Categories
Creative & Production Video Production

There is no question that video production can be a powerful marketing tool. Brands use video to educate consumers about new product types, walk prospects through a free trial experience, engage audiences, or showcase the features and benefits of a brand. Video can even simply be a way to delight, entertain, and reinforce brand imagery. There are so many great ways to use video that it’s hard for us to pick one handful of really amazing advice. Instead, we decided to share our ultimate “DON’T” list. Avoid these guaranteed video fails on your next project and you’ll be off to a good start.

1. Remember people’s attention spans are … what were we talking about again?

People’s attention spans are shorter than ever. The average video watcher needs to be hooked within the first three seconds of watching or they are less than 15% likely to complete their viewing session. Similarly, even the most engaged users tend to drop off around the 30-second mark. When choosing a topic for your video – whether it’s product, brand, or education related – choose something that can be conveyed in under 30 seconds, or that can be split into a series of smaller videos.

2. SFW and being audio friendly:

Some companies make the mistake of putting all their juiciest content into the audio portion of their 30 second commercial. While audio is indeed important, many viewers watching on their smart devices or at work may opt out of the sound on your video. If you’ve ever received an email with the subject line “Not SFW” you may understand why. Make sure that your video has elements that are clearly conveyed using visual cues, as well as sound, for maximum effect. For example, a 30-second spot with a man talking about your product behind a white background is only effective if that viewer has sound on. A more effective version would be him showcasing the product doing something amazing while talking about it. And don’t forget, a few strategically placed headlines can go a long way.

3. Boredom kills any 30 second commercial:

If you don’t want to watch your video, neither do your customers. Even the most serious topics can be tastefully presented using a little personality and levity. Your local Orlando marketing agency can help you strike the perfect balance between entertainment and education so your customers enjoy watching your videos enough to remember the key messaging you planted inside that content. You can also tap into your own customer base by soliciting user-generated content about your brand. Testimonials and product DIYs are almost always more effective when coming from customers to help generate trust and authenticity, so this may be a great option for brands on a budget or those without a robust in-house creative team.

4. Location is everything, even in videos:

Before you create a 30 second commercial, consider where you want to place it and what you want it to accomplish. A video focused on brand awareness would be shown in a different place than a product tutorial, for example. To help guide your video story boarding and production, make sure you know exactly where you’re going to put them. If you simply create videos to have them, you risk missing out on using this awesome resource or misusing it and losing critical engagement.

 

Ready to get started? Get your camera ready, your creative team hyped, and your site primed. you’re next 30 second commercial is going to be a hit. And don’t worry, we’re here to guide you every step of the way.

Categories
Content Marketing Creative & Production

Consumer packaged goods are leading the charge in millennial marketing initiatives. Although as marketers, we wouldn’t be surprised to hear luxury or lifestyle brands, such as the LVMH collection or Mercedes-Benz were pioneering, experimenting with, and testing new marketing tactics; we were delighted to learn that CPGs were making bold strides in these same efforts. Consumer packaged goods are leading the way on some of the most innovative marketing trends of 2016. Here’s why:

They aren’t afraid of experiential marketing:

CPGs are often competing in mature or saturated markets, so they are more willing to take a big swing and learn quickly during times of fierce competition. Within the last decade, experiential marketing has become a new – somewhat experimental – marketing tactic to attract CPG consumers. Companies such as Redbull have used experiential marketing events to bolster their brand image, in this case, with adventure and energy. Event marketing transports potential customers into an alternate version of their lifestyle in which their products have transformed their day-to-day lives. Even when these events or guerrilla marketing experiences are an exaggerated version of their products’ value proposition, the emotions participants feel during these events last longer than any traditional advertisement ever could. This type of marketing is especially effective for new product launches or brand refreshing efforts.

