Featured Articles

For SMBs Content Paves the Way for Lead Gen

For small and medium businesses, lead generation is often a primary focus. More and more often, content marketing the vehicle SMBs are using to bring these leads into the fold. According to a survey done by Business.com, three-quarters of SMBs in the US include lead generation of some sort in their marketing strategy. The most popular type of content is a white paper, with 61% of respondents considering it at least somewhat valuable to them reaching their lead generation goals.

Content marketing isn’t the cure-all for these companies’ lead gen fever. Other indications that weigh in on how a successful lead generation program will be depend on purchase horizon, company size, industry, revenue, and more.

For the full report and more information, visit eMarketer.com.

Six Tips for Fitting Social into Your Schedule

Social is an increasingly important aspect of our professional lives, whether it’s developing your personal brand, part of your company’s marketing and communications strategy, or a vehicle for your content distribution plan. With our professional lives often packed from open to close, it can be tough to fit it all in. Here’s a quick guide from MarketingProfs that lays out some suggestions on how you can fit social into your schedule, while maintaining focus on your overall goals.

Read more on MarketingProfs.com.

Three Strategic SEO Best Practices EVERY Marketer Should Know

Most aspects of SEO haven’t changed much over the past few years. It’s still rooted in delivering quality, relevant content, good page descriptions, keyword research and fast load times. What has changed? Mostly the approach companies take to tackling search engine optimization. MarketingProfs.com has a quick read to three best practices upper level marketing managers need to keep in mind to deliver great organic search results. (ere’s a hint – there aren’t any tactics here).

Read more on MarketingProfs.com.

Case Study: How Positioning and Content Marketing Helped Launch a New Product

Construction software provider Maxwell Systems needed to cut back as the recession dried up new construction projects. However, even if sales and marketing efforts took a budgetary hit, one area on which they remained focused was R&D. ProContractorMX, a product that helps clients estimate costs, manage projects and track spending, was the result of $25 million in investment over the course of the recession. As the market improved, it was time to roll out the new product. Based on market research, Maxwell Systems positioned the software as an all-in-one solution, and launched an integrated campaign called “Empowering Construction”, and leveraged a content distribution program featuring video, online demonstrations, and best practices, with the all-in-one message front and center, establishing Maxwell Systems as a thought leader in the industry. The result was a 25% uptick in traffic, and a cost-per-inquiry that was 1/3 the project cost.

Read more on BtoBonline.com.

Content, Social, and SEO Lead Budget Increases

With the fourth quarter nearly upon us, and budget season approaching full-swing, Marketing Sherpa has a graph from their benchmarking survey that many marketers will find valuable this time of year. According to their Marketing Benchmarking Survey, an astonishing 64% of marketers plan to increase their budget’s allocation for content marketing. Landing page optimization (60%), Website upgrades (60%), social media (54%) and SEO (52%) round out the top 5.

For more background and the full graphic, please visit MarketingSherpa.com.

Video emails deliver superior ROI!

Today’s competitive digital world makes it difficult to get the consumer’s attention. Nothing connects people to a message as quickly as video. According to Gartner Research, Video Email Marketing offers a return 280% higher than traditional direct mail. According to a recent study by the Relevancy Group, and sponsored by StreamSend, marketers using video emails saw revenues jump 40%!

Incorporating video into Email Marketing is one of the most potent ways to increase email engagement. Below are some tips for getting started:

1. LENGTH OF THE VIDEO: Shorter is better. Keep your video under 60 seconds. If you can deliver the same message in 30 seconds – even better.

2. CONTENT: Make sure your video resonates with your audience and is relevant to your product or service. Video adds an entirely new dimension to your emails. Be creative, be edgy – but stay relevant and stay on message!

3. FORMAT: Use a format that supports both web and mobile video. Smartphones and tablets are everywhere. So make sure your video plays in both HTML5 and Flash.

4. YOUR EMAIL: Design your email so that video is the primary focus and is positioned above the fold. Your video should be up to 400 pixels wide. Your email should concisely state “what’s in it for them” and why they should watch the segment.

5. LEAD GENERATION: Consider adding a URL to the video to create immediate engagement and take viewers to your landing page. Or add a form right on to the video, which viewers can use to subscribe directly to your mailing list. If they like what they see in the video, chances are the consumer will want to see more – make the next level of engagement natural and simple.

6. SUBJECT LINE: Your subject line copy should include the word “video” and tie into the segment’s subject matter.

7. LANDING PAGE: Design a landing page to create continuity. In other words, keep the audience with you. Don’t send them to YouTube!

8. TRACK EVERYTHING: Be sure to track open rates, play rates, shares, etc. and compare them to your traditional email campaigns. Today’s email platforms give you all the data and campaign results you need to inform your decisions and drive campaign success.

Incorporating video into email marketing is one of the most potent ways to increase email engagement. Marketers using video in email are seeing increased click-through rates, more shares and forwards, an increase in conversions and higher average order value.

Email is Still Booming

EmailEmail’s dead….Long live email! According to a new study by Experian, released in their Quarterly Email Benchmark Study for Q2, email volume was almost 18% higher year-over-year compared with the same period in 2012. Open rates were more than 7% higher, and click through rates were down slightly, from 2.5% to 2.3% on average. There is more good data in the report, and you can read more by visiting DMNews.com