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Inbound Marketing Age

Keith Errington

Keith Errington
Keith has a unique mix of talents and experience in marketing and communications. He writes regularly for the Equinet blog on marketing, social media, and strategy.

Recent Posts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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When high-quality content is not enough

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

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

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

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

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

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Emotion and the human touch - a winning strategy for B2B

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

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

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

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

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B2B marketing: should you control influencers?

Written by Keith Errington  |  24, September, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Influencer marketing has become one of the big buzzwords of recent times. The rise of social media has changed the marketing landscape.

All types of buyers – both consumer and B2B, now make decisions based on information and opinions supplied by their peers, by websites and blogs and by influencers on social media. 

Influencers have become particularly important with the rise of social media channels such as Instagram, where conventional marketing is difficult, if not impossible to undertake. 

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4 ways to drastically improve your content

Written by Keith Errington  |  4, September, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

1. Add images

Great lengths of text in your content are not attractive – it is only when someone starts reading that they come to life and potentially capture your audience. That takes an investment of time that many visitors may not want to make.

Too much uninterrupted text in your content will put potential readers off. 

There are many ways to break up long stretches of text, but by far the most powerful is to use images.

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Buyer Persona vs Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

Written by Keith Errington  |  23, August, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

For a B2B business, there are two broad marketing strategies you can follow for gaining sales. You could pursue a traditional inbound strategy that involves creating a small number of buyer personas – fictional profiles of typical buyers. These buyer personas then form the target for all your content and marketing efforts, ensuring that your creations are attractive to your target market in order to bring in leads and engagement.

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How to build brand advocates who'll do the selling for you

Written by Keith Errington  |  20, August, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

B2B Marketing can be tough.

Finding new leads, engaging them and converting them isn’t easy.

It requires a lot of work, a significant budget and a massive amount of time.

But what if you could double your sales force? Triple it? And all without spending huge sums of money too?

This is not a fantasy, it’s achievable. And it’s a goal you should definitely set your business.

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5 questions you need to ask about your marketing data

Written by Keith Errington  |  15, August, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Editors note: This blog post was originally published in January 2016 and has since been updated for optimal relevance and accuracy.

Digital marketing can produce lots of data – but what does the data really mean?

Is it really helpful?

This post will give you 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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How to evaluate and qualify B2B marketing trends

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

As a marketing writer, I need to know about the latest trends in content marketing. I need to know where the next big thing is coming from and where the industry is going. I need to identify (and understand) the newest developments in software and systems. It’s my job, it’s what I do. And I do it so that I can interpret and relay how these things might affect the way you do your marketing.

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Maximise word of mouth as part of your growth strategy

Written by Keith Errington  |  28, July, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Imagine if you didn’t need to spend money on marketing at all? If you could just concentrate on making the best product or delivering the best service and buyers just magically came to you?

It sounds like a fantasy doesn’t it? But there is one, very real way to achieve this seemingly impossible feat, and that’s through word of mouth marketing.

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5 steps to creating long-term impact through your B2B brand

Written by Keith Errington  |  22, July, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Creating an impactful, successful, revenue-generating brand is equally important for B2B as it is for B2C.

Whilst we are all very much aware of the big B2C brands out there, there are some great examples of strong B2B brands too – think of Accenture, IBM, Microsoft or JCB.

Having a strong brand is a powerful asset that works for you in the background attracting prospects, establishing authority and trust and making sales easier.

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B2B brands - from content publisher to media company

Written by Keith Errington  |  10, July, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Over recent years we have seen the rise of B2B brands as content publishers, with the results speaking for themselves.

Content publishing works because B2B buyers are now researching their issues and solutions online. They are only coming to the vendor when they know what they want and how much they expect to pay for it. 

Around 87% of the B2B audience find content through a search engine – so if you are not publishing enough of the right quality of useful content to impact on search engine listing, you will not be in the running for a sale.

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Are eBooks still the best way to convert page visitors?

