• Duo Consulting
    Michael Silverman on October 15, 2014

    4 Reasons Drupal Is the Best Social CMS

    It turns out Drupal and Social Media are a match made in heaven. Because of Drupal’s system of modules, integration with external websites can be as easy as installing a module that fits your site’s needs. And once these modules are installed, you will have a central place to manage profile information and plug-in modules, such as follow and share buttons.
  • marin-software
    Brenda Ton on October 25, 2014

    Why Cross-Channel Retargeting Drives 200% More Clicks

    To help enterprise advertisers optimize their growing retargeting programs, Marin Software surveyed 233 digital marketers of leading brands and agencies to produce an 18 page report covering important trends, benchmarks, and best practices for cross-channel retargeting success.
  • Social media sharing is a way through which you can share images, videos, and data’s with in few fractions of seconds. The amount of traffic that one can get through this type of sharing in social networks cannot be earned in anyothers. Incredible features and benefits are the two main reasons behind its success rate

    A competitive edge is always a necessity to stay ahead of your competitors and also to expand your markets by increasing the number of potential buyers and converting them into leads. Internet has indeed expanded the scope of marketing your company, services and products and has taken marketing and advertising to a totally new level targeting global audience and customers.

    Content marketing and your company

    Content marketing is gaining rapid significance thanks to the dependence of almost everybody on the internet for the most basic to the complex requirement. Internet has answers and solutions for everything that you want to seek. Search engines play a vital role in content marketing, where the popularity of your site or the number of visitors to your site and the number of back links of high quality get linked to your site; eventually improving the site’s search engine ranking. Content marketing in fact targets this importance your website receives. By having your company’s ads posted on blogs and websites having relative content will surely grab one or the other visitor’s attention converting the visitor into a customer. Quality content is known to attract target and thus potential consumers.

    Articles, blogs, videos, etc are the novel means of marketing your products and services. For instance YouTube is a very popular video sharing site where millions watch videos they want to and right before the video starts many company’s advertise their products and services. Thus it gives the company to reach out at individual level providing the opportunity for the company to show its products, services, etc.

    Sharing of your content on social media

    sharing Your content on social media is a very effective means of marketing to attract target audience and customers. Internet has again taken this very content marketing to yet another level where people share your content and website among themselves for free. This provides scope for increasing the traffic. All this is made possible thanks to the advent of many of the social networking sites like Face Book, twitter, Pinterest, etc. These social media sites have made content marketing quite easy where a wider number of audience are reached. The readers and visitors liking your content on such medium will share it further and a chain reaction follows with increase in traffic through sharing of your content. And all this marketing of your content for free.

    Content marketing however has its loopholes. A content marketing strategy becomes successful only if the published content is found to be relevant by the audience. Your content can reach many audiences if your website has a good rank on the search engine which calls in for SEO of your website. Such hindrances are often faced wile indirectly marketing your content on the social media sites as well. For the content to be shared and liked the quality and the information provided in the content have to be enticing. Only then will it be shared to reach many audiences and potential leads. Articles, blogs, videos, etc can be shared but the quality of these really matters that makes the content provided I them sharable.

    How to make the content more social media friendly for maximum likes and shares

    The content posted must be easy to share and the social sharing buttons must be present or made available at the right spot. The top left side of the page is quite ideal as it is easily noticeable for sharing. The other important pointers to make your content social network friendly include; the type of content you wish to share. The content has to be fresh and likable as it will make many visitors to take time and read your content which if they like would be shared. To grab a reader the title of the content has to be catchy and particularly on social networks an emotional title does the trick.

    Providing attractive or relevant images along with the content is the basic means of attracting a reader and be careful with choosing of this image as the fate of your content relies on it. Posting the content at the right time is again important. General rule which is tried and tested is that most of the content is read in the mornings. In fat early morning visitors and Saturday visitors tend to leave more comments and tend to share a lot. 

    In content marketing, we spend a lot of time talking about brand marketing efforts, feeding funnels, targeted outreach, increased traffic, storytelling, authenticity, engagement, blogs and videos and how all of these things serve our prospective and current customers. This is really fun stuff, so it makes sense that we tend to go on, and on, and on about it.

    In content marketing, we spend a lot of time talking about brand marketing efforts, feeding funnels, targeted outreach, increased traffic, storytelling, authenticity, engagement, blogs and videos and how all of these things serve our prospective and current customers. This is really fun stuff, so it makes sense that we tend to go on, and on, and on about it. However, we rarely talk about how we can serve our internal customers with content. For instance, when was the last time you heard a content marketer utter the words “we need to think more about sales enablement content?”

    It’s likely been a while, or never…

    Why is that? Shouldn’t content marketing be about putting the right content into the right hands? What if the best audience for getting your message heard is your own sales force? Your customer service representatives? Your in-store employees?

    Does the definition of content marketing automatically exclude sales enablement?

    No, not at all. In the recently released 2015 B2B Content Marketing trends report by MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute, we saw a shift in the definition of content marketing.

