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When it comes to reaching customers online and convincing them to purchase your products and services, trust is a major factor. Customers aren’t going to do business with a company they don’t trust. And while there are plenty of ways to establish trust, website testimonials play a significant role. Why testimonials work In order to [...]

The post 5 tips for crafting compelling testimonial pages appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

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When it comes to reaching customers online and convincing them to purchase your products and services, trust is a major factor. Customers aren’t going to do business with a company they don’t trust. And while there are plenty of ways to establish trust, website testimonials play a significant role.

Why testimonials work

In order to understand the value of testimonials, you have to put yourself in the shoes of the customer and think about how they approach the purchase process. Today’s customers are savvy and understand that brands use biased marketing and advertising tactics to influence their choices. But what they really want is to cut through all the fluff and find the truth. They’re tired of hearing what you think and crave the opinions of their peers.

Testimonials give customers direct access to objective feedback from their peers in an unintimidating format that’s relevant and informative. They represent one of the strongest forms of social proof that a marketer has in his arsenal. But why is it, then, that only a fraction of businesses take the time to develop testimonial pages and really emphasize them in the sales funnel?


Testimonials give customers direct access to objective feedback from their peers. @LarryAlton3
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“As an informal observation, I think it’s because many of us have a difficult time attributing growth to showcasing what our customers say, when it’s so much neater to equate growth with something less sentimental – like an ad spend,” conversion expert Marie Dean believes.

However, if you take the time to review the numbers and apply common sense to testimonials, it really doesn’t take much to quantify value. As one set of data shows, on websites with customer reviews, 63% of visitors are more likely to purchase something. Even more impressive is the fact that reviews lift sales by an average of 18%.


Reviews lift sales by an average of 18%. @LarryAlton3
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While it might be somewhat difficult to attach a specific value to testimonials, that doesn’t mean value is non-existent. Many would argue the opposite. They would say that testimonials are one of the single most important elements on a company website.

5 tips for developing compelling testimonial pages

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The average individual has become increasingly savvy in how they shop over the last couple years. No longer do they search for a product and buy from the first website they see. Online customers are modern-day sleuths, searching for the best value and cross-referencing products and vendors until they find the right fit. If you don’t have a compelling testimonial page that establishes trust with your audience, you’ll never enjoy consistently high conversion rates.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the different website optimization tips people throw at you, but don’t miss out on the need for a compelling testimonial page. Here are a few tips for getting it right:

1. Don’t fake it

The very first rule of developing a customer testimonial page is to never fake anything. While you may be tempted to create a fictional testimonial or add/subtract a few words from some client feedback, it’s imperative that you avoid stretching the truth in any form or fashion.

Not only will a fake testimonial totally ruin your credibility if you’re ever ousted, but most don’t satisfy the eye test anyway. They’re generally easy to spot and then call into question the other legitimate reviews you have on the page.

2. Mix things up

It’s easy for a page of customer testimonials to become stale. Since improved conversion rates and higher sales can both be directly equated to an effective testimonial page, you want to be sure that you’re keeping visitors engaged. One of the best ways to do this is by mixing things up.

The testimonial page from credit repair agency Lexington Law is a really good example. While keeping things simple, they present both written testimonials and professionally produced videos to enhance the validity of their feedback and appeal to diverse customer preferences.

3. Have a strategy for collecting testimonials

Your testimonial page can only be as good as the testimonials you actually have, which is why you need to place an emphasis on collecting feedback from your customers and clients.

While you can directly ask customers for testimonials, you’ll typically get better results when you take a natural approach. For example, you may be able to piece together some feedback by reading blog comments or referencing positive emails customers have sent you about your product. (Just make sure you have permission to use these statements.)


Directly ask customers for testimonials, you’ll get better results. @LarryAlton3
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4. Use specific data

The more specific your customer testimonials are, the better. You want people to read your reviews and clearly see how the feedback relates to them in their specific situation. Utilizing testimonials with specific data points is one way of doing this.

The testimonial page from CRM vendor HubSpot is a perfect illustration. In many of their testimonials, clients say things like “lead flow has increased 300 percent” or “we have grown organic traffic by 450 percent.” Concrete information like this adds a ton of value.

5. Leverage the Halo Effect

Are you familiar with the Halo Effect? It’s a simple marketing and advertising principle that states recognizable brands make the things they endorse look better. In other words, if you have other recognizable brands using your products or endorsing your services, it’s smart to associate your brand with them.

Lilly Lashes, which produces and sells fake “luxury” lashes, has mastered the use of this principle. Their testimonial page really isn’t a testimonial page at all. It’s simply a Halo Effect page that shows visitors which celebrities have used their products. Customers then associate these celebs with the product, which serves as an unofficial endorsement.

Give customers what they want

Your customers want to trust you, but are you making it easy on them? Your customers want to believe your marketing claims, but are you providing them with enough unbiased information to verify your statements?

Testimonials aren’t perfect, but they offer businesses a unique opportunity to build trust and strengthen relationships with customers who are savvy and analytical in the way they approach online shopping.

It’s time that you give your customers what they want. Work to prioritize testimonials in the form of a compelling and accessible testimonial page.

 

If you want to get 30 effective techniques to master content marketing along with valuable insights from 10+ influencers like Mark Schaefer, Rebecca Lieb, Lee Odden, Jason Miller or Ian Cleary, download our free eBook now!

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The post 5 tips for crafting compelling testimonial pages appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Larry Alton
Posted: September 21, 2017, 3:50 pm

Lead generation is not a child’s play. In fact, it’s really tough. According to the MarketingSherpa report, a lot of digital marketers still rely on traditional ways of lead generation—going through a list of people or organization and sending them cold emails. However, most often than not, these accustomed methods are not properly utilized. There [...]

The post Lead generation hacks: 5 strategies that will grow your leads by 3X appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Lead-generation-hacks-5-strategies-that-will-grow-your-leads-by-3x-scoop-it-final

Lead generation is not a child’s play. In fact, it’s really tough.

According to the MarketingSherpa report, a lot of digital marketers still rely on traditional ways of lead generation—going through a list of people or organization and sending them cold emails.

However, most often than not, these accustomed methods are not properly utilized. There is also the issue that most people nowadays are more cautious with their personal emails because of email spams and scams.

While lead generation can be a pretty challenging job, there are actually ways that will surprisingly help you acquire a whopping number of quality leads.

In the rest of this article, I will show you the 5 proven lead generation strategies that you can hack to grow your leads by 3X.

Let’s dive in.

Hack #1: Use webinars to engage and acquire new leads

Many people love attending webinars; it’s a great way to enhance knowledge and acquire more skills on a particular field.

