Tag Archives: Marketing Trends

Thurs. Trends: Webinars Gaining Popularity in Attracting Prospects

February 19, 2015

Webinars are trending and for good reason. These web-based seminars are a cost-effective way for attracting prospects by providing a 45-60 minute mini-training session. In exchange for this new education, people are more than happy to give you their name and email address. And the best thing about webinars is that they are not a once-and-done marketing effort. Your recorded webinar can be viewed on demand for months – or even years – to come, and can continue to generate leads.

A recent study by marketingsherpa.com revealed that 92% of the marketers surveyed consider webinars/webcasts to be very or somewhat effective. In fact webinars/webcasts were ranked as the most effective (in terms of achieving marketing objectives) of the 18 choices given.

To clarify, webinars and webcasts are very similar with the main difference being the initial broadcast of a webinar is interactive and allows participants to ask questions, whereas a webcast is simply a broadcast with no viewer interaction.

 

MarketingSherpa

Marketing Sherpa, SEO Marketing Benchmark Survey

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Trends: Documenting Your B2B Content Marketing Strategy  

February 12, 2015

In a report from MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute, sponsored by Brightcove, 83% of respondents claimed to be content marketers – and most of those content marketers admitted they didn’t document their content marketing strategy. Only 35% of the total respondents say they documented it. It is proven time and again that having a documented, realistic, and goal-based strategy for your B2B content marketing efforts proves best results.

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How can documenting your content marketing strategy save your marketing program? Here are four ways:

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Trends: Content Reuse: Repurpose, Revamp and Reap the Benefits

February 5, 2015

Repurposed content is quite the buzz term these days. It’s widely understood across industries that well-used content can generate new leads and though marketing teams are quick to say “oh, we can repurpose that video on YouTube or post that infographic on SlideShare”…how do we repurpose content in a way that effectively attracts new prospects or engages new markets? What content should we use? And how should we change it?

The answers to these questions lie in knowing when to repurpose content and when to revamp content.

One of our partners, HubSpot, has published quite a few blogs and articles on content, and I especially appreciated Niti Shah’s April 14th post discussing repurposing vs. revamping content. In summary, repurposing content means to post to additional media or target an additional segment, while revamping content involves customizing or updating content to remain relevant or vertical specific. Repurposing could include taking a series of blog posts and bundling them into an eBook, or taking content from a recent analyst study and turning it into a webinar. While on the other hand revamping includes continuing to use a piece of content that you already have and using it for the same purpose it was originally intended, but updating it so it remains relevant. An example of this can be taking an already produced whitepaper and updating it to reflect changes over a given time period.

Repurposing and Revamping Content

 

Here are four more tips for effectively reusing your content:

Repurpose content to reach specific targets along the buying stage

Identify where your prospects are and repackage content specifically to that stage. For example, we know marketing for engineering companies can be complex and most have content at the very top or very bottom of the funnel. Create middle-of –the-funnel content by packaging webinar content meant for prospects in the awareness stage with a customer case study video that goes into more detail and proof for buyers in the consideration stage.

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Trends: Web Form Fields That Convert

January 29, 2015

High quality content is key to lead generation. While we know scientists and engineers seek accurate, research-based content, we know they are skeptical of trusting online content and filling out lead forms to get to it. So what fields – and how many – should we prioritize?

TREW Marketing and CFE Media conducted two comprehensive content marketing surveys in 2014 to over 1000 R&D engineers that provided hard data across a wide range of topics, including lead forms. Many often assume our target audience of engineers will not fill out lead forms. However, the findings revealed what we at TREW believe and have seen for years – if content is perceived as valuable, engineers will absolutely fill out a lead form to get it.

“From websites to blogs to e-newsletters to gated content like white papers, no matter the channel or format, we as marketers have a huge challenge – and great opportunity – to be the stewards to ensure our teams are publishing high quality content our engineering customers trust and appreciate. When they do, they will reward us by visiting our websites and engaging.” Rebecca Geier, CEO and Co-Founder, TREW Marketing

 

What Content Should Require a Lead Form vs. Be Free?

Lead form info

 

Quick stat: Respondents were most likely to provide basic contact information to access webcasts and webinars (72%); product information (69%); white papers, best practices, etc. (68%).

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Personalize Your Marketing Efforts or be Left Behind

The emotional decision process connecting with others on a real and valuable level is bleeding into business decisions and is forcing marketers to provide a more personalized, authentic approach to their audience. HubSpot titles this marketing movement as the “Human Era” and states that, “only by individualizing an audience and building authentic connections will a business thrive in the Human Era.”

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Additionally Janrain conducted a national poll uncovering that 74% of online consumers get frustrated with websites when their content appears to have nothing in common with their specific interests.

