5 Things that Will Cause Your Site Traffic to Distrust You

Today’s guest post is by James Scherer from Wishpond. The Wishpond writing style is full of examples and how-to’s…I like that. Enjoy!

web marketing, online marketing

So you’ve generated some website traffic. Congrats. But are they not converting? Are they bouncing? Do you know why? [Read more…]

Blogging best practices: 8 ideas for curated blog posts

Consultant: “You want to create contagious content that brings the buyer back looking for more”

Customer: “He/she’s so right”

25 days later, customer says to team members: “Ok, how do we do it”?

Reality check: Content marketing is hard to do right. Before I dig into my post, I have a couple recommended resources for you on content marketing:

1. The Keys to Content Marketing Success Summit — August 14, 9-1pm. Join us to hear Ardath Albee, Justin Gray, Toby Murdock, and Tony Zambito give specific, actionable advice on how to design, build, and operate a content marketing organization.

2. Content Marketing: The Process and Plays Required to Scale Content Marketing by Scott Albro. Great post by Scott on operationalizing your content marketing. [Read more…]

Content marketing ROI: War stories from the front lines

Content marketing is the movement dujour across b2b and b2c which is why we have decided to create a content marketing virtual summit on August 14 from 9-1pm PDT that I know will be awesome — Content Marketing Summit. Paul (our editor) has put together an amazing event with expert speakers like Ardath Albee, Tony Zambito, Justin Gray, and Toby Murdock. The topics will start from the creation of buyer personas to-translating buyer personas to action-to-creating a content marketing organization-to-distribution. I hope you join.

Back to business. The question I have been getting lately is: How do I justify content marketing? (aka ROI)

This is important: We have called out content marketing as its own movement, but in reality content marketing is part of everything you do in sales and marketing lifecycle. It is an approach — You are creating content that the buyer actually wants to consume. It’s that simple. The content you create should be designed to have a direct impact on your core revenue driving activities such as inbound marketing, demand generation, lead nurturing, social marketing, selling and closing. To me, content marketing ROI should be tracked against the metrics you track in your overall revenue machine. When done correctly, content marketing should drive the metrics you are already tracking such as visits, leads, and revenue. If you are viewing content marketing as it’s own “thing”, then you are back in “arts and crafts” class and creating content for the sake of creating content.

Net-net: Content marketing should be driving higher conversions on your entires revenue machine. That being said, here are some examples of content working wonders on the front lines: [Read more…]

Optimizing contact forms, an infographic

I love Neil Patel – both Quicksprout and the Kissmetrics blogs.  Great content, always actionable and specific or with real data.   He recently posted a great infographic on optimizing contact forms.  I enjoyed it…I think you will too. Enjoy.
Faithfully submitted,
Douglas C. Neidermayer [Read more…]

Social Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Social Marketing campaign

This post stars Jason Miller and his company Marketo. (no relation to Jon).  The story is about their social campaign for the Definitive Guide to Social Marketing.  There are some great ideas and take-aways as we continue to try to answer the question: “Does social marketing work”?

Facebook worked, here is why:

Facebook is controversial in b2b since it is such a personal, consumer-driven social network,  but Marketo was and has been successful there.  The key to Facebook: Get people engaged in order to stay in the feed.  I found some interesting takeaways:

1.  Visual, Visual, Visual — to be successful in Facebook you have to have great visuals.  Think about it, Facebook is a massive image sharing feed (pls see Instagram purchase), so you have to consider how your visual will compete.

2.  Be fun — Facebook is a place for fun.  People go to Facebook to break away from their day-to-day  and have fun.  Your promotions need to compete with the funny anecdotes and personal stories in everyone’s feed.

3.  Juice the amplification with promoted post — Remember the key is to be in the feed.  Promoted posts are a small amount of money to help you achieve that goal.

3.  Your buyers are on Facebook, you just have to approach them correctly — Here is the prevailing irony in b2b Facebook marketing: “My buyers aren’t on Facebook” is a common b2b refrain yet there are a billion active users on Facebook.  In other words, the odds tell you that you are wrong…they are on Facebook.

See some of their ads below.

Twitter worked, here is why:

Twitter is not controversial but results have been elusive for many.  There some important things to learn from this campaign:

1.  Leverage promoted tweets — Marketo is averaging about $37/prospect* via their paid Twitter activities.  Many marketers are unaware of the power of the promoted tweet — Jason recommends buying both for search (you will show up when people search a keyword or hashtag) and timeline (you can designate the target “interest” and the promoted tweet will show up in their timeline)
*Prospect for Marketo is defined as “right person/company”, engaged with Marketo, and fits target profile.

2.  Advocates and employees — I think a lot of marketers are getting good at using their army of employees but many marketers are still getting around to building their army of advocates (influencers, customers, etc).

3.  Take a value based, serious tone on Twitter — You can see the copy below.  The copy here is more classic copy.

Brand Influencers were key to the campaign, here is why:

Marketo ran a “Share to Win” contest.  For every 5 referred downloads, brand influencers earned a printed copy of the Definitive Guide and t-shirt.

