B2B Content Marketing Trends to Shape Your Strategy in 2018 and Beyond by Kimmy Maclang

The content marketing landscape is like a runaway train. It’s tough to keep up because everything moves so fast—thanks to search algorithms and the emergence of new technologies like marketing automation and big data. There are now more platforms than ever where consumers and audiences can be reached.

As a result of these emerging technologies and consumption behaviors, our attention spans have shortened significantly and the way we create, search, consume, and share content is changing. The lines between the various digital marketing disciplines are now becoming increasingly blurred, with each discipline overlapping another as campaigns become highly-integrated.

 

Adapting to Change

Consumers nowadays are smarter and more powerful than ever. All the information they need is just a tap or click away. They can research about the products and services they need before they decide to purchase. They can see other users’ reviews and experiences about a brand, and likewise, write reviews for brands they’ve interacted with.

As consumers become more powerful at influencing the success of companies, competition becomes tighter and fiercer. Brands need to fight for their own share of the market and clamor to get their audience’s attention. There’s too much going on. As such, marketers need to constantly determine what consumers want and need, and how to best deliver it to them. When consumer behavior changes, so does the marketing landscape.

Brands need the right marketing foresight that will enable them to develop and plan their strategies according to accurate predictions of future market developments. In short, you need to future-proof your content marketing strategy by staying abreast of the trends.

 

Noticeable Trends

What may help a brand succeed today may not be what’s relevant tomorrow. That’s why it’s important for marketers to remain vigilant in keeping up with the trends.

2017 is almost over, and 2018 is just around the corner. While there have been many changes in the content marketing landscape, there is one thing we know for certain—content marketing will become even more relevant in the coming year.

Yes, there will be changes in content marketing, but these changes will help B2B marketers reap tangible growth and deal with marketing ROI pressures. Here’s a comprehensive list of content marketing trends that will help shape your strategy for next year:

Content Marketing Adoption

Content marketing is no longer the new marketing trend. Brands and marketers are no longer questioning whether it’s worth investing in. It has already proven to increase brand awareness, engage prospective customers, improve brand loyalty, generate leads, and increase overall profit and revenue.

Companies are now asking “how” instead of “why.” The relevance and importance of digital content to the success of any brand or organization is obvious, so much so that in the survey produced by MarketingProfs and CMI, it was discovered that 91% of B2B businesses are currently using content marketing to fuel their success. Furthermore, the number of brands and marketers who focus on content marketing to build their audience grows by 18% every year.

The same survey also revealed that 77% of marketers claim to be successful in their content marketing efforts now compared to last year. This means that content marketing is maturing, and more businesses are adopting the right strategies to achieve their content marketing goals.

Another statistic that backs up the value of content is how content marketing leaders experience 7.8 times more unique website traffic than non-leaders or followers. If that’s not proof enough to get serious with content marketing, nothing will be.

 

B2B Buyer Insight

For B2B content marketing to be effective, marketers need to consider what buyers need and want above all. It’s no secret to marketers that a brand needs to establish itself as a thought leader to be considered credible and authoritative by consumers.

In the 2017 Content Preferences Survey Report by DemandGen, it was confirmed that 87% of B2B buyers give more credence to content from industry leaders.

The report further revealed that 47% of B2B buyers rely more on content for research and making purchase decisions, and that they consume at least three to five pieces of relevant content before initiating contact with a sales person.

 

Content Creation

According to a recent study, 78% of B2B marketers claim that higher quality of content and efficient content creation contributed to the increase in overall success of their content marketing campaign.

Case studies and white papers are still the top content format according to 78% of B2B buyers. Buyers also reported that they give more credence to peer reviews, user feedback, and third-party publications.

To increase the quality of content, B2B buyers recommend that content creators provide more benchmarking data and use research to support the information they provide while lessening any attempts at direct promotion.

 

Content Distribution and Promotion

When it comes to content distribution, it’s important for B2B marketers to be consistent in publishing content. A study reveals that 91% of the top business blogs today publish content at least once a week, while another recent survey shows that 58% of B2B marketers deliver content consistently.

Despite the fact that gated content such as case studies and e-books remain the top content formats for B2B marketers, 71% of B2B buyers want content that’s easier to access according to the DemandGen 2017 Content Preferences Survey Report.

