Smart Marketing Blog

6 Reasons Outsourcing Your Marketing is A Great Idea

Why should you consider outsourcing your marketing? There are many good reasons but most of them come down to dollars and expertise. Unlike sales, marketing is an expense -- not a money-maker. The sales team is usually the last department to be cut. Having too many marketers can potentially drain your profits, but too few can lead to an overworked team. At times you may need outside opinions because you are too close to the situation, which can lead to tunnel vision. If you feel adding more staff will make your company unbalanced or you just need some clarity from an expert, it is probably time to consider outsourcing your marketing.

4 Brand Differentiating Questions to Ask

Brand positioning and messaging is a critical component to your business because it tells your buyers who you are and why you're different. The positioning process and the way it hones and defines your company's brand, tone, and differentiators help align executives and stakeholders and often later dictate decisions as broad as website hierarchy and overall content strategy.

What is a Lead Conversion Funnel?

To understand what a lead conversion funnel is, you should know what a regular ol’ funnel is. According to “The Google”… So for our purposes, a Lead Conversion Funnel at the most basic level is a visualization of how prospects or leads interact with your company from an unknown website visitor to a new, first-time customer. The only difference with a Lead Conversion Funnel and your run of the mill kitchen funnel is that 100% of the contents poured in do not come out as customers.  This is where the conversion portion comes into play. There are imaginary holes in your funnel where leads leak out for various reasons, including disqualification, lack of interest, unsubscribes etc. In order to predict this loss with a reasonable amount of certainty, you use conversion rates to calculate the various lead stages. Each company’s conversion rates will vary but typically are fairly consistent from industry to industry.

Is It Time to Go Deeper with Your Buyer Personas?

Buyer personas are a critical foundational element of a sound marketing program. Getting agreement among leadership, sales and marketing about your company’s buyer(s) enables you to ensure every dollar and hour spent designing your website, creating and marketing content, or developing your trade show message delivers the exact kind of leads you need to drive growth. In lieu of defined personas, your efforts are less targeted and thus, less effective. Fortunately, with so much data available today about the buyer journey moving online, and the control shifting away from marketers and into the hands of your customers, many are leading the change to ensure their teams have their personas defined. In fact, in a survey of attendees to this year’s Industrial Manufacturing Workshop at Content Marketing World that I’m teaching along with Douglass Burdett of The Marketing Book Podcast, over half (56%) say they have defined personas at their company. That’s up 16% from last year.

5 Ways to Optimize Your Landing Pages for Technical Audiences

Landing pages are the gateways to getting new contacts and leads from your website. You should be strategic and thoughtful when creating your landing pages because you want to drive conversions. So how do you optimize your landing pages to increase your conversion rates? There's many ways to do this--such as removing page navigation so users can't click away from your content offers. To help you out, we've pulled from our research on engineers to give you advice for crafting appealing landing pages for technical audiences.

5 Questions to Ask  Before You Buy a Web Content Management System

Unlike print collateral, your website is a living document that requires frequent attention and updates to successfully meet your marketing and business goals.

Infographic: Know YOUR Audience: The Basics of A/B Testing

April 23, 2015 Most engineers and scientists swear by testing, testing, and more testing. And marketers are the same. In fact, Steelhouse proved that “using correct targeting and testing methods can increase conversion rates up to 300 percent.” A/B testing is one of the best – and most used - techniques to learn what content performs best with your audience, but it can be hard to know how to start the process and choose the right elements. With A/B testing, you create two or more versions of one marketing element, such as a subject line of an email or CTA button, then put it in front of two randomly selected audiences to see which performs better. The best part of A/B testing is that you are testing two segments of your audience, not relying on industry standards. Your contacts are the judges, and the outcome can significantly affect your conversion rates and, ultimately, your bottom line. The Importance of A/B Testing Marketers still struggle to prove the ROI of digital marketing, inbound marketing and content marketing. A/B testing is the simplest and easiest way to find out whether marketing efforts work or not.

Questions to Ask When Selecting a Marketing Agency

Seeking out a marketing partner can be a daunting task. If you’ve never worked with an agency before, you may find yourself not knowing how to vet potential partners. Or it may be the case that you’ve been burned by a negative experience in the past, and are wary of ending up in the same situation again.

The Plain and the Glamorous

At least once a year, someone somewhere in the marketing world declares that email is dead. Usually this is followed by exposition on the new technology that has overtaken email. It’s a catchy phrase, for sure, and there are many sexy technologies out there that are more fun to play with. The fact remains, however, that email has been and will remain the workhorse of marketing – no matter what new technology pops up on the horizon.   Here's a look at the history of email. 

Content Reuse: Repurpose, Revamp and Reap the Benefits

As busy marketing professionals, we all juggle projects and wear many hats in our organization. It can be hard to find the time and inspiration to create new content every week.  At the same time, your marketing strategy prompts you to produce quality content consistently, while also publishing new ebooks and white papers quarterly. So, what's the secret to producing quality content while still getting the rest of your work done? Repurposing and revamping valuable content saves time and money while still driving results.