And the winner is….

Does social marketing work?  Here are some results that should tell you “yes”:

1.  Facebo0k — 1000+ downloads

2.  Twitter — 300+ downloads

3.  Average share resulted in 25 clicks

2 key take-aways:
1.  Each social channel is unique — Similar to your more traditional multi-channel campaigns, make sure you understand what the community in each channel will respond to and test it.  The Facebook approach versus Twitter approach seen above is a great example.
2.  Paid is working — People ask me all the time about paid social campaigns, they worked here so add it to the mix
Stay classy social media. Until next time

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

A video on visual content that may or may not include me

Ok, it this video does include me along with some awesome takes from other thought leaders.  Note to self:  I misunderstood the question and thought we were only talking about video.  I still made the cut so there you go.

PS my hair looks terrible.

PPS Thanks Marketo and Jason Miller for including me.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUuVkEccNs0?rel=0]

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

Crazy, unthinkable b2b ideas brought to you by Shoedazzle.com

Background: Shoedazzle is a smoking hot internet site.  Basically, you pay a monthly fee and you get to pick between a variety of  shoes and now accessories allegedly curated by Kim Kardashian and other stars.  In August they hit 13 million members. I told my wife about it and she asked to check it out.

Now maybe it’s because I don’t sign up for women’s apparel sites but the site and registration user experience was thought-provoking for me. That’s right, thought provoking.  Before I go any further, think about this:

B2B people always say: “b2b is different that b2c”

YET:

B2C is always five years ahead of B2B aka five years later b2b adopts progressive b2c ideas

OH AND:

The same people that buy on Shoedazzle are business buyers. (I know this from the Facebook “like” box on the shoedazzle site which had some of my b2b colleagues on it.)

AND LETS FACE IT:

Great UX is great UX

IN SUMMARY:

B2b marketers should try to stay on top of b2c marketing and advertising techniques and get ahead not behind.

Let me walk you through my user experience than provide some commentary.

Step 1: Homepage
Question #1 for any marketer is “what do I want the user to do?” In this case, they want users to go through a multi-step registration process known as the style profile.  That is what dominates your eye site.  Make no mistake, this is a registration profile that will determine what shoedazzle wants to sell you.  Shoedazzle presents the profile as a way for the site to deliver customized offerings and advertises the fact that it will be painless: “Membership is free and effortless” (love that) .  Now, think about how present ourselves in b2b: “We need you to fill out this form because you want this piece of content.  I need all of this data for my database to make it easier when my inside rep calls you.”


Step 2: The personal style profile
The personal style profile “quiz” is not an ugly series of drop downs, but instead a set of multiple choice graphics which you click to represent your likes/dislikes.  It’s more fun, visually appealling, and made my wife really believe they could figure out what to send to her. PS I still have not given up any information to shoedazzle yet.

Step 3: Initial Registration
Check out the easy registration.  In b2c, it’s all about getting your email address. Guess what? In b2b: It’s all about getting your email address.  So why make it hard to get? If it’s the top of the funnel and the beginning of the relationship, then can’t we move from free to email address and THEN to more data?

BOOM. I’m in and now have access to shoe choices. When we order one, we are then prompted to add more data to our account.

Why did I just show this to you?

1.  That was fun — Why the hell do b2b websites think they have to be so boring? We roll around talking about how b2b marketers have to compete for buyers time, isn’t fun and excitement a pretty good emotional trigger to hit?

2.  Rethink reg pages and profiling — If you ask me if I advocate moving to Shoedazzle’s model of the graphical profile, I am not sure yet.  Truthfully, I went to the site tonight randomly, and I just started re-evaluating.  In other words, I am not sure yet…but I do believe in thinking outside the box.  I enjoyed helping my wife click the boxes…it was fun which is very unlike b2b where you make me look at any ugly box, type in a bunch of seemingly meaningless data which I make up sometimes, and sometimes make me scroll through a list of 12 roles to choose for myself or sift through and choose from an industry list that I am pretty sure doesn’t have my industry on there.

3.  Shoedazzle costs as much if not more than a license of ZenDesk or a GoogleApps license– Have you heard of the consumerization of IT?  Then why can’t we talk about the consumerization of IT marketing?

4.  Build your list, even if you sacrifice some data initially — go to any progressive b2c website and many hit you with a pop-up box asking just for your email.  They want that email and they don’t pussyfoot around.   Eventually, we want more data, but right now, can’t we make some sacrifices to start the relationship.  I am sure some inbound marketing clone will tell me: “Create great content and they will come back”.  Really? Is that why the core features for marketing automation systems is email marketing functionality?  According to a preso by email expert, DJ Waldow, popping up a request for email grows list exponentially.  Funny or Die moved to a pop-up box and gets thousands of new emails daily.  Companies have seen 75-80% growth in email subscriber optin lists as a result of the pop-up box.   Check this preso out for more.

5. More on the home page: Remember when you first signed up for Twitter? — Let me help you.  Twitter wants you to sign up for their service.  There is not much else to do on their home page but register. By the way, three fields total on the reg form.

