Archive for the "Content Marketing" Category


Creating Valuable Offers: Part One of Effective Lead Generation

Creating Valuable Offers: Part One of Effective Lead Generation

The first step in an effective lead generation campaign is creating valuable offers to convince website visitors to entrust you with their contact information.

Welcome to part one of my series on effective lead generation.

In this four-part series, I’ll guide you through the four most crucial components of the creating an effective lead-generation and lead-nurturing campaign. And I’ll help you tailor your strategic marketing objectives to generate a high volume of quality leads.

Today, we’re looking at how to create valuable offers, the first step in converting a website visitor into a lead.

Offering value

To generate a lead, you need to convince visitors on your website to give you their contact information — and this takes work. You can’t simply expect them to generously hand over their personal information. (Don’t we all get enough emails?!) This means you need to tempt them with something they really want, which you give them in exchange for their contact info.

You may be asking, what will my audience find valuable? And this is where your content comes into play.

Well-written, high-quality content is always more effective at generating leads than an overt sales pitch. Click To Tweet

One of the fundamental principles of content marketing is that your expertise is just as valuable as your products and services. Well-written, high-quality content is always more effective at generating leads than an overt sales pitch.

Creating valuable offers

When designing your content, keep these three questions in mind:

1. What does my audience need?

It might seem like a basic consideration. But before you jump with both feet into creating an offer, take a step back and really consider the needs of your audience.

This is a good time to check out other industry blogs, social media, and online forums like Quora. What kinds of questions are your prospective buyers asking? What problems are they facing, and how can you help them?

2. How do I best serve the information I’m presenting?

Once you have a clear, well-researched idea of what your audience needs, think about what format best serves the content you’ll be offering them.

Depending on how your information should be structured, valuable content offers could be industry reports, guides, infographics, free consultations, product demonstrations, discounts, or webinars. You’ll often find that you can repurpose your existing content into an exclusive new, valuable offer.

3. How do I let my audience know that my offer is valuable?

So you’ve figured out what your audience needs, and created and structured a content offer to meet that need. Now it’s time to let your audience in on the secret.

The higher the perceived value of an offer, the more irresistible it becomes. And a big part of what we perceive to be valuable is about exclusivity and high demand.  

To create this feeling of exclusivity and demand, use elements like:

  • Limited-time offers
  • Limited quantities
  • X number of people have seized this offer
  • Content that matches current trending topics
  • A title that hooks interest

When you create an offer that your target audience perceives as truly valuable, your lead-generation efforts will begin to grow exponentially.

What tips do you have for creating valuable offers?

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Archive for the "Content Marketing" Category


4 Components of Effective Lead Generation and Lead Nurturing Campaigns

4 Components of Effective Lead Generation and Lead Nurturing Campaigns

For effective lead generation and lead nurturing, you need to create offers your audience finds valuable, calls-to-action to drive them there, a landing page to convert them, and a form to gather their information.

Your strategic marketing objectives boil down to one basic mission: to generate a high volume of quality leads. But productive lead-generation and -nurturing campaigns consist of many interconnecting layers. It can get complicated quickly.

You have to have certain tactical elements for lead generation and lead nurturing in place in order to convert the growing number of visitors into your website in to sales leads. Click To Tweet

Content marketing, when done right, is an inexpensive, extremely effective way to generate and nurture leads. But, as I recently wrote, even the best content marketing strategy won’t do you much good if your website stinks. You have to have certain tactical elements for lead generation and lead nurturing in place in order to convert the growing number of visitors into your website in to sales leads.

For this reason, I’ve written a series outlining the said tactical elements and best practices for each. We’ll post them to this blog over the next week for your reading pleasure, so stay tuned. In the meantime, here’s an overview of the 4 components of effective lead generation and lead nurturing.

4 components of effective lead generation and lead nurturing

1) Something to offer 

Firstly, you need something to offer your audience that they will perceive as high in value. That means you must offer them information, expertise, or entertainment that they cannot (easily) get elsewhere. Here’s where content comes into play.

Depending on what will best serve the particular information you’re presenting, valuable content offers could be industry reports, guides, infographics, free consultations, product demonstrations, or discounts. It’s crucial that this content be impeccably researched, written, and presented.  

2) A call-to-action 

A call-to-action is exactly what it sounds like. You invite/tell your audience to take action to receive your high-value offer. It can be a line of text, an image, or a button. In any format, the call-to-action links the potential customer to a landing page to download what you have to offer.