While most people find webinars resourceful, most marketers then find it as a good opportunity to generate leads.

And if you’re wondering why you should host a webinar, here’s an infographic that shows you the reasons that many people choose this path. 75% of marketers organize webinars in order to generate leads.

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In fact, a study from the University of Twente in Netherlands tested the effectiveness of using webinar as a marketing and sales tool. The findings of the study revealed that webinars evoke positive reactions from the respondents.

This only shows that using this strategy in marketing campaigns can get you more leads and traffic.

Moreover, according to Tom DiScipio from IMPACT, there are five indispensable reasons why hosting a webinar is a considerable way of generating more leads:

  1. To establish brand reliability and authority – Hosting webinars gives you and your brand the impression of expertise in the field.

Most businessmen want to know more about you and your company first before deciding to do business. What better way to do it than to host a webinar?

  1. To acquire top quality leads – Webinars are technically the best way to generate strong potential leads. Why? Because people who sign up and attend your webinar are the people who have the most interest in getting more knowledge about the things you are going to discuss.
  1. Refining your content – Your audience’s comments, feedback, and questions can help you gather essential information.

You can also breakdown and reuse the important information in your hosted webinar and publish it into an eBook, blog post, etc., which you can then use to fuel content marketing.

  1. No location barriers – The problem with workshops and seminars is its dependence on the location of the meeting place. With a webinar, attendees can just sit back in the comfort of their living space without having to worry about traveling.
  1. Business opportunities – Collaborating with another brand in hosting a webinar gives you the benefit of increasing brand awareness and generating more high-quality leads.

Reuse the important information from your webinar in an eBook. @sawarams
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Hack #2: Use a lead bot to generate more leads

“Chatbots overcome some of the challenges by automating the initial process of capturing more leads” — Grant Gould

Chatbots have triggered a lot of hype lately. Some people are still confused on how reliable these chatbots are, and whether or not they can be used for lead generation—even though their primary purpose seems to be directed towards customer experience.

Here’s what you need to know:

Chatbots can be used for retargeting, lead generation, customer service, among many others.

Since we’re concerned about generating more leads for our businesses, chatbots which are basically messaging apps can help to find, engage, convince, and convert potential leads into customers.

However, you need the right lead or sales bot to achieve that objective. Sure, there is software available but using Tagove lead bot you can acquire leads easily—even when you’re asleep. Interestingly, by qualifying these leads, Tagove company increased engaged and leads by 3X after implementing this lead bot.

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Unlike other chatbots that are limited to direct customer service communications, Tagove goes the extra mile and helps you to validate the email address to ensure it’s in the right format.

When you need smart data and insights to make decisions, especially in the research phase of your projects, the aforementioned chatbots can offer advice; providing an avenue for a new form of content marketing.

When you begin to use lead bots, it means you can market to potential customers where they are. Chatbots generate a high response rate. But don’t take my word for it. Bot Academy conducted a bot experiment at Mixergy and saw an open rate of over 80% and a 50% click rate.

Hack #3: Build high-converting landing pages

Having high-converting landing pages is extremely important if you want to generate a bigger profit in your business. Not convinced? Well, just take a look at this proof from the Conversion Rate Experts.

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Increasing your revenue by $1,000,000 in a year can seem hardly possible for websites that aren’t as big as Moz, however, even if you don’t earn that big amount of money on your own, having a high-converting landing page can still help your business build a strong foundation of success.

Many digital marketers tend to believe that driving traffic to their website is what will give them more conversions.

That is actually a huge misconception.

The effort you make in generating traffic to your website becomes pointless if your audience hardly finds anything on your website that will catch their interest.

Hack #4: Use non-intrusive pop-up to capture email leads

One of the most-overlooked assets in generating high-quality leads is the email list. In the exact words of Michael Hyatt, an author, blogger, and speaker:

“Your email list (if tapped the right way) is more relevant than the number of visitors your website gets, followers you have on all your social media accounts, and more important than the number of comments you get on every blog posts.”

He referred to these things as “vanity metrics.”

Based on a research conducted by Ascend2 and its partners in research, email marketing appeared to be the top lead generation tactics.

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However, email listing upsets most people. As much as you want to drive more sales for your business, you also don’t want to annoy your audience and have them leave your website.

Here are three tips on how to ask for your audience’s email without disturbing them:

  • Introduce a popup at the end of your content
  • Present a popup when the user is about to exit
  • Present a slide asking for the user’s email when the page is scrolled down.

Email list building is an ongoing process; there is no definite time with respect to when you are going to stop building this list.

People will subscribe and may unsubscribe at some point. Remember that having a good list gives you the rare opportunity of generating potential leads at will and eventually driving sales.

Hack #5: Build a strong presence on social media

Whether you have a small business or not, having social media presence is compulsory if you want to get noticed online.

Nowadays, social media is not only used for socializing and keeping in touch with people, it is now also a powerful tool for marketers in showcasing their brand.

In a Case Study by Purdue University on Social Media Marketing in a Small Business, Sarah Cox found that “Social media plays a vital role in lead generation and creates a relationship with customers.”

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It helps marketers keep in touch with customers, business partners, and reach potential customers. There are a lot of social media platforms you can utilize for your brand.

Moreover, it is important to do further research as to which platforms suit your business line the best.

Study your competitors and their social media channels. See which platforms tend to get a lot more engagement with potential customers.

Conclusion

Wouldn’t it be cool if you can apply these proven “hacks” to your online marketing and finally take your lead generation to the next level?

In all, learn to optimize your existing website traffic. If your website is already generating traffic but you’re not converting them, then it’s time to re-evaluate your strategies.

Target your LinkedIn followers, Twitter fans, and those on your email list. Whenever you run a campaign, begin with what you already have—and don’t be overly concerned with the leads outside—what about those in-house?

Generating leads and closing sales can be easy if you know what you’re doing. Though it requires multiple steps and tedious tasks, it will be well worth your while by the time you see your sales and revenue growing exponentially.

Of course, there are definitely more hacks that you can implement in order to get more qualified leads for your business—still, the ultimate key to winning in the lead generation game is to be dedicated and always willing to test new strategies.

As always, I’d love to know what your best lead generation hack is. Leave your thoughts in the comment box.

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The post Lead generation hacks: 5 strategies that will grow your leads by 3X appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Sawaram Suthar
Posted: September 19, 2017, 3:00 pm

Perhaps you’ve dreamed of that day when all your hard work finally pays off in the form of a viral blog post that gets shared hundreds of thousands of times on social media and causes your total website traffic to spike. But do you know how to respond if it actually happens? Got viral content? [...]

