Tag 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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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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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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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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