Social Media Category

6 Secrets to a Successful Content Marketing Team – What I’ve Learned

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

kylepic

In October 2012, Jeff Rohrs and I started the content marketing team at the Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud with two people, a research series and a small blog. Under Jeff’s leadership over the course of the next year, we spent time investing heavily in content creation, working with the extremely talented interactive team on blog design, and transitioning into a global content publisher. We have since been added to the digital marketing team under Daniel Incandela and have grown exponentially under his leadership. We’ve been lucky because the majority of ideas have worked and our people are the best at what they do.

Here’s our hit list for 2012-2014:

•We now publish unique content on blogs in six countries.
•Our research series spans multiple countries and languages.
•We will hit 1,000,000 visits on the US blog in 2014 (up over 70% yoy).
•Video is published for six countries (four languages) on our YouTube site. We manage relationships in each geo with subscriber counts growing 300% over the past year.
•We have over 80 unique authors on the blog network.
•Smart CTAs that deliver specific deliverables to readers based on content tagging and geography.
•200% increase in lead growth from the blog over the past year.
•Influencing and contributing directly to millions of dollars in business for the company.

I honestly don’t know if there are any secrets to the success over the past year. I have definitely made plenty mistakes and my only redeeming factor is that I have a team that is more intelligent than I ever will be and a company that is comprised of the smartest people in the industry. Here’s the team – Bo Dietrick, Tom Corey, Heike Young, Tony Mulinaro, Drew Beechler, Jen Ribble, Chad White, Andrea Smith, Julie Easton, and Devon McGinnis.

So how did (do) we do it ?

1.Understand and speak to industry trends. We spend hours upon hours reading and analyzing content that deals directly with industry trends. From snapchat to Amazon Cart, we are constantly developing content around technology shifts that may effect the marketer of tomorrow. It also keeps us informed and helps with our professional careers.

2.People are paramount. Like I said above, people are everything. I have definitely made plenty of mistakes and without a patient and extremely intelligent team we wouldn’t be as successful as we are today. Hire the right people and invest constantly.

3.The translation process is extremely important to any global success. One thing we learned early on was the right translation partner is extremely important to scaling content globally. Errors within the translation process will screw up any timeline and will be extremely tiresome for any team to deal with… especially with non-english speaking locations.

4.Content should be personalized. The personalization of content is a trend that we have been moving toward ever since the inception of the team in 2012. Right now, we personalize CTAs based on what an individual is reading on the blog and their location. In the near future, we will be using Predictive Intelligence to personalize much more than just the CTA content on each individual page. As content marketers, we should use data to deliver a more personalized experience to any reader.

5.Analytics should be worshipped. We could always be better at this but the digital team at ExactTarget Marketing Cloud spends constant hours analyzing and testing content on all web properties. I believe that the success of our content is mostly due to our ability to analyze data and create great content. They go hand in hand.

6.Spend money on your content. My good friend Jay Baer puts it best, “Your marketing should be so good… people would pay for it.” Create content that drives consumption to the point where people would be willing to pay for it. Is your content that good? If it is, you should be spending money advertising your content. It should be read and shared… most of the time you need to market your marketing.

Ultimately, a great content marketing team is focused on delivering the best content for their customers and readers. If the content is not helping the individual move forward in life… you better move other because someone is about to take your place.

Kyle lacy
ExactTarget, a Salesforce.com company
(blog) www.kylelacy.com
(join) www.smallerindiana.com
(tweet) kyleplacy

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7 Habits of Highly Successful Digital Marketers

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

kylepic

There are a myriad of self-help books out there talking about the seven habits of highly effective people/teens/dogs. So I have jumped on the bandwagon and have created a 7-step guide to marketing effectiveness. Now I don’t promise miracles, but I’ve noticed that the most successful marketers have got into these seven great habits.

So I’m pretty sure if you develop them too, you will see an improvement in your email marketing and lead generation results.

Step 1 – Always make a plan

This may sound like telling you to suck eggs. But you’d be amazed how many B2B marketers don’t make any plans but just send out email campaigns with no real goals or targeting. Imagine!

So as well as working to the overall marketing strategy and plan for the year, each activity you do should have its own plan, goals and measurements in place. According to the Oxford College of Marketing the benefits of marketing planning are plentiful. You will:

Help identify sources of competitive advantage
Force an organised approach
Ensure consistent relationships
Inform and gain commitment
Get resources and support

What you can measure, you can improve – without targets, how do you know if you’ve been successful? But take heed of the advice in this article by awesome b2b marketing agency Earnest and don’t be tempted to exaggerate the success rates you think you can achieve.

Step 2 – Get the data right

This is perhaps the most important step of all, once you’ve got your plan in place. There are two key elements to data: your contact database and the data you get from your activities.

Marketing data – For any of the following five steps, to deliver the kind of results you want you need to start with clean, segmented and current lists. You obviously have your in-house lists of customers and prospects but for some campaigns buying in a list of the segment you want to target can deliver better marketing ROI. Make sure you use the right list provider though. You will need up-to-date, targeted and Data Protection Act-compliant details that can help your email marketing and lead generation activities deliver more value.

Activity data – Just in case you hadn’t heard already, we are living in the ‘Big Data’ world. As the world has moved online, the amount of data being created is terrifyingly large. For example, in one internet minute:

204 million emails are sent
30 hours of video are uploaded
100,000 new tweets are tweeted

So it’s important to understand how to separate the wheat from the chaff when analysing data.