The post 7 things to do when a blog post goes viral appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

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Perhaps you’ve dreamed of that day when all your hard work finally pays off in the form of a viral blog post that gets shared hundreds of thousands of times on social media and causes your total website traffic to spike. But do you know how to respond if it actually happens?

Got viral content? Here’s a response plan

Think about all the time and energy you’ve poured into content marketing over the years. You’ve spent many hours composing various individual blog posts, yet they’ve yielded next to nothing.

Months and months of hard work and countless hours have gone into tweaking your content strategy until you thought it was just right. You’ve experimented with various advertising strategies, built trust with your audience, and reached out to other bloggers and journalists in an effort to increase the visibility of your content.

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Now imagine if, after all of this hard work, you finally have a post “go viral,” but you squander the opportunity because you weren’t prepared for it. That would be a damaging and discouraging blow, yes?

The moment you notice a piece of content start to look like it’s going viral, you have to pull the right levers and kick your end of the process into high gear. If you have a response plan already in place, the process will be much smoother and more effective.

Here are 7 specific things you should do:

1. Make sure your network is prepared

“Websites often go down when a surge of traffic, predictable or otherwise, overwhelms the server’s ability to respond to requests,” entrepreneur Chris Sulham notes.

“This is the principle behind Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks; with enough traffic and load, servers will eventually crash or slow to a crawl. Without a website that’s optimized for the amount of traffic it generates, a viral event you’ve been hoping for can actually do as much harm to your brand as a viral attack.”

So you need to make sure you’re prepared for this possibility. That means investing in a tool such as SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor that reduces outages and improves performance — especially during peak times — well before a viral content.

This isn’t something you can set up at a moment’s notice; it needs to be in place already.

2. Put advertising and monetization strategies in place

Viral content is great from an exposure point of view, but what are you doing to profit from the exposure? You need a monetization strategy in place to reap the rewards.

One of the first things you should do is implement a sign-up form on the page to collect email addresses and other contact information. With the right plug-in, this can be done in 10 minutes or less.

The second step is to add Amazon and Adsense banners to your site. You don’t want to overpopulate your site, but a few well-placed ads will bring in extra revenue over the next couple of days. If you generate hundreds of clicks an hour, you could potentially draw a couple hundred dollars a day in ad revenue alone.

3. Link to other articles

Having a viral blog post is great, but you can only extract so much value from a single piece of content. If you hope to give the rest of your blog a boost, it’s a good strategy to link to other articles.

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If you haven’t done this already, hyperlink your latest work to other good posts on your site, and include a section in the sidebar that says something like “More Popular Articles.” If you can get visitors to click through to other pages on your site, you’ll find it easier to engage them in a meaningful manner that encourages return sessions.

4. Engage people

When the clicks and shares begin to compound, it’s tempting to just sit back and watch the numbers roll up on your screen … but resist the temptation to settle for that. This is the perfect opportunity to engage serious ongoing traffic.

Make it your goal to respond to every single blog comment you receive. This might seem like a lofty challenge, but if you have everything else already in place, there’s no better way to spend your time.

This gives you a chance to keep the momentum going and direct people to other parts of your blog.


When your content gets viral, engage people and respond to every single comment. @Number1AnnaJo
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5. Try to encourage a second push

After a couple of days in the spotlight, it can feel as if every single person on the Internet has seen your post, but of course they haven’t. Wait a couple of days until traffic numbers start to level out and then purchase some Facebook ads that direct people to your most successful blog post.

Use the Lookalike Audience feature to go after new people in the same target market. In some cases, you might be able to go viral a second or third time with the same content.

6. Study and learn from analytics

When the dust settles and your 15 minutes of fame come to an end, your job hasn’t ended. Before popping open a champagne bottle and celebrating, take some time to study what happened.

You can learn a lot by reviewing your website analytics and studying traffic numbers, page views, referral sources, conversion rates, bounce rates, click-through rates, and average session time. What was the actual impact of the surge in exposure? How might you replicate it in the future?

7. Leverage your experience

Think you’ve found the key to creating viral content? Other marketers and online entrepreneurs would love to hear about your secret sauce.

You might be able to publish a blog post on a major site about it, host a webinar, or even create an entire course about developing viral content. Consider the potential to leverage this experience for additional revenue and exposure.

Make the most of the opportunity

There’s a common misconception that once it’s happened, content “virality” is easier to replicate. You can definitely learn from what’s been successful in the past, but there’s never any guarantee you’ll garner the same results again in the future.

A piece of viral content may be just one of very few opportunities your brand will ever get to enjoy widespread exposure. Make the most of the opening by responding in an appropriate manner.

If you want to get 30 effective techniques to master content marketing along with valuable insights from 10+ influencers like Mark Schaefer, Rebecca Lieb, Lee Odden, Jason Miller or Ian Cleary, download our free eBook now!

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The post 7 things to do when a blog post goes viral appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Anna Johansson
Posted: September 18, 2017, 3:29 pm

If you run a business, you’ve probably been told you should start a blog (or maybe you already run one). There are good reasons to blog: It allows you to connect with and better understand your customers, increase acquisitions, boost SEO, and drive content marketing efforts. Of course, it’s not enough to throw together a [...]

The post 8 blog posts any business can (and should) write appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

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If you run a business, you’ve probably been told you should start a blog (or maybe you already run one). There are good reasons to blog: It allows you to connect with and better understand your customers, increase acquisitions, boost SEO, and drive content marketing efforts.

Of course, it’s not enough to throw together a blog post once a month and expect these benefits to roll in. The frequency with which you blog and the kind of posts you write have a big influence on whether or not your efforts are successful. But when you’re already busy with running a business, it can be tough to find the time to generate fresh blog ideas.

That’s where this list comes in. These 8 blog post ideas are proven to generate engagement, present your brand in a positive light, and sustain a loyal readership. If you’re not already writing these kinds of posts, it’s time that you do.

1. Customer, client, and/or vendor features

Showcasing real people on your blog can make your business feel more personal and forge connections between your readers and your company. You can accomplish this in a variety of ways, from featuring a satisfied customer’s testimonial to highlighting a vendor with whom you have a great relationship. Just make sure you have buy-in from whomever you’re profiling; consent is key if you’re trying to generate positive buzz.

2. Event features

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If your business is hosting or participating in an event(s) such as a conference, fundraiser, or party, writing a blog post can be a great way to drum up interest in the event and position your brand as an active participant in your industry. If the event has already taken place, share high-quality pictures along with your biggest takeaways from the event. If it’s happening in the future, then use your post to generate buzz.