They have nailed the art of storytelling:

No one tells a story better than Oreo. In their latest advertising campaigns, Oreo shows how sharing their time-honored cookie brings families and individuals closer together. Watching a little boy share an Oreo before bedtime with his father, who has video conferenced into his son’s bedroom before his morning meeting half way across the globe in Hong Kong, transforms the simple pleasure of eating a cookie into a family tradition. Brands such as Coca-Cola have taken a similar approach to elevate feelings of goodwill around the holidays, while the laundry detergent brand Tide captures the relief of simplifying everyday life amidst the chaos of children, pets, multiple schedules, and ubiquitous stains. Storytelling is a powerful tool when used in traditional advertising campaigns and shareable content on social media because it allows consumers to think about CPGs in a new way.

Celebrity sponsorship is not a dirty word:

CPGs have also benefitted tremendously with millennials by seeking celebrity endorsements. Although there is no illusion that these brand partnerships are organic, CPGs have learned (and leveraged) the power of our youngest generation’s fixation on celebrity lifestyles. Cindy Crawford may have started it with her Pepsi endorsement in the 80’s, but every time a celebrity stands next to a CPG, sales increase approximately 20%—yes, even with a B-list name. It may sound counterintuitive to today’s modern marketers who are used to bending over backwards to build brand trust, but we already told you that consumer packaged goods were daring to be different.

It may not always make sense, but we know these companies aren’t spending millions of dollars for a few seconds during the Super Bowl halftime for nothing. If you want to think outside the box (literally), CPGs are a great place to seek new ideas and marketing trends you may not have considered before. Our team of marketing enthusiasts have a few tricks up our sleeves that we learned from watching the best of the best CPG brands. Click here for a few more tips.

Categories
Campaign Creation & Development Creative & Production

If you aren’t sick of hearing about why you need to invest in millennials yet, you probably haven’t been paying close enough attention to their forecasted purchasing potential. Millennials are a unique generation with an emerging purchasing power unlike any generation we’ve seen to date. Their eclectic spending habits make them highly desirable and somewhat elusive. Often cited as “penny wise and dollar foolish,” CPG brands sometimes have a hard time breaking through the clutter to connect with these brand-loyal consumers.
If your brand happens to be lucky enough to resonate with millennials already, you know how fiercely loyal they can be. If you’re a new market entrant or emerging company, however, catching millennials’ attention (and keeping it long enough to make a sale) can be a hurdle. Don’t waste another minute. These five quick and easy marketing trends will help you win with millennials and score for years to come.

1. Don’t try to win with price:

Go ahead, throw out the coveted “Marketing Four P’s” you learned in B-School. As a consumer packaged goods brand, you’re never going to win through price with millennials. Unless you happen to be at the very bottom end of the pricing scale, your best bet is to distinguish yourself by adding unique value or meaning to your products. Millennials will shop for a bargain on goods and sundry items, such as CPGs, but often make an exception for brands that go above and beyond their expectations. Additionally, millennials are one of the least likely demographics to switch brands once they have found a product they like, even when that brand is out priced by competition. Colgate discovered that they could actually increase their prices above competition because millennials were so connected with their unique lifestyle messaging that other toothpaste labels simply didn’t stand a chance. And of course, prices are always going to fluctuate, which is why it’s smarter to invest in what makes your product special.

2. Do something that matters:

Never think of your brand as “just another CPG.” Even the most mundane products can appeal to millennials when they connect with something larger than the product itself. Millennials often invest in products that are aligned with global issues or lifestyle causes they believe in. For example, the (RED) HIV/AIDS awareness campaign, which often lends its stamp of approval to CPG products willing to donate a portion of their profits to the cause, has generated wild success for everything from personal speakers, to food products, and clothing brands simply because it augments the product within the global community. 

3. Invest in digital marketing:

If you’re going to attract millennials, you also need to sell your products where and how they want to shop. Although consumer packaged goods were often considered a brick and mortar staple, the emergence of e-commerce giants such as Amazon have changed how millennials shop. Thanks to services like Amazon Pantry and home-grocery store delivery, these savvy shoppers often save time and money by purchasing CPGs online and having them delivered. To ensure your products don’t get overlooked during their next shopping spree, take time to invest in digital ads and social media that will keep your products top of mind and encourage millennials to go out of their way to purchase your items. 

