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3 Critical Tips for Using Content Marketing for Lead Generation

 
Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing resized 600

Content is king - a simple yet profound sentence for business owners and online marketers. Generating content that educates, empowers and informs - while promoting it to the right audience, will ultimately help your business grow online.

Content marketing is the art form of attracting and engaging your customers and prospects with content (like blog posts, videos or e-books) that paves the way to stronger relationships between marketers and their audience.

Oftentimes, small businesses don’t have enough time or resources to launch successful content marketing campaigns. This type of “education-based marketing” involves consistent effort, and content creation budgets that some small business owners just doesn’t have. So how do you make content marketing easier for you?

Consider creating content in ways that allow you to present something of incredibly high value to your audience - without spending as much time. You can attend conferences and post your notes, have someone interview you and transcribe the conversation or you could create a poll and write about the results. Don’t overlook the fact, that you can also repurpose older content and giving them new value. Looking for more tips? Try these three…

  • Always make your content relevant to your brand and to what your business or company upholds. Make sure that your content reflects what your brand is truly about.
  • Make sure your content is shareable. Have share buttons for social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, to make your information sharable to your reader’s network with the click of a button.
  • Consider telling it from a story point of view. A real human experience will attract greater attention and is more relatable for your audience. People will want to read about something that they can connect with as a similar experience.


If you’re a business owner, don’t overlook the fact that your employees are knowledgeable and have a unique perspective of their industry. They will have certain insights from customer interactions that can be used for educational content. If you stay creative, and think with an open mind – you can come up with a large variety of resources from which to pull from!

Whatever source you use to pull resourceful education from, make sure it’s a high value to your audience, and something helps them see why you are the right company they should trust. Content marketing takes a continual effort, and will work for you when you remain consistent.

 












Use Content Marketing to Attract Your Buyers

 
Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing

Because of the advances in mobile apps and more web integration with social communities, (and faster internet for almost everyone), marketers have a unique advantage to more quickly and easily reach their target prospects.

Just because we’re “more connected” with our target market of prospective buyers, doesn’t mean that they’re seeing what you’re posting, or anxiously anticipating your next blog or article. With the overflowing growth of content online, many of your consumers are getting overwhelmed with information, and sometimes see the same info repeated in multiple websites or posts. It isn’t a matter of merely providing information anymore for your consumers, but remembering to educate to empower their buying decision. And when done correctly, they will be armed with buying knowledge to make the intelligent purchasing decision from you - because you taught them how to buy.

The challenge for business owners, executives and marketing managers, is to provide the kind of content that repositions you out front of your competitors. Here are just a few ideas:

  1. Understand your buyers:  insight into the knowledge level of your buyers is best obtained from third party buyer research.  My point of view: do not skimp here.
  2. Develop a strategy: only 38% of businesses have a content strategy.  My point of view: take time to formulate a content strategy based on buyer research – do not make it up.
  3. Put structure in place: be purposeful by creating an Internal Content Marketing Agency.  My point of view: do not make content marketing an orphan child.
  4. Acquire talent: get the right content creation talent with the right skills.  Do the proper talent assessment.  My point of view: adding a line to an existing job description role and calling someone a content marketer will not work.


The ability to consume, discern, assimilate and make use of content on the part of buyers is doubling every year. Is your content marketing keeping pace with your customers?

Your content marketing strategies will make or break your business. No matter what strategy you plan to use, it always boils down to what you can offer the consumers. Buyers don’t want to be fooled by irrelevant and unnecessary information. Instead, anticipate what your target wants, and educate them by giving them what they need.

Inbound Team is an Atlanta, Georgia Inbound Marketing Agency specializing in helping businesses grow through online marketing.












Simple Rules to Follow to Capture Your Online Audience

 
Inbound Marketing and Blogging

For any business to be successful, you must focus completely on your targeted audience. After all, the success of your business is determined by how well you connect, communicate and nurture your audience. But in the world of marketing, where change is always constant, how do you attract your audience and maintain any level of relationship with them - especially with ever-changing technology, the distraction of social media and still gain word of mouth influence? Here are three suggestions:

Start with the most basic but equally important factor, appearance. You might be tempted to think that looks may not be important, but keep in mind that it does matter (a lot). Your company’s website or blog should be professional-looking and uncluttered to your potential customers and clients. In order to capture their attention, the look of your website or blogs should present professionalism, be easy to read and capture their attention - visually.

Draw their attention with your content. You will immerse your targeted audience in reading your company’s site or blogs when you publish content that is relevant, informative and even entertaining. Your educational content should be something that your customers and prospects actually need, and find helpful. Write content that is useful and purposive for them – something worth sharing.

