Tag Archive: Content marketing


 

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There’s nothing better than seeing first-hand the profitable results of your article writing. And it’s a “dream strategy” for many other reasons, too. Increase web traffic – With article marketing, visitors can constantly come to your website. Achieve massive publicity. Build your list of targeted prospects that want to hear from you right now Boost your reputation, credibility, and name recognition. Gain link popularity & Improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rankings. Create affiliate relationships and JV partnerships with highly influential web publishers.
However, one of the easiest, proven, most time-tested ways to attract new business and more traffic to your site is to become a sought after authority and gain expert status in your field.

 

 

Do You Want to Know How ???

Watch Video and See How Easy it Is!

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Magic Article Rewrite Program

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There’s nothing better than seeing first-hand the profitable results of your article writing. And it’s a “dream strategy” for many other reasons, too. Increase web traffic – With article marketing, visitors can constantly come to your website. Achieve massive publicity. Build your list of targeted prospects that want to hear from you right now Boost your reputation, credibility, and name recognition. Gain link popularity & Improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rankings. Create affiliate relationships and JV partnerships with highly influential web publishers.
However, one of the easiest, proven, most time-tested ways to attract new business and more traffic to your site is to become a sought after authority and gain expert status in your field.

Do You Want to Know How ???

Watch Video and See How Easy it Is!

To Learn More Click Here:

 
There’s nothing better than seeing first-hand the profitable results of your article writing. And it’s a “dream strategy” for many other reasons, too. Increase web traffic – With article marketing, visitors can constantly come to your website. Achieve massive publicity. Build your list of targeted prospects that want to hear from you right now Boost your reputation, credibility, and name recognition. Gain link popularity & Improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rankings. Create affiliate relationships and JV partnerships with highly influential web publishers.
However, one of the easiest, proven, most time-tested ways to attract new business and more traffic to your site is to become a sought after authority and gain expert status in your field.
Watch Video and See How Easy it Is!

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As we approach 2014, it’s clear that online content creation is reaching an  all-time high, as companies invest more time and resources in dedicated inbound  marketing strategies. With more content than ever in the socialsphere and  everyone’s inboxes, marketers are being challenged to get their content noticed  and then read. It seems the mantra “Content Is King” isn’t enough anymore. As  stated by Chad Pollitt, “Content Is King, But Distribution Is Queen And She Wears The  Pants.”

So what’s a time-strapped marketer like you to do to boost the distribution  of your content? And how can you encourage your organization to easily join in  these distribution efforts without it taking a lot of their time?

Here’s a look at a collection of free and paid tools to help you with  the distribution of your content to your particular audience.

Free Tools:

1. Buffer

5 Tools to Boost Your Content Distribution Efforts image buffer app content distribution tool1

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I believe that all social media marketing campaigns should probably start with foraging (as I discussed last week) — but as you grow, you need to evolve, especially if you need to bring home more and more food. Social media trappers have figured out how to use hashtags as well as how to generate compelling content with the express purpose of sharing, content that is somewhere else, content that doesn’t live on a social network but, rather, lives on a branded web site, corporate site, blog, or microsite.

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All roads lead to branded content that both highlights capabilities, products, services, case studies, and the mad talent therein via explicit links back, allowing social media trappers to lure their followers and people in their professional or social media space to not only be discovered but to also link away from Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and even Tumblr back to where the source content lives.

sharptrapMost trappers these days call themselves “content marketers” and what they do is “content marketing.”

And, if they’re doing their jobs well enough, their goal is to both set their own traps but also to make these traps “contagious” enough that this content is shared, retweeted, reshared, liked, and favorited — essentially like a floor entirely festooned with mousetraps to the point where setting off just one would have the effect of setting them all off.

While most social media trappers, AKA content marketers, write content that is meaningful to them personally, professionally, or in relation to the work they do or have done — their experience; many tend to surf trends.

1112x700They’ll figure out what they want to catch in their trap and then create content — also known as bait — that is most compelling to that audience. The vertical’s catnip, if you will. While this can surely be an authentic pursuit where you use your continued knowledge and understanding of your clientele to create better and better traps — the elusive better mousetrap — this sort of trend-surfing can also be “abused” by ginning up the appeal based on what’s going on in the news, on reddit, on Buzzfeed, or what’s trending on Twitter or Google at the time.