4. Don’t be afraid to buddy up:

CPG brands can supercharge their image with a boost of edginess, allure, or excitement simply by partnering with endorsers or unrelated brands that already enjoy that reputation. For example, when Redbull partnered with the X-Games (a millennial favorite), they immediately shifted their market from overworked corporate travelers, to adrenaline-junkies and adventure seeking “Gen Y-ers.” Even if your CPG can’t generate (or sell) a certain emotion on its own, chances are, partnering with another organization could. Choose wisely when trying to attract millennials, however, to avoid unintentionally negative brand association with elitist or non-environmentally sound partners that will immediately turn off this audience. 

5. Make your packaging an extension of your brand:

If all else fails, learn from a CPG giant: Apple. Ensure your packaging is an extension of your brand values. Whether you want to attract millennials with quality or a certain emotional vibe, your packaging is your first opportunity to communicate who you are. Apple’s clean, high-quality packaging mirrors its products in many ways and is often photographed and shared on social media as an exciting addition to the product experience. Custom packaging may be a little more expensive, but it’s an opportunity no company can afford to waste.

Although there’s no silver bullet to attract or retain millennials, our team of trend forecasters and cutting edge marketers have our fingers on the pulse of the latest tools and tips that win with the millennial market. For more ideas, or a customized millennial-friendly marketing plan contact us here.

Categories
Campaign Creation & Development Creative & Production

Advertising evolved from informational sales tactics into carefully curated product representations and experiences in the 40’s and 50’s. Marketing executives a la Mad Men’s Don Draper worked with clients to capture their client’s essence and package it into a perfectly polished campaign. Ads could bend the truth in small doses to create a magical version of reality in which Dawn dish soap has the power to transform the average housewife into a beautiful domestic goddess.
Times have changed. Today, customers have wised up to the alluring temptation of this type of advertising. Instead of looking to their favorite magazine for inspiration on what to buy, they ask their friends or surf their favorite bloggers’ websites. As a result, the emergence of review sites, social media, and peer-sharing has boomed. Now, customers have the power to influence a brand’s success simply by telling the truth. We’d like to think Don Draper needs a martini just thinking about that prospect.

Luckily, we know you understand the value of harnessing your customers feedback as part of a healthy marketing mix. User generated content is one of the simple, most effective ways to channel positive customer feedback into advertising potential. As an added bonus, you get to give your creative team a break and have your customers do the work for you. 

STARTING THE REVOLUTION: A FEW EXAMPLES OF USER GENERATED CONTENT:

Almost every industry can leverage user generated content. Beer producer Miller Lite had customers take short videos of themselves enjoying a beer and Tweet about the experience online. Miller the promoted the winning Tweets as commercials for their product. In addition to increasing their social engagement and reach, the user generated commercial campaigns also invited customers to be authentic, share their stories, and encourage other people like them do the same. Birds of a feather do, indeed, flock together. As consumers saw other individuals like them enjoying a Miller, they realized their own summer wouldn’t be complete without a six pack of this refreshing, light beer.

Avantgarde hospitality brand The Standard Spa and Hotels took a similar approach. Over the Fourth of July, they asked customers to celebrate freedom and love by taking a video of themselves and their significant other kissing. The hotel Instagrammed user stories showing same-sex, multi-racial, and even just your “regular old” couples spreading the love. This campaign clearly expressed the hotel chain’s values, served as an invitation for guests to take part in their belief system, and – you guessed it – share their own stories.

GIVE ME THE BOTTOM LINE, WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS:

In addition to their great entertainment value, this user generated content is highly effective for your business.

  • Increased engagement:

    One of the main benefits of using user-generated content is that it’s highly engaging. Potential customers flock to your website or social media accounts to interact with user-centric campaigns, post their own content, and like other user content they find. This means more people are spending more time on your site or social media accounts learning about and interacting with your brand. And you didn’t have to do a thing.