6.  This is for fun, but is there something here? — As I mentioned previously, I don’t know where I am going to take this, but I learned a lot from this experience, and I look to b2c for inspiration not to “poo-poo” it as irrelevant.

Thoughts?

PS I am not crazy

PPS Yes it is Friday night

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

A whole bunch of mobile marketing information that I stole from people smarter than me

I think it was three years ago that I moderated a webinar with Michael Brenner where he listed mobile marketing as his big coming trend.  I didn’t think anything of it for years.  I just got an Iphone and Ipad and now I do everything mobile.  I clear my inbox on my phone, I read blog posts on my Ipad.  It’s one of those things where I just had to feel it.  Now I get it. To you my b2b marketing friends, I give you this advice: Start with the mobile experience first when you build your emails, content, etc.  Everyone tells you “be where your buyers are”, well they are on mobile.
I recently spoke at a couple webinars listed below where I felt it was important to talk mobile marketing.  As a result, I ended up with some good info to pass along.
Basically, there is a ton of data that supports what any addicted smart phone user already knows.  People are mobile as hell right now.  Here are five facts about mobile I didn’t know until 2 weeks ago:
1.  Last year’s mobile data traffic was eight times the size of the entire global Internet in 2000. via Cisco
2. Mobile video traffic exceeded 50 percent of all video traffic for the first time in 2011. via Cisco
3. By the end of 2012, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2016 there will be 1.4 mobile devices per capita. via Cisco
4. Nine in 10 young adults spend between one and five hours on their mobile devices daily.  via Mashable
5. 91% of mobile workers use a smartphone for work. via Wittlake
There are some really interesting tips that I gathered primarily from two great blog posts from @wittlake and @Corey_bos which you should click to read.  I was relieved to find that we aren’t really talking about boiling the ocean for b2b marketers to get caught up in mobile.  Actually,  you can basically boil down the “to-do’s” into 2 groups (email and web design):
Optimize your email
1. Many mobile email readers are triaging their inbox, deciding whether they want to read your email now, later, or never.
2. Use a clear email subject line and recognizable name in the sender field to ensure you don’t get deleted
3.Then do your best to create a pleasant mobile reading experience by offering both plan text and HTML versions of your email,
4.Use very descriptive alt text in case your images don’t display

5.  Keep your message brief

Optimize the entire online user experience:
It’s all about responsive design.  Here is Eric Wittlake on the topics: “Responsive design delivers a page that is appropriately laid out for every browser, based on the individual device, screen size, orientation and more.  Google is encouraging responsive design, further solidifying it as a best practice all B2B companies should be considering in their mobile plans.”   As I use my smart phone more and more, I have come to learn that my “eject” button is quicker than ever.  If you aren’t viewable, I don’t force it — I leave.  That means all web pages, landing pages, etc that your buyers will see and touch need to be optimized for viewing or they will be gone too.
Webinars were I talk mobile:
Hope this helps!

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

What Modern Family can teach us about webinars. (enjoy my shamefully corny title)

I am doing a webinar for Brighttalk on tactics for driving webinar attendance on Thursday at 8AM PDT.  Also on Thursday: I have a webinar at 11am with Steve Gershik, Eric Wittlake, and Brian Vellmure on inbound marketing, I also wrote a piece  on inbound marketing leading up to the event that I liked alot

Okay, back to the ridiculous title.  How many times over the last three years have you heard: “Marketers need to act more like publishers”.  Many people interpret this mantra to mean creating third-party, objective content and a lot of it.  There is another important factor: Publishers create what I call “content reliability” — they constantly deliver content on a consistent basis.  Example: A newspaper will feature a columnist X on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week or a simple example, you will get a newspaper on your doorstep that will have a front page, sports page, etc. Remember that.

Now when you think of your event content, you should think of how television networks create their content:

1. Their are reliably on-time – Deliver the show rain or shine on the same day, same time each week

2. Build the show brand — There is typically a network with a big brand who actually wants for their individual content pieces (their shows) to have their own brands. People know what they are going to get from their favorite shows.

3.  Build your performers into stars that people want to root for each week

I mention Modern Family because Scott Albro likes to always talk about creating persistent events while drawing parallels to Modern Family.  He says: “My wife knows Modern Family is on every Wednesday at 9pm”

Have you ever thought about delivering your content like a network?   Create an event brand that you deliver consistently throughout the year.  Build star-power that people can’t wait to listen to each week.  Here is a great example: SAP runs a weekly event called “Coffee Break with Game-Changers“.  It’s on every week with it’s on content brand and they have the same dynamic, exciting host Bonnie Graham. While I am pretty sure SAP has a humongous email database, it is NOT used to promote this show.  The point: audience started small and has continued to grow organically over time by building a following just like a radio/tv show.  Many times with online events, each event is it’s own large-scale campaign instead of thinking of events as a content product you deliver over the course of time.

I talk about this use-case and more during my webinar on Thursday. Join me!

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter