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Monthly Archives: May 2010

Start to Analyze B2B Marketing Strategy

It’s never too late to analyze marketing strategies and start the road to a strategy that will increase ROI. Here are some items to consider when you reevaluate:

1. Combine email with social media. All email communication should include options for users to share your content within social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. Remember, any opportunities for readers to share leads to increased website traffic as your brand message spreads.
2. Optimize landing pages. Research from MarketingSherpa shows properly optimized pages can double the amount of conversions achieved. Testing is a key to optimizing landing pages. All messages and pay-per-click ads can link to unique pages in a rotating manner.
3. Focus content. All writing should ultimately focus on your target audience’s language, what makes you different from a competitor, what are the prospect’s pain points, and how your product/service will benefit your prospects. Whether they be web copy, email copy, white papers, etc, stay focused.
4. Prepare consistent content. Content builds relationships. B2b sales happen due to relationships, not product descriptions. Utilize blogs, e-newsletters, social media, webinars or white papers to develop this relationship to target audiences throughout their buying cycles.
5. Add testimonials and case studies to your website to enhance trust and build the story as to “why buy from you”
6. Review pay-per-click strategies: Specific ad groups, long-tail keywords, compelling ad copy, relevant landing pages. If your ad is relevant to a users query, quality visitors come to your site.
7. Utilize your existing house mailing list properly. Start nurturing your existing list with email messaging and begin focusing on those leads that respond positively by offering them fresh content.
8. Address measurement tools. Are you evaluating campaign ROI properly? Are all of your website links, whether they be blogs, Twitter, Facebook, pay-per-click, direct mail, have custom URLs or Bit.ly links? Are you monitoring and making decisions based on reports generated from Analytics? You need to make the time to study the granular measurement tactics so that your overall campaign is generating quality leads and sales.
9. Lead Score. Research from DemandGen shows that companies that score leads properly close more deals, and generate more revenue per deal. If there’s not a scoring system in place, let’s chat.
10. Get sales and marketing on the same page. It’s common that sales and marketing are separate, but they both need to know quality lead definitions, target audiences, marketing strategy, and knowing how to share results. As marketers, our job is to give salespersons quality, closeable leads. Only with input on resolutions, can we analyze marketing strategies. Demand Generation/Marketing Automation systems do this, and work with CRM systems like Salesforce.

NuSpark Marketing can help with any or all of the above. The most important thing is, it’s never to late to start the mission to increase market share, gain more visablity, communicate with quality content, and build revenue.

Google Adsense revealed

Fresh from Google on how Adsense works (those listings you see on other people’s sites)

If you’re a publisher using Google AdSense on your website then you might be interested in reading the latest blog post from the AdSense blog which reveals Google’s revenue share model (AdSense for content and AdSense for search).

  • § AdSense for content publishers make 68% revenue share worldwide, the rest is kept by Google (part of this share goes to: development of new technologies, products and features). For example, you would receive $68 with AdSense for content for $100 worth of advertising that appeared on your site. If another ad network offers an 80% revenue share, but is only able to collect $50 from ads served on your site, you would earn $40
  • § Adsense for search partners receive a 51% share, with Google taking the remaining amount.

Over the next few months Google will begin showing the revenue shares for AdSense for content and AdSense for search right in the AdSense interface.


You’re doing your Marketing Wrong if…..

I run into countless marketers who are trying to figure out their best mix of media and emarketing tactics.  Many are not optimized for success.  Tactics have to work together and form an integrated strategy.  It takes a thoughtful approach, time, effort, analytics, consistency, and commitment.  Let’s take a look at some of what you may be doing wrong:

  • Pay-per-click.  You’re doing it wrong if your ads do not have a call-to-action or offer.  Pay-per-click is advertising. Give viewers a reason to click your ad.  Why are you different? What is your value?
  • Pay-per-click.  You’re doing it wrong if you’re not taking advantage of negative keywords so you limit poor traffic. For instance,  if you’re a lawyer, and you sponsor “Attorneys” as a keyword, but you do not do corporate law, a query for “corporate attorneys” may get to an unqualified click.  “Corporate” needs to be a negative keyword.
  • Pay-per-click.  You’re doing it wrong if the URL you click to does not specifically answer a user’s query.  Too many home page landing pages out there.  It’s all about relevance.  I search for something; I want to kind it as soon as I click.
  • SEO.  You’re doing it wrong if you’re not modifying content.  This is the importance of a blog or a news section on your site.  Google rewards sites with high positioning when the site’s content changes.  Google believes the site is important and active.  If the site is static for a long-period of time, your keyword positioning will suffer.
  • Blog.  You’re doing it wrong if your content doesn’t include any important keywords that users search for.  Blogs help SEO and can show up on search engines.
  • Blog.  You’re doing it wrong if you’re not blogging frequently.  I prefer once a week at least.  Blogs don’t have to be long, but each one should have some sort of comment about how your content can solve a problem.  All content generation needs to at least indirectly solve a potential buyer’s problem.  Isn’t that what marketing is about- solving problems?
  • Blog.  You’re doing it wrong if you’re not promoting your blog.  Get it on a Twitter scheduler so it appears at various times on Twitter (a la Social Oomph),  Link it to all of your marketing channels- promote on email, LinkedIn, website, Facebook, and ads.

