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Inbound Marketing Age

MQL to SQL; alignment nirvana in B2B sales and marketing

Written by Osian Barnes  |  30, June, 2020  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

When should an unqualified sales lead become a MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) and when should they become a SQL (Sales Qualified Lead)? How do you manage that process with maximum impact and efficiency?

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HubSpot's CMS Hub: what does it mean for Marketing Managers?

Written by Katie Hughes  |  6, May, 2020  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The HubSpot CMS just got better. That's not only good news for the 63% of marketers investing in a website upgrade this year, but for all marketing managers struggling with the day-to-day frustrations of managing their site.

HubSpot has launched the new CMS Hub - a content management system that promises to "take the pain out of managing your website so you can get back to focusing on the customer experience."

But what is CMS Hub, exactly? And how can it help you manage your website?

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Top marketing trends to watch for in transport and logistics

Written by Chris Abraham  |  5, May, 2020  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The UK freight and logistics market is worth over £100 billion to the economy and has been seriously impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Heightened demand has been felt in food distribution, drugs, chemicals and reagents, PPE and other essential supplies. But other mainstream shipments have disappeared overnight.

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B2B content marketing in the time of Coronavirus

Written by Osian Barnes  |  23, April, 2020  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The dire effects that Coronavirus is likely to have on the business world in general and the marketing industry in particular, have been widely trailed. But is there any hope amidst the gloom?

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The best Earth Day 2020 marketing campaigns

Written by Katie Hughes  |  22, April, 2020  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Today, people across the world will be getting involved in activities and digital events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22 every year to raise awareness of issues like climate change and global warming. Over the 50 years it’s been running, Earth Day activists have fought against issues like pollution, oil spills, toxic waste disposal and other pressing environmental protection issues.

This year, as the world battles COVID-19, Earth Day celebrations have gone digital. It will be an Earth Day like no other, with thousands of digital events taking place across the globe to mobilise people into taking positive action.

But who are the brands coming up with creative marketing campaigns to inspire us all this Earth Day?

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Why B2B marketers must adopt a growth marketing mindset

Written by Katie Hughes  |  8, April, 2020  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

As the world around us takes an unprecedented turn, the instinct for many marketers will be to play it safe. But as Albert Einstein once said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

The B2B companies who will thrive in this new climate are those with a growth marketing mindset; who are willing to bend, flex and try new things.

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The ultimate guide to successful virtual meetings

Written by Nicola Risi  |  3, April, 2020  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

I'll bet my last pack of toilet roll that at least one of the following three  happened during your last virtual meeting:

  • Someone was late due to ‘technical difficulties'
  • Someone’s audio was compromised or not working at all
  • No agenda was prepared
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Marketing tips for businesses during the coronavirus outbreak

Written by Katie Hughes  |  31, March, 2020  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

No one expected 2020 to turn out quite as it has. As the coronavirus pandemic continues, we are all finding ourselves adjusting to a new, strange normal. And the impact of COVID-19 is being felt by every business across every sector.

As marketers try to maintain revenue flow and keep customers engaged during this exceptional time, they will be battling with a number of different questions.

How much should we talk about the coronavirus? What should we say? And how we should say it?

Do we carry on our marketing activities as normal? What if we come across as insensitive or opportunistic?

Business-as-usual might feel surreal at this moment in time. But marketers need to be thinking long-term. They need to keep building their brand and engaging with their audience.

So here are our top tips for managing your marketing activity during this period of uncertainty.

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How long should your blog posts be in 2020?

Written by Katie Hughes  |  18, March, 2020  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

New HubSpot data reveals the ideal blog post length for search engine optimisation (SEO) is 2,100-2,400 words.

I can almost hear you gasp.

Really? We should be writing blog posts of over 2,000 words?

Before we all panic, let’s backtrack just a moment.

The answer to how long your blog posts should be really isn’t as simple as that.