3. Interviews with industry influencers

Landing an interview with a big name in your industry is a stellar way to drive traffic to your blog and position your business as a major player within your niche. You can generate even more interest in the post by inviting your readers to submit questions for the expert in advance so you can highlight some of the influencer’s answers in your post. As an added bonus, the influencer is likely to share the post on their social platforms, further expanding your reach.

4. Listicles

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People love to read listicles. There’s something about the simplicity, digestibility, and immediate gratification of a list that draws people in. Don’t believe me? There’s actually science to back up the efficacy of listicles. If you’re reading this article, then I’ve proved my point.

5. “Best of” roundups

Speaking of listicles: These types of roundups are a great way to attract traffic to your blog, because they draw on both the power of listicles as well as the human instinct to want to know who (or what) qualifies as “best”. They’re also likely to increase social shares, as the companies or people featured on your list will probably want to share that they’ve been selected. “Best of” roundups can take many forms, from a list of the most influential experts in your field to the top blogs in your industry or the best services or products in a certain niche.

6. Product and/or How-to guides

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If you sell physical products, you probably include some operating instructions when you ship to your customers. But it’s likely those instructions don’t dive into all the ways customers can get the absolute best use out of your product. So turn that insider knowledge into a detailed blog post (or several) that will provide real value to your customers.

Even if you don’t sell physical products, how-to guides can make for engaging posts. Consider a topic that’s relevant to the services you offer and then do a deep-dive that helps your customers better understand or implement a concept that will add value to their lives.

7. Responses to FAQs

This can demonstrate to your customers that you care about their feedback, assuage any concerns they may have about purchasing your product or service, and give you a platform to assist customers with troubleshooting. Keep note of all your customer service inquiries, and put together a post that addresses the most common questions. If your responses are detailed enough, you might even be able to turn this into a series of posts.

8. Industry news

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Discussing industry news and trends helps you establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry and position yourself as an authority on how these trends will affect consumers. Another effective strategy is to debunk industry myths or reveal industry secrets. This will present your company as transparent (a trait that’s in high demand by customers these days) and encourage people to head to your blog in search of the real deal.

These types of posts represent just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the blogging ideas available to businesses. But if you start here, you’ll have a solid blueprint that will help drive traffic, elevate your brand, and sustain your audience over the long haul.

And if you’d like to know how you can start blogging consistently in 30 minutes a day or less, read our eBook!

how to blog more and blog consistently in 30 min a day or less - ebook by scoop it - download now CTA

The post 8 blog posts any business can (and should) write appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Kenny Kline
Posted: September 14, 2017, 4:41 pm

Content marketing is a must and everyone knows it. But the goal shouldn’t be to do content for content’s sake. Content marketing is a long-term technique that actually delivers results – given you have a documented strategy. And yes, it works for leads too! To the point where lead generation has become the most important goal for [...]

The post Here’s how these 9 successful marketers generate leads through content appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

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Content marketing is a must and everyone knows it. But the goal shouldn’t be to do content for content’s sake. Content marketing is a long-term technique that actually delivers results – given you have a documented strategy. And yes, it works for leads too! To the point where lead generation has become the most important goal for B2B content marketers in 2017, according to Content Marketing Institute.

generate leads through content

Source: B2B Content Marketing 2017 – Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends – North America, CMI

As we like to say: “All content should convert…” but how?

To answer that question, I asked around. I wanted to know the little secrets of marketers who are reputed in their industry and who have been able to deliver amazing content on a variety of topics – lead generation being one of them. (Plus, I added a few words from our CEO Guillaume!)

Let’s hear what these marketing rockstars have to say :)

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1. Include other experts within your content

Sweta Patel says…

sweta-patel“The number one way to generate leads from your content is through crowdsourcing content and including other experts within your content. I find that if I go after thought-leaders who have the same audience I want to capture it is a lot easier to convert them into qualified leads. The thought-leader has a great deal of authority and it is feasible to instantly build credibility with others.”

Sweta Patel, Director of Demand Generation


My favorite #leadgen tip: include other experts within your content. @swetasays
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2. Help your audience solve their problems 

Hans van Gent says…

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“Content marketing is just solving the same problems that your product solves through media you create and promote.

So if you want to generate leads, you always got to start with helping your target audience. Helping them solve their problems. Giving away, sharing your knowledge so that you can empower them.

After you’ve created enough content, you can then start “bundling” your content and creating lead generators from it like webinars, eBooks, case studies, etc. and use these as lead generators

But it all starts with helping your audience solve their problems. By doing so, you build trust in your company, your products and services well enough that they also trust you with their email address or other forms of contact information.”

Hans van Gent, Founder at Inbound Rocket


If you want to generate leads, start with helping your target audience. @jcvangent
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3.  Leverage webinars

Shayla Price says…

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“Webinars are an effective method to generate more leads for your business. People enjoy learning new ways to improve their work (and home) lifestyles. The key is to offer webinar content that’s relevant to their needs and entices them to sign up. With the right webinar strategy, you’ll sign up qualified leads.”

Shayla Price, B2B Content Marketer


With the right webinar strategy, you’ll sign up qualified leads. @shaylaprice
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4. Interview your customers

Jason Quey says…

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“Interview your customers to find out the challenges they face. Then, use your content to answer their questions. This allows you to solve problems your customers have AND helps equip your sales team to answer potential questions they have.”

Jason Quey, VP of Marketing at Codeless and Founder of The Storyteller Marketer


My favorite #leadgen tip: find out your customers’ challenges. @jdquey
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5. Offer a lead magnet

Tom Hunt says…

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“Create a lead magnet that is specific to the pain point you are addressing in that piece of content ;)”

Tom Hunt, Internet Entrepreneur @ Internet MBA Blog


My favorite #leadgen tip: create a lead magnet that addresses a specific pain point. @tomhuntio
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6. Focus on SEM and SEO

Justas Markus says…

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“Just focus more on search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO). If you’re not paying for content promotion, SEM and SEO will do the job!”

Justas Markus, Getfoundxl.com CEO/Co-founder


My favorite #leadgen tip: focus more on SEM and SEO. @JustasMarkus
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7. Reach out to bloggers and get mentioned in top industry publications

Peter Seenan says…

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“At Leadfeeder, we’ve seen the best way to drive leads with content marketing is to reach out to bloggers and try to get mentioned in tool roundup posts in leading industry publications like Entrepreneur and Social Media Examiner. Because these articles aren’t written by us, they hold more weight, and publications like these produce the best referral traffic for sign-ups.

Also, by researching what problem Leadfeeder is solving for our customers we’ve also been able to contribute to smaller sites, and this type of content also produces high-converting traffic.