Well, this is part one of a series of tidbits on best practices.  Stay tuned for more.  NuSpark Marketing can consult on the entire marketing funnel, and will optimize all aspects of emarketing strategy.

The Four Keys of Social Marketing for Business

At this point, all business owners should be aware of the exponential potential that social media has for a business marketing. With today’s “Go Green” revolution, not to mention we’re a part of the web era, it is an essential set of tools to reach your customer base.

They say that your greatest marketing tool is word-of-mouth, right? Well, think of it this way: using avenues like Facebook and Twitter are like word-of-mouth to the nth degree, hence the term “viral marketing”. Those you come in contact with not just statewide but globally expand your company’s reach. Your service or product becomes more accessible and you broaden your geographic areas for business. Take special care though because, if not done right, social media marketing can actually hurt your credibility. Four “Must Do’s”, as highlighted in an article on Bankrate.com, suggest that you create a strategy, build relationships, deliver valuable content, and be consistent and have a strong sense of urgency. What does this mean to you?

Strategy- As with all marketing tools, it is essential to have a plan of action and know what you want to accomplish. Your strategy should be no different for business social media marketing. Know your target audience and formulate ways to connect with them. Which brings us to

Relationships- Everyone knows that a good business thrives on repeat customers. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling. Having a great relationship with your customers and finding a way to reach out to them personally strengthens not only your personal drive to serve your customer but the respectability of both you and your business. Also, building relationships through social media outlets gives your customer a place to voice their concerns, questions, and praise to you.

Content- Writers always say it: “Content is king.” They say it because it’s true. Your content should be direct, relevant, and timely. You should always post, or send, information that promotes and strengthens your brand. Be sure to hold your information on your social media marketing sites to the same professional standard that you do for your business website.

Consistency- It is imperative to be consistent with your marketing once you decide to take the social media route. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to post information every day. If you post mediocre content, it won’t do much to build your brand. Be sure to work content and consistency together—if you post information about your product or service once a week for an extended period of time, your customers will expect you to continue that trend. Once there’s an unexpected break in communication, it’s all too easy for consumers to forget to check in and see what’s new with your business. Out of virtual site, after all, is “out of mind”, which means you’re not on their list of vendors when they have a need for your services.

Online marketing through social media outlets is not as elusive as it seems. With a clear and strong action plan for marketing your business (which you should already have), it’s just a simple matter of applying it with a precise social media strategy.

Banner ads are growing, and can contribute to ROI

With everyone (it seems) so gaga over what’s next with Social Media, the old interactive standby- banner ads, is actually thriving, consider:

U.S. web users received 1.08 trillion online display ads in Q1 2010, according to comScore AdMetrix data. This represents 15% growth from 944.4 billion online display ads received by U.S. web users in Q1 2009. Total U.S. display ad spending in Q1 reached an estimated $2.7 billion, with the average cost per thousand impressions (CPM) equal to $2.48, writes MarketingVOX.

“Following a severe ad recession that began in late 2008 and continued through the first three quarters of 2009, we’ve been seeing a strong resurgence in the online display ad market,” said Jeff Hackett, comScore SVP. “The first quarter of 2010 posted strong volume in online display ads, coinciding with increasing expenditure from advertisers and higher CPMs for publishers. This pickup in activity should bode well for the online advertising industry as we move forward in 2010.”

Social networking site Facebook led all online publishers during Q1 2010 with 176 billion display ad impressions, representing 16.2% market share.Yahoo Sites ranked second with 132 billion impressions (12.1% market share), followed by Microsoft Sites with 60 billion impressions (5.5% market share) and Fox Interactive Media with 53 billion impressions (4.9% market share).

For an effective banner ad campaign, you have to remove last click metrics out of your head. At a click-through rate of .01%, it’s no wonder marketers sometimes question the effectiveness. It’s getting to sound like how I would recommend billboard and transit advertising to consumer advertisers. You have to start taking measurement from a macro level, and consider attribution, media mix, and message. It’s still about ROI, and ad targeting to users most likely to buy.

I’ll explain more about the benefits of banner advertising in a later blog post, but will leave you with this key point:
The more someone has seen or heard of your product, the more likely they will search for that product on search engines. Research already supports the effectiveness of social media and the lift in search. Similarly with banner campaigns.

Marketing Strategy First, Then Website

Some ramblings on marketing strategy vs. website.