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4 ways to improve your B2B user journey in 2020

Written by Nicola Risi  |  4, March, 2020  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Ask anyone how they vet a potential B2B partner or supplier and the likelihood is that it starts with a trawl around their website.

But the website user journey isn’t just designed to entice and attract new customers, it should also delight and impress existing customers.  

One of the biggest oversights of B2B businesses is that they can become complacent when it comes to their website.

“It does the job just fine.”

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

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Business Writing - 5 Components to Persuasive Content

Written by Jeremy Knight  |  13, February, 2020  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Editor's note: This blog was originally published in July 2012 and has since been updated for optimal accuracy and relevance. It was originally The Art Of Persuasive Business Writing - Copy vs content: from a conversion perspective

With business writing, people generally consider content and copy as two different things.

Well – they do have two different purposes: the purpose of content is to provide information of some subject – informative articles, long descriptive text, tutorials or even pictures and media.

Copy, on the other hand, seeks to incentivise.

Although in some cases copy can resemble content, its main objective is to engage your audience to take action – make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter, follow a link or add a page to bookmarks – whatever you want your visitor to do.

So, with business writing, while content informs, copy motivates.

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B2B marketing - 10 things to make sure you're doing in 2020

Written by Keith Errington  |  24, January, 2020  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

As we enter a new decade, it's a good time to take stock and assess where you are. Is your marketing the best it could be?

Are you concentrating on the right elements and heading in the right direction? 

Marketing has changed so radically in the past decade it would be easy to get overwhelmed or left behind. But then it would be just as easy to make rash decisions and end up wasting time and resources on a strategy that’s flawed or inappropriate for your audience.

Here are ten elements I believe are essential to an effective and successful B2B marketing strategy for the next year and beyond…

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Influencer marketing: to trust or not to trust?

Written by Katie Hughes  |  22, January, 2020  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

New research by Gartner predicts that by 2023, companies will reduce their budget allocation for influencer marketing by a third.

In their latest report, Gartner reveal that consumers are losing trust in brands and entities they don’t personally know and are instead turning to family, friends and local businesses to provide advice and information.

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How to convert your blog readers into leads

Written by Katie Hughes  |  8, January, 2020  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

If you’re blogging regularly, you’re probably expecting a return on your investment.

But while blogging can be an affordable and effective way to bring people to your site, unfortunately, it doesn’t automatically guarantee you a steady stream of new leads.

This doesn’t mean people don’t love reading your blog posts. They may come back time and again. Perhaps they view you as an authoritative voice in your industry. But still, they may not turn into leads.

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Brands as media publishers: 5 things we've learned in 2019

Written by Katie Hughes  |  16, December, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Move over content marketing. Brands, we’re told, now need to think like media publishers.

This is a topic we’ve discussed regularly on our blog over the last 12 months.

We’ve explored what it means to think like a media publisher, who the brands are that are doing it well, and how you too can pursue a media publishing strategy.

Let’s take a look.

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How to create an effective discussion guide for B2B research

Written by Katie Hughes  |  12, December, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Editor's note: This blog was originally published in June 2017 and has since been updated for optimal accuracy and relevance.

A discussion guide is a list of topics, questions and tasks used in qualitative research. When conducting interviews or focus groups for your B2B research, whether capturing feedback on a product or carrying out buyer persona interviews, a discussion guide is a vital tool for ensuring you make the best use of your time and gain a greater level of insight.

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What is the StoryBrand framework and how can it transform your marketing?

Written by Katie Hughes  |  9, December, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Most companies struggle to talk about what they offer in a clear way.

Donald Miller’s StoryBrand framework helps businesses simplify their messaging by taking a story-driven approach to communication that places the customer at the centre.

Nothing causes people to stop and listen like a great story. Stories can be used to teach, inspire, clarify and mobilise. In a world of information overload, stories can cut through the noise and influence people.

But according to Miller, the most crucial thing in telling your story is what your customers hear - not what you’re trying to say.