However, 95% of buyers claim that they’re willing to provide their name, company, and email address in exchange for valuable content, while only a fourth of buyers indicated that they’re willing to provide their phone number. So, it’s better for marketers to stick to the basic information requirements when gating their content.

In terms of engagement and encouraging content sharing, the top channels to use would be LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. For best results, ensure that your content is sharable on those top channels, no matter what other platforms you may choose for content distribution and promotion.

 

What This Means for B2B Businesses

Content marketing isn’t going anywhere in the near future. Yes, content and social media marketingmay be converging, but as far as content is concerned, social media is just another platform where content can be distributed, promoted, and shared.

Whether your marketing team is big or small, what’s important is to develop a content strategy that enables your brand to consistently create and publish valuable content that attracts your target audience. This involves knowing who they are, what they’re interested in, and how they consume content.

Long-form content that’s backed by data is most relevant information for modern B2B buyers, and will remain so. That includes white papers, case studies, and e-books. To further compel your audience, make sure that your content is presented creatively so that it’s visually appealing to readers. Share and promote your content on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to generate as much leads as you can.

Bottom line, the content marketing landscape is rapidly evolving, so brands need to stress the importance of being flexible. When change is the only constant, being able to adapt quickly to serve the changing needs of your audience will do wonders for making your brand stand out from the crowd.

Original Post

Setting up a “Success Tracking Practice” by @tobyberesford

Many organisations need a success tracking practice, they just don’t realise it yet.

As any Team Sky cyclist will tell you – it’s great to be able to rely on the Team Sky staff team and the array of coaches on everything from telemetrics to nutrition.

Think about having your own team of performance coaches at work – wouldn’t that be fabulous?

Well some organisations are already well on their way – PwC, the United Nations and others – have set up success tracking programs, initially targeted at social media success. Employees can sign up to the program and they get personalised tracking scores combined with peer networking and coaching advice to help them succeed at social media.

The success tracking approach is one that you can introduce into your own organisation, or as a consultant, you can provide as a service to your clients. All it needs is a blend of coaching and attention to numerical feedback.

Learn more in this slide deck:

Original Post

5 Tips to make the most of ‘education’ on your LinkedIn by Petra Fisher

Original Post 

How does the education section of your LinkedIn Profile look? Did you bother to enter any details at all? And if so, how much detail? Ever given it any thought as to WHY you should pay decent attention to this area? I’ll give you 5 reasons here and now!

The importance of education on your LinkedIn Profile

  1. List any relevant qualifications
  2. Prove your academic level
  3. Make yourself easier to find
  4. Reconnect to expand your network
  5. Start telling the story of the professional you are today!

1. List any relevant qualifications on LinkedIn

That seems to be stating the obvious doesn’t it? What if your qualifications are no longer relevant? Should you still list them? YES I’ll get to that in the next 4 points. Firstly list all relevant qualifications.

2. Prove your academic level on LinkedIn

You should always list your highest qualification. Relevant or not. It does show at what academic level your thinking is (or at least once upon a time was).

3. Make yourself easier to find on LinkedIn

This is quite an interesting one! Keywords, does that ring a bell? What is your ideal client, employer or customer looking for? They’ll use the search option in LinkedIn of Google, so your profile needs to be keyword rich. What better way to tuck in some keywords than right at the bottom of your profile.

Have a look at my profile, Petra Fisher LinkedIn Profile, and scroll down to my college degree (2nd last entry under education). Can you see how I managed to fit the words training, trainer, coaching, coach and public speaker quite neatly and naturally even though I studied “Youth Welfare”?

4. Reconnect to expand your network

LinkedIn is a network and in order to network, you need to be connected. It is easy to find people you studied with (and be found by them) if you list your education properly with the right institution, course and dates.

5. Start telling the story of the professional you are today!

This is where the fun and games begin! Before you can start cooking up a brilliant LinkedIn profile, you need to gather the right ingredients. If you haven’t done so already, then read this post first to get yourself organised.

Your ideal client, employer or customer is looking for someone with the right skills and knowledge. Instead of just saying: ” Yup, got those”, why not SHOW you’ve got what it takes? Which of the skills or knowledge you need, did you gain/develop in your student days? Write about that in your education section.

