Inbound Marketing Age

How artificial intelligence has changed B2B marketing

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  19, October, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The world can be a pretty noisy place. We're constantly bombarded with messages, advertisements and stimuli online. Today, consumers are becoming increasingly hardened against traditional marketing tactics.

However, personalisation can play a key role in making your brand stand out, and advancements in artificial intelligence technology are designed to support this. AI is flourishing across website design, social media, email campaigns, customer segmentation and content optimisation.

Artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning and data analytics are helping businesses to become more responsive to consumer demands in real-time.

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Why the human touch is essential in B2B marketing

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  18, October, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Wouldn’t business be so much easier if you didn’t have to deal with people? Well, today, there’s a whole range of systems, content channels and marketing techniques that allow you to market a business with little or no direct human interaction with the potential customer. Major companies are heavily investing in complex algorithms – often erroneously sold as Artificial Intelligence – that can interact “intelligently” with the prospect and customer.

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How to craft catchy and compelling headlines for your business blog

Written by Andrea Blades  |  17, October, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

One of the many advantages of working in an open-plan office is the opportunity to bounce around B2B blog ideas with fellow inbound content writers.

And a frequent topic of conversation is how to finesse our blog titles so they're pertinent, attention grabbing and search-engine friendly.

Why business blog titles matter

While the bulk of our creative efforts goes into constructing the blog post itself, it's surprising how much attention we also need to pay to those first few words that our potential customers are going to see - our headline.

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7 ways to dramatically improve your email marketing

Written by Nicola Risi  |  16, October, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Why bother wasting precious resource on an email marketing campaign?

No one opens emails anymore. Everyone knows email is dead. 

Well, according to the stats, that’s all a fallacy.

Email is in fact, proliferating. Astonishingly.

DMA Insight shows that 95% of us check our email every day, sometimes up to 20 times.

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13 easy blogging hacks for HubSpot users

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  9, October, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

There’s much more to blogging than just writing. Your post needs to be optimised for search and formatted in a way that’s easy for readers to digest.

The good news is that if you’re using HubSpot, their platform makes it easier for you to publish attractive and search-friendly blog posts. But it doesn’t do all the work for you. Are you doing everything you can to maximise the success of your blog posts?

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How to prepare for a B2B web video appearance

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  8, October, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Web video is widely used by digital marketers as a way to influence B2B purchase decisions. And, as a leading advocate for your brand, you might on occasion be asked to step into the spotlight to share your thoughts and expertise.

Whether you are comfortable with public speaking or not, the idea of appearing on-camera can seem daunting. But genuine, helpful testimony will greatly enhance your viewers' product understanding - as well as their readiness to buy.

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How selling to existing customers can boost business growth

Written by Keith Errington  |  5, October, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Most companies are quite rightly, focused on sales. But they often concentrate on searching out new customers to get those sales – ignoring the easier and more lucrative market right on their doorstep – existing customers.

Did you know you have a 60-70% chance of selling to an existing customer? That’s versus 5-20% of selling to a new prospect.

So the first reason for selling to existing customers is that it’s an easier sell.

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The best SEO tips to help you rank in 2019

Written by Nicola Risi  |  2, October, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

When it comes to SEO, its ever-changing nature makes it one of the most complex and intricate components of your marketing strategy.

Revolutionary trends will no doubt determine how we interact with search engines in the new year, and consequently, how searchers will find your content.

Websites are a significant business investment, and they demand a considerable amount of your resource to satisfy users and stay ahead of competitors. So putting them in front of the right people at the right time should absolutely be a priority.

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Is Growth Hacking an effective technique for growth?

Written by Keith Errington  |  1, October, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Since Sean Ellis coined the term Growth Hacker in 2010, there has been a considerable amount of hype around the term and its related verb Growth Hacking. Many proponents point to the most famous start-ups as examples of growth hacking and make great claims for its effectiveness. But what is growth hacking, and is it an effective technique for growth?

Growth hacking – a definition

Surprisingly, there is some difference of opinion about what growth hacking actually is.

Wikipedia defines it as: 'A process of rapid experimentation across the marketing funnel, product development, sales segments, and other areas of the business to identify the most efficient ways to grow a business'.

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Panda, penguin, hummingbird - a beginner's guide to Google's algorithm

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  27, September, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

If you’re new to SEO, you may wonder why everyone keeps talking about pandas, penguins and hummingbirds.

This exotic line-up of creatures are, in fact, the names given to major updates to Google's ranking algorithm. But what is the Google algorithm and what do you need to know about it?

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How to make your content featured snippet friendly

Written by Andrea Blades  |  26, September, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Featured snippets are becoming a growing area of focus within the competitive and constantly evolving world of search engine optimisation (SEO.)

And, according to HubSpot research, content that is selected to appear as a featured snippet can achieve double the click through rates of organic search results.

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Social Media Pros and Cons: The Top 10

Written by Keith Errington  |  21, September, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Over the past ten years or so, we’ve seen social media move from being an early adopter’s marketing experiment to a tried and trusted channel for both B2C and B2B marketing.

But that doesn’t mean you should rush in and use it without thought – like any communications medium it has its benefits and its drawbacks.

And like any marketing medium, there are things it’s great for, things it’s not good for, and things it should never be used for.

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Why you need to ditch the funnel and adopt a flywheel

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  21, September, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The Sales funnel has been a cornerstone in marketing strategy for over a century. Believed to have been invented by E St Elmo Lewis in 1898, the sales funnel is widely regarded as the first formal theory of marketing.

However, in today’s buyer-centric environment the model is no longer fit for purpose. The traditional sales funnel prioritises marketing and sales over customer service and favours closing the next deal over your existing customers. Customers are a by-product of the sales funnel, not the central focus.

If you think about how a funnel works. You have a large amount of energy at the top with lots of people aware of your company, a smaller amount of people engaging with your company in the middle, and even fewer people at the bottom becoming customers, at which point they fall out the bottom and the process ends until you then pour more into the top.

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What's right (and wrong) with your email marketing strategy?

Written by Keith Errington  |  20, September, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Recently Adobe published their 2018 Consumer Email Survey based on research by Advanis. Whilst this was US-based research, we know that historically there are many similarities between the US and UK markets.

The survey contains a number of fascinating insights, including the astonishing fact that 28% of respondents check their work email whilst in the bathroom! Not sure how relevant that is to any campaign you might think of running, but it's an interesting insight nonetheless.

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Should I focus on long-tail keywords over short-tail keywords?

Written by Nicola Risi  |  19, September, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

A colleague asked me yesterday, “Should I focus more on long-tail keywords or short-tail keywords? Should I be using them differently?”

I have to admit I was floundering a little. With so much changing in SEO, even within the last 6 months, it’s becoming nearly impossible to provide resolute answers to such questions.

But it’s a pretty valid question in the inbound content writing industry. Should we focus on one more than the other? 

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How to ensure your B2B blog posts hit the spot

Written by Andrea Blades  |  13, September, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Well-crafted, purposeful and informative B2B blog posts are essential tools to help build your community and create the foundations for long-lasting relationships.

But in the midst of a demanding blogging schedule it can be easy to lose sight of why it is you're doing what you're doing; who you're doing it for and what it is you're looking to achieve.

In this blog post, we highlight five key questions that can help keep your content creation efforts on-task and on track.

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4 digital marketing trends to watch in 2019

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  12, September, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

September has arrived. The kids are back at school, this summer’s heatwave is a distant memory, and it’s starting to feel very autumnal. Dare I say it, but it will be Christmas before we know it. So it’s not too early to start thinking about the new year, right?

With the world changing a mile a minute, it certainly pays to stay ahead of the curve. Here are some thoughts about the digital marketing trends you need to keep an eye out for in 2019.

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8 common video campaign mistakes to avoid

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  12, September, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The internet is full to the brim with video marketing statistics proving just how powerful it can be as an inbound tool. On occasion, you might be faced with a campaign that has surprisingly under-performed. If you take a second look, you might see glaring areas for improvement. How can you be sure your next investment in video will grow revenue for your business?

Here are some of the most common video campaign mistakes, and how you can avoid making them.

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Play to your strengths and see your business grow

Written by Keith Errington  |  6, September, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Most managers and even marketers are probably familiar with SWOT analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats – as a way of analysing a business in respect of the world it has to operate in. Despite a range of other models to choose from PEST, PESTLE and more, it still proves very useful for formulating a strategy.

But this SWOT model can also be used in marketing, and in particular, it is a very useful way of looking at your content marketing.

It’s important that you spend some time doing your own analysis – but here are some general ideas to get you started.

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How to grow your business with the HubSpot Growth Stack

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  5, September, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

If you are working in Sales or Marketing for a growing business, you will undoubtedly be looking for practical tools to help you grow. Tools that can keep pace with your ever-changing business model and that help you streamline efficiencies in the way you market, sell and communicate with your customers.

However as your list of tools grow, the amount of time and attention they take grows. Your tool stack can become disjointed. Some of your tools may not integrate so you spend more time moving data around from one to another.

With HubSpot’s marketing, sales, and CRM software, you can focus on generating leads and revenue and forget about managing a stack of scattered tools.

Here is how.

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Generation Z: Ushering in a new age

Written by Aidan Swain  |  3, September, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Until recently, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials have been the target demographics for most modern businesses when marketing their services/products.

However, businesses should consider the purchasing power and the burgeoning influence of another: Generation Z. Generally considered to include people born between 1996 and 2014, they are the rising demographic armed with an economic force to be reckoned with. So, turn your attention to the effects of the youngest generation of consumers. Many B2C and B2B businesses have already started.

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The staying power of white papers in B2B content marketing

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  30, August, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The popularity of video marketing, podcasts and webinars are expanding the horizon for B2B content marketers. By comparison, the written word may seem unexciting and a little out of date. But sometimes, it's worth going back to basics.

White papers certainly aren’t the newest platform for sharing your company’s content - but the power they can yield is far from being extinct. 

And the stats speak for themselves: 71% of B2B buyers have used white papers in the last 12 months to research purchasing decisions.

Here’s a reminder of why white papers are still a powerful magnet for B2B buyers in 2018 and beyond.

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When is the prime time to share B2B video on social?

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  29, August, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Knowing when and where to publish your B2B content is every bit as important as producing it in the first place. Inbound marketers are experts at developing a deep understanding of buyer personas, with the aim of forecasting likely behaviour, and this can be used to levy impressive results when it comes to video marketing campaigns.

Information regarding the online activity of your potential customers can be used strategically to improve the delivery of your business message across social media.

This is an oft-overlooked factor in corporate video distribution.

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Marketing resources and capabilities for growth

Written by Keith Errington  |  23, August, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

High levels of growth can only be achieved by a business that not only has a good industry offering and a viable strategy, but that also delivers great marketing.

How do we deliver great marketing?

Let’s look at the bigger picture for a moment.

When developing a business strategy, many recognised management thinkers have settled on a resources and capabilities approach. Leading business strategist Robert Grant; suggests that competitive advantage comes from the resources a business owns and has access to, and the capabilities it has or can develop.

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How to do B2B influencer marketing better

Written by Keith Errington  |  21, August, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In recent months influencer marketing has started to lose its popularity as a way to generate business with big companies such as Unilever reviewing their use of influencers. Some would argue that influencer marketing is a waste of money. So what’s the problem? And can the B2B world use influencer marketing at all?

Well, the fact of the matter is, even if you are in a B2B business, you are almost certainly using influencer marketing right now to a lesser or greater extent.

Part of the problem seems to be the perception of who an influencer is and what they do. The popular image is of a celebrity tweeting about products and posing for Instagram selfies with products. And while there is no doubt that this happens – and is even very successful for some B2C brands, it comes with a whole raft of issues, and does not reflect the vast majority of influencers out there.

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Content vs. Copy: What's the difference?

Written by Nicola Risi  |  20, August, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

It’s natural for most people to assume that content and copy are one and the same.

After all, if you can write a decent blog you've surely got the skills to write a good email subject line, a CTA (call to action), and a white paper. Writing is writing... right?

Unfortunately, this is the kind of view that impedes marketers from getting the full value from their marketing strategies.

Marketers must have a handle on the nuances of both activities not just to aid in their growth strategies but to understand what skills are required from potential writing candidates to fulfil their brand’s needs.

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8 tips for promoting your blog posts on social media

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  16, August, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

94% of content marketers are using social media as part of their strategy. And for good reason - 54% of buyers use social media to research potential vendors and solutions.

But social media is a crowded space, and the challenge is getting your content heard above the noise.

To really illustrate this point, here are some stats about what happens on social media every minute;

  • 448,800 tweets are published
  • 3.3 million Facebook posts are published
  • 65,972 photos are uploaded on Instagram
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What can the rise of video teach us about great writing?

Written by Andrea Blades  |  15, August, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Video continues to dominate the digital landscape - from its prevalence on company websites, social media and news sites to the popularity of online streaming services.

And according to research from Wyzowl in ‘The State of Video Marketing 2018,’ video has established itself as a highly-rated and successful medium for increasing traffic, engaging with B2B prospects and encouraging action.

Among the report’s key findings was the fact that eighty-one per cent of businesses have used video content as a marketing tool.

Of these, a substantial 97% of respondents said that video had helped them to increase user understanding of their product or service. And 76% confirmed that the use of video had helped them to increase sales.

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How to improve every stage of your video production process

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  14, August, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

More B2B companies are using video marketing than ever before. That makes sense considering the force with which a successful campaign can attract, qualify and convert new customers. But how can your business maximise on this creative venture?

There are three stages to video production:

Pre-production - planning your video, writing the script and coordinating activities

Production - producing the raw material for your video. This could consist of filming, recording audio or creating graphical assets.

Post-production - assembling the footage, editing and reviewing.

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Why one growth strategy is no longer enough

Written by Keith Errington  |  10, August, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

One of the classic business strategy models is Porter's Generic Competitive Strategies, a set of generic strategies that could be applied to all products or services in B2C or B2B businesses to gain competitive advantage and grow a business. It's a logical extension of his earlier model – Porter's Competitive Forces Model (otherwise known as the Five Forces Model) that analyses a business in terms of five competitive forces. These five forces shape every industry and every market, determining their profitability and attractiveness. The five forces are:

  • Bargaining Power of Suppliers
  • Bargaining Power of Customers
  • Threat of New Entrants
  • Threat of Substitutes
  • Competitive Rivalry between Existing Players
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How to stop Facebook algorithm changes affecting your business page

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  9, August, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Facebook has been getting a pretty tough time of late in the media and the courtroom. Fake news, scandals and security breaches meant its reputation took a battering.

In January 2018, Facebook's algorithm changed drastically to prioritise posts that create meaningful conversations and interactions, especially between friends and family.

Great news for Joe Public, but not so great for businesses looking to gain new customers via Facebook marketing.

The new algorithm makes it much harder for business pages to get seen unless you have a very engaged audience who frequently like, comment and share your social posts.

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Are your landing pages GDPR-compliant?

Written by Nicola Risi  |  7, August, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) was introduced across Europe in May 2018 to strengthen individuals’ rights when it comes to the handling and processing of their data.

As inbound marketers, we’ve always put the power in the hands of our prospects - and the GDPR champions that notion, so it's a regulation we should all willingly, and easily abide by.

Our communications and the ability to generate leads are dependent on high-quality data acquisition. Landing pages are an integral part of that acquisition process, so it’s natural to be dubious over the thought of tweaking and overhauling your existing landing pages and conversion paths. What if we put prospects off? What if people choose not to tick the box?

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Video Marketing: How to create animated whiteboard video

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  6, August, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Whiteboard videos are a prime example of an educational video that benefits buyer personas in the awareness stage of the inbound sales funnel. They come under the genre of explainer videos and use both illustration and animation to communicate concepts in a fun and unexpected way.

Investigation reveals that 45 per cent of companies who champion video as a valuable marketing tool feature an explainer video on their homepage. An overwhelming majority of those companies find great success with this content.

The following post explores the video production process behind making a whiteboard explainer video.

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8 easy visual content ideas for B2B blogs

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  2, August, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Choosing suitable imagery is a pivotal - and sometimes painful - point in the B2B marketing blog process. But there are valid reasons why marketers spend so much valuable time and effort selecting the right visual content for their posts.

Stunning visuals capture attention, improve the memorability of your post, provide variety and inspire emotion.

Marketing campaigns can sink or swim on the back of images. They reinforce your message and provide readers with context. In addition to this, they vastly improve website traffic: studies on visual content marketing have shown that articles with images get 94 per cent more total views.

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5 powerful marketing strategies to drive business growth

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  1, August, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The summer months often see the workplace a little quieter than usual. Half the office are away on holiday, relaxing on a beach or by a pool somewhere exotic. Decision makers are also likely to be taking some time away from their businesses.

And while a summer break gives us that much needed time to relax, it’s also a great time to get inspired. A little time out allows you to come back feeling reflective, reinvigorated and ready to tackle the problems you left behind - like growing your business.

Generating leads and expanding your customer base isn’t easy. But if you’ve been struggling with business growth and haven’t yet experimented with any of these tried and tested marketing strategies, this summer might just be the ideal time to dive in.

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How to use the Boston Matrix to inform your content marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  31, July, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Anyone who is involved in any way with marketing is likely to have heard of the Boston Matrix, and even Joe Public has probably come across the term 'cash cows'.

Possibly one of the most well-known marketing models, The Boston Matrix was created by Bruce D. Henderson for the Boston Consulting Group in 1970 to help corporations analyse their product lines.

Also known as the Growth-Share Matrix, it categorises a portfolio of products in a way that helps strategic decision making. Typically it is used to make hard decisions about investment – which products/services to drop and which to invest in to achieve maximum growth.

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How to write case studies that convert

Written by Nicola Risi  |  27, July, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

It’s not uncommon for marketers to shy away from creating case studies.

Customers are often reticent about publishing those telling numbers and details and, more importantly, revealing their secrets to competitors. 

Or perhaps, like many, you underestimate the impressiveness of your results and success.

In this post, we'll address each of those challenges, but not before we touch on some of the most vital features of a case study.

Case studies can be important content marketing tools. There is ample reason for considering them as a part of your strategy. So let's dive straight in; here's how you can craft a winning and most a crucially, a converting case study.

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4 things you need to know about the B2B buyer's journey in 2018

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  26, July, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Demand Gen Report recently published the results of their B2B Buyers Survey 2018, their seventh annual survey on buyers’ purchasing behaviours. This year they polled 259 executives in a variety of industries, including High Tech (31%), Manufacturing (19%) and Professional Services (14%).

B2B buyer behaviour has evolved considerably since the first survey was launched in 2012. While B2B buying has often been synonymous with a long-term research process and a complex eco-system of decision-makers, buyer behaviour has expanded in a number of ways.

Here is our take on the four biggest marketing insights from this year’s survey.

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How to improve Facebook video engagement metrics

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  25, July, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

More than 87 per cent of online marketers now use video content. And on Facebook, video is the top performing content type - over 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook every day.

Social media video steams ahead of photos, links and status updates in terms of user engagement.

So what can your business do to improve your video marketing metrics on Facebook? 

Get ranked highly by Facebook

Facebook controls what people see on their newsfeed using algorithms that predict their interests.

The way that Facebook ranks video was updated earlier this year. Video content that gets sought out and returned to by viewers is now ranked favourably. Additionally, social media video that has visibly inspired interaction and conversation is given greater prominence. 


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Okay Google, tell me how to optimise for voice search

Written by Nicola Risi  |  23, July, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Where do B2B marketers start with voice searches?

As individuals, AI assistants and smart speakers such as Alexa and Siri are now a familiar partner in many peoples' everyday search for answers, solutions and content.

But since they’re usually more closely associated with B2C brands, do B2B marketers really need to worry?

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A quick guide to length for social media video

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  20, July, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Consider how many people are using social media on a daily basis - it’s such a staple in modern living. Marketers can take full advantage of this audience by providing video content that resonates with them.

When you’re ready to embark on a video marketing campaign, you will need to write a script and formulate a plan as to how and where you will share your content.

One of the most common questions to arise in any video creation process is this: just how long should the video be?

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How to get great B2B growth by spreading the word

Written by Keith Errington  |  16, July, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Growing a business can be hard, but it’s the only way to survive in today’s competitive market.

Even if rapid growth is not your goal, you will still lose customers over time – so you will have to maintain your marketing momentum month by month.

So what’s the best way to grow your business?

Let’s start with a reversal exercise – what would you need to do to ensure you didn’t grow – or worse, lost business?

Think for a moment.

What steps would you take, or not take, to ensure your business shrank?

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SEO: How are things changing in 2018?

Written by Nicola Risi  |  12, July, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Google is notoriously tight-lipped about its ranking factors, and that doesn't look set to change in 2018.

It’s no secret that SEOers base their entire careers on educated guesses, experimentation and speculation.

Will Google ever disclose their algorithms? Who knows.

Will you ever reach page one? With hard work and perseverance, yes.

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What are the top video marketing trends this year?

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  11, July, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

It's not always easy to predict the future, but it's worth a shot. Video marketing is ever on the rise. In one survey, 64 percent of marketers admitted that video is set to dominate their content marketing strategy.

Video marketing is a venture with high ROI and buckets of creative potential.

In this blog, we will have a look at some of the most alluring new trends when it comes to video marketing.

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Why topic clusters matter for manufacturing SEO in 2018

Written by Andrea Blades  |  5, July, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Topic clusters are an essential content strategy tool to help you simplify your content creation and concentrate your efforts around the manufacturing subjects that matter most to your customers.

In this blog post, we explore how topic clusters work, why they’re so useful for your content strategy and how you can go about creating them.

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How to optimise images for better B2B website speed

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  3, July, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

You might be missing out on an easy opportunity to improve your company’s website performance: image optimisation.

Google recommends image optimisation as one of the top three fixes for slow page load time. Images make a staggering difference and often account for most of the bytes downloaded on a page.

Images deliver the core message of your content. Including at least one image in a post can potentially double share rates, and help readers to retain more information than text alone.

Removing images from your site isn’t viable, but reducing their weight is.

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How to apply kaizen to your inbound methodology

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  3, July, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Kaizen is achieving continuous improvement through the application of small, ongoing positive changes - continually improving your business, your processes and your ways of working - one bit at a time.

No matter what industry you’re in, continuous improvement is vital if you want to stay ahead of the game. No company survives in the long-term by sticking to the status quo.

For those that really get inbound marketing, you’ll understand what I mean when I say that your inbound marketing methodology needs to be a process continual improvement.