Remember the old “chicken or the egg” story of what came first? A similar circumstance happens with websites. Years ago, you jumped on the bandwagon to create a website for your company. Hired a designer who knew HTML code. There you have it- a pretty website- some animation, and good product descriptions. Guess what- Google can’t find your site. And visitors are leaving your site because there’s no reason for them to stay. No strong call-to-action. Nothing of value to give away. So your website has to be revised for SEO with new site structure and keywords, and the lead capture mechanism has to be redone. Thanks web designer. Pretty site. Detailed description. But not written for the buyer. Need to start over- and spend marketing dollars again but don’t worry, it’ll pay off this time- just get NuSpark Marketing involved with the strategy. So remember the new story: what comes first- the website or the marketing strategy……

Following Companies on LinkedIn

In case you missed it, you can now follow companies on LinkedIn.
Similar to a Facebook Fan Page, being a company follower on LinkedIn gets you specific status updates such as recent hires and promotions, new job opportunities and company profile updates. While the initial launch is fairly basic, the feature will surely mature to increase and improve communication between companies and individuals. Just search for a company, click their profile, and click the “Follow Company” icon. Your profile will then follow the company’s updates.

B2B Marketing Lessons

This week ended a MarketingProfs B2b event in Boston.  Most of the content covered social media but also lead management.  These important lessons were taken from observations at Hubspot, and worth listing here as we agree with them.

27 Marketing Lessons B2B Marketing Should Know

1. Pay attention to the keywords you are using in social status updates. Make is easy for prospects to find your social content by using the right keywords.

2. Content is precious. Repackage existing content into different formats, such as blog posts, podcasts and webinars to drive more leads.

3. Marketers are publishers.

4. Use anchor text correctly across blogs and social networks to maximize SEO effectiveness.

5. When testing email marketing, have a clear reason as to why your are conducting the test.

6. Listen to your sales team for the type of content that generates the best leads, and optimize your content strategy to create it.

7. Don’t stop marketing efforts that are working to start social media; instead, use social media to support those activities.

8. List marketing messages from your business and your competitors; then remove the company names. Can you tell which message connects to each company, or do they all sound the same?

9. Social media thought leadership is built by empowering employees to talk about your company and industry.

10. Use a corporate SlideShare account to share updated company documents using employee LinkedIn profiles. This can be done by asking employees to add the SlideShare application to their LinkedIn profiles and then connecting their profiles to the corporate Slideshare account.

11. Find and create online marketing best practices for your industry by examining what competitors and other industries are doing.

12. Almost all online content has the opportunity to be optimized for search. 

13. Prospects will let you know when they no longer need nurturing.

14. Set and identify goals for different inbound marketing strategies to stay in the right direction during tactical execution.

15. Solve problems for customers, and leverage marketing to demonstrate these solutions.

16. Measure the data that is important to your business. Don’t try to measure everything.

17. Review old blog posts and update calls-to-action to link to new content. This is especially important for posts that receive a lot of search traffic.

18. Corporate blogs should strive to be the best trade magazine in their industry.

19. 20% of searches done in Google every day have never been done before. Create relevant content about your business even if people aren’t looking for it yet.

20. Core marketing values and processes still matter in inbound marketing.

21. Email marketing is not enough.  Integrate marketing with multiple channels.

22. Mobile is an important emerging media platform for B2B companies.

23. Search is a major opportunity for qualified leads because customers are already looking for your product.

24. Optimize for all search engines. Some search engines may drive better quality leads than others.

25. The primary purpose of social content isn’t to provide something for people to read. It’s to provide something for them to discuss.

26. Tools and technology don’t make your business more interesting or smarter.

27. Optimize landing pages to rank in organic search results.

Quick Marketing Strategy Questions

Quick Questions regarding your marketing strategy…

a.  Why do you have a website?

b.  Why have a site if I can’t find what you sell within the first 2 pages of Google?

c.  Do you track which marketing sources generate the highest revenue per lead?

d.  Do you have useful content that can solve problems for your potential customers?

e.  How do you promote that content?

Just a few of the many concerns that NuSpark Marketing can help with.

Web visitors look at the left side of a site more than the right

According to Jakob Nielsen, a guru on web visibility studies (www.useit.com),

People spent more than twice as much time looking at the left side of the page as they do the right:

  • Left half of screen: 69% of viewing time
  • Right half of screen: 30% of viewing time

Such information is visible only after horizontal scrolling, and the minute amount of attention it attracts confirms the guideline to avoid horizontal scrolling.

Information to the right of the initially-visible area is in essence “below the fold,” except that they are beyond a right-hand fold instead of a bottom-of-window fold, and thus not literally “below.” Another way of looking at vertical vs. horizontal scrolling is that users allocate 20% of their attention past the fold in the vertical dimension but only 1% past the fold in the horizontal dimension.

His study used a 1,024×768 monitor. With a bigger monitor, one might expect the viewing pattern to shift slightly to the right, simply because there would a wider space to look at. However, the general pattern would be the same.

The left-most part of the page typically contains a navigation bar, so it’s not surprising that attention grows after the 200-pixel mark, with the most attention around 300–500 pixels.

Note that it’s great that users don’t look too much at the nav: better for them to spend their time on your content and only look at the navigation when they want to move on.

Bottom line, keep most important copy skewed left.

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