  • Viral potential:

    Even more enticing is the possibility that some of this content could go viral. As customers engage with other user generated content, they may be inclined to share what they find (or share their own content). There are hundreds of thousands of creative people out there. It only takes one really incredible iPhone video to transform your brand into the next YouTube craze. And more exposure means more sales. 

  • Low cost, high impact:

    User-generated content also costs nearly nothing to produce. Once you think of a campaign that users would want to participate in, you simply have to promote that opportunity and your followers will do the rest. When timed alongside a holiday or dip in your sales cycle, the added bump of exposure can have a great impact on your sales.

  • Authenticity at its finest:

    The best part is, your customers don’t have to take your word about your product. They can do what they do best: listen to their friends. Using user generated content lends an air of authenticity to any claims you make about your brand. It’s one thing for you to think your product is great, but it means a lot more when someone else does. Take advantage of that simple fact.

To kick off a campaign using user generated content, you simply need an idea and an entry point for customers to participate. We have plenty of ideas to get you started, or would love to hear what you have been successful with in the past. Share your thoughts here or reach out to one of our social specialists for ideas.

Categories
Adaptable Creative Creative & Production

Business card design is not what it used to be. With so many printing options, DIY business card companies, paper thicknesses, foiling, glossing, photography overlays, shapes and sizes, it’s easy to get caught up in wanting to create the most creative or luxurious business card design for your business. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Once you strip away all the bells and whistles, we believe that business card design should fall into one of two categories: simple, sleek and professional or radically creative. In either case, your card needs to clearly display your logo, your contact information, and provide a relevant call to action about your business or brand.

While those three things are all given, there are four business card design trends you should never, ever fall prey to. Below, we share our hit list of business card faux pas and why they are bad for your business.

1. Forget all the text you want to include on your business card design:

Your business card is not the place to teach prospects about your product or services. Overloading your business card design with cramped text or too much information can overwhelm the viewer and detract from the contact information on the card. The primary goal of your business card should be to encourage customers to reach out, surf your website, or give you a call. Leave them wanting more by including a simple catch phrase or invitation for a free consultation. Everything else you should save for your website, blog, or customer brochure.

2. Don’t create something that won’t fit easily into a wallet:

We know that creating a business card that looks like a pack of matches, or going crazy with the die cutter might seem like a cutting edge way to set your business card apart from the competition. The reality is, if you want your prospective customers to remember to give you a call, your business card needs to fit easily inside their wallets. During networking events or daily exchanges, you may trade any number of business cards. While quirky or oddly shaped cards may stand out in the moment, those that don’t easily fit into your prospects’ business folios will likely end up in a pocket (and subsequently the washing machine), at the bottom of a purse, or inside a trash can.

3. Never use QR codes in business card design:

There once was a time when marketers like our Orlando marketing agency team tried to socialize QR codes. The idea was a good one. Simply scan the code to reveal promotions or contact information. The reality is, no matter what anyone tells you, this trend has never (and will never) catch on. Save space on your business card and skip the QR code. No one will use it anyway, so you’re missing an opportunity to put that same information or promotion on the card. The QR code itself is also distracting and can be a major detraction from your design.

4. Avoid generic fonts:

If you have seen and can easily recognize the font on your business card before (think: Comic Sans, Papyrus, or Copperplate) you shouldn’t be using it. There are tons of free fonts available for download if you choose to create your own business card design, and any good marketing agency has access to paid and free options they can incorporate on your behalf. Using overplayed or highly exposed fonts makes your business card look less professional or may create an unintentionally negative association between your business and another business using the same font. The same goes for generic images in lieu of a customized logo. The small investment in a new font or personalized logo will go a long way in building a lasting, meaningful brand identity that will help customers associate your products and services with your unique value proposition rather than someone else’s.

For more inspiration on how to design a perfect business card or how to use creative elements to build your brand, visit our creative services page.