The most successful trappers who are really better at attracting and driving traffic than they are at building long-term trust relationships tend to be the best social media hijackers. They do things such as mis-tagging their social content via mis-categorization or by using hashtags or keywords that are much more popular and timely than they are accurate.

Antique-Trap-AEven though the old reliable “keyword stuffing” from the nascent days of SEO are pretty much deceased, the strategy is still popular with social media trappers.

Even more, the content-creation for content marketing can trend-surf as well.

Since time began — or at least since blogs began (actually before then, newspapers, television, radio, and all the rest are either breaking something new or surfing the wave of interest that results) there has been an entire economy of bloggers who work to create content as quickly as possible in response to breaking news — this is just the natural extension of it. It required fast-and-dirty writing and the willingness to get something out there first and maybe do some editing after.

smallLive2It always benefits a social media trapper if they can secure a place on Google News, the trendiest of all news aggregators on the web.

At the end of the day, however, content marketing is not good enough on its own and neither is trend surfing. At the end of the day, all of these things are just more and more elaborate and compelling lures — it’s all baiting the trap.

What do you have planned for when the trap is sprung? Punji trapping pit? Steel jaw legholds? A snare? Drag noose? Twitch-up? Deadfall? Conibear?

Maybe a catch-and-release cage trap — non-lethal (but you need that meat!) Maybe a glue trap, then. Well, you obviously don’t want to literally trap your prospects, do you? But what is the figurative marketing trap? The email list, of course, a Feedburner RSS subscription, or maybe signing up for a free white paper, a sign-up form, or even just a contact form.

VC126380lOtherwise, everything’s ephemeral. More like signing up for a safari in Africa and bringing your Nikon in lieu of digging elephant-sized holes and covering them up or — better — bringing a .470 Nitro Express elephant gun; however, that’ll take us to hunting and this is about trapping.

One of the downsides of trapping is that most game is too smart for traps; another issue is that traps are mostly good for small- to medium-sized varmints; you’ll also only just get what you get; finally, the trap doesn’t always hold or you might not be able to rush around making sure all your traps are freshly-baited and attended to — it really is a full-time job.

 

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Increasing your brand’s visibility on Facebook won’t get you a $136.38 ROI per fan, but it will solidify customer relationships on the most important social network in the world.

Tactics to stay on your fans’ radar — begin with targeting their news feeds & making your updates count

This is part 4 of a 4-part series on using Facebook strategically. Updated a few hours after publication to include news from Facebook about its upgrade to Pages today. Also see: • Part 1: Demystifying how Facebook’s news feeds work • Part 2: 15 ways to increase your Facebook stature • Part 3: Cheat sheet: Key principles of social media marketing on Facebook

JD LasicaYour brand or business has a Facebook Page. That’s nice. Are you getting much traction, and is it worth your investment of time and effort?

I get the sense that many brands understand that Facebook needs to be an important part of their business strategy. But they’re fumbling the execution. What steps should your business take to increase your reach and visibility on Facebook and to turn supporters into paying customers?

And how will Facebook’s upgrade of Pages, announced today, affect managing your brand’s Page?

First, a dose of cold reality: Your brand isn’t reaching as many people as you think through its Facebook Page. Most people who “like” your Page never go back to it. Jeff Widman of BrandGlue found that 88 percent of Facebook members never return to a Page once they’ve clicked the Like button.

Your opportunity lies in engaging with fans through their News Feed. (Let’s call them fans until someone comes up with a better term.) But here’s a second harsh truth: Only 1 out of every 500 updates makes it into your fans’ critical Top News feed, which is how 95 percent of Facebook members get their updates (excluding mobile users), according to Facebook itself. (The percentage of Page updates visible in a user’s Top News feed may be even smaller today.)

