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Inbound Marketing Age

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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