3) An awesome landing page 

When your potential customer reaches your landing page, where your content can be downloaded, he or she has already demonstrated interest in your brand by engaging with your call-to-action. What they find on the landing page should assure them that they made the right choice, and that the content they are about to download is going to relevant, interesting, and valuable.

4) Forms to gather the lead info

Think of this whole process as a bargain: The prospect gets your high-value offer, packed with the valuable content you’ve created. And you get his/her contact information. The form is the means by which you will obtain that contact information from the prospect.

Asking for the right information is key. This is what gives you the tools to begin the lead nurturing process. We’ll get more into this in our next posts.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll explore each of these four components of effective lead generation and lead nurturing in detail. We will guide you through the principles of creating and optimizing offers, calls-to-action, landing pages, and forms so that you can generate and nurture the increasing number of leads that are visiting your website.

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5 Tips for Writing Better Meta Descriptions for Your Blog Posts

5 Tips for Writing Better Meta Descriptions for Your Blog Posts

Meta descriptions help boost your SEO, driving more traffic to your posts and more quality leads on your website.

You’re trying your best to become an expert in SEO optimization. You’re working hard to create valuable content, finding visually pleasing images to accompany your posts (and adding alt text), and using internal and external links throughout. But many of us marketers fail to acknowledge the importance of a strong, interesting meta description.

What is a meta description?

According to Wordstream, a meta description (sometimes called a meta description attribute or tag) is an HTML element that describes and summarizes the contents of your page for the benefit of users and search engines. Broken down into laymen’s terms, this means that meta descriptions are a short snippet of text that appears on a search engine results page (SERP) under your page title to describe to readers exactly what your content is about.

Why are meta descriptions important?

A strong meta description can draw visitors to your content. As they scroll through organic search results, your meta description is their first glance at what they can expect from your page, making it a very visible part of search marketing. A compelling meta description gives you a brief overview of what the content is about, as well as a convincing reason to click on the link to your page.

As visitors scroll through organic search results, your meta description is their first glance at what they can expect from your page, making it a very visible part of search marketing. Click To Tweet

Sounds pretty simple, right? Writing persuasive meta descriptions can actually be quite challenging.

The character-count limit, which depends on your content management platform, keeps your descriptions to not much longer than a tweet. It’s a lot of pressure for marketers to come up with short but captivating snippets as to why a reader should click on your page. Hence why most marketers tend to glance over this key factor in SEO optimization.

Here are five tips to help you start writing better meta descriptions and increasing your click-through rates quickly.

5 tips for writing better meta descriptions

1. Keep it to 155 characters.

According to Moz’s research team, the optimal character length for meta descriptions is 150-160 characters. Anything longer and most search engines will cut off your description.

snippet

As you can see above, longer descriptions that get cut off don’t give readers a full picture of what your page is about. It’s important to keep to the optimal character count, giving readers a clear understanding of why they need to visit your page.

2. Read, read, and read again: no grammatical errors.

This seems pretty straight forward, but grammatical errors in a short description are bad. Really bad. Make sure you go back and read (and reread) your meta descriptions before you post them. And don’t be afraid to ask your coworkers to double check your work — sometimes it’s hard to see errors in your own writing. Your descriptions are a direct reflection of your content and therefore need to be flawless.

3. Don’t shy away from offers.

We’ve all seen a meta description that adds “30-day trail free” at the end. And why not? Essentially, a meta description is a hook for visitors to click on your page. Incentives are a great way to help your page stand out from the competition. Including short call-to-actions or offers in your description lets visitors know what’s waiting for them when they visit your site. It’s a great way to boost your content and get the most value from your meta descriptions.

4. Beware of Google AdWords.

Google AdWords is a form of paid advertising that prioritizes paid ads over organic search results. This is great if you’re paying for advertising. But if you’re like many marketers, you’re hoping to be at the top of the search results because you’re working hard to optimize your content. Because Google now posts the top four search results through AdWords, your content has to work harder to get to the top of the search results lists, making your meta descriptions more important than ever.

Focus on writing descriptions that provide value and invite readers to click on your site, other than trying to sell yourself. A more natural, inviting meta description will help you stand out against the paid ads also appearing in the search results.

5. Test and change.

As with all aspects of content marketing, your efforts should never be stagnant. It’s imperative that you track, test, and change your game plan according to how well — or, in some cases, how poorly — the efforts turn out.

This absolutely applies to your meta descriptions as well. Don’t be afraid to search your keywords and compare competitors’ meta descriptions against your own. Adapt what you’re doing to what is driving the best results. Do descriptions with offers gain more visits? Are your descriptions coming across as uninviting? Make adjustments along the way until you find what works best for you.

