Outsourcing Helps B2B Marketers Meet Content Demands

Outsourcing Helps B2B Marketers Meet Content Demands

Any company can boost sales if they do one thing right: influence customers earlier in the purchase process. By the time most customers engage your sales department, they have already progressed 57% through the purchase process, says a study by the Marketing Leadership Council in partnership with Google. That means your customers minds are more than half made up about doing business with you before you even speak to them! Customers base these purchase decisions on the content they find about your business online.  Does your business have the right message out there? Dis-Content: The Role of Content Creator Goes To … High quality content plays a critical role in customer acquisition, often influencing customer decisions more than the actual product or service being sold. Despite content’s central role in generating sales, many companies lack in a clear and effective approach to creating it. One executive quoted in the MLC study said: “content still seems to be everyone’s job and no one’s job”. According to MLC, content has historically been a “minor aspect of the marketer’s role in supporting specific campaign objectives” such as product launches or corporate rebranding. In recent years, the demand for high quality content has soared in large part to five factors identified in the MLC study: Lead nurturing programs Blogging and social media Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Providing richer user experiences Consultative selling methodologies The assumption that marketing departments will have the time and subject matter expertise to effectively address enterprise content needs results in missed opportunities to generate truly qualified sales leads. This resource gap often results in delegation of content creation responsibilities to...
Internet Marketing Basics: What Great Marketers Do

Internet Marketing Basics: What Great Marketers Do

It’s All About Building Influence. One thing you will learn about me, I like simple answers. I think the most complex problems are solved by the easy answer, so here goes. An Internet Marketer uses the Internet to influence people’s decisions to do things. Notice I didn’t say “buy stuff.” There’s a reason for that. If you are an Internet Marketer for a not-for-profit trying to get awareness of an issue, or an Internet Marketer for a political candidate trying to get votes, or an Internet Marketer for a company trying to build brand awareness (the list could go on) you are not necessarily “selling” a product, rather you are trying to influence opinion. By influencing opinion you can do anything. Now Wikipedia and other sites will give you laundry lists of the things that Internet Marketers do. If you are interested in that click the link above. At the end of the day, however, Internet Marketing is really about getting people interested in what you are doing online. If you want to know what great marketers do, read on. What Great Marketers Do. Seth Godin is a great marketer. He has written a dozen best-selling books on marketing including the bluntly titled “All Marketers Are Liars” (Seth recently re-released this book with the work “Liars” crossed out, and the words “Story Tellers” written in). In a 2005 article Seth wrote his own laundry list of what every good marketer knows. He said things like: Anticipated, personal and relevant advertising always does better than unsolicited junk. Making promises and keeping them is a great way to build a brand....

Gamification Basics: What is Gamification and How Can It Help Your Business?

Nike has changed the game by creating a game. Each pair of Nike running shoes has an accelerometer that wirelessly syncs with your online Nike+ account. It tracks things like how far and fast you ran, how that compares with other runners, and it awards you virtual trophies for meeting milestones.  Most runners who engage in the Nike+ game would never think of owning another brand of running shoe. Nike has created the ultimate brand loyalty with a little thing called “gamification”. Learning The Basics of Gamification I love to play video games. Ever since I picked up a pong paddle way back in 1982 I was hooked. When Professor Kevin Werbach of the Warton School at University of Pennsylvania offered an online course in Gamification on Coursera, I jumped on it. This was the first week of class, and as we go through the course I hope to publish blog posts every Friday on the main subjects we covered, both to help me develop my knowledge and to share that with you. Ultimately, I hope that readers of this blog will find ways to use the information to inject some life and engagement to their own marketing and business efforts. Gamification is a hot topic right now in business, but so many people have the wrong idea about it. They think if you add a point system, create a few badges and reward people publicly then an exciting game has been created. Not so much. As we’ll learn in the next section of this post, those are just game elements. Companies may try to add them to the marketing...
Trust Me: Fool Proof Formulas to Get LinkedIn Recommendations on Your Profile

Trust Me: Fool Proof Formulas to Get LinkedIn Recommendations on Your Profile

Can you trust anything online these days? According to Bing Liu, a data mining and “opinion spam” expert from the University of Chicago, “about one-third of all consumer reviews on the Internet are fake“. The New York Times revealed that book reviewers-for-hire will write favorable reviews of your work on Amazon.com for a fee without even reading it. And don’t get me started on fake Twitter followers (about 34% of Lady Gaga’s 28-million followers are fake). If it is so easy to fool people with fake endorsements, then why do LinkedIn Recommendations even matter? Employers Will Not Hire Applicants With Less Than 10 LinkedIn Recommendations Despite all we know about the credibility of online reviews they still matter. According to The Undercover Recruiter blog, many employers will not even consider you for a job unless you have more than 10 LinkedIn Recommendations on your profile. Some members are so desperate to beef up their recommendation count that they ask friends and family to write them or “trade” recommendations with other members whom they have not done business with (“I’ll write one for you if you write one for me”). These practices are not recommended (pardon the pun). So what drives the need for recommendations even though statically online endorsements are not trustworthy? The Psychology Behind Online Reviews: Cognitive Biases Cognitive biases are like subconscious shortcuts the brain takes to help a person act more effectively in given situations or make faster decisions when necessary. Influenced by evolution and experience, cognitive biases are beneficial when they result in good choices. Whether or not a persons’ biases are leading them to “good choices” can be determined...
The Best and Worst LinkedIn Profile Photos

The Best and Worst LinkedIn Profile Photos

If a picture speaks a thousand words the last thing you want is to be mute on LinkedIn. Your profile photo and summary are the first things that other members see when they visit your profile. Choosing the right photo can mean getting a gig, connecting with a key contact and making the right impression on other members. The photo represents who you are. Don’t make a mistake in which one you choose. People Will Judge Your Face: Facial Perception and Social Cognition Some professionals refuse to post a profile photo on LinkedIn. This puts them at a huge disadvantage to build an effective network. Since the LinkedIn profile consists mostly of text, the photograph serves as a stamp of authenticity, a way to build trust. This is not my opinion: science tells us that facial images have a huge impact on human behavior. “Face perception is the process by which the brain and mind understand and interpret the face.” (Source Wikipedia). When someone sees your LinkedIn photo, their brain immediately begins to create associations and categorize the image into a social schema. At this point social cognition brings to mind other information linked to the image by association. As a result judgements are formed which go beyond the image presented, pulling in outside information and influencing social behavior, such as whether to accept your connection request or email you for an interview. This process happens almost instantly and unconsciously. You cannot afford to create a negative judgement either by lack of photo or a bad photo. If you want to know how to take advantage of psychology and...