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What is conversational marketing and how does it fit with inbound?

Written by Katie Hughes  |  29, November, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Conversational marketing; is it just the latest buzzword? Perhaps you’ve heard that a conversational strategy can be valuable for your business.

But what does it mean exactly?

What are the benefits?

And how does it tie in with inbound marketing?

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7 mistakes content writers make when writing for web

Written by Katie Hughes  |  22, November, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Writing for web isn’t easy. You can be a talented writer but still find yourself struggling to connect with an online audience. That’s because many of the usual rules go out the window.

Long introductions, elaborate descriptions and digressions don’t work for an online audience. They are surrounded by other distractions and temptations, so you need to make an impact fast.

So, let’s get straight to the point.

What are the common mistakes you need to avoid when writing for web?

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What is TikTok and should I be using it for my business?

Written by Nicola Risi  |  21, November, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Valued at $75 billion, and boasting over 500 million active users, it’s hard to ignore new kid on the block ‘TikTok’. It’s the video-sharing app that's the talk of the town, or at least, the talk of everyone between 16-24. 

So, should we, as marketers, be worried?

While the young are obsessed, the old are befuddled. And me? I sit somewhere in the middle. While I’m fast approaching 30, I 'get it' to some extent, but I'm still trying to understand the nonsensical lip-syncing videos that flood my newly downloaded TikTok feed. At the moment, it’s just highlighting a cross-generational friction.

I figured most of you probably sit in the same camp, with the same questions as me. What exactly is TikTok? Do I need to worry about it? Should I be on it? And will it help my business?

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Should you outsource your content marketing?

Written by Nicola Risi  |  15, November, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Content marketing has become prolific over the last decade. As B2B and B2C alike have recognised the benefits of a strategic content marketing approach, we've seen an increase in email newsletters, blogging, social media marketing, podcasts and video. 

It's clear that investing in the creation and publishing of content is essential if businesses want to succeed. But what is the best way to invest?

Do you train your existing teams in content marketing strategy and tactics? 

Do you hire in a suitably experienced marketing professional(s)?

Or do our outsource your content marketing entirely?

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5 stats from CMI's B2B Content Marketing report to inspire you in 2020

Written by Katie Hughes  |  13, November, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Last month, the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) released the latest findings from their annual B2B content marketing survey.

The CMI have been reporting on content marketing trends for almost a decade and have become a go-to source for B2B marketers wanting to see how their marketing activity stacks up against other businesses.

This year’s report presents the findings gathered from research conducted with 679 organisations who primarily sell products or services to businesses.

Here’s a round up of the key findings, with the hope it might inspire your own content marketing strategy in 2020.

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When high-quality content is not enough

Written by Keith Errington  |  8, November, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

It’s been a few years since content marketing became one of the most popular and successful strategies in B2B marketing. 

In the beginning, it was enough to publish content. And companies did – in great quantities. More must be better was the thinking.

Once there was a mass of content out there it soon transpired that it was quality and not quantity that was becoming important. Prospects and buyer were looking for high-quality, useful content. Now the trend was for high-quality, extensive articles covering subjects in depth. 

With high-quality content available, the new battleground became authority and thought leadership. This information seems useful and helpful – but can we trust it? Who is publishing this content and can we trust them?

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Is Twitter still a viable B2B marketing tool in 2020?

Written by Katie Hughes  |  7, November, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In a podcast last month, marketing gurus Neil Patel and Eric Siu raised the question:

Should you even use Twitter in 2020?

Discussing whether Twitter is still worth it from a marketing perspective, they mused that while Twitter posts don’t always result in significant amounts of traffic to a brand's website, the quality of traffic it does attract is really high, particularly in the B2B realm.

They also considered Twitter’s value as an engagement tool, concluding that the micro-interactions between brand and potential customers is very powerful, and difficult to replicate in the same way on other social media platforms.