Compare the two examples below:

education-linkedin-profile-example-01-petraf-fisher-trainer-expert

education-linkedin-profile-example-02-petraf-fisher-trainer-expert

>>> Happy with the education section on your profile?<<<

Post the description below for feedback (feel free to add a link to your profile).

4 Things That Your Business Website Needs To Succeed

If you have a new business, then marketing will need to be part of your business plan. You could have the best business plan in the world, but if no one knows about you or your product or where to find you, then it will slow the progress of your business quite a lot. Which is why a website for your business is really paramount. Gone are the days of simply just having a website, though. There are many different things that you can do to help give your business a boost, through the use of your website. So here are some things that your business website should be doing, as well as a few tips and tricks.

 

Slick Design

If your website is quite basic and outdated, then it will reflect on what your customers think about the business. The first impression for many people will be the website, so you want it to reflect your brand and give off a good first impression. You need to also think about how responsive your site is and make sure that it is mobile friendly. You also need to think about things like pop-ups or slow loading pages. It might be worth changing host if this is a problem, simply because it will put people off. We live in a fast-paced modern world, and no one has the patience to wait a while for a page to load.

 

A Blog

As well as your main front page of your website that will talk about your brand or product, and perhaps you have a shop or other pages on your site. But a blog needs to be one of those other pages. Having a blog is a great way to share relevant content and potentially attract new customers. Any SEO consulting services will tell you that you’re likely to rank higher on a search engine when you have more backlinks to your website too. So that can be linking to other pages on your blog, as well as previous blog articles you have written. It gives your business a different dimension and increases your visibility. So it is a win-win situation really.

 

Simple Web Address

Don’t over complicate things when it comes to your web address. You need to think about having your web address be the same as your brand or business name. If it is too far off, it will be harder to find. So keep things simple, and it will be easier for your customers to find you.

 

Social Media Details

While having your business contact details on the site is important (a phone number and address), these days you do really need to have details of all of your social media handles. Even better if you can just get an icon that will click through to the platform itself. Many of your customers will be on those platforms and would rather use those for customer service and keeping up to date with things. So they are pretty key these days.

5 Reasons Why You Should be Guest Blogging

 

You’ve seen them all over the web, and probably on some of your favorite blogs: Guest Blog Posts. And of course, seeing these will lead to the inevitable question: “Should I be scheduling guest blog posts?” The answer is a loud yes! And here are just five reasons why.

 

Backlinks and SEO

When you include links to your website in the bio of your guest blog posts, it creates backlinks as soon as your blog is published on anther site. This increases your SEO, especially if you are publishing on a quality, trusted site. The more important the site, the more potential you have to earn higher SEO rankings, as their SEO juice will flow onto your blog. This means the more likely you are to be seen, and the more business you and your company can earn.

 

Gain More Followers

Posting on a different site also gives you the ability to reach a new and different audience. The blog you post on will have loyal viewers of its own, and these loyal viewers can now meet you, learn from you, and learn about your business and find a trusted new resource in the field. Pretty sweet, right? If they really like you, not only will they return again and again to your blog or company site, but they may follow you on your social media channels. The more people who visit your site, and the longer you stay, the higher your SEO rankings.

 

Win Win

But guest blogging isn’t just about you. You can help increase the SEO of the site hosting you, too. How? Simply write a post on your own blog summarizing what people can learn from your guest blog post, and link to the other blog. This provides backlinks to the site hosting you. In addition, your loyal blog readers can visit the host site, learn new things, and potentially become loyal followers to the host site.

 

 

Build Relationships

It’s no surprise that with such a beneficial partnership already in the works, you and the host site can build a working relationship where you support each other beyond guest blogging. Additionally, you can also build relationships with readers by responding to their questions and comments in the fields of your guest blog post, potentially bringing you more business. Building this relationship in the first place can be tough, however, and you will need to perfect your pitch to gain a response and a place to blog. Guestposttracker.com shows you how to get a guest post published, and how to start that working relationship. Remember that successful bloggers are very busy people, and may not get back to you straight away – if you haven’t heard back from them for a couple of weeks, a gentle nudge to remind them that you have reached out will go a long way.