Categories
Content Marketing Creative & Production

Let’s get social! If you’re looking for your next #FollowFriday, #MarketingCrushMonday, or #WisdomWednesday post, look no further. Here is a full line up of our favorite social media content marketing masterminds. They are experts in their own category, so it’s no surprise that their social accounts are packed with marketing tips and digital trends that your business can’t live without. In addition to boosting your social presence, connecting with these social media content marketing masterminds will give you an inside track into the best digital marketing techniques and trends to steal right now.

Neil Patel – @neilpatel:

Aside from his impressive resume starting @CrazyEgg and @Kissmetrics, Neil Patel’s social media following has a near cult-like allure thanks to his pithy and user-friendly social media content marketing guides. He regularly serves up marketing tips and tools for his followers that will have you liking and sharing time and time again (think: Is your content marketing strategy in line with your competition and Twitter advertising guides?).

Sandy Carter – @sandy_carter:

Being a popular social powerhouse, TEDtalk veteran, #socbiz champion, and General Manager of IBM’s Social Business Evangelism team earns Sandy Carter a top spot on our list of social media content marketing masterminds. Her content is always relevant, laced with humanity and humor, and about how we use social media to change the marketing landscape.

Michael Stelzner – @mike_stelzner

Social Media Examiner (@SMExaminer) is one of the most popular social media content marketing blogs on the market. Whether you’re beginning your career in social media and content marketing, or a seasoned veteran, Social Media Examiner provides clear insights into the latest social media trends. Founder and owner Michael Steizner serves as a very human voice and face behind the site. As a a father, man of faith, and inspirational speaker, it’s hard not to get on board with his personal (and professional) social brand.

Shama Hyder – @Shama:

You know you’re an OSMG (original social media gangster) when your Twitter handle is simply your first name. Shana Hyder was ranked by Forbes as one of their top 30 under 30 after founding Social Media Marketing Zen. She recently released a new book called #Momentum, which discusses the power of digital and social marketing for today’s brands, so we expect lots of great things – and Tweets – out of Shama in the months to come.

Sheryl Sandberg – @sherylsandberg:

What list of social media influencers would be complete without Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg? Sheryl’s own story shows the power of content marketing and how it can transform our lives and our brands. In Sheryl’s New York Time’s bestselling novel, Lean In, she shares her personal evolution and what it takes to be a successful digital marketing and social media expert. Each day, her posts on social media remind followers how to define their own definitions of success.

Melonie Dodaro – @MelonieDodaro:

It’s easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamor of social media sites such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook; but LinkedIn remains one of the most engaged social user sites and boasts the strongest socioeconomic consumer base potential. Melonie Dadaro shares her perspective on how to harness the power of this professional platform in her book, The LinkedIn Code, as well as through her social media content marketing sites and blog.

Brian Halligan – @bhalligan:

Brian Halligan is, without question, THE king of inbound marketing. When he founded @HubSpot a few years ago, no one could have guessed the massive revolution he was starting. His posts give you an inside look into the vision behind his thought leadership and the wave we know as content marketing and inbound strategy. He is an expert social marketer and eager to share his knowledge.

Mari Smith – @MariSmith

Instagram ads, Facebook reach, and content engagement, oh my! Indeed, Mari Smith has a handle on it all. Her reputation hinges on a deep understanding of social media content marketing and Facebook content generation. She is a regular speaker and blogger, musing on everything from how to build social influence to how to write content.

 Leo Widrich – @LeoWid

Just because we’re talking social media content marketing, doesn’t mean you can do without analytics. COO and founder of @buffer, Leo Widrich is an analytics expert who will earn and keep your attention, we promise. His straightforward assessments of how social media and digital marketing tools drive key performance metrics make analytics accessible without getting bogged down with technical jargon.

Ann Smarty – @SEOSmarty

Ann’s primary focus is on SEO, but her debut blog, ViralContentBuzz.com, focuses on the power of viral content marketing and how social influence can revolutionize your conversion efforts. Her social media presence is, itself, a testament to the power of shareable content and how to increase your audience through inbound marketing and true viral buzz.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to connect with us via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to stay current with our company culture. Who knows, maybe you’ll be on our next social media masterminds list.

