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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 »

My Top 15 Marketing Tweets of 2016

Posted by advantagemarketing on December 13, 2016

Top 15 Marketing Tweets of 2016

Follow me on Twitter @LMKasprzak

At Advantage Marketing, we want to help you stay aware of the latest in marketing, so that you can grow your business. These 2016 Tweets offer timely advice and insights.

What Your Small Business Should Do To Look Like A Social Media Pro

Learning how to use a wider range of social media tools can help small businesses target prospective and existing customers on these platforms. Here are four tips to consider. Read more

 

How Small Businesses Can Get the Most Out Of Their Marketing Dollars

If you’ve got a small marketing budget, you have to be smart about priorities. In this post I’ll share some things I’ve learned along the way to help small businesses make the most of their small marketing budgets. Read More

 

How to Get Your LinkedIn Ads to Reach More Small Businesses

Do you use LinkedIn ads? In this article, you’ll discover how to reach more small- and medium-sized businesses via unique LinkedIn ad targeting. Read More

 

How to Use Twitter Moments for Business

Have you heard of Twitter Moments? Twitter Moments lets you combine groups of selected tweets, sharing your message in more detail. Read More

 

What the Evolution of Social Media Means for Marketers

It’s an exciting time to be a social media marketer, though not without challenges. Read more

 

5 Trends That Will Change How Companies Use Social Media In 2016

Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes offers a look ahead at the social trends that are fast reshaping how companies do business. Read more

 

Is Small Business Branding Possible? You Betcha And Here’s How

Large companies the world over have long recognized the value of creating a brand. But even a small business can benefit from the impact of having a well-honed image. Read More

 

How to Automate Social Media Lead Generation and Engagement

Marketing ideas are floating everywhere. However, that’s definitely not enough for a marketer when it comes to ensuring the maximum yield at minimum effort. Read more

 

5 Ways You Can Make the Most of LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn is today’s business-to-business media powerhouse. So, how do you take advantage of it? Read more

 

Does Your Content Answer Searchers’ Questions?

How well does your online content answer questions that your audience is asking? Your ability to helpfully answer critical questions not only assists your audience, but it also helps your SEO. Read More

 

5 Tips To Double The ROI On Your Marketing Efforts

There’s no way around it: marketing is a time-consuming and costly business. It makes good business sense for you to look for ways to reduce marketing spending or to increase the amount you are getting back from those expenditures. Read More

 

Demystifying Social ROI in B2B Marketing

When it comes to attributing ROI to a top-of-funnel social media strategy, the challenge is often in having access to enough data points to correctly understand its impact on revenue. Read More

 

More Brains Than Budget? Steal These $0 Marketing Strategies.

Here’s what’s happening: These companies are marketing, but they’re doing it in a far more personal way. Read More

 

How Content Strategy and Content Marketing Are Separate But Connected

One of the things that I often discuss in workshops, and with CMI’s clients, is the distinct need for content strategy within the approach of content marketing. Read More

 

4 Basic Elements Of Successful Social Media Strategies

It’s a scary time, with new “grams” and “chats” popping up every month. But I’m convinced we are living in a revolutionizing era of business breakthrough akin to the land expansion of the 19th century and the Industrial Revolution. Read More

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, content marketing, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing, small business, Social media marketing, Traditional marketing, Twitter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What Does Your Logo Say About Your Business?

Posted by advantagemarketing on December 6, 2016

logos and branding

Your logo is the visual image of your company. Is it time to refresh yours to better reflect your company’s brand?

When I start developing a marketing program for a new client, the first thing we tackle is branding. This often means creating or updating their firm’s logo. Here’s what I tell new clients about branding…

Your company logo is the cornerstone of your branding. It is a visual reminder of everything your firm stands for. Some elements of a good logo, according to Duct Tape Marketing:

  • It has lasting value – trendy logos don’t hold up over time. Make sure your logo will stay iconic and reliable even if the design of your website changes.

 

  • It is distinct – some amount of uniqueness, as long as it doesn’t confuse, is valuable. A distinct logo will stand out among a crowd of dull ones and generate more sales.

 

  • It appeals to your target audience – if your target market is partial to blue, then it doesn’t matter that you’re not. Your design should consider what your audience values first.

 

  • It supports your core message – if you’re trying to communicate your low, low prices, then your logo should support that image. Your customers should be able to understand the heart of your company philosophy just by looking at your logo.

 

  • It is legible – This seems pretty obvious, but many people use typefaces and images that can’t be printed or carried to a large sign. Your logo should clearly identify your company, and it can’t do that if people don’t understand it.

Test Your Logo

I advise clients to get several outside opinions, preferably from clients or prospects, before selecting a final logo design and using it on their email templates, letterhead and website, etc. This helps ensure that the logo is effectively communicating their brand message to the target audience.

Don’t skip this crucial step! When we tested a lighthouse-themed logo for an HR client, for example, we discovered it did not resonate with the senior executives who were his clients. This valuable insight caused us to take the logo concept in a different direction, resulting in design that better reflected the value these executives received from my client’s work.

The Takeaway

A logo should be more than eye-catching, it should represent your company’s brand and appeal to your target audience. If your current logo hasn’t kept up with how your firm’s brand has evolved, then it’s probably time to update it.

 

Posted in B2B marketing, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Marketing Advantage Named Best Small Business Marketing Blog 2016

Posted by advantagemarketing on October 17, 2016

small-business-marketing-growWe are pleased to announce that The Marketing Advantage blog has received the award for Best Small Business Marketing Blogs 2016.