The conclusion was yes, marketers should still be using Twitter in 2020. But it came with a caveat. To make it worthwhile, they considered that brands need to be taking a more thoughtful and strategic approach to their Twitter activity.

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A new era of marketing? What to expect from the next decade

Written by Nicola Risi  |  5, November, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

"How do you morally work in marketing? You're just manipulating people into buying things they don't actually need."

Believe it or not, this was the argument I found myself on the other side of a few days ago.

It turns out, some people still think of marketers as sleazy, suited men huddled in musky conference rooms, drinking whiskey while conjuring up clever ads to trick the public into the buying things they don't really need. 

But this isn't the 50s. We're not promising the public it's ok to smoke our cigarettes 'because doctors do', or that 'if you use our soap you'll become pretty.' (Yes, these were actual, real ads.) 

Not only has the ethical side of marketing tightened up, but so has our relationship with our audiences. 

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BERT explained for marketers. Should Google's latest update worry you?

Written by Osian Barnes  |  1, November, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Widely touted as the biggest change to the Google algorithm in years, the BERT update has been the subject of much media attention. But what is it and should content creators be worried about it? 

What is the BERT update?

BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, of course. It’s a technique for NLP (Natural Language Processing) pre-training, developed by engineers at Google that’s now being harnessed to improve the quality and precision of our search engine returns.  

Sadly, despite all the pictures of Bert and Ernie adorning the top of SEO articles - it has nothing to do with Sesame Street.

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4 Benefits of Using White Papers in Your Content Marketing Strategy

Written by Jeremy Knight  |  31, October, 2019  |  1 Comment  Subscribe
Editor's note: This blog post was originally written in 2012 and has since been updated for accuracy and relevance.
 
The marketing landscape looks incredibly different since the original publishing date of this article, but the title still carries a lot of weight. White remain a powerful marketing tool, especially as a part of your B2B content marketing strategy.
 
So are you using white papers as a part of your content marketing strategy? If not, you might want to consider the benefits of the humble white paper - a content tool which is proving its staying power more than ever.
 
Many people think that a white paper can only be used to generate leads, but actually there are several other benefits of writing and using a white paper in your inbound marketing and content marketing strategy which are covered below:
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B2B marketing to Gen Z? Really?

Written by Nicola Risi  |  23, October, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

You might not think this is a necessary read just yet. But as the adage goes: preparation prevents poor performance. And the way you plan the next five years of your business could be largely determined by new ideas, insights and preferences of the next generation: Generation Z.

Generation Z will account for over 30% of UK and European customers by 2020 and 40% of online customers. And with the oldest members of the cohort celebrating their 24th birthday, Gen Z are slowly creeping up the B2B ranks and may even be perched on a (remote) desk near you very soon.

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Emotion and the human touch - a winning strategy for B2B

Written by Keith Errington  |  14, October, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

We are in a digital era of marketing where increasingly impersonal interaction takes place online and marketing automation is seen as the answer to a range of issues.

In contrast to this, customers and marketing pundits are driving the need for personalisation and customisation of content and customer experience. 

These two driving forces in contemporary marketing are, at first glance, seemingly irreconcilable and imply a potential future in which customers relate only to pre-programmed algorithms.

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Grow better by growing bolder: 5 fears you need to overcome

Written by Nicola Risi  |  9, October, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Following on from my commentary of Brian Halligan's keynote presentation at Inbound 2019, let's reflect on key insights from fellow Hubspot co-founder Dharmesh Shah's presentation.

Dharmesh took a very different focus: 5 business fears you need to over come to grow bolder and better

He started off his keynote with some light-hearted anecdotes introducing us to his biggest fears: low phone battery, eye contact and water. He went on to explain that while we all have fears, it's overcoming them that defines our business' future. Which, according to Dharmesh, is more important than ever.

Dharmesh talks about the 5 fears both he and co-founder Brian Halligan needed to overcome in order to grow bolder and better, resulting in the renowned, international success of the HubSpot platform and brand.

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