Written by Keith Errington  |  4, July, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe
You could argue that the number one task for any marketer is to generate leads. You need to start with leads that you can then turn into buyers of your product or service. No leads = no sales = no business.

The problem

HubSpot defines a lead as “a person who has indicated interest in your company's product or service in some way, shape, or form.” Lead generation involves two steps, getting people to engage with you, and then capturing some information in order for you to begin a process that has the potential to convert them into a customer. Without that information, you are dead in the water.

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How has GDPR affected B2B businesses?

Written by Keith Errington  |  24, June, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

 

GDPR came into effect on May 25th 2018, so now, over a year later (as of the date of writing) what has its impact been? How has it affected business and marketers? And in particular B2B?

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Is print media dead?

Written by Keith Errington  |  18, June, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The digital transformation of our lives has swept all before it and radicalised the way we transmit and receive information – the way we view information and store information.

With its root firmly in analogue and ink on paper, has the time now come to declare print dead? Is it time to bury it, along with fax machines, VHS tapes and punch cards?

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The importance of Customer Lifetime Value in B2B

Written by Keith Errington  |  10, June, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In the ever-changing marketing landscape, many businesses – particularly B2B businesses – are increasing their emphasis on Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) as a key measurement to plan their marketing strategy.

So what is CLV and why is it important?

Customer Acquisition Cost

Well, first let’s look at a metric that has been used for many years when planning a marketing strategy and budget – Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). This is simply the cost of acquiring a new customer.

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The changing roles of sales and marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  5, June, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In the past, the roles of Sales and Marketing have been fairly well-defined, understood and respected, but the changing nature of the market and buyers' behaviour has brought them into inevitable conflict.

Compartmentalised Departments

If we go back a few years, most companies had two, distinctly separate departments – Sales and Marketing.

In simple terms, Marketing would create all the sales materials and handle the brand positioning of the business. And sales would deal with the prospects and turn them into customers. It was more or less cut and dried.

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Is thin content damaging your online presence?

Written by Keith Errington  |  24, May, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

If you've produced reams of B2B marketing content and are not seeing the results you expected, 'Thin Content' might be the culprit. So what is it and how do you fix it?

Google defines thin content as content that has little or no value. It’s the opposite of deep content – if Google hadn’t already named it, I’d be calling it shallow content. Examples could be automatically generated content, pages which are mostly affiliate links, doorway pages, content from other sources or low-quality guest posts.

For most legitimate B2B businesses who publish content, it's most likely to be either the last two, or simply pages that don't appear to be really useful to visitors.

Let’s look at three ways thin content harms your online presence.

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Why sales must be transformed by the marketing revolution

Written by Keith Errington  |  20, May, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Marketing has been radically transformed over the past decade or so as a result of the internet and other technological factors.

In fact, marketing has always has, and still is, evolving – but the pace of that evolution has accelerated rapidly.

This had led to traditional models of sales and marketing being drastically revised, or thrown out altogether, and any business that doesn’t acknowledge and adapt to these momentous changes is destined to be at a distinct and potentially ruinous disadvantage.

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Attract business by using more images

Written by Keith Errington  |  7, May, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Images are nice, aren't they? I mean, they are pretty to look at and brighten up a post.

But there's more to images than decoration when it comes to attracting business to your content.

In fact, images are absolutely essential for a whole host of reasons – but let’s start with a few facts, some data and the hard science of images effect on SEO.

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The importance of events to your B2B marketing strategy

Written by Keith Errington  |  2, May, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Editor's note: This post was originally written in 2016 and has since been updated for relevance and accuracy.

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 to create deep content your audiences will love

Written by Keith Errington  |  18, April, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

There are around 170 million active* websites in the world today (*out of a grand total of around 1.7 billion hostnames) with an estimated 5.6 billion web pages indexed in search engines. WordPress alone sees around 70 million new posts a month.

So if you are writing a blog post and you want that blog post to be seen, how can you possibly reach your audience when there is just so much content out there?

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Is there still a need for marketing personalisation?

Written by Keith Errington  |  4, April, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

There is a wealth of opinions about the essential need to personalise your marketing efforts – not only in the world of B2C but also for B2B.