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Thurs. Trends: Marketers Integrating Modern Channels to Promote B2B Events

In-person events are a slowly evolving channel for B2B marketing. However, two things remain the same: B2B events produce the highest amount of quality leads but continue to result in a higher cost-per-lead partly due to the shift of resources that must go into promoting the event. According to MarketingCharts and Sagefrog Marketing Group, the largest percent (36%) of B2B marketers felt events and tradeshows gave their company the most ROI for lead generation.

Additionally, in a survey of 200 B2B marketing professionals in the US by marketing technology reviewer Software Advice, trade shows were cited as the channel that generates both the most leads and the best leads: 77% of marketers say shows generate a “somewhat” or “very high” quantity of leads, and 82% say they generate leads of “good” or “excellent” quality.

Quality of Leads by Channel, MarketingProfs.com

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Using Science to Guide Web Design: 3 Key Takeaways from Eyetracking Research

Looking for additional insight? Check out our eBook: A 15-Point Checklist to Evaluate Your B2B Technical Website.

Maybe it’s because we work with so many engineers and techies, but here at TREW, we can be real skeptics. We take an “I’ll believe it when I see it” approach – relying on hard data and proof points when making decisions on the most effective ways to help our clients market their brand.

So when it comes to creating effective web layout and designs that get results, we rely on usability data from trusted sources to help us make sense of how people use the web. One type of web study we rely on – and prove out time and time again – is eye tracking research.

Eye tracking is a form of research that allows the proctor to track web visitors’ eye movements across a page, providing insight into what people truly spend time looking at on the screen, what order they look at it, and what their eyes avoid. Some of the key questions eye tracking research can address include:

  • Which area of the page draws a web user’s attention?
  • What do users tend to look at first, second, third?
  • Which areas of the page do users avoid or ignore?
  • What specific elements of content do users gaze at for more than a second or two?
  • Do web visitors notice key elements of the page or recall key messaging?

By incorporating what we learn from eye tracking research, we can determine the best format and placement for content, and establish optimal page layout. It’s truly an opportunity to apply hard data to marketing activities for improved ROI.

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Thurs. Trends: B2B Content Marketing Leads to a Successful Marketing Strategy

As B2B marketers, we have begun to see the positive effects of incorporating B2B content marketing into our marketing efforts. Although we have started to see the positive impact that B2B content marketing can have in our marketing strategy, we are still struggling to obtain concrete ROI results.

Results from a study found in Interactive Advertising Bureau, 93% of B2B marketers are using content marketing within their marketing strategy.  (Source: 2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends-North America: Content Marketing Institue/MarketingProfs)

2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs

2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs

The majority of B2B marketers have confirmed that they utilize content marketing within their marketing strategy, even if they’re not seeing the explicit overall effectiveness of their content marketing.

Proving the Effectiveness of B2B Content Marketing Through Documentation

According to the Content Marketing Institute eBook, The Essentials of a Documented Content Marketing Strategy: 36 Questions to AnswerB2B marketers who document their content marketing are far more likely to consider their content marketing efforts as being effective. Due to the documentation process, these B2B marketers also consider their content marketing to be less challenging.

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Thurs. Trends: Proving the ROI of Marketing Tactics Still the Biggest Challenge Among B2B Companies

The pendulum is swinging to allow marketing to take the reigns in determining campaigns for lead generation in B2B companies. However, marketing teams are still struggling to prove the direct ROI of marketing tactics to the business. B2B companies are adopting digital marketing, content marketing and inbound marketing practices, because they see the value in general, but they still don’t have the proof.

In fact, a study featured in MarketingCharts this summer found that “40% of the respondents indicated that marketing programs made a difference, but the contribution to the business goals were not measured and reported.” (Source: 2014 ITSMA/VEM Marketing Performance Management Survey The Link Between Marketing Performance Management and Value Creation)

ITSMAVEM-Marketers-Ability-Prove-Impact-June2014

CMOs cited that short term impact can be measured on specific campaigns and activities, but long term campaigns with a broader impact are still incredibly difficult. As digital and inbound marketing tactics grow in popularity, 66% of marketers are feeling more pressure to prove the direct value.

The ROI of Marketing Is There, It’s Just Vague

In a recent survey with CFE Media (Content for Engineers), TREW found that engineers marketing to engineers were also struggling to understand the explicit value in certain content marketing techniques; and yet when asked if they used those techniques as marketers (and when they respond as buyers), they responded that they find the techniques helpful.
CFE Media and TREW Marketing Survey Results Over the Value of Producing Content

Even as marketers are struggling to prove the ROI of modern marketing techniques, such as content marketing, they are proving time and again that these techniques are essential to growing their business. Shown above, 74% of engineers are more likely to do business with a company that produces fresh and current content on a regular basis.