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How to write B2B blogs that are voice search friendly

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  28, June, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The rising popularity of mobile devices has changed the way consumers search for information online, and marketers are already adapting their search engine optimisation tactics in response.

In 2018, SEO needs to consider the prominence of AI-powered voice search too.

According to Google, 1 out of 5 searches come from voice queries. 50 percent of smartphone users use voice technology on their device, and 33 percent use it daily.

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How to write email subject lines your subscribers can't help but click

Written by Nicola Risi  |  27, June, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

But wait, isn’t email marketing dead?

Email was the pinnacle of nineties marketing. Transforming mass communication when it became free and available to all, email revolutionised how we reach our customers.

Nowadays, we have access to free social media, targeted banner advertising, Google ads, pay-per-click. You get the picture.

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5 obstacles to business growth and how to overcome them

Written by Keith Errington  |  26, June, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Despite the huge variation in companies, their people, products and services, almost all go through five phases of growth, facing four crises along the way, as depicted in a classic model – the Greiner Model of Growth.

It was back in 1972 that Larry Greiner of the Harvard Business School published a paper;‘Evolution and Revolution as Organisations Grow’. The original model proposed five phases of growth with a crisis at the end of each phase triggering the jump into the next.

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6 conversion mistakes that could be costing you valuable leads

Written by Nicola Risi  |  21, June, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

A conversion is the process of changing or causing something to change from one form to another.

More specifically, in inbound marketing, a conversion describes the point at which a stranger on your website becomes a lead or a paying customer.

Conversion paths are therefore a critical component in the nurturing process, and failing to produce a tailored and effective conversion strategy could be to the detriment of your business growth

To avoid losing out on high-quality conversion opportunities, you'll need call-to-actions (CTAs) that your visitors respond positively to, all of which are underpinned by strategic conversion paths.

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Three resources you need for high business growth

Written by Keith Errington  |  20, June, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Traditionally there are three resources that are generally considered essential to fast growth: access to finance, access to human resources and access to the market. Or in simpler terms:

  • Money
  • People
  • Customers

As this is primarily a blog about marketing and not finance, I’m going to talk mostly about the last two of these, but be in no doubt that the first – access to finance – is fundamental to growth.

Without the money in place, you cannot invest in people or pay for marketing to gain customers. In fact, all three are intrinsically linked; the right people can help you get the finance, and deliver the marketing you need to reach customers. Attracting customers helps you with the money.

All three resources have to be present at the same time for a high growth strategy.

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What are the best AI tools for B2B blogs?

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  18, June, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

From navigation apps to personal assistants and chatbots - AI is here to stay. The artificial intelligence industry is booming - it has a predicted value of near $60 billion by 2025 and plays a role in software development that is nigh impossible to ignore.

It’s no surprise that savvy marketers are harnessing AI’s potential to improve their marketing metrics and hit vital business targets.

There is cut-throat competition for online attention, and high quality written content is a beacon for your company website. Here are some simple ways that artificial intelligence tools can help improve your blog posts.

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How to use social media to grow a B2B business

Written by Keith Errington  |  15, June, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

For the vast majority of people in the world, social media is an everyday part of their lives.

Here in the UK, 66% of the population are active on social media; in January 2018 that was 44 million people.

And, that figure is still rising, and is up 5% on the previous year.

We all know what a major part the big social apps such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter and LinkedIn play in many people’s personal and private lives – the average time spent on social in January 2018 was nearly two hours a day.

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5 essential things to do before starting your B2B blog

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  14, June, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

It seems that every company has a blog these days. B2B businesses are even more likely to have a blog than B2C companies. In fact, the latest CMI report revealed that 79% of B2B marketers are now blogging.

There’s no escaping the fact that to keep pace and remain competitive, you need to be regularly creating content.

But in such a crowded online marketplace, how do you ensure your B2B blog gets heard above the noise?

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Photo album inspiration for social marketing on Facebook

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  13, June, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Today, images are a priority when it comes to bulletproof content marketing strategies. Visual content tends to generate more engagement than written content - partially because pictures are so memorable, easy to consume and easy to share. They are perfect for sharing a message that sticks.

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How to retain your SEO equity during a site migration

Written by Nicola Risi  |  12, June, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

A poorly devised SEO strategy ahead of a site migration is a recipe for disaster. A site migration in itself can be an extremely onerous task; one that requires considerable planning, consultation and attention to detail. But when SEO is treated as an afterthought, your search engine visibility will be compromised.

Given the right execution strategy, it can happen smoothly, efficiently, and can preserve all that hard-earned SEO. 

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12 go-to content creation ideas for the manufacturing sector

Written by Andrea Blades  |  7, June, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Generating quality content, actively promoting it and keeping those creative juices flowing can be a challenge at the best of times.

The great news though is that your blogging strategy needn't feel like a chore if you keep a few simple and practical content creation ideas in mind.

Here are 12 strategies to help you produce relevant and engaging blog content that will delight your manufacturing prospects and keep them coming back for more

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How to write high-converting CTAs

Written by Nicola Risi  |  7, June, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

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Call-to-actions (CTAS) are the smallest nuggets of copy on your web page, with arguably, the biggest job.

We could be talking as little as two words. However, two words that are the difference between a visitor converting to a lead or bouncing off the page. It's for that reason they demand so much time, effort and research to develop.

There's a common misconception that writing microcopy is 'easy' because it's so short. However, having fewer words and space means there's even less room for error. Conversions can hang on as little as one word or colourget it wrong, and you risk losing leads. 

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Classic strategies for growing your business

Written by Keith Errington  |  6, June, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

When it comes to developing a strategy for growing a business, we still refer to a model that is over sixty years old. It’s a testament to its worth that the basics have stood the test of time.

Developed in 1957 by Igor Ansoff (known as the father of strategic management), the Ansoff Matrix looks at two possible directions for growth strategy – products and markets.

Although the model traditionally speaks of products, you can substitute services for products and it works equally well. It’s also a model that is relevant to both B2C and B2B.

As well as the four possible strategies, the matrix also suggests a risk factor, with the top left being the least risky strategy and bottom right – diversification – being the riskiest.

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How to quickly crop images for your marketing blog

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  1, June, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Sourcing and cropping a powerful image for your B2B marketing blog is often one of the most impactful optimisation steps. Fortunately, you don’t need a fancy editing program or an art degree to do so.

Here are some basic instructions for cropping a picture, for free, on any platform:

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Top 5 HubSpot sales tools, and why you need them

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  31, May, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Throughout my career in marketing, one common obstacle has always remained. Getting Sales to buy-in to and use the company CRM (customer relationship management) system of choice.

In the early days of the internet (yes, I remember them), CRM systems were cumbersome, time-consuming and unintuitive to use. Salespeople were field-based, and spent their days clocking up mileage visiting potential customers. Admin was seen as a frustrating waste of time that they could be spending on generating commission.

Times have thankfully changed, and CRM systems are no longer (or shouldn't be) a big messy anxiety-inducing database. A good CRM system should help you manage relationships and sell more efficiently.

It should be your sales people's secret weapon.

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5 failsafe B2B lead generation strategies

Written by Nicola Risi  |  30, May, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

An effective lead generation strategy is a culmination of approaches that when combined, enhance your reputation, increase website traffic, and as a result, attract a steady stream of qualified leads. There are individual strategies that will enhance your overall approach, but what it really requires is a holistic effort.

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Why tone of voice matters in blogging for manufacturing

Written by Andrea Blades  |  29, May, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

At the heart of a successful strategy for blogging for manufacturing is the ability to be able to write about often highly technical subjects in a way that communicates your expertise, but that remains fresh, accessible and enjoyable to read.

A key element of this process is to agree on a clear and consistent ‘tone of voice’ for your company or brand.

But what exactly is your tone of voice? 

And how can it help you to engage with your audience, increase rapport and better tell your story?

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Is it time to consider an accounts based marketing strategy?

Written by Nicola Risi  |  24, May, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

This might not be the first time you’ve heard of 'ABM' (accounts based marketing).

Previously known as ‘key accounts marketing,’ ABM assumes that B2B buying decisions are down to a group of people, rather than an individual.

Therefore, as opposed to using broad, traditional marketing techniques, it relies on a close alignment between sales and marketing to identify key influencers and decision makers within a business, supplying them with personalised, relevant, and compelling content.

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How to find powerful images for your B2B marketing blog

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  23, May, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The sheer volume of images available online can be overwhelming - especially when you're aware there is such great impetus placed on the use of visual media in B2B marketing content

Sourcing powerful imagery that is sympathetic to your brand and content is a crucial part of the blog writing process. The tone of your blog can be swayed dramatically by the image you choose to pair your writing with. Your choice affects numerous things, from click-rate to audience comprehension and, ultimately, conversion.

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What is Growth-Driven Design and how can it help your business?

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  22, May, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

If you’ve been involved in a website redesign before, you may not have fully enjoyed the process. Did it take longer to launch than anticipated? Was it over budget? Maybe there was a significant up-front cost?

These are common pain points.

But what if you could take away the pain of traditional web builds?

What if there was a faster, more agile process that would produce better results and ROI?

Well, good news - there is. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s called Growth-Driven Design.

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Have you carried out these final GDPR checks?

Written by Nicola Risi  |  17, May, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The deadline is imminent, and by now, most organisations should have their houses in order when it comes to GDPR.

It’s likely you’ve recently received a flurry of "can we still contact you" emails from B2C companies that you’ve previously bought from, or shown some interest in. You may have even heard of some companies deleting all their contacts in a fit of panic, fearful of falling foul of the new compliance measures.  When it comes to B2B marketers, many are taking a more systematic and considered approach to how they use and handle data sensibly.

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10 content marketing formats to generate more leads in 2018

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  14, May, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

9 in 10 B2B companies have invested in content marketing, according to the latest CMI report.

And 6 in 10 say their efforts are more successful than they were a year ago.

This has important implications: with more businesses creating content, it’s a crowded space, and your content needs to cut through the noise.

Maybe you’ve started blogging, have created a few eBooks, and shared an infographic or two on social media.

While these can be extremely effective, there are a large number of other formats you can add to your content marketing arsenal.

So what content marketing formats should you be including in your mix this year?

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Why lead response time is still key in 2018

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  8, May, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Changes in customer behaviour are widening the gap between buyers’ expectations and sellers’ tactics. it is well versed that today's buyers would rather conduct their own research online than pick up the phone to Sales.

In response to this savvy marketers are driving traffic to their websites through inbound marketing methods; generating organic traffic and using topics and keywords to boost search engine rankings.

But marketers are also spending budget on advertising.

The Advertising Association is projecting that total UK advertising spend in 2018 will grow 2.8% to £22.7bn. The report also revealed that almost one in four pounds spent on advertising in the third quarter of 2017 went to mobile, which recorded year-on-year growth of 30.7%.

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How B2B can use Google rich results to rise to the top of SEO

Written by Keith Errington  |  4, May, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Marketing success today, rightly or wrongly, is often determined by your visibility in search engines, and the biggest by far is Google.

Your business could live or die depending on your search results. So getting your SEO right, and ensuring that your buyers find you when they are looking is crucial to success.

But while your competitors are also employing their SEO techniques to lead to their content, what can you do to get ahead in the SEO arms race?

One way is through Google’s rich results, previously known under various names – rich snippets, rich cards or enriched results, Google has now tied them down and called them rich results. But what are they? And how can they help a B2B business?

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How to convert more leads using landing page video

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  3, May, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Directly after clicking a call-to-action, customers are swept away to a landing page tailored specifically to address their concerns. A fully optimised landing page helps prospective customers access the information they need in exchange for valuable contact information.

At this young stage of your lead generation, video is particularly powerful. 

Active leads may have first encountered your CTA via email, a blog post, sidebar, pay-per-click campaign or social media. However it happened, they have shown a vested interest in a specific recommendation you made, and are now on a quest for further details. 

Landing page video is an inventive way to deliver useful information about your offer.

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3 considerations for your SaaS content marketing strategy

Written by Nicola Risi  |  2, May, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The software as a service (SaaS) industry is one of the most lucrative niches on the market. Inherently scalable and profitable, it’s expected to surpass $112.8 billion by 2019.

But if you're in the business of selling software as a service, you’ll know that standing out is now more of a challenge than ever.

And, unlike many other industries, if a software company grows at only 20%, it has 92% chance of ceasing to exist within a few years according to McKinsey.

So, listen up, because getting this right is important.

Inbound and content marketing are often favoured by SaaS companies because they are conducive to B2B buying habits.

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How to use quantitative research to enhance your content marketing

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  25, April, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Research is regularly hailed as one of the most effective forms of content. Why? Because it encapsulates the very essence of thought leadership.

If you think about it, what better way is there to position your company as a voice of authority in your field than by sharing new insights on industry trends?

But carrying out your own research is an investment that can require a significant amount of time and attention. Perhaps that’s why just 49 per cent of B2B marketers are creating research as part of their content marketing strategy.

However, it’s not as difficult or demanding as you might think.

And research that delivers useful, relevant and interesting insights for your target buyers can be repurposed into multiple pieces of powerful content, making it the gift that keeps on giving.

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A guide to SEO copywriting best practices in 2018

Written by Nicola Risi  |  18, April, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Great SEO copywriting is the key to thriving online.

But one of the biggest challenges for SEO copywriters is creating content that is favoured by online searchers and search engines.

The job of an SEO copywriter has demanded a variety of disciplines in previous years. Now, it's not enough to write for algorithms. You must write for people first.

This means your writing must speak to your audience's needs and desires, while, at the same time, targeting specific keywords and following SEO best practices.

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How to use inbound marketing to make B2B trade shows successful

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  17, April, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Trade shows and exhibitions have long been a mainstay in traditional marketing. The word “exhibition” originates as early as 1649. It is a derivative of the Latin word "expositio", meaning "displaying" or "putting on a show" (Morrow, Sandra L.)

Despite advancements in technology and the internet changing the way customers buy, B2B trade shows remain an important part of the inbound marketing mix. But like all other marketing activities, they are only effective if they are properly planned and executed as a part of your overall inbound marketing strategy.

In reality, your buyers do not need to attend a trade show to learn about your products anymore, they can visit your website, social channels or read online reviews.

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Beating writer's block: 10 tips for B2B bloggers

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  12, April, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In the age of inbound marketing, blogging is the number one B2B marketing tactic. It helps B2B companies increase awareness, credibility, SEO rankings and leads.

But it’s not easy. To really make the most of your blogging efforts, you need to be publishing at least one blog post a weekAnd with a mountain of things on your to-do list all vying for attention, it can be difficult to find the time to dedicate to it.

This is why things like writer's block can be incredibly frustrating. You need to get another blog post out there but for some reason, you’re just unable get started, or reach the point where you’re happy to hit the publish button.

So, next time you find yourself facing writer's block, take inspiration from some of these tips to beat it.

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6 video formats perfect for your social media strategy

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  11, April, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Social media continues to be a driving force for marketing success.

And, thanks to its creative potential and ability to drive conversions, an increasing number of businesses are turning to video to fill their content marketing toolkit. Video is a highly desirable asset. According to HubSpot, the use of video increases share rates 10 times on social media.

If you are engaged in a video marketing campaign you may be wondering what type of video content performs best on social channels.

Here are 6 video formats that inbound marketers can fold into their social media marketing strategy.

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6 inbound mistakes to avoid in SaaS marketing

Written by Nicola Risi  |  10, April, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

SaaS products are conceived, programmed and built to provide a solution to a problem. A concept which also happens to permeate the entire inbound philosophy.

It’s for this reason that an inbound strategy lends itself so well to SaaS marketing. But for SaaS buyers in particular, the relationship with their vendors can be very sensitive.

A SaaS inbound strategy demands a high level of skill, education and consideration to devise the most successful approach. Each stage of the buyer’s journey is as crucial as the last, and there is no time for complacency in such a disruptive and competitive landscape. 

So, it’s only natural that in the commotion of trying to cover all bases and get everything right, sometimes things go very wrong.

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Why video marketing is not just about stunning visuals

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  9, April, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Customers often opt to watch videos online rather than spend their time wading through written content. That said, the use of text can contribute hugely to the performance of marketing videos.

Your videos need more than stunning visuals. They also need carefully crafted text to keep your viewer engaged. 

According to this report on the use of video in social media, 39 percent of consumers are more likely to finish a video when it includes text. Used effectively, it will reinforce your point and help viewers recall more of the information you have shared with them.

Text can be introduced in the form of overlays, descriptions and titles. It can be highly stylised and immensely helpful. A sprinkling of captions will give context to your video and add detail to your story without detracting from the main message.

Here's how to get the best results from your video marketing campaign by using text in your videos.

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How to ace your content marketing for manufacturing

Written by Andrea Blades  |  6, April, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

A successful manufacturing marketing strategy relies on creating and publishing relevant content that appeals to your “buyer persona” through the different stages of their buyer’s journey

So what exactly is content marketing? And how can you use it to build your brand, nurture relationships with your prospects and convert those leads into customers?

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How to create a B2B website homepage your buyer personas will love

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  5, April, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

If you’re using an inbound methodology you may have all the right strategies in place to get your buyer personas to your website. You might be using the right keywords, blogging regularly, and promoting your content on social media.

But how good a job is your homepage doing to convince your prospects that they’ve come to the right place?

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How to become a thought leader in the technology sector

Written by Nicola Risi  |  4, April, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Laura Ramos of Forrester once said, “Business buyers don’t buy into your product; they buy into your approach to solving their problems.”

And that is a stark truism in the technology space.

By producing content that is well-curated, well-researched and built around your buyer personas’ most pressing problems, you align your lead generation to your content marketing efforts. And in the process, position yourself as a thought leader. 

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5 tips for working with a video marketing agency

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  3, April, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

It’s nigh impossible to ignore the rise of video marketing.

However, you may not be lucky enough to have the talent (or equipment) in-house to produce video content that lives up to the mark. This is where an inbound marketing agency with specialist video experience can help.

In video production finding the right team is half the battle - you want to be selective with recruitment because successful brand videos require a high level of skill to produce.

Choosing a partner you trust makes collaboration and communication easier at every stage. A video marketing agency with a strong company culture should be able to give you an immediate sense of who they are and how they work.

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3 Professional Services Marketing Issues, and how to solve them

Written by Keith Errington  |  23, March, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Marketing of professional services differs from most marketing in a few fundamental ways. What they are, and how you can overcome them in a digital world is the focus of this article.

You don’t have a physical product you can package and sell

The biggest difference between professional services marketing and other marketing is the lack of a physical product. This is a key stumbling block for most professional services companies. After all, in order to sell something, you have to have something to sell.

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8 ways video thrives in social media marketing campaigns

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  22, March, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

It can be a challenge to deliver quality content across multiple social media channels consistently.

Your business can use video to bring a little variation to your social media marketing calendar. Visuals have been shown to reinforce marketing messages, which is no surprise considering 65 percent of us are visual learners.

Video is no longer optional: 87 percent of online marketers use video content and this trend is set to continue. Experts have predicted that video will account for 80 percent of online traffic by 2019.

Here are 8 undeniable reasons why you should be using video in your B2B social media campaigns.

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3 reasons why inbound works for manufacturing marketing

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  20, March, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

While manufacturers are often pioneers when it comes to production, supply chain management, and new product development, many are laggards when it comes to marketing.

With the rise of the internet, global competition and technological advancements changing the way in which customers purchase goods and services, denial is no longer an option and those companies not willing to ditch the old school marketing methods risk getting left behind.

Manufacturing companies that have embraced inbound marketing are reaping the rewards. Here are some reasons why inbound and manufacturing are a good fit.

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Delight your SaaS customers with video support

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  16, March, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The troubling reality for today’s support teams is that customers are demanding faster, higher quality resolutions by the day - and for some businesses, this is becoming increasingly difficult to deliver. Research shared in this report demonstrates how teams are being asked to up the ante with outdated resources and limited time.

This can be problematic for businesses that rely on repeat business and customer retention, for example in the SaaS sector - particularly if they have a small party dedicated to customer support.

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How to master content promotion for manufacturing

Written by Andrea Blades  |  15, March, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

OK, so you’ve spent precious hours creating a rich resource of remarkable content for your manufacturing prospects.

You've shaped it to address the specific needs of your buyer personas and you've tailored it to suit the individual stages of their buyer’s journey.

But are you missing a crucial piece of the puzzle? These days it’s simply not enough to assume that, in amassing this wealth of fresh and high quality content, it will automatically find its way to your target audience.

In order to ensure that your content is seen by the right people, and as many of the right people as possible. you’ve also got to have a dedicated and consistent strategy for promoting it.

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How to create an eBook for professional services marketing

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  14, March, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Inbound marketing is an effective way for professional services companies to generate traffic and leads and to position themselves as experts in their field.

A blog is fundamental to a successful inbound marketing strategy. But eBooks are the next part of the process - they are an excellent way to turn visitors into leads.

Research by the CMI consistently shows eBooks to be one of the most effective forms of content. And the bonus? They’re relatively inexpensive to produce.

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How to use social listening to shape your B2B buyer personas

Written by Nicola Risi  |  13, March, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Social listening is the act of analysing conversations that take place on social platforms involving a specific brand or industry.

Not to be confused with social media monitoring, social listening allows brands to hone in on their target audience’s most common frustrations, challenges and values, extracting key insights that help design a more appealing content offering.

Perfectly described by Dan Neely, CEO of Networked Insights, “Monitoring sees trees; listening sees the forest.”

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Video marketing: how to generate leads with CTAs

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  9, March, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Every piece of content you create is a gateway to conversion, and the best way to prompt viewers to engage with your company and move along the buyer journey is a clear and strong call to action. You can do this with b2b web video.

As part of your video marketing strategy, you will have outlined a purpose for your video. There is a specific action you hope viewers will undertake after your closing scene. Including a CTA will highlight this.

Whether you intend to drive visitors to your website, share a brand message, increase subscriptions or prompt your audience to get in touch – your video call to action is the trigger.

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5 ways to repurpose content to boost your web traffic

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  7, March, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

To succeed at inbound marketing you need a constant stream of fresh content. And those who write content as part of their job will tell you the challenges they face continually coming up with new ideas, or angles to take.

But what if the answers are already in your content library, you're just not looking in the right places?

Repurposing content means reusing your existing content in a different way.

Here are some ideas.

Blogs into Vlogs

Turning your old posts into video blogs, or as they’re more commonly known, ‘vlogs’ are an informal, conversational way to get your message across to potential customers.