In an era where blogs are a dime a dozen, I am honored that our blog stands out among the rest for providing valuable content for small businesses. We are credited with providing tons of great tips and tricks for content and social media marketers who are new to the business.

There is also plenty to be found on The Marketing Advantage for more seasoned marketers.  Don’t spend hours searching the web for solutions to your marketing problems when you can stay tuned to our blog for expert information. Recent posts have included:

·  Why Should Your Small Business Conduct Market Research?
·  Top 7 Best Marketing Reads For The Fall
·  5 Marketing Hacks You Need Now

A big thank you to CreditDonkey for naming us a Best Small Business Marketing Blog for 2016!

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Marketing, small business, Social media marketing | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

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 »

Top 10 Marketing Automation Tweets for B2Bs and Small Businesses

Posted by advantagemarketing on August 11, 2016

marketing_automation

Let’s face it: marketing can get awfully tedious, especially when you have to do the same tasks repeatedly. Marketing automation can be a lifesaver because it allows you to set up automated workflows that handle many admin or routine tasks, so you don’t have to. These marketing automation tips from my Twitter feed can help you get started with marketing automation for your own small business.

Marketing Automation Leading to Shorter Sales Cycles, Post-Sale Focus

Marketing automation software is all about automating the customer interaction process from campaign formation through lead generation, all the way to initial sale and repeat business. It can take the time out of tedious tasks and greatly increase efficiency. Read More

 

How to Ensure Your Marketing-Automation Project Does Not Fall Flat

Benefits of marketing automation cannot be overstated. The following 5 tips are meant to provide you some ideas about how to improve your marketing automation and obtain better results. Read More

 

59% of B2B Fortune 500 Companies Use Marketing Automation

The growth of marketing automation adoption within the Fortune 500 segment is continuing — and for good reason. Read More

 

Why Predictive Software Is Key To Marketing Automation

It is time to reinvent marketing automationRead More

 

How Automation Will Change Content and Native Ads

Nearly nine in 10 say tech will improve content marketing and native advertising. Read More

 

Why Do B2Bs Use Marketing Automation? Leads, Leads, Leads

Marketing automation is important throughout the leads process. Read More

 

5 Reasons Sales Teams Should Embrace Marketing Automation

Salespeople want more and better-qualified leads, and most don’t realize or appreciate the value they get from good marketing automation. Read More

 

6 Ways Marketing Automation Saves Time

When I first heard about marketing automation, I was running demand generation programs for an economic research firm. One year after I’d implemented it, marketing automation had saved me 1,832 hours across the entire team — the equivalent of one full-time hire. Read More

 

Vital Features to Look for in Marketing Automation Software this Year

The single most important improvement companies can make to their marketing strategies is investing in marketing automation software. Automation is the fuel that allows businesses to stay one step ahead of the game. Read More

 

Give Your Marketing Automation Database Segments a Rest: Ideas to make sure you are engaging your contacts.

Continually sending messages on weekly webinars, white paper downloads, call-downs, and recycled nurture campaigns will burn out your database and create a level of exhaustion. Read More

 

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Internet business, Marketing, Marketing automation, small business | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

5 Marketing Hacks You Need Now

Posted by advantagemarketing on July 28, 2016

It’s the middle of summer – the perfect time to try one or more of these five marketing hacks to refresh your marketing efforts!

  1. Syndicate Old ContentTime for tips and tricks concept with red word and sign printed on a clock face.

    Once you create a piece of content, push it out to social media, and follow up with your initial rounds of commenters, most brands consider that source “tapped,” and never revisit it again. In some cases, this is necessary—especially if the article is news-based or otherwise temporary in nature. But if the article is evergreen, it will hold a permanent value. Why let this value sit idly on your blog when you could continue tapping it periodically for long-term dividends? Keep a list of your old evergreen content pieces, and re-syndicate them occasionally. This will generate new interest from new followers, and may be valuable to older followers who didn’t see it the first time around. Read More

  2. Use Custom Landing Pages

    Building a landing page takes time and effort, but they’re far more useful when they exist as a cluster. Each individual landing page should serve a highly specialized purpose, targeting a niche audience and serving one specific need; this allows you to refine the small details of your approach to cater to one specific type of conversion at a time. But beyond that, you’ll need to create multiple versions of each functional landing page, splitting your strategy even further into variants. The goal here is to compare and contrast how all your different landing pages perform, giving you more data and more user insights you can use to speed up the development of your campaign. Read More

  3. Create a Google My Business Page

    This is a great way to boost your online visibility. This listing will make your business easy to find on Google Search and Google Maps. It will also allow Google+ users to easily review your business. As local business reviews increase, your search engine rankings will also improve. It would also be a good idea to add your business to the Yahoo Local listing. Read More

  4. Curate Content for Social Media

    In order to build a loyal following on social media, you need to be considered a consistent source of high-quality content from a variety of sources that either informs, entertains, inspires or helps your followers whenever they see it. Ideally the content you will curate and share should meet more than one (if not all) of those criteria. You need to find other companies and social media users who are sharing quality content in your niche. Once you find them, you can re-share the things that they’ve shared and benefit from all the work they’ve put in to creating or finding that great content. Read More

  5. Make Your CTA Painfully Obvious

    Before you begin implementing any type of content marketing strategy for your company, the most important thing you need to decide is what you want your website visitors to do while they are there. Because we are consuming information faster than ever before, we are all the more likely to ignore the more subtle marketing messages we might encounter online. That’s why it’s so important that bloggers and business owners include a clear call to action as frequently as possible while still feeling natural and logical within the content. Read More

Share your favorite marketing hack with us.

Posted in Business, content marketing, Marketing, marketing hacks, small business, Social media marketing, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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