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Inbound Marketing Age

Katie Hughes

Katie Hughes
Katie writes content for Equinet and our clients. After completing a Psychology degree, she worked in market research for six years, partnering with some of the UK’s biggest brands including the BBC, British Gas and Lloyds Banking Group.

Recent Posts

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

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

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

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

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

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The best Earth Day 2020 marketing campaigns

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

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

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

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

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

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Why B2B marketers must adopt a growth marketing mindset

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

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

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

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Marketing tips for businesses during the coronavirus outbreak

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How long should your blog posts be in 2020?

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

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

I can almost hear you gasp.

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

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

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

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Influencer marketing: to trust or not to trust?

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

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

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

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How to convert your blog readers into leads

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s take a look.

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How to create an effective discussion guide for B2B research

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But what does it mean exactly?

What are the benefits?

And how does it tie in with inbound marketing?

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7 mistakes content writers make when writing for web

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

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

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

So, let’s get straight to the point.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Is Twitter still a viable B2B marketing tool in 2020?

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

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

Should you even use Twitter in 2020?

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

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

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

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How voice search is changing SEO - and what to do about it

Written by Katie Hughes  |  8, October, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Voice search is growing at a rapid pace. By 2020, 50% of all search queries will be initiated by voice.

This trend is hardly surprising. Voice search is fast (3.7 times faster than typing) and convenient. Plus, with the best systems now operating with 95-97% accuracy, it’s becoming increasingly reliable.

Most smartphones are equipped with some form of voice-assisted search function, such as Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant. At home, smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home are becoming integrated into family life.

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6 writing tips to take your B2B content from good to great

Written by Katie Hughes  |  3, October, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

For content marketers, the aim is clear. In order to boost your SEO rankings and gain traffic and leads, you need to be creating great content. But anyone who writes regularly will be familiar with the fear factor an expectation to repeatedly produce great content can bring.

Not only does your content need to be high-quality, compelling and relevant to the audience it’s trying to reach, but it also needs to stand well apart from the myriad of mediocre content floating around the digital sphere.

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3 content marketing lessons from Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point

Written by Katie Hughes  |  1, October, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

You may be familiar with the book The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s a book about how small actions at the right time, in the right place, and with the right people can create a ‘tipping point’ for anything from a product, to an idea or a trend.

Gladwell describes the tipping point as “that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behaviour crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.”

Although the book was first published almost 20 years ago, there are a number of opportunities it affords for content marketers today wanting to reach more prospects and grow their business.

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Is it worth refreshing your old blog posts?

Written by Katie Hughes  |  25, September, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Your historic blog posts will often account for a large proportion of your traffic. These tend to be your posts that are evergreen in nature with highly shareable and valuable information, and a number of trustworthy backlinks.

But if these posts were written five years ago, are they still delivering what they need to? For your blog posts to make a real impact in a world of content saturation, they need to be as helpful, engaging and well-written as possible.

So identify your historic high-performing blog posts. Then to determine whether they need an update, ask yourself the following questions:

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From Deadpool to Gin - how Ryan Reynolds became a content marketing genius

Written by Katie Hughes  |  10, September, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Perhaps you know Ryan Reynolds best as Michael from Two Guys and a Girl, as the CIA Agent in Safe House, or as the title character in the critically acclaimed film Deadpool.

But what about his role in the world of content marketing?

See Ryan Reynolds isn’t just a Hollywood film star. When he’s not busy smashing out hit films, he’s creating some truly outstanding marketing content.

Over the last few years, Reynolds has slowly made a name for himself in the content marketing world, first with the hit film Deadpool (and subsequently Deadpool 2), but also in the drinks industry.

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10 of the best content writing tools to improve your blog

Written by Katie Hughes  |  3, September, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Blogging remains one of the best ways to connect with your customers and prospects. But in an age of content saturation, most writers know they need to up their game.

You may have been blogging for years, but even the most seasoned writers need a little help sometimes.

Plus content writing isn't just about being able to write well. A good content writer will also be focused on ensuring they're writing about topics that resonate with their ideal customers and that their blog posts are getting found by those people.

We've compiled some of the best content writing tools that we use here at Equinet, to help you improve your blog and get noticed by the people looking for what you do.

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Original research for content marketing - is it really worth it?

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

As a marketer, publishing original research is an opportunity to demonstrate thought leadership and position your company as an authority in your industry. And in turn, it can help you to build trust and credibility with your customers and prospects.

In a world of content saturation, publishing original research can help you stand out in your industry. But, it’s possibly one of the most underused forms of content.

Just 39% of marketers have published original research in the past 12 months, according to a global study by Mantis research and BuzzSumo.

