Category Archives: Marketing Trends

Thurs. Trends: Marketing Automation Trends among B2B Marketers

Marketing Automation allows companies to automate digital marketing practices such as direct email, social media, and lead nurturing to save time and resources. However, the biggest benefit is the long term nurturing that automation provides.  Automating your digital marketing not only benefits you as the marketer but also provides benefits to your customers and subscribers.

The Use of Marketing Automation among B2B Marketers

According to Marketo, a majority of B2B companies are still using manual methods to implement marketing tactics and nurture leads. This can be very time consuming Most marketers who considered buying a marketing automation program indicated that their biggest need is to improve marketing productivity.

Moreover, Marketo also found that high tech companies are looking for marketing automation tools now, more than ever.  And, across industries, over 91% of buyers surveyed were evaluating marketing automation software for the first time.

The State of Marketing Automation Trends 2014 [Infographic]

Though almost one-quarter of marketers don’t use marketing automation programs, according to a MarketingCharts study on managing marketing emails, small businesses (1-50 employees) are 50% more likely to use them. The research also found that the availability of in-house skill to effectively implement marketing automation was a leading source of concern (with over 55% of respondents choosing this as one of their top 5 concerns).

b2bcontentmarketingrevenuecontributiondriversmarketingcharts

The 2013 Lenskold Group/Pedowitz Group Lead Gen Marketing Effectiveness Study separated respondents those who describe themselves as highly effective and efficient (13% of the sample) and the rest. Both groups were most likely to say that marketing automation systems are responsible for improving content marketing-derived revenues.

While automation programs make life easier for marketers, it only works if you take the time to learn the tool and strategy behind marketing automation.

Marketing Automation Benefits

Marketing Automation programs provide benefits to B2B marketers by improving content marketing-derived revenues or enabling revenue to be mapped back or attributed to a contact’s interactions with online content and marketing efforts.

As a result, marketers can more effectively measure campaign results  and tactics and use this information to determine future campaigns and marketing tactics.

Furthermore, automating marketing tactics is also proven to increases leads, sales and revenue and is expected to do so exponentially more in the future.

Benefits of marketing automation cited by MarketingCharts include:

  • Improved lead management and nurturing  – allows you to fill your sales funnel more efficiently.
  • Enhanced targeting and personalization –gives you more power when approaching your audience.
  • Campaign tracking –allows for better ROI measurement and planning for the future.
  • Marketing and Sales alignment – improves ROI and, lets face it, makes everyone happier.

 

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For more information on how you can deploy a marketing automation, contact us. We’re a Silver Level Certified HubSpot Partner.

To learn more about lead generation and improving your ROI, download our free eBook “Smart Marketing for Engineers™: Lead Generation.” 

LinkedIn Fosters Growth of B2B Content Sharing

What content is most frequently shared on LinkedIn and social media by technical audiences? How do you create content that is more likely to be shared and consumed? Results of a recent study by MarketingCharts indicate that “professional content consumption is ‘dramatically rising’ on LinkedIn” and other social media platforms.

What are people looking for and sharing on LinkedIn?

Experts at TREW Marketing find LinkedIn to be the best social media channel for B2B content sharing, as it reaches a highly targeted, engaged audience that can be added to your company’s database and marketing funnel. Similarly, the study by MarketingCharts confirmed that most content consumers are trolling LinkedIn to keep up with industry news, discover new ideas, and network with their colleagues and clients. Content consumers are spending an average of eight hours per week on LinkedIn reading new research, breaking news, and case studies pertaining to their industry.

Most LinkedIn content consumers are simply sharing their favorite content by clicking the “like” button. However, the comment board on posts is becoming increasingly popular, as it allows users to share the content at hand and add their own expertise or opinion on the topic.

How can businesses take advantage of these B2B content sharing trends?

Content marketing begins and ends with high-quality, accurate, and in-depth content, but there are other best practices that you can adopt for sharing content on LinkedIn. For example, top suggestions from a Marketing Profs study suggest optimizing the title and timing of social media posts to increase visibility and shares.

Title Optimization for Social Media Sharing

The title of any social media post is determined not only by content, but also by platform. Twitter allows 140 characters in a post, including links. LinkedIn has more flexibility, providing a less-restrictive character count for post title, description, and link to corresponding content.  According to a Marketing Profs article based on a study by TrackMaven, the majority of blog titles posted on LinkedIn are around 40 characters. However, blogs that were shared most often had titles with 60 or more characters.

TREW experts rely on the latter statistic to format titles for social media posts, but consider the first 40 characters to be the determinant of SEO best practices. Meaning, let your titles run at 60 characters but include the keywords in the first 40 characters in order to ensure SEO for link building in social media.