Have you given much thought to your meta descriptions? What tricks have you used?

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Archive for the "Content Marketing" Category


Video: Like a Fine Wine, Blogs Improve with Age

Video: Like a Fine Wine, Blogs Improve with Age

As with many things, blogs improve with age — drawing more traffic, generating more leads, and building more credibility with search engines.

The average lifespan of a tweet is around 15 minutes. And a Facebook post’s lifespan is about 6 hours. But the lifespan of a blog post averages two years. TWO YEARS.

80% of our website traffic comes from blog posts that are over six months old. HubSpot discovered a similar trend: 76% of its monthly views came from old posts, as well as 92% of the company’s monthly leads! Click To Tweet

In fact, we find that 80% of our website traffic comes from blog posts that are over six months old. HubSpot discovered a similar trend: 76% of its monthly views came from old posts, as well as 92% of the company’s monthly leads!

Why is that? Because, as with many things, blog posts improve with age. Search engines give value to older content that has had more time to accumulate social shares, likes, and referrals from other web pages. The more relevant a blog post proves itself to be to readers over time, the higher it will rank in search engine results.

Optimizing older content

Blog posts also give marketers an opportunity to dust off older content and rework it to be relevant and up-to-date to target audiences. Using analytics tools, marketers can track posts that had high traffic and conversion rates and work on optimizing the content. Updating older posts with new statistics, relevant keywords, and spruced-up calls-to-action will breathe new life into your older content.

Lead-generation tool: your blog

A blog is an excellent lead-generation tool. But, as I’ve written before, it takes time to generate leads and sales. Patience is a virtue, but it’s a particularly difficult one to keep in mind when you’re trying to grow business and keep your boss happy.

Your posts need time to start drawing traffic — and then, from traffic comes leads. Here’s why blog posts, like a fine wine, will continue to improve with age and why you shouldn’t give up on your efforts.

Video: Why blogs improve with age

Takeaway

With high-quality, relevant content, your blog will pay off. You should keep tending to your already published content, particularly those posts that prove to be a consistent source of traffic.

Update information; add links to new related posts or other relevant resources; and seek opportunities to insert or update calls-to-action to current offers and campaigns. Making sure those older, consistently popular posts continue to serve and engage your readers will increase your chances of conversion.

And, don’t forget: Something that doesn’t get a lot of views in the first week may be a huge traffic source and lead converter in a little time. Many content management systems, like HubSpot, can generate attribution reports, which tell you which web pages users most often visit before converting to a lead. Compare these pages with your high-traffic pages that don’t make the list to see how you can create more opportunities for lead conversion on the pages earning the most traffic.

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Top 10 Supply Chain and Logistics Blog Posts of 2018 (Thus Far)

Top 10 Supply Chain and Logistics Blog Posts of 2018 (Thus Far)

Here are our most-viewed supply chain and logistics blog posts from this year as of July 1, 2018.

Throughout the year, we regularly write blog posts to help our readers stay on top of the latest news and happenings in the supply chain and logistics industries, particularly in regards to content marketing. We hope these posts provide insight, tips, and insider information on how to stay head of your competitors with the consistent publication of quality content.

We’ve covered some great stuff this year, from new trends (like chatbots) to questions that clients ask  year after year (like how is the industry using social media?). Here’s a look at our most popular posts so far this year.

Top supply chain and logistics blog posts from 2018 (so far)

1. 10 Must-Follow Supply Chain and Logistics Blogs in 2018

These 10 blogs are all rich with industry news and the latest trends to keep you in the know. They cover a wide range of topics, from research to strategy, and feature some of the top thought leaders in the field. Read more.

2. 5 Must-Read Books for Supply Chain Leaders

One of the best ways to sharpen your leadership skills is by learning from other leaders’ experiences. Leadership books, especially those focused on the supply chain and logistics industries, give valuable insight into the trials and triumphs of your industry peers’ encounters. Read more.

3. Top 3 Logistics and Supply Chain Blogs of 2018

You voted, and the results are in! LTX Solution is your number one favorite blog of the year, with “Ellen’s Blog” of Women In Trucking and Apex Capital Blog coming in second and third. What remained consistent from previous years is the quality of the content and the consistency of posting by the three winners.  Read more.

4. 7 Supply Chain & Logistics Professionals to Follow on LinkedIn

LinkedIn, with almost 500 million users, is the #1 networking site for professionals. Following LinkedIn members gives you access to their profiles, as well as any original or third-party posts they publish on their newsfeeds. Here are 7 supply chain and logistics professionals to follow for top posts and articles in your industry. Read more.