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Instagram marketing - is it right for your B2B business?

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

Instagram. Whether you love it or loathe it, it's more than just an app for taking photos of your food. But is it right for your social media strategy?

We’re all familiar with the benefits of social media marketing. More exposure for your business, increased traffic and leads, improved sales, developing loyal fans, and so on.

Common sense would argue that if you want to generate awareness of your brand, then the more social media platforms you infiltrate, the better.

On the other hand, could you be better off putting your efforts into one or two social media platforms that are the best fit for your business, and not worrying about the others?

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How to generate more leads with your B2B research

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

Doing your own B2B research can help you to demonstrate thought-leadership and position your company as an expert in your industry.

But research projects aren’t turned around overnight. Research can be a big investment, and to make the most of that investment you should be thinking about how you can create multiple pieces of content from your research.

Some people prefer visual infographics over text statistics.

Some choose podcasts over written reports.

Repurposing your research for different formats means extending its lifespan as well as your reach, and as a result, creating more opportunities to convert prospects into leads.

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4 ways B2B research can amplify your inbound marketing efforts

Written by Katie Hughes  |  11, July, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Statistics show that doing research can have a positive impact on the success of a B2B business. Firms that conduct frequent research (at least quarterly) grow almost 12x faster and are almost twice as profitable as firms that do no research.

Companies will often use research to measure customer satisfaction, to discover how they are perceived in the market, as well as measure the appetite for new products.

But the opportunities for B2B research don’t end there.

For B2B companies engaging in an inbound methodology and hoping to grow their customer base, incorporating research into your strategy can offer enormous benefits.

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Ethical marketing in the media publishing age

Written by Katie Hughes  |  5, July, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In the inbound marketing arena, we’re often being told that prospects don’t care about what we do, they care about how our products or services can help them.

But this doesn’t mean they don’t care about who you are.

In fact, people really do care about who they buy from.

Sustainability, for instance, is big on the agenda.

66% of global consumers are willing to pay more to buy from companies who are committed to sustainability. Amongst millennials, this figure goes up to 73%.

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Defining the buyer’s journey: a foundation for content creation

Written by Katie Hughes  |  14, June, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

With every piece of content you create, be it a blog post, video, podcast, or eBook, you should be thinking about how you can meet the specific needs of your buyer personas. And if you’ve invested the time to define meaningful buyer personas that go beyond demographics, you should be bursting with ideas for content.

But the buck doesn’t stop here. You also need to think about the buyer’s journey.

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How to develop meaningful buyer personas that go beyond demographics

Written by Katie Hughes  |  31, May, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

When done well, buyer personas help you understand your ideal customers better. This makes it easier to tailor your content messaging, product development, and services to their specific needs.

But too often, companies make the mistake of thinking about buyer personas in terms of demographics; only looking as far as their age, gender, and job role.

To define truly meaningful buyer personas, you need to look beyond the demographics of your ideal customers. You need to understand their interests, fears, and aspirations. You need the full story on how and why they make a buying decision.

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Becoming a media brand: who are the B2B companies doing it well?

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

For the last decade, brands have been focusing their efforts on content marketing.

B2C and B2B brands alike have been churning out blog posts, creating eBooks, and promoting them on social media in an effort to generate more leads and customers.

But if everyone in your industry is blogging, and everyone is promoting those blog posts on their social channels, that's a vast amount of content vying for the attention of your ideal customers.

Then there's all the other content unrelated to your industry that's tugging at their sleeve, from the latest Netflix documentary to the biggest news stories.

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Can the future of content marketing be found in the past?

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

Last month was Equinet's first ever Certification Day, where the company dedicated a whole day to training.

While studying for the HubSpot Inbound Marketing certification, I was reminded that once upon a time, as little as 350 words was sufficient enough to rank well, as long as you included the right balance of links and keywords.

That’s a stark contrast from today, where the average blog post currently sits at 1151 words.

It got me thinking about how content marketing has changed over the years. In some ways, it seems as though we are worlds apart from the way things once were.

But are we really creating content that differently to how we did it in the past?

I thought it was time for a little refresh…

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How to inject more life into your blog posts with visual media

Written by Katie Hughes  |  14, March, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

55% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. But, in a world where companies are starting to think more like media publishers, are text-only blog posts still holding people’s attention?

According to one study, “91% of consumers now prefer interactive and visual content over traditional, text-based or static media.” Plus, 65% of the population are visual learners.

But this doesn’t mean we should be putting our pens down and aborting blogging altogether. And if you’re not convinced of this, I implore you to read this blog post.

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