Bottom line? Many of those status updates exquisitely crafted by your Facebook team will never be seen by the vast majority of your fans.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Several major brands — Starbucks (nearly 20 million Likes), Skittles (15 million Likes),  Adidas (7 million Likes), Best Buy (2.5 million Likes), Target (3.8 million Likes), Buffalo Wild Wings (3.9 million Likes) and others — have learned how to use Facebook intelligently, as a conversation-rich public square rather than as just another marketing/promotional channel. With the time users spend on Facebook now far exceeding the time they spend on Google, and with traffic driven by Facebook often matching or surpassing Google referrals, it’s time to turn your Facebook presence into a larger conversation strategy for your brand.

Here are 15 tips for your business to stay on your customers’ radar by increasing your visibility and reach on Facebook.

Connect Facebook to your website

1When Facebook unveiled a slew of social plug-ins last year, it benefited not only Facebook but businesses, too, by lowering the barrier for people to react to products and services. When someone clicks the Facebook Like button on your site, an average of 40 of their friends see it. Genius! (See Mashable’s use of it at right.) Other plug-ins include Comments, Recommends, Like Box and Registration — see which ones make sense for pages on your website. Twisted Oak winery, for example, lets people Like and post Facebook status updates about specific wine bottlings. As the Spaniards say: ¡Perfecto!

Find your rhythm

2You’ll want to post regularly: Try to get into the habit of posting every day — and certainly not just when you have a marketing announcement. One or two strong Facebook updates per day is better than a half dozen scattershot updates that fly by and don’t have the staying power to attract people’s feedback. You may find that you have a more active community that responds to frequent postings. Every brand is different, so  find the rhythm and pace that work for you. Use  Facebook Insights to see which updates resonate with your fans.

Use the 80-20 rule

3It’s not all about you. Brands starting out on Facebook almost uniformly focus on pitching themselves. What they eventually discover is that Facebook is about conversations. You want to stoke conversations and Include links to stories that are interesting, remarkable, sexy, funny or newsworthy — whether they’re on your site, blog or an outside website. Use visuals if possible — our eyes are naturally drawn to imagery. As a rough rule of thumb, post four status updates on items about outside news items or discoveries for every post promoting a product. And when you do mention a product or service, try to do so in a helpful  way.

Interact, be brief, be topical — and be human

Word-count

 

 

 

 

 

 

4Businesses obsess about creating perfectly tailored content. But the best content is short and snappy. Buffalo Wild Wings studied their most successful updates last year and found that, overwhelmingly, their most popular postings were 10 words or fewer (see chart above). Wow! While your updates are important, conversation is key. Facebook rewards genuine interaction. Strong interaction with your fans helps brands show up in fans’ news feeds. Use a wide range of conversational techniques: Educate, inform, entertain, be engaging. Comment on current events. Occasionally be provocative and invite passionate debate. Use the comments to say “thank you,” and, in general, don’t delete negative comments. Have a light touch, have fun in a smart, positive way and be funny if you’ve got it in you. Leave the copywriting and marketing-speak in the office. Let down your guard and be real. Or, as Buffalo Chicken Wings says, “Post like a friend, not a brand.”

Use the right media

Ikea-photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5As we covered in part 2, Facebook rewards certain kind of status updates — video, photo albums, Facebook Places check-ins — over others, like plain-text postings. So whenever you can, think visual. Retail stores like Ikea (image above) can easily add a homespun charm to their Facebook presence (“Posing on his Stockholm chair with his Barnslig curtains!… lol”). Use an under-$200 Flip HD camcorder, Kodak zi8, video-capable iPhone, Android device or the like to capture  live events, then upload it to Facebook or YouTube and share some details in your status update. Mix in different kinds of updates: interviews, contests, multimedia, events, photo albums.

Use @ tagging strategically

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6 One of the most underutilized tools in Facebook is its tagging feature. When posting an update about a person, aligned brand or cause, be sure to type @ in your update field followed by their name. Facebook will automagically drop down a selection for you to choose from (see above). When you post it to your Wall, it will also post to the Wall of anyone you’ve tagged (maximum six tags per post). Think about when the person or business might welcome this. Just be careful: There’s a fine line between spam and content that you think is valuable. And use common sense: Never use a tag to slam a competitor. Also see “Some tips for new Facebook Page administrators” below for tips on how to tag — Starting today, brands can Like another Page as a Page and tag that way as well.