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How to master social monitoring, and the tools you need

Written by Keith Errington  |  2, March, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Most businesses now appreciate the importance of social media to promote content and to create engagement.

However, many take a reactive stance, just publishing content and then responding to any engagement that occurs.

But what if you want to go further than this?
What if you want to find out what people are saying?
Where they are saying it, and respond in a proactive approach?

Then you need to consider the many benefits of social monitoring and social listening.

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6 conversion rate optimisation tips to embrace in 2018

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  28, February, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Traffic and leads. The two are intrinsically linked. You can’t generate leads without traffic. And traffic means nothing if you can’t convert visitors to leads.

But just one in five companies are satisfied with their conversions, according to Hubspot.

If your company is invested in inbound marketing, optimising your website to maximise conversions should be a necessity. But with conversion rate optimisation such a changing landscape, what are the best practices you should be embracing in 2018?

Here are our top tips for increasing your conversions this year.

1. Prioritise personalisation

Personalisation is no longer a novelty - it’s expected. But how can B2B companies use personalisation to convert visitors to leads when at this stage, they know little about them?

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How topic clusters are redefining SEO in marketing for manufacturing

Written by Andrea Blades  |  27, February, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The way that we search online is evolving. And for many manufacturers, there's a growing realisation that the traditional, keyword-centric, SEO methods that we’ve typically used to drive our content creation efforts may not be delivering the same results that they once did.

So what’s changed? One answer lies in the intent of our online search queries.

When we ask a search engine a question we’re looking to solve a problem. But these days we’re also being increasingly more specific about what it is we want to know.

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How to create an inbound sales funnel

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  22, February, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

A sales funnel is a visualisation of how many leads you need to convert into business. It helps you to look for areas of improvement in your sales process, forecast future production / resource requirements and ensure Sales are focusing their efforts on the right type of leads.

The first step in creating a sales funnel is to set a quantifiable goal, this will be based on the number of sales you need to achieve in a given period. Then work backwards through each step of your sales process and work out your conversion rate at each stage.

Working backwards from your sales goal, and factoring in your conversion rates enables you to estimate how many leads are required to generate the sales you need.

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On-Page vs Off-Page SEO

Written by Nicola Risi  |  21, February, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

SEO can be a tricky discipline to master. It’s continually evolving, and what works for one business could have the opposite effect on another.

“Build content for algorithms, but also for people.”

“Make sure you use keywords, but not too many!”

Alt-tags, metadata and topic clusters - it can be a minefield.

And then, there’s the on-page, off-page conundrum. What’s the difference? And what should you be doing to make sure you have both of these covered?

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Insider tips for developing a video marketing script

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  20, February, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Preparation is the key to success for any mission, and it won’t surprise you to read that this rings true for video marketing campaigns. Writing a video script is one of the best ways to clarify objectives and define your core message.

Video marketing scripts cement focal points, highlight project requirements and provide the entire video production team with something substantial to refer to.

If you are ready to knuckle down and start writing your script, here are some helpful video script goals to consider:

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How to analyse a competitor's website, and what you can learn

Written by Keith Errington  |  20, February, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Before the digital age, it was tough to get an idea of what your competitors were up to. You might be able to glean some facts from their brochures, press releases, seminars, shareholder briefings, or by posing as a customer and get a handle on their pricing structure.

But if a company played its cards close to its chest, then their marketing strategy, strengths and weaknesses and business intentions would have been hard to fathom. This often meant that you could find yourself rapidly outmanoeuvred by their product launches and better pricing.

Planning your marketing strategy when you don’t have all the facts is, at best risky, and at worst disastrous.

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How a video production company can bolster your brand development

Written by Andrea Blades  |  15, February, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Video content has the power to be one of the best assets on your website.

From new product demonstrations to animated explainer videos, facility tours or customer testimonials, it’s a vibrant and engaging form of content that can enhance the customer experience, build brand awareness, encourage retention and generate leads.

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Instagram marketing for business. What you need to know.

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  15, February, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

As discussed in a previous post, Instagram marketing is a real opportunity for B2B. In 2017, 70.7% of US Businesses Are Using Instagram, compared to 48.8% in 2016.

People follow businesses on Instagram to get a behind-the-scenes look at what they are up to. They want to be shown your products, but also want a glimpse into everyday life.

If you want to use Instagram for business but are unsure how to get the most from the channel here are some tips.

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14 simple ways to generate great blog ideas for professional services

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  14, February, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

With all this talk of using video, podcasts and even voice interfaces like Alexa for content marketing, blogging may seem like an old idea.

But we haven’t reached the demise of the written word just yet. Blogging is very much alive and kicking in B2B marketing. And for a professional services company, a blog is one of the most valuable assets your website can have.

The more you blog, the more chances you have of capturing the attention of your buyer personas. But maintaining a healthy blog pipeline can be challenging. How can you consistently come up with interesting and relevant blog posts that will attract (and maintain) the attention of your prospects?

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How to use video to reduce your churn rates

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  9, February, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

High-quality onboarding has been proven to improve renewal rates for businesses. This is particularly true for the SaaS industry, as well as companies that sell complicated (or hard to use) products. 

Customers who have been educated on how best to use their product are far more likely to enjoy success with it. To your customer, success equals value - and value inspires repeat business. This is why a better onboarding process is likely to lead to lower churn rates.

Efficient onboarding also drives conversion rates up by reassuring potential customers that you really care about their experience. So it makes good sense to perfect the process.

97 percent of marketers say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or serviceSharing a classic onboarding video is one simple and effective way to introduce new users to key product features, benefits, tips and tricks.

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Why content writing works for B2B lead generation

Written by Nicola Risi  |  8, February, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In an age of content fatigue, we’re becoming less tolerant of intrusive and interruptive marketing.

Cold calls, spam emails and TV ads can all be blocked at the click of a button, and the power is truly back in the hands of the consumer.

When we have a problem or a question, we set up our chosen device and begin the quest for content.

We flick from article to article, blog to blog, white paper to ebook, trying to find the answer we’re looking for.

We choose where to go next, and who to give our precious information to in exchange for more content. We're completely in control.

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What is UX design and why does it matter?

Written by Keith Errington  |  7, February, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

UX or User Experience is a crucial factor in the success or failure of your marketing efforts. But what is it? Why is it important? Why can you not afford to ignore it? Let’s start with an analogy, or two.

Suppose you were walking down the high street and you came across a shop selling something you were interested in, but for some strange reason they had a four-foot wall across their doorway. A few doors along is another shop with what you need in it with an open doorway. Which do you choose?

Or imagine you wanted to buy a coffee, but you had to fill in a long form before you could get served? Would you stay, or would you more than likely go somewhere else?

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How to conduct a B2B sales process review

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  7, February, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

It is well documented that B2B Sales is changing. Buyers are more educated, not only about your products but also your competitors. They no longer need a salesperson to help them make informed decisions.

If you follow an inbound marketing approach, your sales team have access to information such as: which web pages prospects have viewed and what content they downloaded. This can tell you their life cycle stage and which of your buyer personas they identify with. The lead may have also been nurtured through workflows, at each step attracting negative or positive scoring which helps generate marketing qualified leads (MQL) that are ready for Sales qualification.

The role of Sales now is more advisory, and salespeople need to be cognisant of all the information the buyer has accessed, and adapt their approach accordingly.

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How to produce a persuasive B2B case study video

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  5, February, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Before you can expect to win the business of a prospective customer, you will need to prove your product or service can deliver on its promises. One of the most convincing ways to do so is a compelling case study.

A case study is more detailed and data-driven than a customer testimonialTestimonials empower your customer to share their feelings and offer sincere praise, but a case study can more comfortably house the body of evidence surrounding your success story.

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Why social media training is important in B2B marketing

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  2, February, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Social is something of an anomaly in that it is one of the few marketing tools that embraces both our personal and business lives. This could lull you into a false sense of knowledge and security by assuming your staff know how to ‘do social’, and therefore no formal social media training is required.

However, B2B social is very different to your personal social. And in an increasingly overcrowded space having a clear social strategy is crucial. Without a clear strategy, how can you measure your outcomes? And without formal social media training, how do your staff know how to behave?

Here is a guide to training your staff to use social media for business.

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Why your inbound strategy should start with brand development

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  31, January, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Making the switch from traditional marketing methods to an inbound marketing approach isn’t easy. There is a lot of work that needs to happen upfront to build your inbound strategy so you get the most from your investment.

As with any major organisational change or adoption of new ways of working, it’s always worthwhile going back to basics: your brand.

The best brands represent everything the company stands for. Your brand is central to your value proposition. And to differentiate yourself from competitors, you need to build a strong consensus around your brand expression.

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Messenger apps and B2B Marketing – what you need to know

Written by Keith Errington  |  25, January, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Depending on your mobile usage, your manual dexterity and your age, you may, or may not be using messenger apps such a Facebook Messenger, or Whatsapp.

Like them, or loathe them, what you can no longer do is ignore them. Messenger apps offer a real opportunity in B2B marketing and are an essential consideration as part of your overall inbound marketing strategy.

The rise of the chat app

Figures show that the growth in popularity and use of messenger apps has been huge in the past few years.

The top four messaging apps (Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat and Viber) now have more monthly users than the top four social networking apps (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+).

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A guide to getting the most out of your social media video content

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  25, January, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Video content has become an essential tool in every inbound marketer’s toolkit.

Yet when you’re distributing video on social media, you can’t get away with a catch-all approach. Social media platforms have unique personalities and user-bases, which should be reflected in your marketing tactics.

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How manufacturing case studies support industrial marketing

Written by Andrea Blades  |  24, January, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Cornerstone content is high-value, next-step content that is core to your industrial marketing goals, that establishes your authority within your industry, and that acts as a foundation for your brand.

Case studies are just one way to create compelling cornerstone content for your manufacturing company that can help you to earn trust, to generate new leads and to communicate to your prospects the value and usefulness of your product or service.

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The best inbound marketing tools to maximise your strategy

Written by Nicola Risi  |  24, January, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

You'll likely know by now that inbound marketing comes down to four principles: attract, convert, close, delight.

It sounds simple, but unlike outbound marketing, inbound is a consistent process. It’s ongoing. It takes persistent planning, research, dedication and patience

The decision to move to inbound selling should be a considered one. It takes time, patience and expertise to build an effective and successful inbound strategy. But it's results driven, and inbound marketers need access to tangible and measurable results to prove their efforts are worthwhile. 

Luckily, there are a plethora of online tools available to streamline, smarten, and optimise your inbound delivery tenfold.

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Winning business by getting thought leadership right

Written by Keith Errington  |  19, January, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

A comprehensive study by Edelman in association with LinkedIn has revealed the importance of thought leadership to B2B demand generation.

The research discovered that it actually has an impact on every stage of the buying process.

Significantly, they also found that creating poor thought leadership content has a negative impact.

The definition of thought leadership

What defines thought leadership content?

It’s generally considered to be writing about the bigger issues facing your audience. It could be forward-looking, or research-based. It looks beyond the day-to-day issues and considers the impact of the longer term, or the wider environment.

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How to tackle B2B Instagram marketing

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  17, January, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

As the popularity of inbound marketing soars so does the competition for audience. In a crowded marketplace, it is getting harder to stand out, and it seems every month a new marketing tool or platform is being launched.

One platform that is rising in the ranks is Instagram.

It is quite staggering to think that in 2012, Instagram had 50 million monthly active users. Now, it has 700 million.

That’s an increase of 1,400% in just five years.

Why? Because it is visual. Language barriers are not an issue. Facebook owns it - and they know a thing or two about social, and it is almost exclusively a mobile platform.

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Are you analysing your blog’s performance?

Written by Nicola Risi  |  16, January, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The internet is full of blog posts and articles suggesting the ‘perfect’ blog length and frequency; ‘To reach number one on Google, you should post X times a month’, ‘The most read blog posts are XXXX words long.’ 

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Keeping it green - how to ensure your content writing has legs

Written by Andrea Blades  |  11, January, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Creating evergreen content is a proven strategy for upping your search rankings and driving traffic to your site. But what exactly is it? Why is it so useful? And how do we go about creating it?

In this blog post we explore what makes certain content “evergreen”, why it’s so worthwhile, what differentiates it from other types of online content and how we can harness its benefits for our content writing efforts.

What makes content evergreen?

Evergreen content, as its name suggests, is any form of online content that is long-lasting (eternal or sustainable,) that is not time-sensitive, that offers tangible value and that addresses the needs of your audience.

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What do viewers want from your product demo video?

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  11, January, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Four times as many people would rather watch a video exploring the benefits of a product than read about them. So, what better way to share detailed information than by making a dazzling product demo video?

Product demos with resounding influence explore a typical buyer’s experience of a specific problem and then break down the ways your business can assist them.

Your prospects should learn things from your video marketing that they can’t find during a cursory online search: it’s time to get specific about your commodity and how it thrashes the competition.

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5 B2B Marketing Things to Avoid Doing in 2018

Written by Keith Errington  |  10, January, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

So many posts this time of year talk about all those things you should be doing in 2018, with many of those being fairly obvious, or a continuation of what you are doing already. So I thought I’d take a look at some B2B marketing things you should stop doing in 2018.

Don’t favour quantity over quality

A few years ago, content was all about posting as often as you could, anywhere you could. Many inbound marketing advocates pointed to data that showed the more you posted, the more traffic you would get and therefore more leads. One of the key statistics came from HubSpot; “B2B companies that blogged 11+ times per month got about 1.75X as many leads as those blogging 6 - 10 times per month, and about 3.75X as many leads as those blogging 0 - 3 times per month.” B2B companies rushed to get out content, commissioning it if necessary from all sorts of sources.

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What are vanity metrics and how do you make them more meaningful?

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  9, January, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

As content marketers, we’re getting better at measuring the effectiveness of our content.

57 per cent of bloggers now say they ‘usually’ or ‘always’ check their analytics, according to research by Orbit Media Studios.

But not all data is good data.

Ever heard the term 'vanity metrics'? Using them is easy, but determining their value to your business can be difficult.

In this blog post, we explain what vanity metrics are, and how you can make them more meaningful.

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Is PDF a dead format for B2B content marketing?

Written by Keith Errington  |  4, January, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

PDF as a format surfaced in the early 1990’s as a solution to a common problem. At the time there were so many computer programmes that you could use for creating documents and each of these used its own, proprietary format. This created problems when sending and receiving documents. Even if you had the same programme available, you might not see the images correctly (they may have been linked to files you didn’t have) and without the same fonts, the whole look of the document would change. If you wanted the receiver to see the document as it was originally created, often the only recourse was to print it out and send it by courier or post.

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Why you need a B2B content distribution strategy

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  3, January, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Inbound marketing relies on a steady stream of original content. But, just publishing content on your website, no matter how remarkable it is, and expecting it to get found is not an option.

Content shock’ is real. We are reaching a point where the volume of online content is outweighing our human capacity to consume it.

Before you put pen to paper, you need to define your B2B content distribution strategy. Here are some tips for setting out a content distribution strategy.

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A step-by-step guide to creating your first pillar page

Written by Nicola Risi  |  3, January, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

If this is the first time you’ve heard of pillar pages, might I suggest reading our previous posts: What are pillar pages and why do you need them and What a pillar page means for your SEO.

But, if you're chomping at the bit to get started with creating your own, this one might be for you. 

So, creating your first pillar page - where do you start?

Well, it’s not as daunting as you might think.

Yes, it takes extensive planning and naturally, an investment of time. But in essence, pillar pages are quite self-explanatory. You choose your pillar topic, and with diligent research and planning, define all of the supporting topics, links and resources that bolster this content and ultimately, your site's architecture.

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How to distribute your video marketing content

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  22, December, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

If you’re a savvy marketer, it’s likely you’ve already invested in your video marketing strategy. However, with so many channels and site pages primed for distribution, you may be wondering what your next steps should be, and where you ought to place your video content to achieve the highest conversion rate.

The buyer’s journey and who your video’s target audience is will be major deciding factors in the end delivery of your content.

Strategy

Before you embarked on your project, it’s highly likely that you defined SMART goals for your video marketing strategy. Remind yourself, was your purpose to increase brand awareness, to celebrate a product, or rather to encourage prospects to purchase?

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Diving into Inbound Marketing - my first six months

Written by Andrea Blades  |  21, December, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

May 2017 marked my first foray into the exciting and challenging world of inbound marketingI arrived with a background in journalism, creative writing and PR - but pretty much green to the world of inbound and excited to learn everything I could.

Suffice it to say, its been an incredible few months of listening, learning, reading (and reading) and immersing myself in a vast array of new topics.

On the one hand, marketing seems so much has changed since my first foray back in the 90s in New Zealand - and yet at its heart so much is still the same, with the time-honoured focus on building positive relationships and the solid value of providing audiences with “what they really want.”

This blog post summarises five key new topics that have particularly struck a chord over the past few months - and that look to be just as hot for inbound in 2018.

With massive thanks too, to the Equinet Content Team for their combined wealth of resources on the subjects.

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The top 6 B2B blogging trends in 2017

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  20, December, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

For the past four years, Orbit Media Studios have been compiling statistics on B2B blogging trends. This year's findings make very interesting reading indeed:

  • The length of time taken to write a post has increased.
  • The debate about ideal length is, and probably forever will be, unresolved.
  • If you want to stand out from the crowd include audio.
  • The use of paid social and search is on the rise.
  • One in four bloggers is now using influencer outreach to amplify their content.
  • Despite the increase in paid promotion, only 32.2% are vigilant about checking analytics.

Let's look at each of these in turn.

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What does a pillar page mean for your SEO?

Written by Nicola Risi  |  15, December, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The way we search online is becoming more nebulous and ambiguous. Voice searches, conversational language and typos are now the norm, but users still expect Google to quickly organise and list the most accurate, helpful and contextually relevant content.

As a result, search engine algorithms are adapting.

Google now favours topic-based content, which is why marketers and SEO experts have responded with a clear cut, definitive approach: pillar pages.

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Corporate video production: how to create a great customer testimonial

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  14, December, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Customer testimonials are frequently used by marketers to increase conversion rates, yet they don’t necessarily have to be delivered in a written format.

Video customer testimonials are often much better received than their text-based counterparts and it has been stated that video enjoyment can increase a customer's purchase intent by ninety seven per cent. Furthermore, web pages that display video are shown to have superior time-spent-on-page metrics.

Buyer personas are known to inspect reviews before making an important purchase decision, and testimonials are particularly influential for those teetering on the edge of conversion, which is why customer testimonial videos are perfect for the consideration stage of the inbound sales funnel.

The best testimonials are ones that are credible, compelling accounts of a personal experience that somebody has had with your product or service.

They essentially take the form of a customer story, followed by branding and a call to action.

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How to get the most out of your inbound agency

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  13, December, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

More and more companies are moving from traditional marketing methods to an inbound marketing approach.

And those short on time or lacking internal resource or expertise are looking to external agencies for help.

Sure you expect an agency to deliver great results, but you also have a vital role to play in achieving this.

So if you’re considering hiring an inbound agency, here are our top tips for making the most of your partnership.

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Why relative vs absolute URLs matter to your search engine ranking

Written by Keith Errington  |  12, December, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

You may have come across the two ways of pointing to a web page when designing your website or blog, but what are the differences, and why should you care?

Well basically, the main reason you should care is because getting it wrong may well affect your search engine ranking and therefore your customer’s ability to find you – which is pretty important.

What is a URL?

Let’s start at the beginning; URL stands for Uniform Resource Locater and it’s a way of pointing to a file on a computer network, and the way to handle that file. A URL can be used as a reference for web pages (http), file transfer (ftp) email (mailto) and many others.

In your browser you will see the URL in the address bar. The address of the blog on our web site for example is:http://www.equinetmedia.com/blog

This breaks down to a protocol – a way of handling the file: http, a hostname: www.equinetmedia.com and a file name: blog.

This is a basic URL. There are additional components that can be added, but this is the basis for all web addresses.

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6 best practice B2B thank you page tips

Written by Andrea Blades  |  8, December, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

A thank you page is the web page that your prospects are directed to after they’ve filled out a form on a landing page. But while it’s the final stage of the conversion path it’s no means the end of the story.

At the heart of a thank you page is the simple act of saying “thanks." But beyond that it has the potential to do so much more - in creating a great first impression, enhancing your prospects' experience of your website and building on the trust that they’ve demonstrated in you.

Crucially too, your thank you pages can be invaluable in helping you to qualify your leads, to decrease your bounce rate and to improve engagement with your brand.

In this blog post we explore the 6 best practices of successful thank you pages that will enable you to further engage with your B2B prospects, improve your conversions and bolster your inbound marketing efforts.

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How to develop buyer personas for professional services

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  7, December, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Professional services firms have traditionally relied on referrals to grow their customer base. However, this method curbs your potential reach - your network is limited to your current clients and who they know.

And with 71 percent of B2B buyers starting their search online with no provider in mind, it's no wonder more and more professional services companies are moving to a content marketing approach in a bid to reach a wider audience.

The idea is simple: creating useful, informative and valuable content increases your likelihood of being discovered by potential clients looking for what you do.

But your content needs to be aimed at the right people - your target customers. It needs to attract (and maintain) their attention.

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Twenty quick and easy B2B content wins

Written by Keith Errington  |  6, December, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

However vital writing B2B content is to your inbound marketing strategy, there are occasions when time is tight, and you could do with a blog that writes itself. Well marketing automation isn’t quite there yet – thank goodness – but here are some ideas for content that are relatively quick to produce, but are still very effective.

  1. Talk to your frontline staff in sales and customer service and compile a list of all the questions that customers and prospects have asked over the years. Take the simpler questions that have quick and easy answers and create a “Top ten FAQs” style of post. Then take the more complex questions and write a post answering each one.
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Video Marketing: How to make an explainer video

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  4, December, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Outstanding video marketing campaigns create awareness, drive engagement and influence buyer decisions.

Explainer videos are increasingly becoming the go-to solution for marketers seeking a way to get the best content in front of a company's target audience.

What is an explainer video?

Explainer videos are used to help people better understand your product, vision or service. Often, they include attractive graphics and audio. No matter the lookbook, an explainer video’s main intention is usually to convey your business message in 60 - 90 seconds.

They are one of the most popular formats available for commission by video marketing professionals - and with good reason.

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5 ways to avoid content shock

Written by Nicola Risi  |  1, December, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

‘Content shock’ is real. And it’s happening faster than we think.

