Category Archives: Marketing Trends

Top 3 B2B Marketing Trends to Prioritize for 2015

September brings the beginning of the school year and football season, but it’s also the perfect time to start thinking about marketing planning and budget allocation for 2015.  So what are the B2B marketing trends you should consider as you start your planning process? TREW Marketing’s account team recently put our head’s together to create the following list of must-consider trends to prioritize in your 2015 plan.

Content Strategy Based on Personas

We all know content is king and should always be the top priority in any marketing plan. However, ensuring your content strategy is based on reaching your target buyer personas at the time of day/week, frequency, length and form factor they prefer is often overlooked in content strategy development. If you want to get the full value out of the time you spend generating content, taking time to map your content to your buyer personas is well worth the investment.

What are buyer personas? Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. Don’t have buyer personas? Consider adding those to your priorities list too!

Marketing personas

Also consider if you have adequate content for each part of the buying cycle including:

  • Learn content such as case studies, videos, blog posts and data sheets
  • Try content such as a demo or evaluation
  • Buy content such as white papers, product demo videos and webinars

And if you’re not yet doing a blog and don’t have at least two videos or webinars on your website, I would place these high on your content prioritization list for 2015.

Why invest in these two content types:

  • Companies that blog see up to 55% more web traffic and 70% more leads (HubSpot)
  • 46% of people say they’d be more likely to seek out information about a product or service after seeing it in an online video (Content Marketing Institute)

Website Design for Mobile Devices

We’ve all heard the buzz that mobile use is increasing, but with traffic numbers from mobile still in the 8-15% range for B2B (Harrison Jones, Search Engine Land; December 2013) does it make sense to invest in mobile? Once you have 10% of your users viewing your site in a mobile device, we believe you should definitely make the investment in responsive design to ensure you deliver a high-quality user experience for all devices, while capturing mobile search visits. How does responsive design impact search? Google favors websites optimized for mobile when presenting search results from mobile devices, placing you above your competitors that don’t have an optimized site.

What is responsive web design? Responsive web design is a way to develop websites where the server always sends the same HTML to all devices, and CSS (cascading style sheet) is used to change the way a page renders on different display sizes.

Parillion website

TREW created a Responsive Design web experience for Parallon Business Solutions. To the left you can see the desktop version, and on the right is how the screen responds to more narrow margins such as those of a smartphone.

Wondering what the top 3 actions B2B mobile users take when they get to your site:

  1. To learn what your company does at a topline level
  2. To get directions to your office
  3. To call you immediately

Pull out your mobile device and try to perform these three tasks on your website. If you can’t easily do these three things, you should consider adding this your 2015 marketing planning priorities. Read more about website redesign in the eBook, “Smart Marketing for Engineers: Website Redesign.

Marketing Automation

Are you generating a steady flow of new and qualified leads? Do you have an efficient content strategy mapped to your buyer personas? Do you want to scale your lead-nurturing efforts? If you answered yes to most or all of these, then marketing automation should be high on your list of priorities for 2015.

What is marketing automation? Marketing Automation allows companies to automate digital marketing practices such as direct email, social media, and lead nurturing to save time and resources. Marketing automation is not spamming your database and it certainly won’t help you grow leads if you don’t have a solid content plan and lead management process already in place – but if you’re ready to gain intelligence about your customers and website visitors and target the right content and offer at the right time to continue the conversion process from prospect, to lead, to customer, there is no better tool to invest in to maximize your time and generate an ROI that will impress your management team.

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.









NEW DATA: Google Authorship: The Ever-Changing Buzzword

So, after all I said and wrote about Google+, SEO, and Google Authorship, Google has decided to pull the plug on featuring authorship details in the search engine results page (SERP) – specifically, the author’s picture and his or her Google+ Circle count.

Turns out, 13 days after I published the blog, “Google Authorship: The New Buzzword affecting SEO,” Google decided that its SERP needed a facelift – AGAIN.  It decided it wasn’t fair to include pictures of Google+ users nor the count of other Google+ users who were in their Circles. Sneaky marketers were stuffing their Google+ profiles with links and people in their Circles. These stuffed profiles were ranking highly in the SERP and, therefore, were getting more clicks because – as we know – images are more appealing to click.

Googleauthorship

How this Affects your Content Marketing:

Basically, they are making it difficult again to optimize Google+ to help with search results. Good thing you’ve got killer content to get results anyway! As well, don’t forget to follow the guidelines from my original post. Even without your photo in the SERP, using Google Authorship to tie your content and Google+ profile still has weight with Google.

Read more in the articles below posted by HubSpot to see the new details they’ve uncovered, and keep on posting quality content! 

Thanks for reading! Hopefully Google will give me at least 30 days this time before it makes me a liar.

Original Post Content with New Data:

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.

NEW DATA: Remember, your Google+ profile linked to your content strengthens your Google Authorship. No longer including the Google+ profile picture in the SERP (by Google) is what has changed.

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

NEW DATA: The author’s image and Google+ circle count in this image will no longer be included in the SERP. The author will still be included. 

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.

How Many Fields in a Lead Form? TREW’s August Poll

TREW Marketing is always looking for current data around marketing trends and techniques to capture the attention of our technical audience. The best way to find this information is directly from our audience – you. Each month we plan to post a one-question poll or survey on a specific topic and report the results in a blog post the following month.

The Debate: Form Fields for High Conversion Rates

This month we focus on lead forms and the number of personal fields a web visitor is willing to fill out on their first visit to a website. While questions about a person’s professional atmosphere and need are generally non-intrusive, some web visitors find giving their email address or company name too forward.  This There’s a debate with marketers about how and when to collect information from users – and for how much information you should ask.

When you come across a lead form, how much information do you believe is reasonable to fill out on a first visit? Let us know in this one-question survey.

Read more stats about Lead Form Fields and Conversion Rates:

Is Too Much Choice Killing Your Conversion Rates? [Case Studies] by Unbounce

Little Secrets to Contact Forms That Convert [Quick Tip] by HubSpot

7 Ways to Optimize Your Conversion Forms to Get Better Leads by HubSpot

Live Webcast: How Engineers Seek and Consume Content

Join TREW CEO and Co-founder Rebecca Geier, along with representatives from CFE Media, for a free webcast discussing how engineers use search engines, why they visit company websites, and what they value most in marketing content.  Pre-register now for the free seminar that will dive into the results and findings of the TREW and CFE Media industry-first survey of more than 700 engineers primarily in R&D.







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Trends: The Selfie, the 4-Screen Revolution and 3 other Digital Marketing Trends to Watch

If you’re unfamiliar with the term “selfie,” you must be living on a remote island enjoying life (like a genius, I might add).

The trend of taking a photo of oneself is dominating pop culture and can be found everywhere from social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; to television programs (remember the Oscars); to the radio via the pop song “#Selfie.”

selfie karen fields rebecca geier

TREW Marketing Co-founder and CEO Rebecca Geier takes a “selfie” at EELive! with Karen Fields, senior vice president of content at UBM.

Think this trend doesn’t apply to B2B Marketing? Think again. The way that your customers engage with others online is an important consideration.

Let’s examine how the selfie and other digital trends (such as the four-screen revolution, video and content curation) affect marketing, referencing this article on Inc.com.

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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.

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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.

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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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