Target by location or language

7 Many brands aren’t aware that Facebook allows you to target your updates by location or by language. You can update fans about an event taking place in their city, let followers know about state-by-state product rollouts or speaking tours, or send important updates to people about a disaster in a confined area. You may have followers who speak languages other than English — they’d be thrilled with an update in their native language, assuming you have Page administrators with that skill set. Send an update in Spanish without alienating your English-speaking fans. Facebook Pages also allow you to target private updates to fans. These show up in a user’s messages folders, under “Updates,” although not everyone welcomes these missives. See more tips on how to target Facebook wall posts to specific fann.

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There are many public relations professionals who joined Google+ and share articles and interesting findings on this network. Communities are great places to keep in touch with PR peeps who share the same passion and interests, to exchange ideas, get tips and feel the pulse of the industry.

Below are ten Google+ Communities you should consider joining. They are listed based on the number of members, and  cover a wide range of PR, communications and marketing aspects so that all the PR people on Google+ can find something that meets their interests.

  1. Marketing+ – A Community of Marketers. Mobile Local Social Search PR – has over 1700 members. This community invites its members to “assemble some brilliant minds in marketing and connect… so, we can help marketing NOT suck.” Many interesting articles here!
  2. Public Relations – A place for PR pros to talk about workflow, tools, tips, etc., – it is a community with over 1300 members sharing interesting and useful content in various categories.
  3. Social media – this is a community with over 1300 members. The official presentation mentions that beginners and seasoned pros are all invited to learn from each other.
  4. Online Marketing – A great community to talk about Online Marketing –  with over 1000 members, open for anyone who deals with SEO, PPC, Social Media, Affiliate Marketing, Email Marketing, Display, analytics and any other areas of performance marketing. They also run monthly events for professionals working in the space.
  5. Social media – Discover How To Use Social Media For Your Business! – has almost 900 members and is a social media community devoted to helping businesses and marketers use social media more effectively.
  6. Online Marketing – Where SEO SEM Online Marketing and webmasters meet – is a community with over 600 members discussing SEO, SEM, online Marketing best practices and so forth.
  7. Search Marketing – The latest news, tips, articles, and discussions in Search Marketing – has over 500 members and it is a Google+ community that was created to bring you the latest in Paid Search, SEO and Social Media and as a platform for open discussions and idea sharing.
  8. PR and Public Relations – A Google+ group for PR professionals both in house and agency. This community has almost 300 members, but only few share content. However, the articles and recommendations you’ll find here will make you join the community dedicated to PR professionals from around the world.
  9. PR & Communications Professionals – Increase networking and facilitate discussions on industry trends. This community has over 260 members, but it is a community very relevant to PR pros so I simply had to feature it on this list. There are many categories with relevant and interesting topics, designed for industry professionals interested in the latest news and discussions about public relations, marketing, branding, social media and more.
  10. Inbound Marketing – all-in-one marketing resources is a community with over 260 members sharing articles and discussing SEO, social media, marketing, PR, etc.

Yes, I know, there is also Internet Marketing – A Network of Internet Marketing Professionals community, with over 1300 members, but I find the content on the other communities to be more interesting, and since it is a list of 10, this community gets a mention here.

Another important thing: yes, you will find some people and articles in more than one community. In the end, you can check these communities and see which one(s) are of more interest to you and then join them.

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About Violeta-Loredana Pascal

Violeta-Loredana Pascal has over 10 years of experience in PR, marketing and communication, and has been running her own PR agency, PRwave INTERNATIONAL for 7 years. She is passionate about reading, blogging and traveling – see Travel – Moments in Time. Follow her on Twitter – @violetaloredana (Romanian and English) and @TravelMoments (English only

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Newsroom

Your personal newsroom calls for authentic, purposeful engagement

Chris AbrahamIf you read your local newspaper or a typical magazine, you’ll realize that most journalism is specialized. You have your columns, reporting, reviews, editorials, letters to the editor, and ombudsman. However, most companies don’t have the volume or diversity of news required to need such staffing.