 

Establish Credibility

The more quality content you write, and the more people see it, the higher you can rank in Google, which means more people visiting your site and even higher SEO rankings. When people learn they can rely on you, and when you consistently provide quality content, you can become a trusted leader in the industry.

Smarter Ways to Spend Your Marketing Budget

Being in charge of a marketing budget can be tough, whether you’re a one-person operation or you’re part of a larger marketing department. You’re responsible for making the best decisions on how to spend the money you have available to help maximize profits for the business. There’s so much advice about how you should spend your budget that you can feel like you’re doing it all wrong. Maybe you’re wasting the money on things that aren’t working or completely missing out on a proven new technique. If you’re trying to reconfigure your marketing budget, take these ideas into account.

 

Creating a Marketing Strategy

A surprising amount of people, even those who are supposedly marketing experts, often forge ahead with their marketing activities without coming up with a plan. A marketing strategy is essential for any business so that you know the goals you have, how to reach them, and how to measure any successes or failures. And yet many people forget this stage or skill it completely. It’s worth spending time and money on developing a strategy before going ahead and doing anything else. If you don’t already have an effective marketing strategy in place, you need to invest some of your budget into establishing one.

Focusing on Retaining Customers

Acquiring new customers is more expensive than keeping your existing ones. So it makes sense that, in addition to attracting new customers, you should try to make sure the ones you already have want to stick around. You need to delight your customers and offer them experiences and products they will love. Some of them might eventually start to become promoters of your brand, helping you to bring in new customers. There are lots of ways to please your existing customers, from sending them free content to giving them special offers only available to them. Try marketingwizdom.com for some tips.

 

Make Your Money Work Smarter

Sometimes, it’s not about changing what you’re spending your marketing budget on but about ensuring that your money as working as hard as it can. Being smart about how the money is spent will help you make the most of every penny. For example, some people start using PPC marketing but take something of an aimless approach. With management from PPCpro.com.au or a similar service, you can make sure you’re getting the results you want. It’s important to invest in analyzing and changing your marketing efforts instead of just letting them progress with no development.

Combine Paid and Organic Marketing Methods

Organic methods of promoting your brand are useful for your market budget because they’re free. However, they often need a little help from paid methods of marketing to help them go further. Mixing both paid adverts and organic web traffic is important so you can make the most of both of them. For example, on social media, you can use a combination of paid and organic posts to bring traffic to your site.

Plan your marketing budget by thinking about the value you get from different methods and techniques. It’s worth thinking about how much it costs to secure a lead using your various methods.

Using Social Media Apps To Figure Out Who Your Customers Are

 

 

If you’ve spent any time reading this blog, you’ll know the power of social media to help promote a business. Businesses, no matter how small, are going from strength to strength promoting themselves using social media profiles as a means to target their demographics.

How?

By analyzing and identifying their metrics. It might sound difficult, but it’s really not. Users these will often happily hand over their information online in the development of these profiles. If you have the correct social media integration with your online tech solutions, you could be in for a world of positively useful demographic information.

But how can you best squeeze the most out of social media? By just hosting pages? That helps, but it isn’t the full solution. The following tips are:

Demographics

This has been listed above, but it’s really hard to understate how important this is for your business. If you know who you’re selling to, you can directly target them as objects of your selling. A concentrated attack is always better than a scattergun approach. That might sound like aggressive business terminology, and it is. That’s the point. A business billboard isn’t aggressive. It ‘coaxes’ it’s viewers into finding out more themselves. Targeted advertising through demographic information using social media not only identifies your future customer, but it allows you to approach them directly. Imagine a salesman only knocking on the doors of likely clients he’s going to be able to sell to. You’d think he was a genius. Social media allows you to do that.

Advertising ID’s

Akin to targeting demographics, advertising ID’s are collected and formed through a consumer’s travel of the internet. Every search they make, every location they go, mostly every item they buy is cataloged through Google and collated into the relevant information that allows you to understand the buying habits of the person you’re interested in.

This sounds creepy, and it probably is. But it’s useful. See what packages you can use to effectively implement targeted advertising, and like the salesman who knows exactly who to sell to, you’ll be making money in no time.