We’re reaching a point where the volume of online content is outweighing our human capacity to consume it. The rate at which content is being produced and published is doubling every nine to 24 months. And as a result, organic visibility is suffering.

Allegedly, 60% of content is dull and irrelevant to readers. And every content marketer is at risk of suffering from content fatigue if they fail to produce sturdy, sustainable content.

So what can you do to future-proof your content?

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What you need to know about Account Based Marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  30, November, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Marketing is often seen as getting your message out to the maximum number of people, which seems logical. Surely, it follows that the more people you reach, the more prospects you should get, and therefore the more sales you will make?

Certainly in the B2C arena, this strategy can pay dividends with mass market products.

But there are a number of reasons why a different approach needs to be taken for B2B marketing. Products are more niche, so mass broadcast is not practical or cost effective. And the truth is, that in order for many small to mid-sized B2B companies to succeed, they don’t actually need thousands of leads; what they really need is a reasonable number of high value clients.

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The pros and cons of outsourcing your B2B content writing

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  29, November, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

B2B Content marketing focuses on creating, publishing and distributing content for a targeted audience online. If inbound marketing is the engine, then content is the fuel.

In a previous post, we discussed whether you should recruit internally or hire an inbound agency partner. If you do decide to go it alone it is likely you are still going to need a content writer. In fact, according to Content Marketing Institute’s (CMIs) research, over half (56 per cent) of B2B companies outsource at least part of their content marketing.

Implementing inbound is time consuming. B2B content writing is time consuming. Without someone dedicated to both, you will end up with excellent content but no marketing activity to share it, or excellent marketing activity but with the same tired, sparse content offers.

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Why a compelling landing page is crucial to your B2B marketing success

Written by Andrea Blades  |  22, November, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Landing pages, when done well, are highly effective conversion tools that enable you to transform your B2B marketing prospects into customers by capturing their information through a lead-capture form.

They are action-oriented, stand-alone web pages that serve a single and highly focused purpose - to move your potential customers through each stage of their buyer’s journey, from the top of the funnel (or the awareness stage) where they may be seeking out information to solve a problem, right through to the bottom of the sales funnel (or the decision stage) where they are ready to “buy.”

Well designed landing pages enable you to segment your prospects, to direct them to a specific product or service and, most crucially of all, to encourage them to take action.

So why are they so pivotal to the success of your inbound marketing strategy? And what are the key attributes of great B2B landing pages?

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How to boost your B2B email open rates

Written by Keith Errington  |  21, November, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Crafting beautiful emails full of useful content and calls to action is not enough on its own. If your emails do not get opened, you are wasting your time.

Getting the recipient to make that first click and start reading is the key to a successful B2B inbound email marketing campaign.

The surprising reason people open your emails

You might think that the subject line is the main reason people open your emails, and indeed 47% of subscribers say this is the primary reason; however, a much larger percentage – 64% – say that who it is from is the biggest factor.

What this means is that the sender address and branding are very important. Make sure that the sending address includes your web domain so that recipients can recognise it. And as I wrote in an earlier post, make it a real person – research shows that this performs better than a generic email address.

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7 common blogging mistakes you need to stop now

Written by Nicola Risi  |  20, November, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

With over a million blog posts written every day, it’s crucial your blogging strategy does nothing but propel you to the front of the crowd.

Silly mistakes can have a negative impact on your online visibility.

If you’re frustrated that your blogging efforts are having little discernible effect on conversion rates, it’s worth checking you haven’t fallen into the trap of committing some of the biggest blogging mistakes.

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How to get creative with SaaS video marketing

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  17, November, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Video Marketing is a must for SaaS and other cloud-based software companies.

You know it’s time to incorporate video into your content marketing strategy; it has been under your nose for a long time and 87 percent of online marketers are using it already. But what exactly would corporate video look like for you?

Here are some ideas on how SaaS companies can use video marketing to their benefit.

Explainer video

One of the biggest challenges SaaS companies face while making video is taking dry technical content and turn it into something engaging and shareworthy. In a competitive B2B environment it’s necessary to provide solid context and detail.

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How to excel at B2B email optimisation and compliance

Written by Keith Errington  |  16, November, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Despite all the new digital channels, social networks and message systems that have emerged over the past ten years, good old-fashioned B2B email marketing still remains one of the most effective ways of engaging with your buyers, attracting new prospects and retaining customers. As a marketing tool B2B email returns an excellent ROI – which is readily measurable – unlike many other marketing channels. It’s usage is still growing with an estimated 3 billion users worldwide by 2020.

But like so many other things, it only works if it is done well. And with increasing competition within recipient’s inboxes, it increasingly needs to be done very well.

With General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) looming, compliance is also more important than ever.

In this article we look at some essential tips to help you optimise your email marketing, and ensure you are compliant.

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Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing: What's the difference?

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  15, November, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

You may well have heard of “inbound marketing” and “content marketing”.

But with the two terms so often used interchangeably, you'd be forgiven for not fully understanding what they mean, or the difference between them. 

Traditional marketing doesn’t work as well as it used to. As customers, we’ve become good at ignoring a lot of marketing noise. We filter out unwanted spam, we block cold calls, and we skip television ads.

As the marketer, you used to hold all the power. Now, the control is in the hands of your customers.

This power shift is the reason inbound marketing and content marketing are terms you need to get to grips with.

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How to find your inbound agency dream team

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  14, November, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In a previous post, we discussed whether you should recruit internally, or hire an inbound agency to manage your marketing.

But, if you do hire an agency, how do you know they have the right skill sets or are the right fit for you?

In this post, we look at who makes up an inbound marketing agency dream team, and how to spot them.

Strategic Analyst

Attempting any marketing activity without a clear strategy is like watching young children learning to play football. The kids all chase after the ball without thinking about where the game will go next, and adjusting their positions accordingly. They lack the experience to develop a clear strategy and think beyond their next touch.

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5 myths of B2B social media for manufacturing

Written by Andrea Blades  |  13, November, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Social media can play a vital role in marketing for manufacturing, demonstrating your authority within your industry and connecting you with prospects who are looking to buy.

But how can you be sure that you're devoting your company's valuable time and resources to the social media platforms that are going to be the most beneficial for your business?

In this blog post, we debunk five myths that may be standing between you and your B2B social media success.

1) We need to have a presence on ALL social media platforms

Time is precious so don’t waste it focusing your efforts on social media platforms that aren’t connecting with your prospects and bringing you tangible returns. Far better is to find which channels your prospects are active on and focus your efforts on them.

Think about your buyer personas. What are their challenges or pain points? Where do they tend to search for information? And what sources of information are they likely to find most useful? Considering these key questions will help you to position yourself where you can achieve the most engaging presence.

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Video marketing: How bitesize video hits the mark

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  10, November, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Has your business gotten a taste for video yet? If not you’ll find yourself at a disadvantage: 93 percent of marketers are already integrating it into their current content strategy and for a good reason.

Video marketing campaigns can provide your business with better quality reach, higher levels of interaction and heightened ROI. In fact, according to 52 percent of marketers worldwide, video is heralded as the content type that delivers the best return on investment

When developing and optimising your video content, it pays to remember that no one size fits all. It might be the case that your inbound marketing strategy calls for the production of a bitesize video.

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Artificial Intelligence and its role in B2B marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  8, November, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Just this week Stephen Hawking, warned that Artificial Intelligence could destroy civilisation, and yet it is regularly being touted as a useful technology as far as marketing is concerned. Indeed, it’s possibly the most hyped development within the marketing community at the moment. So what’s going on? What exactly is it? And can it improve B2B marketing?

What AI is, and what it isn't

In common with other new technology terms that become fashionable, artificial intelligence is talked about in many contexts, often applied to products and solutions that display very little intelligence, artificial or otherwise. Nearly half of marketers say artificial intelligence is an overhyped idea/term, according to recent research from Resulticks. And given the very casual way the term has been used, an outsider could be forgiven for struggling to understand the term or what exactly it is. Confusion also arises as the term can be used to describe two distinctly different things:

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How Professional Services Marketing is changing

Written by Keith Errington  |  6, November, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Technological and social changes have swept old methods of marketing away in every single industry and professional services marketing is no different. If you haven’t reviewed and changed your marketing strategy in the past decade, then you are getting left behind.

In this post, we look at some of the areas where professional services marketing has changed and what you can do to refocus your marketing efforts to remain competitive.

The new online generation

Clients are now savvy, short on time and keen on online tools that can make their working life easier and save them the effort. Your marketing strategy has to reflect this – old ways have changed, gone, and new approaches are the only ones with a chance of success.

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7 ways to be inspired by CMI's B2B Content Marketing Research

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  6, November, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Over the last few years, the Content Marketing Institute’s (CMIs) annual report on content marketing trends has become a go-to source for B2B marketers to see how their business is stacking up against others.

Last month saw the release of the eighth annual report. It presents the findings gathered from research with 870 for-profit organisations in North America who primarily sell products or services to businesses.

Here we highlight seven key learnings and what they mean for any business considering, or already engaging in, a content marketing approach.

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What direction should your professional services video take?

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  3, November, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Video can be a powerful asset for professional services marketing. The right approach for your campaign will depend heavily on your video marketing strategy

Whether your intention is to raise awareness of your company, simply convey complex information, or share customer endorsements, visual media will bring your message to life.

This post explores some of the styles that work best for professional services. 

About Us

Your website is where potential customers flock to find more information about your business and all that it has to offer, and it’s likely your homepage will be their entry point.

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Is an Inbound Agency partner better than a unicorn?

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  30, October, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

If you're in the early days of implementing inbound, or if you're still considering whether inbound is the right fit for your company, one of the first questions that comes to mind is bound to be: what is it all going to cost? That's not just monetary value, but also effort and resource.

Inbound marketing, when done right, takes time. It requires precision planning, execution and analysis, which gives even the most capable of marketers a burgeoning to-do-list. It also won’t necessarily replace the valuable work of your existing marketing team - exhibitions, merchandising, trade shows, internal communications, paid media etc. So in order to do it properly, it is likely you are going to need to call in the experts. In this blog, we outline two options - recruiting an Inbound Marketing Specialist, or Hiring an Inbound Agency. 

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Does your professional services company need a website redesign?

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  27, October, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Research shows that 80 per cent of professional services buyers visit a company’s website to evaluate them as a potential provider.

So, if you're a professional services company your website needs to be giving off all the right messages.

Your website is a product of your business, and therefore a reflection of your work. A poorly designed website gives the impression you don’t care for your customers and are ok with mediocrity.

The point is, your website can make or break your business.

Take Apple for example. As one of the largest global technology companies, you’d expect them to have a well-designed and responsive website, right? Otherwise, how could anyone trust their products?

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Content Marketing: How to turn your content into vlogs

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  27, October, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Content is evolving. This world gravitates towards multimedia content now more than ever, and according to reporting by Cisco, come 2020, over 82 percent of all web traffic will come from video.

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Why promoting professional services content should be a piece of cake

Written by Nicola Risi  |  26, October, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Cake. Yum.

Who doesn't love it? Sponge cake, fruit cake, gluten-free cake, chocolate cake. So many options!

You specialise in each area. And you make damn good cakes. But no one is eating them, because no one knows where you are. And now they’re out of date, and going stale...

What I'm trying to say is, it's all well and good creating remarkable content, but what’s the use if no one is going to see?

That’s exactly why some bloggers recommend spending as much time promoting your content as you do writing it.

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How to meet the manufacturing marketing challenge with your content

Written by Keith Errington  |  23, October, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Over the past two or three years, many manufacturing businesses made a commitment to a content marketing strategy. Whilst, there is still a small proportion of manufacturing businesses that don’t do any form of content marketing, most recognise that the most effective form of manufacturing marketing, for lead generation and conversion, is content marketing.

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Top video content ideas for marketing manufacturing

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  20, October, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Manufacturers have the upper hand when it comes to video content marketing. On the shop floor there’s an abundance of innovative techniques and specialist material to film, as well as passionate employees who can come to life sharing their specialist knowledge in front of the camera.

Viewers remain curious about technical advances in the industry - just look at the enduring success of the documentary television series ‘How it’s made’.

Additionally, consumers have an unshakable interest in product quality and will perform search queries reflective of this. This will serve you well if you make video content that aids their research; 90 percent of user say that seeing a video about a product contributes to their purchase decision.

Video marketing is a creative way to showcase your company's high standards. This blog explores some of the most rewarding video content formats for manufacturing marketing teams to experiment with.

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The top 3 challenges keeping B2B marketers up at night

Written by Nicola Risi  |  19, October, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Creative. Challenging. Dynamic. Relentless. Exhausting...

Just some of the words you might use to describe your B2B marketing role.

And, as you know, a successful marketer is one who is willing to learn and adapt to satisfy the needs of both prospects and customers.

In 2017, we’re slap bang in the middle of a period of disruption. Skill sets that might’ve propelled you to the top ten years ago could be now obsolete. Equally, if you don’t invest and expand your knowledge, business will begin to suffer in the race against political, economical and digital advancements.

Below we outline the top three B2B marketing challenges in 2017 and how you can put a plan into action to prioritise, tackle and wipe these off the to-do list, leaving you free to sleep easy again.

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24 ways to generate great blog ideas for manufacturing

Written by Andrea Blades  |  18, October, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Dedicated, targeted and consistent blogging can help immeasurably in building your company's authority and establishing you as a thought leader in your industry. But what’s the secret to coming up with consistently great ideas that will engage and delight your manufacturing prospects?

If your blogging for manufacturing is in a content creation rut, here’s a guide to 24 pain-free ways to generate a host of new blog post topics that will rejuvenate and enliven your efforts.

1) Consider the why

What’s the purpose of your blog? Why are you doing what you’re doing? Are you looking to drive conversions, increase subscribers, boost revenue, build authority, raise awareness or convey information? Or maybe it’s all of the above? Having a clearly defined goal will ensure your content creation efforts stay relevant and targeted.

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How to win at SaaS email marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  16, October, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Despite the hype around social media, messaging apps and other newer forms of marketing communications, email is still an effective marketing channel. Providing your prospects have signed up for it, email still has the power to engage with clients and prospects as well as any other medium.

But like any marketing channel, it’s only valid when you are doing it right. Get email marketing wrong, you run the risk of losing not only prospects, but also your existing customers. Email marketing has great potential to irritate and annoy if is unwanted or unhelpful. There are few things people loathe more than spam. And spam is not just unsolicited emails, it’s any email that wastes the recipient’s time.

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How to align your video marketing strategy to the buyer's journey

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  13, October, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Marketers who use video grow revenue 49 per cent faster than non-video users. And research shows one in four consumers lose interest in a company if they don't have video.

However, as with any inbound marketing strategy, success relies on you reaching the right audience at the right time.

The buyer’s journey will equip you with all the intel you need to do so. Knowing what kind of video to make, and where to incorporate it in your inbound marketing campaign, will ensure that you get a return on investment.

What is the buyer’s journey?

The buyer's journey is the process that a prospective customer goes through before making a purchase decision. 

Inbound marketing is driven by a consideration of your target audience and their likely mood, interests and expectations at each stage of their buyer's journey: awareness, consideration, and decision. For this reason, you might consider making different videos for each stage. 

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How to create more successful landing pages

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  12, October, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

A landing page is the gateway to your content offer. It is the web page someone lands on after clicking a call-to-action on your blog, email newsletter, or website.

It has one job - to convert visitors to leads.

A strong landing page will provide you with the top of the funnel information about prospects that you need to kick-start your lead nurturing activities. A weak landing page means visitors will bounce, and your chance of a blossoming relationship dwindles.

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What are pillar pages and why do you need them?

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  11, October, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

If you follow any of the leading content marketing blogs, you will have noticed ‘pillar pages’ or ‘pillar content’ is getting a lot of airtime lately. The phrase has been around a while, as long ago as 2013, (which in SEO terms is ancient)  but has come to the forefront recently, it seems, by HubSpot adopting the approach, along with the concept of ‘topic clusters’.  

What is a Pillar Page

If you’ve been doing inbound marketing a while, you may be wondering what the difference is between pillar content and cornerstone content. The good news is cornerstone content is virtually indistinguishable from Pillar content, they’re just branded differently.

Pillar page - as the name suggests are architectural, and involve structuring your website around key pages. Cornerstone content pieces are solid foundational content from which the rest of your content should branch from, and link to.

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How marketing is changing for SaaS companies

Written by Keith Errington  |  9, October, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

It is a tumultuous time for anyone involved in SaaS marketing – massive changes in the marketing landscape, the way customers buy and the channels available mean that SaaS marketing plans and strategy are having to be revised or even scrapped. SaaS companies, with their reliance on good marketing to gain customers and combat churn, will find themselves at the forefront of this change. They can either surf it and gain the benefits – or go under.

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SEO Trends: What to expect in 2018

Written by Nicola Risi  |  6, October, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Google is the master of user experience.

Tirelessly working to update their algorithms, analyse user behaviour, study intent, goals, and gripes to ensure the best experience possible.

And, they do all of this while keeping their staff well-fed and well-kept with ball pits, slides, and free lunches. What gives?!

It’s no accident that Google has cemented its reputation as the internet leader, seeing us through an unforgiving digital revolution.

They don’t get complacent.

We’re highly adaptable creatures, and the way we access and consume content is constantly changing in line with advancements in technology. Equally, the volume of online information is growing, and algorithms have a responsibility to present us with what they deem the top portion of content in a sea of endless web pages.

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How to master content creation in 4 simple steps

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  5, October, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Effective content is the key to inbound marketing, and crafting effective content relies on creativity. 

Creativity can transform a piece of writing into compelling content that captures people's hearts and minds; content that has the power to sway the decisions of prospects.

But equally important is having a solid structure in place for producing content.

In fact, structure enables creativity. Structure creates opportunities. Creativity allows those opportunities to evolve, and thrive.

A structured content creation process is the backbone of a successful content marketing strategy

Content creation should involve four distinct stages, according to HubSpot.

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3 simple reasons to love mobile first design

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  4, October, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

It’s completely natural to want to approach your web design 'desktop first' - when you plot out your best content ideas the instinct is to go big. You're itching to impress with a great looking website that promotes the heart of your business, and for that you want a big canvas.

However, although a striking desktop presence is important, focusing on achieving that - rather than optimisation for mobile - neglects the behaviour of a significant portion of site visitors.

An astounding amount of traffic is generated by users on mobile devices: 65% of all digital media time is spent on them. Arguably, desktop use is now secondary. The affordability of smartphones and popularity of tablets suggests this percentage is unlikely to decrease.

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How to increase your blog’s ROI in 7 easy steps

Written by Nicola Risi  |  3, October, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Can you answer this question simple question?:

Why are you blogging?

  • To increase brand awareness?
  • To drive traffic to your site?
  • Improve SEO?

Now think about that question again...how are you measuring this?

  • Form submissions?
  • Number of subscribers?
  • Volume of downloaded content?

There's more to blogging that simply hitting the publish button and hoping for the best. To create a successful blog platform takes careful planning, consideration and strategy. But as content is the fuel of inbound marketing, it is essential you get it right. 

As Abraham Lincoln once said: "Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe."

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How to craft a winning B2B tone of voice

Written by Nicola Risi  |  29, September, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Look to B2C brands such as Innocent Drinks, Coca Cola, and Apple, and you’ll see tone of voice done right.

We know their voices like we know the unmistakable fonts and colours so akin to their identities.

Whether it’s with distinctive simplicity, phonetic vocabulary, or inspirational language, each has mastered the ability to connect with their audiences in a parallel voice that yields trust and brand loyalty.

Their values dictate every word choice, every message, and retains the recognisable personality that’s present in every packaging label, website page and social media post.  

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8 effective email tips for professional services marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  28, September, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Creating useful, timely content for your prospective clients and customers is essential in today’s inbound marketing landscape. Prospects are actively researching products and services and seeking information about problems and solutions. When you are composing emails for professional services there are some important principles to work to. Keep these in mind and you will create better, more effective content.

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How to get more people reading your online content

Written by Nicola Risi  |  26, September, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

There truly is an art to creating readable web content.

And I’m sorry to say, it pretty much requires you to forget everything you learnt in school.

Okay, not everything.

(I'm yet to use Pythagoras' Theorum in my adult life, but maybe that's just me...) 

Evidence suggests we digest content online very differently. And this demands a new discipline of writing.

Ever heard of the F-shaped pattern? Clever eye tracking techniques have been used to measure the amount people actually read. And you’d be pretty peeved to find out that it’s actually only 20%.

Consider why you search for content online.

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What are video marketing metrics and how do they work?

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  26, September, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe
As with all of your inbound marketing activity, the impact and ROI for video is measurable. But with so much data knocking around, how do you process the information you have and paint a picture of success?

Video marketing metrics.

In order to conduct meaningful analysis of what is and isn’t working for your campaign, it’s important to understand the story behind how your stats are gathered.

Their interpretation isn't just a congratulatory game of numbers. In practice, metrics expose the way your content is being received, pinpoints audience concern and give you a precise idea of what will work for your content marketing.

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How to maximise the potential of seasonal marketing for B2B

Written by Nicola Risi  |  21, September, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

It seems September hit us with a bang.

The heat from a couple of weeks ago is a distant memory, the kids are back at school and already talking about Halloween, and the realisation dawns that we’re only three paychecks away from Christmas (you’ll thank me later, promise!).

What that also means is it’s time to start thinking about how these changes in buyer thought patterns, interests and behaviour can affect your content marketing strategy. And what should you be doing right now to garner more customers in your business?

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How to master evergreen content for your manufacturing company

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  20, September, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

A common problem in content marketing is constantly coming up with new ideas to write about. And any content marketer knows how crushing it is when a post you have poured over, put your heart and soul into, doesn’t generate you any results.

Conversely, you will know the delight at when a post you wrote 1-2 years ago, maybe even 5 years ago is still generating traffic and leads. This evergreen content is the holy grail of content marketing; “It’s that article that consistently ranks well in search and drives 65 percent of your site traffic, even though it was written in 2011”.

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How to approach your inbound video marketing strategy

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  20, September, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

With modern businesses investing heavily in their online presence, video represents more than the opportunity for creative venture – it’s an active response to the expectations of a web-savvy audience.

Hubspot research proved 69% of marketing, sales and business professionals had used video marketing before. A further 31% are planning to use it in the near future.

This steady rise in popularity has transformed video production from novelty to necessity for the most successful inbound marketing strategies. The upshot is, join in, get smart or get left behind.

So how do you fold it in to your overall inbound marketing strategy?