That said, enough does go on each and every day in your office, among your staff, in your business, in your industry, with you and your very own personal brand that you need to cover the entire newsroom on your own, including the advertising and publicity (because like the news, everything comes down to driving revenue, and if you can’t prove that all the time, energy, and resources you’re spending online aren’t feeding sales, your one-man-social-media-band is not long for this world.)

Let me break it down.

I would start by saying tone down the shameless self-promotion that you’re incessantly dropping into your streams and onto your walls, but I have a feeling you’re not being aggressive enough. Why? Because I don’t think that most social media experts, consultants, and gurus recommend being aggressive enough. Continue reading

Looking for inspiration? Here are a handful of very different content marketing examples worth examining. We’ve covered a lot of ground in this column over the past few months, from the importance of relationships to evaluating appropriate channels to measuring your content marketing’s effectiveness. In some of those columns, we’ve looked at examples of great content marketing, but I thought it would be helpful to gather a small collection of samples for inspiration. Here’s are 4 of my favorites. These aren’t necessarily the “greatest of all time,” to borrow a phrase from Muhammad Ali; I’ve chosen them because they represent different ways to be memorable and because I hope they’ll inspire great ideas for you to use in your own content marketing.

Get People Involved
I just read this week that Hasbro has launched a campaign asking people to save their favorite Monopoly piece. Between now and February 5, 2013 you are invited to vote for the token you most want Monopoly keep. Voting takes place on the Monopoly Facebook page. As the article says, the least voted-for token “goes directly – and permanently – to jail.”

Talk about great content marketing. The campaign itself creates excitement, gets fans involved and rekindles nostalgia for the game in people who probably haven’t thought about Monopoly in a decade or more.

Even better, they’ve taken steps to capitalize on the excitement, releasing a limited edition of the game that includes all the current pieces and all the new candidates to replace the losing piece. You get a vote to save your favorite piece and a vote for your favorite candidate to replace the losing piece from five possibilities: toy robot, helicopter, cat, guitar or diamond ring.

(By the way, I came across this on Flipboard – a great tool for any content marketer or news junkie – and have to admit that this is the first time I’ve read an article in USAToday while sitting anywhere but a hotel coffee shop.)

Hasbro’s approach is worth looking to for inspiration if you’re a B2C brand with an emotional connection to your audience. (Even if that connection is somewhat dormant.) The social media aspect is worth examining for B2B audiences, too, though Facebook is probably not the channel for most B2B marketers.

Make ‘Em Laugh
I doubt there’s ever been a better way to waste time than the internet. But that doesn’t mean humor is always going to make for effective marketing. Beneath the yuks, there has to be a strong message if humor is going to further your content marketing goals. One fantastic example, and a real granddaddy of content marketing greatness, is the Blendtec video series, “Will It Blend?”

It’s not just enormously enjoyable to watch a “scientist” destroy cell phones, iPads, or Justin Bieber CDs. It also makes it plainly obvious that the Blendtec is one powerful blender. Will this work for you? Well, video is tough to beat as a delivery mechanism. People love watching video, and the search engines reward it in SEO terms.

The bigger question, though, is can you compete? No one cares whether your budget is a fraction of Blendtec’s – they just want to be entertained. If you don’t have the creativity or skills in-house and can’t afford to hire pros who do, you don’t really stand a chance. Dollar Shave Club is another firm with great a video. But unless you have a CEO who is really comfortable on camera, don’t try this at home.

Perfect Timing
Is there any better time for a welcome distraction than when you kid has scraped her knee? Band-Aids to the rescue.
1.Apply Muppets Band-Aid to the scraped knee.
2.Fire up the app on your smartphone
3.Sigh in relief as the video plays and the crying stops

Here again we have video, but we also have a really wonderful tie between a product that doesn’t generally grab many people emotionally and a product that does.

The take-away here: seek out connections like this – whether for content marketing or for your philanthropic giving – and you’ll be more likely to rise above the noise. The use of really cool tech toys, like the augmented reality used here, can also help spread the message.