    • 2014 definition: “creation and distribution of educational and/or compelling content in multiple media formats to attract and/or retain customers”
    • 2015 definition: “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action”

    As the report points out, the difference is that what was once described as a discipline of “creating and distributing” content has evolved into a formal, measurable and goal-oriented discipline.

    Content marketing is about getting the right content to the right customers, at the right time, on the right device, and evoking an action. That action can vary from downloading an ebook to signing up for a demo to calling a sales rep. Nowhere in the definition does it specify a specific audience; it merely points to reaching a “clearly defined audience.” The specifics are up to you.

    What’s the right audience for your content?

    If you’re like most content marketers, you have a diverse audience and you use varied means to reach them, mostly online, likely including a blog and social media. But here’s the big question: How much of your efforts are focused on providing content to internal audiences like sales?

    Sales loves great content for use in their daily jobs, but they also report that 18% of their time is spent searching for or recreating content provided by marketing teams.*  Why is that?

    Because sales teams need smarter content!

    Perhaps the best questions to ask are:

    • Why SHOULDN’T marketing focus on sales enablement content?
    • Can we serve up unique and real- time content that will actually be used by sales?
    • Can we serve up compelling content that will shorten the sales cycle?

    Content that enables a sales team has just as much potential to reach a massive audience as content created for traditional content marketing channels. If a sales organization is properly sharing engaging content with their prospective clients, at every stage of the funnel, they have the ability to reach audiences significantly larger than the average blog or corporate social media page. For example:

    sales enablement, content marketing

     

    By enabling your sales reps with content you could literally serve millions of impressions every week.

    Okay. It has reach potential, but can it help close sales?

    Yes; just like content works for consumers online, it also helps to educate when distributed through sales. We know that when buyers encounter relevant content on the Internet, they progress 57% of the way through their purchase decision before they even contact a sales rep. This statistic tells us two important things about buyers:

    • When they are presented with relevant content, it helps them to move further into the sales funnel.
    • When sales reps have easier access to content, they’re better able to engage their buyers early in the sales cycle.

    Imagine how marketing can impact that process by simply thinking strategically about the content they deliver. If marketers can find a way to deliver better, smarter content to their sales teams, they have the potential to change the sales and marketing paradigm.

    We know content marketing works for brand and digital marketing, and now we know it should not be ignored across the organization. Customers are demanding content and we have started getting really good at delivering it through known channels, but we need to expand the scope and think about how it can impact other departments, most importantly sales.

    For more on this subject, and a few tips to creating successful sales enablement content, download our most recent e-book, Beyond the Powerpoint Deck – Four tips to empower your sales reps with better, smarter content.

    *IDC, 2012: Sales Enablement Strategy: Content is King So Why Does Sales Feel Like a Jester?

    Inspiration is the voice that drives change and radically destroys apathy. When people are inspired by your brand, there will be a literal behavioral shift followed by a change in an aspect of their life to conform to the idea that you have inspired them with.

    Over the past several years, inbound marketing has wildly become the most successful and influential form of marketing. Not that outbound marketing has expired, but brands are becoming more aware that relationships drive inspiration, inspiration drives conversations, and conversations drive brand affinity. The key ingredient in this entire process is understanding how brands inspire their community and how their community behaves with them as a result. We hear all the time that people need to be inspired by your brand, and, in the words of Simon Sinek, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” This idea of inspiring people to believe what you believe is critical for brands to understand and adopt, for their very livelihood depends on it.

    Before going any further, we need to answer the question at hand; “What is inspiration?" Oxford Dictionary defines inspiration as literally being "the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.” (Oxford Dictionary) When was the last time you sat down in a business strategy meeting and, instead of discussing how you're going to acquire new leads or pivot your value proposition, discussed how your brand is going to inspire the way people think, behave and believe? As brands, we tend to get so entangled in the web of forcing new and innovative products and solutions to be first to market, identifying new ways to cut costs, telling our customers how we think they should behave towards our brand, and at the end of the day, we're left exhausted and absent of the results we were expecting. Why? Because we inspired nothing.

    Inspiration is the voice that drives change and radically destroys apathy. When people are inspired by your brand, there will be a literal behavioral shift followed by a change in an aspect of their life to conform to the idea that you have inspired them with. Because inspiration is so powerful, it is not simply a new message that can be crafted overnight. Listed below are three key factors for brands of all shapes and sizes to adopt in order to promote a culture of inspiration.

    Trust

    To truly inspire people to have affinity for you and your brand, there must, first, be a high level of trust built inside the walls of your brand. To quote Jay Baer  "Trust is the prism through which all business success must pass." Trust is the great equalizer for creating a culture of creativity and inspiration. When trust exists within the walls of a business and people feel safe, rather than threatened by their superior, you have given them the permission to think creatively and perform with excellence. The customer is, in turn, rewarded by the response of the joy your employees have in being a part of your brand. Not only does the customer enjoy the experience they had with your brand, but they have inherently developed a trust and an affinity with your brand that will be rare to find elsewhere.