Timing of your Blog Posts on LinkedIn and Social Media

Though preferences vary based on industry, audience, and reader personality, content sharing on LinkedIn is more frequent at certain times of day and days of the week. Interestingly, while 87% of posts were published to social media platforms during the workweek – specifically Tuesdays and Wednesdays – content that was published on the weekends was shared more frequently.  Using a marketing automation tool is a great and easy way to optimize timing, as social media posts can be scheduled for ideal sharing times.

While posting during certain times can generate more shares on average, it’s best to focus first on sharing at a steady and consistent pace, never allowing for “dead times” when you aren’t posting at all. And, always throw in some curve balls for good measure. Even technical audiences need a break in the monotony.

Content marketing is important to B2B marketing in all forms and fashions, from the content on your website (“brochure-ware”) to press releases to blogging. However, when it comes to business blogging, sharing content on LinkedIn is the best way to organically promote your content to a technical audience.

In a video by TREW Marketing, CEO Rebecca Geier walks through the elements of creating a content plan for your company. Watch the Content Planning Video now

Need some help beefing up your library of quality content? Learn more about TREW’s Content Development services, and see examples of our content marketing work.

When Engineers Say One Thing But Do Another

The following blog, written by TREW CEO and Co-founder Rebecca Geier, first appeared in EE Times.

Engineers hold accuracy and precision as paramount. You are designing and solving critical applications to ensure the highest product quality, system safety, and performance. You are solving complex calculations to ensure the greatest likelihood of success. There’s little room for guesswork or contradictions.

cartoon of a person with two faces, pointing different directions

Engineers say that other engineers don’t fill out registration forms, but they do. What’s up with that?  (Image: Getty)

So when engineers first told me with certainty that other engineers will never give up their personal information on a website, and then they turned around and did exactly that, I was amazed. And I remain amazed, because it’s happened many more times since.

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Top 3 Content Marketing Techniques for Capturing (and Keeping) their Attention

In the past, we’ve written in-depth articles on how to succeed in content marketing by writing effective white papers or winning landing pages, but the fact is that most readers will only skim through the material. In today’s Thursday Trends post, we’re going to break it down and present the 3 key elements every piece of marketing content needs to keep readers reading.

Keep your readers awake

Killer Headlines

The make-it-or-break-it moment for a piece of content is when a visitor reads the title, whether it is an email, article, social media link, or other call-to-action (CTA). The median open-rate for 2013 was 17%, according to Marketing Charts, while the best performers had an over 35% open-rate. That means, on average, 83% of readers are only reading your headline or title. That’s a lot of missed opportunity. Never mind the wonderful description below it – if you can’t immediately capture your audience’s attention in the first 8 words, chances are, the article will not be read.

Headlines inside your content are just as important, not only for SEO, but to break up the monotony of the content and leading the reader by continued interest. When composing your title and headlines, certain techniques have a better click-through-rate, such as:

  • The use of numbered lists in the title (for example: “3 Top Tips for…”; “101 Ways to…”)
  • Including the appropriate keywords so the reader knows exactly what they are about to read
  • The use of questions, alliteration, and unexpected words to create a catchy headline or title
  • Adding benefits-oriented subheadings in the content body to break up the text

Eye-Catching Images

Speaking of breaking up text, research has shown that audiences are being drawn to marketing content that includes the use of photos, diagrams, and charts. It’s true that “a picture is worth 1000 words,” and a well-placed graphic can slow skimming readers enough to entice them to increase the amount of information they read and retain.

Tips on adding graphics to your content:

  • Use pictures that will make content standout in both SEO and social media
  • Find images that are copyright-cleared for commercial use with CC Search
  • Write image captions that summarize the surrounding text for fast skimmers
  • Create enticing title images and infographics for free with Canva

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Interesting images, like this popular TREW infographic, can quickly convey data and summarize information for skimmers.

Captivating Beginning and Ending

Like all good novels, your content should have a fascinating beginning and a stellar ending to be memorable.  The introduction is where you define the problem, provide relevant background info, and concisely explain what the rest of the article will cover.

The first sentence is the most important, so hook your reader early on with clear, enticing statements. Every additional sentence is a chance to lose your reader, so make every word count. Cut out any wordy “fluff,” and tie every sentence into your argument.

The conclusion should not only contain a summary of the most important points, but also offer a plan of action and next steps. Consider adding a bulleted list of to-do’s or a button or banner that clearly features the main call-to-action (CTAs).

“Don’t underestimate the power of an attention-grabbing headline, picture, or intro. Plan to spend 50% of your writing time on these three key areas in order to make the rest of your content count.”

