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Posts Tagged ‘best practices’

Bill of RightsEngaging with a marketing firm is a large investment and can often be nerve-wracking. How can you be sure that you are engaging with the best firm? There are rights you have as a client that any potential firms you are vetting should respect and follow. We interviewed marketing executives at companies such as Dell, BazaarVoice and Austin Ventures to better understand what they believe these rights to be. Here are five of them:

1. The Right to be Heard.

When evaluating marketing firms, you should be the one doing most of the talking. Instead of being told the capabilities of the firm, the firm should instead be taking that time to learn more about your company and your marketing needs. This shows that they will be valuable partners during your engagement.

2. The Right to Transparency.

You have the right to meet with the team that you will actually be working with on the engagement and not just an executive team, since they will be the ones you will be interacting with the most.

3. The Right to Immediate Value.

After engaging with a marketing firm, you should see results quickly as well as be able to hand-off projects and have the firm execute them to completion with little or no intervention needed on your part.

4. The Right to Proactive Counsel.

A marketing firm should go above and beyond what is asked of them. As subject matter experts, they should be looked at to provide ideas and recommendations for campaign optimization.

5. The Right to Be Number One.

No matter what, you should be treated like you are a firm’s only client. Your questions should be answered promptly, your point of contact should be responsive and you should feel valued.

Read our article A Client’s Bill of Rights for all ten rights that you are entitled to as a marketing firm client.

Content Marketing ROII recently attended the “Content Marketing for Demand Generation ROI: Create, Track, and Optimize Your Content Strategy,” webcast presented by Dayna Rothman, Director of Content Marketing at Captora. Dayna shared some great ideas for marketers looking to improve their content marketing. If you weren’t able to attend, below is a recap of Dayna’s presentation on creating, tracking and optimizing your content strategy:

Today’s Shifting Buyers

Sales used to be the first contact with a buyer, but in today’s world it’s the marketer that starts the relationship. Additionally, buyers now live in a multi-device, multi-channel world with an endless supply of information at their fingertips and a finite amount of attention.

Content marketing is a way to get your buyer’s attention in a way that is not pushy or “salesy”. Content should be the king and queen of all your marketing programs and “the fire that fuels all of your demand gen programs”.

Scaling Your Content Production Efforts

To be successful with content marketing, you have to generate enough content to break through the clutter which can be overwhelming to marketers. The first step in this process is creating a content team, which could potentially include a chief content officer, managing editor, content specialist as well as an outsourced team.

Once you have your team, you are ready to ramp up your content production. A great way to do this is by repurposing existing content and generating new content types from the original piece (i.e. repurposing a series of blog posts to create an eBook).

Content Promotion for Lead Generation

There are a series of steps to follow in order to successfully promote content. To start, you can leverage your website homepage to feature your latest content piece behind a form as well as a content resources section. Another recommendation is to create a blog post to promote new content as a “teaser” encouraging readers to download the piece. It’s also important to remember the valuable social media real estate you have at your disposal, such as your Facebook cover photo or Twitter profile.

Email marketing can also be very useful for content promotion. Consider sending an email to your database for large content pieces and/or a content newsletter that regularly highlights new pieces. Sponsored emails purchased from a vendor with a relevant subscriber database can also be used successfully. Finally, lead generation doesn’t stop at acquisition – set up nurture tracks to keep your company top-of-mind with prospective customers by continuously introducing them to new content.

Content Marketing Return On Investment

Now that you have produced and promoted your content, how can you prove ROI? This has been a struggle for many content marketers and has been seen as a “Bigfoot” that is elusive and difficult to capture.

The first step in determining ROI is to define your goals and metrics and establish benchmarks. The first metric you should be tracking is the number of content downloads via forms or a marketing automation tool. Another metric to include is cost-per-lead to see which pieces are giving you the most “bang for your buck”. Also, first touch and multi-touch attribution is key to determining revenue and pipeline generated by content. This will let you know the first piece that brought someone into your program, as well as all of the pieces that were touched throughout a lead’s journey to conversion. You can then use this information along with the investment amount to determine the ROI of a particular piece.

As you can see, it is possible to track the ROI content marketing, and with the right promotion strategy you can make an impact in your bottom line. You can view the deck from this webinar here and let us know your feedback on the presentation by commenting below.

Photo via lendingmemo

Red vs. Blue Ocean Strategies

August 7th, 2014 by Hayley Gruwer

Red vs. Blue Ocean StrategiesIt can be difficult to succeed with the cutthroat competition in the business environment today. Luckily, there are many strategies you can use in order to gain an edge on your competition. Two of these are red ocean and blue ocean strategies, which were introduced by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne in 2005.

Red Ocean Strategies

A red ocean strategy involves competing in industries that are currently in existence. This often requires overcoming an intense level of competition and can often involve the commoditization of the industry where companies are competing mainly on price. For this strategy, the key goals are to beat the competition and exploit existing demand.