5. B2B Marketing Trend 2018: Influencer Marketing

One of 2018’s fastest growing marketing trends is influencer marketing. Companies will increase their influencer marketing budget to keep up with the competition. 86% of B2C marketers used influencer marketing in 2017, and 92% of marketers that tried it found it to be effective. B2B marketers, on the other hand, have been slower to adopt this new marketing trend. Read more.

6. 6 Reasons Your Supply Chain Employees Are Looking for New Jobs

With the rising demand for professionals in Supply Chain Management and Procurement, there’s a lot of employment activity, especially in short-term contracts. This guest post from Argentus covers the subtler reasons that star performers in these functions get the desire to make a move. It’s not out of a desire for more money as often as you might think. Read more.

7. Drawing Lessons from Tesla’s Supply Chain Issues

A great article last month from CIPS’ industry magazine Supply Management dove into some of Tesla’s Supply Chain woes, discussing how the company, still considered a visionary in the industry, has gotten into some challenges, as well as some optimistic scenarios for how it can get out of it. Read more.

8. Top 10 Social Media Analytics Tools

Analyzing your social media performance is critical to a successful marketing effort, especially in light of recent changes to Facebook’s News Feed. You need the tools to determine what’s working and what isn’t, as well as the best time to post your content for your target audience. Read more.

9. KFC Ran Out of Chicken in the UK: What Supply Chain Lessons Can We Learn?

More than half of the UK’s Kentucky Fried Chicken stores recently closed because they ran out of chicken. A few weeks later, reports are that a number of stores are still closed, with front-line workers being encouraged to take holidays as the company sorts out its deliveries and tries to account for the failures. This guest post from Argentus provides a look at what caused the issues and what supply chain lessons can be learned. Read more.

10. Writing for SEO: Topic Clusters and Pillar Content (NOT Keywords)

I’ve been hinting — more like, emphasizing — in our recent Writing for SEO series that trying to rank for certain keywords in each blog post you publish is a practice on the way out. You may have been wondering what you’re supposed to do instead. This post on topic clusters and pillar content is your answer. Read more.

What supply chain and logistics blog posts have you most enjoyed this year? Are there any topics you’d like us to cover? Please reach out to us and let us know!

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10 Social Media Statistics for B2B Marketers 2018

10 Social Media Statistics for B2B Marketers 2018

The latest social media statistics show growth of Instagram, social messaging bots, and video content.  

We joke around here that one thing that will always stay the same is that social media will always be changing. 2018 has been a remarkable example of that thus far, particularly in regards to platforms like Facebook.

Every so often, we like to take a step back and look at what the data is telling us about where social media is heading and what that might mean for B2B marketers.

Social Media Examiner’s 10th annual study, 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Reportsurveyed more than 5,700 marketers from across the world in a variety of industries — including manufacturing, industrial goods, and a variety of other B2B verticals. It offers a really comprehensive view of what’s going on in social media in our industry and beyond.

I’ve pulled out 10 social media statistics from this report that I want to talk about in more depth. I think they say a lot about where social media is headed and what supply chain and logistics marketers should be paying attention to.

10 social media statistics for B2B marketers

1) For 64% of marketers, social media management is just one of their job responsibilities.

This one blows me away, knowing how much time and effort it takes to run a company’s social media program. Only about one-third (36%) of marketers manage social media full time. The other two-thirds have to do that on top of their other responsibilities. That’s crazy!

Supply chain, it’s time to recognize how important social media is for your business and dedicate the appropriate resources to social media management. If you can’t afford to hire someone to do it full time, consider outsourcing this task.  

2) Only 44% of marketers agree they can measure their social media ROI.

Only 10% of survey respondents “strongly agree” and 34% “agree” with the statement, “I am able to measure the return on investment (ROI) for my social media activities.”

Again, I’m kind of blown away. As a firm that relies on data and analytics to inform our processes and strategies, including social, it seems irresponsible to not know if your efforts are effective.

Ok, on one hand, it’s actually really difficult to measure social media ROI. That’s in large part because so many of the benefits are intangible. You should really be thinking of social media investment in terms of potential, not dollars.

BUT there are some ways to calculate social media ROI and all your content marketing efforts. Here are a few resources:

3) 75% of marketers have seen a decline in organic Facebook reach over the last year or don’t know if they have.

A significant 52% of marketers surveyed said they saw their Facebook reach decline in the last year. Plus, 23% of marketers surveyed were unsure if it had or not — probably not a good sign. Yet 91% of B2B marketers are still using Facebook. Something’s not adding up for me here.