On top of this, we spend time doing keyword research and then writing valuable blog content that we hope gets ranked highly and drives us organic traffic. We’ve had some big successes with this tactic getting to #1 for important keywords, and our domain authority has been steadily growing (in no small part because of all the back-linking to Leadfeeder that has happened), which means in recent months organic traffic has ramped up significantly.”

Peter Seenan, Communications and Customer Strategist at Leadfeeder


My favorite #leadgen tip: reach out to bloggers and get mentioned in roundup posts. @leadfeederapp
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8. Create skyscraper blog posts

Ottomatias Peura says…

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“Skyscraper blog posts have performed really well for us, attracting loads of relevant visitors from organic Google search results. Here’s the process I’ve been following to create them.

The first step is to use keyword research tools such as Ahrefs or SEMrush to find keywords that have big search volume. Then research the topic and make sure you have the best possible content on that topic. The best example we have is the post I wrote about B2B lead generation. It targets a wide selection of keywords (how to generate B2B leads, get more B2B leads, etc.) that are commonly searched. It even outranks items from authority publications like Kissmetrics and HubSpot for the same searches.

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What I did was, I read everything about the subject and made sure no one had better tips or more tips. Then, I wrote the post, made sure our social media followers and people who visit our site see it with remarketing and PPC ads. This already helps to drive some shares and social media engagement. Next, I did some link building and PR work, sending emails to people who’ve written about the subject in the past. I also made sure that the post included schema markdown so Google can use it in a search snippet. And it’s working!”

Ottomatias Peura, Head of Traffic at Leadfeeder


My favorite #leadgen tip: create skyscraper blog posts. @ottomatias
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9. Measure, learn, and iterate

Guillaume says…

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“Once you get your content strategy designed, meaning you have a first idea what content will help build trust with your audience and make them consider your products, I’ve found the most important thing is to have a system in place to test, measure, learn and iterate.

Content is not an exact science. But if you start measuring what works and what doesn’t, you can start experimenting and find out much faster and much more reliably what content drives leads. Once you know that, you can stop wasting time on content topics that don’t work, focus on content that converts and even amplify its impact further through promotion actions.

Making educated is a good start but gut feeling or even proxy metrics such as traffic or engagement are not enough. If your marketing objective is lead generation, you need to be data-driven and have precise answers to questions such as “how many leads did this blog post generate?”.”

Guillaume Decugis, CEO & Co-founder at Scoop.it


#leadgen tip: be data-driven and deliver precise answers to your audience’s questions. @gdecugis
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The post Here’s how these 9 successful marketers generate leads through content appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Felicia Akligo-Etsey
Posted: September 13, 2017, 3:36 pm

As a content strategist, the more team members you can get to write for the company blog, the better. When done right, your colleague’s pieces will help your company blog to become more revered internally and deliver more value to your readers. This is because every piece written from someone in a different department across [...]

The post 5 ways to get colleagues excited to write for your blog appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

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As a content strategist, the more team members you can get to write for the company blog, the better.

When done right, your colleague’s pieces will help your company blog to become more revered internally and deliver more value to your readers. This is because every piece written from someone in a different department across your company often leads to more co-workers reading, sharing and sending you more valuable topics for the blog – all of which fuels your content machine.

In addition to growing an invested audience internally, articles from different voices that share new department knowledge and perspectives is a great way to learn more about your target audience. Take note of what content from your colleagues performs well with your audience and continue test and optimize on the topics and formats.

Finally, it’s worth noting that if you’re a team of one, and you’ve found some good writers in your company, it can help free you up to focus on strategy instead of writing.

While getting coworkers to contribute to your company’s blog has many benefits, it’s also easier said than done. Most of the time if you can unearth the right motivation, you’ll be collecting more blog posts than you think.

Let’s take a look at the hurdles and various methods that can help get your fellow team mates, and their managers on board about writing for the blog. The first hurdle? Helping them fit it into their task list.

What value can the blog post bring to their department?

Unless their manager agrees to it, chances are that writing for the blog will not be a priority for your coworker(s). Some will be motivated enough to write it after hours but unless the time is carved out on their calendar, you’ll continue to hear a never-ending cycle of “I’ll get to its”. Remember, blog posts are a time investment and don’t come easy to everyone.

To ensure the blog post gets done on a timely manner from an employee in a different department, it’s best to communicate get their managers on board by talking about how the blog post can contribute to that department’s goals. Lead generation or having a better understanding of their users can usually contribute in some way. There is a blog post of value for every department and your job is to help them find what that blog post is.

Ultimately, blog posts act as a method for each department to communicate publicly with the audience they’re working for and learn more about them.

Turn strong opinions on the industry into blog posts

Overhear a coworker talking passionately about an industry-related topic? Suggest they turn it into a blog post (given it supports your company’s stance).

Earlier this year, our director of operations was keeping up with multiple articles on the Fyre Festival fiasco, a failed event that brought up lots of questions about influencer marketing – what our company does – and was talking passionately about it the next morning with a few other colleagues. Our marketing manager heard her talking passionately about it and suggested she write her thoughts down. The next morning she kicked over an almost fully-fleshed out post on what we can learn about Influencer Marketing from the fyre festival fiasco.

In the case of opinion-driven blog posts, don’t be surprised if your colleagues are interested, but feel stressed for time, as these tend to be unplanned around industry news. If this is the case, suggest they simply bullet point their initial thoughts and you’ll help them fill in what they don’t have time for – whether that’s an intro and conclusion – or a few other points in the main body.

Make the experience as easy as possible

Remember, a colleague that was hired for a non-writing role may not feel confident in their writing skills. This doesn’t mean that they don’t want to improve and that they don’t have valuable insights to impart with your company’s audience.  

Recognize where each individual is at and make it easy for them to put their thoughts down on paper. This could include giving them a blog post outline and helping them beef up their thoughts with relevant statistics and facts (as the editor of the blog, it’s likely you’ve come across a statistic that can help support their statements).

It also means taking an approach to editing that is lead by questions and suggestions, rather than strikeouts and rewrites, which can quickly discourage new writers. It’s also important to include the reasons behind your questions and suggestions, in this case, more context is usually helpful. Often by asking the right questions, you’ll find you can get your co-worker to rephrase for the clarity you were looking for without telling them how to do it. This is a much better approach for both parties and helps instill confidence in the colleagues who spend their day-to-day exercising other talents.

Promote the success of a coworker’s blog post

Recently, a coworker published a blog post about influencer marketing ROI that mentioned a statistic our account management director thought important enough to share at our all-hands company meeting. The CEO then piggybacked on her comment and encouraged everyone to read the blog consistently if they were not doing so already.