Endless articles have been written about the drivers for personalisation – arguing that customers want more personalisation.

Yet at the same time, there is a massive kickback against the intrusiveness of modern marketing with personal privacy a key issue for many customers. News stories about the unwanted and unprompted violations of people’s privacy by some of the top social media companies such as Facebook, and the search engine giant Google are not helping the case for personalisation.

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Clarity is the key to B2B content success

Written by Keith Errington  |  28, March, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

One of the guiding principles for content success is clarity. Without a clear approach, a clear understanding, and a clear delivery your efforts will be lost along the way.

In this article, we are going to concentrate on four key areas where clarity is the watchword.

1. Clarity of strategy

Once you’ve gone through the process of defining your company’s marketing strategy you should ensure that everyone on the team, or at least those involved in the delivery of the strategy, understand it and all that it is designed to achieve. That also includes senior managers and directors of the company – everyone should be on the same page.

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How to maximise your content's performance

Written by Keith Errington  |  13, March, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

How can you tell whether your content is truly performing at its best?

One way of course, is to consult your analytics. This will tell you how many people are landing on the page, how long they are spending there, and whether they are clicking on links.

Analyse your content continuously and you'll start to spot patterns and trends which will help you form a picture of what content works well and what doesn’t.

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How to find stories for your B2B blog

Written by Keith Errington  |  7, March, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

It could be argued that marketing is all about telling a good story. And certainly, content marketing has storytelling at its heart.

Being able to engage the audience, bring them on board, educate them and end with a rousing call to action is effective content marketing in action.

We even live in an age where stories often seem to be more important than facts.

Given that stories are powerful tools for marketing, we should be using them in our content, but where do they come from? How can you find stories for your B2B content?

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5 ways to better serve your B2B customers

Written by Keith Errington  |  27, February, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

You could argue that the success or failure of any business-to-business (B2B) company scores is completely linked to customer service – far more than business-to-consumer (B2C). The buying process is longer, usually involves more people and the sums of money involved are much higher. There is often a deeper level of contact with prospects and a stronger relationship with customers once they buy.

According to McKinsey, while B2C companies enjoy an average customer service score in the 65 to 85 per cent range, business-to-business B2B company scores average less than 50 per cent. And as B2B customer expectations rise, the gap between the two offerings likely will widen.

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5 ways to improve your B2B marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  20, February, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Whether you are happy with your B2B marketing results or feel they are lacking, here’s five ways to improve your marketing.

1. Get feedback

Not surprisingly, a great way to find out whether your marketing strategy is hitting its mark is to ask it’s intended targets. You should conduct some research amongst prospects, customers and ex-customers, and find out what they think.

Whether that is a simple Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey of existing customers or a full-blown, in-depth survey of the market, the insights you gain from the results will be useful.

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3 effective ways to use LinkedIn for B2B Marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  13, February, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Before we start, let’s remind ourselves why we might use LinkedIn as B2B businesses with a few relevant stats.

  • 97% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for content marketing purposes (CMI).
  • 78% say it’s the most effective social media platform for content marketing (CMI).
  • LinkedIn is 277% more effective at lead generation than Facebook or Twitter (HubSpot).
  • 45% of LinkedIn article readers are in upper-level positions, including managers, VPs, Directors, and C-level positions (LinkedIn study).
  • 91% of executives rated LinkedIn as their number one choice for professionally relevant content (LinkedIn study).
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3 things B2B marketers can safely ignore in 2019

Written by Keith Errington  |  6, February, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Keeping up with new developments in marketing can be hard and it’s always time-consuming. There is always constant pressure to make sure you are not missing out on a valuable new tactic, method or sales channel. Not knowing about the latest opportunity at best makes you look ill-informed and at worst, costs your company money as competitors gain an edge and you scramble to catch up.

Media outlets, marketing pundits and vendors don’t help by hyping every new product, service or technology that comes along. Bloggers love to write about the latest thing and tell you how it will change the face of marketing.

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