for them and who their target audience is. Come up with better ideas, share great content, and find out who the industry leaders are.

Simply enter a domain or topic to see what is being shared most often. From here you can narrow your search through several filter types, view back links, and view who is sharing the content. This allows you to quickly identify what is working well, and what’s not.

Free and paid versions available.  Plans starting at $99 per month.

Quill Engage – Get Google analytics fast, easy to read and free

This tool analyzes and gains insights from Google analytics and provides fast, easy to understand results sent to your email weekly and/or monthly. Quill Engage tells you how and why your site’s performance may be changing. With Quill Engage, you will understand what’s driving your traffic, get relevant analytics, and receive advice on how to improve performance all for free.

Use these tools to improve your current marketing plan, revamp a plan that isn’t working, or simply to maximize your marketing efforts. Let us know what you think. Have you tried any of these tools in your content marketing?

Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/h2ey1

Posted in content marketing, Marketing Strategy, Marketing Trends, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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