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4 inbound marketing tactics to delight and retain your customers

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  19, September, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Many businesses spend the majority of their money and time on acquiring customers. As consumers, we see this all the time. Deals for new customers are everywhere, whether it’s a supermarket offering money off your first online shop, or a bank offering cashback for switching your current account. But what about those long-standing customers who consistently remain loyal to a brand?

Customer retention is one of the most critical challenges facing businesses today. So it makes good sense to keep your existing customers happy - you want them to continue to choose to do business with you. Studies show that it costs ten times more to attract a new customer than to keep one. And let’s face it, happy customers make great advocates.

The inbound marketing philosophy acknowledges the value of customer retention and advocacy. The four-step process - “attract, convert, close, delight” - works to turn strangers into not only customers but promoters of your business.

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The essentials you need when blogging for manufacturing

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  15, September, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

There are many reasons manufacturers are taking to blogging. It helps their company get found, creates customer engagement, demonstrates expertise, and enables them to build trust with prospective buyers.

But how can manufacturing companies make sure their blog posts capture and retain, the attention of their customers and prospects? 

Research shows that the average human attention span is just eight seconds. And it’s no wonder we struggle to hold our attention for long. In an always-connected world, we’re faced with an unprecedented amount of content. For B2B marketers, getting prospective buyers to pick out your content over competitors’ can be challenging, but is key to your inbound marketing success.

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Why you need to consider link-building in B2B Content Marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  14, September, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

It wasn’t that long ago that link building was viewed as a mysterious dark art that involved various underhand “black hat” techniques to create backlinks to your site in order to influence search engines. At that time search engines worked on the basis that the more links you had – the more popular your site and therefore the better the content must be. As search engines have evolved and become more sophisticated, they’ve identified and discriminated against such dubious ploys.

Today, employing these types of deceptive techniques will get you demoted in search engine rankings, so doing more harm than good. That’s not to say that the search engines don’t take links into account – they do, but they have to be genuine, good quality links. Remember also that those false backlinks do nothing for your revenue – they don’t encourage prospects or convert leads, whereas quality links from good sources will; as well as increasing your standing with the search engines.

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How to write excellent microcopy that maximises conversion rates

Written by Nicola Risi  |  13, September, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

We’ve written about optimisation strategies and SEO before. And sure, they are some of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your website. But what happens after you’ve been found? The goal changes, right?

You need conversions.

Converting your visitors into leads, your leads into customers, and your customers into promoters takes time and investment. And perhaps one of the biggest investments is your microcopy.

We're talking about those small blocks of text in highly trafficked areas of your site, including CTA buttons, instructional copy and messages of reassurance. They tell users what to do (“Write your full name here”), alleviate concerns ("Don’t worry, we’ll only use your email address once”), and move them deeper into your site (“Learn more”).

Get these right, and your chances of converting can increase tenfold. 

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How to develop buyer personas for manufacturing

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  8, September, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In previous posts we’ve talked about how valuable content marketing is for manufacturing companies. And seemingly, manufacturers agree. According to research by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), 85 per cent of manufacturing companies use content marketing.

However, only one in five (20 per cent) say their approach is extremely or very successful.

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How to win and keep customers with SaaS Content Marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  6, September, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In SaaS marketing the aim of your content is to generate leads, convert prospects, reduce churn and upsell additional services. To do that effectively you need to create content that meets the needs of your audience. Your inbound marketing strategy should include developing buyer personas and targeting appropriate content at different stages of the buyer’s journey.

But what topics make for a great piece of content for SaaS? Here are four tried and tested types of content that are effective and enduring.

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3 essentials for professional services bloggers

Written by Keith Errington  |  5, September, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The best bloggers for professional services understand the need take a professional approach. Business in this sector depends on the level of trust and authority you can convey to your potential clients (and to your existing clients). So just casually throwing a few words together will simply not bring the results you are looking for.

In this post we are going to look at three essential elements that contribute to a polished and effective professional services blog.

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What is 'General Data Protection Regulation' and how to comply?

Written by Nicola Risi  |  4, September, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

On the 25 May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaces the existing Data Protection Act (DPA). New regulations under the GDPR are intended to strengthen and unify data protection while protecting individuals residing in the EU. The GDPR expects companies to understand the risks they create when handling and using data while building a culture of privacy.

The good news is, if you’re already following principles stated within the DPA, transition should be easy.

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The buyer persona questions your tech company needs to ask

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  1, September, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In a recent post, we highlighted how crucial content marketing is for B2B tech firms. But to create the best possible content that will resonate with prospective buyers, you first need to define your buyer personas.

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4 examples of content marketing for manufacturing

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  31, August, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Earlier this year we wrote about the benefits of content marketing for manufacturing, following research published by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) at the end of 2016 which showed 85 per cent of manufacturing marketers use content marketing but only a third (33 per cent) say that their organisations have clarity on [what constitutes] content marketing success.

In this post we will give four examples of how your manufacturing company can use content marketing to your advantage.

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How to map content to the B2B buyer journey

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  23, August, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In B2B marketing, content is king. It helps a company to attract new prospects, create new leads, and convert them to customers.

However research by Forrester indicates that almost 9 in 10 B2B marketers (87 per cent) struggle to produce content that truly engages their target buyers.

The problem, is many marketers fail to match content with each stage of the B2B buyer journey.

The information and solutions your prospects are searching for will vary according to where they are in the buying cycle. So to maximise your opportunity for success, you need to target your potential buyers with the right content, at the right time. 

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4 reasons your technology firm needs content marketing

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  18, August, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Industry research shows that technology firms are increasingly adopting content marketing strategies to drive business results.

A report by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) published earlier this year found 95 per cent of tech marketers are using content marketing, and that almost 7 in 10 (69 percent) say their organisation is extremely or very committed to it. And the results are clear. 79 per cent said it has increased audience engagement, 77 per cent said it has increased the number of leads, and 59 per cent said it has increased their sales.

In fact, the report showed that tech marketers are focusing on content even more than B2B marketers in other industries.

So why is content marketing so well suited to the B2B technology industry?

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How to use HubSpot to improve your manufacturing sales process

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  10, August, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Manufacturing is an incredibly innovative industry, accounting for more than three-quarters of all private-sector research and development (R&D) in the United States (National Association of Manufacturers).

But manufacturing is also incredibly competitive. Factors such as global competition and Industry 4.0  mean it is essential your sales process keeps pace with your R&D, or you risk leaving customers in the dark; especially considering the sales experience drives 53% of customers’ buying decisions (Colin Masson).

One area you may not have considered the use of technology in is your manufacturing sales process. Many manufacturing businesses have traditionally relied on a direct or distributor sales force to generate growth. This approach simply doesn’t work as well as it did.

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3 reasons blogging works for professional services

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  9, August, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

As a B2B marketer in the professional services industry, pressure from partners to bring in new opportunities means you need to deliver. But referrals aren’t what they used to be, and you can’t afford to sit and wait for them to come in.

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How to write B2B blog posts that search engines will love

Written by Keith Errington  |  7, August, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

You may be able to craft the best B2B blog posts on the planet, but if nobody finds them, then all your effort won’t count for very much. In another post I’ve covered the more technical aspects of preparing a B2B blog post for SEO, in this post I am going look at the way you write, and how that affects the way search engines see and display your posts.

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The value of interviewing customers when defining buyer personas

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  3, August, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

For any business using an inbound marketing approach, defining buyer personas is an essential first step. Buyer personas are in-depth representations of your ideal customers. They go beyond the demographics of your target audience, and represent their attitudes, behaviours, challenges and aspirations.

Buyer personas are vital for creating content that will resonate with your target audience. Meaning you have a better chance of attracting new prospects, creating new leads, and converting them to customers.

Your sales and marketing teams will know a lot about your customers; the types of roles they are in, what they want to achieve by investing in a product or service like yours, and what the common objections to purchasing are.

But the best way to really understand them, is to speak to them.

While this will require some extra time and resources, we put forward the case that interviewing customers is the key to creating insightful and actionable buyer personas.

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What you need to know about SEO for B2B Content Marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  3, August, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

It is easy for blog writers to either ignore the benefits of SEO or to get hung up on its supposed complexity. So, what’s the right approach? How can you reap the benefits of good SEO tactics without either falling foul of the hidden rules or spending ages working through a post?

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Why your manufacturing company needs an inbound marketing strategy

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  27, July, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

There is no escaping the fact that there has been a seismic shift in the way customers buy, and the manufacturing industry is no exception. Research shows nearly 90 per cent of B2B buyers begin by doing their own research online.

Manufacturers can no longer rely on a direct or distributor sales force to generate growth. Traditional sales and marketing tactics, such as print advertising, trade shows and cold calling don’t work like they used to. It is also difficult to calculate the ROI of such methods for manufacturing companies with typically long sales cycles. The famous quote: “I know that half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. My only problem is that I don’t know which half” rings very true. In an industry which relies heavily on measurability of processes and systems, this is something of a discord.

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Why user testing should be part of your website redesign

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  26, July, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

If you’ve used an inbound strategy to guide your website redesign, you’ll have focused on making it look fresh and modern, and telling a story through your content. You will have used appropriate keywords to drive traffic to your site, used your buyer personas to create engaging blog content, and added relevant CTA’s to convert visitors to leads.

But do you know what the end user experience is like? Is your website easy to use? Does it encourage visitors to engage with your brand and products?  

Whether you are giving your website a complete overhaul, or are making regular changes through growth-driven design - your core focus should be on the user experience. 

Getting real users to test your website means you can ensure it delivers a positive experience. But too often, this is overlooked. 

We explore why user testing can be a valuable part of the website redesign process, and outline ways you can go about it.

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What is the SaaS approach to buyer persona development?

Written by Keith Errington  |  24, July, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

We know that the key to success as a SaaS business is to reduce churn by retaining existing customers. SaaS is different to many other products and services in that it has a closer relationship with its users, over a longer period of time. So, more so than for many companies, whose marketing revolves around understanding new customers in order to serve appropriate content and gain leads, SaaS is also about understanding existing customers.

This duality makes the job of the SaaS marketer both more difficult and yet at the same easier. More difficult, because there are potentially two sets of people to understand and market to. Easier, because the level of contact with customers/users over a period of time means there is more data on existing customers. This should allow for a greater understanding of their needs and therefore, by extension, potentially make it easier to predict what new customers are looking for too.

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6 steps for taking your qualitative B2B research online

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  19, July, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Last week we put forward the argument for using online qualitative methods in B2B research. But how do you go about doing it? 

Broadly speaking, basic qualitative research principles remain the same. Taking it online just makes it faster, easier to reach a widespread customer base, and more convenient for respondents. Your research still needs to be guided by your business case, you'll still need to define your objectives, and you'll need to develop a discussion guide of sorts.

In this post, we walk you through six steps for undertaking a qualitative B2B research project online.

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8 reasons to use an online qualitative approach for your B2B research

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  14, July, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The use of online qualitative methods in market research has exploded in recent years, as technology has become more sophisticated, and people have become more open with sharing information - and themselves - online.

In the world of consumer research; online groups, diaries and mobile ethnography are now key parts of the researcher's toolkit. 'In the moment' feedback is being captured all the time - through written self-completion tasks, and self-shot videos of consumers using a product, or talking about a brand. All this data is being used to find insights that help businesses inform their strategy, or product development.

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How to leverage LinkedIn for Professional Services Marketing

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  13, July, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The professional services industry has traditionally relied on referrals to fuel business growth. Trust and good relationships are created and built upon through hours of networking and recommendations from current clients. However, while word-of-mouth is still an effective tool, it is no longer enough on its own.

With 64% of the UK’s population of over 65 million active on social media spending an average of 108 minutes a day on one or more social networks, you can’t ignore social as an essential way to connect with people and businesses (Keith Herrington).

But, get social wrong, and it can cause more damage than good to your reputation and your business. Your strategy for social needs to cascade down from smart goals set out in your professional services marketing strategy. Here are some tips to maximise the potential of LinkedIn for your professional services firm:

FREE Checklist: Your common sense guide to getting posts right on social

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What changes are visible in the latest State of Inbound?

Written by Keith Errington  |  7, July, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Looking through this year’s State of Inbound 2017 report from HubSpot, what struck me is the massive contrast between the aspects of inbound marketing that have stayed the same, and the areas that are rapidly changing. So here are a few observations along those lines – three things that have not changed, and three things that are changing now.

3 things that have stayed the same

Establishing the ROI of marketing efforts is a continuing issue

Back in 2013, 25% of marketers stated their top challenge was proving the Return on Investment (ROI) of their inbound marketing efforts. In 2017, whilst 63% said that the top marketing challenge for companies is generating traffic and leads, 40% still said that proving the ROI of marketing activities was their top marketing challenge.

So why do companies find it difficult to measure inbound marketing ROI? Many companies struggle with defining metrics to track ROI, and others with the analysis of marketing data. Marketing success is often measured by how many prospects it produces, so to measure ROI you would compare the cost of your marketing to the value of those prospects to the company. However, establishing just how much a prospect is worth is far from easy, with a range of different approaches available, with different calculations and assumptions. 

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4 reasons to clearly define your B2B research objectives

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  3, July, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

If you are embarking on a B2B research project, you’re likely to have a good idea of what it is you want to explore, or learn. Perhaps you want to better understand your target audience, or identify industry trends. You may have a more specific question in mind, like ‘What are the biggest challenges faced by businesses seeking to become more digital?’

So, you know what the goal of your research is, but have you laid down the foundations that will help you to achieve this goal?

In this blog, we maintain that setting clear research objectives is a central part of the process, and highlight four reasons why they are critical to success.

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How to establish authority and trust when blogging for B2B

Written by Keith Errington  |  29, June, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

For many companies, their reputation and standing within their industry and amongst their customers is the key to winning and retaining business. Establish a good reputation and the prospects will come to you.

In the past, you could establish a reputation by networking and through word of mouth, but in today’s ultra-competitive, online world it’s much harder. You need to cast a wider net and attract prospects you have never met – so you need those prospects to find you and to listen to you, allowing you to gain their trust and win their business. It makes sense then, that modern content marketing focusses in the initial stages, on brand awareness and establishing authority. The first helps you to be found and considered by prospects, and the second adds credence to your content and makes them take you seriously.

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Marketing Manufacturing: 4 things you need to know about social

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  29, June, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Social media is seen as a necessary evil by many marketers; with billions of users “live” on these networks worldwide, you need to participate to maintain and expand your audience. If you don’t, you are likely to get leapfrogged by your competition. Content Marketing Institute shows that 85% of manufacturers were using social media content as a marketing manufacturing tactic.

However, it is not enough to have a presence, in fact a neglected or poorly managed social channel can be more damaging than no social at all. Social media takes time and every business knows that time is money. But it also requires thought. If you do jump in without thinking through the consequences, not only will you waste precious time, but you
 may end up doing damage to your organisation’s reputation and bottom line.

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B2B research: the importance of finding the story in the data

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  26, June, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Whether you have chosen to take a quantitative or qualitative approach, a fundamental part of B2B research is collecting data. But what do you do once you have this data? How do you interpret it to create something meaningful for your audience?

In this post we discuss how to make sense of your data and the power of finding the story within it.

Data analysis

So, you’ve run your online survey and have your data export. You have finished all your interviews and collated all your notes, transcripts, and outputs from any tasks. The next step is to analyse all this data.

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Professional services marketing: build audience with inbound marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  21, June, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Most professional services companies know that the best way to get more business is to get their best people in front of prospects – face to face. In such a situation, their expertise, knowledge and consultancy skills will go a long way towards making the sale. This is why networking events work so well for professional services – prospects can talk to your best people, and the benefits of a mutual relationship become obvious.

Unfortunately, you only have so many best people, and their time is in demand; the number of profitable networking events is usually small, and events require a physical presence that takes time out of the office.

Furthermore, time pressures on executives, managers and buyers have massively increased to the point where they are often unable or unwilling to spare the time for networking events, on travel, day-long conferences and so on.

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How to create an effective discussion guide for B2B research

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  19, June, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

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 you need to know about B2B Influencer Marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  19, June, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In the B2C world, influencer marketing is a big deal, but B2B companies have not embraced it to the same extent. A study from Altimeter earlier this year tells us that while 55% of B2C companies are running ongoing influencers programs, only 15% of B2B companies are doing the same. Does that mean influencer marketing is not relevant to the B2B market, or just that B2B marketers are missing out?

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Sales has changed, and now you need to adapt

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  15, June, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Everyone loves to hate Salespeople. Recent research showed that Salespeople rank lower on the scale of trustworthiness than politicians - yes, less than Donald Trump.

Ask anyone what they think about Salespeople, and they will probably think used car salespeople ala Mr Wormwood. But as the power has shifted to the buyer the criteria for being a sales person has also changed.

Regardless of what business or industry you are in, the last thing your customers want is to be sold to. Instead, they want to be advised, counselled and coached through their buyer journey. It is salespeople that have the ability to establish rapport with their customers and create an atmosphere of trust that will succeed. Sales have changed, and you need to adapt.

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7 steps to online survey success for B2B research

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  13, June, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Online surveys are a form of quantitative research and are used to collect data to measure trends in behaviours, attitudes, or preferences. In B2B research, online surveys can have a multitude of uses. They may be used to measure customer satisfaction, understand buyer’s purchasing behaviours, identify the ideal target market for a new product or service, or explore industry trends – just to name a few.

In this blog post we highlight seven things to think about when running an online survey for B2B.

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7 ways inbound marketing can slash your SaaS customer churn rate

Written by Keith Errington  |  13, June, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

For a SaaS company, reducing the number of customers who cut ties with your service during a given period – or ‘churn rate’ is essential to the survival and growth of the business. But there is a solution - Inbound marketing – and here’s seven reasons why.

Get the right customers in the first place

Inbound marketing helps you to attract more visitors to your website. But it is not enough to just attract more people; they need to be the right people. Inbound delivers quality, pre-qualified leads who are ready to do business. If you can find the right fit customers in the first place, then churn rate will drastically decrease.

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Social Media for SaaS: What you need to know

Written by Keith Errington  |  7, June, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Out of all the digital marketing channels available to you, social media is probably the most hyped yet least understood of them all. If well executed, with a solid strategy behind it, social can be a powerful marketing tool for a SaaS company. 

Social media is unlike other marketing channels in that it is not just for marketing; it is more of a two-way conversation and not just a means of distributing content. For SaaS companies, this is a strength and advantage over other channels.

But what can you use it for, and how can you make the most of it?

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11 ways to make the most of qualitative research for B2B marketing

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  6, June, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Qualitative research is used to gain insights into people’s attitudes and opinions and understand the reasons behind them. In other words, it’s about exploring not just what people think but why they think it.

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How to deliver successful inbound marketing with agile scrum

Written by Jeremy Knight  |  5, June, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Inbound marketing is a labour-intensive exercise. When done well that is. Success or failure lies in the marketing mix and your ability to pull the right levers at the right time. And the levers and the pressure you apply will always differ dependent on your particular circumstance. And, of course, the situations impacting your customers.

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How to take the boring out of SaaS content writing

Written by Keith Errington  |  31, May, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

If you are in the SaaS industry, you might feel that it is sometimes difficult to write about your services and make them exciting or engaging to your audience. You may be so familiar with what you offer that you struggle to find new angles and walk in your prospects shoes. Maybe you have lost your motivation and find it hard to believe anyone finds what you write about interesting?

If this sounds familiar, here are three ways to make your content work and get you back on track.

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How to best use B2B research to create content

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  23, May, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In a recent post we talked about the value of research-based content and highlighted some convincing examples. Research can help demonstrate thought-leadership and position you as industry experts. But how do you go about it?

In this blog, we give you some ideas and tips for conducting research.

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How to generate more leads for your manufacturing company

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  18, May, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Inbound marketing can help manufacturers close leads to sales, but how do you attract visitors to your site in the first place? In a manufacturing context, where traditional sales and marketing methods are still the default, switching to an inbound mentality can feel like a leap of faith. One of the toughest challenges a marketing team can face is getting buy-in from the C-Suite where the norm can be to see marketing as an expense, rather than an investment.   

What if you could prove that inbound marketing will not only bring your manufacturing company more leads than traditional marketing methods, but they will be good quality – sales ready leads? Here are some ways in which inbound can help your manufacturing company with B2B lead generation.

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The value of a research-based content strategy and 4 great examples

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  18, May, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

“Content comes in all shapes and sizes. Helpful how-tos, news, guides, opinions, roundups and rants. But there is one type of content that stands above them all. Research.” (Andy Crestodina, Orbit Media Studios)

When done well, research-based content garners more shares and links than almost any other form of content. It is regularly hailed as the most effective form of content marketing, as proven in studies by CMI, Clutch and Ascend2, just to name a few.

It’s no surprise really. Research that provides answers to unanswered questions makes for a compelling story and attention grabbing headlines.

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Why your SaaS company needs an inbound marketing agency

Written by Keith Errington  |  17, May, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In a previous post, we discussed how an inbound approach enables your SaaS company to connect with the right people,in the right way, at the right time. Inbound allows you to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise, answer your target audience's questions and, ultimately, help you to win their business (and keep it).

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How to avoid common pitfalls when defining your buyer personas

Written by Jeremy Knight  |  10, May, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In modern marketing, buyer personas are integral to everything you create as a content marketer. Buyer personas are representations of your target customers based on real-world information and educated guesses. Their likes, dislikes, habits, behaviours, motivations and concerns, as well as their job function, where they spend time online, decision criteria, and more.

The trouble is, as with so many recent marketing developments, the subtler ideas around personas are often not fully understood. Getting your personas right, and keeping them current is not as easy as it sounds. Here are some tips to avoid some of the common pitfalls when defining your buyer personas.

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How to prove the value of Inbound to your CFO

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  9, May, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Inbound is more than just a marketing strategy; Inbound is a philosophy that is engrained into your company's DNA. However, one of the toughest challenges Marketing can face is getting buy-in from the top.

Inbound takes time, resources and expertise to implement correctly. How do you get your C-Suite to not only sign off on the time and money required but also emotionally and professionally invest in Inbound?

Out of all the C-Suite, it is often hardest to convince the Chief Finance Officer (CFO). It can seem that the finance and the marketing departments exist in two entirely different worlds; finance views marketing as a monthly expense while marketing view finance as a money source (Jim Lenskold).

Here are some ideas on how to communicate the value of inbound to your CFO.