Getting leaders at the company to endorse your blog is one of the most meaningful forms of validation you can get as the head of content. In this case, it was the team member who shared that article with our head of account management, but it can and should also be shared by the editor. Whether you’re sharing it with the head of a department or the entire company, highlight the information that can be useful to departments and the metrics that show how the blog post furthered the department’s goals. This will help colleagues and their managers continue to see value in contributions to the company blog.


Getting leaders at the company to endorse your blog. @JessicaSchimm
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Continuing the cycle

Ultimately, if you can get even a few enthusiastic colleagues to buy into the blog and know which results to highlight from the blog at company meetings, I’m willing to bet you’ll find that a few more colleagues have ideas they want to write about.  

To have your voice be heard is to have it be valued. Give your colleagues a platform to share their knowledge and see your readership and engagement grow in return.

And if you’d like to know how you can start blogging consistently in 30 minutes a day or less, read our eBook!

how to blog more and blog consistently in 30 min a day or less - ebook by scoop it - download now CTA

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The post 5 ways to get colleagues excited to write for your blog appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Jessica Schimm
Posted: September 11, 2017, 3:50 pm

Scoop.it has evolved a lot since its launch. At first, it was a simple content curation tool. Today we have 3 different products! Let’s have a deeper look at them, what makes them different from each other, their users and their purposes. Scoop.it! the free content curation platform Our most famous Scoop.it platform, the content [...]

The post Which Scoop.it product is best for you? appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

which-scoop-it-version-is-best-for-you-scoop-it-final

Scoop.it has evolved a lot since its launch. At first, it was a simple content curation tool. Today we have 3 different products! Let’s have a deeper look at them, what makes them different from each other, their users and their purposes.

Scoop.it! the free content curation platform

Our most famous Scoop.it platform, the content curation service, has a free access. Today, we have more than 3 millions of curators, on topics like social media, innovation, architecture and more.

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There are several plans, and you can even increase the number of topics and add specific features (e.g social sharing, advanced search). This Scoop.it version essentially helps people with the following needs:

  • Online monitoring for personal use

Scoop, enrich and store your favorite pieces of content in one place. Best way to never get them lost, and share them easily with your followers.

  • Personal branding

Be the editor-in-chief of your own magazine, and show your expertise. Lots of Scoop.it users became influencers by curating the best content and adding their own insight.

  • Visibility for SMBs, freelancers, and consultants

Using Scoop.it is a great way for SMBs to skyrocket their visibility. Content curation is definitely less time-consuming than managing a website and it helps small businesses, freelancers, and consultants to get noticed in their industry.

Scoop.it Content Director: think content marketing and ROI

Scoop.it Content Director has been created to maximize the impact of content marketing. The software is used by marketers and agencies who realized how important content was as part of a lead generation / SEO / branding strategy. The content marketing automation software also goes further than curation and helps you manage every single step of the content marketing lifecycle.

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  • Automate content marketing

Content marketing works and it’s proven, but marketers are always looking for more optimization. Our Smart Calendar feature helps you manage content distribution on your blog and social channels, and also via email newsletters. Validation workflows and team roles in Scoop.it Content Director are multiplied, to improve the efficiency of your teams.

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Smart Calendar on Scoop.it Content Director

  • Boost your content, manage your social communities

Personalized suggestions in Scoop.it Content Director helps you discover and distribute the freshest news on your social channels, to increase followers and engagement. The “Insights” section helps you create curated content directly on your blog or website. This makes you all set to maximize SEO and generate leads!

  • Analyze and optimize ROI from your content

Measuring the impact of content marketing and its ROI is definitely key to success. It helps you identify your little content gems to give more promotion to, improve your pieces of content to boost conversions. All the analytics you’re looking for are available in Scoop.it Content Director

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Analytics on Scoop.it Content Director

Scoop.it Knowledge Sharing, your enterprise knowledge sharing solution

For companies who want to harness the power of content curation for knowledge sharing, Scoop.it Knowledge Sharing is the best bet. The platform is private, collaborative, with white-label customization and has been created to empower corporate experts to disseminate intelligence in a more impacting way.

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  • Collaborative and private knowledge sharing

You can manage your private scoops with your team, add tags, distribute them internally and even integrate them to your intranet. Finally, you can distribute your scoops in a newsletter.

  • Sales – marketing enablement

Offer the best marketing and sales resources to your commercial team, organize them by interest, and maximize their impact.

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  • Thought leadership

Use your in-house expertise to position your brand and engage with your clients and prospects on social media, blogs, and email.

If you want to understand what will make you succeed or fail at content marketing, and get 8 steps to beat the content marketing paradox, download our free eBook!
why-content-marketing-works-and-why-it-doesnt-cta-final

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The post Which Scoop.it product is best for you? appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Benoit Lamy
Posted: September 7, 2017, 4:24 pm

It’s 2017. And what that means is that there’s no excuse for bad content. Gone are the days when you could publish fluff listicles with vaguely related stock photos and expect to drive great traffic. The modern content marketer is (I hope) a little savvier, a little more sophisticated. Part of this is a having [...]

The post 4 ways to diversify your content strategy appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

4-ways-to-diversify-your-content-strategy-scoop-it-final

It’s 2017. And what that means is that there’s no excuse for bad content. Gone are the days when you could publish fluff listicles with vaguely related stock photos and expect to drive great traffic. The modern content marketer is (I hope) a little savvier, a little more sophisticated. Part of this is a having broad spectrum of appeal—if you’re hosting a party, chances are you want to have more than just one thing on tap to offer your guests. The same applies with content. Written stuff is great, but it’s only one way to reach your segments. What about video? What about podcasts? The possibilities for great, different content are nearly limitless right now. It’s just a matter of adjusting perspective. Let’s talk about four ways a business can easily diversify its content strategy.

1. Change up your formats

One of the most annoying things about content creation is that it’s easy to get tunnel vision and keep doing the same old comfortable thing. In the early stages, it’s useful to stay focused. Chances are, a marketing team in its younger stages is still learning the basics of content creation, and so it’s valuable to stick with one thing until it learns how to do it with excellence. But this mindset ultimately needs to be outgrown.

Great content strategies thrive on dynamism. What attracts users, along with your stuff being great, is having a wide variety of things to choose from. In the question of podcast or video or blog post, the answer should simply be: yes. Everybody likes to have options, and your users are no different. Let them choose their favorite way to engage with your brand.