Engage and interact with your targeted audience. Your company’s website and blogs should provide an open forum for discussion between you and your prospects and customers. This will enable you to get to know them better, and their feedback and suggestions regarding your products and services will also help improve your company. Remember that keeping an open mind for suggestions and improvement will empower your network to propel your success.

These are just some basic things you can do to attract your targeted audience and maintain their loyalty to your brand. To learn what not to do, Stephanie Sammons wrote an article about things marketers do that will drive your audience  away in: “7 Ways to Turn Off Your Online Audience”. What would you add to this list?

Today’s consumers are becoming more aware and wiser when searching for, and choosing products and services they want. The last thing you want to do is run them off and have them shop with your competition. Most times, you’re making obvious mistakes that can be easily fixed. Understand these ways to keep your audience engaged, so that you keep them coming back for more.

Inbound Team is an Atlanta, Georgia Inbound Marketing Agency specializing in helping businesses grow through online marketing.













4 Short-Form Blogging Networks Perfect for Customer Engagement

 
Inbound Marketing and Blogging Networks

With the presence and power of social media, what better way to connect with your prospects and customers than through a platform which allows them to learn, share and engage with you and your company?

Chances are your prospects, customers and partners are engaging in social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter. Done correctly, social media allows you to showcase your products and services in a way that educates, empowers and engages your network in a very cost-effective way. Social media encourages you to interact with your prospects through forums and discussions, which will help in your company’s growth not only in profits, but also in terms of branding. You want to be the business that fully understands what your prospects need, and have an expectation of what they need now, and will need down the road.

There are many social networking sites you can leverage to expand the exposure for your business. In an article by Ann Buehner, she mentioned four sites that are perfect for promoting your business online:

  • Tumblr - Brands use Tumblr to create a community and to build a following fast with its quick and easy setup, seamless tagging and sharing capabilities. Existing brands also use the short-form blog to breathe life into content through a host of mixed-media that includes photos, links and video. Tumblr does not offer a reporting platform, and does not have the best reputation when it comes to collaborating with brands on advertising opportunities.
  • Pinterest - Brands use Pinterest to build brand personality and inspire trends and influencers through instant social sharing. Pins are typically centered on major life events such as weddings and holidays. Users create theme-based collections through the site’s virtual pinboards. Dialogue is generated through the simple act of pinning, repining, “Liking” and commenting on images taken on a smartphone or from the web.
  • Instagram - Brands use Instagram to showcase products, services, events or just a behind-the-scenes look through a feed of photos, instead of a slew of text. The photo sharing application for iPhone uses dazzling image filters, and features cross-posting to other social networks including Twitter, Facebook profiles, Flickr, Foursquare, Tumblr and Posterous. The goal is to attract new fans with Instagram’s search and keyword function, and to draw engagement through likes, comments, @replies and #hashtags.
  • Tout - Brands use Tout to create real-time, 15-second video status updates captured from Apple and Android smartphones, and then distributed through social networks. Instant video sharing is on the rise as more and more consumers use smartphones. Tout offers integration across multiple platforms such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, and does include analytics. It’s essentially video Twitter.


To find out more about these sites, you can read her full article here: "4 Short-Form Blogging Networks Perfect for Customer Engagement"

With more social networking sites available at your fingertips, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the tools and features in order to use them to their fullest potential for your business’ success.

Inbound Team is an Atlanta, Georgia Inbound Marketing Agency specializing in helping businesses grow through online marketing.










How to Amplify Your Blogs

 
Amplify Your Blogs

Blogging can be an essential way to inform and educate your prospects on their wants and needs (that your products or services may help them with). Because building a business empire takes an extraordinary amount of time and effort, and blogging is just one aspect of it, most busy professionals neglect updating their company blogs. If you want to lengthen the life of your blogs, and you don’t have the time to update your blogs on a consistent basis- what should you do? Here are six strategies you can put into place right away:

  • Make sure that your blogs are search engine friendly. Always double check your title and description tags, categories and keywords to be certain that they stay relevant to your post. Make sure you don’t stray from the guidelines set forth by search engines, otherwise your blog will be penalized.
  • Inter-link your posts. Make sure that when writing your post, you link relevant keyword phrases to previously published articles. It will help in your search engine optimization.
  • Send your subscribers emails about your post. Include a brief summary of your blog and communicate the value of why they should read your blog by telling them how it can help solve their problems. You can also encourage them to subscribe to your blog so that they don’t miss out on the important updates. By doing this, you will build a stronger relationship with your email subscribers.
  • Be certain that your blogs have CTAs (Call-to-Action). This directs your readers on what they need to do next, and so they will know where to reach you.  CTAs are important because, in most instances, people need to be told what to do and typically respond well when there’s a clear step of what to do next.
  • Repurpose your blogs. By sharing someone else’s information that would also be beneficial for your network, you can repurpose a blog or article that’s an old post (that’s still relevant) or use as a theme for one of your upcoming webinars. By using other’s content, you now have an entire mini-package comprised of useful information and tools to share with your prospects or clients.
  • Use social media sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter. These are a popular and valuable platform to showcase your blogs and articles. Link your post to your social networking sites to spread your content across all platforms, and allow your readers to “share” these resourceful posts.