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Pros and Cons of using the top 7 social media networks for B2B

Written by Keith Errington  |  5, May, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

With 64% of the UK’s population of over 65 million active on social media – spending an average of 108 minutes a day on one or more social networks – you can’t ignore social as an essential way to connect with people and businesses.

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Why you need an inbound website redesign

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  27, April, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Anyone who has been through a website redesign in the past decade or so will know it can be stressful and time-consuming, often running over time and budget. The website finally launches but is left for a year or two to gather dust. Unsurprisingly, it fails to deliver leads, so two years later you bite the bullet and do it all over again.

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Professional services marketing: 6 tips to improve B2B lead generation

Written by Keith Errington  |  26, April, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

No professional services company can survive without new business, and securing those leads is the highest priority for most B2B marketers. With traditional methods proving less effective, companies are turning to inbound marketing – but what type of content should you produce? How should you go about it? And what’s the best way to deploy it to generate the most leads?

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How to write excellent educational content for inbound

Written by Keith Errington  |  20, April, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Whether you are in professional services, SaaS or manufacturing, at some point, you should consider creating educational content for your audience. 

Inbound marketing is about providing relevant useful content, and there is no more useful content than that which helps someone to achieve results or save time.

So how do you go about creating educational content?

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SaaS vs. Product Marketing - Why you need to think outside the box

Written by Keith Errington  |  12, April, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe
If you are a business that produces software, it is highly likely you have moved, or are considering moving, from selling an off the shelf product to delivering your product online - a method commonly called 'Software as a Service' (SaaS). But has your marketing strategy adapted?

There are several significant differences between the marketing strategy for selling boxed software than for selling SaaS. In this post, we are going to look at those key factors and explain why you need to think ‘outside the box'.
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Why your manufacturing company needs an inbound marketing agency

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  12, April, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In a previous post, we have discussed how traditional, interruptive sales and marketing tactics, such as cold calling, are not working as effectively anymore in the manufacturing sector. 

Inbound marketing offers manufacturers the chance to reach a wider audience. Unlike other marketing methods such as print ads and mailers that rely on outreach to customers' locations, inbound marketing, and more specifically content, can help bring in a steady stream of traffic from people actively looking for your services (HubSpot). 

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Inbound marketing for SaaS: putting in a lot to get a lot

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  5, April, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In a previous post, we discussed how an inbound approach could help your software as a service (SaaS) company. We talked about the importance of SaaS organisations not only winning customers, but retaining them over the long term - a challenge inherent in the SaaS business model.

As a SaaS company, you will know that you have to wait a bit longer to enjoy the fruits of your labour than in other industries. When you win new business, the payoff doesn't come straight away. You need those customers to keep on buying your services and you also want to sell more services to them over time. 

In the same vein, when you first start out on an inbound marketing journey, you won't reach your destination immediately. Implementing inbound marketing is a commitment (with all the challenges that entails). 

However, in both instances, the potential rewards to be reaped are well worth the wait. So, let's explore why and consider how adopting inbound marketing for SaaS could help you to reach more of the right people and grow your business. 

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30 blog ideas for your SaaS company

Written by Keith Errington  |  4, April, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

If you are creating content for a software as a service (SaaS) company, from time to time you will probably struggle to find something relevant to talk about. So, here are 30 blog ideas you can use as they are, or modify for your own circumstances.

Bear in mind that you should always have one of your buyer personas in mind when choosing one of these, and when writing the detail, as is the case across all of your inbound marketing activity.

You also need to consider what part of the sales funnel your chosen persona is in. Some of these are introductory topics suitable for top of the funnel (TOFU) content, some are more detailed in scope suitable for middle of the funnel (MOFU) content.

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5 tips to help B2B content writers make an impact

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  28, March, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

According to Internet Live Stats, Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average - or over 3.5 billion searches per day. That's a lot of people looking for content and, while those searches will incorporate a huge range of questions, the sheer volume indicates that there is an audience hungry for content.

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Can inbound marketing help manufacturers close leads to sales?

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  28, March, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Many manufacturing businesses have traditionally relied on a direct or distributor sales force to generate growth. The founders, especially 50+ years ago, were essentially inventors – solving customers' pain through developing innovative solutions to problems in a way the competition couldn't. They did not need a marketing department to succeed, just pure guts and determination.

This traditional approach has continued through the decades with the role of marketing failing to evolve much beyond product brochures, maintaining the company website and tradeshows. It is not surprising, therefore, that many CEOs do not understand what marketing can do to help grow the business.

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How an inbound approach could help your SaaS company

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  23, March, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Across the spectrum, industries are facing change on an unprecedented scale – and the software as a service (SaaS) industry is no exception. In today's fast-moving and competitive environment, SaaS companies will live and die by their ability to acquire new customers and keep them on a long-term basis.

Therefore, it's important that you can reach the people that matter the most to your business. To do so, you need a targeted and effective marketing strategy that enables you to connect with and form relationships with the individuals and organisations that will benefit from purchasing your products and services.

Adopting an inbound approach can help you to achieve just that. In this post, we explore the current state of the SaaS industry and look at how implementing inbound marketing could help your company.

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9 habits SaaS content writers should avoid

Written by Keith Errington  |  22, March, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Writing for the B2B market is often challenging, and never more so than in the world of the software as a service (SaaS) industry. When such a detailed, intense focus on technology is required, it is easy to get caught up in the content itself and miss the bigger picture. That can lead to a number of bad habits.

Here's our list of some of the worst offenders so you can recognise and deal with them.

1. A lack of focus

Every piece of content you create should fit into an overall plan, and be specifically targeted and written. Each item of content should be aimed at one of your buyer personas, and focus on a specific step in the buyer's journey (awareness, consideration or decision). 

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The importance of storytelling in professional services marketing

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  13, March, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

At its core, marketing is storytelling. Telling stories allows you to connect with your target audience; to create and build meaningful relationships. Stories paint a vivid picture of your brand, products and services; they show why you are the best choice.

In professional services marketing, telling stories enables you to garner trust in a digital landscape, where online capital counts for so much. From B2B case studies to blog posts and eBooks, there are various ways you can incorporate stories into your marketing efforts.

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Five techniques a B2B content writer should master

Written by Keith Errington  |  8, March, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Being a good B2B content writer involves a diverse range of skills, knowledge and experience. Not all of which can be picked up on the job. There are so many different aspects to the role that it’s easy to miss out or overlook crucial techniques that can make the difference between a stream of barely coherent words and effective copy that attracts prospects and generates leads.

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Are you putting your B2B buyer personas first?

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  7, March, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Inbound marketing is customer-centric: your target audience is at the heart of everything you do. Therefore, you need to understand that audience – and one of the best ways to do that is to create B2B buyer personas.

Buyer personas represent the people that matter to your business. HubSpot defines them as "fictional, generalised characters that encompass the various needs, goals, and observed behaviour patterns among your real and potential customers". 

Your buyer personas should inform your entire inbound marketing strategy. Without them, your campaigns and messaging could be completely missing the mark. So, how can you make certain that you're effectively prioritising your B2B buyer personas?

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What B2B content writers should know about 10x content

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  23, February, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

By now, many companies understand the vital role that content plays in attracting their target audience. According to HubSpot's 2016 State of Inbound report, 73 per cent of organisations have adopted inbound as their primary approach to marketing – and, of course, inbound is powered by content. The report surveyed more than 4,500 respondents from marketing backgrounds in B2B, B2C, small, and mid-sized businesses, which are based in over 132 countries – so the results are not to be sniffed at! 

However, it is no longer enough for businesses to simply create content. The competition is heating up and there is a lot (and I mean a lot) of content out there. In today's environment, mediocre content just won't cut it – and even good, unique content will struggle. So, we need to be creating extraordinary content.

In 2016, Rand Fishkin, the co-founder of Moz, coined the term "10x content". And, in doing so, he offered B2B content writers a solution to this very real problem.

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How to create content ideas for professional services marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  23, February, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Regular content creation is at the heart of modern marketing, but maintaining a constant stream of useful and engaging content can be challenging. This is especially true in professional services where you may feel interesting topics may be few and far between.

So how can you generate ideas for content? 

Firstly, look at how to find out what your clients want to read about. You can create as much content as you like, but it will only be truly effective if it satisfies a need – if it gives your clients the answers to the questions they are asking.

Secondly, look at types of content that work for professional services – starting with a type often makes creating the content for it much easier.

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Why are your B2B marketing tactics not working?

Written by Keith Errington  |  16, February, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Are you struggling to maintain previous levels of sales, or having issues generating leads? If you are simply doing more of the same, it could be that your whole approach is the problem. The entire marketing and buyer landscape has changed – old methods no longer work. Unless you recognise this and change your strategy, your sales will suffer and problems will follow.

The evidence for the revolution

You may have heard the saying: "If you have been doing something the same way for a long period of time – it's probably wrong."

When Adobe carried out a survey in 2013, they found that 76 per cent of people felt that marketing had changed more in the past two years than in the previous 50, with a similar number saying that the old marketing model is no longer sufficient. There are a whole host of factors – technological, social, and more that are accelerating this rate of change.

So, if you haven't changed your B2B marketing tactics in the past few years, you need to rethink - or lose potential sales.

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3 top benefits of content marketing for manufacturing

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  10, February, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Whether you are a manufacturer already on a content marketing journey, or one that is considering taking the plunge, it's always worth reiterating the benefits of content marketing for manufacturing.

According to research published by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) at the end of 2016, 85 per cent of manufacturing marketers use content marketing. However, well over three-quarters (79 per cent) of these describe their organisation's content marketing maturity level as "first steps", "young" or "adolescent", as opposed to "mature" or "sophisticated".  And only a third (33 per cent) say that their organisations have clarity on [what constitutes] content marketing success.

The early stages of a content marketing strategy can be hard. It takes time to lay down the foundations and results don't appear overnight – but, when they do, they're well worth the wait.

So, here are three top benefits of content marketing for manufacturing to keep in mind if you're in need of a boost or have just plain lost your mojo.

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4 myths about B2B content writing

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  2, February, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

"Myth: a widely held but false belief or idea."

Oxford Dictionaries

B2B content writing is a topic ripe for discussion. There's tons of information and advice out there, which you could spend hours reading and digesting. But, you might still find yourself scratching your head over what denotes best practice. 

So, in the age of the "post-truth" society, it's time to put to bed a few lingering myths about creating B2B content. 

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4 simple productivity techniques to help B2B content writers

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  26, January, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

"We'll publish a blog post every day this month"; "this quarter, we'll create a top-of-the-funnel eBook and a middle-of-the-funnel whitepaper": it's easy to be ambitious about your B2B content strategy, but achieving your goals can often be a different story.

When there's so much to do and distractions at every turn, it can be difficult for B2B content writers to be as productive as they would like. However, successful content marketing relies on consistently creating useful and valuable content for your target audience.

So, here are five simple productivity techniques, to help you power through your to-do list and create the great content you have planned.

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What are 2017's B2B social media marketing challenges?

Written by Keith Errington  |  25, January, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

It seems in 2017 the one thing we can be certain of is change. Nowhere is this felt more than in the areas of your business that are reliant on, or intricately tied to, technology. Marketing, in particular, has become more centred around technology in recent years and has been undergoing radical change.

And perhaps the most changeable digital channel for marketing is social media, which is more relevant than ever to B2B businesses. A 2016 B2B Buyer’s Survey shows that more than half (53 percent) of B2B buyers are turning to social media to make buying decisions and more than a third (34 percent) say they are spending more time this year than last, using social media to research vendors and solutions.

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Why inbound marketing for manufacturing supports Industry 4.0

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  24, January, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

"Industry 4.0, or the Fourth Industrial Revolution, is set to revolutionise the manufacturing and production industry by integrating the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, data integration and other technological advances into the heart of production and manufacturing systems."

Salesforce

There's no doubt that Industry 4.0 is coming for the manufacturing industry – and with it, big changes. The ultimate goal of Industry 4.0 is the "smart" factory, in which "cyber-physical systems (CPS) will monitor the physical processes within modular structured factories, and a virtual copy of the physical world will be mined for data in real time, enabling decentralised decisions" (Source: The Manufacturer).

Simultaneously, there are changes afoot in the sales and marketing environment – the go-to methods simply don't work as well as they used to. Today, more and more business is conducted online and, to put it simply, no one wants to talk to your sales team – at least, not to start with. The power has passed into the hands of buyers, who want to ensure they are informed and educated about their needs before they speak to a sales person. In fact, according to a survey carried out by Forrester, 74 per cent of B2B buyers conduct more than half of their research online before making an offline purchase.

So, what to do?

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Why you should focus on B2B marketing fundamentals in 2017

Written by Keith Errington  |  12, January, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

January is traditionally a time when companies look to the year ahead, so what are the main B2B marketing issues they should be addressing in 2017?

Well, despite the many new technologies being bandied about and the cloud of hype surrounding them, it will be a focus on the fundamentals that will allow B2B businesses to succeed this year.

Integrated approach to business

Managing a business used to be easy – each function of the business – manufacturing, sales, marketing, customer service and management had their own departments – their own boxes if you like. Each reported to the board through a more-or-less vertical reporting and controlling system. It was always very clear what each area did, what is was responsible for and what their territory was.

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Why B2B content writers should embrace their writing voice

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  11, January, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

"Writing is the painting of the voice" - Voltaire

We all have unique voices: deep and rich, breathy, high-pitched, soft and honeyed. And when we write, we also have unique voices. However, sometimes we stymie our voices, shackling our personalities to produce flat, impersonal writing. We resort to tired templates and worn-out clichés, jargon and meaninglessness.

This is all too easily done in the context of B2B content writing, where much of what is created is dismissed as "boring". After all, if what you're writing about is dull, then why bother to inject some individuality?

The answer is, because it matters. When you're writing for a business, your audience is still made up of real people, with real problems – and you might just be able to solve them. But first, you need to embrace your writing voice.

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Five creative content ideas for manufacturing marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  5, January, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The future of manufacturing marketing lies in the production of good quality content that potential customers will find useful. Inbound marketing keeps you top of mind with prospects until the time is right for them to contact you - on ‘their’ terms. But in today’s competitive market, it’s not going to be enough just to be 'useful'; your content has to be well-written, comprehensive and attractive. And by attractive, we mean content that attracts an audience. This means being creative – coming up with content that is both informative AND entertaining.

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Should you carry out an inbound content audit?

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  4, January, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The Christmas holidays are over and January (officially the longest month of the year) is stretching out ahead of us. Perhaps you're already planning to get away from it all – and if you were to wander an airport lounge, in search of a magazine to read on your flight, you would likely come face-to-face with all sorts of dramatic headlines: "New year, new you"; "Make this your year"; "2017: the year your dreams come true."

Having aspirations and ambitions is a great thing and the start of a new year is as good a time as any to work towards your goals – but these types of headlines play on our insecurities; they make us think that we're not good enough already. A more positive approach is to continue to build on what we've already achieved.

And that's exactly what your organisation can do by carrying out a content audit. Day-to-day, it's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture - a content audit enables you to take stock of all the content on your website, from page copy to blog posts. Having acquired this improved view of your content, you can develop a more informed and successful content strategy for the year ahead.

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3 key inbound marketing takeaways for 2016

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  21, December, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

As 2016 draws to a close, it is the time for reflection and review, so we thought we would look back at another year in the world of inbound marketing and share some of our own key takeaways.

White papers remain cornerstone content heavyweights

It might seem surprising that long form content like white papers and eBooks are still popular, flying in the face of all that we read about increasingly short attention spans. However, while a Microsoft report from Spring 2016 grabbed the headlines by seeming to suggest the average human attention span is now less than a goldfish, not once does it propose you should plan your marketing around an eight second concentration period!

Indeed, Jason Miller, writing for LinkedIn, suggests: "human beings don’t have a shorter attention span than goldfish – and if our attention is changing, it’s changing in ways that makes it more intense, more demanding and more hungry for information, not less"

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5 motivational tips for struggling B2B content writers

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  20, December, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

"This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard."

Neil Gaiman

Motivation isn't always easy to come by as we slide into Christmas. And, while the festive season provides a bit of an excuse, a lack of motivation is problematic for B2B content writers - whatever time of year it strikes. Successful content marketing is dependent on both quality and consistency, both of which require a degree of good, old-fashioned, nose-to-the-grindstone work.

There are various reasons behind a lack of motivation. Some are serious, but others are easier to address – for instance, feeling unmotivated because you are overwhelmed by a task and simply don't know where to start.

So, what can B2B content writers do when the muse proves elusive and doing almost anything else but writing seems appealing?

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Your 2017 B2B content marketing plan: let go of the fear

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  16, December, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

“You know what keeps most of our content from attaining epic status, don't you?

Fear.

Our fear of looking foolish. Of negative responses on social media. Or, worse, of getting hardly any visits, social shares, leads, or sales from our best efforts.”

Hunter Boyle, Content Marketing Institute (CMI)

It's that time of year when that dreaded word starts to do the rounds: "resolution". What do you plan to do (or not do) once the clock strikes midnight on 31 December?  It's all rather exhausting. But, when it comes to your content marketing plan for next year, there's one resolution that's well worth making: to let go of your fear.

Ask yourself: how many times have you shied away from creating a piece of content because you didn't think you could pull it off, or because it was a bit too "out there"? How many times have you delayed publishing your work because it's not quite polished enough? And how many times have you doubted your expertise – or even held back that expertise for worry of giving away too much?

In 2017, it's time to believe in your content marketing skills.

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How to write complex content for time-starved managers

Written by Keith Errington  |  8, December, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

If you work in professional services or manufacturing, or any other industry where technology and complex processes are fundamental to the business, then at some point you will face the challenging task of explaining aspects of technical concepts to customers.

This is challenging because most buyers are managers with little time on their hands. So, while they are likely to be intelligent enough to understand these concepts, given enough time, they do not have that time to spare.

It is down to you to educate them and to make them want to care enough about the technical stuff, so that they learn and then use it to influence their decision-making.

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How to adopt an agile approach to content marketing for manufacturing

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  7, December, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

For many B2B manufacturers, marketing is continuing to prove a bit of a sore spot – more specifically, content marketing. Whether because they struggle to know how to create meaningful content, or because they've had bad experiences in the past, manufacturers are often letting marketing fall by the wayside.

However, in today's climate, this is not advisable. Manufacturers exist in an increasingly competitive landscape: the Fourth Industrial Revolution is rearing its head, there is growing demand for mass customisation, and customers demand shorter and shorter lead times. To survive and thrive, organisations must reach out effectively to the people that matter most to their business.

Content marketing allows manufacturers to engage meaningfully with their potential customers - but that's of little use if they struggle to implement it. That's where an agile approach can help.

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Why you should be optimising your content around B2B topics

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  30, November, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

"It's a shift from terms to topics; a shift from longtail keywords, massive spreadsheets, down to just half a dozen topic areas that you as a business can own authoritatively."

Inbound 2016: Christopher O'Donnell, HubSpot Product Spotlight

Keywords: love them or hate them, they need to be factored into your content marketing strategy. But if you've ever pored over a keyword tool, trying to find the perfect combination of high search volume, low difficulty and, of course, relevance, you will know how frustrating this endeavour can be. If you work in a particularly content-saturated market, it can feel as though the chances of your organisation ranking in a Google search are slim to none.

But, with search engines becoming increasingly sophisticated in delivering results to their users' enquiries, should you be considering another approach to SEO? What if the secret to people finding your content online lay less in optimising around a specific word or phrase and more in focusing on writing around a topic or concept?

Anum Hussain, former senior growth marketer at HubSpot, describes "topics over keywords" as the magic formula. So, what does this all mean?

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Convert more leads to customers with inbound sales

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  29, November, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Historically, there has been little alignment between sales and marketing, resulting in a disgruntled marketing team wondering why sales aren't closing the leads they provide, and a sales team moaning that the leads are low quality.

Inbound marketing came about in response to changes in buyer behaviour - but sales have been slow to adapt. When buyers have a particular issue or point of pain to respond to they would rather conduct their own research online than speak to a salesperson (62 per cent of buyers use search engines and 48 per cent visit a company's website).

Inbound sales is emerging to address this. Unsurprisingly, the model is similar to inbound marketing - transitioning prospects through the stages of awareness, consideration, and decision, all the while working to support the buyer rather than the seller (Cox Business).

An alignment between marketing and sales is key throughout. Marketing need to be creating relevant content for sales at every stage, to drive prospects through the sales funnel and close them as customers.

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How to reuse and repurpose when writing B2B content

Written by Keith Errington  |  24, November, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Writing B2B content is hard – and often the most difficult part is repeatedly creating new content on a regular basis. Coming up with ideas, searching for new topics to cover; all the while ensuring that they are popular enough that your audience will be out there looking for them.

Once you have been blogging for a while it becomes a lot easier. Partly because you naturally become better at it, but partly because you can use the previous body of content you've created to produce new articles and to create content in other formats. You can even just publish it again – provided a few simple rules are followed.

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Securing a second date: how to craft copy for B2B landing pages

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  17, November, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

"Copy is so pivotal to the success or failure of your landing page that it's easy to take it for granted. No matter how valuable your offer or beautiful your design, it's the actual words on the page that will ultimately persuade prospects to click, or drive them to bounce."

Dan Levy, Unbounce

As B2B marketers, we're probably all guilty of treating landing pages as a bit of an afterthought – an add-on to the main content creation process.

For example, we write an eBook and then want to share it with our target audience and acquire new leads. So, having set up our landing page, we swiftly write a couple of paragraphs of copy and send our content out into the world.

However, this is clearly not best practice. And that's because a landing page acts as the gateway to your content.

If a prospect doesn't enter through the gate, they won't ever reap the benefits of your carefully-crafted work. But to unlock the gate, prospects don't need a key – it's their contact details the gatekeeper is after. Therefore, it's vital to spend time honing copy for your B2B landing pages.

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Stories shared at Equinet Media's Cambridge HUG

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  16, November, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

On Thursday 3 November, I was delighted to attend the first Cambridge HUG (HubSpot User Group), hosted by Equinet Media. There were many friendly faces, old and new, and it was a prized opportunity to meet with fellow HubSpot customers, inbound marketers and partners from surrounding areas.

Making connections

Between mouthfuls of blini, I enjoyed a lively conversation with Jamie Pennington - about cartography, of all things. I was very interested to learn of his experience in the field.

See, maps are curious things. Ultimately, their purpose is to describe the journey once made by another. A map captures the essence of travel and gives future wayfarers invaluable guidance in following that direction. They are vehicles for information; drawn to be read. They provide context and measurable checkpoints - landmarks, boundaries, paths and obstacles, all carefully observed - warning foreign feet of danger. The topology of the land is described, the scale is defined.