One industry in which a red ocean strategy would be necessary is the soft drink industry. This industry has been in existence for a long time, and there are many barriers to entry. There are industry leaders in place such as Coke and Pepsi, and there are also many smaller companies also in competition for market share. There’s also limited shelf space and vending spots, well-established brand recognition of popular, current brands, and many other factors that affect new competition. This causes the soft drink industry to be very competitive to enter and succeed in.

Blue Ocean Strategies

A blue ocean strategy is based on creating demand that is not currently in existence, rather than fighting over it with other companies. You must keep in mind that there is a deeper potential of the marketplace that hasn’t been explored yet. Most blue oceans are created from within red oceans by expanding existing industry boundaries. The key to a successful blue ocean strategy is finding the right market opportunity and making the competition irrelevant.

An example of a successful execution of a blue ocean strategy is the iPod. When the iPod was introduced in 2001, Steve Jobs said that “with [the] iPod, Apple has invented a whole new category of digital music player that lets you put your entire music collection in your pocket and listen to it wherever you go.” Apple looked beyond what was in the market at that time and introduced a product that created a new industry in and of itself. Apple looked beyond what customers were asking for and created a successful product.

The Winning Strategic Approach

While the authors of Blue Ocean Strategy suggest using the latter approach, no matter which you select, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, it is important to remember that value creation and innovation are critical success factors. Also, remain aware of the industry that you are competing against as well as new introductions to the market that may disrupt any market share that you have attained.

Learn more about red and blue ocean strategies from the authors of the book on their website.

Web design trends come and go every year, which means it’s essential for businesses to keep up with these trends in order to avoid having an outdated website. An updated website results in your company maintaining a modern and up-to-date reputation. Here are ten web design trends that have shown to be popular in 2014:

1. Responsiveness

A responsive wed design (RWD) approach is aimed at providing easy reading and navigating across all platforms including tablet, mobile, and desktop. RWD enables the website’s layout to adapt according to the user’s screen resolution. With the proliferation of mobile devices (see below), it is crucial that your website is mobile friendly.

Example: Harvard

Harvard Website

harvard-mobile-website

2. Making the Most of One Page 

One-page scrolling is becoming very popular among organizations due to its simplicity, fast load speed, and cleanliness. By using a long scrolling design, the content on your website has a greater chance of being read, as viewers are not required to jump from page to page. This allows for companies to focus on content, and it is also beneficial for image-heavy websites.

Example: Jess & Russ

jess-and-russ-website

3. Exciting Typography

Another web design trend that we have seen lately is the use of fonts with personality (fonts that feel like they can stand on their own), various font styles, and fonts in bright colors. By using exciting typography, you are setting your design apart from the competition and helping the content on your website to stand out to visitors.

Example: Bangers

bangers-website

4. Minimalism

Minimalism uses a straight-to-the-point technique by getting rid of excess clutter. This design trend enables websites to not only stay simple, but it also place an emphasis on the content. Some minimalistic web designs have simple color schemes with only one or two colors, while many take advantage of white space.

Example: Dropbox

dropbox-website

5. Heavy Mobile Focus

With so many mobile devices being used today, many users are using their phones to browse the Web. Thus, it is essential for companies to ensure that their website functions on mobile devices. Mobile web designs adapt websites to small screens while incorporating many features available on the full site.

Example: Whole Foods

whole-foods-website

6. Large Content Blocks

Many people are visual processors, and are better able to consume content with the help of graphic aids including tables and graphs. Large content blocks segment a website’s content into visual categories. This helps to create good flow and responsiveness by causing viewers to focus on one subject at a time.

Example: frog

frog-design-website

7. Flat Design

Flat design incorporates smooth colors and simplicity in order to bring a website to life. Flat UI elements remove any stylistic choices that give the illusion of three-dimensions. CSS3 created much flatter buttons using natural box shadows, text shadows, or rounded corners. Additionally, Apple recently introduced Flat UI design on its iOS 7.0 software update.

Example: Future Insights

future-insights-website

8. Prominent Social Icons

Social media is becoming more popular every day, which means your organization’s website should be clearly displaying links to your social media accounts. Making social media icons easy to notice helps to generate social activity. Additionally, many sites are integrating social feeds into their websites, which dynamically updates in real-time with their latest posts.

Example: Oreo

oreo-website

9. HTML5

HTML5 will remain a core technology for structuring and presenting content for websites. It defines a single markup language, and there are many important features that come with HTML5 including markup, new API’s (application programming interfaces), and error handling.

Example: Webflow

webflow-website

10. Video Content

Why read about it when you can watch it? Videos are becoming easier to produce and share on both websites and social media, and the ability to capture valuable metrics make them a useful addition to your website.

Example: Coin

coin-website
Don’t let your website become outdated! Make sure you stay up-to-date with the constantly changing website redesign trends. Is there a trend that you think is important to add to the list? Comment below to add your input.