Great content strategies thrive on dynamism. @ThisBeKenny
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2. Lean on visual

content strategy

That being said, there is one tactic that is pretty well proven by this point to be especially effective. For example, a recent study showed that if a person hears a piece of information, he or she will only remember 10 percent of it three days later. However, if a picture is added, 65 percent of it will be remembered. This means that visual aids are not simply flashy and appealing, but they actually help our brains retain information.

Content strategists can’t afford to forget that. Spice up boring text with an infographic and all of sudden, something bland has become something shareable and engaging. But again, this needs to be thoughtful and not just soulless stock images of people fake-smiling next to a desk—make it count.

3. Find new niches of appeal

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Every good content strategist needs to be thoughtful about his or her audience. And really, this should be plural: audiences, not audience. Strategists should think about how their content can reach not just their most natural audiences, but other customer segments as well. The internet has splintered traditional broad demographics. If you run a fitness blog, you’re not thinking about your content simply reaching fitness nuts, you’re thinking about reaching specific segments like people into weightlifting shoes.

Think along these specific lines and see whether that old post that you liked but never found its audience could be repurposed to reach a more definite demographic. It may just be a matter of rewriting the title and a few key paragraphs.


Repurpose that old post you liked but never found its audience. @ThisBeKenny
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4. Dig deeper on social media

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Like I said before, it’s 2017. If your business is not on Facebook and Twitter yet, I don’t know what to tell you. For the rest of us, I want to leave you with the thought that it might be worthwhile to explore other, less ubiquitous platforms that still have a significant user base that your content can reach. As just one example, Qzone, a Chinese social media platform, has 638 million users. But when was the last time you read an article about content strategy on it?

Spread out onto platforms that are less saturated by competition, and you may find the rewards far outweigh the hassle of being a frontiersman.

 

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The post 4 ways to diversify your content strategy appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Kenny Kline
Posted: September 6, 2017, 3:00 pm

In our modern world, online businesses flourish like never before. Nowadays, a successful online-business may be conceived from the comfort of your home using only your mind, a PC, and an Internet connection. There are unlimited possibilities regarding online business. Most businesses are founded on sales. Therefore, the chase for profits and revenues is extreme. [...]

The post 10 content writing tools that will increase sales in your online business appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

10-content-tools-that-will-increase-sales-in-your-online-business-scoop-it-final

In our modern world, online businesses flourish like never before. Nowadays, a successful online-business may be conceived from the comfort of your home using only your mind, a PC, and an Internet connection. There are unlimited possibilities regarding online business.

Most businesses are founded on sales. Therefore, the chase for profits and revenues is extreme.  An online business needs sales in order to blossom, so a sales funnel is needed. A sales funnel is the “yellow brick road” that your clients will follow in order to buy your products. If your free content offers valuable insights, people will be more eager to buy your products. So, as we can see, valuable content is what generates customers.

Before turning our attention to the content writing tools, we will show you a few tricks which you may use to boost your online sales:

Make sure that you offer a money-back guarantee

Most of the times, people avoid buying certain products because they are not sure about their quality.They don’t want to throw their money out of the window, so, many will refuse your offer right from the start.

There is a solution for this, and that is a guarantee that anyone who buys your product and dislikes it may get his money back. This will be enough to convince most people to give your product a chance.

Offer only a few choices

Most businesses think that by offering a larger amount of products, their sales will rise. This may somehow be true, but not all the time. There are many cases in which, by offering a great variety of choices, you are only confusing your clients, and this confusion may turn into lost sales.

So, instead of offering lots of products, you should focus only on increasing the quality of a few. Keep in mind that by increasing the number of choices, you are only making everything more complicated for your clients. So, keep it simple!

Make your checkout process quick and easy

Most products are abandoned in shopping carts. And the only reason for this is because the checkout process is so complicated and time-consuming that most customers decide to buy them from somewhere else. In order to increase your sales, make sure that the checkout process is user-friendly. You can’t imagine how this insignificant change will increase your overall sales.

As we said in the beginning, the quality of your content is what makes people buy your products. There is a multitude of tools of different kinds that may aid your business in creating valuable content. These tools, if used intelligently, may increase your business sales exponentially. So, let’s take a closer look at 10 of the most valuable content writing tools that may change your business forever.

10 valuable content writing tools

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1. Contentideator

Contentideator is a headline generator which could prove to be relevant for your business. Its role is not only to come up with ideas for headlines, but for content as well. It is extremely easy-to-use. Just enter your keyword in the search bar, press submit, and get the results in a matter of seconds. This tool can be used whenever you feel uninspired.

2. Hemingway Editor

This is a useful tool that helps you see how well a text is written. The software classifies all the mistakes that are found in different categories. Therefore, it makes it much easier for you to correct them. It has an interesting feature that shows you how readable a text is by giving it a grade. You can see an example in the picture below.

3. Grammarly

Grammarly is a great tool in case you want to learn how to write correctly. In order to start using it, you must create a free account. After doing that, you may copy-paste your text or upload a full document. Either way, Grammarly will go through your text and find most of your grammatical mistakes.

The disadvantage of this tool is that if you don’t have a subscription, it will only show you the common grammar mistakes. Advanced mistakes can be seen only if you pay for it. Even so, I’d say that the price is worth it because it helps with your content and with your English too.

4. Evernote

Evernote it’s a great tool that can help you keep track of your progress while also giving you ways of organizing for a better content. Evernote is a personal memo book that can be accessed from any device. This tool gives you a lot of options like saving content for later, making notes, reminders, and so on.

You may use Evernote as a content writing tool. It gives you the option to compose posts and edit them after as well, but I would use it to plan my content creation, distribution, and marketing strategies and lay them all in one place.

5. Canva

Canva is a great tool for those interested in creating their own designs. Amazing custom images may be created using this tool in just a few minutes. You may easily create a canvas and add text, pictures or different shapes to it, while it’s very easy to edit everything from changing colors to re-sizing.The best part is that it contains a search engine which lets you find any particular images or shapes.

6. Thinglink

Thinglink is a tool that gives you the option to create interactive content. Everyone loves interactive things.It’s fun and it may be used to increase your blog popularity. The type of interactive content that can be created with Thinglink is clickable images. An example of a clickable picture can be seen below.

7. Essay Geeks

Essay Geeks is a unique essay writing service. If you are interested to obtain unique and valuable content, this service is what you are looking for. It offers you well-researched content that may be used to increase your blog’s reputation and reach. The content is always delivered on time while the quality will never disappoint you.

8. QuickMeme

If you are not living under a rock, you should know by now what a meme is. Normally, it is a picture with a large short text on it that represents a certain popular action or event.