This thorough examination enables people to learn from a surveyor's experience. There are some parallels to be drawn between map-making and the activity we engaged in that night. HubSpot is our shared territory. HUGs give us the chance to map out (digital) landmarks together. Whether by verbal or visual means, arming our peers with knowledge, helps prepare them for challenges on the road ahead.

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5 ways to make your B2B website stand out from the crowd

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  10, November, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In an ever-crowded online space, it's vital to seek ways to get noticed by your target audience. First, you need to get people to your website in the first place. But, setting aside SEO and keywords for a minute, how can you keep people on your site once they arrive?

Research into what B2B buyers want from vendor websites (2015 B2B Web Usability Report) showed that credibility and trust are what make B2B buyers keep coming back to your site.

Charlotte Fitzgerald suggests “mak[ing] your homepage delve-worthy". Does your homepage encourage people to want to learn more? "Just as the cover of a good book draws you in, the homepage should be bright, clearly sectioned and enticing," she says.

Here are five ways in which to make your B2B website stand out, so that people keep coming back to you.


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Why your manufacturing company needs a content marketing plan

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  10, November, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Change is the order of the day. Macro forces are combining to place intense pressure on organisations and entire industries. The manufacturing sector is no exception – most notably, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (and all that it entails) is looming large. Additionally, there is a growing demand for customised products, and an increased pressure to get products to market faster – while simultaneously staying one step ahead of the competition.

Against this backdrop, the way that customers interact with manufacturing companies (and, indeed, all companies) is also changing. To remain relevant in today's uncertain environment, it's vital to ensure that you can effectively reach the people that matter most to your business. Content marketing plays a key role in achieving this.

It's not uncommon for manufacturing companies to view marketing as little more than the "colouring-in department". And this view may not be entirely unfounded if they have had negative experiences in the past.

However, conventional sales and marketing simply don't work like they used to. So, let's explore why your manufacturing company needs a content marketing plan.

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3 essentials that will make you a master of B2B mobile marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  3, November, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Mobile devices with limited screen sizes, such as tablets and smartphones, have gradually increased in popularity. Today, they comprise a significant proportion of Internet viewing statistics, with nearly one third of UK page views coming from a smartphone or tablet.

More proof of the rise of the mobile device comes when we look at time spent on desktops and laptops versus mobiles; today it's an average of 2.1 hours a day spent on desktops and laptops, versus 3.1 hours spent on mobiles (excluding phone calls).

All this has impacted B2B too – according to MediaPost, 42 per cent of researchers use a mobile device during the B2B purchasing process and mobile use for B2B purchase research has grown 91 per cent in the past two years. 49 per cent of B2B researchers who use their mobile devices for product research do so while at work. They're comparing prices, reading about products, comparing feature sets and contacting retailers. They're purchasing, too; purchase rates on mobile are up 22 per cent in the past two years.

So anyone in B2B marketing needs to factor in the mobile audience.

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Are you getting value from your inbound marketing agency?

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  2, November, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

We're all acquainted with the phrase: "You get what you pay for." In many ways, it's a bit of a meaningless one. After all, you can pay over the odds for a sub-par product or service or, on the other hand, land a complete bargain.

So, when you're working with your inbound and content marketing agency, how do you know whether you're getting value? To draw on another idiom, what makes an agency worth their weight in gold

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How to work with your inbound marketing agency

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  20, October, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Hiring an inbound marketing agency to power up your marketing efforts is exciting. You've carried out your research, created a shortlist and, finally, found your perfect match. But your work doesn't stop there.

While you rightly expect your chosen agency to deliver great results, you also have a vital role to play in achieving this. The emphasis is on working in partnership, to ensure that you get the most out of your new relationship. Having entered into a contract with you, your agency has a vested interest in your business and they want it to succeed as much as you do. 

By knowing how to conduct this professional relationship from the start, you maximise your chances of success. So how should you work with your inbound marketing agency? 

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6 ways to stop being creepy when personalising B2B content

Written by Keith Errington  |  11, October, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Greater personalisation has become the holy grail for content marketing publishers across both B2C and B2B. Endless research has proven that greater personalisation brings greater engagement – which leads to more conversions and an increase in sales. This all makes sense, after all, the more relevant and useful content is, the more a potential buyer of your products or services will consume and interact with it.

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8 proven ways a content writer can get buyers to engage online

Written by Keith Errington  |  29, September, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Just recently AOL published the results of an impressive study into what drives engagement with content in social media. This study encompassed 32,000 respondents and an analysis of 55,000 consumer interactions across eight different markets – a pretty generous sampling that gives the survey some real validity. If you are a content writer, take note!

But this is consumer social media, you may be thinking, what can B2B marketers learn from this?

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Why Inbound Sales is the future

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  21, September, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

It is well-versed that buyer behaviour has changed significantly in recent years. Inbound marketing redresses the balance by adapting to customers’ needs, but is Sales in danger of being left behind?

Changes in customer behaviour are widening the gap between buyers’ expectations and sellers’ tactics. HubSpot research shows there is a disconnect between customers’ expectations and traditional sales tactics. Buyers are not going to change, so the onus is on Sales to adapt.

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5 quick facts from HubSpot's State of Inbound 2016

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  14, September, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

"Inbound means transforming how we do business to be more helpful, more human, more empathetic. It focuses on the whole process of turning a stranger into a delighted customer. Inbound is about matching the way you market and sell with the way people actually want to shop and buy."

HubSpot, State of Inbound 2016

It's that time of year again – HubSpot has just released its eighth annual State of Inbound report. And it's a meaty one – encompassing more than 4,500 respondents from marketing backgrounds in B2B, B2C, small, and mid-sized businesses, which are based in over 132 countries.

To really get to grips with the report, you'll probably want to make a cup of tea, get comfortable in your chair and set aside a couple of hours. In the meantime, we've pulled out five quick facts to give you a taste of what HubSpot found.

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4 useful (and mostly free) online tools for the best content writers

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  10, August, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Content writers are the builders of your B2B content marketing strategy. The content that they create enables you to connect with - and build lasting relationships with - the people for whom your business was made.

But even the best content writers need a little help sometimes. Whether freelance, in-house or part of an agency, they usually have lots to do and not quite enough time to do it

So we've identified four useful online tools that will enable the content creation process to run that little bit smoother - and add even more brilliance to the work of the best content writers.

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6 ways to connect online with potential customers

Written by Keith Errington  |  8, August, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

One of the hardest tasks any company faces is finding and connecting with potential customers, then nurturing those initial contacts until they become actual customers. The development of new marketing channels, the revolution in customer knowledge, and the subsequent changing demands of the customer have made this task simultaneously easier and more challenging. 

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When is visual communication right for B2B inbound marketers?

Written by Keith Errington  |  28, June, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Visual communication is generally considered to involve graphics, images, video – conveying messages and information via a visual stimulus. If your business makes products that are not particularly photogenic, or are complex in nature, or you offer a service that has no physical manifestation - such as a box or packaging - you may feel that visual communication is not for you. You could be forgiven for thinking that your product or service can’t be communicated successfully in a visual medium. You might even feel it’s just too boring. But are you right? If not, what CAN you do? And just when is visual communication right for B2B inbound marketers?

The simple answer to this last question is: always. It is always right. In fact, it is essential!

You have to catch their attention instantly

Today’s media landscape is cluttered with a multitude of channels, all clamouring for attention –all fighting for a moment of the viewer’s time. And that is all they have – a moment. In order to survive in today’s jungle of messages, your message has to stand out – instantly. The key way to do that is with a visual – whether moving, still or graphic. Catchy headlines are all well and good, but they will always lose out to a striking image.

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How to avoid a big disconnect in your inbound marketing

Written by Jeremy Knight  |  23, June, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In short - inbound marketing will count for little if your efforts don’t convert to sales. For sure, inbound marketing can help generate leads, build an audience, raise your profile and extend your reach but, ultimately, without a strategy for sustainable sales growth, you are likely to end up focusing on the cost of doing inbound rather than the revenue generated from it.

Problems surface if your sales team are not bought-in on the inbound methodology. And where there has been a historical misalignment between Sales and Marketing (curiously common considering both functions are part of the ‘revenue department’), this can exacerbate the issue.

So, if you are taking a closer look at how inbound marketing could reverse your fortunes, be sure to consider how you are going to involve the sales team from the outset.

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How to use your marketing data to make better content decisions

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  20, June, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

What’s the most important ingredient in your content marketing mix? Your way with words, your eye for design, perhaps, or your turn of phrase - and, your marketing data. A data-driven content strategy is a powerful one; informed by what your audience really wants and needs.

Data is an invaluable tool for inbound marketers - but you have to know both how to collect it and put it to good use. From the number of views on your blog, to how many people downloaded your latest eBook, to how many marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) you have at any given time: there are numerous metrics you can track. And these figures can then be used to influence your future content decisions – for the better.  

Writing for HubSpot, Rob Lons says: "Content marketers don't just write, they write with purpose." But you can only achieve this if you understand why some approaches work while others sputter to a halt. And the best way to acquire this knowledge is to get measuring. 

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Inbound marketing and sales and the need for an SLA

Written by Jeremy Knight  |  16, June, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The old sales playbook would likely quote "always be closing" or "it’s a numbers game". The sales team would be "calling to touch base" or overheard, for the 50th time that day, saying "if I could show you a way…"

Essentially, if a sales rep wasn’t spending the larger portion of their day hustling prospects, trying every trick in the traditional sales playbook to get that deal signed, sealed and delivered, they were likely not long for the role.

The sales manager didn’t care if the solution they were selling benefited the potential customer or not. Their world was driven by the numbers, and "the numbers don’t lie". Unlike the buyer because "buyers are liars" (sic) so, get your foot in that door and show me the money.

But the world around us has changed. Customers are empowered by technology, the internet and the social web. Today, they want to inform and educate themselves long before they are ready to speak with someone in sales.

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Why your inbound marketing agency bangs on about buyer personas

Written by Keith Errington  |  8, June, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

If you have done any reading at all on inbound or content marketing, you will probably have been struck by how often agencies emphasise the use of buyer personas. You may even be slightly bored with the constant urging to define and use these personas when developing your marketing strategy. But if you want to succeed in business, personas are pretty much essential. So if you want to understand the obsession with buyer personas, then read on, as I’m going to explain why they are so important and why successful modern marketing depends on them.

The importance of attracting and engaging prospects

Let’s start by going over some obvious business basics. Customers are the lifeblood of any business. But no customer, no matter how loyal they are to your brand and no matter how well you treat them, will stay with you forever. There is a constant need to attract new customers just to stay in business. And if you want to grow, then there is no denying that new business must become your driving force.

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3 easy email newsletter ideas that will boost your inbound marketing

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  25, May, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Newsletters often get a bad rap - we’ve all received boring ones that fail to offer any useful information and provide "updates" on topics about which we neither know nor care. But, believe it or not, newsletters don't have to be tedious.

In fact, email is still a powerful weapon in your inbound marketing arsenal. They can help you to nurture leads and delight customers, by providing useful information that answers their questions, solves their problems, and generally piques their interest. Regularly sending out informative and usefulcontent can strengthen the relationships you have with the people that need or are already using your product or service.

But where do you start? How do you come up with engaging newsletter content that doesn't bore the socks off your readers? If you're stuck for email newsletter ideas, here are three easy ones to get you started:

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Social media - pros and cons for professional services marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  18, May, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Professional services marketing is not immune to the broader changes transforming the marketing techniques of the current generation of marketers. In every sector, marketing has changed. Older techniques, such as advertising, direct mail, flyers and trade shows, are not producing the same results they did in the past and are proving expensive and uneconomical. And while some traditional techniques, such as business networking, are still delivering new clients, they are time-consuming and require a physical presence that limits their scope and range.

So the newer channels of digital marketing – social media, opt-in newsletters, blogging and the like – are becoming the most effective way for any business to reach new and existing clients.

But these new marketing opportunities are not without their pitfalls; social media, in particular, is a potential minefield for the professional services firm. And even some of the biggest of corporates can get it wrong.  But we know that high-growth professional services firms focus more on social media than average growth firms. So in this post, we will look at the social media pros and cons for professional services marketing.

FREE Checklist: Your common sense guide to getting posts right on social

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How to make sure visitors don't hate your B2B website design

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  11, May, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Your website is often the first point of contact between you and your future customers. Therefore, it’s vital that it makes a good impression. Otherwise, you’re fighting a losing battle from the start.

A study by Microsoft found that humans now have an average attention span of just eight seconds, down from 12 seconds in 2000. By comparison, a goldfish has an average attention span of nine seconds.

With multiple screens and multiple distractions at their fingertips, people have less time for information and websites that don’t immediately spark their interest. It’s likely that you made the decision to read this post in a matter of seconds.

As a business, you need to ensure that your website captures the attention of the people you most want to reach, amid the huge interruption that is the Internet. That means ensuring that it offers up an enjoyable - or at least useful - user experience from the outset. And the key to that lies in your website design.

Writing for HubSpot, Lindsay Kolowich says: "Poor user experience can cause high page abandonment rates, low visitor-to-lead conversion rates, poor organic search listing positions, and a plain ol' bad reputation."

So if your B2B website design is failing, it’s time to take action.

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Is your law firm full of valuable content writers?

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  25, April, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

More and more professions are coming round to the idea of inbound marketing. And law firms are among those businesses really embracing the power of content.

At the end of last year, Contently published an article in which they addressed this growing trend. Julia Schur wrote about how John Corey, president and co-founder of communications firm Greentarget, had been speaking to law firms across the US about content. His findings? He predicted that "between 30 and 50 percent of law firms will have a dedicated of content strategy by the end of the year [2015]."

Whether those figures are an accurate reflection of the situation currently, there’s no denying the value of an inbound approach in the legal arena. Inbound marketing is a strategy that fits with the way in which buyers today make decisions on purchasing goods or services from businesses; it reflects how prospective clients move from awareness to consideration to decision – and it is all centred on content.

So, in terms of marketing for law firms, let's consider how you can adopt an inbound approach more in keeping with the clients of today. And, do you already have a head start on others with valuable content writers in your ranks?

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This is how your marketing can start generating inbound leads

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  14, April, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In a previous post, we discussed why inbound marketing results in more effective B2B lead generation than traditional outbound tactics. We explored how, while the inbound process takes more time to come to fruition, it deliver leads that are more valuable to your business. 

Here’s a definition of inbound marketing from HubSpot: "Sharing is caring and inbound is about creating and sharing content with the world. By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more."

In other words, inbound uses content to attract people, who are already interested in the kind of solutions that you provide, to your website, where you can kick-start the process of turning them into leads (and then customers).

So how can you put the wheels into motion and start generating these inbound leads? Furthermore, how can you utilise content right the way through the buyer’s journey, to nurture those leads and turn them into customers?

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How to come up with new blog ideas to fill your sales funnel

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  5, April, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Coming up with new blog ideas is something that we have to do on a constant basis as content and inbound marketers. But that doesn’t mean it’s always an easy task. From feeling that creativity has eluded you to simply not having enough hours in the day, it can be difficult to keep on top of your editorial planning.

On the other hand, we know that blogging regularly is crucial to our marketing efforts. It’s one of the best – and most cost-effective  ways to attract new visitors to your website and turn them into leads. In fact, according to HubSpot, B2B marketers that blog receive 67 per cent more leads than those that do not.

So how can you keep the creative juices flowing and generate new blog ideas that will fill your sales funnel?

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How to come up with a winning content marketing plan

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  11, March, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In a previous post, we discussed the fundamental importance of buyer personas to your B2B content marketing. And once you’ve defined your personas, it’s time to start creating content that will capture their attention, create valuable connections, and move them towards doing business with you.

So you need a content marketing plan.

Crafting a strategy that will fulfil the needs of your audience and meet your business goals requires careful consideration. Online, content forms the link between you and your future customers. Through it, you need to inform, to educate, to build trust and, ultimately, prove why you are better than your competitors; why you are the best choice.

Let's consider how you can come up with a winning content marketing plan to ensure you can do just that.

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How the sales funnel has changed for professional services marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  2, March, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Anyone familiar with sales or marketing will recognise the traditional model of the sales funnel. It can also be represented by the acronym AIDA: Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action.

As a model, it was developed in principle in 1898 by American advertising advocate E. St. Elmo Lewis - in the days before the Internet, before television and even before radio. So it’s hardly surprising that this century-old model may need re-thinking.

In professional services marketing, the funnel was traditionally "fed" with leads from networking and referrals from clients. While business is still generated using this approach, the funnel has changed radically - with some even saying that the sales funnel is dead.

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Why it's time to rethink professional services marketing

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  25, February, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Referral: the act of directing someone to a different place or person for information, help, or action, often to a person or group with more knowledge or power (Cambridge Dictionaries Online).

Referrals have traditionally been used to garner business for professional services firms. Trust and good relationships are created and built upon through hours of networking and recommendations from current clients. And this approach remains a highly valuable way of acquiring work.

However, while word-of-mouth is still an effective tool, it is no longer enough on its own and, in the current climate, fewer clients are being won using this technique. In short, traditional marketing methods are no longer as impactful as they once were, as the Internet has fundamentally changed the way people research and buy from professional services companies - and, indeed, businesses across all industries.

So perhaps you’re finding that you are reaching fewer people and are beginning to wonder how you can make more connections again.

Now, prospective buyers seek out information about a company online before committing to doing business with them. Like the referral system, trust and genuine relationships lie at the heart of this new model – but it is powered by content and marketing automation rather than conversations and handshakes.  

Let’s take a look at what this means for your organisation and how you can adapt, to successfully thrive in this changing environment.

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3 questions you need to ask your lead generation company

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  22, February, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

"A lead generation company is a business that provides [other] businesses with prospective customer contact information based on certain criteria." (Houston Chronicle, Small Business

If you’ve hired a lead generation company or are thinking about doing so, you will have one goal in mind: to garner more leads.

It's a simple aim in itself, but it requires a lot of work to achieve in practice. So how can you rest assured that you will see the excellent results you're looking for? 

Whether your partner is simply helping you to achieve the numbers you seek or is providing a more thorough, end-to-end marketing solution, there are a few important questions that they should be able to answer.

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How to generate great blog ideas when you have run out of steam

Written by Keith Errington  |  8, February, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Inbound Marketing could be thought of as a huge monster with a massive gaping mouth, devouring content at a rate of knots – never satisfied – always hungry. Whilst this might be overly dramatic, there is no doubt that if you are doing it well, you will be producing lots of blog posts. This is not easy. After a while, you may struggle to come up with new posts, new titles, new ideas.

If you feel that the well of creativity has dried up, here are a number of ways to generate blog ideas.

Ask – research sales – customers 

A great way to get new topics for your post is to talk to people in your company. Talk to customer services and see what issues customers are having. Maybe write a post on the top five questions customer services are asked? Do the same thing with your sales team – what are the most common questions prospective clients ask? Talk to product development or senior management and see what’s planned – is there anything you can talk about?

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The importance of buyer personas to your B2B content marketing

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  3, February, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Buyer personas are integral to everything you create as a content marketer. They represent the people that you want to connect with; without them, you are essentially creating content blind and slinging it into the stratosphere. Therefore, it’s important to take the time to define your personas in detail.

First of all, let’s clarify exactly what a persona is. Here’s a definition from HubSpot: "A semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers."

Personas are not specific people, but they should embody the main fears, problems and ambitions of your target audience. By delineating your personas, you can better deliver value through your content.  

So how can you implement this process effectively within your B2B content marketing?

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How to perform your own social media evaluation

Written by Keith Errington  |  2, February, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

More than any other communications channel, social media is subject to change – often fast and unpredictable change. As an important part of any Inbound Marketing strategy, it is essential that your use of social media is evaluated on a regular basis. Not only to ensure that your implementation is up to date with the latest techniques and technical changes, but also remains fully aligned with your overall Inbound Marketing strategy.

Profile pages

Start with the basics – are your profile pages up to date?

Circumstances change and so do company logos, colours and corporate messages. So check that all your social media profile pages are up to date with the latest company information and branding.

The format of images and backgrounds on profile pages can change too, check that everything works with any changes that the social networks have introduced. Most of the major social media channels have changed their image sizes or added images – if you don’t keep up with these changes you may be in danger of having an unsightly blank area on your profile.

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The 5 key tactics of the best lead generation companies

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  27, January, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

"Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting qualified prospects to fill your sales funnel." (Unbounce)

In other words, lead generation allows you to acquire contact information about people who fit your buyer persona profiles and may go on to become customers. But what do I mean by the term "the best lead generation companies"? Well, quite simply, businesses that are great at implementing this process - that are the best at attracting and engaging the right contacts with what they offer.

And the best way to generate leads is through content. However, it’s not as simple as that. A "churn out content and the leads will follow" approach isn’t going to cut the mustard. Instead, you need to execute a carefully considered strategy and keep your eye on the prize at all times.

So what tactics do the best lead generation companies employ?

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How to choose the right inbound marketing agency

Written by Keith Errington  |  26, January, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

So we’re an inbound agency – what are we doing writing a post on how to choose one? How does that work?

Well, core to the inbound philosophy is the creation of useful content – unbiased, helpful content to support those that might be researching what you do. So it makes perfect sense for us to write an article helping you to choose the right inbound marketing agency (it’s called ‘practise what you preach’ and you will find it under the fourth heading below).

What relationship do you want with your agency?

Before we look at the other factors, one of the first things you should consider when choosing an agency, is to think about what sort of relationship you want. Do you want to do most of the content creation and management in-house with help from the agency, or do you want them to do most of the work? Or somewhere between these two approaches. If it’s the latter, then you will need to check that the agency has a sufficiently large team of content writers to create all the content you are likely to need.

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4 creative marketing solutions that will help your B2B lead generation

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  22, January, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Content is the fuel for your marketing efforts – it’s crucial for connecting with your customers and providing them with the information they need. But content can’t just be churned out and left to do its work. The best content is memorable; it’s highly-researched; it’s visually appealing. It’s creative.

In order to boost your B2B lead generation, you need to implement creative marketing solutions that will capture your audience’s attention and bring them closer towards your solution. If they like your content, they will want to find out more. Therefore, they will be more willing to give you their contact details in exchange. 

Achieving this means approaching content as though it's a work of art. Yes, creating content is a process and there are certain boxes that you have to tick (using the right keywords, targeting the right people etc.). But it's also an opportunity to spark your audience's imagination and show them why you are the business they ought to be working with. 