Own-App Integration

If you haven’t already, it’s incredibly wise to develop your own app for greater business/customer interaction. Here you can get the best mobile app development cost estimate. Once you’ve done this, be sure to integrate social media support, so your customers can create logins through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. This will allow you to access their basic information and have even more reliable metrics for demographics and advertising ID’s at the same time. Having an app will also help you communicate more effectively with your customers by having security features that help you identify who you’re talking to, and also implementing ease-of-access for your support staff.

Social media is here, and it’s here to stay. It’s the digital ‘reputation’ of the modern world. People often half-live through their social media accounts, and so neglected this from a business perspective is similar to ignoring half of your demographics through willful ignorance. Don’t be that kind of business owner.

 

 

20 Things You Should Share On Social Media | Jeffbullas’s Blog

20 Things You Should Share On Social Media

YouTube Videos reviewing products or showing how to construct a product for DIY
Photos of events, exhibitions and post them on Flickr
If you are a creative business and create images and art also put them on Flickr or other social media sharing sites
Audio recordings of your online videos put them on your website or blog
PDF documents of offline archived information that is appropriate to put online
Slideshare presentations
Graphs
Infographics Webinars Podcasts
Music if you are a musician
Text format of your video blog posts
Microsoft Office Documents
Notes displaying keypoints from your power point presentations Newsletters
Press releases about your brand
News items about your company
Your Bookmarking such as Delicious, Stumbleupon and Digg Competitions shouldn’t be just advertised on traditional Mass Media but shared via social media ..have a look at Ford’s Fiesta competition
Share your humour.. mix up your serious content with some humorous photo’s, articles and even cartoons

Every one of these different types of content or “digital assets” can be published on multiple social media channels that are appropriate to leverage your content by world of mouth.

What content are you sharing on social media and can you do it better?

via 20 Things You Should Share On Social Media | Jeffbullas’s Blog.

Tactics That Will Help You Dominate Google

For years, Google has dominated the online marketing industry without as much as a backward glance. Even in 2017, the search engine giant is making changes to its functions to monopolise more power. Although this fact might make you think Google is going to have more power over you, that isn’t the case. Indeed, you can use the new modifications to dominate Google and become a marketing master. It isn’t easy, but it is possible thanks to the following tips. Implement these into your strategy, and you’ll be all over the electronic front pages.

Play The Long Game

The irony of becoming a Google master in the here and now is that it takes decades. There isn’t a quick fix, and the reason is simple: Google ranks age over beauty. Sure, you can tweak your site so that it is aesthetically astounding, but the G-dawg doesn’t care. What it does care about is the quality of your links, content, and the indexed age. Without these three components, your strategy won’t gather any traction whatsoever. The bad news is that it takes years to come to fruition, but if you start now you will get there quicker.

Content Is King

Scratch that because it should read ‘content is and always will be king.’ Some things evolve over time, as you would expect, and content is no different. However, what won’t change for a very long time is its importance in SERP. Simply put, Google trusts content more than anything else, and trust is a major player in its current algorithm. Now, the written word might not have the same impact as it once did, but they are other forms of content. Online video is the current king and one you should use to your advantage with short vines and social media links.

Experts Over Beginners

When all’s said and done, the algorithm that searches ranks sites wants quality over quantity. Obviously, this shouldn’t come as a big surprise because quality has always been the main man. However, some people don’t do the right things when it comes to producing quality throughout their site. What does this mean? It means you opt for beginners over professionals. Whether you need search engine optimisation experts or web design experts, you shouldn’t compromise. Okay, they are more expensive, but they the tricks of the trade. You, on the other hand, are only guessing and hoping you get it right.

Keywords, But Not Too Many

To rank highly, you will find it tempting to stuff your content with keywords. Although this seems like a valid option, it isn’t because of Penguin. Penguin is Google’s spam filter that finds sites with too many keywords and phrases and penalises SERP. Instead, you want to use them sparingly along with LSIs. That stands for Latent Semantic Indexing, and it ranks content which uses words and phrases that have close matches.

In layman’s terms, it’s a loophole in the system. But, it is something that Google doesn’t punish, so it’s fair game.