    Empathy

    Most of us (whether we are willing to admit it or not) engage our community with an apathetic state of mind. We treat our customers as outsiders who should conform to our way of thinking, our employees as our minions, and our partners as ATM machines that should be spitting money at us, while we only have a slight behavioral change towards them. What if we flipped that mindset? Southwest Airlines should be the model for empathetic business behavior. Southwest Airlines CEO, Gary Kelly, believes in putting the employee first in order to sustain an environment of empathetic relationships and inspired growth. In one blog post, a Southwest Airlines employee stated, "Our Culture differs from other companies in that, in our “order of importance,” we put our Employees first, then our Customers, then our Shareholders.” (blogsouthwest.com) When our community is pursued the way they long to be pursued, a culture shift happens from the inside out and positive behavior begins to overtake the negative in such a way that the community begins to adopt this new culture, and keeps it sacred themselves.

    Authenticity

    If you have ever tried to change the way your brand behaves in order to attempt to gain customer approval, you have lost your sense of authenticity. Side note; you can redeem it if willing to put in the effort. The root of authenticity comes from defining your clear set of vision, goals, and beliefs, and sticking to them through all situations. Keep in mind, these values are not variable, for they are outside the boundaries of circumstance. When a brand has a clearly defined vision, and the goal of that vision is to inspire others to convert to it, the vision will be the catalyst that inspires an upward direction of sustainable growth. When your community senses you are working for something greater than yourself, your profits, and your shareholders, they will automatically recognize the authenticity and desire to adopt your vision. 
    Who are your most influential customers, and why are they so important? 3 Tips to help your customers become brand advocates.

    As a business, one of the most effective ways to gain traction and visibility is through a strategically planned marketing and/or public relations campaign. But did you know that your customers can be just as effective?

    Customers can be more influential than ever these days, thanks to social networks and the internet. In fact, the average customer has a reach of 42 people for each positive experience or engagement with your company online. That means if you have only 200 customers who are brand advocates, you have a potential customer reach of 8,400!

    Each time a customer talks about or engages with your company among their peers, their social value and influence rises, and some of these customers have more influence than others. The customers who play, spend and engage with your company the most are called your “social whales”, and their influence can increase your total revenue by 20-40%.

    The key to leveraging your social whales and influential customers is first finding out who they are. Thankfully, customer data is easy to manage these days with big data analytics platforms, giving you an overview of who your customers are and what they’re doing. Some big data solutions even offer real-time customer data and predictive analytics so that you can gauge potential sales and revenue. Companies who use a big data analytics platform can gain 23 times more customers than those who don’t.

    Once you’ve determined who your influential customers are, it’s time to start targeting and integrating them into your overall marketing strategy. The possibilities here are endless: mobile-focused ads, visual social media marketing campaigns, email marketing and so on. Staying within current marketing trends and your targeted audience is key to increasing overall engagement.

    Take a look at the Infographic below, created by predictive-analytics and big data platform Ninja Metrics, highlighting what and who influential customers are, and more tips to increase customer influence. Who are your most influential customers?

    It's hard to constantly publish and share unique and interesting content on a daily and ever hourly basis, that is why you need your evergreen content. Not only is evergreen a filler for your real-time and contextual content, it is also a crucial element to your foundational content.

    So many of us struggle to balance our to-do lists and stick to our editorial calendars. While new and fresh content is crucial to your blogs success, so is evergreen content. What is evergreen content, you ask? Well, it is simply refers to content that will always be useful to your target audience whether you published it two weeks ago, today, and even if you publish it next year. It is always relevant and useful to your customers. Here is an example:

    Evergreen content: Basics of marketing automation?

    NOT evergreen content: What are the current trends in marketing automation?

    Do you see the difference between these two pieces of content? People will always be searching for the basics of marketing automation because everyone starts somewhere. However, the ‘current trends’ in the latter example refer to a specific point in time. Thus, Google crawlers will recognize it and it will become outdated relatively quickly.

    What are the benefits of evergreen content?

    • Reduces time spent creating new blog content
    • Write it once and useful for a long time (i.e. it’s sustainable)
    • Provides basic, informative content that provides your readers with a foundation for future content​

    Types of evergreen content:

    1. Basic information surrounding your industry
    2. Frequently asked questions (this will change periodically, but the majority of this content should stay the same)
    3. How-to’s (I don’t include tutorials in this because companies are becoming increasingly agile, thus services and products are constantly changing).
    4. Videos (obviously)
    5. Stock photos (including testimonials) 

    dan testimonial                               Information graphic copy

    You should be re-running your evergreen content periodically (especially the textual content) so they don’t get buried in your archives. Also, remember that this type of content is extremely useful to your new leads, so think about creating a category or section for ‘top posts’ or ‘understand the basics’ in your blog.

    I suggest sitting down with your team to either create a list of potential evergreen content or pinpoint the evergreen content you already have. In such a fast-paced marketing world, it’s better to work smart.