The Perception of Marketing’s Worth Among CMOs, CFOs, and Sales

It’s studies like these that prove the ROI of marketing in a high-level view, but CMOs and CFOs are still disagreeing on the value in marketing dollars. A study at Marketing Week in the UK by Econsultancy found that while CMOs perceive they are contributing to 30% of the company’s business revenue, only 25% of CFOs agree. Furthermore, 75% of CMOs believe that their efforts are directly influencing sales, only 33% of CFOs agree.

Econsultancy Marketing Week Perceptions of Marketing

But it all ShrugEmoticon-1024x682comes back to knowing how to prove the ROI explicitly. Even in the Econsultancy study, “83% of marketers and 76% of finance directors surveyed admit not knowing what the return on investment from their company’s marketing actually is.”

HubSpot has featured in their State of Inbound each year the results of perceived value in inbound marketing among B2B marketers and sales teams and for The State of Inbound 2014, they show that it remains a challenge to prove ROI, though they know it does exist.

Takeaways

TREW Marketing ROI of Marketing FunnelThe best way to prove the ROI of marketing is to set a measurable goal that directly relates to revenue.

Take a look at TREW’s lead-to-revenue calculator for tips on proving the ROI of marketing and the overall value of marketing.

Thurs. Trends: 3 Email Marketing Trends for Your 2015 Marketing Plan

As email marketing continues to grow in popularity as a powerful tool to nurture your target audience through the marketing funnel and buyer’s cycle, there are some factors to take into consideration when forming your 2015 marketing plan:

Image-based Emails vs. Text-based Emails
Do consumers prefer that emails from companies contain mostly images or mostly text? According to research from HubSpot’s 2014 Science of Email Report, there is a significant disconnect between the self-reported data vs. the observational data that was received from the testing that they conducted. In both the 2011 and 2014 surveys that HubSpot conducted, it received nearly 2/3 respondents saying they preferred mostly image-based emails vs. mostly text-based emails.

HubSpot's Science of Email 2014 Email Preference Self-Reported Survey Results

Source: HubSpot’s Science of Email 2014 Email Preference Self-Reported Survey Results

As you can see below, however, HubSpot’s observational data shows that the CTR (click-through rate) actually decreases as the number of images within an email increases.

HubSpot's Science of Email 2014 Email Preference Observational Data Survey Results

Source: HubSpot’s Science of Email 2014 Email Preference Observational Data Survey Results

With email marketing, it’s always important to weigh the pros with the cons of using images vs text.  Experiment with various types of images and text content within your open- and click-through- rates and structure your strategy accordingly.

In general, a even mix of images and text covers all your bases. As well, don’t forget to create your emails in both HTML and text-based code so those email providers that have strict image settings still receive a reader-friendly email.

Timing Your Emails
When deciding on the best time to send out emails, it’s critical that you’re sending emails to your recipients based on their schedules. Unfortunately for email marketing, there isn’t a set time that everyone checks his or her inbox, so a bit of testing will be required. To decide on the best time to reach your audience, attempt a simple A/B test experiment.

A/B Testing

Divide your email distribution list and send your email to the two-segmented lists at different times. Review your open rate results and make changes to your distribution time if it is needed. Continue this type of testing for your email marketing regularly to ensure that your emails are being sent at the best time based on the schedules of your recipients.

Email Formats – Don’t forget Mobile!
The pendulum is swinging toward mobile devices as a primary source of email views compared to desktop devices.  Due to this evolution, proper templates and changes in the formatting of your emails need to be taken into consideration in order for your email marketing strategy to be successful.

Litmus Email Open Rate for Mobile Devices

According to Litmus, the majority of emails being opened are occurring on iPhones, Androids, and iPads. In 2013 alone, the mobile open rate increased 21% to now represent 51% of emails being viewed on a mobile device.

HubSpot's Science of Email 2014 Self-Reported Data Results: "How do you read email?"

HubSpot’s Science of Email 2014 Self-Reported Data Results: “How do you read email?”

Similarly, self-reported data results within HubSpot’s Science of Email Report show that 57% of survey takers reported reading emails on their phones and 33% of the survey takers reported reading it on their tablet devices.

This graph also points out that people are opening their emails on both their mobile and their desktop devices, so the key is to send responsive emails (emails that are ambiguous to both types) rather than picking one format in which to create your emails.

In conclusion
When it comes to planning your email marketing strategy it is important to take all factors into consideration. You must remember to test and evaluate your results in order to see continued success – and don’t forget to keep up with technology trends, as these play a huge role in the evolution of email marketing.

 

For more information on marketing trends to consider in your 2015 planning check out, Top 3 B2B Marketing Trends to Prioritize in 2015.