Step 3 – Use the right words
read full article »

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Closing the Sale Sure is Easier These Days

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Closing the sale still means understanding your customer.

You know, closing the sale in the old days seemed a lot simpler. It really wasn’t. Remember when there weren’t any online tools to support your products or your business? How many of you remember life “before Facebook?”

It’s easier now if you have the tools in place. Some retailers are complaining that customers “just want to look.” It’s not just that customers are “tire kickers” or don’t want to spend money. It’s the customer is being influenced by many other factors before she gets to your store. It’s been said the customer has about 10 connections that will give her information about the product she’s considering. Few retailers know what these connections are. Figuring out what to do is not easy, but it’s not really that difficult. Many retailers just continue to deny the reality of social media and refuse to learn.

Closing the sale means infiltrating the customer’s path to purchase and creating a solid strategy to get to know the customer.

First, you must understand how customers are navigating that path and then designing the strategy. It may mean a revamping of your web site and adding a blog. One of the strategies that is continuing to grow is the distribution of content. According to B2B Content Marketers, last year articles reigned supreme; social media was reported to be the most popular content marketing tactic with an adoption rate of 87%.

Whatever you learn about the customer’s buying path, adapt it to your particular store. You may have to clear your own path but those who embrace the journey are more likely to gain a competitive advantage.

No matter how you do it, Google has one suggestion. Wherever you decide to go, show up with the right content. You need to know what your customers are reading and what they want to see. In my case, are they just looking at floor covering products? I would say it hasn’t changed over the years. They want to experience the product. They want to see it installed in someone’s home and get the “consumer’s advice.” What’s changed is the consumer is the new expert.

We’re been talking about this for years haven’t we? Still many retailers say they don’t have time for pictures and getting testimonials. Those who do will find themselves on Angie’s list with the referrals.

I feel like we’re going backwards to where we were years ago. Show the customer how the product will look in someone’s home. Now we can post the photo along with the dialog on social media, and the consumer can engage with the home owner about the process.

If you’ve done a great job, you’re likely on your way to a new referral.

Lisbeth Calandrino
Fabulous Floors
Associate Publisher & Director of Consumer Research
lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com

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Not Everything Is A Nail

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Imagine you arrive at a fancy party to network and meet new people. You meet one person who tries to work in as many ‘word-of-the-day’ vocabulary terms as possible, peppering every sentence with incomprehensible five- syllable buzzwords in an obvious attempt to impress. Another person insists on shoehorning in current pop- culture references to convince everyone how hip she is. Still another tries to win you over by dropping names of important people he’s eaten lunch with. Would the behavior of any of these individuals impress you much?

Yes, knowing good vocabulary, staying relevant, and having good connections all have their proper place, but it may not make for engaging conversation. Often we make the exact same mistakes with our businesses by communicating in ways we would find off-putting in a social setting. As a large part of my job, I work with clients to make their idea into a powerful and memorable message, whether through a website, a video, or some other medium. Naturally, this raises the question: What makes a message effective?

Stated simply, we put the message first. This sounds so absolutely obvious, but especially in our tech-heavy line of business, so many people want to focus on having the newest technology or the latest trends that they become completely tone-deaf to whether those things really support their message or not. For instance, we may counsel a client that they do not need an active Twitter account or their own mobile app – although these tools are wonderful when used well, they aren’t the solution to every problem. There is an old saying, “To a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail.” Social media is a great tool, but it doesn’t fit every situation. The same goes for every technology or trend, and if we try to blindly rush in pounding our hammer harder and harder we risk coming off like the clueless party-goers who don’t notice when they fail to impress.

So, how do you find the right message for your situation? First of all, consider your audience. Who are they? What do they care about? Where do they go, whom do they talk to, what technology makes them comfortable or uncomfortable? All of these things should inform what you say and how you say it. You probably wouldn’t approach a target market of senior citizens with a Twitter account, and you wouldn’t appeal to teenagers with door-to-door marketing. You need to tailor your message to your audience.

Second, you need to really think about what you want to say. I mean, really think about it. Forget for a moment what seems trendy and what sounds impressive. If you have gone through the enormous work to start your own business, then something must be important enough to keep you awake at night. What is it? Think about it until you can strip it of any pretense, and explain it to someone who knows nothing of you, or your business, or your industry. Then boil it down further. What would you say if you only had sixty seconds to say it? What if you only had one sentence? What if you only had three words? You will finally distill your message into a kernel of an idea that will inform everything from the wording in your advertisements to the colors in your logo.

Finally, you should consider who you are. What makes you different? Develop a message that emphasizes your strengths. Does your experience set you apart? Your skill? Your ingenuity, or your attention to detail? All of this should inform your message.

Even if all of these points don’t get explicitly stated, a thoughtful message will have them implied. After all, your message amounts to more than just the words you use, it is the sum total of all you say and how you say it. And if you keep your message your core focus rather than any one trend or technology, you’ll find that the technology and trends you use will flow naturally out of that core. Instead of always using a hammer, you will always find you have the right tool for the job.

Steven Riche
Joust Multimedia – Lead Developer
steve@joustmultimedia.com
http://joustmultimedia.com
812-390-4832

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