Quickmeme can be used to create memes in minutes. Memes are visual; therefore it’s an easy way to send a message or to display an emotion.  The best part of a meme is that it’s really entertaining. Most blogs that use them seem to improve their reach and popularity.

9. Haiku Deck

A slideshow can really improve your blog content. You will never be able to embed a PowerPoint presentation into your post. Therefore, Haiku Deck is here to help you create an amazing slideshow in just a few minutes. Haiku Deck has a large library from where you can choose background images for each of your slide. Once your slideshow is created, you can download it as a PDF and embed it into your posts.

10. Rainymood

When you are distracted, your focus drops. As a result, your writing speed drops as well. In case noise has a negative impact on your focus, there is a solution for this. Rainymoodis the app that plays a continuous sound of rain. For most people, rain is the perfect “noise” that helps them concentrate. Nature sounds have been proven to increase human’s productivity, so make sure that you give this app a shot.

Takeaways

By using these digital tools, your productivity and performance will grow for sure. Learning how to use them efficiently will help you turn your business into a real success. This new era brings with it so many interesting and worthy tools that may ease your work while boosting your sales. Therefore, be smart and use them!

And if you need help choosing the best software to skyrocket your content marketing results for 2017, download our free guide with over 44 tools reviewed!

Image by Fabian Blank

The post 10 content writing tools that will increase sales in your online business appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Chris Richardson
Posted: September 5, 2017, 3:00 pm

Two of the most prominent marketers in the world are coming out with a plan to… kill marketing. In their upcoming book, Content Marketing Institute’s Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose are sharing a thought-provoking and ambitious plan for marketers to adapt or die. Behind the catchy headline, the main idea of the book is to turn marketing [...]

The post Killing marketing: what if marketing was a profit center? appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

killing-marketing-what-if-marketing-was-a-profit-center

Two of the most prominent marketers in the world are coming out with a plan to… kill marketing. In their upcoming book, Content Marketing Institute’s Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose are sharing a thought-provoking and ambitious plan for marketers to adapt or die. Behind the catchy headline, the main idea of the book is to turn marketing from a cost center to a profit center, which I’m sure many CEO’s will see as both appealing and crazy.

Joe and Robert give interesting examples though and they even tempt you with a wager not unlike Pascal’s: even if you don’t end up making marketing a profit center, there are lots of benefits in thinking down that path. If you think about making your audience the priority, they say, you can’t fail. If you think about what it means in terms of content strategy and what you can learn from building this audience, what insights you get from knowing their needs and owning the conversation, you’ll come up with great new ways to sell better as well as beneficial ideas to transform your marketing organization – if not your whole company.

The book is coming up September 19 and will be available to Content Marketing World next week (btw, if you’re going, let’s meet!). I had a chance to get an early copy and here are my first thoughts and takeaways.

Attention is a currency and it keeps trading up

Every year, we see new studies or posts that show this trend. Three years ago, I blogged about the death of social media publishing as an organic channel after Facebook had openly admitted they had started to tweak their algorithms at the detriment of brands. Mark Schaefer had coined the expression “content shock” earlier that year in one of the most controversial and brilliant post I ever read on content marketing. Two years ago, Buffer shared in their very transparent way that they had lost half of their referral traffic from social media. And if you thought we hit rock bottom, Buzzsumo just published a great study showing brand engagement on Facebook fell 20% in 2017.

Brian Solis is the first I heard talking about attention as a currency, showing the value of building an engaged audience. Well, as a currency, attention looks a lot like the Bitcoin market: it keeps getting up with no sign of fatigue.

So while growing sales has always been and will remain the goal of any company, attention is an asset. Building an audience therefore a priority.

Why audience is a different kind of core asset

Talking about capturing attention, Joe and Robert are great at making the point. Killing marketing? I don’t know. But killer headlines and titles, definitely. Their logic makes sense. If the real value in marketing nowadays is creating an audience then marketing is in the business of creating a company’s asset. And therefore should be considered a profit center.

The notion is very appealing: who doesn’t dream of making money while marketing? And it’s true that some companies like RedBull have definitely created value through content beyond selling their core product.

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But is it different than looking at brands as an asset? Did we need to make marketing a profit center to realize brands could have value as an independent asset? And as a tech guy, I also think about technology as an asset for the various companies I started or worked for. But I’m not sure making R&D a profit center is justified by this. I could go on with customer service or real estate…

So the new point I believe Joe and Robert make is therefore not that any part of the organization who creates an asset should be a profit center. It’s the idea that other sources of revenue can be derived from building an audience than selling the initial products. If I read them well, I believe it’s even stronger than that: it’s the idea that you can’t generate revenue in a sustainable way if you haven’t build a solid audience first. In other words, don’t build it and they will come: build your audience first so you can learn what they want to buy.

Is every company becoming a media company?

I used to say that in my pitches back when we started. In the early days of content marketing, a lot of people didn’t get why businesses of all kinds needed to create content – let alone content that wasn’t salesy. I needed to explain the role of content in a world where customers now make their buying decisions on their own terms, based on the information they research online. The media metaphor helped.

Is it a business model though? Should companies really try to monetize the audience they build?

It can work. It certainly worked for Joe and Robert who built a solid business out of the Content Marketing institute and got acquired by UBM last year.

But does it apply to every company?

In Joe and Robert’s own admission, probably not. I can think of many cases why it can be either a distraction or something that will confuse potential customers. Embracing media company’s best practices in terms of content strategy, design and operations doesn’t mean you have to go all the way to adapt their business models.

But thinking of your next eBook as something so valuable that people would be ready to buy it is absolutely not a waste of time. And it’s actually the best way you can strategically think about your content: how can I design this piece of content so that people would possibly be ready to pay for it? Because even if you end up giving it away for free or use it as a lead magnet, you get paid for it: in a currency called… attention.

Read this book and… give a copy to your execs

So whether you’ll actually end up charging for content or monetize it directly, the idea of thinking your marketing as a profit center that gets paid in audience attention is a fantastic model. Instead of seeing marketing as a cost of doing business, companies can empower marketers to generate long-term, sustainable value. Which also comes with marketers becoming more accountable – another idea in that vein being to hold marketers to a quota.

Whether you’re not sure how to get buy-in for content marketing investment internally or you’re simply looking at thought-provoking ideas to take your content strategy to the next level, this book is a great read. It’s also a great book for your executive team to read as it articulates very well the strategic value of content, beyond tactical projects. And if I haven’t convinced you of that yet, here’s a short interview of Joe Pulizzi by my friend Bernie Borges that will give you more insights on this great topic:

The post Killing marketing: what if marketing was a profit center? appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Guillaume Decugis
Posted: September 1, 2017, 3:00 pm