Tag 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).

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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.

Thursday Trends: Google Panda’s Attack on Press Releases

The recent update to the Google search results algorithm – better known as “Panda 4.0” – is causing a stir around global PR and newswire agencies, due to the fact that this new update causes “unoriginal content” (including press releases distributed to and syndicated on multiple news outlets) to rank much lower on the search engine results page (SERP), sometimes even pushing them to page 2 or 3.

Whether or not you’re trying to use your press release primarily to boost your ranking in search results, Google now lumps widely distributed news releases in with other “linking schemes” and continues to place more value (and a higher rank) on what it considers unique content.

Is this the Attack of Google’s Panda on Press Releases?

So is it really the death of the press release? While some juries are still out, we propose that this is simply the next evolution of content strategy, and reflects changes the smartest companies are already making. That is, creating quality content that conveys their most important message with their target audiences in mind, and sharing in more efficient ways that rank highly for the search engine and the searcher.

screen shot of businesswire.com dip in traffic after Google's Panda 4.0 release

Some news wiring agencies, like Business Wire, took a noticeable hit after the release of Panda 4.0. Image courtesy of searchengineland.com.

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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: Search Engine Optimization for People, not just Search Engines

Search engine optimization (SEO) has been a hot-topic in website design, traffic generation and lead conversion for years. Recently, however, as Google continues to update its ever-changing algorithm, companies are beginning to focus SEO efforts on the people using the search engines, rather than just the search engines themselves. In other words, it’s not just about quantity – the number of clicks; it’s more and more about the quality – who is clicking.

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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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Why You Should Care About Google+

As B2B Marketers, we know that social media is a must. However, it can be challenging to know where to start and difficult to communicate its ROI to receive the dedicated resources and time needed for social media tactics. We get it.

BUT – if there’s one channel that you should care about today and make time for, it’s Google+.

Learn why your company should care about Google+ and its clear ROI.

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Thursday Trends: We Exceedingly Trust People Like Us

From deciding at which restaurant to dine, to which cell phone we should buy, to which vendor we should use, we often call on the advice of our peers to help make this decision. And, while decision-making has become increasingly crowd-sourced, the choice itself has become more personal. As consumers, we expect things that are more tailored to individual needs.

The factors that guide our personal decisions are also closely linked to those we use in business.

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Thursday Trends: Conversion Rates for Paid Search Advertising

Recent work with a TREW client on a campaign that included Google Adwords paid search advertising revealed how conversion rates vary across industries.

The client wanted a 35% conversion rate from visit to lead on their website landing page – referring to the percent of website visitors who submit a form and turn into leads. TREW agreed to aim for this goal originally because we understood that the landing page would be used for both Google Adwords and direct emails going out to contacts in the client’s database. Further down the line, we discovered the direct emails could not be configured to send users to their landing page.

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Thursday Trends: B2B Lead Generation Marketing Trends

How does your lead generation stack up against other B2B technology companies? The B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn, comprised of more than 42,000 marketing professionals in software and high-tech industries, did a survey of their group to gather trends in lead generation. More than 800 respondents were tallied to create the report, and here are the highlights.

Generating high-quality leads is the number one challenge for B2B marketers, followed by converting leads into customers, and creating meaningful content.

Biggest B2B Lead Generation Challenges

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