Blogging will be a major asset for your business to reach your targeted prospects as long as you stay relevant and true to your prospects needs. Offer realistic and timely solutions in every post, in order for your customers to feel value and to help gain their trust. Blogging allows you to interact and engage with your audience, and to get immediate feedback regarding their concerns. Engaging them in discussions to gather comments and suggestions regarding your company’s brand will help your business grow profitably and professionally.

The most important thing you should remember in blogging is consistency. Even if you can’t regularly post blogs, make sure you continue to communicate with your prospects and clients through your blogs to strengthen your relationship with them.

Inbound Team is an Atlanta, Georgia Inbound Marketing Agency specializing in helping businesses grow through online marketing.







How to Blog Effectively for Your Business

 
Inbound Marketing and Blogging

Marketing has become an art form that continues to be perfected over time, and your business’ success depends on how creatively you position yourself in the marketplace. The success of your marketing messages is dependent upon how relevant, interesting and appealing you can make them connect with your audience.

You may know that blogging can be one of the best ways to promote your business, but are you actively and consistently doing so? Business blogs can open doors for communication and interaction between you and your potential customers and/or clients. Though your blogs, you can engage in forums and join community discussions to understand the wants and needs of your prospects and at the same time, offer them knowledge and information regarding your offered products and services. This helps promote brand awareness and will make you a trusted brand by understanding your potential customers and clients’ desires.

More importantly, a relevant, interesting and creative blog can help boost more traffic to your website and help you generate more leads by engaging prospects looking for answers and information.

An established online presence can also be accomplished with the help of blogging. If you post content that is relevant and purposive for your audience, you can capture their interest, which can lead to a considerable amount of followers. The more popular your blogs become, the more they will be shared, and the more they will be “relevant” to Google – thus helping more people to be aware of your business and your brand. This can help you be seen as a trusted brand and a company that can surely address their problems and needs.

Here are four basic points to remember if you want to blog effectively for your business:

  1. Be creative. Think of topics that are relatable to your business and make them interesting and entertaining for readers to actually want to read them. When an idea pops into your head, make sure you write it down so you can eventually write about it later. You can use online tools such as Evernote or Google Docs to help you accomplish this. Keep in mind that creativity is the key, and an epiphany can happen when you least expect it, so when you have an idea, make sure to write it down.
  2. Be punctual. Always write in a schedule. You don’t have to write a 600 word blog in one sitting, just be certain that you take time for just an hour or two a day. This will help stimulate your mind so that you will feel inspired and ideas will eventually keep flowing.
  3. Be open-minded. The best thing about blogs is the interaction you can generate from them. Encourage comments, questions and suggestions so that you’ll have a point of view on what your prospects and clients need, want and desire.
  4. Be consistent. Your efforts won’t bear fruits over-night so be patient. Blogging is a continuous effort, so be unrelenting in your strategies for blog topics, and consistent in your campaigns if you want to be successful.

With great content that informs, educates and empowers and with the help of social media and other online tools, your business blogs can reach your targeted buyers across multiple platforms and begin a lead generation process for your business.











12 Useful Research Tools for Content Marketing

 
Inbound Marketing and Marketing Reseach

As you know, content is an essential part of your inbound marketing strategy, and with great content, you can position your company’s website or blog to success. Fortunately for you, there are many online tools that can help you in your content marketing research.

The quality of your content will determine the success of your marketing campaigns, so to get the attention of your targeted prospects, your content should be useful, relevant, educating and interesting for them.

To achieve this, you’ll need creativity and a little research. You’ll want to utilize the resources you have available online at your disposal to come up with the topics, concepts and intriguing content for your marketing that is appealing for your prospects while maintaining  the brand  your company embodies. There are many online tools that can help with your content marketing research such as Google AdWords, Keyword Tool, LinkedIn, Yahoo Answers and Bottlenose.

Since all searches begin with keywords, Google AdWords is the best tool to help you determine what keywords are more searched than others. Google AdWords can also be useful in the optimization of your content marketing strategies.