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5 questions you need to ask about your marketing data

Written by Keith Errington  |  20, January, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Modern digital marketing can produce lots of data – but what does the data really mean? Is it really helpful? This post lists five questions to ask about your marketing data to ensure it’s of value to you. But first, what are the most important questions you need answering?

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3 simple ways to remove the stress from your blog management

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  13, January, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

A B2B blog is one of the most valuable assets your company can possess. According to HubSpot, B2B companies that blog generate 67 per cent more leads per month than those who don’t. 

Maintaining a blog allows you to create valuable content that is directly targeted at the people you want to connect with. And the only real investment a blog requires is your time.

However, that’s easier said than done because, of course, time is a precious resource - and, as the saying goes, time is money. With various calls on your time during the working day, it can be a challenge to keep on top of your blogging schedule - and that can make the whole endeavour start to feel stressful.

But there are ways to restore calm to proceedings. The processes we will consider in this post can help to streamline and focus your efforts so that you can ensure you are creating the valuable content that your audience hungers for.

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4 ways a content writer can help your professional services marketing

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  6, January, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

“A revolution is underway” (Hinge Research Institute).

Fortunately, it's not a bloody, violent one, but for professional services marketing change is afoot.

Traditional marketing methods - such as referrals, advertising and direct mail - are becoming less effective as more and more individuals and companies rely on online resources and searching the web to guide them through the buyer’s journey.

Within this new system, content is king. In order to attract (and keep) the attention of the people that are looking for the solutions you provide, it’s necessary to create useful and educative content that tells them what they want (and need) to know.

So how can you achieve this? Probably the best option is to appoint a content writer or writers to craft the excellent content you require. This person or persons might be a new hire, or they might already be within your company. In fact, you might be surprised to find that you already have more content writers than you think.

But what benefits will a content writer bring to your professional services marketing? Well, they can help you to achieve a number of things…

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The importance of events to your B2B marketing strategy

Written by Keith Errington  |  5, January, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

There have been plenty of articles written on the importance of using inbound marketing, including social media, to publicise events - but very little on the importance of events to inbound marketing and your overall B2B marketing strategy.

Inbound marketing content thrives on stories, but sometimes they can be a bit thin on the ground. So what can you do? Well, you can create your own story, and that’s essentially what creating an event is all about.

Here are just four reasons why events make for great content, and how to maximise their benefit.

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How Casanova can inspire your content marketing strategy

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  22, December, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Casanova: a man notorious for seducing women” (Oxford Dictionaries).

Lover of more than 130 women, fierce intellectual and jailbreaker: that was Giacomo Girolamo Casanova, the infamous 18th-century figure of both history and fantasy.

Despite his vast achievements and talents - writer, astrologer, spy and mathematician are just a few ways to describe him - Casanova is best known for his sexual escapades, with his name often used as a synonym for a womaniser. The Venetian lothario wasn’t classically handsome, but he used particular tactics to attract and seduce women.

Writing for The Independent, Mark Wilson says of Casanova: "His technique? Discover a lady in trouble; be attentive; extricate her from her difficulty; bestow small gifts; use alluring words; make hay; get bored; exit stage left."

However, research has shown that Casanova did not simply use and abandon his lovers. He is said to have genuinely cared about the women he entered into relationships with - and both parties benefited from the liaison in some way.

But what does this have to do with inbound marketing? And how can it help to inform your inbound and content marketing strategy?

Well, as marketers we can learn something from Casanova’s approach...

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5 inbound marketing predictions for 2016

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  17, December, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

It’s that time of year when we all start looking to the future: what lies ahead in 2016? Besides the fact that you’re probably thinking how on earth are we already a sixth of the way through the current century (it doesn’t seem that long ago that people were prophesising Millennium bug related catastrophe), the approach of a new year always brings with it lots of exciting predictions.

And inbound marketing is certainly worthy of a few. Inbound is in a continuous state of flux and there is a whole range of hypotheses about its future. So I’ve had a look around and picked out five inbound marketing predictions for 2016 that I think have a good chance of coming true.

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The 12 Days of Inbound

Written by Keith Errington  |  16, December, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Ho, ho, ho! Season’s Greetings to you all! Here’s a festive post to bring a little yuletide cheer to all content marketing professionals. Should you be bored with the repeats on TV, the endless family arguments and the never-ending plates of turkey and sprouts, here’s some collected words of wisdom from us – yes, a post for every day of the Christmas season! 

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Your digital marketing mix: why you should focus on the bigger picture

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  14, December, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Sometimes, elements of your digital marketing mix don’t turn out the way you planned. And you may think that's trashing your overall campaign.

Whether it's the number of downloads for a new eBook that don't reflect your intense efforts or a video project you had to postpone, life happens.

But there's no need to be despondent. These blips won’t consign your overall marketing efforts to the abyss. Focus instead on the bigger picture.

What do your overall marketing results look like? An upward curve or a downwards spiral? Are the results from that eBook or video project part of a wider trend or an anomaly? 

When you focus on the bigger picture you'll see the true impact of your marketing efforts.

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5 inbound marketing practices to stop in 2016

Written by Keith Errington  |  11, December, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

So it’s that time of year again. Along with John Lewis Adverts, the Coca-Cola truck and repeats of old TV shows, predictions of trends for next year are a blogger's staple.

In fact, if you think of the past predictions of futurists, science fiction authors and moviemakers, we should by now be piloting flying cars, instantly travelling from one place to another and owning hoverboards that actually hover.

In a similar way, many marketing pundits' predictions cover what they think are the main trends for marketing in the next year. And of the ones that are not entirely predictable, how many have subsequently proved useful?

So I thought I would take a different approach - here are some inbound marketing practices you should definitely stop doing next year (if you haven’t stopped doing them already). And these are a practical certainty.

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5 tips for sending effective emails as part of your inbound strategy

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  7, December, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Email is one of the most successful inbound marketing tools at your disposal. Done right, it can help you to nurture leads and turn them into customers - and, of course, it can delight current customers too. But it’s also very easy to approach email in the wrong way.

Think about your own inbox. It’s likely that it’s filled with lots of emails that you find irrelevant, unconvincing or just downright boring.

These negative reactions could be due to a number of reasons: the sender contacts you too often; the content is not compelling; or perhaps you’re no longer interested in the brand. So, perhaps you open an email and then decide not to read it; maybe you delete it straight away; or you might even unsubscribe from the mailing list altogether.

Safe to say, these are precisely the kind of actions that you don’t want your business’ audience to take. But what can you do to ensure as many people as possible open your emails, read them - and, then, respond to your call-to-action?

As an inbound marketer, how can you send effective emails

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3 fears about B2B content marketing that we need to face

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  30, November, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." (Nelson Mandela)

The fears that most of us face on a day-to-day basis are hardly comparable to those faced by the late, former South African President. But his famous words tend to be applied to a myriad of situations, and the point remains: often, fears must be faced.

So what are you afraid of?

Perhaps you’re terrified of spiders; maybe you break out in a cold sweat at the mere mention of an elevator; or have nightmares about public speaking.

But that’s for another post. Here, we’re talking about B2B content marketing.

Perhaps you’re worried you’re not good enough to take on the task at hand; maybe you think you’ll never be able to produce the amount of valuable content your organisation needs; or you have more deep-seated anxieties about making a fool of yourself.

It’s time to cast off the albatross and take on your fears.

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5 simple ways content writers keep their readers hooked

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  25, November, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

"We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master." That quote is attributed to Ernest Hemingway. On the contrary, many people would argue that the novelist was a "master" of his craft. 

Nevertheless, his words raise an important question: what makes a writer great? The answer is a myriad of things, many of which can’t be pinned down. And many others which are subjective.

As a content writer, you don’t have to be a master - it's perfectly okay to feel that you're learning as you go. But you do have to keep your readers’ attention.

In previous posts, I’ve discussed how to attract people’s attention in the first place. But once your post, eBook or the like is in front of them, how do you keep them hooked? Here are five tips for keeping your reader engaged.

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5 steps to becoming a better blog writer

Written by Keith Errington  |  24, November, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Blogging is getting very competitive these days, and there are more and more blog posts clamouring for attention - 56.6 million per month (or 1,268 per minute) on the WordPress platform alone. That’s a lot of posts. Increasingly, the emphasis for bloggers has to be on quality rather than quantity alone.

Here at Equinet, we have offered a fair amount of advice on how to improve the quality and content of your blog posts, but let’s get to the root of the issue - how do you, yourself, become a better blog writer?

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3 reasons why inbound results in more effective B2B lead generation

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  18, November, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

When it comes down to it, inbound marketing is geared towards gaining leads. But sometimes, particularly at the beginning of a new strategy, it can feel like a rewardless task.

You’ve been writing blog posts each week, sending out targeted emails, and you even have an eBook to offer to your readers. So why aren’t the numbers reflecting your hard work? Why aren’t the phones ringing off the hook? Why do you feel a bit, well, flat?

In fact, it’s perfectly normal for it to take some time for you to see results from your inbound efforts. But, when you do, the wait will have been worth it.

That’s because inbound marketing results in more effective B2B lead generation than traditional outbound tactics, such as cold calling and advertising. Although the process takes longer, inbound delivers leads that are more pertinent and more valuable to your organisation.

And the content that you produce is an evergreen asset that will transport these vital leads to you time and time again. 

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10 steps to the perfect 'How To' post for your B2B blog

Written by Keith Errington  |  13, November, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In order for your B2B blog to be successful in its inbound marketing mission, you have to get people to read it. And how do you do that? By providing content that is both readable and useful. And what could be more useful than a "How To" post - a helpful article guiding your readers through a product or process.

So setting aside the imminent danger of becoming incredibly recursive (you’ve seen Inception, right?), here is a How To guide to How To posts.

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How to make eBook marketing work for your business

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  11, November, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

We are told that blogging is fundamental to a successful inbound marketing. But where do eBooks fit into the equation?

They form the next part of the process. eBooks are an excellent way of turning your blog readers - as well as other visitors to your website - into leads.

An eBook can be a valuable offer that is gifted to an individual in exchange for their details.

However, this means they need to be worth their salt. eBooks represent an opportunity to mine deeper into a topic that is of interest to your audience; to further address their needs and problems.

So how can you make eBook marketing work for your business?

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Is your B2B blog looking tired and uninspired?

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  9, November, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

A change is as good as a rest. So if you think your B2B blog is looking a little tired or uninspired, perhaps it’s time to make some changes.

The crux of a good blog is educative and valuable content that addresses your audience's needs.

However, that content should also be presented in a delectable way. And it should be written in a clear and accessible voice that strikes a chord with your readers.

Yes, of course, looks can be deceiving. Just because something seems attractive, that doesn’t mean it has substance. But appearances are important online - people will often judge the book by its cover before they make a decision on whether it’s worth reading.

And even when they've committed to reading your blog, if the topic isn't delivered in a way that keeps them fascinated, they'll be gone. 

So how can you inject some energy back into your B2B blog?

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3 reasons why B2B inbound marketing is done best by all-rounders

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  4, November, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Whether you’re part of an agency or an in-house team, if you are doing inbound marketing it's likely you have a particular role. Perhaps you are a strategist, a writer or content editor, a designer or an inbound consultant.

However, while it is important that your focus is predominantly on your particular element, don't underestimate the value of gaining a deep appreciation of the whole inbound marketing process.

At school and university, we’re told about the importance of engaging in extra-curricular activities. In the workplace, it’s a good idea to learn new skills outside of your specified job title too.

Of course, it’s not a case of neglecting your own work, but of not being afraid to try new things; of working laterally. In doing this, you will understand better how you and your team members fit cohesively together. 

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How to establish authority with your B2B blog

Written by Keith Errington  |  3, November, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

I’ve talked about having a strategy for your blog in the past, and the importance of having a reason to blog.

The first reason I suggested for blogging was to establish authority, giving clients and prospects a reason to trust your judgement, see you as a valued partner, come to you/your organisation for help and advice and choose you when it comes to purchase.

So how do you establish authority with your B2B blog? What approach should you take so that clients respect and listen to you?

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This is why your content marketing plan doesn’t have to be original

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  29, October, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination.” Those are famous words from American film director and scriptwriter, Jim Jarmusch. And they can apply to any endeavour.

Originality is overrated. The best ideas are informed by what’s gone before - even the most astounding invention or find will have been built on years of previous research. Take the discovery of electricity, for example.

So when it comes to formulating your content marketing plan, don't succumb to fear that you have nothing new to say. The process is not about coming up with entirely new ideas, it's about reshaping them; putting your spin on them, and providing information that will resonate with your audience. 

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How to write your first B2B blog post

Written by Keith Errington  |  26, October, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

With the rise of blogging as a proven and profitable inbound marketing tactic, more business people than ever before are laying their hands on a computer keyboard and publishing their words of wisdom online.

For a few this is a natural process, and they will feel entirely comfortable with it. Many more will struggle, but with perseverance they will be able to blog relatively easily. But then there will always be some who will find it difficult to start and may well abandon the enterprise at the first hurdle.

But as a valuable – we would say essential – method of marketing, you cannot afford to let your fears or lack of experience stop you from blogging.

So in this article we are looking at your first B2B blog post. Everyone has to start somewhere, so here is some help with that initial step.

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Feel the love: is your inbound marketing agency the one?

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  23, October, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Choosing an inbound marketing agency to work with is a big step. Even if you’re satisfied that they meet the criteria you’re looking for; it's still a leap of faith.

If you've picked them, then there's definitely “love” there. But how do you know whether you’ve made the correct decision?

Ultimately, much of the success of the new relationship will come down to how well it is cultivated. Working fruitfully together is dependent on numerous factors. You need to have clear channels of communication, establish tangible business goals and regularly review your efforts.

So how can you go the distance with your agency?

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5 things that will make your online writing unique

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  21, October, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Writing for the web is a beast that we’ve had to learn to grapple with in recent years. And it’s certainly a different one to writing for print. It comes with specific guidelines.

You can be a talented essayist or poet and still find yourself struggling to connect with an online audience. That’s because many of the rules go out the window. Forget long drop intros, intricate descriptions and digressions.

We need to get to the point. Now.

So, without further ado, what is it that makes online writing unique?

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5 facts you'll need from HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2015

Written by Jeremy Knight  |  15, October, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

HubSpot has just released its seventh annual State of Inbound report. So what does it tell us about inbound marketing today? 

The comprehensive document, which is just over 70 pages long, represents the experiences of almost 4,000 marketing and sales professionals across 150 countries. The majority of these respondents work for B2B SMBs. 

The good news is that the report paints a very positive picture - both for now and the future. Inbound marketing continues to grow as a movement - with positive results across the board. 

Whether you're a seasoned inbound marketer, just getting to grips with the methodology, or have never tried it at all, there are a number of illuminating insights. 

Here are five things we can learn from HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2015 report:

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7 checks for sharing B2B content on social media

Written by Keith Errington  |  14, October, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

A fundamental part of social media for B2B inbound marketing is sharing others' content - providing useful information to your readership, followers, clients and potential customers. So how do you go about it and what should you be looking for?

The first thing to do is to get a decent search routine going. If you are using HubSpot, the Monitoring section has a facility to search Twitter for key terms, which is a good starting point and should give you some articles to consider for sharing.

I like to supplement this with a couple of other programs. One of my favourites is Feedly, which makes it very easy to create streams of constantly updating articles. You can use it to search for subjects - it will then lists blogs covering those topics and allow you to subscribe to the ones you choose. Adding a blog feed is easy - you don’t have to know anything about RSS or even locate the RSS feed, Feedly finds it for you and adds it to your subscriptions.

On the tablet, I also like FlipBoard, as it’s very visual and makes searching for shareable B2B content a lot more enjoyable - almost like looking through a magazine on your favourite business subjects.

So what sort of content should you be looking for, and what criteria should you be using when considering sharing it with your audience?

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4 important ideas to boost successful B2B content marketing

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  12, October, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Have you embarked on a B2B content marketing journey? Or are you considering taking the first steps? Whatever your situation, it’s likely you have discovered that the exact route you should follow is open to interpretation.

In fact, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to B2B content marketing. It’s a case of finding the right fit for your company, dependent on your particular needs.

However, certain recommendations tend to hold true regardless of your strategy. Things like compiling an editorial calendar, blogging regularly and analysing your progress at each stage.

And then there are less tangible suggestions, such as being patient and developing a writing voice.

It’s impossible to capture all the valuable tips about B2B content marketing out there in the ether in a single blog post. So, for today, here are four from those in the know.

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4 stages of creativity: why the best blog writers stop first

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  8, October, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Content never sleeps. In a 24/7, global world, it’s always at work, drawing in people who are looking to solve their problems or find solutions for their needs. But that doesn’t mean you need to have your nose to the grindstone at all times.

In fact, the best blog writers give their work room to grow and mature. That means taking a step back and returning to posts later.

This approach may seem counter-intuitive when you’ve got a lot to do. Why put something off when you can get it completed now?

But creating great content should not be rushed. If we want to deliver real value to our audience and, ultimately turn them into customers, we need to take our time.

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How can a "serious" B2B business use creative marketing?

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  8, October, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

What does it mean to be creative? Do you have to be a Pablo Picasso or a JK Rowling?

According to the OED online, the definition of creative is: "Inventive, imaginative; of, relating to, displaying, using, or involving imagination or original ideas as well as routine skill or intellect."

In other words, you can be creative in any industry and any endeavour. And that includes, of course, B2B content marketing.

Creative marketing is about thinking outside the box and trying new things; it’s about engaging with your audience in a meaningful and unique way.

It’s easy to associate creativity with “fun” - and often B2C - businesses: think John Lewis’ Christmas adverts, for example. It’s harder to do the same for more "serious" - and usually B2B - companies

But perhaps as a B2B business we just need to redefine our ideas about creativity.

Writing on Mashable, Sarah Ang says: "Creativity isn’t just for 'creatives'. Rather, it’s a mental tool prized by employers across all fields."

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Why patience is the key to building customer relationships

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  30, September, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

"Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy." Those are wise words from the famous Persian poet Saadi Shirazi, who lived during the 13th century. Almost 1,000 years later, they still hold weight. And they hold a particular resonance when it comes to B2B content marketing.

You may question what role patience has to play. After all, isn’t the ultimate aim of content marketing to reach more people to do business with? While that’s true, it takes time to form meaningful connections.

Creating valuable content, distributing it and analysing the results - before starting the whole process again - can’t be rushed. At times it may feel counterproductive to spend time waiting - but that's exactly what we need to do. 

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7 do's & don'ts when using stock photography

Written by Keith Errington  |  28, September, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

We know that blog posts without images are not nearly as attractive as those with images and will suffer a lack of readership as a result. Very few bloggers have the time, resources and skills to go out and either shoot or commission original photography for every blog post they write. So stock photography is a necessary evil that almost every blogger will resort to at some point in time.Why do I say necessary evil? Well, as bloggers, we’ve all seen stock images in blogs, and most of us will have used them at some point or another, some of us maybe every day. But we have all seen images that look uncomfortable next to the associated content or are just too obvious. Poorly chosen, or poorly used stock photography, just seems cheesy or glib. At its worst, it can stop the reader in their tracks or fight the central message of the post.

Some stock images are just downright weird or inappropriate for almost any purpose - there's even a blog dedicated to those. And earlier this year, to promote the movie Unfinished Business, a set of deliberately cheesy images were created, which photoshopped the lead actors into existing stock images. 

So given that most bloggers have to use stock photography at some point, here are a few quick pointers to ensure that you get the best out of using stock images.

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How to make your B2B blog posts more reader-friendly

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  21, September, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

If you’ve ever published anything online, you’ve likely asked yourself: “Who’s reading this?” The answer may well be lots of people. But perhaps the numbers are, instead, disheartening.

The internet is full of distractions and amid the viral videos, news articles and blogs, it can seem a real challenge to attract attention - and keep it.

Of course, in the first instance, we need to be writing about topics that are interesting to our target audience - but that’s not enough on its own. Our B2B blog posts also need to be reader-friendly.

Imagine you are searching for a recipe to make a dish you saw featured on a cookery programme. You find two that are suited to your purposes: the first is composed of very detailed instructions that are presented as a block of text; the second features an image of the dish and tells you how to make it in concise, numbered steps. Which one do you use? Most likely, the second one - because it is clearer and easier to understand.

So how can we apply this kind of logic to our B2B blog posts?

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Bringing your blog to life with images

Written by Keith Errington  |  14, September, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Pictures are a must in any blog post these days as they attract the reader, get shared on social media and help with SEO. But too many blogs feature posts in the headline/picture/text format, with no great variation in any of these elements. Lots of posts have been written on the text in a blog, and maybe even more on the importance of the headline, but what can we do with the pictures?

It has always struck me as strange that the one thing that can be varied - can be changed; can be played with - is the image in a post, and yet so many content creators settle for a standard layout and a standard rectangular shape.

So here are some other ideas for bringing your blog to life with images.

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5 key roles to build a successful B2B content marketing team

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  8, September, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

From sport to business, fashion to IT: teamwork is essential to a vast number of industries. Each member of a team has their own specific part to play – if they don’t fulfil their role, everyone else will be affected too.

Take an athletics relay team, for example – the first three runners could give 110 per cent and clock up a good time, but if the final runner decides to walk and drops the baton then all four people will be at the bottom of the race leaderboard.

And when it comes to B2B content marketing, teamwork is just as crucial. Behind every successful campaign are the people that make it happen. Each of these individuals is integral to ensuring that a piece of content solves their target audience’s problems and moves them a step along the buyer’s journey.

So think about your own content marketing team. Whether your company employs specific people for each job or shares the main responsibilities among employees in other positions, building a successful team requires you to cover certain bases.

Let’s consider five key roles that make up a successful B2B content marketing team. This is not an exhaustive list, but it will certainly set you on the right track.

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6 reasons to consider cropping when choosing an image

Written by Keith Errington  |  7, September, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Many bloggers and content creators will just take or find an image and use it "as is" - but this is rarely the best approach. Ideally, they should be resizing it, adjusting the contrast and brightness, sharpening where necessary and cropping.

The first three are fairly obvious: uploading a huge image and letting the blogging software resize it slows down response times and is unnecessary; adjusting contrast and brightness will get the best out of the image and show all the detail; whereas sharpening will also help the detail and remove any fuzziness.

But why crop? Of course, if you have a rigid layout with a specific area for an image, then you would have to resize and cr