As we’ve written about a lot recently, businesses need to be keeping a close eye on Facebook in light of all the recent changes. While we at Fronetics are not ready to write off Facebook for business completely yet, it’s time to start doing things a little differently.

Here are four things your business should do in light of Facebook News Feed changes, for example. Stay tuned to the Fronetics blog as we continue to gather information and offer suggestions.

4) 87% of marketers rank more exposure for their businesses as the primary benefit of their social media efforts.

Building brand awareness is a key benefit of social media use for business. The Social Media Examiner survey respondents said that increased traffic was the second major benefit, with 78% reporting positive results. These top two benefits have remained virtually unchanged for 4 years.

That’s because, increasingly, more B2B buyers are using social media in their purchasing research. If your business is not on social media, you’re missing an opportunity to get your brand name in front of these buyers.

5) 78% of marketers who have used social media for 2 years or more report increased traffic to their websites.

83% of marketers who have used social media for 5 or more years “strongly agree” or “agree” that traffic has increased to their websites because of social media activity. Click To Tweet

Also to note, 83% of those who have used social media for 5 or more years “strongly agree” or “agree” that traffic has increased to their websites because of social media activity.

I wanted to pull these social media statistics out because they reinforce the time-honored truth that content marketing (including social media management) is a long-term solution — not an overnight fix. The benefits, especially in terms of metrics like traffic, grow exponentially over time.

You have to allow time for prospects and customers to find you and for your audience to grow organically. Use your social media platforms as a means to distribute meaningful information to your target audience, to communicate with customers and prospects, and to share thought leadership, and it will pay off.

6) 66% of marketers are now using Instagram.

In 2016 and 2017, we answered a lot of questions about Snapchat. Founder of the Content Marketing Institute Joe Pulizzi named Snapchat one of the next big trends in content marketing for 2017. Everyone thought this platform was going to be our new social media darling.

Instead, Instagram has surpassed Twitter and LinkedIn to be the second-most-used social media platform. (It was fourth in 2017.) Use is up dramatically from 54% in 2017. Those are numbers worth paying attention to.

We don’t have a lot of supply chain and logistics clients that currently use Instagram, but we know it to be a great platform for brand building, especially in terms of recruiting and developing corporate culture. Stay tuned for more on Instagram for the supply chain in the near future!

7) 63% of marketers use video content in their social media marketing.

One content marketing trend everyone got right? The growing prevalence of video.

Not only do nearly two-thirds of marketers use video content in their social media marketing, 23% use live video. What’s more, 77% plan to increase video content and 63% plan to increase live video in the next year.

Here are some helpful resources to get you started:

8) 70% of marketers want to learn more about messenger bots.

Here’s a big takeaway from the survey: Everyone’s talking about messenger bots/social messenger apps. While adoption is still pretty low (only 15% are using Facebook messenger bots now), 51% of survey respondents plan to include them in future marketing.

It’s time to start reading up on social marketing automation tools like chatbots and social messenger apps. We’ve got a lot of information about these things scheduled on our blog in the next few months, so keep coming back for more information on how these tools apply to supply chain and logistics marketing.

9) 39% of marketers are working with influencers.

Influencer marketing is another trend we’ve been talking about lately. It makes sense: Buyers value the opinions of peers and colleagues. In fact, B2B buyers rank it among their top three resources for information. And, in general, 82% of Americans seek recommendations when making a purchase of any kind.

Here’s my original post on influencer marketing for the supply chain. Keep in mind, influencers can be your executives, employee brand ambassadors, and any other experts and thought leaders associated with your brand.

For some more information, start with these 3 Tips for Creating an Influencer Marketing Strategy for the Supply Chain.

10) Only 21% of B2B marketers are using LinkedIn ads.

Social media advertising is another huge trend right now. Yet, this social media statistic tells an interesting story.

Though LinkedIn is considered the business social media network, less than one-fourth of B2B marketers are using it to advertise. Compare that to 66% of B2B marketers that use Facebook ads.

There are many reasons for this, of course. LinkedIn advertising is quite expensive, whereas Facebook advertising is relatively inexpensive, for one. But, as Facebook continues to elude businesses, might this be an opportunity to rethink this strategy?

If you’re interested, I recommend reading the whole 44-page report from Social Media Examiner. There are a ton of really interesting social media statistics that offer great insight into how marketers are using social media and how it’s changing — both over the the last few years and in the short-term.

What social media statistics are most interesting to you?

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