Categories
Content Marketing Creative & Production

We have what can only be described as a good news, bad news scenario to share with you. Let’s start with the bad news. According to HubSpot, one of our favorite inbound marketing partners, your email marketing list, loses approximately 22.5% of its subscribers every year. The good news is, email marketing is still one of the most lucrative and highly engaged consumer channels you have in your arsenal of marketing tools. Now just imagine what your ROI could be if you were growing your email marketing list at a 22.5% annual rate! To help you grow your email marketing list like a boss and turn those subscribers into qualified leads, we recommend these five tips and resources. 

1. Stop losing subscribers:

We’ve all heard the saying that retaining a customer is more valuable (and less expensive) than finding a new customer. The same holds true for your email marketing list. Before turning your focus toward inbound marketing tactics to grow your list, make sure your current content marketing strategy is relevant to your reader base and target audience. Great content keeps your current users engaged and makes the rest of these recommendations easier to implement and maintain. For ideas on how to energize your content marketing strategy and keep users engaged, we love Contently’s Content Strategist blog.

2. Make opting-in to your email marketing list easy:

If you have great content: share it. And make it easy for your readers to come back for more. Add subscribe buttons to your employees’ email signatures, share your content with an opt-in link via social media, include a newsletter or blog subscription button on every page and in your footer. Every inbound marketing and email lead may discover your content and website through different channels, so don’t assume that your visitors know where to look to subscribe to your email list or learn more about your brandYour opt-in buttons should be ubiquitous throughout your site along with inbound marketing efforts you have in market. Get crisp on how to unclutter your site, reduce competing CTA’s, and create a hierarchy of marketing information for your customers on Unbounce. This go-to conversion site will help you understand how to make opting-in to your email marketing list easier than ever.

3. You can’t go wrong with email marketing promotions:

One of the quickest and easiest ways to build a solid email marketing list is to offer promotions or contests. Think about the last time you logged onto a retail site and traded your email for a discount code or chance to win free merchandise. The exchange is a win-win situation. The customer gets a promotion, and the brand receives your email information. Provided your content strategy is strong, this customer will keep coming back and engaging with your products as you email new promotions or share interesting content. Use CoSchedule to help you plan a content and promotional calendar that will tee up critical offers throughout the year that will be relevant to your target audience.

4. Don’t forget about social sharing:

Help your current customers and advocates help you by adding social sharing to your current email campaigns (check out EmailDesignReview.com for great ideas on how to creatively place sharing buttons), and to all your inbound marketing content. As people share your content, more people will sign up for your email marketing list to get in on the action. Social sharing is one of the main reasons your content marketing needs to be strong. Good content means more shares and more email leads.

 5. YOU should be sharing too:

It should go without saying that you should be sharing your own content too. If you aren’t tempted to share your blog posts, emails, and promotions with friends and family or ask people to opt in your list at networking events, chances are your content marketing isn’t good enough yet. If you’re not ready to drink your own Kool-Aid, ask yourself why. And then fix it. Team up with other passionate people in your office and transform your email marketing strategy into something you are proud to promote.

You should know that we’re here to help. View our email marketing service page to see how we’ve helped other brands like you balance a flawless email marketing campaign. Together, we can do more.

Categories
Content Marketing Creative & Production

Many marketers believe that lead generation is an expensive, laborious task. And, sure, it can be… but it doesn’t have to be. Strong inbound marketing campaigns and robust content strategies can help you and your business generate highly qualified leads without blowing all your resources in one place.
Over the next quarter, pick one or two of our top five lead generation and inbound strategy tips to test with your customers. You’ll be surprised at how simple and effective these tools can be to engage new (and former) customers.

1. Personalized content and inbound marketing:

Using personalized content to spur inbound marketing activity is one of the most effective ways to generate qualified leads. Personalized content is three times more likely to generate clicks and leads than non-personalized content. Whether you send emails using your customers’ first names or grab their attention or leverage retargeted display ads reminding customers of items they previously browsed, highly personalized content is a great way to keep your product top of mind and nudge customers toward the lead or purchase funnel.