With 175 million members, LinkedIn is the largest networking community for business professionals, making it the best place for discussions and forums for people of all industries and all backgrounds. These forums and discussions are very helpful for ideas with your content marketing research.

Yahoo Answers is one of the largest online answer sites with millions of questions and answers from people all over the world. All topics are categorized and ranked according to what’s best for the users.

As you can imagine, social media has had a major impact on today’s content marketing campaigns. If you want to search for trending articles and social commentaries, Bottlenose is the best tool for you. It allows users to view social media information in clearer and simpler ways.

Arnie Kuenn wrote an article, “12 Content Research Tools You Should Be Using”, which contains important tools that can help in your content marketing research. Use them to your advantage and save yourself time by being smarter and not working harder.

Use these research tools as guides to help you get to the right starting point for your content topic or message. Having these tools to immediately find the questions to what your prospects are asking, is an efficient way to build your content marketing strategy.

Inbound Team is an Atlanta, Georgia Inbound Marketing Agency specializing in helping businesses grow through online marketing.

















6 Tactics for Combining Content with Email Strategies

 
Inbound Marketing and Email Marketing

Email marketing continues to be one of the most cost effective ways to communicate with your audience of clients, prospects, partners and vendors. It continues to be a great medium to help you establish brand awareness for potential customers while encouraging trust and customer loyalty for your current clients. But how do you make your marketing messages stand out amongst your competitors in the market? The answer is to integrate your content with your email strategies.

Resourceful, educational and relevant content is the most vital part of your email marketing. In one way, you can use content to give your prospects an idea of what your business is all about, from the products and services your company offers, to the news and updates regarding the company and the industry it revolves in. You can also use content to educate the consumer about a need they didn’t know they had, or to “reset their buying criteria” to methodically inform and educate your target market on how to make wise purchasing decisions. Of course, these organized messages demonstrate how and why they should buy YOUR products and services, but in an educational and resourceful way. Having relevant content that is helpful is also one of the best ways to nurture leads through a communication process that provides you a sales force that works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Chris Baggott is Chairman and co-founder of Compendium, a content marketing company. He gave some tips about incorporating your email and content strategies for successful email marketing, and perceives email marketing as a three-legged stool comprised of technology, data and content. He understands that sophisticated and easy-to-use software tools create efficiency in email marketing, but in order to take advantage of these tools, marketers need a database of eager prospects to send to, relevant content that will inform and empower them.

Chris believes the greatest marketing tactic in the history of mankind is the ‘similar situation’ story. You can learn more about that and other email marketing tactics in his l article  entitled, “Email Marketing: 6 Tactics on Combining Content and Email Strategies”

Your content marketing and email strategy go hand in hand. For your email marketing to be successful, you will need helpful content that positions you as the market expert and industry resource. They should be able to quickly relate to your information and know that you can help them solve their problem – even the ones they didn’t know they had.

Inbound Team is an Atlanta, Georgia Inbound Marketing Agency specializing in helping businesses grow through online marketing.









7 Easy Steps for Creating Buzzworthy Content

 

If you’re using education to reach your targeted audience, you know that quality content is vital for online marketing. But your prospects are constantly being bombarded with distracting content that clutters their attention, so what are you doing to make yours relevant and outstanding amongst your competitors online?

Case Study: Creativity vs. Clarity in Email Subject Lines

 
Inbound Marketing and Email Marketing

Are your emails getting the attention of your targeted audience? Let me ask the question another way, do you recognize what emails coming into your inbox get YOUR attention? According to The Radicati Group, a technology market research firm, the typical corporate email user sends and receives about 105 email messages per day. Is your message getting through in this overcrowded and cluttered media space, and how can you make sure your email headline stand out?

There are many inbound marketing strategies you can use to set your company above the rest, but are you working on making your subject lines creative or clear?

Business owners and marketing professionals often find confusion in choosing between clarity and creativity to get their message across. In an article written by Amanda Gagnon, she mentions consumers are most likely to open emails that have a clear subject line than that of the creative ones as proven in a test conducted by The AWeber team. She notes an email’s subject line should have three objectives:

  1. To get the brand in front of consumers
  2. To get the email opened and
  3. To communicate a key message from the brand to the subscribers.
Read her full article, “Case Study: Creativity vs. Clarity in Email Subject Lines” to find out more about it.

Leave your comment below to let us know your opinion when it comes to clarity vs. creativity in email subject lines.

It’s important for any marketing email to have an appealing subject line. Since the subject line acts as the email’s introduction, if it deflects attention, the rest of the message may never get seen.

Inbound Team is an Atlanta, Georgia Inbound Marketing Agency specializing in helping businesses grow through online marketing.










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Inbound Team, LLC
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