Remain Relevant
If you’ve spent any time thinking about content marketing, you’ve probably heard of The Furrow from John Deere. Frequently cited as the original content marketing vehicle, it’s a publication that John Deere has made available to customers since before the turn of the century. (The turn from the 19th to the 20th …)

It’s a great example of sticking to your knitting – knowing your audience, knowing their interests, and recognizing how addressing their needs provides you with the opportunity to present your products without a hard sell. Yes, The Furrow is available online now, but it has stuck to its formula of serving an audience it knows well with information Deere knows they want.

The lesson here is to not dive into what’s hot just because it’s hot – choosing a channel should be one of the last decisions you make. First you have to you determine who you’re trying to reach, what they’re interested in, and how you can fill a need for them. A channel or channels should present itself pretty naturally once you’ve answered those questions.

I’d love to hear your favorite content marketing examples – and why they work for you.

 

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It’s that time of the year when observers can’t resist making predictions about developments on the horizon. I hereby take up that tradition, offering up four random prognostications for where B2B digital marketing is headed in 2013. My topics include Facebook, content marketing, personal branding, and data hygiene—certainly an eclectic mix. I encourage readers to add their own.

Facebook is ready, at last, for the B2B prime time

It took a while, but Facebook marketing is now ready for mainstream B2B, in support of branding, lead generation, and customer relationship marketing goals for enterprises of all sizes. There are several reasons for this—FB’s universality being one of them. But the critical driver is the recent arrival of the Facebook Exchange (FBX) ad platform, which will allow banner ad bidding and retargeting to specific individuals, based on data matching.

So, while I used to argue that Facebook should be at the bottom of a B2B marketer’s to-do list, I am revising my view for 2013. Talking to my pals at Edmund Optics, where I serve on the board of directors, I am hearing confirmation of these developments. Edmund’s target is audience is optical engineers, and others interested in science and technology. Years ago, I would have advised them to ignore FB and focus on more targeted social networks.

But now, EO has turned its Facebook page into an effective environment for engaging these guys, with weekly “Geeky Friday” offers, and the enormously popular Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide at Halloween, where engineers were invited to design zombie blasting tools using Edmund products. Facebook is now a top referring source for EO’s website, up 60% from last year. I stand corrected.

More and better content

B2B marketers were early to the content marketing game. In fact, I would argue that B2B has been a leading force in this area, in recognition of the importance of prospect education and thought leadership in the complex selling process. B2B marketers will continue to excel at creating valuable materials—digital, paper-based, video, you name it—to attract prospects and deepen relationships.

How do I know this? A new study from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, which says that 54% of B2B marketers plan to increase their content marketing budgets in 2013. Their biggest content challenge for next year? Ironically, it’s producing enough content.

Personal branding as a way of life

Business people and consumers alike are realizing that their online personas have a growing impact on both their everyday lives and their professional careers. Rather than letting their personal brands evolve organically, individuals will make more proactive efforts to build and manage their images online, benefiting from the guidance of an emerging community of personal brand experts like William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson. This means establishing a unique brand positioning, and developing a set of active and consistent messaging across Internet media, especially social networks, to explain who they are and what are their capabilities. Personal branding is no longer just for celebrities or the self-employed; with the rise of social media, it is for everyone.

Renewed interest in data hygiene

Whenever I give a seminar on B2B marketing, I ask attendees to take out their business cards and look at them carefully. Then, I say, “Raise your hand if anything on the card is new in the last 12 months.” Invariably, 30% of the hands go up.

The high rate of change in B2B—whether moving to a different a company, a new title, even a new mail stop—is obvious. But only recently has it begun to sink in that addressing people incorrectly, or campaigning with undeliverable mail or email addresses, not only wastes marketing dollars, but also means lost business opportunity. So enough about big data. The focus in 2013 will be clean data.

And if you want some tips on how to keep your B2B data clean, have a look at my white paper, “Our Data is a Mess! How to Clean Up Your Marketing Database.”

So, those are my predictions. I hope readers will add some of their own. What do you think we’ll be seeing in B2B digital marketing in 2013?

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