2. Social media incentives:

Social media is another lynchpin in a strong lead generation and inbound strategy. Turn your current customers into advocates and encourage them to share your content, invite friends to visit your homepage, and review your products online. This increases natural exposure to your site and encourages new customers to reach out and get to know your brand better. Reviews and recommendations are one of the most trusted referral sources for new customers, so don’t underestimate the power these simple social tools can have on your lead generation capabilities.

3. Clear features and benefits invite customers to your inbound marketing campaign:

Content marketing strategy starts with wrapping each and every one of your product features in customer benefits. Focus on the direct business benefits or lifestyle perks your product is associated with. As customers project themselves into your brand lifestyle while reading blogs or seeing clear product benefits in a well placed Instagram campaign, they will be encouraged to do more research and seek out additional information about your brand. As they self select into your target audience, onto your landing pages, and into your social campaigns the inbound leas will roll in.

4. Email campaigns:

Even though email marketing sometimes gets a bad wrap thanks to increased anti-spam laws and a deluge of, well, spammy email marketing, it can be a highly effective lead generation tool when used properly. To revitalize traditional email lead campaigns, we suggest going way outside the box. Host an event (you’ll be shocked at the number of qualified leads your ticket sales yield), partner with a local charity or institution to tag-team off their email lists, or offer crazy-shareable flash email sales that beg to be forwarded. This radical take on email campaigns will drive inbound marketing leads as customers are tempted to share, attending, and engage with your website. 

5. Affiliate partnerships

The saying that two heads are better than one is especially true for lead generation. Affiliate partnerships let you align your brand with another organization that shares your mission statement or vision. You can create exclusive content, deals, or experiences for your shared audience and enjoy a halo effect of positive vibes, qualified leads, and customer purchases. Affiliate partnerships are especially good for generating qualified leads and inbound marketing benefits because you can pool resources and creativity to do more with less.

These five tips and tricks are so easy, you might not even think you’re generating leads, which is why inbound marketing is such a powerful tool to find customers who are pre-qualified to love your brand.

 

Learn here how the team at BIGEYE aligns your inbound marketing strategy towards success.

Categories
Content Marketing Creative & Production

Chances are, the saying “content is king” has been drilled into your head by everyone from top inbound content marketing organizations such as Hubspot, to lead generation experts such as Marketo’s VP of Demand Generation Heidi Bullock, to your fresh-faced MBA intern with killer ideas to supercharge your company blog. It’s safe to say we all agree that good content results in better leads and more engaged users. The question is: how does content actually generate leads?
Once you have a storehouse of shareable, interesting, and educational material, what do you do to harness it’s qualified lead generation potential? Here are four tips to help you build a strong content marketing strategy tailored to your business needs.

1. Content marketing secures leads:

One of the most effective ways to secure qualified leads is through gated content. If you know your target audience will really want to read your blog post or latest tutorial, put it behind a digital gate. Before downloading or accessing the content, prospective customers will need to provide their email address or other contact information. The catch is making sure customers receive enough value from this content to outweigh their hesitation of being spammed after they provide their contact information. Ask yourself if you would give your email address away for the content before gating anything. If you have even a moment’s hesitation, it’s time to promote a new content king. Also, make sure your content marketing targets top of funnel prospects. While gating a product “how-to” PDF may get you lots of leads, chances are these leads have already signed up for a free trial and are ready to use your product. Stick with information that is tangentially related to your product, or of interest to your target audience but that doesn’t directly apply to current users.

2. Plan ahead, create a content calendar:

Sharing the right content at the right time is a key ingredient when generating leads for your content marketing strategy. Freakonomics author, Steven Levitt, shares a story about a hardware company that tried to measure the ROI of their newspaper ads against their digital spend. Because the digital advertisements only ran the day before major consumer holidays (think: Black Friday and Father’s Day), whereas the newspaper ads ran every Sunday, the ROI of the digital ads looked substantially higher than the newspaper placements. It’s not that the content in the digital ads was more effective than the newspaper ads, but rather, that the content was being served at the right time for the customer. Understand your target audience’s sales cycle, when they shop, where they shop, and when promotions will most likely appeal to them. Craft content that hooks them in around these key sales triggers so you always have a few pieces of highly effective lead generation material locked and loaded throughout the year.