–Rebecca Geier, CEO, TREW Marketing

Content marketing is crucial to lead generation, branding and thought leadership. Technical audiences expect high-quality, accurate information but, like all audiences, need to be drawn to read the content in order to find what they are looking for. The use of precise, relevant and interesting titles, imagery to cut out monotony, quality introductions and strong conclusions are some ways to keep this technical audience from skimming by your content.

Need help with creating highly effective technical content? Learn about our Content Development Services.

 

Thurs. Trends: Google Authorship: The New Buzzword Affecting Content Marketing

Technical audiences are in need of following Google’s newest update by placing more weight on optimized Google Authorship for longer lasting SEO and quality content marketing.

Gone are the days when you can outsource content to “ghost writers” that fill your blog and website with keywords and links in order to shoot to the top of the search engine rank page (SERP).  Additionally, simply adding an “expert” author to your blog along with search engine optimization (SEO) tactics will no longer automatically and exponentially raise your “Author Rank.”

Google puts more effort into ‘author rank’ algorithm

Just like previous SEO trends, Google has decided it is tired of trying to weed out the quality content from the spam content through simple link building and authorship algorithms. Instead, Google has drilled deeper into its version of “Author Rank” in order to decipher accurate and useful content based on the quality of the author, or as Google has coined, ‘Authorship.’

Google Authorship Using Google+ for Author Rank

Source: wpseotricks.com

Rich Snippets are becoming more selective

Additionally, Google cut the use of rich snippets (the few lines of text under a search result that give more information) for low quality sites by 15%. It also indicates that rich snippets using authorship found in the SERP will be focused on more in-depth content. This means that author rank is more competitive and the gap between authoritative authors and “ghost” authors will be larger, which is very good news for technical audiences who seek out in-depth content.

Rich Snippets in the Google SERP

Summary: Authorship is key

As content marketing becomes as important as – and interchangeable with – search engine optimization, expert authors become more important to Google and its searchers. Predicted in the near future by Forbes, sites that do not create and maintain author rank will be in risk of not ranking at all on the SERP. Fortunately, technical content for marketing to engineers and scientists is tends to be already naturally optimized for the high quality and in-depth content Google is now valuing more highly, so long as the author is following authorship best practices.

To get started on building your authorship, contact TREW Marketing about our Search Engine Marketing and Content Marketing services.

Want To Be More Effective With Your Content Marketing?

Watch the video “Marketing Content Planning to Drive Leads” as part of our two-part series to learn how strong marketing content builds your B2B company’s reputation, improves your site’s SEO, and increases leads.

Thursday Trends: No More Guessing: How to Become Data-driven

Has your leadership asked you about metrics or performance results this week? You’re definitely not the only one.

According to recent survey results from the most recent MIT Sloan Management Review, published by MarketingCharts, a majority of professionals are being pressured to become more data-driven and analytical. However, only a minority of respondents felt that they frequently have the data they need to make decisions.

professionals are being pressured to become more data-driven and analytical

Image Source: Marketingcharts.com

How can you ensure you have the analytics needed to make informed decisions about your marketing strategy? One way is by leveraging powerful analytics from marketing automation tools.

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Thursday Trends: What is the Ideal Email Subject Line Length?

There are a growing number of channels for sharing content online, and each seems to have its own secret recipe for success (think social media v. blogging v. email). This makes it tricky to effectively tailor content.

A recent blog post on Buffer explored “scientifically backed” recommendations on content length for writing, tweeting, and posting, and the results were interesting. According to the article, the ideal tweet is 100 characters, and the best Facebook posts are 40 characters or less.

While ideal content length varies by channel, one overarching trend is apparent – straightforward content that quickly communicates key messages performs best. It is the “Keep it simple, stupid” (KISS) principle applied to online content.

Let’s take a closer look at results.

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New Data: How Engineers Search Google

In March 2014, TREW Marketing teamed up with CFE Media – publisher of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering, among other publications – to survey engineers about their preferences and behaviors online. The official survey results will be launched later this quarter, but we didn’t want to wait to share a few highlights from the findings.

Over 700 participants in North America completed the survey, and primarily qualified themselves as in R&D/Engineering departments (>60%) or General Management (>20%). One of the first highlights is respondents’ opinions about content.

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A 15-Point Checklist to Evaluate Your B2B Technical Website

Today, we’re revisiting TREW Marketing’s evaluation guide for B2B technical websites, a guide for technical business leaders marketing their products and services online. Available for download on our site, the checklist addresses 15 ways to grow the impact of your website, including expert tips on:

  • Clean designB2B technical website checklist
  • Intuitive navigational paths
  • Informative graphics
  • Clear company positioning
  • Compelling, succinct, and fresh content year-round
  • Landing pages that convert visitors to leads
  • On-page SEO actions to get found by your audience
  • Social media promotion
  • Lead nurture with email automation

 

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