3. Search landing pages:

Congratulations! If you – like almost every other company out there – spend any money on paid search advertisements, you are probably wasting plenty of that money when your current customers click your search ads to log into your site or access their account information. The good news is, we have a solution. We recommend a two-pronged approach to solve this problem and ensure your customers and prospects are finding the right information in the right places. First, tailor your search ads toward non-branded terms that are related to your product and spend less on your brand name itself. This way, customers who are searching for products like yours will find your landing page, but current customers who already know you, will be more likely to click an organic search page rather than a paid ad. Next, splurge on an amazing copywriter or agency to tackle your landing page. Your landing page should introduce your product, give customers enough information to tease them into wanting to learn more, and then direct them to a trial sign up, gated content, or sales funnel.

4. Blog posts and viral leads:

Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget about the power of your blog posts. If you are consistently writing relevant, interesting content, people will want to keep visiting your blog. As they sign up for your newsletter or opt in to your email list, you’ll receive an influx of exceptional leads. Nurture them with email offers and right-for-me content that keeps them coming back again and again. As an added bonus, each time these followers share your content, you have the chance to gain new leads through their viral exposure. Even if you can only dedicate an hour a week to your blog, or partner with an agency to craft content on your behalf, you’ll be priming your business for a self-renewing pipeline of business leads.

These four tips are simple, straightforward, and highly effective in transforming content into customers. And chances are, if you already have a content marketing strategy, these lead generation tips will easily fit into your existing plan.

 

Here’s how the team at BIGEYE builds a solid Content Marketing Strategy.

Categories
Content Marketing Creative & Production

A flawless B2B content marketing strategy starts with clearly understanding that B2C customers don’t act like B2B customers. For the most part, yes, the customer is always right, and yes, your purchasers are still customers; but there are a few fundamental differences between B2B and B2C sales cycles that you need to understand in order to successfully build B2B content. Before you build your content marketing strategy, it’s important to understand these distinctions.

B2B vs. B2C customers:

Before we go any farther, let’s frame the key differences between B2B and B2C customers.

  • B2B sales are usually larger, enterprise purchases
  • Security, technical or installation requirements, and ROI are (usually) very important to B2B customers
  • B2C purchases are often driven by emotion, whereas B2B purchases tend to be more pragmatic
  • Legacy B2B purchase rely on longer sales cycles and deep, trusted relationships between buyers and consumers
  • Large corporations buy differently than small or medium sized businesses

While these are all generalities, remembering these five facts will help you effectively frame a content marketing strategy worthy of the most seasoned business badass — no matter how big or small your company, or your target audience’s companies are.

The two no’s: no fluff and k(NO)w your audience

If you take nothing else from this post, remember the two no’s.

First, no fluff. Business content should clearly communicate your product’s unique value proposition or provide information that your target audience needs to do business. Business jargon and marketing fluff that boost your SEO ranking or fill up your website pages won’t be enough to close a sale for price sensitive startups or heavy hitting CEOs.

… Which is why you need to k(NO)w your audience. Realize that B2B transactions are solving for a customer pain point, so it’s important to understand those needs and communicate what your product does to solve them up front. In that vein, it’s important to realize that the person who is trying or testing your product or researching possible solutions in market, may not be the ultimate decision maker or purchasing power. Provide information that will satisfy both personas so your researcher can sway the ultimate decision maker effectively. To do this, we usually recommend a balance of clear, data-driven information about your product and content marketing moments that let your brand personality shine.

A kickass B2B content marketing strategy starts with thinking with the customer in mind first. And while that isn’t any different from crafting a stellar B2C content marketing strategy at all, it may inform your tone, information architecture, and help frame your features and benefits more clearly for your business user.

Now, click here to see how the professionals build a kick ass content marketing strategy.